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College of Alameda President's Report – February 28, 2024

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COA Music Professor Glen Pearson Wins a 2024 Grammy Award

COA Music Professor and Performing Artist Glen Pearson, alongside the esteemed Count Basie Orchestra under the direction of Music Director Scotty Barnhart, achieved the pinnacle of recognition in the music industry by clinching the Grammy Award for “Basie Swings the Blues” in the Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album category. Pearson plays piano on the album and also has been touring with the Count Basie Orchestra for several years. This was Professor Pearson's second Grammy nomination. The honor was bestowed at the prestigious 66th Annual Grammy Awards ceremony held in Los Angeles on Sunday, February 4, 2024. “Basie Swings the Blues” encapsulates the essence of jazz and blues, showcasing raw emotion, infectious rhythm, and profound storytelling.

In an email sent to faculty and staff, Professor Pearson extended his appreciation for an outpouring of accolades from his colleagues. “Thank you everyone for all the wonderful accolades and acknowledgments," he wrote. “What I'm hoping for is greater and expanded curricular development and opportunities for bringing both my academic knowledge and practical experience to the learning environment for our students.”


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COA Dance Department Shines at the San Francisco Consulate General of Vietnam Lunar New Year Celebration

On February 4, 2024, Dance Professor Danny Nguyen and talented COA dance students showcased their skills at the San Francisco Consulate General of Vietnam Lunar New Year celebration. Held at the beautiful San Francisco War Memorial and Performing Arts Center Green Room, the event marked the beginning of the Year of the Dragon with vibrant performances.

This exclusive event, held by invitation only, was attended by honored guests including COA Acting President Diana Bajrami and Physics Professor Andrew Park. It provided a platform for cultural exchange and celebration, highlighting the rich traditions of the Lunar New Year.

Established in October 1997, the Consulate General of Vietnam in San Francisco plays a pivotal role in strengthening the Comprehensive Partnership between Vietnam and the United States of America, fostering understanding and collaboration between the two nations.


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International Contract Education Luncheon and Reception

On February 9, 2024, from 2:00 pm to 4:30 pm, faculty, classified professionals, and administrators convened for a luncheon and reception aimed at fostering discussion and sharing ideas to enhance and expand international education opportunities at COA.

Participants from various departments shared personal anecdotes illustrating how international education has positively impacted their lives, providing valuable insights and opening doors to new opportunities.

Acting President Bajrami and Director Thomas Gil delivered a presentation outlining the benefits of internationalization in education. They provided an overview of the international contract education program and how it aligns with COA's mission and our ongoing efforts in equity, inclusion, and diversity.

Since its inception in 2009, College of Alameda has been offering international contract education courses. This year, COA is proud to offer 33 sections across eight different cohorts of students situated in three universities in Beijing and Hangzhou. The first cohort is set to graduate this Spring semester.

Faculty members shared their experiences teaching these courses and discussed strategies and pedagogy for contextualizing teaching and learning. Additionally, there were discussions on exploring additional support services and aligning academic calendars to better meet the needs of international students.

In light of the Lunar New Year festivities, the room was filled with celebratory ambiance, including traditional food and a raffle. Annie Liu from the International Studies Office provided valuable insights and feedback from the students, enriching the conversation further. The International Contract Education Luncheon and Reception provided a platform for meaningful dialogue and collaboration, highlighting COA's commitment to global engagement and academic excellence.


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Spring 2024 Welcome Week Roundup

From Monday, January 22, 2024, to Thursday, January 25, 2024, the Office of Student Activities and Campus Life, in collaboration with the Associated Students of College of Alameda (ASCOA) and the Office of Basic Needs, organized a warm and inviting Welcome Week for all.

Throughout the week, ASCOA student leaders generously sponsored warm beverages and pastries. The festivities began on Monday with a lively Welcome Back Dance Party in the A Building Quad. Tuesday's activities were divided between the Welcome Center, featuring breakfast, games, prizes, and Resource Tabling, and the F Building, where The Market and Tasty Tuesdays unfolded.

Undeterred by the rain on Wednesday, staff members adapted and relocated the Pancakes with the President event to the F Building Pit. The week concluded on Thursday with a delightful Karaoke session, accompanied by snacks and refreshments generously provided by the Office of Basic Needs.


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Student Leader Professional Development Institute Recap

On Friday, January 12, 2024, Student Services, in partnership with the Learning Resources Center (LRC) and Dr. William Ramos Ochoa, Acting Dean of Liberal Studies and Language Arts, orchestrated a dynamic Professional Development Institute for CoA Student Leaders. This inaugural event brought together student workers, tutors, and ASCOA leaders. Throughout the institute, participants actively engaged in team-building activities, gained insights into office logistics and customer service practices, and underwent training in event coordination and Mobile CoA operations. The initiative marked a significant step in enhancing the skills and capabilities of our student leaders, fostering a more knowledgeable and effective campus leadership community.


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COA Wellness Center Offers Free Services

The COA Wellness Center is located at Cougar Village CV-124 and offers a variety of free services, including Individual Therapy, Wellness Workshops, and remote and in-person mental health counseling.

The Wellness Center website features up-to-date information about support groups and workshop offerings.

For more information, students are advised to visit the website or call 510-748-2320.


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COA CARES Team Responds to Non-immediate Concerns About Students

COA is continuing to take a proactive approach to discuss potential issues, intervene early, and provide support and behavioral response to students displaying varying levels of disruptive, disturbed, and/or distressed behaviors before they rise to the level of a crisis.

The COA CARES Team is comprised of Student Service Directors, Instructional Deans, Mental Health Services representatives, Student Accessibility Services (formerly DSPS) representatives, Counseling Department representatives, and other representatives as needed. Team members also work as needed with other departments, including Athletics, International Student Admissions and Services, Financial Aid, the Vice President of Student Services, and the Vice President of Instruction. The CARES Team strives to provide confidential, respectful, and proactive support while offering resources and balancing the educational needs of students within the overall mission of College of Alameda.


COA Student Services Welcomes New Hires

Ms. Chevonn Herbert has been appointed to the position of Admissions & Records Technician. Ms. Herbert brings eight years of experience within the Peralta Community College District to her new role. Her career within the district began in 2014 as an hourly classified professional in the Admissions & Records Department at Merritt College and within the District. Additionally, she has previously served in the Financial Aid department at the College of Alameda. In 2018, Ms. Herbert transitioned to the role of Staff Assistant to the Dean of STEM at the college, where she remained until her recent move to student services.

With a wealth of experience spanning over 16 years, Ms. Thao Hoang joins the College as a dedicated Financial Aid Specialist. Her expertise lies in processing various financial aid applications, including federal and state grants, scholarships, federal work-study program funds, and loans, ensuring strict adherence to federal and state guidelines. Ms. Hoang's responsibilities also include certifying student eligibility by navigating through complex regulations. As a refugee and first-generation college graduate who received financial aid herself, Ms. Hoang deeply understands the transformative power of a community college education. Driven by her personal experiences, she has made it her life mission to give back to the community and empower students to achieve their academic aspirations.


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Short Term Classes are Underway at COA

Students can accelerate their academic journeys this Spring 2024 with short-term classes at College of Alameda. Students enrolled in at least 6 units can enjoy free enrollment. Shorter late starting classes provide flexibility and are a cost-effective way for students to complete their education in less time.

HOW TO ENROLL: Current and Returning students log onto sa.peralta.edu to register today New students apply for admission at alameda.edu/enroll – or visit the College of Alameda Welcome Center for assistance Students must select “Spring 2024” as the term to enroll.


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, February 13, 2024. To view it as a PDF, click here.

Tags: College of Alameda, President's Report


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