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This Issue

Harambee 2001

Spring Retreat

AAN Board Thanks Supporters

AAN Faculty &
Staff News

Juanita Croft Wins Recognition Award

Todd Gilbert in Concert

Counselor Nominated for BOG Award

Jean Thomas, Pass the Torch Founder, Honored

Donald Dorsey Promoted to Dean

Foothill Reaches Out to Silver Creek...

Bon Voyage to Speech instructor

Norman McLeod Establishes DJ Business

Year in Review

Faith, Courage & Appreciation

Message from a Rap Artist

Commerating 92 Years

Students in the News

Confidently, Proudly..

African American History Month...Reflections

Faculty and Staff News

African American Network Executive Board Thanks Supporters

Foothill African American Network Executive Board would like to extend its heartfelt gratitude to members and friends who have supported the mission and purpose of the organization.

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Juanita Croft Wins Chancellor’s Recognition Award

Juanita Croft and Dr. Leo ChavezFoothill College Computer Technology Information Systems Lab Supervisor Juanita Croft, also a part-time faculty member, is the recipient of the 2001 Chancellor’s Recognition Award. Foothill Vice President for Instruction & Institutional Research says, “Juanita is responsible for supporting all of the instructional labs in the CTIS Division that has grown from 14,000 WSCH to nearly 30,000 WSCH in the last three years. She represents Foothill at the Silicon Valley Manufacturing Association, participates on the Workforce Development Advisory Committee, has been an integral contributor to the development of a new instructional program in Business Office Technologies, and teaches leading-edge based courses. Her involvement with corporate instruction has established her as the campus expert on Secretary of Labors Commission on the Acquisition of Necessary Skills (SCANS).”

In addition to her numerous responsibilities in the CTIS Division, she is an active member of various college teams that include the African American Network, 21st Century Learning Outcomes with the League of Innovation, College Roundtable and LINC (Learning in New Media Classroom). She is a tireless advocate for improving the learning environment for underrepresented students. We congratulate Juanita for this well deserved award.

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Foothill Counselor Nominated for California Board of Governors Award

Psychological Services Counselor Melanie Pla-Richard was the Foothill College nominee for the John W. Rice Award, which is sponsored by the California Community Colleges Board of Governors. Foothill College President Bernadine Chuck Fong says Melanie was chosen for the nomination for being instrumental in implementing the district’s newly adopted human relations-affirmative action guidelines and policies; and for her service as one of the founding members of the college’s African American Network. Under her leadership, the African American Network has become a successful model that has been replicated in the community. At Foothill, the network helps to recruit, retain and support the success of individuals of historically underrepresented groups.”

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Jean Thomas, Pass the Torch
Founder, Honored

Foothill Counselor Jean Thomas was honored at the Foothill College Celebration on Broadway, a program that celebrates the achievements of friends and colleagues of Foothill College on May 31. Jean was awarded for her continued outstanding leadership of the renowned Pass the Torch Program. Academic Senate President Larry Rouse and Melanie Pla-Richard presented Jean with a beautifully framed portrait of Joe Louis passing a torch to Muhammad Ali. The selected gift was the brainchild of Foothill Counselor Rudy Torres, a former boxer and longtime fan of Jean Thomas. A most extraordinary gift for an extraordinary leader. Congratulations Jean!

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Foothill Reaches Out to Silver Creek H.S.

Foothill Speech Instructor Shawn Townes conducted a workshop on interviewing skills for the Foothill College Business Club May 16. The business club stresses the importance of communication skills for students preparing for the job market and sponsored this workshop to support their efforts. The business club is an ethnically diverse group of students who welcome new members with an interest in business.

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Norman McLeod Establishes DJ Business

Norman McLeod, Foothill employee has successfully established DJ Hard-Drive, a disc jockey business featuring sounds of the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s and today. Need some good music for your event? Contact Norman, (650) 326-8508 or email at

Todd Gilbert in Concert

by Nile Norton

Todd GilbertThe hands on the clock read 7:30 p.m. on March 10. and the seats in Appreciation Hall were filled to near capacity when Todd Gilbert walked onto the stage to begin his “Love is...” concert. Todd, with his rich baritone voice, possesses a rare talent for interpreting songs in so many different styles. Each tune tends to reach the listener as though Todd has written the song especially for you. A product of many hours of preparation, this concert served as both a celebration of love and a chance for Todd to thank all those whose lives have touched him in so many loving ways.
Todd’s musical set for the “Love is…” Concert included a sampling of literature dating back to his roots in Kentucky, with Jump Back, an a cappella dance tune typical of those found at social gatherings and family reunions in the south. Two original compositions also found their way onto the program; his title tune, Love is…and Take Me With You, both inspired by the loves in Todd’s life. His admiration of Foothill colleagues resulted in a guest spot for April Henderson, from EOPS, who offered four songs. Her husband, Ted Henderson, drummer, Jeff Hanson, and bassist, John Shiffley, accompanied April.

Since arriving at Foothill nearly 20 years ago, Todd has had the opportunity to travel to some of the far corners of the globe. His sampling of the bossa nova, gathered from his visits to the Caribbean, obviously paid off, as he presented some wonderful renditions of both Jobim’s Triste and Dori Caymmin’s Like a Lover.

A special feature of the evening was the presentation of the spoken word as Todd’s son, Shaman Wickham, and Melanie Pla-Richard both read selections from their original poems.

As Todd states in the liner notes of his CD, “Love is many things to many people. This (has) truly (been) a very good year. The joy of love fills my heart, and I am blessed with the love of many friends. I thank you all for pushing me forward, holding my hand, picking me up, and giving me a place to learn. I stand tall because I am loved. My hope is that this love continues to grow. Thank You God!” Todd’s message here might also serve as appropriate thoughts of our current African-American graduates, as they prepare for life beyond Foothill College. To purchase CD’s or for questions call Todd at 650-560-9274, or e-mail him at

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Donald Dorsey Promoted to Dean of Student Affairs & Activities

Don DorseyThe African American Network hosted a soulful reception in honor of Donald Dorsey who has been promoted to dean of Student Affairs & Activities at Foothill. The reception was held fall quarter at the French Quarter Restaurant in Mountain View with all of the warmth, festivity and accolades he so deserves. Mr. Dorsey joined the faculty at Foothill in 1973 as counselor, and multicultural relations & special services associate coordinator. He provided leadership for the development of Foothill’s first Black Studies AA Degree, founded the Bridge Program, and developed and coordinated the FESTAC ‘77 Travel Study Program on West African History and Culture, Foothill’s first international travel study program. His leadership on campus projects, with statewide community college organizations and Bay Area communities has been and continues to be extensive. He has received numerous awards throughout his career for his outstanding leadership and service to the community. He is also president and CEO of Dorsey & Associates, Inc., which operates Dorsey’s Locker, a popular family restaurant/lounge in the East Bay.

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Bon Voyage to Speech Instructor

Multi-talented part-time Speech Instructor, Marilynn Rison has relocated to South Bellmore, New York, with her husband and children. Ms. Rison was a valued instructor and member of the African American Network. A talented dancer and choreographer, she performed in a number of concerts sponsored by the Foothill Dance Department. She was a featured solo artist at a Foothill Gospel Concert for which she performed praise dance with superb grace and style. She was also the Director of Soulful Christian Theatre, a praise dance ministry. We wish you well Marilynn and offer our deepest gratitude to you for sharing your gifts with our community.

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