Yun Zhao “I want to be involved in international business because, in that way, I can become a kind of bridge between the Chinese people and Americans.”

“Political theory is what divides people, and most of those theories are dead,” says Yun Zhao in the excellent English he learned at a high school in Singapore. “It’s hard for people to change when they get caught up in rigid belief systems, but I really believe in people. It’s people who can change and come to understanding.”

As AS Director of Student Outreach, Yun gets to bring his desire for understanding to all SMC students. “Essentially, it’s my job to provide services, programs, and activities for evening students, as well as students at the satellite campuses,” says Yun. “You could consider these ‘nontypical’ students, but it’s difficult to define what that term means at SMC. We have one of the largest populations of international students of all community colleges,” says Yun. “There are students here from over 160 countries, so the diversity is enormous. And it’s not just Asian students that we serve in the AS. It’s everybody.” And though he loves serving his fellow students, Yun is quick to point out that it’s the students themselves who create their own success.

“The best thing you can do at this college is to be open-minded and make a lot of friends. And the best way to do that,” adds Yun, “is to get involved with the clubs and student government. I mean, I’ve got friends who can tell me everything I need to know about SMC. But if you don’t have a lot of friends, you just come on up to the AS office and meet with us. We’ve got all the information you could possibly need about the clubs, the activities, and all the resources that are there for each and every one of us.”

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