On April 19, 2022, PCC faculty and staff gathered to celebrate the recognition ceremony to commemorate and announce the inaugural recipient of PCC’s Community Excellence Grant for the next academic year.

This initiative comes from the generous $30 million gift from philanthropist Mackenzie Scott in 2021. These awards are granted to develop growth in the academic curriculum, to modernize and adapt to the changing academic state of PCC. These are programs that might help better equip online classes, or a better Data Science Program. Some are to further develop research on specific departments, such as the Natural Science department and Visual Arts & Media Studies.

“These projects will begin July 1, and I am very excited to see what new discoveries they inspire.” Superintendent-President Erika Endrijonas said.

Throughout the semester professors have been petitioning to receive grants for their projects. Projects such as introducing community based learning on entrepreneurship and innovation for small businesses, funding for beekeeping clubs to learn the fundamentals of beekeeping, some are for physics or chemistry lab equipment to further in-depth research. This year, 49 proposals were sent and 55 individuals were granted over $937,000 to fund 25 projects.

One of the projects is for our very own newspaper. This year Linda Stewart, Walter Butler, and Lynora Rogacs from the PCC Library were granted $81,500 dollars to digitize the 100+ year run of the college newspaper. Stories dating back to the very beginning of the PCC Courier, when it was formerly known as the Pasadena Chronicle, will be published online for everyone to consume.

This allows students and staff to view records of events found in the semi-daily campus newspaper from the past 100 years. Stories that might indicate a first person perspective of historical events, like the point of view of a PCC student during World War II. This enables students to interact with a primary source that they may not have considered before because it wasn’t as accessible. It really opens the door for research and projects that were perhaps out-of-reach for many simply because they couldn’t access the archived issues.Or a possibility to construct further narrative on often imperfect or conflicting stories.The possibility of this project could be endless.

According to the PCC 75th Anniversary History Book, “These materials are supplemented by a variety of campus magazines published by various academic departments, student organizations, and clubs. Scrapbooks on a variety of subjects from nursing, fashion and design to sporting events, the model homes and PJC during World War II augment these materials. Historical artifacts, scholarly journals and magazines with articles by and about the college and its community, and sports memorabilia round out the collection.”

Digitizing the 100+ years of the PCC Courier means that students, staff and the Pasadena community at large, will be able to access the history of PCC as captured and reported by the Courier. According to one of the recipients for the grant, PCC librarian Walter Butler had this to say on what this means for students and staff.

“This is pretty amazing because if someone wanted to research a topic or an event that happened at PCC through the Courier,” said Butler. “They would have to know the exact issue of the Courier that might hold an article. And if they didn’t know, they would have to search through a range of issues one by one. There is not an easy way to search the contents of the past issues of the Courier, so searching through them physically is the only way. And if you wanted to find a historical image from the Courier – once again, you’d have to search through them one by one. The newspapers are also frail – so handling them physically is just something that we wouldn’t be able to support for much longer. Converting and preserving the issues into a digital format is a way we can help to better ensure access to this part of PCC’s history moving forward.”

The PCC’s Community Excellence Grant is to fund innovative and exciting projects across PCC for the years to come. It is highly encouraged to think about submitting a proposal for next year’s funding.

“I couldn’t be happier that PCC has chosen to do this.” Eva Ortega, Courier editor-in-chief said. “The Courier has existed at PCC for over a century, making it the oldest and most authentic reflection of PCC history. It’s important that students here can quickly and easily refer back to these stories for any reason they may need them, whether it be for inspiration, to gather data for a science class or write a report.”

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