SMC In Focus

SMC In Focus

A bi-monthly newsletter connecting the Santa Monica College community. Celebrating endless possibilities, innovation, and resilience.

SMC in Focus


Where Nothing is Impossible

Volume IX, Issue 5, October 23, 2023
SMC in Focus pays homage to the tremendous courage, persistence, and spirit of Santa Monica College alum (and students) in this issue: Nia Patton, who thought Stanford was a pipe dream until a philosophy professor convinced her otherwise. Mateo Nikolav who followed a dream, all the way from Ecuador. Ariel Zavala and Jasmin Mestas who are going to care for patients as respiratory therapists. Three pre-med students—who never thought they’d get in—selected for a prestigious fellowship offered through Stanford Medicine. And a Cal Poly sophomore who left an elite Public Ivy for Santa Monica College—it was the right choice. It always is.

Nia Patton

Philosophical Outlook

For years, Nia Patton thought she might never complete a college degree. But after gaining an online degree from Santa Monica College, she was accepted to her first choice, Stanford.

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Ariel and Jasmine

Breathing Lessons

Jasmin Mestas came to respiratory care through a parent’s tragic death. Ariel Zavala was working as a certified nursing assistant and saw her patients getting COVID. At SMC, they became respiratory therapists.

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Mateo Nikolav

Bigger Picture

SMC to UCLA transfer Mateo Nikolav fell in love with film at age four. But it was an Ecuadorean-produced film Qué tan lejos that led him to LA, and a prestigious internship with the TV Academy.

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NCandido Lopez, Jai Williams, and Alexis Molina

An Unexpected Summer in Palo Alto

Neuroscience major Candido Lopez, psychology major Jai Williams, and anthropology major Alexis Molina had an unlikely summer in Palo Alto, shadowing physicians and learning about careers in medicine.

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Bragging Rights

Bragging Rights

An Art professor’s murals at Hyde Park station. A journalism professor makes history. A Malibu Campus staffer’s sunset shot singled out by The Malibu Times.

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Genevieve and family

Goodbye, Public Ivy—Hello, SMC

Cal Poly sophomore Genevieve Johnson opted to leave an elite Public Ivy for Santa Monica College. It was the right choice.

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SMC In the News

Stanley Clark Embarks on BroadStage Residency

Ashanti Blaize elected SPJ President

The 5 Best Colleges Near Culver City, Calif.

SMC Emeritus Gallery Presents Show Feat. Arts Pioneer

Aaron McCloud Created Company to Help Kids Just Like Him

Three SMC STEM Scholars Chosen for Prestigious Scholarship

SMC LA Mode 2023 Fashion: Style and Substance IRL
SMC Graduation 2023