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Alumni Profiles

Todd Bray -
Environmental Technology

Todd Bray came to Southern Maine Community College with a Bachelor's degree in Social Science. While completing his Bachelor's degree, Todd became interested in working in the environmental field. Rather than pursue a second bachelor's degree in environmental science, he decided to get an associate's degree in Environmental Technology at Southern Maine Community College. For his internship, Todd worked as a laboratory technician for Katahdin Analytical, an environmental laboratory in Westbrook, Maine. At the end of his internship, he was hired on a full time basis by the company. His position gave him the flexibility to continue taking a full course load and he was able to graduate at the end of his second year in 1998. Todd enjoyed the experience of combining classroom learning in the Environmental Technology program with his work experience. "It was interesting to go on field trips for class and then come into the lab and do analyses on samples taken from some of the sites that we had just visited." He also found that he was able to apply his classroom teaching directly to his job, "There were several times that I used a technique in lab that I had just learned in a class that same day." In his position at Katahdin, Todd analyzes environmental samples from numerous locations ranging from waste water treatment plants to hazardous waste remediation sites. Todd enjoys his current job because it allows him to "do something different everyday."

Lynda Clayton -
Building Construction

Lynda Clayton, Technical Graphics and Design Technology and Building Construction '95. SMCC was a great fit for Lynda, because she loves to use what she learns. There was enough theory in her college programs so she understands the principals behind what she's doing. And, there was plenty of application so her practical, common sense side was satisfied, too. Lynda's a hard worker and a quick leaner. She needed to be both, because she graduated with two Associate Degrees in 1995. Now, as a Senior Engineering Technician for the City of Portland, Lynda has a variety of job responsibilities. She uses survey instruments to document existing conditions of roads and other city rights-of-way. Measurements she provides are used by engineers to design road reconstruction and drainage projects. She uses AutoCAD systems to translate the engineers' designs into reconstruction plans. She conducts property research in the city and county archives. She has inspected paved roads and sidewalks for distress and condition. She assists in the development of the new Enhanced 911 system which also includes using Geographic Positioning Systems (GPS) and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). She even helps out on the snow plows in the winter. She likes the variety in her job very much. She also enjoys the financial security that allowed her to purchase her own house and travel worldwide.

Matt Clemons -
Technical Graphics and Design

Matt Clemons, Technical Graphics and Design Technology '99. The best part of being an AutoCAD Technician/Designer, is being part of a team with architects and engineers. Matt takes their ideas and transforms them into blueprints. It takes good teamwork and communication skills to draft and redraft the same set of plans until everyone is satisfied. When you are building something it has to be right and the plans show the way. Matt's time at SMCC gave him a clear direction and taught him the skills he needed to get started in a field he really enjoys. He's not done learning though. He plans to work in the field for several years then advance to CAD Management or go on for a Bachelor's in engineering.

Randy Cookson - Environmental Technology

While working as a boatbuilder, Randy Cookson became aware of all of the waste materials being generated by the industry and started wondering whether there were better things that could be done with these wastes. His interest in waste management and recycling brought him back to school. After 17 years of being out of school, Randy passed his GED and enrolled in the Environmental Technology program, which at the time was also being offered at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. "The best thing I ever did was to go back to school, " says Randy of his decision to attend SMCC. He enjoyed the range of people that he met through the program. While attending school, Randy continued to work and serve as Chairman of the South Berwick recycling committee. Randy was hired as recycling coordinator for the Town of Kittery, before he graduated from SMCC. "Being in the Environmental Technology Program helped me to get my foot in the door in the field." He was subsequently hired by the Town of Berwick, and worked full time while attending school. The day after taking his last final in 1996, Randy started a new position as Solid Waste Manager for the Town of Buxton. In this position, he was responsible for managing the day to day operations of the town's solid waste program including overseeing the closure of the town's landfill. Currently he is employed by Commercial Paving of Scarborough as manager of the company's Community Recycling Center The Center accepts a range of materials from the public such as bulky materials, asphalt shingles, sheet rock. These materials are processed and used for road base material or as soil amendment. As part of this position, Randy has also been involved in conducting research and overseeing permitting for the facility. "Many of my classed have come into play in my jobs. The science courses helped particularly with the sorts of things that I have ended up doing in my field".

Joshua Coulombe -
Technical Graphics & Design

Joshua Coulombe, Technical Graphics & Design Technology '99. After graduating from high school Josh wasn't exactly sure what he wanted to do. He had a variety of jobs- a year here- two years there. Then, he heard about SMCC's Technical Graphics Program. Josh knew from a high school drafting class that this is something he would enjoy. Now, as a CADD Operator, Josh is working with teams of skilled engineers and designers on intense and exciting projects. Designers bring Josh their plans and he puts them on the computer using the newest equipment and software programs. His job is to help visualize and plan projects that are sometimes very large and complicated. He has learned that it is satisfying to work with teams of mechanical, civil and structural engineers who are all determined to put out a high quality product. He makes an important contribution when his plans look good and clearly communicate the project.

Kris Durgin - Electronics

Kris Durgin, A.A.S. Electronics Technology '98. Kris loves knowing how things work. As a process technician at Control Devices in Standish, Kris assesses the manufacturing process, identifying problems using the latest technologies. Then, he devises and implements solutions. Using fundamentals of chemistry, electronics, physics - along with communication skills, test equipment and computers, Kris works with minimal supervision to improve the way his company's encoders and solar light detector's are made. He likes working with dynamic people and using his knowledge to improve the manufacturing process.

Paetra Estes -
Dietetic Technician Program

Paetra Estes, Dietetic Technician Program '98: During her college experience Paetra mixed classroom experience with internships at nursing homes, hospitals and community service organizations. One of her internships resulted in a job. Now she's a Nutritionist in the Bath area Women, Infants and Children's Program. There, Paetra helps clients develop nutrition goals and healthy eating habits. She is never bored, there is always something new to tackle as she travels to clinics in the mid coast region teaching classes and counseling women and children. One fun part of the job is monitoring child growth by measuring head circumference, taking weights, heights and blood samples. Now that she knows she likes this field, Paetra is beginning to think about continuing her education by earning a Bachelor's Degree in Health Education or Dietetics.

Ray Gordon - Environmental Technology

Ray Gordon came to Southern Maine Community College from Massachusetts, because the cost of attending college in Maine was significantly lower than attending a comparable college in Massachusetts. Upon graduating from SMCC in 1992, Ray continued his studies at the University of Maine and received a BS degree in Natural Resources with a concentration in Waste Management. Ray has held a variety of positions in the environmental field including Lab Technician for Acheron Engineering where he analyzed samples from waste water treatment plants, and as Engineering Lab Technician for Samsco in New Hampshire where he conducted bench studies. Currently, Ray works for the State of New Hampshire, Department of Environmental Services. Ray was hired originally as a laboratory technician in the Department's Drinking Water Microbiology Lab and has since moved into the position of Household Hazardous Waste Program Coordinator for the State. In this position, he assists municipalities in the implementation of household hazardous waste collection programs. "SMCC prepared me well for all the positions I have had. The practical hands-on labs prepared me for the laboratory work I have done, and the hazardous waste and regulatory courses gave me the background I need to set policy and interpret regulations in my current position with the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services. I have to say that before SMCC I hated school, but at SMCC I learned to love school. SMCC gave me the skills, tools, and encouragement to continue my studies to get a BS degree."

Darin Hanscome - Environmental Technology

Darin Hanscome, a 1995 graduate, finds himself working outside in all conditions as an Environmental Technician for CES, an environmental engineering firm based in Brewer, Maine. Darin came to SMCC because he was interested in pursuing a career in the environmental field and he wanted to find a job upon graduation that he would enjoy. He has achieved both goals. At the outset of his SMCC education, he was not sure which particular concentration he was most interested in, and felt that the program helped to expose him to a range of opportunities. "The program is so broad that it prepares students for many different types of jobs. I felt I had several options of what I could do once I graduated." Darin started his position as Environmental Technician shortly after graduating. In his position, he is responsible for water quality sampling from wells, surface waters and storm water at sites ranging from landfills to remediation sites to industrial sites. He spends approximately 60-75% of his time in the field. He is also responsible for inputting and formatting data for use in reports for clients and regulatory agencies. "My education was the main reason that I got my position. It was well worth the two years I spent at SMCC because I enjoy what I do."

Tara Kavanaugh - Fire Science

Tara Kavanaugh - 21 years old, has an associate degree in Fire Science and is nearly finished her second degree in Paramedicine. She found that having two degrees gave her more skills to help people in emergency situations. Of course, it also gave her more credentials which got her a great job in her hometown fire station. In this career, Tara is an immediate help to people in a huge variety of emergency situations. One day it's a medical emergency, another it's a hazardous materials problem, the next it might be an ice water rescue. Tara has be prepared for whatever comes up and that means training in emergency medicine, fire chemistry, inspections, safety regulations, hydraulics, even building construction. In her senior year at SMCC, Tara enjoyed being a "call" fire fighter living at Scarborough Fire Department.

Bruce Lambert - Environmental Technology

Bruce Lambert is a 1994 graduate of the Environmental Technology program. He came to SMCC as part of a retraining program from a position at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. At the time, he had been looking for a new direction in his career and was interested in working in the environmental field. After graduating from Southern Maine Community College he secured a position as a Contracted Environmental Engineer with the Maine Department of Environmental Protection's Bureau of Hazardous Waste Remediation. His position at the DEP involved conducting inspections of underground storage tanks, investigating petroleum releases into the environment, field sampling, overseeing contractors and consulting engineers involved in various remediation projects, designing remediation systems, and drafting and reviewing reports. While working at the DEP, Bruce continued his education at the University of Southern Maine and graduated in 1998 with a BS degree in Industrial Technology with a concentration in Environmental Safety and Health. He also obtained his Journeymen Electrical License in 1995. Of his SMCC education, Bruce says "The science courses such as microbiology, biology, ecology and geology helped me to better understand ground water contamination. My science background gave me an advantage over environmental professionals that had not had the same science courses."

Andy Lord, -
Lodging and Restaurant Management

Andy's a go-getter. Within weeks of graduation, Andy got a job as an Assistant Manager in a national hotel chain. Before long, he was asked to go out of state to be Acting Manager of a hotel. Now, at 21 years old, he is back in Portland, the General Manager of a busy 130 room hotel that serves business travelers and tourists. His Associate Degree got him the job and gave him the skills to handle the job. Now, his company is sending him to school, paying for his Bachelor's Degree so his career can grow with the company. Andy loves the responsibility of running a hotel on his own. He hires, trains and motivates employees, markets the property to other business people, keeps the hotel looking good, manages a large budget and turns a profit. He has a career, he's working hard, and loving it.

Linda MacCorison -Dietetic Technology

Linda MacCorison, Dietetic Technology '90: With her associate degree and diet tech license in hand, Linda worked for several years as a Dietetic Technician in local nursing homes, learning and growing in the profession. She has served on the board of the State Dietician's Association and even owns her own business. Now, Linda is the Food and Beverage Director at Chancellor Gardens, an assisted living center. She manages the staff, budget, menus, inventory and food ordering in a brand new facility. It is a place where she can have fun with food while looking after residents' nutritional needs. She enjoys meeting with residents monthly to schedule foods they especially like and sometimes they even bring her their favorite recipes. It makes Linda feel good that the food she and her staff prepare pleases the elderly residents, who can no longer care for themselves the way they used to - but they can still have wonderful food in their new home.

Jamie McLaughlin -
Integrated Manufacturing

Jamie McLaughlin, SMCC 2001. As a high school sophomore, Jamie had a chance to try out the machine tool program at PATHS, a secondary vocational center. It was so enjoyable that she stayed the whole year and earned seven credits toward her college degree through an agreement called "articulation." That spring, when she was barely 16 years old, Jamie came to SMCC under the Early Study program and earned 5 more credits in College Algebra and Basic Drafting. She returned to her high school as a junior, worked hard and graduated a year early, with 12 college credits already earned. Now a college freshman, Jamie is taking her core academic courses and has time to work at D&G Machine Products where she continues to learn new skills and get real hands on experience in the field. As a female in Integrated Manufacturing, Jamie is a "non-traditional" student, preparing for a job she really enjoys and will give her financial security.

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Michael Moody -
Integrated Manufacturing

Michael Moody, class 2 machinist, even before graduating from SMCC, Mike had a job in the tool room at Nichols Portland through Maine Career Advantage. At Nichols, he reads blueprints and decides which machines and processes will best make the tools he's working on. Mike enjoys taking a piece of raw steel and making a high quality tool from beginning to end. It feels great to hold the tool he just made in his hand and it's even better that the tool works perfectly. Mike's employer stays up to date and keeps Mike's skills up to date by sending him to special training courses in house and even out of state.

Kenneth Murch -
Integrated Manufacturing

Kenneth Murch, Vice President of Manufacturing, Odat Machine, Inc/Gorham. Since graduating from SMCC in 1968, Ken has continued to grow in his profession. His willingness to work hard and continue learning new skills has earned him "second in charge" at a fast growing company. He knew as a youngster that he enjoyed working with his hands and he was always good at math. Now, he uses his "people skills" to work with a team, negotiate with customers, and teach employees. Ken wants young people to know that they become very valuable to companies when they have good work habits along with academic and technical skills. A winning attitude at ODAT includes customer satisfaction, where the customer always gets what they order, to exact specifications, on time, every time.

Coleen Muse - Nursing

Coleen Muse, SMCC/Nursing '98. After 12 years in the Sheriff's Office Coleen decided to go back to school to become an RN. Being a nurse gives her a flexible schedule so she can be home with her family and do work she enjoys. Nursing is a rewarding career with good pay, lots of job openings and tons of variety. In the time since she graduated, Coleen has worked in labor and delivery and now in a substance abuse clinic. While labor and delivery was wonderful, the methadone treatment clinic offers enormous challenges, frequent patient contact, and a better schedule. Coleen is the medical manager for 300 opiate addicted people in southern Maine. Her patients are in acute distress, sometimes unruly, and often very sick. It's rewarding to see them respond to treatment and get their lives back after years of addiction has robbed them of life's everyday pleasures.

Jennifer Nicholson -
Environmental Technology

Before coming to SMCC, Jennifer Nicholson had never considered a career in waste water treatment. She had been attracted to the Environmental Technology Program out of her interest in the environment and because of increasing employment opportunities in the environmental field. Through her instructors and her courses at SMCC, Jennifer became interested in waste water treatment and. directly after graduating in 1992, was hired as a lab technician by the Kennebec Sanitary District in Waterville, Maine. For the last five years, she has worked as the Lab Technician/Operator for the Brunswick Sewer District in Brunswick, Maine. In this position, she is responsible for conducting analyses on samples from the treatment plant to make sure the plant is in compliance with all state and federal laws. In addition to her lab duties, Jennifer is the Safety Coordinator for the plant. She is responsible for developing safety policies, inventorying safety equipment and providing in-house training for staff. Since graduating, Jennifer has continued her education and professional development. She is a certified Class III Waste water Operator. Currently, she is pursuing a Bachelors Degree in Technical Management at New Hampshire College. "I learned good, practical skills at SMCC and was able to start working in my field right away."

Cheri Popoff - Environmental Technology

Cheri Popoff graduated from Southern Maine Community College in 1995 and found out about an opening with the Chittendon Solid Waste District in Burlington, Vermont. As Hazardous Waste Operator, she operated a household hazardous waste facility that serves 17 communities, one of the first such facilities in the country. While in the position, Cheri's duties included working with the public to accept household hazardous waste, preparing wastes for transport and disposal through a hazardous waste firm, ensuring compliance of the facility with all state and federal laws, training staff and managing the facility itself. Before coming to SMCC, Cheri had pursued a bachelor's degree in Geology from the University of Nevada but was frustrated by the fact that the courses she was taking did not pertain to her interest in the environment. She liked the fact that at SMCC, the courses focused on environmental topics and provided her with hands-on training. "When I was hired for my job, the District was looking for someone with my exact educational background. I've used things that I learned in my courses every single day in my job." Recently, Cheri left her position with the District to take up a full time job as a new mother.

Robert Prescott - Integrated Manufacturing

Robert Prescott, journeyman machinist, certificate, SMCC's Integrated Manufacturing Technology 1998. Always thinking, always learning, doing something new every day - That's how Robert describes his job making parts for nuclear submarines, satellites and aircraft carriers. Through the Maine Registered Apprenticeship Program, Robert attended classes part time at SMCC while he was an apprentice at Portland Valve where he was earning good pay and benefits. Robert says the program put him way ahead of others his age. At 23 years old, he has a college degree, an enjoyable trade, four years of work experience and no college loans.


Teddi Reed -
Dept. of Hospitality Management

Teddi Reed, Culinary Arts and Dietetic Tech' 97. Teddi says that getting two related degrees has really paid off. Having knowledge and skill in both food preparation and specific dietary requirements helped Teddi get a job she loves. She is now the Head Chef at a brand new assisted living center, where she plans and cooks meals for elderly residents. Teddi loves the challenge of putting together menus. With the same clients everyday, it is important to keep the food new and exciting. In her spare time, Teddi teaches cooking classes in her client's homes and she co-hosts an AOL chat room for food enthusiasts. Catch up with her on Friday nights at 10 pm.


Ken Reno - Computer Technology

Ken Reno, 27 years old. Ken came to SMCC in 1991 and never really left. First, he graduated from two SMCC programs - Administrative Office Management in 1992 then Computer Technology in 1994. Shortly after, the college hired him to provide staff support for our new computer acquisitions. As an Information Systems Support Specialist I, Ken provides technical computer support to 75 professional and clerical staff. He buys, updates, services, maintains, installs and networks computer hardware and software that keep the college running smoothly. He has a lot of flexibility in his job, managing his own schedule, but working long hours and loving it. His friendly personality, hard work and knowledge of the computer field have made him a sought-after person on campus.


Erin Stone -
Cardiovascular Technology

Erin Stone, Cardiovascular Technology '99. Erin knew she would be happy in a medical field, so she came to SMCC's spring open house and visited with the faculty of all the medical programs. There was never a question in her mind that Cardiovascular Tech was the right choice for her. She applied right away and was enrolled by fall. She loved the hands-on learning labs where she applied what she learned in the traditional classes. With only eight students in the program she got to know other students and received plenty of the instructor's attention. In the clinical cycle, Erin experienced the operating room, echo cardiogram lab, catheterization lab and the EKG units. Now, she is employed in the Operating Room at Maine Medical Center as a member of the open-heart surgery team. She assists with one open-heart surgery everyday. She prepares medications, assists with anesthesia and comforts patients. She monitors blood gases - pH levels, oxygen, and carbon dioxide levels. She also monitors blood pressure, pulmonary artery pressure and central venous pressure. While this is all very technical and delicate, Erin points out that she began school knowing little about the field, but learned everything she needs at school and in her clinical cycle.

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