USM Faculty Commons

Research Scholarship and Creative Activity Programs

RSCA Programming includes presentations by faculty (individually or as a group), including those aimed at promoting interdisicplinarity and collaboration. Examples include scholarly presentations and posters, discussions, exhibits, performances, book and poetry readings or other avenues that enable us to share with each other. Other types of events include topically focused debates, colloquia, panel discussions, and other events that promote RSCA.

Upcoming RSCA Events:

2015 Celebration of Faculty Work

more to come...


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! 

Learn More



Patience and Urgency: Lessons Learned in a Life of Science

Monday, April 27, 2015, 7:00 PM to 9:00 PMHannaford Hall, Abromson Center, Portland campusContact Name: Jerry LaSalaContact Email:

Photo of James E. Rothman, 2013 Nobel LaureateProfessor James E. Rothman, 2013 Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine, will present a lecture at the University of Southern Maine Monday, April 27 at 7 p.m. in Hannaford Hall at the Abromson Center on the Portland campus.

"Patience and Urgency: Lessons Learned in a Life of Science" will focus on Professor Rothman's long scientific career. Professor Rothman, who is the Chair of the Department of Cell Biology at the Yale University Medical School, will also discuss how hard work, collaboration and focus led to the important discoveries that made him a Nobel Prize winner, and the importance of those qualities in all scientific research.

The discoveries unearthed in Professor Rothman's Nobel Prize-winning work have helped the world understand how molecules that carry information to various parts of a cell can be delivered to the right place at the right time.

Professor Rothman is connected to USM on a more personal level, as he was a college classmate with Professor Jerry LaSala, chair of the Department of Physics. Professor LaSalla attended the weeklong Nobel celebrations in Stockholm when Professor Rothman was awarded the prize. The two continue to be lifelong friends.

The event is open to the public, and admission is by donation.

The lecture is a part of USM's Southworth Planetarium Science Lecture Series, but due to anticipated crowd size, the event will be held in Hannaford Hall.

Light refreshments will be will available before the lecture.


 Past RSCA Events:


Metropolitian University Convocation, Poster Exhibition:

Call for Poster Submissions

  MU Graphic

Metropolitan University Convocation

 Online Submission Form

We all know USM does a lot of work with community partners, so now is our time to share it!  The USM Metropolitan University Steering Group, in conjunction with the Faculty Commons the Office of Engaged Learning and the Druker Office of Community Engagement, invites you, on December 4th from 3:00 to 4:00 pm, to present your work (classroom, research or service) with the community partners during the poster session preceding the Metropolitan University Convocation with visiting speaker Barbara Holland. Posters should highlight work with community partners, which could include work with K-12 students and teachers, collaborations with industry, and community service projects.

This convocation event was developed out of a desire to provide a forum for community members—both at USM and in the greater Southern Maine area—to connect and engage.  We kick off our event with a Student Poster Presentation and Reception, highlighting the past and current work with existing community partners; and, helping the surrounding southern Maine community to learn about the broad range of valuable resources and collaboration opportunities we have at USM.  Following the poster session honorary speaker Dr. Barbara Holland will speak to the audience regarding the Metropolitan University vision for the future.  A formal reception will follow with further opportunity to learn from each other, celebrate what we are doing, and recognize the community-based efforts and achievements of our students and faculty.

The posters will be presented from 3:00 to 4:00 pm in the Wishcamper Center, on the Portland Campus. To present a poster at this event, please complete the form below by no later than November 24th. Poster printing will be funded through the Metropolitan Steering Group and will be coordinated with Ken Gross ( Posters (3' x 4') will need to be submitted for printing no later than December 1st. Instructions on poster printing will be sent to all authors once they have completed the submission form, found on the link below. 

Online Submission Form  

For more information contact:

Lucille Benedict at 

See the whole Convocation Schedule

Visit the Event Webpage for the Convocation here


Libra Scholar Public EventLibra Scholar Public Event with Matthew Jockers

Thursday, April 17th
6pm,  Gerald Talbot Lecture Hall, Portland Campus



RSCA Spring Celebration 

Thursday, April 23rd, 4pm to 6:30pm

In recognition of the creative energy that fuels our scholarship, we will come together as a community for the annual Celebration of Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity. 



Celebration of Gerontology Scholarship at USM




Tuesday, April 8th

4pm to 6pm

109/110 Abromson Center, USM Portland Campus

Join us for a lively presentation on trends, opportunities, & research in community based services for vulnerable older adults. USM scholars will share their recent work during this highly interactive event. Come meet your collegeaus, learn about scholarship on campus, and network.



AK BOOK IMAGELibra Professor Annette Kolodny
Tuesday, April 8
7:30 to 8:30pm, Gerald Talbot Lecture Hall, Portland Campus

This lecture draws on Penobscot texts, including a tale from oral tradition told to Dr. Kolodny by Penobscot Nation elder James Sappier, to examine legal bases for early European claims about the discovery of North America. Early explorers’ narratives assert that they "discovered" lands previously unknown (and unclaimed by) any Christian, but Eastern Algonquian stories of first contact undercut these descriptions of "wonder" and undermine the European assertions.




 Mining For “Gold” in Landfills
Monday, March 10
4:45 to 5:50pm, 7th floor, Glickman Library

Presentation by faculty member Travis Wagner. Professor Wagner's research is based on a case study of ecomaine's profitable multi-year metals recovery project.



USM Trustee professorship Lecture and Faculty Commons RSCA Faculty Presentation by S. Monroe Duboise, Associate Professor of Applied Medical Sciences

Thursday, January 30th

9am to 10:30am

7th Floor, Glickman Library

USM Associate Professor of Applied Medical Sciences, S. Monroe Duboise, was awarded the University of Maine System Trustee Professorship at USM for the 2012-2013 academic year.  In this Trustee Professorship Faculty Presentation, Dr. Duboise will present his research, updating the community on the status of his research. He will briefly describe the background of his research interests and summarize the results of his prior research that led to the development of the vaccine. He will share highlights of his scholarly journey,  including collaboration with other researchers and the integration of his research into teaching and his work with students and the community.



Conceptualizing Cooties: Exploring the Impact of Expert Versus Intuitive Models of Contagion in Daily Life

Carol Nemeroff

Monday, 12/9

A one hour talk on two decades of research on the intuitive psychology of contagion (the “magical contagion concept”), its nature and operation in everyday life across multiple domains, from food choices to social impression management to preventing illness to public acceptance of recycled water, followed by a discussion period.

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Ecocriticism in Unexpected Places

Kent Ryden

Friday, September 27th

10am to 11:30am, 4th floor of Glickman Library

Kent Ryden presents his ongoing, diffuse project on ecocriticism in unexpected place in which he applies the principles of literary ecocriticism or “texts,” broadly conceived, that one wouldn’t necessarily think of as amenable to such analysis. In this talk he will draw on examples from the fields of mathematics, print culture, and music.

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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.