Top Stories: August 26 Campus Connections

Arriving at SMCC on the first day of the Fall Semester were (from left) Sara McNally, Hayley King, Jamika Wright and Alexander Clark.

Welcome to the 2019-20 academic year

SMCC is welcoming thousands of new and returning students to school for the start of the Fall Semester of the 2019-20 academic year.

Here are some new and cool things that students should be aware of:

  • Extended Hours. The Advising, Billing, Admissions, Financial Aid, IT/HelpDesk, Registration and Housing offices are all holding extended hours for the start of the semester. They will be open from 7:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Thursday, August 26-29, and Tuesday and Wednesday, September 3-4. They’ll also be open from 7:30 a.m.-5 p.m. on Friday, August 30.
  • #helloSMCC. Have fun and introduce yourself to the SMCC community through our #helloSMCC campaign. Post your photos and videos on social media with #helloSMCC and be entered to win free gear.
  • Expanded food offerings. SMCC Dining has expanded its vegetarian and vegan offerings at the South Portland Campus’ Oceanview Dining Hall. The items will be featured on the dining hall’s international food station and include dishes such as hash brown arepa with red bean chili; fried avocado burrito bowl; tempeh butternut squash noodle bake; chicken fried tofu grits with a béchamel; and chipotle mushroom quinoa pilaf.
  • Student Activities Office. The South Portland Student Activities Office has moved to larger and more visible space on the first floor of the Spring Point Residence Hall. Check out the Student Activities Office’s Welcome Week Activities planned this week.
  • Study Abroad. The Global Studies Center is offering two classes in the Spring Semester that have travel components to Spain and Cuba. This is the first time a study-abroad class has been offered at SMCC with travel to Cuba.
  • New faculty. SMCC has nine new full-time faculty, as well as many new adjunct instructors.


From left are Ian Lukas, Jumana Alhanfy, Chris Aniapam and Birdie Waugh.

Student research ranges from zebrafish to mosquitoes in fellowships

SMCC students were busy their summer in laboratories across Maine conducting biological research on things ranging from oysters and mosquitoes to fruit flies and mice.
In all, five students took part in paid fellowships and internships at Bowdoin College, the University of New England, the University of Maine at Orono, Maine Medical Center Research Institute and Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences.

Participating students were:

  • Jumana Alhanfy, who researched the Impact of antipsychotic drugs on the immune function of zebrafish at the University of New England, where she will continue as a student this fall with the goal of becoming a dentist. “The summer research experience has made me more excited than ever to go to dental school.”
  • Ian Lukas, who was at Maine Medical Center Research Institute researching pesticide resistance in mosquito populations in southern Maine. “It has been great to be at the Maine Medical Center Research Center with world-class scientists who are working on hugely important projects for human health.”
  • Chris Aniapam, who was at the University of Maine studying neural stem cells in mice. “Always try to take the time to think ahead. You’ll be amazed by how many problems a little forethought can solve.”
  • Birdie Waugh, who worked Bigelow Lab on oyster parasites. “I learned plenty of lab bench skills like electroporation, how to write a project proposal, and how to simplify my results for the general public!”
  • Julie Kambali, who was at Bowdoin College looking at gene regulation in fruit flies.

“These are huge steppingstones for students in their careers as scientists,” said faculty member Elizabeth Ehrenfeld, who coordinates science fellowships and internships. “It gives them valuable laboratory experience and great networking opportunities to help them go on in school or find a job.”

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