Daniele Amandolini is a native of Siena, Italy, a medieval city south of Florence. Now he’s earning a degree at SMCC while working as the art director on The Beacon student newspaper.
Daniele worked for his family’s hardware store and house-painting business when, at the age of 30, he moved from his hometown of Siena to Portland to get married to a woman from Maine. He enrolled in SMCC’s Communications & New Media Studies program last fall and is now focused on filmmaking.
Last year he worked on the layout and design of The Beacon; this year, he rose to be the paper’s art director, with six or seven other students working for him.
Daniele is impressed with the professional equipment in his program and the expertise of the professors, who make films professionally in addition to teaching.
He says taking advantage of opportunities outside of the classroom has accelerated his learning and allowed him to make new connections and friendships.
With deadlines to meet and real-world pressures, working on The Beacon is liking working in the field, he says.
“It really advances your skills like no class can. Opening yourself to extracurricular opportunities can advance your education and experiences so much.”
Meg Broderick, the ‘aha’ moments
Meg Broderick found her passion for baking as a teenager when she cooked bread, pies, cookies and other baked goods on a Casco Bay island and sold them door-to-door from a wheelbarrow for a couple of summers.
That experience eventually led her, during and after college, to working at restaurants and bakeries at various places from Alaska to Maine. She even worked for a season in Antarctica as a cook and baker at McMurdo Station, a U.S. Antarctic research center.
She also worked at Alice’s Restaurant, an eatery in Massachusetts made famous by the folk song and movie of the same name. While working for Cranberry Island Kitchen in Portland (and teaching at SMCC), she coached the owners prior to their appearance on the Food Network’s Bobby Flay “Throwdown” show, and brought SMCC students to watch the filming of the show.
Broderick was hired by SMCC in 2004 as has been here ever since, teaching baking and pastry. She’s an American Culinary Federation Certified Working Pastry Chef.
“I love doing a cooking demo in class, making eye contact and seeing those ‘aha’ moments that students experience. I love those ‘aha’ moments, and you hope that every student has those and is excited about what they’re doing.”