Burnight Theater hosts annual Convocation

Bianca Martinez

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Members of the Cerritos College faculty and staff greeted each other warmly at the 2016-17 Convocation in the Burnight Theater on Thursday.

President Jose Fierro thanked and commended faculty and staff on collective efforts on a successful previous and current academic year.

Over 34 new full-time and 24 newly tenured faculty members were introduced.

Fierro addressed the new faculty and staff by saying, “[with] the level of diversity that we currently have [on] our campus and our new faculty, we should use diversity as a strength, something that will make us better and stronger as we move into the future.”

Convocation then switched gears as the 2015-16 accomplishments and highlights were announced.

One of the highlights was the largest graduating class in campus history with 2,600 degrees and certificates awarded, while the Cerritos Complete program provided 600 scholarships to students.

Cerritos College was honored by the city of Norwalk for student participation in the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program. The college also received $1.4 million in grants.

These accomplishments were only a mere scratch in the surface in regard to campus achievements.

Vice President of Student Services Stephen Johnson announced student achievements such as 24 Cerritos College culinary arts students who helped prepare meals for the Golden Globe Awards for the second year in a row.

Two former Falcon athletes, Ameer Webb and Whitney Ashley, competed in the 2016 Rio Olympics, and WPMD’s Falcon Spotlight was named America’s best student public affairs radio program by the Intercollegiate Broadcasting System.

Faculty Senate President Michelle Lewellen introduced keynote speaker Paula Brown.

Brown, a five year faculty member at LA Harbor College, and the coordinator for the Community College Success Network, was responsible for leading the way to successful understanding and knowledge of varying cultures amongst faculty and students.

Brown said, “I will be working along with the Center for Teaching Excellence […] and developing a community of practice which will involve many of you [faculty].”

She continued, “The training […]change[s] attitudes, add[s] to the knowledge of others, and strengthen[s] communication skills. The training is comprised of four modules:

“The first module is meanings of culture and race. The second [module] is exploring mindsets in learning. The third module is exploring the learning barriers such as bias, aggressive and stereotype threat. The fourth module is social capital and learning.”

The 2016-17 convocation ended with a newly established initiative, new faculty, and another school year.

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