Happy Retirement for Abbie Patterson

24 Jun

abbie pattersonOn Saturday, June 20, 2015, in the penthouse ballroom overlooking the south bay–at the Doubletree Hilton in Torrance, California–family, colleagues, and friends of Abbie Patterson celebrated her 37 years in education.  Corey Rodgers, dean of admissions and records of Harbor College was the master of ceremonies.  Pastor Charles Williams from Grace Chapel gave the invocation and Dr. Adriana Barrera, Los Angeles Community Colleges District (LACCD) Deputy Chancellor, gave greetings from chancellor, Dr. Francisco Rodriguez.  Dr. Otto Lee, president of Los Angeles Harbor College welcomed the guests, and LACCD Trustee, Mona Field, brought greetings from the Board of Trustees.  Susan McMurray gave a presentation from the Los Angeles Harbor College Academic Senate.   Dr. Regina Smith, vice president of student services at Los Angeles City College shared her experience working with and being mentored by Abbie and gave a wonderful dedication on behalf of the chief student services officers of the LACCD.  Other vice presidents, including Kaneesha Tarrant from Los Angeles Trade-Technical College, joined Abbie on stage in a warm tribute.

There was a modern dance performance by Bria Briggs and a lively song tribute by the Supreme Three:  Dr. Yasmin Delahoussaye, retired vice chancellor of LACCD; Leige Henderson, retired LACCD administrator; and Alaina Patterson, Abbie’s daughter.  They shut the house down in their metallic gold cocktail dresses.

Mercy Yanez gave words from the Teamsters Local 911 and Marco Marrufo gave a moving tribute to Abbie on behalf of the Harbor College Associated Students Organization.  Dr. Linda Cole and Paulette Bailey from Los Angeles Trade Technical College presented Abbie with a Lori Hunter custom-made card and gave greetings from Trade Tech.  Dr. Cole also recited the nine fruits of the spirit that Abbie exemplified.  Dr. Ayesha Randall, interim vice president of the LACCD Black Faculty & Staff Association, thanked Abbie for her years of service to the district and for her past and continual mentorship.

Abbie, the ninth child of twelve, had many of her siblings in the audience who also shared loving tributes to their sister.  Her daughter, Alaina, read a poem dedicated to her mother and Abbie’s husband, Rodney, gave a warm tribute to his wife and shared the story of how the two met.  The audience was treated to a special video presentation by the Delahoussaye family that highlighted Abbie’s life through pictures and music.

Abbie ended the evening by recognizing many of the special guests in the audience and sharing little anecdotes of each.  The evening ended with music and dancing.

Biography of Abbie Patterson

Since 2003, Abbie Patterson has served as the vice president of Student Services at Los Angeles Harbor College in Wilmington, California.  She has worked in education for over 37 years, beginning in 1977 as an assistant recruitment coordinator at California State University, Los Angeles.  In 1978, Abbie was hired as a counselor for the Extended Opportunity Programs and Services (EOP & S) office at West Los Angeles College.  In 1984, she became the director of the program.

Abbie’s administrative career began with her selection as an assistant dean of Student Activities at Los Angeles Trade Technical College in 1987.  Over the next sixteen years, Abbie steadily moved up the administrative ranks at Trade Tech, becoming an associate dean of Admissions and Records, senior dean of Student Services in 1991, and later receiving a title change to Vice President of Students Services in 1999.  Abbie was very active for seven years in the Chief Student Services Officers (CSSO) statewide association as the past president, president, vice president, and region representative.

Abbie enjoys working with community college students, especially first generation college students and those who have been given a second chance to complete their career goals.  She also admires the thirst for knowledge from these populations.  As a vice president, Abbie was able to provide students with access to services, including admissions and records, counseling, financial aid, accommodations for students with disabilities, athletics, math and English assessment, orientation to college, and the student heal center.  In addition to serving the needs of Harbor College students, Abbie served the college community in her role as senior manager where she reviewed campus policies and procedures, budgets, and planning for completion of new campus buildings funded by bond monies.

After graduating from Los Angeles High School Abbie completed her bachelors of arts degree in psychology in 1975 from Pomona College.  In her senior year at Pomona, Abbie won the Honnold Graduate Fellowship, which she used to attend the George Peabody College of Education in the Vanderbilt University Graduate School located in Nashville, Tennessee.  In 1977, Abbie received an MS in Human Development Counseling.

Abbie has been married for over 31 years to her husband, Rodney, who is a retired community college political science instructor and former academic senate president.  They have three adult children–two sons and a daughter.  In Abbie’s spare time, she enjoys participating in community activities, reading novels, and traveling with her family.

California Community Colleges’ Smooth Pathway to HBCUs

20 Mar

HBCU PhotoIt has been a hard and long road to ensuring that students have a smooth transition from community colleges to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).  In 2008, led by Dr. Yasmin Delahoussaye,  previous president of Southwest College and former vice chancellor of the Los Angeles Community Colleges District, and under the guise of the African American Outreach Initiative (AAOI), created 9 articulation agreements for the following HBCUs: Albany State University, Clark Atlanta University, Fort Valley State University, Hampton University, Howard University, Morehouse College, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical University, Paine College, and Savannah State University.

More recently, Helen Young, Transfer Center and Honors Director at West Los Angeles Community College was part of the committee of the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office that worked over the past 18 months to form state-wide articulation agreements to form a pioneering Historically Black Colleges and Universities Transfer Admission Guarantee Program with the following 9 HBCUs:

Because of this hard work, students will now have two pathways to these HBCUs.  They can either complete :

  1. Thirty (30) CSU/UC (Cal State University/University of California) transferable units with a minimum 2.5 GPA
  2. An ADT (associate degree for transfer) degree with min. 2.5 GPA  (IGETC/CSU GE Breadth Certification) 

Because these agreements are intended for all 112 California Community Colleges (CCCs), they have been kept simple to ensure easy pathways for students. These agreements do not replace any specific articulation agreements (course-to-course or program) that a CCC might have with a HBCU currently.  Both Young and Delahoussaye who attended the signing ceremony in Sacramento, discussed the need to work on updating LACCD’s HBCU articulation agreements.   The AAOI has already begun working on that undertaking scheduled for this spring.

For more information, visit the California Community Colleges website here:  http://extranet.cccco.edu/HBCUTransfer.aspx.  You can download a flyer here:  http://extranet.cccco.edu/Portals/1/SSSP/HBCUTransfers/HBCU_Handout.pdf.  Also, go to extranet.cccco.edu/HBCUTransfer/Resources.aspx for information and instructions on how to download buttons and promote this new agreement to students on your website.Download this document about effectiveness of HBCUs on student success: http://www.usccr.gov/pubs/HBCU_webversion2.pdf.

Going Black in Time

16 Feb

wattstower On Friday, February 27, 2015 from 8 am to 4 pm, join the LACCD Black Faculty & Staff Association on a bus day trip to the past.  It’s the Black Heritage Tour of Los Angeles designed especially for LACCD faculty, staff, and students!

Discover the 1781 African connection to the founding of Los Angeles; travel to the Bridget “Biddy” Mason Memorial and learn the history about the first African-American—a former slave—to purchase land in Los Angeles; learn about the history of the Watts Tower; view the Mother of Humanity sculpture and tour the Civil Rights Museum; learn about the black entertainers like actress Louise Beavers, Pearl Bailey, Hattie McDaniels (first African American to win an Oscar), Earl Grant (jazz organist), and Ray Charles, of “Sugar Hill” in the 1940s; visit the historic mural in the oldest black church in Los Angeles, First AME; and more!

Leading on this journey is Tour Director, Dr. Toni-Mokjaetji Humber, professor of ethnic and women’s studies at Cal Poly Pomona and member of Our Authors Study Club, Inc., the Los Angeles chapter of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, Inc., established in 1915 by Carter G. Woodson, founder of Black History Month.

The price is excellent for what you are getting — an interactive day tour of Black LA on an air conditioned, plush, chartered bus.

$5 Students | $10 for BFSA Members | $15 for Non-BFSA Members stelmos

Optional Soul Food Buffet Lunch at Dulan’s on Crenshaw for an extra $15.

RSVP with Toni Johnson at x 7111 or johnsotn@lattc.edu.  Put in the subject line “Black LA Bus Tour 2015″.  Speak to your professional development coordinator for information about flex credit for this event.  Download a flyer here:  Black History Bus Tour of LA 2015 Flyer.

Andraé Crouch, A Gospel Great (1942-2015)

26 Jan

andraecrouchFrom the Negro spirituals of the slaves, like “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” to the contemporary gospel songs from musical greats like Andraé Crouch’s, “Goin’ up Yonder,” black sacred music is the backbone of African American culture. It created a strong and resilient faith-based foundation for black people.

Andraé Crouch, a legendary gospel performer, songwriter, arranger, record producer, choir director and pastor, died January 8, 2015 at 72 years of age.  He was born Andraé Edward Crouch on July 1, 1942 in San Francisco, California, along with his twin sister, Sandra, to parents Benjamin and Catherine (neé Hodnett) Crouch. Crouch was only 14 when he wrote his first gospel hit. Since then, his music has resonated across generations and cultures.  Some of his most popular songs are “Soon and Very Soon,” “The Blood Will Never Lose Its Power,” and “My Tribute (To God Be the Glory)”.

The celebration and homegoing for Andraé Crouch was a two-day tribute at West Angeles Church of God in Christ (COGIC) in Los Angeles, California. It began with an all-gospel tribute concert on Tuesday, January 20th, followed by his homegoing service on Wednesday, January 21, 2015.

10 Things You Never Knew About Andraé Crouch

  1. Did you know that gospel music’s most celebrated artist worked to overcome stuttering?  His twin sister, Sandra, had to speak for him. It started when Andraé was just three years old. He once narrated:   “I was on my way to get some ice cream right down the street from where my folks had a business, and a guy picked me up and started running with me. And we’d always say, “If anybody ever kidnapped us, we would scream and beat them up.” And here this guy was running with me. I couldn’t say anything. My folks saw him carry me across the street ‘cause they heard me let out a yell and the guy dropped me. I remember then is when I started stuttering.”
  2. Between 1992 and 1994 his father, mother and older brother Benjamin, died of cancer. Following his father’s death, he took over as Senior Pastor at Christ Memorial Church of God in Christ (COGIC) in Pacoima, California, the church founded by his parents, serving alongside his twin sister Sandra. Crouch formed his music group there.
  3. In 2004, Crouch was the third gospel performers to have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
  4. Crouch directed his choir, The Disciples, that sang background on Madonna’s song, “Like a Prayer.”
  5. He arranged music for the 1985 film, “The Color Purple” — which earned him an Academy Award nomination.
  6. In 1994, Crouch arranged the music for Disney’s “The Lion King” and helped to arrange Michael Jackson’s 1987 hit song, “Man in the Mirror.”
  7. Crouch collaborated often with his twin sister, who sang with him and acted as his manager.
  8. Despite a lifelong struggle with dyslexia, to create, Crouch would make drawings that allowed him to grasp the concept. For the Jackson song, he drew a mirror with an image in it. Crouch once told The Associated Press in 2011, “I memorized everything through sight, the shape of the word.” “Some things that I write, you’ll see a page with cartoon pictures or a drawing of a car or a flag. I still do it on an occasion when a word is strange to me.”
  9. Crouch is the writer of five internationally renowned songs:
    • “He’s Worthy”: Recorded in 1983 by Sandra Crouch and Friends, He’s Worthy is a staple of contemporary gospel music, particularly for female choirs.
    • “Can’t Nobody Do Me Like Jesus”: Billy Graham called him the greatest hymn writer. “The song is a pillar of contemporary gospel, performed often in churches; and yet, Crouch works the number like a Motown star, with a sweating, open-shirted, suave look – complete with gold chain and chest hair – that would look as at home on Marvin Gaye or Isaac Hayes.”
    • “Man in the Mirror”: In addition to Crouch‘s choir performance with Michael Jackson at the Grammys, in the Man in the Mirror video, Crouch also arranged this single, which hit No 1 on the US charts when it was released in 1987.
    • “The Force Behind the Power”: This song is a convergence of major musical talent from black America. The Stevie Wonder-produced song was performed live by Diana Ross and the Crouch twins. The song was also performed live in 1992 for the 50th birthday of Muhammad Ali.
    • “Let the Church Say Amen”:  The death of Whitney Houston was felt in the African American gospel music family. Houston came up in the church, and was memorialized in this live recording at her funeral with Marvin Winans performing one of Crouch’s most famous ballads, Let the Church Say Amen.
  10. Including many Stellar and Dove awards, Crouch won seven Grammys:
    • 1975: Best Soul Gospel Performance Take Me Back
    • 1978: Best Contemporary Soul Gospel Album Live in London
    • 1979: Best Contemporary Soul Gospel Album I’ll Be Thinking of You
    • 1980: Best Gospel Performance, Contemporary or Inspirational The Lord’s Prayer (collaborative)
    • 1981: Best Contemporary Soul Gospel Album Don’t Give Up
    • 1984: Best Soul Gospel Performance, Male Always Remember
    • 1994: Best Pop/Contemporary Gospel Album Mercy

Sources:  http://www.theguardian.com/music/musicblog/2015/jan/09/andrae-crouch-dead-five-songs-michael-jackson, http://mobile.monitor.co.ug/Life/10-things-you-never-knew-about-Andra—Crouch/-/1055104/2592734/-/format/xhtml/-/nmrffxz/-/index.html

Andraé Crouch Songs and Tributes:

Casino and Game Night Fundraiser

25 Nov

BFSA Casino and Game Night FlyerJoin the LACCD Black Faculty & Staff Association for its first annual Casino & Game Night!  This event is for the entire LA Community Colleges.  Please come on Friday, December 5, 2014 at 5:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. under the South Tent.  There will be Casino games, Black Jack, Poker, Craps, and Roulette.  If you don’t gamble, don’t worry!  There will be lots of other games too–Dominoes, Connect Four, Taboo, and more!

$40.00 for BFSA Members / $45.00 for Non-Members/ $85.00 for Couples
Tickets include Food, Dancing and a Stack of Gambling Chips
A No-Host Bar will be available
Guests must be 21 years or older
For tickets contact:
Marcia Wilson at (626) 807-2691 or Email: WilsonMR@lattc.edu or
purchase tickets from any BFSA member

Please come out and support!

President Barak Obama Visits LA Trade Tech

24 Jul

LA Trade TechFrom 89.3 KPCC…

The White House statement is rather bland. It says President Obama will speak at Los Angeles Trade-Technical College Thursday to address “the importance of job-driven skills training.” The stop comes amid two fundraisers with ticket prices as high as $32,400.

With so many options for a Southern California appearance, why Trade Tech, a public two-year college located south of downtown, just a few blocks from Staples Center?

“They have been called a game changer in higher education,” says Estela Mara Bensimon, co-director of the Center for Urban Education at the USC Rossier School of Education.

Trade Tech is integrating academic departments and “embedding” counselors to help students more easily navigate the curriculum, says Bensimon. “These students at Trade Tech need a lot of support in basic skills development.”

“Too often, schools blame students for being underprepared,” Bensimon says.

For a Democratic president who has talked a lot about how community colleges can help minority and low-income students, it’s a perfect venue. Obama wants community colleges to produce an additional five million graduates in the next five years, though efforts to pump billions more federal dollars into the effort have been stymied by deficit-conscious Republicans.

The stop at Trade Tech takes the president out of the ritzy neighborhoods of his fundraisers and places him in front of many people who are struggling to complete their education and find a way to make a living. This is Los Angeles, where the gap between the rich and the poor is wide. By going to Trade Tech, the president traverses that gap.

More than 15,000 students attend Trade Tech, one of the nine colleges in the Los Angeles Community College District.  Fifty-five percent are Latino and 27-percent are African American. One quarter of the students are over the age of 35, says Bensimon, who is conducting research on the school as part of a Ford Foundation grant.

Trade Tech has a wide variety of programs for jobs in healthcare, the building trades, fashion, automotive mechanics and culinary science. The school also recently instituted a new program for military veterans. It’s a seven-week “Apprenticeship Preparation Boot Camp” for a career in construction.

“I’m not surprised President Obama chose Trade Tech,” says Bensimon.

“Having the president come to Los Angeles to a place like Trade Tech is really important,” says June Bayha of WestEd, a national advocacy organization that focuses on equity. “The president going to a community college shows that there are a lot of different options available – not just four-year colleges.”

“In the coming years, jobs requiring at least an associate degree are projected to grow twice as fast as jobs requiring no college experience,” President Obama said earlier this year. “We will not fill those jobs – or keep those jobs on our shores – without the training offered by community colleges.”

President Obama is scheduled to speak at Trade Tech around 1:15 pm on Thursday.

Of course touting the benefits of community colleges is not the only reason for Obama’s visit to Los Angeles. Earlier Thursday, he attends a roundtable discussion at the home of Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino. Just 30 people are attending, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Tickets are $32,400 per person, the maximum allowable under federal law.

The president is due to arrive in Los Angeles on Wednesday for a Democratic National Committee fundraiser at the home of Grey’s Anatomy television producer Shonda Rhimes. Tickets range from $1,000 to $32,400.

Source:  http://www.scpr.org/news/2014/07/23/45511/obama-s-trek-from-ritzy-fundraisers-to-la-trade-te/

Dr. Bobbi McDaniel of Valley Leaves for Doha, Qatar

16 Jul

Bobbi McDanielDr. Bobbi McDaniel, Director of the Upward Bound Program at Los Angeles Valley College, is leaving for a new position in the Middle East.  She will be embarking upon her lifelong dream to work and live abroad.  McDaniel will be training new teachers in Doha, Qatar, home to Education City, an area devoted to research and education.

McDaniel received a Bachelor of Arts degree in speech communications at University of Nevada-Reno, a Master of Arts degree in education from Fordham University, and a Doctorate of Education degree in organizational leadership from Pepperdine University.  She presented “The Politics of Knowledge and Schooling in the Global Era” at New York University’s International Education Conference in 2011.  A member of the LACCD Black Faculty and Staff Association (BFSA), McDaniel has always demonstrated strong leadership in uplifting and empowering African Americans as well as other disenfranchised ethnic groups.  She was the president of the black student union organization at University of Nevada-Reno and had begun creating a BFSA chapter at LA Valley College.

In addition to her work at the community college level, McDaniel is the founder and director of Sister Circle, an intervention program designed for African American high school girls. The program addresses the academic, social and emotional development of young girls impacted by the social issues of attending high school in poor, urban neighborhoods in Los Angeles.   The program provides students with a safe space to meet and discuss their concerns, learn about African American traditions and heritage, and engage with motivational speakers and mentors.

The Sister Circle program was a response to a race riot that erupted on the campus at Santee High School in 2005 and provided support for Black female students at the school who wanted their voices and concerns to be heard.  McDaniel, at the time, was an integral part of the Los Angeles City Human Relations Commission as an Education Policy Advisor, and had been brought in to assist with resolution efforts at the school. She remembers arriving on the scene at Santee High School to find a group of African American girls confined by police to the library.

Those same girls would become the first members of the Sister Circle program.

The number of African-American students only made up less than 7 percent of the student body, forcing Santee to end the program.  However, in the fall of 2006, the principal of Thomas Jefferson High School at the time, Juan Flecha, invited McDaniel to restart the program at Jefferson High School, where it has been ever since.  For the past eight years, the Sister Circle program has continued to provide students with a safe space to discuss academic and personal issues and enable them to move closer to their life goals.

McDaniel has been a great asset to the Los Angeles Community Colleges District, and to the academic community at large.  We wish her the best.

Visit the Qatar Foundation at http://www.qf.org.qa/education for more information about the burgeoning and innovative educational communities and developments of the country.  You can also view a PBS video about Education City here.


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