Santa Monica, California
"The disabled are at a disadvantage. Everyone deserves an equal opportunity to succeed. A little extra effort on our part works miracles."
Kathryn St. Amant teaches advanced and accessible web design, web media production, and Adobe® Dreamweaver®, Photoshop®, and Fireworks® courses in the Department of Computer Science and Information Services (CSIS) at Santa Monica College (SMC). She is also a freelance web designer.
She studied traditional art techniques as an undergraduate, obtaining a bachelor's degree at California State University, Long Beach. She enjoyed a long career running her own jewelry company, designing and manufacturing a line of fine jewelry influenced by her love of the sea. Returning to school, St. Amant completed a certificate in computer graphics from UCLA Extension and a master's in educational technology from Pepperdine University.
St. Amant was asked to extend her faculty responsibilities to work with disabled students in SMC's High Tech Training Center. This experience made her aware of the trials disabled students have to live with every day to achieve an equal education and succeed in life.
Teaching in the mixed environment of technology and disabilities, she realized she was in a special place and developed a passion to help students who could not help themselves. Her skill set and passion led the CSIS department chair to have St. Amant help develop a new online basic computer class geared toward the deaf and hard of hearing.
One of St. Amant's students in a brain injury class had a dream. She wanted to become a spokesperson for children with life-threatening diseases. Veronica Cappalonga is a young woman who has lived with cancer, from childhood leukemia to brain cancer during her college years. Chemotherapy has removed her ability to transform her thoughts into speech, but by participating in St. Amant's SMC Multimedia for the Web course, Cappalonga achieved her dream.