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Laney College President's Report – February 28, 2024

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Laney College Takes Convention Center by Storm at 21st Annual Oakland Black Colleges Expo

Laney College was among the approximately 100 higher education institutions to feature its programs at the National College Resources Foundation’s Black Colleges Expo on February 18. The day featured many events and speakers (including Councilmember and Laney College Champion Treva Reid, pictured below with President Besikof), along with a concert-style dance jam that had hundreds of area high schoolers, parents, and supporters dancing on the convention center floor. As Laney and Merritt College were among the very few community colleges at the event, prospective students, parents, family, and friends stopped by to ask not only about Fall 2024, but also heard about late-starting Spring classes that are available to concurrently enrolled high school students free of charge!

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Special thanks to Laney colleagues Janice Browne and Hope Lane (pictured below with President Besikof), along with Dr. Lawrence VanHook for devoting time on a Saturday to represent Laney.


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Associated Students Are Active in February

February has been a whirlwind of activity at Laney College, thanks to the Associated Students of Laney College (ASLC) orchestrating a vibrant series of events. They kicked off the month with an energizing voter registration drive, offering freshly popped popcorn and valuable voter information. The momentum surged as the Black Student Union (BSU) stepped up, rallying fellow students to engage in the upcoming presidential primaries on March 5th. Concurrently, love permeated the campus as ASLC played cupid, hosting a heartwarming Valentine's event. Amidst heartfelt exchanges of messages and delicious heart-shaped cookies, Laney College students embraced both civic duty and affection, creating a February to remember filled with empowerment and camaraderie. Mark your calendars for February 29th when the Black Student Union will host an event in the Laney Cafeteria, featuring food and Black History Trivia, adding another layer of celebration to this month of cultural significance.


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Black History Month Events

Umoja celebrated African American heritage and resilience with a series of workshops and events throughout Black History Month. The festivities commenced with "The Fight for Liberation," led by Dr. Kimberly King, guiding students through significant moments in African American history from 1619 to 2023. Dr. King also facilitated a teach-in for the Laney chapter of the Poor People's Campaign titled "Creating Public Safety through Political Power, Justice, and Democracy." Umoja students Lache' Graybill and Saaraaj Waqia led "Forever Black," a workshop exploring colorism's impact on the black community and the broader African Diaspora. Concluding our Black History events, Umoja, in collaboration with our partners from the Health and Human Resource Education Center (HHREC), hosted a Black History Art Therapy Session on February 22 in the Umoja Village.


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New U.S. Bank branch at Laney College

U.S. Bank’s desire to implement a Student Intern-Operated Branch Initiative with Laney College and the District and College’s desire to provide students with marketable job skills has produced a unique partnership.

Up to 10 student bankers will be selected as interns each academic year for an academic-year-long internship at the on-campus branch. The potential interns will be selected by the Bank based on recommendations by the Division Dean, Business Department Chair, or selected faculty. The Bank provides a new hire training program for all branch banking roles, which includes the following:

  • Fundamental curriculum: This core curriculum introduces guiding principles. Interns will spend time gaining product and resource knowledge as well as learning important skills for their role, like critical thinking, communication skills, and leading with a digital-first mindset.
  • Compliance training: There are many compliance courses automatically assigned to the interns and must be completed within ninety (90) days.
  • Teller Basics Training: This curriculum introduces the teller systems platform. Interns will spend time gaining systems knowledge, learning how to process transactions such as deposits and withdrawals, payments and transfers, and balancing cash drawers.
  • Coaching conversations, skill building & engagement touchpoints: There will be ongoing touchpoints between Interns & their leader and additional opportunities to continue learning.

The Branch will provide financial services and education to the students and staff of the College, and by extension to the District, their families, and the local community, through the operation of a student-operated branch at the College. This partnership between Laney College and U.S. Bank is providing invaluable “real-world” experience and professional training for students.


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, February 27, 2024. To view it as a PDF, click here.

Tags: Laney College, President's Report


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