The Bangor Daily News, Portland Press Herald and WABI (Channel 5) reported University of Maine senior cornerback Kendall James and senior tight end Justin Perillo were recognized as Football Championship Subdivision All-Americans by The Sports Network. The Black Bears were among 11 Colonial Athletic Association players to be named to All-American teams. James was named to the first team and Perillo made the second team.
Archive for the ‘Student Life’ Category
Jack Cosgrove, head coach of the University of Maine football team, finished third in voting for the Eddie Robinson Award, and freshman linebacker Christophe Mulumba placed sixth in voting for the Jerry Rice FCS Rookie of the Year recognition, The Sports Network announced. The Portland Press Herald, WLBZ (Channel 2), Bangor Daily News and WABI (Channel 5) carried the report.
WVII (Channel 7) covered a concert at the University of Maine that was held in remembrance of the victims of last year’s Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn. About 70 students, adults and professional musicians from around the state performed during the concert. UMaine student Olivia Bean said it was a great opportunity to be a part of the concert and it “brought the community together by playing music to help heal the Newtown community and even here in Greater Bangor.”
A presentation made by University of Maine nursing students at a Veazie town council meeting was cited in the Bangor Daily News article “Orono-Veazie Water District consumers raise concerns about potential carcinogen.” The students presented on the health effects of trihalomethanes (THMs), which are formed when chlorine and other disinfectants are mixed with organic matter, after residents showed concern over chemicals in their water. The students said exposure can lead to an increased risk of bladder, colon and rectal cancer. UMaine also released a statement about its water, saying the university “has been in contact with the Orono-Veazie Water District and is aware that it is currently in compliance for 2013.”
Active, interested University of Maine students stay in school, says Robert Dana, UMaine’s dean of students.
Fostering student engagement is therefore important for Dana, who knows a thing or two about longevity and stability. The vice president for student life has been at the state’s flagship university for nearly three decades.
“UMaine truly is a world-class institution and student success is at the top of the priority list,” he says, adding that it’s empowering to help lead the charge for a UMaine Blue Sky Plan Pathway 2 initiative to improve annual student retention by 5 percent by fiscal year 2017.
From 2011–12, UMaine did just that. Eighty-one percent of the 2012 cohort of first-time, full-time students stayed in school. It was a 5-percent improvement from the 2011 cohort, according to the University of Maine Office of Institutional Research.
The national first- to second-year retention rate for four-year public institutions is 72.2 percent, according to ACT (2013) and the national retention rate for selective public institutions is 77.6 percent, according to Consortium for Student Retention Data Exchange (2013).
Dana says that UMaine President Paul Ferguson has energized this community specifically through the Blue Sky Plan and his total commitment to student success and his emphasis on our obligation to support students so they can achieve a college education. According to Dana, this orientation creates all sorts of opportunities.
Opportunities, for instance, to create “super-enriched” interconnected academic, cultural and social environments that serve as effective, durable, connected student support structures. It helps, Dana says, that all faculty and staff are “pulling in the same direction.”
He points to several recent developments intended to bolster student academic engagement and success, including the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Advising Center, the College of Education and Human Development Advising Center and the Unum Black Bear Leaders program.
Advisers, he says, provide academic guidance, personal support and resources and seek to forge authentic supportive relationships with students. The advisers understand that students are complete and complex human beings, and not just an education or engineering major, Dana says.
The Unum Black Bear Leaders program provides selected first-year students with a trained one-on-one coach, team-building activities, as well as yearlong mentoring, seminars, social events and experiences.
The retention rate of the 113 first-year students who participated in the 2011–12 Unum Black Bear Leaders program was 87 percent; 73 percent surveyed said they had gained leadership skills, life skills and knowledge by participating in the program.
Of the students who completed the program, 13 percent withdrew after the first year, compared to 31 percent of first-year students with similar characteristics who chose not to participate.
Jeffrey Hecker, executive vice president for academic affairs and provost, says it’s key that the multipronged approach to improving both retention and four- and six-year graduation rates is informed by data.
Retention is affected by a number of factors, says Hecker, including affordability, quality of instruction, access to required classes and quality of residential life.
There are more than 200 campus organizations in which students can become socially and culturally engaged and connected, says Dana, whether they’re from Maine, another state or country, are a veteran and/or a nontraditional student.
Dana listed a myriad of ways that students can be a contributor and leader on campus, including through research, volunteering, Greek Life, athletics, theater, music, GLBT advocacy, recreation, the campus newspaper and student government.
“Engagement matters,” he says. “Community matters. Being truly engaged in the world around us provides us with the opportunity to realize leadership. We admit people capable of greatness. It’s true you can do anything you want…teacher, doctor, lawyer, scientist…”
Contact: Beth Staples, 207.581.3777
University of Maine students and married couple John Carney and Christine Carney won the Big Gig’s second pitch-off for their promotion of their business, Through Thick and Thin, which offers quirky acrylic cupcake toppers, jewelry and ornaments.
Three businesses had been selected to pitch their products or companies to a panel of judges at the event at Kosta’s Bar and Grill in Old Town.
The winners received $100 and an invitation to compete for a $1,000 grand prize in the Big Gig Finale in April.
The Big Gig is designed to bring together Bangor-Orono area innovators and entrepreneurs and offer networking opportunities. It was started by a partnership between the University of Maine, Old Town, Orono and Husson University and is supported by Blackstone Accelerates Growth.
Sarah Newcomb, a doctoral student in behavioral economics at UMaine and research assistant at UMaine’s Sustainability Solutions Initiative, won the Big Gig’s first pitch-off event in October with “Who’s Your Daddy?” — a phone app she developed that allows shoppers to scan products to learn more about its parent company.
More about the Carneys and how UMaine’s Foster Center for Student Innovation helped get their company off the ground is online.
WABI (Channel 5) reported on the latest visit by certified therapy dogs to the University of Maine’s Fogler Library. The dogs were on hand to offer stress relief and comfort to students, staff and faculty members as the semester winds down. UMaine students said visiting with the dogs helps them relax.
The Bangor Daily News published an opinion piece by University of Maine first-year student Grace Marshall, who is studying English. Marshall’s article is titled “If they’re terminal, let Mainers choose how they die.”
WVII (Channel 7) and WABI (Channel 5) spoke with students in the introduction to research diving course offered at the University of Maine Darling Marine Center. Students in the class visited the Orono campus to use the pool to prepare for their final that will allow them to become certified scientific research divers.
The Portland Press Herald spoke with Kaitlyn O’Donnell, a graduate student in entomology at the University of Maine, for an article on destructive winter moths returning to Maine. O’Donnell, who has been working in Harpswell for the last 18 months, said research there has revealed the moths prefer apples and oaks, and they haven’t been spreading very far or fast. She added they have stripped oaks almost completely and their effect on apple trees could eventually concern commercial growers if the insects extend their range.