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Merritt College President’s Report – January 25, 2024

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Merritt College Hosts Two Community Connection Events

Merritt College recently hosted two events focusing on community connection and underscoring to young people the value of attending college. On Thursday, January 11th the Youth Exposure and Axcess Hub (YEAH) and Merritt Women's Basketball program brought 200 OUSD and SFUSD middle school students to campus for a college fair. YEAH is a non-profit organization committed to providing young people with early awareness and access to post-secondary education and diverse career pathways. The event gave these students the chance to connect with various businesses and non-profit organizations such as Audet & Partners LLP, Bank of Marin, the Golden State Warriors, Oakland Promise, the Hidden Genius Project, and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc.

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Special thanks go to our colleague (and women’s basketball coach) Ms. Danielle Adams, who worked tirelessly with our partners at YEAH to organize this event and bring it to fruition. Reflecting on the day with these students, Ms. Adams shared that “witnessing their curiosity and drive to learn more is truly fulfilling and reinforces the significance of these events in fostering a sense of exploration and ambition among the younger generation.”


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Merritt College Hosts Annual Forum

On Saturday, January 16, Merritt College hosted the 6th Annual Why Go to College Forum in partnership with the Oakland Police Activities League (PAL) and the Berkeley Bay Area Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Nearly 200 middle and high school students from around the Bay Area came to campus to meet with educators, financial advisors, and other academic professionals to discuss all aspects of preparing for and being successful in college.

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Students and their parents attended the following workshops: Get Your Mind Right (Mental Health); Financial Fortitude (Financial Aid, Budgeting, Financial Literacy); Transferring from California Community Colleges to Historically Black Colleges and Universities; and a student panel with current community college and four-year university students. The attendees also got to enjoy an African American step show performance.


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Merritt College Announces Partnerships with Bay Area Business Roundtable & iRhythm Technologies

On Friday, January 19, 2024, Merritt College held a press conference to announce a unique training program. In partnership with the Bay Area Business Roundtable (BABRT—which is a local non-profit organization) and iRhythm Technologies (a leading digital healthcare company) we are providing a pathway to careers in the cardiac technician field. Students enrolled in our Clinical Medical Assisting course (taught by Dr. Muwafaqu Al Asad, the Program Director for Medical Assisting) learn content specifically designed to help students prepare for the iRhythm Technologies ssessment, which will qualify them for interviews for jobs with a starting annual salary of $60,000 to $70,000. Bernard Ashcraft, BABRT Founder and CEO, described the initiative this way: “This is an unprecedented opportunity, particularly for historically marginalized people from underserved communities in the East Bay, to start a career path for well-paying jobs in healthcare.” The effort is also supported by City Councilmember (and former Peralta Trustee) Kevin Jenkins, and Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson.


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Merritt Faculty Member Receives Award

Last month the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging Council and the Executive Board of the Association of Biomolecular Resources Facilities (ABRF) selected Merritt College Biosciences Instructor Ms. Feather Ives as the recipient of their 2024 ABRF Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Award. ABRF is a national organization dedicated to advancing core and research biotechnology laboratories through research, communication, and education. They created the DEI Award to honor, celebrate, and give due recognition to individuals, groups, or organizations whose work has contributed to a more diverse, inclusive, and equitable scientific community. Feather warranted the award, they noted, in part for her contributions to the shared research resource community and her dedication to training a new generation of scientists aware of and committed to justice. She demonstrates this, they said, by how she incorporates environmental justice, racism, and the social determinants of health into her courses. Feather will receive her award this spring during the ABRF National Convention, where she will also give a 35-minute talk and receive a $5,000 honorarium. Congratulations Feather!



This article is taken from the President’s Report, written by Dr. David M. Johnson, Merritt College President, that was presented to the PCCD Board of Trustees during their regular meeting on Tuesday, January 23, 2024. To view it as a PDF, click here.

Tags: Merritt College, President's Report


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