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19 February 2018

Good evening all,

 I’m proud to announce the Merritt College Women’s Basketball team is officially the 2017-2018 Bay Valley Conference Champions. This is the first non shared conference championship in 22 years. Sophomores Nyela Cade, Jannette Davis, and Kalea Pickeral-Dennis were voted to the Bay Valley All Conference Team. Additionally, my Coaching Staff and Players helped me achieve the Bay Valley Conference 2017-2018 “Coach of The Year Award”.

We invite all students, faculty, and staff to come out and support your Lady T-Birds as we host Los Medanos College in the first round of the Playoffs this Wednesday in the Thunder Dome at 7pm.

One Vision, One Mind, One Grind.

 Go Lady T-Birds!!!!

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Club Rush – Spring 2018

17 February 2018

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T-Birds Playing Last Game of Season at Contra Costa, Fri., 2/16

14 February 2018

Men’s and Women’s basketball teams will play their final game of the season at Contra Costa College on Friday, February 16, 5:30 men; 7:30 women. Come and . cheer them on after a great season! Come and cheer on your Thunderbirds to victory!

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Learning Center Essay Workshop

13 February 2018



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New VP Ready to Meet Challenges After Over- coming a Lifetime of Them

11 February 2018

For those of you students who may be overwhelmed by the challenge of getting an education with real-life pressures getting in your way, consider the path taken by Christine Hernandez, Merritt’s Vice President for Student Services. She started what would become a decades-long academic climb from the very bottom and is grateful to her community college experience for finishing on top. Today, a month into her new job, Christine sits in her office in the Student Services building gazing out the window at the beautiful view of the Bay Area, and talks about that journey.


The sixth of seven children born to migrant farm workers in Hanford, California, Christine became the first in her family to attend college. Through that accomplishment, she would end up serving as an inspiration to hundreds of students she would meet throughout her career, many of them facing some of the same obstacles she once did.


“I first went away to college at 17, but due to a variety of factors, I came home and got a full-time job, and did my part to contribute to the family,” she says. “Then six years later, I got married and moved to Florida for my husband’s job.” When her husband was transferred back to California a few years later, they moved with their 6-month-old son to Ridgecrest, an arid military town in the Mojave Desert with no big cities anywhere near. “It was 112 degrees and in the middle of nowhere,’’ she recalls. “But there was a community college in town, so I applied for a job there and ended up staying for the next 15 years. It was one of the best decisions I ever made.”


Located on a hilltop with a coyote for a mascot, Cerro Coso College would become Christine’s entry to the community college system where she would gain the experience and knowledge that would begin the path to her career. “I started out part-time serving as a liaison between the faculty at the main campus and our high school campus,’’she says, “and ended up getting promoted throughout the years to both instructional and student service positions. So I gained a lot of knowledge about the college operations.”


Several years into her a job of helping students reach their goals, she realized that she could be one of those students herself. “As I was working at this community college and providing academic advising and support service,’’ she says, “I started realizing the opportunities that were there for me well.”


So she enrolled in college and, along with working full-time and raising her growing family of three children, she began taking classes in the spare time she had left – one class per semester.  By the time she received her AA in General Education, she had already decided what her next move would be: to transfer to a four-year college. Now she just had to figure out how to do it. The closest college was CSU Bakersfield, 125 miles away. But she wasn’t deterred and she used her resources wisely, turning her four-hour commute into a mobile classroom.  “I was lucky to have an understanding boss and an incredibly supportive husband, and I started commuting and taking classes two days a week,” she says. “I’d record my notes and then listen to them while I drove. And whenever it was time for finals, my husband would put the kids in the car, and he’d drive so I could spend the extra time studying.”


Tens of thousands of miles later, Christine had earned her B.A. in Sociology with a minor in Organizational Studies. Then she went on to Pepperdine University in Los Angeles where she obtained an M.A. in Educational Technology. When it was time to decide on her career, Christine knew immediately where to look: community collegeswhere she had gained enough of an expertise to know that she could make a difference in students’ lives.


Christine came to Merritt from Sacramento City College where she had served as Dean of Financial Aid & Student Services. Prior to that she had worked at Truckee Meadows Community College as Associate Dean of Student Enrollment Services. Her decision to apply for the vice presidency at Merritt came after much research that convinced her it was the right time and the right place to be after her years of combined experiences at other colleges. “I’ve worked in instruction and in just about every aspect of student services, and one of my goals at Merritt is to see both areas working collaboratively and to help develop a more seamless process that will benefit everyone,” she says. “There are challenges ahead, but I’ve had challenges all of my life and I thrive on them.”

—Susan May

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Graduation is May 23! Schedule Your Mandatory Informational Session Now

8 February 2018

Graduation is just around the corner! All graduates must attend ONE of the Mandatory Informational Sessions in order to get important facts about the ceremony and to be get tickets. Please attend so you will be well prepared to get to through your graduation smoothly with your family members proudly watching you. The sessions wil be held on Tuesday, April 24, from 10-11 a.m., Wednesday, April 25 from


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Learning Center Attendance Rises with Help from Instructors

8 February 2018

Sociology instructor Charity Clay is a regular at the Learning Center. She finds that students would rather come up to her there than make an office appointment.  “Students feel more comfortable meeting me in the Learning Center, and there’s also a good chance I’ll run into other students who need help but are afraid to ask,” she says.  “I’ve even had new students enroll in my classes based on their interaction with me in the Learning Center.”


For these and many other reasons, Isela González Santana, Interim Learning Center Director, is strongly encouraging instructors to spend some time in the recently renovated colorful space with a fully equipped science lab, study and media rooms, computer labs, and print services.

“The office hours we’re now offering in the Learning Center are one thing, but for instructors to come out to the tutoring center and engage with the students or volunteer for an hour is a big step, and we’d like to see more of that,” she says. “We’re also asking instructors to help bring students in by making tutoring a requirement, providing information on their syllabus, offering extra credit, or scheduling a field trip for an orientation.”


Instructional Aide Lowell Bennett sees first-hand how instructors’ participation can help. “Sometimes students don’t have the confidence to come to the Learning Center, and there’s an intimidation factor they need to overcome,” he says. “But when going to the Learning Center is required or they can get extra credit, they come in and realize all the resources we have. If we can maximize that to the highest level, it would be a great thing.” (Pictured: Instructional Aide Lowell Bennett (right) and student Clarence Rowan)


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Help Spread the Word About the Food Bank! Next One is Thurs., Feb. 22

7 February 2018

Please join us and help spread the word to students and community members about the Food Bank which will be held on Thursday, Feb. 22,  and, subsequently,  two Thursdays a month  in the D-Building from 12 PM – 4 PM. (Future Spring dates: 2/22 3/8, 4/12, 4/26, 5/10, 5/24).
Our January food bank served a total number of 126 patrons, and out of that number, 62 individuals came for the first time! The food bank would not be able to capture the attention of the community without each department’s help, so I would like to extend a thank you to all who help make the community aware.
Please feel free to print out and post the flyer below in your department or classroom. Please advise people to bring their own bags!
The Food Bank is always in need of volunteers, beginning at 10 AM. If you are able to volunteer, please contact coordinator Brandon Christian at (510) 436-2414 or email him at

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Lion Dance and Asian Music and Food Highlight 2nd Lunar New Year Celebration

7 February 2018

Appearing again at Merritt College for the 2nd Annual Lunar New Year Celebration, the popular Dancing Lion (from the Buk Sing Kung Fu Academy)  delighted the crowd and caught the traditional head of lettuce thrown by President Marie-Elaine Burns. The event, sponsored by ASMC and Student Activities,  also included music by Roaring Tiger and a delicious buffet of Asian cuisine. In honor of The Year of the Dog, one student brought her furry pet for the celebration (see photo). Gung Hey Fat Choy!


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February Merritt Connection

6 February 2018


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