USM Spotlight

University of Southern Maine (USM) students, faculty, staff, and alumni are getting involved and giving back. From internships to research, community engagement to public service, and so much more, we are proud to share their stories.


Incoming USM President Jacqueline Edmondson speaking at a podium

June 2022

Dr. Jacqueline Edmondson will become the 18th President of USM on July 1. Coming to us from Penn State University, Dr. Edmondson is a first-generation college student, faculty member, author, and academic administrator who has a vision for building on our strengths, helping us realize new opportunities, and expanding our impact.

Students gathered outside a building in Millinocket

May 2022

Some of our Tourism and Hospitality students recently met with members of the Wabanaki community in Millinocket. They learned about the region's cultural tourism potential from the people who stewarded the land for the past 10,000 years by participating in a smudge ceremony, snowshoe tour, medicine plant walk, and traditional dinner.

Students in the Promise Scholarship Program on our Gorham campus

April 2022

We are grateful to have received a $1 million anonymous gift, which ensures that two high-impact scholarship programs for underserved Maine students remain adequately funded. The Access to Education Fund provides scholarships to Maine residents who don't qualify for state or federal financial aid, while the Promise Scholarship Program supports limited-income, first-generation Maine students who are referred by youth-serving organizations throughout the state.

Lit memorial candles arranged in a dark room

March 2022

A reporter for the Bangor Daily News interviewed one of Maine's last Holocaust survivors and turned to history professor Abraham Peck — who teaches courses on genocide and worked alongside Elie Wiesel — for further insight. Peck says there is "tremendous ignorance" about the Holocaust among young Americans. A recent study found that nearly two-thirds of Americans don't know that six million Jews died in the Holocaust.

Sunset on the coast of Cape Elizabeth, Maine

February 2022

Staff and researchers from our Maine North Atlantic Institute and the University of New Hampshire came together to dialogue about the future of the New England Coastline. Their work — Toward the Next Century: Envisioning & Designing Sustainable Coastal Communities — summarizes the actions they recommend for coastal communities facing climate change.

Reid Crewe and Dan Crewe standing outdoors

January 2022

Thanks to a $1 million gift from the Crewe Foundation — who remain committed to advancing opportunities in music and the fine arts in Maine — the soon-to-be-constructed Center for the Arts on the Portland campus will be able to expand its much-needed rehearsal space. This generous new gift extends the foundation's total philanthropic investment in the project to $6 million.

Katie Tomer standing outside on the Portland campus

November/December 2021

As a Policy, Planning and Management graduate student and a member of the Wabanaki community, Katie Tomer knew she wanted to research and write about Wabanaki tribes and their fight for self-governance. Her paper explored tribal-state relations and Wabanaki self-determination in Maine. It was recently published by the Maine Policy Review, where it can provide valuable insight for those crafting public policy within the state.

A concept rendering of the proposed Center for the Arts

October 2021

Thanks to D. Suzi Osher's generous commitment of $10 million to USM, the construction of a new Center for the Arts in the heart of our Portland campus could begin as early as spring 2023. In recognition of this momentous gift, our School of Music will become The Dr. Alfred and D. Suzi Osher School of Music.

Congress Square Park in downtown Portland is bustling with activity. A band is playing, people are dancing, others are seated at tables watching. A woman places an order at a food truck on the left.

August/September 2021

The results are in. According to U.S. News & World Report, Portland, ME is the eighth-best place to live among the 150 most populous cities in America. It's also considered the safest place to live in the country and the ninth-best place for quality of life. Which adds up to something we've known all along: it's a great place to go to college, too.

From left to right: Ainsley Wallace, Glenn Cummings, Dannel Malloy, Reid Crewe, and Dan Crewe

July 2021

Thanks to a historic gift from the Crewe Foundation, our dream of a Portland campus Center for the Arts may become a reality. The $5 million gift — one of the largest cash gifts in University history — will be used to build a world-class facility that supports our music and visual arts students. It will also contribute to a thriving arts scene that attracts visitors and jobs to the region.

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