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SMC Media Series Features Cutting-Edge Technologies

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Lookout Staff

September 23, 2019 -- Santa Monica College kicks off its fall media lecture series Thursday ith a look at how online news can better cover "marginalized communities," event organizers announced last week.

The annual Communication, Media & Design Series features a line-up of industry professionals who "will talk about their work experiences and offer advice," organizers said.

The free presentations are held at the SMC Center for Media and Design, 1660 Stewart Street, or on the main campus of Santa Monica College, 1900 Pico Boulevard. Seating is on a first-arrival basis.

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On Thursday, Robert Hernandez (aka WebJournalist) will discuss "how technology can help journalism audiences better understand marginalized communities, such as people who are homeless or who have been deported," organizers said.

An associate professor of professional practice at USC Annenberg, the ‘hackademic’ has worked with augmented reality (AR), wearables and virtual reality (VR).

Along with his students, Hernandez has produced award-winning VR experiences under their brand, Journalism™. Hands-on demos of VR stories and equipment will follow the presentation in the SMC Center for Media and Design, Auditorium 180.

The series continues in the same venue on Monday, October 7, with an “Entertainment Storytelling Careers Panel" at 7 p.m. featuring former Hip-Hip musicians.

The panel includes two original members of World Class Wreckin' Cru -- Alonzo ‘Grandmaster Lonzo’ Williams, whose non-profit helps new artists with their careers, and Marq ‘Cli-N-Tel’ Hawkins, who is currently producing a comedy film about Hip Hop.

Also on the panel is Early West Coast electro pioneer and NWA founding member Arabian Prince, president of the Los Angeles First Tech Challenge (LAFTC) robotics competition.

The series continues Tuesday, October 29 with a presentation by award-winning photographer Dotan Saguy titled “From Street Photography to Photojournalism” at 11:15 a.m. on the main SMC campus in Stromberg Hall (HSS 165).

An SMC photojournalism graduate whose photographs have appeared in National Geographic, LA Times and The Guardian, Saguy is currently working on a photo essay on people living in vehicles in Los Angeles.

The series concludes Thursday, November 14, with a presentation by Megan Lubaszka titled “Immersive Architecture: AR, VR, AI, and the Future of Spatial Computing” at 7 p.m. in the SMC Center for Media and Design, Auditorium 180.

As the Southwest Regional Creative Media Leader at architecture firm Gensler, Lubaszka has helped incorporate virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) into daily architectural practice.

She has guided more than 3,000 people through their first VR experience and co-hosts the firm's VR Jams, "where architects from any of Gensler's 50 offices gather together as avatars for a 'virtual site walk' with the building's design team," organizers said.

The series is sponsored by the SMC Associates, the SMC Communication & Media Studies Department and SMC Design Technology Department.

All programs are subject to change without notice, and new speakers may be added to the series.

Up-to-date details are posted at and available by calling the SMC Office of Public Programs at 310-434-4100.

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