Top Stories: December 16 Campus Connections

Delivering cheer (and gingerbread houses)

Culinary students this month continued a longtime tradition by delivering gingerbread houses and holiday cheer to children at the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital.

A group of students baked and assembled the gingerbread houses in the Culinary Arts Center on the SMCC South Portland Campus, with help from professional chefs and current and former SMCC faculty. They then delivered them to the hospital, located at Maine Medical Center in Portland, on December 9 for children to decorate.

Culinary Arts Professor Meg Broderick said the tradition is spearheaded by the American Culinary Federation to spread some holiday joy to children who are under hospital care.  Students, she said, are always emotionally moved when they deliver the gingerbread houses to the hospital.

“Students come away from this very much aware of how fortunate they are,” Broderick said. “They always says how glad they are that they did this. I think they come away changed.”


SMCC alumni Patrick Duddy (third from left in left photo) and Marc Yankowsky (far right in right photo) were among from Criminal Justice alumni who graduated last month from the Maine Criminal Justice Academy.

Criminal Justice alumni enter workforce

SMCC’s Criminal Justice Department had a strong showing of alumni who entered the workforce after graduating from the Maine Criminal Justice Academy in November.

Maine’s 62 newest law enforcement officers graduated from the academy, located in Vassalboro, on November 27. The new officers completed 18 weeks of study and training and will join municipal police departments, the Maine State Police, sheriff’s offices and the Maine Marine Patrol.

SMCC’s four alumni who graduated were:

  • Sean Dyer, now with the Auburn Police Department
  • Patrick Duddy, now with the Portland Police Department
  • Cody Rickevicius, now with the Sanford Police Department
  • Marc Yankowsky, now with the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office


Graduates of the Yamaha Outboard Motor Repair Training course received certificates at a ceremony on December 12. They are shown here with Dan Belyea (back left), Maine Community College System Executive Director of Workforce Training; Ryan Coffin (back, second from left); Jim Whitten (back right), SMCC Dean of Workforce Development; and Steve Arnold (back row, second from right), owner of Yarmouth Boat Yard and Moose Landing Marina.

Inaugural Yamaha Outboard Motor Repair course graduates 10

Congratulations to the graduates of SMCC’s first Yamaha Outboard Motor Training course.

At a ceremony on December 12 at the McKernan Center on SMCC’s South Portland Campus, graduates received Yamaha certifications for completing the course.

The graduates were Matthew Bolduc, Ben Bushey, Erik Canfield, Michael Del Smith, Zach Doyer, Raymond Lemay, Stephanie Makoujy, Brendon Martino, Cullen Teel and Eric Wallace.

All of the graduates earned Introduction to Outboard Systems (ITOS) and Sales, Service and Training (SST) certifications from Yamaha. Bolduc, Doyer, Makoujy and Martino also earned Inline Engine Systems certifications, which can be applied toward a Master Technician certificate, the highest certification a Yamaha technician can attain.

The 150-hour course was launched last spring in partnership with Yamaha, the Maine Marine Trades Association, boatyard owners and industry representatives as a way to provide boatyards and other Yamaha service centers the skilled workers they need while improving career opportunities for Maine residents. Classes were held on the SMCC South Portland Campus.

Graduates will meet with representatives from boatyards and Yamaha service centers in the spring at a reverse job fair where they will hand out resumes and meet-to-face with prospective employers.

The course was funded through the Maine Quality Centers, which is part of the Maine Community College System and provides customized workforce training grants to Maine employers with training delivered through SMCC and Maine’s other community colleges.


Shown here with two donated transfer cases are Automotive Technology Chair Ruth Morrison, Mark Pelkey of TransAxle, Manual Transmissions Instructor Rick O’Brien and President Joe Cassidy.

Donation helps Auto Technology students

Students in the Automotive Technology program will benefit from a donation of 11 transfer cases to be used for hands-on training.

TransAxle’s South Portland office donated the cases, to be used by students in the program’s Manual Transmissions class. TransAxle is a national company focused on the remanufacturing and distribution of transmissions, differentials and other drivetrain components.

Mark Pelkey, general manager of TransAxle’s South Portland office, said TransAxle has been donating the use of the transfer cases to the Auto Tech program for well over a decade.

As part of their classroom training, students take the cases apart, clean them up, inspect them and put them back together. A transfer case is a part of the drivetrain of all-wheel drive vehicles, used to transfer power from the transmission to the front and rear axles using drive shafts.