In the Spotlight: April 2 Campus Connections

Student Spotlight
Mike Jones, submarines to SMCC

Mike Jones spent 13 years in the Navy submarine force, traveling the world over underwater. He’s now working toward Pre-engineering and Electrical Engineering Technologies degrees at SMCC.

Originally from Kansas, Jones joined the Navy when he was 21 and left the service in 2015. He and his wife, who is a Maine native, moved to the midcoast town of Newcastle in 2016.

Jones works full-time at Bath Iron Works as a Navy crew training instructor while going to SMCC full-time. He was drawn to SMCC because of the affordable tuition, the flexibility and the Midcoast Campus, which made it easy for him to get out of work at BIW and drive 10 minutes to Brunswick.

Now in his second semester at SMCC, he’s taking a combination of online classes and classroom courses on the South Portland Campus. With the courses offered in the late afternoon and evening, he’s able to take a full load at SMCC while still working at BIW.

He was also drawn to SMCC because transfer agreements with Maine’s universities that allow him to transfer seamlessly. After graduation from SMCC, he plans to transfer to USM and enroll in the Engineering to MBA program.

“SMCC is the most economical program in the state and is a feeder for USM and the other universities. It made a lot of sense to come here.”


Faculty Spotlight
Rachel Guthrie, engaging students

Rachel Guthrie teaches students graphic design skills using the latest computer technology. She’s also known for engaging students on a personal level to help them succeed.

Guthrie, who teaches in the Communications & New Media Studies program, has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Southern Maine and a master’s in education from Goddard College.

Before coming to SMCC in 2008, she had decades of experience in graphic design and other creative positions for newspapers, corporate clients, a video production firm, an advertising agency and others. She also taught web design, graphic design and video production for Cape Elizabeth schools.

Besides teaching, she also serves as a faculty advisor to The Beacon student newspaper. In 2010, she won a national NISOD Excellence Award, which recognizes people for extraordinary work on their college campuses.

Her favorite part of teaching is to get to really know her students by learning their likes and dislikes, their aspirations, their hopes and dreams.

“I like to make connections with students on a real level. I want to help students succeed in school and reach their goals.”