Category: On Campus

Motivational Interviewing

By Cheryl Perry

A group of SMCC nursing students from all four semesters of the program hosted Stephen Andrew from the Health Education & Training Institute of Portland, Maine. Stephen is world-recognized for his exceptional teaching of Motivational Interviewing, a counseling technique.

The definition Stephen provided to us is as follows: “Motivational Interviewing is a collaborative, goal-oriented style of communication with particular attention to the language of change. It is designed to strengthen personal motivation for and commitment to a specific goal by eliciting and exploring the person’s own reason for change within an atmosphere of acceptance and compassion.”

In healthcare today, 60 to 80 percent of all healthcare needs are lifestyle-related, so being able to communicate effectively without judgment is a required but overlooked skill.
During this session, Stephen provided information about various forms of communication skills. Then we tried them out; every 10 minutes or so he had an exercise where we would practice skills like fully listening, being present, and not asking questions. The basic method he wanted us to practice is OARS, which stands for Open-ended questions, Affirmations, Reflections, Summary.

He asked us to keep a sheet of paper to jot down our big takeaways from the four-hour workshop. These were a few of mine: “being kind is not enough”; The “No. 1 de-motivator is unsolicited advice”; “judgment is a form of violence”; “people aren’t broken — they suffer, but they’re not broken”; “the receiver is always correct”; “compassion with direction”; “ask permission or offer advice & and wait for the answer, then ask what they think of it”; and “definition of compassion: ability to sit with suffering.”
It was a great session and the SMCC Nursing Club hopes to be able to continue to have Stephen come to work with nursing students each semester.

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Preble Hall’s Namesake

By Cassie Marceau and Ben Riggleman

Edward_PrebleYou look at all the buildings here at SMCC, and you can tell that they are old. So then you know they have some history to them. For example, Preble Hall was built in 1905. It was built to be an artillery barracks, and was designed to hold 109 men.

The building is named after Edward Preble, a United States naval commander who was born Aug. 15, 1761, and died Aug. 25, 1807. He served in the First Barbary War (1801-1805), during which he led American attacks on the Arab city-state of Tripoli, which was a base for pirates at the time (and is now the capital of Libya). He helped shape the early U.S. Navy and its officer corps.

Preble was the son of a military officer, merchant and political leader, Jedidiah Preble. As a boy, his home was destroyed when the city of Falmouth (present-day Portland) was burned by the British navy on the orders of Captain Henry Mowat during the Revolutionary War. This impelled the young Preble to serve his country at sea, and he joined the crew of a privateer vessel at age 16. In 1779, two years later, he joined the Massachusetts State Navy. He became a prisoner of the British in 1781 when his ship, the Protector, was captured.

After his release, he was promoted to First Lieutenant. Serving on the cruiser Winthrop, he led a daring mission to capture a British ship anchored off Castine, Maine, and braved heavy fire from shore as he led it out to sea. He quickly gained “a reputation for undaunted courage and presence of mind,” according to his biography on a U.S. Navy website. He also became feared by subordinates for his harsh discipline and what we would now call anger-management problems.

He is most famous for his conduct during the Barbary War. He acted as both military commander and diplomat, but did not excel in the latter capacity; his Encyclopedia Britannica entry notes that he was “insensitive to Islamic culture.” He did, however, sign a peace treaty with the Sultan of Morocco in 1803. His lack of diplomatic progress with the Tripolitanians on behalf of captured American sailors led him to attack Tripoli full-on in 1804. It was defended by 25,000 soldiers, and he had only a small seabound force under his command. Although Preble was not personally able to win a decisive victory, his bravery brought him national renown, and many junior officers who served under him became famous in their own right in the War of 1812.

Preble became President Thomas Jefferson’s senior naval advisor in the last years of his life. He died at the age of 46 from a painful gastrointestinal illness. Six U.S. Navy ships are named after him; the latest was commissioned in 2002.

News From Student Senate

By Kate Bennett

Student Senate met for their weekly meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 29. A mental-health workshop is being put together with a tentative date of Feb. 13, 2018. Club representatives were reminded that clubs need to get their club rosters together for the spring semester. Club rosters need to have the names and ID numbers of students who are involved in the club.

The Multicultural International Student Club was instated. The purpose of the Multicultural International Student Club is to create a space for students from different backgrounds to meet. Their funding request for $200 was approved by the Student Senate. The $200 will pay the speaking fee for a talk given by a previous SMCC student who was covered by BBC and whose story was also featured on “This American Life.” The speaker currently lives in Portland, Maine, and has signed a book deal which will be launched on June 20, 2018, in New York City. The talk took place on Monday, Dec. 4, at 3 p.m. at SMCC.

The Business Club’s funding request for $5,700 to go towards their NYC trip this coming April to visit Wall Street was approved. The Veterans Club had a bake sale next to the Ask Desk in the Campus Center on Monday, Dec. 4, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. There was a College Council Open Forum meeting on Nov. 30.

The Southern Poverty Law Center Club held an open table on Nov. 29 and 30. This was where people went and filled out cards and got to see what their community cares about. The SPLC explained that there was lots of interest in their group and the activity during the tabling.

The Student Activities Committee has put on many activities recently. On Friday, Dec. 1, they held a Winter Craft Night at 6 p.m. in the Student Center. They put on a Stress Reliever Craft Night on Monday, Dec. 4, at 7 p.m. in the Student Center. On Dec. 6, they had a movie night in Jewett Auditorium, showing “Frozen.”

The next Student Welfare Committee meeting will be on Dec. 15. Ethan Wells is offering the position of Seawolves mascot as work-study. Talk to him for more information.
A reminder that all residential students have to fill out an intent-to-return form if staying on campus in the spring. A different form will be sent out regarding winter break. Residents can leave their things in their dorm rooms over winter break only if they are going to be in that same room next semester.

On Wednesday, December 6th, the Student Senate met and announced that on Wednesday, December 13th, an election will be held for the Student Senate’s Director of Records. Club representatives were reminded that itemized lists are needed when clubs submit funding requests.

The Astronomy club made a funding request for $290 for a star party and the request was approved. The funds are too pay for pizza, drinks, paper, plates, utensils, wood, and lighter fluid. A new telescope was recently donated to the club and will be used at the party to look at the stars. There will be a campfire with marshmallows and a meteor shower is expected on the day of the star party.

Rainbow League for Social Justice requested $200 for a semester ice cream social. Everyone is invited to attend the ice cream social. The funds will be used for ice cream, toppings, silverware, and drinks. Their funding request was approved by the Student Senate.

The Business Club’s funding request for $340 was approved. These funds will be used for an semester end ice skating event for international students with the business club. There will be a potluck and ice skating at Thompson’s Point. This event is open to all students and will be taking place on Sunday, December 17th.

The Student Senate meeting ended after deciding on a new meeting time for the spring semester. Starting January 23rd, the Student Senate will be meeting on Tuesdays at 5:00pm.

Photo: Members of the Business Club present a $750 dollar check, funds for which were raised by the O.R.E.O. Fun Run. The funds raised will be donated to Hurricane Maria Children’s Relief Fund of Puerto Rico, Kingwood Branch Library, Children’s Division of Houston, Texas, and Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida.

From left to right: Haleigh Barrett, Celetta Richard, Gianna Dudley, Nathalie Mitchell, Thomas Dolloff, Matthew Brown, Steven Ntibandetse, Kristy Howarth and club advisor Steve Strand.
(Business Club participants not pictured: Joey Mullins, Raffaella Morabito, Taylor Markee, Kayla Tinsman, Yu Shi.)

‘Star Wars’ in the Dining Hall

By Cassie Marceau

Start.Wars.Night.Photo.Walking into Oceanview Dining Hall on Nov. 30 was definitely something out of this world — because it was Star Wars Night! There were decorations around the dining hall that were all “Star Wars.” There was a big R2D2, Darth Vader balloons, and even food that resembled “Star Wars,” like little Yoda cookies. After you grabbed your food, you could sit with your friends and watch “Spaceballs.” Some people who showed up to the dinner also dressed up as characters, and brought lightsabers with them.

Yoda cookies given out at the ‘Star Wars’ night. Photo by Cassie-Brianna Marceau

Cookie Decorating Provides Holiday Stress Relief

By Troy Hudson

CookieDecoratingStudents who enjoyed lunch at Oceanview Dining Hall on Tuesday, Dec. 5 were treated to a seasonal tradition many might not have expected to find at SMCC: decorating holiday cookies. Students and faculty were invited to add colorful frosting, candy, sprinkles and more to a variety of handmade cookies baked here on campus. The free activity was provided to inspire good cheer during a stressful finals-filled week, and was one of several holiday events hosted by Dining Services at the end of the semester, along with a hot-cocoa bar and a holiday meal.

Riley Cassidy, a New Media major, holds a decorated cookie at lunch. Photo by Troy Hudson

The Silhouette Project: The Stories Behind the Numbers

By Daniele Amandolini

It was not more than a few weeks ago when President Trump allegedly told a veteran’s widow that her late husband “knew what he signed up for.”

The idea that death in battle is to be expected was soon debunked — only one out of every 5000 soldiers lost their lives in Afghanistan or Iraq since 9/11 — but that doesn’t mean that the pain will vanish once back home.

Like many, Linda Strout Lajoie wasn’t aware of the extent of that pain. Not until her 22-year-old son, Dustin, an Afghanistan veteran, took his life in December 2014.

PTSD is a whole new battlefield for a veteran, one that no training will prepare him or her for because it’s so personal. Most will conceal the pain, hide the signs, and go through this alone… until it’s too much.

Every day, approximately 20 veterans commit suicide. It’s an astonishing number, but one that doesn’t tell the whole story. For this reason, Ms. Lajoie developed the Silhouette Project, consisting of a collection of life-size silhouettes with pictures and memories of Maine veterans who lost their lives to PTSD.

IMG_7737I was able to visit the exhibition, on display in the SMCC Library in the Campus Center during Veterans Day week, and read through the book containing photos and biographies of the fallen veterans. Although many of them took their lives in their early 20s, soon upon returning from service and unable to outlive the horrors of war, I was surprised to see some who lived into their 40s or even 60s: It shows that it doesn’t get any easier. And that time won’t simply heal the wounds.

It was hard to go through their stories, and some of the details really stuck with me. Even in their waning moments, they kept thinking about others, whether it’s making sure their organs would be donated or sharing a few written words with their families to make sure they knew they’d done everything for them. This kind of generosity and altruism is what should be remembered, and something that a cold statistic will never convey.

This is why this exhibition was so powerful and moving. As it leaves SMCC to continue touring around Maine, its legacy can live on in raising awareness on the struggle that veterans face every day of their lives. Ms. Lajoie set up a Facebook page so you can learn about the resources available and contribute with a donation to the more than 400 organizations devoted to helping veterans with PTSD.

Visit Amy Lainoff, coordinator of student success and VA certifying official, in the SMCC advising office to learn more about our school’s support to veterans.

Check out the Silhouette Project on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/themainesilhouetteproject/