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Merced College Earns National Award for Fundraising Effort

CVV News l June 26, 2023

The Council for Advancement and Support of Education has recognized Merced College with a 2023 CASE Circle of Excellence Award for outstanding achievements in educational advancement.

The nonprofit’s annual awards honor inspiring and creative work by staff at colleges, universities and schools throughout the world that impacts their institutions and communities and helps transform lives and society.

Merced College earned a Silver award in the category of “Micro-sites (Fundraising)” for the holiday card and 3-D printed ornament created by Foundation staff late last year. The cards and ornaments were mailed to community supporters and donors, and the ornaments—designed by staff and printed in-house—could be purchased through the website that was honored by CASE. The website included a time-lapse video of an ornament being printed.

Merced College was the only community college to be honored in the Micro-sites (Fundraising) category. Other schools recognized included UC San Diego, University of Texas at Austin, University of Cambridge, USC, University of Nebraska, and Johns Hopkins University.

“The holiday card is one of our favorite annual projects, and our team really took it to a new level last year,” said Jill Cunningham, Vice President of External Relations and Executive Director of the Merced College Foundation. “Merced College keeps raising the bar, and we’re so proud for this creative and thoughtful work to be recognized among the best in the nation.”

In announcing the award on June 21, the CASE judges noted the project’s creativity and potential to be replicated in future years or at other schools:

“Of all of the entries reviewed, judges found this fun and creative concept to be the most memorable. What a clever way to engage the community and create a new tradition! Judges appreciate that this project was quite unique and unexpected, but entirely replicable at other institutions. We were delighted by the simple yet elegant web page and mesmerized by watching the ornament being made on the 3-D printer.”

CASE announced that 4,021 total entries were submitted this year from 583 institutions in 22 countries. Of those, 521 were selected for special recognition in the Circle of Excellence awards. Winners were judged on overall quality, innovation, use of resources and their influence on their school and related communities, including alumni, parents, students, faculty and staff. 

“The Circle of Excellence Awards showcase the impact advancement professionals have upon their institutions and communities around the globe, every day,” said CASE president and CEO Sue Cunningham. “Our 2023 honorees … are bold, creative and resourceful. They demonstrate how powerful it is when advancement teams champion teaching, learning, research and the progress that education ignites.”

Merced County STEM Fair to Showcase Student Research and Creativity

By CVV News l March 6, 2023

The 2023 Merced County STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Fair will take place this Wednesday, March 8 in the Dr. Vikram and Priya Lakireddy Grand Ballroom at the UC Merced Conference Center.

The fair, which celebrates its 7th year in the county, gives students, families and community members alike the opportunity to participate in a variety of STEM-related activities including the Science and Engineering Fair portion of the event, where students in grades 5 through 12 will showcase their research, creativity and technical skills.  

Presented alongside the UC Merced Research Week Poster Showcase, the STEM Fair will display nearly 40 science projects from more than 60 elementary and middle school students. The top three projects will move on to the California State Science and Engineering Fair in April. Only students in 6 through 12 grades are eligible to compete in the state competition.

Participating school districts this year include Atwater Elementary, Dos Palos-Oro Loma Joint Unified, Merced City and Our Lady of Mercy.

The judging portion of the competition begins at 9:30 a.m. Judges include local scientists and professors from MCOE, UC Merced and Technovation, among others.

The event is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. with hands-on activities presented by UC Merced scientists and labs from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. The awards presentation takes place at 3 p.m. Sponsorships include Pacific Gas & Electric Company, Educational Employees Credit Union, UC Merced and the Merced County Education Foundation.  

For more information, contact MCOE Events and Community Engagement Coordinator Stacie Arancibia at 

All Dads Matter team at Children’s Summit

By CVV News l September 03, 2022


The event was held at Yosemite Church on Wednesday August 31, 2022. This was a free event, and open to the community.
The Merced County Children Summit is an annual event organized to promote initiatives for children and family’s wellbeing.
Dr. Barbara Stroud was the Keynote speaker. Dr. Stroud has worked extensively with children impacted by severe emotional disturbances. Mental health is an area of our health that is crucial and we all need to take care of it. Mental health includes our emotional, psychological and social wellbeing. As we take care of our psychical health as stomach pain or headache, we need to also take care of our mental health.

It affects how we think, feel, and act as well as we cope with life. With the current situation, still being in a pandemic, although we are getting more adjusted to it, its effects are still present. Mental Health has a complex interactive relationship with everyone especially with children. We are hoping this year summit will bring more resources in mental health in our community.

Jerome Rasberry Jr. Grand Marshall at Juneteenth Celebration

By CVV News-Published June 13, 2022

Jerome Rasberry Jr.

Jerome Rasberry is a long time Merced County resident. Jerome has 30 years of Volunteer work throughout Merced County. He is one of the original members of Merced County Youth to Youth (Y2Y). He is also a member of the Board of Directors California Associations of Resource Specials Plus (CARSPLUS) Foundation Director for the state of California. Jerome was part of the founding partners of the Restorative Justice League. He is the Co-President of the Merced County Boys and Girls Club of Merced. Jerome also the past 1st Vice President of Merced County National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and He is currently Community Coordination Chair of the NAACP. Rasberry is the Dignitaries Liaison for Martin Luther King (MLK) Committee, also, the California Democratic (CADEM) Representative for Assembly member Adam Gray.

Jerome is a former member of the Merced Black Parallel and Weaver African American Advisory Council (AAPAC) committee. He is a current member of the California After School Network (CAN) Symposium Planning Team. Rasberry was the Building Healthy Communities Grant Chair. Jerome is the Publicity Chair for Concerned Men Cook for Education. He continues to be as St. Matthew Baptist Church Community Liaison.

Jerome is a proud graduate and alumni of Merced High School. Who is a believer in lifelong education.

Felicia Roberts took an idea gathered a few people to reached into a minority community to highlight the positive, using a minority newspaper the Central Valley Voice. Roberts was joined by her sisters Carolyn Williams, Alleashia Thomas, niece Hermonie Lynn Williams, nephew Ron Williams, cousin Jerald Lester, Jay Slaffey, Greg Savage, Tim Daniels and the late J Denise Fontaine. Each individual played an important role in the birth of the newspapers. Since, then many have stood strong behind the success of the newspapers and its goal to fill a void in the Central Valley community. The Central Valley Voice published their 1st issue in November 1991. Its purposed was to highlight the achievements of minorities in the Central Valley. The Voice focuses on the accomplishments of African Americans and Hispanics giving young people role models while diminishing the stereotypical pictures of gangs, crime and violence that permeate the minority communities. Since 1991, the Central Valley Voice has provided an important voice for the minority community throughout the Madera, Merced. Stanislaus and San Joaquin counties.

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