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SMC Grad and Veteran Awarded “Smart” Scholarship by U.S. Department Of Defense

Jon Eady

Jon Eady

SANTA MONICA, CA- Santa Monica College (SMC) is pleased to announce that SMC grad and Santa Monica native Jonathan Eady has been awarded a Science, Mathematics and Research for Transformation (SMART) Scholarship for Service by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). The scholarship supports students who are pursuing a degree in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) fields.

Upon graduation, all SMART scholars are placed in civilian jobs in a DoD lab or facility. The DoD developed its SMART program to increase the number of civilian scientists and engineers working at DoD laboratories. In addition to covering tuition and other educational expenses, SMART recipients receive a generous cash award and health insurance allowance, as well as a monthly stipend. Summer internships are also included.

Eady is an Army National Guard veteran who completed six years of service at the end of July. He was a fire finding radar operator, “which is basically using a radar to track artillery firing around the area,” said Eady. He also served as a liaison with the National Guard’s efforts to help the homeless in the Santa Monica and Los Angelesarea. During his time in the National Guard, Eady said he often struggled to juggle his studies with his military duties, and even had to drop classes at times to meet his military obligations.

Despite the delays in his educational pursuits, Eady earned an Associate degree at SMC in General Science-Mechanical Engineering preparation this June. He transferred to California State University-Northridge (CSUN), where he is majoring in Mechanical Engineering with a specialization in Mechatronics and Robotics, and minoring in Automation and Computer Design. Eady says he chose CSUN because it has a “more robust robotics program than they have at UC,” adding that he is “proud to be CSUN’s first SMART scholarship participant.”

For Eady, who grew up with the struggles and wants of poverty, one of the many benefits of the SMART scholarship is that it includes a paid internship, with a direct path to a career. He called the scholarship “liberating, just knowing that I can take care of my mom now.” Eady recently learned that his mother had been diagnosed with bipolar schizophrenia.

The internship also gives him the opportunity to become familiar with working at a DoD facility. “It’s basically like a trial period to see how things feel,” he said. For his internship site, Eady selected the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Port Hueneme. He will be working with the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) program. The LCS is a fairly new type of small, but very agile, high-tech surface vessels designed to operate in coastal waters close to shore.

Eady is a former President’s Ambassador of Santa Monica College and participant in the college’s STEM Science Research Initiative. He is also the founder of the STEM Club at SMC, and was elected by the student body to serve as student trustee on the SMC board for 2015-16.

Eady credits several of his SMC instructors for his success, especially Professor Muriel Walker-Waugh, who “got me into the STEM program and got me started on this path of success that I didn’t know was there.” SMC Academic Computing Instructional Specialist Lee Peterson, who runs the student computer lab in Cayton Center, has been “instrumental in everything,” said Eady. “His mentorship is a huge reason why I was successful.” Eady added that SMC’s trustees were all very supportive and he benefited especially from being “actively mentored” by board member Dr. Susan Aminoff.

Gaining the engineering knowledge to go into robotics is one of Eady’s dreams. “I want to understand how all this technology works, so I can have that little bit of information and the scientific literacy that’s necessary for the future,” he said. “I want to use technology to help people in some way. I’m going to try to be that person who says, ‘Let’s make our priorities our people, education, and making sure we advance ourselves technologically.’” In the end, added Eady, “It’s all public service. That’s where I’ve been my entire life.”

For more information on the SMART scholarship, visit smart.asee.org.

Inland Empire Black Chamber Member, Karla Quebec, to speak during The Diamond Monologues Stage Production

Karla Quebec

Karla Quebec

ONTARIO, CA- San Bernardino Author T’ana Phelice has accomplished a lot in the past two years with three book releases, and now is she gearing up to expand her brand by bringing her books to the stage. “The Diamond Monologues” will debut on Saturday, October 1 at 2455 E. Riverside Drive in Ontario, California 91761 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

“A Woman is something precious to this world, but you have to decide if you’re a pig or a pearl,” T’ana Phelice quotes.

This heart-wrenching, dramatic, and touching stage production will go into the lives of five dynamic young women. Veronica, Precious, Nicki, Tia, and Samantha are used to beauty and scandalous behavior in a means to get them ahead, but God has other plans in mind. Twisted affairs leave a few of the ladies praying for redemption, while true love leaves one facing tragedy and another with what she has finally become worthy of. Each of these ladies are at a crossroad that will either test their faith or restore the strength that they didn’t know they had. Some will make reality of their dreams, while others refuse to face reality all together.

To compliment the message of the stage production, there will be a special keynote speech from Karla Quebec of the Inland Empire Black Chamber of Commerce, in addition to other young, dynamic women speakers. The evening will also consist of spoken word, photo op opportunities on the red carpet, and light refreshments will be served for a small fee.

Early bird tickets are on sale on for $20 and after Saturday, September 24 they will be $25. Grab you tickets and your seat now at www.tanaphelice.com. Seating is limited.


UCR partners with Johns Hopkins to Host STEM Workshop for Academically Gifted Teens

RIVERSIDE, CA— More than 60 middle and high school students from California and Arizona came to the University of California, Riverside’s Bourns College of Engineering on Saturday, Sept. 10, to learn how nanotechnology and biology are increasingly being brought together to address important problems in a variety of fields. The event was hosted by UCR and the Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth, or CTY.

The workshop was part of CTY’s Science and Technology series, which offers one-day experiences that connect academically gifted students and their parents with scientists at leading research institutions across the country to encourage their interest in science, technology, engineering and math majors and careers.

The workshop at UCR highlighted how nanotechnology—science, engineering, and technology conducted at the nanoscale—is being used to enhance biological systems, as well as the inverse situation, where biology is providing new means for addressing critical challenges in the field of nanotechnology. The event included faculty seminars and hands-on demonstrations, an undergraduate research panel discussion, and tours of UCR’s Center for Nanoscale Science and Engineering Nanofabrication Facility and Central Facility for Advanced Microscopy and Microanalysis.

“We wanted to transform our guests into nano-bioengineers for the day so they could experience firsthand how research in this area is addressing many unmet needs, not only in biology and medicine but also in energy, electronics, the environment and numerous other fields,” said Masaru Rao, an associate professor of mechanical engineering and materials science and engineering at UCR. “The students were extremely talented, very engaged, and we hope that some of them are inspired to consider pursuing educational paths and eventual careers in nanotechnology and biology.”

“This is the first time UCR has hosted a CTY event, and based on its success, we look forward to the opportunity to do so again in the future.”

Rao hosted the workshop with fellow BCOE faculty and staff, including: Victor Rodgers, professor of bioengineering; Elaine Haberer, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering; Hideaki Tsutsui, assistant professor of mechanical engineering; Monica Wilhelmus, assistant professor of mechanical and chemical and environmental engineering; Jun Wang, director of student development and international initiatives; and Rosie Zhang, professional development officer. The workshop also involved the efforts of more than a dozen BCOE graduate and undergraduate student volunteers, who served as guides, demonstration leaders, and discussion panelists.

Established in 1979, The Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth is a non-profit center that identifies and develops the talents of academically gifted K-12 learners worldwide. CTY identifies young people of great academic promise through its annual talent search and nurtures their intellect and personal growth through summer programs, online courses, and other services and resources.

Support for the event was provided by CTY, UCR BCOE, and National Science Foundation grants CMMI-1254999, OISE-1545852, ECCS-1406795, and CBET-1606181.