5th Annual Research & Scholarship Symposium Series 2022

February 8, 2022 to February 18, 2022
  • Tuesday, February 8, 2022, 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
  • Wednesday, February 9, 2022, 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
  • Thursday, February 10, 2022, 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
  • Friday, February 18, 2022, 9:00 AM to 12:15 PM

5th Annual Research & Scholarship Symposium

The USM Research and Scholarship Virtual Symposium will feature skills-based workshops, faculty and staff lightning talks and a keynote address. 

Please join us in celebrating all the amazing research, scholarship, and creativity happening at USM! Open to USM faculty, staff, and students.

Symposium Schedule:

February 8, 9, & 10, 2022 from 12:00pm - 1:00pm
February 18, 2022 from 9:00am - 12:00pm


Lightning Talks - February 8, 9, & 10, 2022 at 12:00pm - 1:00pm

Tuesday, February 8, 2022, 12-1pm


The Invisibility Aspect in Language Acquisition Among Native American ELLs

Presented by: Nadine Bravo

Increased awareness of Native American ELLs' linguistic needs, the need for trauma informed and culturally and linguistically trained educators.


The application of "Big Data" to Tourism Management

Presented by: Tracy Michaud

What Big Data is, How Big Data is used in tourism management, How Big Data can inform on changing travel patterns in Maine and beyond.


Out of the twilight and into the light; Portland’s LGBTQ+ History

Presented by: Megan MacGregor

Understanding the advantages of using primary sources for research, Learn about key Maine LGBTQ+ collections in USM’s Special Collections, Importance of LGBTQ+ and other minority history.


Studio Site

Presented by: Kat Buckley

Issues facing galleries and museums in the way of audience interpretation, and a consideration of process exploration as a way to bridge these gaps.


Restorative Justice in Cumberland County: Accountability and Community

Presented by: Rachel Casey

Audience members will learn about a unique restorative justice program that responds to systemic issues stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. Audience members will learn about the potential benefits of restorative justice as an alternative to traditional approaches to justice. Audience members will learn how restorative justice practices promote individual and community accountability and connection.


Planetary health is about your health (and the planet's health, of course)

Presented by: Paula V. Nersesian

Describe the meaning of the term planetary health, learn at least one thing about planetary health that they can apply in higher education, advocate for policy change in Maine that will benefit the planet and people.


Wednesday, February 9, 2022, 12-1pm


Beyond “Sectional Superiority”: Memorializing Black History in Northern New England

Presented by: Eve Raimon

New England has its own narrative of past glory comparable to the Confederate's "Lost Cause"; If 21st century African American memorials are any judge, that narrative is under increasing scrutiny; Recent commemorations attempt to correct the visual and historical record of the suppression and expulsion of African Americans by erecting memorials that celebrate New England’s Black history.


Pathways to a Podcast

Presented by: Maureen Perry

A potential outlet for creative activity, a low-barrier means of presenting research, and a sense of the power of narrative.


Hand Gesture Recognition Using Computer Vision Algorithms

Presented by: Nick Littlefield

Learn what computer vision is and its applications. See how computer vision can be applied to a real-world problem and how it can be used to help people who cannot communicate verbally. Learn how image data can be used to help computers learn to understand hand gestures.


Give Me a Knee Radiograph, I Will Tell You Where the Knee Joint Area Is: an Artificial Intelligence Adventure

Presented by: Ahmad Tafti

Understand the role of AI-powered models in Healthcare; Demonstrate an application of deep learning computational methods in analyzing X-ray images; Understand how AI can transform the current way that healthcare systems are working.


Changes in Exercise Habits of University Students During the Covid-19 Lockdown

Presented by: Deborah VanLangen

How the COVID-19 lockdown changes exercise habits; How important it is to maintain an exercise program; Is virtual exercise programs a viable option.


Thursday, February 10, 2022, 12-1pm


Entrepreneurial Grit and Resilience of Maine's Food Businesses through COVID

Presented by: Jamie Picardy

Nimble culture during COVID-19, Power of relationships, Role of customers and society


What’s in a Name: Inclusive Gender Demographics in Survey Design and Analysis

Presented by: Sarah Holmes

The audience will gain insight into the benefit of inclusive gender identity demographics and gain an understanding of the best practices of inclusive gender identity demographic question design and analysis.



Friday, February18, 2022 from 9 am - 1 pm - Workshops and Keynote Speaker


  • Opening Remarks (9-9:10 am)
  • Keynote Speaker (9:15-10:05 am)
    • Dr. Darren Ranco, Associate Professor of Anthropology and Coordinator of Native American Research at the University of Maine Dr. Ranco will speak about his experiences in builiding and maintaining a career in research. Click here to learn more about Dr. Ranco
  • 10-minute break
  • Workshops: Section 1 (10:15-11:05 am)
  • 10-minute break
  • Workshops: Section 2 (11:15 am-12:05 pm)




Office of Research Integrity and Outreach - Human Research Protection Program

Presented by: ORIO

Description: All Faculty, Staff, and Students on the USM campuses wanting to submit a research project must contact the Office of Research Integrity and Outreach (ORIO) for project review. The process may seem daunting; which is why ORIO is here to help and guide you and answer questions along every step of the way. This short presentation will provide guidance for anyone wanting to conduct a research project and how to go through the process. We will also explain what ORIO provides and how we can help the with research projects.

Audience: Student researcher/ faculty/staff (All)



Financial Conflicts of Interest

Presented by: Ross Hickey, ORIO

Description: Researchers are obligated to disclose significant financial interests upon submitting a proposal for external funding or upon a change in financial interest which creates the possibility of a conflict of interest in regard to a research proposal. This presentation will explain the concept of financial conflicts of interest, how to disclose such, and how to meet USM's training requirements.

Audience: Student researcher/ faculty/staff (All)



Using Midterm Assessments and Personas for Responsive Course Design

Presented by: Ryan Cody Hatcher and Rucha Modak, CTEL

Description: In this workshop we will be focused on two connected topics. First, is the importance of developing means of eliciting formative feedback from students, such as through our mid-term assessment. The second is on the creation and use of student personas to facilitate change in course design and improve instructor pedagogy. To achieve our goal we will use a combination of collaborative activities and group discussion. First, we will start with discussions of how to elicit feedback from students such as through a mid-term assessment or other means. Next, we will move on to a discussion and activity focused on how to interpret both qualitative and quantitative data to improve instructors’ courses and develop effective pedagogy. Finally, we will finish with activities focused on developing and using student personas that instructors can then take and use in their own courses.

Audience: Faculty/Staff all levels



Developing Surveys To Get The Data You Want

Presented by: Susie Hawes, Data Innovation Project

Description: In the age of over-surveying, it is critical to deploy surveys that are useful and targeted. Join the staff of the Cutler Institute's Data Innovation Project to learn how to design a survey that will get you the information you need. We will discuss how to establish a survey objective and sampling strategy, develop a survey collection plan, improve your response rates, and write and format effective survey questions.

Audience: Faculty/Staff all levels



We Can Help With That! Demystifying External Funding at USM 

Presented by: Tamara Blair Kirk, Director, Research Service Center, Cutler Institute & Maureen Wissman, Assistant Director, Research Service Center, Cutler Institute

Description: This session will discuss how to apply for external funding at USM once you’ve identified a specific funding source. Whether your prospective funding is coming directly from the funding entity or being awarded to USM via a subcontract, the Research Service Center will support you through the process. The scope of this presentation will include:

  • How to get started
  • Partnering with your Grants and Contracts Manager
  • Developing a proposal work plan and timeline
  • Writing and developing your proposal
  • Securing approvals and submitting your proposal
  • Please note this session is for external funding only, so it does not include MEIF or Research Reinvestment funding.

Audience: Faculty/Staff all levels


For any questions, comments or concerns contact Laura Woods-Vachon ( or Caitlyn Madden (