In the Spotlight: April 3 Campus Connections

Student Spotlight
Michael Parks, reinventing himself

After 21 years in the military, Michael Parks enrolled at SMCC to explore his passion for learning. With skills learned at SMCC, he’s now started his own company with plans to launch beer and wine festivals.

Michael joined the Navy about a year following his 1990 high school graduation. After retiring from the military in 2011, he moved back to Maine to be close to his family and later enrolled at SMCC.

While at SMCC, he has explored a variety of classes in programs ranging from Horticulture and Business to Construction Technology and Architectural and Engineering Design. He expects to earn his degree in Hospitality Management.

Michael last month was named one of five finalists in the UMaine Business Challenge, a competition open to all Maine college and university students to pitch their entrepreneurial business ideas. Michael’s new business, Dionysus Management LLC, plans to put on The Maine Beer Festival and The Maine Wine Festival.

“I came to SMCC because I love to learn. I’m trying to reinvent myself in my second life.”

Staff Spotlight
Anna Medina, tutoring whiz

More than 1,000 unique students use SMCC’s tutoring services each semester. Anna Medina and her team make it all happen.

Medina is the Learning Commons’ assistant director of tutoring and the writing center.

That means she recruits, trains, supervises and schedules all the professional and peer tutors that are available to help students succeed on the South Portland and Midcoast campuses.

Medina first came to SMCC in 2002 as an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer and then took a job in the Advising Office. After a leave to earn her master’s degree at the School of International Training Graduate Institute, she returned to SMCC as a writing tutor.

“My favorite part of my job is when I tutor, because I’m a teacher at heart. I like that I get to do administrative work while also working directly with students.”