Adult and Higher Education

2020 Adult and Higher Education graduates serving students and the community

A graphic with the words 'Class of 2020' and a graduation cap.

The Department of Adult and Higher Education congratulates our 2020 graduates, who are celebrating obtaining their Master's in Adult and Higher Education. Our new alumni are putting their graduate learning into practice through academic advising, registration services, and community education.

This year the University of Southern Maine (USM) celebrated through an Online Commencement featuring remarks from student speaker Leyla M. Hashi ’20, President Glenn Cummings, Provost Jeannine Uzzi, and USM's 2020 honorary degree recipients.

If you missed the online celebration, you can still watch the video. 

University of Southern Maine Adult and Higher Education graduate Miranda Cox '20

Miranda Cox '20

Miranda Cox graduates from the University of Southern Maine with a Master’s of Science degree in Adult and Higher Education Administration. She is a Charleston, WV native, and current Neurology Clerkship Coordinator with Virginia Commonwealth University. She has over 15 years of experience working in higher education and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Print Journalism from Marshall University, as well as a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Charleston. She is a member of the International Honors Society for Social Sciences, Pi Gamma Mu, and was recently invited to join the Society for Collegiate Leadership & Achievement as a result of her graduate work with the University of Southern Maine. Following her graduation, she plans to work as an academic advisor working with first generational students and always strives to frame her professional life around one of her favorite quotes from Nelson Mandela - “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”  

University of Southern Maine Adult and Higher Education alumna Erika Crawley '20

Erika Crawley '20

"My journey in higher education began as an undergraduate during my time as a Student Ambassador. I knew then that I wanted to continue to work with college students by encouraging them to enter and matriculate through college. I decided that a master's degree in Adult & Higher Education would provide the educational background that I needed to solidify and catapult my career in the right direction.

Learning from professors like Kevin Doran, Emily McRobbie, E Michael Brady and Kimberly Warren were the highlights of my academic career. Being able to learn, debate, and embrace new ideas and concepts helped to develop me in ways I could have never foreseen.

Although I selected to complete my degree program online, as opposed to in-class, I do not feel like I missed out on the connection that in-class instruction has to offer. Having different mediums such as Blackboard and zoom meetings allowed for engagement that was flexible with my work schedule but also a full scope of what each individual in class with me had to offer. This was an amazing experience that I am grateful to have had at the University of Southern Maine. Go Huskies!"

University of Southern Maine Adult and Higher Education alumnus Dan Knox '20

Dan Knox '20

Dan Knox is a recent graduate and lifelong learner from Putnam, Connecticut. During his time in the AHE program at USM, he worked as a Graduate Area Coordinator at the University of Maine at Farmington. He now works as the Assistant Director of Housing & Residence Life at Saint Martin’s University in Lacey, WA. In his spare time, Dan likes to play video games, take walks around his new surroundings in the Pacific Northwest, and binge watch movies/TV shows. He looks forward to continuing to work in higher education and help those around him along the way.


University of Southern Maine Adult and Higher Education graduate Kate McCarty '20

Kate McCarty '20

Kate McCarty is a writer and community educator from Monkton, Maryland. She teaches food preservation and manages volunteers for the University of Maine Cooperative Extension in Falmouth. Kate blogs about Maine food at The Blueberry Files, and has written food and drink features for several alt-weeklies and magazines. She is the co-founder of the Portland Spirits Society, a women’s whiskey appreciation club, and is also the author two books about Maine food and drink. Kate lives in South Portland, Maine, with her husband and their two cats.


University of Southern Maine Adult and Higher Education graduate Caley Presby 2020

Caley Presby '20

Caley earned her Bachelor of Science from the University of Southern Maine (USM) in 2016 and has worked in the USM Office of Registration & Scheduling Services since 2017. As a born and bred Mainer, Caley is passionate about all that USM and Maine has to offer students across all generations. An avid traveler, Caley has spent years dreaming of all the places she wishes to see. She has crossed off Scotland, Ireland, England, Rome, Amsterdam, Quebec, Montreal, Toronto, Niagara Falls, California, Texas, Louisiana, and various New England states off her list. She is also a dedicated aunt to three dogs, two nieces, and one nephew. She looks forward to the many opportunities that being an alumna of the Adult and Higher Education program will bring.

University of Southern Maine Adult and Higher Education alumnus Jose Rodriguez Jr '20

Jose Rodriguez Jr.  '20

Graduate student at Montclair State University (NJ), MAT in Art Program (K-12)

"After I earned my MFA in Studio Art from Maine College of Art in 2017, I started teaching computer art & design at the Sanford Community Adult Education center in Sanford, Maine. At the time, I was weighing my teaching options between secondary and post-secondary education. What I liked about my experience at Sanford AE, which lasted a couple of years, was that it represented a sort of middle ground between these two worlds, helping acclimate me to the profession without forcing me to commit to a career pathway. Additionally, going through USM’s AHE program while I was teaching at an Adult Ed school allowed me to learn about education (histories, theories, applications) in my context, which helped me start shaping my identity as an educator.

I have come to realize that this process of actively molding one’s teaching identity through practice and education was the most important component in my quest to understanding myself, as a learner and as an educator. This program gave me the opportunity, or really, it provided me with the intellectual space I needed to reflect on my choices and challenge myself to make new ones. My time here not only solidified my interest in teaching, it also ignited in me a passion for the work. The program helped me find purpose in my interests by facilitating the learning of my own experiences."

University of Southern Maine Adult and Higher Education alumna Eleanor UdehEleanor Udeh '20

"I earned my M.S. in Adult and Higher Education after taking a long hiatus from formal education. I earned my B.S. in Psychology from the University of New Hampshire in 1982. Always interested in people and human behavior, I became interested in adult learning from the career positions that I held in the business sector with responsibilities to provide continuous learning to my staff. I oversaw employee wellbeing and leadership programs and influenced the acquisition of new knowledge, skills, and behaviors for my staff and others that needed support through knowledge and behaviors.

At this juncture, I lead a team of three administrative staff and twenty instructors who teach skill-building workshops. I provide strategic direction, oversight, and marketing for workforce developmen programs for community participants striving to reskill and upskill at their companies. On a daily basis, apply learning from the Adult and Higher Education courses. I was able to develop independent programs that allowed me to participate in action-research and directed study in the professional development field which allowed improvement to the programs that I oversee, right away.

My absolute favorite part of this major was the intimacy of getting to know the teaching faculty and my fellow students. We learned together, being online did not take away from building community and constructing learning, it improved it! The self-reflection in every class was powerful for me. It helped make the learning stick and make sense to me. I took risks as a student, especially in the Using Technology in Adult Learning and Facilitating Adult Learning courses. Taking risks allowed me to truly get the most out of my experience. My only regret is that there are many courses that I did not get to take, but there is always another semester. I am grateful that the courses were well mapped out so that I could adjust my learning path to match my interests."