Science / Music

Elan Shahrabani

“Music is the best way to put human feelings into context. It’s the language of the soul.”

In his first SMC semester, Elan Shahrabani could proudly report, “Yeah, so far I’ve got a 4.0. I mean, I got into several universities straight out of high school, but none of them would give me a single penny in financial aid. So I came to SMC, and I’m pleased with that decision, because it costs so much less, and it’ll take two years off my university studies.” And those studies will be long and intense ones for Elan.

“I’m going into neuroscience, with my ultimate goal being a professorship at a university at the PhD level. For me, doing research is the best of all possibilities. And that means that I’ll be writing at least two dissertations. You know, the whole ‘publish or perish’ thing.” Though distinctly a man of science, Elan is also deeply involved in his music. “I play sax, guitar, and piano. Music is the best way to put human emotions into a story without actually writing down words. It’s open to a lot more interpretations than words could ever be.”

Elan states, “Really, all my professors here have been excellent. They really know what they’re doing, and just seem to love what they’re teaching. I have a philosophy teacher—Howard Kamler—who several decades ago published books on his topic. And here he is—after all these years—still teaching his thing with real excitement. He invites discussion in ways that are stimulating, and it’s great to share your opinions with other people.” Elan plans on “transferring either to UC Berkeley or to UC San Diego, because they both have excellent programs in my field. Of course, there’s always UCLA. But I think it would be a very positive thing for me to just get out of LA for a while.”

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