A collage of images showing photos from 2023, including UNE President James Herbert, an orange lobster, and various student and faculty photos

Our Top 10 Headlines of 2023

Read UNE's Most Reported Stories of the Year

With our innovations in health education, pioneering strides in marine sciences, thought leadership on a grand scale, and spirit of service, the University of New England maintained a commanding presence in the news media in 2023. As we approach the dawn of yet another exciting year, we wanted to showcase the stories that captured the most attention from our partners in the press. 

Here, we recap the 10 stories that received the most mentions in the media. Each narrative underscores our institution's unwavering dedication to pushing boundaries and meeting the evolving needs of our communities (along with the occasional oddity). Keep scrolling to see which stories captivated audiences across Maine, the nation, and the globe. 

The Top 10 Headlines of 2023

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World's Glaciers on Thin Ice

Total News Mentions: 6

A photo of a large, snow-capped mountain

UNE researcher Will Kochtitzky, Ph.D., is part of a team that has shown for the first time how rapidly glaciers can lose mass and found that, in the worst case scenario, two out of three of the world’s glaciers could melt into the sea within the next century. Public News Service picked up the story, leading to successful coverage in Maine and across the nation. Learn more about the study



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New Paths to Medicine

Total News Mentions: 9

A group of Cheyney University students take a selfie with UNE President James Herbert

At a packed press conference in July, UNE and Cheyney University of Pennsylvania — the nation’s first historically Black university — announced an articulation agreement to provide a pathway for qualified Cheyney undergraduates to pursue a medical education at UNE’s College of Osteopathic Medicine. Read more about the agreement



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Keeping Tabs on Chronic Pain

Total News Mentions: 9

UNE professor Ling Cao works in her lab with a student

The Portland Press Herald, the state’s largest newspaper, as well as Yahoo! News reported on news that investigators from UNE and MaineHealth have received grant support to establish a comprehensive registry to track and better treat chronic pain, which affects millions globally and about 30% of all Mainers. Read the story behind the headlines




Accessible Health Education

Total News Mentions: 16


 High school student Malak Alobaidi examines UNE student Fajar Alam's eyes during a health assessment exercise

A $100,000 grant from the Maine Health Access Foundation is allowing UNE and its community partners to fund projects to encourage New Mainer youth to explore and seek out education in the health professions, with the goal of diversifying the health care workforce. Learn more about the grant that captured headlines on each of the state's major TV stations




Meals for Mainers

Total News Mentions: 22

U N E students prepare meals

Reporters flooded Girard Innovation Hall in September, as over 200 UNE volunteers came together to pack 50,000 meal kits for underserved communities across Maine. UNE’s own Trisha Mason, M.A., director of service-learning in the Westbrook College of Health Professions, went live with NEWS CENTER Maine amid the busy scene. UNE was just one of 10 schools nationwide to receive funding for the effort




Supporting Maine's Mental Health

Total News Mentions: 31

A generous $2 million gift from the Judy Glickman Lauder Foundation to launch an innovative psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner program garnered top placements in the Portland Press Herald and Maine Public, as well as international trades Becker’s Behavioral Health and Health Reporter. Learn how the program will bolster the state’s behavioral health workforce




Nursing's New Frontier

Total News Mentions: 41

A virtual reality simulation shows a nurse giving a patient a cardiac exam

In January, national media outlet Scripps News came to UNE’s Interprofessional Simulation and Innovation Center to learn more about our groundbreaking efforts to train nurses using virtual reality. The resulting story earned over 40 placements across the country, putting the spotlight on UNE’s innovations in health education. Learn how virtual reality is helping prepare students for the real world




Shark Tales

Total News Mentions: 42

UNE students deploy a shark detection buoy from the RV Sakohki into Saco Bay

Novel research involving sharks nabbed some of the top honors in our media mentions this year, including in Yahoo! News and Maine fishing trade The Working Waterfront. Reporters flocked to campus as researchers from UNE and the state deployed their second real-time shark detection buoy into the Gulf of Maine, and then again as UNE students pioneered a groundbreaking device intended to repel sharks from fisherman’s nets.




D.C., Round Deux

Total News Mentions: 165

UNE President James Herbert in a Congressional chamber during testimony

In February, UNE President James Herbert gave his second Congressional testimony about the dearth of workers in the health care workforce at the request of Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont. The President’s testimony earned over 30 national media placements as well as an op-ed outlining his solutions to the problem. See the President’s plan to tackle the health workforce crisis




Put Down the Bib!

Total News Mentions: 695

A UNE lab technician holds Peaches, a rare orange lobster

This lobster is not cooked. Peaches, a 1-in-30 million orange lobster, captured hearts everywhere when she arrived at UNE in June, garnering nearly 700 global news placements and an emphatic response on social media. Peaches has now taken up residence in the Girard Marine Science Center, where students and faculty are studying the genetic basis of her rare coloration. Meet Peaches

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UNE News is produced and curated by the Office of Communications and Marketing, which provides strategic and creative leadership and support for the University of New England across all media and communications platforms. Our mission is to raise awareness for UNE, enhance the University’s reputation, facilitate operations, and foster community in alignment with institutional goals. If you have a story to tell, we want to hear from you — contact the Office of Communications.