Office of Faculty Development Mutual Mentoring Grants for 2020-21 Announced April 9, 2020

The Office of Faculty Development has awarded Mutual Mentoring Grants to ten teams and four individual faculty for 2020-21. 

2020-21 Mutual Mentoring Team Grant Recipients (go to the link for the full list):

Cross-Disciplinary Faculty Designing Multimodal Writing Courses
College of Natural Sciences and College of Humanities and Fine Arts
Team Leaders:
Deborah McCutchen, senior lecturer, associate director for Junior Year Writing (JYW) Program
Haivan Hoang, associate professor, English, associate director of the Junior Year Writing Program
A professional development team aiming to improve members’ respective multimodal junior-year writing courses by exploring and applying new instructional technologies and strengthening the support network for JYW faculty.

About Mutual Mentoring Program:

The Office of Faculty Development’s Mutual Mentoring (MM) program provides funding to individuals or groups of faculty for the purpose of developing mentoring networks. The Mutual Mentoring Team and Micro Grants encourage faculty to develop robust professional networks that support their growth as researchers, teachers, and leaders in their fields.

MM Team Grants provide up to $6,000 for one year to support full-time faculty teams. MM Micro Grants provide up to $1,500 for one year to individual faculty. Applications are accepted in February and announced in April for projects which take place from June 1 though May 31. The Office for Faculty Development works in collaboration with ADVANCE, who also funded a number of team Mutual Mentoring grants.

Desert Fog Collectors

While filming IMMUTO, my nephews posted pics of the Anti-Atlas Mountain Range in Morocco, where the fog collectors can condense & collect 20+ liters of water per meter of mesh a day from the fog rolling in, for about 15 towns like Dar Si Hmad, pictured below, where evidently the temps are 46 degrees Centigrade right now.

Fog Collectors

Dar Si Hmad, Morocco

Anti-Atlas Mountain Range, Morocco

Mhamid, Morocco

Mhamid, Morocco

For Island Reach in Vietnam (pre Morocco) go to: A New Expedition

Vietnam: Woman with meal

Write Angles Journal

It’s fun to publish idiocy with my fav local writing conference (After attending this yearly for about a decade they are very forgiving!)

WriteAngles Conference

By writers, for writers, for over 30 years in Western Massachusetts



Fall submissions are being posted below

Published Nov 27th, 2018



by D.K. McCutchen

One chilly second-Sunday in May, I complained, “Why can’t I hotflash on demand?”

And my daughter said, “you’re not a superhero, Mom.”

But I AM!

Menopausal-Mom! Forgetter of small facts, able to power small (sweaty) cities for minutes at a time!

I flipflop between the guilty miracle of air-conditioning – magical moments when the chemical burn hits and instead of flapping and swearing I punch the AIR button, HIGH, COLD, Ahhhh – or using my ice-block hands to cool nuclear reactors. My thermostat’s off. So, my theory, which is mine, is that I’m simply a metaphor for the larger system. Global change is a menopausal planet.

Think about it! The see-saw’s out of whack, the temp in the terrarium’s varying wildly. The northwest passage opened and Gary Larson’s penguins are about to meet polar bears. Floods of temperamental tears are raising sea-levels, and there’s a whole lotta lost car keys out there. Let’s not even mention the bits that’re drying up or erupting.

So what do we DO for Menopausal-Mom, kids? We help reduce stress. No room for dithering! When sweat rolls off the proverbial brow, it’s DANGER-WILL-ROBINSON! Our path is clear. Drastically reduce emissions, NOW. Shrug off that greenhouse sweater, FAST! Or Menopausal-Mom’s gonna meltdown, and the homefront’ll be even more unlivable.

After all Mother Earth’s done for us, least we can do is be good kids – not bicker about who gets what. We’re all responsible. In fact, Menopausal-Mom needs YOU to be the superhero, ‘cause she’s busy trying to remember where she put that … thing….

So – yeah – imperfect metaphor here! Earth’s a superhero, you’re a superhero, Mom’s a Menopausal Superhero who’s gonna do … something … soon as she remembers what!

And yup! Global Change – Just like Menopause! Let’s hope we can sweat the changes or we’re … kinda done here.

Happy Mother’s Day!

(P.S. Send chocolate.)

D.K. McCutchen is Senior Lecturer in The UMass College of Natural Sciences, and supports other writing teachers via the UMass Writing Program. She may be the longest-running member of the University Writing Committee. Lack of poetic-DNA led to a tale of low adventure & high science titled THE WHALE ROAD. In a literary attempt to save the world, she’s now writing gender-bender-post-apocalyptic-speculative fiction. She lives on a river with two brilliant daughters and a Kiwi, who isn’t green, but is fuzzy.


Sugaring has finished for Spring 2018 and that part of our family has headed back down to Fiji and from there sailing back to Vanuatu (with one going in a whole ‘nother direction). Janis Steele (my sister-in-law) of Island Reach, writes: “Our latest video about the creation of a network of Marine Protected Areas in Southwest Bay. The project was supported with a Rapid Ocean Conservation grant from Waitt Foundation. Congrats to the Senewon association for all their great work!”