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Laney College President's Report – May 24, 2023

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Professor Mark Rauzon’s Summer Work in the Arctic

Professor Mark Rauzon will be the seabird observer on a research expedition to the Bering Sea and beyond on a Canadian Ice Breaker. Leaving Victoria BC on July 5th, Prof. Rauzon will be collecting seabird distribution data when the ship is underway and when the ship is on station. The ship will focus on areas high in biodiversity, which are shown in boxes in the photo above. The cruise ends on July 28 at the top of North America. Prof. Rauzon is a volunteer for the US Fish and Wildlife Service and will be repeating a cruise he made 48 years ago to the same region as a kid with a new biology degree! Underway is the only way!


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Laney College Named Bay Area Community College Consortium (BACCC)’s Center of Excellence for Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics Education

Thanks to support from the Laney College administration, the Bay Area Community College Consortium (BACCC), and Strong Workforce funds, Laney College has been named BACCC’s Center of Excellence for Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics Education. Representatives from faculty, BACCC, and Laney’s administration have been hard at work sharing the curriculum development and program development with outside higher education partners as part of the Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning and Data Analytics (AIDA) Regional Joint Venture (RJV) for Strong Workforce Round 7.

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Faculty members Tuan Nguyen, Derrick Smith, Nick Shaposhnikov, Kyla Oh, and Johnnie Williams with support from BACCC partners Ray Kaupp, Olivia Herriford, Lauren Tabata, Dan Montoya, and Maya Srinivasan have created an innovative approach to AI/ML and Data Science education to support the East Bay community in the jobs of today and of the future. The team, led by Dean Angel G. Fuentes (Math and Sciences Division), has presented their work at the Intel Innovation Conference (2022), CCCAOE Fall Conference (2022), Amazon Web Services (AWS) Educator Enablement Program (2023), American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) Workforce Development Institute (2023), AACC Annual Conference with AWS Educator Enablement Program (2023), and the CCCAOE Spring Conference (2023). Through this work, the AIDA team has put Laney, Peralta, and the East Bay at the forefront of AI/ML and Data Science education.

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The AIDA team is supported and is working with industry partners Intel, AWS, Google, Alteryx, IBM, Joy Thomas Foundation, and the AI Education Project. The first classes in the programs will begin in Fall 2023 with the offering of MATH118: Foundations in Data Science and CIS 96F: Introduction to Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. For more information please visit https://baccc.net/aida/.


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Laney College Received Three Grant Awards from Learning Labs

Laney College continues to be at the forefront of innovative educational initiatives and partnerships. Through efforts between Kyla Oh (MATH), Johnnie Williams (CIS), UC Berkeley, CSU East Bay, and UC Merced, the College is now part of a team that has been awarded $1.78 million in grant funding (of which approximately $336,000 will go to Laney). The goal of the grants is to increase success and transfer pathways in Data Science careers. The grants are:

  1. Collaborative Design of Interdisciplinary, Inclusive, Introductory Data Science Course Modules (UC Merced lead) – The two main goals are: a) to create an open-source, modular introductory DS curriculum at the intersection of computing, statistics, and the social and behavioral sciences, and b) to build faculty and institutional experience with culturally relevant DS curriculum to attract students with varied backgrounds and interests. Grant participants: UC Merced, UC Berkeley, City College of San Francisco, Berkeley City College, and Laney College.
  2. Inclusive Novel Curriculum to Leverage representation of Underserved communities in Data sciencE (INCLUDE) (CSU East Bay lead) - The anticipated outcomes for the proposed project are a) new BS in Data Science (DS)program, b) new math courses for DS, c) new transfer pathways from community colleges, d) increased representation of under-served populations (USP) in the new DS degree program, and e) an increased engagement between the participating institutions and data scientists in the community. Grant participants: CSU East Bay, Skyline College, Chabot College, and Laney College.
  3. Building Inclusive and Collaborative Foundations in Data Science (UC Berkeley lead) – The anticipated outcomesare: a) train and engage faculty members across the intersegmental collaborations team and involvement in thecommunity of practice, b) a clear and documented pathway with proper institutional support structure for studentsto transfer from two- to four- year colleges to pursue a DS degree that is visible, well-understood, and available tostudents, c) an increase in the number of students eligible to complete a DS degree due to the increasedaccessibility of the entry-level course, established articulation agreements, and increased awareness about DS, d)stronger partnerships and collaborations between institutions in California around DS education and increasedcollaboration and sharing of resources and expertise, e) improved job placement outcomes for graduates of DSprograms, and f) closing the equity gap in DS through broad outreach, retention activities, removal of institutionalbarriers to transfer, and localized DS curriculum. Grant participants: UC Berkeley, UC Merced, City College ofSan Francisco, Berkeley City College, and Laney

Thank you to all faculty working hard on these grants, and congratulations on the proposals being accepted.


Laney End of the Year Celebrations!

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E-Quad Party: Student Accessibility Services, Veterans Services, and Career Employment Services End of the Year Celebration!

On Tuesday, May 9th, Student Accessibility Services, Veterans Services, and Career Services students had lunch and short speeches at the E-Building Quad. It was a wonderful celebration of the graduates and the employees who have helped our students this year!


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Laney Transfer Center Achievement Celebration!

On May 11th, Laney Transfer Center Celebrated students that got accepted into UCs and CSUs. The map below shows where each transfer student in attendance will be going next year. We are proud of their accomplishments so far and wish them the best at their future colleges and universities.


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Laney EOPS/CARE/NextUP/CalWORKS Students’ Celebration!

In recognition of students’ academic achievements and personal development. The EOPS CARE NextUP/CalWorks programs hosted a very special event Friday, May 12th at the Nile Hall Preservation Park in Oakland. This year's theme, “Reflecting, Refining and Advancing the EOPS Culture”, was a testament that Laney students have jumped over hurdles and broken through barriers to achieve their educational goals, and for this reason among many, we are proud of them.


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Laney and Berkeley City College Students Joint APASS Graduation!

On May 12th Laney and Berkeley City College APASS Programs jointly celebrated the graduation of Asian American and Pacific Islander students at the Laney Bistro. A delicious dinner was served and there were many motivational speeches of congratulations. Laney looks forward to all future collaborations with BCC.


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Umoja/UBAKA End of the Year Celebration!

On Tuesday, May 16th the Umoja/UBAKA program celebrated the end of a successful year. Awards were given to students, graduates were honored, and dinner was served. Retiring faculty member Tony Watkins was honored and thanked for his years of support for the Umjoa/UBAKA program.


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Puente’s End of the Year Celebration!

On Wednesday, May 17, from 12:30-2:00 pm, the Puente Program at Laney celebrated their students’ accomplishments. Lunch was served and the group heard a powerful speech from Merritt College Vice President of Student Services, Dr. Lilia Chavez.


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Veteran Resource Center and Restoring Our Communities End of the Year Celebration

On Wednesday, May 17th the Veterans Resource Center and the Restoring Our Communities program students and employees gathered to celebrate the graduation of students in both programs. An amazing lunch (and cupcakes) were served.


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Honor’s Banquet

In the early evening of May 17th, the college gathered to recognize students who are graduating with honors and to present awards to the Valedictorian (Kenneth Lester), the Salutatorian (Olivia Bonson), the winner of the President’s Medallion (Yun Gao), and the four winners of the Deans’ Medallions (Lita Hernandez-Gonzales, Charles Zhang, Earl Armstrong, and Ganchimeg Delger). Over 200 students will graduate having earned a degree with honors, high honors, or highest honors. Awards were given to the Gateway to College Valedictorian (Isaih Poole), Salutatorian (Zach Arreola), and Leadership Award (Amara Hagwood). The recipients of the ASLC scholarships were announced by ASLC president Omolola Atolagbe. Classified Senate president Hope Lane announced the winners of scholarships from PAAAA and Phi Theta Kappa. Thank you to the Peralta Foundation and their donors for supporting Laney students with scholarships. Thank you to Atiya Rashada and her team for all of the work they did to put together this inspiring event.


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, May 16, 2023. To view it as a pdf, click here.

Tags: Laney College


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