Monthly Archives: April 2015

Governance:  College Governance Committee

The College Governance Council met on Wednesday, April 22, 2015 from 2:10-4:00 pm, in Building 4, Room 4343.  In attendance was Eloisa Briones, Kate Williams Browne, Nicole Harris, Sarah Perkins, Regina Stanback Stroud, Alana Utsumi, and Dennis Zheng.

Approval of Minutes

The February 25 and March 19, 2015 minutes were approved. (M/S/U Perkins/Briones) Unanimously.

Academic Senate Report

Academic Senate President Kate Williams Browne reported about the recent Academic Senate Plenary held April 9-11, 2015 in Burlingame.

Academic Senate for CA Community Colleges Spring Session 2015 – April 9-11, 2015

“Thriving Under Pressure” – Kate Williams Browne


Below please find the activities that align with the outcomes outlined below. We reported to Academic Senate 4/16, and to College Council 4/22.

Outcome Action
Achieve an understanding of the proposed new Discipline Areas *Attended Discipline Hearings, discussed results with local Senate reps who also attended:  SSCA Rep Tatiana Irwin [African-American Studies], BEPP Rep Shawna Whitney [Supply Chain Technology], and Professional Personnel Chair Zack Bruno & Secretary Leigh Anne Shaw [DSPS & LD].
Become more proficient in leadership at the local level. *Met with Leadership Mentor John Freitas about my goals and upcoming attendance at June Academic Senate Leadership Conference.*Keynote Presentation on Why Race & Culture matters by Dr. Tyrone C. Howard [UCLA]
Engage in issues of Curriculum and Faculty Professional Development *Attended Breakout session on Bringing the entire institution together, regarding the ‘silo effect’ and how to overcome it*Attended Breakout session on shifting path of professional development

*Participated in a cross-college discussion with DAS President Diana Bennett, Skyline Secretary Leigh Anne Shaw, CSM President David Laderman and Canada President Doug Hirshey about planning an all-Senate study session/retreat with State Senate Executive Board member Kale Braden [Chair, Relations w/Local Senates Committee]. Purpose: to compare updated Local Senates Handbook with our organizations and consider review/revision of our local senates.

Attain a better understanding of Chancellor’s Office and Legislative/Advocacy Issues Attended Panel Discussion: the impact of the task force on workforce, job creation & a strong economy


In addition, Kate reported that the following took place at recent Academic Senate meetings:

  • President Stanback Stroud about current college issues including both construction and faculty hiring;
  • PRIE Dean McVean and SPARC Co-chair Briones about District Strategic Plan and general Budget update;
  • Distance Education Committee Chair Bridget Fischer & ASLT Dean Jonathan Paver about the DE Certification drafts, and an ad hoc group of Clair, Steele, & Whitney will work on issues/ideas of interest & report next meeting.
  • The Academic Senate will be selecting Meyer Award winner, appointing a Commencement Faculty Marshall,  and taking nominations for Officer Elections at our next meeting (May 7).  The position of president is a two-year position held by Kate Williams Browne for 2014-2016.  All remaining open positions include: Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Curriculum Committee Chair, Educational Policy Chair, Professional Personnel Chair, and Research Chair.
  • The Academic Senate will be participating in the End-of-Year celebration (May 15).  President Browne will be attending the Scholarship Awards event (May 14) and both President Browne & Vice-President Fredricks will attend Commencement (May 29).


Classified Senate Report

The Skyline College Classified Senate has been working throughout this academic year to construct, edit, and finalize a district-wide Code of Ethics for Classified Staff.  We are now about to embark on the final voting process with our last draft, revised after feedback was taken from each campus group.  A majority vote will approve or disapprove, at which point we’ll move on to another edit, or move forward to bring it to administration at each campus.

  1. We are trying to begin a regular “volunteer day” for classified staff, where we would plan in advance to take part in a city clean-up project or the like on a weekend.  We hope to have an online system in place that allows staff to take a poll on which dates work for them, then we would schedule the one date with the most votes.  We hope to have at least one project each semester.
  2. Skyline College sent 15 staff members to the annual Classified Staff Retreat in Santa Rosa in April.  They took part in the program entitled “Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace,” which focused on learning how to handle yourself, your emotions, and your working relationships to help improve and maintain professional interaction.  Employees gained valuable insight not only into themselves and their communication, but also into interacting with co-workers, students, supervisors and friends.
  3. We were just notified that we have been awarded a “Model Senate of the Year” honor by the state organization, 4CS (California Community College Classified Senate,) which has over 100 schools in its membership.  4CS describes a model senate as one which:
    1. Is a participatory governance body elected by its constituents
    2. Operates professionally under bylaws and/or a constitution approved by its constituency
    3. Has a copy of their current bylaws/constitution on file with 4CS
    4. Is recognized by the college administration as a governance participant
    5. Has an up to date website
    6. Encourages a cooperative working and professional relationship with a collective bargaining agents (if one exists) and considers input or concerns of such groups
    7. Is organized to actively engaged in the shared governance process
    8. Communicates routinely with 4CS

We will be able to accept our award in person at the annual Classified Leadership Institute in June, at which we will have 5 staff members in attendance.

Associated Student Body of Skyline College Report

Dennis Zheng, Vice President of ASSC, reported on events that will be taking place for Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month in April and May.

Nicole Harris, President of ASSC, shared that it is election time for the ASSC.  Candidates can pick up packets until next Tuesday, April 28 and they are due Wednesday, April 29.  The elections will be held either the first or second week of May.

Skyline Shines Award

Regina Stanback Stroud reported that the month of May is when we nominate the Skyline Shines nominees.  There is one nominee from the Community who can be a community member or a group/business and one nominee from Skyline College and that can be an individual or department/group.  Anyone can make a nomination for one or both categories.

The nomination forms will be available in April and May with a deadline of Friday, May 15th for submission to the President’s Office.  At the end of May the CGC reviews the nomination form and decides who the honorees will be for 2015.  The honorees are announced at the Skyline College August Opening Day event.

Wednesday, May 27th from 12:45-1:15 was selected as the date and time when the CGC will meet to discuss the nominations.

SPARC Committee

Aaron McVean, Dean of PRIE, reported to the CGC regarding a recommendation from SPARC to the CGC.  The SPARC committee last week unanimously recommended that the CGC approve the following two items: (a) adopt the Institutional Effectiveness Framework of indicators, and (b) establish the 70% course completion goal for Academic Year 2015/16, “Reaffirmed/ No Action” Accreditation Status, and the two goals set by the District for “Fund Balance” and Audit Findings.”

Approve the following two items: (a) adopt the Institutional Effectiveness Framework, and (b) establish the 70% course completion goal for Academic Year 2015/16

Adopt the Institutional Effectiveness framework (M/S/U Nicole Harris/Alana Utsumi) Unanimously

Establish IE Course Completion Benchmark at 70% (M/S/U Alana Utsumi/Sarah Perkins) Unanimously

Establish IE Accreditation Status Benchmark at Reaffirmation (M/S/U Kate Williams Browne/Eloisa Briones)


President Stanback Stroud announced to CGC that the Dean of GLPS, Richard Soyombo, passed away recently. He, indeed, was larger than life and had an impact around the world.  We all will miss him dearly.  She will be sharing information regarding services once she hears from the family.

Vice President of Instruction Dr. Perkins reported that Skyline College is on track to complete the Associate Degree for Transfer (ADT) to meet the state deadline for submitting degree materials well in advance of the deadline.  Congratulations to the Faculty and Deans.

President of Classified Senate Alana Utsumi reminded the Council that Saturday, April 25th is the Relay for Life being held at Capuchino High School in San Bruno. PTK has a team named “Skyline Striders”.

Vice President of Administrative Services Eloisa Briones invited the Council to attend the second in a series of forums regarding Capital Improvement.  The forum will be held Thursday, April 23 from 2:30-4:00 p.m. in room 4170.

Meeting Adjourned

(M/S/U Alana Utsumi/Kate Williams Browne) Unanimously

Article by Theresa Tentes

SPARC Committee Hosts Meeting on District Strategic Plan

The Strategic Planning & Allocation of Resources Committee met on April 30, 2015.  Vice President of Administrative Services Eloisa Briones, Academic Senate President Kate Brown and Dean of Planning, Research and Institutional Effectiveness Aaron McVean co-chaired the meeting.

District Strategic Plan

Dean of Planning, Research and Institutional Effectiveness Aaron McVean provided an update about the District Strategic Plan. This plan weaves together elements of the three colleges’ plans as well as Board directives, and will be our guiding document for the next five years. Addressed in the document are the four strategic goals, metrics (a.k.a. benchmarks) and district-wide strategies. The four strategic goals are: (1) develop and strengthen new educational offerings, interventions, and support programs that increase student success; (2) establish and expand relationships with school districts, four-year college partners, and community based organizations to increase higher education attainment throughout San Mateo County; (3) expand program delivery options including the expanded use of instructional technology to support student learning and scheduling options; and (4) increase entrepreneurial actions across the district to provide new revenue sources.

Three forums have been held to solicit campus input, and the fourth and final one will be next Tuesday, May 5, from 2:30 – 4:00 p.m. in Room 6-202. The presidents, researchers and Executive Vice Chancellor Kathy Blackwood will review the process so far and will provide handouts with the goals, metrics and strategies for your feedback.  You may read the entire draft report at  It is still a draft and your input is important to its final version!  More information is on the Strategic Planning website at

Report from District Committee on Budget and Finance

Barbara Lamson and Linda Whitten reported highlights of the DCBF discussions during its meeting on April 21, 2015.  Executive Vice Chancellor Kathy Blackwood announced that actual state revenues far exceed the LAO projections by $1.3 billion and that the proposed statutory COLA was reduced from $1.58% to 1.2%. There is an expectation that one-time funds will be allocated, the question is how.  As a community-supported district, SMCCCD will not receive any funding that goes into the base allocation.  It would if these funds are allocated as restricted.  We will know more after the May Revise.

2015-2016 Tentative Budget

Vice President of Administrative Services Eloisa Briones reviewed the changes in the district budget assumptions that Executive Vice Chancellor Kathy Blackwood made and presented to SPARC during its April 8th meeting.  The revisions resulted in a significant reduction of the projected district deficit over the next three years.  As a result, site allocations are not reduced, but slightly increase over the same period.  Kathy still advised the three colleges to budget cautiously and to continue to delay hiring. We are optimistic that there will be one-time funds when the May Revise is announced.

Using Kathy’s revised projections, Eloisa updated and presented the college’s three-year projections to show how the college budget would look like considering the expiration of Measure G funding and diminishing allocations for Prop 30. These revised projections show that the college will still face a deficit assuming not all vacant positions are replaced.  The committee requested Eloisa to present different scenarios for review at the next meeting.  As part of its charge, SPARC will review these scenarios and make a recommendation to the College Governance Council of a balanced tentative budget for 2015-2016.

Next Meeting

The next scheduled meeting is on May 14, 2015.

Campus Facilities Planning is Underway

Skyline College held the second of an on-going series of campus forums on April 23 to review the status and progress of the college’s Capital Improvement Projects (CIP).  The District Facilities Planning and Operations Team, led by Vice Chancellor José Nuñez, reviewed the CIP planning process and behind the scenes activities currently underway since the passage of the $388 Million Measure H bond in November 2014.

Vice Chancellor Nuñez presented a Facilities Master Plan Map and described the larger projects planned for the campus.  The Skyline College project list includes demolition of Building 1-Social Science/Creative Arts and subsequent new construction of that building, and new construction of an Environmental Science Building and an Energy Management Building, along with other projects.  Phase 1 construction will likely begin in 2016.

Karen Powell, Executive Director of Facilities Maintenance & Operations, reviewed the process of a construction project from start to finish.  Faculty and staff will be engaged when building user groups are formed, where they will have the opportunity to provide recommendations to the design teams.

SMCCCD has contracted with Swinerton Management Group to act as the construction management firm providing oversight for the various projects across the district.  José introduced Thomas Fakner who has been assigned as the Swinerton Project Manager for Skyline College projects. José also announced the selection of BCA Architects for the Environmental Science Building, and Sally Swanson, Architects Inc. for the Energy Management Building.

Article by Eloisa Briones

ASSC Presents Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month During May

Chinese Watercolor PaintingThe Associated Students of Skyline College is proud to present Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, a series of celebrations to honor the accomplishments and contributions that Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have made throughout history. This year instead of holding a one day celebration, The Associated Students of Skyline College will host multiple events from Monday, April 27 to Wednesday, May 13.  This year our theme focuses on educating our community about the artistic contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. We are excited to showcase renowned artists and performers, and are elated to have Skyline College’s faculty members and student clubs play a part in the creation and facilitation of several of the activities.

Calendar of Events:

Monday, April 27th

  • Origami Art Booth with ASSC and a Taste of Japan; 12PM – 2PM
  • Taiko Performance by GenRyu Arts; 12:15PM – 1:15PM
  • Location: Quad

Tuesday, April 28th

  • Tai Chi Workshop taught by Skyline’s own Ronda Wimmer; 10AM – 11AM
  • Chinese Tea Tasting Ceremony and sounds of YanQin Zhao from Melody of China; 12PM – 1PM
  • Meditation Workshop taught by Ugyen Dolma of Tibet Stars; 1PM – 2PM
  • Location: Building 6, Rm6-202/ 6-204/ 6-206

Monday, May 4th

  • A Taste of the Islands; Hula Performance by Kalani Viloria and Anjelica Gacutan; 12PM – 1PM
  • Lei Making Workshop taught by Leah of Aloha Warehouse; 12PM – 1PM
  • A Sweet treat from the Island of Hawai’i; 1PM
  • Pilipino Culture Night sneak peak presented by Skyline’s PCN class; 1PM – 2PM
  • Location: Quad

Wednesday, May 6th

  • Chinese Paint Workshop taught by ShiPei Zhang and JiaFa Zhou of Art 365; 6PM – 8PM
  • Location: Building 1, Rm1-303

Wednesday, May 13th

  • Bhangra Dancing provided by Rhythms of Punjab; 12PM – 1PM
  • Location: Quad

For more information please visit the Center for Student Life and Leadership Development or email

Article by Dennis Zheng

Beta Theta Omicron in the Top 10 Phi Theta Kappa Chapters

beta theta omicron membersSkyline College’s Omicron Theta Beta Chapter was named Fifth Finalist for Most Distinguished Chapter at the 2015 Phi Theta Kappa Conference in San Antonio on April 18. The Most Distinguished Chapter is an international award and the highest honor given to a Phi Theta Kappa chapter. Skyline College ranks sixth out of 1,280 chapters. Nearly 4,000 community college students participated in the three-day conference that was filled with scholarship and leadership forums. Keynote speakers included physicist Michio Kaku and songwriter John Legend.

“I’m proud of our students and chapter officers for their dedication to excellence and service,” said Christine Case, Phi Theta Kappa Advisor. “This recognizes their outstanding service to our college and the community and makes our chapter one of the top ten chapters in the world.”

Skyline College’s chapter also received the 2015 Distinguished Honors in Action Project and 2015 Distinguished College Project Award. The chapter has consistently earned national recognition since it’s chartering in 1999. And has earned the Nevada/California Regional Distinguished Chapter award five times.

The awards were the result of competitive essays documenting the chapter’s multiple projects this year, including a year-long service project that taught computer literacy to local senior citizens called Together We Thrive and a project that brought science labs to middle schools.

Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society is the largest honor society in American higher education with more than 1,280 chapters at two-year and community college campuses in all 50 of the United States, and Canada, Germany, Peru, the Republic of Palau, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, the British Virgin Islands, the United Arab Emirates and U.S. territorial possessions. There are 94 chapters in California and more than 3 million students have been inducted since its founding in 1918, with approximately 135,000 students inducted annually.

Photo from left: Jaimelynn Alvarez, Sam Reveles, Livius Darmawan (front), Oladipo Toriola, Susan Wu, Donway Sy

Article and Photo by Christine Case

“First Ever Paralegal Career Night a Success!”

Paralegal Career Night PanelOn Thursday, April 16, over 80 guests attended Skyline College’s inaugural Paralegal/Legal Career Night.  The event, held on the second floor of Building 6, featured three discussion panels on legal employment and education: Pathways to Law School, Getting Started as a Paralegal, and Career Options for Paralegals.

The panelists—practicing lawyers and paralegals, legal recruiters, hiring managers, and legal educators—offered inspiring stories, key insights, and hard won professional advice, all with the goal of helping students achieve their goals of entering the legal profession.  The response from students in attendance was positive.

“The truth is that I’ve been questioning my decision in my career choice lately… Attending the career night and talking to one of the panelists help me to keep pushing myself.  So, I just wanted to say thank you!” ~Minh

“I feel much more comfortable with the opportunities that lie ahead … I felt encouraged in my interest in law, motivated by the smart words of so many professionals, and happy to see all of the program’s students gathered in one place together.” ~Bryan

This event was made possible by Skyline College’s support for innovative events and programming and by the hard work and dedication of Jesse Raskin, Soledad McCarthy, Alina Varona, Lavinia Zanassi, and Lezra Chenportillo, and others who helped plan, organize, and staff the event.

The event received generous support from The Career Center and The Center for Workforce Development’s Career Advancement Academy. To learn more about careers in the legal field and the Legal Careers Career Advancement Academy please visit: or email

Article by Alina Varona | Photos by Lezra Chenportillo and Alice Kuo

“Day of Beauty” Relay for Life Fundraiser a Huge Success

Day of Beauty group photoWith more than 100 clients served and $1,000 in donations collected, the Salon & Spa at Skyline College was proud to host a Relay for Life “Day of Beauty” fundraiser on April 15. Cosmetology, Wellness and Esthetics students offered a wide range of services including chair massage, makeup application, manicures and blowouts in exchange for a donation of $5 each. The salon buzzed with excited and energetic students who were happy to donate services for a cause.

Instructional aide Candace Dombkowski, a  Relay for Life participant since 2012, organized the event to support a dear friend battling cancer. “Thanks to the amazing support of our department, the fundraiser was a great success,” said  Candace about the event.

With students and staff alike in purple commemorative t-shirts, the department was thrilled at the generosity of friends and family. Cosmetology & Wellness plans to host another fundraising event in fall for a women’s shelter or other local organization. Thank you to staff, faculty and clients for support, donations and a fun day!

Candace will participate in Relay for Life this Friday and Saturday April 24 and 25. Donations to the Life is Good team of Relay for Life Cambrian can be made here.

Article by Lynsey Hemstreet

Skyline College Welcomes Robert Hackenson to Campus

Student at Sexual Assault Prevention EventThe Skyline College Health Center along with Psychological Services welcomed presenter Robert Hackenson to campus on Thursday, April 16, 2015.  Mr. Hackenson’s presentation is part of a collaborative effort by the Health Services at all three of the colleges in the San Mateo County Community College District to educate our community members on sexual assault prevention.

Mr. Hackenson is a published author and speaker, who travels across the US and Canada giving dynamic and inspirational lectures to college students and professionals alike. His lecture was poignant and unique. The presentation focused on understanding sexual assault and teaching how to avoid it. He was able create a safe environment were the audience felt comfortable participating and sharing their personal experiences.

Mr. Hackenson started the conversation by exploring how we can begin to change the way we think about and approach education regarding sexual assault. He addressed ways in which people can prevent sexual assault, discussed risk management and encouraged bystanders to take action to stop sexual assault. His presentation was captivating and personal and he included illusion and humor into this very serious topic. Those who participated in the presentation left with tools to enhance their personal safety as well as ways to stand up and prevent assaults by ending the derogatory commentary.

Article by Emily Risk

DRC Unveils “Sun Fire” Painting by George Mendoza

Sun Fire by George MendozaThe Disabilities Resource Center was proud to unveil Sun Fire a painting by renowned artist George Mendoza on April 22 at a coffee and cake reception. George Mendoza is a legally blind artist who participated in the DRC’s Disability Awareness Month Colors of the Wind event in October 2014. At the Colors of the Wind event, George began the painting while he talked about his experience of going blind and what it was like to be a blind painter. Earlier in his visit, George accompanied author JL Powers to Skyline College’s overlook and was inspired by his vision of the Pacific Ocean. This vision of the Pacific as viewed from Skyline College inspired the work that now hangs in the DRC’s front lobby.

DRC partnered with Poetry Month and the Language Arts Division for the Sun Fire reception. Two poems were read at the event, one was an original composition by a Skyline College student.

DRC welcomes the campus community to stop by our front lobby in 5-132 to view this wonderful new addition to artwork on campus!

Article by Melissa Matthews

Technology Spotlight: Echo Smartpen by Livescribe

screenshot echo smartpenUnderstanding the technological tools that can be used to enhance educational experiences is the first step in integrating them into classrooms. This technology spotlight is designed to shine a light on one tool in particular. The Echo Smartpen was originally developed for executives to use in board meetings. However, with its ability to record lectures while simultaneously linking the audio recordings to what is written, students have embraced this technology at the community college level.

With this mainstream technology, students can relive the lecture as many times as needed to learn and understand the material covered. Imagine the impact that one faculty member would make by using the Smartpen to record and demonstrate how to solve a difficult math problem and then posting it on WebAccess for all of their students’ benefit!

Currently the Spartpen is available through a loan program for DRC and TRiO students. For more information, contact Judy Lariviere.

Stay tuned for more exciting information about this universal learning tool!

Article by Judy Lariviere and Carol Newkirk