In the Spotlight: April 18 Campus Connections

Alumni Spotlight
Saman Baghestani, next up: MIT

Saman Baghestani was a top scholar and student leader while at SMCC. He graduates next month with a bachelor’s degree from Northeastern University, where he’s in the Top 10 of his class with a job awaiting him at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

At Northeastern, Baghestani has majored in Finance and New Venture Management (entrepreneurship) while maintaining a 4.0 GPA. He is among the recipients of Northeastern’s 2017 President’s Award, given each year to the Top 10 graduating seniors.

Upon graduation, he will go to work for MIT’s Sloan School of Management Sustainability Initiative as program manager of SHIFT, a platform of resources for sustainability professionals to embed and advance sustainability in their organizations.

Baghestani says he will always be thankful to SMCC for the supportive faculty and staff and the atmosphere of learning and fun.

“At SMCC, I got a sense for what was possible by pursuing academia: anything and everything. Academic opens up the doors to an infinite world of possibilities, and SMCC more than adequately prepared me to launch further into my own academic journey that is soon coming to an end when I graduate in May.”

Student Spotlight
Derek Theriault, so many choices

The biggest decision Derek Theriault faces in the coming weeks is where he will continue his education. He has seven schools from which to choose.

Theriault will graduate from SMCC in May with a degree in biotechnology, and he then plans to earn a bachelor’s degree in science. He’s been accepted at the University of New England, the University of Maine at Orono, the University of Vermont, the University of Connecticut, Boston University, the University of Pittsburgh and Clarkson University.

All of the schools have offered competitive financial packages and accepted nearly all the credits he’s earned at SMCC — a tribute, he says, to the regard those schools have for SMCC.

Theriault came to SMCC while in his 30s after deciding he needed a college degree to get ahead.

He’s a member of Phi Theta Kappa and is an Honors Program scholar. Through the biotechnology program, he has taken laboratory courses at the Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory and at Bates and Bowdoin colleges. He’s also had two fellowships, at Bowdoin and Bates.

Coming to SMCC sparked his passion for learning.

“When I came here, I was surprised how engaged the staff and faculty were in student success. I love being a student, and that’s not what I expected when I came here.”