Architecture / Phi Theta Kappa / AET

David Shioji

“Mr. Jacobs is a great guy to study drafting with. He has really high standards that we have to live up to, but he’s also very cool; a really jolly fellow.”

In his first year at SMC, David Shioji was really digging in. Literally. “I’m part of Club Grow—SMC’s garden club—and it’s an awesome experience,” says David. “We’re affiliated with the Sustainable Works program, and we grow all sorts of food and herbs. Plus, we have all kinds of workshops where experts come to teach us gardening tips. We learn about native plants and organic foods, and how to live sustainably. And,” he adds with a laugh, “we’re a completely social club that’s just built around growing things.”

Through his club, Phi Theta Kappa, and the Scholars Program, David reports, “I’ve made a ton of new friends. And I think that’s a very important part of college life. Plus, these organizations offer lots of scholarships and volunteering opportunities, and they actually write letters of recommendation that help a lot in the transfer process.” It’s David’s firm plan to go into architecture; something he feels he was born to do. “When I was little, I’d always play with LEGOs and blocks, and draw fantasy buildings. But when I was 13,” he recalls with a laugh, “my parents told me, ‘Stop that! You’re too old to play with toys!’ But I’m just fascinated with architecture, and when I get into this field, maybe I won’t exactly change the world. But maybe I can just change a small part of it.”

Through online classes and all of his activities, David reports, “SMC gives you every opportunity to succeed. But you have to persevere. Even though you may be in a class you’re not wild about, you can be sure that your professor cares deeply about whatever he or she is teaching. So never give up on a class. And never give up on yourself.”

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