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In This Issue
EMCC joins national student success initiative
NMCC alternative energy programs to expand
SMCC's Ortiz announces retirement
High tech tutoring comes to NMCC
SMCC student gains knowledge in and out of the classroom
Recipes of the month
News briefs



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March 2011

EMCC selected to join nationwide effort to improve student success
EMCC campus Eastern Maine Community College (EMCC) is one of 30 community colleges selected to participate in the 2011 cohort of Achieving the Dream (ATD), a nationwide effort to help more community college students succeed, especially those who are low income or disadvantaged.

"We are committed to continually improving the quality of education we offer our students, and so it is exciting to be chosen to participate in a national effort focused on student success," said Lawrence Barrett, EMCC President. "We begin this process with great anticipation for what we are going to learn and where we are going to be two years from now."

EMCC is the first college within the Maine Community College System to participate in Achieving the Dream. As an ATD institution, the college will develop and implement policies and practices based on analyses of its institutional strengths and student achievement gaps. By joining the ATD network, the college has committed to assessing the effectiveness of its improvement efforts, institutionalizing approaches that prove successful, and sharing the findings with Maine's six other community colleges and, through the ATD network, with community colleges across the country.

Major gift supports alternative energy programs at NMCC

A $1.2 million gift to NMCC will allow the college to double enrollment in its popular wind power technology program, expand other energy related programs, and establish a center to support the emerging green energy industry in the region and state.

This spring, NMCC will begin work on the Northern Maine Center for Excellence in Alternative Energy Training and Education. The project is made possible by a gift from California resident and Presque Isle native Mary Smith, whose late husband, Rodney, was a pioneer in the U.S. semi-conductor industry. A native of England, Smith felt strongly about giving to those less fortunate who were working to better their lives and those around them. "He also respected the fact that I loved the area of northern Maine where my roots are," said Mary Smith in announcing the gift. "I believe strongly in the work of the college and want to support its efforts in improving the lives of people and the economy of the region, while paying tribute to Rodney's amazing life in a meaningful way."

The donation, and the expansion of programs it will allow, is the latest development in the ongoing growth of green technologies throughout the MCCS.
SMCC's Ortiz to retire this summer
James Ortiz Dr. James O. Ortiz, 68, president of SMCC for the past 10 years, will retire at the end of July. In making the annoucement, MCCS President John Fitzsimmons praised Dr. Ortiz's leadership and commitment to the college which has grown from 2,850 students to over 7,000 students during his tenure. "Jim Ortiz has brought enormous energy, innovation, and focus to SMCC," said Fitzsimmons. "His impact on the college, the community, and the students he has served will be long lasting." A national search for his replacement is currently underway with the goal of having a new SMCC president in place for the start of the 2011/2012 academic year.
NMCC tutoring goes high tech
NMCC high tech tutoring

J.R. Kierstead, a tutor in the Academic Success Center at NMCC, works with Kristopher Bouchard (on computer screen), an NMCC student from Houlton, on a trigonometry problem via free video conferencing technology. NMCC recently introduced the high tech tutoring option to augment its existing face-to-face services. "We recognize that many students live off campus and travel great distances," said Laura McPherson, director of the NMCC Academic Success Center.  "We have a large number of non-traditional age students with young families, work responsibilities and other circumstances that make it very difficult or impossible for them to travel to campus outside of class time for help." The verdict from Bouchard? "It was the next best thing to sitting down next to one another."

From the classroom to the firehouse

Live-in fire science program makes a difference to a student and a community

Crystal Stack, SMCC studentWhen Crystal Stack graduated seventh in her high school class of 300, her college options were wide open. She decided SMCC was the place for her. It was close to home in Buxton and offered both majors she was interested in studying: paramedicine and nursing.

While earning her associate degree in paramedicine at SMCC, Crystal, 23, participated in a unique live-in program for two years at the Buxton Fire Department. When she wasn't in class she was on-call as an EMT and occasional firefighter. The living quarters were modest, but the learning experience invaluable. She earned her degree in paramedicine in spring 2010 and is now enrolled in the nursing program at SMCC, class of 2012.

"When you go out on a call you take what you are learning in the classroom and apply it to what you are experiencing. You gain a tremendous amount of practical experience and a new level of maturity."


Read more stories about MCCS students who are making a difference in their communities and building a brighter future for themselves and their families. 

Recipes from our colleges
SMCC cookbook

Whether your taste buds prefer the sweet or savory, two new cookbooks offered by expert chefs and novice bakers at SMCC and CMCC are sure to give you plenty of options. For $10 you can purchase CMCC's Signature Brownie Recipe Book, or SMCC's Campus Collections, From the Culinary Chefs at SMCC. All the funds from the SMCC cookbook benefit culinary arts education at SMCC. To order the CMCC cookbook contact Barb Owen. For the SMCC cookbook contact Will Beriau at SMCC.


To entice you, check out the recipe for Carmelastic Brownies, the winner of the CMCC's Signature Brownie Contest. Not a dessert person? How about Eggplant Tomato Bake from Chef Beriau at SMCC?


SMCC culinary arts program wins accreditation -- The culinary arts program at SMCC has received accreditation from the American Culinary Federation Education Foundation, the only academic program in Maine to be accredited by the organization. The accreditation provides access to educational programs, certifications, competitions and networking opportunities designed to enhance professional growth for current and future chefs.


SMCC Students to participate in the National Genomics Research Initiative -- SMCC has been selected to take part in a national science education program sponsored by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. First-year students will participate in the National Genomics Research Initiative, isolating, purifying, characterizing and sequencing soil-dwelling bacterial viruses from local soil. "It is a great opportunity and honor to have been accepted into this program," said Elizabeth Ehrenfeld, SMCC professor who started the Biotechnology program at SMCC in 2003. "It will not only provide new models in science education for our growing programs in biology, biotechnology, and marine sciences, it will also allow us to collaborate with other educational institutions to keep science exciting and interesting for students."


YCCC partners with USM to help students further education -- Representatives of University of Southern Maine have opened a resource office at YCCC to assist students who want to continue their education beyond an associate's degree. The office will host USM campus tours, workshops and other events to help students considering transferring. This semester it will offer three tours to USM as well as a "majors fair" which will bring USM faculty and program representatives to the YCCC campus in order to make connections and provide program-specific information to students interested in transfer. For more information contact Susan White.


WCCC's Hedlund honored -- Dr. Joyce Hedlund, President of WCCC, was recently recognized as one of New England's most outstanding college leaders by Congressman Mike Michaud. Remarks made by Michaud regarding Dr. Hedlund and her accomplishments were officially entered into the Congressional Record and he presented her with a framed copy of the remarks at a recent visit to the college.


KVCC plans for future energy center -- Campus upgrades continue at KVCC, including work on the new Solar Heating and Cooling (SHC) Lab, which is central to an overall plan to create an Energy Services and Technology Center. Phase I of the lab renovation project is complete and includes three rooftop mock-ups for installation training, classroom space, offices and other instructional assets. Phase II of the project, which will be completed by July, will include the installation of a live solar thermal system. The college recently completed the first training session in the lab for the Northeast Solar Heating and Cooling Instructor Training Project.

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