SCAE Spotlight: Jose Rodriguez
Talk about right brain and left brain integration! This month’s SCAE Spotlight subject, computer instructor Jose Rodriguez Jr., is adept at teaching the fine points of computer technology and applications – and he also spends hours in the more abstract realm of making art.
Jose started teaching computer classes for SCAE in August 2017. He teaches Computer Literacy, Computer Applications and Advanced Computer Applications. (He will also be teaching the College & Career Skills course this winter term.)
Before he started working for SCAE, Jose was a teaching assistant at Maine College of Art in Portland, where he earned a Master’s of Fine Art in Studio Art in 2017. Jose earned a B.A. in Liberal Studies, with a concentration in marketing and graphic design, from California State University in 2012. He then started his career as a freelance graphic designer for clients in New York City and Los Angeles. At first, his clients were mostly from the corporate world. “A few years into that, I shifted the focus of my graphic freelance services towards more non-profit work,” Jose says. He quickly landed a position as a lead graphic designer at a major non-profit in L.A. “This was probably the height of my career as a graphic designer,” he says. “After two-plus years in that position, I decided to get my master’s. That’s how I got to Maine.”
Jose, whose grandparents’ fled Cuban dictator Fidel Castro’s regime in the 1960s, is a native of northern New Jersey. He currently lives in Sanford, and he calls Maine his “second home.”
Jose says his work at SCAE has been gratifying on several levels. “Teaching at SCAE has given me the opportunity to work with adult learners from all walks of life. It has been an absolute joy helping the younger and older and ‘in-between-ers’ transition toward their professional goals.”
Working for SCAE has also led Jose to embark on yet another educational goal. “Currently, I am also enrolled as a grad student at USM, in their Master of Science program in Adult & Higher Education Administration,” he says. His expected graduation date is December 2019.
Meanwhile, Jose is also a practicing artist who works mostly in “….non-traditional sculpture, installations/graphic art realms,” he says. He is looking forward to participating in two fine art shows that will be sponsored by SCAE in the spring. As Jose says, “Stay tuned!” SCAE feels lucky to have such a multi-faceted staff member. Stay tuned, indeed!
Now being offered at Sanford Community Adult Education
In partnership with On Focus Solutions (Ken Bakos Instructor)
Comprehensive ServSafe® Training and Exam (Includes Textbook and Answer Sheet):
*PLEASE NOTE: Reading this textbook before attending the course is key to your success on the exam. Limited Enrollment - Register Now at:
Next session is 11/26/2018 9-4 Price: $155.95
SCAE Holds Workshop Days for Students and the Community!
October 2nd and 3rd, 2018, were very different than the usual class days at Sanford Community Adult Education. All daytime and night classes were transformed into workshops about colleges, employment, local social service agencies, self-care, and supporting family and friends with substance abuse disorders. Students, their families and friends, and other community members who attended chose between several options for each time block.
Presenters included representatives from York County Community College, University of Maine Augusta, University of Southern Maine, Sanford Institution for Savings, Goodwill Workforce Solutions, York County Community Action, and Strategies for a Stronger Sanford. Teachers and staff at SCAE also presented workshops on such diverse topics as job hunting tips, transitioning to college from adult education, managing your money, understanding math in the news, communication without technology, self-care-yoga, and a history of Sanford.
Particularly well-attended were two workshops called, “Supporting Family and Friends with Substance Abuse Disorders”, facilitated by Lynn Hatch of Strategies for a Stronger Sanford.
Another highlight was a panel of “Successful Former Adult Ed Students, which included Laura Miller, an R.N. who attended SCAE over 10 years ago; Jessica Rogers, who attended five years ago and is now a trainer for a medical records company; and Nathan Darigan, who graduated in June 2018 and is now attending SMCC in South Portland. These former students shared their stories of struggle and success.
Allen Lampert, Director at Sanford Community Adult Education commented. “This is our second year providing this service to the community. We are proud to be able to offer these workshops to our students and the community at-large, and we are looking forward to doing it again next year.”
Students arrived to coffee, breakfast pastries, and fruit. They were also provided with lunch and snacks throughout the day. There was ample break time between the sessions for participants to talk further with workshop presenters or each other. This was the second annual Student Workshop Days, and next year’s event is being planned.
Spotlight shines a light on the people who are part of the Sanford Community Adult Education community. Once a month we’ll introduce you to an instructor, staff member or student.
Our first Spotlight interview is with Kristin Fitzpatrick, the new Studio Coordinator for SCAE’s Arts Afire Studio. Kristin, a Kennebunk native, is a 2013 graduate of Maine College of Art in Portland, where she had a concentration in printmaking and a minor in public engagement.
Kristin brings extraordinary energy to this position, as she works to broaden the studio’s scope and its visibility. “I would like Arts Afire to be a hub,” she says. Kristin worked tirelessly through the summer to enhance the studio’s facilities, and to let more folks know the studio exists and is available for a variety of purposes.
Additions to the studio, which is in the SCAE suite on Bradeen Street, include a new drafting table, new silk-screening equipment and two pottery wheels. The equipment was either donated or sold at a reduced rate to SCAE, Kristin notes. She also received “donations” of time from others as she worked on making changes in the studio.
Kristin has been reaching out into local communities and connecting with people and organizations to let them know what the studio offers. As a result, Arts Afire is now going to be home to the Sanford-Springvale Art Association. She also connected with Greater Bay Services in Sanford, which will bring its clients to the studio. Most recently she has been discussing a collaborative project with the Sanford Trails group; she says the studio could be used to make signage to help the organization increase access and visibility.
Kristin is also letting people know that the studio is not solely a place where SCAE classes are held; it is also available to artists who need studio space. At just $8 an hour, it is an affordable option for local artists. Other offerings include individual or semi-private classes; an artist mentorship program and private art parties.
As for the classes being offered, Kristin says there is a wide variety of courses, with more focus on fine arts. Kristin will be teaching several classes; they include a general art class designed for young students ages eight through 13. She also came up with the idea of offering professional development classes for artists. “Professional Practices for Artists,” taught by Abby Dagget, is a five-week class that starts October 2.
Kristin believes that art-making can be accessible to all. “My personal take is that anyone and everyone is an artist,” she says. “There’s a lot of different ways to participate in the arts.”
Kristin also continues to nurture her own art career. She creates commissioned pieces, and she also exhibits her work. Most recently she was part of a show at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Portland. Kristin’s main focus at the moment, however, is Arts Afire. Here, Kristin is artfully using her creative energies to infuse the studio with new possibilities. To learn more about the classes and/or the facilities, visit www.SanfordLearns.org. You can also connect to Kristin at firstname.lastname@example.org.