Student Spotlight: Phyllis Nabhan, Since 1964

Phyllis Nabhan first attended CCSF in 1964, at the age of 17 (pictured left) graduating with an AA degree in Photography and then transferring to SF Sate to finish her BFA degree. She says that she and her friend Janet Silva were the first women in the CCSF Photography department and remembers attending guest lectures by photography luminaries such as Imogen Cunningham and Ansel Adams – both who lived and worked around the bay area during that time. After her graduation, Nabhan moved to Afghanastan to design women’s fashions and to export antiques back to the United States. In 1976, she opened her antique store “Gaslight & Shadows Antiques” located on Clement Street in San Francisco which she still owns and operates today.

Nabhan credits part of her businesses success with her ability to re-enter classes at City College, 47 years after graduating. Six years ago, Nabhan  came back to take computer classes concentrating in web design, business, and Photoshop. “I am back in the Photography department 47 years later and the knowledge I have gained at CCSF has kept me in business. The Dreamweaver and Photography classes have taught me how to generate content and to build websites to promote my store. In addition, thanks to the Photoshop classes I have taken, I have started a Photo Restoration business, and have generated a large roster of clients which dovetails my interests in photography and antiques! I am so grateful that CCSF still accepts me as a student.”

Nabhan adds that “The difference in being a student at 17 and now at 64 is that I am in school now because I really want more knowledge and want to learn new skills. When I was 17, just out of High School, I went to college because I did not know what else I wanted to do.”  Nabhan’s story is an important one, and is representative of thousands of people in the bay area community that need access to continuing education to update their skill sets in order to continue to be successful contributing members of our community. Nabhan is pictured with her sister today (pictured right) .

If the hotly debated California Community College’s “Student Success Task Force” has their way, students like Nabhan may no longer have access to the types of classes they need under continuing education. Read more about the debate here.

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