Santa Monica College (SMC) theater arts professor Janie Jones and chemistry professor Roman Ferede have been named recipients of chairs of excellence in performing arts and in physical science, respectively.

Jones is the winner of the Jose Luis Nazar Chair of Excellence in the Performing Arts, which was established in 2006 by a grant from Jose Luis Nazar through the Los Angeles-based Heavensent Foundation, dedicated to promoting education and the arts.

Ferede, who is from Ethiopia, is the recipient of the Northrup Grumman/Marvin Elkin Chair of Excellence in Physical Sciences, which was the first such endowment to be established at SMC.

Jones, a Malibu resident, has had a long and distinguished career at SMC, directing productions of dozens of plays over nearly 30 years, including the widely praised production of Guys and Dolls last spring. She says she plans to use the funds in ways to greatly expand theater education experiences for students.

Ferede, a Los Angeles resident who has taught at SMC for more than 20 years, plans to use the funds to purchase more sophisticated chemical analysis equipment and instruments to yield greater results in the research project.

Both professors will receive $5,000 a year for each of the next three years to be used for special projects. All chairs of excellence were created and are managed by the SMC Foundation.

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