Monthly Archives: August 2014

San Mateo County Community College District Assigned Highest Bond Ratings in the State

SMCCCD LogoThe San Mateo County Community College District received the highest ratings possible from Standard and Poor’s and Moody’s Rating Services—AAA and Aaa—and is the only public higher education institution in the State (UC, CSU and community colleges) to be assigned these ratings.

The College District, which operates Cañada College, College of San Mateo and Skyline College, is planning to refund approximately $120 million in general obligation bonds over the next several weeks. Based upon current rates, which could change before the refinancing, taxpayers would save approximately $17.4 million due to lower interest rates. High ratings help assure that the College District has lower overall interest cost for the refinancing, resulting in larger savings for taxpayers.

The Moody’s report cited the District’s sound financial operations, low debt burdens, healthy reserves and large and stable property tax base in their ratings analysis. Standard and Poor’s cited similar parameters in their review and added that the District’s general fund balances and new reserve policy are “very strong.”

Both agencies assigned a “stable outlook”—the most favorable possible—for the District which Moody’s attributed to its expectation that “the district will continue to maintain a strong overall credit profile reflected in a healthy financial position, above average socioeconomic indicators, large, growing tax base, and manageable debt levels.”

Article by Barbara Christensen

Coming Up…

Tuesday, September 2, 2014 – Friday, September 5, 2014

• Double Vision: Photographic Portraits from Cuba & Ghana, Skyline College, Art Gallery, Building 1, Room 121

• 1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m., Financial Aid Application Labs, Skyline College, Building 2, Room 2117-B

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

• 4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., Financial Aid Application Labs, Skyline College, Building 2, Room 2117-B

Thursday, September 4, 2014

• 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m., Classified Senate Meeting, Building 6, Room 6203

Saturday, September 6, 2014

• 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., 25th Anniversary Celebration for GeneConnection, Skyline College, Building 6, Level 2

Thursday, September 11, 2014

• 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m., An Evening with Dr. Cornel West, Skyline College, Theater

For the latest information on events and activities happening at Skyline College, please view our calendar.

If you would like to include your college event or activity on the calendar, please submit the event, date, time and location to Cherie Colin via email at

Welcome to the New Academic Year – Opening Day Remarks

Dr. Stroud Speaking at Opening DayOver the past couple of years, we have all been answering a “Call to Consciousness” here at Skyline College – a deliberate and conscious awareness about our opportunity to engage in innovative and provocative teaching and service that will interrupt the status quo of unmitigated systems of power and privilege for some while others are marginalized or excluded from the regular comforts of being.

To answer this call we went through a major planning process throughout the college, identified six key areas of strategic priorities, with faculty, staff and students engaging in and implementing innovative programs and services within those priorities.

We have continued to bring in outstanding speakers such as Dr. Jeff Andrade – a scholar of critical pedagogy, Dr. Gloria Ladson-Billings – a scholar of culturally relevant pedagogy, renowned poet, Santiago Baca, and CIPHER sponsored, Dr. MK Asante, renowned lecturer and author of BUCK – A Memoir.  On September 11 at 6 p.m. we will host American philosopher and scholar, Dr. Cornell West.

This year I am asking us to build upon that consciousness and engagement and focus on Delivering on our promise. Here are a few things we planned and promised:

  • Middle College – Much has been done and we expect to open the first Middle College class in fall 2015 thanks to the leadership of Dr. Raymond Jones.
  • Skyline Promise – We have been talking about it.  Thanks to the English and Math Departments who have been piloting some work to consider multiple methods for placement.  The Skyline Promise would incorporate the use of High School transcripts for placement.  Let’s deliver on that promise this year.
  • We have new programs such as Hospitality and Tourism Management thanks to the leadership of Andrea Vizenor, an expanded administrative medical assistant program, a new education Prep Program in ECE thanks to the leadership of  Kate Brown and Sarita Santos
  • We promised a culture and value of sustainability and the Sustainability Ambassadors Network has done amazing things.  Thanks to their hydration station project, enough water has been dispensed to fill over 14,000 20oz. plastic bottles (that won’t be in the landfills as a result).  Thanks go to Dr. Carina Antilla-Suarez.
  • The Global Learning Programs and Services Division secured a $620,000 Bécalos grant to host 75 international students sponsored by the Mexican Consulate for classes, and cultural experiences.
  • The Bay Area Entrepreneurial Center opened with a bang.  The community is raving about it and that is exciting in light of our hopes for completing the college through state funding and bond resources if the community supports it this November.
  • We have six more approved Associate Degrees for Transfer and are awaiting the approval of five more, giving students even more opportunities to transfer.
  • The CTTL has taken off and is doing an amazing job, especially with the launching of the second New Faculty Orientation.
  • We promised a comprehensive diversity framework.  Thanks to the leadership of Lucia Lachmayr and David Hasson, we now have a model that has been recognized and requested to be presented to our state colleagues at the Student Success Conference in October.
  • And after a year-long process of planning and connecting to the strategic priorities, and after moving the plan through the governance process, I am happy to announce that we were able to implement the staffing plan to the extent of hiring
    • 16 new full-time faculty
    • 15 new staff
    • 10 new administrators
    • While many of the administrative positions are the filling of vacated positions, we do have one new dean and four new director positions.

It takes all of us to support the students and community and I am excited to be able to support and implement such a bold staffing plan.

During the hiring process, I enjoyed the different personalities of the various disciplines.  When receiving the information regarding the strengths and weaknesses of the candidates at the first level interview…

  1.  The English Department wrote a composition – a long composition.
  2. The Math Department provided me with a spreadsheet. And my favorite,
  3. The counseling department would only provide strengths.

I often ask candidates why they want to make Skyline College their academic home.  I am not testing whether they did their website research homework but rather, I am looking at their “ganas” to work with and serve our community of learners.  I received some wonderful answers….

  1. Because we are student centered and have a sense of community – the Mission Statement resonates with them.
  2. Because we are the most progressive community college and focus on social justice and equity.
  3. Because we have reputed excellent and innovative programs and services.
  4. Because we care…about music, helping, people, and more.
  5. Because we are ionspirational, quirky, in the bay area, , are very diverse, have good faculty, and I particularly loved the one that said “you have a good president”… I say that person knows how to interview!
  6. But my favorite was from the Environmental Science Candidate – “Because we have low flush toilets!”

They are joining the faculty, staff and administration of this college that engage in an unprecedented amount of creative, innovative pedagogical strategies that question the traditional orthodoxy and align more closely to the communities we serve.

All of this is summarized in Skyline College’s Annual Report, which has won First Place awards from the Community College Public Relations Organization two years running. When you get a chance, please take a look at this beautiful reflection of the great work being done here at Skyline College.

Each and every one of you make this an awesome place to work, teach, study and learn for the entire community. This year, I am once again asking you to focus on getting students in, through and out of here with the credentials they need to succeed and plans to transfer or engage in work with a commitment to learn throughout their lives. That’s how we will continue delivering on our promise to students.

Chancellor Galatolo let all of us know just how wonderful the students think you are. In his presentation he showed marks of 90%, 93% and 97% on various indicators. Well, in my survey, with “n” = “me,” here is the mark that the faculty and staff of Skyline College received:


Thank you for all you do.

Article by Dr. Regina Stanback Stroud

Dr. Regina Stanback Stroud Appointed to Presidential Advisory Council

Dr. Regina Stanback StroudPresident Obama announced his intention on July 30 to appoint Dr. Regina Stanback Stroud, president of Skyline College in San Bruno, to the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability for Young Americans. The Council, established in June, 2013, advises the President and the Secretary of the Treasury on how to build the financial capability of young people at an early stage of their lives in schools, families, communities, the workplace and through the use of technology. It is hoped that these recommendations will contribute to the nation’s future financial stability and increase upward economic mobility.

Please join us in congratulating Dr. Stanback Stroud on this outstanding achievement!

Article by Cherie Colin | Photo by Raul Guerra

Opening Day

Opening Day Award WinnersWelcome to the 2014-2015 Academic Year! Skyline College is fortunate to be able to welcome many new faculty and staff to the college. Thank you for participating in the Opening Day celebration this year and congratulations on receiving a 100% score for your dedication and hard work last academic year from Dr. Stanback Stroud!

The agenda was full this year, first with comments by all facets of the leadership of Skyline College including Nicole Harris, Associated Students of Skyline College (ASSC) President, Alana Utsumi, Classified Senate President, Kate Williams Browne, Academic Senate President, Janice Sapigao, Representative from the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), and Chris Weidman, California School Employees Association (CSEA) 2nd Vice President.

President Stanback Stroud made her opening day remarks setting the focus for the year and inspiring each member of the faculty and staff to assist in “Delivering on Our Promise” this academic year. Attendees had the privilege of watching the moving President’s Innovation Fund Video demonstrating the impact the campus has had on student’s lives and the community. The Skyline Shines Awards were announced and presented to stunned recipients Dr. William Watson, Director of SparkPoint and Ms. Lee Guion, Community Member and Volunteer.

Faculty were recognized with awards for their years of service including 40, 30, 25, 20 and 10 years! Staff and Faculty members who completed degrees were recognized for continuing to pursue their education. Over 50 new faculty and staff members who joined since August 2013 were introduced to the campus community and officially welcomed to the Skyline College family.

There are many, many people to thank this year who were behind the scenes to make opening day look flawless – Theresa Tentes and Kat Tshifunda in Office of the President, Golda Margate in the Vice President of Student Services office, Bryan Besnyi, Maria Norris and Sherrie Prasad in the Vice President of Instruction office, Linda Bertellotti, in the Vice President of Administrative Services office, Amory Cariadus and John Saenz in the Center for Student Life and Leadership Development office, Katie Beverly and the staff in the Graphic Arts and Production Department, Kevin Chak and the staff in the Bookstore, Cherie Colin, Keisha Ford, Connor Fitzpatrick, Liz Gaudet, Raul Guerra, Annette Lee, and Claudia Paz in the Marketing, Communications and Public Relations office, Media Staff, Jim Petromilli in the Center for Transformative Teaching and Learning, the IT team including Yoseph Demissie, Dave Jorgensen and Rich Tid, Jan Phemester of the Chancellor’s Office, the Students, Annie Trinh, Nancy Argarin and Marci Escobar in Vice President of Administrative Services office, Rick McMahon and his staff in Pacific Dining, and last, but certainly not least, the staff of the Facilities, Planning and Operations office.

Thank you everyone. Here is to a great 2014-2015 Academic Year!

Article by Cherie Colin

Skyline Shines Award Winners

Each year Skyline College recognizes individuals or groups who help Skyline College to shine in terms of its quality of programs and services and its reputation for quality. Two awards are given annually, one to a member or group of Skyline College employees and one to a member or group from the community.

William Watson receives skyline shines awardCollege Employee Category:

Dr. William Watson is being recognized for his steadfast dedication to serving the Skyline College community. He has worked as the Director of SparkPoint using his influence to make sure students and community members are served in a way that expands access to educational opportunity. His leadership in implementing the overall vision of SparkPoint includes mobilizing partnerships to bring services to the students. This student’s first approach allows students to connect to benefits they are eligible for but may not have been able to navigate the processes to actually access them. These benefits include supplemental nutrition (food) and money. Students are also able to access scholarships that allow them to complete career technical educational programs and become connected to potential employers through the Grove Scholars Program. This allows the community to be engaged in the college and allows students to connect to community resources.

William works to scale innovative approaches to make real the promise of higher education for a better life. That collective work has been featured by the Center for Enterprise Development, Rutgers University Center for Workforce Development, MDC, Annie E. Casey Foundation (College Innovator of the Year), Community College Times, Community College Journal, the Discovery Channel’s Profiles Series, the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges (John W. Rice Diversity and Equity Award), National Center for Inquiry and Improvement, California Employment Development Department and Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.

He has a vision for social justice and equity. He is well respected by all constituents and has demonstrated an ability to work with all groups. The multiple areas of recognition and awards for William’s work and leadership demonstrated the high commitment and dedication he has made to Skyline College and its community.

He has been instrumental in bringing increased grant resources to the college to serve the students and community. He has worked with several divisions to initiate new programs supporting the value of academic excellence, connect students to employers and help them navigate toward successful completion and graduation. He implemented the financial literacy component of the center making financial literacy the central anchoring service for helping students break out of poverty.

William is tireless and is always positive and supportive, no matter how impossible the task. It is with great respect and admiration and gratitude for his contribution toward making Skyline College shine in the way it does – that William Watson be awarded this year’s Skyline Shines Award.

Lee Guion recieves skyline shines awardCommunity Category:

Ms. Lee Guion is being recognized for her commitment to Skyline College and its students. For over two decades, Lee has volunteered her time to students and the Skyline College respiratory therapy program in San Bruno, California. She has mentored students in every area of respiratory care, from the critical care unit to outpatient neuromuscular care. She was voted “preceptor of the year” by Skyline College students multiple times over the years. Lee has chaired the Skyline College RT Program community advisory committee for over 20 years assisting faculty, students, and RT managers in program development, CoARC accreditation, and participation in the AARC’s 2015 and beyond proposed changes to respiratory therapy education. She has served on full time and part time faculty Respiratory Therapy hiring committees, Respiratory Therapy Medical Director appointments, scholarship award processes, annual program reviews, and recently a comprehensive curriculum review and update to meet current practice standards. She works tirelessly to ensure active employer, faculty, staff, and student involvement in all aspects of the program and college events as they relate to health care.

In summary, Lee exemplifies the best qualities of a respiratory therapist and an educator. As a highly respected respiratory care practitioner within a multidisciplinary care team she helps elevate our role on par with other allied health professionals. In her personal and professional life she is a model for students just entering the field and learning the ropes and those looking ahead for creative options in an expanding and dynamic health care environment. She has been instrumental in helping the program maintain a prized reputation for producing highly qualified practitioners in the Northern California Bay Area. Lee has truly carried out Skyline College’s mission to “empower and transform a global community of learners” via her commitment to open access, success, and equity for all students. She is a star that makes Skyline College shine brightly.

Article by Dr. Regina Stanback Stroud

Nonprofit of the Year Awarded to Skyline College

San Bruno Non-Profit of the Year AwardThe San Bruno Chamber of Commerce held its 1st Annual Excellence in Business and Community Awards Dinner on Wednesday, August 20th 2014 at the San Bruno Senior Center. The event was attended by approximately 200 Chamber of Commerce Members representing businesses from throughout San Bruno, including a table full of Skyline College attendees.

Skyline College was voted by the membership of the San Bruno Chamber of Commerce as a finalist in the non-profit category along with the San Bruno Lions Club and the Rotary Club of San Bruno. Each finalist was then asked to encourage their constituents to vote and the night of the awards, the winner would be announced. The college rocked the vote and won the honor of nonprofit of the year this past Wednesday! Dr. Regina Stanback Stroud, President of the College accepted the award on behalf of the college.

The following winners were announced during the dinner in their respective categories:

  • Rookie of the Year: Carroll’s Meats & Deli
  • Children’s Services: Happy Hall School
  • Best Restaurant: Don Pico’s Restaurant
  • Individual and Home Based Business: Karin Cunningham, Josie McHale, Robert Riechel (these 3 tied with equal votes)
  • Small Business: Chapel of the Highlands
  • Medium Size Business: Mollie Stones Market
  • Large Size Business: Recology San Bruno
  • Non-Profit: Skyline College
  • San Bruno Volunteer of the Year: Pam Riechel

Thank you to the faculty, staff and community members who voted for the college to win this exciting award!

Article by Cherie Colin

Public Safety Bulletin – 2014 Number 1

Campus_6-21-11Welcome back to the new school year, and the Fall 2014 semester.  The Opening Day Celebration featured an hour long presentation by Tom Maloney on school safety, highlighting the San Mateo County’s Safe School Initiative and the report’s moniker, “The Big Five.” Please review the Big Five Staff Packet or the Big Five – Administrator Packet as they both have a great deal of useful information.

The hour long session was highlighted by the ‘open mic,’ where participants asked whatever questions they had on school safety and related topics. The questions were well directed and the interaction very informative; it was truly a give and take.  Public Safety’s goal is to take the comments from the session and work with Dr. Joi Blake to develop school safety related training and information resources to be disseminated to the faculty and staff here at Skyline College.

Bulletin Tip #1

When on campus and in your office, be aware to not leave valuables out in the open and your office ‘unsecured’, even for short periods of time.  That quick trip to the bathroom can turn into 5-7 minutes easily if a colleague or student engages you in a brief chat or clarification on a particular topic.

A women’s purse, calculator, sunglasses, iPad and Smart Phones are easy and desirable theft targets.

Take your keys, pull the door shut and lock it.

Health and Safety Committee

The Health and Safety committee meets the third Tuesday of each Month, beginning in September.  Bring questions or concerns to your area or designated representative for our meetings.

This year, Public Safety is going to try to change the format to include some training highlights and/or some in-person presenters to get feedback from members on ideas and methods of delivery for safety training.


This is the text message system that gives emergency information out to students, faculty and staff.  Sign up on the campus website by going to Campus Resources, Public Safety, Emergency Messaging and enter your cell number.

Anyone can sign up-so your significant other can subscribe also and get the alerts.

Cautionary Information: Depending on your cellphone service provider, delivery times will vary.

Building Captains

Additional staff and faculty are needed to volunteer as Building Captains. In times of stress and excitement such as an emergency, people will look for direction and will move towards persons who seem to be in control.

We here at Skyline need you!  Public Safety will be setting up an informational meeting, hopefully within the next three to four weeks where we will do an overview of the needs and expectations for being a Building Captain.

Food and refreshments will be provided.

2014 First Bulletin Issue – KUDOS

Linda Herda, at the One Stop Help Desk, diligently read through the Big Five Staff Packet sent out last week, and she asked about the “Rule of Nine” Protocol for safety issues surrounding opening your locked door during a ‘Lock Down’ incident or drill.

What is the rule of nine?  An agreed to number, whereupon if queried, you either add or subtract 9 to the number verbalized.  So you are in your office, locked and hiding, and a person outside wants you to open up.  You say 19, and they either say 10 or 28.

Questions and suggestions are welcomed. Please email them to Chief Rob Dean at or stop him on campus any time.  Public Safety wishes you an enjoyable and healthy Fall 2014 Semester.

Article by Rob Dean | Photo by Raul Guerra

Administration of Justice Students Awarded $1,000 Scholarships

Administrative Justice Students Recieving Scholarships

Left to right: Daly City PAL President Julian Agustin, Award Recipient Alazan Flores, Skyline College Administration of Justice Professor Steve Aurilio, Award Recipient Erik Risslen.

Skyline College Administration of Justice students Alazan Flores and Erik Risslen were awarded $1,000 scholarships at the 2014 PAL fundraiser banquet held at the South San Francisco Elks Club on Monday, July 28th. These exemplary students were recognized by the Daly City Police Department’s Police Athletic League (P.A.L.) Organization for their educational and community achievements while pursuing their vocational aspirations in the fields of Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice.

The Daly City PAL, a partnership involving community leaders and the Daly City Police Department, is an all-volunteer organization dedicated to supporting, inspiring, and helping young people to become healthy, social, and caring individuals through athletics since 1957. Professor Steve Aurilio of the Skyline College Administration of Justice Program, and member of the Daly City PAL board, founded the Daly City PAL Educational Foundation (PAL-Ed) in 2007 as an auxiliary component of the PAL organization to help provide financial assistance to career-minded students who are interested in the justice field. To date, the Daly City PAL-Ed Foundation has awarded scholarships to nine Skyline College Administration of Justice students.

To be considered for the scholarship award, students must be interested in a Law Enforcement or Criminal Justice career and enrolled in the Skyline College Administration of Justice Program or a Police Academy; have a qualifying GPA; have a personal history consistent with a career in law enforcement or criminal justice; and have performed some type of voluntary community service.

After undergoing interviews with DC PAL-Ed board members, the two awardees were selected on the basis of their achievements which met or exceeded the requirements. Both recipients have career aspirations of becoming police officers in our local area. Skyline College joins DC-PAL in congratulating Alazan Flores and Erik Risslen for being the DC PAL-Ed awardees for 2014!

Article by Steve Aurilio | Photo by Chris Parker, DC PAL

Students Organize Successful Charity Event: Together We Thrive

Students at Together We Thrive EventOn August 2, 2014, Skyline College hosted Together We Thrive (TWT). Families in the community came to campus for an exchange of needed goods. Skyline College students Nicole Garza and Irene Yim conceived the idea because Skyline College is in one of the richest counties in the country but approximately 18% of the population is living below the poverty line and an additional unknown percentage is below the housing wage. Nicole and Irene raised over $1,500 to purchase school supplies and backpacks for kids in the local community. About 80 children showed up in the Student and Community Center to receive their backpacks filled with school supplies. The accompanying clothes drive was successful and everyone is looking forward to next year’s TWT event.

The ECE/EDU students that participated, really enjoyed coming together to participate in an event that benefited young children and spoke about organizing a club in order to network and be a part of more events benefiting children and families.


At the event, activity tables were hosted by Gaylord Garcia (Respiratory Therapy Program), Kristina Brower (Early Childhood Education), Mary DeAngles (Karate club), Sherri Bookstaff (Biology Department), and John Carpio (Photography Club).


Nicole and Irene reached out to the community and received cash donations to purchase school supplies from the following.


  • San Francisco Plumbing
  • Ideal Carpentry
  • Lakewood Apartments
  • Nicks Seafood Restaurant
  • SF Department of Building Inspections
  • Target
  • Outback
  • Home Depot
  • Skyline College Cosmetology
  • Genentech


Students at Together We Thrive Event Volunteer at Together We Thrive Event

Article by Christine Case & Kristina Brower | Photos by John Carpio