Image: Banner image of campus logo Merritt College

Posts Filed under news

Check Out the News in the Latest Issue of The Merritt Connection

9 February 2019

See what’s new at Merritt in the latest issue of The Merritt Connection! The college celebrated the Lunar New Year (Year of the Pig), students from the Inter-Tribal Student Union initiated a successsful official Indigenous Peoples Day for the City of Oakland, a Native American ecology class is beginning at Merritt for the first time on March 1; real estate students graduated from a special program with jobs available at the end of it; and much more!  Click HERE or on image to open!

Filed under: news

First-Time Native American Ecology Course (NATAM 76E) Looks at Sustainable Living; Starts 3/1

7 February 2019

Darby Price has taught over three dozen courses during his teaching career, and most have covered some aspect of ethnic or environmental studies. So he is especially excited to offer a new course that combines both at Merritt: “California Indian Ecology of the Central Coast” (Native American Studies 76E, starting March 1.

“California Indian ecology is a broad topic that is underrepresented in the curriculum, so this course will cover a variety of topics focusing on ecology and the interaction between nature
and humans,” says Darby. “Native American ecological life provides important lessons for
sustainable living, from the arrival of peoples 13,000 years
ago on the California coast to the present.

Students will spend most of the course exploring the Bay Area’s incredible biodiversity through field trips to Point Reyes Miwok Cultural site, Coyote Hills Ohlone site, an Oakland shellmound site, East Bay Regional Park’s Native California botanic garden, and the Native American Health Center (where Darby is a member of the board of directors).

“We all have indigenous roots, and this course is for everyone who wants to reconnect with indigenous ways and learn how to live closer with nature,” says Darby, who is Chinese, Scots, Welsh, and Cherokee, and has lived off the grid in
nature as his ancestors did. “We will focus not only on American Indian ecology
and culture but their ability to survive into the present.”

This course is part of Merritt’s new Natural History & Sustainability Program
which brings together environmental-related classes from a variety of disciplines that offer the knowledge, training, and skills to find a career and help tackle the challenges of the 21st century. Other courses still available for the Spring: Feb. 4: Bay Area Field Studies (GEOL 21, #23387); Feb. 19: Herpetology (BIOL 60C: #24194); March 7: Wisconsin’s Ice Age Trail (BIOL 62W, #24207; March 13: Islands of California (BIOL 62S, #23388).

Filed under: news

Spring Semester Continues; Last Day to Enroll is Feb. 1 (Online Feb. 4) ! Apply and Enroll NOW

28 January 2019

Classes started January 22, but there’s still time to enroll up to Feb. 1 (online Feb. 4) 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!

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


Filed under: news

A Warm Welcome to Dr. David M. Johnson, Merritt’s New Vice President of Instruction

22 January 2019

Dr. David M. Johnson has been named Vice President of Instruction at Merritt College as of January 2019. The Merritt community is invited to a welcome reception for Dr. Johnson which will be announced shortly.

Dr. Johnson comes to Merritt from Las Positas College in Livermore, CA, where he served as Interim Vice President of Academic Services. In that position at Las Positas, Dr. Johnson was responsible for the enrollment management, academic compliance, budget supervision, and overall instructional support for 120 degree, transfer, and certificate programs. He also worked closely with the faculty, staff, and administration to ensure that the institution me accreditation standards were aligned with state initiatives.

Prior to assuming this role, Dr. Johnson spent more than seven years as an administrator at Cañada College in Redwood City. As the Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences, he provided responsive and transparent leadership to foster a culture of partnership and open communication with faculty, staff, and students. He also directed educational outreach through the ESL Community Based English Tutoring program, the Adult-Education College and Career Educational Leadership (ACCEL) Coalition, and dual-enrollment partnerships with local school districts. While serving as the Interim Vice President of Instruction, he took the lead in identifying and supporting professional development opportunities for faculty and staff to stimulate and reinforce excellence in pedagogy and student achievement. He also worked closely with the district office, faculty, and staff to plan and implement capital projects and structural upgrades.

Before moving into administration Dr. Johnson spent 15 years in the classroom, teaching at such institutions as the University of Washington, the University of California, Berkeley, and California State University, East Bay. But it was the experience of teaching at Berkeley City College—first as a part-time faculty member and then as a tenure-track instructor in history and African American Studies—that continues to inform his perspectives and priorities as an educator.

Raised in Oakland, CA and a product of the Oakland Unified School District, Dr. Johnson holds a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication from U.C. Berkeley, a master’s degree in Communication from the University of Washington, and a doctorate in History from U.C. Berkeley.

Filed under: news

Leaping Lizards! Enroll Now in Upcoming Natural History & Sustainability Courses; Click HERE for Flyers

21 January 2019

There’s still time to enroll in Merritt’s new Natural History and Sustainability courses beginning in February, and March! Classes starting soon: Feb. 4: Bay Area Field Studies (GEOL 21, #23387); Feb. 19: Herpetology (BIOL 6C, #24194)); March 1: Ecology of the Central Coast (NARAM 76E, #24239); March 7: Wisconsin’s Ice Age Trail (BIOL 62W, #24207); March 13: Islands of California (BIOL 62S, #23388). For more detailed info and a list of all Spring courses, go to and/or contact Program Director Brad Balukjian at To enroll, go to




Filed under: news

Mark Your 2019 Calendar for Merritt S.O.U.L. Dates for Spring; Next is February 14

19 January 2019

Don’t miss any of the Merritt S.O.U.L. dates for the Spring Semester, 12-4 p.m., in D-144. Coming up are: 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

Filed under: news

ASMC Offers Its Annual Student Scholarships; Apply Now: Deadline is April 11

11 January 2019

ASMC is once again offering its annual scholarships for students which will be announced at the its Annual Scholarships Awards Reception on Wednesday, May 8, in the Student Lounge. You will find all of the scholarship applications HERE. Please share them with students who will benefit from the financial assistance.

(Click image on left for all applications)

Filed under: news

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!

Filed under: news

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.

Filed under: news

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


Filed under: news