Eleni Economides Gastis (Journalism Department Chair and Citizen Advisor)
Eleni Economides Gastis’ journey began at Laney College. She transferred to San Francisco State University in 2004, where she received her bachelor’s degree in Journalism and International Relations. After working for a few years as a reporter for the Bay Area News Group and the San Francisco Examiner—where she covered local governments, culture and crime—Eleni returned to San Francisco State University for a master’s in English Composition and a Certificate in Teaching Postsecondary Reading.
Eleni started teaching at Laney College as adjunct faculty in 2011 and got her dream full-time position there in 2015. Initially serving as English faculty and co-chair of the English department, Eleni became journalism department chair and took over Peralta’s only student-run publication, The Laney Tower, in August 2019. She embarked on a full-scale rebranding of what would become The Citizen, successfully revitalizing the department to increase enrollment, form a top-notch advisory committee, overhaul curriculum to mirror industry demand and remodel the journalism lab to become an inviting space for students.
In addition to her work in the journalism and English departments, she currently serves as the Laney College Academic Senate President and is the co-coordinator for the college’s Guided Pathways initiative. Eleni is passionate about teaching students to advocate for themselves and their communities through writing. She believes every student should be supported and uplifted during the learning process, and shudders when she thinks about students who aren’t. When she isn’t at Laney, she enjoys spending time in Greece with her family and nerding out about all things journalism.
Journalism students harness the true power of democracy, rooted in free speech and the landmark protections of Tinker vs. Des Moines, as they afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted.
You can reach Eleni Economides Gastis at firstname.lastname@example.org
Padmini Parthasarathy (Adjunct Faculty)
Padmini is an Oakland-based journalist and educator interested in helping students find and develop their storytelling voices. Her work has appeared in Jezebel, Zora Magazine, NextCity, and The Times of India, among other publications.