7 April 2017
The Asian Pacific Americans in Higher Education (APAHE) has chosen Berkeley City College President Rowena Tomaneng, pictured right, as the recipient of its coveted President’s Award for 2017. The award honors the accomplishments of Asian and Pacific Island American college presidents and will be presented at APAHE’s annual conference and thirty year celebration on Thursday, April 6 at the Marriott City Center in Oakland. Also honored was Thuy Thi Nguyen, President of Foothill College and former General Counsel at the Peralta Community College District, pictured left.
A doctoral candidate in International and Multicultural Education at the University of San Francisco, Tomaneng took the helm as President of Berkeley City College in August 2016. She expects to complete her dissertation on the educational dimensions of Filipina migrant workers’ activist identities this summer. She received her M.A. in English from the University of California, Santa Barbara and B.A. in English from the University of California, Irvine.
Before coming to BCC, one of the East Bay’s four Peralta Colleges, Tomaneng served as the Associate Vice President of Instruction at De Anza College in Cupertino for six years. There, she lead the college’s institutional efforts with a number of initiatives, including Civic Engagement, Student Equity, and the Asian American Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institution program (AANAPISI). In 2006, Tomaneng was a founding co-director and developed a range of community and educational partnerships at the Vasconcellos Institute for Democracy in Action, formerly the Institute for Community and Civic Engagement.
Tomaneng is also a faculty affiliate of the Asian Pacific American Leadership Institute (APALI) in Cupertino whose mission is to address the need to increase civic engagement and community voice for Asian Americans and other underrepresented groups through education and civic network.
Tomaneng expressed her gratitude for being chosen for the award and noted the significance of the work done by APAHE. “For over 21 years, I have devoted my teaching, research, and administrative work in the service of AAPI and other students of color. APAHE has been a leader in promoting equity in advancement and opportunity for Asian and Pacific Island Americans. Its example and leadership have shaped my practice as an equity-based educational leader within and outside of the institution,” Tomaneng said.
APAHE is dedicated to enhancing the educational opportunities for Asian and Pacific American students; promoting and supporting the hiring, retention, and advancement of qualified Asian and Pacific American faculty, staff, and administrators; and creating a better understanding of issues in the public affecting Asian and Pacific Americans in higher education.
Filed under: Berkeley City College, Peralta News. Tagged: APAHE, Asian and Pacific Island American, Asian Pacific Americans in Higher Education, Marriott, Marriott City Center, President’s Award, Rowena Tomaneng, Thuy Thi Nguyen
3 April 2017
The American Association of Community Colleges has awarded its 2017 Faculty Innovation Award to Berkeley City College’s Rachel Mercy Simpson. The award recognizes faculty across the country who have demonstrated leadership in the development and implementation of campus programs that have had a positive impact on the learning experience for students.
As co-chair of BCC’s Multi Media Arts department, Simpson is credited with promoting a culture of collaboration and inclusion and for piloting interactive teaching techniques that engage students in teamwork. BCC President Rowena Tomaneng said, “I have observed her passion for student equity and social justice, and she is constantly looking for ways to provide more access to students of color who are interested in pursuing careers in multi-media arts.” According to Tomaneng, Simpson’s influence on student learning is apparent. “The tone of the work produced by her students reflects the spirit of unity, caring and passion that she brings to this campus,” she said.
But Simpson’s work extends further than the classroom. Simpson organized a Multimedia Faculty Retreat where faculty learned how implicit biases could impact grading and expectations. Simpson invited students to share their experiences of prejudice and relay best practices that enabled them to succeed. She also designed several faculty trainings on how to engage students across varied experiences.
Since 2009, Simpson has been instrumental in transforming BCC’s Multimedia Arts program by developing a challenging and rigorous curriculum that focuses on sharpening technical skills while working as teams and mastering communication skills. Today, BCC’s Multimedia Arts program is one that is well respected by industry professionals who allow students to apply their learning beyond the classroom.
“My goal as co-chair of the Multimedia Department has been to create a top-notch community college media program that employs the arts as a gateway to rigorous and engaging academic and technical work, and to serve our diverse student body in preparing them for transfer and sustainable careers,” Simpson said.
Simpson will be recognized for her award by AACC at its 97th annual convention in New Orleans in April, 2017. The AACC was established in 1920 as a forum for the nation’s two-year colleges. The association represents nearly 1,200 two-year, associate degree–granting institutions and more than 13 million students, as well as a growing number of international members in Puerto Rico, Japan, Great Britain, Korea, and the United Arab Emirates.
Filed under: Announcements, Berkeley City College, Peralta News. Tagged: 2017 Faculty Innovation Award, American Association of Community Colleges, Multimedia Arts, Multimedia Arts Program, Rachel Mercy Simpson, Rowena Tomaneng