The Year in Review

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By The Beacon Staff

Congratulations, SMCC, we are but a few days away from classes ending for the academic year 2016–17, a week or so away from graduation ceremonies, and a bit more from the start of the summer semester.

The Beacon would like to take this column to highlight some of your accomplishments that we regrettably missed, while informing you of what lies ahead in the near future, the not-so-distant future, and what lies just over the horizon.

Monday a week ago, in addressing the audience at the CeSIL Awards ceremony, Rik Sawyer, student activities advisor and SMCC alum, spoke of the impact of participation: “Some of you took on goals that might have seemed small at the time, but probably had a greater impact than you realize, and some of you took on goals that were, well, simply put… great.”

Congratulating the graduating members of our student community, wishing all luck in their future endeavors — whether it may be continuing your education, starting a career, or traveling the world — seems the appropriate place to start. On Sunday, May 21, graduating seniors, family members and friends will join President Cantor, Dean of Students Tiffanie Bentley, Dean of Academic Affairs Charles Gregory, SMCC faculty, residential-life staff and WCSH’s Bill Green for SMCC’s 70th graduation ceremonies in Portland’s Cross Insurance Arena. Ceremonies start at 2 p.m.

Joining the above dignitaries on the stage will be the 2016–2017 Student of the Year winner, Devyn Vermette. Vermette was honored along with recipients from all of the Maine community colleges on April 26 by the Maine Community College System (MCCS) in Augusta. The award, which is named after John H. Lapoint, Jr., includes a $1,000 honorarium.

Vermette is from Topsham and graduated Mt. Ararat High School in 2016. She majored in Liberal Studies at SMCC and is transferring to the University of Southern Maine, where she will study behavioral science with a focus on counseling. Vermette has been active in the Captain’s Cupboard as a volunteer and works for the SMCC Security Department; she organized the recent food drive to help stock the Captain’s Cupboard.

Speaking of the Captain’s Cupboard, and summer, the Cupboard is expanding its hours this summer. The Cupboard is a wonderful resource — maybe even one that is underutilized —  and with the intention of broadening their presence the Captain has the intention of being open Monday through Thursday throughout the summer.

Volunteers are needed to help make this intention factual. If you are on or near campus this summer and interested, please email nicolepwickstrom@smccME.edu. The Captain’s Cupboard is looking to bolster its volunteer ranks with individuals who are interested in helping others as agents of positive growth.

The Captain’s Cupboard opened in late 2013 as part of a Phi Theta Kappa community project, with the intention of providing food and other items to students and their families.

Besides providing packaged food and hygiene products, the Captain’s Cupboard has expanded its offering of prepared meals. The Cupboard has partnered with the Culinary Arts program, packing frozen microwaveable meals. The meals range from chicken to seafood or beef, and contain a starch and a vegetable. Soups, pastries and other foods items are available.

While student involvement seems strong on campus, but could always get stronger, SMCC students will also be going international next year. Congratulations to Michael Marino of Freeport and Max Lorber of Portland. Marino and Lorber have received George J. Mitchell Peace Scholarships to study in Ireland next year.

Marino and Lorber’s selection as Mitchell Peace Scholarship recipients raises the total to five SMCC students named since 2010.

Cork Institute of Technology is the destination of these SMCC students studying abroad, located on the south coast of Ireland. Their studies in Ireland are scheduled for the upcoming 2017–2018 academic year.

Marino, who is working towards a degree in Construction Technology, plans to continue his education in Construction Management upon graduation, with the end goal of starting his own construction company.

Lorber, who is enrolled in the Communications and New Media Studies, hopes to continue studying design graduating from SMCC and has a career goal of working in design and/or the advertising fields.

The Maine Community College System and the University of Maine System created the scholarship as a tribute to former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell for his efforts to facilitate peace in Ireland and Northern Ireland. MCCS awards two Mitchell scholarships each year to Maine community college students.

The scholarship covers tuition and fees, books, and room and board, while also providing a living-expense stipend and a travel grant.

The Beacon would also like to extend a belated congratulations to Matt Hayes, who won the Maine Association of Plumbing, Heating and Cooling Contractors’s apprentice contest on March 24. The contest was held in the Augusta Civic center and during the association’s annual trade show.

The competition consists of students installing pipes and fixtures in a bathroom to code. As for placing first, Hayes received a plaque, $500, and assorted cordless power tools. Hayes was awarded the prizes by SMCC Plumbing Department Chair Aaron Ford.

In the world of scholarship opportunities, on Feb. 10, the SMCC Foundation held a reception recognizing students who received scholarship this past academic year. This year the SMCC Foundation awarded more than 200 students, with scholarships exceeding $225,000. The Foundation is active year round, raising funds that support deserving students through scholarships. The Foundation also helps to enhance academic programs, and to revitalize classrooms and equipment.

Our last set of congratulations goes out to the five students who exhibited their work at Zero Station last week on May 4 and 5. Lindsey Checker, Heather Cron, Marti DeCosta, Cheyenne Roberts and Desiree Willette exhibited work that ranged from Xerox lithoprints, colleges and assemblages to abstract, surreal and figurative painting, digital illustration, landscape photography and printmaking.

This was the 11th group of students to graduate from SMCC with an Associate of Arts degree in Liberal Studies with an art concentration.

As SMCC closes out academic year 2016–17, let’s look ahead to the fall. When we return in late August, The Beacon will be hosting a student club and organization get-together. The purpose of the event is to connect the clubs and organizations directly with The Beacon so that we as a newspaper can help you promote and build your clubs, while getting the word out about your accomplishments. The get-together is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 5, and will take place in Jewett Auditorium on the South Portland Campus.

Have a wonderful summer in your adventures, travel well, stay safe, and we’ll see you in a few short months.

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