Campus Connections, In the Spotlight, April 20

Student Spotlight

Paul Arsenault, balancing act

aresenault-optimized_smWhile going for his Architectural & Engineering Design degree, Paul Arsenault juggles school, a full-time job and family responsibilities.

Paul was formerly an auto mechanic when he decided to come to SMCC three years ago — 12 years after he graduated high school. He earned an Integrated Manufacturing Technology degree, but he stuck around to get another degree in Architectural & Engineering Design.

In addition to school, he works 36 hours a week as a machine operator at a Portland hydraulic pump manufacturer. And there are plenty of family responsibilities with a home in Hollis where he lives with his wife and their 5-year-old son.

After he earns his AED degree, he hopes to get a job in mechanical design. Until then, he has his hands full.

“Juggling so many things is one of the most challenging parts. Just being in school isn’t the most challenging thing, it’s making sure I have enough time for family, work and schoolwork.”

Alumni Spotlight

Brianna Smith, master’s degree up next

Since graduating from SMCC, Brianna Smith has earned a bachelor’s degree and worked in a laboratory serving the aquaculture industry. Now she’s ready for BriannaSmith-optimized_smgraduate school.

When Brianna arrived at SMCC in 2009, she entered the Applied Marine Biology & Oceanography (now Marine Science) program because she liked science and the program sounded interesting.

She graduated in 2011 and went to the University of Maine, where she earned a bachelor’s in marine science. She then took a job at Kennebec River Biosciences, a fish health lab where she works with aquaculture companies nationwide on species such as salmon, tilapia, bass and shellfish.

In June, she’ll be back in school as she begins her master’s program at the University of Maine’s School of Earth and Climate Sciences. Her master’s research project will focus on the environmental health of Maine beaches.

“SMCC was very hands-on and the professors were a lot more attentive. They were very concerned with the success of their students and that we were getting something valuable out of our classes. I truly enjoyed every moment of my time at SMCC, and if they had four-year degrees I would have stayed.”