Campus Connections, In the Spotlight: Sept. 26

Nathalie Mitchell, bright futureStudent Spotlight
Nathalie Mitchell, bright future

Nathalie Mitchell worked in restaurants during and after high school. When she decided to advance her future prospects in the hospitality field, she enrolled in SMCC’s Hospitality Management program.

Nathalie came to SMCC in 2014 at the age of 24 and is now learning about human resources, accounting, economics, menu planning and other things she would never learn on the job as a waitress.

Known for her positive can-do attitude, she hopes to become an event planner after she graduates and eventually open her own bed-and-breakfast. Until then, she’s busy working two jobs and serving as president of the SMCC Business Club and vice president of Phi Theta Kappa honor society.

“I’ve made a lot of connections and had a lot of opportunities at SMCC that I otherwise wouldn’t have. I am continually impressed by and take advantage of the resources that are available here.”

Faculty SpotlightAbdul Ali, helping refugees
Abdul Ali, helping refugees

A native of Somalia, Adbul Ali began his U.S. college education at SMCC. He now heads an agency that serves refugees who suffered in their homelands.

Before moving to Maine in 2009, Abdul studied at the University of Nairobi in Kenya. He came to SMCC in 2013 and later earned a bachelor’s degree from USM and a master’s from Southern New Hampshire University.

About a year ago, he opened Gateway Community Services in Portland, which provides case management and counseling services to support immigrants who suffered anguish, trauma and distress in their native countries or in their journey to the U.S.

His agency now has more than 170 clients — most are from Iraq, Somalia, Rwanda, Burundi, the Congo, Cambodia and Syria — and about 20 employees.

He credits SMCC with serving as his educational springboard to help him get where he is now.

“The environment of SMCC, the instructors, the diversity, the entire culture of the school — everything I had heard about the school before I went there — was very positive.”