RowLA Staff

Nick Harding
Nick HardingHead Coach
Nick Harding was born in England and began his rowing career at Sir William Borlase’s School, Marlow. He graduated from Oxford University, where he rowed for the Lightweights and Isis, as well as coaching his college Women’s crew. In the 90’s, he returned to the sport as a master and competed for California Yacht Club, winning a national title in a pair. He then went on to coach both club masters and juniors for three years at the club, and subsequently at the Hockaday School for Girls in Dallas, Texas. His junior crews have competed successfully at Nationals and at Henley Women’s Regatta in the UK, with a high percentage of college recruitment and scholarships among graduating seniors. He is a member of Leander R.C., and certified at Level 3 by USRowing.

Joyce Smith
Joyce SmithAcademic Coach/College Counselor
Joyce Smith began her college counseling career as co-founder of College Compass in 2001, providing college application workshops for parents of public high school students in Santa Monica and the surrounding communities. She continued to provide individual counseling while she worked full time in communications at two independent schools in the Los Angeles area. Since 2010, she has been associated with College Bound Today, a mentoring program for 1st generation college-bound high school students at Bell Gardens High School in Bell Gardens, CA. Her first group of five students graduated last spring and are all attending four-year colleges, including UCLA, UC Santa Barbara and UC Irvine. Joyce is a 20-year resident of Santa Monica, and an avid public school advocate. She served as PTA President at both Santa Monica’s Roosevelt Elementary and Lincoln Middle Schools, as a member of the Governance Committee at Santa Monica High School and was one of the founding members of Santa Monica-Malibu Education Foundation’s For the Arts endowment campaign. Although her athletic interests have been in sailing, tennis, skiing and golf, she grew up watching an older brother row for Yale, including in the sport’s legendary annual regatta against Harvard on the Thames River in New London, CT (a.k.a. THE Boat Race). These childhood memories must have left an indelible mark as Joyce went on to Connecticut College (located along the shore of the Thames) and received her Ed.M from Harvard.