Berkeley City College President’s Report – March 15, 2023

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Women’s Leadership Club Hosts Women’s Career Panel

Berkeley City College’s Women’s Leadership Club, in collaboration with the Electronics & Engineering Club and BCC’s Phi Beta Lambda chapter, held a Women’s Career Panel on Monday, March 6. The panel was made up of Adena Ishii (Consultant and Berkeley City College alumna), Mariza Zaragoza (IDEA [Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access] Program Manager, Bayer), Tabitha Esposito (Physics student, UC Berkeley), Nancy Ma (UX Designer), and Sapeeda Barati (Research Assistant, UCSF Ganguly Lab), and moderated by BCC Women’s Leadership Club President Dharvi Jindal. The discussion topics covered overcoming imposter syndrome, negotiating equal pay, advocating for fellow women in the workforce, and how to be an ally for female professionals. The audience was then invited to the auditorium for a goodie bag raffle and lunch from Gioia’s Pizza.

“Hearing the panelists react to our questions was incredibly inspiring. I appreciated that the panelists acknowledged the weight and burden that comes with the topics addressed, such as the wage gap and workplace harassment, while also not allowing those barriers to define them,” said President Dharvi Jindal. “I learned that staying true to yourself and creating a healthy support system allows one to enable themselves to succeed; which is an endeavor that anybody can undergo.”

We thank the guests for sharing their wisdom and the Women’s Leadership Club, Electronics & Engineering Club, and BCC’s Phi Beta Lambda chapter for organizing this enlightening event. The Women’s Leadership club is hosting two more events during Women’s History Month: a movie screening on Monday, March 13, starting at 12:30pm in the 5th Floor Student Lounge, and a Financial Literacy workshop on Monday, March 20, starting at 12:30pm also in the Student Lounge.


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BCC Scholars and Staff Attend A2MEND Conference in Los Angeles

From March 1 through 3, over 1,300 students, faculty, staff, and administrators at California’s Community Colleges convened at the 16th Annual African American Male Education Network Conference (A2MEND) in Los Angeles. Berkeley City College was well represented by six scholars; BCC and Laney Instructor of African American Studies and Ethnic Studies, Jimmy Crutison; and Vice President of Administrative Services, Sean Brooks.

This experience was truly inspirational and eye-opening for the BCC participants. One student shared that they had never been on a plane before, yet by “seeing, experiencing, talking with Black men in such a positive space was well worth addressing my fear of flying”. A2mend keynote speaker, Dr. Chris Emdin, stimulated the audience’s power of reasoning by connecting science to African American history.” To be able to talk to and learn from others that have been down a path similar as mine is very motivational,” said BCC scholar Antoine Arceneaux.” It got me thinking that I am going to be an African American Studies professor one day and I need to be speaking on that stage in five or ten years.’’

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Crutison spent time in advance preparing BCC’s students for the networking event and encouraged each to have a curriculum vitae accessible. These spirited advance coaching efforts paid off for our students, as one BCC scholar spontaneously applied to and was accepted on the spot to the University of LaVerne with a scholarship for the Fall 2023 semester.” The most powerful tool was going through this process as a shared experience with other college students from Berkeley City College,” said Crutison. “I am elated about continuing my mission and duty to change the narrative of Men who look like me.”

This conference is only a stepping stone leading to a prosperous future and network for our scholars. Each has returned from the A2MEND conference to BCC with renewed energy, excitement, and focus; possessing unresolved strength to reach even greater heights. Crutison notes, “upon our most recent journey, I am witnessing scholars return and navigate with a particular vigor that I have not seen previously. At least every other day, one of the six scholars continues to check in on the thread we created for our travels exclaiming, ‘we were unfamiliar with one another but as we moved through the process of this experience, we began to trust and lean on one another, building a brotherhood’.”

The A2MEND left an indelible impression on all those that attended. BCC looks forward to continuing to sponsor our scholar’s connection to A2MEND and hopes to grow our attendees and access to this partnership in future years to come.


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Black History Month Celebrations Continue at BCC

Berkeley City College continued its celebration of Black History Month with two events. On Monday, February 27th, President Garcia welcomed our keynote speaker Pastor Mike McBride for a presentation titled “Celebrating Black Excellence.” Pastor Mike is a Bay Area native who has dedicated his life to the fight for racial justice and Black liberation through faith, education, advocacy, and community building. He was Representative Barbara Lee’s guest at the recent State of the Union Address to Congress in Washington D.C. He spoke to the BCC campus community on the importance of honoring Black History and the importance of advocating for Black History in our schools as we see this coming under fire across the country. Pastor Mike also shared about his work with youth from Berkeley Technology academy to reduce gun violence locally and nationally.

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On Friday, March 3, BCC’s Vice President of Student Services, Dr. Stacey Shears, hosted a screening of The Woman King. The film is based on a true story of the Agojie, an all-female warrior unit of the African Kingdom of Dahomey during the 17th through 19th centuries. It follows General Nanisca, played by Viola Davis, as she trains a new generation of warriors to protect their culture and homeland from foreign invaders. Prior to the film, the audience were treated to West African food and were given a presentation by Michael Babatunde Martins, a Yoruba from Nigeria who was able to provide additional historical context of the Oyo Empire and Dahomey Kingdom where the film takes place and the impact of the trans-Atlantic slave trade on West Africa. Dr. Shears would like to thank Martins for his participation and insight he shared with the BCC community.


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BCC Adult Education Enrollment Growth Leads the East Bay

The Adult Education program at Berkeley City College, part of the Northern Alameda Adult Education Collective (NAAEC), was recently highlighted in a presentation by WestEd at the annual NAAEC retreat for transitioning a high number of adults to college in the East Bay region (data from 2019-2020). BCC has successfully implemented non-credit courses and bridge programs to support the transition of Adult Students to community college. With the support of Transitions Liaison/Project Manager Midhun Joseph, enrollment of adult students through BCC has increased steadily and grown even higher over the last 4 semesters, even in times of decreasing enrollment at community colleges due to the pandemic. Between 2021 and 2023, the number of students enrolled increased 40% from 370 students to 517.


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Welcoming Faculty and Administrators Taking on New Roles at BCC

Please welcome BCC’s newest full-time tenured counselor, Shannon Penn!

Shannon Penn joined BCC 14 years ago as a part-time instructor for our learning communities. She brings extensive experience in education and social work including her early career with Child Protective Services and a leadership role in career education and small business development for low- income women. For the past 6 years, she has served as the BCC Program Coordinator and Counseling Instructor for what has become a thriving Umoja learning community for transfer-bound Black students.

In addition to her work with the Society of Scholars at BCC, Shannon spent over ten years traveling to other community colleges throughout the country to lead professional development workshops that promote equity driven teaching and learning practices and 21st century professional skill development.

Shannon earned a Master’s Degree in social welfare from UC Berkeley and a Bachelor’s Degree in psychology from UC Davis.


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BCC is very excited to announce Dr. Martín De Mucha Flores is the acting Dean of Counseling and Student Equity at BCC. We are all familiar with Martín’s energy and his consistent engagement of both instruction and student services as the Associate Dean of Educational Success. In this new role, he will be responsible for General Counseling; EOPS/CARE; CalWORKs; NextUP; Student Accessibility Services; SEA, Student Conduct; Society of Scholars: Ignite, Umoja, Puente, AAPI Lead; the Undocumented Community Resource Center; the Career and Transfer Center and BCC’s Title V HSI and Title III AANAPISI programs.

Martín has a unique experience that encompasses K-12, higher education, and community activism. He has worked at BCC for five years, with the Office of Instruction and Student Services. He is the grandson of migrant farmworkers and the son of first-generation college-attending parents. Martín understands the urgency to transform Berkeley City College to be student-centered and student-serving. Martín lives in Berkeley and has two beautiful children, Soledad y Martín Severo. When he is not on campus you can find Martín training his dogs or riding through the East Bay on a fat bicycle.

Please join us in congratulating Dr. De Mucha Flores in his new role!


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President’s Message: Celebrating International Women’s Day!

March 8 is International Women’s Day, a time when we acknowledge and remember women’s contributions to world herstory and society. The passage of Black History Month into Women’s History Month always reminds me of the intersectionality of our identities and the way we honor each other’s strength and leadership.

One example of this intersectionality was displayed during the screening of The Woman King in the Atrium last Friday, March 3, hosted by BCC’s Vice President of Student Services, Dr. Stacey Shears. The film is based on a true story of the Agojie, an all-female warrior unit of the African Kingdom of Dahomey during the 17th through 19th centuries. It follows General Nanisca, played by Viola Davis, as she trains a new generation of warriors to protect their culture and homeland from foreign invaders. I thank Dr. Shears for hosting this event, as well as bringing historical context to the presentation and providing good food for the community members in attendance.

BCC’s Women’s Leadership Club is leading several events this month, including a Women’s Career Panel that was held in the auditorium on Monday. The panel included PCCD alumnae and other female professionals in physics, law, tech, and research, sharing their stories and experiences of building community with colleagues and leaders, pursuing their careers, and working in male-dominated spaces. I was inspired by the enthusiasm of the Women’s Leadership Club, and their partners in the Electronics & Engineering club and BCC’s Phi Beta Lambda chapter, in hosting the event. Their questions and feedback from the guest speakers provided valuable perspective for the diverse audience about overcoming imposter syndrome, negotiating equal pay, advocating for fellow women in the workforce, and how to be an ally to female professionals. The Women’s Leadership Club will be hosting other events this month – please look at the attached flyer and BCC Instagram posts for more information.

As I work with my colleagues to draft the college’s Educational Master Plan, I am once again reminded of the intersectionality of race, gender, and sexuality in terms of BCC’s goal of Equitable Student Completion. It is BCC’s stated goal to create an environment that is anti-racist, anti-sexist, and in solidarity with the queer community that encompasses the term “equity” to its fullest extent. I’m heartened to be a part of a community that is prepared to codify this as the college’s shared vision and look forward to enacting and analyzing this vision over the next five years.

Today is also the day my daughter celebrates her 13th birthday, and I am grateful for those educators who have influenced her life over the years, especially the ones who made a point to include voices of women and communities of color in their curriculum. As educators, we have the beautiful opportunity and responsibility to journey with students in their learning. I encourage you to include voices of women, communities of color, queer communities, and immigrant communities, to name a few, as part of our work to build an inclusive community.


In community,

Dr. Angélica Garcia (she| her| ella)

President, Berkeley City College



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, March 14, 2023. To view it as a pdf, click here.

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