SMC In Focus

SMC In Focus

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

On Their Way

Volume X, Issue 3, June 12, 2024
Always the highlight of the year, the graduation issue of SMC in Focus showcases the resilience, excellence, and heart of the students who come from all over the world to Santa Monica College because they have a dream. Here, in a college by the sea, they find a community who provides that final spark of inspiration and support they need to fulfill their highest potential. Read about Cebelihle (from South Africa), Victor Chambers (from Brazil), Claude Daniel (from Sri Lanka), Patrisia Diaz Maldonado (from Ukraine), and Michaela Sheppard Williams. This is where dreams come true. Congratulations, class of 2024!

Cebelihle S’Nenhlanhla Hlatshwayo

Making Beautiful Plans

In Zulu, “Cebelihle” means “God’s beautiful plan.” And Cebelihle S’Nenhlanhla Hlatshwayo—who left her home country of South Africa to pursue journalism in the U.S., becoming The Corsair’s first Black female editor-in-chief—has lived up to her name.

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Claude Daniel

Acting on Ambition

With theatrical training from Santa Monica College — plus the discipline of military service and the martial arts — Claude Daniel is ready for his student debut at Juilliard, and to make a childhood dream that began in his native Sri Lanka come true.

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Michaela Sheppard

Completing the Picture

Michaela Sheppard Williams went back to college after a 17-year hiatus. An undiagnosed learning disability had kept her from graduating, but she was determined to finish what she’d begun. And she did!

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Victor Chambers

Getting Involved

In the last three years, Victor Chambers helped first-year students adjust to college life, interned at a film festival, and led The Corsair journalism team to victory. No small feat for a full-time student, who came from Brazil in search of better opportunities in art and culture.

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Jessica Thomas

Bragging Rights

An instructional tutor finishes what she started 15 years ago. A payroll specialist honors her late, beloved mother. The SMC Rotaract Club wins several honors. A Music instructor performs taiko at Walt Disney Music Hall.

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Patrisia Diaz Maldonado

Found in Translation

Patrisia Diaz Maldonado first left Ukraine in 2019 to study economics at SMC. She became invaluable, not just for her fluency in Ukrainian and Russian, but also her ability to make new students—many fleeing the war in Ukraine—feel welcome.

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SMC In the News

SMC to Launch CA’s first Homeless Service Work Certificate

U.S. Community Colleges Create Unique Bachelor’s Degrees

Malibu Foundation Creates First Microforest at Santa Monica College

SMC, Chamber Continue Talent Program with Biotech, Cloud Computing Focuses

BECAP Conference Aims to Meet Ocean-Related Labor Market Demands

An Assignment of a Lifetime

Sustainability at SMC

Commencement 2024