SMC In Focus

Bragging Rights: October 2020

  • SMC Dance instructor Mark Tomasic spent two weeks this summer virtually teaching for the Dancing Wheels Company & School, the nation’s first physically integrated dance company. He helped train and certify teachers from around the country in how to make dance classes inclusive for people of all abilities. This is truly a heart-warming brag. Kudos to Mark for being a champion of both accessibility and the fine arts!

  • Some very noteworthy brags from the SMC Journalism Program/Corsair advisers Gerard Burkhart and Sharyn Obsatz regarding the accomplishments of alum: former Corsair news photographer Christian Monterrosa had a body of photos in this New York Times story about the wildfires that raged in California. And Christian’s Corsair classmate, alum September Dawn Bottoms, is also working for the New York Times right now! Check out some of her NYT work here.

  • Sheila Laffey, Adjunct Film Studies Professor, is honored to appear several times in the recently published memoir written by one of her Emeritus students: Jerry Rosenblum's An Angel On My Shoulder: My First 100 Years. Several of Laffey's photos of Jerry's meeting with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez grace the book as well as a photo of Jerry and Oscar nominated actress Abigail Breslin after a screening of Little Miss Sunshine in Laffey's Emeritus class.  There is also a pic with Laffey and Jerry at Emeritus and the story of how they met with Rep. AOC! “If you'd like an autographed copy of Jerry's memoir and to meet him personally (with mask of course) please contact me so I can put you in touch with him,” Sheila writes. “Copies of the hard cover book are $29.  Both book and meeting the delightful Jerry will be a treat!” (SMC instructors are reachable via email:  

  • English/Creative Writing Professor Mario Padilla has more than one piece of publication news! First, his short story "Scales" won Tulip Tree Press's fiction contest. It took first prize in the Passion category and will be published in their annual anthology Stories That Need to Be Told 2020. (Mario previously won this contest in 2017.). Second, a selection of six poems from his poetry collection Blue Plums and Weeds was a finalist for New Letters'Patricia Cleary Miller Award for Poetry. As a finalist, the poems are now being considered by the editor-in-chief for publication in New Letters. And thirdly, Mario’s collection of poetry Blue Plums and Weeds was accepted for publication by PSPoets press here in Los Angeles and will be out and in the bookstores and available on Amazon in December. The collection is also being currently considered for the American Academy of Poets James Laughlin Prize.

  • Global Trade & Logistics professor Katya Rodriguez encouraged her students to apply for The California International Trade Center (CITC) Global Virtual Internship program. Student Tommaso Tarantelli—from Katya’s Business 53 Import/Export class—had the opportunity to participate in a virtual internship for a digital marketing companyat Paris Hilton Pro DNA, from his home in Italy. Tommaso was stellar as he completed a full 12-week internship all the way from Italy. “The students worked with a real-world client—a sportswear brand— to help design a digital marketing strategy where they tested international markets to increase sales online,” Katya writes. “They worked collaboratively, virtually, and made a final presentation which the client was really happy with.” Talk about a global presence—congratulations to Tommaso and Katya!

  • We’ve all been trying to find ways to cope with COVID-19. Laurie Heyman, Administrative Assistant III-Confidential in Human Resources, has found a delicious way to get by: she’s learned how to make a multi-grain bread which she bakes twice a week, and preserve food through pressure canning and water bath canning (“hello Lemon Curd, Tomato Sauce, Strawberry Jam, Orange Marmalade, and Pickled Veggies!” she writes).

  • SMC and its Center for Environmental & Urban Studies on PBS! Sustainability Project Manager Ferris Kawar is pleased to share this Sustaining US segment, which for the first nine minutes covers SMC (featuring Ferris and CEUS) and also features all the services covered by Sustainable Works. Way to represent the college—congrats, Ferris!

  • Business Department Chair Sal Veas and Associate Dean of Career Technical Education Sasha King are pleased to share the news of SMC’s latest industry collaboration. Sasha and Sal contributed to a blog published by Salesforce to promote the value and accessibility of digital customer service skills, featured in a new Customer Service Course being launched this fall by Sal, who worked with Salesforce to integrate the company's award-winning educational platform known as Trailhead (Trailblazers for the Future), into the course curriculum. 

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