Partners in Progress: Collaborating for our Future

2024 Faculty Institute Sessions

The 2024 Faculty Institute Registration, Welcome, and Program Schedule

The full program starts at 9:00 am and the event concludes at 4:00 pm.

Join us in person at the following locations:

Locations: Zoom Room 1 : Fireside Lounge & 124 Eastport

Zoom links will be sent to registered attendees.

Description: Dr. Ed Venit explores, through the lens of strategic foresight, how current trends, issues, and events in higher education and beyond will shape the success of future students. By understanding these forces shaping our world, we can anticipate the scenarios that lie ahead and take steps to guide ourselves to the future we want. You will come away with a better understanding of where student success is heading and how you can shape your institutions to best support the students of tomorrow.


Ed Venit
Managing Director, Strategic Research

Ed Venit manages student success research for EAB. In this capacity, Ed leads the development and dissemination of best practices for using data and technology to improve retention and graduation rates. Ed provides consultative guidance to senior leadership across the Student Success Collaborative and is responsible for understanding shifting needs and trends. He has over a decade of experience researching data analytics and student success technologies.

Ed presents at conferences using case studies to highlight how looming demographic declines are forcing colleges and universities to rethink student retention as an enrollment challenge. This new mindset is triggering investment in proactive advising and the development of support strategies that pay for themselves (and more) in retention gains. By documenting and sharing these trends, Ed hopes to help senior leaders develop self-sustaining strategies that graduate far more students.


Student Success and Experience, Strategy


Student Success, Data and Analytics, At-Risk Students, Academic Advising, Administrative Efficiency and Effectiveness, Demographic Forecasting, Public-Private Partnerships

View video and presentation deck.


Locations: Zoom Room 1 : Fireside Lounge & 124 Eastport

Zoom links will be sent to registered attendees.

Description: Understanding AI is no longer optional for college students - AI is already shaping our daily lives and it will play an influential role in students' futures. This interactive session focuses on how you can help students learn with and about generative AI tools in your courses.

Learning with AI involves giving students opportunities to learn how to use AI for discipline-specific work, personalized learning, creative thinking, and reading and writing support. Learning about AI focuses on the need for students to develop their AI literacy skills so they can critically evaluate AI technologies and make informed decisions about their use.

This session will be led by guest presenter Torrey Trust, PhD. Professor of Learning Technology in the College of Education at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Dr. Trust has been a leading voice in exploring ChatGPT in education and has been featured by several media outlets in articles and podcasts, including U.S. News & World Report, WIRED, Tec h& Learning, The HILL, EducationWeek, and NewScientist.


Dr. Torrey Trust

Torrey Trust, Ph.D.
Professor of Learning Technology in the College of Education at the University of Massachusetts Amherst

Torrey Trust’s work centers on the critical examination of the interconnected relationship between teaching, learning, and technology; and how technology can support teachers in designing contexts that enhance student learning. Dr. Trust has received the University of Massachusetts Amherst Distinguished Teaching Award (2023), the College of Education Outstanding Teaching Award (2020), and the ISTE Making IT Happen Award (2018), which "honors outstanding educators and leaders who demonstrate extraordinary commitment, leadership, courage and persistence in improving digital learning opportunities for students."

View video and presentation deck.


Locations: Zoom Room 1 : Fireside Lounge & 124 Eastport

Zoom links will be sent to registered attendees.

Description: Facing challenges with ChatGPT mirroring your unique writing style or brand voice? You’re not alone. 

This practical workshop, led by Cary Weston, President and Chief Marketing Officer of Sutherland Weston and host of the ChatGPT Experience podcast, targets the core of these concerns. Designed for content creators, marketers, and writers seeking to closely align AI-generated content with their personal or brand identity, this session provides actionable strategies to effectively train ChatGPT in replicating your distinctive style, tone, and voice, ensuring your content remains authentic and engaging.

What You Will Learn:

  • Framework for Replicating Your Writing Style: Discover a systematic approach to define and communicate your unique voice, tone, and style to ChatGPT, ensuring the AI-generated content matches your personal or brand identity.

  • Audience Understanding and Engagement: Learn the significance of deeply understanding your audience and how to guide ChatGPT in creating content that resonates, engages, and effectively reaches your target readers.

  • Efficiency in Content Creation: Explore how ChatGPT can serve as a powerful ally in your content creation process, helping you save time while preserving the authenticity and quality of your writing.

  • Understanding Workforce Needs: Connect how employers seek these skills and competencies.

  • Understanding ChatGPT's Relevance to Workforce Development: Discuss how AI writing tools are transforming the workplace. Highlight the need for students to understand and interact with AI for future success.

  • Workforce-Specific Writing Skills and Tasks: Identify essential communication skills and tasks for Maine's key industries. 

  • Identify how these Skills Provide Advantages: Emphasize that students capable of harnessing AI and augmenting their skills will have a distinct advantage in the job market.

  • Ethical Concerns: Any ethical concerns from your perspective with using these tools at work.

Crafting Effective Prompts for ChatGPT: Gain expertise in prompt engineering to achieve precise outcomes from ChatGPT, with tips on crafting prompts that clearly convey your content requirements and expectations.


Cary Weston

Cary Weston
President and Chief Marketing Officer of Sutherland Weston

Cary is the person who will cut through the trendy business-speak and help define what the real goal is. A fan of function over form, his charge is to ensure that creativity doesn’t mask the need and that the work is focused on results.

He was a founding member and the initial Chair of Fusion: Bangor, an organization developed to connect and inspire young professionals to become active and engaged in their community.

He has served as a multi-term city councilor, is a former Mayor of his hometown, Bangor, and founded the Mayor’s Coalition in Maine.

As a freshman in college, the first paper I turned in came back with a big ol’ ‘F’ on it. The reason? I hand-wrote it. I was supposed to use a computer. Here’s the thing – I didn’t know how to.

That day sparked what would become a lifelong habit of learning by self-discovery and curiosity.

But the role he loves best is being blessed to serve as a proud husband and dad to a happy and healthy family. He lives in Bangor with his wife Tori and three children – Maddie, Serena, and Spencer.

Twenty Speakers. Two days. One goal. To make your business the place customers go and employees stay. 

"The goal of the Maine-Stay Marketing Conference is to make a national quality training experience accessible to folks in Maine without significant travel and expense. The line up this year is going to be outstanding and I'm so confident that folks attending will find value that we have a money back guarantee."

View video and presentation deck.


Locations: Zoom Room 2 : 248 Randall and 135 Eastport

Zoom links will be sent to registered attendees.

Description: Is AI avoidable? All hype? Too risky for higher ed? Join us to answer these questions and more. We’ll discuss why ChatGPT marks a new era in AI, the transformative ways AI will impact higher ed, and how faculty and leaders across the cabinet are considering its potential risks and rewards. (BJ suggests, emphasis on the AI's Rapid Integration, Addressing AI Myths, AI in Pedagogy, Faculty and Staff Productivity, and Strategic Adoption of AI).


Afia Tasneem

Afia Tasneem
Senior Director, Strategic Research

Afia leads best practice research in EAB’s Information Technology Forum. As a higher education strategist, Afia equips Chief Technology Officers with the insights, data, and resources to advance their institutional goals. Afia’s areas of expertise include cost containment, strategic vendor management, and organizational design.

Afia brings to the IT Forum her experience in advising Vice Presidents of Enrollment on strategies to increase their net tuition revenue, student diversity, and academic quality.

Prior to joining EAB, Afia helped governments develop national strategies on sustainable human development at The World Bank. Afia designed randomized control trials and conducted computational econometric programming to evaluate interventions in education, nutrition, and social protection. Her research has appeared in leading economics and health journals.

Afia started her career in investment banking at Deutsche Bank, where she built financial models and provided strategic advice to clients in mergers, acquisitions, and capital market transactions.


Data, Analytics, and IT


Organization Change Management, IT Governance, Process Improvement, Vendor Relations and Management, Service Management and IT Support

View video and presentation deck.


Locations: Zoom Room 2 : 248 Randall and 135 Eastport

Zoom links will be sent to registered attendees.

Description: In this session, you will learn about the processes for developing new UMS micro-credentials and implementing existing ones. UMS created the infrastructure to develop a variety of micro-credentials for various target audiences. Whether you want to badge skills in your academic courses, bundle academic courses together, or expand non-credit offerings, you will leave this session understanding the resources available to you, how to get involved and begin the process, and the journey toward implementation. 



Claire Sullivan, PhD
Assistant Vice Chancellor for Innovation in
Digital Badges and Micro-Credentials
University of Maine System 

Jae Allain, MEd
Learning Experience Designer & Micro-Credential Specialist
University of Maine at Augusta & University of Maine System

View video and presentation deck.


Locations: Zoom Room 1 : Fireside Lounge & 124 Eastport

Description: Join us to explore the UMA-Landmark College partnership, an initiative designed to enhance the college experience for neurodivergent students. This session will cover:


  1. Origins and Principles: Learn about the history and shared goals of the partnership between UMA and Landmark College. Unpack foundational principles that guide UMA’s and Landmark College's commitment to neurodiversity.

  2. Pedagogical Innovations: Explore inclusive pedagogical strategies developed to manage cognitive load and differentiate assessment, enhancing inclusivity and support for neurodivergent learners in higher education.

  1. Next Steps: Join in the discussion of next steps in this initiative.


Kristin McLaren, Ph.D., Director of Academic Success, UMA

Jen Davis, MA, LCPC, LADC, Dean of Students, Adjunct Faculty, Social Science, UMA

Jessica Ludders, MA, MEd, Learning Experience Designer, Adjunct English Faculty, UMA, Adjunct Faculty at the University of Maine
MEd Instructional Technology 

Michelle Deal, Ph.D., Director, Learning Technologies Research & Development, School of Neurodiversity Research & Innovation, Landmark College

View video and presentation deck.


FI Who Should Attend

The Faculty Institute is a rich compendium of professional development opportunities for distance educators across the University of Maine System and our valued community partners and colleagues worldwide through a virtual attendance option.

There is no cost to attend the Faculty Institute!

Normally, as a collaborative event, the Institute has a system-wide planning committee with faculty and staff representing each campus. The University of Maine at Augusta hosts this event for in-person attendees and facilitates the ability to participate virtually. While it has had various names over the years, the Faculty Institute has existed in some variation for the system for more than 30 years. 

It is our pleasure to carry on this tradition of offering a system-wide, collaboratively designed event with sessions presented by our faculty, staff, and guests. 

Thank you for visiting our site. We look forward to seeing you soon!

Join us at the UMA Faculty Institute, where innovation in teaching and learning takes center stage. This year, we extend our invitation not only to members across all campuses and outreach centers of the University of Maine System but also to our valued community partners and colleagues worldwide through a virtual attendance option.

This institute is a vital gathering for anyone engaged with or supporting today's educational methods, including hybrid, hyflex, and online modalities. Whether you are working with synchronous online classes, asynchronous content, hybrid or hyflex formats, or fully online courses, this event is designed for you. It is especially relevant for those involved in

  • Faculty (full-time, adjunct, or part-time)
  • Graduate students with teaching roles
  • Undergraduate students, and teaching assistants
  • Academic leaders and administrators
  • Support staff in academic and student services
  • Professionals in instructional design and technology
  • Anyone involved in developing or delivering digital learning content

By participating in the Faculty Institute, you'll connect with peers, discover innovative practices, and gain insights into leveraging technology to enhance teaching and learning. Don’t miss this opportunity to contribute to shaping the future of education in our University of Maine System and within the communities you serve.

UMA Centers are located across the state. UMA is truly statewide providing Mainers with the opportunity to start or complete their college degree close to home. Students can take part in distance education or onsite classes that fit their schedules.


The University of Maine at Augusta (UMA) is committed to free speech and fosters an environment in which all members of our community have access to a vibrant, enriching education befitting a democracy. A hallmark of our work is academic freedom and open inquiry. We are proud to affirm our ongoing commitment to an education that is diverse, inclusive, equitable and anti-racist.  We recognize that diversity is a strength, and encourage our college community to examine issues related to: race, ethnicity, nationality, culture, gender, gender identity/expression, religion, sexual orientation, age, veteran status, and disability.

UMA applauds the endeavors of students, faculty and staff who engage in this work, including the development of programs and curricula. Through these and other undertakings, UMA actively promotes the lively exchange of ideas to improve our efforts and be responsive to the needs of our community. UMA will continue to lead by example, rising to the challenge of embracing change, acknowledging shortcomings, and prioritizing diversity, equity, and inclusion in pursuit of our mission.

The President’s Council on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion provides support and advocacy for these efforts.

Endorsed by Faculty Senate: 2/19/21
Endorsed by President’s Cabinet: 2/23/21

Related Links

UMA is committed to ensuring a productive and inclusive environment for all members of our diverse community, which includes people of all abilities, races, ethnicities, genders, sexual orientations, nationalities, religious traditions, socioeconomic classes, and ages. The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Council will work to support strategic initiatives, partnerships, advocacy, innovation, and educational programs that will create, sustain, and enrich UMA’s institutional commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion of its entire community. They will also work to identify challenges, propose strategies, and make recommendations for new and ongoing policies that support DEI initiatives.

Putting Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion into Action

The DEI Council will:

  • Promote a long-term and sustained culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion that is flexible, evolving, and open to continual improvement.
  • Establish institutional funding for ongoing education and training programs in DEI areas, to include regular professional development opportunities for all members of the community.
  • Recognize that inequalities and exclusions are the products of both structural policies and unconscious prejudice, and that DEI initiatives are not possible without both institutional support and healthy self-reflection and openness to learning from all members of our community.
  • Organize and promote workshops, activities, professional development, and research in DEI related areas and advocate that these opportunities be supported and rewarded through administrative and institutional support. These development activities should be provided by university professionals as well as initiated by student interests in order to better address structural blind spots and increase attention to diverse students’ actual needs.
  • Create a shared culture of DEI through deliberate and public expressions of DEI values. This means that we will seek to actively and positively create learning communities that are inclusive of sex, gender identity, race, ethnicity, religion, age, and income differences and actively understand and promote the benefits of DEI across our entire community.
  • Intentionally prioritize and support faculty efforts to integrate DEI research, tools, and perspectives into their curriculum and classroom practices.
  • Intentionally recruit and retain faculty, students, and staff that reflect multicultural and diverse backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives.

Susan Baker, Co-Chair
Professor of Science

Pamela MacRae, Co-Chair
Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences

Aaminah Aleem
Administrative Specialist, Office of Student Life

Jeremy Bouford
Assistant Director of Recruitment, Admissions

Lynett Kelly
Student Services Coordinator, Bangor

Charlotte MacDonald
Academic Administrative Coordinator for the College of Arts and Sciences

Patricia Clark
Lecturer of Mental Health and Human Services

Kristin McLaren
Director of Academic Success

Samira Musleh
Post-Doctoral Scholar for DEI Initiatives

Kelby Myers
Assistant Professor of Veterinary Technology

Lynn Poor
Student Services Coordinator, Augusta & Lewiston Auburn Center


Dave Samuelian
Professor of Mental Health and Human Services

Carter Skemp
Assistant Professor of Architecture

Lauren Stark
Assistant Professor of Education

Piper Stiles
Student Representative

Brent Wooten
Director of Enrollment Marketing


The University Collaborative
Faculty Institute 

Is Hyflex!

Attend in-person, Online live, or Asynchronously.

May 13th, 2024

 9:00 am to 4:00 pm

Breakfast, Lunch, and Gifts for those who attend at a UMA Location!

You can join us at:

  1. The University of Maine at Augusta or Bangor Campuses,
  2. At one of UMA's Centers Across Maine,
  3. Virtually Live Through Zoom, and
  4. Asynchonously through Recorded Sessions.

[Directions to Campus]

Let us know when you register how you plan to attend.

From ITV in 1989 to Hyflex Today and AI Tomorrow! 

UMA has been a pioneer in providing higher education to students at a distance, from the very first courses broadcast via ITV to today’s highly interactive distance, online, and hyflex courses. 

“I think most people thought of it as only technology (i.e., television classrooms, TV cameras, microwave towers, etc.). However, what was created in 1989 was the first statewide comprehensive distance-learning network in the United States. Educators came from all over the country to learn first-hand what we were doing.” Dr. George Connick, former UMA President and pioneer of distance education in Maine, reflected on the initial implementation of electronic education.

The face of ITV has certainly changed since its inception, but it remains an integral part of UMA’s distance learning in the form of Hyflex courses. Today, learning venue options include In-Person, Hybrid/Blended, Distance Synchronous, Online, HyFlex, and UMA Campuses and Centers. UMA is again leading the way with its innovative use of web-based interactive classrooms, which improve upon the original ITV design.

The Faculty Institute is free to attend for full-time faculty, adjunct instructors, students,
and staff in the University of Maine System, and this year we are including guests from Maine and Beyond!

Support and Funding

This year, the Faculty Institute is sponsored entirely by the University of Maine at Augusta. We welcome our UMS community and our state and national partners to this years Institute.

Consider Joining!

The AI in Education Google Group was established by Daniel Stanford on January 4th, 2023 to foster conversations and collaborations around the impact of artificial intelligence on teaching and learning.

Useful Links

Flexible Text Options

  • CART, Automatic Captions, viewing full transcripts, and streaming live discussions on phone apps, such as Google Recorder or Ava, to transcribe voice to text for iPhone, are available on Android and Apple. Live Transcribe (Android—Apple) is also available for Android and iOS.


Educators, students, workforce innovators, and AI explorers are at the heart of the AI Revolution in EDU. Join us at the UMA Faculty Institute to learn how the future of student success, inclusive education, and workforce readiness intersect with Artificial Intelligence. 

Be a part of this transformative journey and partner with each other in progress.

Accessibility Statement & Requests for Accommodation

The FI Planning Committee and support staff make every effort to make all content and experiences accessible to all from the outset. The university will also make every effort to provide reasonable accommodations to individuals with disabilities upon request. 

Certain accommodations may require planning and resources for us to implement, so we ask that individuals needing accommodations submit their request as soon as possible and no later than May 6th

Email the UMA FDC if you have questions at

Many Chat Bubbles


Many diverse people.