An avid history student, LMC sophomore Janet Pineda has complemented her classes by assisting LMC Adjunct Professor Charles Bohakel for the past year as he researched the history of East Contra Costa County.
Janet recently had an opportunity to share the products of her efforts by presenting a reprint of an historical map of Rancho Los Medanos to the College's Interim President Richard Livingston. The current campus site is located on the site previously occupied by the ranch. Always interested in history, especially Native American history, Janet has learned a lot about the process of researching the past through her volunteer efforts. Her volunteer efforts have led her to visit the Bancroft Library at UC Berkeley, the California Historical Society in San Francisco, and the California state archives in Sacramento.
Above and beyond what is required for any class, Janet feels her experience is well worth the effort. The Pittsburg native explains, “I've gained a better appreciation of history, especially local history. If it wasn't for history, we wouldn't be here now. The fact that it is hands-on, that I have to go find things, makes it more interesting. Because I'm helping a professor do his research, I need to be accurate with the material to make sure it is correct. You never know what you're going to find - recently we found an inaccuracy in a part of the history of Antioch!”
“The research experience has made me a better researcher. That will help me a lot when I transfer to a four-year school. This could also lead me into other fields that I previously didn't consider.”
As a first-generation college student, Janet takes her educational experience seriously. She pays it forward by fulfilling a role as mentor for her siblings. “I'm working to inspire my younger brother and sister to be serious about their studies so that they too can succeed. My parents never went to college but they believe in the value of education.”
Janet is currently working to complete all of her lower division coursework in hopes of transfering to UC Berkeley or UC Davis next year.