Office of Public Affairs

Sixteen USM Faculty and Staff Awarded Emeriti Status

University of Southern Maine President Theo Kalikow recognized sixteen retiring members of the faculty and staff who have been awarded emeritus or emerita status at USM’s 134th Commencement last month.

Each year, USM honors retirees of distinction by conferring them emeritus status, in recognition of significant contributions to the university and community and encourages continued service from these valued colleagues. The following retirees, recognized for their exemplary teaching, scholarship and public service, have devoted a combined total of 460 years to the university and our students. They are listed below alphabetically by town.

Nancy Richeson of Alfred, professor emerita of recreation and leisure studies, has served the University for 21 years. She was responsible for the development and coordination of USM’s online certificate in gerontology. She served 15 years on the Faculty Senate, three of which as a member of the executive committee.

In 2013, she was inducted as a Fellow in the National Academy of Recreational Therapists. She has been on the Board of Directors for the American Therapeutic Recreation Association and in 2003 was named Member of the Year, and in 2011 was awarded the Scholarly Achievement Award.  She is also on the board of the National Council of Therapeutic Recreation Certification and is the Editor-in-Chief of the American Therapeutic Recreation Journal. 

In 2012, . Richeson received a Faculty Senate Teaching Award and in 2009 she received a Faculty Senate Service Award.

She has published 30 peer-reviewed publications, two national reports, five book chapters, and numerous editorials and book reviews. She was an invited presenter in Stavanger, Norway, and at Tunghai and Chia Nan Universities in Taiwan.

For over 13 years, . Richeson has been a therapy dog tester/observer and handler, registering hundreds of therapy dogs and their handlers to provide animal-assisted therapy to southern Maine.

Richeson holds a B.S. in recreation, parks and community education from Mankato State University; an M.A. in health, physical education and recreation from the University of Nebraska at Omaha; a C.A.S. in human resource development from the University of Southern Maine; and a Ph.D. in community and human resources from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln.

Betty Robinson of Auburn, associate professor emerita of leadership and organization studies, was a founding faculty member of the Lewiston-Auburn College in 1988. In her 26 years of service to the University, she has been a leader to the USM community at large and has positively impacted the Androscoggin region.

Robinson, who served as dean of the Lewiston-Auburn College from 1996-2003, longer than any other LAC dean, had a vision for LAC that included recruiting faculty who were committed to interdisciplinary learning, community connection and career preparation.

Among her publications are “E-leadership and E-learning,” published in the “Selected Proceedings of the 12th Annual International Leadership Association Conference,” held in 2010 in Boston, and “Bringing ‘Worldmindedness’ to Leadership Education” in the summer 2005 edition of International Journal of Leadership Education.

She received a Faculty Senate University Service Award in 2012. In 2005, she was presented the Maine Campus Compact Donald Harward Service Learning Award for leadership in the promotion and application of service learning in teaching. In 2003, Governor John Baldacci, Congressman Michael Michaud and the Maine Legislature presented her with citations for contributions to higher education in Maine, and the City of Lewiston awarded her a citation for service as dean at LAC.

Robinson holds a B.A. in sociology from Colby College; an M.A. in sociology from the University of Maryland; and a Ph.D. in sociology from Boston University.

James Westfall of Cape Elizabeth, associate professor emeritus in the School of Business, has served at the University of Southern Maine School of Business for 31 years.

Westfall has taken on leadership roles within the school, serving as associate dean and department chair. He was responsible for developing the first academic computing program and helped establish the Russell Scholars Learning Community. He also co-authored the proposal to establish the USM Center for Entrepreneurship and served as its first co-director.

Outside of the University, he served on the Board of Directors of Energy by Waste, Inc./Maine Micro-Furnaces, Inc.; is on the Maine Medical Center Business Advisory Committee; and is a member of the Board of Trustees of The Visual Education Center.

He has presented at a variety of conferences and workshops, most recently “Maine Medical Center Department of Vocational Services: An Embryo Case.” Co-authored by USM Professor John Voyer, Westfall presented this paper at the 2013 Meeting of the Eastern Academy of Management and to the Maine Medical Center Department of Vocational Services Business Advisory Committee on February 13, 2013.

He holds a B.A. in economics from Dartmouth College and an M.B.A. from the Amos Tuck School of Business Administration at Dartmouth College.

Robert S. Caswell of Gorham, executive director emeritus of Public Affairs, has served the University for 34 years, beginning in sports information and media relations. Currently, he is executive director of Public Affairs where he works in liaison with the media, community, state legislature and congressional delegation.

Among his service to the University, he co-chaired United Way Campaigns, the Gorham Task Force, served on WMPG’s Board of Directors, and chaired the Parking Committee.

Off campus, he served as the director of the Hugh O’Brian Youth Foundation, was a long-time volunteer producer for Maine Public Radio and was instrumental in making USM home to the Gorham Business and Civic Exchange annual “Gorham Marketplace” event.

He served two terms as president of the Maine Public Relations Council, chaired the Maine Press Association Hall of Fame Committee, and was chair of the National Public Relations Advisory Council to the American Association of State Colleges and Universities.

He is the 2014 recipient of a USM Athletics Husky Hero Award, and was the 1990 recipient of the Maine Public Relations Council’s Edward L. Bernays Award for outstanding achievements in public relations, the highest honor presented by MPRC. In 2000, he was named the winner of USM’s Distinguished Professional Staff Award, and in 2004, The Gorham Business and Civic Exchange named him Gorham’s Business Person of the Year.

He holds a B.A. in history from the University of Southern Maine.

Charles Kading of Gorham, professor emeritus of theatre, served as chair of the Department of Theatre for more than 18 of his 36 years of service to USM. He has served as the production manger for the five to six yearly productions of USM’s Department of Theatre for his entire tenure at USM.

He served as production manager for the Maine State Music Theatre for 22 years where he provided internships and apprenticeships for USM students, bridging his educational work with his professional work in scenic design. Kading has worked professionally in Maine, Texas, Alabama, Pennsylvania, and California.

Kading served on numerous college committees. He developed internships for USM students at The Public Theatre, Portland Stage Company, and Maine State Music Theatre. His service to the community includes work for Maine State Music Theatre, Schoolhouse Arts, Oak Street Theatre, New England Theatre Conference, American College Theatre Festival, among other theatre festivals.

He holds a B.A. in theatre from California State University, Fullerton; an M.A. in lighting design from the University of Washington; and an M.F.A. in scenic/lighting design from California State University, Fullerton.

Zark Van Zandt of New Gloucester, professor emeritus in the School of Education and Human Development, has served on all three campuses of the University during his 27 years of service.

He currently teaches in the Counselor Education program. He has served as associate dean in the College of Management and Human Service, as dean of the Lewiston-Auburn College, as interim director of USM Libraries, and as associate dean of the College of Education and Human Development.

Among his awards and honors, he was an honorary inductee into the Golden Key Honour Society in 2007. He received the Beyond the Call of Duty Award from the Maine School Counselor Association in 2002, and the USM Faculty Senate Award for University Service in 1997.

Among his publications, he co-authored “Forging connections: An investigation of new students’ perspectives of their transition to the university” that appeared in the NACADA Journal, Vol. 29. He also is the coauthor of the book, “Exploring Future Options: A Career Development Curriculum for Middle School Students,” published by Idebate Press Books.

He has been a member of the American Counseling Association since 1970.

Van Zant holds a B.A. in geography and education and an M.A. in counseling and guidance from Michigan State University, East Lansing, and an Ed.D. in counselor education from the University of Maine.

David Vanderlinden of New Gloucester, associate professor emeritus in the School of Business, has taught at both the graduate and undergraduate level during his 15 years of service to the Accounting and Finance Department.

He has served on the Faculty Senate, was the School of Business representative to the Civic Engagement Coordinating Committee, and was a member on the Financial Resources Committee of New England Association of Schools and Colleges reaccreditation. He was the faculty representative to Rissho University, Japan in June 2001. He also served on the ad-hoc School of Business International Curriculum group, on USM’s International Curriculum Advisory Board, and on the Partnership Maine-France-Quebec coordinating committee.

He is the author of “Is Hedging Foreign Currency Bids with Options Desirable? An Applied Analysis for Small Firms” in the Journal of Applied Financial Research (Volume 1, 2014). He presented “Hedging Foreign Currency Bids with Options: An Applied Expected Value Approach” at the Academy of Business Research meeting in New Orleans, and the presentation’s abstract appeared in the Academy of Business Research Journal in 2013.

Vanderlinden holds a B.A. in economics and history from the University of North Carolina; an M.B.A. from Colorado State University; and a Ph.D. in finance from Kent State University.

Robert W. Coakley of Portland, associate professor emeritus of physics, joined the Department of Physics in 1984. During 30 years of service to USM, he helped guide the formation of the Department of Physics and the establishment of the physics major. He served a total of 12 years as chair of the department.

In addition,  Coakley led three self-studies and program evaluations of the Physics Department, served as chair of the department’s personnel committee and served on numerous college and university committees. In the community, he has done outreach work and consulting in electronics and physics for local firms and individuals. He is a member of the American Physical Society and the New England Section of the American Physical Society.

Coakley has published a variety of articles in scholarly journals and is co-author of the 2014 editions of “Introductory Physics I Lab Manual and Introduction to Physics II Laboratory Manual.”

Coakley holds a B.S. in physics from Ohio State University; an A.M. in physics from Dartmouth College; and a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Vermont.

Margaret A. Fournier of Portland, associate professor emerita of nursing, has been a member of USM’s faculty since her appointment as an instructor in 1976, and was awarded the rank of associate professor in 1982. During her 38 years of service, her expertise in the area of community health has been evident throughout her teaching, service and scholarly record.

She and Associate Professor Emerita Jan Burson developed a community partnership with the Casco Bay Islands fishermen and their families that continues to this day. This partnership brings USM nursing students to island fishing communities where they identify health care needs.  

Associate Professor Fournier’s support of diversity was demonstrated by her tireless work to gain equitable health care benefits for domestic partners in the University of Maine System while serving as an AFUM representative.

Her new passion for community service is as a dog therapy volunteer. She and her Great Dane, Deagan, work with patients at Maine Medical Center and at the River Ridge Brain Injury Center.

She received a University of Southern Maine Faculty Senate Community Service Award and was presented the Award of Volunteer Service from the  Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (Boston, Mass.).

Fournier holds a B.S. in nursing from Fitchburg State College and an M.S. in community health nursing from Boston University.

David Hartley of Portland has been named professor emeritus in the Muskie School in recognition of his status as a nationally recognized scholar and teacher since coming to USM in 1994. He was instrumental in the development of the program in Health Policy and Management, serving as the first chair of the program.

Hartley was the director of the Muskie School’s Maine Rural Health Research Center. In 2005, he was named an honorary professor at the Centre for Rural Health Research and Policy in the University of Aberdeen, Scotland.

He has published extensively on rural health and other health topics in scholarly journals and has co-authored the chapter “Promoting Healthy Partnerships with Rural Communities” in the forthcoming book, “Community as Partner: Theory and Practice in Nursing, 7th ed.”

Hartley holds a B. S. in secondary education, a Master’s in health care administration, and a Ph.D. in health services research, policy and administration with supporting program in biomedical ethics and political science, all from the University of Minnesota.

Barbara L. Rich of Portland, associate professor emerita in the School of Social Work, has served at USM for 40 years in a variety of roles including as the B.S.W. coordinator.

Rich was an active member of the School of Social Work and University committees, including the Core Committee, the Civic Engagement Coordinating Committee, and the Student Success Committee for “Thinking Matters.”

She currently is the Northern New England Campus Compact Faculty Campus Consultant in Service-Learning. 

She received a 2004 Faculty Senate Award for Service, having developed a number of service learning courses, one of which, the “Belize Project,” provided students with opportunities to experience cultures outside of the U.S. In 2003, she was the recipient of the Maine Campus Compact Donald Harward Faculty Award for Service-Learning Excellence. She is the recipient of an Osher Sustainability Grant that funded students who provided training at the City of Portland’s Refugee Services.

Among her publications are “Hands of Time: Oral history with elders” and “Photovoice Project: Increasing cultural competence through refugee-focused service learning” in “Quick Hits for Service-Learning: Successful Strategies by Award Winning Teachers” (Indiana University Press, 2010). 

Associate Professor Rich holds a B.A. in sociology/social welfare from the University of Southern Maine and an M.S.W. from the Columbia University School of Social Work.

Charles Welty of Portland, professor emeritus of computer science, is a founding faculty member of USM’s M.S. program in Computer Science.  His unwavering dedication to this program has enabled many of its graduates to achieve high-level positions in local and national industry and academia. Throughout his tenure, Welty has been committed to the acquisition of contemporary hardware and applications and he has always strived for consistent improvement within the department. 

Welty has been a pioneer in establishing new curriculum that parallels the progressive nature of computer sciences. To support these efforts he founded the Computer Science Advisory Board. Currently the Board has representatives from companies including UNUM, L.L.Bean, and IDEXX Laboratories, who work to keep the department on the cutting-edge. 

In 1990, Welty led the Computer Sciences Department in a successful bid for ABET accreditation. He is currently leading the 2014-15 reaccreditation project, which he will continue to support, even after his retirement. 

His accomplishments also include a research grant from IBM and an instrumentation grant from Digital Equipment Corporation.  He also holds an impressive publication record, which includes leading scholarly journals and conferences. 

Welty received his B.S. in electrical engineering and computer science from the University of California, Berkeley, and his M.S. and Ph.D. in computer and information science from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. 

Robert Atkinson of Scarborough, professor emeritus in the School of Education and Human Development, has distinguished himself on campus, in the community, nationally, and internationally during his 27 years at the University.  He also serves as a senior research fellow in USM’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute National Resource Center.

His first year at USM, he founded the Center for the Study of Lives, now Life Story Commons, which has produced documentaries, sponsored community events, and built a noted resource in the form of an online life story archive.

He is the author of nine books, including “Mystic Journey: Getting to the Heart of Your Soul’s Story” published byCosimo Booksand “Remembering 1969: Searching for the Eternal in Changing Times” by Baha’i Publishing.

Atkinson represented USM as a faculty member on the Fall 2002 Semester at Sea voyage around the world, and two shorter Enrichment Voyages to Central and South America. At USM, he was a founding faculty member of the Russell Scholars Program, in which he taught for six years. He also was a cofounder of the undergraduate minor in Religious Studies.

He serves on a broad range of University and community committees, including the USM Interfaith Chaplain’s Advisory Board, the Center for African Heritage Board, and the Maine Refugee Advisory Council.

Atkinson holds a B.A. in philosophy/American studies from Long Island University-Southampton; an M.A. in American folk culture from the State University of New York-Cooperstown; an M.A. in counseling from the University of New Hampshire; and a Ph.D. in cross-cultural human development from the University of Pennsylvania.

Charlotte Pryor of Scarborough, associate professor emerita in the School of Business, is recognized for her 15 years of service and contributions to teaching and service.

She created and directed the Accounting Certificate program and developed and taught governmental & not-for-profit accounting.

Pryor was co-recipient of the Outstanding Teacher Award by Dean’s List students from the School of Business in 2005. Also in 2005, she was presented the School of Business Faculty Senate Award for Excellence in Teaching.

She is a member of the Maine Association of Nonprofits. Her contacts with nonprofits and government agencies have contributed to both her teaching and research.

Pryor has published articles in financial journals, including “Local Governments and the Modified Approach to Reporting the Cost of Infrastructure” in the spring 2013 issue of the Journal of Government Financial Management.She presented at many professional meetings, including the co-authored “The Impact of Accounting Discretion and Strategic Decision on Reported Administrative Spending: Evidence from a Survey of Nonprofit Executive Directors,” presented at the American Accounting Association annual meeting in August, 2010. This paper received the Outstanding Government and Nonprofit Paper Award.

Pryor holds a B.A. in education from the University of Maryland; an M.S. in recreation from West Virginia University; and a Ph.D. in accounting from The Pennsylvania State University.

Rosemary Johnson of South Portland, associate professor emerita of nursing, has been a faculty member at USM since her initial appointment at the rank of assistant professor in 1987. Among her accomplishments during her 26 years of service, she published in numerous journals and presented at both national and international conferences. She was among the faculty who were instrumental in developing USM’s Doctor of Nursing Practice program in 2010.

Johnson was a recipient of a research award for the project titled “Nurse Practitioner-Patient Interaction” that resulted in her receiving the 1992 Scientific Research Award from the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. She also received the Outstanding Service Award from the Visiting Nurse Service in Saco, Maine. 

Johnson is a long-time member of the Maine American Nurses Association, serving on the organization’s board and as a member of several committees. She also served on the Board of the Visiting Nurse Service in Saco, Maine.

Johnson holds a B.N. in public health from McGill University; an M.S. in adult primary care from the University of Rochester; and a Ph.D. from the University of Colorado.

Helen Peake-Godin of South Portland, associate professor emerita of nursing, came to USM in 1980, attaining her current rank of associate professor in 1987. She served as acting assistant dean of the School of Nursing graduate program from 1984 to 1985.

Her major areas of expertise are community and public health. She founded the Sagamore Health Center partnership, and serves as the Center’s director. She was instrumental in developing the “Partnership Curriculum” for the School of Nursing in the 1990s, the foundation of which still serves as the basis of the undergraduate nursing curriculum.

Associate Professor Peake-Godin has presented extensively, most notably at the 2012 Scalable Innovations for Health Care and Public Housing Conference, Community Health Partners for Sustainability, in Philadelphia, Penn. and “A Model to Support and Independent Nurse Managed Practice Model in Collaboration with Other Primary Care Providers,” at the AACN Faculty Practice Pre-Conference Meeting, AACN, Naples, Florida in 2012.

She is the recipient of the 1999 USM Faculty Senate Award for Recognition of Community Service and the 2002 Patricia Geary Award, named for a former dean of the USM School of Nursing, and presented for extraordinary service to community health.

Associate Professor Peake-Godin holds a B.S. in nursing from Spalding College, Louisville, Kentucky, and a M.N. in family/community health nursing from Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia.