Duana Knight “The teachers at SMC get to us on a friendship level, and that’s really motivating because it gives us what we all need: acceptance.”

“Duana means ‘innocent,’ and my middle name—Rachelle—means ‘lamb of God’” explains Duana Knight of her name—and the way she views the world. “I went to private religious school, and I learned the Bible backwards and forwards. My father was a Baptist minister until he fell back on his degree and became an archeologist. So I learned a lot about the historical side of the Bible, as well.” And though her devotion to Bible studies is a private thing to her, Duana brings a little ‘fire and brimstone’ into her speech when she perceives people behaving badly.

“There is a real problem with litter at SMC,” says Duana. “This is our college. This is where we come to learn. And it bothers me that people would ruin this beautiful place. But that’s enough of a sermon,” she says, laughing. But Duana has a lot of other concerns with society—the lack of good spoken English, the plight of the homeless, and “the lamentable level of education in high school,” among them. And these are issues she plans to address—through films and writing—after she transfers to USC.

“I want to write and make films about certain values that have been lost in America,” she says. “I was traveling around the world as a model for a few years, but I’d write every day. And when I finally got to SMC, I finally realized that I was a writer. So now I’m studying writing with people like Heidi Crane, who’s a scriptwriter herself. And I love the way classes are taught here,” she continues. “The teachers at SMC want you to learn, and they encourage us to know our rights and be outspoken.” But then, speaking out isn’t ever likely to be a problem area in the life of Duana Knight.

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