Project Staff and Advisory Board

Susan Pinette, PhD – UMaine
Susan Pinette (Ph.D., University of California – Irvine) is a scholar of Franco-Americans. Her work explores the specificities of contemporary Franco-American literature, arguing for its relevance to the broader arenas of ethnic and migration studies. She aims to show that Franco-American ethnic fiction operates within a continent-wide semiotic space not restricted to the United States but one that includes French Canada. She contextualizes her scholarship on Franco-Americans within transnational migration studies, especially as it concerns definitions of community, social class, and diaspora. She is Director of Franco American Programs and Associate Professor of Modern Languages and Literatures at The University of Maine. She has published numerous articles, developed a Franco-American Studies curriculum, received state and federal funding grants, and served as a liaison between scholars, business leaders, governments, and the public. 

Jacob Albert, MSLIS – UMaine
Jacob Albert is an archivist and librarian who specializes in Franco American Studies. He has stewarded cultural materials and taught reference and archival courses in university, secondary school, and museum environments. He developed Franco American Library, an online subject bibliography in Franco American Studies, and provides web design services for local nonprofit organizations. A graduate of New York University and Simmons College GSLIS, he is Program Manager for the Franco American Programs at the University of Maine, where he manages the Franco American Portal Project. 

Keith Chevalier, MLIS – Saint Anselm College Advisory Board Member
Keith P. Chevalier is the Archivist and Head of Special Collections in the Geisel Library at Saint Anselm College. He is responsible for the Saint Anselm College Archives and the on-campus Benedictine community’s monastic archives as well as four collections of rare books and manuscripts on topics covering New England history, St. Anselm, and Franco-Americans. Prior to this appointment he worked at the University of Wisconsin. He attended graduate school at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee (English) and received a Masters of Arts in Library Studies with a Specialization in Archives and Records Administration from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He received a certificate in book production and design from Rare Book School at the University of Virginia. He is active with the New England Archivists and a member of the Standards Committee for the Society of American Archivists. 

Leslie Choquette, PhD – Assumption CollegeAdvisory Board Member
Leslie Choquette (Ph.D., Harvard University) is Professor of History, Côté Professor of French Studies, and Director of the French Institute at Assumption University. Her diverse publications concern both modern France and the francophone presence in North America from New France to the present day. She is the author of Frenchmen into Peasants: Modernity and Tradition in the Peopling of French Canada (Harvard University Press, 1997), which won the Alfred Heggoy Book Prize of the French Colonial Historical Society in 1998 and was selected as one of nine best books on Canada by an American by the International Journal of Canadian Studies, at the request of Foreign Affairs Canada, in 2005. A French translation of the book was published by Septentrion and Les Presses de l’Université de Paris-Sorbonne in 2001. Professor Choquette was awarded the Prix du Québec from the Government of Québec in 2012 for her outstanding contribution to the field of Québec Studies.

Libby Lipin, MSLIS – Assumption CollegeAdvisory Board Member
Libby Lipin is the French Institute Librarian and Archivist at Assumption University. She earned her MSLIS from Simmons College GSLIS in 2010 and brings to her work a background in art and museums as well as knowledge about the physical care for and conservation of collection materials.

David Nutty, MLS – University of Southern MaineAdvisory Board Member
David Nutty is the University Librarian and Director of Libraries and Interim Director of Professional and Continuing Education at the University of Southern Maine. He has been at USM for over eleven years.  David has a 34 year career as a librarian in academic libraries, with an emphasis on administration and information technologies. Prior to USM, David was Director of Information Resources at Richmond American International University in London where he oversaw IT, libraries, administrative and academic computing.  David also spent six years at George Washington University as the Associate University Librarian for Users Services and Technology and ten years at Loyola University in Chicago in several capacities, ending as the Assistant University Librarian for Public Services. David is active in state and national library organizations. He is a member of the Maine InfoNet Board of Directors and is a past Board Chair, a member of the URSUS Library Directors Council, and is co-chair of the American Library Association’s Committee on Legislation – Telecommunications Subcommittee. As acting director of Professional and Continuing Education, he is actively involved in USM Online initiatives. His professional interests include the intersection of libraries, information with technology, and teaching and learning. He has championed the development of the Learning Commons at USM Libraries. David is also pleased to be a part of the Digital Maine initiative and its close association with the Libraries’ Digital Commons.

Lise Pelletier, MA – University of Maine at Fort KentAdvisory Board Member
Lise Pelletier (MA in French, University of Maine) is Director of the Acadian Archives at the University of Maine at Fort Kent. She has been a member of the UMFK French Heritage Council; UMFK Strategic Planning Committee 2008-2009; Le Club Français; President of Maine Acadian Heritage Council; Board of Directors, Acadian World Congress 2008 – 2015; UMFK Presidential Lecture Series committee; Economic and Social Development Committee of Acadia of the Lands and Forests. Most recently, she helped organize the 2014 Acadian World Congress and participated in the writing and publication of “Acadian Roots – Images of the St. John Valley” and Circuit Map of Acadia of the Lands and Forests. She was also a participating member of “St. John Valley Cultural ByWay” in 2014. She co-wrote curriculum and taught NEH summer institute “Borderland Acadians of the St. John Valley”; was a speaker in Quebec, March 2016 on “Acadians of Maine”; and was involved in a planning exhibit of historic maps and international traveling exhibit about Maine Acadians and the Bloodless Aroostook War.

Mary Rice-DeFosse, PhD – Bates CollegeAdvisory Board Member
Mary Rice-DeFosse (Ph.D. in French, Yale University) is Professor of French and Francophone Studies at Bates College. Her work on the intersection of literature, social change, and identity in nineteenth-century France dovetails with her community-engaged research on the Franco-American experience in Maine, especially as Maine industrialized in the same period. She has served on the Board of Directors of the Franco-American Collection of the Lewiston-Auburn College of the University of Southern Maine (1995-2018) and the Board of the Gendron Franco Center in Lewiston (2011-present). While chair of the department of French and francophone studies at Bates (2006-2011) she led an effort to integrate community-engaged learning at all levels of the curriculum. She is the co-author, with James Myall, of The Franco-Americans of Lewiston–Auburn (The History Press: 2015) based in large part on oral histories she and her students conducted in the local community. She also served as lead scholar on a permanent exhibit, funded by the Maine Humanities Council, at the Gendron Franco Center about the work of the Grey Nuns in Lewiston and co-produced, wrote, and narrated a documentary on the work of this Québecois religious order with local Franco-Americans. She was named to the Franco-American Hall of Fame by the Maine State Legislature in 2014 and received the Donald Harward Award for Service Learning Excellence from the Maine Campus Compact in 2015. She is a past president of Women in French, an international professional organization dedicated to women writers of French expression, and serves on the editorial board of Women in French Studies.


Adam Weyeneth
Anna Faherty
Erin Best
Jennifer Munson
Karen Richard