Monthly Archives: December 2014

Skyline College Storm Closure Q&A

Dr. Stroud and FacilitiesSevere weather prompted the closure of Skyline College on Thursday and Friday.  Thanks and kudos go out to the leadership at the District, the outstanding Facilities, Maintenance, and Operation Team along with Public Safety for the great work resolving the issues of flooding, and leakages that came as a result of the wet weather.  Thanks to the Skyline College team that remained on to handle the day including Jennifer Owen-Blackmon, Aaron McVean, and Eloisa Briones for getting here and staying through to make sure all was taken care of.  

Below is a list of Q& A that will provide more information.

When will Skyline College reopen?

  • The College will remain closed on Friday, December 12 and will reopen on Saturday, December 13, 2014.
  • The College’s administration has continued to monitor the progress of the storm and has chosen to delay the reopening of the College by an additional day until they we can be certain that there is safe passage to campus on the roads, consistent power to the buildings, and all of the minor flooding on campus has been mitigated.
  • All Friday classes and activities on campus are cancelled, with the exception of the Skyline Classic Basketball tournament, which will proceed as planned.

When will the Child Development Center reopen?

  • The Child Development Center, Building 14, lost power and is closed until further notice.
  • It will reopen when the College reopens and power to the building is restored by PG&E.

How did the College prepare for the storm?

  • Facilities took significant measures to prepare the campus and its buildings for the storm, including:
    • Storm and roof drains cleaned (before and during the storm)
    • Street cleaning to clear debris from previous storms from the roads (before and during)
    • Tree assessment
    • Roof repairs (before the storm and during)
    • Generators were prepared onsite
    • Sandbags and waddles (rainwater sacks) were positioned in front of flood-prone areas
    • Loose debris picked up around campus.
  • Facilities and Public Safety collaborated with the District in safety preparedness meetings.
  • AIC reviewed the preparation protocols for school closures and power outages.
  • President Stroud had several meetings on Wednesday with the Cañada College and CSM Presidents and District Chancellor to discuss campus closure and contingency plans.
  • Skyline College’s PR office sent email notices to the campus community on Wednesday urging sign-up for campus alerts and prepared statements and communications in case of different scenarios.
  • The Vice President of Instruction met with the Deans on Wednesday afternoon to plan for communications in case of class cancellations or a College closure.

What were the key factors in the decision to close the Skyline College campus?

  • The School District was sensitive to the proximity of final exams. Closing the College in the week before finals is a serious decision that impacts thousands of students’ educational progress at a critical time in the semester.
  • Measures had been taken to prevent flooding and maintain open roads on campus, with the goal of avoiding an interruption in the school schedule.
  • Safety of our students, faculty and staff was the paramount concern as the administration monitored the progress of the storm.  We were prepared to close the College if we lost power, if substantial flooding occurred, or if the roadways became unpassable.
  • When it became clear this morning that roadways and key campus buildings were compromised by flooding, the decision was made to close the College.

Why did Skyline College close, but not its sister Colleges Canada or CSM? 

  • As the storm progressed from north to south, Skyline College was hit more severely earlier in the day.
  • The other colleges were also prepared to close if power was lost, substantial flooding occurred, or the safety of the campus community was severely compromised.

How were students and faculty informed of the campus closure on Thursday morning?

  • The decision to close campus was made by Dr. Stanback Stroud at 8:15 a.m. after consulting with the Chancellor.
  • Within 15 minutes of the decision, the following communications were sent out:
    • Campus Announcement email to faculty and staff
    • GWAMail to students
    • AlertU text message
    • Announcement box went live on homepage of website
  • Within 45 minutes of the decision, the following communications were completed:
    • Announcement on the College’s Facebook page, and responses/ questions were monitored and responded to throughout the day
    • Press release to all local media outlets.
  • The College’s Marketing, Communications, and Public Relations office also responded to inquiries by phone and email throughout Wednesday evening and Thursday morning.

When the closure was announced, how was the campus secured?

  • Public Safety visited each building to inform students, instructors and administrators that the campus was being closed, and secured each building once everyone had left.
  • Announcements were put on the electronic sign boards throughout campus.
  • Public Safety staged an officer at each entrance to the College to inform individuals who were arriving that the campus was closed.
  • Public Safety called several tow trucks to assist disabled cars in the parking lots.
  • Students and staff remained in the lobby areas of Building 5 and 6 until their rides arrived; once these buildings were cleared they were secured.
  • John Doctor and his Facilities staff, Rob Dean and his Public Safety officers, President Stanback Stroud, Vice President Briones and MCPR Director Owen-Blackmon remained on campus throughout the day.

Was there any damage to the College campus or facilities as a result of the storm?

  • No permanent damage was sustained.
  • Building 14 (Child Development Center) lost power. PG&E was contacted. As of 4:00 p.m. on 12/11 power has not yet been restored.
  • In Building 4, flooding on the 1st and 2nd floor by the front and side entrances was cleared.
  • In Building 19 (Pacific Heights), roof leaks were mitigated during the storm.

Did the campus lose power?

  • Other than temporary flickering lights, the campus as a whole did not lose power.
  • The Child Development Center did lose power.

Were any injuries sustained on campus as a result of the storm?

  • None that we are aware of.

Will Thursday and Friday’s classes be made up?

  • Instructors will work with students to reschedule any examinations or activities that were planned for these days
  • Two extra days will not be added to the academic calendar.

Will campus employees be paid for the day?

  • Thursday, December 11 and Friday, December 12 will be treated as a regular paid days for all employees, whether or not they were able to come into work.
  • The same will apply for hourly employees, i.e. they will still be paid and should submit timesheets for scheduled hours as if they worked today (unless today was a scheduled day off or they were using sick leave).

Will the public-facing events planned on campus for Thursday and Friday be rescheduled?

  • The Dolores Huerta lecture will be rescheduled in the spring.
  • The District Strategic Planning session will be rescheduled for January.
  • We will advise new dates for the other events as soon as they are confirmed.

Please direct any additional questions to Skyline College’s Office of Marketing, Communications and Public Relations at or (650) 738-4346.


TRiO End Of Semester Celebration

Trio End of Semester Celebration 1Last Friday, December 5, TRiO-SSS celebrated the close of a successful Fall semester of academic prosperity through a cultural potluck. This event allowed students, faculty, and staff to celebrate a wealth of cultural literacy through conversation, song, stories, and food! This year’s Potluck Celebration was no exception, as we shared food from a host of geographical regions and ethnic frameworks, including Persian, Italian, Greek, Mexican and a broad swath of American dishes. The variety of food was also demonstrated in the desserts, a vehicle for rich conversation on historical understanding.

trio end of yearDuring the event, students and staff engaged in an activity where they shared the genesis behind their respective holidays and how they are celebrated in their families and cultures. Dr. Regina Stanback Stroud, President of Skyline College, graciously joined in the lively discussion around the importance of community-building and culture-sharing. It was a great time for reflection!

We want to thank all students and staff who contributed to make this wonderful event a reality

Article by Daniel Erazo | Photos by Cindy Castillo

International Student Workshop A Success

International StudentsAs part of International Education Week 2014, the International Student Program (ISP) hosted a workshop for the international students at Skyline College. The invitation was extended to all international students currently on campus and the event was well attended, despite the rain.

During the workshop, Wissem Bennani, ISP Manager, gave a presentation on job opportunities for international students during their study here at Skyline College and after their graduation. Andrea Vizenor, Director of the Retail, Hospitality and Tourism Program, joined the workshop as a guest speaker, introducing the new initiatives in her program and inviting students to attend the 2014 Bay Region Hospitality Summit – an exciting opportunity offered to Skyline College students. Following the presentations, students had a chance to mingle with ISP staff members and fellow international students.

Student feedback was positive as most of the information given at the workshop was new to them. One student from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) commented “I am glad that I attended the workshop today. I did not know I could legally stay here and work after my graduation!”

International Education Week is an opportunity to celebrate the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide. Skyline College currently hosts 110 international students from over 30 countries, including China, Saudi Arabia, France, Brazil and Indonesia to name but a few!

If you are interested in learning more about future ISP programs and events, contact ISP Manager, Wissem Bennani at

Article and Photo by Chikako Walker

TRiO Participates in “Project Connect” Transfer Day at San Francisco State

trio project connectOn Wednesday, November 5, 2014, TRiO Student Support Services took 25 students for a campus visit to San Francisco State University during the 9th Annual Bay Area Community College Transfer Day.

The event was kicked off by signature events, courtesy of the Project Connect Associated Student Initiative that serves historically marginalized communities from first-generation, low-income backgrounds. TRiO SSS students enjoyed a comprehensive tour of the campus led by admission representatives and student liaisons. Additionally, Kenneth Monteiro, Dean of the College of Ethnic Studies, delivered a keynote address underscoring the correlation between social justice and historical relays of power discussed in Ethnic Studies courses.

The event was a pivotal opportunity for students to learn about other additional resources beyond the classroom during breakout sessions. The SFSU Study Abroad office, scholarship liaisons, Liberal Arts and Creative Arts Departments, and the Colleges of Health, Business, Engineering and Teacher Education all hosted workshops. Jasari X, community organizer and hip hop artist, facilitated a special spoken word presentation and interactive dialectic on the school-to-prison pipeline.

The Bay Area Transfer Day program closed with a session led by current undergraduates at San Francisco State who shared their personal experiences and provided a glimpse into navigating the nuanced milieu of higher education as a first-generation student.

Article and photo by Arash Daneshzadeh

TRiO-SSS, SparkPoint, Financial Aid Office Partner for 2014 “TRiO Family Night”

Trio Family NightOn Thursday, November 6, TRiO Student Support Services hosted 102 students and their family members at SSS Family Night.

The evening commenced with introductions and philosophical vision statements made by members of the TRiO team. Rooted in the philosophy of community building through synergized interests, new members of the extended TRiO family were welcomed by the TRiO SSS Student Ambassadors, and discussed overcoming obstacles facing first-generation, low-income students over a savory Hawaiian barbecue dinner.

Trio Family nIGHT 2As well, Family Night integrated several educational components, thanks to our gracious colleagues from the Financial Aid Office and the SparkPoint Center who facilitated two 45-minute workshops on scholarships and financial literacy, respectively.

Thanks to the generosity of our friends at the Skyline College Bookstore, Family Night ended with an opportunity drawing which featured prizes that accented the college culture theme.

Trio Family Night 3Please Note: TRiO is now accepting New Student Applications for the 2014-2015 school year. Please refer students who may benefit from TRiO services while spaces are still available. Returning students who wish to continue their TRiO services are advised to complete a Returning TRiO Student Form at the Enrollment Center of Building 5, and to schedule their first counseling appointment for the fall semester.

For more information, please contact Judith Cheung at or call 650-738-4144.

Article by Arash Daneshzadeh

Giving Thanks and Hands-On Learning – Bécalos Program

Becalos at ExploratoriumOn Monday, November 24 the Bécalos students took part in a Skyline College Thanksgiving Feast.  For the majority of students, this was their first opportunity to sample classic American Thanksgiving dishes like roast turkey, glazed sweet potatoes, stuffing, and pumpkin pie. Students, faculty and staff alike came together to share a meal and speak about what they were thankful for, both in their personal lives and within the Skyline College community. It was a wonderful opportunity to break bread and celebrate the season among a group of newly established friends. The students also used the occasion to combine classic American and traditional Mexican dishes from their homes to share home cooked meals with fellow Bécalos colleagues on Thanksgiving Day.

becalos at estmTo kick off December, Bruce Greenstein, Assistant Professor in the Environmental Science & Technology Building Science Program led the students on a tour of the Solar & Building Science Learning Center. Students were provided with information on sustainable and energy efficient construction options.  They enjoyed walking through the Residential House Model, followed by the Solar Electronics and Insulation Labs for a hands-on view of  state-of-the-art building solutions.

On Sunday, December 7, the students continued the trend of applied learning with a trip to the Exploratorium Museum on “The Science of Sharing” Day. Students touched, smelled, listened to and viewed numerous exhibits at the museum. A highlight of the trip was a visit to the Fog Bridge experiment, which allows visitors to stand on a bridge surrounded by a blanket of misty, cool air. This is a chance to experience a layer of fog as if standing on the Golden Gate Bridge during the early morning hours. It was truly a San Francisco treat!

For more information on the Bécalos Program, please contact Pcyeta Stroud at

Article by Alessandra Zanassi | Photos by Alessandra Zanassi and Liezl Madrona.

Coming Up…

Friday, December 12, 2014

Saturday, December 13, 2014

  • 12:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m., Wrestling, CCCAA State Championships, San Luis Obispo
  • 1:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m., Men’s Basketball v. TBA at Skyline College Basketball Tournament, Skyline College
  • 2:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m., Women’s Basketball at Fresno City Tournament, Fresno

Sunday, December 14, 2014

  • 12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m., Men’s Basketball v. Skyline College Basketball Tournament, Skyline College
  • 12:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m., Women’s Basketball at Fresno City Tournament, Fresno

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

  • 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., Covered California Application Assistance, Skyline College, Building 1, 2nd Floor, Room 1214

Friday, December 19, 2014

  • Day and Evening Classes End
  • 1:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m., Women’s Basketball at City College of San Francisco Tournament, City College of San Francisco
  • 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m., Men’s Basketball at Hartnell College, Hartnell College

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 Jennifer Owen-Blackmon via email at

Hospitality ADVANCE Helps Hotel Industry Workforce Succeed through Language Development

Hospitality Advance ReceptionThe Hospitality and Tourism Management Program at Skyline College joined forces with the Language Arts Division to develop hospitality-specific language development training.

As part of the Retail, Hospitality, and Tourism Initiative, Andrea Vizenor, Deputy Sector Navigator, worked with hotel industry leaders to identify specific training needs within their companies to advance the sector’s workforce in San Mateo County. Through a series of collaborative sessions, it was evident that a need existed to increase the English language skills of incumbent workers in major hotels such as the Hilton, Hyatt, Marriott and Best Western.

Industry leaders were excited to join a session led by Vizenor to outline the essential skills and competencies that would be important to include in this type of training.  ESOL Professor Serena Chu-Mraz also joined the session and provided great insight and interest in the project.

As a result, Hospitality ADVANCE, a 12-module training program for Hotel and Hospitality incumbent workers was created.  It is a dynamic training program that integrates English language development competencies with a set of essential hotel operations skills and competencies.

Professor Chu-Mraz and the Hospitality and Tourism Management Program team partnered to develop the curriculum and training materials. The program also imbeds skills essential to prepare trainees to take the exam needed to earn the Certified Guest Service Professional, industry-recognized credential offered through the American Hotel and Lodging Association.

Through the interest and added funding provided by the Allies Grant project awarded to the SMWIB, Professor Chu-Mraz was able to pilot the training program at the Best Western El Rancho Inn and Executive Suites in Millbrae for 9 of their employees and 2 adult school students interested in pursuing a career in hotels.  Upon completion of the training, 11 individuals earned a certificate of completion and a celebration was held to recognize everyone’s efforts.

The leadership of the Best Western El Rancho Inn and Executive Suites are very impressed with the increased confidence of their team, outcomes of this project, increased communication skills and the added cohesiveness of their team members this experience provided.

Professor Chu-Mraz’s enthusiasm, commitment and talent invested in this project and its delivery have been invaluable to its success.

Hospitality ADVANCE will also provide valuable training that will be able to be offered at Adult Schools as a bridge component to the new Hospitality and Tourism Management Program at Skyline College.

For more information, please contact: Andrea Vizenor at

 Article and photo by Elizabeth Tablan

Hospitality SUMMIT Underscores Regional Importance of Hospitality & Tourism

Hospitality Summit GroupThe Hospitality SUMMIT was held on December 5 at the Marriott SFO Waterfront Hotel. Dr. Stanback-Stroud, President of Skyline College welcomed close to 130 participants and was joined by Anne LeClair, President and CEO of San Mateo/Silicon Valley CVB, who spoke about the importance the hospitality and tourism industry plays on our local and regional economy and the many exciting career opportunities that exist here.

Andrea Vizenor, Deputy Sector Navigator facilitated the event which provided engaging and interactive training for participants from three major industry leaders.

Hospitality Summit PresentersThe morning session was led by Lynn Carpenter, VP of Marketing for Visit California, where she shared the array of marketing strategies used to position California as a top choice destination among business travelers and tourists throughout the world.  She spoke about the importance of international tourism and the many opportunities that exist in growing international markets.

Second to take the stage was Clif Clark, General Manager with Marriott. He discussed major plans within the company to take the brand to the next level. Topics included: major room design modifications, loyalty guest program changes, strategies to attract the millennial travelers, and the utilization of smart phone key access to guest rooms.

Alexandra Valentin, a trainer from The Ritz Carlton Leadership Series led the afternoon session where she taught attendees the necessary skills needed to deliver “Memorable Customer Service”, showcasing strategies utilized by the luxury brand.

Among the attendees were community college and CSU faculty, high school teachers in culinary and hospitality and community college and CSU students.

Over 30 Skyline College students were in attendance. Professor Nathan Jones accompanied a group of ASTEP students who are interested in the Hospitality and Tourism Program as well as students from Professor Dupre’s Counseling 100 classes.

This event provided an exciting opportunity for educators to gain skills they can utilize to advance programs and ensure they have relevant knowledge necessary in the industry to integrate into course content.  Students equipped themselves with a variety of skills and knowledge that will be valuable as they progress through their educational programs, prepare for work-based learning experiences and enter the workforce.

It was also a fabulous opportunity to promote Skyline College’s new Hospitality and Tourism Management Program.  This event was made possible through the Retail, Hospitality and Tourism “Learn and Earn” grant awarded to Skyline College in August of 2013.

For more Information, please contact:  Andrea Vizenor at

Article by Elizabeth Tablan | Photo by Nicole Ruggiero

Holiday Appreciation Reception on Dec 17

As the year ends and many take time to celebrate the holiday season or simply relax and reflect, President Stanback Stroud would like to express her sincere gratitude to the Skyline College family and community.

Please join us for desserts in the Hosting Gallery from 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, December 17, 2014.

  • Location – Hosting Gallery
  • Date – Wednesday, December 17, 2014
  • Time – 2:00 – 3:00 p.m.