Board of Directors
USM's Franco-American Collection is goverened by a Board of Directors who represent the interests of the University of Southern Maine and the Franco-American Community. A number of positions are therefore reserved for staff, faculty and students of USM-LAC.
Appointments to the board, and responsibilities of board members are determined by the Collection's by-laws.
Ex-Officio Board Members:
Collection Coordinator: James Myall
James has been Coordinator of the Franco-American Collection since August 2010. He graduated from the University of St Andrews in Scotland with an M.A. in Ancient History and Archaeology and is currently working towards a Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management.
James is also an adjuct faculty member at USM LAC, and teaches LCC220: US Democracy: Origins and Development and LCC 320: Sustaining Democracy.
A native of Great Britain, James grew up less than 100 miles from France, and has held a long-time interest in French language, culture and history. He has spent extensive time living in and visiting France and Quebec. He now lives with his wife, Maggie-Kate, in Bath.
USM LAC Dean: Joyce Gibson
Dr. Joyce Gibson serves as Dean of USM’s Lewiston-Auburn College. Prior to coming to USM she served as Associate Professor at the Graduate School of Education at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell. She holds a Ph.D. in Educational Administration from the University of Florida, Gainsville and an MA in Rehabilitation Counseling from George Washington University. She has served as Associate Vice Chancellor of Academic Services at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell and was responsible for service development for students, staff and faculty, as well as developing strategic plans for improved efficiency and effectiveness. She has extensive experience in retention programs and conflict management and has taught courses in leadership, organizational change, and managing diversity.
Ongoing USM LAC Members:
Atrium Gallery Coordinator: Robyn Holman
Robyn Holman has been curating art exhibitions in all media for over 30 years, including traveling exhibitions, art auctions, and history exhibitions, with a special interest in topics that blend art and science. She is also an art consultant to businesses and other organizations.
Director of Communications: Daniel K. Philbrick
Dan has been with University of Southern Maine since 1989. Starting with the University Libraries, he eventually transferred to the USM's Lewiston-Auburn College administration in 2001. He currently oversees all marketing and public relations for USM LAC. He has been a member of the Franco-American Collection Board since 2007. He also serves on several University and local committees and organizational boards.
Dan is native of the Lewiston-Auburn area, growing up in Auburn. He has a very strong interest in preserving and capturing the stories of the cultural history of Lewiston-Auburn area. He holds a BA in History from the University of Southern Maine and an MA in Leadership Studies from the University of Southern Maine. He serves as an adjunct member of the USM LAC faculty, teaching courses in computer software and web design. He still lives in Auburn with his wife and two children.
Faculty: Mark Silber
Mark describes himself as a generalist, interested in many academic and non-academic fields: documentary photography (visual anthropology – anthropology of visual communication and communication with visual media), agriculture and food, health beliefs, and symbolism.
Mark has been an Assistant Professor at USM LAC since 1998. Some courses that he has taught are: Cultural Anthropology; Health Illness and Culture; Ethnicity, Immigration and Identity; Deviance and Social Control; Family; Food, Culture and Eating. One of his favorites is Fables Do Come True – Fairy Tales and National Character, which incorporates readings of fairy tales from different cultures and six films, also from different cultures.
Mark lives in Sumner, Maine, where he enjoyes gardening and being outdoors, building buildings, repairing machinery, community organizing, becoming an integral part of the town government, and contributing time to small non-profit community organizations.
Franco-American Scholar: vacant
Library: Maureen Perry (Secretary)
Maureen has served on the Collection’s Board of Directors since 2004. She is the Reference & Instruction Librarian at USM Lewiston-Auburn College. She manages library subscriptions for the journal Women in French Studies as well.
She holds an M.A. in Speech Communication, an M.S. in Library & Information Science, and a Certificate of Advanced Study in Adult Learning. Inspired by her Franco-American heritage she has performed her bilingual poetry locally and in the Boston area. She lives in Lewiston with her mother and two cats.
Student Representative: Tina Sirois
Tina is an Arts and Humanities major at USM LAC with a minor in French North American studies. She is a first generation Franco-American. Her parents emmigrated from Quebec in the 1950s. Like other Franco-Americans living in Maine, she holds Franco traditions and social mores dear, and is passionate about the way of life which makes their French identity unique. She is particularly interested in the study of 16th-century New France and relationships to contemporary Franco-American culture.
Roger Philippon (Chair)
A Lewiston native, Roger has been a member of the board for over twelve years. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maine and a master’s degree from the University of Southern Maine. Roger is the dean of planning and public affairs at Central Maine Community College and is a former Lewiston City Councilor. Long active in Franco-American affairs, he is a former member and past president of the L-A Richelieu Club, and served on the Festival Franco-Americain board of directors. As an actor, he has performed in a number of French productions. He and his wife Celeste live in Lewiston and are very active with the Community Little Theater.
Maureen Chicoine (Treasurer)
Maureen was born in Winslow and moved to Auburn after graduating from Winthrop High School in 1960. She owned a ceramics business for 10 years, and served as president of the Maine Ceramic Guild. She has also been active in numerous community organizations, including the parish council of Our Lady of the Rosary, St Joseph’s and St Dominic schools, and the Maine Franco-American Genealogical Society. She has been a member of the Board of Directors for 3 years, and enjoys attending Le Rencontre at the Heritage Center, as well as our monthly sing-along sessions. Having lost her French after her grandparents passed away, Mo is enjoying re-learning her native language. She is currently working on a genealogical book of several local families.
Doris is an educational specialist in teaching and learning and the part time coordinator for the Maine French Heritage Program in Lewiston Auburn. She received her degree of advance studies in curriculum and instruction, her master’s degree in French and her bachelor’s degree from the University of Maine in Orono. She also studied at L’université of Aix-Provence, in France. She has served on the board of directors at the Franco American Center, was chair of the education committee of the Maine Community College System, and presently also serves as a trustee of the Auburn Public Library. Her passion is to give back to the community by reconnecting youngsters with their French heritage and culture.
Gabriel Couture was born in Lewiston and received his Bachelor’s degree from St Michael's College and his Masters from Syracuse University. He has taught Math and Physics in R.I., Mass, and N.Y.. After his retirement in 1991 he has been active in the promotion of the Franco-American Culture. He is a member of Le Rencontre at the Franco-American Heritage Center, and a librarian for the Maine Franco-American Genealogical Society.
Mary Rice-DeFosse is Professor of French and Chair of the Division of Interdisciplinary Programs at Bates College. She completed her Ph.D. at Yale University with a dissertation on the forms history takes in the works of Gustave Flaubert. She also studied at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris. In addition to work on Flaubert, she has published and presented on women writers of the Romantic period, including, George Sand, Marie d'Agoult, Flora Tristan, and Louise Colet. She served as an editor for the nineteenth century for A Feminist Encyclopedia of French Literature (Greenwood Press, 1998) and for a special volume of Women in French Studies, Écriture Courante: Critical Perspectives on French and Francophone Women (2005). Her research focuses on literary representations of revolution and social change.
She is past President of Women in French and serves on the editorial board of Women in French Studies. She is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Franco-American Heritage Center in Lewiston. She is currently working on a permanent exhibit for the FAHC entitled They came, They Served (Elles sont venues, elles sont servi) on the Grey Nuns of Lewiston-Auburn and their work in the community. It is funded in part by a major grant from the Maine Humanities Council and a Publicly Engaged Academic Project Grant from the Harvard Center for Community Partnerships at Bates College and uses photos and images from the Franco-American Collection.
Jacynthe is a wife, a mother of four, and a student. She has been involved in the local Franco community in many ventures, especially those involving music and singing. She is part of the monthly Sing-Alongs at USM/LAC. She is also tutoring local home-schooled children in the French language.
Giving to the Collection
The operation of the Franco-American Collection, its educational programs and the preservation of its materials are dependent on your generosity.
Find out more about giving to the Collection through the University of Southern Maine.
Please select "specific College/school funds", followed by "other", and specifiy "Franco-American Collection" to direct your donation correctly.Learn More