Volume VIII, Issue 6 | December 12, 2022

Bragging Rights: December 2022

  • Associate sociology professor Elham Gheytanchi wrote an article for Wilson Center “Women Led Protests in Iran Evolve: Regime Controlled Industries are the Next Targets”. “I have followed the events in Iran, and I admire the young women's bravery and courage in a country whose authorities abduct, kill and torture protesters. It took me some time to gather my thoughts and write something. I also participated in the teach-in at SMC to raise awareness on women's movement in Iran. If women succeed, the whole region of Middle East and Africa will change,” Elham wrote.

  • Journalism professor Ashanti Blaize-Hopkins is now the first Black woman ever to be elected Vice President of the Society of Professional Journalists in its 113-year history. SPJ is the nation’s most broad-based journalism organization, dedicated to encouraging the free practice of journalism and stimulating high standards of ethical behavior. Professor Blaize-Hopkins will be installed as the organization’s president at SPJ’s Fall 2023 annual convention, which will also make her the first Black woman to ever lead the society. Congratulations and way to shatter a glass ceiling, Ashanti!

  • Black Collegians Student Services Specialist Jocelyn Winn published her first book, a memoir entitled One of Nine: A Memoir A Collection of True Stories that Prompted Suicidal Thoughts and Began a Remarkable Journey to Find a Reason to Live. This collection is comprised of some of the memories that flooded Jocelyn’s mind when she began psychotherapy to treat debilitating active suicidal ideation that she suffered at age 29. In the stories, Jocelyn explores issues such as racial identity, gender inequality, sexual orientation, depression, and anxiety in the context of her upbringing in an ultra-religious household. Jocelyn wrote this book because she believes “these stories can help facilitate conversations about how our childhood experiences shape how we view ourselves . . . we are not alone in our suffering.” Jocelyn believes that when we share what we have been through, “we can help others and set ourselves free”.  The book can be purchased on Amazon and one copy is available for rental at SMC’s library. Congratulations and thank you, Jocelyn!

  • Roxanne Captor, Media faculty member, sold the semi-autobiographical story, “Dream Moms" to Hallmark Channel (which she wrote and developed).  Captor will executive produce the project, which is slated to air Mother's Day 2023.

  • Media Studies professor Nick Pernisco wrote, directed, and produced a short film "A Room with a View,” which was accepted into the Culver City Film Festival. The short, about a young woman diagnosed with young onset Parkinson’s disease, was recently screened at the Culver City Cinemark, and will soon screen at the Santa Monica Laemmle theater.  View the trailer here and the film (with the password “parkinson”) may be viewed on filmfreeway.com.

  • Spanish professor Alejandro Lee is pleased to submit the following brags, on behalf of himself and his students:
    First, along with Nancy Ballesteros (Mount Saint Mary’s University, Los Angeles and Santa Monica College) and Cristina Moon (Chabot College), Alejandro was invited by the Spanish program at East Los Angeles College to present their collaborative project, “‘Cada maestro con su librito’: Spanish OER Grammar Manual” on Oct. 14.

    Second, together with his colleagues María Carreira (CSU Long Beach) and Sybil Alexandrov (Yale University), Alejandro is a founder of Heritage Language Exchange (HLXchange.com), a hub of resources and gathering place for heritage language teachers and programs of all levels, which also organized two virtual educational events: “Making Space for Plurality and Inclusion in the Portuguese Language Classroom” (Nov. 3) and a presentation by Dr. Stephen Krashen, “Developing the Heritage Language: A Pleasant Path” (Nov. 7).

    And among great news from Alejandro’s former student: Thalía Ornelas, UC Santa Barbara, was selected to be the recipient of the Ismael Mayo de la Rocha scholarship by the Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies. ¡Bien merecido, Thalía! Congratulations!"

  • Earth Sciences Professor Alessandro Grippo, PhD, was asked to lead a field geology class to Amboy Volcano in the Mojave Desert for Stanford University. The class was part of a Stanford Sophomore College course titled “Desert Biogeography of Joshua Tree National Park”, taught by Robert Siegel. Dr. Grippo, who has led several trips for SMC, is visible on the left in the picture.

  • SMC trustee Rob Rader was voted 2022 Corporate Counsel of the Year. Rob is general counsel and corporate secretary at Ovation TV, America’s only arts cable network, which is distributed on AT&T/DIRECTV, Comcast, DISH, Time Warner Cable and Verizon in approximately 50 million households in the United States. At Ovation TV, Rader has direct responsibility for all business and legal matters and human resources, including production, distribution, marketing, litigation, intellectual property, real estate and corporate affairs (including board relations and M&A). Read more about why Rob was singled out for this honor here.

  • Emeritus instructor and artist Lisa Adams was interviewed by Voyage LA. The conversation covers her particular path as an artist, challenges she’s overcome, and much more.

  • Interior Architectural Design instructor Deborah Gregory is also the President of the non-profit Ballona Creek Renaissance,based in Del Rey/Culver City that “Greens, Cleans, Educates, Advocates, and Beautifies the watershed area of Ballona Creek”.  She was invited to speak at the October 22, 2022 County of Los Angeles’s launch event for The Interceptor, a creek/river cleaning device placed in Marina del Rey at the mouth of Ballona Creek (from Boyan Slat, creator of “The Ocean Clean Up”, also pictured far right in the photo that appears in the  slideshow).

  • The Fall ‘22 Semester began with a bang for the SMC Fashion Department! Fashion Club co-presidents Kimberly Mortensen and Grace Fredette joined in VIP Welcome Day, organized activities and provided dressers for The Colleagues bi-annual charity fashion show benefiting The Children’s Institute. And Fashion Prof. Lorrie Ivas is also pleased to report SMC’s own Yue Wang is thriving at her Mattel internship. Plus, LA Designer Henry Duarte shared his years of industry experience with students, and Emmy-winning designer of “The Nanny”, Brenda Cooper, shared highlights of her career and new book, The Silhouette Solution.

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