Adult and Higher Education

28th Annual Capstone Seminar

On a brisk Saturday morning in Gorham, the Adult & Higher Education Program at USM hosted their 28th annual “Capstone” Celebration. The event, which started as a dinner years ago, joins current students, alumni and faculty of the program for a breakfast to lunch conference-style gathering that celebrates the work of capstone seminar participants. This year’s celebration took place on October 20, 2018 and welcomed capstone participants Emily Sprogis, Niffy Allen, Linda Greer, as well as the program’s newest faculty member, Dr. Emily McRobbie. Each participant was allotted 30 minutes to present a summation of their capstone research and experience. In Dr. McRobbie’s case, the presentation focused more broadly on the presenter’s life and work experiences.

The first presentation was given by Emily Sprogis, who graduated from the program at the end of the summer. Building on her internship, working with USM faculty and staff to re-design a university space to become a Center for Excellence in Teacher Innovation, Emily presented her research on “Fostering Creativity in Higher Education.” The next presenter was Niffy Allen, who graduated from the program in May. Niffy came to the program with a wealth of experience and knowledge working with adult learners. But it wasn’t until Niffy’s first gerontology course, that she fell in love with the study of aging. Niffy presented her research on “Resilient Aging.” The final presenter was Linda Greer, who came to the program after a long and distinguished career in human resources. Early in her program here, Linda became interested in contemplative pedagogy, which led to an independent study that brought her to a national conference on the subject. Linda presented her research on “The Contemplative Learner: Practices That Engage Adult Learning.”

The last presentation of the event was given by newest AHE faculty member, Dr. McRobbie. In a sort of working lunch format, Dr. McRobbie walked us through a visual journey of her time and work before joining us at USM. Combining her love of photography, natural science and teaching, Dr. McRobbie spoke of her roots in experiential learning in K-12 populations, then of her time as Director of a children’s museum, then about her work in faculty development at a community college.  Emily’s presentation was titled “Stepping Stones: The Path Here.”