In the Spotlight: December 2 Campus Connections

Student Profile
Allison Fogg, childhood dream

When Allison Fogg was young, she thought she might want to become a marine biologist. She’s now fulfilling that dream at SMCC by earning her degree in Marine Science.

After high school, Allison attended Emerson College in Boston before transferring to the Art Institute of Boston, where she earned a B.F.A. in photography.

Life then took her to San Francisco, where she worked for seven years for nonprofit organizations devoted to animal welfare. When she moved to Maine in 2015, she decided the time had come to work toward her childhood dream of working on the ocean.

Drawn by the affordability, flexibility and the Marine Science program, Allison came to SMCC last spring. She expects to graduate next fall, after which she plans to earn a master’s degree.

Eventually she hopes to work in the field on kelp or coral ecosystems, working to protect our ocean resources.

“When I was a little girl, I always said I wanted to be a marine biologist. I decided that going to school was the best way to make an abrupt career shift toward that goal. SMCC has given me the opportunity to come back to school as an adult and find a different career path.”


Alumni Profile
Patrick Cotter, second career

Patrick Cotter came to SMCC in hopes of launching a second career as an electrician. He ended up earning two degrees, giving him a valuable combination of skills that have ensured his success as an electrical designer in the engineering field.

Before coming to SMCC, Cotter worked for Walmart for 17 years, moving up the ranks and eventually becoming a Market Electronics Merchandise Manager in Maine and New Hampshire. When Walmart restructured his position, he left the company and enrolled in SMCC’s Electrical Engineering Technologies program with the aim of becoming an electrician.

He expanded his goals after taking a computer-aided design (CAD) class in the Architectural & Engineering Design (AED) program and then enrolling in the AED program.

After earning degrees in both Electrical Engineering Technologies and AED in 2012, Cotter served as a CAD engineering intern with the South Portland Water Resource Protection Department. There, he used his skills with Revit architectural design and modeling software to create three-dimensional drawings of pump stations throughout the city.

His internship led to a job as an electrical designer with a Freeport engineering firm, utilizing electrical skills and computer design skills that he learned at SMCC. In the summer of 2018, he joined Allied Engineering in Portland, where he designs and creates electrical plans for residential, commercial and government buildings that have yet to be constructed.

“I went back to school with a plan to become an electrician. But because of my interactions at SMCC, I took on a second degree that gave me a whole other set of skills that are parallel with the electrical program. It made me twice as marketable.”