Laney College President's Report

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Laney College Community Celebrates Graduates in Style!

Graduation exercises took a vibrant turn in 2022 as employees, family, and friends joined the hundreds of students who celebrated the attainment of 710 degrees and certificates at the close of the Spring semester. Gone were the long speeches as fleeting seconds of cheering for graduates at a distance; instead, guests followed a parade-like route set to a background of music full of photo opportunities, passing under decorations and being greeted by cheering throngs of Laney employees on their way to the graduation platform. President Besikof posed with graduates and learned that for many, there were certificates and degrees earned on the way to employment in a myriad of career fields that included multiple students earning awards in Culinary Arts, Construction Management, Cosmetology, Legal and Community Interpreting, Welding, Carpentry, and Machine Technology, as well as some graduates primed to begin their next stage as entrepreneurs. For others, many in the fields of business and social sciences general education, the Laney Associate Degree for Transfer represents the first milestone on the way to a Bachelor’s, Master’s Degree, or beyond.

As Laney celebrates achievement, it also appreciates the months of planning and work that were required to put on an event in a new format. Many thanks to all colleagues, especially those in the Office of Student Activities and Campus Life under the leadership of Director Atiya Rashada. Also, special thanks to Evelyn Moreno and Becky Opsata for their work and support of the effort.

The President’s Office also acknowledges and appreciates Trustee Linda Handy and Chancellor Jannett Jackson for attending the day’s festivities, and extends special thanks to District colleagues Marcus Creel, Faiza Ali, and the staff at Peralta TV for coming out to cover our event.


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Students Supported by Gateway Team Reach Milestones

Laney’s Gateway to College Program held its first in-person graduation in two years on June 3 and honored eleven graduates. These outstanding students earned their high diplomas with coursework that included Laney College transfer-level English courses. In addition to math instruction, students individually completed coursework in disciplines such as Political Science, Geography, Anthropology, and History. Graduates enjoyed the celebration along with parents, friends, and members of Laney’s Gateway to College Team. Gateway to College is a scholarship program that provides academically and economically disenfranchised Alameda County residents 16 to 20 years old with an opportunity to experience success in an academically rigorous, supportive, and safe environment as they pursue their high school diplomas and transition into college. ( Special thanks for the success of these previously at-risk students goes to Director William Ramos Ochoa, Michael Cruz, Omar Esteban Ramos, Terry Watson, Mayra Martinez, Mayra Murillo, Senait Yehualashet, along with Professors Antonio Wadtkins, Gregory Newton, and Otto Bischoff.

Many of these students will continue their studies at Laney, with others going to Berkeley City College, with still others joining the workforce or moving on to other technical training studies. Laney congratulates these graduates and wishes them the best.

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This article is taken from the President’s Report, written by Dr. Rudy Besikof, Laney College President, that was presented to the PCCD Board of Trustees during their regular meeting on Tuesday, June 14, 2022. To view as a pdf, click here.

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