In the Spotlight: February 10 Campus Connections

Student Profile
Lydia Thorner, hooked on psychology

Lydia Thorner was barely 16 when she earned her high school diploma. Now she’s earning a degree in psychology with the aim of becoming a criminal profiler.

Lydia was home-schooled in her hometown of Fryeburg and worked as a certified nursing assistant after completing her high school education. When she enrolled at SMCC’s Midcoast Campus in 2018, she initially planned to study nursing.

Her academic path changed, however, after taking a psychology class that drew her into the world of the human brain and why people think, act and feel the way they do. She plans to transfer to a four-year school next fall and earn a bachelor’s degree in psychology.

Lydia hopes to focus on forensic psychology with an ultimate goal of becoming a criminal profiler, working with law enforcement agencies to help investigate and solve crimes.

Outside of the classroom, Lydia manages the Midcoast Campus food pantry, and is assistant director of the Midcoast Campus Student Senate Committee. She is active with the Activities Committee and a member of the Rainbow Landing and Gaming clubs.

Keeping busy and enjoying a complete college experience, she says, are essential to her college success. Lydia encourages students to go with their gut on what’s right for them ― like she did in changing her major to psychology.

“The human mind is amazing, to see why people do the things they do and think the way they do. It’s fascinating that there are no two people who think exactly alike.”

Student Profile
Mackenzie Chamness, shooting for the stars

Mackenzie Chamness was planning a career in music when he first went to college. Now he’s earning a business degree to reach his new goal of becoming a certified public accountant.

Mackenzie went to the University of Maine to study music education after graduating high school in 2010. He played the tuba and hoped to become a performing musician or a music teacher.

But when he ran into financial and housing problems after his junior year, he put his college career on hold and worked an assortment of jobs in restaurants and a call center. He eventually landed a steady job at a Mexican restaurant and moved to Portland.

Although he had steady employment, Mackenzie reached a point where he felt he wasn’t moving forward in his life. He was burned out and seeking something new.

So at the age of 27, having heard good things about SMCC from friends, he enrolled in SMCC’s Business Administration program. He’s loving every minute of it in his classes and as secretary of the Business Club.

When he completes his associate degree in December, he plans to transfer to a four-year school for his bachelor’s degree. His top choices are Bentley, Northeastern and Boston College.

“I immediately felt better about my life by coming here. This has been a big step forward. I’m shooting for the stars ― I want to be a CPA.”