AET/Graphic Design

Zaire Paterson

“Bill Lancaster always brings in outside info to his classes on InDesign. We’re always learning about great new websites, contests, and lectures.”

“I feel very good about being at the Academy and having access to the very best computers and software to work with,” said Zaire Paterson in her first SMC semester. “It was a complete surprise to me to find such sophisticated stuff when I first walked into my classrooms. But it’s also the teachers I’ve had who’ve made my experience so positive,” Zaire continues. “People like Robin Hill and Bill Lancaster. I have Robin for Introduction to Graphic Design, where I’m learning to use Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. She just really focuses on professional skills, and she’s always talking about on-the-job situations that she’s observed in her own professional life. I always feel like she’s talking from a deep well of experience, rather than just spouting off a bunch of theories from a book.”

“Fast and efficient!” That’s how Zaire describes SMC’s Academy of Entertainment & Technology. And that could almost become the Academy’s motto. “I love the way my teachers here are always giving us ‘real world’ and practical advice. Like how to find shortcuts to solving difficult problems, and how to behave in a professional office setting. Since coming here,” Zaire continues, “I’ve made tremendous progress in my learning habits and how to hone all my skills in a very well managed way.”

Zaire states that—as is true of all students during these difficult times in America—that education is no bed of roses. “The single biggest problem I’ve had here is simply getting into classes. I mean, we’re all motivated by some kind of fear about our future, and that really loads SMC up to the critical point. But if you get to know your professors and lobby hard, you’re bound to find some very good people who’ll help you get to where you need to go.”

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