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Community Health Fair: Wednesday, April 17

17 March 2019

Join the Student Health Center on Wednesday, April 17 from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. between the R-Building and S-Building for a Community Health Fair. This event will host guest speaker Josh Rivedal, a published author and distinguished Diversity and Mental Health speaker. This event will be an opportunity for students to meet our community partners and allow them to provide insight on the type of services they provide. For more information, please contact Jon Murphy or Sidia Acevedo at (510) 436-2533 or


Please check out the following information also provided by the Student Health Center:

Student Health Services District Schedule to date spring 2019

Drug Abuse and Alcohol Prevention Program


Filed under: news

Check It Out: The i’MPossible Project, April 16 in the Student Lounge

17 March 2019

Join us for an afternoon with Josh Rivedal featuring a 75-minute, three part program – one-man Broadway style play, education session and panel discussion on suicide, mental health and diversity. Free popcorn served. No RSVP required. For questions and disability-related accommodation requests in regards to this program, please contact ASMC or Student health services at or 510-436-2533. Open captioning will be provided.

Date: Tuesday, April 16th,

Time: 11 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

Location: Student Lounge


Filed under: news

Check It Out: ASMC President Ya’Mese Johnson on KQED Radio!

17 March 2019

Merritt College’s very own ASMC President, Ya’Mese Johnson, was on KQED’s The California Report!

President Johnson spoke briefly about housing and hunger relating to academic success in the California Community College System! She has started the conversation and hopefully we can band together and find solutions together as the hard-working and dedicated Merritt College that we are!!


It’s a one minute listen and a short read after listening! Give it a listen:

Half of California’s Community College Students Experience Hunger, Housing Insecurity | The California Report | KQED News

Brittany Jones was a homeless college student at Laney College in Oakland until she got housing assistance to help her rent an apartment. Photo from November 2016.

Filed under: news

Want to be Part of the First Latinx Graduation at Merritt College? See Below for More Details and Register Now!

18 February 2019

Merritt College is holding its first Latinx Graduation and Celebration this year on Saturday, April 27, at 3 p.m., in the Student Lounge, to publicly recognize the achievements of our Latinx graduates and rejoice as they move out into the world and represent their heritage in their new ventures!

If you identify as Latinx and are receiving a degree or certificate and would like to participate, please register now to be part of this new tradition at Merritt!

See the newsletter below (or click HERE) to find out all the details. Once you are on the list, you will be receiving updated information.

To register, write to latinxgrads2019@gmail.comThe deadline is March 29, but there are only a limited number of seats available, so it’s best to register now to assure a space!

Also please see the official letter below (or click HERE) asking for donations from the community to help with this effort.

Thanks to the Committee of the Latinx Graduation and Celebration 2019 for all their planning and hard work to make this event a reality!


Filed under: news

Nearing Retirement, Tony Hampton Looks Back on His Career and His Merritt Family

10 February 2019

Tony Hampton grew up taking things apart and putting them back together. He started with doorknobs and toasters, graduated to stereo systems and auto wiring, and, in the late 1970s in Southern California, discovered a new phenomenon called computers which he thought were interesting but never would be useful.

“I started taking apart hard drives, hooking computers together across phone lines, and staying up all night playing video games,” he says. “There weren’t any programs or hardware, all the things we take for granted now. There were mainframes and punch cards, and it would take 40 hours to teach a computer to do something in only slightly less time than a human being could do it.”

Along with his computer hobby, Tony spent a couple of decades trying to decide what he wanted to do as a career. He started earned a living doing factory work,  held a security job,  and then was trained to do high-voltage electric work which he did for 10 years. In between he went into the Marine Corps Reserve where he held several jobs and worked his way up to becoming a sergeant. At one time he thought he wanted to be a police officer, but then decided against it.

All of his work experience made him realize what he needed in order to be satisfied in a job. “I discovered three things that would make me happy: Helping people, fixing things, and learning new stuff,” says Tony. “So I decided to go back to school at Merritt, and that’s where I eventually found all of them.”

In 1997 Tony was a student assistant working with now-retired anthropology instructor Barbara Joans, and he wanted to upgrade her computer with more memory and a better version of WordPerfect. When he went to the CIS office to see if they could help, they directed him elsewhere.

“I remember walking down a dark hallway and knocking three times on a steel door, and a woman opened it and then suspiciously peeked at me from behind it,” says Tony. “We chatted for 20 minutes and she asked me for my resume and then hired me as a student worker. At the end of the summer, she said ‘I have to cut back your hours or hire you as an hourly employee and pay you twice as much.’ It took me about a nanno second to figure that out.”

The woman was Patricia Rom, and she and Tony have been Merritt’s dynamic tech support duo ever since. “At the time, Merritt was about to upgrade the network campus-wide and people were requesting computers left and right,” says Tony, who was hired two years later as a Computer Network Technician (and is currently Network Support Services Specialist). “We had 290 computers when I started and there are well over 1,500 now, along with the 80 Smart classrooms which added a whole new level of complexity to the job.”

Today, with retirement looming somewhere between now and June 30 and a newly purchased home waiting for him in Arizona, he looks back fondly on having spent the past 20+ years meeting his three goals, especially the “helping” part.  “The people are the heart and soul of Merritt,” says Tony. “Taking care of them has been the best part of my job. It’s all about being kind and supportive of each other. It’s been a great family.”

When Tony was interviewed by Chancellor Jowel Laguerre on C-Direct TV as one of the District’s outstanding employees in 2017, emails began pouring in with praise from the Merritt community that he can carry with him on his retirement and remember his Merritt family as they will always remember him. (See samples below).

  • “A well-deserved honor…Merritt appreciates all you do for us.” –Dr. Marie-Elaine Burns
  • “Sweet! I think Tony deserves a big raise!”–Jennifer Yates
  • “Tony has been there for me, through thick and thin.” – Lee Peevy
  • “Thanks for everything you do, Tony!” –Jason Holloway
    • “A well-deserved recognition for someone who works so hard and has an invariably positive attitude.” –Ann Elliot
  • “Well deserved! Thank you, Tony, for all you do!” –Inga Marciulionis
  • “Kudos to our wonderful Tony who does so much for our college each and every day!” –Mario Rivas
  • “You always go the extra mile, keeping us up and running across this busy campus. –Denise Woodward
  • Tony is a gem. He’s immediately responsive and always maintains a pleasant demeanor. How does he do it”? –Maril Bull
  • “Tony has been a solid rock to me and our students. I appreciate everything he has done for us!” –Barbara Dimopoulos


Filed under: news

This Could Be Your Classroom If You Enroll Now for Islands of California (BIOL 62S). Starts March 13; Three Spaces Left!

10 February 2019

California’s islands are one of the Golden State’s best-kept secrets–but not for long! Come and learn the geology, ecology, and biology of three major archpelagoes: the Channel Islands off the coast of Southern California (a national park), the Farallon Islands, and the San Francisco Bay Islands. The course includes classroom lectures and weekend field trips to Santa Cruz Island (the largest of the Channel Islands), Angel Island, and the little-visited Brooks Island, part of the East Bay Regional Park District.

Your guide and instructor will be Brad Balukjian, who became fascinated by islands beginning at the age of six and spent his childhood running around the woods and collecting bugs. Claiming that he’s never grown up, he continued to do just that throughout his college years and adulthood, earning a bachelor’s degee in island biogeography from Duke University and a Ph.D. in entomology from UC Berkeley and then sharing his expertise and passion with thousands of students. (Check out his impressive background at

So enroll now in BIOL 62S, Course Number 23388, as space is limited. The class meets Wednesdays, 6-7:50 PM, from 3/13-5/15. Field trips are: 4/14 from 9 AM-5:50 PM; 5/5 from 1-4:50 PM; and 5/11 from 10 AM-4:50 PM.

You can find out more about the class HERE, apply and/or enroll in the class HERE, and contact the instructor for any questions or more information at

[ Administrator: Edit ]


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