Russell Scholars Program



Nate's lab group

As a Flexible Learning Community, We Focus On:

  • first-semester, first-year students who are new to college

  • students beyond the first year who wish to take our dynamic Core courses and be involved in a caring community


Open to All

Regardless of your academic major, you are eligible to become a Russell Scholar as long as you are accepted as a full-time, residential student in your first year. In RSP, you take the required core and/or elective courses you need for a broad education, in addition to courses in your major field of study.  We are pleased to have students from all four years in our program who continue to take our courses as their schedules permit and who take leadership roles in welcoming new students.  

Russell Scholars value connection, collaboration, and community — attributes prized in personal and professional life.


Who We Are

Russell Scholars is one of the eight Living Learning Communities at USM.  Students live together in Hastings Hall, where they also take some of their classes and can visit their professors' offices.  Regular gatherings with peers translate into lasting friendships and good study partnerships.  Frequent contact with professors means support for your academics and more opportunities for mentoring.  

The Russell Scholars Program (RSP) is an inclusive Living Learning Community composed of students and faculty who work together to achieve the students' academic goals. Classrooms, a study lounge, and faculty offices are located on the first floor of the dormitory. Every student is assigned a faculty mentor they can meet with in the first year and throughout their time at school.  


How It Works

Program Learning Goals

1. Students will possess a sense of belonging to their learning community, their campus, and their community.

2. Students will be able to collaborate with purpose, efficiency, and effectiveness on group projects.

3. Students will use strong analytic and communications skills to clearly express their ideas with peers, faculty, and others.

4. Students will be able to select appropriate digital tools and deploy them to communicate effectively with multiple audiences; they will communicate effectively with both images and text with an eye toward good design.

5. Students will experience Art as a welcoming, inclusive cultural domain and come to know Nature as a friend.

6. Capstone students will value community engagement through their experience with significant, self-designed service-learning projects and develop professionalism to approach new challenges in school, work, and life.


A Home Away From Home

Around 50 first-year students are admitted every fall. The program is small enough to offer close mentoring from faculty and large enough for you to meet peers from New England and well beyond, of every major and background.  

In the words of one student: “The Russell Scholars program gives me closeness of community with a large support group to assist academically.”


For Now and For the Future

Although RSP primarily supports first-year students, there are lots of opportunities to remain involved. Upper-level courses in RSP also fulfill Core requirements and feature active learning. Leadership opportunities include work-study positions, Peer Mentor roles, and mentoring at Gorham Middle School as a volunteer or for credit. Students who have earned 18 RSP credits are recognized at graduation. This distinction is a valuable talking point for future internships or job interviews. 


Click here to see an interactive timeline of the Russell Scholars Program 

created by Emlyn Donovan, class of 2022