Summer Government Internships are Underway
Thirty-nine interns are taking part in the Maine Government Summer Internship Program this year. The internships are full-time for 12 weeks, with placements in ten different agencies of Maine state government and five municipal, regional, or quasi-governmental organizations. Internship topic areas range from engineering, environment, and GIS to public relations, education, law, and planning. The students are all either Maine residents or attending a college in Maine. Interns are usually third or fourth year undergraduates, while some are non-traditional, law, or graduate students. For some it is their first experience in a professional job, and others come to the internship with many professional skills. By the end of the summer students accomplish at least one major project, learn new ways they can contribute to their state, and always tell us how dedicated Maine’s state and local government workers are.
The Maine Government Summer Internship Program was established in 1967 by the 103rd Legislature “to attract and select college students with ambition and talent for temporary internships within State Government.” This year it has expanded to local and municipal government. Since 1967, more than 1730 interns have participated in the program.
Maine NEW Leadership Starts Today
A group of 28 students with a variety of majors and interests from colleges around the state will take part in the eighth Maine NEW Leadership – a residential conference that aims to strengthen political skills and build civic engagement.
Throughout the free program, students will participate in workshops hosted by women leaders from politics, business and education.
A Bangor Daily News article previews the keynote speaker, Rep. Cyndi Munson of Oklahoma:
Read the full press release:
New Issue of Maine Policy Review
Margaret Chase Smith Public Affairs Scholarship Awarded
The Margaret Chase Smith Public Affairs Scholarship for 2016-17 has been awarded to UMaine rising senior Sierra Kuun for work she plans to carry out at the Mitchell Center for Sustainability Solutions. A chemical engineering major, Kuun is part of the MItchell Center Materials Management team. Her proposed research project will focus on household solid waste.
The scholarship involves working with faculty advisors to conduct research throughout the 2016-17 academic year. Her project will focus on waste reduction through implementing a pilot program at UMaine that will give students living in campus apartments the opportunity to divert food scraps and have them converted into compost that is used around campus. The data collected from her project will help inform public policy on the management of household waste at the university level and the broader community.
“We have developed a list of goals on how to tackle the problem of organic waste in Maine through increasing awareness of the benefits of composting, reaching out to organizations involved in food production and processing, and connecting them to organizations who specialize in managing food waste, and participating in community events,” Kuun says.
Kuun will present the results of her project at the UMaine 2017 Student Research Symposium next April.
Two talks to highlight Margaret Chase Smith Library’s annual meeting
The Margaret Chase Smith Library’s annual Maine Town Meeting on May 19 will be highlighted by a talks that combine historical perspective with political analysis.
Professor Heather Cox Richardson of Boston College will speak about her history of the Republican Party, “To Make Men Free.” Daniel Shea, director of the Goldfarb Center for Public Affairs and Civic Engagement at Colby College, will speak on the long-established conventional understandings of American politics.
The Maine Town Meeting begins with a continental breakfast at 8:30 a.m., followed by the program at 9 a.m. The event is free; lunch is $10 per person.
The Margaret Chase Smith Library in Skowhegan is owned by the Margaret Chase Smith Foundation and operated under its auspices by the University of Maine. For more information about the event or to request a disability accommodation, call the library, 474.7133.
Public Affairs Scholarship Students at Research Symposium
Both undergraduate student recipients of the Margaret Chase Smith Public Affairs Scholarship for 2015-16 made their final poster presentations at the 2016 UMaine Student Research Symposium on April 27th. Senior Economics major Garrett Raymond, advised by Sharon Klein, carried out a research project examining the economic feasibility of additional Maine license plate funding programs. Allyson Eslin, a third-year student and triple major in Political Science, Psychology, and Economics, advised by Caroline Noblet, tied for third in the poster presentation for her work on “The Impact of Economic and Psychological Metrics on Political Decision-Making,”
Research Scholarships Available
Funding is available for undergraduate and graduate students to conduct archival research at the Margaret Chase Smith Library in Skowhegan, Maine. (MCSlibrary.org)
Students must spend at least 4 days at the library and submit a final product that has been developed in consultation with the Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center, Library staff, and a faculty member. The final product may include written work, video production, and more.
What does the scholarship fund?
– Overnight accommodations
– Travel to Skowhegan, ME
Who is eligible?
– Students at least in their junior year
– Graduate students are eligible
– Priority will be given to students pursuing a comprehensive research project within their degree program.
For more information or to apply for the scholarship, please contact
Charlie Morris, Associate Director, phone: 581-4135, or email: email@example.com
Rubin speaks as transportation expert at national conference
Jonathan Rubin, director of the Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center and professor of economics, and chair of the Environment and Energy Section, U.S. Transportation Research Board of the National Academies, will be one of the experts presenting on transportation at the Washington, D.C. conference, U.S. Energy Policy in the 2016 Elections and Beyond: Incremental or Transformational? The April 26 event is sponsored by the Center for Strategic & international Studies. Joining Rubin in the session on transportation will be Dan Sperling, founding director of the Institute of Transportation Studies, University of California, Davis; James Corless, director of Transportation for America; Drew Kojak, executive director of the International Council on Clean Transportation.
The session will focus on transportation as a major driver of energy consumption and a source of air quality issues. New technologies and new approaches to transportation mean that the United States is in a unique position to rethink the policies and regulations affecting how, when, and where people and goods move.
What is the future of vehicle emissions and efficiency standards both in terms of stringency and method of testing? How are states and the federal government improving aging infrastructure? Where is the funding coming from and where can more be done? Should infrastructure dollars go to upgrading the existing platform or transforming it to accommodate the future vehicle fleet?
How will new vehicle technologies and ways of using vehicles change the transportation energy landscape and what issues does that raise for policymakers? What is the future technology platform for transportation? Electrification? Biofuels? All of the above?
Jonathan Rubin to be Policy Center Director
Vice President for Research and Dean of the Graduate School Carol H. Kim has named Jonathan Rubin, Professor of Economics, as the director of the Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center, at the University of Maine. Rubin has been a member of the Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center faculty since 1998.
The Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center is a nonpartisan, independent research and public service unit of the University of Maine.
Rubin received his BA in Economics from the University of Rochester in 1984 and his PhD in Agricultural Economics in 1993 from the University of of California, Davis.He was a Fulbright Scholar at the Clean Energy Research Center, University of Botswana and a Visiting Fellow at the Cambridge Center for Climate Change Mitigation Research,University of Cambridge. He is the Chair of the Environment and Energy Section of US Transportation Research Board of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine.
Dr Rubin’s research has been supported by the US State Department, the National Science Foundation, the US Environmental Protection Agency, the US Department of Energy, New England University Transportation Center, and the Maine Department of Transportation. He has provided testimony to the Maine State Legislature and has been featured on Maine television and radio programs.
Transportation Commissioner Bernhardt visits UMaine
The Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center and Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering hosted Commissioner David Bernhardt of the Maine Department of Transportation at the University of Maine on April 6, 2016. Commissioner Bernhardt was honored as a Distinguished Maine Policy Fellow, an honor extended to prominent individuals with a past or current career as a policymaker in the state.
As a Distinguished Maine Policy Fellow, Commissioner Bernhardt spent the day on campus meeting with President Dr. Susan Hunter, Provost Dr. Jeffrey Hecker, and distinguished leaders from the departments of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Economics. Commissioner Bernhardt toured campus research facilities – including the Advanced Manufacturing Center, Advanced Structures and Composites Center, and the Virtual Environment and Multimodal Interaction Lab – and met with a large group of engineering students and professors.
At the standing-room only meeting with engineering students, the commissioner, who graduated from the University of Maine with an engineering degree in 1984, expressed his appreciation for the University of Maine’s world class facilities and the opportunities afforded to students. The commissioner underscored the importance of transportation, calling transportation the “lifeblood” of an economy, and detailed the diversity of modes of transportation in Maine. Students were inspired by learn about ongoing cooperation between the University of Maine’s Department of Civil Engineer and the Department of Transportation as the commissioner urged them to be innovative in their thinking and enthusiastic in their studies.
At the end of Commissioner Bernhardt’s visit, a reception was organized at the University Club to honor the commissioner for his service and dedication. Remarks were delivered by Dr. Dana Humphrey, Dean of the College of Engineering, and the Honorable Mary Cathcart of the Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center.
The Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center typically organizes two visits by Distinguished Maine Policy Fellows each academic semester. Past Policy Fellows include Rep. Ellie Espling and Rep. Sara Gideon. Future Distinguished Maine Policy Fellows will be announced here and in print.