Berkeley City College Class of 2022 Graduation Ceremonies
Berkeley City College held two graduation ceremonies to celebrate the Class of 2022. BCC’s Virtual Graduation ceremony was held live on YouTube on Thursday, May 26. Over 650 students were recognized for receiving degrees, certificates, and noncredit completion.
The ceremony led off with addresses from Berkeley City College President Angélica Garcia, Peralta Community College District Interim Chancellor Jannett Jackson, Peralta Board of Trustees President Dr. Cindi Napoli-Abella Reiss, Faculty Senate representative Fatimah Shah, Classified Senate President Andrea Williams, and ASBCC President Harry Mapodile. We thank you for your contributions to this presentation and for honoring Berkeley City College students.
The program then turned the spotlight to BCC Valedictorian and Salutatorian speeches. This year’s graduation theme is resilience, and the Valedictorian and Salutatorian honorees reflect that theme. The Class of 22 Valedictorian is Ashli Woodfolk, who shared a story of personal resilience in her academic journey through the pandemic. Woodfolk is a single parent who homeschooled her children while attending online classes at BCC, maintained excellent grades, and earned an associate of arts degree in Communications. Woodfolk has transferred to UC Berkeley where she is majoring in Media Studies with a focus on Digital Studies. “The skills that I learned at BCC set me up to be a successful student at Cal,” said Woodfolk. “If I lent anyone a piece of advice, it would be never to give up on your goals. Never feel boxed in. Try not to view your challenges as barriers to your success, and instead look at them as opportunities to build strength and personal growth.”
Salutatorian Alexandra Collins also shared a story of resilience. She managed her school workload while working full-time in a managerial position to support her family and being
a caregiver for her physically disabled mother. Collins is transferring to UCLA and pursuing a bachelor’s degree in sociology and working towards credentials in occupational therapy. “The journey ahead of us is exciting, yet it is unknown, and maybe overwhelming to all of us. We cannot let this discourage us from working hard towards our goals,” said Collins. “We must not give up because, in the long run, our hard work will be worth it.”
The program then honored each graduating student in a slideshow, displaying their name, photo, area of study, and a quote. Students and family members joined in the live chat to share their congratulations and messages of encouragement on their achievements.
On Friday, May 27, Berkeley City College held an in-person Graduation Celebration at Merritt College in Oakland. Students were able to wear their regalia and receive their tassels, BCC zipper medallions, and diploma covers. BCC provided a DJ, food from a local taco truck, and photo opportunities with President Garcia, as well as a photo booth to bring home a physical keepsake. We thank all the BCC classified, faculty, and administrators for their involvement in hosting this event, especially Veronica Montoya and John Nguyen for their work organizing the event.
PCCD Raíces Graduation
Peralta’s Raíces graduation celebrated graduates in a virtual celebration on May 28th with the theme “Aqui estamos, no nos vamos, y nos graduamos”. This well-attended virtual celebration was joined by our students, their families, professors, and staff in celebration of our Latinx Students and their accomplishments. Peralta college presidents and representatives provided words of congratulations and encouragement; student and faculty speakers were spotlighted; and a special guest, Dr. César Cruz, provided the keynote address.
PFT Summer Book Fair at BCC
On Thursday, May 26 the Peralta Federation of Teachers (PFT) hosted a Summer Book Fair at Berkeley City College. Tabling outside of BCC, the Book Fair provided a great selection of children and young adult books for summer reading at no cost to the BCC Community. The Book Fair provided an opportunity for Berkeley City College to host an information table for prospective and current students supporting enrollment. We are thankful to PFT President Jennifer Shanoski for organizing and working on this event.
BCC VP of Instruction Elected CCCIO President and Conference Co-Chair
On May 18, 2022, the Executive Board of the California Community Colleges Chief Instructional Officers (CCCCIO) voted Kuni Hay, Berkeley City College’s Vice President of Instruction, as the organization’s 2022-23 Academic Year President-Elect and Conference Co-Chair. Alongside newly- elected President Tram Vo-Kumamoto, Hay will be the first Asian-American woman to fill the leadership role.
President-Elect Hay’s 30 years of work in Higher Education are rooted in her life-long commitment and philosophy for equity, inclusion, and social justice. Each position she held in her career in Higher Education was intentionally dedicated to ensuring that all students were provided with equitable access to Higher Education and maximum learning opportunities and services, particularly for those who have been historically underrepresented, marginalized, and disadvantaged. To deliver this important work and ensure student success, she promoted and demonstrated collaborative work across the college community and beyond at each institution at which she worked. Also, as a former Vice President of Student Affairs, she values and honors the beauty of collaboration across different sectors of the college and participatory governance entities, fostering an open and transparent dialogue, and cross-pollination of work to achieve the shared goals of serving our students to reach their academic and career goals. VPI Hay’s professional experiences in Higher Education include a wide and balanced spectrum of positions she held at community colleges and at four-year private institutions.
Berkeley City College President Dr. Angélica Garcia also expressed her congratulations, stating in a letter to BCC faculty & staff, “Kuni will undoubtedly support the CIOs towards statewide efforts and reform that will deepen the organization’s equity vision and advocacy, professional development, and institutional/student support efforts. It seems fitting that during AAPI Cultural Heritage month, we get to honor and celebrate one of our colleagues for helping to break glass/ ethnic ceilings in leadership. Congratulations, Kuni! We are so very proud of you!”
Participatory Governance Retreat
On June 9, 2022, Berkeley City College hosted its second annual Participatory Governance Retreat where governance committee chairs/co-chairs gathered in a hybrid format with on-campus and virtual participation. The day was filled with great work, discussion, and critical reflection on BCC’s participatory governance processes. From reviewing PCCD board policies and administrative procedures on participation in local decision-making, roles of academic senates, and institutional effectiveness to reviewing governance survey results, we held rich, reflective, and student-centered discussions. It was a time to overview governance policies and procedures in line with the Brown Act, its connection to the College’s upcoming institutional planning and effectiveness, and addressing the accreditation recommendation for improvement and the College’s mid-term report to ACCJC. Every topic of discussion was viewed through the lens of examining ways the shared governance committees should focus on student access, success, equity, and completion. Member workshopped a plan of action shaping BCC’s belief and commitment to inclusion, diversity, racial equity, and accessibility. Ideas included expanding membership of the committees, establishing norms for governance meetings to encourage inclusion, and deliberately asking questions at all meetings about how decision-making impacts and benefits BCC’s black and brown students. The retreat also had a workshop editing the draft copy of the Participatory Governance Handbook, bringing BCC closer to updating and adopting the document over the summer session.
End of Year Celebration
On Wednesday, May 25, Berkeley City College hosted its End of Year celebration, honoring BCC employees, faculty, and student workers for their hard work and dedication. Retiring faculty and employees were recognized: Math Instructor Salvador Garcia, Chemistry Instructor Siraj Omar, Spanish Instructor Willy Lizarraga, and Financial Aid Clerk Ada Clark. Over 100 people attended and were treated to a catered lunch, and a DJ provided music and played a song bingo game with prizes. Everyone in attendance participated in a raffle with gift baskets provided by the Administrative Team and the Classified Senate. Everyone in attendance also received artisan chocolates from Berkeley’s Chocolaterie. BCC thanks all of our employees and wish them a great summer vacation, and look forward to working together in the Summer and Fall 2022 semester!
This article is taken from the President’s Report, written by Dr. Angélica Garcia, Berkeley City College President, that was presented to the PCCD Board of Trustees during their regular meeting on Tuesday, June 14, 2022. To view as a pdf, click here.