GCC Insider: Volume XII

Page 1





A project of the Journalism Department at Glendale Community College












MAGAZINE STAFF PUBLISHER Reut Cohen Schorr rcohen@glendale.edu (818) 240-1000 ext. 5214 SENIOR DESIGNERS Victoria Bochniak Eian Gil SENIOR PRODUCTION Victoria Bochniak Eian Gil STAFF WRITERS Manifa Baghomian Victoria Bochniak Priscilla Caballero Eian Gil Ana Pineda-Gonzalez Eric Hayrapetian Serene Janian CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Reut Cohen Schorr Sarah Mecheneau Nick Sahakyan Michelle Stonis

Photo by Belinda Oldrati

Letter from the Publisher Reut Cohen Schorr This magazine almost didn't happen.

COVID-19 has created a difficult climate when it comes to procuring funding and resources for specialized projects in higher education settings. I didn't want that painful fact to get in the way of the Journalism Department's objectives, however, so I decided to volunteer my time to make this happen and found two phenomenal students to provide critical support. Learning production is the basis of Journalism programming in my department. After all, you can teach print production without producing a publication. I must acknowledge and commend two people who made this initiative possible: Victoria Bochniak and Eian Gil. Victoria and Eian, our co-editor-in-chiefs, worked together over the Fall 2020 semester to identify student articles for a smaller-scale magazine. They provided support to students through editing and mentorship as co-editors-in-chiefs, generating excitement about the potential to get published beyond our elvaq.com page. Through the support of our Language Arts Division and Vice President Michael Ritterbrown, the department received modest funding to procure a simple software for two months to allow us to conduct our magazine layout. We are grateful, as students deserve to have their work showcased.

El Vaquero is a proud member of Journalism Association of Community Colleges California News Publishers Association

As I've noted in the past, GCC Insider is a magazine project of the Journalism program. To our knowledge, it's the only regularly circulated magazine on campus. We have produced regular magazines and are very proud to note that two of them were published in the midst of the pandemic. This latest offering is just one important facet of the work we are doing to educate the college and community at large about programs, issues, current events, and so much more. In doing this, we consistently put Journalism on the map while also offering support to other programs. You will read about Armenian language classes and French classes, as well as an exciting new partnership between History and Journalism at GCC. We hope you enjoy reading this magazine as much as we enjoyed thinking about the content, art, and overall themes. Without our Journalism students, it wouldn't have happened. We look forward to our next showcase and thank you for your continued support.

Dr. Reut Cohen Schorr Journalism Professor & Publisher






What's inside? ACCOMODATING THE PANDEMIC By Manifa Baghomian p. 5


By Sarah Mecheneau p. 14


Opinions and points of views expressed in articles do not necessarily reflect those of the Journalism Department. They are entirely the voices of the respective student writers and faculty contributors. Photo by Reut Cohen Schorr

Contents A Journalism Department Showcase | Volume XII



Accommodating the Pandemics, by Manifa Baghomian, p. 5

Adjusting to Remote Learning, by Serene Janian, p.9

Black Student Union Demands, by Eian Gil, p. 8

Athletic Trainers Continue Work Remotely, by Eric Hayrapetian p. 10


Distant Love Letter to My Foreign Language Students, by Sarah Mecheneau, p.19 History and Journalism Department Collaborate on New Partnership, by Michelle Stonis & Reut Cohen Schorr, p. 28


Surrogacy Mid Covid, by Eian Gil, p. 14



All photos and art in this magazine are either the property of the program advisor and respective photographers credited, or have been purchased for licensed-use through Canva's commons.

Our Social Dilemma, by Ana Pineda-Gonzalez, p. 22 Cinemas Struggling to Survive During Pandemic, Priscilla Caballero, p. 26


Price Gouging the Poor, by Manifa Baghomian, p. 11 Rose Parade Executive Director Discusses Event’s Cancellation, by Priscilla Caballero, p. 13 Say It Right, by Manifa Baghomian, p.16 The Armenian Community at Glendale College, by Nick Sahakyan, p. 18


Honoring GCC's Andrew Young, by Eian Gil, p. 24 Letter from Vice President Michael Ritterbrown, p. 25,


Restaurants Struggle to Stay Afloat Amid the Pandemic, Priscilla Caballero, p.27

Accommodating the Pandemic

Learning specialist discusses how COVID-19 has impacted students with disabilities


CC’s students with disabilities are often overlooked, especially in these unprecedented times, but Ellen Oppenberg and her team at the Accommodations Resource Center won’t look away. Many of us are struggling with remote learning. Whether it's due to issues with technology, a struggle to engage with one’s professor on a screen, or the fact that schoolwork and home life are so intertwined now; some degree of difficulty is to be expected for the average student. However, remote learning has put many disabled students at a great disadvantage, and unfortunately, this group of students is frequently forgotten even though they require the most support. The sect of student services in charge of bridging the equity gap for disabled students is the Disabled Students Programs and Services. As far as how they actually bridge this gap in GCC’s classrooms, we can thank the Accommodations Resource Center. ARC (formerly known as the HTC and IAC centers, respectively) is dedicated to accommodating students with any type of disability, including physical, mental, and learning disabilities. This office is armed with one full-time learning specialist, two academic tutors for Math and English, two employees dedicated to test proctoring, technology specialists, and an alternate media specialist who can transform assignments into more accessible formats. ARC serves around 300 disabled students. Ellen Oppenberg is the one full-time learning specialist. Professor Oppenberg is the heart of the Disabled Students Programs and Services, and her work in the Accommodations Resource Center isn’t usually what comes to mind when people hear her name. Most students and faculty know her as the coordinator for the nowmobile Food for Thought Pantry, which has

been hard at work providing free food to students who are struggling financially, despite the social limitations of the pandemic. However, her true passion lies in ARC, where she manages a hefty workload. She and her team serve over 300 students, and her dedication allows students with disabilities to thrive at GCC, even in the uncharted territory of online learning.

In a pandemic-free world, Oppenberg would hold in-person meetings with her students and discuss what accommodations and other resources they would need for their classes. This can mean extended time for tests and assignments or access to a room with limited distractions during test-taking. Usually, two test proctors would manage the communication between students and professors for the latter. Other accommodations may include interpreters, one-on-one tutoring, and priority registration. ARC also serves as the liaison for students to discuss how their accommodations are received in their classrooms by their professors. GCC



Other accommodations may include able to evaluate these students for free, interpreters, one-on-one tutoring, and allowing them to avoid the costly or priority registration. ARC also serves as the delayed process of accessing an evaluation liaison for students to discuss how their from a doctor. “I know that on the open accommodations are received in their market, [Learning Disability] tests are a classrooms by their professors. Finally, the very expensive item,” explained alt-media specialist could translate Oppenberg, sharing her understanding. readings into audible versions With a population of 10,971 students or books into braille for blind students. El receiving financial aid as of 2018-2019, the Vaquero had the opportunity to speak to price tag may serve as too big of a Professor Oppenberg about how the deterrent for students who may have a pandemic has changed ARC, and how its learning disability to access the gamut of office is managing despite inevitable accommodations they may be entitled to at physical limitations. GCC. According to GCC’s website, ARC’s Evaluations for incoming students who physical office is closed. Regardless, its may or may not have a learning disability work is being completed remotely, and that are now a point of contention among in itself is a big challenge for this office. Learning Disability experts in Community Oppenberg states that the biggest Colleges and CSUs. Should evaluations challenge that disabled students are facing continue? If so, what is the best way to do lies in technology, and the rate them? Some colleges are at which students who are beginning to offer them online, “If they’re having unfamiliar with technology but Oppenberg explains, trouble with Canvas or must cope. There is no way “That’s not the way L.D. tests their readings, we come around this hurdle, which were normed. That is not the up with technology that disproportionately affects way they were supposed to be can assist them.” students who are older or delivered. We have made the whose learning styles are decision at our college to not incompatible with do L.D. Assessments.” Luckily, education through a not all hope is gone for screen. these struggling students because Oppenberg understands there is In the first four weeks of quarantine, still a need to provide assistance Oppenberg spoke to 125 students to check regardless of physical limitations. in with them and ask them what resources She offers, “If a student feels that they they may need, ranging from technology are having issues, what I’m encouraging loans to whether they had food in their students to do is email me and let me know. refrigerator. After all, quarantine is a major I can talk them through things, and I can do source of anxiety for all of us, so Oppenberg a virtual intake.” And with that, Oppenberg opened her metaphorical doors for her proves that she won’t turn any students students who needed resources. away. “I’ve been doing this a very long But what about students who are time, and I know by talking to a student suspecting they may have a learning what their issue might be before they even disability now, and who don’t have prior know themselves.” documentation of one from their high The director of the Disabled Students school records or health care practitioner? Programs and Services, Tina AndersenThe learning specialists at ARC used to be Wahlberg, could not be reached for comment.

- Manifa Baghomian




Black Student Union Issues Demands GCC’s BSU meets with administration in hopes of change

On Nov. 12, Black Student Union members formally issued 1. Develop a fully functioning Diversity, Access, and their demands to GCC’s Inclusion Committee (DAIC) with a focus on administrative staff via Zoom decolonization of classrooms, shared governance, conference call that included curriculum etc. President Dr. David Viar, Vice President of Human Resources 2. Mandate Intersectional Anti-Bias and Anti-Racist Victoria Simmons, and Vice (ABAR) Trainings President of Students Services 3. Aggressively Recruit, Hire and Retain Black Faculty for Paul Schlossman, among many Tenure-Track Positions others. This meeting, 4. Create a strategic and transparent roadmap for spearheaded by BSU’s President decolonizing the curriculum, campus-wide, across Sydney Seragosa, was disciplines. coordinated in the wake of the 5. Create an On-Campus Resource Center and Meeting current climate regarding African American issues and struggles for Space for Black Students equality. As Seragosa mentioned 6. End the regular presence of Law Enforcement at GCC in her introduction, BSU’s 7. Provide Patient-Centered, Culturally-Sensitive Mental mission is to create a more Health Care to Black Students. equitable and inclusive learning 8. Establish Clear Protocols for Reporting Acts of environment for black students Aggression, Violence, and Bias Against Black Students, attending GCC, something they Faculty and Staff and Others from Marginalized Groups. hope their list of 10 demands can 9. GCC is to recognize Juneteenth as an official holiday. accomplish. Although not all demands 10. Prove Black lives do matter at Glendale Community were addressed in the one-hour College. meeting administrators were vocal in voicing their support and willingness to change for the better. “I am committed to being held accountable,” Dr. Viar said. Black students only make up around 3% of GCC’s student population, but BSU is committed to shifting the conversation away from concerns regarding the allocation of resources to such a small portion of students, and the money this may cost. BSU is relentless in its efforts of obtaining “measurable and tangible measures” for GCC to take as Seragosa mentioned. In a series of recurring meetings scheduled for the near future, BSU plans to cover every single one of its demands. After Viar agreed to 15% or more of required FLEX and CPG units to be designated to BLM and antiblackness training and/or professional development hours, they seem on track to doing “We need systematic so. Despite the lack of immediate action solutions for systematic following the meeting, BSU set the tone for problems.” future meetings, reluctant to back down on any of their demands.

-Eian Gil GCC

Insider 7

D is


ta nce L ear ning ADJUSTING TO

ith Covid-19 shutting down schools across the country, colleges were forced to move to remote instruction and adapt in record-time. At the start of the fall semester of 2020, GCC President David Viar announced that the next winter session and spring semester would continue with online learning. “When it became obvious that this was going to be a longterm situation, we recognized that we did have a choice in how we responded. We chose to shift from surviving to thriving,” said Viar. This decision was made to ensure the health and safety of students, faculty, and staff. Although some professors had no problem transitioning to online classes, others had difficulty adapting their curriculums to the new modality. Many classes are not designed to be taught online, such as Biology or Chemistry, where hands-on lab components correlate with the material taught in the course. Some students fear that the lack of in-person experiments may hinder their ability to learn critical techniques necessary for future research or employment opportunities.

“Labs are a crucial part of understanding the material we learn in lecture through application, and without the in-person experience, labs don’t provide the same level of understanding and practice,” said Tenny Zakarian, a third-year communications major. Due to the unforeseen circumstances, instructors of these courses have learned to adjust their classes to be taught remotely. Some instructors replaced lab classes with pre-recorded videos of themselves doing the labs for students to watch and write their lab reports, others have begun utilizing an online lab simulation platform called Labster to set up assignments in a virtual lab setting. Students have had to adjust to learning exclusively from home. Those who live with family members who also work or learn from home have faced difficulties. These issues range from lack of space and privacy to noise and interruptions. Other students have access concerns when it comes to computers and internet connections.

Most professors encourage students to turn on their cameras and microphones, but many students don’t feel comfortable having those features on all the time. Students may feel anxious about being in front of a camera for hours and having their classmates see their home environment. Others may be attending class in a noisy setting where other family members are also working. Nevertheless, for the professors teaching the course, cameras allow for a more engaging atmosphere that better mimics a real-life interaction in a classroom than a grid full of black boxes. “I prefer to teach in-person classes. For me personally, the hardest thing is to generate discussion and engagement on Zoom. I use many of the recommended tools and methods, but it just isn’t the same,” said Dr. Cameron Hastings, who also serves as the co-chair of Political Science.

Resource distribution: which includes art kits, piano keyboards, chrome books, calculators (scientific and graphing), webcams, and hotspots, are accessible to every student through the college library. Looking into the near future, the college community will continue to adapt to the challenges associated with online learning. “The most feasible answer to providing high-quality instruction is remote synchronous instruction,” said Dr. Ritterbrown.

-Serene Janian

“The most feasible answer to providing high-quality instruction is remote synchronous instruction.”

Although remote instruction has proven to be challenging, it does seem to be beneficial for some students. “There were certain periods during the day that students really wanted classes, and we didn't have enough classrooms… [with] remote synchronous instruction we don’t have to have a classroom, we can provide that learning experience for students at whatever time they need,” said Dr. Michael Ritterbrown, GCC Vice President of Instructional Services. A bulk of students seem to prefer remote instruction due to its flexibility with their work schedules. Unlike fully online courses, remote synchronous instruction allows students to ask questions in real-time, rather than through email. However, in a survey conducted by GCC, 8% of students reported that remote instruction is not working for them. These unfavorable responses may be due to technological challenges, which GCC has offered to help with by allowing students to check out devices and course tools for the semester.




Athletic Continue to One of the most crucial aspects of a long and successful season for a student-athlete is making sure that their body is healthy and injury-free throughout the entirety of the season. Athletic trainers play a significant role in making this possible by not only treating student-athletes who are dealing with new or existing injuries but also by helping prevent possible injuries from occurring in the future. They work with our student-athletes to assure that they are in the best possible shape before, during, and after their season. Our athletic trainers are a valuable resource and play a part in the success of our teams and student-athletes. Lately, however, with Covid-19 causing campuses and facilities to close, athletic trainers can’t interact with student-athletes face-to-face. The consequence of everything moving to a virtual environment means athletic trainers along with student-athletes and coaches have had to adapt and change to the new circumstances. Glendale Community College’s athletic trainers Jose Gomez and Claudia Orejuela, have had a lot on their plate during these unprecedented times but have done their part to make sure that student-athletes continue to receive proper assistance and attention. Gomez has been working at GCC for 30 years, and Orejuela is a GCC alumna who was also a studentathlete. Both athletic trainers were asked about how Covid-19 has affected their working environment, along with what challenges it has brought upon them. With their jobs centered around studentathletes and making sure that their bodies are in excellent shape, not having an in-person interaction is a complete switch not only in how they perform their work but also in their workplace. Gomez and Orejuela collaborated on their responses and said that they have been “missing the enthusiasm and excitement of the student-athletes” and that there has been a sense of “solitude and emptiness” in the workplace. In addition to having the setting of their workplace altered, there have been obstacles that have affected how they go about their work.




trainers Coach Remotely In a profession of having to treat and work on athletes, not having in-person interactions presents a challenge in and of itself. Gomez and Orejuela’s most complicated task was shifting over to an online platform, where they continued their work with student-athletes. “We needed to develop a skill set to be able to perform telemedicine…[and] learn to be more proficient with web-based applications to continue to perform our duties,” said Gomez and Orejuela. With this sudden shift to a virtual setting, our athletic trainers had to adjust rather quickly so that they would be able to continue with their work effectively. By doing so, they have been able to use telemedicine to “continue to provide a high level of health care” for student-athletes at GCC. Their primary reason as to why they actively assist student-athletes is, after all, to keep them at the top of their priorities. Furthermore, Gomez and Orejuela have also been working towards a plan that would enable all student-athletes and staff to return safely oncampus. Having the campus open once again would be beneficial, but safety is the ultimate objective. With that in mind, Gomez and Orejuela have been consistently “reading every document dealing with Covid-19 that has been presented by the CDC…[and have been] developing policies and procedures that meet those guidelines for a safe return.” Creating an environment where the conditions are safe enough for everyone to return is single-handedly the most important goal they hope to achieve. Covid-19 has brought many unexpected turns and has forced everyone to adjust to the new, yet hopefully temporary, style of living. Even without being able to evaluate and assist student-athletes with their recovery process in-person, athletic trainers Jose Gomez and Claudia Orejuela have adapted to their new modality online and continue to make sure that student-athletes are staying safe and healthy.

- Eric Hayrapetian

Price Gouging the Poor:

t Stores f i r h T n i s e c i r The Rising P

A decade ago, shopping second-hand wasn’t exempt from federal income taxes under something people bragged about. Thrift stores subsection 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Service were seen as unsanitary, children who had to wear tax code. In addition, second-hand shops receive second-hand clothing were mocked in school, and their products for free; after all, we’re the ones as a whole, it was a symbol of poverty. Thanks to who donate to them. Thrift stores still need to pay the millennial and Gen Z population, there has for their employees’ wages, the rent to operate in been a cultural shift on the act of shopping a physical store, and the costs of loading and second-hand, which is now associated with unloading products across different locations, but environmental sustainability, an exciting pursuit to by design, they have a profitable business model. shop for unique items, and a positive outlook on Many consumers argue that those operating costs frugality. shouldn’t have changed However, thrift stores throughout the years, but "Goodwill serves as a model for across the country have the prices on the goods been increasing their other second-hand stores, and have, so what gives? prices at the detriment of their price increases throughout As stated by the the lower class, and Association of Resale the years might not seem drastic consumers don’t know to those who can afford it but are Professionals, one of the who to blame. most profitable thrift Second-hand shopping damaging to people in poverty." stores is Goodwill is a growing industry, and Industries, which is according to the U.S. responsible for about Census Bureau, total employment in the thrift store industry in the one-third of all thrift store industry revenues in United States is more than 170,000 people, with a the United States. Therefore, Goodwill serves as a significant bump of 28% occurring between 2007model for other second-hand stores, and their 2012. When regular businesses grow to such a price increases throughout the years might not scale, a large portion of their income becomes seem drastic to those who can afford it but are designated toward taxes. But in the case of nondamaging to people in poverty. As a non-profit, profit organizations such as thrift stores, they are they must report how valuable each item is to the GCC



IRS so their donors can deduct their contributions from their taxes. This shows proof of how much the prices have increased over the years. One valuation guide from 2010 shows all of their goods valued with flat rates, with examples such as $4.00 for shirts, $6.00 for jeans, and $6.00 for shoes. In a 2020 valuation guide, the costs range from $2–12.00 for women’s shirts, $4–21.00 for jeans, and $4–9.00 for tennis shoes because there are also price differences on the style of garments, and whether they belong in the men or women’s sections of the store. Many of these prices have doubled, if not tripled or quadrupled. Their response to the rising prices of goods is that they are simply responding to the cost of expansion and labor. “The primary reason for the change, which we publicized in all our stores beginning Dec. 1 [of 2016], is that our operational costs have increased due to changes in health care, Department of Labor regulations, wages and benefits, insurance and other related expenses,” said Jaymie Eichorn, a spokeswoman for Goodwill of Northwest North Carolina. Furthermore, to gauge the way they should calculate the increased value of their second-hand goods, Goodwill Industries conducted a “competitive market study” to compare their prices to that of other thrift stores, including forprofit stores, which create a generous margin that Goodwill may use to price their items.





sections of the store. Many of these prices have doubled, if not tripled or quadrupled. Their response to the rising prices of goods is that they are simply responding to the cost of expansion and labor. “The primary reason for the change, which we publicized in all our stores beginning Dec. 1 [of 2016], is that our operational costs have increased due to changes in health care, Department of Labor regulations, wages and benefits, insurance and other related expenses,” said Jaymie Eichorn, a spokeswoman for Goodwill of Northwest North Carolina. Furthermore, to gauge the way they should calculate the increased value of their second-hand goods, Goodwill Industries conducted a “competitive market study” to compare their prices to that of other thrift stores, including forprofit stores, which create a generous margin that Goodwill may use to price their items.

-Manifa Baghomian


Rose Parade Executive Director Discusses

Event’s Cancellation David Eads hopes the tournament can come back in 2022

For Southern Californians and spectators around the nation, 2021 started without the colorful festivities of an iconic New Year’s Day tradition. The 2021 annual Rose Parade held in Pasadena since 1890 had been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, making it the first time in 75 years since World War II, and only the fourth time in its history that the event will not occur. According to Tournament of Roses Executive Director and CEO David Eads, this year would have marked the 132nd Tournament of Roses Parade. “We have more than 6,000 people that participate in the parade every year,” he said in an interview with El Vaquero. “Out of concern for their safety and well being, back in July, we made the decision that we just weren't going to be able to move forward with hosting a parade this year.” Eads continued, “While it was a great disappointment to us, we also realized that it was the right thing to do and for the safety and well-being of people. We did not want to be a “super spreader” event, we did not want people to get sick from either participating in the parade or coming out and watching the parade.” The Tournament of Roses also did not select a Queen or Royal Court this year as a result of the cancellation. “While we were trying to pivot to do something different we just realized that their ability to bond as a group, their ability to learn, grow and experience interacting with people such as their ambassadors was going to be limited,” he said. “It just wouldn't be a quality experience that we would want, and that led to our decision not to do the Royal Court.

What we are going to do is that anyone who was eligible for this year’s 2021 Rose Parade Court, will be eligible for the 2022 Rose Parade Court.” Eads added that he hopes by Jan. 1, 2022 “we will have our traditional parade and we will be far enough past the pandemic that we will be able to continue with our normal activities.” The Rose Bowl Game on Jan. 1, 2021 which serves as a college football playoff semifinal, was moved from its originally scheduled location at the Rose Bowl to the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas due to a major surge of new cases in California. This relocation is the first playing of the Rose Bowl outside of Pasadena since 1942. “Just like everything, it will look much different than a traditional Rose Bowl Game. The power five conferences are all committed to playing football right now. The Pac-12 will be launching their season soon as well as the Big Ten,” Eads said. “The other three power conferences such as the ACC, SEC, and Big 12 are already playing so we're very hopeful that we will complete a college football season. We anticipate that the game will be played without fans in the stands, events of mass gatherings will not be allowed so it will be viewed on television.”

-Priscilla Caballero Scan this code to view El Vaq's interview with David Eads.




The Struggles of Surrogacy Mid-Covid Travel restrictions continue to separate newborns from their adoptive families abroad With restrictions making it difficult, if not impossible, to travel across continents, industries that have previously been satiated with international clientele are beginning to see the more serious effects of restrictions imposed on those visiting the U.S. It’s a given that by now, smaller tourism reliant industries, such as local travel agencies, may have to face the music and slow down business for the foreseeable future, but some industries can’t afford to slow down. For the thousands of American families who suffer from an array of complications ranging from uterine issues to cancer and same-sex couples with limited options, surrogacy institutes are their best bet.El Vaquero had the opportunity to speak to Parham Zar, the managing director and CEO of the Egg Donor and Surrogacy Institute in Los Angeles, on the issues he’s been facing within his own institute and how intended parents from abroad are being affected by the pandemic.The ever-changing restrictions on travelers from outside the U.S. have presented a unique and unprecedented challenge for Zar and his team, who were transparent in explaining that the majority of their client base of intended parents come from countries where surrogacy is difficult and oftentimes, outright illegal. Of course, whenever dealing with any birth, a level of uncertainty is always constant, especially surrounding the due date. Although Zar has previously encountered situations that required adoptive parents to travel to the U.S. for the birth of their child unexpectedly, nothing compares to the power Covid-19 has shown when it comes to separating families. So what will happen to these newborn children until their adoptive families are able to travel to them? In an interview with ABC7 News, Zar’s organization showed how they where able to implement the help of a well-t 14



trained team of nannies to help care for the newborns until arrangements are made to unite them with their respective families. Concerns over bonding issues with surrogate mothers and nannies are minimized through the training faculty receives. And since these nannies are closer to midwives than to medical nurses, they are much more experienced in caring for newborn babies and surrogate mothers, minimizing any psychological damage to both. Zar emphasizes that the priority of his institute is to see to the well-being of all parties involved, stressing the importance of the surrogate mother and his commitment to their health.

He also mentioned how emotionally draining and difficult the surrogate process can be, especially after the birth when it’s time to part ways with the child. EDSI handles more than surrogacy. According to Zar, only a couple of years ago his institute was focusing primarily on egg donations, accounting for around 80% of his business. But recently around 2015, they’ve seen a boom in surrogacy interest, boosting business to a running speed, only to hit the brick wall that is Covid-19. For families who may be struggling to conceive on their own, oftentimes, the only option available is the most difficult to warm up to… and to afford. Towards the end of his conversation with El Vaquero, Zar touched on the financial aspect of the services EDSI provides and admits to the harsh reality that for most aspiring couples looking to start a family, surrogacy may not always be a viable option.

According to West Coast Surrogacy Inc., the cost of the entire surrogacy process in the United States, from fees and paperwork to hospital bills, ranges anywhere from $90,000-$130,000. Given the location of EDSI in Beverly Hills, their prices are on the higher end of the spectrum as Zar noted, showing how dedicated aspiring parents must be to commit to the process entirely. When dealing with the many issues that could potentially go wrong while caring for a newborn, it's reasonable to assume that any other business like EDSI would want to separate themselves from any complications that may arise while caring for these separated infants, distancing themselves from liability claims. Zar made it abundantly clear that this wasn’t the case in his situation, which explains the use of nanny caretakers and his frequent Zoom calls to intended parents to give valuable updates. When asked if he would have changed the way EDSI had handled these issues in hindsight, Zar replied that he wouldn’t change any of their responses just for the sake of protecting themselves. “We can’t hide behind the veil of liability…” Zar said, “It would be unethical.” After arriving in the U.S. in hopes of recovering their child and leaving together as a family, one Chinese couple working with EDSI was sent back to their country before they even had the chance, Zar recalls. Now, EDSI is working to figure out a way of uniting the family, formulating several possible ideas on how to make it happen. One of which being transporting the child with a nanny directly to China in hopes of delivering the newborn to the couple personally. The potential risks of this particular endeavor are not lost on Zar and his team. “The first thing that goes through my mind is those issues of liability,” he said. “But what can we do? We have to do what we have to do.” Although the newborns under the care of EDSI have faced many unforeseen complications in the past few months, the institute explains that it has been successful in its efforts to deliver children to their adoptive parents so far. EDSI and other companies like

it say they cannot afford to slow down operations, as some couples have been in the preparation stages for months before the pandemic began. With a large number of surrogate mothers already in the middle stages of pregnancy, EDSI contends that it must continue as close to normal as possible to help nurture these children until they can become part of a loving family. “Beyond that [medical procedure] we’re dealing with humans,” Zar noted. “And the humanity of everyone involved. It’s important to me and to us that we take care of their needs like we would take care of our own family.”

-Eian Gil




Why it matters that your name is pronounced correctly Our names hold a lot of power, and when they are mispronounced it hurts. An unusual name typically makes a child in grade school the target of teasing or bullying. Among immature peers and underpaid teachers, little importance is placed on the value of one’s name being pronounced properly. However, this issue runs deeper than tears in empty bathroom stalls. The social drawbacks to having a hard-to-pronounce name can affect one’s self-esteem throughout life and their connection to their cultural identity. Name mispronunciation in itself can be an insult if it is done on purpose. Yet, most of the time, people do not mispronounce other’s names on purpose. So it’s not immediately recognizable why it’s damaging when a wellintended person does this. There are emotional and societal implications to constant name mispronunciation however, especially when the name is unique to one’s culture or ethnicity. I have never met anybody else with my name. When I first introduce myself to anybody new, I usually have to explain where my name came from and correct people on their pronunciation of my name … several times. To have to do this every time I meet someone new is exhausting. In elementary school, I made the lifelong decision to intentionally mispronounce my own name by not correcting my kindergarten teacher anymore.


I did that to try and avoid some of those uncomfortable conversations. I hated having attention on me from a young age, but it felt strange to forego the moniker I was used to hearing at home. It didn’t stick at first, and I didn’t respond to [ mə•ni•fʌ ] until I heard my second-grade teacher explain that the reason she wouldn’t say my actual name was because it was "too hard to pronounce.” In my young mind, having also had to learn English as a second language, I thought, ‘Why is my name so difficult to pronounce? Why doesn’t the teacher struggle to say Elizabeth’s name?’ My family and other Armenians in my community didn’t see a problem with it, but my given name became a mark that I was different, sticking out like a sore thumb in allwhite schools, and my differences were not to be tolerated. Although it was clear to me at my young age that my teachers and peers were disrespecting me by mispronouncing my name (or at worst, refusing to even attempt my name), I was not equipped with the skills to cope with this. I began to resent my name and see it as a barrier to happiness and acceptance. I blamed my parents for naming me something so “ugly,” thinking its ugliness was why nobody wanted to say it right. Indirectly, I also hated my culture as I was encouraged to speak less and less Armenian and assimilate into American culture. These negative feelings about my name followed me from K-12 until I decided that I would change my name to something nobody would ever mispronounce again. I later learned that the act of accepting an incorrect pronunciation of one’s name for white people’s benefit is called Americanization.

In her article “Teachers, please learn our names!: racial microaggressions and the K-12 classroom,” UC Riverside Professor Rita Kohli writes on how harmful name mispronunciation can be, stating that it can be a form of racial microaggression. Mispronunciation of a child’s name in school serves as an example that “who they are and where they come from is not important. Furthermore, the cumulative impact of these subtle experiences with racism can have a lasting impact on the manner in which youth see themselves, their culture and the world around them”. I socially changed my name to Andy at age 17, and after doing so, I was no longer decidedly different on paper. I was still racially ambiguous in person, but I never had to disclose that I was Armenian anymore, and considering I never identified with my culture, that seemed to work for me. But living as Andy for a year had the unexpected result of making me feel disconnected from my Armenian heritage. Technically, I had the option of revealing it whenever I wanted, but nobody asked, and why would they? I wasn’t unique anymore. Professor Kohli states, “These racial microaggressions present the greatest danger when the victims start to believe the message and begin to doubt their place or cultural worth in US society. This can impact their aspirations, motivation, and love for their culture and themselves.”

The next time you encounter somebody with an uncommon, likely ethnic name, do your best to pronounce it correctly. I never find it offensive when people ask me for the proper pronunciation of my name; I would rather them ask than guess or refrain from attempting to say it at all. If you slip up, try not to draw excess attention to your mistake, just correct it and move on. Furthermore, people of color should not be expected to explain their culture or parents’ intentions in naming them either. These subtle actions make a big difference in the conversation around cultural diversity, and as Kohli writes, racial microaggressions are, "so rarely diagnosed as an affirmation of dominant racial and cultural power, the ability for this form of racism to penetrate the psyche is profound.”

-Manifa Baghomian

say it right!

I think that what Kohli is describing happened to me, and it took a great deal of self-reflection to undo the insecurity Western society imposed on me for my name. Slowly, under the excuse of finding it too challenging to integrate “Andy” into the mouths of my family members, I accepted Manifa again, with a newfound urge to find value in my uncommon name.





The Armenian Community

he Armenian community in the city of Glendale has an exceptional role in the history of the Armenian Diaspora. Armenians living here immigrated not only from the Republic of Armenia, but also from many different parts of the world like Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Russia, Europe, Latin America, etc. Some have had the opportunity to learn Armenian, while others have not. Most individuals speak dialects of either Eastern or Western Armenian and carry the linguistic and cultural impact of their countries. Nevertheless, all are aware that their identity is rooted in their historical homeland. Armenian classes have been offered at GCC for more than 25 years. Today, we offer 15 Armenian classes, some of which are taught at various different high schools. The range of classes offered here provide a multitude of options for students; classes for beginners, for native speakers, for those who want to learn the official language of the Armenian Republic, and for those who wish to continue their studies in Western Armenian. We have had numerous non-Armenian students come to GCC solely to learn the Armenian language. Amongst these students have been lawyers, workers in the medical field, teachers, and politicians. I’ve even had quite a few students take a class to surprise their soon-tobe Armenian in-laws. We are certain that Glendale Community College will continue to fulfill one of its many missions: serve all communities, as we are different colors in a mosaic creating a big picture of our American reality. - Professor Nick Sahakyan, Associate Professor of Armenian




at Glendale College

“The experience has given me a deeper understanding of what we ask our students to do in our ESL classes. We have some students who take our classes more than once, sometimes several times before they feel confident moving up a level. Language learning takes many students extra time, multiple exposures, and meaningful experiences for the language to be automatic. Being a student is an experience that constantly humbles me and helps me identify with some of the students in my classes. In addition, it makes me feel more connected to my students, even more so now that I can understand a little bit of their language and culture. I am thrilled that I can appreciate many of my students' language and culture at a deeper level than before. I've lived in Glendale for 20 years, and I've been wanting to learn Armenian for quite a while. The script and history of the Armenian culture was something I had never been exposed to in my education before.” - Naomi Sato, ESL Instructor/Vocational ESL Program Coordinator Armenian 102

“I was born in Iran in an Armenian speaking family. Where I lived, there were no opportunities for me to learn the writing and grammar of the Armenian language. I am very grateful that Glendale Community College gives me the chance to learn.” - Haygaz Aghazarian, Armenian 115, Fall 2020

“Armenian classes are important because they allow enrollment for people in a diverse range of ages. Everyone can learn the language and become familiar with Armenian literature and culture. It is a unique opportunity for American-born students as well, so they can keep in touch with their roots.”

- Diana Balayan, Armenian 115, Fall 2020 “Personally, taking Armenian courses at GCC has had an enormous impact on me. Since I was born and raised in America, my primary and most comfortable language to speak has been English. This has been quite problematic considering the elder generations in my family solely speak Armenian. Thankfully, I made the wonderful decision of enrolling in Armenian courses and can now fluently and comfortably communicate with my relatives. With the help of my amazing teachers, I have learned to read and write, and have gained confidence in speaking Armenian.” -Melani Sanamyan, Armenian 117, Fall 2020

Distant Love Letter to My Foreign Language Students


he language classroom is often considered the “foreign” department on campus in the purest sense of the term. Indeed, it does

not quite fit in with the other official majors of a large campus, and even more so at a community college. French, Spanish, Italian, or Armenian are rarely leading majors for students, but those who do take it are driven by two main purposes. The first one is the foreign language requirement, a life-saver for our field, but more importantly, the only way to expose our students to the understanding, acceptance, and practice of a foreign culture. An essential long-term skill that should not be reduced to a 2-semester requirement but should instead be a life objective. The second purpose of the language students, and the one I witness the most, is the drive and passion for the foreign culture. Students who, for the longest time, have dreamt of living in a foreign country. Students who grew up watching or listening to foreign media and obsessed over being able to finally understand what they mean. For some of them, Spanish is the language of their heritage. For others, their love for French can be driven by a passion for Victor Hugo, Stromae, or Charles Aznavour. For the Italian language, it can be the students’ love for Italian cuisine and opera. And finally, departments have noticed a significant increase in Korean enrollment, thanks to the rise of K-pop.

The language classroom is a fascinating microcosm filled with passion, enthusiasm, and long-term friendships with students who never forget their courses. Years later, they still share with you their pride and excitement of speaking the foreign language they studied the first time they stepped foot in their dreamland. They thank you for the small part you played in accomplishing their fondest dream. My students give me a constant sense of pride and happiness from witnessing their progress from semester to semester to finally seeing them spread their wings and experiencing their first adventure abroad. When COVID-19 hit, I could not begin to imagine how I was ever going to replicate that unique energy online. How will I be able to continue these small talks with students before and after class, talking about their dream trip to France? What about the impromptu moments of “wasting” 20 to 30 minutes watching French clips on YouTube? Or all of the endless conversations about how useful French will be in their life, even though it does not quite fit in right now with their STEM major? The truth is that despite the fear and doubts surrounding the efficiency of online learning, I was always a believer in the process for several reasons. I had taught advanced level French online before and was convinced of its value, especially when it came to pronunciation and listening. But what about the beginner level? GCC



That very special moment where the passion is born? Will it be as efficient online as it is in a physical classroom? After teaching one full semester of all levels online, and nearing completing another, I will say that despite the chaos and the uncertainty, that first semester was a success. The spark was ignited. I could witness it first-hand, right here, behind my screen. So what was different? And what did I learn? The most striking difference in an online environment is the opportunity for all students to participate. In a regular classroom on-campus some students want to find as many opportunities to speak and listen to French and to immerse themselves with the language. Stopping them in their path is impossible, and it is a pleasure to see them shine. However, it may be more difficult for the more introverted students to have a voice. In the virtual classroom, the relationships with students instantly became personal, the opportunities for one-on-one discussion and conversation with every single student grew tenfold. In addition to having weekly zoom office hours, I also chose to hold private Zoom sessions for students who needed them. The weekly interactions in their personal environment, whether it be their bedroom, garden, or living room, were always very special. These sessions were also a direct open door into my own life, my children, my dog, and the French countryside as a natural background. Eventually, the students who would sit in the back in a regular classroom environment became the ones sitting with me on zoom for help, feedback, and new strategies to increase their grades and improve their pronunciations. For others, it was an opportunity to escape the stress of reality for a few minutes, and talk in French about their future dreams and plans. I would argue that the engagement rate in an in-person classroom versus a virtual classroom is impossible to compare. Being the quiet and disengaged student in the back of the classroom becomes much more difficult in an online setting, as participation is easily counted and displayed for everyone to see, especially for the teacher who keeps track. Online courses also give students with special needs, who may have difficulties hearing or speaking French, an opportunity to take their time, to listen to my recordings over again to practice pronunciation, and eventually, build up their confidence. On the other hand, their engagement online becomes




directly linked to their relationship with technology and the students’ ability to overcome the challenges the modality presents. I had many students become frustrated with the timeconsuming and unreliable aspect of completing work in an online environment. One typo, one spelling mistake, one missing accent can cause a grade to drop and a student to worry.

In the virtual classroom, the relationships with students instantly became personal, the opportunities for one-on-one discussion and conversation with every single student grew tenfold.

Nevertheless, an online platform can be the perfect medium to create a bubble of constant engagement, motivation, and excitement, animated by the students alongside the professor. For passion-driven courses such as foreign languages, it is a live blog that is constantly fed with interesting videos, articles, podcasts, pictures, and anecdotes related to the language. If all goes well, it never stops and stays alive throughout the whole semester. This bubble is much harder to replicate in a normal classroom. As time goes on, I see endless possibilities to use my online platform as a longterm commitment to showcasing my love of the French language. And what is better than immersion when it comes to learning a foreign language? If I cannot bring my students to France for a while, I can at least try to bring France to them. Of course, not many people hear about the endless hours I spent making my grammar videos, culture videos, pdfs, and interactive audio quizzes. The restless feeling spent waiting for my students to join me, the frustration of a test gone wrong because my fill-in-the-blank answer had a typo, or the frantic moments at midnight when I forgot to publish an important activity or conversation. No one sees my inbox continuously filled with emails from students worried their grades had dropped significantly due to one more typo. Online teaching requires

marathons of corrections between all my classes and is characterized by the 700 notifications that never seem to lower in my Canvas app. I am grateful for the patience I’ve acquired due to my extremely slow internet. I will fondly remember the times when my baby’s cries interrupted a video recording session. More specifically, the moment I eventually decided that his cries would simply add charm to my online courses and make it as human as it can be. Online teaching has taught me that everything is possible and that as long as there is passion on both ends, the learning possibilities are endless. It taught me that languages, in-person or online, will always unite people and allow them to connect more deeply with others and with themselves. I learned that teaching is a constant innovative process and that technology has opened the doors to better incorporate essential activities that benefit students.

I will never forget the Zoom goodbyes over the summer with my students or the meetings where students shared with me their deepest fears or worries over Covid. I remember the look on students' faces when they could hold a conversation in French with me, proving to them that despite it all, they had accomplished their goals. Online courses have allowed their light to keep shining. The platform does not get dusty and quiet, it keeps building up, semester after semester, and eventually, we will all be together again, in France, in our classroom, or on our discussion board. To conclude, one should wonder what really is the end goal for any foreign language class. Is it to fill in a multiple-choice test or recall 200 vocabulary words related to family, vacations, and technology? Or can we expect more than that? My goal for students is to navigate uncertainty, using the words they know, rather than the words that they want. I want my students to experience leaving their comfort zone, and be able to explore it thanks to their critical thinking and survival skills. I want them to cross the cultural border constantly, and understand that culture is much more than a language. All of their efforts contribute to their essential skills as a world traveler and global citizen. If my online classroom can resemble that immersion process even one bit, then I will consider it an immense success.





ah Sar ssor




Sarah Mecheneau is a Professor of French at GCC and teaches courses in beginning and intermediate French.




you’re not p f I ay “ in g

Social media has become such an integral part of our day-to-day life that it has almost become an extension of our bodies. Right when we wake up, the first thing we do is quickly check our phones to see if we missed anything. The Social Dilemma on Netflix explores this anxious feeling of selfrealization, addressing the social media addiction many of us experience. Many of those interviewed in the documentary previously worked with big social media companies like Facebook, Youtube, and Pinterest. Out of those former employees showcased in the film, the film primarily focused on Tristan Harris, former Design Ethicist from Google who is now Co-Founder of the Center for Humane Technology. While working at Google, he made a PowerPoint called “A Call to Minimize Distraction & Respect Users’ Attention” which brought awareness to how users should pick what they want to see instead of having Big Tech telling them. The PowerPoint quickly received mass 22



e product.” e th ar ou

product, th e h t en r o y f

attention, and in just a couple of days, it was forgotten. Something that we often see in social media when it comes to cultural movements or important changes: we’ll talk about it for a week and forget about it the next. We won’t follow up if a change actually happened or if the problem is still going on, we just want the juicy details now. It’s well-known that once something is posted on the internet it’ll always be there...even if it is deleted immediately after. When it comes to social media companies, however, this rule is taken to the extreme. Algorithms and bots watch your every move online, to better understand who you are, your personality traits and interests. They’ll study how long you look at a post, what the post is about, and they’ll even try to analyze how you’re feeling at that moment. Their main focus is to keep you on their app and keep you engaged by liking, commenting, sharing, and sending direct messages.

When it comes to their consumer base, social media companies are only concerned with three things: engagement, advertising, and growth. They need your constant attention and so that they’ll be able to make money through targeted advertising based on what you’re most likely to click on, leading to the growth of their app and company. Social media addiction is something that happens to everyone. Our minds are more vulnerable than one might expect, especially when we are in our pre-teen years. Aside from the constant monitoring, the inception of apps such as Snapchat or Instagram has been directly linked to a sharp increase in self-harm and suicides. There has been a 62% increase in self-harm in girls ages 15 to 19, while those in the 10 to 14 age group have witnessed an increase of over 189% since 2009, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. By the end of The Social Dilemma, the focus of the documentary was made clear. While these platforms provide benefits like building friendships and making new connections, many Tech Giants also demonstrate their potential to abuse their control over the masses.

In the words of Jaron Lanier, “I don’t hate them. I don’t wanna do any harm to Google or Facebook. I just want to reform them so that they don’t destroy the world.” Changing our outlook on social media can better the world and help us understand the techniques the companies use to manipulate our attention.

The CDC also reports that suicide rates have increased by over 70% in girls ages 15 to 19 and those aged 10 to 14 have an increase of over 151% compared to the average from 2001 to 2010.

The Social Dilemma does suggest using alternate search engines like Qwant instead of Google for a more private browsing experience without user tracking. Another helpful suggestion is turning off your notifications on anything that you don’t deem essential, especially on social media! It’s important to gradually stop looking at your phone, possibly by not having it on you when you’re at home, and silencing the ringer. In a world full of unnecessary distractions, social media presents itself as just another item on the list.

-Ana Pineda-Gonzalez




Honoring GCC's Andrew Young

RECOGNITION: Then-Academic Senate President Piper Rooney gives Math Professor Andrew Young the Parker Award in this Sept. 13, 2019 photo.

Over the winter session, GCC received the unfortunate news that longtime faculty member Andrew Young of the Math Department had passed away peacefully on Jan. 6. In an email addressing GCC staff, Michael Ritterbrown, Vice President of Instructional Services, expressed his condolences and announced that the academic senate would be establishing a new scholarship in his name. Andrew Young was first hired in 1984, leaving for a period in 1989 where he eventually went on to start a computer company that helped establish what is now the industry standard for CD and DVD file extensions for Unix.

Photograph by Reut Cohen Schorr

Returning to campus in 2003, Young went on to receive the Parker Award for Teacher of the Year in 2019 and continued teaching at GCC with a focus on calculus within the mathematics department. During his award ceremony, Young spoke on the valuable life lessons he carried with him every day, leaving us with this piece of wisdom: “If you can’t think of a good reason to say no, consider saying yes.”

Letter from Michael Ritterbrown Vice President of Instructional Services Dear Colleagues, It is with profound sadness that I must tell you of the death of math faculty member and former Senate President Andy Young. Andy passed away on January 6, 2021, peacefully in his sleep. He was a husband to Sandra Young for 25 years, stepdad to Sandra's three married children, Brad (47), Renee (46), and Jeanette (34), and grandfather to six grandchildren who he adored. He is survived as well by his three sisters, Laura, Jennifer, and Kate. His great love for his family was apparent to everyone who knew Andy, and our thoughts are with them in this difficult time.Andy was a faculty member at GCC for 25 years. He was hired twice: first in the mid-’80s for several years and again in 2001. He was a member of the Academic Senate throughout his career and served as Senate President from 2014 - 2017. In 2019 he was the recipient of the William Parker Award for Distinguished Service. It is this distinguished service that characterized Andy's career. His dedication to the College, to governance, to his colleagues, and his students was genuine and knew no bounds, and the loss to our community is incalculable.

It is difficult to imagine the College without Andy, but his memory will certainly live large for all of us. The Academic Senate will be establishing a scholarship in Andy’s name. Those interested in contributing should contact Cameron Hastings. His wife, Sandy, offered the following message for the college community: “He loved teaching math at GCC and was very proud that he had the opportunity to serve students. Andy especially appreciated having so many colleagues that he considered friends. I know he would want to thank everyone at GCC that made his experiences there a positive one. At this time, there will not be a celebration of life service because of Covid. He would want everyone to be safe and healthy. Thank you to all that knew Andy at GCC for being a part of his life!" -Sandy Young




Cinemas Struggling to Survive During Pandemic


ovie theaters have been closed since the start of Covid-19 in mid-March. Empty, locked down, and dull, cinemas have no choice but to adhere to health precautions and stay shut down until further notice. Some theaters have attempted to stay flexible amid Covid guidelines by allowing the public to “rent out” an entire theater with a limit of up to 20 people for $99. To ensure the safety of the individuals some theaters have installed new air filtration systems, and even remodeled seating placements to accommodate social distancing guidelines. Curbside snacks such as popcorn are also offered to moviegoers. Nevertheless, the efforts of movie theaters have not drawn back the large audiences they’ve been accustomed to, and Hollywood fears there might be no luck with these strategies later on. Major movie releases such as “No Time to Die”, “A Quiet Place Part II”, “Avatar 2”, “Dune”, “Black Widow”, and “Cruella” among many more, have already been pushed off into 2021 and even 2022 in the case of “The Batman” starring Robert Pattinson. “AMC Theaters — by far the biggest movie theater chain in the United States — expects to post a $2.4 billion first-quarter loss in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic,” said Travis Bean in a Forbes article. Similar to AMC Theaters, several cinemas are experiencing tremendous losses in sales. Nonetheless, the film industry speculates it will never be the same. The majority have opted for other alternative ways to watch movies, such as releasing them on Netflix and Hulu or offering them in drive-in movie theaters. “I don't know if the theaters are ever going to recover from this,” Dennis B., an employee in the film industry, said in an interview. I feel like we might go back to how it was 80 years ago when the studios owned the theaters, that’s where I really feel like where it's going. I think they’re going to start buying up these theaters and they're going to only put their films in their theaters.”

-Priscilla A. Caballero Scan this code to view El Vaq's report on cinemas during the pandemic. 26



Restaurants Struggle to Stay Afloat Amid the Pandemic The fate of eateries now and how they're adjusting As restaurants learn to adapt to new Covid-19 health guidelines and measures, re-openings pose a new set of struggles for the struggling industry. “An organization of independent restaurateurs called the Independent Restaurant Coalition has estimated that as many as 85% of the individual restaurants and small restaurant groups around the country might close permanently by the end of 2020,” an article in USA Today suggested. Prinya Siri, the owner of Again Café X Chibiscus Ramen Restaurant in Pasadena, said he has lost 90% of his sales and 80% of his employees amidst the pandemic.

Prinya says restaurants, including his, may perhaps never go back to normal. “We are already projecting that this will probably be back or close to ‘normal’ maybe in 2022 if we can last that long,” Prinya said. Although restaurants were originally granted temporary permits to allow customers to dine outside in the streets, a surge in cases in Los Angeles County had once again prohibited any indoor or outdoor food service to involve customer sitting. The new protocol left hard-hit businesses attempting to raise their customer rate through new takeout strategies. “Operating profits are also expected to decline by more than 30 percent this year. But profits could rebound next year by 15 percent,” Pasadena Now speculated. Scan this code to view El Vaq's report on restaurants amid the pandemic.

-Priscilla A. Caballero




The Pulitzer Center will partner with the Journalism and History Departments at Glendale Community College to facilitate a vibrant and comprehensive educational program to support students reporting specifically on gender issues. Starting in the Fall of 2021, Journalism and History classes will see some exciting overlap due to the nature of this new partnership. During this spring semester, programming rooted in the departments’ relationship with the Pulitzer Center will take place on campus. These academic departments complement one another as they both seek to strengthen students’ critical thinking and communication skills while preparing them to be working professionals. “As the student editor-in-chief of El Vaquero, I always look for valuable reporting opportunities and I am very excited for incoming students to benefit from this new programming and partnership,” said Victoria Bochniak, whose last semester as editor-inchief of the Journalism Department’s newspaper will take place this upcoming spring semester. “Professor Stonis and Dr. Cohen have provided students with a new opportunity that is exceptionally unique to our area and to our higher education facility.” Both programs seek to provide a platform for marginalized voices to share their stories and work toward systemic change. Having the ability to conduct research, find reliable sources, and convincingly tell a story are skills that both journalists and historians share. The Campus Consortium’s codirectors will work together, but each leads a specific portion of the program. One such part of the program is journalism related and under the purview of the Journalism Department. 28



Another is the gender history portion of the program, which will work in tandem with Journalism to ensure student learning outcomes and provide them with critically valuable opportunities. At Glendale, the Journalism program serves a diverse student body that reflects both the campus and the Los Angeles community. Students learn to report and write the news, gain valuable experience that will apply in careers stretching from communications to public relations, and work with experts in the field. Glendale Community College’s various journalism classes focus on newsgathering, reporting, newspaper design, news photography, digital journalism, and teamwork. Students, in collaboration with their faculty advisor and professor, produce newspapers, magazines, podcasts, and more. In their reporting, they seek to touch on many facets of campus life that can include sensitive topics, such as gender, race, and disenfranchisement. In this, students have the opportunity to network with other students, staff, and expert faculty outside of journalism in their newsgathering process. The History program at Glendale Community College supports students’ success in learning the critical thinking skills and communication skills that are needed in most professions. Studying history is more than just memorizing dates and names. Students learn how to think analytically, read carefully, provide contextualization, perform original research, write argumentatively, and explain the historical significance of any topic. GCC offers a variety of history courses on past social, political, cultural, and economic events.

A History degree allows students to apply the skills they learned while doing historical analysis, whether they go into law, business, journalism, or teaching. Historians have something unique to contribute to public discourse by explaining why events happened in the past, how these events shaped the present, and illuminating how to change the future. This is why often the knowledge of history is tied to activism and the impulse to create change. Specifically, the Women’s History classes provide a robust feminist theory and intersectional lens background to help students see a more accurate version of the past while centering historically marginalized voices that have often been missing in the history curriculum. Glendale Community College students will have the unique opportunity to be part of the first California Community College partnering with the Pulitzer Center on International Reporting. As part of a twoyear $20,000 grant by PIMCO, Glendale students will focus on gender as part of a broader global-interest reporting program. As a Campus Consortium partner, Glendale Community College students will have the benefit of professional development opportunities and mentorship from seasoned journalists while being guided by the codirectors of the program. The Center will offer a reporting fellowship to one outstanding student per academic year who can travel expenses-paid to any international location to report on any topic involving gender. Additionally, the selected fellow will have their article published under the Pulitzer Center banner and travel to Washington, DC to meet other fellows in a post-pandemic world. Aligning with the mission of GCC, the Pulitzer Center will contribute to both the student community and the Los Angeles region by bringing award-winning journalists to campus for public programs plus professional development.

As part of the Campus Consortium, students who enroll in both the designated Journalism 103 classes with Dr. Reut Cohen Schorr and History 111 classes with Professor Michelle Stonis will have the opportunity to grow in their feminist reporting.

The program seeks to bridge the gap between what students read about in textbooks and the real world around us. The Pulitzer Center can provide opportunities, including being published and professional development, that will bolster our students’ success as they attempt to differentiate themselves when transferring and find their pathway to a career. Representation matters, and both programs are committed to students’ success while guiding the next generation of thinkers, writers, and researchers successfully to their individual goals through the Pulitzer Center Campus Consortium program. Now more than ever we need people who can tell their stories and change the narrative, especially on the issue of gender around the world. -Michelle Stonis & Reut Cohen Schorr

Michelle Stonis is an Instructor of History who specializes in United States history and United States women’s history at Glendale Community College in addition to consulting in the entertainment industry on feminist topics. She lives in Long Beach with her husband and their three daughters. Reut Cohen Schorr is a Professor of Journalism whose work has covered opinion reporting, real estate, politics at both state, national and international levels, and more. She runs the Journalism Department at Glendale Community College. Dr. Cohen lives in Los Angeles with her husband.

With special thanks to:

The Journalism Program

The Language Arts Department

elvaq.com | elvaquero@glendale.edu

1500 N. Verudgo Road

Sierra Vista 130

Glendale, CA 91208

Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.