“I’ve already made a lot of great friends here, and most of them are from up north. But they just seem to want to end up at SMC because of our reputation.”
Keaton Mahler was in his first SMC semester and could report that “this is sooo much better than high school. I really love the freedom you get in this college. But I also chose to come here because I’m a local, and I’ve always heard that it’s the best transfer college to all the UCs.” Keaton says, “Science is gonna be a pretty large part of my future, because I want to become a veterinarian. I mean, I’ve always loved working with animals, and they’re a real passion of mine. I’ve actually done over 100 hours of community service caring for animals. I volunteer at a place called the EcoStation, where they rescue exotic animals that—most likely—never should have been removed from their environment. So I just do the normal stuff—cleaning and feeding them, and doing the sort of interactions that they all need.”
But it’s an animal of a different stripe—history—that was providing Keaton with some surprising ‘interactions’ in their own right. “I’m actually a very ‘history’ person, and I study with Professor Gantner, who really makes it very fascinating. He basically throws his classes wide open, so there’s a ton of discussion, and everybody gets encouraged to present opinions about all the issues. He is really excellent in how he conducts his classes,” says Keaton. “And I think that making sure you find the right teachers—like, through ratemyprofessor.com—is the best way to make sure you’ve gotten the most out of the college years.”
Keaton adds, “Even though SMC is my ‘local’ college, I’m really happy that I came here. I mean, look at all the clubs we have. I think that joining up with some of them is the best way to meet other motivated people who have the same sorts of interests that you do. “
Read more stories from present and past years in the SMC Student Spotlight Archive.