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Sound Bites - Issue #49- September 2017

On the Cover
In a World of Stress, the Healing Power of Reiki

Reiki instructor Dr. Laura LunaReiki instructor Dr. Laura Luna

Laura Luna with her dog CedroLaura Luna with her dog Cedro


Reiki instructor Laura Luna in desert


In a world where stress levels seem to continue to climb, it's no wonder that many are searching for new ways to relax. And one of those ways is Reiki -- a Japanese technique for stress reduction, relaxation and healing -- that is growing in popularity. Indeed, the National Institutes of Health has recognized the increasing use of Reiki on terminally ill cancer patients.

SMC Community Ed has been offering Reiki classes for years, and now has a new instructor, Dr. Laura Luna, a psychologist with a long list of academic credentials that includes a Ph.D. from New Mexico State University in Counseling Psychology, teaching and research experience, publications, conference presentations and more. Her primary job is Learning Disability/Mental Health Specialist at California State University, Fullerton.

She has been practicing Reiki since 2011 and became a Reiki Master in 2012 and has been teaching Reiki for almost two years at Cerritos Community Ed.

Reiki is administered by "laying on hands" and is based on the idea that an unseen "life force energy" flows through us and is what causes us to be alive.

What got you started in the practice of Reiki?

I moved to New Mexico for my doctorate program in 2008.While I was there I learned about all types of different healing modalities. New Mexico is such a rich and diverse place where a lot of healing happens. Reiki was one of the things that I came across. I was really drawn to Reiki and completed all of my certificates fairly quickly as I loved it so much and found it so beneficial.

What do you like about teaching?

I love creating spaces for people to share their stories, to connect with each other, and to create community. I like the opportunity to be flexible and creative because I never know who is going to come to my classes. I like teaching because it is an opportunity to influence people in a positive way. I see teaching as an exchange of energy so I learn from my students as they learn from me. 

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

I don't like to use the word "crazy" because I work with people with disabilities and oftentimes "crazy" is a negative way to describe people with mental illness. I think traveling alone might be the wildest thing I've done. To me, it's not really so novel but when I tell people that I've traveled out of the country alone, they are surprised. I love traveling and enjoy doing it alone although I love to have travel partners too.

What is your idea of a perfect day?

My perfect day would be hanging out with my dog Cedro at the beach, touching the water and feeling the waves with my feet as the sun sets in the evening.

What is one of the best compliments you ever received?

The best compliment is when my students share with me at the end of class that they never felt so relaxed and so good, or when they tell me they haven't felt so relaxed in a long time! That's the best compliment for me! It makes me feel like I did my job with teaching Reiki. The most important thing with Reiki is to be in a state of relaxation. I love that compliment!

What was the last picture you took with your phone?

I looked in my phone and my last photo is so fitting for me.  The last photo I took was actually a picture of the hand's acupressure points. I just got this book about Mudras and I was sending the acupressure points to my friend.

What book(s) are on your nightstand now?

"Living Buddha Living Christ" by Thich Nhat Hanh. "Mudras Yoga in Your Hands" by Gertrud Hirschi. And my study materials for the Psychologist Licensure Exam

Anything you would like to add?

Yes. I am grateful for all the wonderful things that have come to me through my Reiki practice. Part of being a Reiki Practitioner is to practice gratitude and give thanks. Thank you for this opportunity and I look forward to meeting more students in the future who have a thirst for growth, healing and personal development.

Reiki Level I, an intensive one-day workshop, will be offered Saturday, Oct. 14. 

What's New
Get Ready to Go A La Mode

Alice Meyering

La Tanya Louis, Lorrie Ivas and Jan ArdellLa Tanya, Lorrie and Jan set to teach new tech fashion design program

SMC's La Mode fashion show runwayNew program will prepare students for SMC's highly praised La Mode fashion show

from the desk of Alice Meyering

People say good things come in threes--but in this case, it has come in fours: specifically, in the form of four very distinctively different but equally talented fashion instructors, whom I had the good fortune of getting to know just before the beginning of the much-anticipated Fall semester.

Right from the start, Lorrie Ivas and La Tanya Louis felt like kindred spirits. We are all passionate about what we do and we've been talking over each other because our minds are running a mile a minute, ideas are flowing and visions of exciting partnership begin to emerge.

When we all saw the possibilities of marrying fashion with Community Education, and how we can serve our communities in a way that has never been done before, it was love at first sight. Now Lorrie and La Tanya want to bring their passion for fashion and their expertise in the industry as a program through Community Education. 

"Tech Pack" might not sound sexy, but it is a practical package of technical details that every garment maker and fashion designer need. Under the glamorous skin of every piece of garment we wear lies the technical details, its DNA if you will, that is contained in its tech pack: all the information of how a garment is made and how much it costs to make it. 

In short, the process of creating a garment is impossible without first constructing the tech pack.  It is for this reason that Lorrie and La Tanya felt so strongly about partnering with us to provide this one-of-a-kind of class. Not only will the class better prepare their students for their widely praised annual fashion show LA MODE, but it will also allow our community at large, especially those in the garment industry, to be in on this very exciting new class that will debut in Winter 2018. This class will be conducted in a computer lab equipped with Adobe Illustrator, and La Tanya will coach students on the basics of constructing a fashion technical package.

Lorrie then brought Barbara Rain and Jan Ardell on board. Both are instructors in the Fashion Department at SMC, and both ladies will be offering a course in Winter 2018 as well.

Barbara will bring back our sewing class in the form of a four-week Sewing Bootcamp, taught in the sewing lab at the Fashion Department. This class will provide a good basic building block for further specialty workshops that can concentrate on special areas of sewing, such as zippers and collars.

Or, students in the Sewing Bootcamp will be able to apply the skills they learn to a unique workshop that Jan will be teaching: Pet Couture, a growing specialty field, particularly in pet-friendly Los Angeles. I'm sure the class will please animal lovers as well as sewing enthusiasts.

While Barbara's class will give its students solid sewing skills, Jan's class will allow students to design a garment or collar and customize it for their special furry family members to wear.  Both classes promise to create a new and exciting frontier for Community Education, and these four ladies bring with them a new energy to our program that is sure to make a difference.

However, none of this would be possible without the support of Ford Lowcock, chair of the Photo/Fashion Department. Ford has been a friend to and ardent supporter of Community Education since I came to the program five years ago. He has always supported and even encouraged his instructors to offer classes through Community Education and has always been most willing to share whatever resources he has with the community through our program.

Hence, our students have access to the popular black & white photography lab on the main SMC campus and will have access to the Fashion Department's computer and sewing labs. Ford is, without a doubt, unique in his generosity, and we would not be able to offer these classes without him being the driving force behind the scenes. We are so appreciative of Ford because of his recognition of the importance of the community and our program, and for being a valued partner on campus.

Bookmark our website for Winter classes, going online October 16.

Teachers of 3D Print Riding Towards Future Opportunity

YouTube host Matt Denton holds up a 3D-printed LEGO creation on his 'Mantis Hacks'YouTube host Matt Denton holds up a 3D-printed LEGO creation

L.A. Public Library celebrates Science Day 2016 with 3D printer displayL.A. Public Library celebrates Science Day 2016 with 3D printer display

Gregory van Zuyen is the managing editor of 3d printr magazineGregory van Zuyen is the managing editor of 3d printr magazine

Gregory van Zuyen's 3D Printing classes, which were launched in fall 2016, have been so successful that SMC Community Ed has added two classes this fall -- 3D Printing Teacher Certification I and Certification II. As the 3D printing technology has taken off, Gregory in this article talks in personal terms how trained instructors will be able to teach, among others, children and librarians. Gregory is also the managing editor of the online 3D printr magazine.

By Gregory van Zuyen

Susan, my wife, caught me on the stairwell. She was going out to pick up our 5-year-old son from a LEGO play date. Our conversation ran the gamut of getting our son movie tickets for "Ninjago" to how pitiful our LEGO collection is compared to that of other parents. As conversations often go here in our household, we were quickly talking of how to 3D print LEGOs -- once again.

3D printing LEGOs spurred me to tell her of the work I was doing with SMC Community Education's 3D Printing Teacher Certification courses. "The real focus in the industry right now is in education," I said. "Children can learn to do this very same skill and they are doing it now in some places. What is beautiful about the idea is that the technology is there to tap into the spellbinding creativity of children. What we can create in the future is unimaginable, because we have become adults."

Susan responded, "That reminds me of an idea I had -- that all the current 3D printing jobs are at libraries. Libraries already have 3D printers and they need the staff qualified to print out requests for people."

I nodded that this was true; we've seen it ourselves. It's a job trend that will only grow.

"Beyond that," I said,  "There will be 3D print shops in every city."

"Yea, but right now," she said, "We need to find a less costly way to make our kid's LEGO collection a marvel to behold. I'm embarrassed to host a play date."

"Which is why," I said, "I'm trying to find ways to teach our son to do it himself with the printer we have."

She nods, gratified in knowing that with the progress of 3D printing so far, our son's generation will have astonishing capabilities to explore.

Advanced 3D Printing Workshop and 3D Teacher Certification II both begin October 7.

Expanding Our Tech Resources For You!

Michelle KingMichelle King, Director Career & Contract Ed.

Instructor Walt Louie teaches Avid Media ComposerCommunity Ed instructor Walt Louie teaches Avid Media Composer in our lab

Barbara Rain teaches Sewing BootcampBarbara Rain teaches Sewing Bootcamp starting Winter 2018 in SMC main campus Fashion lab

As the Community Education Department continues to expand its career training opportunities, it's important to acknowledge that it is the support provided by the residents of Santa Monica and Malibu that enable Santa Monica College to update technological resources.

It's through Community Education that the College extends learning opportunities to non-academic community members, with the intent of leveraging and utilizing the college's various resources. With the goal of promoting life-long-learning and understanding the growing need for employees to continuously update skills, the Community Education Department is planning to continue and increase the number of tech related learning opportunities available to the broader SMC community.

Since early 2016 Community Education, in conjunction with the faculty of SMC's Entertainment Technology Department, has been offering non-academic learners the opportunity to prepare for the Avid Media Composer certification test. The plans are to continue with this learning opportunity at the newly remodeled SMC Center for Media Design campus on Stewart Street, which is located in the heart of the Westside's entertainment production district. A certificate in Avid Media Composer provides individuals with skills that are valued in the industry as it's the standard technology for professional editing of feature films, documentaries and all forms of broadcast digital media.

Another example of Community Education's technology learning opportunities is its 3D printing classes, which were launched in FALL 2015.  The program has grown to include advance levels courses and a certification.

Community Education is very excited about its most recent collaboration with the faculty of SMC's Photography and Fashion Design Departments to begin offering several fashion-technology design classes starting in January 2018. These courses will offer non-academic community members' access to technology utilized within SMC's Fashion Department, which is located on the main campus.

The technology related training that SMC's Community Education Department can offer to the broader community is made possible by the support of the local Santa Monica and Malibu communities, and for that we are grateful.

For more information about all our job training and other courses, please visit or call us at (310) 434-3400 or email

Warm regards,

Michelle King
Director of Career &
Contract Education