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College of Alameda President’s Report - December 12, 2023

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COA Team Celebrates Veterans Day with the USS Hornet Museum

In honor of Veterans Day on November 10, 2023, a team from the College of Alameda, in collaboration with the Alameda Chamber of Commerce, took part in the commemoration of the Silver Oak Anniversary held at the USS Hornet Sea, Air & Space Museum—an event marking 25 years as a museum and 80 years since the ship's commissioning in 1943. The well-attended community celebration featured culinary delights, music performed by the Nick Rossi Swing Six Band, and a rich exploration of the USS Hornet's history. The museum's enduring legacy, thriving for two and a half decades as an Alameda landmark, owes its success to steadfast support from the community. Notable participants included Peralta Community College District Trustee Bill Withrow, a Navy Veteran, Acting College President Dr. Diana Bajrami, Veteran, Past President of the Student Senate for California Community Colleges, and former Associated Students of College of Alameda (ASCOA) leader Clemaus Tervalon and his wife, Vice President of Student Services Dr. Mildred Lewis, and Dean of Career and Workforce Education, Contract & Community Education Dr. Eva Denise Jennings.


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College of Alameda Acting President, Dr. Diana Bajrami, Participates in Panel Presentation at the CCLC Annual Conference

Dr. Bajrami was selected as a presenter for a panel discussion during the Community College League of California(CCLC) Annual Conference held on November 17, 2023. The special panel presentation, organized by California Colleges for International Education (CCIE), included Dr. Rosalind Raby, Director, California Colleges for International Education (CCIE), Dr. Andreea Serban, Vice Chancellor Educational Services and Technology at Coast Community College District and President of the CCIE Board of Directors, Dr. Angelica Suarez, President, Orange Coast College and CCIE Vice President South, and Dr. Edward Bush, President, Cosumnes River College and CCIE Vice President North. The expert presenters shared their valuable insights into international education across community colleges, emphasizing significant initiatives, international programs, contract education, and study abroad opportunities. This informative session explored educational collaborations in diverse regions, including China, Africa, and beyond. The panel presentation was well-attended facilitated a robust discussion among attendees on the pivotal role of international education as an agent of change. Moreover, participants delved into the significance of international education opportunities in fostering diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, and accessibility on a global scale Hosted at the Renaissance Esmeralda in Indian Wells, the CCLC 2023 Annual Convention spanned from Thursday, November 16, 2023, to Saturday, November 18, 2023. This premier professional development event gathered California's community college leaders, comprising CEOs, trustees, faculty, staff, administrators, and partners. The convention served as a platform to exchange tools, models, and solutions addressing systemic issues while celebrating the accomplishments of the community college sector.


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COA UMOJA Shines at CCC to HBCU Fall Caravan

On November 1, 2023, the College of Alameda UMOJA program made a significant impact at the California Community College to Historically Black College & University Fall Caravan, held at Chabot College. With a turnout of over 130 students from nearby colleges, the event proved to be a valuable opportunity for COA students and other attendees to delve into the California Community College (CCC) to Historically Black College & University (HBCU) transfer agreement. More than 25 HBCU campus representatives were present to engage with eager students. The participating students gained insights into various aspects of the transfer process, including:

  • The CCC to HBCU guaranteed transfer pathway
  • HBCU scholarships and financial aid options
  • HBCU student life and athletics

Students met with various HBCU admissions representatives for on-the-spot admissions by having their unofficial transcripts reviewed. Admissions to HBCUs hold the promise of professional advancement for qualified students. Black professionals who have attended an HBCU have had excellent career outcomes, including 40% of Members of Congress; 12.5% of CEOs; 40% of Engineers; 50% of Professors at Non- HBCUs Institutions; 50% of Lawyers; and 80% of Judges. COA’s participation in the CCC to HBCU Fall Caravan was led by COA counselor Valarie Carey and Dean of Counseling & Special Programs Dr. Shalamon Duke.

The event drew participation from COA staff and students, including:

COA Staff/Faculty:

  • Shawn Foster, COA IT Network Technician
  • Jamar Mears, COA Veterans’ Resource Center Counselor

COA UMOJA Students:

  • Haley Harrison
  • Colinda Stephens
  • Nkemmakolam Asoronye
  • Mohammad Alshuaga
  • Joseph Wilson


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COA Free Thanksgiving Dinners Lift Spirits and Support Students

In the spirit of giving and in anticipation of the Thanksgiving holiday, College of Alameda once again extended a warm hand to its students by distributing free chicken dinners on Tuesday, November 14. This thoughtful initiative, organized by Jeremy Simmons, Basic Needs Coordinator, through the Basic Needs Office at CoA in collaboration with the Alameda County Community Food Bank, aimed to support students during the holiday season.

At The Market, an ongoing effort to address students' basic needs, attendees were provided with a frozen chicken and an assortment of holiday side dishes. Each student received stuffing mix, instant mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and canned corn. The offerings were further enhanced with three varieties of fresh produce: sweet potatoes, onions, and pears.

The event, titled "Free Chicken Dinners at The Market," served a total of 100 student households, distributing 84 frozen chickens, and contributing over 600 pounds of holiday side dishes to ensure a flavorful and hearty Thanksgiving for CoA students.

The Market at CoA is a recurring bi-weekly event, taking place on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month during the Fall and Spring semesters. Open from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm, The Market is conveniently located behind the F-building/Student Center, offering essential resources to students.

This initiative not only underscores the College of Alameda's commitment to the well-being of its students but also highlights the collaboration with community partners to address basic needs. As the holiday season approaches, CoA continues to prioritize the support and welfare of its students.


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Welcoming Castlemont High School Students to CoA: A Day of Exploration and Connection

On Thursday, November 16, 202, the College of Alameda Outreach Team was thrilled to host a group of 40 students from Castlemont High School for an enriching campus tour. The tour was expertly led by our exceptional student leaders from the Welcome Center and ACESSO/Puente programs.

The day began with a general exploration of our picturesque campus, allowing the visiting students to soak in the vibrant atmosphere and get a feel for college life at CoA. The highlight of their visit was an in-depth walk-through of our esteemed Automotive Technology (ATECH) department, providing valuable insights into the innovative programs and opportunities available at CoA.

Heartfelt appreciation goes to our dedicated student leaders, Yvonne Hernandez, Irvin Padro, and Diego Casillas from ACESSO/Puente, as well as Antwa Rodriguez from the Welcome Center, for their enthusiastic and knowledgeable guidance during the tour. Their passion for sharing the CoA experience undoubtedly made a lasting impression on our guests.

Special thanks extend to ATECH department team members for generously hosting the tour and dedicating their time to connect with Castlemont High School students.

College of Alameda is committed to creating an inclusive and welcoming environment for prospective students, and events like these play a crucial role in inspiring the next generation of learners. As we continue to open our doors to the community, we look forward to hosting more engaging events that contribute to the educational journey of students in the broader Alameda area.


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CoA Dance Department Dazzles at International Film Festival Award Ceremony: A Celebration of Art, Culture, and Community

On November 19, 2023, In the heart of San Francisco, at the prestigious Herbst Theater, College of Alameda Dance Students, under the direction of Professor Danny Nguyen, performed at the annual the International Film Festival Award Ceremony.

The performance wove a vibrant tapestry of contemporary movement that explored the Asian-American experience through the captivating medium of dance and the performing arts. With a commitment to inclusivity, the beautifully choreographed piece by Professor Nguyen aimed to share the joy and richness of dance with individuals of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities.

As the COA Dance Department continues its journey of artistic exploration and cultural celebration, it looks forward to engaging with an ever-expanding audience, fostering an extended community bound by the love for dance and the performing arts. Professor Nguyen and his students extended a special acknowledgment to the CoA Administration, including President Diana Bajrami, Vice President Maurice Jones, and Dean William Ramos Ochoa, whose unwavering support made this experience possible.


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This article is an excerpt from the President’s Report, written by Dr. Diana Bajrami, College of Alameda Acting President, that was presented to the PCCD Board of Trustees during their regular meeting on Tuesday, December 12, 2023. To view it as a PDF, click here.

Tags: College of Alameda


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