Volume X, Issue 2 | April 18, 2024

Bragging Rights: April 2024

An Art Professor designs beautiful earthenware with his parents. SMC Theatre Arts students win prestigious KCACTF awards. A STEM student wins an exciting internship.

SMC In Focus


  • SMC instructor Nancy Foreman has adapted a zero cost, Open Educational Resources (OER) online textbook, Introductory Statistics, for use in the Statistics program at West Los Angeles College. Nancy wrote several new sections for the textbook, including short chapters on the Central Limit Theorem and Proportions, Counting, Normal Probability Plots and Residuals Plots. The textbook is now in its second semester of use. Together with free online homework, the innovative new program enables students to study Statistics at almost no cost. Nancy’s name will be included in the list of contributors for the third edition of the text, due to come out sometime this year.  

  • Life Sciences Professor Dr. Andria P. Denmon—also the program lead for the new biotechnology program—was selected for a Department of Energy (DOE) funded visiting faculty position at the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (LBNL) for the summer. Andria will be working on the Research Collaboration track that is part of the DOE Visiting Faculty Program. During her visiting faculty appointment, she will be researching the effect of novel radiotherapy techniques on normal and breast cancer cells to determine the mechanism of action for this type of treatment that is presently being used in clinical trials. This opportunity will also allow Andria to bring back elements of the project that can be incorporated into the various biotech courses and support work-based learning projects for students. Fun fact, the LBNL is home to 16 Nobel Prize winners—congrats, Andrea!  
  • Glaurys Ariass, Insurance Program Specialist with Risk Management, recently obtained the Associate in Risk Management (ARM) Designation. The program focuses on providing a holistic management perspective to provide organizations with tools to avoid, reduce, or transfer risk when appropriate. The goal of Safety & Risk Management is to properly assess and manage all types of risk to provide safety and protect the district against any threat of loss. Congratulations, Glaurys, and thank you for the important work you do to keep SMC safe!  
  • Psychology professor Dorothy Chin was interviewed by the Stanford Asian American/Pacific Islander (AAPI) Alumni Oral History Project, in association with the Stanford Historical Society Oral History Program, about her student activism during her undergrad days, advocating for the establishment of an Asian American Studies Program. The video interview will be available along with many others in the Stanford University Archives. Dorothy notes that "Although it makes me feel old to be part of archived history, I was happy to be reminded of marching to the Dean's office with our demands, marching through East Palo with Jesse Jackson as part of the Rainbow Coalition, and most of all learning the lesson that change takes a lot of persistence, passion, and time."  
  • A hallmark in professional nursing is to be selected to contribute on an editorial board. To review, refine and redevelop nursing knowledge centered on teaching and learning moves the profession forward and create the next generation of nurses to meet health care demands. Congratulations to Dr. Eric Williams, Interim Associate Dean of Health Sciences, who was recently confirmed for a four-year appointment to the editorial board for the journal Teaching and Learning in Nursing. We are proud to have Dr. Williams represent SMC and our wonderful nursing program on this prestigious board!  
  • Career counselor Jessica Trachtenberg published a coloring book titled, “Color for Confidence: A Positive Affirmation Coloring Book.” This book features positive affirmations to boost confidence and inspire readers of all ages to face challenges with courage by embracing their inner strength! “Color for Confidence” can be purchased online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.  
  • Art professor Carlson Hatton recently released a small line of hand-crafted earthenware vases inspired by the asymmetrical vessels from cubistic paintings and the clean lines of mid-century modernism. Hatton Vases grew from a collaboration between Carlson, a painter and his parents, Tom and Diane Hatton, who are accomplished ceramics artists. Carlson worked in the family studio before pursuing art degrees in New York and Amsterdam. Returning to collaborate on a project within the family seemed like a natural progression. The designs developed from vessel-like forms frequently featured in Carlson’s paintings and drawings. Falling in love with the shapes, he realized that these should exist as sculptural and functional objects. Carlson said, “There were vases featured in paintings that didn’t seem to exist in the material world, we wanted to bring those to life”. To view the full collection visit: www.hattonvases.com.  
  • Santa Monica College’s production ofAvenue Q- directed by Terrin Adair-Lynch with music direction by Gary Gray - performed at the Kennedy Center American College Theater Arts Festival on February 12 and was enthusiastically received by an audience of students and faculty from colleges and universities from the region (Region 8 includes Southern California, Southern Nevada, Utah, Arizona, Hawaii and Guam). The feedback from official respondents at the festival was extremely positive and complimentary!  
  • The show received the "Golden Wrench Award." This award is given to the production/school that exhibits true professionalism in its Load-In and Load-Out of Production Elements. In addition, each production must meet certain time requirements, efficiency standards, and top organizational skills in all technical areas: Sets, Lighting, Sound, Music, Costumes, Props and student participation. Kudos to our Technical Theatre staff, faculty, and students!  
  • Additional student awards and accomplishments at the festival are listed: 
    • Maxwell Montgomery received the CSU Summer Arts Full Scholarship. He also received the Hollywood Tap Festival Award.
    • Peyton Farmer, Joshua Jun and Jordi Kligman were finalists in the Musical Theatre Institute (MTI) competition in the Dance category and were selected to perform in the MTI showcase at the festival. Peyton Farmer was announced as the overall winner and received the Open Jar Dance Scholarship: Broadway Intensive and was also the recipient of the Open Jar $1000 Dance Award.  
    • MycKinnon Forsyth was a finalist in the MTI singing competition and received a blue ribbon of excellence. He was selected to perform in the MTI finals showcase. Judy Martinez was a semi-finalist.  
    • Several of Santa Monica College students auditioned and were selected to perform in 10-minute plays directed by faculty from different institutions in our region.  
  • STEM Program adjunct counselor Sheridan McArthur is proud to highlight the many accomplishments of his student Dexter Mack, an SMC Statistics major. Dexter hit the ground running through his involvement in the STEM/MÁS Program, Scholars, and Black Collegians. Dexter also proactively reached out to UCLA faculty before starting at SMC and landed an exciting research internship. Additionally, this past winter, he was selected to participate in the UCLA IDEA Hack-a-thon. Dexter credits this dedication to his love of basketball, as the work ethic he developed on the court has transferred into his academics and professional development. His goal is to become an NBA Data Scientist which would combine his early love of basketball with his later found love of computer science and math to be a fundamental part of the league he grew up watching. Congratulations to Dexter for these many accomplishments early on in his SMC journey! We look forward to seeing what comes next!  
  • Campus Counsel Robert Myers recently obtained a graduate certificate in Geospatial Programming and Web Map Development from Penn State. He is now working on his thesis for a Master of Science degree in Spatial Data Science at Penn State.  
  • Also, at the 6th Annual Conference on Second-Language Learning & Disabilities, sponsored by Boston University’s Department of Romance Studies, alongside professors Hugo Díaz-Rodil, Sarah Harmon, Cristina Moon, Alejandro presented “Spanish OER Development through an Accessibility and UDL Lens,” on March 2, 2024. And at the same conference, alongside SMC students Ash López and William Sick, Alejandro delivered “Let’s ‘Focus’ on ADHD: The Students’ Perspectives.  

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