J’aime Sisson “I heartily recommend joining a student club to anyone I meet at SMC. Just sharing a smile with someone you know makes you feel much more a part of academia.”

You could almost sing a name like hers, it’s so French. “It is rather French,” says J’aime Sisson with a laugh. “I was conceived in Martinique, the Caribbean island, and I actually still have family there.” But the ‘island’ that J’aime now calls home lies between the latitudes of Pico and Pearl. “I love this school so much! I mean, I’ve been blessed and lucky to have the most amazing teachers. Probably better than most I’ve had at UCLA.” But J’aime, past vice-president of the Black Collegians, says that you alone make your luck at SMC.

“In the three semesters I’ve been here, I’ve gotten almost every class I’ve wanted because I did a lot of research into the teachers I wanted for every particular subject. I think it makes a 100% difference.” J’aime singles out Terry Green in the Math department for distinctly ‘Sisson honors.’ “I never particularly liked math because I hadn’t had particularly good teachers. But Terry brings such a passion and love for what he teaches into the classroom that it’s made all the difference for me.”

It’s J’aime’s plan to set up her own psychology ‘shop’—with distinct differences. “I spent two years in New York City studying ancient Indian philosophy and culture: Ayurveda, Sanskrit, meditation, yoga, the works!” she says. “My mother’s a dentist who practices holistically and who has studied all the world’s religions, so I grew up with that kind of awareness. And those are influences that I plan to bring to my practice of psychology.” J’aime adds, “I will get my Master’s and then integrate Eastern and Western psychology and spirituality. I’ll be the ‘bridge’ between the cultures.”

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