New Faculty: Jane Puhlman

Jane Puhlman joined the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders as an assistant professor this fall.

What has your journey been to this point?

I obtained a master’s in speech pathology at Southern Connecticut State University. After graduation, I moved to upstate NY for 4 years and worked as a school based speech pathologist and an early interventionists. I then went to Florida State University for my Phd in Communication Disorders and, after graduation, began working as an assistant professor at Edinboro University in Pennsylvania. Somewhere along the way during my time at Edinboro University I earned a master’s degree in Early Childhood Education. I did this to help give me a better handle on what preschool teachers are learning in master’s degree programs and their goals for their students.

Please tell us about your teaching and research interests.

My research includes two avenues of study. One is early intervention and the other is language and literacy development of children with hearing loss. I am most interested in how families support the language and literacy of young children. My research seeks ways to better support the families and early-childhood teachers.

When did you discover a passion for your specialty and what do you wish more people knew about it?

I love speech pathology! I think it is the most satisfying job a person could ever have. There are so many different types of work a person could do with the degree, they would never get bored. My love for the field is what drove me to want to become a professor. I want students to be as passionate about the field as I am. It is a personal highlight each semester when I get an undergraduate student that is not in the CSD major to switch over to our department. I also love when the graduate students say things like “Dr. Puhlman! I didnt think I would like to work with kids, but your class made me change my mind!”. My students feel my genuine excitement for the field and it makes them excited for what they are learning.

Why UMaine?

UMaine offers the chance to do both excellent teaching AND research. I love that there is an abundance of supports for both so that new faculty can become successful in all avenues of academia. On a more personal level, I have always loved Maine. There is a sense of peace here that cannot be found anywhere else in New England. My family and I are outdoorsy people and, when in the on-campus interview, my colleagues asked if I like hiking and kayaking I knew that I had found my people!