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LACC - 90 Years of Excellence

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Emily Maverick

Chemistry Emeriti: 1964-1989

It was my very good fortune to teach at Los Angeles City College, a school where many students were taking courses to prepare for life changes. Teaching chemistry provides many opportunities to get to know students, their talents, their backgrounds and their goals. Laboratory work involves supervision and control by the teacher, and cooperation between students, and I found that lab work and office hours provided chances to hear students' stories. Here are three of those stories.

One of my students, in his 30s, was a successful contractor though he had very little education. He had been illiterate, but had recently learned to read by taking a speed-reading course. He worked hard and did well. He was on the way to medical school.

Quite a few had studied in other countries. Many had science backgrounds, yet were required to take science courses to become qualified in nursing or other medical professions here in California. English was difficult for many. One young woman had come from Hungary; she later became a chemistry teacher at a local private high school.

Another student came from Korea; he was taking biochemistry. When I suggested that reading some English literature might help with the language of biochemistry he said, "If I have to improve my English to pass this course, I am DOOMED.” (Clearly his vocabulary was better than he thought. And he did pass the course.)

And I myself became one of those students preparing for a life change: my daughter and I took Child Development courses at LACC, so we could volunteer at an Infant-Toddler Care Center!

About Emily Maverick

I was born in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1929, and graduated from Cleveland Heights High School. By that time, I knew I wanted to study chemistry. Not many women entered the field, so I was grateful for work experiences that encouraged my studies. One of my early jobs was in the Analytical Chemistry Department at the University of Illinois, running ultra-violet spectra for professors and other students. I met Andrew Maverick there; after our marriage we moved to Los Angeles. He began teaching in the Engineering Department at LACC in 1955. I continued studying at UCLA, finishing with a specialty in X-ray Crystallography. My father-in-law Lewis A. Maverick, a professor, moved with the University of California from the LACC campus to Westwood in 1929. I feel strongly connected to LACC's 90th birthday!

Dr. Joseph A. Bagnall

Dr. Joseph A. Bagnall

Alumni: 1952

The Original LACC campus had a beautiful vine-covered administrative structure with a spacious Quad. It was awesome!

My professors at LACC compared favorably to my professors in later years at Call State LA and UCLA.

LACC inspired me to earn a doctorate at UCLA and devote my life to community college teaching and administration.

About Dr. Joseph A. Bagnall

I spent 61 years in the field of education, and retired as an adjunct in history at Palomar College in 2016 at age 86. I received the Distinguished Faculty Award from Palomar, and I am listed as a Distinguished Alumnus of Los Angeles City College.

Jamaal Muwwakkil

Jamaal Muwwakkil

Alumni: 2012-2014

It was at LACC that I took my first Linguistics class with Professor Igoudin. I thought I knew what it was, but this was my very first opportunity to study linguistics academically and I became enamoured with it.

It was through the engagement with Professor Igoudin’s class that I decided to major in linguistics when I transferred to UCLA. While there, I became a Mellon Mays scholar and graduated with departmental and college honors. I have since enrolled in a PhD program at UC Santa Barbara in linguistics. None of this would have been possible without the support and encouragement I received from Professor Igoudin, and staff members like Kamale Harris in the Transfer Center.

Special thanks to Professor Ruiz who taught one of the most engaging English classes I have ever taken.

[Photo credit to Matt Perko]

About Jamaal Muwwakkil

I am a first generation college students who has transferred from LACC to UCLA and am currently enrolled in PhD program in linguistics at UC Santa Barbara. I just completed my MA in the program and was recently selected to be the the 2020-2021 UC student regent.

Renato Colantoni

Renato Colantoni

Computer Tech Emeriti: 1970–2007

After a very mediocre career at high school, I came to LACC to learn how to fix televisions. During my time there, they started a new program in Computer Technology. That led to five years with IBM and then teaching at Trade Tech for four years and then at LACC until 2007.

I enjoyed every minute of both experiences, working in technology and with faculty and students who were enthused and eager to do well. I served for ten years as the Director of Academic Computing, and along with Arnel Pascua and the help of President Robledo, we brought the Internet onto campus along with student email. With the help of Roberta Holt in Staff Development, we served educate that faculty on how technology could enhance the learning experience.

It was a lot of fun and I’m sure the students and the faculty both benefited from the efforts.

About Renato Colantoni

In addition to my work at LACC, I owned a retail computer store where we were authorized dealers for Apple, IBM, Vector Graphics, and other products. After that time, I worked in consulting for a robotics company for several years. After retirement, I went back to school to learn Italian, and started again with art and painting. I took up fly fishing too.

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