Highlights and Good News about Ohlone! - About Ohlone College

At Ohlone we are proud of the accomplishments made by our dedicated students, faculty, and staff. We are pleased to share several of the highlights of the past year at Ohlone, which are a mere sampling of the great things that are going on at Ohlone.

Student Accomplishments

The Ohlone Forensics Team had another very successful year, with numerous wins in numerous competitions. Ohlone student Kivraj Singh tied for CCCFA State Championship Keeling-Fricker Award for Top Speaker of Oral Interpretation of Literature. This award is for the whole state of California! Of special note are the final two competitions of the Fall 2014 and Spring 2015 Semesters. In April 2015 the Forensics Team closed out the year by participating in the Phi Rho Pi National Tournament in Cleveland, Ohio. Manveer Singh earned a Bronze in IPDA Debate (and was undefeated!); Kivraj Singh won a Bronze in Poetry and a Silver in Program Oral Interpretation; and Sarah Goulart won a Silver in Prose. On December 6-7, 2014 the Team participated at the UC Berkeley Individual Events tournament. At this tournament Kivraj Singh earned a first place in Dramatic Interpretation and Poetry; a second place in Prose; and a third place in Program Oral Interpretation and After Dinner Speech. Manveer Singh went from competing in novice to open (the big leagues!) and placed sixth in Impromptu. Jose Perscale earned a third place in Informative and a fourth place in Novice Extemporaneous. A complete listing of the 2014-2015 accomplishments of the Forensics Team is available on the Forensics Team’s website. Congratulations to the Forensics Team for their impressive and very victorious year!

The Ohlone College Monitor won First Place for On-Site Opinion Writing, First Place for Column Writing, and Second Place for Feature Story Writing at the November 2014 Journalism Association of Community Colleges’ NorCal conference in Sacramento.

Dr. Jeff Watanabe and twelve students spent Spring Break in March 2015 on a Study Abroad trip in Bahia de Los Angeles in Baja California, Mexico. The students experienced both land based and aquatic adventures. This was the first Study Abroad trip for the Environmental Studies Department.

Once again, Ohlone’s Respiratory Therapy Program has been chosen among a select group to be recognized by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care to receive the Distinguished RRT Credentialing Success Award. Criteria for selection include holding accreditation without a required progress report; credentialing success of 90% or higher; and meeting or exceeding established thresholds for credentialing success, low attrition, and successful job placement.

Faculty and Staff Accomplishments

Rose-Margaret Itua, Associate Professor in Engineering, has created an interest group with her students for the Society for Women Engineers (SWE). SWE is the largest professional body of women engineers; women serve as role models and provide support not only to their peers but to students who want to enter the field of engineering. During the 2014-2015 academic year ten female students from Ohlone attended a Society for Women Engineers conference with Professor Itua, where Ohlone was recognized as the first community college in Northern California to have a SWE group on campus. The young women who attended the conference were able to interact with women in their chosen career path, who mentored and encouraged them to persevere.

Jeff Roberts, Associate Professor and Athletic Trainer, attended the 2015 Super Bowl in Phoenix watching the game but, more importantly, watching the players for potential head injuries. Since 2011 Professor Roberts has been the “spotter” for the NFL’s Concussion Protocol Management program at the o.co Coliseum during all Oakland Raiders home games. Based on his excellent performance as a spotter for the Oakland Raiders, the NFL invited Roberts to work at the Super Bowl. Professor Roberts is dedicated to keeping Ohlone at the frontlines of concussion management technology. A recent example is the use of Sway mobile software which uses the motion detection in smartphones to detect balance deficit, an indicator that an individual has suffered a traumatic brain injury. Roberts has noted that there aren’t many four-year schools that are using the Sway program yet and to his knowledge there isn’t a single community college in the nation.

David Topham, Computer Science professor, was awarded a 2014 Summer Fellowship from Industry Initiatives for Science and Math Education (IISME). During a very competitive year, Professor Topham was selected from 300 applicants. The fellowship offers recipients hands-on math, science, and technology experience while working side by side with the Bay Area’s leading industry, research, and university professionals.

College Accomplishments

The Academic Core Buildings Project has been awarded the 2015 SCUP Excellence in Planning Honor Award. Each year the Society for College and University Planning (SCUP) recognizes excellence in planning, design, and implementation efforts of firms and higher education institutions. The Academic Core project was one of seven projects honored nationwide. This is a prestigious award, and it is fairly uncommon for a community college project to be recognized.

The new Communication Lab opened at the Newark Campus during Fall 2014, so Ohlone has another great resource to assist students’ learning! The Lab is focused on Public Speaking students but students in any communication classes can find useful resources and valuable student mentors there. The Lab can assist students with research, organization, delivery techniques, as well as visual aids creation and use.

Ohlone’s Communication Labs and Tutor Training Program received national certification in Spring 2015. The certification comes from the National Association of Communication Centers (NACC). Of the thirteen communication labs certified by NACC nationally, Ohlone is the only college in California to earn this certification and one of only two community colleges nationwide. To qualify for national certification Ohlone developed in-depth training and preparation materials and procedures, which included writing two communication lab and tutor training manuals, and creating a training program for peer-tutoring geared towards instructors and tutors in the lab.

The Deaf Studies Division had a record-breaking and largest number of new Deaf students—49—in the program during Fall 2014. Most of the Deaf classes were filled to capacity in the first week.

Ohlone has been listed in Entertainment Designer Magazine as one of nine innovative programs for Entertainment Design and Technology.

The Ohlone College Foundation received the donation of an antique Wurlitzer theatre pipe organ from Cliff and Judy Luscher of Union City. The three manual keyboard organ was originally installed in the Lyric Theatre in Monrovia, California in 1925 and is valued in excess of $200,000. The working organ will become a permanent installation in the Jackson Theatre in the Gary Soren Smith Center for the Fine and Performing Arts, where the organ will be used for orchestral concerts, theatre productions, silent movies, and individual organ concert events.

One of the metrics on the California Community Colleges’ Student Success Scorecard is improvement in basic skills math; that is, the percentage of students whose first math class was basic skills who eventually completed a collegelevel math course. There are 25 California Community Colleges that are grouped together as peers, and Ohlone had the highest performance rate of all 25 colleges. Ohlone’s 46.1% rate of basic skills math students completing a college-level math course with a grade of C or higher was the only rate above 40%, with a peer average of 28.1% and a statewide average of 31.0%. Additionally, both Ohlone’s African American and Hispanic students had the highest rate among its peers and both far exceeded the statewide rates. Ohlone is #1 among its peers and #2 compared to all 112 community colleges in preparing basic skills math students to succeed in college-level math courses!

Ohlone has received funding from the United Way for a math acceleration program for students pursuing engineering. This program will allow students to move from Algebra II through the first semester of Calculus in just two semesters. These funds are being used to develop the curriculum and teach the first cohort. Future cohorts are being supported by the recently awarded Department of Labor “Ready to Work Grant,” in which Ohlone will receive $1 million of the $5 million awarded to this regional consortium.

Ohlone was named #8 on the list of the Top 30 Community Colleges in the United States in the October 2014 edition of the Chinese magazine College Student. Ohlone was selected on the basis of high transfer rates and transfer agreements with University of California campuses.

Ohlone’s exceptional online program was listed by Affordable Colleges Online as #7 in the Top 40 Online Community Colleges for 2014-2015.

In March 2015 Radio magazine, a widely-read source for up-to-date information on the latest in radio broadcast technology, published an article about KOHL, the Ohlone College radio station, and its innovative method for conducting remote broadcasts. The article cites Tom Briseno, adjunct faculty member in KOHL’s radio program. Briseno, a faculty member at KOHL for more than 20 years, has been a driving force in keeping Ohlone up-to-date in the technology arena. The article in Radio has generated quite a bit of interest from other radio stations. KOHL immediately began getting calls from other radio stations about the Web technology used by KOHL for their remote broadcasts.

Ohlone, which is already in the top 10% of community colleges statewide for completions (degrees awarded and transfer students), witnessed a substantial increase in program awards at the close of the 2013-2014 academic year. Six hundred eighty-five associate degrees were awarded (compared to 545 associate degrees for 2012-2013), and there were 821 certificates awarded (compared to 271 certificates for 2012-2013). That’s 1506 program awards in 2013-2014 compared to 816 in 2012-2013!

Community Outreach

Seven Ohlone College Nursing students participated in the Kaiser Fremont Chemical Disaster Drill in September 2014. The students were dressed in full Haz-Mat suits and worked side-by-side with Kaiser physicians to triage, diagnose, and treat simulated patients. This is the fifth year the Nursing students have participated in a Kaiser Disaster Drill, which have also been conducted at Kaiser Hayward and Kaiser Oakland.

Five Nursing students, accompanied by Nancy Dinsmore, Associate Professor in Nursing, volunteered their time at the American Legion 40 et 8 convocation held in 2014 at the Santa Clara Convention Center. The students were prepared to handle minor emergencies. The veterans appreciated the Nursing students’ presence and reported that they had peace of mind that nurses were on the premises. The faculty and students happily reported their nursing skills were not needed.

During late Spring 2015 Ohlone was able to attend the Heald College Transfer Fair that was called in response to the closing of Corinthian Colleges. Ohlone had three staff cover this event that served approximately 675 students.

College Events

A record $80,000 was raised at the 30th Annual Ohlone College Golf Tournament in September 2014, a 54% increase over the previous 2013 high water mark. The event was supported by 26 major sponsors, also more than previous years. The Ohlone College Foundation has designated $50,000 to be used to support College athletics and $30,000 to support other college programs. Ohlone College Outstanding Alumni and prominent TV news anchor and reporter Dina Eastwood emceed the banquet, and there was special recognition for Fremont Bank’s 30 years of support.

The HR Department collaborated with the Speech and Communication Studies Department to facilitate a “Community Dialogue on Race and Social Injustice” in February 2015. Speech and Communication faculty and HR facilitated thought-provoking exercises to encourage students, faculty, staff, and administrators to be open with their perspectives and experiences with race issues. The forum ended with an exercise to display the value of interconnectedness no matter the differences.

On March 16, 2015 the Counseling Department hosted its annual High School Counselor Conference, an event that has promoted collaboration between Ohlone and local high school counselors in the community since the early 2000s. This year the event was held at the Newark campus, and Ohlone hosted 35 attendees representing 16 schools from the Tri-Cities, Milpitas, and Hayward areas. The group discussed new student requirements, concurrent high school enrollment, transfer and degree programs, Career Training Education programs and job-training services, and resources available through Disabled Students Programs and Services. By sharing such information with the local high schools, the college hopes to better prepare and support students as they enter Ohlone.

The Ohlone College Foundation announced its Spring 2015 scholarship recipients. This year 91 students were awarded a total of $151,250 in scholarships. Of these scholarships, $90,000 will be for the Ohlone Promise, a full-ride scholarship for incoming freshmen from the District’s high schools.

(Source: Ohlone College Catalog, 2015-2016.)