In the Spotlight: February 26 Campus Connections

Student Spotlight
Noah Brooks, 2-for-1 education

Noah Brooks is receiving both a classroom education and hands-on job experience while attending SMCC.

After graduating high school in Auburn in 2012, Noah moved to Portland and worked various jobs before deciding he was ready to enter college. When it came time, he narrowed his choice to SMCC and one other school, but ultimately chose SMCC because of the affordability and the positive experience that some of his friends had at SMCC.

He arrived at SMCC last fall and majors in Information Technology, following his passion for computers.

Besides studying IT, he also works in SMCC’s Information Technology Department as a work-study student. The job, he says, gives him invaluable work experience and connections in the industry.

IT is a growing field, and Noah is optimistic about his future prospects. Down the road, he’d like to work in network administration for a mid-sized company.

“I’m going to graduate with a two-year degree along with two years of experience in the field, which is great. I don’t think I’ll have any trouble getting a job after graduation.”


Student Spotlight
Steven Merrill, at the top

Most students work their way up in their careers after earning a degree at SMCC. Steven Merrill, who’s graduating in May with a Fire Science degree, is already at the top — he’s the chief of the Lebanon (Maine) Fire and EMS Department.

Merrill began his firefighting career in 1982 as a volunteer in Kennebunkport, before landing as a full-time firefighter and EMT in Saco in 1985. While working in Saco, he wanted to further his education so he took classes here and there at SMCC through the years.

In 2014, he decided to make a change and took a job as a communication technician at Maine Medical Center. But it wasn’t long before he realized his true calling was in fire and rescue, so he set his mind to returning to the fire service.

As part of his plan, he enrolled at SMCC and first earned a degree in Paramedicine last summer. He’ll have his Fire Science degree in May.

He’s convinced that the continuation of his education is one reason Lebanon selectmen in late January voted to offer him the job as fire chief.

“When I was offered the job, I told them I wasn’t going to accept the position unless they agreed that I’d be able to finish the Fire Science Degree. They were very much in support of me finishing the degree because they said it would benefit them down the road.”