Volume IX, Issue 5 | October 23, 2023

Bragging Rights: October 2023

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.

SMC in Focus
  • Art professor Carlson Hatton started working on a large-scale public art project for Metro Los Angeles in 2017. The artwork took several years to complete and the entire Metro line took several more. Carlson worked with a group of Hyde Park community members and also included SMC art students from his classes to assist in collecting imagery for the artwork. This led to the design and fabrication of 10 large scale murals permanently installed at the Hyde Park station on the newly opened K Line. The line features 14 artists and a current exhibition celebrates this contributions. “Here: Arts & Culture Along the K” is a multimedia art exhibition showcasing the Metro Art K Line art program at the Museum of African American Art at Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza featuring Carlson’s art and, to name a few, the following: Moses X. Ball, Ingrid Calame, Eileen Cowin, Kenturah Davis, Dean Erdmann, Sherin Guirguis, Russell Hamilton, Michael C. Hsiung, Alexis Hunley, and many more.

  • Journalism professor and Corsair faculty adviser Ashanti Blaize made history as the first Black woman to be installed as president, in the 114-year history of the Society of Professional Journalists. SPJ is the oldest, broadest and one of the largest journalism organizations in the country. Read more about Prof. Blaize-Hopkins’s historic appointment.

  • SMC Psychology instructor Hasmik “Has” Arakelyan has some terrific brags to report: she wrote the very first Intro to LGBTQ+ Studies class for LACCD colleges which is offered now for the first time at LA Valley College and she is one of the founders and developers of Queer University, an unprecedented online platform/university that is a Queer Educational platform, foregrounding queer perspectives and identities in teaching, structure and ideology. Learn more about Queer University. There will be a soft launch of the university on Oct. 28 at LA Gay and Lesbian Center. SMC colleagues and students are invited to attend this one-of-a-kind event. “There is currently is nothing like this. Eventually we will be offering not only certificates but also Bachelor and MA degrees as our Queer University expands,” Dr. Has wrote. She previously also received a proclamation from Sepi Shyne (West Hollywood mayor) for her contribution to LGBTQ+ and minority students and for her advocacy.

  • Accounting professor Greg Brookins has been busy training the next generation to win in more ways than one! Greg was an assistant coach for the 2023 Ladera Little League All-Star team. The team won their district tournament and competed in the sectional tournament losing only to El Segundo Little League, which would go on to win the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. He is pictured with his son, Jordan, who retired from baseball two years ago.  

  • Alice Meyering, Associate Dean of Malibu Campus has a brag about a member of the Malibu team! Media Resource Assistant Carla Brown—whose image was featured in Malibu’s Best Shot in The Malibu Times—on August 3, 2023. Through her work at the SMC Malibu Campus, Carla learned from a local that the sunset at Westward Beach in Point Dume is the most spectacular in August. “The result makes us #ProudToBeSMC!” Alice wrote.

  • Psychology professor Dorothy Chin was awarded a two-week writing residency in August 2023 at the prestigious Virginia Center for the Creative Arts where she worked on a creative non-fiction project and gathered with other writers, visual artists, and composers to share ideas and inspiration. This incredible experience was beyond anything she could have dreamed of, Dorothy reported.

  • Chemistry professor Glen “Bubba” Chung is pleased to report of an impressive win by a group of SMC STEM students! Jeong Lee, Marco Krause, James Lukas, Akhila Johny, Semia Beji, Wai Hun Sann, Elad Dov Kleinerman Mordkowitz, Le Thuy (Harley) Nguyen, Kyle Lee, along with team captain Emilio Mendoza, won third place for their technical poster in the 2023 nationwide NASA MINDS challenge, under the team name “HiveMINDS.” They designed a model, swarm-programmed autonomous robot group for the exploration of a remote surface location such as the moon or Mars. Adjunct chemistry faculty Glen Chung provided materials support, and administrative support came from Vanan Yahnian and Paulette Gomez of the SMC STEM office.

  • Rules for Youth Soccer by CSIS associate professor Keith Kurtz is an easy version of the Laws of the Game with advice for referees working younger games. Keith officiated his first soccer game in 1982 and never looked back. He is currently an AYSO National Referee, an Advanced Referee Instructor, and a retired USSF Referee.   

  • A new website recently went online for the crime-murder genre podcast Murder, Mischief & Mayhem! created and written by Computer Science & Information Systems (CSIS) Justin Vyor in the CSIS department. MM&M is an episodic reenactment podcast of once famous but now forgotten sensational murder cases in American history, using voiceover actors. Noted character actor G.W. Bailey from cable TV's popular The Closer and Major Crimesprograms narrates the series which is now being pitched for television. MM&M is available on YouTube, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music and Google Podcasts.

  • Philosophy & Social Science instructor Amy Andrada recently published “The Legacy of Stigma” (Andrada, 2023) which delves into the socio-historical evolution of American motherhood, tracing its roots from the era of slavery to contemporary times. An excerpt from the publication: “This work critically examines the bifurcated paradigms of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ motherhood that have historically permeated American society. Within this binary, ‘good’ mothers have predominantly been framed as white, married, cisgender, heterosexual, and ostensibly middle class, juxtaposed against the ‘bad’ mothers who deviate from this mold. A significant focus is laid upon the American single motherhood narrative, which has historically been entwined with gender, race, and class subordinations—most notably, single black women.” Read the entire chapter from Amy Andrada.

  • Spanish professor Alejandro Lee has several brags, on behalf of himself and his students:
    The "Dejando huellas" issue of “Plurilingual & Pluriculturales: A Newsletter on Critical Language Education” (Aug. 2023) showcased works by Prof. Lee’s former students: “Pantalones hechos con mezclilla mágica” by Esmirna Medeles, and two photographs by Brandon Sánchez, “The First Article” and “The Right of Being a Kid”. Bravo, Esmirna and Brandon!

    Brandon Sánchez was also recognized as “Joven Destacado, El Salvador 2023” by the Instituto Nacional de la Juventud (El Salvador). He attended the “Presentación de Logros del Programa Empléate Joven y Políticas Juveniles” in San Salvador on Aug. 12, 2023. ¡Felicidades, Brandon! ¡Bien merecido!

    Prof. Lee is delighted to share that his former student Arelyz Marin and current student, Paradise Kafri have been selected as the 2023 Honorable Mention Awardees by the National Conference of Puerto Rican Women Southern California Chapter (NACOPRW So-Cal). ¡Enhorabuena a las dos!

    Along with Cristina Moon (Chabot College), Sarah Harmon (Cañada College), Nancy Meléndez-Ballesteros (College of the Canyons), Prof. Lee presented their “Tarea Libre” project at the CAL OER 2023 Virtual Conference on August 3, 2023. The Tarea Libre OER project consists of a comprehensive and accessible question bank of 1,400 interactive activities created in LibreStudio and ADAPT for first-year Spanish courses. “This ancillary fills an existing gap in OER and increases the likelihood of OER adoption in first-year Spanish courses,” wrote Alejandro.

    And lastly, Alejandro took his excellence across international borders! He was invited to participate in the first summer institute, “Español Excelente,” sponsored by Edinumen USA and the University of Salamanca in Salamanca, Spain this June. The institute was comprised of workshops, open forums, and best practice sessions for how to improve Spanish teaching in the higher education space in the United States.

  • Former Film Studies & current Emeritus instructor Sheila Laffey will be screening her award-winning film The Last Stand: Heroes a Ballona Wetlandson Nov. 13 at Laemmle Monica (during Wetlands block starting at 5:15 PM.)  Her 2004 short screens at 6:20 PM followed by panel with Sheila, actor/activist Ed Begley, Jr who is in the film, as well as others. SMC colleagues who’d like a free ticket should email laffey_sheila@smc.edu. Sheila also co-hosted an interview on TV with Vanessa Castle, Fish and Wildlife Technician in Recovering the River: Elwha Dam Removal, A Tribal Victory

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