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A FLEX Day Full of Surprises Demonstrates the Balancing of Work and Life Self-Care (See Photos)

21 August 2017

It was definitely not business as usual for Friday’s Fall Flex Day. But by the end of it, the Professional Development Committee had  proven its theme of “Sustaining Work & Life Balance Self-Care” with an agenda of both college information and fun activities that brought faculty, staff, and administrators together for a meaningful exchange.


The day started with an ice breaker that showed how we all have each other’s back–literally–by offering words of praise behind our backs! The theme went on during the day with surprise visits from Thundie the Thunderbird, along with Mrs. Doubtfire and Goofy (thanks, Ron!), who handed out red noses and had everyone singing along to “Accentuate the Positive.”


The balance of work came in between and built on the theme with a message from Dr. Burns about what makes us a community, including supporting each other and smiling! Her comprehensive PowerPoint presentation showed all of the recent accomplishments of the college, along with some great photos, and showed how we are all working together toward a common goal.


Reports followed from the Faculty Senate, Classified Senate, and PFT, along with updates on Accreditation and SLOs. After a tasty lunch, Division and Departments met, and at the end of the day new faculty members attended an orientation by Dr. Mario Rivas, Dettie DelRosario, Frances Moy, and Jason Holloway.


A big thanks to the PDC, led by Tom Renbarger, for an uplifting, positive agenda that definitely met its objective. Committee members, along with Tom, are Dr. Lilia Chavez, Jason Holloway, Regan Pruitt, Dr. Jeff Lamb, Dr. Mary Denise Jackson, Margie Rubio, Maria Perez, and Samantha Kessler.

–Susan May













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Get Out of the Classroom and Discover Biology in Real Life! Enroll in BIOL 29, 62P, or 80A

16 August 2017

Find out what biology is all about by experiencing it through real-life field trips to some of the most beautiful natural sites in the area. In the full-semester BIOL 29, “Biology of the Living World,” you’ll visit some of the Bay Area’s regional parks where you will make some amazing discoveries about plants and animals AND get science credits that will transfer to CSU’s and UC’s.


In the late-start, short-term BIOL 62P, “Ecology of Mineral King, SequoiaNational Park, you’ll visit and learn about the glacial landscapes,  alpine lakes, and abundant wildlife in the Southern High Sierras. And in the late-start, short-term BIOL 80A, “Raptors of Central California and the SF Bay Area,” you will travel to see the awe-inspiring raptors which only come to the Bay Area in the fall.


The classes are available for degree and certificate-seeking students or on a one-class-only basis for personal interest.


For more information and to get instructor contact information, click on each flyer to enlarge it. To enroll, go to If you are not already a current student, you can apply and enroll by going to


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8/29 Open House: Learn About Landscape Horticulture and Enroll!

12 August 2017

Whether you may be interested in a career in landscape horticulture or want to learn specifically about shrubs or pruning or mushrooms for your personal interest, come to the Open House at Merritt’s renowned Landscape Horticulture Program on Tuesday, August 29, from 6-8 p.m., on the beautiful 7-1/2 grounds and get all your questions answered. You’ll meet the faculty, see the variety of careers and degrees and certificates leading to them, and be prepared to enroll in classes for the fall semester.


For more information contact Maril M Bull ( or (510) 436-2418. Be sure to visiting Landscape Horticulture’s website at Or, if you already know what you want to take, go straight to applying and/or enrolling at or







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Apply and Enroll Now for Fall 2017! Classes Start August 21

10 August 2017

Enrollment for Fall 2017 is now open to all current and new students! Click on the link below or on the image to open the convenient flip-through version of the schedule to find your classes or go to your Student Passport for the most up-to-date listings and  to enroll!

Fall 2017 Class Schedule
Click here to find most up-to-date information in class schedules.

Student PASSPORT (to enroll in classes and other information)

Summer 2017 Academic Calendar and Priority Enrollment Dates
Fall 2017 Academic Calendar and Priority Enrollment Dates


Filed under: news

New Professor Promises Field Trips and “No Boring Lectures” in BIOL 29

9 August 2017

Dr. Brad Balukjian was raised on a lake in rural Rhode Island where nature was his best friend. He was surrounded by blue herons, bullfrogs, and largemouth bass, and he spent much of his childhood identifying insects that inhabited his immediate world.


This fall, as the newest biology professor at Merritt, he will be teaching “Biology of the Living World” (BIOL 29), a brand-new class taught only at Merritt which will combine the discoveries and wonderment he experienced as a child with the vast knowledge and extensive research he gathered as an adult at Duke University and UC Berkeley.


“You might say I never grew up,” he says with a smile. “I was lucky to be a part of that natural environment, and now I want to share it with Merritt’s students who may not all have had the same opportunities to connect with nature, even though it is all around us in the urban landscape of Oakland.”


As part of the class, his students will get up close and personal with that urban landscape on a variety of fields trips to Bay Area regional parks. “We’ll spend a lot of time outdoors in the field learning to identify the plants, animals, funghi, and other oganisms,” he says. “More than 10 million species call Earth home, from the tiniest bacterium to the biggest blue whale.”


The new transferable biology class was designed for non-science majors who may want to focus more on plants and animals than humans and microbiology. Dr. Balukjian likes to call it, “the class for students who watch ‘The Discovery Channel.’” And he guarantees keeping his students’ attention for the entire semester just like the TV network.


“I have a promise to my students that there will be no boring lectures,” he says. “Part of the reason science has gotten a bad rap for being dull is because of the way it’s often taught by just lecturing in front of the class,” he says. “My method is more non-traditional. I design my classes to include something for every type of learner so they can interpret what they learn in their own way. I’m excited to be able to teach in a community college environment that is all about teaching and mentoring and helping students tap into their own potential.”






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What Makes You Human? Learn More About Yourself in Human Biology 25

9 August 2017

Enroll  now in this rejuvenated introductory class where you will learn and discuss what makes you human. The class will also  explore the human organ systems as we talk about physiology, health issues, and our interaction with the environment. This course touches in a wide range of topics of Human Biology that can help you learn more about yourself and what you want for your future.

The body is wise, the confusion is from the mind.   –Aniekee Tochukwu Ezekiel

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Learn to be Successful Entrepreneurs in Two New Classes (BUS 52 & 74)

8 August 2017

Now you can find out how to use creative strategies when advertising a business (Intro to Advertising, BUS 74 #45046) and promote more effective work relationships in multicultural workplaces (Psychology and  Human Relations in Business, BUS 53, #45044) in these new classes being offered this fall. (See flyers below).


Both classes are transferable, are applicable to any major field of study, and are ideal for any kind of business, including a small business start-up.


See two flyers below for more information, including EXTRA CREDIT given before the class even starts. To enroll, go to or


Contact Info:

Intro to Advertising, Reza Sarraf,, (408) 655-6400
Psychology & Human Relations in Business, Vida Zendehnam,, (925) 812-0807


Two flyers below:

Filed under: news

Food Bank Cancelled on August 10; Next One Scheduled for August 24

7 August 2017

The Alameda County Food Bank scheduled for August 10 is cancelled. Come to the next one on Thursday, August 24, from 11:30  a.m. to 1 p.m. in Room D-144 and on the 2nd and 4th Thursdays after that. Open to all! Remember to bring your own bags.

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Take Pastel Drawing (Art 66, 67, 68) and Bring Out Your Inner Artist

21 July 2017

If you’ve always wanted to try Pastel Drawing and discover the artist in you, you are in luck! Merritt is the only college in the Peralta system to offer it, and it is being taught by Mark Lightfoot, a renowned artist with a studio in Oakland (see his bio here). The class (three levels – ART 66, 67 or 68) are all offered on Mondays, starting August 21. For more information, see the class schedule (page 191)  HERE , apply/enroll HERE, or contact the instructor at













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Genetics is in the Spotlight! Come and Learn the Basics and Explore Career Opportunities

9 July 2017

If you have been hearing the buzz about personalized medicine, genetic testing, and genetic diseases and are curious to find out more, this general genetics course is for you. Enroll in BIOL 36 Human Genetics this fall and learn the basics about the fields that are in the spotlight for the future of medicine and health care. Explore new career opportunities!


Filed under: news