Monthly Archives: February 2015

SPARC Committee Discusses Steps to Increase Revenues for the College

The Strategic Planning and Allocation of Resources Committee met on February 26, 2015. Eloisa Briones (VP Administrative Services), Kate Browne (Academic Senate President), and Aaron McVean (Dean of Planning, Research and Institutional Effectiveness) co-chaired the meeting.

An update was provided on the District Strategic Planning process. Following the forum held on February 12, feedback on gaps that were identified during that work session was provided to the District steering committee for consideration. Everyone is invited to the next District Strategic Planning Forum that will be held on Wednesday, March 18 at 2:00 p.m.

Executive Vice Chancellor Kathy Blackwood presented the highlights of the Governor’s 2015-16 Budget Proposal and noted implications for the District. Should the proposal to pay down outstanding mandate claims get approved, the District will receive about $6 million in one-time unrestricted funds for 2015-16. Vice Chancellor Blackwood also shared multi-year budget projections from 2015-16 to 2017-18, using assumptions based on current information. Revenues are projected to increase over the next three years. However, projected expenditures will exceed revenue increases during the same time period, leaving the District in a potential deficit situation. Seeking additional revenues and looking for cost savings will be the strategy to avoid that eventuality. Kathy reminded SPARC that changes should be expected until the budget is finalized.

Vice President of Administrative Services Eloisa Briones then presented the three-year projection for Skyline College. Using the new resource allocation model that will be implemented beginning next year, the College’s General Unrestricted Fund 1 allocation is projected to decline. Similar to the District as a whole, expenditures are projected to continue to increase, leaving the College facing significant deficits by mid-2016-17 if proactive steps are not taken. Steps being considered to increase revenues and decrease expenditures were discussed in response to these projections.

The final allocation projection for the 2015-16 year will be released following approval of the final State budget in June.

SPARC will meet again on March 19, 2015.

Article by Eloisa Briones and Aaron McVean

Traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall Comes to San Bruno

Vietnam Wall FlyerThe half-scale, traveling replica of the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington D.C. is coming to the Bay Area from April 9-10, 2015 at the Golden Gate National Cemetery in  San Bruno. The organizers are looking for event volunteers and sponsors.

SMCCCD and Skyline College will have a large presence at the event and our facilities department under the leadership of Vice Chancellor José Nuñez  will be there to assist with the set up and take down.  The Veterans Club will also be seeking ASSC sponsorship of $2,000.

The event organizers are in need of a volunteers and support in many areas and planning meetings are scheduled at 10 a.m. on the first and third Saturdays of each month beginning January 17 until April 4 in the Golden Gate National Cemetery Maintenance Conference Room.

Article by Regina Stanback Stroud

Skyline College Lecture Series Presents Dr. Joy DeGruy on March 5

Joy DegruyDr. Joy DeGruy, internationally renowned researcher, educator and author of Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome, will be lecturing at Skyline College on Thursday, March 5 at 11:00 a.m. in Building 6, Room 6202.

Dr. Joy DeGruy is a nationally and internationally renowned researcher, educator, author and presenter. With over twenty years of practical experience as a professional in the field of social work, she gives practical insight into various cultural and ethnic groups that form the basis of contemporary American society.

Dr. DeGruy’s workshops also go far beyond the topic of cultural sensitivity and diversity; she provides specialized work in areas of mental health and ecological resilience. Her seminars have been lauded as the most dynamic and inspirational currently being presented on the topics of culture, race relations and contemporary social issues. She is a tell-it-like-it-is ambassador for healing and a voice for those who’ve struggled in search of the past, and continue to struggle through the present.

Dr. Joy Angela DeGruy holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Communications, a master’s degree in Social Work (MSW), a master’s degree in Psychology, and a Ph.D. in Social Work Research. She currently serves as an Assistant Professor of Research at Portland State University and is a member of the International faculty for London’s Department of Health.​

Some may recall that Dr. DeGruy was featured in Shakti Butler’s Documentary Cracking the Codes. View an excerpt from the clip: “A Trip to the Grocery Store.”

Learn more about Dr. DeGruy and her work.

Article by Jenni Owen-Blackmon and Nathan Jones

Faculty and Staff Invited to Participate in the Faculty Evaluations Training

The Skyline College Evaluation Guidance Committee would like to invite all faculty and education administrators for a training that will cover the new guidelines and process in place for faculty evaluations (Appendix G of the faculty contract). Timelines, observations, student surveys, dean’s assessments, mandatory self-assessments and portfolios will be reviewed. The training, while beneficial for all, will be especially helpful for those being evaluated, serving as evaluators and/or serving on Division Evaluation Committees in the spring semester.

The training will take place on Wednesday, March 4 from 2:00p.m. – 3:30p.m. in Building 4, Room 4148. Professor Kate Browne, Professor Joaquin Rivera, and Dean Joe Morello will facilitate the training in collaboration with the CTTL and Professional Development Coordinator, Nina L. Floro. If you have questions, please feel free to contact Joe Morello at (650) 738-4271 or by email at

Article by Joe Morello

Chinese New Year Celebration a Success, Events Continue Next Week

Speaker SeriesThe 2015 Skyline College Chinese New Year celebration was another success that drew many participants. The February 23 event featured President Regina Stanback Stroud’s rousing welcoming speech, an exciting Lion dance, a Kung Fu showcase by the Shaolin Culture Center of San Mateo, a Chinese food fest and a traditional Chinese movie.

The event was hosted by the Skyline College Asian Studies Center along with the International Student Program.  The event was funded thanks to the President’s Innovation Fund. Dr. Hui Pate served as the Emcee during the festivities.

The Skyline College Asian Studies Center and International Trade program are hosting an executive Speaker Series on Monday, March 2 from 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. in the Multicultural Center in Building 4. Principal Zhang of Hebei No. 42 High School, Hebei Province, China will provide a presentation on intercultural communication through her first-hand experience working with both inbound international students and outbound Chinese students. Participants will also have the opportunity to speak one-on-one with her 10 Chinese student delegates.

Article by Hui Pate

Transfer Advocate Career Panel & Program Orientation

Transfer Advocate PanelThe Transfer Advocate Program has teamed up with Counseling 100 Faculty to host Transfer Advocate Career Panels. Through the panels, students have learned about the educational paths and experiences of our faculty and staff Transfer Advocates. Students have asked insightful questions and have walked away from the panels learning more about themselves and about how they think about their futures.

Students received assignments to reach out to Transfer Advocates on campus who either attended the campus of their choice or have a major or career that the student is interested in. The first two panels were hosted on February 18 and 25 and the final panel of the semester will be on Tuesday, March 10.

On Wednesday, February 25, the Transfer Center hosted its second Transfer Advocate Program Orientation. A new group of advocates was oriented to the program, moving the program closer to its goal of reaching 100 advocates on campus. Currently, the program has just over 50 participants, including President Stanback Stroud!

Are you interested in becoming a Transfer Advocate or hosting a panel in one of your classes?  Please contact Michele Haggar at

Article and photo submitted by Suzanne Poma

WOW! Voices Now Event Celebrates Creative Writing at Skyline College

WOW EventSkyline College faculty, staff, and students welcomed writers and readers from throughout the Bay Area to the campus on Saturday, February 21 for WOW! Voices Now, an annual literary event showcasing the accomplishments of women writers.  Kathleen McClung, adjunct professor of English, served as creative director and event coordinator for the sixth year.

More than eighty audience members of all ages listened closely to keynote speakers Natalie Baszile and Eileen Malone as they presented their work and engaged in lively Q&A.  Baszile read from her debut novel, Queen Sugar, which focuses on an urban African-American woman and her daughter who move from Los Angeles to Louisiana after inheriting a sugar cane farm.  Baszile spoke movingly about the eleven-year period she spent working on the novel and the strategies she used to persist in her creative project.  She spoke one-on-one with audience members and signed dozens of copies of her novel, which is being adapted to a television series by executive producers Oprah Winfrey and Ava DuVernay.

Eileen Malone, author of I Should Have Given Them Water and Letters with Taloned Claws, has published over 500 poems in literary journals and anthologies and has won numerous awards, including three Pushcart Prizes.  She serves as a writing contest director, television interviewer, book reviewer, and mental health activist.  During her presentation, she read a series of powerful poems ranging in tone from fierce to tender to funny, and she spoke of the essential, often healing role that writing plays for people struggling with mental illness or substance abuse within families.  As she signed books, she provided information about the Soul-Making Keats Literary Competition, which she founded and directs. She encouraged WOW participants to submit entries and attend the annual awards reading at the San Francisco Main Library in March.

Skyline College creative writing professors Katharine Harer and Rob Williams presented awards to outstanding creative writing students Erin Perry and Daniela Tabora, who each read original poems and received enthusiastic ovations from the crowd, along with gift bags containing books and certificates. WOW! Founder Marijane Datson told the audience that the ISA Awards honor the memory of Isabelle (Isa) Maynard, a featured author at the first WOW! Conference in 2003 whose creative accomplishments spanned many decades and literary genres.

Fourteen writers, including Skyline College creative writing professors Jessica Powers and Rob Williams, read poems, short stories and memoirs during the open reading.  Professor Harer emceed this portion of the program, which featured pieces ranging from meditations on banana slugs, cats, and horses to narratives of transcendent moments in hospitals and churches.

One Skyline College student said about the event, “Not only did it inspire me to start writing more and devote more time to the craft, but it also refreshed my passion to be able to make it to the stage as well. I want to be up there—hopefully someday soon—reading my writing out loud to an audience.”

Thanks to Mary Gutiérrez, Dean of Language Arts, and Kevin Chak, Skyline Bookstore Manager, as well as WOW! Ambassadors Priscilla Schwartz, Valerie Malliett, Tom McAninley, and caterer John Alvergue.

Article by Kathleen McClung | Photo by Tom McAninley

TRiO Celebrates 50 Years at National TRIO Day

Trio Day 1 On Saturday, February 11, approximately 100 students from the TRiO Student Support Services (SSS) program planned and participated in an all-day National TRiO Day conference at Cañada College. The event celebrated five decades of TRiO programs nationwide.

According to the 1968 Congressional resolution, National TRiO Day is meant to “[focus the nation’s] attention on the needs of disadvantaged young people and adults aspiring to improve their lives, and to the necessary investment if they are to become contributing citizens of the country.” The day was also commemorated on social media, using Twitter, under the national hashtag of #NTD2015.

National TRiO Day highlights included:

  • A keynote address/Q&A with TRiO alumnus—and youngest city council member in California history—Stanford adjunct Michael Tubbs;
  • Student panels meant to raise awareness and draw attention to best practices among TRiO students and staff;
  • A resource and college fair that featured several programs from Skyline College including Retail, Hospitality, and Tourism Management;
  • Professional workshops that aimed to address key issues germane to first-generation, low-income, and disabled students including text anxiety, alumni transition into four-year institutions, and personal statement writing.

Trio Day 1Upcoming trips include a visit to Santa Clara University on Friday, March 6, a Student Empowerment Conference at Stanford University on Saturday, April 4, and a day of service in partnership with the San Francisco Food Bank on Friday, April 3. TRiO Students may register with the TRiO office in the Learning Center in Building 5.

Trio Day 1**NOTE: TRiO is still accepting applications for the 2014-2015 academic year. Spaces are limited, so qualified first-generation, four-year degree bound students are encouraged to apply by visiting the TRiO-SSS office in the Learning Center in Building 5, or online on our website

Article by Arash Daneshzadeh

African American Experience and Social Justice Panel Continues Dialogue

African American Experience 1The Associated Students of Skyline College (ASSC) hosted an African American Experience and Social Justice Panel on Thursday, February 19, in honor of African American Heritage Month. The panel featured Skyline College student Dessaline Douglas, ASSC President Nicole Harris, Professor Paul Bolick and Dr. Tony Jackson. ASSC Commissioner of Activities, Marlon Gaytan Jr. organized the event and facilitated the discussion.

Each panelist offered a unique perspective on what it means to be a black American in today’s social climate. Some of the topics that were discussed include the Black Lives Matter movement in Oakland, the psychological anxieties regarding the traumatic effects of racism, an analysis of the media as a biased reporter on political issues and praise for Skyline College as a leader in multicultural education and social justice advocacy.

African American Experience 1The ninety-minute panel was well-attended with students interested in learning about contemporary social issues. The discussion sparked a lively Q & A session at the end of the event with thoughtful questions about how the young generation can keep momentum going for social justice.

Skyline College student Davante Cade summarized the event in honor of African American Heritage Month as “insightful and informative.”

Article by Marlon Gaytan Jr. | photos by Albert Ramos and John Saenz

Afia Walking Tree Comes to Skyline College to Lead Students in a Unique Drum Djam

Drum Circle 1 On Monday, February 23, the Associated Students of Skyline College (ASSC) hosted a drum circle with activist, educator and performer Afia Walking Tree. Students had the opportunity to play authentic, African percussion instruments for a 90-minute session. A map of Africa was projected as a visual aid for the stories that were told about the African Diaspora. Afia Walking Tree also spoke about the history of drums and drumming, their cultural-historical significance, African greetings and call and response, their empowering affects, and how rural life added value to the drum as a musical instrument, a medium for communication, and even as a vessel for storing valuables.

Skyline College student Jay Miller said he learned about “the history behind the drum in Africa and how it translated across different continents.”

Drum Circle 2The ASSC promoted the event in a lively fashion, carrying large drums into the Fireside Dining Room and spontaneously pounding rhythms that caught the attention of students. The energy during the event was exciting, soulful and so loud that the music resonated all through Building 6.

Skyline College student Vanessa Aragon said she felt “alive and empowered.”

The Drum Djam was definitely a memorable event and will keep our hearts beating in unity as a Skyline College community.

Article by Marlon Gaytan Jr. | Photos by John Saenz and Albert Ramos