Faculty Institute Banner with text: Treasures in Our Backyard, Innovative teaching and learning with what we have, May 16th 2019. Onsite at UMA.
Image of the Faculty Institute Auditorium. Attendees are standing to watch keynote speaker, Lodge McCammon in 2016


About the Event

The Faculty Institute has been around for about 30 years. We don’t have consistent records for the event dating back that far, but we do know that it began as a University College and Education Network of Maine conference and professional development opportunity for distance educators, and was primarily coordinated by former Senior Instructional Designer, Glenn LeBlanc. In its early years, the Institute was primarily for Interactive Television and catered to participants from all over the world. It had a brief foray as a Sloan-C Regional conference in 2012 (now the Online Learning Consortium), before re-emerging as a resource explicitly for distance faculty and support staff within the University of Maine System. With a focus on technology-enhanced teaching and learning, the Institute offers a full day of in-person, instructional and technological professional development on-site at the University of Maine at Augusta. We are currently sponsored directly by the Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs, with supporting sponsorship by the University of Maine at Augusta, and University Services Information Technology.

The event has been led and coordinated by Senior Instructional Designer and Director of VAWLT, Araminta Matthews, since 2015. During this time, we added supporting coordinators to focus on various aspects of the event. These roles evolve and change as the needs of the event change, and are all facilitated by the lead coordinator. We also evolved to include a robust, system-wide planning committee which serves as the guiding influence for the event, identify a keynote speaker and theme, and judge the session proposals for consideration in day’s agenda. The committee, which meets several times a year through web-conferencing, has representation from all our campuses, and includes both faculty and staff in the decision-making process. The vision for the event itself carried out by staff at the University of Maine at Augusta, members of the planning committee, and System-wide Information Technology Support Staff.

If you ever have any questions about the event, please contact the lead coordinator, as a single point of contact, Araminta “Mina” Matthews at mina.matthews@maine.edu or 207-621-3338. She will answer your question, or direct it to the person currently serving in the supporting coordinator role that can best help you with your question.

Faculty Institute Planning Committee


Ayesha Maliwal (faculty)

Karen Pelletreau (staff)

Rachel A. Knapp (staff)


Nancy Mickles-Foster (faculty)

Anne Fensie (FDC staff)

Araminta Matthews (staff/coordinator)


Kevin Good (faculty)

Ashley Montgomery (staff)


Paul Buck (faculty)

Loni Nadeau (staff)


Gregory Benton (faculty)

Eric Jones (faculty)


Leigh Belair (faculty)

Alana Margeson (staff)

Heather Nunez-Olmstead (co-coordinator, working group, co-affiliated UMA)


Lisa Hibl (faculty)

Michael Stevenson (faculty)

Paul Cochrane (staff)


Angela Cook (US:ITS Staff)

Michael Cyr (US:ITS Staff)

Megan Clough (UMS Academy)

The University makes every effort to provide reasonable accommodations to individuals with disabilities upon request. Any person with a disability who needs accommodations for this event should contact Araminta Matthews at mina.matthews@maine.edu or (207) 621-3338 to submit a request. Certain accommodations may require planning and resources for us to implement, so we ask that individuals with accommodations needs submit their request no later than the date registration closes: Thursday, May 2, 2019 (11:59 p.m.). Thank you!