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Outstanding Grads: Ryan Chiao, Laney College President’s Medallion Award Winner

17 May 2016


26391424874_c822806f2b_cCongratulations to Ryan Chiao, Laney College President’s Medallion Award Winner for 2016. Chiao has an outstanding set of accomplishments and here is his story in his words:

Major: Accounting

AA Degrees earned from Laney College this May 2016:

  • Accounting
  • Humanities
  • Business Administration
  • Cosmetology

Transferring Institution: University of San Francisco

Major: Accounting

Specialization: Forensic Accounting

Career Goals:  To become an Auditor of big corporations

Accomplishments and Awards:

  • Maintained a 4.0 Grade Point Average
  • Member of Phi They Kappa
  • 2016 Dean’s Medallion Recipient – Community Leadership and Civic Engagement

Community Service Initiatives:

  • Meals on Wheels – Alameda County
  • Alameda County Food Bank
  • Charitable causes

First and foremost, I must give due credit to all the kind and caring people who have spent their time and effort profoundly shaping and influencing my educational journey here at Laney College. I am an ordinary individual who was fortunate enough to undergo a remarkable transformation; it has positively impacted my personal and academic achievement while attending Laney. If I had not received guidance and mentoring from this institution, it is doubtful I would have been able to achieve academic success, employment as an accounting tutor, or the opportunity to participate in community service initiatives. I have been enlightened by this institution to see myself with purpose and distinction in this world. Laney College has not only lifted me up, it has enabled me to manifest the ability to lift up others. The rightful course of action is to give back to society what this institution has given to me and to realize a directive for helping others achieve. I endeavor to approach the world with kindness, compassion, and great humility in helping others. It is truly heartwarming to have my hard work in academia, my service for the community, and my love for Laney College recognized. One day, I hope to become a pillar of this community and give back because it is the right thing to do.

    Filed under: Announcements, Laney College, Peralta News. Tagged: , ,

    Laney College Biomanufacturing Students Help Local Company Accelerate Process Development

    13 May 2016


    With the San Francisco-based Ardra Bio, Inc., continuing the development and scale-up of bio-based 1,3-butanediol, students from the Biomanufacturing Program at Laney College, Oakland, are helping to accelerate the process. The students are developing the skill sets required in biotechnology industry, working under the guidance of Dr. Jonas Muller, Chief Scientific Officer at Ardra. The collaborative effort was initiated by Douglas Bruce (Instructor, Biomanufacturing), who believes that hands-on experience is invaluable in preparing students for the industry and, thus, reached out to IndieBio for potential opportunities for his students.

    Ardra is a bio-based specialty chemicals company incubated at IndieBio, San Francisco, and is currently developing a fermentation-based process for production of the specialty chemical 1,3-butanediol (commonly known as butylene glycol).

    Working with Ardra provides the Laney College students exposure to the biotech start-up environment, and gives them an opportunity to test the skills learnt through the biomanufacturing program. Students are helping Ardra with various activities including fermentation runs, sample analysis, and also research activities towards new product discovery.

    “I am very proud of the development of our biomanufacturing program, and the exciting opportunities for our students to collaborate with industry professionals at the same time as they are continuing their studies at Laney College,” said Dr. Leslie Blackie, Biomanufacturing Program Director. “Our program is a career technical education program, emphasizing hands- on skills and placement in the workforce. I am also really excited about the expanding directions our instructor, Doug Bruce, is taking the program, with the new partnerships between biotech startup companies and the students at Laney College,” added Dr. Blackie.

    This exciting collaboration between Laney College and one of Indie Bio’s startup companies is allowing biomanufacturing students to get real world experience in cutting-edge science. Laney College students are working along side scientists and getting additional hands-on time with the bioreactors and analytical equipment. Two of the students working with Ardra have already accepted job offers at biotech companies, and the training they received in the biomanufacturing program gave them a huge leg up in the job interview process.

    Photo Credit: Jonas Muller, Ardra. From left: Rowland Morey (student), Douglas Bruce (instructor), Gizem Efe (student), and Ryan Schumacher (student).

      Filed under: Announcements, Laney College, Peralta News. Tagged: , , , , , , , , , ,

      Laney College Baseball to Host First Round of Regional, Chancellor Laguerre to Throw First Pitch

      5 May 2016

      Laney Eagles Sophomore class 2016

      The Laney College baseball team, champions of the Bay Valley Conference, will play host to Chabot College in a best-two-of-three series Friday and Saturday, May 6-7, in the first round of the Northern California Regional.

      Friday’s game will start at 2 p.m., with Peralta Colleges Chancellor Jowel C. Laguerre. Ph.D., throwing the first pitch. The Saturday game will begin at 11 a.m. There is the possibility of a third game that will be played later on Saturday afternoon.

      Ticket prices will be $8 for students (with ID), children (under 12), staff and seniors. General admission will be $12.

      The Eagles had a 26-10 record overall and were 20-4 in the BVC. They won the title outright with a 4-2 victory at Los Medanos College in Pittsburg on April 28. They have on nine of their last 10 games.

      Laney last won the BVC in 2012; the Eagles’ last appearance in the Regional was in 2013.

      Chabot (23-13) finished second in the Coast Pacific Conference with a 13-7 record. The Gladiators have won eight out of their last 10 games.

      Laney is seeded seventh in the NorCal Regional; Chabot is No. 10.


      Photograph by Alishia Thomas

        Filed under: Announcements, Laney College. Tagged: , , , , , , , ,

        Peralta News – Laney College Parklet

        5 May 2016


        In celebration of the 100th Anniversary of the National Park Service, the Laney College Architecture program partnered with the National Park Service and the Peralta Hacienda House to create a parklet commemorating the Juan Bautista de Anza Historic Trail. On April 18, as part of National Parks week, their creation was unveiled. Representatives from the Park Service joined our students in celebrating this addition to the National Park System right here in Oakland. After a brief stay in the Laney Tower lobby, the parklet will be disassembled for final installation at the Peralta Hacienda Historic Park.

          Filed under: Laney College, Peralta News. Tagged: , , , ,

          Laney Graphic Arts Wins Inspire Oakland Billboard Design Competition

          4 May 2016

          Laney Graphic Arts Wins Inspire Oakland Billboard Design Competition

          Inspire Oakland is the biggest billboard design competition in the Bay area; an annual event organized by Oakland Digital and sponsored by Google, Twitter, Clorox, and other companies. Close to 200 students from 3 different colleges entered the competition. Only four designs from each college made it to the semifinals. Laney Graphic Arts student took 4 out of the 6 final prizes. Each one of our students won a prize. Their designs will be posted on large billboards around Oakland.

          The 2016 Winners of Oakland Design Competition from the Graphic Arts Department in Laney College are:

          Mira Blackman

          Megan Delventhal

          Cynthia Flores

          Mary Luong

          Instructor: Daniela Nikolaeva Pachtrapanska

          Classes: GrArt 34 Illustrator, GrArt36 Photoshop, 114 Graphic Arts Technologies; GrArt 123 Applied Graphic Design.

          Oakland Digital stated: “We were impressed with the level of talent Laney College students displayed at the Inspire Oakland 2016 design presentation. Special thanks to the talented students and Daniela Nikolaeva for making Oakland Digital’s 6th Annual ‪#‎InspireOakland billboard design challenge a success!”


            Filed under: Announcements, Laney College, Peralta News. Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

            Laney College Passive House Ribbon Cutting

            4 May 2016

            IMG_0699Plan on attending the Laney College Passive House Ribbon Cutting on Wednesday, May 25, 2016, Noon – 2:00 pm, at 453 Ashton Avenue, Oakland.

            For the past 20 years, the Laney College Carpentry Department, the Rotary Club of Oakland, the City of Oakland and Passive House California, have partnered to provide hands-on opportunities for Laney Carpentry students by building or substantially renovating a home from foundation to finish. This year’s project is particularly unique because it incorporates sustainable concepts to provide the ultimate in comfort and indoor air quality.

            The goal is to certify the house to International Passive House standards: this entails meeting performance-based criteria with regards to air tightness, insulation, heat recovery ventilation and energy usage. It will be the first home certified in Oakland and one of only a few in the Bay Area. Based on the high performance mandates: utility bills for this house are projected to average around $10/month.

            Laney students performed most of the work on the house — except for plumbing, electrical, roofing and mechanical system installations. Upon completion, the house will be sold to a low or moderate income buyer. The City of Oakland provided the property, and the Laney College Carpentry Department recruited, taught and supervised the students. Passive House California helped design and was the primary consultant, Berkeley Contractor Christopher Polk managed the construction, and Oakland Rotary Development, LLC. administered the project and managed the construction funds, which were from the sale of a previous “house building” project. An Oakland Rotary realtor is donating his services to handle the sale of the house.

            For more information, please contact Karl Seelback at



              Filed under: Announcements, Laney College, Peralta News. Tagged: , , ,

              Alameda Chamber of Commerce CEO Forum at College of Alameda with Trustee Withrow and Chancellor Laguerre

              4 May 2016

              Dialogue with the Chancellor Web Flyer

              Don’t miss the CEO Forum presented by the Alameda Chamber of Commerce with Trustee Withrow and Chancellor Laguerre at College of Alameda’s Student Lounge (Building F), on May 12, 6:30-8:00 p.m. The topics discussed will include how the College of Alameda can serve local businesses. This event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served. College of Alameda is located at 555 Ralph Appezzato Memorial Parkway in Alameda.

              See this flyer for more details:

              CEO Forum 8.5 x 11 flyer for print


                Filed under: Announcements, College of Alameda, Laney College, Peralta News. Tagged: , , ,

                Proverb G. Jacobs, Jr., Ed.D, 1935 – 2016

                29 April 2016


                Proverb G. Jacobs, Jr., Ed.D, a longstanding, inspirational and cherished member of the Laney College and Peralta Colleges community passed away, Monday, April 18, 2016. Memorial and funeral services were held for him last week. He will be very much missed.

                Below is his obituary, as published in San Francisco Chronicle.



                Proverb Jacobs Jr., a former Raiders lineman who played six seasons in the AFL and NFL, died Monday at the age of 80 from complications after a fall.

                Dr. Jacobs had spent the final years of his life writing his memoirs, the last installment being “Autobiography of an Unknown Football Player.”

                From 1958-64, he played for the Eagles, Giants, Titans (now the Jets) and Raiders. He later joined lifelong friend and San Francisco 49ers coach Bill Walsh to serve as a scout for the team.

                But Dr. Jacobs’ wife, Mimi Johnson-Jacobs, said his real love was mentoring young people.

                “He was the ultimate nurturer. He was an educator first and foremost, and a mentor.”

                Dr. Jacobs taught for more than 30 years at Laney College.

                Born May 25, 1935, in Marksville, La., Dr. Jacobs was raised by parents who picked cotton before moving west to leave the hostile social climate of the South.

                He was a year old when the family arrived in Oakland, becoming part of the great migration of African Americans leaving the South in search of economic opportunity. But the West had its share of segregation as well, which Dr. Jacobs learned when his mother tried to enroll him and his siblings at Santa Fe Elementary School in Oakland. They were told that “Negroes” weren’t allowed to attend.

                Dr. Jacobs earned an associate of arts degree from Modesto Junior College, then transferred in January 1956 to Cal, where he received a bachelor of arts degree. He returned to Cal for a doctorate in education and also received a master’s degree in physical education from San Francisco State University.

                “When I transferred to Berkeley from Modesto Junior College, it was a whole new ballgame,” Dr. Jacobs said in a question-and-answer session at Laney last April. “There were only five blacks on the football team.”

                During those times, the small group of black students at UC Berkeley hung out together, said Joe Griffin, 79, a longtime friend of Dr. Jacobs.

                “He was a mountain of a man, more quiet than talkative, unless you knew him or he knew you,” Griffin said of Dr. Jacobs, a 6-foot-4, 250-pound offensive and defensive tackle.

                After his playing years he became a defensive coordinator for the minor-league San Jose Apaches in 1967 under then-head coach Walsh before he scouted for the Cincinnati Bengals and eventually joined Walsh again as a scout with the 49ers through the 1980s. The two became close friends, Griffin said.

                Throughout that time, Dr. Jacobs kept teaching. He also coached track at Laney, fighting to establish a women’s track program in 2003.

                “Track was always my favorite sport,” he said last April. “I could just play football.”

                Dr. Jacobs guided younger athletes throughout his life, coaching two-time Olympian 800-meter runner James Robinson, and mentoring Erv Hunt, a retired Cal track coach who was head coach for the U.S. men’s track and field team at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta.

                He spent the last decade chronicling his life and tracing his family’s genealogy. Dr. Jacobs suffered from Alzheimer’s disease before his death.


                Dr. Jacobs is survived by his wife; son Proverb Jacobs III and daughter-in-law Jan Moore Jacobs; son Stephen Mayle and his partner, Della Gutierrez; and grandchildren Rachael Jacobs, Erin Jacobs and Proverb “P.J.” Jacobs IV.


                  Filed under: Announcements, Laney College, Peralta News. Tagged: ,

                  Laney College Baseball Team Wins Bay Valley Conference

                  29 April 2016


                  The Laney College baseball team defeated Los Medanos College 4-2 Thursday afternoon in Pittsburg to win outright the Bay Valley Conference championship for the first time since 2012.

                  The Eagles’ final regular season home game is Friday, April 29, at 2:30 p.m., against College of Marin. Laney has won nine straight games.

                  The Northern California Regional will be played next weekend.

                    Filed under: Announcements, Laney College, Peralta News. Tagged: , , , , ,

                    Peralta Colleges At East Bay High School College Day

                    6 April 2016

                    Kristen Picture San Leandro HS

                    At a special Community College Day event that took place at San Leandro High School on Thursday, March 17, 2016, the Peralta Community College District was well represented by Laney College Outreach Specialist, Kristen Kayeer de Hijar, pictured, who spoke to a crowd of students, parents and staff about all the benefits of attending a community college.

                    The purpose of San Leandro High’s annual Community College Day is to inform students and parents about higher educational options after graduation. Several 2-year, 4-year and private colleges were in attendance.

                    “Kristen’s powerful talk about her journey from community college to transferring to a four-year college was well received by the group”, said Nadia Elhawary, College Advisor at San Leandro High School. “ I believe the work she does will be mutually beneficial for students and their parents,” she added. “Her knowledge and skill-sets would be a variable to connect schools, students and shared resources.”

                    “When I entered the high school, it brought back memories of when I was a student at Albany High School, so many years ago,” remarked Kristen Kayser de Hijar. “I conveyed my story and journey from high school to the Peralta Colleges”. The goal of her presentation was to engage, empower and encourage students that a college education is attainable.

                    Ms. Kayser de Hijar stated during her talk, “My pathway from high school to college changed my life, and by starting at a community college – specifically Berkeley City College – the experience helped make and mold me into the person I am today.”

                    After Kayser de Hijar’s presentation, many parents indicated they felt more knowledgeable about community colleges, and that sending their child to one would be a wise choice for the student’s college success. The Peralta Community College District was happy to have participated in such a positive event.

                      Filed under: Announcements, Laney College. Tagged: , , , , ,

                      Academic Excellence – ESL at Laney College

                      31 March 2016


                      Laney College’s ESL Department (English as a Second Language) and The Lake Merritt – Independent Senior Living community have teamed up in an incredibly successful partnership.

                      Every Friday, the Laney College ESL class practices conversational English with residents of The Lake Merritt – Independent Senior Living. This program is a hit with both students from Laney’s ESL class and the residents of The Lake Merritt.

                      It’s a winning situation for all. Practice makes perfect and that is exactly what the ESL students get to do with residents of The Lake Merritt. Numerous studies have shown that loneliness can lead to problems in mental, physical and emotional health with aging adults. The benefits of feeling helpful and needed often makes a huge difference in anyone’s life, no matter their age and through this one-of-a-kind program, both parties benefit in the most awesome way!

                      For more information, please visit:

                        Filed under: Academic Excellence, Laney College, Peralta News. Tagged: , , , , ,

                        Eco Fest Sustainability Festival at Laney College April 21

                        30 March 2016

                        On April 21th, 2016, the Peralta Community Colleges District will hold the annual Eco Fest Sustainability Festival on the Laney Campus by the Estuary Channel.  The Festival celebrates our commitment to educating students, faculty, staff, and the community about sustainable practices of good health and all that it encompasses:  exercise, food, human rights, transportation, proper care of planet earth, and more.

                        During the festival, our community joins together for an afternoon of great food by Laney culinary students (and this year, faculty), music and Dance (samba!), Cosmetology, CTE, and informative dialogue between exhibitors, students, faculty, staff, and the community at large to share ideas about improving the health of the community and the planet.

                        This year we are adding a new component to the festival: Recruitment and Transfer.  We want to highlight the services that Laney provides our students.  We are inviting many colleges, universities from around the state, and neighboring high schools to come and visit our campus and for students to consider becoming a member of the PCCD community.  But I can’t do this without your help.  I am asking for staff, student ambassadors, and faculty, to represent their programs, services, clubs, and classes in booths up on the quad and by the estuary.  So join us and contribute time, your most valuable talent, to insure that our festival is once again a success.

                        Please read the attached flyer and form.  There is no fee for our community; we need your involvement to make the recruitment and transfer process occur. Please reach out to others who are interested and can help in promoting this event.  Students want to know what we have to offer.

                        Our community joins together for a day of education, fun, great food (by our culinary students), music, and informative dialogue.


                          Filed under: Announcements, Laney College, Peralta News. Tagged:

                          Academic Excellence – Environmental Control Technology at Laney College

                          17 March 2016


                          The Environmental Control Technology program at Laney College prepares students for jobs in the growing fields of Heating/Ventilation/Air Conditioning/Refrigeration (HVACR) and Building Automation. With the goal of making our buildings operate efficiently to keep people comfortable, today’s buildings have increasingly complex automated environmental control systems, and there is a need for smart, well trained technicians to operate and maintain these systems. The program at Laney College is so widely respected, the National Science Foundation has awarded grants to create the BEST center, to help other colleges around the country develop similar programs. Come get involved in this growing and rewarding field, and find a stable career.

                            Filed under: Academic Excellence, Laney College, Peralta News. Tagged: , , , , , ,

                            Laney College President Dr. Elñora Webb Accepts Executive Vice Chancellor Position; Dr. Patricia Stanley Appointed Interim President

                            15 March 2016

                            Webb Stanley

                            OAKLAND, Calif., March 15, 2016 The Chancellor of Peralta Community College District, Dr. Jowel C. Laguerre, announced that Dr. Elñora Tena Webb, the President at Laney College, has accepted a new position at the District Office as the Executive Vice Chancellor of Strategic Planning and Advancement. The position provides support for strategic direction, faculty funding for innovation, and will develop partnerships and initiatives, as well as build community collaboration and provide government and corporation advocacy.

                            The Chancellor also announced the appointment of Dr. Patricia Stanley, as the Interim President of Laney College. Dr. Stanley served as the First Deputy Assistant Secretary for Community Colleges at the U.S. Department of Education.

                            “I look forward to having Dr. Webb with us to serve all four Peralta Colleges and help each of them achieve greater recognition within our community and with businesses throughout the East Bay,” said Chancellor Laguerre. “She brings a depth of knowledge of our community to the position and is uniquely qualified, as evidenced by her deep knowledge of the community where she has resided and worked for over twenty years,” the Chancellor added. Chancellor Laguerre continued, “Dr. Stanley, who led Frederick Community College in Maryland and has served as Interim President of Merritt College, brings the kind of leadership needed at Laney during this transition.”

                            Elñora Tena Webb (pictured right), has been President of Laney College, which is located in downtown Oakland, California, since 2010, and has led the College to greater levels of student success while bringing in millions of dollars from alternative funding sources, including the Federal Departments of Labor, Energy and Education and the National Science Foundation. Through her steadfast and visionary leadership, she has lead Laney in integrated planning and budgeting, sound resource management, community partnerships and institutional assessment and advancement.

                            Prior to her appointment as President, Dr. Webb served as the Vice President of Instruction at Laney College from 2005–09, ensuring the development of the College’s first comprehensive, regionally – and workforce development-centered Educational Master Plan, while significantly enhancing partnerships with businesses and industries.

                            Dr. Webb has served in several other leadership capacities, including as a member of the American Association of Community Colleges’ Commission on Global Education, the Community College League of California’s CEO Board of Directors and as faculty with the U.C. Berkeley’s Executive Leadership Academy.

                            Patricia Stanley (pictured left), a former President of Frederick Community College in Maryland, has held a number of positions in California, including Administrator for Workforce Development in the State Chancellor’s Office, Administrative Dean at Orange Coast College, Executive Vice President at Cypress College and Executive Director of the California Institute for Career Development.

                            Dr. Stanley will remain Interim President at Laney College until a permanent President for the college is selected.

                            For more than 50 years, the Peralta Community College District has served the cities of Alameda, Albany, Berkeley, Emeryville, Oakland and Piedmont by providing 30,000 students each semester with a range of educational programs and life-long learning opportunities. To learn more, visit


                              Filed under: Announcements, Laney College, Peralta News, Press Release. Tagged: , ,

                              Peralta Colleges Receive National Award on Behalf of the Laney Tennis Association

                              4 March 2016


                              At the Peralta College Board of Trustees meeting on February 23, 2016, Henry Chang, President of the Laney Tennis Association, presented the four-college district with the Association’s award for national recognition as “Organization of the Year” by the Northern California branch of the United States Tennis Association.

                              The Peralta Trustees welcomed the award and noted that previously, Jowel C. Laguerre, Ph.D., Chancellor for the Peralta Community College District, was on hand to acknowledge the Laney Tennis Association’s award during the USTA Northern California 2016 “Awards Celebrating Excellence in Service (ACES) Luncheon” that took place on January 31, 2016, at the Casa Real at Ruby Hill Winery in Pleasanton, California.

                              A staple of the tennis community in Oakland and the surrounding area, Laney Tennis Association has grown from a small group of friends to hundreds of members. The association, housed at Laney College and College of Alameda, and directed by the husband-and-wife team of Henry and Connie Chang, embraces beginner-level members and works to keep tennis accessible to all who want to play. Laney Tennis Association is the embodiment of a community tennis association in its goal to create a close-knit, family atmosphere based on the benefit of playing tennis.

                              The pioneers of the Laney Tennis Association have grown the game of tennis through their coaching, specializing in beginners with good basics, and their love of the community in Oakland. Henry Chang, a former member of the Oakland City Council and former Vice Mayor of Oakland, along with his wife, Connie, who is Secretary/Treasurer keep growing Laney Tennis, creating new opportunities for its players, not only in developing their skills, but also using the game to travel abroad, stay healthy and, above all, create new friendships.

                              “This was a proud experience for all of us to have accepted the honor and to witness our District recognized for its work with the community,” said Jowel C. Laguerre, Ph.D., Chancellor of the Peralta Community College District.

                              “I would like to thank Dr. and Mrs. Chang for all that they have done for our colleges and our tennis players throughout our community. It is really an honor to have LTA as part of the Peralta Family,” Chancellor Laguerre added.

                              The Laney Tennis Association, which is a 501c3 Tax Exempt organization, recently moved to a new home at the College of Alameda while construction takes place at Laney College.  

                              The United States Tennis Association is the national governing body for the sport of tennis and the recognized leader in promoting and developing the sport’s growth on every level in the United States, from local communities to the crown jewel of the professional game, the US Open.

                              USTA Northern California proudly honors those who work to promote and develop the game of tennis with the ACES, which are presented each year to celebrate players, program participants, volunteers and organizations for their continued commitment and service to tennis. The award for “Organization of the Year” is bestowed upon a USTA Nor Cal member organization for it’s service to the tennis community, for service to its own membership or constituency and for service to the game of tennis.

                                Filed under: Announcements, Board of Trustees, Laney College, Peralta News. Tagged: , , , , ,

                                • Peralta Colleges

                                  Friday 27 May 2016
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                                • Peralta Community College District

                                  The district comprises four campuses serving northern Alameda County.
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