Campus Connections – May 4

Students honored for leadership

SMCC students are receiving well-earned recognition for their leadership and accomplishments during the academic year.

Student Life will recognize students virtually in photos and videos through Student Life’s social media accounts in the weeks ahead. Student Life usually holds an in-person awards ceremony in late April, but is unable to this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year’s winners are:

  • Leader of the Pack: Celina Simmons.
  • Rising Star: Wadad Ramy
  • Exemplary Student Employee: Sierra Firley
  • Event of the Year: Thanksgiving Dinner
  • Outstanding Student Organization: Midcoast Campus Dungeons & Dragons
  • RA Event of the Year: Mysterious Mocktails
  • Distinguished Advisor: Tori Penney

SMCC previously announced the winners of two other prestigious awards. They are:

  • Student of the Year: Liam Woodworth-Cook
  • Distinguished Service Award: Celina Simmons

Health Sciences student helps ease the pressure

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, an SMCC student used a class community project to help bring smiles to the faces of some front-line medical workers.

For her Philosophy in Action class, an honors and service learning course taught by Steve Willis and Justin Amoroso, Tracy Taylor created two dozen “stress sacks” to help alleviate the anxiety that has come with the COVID-19 pandemic.

A Health Sciences major, Taylor bought the sacks online and filled them with smaller sacks containing coloring pages and a pack of crayons; a small bottle of lavender and peppermint oil and battery-powered tea light; snacks such as individual packages of Oreos, Goldfish crackers and granola bars; a squishy brain; and a small stuffed-animal puppy.

She also included a card she made that explained why she included each item on one side, with an explanation of square breathing for relaxation on the other side.

After putting the sacks together, she delivered 12 of them to nurses and doctors at the Maine Medical Center Urgent Care Plus facility on Brighton Avenue in Portland. The others went to her fellow Health Sciences and Nursing students, a couple of friends who have stressful jobs, and one to her daughter to put a smile on her face while dealing with online schooling.

“Everyone is so stressed right now, in ways and to a degree we’ve never been before,” Taylor said.  “I thought if I could offer things that help me when I’m stressed, maybe they could help others.”

Willis added, “I think Tracy’s initiative is such a wonderful example of SMCC students stepping up to meet community needs!”

Photo: Maine Medical Center Urgent Care Plus nurses show their appreciation for Tracy Taylor’s stress sacks.