In brief

Posted on September 09, 2013 in Briefly, News
By Sidney Dritz

Gas leak makes for delays

The area of Bedford Street connecting to the USM parking garage on the Portland campus sprung a leak on Tuesday, Sept. 3, just in time for the first day of school. “The first day of school is usually crazy, anyway,” said Lissa Luckey, a senior English major who left for USM 45 minutes early in anticipation of delays because of the gas leak. “It’s [the first day] always a bit of a disaster, historically.”
Students had the chance to prepare for traffic delays for most of the day, due to an email alert from USM’s Executive Director of Public Affairs, Bob Caswell, and the leak itself was, Caswell stressed, no danger to students. However, the repairs did prove disruptive to classes. Junior business administration major Delaney Kenny reported that there was banging on the wall of one of her classes. “It was really irritating,” Kenny said.

Muskie School partners with MYTC

USM’s Muskie School of Public Service announced on Sept. 3 that it will be partnering with the Maine Youth Transition Collaborative in a new initiative designed to bring together representatives from Maine’s educational system and the child welfare system and juvenile justice system in order to facilitate educational and employment opportunities for Maine’s youth. The Maine Youth Transition Collaborative is an organization designed to help in the transition of youth in the Maine foster system into adulthood. Around the end of August, the MYTC was one of 21 organizations nationwide to receive funding from the Aspen Institute’s Opportunity Youth Incentive Fund, which will be used to fund the initiative.

SMART announces tutoring program

The Southern Maine Area Resource Team for Schools at the University of Southern Maine announced on Sept. 4th that it will be unveiling a tutoring program for children in kindergarten through fifth grade in Gorham. The tutoring will be provided by graduate students from the USM School of Education and Human development. Heidi Parker, a student of the Certified of Advanced Study program in literacy at USM will be one of the tutors. “I thought it would be an excellent opportunity to provide community kids with a great resource for reading support,” Parker said in a statement to the Free Press. Melissa Moore-Josephs, another future tutor and participant in the School Psychology Doctorate program and USM went further than that, asserting, “Implementing these individualized interventions with struggling students will provide them with a needed boost in foundational skills, which will enable them to become successful members of their schools and communities.”
The program is funded by a three year grant from the Reading Matters to Maine Fund of the Maine Community Foundation, and will provide reading tutoring to children. It will be free for students who are eligible to receive free lunch, and low-cost for others. FMI contact Dr. Alexis Kiburis, director of the SMART Learning Lab at (207) 780-5054.

Student program promotes cow health product

Campus Ventures, a USM innovation and commercialization acceleration program, has been working with a cow health monitoring startup to develop and commercialize a product which targets a $10 billion market. The technology being promoted is a device the size of a pill, which the cows ingest, and which then measures their vital signs.

Dinosaurs hit Southworth Planetarium

Friday, Sept. 6 was the opening of Dinosaurs at Dusk, a program at the Southworth Planetarium which features a father and daughter’s journey through various prehistoric eras, and a look at the creatures which inhabited them, right up until the asteroid that was the dinosaurs’ downfall hit. The program will run through September. FMI, call (207) 780-4249.