Go to Top

Cynthia Kraus

Cynthia Kraus, 52
Environmental & Urban Studies Master Gardener
Pictured with Sustainability Project Manager Ferris Kawar

Hometown: Bronx, NY
Transfer Aspiration: UCLA or Cal Arts
Desired Degree: Master’s degree in Art or Sculpture

SMCF: Tell us about your role as a leader at SMC.
CK: I started as a volunteer in the Spring of 2015 at the Organic Learning Garden. I began taking on responsibility by caring for the garden in between classes and weekends, and becoming a member of Club Grow. It was not long before I became the compost tea specialist and worm bin caretaker. I made the aesthetics of the garden my focus and started donating seedlings and working to bring more beauty to the garden. After being chosen as a Garden Fellow to care for the garden in the Summer of 2015, I became a Garden Manager of the OLG in the Fall of 2015 and VP of Club Grow. Since that time I have worked to train several garden managers in all aspects of the garden, including managerial duties and work ethic that can be used throughout their lives as adults. I have led one of the most successful Student Feeding Students to date in the Spring of 2016, where we were honored with a visit by the VP of Zambia to the OLG. To give her a tour of the garden was one of my proudest moments at SMC. I have also been helping to facilitate the growth of the garden. There are now 5 classes in the garden where professors are using the garden to teach students English, Anthropology and Biology. Last semester, we purchased a bird bath and a new water filtration system to make some of the highest quality compost tea available.

SMCF: Why did you choose to attend SMC?
CK: I have always heard that SMC had an excellent Art Department. After deciding to make a career change to fulfill a lifelong desire to be an artist, I decided to take a self-guided tour of SMC. SMC seemed to embody the friendly and comfortable atmosphere that I was looking for. I happened to walk into the Organic Learning Garden that day and was made to feel so at home and comfortable that I have been part of SMC and the garden ever since.

SMCF: What about the SMC environment motivates you as a student?
CK: have met some of the most dedicated and caring teachers at SMC. They possess not only competence, but a warmth that makes them special. This support helps students to feel more confident and safe, and makes students want to succeed.

SMCF: “PROUD TO BE SMC” is the alumni chant. What are you, as an individual, most proud of?
CK: As an older student, I am most proud that I have been able to go back to school full time, balance being a wife and mother and to make a difference in my community by working with students at the Organic Learning Garden.

SMCF: What three (3) words best describe your experience as an SMC student?
CK: Comfortable, Friendly, Challenging.

SMCF: Final question: What words of inspiration would you share with a new student starting at SMC?
CK: If you are looking for a place to spread your wings and teachers that will challenge you to be the best you can be, then SMC is the place to help you soar to new heights.

Donate Now

View More Students