Campus Connections, Top Stories: Sept. 12


New clubs broaden opportunities for students

Interested in plants? Ice hockey? Multicultural and international issues? SMCC has more than two dozen student and clubs and organizations, including some that are new or are being revived this fall.

Several new and revitalized clubs were at the Sept. 1 Welcome BBQ drumming up interest among students. They included:

  • Horticulture Club. This new club is devoted to the academic expansion and practical implementation of green industry skills. For more information, visit the club’s Facebook page or contact Horticulture student Juniper White at
  • Hockey Club. First-year student Brett Zeinert is organizing an SMCC hockey club that would play with members of the University of Southern Maine’s hockey club. For more information, contact Brett at
  • Multicultural and International Student Club. This club is being revived and is for students of multicultural or international backgrounds and students interested in finding out more about the variety of cultures here on campus. The first meeting is Wednesday, Sept. 14, from 3:30-4:30 p.m. on the SeaWolves Café porch. For more information, contact faculty advisor David Zahn at or 741-5963.
  • SeaWolves Running Club. This informal club is open to anybody who likes to run and have fun. To take part, simply show up in front of the Campus Center at 12:30 p.m. on Mondays or Thursdays. For more information, check out the club’s Facebook page.
  • Bowling league. Assistant Athletics Director Ethan Wells is gauging student interest in forming an SMCC bowling league where teams of SMCC students would compete against one another. For more information, email Ethan at

SMCC has many other clubs and organizations ranging from the Beacon student newspaper to the Phi Theta Kappa honor society. For more information, contact the Center for Student Involvement and Leadership.



Inaugural “Global Classroom” course to focus on Italian Renaissance

SMCC’s new Global Studies Center is organizing its first “Global Classroom” course, a semester-long Spring Semester class that will include a trip to Italy during spring break.

Associate Professor Jeff Badger, who is co-chair of the Fine Arts Department and led the effort to create the Global Studies Center, is planning to teach a course focused on the Italian Renaissance in which students will study the art and culture of northern Italy from the 14th through the 17th centuries.

A study abroad trip for the course will held in the Italian cities of Ferrara, Florence and Venice from March 11-17.

The course, with its study-abroad component, is the first class offered at SMCC through the newly created Global Studies Center. The goal of the Center is to “internationalize” the College through increased education-abroad programming (dubbed The Global Classroom); increased offerings of foreign-language, non-Western cultural studies and other international courses; and the recruitment of more international students and events to SMCC.

The aim is to add one Global Classroom course per year, eventually offering five courses every spring that include foreign travel.

For students interested in Badger’s Italian Renaissance course, an information session will held at 12:30 p.m., Sept. 22, in the Art Studio. For more information, download the information sheet.



Students say #helloSMCC

Students, faculty and staff have posted more than 100 photos and videos on social media with the #helloSMCC hashtag during the start of the new academic year.

Now in its third year, the #helloSMCC campaign encourages students and employees to introduce themselves and their favorite places and things around campus to the college community. Many students who posted photos with the #helloSMCC hashtag won free SMCC T-shirts, water bottles, towels and other merchandise.

Some of our favorite comments on the posts included:

  • In love with this campus and the view #helloSMCC
  • With so many good views on this campus, my breaks between classes are never wasted #hellosmcc
  • #helloSMCC My favorite places on campus would be the graveyard, the beach, and the lighthouse I enjoyed being a part of the leadership boot camp #leadingbest and taking part in class
  • Good morning! #hellosmcc #goodmorningsmcc #saltlife #southportland
  • I’m loving this early morning semester schedule! So peaceful and ample parking. Currently chillin on campus between classes scribblin in my planner listenin to the waves crash @smccmaine #hellosmcc #boats #beach #college
  • Hello I’m Matt. Anyone want to help me figure trig out? #hellosmcc
  • Such a beautiful campus! #Maine #MarineScienceMajor #helloSMCC
  • Ready for fall semester! #firstday #fallsemester #adulting #hellosmcc
  • Starting my first day of junior year with chai tea and waffles #hellosmcc
  • Let’s do thiiiiiiis #smcc #hellosmcc #aaaaahcollege
  • Officially moved in! #collegelife #hellosmcc #dormsweetdorm
  • The best place to study. #hellosmcc
  • Love this view at my college! #helloSMCC
  • Photo shoot today with the best…Move in day coming up soon! #photoshoot #smcc #southernmaine #waterfall #jackson #college #hellosmcc

The #helloSMCC campaign continues through the end of September, so keep those posts coming.




Up, up and away — students help balloon soar 118K feet

Several current and former SMCC students were given a hands-on experience in science, photography and backcountry adventure by launching a high-altitude balloon to the edge of space.

They were among a small group that launched a weather balloon from New Hampshire’s White Mountains in the early morning hours of Sept. 2. The balloon carried a payload of sensors to look at atmospheric conditions, three cameras to record the flight, and a GPS tracker to track it down when it landed a couple of hours later in the town of Poland, Maine.

The flight was organized by Tony Phillips, an astrophysicist who runs a popular website called SMCC student Cynthia Tibbetts, former students Ken Kellogg and Michelle Brann and SMCC photography instructor John Stetson took part in the adventure. For the launch, the balloon soared more than 118,000 feet, expanding along the way as the air pressure dropped before popping in a dramatic explosion. A parachute helped the equipment land safely back on Earth, and the GPS tracker was used to locate it. Matheson gas company, through the SMCC Foundation, donated helium for the launch.

The photos will be posted on the NASA space weather website ( and on the Earth to Sky Calculus website (

The balloon launch was considered a practice run for another launch that will be part of a nationwide photography experiment on Aug. 21, 2017. That’s when the moon will pass in front of the sun over the U.S., producing a total eclipse. Earth to Sky plans to launch balloons from a dozen points across the country that day to record the event.

“I hope to have a small and mighty band from SMCC take part in that scientific project,” Stetson says.