Top Stories: Aug 27 Campus Connections

Welcome to the Fall Semester

The Fall Semester has kicked off with the arrival of thousands of students. This fall, students will find a new college president, new academic offerings, new fences on our athletic fields, new faculty and new hours in our South Portland Advising Office.

The South Portland and Midcoast campuses came alive on Aug. 27 with the first day of classes. Here’s a sampling of some new things worth noting:

  • New college president. Joe Cassidy became president of SMCC on Aug. 1, replacing Ron Cantor, who stepped down after seven years as president. Cassidy comes to SMCC from Washington County Community College, where he served as president for five years. You can read his “Message from the President” on the SMCC website.
  • New Advising Office hours. The South Portland Campus Advising Office has extended its hours to 7:30 a.m.-6 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. It’s open from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
  • New fences on the baseball and softball fields. For the first time, SMCC’s baseball and softball fields now have permanent outfield fences, paid for by the SeaWolves Athletics Club, which raises money through donations and fundraisers.
  • New pathways for mathematics. SMCC has created new pathways for mathematics that allow students to complete college-level math courses more quickly. New this fall, Math 030 (Mathematical Literacy) is an alternative to Math 050 (Intro to Algebra). It is designed for students in non-STEM programs and aims to prepare them for Quantitative Reasoning, Mathematics for Educators, Technical Math, and Statistics.
  • New Midcoast Campus fitness center. Located in Orion Hall, the fitness center has a universal weight machine, treadmills, an elliptical and free weights.

Photo: First-year students Dan Fredette, Jordan Boucher, Amanda Cremmen, Ethan Ricard and Kalie Eastman arrive at SMCC for the start of their college careers.

Public Safety live-in program enters 30th year

SMCC’s Public Safety live-in program is entering its 30th year with a near-record 87 students serving as live-in students at fire stations in area communities for the 2018-19 academic year.

Students who participate in SMCC’s Public Safety live-in program receive fire-rescue and emergency medical services training and live and work at fire stations while enrolled as full-time Fire Science, Paramedicine and Criminal Justice students at SMCC.

Of the overall total, 32 are new students enrolled at SMCC for the first time.

Now in its 30th year, the program started with just six students who served in fire stations in South Portland, Gorham and Scarborough. Today, live-in students serve at 30 fire-EMS stations in 16 southern Maine communities.

In preparation for this year’s live-in program, the 32 new students went through orientation and developed basic firefighting and EMS skill sets during a three-week Summer Fire Academy in August.

The live-in students are “paid on-call” members of the participating fire-EMS departments, living in the stations, responding to emergencies and gaining invaluable experience in their chosen field.

“We believe our live-in program is the largest in the United States, attracting students from around the country,” said Fire Science Chair Steve Willis. “Over the decades, we’ve had more than 750 SMCC live-in program graduates in Criminal Justice, Fire Science and Paramedicine.”

Photo: President Joe Cassidy (far right) paid a visit to the Falmouth Central Fire Station on Aug. 15 to meet with students in the Summer Fire Academy.


SMCC students busy in summer science fellowships

A number of SMCC students spent parts of their summer involved in scientific research while taking part in paid fellowships at leading research institutions in Maine.

The students participated in fellowships at the MDI Biological Laboratory, Maine Medical Research Institute, the University of New England, Bowdoin College and Bigelow Laboratory for Marine Sciences. Their areas of study ranged from viruses in an Antarctic Lake, diabetes and shellfish toxicity to fruit fly genomes and Parkinson’s disease.

The fellowships allowed the students to work full-time in laboratories for up to 10 weeks over the summer, while being paid. The fellow grants were made possible through the Maine IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence’s (INBRE) summer fellowship program, and through the National Science Foundation.

Students taking part were:

  • Tiffany Greenleaf: University of New England
  • Sharon Jordan: Maine Medical Center Research Institute
  • Zainab Miguel: Maine Medical Center Research Institute
  • Isabelle Russell: MDI Biological Laboratory
  • Emily Haggett: Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences
  • Izzi Grasso: Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences
  • Theo Bishop: Bowdoin College

Photos: From left to right, SMCC students Zainab Miguel, Tiffany Greenleaf and Sharon Jordan are shown here presenting the findings of their summer fellowship research at the MDI Biological Laboratory on Aug. 7.


Global Studies Center to offer course with travel in Iceland

SMCC’s Global Studies Center is offering a course next spring that, for the first time, includes a travel component to Iceland, the small island country in the North Atlantic Ocean.

Now entering its third year, the Global Studies Center offers semester-long online classes each spring that include travel to an international destination during spring break. Previous classes have taken students to Italy and Spain.

This coming spring, students will be offered a class titled “Arts, Culture, and Education: Iceland” that includes travel to Iceland’s capital, Reykjavik. The course is an innovative collaboration between SMCC and the University of Southern Maine and is open to students from both schools. It will be taught by SMCC Fine Arts Professor Jeff Badger and two instructors from USM.

This year’s other Global Studies class is “Italian Renaissance Art & Architecture,” taught by Virginia Rose, which includes travel to Ferrara, Italy, with day trips to Venice and Florence.

For more information about the study abroad opportunities, please visit the Global Studies Center webpage. While you are there, fill out the Global Studies Information Form at the bottom of the page.