Top Stories: November 4 Campus Connections

Professor Steve Strand (left photo) with alumni Valerie Roy, Renee Shi and Nathalie Mitchell. Professor Mark Reuscher (right photo) with alumna Chrissy Riolo.

Connecting alumni and students

Dozens of SMCC business students and alumni came together for a get-together where alumni spoke about their life and work experiences, offered pointers to current students and gave thanks to all they got out of SMCC.

Students and alumni packed the McKernan Center for the October 24 event, organized by the Business Department.

One by one, alumni came to the front of the room to speak about what they’ve done since graduating from SMCC. Among them was Jason Dodge, who said coming to SMCC changed his life and set him on the path to owning his own business, Momentum Barbershop in Portland.

“I always offer to come speak to SMCC classes or events,” he said. “It’s important to give back.”
For students, the event was a chance to network with alumni, meet new people and learn. Garrett Hinge, who’s graduating this semester, said he’s particularly interested in entrepreneurship and plans to get a bachelor’s degree before hopefully owning his own business.

“I need to practice my networking, introducing myself to people, and marketing myself,” he said. “So I figured this was a great opportunity to do just that.”

More than a dozen alumni attended the event. Today, they work at accounting firms, banks, hospitals and other businesses. Some, such as Dodge, own their own businesses. Renee Shi, who graduated last spring, is earning her bachelor’s degree at Bentley University outside of Boston.

After earning her business degree, Valerie Roy went to work at her parents’ logging company in the western Maine town of Rangeley. There, she uses accounting, human resources, management and even business law skills she learned at SMCC.

“The program here is so well-rounded,” she said. “You can use the skills learn you learn here throughout a business.”


Hall of Fame inductees (from left) Alisa Sweet, Phil Desjardins, Michela Desjardins and Eric Bruneau.

Four inducted into Athletics Hall of Fame

Two former student-athletes, the winningest baseball coach in SMCC history, and the longtime president of the SeaWolves Athletics Club are the newest inductees into the SMCC Athletics Hall of Fame.

The induction ceremony was held Saturday, November 2, at Purpoodock Golf Club in Cape Elizabeth, and paid tribute to:

  • Michela Desjardins, a standout soccer player who scored 21 goals and 45 points in her two years of play in 2012 and 2013. She was named to the Yankee Small College Conference (YSCC) All-Conference team and named a United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) Honorable Mention All-American both seasons.
  • Alisa Sweet, a two-year member of the basketball team in 2010 and 2011 who averaged nearly a double-double (14.3 points per game and 9.9 rebounds per game) in 55 games at SMCC. She was a YSCC All-Conference selection in 2010, and her teams won the YSCC conference championships both years she played.
  • Phil Desjardins, who had a 220-163 record during a 16-year span from 1996-2012 as coach of the baseball team. The winningest baseball coach ever at SMCC, Desjardins’ teams won three YSCC championships and made three USCAA national tournament appearances. He was named YSCC Coach of the Year in 2007.
  • Eric Bruneau, the long-time president of the SeaWolves Athletics Club. As president, Eric has overseen the raising more than $309,000 that have been used for locker room renovations, athletic field improvements, the installation of the Hall of Fame Wall in the HUB, and the purchase of athletic training room and field maintenance equipment. His business, South Portland House of Pizza, has been a longtime sponsor of the SeaWolves Athletics Club Golf Tournament and has provided pre-game meals for SMCC sports teams traveling on the road.

This was the 14th induction class honoring former student-athletes, administrators and supporters for their contributions to SMCC’s Athletics program. The newest inductees join 32 other individuals and one team who are already in the Hall of Fame.

Jump-start your planning for the Spring Semester

Get a head start on the Spring Semester during Advising Month by meeting with a faculty advisor, stopping by the Advising Office or even grabbing your lunch and meeting an advisor in Oceanview Dining Hall.

Advising Month, held through November, is the ideal time to check in on your degree progress, plan your classes for spring and register. Students can schedule an appointment with their advisor, and some academic departments have scheduled advising sessions for students in those programs. View a list of Advising Month program sessions here, or on the MySMCC student portal on My Maine Guide.

You can also meet with a staff advisor at the Advising Office at the South Portland Campus or the L.L.Bean Learning Commons in Brunswick. The Advising Office in South Portland will be open for extended hours on Tuesday and Thursdays, from 7:30 a.m.-6 p.m. and during the normal business hours of 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

If you can’t make it to the Advising Office, grab your lunch at the dining hall and stop by the “Lunch with an Advisor” table on November 4-7 anytime between 12-1:30 p.m.

Registration for the Spring Semester begins at 8 a.m. Tuesday, November 12, for current students with 30 or more credits, and at 8 a.m. Thursday, November 14, for current students with fewer than 30 credits.

Check out these new Spring Semester classes

Want to travel to Cuba to study nature, culture and photography? Ready to study about U.S. environmental history? Are you a culinary student interested in learning about culinary trends? SMCC is offering new courses this Spring Semester that allow students to do those things and more.

With spring registration beginning this month, here are some new classes or courses that haven’t been offered in a while that are worth checking out next semester. For expanded descriptions, go to course listings on the MySMCC student portal.

  • Nature, Culture & Photography. Students in this course will explore the biodiversity and culture of Cuba through the lens of arts and science. The class will fulfill the Arts & Humanities, Global Diversity or Ethical Reasoning general elective requirement. Online class with travel to Cuba in March.
  • Comparative Criminal Justice (CJUS 240). Students will travel to Ireland during the one-week Spring Semester break to compare the policing experience of Ireland to that of the United States. Prerequisite requirement: CJUS 105.
  • Machining & Welding for Automotive (AUTO 285). Students will learn how to perform welding and machining operations on automobiles, including repairing exhaust systems, body components and broken fasteners. Prerequisite requirement: AUTO 102.
  • Catering (CULA 261) and Modern Culinary Trends (CULA 260). These two courses replace Buffet Preparation Techniques (CULA 210) in the culinary curriculum. Catering will give culinary students a basic understanding and working knowledge of planning and preparing catered events of various styles. Modern Culinary Trends allows students to explore current fads and trends in the culinary field. Prerequisite requirement: CULA 102, 110, 120, 130 and 140.
  • U.S. Environmental History (HIST 139). This honors course explores the interaction between humans and their environments throughout the history of the United States, from its colonial origins through our contemporary era. Prerequisite requirement: ENGL 050 or 090 and ENGL 075 or 095.
  • Intro to Peace, War, and Security (POLS 212). This course will examine the various factors that lead to peace and the changing nature of war, whether between countries, within a country, or, as with the war on terror, virtually independent of nation states. It will also set out a framework for looking at security on national and local levels. Prerequisite requirement: POLS 100, 105 or 110.

SMCC soccer teams advance to national tournament

The men’s and women’s soccer teams are playing in the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) national tournament after claiming titles in their conference championship tournaments.

Both teams are traveling to Virginia Beach, Va., for the USCAA Division II national tournament, which begins November 7. The men are seeded No. 5, while the women earned the No. 4 seed. The championship games are scheduled for Monday, November 11.

Both teams received automatic bids to the national tournament after winning the Yankee Small College Conference (YSCC) tournaments last week. In the championship games, the women defeated Central Maine Community College by a score of 1-0, while the men won 4-2 over CMCC.

The men’s team finished the season with a 13-2 overall record and 7-0 in conference play. The women were 12-1-1 and 5-0-1 in conference games.

Immunization clinic to be held November 14

In an effort to improve access to health care for students, SMCC is holding a walk-in immunization clinic where you can receive immunizations that are required for college.

Stop by the South Portland Campus Center between 9 a.m.-3 p.m. on Thursday, November 14. No appointment is necessary.

Maine law requires all degree-seeking students and full-time non-degree students born after December 31, 1956, to provide the following proof of immunizations:

  • One dose of Tetanus/Diphtheria (Td or Tdap) received within the last 10 years.
  • Two doses of Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) received after your first birthday. If measles immunization was done prior to 1968, students must provide proof it was done with a live virus.
  • SMCC has made arrangements so no payment is required at the clinic. Instead, students will give permission for the charges to be added to their bill.

If you have a primary doctor, bring a prescription for the vaccination. If you have insurance, be sure to bring your insurance card.

If you have questions, please contact the Advising Office at or 741-5835.