In the Spotlight: Oct 11. Campus Connections

oct11-2016-campconn-heidi-optimizedAlumni Spotlight
Heidi Parent, bright spotlight

More than 3 million TV viewers tuned in when Heidi Parent appeared on the Sept. 23 season premiere of “Hell’s Kitchen,” the reality cooking TV series starring British chef and TV personality Gordon Ramsay.
After earning her Culinary Arts degree in 2002, Heidi worked in a number of restaurants before making her way to Fishbones American Grill in Lewiston, where she worked her way up to executive chef.

While at Fishbones, she was selected to compete in this season’s Hell’s Kitchen against 17 other chefs, one of whom is eliminated from the show each week. She’ll appear on the show (8 p.m. Fridays on Fox) every week until she is eliminated — or wins. She has survived three episodes so far, but she can’t divulge her final outcome.

Seeking a change, Heidi recently left Fishbones and began teaching culinary arts to high school students at the Capital Area Tech Center in Augusta.

She says that when she graduated high school, her parents encouraged her to come to SMCC.

“Thank god they did, because otherwise I’d still be paying student loans now. I feel I got the best culinary education in the whole country.”

Student Spotlightoct11-2016-campconn-paul-ratigan-optimized
Paul Ratigan, flying in his future

Paul Ratigan already has a Paramedicine degree from SMCC, but he’s now pursuing a Health Sciences degree after getting the itch to be involved in the management end of the air medical services industry.

Paul has worked as a paramedic since earning his Paramedicine degree in 2010. While working in New Mexico as a flight paramedic in 2015, he realized he loved both flying and being a paramedic — so he set out to combine the two passions.

He enrolled this fall in the Health Administration pathway of the new Health Sciences program; after graduation, he plans to earn a bachelor’s degree. His ultimate aim is to work in a management role for a company that provides life flight services transporting patients by helicopter and plane to and from healthcare facilities and accident scenes.

“This is the perfect program for me to secure a bright future and reach my goals.”