Wil Doucet:Prof. and Poet

Numerous students come to Santa Monica College in search of receiving a strong education along with personal growth that will allow them to reach their dreams.

Many have attained these goals, thanks to the devoted work of a wonderful teacher: Professor Wilfred Doucet.

"Whenever you need him he is always here for you," said Bahar Yaghoubian, one of his former students.

Inspired by his parents, a very supportive former teacher named Clara Schick and a movie entitled "To Sir With Love," featuring an engineer who becomes a teacher and turns bad kids around, Professor Doucet has been an English teacher at SMC for six years now, and has being transmitting more than strong English skills to his students.

He has taught them a sense of humanity, tolerance, educational appeal, ambition and confidence.

One of the many students Doucet has impacted was an ex-Juvenile Hall convict, who grew up on the streets of Los Angeles and was involved in gang activity. The student is currently applying to UCLA graduate school. While teaching at SMC, Doucet has offered a wide -open door and a steady presence to the students.

"People tend to achieve at the level you expect them to achieve," he said.

For the passionate faculty member, teaching at the community college level is a unique experience mainly because of the diversity of the student body.

"You get to come in contact with students whom others have given up on, or who are getting a second or third chance and you get to see them turn around," said Doucet, who insists that teaching can really change someone's life.

Always available to help his students, Doucet is well known for his great ability to embrace and connect with the vast cultural diversity that characterizes SMC. "He knows a lot about different cultures, he understands, he helps you," said Yaghoubian, an Iranian student.

In addition, Doucet has been very supportive of students taking initiatives to make their voices heard, such as going to Sacramento to fight budget cut issues. He is the advisor of several student organizations such as Phi Theta Kappa, Black Collegian Club, and Pan-African Student Union.

As a poet, he has participated in many panels for poetical, political and cultural events. "It is good to be around him. He has positive energy," said Hania Rouhani, Doucet's faculty assistant.

The busy teacher also always makes sure he has times for his two daughters, whose strong sense of themselves represents their father's major accomplishment.

And besides all this work, the poet who encourages students to "be more aware of our common humanity," considers getting his Ph.D. in American Studies while teaching and has been published in various poetry journals. Some of his poetry work can be found at www.ubwenge.org.