By Shirley Beaman
Stan Kaya points to the spot on the globe where his country is located. Marin County is 8,725 miles from his home, the Republic of the Congo in equitorial Africa.
International student Stan Kaya will never forget the day rebel soldiers came knocking at his door. He was only 5 years old at the time. What started off like any other evening with his family would quickly turn into the most terrifying night of his young life.
The pounding at the front door that night was so loud it startled the whole family, with the exception of his father, who was napping in a back room.
As Kaya’s mother hurriedly crossed the living room to open the door, the shouting became louder and more urgent. It seemed as if the door would bust open at any moment.
Even at his age, Kaya knew that his country, the Republic of Congo, was in turmoil. There were powerful factions at odds with each other. Boniface Kaya, his father, was a prominent physician, not only in his hometown, Dolisie, but throughout the Congo. As a supporter of former President Pascal Lissouba, who had been overthrown in a coup, Boniface was a target. Rebels were scouring the countryside for Lissouba sympathizers.
By R.J. Heckelman and Andrew Lino
From left to right: Brady Bevis, Diana Conti and Wanden Treanor
The Board of Trustees election wrapped up two weeks ago, with incumbent trustees Wanden Treanor and Diana Conti retaining their seats. The race between Barbara Dolan and newcomer Brady Bevis was tight, but in the end, Bevis pulled ahead with 21.3 percent of all tallied votes, compared to Dolan’s 20.5.
Previously, Bevis worked for the state Department of Labor, and before that, she practiced public interest law for 10 years. She also served on the Marin County Board of Supervisors after an election in 1990. After serving a successful term, she left politics temporarily to focus on starting the Bay Area Multimedia Partnership, or BAMP, at the request of the Bay Area Economic Forum. BAMP was a public-private partnership that operated between 1997 and 2000, designed to coordinate the Bay Area’s private industry leaders with the local schools and community colleges in order to better prepare prospective students for employment in the emerging digital industry.
When asked about the results of the election, Bevis said, “I’m overjoyed that over 20,000 people voted for change at COM, and I will work hard to make COM a better place for students and faculty alike.”
She ousted trustee veteran of 25 years, Barbara Dolan, joining the College of Marin board of trustees. Bevis plans to unite the college with the community in order to provide better job opportunities within the local job market.
This will be the first new trustee on the board in over five years, and a welcome change to the college. Dolan was not available for comment.
By Brady Meyring
COM President David Wain Coon congratulates Jason Lau, director of International Education, for overseeing the growth of the college’s International Student Program.
With the flags of 34 nations forming a semi-circle on the lawn in front of the Student Services Building, COM President David Wain Coon stepped up to hit a giant gong and officially declare the opening of the college’s first International Education Week. The flags represent the nearly three dozen countries that COM’s 100 international students come from.
Approximately 75 guests attended the event, which signals the growing role that ethnic diversity plays at the college.
This is a breakout year for International Education at College of Marin. As recently as three years ago, programs for enhancing international student life and retention were sparse or non-existent. International students contributed to college life and academics but with little formal recognition or centralized support. There was also no office coordinating the effort to infuse global perspectives and intercultural exchange into post-secondary education at COM.
When Jason Lau was appointed the director of International Education, in September 2011, all of that began to change.
By Erika Rosales
Erika Andiola, an Arizona immigration activist, spoke here last month about the significance of the DREAM Act.
On Friday October 25, 2013 College of Marin hosted guest speaker Erika Andiola, an immigration activist from Arizona and undocumented resident.
“I had to leave everything that I had known — friends, family, my home at a very young age, I had no choice,” said Andiola. “I left Mexico with only a backpack full of [trinkets], not what people assume — drugs, and walked the desert with my siblings and mother in search of a better life. Better life is the opportunity to grow with education.”
Andiola said she came to the U.S. when she was 11, when her mother left her abusive father in Mexico and illegally crossed the border. When the state legislature passed strict new immigration laws, she was majoring in Psychology at Arizona State University. Andiola lost her scholarships when these new were implemented. That’s when she began her career as an activist crusading on behalf of the DREAM Act.