In the Spotlight: November 4 Campus Connections

Student Profile
Tetty Collins, big things ahead

Tetty Collins didn’t enjoy high school; she had poor grades and lacked confidence. But SMCC has helped change that. Here, she has excelled in the classroom and taken on leadership roles with the long-term goal of becoming a lawyer.

After graduating high school in 2015, Tetty joined AmeriCorps and worked as a teacher’s assistant in a South Portland school for a year. After her service time was up, she decided the time was right for college.

Since coming to SMCC, Tetty has come into her own, gaining self-assurance with her academic success (a 3.8 GPA), her involvement in campus activities, and the support she’s received from faculty and staff. She serves as president of the SMCC chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society, holds a seat on the Student Senate and is the student representative on the College Council’s academics committee.
Tetty plans to transfer to a baccalaureate school next fall to study international relations. Georgetown, Tufts, Fordham and Lafayette are on her list of possibilities.

In time, she hopes to become a lawyer specializing in international or human rights law.

“I didn’t do well in high school, I didn’t think I was very smart. I jumped into SMCC hoping I would connect with the college. It’s the best decision I’ve ever made.”

Alumni Profile
Kimberly Couillard, 2nd career

Kimberly Couillard studied accounting when she first went to college, but later came to SMCC to earn a nursing degree when she realized that healthcare was where she belonged. SMCC served as the catalyst for her nursing career and her passion for patient care.

Kimberly attended UMass Lowell for accounting straight out of high school. But her college career was put on a hold to raise a family.

After moving to Maine, she worked in billing and insurance for a cardiology medical group in Portland. That’s where she recognized how much I enjoyed working with patients.

When the time was right, she enrolled in the nursing program, drawn by SMCC’s affordability, small classes and the fact that she could become a nurse quicker than at a four-year school. She graduated in 2018 and now she’s working at Maine Medical Center providing medical and surgical care to cancer, cardiology, urology and other types of patients requiring specialty care.

“All of the instructors at SMCC are really vested in making sure you’re successful. It’s not an easy program and you have to put in the effort to get through it. But your success is their success, and that’s what they want.”