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Meet Brady Davis ’17, this month’s Dirigo Award Recipient

UMaine’s Davis Thinks About Food–A Lot

Brady Davis, Business Management major at UMaineBrady Davis, a senior Business Management major, says the opportunity to participate in UMaine’s Honors College sold him on enrolling at UMaine. He’s turned that decision into a variety of learning and social experiences that will help him advance issues related to food and economic sustainability.

A native of Freeport, Maine, Davis visited a number of college campuses before deciding where to enroll. While in Orono, he visited the university’s Maine Business School (MBS) and met with faculty members. Davis also observed Honors preceptorials (facilitated small-group discussions). He says the Honors College’s small classes and student-led discussions drew him to UMaine and to joining the Honors College.

“I gained a much greater appreciation for diversity in the Honors program, both in the curriculum and in the various backgrounds of students in class,” Davis said of his college visit. “I never got that sense of comfort and homey feel [elsewhere] that I got at UMaine.”

Davis is making the most of his UMaine experience. He is a fellow at the Sustainable Food Systems Research Collaborative (SFSRC), an initiative of the Honors College funded by the Senator George J. Mitchell Center for Sustainability Solutions. This past summer, Davis worked with Afton Hupper ’17 on researching and summarizing scholarly articles on food hubs. Davis recently attended a National Collegiate Honors Council Conference (NCHC) in Seattle. The annual conference attracts nearly 2,000 administrators, staff, faculty, and students involved in Honors programs and colleges around the world. Davis co-presented a poster titled “Community Food Hub: A Business Model to Fight Hunger,” and co-led a roundtable discussion titled “Opportunities and Challenges: Integrating Honors College Student Leadership with Student Government.”

Davis is the current president of Senior Skulls, an honor society that promotes campus excellence and traditions, and serves on the Honors College Student Advisory Board. Davis is also a member of Alpha Tau Omega fraternity, a student ambassador of MBS, and a co-ambassador of the Senator George J. Mitchell Institute.

Davis is currently working on an Honors thesis on the sustainability of Maine’s artisanal cheese-making. After graduating in May, Davis hopes to gain work experience in his field or travel abroad. Davis believes that an experience outside of his comfort zone will expand his worldview. He says he intends to link his business education with an aspect of sustainable development in the food system or another sector of the economy. Davis plans to work on implementing sustainable solutions to some of the most pressing social, economic, and environmental issues from a business perspective.

—by Aliya Uteuova ’18 

UMaine Alumni Dirigo Award

Each month the UMaine Alumni Association, with support from
University Credit Union, recognizes an outstanding UMaine student
whose leadership on campus and in the classroom are making a difference.

Dr Richard Powell

UMaine Alumni Association Honors Dr. Richard Powell

faculty-excellence-artLike so many others who move to Maine from elsewhere, Dr. Richard “Rich” Powell was drawn to the state’s natural beauty and special quality of life. Those attributes, as well as connections within the political science community, led him in 2001 to the University of Maine, where he has become a highly regarded teacher, researcher, and colleague.

Powell is a political science professor and director of UMaine’s Cohen Institute for Leadership & Public Service. He was teaching at Hamilton College in upstate New York when then-UMaine political science professors Matthew Moen and Kenneth Palmer told him about an opening in their department.

“I had gotten to know them professionally, and we did a lot of work in similar areas,” Powell explained. “I was interested in the idea of working with them.” Having vacationed in Maine several times, he was also excited about living closer to the ocean and mountains. Now, fifteen years later, he remains excited about the career choice he made.

“I love to come to work every single day,” Powell said.

Colleagues and students alike praise Powell for his work as a researcher and as a teacher. He is the author of numerous journal articles on presidential-congressional relations, state politics, leadership, and more. But he seems to find his greatest joy in working with students. He shared that “helping people discover what it is that they truly want to do, and helping them build a career in an area they enjoy” is immensely fulfilling.

Powell earned master’s and doctoral degrees from Northwestern University in Chicago after receiving his bachelor’s degree from Connecticut College. At UMaine he oversees both the Peter Madigan ’81 Congressional Internship Program and the Kenneth Palmer Maine State Legislative Internship Program.

In addition, he is widely regarded within national and international political science circles for his scholarly work on the U.S. Presidency. In 2011-12 he taught graduate-level courses on American government and politics as a Fulbright Fellow at Zhejiang University, one of China’s most highly regarded academic institutions. He, his wife Angela, and their three children lived in a three-bedroom apartment in Hangzhou, a city of eight million residents located south of Shanghai.

Along with deep attention to family life, Powell enjoys playing golf, going to UMaine hockey games, and exploring the Maine outdoors.

The University of Maine Alumni Association and its supporting partner, University Credit Union, are pleased to recognize Dr. Richard Powell with the November 2016 Faculty Excellence Award.

— Aliya Uteuova ’18

Each month the UMaine Alumni Association, with support from University Credit Union, recognizes an outstanding faculty member who is contributing to UMaine’s national reputation for academic excellence. Selections are made in consultation with UMaine’s deans.

Adrienne White Oct faculty excellence award

UMaine Alumni Association Honors Dr. Adrienne White

To many, Dr. Adrienne White, professor of food science and human nutrition, is the personification of a land-grant university. A UMaine faculty member since 1988, Dr. White has influenced thousands of lives as a teacher, researcher, mentor, and public servant. She has also earned state and national recognition as a ground-breaker and leader in the field of human nutrition. In short, she is a difference maker.

“Adrienne’s contributions to the nutrition education profession and dietetics is truly exceptional and unparalleled,” noted Dr. Kendra Kattelmann of South Dakota State University. She cites the millions of research grants Dr. White received for work on nutrition, obesity, and other health and dietary issues; the dozens of peer-reviewed research publications she has written; the numerous national and international awards and honors she has received; and her leadership in professional organizations such as the Society of Nutrition Education and Behavior (SNEB), an international association of professionals actively involved in health promotion and nutrition education. Dr. White is SNEB’s president-elect.

But it is her willingness to involve her students—current and former—in her teaching, research, and service activities that receives constant thanks and mention.

“Dr. White has a passion for educating her students and always makes time to help them through their struggles, encourages them to explore their own areas of interest, and acts as a strong mentor,” explained then-UMaine senior Tom Merrow last year, adding that Dr. White “works diligently to guide [students] to their goals.”

“As a mentor and role model, Dr. White set the path for my career,” wrote Dr. Jennifer Walsh, a UMaine alumna and current faculty member at the University of Florida. “Dr. White is a trailblazer in nutrition education and eating behavior research…I am always proud to share with other faculty and professionals that I studied at the University of Maine with Dr. Adrienne White because they know her well and respect her many contributions.”

Dr. Ed Ashworth, the recently retired dean of UMaine’s College of Natural Sciences, Forestry, and Agriculture, nicely summed up Dr. White’s influence: “[Her] success in the classroom, her ability to engage with students and inspire them, her extensive collaborations across the country, her multi-million dollar research projects, and her commitment to improve health through nutrition education…are the hallmarks of a distinguished professor.”

Leading UMaine researcher perishes in accident in Antarctica

Gordon Hamilton, a University of Maine professor in the School of Earth and Climate Sciences, and a researcher with the Climate Change Institute, died in a field accident Oct. 22 while conducting research in Antarctica. He was 50.

Hamilton, a physical glaciologist, was working on White Island in the Ross Archipelago in Antarctica, an area where he has conducted research for several seasons, when the snowmobile he was riding hit a crevasse. He was killed in the 100-foot fall, according to the National Science Foundation. Hamilton was conducting NSF-funded research at the time of the accident.

“The University of Maine has lost one of its leading scientists,” says UMaine President Susan J. Hunter. “Gordon’s glaciology research around the world — from Antarctica to Greenland — was second to none. He leaves a legacy as an outstanding scientist, and a caring mentor and well-known teacher to undergraduate and graduate students. He was an engaged, gregarious and beloved member of the UMaine and Orono communities that now mourn his loss. Our heart-felt thoughts and prayers go to his wife, Fiona, and their two children, Martin and Calum, and his friends and colleagues around the world.”

Hamilton joined UMaine’s Climate Change Institute in 2000 as an assistant research professor. Prior to coming to Maine, he was at the Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center at Ohio State University and the Norwegian Polar Institute in Oslo.

Hamilton studied the behavior of modern ice sheets and their role in the climate system. His research focused on understanding ice sheet mass balance — how much mass is coming in and going out, and the processes responsible — and involved satellite remote sensing. His current research projects included ice-ocean interaction in Greenland and ice shelf stability in Antarctica.

Hamilton also taught UMaine undergraduate and graduate courses, and was involved in statewide STEM initiatives for grades 9–12. 

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Alumni Awards 2016

Alumni Honored at Awards Ceremony

The University of Maine Alumni Association honored three outstanding alumni during an awards ceremony at Buchanan Alumni House on November 5.

David Bronson, M.D., of Moreland Hills, OH, received the Alumni Career Award, which recognizes UMaine graduates who have distinguished themselves in professional, business, civic, or public service areas. Past recipients include U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe, author Stephen King, and former Eastman Kodak CEO Colby Chandler.

Bronson, a 1969 UMaine graduate, has worked at all levels of the medical field to improve the delivery of care to patients. As a physician, researcher, professor of medicine, and president and CEO of the Cleveland Clinic Community Hospitals and Family Health Centers, he has dedicated himself to improving access and making medical care better for patients everywhere.

“Dr. Bronson has distinguished himself as a medical educator, an academic physician with a focus on quality of care and patient-centered health and prevention, and a leader in a large health care system that is a model for integrated medical care in the country,” said colleague Phyllis A. Guze, M.D.

Bronson is past president of the American College of Physicians and has served in various capacities with the American Medical Group Association and the American Medical Association. A native of Bath, ME, he has been recognized as one of the “Best Doctors in America” for several years, and was honored as a “Living Legend” and “Cleveland Father of the Year” by the Center for Families and Children.

Dr. Mian Riaz ’92 Ph.D. received the Bernard Lown Alumni Humanitarian Award in recognition of his service to humanity. The award is named in honor of Nobel Laureate Dr. Bernard Lown, a UMaine graduate who has devoted his life to world disarmament and the advancement of human health. Past recipients include Dennis Rezendes, who pioneered the hospice movement in the U.S., U.S. Ambassador Pamela Murphy White, and human rights lawyer Arthur Serota, who has led a movement to end child soldiering in Uganda.

Dr. Riaz of College Station, TX, is an internationally renowned expert on food processing who directs the Food Protein Research and Development Center at Texas A&M University. He has demonstrated a commitment to sharing his expertise with people in the developing world, coordinated numerous international workshops and symposia related to the use of extrusion technology, which can help to reduce food insecurity, and worked to improve the nutritional quality of foods for people as well as feed for animals and aquaculture.

“The communication of his research findings to others so that people around the world can benefit from the results of the work,” is perhaps his greatest contribution, offered Richard Clough, Head of the Extraction and Protein Technology at Texas A & M University. “The tremendous depth and breadth of his involvement in international scientific endeavors and active involvement in the exchange of ideas in food science and technology” has contributed to food science around the globe.

The Spirit of Maine Achievement Award was presented to Dr. Ewa Kleczyk ’01, ’03G. The award recognizes an individual who graduated from UMaine within the last 15 years and whose accomplishments, commitment, and initiative in a profession, business, or public service arena reflect the university’s high standards and vitality. Previous recipients work in such varied fields as archaeology, space exploration, theatre, and international relations.

A native of Poland, Dr. Kleczyk received the award for her successful career in the pharmaceutical marketing research field. As a young professional, Kleczyk has been recognized as a rising star, providing data, analysis, and other aspects of the pharmaceutical industry, and has received numerous awards and recognition. She was named a Top Female Executive in 2015 by the International Women’s Leadership Association and received a Top Five Business Women Award from the New Directions Chapter of the American Business Women’s Association. Kleczyk is also a dedicated and passionate mentor, and offers guidance to young people, both in her field and to students.

“The real power of Ewa lies in her desire to drive the industry forward, not just her own career,” noted Patrick J. Howie, executive director of Merck & Co and general manager of Comsort. “Her achievements have been frequently recognized within the industry and she is a consistent presenter at the leading industry conferences.”

Marine Sciences undergrads demo unmanned sailboat

Marine sciences undergrads to demo, launch unmanned sailboat on European voyage

2016 Atlantic Miniboat Regatta with a nearly 5-foot unmanned sailboat equipped with GPS to track its voyage to Europe by way of the ocean currents.

The regatta is organized by Educational Passages, a Belfast, Maine-based program that teaches school-age children about ocean sciences. Since 2008, the program has worked with university partners and others to help elementary, middle and high schools sponsor and launch more than 50 small boats in Maine and across the globe.

Schools, colleges and organizations from as many as eight countries are scheduled to take part in this fall’s regatta. The goal of the event is to have as many of the little boats as possible circle the entire North Atlantic Ocean. Onboard GPS tracking will allow Marine Sciences Club members and other regatta participants to figure out when their vessels are close to making landfall. The minisailboats are expected to make multiple stops on their voyages around the North Atlantic. All of them will carry instructions, asking those who find the boats to take them to nearby schools. Regatta participants will then work with their new school partners to relaunch the boats.

“We want to raise awareness about ocean currents and try to educate people, especially young children, about the ocean,” says sophomore Emily Tarr, a UMaine marine sciences major and club member.

For all its sophistication, the UMaine miniboat looks simple on the outside, a slightly larger version of the kind a toddler might play with in the bathtub. The nearly 5-foot hull is white with a red stripe around the base. A diamond-shaped, white sail with a red border stands upright at the end of the bow.

The Marine Sciences Club is partnering with the Maine Coastal Program on the project. Both are working with Educational Passages to get local elementary, middle and high schools to participate. Students will be able to follow the UMaine minivessel’s progress via the Educational Passages website.

Members of the Marine Sciences Club will test the seaworthiness of the small sailboat in the Alfond W2 Ocean Engineering lab in the UMaine Advanced Structures and Composites Center. It will then be transported to Portland. There, a member of the Portland Fish Exchange’s fishing fleet will take the minivessel out beyond the Gulf of Maine and launch it into the open ocean.

The miniboat is expected to follow the currents in the North Atlantic Gyre and, if all goes well, reach Europe in a few months. Along the way, its GPS will send pings back to club members twice a day. It will also collect wave, wind and other data that students will be able to study. It’s the same kind of data that Argo floats provide in real time, on the internet, as they bob along at different depths in oceans across the globe.

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Olivia Conrad: UMaine Food Sciences Major

Olivia Conrad: An internship scoop at Gelato Fiasco

This summer, Olivia Conrad, a fourth-year student from Yarmouth, Maine, majoring in food science and human nutrition, landed a sweet internship at one of Maine’s premier gelato companies.

Conrad was the food safety intern at the Gelato Fiasco Flavor Foundry in Brunswick, Maine, where pints are produced, packed and shipped nationwide.

She assisted the company in developing documentation for food inspectors and food quality/safety auditors. Conrad also helped the company prepare for the implementation of the Food Safety and Modernization Act (FSMA), which all food producers must be in compliance with over the next few years.

Not all of Conrad’s days were in the office. In the kitchen, she assisted with product packaging, learning about the machinery and equipment used to run a growing food production operation. She also helped with employee training on best practices in hygiene and food safety.

Gelato Fiasco prides itself in embracing its Maine heritage. It uses locally sourced whole milk from Maine farms, as well as some of the state’s iconic seasonal ingredients, including blueberries, strawberries and maple syrup. Other flavors, like Maine Potato Donut and Red Flannel Whoopie Pie, are inspired by the state’s culture and identity.

Interning for a growing Maine company elevated Conrad’s own sense of pride for her home state and its small business market.

“It was fun for me to work for a company that originated in Maine and continues to grow and succeed in the business world — even outside of Maine,” says Conrad.

Jason Bolton, associate Extension professor and food safety specialist for University of Maine Cooperative Extension, helped line up Conrad’s internship. He works closely with food and beverage companies in Maine’s 16 counties, focusing on food safety, quality and facility design.

When he noticed most UMaine food science students completing their internships out of state, Bolton developed a program to help place students at internships in Maine companies.

“Interns are very beneficial to the smaller, fast-growing food businesses of Maine,” says Bolton. “Our students are gaining lots of important skills and they are doing it in Maine.”

The goal is for these internships to lead to employment opportunities in Maine, says Bolton, who has worked with Gelato Fiasco on its recent expansion design as well as with food safety protocols.

UMaine students offer an invaluable set of services and skills to the food businesses of Maine who may not have the resources available to acquire them through other means, Bolton said.

Conrad regards her internship as a rewarding and valuable experience. She credits it with helping her develop self-confidence in the workplace, as well as in her chosen career path.

[read more]

Photo from 2015 Homecoming Game

Homecoming & Craft Fair at UMaine

The University of Maine Alumni Association will welcome thousands of alumni and friends to campus during Homecoming weekend on October 14, 15 and 16, 2016. The annual fall weekend combines class gatherings, tailgating, football, the UMaine Alumni Association Homecoming Craft Fair, and a variety of festivities.

The UMaine Alumni Association Craft Fair and Maine Marketplace will take place in the New Balance Field House from 10–5 on Saturday and on Sunday from 10 until 4:00. The 167 craft and food vendors will sell items ranging from quilts, jewelry, pottery, fudge, toys, and more. Admission is $2 for adults. Students with a current UMaine ID and children 12 and under are admitted free.

During the afternoon on Friday, scheduled tours will be offered of the New Balance Field House, Advanced Structures and Composites Center, Emera Astronomy Center, and a campus walking tour. Visitors can also attend a lecture and panel discussion.

On Friday, several Orono restaurants and businesses will stamp “Paint the Town Blue” event forms for participants who visit their establishments that day. Anyone wishing to enter the Saturday drawing for prizes can download the entry form [Homecoming Schedule and Paint the Town Blue Form]

Maine teams will host two athletic events during homecoming. On both Friday and Saturday evenings, the Black Bear men’s hockey team will play against Quinnipiac at Alfond Arena. UMaine’s football team will face Albany on Saturday at noon.

The Maine Business School, School of Forest Resources and College of Liberal Arts will host events, and the Art department will dedicate the Professor Michael Lewis Painting Studio at the Wyeth Family Studio Art Center.

View the Homecoming schedule.

Hundreds of Alumni Returning for UMaine Reunion

Nearly 300 University of Maine alumni and guests from the graduating classes of 1951, 1956, 1966, and 1971 will return to Orono September 14-17 for class reunions.

The event will be extra-special for the Class of 1966, which will celebrate the 50th anniversary of its graduation commencement. Many members of that class have vivid memories from their sophomore year of learning about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, which occurred just a month after his October 1963 speech at UMaine.

In addition, many members of Senior Alumni—UMaine graduates whose graduating class held its 50th reunion in previous years—will also be in Orono to take part in reunion events.

Attendees will gather on campus to reconnect, to revisit memorable landmarks, and to tour the many new additions and changes to campus that have occurred since their days as students. The individual classes will also hold class meetings and memorial services, honor recipients of alumni awards, attend a dinner and reception with UMaine President Susan J. Hunter, and meet with current students and faculty members. Many of the returning alumni will attend the September 17 performance of Capitol Steps taking place at UMaine’s Collins Center for the Arts as well as enjoy familiar and new foods and experiences offered by off-campus restaurants and event centers.

Other UMaine graduating classes will return to the UMaine campus on Oct. 14-16 for Homecoming 2016. Along with a number of events and activities, special programs and receptions will be held to celebrate the reunions of more recent graduating classes: those between 1976 and 2011 whose graduation year ends in a one or six.

Homecoming and class reunions are organized by the University of Maine Alumni Association, an independent 107,000-member organization which supports and advocates for UMaine and its alumni. More information is available at

UMaine Alumni Association Elects New Board Leaders

BOD-Officers-2016Matthew J. Ciampa and Justin P. Labonte have been elected chair and treasurer, respectively, of the University of Maine Alumni Association’s board of directors.

Ciampa, who earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in financial economics from UMaine in 2010 and 2012, is a business analyst at Pingup, a Boston-based startup. He previously worked as a senior economist at CBRE Econometric Advisors, a Boston area commercial real estate business.

Ciampa succeeds Nathan P. Briggs, who served as board chair for two years. A native of York, Maine, Ciampa now resides in Boston.

Justin Labonte of Lewiston was elected to succeed Ciampa as the association’s treasurer. After graduating from UMaine in 2010 with a degree in accounting and business management, Labonte worked as a senior associate at Ernst & Young’s Financial Services Office in Boston. He recently earned his MBA at Harvard Business School and in the fall will be joining Emerson Electric Co., a Fortune 500 company based in suburban St. Louis.

In addition to Ciampa’s and Labonte’s elections, eight other UMaine alumni have been elected to the association’s 20-member board. They are:

  • William M. Beaudoin of Boston (Class of 2008), an attorney with the international firm Ropes & Gray.
  • Danielle Burke Ahern of Bangor (2000), a vice president with Bangor Savings Bank.
  • Gustavo Burkett of Dedham, Mass. (2002 and 2005), director of student involvement at Boston College.
  • John Ferland of Cumberland (1976), vice president of project development at Ocean Renewable Power Co. of Portland and president of its subsidiary, ORPC Solutions.
  • Steven W. Hewins of South Portland (1977), a business consultant and former travel industry executive.
  • Elizabeth Jarrell of Cambridge, Mass. (2005), communications director for Massachusetts General Hospital’s Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds.
  • John P. Lalumiere of Watertown, Mass. (2007), manager of corporate financial planning and analysis for inVentiv Health of Burlington, Mass.
  • Julia Munsey of Bangor (2002), a public relations specialist and partner at Dougherty Project Management of Bangor.

Founded in 1875, the University of Maine Alumni Association is dedicated to advancing and advocating for the best interests of the University of Maine and its former, current, and future students. The association has more than 107,000 members living in 50 states and 112 countries.