In the Spotlight: September 23 Campus Connections

Student Spotlight
Maggie Chipman, finding her calling

Maggie Chipman came to SMCC to explore her interests and find her passion. She’s done just that and now hopes to build a career as a political organizer.

Maggie came to SMCC in 2018 straight out of high school and is enrolled in the Liberal Studies program. She is particularly interested in social sciences like political science, sociology and psychology.

During her freshman year, she became a member of Students 4 Democratic Socialism, a student organization that advocates for social, economic, environmental and other progressive and liberal causes.

Through her involvement with the organization, this year she was awarded a highly competitive Maine People’s Alliance Student Action Organizing Fellowship, which is open to anyone attending a Maine college or university.

For her fellowship, she organizes events, plans meetings and spreads the word about Students 4 Democratic Socialism.

When Maggie graduates from SMCC, she plans to continue her education and earn a bachelor’s degree and make a career as a political organizer for progressive causes.

Coming to SMCC has provided Maggie direction and leadership skills, she says.

“At SMCC, I’ve gotten direction toward something I’m passionate about. It’s opened my eyes to all the possibilities of what I’m interested in.”


Alumni Spotlight
Renee Shi, pursuing her dream

Yu “Renee” Shi began taking classes at SMCC to work on her English skills, but it didn’t take long for her to set bigger goals. Not only did she earn a business degree, she transferred to Bentley University, where she’s studying accounting.

Renee moved to Maine from her native China in 2014 to be with her son while he completed his high school education in Portland. She didn’t know a word of English.

Three years later, she enrolled in a business class at SMCC to improve her English. But through the support and encouragement of her professors, she decided to earn a degree. She graduated in May with high honors and a near-perfect academic record.

She’s now earning a bachelor’s degree at Bentley, a top-notch business university outside of Boston that offered her a generous scholarship and accepted nearly all of her SMCC credits. Her son is now a sophomore at Syracuse University.

Renee hopes to eventually earn her master’s degree and become a certified public accountant. Ultimately, she would like to work for an international company where she can travel between China and the U.S., utilizing her knowledge of the languages and cultures of both countries.

Renee credits SMCC and its business program for encouraging her to set lofty goals. Business Professor Steve Strand, she says, changed her life.

“He gave me a big dream. Now I’m on my way to pursue my dream. I want to encourage SMCC students to go after your dreams. If I can do it, you can do it.”