Monthly Archives: November 2015

Partnership with Base 11 Seeks to Create New Opportunities for STEM Students

Base 11 LogoRight now there are clear opportunities for employment in the field of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, commonly referred to as STEM, but not enough students are studying these crucial subjects. Skyline College, along with community colleges across the nation, face the unique challenge of building awareness of these opportunities within our student body, and to give students the tools and skills they need to pursue them, succeed in STEM, and help to close the skills gap between education and employment.

That’s why the College is proud to announce a new partnership with Base 11, a workforce development and entrepreneurial innovation company focused on creating the next generation of leaders in STEM.  Base 11 specifically partners with community colleges to provide under-resourced students with hands on training in STEM entrepreneurialism and exclusive access to competitive internships.

Beginning next semester, Base 11 and Skyline College will be working together to create a new innovation center, called a Fabrication Lab, in Building 8. This lab will be a dedicated space providing STEM students with a foundation in what it takes to create a start-up venture using their STEM ideas and innovation.  Students will be provided with the instruction and tools to take their ideas and develop them into a STEM related business enterprise.

Through this partnership, Skyline College students will also gain access to incredible paid internship opportunities at institutions like USC, The Smithsonian, UC Irvine, and CalTech.

At its root, Base 11 is striving to help create a sustainable middle class in America, and the organization recognizes that education and entrepreneurship in the STEM field is one of the most viable ways to help do just that. As a measure of their success, they have established the Base 11 Victory Circle with the goal of empowering 11,000 high potential, low-resource students by 2020.

The Base 11 Victory Circle is made up of students who have achieved admission to a four-year university to pursue a STEM-related major, have secured employment in a STEM-related job, or have developed a STEM-related business enterprise. Skyline College is proud to have representation in this group.

On Monday, November 16, Skyline College student and Victory Circle member Nicholas Mejia will be giving a presentation on his recent Base 11 internship at CalTech. For students and faculty interested in learning more about Base 11, their partnership with Skyline College, and the internships they offer, please attend the presentation at 4:30 p.m. in Building 7, Room 7106.

Article by Connor Fitzpatrick

Student Sustainability Summit Forum Begins on December 1

Sustainability Forum WinnersDo you remember last year’s Carpool Week? Do you remember the Green Gorillas, a taskforce of students who sorted through waste to measure the viability of composting? What about the campus’ Hydration Stations, where you can fill up your water bottle multiple times per day?

For the past three years, students have led sustainable projects on campus, creating a more sustainable culture and environment here at Skyline College. All of these projects have started with an idea to improve campus sustainability. After the idea starts to grow, students start working on their grant proposals with the assistance of faculty mentors and the Sustainability Coordinator. After the proposals are submitted and approved, the students have the opportunity to present their projects to the rest of the student body. All students can participate and vote for the proposal that they want to see on campus.

This year, the Student Sustainability Summit Forum will convene on Tuesday, December 1. Students will gather in Pacific Heights, Building 19, Room 129 from 12:30 p.m.-2:00 p.m. for an exciting afternoon of brainstorming and sharing perspectives. Not to mention, pizza will be served!

If you have any questions about the Student Sustainability Summit or would like to RSVP to the Forum, please email Allison Callow at


Article by Allison Callow

UC Transfer Admissions Guarantee Program Sees a 35% Increase in Applicants!

Each year, approximately 100 students complete and submit a UC Transfer Admissions Guarantee Application from September 1- 30.

Following an upward trend, this year we saw the largest jump in applicants in recent years – 35%, from 92 applicants for the Fall 2015 admissions cycle to 124 for the Fall 2016 cycle!

The Counseling Division worked to accommodate several more counseling appointments so that students’ applications were reviewed. For about 80% of our applicants, a counselor review and approval is required for UC Davis, UC Santa Cruz and UC Irvine.  Thanks to a strong team of TAG Counselors, we were able to do meet all of our students’ needs! Every single one of the 6 participating UC campuses experienced an increase in applicants, notably there was a significant increase in applications to UC Santa Barbara, UC Davis and UC Irvine.  One UC representative always provides feedback that our students submit the most accurate TAGs compared to other campuses, due to our efficient student-centered process.

Students will be notified by some campuses of their TAG decision as early as mid- November and others will be notified during the Spring 2016 semester. We have experienced a great increase of students seeking application assistance for both the UC and CSU so this is likely following an upward UC and CSU admissions trend.

Many thanks to faculty and staff who helped promote the program, to the Transfer Center staff and student ambassadors for making the process smooth for our students and managing our unanticipated increased workload, and to the 7 TAG Counselors who reviewed TAGs up through mid- October!

Article by Suzanne Poma

ESL Registration Day Welcomes New Students

ESL Reg DayThe English Language Institute hosted its twice-annual ESL Registration Day on October 31 , 2015 from 9:00am-3:00pm. We had over 30 new ESL students attend the event!  Many of them heard about the event through friends and family.  They completed SSSP steps that included filling out applications, attending the orientation, taking  the placement test, and scheduling  an appointment with the ESOL counselor. Financial Aid was present to give students vital information on how to afford college.  As part of the partnership between Skyline College and the adult schools (a partnership that was honored this year with the 2015-16 Skyline Shines Award), faculty from Jefferson and South San Francisco Adult Schools hosted information tables.

ELI student assistants and volunteers assisted new students in navigating the 5 “steps to enroll” stations and were able to provide translations in Spanish, Chinese and Burmese. ESL students appreciated the extra time the ELI spends to assist them through complicated processes.   Minerva Velasquez helped with student applications and generated Student ID Numbers, and ESOL Counselor Kenny Gonzalez’s informative orientation was a hit with the new students.  Placement testing was deftly handled by Goldie Lee and Jacky Ip.  The event had solid IT support due to Jairo Barreto’s problem solving skills.

Special thanks to Jonathan Paver and the CSI committee for funding the event, David Reed for the use of The Learning Center, and Leigh Anne Shaw for her support and commitment to the vision  of the English Language Institute!

Article and Photo by Mylene Foo

Vocal Jazz Ensemble performs at the Cuesta College Jazz Festival

Cuesta College Jazz Festival 2015On November 7, 2015, the Skyline College Vocal Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of Michelle Hawkins, travelled to San Luis Obispo to perform at the 17th Annual Vocal Jazz Festival held at Cuesta College.  They performed an exciting and eclectic set of songs featuring the world premiere of “Wake Me Up” by Avicii.  This arrangement was commissioned specifically for the Skyline College Vocal Jazz Ensemble and was written by Matt Falker of Mira Costa College.

The Vocal Jazz Ensemble received rave reviews from the clinicians and audience alike.  They had a private workshop with Matt Falker and received constructive feedback on their performance.  They also heard several ensembles from various colleges across California including CSU Long Beach, College of the Canyons and Contra Costa College.

You can hear the Skyline College Vocal Jazz Ensemble at their upcoming concert on Wednesday, December 9,, 2015 at 7:30 p.m. in the Theater.

Article by Michelle Hawkins | Photo by Scott Case

Health Center Hosts Fall Health Fair

Respiratory Care StudentsOn Wednesday, November 4, 2015 the Health Center Staff hosted the Fall Heath Fair. The event was a great success, with over 350 attendees. The goal of the event was to educate community members on health related topics such as diet, exercise, health maintenance, health insurance, preventative medicine, smoking cessation and other health related topics. There were over 30 representatives from various health related fields sharing their insight on how to maintain and improve one’s overall health.

Other instructional programs and departments at Skyline College provided services at the health fair. Cosmetology students gave hand massages, express manicures and provided facial mapping. Students and faculty from the Wellness Department gave chair and table massages. The Respiratory Care students were performed lung assessments and took vital signs. Representatives from the Psychology program presented information of Seasonal Affective Disorder. Faculty from the Kinesiology department provided valuable information on body fat percentage and fat distribution in the body as well as information about fitness and health.  SparkPoint staff members shared information about their wonderful programs and other community resources Medi-Cal and CalFresh. We were also joined by nursing students and faculty from San Francisco State University and the College of San Mateo.

The fair gave these students a great opportunity to practice their craft and educate our community

Article by Emily Risk

2nd Sustainability Ambassadors Network Meeting Held November 3

On Tuesday, November 3, the Sustainability Ambassadors Network (SAN) met to discuss sustainability goals for the year, including increasing campus awareness, promoting healthy foods, offering student volunteer opportunities related to sustainability, and exploring alternative forms of transportation. SAN will be working on these projects in the coming months, so stay tuned!

At next SAN meeting, we will be presenting data and implications from last year’s pilot Carpool Week and welcome any feedback regarding sustainable transportation. The next SAN meeting will be held on Tuesday, December 1 at 2:30 p.m. in Building 6, Room 6203.

If you would like more information regarding SAN or would like to RSVP to next meeting, please email Allison at

Article by Allison Callow

Images of Stigma Photo Exhibit

Students enrolled in Psychology 410, Abnormal Psychology, will be displaying photos and personal narratives to share their experiences of stigmatization. This exhibit is part of a four-week collaboration with San Mateo County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services and is designed to raise awareness about stigma. The series begins with a general discussion of stigma and its consequences and ends with specific strategies that can be used in an effort to reduce stigma. It is the hope that once a student examines their personal experiences with stigma they will be motivated to reduce stigma towards others, including individuals experiencing mental health issues.

The exhibit will open on Monday, November 16, and will be located in the hallway of Building 2, top floor, near the Veterans Resource Center and Global Learning Programs and Services Division. A reception with light refreshments will be held from 11:10-12:00. The exhibit will be displayed until November 30.

For more information please contact Jennifer Merrill at or at extension 4379.

Article by Jennifer Merrill

Guardian Scholars Students Host Escalation Workshop

Guardian Scholars Students

Left to right: Erlinda Marques, Robin Alim, Joseph Jaballa, Angelica Castillo

On Wednesday, November 4, 2015, the Guardian Scholars Program hosted an Escalation workshop for Professor Tim Dupre’s class. The workshop consisted of a 40 minute video provided by the One Love Foundation depicting domestic violence followed by a deep discussion pertaining to the signs of domestic violence.

The Guardian Scholars Program provides resources and support for current and former foster youth at Skyline College. Resources include book vouchers, school supplies, a dedicated counselor, a dedicated financial coach and a space to study and/or lounge.

For more information on the Guardian Scholars Program, please contact or (650) 738-4319.

Article and Photo by Soledad McCarthy




Classroom & Campus Crisis Workshops

safety procedures lectureDuring the month of October, in partnership with the Center for Transformative Teaching & Learning, Public Safety facilitated an engaging array of workshops focusing on the immediate steps that faculty and staff can do to protect themselves and others when an emergency occurs on campus. This workshop covered an easy and general protocol for implementing the Run-Hide-Fight response and The Big Five: Immediate Action Response.

The “Run-Hide-Fight” response is a simple concept. First, run if you can get out of the vicinity of danger, avoiding an armed assailant while not hurting yourself in the process. Run away as far and as fast as you can. Take as many people with you as is safe, avoid going through open spaces if possible, and call 911 when it is safe to do so.

If you are unable to run, then you must hide. This could mean leaving your desk area and locking yourself and others into a safe room in your building, and barricading the door. Make sure to turn off the lights and close the blinds, lay low and quiet. Remember to silence your phone as soon as possible, as to not give away your safe position, and quietly call 911 when it is safe to do so.

The last resort, fight the assailant, is the least palatable, but this could mean staying alive. Make every second count by distracting the assailant with any objects in the room at your disposal, as illustrated in the attached photograph when Christina Trujillo is asked to walk into the workshop and foam blocks are thrown at her. This is an effort to give you the advantage over the assailant’s confusion, and give you a better chance at survival.

the big 5 Another important take-away from the workshop is The Big Five: Immediate Action Response. When an emergency occurs, it is critical that staff members take immediate steps to protect themselves, their students, and other people on campus. It is essential to become familiar with The Big Five, and be prepared to perform all assigned responsibilities:

Lastly, keep in mind “If You See Something, Say Something™.” It takes a community to protect a community. This raises public awareness and importance of reporting suspicious activity to local law enforcement. We can all help keep the College safe by paying attention to our surroundings and report suspicious activity.

By remembering these simple guides, you can keep both you and others safe. It is difficult to define exactly what to do in the event of a terrifying and stressful event, as there are no definite rules to survival. Run when it is safe to run. Hide where it is safe to hide. As a last resort, fight if your life depends on it.

if you see something, say somethingStay connected to the campus in an emergency! As mentioned in the workshop, sign-up for ALERTU, which enables college administration to send emergency information by text messages to cell phones on a subscription basis. Visit the Public Safety Services Website for additional information. If you had to leave the workshop early, you still have other opportunities to participate in this vital workshop! The next workshop will be held on Wednesday, November 25th in the Multicultural Hosting Gallery from1:30-2:30 p.m.

For specific questions to Public Safety, contact Jim Vangele, Chief Public Safety Officer at

Article by Liezl Madrona & Jim Vangele