Berkeley City College and Laney College Co-Host First AAPI Graduation
On May 12th, Laney College and Berkeley City College co-hosted our first collaborative Asian American and Pacific Islander Graduation Celebration, to honor graduates from both colleges. The theme of this year’s celebration centered on the arts and food of Cambodia with performances by the Morodok Khmer Dancers from Stockton, California, and food was provided by Phnom Penh House of Alameda, California.
The event hosted over 150 attendees, which included over 30 BCC students, administrators, staff, and community members. Guests and graduates were welcomed by Berkeley City College’s President, Dr. Angelica Garcia, and Laney College’s President, Dr. Rudy Besikof, and listened to the moving messages from the student speakers, Loan Li and Nicole Liu, graduates from Laney College and Berkeley City College, as well as the keynote speaker, Meng So, Director of the Access & Opportunity Programs at UC Berkeley, who is a Bay Area-based educator, strategist, and community organizer.
Ideas for this collaborative effort to have our graduation celebration was brought about when Berkeley City College was awarded a Collaborative AANAPISI AAPI Healthy Transitions Project Grant in October of 2022. Having this opportunity to work across the Peralta District with our sister college has been such a natural and effortless collaboration, with such exciting initial development of the programs and services for our AAPI student communities at both colleges, and culminating in this end of the academic year celebration, to acknowledge the accomplishments of our AAPI graduates.
BCC Receives On-Going AANHPI SAP Apportionment
The California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office (CCCCO) and Central Office announced Berkeley City College as one of the 40 colleges to receive an ongoing apportionment from its Asian American Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander Student Achievement Program. The total funding is $8 million, and BCC will be receiving $162,000 in June 2023. The award from the CCCCO was allocated in consultation with the Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander American Affairs (CAPIAA) and Asian Pacific Americans in Higher Education (APAHE).
The central office will provide webinars, technical assistance, and follow-up communication regarding the next steps and help assist the 40 colleges selected with the implementation of all program requirements.
“BCC is made up of 21% AAPI students and this new, ongoing apportionment from the state will help us build the capacity to support our low-income, underserved, and first-generation AAPI students who have been negatively impacted throughout the pandemic,” said Phoumy Sayavong, BCC’s Senior Researcher & Planning Analyst and co-author of BCC’s Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institution (AANAPISI) Healthy Transitions grant project.
BCC Umoja Rites of Passage Ceremony
The Berkeley City College Umoja program held its 5th annual Rites of Passage ceremony on Wednesday, May 10, celebrating current Umoja graduates and transfer students. This was the first Rites of Passage held in person since the pandemic. The ceremony began with a pouring of libations led by EOPS/CARE & CalWORKS coordinator Ramona Butler. UMOJA Counselor Shannon Penn then went on to honor the graduates and alumni, and opened the floor for them to share their stories of success and appreciation for one another, and honored their hard work and dedication to taking the next step in their journey, as well as leaving a gift for the altar at the Umoja village.
Berkeley City College Umoja Leader Eneni Frank Wins PAAAA Scholarship Award
Berkeley City College graduate and Umoja Leader Eneni Frank was this year’s BCC recipient of the Peralta Association of African American Affairs scholarship. Frank, who will be transferring to UC Berkeley Haas School of Business, was awarded $750 along with 4 other PCCD scholars at the PAAAA Scholarship Award Ceremony on Thursday, May 4 at the Peralta Community College District Atrium. BCC President Angélica Garcia presented Franks with her award with the support of the BCCC PAAAA Representative Ramona Butler and other Berkeley City College administrators. Butler expressed great pride in Eleni for her accomplishments and earning of this award.
Berkeley City College & Partners Receive California Education Learning Lab Grant
Berkeley City College, in partnership with City College of San Francisco, Laney College, UC Berkeley, and UC Merced, received a sub-award grant from the California Education Learning Lab’s Grand Challenge for the project Building Critical Mass for Data Science. The total award is $450,000, with BCC receiving $150,000.
The project aims to enhance data science education in California through content design and dissemination, pedagogical innovation in teaching data science, and a concrete pathway between two and four-year institutions. The proposed project will substantially increase recruitment, transfer, persistence, graduation, and career success for Hispanic and Latinx, Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC), first-generation students, and students from low socioeconomic backgrounds who are vastly underrepresented in data science programs.
“With this grant, BCC will join a consortium of UC, CSU, and community colleges working at the forefront of equitable pathway development to access these careers,” said Dean of Math, Science, and Career Education Chris Lewis. “The resources, professional development, and collaboration provided through this grant will greatly expand and enhance the preparation our students receive to apply these technologies to careers in fields including biotechnology, economics, business, mathematics, and computer information systems.”
Multimedia Art Spring Showcase
BCC’s Multimedia Arts department hosted its Spring Showcase on Friday, May 12 in the BCC Atrium. This showcase focused on student photography and a theatrical screening of student animation and final projects. Students were able to grab a slice of pizza and appreciate their classmates’ work, as well as meet with alumni and faculty. We thank MMart Faculty Rachel Mercy Simpson, Michel Bohbot, and Bijan Yasher for their work organizing the event.
BCC Art Flash Gallery Show
BCC Art Students held an open house flash gallery on Monday, May 15 on the 4th-floor corridor to showcase the semester’s work, invite friends and family, strengthen community, and advertise the Art Program. Participants in this year’s gallery included students from Figure Drawing (instructed by Lisa Cralle) and Beginning & Intermediate Drawing (instructed by Jennie Braman). It was also an opportunity for local online students who take BCC Art classes to come to campus and meet their peers. The event is designed after a “Flash Gallery” where the bulk of work is installed and de-installed on the same day, and supported by food and beverages like a real art opening. Students enjoy this opportunity and make this a short, but memorable moment of community, talent, and hard work at BCC. We thank Art Faculty Jennifer Braman for organizing, and the students for their participation.
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, May 16, 2023. To view it as a pdf, click here.