The Laney Newsletter – April 2017


Issue III, Vol. 1

Laney Awarded $1 Million from the State

California’s Department of Finance announced on April 4 that Laney College was among 14 institutions to receive a $1 million Innovation in Higher Education Award from the State’s $25 million special fund. The award promotes innovative planning at community colleges throughout California.

Laney was selected for its ingenious 5-year proposal to help diverse students engaged in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education, succeed by providing them with greater access to high quality, touch-technology and SMART classroom cyber-learning environments beginning in the gateway discipline of biology. These points were brilliantly highlighted for the selection committee by Executive Vice Chancellor Elnora Webb, biology instructor Doug Bruce, and lab coordinator Robert Tracy at the April 3 award session in Sacramento.

“This award will help bridge the digital divide that exists in many of the communities we serve and ensure all students receive a quality education that can lead to high-demand jobs in technology, biotechnology, bio manufacturing, and others,” said Laney President Tammeil Gilkerson.

The winning proposal was collaboratively drafted by Dr. Webb, biology co-chairs Rebecca Bailey and Amy Bohorquez, and bio manufacturing program coordinator Dr. Leslie Blackie. Also involved were English instructor Tony Watkins who provided invaluable editing, and Math and Sciences Dean Denise Richardson for support of this effort.

“I extend my congratulations to all of the winning districts and colleges for earning this prestigious and well-deserved award,” said California Community Colleges Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley. “Boosting completion rates and reducing college costs are among the highest priorities for all three higher education systems in California. The schools recognized today are leading the way when it comes to making these twin goals a reality for this state.”

New Financial Aid Computer Lab to Open Summer 2017

Starting this summer, Laney will feature a new financial aid computer lab equipped with 20 computers, laptops, and iPads for students to fill out financial aid forms, loan, and scholarship applications. Laney’s Financial Aid Director Dr. Joseph Koroma is spearheading the computer lab project using equity grant funds.

Financial literacy programs will also be available for students at the lab. Koroma plans to regularly invite guest speakers to answer student questions on the financial aid process and issues related to how to pay for college.

The financial aid computer lab will be located in Building A, Room 202. Exact opening date to be announced.

Phi Theta Kappa 2017 Inductees

Forty students were inducted into the Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Honor Society on Friday, April 7 at a ceremony in the Laney Field House.

PTK is an international honor society that recognizes and encourages scholarship among two-year college students. PTK has an estimated 3 million members worldwide. Inductees must have completed at least 12 hours of course work towards an associate’s degree and maintain a 3.5 grade point average.

The ceremony included an inspirational speech from Laney President Tammeil Gilkerson, as well as words of encouragement from Liberal Arts Dean Dr. Chuen Chan, PTK President Bryce Grandison, and others.

Laney’s PTK advisor Brandi Howard emceed the event. More photos from the event in the “Say Cheese Section.”

2017 Inductees

Lujain Al-Dabbas

Alem Belay

Baian Bny Ata

Achille Bocus

Tahtianah Brown

Savannah Cheung

Lika Chhit

Charleen Cohen

Nicole Cuaresma

Cheneika Dixon

Jennifer Doyle

Anisa Dunkley

Patricia Durand

David Fagan

Ashea Fuller

Emerald Hallman

Zhenkai Han

Zhuonan He

Hassanatou Jallow

Sarah Jung

 Zhiying Li

Kaitlin Maclean

Jessica Nelson

Tanya Parker

Carl Patrick

Sonya Pelaez

May Pham

Kiyatta Porter-Robinson

Martina Rosen

Arturo Serrano

Xiaoxian Tan

Thomas To

Phung Trinh

Forest Wakeling

Zailing Wang

Julia Waters

Shufang Wen

Aryana Wills

Alex Yuen

Huiying Zhao

Oakland Mayor to Attend CTE Open House

Hundreds of high school students, parents, teachers, counselors, and other members of the Oakland community are expected to attend the CTE Open House on Saturday, April 29 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

This year, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf has been invited to attend the event as a guest speaker. The open house is organized every year by the career and technical education department to give the public a glimpse of the many CTE programs offered at the College, including graphic arts, industrial maintenance, electricity, cosmetology, electronics, welding technology, and more.

The event will feature dozens of demos from the different programs.

SFGATE Features Laney in Article

The Bay Area publication SFGATE, featured an article about Oakland Unified School District high school students visiting Laney College in March.

The students were on campus to learn about skilled trades. Several industry representatives set up booths to talk to students and answer questions about the different career paths in the trades.

The event was co-organized by Michael Goldberg, Career Pathways Trust Project Manager in the CTE department. This semester, thousands of students have visited and toured the campus to learn more about the Laney’s programs.

To access the article go to,

BEST Center Nearing Completion

The Building Efficiency for Sustainable a Tomorrow (BEST) Center at Laney College is nearing completion with a possible ribbon cutting in June.

The state-of-the-art facility is sponsored by the National Science Foundation’s Advanced Technology Education Program and it will serve as a learning laboratory for students studying advanced green building technology.

The BEST Center will be the first new building at the campus since the construction of the Art Center and Field House in 2008 and 2009 respectively.

Tyding Up Laney

On Saturday, April 22 staff, faculty, students, and administrators will lend a hand to beautify the campus for Laney Clean-Up Day.

Organized in partnership with the City of Oakland, campus personnel in the business and administrative services office will hand out trash bags, gloves, paint brushes, and other tools that participants will use for different tasks, including picking up litter, painting, cleaning windows, and more.

Garbage containers will be set up at different campus locations for the convenience of faculty and staff when they tidy up offices and classrooms. Laney Clean-Up Day attracted dozens of volunteers in 2016.

Register to paticipate at

SMART Classrooms Update

Laney’s new SMART Classroom prototype is scheduled to be installed and ready on Friday, April 14, according to Peralta’s Technology Services Antoine Mehouelley.

The prototype will be located in Building B, Room 264. The campus community will have the opportunity to visit the classroom, explore its features, and offer feedback. Peralta’s Vice Chancellor of Information Technology Jason Cole said that the input will be included in the final design.

Mehouelley said that a request for proposals (RFP) to vendors to bid on the project would be ready by the summer. Laney is expected to have 100-115 SMART Classrooms installed by fall 2018.

Aide from California Sen. Skinner’s Office Tours Laney

Francis Fortini (center) interacting with Chancellor Jowel Laguerre and Interim President Audre Levy at the conclusion of the tour.


Frances Fortini, an aide from State Sen. Nancy Skinner’s Office visited the campus on March 17 to tour facilities in need of repairs, including classrooms and the library.

Peralta and Laney executives hope that Sen. Skinner can help secure state funding to help pay for repairs.   During the tour, Forini was accompanied by members of the Laney Facilities Working Group, including Chancellor Laguerre, Vice Chancellor Sadiq Ikharo, Interim President Audre Levy members of the faculty, and other college and district personnel.

After the tour, Chancellor Laguerre met with Sen. Skinner to discuss the state of Laney’s facilities.



Upcoming Events

EcoFest Sustainability Festival

Thursday, April 20 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Celebrate Earth Day! Mark your calendar for the EcoFest Sustainability Festival on April 20. Live music, food, drinks and the chance to learn about sustainability issues and career opportunities. Free admission!


Stress Management Workshop

Tuesday, April 25 from 12 to 1 p.m.

Learn how to manage stress effectively at a free workshop on April 25 at the Student Center, Room 402. Snacks will be provided. For more information, call 510-464-3535.


Spring 2017 Commencement Ceremony

Ceremony: May 27 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Rehearsal: May 24 from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Location: Laney Football Field For more information, call 510-464-3188.

Submit event information to


Laney Clean-Up Day

Saturday, April 22 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Laney Quad

Help celebrate Earth Day by tidying up the campus! Join fellow students, faculty, staff, and administrators perform clean-up tasks such as painting, removing graffiti, picking up litter, planting, cleaning windows, and more! All the tools you need will be provided and refreshments will be served. Register to participate at For more information email Amy Marshall at or call 510-464-3378.


CTE Open House

Saturday, April 29 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Mark your calendar for April 29 for the CTE Open House. The department of Career Technical Education (CTE) at Laney will have its doors open to the public and students interested in learning more about their exciting programs.


WordPress Basics Training

Monday, April 24 from 10 a.m. to noon.

Tuesday, April 25 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Learn how to create or update a WordPress webpage before the launch of the new Laney website. RSVP to

Location, F-170-C.


Photos from events on campus


Welcome Reception and Meet & Greet for New Laney President Tammeil Gilkerson, April 4


Phi Theta Kappa 2017 Inductee Ceremony, April 7

The Laney Newsletter is published by the Office of Public Information. Submit story ideas or photos to Dolores M. Bernal, Public Information Officer at

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