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:

STEM FIG Meeting - Monday, April 6th, Faculty Commons-312 Glickman, Portland Campus

The SEFIG is intended for faculty and/or staff collaboration to investigate methods for integrating Strengths across curriculum and instruction and provide a forum for faculty/staff scholarship and networking.  Initially following a “share and teach” model, the SEFIG will come together monthly for facilitated discussion and evaluation of new research articles, and explore creative methods of teaching with Strengths.  Likewise, we anticipate the SEFIG will serve as a supportive group for members’ own emerging pieces of work: papers, presentations, or grant proposals.

 If you have not yet completed the StrengthsFinder assessment and would like to receive your “Top 5” Strengths prior to attending this meeting, please contact Dan Jenkins at

You can learn more about StrengthsFinder here.

To learn more about Strengths at USM, please visit our homepage at

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Reflective Practice FIG Meeting - Wednesday, April 8th 4:30-6pm, 312 Glickman, Portland Campus

The “Reflective Practice” FIG is intended for faculty collaboration to investigate and identify best high impact practices in both facilitating and teaching reflection with undergraduate and graduate students, and to provide a forum for faculty scholarship and networking. Initially following a journal club model, this FIG will come together monthly for facilitated discussion and evaluation of new research articles, and explore creative methods of teaching that move beyond the more traditional techniques often used in reflective practice assignments. Likewise, we anticipate the FIG will serve as a supportive group for members’ own emerging pieces of work: papers, presentations, or grant proposals.

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Rucha ModakPieter Tryzelaar

CTEL Workshop: Blackboard Basics

Thursday | 4/16/2014 | 12:00pm to 1:00 pm | 518 Glickman Library | USM Portland Campus 

Learn the basics of creating and developing a course in Blackboard. Participants will get an overview of Blackboard's layout and navigation. In addition, participants will learn how to add materials to a sample Blackboard course, use the discussion board, create and grade assignments, and send out announcements. The workshop will be facilitated by CTEL Learning Designers Pieter Tryzelaar and Rucha Modak.

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Lightning Talks

Lightning Talk -

Thursday, April 16th, 4-6 pm, 10 Bailey Hall, Gorham Campus 

Community engagement is happening at USM—and often in unexpected ways! 

Lightning Talks are opportunities to share experiences, build relations, and explore new potentials; as well as learn about a variety of recent, current, and future projects around the USM campus and local communities.  Each talk combines the visual and the verbal and lasts only 8 minutes!  Each month, selected talks will be available for attendance on all campuses.

Join your colleagues, future collaborators, and local innovators.  Tell us your story and come hear those of others!  We think you will be amazed by the level of ingenuity, imagination, creativity, and promise in each of the monthly Lightning Talks.  Celebrate the work of your friends, colleagues, students, and neighbors with us! 

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Trade Show FlierCreating Community Partnerships: Sustainability and Effectiveness with special guest Dr. Andrew Seligsohn

Friday, April 17, 
12:00 p.m., 
Hannaford Hall,
 Abromson Community Center Portland campus

Join us for a keynote speaker and discussion about effective partnerships between USM and the community, a reception to celebrate those involved in community partnerships and engagement, and a networking opportunity during Portland Business Connections at USM.  Dr. Andrew Seligsohn has extensive experience in bringing higher education together with communities to solve problems and improve lives from a wide range of roles. He will be visiting USM to discuss building effective and sustainable partnerships with our own community. He is currently the president
of Campus Compact, and served as Associate Chancellor for Civic Engagement and Strategic Planning at Rutgers University – Camden prior to his appointment at Campus Compact. 

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Visual Thinking: Using Art to Improve Observational Skills Flier-

Wednesday, April 22nd, 1-5pm, Faculty Commons, Portland Campus, 3rd Floor-Glickman Library

Join presenters Kelly Hrenko, PhD, Assistant Professor in the USM Art Department and Art Education Program Coordinator; Mary Ledue-Bell, BA, Lecturer and ArtLab Coordinator for the USM Art Department; and Jeanne Gottlieb, PhD, RN, APRN, Assistant Professor in the USM School of Nursing for a four hour interactive workshop provides innovative visual learning strategies to improve upon student observational skills through art.  Participants can apply this content in a classroom or community setting.  Topics will include visual learning strategies, significance for student learning, small and large group sessions in exploring techniques and opportunities for implementation in your setting.

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Thinking MattersThinking Matters –

Friday, April 24th, Abromson Center, Portland Campus

Innovative teaching and creative work – whether in a classroom, in a lab or in a studio – are the heart of any dynamic university culture.  At University of Southern Maine, it is showcased at Thinking Matters, a one-day, once-a-year conference, that is a capstone that reflects what's going on all year long in departments all across campus.  It promotes the high quality student-faculty research collaborations and opportunities available to both graduate and undergraduate students. Its an event that allows students and faculty to share their work with each other, their colleagues, and the general public. Students are encouraged to participate and present their research as posters or oral sessions.

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Rucha ModakPieter Tryzelaar

CTEL Workshop: Blackboard's Grade Center

Friday, April 24, 2015, 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM I 518 Glickman Library | USM Portland Campus

The Blackboard Grade Center is a useful tool for tracking student grades and helping students understand their progress throughout the semester, but it can also efficiently calculate final grades.  In this hands-on workshop, we will discuss how to calculate final grades, including how to use the weighted total feature, share best practices, and answer questions about specific grading systems. The workshop will be facilitated by CTEL Learning Designers Pieter Tryzelaar and Rucha Modak.

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