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Posts Tagged Bill Withrow

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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Peralta News – Board Spotlight March 24, 2015

27 March 2015

Supporters of the Great Wall Youth Orchestra at Laney College packed the March 24 meeting of the Peralta Colleges Board of Trustees. Concerns were raised about the diversity of the Chancellor Search Committee. And Trustee Bill Withrow reported on his testimony before the Congressional Committee for Veterans Affairs. To view the full meeting, please visit:

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Peralta Invited to Discuss Veterans’ Programs with U. S. House of Representatives Subcommittee

13 March 2015


Bill-WithrowOAKLAND, Calif., March 13, 2015 The Peralta Community College District has been invited by the Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity of the United States House of Representatives Committee on Veterans’ Affairs to discuss with the Subcommittee veterans’ programs at the Peralta Colleges.

The hearing is to be held in Washington, D.C., on March 17, 2015. Peralta Community College District Trustee, Bill Withrow (Area 1), pictured, a veteran, will testify on behalf of the four Peralta Colleges, Berkeley City College, College of Alameda, Laney and Merritt Colleges in Oakland.

The Subcommittee has asked the Peralta Colleges to provide information on the resources and programs it offers to assist the youngest generation of veterans as they attend community college. The District’s oral testimony and its written statement will be made part of the hearing record in order to share best practices in assisting student veterans with other colleges nationally.

The attendance at the hearing of the San Francisco Bay Area-based Peralta Colleges, the only community college district in the nation asked to testify, comes following a visit to Washington in February 2015 by a delegation of District Trustees.

President of the Board, Meredith Brown (Area 2) led the delegation that included Trustees Linda Handy (Area 3), Cy Gulassa (Area 6) and Withrow. On its visit, the Peralta delegation met with the office of Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA), the staff of the Education and Workforce Committee, the senior legislative assistant for the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, Saki Ververis, and other policymakers.

The four Peralta Colleges, which provide a range of academic and vocational programs to 30,000 students a semester, have full veterans’ services, including certifying officials and Veterans’ Affairs counselors to assist veterans throughout their course of study. There are veterans’ resource centers on each campus and a range of programs to serve the 640 veterans attending the Peralta Colleges during the spring 2015 semester.

Download the full press release here: House Testimonty PR

Read Trustee Withrow’s testimony here: Testimony WithrowW

Watch Trustee Withrow’s testimony here (it starts at about 28:15):


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Peralta College Delegation in Washington, D.C.

12 February 2014


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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Chancellor Ortiz and Peralta Colleges Delegation Visit Sacramento Lawmakers

28 January 2014

Peralta Delegation
Peralta Colleges Chancellor, José M. Ortiz led a delegation this week to Sacramento to advocate on behalf of Peralta’s students, colleges and the   community.

In this photo, Peralta’s delegation meets with Assemblymember Nancy Skinner (15th Assembly District). Pictured from left, Trustee Linda Handy, General Counsel Thuy Nguyen, Trustee Meredith Brown, Assemblymember Skinner, Merritt College President Norma Ambriz-Galaviz, Chancellor Ortiz, Trustee Bill Withrow, Laney College President Elnora Webb and College of Alameda College President Eric Gravenberg. 

The delegation also met with Assemblymember Rob Bonta (18th Assembly District) and Assemblymember Loni Handcock’s (9th Assembly District) Chief of Staff. Peralta’s legislative priorities include supporting the Governor’s proposed 3% growth for community colleges; increased funding for the Student Success Categorical Program; a focus on underrepresented students; adult education; dual enrollment; inmate education; and campus safety.

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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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  • Peralta Colleges

    Wednesday 29 March 2023
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  • Peralta Community College District is comprised of Berkeley City College, College of Alameda, Laney College, and Merritt College. Together they provide northern Alameda County a range of educational programs and life-long learning opportunities.
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