USM Faculty Commons


April 2014

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
Grant Writing - How to Succeed in Grant Writing

Grant Writing - How to Succeed in Grant Writing

Event Date and Time: 
Friday, January 24, 2014, 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Friday, March 7, 2014, 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Friday, April 4, 2014, 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Friday, May 2, 2014, 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Faculty Commons, 3rd Floor, Glickman Family Library, USM Portland Campus

Grant Writing - How to Succeed in Grant Writing

USM’s Research Administration and Development is offering a faculty professional development workshop in grant writing for tenure-track and tenured faculty at USM.  The workshop is comprised of four, 3-hour sessions.  Dr. Terry Shehata, Grants Development Specialist and Coordinator for Institutional and Research Grants Development, will conduct the workshop.


Grant writing is both a systematic and a chaotic process. You will need to be as organized as possible without becoming so obsessive that you lose the opportunity to incorporate new ideas and new suggestions as they emerge throughout the process. The learning outcomes of the workshop are to:

  • Understand the essential components of a grant proposal package.
  • Be able to customize a proposal to match a grant maker's interest.
  • Know how to initially approach a funder.
  • Know the differences between government and foundation proposals.
  • Know how to report on a grant's progress and impact.
  • Know how to develop working relationships with grant makers.
  • Know what to do if your proposal is denied (don't give up!).
  • Understand the behind-the-scenes decisions that determine proposal acceptance and denial.

Time and Location: This four session workshop will be scheduled on four Friday mornings during the spring 2014 semester from 9am to Noon in the Faculty Commons 3rd floor space of the Glickman Family Library on the USM Portland Campus.



Participants must commit to attending all four sessions.


Program Details:

Day One, Friday, January 24 | 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM

  • Understand the critical difference between organizational needs and the needs of the community.
  • Develop your credibility as an applicant.
  • Research, measure, and objectively articulate the community needs to be addressed with the proposed grant.
  • Measuring impacts; define success now.
  • Present and justify your method for addressing the need; why you've chosen this method over other possible methods; overcoming the inherently subjective nature of methods.

Day Two, Friday, March 7 | 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM

  • Locate and track relevant grant opportunities from Federal, State and local government sources, private foundations and corporate giving programs.
  • Develop your plan for grant evaluation, both subjective and objective; integrating your plan with the grant maker's required evaluation and reporting system.
  • Develop a budget and analyzing cash flow; indirect and admin cost caps; determine if you can afford to get this grant before submitting an application; collaborating with your fiscal affairs, grants managers, and leadership.
  • Summarize your request for that impossibly small summary opportunity on the standard federal cover page or, the one/two page foundation request.
  • Allocate and forecast proposal teamwork load before the RFP is released.
  • Dissect the RFP; researching enabling legislation; understanding the "spirit and intent" of the grant program; technical assistance contacts and the need for open and honest communication.

Day Three, Friday, April 4 | 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM

  • Continue unfinished business from Day Two.
  • Understand the requirements of Human Research Protection, Institutional Review Board, Institutional Animal Care and Use, Institutional Biosafety, USM Animal Facilities, Responsible Conduct of Research, Export Control Regulations, and Financial Conflicts of Interest.
  • Review sample funding opportunities based on the keywords provided from the previous session.  These opportunities will be reviewed carefully and key elements will be highlighted.
  • Instructions for a five-page mini-proposal based on the requirements of the funding agency, which includes a narrative, a budget, a budget justification and other ancillary materials, called for by the funder.

Day Four, Friday, May 2 | 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM

  • Critique each mini-proposal in terms of consistency with the required format, addressing key elements and topics of the funding agency, tell telling a clear and compelling story, addressing review criteria, and providing a budget that is commensurate with the proposed project.
  • Participants in the workshop who are not involved in the mini-proposal under review will conduct the critique.
  • Recommendations for improving the mini-proposal will be provided to the authors.

Contact Information:

If you have any questions regarding grant writing or this four session workshop, please contact Dr. Terry Shehata by phone at 780-8239 or by email at

9:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Careers in Aging Event: Celebrating Geriatric / Gerontology Scholarship at USM

Careers in Aging Event: Celebrating Geriatric / Gerontology Scholarship at USM

Event Date and Time: 
Tuesday, April 8, 2014, 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM

Celebrating Geriatric / Gerontology Scholarship at USM

USM is proud to bring Careers in Aging Week, April 7 to 11, celebrated by dozens of institutions across the country, to the Southern Maine community. Join us at USM Abromson’s Center in the later afternoon on Tuesday, April 8.

USM scholars will share their recent work during this highly interactive event.


Panel Presentation:

  1. Long Term Services and Supports Research Seminar - Elise Bolda
  2. Recent research projects with the OLLI National Resource Center – Mike Brady
  3. Dual Eligibles in Maine - Stuart Bratesman
  4. Outpatient Programs for People with Dementia – Lisa Clark
  5. Supported Decision Making as Alternative to Guardianship - Nina Kohn
  6. The Savvy Caregiver Program: Outcomes and Opportunities for Dementia Family Caregivers - Linda Samia
  7. Occupational Therapy Intervention – Charles Smith

Followed by Roundtable Discussions


Light refreshments will be provided.


Event Outline:

  • Welcome
  • Audience Introductions
  • Presentations
  • Round Table Discussion: Enjoy light refreshments and share in the discussion


Event Resources:

USM's Online Gerontology Certificate Program

The Association of Gerontology in Higher Education

Careers in Aging Week 2014

Why study Aging and Older Persons



Elise Bolda
Chair, Graduate Program in Public Health (MPH)
Associate Research Professor
Learn more.




Long-Term Services and Supports Policy Research Seminar

Persons in need of services and supports over the long term, and their loved ones, often encounter a fragmented array of public and private sector services, supported by restrictive financing and confusing policies.  This presentation applies a public health perspective to the differing goals and varying needs of adults with need for assistance from others, and policies and strategies to address these needs.  Topics addressed include the demographics of aging and disability, health services research on utilization and expenditures for long term services and supports, options and issues in independent living, home/community-based supports, and group living options, federal, state and local program and policy trends, and evidence on emerging best practices from community development to slow medicine.



Mike Brady
Professor of Adult Education and Coordinator of the Adult & Higher Education Program
Learn more.




The Quest for Community in Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes

An open-ended online survey designed to explore issues related to learning communities was administered to directors of Osher Lifelong Learning Institute Programs across the United States.  Sixty-five (65) directors responded to this survey.  Findings included a description of  learning community which is constituted by  learners having common goals, a sense of ownership, sustained relationships, holistic engagement, and meaningful peer interactions. Any successful strategy to build community rests on the foundation of committed volunteers and a responsive host institution.  In addition to these, directors nurture their learning communities through a variety of strategies that include special interest groups, educational travel, sponsoring socially-focused activities, and consistent communication. This study also explored implications for international lifelong learning programs and the future of learning communities in the face of increased online and other distance education modalities.



Lisa Clark
M.S., O.T.R./L., C.L.T.
Clinical Faculty for Occupational Therapy
Learn more.



Outpatient Programs for People with Dementia

Dementia is a growing problem in the United States and internationally. Billions of dollars are spent worldwide caring for people with dementia. The World Alzheimer’s report and the Obama administration are focusing efforts around this debilitating issue. Often, the prevalent opinion around a dementia diagnoses is that of a death sentence for any continuance of a meaningful existence. Many people continue to claim that nothing can be done for the person with dementia. However, increasingly, research finds that staying active and engaged in life’s occupations maintains health for people with memory impairment. Improving the functional lives of people with dementia, and their caregivers is a key role for occupational therapy practitioners. Occupational therapy practitioners understand the relationship of participating in life, to health.  People with dementia can remain involved in activities when they are adapted and adjusted for the level of performance the person is capable of.  Caregiver education is key, to minimize the “easier to do it myself” temptation. 

An example of an outpatient wellness program based on the Occupational Therapy philosophy is presented – the “Living Well with Dementia” program. This is an innovative outpatient wellness program started in Portland, Maine, coordinated by an occupational therapist. This outpatient program for people with mild to moderate dementia will be discussed, including active, short course rehabilitation and wellness groups which provide cognitive stimulation, leisure enhancement, physical exercise and support for people with dementia.


Stuart Bratesman

Policy Analyst, Cutler Institute

Learn more.





Nina Kohn
Visiting Professor of Law
Learn more.





Historically, the state has responded to the decision-making challenges facing persons with cognitive disabilities by authorizing others to make decisions for them.  In response to concerns that this approach unduly undermines the rights and autonomy of persons with disabilities, the disability rights community has begun to promote “supported decision-making” as an alternative paradigm for addressing cognitive disability.  Supported decision-making is an approach under which the person with a disability retains decision-making authority, but is provided with help in doing so.  This presentation will describe the approach and its potential benefits, including its potential to reduce reliance on the guardianship system. It will also identify concerns about the approach and gaps in knowledge as to how it is operationalized and as to its outcomes.  It will conclude by suggesting avenues for further research.



Linda Samia, PhD, RN, CNL

Assistant Professor, School of Nursing

Learn more about Linda.





The Savvy Caregiver Program: Outcomes and Opportunities for Dementia Family Caregivers

The Maine Savvy Caregiver Project (MSCP) is a statewide multiagency project designed to train non-paid family caregivers to care for persons with dementia in the home.  There are two programs available for caregivers: the original evidence-based 6-week Savvy Caregiver Program (SCP) and a newer evidence-informed 4-week advanced program: the SCP-II.  SCP is intended to improve caregiver knowledge, skill, and attitude.  SCP-II prepares the caregiver to make difficult decisions, manage increased dependency, prepare for end-of-life, and take better care of self. 


The MSCP is currently grant funded by the U. S. Administration for Community Living under an award to Maine’s Office of Aging and Disability Services. The project involves a partnership between Maine's Office of Aging and Disability Services, Maine's five Agencies on Aging, various community hospitals, and the USM School of Nursing. 


Since February 2009, 1,634 caregivers have been trained: 1,450 in SCP and 184 in SCP-II.  The SCP has been delivered in each of Maine's 16 counties with certified facilitators delivering 197 SCP and 30 SCP-II trainings.  Outcomes are overwhelmingly positive.  Caregivers are more confident and skillful in their roles, they are less depressed, and have fewer negative reactions to their person’s behavior.  Caregivers are asking for help and finding more joy in their relationships.


Next steps for the MSCP include plans for sustainability and further adaptation with technology to reach more rural caregivers. The program is now embedded in each of the state’s five Agencies on Aging and will be sustained in the Family Caregiver Support Program funded under The Older American Act Title IIIE funding.  Agencies are also seeking additional grant funding and they are working with multiple partners such as hospitals, adult education programs, adult day centers and community care teams to deliver the program.  With technology the goal is to reach caregivers with fewer face-to-face sessions while still delivering core elements of the program and providing opportunities for practice and group learning.



 Charles Smith
Assistant Professor
School of Social Work
Learn more.




Occupational Therapy Intervention

Given the fact that the United States faces an increasing population of community dwelling older adults with moderate to severe functional disabilities, and the relative decline in available resources (e.g., informal caregivers, public funds for social services) the researchers conducted a study to examine the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of a novel occupational therapy intervention designed to give older adults, and their caregivers, the tools and skills to care for themselves.  A randomized control trial was conducted to examine the relative differences in outcomes among community dwelling older adults with disabilities of two interventions: 1) conventional personal care and case management services vs. 2) conventional services plus an occupational therapy assessment and intervention.   A total of 60 clients were assessed at baseline and 3 month follow up.  Results indicated that participants that received the occupational therapy intervention in additional to conventional services had improvements in home safety (p < .0005) and reduction in fear of falling (p<.05).  The study also found that the occupational therapy intervention led to a 39% reduction in recommended hours of personal care services, which if implemented, would result in significant cost savings for clients and/or public agencies.


Findings published in The Gerontologist:  Sheffield, Smith, & Becker (2013). Evaluation of an agency-based occupational therapy intervention to facilitate aging in place, The Gerontologist, doi: 10.1093/geront/gns145

4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Libra Professor Annette Kolodny

Libra Professor Annette Kolodny

Event Date and Time: 
Tuesday, April 8, 2014, 7:30 PM to 8:30 PM
Wishcamper, Lee Auditorium, USM Portland Campus

Papal Bulls, Wishful Wonder, and the Many Fictions of the Doctrine of Discovery


This lecture draws on Penobscot texts, including a tale from oral tradition told to Dr. Kolodny by Penobscot Nation elder James Sappier, to examine legal bases for early European claims about the discovery of North America. Early explorers’ narratives assert that they "discovered" lands previously unknown (and unclaimed by) any Christian, but Eastern Algonquian stories of first contact undercut these descriptions of "wonder" and undermine the European assertions.


Annette Kolodny

College of Humanities Professor Emerita of American Literature and Culture

University of Arizona


AK BOOK IMAGE In Search of First Contact: The Vikings of Vinland, the Peoples of Dawnland, and the Anglo-America Anxiety of Discovery by Annette Kolodny

The arrival and impact of the Vikings in North America from the perspectives of American studies, indigenous and Native American studies, and American literary studies.

Learn more.



Book Signing: There will be a book signing during the open public reception from 6:30pm to 7:30pm in Atrium in the Wishcamper Center right outside the Lee Auditorium (133 Wishcamper). Free parking available in the attached garage.



Tuesday, April 8, 2014

  • Book Signing & Reception: 6:30 to 7:30 - Wishcamper Atrium
  • Lecture: 7:30 pm - Wishcamper, Lee Auditorium, USM Portland Campus



Event Sponsors

University of Maine Libra Professor Fund, University of Southern Maine Department of English, USM Faculty Commons, Women and Gender Studies Program, American and New England Studies Program, Department of History and Political Science, Department of Geography-Anthropology.


Learn more about the Libra Professorship.


Keep the Conversation Going:

Reach out to Annette Kolodny                                                                                       



Annette KolodnyImage2Annette Kolodny

College of Humanities Professor Emerita of American Literature and Culture

University of Arizona

Ever since her 1960s graduate student days at the University of California, Berkeley, Annette Kolodny has combined political activism in the Civil Rights, women’s, and environmental movements with a scholarly scrutiny of American culture and its discontents. Her first two books are considered landmarks in the fields of ecocriticism and frontier studies; each examines the developing mythology of the western frontiers. The Lay of the Land: Metaphor as Experience and History in American Life and Letters (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1975; rpt. 1984) concerns itself with Euroamerican male fantasy projections onto the successive “virgin” wildernesses. The Land Before Her: Fantasy and Experience of the American Frontiers, 1630-1860 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1984) offers the first comprehensive study of white women's responses to the pioneering experience, analyzing not only personal documents like letters and diaries but published novels, poetry, and promotional tracts, as well. Dr. Kolodny’s essay “Dancing Through the Minefield: Some Observations on the Theory, Practice, and Politics of a Feminist Literary Criticism” was awarded the Florence Howe Prize for Feminist Criticism in 1979 and has since been translated and reprinted worldwide, becoming the most anthologized essay in the field. Throughout her career, she has continued to publish actively in the fields of feminist literary criticism and critical theory, ecocriticism, frontier studies, and early American literature and culture. In 1993 Dr. Kolodny was elected to lifetime membership in the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters; the fruits of her study of the connections between Scandinavian and American literatures are apparent in her 2012 book In Search of First Contact: The Vikings of Vinland, the Peoples of the Dawnland, and the Anglo-American Anxiety of Discovery.


During her long career, Dr. Kolodny has held faculty positions at Yale University, the University of British Columbia, the University of New Hampshire, the University of Maryland, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and the University of Arizona.


From 1988 through 1993, Dr. Kolodny took on the challenges of academic administration by becoming Dean of the College of Humanities at the University of Arizona. As a result of her experience in administration, Dr. Kolodny now also writes about higher education issues and, as a consultant, works with schools across the country and around the world to effect positive change on campus. In 1998, Duke University Press published Failing the Future: A Dean Looks at Higher Education in the Twenty-first Century, Dr. Kolodny’s study of higher education public policy issues.


Her books and essays have garnered numerous awards both in the United States and abroad, and she is the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Ford Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, and others. In 1998, she was the first woman to be named an Honored Scholar by the Division on Early American Literature in the Modern Language Association (MLA). In October 2002, she received the Distinguished Achievement Award from the Western Literature Association. At its annual meeting in December 2002, the American Literature Section of the MLA awarded Dr. Kolodny the prestigious Jay B. Hubbell Medal for outstanding lifetime scholarly achievement in American literary and cultural studies. In October 2006 the Society of Early Americanists honored Dr. Kolodny for “Excellence in Teaching” based on her “important contributions to the lives and careers” of her many students over the years. In 2012 the Western Literature Association again honored her for her teaching, awarding her the Susan J. Rosowski Award for Outstanding Teaching and Creative Mentoring in Western American Literary Studies. Several national prizes in ecocriticism and feminist studies have recently been named for her; and her work has been the subject of many conferences and conference sessions here and abroad.


At the University of Arizona, after stepping down as Dean, she held the title of College of Humanities Professor of American Literature and Culture. In 2001 the Graduate and Professional Student Council named her “Outstanding Faculty Mentor of Graduate Students.” In 2002 she received the “Dean’s Distinguished Teaching Award with Sustained Contributions to Mentoring” from the College of Humanities.


Her recent research on Native American stories about first contacts with Europeans uncovered a lost masterpiece of Native American literature written and self-published by Penobscot elder Joseph Nicolar in 1893. Nicolar’s work, The Life and Traditions of the Red Man, was reprinted by Duke University Press in 2007, edited, annotated, with a history of the Penobscot Nation and an introduction by Annette Kolodny.


On June 30, 2007, Dr. Kolodny retired from the University of Arizona, becoming Professor Emerita. Despite retirement, Dr. Kolodny continues her active schedule of conference appearances and guest lectures. Her most recent publications concentrate on the fields of Native American Studies, ecocriticism, and transnational American studies. In 2012 she published In Search of First Contact: The Peoples of the Dawnland, the Vikings of Vinland, and the Anglo-American Anxiety of Discovery (Durham: Duke University Press), named by Indian Country Today as one of the twelve most important books in Native American studies published in 2012. This book was also selected by the Western Literature Association for the 2013 Thomas Lyon Award as “the best book in Western literary and cultural studies published in 2012.”



Libra Professorship


The Libra Professorship was established in 1989 by the University of Maine System Board of Trustees in partnership with philanthropist Elizabeth Noyce and the Libra Foundation.


The Professorship enables the University to invite nationally and internationally recognized scholars who engage with faculty and students and exemplify excellence in their respective discipline.


Recent Libra Professors include:



  • Dr. John Lechner, in conjunction with ASET's Center for Toxicology and Environmental Health
  • Dr. Mark Albion, in conjunction with the School of Business
  • Drs. Margaret Wheatley, Henry Giroux, Sonia Nieto, Stephen Brookfield, in conjunction with the College of Education and Human Development
  • Professor Lateef Mtina, in conjunction with the School of Law



  • Drs. Janaki Rajan, Sonia Nieto, Stephen Brookfield, in conjunction with the School of Education and Human Development



  • Drs. Ulrick Jean-Pierre, Aurelia Jean Pierre, Kristen Renwick Monroe, in conjunction with the School of Education and Human Development



  • Professor Anna Welch, in conjunction with the School of Law


7:30 PM to 8:30 PM
Community Engaged Scholarship

Community Engaged Scholarship

Event Date and Time: 
Thursday, April 10, 2014, 9:00 AM to 12:30 PM
110 Abromson Center, USM Portland

Join USM Faculty and the office of Community-Based Learning for the third and final event in our Spring 2014 Service Learning Engaged Teaching Series: Community Engaged Scholarship.

This session will introduce faculty to the research possibilities of engaged scholarship and provide an overview of existing research that substantiate gains for students in a variety of areas. Additionally, gaps in research will be addressed and the potential for USM faculty to pursue innovative research in the areas of student, community, and faculty experiences.

Dr. Gerstenblatt will share her research about the partnership between the rural town of Mart, Texas and the University of Texas at Austin, and how this unique community-university partnership can inform work at USM and the Greater Portland area. 


Event Resources:


Spring 2014 Service-Learning Engaged Teaching Series

How can we develop curriculum that allows students to engage with the community in meaningful ways to address social and environmental issues, while meeting academic and civic learning goals?

This faculty-led Engaged Teaching Series provides space for faculty to come together, learn about and share effective service-learning methodologies, explore the key components of successful community-campus partnerships and discuss research potential for this work. Engaged teaching and scholarship has mutual benefits for faculty, students and the community - join us to learn more about how you can utilize these methods in your teaching and in supporting the gaining momentum for this at USM. This Spring 2014 Series includes:


Keep the Conversation Going

Reach out to Craig DeForest, USM Program Manager of Service Learning.

9:00 AM to 12:30 PM
Video Workshop Series: Creating Video Content for Blended and Online Courses.

Video Workshop Series: Creating Video Content for Blended and Online Courses.

Event Date and Time: 
Friday, March 7, 2014, 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
Friday, March 14, 2014, 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
Friday, March 21, 2014, 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
Friday, April 11, 2014, 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM


PieterCTEL Learning Designers Pieter Tryzelaar and Rucha Modak will lead a four-part series of workshops on creating video content for blended and online courses.

Workshop details are listed below. Dates are available in March and April, on the Portland campus.



 RSVP Button


Panopto is a software that is designed to capture, edit, stream, and share recorded lectures and presentations. It allows for multiple feeds to all be recorded at once, including audio, video, webcams, screencasts, and PowerPoint presentations. These feeds are then combined into a single, interactive viewing platform, where the viewer can not only select between which feed to watch, they are also able to take notes and search for content within the videos using speech recognition technology. These recordings can then be embedded directly into Blackboard course using the Panopto building block. This workshop will demonstrate how Panopto works. In addition, Panopto offers free access to their monthly training webinars: To register:

3/4/2014 | 12:00-1:00 pm | 521 Glickman | USM Portland Campus


Creating Screencasts Using Camtasia and Screencast-O-Matic

Screencasts allow you to record your computer screen while simultaneously recording using your webcam.  Screencasts are a great tool for creating tutorials and recording narrated slide presentations. This workshop is focused on how to create simple screencasts using Camtasia and Screencast-O-Matic. 

3/13/2014 | 12:00-1:00 pm | 521 Glickman | USM Portland Campus


Using Wacom Tablets to Create Khan Academy-Style Instructional Videos 

Wacom Tablets allow instructors to create digital handwritten instructions and notes. Combined with free graphics editors and screen-recording software, these tablets can be used to create Khan Academy-style instructional videos. These tablets can also be utilized in virtual tutoring sessions using Adobe Connect, Google Hangouts, or Skype. This workshop will demonstrate how to use Wacom Intuos Pro Tablets (using both Macs and PCs) to create Khan Academy-style instructional videos.

3/18/2014 | 12:00-1:00 pm | 521 Glickman | USM Portland Campus


Creating Video Content in the “Vault” - USM's Multimedia Recording Studio

This workshop will introduce several methods for recording video content using the “Vault” recording studio. It will cover the following topics: using the HD camcorder, setting up the studio lights, making simple screencasts, and integrating videos in Blackboard.

4/10/2014 | 12:00-1:00 pm | 521 Glickman | USM Portland Campus

Located in the Learning Commons on the 2nd floor of Glickman Library, "The Vault" serves as a small media production studio for faculty. The room contains a computer workstation equipped basic media production tools and software for faculty to record and edit digital projects- including screencasts, whiteboard video lectures, podcasts, or Khan-Academy style instructional videos.

Faculty who wish to schedule an appointment can contact Rucha Modak ( or Pieter Tryzelaar ( 

Learn more about the vault:




12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
Online Course Design Showcase

Online Course Design Showcase

Event Date and Time: 
Wednesday, April 16, 2014, 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM
214/215 Abromson Center, USM Portland Campus

USM Faculty and CTEL Learning Designers will share outcomes of their collaboration on online courses that are being offered to USM students during the spring 2014 semester. Faculty-CTEL Learning Designer collaborations to be presented include Lisa Giles’ EYE Nature, Self, & Society, Muhammad El-Taha BUS 370 Management Science, Clover Jordan’s MAT9 and MAY101, and Melissa Rosenberg’s HCE612 Multicultural Counseling.


1:00 PM to 2:30 PM
What You Do When You Hit a Wall

What You Do When You Hit a Wall

Event Date and Time: 
Wednesday, April 16, 2014, 4:30 PM to 6:00 PM
213 Abromson Center, USM Portland Campus

USM English Department Lecture Series Spring 2014

Faculty Member Ann Dean presents What Do You Do When You Hit a Wall: A Qualitative Study of Difficulty in First-Year Writing Courses

Wednesday, April 16th

4:30 - 6:00pm

213 Abromson Center

4:30 PM to 6:00 PM
Libra Scholar Presentation with Matthew Jockers

Libra Scholar Presentation with Matthew Jockers

Event Date and Time: 
Thursday, April 17, 2014, 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM
Talbot Hall, USM Portland Campus









“50,000 Books but only Six Stories: A Macroanalysis of Plot"

Matthew Jockers, USM Libra Scholar

Public Lecture - April 17th, 7:00-8:30 p.m., Talbot Auditorium, USM Portland Campus

This event is co-sponsored by the Departments of English, History, Political Science, Media and Communication Studies, Women & Gender Studies, Faculty Commons, and Professional & Continuing Education.


Digital technologies are impacting almost all spheres of education and social life, from the kindergarten teaching of reading to graduate programs in cyber security, from drones to deliver pizza to drones that have become a global symbol of America’s war on terrorism. We now have access not to a text or dozens of texts, but to hundreds and thousands and millions of texts, which can be tagged, encoded, and made available for computational analysis and scholarly research. This raises important questions: What kinds of evidence do computational analyses of the humanities yield? What is the nature of this evidence, and what kinds of insights can such evidence offer in shaping our understanding of literature, history, philology, macroeconomics, statistics, public policy, software languages, and the social and behavioral sciences?

In his public lecture, Professor Matthew Jockers will discuss why quantitative methods are appropriate for humanistic inquiry. His methodology “macroanalysis” emphasizes that “massive digital corpora offer us unprecedented access to the literary record and invite, even demand, a new type of evidence gathering and meaning making.” Macroanalysis is not about replacing microanalysis or close reading of texts or data sets, but it is about understanding that reading and interpretation today can also mean creating digital archives using text encoding processes, mining those databases for patterns and trends with computational logic, and visualizing vast data sets storing millions of bytes of information and a variety of media texts. Professor Jockers will discuss how he employed tools and techniques from natural language processing, sentiment analysis, signal processing, and machine learning in order to extract and compare the plot structures in 50,000 narratives spanning the two hundred year period from 1800-2011.

Grounded in the exciting new field of digital studies, Professor Jockers’ work offers research approaches that are applicable to nearly all disciplines. In his lecture, he will also comment on the broad significance of digital technologies in higher education.


Matthew Jockers

Professor Matthew Jockers is Assistant Professor of English, Faculty Fellow in the Center for Digital Research in the Humanities, and Director of the Nebraska Literary Lab at the University of Nebraska. He oversees UNL’s post baccalaureate Certificate in Digital Humanities, and he serves as the faculty advisor for the minor in Digital Humanities. Prior to Nebraska, Jockers was a Lecturer and Academic Technology Specialist in the Department of English at Stanford where he co-founded the Stanford Literary Lab with Franco Moretti, a leading scholar in English Studies and the Digital Humanities.

Jockers’s research is focused on computational approaches to the study of literature, especially large collections of literature. He has written articles on computational text analysis, authorship attribution, Irish and Irish-American literature, and he has co-authored several successful amicus briefs defending the fair and transformative use of digital text. Jockers's work has been profiled in the academic and main stream press including features in the New York TimesNature, the Chronicle of Higher Education, Nautilus, Wired, New Scientist, Smithsonian, NBC News and many others.

Learn more about Matthew Jockers.


Keep the Conversation Going

Reach out to USM Faculty Member John Muthyala or to Matthew Jockers directly.

7:00 PM to 8:30 PM
Celebration of Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity

Celebration of Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity

Event Date and Time: 
Thursday, April 24, 2014, 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Glickman Family Library, USM Portland Campus

Join us in Celebration!

USM’s Celebration of Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity (RSCA)

In recognition of the creative energy that fuels our scholarship, we will come together as a community for the annual Celebration of Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity. 

This year's RSCA Celebration includes 2013-2014 Provost Research Fellowship presentation by Daniel Sonenberg, and announcements for this coming 2014-2015 Provost Research Fellow  award.


RSCA Celebration

Thursday, April 24th, 2014 
4pm to 6pm
Glickman Family Library, USM Portland Campus

Food and Refreshments included


Please RSVP – we need an accurate headcount for beverage tickets and food.



  • Networking
  • 2013-2014 Provost Research Fellow Presentation
  • Awards & Recognition


2013-2014 Provost Research Fellowship Presentation

So You Want To Write an Opera:Reflections on the decade-long making of the Summer King
Presenting exactly two weeks before the premiere of his opera at Merrill Auditorium, Daniel Sonenberg, the 2013-2014 Provost Research Fellow, will discuss the process of creating the opera from the original idea through completion and performance. He will play some audio clips as well. View Spring 2013 Research Fellow announcement.

The Summer King, Portland Ovations’ and the USM School of Music’s final event of the 2013-2014 season, takes place on Thursday, May 8th at 7:30pm. Learn more.


Daniel Sonenberg

2013-2014 Provost Research Fellow

Daniel Sonenberg is a composer and performer based in Portland, Maine, and Associate Professor and Resident Composer at USM.  He was recently awarded a National Endowment of the Arts grant to support the premiere of his opera, The Summer King, based on the life of the Negro League baseball legend Josh Gibson, by Portland Ovations at Merrill Auditorium in May, 2014. Excerpts of the opera have previously been featured by American Opera Projects, Fort Worth Opera, the Manhattan School of Music, and the University of Southern Maine, and have garnered press attention from Forth Worth to Kansas City to New York, including an article in the Wall Street Journal. Earlier this year the work was featured in a daylong series of events at Opera America’s New Works Forum in New York City. Recent performances of Mr. Sonenberg’s music include a world premiere by the Da Capo Chamber Players, the premiere of Grab That! for oboe, violin, cello and piano at Bates College, performances of his Seven Jarring Dances for Clarinet(s) and Steel-String Guitar in Maine, New York City, and at the National Music Festival in Maryland, and new works for percussion and piano, amplified quartet of bass clarinet, cello, contrabass, and percussion, and a song cycle for soprano and piano, commissioned by the New York-based Two Sides Sounding. Mr. Sonenberg is a co-founding member of the composers collective South Oxford Six, who have presented concerts and given master classes in New York, Serbia, and Maine and will celebrate their tenth anniversary with a concert in New York City in Fall 2014. For the 2013-14 academic year, Mr. Sonenberg was the first professor in USM’s history to be appointed both Provost’s Research Fellow and Trustee Professor.


Questions or Comments about this event?

Feel free to reach out to Judy Spross.

4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Thinking Matters

Thinking Matters

Event Date and Time: 
Friday, April 25, 2014, 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM

Spring 2014 Thinking Matters.

Learn more:\

  • Poster session will be held in the Sullivan Gymnasium from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
  • Oral sessions will be held in Payson Smith from 12:15 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
8:30 AM to 4:30 PM
Open Badges: Re-imagining Credentials for the Digital Age

Open Badges: Re-imagining Credentials for the Digital Age

Event Date and Time: 
Wednesday, April 30, 2014, 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM
215 Abromson Center, USM Portland Campus

CTEL Speaker Series Guest Speaker:

Erin Knight, Executive Director, Badge Alliance

Open Badges are a new way to think about recognizing and connecting learning and skill development. Digital, information-based, and stackable badges are becoming a new currency for skills, identity, and jobs. In this presentation, Erin Knight, Executive Director of Badge Alliance, will explore the state of the work so far, with examples of where badging is being successfully used across the ecosystem, as well as opportunities for higher education institutions to leverage badging within their own systems for their own benefit.

Open Badges: Re-imagining Credentials for the Digital Age

Wednesday, April 30th

1:00pm to 2:30pm

215 Abromson Center


Event Resources



Erin Knight

Erin currently runs the Badge Alliance, a network of organizations collaborating on building and growing an open badging ecosystem. One of the progenitors of the Open Badges movement, a new system for credentialing and accreditation and for supporting broader learning across the Web and lifetimes, she spearheaded the badges work at Mozilla for three years before transitioning to the Alliance. Previously, Erin served as the Research Director at the Center for Next Generation Teaching and Learning, a non-profit at UC Berkeley committed to researching and promoting technology and practices for student-centered learning. Before that, she worked for Blackboard, the leading learning management system provider. Her career to date has been balanced between the education technology industry, giving her an inside view into the inner workings of education technology development, adoption and limitations, and academia where she studied information systems, lectured and ran research studies on participatory learning environments. She now brings these experiences, perspectives and passion to the open education and ed tech world. Erin lives in Portland, ME with her husband, son and two chocolate labs.


Keep the Conversation Going

Reach out to Erin Knight.

1:00 PM to 2:30 PM
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