Umoja Scholars in Summer 2016

BCC’s Umoja Scholars Aspire to Impressive Careers

Participants in Berkeley City College’s summer 2016 Umoja Scholars Academy (USA) proudly displayed and explained a variety of career path exhibits on Tue., July 26 in the college’s 4th floor conference room.

 

Lead by Skyler Barton, a BCC Learning Communities coordinator and counselor, and by BCC counselor Allene Young-Hegler, BCC’s Umoja academy brought together more than 20 area high school students, each with a unique career aspiration.    Participants included D’Yale W. Adams, Akeyla Addison, Sharif Allah, Paulo Athans, Ernest Blackmon, Ashlee Davis, Kemony Gandy, Arsalon Gawhary, Arryon Greely, Shakilyah Goosby, Cinque Holliday, Tiffannie Jones, Najee Jones, Remi Lambirth, Brianna Lipscomb, Maximilian Louther, Omari McCoy-King, Kaylynn McCoy, Cameron McGowan, Bianca Rodriguez, Raynette Shields, Charles Van Meurs, Gwendell Villasanta, Treasure Young and Danari Williams.  The group begins college at BCC this fall.

 

“It has truly been an honor and pleasure to work with this amazing group of scholars this summer,” Barton said.  “As their instructor, I have witnessed tremendous passion for learning, teamwork, leadership, and much more and have been thoroughly impressed and inspired!”

 

Umoja, a Kiswahili word meaning unity, is committed to enhancing the cultural and educational experiences and increasing the persistence and retention rates of African American and other students.  BCC’s Umoja Scholars Academy seeks to educate the whole student—mind, body, and spirit.  The program actively serves and promotes success for all students through a curriculum responsive to the legacy of the African and African American Diasporas.  Informed by an ethic of love and its vital power, Umoja engages students as full participants in the construction of knowledge and critical thought.

 

Ashlee Davis enters Berkeley City College this fall and plans a career as a pediatrician.

“I plan to be a pediatrician because I like to help children,” observed Berkeley High School grad Ashlee Davis. “My pediatrician was my role model because she helped me through some serious times as a kid; she helped to shape who I am.”

 

Paolo Athans possesses a flair for creating tantalizing culinary fare; the future chef was inspired by his mother.

Paolo Athans, a self-described foodie, is focused on the world of culinary arts.  “One of my passions is my ability to create food with my own flair,” proclaimed the future chef. “I like to put smiles on people’s faces and my inspiration is my mom, who I observed when I was growing up and even now.”

 

Remi Lamberth: Committed to halting climate change.

Committed to fighting climate change, Albany High School alumna Remi Lambirth is headed for a career as an environmental policy analyst.  “I have a very progressive approach to saving our earth,” she asserted. “I want out leaders to admit that our planet is in danger and do something about it.  I’m really interested in natural resources management, environmental science or political science.”

 

Ernest Blackmon’s and Arsalon Gawhary’s paths will take them into the world of business and finance.  “I love to communicate, lead, sell, and manage efficient business operations,” Blackmon explained. “Business management and operations will be my focus in college.”

 

Arsalon Gawhary, Umoja participant, presents financial analyst poster with Karen Shields, BCC staff
Arsalon Gawhary, Umoja participant, presents financial analyst poster with Karen Shields, BCC staff

Gawhary, a future financial analyst, is enthusiastic about finance.  “I love finance,” he admitted.  “Understanding the global economy and finance are ultimate gateways to progress and change.”

 

Akeyla Addison, Magee J. Jones and Kaylynn McCoy all want to help children grow and thrive.  Addison, who was part of Berkeley High’s Academy of Medical and Public Service, will prepare for a career as a pediatric nurse.  “I have always liked working with children,” she said.  “This will let me give back to the community and influence the lives of young children.”

 

Jones’s future occupation will focus on children’s advocacy.  “As a social worker and child advocate, I can make a real difference in children’s lives,” he said. “The community and the family can work together to be a positive influence, even in emotionally challenging situations.”

 

Future elementary school teacher McCoy wants to reach children in their formative learning years.

 

“When I was at Berkeley High, one of my teachers influenced me to consider teaching; that made me start to think about good and bad teachers I had in kindergarten through high school,” she recalled.  “I want to teach elementary school because I want to take approaches to teaching that makes a difference in students’ lives.  Some work well in groups but others need individual attention.  I want to be able to reach them in whatever ways that helps them to learn best.”

 

 

BCC CIRM Students group photo on veranda

Six BCC Students Present Research Accomplishments at 2016 CIRM Conference

Six Berkeley City College biotechnology students presented written and graphic results of their 10-month research projects to members of the scientific community at the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) annual Bridges Trainee Meeting held this July at Berkeley’s Claremont Hotel. Molly Fischer, Wanjiru Kamau-Devers, Amir Jaberi, Andres Marin, Brian Siemons and Kevin Wu were among the nine 2015-2016 BCC CIRM interns who joined more than 160 students from throughout California at the prestigious annual event. Students not only display their scientific posters during the two day event, but also participate in scientific meetings in which they hear presentations from selected scientists from across the state and receive valuable tips for job searching and career development.

 

BCC CIRM Students group photo on veranda
Left to right: Wanjiru Kamau-Devers, Andres Marin, Amir Jaberi, Brian Siemons (not pictured: Molly Fisher, Kevin Wu)

 

Four of this past year’s interns were retained as technicians in the labs they interned and two were offered full time positions: Fischer is a staff research associate in Dr. Tejal Desai’s therapeutic microtechnology and nanotechnology lab at UC San Francisco (UCSF) and Brian Siemens is a staff research associate in Dr. Kevin Healy’s biomaterials and tissue engineering lab at UC Berkeley.

 

Andres Marin at Poster Session: Determining the Success of Autologous Stem Cell Transplants in the Treatment of Sickle Cell Disease
Andres Marin at Poster Session: Determining the Success of Autologous Stem Cell Transplants in the Treatment of Sickle Cell Disease

Many of the BCC CIRM interns graduated this year with associate degrees and/or certificates of completion in biotechnology. The students also receive a Certificate in Stem Cell Biology from BCC following completion of their internships and specialized training at UCSF in stem cell biology.

 

“We have kept records of all of our CIRM students for the past six years,” said Dr. Barbara Des Rochers, program director of BCC’s CIRM grant and cochair of BCC’s Science Department.  “Many have taken technician positions in research and industrial laboratories while others have gone on for their bachelor’s, graduate and professional science degrees, including medical and pharmacy schools.”

 

“Our graduates are in biotechnology and science labs all over the Bay Area; many students get jobs in the labs in which they intern and many will move on to higher degrees,” noted Des Rochers. “And a number of laboratories in the Bay Area have sent their employees to BCC for continuing education.”

 

BCC’s biotechnology program welcomes all students—from recent high school graduates to those with college degrees—who may have been in the workplace for a long time and are seeking retraining. “We welcome older students and students with degrees,” Des Rochers said. “Some of our students have degrees in the STEM fields but many do not.”

 

Wanjiru Kamau-Devers, Research Poster Session: Fibrinogen as a Regulator of Central Nervous System Regeneration

For example, Molly Fischer came to BCC’s program with a degree in studio arts; Wanjiru Kamau-Devers with a degree in African studies and history and Kevin Wu with a degree in English and all have excelled.   “People switch because something about science grabs them and sparks their curiosity and they get turned on by the possibilities,” DeRochers noted.

 

CIRM already has selected six more BCC 2016-17 science interns. They are Cerise Bennett, Richard Chen, Tracy Huynh, Jason Luke, Saahil Singh and Moufida Taileb. Bennett will work at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) and Luke will be at UC Berkeley. Chen, Huynh, Singh and Taileb will work in labs at UC San Francisco.

 

For details about the stem cell internships and the biotechnology, biology and other science programs at BCC, contact Dr. Barbara Des Rochers at bdesrochers@peralta.edu or Dr. Siraj Omar at somar@peralta.edu

 

Visit the BCC Biotechnology Website for more information.

 

Downtown Garages near BCC

Update on BCC Parking Garages – Center Street Garage is Closed

The City of Berkeley has announced that the Center Street Garage (across the street from the college) is closing for reconstruction on June 30.  The new garage opening in the Fall of 2017 will increase parking capacity by over 60% from 440 to 720 spaces, adding a 300 space bike stations and attended bathrooms.  We are in negotiations with the City to secure a number of parking spaces for our employees.

 

Read more on the Parking and Garages page on the Business & Administrative Services website.

 

Click on the image below for a map (PDF) of the garage locations — please be sure your browser can open PDF files:

 

Map of Berkeley Garages near BCC

 

Dr. Linda McAllister Receives the Prestigious 2016 Hayward Award for Excellence in Teaching and Education

Linda McAllisterCalifornia Community Colleges Board of Governors Honors Four Faculty Members with 2015-16 Gerald C. Hayward Award for Excellence in Education, including Dr. Linda McAllister of Berkeley City College.

 

Linda McAllister is a sociology professor at Berkeley City College. She is committed to assisting students from diverse backgrounds meet their goals, find their voice and transform their own lives through education. Under her leadership, the Social Science department has been the largest non-English/non-mathematics department involved in college planning and student offerings to meet the challenges of access to our traditionally underserved, underperforming student populations. McAllister successfully piloted a program recruiting former community college students who recently graduated with their master’s degree and are interested in teaching in a California community college.McAllister has also developed curriculum, scheduling and degree alignment so working adults could meet their degree goals, and served as an advisor to the first LGBTQ Club and Students for Sensible Drug Policy. She also mentors cross-discipline mentorship program and in the Faculty Diversity Internship Program. ~ Chancellor’s Office Press Release.

 

“Professor McAllister typifies the Peralta faculty who go above and beyond their expected duties to make Peralta shine,” said Jowel C. Laguerre, Ph.D., Chancellor of the Peralta Community College District.

 

Recipients of the Hayward Award receive a plaque and a $1,250 cash award. A call for nominations goes out in November with an announcement letter, application, criteria, and scoring rubric. This is a Board of Governors award, is sponsored by the Foundation for California Community Colleges, and recipients are recognized by the Board each March. The award winners are invited to attend a dinner with the Academic Senate President on Sunday night before the award ceremony and to attend the Board meeting to receive the award the next day. The announcement was also made on the website of the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges.

 

True to Dr. McAllister’s nature, her response upon receiving the news of her winning this award was that the award is great recognition for the college and for the many deserving faculty at the college and indeed throughout the district. While it is true that there are many excellent faculty at Berkeley City College and the other three colleges in our district, it was specifically the details of Dr. McAllister’s own professionalism and engagement with students that earned her this award. Congratulations, Linda! It’s an honor to be considered your colleague and to be able to witness your grit and grace day in and day out!

 

Dr. Linda McAllister teaches Sociology and is Co-Chair of the Social Sciences Department at Berkeley City College.

 

bcc logo

Berkeley City College awarded Trade Adjustment Assistance-DBS grant

BCC will receive $300,000 per year for the next three years from a Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA)-DBS (Design It, Build It, Ship It) grant. The funds, part of a San Francisco/East Bay area ten-college consortium, is a regional workforce initiative that will allow the colleges to build accelerated, intensive and regionally articulated programs to train dislocated workers and unemployed adults. BCC will develop programs and “stackable” certificates in Biotechnology, Computer Science and Engineering, Mathematics, and Environmental Chemistry.

 

One of the college’s goals will be to develop career pathways and “Stepping Stones to Science Careers.” Combining this with BCC’s California Institute of Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) will move the college further toward becoming a leader in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) areas. The new funding also will provide support for student services and counseling, collaboration among faculty, and building community partnerships. Several of the grant’s goals will enable BCC to develop:

 

  • stronger stackable certificate programs in advanced manufacturing and logistics and transportation, and biotechnology;
  • internal articulation between advanced manufacturing and STEM-centered engineering pathways at the community colleges, CSUs and UCs;
  • integrated systems for strengthening the enrollment of job seekers into One-Stop career systems and the subsequent job, placement and tracking of students;
  • a better regional system for serving industry and business;
  • integration of new technologies emerging from regional incubators like Lawrence Berkeley National Lab into regional business and the workforce;
  • increased pathways from community colleges to four-year university partners; and
  • technology-enabled learning strategies and other emerging methodologies for assisting displaced and adult job seekers in the region.

 

More information about the grant, BCC’s college and community partners and what it means for the future of curriculum development and occupational training at BCC, will appear in the November issue of BCC Today and in a President’s Bulletin from Dr. Deborah Budd.