In the Spotlight: April 17 Campus Connections

Student Spotlight
Calie Ramisch, world adventurer

After high school, Calie Ramisch’s travels took her the world over — to Chile, South Africa, Alaska, New Orleans, Cape Cod, Wyoming, Arizona and elsewhere. In 2014 she was drawn to Maine by SMCC’s horticulture program.

Originally from Washington state, Calie joined Americorps after high school and worked in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. In the coming years, she spent time — from a few weeks to a few years at a time — working and learning at various places around the globe.

She sea kayaked in Chile and worked on a salmon fishing boat in Alaska. She worked on community partnerships and community gardens in South Africa, and at vineyards and ranches in Arizona.

Nature, the outdoors, continual learning and community have been common themes in her travels.

Four years ago, she arrived in Maine for SMCC’s horticulture program, from which she’ll graduate in May.

Living out of a 22-foot RV with her dog, a Yukon Husky named Awnya, she’s taken classes while working a variety of different jobs to support herself.

“The program is incredibly well-run. My heart was broken last semester when it dawned on me I was taking my last class with (horticulture Professor) Cheryl Rich.”

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Joel Messinger, exploring new interests

When he arrived at SMCC three years ago, little did Joel Messinger know that his academic journey would lead him to a future in public policy.

Joel worked for more than a decade building and restoring wooden boats in the Belfast-Rockland region when he and his wife decided to move to southern Maine. He enrolled at SMCC and will graduate in May with a degree in Precision Machining & Manufacturing.

While taking his Fine Arts and Social Science electives, he discovered new passions for communications, culture and writing. After graduation, he will transfer to the University of Southern Maine’s Accelerated Graduate Pathway program where he will earn a bachelor’s in Geography-Anthropology and then earn a master’s in Policy, Planning, and Management at USM’s Muskie School of Public Service.

Joel says his experience at SMCC has opened his mind to the limitless opportunities in his future.

“I think that no matter what you choose to do here, you’re opening your mind and yourself up to anything. SMCC offers a great experience that gives you the opportunity to get a leg up. If you’re interested in going to a university, I’d recommend that anybody start here.”