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Merritt College President’s Report – March 1, 2023

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February at Merritt College

February was truly a month of cultural celebration! On February 7, more than 70 students, classified staff members, faculty, and administrators attended Merritt’s Lunar New Year Luncheon. In addition to the amazing cuisine, those in attendance enjoyed a screening of the documentary Beijing: The Traditions of the Chinese New Year, which provided insight into the rich history and customs that make up the tapestry of the celebration. As February is Black History Month, we had the opportunity to experience several cultural events and presentations as well. Some of the highlights included the Building Community Mixer on February 8, Professor Danae Martinez’s engaging Black Hair, Black Power lecture on February 15, and last week’s film screening of the documentary We Were Hyphy, which was accompanied by dance presentations and a spoken word performance by San Francisco’s current poet laureate Mr. Tongo Eisen-Martin.


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Merritt College Educational Master Plan

The past few weeks have been very productive in terms of the progress we have made in drafting our Educational Master Plan, as groups of faculty, staff, students, and administrators have engaged in the work of formulating relevant five-year goals and realistic action plans to achieve them. In addition to the districtwide key areas of focus (i.e. completion, transfer, the diminution of excess units accrued, reducing persistent achievement gaps, and supporting pathways to desirable careers), we have created workgroups to strategize around the following Merritt Priorities:

  • Building a Student-Centered Culture of Caring
  • Making Merritt a True COMMUNITY College
  • Improving Teaching and Learning for Student Needs
  • Making College Free or a Very Low-Cost Endeavor for the Community
  • Reimagining the College Campus (Housing; Facilities and IT Improvement to Promote Learning, etc.)

Each of these teams has met at least once to articulate goals and plan timelines for completion. As such, I want to thank all participants for their focus and collaboration on charting a path for Merritt!


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Merritt College Basketball

Merritt is pleased to shine the spotlight on our men’s and women’s basketball teams who just concluded their seasons. The women's basketball team advanced to the CCAAA Northern California playoffs, but unfortunately lost to Feather River College last Wednesday night. I am proud to share that the team boasts six graduating sophomores--Cierra Cooperwood, Alma Diaby, Yasmine Picardo, Jalyssa Portis, Sonia Randall, and Mariyanna Trahan. Sonia Randall was awarded first-team All-Conference and Alma Diaby received Honorable Mention. Outside of these accolades, the women on the team have exhibited great character and perseverance through the pandemic. The relationships they have built will last a lifetime. On the men's side, Solomon Bland, DJ Leaks, Rasheed Potter, and Djahi Walker have all petitioned to receive their AA degrees and are expected to graduate this term. For the second year in a row, DJ Leaks was recognized as an All-Conference Player. As a team, the players persevered through a challenging season, and battled to victories in the last two games (finishing strong but just missing out on the postseason). We congratulate them all for an exciting season and acknowledge the coaches for their commitment and sacrifice as well.

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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, February 28, 2023. To view it as a pdf, click here.

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