The University of Maine’s Foster Center for Student Innovation is hosting the Big Gig finale from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 8. Finalists from the last three Big Gig pitch-off events will compete for a $1,000 grand prize sponsored by University Credit Union.
The winner will be chosen by audience vote. Admission is free, but online registration is requested. Food and a cash bar will be available.
Finalists are John and Christine Carney of Thick & Thin Designs; Bruce and Kathy Chamberlain of Stone Fox Farm Creamery; and Jessica Jewell of Northern Maine Distilling Co.
The Big Gig is a series of business pitch events for entrepreneurs in Greater Bangor designed to bring together Bangor-Orono area innovators and entrepreneurs and offer networking opportunities. It was started by a partnership between UMaine, Old Town, Orono and Husson University and is supported by Blackstone Accelerates Growth. More information about Big Gig is online.
WABI (Channel 5) reported on the 5th annual Undergraduate Research and Academic Showcase sponsored by UMaine’s Center for Undergraduate Research (CUGR). Presentations from 149 students in the form of 77 posters, 21 oral presentations or performances, and nine exhibits were featured. Several presentations included multiple students. Ali Abedi, director of CUGR, told WABI the showcase gives students an opportunity to learn how to present themselves and their project, as well as write proposals. Awards were given to students in each presentation category. Ten winners of $3,000 Summer Research and Creative Academic Achievements Fellowships were also announced at the event.
University of Maine students and married couple John and Christine Carney were featured in a Bangor Daily News report about the three married couples who are finalists for the $1,000 grand prize of the Big Gig. The Big Gig is a series of business pitch events for entrepreneurs in Greater Bangor designed to bring together Bangor-Orono area innovators and entrepreneurs and offer networking opportunities. It was started by a partnership between UMaine, Old Town, Orono and Husson University and is supported by Blackstone Accelerates Growth. The Carneys will pitch their business Thick & Thin Designs, a company that specializes in laser-cut acrylic cupcake toppers, during the finale on April 8, at UMaine’s Foster Center for Student Innovation.
The Forecaster reported University of Maine President Paul Ferguson will be one of three judges of the final round of Gorham Savings Bank’s Launchpad competition April 10 in Portland. Five independent Maine businesses will pitch their products and services to the judges for a chance to win $30,000. The Bangor Daily News also carried the report.
Student research was displayed during the 5th annual Undergraduate Research and Academic Showcase on April 1.
The event, sponsored by UMaine’s Center for Undergraduate Research (CUGR), was open to any undergraduate at the university and featured presentations from 149 students in the form of 77 posters, 21 oral presentations or performances, and nine exhibits. Several presentations included multiple students.
Following are the winning presentations:
Nicole Curtis-Bray (electrical and computer engineering), “Remote Excitation of the Resonant Transverse Shear Mode in AT-cut quartz;” adviser: John Vetelino
Paige Martin (molecular and biomedical sciences), “Exosome-Mediated Drug Delivery for Treatment of Brain Cancer;” adviser: Carol Kim (first place)
Christine Gilbert (Honors), “Sustainability Inconvenient Discourse;” adviser: Mark Haggerty (second place)
Samuel Hatch and Emily Blackwood (anthropology), “Native American Plant Use: Pollen Analysis of Shell Middens;” adviser: Brian Robinson (first place)
Chi Truong (chemical and biological engineering), “Separation of Sodium Acetate from Maine hardwood extract via Electrodialysis;” adviser: Joseph Geneco (second place)
Elizabeth Chenevert, Rebekah Flanders, Lindsay Thornton and Sylvia Paradis-Reynolds (nursing), “Radon Detect To Protect;” adviser: Elizabeth Bicknell (third place)
Also announced at the showcase were the 10 winners of a $3,000 Summer Research and Creative Academic Achievements Fellowship:
Danielle Walczak (communication and journalism), “Fresh Light: Maine’s Young Small Diversified Farmers Growing Hope in Maine;” adviser: Margaret Nagle
Gwendolyn Beacham (molecular and biomedical sciences), “Towards Understanding Cluster E Phage Integration and Maintenance of Lysogeny;” adviser: Sally Molloy
Marissa Bovie (anthropology), “Landscape Evolution and Human Agency Along Croatia’s Adriatic Coast;” adviser: Greg Zaro
Tyler Roy (psychology), “Activated Microglia in a Mouse Model of Chemo-Brain;” adviser: Thane Fremouw
Julia Sell (physics), “Platinum-Zirconium Diboride (Pt-ZrB2) Multilayer Thin Film Structures for Sensor Applications in Harsh High;” adviser: Robert Lad
Torey Bowser (marine sciences), “Arsenic Exposure of Zebrafish (Danio rerio) Embryos and the Potential to Affect Adult Fish Behavior;” adviser: Rebecca Van Beneden
Katrina Harris (molecular and biomedical sciences), “Identification of Genome and Integration Morphology of Mycobacteriophages ChipMunk and EvilGenius;” adviser: Keith Hutchison
Amy Fish (food and agriculture), “Evaluation of Persistence Factors in C.pseudotuberculosis;” adviser: Anne Lichtenwalner
Taylor Merk-Wynne (mechanical engineering), “Micromechanical Modeling of Fiber Reinforced Composites;” adviser: Senthil Vel
Juliana Tavora (marine sciences), “Satellite-Measured Bio-Optical Measurements of Lagoa dos Patos, Brazil;” adviser: Andrew Thomas
Bangor Metro reported two new potato varieties — the Easton and the Sebec — that were developed by the University of Maine and the Maine Potato Board over the past several growing seasons will make their debut this year. The varieties are targeted at the french fry and potato chip industries. Kris Burton, director of technology commercialization in the UMaine Department of Industrial Cooperation, said several other varieties are currently being evaluated for release over the next few years through the university’s partnership with the Maine Potato Board. “Working closely with the board allows us to commercialize the best varieties to support the Maine potato industry and further research in the field,” Burton said.
The Portland Press Herald reported Maine lawmakers are taking up a proposal for a $73 million bond package that would target investment in the state’s biotechnology and marine sectors and help the growth of small businesses. The package, called the “small business and innovations jobs bond,” includes a proposal of $8 million to renovate and improve a University of Maine Cooperative Extension lab that assists farmers and foresters and identifies pests, as well as plant and animal diseases.
Jake Ward, the University of Maine’s vice president for innovation and economic development, spoke with the Portland Press Herald for a report about the University of Maine School of Law eliminating the Maine Patent Program, which provides free legal services to inventors and entrepreneurs. Ward was an advocate for the program’s creation 15 years ago, but told the Press Herald the University of Maine School of Law probably wasn’t the best organization to house the program, adding that in tough budget times, organizations must focus on their core constituency, which for the law school doesn’t include inventors and entrepreneurs. Ward said he’s not happy about the cut, but sees it as a potential opportunity for organizations such as the Maine Technology Institute and the Maine Center for Entrepreneurial Development to pick up the program.
The University of Maine was mentioned in an Area Development Online article about RollEase, Inc. opening a new product innovation center at Brunswick Landing in Brunswick. Greg Farr, senior vice president of the company that creates custom window treatments, said the Brunswick facility is “an exciting opportunity to expand our design and development of new products and to be around like-minded businesses at Brunswick Landing, as well as partner with other Maine businesses and the University of Maine.”
University of Maine undergraduate research will be highlighted during the 5th annual Undergraduate Research and Academic Showcase, 8 a.m.–5 p.m., Tuesday, April 1 at Wells Conference Center.
The event is sponsored by UMaine’s Center for Undergraduate Research and is open to any undergraduate at the university. Presentations from 149 students in the form of 77 posters, 21 oral presentations or performances, and nine exhibits will be featured. Several presentations include multiple students.
Students presenting projects that receive the highest scores from judges in each format will receive awards ranging from $100 to $200 in various categories, according to Ali Abedi, director of the Center for Undergraduate Research (CUGR).
Vice President for Research Carol Kim will deliver opening remarks at 8:30 a.m. Students are encouraged to pose questions for Kim via Twitter using #CUGR2014.
UMaine President Paul Ferguson is expected to give closing remarks during the awards presentation starting at 4:30 p.m., followed by the announcement of the Summer Research and Creative Academic Achievements Fellowship winners by Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Jeff Hecker. Ten students will each be awarded a $3,000 fellowship for their research.
The UMaine community and general public are welcome to attend the free event. For more information or to request disability accommodations, call CUGR, 207.581.3583. More information on the showcase is available online.
Contact: Elyse Kahl, 207.581.3747