Come help Santa Monica College students learn firsthand what it means to be global citizens.

Mark and Lani Verge, co-owners of Art’s Table, and managing partner and executive chef Mark Mittleman, are hosting a fundraiser Sept. 4-7 at their restaurant and wine bar, located at 1002 Montana Ave. Proceeds from the Labor Day Weekend Specials will benefit the Art Verge Study Abroad Scholarship Fund, which provides grants of $500 to selected students taking part in SMC’s Winter Study Abroad Programs.

Mark Biedlingmaier, a geography and environmental studies major who is student manager for the SMC Organic Learning Garden and a lab tech assistant at the SMC Greenhouse, was one of the 10 students who received a Verge grant for the Winter 2015 Study Abroad Program to South Africa. “The grant to further my development as a global citizen was such an honor,” said Biedlingmaier. “It freed me up to truly immerse myself in a different culture and society, and helped widen my perspective on humanity in ways that wouldn’t – and couldn’t – have happened from just studying books in a classroom.”

The Verges and Chef Mittleman launched the Art Verge Study Abroad Scholarship Fund in 2014 to encourage SMC students to travel and study in other countries. “The study abroad grants are awarded in memory of Mark Verge’s father, Dr. Art Verge,” said SMC Foundation Interim President Lizzy Moore. “He taught California and Latin American history at SMC for more than 40 years and helped pioneer our study abroad programs.” Chef Mittleman enthused, “Art’s Table is honored to partner with the SMC Foundation and support what Dr. Verge helped start. He loved people, exploring cultures and communities and opening minds and the world of immersive travel to students.”

For more information about the Art Verge Study Abroad Scholarship Fund, please contact the Santa Monica College Foundation at 310-434-4215 or visit To learn more about SMC’s Study Abroad programs, visit

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