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Spring Flex Days

20 February 2017

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The Legacy of Black Power

14 February 2017

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Find All the News in The Merritt Connection’s First Issue of the Year

10 February 2017

Click on the attached February issue of the Merritt Connection from the President’s Office and find out about some of what 2017 has brought to Merritt so far, including: Our new Career Institute and Job Center is open,  our Nursing Program is #1, our Disability Services Program has some new faces, our Kids Camp is back, our Black History Month activities are going strong, long-time staff member Doris Hankins is now helping others succeed, Spring Flex Days (in photos) were a big success, and more!

The deadline for the March issue is Feb. 21 for your story ideas, news items, activities, and photos. All are welcomed. Send to

(Click on the image to open the entire newsletter.)

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ASMC Elections Coming Up; Applications Accepted Feb. 13; Run for Office and Make a Difference!

7 February 2017

It’s election time for ASMC! If elected, students will serve the campus during the 2017-2018 year. All students are urged to participate in this election season. Here’s your chance to run for student government and in the process you will:

  • Gain strong leadership experience
  • Get involved with campus student government events and activities
  • Advocate for your fellow students
  • Bring social justice and change to your campus
  • Have your voice heard and make a lasting impact on your campus

Election packets with all the criteria can be turned in starting Monday, February 13,  or check in with Merritt’s  Student Activities and Campus Life Office.


Application deadline is March 9 @ 5pm, 2017.

Voting will be April 3 -19, 2017.

Get involved, make a positive change within Merritt College!


AS Petition packet 17-18

AS Election Poster 17-18

AS Candidate Application

Voting Timeline




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Career Institute

6 February 2017

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Doris Hankins: After Spending Years Reaching Her Goals, Doris Hankins Helps Others Find Theirs

6 February 2017

It’s easy for Doris Hankins to remember when she was earning her associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees: she was pregnant during each one.

It was a struggle, but she persevered and succeeded because getting an education was so important to her. She attended multiple community colleges, held a variety of jobs in numerous fields, and raised a family along the way.

She knew she had found her calling when selected to be the Employment Services Manager for Merritt’s new Career Institute and Job Center as it would allow her to help current and/or re-entry students and displaced workers by finding externships and internships for them that could lead to potential employment. Her goal is to begin working with industry partners to create Work-Based Learning opportunities at the college, set up informational interviews and job-shadowing, discover new opportunities to connect students and community members, and build out various advisory committees to support our industry partners.

“In my new role, I’ll be meeting with students and community members from all walks of life to find out how I can help fulfill their employment needs. I will be matching up students with our industry partners who can provide opportunities for experience in the field, and I’ll be recommending career and skill-building workshops to help in the process,” says Doris. “I went through all those same questions of what to do with my life, and I hope to share my experiences and be an inspiration.”

Doris took a circuitous path to get to Merritt, but when she got there, she never left. A resident of Vallejo, she committed to finishing school, and found the most support at Merritt where she would eventually earn two associate degrees before continuing her education at various online universities that made it possible for her to study at home.

Merritt was also where she would find a long-term career. She applied for an hourly classified job in Merritt’s Career Center (previously located in the Q Building) and was first hired to work as a Senior Clerical Assistant in the office of former President Dr. Evelyn Wesley. In that office, Doris was allowed to adjust her schedule to meet her educational goals, a kindness she never forgot. She then went on to become the permanent Senior Clerical Assistant to the President. Five years later, she was hired as the Staff Assistant in the Office of the Vice President of Instruction up until now. During that time, she was inspired to become more involved in leadership roles and developed an understanding of the college processes after going through the Chancellor’s Leadership Program.

“While I was working and simultaneously getting my master’s in business and communication, I started joining different committees because I wanted to support the students rather than just sitting on the sidelines,” says Doris. “I wanted to speak up for those who couldn’t and be part of the institution’s success. I never wanted to forget where I came from and to always remember what it’s like to be on the other side of the counter.”

Today, Doris is pleased with her accomplishments and what she has been through. She wishes to make her whole family proud but most importantly her parents. Her father came close to finishing college but stopped to raise his own family. Her mother taught her the value of hard work and to never give up, regardless of the obstacles.
“I was completing my last semester and thinking ‘thank god, I don’t have to do this while I’m pregnant.” I had a plan but then thought, ‘how is this going to work out?’” Doris was lucky to have a supportive husband, Welique, and children (Laci, 16 and Malique, 14) behind her (now joined by Lyric, 2-1/2), and, as always, has made it work.

“I wouldn’t trade my family for anything,” says Doris. “But I’m happy to be in a place where I can also help others. I truly believe in Merritt’s slogan,’We Change Lives.’ So I’m looking forward to helping students reach their goals by nurturing their progress just like a flower—giving them enough water and the right light and then watching them blossom. It’s a beautiful thing.”

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Merritt Celebrates Its First Annual Lunar New Year Event

5 February 2017

Dr. Herbert Kitchen reports on the success of the First Annal Lunar New Year event: The “Year of the Rooster” was welcomed on campus with the traditional “Lion Dance,” performed by Buk Sing Kung Fu Academy out of Fremont. This is a traditional dance in Chinese culture and other Asian countries in which performers mimic a lion’s movements in a lion costume. The lion dance is usually performed during the Lunar New Year and other traditional, cultural and religious festivals. President Burns participated in the traditional “eating of the lettuce” which is symbolic to wealth and prosperity.

Laney faculty member, Sherlyn Chew, served as our narrator for the event and gave a glimpse of  what Lunar New Year means, its traditions, its history and music. We were also  honored to have an ensemble, the “Roaring Tigers,”  all the way from China to perform. Their six-piece ensemble performed a mini concert for our guests. One student remarked, ‘This is what Merritt is all about. Bringing diversity and culturally enriching performances on campus. It was a real treat for me and others. After the performance, guests enjoyed an Asian buffet. The event as sponsored by ASMC and the Office of Student Activities and Campus Life.




















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Art Contest Planned to Raise Awareness of Smoking Dangers and Policies; Deadline is March 10

5 February 2017

In an effort to raise awareness about the dangers of smoking, the Tobacco-Less Club is having a Fresh Air Art Content to create anti-tobacco art AND communicate a no-smoking policy to the public! The winning entries will be made into posters and hung up at a Peralta campus. The top winner will receive $100.


Entries must be a visual art piece (drawing, photography, ceramics, multi-media, etc.) and have anti-tobacco messages to publicize that students can be fined more than $40.00 for smoking or vaping e-cigarettes at the Peralta campuses this year.  It should also include an anti-tobacco message such as how the tobacco industry targets youth, the health hazards of secondhand smoke or E-cigarette vapor, or how the industry targets people of color to smoke menthols.


Click HERE to find out more details about the contest, along with drop-off times and locations. The deadline is Friday, March 10. For more information and questions, contact Marlene Hurd at (510) 467-2683 or or Pauline  Bondonno, (510) 526-8736 or


The art contest is a component of the Artists Resisting Tobacco (A.R.T.) project, which is funded by the Tobacco-Free Generation Campus Initiative (TFGCI) a national grant from the American Cancer Society and the CVS Health Foundation.




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Still Need a Business Class for Spring? Take Late Start Managerial Accounting, BUS 1B, starts 2/13

3 February 2017

If you are a business major and need to take the second-level accounting class to meet your requirements, you have more time! Managerial Accounting, BUS 1B (Code #25384) is being re-offered as an online class and will start on February 13. Enroll now by clicking HERE. If you have any questions, contact the instructor, at

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Music, Dance, and Asian Cuisine at the First Annual Lunar New Year Celebration, Thursday, Feb. 2

30 January 2017

For the first time, Merritt College is hosting a celebration of the Lunar New Year, on Thursday, Feb. 2, at 1:30 in the Student Lounge.  The “Year of the Rooster” will be recognized with entertainment by the “Lion Dancers” and the “Roaring Tigers” music, and as well as a delicious Asian buffet. All are invited to share in this culturally enriching event hosted by the Office of Student Activities & Campus Life and ASMC.


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