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Mark Your Calendar for Spring Flex Day with the Theme “Claiming Resilience” on 1/18

14 January 2019

Thanks once again to the Professional Development Committee, chaired by Dr. Maria Rodriguez, for a day of important activities based on your feedback from previous Flex Days. Maria asks that you check the schedule below and plan ahead as some of the workshops require pre-registration. The day begins with breakfast at 8:30, welcome from Merritt constituencies at 8:45, and a welcome from President Burns at 9:15 and ends at 5 p.m.

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Now You Can Learn Anatomy Online At Your Convenience; Enroll Now for BIOL 2

10 January 2019

Now, for the first time,  you can save commute time and take an anatomy class online with video lectures and detailed explanations on Canvas. The course will include a detailed study of human body structure: molecules, cells, tissues, organs, and organ systems. The lab will be in class on Fridays, from 1-4 p.m. For questions, contact the instructor Nadia Fouladian at To enroll, click HERE. 

Following are the required books for the class: 

1 – Human Anatomy, 9th Edition, Martini, Tallitsch & Nath, Pearson, ©2018, ISBN 10: 0-13-432076-X ISBN-13: 978-0-13-432076-2 (or 8th or 7th Ed. if you can’t afford the 9th Ed. or International, or a la carte edition). Usually there is one or two copies of the books, or previous editions of the book, on reserve in the college library, to use for two hours inside the library.

2 – Lab Book: A Photographic Atlas for Anatomy & Physiology, Edition 1, Hebert, Heisler, Chinn, Krabbenhoft, Malakhova, ISBN-10: 0321869257,  ISBN-13: 9780321869258, ©2015, Pearson.


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Register on the Spot at Super Saturdays on January 19 and 26

8 January 2019

Haven’t had a chance to apply and/or enroll for Spring classes yet? Want to get it done all at once? Now you have a chance to complete the entire process during Merritt’s Super Saturdays on January 19 & 26 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the R Building. You can complete the admissions, orientation, assessment, and counseling requirements and even apply for financial aid. (If you are a Continuing student you can simply register for your classes.) You’ll be all ready to start classes on January 22. We’ll see you then! (Or you can apply and/or enroll now by clicking HERE. )


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Dive Head-First Into Marine Biology (BIOL 9) and Learn How Sharks and Other Sea Creatures Thrive. Enroll TODAY!

8 January 2019

The ocean can be many things to many different people. Beneath its waters lies a world of creatures who seem both terrifying and mysterious at the same time. In this marine biology class, we will dive into this world head-first. Please note, you will not be scuba certified in this course. Starting with the importance of studying marine life and the basic properties of the ocean floor, we will move along to the various types of organisms found in the ocean and their unique adaptions, before finally settling on the ecological impacts that us humans have had on the ocean. Through various field trips to aquariums, tide pools, and other coastal areas, you will experience the joy of witnessing marine life both as curious onlookers and as scientists. For those of you interested in more marine life, this course can be the turning point on your road to more advanced degrees in marine biology or similar fields. This class is CSU and UC transferable. 

Enroll today at Find out about all the courses in the new Natural History & Sustainability courses by going to or clicking HERE. For questions, contact Program Director Brad Balukjian at


Instructor Analisa Brown is part professor, part travel lover, and on a quest to introduce students to the joys of marine life. Indeed it was through television where she first fell in love with the ocean and the organisms that lived therein. Shortly after graduating with her bachelor’s, Analisa fulfilled her life’s goal of going to South Africa to study Great White Sharks. After achieving such success early in her career, Analisa decided to encourage students to shoot for their dreams and goals by succeeding in higher education. Along with teaching at Merritt College, Analisa also is a biology professor at Diablo Valley Community College. She has a bachelor’s degree in marine biology and a masters in biology.

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Spring Semester Starts January 22! Apply and Enroll NOW Before Classes Fill Up.

6 January 2019

Classes start January 22, but the time to enroll is NOW before they get filled up and you’re out of luck! Check below for all the links you’ll need to make it happen now: Full class schedule, course listings only, steps to apply and enroll, college catalog, Spring 2019 academic calendar. Just do it!

Spring classes start Tuesday, January 22, 2019.

Click on the following to find:
• Spring 2019 class schedule
• Course listings only
• steps to apply and enroll
• college catalog
•  Spring 2019 academic dates


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Searching for a 2019 Calendar? Get a Merritt Wall Calendar for Free from EOPS/CARE!

6 January 2019

If you are scrambling to find a calendar to keep track of your 2019 appointments, look no further. Once again the EOPS/CARE folks have created a wall calendar that displays beautiful photos each month of your colleagues (and maybe even you)!The calendar also includes the important academic dates for the year and  a 2020 calendar to plan for next year!  With a cover photo of a gorgeous Merritt sunset (taken by talented CARE Director Rachel Ellis), the calendar is offered at no charge to Merritt faculty, staff, and students just by requesting it from Rachel ( Happy 2019!

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Mark Your 2019 Calendar for Merritt S.O.U.L. Dates for Spring Starting January 24

6 January 2019

Don’t miss the first Merritt S.O.U.L. for the Spring Semester on Thursday, Jan. 24, 12-4 p.m., in D-144 and mark your calendar for the rest: 2/14, 2/28, 3/14 3/28, 4/11, 4/25, 5/9, and 5/23. Choose from fresh produce and often free small plants to grow your own produce courtesy of the Landscape Horticulture Department. Also once a month enjoy healthy snacks to sample while you shop! If you’d like to volunteer to help out, please contact Brandon Christian, Merritt S.O.U.L. Coordinator, at

For more information, go to the website at

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Merritt Alumna Credits Histotech Program for Successful Career

10 December 2018

With a strong interest in science, Feather Ives headed from El Cerrito High School to San Diego State University as a first-generation college student to follow her passion. Though her intended path did not work out as planned at first, she would end up years later with lots of real-life experiences behind her as she transitioned to an in-demand career in science.

“I ended up majoring in public administration at SDSU which enabled me to do something practical and get my professional life started,” says Feather. “My first ‘adult’ job was an advertising sales position at the LA Daily News where I was put into leadership roles. Then I spent the next 10 years building my resume in various industries.”

So while her science dreams were put on hold, the rest of her life was most certainly moving at full speed: In business, she managed small and midsize teams, worked in business development, and was an affordable housing property manager. She even spent a year and a half teaching English in South Korea. In pursuing her interest in public health, she provided re-entry assistance to prisoners at San Quentin, taught English online to girls in Afghanistan, and is a board member for an organization that provides integrative medicine to women with cancer living below the poverty line. In January 2015, she had a daughter and became a stay-at-home mom for two years.

It was during that time she attended a housewarming party for a friend who had recently completed the Merritt Histotechnology Program. The friend explained that histotechnology involved thinly slicing and staining biopsy tissue and preparing slides for viewing under a microscope to diagnose diseases.

“I had always been interested in pathology and when I heard that the Merritt program would cost only $2,000 and I could earn $70,000 and up, I enrolled in the first courses that spring of 2016.

Feather credits Microscopy Program Director Gisele Giorgi with her success in getting through the rigorous schedule. “Gisele was my professor and my mentor, and she was so supportive,” says Feather. “She also has great connections with companies who are looking for interns, and I ended up being offered two internships at the same time—Gladstone Institute and Chan Zuckerberg Biohub—where I got on-the-job training and learned a ton working on the microscopes and in the wet lab.” She also was thrilled to have a scientific article published with several other authors in the prestigious journal Nature during her time at Biohub.

In two years, the hard work in classes and experience in internships paid off. Feather was offered her “dream job” at UC Berkeley where she is currently a Research Associate in the Molecular Imaging Center and works with director Holly Aaron who is on the Merritt Microscopy Program’s advisory board.

“It says a lot about the biosciences programs at Merritt,” says Feather. “There are no barriers to entry. You apply to Merritt and enroll in the intro microscopy course. Histotech and microscopy jobs are in high demand with openings across the country in private industry, universities, and hospitals.  I also love this program because of its inclusion and diversity in age, gender, and race. Our program looks how science classrooms should look everywhere.”

To help others achieve success, Feather has been mentoring Merritt students to help them transition into higher-paying jobs so they can continue to live in the Bay Area. “Many of our students are mid-career,” she says, “and the goal is to train folks for jobs that get them out from under the $20 per hour range and earning $35 an hour or more.

Feather has recently been accepted into a Master’s of Public Health Program and is deciding which of her many interests she’ll pursue. But whatever she does, she says she’ll always remember the college’s slogan ‘We Change Lives’ and be grateful to Merritt for providing the program and support that changed hers.

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Get Ready For a Relaxing New Year….Add Yoga to Your Schedule! Starts 1/22, 6-6:50

10 December 2018

Will you be ready to de-stress after the hectic holidays? Why not add yoga to your schedule and free your mind to start the new year! Back by popular demand, Sabrina Smith will teach yoga at three levels in the same class:  Fundamentals (51A), Beginning (51B) or Intermedate (51C). You will learn yoga stretches and postures, conscious breathing patterns, and relaxation techniques. Enroll now at For questions, contact instructor Sabrina Smith at


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Plans Underway for First Latinx Graduation Celebration to Honor Student Achievements

10 December 2018

In the last speech before his death in 1993, Cesar Chavez spoke of education as being one of the biggest battles for Latinos. If children were to find success in society, he said, they must be encouraged to complete as much education as possible.

Throughout the years, Merritt College has worked toward this goal by continuously recruiting, supporting, and advocating for its Latinx students to follow through on Chavez’s legacy. The college has had an active Puente Program for more than 30 years and recently achieved HSI status (Hispanic-Serving Institution) with more than 30 percent of Latinx students. That population is also supported by the District-wide PACLA (Peralta Association of Chicanx and Latinx DeAztlan.)

This year, for the first time, the Latinx students will be publicly recognized for their accomplishments and their heritage at the Latinx Graduation Celebration (LGC) on April 27, to be held in the Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale Student Lounge. Hard at work planning to make this event a success is a committee of 29 members, co-chaired by Dr. Lilia Chavez, Maria Suarez Rodriguez, Dr. Mario Rivas, Rosa S. Perez, Dr. Marty Zielke, Jennifer Briffa, Isela Santana, Jose Salceda, and Dr. Rick Ramos, and including Dean Jason Holloway and Dean Syed Hussain.                                                                                                                                                                         

“For many years we wanted to have a Latinx graduation, but we didn’t have the appropriate support,” says Jennifer Briffa, Child Development instructor. “Now with the increase in Latinx faculty and students, we have support from faculty, staff, and administrators, and students from ASMC, Puente and First-Year Experience.”

The event is designed to portray the accomplishments of Latinx students to their proud families, friends and community members. Along with the ceremony honoring each student, there will be a spiritual blessing, guest speakers, music, short speeches by student honorees, awards and recognitions to supporters, and light refreshments. Each graduate will be presented with a specially designed stole marking the memorable occasion.

The committee considers the event to be more than just a graduation, but a way to also rejoice in the achievements of Merritt’s students as they move out into the world and represent their heritage in their successful new ventures.

“This milestone event is intended not only to celebrate students’ achievements,” says Mario, “but also to reaffirm our commitment to uplifting the Latinx community by helping students access college opportunities so they can move on to higher paying careers and positions of leadership in our society.”

Photo: Planning for the first-ever LatinX Graduation Celebration are some of the nearly 30 committee members: (left to right)  Rosa Perez, Jennifer Briffa, Rick Ramos, Maria Suarez Rodriguez, and Mario Rivas.

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