Top Stories: March 20 Campus Connections

Global Classroom students visit Italy

Imagine a class where you visit Italy’s Uffizi Museum or Doge Palace in person. Nine SMCC students didn’t have to imagine — they visited those sites and more as part of the first Global Classroom course at SMCC that included a week-long international field experience.

Students in Jeff Badger’s Italian Renaissance Art & Architecture class (ARTH 192) spent spring break learning the history, culture and art of the Italian cities of Ferrara, Florence and Venice, while having guest lectures by Art History faculty from the University of Ferrara.

Italian Renaissance & Art is the first course offered through SMCC’s Global Classroom program, which was established last summer to expand study-abroad opportunities at SMCC. Global Classroom courses are unique hybrid classes that include online coursework and study abroad travel.

For Badger’s class, students this semester have learned about the art and artists associated with northern Italy from the 14th to the 17th centuries. In visiting Italy, they were able to experience the important works in their original settings and cultural context.

According to the Institute of International Education, 90 percent of college freshman say they want to study abroad, yet less than 10 percent actually do. One of Badger’s goals is to expand study-abroad opportunities for SMCC students.

“Community college students often have even less access to education abroad opportunities than other college students due to financial and cultural constraints,” Badger said. “Studies show that students who study abroad have better grades, experience less attrition and graduate at higher rates, and are better prepared to contribute to our global society.”

While in Italy, Badger and his students stayed in Ferrara, with day trips to Florence and Venice for walking tours and visits to museums, palaces and other sites.

SMCC is planning to offer more Global Classroom courses in different disciplines and subject areas next year and in the years after. The new classes will be announced at the end of March.

To learn more about SMCC’s international offerings, students can visit the Global Studies webpage.


Advising Month helps students save time, money

Want to save time and money while reaching your academic goals? There’s no better way than by using SMCC’s student advising services.

SMCC faculty and staff are boosting efforts to get students to take advantage of advising services during Advising Month, which kicks off April 1 and runs through the end of the month.
Students are encouraged to meet their faculty advisor or stop by the Advising Services Kiosk or the Advising Office to review their degree audit, figure out which courses they need to take, create a schedule and register for classes for the Fall Semester.

A full slate of advising sessions with faculty and staff advisors has been scheduled throughout the month at both the South Portland and Midcoast campuses.

Registration for the Fall Semester begins Monday, April 10, for students who have earned at least 30 credits, and Wednesday, April 12, for current students who have earned less than 30 credits.


SMCC hoops teams reach new heights

The SMCC basketball teams reached new heights in a season that was capped appearances in the USCAA national Division II championship tournament.

The women’s team advanced to the semifinals of the tournament, held in Uniontown, Pa., from March 1-5, before falling to eventual champion Central Maine Community College. The Lady SeaWolves finished the season with a 24-5 record and became the first SMCC team to ever reach the semifinal game in the USCAA tournament.

The No. 5-seeded men’s team fell in the quarterfinals of the national tournament and finished the season 23-8.

Three SMCC players were honored at the USCAA national basketball awards banquet on Feb. 28.

  • Vanese Barnes, co-captain of the women’s basketball team, was named to the USCAA National All-Academic team. Vanese earned a 3.7 GPA last semester while working toward a degree in education.
  • Jennifer Conrad, the other co-captain of the women’s hoops team, was selected to the Division II USCAA All-American Honorable Mention Team. She was later named to the women’s all-tournament team.
  • John Morgan, captain of the men’s team, was selected Division II USCAA First-Team All-American, placing him among the 10 best players in the nation.

Photo caption: From left, at the USCAA national basketball awards banquet, are Vanese Barnes, Jennifer Conrad and John Morgan.


Scholarship recipients, donors spotlighted

Dozens of scholarship donors and recipients were recognized at coffee receptions put on by the SMCC Foundation.

A March 7 reception in the McKernan Center followed by a get-together the following day in the Culinary Arts dining room brought together students, donors, faculty and staff. A third reception was held in February. This year, 207 students were awarded scholarship totaling $225,000.

Students shared their stories of how the scholarships have helped pursue their degrees while holding down jobs, being parents and juggling myriad responsibilities. Donors got up and spoke about how much it means to them to contribute toward scholarships so students can minimize debt while their pursuing bright future.

One student, Jean Medard Zulu, said because of his scholarship, “I’m a new person.”
Photos from the receptions are available on SMCC’s Flickr account.

Photo caption: Standing, from left, are longtime scholarship donor John Boyne; students Amy Mitchell, Sarah Jackson, Kathryn Blank, May Hall, Zachary Sevigny, Marigan Bishop, Kimberly Couillard, and Shea Blair; and Nursing Department Chairman Michael Nozdrovicky. Kneeling, from left, are students Cheryl Perry, Crystal Smith, Brittney Gillman, Scott Tresselt and Gretchen Martin.