New Issue of Maine Policy Review, MPR 26(1)

MPR 26(1) coverThe latest issue of Maine Policy Review is now available for download on Digital Commons. To see a list of article titles and brief abstracts for MPR Volume 26, number 1, click here.

Marcella Sorg featured in the news for forensic work

Policy Center research scientist Marcella Sorg is featured in the Bangor Daily News for her work on forensic identification. An article in the Outdoors section of the BDN highlights Sorg’s work.

Sorg is the only forensic anthropologist with her post-graduate qualifications in northern New England and typically works in Maine, New Hampshire and Rhode Island. She is often called upon for identification of remains found in the woods.

Sorg has also been featured in the news for her work on reporting drug deaths in Maine and Vermont. She currently directs the Policy Center’s Rural Drug and Alcohol Research Program, which monitors epidemiological indicators of substance abuse, particularly drug-related deaths.


This Maine scientist gets the call when bones are found in the woods

Policy Center Welcomes Amy Blackstone

The Policy Center is pleased to welcome Amy Blackstone, Professor of Sociology, as a new member of the Center. Amy joined UMaine in 2003. She has served as Chairperson in Sociology and Director of UMaine’s ADVANCE Rising Tide Center. Her research includes studies of women’s civic engagement, workplace climate and harassment, and the childfree choice. Professor Blackstone’s research has been featured in Huffington Post, Ms., CNN, MSNBC, The Atlantic, The New Yorker, TODAY, public radio, and a variety of other local and national media outlets. Her most recent teaching and research projects focus on women’s leadership and the sociology of food.

In joining the Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center, Amy most looks forward to collaborations with diverse groups of students, community members, and faculty from across campus and the state. She and her husband Lance are enthusiastic residents of downtown Bangor, making their home at 58 Main where they are involved in efforts to bring nationally and internationally renowned musicians to town and provide space for a variety of events in support of area non-profits.

25 young African leaders travel to UMaine for 2017 Mandela Washington Fellowship

For the second year, 25 young leaders from Sub-Saharan Africa will spend six weeks at the University of Maine’s Public Management Institute sponsored by the U.S. Department of State.

Jonathan Rubin, Director of the Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center, is the Academic Director of the Institute along with Co-leaders, Vice President for Research Carol Kim and Administrative Director Daniel Dixon. The Institute is supported by faculty and staff from the School of Economics, School of Policy and International Affairs, Foster Center for Student Innovation, Climate Change Institute and School of Marine Sciences.

During the Institute, June 16–July 30, the fellows will participate in a rigorous agenda of academic, professional, service and recreational activities statewide, including a weekend homestay with area host families.

Members of the public are invited to attend weekly cultural exchange events on July 5, 11, 19 and 24. Details about the events are online.

The Mandela Washington Fellowship is the flagship program of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI). The program empowers young African leaders through academic coursework, leadership training, mentoring, networking, professional opportunities and support for activities in their communities. Fellows are young leaders and experts in their fields with established records of accomplishment in their organizations, institutions, communities and countries.

The Mandela Washington Fellowship provides 1,000 outstanding young leaders between the ages of 25 and 35 from across Africa opportunities to hone their skills at the nation’s top universities at institutes focused on business and entrepreneurship, civic leadership or public management. UMaine was one of 37 other institutions chosen to partner with the fellowship for 2017.

The 25 fellows visiting UMaine are from Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Togo and United Republic of Tanzania.

The UMaine Public Management Institute will offer academic sessions on topics including local and regional leadership, fiscal policy and financial management, innovation engineering, energy and environmental management, and Maine’s history and culture. In addition to coursework, fellows will meet with Maine government and business leaders, and participate in site visits and cultural experiences throughout the state.

The site visits include a visit to the Blaine House and a visit to Indian Island to meet with leaders of the Penobscot Nation to learn about Maine’s history and cultural heritage. The fellows visited the Maine International Trade Center, Maine Turnpike Authority and met with leaders of our Maine businesses including Planson International, IDEXX Laboratories and the Environmental & Energy Technology Council of Maine (E2Tech).

Following the six-week Institute, the fellows will travel to Washington, D.C. for the Mandela Washington Fellowship Summit. During this event, the fellows will participate in networking and panel discussions with peers and U.S. leaders from the public, private and nonprofit sectors.

More information about the Mandela Washington Fellowship is online. To contact UMaine’s Mandela Fellows Program, email

Maine Government Summer Intern in the News

Thirty-nine student interns are hard at work this summer in a variety of jobs in Maine state and local governments.  One of these students, Sarah Maloney, is working in the Maine Department of Transportation as a transportation planning intern with supervisor Nate Howard. Sarah is from Scarborough, Maine, and is an Environmental Science and Policy major at Clark University. In her work at MaineDOT Sarah is involved in a planning project for replacing or rehabilitating the international bridge between Madawaska and Edmundston, New Brunswick. She has recently attended public meetings in both Madawaska and Edmunston to get public input on the project. The project is featured in an article in the St. John Valley Times/Fiddlehead Focus.

The Maine Government Summer Internship Program has placed 39 interns in state and local government internships for the summer of 2017. Internships are full-time for 12 weeks and interns typically work on one or more major projects as well as learning the roles and functions of government agencies. More information on the program is available at

Residents, planners eye options for new international bridge



Maine’s congressional delegation greets NEW Leadership students

We are celebrating the ninth annual Maine NEW (National Education for Women) Leadership program!

Maine’s congressional delegation welcomed the students to the 2017 with these video addresses:

Senator Susan Collins
Senator Angus King
Representative Chellie Pingree
Representative Bruce Poliquin

A group of 28 outstanding college students from 14 institutions around the state took part in the residential conference to strengthen political skills such as public speaking, networking, advocating for a cause and running for public office.  These future leaders participated in workshops hosted by leading figures from politics, business and education. The program ran June 1–6 at the UMaine campus.

Each year the Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center hosts this six-day undergraduate student leadership program for women to educate, engage and empower young leaders. For more information visit

Maine Policy Scholar from UMPI in the news

Idella Thompson, Maine Policy Scholar at the University of Maine at Presque Isle, is featured in a WAGM News video and article for her work on researching protection from abuse orders in Maine. Thompson was a Policy Scholar during 2016-17. After presenting her final project to a panel of Maine policy makers she submitted her report and recommendations to Governor LePage for his consideration. Idella’s final memo, Protection from Abuse Orders in Maine, along with those of other Maine Policy Scholars, can be found on our website.

Watch the news video:

The Maine Policy Scholars program is an academic year program in which one student from each of the seven University of Maine campuses, working closely with a faculty advisor, researches an issue of public policy relevance to Maine and presents a final report in a memo to the governor or legislature. The Maine Policy Scholars program is managed by the Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center at the University of Maine in partnership with the Maine Community Foundation.

Maine Policy Scholars recognized in BDN

The Bangor Daily News highlighted the year-end presentations of the seven students in the Maine Policy Scholars program. The program is funded by the Maine Community Foundation and provides research scholarships to one student per year from each of the seven University of Maine System campuses. The student works with a faculty advisor to pursue research on a topic of public policy relevance to the state of Maine. Each April the seven students present their work to a panel of current and former policymakers. The program is administered by the Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center.

See the article in the BDN Weekly here:


NEW Leadership program to be held June 1–6

Maine NEW (National Education for Women) Leadership will run Thursday through Tuesday, June 1–6 at the Orono campus with trips to Augusta and Skowhegan. The Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center hosts this annual six-day undergraduate student leadership program for women to educate, engage and empower young leaders. Danielle Conway, dean and professor of law at the University of Maine School of Law, is scheduled to deliver the keynote address at the networking and reception dinner Friday, June 2 at Wells Conference Center.

A group of 28 college students with a variety of majors from 14 institutions around the state, including UMaine, will take part in the ninth residential conference that aims to strengthen political skills and build civic engagement. Throughout the program, students will participate in workshops hosted by women leaders from politics, business and education. The students will learn skills including public speaking, networking and how to advocate for a cause and run for public office.

Scheduled speakers include Meredith Strang Burgess and Jane Knapp Sexton, former legislators and UMaine alumnae; Maulian Dana Smith, a member of the Penobscot Nation Tribal Council and former Margaret Chase Smith Policy Scholar at UMaine; Jeanne Hulit, former acting administrator and regional administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration; and Emily Haddad, dean of the UMaine College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

As part of the program, students develop a political action project surrounding topics presented before the Maine Legislature. Participants are given a bill to research before holding mock opposing press conferences and a legislative committee hearing. This year’s project will focus on LD 49, An Act to Improve Science and Engineering Education for Maine Students.

During the program, participants will travel to the State House in Augusta, where they will observe the Senate and House in session, as well as meet State Treasurer Terry Hayes and legislative leaders. They will visit the Margaret Chase Smith Library in Skowhegan for a tour of Smith’s home and an informal dinner with higher education leaders from their campuses.

Maine NEW Leadership was developed to address the under-representation of women in politics and is designed to provide students with skills to help them become the next generation of effective civic and political leaders. It is Maine’s only statewide leadership program for undergraduate women.

More information about Maine NEW Leadership is available online at or by contacting Mary Cathcart at 581.1539,; or Susan D’Angelo at 581.1648,

Trostel’s study on retirement savings is cited by AARP

Professor Philip Trostel’s recent work on the benefits of saving for retirement has been cited by the Nevada AARP, illustrating that Nevada could save taxpayers $24,048,204 over the next 15 years by helping people save more of their own money for retirement.
Read the article: New Study: Nevada Could Save Over $24 Million by Helping Workers Save for Retirement

Trostel’s work was also cited in a factsheet which outlines fiscal savings for all states by helping people increase their own retirement savings. Research shows that when individuals save for retirement they are less likely to rely on public assistance programs later in life. According to the AARP, more than 30 states are considering creating retirement plans for private-sector workers whose employers do not already offer one.
Find the AARP factsheet: Nevada Could Save $24 Million by Helping People Save for Their Own Retirement