“French in Maine: A Community-Based Approach”

Assistant Professor of French and Comparative Literature Chelsea Ray
Tuesday, April 23, Noon to 1 pm
University of Maine at Augusta, Katz Library

Chelsea Ray, Assistant Professor of French and Comparative Literature at UMA, will present on her current work building support for the French language on campus and the creation of the French minor.  The French minor was recently updated, so she will touch upon these changes and how she hopes to build more support for this academic discipline on campus.  She will also talk about her use of the online platform iLrn in her beginning French classes, as well as the integration of native speakers, both from the community as well as from the University of Western Brittany in France.

In addition, Chelsea will discuss a new community-based initiative for UMA students, who can serve as apprentices in the MaineFrench Heritage Language Program.  She will discuss the program and its goals for revitalizing efforts to renew interest in French language learning in Maine. The goal of the program is to bridge the gap between generations, celebrate Maine’s rich cultural Franco-American heritage
and French as it is spoken in Maine, enhance student aspirations, and demonstrate that learning languages is a key to the world.  Finally, she will touch upon how the curriculum development she is engaged with at the elementary level informs her work in the university language classroom.

“Presidential Mini-Grant Research: a Student Symposium”

Assistant Professor of Mental Health and Human Services Terry Adams
Wednesday, April 10, Noon to 1 pm
University of Maine at Augusta, Katz Library

During this RAP session Dr. Terry Adams will be briefly be discussing the work that has gone into four research projects funded by Presidential Mini-Grants. Dr. Adams will start the presentation by briefly discussing the research in general followed by student researchers who will discuss each project for roughly 5 minutes each. Students will discuss the research questions, methodology and results so far. The presentation will conclude with a presentation of the research team’s website and a chance for questions and answers.

“Alcohol, War, and Automobiles: Constructing Masculinity and Navigating Power in Mad Men”

Assistant Professor of English Jeff Sychterz and Adjunct Instructor of Interpersonal Communications Wes Colbath
Monday, April 15, Noon to 1 pm
University of Maine at Augusta, Bangor Campus, Eastport Hall 124

Please join Jeff Sychterz and Wes Colbath for a presentation and discussion about the TV Show Mad Men. Colbath’s work focuses around the role of automobiles and “sex, privacy, and relations of power.” Dr. Sychterz’s work focuses on alcohol and its relationship to post war masculinity. Through both of these lenses we can develop a better understanding of popular culture research and the role of television in helping to shape our expectations related to power and masculinity. A Mad Men inspired lunch (minus the cocktails) will be provided.

The Psychoneuroimmunology of Mind-Body Healing”

Assistant Professor of Nursing Carey Clark
Thursday, March 14, Noon to 1 pm
University of Maine at Augusta, Katz Library

What do neuroplasticity, epigenetics, and mind modulation have to do with the stress response, your health, and your illness propensity? How are the endocrine system, nervous system, and immune system inter-connected in such a way that emotions are expressed in our body and reflected by our health status? This presentation will focus on the science of the psychophysiologic stress response as it affects the nervous system, and clarify how self care and holistic modalities decrease the nervous system’s sympathetic response, while increasing the nervous system’s parasymphathetic response to facilitate body-mind healing. The use of mind-body approaches may reduce or eliminate the need for many medications and facilitate lasting changes in brain physiology that protect us from future illness and discomfort. The participants will also have an opportunity to experience a relaxation exercise to facilitate their understanding of the mind-body healing process.

“Optimism, Pessimism and Locus of Control: How Do They Affect Your Academics?”

Professor of Psychology Charlie Grunder
Thursday, March 28, Noon to 1 pm
University College at Rockland, Room 403

Psychologists study optimism versus pessimism and internal versus external locus of control to predict how individuals respond to stressful events. How can this framework help predict who succeeds in school? Professor of Psychology Charles Grunder explores this question in regard to student performance and concludes that prior GPA matters less than attributional style in predicting good grades, the precursor to graduation and career success.

“Mouths and Minds Wide Open: The State of Maine & Oral Cancer”

Assistant Professor of Dental Health Danielle Furgeson and Clinical Teacher Nancy Foster
Monday, March 4, Noon to 1 pm
University of Maine at Augusta, Bangor Campus, Eastport Hall Room 124

Oral cancer is on the rise in Maine and faculty at UMA are finding out more about this problem through their research. The difference between what you think you might know about oral cancer and actual trends might surprise you; oral cancer is on the rise in populations of young people, women and non-smokers. Faculty from the UMA Dental Health program share the results of their ongoing research.

“Housing Discrimination and Fair Housing Tests in Maine”

Elyse Apantaku, Pine Tree Legal Foundation
Monday, February 4, Noon to 1 pm
University College at Rockland, Room 403

Under Maine and federal law, a landlord cannot refuse to rent to you, and a housing seller cannot treat you differently, because of your race, color, ancestry, religion, sex, sexual orientation, disability, welfare status or minor children. But regardless of the law, housing discrimination continues. Elyse Apantaku of Pine Tree Legal Assistance presents a colloquium in which she describes the historical context of fair housing law and current efforts to measure whether, when and why housing discrimination occurs. A presentation of results from prior housing audits will lead to discussion regarding the practicalities of carrying out a fair housing test and how a university community can support this effort.

“Should Caffeine Be Limited to Adults Only?”

Assistant Professor of Mental Health and Human Services Kim Lane
Monday, February 4, Noon to 1 pm
UMA Bangor Campus, Eastport Hall Events Room 124

America does run on caffeine. 90% of Americans consume caffeine each day. Most of us do not know how much is too much. What are the signs of caffeine intoxication? How much caffeine is in a Java Monster, a Red Bull, a Starbucks coffee, a nasal spray, a chip, etc? The energy craze is here, but at what cost to the consumer? Americans are sleeping less, eating more, working harder, and playing less. Please join Professor Kim Lane in looking at why we have become so obsessed with taking a substance to maintain a certain energy level.

“Science Denial, a Threatening Social Phenomenon: Reality and Response”

Adjunct Professor Philip Gerard

Thursday, January 31, Noon to 1 pm

University College at Rockland, Room 403

Recent years have seen an increase in an anti-science mentality, in some cases a full-fledged rejection of science as one of the ways of knowing about the world. This rejection crosses classes and social strata on issues ranging from public health (childhood vaccination, nutrition, health care), to educational policy (intelligent design), to critical environmental issues (climate change, species loss).

Drawing on more than two decades of experience as an educator and conservation biologist, University College at Rockland Adjunct Professor Philip Gerard will share his understanding of and perspective on the roots of this change. Professor Gerard’s presentation is relevant to any members of the community impacted by science and its applications in society.

“A 15th-Century Life of St. Cuthbert: or, Why Read Medieval Saints’ Lives?”

Associate Professor of English Robert Kellerman

Wednesday, February 13, Noon to 1 pm

University of Maine at Augusta, Katz Library

Saints’ lives were among the most popular, well known, and oddest texts of the European Middle Ages. Filled with fantastic events and miracles alongside the standard biography of the saint in question, they combine local history, pop culture, theology, and Church doctrine into a form of biography that was, and remains, immensely popular. This presentation will explore what saint’s lives were and why they are essential to “reading” the Middle Ages through the medium of one saint’s life: a metrical version of the Life of St. Cuthbert, printed in the mid-15th century.

St. Cuthbert was one of the earliest English saints (late 7th century), as well as monk and abbot of Lindisfarne. Retold over the centuries, his life accumulated a wealth of material so that when it took its 15th century form, it combined biography with fairy tale, miracles with a political history of Northumbrian Church—in short, a mishmash of everything the poet could lay his hands on about Cuthbert. We’ll explore why it took such a form, and why the form apparently did not concern medieval readers much, an issue that informs how medieval readers read texts as well as how we modern readers read them.

“From Shebeens to the Governorship: How the Irish ‘Made It’ in Belfast, Maine”

Associate Professor of English Kay Retzlaff

Tuesday, November 13, Noon to 1 pm

UMA Bangor Campus, Eastport Hall Room 124

Born in Ireland, Bridget Haugh McCabe died under mysterious circumstances in Belfast, Maine, on January 4, 1861. Her death brought attention to an entrepreneurial enclave of Irish immigrants cooperating with some Yankee locals who were operating an illegal liquor trade in the heart of the city. This thriving “shebeen” ran afoul of the local authorities, themselves descended from Irish immigrants. This interconnection between the old, established “lace curtain” Irish and the “bog” Irish of mid-nineteenth century Belfast illustrates the diversity of the Irish presence in Maine and disproves a number of assertions made by Irish American scholars about the Irish in America.

“Matters in Maine: Measuring Individual Health, Well-Being, and Life Satisfaction.”

Assistant Professor of Social Science Catherine Turcotte

Wednesday, November 14, Noon to 1 pm

UMA Augusta Campus, Katz Library

While the ongoing (and many claim, deepening) economic crisis has been chronicled extensively on a national and global level, less examination has been undertaken on the welfare of residents in our local communities. Many individuals in central Maine are facing increasing challenges in obtaining and maintaining adequate housing, employment, heating, medical and dental care, and nutrition, for example, with close to one-third of Maine residents classified as poor or near-poor.

Using surveys and semi-structured interviews, residents of Augusta, Bangor, and surrounding communities were asked by students in selected Social Problems courses at UMA to assess their living standards across six domains, including self-reported life satisfaction. This presentation will introduce this ongoing project and present preliminary findings from qualitative and quantitative data. Results thus far indicate that many residents experience difficulty in acquiring adequate dental care and residential heat and encounter extended periods of unemployment. Moreover, lower levels of overall life satisfaction were found among individuals reporting more challenges to their well-being.

“Nurses’ Experiences of the Practice of the Peerspirit Circle Model from a Gadamerian Philosophical Hermeneutic Perspective”

Assistant Professor of Nursing Kristen Lombard

Thursday, October 11, Noon to 1 pm

UMA Augusta Campus, Katz Library

In a culture that has values technology, the bottom line and polar opposites, it is a challenge is to find a basis for non-hierarchical, face-to-face human interaction. How can we re-learn the human instinct to connect despite our anxieties about authenticity, confidence and fear itself?

Assistant Professor of Nursing Kristen Lombard presents her qualitative research on the viability of a collaborative “peerspirit” model in nursing with broader implications for the way we inhabit our home and work lives.

“Wild Blue Yonder: How Bangor, Maine, Decided to Reinvent a Neighborhood, an Air Base, and its Downtown.”

Lecturer in Liberal Studies Tom McCord

Tuesday, October 16, Noon to 1 pm

UMA Bangor Campus, Eastport Hall Room 124

Abstract: A convergence of opportunities, trends, money, and leadership in the early nineteen sixties convinced civic leaders in Bangor, Maine, to embark on three strikingly different urban renewal projects. While two were superficially successful, the third project, a fifty-acre clearing of the city’s downtown, dramatically failed in its primary objective: It failed to stimulate retail growth, which meant that increased property tax revenues did not materialize. The presentation argues that all three urban renewal projects were highly contingent on private choices, not public incentives, and that Bangor was most successful when locally controlled decision-making coincided with private enterprise.

“Culturally-Appropriate Care: What The Youth are Saying.”

Adjunct Professor Kathleen Fox

Thursday, October 18, Noon to 1 pm

University College at Rockland

A discussion of the results of a study of mental health needs among Mohawk young adults of New York State. Findings are that youth prefer their own traditions to current “Evidence Based Treatment”, which they find to be stigmatizing and irrelevant.

“Carol Dweck’s Mindsets: A Workshop for Faculty and Students on Expanding our Potential.”

Associate Professor of Mathematics Christine LeGore

Wednesday, October 3, Noon to 1 pm

University College at Rockland

In her book Mindset, Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck passionately espouses the importance of believing in a “growth mindset” in teaching and learning. After a brief presentation, we will consider the impact of positive and negative messages on our mindsets and how faculty and students might incorporate Dweck’s insights into our daily practices.

People who wish to attend this workshop might benefit from perusing Dweck’s highly informative website (mindsetonline.com) and will have an opportunity to take a related assessment quiz.

“American Fitness from Jane Fonda to Wii Fit: Critical and Creative Explorations of Women, Exercise, and Transformation”

Assistant Professor of American Studies Sarah Hentges

Tuesday, September 25, Noon to 1 pm

UMA Bangor Campus, Eastport Hall Room 124

Dr. Hentges will share some of her critical and creative explorations of American fitness, focused on making connections between food (the UMA colloquium theme for this academic year) and fitness.  Beyond the obvious connections of food as fuel, food and fitness share some interesting dimensions that tell us much about American culture, economics, and politics.

“Publics and Places: An Architecture of Democracy.”

Associate Professor of Philosophy Greg Fahy

Wednesday, April 11, Noon to 1 pm

Katz Library, Augusta Campus


This paper argues that there is a strong connection between the design of built environments in America and the quality of democratic practice that occurs within these environments. It begins by discussing the self-identification of publics as crucial for democratic practice, and argues that there is an inherently spatial component to public self-identification. In particular, suburban built environments solicit strong tendencies to withdraw into private spaces and avoid social engagement in response to social conflict. This limits the potential for any publics to self-identify and to define their interests. The paper concludes by discussing two characteristics of built environments that solicit democratic practice: axial rings that enable strangers to traverse neighborhoods and convex spaces around bunched building entrances that encourage public transactions.