Peralta Community College District's Only Student-Run Publication
Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Trustee Paulina Gonzalez Brito addresses the crowd at Berkeley City College’s 50th anniversary celebration. The event featured a block party along with a groundbreaking ceremony for the college’s new Milvia Street building. (Photo: Marcus Creel/PCCD)
‘We’re still rising’: BCC celebrates 50th anniversary
College throws block party and breaks ground on new building
Sam O'Neil, Associate Editor • May 6, 2024
Student Trustee Natasha Masand believes her voice has the power to impact the PCCD community.
Student Trustee Natasha Masand finds her voice
Isabelly Sabô Barbosa, Social Media Editor • March 19, 2024
PCCDs classified employees pose for a pic at the first-ever professional development day for classified professionals. PCCD Chancellor Tammeil Gilkerson reflected on the event in her report to the Board of Trustees. (Source: PCCD)
Peralta’s leadership search, CCC public safety earmark, and “rumors” discussed at 4/9 meeting of PCCD Trustees
Desmond Meagley, Staff Writer • April 24, 2024
College of Alameda jazz professor Glen Pearson demonstrates his musical talent on his classroom piano. Hes one of the newest members of the Count Basie Orchestra, a historic 18-piece jazz ensemble that took home a Grammy this year.
The humble Grammy-winning pianist leading CoA’s music program
Desmond Meagley, Staff Writer • March 4, 2024

Laney names baseball stadium, FabLab to relocate and more at 4/23 meeting for PCCD trustees

Laney College Baseball held a naming ceremony April 26 for its stadium, now called the Tom Pearse Diamond. The name change was approved by the Peralta Board of Trustees at its April 23 meeting. (Photo: Marcus Creel/PCCD)

The Peralta Community College District (PCCD) Board of Trustees held a regular meeting on April 23. District achievements and strategies were discussed, contracts approved, and several former PCCD employees were honored.

District leaders report on events, elections

The meeting began with a routine set a reports from PCCD leaders, including the chancellor, college presidents, and faculty and classified employee leaders.

Faculty senate pushes for AI career development

In his routine report to the board, Matthew Goldstein, President of the District Academic Senate, discussed the potential future of artificial intelligence in education.

Goldstein shared results of Academic Senate for California Community College’s (ASCCC) spring plenary, a three-day event in San Jose for faculty leaders with the theme of “radicalizing spaces of possibility.”

A resolution proposal authored by Laney Computer Information Systems Instructor Tuan Nguyen and signed off by Laney faculty senate President Leslie Blackie would introduce AI to list of academic disciplines recognized by the state. The proposal, Goldstein reports, is focused on job creation, development, and promoting careers within the field.

Goldstein also addressed the concerns of use of AI in the classrooms, and noted that the District Academic Senate will keep an eye on the ethical considerations as the resolution progresses.

“Peralta’s at a busy intersection in culture and in technology and in ethics,” Goldstein said, adding that the “ongoing discussion” of AI would be closely monitored.

CoA Classified Senate elects new leadership

Roberto Gonzalez, President of Peralta Classified Senate, reported election results for College of Alameda (CoA) Academic Senate.

Chevonn Herbert, Admissions & Records Technician, was elected CoA Academic Senate President while Angela Kimble, Executive Assistant of Student Services, was elected Vice President.

College presidents share updates

Denise Richardson, President of Berkeley City College, reported on the recent block party to celebrate Berkeley City College’s 50th anniversary and groundbreaking on the Milvia Street Expansion Project earlier the same day, referring to the event as “an amazing display of community support and involvement”.

David Johnson, President of Merritt College, reported Merritt College’s celebration of a decade-long partnership with the Consortium of Information Executives to fund Merritt’s cybersecurity program. Organized originally by Professor Anita Black, who at the time came out of retirement to help with the program, the foundation has donated over $350,000 and enrolled over 3,500 students in the cybersecurity program.

Rudy Besikof, President of Laney College, asked the board to adjourn the meeting in the memory of Earnest Crutchfield, former Merritt College counselor and Laney College President.

Pamela Luster, Acting CoA President, reported CoA’s eighth annual youth career and job fair and success with Mobile COA, COA’s outreach program to boost enrollment.

Chancellor announces student leadership meeting, awards

Chancellor Tammeil Gilkerson recognized student trustees Natasha Masand and Naomi Vasquez for hosting their second district-wide student leaders meeting since their first one in February. Associated student groups from all four colleges were present.

Gilkerson also acknowledged the John Muir Award for Environmental Education Advocacy earned by Merritt College’s Natural History and Sustainability Program.

Finally, Gilkerson launched Peralta’s Flying Pig Awards, meant to celebrate any and all PCCD community members for their exceptional accomplishments.


Board approves consent calendar

The board approved the consent calendar, a group of agenda items typically approved in one motion without discussion. Trustees may pull items from the consent calendar to discuss and vote individually. No items were pulled for discussion at this meeting. The following items were on the consent calendar.

Funding for student resources

A contract with BioTech Partners was ratified for the amount of $56,554 to expand access for Berkeley High School graduates in the field of biotechnology. BioTech Partners is a development of Bayer HealthCare and the City of Berkeley.

California Department of Rehabilitation (DOR) will provide additional funding to the tune of $31,260 to a pre-existing contract with COA to the collaboration WorkAbility III Program to supply students and DOR clients with more access to resources for employment opportunities.

A contract not to exceed $85,000 was ratified with Construction Trades Workforce Initiative (CTWI) to increase participation in construction trades. The contract will introduce a “pre-apprenticeship”program to the existing Laney College construction program.

Laney FabLab to relocate

The board approved the construction services contract to relocate Laney College’s Digital Fabrication Lab, also known as the FabLab, from the Theater Building to the Art Center Building. The change is made in anticipation of the pending Theater Modernization Project, according to a description of the agenda item.

Holly Morris, FabLab Tech, and Levi Williams, FabLab consultant responded in email correspondence when asked for comment

“We’re thrilled about this development and deeply appreciate the commitment from Laney College and Peralta CCD,” Morris and Williams wrote. “The construction of a new, purpose built, home for the Laney FabLab will go a long way in supporting our continued efforts to provide all students with equitable access to the world of digital fabrication.”

A resignation, a retirement, and an appointment

The resignation of Cora Leighton was approved and is set for Aug. 1, 2024. Leighton is a Communications Instructor and Distance Education Coordinator at Berkeley City College, where she worked for 12 years.

The retirement of Atheria Smith, Interim Vice Chancellor of General Services, was approved, effective April 19, 2024.

Diane Chang was approved as Interim Dean of Math, Science, and Applied Technology at Merritt College. Her appointment is effective April 24, 2024 through the same date in 2026.


Laney baseball stadium and bullpen named after former coaches

The board voted to name the Laney College Baseball Stadium “Tom Pearse Diamond” and the Baseball Stadium Bullpen “John Martinez Bullpen” after two former coaches.

Francisco Zapata, Head Coach for the Laney College baseball team, took to the podium to speak in favor of the request to name Laney’s baseball field and stadium after former coach Tom Pearse and assistant coach John Martinez. Chancellor Gilkerson also spoke to support the agenda item. The item was approved unanimously.

Laney College subsequently held a naming ceremony for the baseball stadium April 26.


Student trustees elected

Student Trustee Natasha Masand announced the results of the student trustee election. Masand and Sophia Parmigiani, two students from BCC, ran uncontested for two student trustee seats. Masand was re-elected with 229 votes, while Parmigiani received 253 votes. Both will serve in advisory roles on the PCCD Board of Trustees for the next school year.

The meeting was adjourned in memory of the late Earnest Crutchfield, former Merritt College counselor and Laney College president.

About the Contributor
Eliot Faine
Eliot Faine, Staff Writer
Eliot Faine (he/they) is a returning community college student and Journalism major. The empowerment of self determination motivates their work, and he believes the most autonomous venue is to arm communities with the truth. Sword, meet pen. Eliot opens themselves to learning something new every day, and will generally try anything at least twice. They are particularly interested in penning the stories from communities and their leaders in the movement towards a more just society.
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