In the Spotlight: January 13 Campus Connections

Alumni Profile
Peter Brazier, career change

When Peter Brazier was looking for a life change, he came to SMCC. He has since turned his SMCC education and an internship into a rewarding second career in manufacturing.

After graduating high school, Brazier attended the University of Maine and studied math while working summers on a construction crew building homes and apartment houses. But he came to realize that he liked working with his hands and being outdoors more than working behind a computer, so he put his college education on hold and went into the construction business as a homebuilder.

He worked in home construction for years before opening a cabinet shop in Brunswick designing, constructing and installing cabinets, first by himself and then in partnership with another cabinet-maker.

Around 2009, with a devastating financial crisis gripping the country and his business partnership on rocky terms, he decided to change direction toward a career where he could work and share ideas with other people while still working with his hands.

He enrolled in SMCC’s Integrated Manufacturing-Precision Machining program, earning a degree in 2011 with a perfect GPA. His internship at Lanco Integrated, a Westbrook manufacturing plant that assembles custom machines for other companies, turned into a full-time job upon graduation.

He has worked at Lanco ever since, and now serves as Manufacturing Project Leader.

Brazier credits SMCC with lighting a spark under him.

“I landed at Lanco at an opportune time; I had a thirst and an aptitude for what I was doing. The whole chain of events, and coming to SMCC, gave me an opportunity to pursue something I was interested in.”

Student Profile
Marcus Taylor, self-discovery

Marcus Taylor served in the Army for eight years and left without a scratch. But a devastating accident after he left the military turned his life upside down and led him to SMCC.

Taylor grew up in Missouri and joined the Army when he was 17. In his eight years of service, he rose to the rank of sergeant while serving tours of duty in Korea and Iraq.

After leaving the Army, he moved to Richmond, Va., where he studied surgical technology at a university. But his life changed abruptly on May 4, 2017, when he was struck by a vehicle while riding his bike in Richmond ― an accident that nearly killed him and left him hospitalized for months with multiple injuries.

After getting out of the hospital, he came to Maine to live with his older sister while he continued his recovery. He enrolled at SMCC a year ago, drawn by the Communications & New Media Studies program, the affordability and the beautiful campus.

He is now focused on studying video production and plans to graduate in 2021. After SMCC, he’d like to get his foot in the door in his field while also continuing his education.

Taylor is impressed with the strong veteran community at SMCC. He serves as president of the Student Veterans Organization and as a member of the Student Senate, providing a voice for SMCC’s veterans.

After spending so much time in the hospital after his accident, he decided to steer away from the medical field when continuing his studies. He’s now relishing the opportunity in his newly chosen field.

“The most important thing I’m getting out of SMCC is exploring my interests and finding out what drives me. I’m discovering myself, and that’s very important to me.”