Rebecca Nadel “The professors here are as good as they get. And at SMC you can take, probably, 200 classes for the same price as a semester at NYU.”

If you didn’t know better, you’d think that Rebecca Nadel was reporting from a combat zone. Every minute or so, her voice was drowned out by a screaming roar. “I’m down here at the airport shooting planes and…” SCHWOOM! “…Wow! That was a BIG one!” she yelled. But Rebecca wasn’t firing off rounds from an M16. Rather, she was firing off frames on her Nikon camera.

“I’m taking a lot of Photography classes, and I thought shooting planes might be a good finals project,” explained Rebecca between detonations. “Pretty soon, I’ll be going into the advanced classes like Portraiture and Color Darkroom. I’ve got Mr. Jones, the department chair, for both Photo 1 and 2, and he’s just amazing! He knows everything there is about photography, and his own work is incredible. On top of that, he’s a really nice guy and he’s patient. Just a really great teacher,” said Rebecca. With her career as a shooter coming into sharp focus at SMC, Rebecca revealed the somewhat unorthodox nature of her educational path.

“I came to SMC from NYU, which was just too expensive for my family,” she explained. “I mean, I miss the ‘Big Apple,’ but I’m taking all these great Art classes here that I could never have taken at NYU because they were always full. And I’m learning so much at a really incredible price—so I feel like I’m getting a very good deal. And the best thing about SMC is that you can experiment and find out what you want to do with your life. You can explore. It’s like…” ZZZHWAAARR! “Ohmigosh! It’s right over my…”

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