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Peralta Gems #9

Friday February 28, 2020

Greetings Peralta Community!  Welcome to issue #9 of Peralta Gems. Thanks to everyone who provided story ideas and photos for this issue.  Send your suggestions to Mark Johnson at markjohnson@peralta.edu. Much appreciated!

COVID-19 Coronavirus Update


The Peralta Administration including Dr. Mia Kelly of Peralta Health Services is closely monitoring the situation regarding the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19). For now, the official guidance for all California agencies including Community Colleges continues to come from the California Department of Public Health. Alameda County Public Health Department is providing updates about COVID-19 here: http://www.acphd.org/2019-ncov.aspx

Alameda County Public Health Department reports today that we have no confirmed cases in Alameda County at this time. The health risk from novel coronavirus to the general public remains low, and while COVID-19 has a high transmission rate, it has a low mortality rate. While the health risk to the general public in California remains low, the situation is rapidly evolving.  Rest assured that the Peralta District is updating existing plans to protect the health and safety of students and employees while we handle potential disruptions to instruction that may be caused by the effects of the COVID-19 crisis. 

Chancellor Regina Stanback Stroud provided information about the Novel Coronavirus in an announcement available here. Please read that announcement. In it, the Chancellor provided some common-sense precautions to prevent the spread of all infectious diseases. Wash your hands. Avoid close contact with people who are sick. If you are sick, stay home. These helpful precautions also work to prevent the spread of other common illnesses such as influenza and gastroenteritis.  Here is a helpful document outlining preventive steps as recommended by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provided by PCCD benefits provider Alliant. And here is a link to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website for COVID-19

We will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates via email, Peralta Gems, and on the Peralta Public Health website as they become available. In the meantime, remember that Peralta serves a diverse community of learners and we are committed to maintaining a welcoming environment of belonging. Please treat each other with respect and kindness in these challenging times. You are all important members of our community.

Student Profile: Mubarak Haruna

Mubarak Haruna portrait

My name is Mubarak Osiremiza Haruna. I am an international student athlete from Nigeria. I am an Applied Mathematics and Computer Science major. I am the Vice President of the Associated Students of Merritt College, Vice-President of the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society, Beta Theta Lamda Chapter and Students’ Athletics Coordinator at Merritt College.

Mubarak at his desk

I decided to join ASMC because student government is the voice of Merritt College. We want to make major changes on campus and make the student life experience for all students better. We all have complaints about the school and want things to change so why not make that change? 

I am very excited to be part of a wonderful team and cannot wait for us to work together to accomplish our goals and make these changes. 

Merritt College is an outstanding institution with a rich history behind her. We have such a beautiful campus and great community. In my 20 years of life on this Earth, I have never been in a school system with the kind of hospitality, kindness and genuinely good people that Merritt College has. 


Mubarak futbol

Thank you Mubarak for attending Merritt College and being a truly inspirational member of the Peralta Community!  Click the photo above to watch a ~7 minute video profile of Mubarak created by the Peralta Office of International Education. 

Board of Trustees Approve Contracts for PFT and Local 39

On February 25, 2020, the Board of Trustees of Peralta Community College District (PCCD) approved agreements with two important collective bargaining units of District employees. The Trustees approved three-year agreements with the Peralta Federation of Teachers (American Federation of Teachers Local 1603) and also with the International Union of Operating Engineers (Local 39). 

  Hands together

The Peralta Federation of Teachers (PFT) is the sole bargaining unit for teachers, librarians, counselors, and nurses at the Peralta Community College District, and represents the more than 1000 full- and part-time faculty working at Berkeley City College, College of Alameda, Laney College, and Merritt College.  The agreement, backdated to begin on July 1, 2019, includes a cost of living (COLA) pay increase of 3.26% and a major step toward compensation parity for part-time faculty, among other line items. The agreement concludes several months of negotiations between the District and PFT. 

The International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 39 includes Stationary Engineers who operate and maintain the physical plant systems in buildings, schools, and similar facilities. As with PFT, the IUOE agreement features a 3.26% COLA increase, and is also retroactive to July 1, 2019. 

Dr. Regina Stanback Stroud  

Dr. Regina Stanback Stroud, Chancellor of the Peralta District, stated, “Peralta Community College District is a great place to work.  We want to attract talented faculty, staff and administrators with excellent and fair conditions of employment while being responsible stewards of the precious and limited public resources we have.  We will remain focused and vigilant as we work together to provide outstanding educational opportunities here in the East Bay.”

More information is included in our press release about the agreements on the Peralta Blog at https://web.peralta.edu/blog/peralta-community-college-district-reaches-agreement-with-two-collective-bargaining-units/


Frequently Asked Questions about the Agreements with PFT and Local 39

Question 1: Does this mean every employee gets a 3.26% COLA raise?

Answer 1: The Board of Trustees approved the COLA raises for PFT members (faculty) and Local 39 members, retroactively back to July 1, 2019.  If you are a member of those two collective bargaining units, the COLA raise applies to you. 

Question 2: What if I'm classified staff in Local 1021, a confidential employee or an administrator?

Answer 2: The Board of Trustees has not yet considered or approved COLA raises for these employees. 

Question 3: I'm in PFT / Local 39...when do I get my raise?

Answer 3: The raise is retroactive to July 1, 2019. The estimate is that it will take 8-12 weeks from now for the raises to take effect in payroll systems. We understand that sooner is better than later and will do all we can to accelerate the set up but we need to be realistic regarding the staff resources available to process these changes. Thank you for your patience and understanding. 

Chancellor's Report

Chancellor's Report image

The Peralta Community College District Board of Trustees met on Tuesday, February 25, 2020.  A 24 minute video of the Chancellor's Report is available here and includes a short video on Peralta Television's 40th Anniversary (more on that below), plus reports from Dr. Kuni Hay at Berkeley City College, Dr. Tammeil Gilkerson at Laney College, Dr. David Johnson at Merritt College, and Dr. Tim Karas at College of Alameda. The full meeting video is available on Peralta TV's YouTube channel here

BCC Named Top Fulbright Producing Institution in 2019-2020

The U.S. Department of State has announced the top producers of Fulbright U.S. Scholars and Students—those institutions in each Carnegie Classification that had the highest numbers of their U.S. students (young professionals with a bachelor’s degree) and scholars (faculty, researchers, and administrators) who received Fulbright awards for the 2019-2020 academic year, in the February 10th online edition of The Chronicle of Higher Education. And Berkeley City College is on the list!


fulbright institutional leader  

BCC Head Librarian Heather Dodge was awarded a Fulbright to act as a roving scholar in Norway for the 2019-20 academic year. The Roving Scholar program brings skilled American educators to Norway to lead workshops and seminars for Norwegian students and teachers about American culture, politics, pedagogy and cultural difference. 

Thanks to BCC Fulbright Faculty Representative and former Fulbright scholar Laura Roberto and Dr. Felicia Bridges and the BCC Messenger for information about this prestigious honor. Read more about the Fulbright program here. 

Merritt Celebrates Soul Train Black History Month Event

Each college continued the celebration of Black History Month with special events. 

On Wednesday, February 25, Merritt College reflected upon the legacy of Don Cornelius and Soul Train. Thanks to Tauheeda Anderson for this update. 

soul train logo

For more than three decades the TV show "Soul Train" served as a national showcase for black music and culture. Creator Don Cornelius made Soul Train a national television program. The best Black artists wanted to be on the pulsating “Sooooooollllll Train! James Brown, the Godfather of soul came on making the show a crucial stop for established stars. Barry White Al Green, Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson, and many other black entertainers asked to be on the hottest and sexiest dance show on television. And it became the longest-running show on television.

soul train at merritt college

Don Cornelius impact was powerful with multiple dimensions.  Without a doubt he took Black music mainstream.  He gave contemporary artists a TV platform that was little to non-existing. There were not a lot of Black faces on TV in 1969. No news, no reality shows, no entertainment shows no talk shows. Don Cornelius brought color to American television — in every sense of the term. In commemoration of the National African American History Month Merritt College Students were able to display their remarkable talents with spoken word, poetry, music, rapping, dance, and testimonials of their struggles and desires to make a difference and contribute their families and communities. The Umoja-Sankofa & NextUp Celebration not only allowed students to display their talent but helped them embrace and be of prideful of their diverse creativity. 

PCTV Celebrates 40 Years of Broadcasting

pctv archive image  

Peralta TV, part of the Peralta Department of Marketing, Communication & Public Relations, is celebrating an important milestone anniversary!

PCTV is an award winning cable-access station available on Comcast (channels 27 or 28) and AT&T (channel 99). Late in 1979, the Peralta Community College District Board of Trustees approved a proposal submitted by the Laney College media department faculty for a student run television station. Students set up a control room on the third floor of the theater building and broadcasting commenced on February 11, 1980.

PCTV archive image

The new TV station provided Peralta Colleges information to the public, recruited students, offered telecourses for credit and provided a forum for discussion of local issues. PCTV was the first station of its kind managed by students. A short video about the founding and history of the station was created by Jim Stein and Angel Hunter, both employees at PCTV who got their start as students in the Laney broadcasting program! The video is available on the Peralta Colleges YouTube Channel here.

Mr. Davey D Speaks at Laney Black History Month Event

Mr. Davey D

Mr. Davey D (Dave Cook) DJ, journalist, hip hop historian, and activist, spoke to Laney College students at a Black History Month Lunch & Learn about social activism, voting and why representation matters. “You can always outmaneuver your enemy.” -Davey D

5th Annual Lunar New Year Luncheon

Lunar new year luncheon dancers

Dancers Tammie Perry, Loan Nguyen and Karen Shields

On Friday, February 21, members of the Peralta Community gathered at East Ocean Seafood Restaurant in Alameda for the 5th Annual Lunar New Year Luncheon supporting APASS, the Asian Pacific American Student Success program. 

lion dancers

The gathering was organized by Loan Nguyen (BCC), Ava Lee Pang and Chungwai Chum (COA), Fang Huang (Laney), Jane Fong (Merritt), Nha Le and Carmen Fairley (District) among others. Guests included Trustee Linda Handy and college Presidents including Dr. Tammeil Gilkerson (Laney), Dr. Tim Karas (COA) and Dr. David Johnson (Merritt). 


lunar new year lunch

It was wonderful to see so many people from all the different campuses, and even several retirees, all enjoying each other's company and the excellent food while celebrating the year of the Rat. Gung Hay Fat Choy! = Happy Chinese Lunar New Year!

Leaking Water Pipes Fixed at COA

COA after

College of Alameda after the water pipe leak was fixed.

Many of us know that College of Alameda is the only California Community College located on an island. But last weekend on Saturday February 22, leaks from broken pipes threatened to submerge the campus, or so it seemed.  Fortunately, the Department of General Services working closely with President Karas, Chancellor Stanback Stroud and the Board of Trustees were able to line up the resources to get the leaks repaired quickly. 

working on the leaks

The engineering contractors were able to get in over the weekend, "drain the swamp" and make the repairs, mitigating the problem and allowing classes to take place on Monday without disruption. 

COA before

College of Alameda before the water pipe leak was fixed.

The geese are disappointed but the people of COA are pleased to have the repairs made so quickly!

COA Men's Basketball Team in the Playoffs

The Cougars wrapped up the season pounding the College of Marin on the road and winning the final conference game by 32 points. The College of Alameda men's basketball team extended its Bay Valley Conference (BVC) win streak downing the Mariners 85-53 and winning their 8th straight game. The Mariners stayed docked as they were outscored by the Cougars 48-27 in the first half. The Cougars improved their conference record to 10-6 and 17-11 overall and ended the 2019-2020 season by placing 4th in the Bay Valley Conference. Guard Terrell Brown had a season-high 17 PTS with 5 three-pointers and 5 rebounds, Dwayne Johnson added 14 PTS, Big "Kam" Malbrough contributed 13 PTS, and Jeremiah Stamps notches a double-double with 11 REB and 12 PTS. COUGAR TOP PLAYER HIGHLIGHTS: In the BVC, Kameron “Kam” Malbrough finished overall at No. 5, starting in 26 of 28 games played and earned 17.4 PPG; he finished 4th place in conference, averaging 19.8 PPG.

COA then defeated College of San Mateo by a score of 99-80 earlier this week, qualifying them for the Northern California Regional playoffs! The Cougars will be back in action on Saturday, February 29th to take on No. 3 seeded Columbia College Claim Jumpers in Sonora, California. Tip-Off is 7:00 PM. The game will be streamed live at:  https://youtu.be/Dy7ir2u8CWA

Thanks to COA Athletics Director Linda Thompson and COA Splash for this item.


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