USM Faculty Commons

Faculty Development

Faculty Development Workshops & Events are aimed at assisting faculty to learn, develop or advance their knowledge in skills in teaching, scholarship, service, leadership, use of technology in teaching, and other areas of faculty responsibility. Examples of programs include Lunch and Learns, workshops and training, topically focused panel presentations, orientation, or the sharing of faculty expertise.

Upcoming Faculty Development Events:

Judith SprossWelcome Event

Friday, 9/19, 11am to 1:30pm, 7th floor of Glickman Library

This event is intended to welcome faculty to USM, provide a brief and basic introduction to resources related to faculty’s teaching, scholarly and service responsibilities; provide new faculty with a chance to network with each other and with colleagues within and across departments and campuses.



Beaudry-ShedletskiVisual Literacy, Concept Mapping, and Visual Representation to teach Critical Thinking

Wednesday, October 15, 2014, 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM

To commemorate the publishing of their edited book, Cases on Teaching Critical Thinking through Visual Representation Strategies, IGI-Global,2014, Professors Beaudry and Shedletsky will offer an online workshop/seminar on visual literacy for faculty throughout the University of Maine System.  Attendees will also have the opportunity to hear from several of the authors from the Cases on Teaching book, as they will be participating in the workshops/seminar from a distance. The workshops/seminar will introduce faculty to visual literacy and concept mapping and work collaboratively all winter as faculty develop classroom applications, and then reconvene online April 6th to share insights.  All are welcome to register for the webinar but the first 20 to sign up will receive a free license to mapping software and will be active participants
in the seminar.



Title IIITitle III and StrengthsFinder Information Session

Bring your lunch, enjoy some refreshments, and learn about Title III, Strengths Finder, and the StrenthsQuest Program

October 7th, 12:15-1:45pm

3 locations via POLYCOM.  Session is available in Gorham, LAC, & Portland 

Have you heard about the Title III Grant at USM, but don’t know much about it?  Here is your chance to learn a basic overview of the Title III Grant and what it offers us here at USM.  One of the key features that is being implemented as through the grant is the adoption of the StrenthsFinder 2.0 assessment to all incoming students.  Focusing on student strengths, as opposed to their weaknesses is a key variable to growing student engagement and retention, and a number of faculty and staff have already begun working with this model. 

Join Prof. Judy Spross, Dr. Dan Jenkins, and Dr. Heidi Parker as they discuss how using the StrengthsFinder assessment, techniques, and accompanying methods in their classrooms has changed their practices.  Find out how you can take advantage of this opportunity yourself, and learn another way to make your work more meaningful and impactful on the lives of your students. 

Individuals who attend will be offered a code to take the StrengthsFinder inventory and access to the website and accompanying StrenthQuest materials.  This will be the first in a three-part StrengthsFinder training series.



Past Faculty Development Events:

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.

Spring 2014 Service-Learning Series Includes:

A review of MOOC ResearchA Review of MOOC Research - CTEL Speaker Series Event

Monday, May 19th, 1PM to 2:30 PM, 109/110 Abromson Center, USM Portland Campus

In this May CTEL Speaker Series discussion, faculty members Maureen Ebben and Julien Murphy will talk about their recent publication that surveys the first decade of scholarly research about Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs).  While popular accounts, editorials, and commentary about MOOCS abound, the purpose of this discussion is to cut through the noise to analyze empirical research published in scholarly journals about MOOCs

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jill frankfort

CTEL Speaker Series: Support in Hand - Mobility, Nudges, and Greater Academic Success

Wednesday, May 7th, 1pm to 2:30pm, 423/424 Glickman, USM Portland Campus

Join guest speaker, Jill Frankfort in a discussion about a strategy for increasing student retention includes time sensitive, interactive, academic support grounded in behavioral science and automated is delivered to students via their mobile devices. She will share lessons learned from work with students in introductory courses at the University of Washington-Tacoma, a campus of 4,300 students, that has wrestled with issues of retention since it opened in 1990.


 Christy HammerCooperative Learning in a Metropolitan University:Why & How

Wednesday,  May 7th, 11:00am to 1pm, Faculty Commons Space, Glickman Library

Dewey teaches us that all learning (or the best learning) is social.  How do we structure learning experiences that build on that axiom?  Join faculty member Christy Hammer as she leads this hands-on workshop merging theory with practice and covering the research that supports Cooperative Learning as an easy-to-implement and effective set of instructional strategies with actual modeling of some of the “best of” cooperative learning techniques. Come prepared to “think hard; play hard” and open to “flexible groups” with your workshop peers, from Think-Pair-Shares to Jigsaw small groups! 


erin knightCTEL Speaker Series

Open Badges: Re-imagining Credentials for the Digital Age

Wednesday, April 30th, 1pm to 2:30pm, 215 Abromson Center, USM Portland Campus

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.

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Video WorkshopCTEL Video Workshop Series: Creating Video Content for Blended and Online Course

Four Fridays, noon to 1:00pm, 3/7, 3/14,3/21, & 4/11

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



CTEL Workshop - Online Testing: Informational workshop on online assessment options led by CTEL and The Office of Academic Assessment 

The Office of Academic Assessment and the CTEL are offering informational workshops regarding Online Assessment options on the Portland and Gorham campuses in February and March 2014.



ann loveLearning Communities & Retention - The Vital Role USM Faculty Can Play

Friday, March 21, 9am to 1pm, 214/215 Abromson Center, USM Portland Campus

Join faculty and students from USM Learning Communities for lively discussions.



 Ann DeanChanges in the First-Year Writing Courses

Wednesday, March 12, 11:00am to 12:30, Faculty Commons Space, Glickman Library

Updates from the English Department -  presentation and discussion led by faculty member Ann Dean - This session will present the new college writing course in the context of research on college students’ reading and writing across the country. 



We're Flipping Crazy: The Chemistry Flipped Classroom Experience CTEL Speaker Series faculty presentation with Lucille Benedict and Jim Ford

Tuesday, February 25th,1pm to 2:30pm, 110 Abromson Center, Portland Campus

Lucille Benedict and Jim Ford, Associate Professors in Chemistry, will present the new classroom model that is being used in the Principles of Chemistry I (CHY 113) course here at USM. In this talk they will focus on the successes, challenges, and the future of the course, as well as explain how this model could be implemented in other courses at USM.



Keeling & Associates

Monday, February 24th ,3 to 4pm, 214/215 Abromson Center, Portland Campus

Dr. Keeling, a principal of Keeling & Associates, will talk about student affairs and academic affairs collaboration in support of student success. 



bill grubbResearch Skills Toolbox with Bill Grubb

Tuesday, February 11th ,11:00am to 1:00pm, Faculty Commons Space, Glickman Family Library

The Research Skills Toolbox was conceived as a way to provide library instruction when there is a perceived need but devoting class time to it is just not practical; it is designed to be flexible in meeting the needs of faculty and students. At this session, we’ll introduce you to our Research Skills Toolbox, explain how we envision it being used, and listen to your input on how we can improve it. 



Panel Discussion - Retirement: A New Beginning

Monday, February 10th ,9am to 10:30am, Wischamper 211, Portland Campus



CTEL Accessibility Series

The Spring 2014 CTEL Accessibility Series is designed to guide faculty in adopting foundational practices that result in accessible digital learning experiences for USM students, including learners with disabilities. Topics include basic characteristics of disabilities; resources and assistance provided for both students and faculty by USM’s Disability Services Center; practical considerations when developing courses; steps for ensuring accessibility of course readings and educational materials; and features of Blackboard that maximize use and engagement by all students.

This series is led by USM Faculty members Cynthia Curry and Julie Alexandrin and USM’s Director of Disability Services Center Joanne Benica.

Spring 2014 Accessibility Series events include:


Peril & Promise in a New Age

Friday, January 31st, 8:30am to 10:45am, 7th Floor, Glickman Family Library

Presentation & discussion on the challenges in higher education with Professors George Mehaffy and Rich Dunfee. How are other universities, especially public regional comprehensive universities approaching these challenges? What are the characteristics of universities who are thriving? Read Professor Mehaffy’s article, review USM’s Directions Package website for updates, and come for a robust conversation about challenges and possibilities as we consider and imagine what USM will look like a decade from now. This event is open to all USM faculty, staff and administrators.


Grant Writing - How to Succeed in Grant Writing

USM’s Office of Research Administration and Development & Faculty Commons 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, held 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. Session dates: 1/24, 2/28, 3/28 & 5/2


 Using Electronic Notes for Academic Advising

Thursday, December 12th, 11:00am to 12:30, 109/110 Abromson Center, Portland Campus

The University of Maine system recently unveiled “Advising Notes,” a new tool on Mainestreet to assist in academic advising.  In this workshop, open to faculty and staff, you will be guided through the process of utilizing this tool to make your life easier! 


The Future of Honors at USM -- What's your vision?  

Friday, November 22nd ,12:00 – 3:00pm, Honors Center, 253 Luther Bonney, USM Portland Campus

As part of its self-study process, the Honors Program wants to hear your ideas on how it should evolve.  We'll start with a light lunch, during which the current program will be described.  Afterward, you'll engage in an interactive planning exercise in which you 'vote' for features you want to see added or (de)emphasized in future.  We'll end with an open discussion.



Trans Inclusive and Trans Literate: A Faculty Conversation

Wednesday, November 20th, Event begins at 4:15, Abromson Center, USM Portland Campus

USM students tell us that we need to be more trans literate and trans inclusive in our classrooms and our curriculum. This will be a panel conversation on cisgender, transgender, and gender queer. If any of those terms are unclear to you, this conversation is for you. If all of those terms are very familiar to you, this conversation is for you.  Come share your experiences with - and questions about - how to make the USM classroom more trans literate and trans inclusive.


Russell Scholars Informational Luncheon for Prospective Faculty

Wednesday, November 13th, 12:00 Noon - 2pm, Faculty Dining Room, Brooks Student Center, Gorham Campus

USM faculty (current and retired) and professional staff are cordially invited to attend an informal luncheon to learn about teaching opportunities in the Russell Scholars Program (RSP).

Join us for a light buffet; meet some RSP faculty and students; and learn how, since 1996, USM's internationally recognized residential learning community has attracted 25% of its students from out-of-state and maintained a retention rate of  85%.

The Meinersmann-Randall Transformed Model of Nursing Education

Wednesday, November 6th, 1pm to 2:30pm, Room 213 Abromson Center

Krista MeinersmannCarla Randall

Join Dr. Krista Meinersmann and Dr. Carla Randall as they share their transformed model of nursing education addressing critical issues and concerns facing nursing education today. The M-R TMNE relies on the use of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), prior learning assessment, comprehensive testing, the flipped classroom methodology, and extensive simulation and clinical-based hands-on learning.

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USM Research Administration & Development Faculty Seminar: How Develop & Nurture a Research Cluster

Friday, 11/1

The seminar is part of the University’s Office of Research Administration and Development’s Research Cluster Development Initiative to bolster and expand scholarship and innovative high-impact multi-disciplinary research across college lines to bring knowledge to bear on issues of intellectual, scientific, social, economic, environmental and cultural importance and to work more effectively with the private sector, other institutions and the community.

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Using Research About Online Learning to Inform Online Teaching Practice

Wednesday, October 23rd, 1pm to 2:30pm, 301 Bailey Hall, Gorham Campus

Walter Kimball

Faculty members Rachel Brown and Walter Kimball share online learning research findings and the resulting teaching practices that have had staying power in their online courses.  Special emphasis will be placed on synchronizing varied elements of the online learning environment, the organization of course content, and teacher presence.

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Teaching Naked



Teaching Naked Workshop with Jose Bowen

Wednesday, 10/16, 8:00am to 1:00pm, 7th floor of Glickman Library

Explore how moving technology out of your classroom can improve student learning. Presentation followed by hands-on workshop.

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USM’s Scoop on MOOCs

Wednesday, 10/9, 12:00-1:30pm

Join us for a faculty panel discussion on massively open online courses (MOOCs) facilitated by Joyce Lapping. Panelists include Dr. Jim Suleiman, Dr Krista Meinersmann and Dr. Betty Robinson. The panel represents a variety of perspectives and experiences with MOOCs.

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Robert SanfordThings We Wish That We Knew When We Went On-line For the First Time

Wednesday, September 18th, 1:00pm to 2:30pm, Abromson Center

Thinking about developing an on-line course? Wondering what you should know as you consider embarking down this path? A panel of four people, two who have created multiple on-line courses, two who have just finished creating their first, will discuss what they wished they knew from the get-go. This faculty panel discussion will be facilitated by Rob Sanford. Panel discussion participants also include: John Broida, Betty Robinson, & Libby Biischof.

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Welcome Event 

Friday, 9/20, 9am to 11am, 7th floor of Glickman Library

This event is intended to welcome faculty to USM, provide a brief and basic introduction to resources related to faculty’s teaching, scholarly and service responsibilities; provide new faculty with a chance to network with each other and with colleagues within and across departments and campuses.

Learn More 

Integrating Special Collections Into Your Course

Thursday, 9/26, 4:30 to 6:00pm, 7th floor of Glickman Library

Through discussion with faculty who have used Special Collection resources in their classes and a presentation on accessing Special Collections resources by the head of the department, Susie R. Bock, faculty will acquire the tools to build their own active learning exercises for their classes.

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Presentation and Open Symposia

Cathy Trower, PhD

USM Women ADVANCE Initiative Grant Speaker Presentation 

Thursday 9/26, 2:00-3:00pm

Cathy Trower, Ph.D., is the Senior Research Associate and Research Director for Collaborative On Academic Careers in Higher Education (COACHE)at Harvard University, Graduate School of Education. Cathy Trower joins us through the Southern Maine ADVANCE IT Catalyst project.

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USM Research Administration & Development Faculty Seminar: How to Commercialize an Invention & Discovery

Friday, 10/4

In this introductory seminar on commercialization, Kris Burton will walk through the process of moving technology out of the University and into the world and share some of her experiences of helping faculty, staff and students commercializing their work. As part of the university’s Office of Research Administration and Development Commercialization Gap Funding Initiative, which seeks to accelerate the commercialization of viable concepts, inventions and products while promoting a university-wide spirit and understanding of entrepreneurship, this seminar is open to all USM faculty, students, and staff from all colleges who are interested in knowing how to commercialize their discoveries and inventions and the available resources to accomplish this effort.


Share your ideas for topics, workshops, & activities.

Faculty Commons is a collaborative initiative. We welcome USM community suggestions on topics, presenters, and projects.

Request a co-sponsorship or submit an idea for an event.