Local USM faculty and staff awarded emeriti status


PORTLAND — University of Southern Maine President Theo Kalikow recognized 16 retiring members of the faculty and staff who were awarded emeritus or emerita status at USM’s 134th commencement.

Each year, USM honors retirees of distinction by conferring them emeritus status, in recognition of significant contributions to the university and community and encourages continued service. The following retirees, recognized for their exemplary teaching, scholarship and public service, have devoted a combined total of 460 years to the university and students:

Betty Robinson of Auburn, associate professor emerita of leadership and organization studies, was a founding faculty member of the Lewiston-Auburn College in 1988. In her 26 years of service, she has been a leader to the USM community at large and has positively impacted the Androscoggin region.

Robinson, who served as dean of the Lewiston-Auburn College from 1996-2003, longer than any other LAC dean, had a vision for LAC that included recruiting faculty who were committed to interdisciplinary learning, community connection and career preparation.

Among her publications are “E-leadership and E-learning,” published in the “Selected Proceedings of the 12th Annual International Leadership Association Conference,” held in 2010 in Boston, and “Bringing ‘Worldmindedness’ to Leadership Education” in the summer 2005 edition of International Journal of Leadership Education.

She received a Faculty Senate University Service Award in 2012. In 2005, she was presented the Maine Campus Compact Donald Harward Service Learning Award for leadership in the promotion and application of service learning in teaching. In 2003, Gov. John Baldacci, Congressman Michael Michaud and the Maine Legislature presented her with citations for contributions to higher education in Maine, and the City of Lewiston awarded her a citation for service as dean at LAC.

Robinson holds a BA in sociology from Colby College; an MA in sociology from the University of Maryland; and a PhD in sociology from Boston University.

Zark Van Zandt of New Gloucester, professor emeritus in the School of Education and Human Development, has served on all three campuses of the university during his 27 years of service.

He currently teaches in the Counselor Education program. He has served as associate dean in the College of Management and Human Service, as dean of the Lewiston-Auburn College, as interim director of USM Libraries, and as associate dean of the College of Education and Human Development.

He was an honorary inductee into the Golden Key Honour Society in 2007. He received the Beyond the Call of Duty Award from the Maine School Counselor Association in 2002, and the USM Faculty Senate Award for University Service in 1997.

Among his publications, he co-authored “Forging connections: An investigation of new students’ perspectives of their transition to the university” that appeared in the NACADA Journal, Vol. 29. He also is the coauthor of the book, “Exploring Future Options: A Career Development Curriculum for Middle School Students,” published by Idebate Press Books.

He has been a member of the American Counseling Association since 1970.

Van Zant holds a BA in geography and education and an MA in counseling and guidance from Michigan State University, East Lansing, and an EdD in counselor education from the University of Maine.

David Vanderlinden of New Gloucester, associate professor emeritus in the School of Business, has taught at the graduate and undergraduate level during his 15 years of service to the Accounting and Finance Department.

He has served on the Faculty Senate, was the School of Business representative to the Civic Engagement Coordinating Committee, and was a member on the Financial Resources Committee of New England Association of Schools and Colleges reaccreditation. He was the faculty representative to Rissho University, Japan in June 2001. He also served on the ad-hoc School of Business International Curriculum group, on USM’s International Curriculum Advisory Board, and on the Partnership Maine-France-Quebec coordinating committee.

He is the author of “Is Hedging Foreign Currency Bids with Options Desirable? An Applied Analysis for Small Firms” in the Journal of Applied Financial Research (Volume 1, 2014). He presented “Hedging Foreign Currency Bids with Options: An Applied Expected Value Approach” at the Academy of Business Research meeting in New Orleans, and the presentation’s abstract appeared in the Academy of Business Research Journal in 2013.

Vanderlinden holds a BA in economics and history from the University of North Carolina; an MBA from Colorado State University; and a PhD in finance from Kent State University.

Nancy Richeson of Alfred, professor emerita of recreation and leisure studies, has served the university for 21 years.

James Westfall of Cape Elizabeth, associate professor emeritus in the School of Business, has served at the University of Southern Maine School of Business for 31 years.

Robert S. Caswell of Gorham, executive director emeritus of public affairs, has served the university for 34 years.

Charles Kading of Gorham, professor emeritus of theatre, served as chairman of the Department of Theatre for more than 18 of his 36 years of service to USM. He has served as the production manger for the five to six yearly productions of USM’s Department of Theatre for his entire tenure at USM.

Robert W. Coakley of Portland, associate professor emeritus of physics, joined the Department of Physics in 1984. During 30 years of service to USM, he helped guide the formation of the Department of Physics and the establishment of the physics major. He served a total of 12 years as chairman of the department.

Margaret A. Fournier of Portland, associate professor emerita of nursing, has been a member of USM’s faculty since her appointment as an instructor in 1976, and was awarded the rank of associate professor in 1982. She has given 38 years of service.

David Hartley of Portland has been named professor emeritus in the Muskie School in recognition of his status as a nationally recognized scholar and teacher since coming to USM in 1994. He was instrumental in the development of the program in health policy and management, serving as the first chairman of the program.

Barbara L. Rich of Portland, associate professor emerita in the School of Social Work, has served at USM for 40 years in a variety of roles including as the BSW coordinator.

Charles Welty of Portland, professor emeritus of computer science, is a founding faculty member of USM’s MS program in computer science.

Robert Atkinson of Scarborough, professor emeritus in the School of Education and Human Development, has served 27 years at the university. He also serves as a senior research fellow in USM’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute National Resource Center.

Charlotte Pryor of Scarborough, associate professor emerita in the School of Business, is recognized for her 15 years of service.

Rosemary Johnson of South Portland, associate professor emerita of nursing, has been a faculty member at USM since her initial appointment at the rank of assistant professor in 1987.

Helen Peake-Godin of South Portland, associate professor emerita of nursing, came to USM in 1980, attaining her current rank of associate professor in 1987.