On Friday, May 15, 2015 Skyline College administrators, faculty and staff gathered to celebrate another successful academic year with food, fun, fellowship, and fundraising. The annual End-of-Year Luncheon is an event designed to recognize achievement and show gratitude for staff and faculty members who have made a difference with their service to Skyline College. Woven throughout the luncheon is a student scholarship raffle fundraiser, where winners can take home elaborate gift baskets filled with goodies; donated from different divisions, departments or constituency groups across campus.
This year the theme “We are Giants” was evident throughout the rowdy and hilarious performance from Ray “Leftie” Hernandez and Michele “Little General” Haggar. They inspired the crowd with cheers and hoorays by running through the aisles tossing Cracker Jacks and Popcorn, and from that point forward the fun never stopped! Vice President (aka. “Vice-Hefe”) Sarah Perkins opened the ceremony with words of encouragement and gratitude for the accomplishments of the past year, further energizing and motivating the crowd.
Part of the annual end-of-year luncheon tradition is the awarding of two Classified Staff Special Recognition Awards, which are designed to demonstrate appreciation for “outstanding contributions to Skyline College.” Only previous recipients of this award may nominate and determine the awardees each year, and the results are kept top-secret until the day of the event. This year, the recipients were Regina Morrison (Financial Aid) and Alana Utsumi (SMT). The awards were presented with heartfelt sentiments from their respective deans, Will Minnich and Ray Hernandez.
Additionally, the Skyline College Classified Senate, on behalf of all of the staff, presented an award of gratitude to those who have retired over the past academic year. This year, there were five staff members honored: Karen Nielson (Cosmetology), Tony Gulli (Facilities), Sylvia Martinez (Admissions and Records), Pat Tyler (SMT), and Barbara Daley (Library).
Skyline College’s Academic Senate, led by ECE Professor and Senate President Kate Williams Browne, recognized a handful of faculty members with special awards. Two adjunct professors — Jennifer Mair from the Communications Department and Kymberly Jackson from the Music Department — received nominations from their peers and the Skyline College Academic Senate Governing Council for prestigious awards at the statewide Academic Senate for the California Community Colleges (ASCCC). Mair was a nominee for the Hayward Award for Excellence in Teaching, and Jackson for the Regina Stanback Stroud Diversity Award. In addition, ESOL Professor Leigh Anne Shaw and Biology Professor Carina Anttila-Suarez received well-deserved awards from Skyline College’s Academic Senate for their invaluable, tireless, “above and beyond” level of work on behalf of Skyline College’s students and faculty.
The Meyer Award for Excellence in Teaching, given annually by the Academic Senate, is awarded to tenure-track faculty who have shown exemplary skills in teaching, making connections with students, and contributing to the mission and overall well-being of Skyline College. This year’s award was given to two outstanding faculty: Dr. Sarita Santos (ECE/EDU) and Dr. Zachary E. Bruno (Music).
Amidst the fun and hilarity of the SF Giants-themed year-end celebration, Deans Ray Hernandez, Jonathan Paver, Christine Roumbanis, and Vice President of Instruction Sarah Perkins offered wonderfully heartfelt words of thanks and recognition to honor the six beloved faculty members who will be retiring from full-time positions at the end of this academic year: Daisy Araica (Mathematics), Carla Campillo (Counseling), Rick Escalambre (Automotive), Tom Hewitt (Library), Eric Larson (Counseling), and Regina Pelayo (Cosmetology). Congratulations to these excellent faculty members!
A big thank you to the President’s Office for planning, scheduling and providing our delicious lunch for this event. Thank you to each office which supplied a gift basket for the successful raffle fundraiser – over $800 was raised towards the annual Faculty/Staff Scholarship! Finally, thank you to the Classified Senate and Academic Senate members who helped to plan and execute a fun and successful celebration.
We are GIANTS!
Article by Alana Utsumi, Kate Browne, and Zach Bruno