Faculty Farewell: Recognizing Dolores Appl and her contributions to UMF

While the spring semester is halfway through, most students and faculty are preparing for final projects and exams, symposium, and graduation. Some faculty, however, are closing the door on their time at the University of Maine at Farmington and are preparing to retire. One of those faculty members is Dolores Appl.

Dr. Appl is a professor in the Early Childhood Special Education department and is the facilitator of the PIWI-Inspired Playgroup on campus. Over the past fifteen years Dr. Appl has seen and contributed to many positive changes at UMF and has made a difference in the lives of students and young children.

Dr. Appl was working in Pennsylvania as an early childhood special education instructor when she applied to UMF in 2002. When asked what is was about UMF that she liked, Dr. Appl started listing various appealing attributes. “I liked the birth-5 ECS certification, I liked the small size of the school, the ability to work with students over the years, and being able to live within walking distance of where I work” she said. Another quality that drew Dr. Appl to UMF was the available space to implement the PIWI-inspired playgroup.

Parents Interacting with Infants (PIWI) is a playgroup designed to encourage and facilitate parent-child interactions to help parents create a bond with their young children while contributing to their development. The PIWI Playgroup was founded by professors at the University of Illinois. One of the founders was Dr. Jeanette McCollum, Dr. Appl’s advisor and mentor during her graduate studies. When Dr. Appl came to UMF, she implemented a similar PIWI-Inspired Playgroup that served as a practicum site for students and as a resource for parents. ECS students that implement their practicum with the PIWI-Inspired Playgroup plan various activities and topics of discussion for each weekly playgroup. Students then lead and facilitate the discussions and activities, assisting parents in engaging actively with their children. Dr. Appl mentors the students and helps guide them through planning and instruction. The PIWI-inspired Playgroup meets on Maguire street next to Public Safety and has a generous amount of space and materials for children and families to use.

Below is a photo of Dr. Appl and Dr. Jeanette McCollum at the 2015 Division for Early Childhood (DEC) conference, posing with Dr. Appl’s poster on research being done on the PIWI-Inspired Playgroup. This Playgroup has been a great resource for UMF students and community members and families!

Over the past fifteen years Dr. Appl has seen many changes in UMF. When she started here, most classes were worth 3 credits and most professors taught four classes a semester at 3 credits each. Once the classes became 4 credits each professors started teaching three classes a semester. This was a shift that required a lot of changes in the curriculum to be made, which Dr. Appl assisted in. The accreditation system as also changed considerably, and the ECS program was revamped by Dr. Appl and Lorraine Spenciner.

Dr. Appl has made many great accomplishments throughout her career. Implementing the Playgroup at UMF is one of her greatest, including her publications and presentations about the playgroup. “Since being at UMF I have been published in peer-reviewed journals ten times, six of those including collaborative work with students.” Dr. Appl also contributed to the creation of the individual progress monitoring document (IPMD) which helps ECS students keep track of various assignments that line up with the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) and DEC standards in order to better organize final portfolios. Dr. Appl has enjoyed working with students during symposium and served on the Institutional Review Board, reviewing research done by faculty and students. Dr. Appl certainly has been very involved over the years.

When asked what her post-retirement plans are, Dr. Appl listed an array of options. “I am thinking about doing accreditation through CEC and increasing my involvement with CEC and DEC. I plan to consult with the UMF playgroup, try to implement playgroups in Texas where my kids live, travel, and spend time with family. I plan to stay in Farmington for a while and will probably volunteer somewhere nearby.”

Dr. Dolores Appl has made tremendous contributions to the University of Maine at Farmington and the early childhood special education department. The PIWI-Inspired Playgroup will carry on and will be taken over by the incoming ECS professor. While Dr. Appl will be missed at UMF, the impact she has made on students and children will be remembered. Thank you, Dr. Appl, for your hard work and dedication over the years.

Money Saving Options for Education Majors

College is expensive for everyone. The fees, tuition, room and board, and everything else that is factored in can add up to a hefty dollar amount. Did you know that there are loan forgiveness programs and UMF scholarships designed for education majors? Read below to learn about some of these options.

 

Loan Forgiveness: The Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program is intended to encourage individuals to enter and continue in the teaching profession. Under this program, if you teach full-time for five complete and consecutive academic years in certain elementary and secondary schools and educational service agencies that serve low-income families, and meet other qualifications, you may be eligible for forgiveness of up to a combined total of $17,500 on your Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans and your Subsidized and Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans. If you have PLUS loans only, you are not eligible for this type of forgiveness. Participants in this program must have a bachelor’s degree in education to be considered a qualified teacher, and ust have completed their five years of full-time teaching before applying for Loan Forgiveness. You may visit the Teacher Loan Forgiveness website to learn more information about eligibility requirements, loan qualifications, or to fill out an application.

 

 

 

UMF Scholarships: UMF offers over one hundred academic scholarships for students, and many of them are dedicated to students in the education field. Many scholarships have very few requirements to be eligible, and they are designed to help all students that are deserving. Below is list of just some of the scholarships offered to education majors at UMF. For a complete list of UMF scholarships and recipient requirements, visit the UMF Scholarships website.

Scholarships for Education Majors (this is not an exhaustive list):

  • Allen, Grace Stone Award
  • Ambrose, Dr. Edward S. and Barbara Dickey Scholarship
  • Arsenault, Katie J. Memorial Scholarship
  • Brooks, Leonard Knowles ‘58 Scholarship
  • Clawson, Gene and Sue Scholarship
  • Cobban, Margaret R. Scholarship Fund
  • Cramer, Rowena Titcomb Scholarship Fund
  • Currie, Edmund D. Scholarship Fund
  • D’aiutolo, Sadie Redding
  • D.A.R. Scholarship
  • Genthner, Grace Berry Scholarship
  • Irwin, Charlotte M. Brett
  • Johnson, Alice Miller (Class of 1939) Scholarship
  • Kaulback, Vera Macbean (Class of 1940) Scholarship
  • Lake, Doris Francis Scholarship
  • Lockwood, Helen E. Scholarship
  • Macinnes, Beatrice Hudon Memorial Scholarship
  • McGary, Ruth Webber (Class of 1950) Scholarship
  • Mosher, Nettie Taylor Scholarships
  • Nickerson, Clement (1956) and Patricia Craig (1959) Scholarship
  • Parlin, Millard S. Sr. and Alverna, W. Scholarship
  • Richards, Leona Coy Scholarship
  • Verrill, Joan R. Scholarship

Playgroup Opportunities

Opportunity #1:

Attention parents/caregivers of infants & toddlers: Come play with your young children as you observe and support their amazing development!

We are now registering families for a UMF Monday evening playgroup starting mid-September. This playgroup is for children under three years of age and is based on a model called PIWI (Parents Interacting with Infants).

The playgroup’s focus is parents’ observations of and interactions with their young children. The weekly sessions are facilitated by Dolores Appl, a UMF professor and her students, who are preparing to be teachers of young children. Each week the students plan meaningful learning activities based on the interests of the parents and children attending. The groups are free and enrollment is open to all families of infants and toddlers. However, registration is required.

If you would like to register or want more information, please contact Dolores at 778-7507 or dappl@maine.edu.

 

Opportunity #2:

The Department of Early Childhood Education offers 3 morning playgroups for families with young children. Playgroups run on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 9-11am at our site at 112 Maguire Street. Caregivers/families sign-up to attend one of the three sessions each week (either T, W, or TH). Groups are mixed age, with children ranging in age from birth to 3 years old. A variety of different types of caregivers attend the program with children including dads, moms, grandparents,and child care providers.

Professor Patty Williams’ ECH 250 students help to facilitate the groups. They offer a variety of play-based developmental learning opportunities for children and their caregivers to explore. It is also a great way for parents in the community to meet, socialize, and connect. We also offer a circle time and snack. There is a $10 once yearly registration fee for the program, with scholarships available for those who may find the fee a barrier to attending the program.

If you or someone you know might benefit from this program, please contact Patty at patricia.h.williams@maine.edu. She is registering families for the program right now. In particular, they have several openings in the Thursday playgroup that they are looking to fill.

Invitation: Dedication of the Loraine J. Spenciner Curriculum Materials Center & Presentation of the First Loraine Spenciner Scholarship

Please join us at the dedication of the Loraine J. Spenciner Curriculum Materials Center and prlorraineesentation of the first Loraine Spenciner scholarship. The event will be held Friday, May 6th, at noon in the Bjorn Lounge of the Theodora J. Kalikow Education Center.

Loraine was a longtime faculty member who came to UMF in 1988 as the developer of the Early Childhood Special Education program. In the Continue reading

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