Archive for December, 2008

National Poetry Slam Champion Patricia Smith to Perform at USM Reading

Robin Talbot
Associate Director
USM Stonecoast M.F.A. in Creative Writing
207-780-4428 (office)
207-615-1363 (cell)

National Book Award nominee and new member of USM’s Stonecoast M.F.A. in creative writing faculty Patricia Smith will take part in a free public reading at 7:30 p.m., Friday, January 9, in Freeport’s Harraseeket Inn. Also reading at the event, “Stonecoast at the Harraseeket,” is Colin Sargent, a USM Stonecoast alumnus and founding editor and publisher of Portland Magazine. For more information, please call 780-5262.

Posted by on December 30th, 2008 Comments Off

USM Celebrates Retiring Art Professor Juris Ubans

In January of 2009, the University of Southern Maine Gorham Art Gallery will present “Ubart: A Retrospective,” showcasing forty years of work by artist, educator, and collector Juris Ubans, who will retire from USM August 31, 2009. The exhibition will run from Tuesday, January 20 to Sunday, February 15. Gallery hours are 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Tuesday-Friday, and 1-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. A reception will be held from 1-3 p.m., Sunday, February 1 at the USM Gallery on the Gorham campus (snow date February 8). The show also features two gallery talks that will take place at 3 p.m., Thursday, January 29 and 3 p.m., Sunday, February 8. All events are free and open to the public. For more information or access inquiries, please contact Carolyn Eyler at 207-780-5008, or visit our Web site at

Posted by on December 22nd, 2008 Comments Off

Muskie Professor Appointed Chair of New England Governors’ Commission on Land Conservation

Portland, Maine—A Blue Ribbon Commission on Land Conservation appointed by the New England Governors’ Conference will be chaired by Research Professor of Public Policy and Management Richard Barringer of USM’s Muskie School of Public Service. The first meeting of the commission was held Monday, December 15 at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Posted by on December 18th, 2008 Comments Off

USM’s Green Team Releases Results from Fall Energy Conservation Campaign

For more information please e-mail or call Project Coordinator Michael Brett at (207) 749-8655, or Professor Nancy Artz at, (207) 780-4321.

Marketing students in USM Professor of Business Administration Nancy Artz’s social marketing class have spent the fall semester raising awareness about the amount of energy wasted through windows that are left open at USM. The students, who are members of the “Green Team,” will present the final results of their energy-saving campaign to the media and public from 2-2:30 p.m., Thursday, December 18, in Room 417, USM’s Wishcamper Center, Portland.


Posted by on December 16th, 2008 Comments Off

Team Dirigo Shares Their “Vomit Comet” Experience

Last summer a team of University of Southern Maine and University of Maine students was the first Maine team ever chosen to participate in NASA’s Microgravity University, in Houston, Texas. USM student John Wise, Jr., the team leader, and the rest of the ten-member Team Dirigo participated in NASA’s Reduced Gravity Student Flight Opportunities Program. While there, the team conducted experiments in the airplane called the Weightless Wonder, also know as the “Vomit Comet.” The experiments designed and conducted by Team Dirigo examined how reduced gravity affects normal activity in human cells. The media and the public are welcome to attend the presentation highlighting their experience at NASA.

What: Presentation by USM students – “Dirigo, Maine’s First Student Team Aboard the Weightless Wonder: Exploring Altered Gravity’s Effect on DNA”

When: Thursday December 11, from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Where: USM’s Gerald E. Talbot Lecture Hall, Luther Bonney Hall, Portland.

For more information, contact John Wise, Jr. at (207) 210-8644.

Posted by on December 10th, 2008 Comments Off

Plan Now to Attend Open Meetings for Provost Candidates

The final two candidates for the provost position at USM will be on campus next week, with open meetings in Portland, Gorham, and Lewiston-Auburn. Plan now to attend, as these meetings provide the campus community with the chance to get to know the candidates for the institution’s top academic position.

Learn more about all four of the top candidates for the position.


Posted by on December 5th, 2008 Comments Off

Meet our Faculty Who Make a Difference in the Lives of Students Every Day!

Students consistently say that their engagement with USM faculty makes the difference in their lives and in the education they gain at the University. Meet a few more of the members of our faculty who are making a difference in and out of the classroom.

  • Business Professor Nancy Artz is working in the classroom, as well as in her role as chair of the President’s Council of Climate Neutrality, to focus on sustainability-related issues. “Businesses will need to shift from increasing the productivity of people, to improving efficiency of resources,” she says.
  • Theatre Professor Wil Kilroy says he loves helping students enhance their creativity. “Whether (students) go on to work in theatre or not, they can use those creative skills in any type of business. Creativity is required in every field.”
  • Biology Assistant Professor Chris Maher notes that it’s important for students to gain a lot of experiences early on in their college experience to help them find their path. “At USM, students get into the lab and into the field—with their professor—very early on to see if that type of research is what they want in a career.”

Other recent additions, include profiles of Susan Picinich, professor of theatre, and associate dean of the USM College of Arts and Sciences; Dan Sonenberg, assistant professor of music and resident composer; and Ben Towne, program director and clinical coordinator of athletic training education.

Read these stories and others online now.

Posted by on December 5th, 2008 Comments Off

USM Professor Researches Impact of Toys on Family Relationships

With only 20 shopping days left until Christmas, parents have only a short time to decide whether to get the expensive robotic Elmo Live or a lower priced, kid-powered eco toy made of recycled plastic. University of Southern Maine Lewiston-Auburn College Professor Jan Phillips can help explain what that choice means in terms of family relationships. Her research helps explain that how we buy, give, receive, use and even dispose of toys says a lot about how we celebrate, define, manipulate, and idealize family relationships.

This year, Phillips received the first ITRA-BTHA Prize for Outstanding Toy Research by The International Toy Research Association (ITRA), in conjunction with the British Toy and Hobby Association (BTHA). She accepted the award at the World Congress of the International Toy Research Association in Nafplion, Greece, where she presented a talk on her research.

Phillips uses writing projects in which students identify their favorite toy, how they acquired it, what it permitted them to do, and what role toys played in their social lives. In reading the assignments, she learned how toys give children a sense of control, comfort, and an outlet for empowerment.

To read more about Phillips’ research, see

To arrange an interview with Phillips, contact Bob Caswell or Judie O’Malley at 207-780-4200, or Dan Philbrick at 207-753-6575.

The University of Southern Maine (USM) offers its 10,000 plus students more than 115 areas of undergraduate and graduate study. USM’s location in southern Maine, a region cited as one of the most liveable in the country, offers a range of educational, cultural and recreational opportunities.

Posted by on December 4th, 2008 Comments Off

Parents Beware: Teens Entering U.S. Workforce Risk Exposure to Sexual Harassment on the Job

With the holidays upon us, many teens have taken their first seasonal jobs to make some extra money. But, parents be cautious. University of Southern Maine Associate Professor of Social Work Susan Fineran’s research shows that these part-time jobs may not be safe for teens, many of whom encounter sexual harassment at the workplace.

According to Fineran, 35 percent of the some 300 high school students she surveyed said they were subjected to sexual harassment at work, and more than 60 percent of the harassed respondents were teenage girls. Fineran also has studied middle- and high-school sexual harassment, finding that about a third of the students in the study she recently co-authored were victimized by their classmates.

Fineran is now collecting data in Maine about workplace sexual harassment of teens to further her research. She is currently working with the Maine Department of Labor, but hopes to expand her study to include all of New England.

Fineran can be reached for interviews during which she can give tips on how parents can help their teens avoid sexual harassment at work and school. She can also tell parents what behaviors to look for in sexually harassed teens who may too embarrassed to report harassing behavior.

For help arranging interviews, please contact Judie O’Malley or Bob Caswell at 207-780-4200.

The University of Southern Maine (USM) offers its 10,000 plus students more than 115 areas of undergraduate and graduate study. USM’s location in southern Maine, a region cited as one of the most liveable in the country, offers a range of educational, cultural and recreational opportunities. 

Posted by on December 3rd, 2008 Comments Off

Visit USM on December 10 for a Holiday Meal and Shopping

USM is inviting the public to visit the Woodbury Campus Center off Bedford St., Portland, for the annual Holiday Extravaganza taking place from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Wednesday, December 10.

Beginning at 10:30 a.m., the USM Community Holiday Fair offers 20 tables of crafts, artwork, photography, tapestries, holiday arrangements, food, collectibles, note cards and face painting. The Fair concludes at 2:30 p.m. (more…)

Posted by on December 3rd, 2008 Comments Off