Fall Flex President’s Presentation to Faculty and Staff Focuses on Priorities for 2021 - 2022
Despite the challenges of the last academic year and the uncertainty of what lies ahead, College of Alameda’s faculty and staff have done some amazing work; from individual accomplishments of faculty, to the tireless and compassionate ways that faculty and staff have helped students both academically and personally.
In the complex, information-heavy society that we live in, higher education is more important than ever to the health and wellbeing of communities of color as well as to a robust and productive civic life in which members of society participate, with the capacity to think critically about the problems and opportunities of our local communities, nation, and the world.
To this end, we must foster a welcoming and supportive campus climate for students and faculty of all backgrounds and create an environment in which we all learn how to empathetically listen to one another. We must be open to constant innovation and experimentation, redesigning courses and the student experience to enhance teaching and learning, creating communities of learners who support and motivate each other, deploying data and learning analytics that help us identify opportunities to support students in real-time or improve courses, by infusing them with experiential and community-engaged learning that may include research, entrepreneurship, or civic engagement.
There are numerous must do(s) that will need to be completed this year not to mention the ongoing work we do daily; but we must also intentionally focus on efforts to make meaningful progress on four key priorities: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), Guided Pathways, Fiscal Stewardship and Strategic Enrollment Management. We need to develop strategies in support of these priorities. These College priorities came largely from data analysis and discussion with the College Cabinet during our August retreat.
College of Alameda’s Fall 2021 Flex Day also featured a presentation by Interim Chancellor Dr. Jannett Jackson, who spoke about community value, union contract negotiations, accreditation, IT upgrades, and provided a FY21/22 budget overview.
College of Alameda Offers Equity Focused Workshops for Fall Flex
On August 20, 2021, as part of fall flex activities, College of Alameda offered two well-attended equity- focused workshops funded by the College’s Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) Grant.
The first workshop was titled “Applying equity in the era of digital teaching & learning,” presented by Glendale Community College Ethnic Studies Professor Fabiola Torres. Torres’ workshop focused on culturally responsive teaching and learning pedagogy that builds cognitive stamina through humanizing the online/learning environment. “If we design culturally responsive digital learning spaces, then we can strengthen the growth of independent thinkers,” Torres said. “And, therefore, we, like the Renaissance Humanists, can build cognitive stamina for all students. Welcome to our digital teaching and learning renaissance.” Torres was afeatured faculty at InstructureCon 2019 for her humanizing online methods in Canvas (LMS) and was awarded the Online Learning Consortium Advocate Award for Diversity and Inclusion in July of 2020.
The second workshop was titled “Equity is a Journey: Understanding Race, Identity and Bias as Culturally Responsive Educators,” presented by Moreno Valley College Dean of Instruction AnnaMarie “Ree” Amezquita. Ree’s personal experiences making tamales with her family in a small factory in Austin, Texas. As an undergraduate at St. Edward’s University, she began working as a tutor for the College Assistant Migrant Program (CAMP). She tutored students who were transitioning from migrant fieldwork to college. Many of the students struggled to maneuver the educational system and translate to their families, the culture of higher education. As a result of this experience, Ree committed herself to working with underrepresented students wanting to enter college. Her Flex presentation focused on institutional and personal values of providing culturally sensitive opportunities for access and equity in higher education.
Director of Hispanic Serving Institution Grant ACCESO/Puente Programs Horacio Lira, Acting Vice President of Instruction Dr. Diana Bajrami, and English Department Chair Maurice Jones helped organize and plan these innovative and timely workshops.
College of Alameda Receives National Science Foundation Grant for MESA Connect Project
The National Science Foundation (NSF) project proposal, Hispanic Srving Institution (HSI) Pilot Project: College of Alameda Math Engineering Science Achievement (MESA) Connect was submitted by our previous Dean of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics (STEAM) Ana McClanahan in response to the funding opportunity: Improving Undergraduate Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) Education: Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSI Program). The NSF HSI Program sought pilot project proposals from institutions that are new to NSF who could achieve a short-term, well-defined goal to enhance the availability of high-quality undergraduate STEM education at the HSI and gather preliminary data for future HSI programs. Principal investigators for this project proposal include Biology Professor Leslie Reiman, Chemistry Professor Dr. Alex Madonik, and Math Professor Emmanuel Herrera. Contributors and collaborators include CIS Professor Jesse Norman, MESA counselor Nila Adina, Director of Research and Planning Dominique Benavides, HSI Program Director Horacio Corona Lira, Director of Workforce Systems Stefanie Bradshaw, and Independent Consultant and Grant Writer Jennie Mollica. The proposal contains a sub award for California State University East Bay (CSUEB) with CSUEB Chemistry and Biochemistry Professor Monika Sommerhalter, serving as a co-principal investigator. The total amount of the award is $399,000.
CoA Career Center Participates in City of Alameda Job Fair
CoA Director of Workforce Systems Stefanie Bradshaw hosted a table at City of Alameda’s Job Fair, held on Thursday, July 15, 2021, at the South Shore Shopping Center. The Job Fair included more than 30 employers hiring for over 300 permanent and temporary positions, including assistant general manager, checker, computer service technician, courtesy clerk, general manager, social media coordinator, and store associate. Employers included: City of Alameda, East Bay Regional Parks District, Exelixis, Inc., Federal Express, Safeway, Alameda County, Whole Foods, and Amazon among many other local and regional employers. The job fair was coordinated by City of Alameda Development Manager and Job Fair Coordinator Eric Fonstein, featured in the photo above.
This article is taken from the President’s Report, written by Dr. Nathaniel Jones III, College of Alameda President, that was presented to the PCCD Board of Trustees during their regular meeting on Tuesday, September 14, 2021. A PDF version is available here.