Meet Our Keynotes
Our keynotes have been selected to attend to specific needs in Maine schools regarding diversity, social justice, and rural environments.
Visit the "Schedule and Program" page for specific keynote session descriptions and featured session descriptions.
Griots, Kupunas, and Navigators: Creating and designing life experiences that cultivate and nurture a person from childhood through adulthood
Dr. Richard Biffle is currently a Professor of Education at Thomas College. He teaches courses in education, sociology, anthropology and archaeology at Thomas. As part of his ongoing interest and research in science, technology and mathematics, he designed and has been teaching a course entitled “Introduction to S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) --- Explorers, Voyagers, and Thinkers” for incoming first-year students.
Dr. Biffle earned his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science at the University of California, Riverside; an M.A. in Education Administration and Leadership from Eastern Michigan University; and his Ph.D. in Educational Anthropology from the University of New Mexico.
Dr. Biffle’s 38-year career in higher education has provided him numerous positions in education and the social sciences --- as a faculty member, program administrator, department chair and division chair. In addition, he is a former elementary and middle school teacher, and elementary school administrator. He has lived and travelled around the world, and held several consultant positions as a result of his work in teacher education/preparation, social justice, geo-ethnographic research, civil/human rights, multicultural education, and STEAM.
This fall he will complete his first two books --- “Class 1944K: Journey of A Lifetime,” examining the lives of an aviation cadet class of the Tuskegee Airmen during World War II. His second book, “A Geo-Ethnographer’s Guide to the Universe,” co-authored with Dr. Pamela B. Thompson, explores the intersections of space, physical landscapes, and human expressions and interactions.
Finally, he is an avid surfer, scuba diver, snowboarder, photographer, and enjoys jazz and classical guitar.
Towards a geography of justice: Rural sustainability and the promise of
Title of Presentation Forthcoming
A highly regarded educator, Moira Kelly was appointed EXPLO’s president in 2007. Over the past 10 years, she has been instrumental in building Explo and its headquarters, the Exploration Center, into an acclaimed educational R+D lab at the forefront of teaching and learning and creative curricular design. Moira has been in the EXPLO trenches since 1985 and is a familiar face at all the programs. She still lives on campus during the summer with her family.
Moira’s career spans from being a dean and a senior member of the admission department at the Northfield Mount Hermon School (NMH), to teaching high school English, to working in college residential life. An honors graduate of Bowdoin College, Moira earned her J.D. at Boston University School of Law, and first class honors in law at the National University of Ireland, Galway. In addition, she was a Rotary Foundation Fellow at the University of Nottingham, England, and a Thomas J. Watson Foundation Fellow.