USM LAC Volunteers at Good Shepherd Food Bank

Students and staff members from the University of Southern Maine’s Lewiston-Auburn College collaborated with long time community partner Good Shepherd Food Bank on Friday, March 14th in recognition of “USM’s Husky Day of Service”. The Husky Day of Service encourages students to volunteer and learn more about the organizations in their communities. Students and staff participating at the Good Shepherd location helped to properly sort donated food, and prepared backpacks for local children as well as food packs for the elderly.

USM LAC’s Druker Office of Community Engagement coordinated the event with Good Shepherd’s volunteer coordinator, Amanda Marino. The event helped to increase awareness of the extent of hunger in the state, and the work and mission that the Good Shepherd Food bank does to help feed people here in Maine.

The Druker Office of Community Engagement (DOCE), located at USM’s Lewiston-Auburn campus, sets a unique standard as a student-faculty collaboratively led office coordinating LAC’s multi-tiered community engagement work. It takes a hands-on approach to community engagement involvement, including programming for community enrichment; coordination of engagement learning projects; building community relationships; and contributing vigorously to the growing assets, diversity, and richness of the community.

picture of usm husky day of service








Pictured first row, left to right: Tonya Bailey-Curry, Jodi Redmun, and Dan Philbrick. Back row, left to right: Lyn Philbrick, Steven Doyle, Carmen Edwards, Amanda Pugh, and Katie Philbrick.


USM Husky day of service picture












Left to right Steven Doyle, Carmen Edwards, Tonya Bailey-Curry and  Megan Hulbert.

Posted by on March 25th, 2014 Comments Off

USM LAC Hosts Civil Rights Interactive Workshop with Edward Little

The USM LAC Druker Office of Community Engagement recently hosted an interactive workshop about civil rights with Edward Little High School and USM Lewiston-Auburn College students. Entitled, “Bringing it Home: Civil Rights Struggles from Birmingham to Maine”, the workshop was funded through a USM Diversity Mini Grant and highlighted the similarities and differences between civil rights struggles in Lewiston-Auburn, the United States, and globally 50 years ago and presently.

The workshop convened at USM LAC and brought together approximately 50 Edward Little High School students as well as 25 USM LAC students, along with staff from both schools in order to build community among students as well as to explore the ethics and history behind civil rights movements.  The event reflected hours of planning and preparation by a group of dedicated Edward Little high school student leaders, Dante Baskett, Cole Butler, Clayton Carver, Sydnee Harris, Salma Mohammed, and Ayuub Sharlot working closely with USM LAC students Tonya Bailey-Curry and Thomas Farrington. These students worked collaboratively with the facilitation of Nicole Manganelli of the Unity Project, E.L. Vice Principal, Leslie Morrill; and USM LAC Associate Professor Michelle Vazquez Jacobus to plan the content and the activities of the Civil Rights Event as well as to lead the event itself.

The highly-interactive day included study of civil rights history, interactive activities, small and large group discussions, a multicultural panel and an action planning session, all of which included high school, college students, USM and Edward Little faculty, and several community members. The Martin Luther King Jr. “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” (which was written 50 years ago) was used as a touchstone for advance study and to launch discussions about the perpetuity and commonality of civil rights struggles.  Reading and discussion of the M.L.K. letter were followed by a multicultural panel consisting of Rita Dube, the former Director of the Franco American Heritage Center; Tonya Bailey-Curry, a USM Student Leader; Sadik Lag, a USM LAC graduate and community leader; and Sydnee Harris, an Edward Little High School student leader.  Panelists spoke candidly about issues their communities have faced provided ideas to strengthen relations in our communities.  The workshop culminated with an action oriented planning session in which participants collaboratively developed action steps to address racism and create safer, more inclusive communities.

USM LAC’s Druker Office of Community Engagement sets a unique standard as a student-faculty collaboratively led office coordinating LAC’s multi-tiered community engagement work.

Civil Rights Interactive Workshop

Pictured are students from Edward Little High School in Auburn and USM LAC students taking part in the “Bringing it Home: Civil Rights Struggles from Birmingham to Maine” workshop, hosted by USM’s Lewiston-Auburn College and organized by the Druker Office of Community Engagement. From left to right: Ayuub Sharlot (EL), Angela Hamel (LAC), Jessica Sinclair (LAC and EL), Sierra-Lynn Frost (EL), Morgan Laferierre (EL), Patrick Garner (EL), Dante Baskett (EL), Allie Flowers (EL), and Riley McCurdy (EL). Standing in back are Renee Morin (LAC) and Pamela Lebourdais (LAC).

Posted by on March 17th, 2014 Comments Off

USM LAC’s Peabody presents at national conference

USM LAC Professor Dr. Mary Anne Peabody recently was a speaker at the United States Play Coalition Annual conference held at Clemson University in Clemson, South Carolina. Dr. Peabody’s presented a talk entitled “At the corner of play and pedagogy: Exploring interdisciplinary undergraduate students and faculty perceptions of play based reflective practices”. The presentation was selected as part of the Conference’s program, Collaboration and Creativity in Partnership with International Play Association/USA.

In her presentation Dr. Peabody explored the use of play based interventions as reflective practice tools to enhance student’s knowledge and skills in becoming reflective practitioners. Peabody also recently co-authored a book chapter with colleagues, Dr. Anne Stewart and Dr. Jessica Umhoefer of James Madison University in Virginia, on Play therapy with military-connected children and families. In the chapter, applications of a resiliency model utilizing play therapy approaches with children experiencing parental deployment are explored. The book will be released later in 2014.

Peabody joined the faculty in the Social and Behavioral Sciences program at USM LAC in September 2013. She had previously served as clinical faculty for Children’s Institute affiliated with the University of Rochester, New York and as an adjunct professor at Plymouth State University graduate play therapy program in Plymouth, New Hampshire. She received her doctorate in Executive Leadership from St. John Fisher College in Rochester, New York.

Dr. Mary Anne Peabody

Dr. Mary Anne Peabody, Assistant Professor of Social and Behavioral Science at USM’s Lewiston-Auburn College.



Posted by on February 25th, 2014 Comments Off

Improved Police Response to Juveniles in Crisis will be the topic for Lecture Series

Jonathan Shapiro

Sergeant Jonathan Shapiro

Maine State Police Sergeant Jonathan Shapiro will be the first speaker for USM LAC’s Alumni Lecture Series, on Tuesday, February 4, at Noon.  His lecture will highlight the program “Improved Police Response to Juveniles in Crisis”, which he developed for the Maine State Police as part of his capstone project in the Master’s in Leadership Studies program at USM’s Lewiston-Auburn College. Shapiro is a member of Troop A in York County.

Shapiro will give an overview of the program and the four years of data collected since its inception. He will also speak about the Juvenile Community Review Board he recently developed in Old Orchard Beach.

The USM LAC Alumni Lecture Series invites USM LAC alumni to return to campus and speak to how their degree program has helped them in their chosen careers. All lectures are free, and current members of the USM community as well as the general public are invited to attend these short talks and hear directly from alumni applying their USM education in their workplace or organizations as well as to the wider world. The campus is located at 51 Westminster Street in Lewiston and the lectures will be held in room 170. For more information about this and upcoming lectures in this series please visit

Posted by on January 22nd, 2014 Comments Off

Greenlaw Presents at Conference

Evelyn Greenlaw was an instructor at the November 16 2013 Maine Occupational Therapy Association annual Fall Conference held at USM’s Lewiston-Auburn College. The theme was “Teaching and Learning: What’s OT got to do with it?”  Her presentation was entitled “Web Resources for Busy OTs with Special Emphasis on Finding Evidence Based Resources”. The session covered searching MaineCat and the MARVEL databases, using PubMed (a database from the National Library of Medicine), accessing library services from public, hospital, and university libraries, and finding evidence-based resources.

Greenlaw also created a guide for Occupational Therapists which is available publicly online

Evelyn Greenlaw

Posted by on December 9th, 2013 Comments Off