College of Education and Human Development celebrates past and future at Legacy Tea, retirement celebration

Several retirees from the University of Maine College of Education and Human Development joined current members of the college community for a Legacy Tea and retirement celebration, May 2 at Buchanan Alumni House.

In her remarks, Dean Penny Bishop said past faculty and staff have laid the foundation for many of the college’s recent accomplishments, as well as those to come. She also talked about the shared commitments to care, quality and career across all of the programs and schools in the college.

“These commitments are cornerstones of our programming and they guide our decisions as we continue to steward and expand on your good work,” Bishop said.

Two retired members of the college community received Glass Apple Awards at the Legacy Tea.

The Service Apple Award for ongoing service to the college beyond retirement went to professor emeritus of literacy Education Richard Kent, who retired in 2021.

Before beginning a career as a professor, Kent was a high school English teacher, athletic coach, writing center director and high school administrator in Maine and Los Angeles. He was the Maine Teacher of the Year in 1993 and recipient of a Milken Educator Award while at Mountain Valley High School in Rumford, where he also was founder and executive director of the Rumford Learning Center.

As a faculty member at UMaine, Kent was director and later director emeritus of the Maine Writing Project, a site of the National Writing Project. His research examined athletes’ writing and its effect on training and performance. He is the author of 19 books, and has collaborated with and co-authored athletic team notebooks and journals with Olympic gold medalists and national team coaches, college coaches and other academics. He created and manages the resource website In addition to his academic books, he has written two young adult novels and a chapbook of poetry.  

Kent continues to contribute to UMaine and College of Education and Human Development by serving on the President’s Council of Retired Employees and advising graduate students in the literacy education program.

The Giving Apple Award for ongoing philanthropy to the college went to Janice Kristo, who joined the UMaine faculty in 1982 and retired in 2015. During that time, Kristo inspired scores of students and raised the visibility of the university through her exemplary research, scholarship and public service. She received the Presidential Research and Creative Achievement Award in 2000 and the Distinguished Maine Professor Award in 2008. In 2016, she and her husband Dana Smith, established a planned gift through the University of Maine Foundation. The Janice V. Kristo and Dana G. Smith Fund will support faculty research, as well as scholarships and other support for graduate students and graduate assistantships in the College of Education and Human Development. It will also help support general operations at the Page Farm and Home Museum on the UMaine campus.

In addition to the planned gift, Kristo has given generously to six different funds through the UMaine Foundation that support students and programs in College of Education and Human Development. That includes two funds that honor her former colleagues, the Robert “Bob” A. Cobb Scholarship Fund and the Anne E. Pooler Scholarship Fund.

Following the Legacy Tea, the college held a retirement celebration for current members of the faculty and staff who are retiring this year: Associate dean for graduate education, research and outreach Jim Artesani; associate professor of literacy Susan Bennett-Armistead; lecturer in child development and family relations and coordinator of the Katherine Miles Durst Child Development Learning Center Margo Brown; lecturer in human development and family studies Ian Cameron; professor of family relations and human sexuality Sandra Caron; and Kathie Wing, administrative specialist for the University Training Center for Comprehensive Literacy.