Volume VIII, Issue 4 | August 30, 2022

Bragging Rights: August 2022

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.

  • Theatre Arts Comedy Acting Professor Ernie González, Jr. not only performed a comedic lead in "Quixote Nuevo" at The Denver Center (a renowned and prestigious Regional Theatre, April-June) but also got rave reviews: "Ernie González Jr. plays Manny wonderfully aware of the proximity of humor to heartache" – wrote The Denver Post (06/03/22). "...The build-up to that moment is made better by the humor and comedic timing that Gonzalez lends to Manny…" wrote Broadway World (05/27/22).
  • Adjunct professor Greg Schreiner is having a busy summer in addition to teaching a piano class at SMC. On July 7th he will be performing with Broadway singer Karen Morrow at the CVREP Theatre in Palm Springs. He will be also bringing his show, Hollywood Revisited, to Hemet, CA on July 22. And on July 16th, he will be performing with the Opera Ensemble in Manhattan Beach. Greg is grateful to be performing again.
  • Kevin Coleman-Cohen, MFA, Associate Professor in the Communication & Media Studies Department, was featured in Voyage St. Louis which features “inspiring stories from St. Louis.” The story covers Kevin’s journey, from being an outreach manager for a nonprofit in St. Louis to becoming an entrepreneur and professor. It is worth a read!
  • Megumi Smith of the Music Department is pleased to share that she directed the first-ever SMC annual children's concert. It was a first-of-its-kind collaboration between SMC’s Music, Art, and Digital Technology Departments. “We also had special guest performers from El Marino Language School Rainbow Taiko,” Megumi wrote. “Over 200 people came to the concert and SMC students and Rainbow Taiko performers had a very delightful and wonderful experience.” Congratulations to Megumi and all involved in this delightful experience! 
  • Journalism professor Sharyn Obsatz is thrilled to share some amazing alum news! Journalism alum Christian Monterrosa was just hired as a community manager for LION Publishers; Local Independent Online News Publishers is a professional journalism association for independent news publishers. Alum Jessica L. Dupree has built a successful public relations business focusing on Black artists. She was a unit publicist for the new film "The Royal," wrote this article for Ebony magazine, and also covered the BET awards red carpet for Source magazine! SMC Journalism shines bright in the world!
  • SMC Jazz Vocal Ensemble director Andreas Preponis’ voice can be heard nightly singing in Greek and German during the fireworks show “Harmonious" at Epcot, Disney World in Florida. Andreas was able to reprise his performance as a featured singer in a live performance of the fireworks music at Epcot in June. “Harmonious Live" was the first event ever to be live streamed on Disney+ and is still available for viewing. Look out for the gentleman wearing a white suit and setting off the first fireworks of the show!
  • SMC professor Dr. Fern Margolis, Ph.D., Hebrew, Ed.D., Education has published not just one, but two books: Hebrew Reading and Writing - Self Taught, a self-teaching how-to-read-and-write Hebrew textbook/workbook with reading drills, written exercises, and a detailed answer key for instant feedback; and an e-book: The Teachers’ Guide for Parents: How to Help Your Elementary School Child Succeed Academically in Traditional, Homeschool, and Virtual Classrooms. The book includes materials for Special Education, and is available on Amazon.  
  • Spanish professor Dr. Alejandro Lee is proud to share that his student Ashley Lopez was recognized on May 28, 2022, in West Hollywood as one of two LGBT youth leaders to be named the first Queer and Now: Legendary Leaders award winners for being on the frontlines of making change for their communities. Q Youth Foundation is a non-profit organization that builds partnerships with nonprofits, community centers, public spaces, and businesses to create safe(r) space programming for the marginalized LGBTQIA+ communities in Los Angeles and greater California. Congratulations, Ashley!
  • Dr. Lee also presented at the “Higher Education Town Hall Meeting” at the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese (AATSP) Annual Conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico on July 10, 2022. And in yet another student brag, he reports that student Brandon Sanchez was awarded a 2022 California Latino Legislative Caucus Foundation Scholarship. Brandon is one of the 55 students who were selected out of 1040 applicants (he is also a 2022 Hispanic Scholarship Fund Scholar and a recipient of a Phi Beta Sigma Los Angeles Alumni Foundation scholarship). Congratulations to Professor Lee and to his students!
  • Career counseling faculty Jessica Trachtenberg has two brags to share—her first time submitting to this column! She published a coloring book titled, Color Your Career: An Adult Coloring Book with Positive Career Affirmations. The purpose of the coloring book is to inspire positivity and creativity throughout your career journey! Color Your Career can be purchased online at Amazon, Walmart, and Barnes & Noble. Jessica now also serves as the co-advisor for the Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) International Honor Society at SMC alongside PTK advisor, Professor Wilfred Doucet.
  • Chemistry professor Jamey Anderson is proud to share that CCIC finalists from Santa Monica College, Toshiro, Chioma, and Charlie explained their idea for a new type of HIV treatment to attendees at a poster session held at the Library of Congress on Wednesday, in Washington, D.C. on June 15, 2022. The poster session was judged as part of the Community College Innovation Challenge where students participated in a week-long entrepreneurship boot camp.
  • Music department chair Brian Driscoll is pleased to share on behalf of professor Lesa Terry this amazing feature in the LA Times with a mention of Lesa and her talented work! Lesa is also featured in this OC Register article.
  • Retired professor Wendy Parise is pleased to share a brag that involves her and several other retired faculty, including Tina Feiger, Eve Adler, and Tere Bernstein. Wendy entered a contest in Prevention magazine, called “Why I Walk.” “To my surprise,” Wendy wrote. “I won! We are ordering our shoes and got interviewed by the magazine.  I guess the old saying ‘if you want to win you have to buy a ticket’ works!” The essay is totally worth a read.