Laney College President's Report

Laney BoT Report 05 10 22

Laney College Hosts 100 Black Men Career Expo Event

On Saturday, April 30, the 100 Black Men of the Bay Area organization held its first Career Expo Event at Laney College. The day began with welcoming and keynote remarks from Joseph Frank of Wells Fargo, Julius Robinson of Union Bank, Dorian Giles (Personal Brand Agent for Professional Athletes), and Laney College President Rudy Besikof. 

The event was created to host 350 Oakland Area high school students, who attended three career session panels, including one that featured Laney College Carpentry Professor Matthew Wolpe as a speaker.

This was a significant event for Laney College as we continue to build and reinforce our many bridges with the community. It was a privilege to welcome many dignitaries to Laney including Councilmember Loren Taylor (who was the guest speaker for the afternoon session) and County Supervisor Keith Carson, along with a host of others.

The event was a success thanks as well to the planning and collaboration that took place from the team at Laney. Planning for this great day began in January through Dr. Lawrence Vanhook, Joseph Frank, and Juanita Metturs- Upshur, who coordinated with Laney College leadership for a tour of the campus and a welcome lunch to plan the event. Special thanks also go to Food Services Manager Neil Burmenko, Facilities Coordinator Kinetta Barnett, Outreach Specialist Kim Gonzales, Director Amy Marshall, CTE Dean Alejandria Tomas, and a host of other Laney professionals who were involved in planning. Laney appreciates its newly forged partnership with 100 Black Men of the Bay Area partners and looks forward to hosting again next year.


Laney College Receives Grant to Increase Student Success in Math

The College’s Proposal Seeding Strategies to Close the Calculus Equity Gap was successfully awarded a $100,000 grant, It was by Laney College in partnership with Berkeley City College, College of Alameda, and Merritt College for this award from the California Education Learning Lab award of up to $100,000.

The project within the proposal, entitled Closing Equity Gaps in Calculus through Equitable Grading Strategies, is led by Math Department Chair David Ross and was only one of 15 to be selected for a Seeding Strategies grant by the Director of the California Governor’s Office of Planning and Research, based on the recommendations of an expert Selection Committee.

Receiving the news, Professor Ross noted that the project would not have been successfully funded without the collaboration of Laney Math faculty professors Kyla Oh, Anna Werner, and Kathy Williamson. Special congratulations as well to Vice President Becky Opsata as well as Dean of Math & Sciences Angel Fuentes Figueroa.

The challenges of success in math remain throughout our state, and the College certainly looks forward to seeing the undoubtedly positive impact to come, especially as more students engage and succeed in math!


Laney College Event to Appreciate Employees

Laney College is pleased that its annual Employee Appreciation event will return to campus for 2021-22 on May 20. In addition to planned games and lunch, the College will be recognizing the 2021-22 We Rise Awardees, which honor the outstanding classified professional, full-time faculty member, part-time faculty member, student employee, and administrator, as nominated by their peers and then scored by the College’s President’s Cabinet. In addition, retirees and those with 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, and 30-year work anniversaries are recognized.

The Laney College Bistro will be buzzing on the 20th and we look forward to celebrating!



This article is taken from the President’s Report, written by Dr. Rudy Besik of, Laney College President, that was presented to the PCCD Board of Trustees during their regular meeting on Tuesday, May 10, 2022. To view as a pdf, click here.

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