Office of Public Affairs

Sept. 17, 2019 — USM leads the conversation with lectures on food service industry, higher education and more


Press Contacts:
Danielle Vayenas, USM Director of Communications, 207-780-4150, 207-239-5715 (cell)

Maureen Puia, PR/Event Promotions Associate, 207-780-4200

USM Department contacts:
Muskie School -- Amy Fox, Administrative Specialist, 780-4864,
USM School of Education -- Sara Needleman, 780-5087,
Osher Map Library -- Hope Mowry, 207-780-4850,

*Images available here.

USM leads the conversation with lectures on food service industry, higher education and more
Labor issues in the food service industry; best-selling author Paul Tough on hidden truths of a college education; and Abenaki scholar discusses Wabanaki history in Maine. 

Wednesday, 9/18
6th Annual Betta Ehrenfeld Public Policy Forum: “Work and Labor Issues of the Food Service Industry”
5:00 p.m., Hannaford Hall, Portland Campus
Free and open to the public; pre-registration required.

Worker and labor issues in the food service industry are the focus of the 6th Annual Betta Ehrenfeld Public Policy Forum, hosted by the University of Southern Maine’s Muskie School of Public Service and the Frances Perkins Center. The event features Michael Hillard, USM director of Food Studies; David Weil of Brandeis University, former head of the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor under President Obama and author of "The Fissured Workplace;"  Saru Jayaraman, co-founder of Restaurant Opportunities Centers United and director of the Food Labor Research Center at University of California Berkeley, author of "Behind the Kitchen Door" and "Forked: A New Standard for American Dining;" and Matt Schlobohm, Executive Director of the Maine AFL-CIO.

Friday, 9/20
Visiting author Paul Tough: “The Years That Matter Most: How College Makes or Breaks Us”
7:00 p.m., Hannaford Hall, Portland Campus, Free admission

Nationally renowned author, Paul Tough, returns to Portland to discuss his new book, "The Years That Matter Most - How College Makes or Breaks Us." Hosted by the University of Southern Maine’s School of Education and Human Development and The Telling Room, this free event begins at 7:00 p.m. at Hannaford Hall on USM’s Portland Campus. USM Provost Jeannine Uzzi will introduce Tough, and Sara Corbett, a co-founder of The Telling Room, will interview the author. Learn more via the Portland Press Herald.


Saturday, 9/28
"The River to which I Belong: Relationships of Reciprocity and Resistance in the Waterways of the Wabanaki"
Hannaford Hall, Portland Campus
4:00 p.m., Free

Dr. Lisa Brooks, Abenaki writer and scholar, and award-winning author presents a free lecture on the history of the Wabanaki people in Maine on Saturday, September 28, at Hannaford Hall, Abromson Center on the Portland Campus. 

Lisa Brooks is an Abenaki writer and scholar who lives and works in the Kwinitekw (Connecticut River) Valley. She is Professor of English and American Studies at Amherst College and is active in the Five College Native American and Indigenous Studies Program, which she chaired from 2013-2017. Her most recent book, “Our Beloved Kin: A New History of King Philip’s War”, begins and ends in Casco Bay, and received the Bancroft Award for History and Diplomacy and the New England Society Book Award for Historical Nonfiction in 2019. As a Whiting Public Engagement Fellow, she worked with a team of students and colleagues, to develop a companion website,, which features full color digital maps of Native space. Lisa was honored in 2018 with the Maine Historical Society’s Neal Allen Award for exceptional contributions to Maine history.

Co-hosted by: Friends of the Presumpscot River, USM College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Science, and funded by the Edmund F. Ball and Virginia B. Ball Endowed Lecture Fund.


Situated in Maine’s economic and cultural center, the University of Southern Maine (USM) is a public university with 8,000 undergraduate and graduate students taking courses online and at campuses in Portland, Gorham and Lewiston-Auburn. Known for its academic excellence, student focus and engagement with the community, USM provides students with hands-on experience that complements classroom learning and leads to employment opportunities in one of the nation’s most desirable places to live.