Monday, July 16, 2018
Home Blog

Milestones achieved at the 2018 LBCC commencement ceremony

Graduating students show their creative side by personalizing their caps at the 2018 LBCC Commencement Ceremony Thursday, June 7 at the Veterans Stadium.

The 2018 LBCC Commencement Ceremony went off without a hitch as LBCC honored over 1,400 spring graduates, 600 Fall graduates and an additional 300 career certifications at the Veterans Stadium on Thursday, June 7.

The ceremony started a little after 4:00 p.m. with the faculty filling into the seats flanking the stage and then the graduates marched in dual columns to fill out the seats in front. A few thousand people, family, friends and well wishers of the graduates waited patiently in the stands. Javier Salcedo, the 2017-2018 Associated Student Body President gave the opening speech to welcome the crowd, and then all stood for the National Anthem and the Pledge of Allegiance.

Next, the Associate Professor of Horticulture, Jorge Ochoa, announced the Valedictorian, MacKenzie Howard and brought her to the podium to give her speech. MacKenzie delivered her speech with confident flair, to which the crowd reciprocated with resounding applause. Next up to the podium was Jorgel Chavez, the 2017 – 2018 Student Trustee to welcome the Commencement Speaker, Dr. J. Luke Wood. Dr Wood came to LBCC on loan from San Diego State University to give words of encouragement to the graduates and to share some of his own experiences as they prepare to enter the workforce.

LBCC Superintendent – President Dr. Reagan F. Romali came to the stage next to begin the process of recognizing the students on the field. Next came the Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Kathleen J. Scott to recognize the certificate recipients while Sunny Zia the Vice President of LBCC Board of Trustees conferred the certificates.

Dr. Romali then came back up to the stage to recognize the graduates themselves while Mrs. Zia conferred the degrees. They were assisted on stage by Lois Barth, Dr. Paul Creason, John Downey, Laura Rantala, and Jerome Thomas. The conferring of the certificates was easily the longest part of the ceremony, but it also gives the impending graduates a moment of jubilation and relaxation before they go on stage to get their awards. Two graduates, Charles Williams and Kamron Rhodes were certainly in the spirit. “We have been working very hard for this!” Rhodes exclaimed before he went on stage.

Finally, the ceremony concluded with the closing speech given by the Vice President of Human Resources, Rose DeGaudio. The graduates then filed out through the home team entrance, with the faculty members trailing, to gather and meet with the family and friends in the parking lot.

LBCC honors students as role models


Dean of student affairs, Ramon L. Knox prepares to reward the three out of seven Viking Award recipients that were present in the Valhalla room of LBCC’s LAC on Thursday, May 24, 2018. All the recipients of the award will officially receive it at the ASB Banquet, Friday, June 1, 2018 at 6 p.m. at the Grand Event Center.

The Viking, college-wide, award is the highest honor a student can receive at LBCC.

Viking Award recipients are selected as true role models for others; exemplifying the best in scholarship, leadership, and service to others.

According to the administrative assistant of student life, Pamela Garrison a total of seven Viking students have been chosen to receive the highest honor.

Students must be nominated by peers, staff or they may nominate themselves.

Those Viking students were notified by letter that they had a mandatory meeting on Thursday, May 24 with the Dean of student affairs, Ramon L. Knox.

Under the assumption that they were in trouble, to their surprise and relief when they got to the meeting they were actually congratulated by Viking staff members and friends with food.

Celene Aparicio, Purvis Gills, and Yesenia Ochoa were three of the Viking award recipients that were present to receive their award at 12 p.m. on Thursday.

“I feel relieved, more important I feel rewarded for everything I’ve done,” said Gills a political science major who is graduating and planning on transferring to Cal State Berkeley.

“I feel recognized from the school, but mostly I feel honored,” said Ochoa a business administration marketing major who is graduating and plans on transferring to Cal State Long Beach.

“I was at the last award ceremony so when I got the letter I thought am I in trouble or is it the Viking Awards? But still it was a good surprise and I was happy,” said Aparicio a psychology major who is graduating as a commencement marshal and will be transferring to Cal State Long Beach.

All the Viking Award recipients will be officially receiving their award at the ASB Leadership Awards Banquet, Friday, June 1 at 6 p.m., at The Grand Event Center in Long Beach.

The Viking Awards does take place every semester so that there is a better chance for every student to get a chance to be nominated.

The award recipients must have earned an honor certificate and a leadership and service award to be considered for the Viking Award.

Once a student receives the award they can then apply for the scholarship.

A committee of staff and/or administrators choose from the list and decides who receives the scholarship.

The seven that have received the highest honor of the Viking Award will be commemorated at the graduation by asking to stand to be recognized for their achievements in the community.

Also, they will receive stoles to be worn during graduation as another way to recognize their accomplishments.

LBCC Participates in the 35th annual Pride Parade


LBCC’s Viking Float. Photo by Maila Bringas

Story By Karen Ramirez and Maila Bringas

Queer Space club, the LGBTQ on-campus support group, and the LBCC Board of Trustees participated in the 35th annual pride parade along with other organizations and  participants on Sunday, May 20.

Rainbow flags were flown all across Ocean boulevard with sayings “Make America Gay Again”. Flamboyant drag queens walking in high stilettos and full beat make- up waved to the large crowds on the sides, in celebration of gay pride.

“Happy Pride!” shouts drag queen Jewels Long Beach, who is the director of entertainment and marketing at Hamburger Mary’s and the announcer for the parade. “It’s a great day to be gay,” she continues as announces the parade participants.

Erin Gnekow, 30, who came from San Diego said, “My first (pride) parade was nine years ago.” She said ever since she comes down to Long Beach Pride. This year she was there in support of her girlfriend, who was walking in the parade but did not give her name out.

Another woman, Deidre Reyes, who had flown from Hawaii to see her friend participate in the 2018 Long Beach Lesbian and Gay Pride also said it was her first time attending the parade.

“I think that it’s magnificent that all the elected officials are here, that they are supporting the LGBT community,” Reyes said. “I love the visibility of where I am sitting, and will probably come back next year,” she said.

“I love people having fun.” Spectator Raymond Neal said, attending his third year. “There’s lots of colors, (it is) fun.”

Only one member of the Queer Space club made an appearance and were contacted but no comment has been made.

Long Beach Pride Parade 2018: Photo Gallery

Smoking areas to be relocated by 2019

LBCC is looking to regulate and relocate designated smoking areas on both campuses by 2019.

The Associated Student Body has been trying to steer away from the everyday event planning of student activities and be more involved with the student body by conducting surveys on what should and or can be changed on campus and the majority of students’ views were alike.

ASB Rep. of Students Jocelyn Reyes said, “About 300 students were surveyed and the majority want the smoke zones relocated, specifically the D Building,” at the LAC near the Food Court and the east side of the A Building.

The need for regulation of smoking zones is due to the fact that “these areas are located near main walkways. It gets in the way of students who have health issues and sets a bad example for young students on field trips as well as potentially harming the trees where students leave their excessive cigarette butts,” Reyes said.

The change was proposed originally in 2009 and will officially be presented to the Student Senate for LBCC to vote on the issue in the upcoming year as well as be brought up to the Board of Trustees.

When informed of LBCC plans to relocate and regulate the smoking sections, smoking students were caught off guard and upset. Brittany Truxton, 27, a health Science, 27, exclaimed, “The smoking section was here before the cafeteria was even in earshot of the smoking section. Even so, moving it would cause more of an inconvenience for us because it’s easily accessible and centrally located to reach the crosswalk” as well as being convenient for the student body. Truxton said she met her husband in the LBCC smoking section: It’s not just a place for us to smoke and be a nuisance. You meet a lot of great people here and it becomes a very social and interactive experience.”

Although cigarette smoking is the norm, with today’s modern tech society and the student body also having to consider vaping, kinesiology major Genevieve Engeran, 25, said, “Vaping doesn’t actually harm others, so it should be allowed around campus. I’ve been warned about a citation for even vaping on my way to a smoking section. If they get rid of the smoking sections, we’re still going to smoke. That/s not going to change, but it will probably cause more of a hazard because of the trash. It would be nice if they could build an indoor smoking section, but I doubt it.”

Although the school will be petitioning the change throughout both campuses, Reyes said, “ASB want to assure students and employees that these changes will not mean a removal of these area, but create environment where everyone Is happy.”

Dylan Brekk, 20, commutations major, signs a poster advocating for cleaner air. The poster was on display in the LAC College Center Nordic lounge on Wednesday, May 9

Ole the Viking gets a limited-edition Makeover

    Business Club member Brenda Green shows off the Future 3018 Ole the Viking sticker.
    photo by M.Smith

    Ole the Viking; the symbolic Viking mascot, is making a bold new fashion statement by de-robing  his traditional Viking wardrobe and adding a modern cartoon-like twist.

    Ole, who wears his signature horned-armored helmet and drapes himself in red and black school spirited colors, lined with fur, debuted his new look in the form of a limited edition animated sticker series.

    The Ole the Viking sticker series features six different stickers was created by LBCC Business Club President Ryan Smith to benefitted the LBCC Child Development Center and Learning Lab and the LBCC Business Club Scholarship Fund.

    “ I’m all for supporting a cause even if it’s a dollar, the sticker is cool and it gives back to students as well.” said graphic design major Rebeca Alvarez who purchased the “ Future 3018 Ole” sticker a Futurama parody of Ole’s head preserved in glass display.

    The sticker series was the idea of Smith, who originally had plans for the sticker sale to be only one day and one style, but the campaign expanded to six different Ole stickers styles being sold over the span of three months.

    “I originally came up with the sticker idea for a much smaller campaign,” Smith said.

    “I pitched producing the kawaii (cute in Japanese) Ole for Japan’s Children’s Day in late April and early May with the proceeds benefiting the CDCs,” Smith said.

    “After showing the board the kawaii design and receiving a positive response, I decided to preview a few other Ole inspired designs that I had commissioned for another potential project.  That’s when this fundraising and service project became a whole series.”

    The club’s motto “Strictly Business” became sort of a family business with Nick Carbonaro as their advisor.

    “I was so thankful to Ryan and his leadership for thinking about the CDC and benefitting so many children through this sticker campaign, including my own. ” said Carbonaro a full time faculty member and dad.

    Carbonaro’s son attends the CDC and his daughter who will enroll next year.

    For each sticker release, each business club member went out and sold their sticker packages and logged in their individual sales. The sticker sales were a real-world situation of handling money and Smith used the opportunity to use the process of fundraising as a teaching tool.

    “By raising the money to give to the kids we’re making dreams come true because childcare is expensive”, said Brenda Green a business major and a participant in the sticker sale.

    “The Limited Edition Ole Sticker Series has been a business exercise in budgeting, intellectual property, supply chain, branding, demand generation and general entrepreneurship,” Smith said. “We also wanted to promote to our members the value of philanthropy.”

    Expert on Mexican and Latin American art speaks on opening night of film festival

    To begin the LBCC Foreign Film Festival, a Gay Greatness lecture was presented in T1200 at the LAC on Thursday, April 19.
    The lecture was given by Gregorio Luke, an expert on Mexican and Latin American arts, first secretary of the embassy of Mexico in Washington D.C. and former director of the Museum of Latin American Art.
    Luke’s mother, a choreographer, exposed Luke to gay culture at a young age by keeping him at her side during shows and backstage. There, he looked up to the designers and customers who were “like father’s to (him)”and “later became like teachers of the arts” to him.
    However, Mexico had a very homophobic culture and terrible events of hate and the outburst of AIDs took a large toll on the gay culture.
    With pictures and examples, Luke said, “There is no other group that has been more persecuted than this group.”
    The lecture explained the philosophy of the gay culture, the history, the mythology of gay culture and even talked about the great artists who were and are gay such as Michelangelo, Leonardo Da Vinci, Emily Dickinson,and many more.
    “The taste of the world…” Luke explained, “was made by the gays.”
    Luke encouraged conversation and said, “Go out there, get people curious and get them excited. It’s you who starts the spark.”
    The lecture ended with the song “ Love” by Elton John.
    Alexander Lowe, 21, a communications major, said, “I originally just came to this event to receive extra credit for my social-science class, however, I really was interested in how many historical persons were gay. I’m actually named after Alexander the Great, so it was cool to see him in this lecture.”
    The director of the Foreign Film Festival, Cynthia Quintero, explained how important it is to shine a light onto the gay community and start conversation. “I worry about how people may censor the event,” she explained, “People were taking down the fliers we had put up for the lecture and though I want to ask who is removing the fliers. It also just speaks even more to the need of this event.”
    The spaces are filling up for each of the upcoming events and the organizers urge people to RSVP as soon as possible. The last event, “Chavela” on May 19 is at full capacity.
    People may visit and RSVP at or contact Quintero at with questions.

    The Alzheimer’s Association of Greater Los Angeles visits the seniors at the PCC

    photo courtesy of Alzheimer’s Association of Greater Los Angeles

    Learning how to keep the brain healthy has become one of many informal presentations senior citizens attend at the Lifetime Learning Center for free in the series on aging issues in QQ 122 on Mondays from March 12 – May 7.

    Charles Wilcox represents the Alzheimer’s Association of greater Los Angeles and has been a volunteer for 26 years.

    Wilcox gave his time to present to the senior students of the PCC on ways seniors can reduce risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

    Wilcox’s position as a volunteer is to inform how aging affects the brain, explain normal changing with aging and reducing risks for memory problems.

    Wilcox explained his relation with the disease and how it affects his life as he said, “My mother had Alzheimer’s and so did my aunt. It became a serious problem because she had a lot of money and people began to rip her off and she eventually lost everything.”

    He added, “This is a silent disease and it grows over time as time progressives. By age 65, one in 10 seniors will have dementia and by age 85, one in three will have dementia, so the earlier we can diagnose the better we can reduce the disease, especially since there is no cure.”

    What people should know that can make a difference in health are all of the ways they can live a healthful lifestyle.

    Research suggests that certain lifestyle factors, such as nutritious diet, exercise, social engagement and mentality stimulating pursuits can help reduce risks of cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease.

    Rue Wycoco, 23, a human-services major, is an intern for the Lifetime Learning Center and explained his thoughts on how the presentation was helpful to him and said, “My father is 69 years old and to learn all the ways what seniors can do to improve their health helps me be able to help my dad use those methods. He use to forget about a lot of things like where he placed his keys and wallet and now that I remind him it’s important to stay active and stimulate his mind he now remembers about his keys.”

    The Alzheimer’s Association of Greater Los Angeles provides useful tools: a 24/7 helpline that is available anytime and in any language, care consultation where people may receive a free 1-on-1 service, education and training classes on Alzheimer’s, support groups nearby, and places people can join as a volunteer.

    Anyone is able to contact the Alzheimer’s Association of L.A by calling (844) 435-7259 or visiting for more information.

    They encourage volunteers and will provide no-cost, confidential screenings and evaluations.

    Malware attack is finally over just in time for summer classes

    After over a month of uncertainty about the safety of school servers and personal information, the “cyber incident” that has plagued LBCC in recent weeks is finally over, according to school officials.

    According to LBCC’s website, all systems are back online and operational, with summer registration being pushed back to May 7 and summer classes now starting on June 13.

    The “cyber incident,” as it has come to be called by school officials, started on April 2 when  crypto-currency mining malware was discovered on LBCC computers, according to LBCC’s Chief Information Systems Officer Sylvia Lynch

    LBCC school website, curiosity of LBCC

    Lynch said this initial infestation was resolved quickly, but another was discovered on April 10.

    According to LBCC’s Associate Director of Public Relations and Marketing Stacey Toda, it is unclear if this second infestation was also a result of malware activity on the school’s servers.

    What happened to our system on April 10 was a second attack. The behavior of this attack was encrypting files,” Toda said. “I’ve used the term malware as it is a broad term that covers these specific events. We are still waiting for the final report from the forensic team.”

    Malware or not, the systems appear to be working currently, giving LBCC faculty and staff full access to LBCC’s online resources including Canvas, Moodle, email and Peoplesoft.

    Toda said, “About half the computers were affected by the incident, with some having files encrypted, and that there are currently 17 technicians in the field assisting all employee computers.”

    Computer and office studies to held their own Major Day

    The LBCC Computer and Office Studies department is holding their COS Major Day on May 18 from 11:00 a.m. at 2:00 p.m. to inform students about career opportunities in the Computer and Office studies field.

    This is the 2nd year that the COS department has held the event and they are hoping to top the total of 350 students that attended last year. The goal of the event is to pair students with COS staff to get information on career opportunities through technology, provide various tech demonstrations, and other entertainment as well. The event will give students that are interested in the wide field of office a chance to refine their career goals in a fun environment, and there will also be administration on hand if the student wishes to declare or change their LBCC major at the event.

    Michelle McElroy, 41, an Administrative Assistant major summed it up with, “It was fun, entertaining and educational. It showed me different careers that I could get into that are all based through COS.” McElroy also said that she would definitely recommend the event to students who are interested in a career in COS, and when asked if she was going again this year she responded with an enthusiastic “Yes!”

    One of the event organizers, Zoila Rosillo, an Assistant Professor in the COS Department also shared a breakdown of the event. “COS Major Day is an opportunity for LBCC students and the Long Beach community at large to gain insights into what IT fields are.” She continues, “At COS Major Day, attendees can ask the faculty who teach tech courses about what exactly those fields entail.  Attendees will get to see some examples of current technology and ask questions about it.”

    The examples of current technology that the Professor mentioned was one of the biggest draws for students last year. The students got to fly drones, try out gaming apps, and even test out their lock-picking skills and see 3-D printing demonstrations. This year, all that is scheduled but the students will also get to meet the COS department robot, take pictures with Ole the Viking, and attend a panel sharing tips on how to dress and act for job interviews in the tech field.

    The event will also feature music played by D.J. Ho and there will also be contests and games that will feature prizes.

    The event isn’t just for students as all are invited to attend. Professor Rosillo also recommends that planned attendees pre-register through Eventbright under the search term, “COS Major Day 2018” in the Long Beach area, or at the link ( Attendees who do will get a free lunch, as well as access to the COS selfie booth.

    Popular Articles