Top Stories: Dec 17 Campus Connections

SMCC reaccredited for next 10 years

The New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) has reaccredited SMCC for the next 10 years, giving the college high marks when informing President Joe Cassidy of the reaccreditation.

NECHE, formerly called the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, is the regional accreditation agency for colleges and universities in the six New England states.

NECHE accreditation requires that institutions meet rigorous standards in areas that include administration, academic programs, faculty, students and facilities.

“Everybody at SMCC should be proud of our reaccreditation,” President Cassidy said. “We came through the process with flying colors. The reaccreditation assures the public that we are a high-quality institution delivering a high-quality education.”

During the accreditation process, SMCC produced a 228-page self-study and large quantities of supporting data to illustrate how SMCC complies with the high standards set forth by the accreditation agency.

A visiting team from NECHE spent three days of in-depth discussions with faculty, staff, students, administrators, and trustees on both the South Portland and Midcoast campuses.

Throughout the process the team repeatedly commended SMCC for its integrity, transparency, professionalism, collaboration, focus and data-informed progress.

SMCC was last reaccredited in 2008.

Culinary students deliver gingerbread houses (and cheer)

Culinary students brought joy to children at the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital by continuing the long tradition of making and delivering gingerbread houses during the holiday season.

A group of students baked and assembled dozens of gingerbread house in the Culinary Arts Center in early December with help from professional chefs David Turin, John George and Peter Brokofsky. Restaurant and catering business owner Kevin Fallen joined students and Professor Meg Broderick in delivering the gingerbread houses to the hospital for children to decorate two days later.

Fallen said he started the gingerbread house tradition with the children’s hospital years ago as a way to spread holiday cheer to children who are under hospital care.

“It’s giving back to the community, giving back to people who need it much more than we do,” Fallen said.

Photo: From left, students Mallory Oliver, Sara Wellman, Kyle Leonard and Sierra Goozey, SMCC Culinary Professor and ACF member Meg Broderick, students Karen Watterson and Nancy MacLean, ACF member and SMCC alumna Donna Piscopo, and ACF members Peter Brokofsky, John George and Kevin Fallen.

SMCC Athletics heightens awareness of SeaWolves brand

The SMCC Athletics Department has hung four large SeaWolves banners in the HUB gym as part of a multi-pronged effort to increase awareness of the SeaWolves logo and name.

Besides putting up the banners, the Athletics Department is planning to soon install a new SeaWolves Hall of Fame in the HUB lobby while also displaying several framed jerseys worn by standout student-athletes from years past.

Matt Richards, Director of Athletics and Associate Dean of Students, said members of SMCC’s sports teams have told him during his monthly student-athlete leadership breakfasts that they would like to increase the visibility of the SeaWolves name and distinctive logo in and around the HUB.

“It’s an initiative that student-athletes have pushed,” Richards said.

SMCC’s Athletics Hall of Fame will be showcased with an interactive display on a wall of the HUB lobby featuring photos and biographies of the 32 student-athletes and one SMCC sports team that have been inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Richards also plans to hang three framed jerseys in a hallway off the HUB lobby. The jerseys belonged to Mark Dudley, who wore No. 25 on the men’s basketball team from 1976-80; Timothy Hagerman, who wore No. 44 on the men’s basketball team from 2005-08 (and who died of cancer in 2011); and Anthony D’Alfonso, who wore No. 15 on the baseball team from 2005-2007.

Dudley’s and Hagerman’s numbers have been retired, and nobody has worn No. 15 on the baseball team since D’Alfonso played.

Lights! Camera! Action!

Southern Maine Community College has launched a three-part series of Facebook Live events aimed at easing the enrollment process for the Spring Semester.

The events, “SMCC + ME: Preparing for Spring Enrollment,” are hosted by Amy Lee, Director of Admissions. The first Facebook Live episode was shown on December 11 with the theme of “Is SMCC Right for Me?”

Two additional Facebook Live events will take place at 7:30 p.m. December 18 and January 7, during which Lee will be joined by different members of the SMCC community to talk about what is needed to apply for Spring and what to expect on the first day of classes.

To see the Facebook Live events, simply visit the SMCC Facebook page.

The next two events are:

  • December 18 – What Do I Need To Apply?
  • January 7 – What Should I Expect When Classes Start?

Photo: Amy Lee, Director of Admissions, talks with Communications & New Media Studies student Liz McCabe Park during SMCC’s inaugural Facebook Live event on December 11.

Honors class showcases short stories

Honors students put their impressive work on display when they showcased poster presentations analyzing various short stories and authors of their choice.

Sixteen students in Mike Bove’s honors class, The Short Story, presented their posters Dec. 6 in the Learning Commons, where they also spoke to visitors about the authors and the stories they chose.
The students who presented their works were:

  • Kennedy Canfield: “It’s a Dirty World,” by Charles Bukowski
  • Aziza Dafili: “The Guest,” by Albert Camus
  • Alexa Dakin: “Alphinland,” by Margaret Atwood
  • Nick DiPalma: “Previous Condition,” by James Baldwin
  • Jamie Dunlap: “The Birthmark,” by Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • Sierra Firley: “Cathedral,” by Raymond Carver
  • Bella Hebert: “The Hunt,” by Malinda Lo
  • Amelia Kerns: Selection from “The Little Prince,” by Antione de Saint-Exupery
  • Robin MacKusick: “Vanished Message,” by Lemony Snicket
  • Lydia McMullan: “Miss Brill,” by Katherine Mansfield
  • Chris O’Connell: “Cathedral,” by Raymond Carver
  • Marlina Phan: “The Outsider,” by H.P. Lovecraft
  • Alexa Requena: “The Ones Who Walked Away from Omelas,” by Ursula LeGuin
  • Will Sutton: “The Garden Party,” by Katherine Mansfield
  • Bailey Tierney: “The Man Who Loved Flowers,” by Stephen King
  • Brittany Winslow: “Leaving Time,” by Jodi Picoult

Photo: From left are Bailey Tierney, Brittany Winslow and Nick DiPalma.

FAFSA promotion to award FREE tuition

Students can win FREE credits for the 2019 Fall Semester simply by filling out their FAFSA.

The Financial Aid Office is promoting the importance of financial aid by providing a lucrative incentive for students to fill out the Free Application for Federal Students Aid, or FAFSA.

Students who fill out the FAFSA by February 28 will be placed into a drawing. Two students will be randomly selected to receive 12 credits worth of free tuition — valued at $1,128 — for the 2019 Fall Semester.

Filling out the FAFSA is one of the most important steps students and their families can take to pay for college. The FAFSA opens doors for federal grants, loans, student employment, and other sources of aid.