Paying It Forward

Sometimes, you have to trust in something–your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever–to gain knowledge from teachers and then go on to impart knowledge as a teacher at the same school.

“I have a connection again.  It is kind of interesting being on both sides.  I remember what I liked as a student here and I try, as a teacher, to emulate those teaching qualities I admired.  Being involved with a group to create something new such as proficiency-based education is great because it gives you a sense of connection,” Lea Knudsen Allen said.

Allen comes from nearby Lower Kintore, NB, Canada.  Initially, she didn’t go far from home to school.  She got a B.A. at the University of Maine at Presque Isle in 2000 and a Ph.D. from Brown University in 2008. She started as an online instructor at UMPI in 2009. During that time, she had lived in both Liverpool and Cambridge, England.  For the last three years, she has worked as a full-time professor onsite at UMPI.

“We have been fighting for that position.  It’s very exciting to have her on full-time as a faculty member,” Dr. Deborah L. Hodgkins said.

Allen teaches English literature classes onsite and online every semester. She focuses on students’ English literature ability. For an online class, she designs a discussion board with responses in order to interact with students.  For onsite classes, she concentrates on conversations to connect with students. For both types of classes, she provides detailed feedback, even on grammar.

“She is a very caring, giving teacher,” Jacqui Lowman, a good friend and colleague of Allen’s, said.  “She is really dedicated to find a way to connect with every student and find a way to help all students find their individual paths to learning.”

Allen’s scholarly achievements have added luster to UMPI. She had an essay in the book “Global Traffic” and co-edited the book “Rethinking the Informal City.”

UMPI is particularly grateful to Dr. Lea, who has worked here for nine years. UMPI looks forward to finding new ways to support her contributions to her students. She is truly a friend to UMPI.