Alumni and Faculty in the News – November ’21


Results from research conducted in the lab of Dr. Sally Molloy, Associate Professor of Genomics and Honors and INBRE project leader, provides evidence that prophage (integrated viral genomes) alter expression of important mycobacterial antibiotic resistance genes, as reported in the journal BMC Microbiology. Co-authors include Honors College alumna Emma Freeman, who is now a student at Tufts Medical School.

A team of Honors students in the Molloy laboratory are continuing the work in order to learn about the molecular pathways by which prophages drive changes in gene expression and drug resistance in pathogenic mycobacteria. The students include Matthew Cox (senior Honors thesis student), Claire Bourett (junior), Katelyn Amero (sophomore) and Eleanor Carrolton (first year).


This week, the Bangor Daily News featured an op-ed authored by Rob Glover, Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science and Honors. In Does Maine Have a Ballot Question Problem, Glover looks at Maine’s use of the ballot question to make public policy. 

Glover is also pleased to share that, according to the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement Campus Report, UMaine increased its student voter turnout rate by nearly 11 points in the 2020 presidential election. Over 85% of UMaine students successfully registered and 72.9% of UMaine students voted in 2020 – both above the national average of all institutions in the survey. Along with Honors alumna Jenny Desmond (now UMaine Assistant Director for Community Life), Glover is involved with many initiatives across campus to increase student voter participation, recruiting many Honors students to help with voter registration and election administration and participate in the UMaine UVote Ambassadors Program. For more information, see “Honors and an Election Year Like No Other.” Glover also serves as a co-director of the Maine Chapter of the Scholars Strategy Network, a national organization that connects academic research to policymakers, citizens, and the media, and was a recent panelist at the League of Women Voters’s Election 2021: Making Sense of Question 1, 2 and 3 event.


Jordan LaBouff, Associate Professor of Psychology and Honors, has received a $650,000 grant from the John Templeton Foundation for “Advancing Open Science in the Psychology of Religion.” This three-year grant directs funds to groundbreaking research from emerging and diverse scholars on religion and behavior. This project will be open to several of our undergraduate students, providing the opportunity to review research plans and potentially submit a funding proposal under the grant themselves. Aaron Dustin, a current Honors student studying Psychology, was a 2021 recipient of the CUGR Academic Showcase Award for Social Sciences and has turned that into a successful CUGR fellowship to study the relationship between religion, religious fundamentalism, and prejudice advised by LaBouff.

LaBouff was also recently accepted for publication in the International Journal for the Psychology of Religion. The article is “Content Matters: Perceptions of the Science-Religion Relationship” and describes a new way to measure people’s perceptions of conflict or compatibility between Science and Religion. This work was partially funded by awards from the International Research Network for the Study of Science and Belief in Society.