Meet the Team!

Rebecca Nisetich, Ph.D
Director, Honors Program

Dr. Rebecca Nisetich

Studying abroad was one of the most influential aspects of my undergraduate experience, so I am thrilled to have the opportunity to support international learning experiences for USM Honors students. For our Iceland course, I’m excited to explore the social, cultural, and economic connections between Portland and Reykjavik, Maine and Iceland. Fishing communities are vital to both our communities, and it seems like a perfect subject for interdisciplinary engagement. As the program grows, I look forward to bringing together students, faculty, and staff with different perspectives and areas of expertise. In Iceland, I’m looking forward to exploring the physical landscape–the glaciers, the waterfalls, the mountains. And of course, I can’t wait to see the Northern Lights!

Erin Kane, ’09
Project Coordinator, Honors Program

Erin braving a visit to Grýla and Leppalúði
Hello! I am the Project Coordinator for Honors Travel Abroad. I work alongside our director, Rebecca, and the USM Office of International Programs to plan and coordinate logistics for the Study Abroad course. In addition to travel logistics, I will be leading several workshops centered around our travel abroad opportunities and this fall I am teaching a COR-101 course that focuses on Iceland culture and activities.
I’ve been to Iceland a number of times and it is becoming a home away from home. I am learning the language and have traveled all over the country by Jeep, camper, and hiking-boot in search of both well known destinations as well as the more mysterious sites. Iceland is an incredible country to visit for students and travelers alike; it is a place where you can experience untouched nature, cutting edge technology, sassy wildlife, and some of the best food this side of the planet.
My ultimate goal is to share my experiences with students and the community in an effort to educate future travelers about our role and responsibilities as respectful visitors. Iceland has a delicate ecosystem and a three month growing season – we must be conscious of our footsteps as we visit, appreciate, and learn from the home of our North Atlantic neighbors.


Libby Bischof, Ph.D
Associate Professor of History & Chair of the History Department

Professor Elizabeth (Libby) Bischof

I believe in the importance of undergraduate students doing the work of historians both in and outside of the classroom—working with primary sources in Special Collections and the Osher Map Library, putting together exhibits, participating in USM’s annual student research symposium—Thinking Matters, gaining internship experience at local museums and historical societies, and going on field trips and site visits to local landmarks, trails, and monuments.




John Muthyala, Ph.D
Professor of English

Muthyala Pic I, Honors
Professor John Muthyala

Professor John Muthyala has been at the University of Southern Maine for fifteen years, and leads USM’s Digital Humanities Initiative. He served as Chair of the English department and was Principal Investigator of Digital Maine, a collaborative, interdisciplinary digital humanities project.

Currently, he is Principal Investigator for “Culture, Commerce, and the Environment: Maine, Iceland, and the North Atlantic,” a digital humanities research endeavor that creatively uses digital technologies to examine the nexus of art, culture, and commerce in the North Atlantic. He is also finishing a scholarly monograph on the impact of drones and surveillance on American foreign policy, society, and culture.

His teaching and research areas are the Digital Humanities, Globalization, and International American Studies. His scholarship includes two books, Reworlding America: Myth, History, and Narrative, and Dwelling in American: Dissent, Empire, and Globalization, and articles in New Global Studies, Cultural Critique, Comparative American Studies: an International Journal, and American Quarterly, among others. His recent article “Whither the Digital Humanities?” in the online journal Hybrid Pedagogy studies the impact of the digital on reading and writing, and on higher education.


Photo credit (feature photo): Erin Kane |