In the Spotlight: October 21 Campus Connections

Student Profile
Celina Simmons, exploring her interests

When Celina Simmons arrived at SMCC, she thought journalism might be a good career choice. But through her work as managing editor at The Beacon student newspaper, she’s discovered that her true passion lies in graphic design.

Celina completed high school in New Hampshire and learned of SMCC from friends while working at an Old Orchard Beach hotel the summer after graduation. She decided to give SMCC a shot and enrolled in the Communications & New Media Studies program.

Celina admits she pretty much kept to herself her first semester, but then broke out of her shell and immersed herself into college life.

For The Beacon, she first wrote a music review before becoming a section editor and then managing editor. As managing editor, she oversees the entire paper and makes sure it’s produced every other week. She also serves on the Student Senate’s executive committee and welfare committee.

Exploring different classes and experiences at SMCC has helped Celina discover her interests and opened her eyes to new things.

“I came here with the idea that I wanted to go into journalism, but The Beacon helped me figure out that really what I want to do is graphic design. I think it’s important for students to explore everything they can to help them determine what they want to do.”

Alumni Profile
Kara Kilmartin, springboarding to success

SMCC served as the springboard to Kara Kilmartin’s current position as Director of Dietary Services at a health-care facility for the elderly.

After high school, Kara enrolled in the nutrition program at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. But it wasn’t a good fit for her because the school and the classes were so big.

It was during a visit to see her parents ― who had moved from upstate New York to the Portland area ― that she decided to move to Maine and enroll in SMCC’s Nutrition & Dietetics program. She was drawn by the program, the low tuition and the beautiful campus.

While working toward her degree, she had an internship at Gorham House, a long-term care and assisted-living facility in Gorham. Two weeks before she graduated in 2012, Gorham House offered her a full-time job as a dietetic technician.

Kara has since worked her way up to become Director of Dietary Services, managing a staff of 55 and the inner workings of the kitchen and five dining rooms. She also works on menu planning, food ordering and clinical nutrition.