Campus Connections, Top Stories, March 9

Legislators impressed with Midcoast CampusLegislators-Optimized

Legislators from the Joint Select Committee on Labor, Commerce, Research and Economic Development came away impressed following a hands-on tour and an informational update on the important economic development and job creation taking place at SMCC’s Midcoast Campus.

A group of seven lawmakers met March 4 at SMCC’s Midcoast Campus, where SMCC President Ron Cantor and Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority Executive Director Steve Levesque updated them on the developments taking place at the campus and at Brunswick Landing, the former Brunswick Naval Air Station where the Midcoast Campus is located.

Legislators were given a comprehensive tour of the campus and later visited other entities – Tempus Jets, Molnlycke Health Care, and MRRA’s Tech Hub – located at Brunswick Landing.

Taking part were Sens. Amy Volk, Andre Cushing, and Stan Gerzofsky, and Reps. Susan Austin, Dillon Bates, Ryan Fecteau and Anne-Marie Mastraccio.

After touring the Maine Advanced Technology and Engineering Center, they were given a preview of the Learning Commons and Health Science Center, which will open to students in the fall, and the residence hall facilities at Orion Hall, which will also open in the fall.

“This is impressive,” Rep. Austin said.

“Speed dating” for Fire Science, EMS studentsFire-Science-Optimized1_small

In what could be called a version of “speed dating,” Fire Science and EMS students came face-to-face with potential future employers by meeting in rapid-fire succession with fire chiefs from across the region.

Students met with fire chiefs on March 4 and 5 for the sixth annual Fire-EMS Chiefs’ Roundtable at the McKernan Center. The event allowed Fire Science and Paramedicine students to meet with chief officers from fire and EMS departments in Maine, New Hampshire and Connecticut in 10-minute sessions, rotating from chief to chief while picking up tips on what fire departments are looking for in the hiring process.

This year’s participants came from departments in Brunswick, Lewiston, Portland, Scarborough, South Portland and Westbrook, Maine, Rochester, N.H. and Hartford, Conn.

Science students contribute to understanding of ocean currents

A device that SMCC released into Casco Bay last fall to help gauge ocean currents off New England has exited the Gulf of Maine and made its way into the Gulf Stream.

Marine science students in November launched a “current drifter,” which is equipped with a satellite transponder so its track and location can be measured in real time. The drifters are built by SMCC Marine Science alumnus Kara LaLomia and are monitored through the National Marine Fisheries Services eMOLT program.

This year’s drifter took an unusual track through the Gulf of Maine, indicating that the Western Maine Coastal Current was displaced west of its usual track. The drifter floated into Massachusetts Bay, out to Georges Bank and into the Gulf Stream. Marine Science Professor Brian Tarbox says this the farthest any SMCC drifter has ever traveled.

People can track the drifter by going to the eMOLT website at and clicking on the Surface Current Drifter Study under the “Results” link on the left-hand side of the page.

Basketball teams end stellar seasons

The men’s and women’s basketball teams’ quests for a national championship came to end in hard-fought, close games in the USCAA Division II national basketball tournament.

The men’s team fell March 5 to Penn State Mont Alto in the quarterfinals of the national tournament, held in Uniontown, Pa. The team ended its season with a record of 23-5 and earned the No. 1 seed for the national tourney.

The women’s team lost the same day to Penn State Lehigh Valley, also in the quarterfinals. The team ended the season with a 21-9 record and was the No. 6 seed in the national tourney.