Campus Connections, Top Stories, Nov. 9

Connecting students with potential employersTyler-optimized-SM

SMCC’s IT programs offer students more than just classroom instruction. Through the Maine is IT! brown bag lunch series, students also regularly meet and network with IT representatives from area businesses.

The lunch series offers Computer Science, Information Security and Information Technology students the opportunity to interact with local IT professionals — helping them connect with potential employers and gain career advice from company representatives.

Across SMCC, academic programs are providing innovative ways to connect potential employers with students through panel discussions, internships, partnerships, job boards, events and other means.

The Maine is IT! Program launched its brown bag lunch series last spring. It was such a success that it held six more of the sessions this fall with representatives from companies such as Maine Community Health Options, Sage Security, WEX, Diversified Communications and Tyler Technologies. Besides benefitting students, the gatherings help companies tap into future IT talent.

“Industry is having trouble finding local talent,” said Olaf Carlsen, who has been to half a dozen or more of the lunch series meetings. “I’ve learned that industry is very excited about students coming out of SMCC. And I’ve learned about the jobs that are available.”

Other academic programs are also utilizing ways to hook up students with potential employers.

The Biotechnology program held a Career Opportunities in Biotechnology panel discussion in late October, featuring representatives from Immucell, IDEXX, Bio-Rad and Maine Biotechnology Services. The Horticulture department hosts a horticulture job fair each winter to help link students with potential employers, takes students on field trips to area business, and utilizes guest speakers in classrooms.

Those are just a couple of many examples.

Networking is invaluable in career development, said Parker Brown, an Information Technology and Information Security major who has been to three of the Maine is IT! brown bag lunches.

“It’s all about who you know and connections,” he said. “That’s the big reason I go, because the industry representatives are from the companies I’ll be looking at down the road.”

The McKernan Center offers more than just wedding & conference servicesMcKernan-optimized_sm

The McKernan Center can ease your work load this holiday season with its new Holiday-to-Go Catering Menu.

The menu, developed by McKernan Center Executive Chef Jill Hannaford, is ideal for groups as small as two to six people and features holiday favorites such as turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and more. All items are made from scratch by Culinary Arts student employees and vacuum-packed to ensure flavor and freshness. Portions can also be scaled up to meet the needs for larger groups.

The McKernan Center is perhaps best-known for hosting weddings, conferences and holiday gatherings for groups outside of SMCC. But it’s also used for smaller functions associated with SMCC and SMCC employees.

Advisory boards for some of SMCC’s academic programs hold their meetings at the McKernan Center, as do outside organizations that SMCC employees participate in. The center’s also used for functions as diverse as birthday parties, military promotions and memorial services.

Hosting your event or placing a holiday order with the McKernan Center helps provide SMCC Culinary Arts & Hospitality Management students with real-world work experience.

To place a holiday order or book your next meeting or event, you can contact Kelly Gendron or Jill Hannaford via SMCC email or by calling 741-5672.

Russian educators visit SMCC

Archangel-optimized_smA group of educators from Russia visited SMCC as part of a visit to learn more about Maine’s educational system.

As part of a 10-day visit to the U.S., teachers and administrators from Russian high schools and colleges — as well as a journalist — visited the Portland region through the Sister City program between Greater Portland communities and the City of Archangel in northwest Russia. To learn more about SMCC, the group met with President Cantor and other SMCC officials on Nov. 6 and visited the Nursing, Precision Machining & Manufacturing, and Marine Sciences programs.

Besides SMCC, the group also visited high schools, middle schools and other places during their visit to Maine.

Former athletes inducted into SMCC Hall of Fame

Former athletic standouts Steve Patrick, Darcey Webster and Rachel Del Camp have been inducted into the SMCC Athletics Hall of Fame.

The trio of former SMCC students were honored during a banquet in the Campus Center on Nov. 7, following the men’s and women’s basketball home openers earlier in the day.

Patrick played two seasons at SMCC, earning USCAA basketball All-American and Yankee Small College Conference first-team All-Conference honors in 2005.

Webster won back-to-back YSCC softball Player-of-the-Year awards in 2009 and 2010, and was a 2010 USCAA All-American selection. In basketball, she was a 2009 YSCC All-Conference selection and ranks third in SMCC history for career assists.

Del Camp was a 2009 and 2010 YSCC basketball All-Conference Selection and was the 2010 YSCC Basketball Player of the Year, while also earning 2009 YSCC All-Conference honors in softball.

“Their career accolades speak for themselves, and induction into the Athletics Hall of Fame is very fitting for them as they exemplify what we hope our current student athletes will strive to become,” said Athletics Director Matt Richards.

College gives appreciation to longtime employees

SMCC is giving well-deserved recognition to current and former employees for their many contributions to the college through the years.

A reception was held Nov. 7 at the Campus Center for employees and retirees with 20 or more years of service to the college.

The college also unveiled an employee recognition wall, containing the names of nearly 150 employees and retirees with 20-plus years at SMCC.

The recognition wall is on permanent display on a wall in the McKernan Center.