September 12, 2019

Communication, Media, & Design Series Begins Sept. 26

Robert Hernandez
Santa Monica College opens its Fall 2019 Communication, Media & Design Series with “Building Empathy Through Virtual Reality Journalism,” a short presentation on technology and journalism by Robert Hernandez (aka WebJournalist) at 7 p.m. Thursday, September 26, in the SMC Center for Media and Design, Auditorium 180 (1660 Stewart Street, Santa Monica).

Santa Monica College Opens Fall 2019 Communication, Media & Design Series September 26

Santa Monica College (SMC) opens its Fall 2019 Communication, Media & Design Series with a line-up of industry professionals who will talk about their work experiences and offer advice. The series starts September 26 with a short presentation by Robert Hernandez (aka WebJournalist) on how technology can help journalism audiences better understand marginalized communities, such as people who are homeless or who have been deported.

All presentations in the series are free and will be held either at the SMC Center for Media and Design (1660 Stewart Street, Santa Monica) or on the main campus of Santa Monica College (1900 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica). Seating is strictly on a first-arrival basis.

All presentations are sponsored by the SMC Associates — a private organization that funds speakers and special programs on the Santa Monica College campus — and the SMC Communication & Media Studies Department and SMC Design Technology Department.

Street parking is restricted and extremely limited around the SMC Center for Media and Design and the main SMC campus. Attendees are encouraged to arrive via the Expo line, the bus, or a ride-sharing service.

The Communication, Media & Design Series line-up for fall 2019 is:

  • Thursday, September 26 — Robert Hernandez: “Building Empathy Through Virtual Reality Journalism.” at 7 p.m. in the SMC Center for Media and Design, Auditorium 180. Robert Hernandez (aka WebJournalist) will give a short presentation on how technology can help journalism audiences better understand the lives of homeless people, deported immigrants, and other marginalized communities. Hernandez explores and develops the intersection of technology and journalism. An associate professor of professional practice at USC Annenberg, the ‘hackademic’ has worked with augmented reality (AR), wearables, and virtual reality (VR), and he and his students produce award-winning VR experiences under their brand, Jovrnalism™. Hands-on demos of VR stories and equipment follow the presentation.

  • Monday, October 7 — “Entertainment Storytelling Careers Panel: Q&A with Alonzo Williams, Cli-N-Tel (Marq Hawkins), and Arabian Prince” at 7 p.m. in the SMC Center for Media and Design, Auditorium 180. Experienced insiders offer their perspectives and advice on careers in entertainment. Godfather of West Coast Hip Hop Alonzo ‘Grandmaster Lonzo’ Williams, an original member of the legendary World Class Wreckin' Cru, recently founded the nonprofit The Lyrical Revolution to assist new artists with their careers. Marq ‘Cli-N-Tel’ Hawkins, also a Wreckin' Cru original, is currently producing a comedy film about Hip Hop, as well as Groove Street, a third installment in the Breakin’ series. Early West Coast electro pioneer and NWA founding member Arabian Prince, president of the Los Angeles First Tech Challenge (LAFTC) robotics competition, launched the popular music source and recently started the CPESL eSports gaming league.

  • Tuesday, October 29 — Dotan Saguy: “From Street Photography to Photojournalism” at 11:15 a.m. on the main SMC campus in Stromberg Hall (HSS 165). After a successful career as a high-tech entrepreneur, SMC alum Dotan Saguy decided to focus on his lifelong passion for photography, including studying photojournalism at SMC. His award-winning photographs have appeared in National Geographic, Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, and many other publications. He published his first monograph in 2018 — with German publisher Kehrer Verlag — about the endangered culture of Venice, California, and was awarded Bronze by the prestigious Deutscher Fotobuchpreis 2018-19. Saguy is currently working on several projects, including a photo essay on people living in vehicles in Los Angeles.

  • Thursday, November 14 — Megan Lubaszka: “Immersive Architecture: AR, VR, AI, and the Future of Spatial Computing” at 7 p.m. in the SMC Center for Media and Design, Auditorium 180. Megan Lubaszka is Southwest Regional Creative Media Leader at architecture firm Gensler, where she has helped incorporate virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) into daily architectural practice. She has guided more than 3,000 people through their first VR experience, co-hosts VR Jams — where architects from any of Gensler's 50 offices gather together as avatars for a "virtual site walk" with the building's design team — and identifies VR/AR trends in her weekly newsletter Reality Check. She is also a LEED AP through the US Green Building Council, and a board advisor to Inception Orchestra, a nonprofit changing music education through original composition and VR. Hands-on demos of VR/AI projects follow the presentation.

All programs are subject to change without notice, and new speakers may be added to the series. Up-to-date details are posted at and available by calling the SMC Office of Public Programs at 310-434-4100.

Santa Monica College is a California Community College accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).