Campus News

Pierce College Chosen for Two Biotechnology Partnership Awards

Hats off to Assistant Professor of Life Sciences Aron Kamajaya, Ph.D., for his role in procuring grant-funded partnerships for Pierce in two new student training and research-focused projects in the bioengineering and biotechnology fields.


Pierce College is a recipient of the subaward for the National Science Foundation-Advanced Technological Education (NFS-ATE) grant, Developing Classroom-based Undergraduate Research Experiences in Antibody Bioengineering. Pierce is one of four community college partners in this grant and the only representative from Southern California. 


The aim is to build a Course-based Undergraduate Research Experience (CURE) program that can be implemented in a Biotech training program. The CURE program has been shown to increase student performance and retention.


“Ours will be the first CURE aimed at Biotech training courses,” Kamajaya said, adding that this grant will complement a half-million-dollar NSF-ATE grant, Training the Skilled Biomanufacturing Workforce Through Innovative Internships in Protein Biomanufacturing, also just awarded.


Pierce will partner with New York-based DNA Learning Center at world-class academic research institution Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory to create training and internships in biomanufacturing, a process that uses cells to produce useful products such as proteins.


“We will establish the first in-house Biotech internship opportunity in Los Angeles county right here at Pierce College,” he said.


Kamajaya, who joined Pierce faculty in Fall 2018 teaching microbiology, has expertise in protein chemistry and engineering that led to receiving the award. Prior to coming to Pierce, he engineered a ketamine biosensor using a nicotine biosensor as a starting point (find his work at


“We chose antibody research as it is, arguably, the most important for biological products in the market, ranging from anti-cancer and anti-migraine therapies to the more recent anti-viral therapy for COVID-19,” said Kamajaya.


The formal announcements for each of these grants are found at

NSF Antibody Engineering Grant

NSF Biomanufacturing Grant



Choose Your Classes from Three Summer Sessions Now Online


The Summer Schedule for 2021 is now posted online. You can find it by clicking the Summer button at the top of the L.A. Pierce College home page. It's also now in your student portal so you can search for classes and get ready to register.


We are again offering three short online Summer Sessions, ready for you so you can stay on track to your goals. June 14 is the start date for Summer A and Summer 8-week; July 14 is the start date for Summer B.



Summer A, 5-week, June 14 – July 18, 2021

Summer B, 5-week, July 19 – Aug. 22, 2021

Summer 8-week, June 14 – Aug. 8, 2021



Continuing students register starting Monday, April 19.

Open Enrollment starts May 10.


New or haven’t applied to Pierce College yet? Go to the home page top right and click “Apply Online” or go to

You will be assigned a Student I.D. number and can then register for classes.

Visit our Schedules web page at and select the “Summer” tab to find class schedules for all three sessions.

You can also search for classes without logging in to your Student Information System (SIS) portal at

Once you log in to your SIS portal, you can manage classes, search for classes, find your priority registration appointment, enroll and more. You can even apply for Scholarships in your portal.

Need support? The Student Support help desk number at Pierce is 818-464-4410, Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Staffers are trained to field questions from IT issues to financial aid to help solve your problem. The Student Support email address is

You can count on L.A. Pierce College to be here for you with the classes you need this Summer! We are here for you.


There's Still Time to Enroll in Late Start Spring Classes beginning April 12


It's Never Too Late! Late Start 8-week classes are here and you can enroll now. Most begin on April 12, 2021. Go to the Students Tab, Quick Links to find the latest Open Classes List in a download. 


You may self-enroll in open classes until the end of day on Tuesday, April 13 without a permission number.


To enroll log in to your student portal at or visit and click Register for Classes.


We offer 125 8-week classes this Spring -- more than ever! You can earn the same number of units in only 8 weeks! Sign up today. New students must Apply first.



Prestigious Hayward Award Bestowed on L.A. Pierce College's Dr. James McKeever

Professors Brian Walsh, Barbara Anderson and James McKeever at a Pierce College Commencement ceremony.


Woodland Hills, Calif. – L.A. Pierce College Professor A. James McKeever, Ph.D., has been selected as the recipient of the prestigious 2021 Hayward Award recognizing outstanding community college faculty statewide.


The Board of Governors confers the award upon faculty who have a track record of excellence in teaching and professional activities and who have demonstrated commitment to their students, profession, and college.


“It is a great honor, and it’s very humbling,” he said. “It’s recognition for the type of community work I’ve been doing all my life.”


McKeever has been a sociology professor at Pierce since 2009, taking a central role in helping people who face issues of inequality politics and equity. He teaches a broad range of sociology classes branching into race, gender, human sexuality, politics, and crime and delinquency. He has served as an advisor for the Queer/Gay Straight Alliance and for Blatigenous, a club for black, Latino and indigenous students.


L.A. Pierce College President Alexis Montevirgen said, “We are proud of James Mckeever, just one of our exceptional faculty, and one who continually demonstrates his commitment to his field and to diversity, equity and inclusion at Pierce College.”


The Van Nuys-born McKeever, whose father was a drug dealer and enforcer for a criminal organization in Pacoima, became a single father in high school, working at fast-food restaurants to support his child during the nine years it took to earn his AA degree from L.A. Valley College.


He now has a bachelor’s degree from Cal State L.A. and a Ph.D. from USC.


Pierce Academic Senate President Barbara Anderson said, “James McKeever exemplifies the best of us on many levels. He cares deeply about students and social justice. He is willing to engage in meaningful dialogue with colleagues. He empowers students and elevates the teaching profession.  We are all better for knowing James McKeever." 


He started volunteering at age 13 as an athletics coach for young children in a low-income neighborhood park in North Hollywood, and mentoring became a way of life.


Students he has taught at Pierce are now working at community-based organizations, getting master’s degrees and even Ph.D.s. A few have established themselves as professors and doctors.


McKeever said that while he appreciates being recognized for the work he’s been doing, it’s what’s happened for the students in the community that’s most important to him.


“We never know how much we affect a person’s life,” he said. “It’s the outcomes that matter.”  


The Foundation for California Community Colleges sponsors the Hayward Award, established in 1989 and named after former California Community College Chancellor Gerald C. Hayward. It will be presented to McKeever at the virtual Board of Governors meeting March 22-23, 2021.


Los Angeles Pierce College,, is recognized as one of the most respected community colleges and transfer institutions in California. Established in 1947 and located on 426 picturesque acres in Woodland Hills, the College’s comprehensive curriculum and support services enable its 21,000 students to earn associate degrees and certificates, prepare for university transfer, and gain career education proficiency. 



A Midsummer Night's Dream Debuts in Three Free Live Performances


LAPC Theatre will begin its 2021 Spring Season with William Shakespeare’s comedic fantasy, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream" in live performances via Zoom March 26-28, 2021. Fairies mix with outrageous comedy for a “Dream” come true. In the forest, misguided passions mix with magic spells as four young lovers and an unsuspecting troupe of aspirational players cross paths with the fairy king and queen, engaged in a war of wills. Fun and fantasy for all ages!  


You won't want to miss this hilarious classic, given a brand new look by Pierce theatre professor and director Esdras Toussaint, along with his team of incredibly talented student actors. 


LAPC Theatre’s cast features Jonathan Bowen, Kyle Brasher, Teresa Cotton, Javier Fonseca, Vanessa Hanish, Rachel Logan, Clara McGee, Olga Medkova, Milad Mehrjou, Mona Mohamed, Netta Nakash, Hannah Quinn, Danni Rabbani, Edward Salas, Michelle Sanchez, Joyanne Tracy, Meagan Truxal and Mariam Vardanyan. Contact Michael Sande, Managing Theatre Director, for more information.


LAPC Theatre Arts Department 

Three Performances

Fri. & Sat., March 26 and 27 at 6 p.m.  

Sun., March 28 at 2 p.m.  


Everyone is invited!

Zoom at 


Free Wi-Fi Parking Lot Is Open on Campus for Students

NOW OPEN - Los Angeles Pierce College is offering free Wi-Fi access for enrolled Spring 2021 students. Students can access free high-speed Wi-Fi to complete their coursework in Parking Lot 6 (Monday-Thursday from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Friday from 8 am – 4 pm) from their personal vehicles. Click this link to sign-up:

The only access to Parking Lot 6 for Wi-Fi is through the check point at the Winnetka Avenue entrance. Show your reservation proof from your phone screen at the gate.

All students on campus must follow LAPC/LA County Health Protocols, stay in their vehicles, wear masks, and always practice physical distancing. Note: restrooms are not available and there is no access for recharging devices.

Here are the Campus Wi-Fi Guidelines:


• Wi-Fi Access for students in vehicle only.

• Must remain in cars at all times.

• No restroom or other facilities’ access.

• No access to water fountains.

• Access is for students with valid LACCD login credentials.

• Must check in at public safety check point at the Winnetka entrance daily.

• Must park in designated spots marked with yellow dot.

• Park in every other stall for physical distance.

• Used for educational purposes – no gaming or streaming movies.

• No parking permit is required.

• No idling of vehicles.

• No bicycles or motorcycles.

• Hatchbacks, sunroofs, and moon roofs should be closed.

• Convertible tops should stay in place.

• Open to all LACCD students, regardless of “home campus”.

• Facial coverings required if windows are open.

• No waste bins provided. Students should bring their own trash bags.

• No smoking.

• 60 spots and 8 accessible parking spaces available.


Enjoy your free Wi-Fi!


Apply Now for Student Scholarships In Your SIS Portal

The LA Pierce College Foundation Scholarship and the Bernard Osher Scholarship online applications are now open. Many monetary awards ranging from $250 to $1,200 will go to students who qualify. Apply today. Deadline is April 11, 2021.

If you are enrolled at LA Pierce College, apply online through your student portal by selecting the "Scholarship" tile.

Visit the Financial Aid & Scholarship and the LA Pierce College Foundation websites for further information.


Add Just One More Class for Spring -- There's Still Time!


Want to add a class?  There's still time to add for Spring!


Starting Wed., Feb. 10, 2021, you need to contact the instructor directly to ask about adding a class. Please read the “How to Email your Instructor via SIS” instructions under the “Key Links & Help” tile, FAQ tab in your Student Information System portal.


To view your class schedule, log on and click the class schedule tab under the “Manage Classes” tile on the student homepage.


With our latest enrollment process for Spring, you can self-enroll in OPEN Pierce College classes only through the second day of school, Feb. 9, without a permission number from faculty. Eligible students already on a wait list will be moved into vacant seats and notified via student email. Adding on the waitlist for CLOSED classes ended on Sunday, Feb. 7.


LATE START 8-WEEK CLASSES ARE COMING. You can enroll now! For late start classes that begin on April 12, you may self-enroll in open classes until the end of day on Tuesday, April 13 without a permission number.


For more info on LACCD’s New Enrollment Process, see your college email from Sun. 2/7/21.


Call for Student Trustee at LACCD, Applications Available


Let your voice be heard on behalf of the students of the Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD) when you apply to become Student Trustee on the Board of Trustees for 2021. Registered students at any of the nine colleges – including Pierce -- are eligible to apply.

A call for applications for the 2021 Student Trustee position is now available and due March 15. Learn more and get the application at


So Glad to Welcome You to Spring Semester at L.A. Pierce College


Welcome to Spring Semester, Brahmas! Classes begin Monday, Feb. 8, 2021. Now is the chance to register for those last classes you can still fit in your schedule – and L.A. Pierce College has flexible schedules to fit students’ needs today. Check out our helpful How-To Videos on the Admissions page.

Videos, like How To Enroll in Classes

Register now at

Don’t let the semester slip away without enrolling and giving yourself a chance to make progress on your goals.  We are here for you at L.A. Pierce College.