November 25, 2020

“I felt very well prepared and very well supported there. No question; without Great Bay I would not be where I am now.”

Nicholas M. LaRouche is another Great Bay STEM success story.

Class of 2018 & 2020

LaRouche, 27, of Charlestown, works as a clinical engineer at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health in Lebanon. He graduated with an associate degree from Great Bay’s bioengineering program in 2018 and earned his bachelor’s degree this past spring from the University of New Hampshire.

He began his community college experience at River Valley Community College in Claremont, then settled at Great Bay because of its seamless academic pathway to UNH. “It was a lot easier for me to go from Great Bay to UNH and feel more secure about my credits transferring, while still having that community college level of personal connection with the staff and professors. That was very important to me,” he said.

LaRouche arrived at Great Bay uncertain of his academic goals or desired outcome. He took general education courses his first year, then was drawn toward Great Bay’s excellent science program. He dabbled in engineering and biology before settling in with bioengineering. With the economic structure of Great Bay, he felt comfortable taking a variety of classes to find what suited him best. He liked Great Bay from the outset and had a great college experience on the Portsmouth campus.

His career in the biosciences is exciting – fast-paced, always changing, and important. In his job at Dartmouth-Hitchcock, he helps manage the hospital’s medical devices and helps the hospital make better decisions about the use of those resources through data analysis. He also provides training and support for many different kinds of devices, which are always changing and advancing with technology.

The job requires balancing many skills, both technical and medical, as well as communication and social. The pandemic has highlighted the importance of his field. When the demand for ventilators outstripped supply, clinical engineers figured out how to convert other devices into ventilators.

LaRouche loves his work and is grateful for Great Bay’s role in his professional development. “I felt very well prepared and very well supported there,” he said. “No question, without Great Bay I would not be where I am now.”