Psychology/AS Director, Academic Support

Alia Toscano

“I have a lot of advice to offer. But honestly, the best thing that students can do here is to get involved. Especially international students.”

In her first year at SMC from her native Sweden, Maryam Allameh could report, “Everything is going great, and I just love it here. Let me just start with the architecture. It’s all really open, and the sun and the breezes come in from everywhere. And the palm trees! I mean, I’m from Europe, so these kinds of things are very important to me.” And when asked what she loves most about her LA-area environs, she responds with a great laugh: “I can go to the beach any time I want!”

But sun and surf aside, Maryam has some very serious studies to complete in her new nation. “I want to become a psychiatrist, because I was always the person that my friends would come to speak to about whatever their problems might be. Becoming a physician was never really an option, because I didn’t want to deal with the blood and disease issues. So being a mental doctor is a far better choice for me. And I plan to transfer to medical school at UCLA for my degree. It’s going to be a lot of work, but well worth it.”

Maryam chose to study in America because “it’s difficult to get into universities at home. There just aren’t that many. SMC is a very popular college in Sweden. And one of the best things I’ve done here,” she continues, “was to get involved with the AS. I love working with people and helping them to achieve their goals. They can always come to me in my office in Cayton Center, and I will help them out. And they’ll find that—when they get involved here—they’ll tend to be a lot more successful.”

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