Ferris Kawar


Ferris Kawar

Shortly after moving to Los Angeles in 2001 I decided to put my degree in marketing and experience in the advertising industry to better use by promoting environmental awareness instead of senseless consumption.

Over the years I have taught sustainability workshops, worked on films, TV shows and websites about green building and climate change issues, researched and published guides to green businesses in LA, SF and NYC, and, most recently, served as Recycling Specialist for the City of Burbank.

I am currently SMC's Sustainability Manager where I get to work with faculty, students and Facilities to keep the institution's sustainability leadership position strong among the community colleges in California.

What brought you to SMC?

15 years ago a course at SMC woke me up and inspired me to switch careers from Advertising to Sustainability. So when the opportunity came up to lead campus sustainability efforts I jumped at the chance to come back.

I love the commitment SMC has to preparing its students for jobs in the new economy, not just doing things the same way they have been done for generations. That mentality won't get the planet to where it needs to be. We need every students in every field of study thinking about how they can do their job better, cleaner, safer, and with less impact.

How is your commute?

My commute is wonderful. Each day I get to enjoy a 10 minute bike ride before and after work. It gets my blood pumping, clears my head and makes me feel like I'm in touch with my surroundings. I figure why wait for the weekend to go for a ride when can do it every day?

What is your favorite place on campus?

I love walking up to the third story of the Science building's north staircase to check out the view and feel the breeze. Being up that high gives you a different perspective on the campus. You can see for miles out over the horizon and then gaze down on the Organic Learning Garden and all the students buzzing around it like little bees tending to their harvest.

What is your vacation spot, or place to visit?

Lake Arrowhead is my go-to weekend getaway. It's close enough and yet when I'm surrounded by the massive trees, stellar jays, coyotes, and deer, I feel like I'm truly distanced from the metropolis we call home. A couple of days working on a tree fort with my daughters does wonders for the psyche.

What is most rewarding about working at SMC?

I get to work with amazing students who are principled, smart and driven to make the world a better place…starting right here at SMC. The conversations I have with them leave me inspired and energized each day.

If you could have lunch with anyone, who would it be?

Jacques Cousteau because he led a life of adventure that had purpose

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