Franco-American Collection

Board of Directors

USM's Franco-American Collection is governed by a Board of Directors who represent the interests of the University of Southern Maine and the Franco-American Community.  A number of positions are therefore reserved for staff, faculty and students of USM-LAC.

Appointments to the board, and responsibilities of board members are determined by the Collection's by-laws.


Ex-Officio Board Members:

Collection Coordinator: Currently vacant

 USM LAC Dean: Joyce Gibson

Joyce Gibson Dr. Joyce Gibson serves as Dean of USM’s Lewiston-Auburn College. Prior to coming to USM she served as Associate Professor at the Graduate School of Education at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell. She holds a Ph.D. in Educational Administration from the University of Florida, Gainsville and an MA in Rehabilitation Counseling from George Washington University. She has served as Associate Vice Chancellor of Academic Services at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell and was responsible for service development for students, staff and faculty, as well as developing strategic plans for improved efficiency and effectiveness. She has extensive experience in retention programs and conflict management and has taught courses in leadership, organizational change, and managing diversity.


Ongoing USM LAC Members:

Director of Communications: Daniel K. Philbrick

Dan PhilbrickDan has been with University of Southern Maine since 1989. Starting with the University Libraries, he eventually transferred to the USM's Lewiston-Auburn College administration in 2001. He currently oversees all marketing and public relations for USM LAC. He has been a member of the Franco-American Collection Board since 2007. He also serves on several University and local committees and organizational boards.

 Dan is native of the Lewiston-Auburn area, growing up in Auburn. He has a very strong interest in preserving and capturing the stories of the cultural history of Lewiston-Auburn area. He holds a BA in History from the University of Southern Maine and an MA in Leadership Studies from the University of Southern Maine. He serves as an adjunct member of the USM LAC faculty, teaching courses in computer software and web design. He still lives in Auburn with his wife and two children.


Faculty: Brian Davenport, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of LEadership Studies.

One seat on the Collection's board is reserved for a faculty member of USM's Lewiston-Auburn College.

Franco-American Scholar: vacant

 One seat on the Collection's board is reserved for the Franco-American scholar at USM's Lewiston-Auburn College, a position which is currently unfilled.

Library: Maureen Perry (Secretary)

Maureen has served on the Collection’s Board of Directors since 2004.  She is the Reference & Instruction Librarian at USM Lewiston-Auburn College.  She manages library subscriptions for the journal Women in French Studies as well.

She holds an M.A. in Speech Communication, an M.S. in Library & Information Science, and a Certificate of Advanced Study in Adult Learning.  Inspired by her Franco-American heritage she has performed her bilingual poetry locally and in the Boston area.  She lives in Lewiston with her mother and two cats.


Student Representative: Jared Lussier, student at the University of Maine Augusta.

One seat on the Collection's board is reserved for a student.


Community Members:

Roger Philippon (Chair)

Roger PhilipponA Lewiston native, Roger has been a member of the board for over twelve years.  He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maine and a master’s degree from the University of Southern Maine.  Roger is the dean of planning and public affairs at Central Maine Community College and is a former Lewiston City Councilor.  Long active in Franco-American affairs, he is a former member and past president of the L-A Richelieu Club, and served on the Festival Franco-Americain board of directors.  As an actor, he has performed in a number of French productions.  He and his wife Celeste live in Lewiston and are very active with the Community Little Theater.


Maureen Chicoine (Treasurer)

Maureen was born in Winslow and moved to Auburn after graduating from Winthrop High School in 1960.  She owned a ceramics business for 10  years, and served as president of the Maine Ceramic Guild.  She has also been active in numerous community organizations, including the parish council of Our Lady of the Rosary, St Joseph’s and St Dominic schools, and the Maine Franco-American Genealogical Society.  She has been a member of the Board of Directors for 3 years, and enjoys attending Le Rencontre at the Heritage Center, as well as our monthly sing-along sessions.  Having lost her French after her grandparents passed away, Mo is enjoying re-learning her native language.  She is currently working on a genealogical book of several local families.


Doris Belisle-Bonneau

Doris is an educational specialist in teaching and learning and the part time coordinator for the Maine French Heritage Program in Lewiston Auburn.  She received her degree of advance studies in curriculum and instruction, her master’s degree in French and her bachelor’s degree from the University of Maine in Orono.  She also studied at L’université of Aix-Provence, in France.  She has served on the board of directors at the Franco American Center, was chair of the education committee of the Maine Community College System, and presently also serves as a trustee of the Auburn Public Library.  Her passion is to give back to the community by reconnecting youngsters with their French heritage and culture.

 Mary Rice-Defosse

Mary Rice DefosseMary Rice-DeFosse is Professor of French and Chair of the Division of Interdisciplinary Programs at Bates College.  She completed her Ph.D. at Yale University with a dissertation on the forms history takes in the works of Gustave Flaubert.  She also studied at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris. In addition to work on Flaubert, she has published and presented on women writers of the Romantic period, including, George Sand, Marie d'Agoult, Flora Tristan, and Louise Colet. She served as an editor for the nineteenth century for A Feminist Encyclopedia of French Literature (Greenwood Press, 1998) and for a special volume of Women in French Studies, Écriture Courante: Critical Perspectives on French and Francophone Women (2005).  Her research focuses on literary representations of revolution and social change.

 She is past President of Women in French and serves on the editorial board of Women in French Studies.  She is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Franco-American Heritage Center in Lewiston.  She is currently working on a permanent exhibit for the FAHC entitled They came, They Served (Elles sont venues, elles sont servi) on the Grey Nuns of Lewiston-Auburn and their work in the community.  It is funded in part by a major grant from the Maine Humanities Council and a Publicly Engaged Academic Project Grant from the Harvard Center for Community Partnerships at Bates College and uses photos and images from the Franco-American Collection. 


Jacynthe Jacques

Jacynthe Jacques

Jacynthe is a wife, a mother of four, and a student. She has been involved in the local Franco community in many ventures, especially those involving music and singing. She is part of the monthly Sing-Alongs at USM/LAC. She is also tutoring local home-schooled children in the French language.



Ceilia McGuckian

Celia McGuckian







Andrea Quaid


Tina Sirois

Tina is an alumni of USM LAC with a minor in French North American studies.  She is a first generation Franco-American.  Her parents emigrated from Quebec in the 1950s.  Like other Franco-Americans living in Maine, she holds Franco traditions and social mores dear, and is passionate about the way of life which makes their French identity unique.  She is particularly interested in the study of 16th-century New France and relationships to contemporary Franco-American culture.