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Register on the Spot During Super Saturdays, Jan. 21 and 28

18 January 2017

Haven’t had a chance to apply and/or enroll for Spring 2017 classes yet? Now you can complete the entire process at once during Merritt’s Super Saturdays on January 21 and 28, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the R Building. You can satisfy 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 Spring classes.) You’ll be all ready to start classes on January 23! We hope to see you then! (Or you can apply and/or enroll now by clicking HERE. )


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FLEX Days Highlighted by Keynote Speech on “Immunity to Change,” College Updates, and Timely Workshops, Jan. 19-20

18 January 2017

(SEE FULL SCHEDULE) The dedication and hard work of the Professional Development Committee  has culminated in two days of meaningful speeches, meetings, and workshops on Jan. 18 and 19 that offer opportunities that will “enable us to serve our students even more effectively,” says PDC chair Jason Holloway. A couple of changes this year in the usual schedule include Division meetings being held on Wed., Jan 18 at Laney from 3:15-4;30 p.m. and an experimental electronic registration system.


This semester’s Spring FLEX Days, with the theme, “The Merritt Campaign: Communication, Collaboration, Collegiality,” will kick off with updates by Merritt’s leaders, followed by keynote speaker Tony Brown, a Merritt alumnus and long-time college administrator, who will  speak on “Immunity to Change.” Following lunch, Communication faculty member Dr. Mary Denise Jackson will speak on “The A.C.E.  Campaign: Improving from the Inside Out,” and Parliamentarian Lorenzo Cuesta will offer, “The Majority Rules, But Why Let  Them?”  The day will end with a faculty orientation by Dr. Mario Rivas.


On Friday, Dr. Marie-Elaine Burns will give her President’s Address, followed Dr. Arnulfo Cedillo’s talk on “Title IX: An Institutional Imperative.” Topics for afternoon workshops will include Self-Care  by Dr. Hilary Altman, Work-Based Learning by Dr. Roberta Kunkel and Maria Spencer, Canvas/Moodle Training by Alexis Alexander, District IT Help Desk Support by Alex Hernandez, Classroom Scheduling Project by Chioma Ndubuisi, Institutional Learning Outcomes (ILO) by Laura Forlin and Heather Casale, Effective Communication by Doris Hankins, Dual Enrollment/Hybrid Courses by Jayi Thompson, Smart Classroom Training by Jason Holloway Veterans on Campus by Stefani de Vito, and Institutional Research 101 by Samantha Kessler.


The Merritt Campaign: Communication, Collaboration, Collegiality

Wednesday, January 18, 2017  Laney College

See District FLEX Day Schedule (at Laney College)

–          District-wide Discipline Meetings 1 – 2:15 pm

–          Campus Division Meetings to be held from 3:15 pm – 4:30 pm

Thursday, January 19, 2017  Merritt College

Newton Seale Lounge – Room R 110



8 – 9 am


9 – 9:50 am

College Leadership

Peralta Colleges Chancellor – Dr. Jowel Laguerre

Merritt College President – Dr. Marie Elaine Burns

ASMC President – Anita R. Johnson

Academic Senate President – Dr. Mario Rivas

Classified Senate President – Waaduda Karim

PFT Union Representatives – Eva Ng-Chin / Tanya Illarde

IUOE Local 39 Union Steward – Tim Brice

SEIU 1021 Union Steward – Molly Sealund

10 – 12 pm

Immunity to Change: A Framework for Achieving Challenging Personal, Professional, and Institutional Goals – Tom Brown

12 – 1 pm


1 – 2 pm

The A.C.E. Campaign:  “Improving from the Inside Out”

– Dr. Mary Denise Jackson

2 – 5 pm


The Majority Rules, But Why Let Them? – Parliamentary Procedures Training – Lorenzo Cuesta

5 – 6 pm

New Faculty Orientation – Dr. Mario Rivas

Friday, January 20, 2017 Merritt College




8 – 9 am


R 110

9 – 9:20 am

President’s Address – Dr. Marie Elaine Burns

R 110

9:20 – 9:50 am

Title IX: An institutional Imperative – Dr. Arnulfo Cedillo


R 110

9:50 – 10:30 am


Robbie Kunkel – Career Team Institute

Ann Elliott – Online tutoring

Daraja Wagner – CAYFES Program Manager

Alexis Alexander – Canvas Migration

Stefani de Vito / Margie Rubio – Student Veterans

R 110

10:30 – 12:00 pm

Department Meetings



12 – 1 pm



1 – 2 pm

Self-Care Workshop – Dr. Hilary Altman




Career Institute Team – Work Based Learning – Robbie Kunkel/ Maria Spencer


Canvas/Moodle training – Alexis Alexander

P 103

1 – 2 pm

District IT help Desk Support – Alex Hernandez



1 – 4 pm

Classroom Scheduling Project – Chioma Ndubuisi

L 132

2 – 3 pm

ILO (Institutional Learning Outcomes) Assessment – Laura Forlin/ Heather Casale

P 111

Effective Communication – Doris Hankins

R 28

Dual Enrollment / Hybrid Courses – Jayi Thompson

L 131

District IT Help Desk Support – Alex Hernandez

P 218

3 – 4 pm

Smart Classroom Training – Jason Holloway

S 455

Student Veterans – Stefani de Vito

A 139

Institutional Research 101 – Samantha Kessler

P 103


WORKSHOP DESCRIPTIONS – Thursday, January 19, 2017


Keynote Speaker: Tom Brown – Thomas Brown and Associates, LLP

Tom Brown is a Merritt College alumnus who served for 27 years as a Student and Academic Affairs educator, most recently as Dean of Advising Services/Special Programs at Saint Mary’s College of California.  He currently serves as a higher education consultant and has worked with more than 450 two- and four-year colleges and universities in the US and abroad.  Tom has served as a consultant to the Peralta Community College District and has also facilitated retreats and professional development presentations for Merritt College Leadership, as well as faculty, administrators, and classified staff.  He delivered the keynote address to the 2015 California Community College Classified Senate (4CS) Institute and has facilitated professional development and empowerment programs for classified staff on numerous California community college campuses


Immunity to Change: A Framework for Achieving Challenging Personal, Professional, and Institutional Goals –  Thomas Brown – Thomas Brown and Associates, LLP

A recent study showed that when doctors tell heart patients they will die if they don’t change their habits, only one in seven will be able to follow through successfully. Desire and motivation aren’t enough: even when it’s literally a matter of life or death, the ability to change remains maddeningly elusive. Given that the status quo is so potent, how can we change ourselves and our organizations?

Tom Brown answers this potent question in an interactive workshop based on Robert Kegan and Lisa Lahey’s book, Immunity to Change: How to Overcome It and Unlock the Potential in Yourself and Your Organization (Leadership for the Common Good). Learn about the Immunity to Change process and participate in an Immunity Map exercise in response to the goal:  We Want to Increase Engagement/Involvement in Participatory Governance at Merritt College.  We will explore the following questions:

1.       What are we Doing/Not Doing that serve as obstacles to increasing engagement/involvement?

2.       What are some Hidden Commitments that impede the increase of engagement or involvement?

3.       What are some Big Assumptions that impede our goal?

4.       How can we plan & act to challenge and move beyond our Big Assumptions


Dr. Mary-Denise Jackson – Merritt College

Dr. Mary Denise Jackson is a Communication adjunct at Merritt College and at Holy Names University in Oakland, California.  She has also taught at Berkeley City College and Laney College.  Before relocating to California, she taught English at Thomas Nelson Community College in Hampton, Virginia and Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Virginia.   Prior to entering the teaching field, she worked as an anchor, reporter and/or producer at television stations in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Missouri.  She continues to freelance as a journalist.


The A.C.E. Campaign:  “Improving from the Inside Out”

The Achieving Communication Excellence Campaign is designed to address ways to improve communication within the Peralta Community College District.  The District is serving as the pilot and the campaign will move to the four respective colleges.  This workshop will not only provide further details on the A.C.E. campaign but will focus on the underlying cause of miscommunication within the district overall and provide practical ways to improve communication interactions.


Lorenzo Cuesta – Parliamentarian

Lorenzo Cuesta is a Professional Registered Parliamentarian certified by the National Association of Parliamentarians. He is a frequent writer for the association’s national quarterly.
For more than 15 years, he has served as parliamentarian for numerous boards and conventions in and out of California. Additionally he trains non-profit associations, colleges, and unions on parliamentary procedure and the Brown Act. He is the immediate past president of the California State Association of Parliamentarians.

The Majority Rules, But Why Let Them?

“Rules protect rights, and guarantee the success of the organization’s objectives. Parliamentary procedure assures that rules are complied with or are updated to match the association’s changing needs. The community demands that all deliberation and decisions be conducted in an open environment. My workshop teaches Robert’s Rules and the Brown Act to help the association members meet these challenges.”


WORKSHOP DESCRIPTIONS – Friday, January 20, 2017



Veterans on Campus: Ensuring Their Success – Stefani de Vito

 Thanks to the Post 9/11 G.I. Bill, Merritt College is home to an increasing number of veterans returning from active duty. As their teachers and mentors, you play a critical role in shaping their transition from military to civilian life and in fostering their academic success. This workshop uses the lived experiences of actual student veterans to increase your understanding of the challenges they face and the unique value they bring to our campus. You will leave with practical strategies to maintain positive, supportive and sensitive interactions with veterans in your classroom.


Self – Care Workshop –   Dr. Hilary Altman

As faculty, staff, and administrators, our jobs involve ensuring that we communicate with our colleagues, supervisors, and students In ways that display our best selves, sending positive messages and representing ourselves in ways that demonstrate our respect for others.  SELF-CARE, or the ways that we purposefully care for our bodies, minds, and spirits, is an essential tool to avoid burnout and resentment, and to give ourselves the energy, peace, and ability to care for others.

In this workshop, we will discuss and practice some strategies for self-care.  Participants will also be asked to share methods they use to care for themselves.  There will be some take-home tools/items for participants, as self-care is an on-going need.



Career Institute and Job Center at Merritt College – Dean Robbie Kunkel and Dean Maria Spencer

“The Career Institute and Job Center at Merritt College is launching on January 26, 2017.  In this presentation, we will address the courses and programs being offered to students and the Oakland community at large.  Learn about WIOA enrollments and the student support services provided to those eligible, Adult Education and the build-out of the non-credit program at Merritt College, and how you can become involved in the Career Institute and Job Center at Merritt College!  Together, we will build a strong Oakland and help our students and community prepare for great careers!”


Setting Up Your Moodle for the Spring – Alexis Alexander

Attendees will be able to set up their Moodle shell for fall to make it student friendly, provide orientation materials, add their syllabus, handouts or any other materials, etc. There will also be discussion and an opportunity to ask questions about our transition to Canvas.


ILO (Institutional Learning Outcomes) Assessment – Laura Forlin/ Heather Casale

Join us for a collaborative, campus wide discussion on ILO assessment. We’ll look at previous assessment methods and outcomes and plan for Spring’s ILO, Computer Literacy. Participants will learn what the ILO’s are, methods of assessing them, and alignment with PLO (Program Learning Outcomes) and SLO’s (Student Learning Outcomes)- getting the most bang for your assessment buck!


Sharing Responsibility for Student Success in a Dual Enrollment Course: A Case Study – Jayi Thompson

Dual enrollment can benefit many high school students, including those from populations facing significant barriers to college success. In this session, presenters will share building a successful dual enrollment course using an online hybrid format, which provided course flexibility, student/faculty engagement, skills development, and on-site student support. Research from the Community College Research Center presented in Broadening the Benefits of Dual Enrollment (Hughes, 2012) suggests that success is improved when the college has good relationships and communication channels with high school administration, has identified appropriate courses and well-prepared faculty, and has created clear procedures, protocols, and expectations. Presenters will report on student outcomes and lessons learned from the past 3 semesters.

Title IX: An institutional Imperative – Dr. Arnulfo Cedillo

  • What is the law?
  • What does it say?
  • What is the Institutional responsibility?

During this presentation, you will be become more familiar with Title IX and the next steps the College must take now and moving forward.


Schedule Your Classes and Rooms in Seconds. Classroom Scheduling Project – Chioma Ndubuisi

The overall goal of the project is to allow the Peralta Colleges to schedule its space more effectively and efficiently, by assuring consistent and accurate data and measures across the District. Through consistent data integrity, this project will define a more objective process that will allow each location and the system to tell the full story of our space utilization and improve the quality of space management decisions. Series25© give us a complete set of advanced tools for optimizing classroom and event scheduling, space and resource management, web calendar publishing, online ticket and merchandise sales, and inventory management, as well as master planning and reporting.

This workshop is intended for staff assistants that process space requests and reservations, department chairs, vice-presidents, etc.


District IT Help Desk Support – Alex Hernandez

Are you having issues with your laptop or connecting to internet? Come to room P – 218. I will be available for drop-in service from 1 – 3 pm on Friday. I look forward to helping you with your technology issues.


Smart Classroom Training – Jason Holloway

Participants will become familiar with the setup of the smart classroom. By the end of the session, faculty will be able to use the basic features of the classroom: document camera, audio – video equipment, and the use of auxiliary connections to interface personal equipment


Institutional Research and Data 101 – Samantha Kessler

After attending this workshop, participants will be able to:

· Define institutional research and understand why it is important

· Find Merritt College data on the Peralta website, BI tool and the CCCO website.

· Recognize how the college has used data in planning and decision making in recent semesters.

· Brainstorm how they can use data in their immediate department or service unit.

New Faculty Orientation – Dr. Mario Rivas 

If you are new to Merritt College, please attend this workshop to learn about important faculty procedures such as how to make copies, submit census rosters/grades, and obtain keys. You will also become more familiar with evaluation procedures.


On behalf of the Professional Development Committee, welcome back and we look forward to doing more and doing it better!


Jason Holloway

Merritt College

Professional Development Committee Chair

(510) 436 – 2615

The mission of Merritt College is to enhance the quality of life in the communities we serve by helping students to attain knowledge, master skills and develop the appreciation, attitudes, and values needed to succeed and participate responsibly in a democratic society and a global economy.

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Start a Career in Real Estate; Get Your License in 2017! Classes Start Jan. 23

17 January 2017

Are you interested in an exciting career in Real Estate? This coming Spring semester, Merritt is offering nearly a dozen classes and the opportunity to earn your real estate license within 2017. Enroll today to take advantage of the variety of classes, from Real Estate Principles to Appraisals to Investments, and start a new career! Both in class and online courses are offered, including on Saturdays. Some start the week of January 23 and others are late-start classes. Apply and enroll by going to For more information contact Guy Forkner at



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Come to the Grand Opening of the Career Institute and Job Center on Thursday, Jan. 26, 10:30-4

16 January 2017

Thanks to Merritt’s Shaka Garrett for helping move furniture and build partitions in preparation for the Grand Opening of Merritt’s new Career Institute and Job Center on Thursday, January 26, in Building D, Room 178, from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. According to Dean Roberta Kunkel, the Career Technical Education Program received funding through the federal government’s Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) to create the center which will offer job-search services, career-readiness and development workshops, education counseling, and more to the college and community. For more information, come out to the Grand Opening to meet the staff and see the facilities, or contact Dr. Victor Littles at

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Apply and Enroll Now for Spring 2017 and Get the Classes You Want!

2 January 2017

Apply and enroll now for the Spring Semester and get the classes you want! Classes start January 23. Click on the schedule image to find the printed schedule, the most up-to-date schedule and search link, your student PASSPORT link to enroll, and the Spring Academic Calendar with all the important dates and deadlines for the year!


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Enroll Now to Explore the Wonders of Biology in 1A & 1B This Spring

1 January 2017

(SEE FLYERS BELOW FOR DETAILS) Learn about the fascinating world of biology while earning transfer credit for UCs! In BIOL 1A (you will explore topics on cellular biology, genetics, life diversity, biotechnology, human physiology, and human health, and you will visit biotech companies and other organizations to explore career opportunities. In BIOL 1B, you’ll learn about ecology, origins of life, evolution plant diversity and structure, and you will visit gardens, aquariums, and other points of interest.


For questions, contact instructor Maria Suarez, Ph.D. at

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Experience the “Natural History of Taiwan” in this New 6-Session Spring Class (BIO 65A); Starts Feb. 2

31 December 2016

Experience the “Natural History of Taiwan,”  in this new late-start, six-session class starting February 2 (BIO 65A, Code 24240). The island of Taiwan sits astride the Tropic of Cancer and includes life zones from tropical monsoon forest to the arctic-alpine. This course is required preparation for the planned field session to Taiwan in May and June 2017, but anyone interested in Taiwan and in earning 1-unit credit is welcome to join the class (it fulfills a requirement in the Natural History Certificate of Proficiency). For more information or questions, contact Instructor Ron Felzer, (510) 436-2618 or

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“Bridge to Healthcare Careers” Offers Introduction to Merritt’s Allied Health and Science Programs, Starts Feb. 7; Orientations 1/3, 1/18, and 2/3

14 December 2016

Find out if you are eligible for an exciting program that will introduce you to healthcare careers and support you in being successful.  “Bridge to Healthcare Careers,” offers eligible community members (without a college degree) an opportunity to learn about healthcare careers and will give you the knowledge and skills to succeed in college classes. Participants from 18 years old and up will get hands-on lessons in many of Merritt’s Allied Health and Bioscience courses. The program runs from February 7 to May 26 and offers four Orientation sessions: Dec 20, Jan. 5, Jan. 18, and Feb 3.  See flyer below for more information. For questions, call Victor Littles, (510) 862-7605.


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Sankofa Students Inspired by Umoja XII Conference in Los Angeles

13 December 2016

Early in November, Sankofa Counselor Derrick Ross took 10 students to the two-day Umoja XII Conference in Los Angeles. This was the first time Merritt students attended, and it was an eye-opening experience for them to be among so many of their peers. More than 300 students from 35 different California community colleges attended the event hosted by the Los Angeles Community College District.

Umoja (a Kiswahili word meaning unity) is a community and critical resource dedicated to enhancing the cultural and educational experience of African American and other students. That meaning was evident at the conference where students were inspired by such speakers as Tavis Smiley, late-night tv host and author of 21 books, as well as by workshops they attended, from community building to educating through mentorships.

One of the most memorable aspects of the conference for the students was the opportunity to meet, talk to, and learn from students from throughout the state and share experiences.

Chioma Nwachukwu says the experience was like an epiphany for her. “I really enjoyed seeing multiple people from different age groups—thousands of beautiful, positive people who came together. One speaker touched on knowing your way in life and what you’re supposed to do and looking for signs to follow your dreams. As I was contemplating all of that, I ended up meeting a Nigerian woman on the plane home who spent time helping me with aligning my goals and leading me closer to what I want to do.”

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Find Out the Latest News, Features, Awards, and Retirements in December’s Merritt Connection

6 December 2016

Check out The Merritt Connection to find the President’s review of fall activities and a look toward what’s to come, honors for Judy Adams after 30 years, a profile of Lorna Pascual who will retire after 43 years, the Men’s Basketball team’s journey along Lake Merritt with Coach McMiller, Sankofa students’ trip to the Umoja Conference with counselor Derrick Ross,  and much more!


This is the last issue of the year, don’t miss it! Feel free to contribute articles and/or photos for the first 2017 issue. The deadline is January 24. Have a great holiday!


See the entire issue HERE or click  on the image below!

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