For attendees and members of the general public who are interested in the research basis for the factual claims made by Assoc. Prof. Lorien Lake-Corral and myself in our presentation on discrimination and the KKK in Maine, please feel free to download the powerpoint file attached below, which contains not only our presentation slides but also an appendix on discrimination and a complete set of references.
Interdisciplinary Faculty Panel: What is Research?
Lisa Botshon, Professor of English
Rosie Curtis, Lecturer in Architecture
Sarah Hentges, Associate Professor of American Studies
Peter Milligan, Professor of Biology
Carey Clark, Assistant Professor of Nursing, Moderator
Tuesday, November 3, 12 Noon
University of Maine at Augusta Katz Library
Members of this faculty panel will discuss their answer to the question “What is Research?” from the vantage point of their own discipline, then present examples of their own current research projects. Moderator Carey Clark will encourage movement from multidisciplinary presentation to interdisciplinary discussion.
All members of the public and the UMA community are welcome to attend this faculty panel. Please encourage students considering or engaged in research projects to attend. Light refreshments will be served.
FMI: James Cook, firstname.lastname@example.org, 207-621-3190
- 2014-2015: Andrew Radford (policy memo currently in development)
- 2012-2013: Al French, Implementation of State Licensing Requirements for Medical Qigong, Tai Chi and Wellness-Based Yoga
- 2011-2012: John McLaughlin, Increasing Private Well Testing in the State of Maine
- 2010-2011: Mary Lynch, Risk Management for Maine’s Increased Exposure to Future Oil Shocks Through Industry-supported Private Sector Initiatives
UMA Convocation Fall 2014
Framing the Theme – “Innovation”
Good afternoon. Last spring, the UMA Faculty Colloquium Committee identified a special theme of innovation to reflect the University’s 50th anniversary. The committee asks that every member of the faculty, staff and student body read and reflect upon a book about innovation, Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. Look for activities throughout the year celebrating UMA’s 50 years of innovation. As we kick off the year today, I’ve been asked to frame the theme of innovation in a few remarks.
When most of us hear the word “innovation,” we focus on the creation of something new. But there is more to innovation than newness. The word “innovation” comes from the Latin innovare, to renew or to make new. What do we renew? What do we make new? Something that was already there. To innovate is to make something new out of what came before.
To write a “novel” means literally to create a story that is new. But in the introduction to her novel Frankenstein, a novel of ghastly innovation, author Mary Shelley admits stitching together her story from the science, philosophy and mythology of the day before adding her own animating spark. “Everything must have a beginning,” Shelley writes, but “that beginning must be linked to something that went before…. Invention does not consist in creating out of void… the materials must, in the first place, be afforded.[i]” The innovative stories we tell are based on what came before.
Every human being on Earth is a unique innovation, a Frankenstein experiment of sorts, with a genome ripped from our parents and stitched together in a brand new way. Thanks to mutation, even identical twins don’t have exactly the same set of genes. But neither is any human being entirely new. We are variations on the genetic themes set by our parents, and as social scientists know we draw heavily from our environment in fashioning our public selves. The new, innovative you is based on what came before.
The University of Maine at Augusta is itself an innovation. Our history tells us that 50 years ago, there was no college or university in Augusta – and when UMA held its first classes on September 12 1965, it had no campus of its own. Our first classrooms were in Cony High School, set aside for use after school hours; that’s innovative. Our bookstore was fit into a Cony High School coat closet; that’s innovative[ii]. Even these humble beginnings were not completely new, but based on what came before: an existing school, repurposed and reimagined. In its next 50 years, UMA will rely on already existing strengths as it finds innovative new ways to fulfill its purpose.
And what is that purpose? What is a university for? At first glance, it may appear to some that a university is a business selling a product called a diploma to customers called students. Once purchased, the diploma product can be redeemed by the customer for future economic profit. Well, it certainly takes money for a person to live and for a university to run. But is an education just another consumer purchase? Is a university an assembly-line factory? Are faculty here to sell? Are students here to shop?
I think not. We are here because we share a dream. We dream of becoming more than we are. We dream of remaking ourselves, putting parts of our lives that came before together with something new and adding an animating spark. We know this dream of innovation can come true because we see it happen here every day — for some sooner, for some a bit later. The poet Adelaide Anne Procter shares a truth we at UMA know well: if we miss our first shot at remaking ourselves a second chance, a third chance will come. It is never too late. Procter writes:
“Have we not all, amid life’s petty strife,
Some pure ideal of a noble life
That once seemed possible? Did we not hear
The flutter of its wings, and feel it near,
And just within our reach? It was. And yet
We lost it in this daily jar and fret,
And now live idle in a vague regret;
But still our place is kept, and it will wait,
Ready for us to fill it, soon or late.
No star is ever lost we once have seen,
We always may be what we might have been[iii].”
This is the heart of innovation: to draw from what came before, to honor those who inspire your work today, to dream of being more than you are.
[i] Shelley, Mary. 1818. Frankenstein, or, the Modern Prometheus. London: Lackington, Hughes, Harding, Mavor and Jones.
[ii] Brookes, Kenneth. 1977. The Story of the University of Maine at Augusta: The Jewett Years. University of Maine at Augusta publication.
[iii] Procter, Adelaide Anne. 1864. “A Legend of Provence” (excerpt). P. 191 in The Poems of Adelaide A. Procter. Boston: Ticknor and Fields.
Looking for a simple, hands-on, meaningful way to make a difference in your community? Volunteer for the UMA Community Garden!
The University of Maine at Augusta Community Garden is gearing up for its third year of growing fresh organic vegetables for the Augusta Food Bank. In 2013, UMA staff and students delivered nearly 2,000 pounds of produce to the food bank, bringing new life to the old idea that a small group of dedicated people can change their world.
Hunger in Maine is a real problem, and we do our part by donating all food grown in the garden to the Augusta Food Bank. The bank provides supplemental food for over 1,000 individuals in the Augusta area. Many of those who are served by the food bank lack access to fresh, nutritious produce, making this project a sustaining service to the community.
Will you join us in 2014? We are looking for UMA community members of all sorts — current students, alumni, staff, faculty and administrators — who are willing to lend a hand. You don’t have to be an expert to help in the planting, weeding, watering and harvesting. All we need are your hands and a helping spirit.
If you would like find out about upcoming events or just watch the garden grow, visit our Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/156445314475791/. If you’re a UMA community member who would like to jump in and become a community gardener, contact Cynthia Dean, faculty garden advisor, at email@example.com.
Thanks to Val Marsh of the University of Maine at Augusta Office of Civic Engagement for bringing a great student activist opportunity to my attention. On April 8 2014 in the Maine State House, UMA students have the opportunity to make their case to state legislators regarding a social or political issue they care about. Students only need to bring themselves, relevant literature and a poster board with information about their cause of choice. The Hall of Flags is right in the middle of the legislative action, being situated right underneath the dome of the state house, so this opportunity for student organizing can’t be beat.
If you’ve got questions or want to get involved, contact Coordinator of Civic Engagement Valerie Marsh at 207-621-3158 or just drop by her office in the Randall Student Center Room 210.