Featured Faculty

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

     Members of our faculty represent a wide variety of backgrounds. While many have had careers on college campuses or at private or public schools, others have had careers in industry, the arts, and active engagement in different disciplines. Each teacher brings new perspectives and a readiness to engage constructively with senior learners.

      If you are interested in teaching for us, please learn more: https://midcoastseniorcollege.org/teach-for-msc/.  Questions?  Contact us by e-mail (info@midcoastseniorcollege.org) or mail (29 Burbank Avenue, Suite 6, Brunswick ME 04011) with your background information and a course proposal. Our Curriculum Committee is responsible for selecting faculty and courses.


Faculty (listed alphabetically)

 We are proud to highlight members of our faculty who have taught for us in the past few academic years.    The following brief introductions are representative of the breadth and background of all our instructors.

Morton Achter — Educated in musicology, music theory, piano, and theater history at the University of Michigan (BM, MM, PhD), Morton’s extensive academic tenure was at Otterbein College in Ohio, where he served as Chair of the Department of Music and taught theory, composition, music history, music appreciation, opera, and musical theater.  He has also taught at Indiana University-Purdue University in Indiana,  University of Michigan, Boston University, and the Boston Conservatory. Morton has been responsible for the overall direction, the music direction, and the choreography for five dozen operas, musicals, and plays at the professional, college, and community levels.  Since retirement in 2002 he has been a consultant for the National Association of Schools of Music, director of eight theater productions in the Damariscotta area, and led pre-opera talks for the Met HD broadcasts in Damariscotta.

Doug Bennett received his PhD in Political Science from Yale University after graduating magna cum laude from Haverford College. He has taught Political Science at Temple University, Swarthmore and Earlham College. Before retiring in 2011, Doug served as president of Earlham College for 4 years. Doug lives in Topsham and is very active as a board member of the Brunswick Topsham Land Trust.

Jayne Boisvert holds a Ph.D. in French and has extensive experience teaching all levels of the language. An ardent traveler, she has published two guidebooks on Paris.

Raymond Boisvert earned a Ph.D. and taught philosophy for over 35 years at the college level.

Susan Bowditch — Susan spent 16 years of her adult life living overseas:  The Philippines, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Macedonia and Ghana.  Living nearly seven years in Ghana, she co-directed four semesters abroad for American college students, focusing on African arts and cultures, through the School for International Training, based in Brattleboro, VT.  While in Ghana she became very interested in the Atlantic Slave Trade and did a lot of personal research, living just opposite Cape Coast Castle, a major player in the Trade.  Back in the US she worked in museums in Salem, MA, where she further researched the slave trade, the Underground Railroad and abolitionism – generally in New England, and more specifically in Salem.   She also helped the Peabody Essex Museum put together its’ first African gallery.  Subsequently, in Maine she had a brief opportunity to manage the Joshua Chamberlain house museum in Brunswick, giving her more insight into the Civil War. Susan has a BA from the College of Wooster, Wooster, OH; an MA from Vermont College, Montpelier, VT; and a Museum Certificate from Tufts University, Medford, MA.

Bob Bunselmeyer — Since his 2007 course on British soldier poets of World War I, Bob has been teaching Modern European History at Bates College.  Formerly he taught at Yale, Fordham, and Villanova; he served as a university administrator at Yale (his doctoral alma mater) and at Columbia.  As a professor of British history, he has sought to draw from other disciplines to enrich students’ understanding of the times.  Bob has a lifelong interest in how the novel helps us to understand history.  In historians’ unending effort to interpret the past, they have employed a host of tools from written and photographic documents to computers to carbon-dating and more.  Among the oldest tools historians have been using is creative literature to aid in recapturing the events, representative characterization, mood and spirit of times far removed from their own.  It should be said that, from the time early man first spun tales around a campfire, creative stories have been indispensable in capturing and perpetuating the spirit of an age.

Marlis Cambon — Of herself, Marlis Cambon writes: “Like Dante, I am a traveler at heart and in reality, because I divide my life between the two poles of my life:   Europe and the US.  I am at home in both and my life adjusts naturally to each environment.  So do my interests:  while in Italy, I take in as much art, architecture and its history as possible, some mountain hiking, and during the winter cross-country skiing.  While in Harpswell I enjoy the sea, the woods and their creatures  around my house,  my modest garden, and the fruits of the earth:   mushrooms in particular, and berries. I enjoy crafts: knitting, felting, and weaving baskets.”

Michael Chaney is the Executive Director of the Frances Perkins Center in Newcastle. A native of Alna, he holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Maine – Orono and a MA in history from the University of Connecticut. He has served as CEO of the New Hampshire Political Library and Executive Director of the Yarmouth Historical Society.

Edward Cherian spent 32 years as Professor of Information Systems at George Washington University. His distinguished career includes awards (curriculum, research, service, publications) and honors (Ford Foundation Fellow, Senior Fulbright Scholar, National Science Foundation Advisor), and numerous technical publications. His consulting assignments include work with the Defense Science Board, The U. S. Department of Education, Google, IBM, and others.

Ross Crolius spent over thirty years performing opera in the New York City area, including singing for twenty-five years with the chorus of the Metropolitan Opera. He also spent ten years teaching college-level voice and opera appreciation.

Fred Cichocki is a long time college professor with a doctorate in ecology and evolutionary biology from The University of Michigan.

Joseph Coté has performed featured roles in fourteen of the Bard’s plays. His mentor and acting teacher for some years was John Broome of the Royal Shakespeare Company. At MSC he has taught multiple courses that focus on individual characters within the greater landscape of a play in an effort to understand the details of their journey through the play.

Norm Curthoys received a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of California, Berkeley and conducted basic biomedical research with over 40 years of continuous funding from the National Institutes of Health. During this time, he also taught biochemistry to undergraduate, graduate, and medical students.

Leona Dufour — Leona lives in Georgetown and holds a B.A. in English from Wilkes University and a M.A. in English from the University of Maryland. She taught honors and advanced placement in English at Carmel High School in Carmel, New York.

Charisse Gendron holds a Ph.D. in English literature from the University of Connecticut. She has taught at the University of Connecticut, Middle Tennessee State University, and OLLI.

Stuart Gillespie retired from a 30-year career as Director of Choral Ensembles and chair of Fine Arts at Naugatuck Valley Community College in. He began his career in music as a baritone singer with the United States 7th Army Chorus – Europe. He was the choral master of the Manchester Symphony Chorale from 1972 to 1984 and a singer of historical sea music at the Mystic Seaport Museum in Mystic, CT. In 1998 he received the American Choral Director Association’s “Outstanding Choral Director of Connecticut” award. He is a published composer and when not messing around with old boats, old cars or old music, he takes delight in teaching the 50 voice Midcoast Senior College Singers.

Susan F. Goran is a nurse with 45 years of full-time experience in a variety of roles in specialty ICUs; she has extensive teaching experience with both professional and public audiences. Currently she is an Adjunct Faculty Member in the School of Nursing for the University of New England.

Peter Griffin — After earning degrees from Dartmouth and Stanford, and a three year stint teaching at Whitman college in Washington, followed by working for an international commodity merchant, Peter would turn, in his spare time, to playing Bach on the piano and his kit-built harpsichord. Upon retirement to Maine in 2006, Peter now free to pursue his passion, studied the pipe organ with Ray Cornils and began a personal in-depth study of Bach, his life and music. When not messing about with Bach, his organ, or his small catboat, Peter volunteers as a docent for the Kotschmar Organ in Portland and serves as Director and Treasurer of both the Holbrook Community Foundation in Cundy’s Harbor and the Bowdoin International Music Festival. He says his vegetable garden is much too large, and he is learning to grow winter greens in an unheated hoop house.

John Hail (B.A. Bates, M.A. Middlebury) recently retired from a career as an English teacher and administrator at Avon Old Farms School in Connecticut, Western Reserve Academy in Ohio, and Brooks School in Massachusetts.

Bruce Hauptli earned a B.A. in mathematics from Lawrence University in Wisconsin and a M. A. and Ph.D in philosophy from Washington University in St. Louis. He is an Emeritus Professor of philosophy at Florida International University in Miami where he taught for 39 years. Bruce retired to Bath in 2015.

Paul Kalkstein — hired in 1970 at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, Paul had been educated at  Phillips.  He then took degrees at Princeton and Yale.  His specialization is English and American literature with particular interest in the writings of the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries.  He has taught advanced high school classes on Milton, Shakespeare, and Spenser.  He is also much concerned about good writing and has both taught composition and published several books on the subject.  In this vein he has sat on the Commission on Composition of the National Council of Teachers of English.  Further, Paul is very much interested in distance learning, the importance service of online enrichment programs.

Janet Kehl holds an A.B. in French from Middlebury College and an M.A.T. in French and English from Yale University.   She has studied in France and Greece and taught in private schools in Switzerland and Italy. Her teaching career in the United States began at Phillips Exeter Academy, where she taught all levels of French. After 14 years, she moved to New York City,  where she taught French and served as the Head of the Modern Language Department at The Trinity School. At MSC, she has co-taught literature courses with Leona Dufour.

Ann Kimmage — Ann was a professor at SUNY-Plattsburg.  There and elsewhere she has taught literature, composition, and autobiographical writing, the Russian and Czech languages, and the philosophy and practice of yoga. In writing her own memoir,  An Un-American Childhood, about growing up in communist Czechoslovakia and China, she became inspired to teach memoir.  She is also writing a yoga memoir.

S. Jay Kuder has been a professor of special education at Rowan University (NJ) for over 35 years and the founder and former coordinator of the autism certificate program at the university.  He has published Teaching Students with Language and Communication Disorders and numerous research articles.  His current research and writing focus on college-age students with autism.

Dennis Kimmage — Dennis has a Ph.D. from Cornell and years of college teaching experience. Courses he has taught at the Senior College include Pasternak’s Dr. Zhivago, Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead, and The Quicksand World of Alfred Hitchcock.

Gary Lawless — Many of us are familiar with Gary, co-owner of Gulf of Maine Bookstore in Brunswick.  Educated in Mane with a honorary Doctorate from University of Southern Maine, for a time he lived as poet’s apprentice in the residence of California’s notable environmental activist and poet, Gary Snyder. He has taught at several public and collegiate schools in this State, including Bates College. Long-time editor/publisher of Blackberry Books, he has written sixteen collections of poetry and given readings and workshops here and abroad.  He has traveled nearby and far-and-wide to be poet in residence, as well has been published in numerous magazines and anthologies.  He lives in Nobleboro, Maine, as caretaker of the Maine home of authors Elizabeth Coatsworth and Henry Beston, and their daughter Kate Beston Barnes, Maine’s first poet laureate.

Ed Lovely had a full career in the chemical industry before returning to graduate school at Drew University in New Jersey where he received a Ph.D. in the Philosophy of Religion. He taught philosophy and religion at Fairleigh Dickenson and Drew University before retiring to Topsham in 2012.

Susan Mikesell — Susan has been involved with Senior College for many terms.  With RN, BSN, MSW, and Ph.D. degrees, she is a well-trained and long-experienced psychologist, psychotherapist, clinical social worker, and nurse.  She has given many years to clinical and consulting experience, to independent practice, and teaching in continuing education courses and in workshops.

Richard S. Neiman is a retired physician. A native of Boston and a graduate of Harvard College and Tufts University School of Medicine, he was on the faculties at Harvard, Tufts, and Boston University and at Indiana University School of Medicine, where he directed the Division of Hematologic Pathology. He retired in 2000 as Emeritus Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and Internal Medicine. Since retirement, he has served on several Harpswell town committees, on the Boards of the LARK Society of Chamber Music, the DaPonte String Quartet, and Curtis Memorial Library, and is a member of Town and College Club.

Victor Papacosma is Professor Emeritus of History and Director Emeritus of the Lemnitzer Center for NATO and European Union Studies at Kent State University, where he taught for 42 years. He received his A.B. from Bowdoin College and his M.A. and Ph.D. from Indiana University.He has published extensively on Balkan issues, particularly on twentieth-century and contemporary Greek politics and security issues.Among his publications are The Military in Greek Politics: The 1909 Coup d’État, which also appeared in Greek translation, and ten coedited volumes of Lemnitzer Center conference proceedings.He served as an officer of the Modern Greek Studies Association and as its Executive Director for ten years until 2014.

Steve Piker is an anthropologist who taught for 44 years at Swarthmore College before retiring to Yarmouth in 2009. He has taught several courses at OLLI at USM, Portland. Steve also does volunteer work at the Portland Boys and Girls Club and at the Riverton Elementary School in Portland.

Terry Porter is a Maine Master Naturalist and professor emerita at the University of Maine Business School. She taught sustainability in all of her business classes, including ones on Strategic Management and Business and Society. She is currently enjoying a return to her lifelong love of natural history. She hopes to help increase access to the Bay and, thereby, appreciation and conservation of natural resources, particularly within our local area.

Dan Possumatois a retired Deputy Garrison Commander and a former anti-terrorist consultant for the U.S. Army. He is a graduate of the U S. Army War College and is a part-time Special Investigator for the U.S. Department of State.

Stephanie Rayner is a professional artist and international lecturer whose work deals with the transformation of our spirituality by the revelations of science and technology. She has presented her works to The Vatican Symposium on Religion and Science (Malta), The Institute for Religion in an Age of Science (New Hampshire), and the First International Symposium of Religion and Science (University of Toronto). In 2016, Stephanie Rayner became the only visual artist to be awarded The Ashley Fellowship. MSC.

Martin Samelson’s  B.A. degree (Russian history, languages) proved useful in a corporate career. Certification in ASL/English Interpretation for the Deaf was a natural addition for his work at the Lexington School for the Deaf. As American Sign Language Program Director, he has taught all levels of ASL and Deaf Culture at community colleges, in addition to adult education programs, to employers and hearing staff, and the Lewis School, Princeton, NJ. He is currently an ASL instructor at The New School, Kennebunk. He resides in Freeport with his wife Lois and serves on the Board of Trustees of the Foundation for Maine’s Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children at the Governor Baxter School, in Falmouth.

Niles Schore practiced law for thirty-five years, mostly in Pennsylvania with a brief stint in Georgia where he founded the Elderly Law Project and was staff lawyer for a statewide health law project. In the Pennsylvania Senate he says he was privileged to work for Senator Roxanne Jones, a welfare mother and the first African-American woman ever elected to that Senate. He was also the Democratic Counsel and Executive Director for the Public Health & Welfare Committee. Prior to retiring to Maine in 2010, he spent seven years as senior management in the Department of Public Welfare where he developed. implemented and monitored policies for poverty programs with nearly two million customers.

Gardner Shaw is a former high school history teacher, a former professor of Political Science, a former consultant to government and industrial organizations, and a former taxi driver. He has worked in recent years helping organizations decide what their future should look like, what to do to get there, and how to know if it’s working. He lives with his wife, Barbara, on Pitch Pine Hill in Phippsburg. They are both active members of both the Midcoast Senior College and the Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain Civil War Round Table.

Jay Sherwin created the Life Reflections Project to educate people about legacy letters, ethical wills, and other legacy documents. He has practiced law, given away money for five different charitable foundations, been a philanthropy consultant, and served as a hospital chaplain.

Barbara Snapp  has taught many courses at Senior College – all telling the “stories” of science. Stable themes include: ecology and evolution, structure and function, impact on culture, connections between the physical and the biological – interwoven to build a multidimensional understanding.

Craig Snapp — Craig comes to Senior College from the world of industry.  A physicist with a doctorate from Cornell University, he began his career with Hewlet-Packard  Company,  responsible  for  process technology, product  design  and  product  planning  for semiconductor geometry, microwave bipolar transistors and integrated systems. Involved in establishing silicon bipolar technology and semiconductor products, he was also a consultant for microwave power amplifiers for wireless communications.  Craig has a particular interest in GPS navigation.

David Spurr, emeritus professor at the University of Geneva, has written widely on the relations between architecture and literature. In addition to teaching literature, he has taught architectural history at
Geneva and in the school of architecture at the University of Iceland.

Sarah Timm, M.A. Art History, studied Medieval and Early Modern art and culture at Florida State University, where she also taught courses in art history and public speaking. Sarah is currently the Volunteer and Outreach Coordinator at Maine Maritime Museum.

Pilar Tirado has a doctorate in Hispanic Studies from Brown University and has taught at undergraduate and graduate levels including at Bates and Bowdoin. Pilar lives in Brunswick and offers private and small group instruction in Spanish. Her passion is Cervante’s masterpiece Don Quixote.

David Treadwell has been a professional writer for over 40 years, specializing in writing admissions and fund-material for schools and colleges. He has written over 400 newspaper and magazine pieces over the last 20 years, including his “Just a Little Old” column in The Times Record. He began writing flash fiction in October, 2020.

Bill VanderWolk holds a Ph.D. in French from the University of North Carolina and was the Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Professor of Modern Languages and Associate Dean for Faculty Development at Bowdoin College before his retirement in 2013. His particular area of interest is the 19th and 20th century French novel and its intersections with history and memory. Bill lives in Brunswick.

Bud Warren  has spent the majority of his eighty years in the lower Kennebec region, and nearly half a century studying and sharing its history.

Richard Welsh studied biology, psychology, and biological anthropology at Swarthmore and Cornell before turning to politics and issues advocacy. He split his time between administration and feature journalism, and eventually embarked on the 22-year project behind this course. Amateur acting along the way revived an earlier love affair with Shakespeare.

Bob Williams has taught Russian and European history at Williams College, Washington University in St. Louis, Davidson College (where he was also Dean of Faculty) and (in retirement) at Bates College. He is the author of numerous books and articles, one of which, Russian Art and American Money (1980), was nominated by Harvard University Press for the Pulitzer Prize. Bob received his B.A. in Mathematics from Wesleyan University, his A.M. in Russian Studies and Ph.D. in History from HarvardUniversity and an honorary doctorate from Wittenberg University. He currently resides in The Highlands with his wife Ann and serves on the board of Senior College.

George Young earned a B.A. in English from Duke, and a Ph.D. in Slavic Languages and Literatures from Yale. He has taught Russian language and literature and general humanities at Grinnell, Dartmouth, and UNE, written extensively on Russian literature and intellectual history, and conducted previous courses on Tolstoy at OLLI in Portland. His most recent book is The Russian Cosmists (Oxford, 2012).  He and his wife, Pat, live in Brunswick.