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Rare Endurance, Rare Journeys

Volume VIII, Issue 4, August 30, 2022
It is a hallmark of SMC students—the ability to endure, to take what life throws at them, and turn it into something beautiful. SMC in Focus’s July-August issue celebrates several students who have demonstrated this quality, plus those who found their journeys here and are shining, and a program-in-the-works that showcases how Santa Monica College meets the needs of local industry, while making sure equity remains the focus. Enjoy.  

Melody Hellard

Perfect Fit

Melody Hellard applies her design skills honed at SMC to help keep Mattel’s iconic dolls at the height of fashion. Despite dyslexia, she built a creative pathway, beginning at age eight.

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Leisha Smith

Accounting for Her Summer Adventure

The last thing Leisha Smith expected to feel at an accounting leadership conference, was mist in her eyes. But this 20-year old SMC student from South LA did find herself “kind of emotional.”

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King Burgess

Rewriting His Life

After years of incarceration, King Burgess turned to Santa Monica College for a fresh start, enabling him to expand his storytelling artistry from the written word to visual media.

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Sofia Ratcovich

Waste Not

SMC alum Sofia Ratcovich uses her entrepreneurial savvy and passion for environmental sustainability to help businesses cut down on trash and food waste.

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Ernie Gonzalez

Bragging Rights

A music prof. sings in Greek and German at Disney World. A Theatre Arts prof. gets rave reviews. A retiree wins walking shoes for herself—and her friends.

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Dr. Andria Denmon and Dr. Tom Chen

Riding the Biotech Wave

Biology professors Dr. Andria Denmon and Dr. Tom Chen are helping SMC develop a new biotechnology major that is equity-focused and meets the needs of a booming industry.

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