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Peralta Board of Trustees Swears In Trustees, Elects New Officers

19 December 2016

weinstein-bonillaThe Peralta Community College District’s Board of Trustees, at its annual organizational meeting held on December 13, 2016, swore in a new Trustee, Karen Weinstein (Area 6), pictured left, and also three reelected Trustees, Meredith Brown (Area 2), Bill Withrow (Area 1), Nicky González Yuen (Area 4). In addition, the Board elected new officers for 2017.

Julina Bonilla, representing Area 7, pictured right, was elected President, and Meredith Brown was elected Vice President. Jowel C. Laguerre, Ph.D, Chancellor of the District, was elected Board Secretary. Outgoing president, William Riley, who will continue to represent Area 5, and Cy Gulassa, retiring Trustee who represented Area 6, were honored for their service at the meeting.

Student Trustees Dave Ivan Cruz and Marquita Price will also continue to serve on the nine-member governing board.

“I am extremely honored to serve the Peralta community and look forward to cultivating high quality educational programming and training for our students,” said President Bonilla.

President Bonilla is a Solano Community College graduate and received her B. A. from U. C. Berkeley. She is a former Oakland elementary school teacher and eventually moved into workforce development providing education and job training to young adults in Northern California. Her community work and active memberships include serving as the Board President of Tradeswomen Inc. and in the National Women’s Political Caucus-AN. She has served as a member of the Oakland Workforce Investment Board and co-chair of the Oakland Youth Council. Currently, she is the Program Director of the West Oakland Job Resource Center. She was first elected to the board in 2014.

Vice President Brown was elected to the Peralta Board of Trustees in 2012 and has an extensive background in community service, including working as literacy volunteer for the Super Stars Literacy Program at Hoover Elementary School and serving as a delegate at the 2008 Democratic Convention. In addition, she is active raising awareness of the importance of early childhood education by working on the Alameda County Pre-School for All Campaign and working on a community task force for our local assembly representative. Brown is a graduate of Cornell University and also graduated from Boston University School of Law.

Karen Weinstein, who was elected to fill retiring Trustee Gulassa’s seat, has served on the Peralta District Citizens’ Oversight Committee, is a Board Member of the Berkeley Public Schools Fund and is Vice-Chair of the Berkeley Commission on the Status of Women. Trustee Weinstein serves as Co-Chair of the California Democratic Party’s Affirmative Action Committee and is a member-elect to the Alameda County Democratic Central Committee. She also serves as community liaison for the Dreamers and Undocumented Student Task Force. Trustee Weinstein received her Ph.D. in Counselor Education, with a concentration in college counseling from the School of Education, State University of New York at Buffalo. She is a Licensed California Psychologist.

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Karen Weinstein Elected to Peralta Community College District Board of Trustees for Area 6

10 November 2016

karen_with_blue_shirt_copyOAKLAND, Calif., Nov. 9, 2016 Karen Weinstein, a well-known education advocate and community activist, has been elected to represent Area 6, which includes portions of North Oakland and the Berkeley Hills, on the Board of Trustees for the Peralta Community College District.

Weinstein won the seat held by Cy Gulassa, who announced his retirement, effective at the end of this year’s term. Weinstein will be sworn-in at a special organizational meeting of the Board of Trustees on December 13, 2016.

“I’m looking forward to having Karen serving on the Board with us, and working together to provide educational opportunities for our community’s students,” said Board President William “Bill” Riley

“We are pleased that the voters have chosen such a well qualified candidate to serve on our Board,” said Peralta Colleges Chancellor Jowel C. Laguerre, Ph.D. “I look forward to working closely with the Trustee-Elect in offering our students equal access to education and a myriad of career preparation and university transfer programs.”

“I also want to thank Nick Resnick for his candidacy, his interest in supporting our students and for standing up for community educational issues during his campaign,” the Chancellor added.                                  

Karen Weinstein, who currently sits on the Peralta District Citizens’ Oversight Committee, has been a champion for accessible college opportunities for all. She is a Board Member of the Berkeley Public Schools Fund and is Vice-Chair of the Berkeley Commission on the Status of Women. Weinstein serves as Co-Chair of the California Democratic Party’s Affirmative Action Committee and is a member-elect to the Alameda County Democratic Central Committee.

In addition, she serves as community liaison for the Dreamers and Undocumented Student Task Force and is a member of Berkeley City College’s President’s Advisory Board, and last year, she was acknowledged for her leadership with a Berkeley City College award for her “unshakable commitment to transforming student lives at Berkeley City College.” 

Weinstein received her Ph.D. in Counselor Education, with a concentration in college counseling from the School of Education, State University of New York at Buffalo.  She is a Licensed California Psychologist.

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Trustee Cy Gulassa Tapped To Serve California Community Colleges Board

9 February 2016

Cy-GulassaAt its regular meeting on January 26, 2016, the Board of Trustees for the Peralta Community College Districted nominated fellow Board member Cy Gulassa, Area 6, to serve on the California Community College Trustees (CCCT) Board of the Community College League of California (CCLC) for 2016.

Gulassa, a long-time advocate for California’s community colleges, has been a trustee at the Peralta Colleges since 2004. A graduate of UC Berkeley with a M.A. in English, Gulassa has taught at institutions such as Frostburg State University in Maryland and the Philadelphia College of Art, as well as teaching English at De Anza College for 30 years. He served as president of the Foothil-De Anza District Faculty Association for fifteen years and founded the Bay Faculty Association. He lectures on community college reform and governance issues and has published over 150 articles. In 1994, he was named Faculty Member of the Year and was honored by State Assembly and Senate resolutions, and a commendation from President Clinton. 

The CCCT Board helps make policy for the CCLC and advances public education with legislative and public support for community colleges. It provides education, information and help to California community college governing boards and supports community colleges throughout the state.

“It’s a pleasure to have the opportunity to play a role in CCCT’s coming of age,” said Gulassa. “CCCT is asserting itself and becoming a strong education partner in the state, meeting frequently with CEOs to develop joint initiatives and focusing on student equity and success programs.”

“CCCT is seeking wider membership on national trustee organizations and has won the right of trustees to serve on accreditation teams, a major step forward,” he added.

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Peralta College Delegation in Washington, D.C.

12 February 2014

Peralta_DC_Delegation

Peralta Colleges’ Chancellor, José M. Ortiz, led a delegation this week to Washington, D.C., to discuss educational issues with the nation’s lawmakers. 

In this photo, Peralta’s delegation met Congresswoman Barbara Lee (California’s 13th Congressional District) in the Longworth House Office Building where the Congresswoman was attending a Workforce and Education Committee hearing. Pictured from left, Trustee Bill Withrow, Trustee Meredith Brown, Congresswoman Lee, Chancellor Ortiz, Trustee Linda Handy and Trustee Cy Gulassa.

Peralta’s delegation asked lawmakers to change work study formulas to be fair and equitable, to support successful “wrap-around” services for students, for Congress to expand programs for Asian American, Native American Pacific and Hispanic-serving institutions, and to allow colleges to use tax exempt funding practices to keep pace with infrastructure needs.

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Peralta News – Peralta Colleges Board Elects New Officers For 2013, Trustees Sworn-In

13 December 2012

The Peralta Community College District’s Board of Trustees, at its annual organizational meeting held on December 11, 2012, elected new officers for 2013. A newly elected Trustee, Meredith Brown, and three reelected Trustees, Nicky González Yuen, Cy Gulassa and Bill Withrow, were also sworn-in to serve for the next four years.

Cy Gulassa, representing Area 6, was elected President of the nine-member board, and Abel Guillén, who represents Area 7, was elected Vice President. Dr. José M. Ortiz, Chancellor of the District, was elected Board Secretary.

Meredith Brown, elected in November to represent Area 2, was sworn-in by Peralta Trustee Linda Handy. Nicky González Yuen, who represents Area 4, and Cy Gulassa were sworn-in by State Assembly Member Nancy Skinner.

Bill Withrow, who represents Area 1, was sworn-in by Joseph Bielanski, a member of the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges and also the Institutional Effectiveness Coordinator at the Peralta Community College District.

Student Trustees serving on the Board are Sharon Clegg and Brian Cervantes.

A graduate of UC Berkeley with a M.A. in English, Cy Gulassa has taught at institutions such as Frostburg State University in Maryland and the Philadelphia College of Art, as well as teaching English at De Anza College for 30 years. He served as president of the Foothill-De Anza District Faculty Association for fifteen years and founded the Bay Faculty Association. He lectures on community college reform and governance issues and has published over 150 articles. In 1994, Gulassa was named Faculty Member of the Year and was honored by State Assembly and Senate resolutions and a commendation from President Clinton.

Abel Guillén is vice president of Caldwell Flores Winters Inc., where he has advised on the issuance of $2 billion in general obligation bonds for schools and colleges throughout California. In 2000, Guillén was a policy analyst for the Gore/Lieberman campaign. He has also been a research associate for the United States Department of the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund in Washington, D.C., and in the 1990s Guillén was in the Coro Fellows Program in Public Affairs and a Jesse M. Unruh Assembly Fellow. The first in his family to attend college, he has a Masters Degree in Public Policy and Management from the Goldman School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley and a B.A. in Sociology, also from UC Berkeley.

Meredith Brown has over 20 years of experience in complex litigation and representing public agencies. From 1989 to 1994 she practiced construction and business litigation on behalf of nationally recognized public and private clients with an Oakland law firm. From 1994 to 1999, Brown worked for a major San Francisco law firm representing a number of large and small public entities in the San Francisco Bay Area. In 2000, Brown established her own law firm, where she has continued to represent public and private clients She received her Bachelor of Science from Cornell University in 1983 and was a member of the Quill and Dagger Honorary Society. Brown received her Juris Doctor Degree from Boston University School of Law in 1988. She served as a clerk for United States Magistrate Joyce London Alexander, First Circuit in Boston, Massachusetts in 1988.

Brown’s community involvement includes service as a delegate to the 2008 Democratic National Convention, President of the Alameda County Democratic Lawyers Club, Vice President and past President of the Montclair Soccer Club, past Executive Board Member of the National Women Political Caucus – Alameda County North and a volunteer Judge Pro Tem for Alameda County.

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Congresswoman Lee to Visit Laney College Machine Technology Lab Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012, 10:00 a.m.

9 October 2012. 0 comments

Congresswoman Barbara Lee will join Cy Gulassa, Board of Trustees President, Peralta Community College District, José M. Ortiz, Ed.D., Chancellor of the Peralta Community College District, Laney College President Elnora Webb, Ph.D., and students, faculty and staff on a  tour of the Laney College Machine Technology Lab (Room G-100) on Wednesday, October 10, 2012 at 10:00 a.m.  Laney College is located at 900 Fallon Street, Oakland, CA.

Following the tour, Congresswoman Lee will hold media availability where she will discuss the latest figures released by the Department of Labor showing the U.S. unemployment rate fell to 7.8 percent and the addition of 114,000 jobs and how Laney College’s recent Department of Labor grant helps move the Bay Area economy forward by creating a regional workforce equipped to meet the demands of emerging fields like advanced manufacturing, logistics and engineering fields.

The Laney College’s Machine Technology Lab will be partially used to retrain displaced workers in emerging manufacturing and technology fields for the Design it-Build it-Ship it program.   The Peralta Community College District including Laney College is part of a consortium that was recently awarded $14.9 million grant for a this regional workforce initiative through the Department of Labor’s Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training Grant Program.

Peralta Colleges students, faculty and staff and the community are encouraged to attend.

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Peralta Colleges Board of Trustees Votes to Approve Contract for New Chancellor, José M. Ortiz, Ed.D.

13 June 2012. 1 comment

The Board of Trustees of the Peralta Community College District voted last night at its regular Board meeting to approve the contract for a new Chancellor, José M. Ortiz, Ed.D.

The Board previously approved Dr. Ortiz’s appointment in May.

“Dr. Ortiz is a seasoned senior administrator with a unique set of skills that make him ideally suited to lead the Peralta Colleges,” said Board of Trustees President Cy Gulassa.

The contract, which is posted on the Peralta Colleges Website, outlines a compensation package for Dr. Ortiz that includes a base annual salary of $260,000 as well as an annual $25,000 District-paid retirement contribution. This compensation package ranks Dr. Ortiz sixth in compensation for Bay Area community college chancellors and tenth statewide.

A detailed press release originally announcing Dr. Ortiz appointment, which includes biographical information, is available on the Peralta Website.

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Peralta News – Board Spotlight April 24, 2012

30 April 2012. 0 comments

The April 24 meeting of the Peralta Board of Trustees began with the news that the Chancellor search process has not been finalized. Board President Cy Gulassa announced a very positive follow-up visit from the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges. And Board Policy consultant Jim Grivich proposed a number of policy updates developed through the shared governance process.

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Peralta Community College District Governing Board Elects New Officers for 2012

19 December 2011. 0 comments

At its annual organizational meeting held on December 6, 2011, the Governing Board for The Peralta Community College District (Berkeley City College, College of Alameda, and Laney and Merritt Colleges in Oakland) elected a new slate of officers for 2012.

Cy Gulassa, representing Area 6, was elected President and Dr. William “Bill” Riley, who represents Area 5 was elected Vice President of the nine-member Board.

“I am very pleased to be elected to serve as Board President and look forward to serving not only my constituents but the whole of the district in the coming year,” said Gulassa. “My priorities include implementing our district-wide strategic plan, conducting vigilant oversight of bond expenditures and expanding student access, equity and success,” Gulassa said.

Dr. Riley stated, “I look forward to working together with students, faculty, staff, and the community, as we guide our colleges through these difficult economic times.”

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Peralta News – Board Spotlight December 6

12 December 2011. 0 comments

The Peralta Colleges Board of Trustees held their annual organizational meeting on December 6, and congratulations to Cy Gulassa for his election to Board President for the coming year. Many students, faculty and staff voiced their support for renegotiating a debt swap with Morgan Stanley that could save the District over $1,000,000 per year. And the Board received a report from our State lobbyist, highlighting some of the actions in Sacramento that have an effect on our students.

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