Brian Cervantes

“Professor Cooley heads up the photovoltaic program for the entire city of Santa Monica. And he’s simply the best teacher I’ve ever had.”

Science is, indeed, capable of making miracles happen. And one of those ‘miracles’ would have to be Brian Cervantes. “What happened is that, when my family lived in Mexico, my mother couldn’t get pregnant. She kept having miscarriages. And then she met this doctor who performed an incredible procedure,” says Brian. “And the result is… I’m here! And so, because of this, I’m determined to make my own contributions to science. And when I’ve finished up my studies at UCLA or UC Berkeley, I hope to land my dream job of doing pure research in biochemistry.”

Brian faces any number of challenges to make a success of himself at SMC. “The worst one is that it takes me about two hours on public transportation to get to campus. But it’s totally worth it, because this is such a great college. And my teachers are amazing! Like Professor Cooley? He’s very intricate in the way that he teaches his subject. But he’s so very knowledgeable that you feel like what he’s teaching goes directly into your brain.” Brian adds, “The Green Movement is very alive and well at SMC. I’m really involved in Sustainable Works at the CEUS over on Pearl Street. And every semester, we have about 500 students coming over to visit us and learn about what they can do to live more responsible and sustainable lives. It’s a very positive environment for me and a lot of other people.”

Coming from a pretty rough neighborhood ‘down south,’ Brian states, “Anyone can make huge changes in their lives at SMC. Just make sure that learning becomes a big part of your life. Get involved when you get here, and you’ll find yourself surrounded by a lot of really bright and helpful people.”

Read more stories from present and past years in the SMC Student Spotlight Archive.