The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

Re-Emerging Scholars continue to receive help while campus shutdown continues

City College student and re-emgerging scholar DeeAnna Maxwell spends some time away from her studies with her dog Winston at McKinley Park in Sacramento on Thursday, Feb. 18, 2021 (Photo: Meegan Williamson/[email protected])

It’s the little things that Shane Logan, sociology professor at City College and co-founder of the Re-Emerging Scholars program, has missed most about being on campus. Things like hanging out in his office with the students in the program, chatting and bantering with them and playfully making fun of each other.

“Some of the conversations that came up during those moments were when students felt comfortable disclosing what they were going through,” Logan said. “I learned far more then than in an entire class working with them.”

Logan said he understands that students in the program, which supports previously incarcerated and justice-impacted students, have been hit even harder by the isolating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and campus closure.

According to Logan, the formerly incarcerated are people already at a disadvantage in a pre-pandemic world.

“It’s kind of like when the average student catches a cold, our students get pneumonia,” Logan said. “Our population experiences that tenfold. So, while we’re all collectively just kind of fed up with social isolation and just kind of this lingering ickiness, our students are really experiencing a lot of difficulty surrounding this.”

City College Sociology Professor Nich Miller, the other co-founder of the Re-Emerging Scholars program, emphasized the psychological impact that sheltering in place has had on Re-emerging Scholars and others who have been previously incarcerated.

“Re-entry students may have been even a bit more uniquely impacted by the sudden isolation with quarantine because they’ve had previous negative experience with isolation with incarceration,” Miller said.

Miller also noted that for some in the program simply having housing stability as well as safe people to shelter with has been difficult.

“Some of our students may have been placed in situations when they had to quarantine with folks where there was abuse going on — physical or substance,” Miller said. “Some of our students probably felt that challenge of being quarantined with people who were abusing substances and then trying to maintain their own sobriety.”

For many students, this abrupt and potentially negative change in circumstances was exacerbated by the loss of their on-campus community, according to Miller.

Michael Gorletti, a former Re-Emerging Scholars student who has transferred to Sacramento State, still mentors students in the Re-Emerging Scholars program. He noted that the lack of campus resources typically available on-ground has created a difficult situation for students.

“When the campus was open, we had vast resources,” Gorletti said. “That’s all gone now. Because we’ve gone online, it’s been a little bit of a challenge. I speak to students who are not in the program who text me all the time and tell me they’re feeling emotionally separated.”

Marcus Erba, another former Re-Emerging Scholars student, now works as a clerk and enrollment specialist for the program while attending UC Davis. Erba has felt the effects of this disconnection when working with current Re-Emerging Scholars students.

“The biggest problem I have is staying connected with the students — whether actually getting them enrolled or turning in assignments,” Erba said.

“I’m extremely grateful for the people I have met and the opportunities that I have been given because of the Re-emerging Scholars. I feel that it is my responsibility as a human being to make the most of these gifts and use them to give back to others in need,” said former City College student Marcus Erba. California State Capitol, Sacramento, Feb. 19, 2021. (Diana Martinez/[email protected])
online viagra There are a number of medicinal treatments & side- effects from their health expert & they must administer such drug products as per their suggestions in order to keep away from negative side- effects. If you can make a girl laugh, it breaks the tension, and she will feel more comfortable cialis buy online around you. Rheumatoid Arthritis usually causes wandering pains which move generic viagra sales page from one joint to another. Revisit the module whenever you want, refurbish the learnt and keep on re-doing it till the time you understand it tadalafil price completely.

Erba also believes that the lack of hands-on experience and face-to-face interaction has affected what students can get out of the program.

“I don’t think it’s as deep as it would be if we were talking face-to-face and in person,” he said.

The pandemic’s isolating effects haven’t just impacted students used to in-person instruction. Miller has noticed a correlation between the onset of the pandemic and the number of new students joining the Re-Emerging Scholars program.

“I truly believe that we’ve seen a slowdown of new enrollments and referrals coming our way,” Miller said. “I think students are less excited about doing classes online.”

The program often receives new students from referrals and probations, Miller said, noting that these have decreased, as has the program’s retention rate of new students.

But that doesn’t mean that the pandemic has caused a wholly negative experience for every student in the program. DeeAnna Maxwell, who enrolled in both City College and Re-Emerging Scholars in the fall 2020 semester, appreciates having begun in the midst of the pandemic.

“I’m super grateful that I started in the middle of COVID because I didn’t have anything to compare it to,” she said.

Still, Maxwell said while she feels like she’s missed out by not being on campus and experiencing the camaraderie that Re-Emerging Scholars students have in person, she appreciates the support the program has given her this year.

“I literally wouldn’t be able to do it without Re-Emerging Scholars,” Maxwell said. “All of the professors really reach out and do everything they can.”

Victor Dara, a sociology major and mentor and intern in the program, enrolled in City College and the Re-Emerging Scholars program in spring 2020 and said that switching to online classes hasn’t impacted him very much. He said he’s grateful for the hands-on approach Logan and Miller have taken to maintain connection with students in the program.

“I’m pretty adaptable. I kind of just take things as they come,” Dara said. “I try to make things halfway enjoyable. [What is] most rewarding is having a GPA of 3.8 and making [President’s] Honor Roll my first semester. Never thought I’d be able to do that.”

Beyond academics, Dara started hosting the online Re-Emerging Scholars club on Monday nights. He said the club is a place “where students can talk to each other without the oversight of professors” and talk about issues, whether academic or personal.

It’s this dedication to connection, even in difficult circumstances, that has allowed the Re-Emerging Scholars program to foster community, according to Logan. Gorletti echoed this sentiment, having seen the evidence firsthand while mentoring students in the program.

“If you work together and put the work in, that’s the whole key. We’ve got your back. We’re going to do everything we can to get you success,” he said. “Right now, there’s never been a greater time for mankind and womankind — for all of us — to be bonded and unified. We have new beginnings now. We have hope.”

View Comments (4)
Donate to The Express

Your donation will support the student journalists of Sacramento City College. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Express

Comments (4)

All The Express Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • D

    Dana BennettFeb 21, 2021 at 6:46 am

    Excellent read

  • E

    Eleanor Ellis MurphyFeb 20, 2021 at 10:35 pm

    Interesting article. We live near an elementary school. It saddens us to not hear laughter on the playgrounds. Re-emerging students of all ages will be good for students, teachers and parents. I can just hear these future grandparents telling their grandchildren about Zoom School.

  • G

    GaryFeb 20, 2021 at 1:52 pm

    Great article! Thanks for writing about this program