Campus Connections, In the Spotlight, March 9

Student Profile:

Peter Henry, Continuing the traditionPeter-Henry-Optimized

There’s a long line of public service in Peter Henry’s family. He’s continuing the tradition studying Fire Science at SMCC.

Peter and his twin brother, Nick, are first-year students from Essex, Vt. Their father is a fire lieutenant and critical care nurse, and their mother and two sisters are nurses. Their grandfather was also a firefighter, and their grandmothers were nurses.

Even before taking classes last fall, Peter was living at and working for the Standish Fire Department as part of SMCC’s live-in fire program. Nick is a live-in student for the Cumberland Fire Department.

They chose SMCC because of the Fire Science program’s elite reputation, the curriculum and the location.

“I like what SMCC does with its learning and the personalized advising. You’re not just a number here.”

Alumni Profile:

Sarah Searle, Living her dreamSarah-Searle-optimized

Sarah Winifred Searle is living her dream as a cartoonist and graphic designer.

She knew even as a little kid that she wanted to be a cartoonist, but didn’t think she’d be able to make it a career. But thanks to SMCC, she’s been able to combine her creative talents with graphic skills to make a living doing what she loves.

Sarah, who’s 27, graduated from SMCC in 2010 with a degree in Communications & New Media. From here, she moved to Boston where she worked as an illustrator, artist and designer; she also earned an ALB in Humanities from Harvard.

She moved back to Portland last August and now works during the day heading the graphic design department of Liquid, a mobile advertising company (which has a paid internship program she encourages SMCC students to apply for). At night, she’s busy drawing cartoons. You can check out her work on her website,

“I don’t often tell people I have a degree from Harvard because it elicits weird reactions, but I tell them about SMCC because honestly it was the best thing I ever did for myself.”