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In This Issue
Gift to allow KVCC to expand
MCCS 2011/12 Facts
Layed-off worker retools at community college
A healthy recipe for the new year
News Briefs

Academic Programs

Our Colleges
Winter 2012
Alfond Foundation Makes a Dream a Reality
The Harold Alfond Foundation has announced a $10.85 million gift to the Maine Community College System (MCCS) and the Good Will-Hinckley (GWH) school that will enable the MCCS to expand the capacity of Kennebec Valley Community College in Fairfield by an additional 1,500-2,000 students.

HAF announcement

With the gift, the MCCS will purchase 600 acres and 13 buildings at Good Will-Hinckley. It will also expand an existing academic building and make needed upgrades to the campus infrastructure.

Kennebec Valley Community College has doubled in size in the past decade (to over 2,500 students) and has limited room to expand on its Fairfield campus, which the college will continue to operate and which is located eight miles from the new campus. The Maine Community College System's acquisition of the Good Will-Hinckley property will enable KVCC to address its immediate capacity issues and help meet the state's workforce development needs in the future.

"Harold Alfond dreamed bigger than most of us, and through his foundation his big dreams continue with this remarkable gift to the people of Maine," said MCCS President John Fitzsimmons in expressing his appreciation for the gift. "This investment will create a new college campus and will mean that 1,500 more Maine people have access to a college education. It is a gift that will transform the lives of generations of Maine people."

A critical part of completing the transaction was a gift of $2.5 million from the newly formed Foundation for Maine's Community Colleges.  In addition, the State of Maine has appropriated $750,000 to support annual operating costs at the new campus.

Photo: (left to right) KVCC President Barbara Woodlee, Maine DOE Commissioner Stephen Bowen, Harold Alfond Foundation Chairman Gregory Powell, MCCS President John Fitzsimmons, and MCCS Board of Trustees Chair Kris Doody were on hand as Mr. Powell announced the gift at a press conference at the Blaine House this week.
Facts at at Glance
  • Enrollment in occupational and trade programs at Maine's Community Colleges has grown 56% since 2002.
  • 93% of graduates land jobs or continue their education.
  • Maine's community colleges graduated over 700 nurses and allied health professionals in 2010, more undergraduate healthcare completers than any other college, university, or higher education system in the state.
  • In 2011/12, over 770 MCCS students are preparing to become the state's newest police officers, emergency medical technicians, and fire fighters.
  • New MCCS programs in wind power technology and solar energy are supporting Maine's growing green economy.
  • Nearly 500 students who enroll annually in MCCS tourism and hospitality programs provide a skilled workforce for Maine's largest industry
Community college helps former mill worker find second career
NMCC Grad Robert Arnold Robert Arnold of Lincoln graduated from Mattanawcook Academy in 1976. A few years later he went to work in the local paper mill, where the pay was good and the work was steady. He worked production on the paper machines for 25 years before the mill closed its doors. Faced with a mountain of uncertainty, he started taking classes at EMCC's Katahdin Region Higher Education Center in East Millinocket, as he says, "to see if I could do it."

With an interest in plumbing and heating, he visited the NMCC campus --decided it was a good fit -- and, in his forties-began his journey as a full-time college student.

"I was the old guy," he joked, but added that soon "everything kind of clicked." For two years he spent the week on campus, going home -- a two-hour drive in good weather -- on the weekends. His biggest supporters were his wife and three children, in addition to his instructor. "My family has truly made any success possible," said Robert. He graduated with his associate degree in 2006.

After working for a few years for others he decided to go out on his own. Again, with encouragement from his wife, he started his own company: Arnold Family Heating. He says business is good for his one-man shop, named as a nod to his family for all the sacrifices they made to make it possible for him to attend NMCC. He says he wouldn't mind if his son Christopher -- who is currently studying heating, air conditioning and refrigeration along with electrical technology at EMCC -- joined him some day, but encourages him to follow his own path.

His advice for others? "Have an open mind and don't go in with your mind already made up that you can't do it before you try it. I didn't know I could do so well until I tried. When I was in high school, I didn't want to do it. This time around I found out it wasn't so bad. I was surprised a little. I had never tried before. I found out that some classes, like physics, weren't any worse than any other class if I went in there, paid attention and did my work.

For me, when I started to get good grades I wanted to get more. Once you start to succeed it starts to build and you want to keep doing it. Out of the two years I had one A-minus and I was upset about it. It's like getting all the numbers on Megabucks except one."
Recipe of the month
Some of the best recipes are passed along by friends and family. In that tradition, we borrow a recipe from the Lewiston Sun Journal, which recently featured a profile of CMCC graduate and Bates College chef Owen Keene who shared his recipe for Falafel with Tahini Yogurt Sauce.
Early College for ME to receive New England award -- The New England Board of Higher Education (NEBHE) will honor the MCCS's Early College for ME program at the organization's annual awards ceremony on March 2 in Boston when it will award the program a State Merit Award. The annual award recognizes the innovative work oforganizations, institutions, or individuals in each New England state. ECforME is a comprehensive college transition program that targets high school students who are undecided about higher education but who have the potential to succeed in college. Since 2003, the program has engaged over 5,200 students and awarded scholarships to over 1,600 students. "Early College for ME has made a real difference in the lives of hundreds of Maine high school students who didn't think college was an option," said MCCS President John Fitzsimmons. "The program's talented staff has worked tirelessly to support students on the sometimes challenging road to higher education. It's gratifying to see their hard work recognized and even more gratifying to know that what they do, every day, has helped many more young people in Maine access higher education."

SMCC math professor wins national award -- Florence Chambers, Associate Professor of mathematics at SMCC, is one of six instructors nationwide to receive the 2011 Teaching Excellence Award from the American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges. Chambers has worked at SMCC since 2001, where she teaches a range of courses from developmental mathematics to calculus. She was nominated for the award by her peers in SMCC's math department. The award is presented to those who display excellence in the classroom, superior professional development and outstanding leadership qualities. "Teaching has always been my passion," Chambers says. "I thoroughly enjoy working with students, particularly at the community college level, and am honored to have the opportunity to play a role in their education."

KVCC launches Renewable Energy Management Program -- KVCC has launched a new program in renewable energy (RE). "The Renewable Energy Management Advanced Certificate is the latest in KVCC's growing arsenal of RE training programs that has been created to respond to market need," said Dana Doran, KVCC's Director of Energy Programs. For more information or to register for the program, go here.

NMCC reopens upgraded welding lab -- Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner George Gervais was on hand to help NMCC reopen its welding lab in December, after it underwent a $300,000 upgrade. The lab is used by students in several of the trade and technical occupation programs at the college that incorporate welding into their curriculum. As NMCC President Tim Crowley told those assembled for the event: "Trade courses are the foundation of the college, and our welding lab plays a huge role in supporting students' educational growth." Read more.

MCCS, The Foundation for Maine's Community Colleges announce new board members -- MCCS and its Foundation recently welcomed new board members. Christopher McCormick, President/CEO of L.L. Bean, was reappointed to the MCCS board for a four-year term. Joining him are Steven Howe, Communications and Public Relations Manager for Pratt Whitney, and Dr. James Libby, Associate Professor and Chair of the Business Department at Thomas College. Richard Petersen, president and chief executive officer of Maine Medical Center, and Elizabeth O. Shorr, president of the Foundation for Maine's Community Colleges, have been elected to the Foundation's board.

Maine Legislature recognizes YCCC President -- Dr. Charles Lyons, President of YCCC, was recently recognized with an Expression of Legislative Sentiment by Maine's 125th Legislature. The honor is a public declaration recognizing personal achievement. Senator Barry Hobbins (D-Saco) sponsored the bill, which was co-sponsored by members of the York County state legislative delegation. The measure was approved by both chambers of the legislature. The sentiment recognized Lyons for his 15 years as a president in Maine's higher education system, both in the University of Maine System and the Maine Community College System, the only person ever to have done so. Lyons became president of YCCC in 2006. He previously served as president of UMA and UMFK.

Mattimore retires from MCCS --Dr. Jean Mattimore, who joined the MCCS in 1994 as the first executive director of the MCCS Center for Career Development (CCD), retired in December. A former Commissioner of the Maine Department of Finance and member of the MCCS Board of Trustees, Dr. Mattimore also served as interim president of YCCC during her tenure with the MCCS. Jim McGowan, State Director of the Maine Quality Centers program, will serve as Acting Executive Director of the CCD, effective January 1.
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