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Sound Bites - Issue #29 - January 2016

On the Cover 
VP Georgia Lorenz's Commitment to Life-long Learning

Nicola McGee holds a bird-proof cage that protects butterfly eggs and chrysalisGeorgia Lorenz at her desk

Nicola in garden with birdcageGeorgia Lorenz and husband Mike

Nicola in garden with birdcageGeorgia Lorenz is an active in water sports, including scuba diving

Dr. Georgia Lorenz was an English and Creative Writing major at Stanford, but it did not take her long to discover, enjoying as she did being a resident assistant in her dorm, that she wanted a career in higher education.

"I went to the dean at Stanford and said, 'How can I do what you're doing?'" Lorenz recalls.

And indeed, Lorenz has spent her entire career, since 1992, in higher education, rising through the ranks to her current position as SMC's Vice President of Academic Affairs. In that position, Lorenz has direct responsibility for providing leadership and administrative oversight to the college's instructional programs, including Community Ed, curriculum, 21 academic departments, satellite campuses, learning resources, distance education, and health sciences.

Prior to coming to SMC Lorenz was the Associate Director of USC's Center for Urban Education. Prior to that, she worked in student affairs at USC and California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, managing and providing leadership support in both student affairs and residential life. She has also served as an adjunct professor in USC's Rossier School of Education doctoral program.

In addition, she has authored, co-authored, and contributed to papers, journal articles, and chapters in books, including "Confronting Equity Issues on Campus: Implementing the Equity Scorecard in Theory and Practice." She earned a Ph.D. in Educational Policy, Planning and Administration at USC, where she received the Delta Epsilon Dissertation Award of Merit. She holds a Master of Science in Education and Social Policy from Northwestern University.

Despite a demanding schedule, Lorenz still finds time for leisure activities, including swimming with the Southern California Aquatics' Masters Program. She and her husband Mike, a software engineer, live in Hermosa Beach.

From your perspective as SMC's chief academic officer, what is the importance of Community Education?

An important part of our mission is life-long learning, and Community Ed is a crucial part of that, particularly for people who are busy and are looking to upgrade their professional skills, or train for a new career. The newly renamed SMC Extension program, which is part of Community Ed, offers a flexible, convenient program. Community Ed can be responsive to the economic and workforce needs of the region, whether it be through our Paralegal or Customer Service academies, computer classes or other training programs. Our many other classes offer enrichment, and possibly even new career paths, so we can engage our community's interests and needs.

Tell us one to three things that most people don't know about you.

Not many people know that…

  1. I was a synchronized swimmer from age 7 through college. I had the opportunity to compete both nationally and internationally. It was a great experience, and I am not sure there is any better way to learn how to be a good team member.
  2. I have completed four full marathons and four half-marathons. My first marathon was through wine country in France. I have also done the L.A. Marathon three times.
  3. I have driven a Porsche 944 turbo at four different racetracks in the U.S. And I enjoy SCUBA diving, although I don't get to do it nearly often enough.  

What is one of the best compliments you ever received?

I think it is a great compliment when people say that they feel they can come to me with problems and feel that they have been "heard." Even if I am not able to solve a problem for someone, I want the person to feel respected and cared for and to know that I have genuinely listened and given the situation serious consideration.

What was the last picture you took with your phone?

I took a picture of my best friend's 3-year-old son riding on his "Red Flyer" big wheel, which he calls his motorcycle.

What's the craziest thing you've ever done?

This is a tough question. I have gone on some crazy adventures with my family including riding horses up into the Montana mountains for a week of fly fishing and "portaging" and kayaking through the boundary waters between Minnesota and Canada. And, at about mile 19 of any marathon, it seems like the craziest thing one could ever do.

What do you like most about your position at SMC?

I really enjoy the opportunity to work with our faculty and staff to make SMC an ideal educational environment and experience for students who may not otherwise have access to a college degree. The people at SMC are so dedicated to our students and their day-to-day roles in helping our students succeed—from the custodians to the Campus Police officers to the faculty in each and every classroom. Our motto is "Changing Lives through Excellence in Education in the Global Community." The people who work at SMC work hard to live up to that motto every day.

What is your idea of a perfect day?

The perfect day would start with walking my dog along the Strand in time to see the sunrise, followed by a good, strong cup of coffee. Then I would want to do something fun with my husband, Mike, and friends. What we do would not be as important as who I get to do it with. It would end with a sushi dinner and either watching an athletic event or a great movie.

Is there a fun or interesting anecdote you can share about your professional experiences at SMC? Any surprises?

One summer I had the chance to travel to Salzburg, Austria to the Salzburg Global Seminar on a professional development trip with nine others from SMC. It was an amazing week of lectures and discussion about current global issues. And it was a fun, international experience with colleagues. I didn't expect that kind of opportunity would be part of my professional experiences at SMC!

What's New
An Immigrant Story, Chinese New Year & Community Ed

Alice Meyering

Alice Meyering as a baby with her father Jim in Tainan, Taiwan

from the desk of Alice Meyering
As we approach Chinese New Year on Feb. 8 – the Year of the Red Monkey – some very fond holiday memories come flooding back. One of them is making egg dumplings with my very busy father as it was one of the few times that we could spend together as father and daughter.  

You see, when I was growing up, my father was always busy – he worked hard as a newspaper editor with long work days and he also took a lot of teaching jobs on the side to help the family get ahead. At the age of 42, he courageously left his career behind and immigrated to the States where he spoke little of the language, seeking a better life for his children.

And it's that better life that we at Community Ed seek to help our students pursue. My own experience as an immigrant continues to inspire me in the work we do at Community Education. I know what it's like to try to get ahead in life while still needing time for self-care and personal enrichment.  

This is the reason why our personal enrichment classes continue to grow, especially in areas such as Art and Photography.  It is also the main motivation for us to launch SMC Extension  as an expansion of our already rich course offerings for those who are looking for career advancement, with career training programs designed to give you and your family a better and brighter future.

So please join us at our Open House Jan. 23 to see the wealth of offerings we have to enrich your life. Meet instructors and staff, get 15 percent class discounts, hear mini presentations and much more at this event.  We are excited to meet you, and attending it just might change your life.

For additional information, go to our website or call us at (310) 434-3400 or send an email to   Until then, Gong xi fa cai!  Happy New Year!

"Marketing Power!" Van Zuyen on Compeling Graphics

Ayurveda instructor and cookbook author Lois LeonhardiGregory Van Zuyen

Gregory Van Zuyen's design philosophy

Gregory Van Zuyen has an unorthodox teaching philosophy. Or rather, he goes beyond the skill he's teaching to inspire his students to reach for the stars, assuring them that they are within easy reach.

"I stress to my students how easy it is to alter your life," he says. "You can be a travel writer, a photojournalist, an inventor, whatever you want.

"Teaching is very rewarding because a big part of it is the hope my students have when they leave my classes," he adds.

And his students are shining examples of his preachings.

The Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and Dreamweaver instructor will demonstrate his inimitable teaching style in a free workshop, "Marketing Power! How language, symbols and graphics sell your products," being presented during SMC Community Ed's Open House on Jan. 23. It will be held at 2 p.m. in Room 123 of the SMC Bundy Campus, 3171 S. Bundy Dr., Los Angeles. Ample free parking will be available.

A native Southern Californian, Van Zuyen has a bachelor's degree in English from Occidental College and had an early career in print journalism, on both the editorial and production sides. He segued easily into a freelance graphic design career for a variety of publications, including Animation Magazine and, for the past 13 years, for Woodland Hills-based Language Magazine, a 65,000-circulation international monthly geared primarily to language educators.

He has combined his language and graphic design skills in authoring a child's book, "Levi's Book of Barnyard Animals," named after his 3-year-old son. The book contains pictures of animals with each of their names in 12 languages.

He's been teaching at SMC Community Ed since 2002 and has also taught at UCLA Extension and L.A. College International.

"I'm giving my students the tools to create any business, any product and know how to market it," he says.

Please give a brief description of the workshop you will present Jan. 23 at the SMC Community Ed Open House.

The workshop is about the ways businesses are using marketing knowledge to influence people into buying their goods or ideas or platforms. There are formulas designers can use to create compelling graphics that will drive people to their stores, or more likely, their sites. Because not only are businesses getting money from their customers, they are getting knowledge and exposure to what the customers are doing.

Imagine you have an orchard of cherry trees. So does your neighbor, and his neighbor. People come from all over to pick the cherries, because there are no fences and the cherries are virtual anyway. This is what the Internet is like right now. And the cherries are content. What I have to say is you can be the farmer who puts up the fence around his cherries and charges people for them and for the advertising on your fences. Why? Because of how you marketed a path for people to find your orchard and buy your cherries. If you are not thinking about doing that now, you may be too late.

Tell us one to three things that most people don't know about you.

I'm not a ninja. I'm not an undercover secret agent sent to recruit young talent for an elite squad of cyber heroes. Those rumors are simply not true.

You often say that your students are more interesting than you. Give us an example or two.

Sure! Please meet Ingrid Dietrich. She's amazing and she is getting that much smarter every day like a sci-fi superwoman! Her photography portfolio alone is very impressive. This is from her:

"I just graduated from a visual design college program and I have designed several logos for different businesses. I got hired as graphic arts director at Lounge Audio (where I design their logos, website, catalogs, etc.), and I'm currently designing a sci-fi interface for a 3d project. I also took a fashion design certificate program where I actually got to use Illustrator to present my final design, after I had designed it on pencil. It gave me a great advantage over other students."

Now meet Farivar the Rocker. David Farivar Anaraki rode his motorcycle to all three of the courses I offer and had a number of businesses already in his name – airplane part supplies, warehouse liquidations, import-export, you name it. The thing is, all the while he is managing these operations, he's developing key technology for alternative energy sources. He showed me the technology, he showed me the potential and we discussed how to take his business to the next level for maximum marketing outreach for his target market. He's sitting on an empire if he does it right.

These are people Hollywood could make movies about. It's that simple.

What is your idea of a perfect day?

Every day that I am a dad.

What is your design philosophy?

People like to be surprised. They are waiting for someone to come along and ask them to dance. Seek to deliver a brightness to the party. Make them want to read the material.

What is one of the best compliments you ever received?

Richard Lederer is a regular columnist for Language Magazine and a world-renowned expert on English words. His own works are course material in colleges and it is an honor to be the one responsible for handling the publication of his material. Given that I actually type like a baboon having a hissy fit, and very rarely ever type a correct sentence all the way through without making more mistakes than there are characters in the sentence, it struck me humbly when he wrote: "Perfect – and thanks to you, I expect nothing less each time."

What was the last picture you took with your phone?

It's the picture of the truck I got my son, but that was in August.

What's the craziest thing you've ever done?

We can save that one for a later date.

Gregory will be presenting free lecture, "Marketing Power: How and why language, symbols and graphics sell your products," at our 2nd Annual Open House on January 23, 2016, from 2pm-3pm, in Bundy Room 123.

New Year, New Developments!

Michelle King Michelle King, Director Career & Contract Ed.

Photo Courtesy of Bankworks

Community Ed's new training room on the Bundy Campus

Happy New Year! I hope you are all settling in well into 2016.

In the last issue of Sound Bites, I informed you of the upcoming launch of "SMC Extension." The new catalog is being launched to provide full in-depth program descriptions of our professional development and short-term, not-for-credit career training programs. We are hoping this will enable us to more effectively spread the word that we offer professional development and training programs that support our mission of providing life-long learning opportunities that meet the various needs of our community.

But SMC Extension isn't the only new development for us in 2016. In our efforts to serve the professional development and lifelong learning needs of our community, we are constantly examining ways to expand or modify our programs. With that being said, I want to direct your attention to three new developments in particular.

First, Community Ed has partnered with Pearson Workforce Education Programs to offer, for the first time, a large number of online professional courses in the fields of Advanced Manufacturing, Business and Professional acumen, Green/Sustainability, Health, IT/ Software Development, and Project Management.

Second, we have partnered with JVS (Jewish Vocational Services) to offer its highly successful BankWorks program.  This program has a proven track record of success for training and assisting individuals with obtaining jobs in the banking industry. The program has successfully placed more than 1,000 individuals into entry-level bank jobs. This program is credited with helping to launch successful careers in banking and finance. We are excited to be partnering with JVS to work collaboratively to ensure the continued success of this program.

Finally, I'm very pleased to announce that we have created a dedicated training space at the Bundy campus. A big "thank you" is due to SMC's Vice President of Academic Affairs Georgia Lorenz (see article on Dr. Lorenz in this issue) for helping to make this space available to the Community Education Department.

As 2016 develops, we will continue to unveil new initiatives and programs in response to your needs. Please let us know how we can better serve you.

Warm regards,

Michelle King
Director of Career &
Contract Education