Monthly Archives: December 2015

“What We Do Not See: Exploring What We Leave at the Door” with Lee Mun Wah

Lee Mun Wah EventThe Center for Transformative Teaching & Learning (CTTL) recently hosted the return of cross-cultural facilitator, Lee Mun Wah, on Flex Day, November 25, for “What We Do Not See: Exploring What We Leave at the Door.” This year’s Lee Mun Wah employee special event was very engaging, and drew well over 100 participants.

Lee Mun Wah led a half-day seminar with Skyline College employees, introducing ways to become culturally competent and exploring racial identity and bias. This includes learning the importance of mindful listening and culturally responding, learning how to be curious, and taking responsibility towards creating an environment that is more culturally aware. Becoming culturally competent explores becoming more aware of the social issues and contexts surrounding another’s cultural history and upbringing.

Participants were partnered up to learn more about racial identity through asking one another mindful questions such as: When did you first learn you were different? How did it affect you? How does it affect you today? Despite varied responses in the room, everyone shared one commonality: each of us has either experienced racism or has known someone who has faced racial discrimination. We take for granted that we know our coworkers because we see them every day and talk to them once in a while in passing, but do we really know them?

Lee Mun Wah taught a very basic lesson in that the questions asked above may seem like very simple questions, but they are difficult and essential questions that will build a bridge of understanding between races and cultures. Thank you to all who participated in this enlightening event! The CTTL hopes that all of the participants can take their newfound knowledge, and take a step towards creating a more culturally aware environment.

Those interested in viewing Lee Mun Wah’s films can borrow them from the Skyline College Library. Additionally, copies of his latest book Let’s Get Real: What People of Color Can’t Say & Whites Won’t Ask about Racism” are available for loan at the Library and the CTTL.

For more professional development workshops and seminar, please visit us at The Center for Transformative Teaching & Learning Website.

Article by Liezl Madrona

Automotive Department 2015 Winter Luncheon

Automotive Pot LuckThursday, December 10, 2015, started with heavy rain and wind, but by the time Automotive Department’s annual Winter Luncheon rolled around at noon, the sun was shining bright!

The potluck luncheon as always, was provided by all students in the program; and this year we had a wide range of different kinds of food, reflecting the diverse ethnicity of our student body, and we had an abundance of food.  To enter the raffle drawing for prizes that consists of automotive tools donated by the Automotive Department and its vendors, students had to bring a dish to share.  Students participated with setting up, decorating and cleaning before and after the events.

Our Chancellor, Ron Galatolo; Board Member, Dave Mandelkern; VP of Administrative Services, Eloisa Briones; and many staff and faculty members across campus participated in this annual festivity.  We had four Afternoon Program students graduating this semester, and Ed Yee, the instructor, gave each student their Program Completion Certificate; congratulations to Christopher Tam, Wei Lun Feng, Stephen Li and Bo Wang.

All in all everyone had a good time, especially when it came time for the raffle drawings.  A special thank you to Kevin Chak, our Bookstore Manager, for supplying us with coffee.  Happy Holidays to all!

Article by Nancy Lam

Career Services Center’s Lunch and Learn Workshop: Building a Personal Brand

Lunch and Learn WorkshopThroughout the fall Semester, the Career Services Center has hosted a series of “Lunch and Learn” Workshops with topics ranging from office technology to using the art of improv to enhance professional communication and interview techniques. These workshops were created to increase Skyline College students’ professional development and give them the tools needed to succeed in working world.

On Friday, December 4, the Career Services Center’s Lunch and Learn Series culminated in an off-campus workshop at the Double Tree By Hilton Hotel in Brisbane to learn about personal brand building from industry experts.

Director of Human Resources, Kristi McClure-Barerra and General Manager, Jason Dorfman treated participants to an eloquent lunchtime discussion on branding techniques companies like Google, Apple and Hilton employ to elevate their own brands and how to apply those same principles in building our personal brands.

Kristi and Jason were incredible hosts and led an interactive, fun and informative workshop. We thank our Skyline College Retail Hospitality and Tourism Department for graciously providing our students with transportation for this event. We look forward to working with them in the future and encourage any students who are interested in upcoming workshops or job opportunities at Double Tree to visit the Career Services Center in Building 1 Room 1219B.

Article by Brian Jenney

Hermanos and Hermana’s Noche de Familia a Huge Success!

hermanos studentsOn Wednesday, December 9 and Monday, December 14 the Los Hermanos and Las Hermanas program hosted their first annual Noche de Famila for students and their families at South San Francisco High School (SSFHS) and Westmoor High School.  The Los Hermanos and Las Hermanas program is designed for seniors in high school to concurrently enroll in a college class, taking the course after school at their high school campus while enrolled in their respective high schools. In the yearlong program where students explore social awareness, cultural identity, motivation, leadership, and goal setting, while focusing on understanding the community college and four year university systems.

As the night kicked off, families were welcomed by Hermanos and Hermanas students and lively music. Families and students of the program were treated to a delicious dinner that included pizza, fresh salad, refreshments and dessert!

Faculty members and program coordinators Lucy Perez and Alberto Santellan welcomed students and their families and co-facilitated a presentation with Hermanos and Hermanas student presenters.   Noche de Familia was designed to provide families with information about the program, highlight student accomplishments, and share an overview of California’s higher education system.  Topics covered were the educational ladder, college options after high school, and an overview of what Skyline College has to offer.  Families were engaged in what they were learning, at the end of the night one parent said “I wasn’t sure if I was going to come, but I’m glad I did, I learned a lot.”

Additionally several of the students from the Hermanos and Hermanas program stole the show. They had the opportunity to teach their families what they had learned in the classroom.  Students presented statistics on material they learned in class such as current high school dropout rates for Latino students, college attendance rates for Latino students, UC and CSU attendance and graduation rates for Latino students, and lastly persistence rates in graduate schools for Latinos.

Hermanos students who presented at Westmoor High School were, Fausto Avila, Alex Llamas, Joseph Spinetti, Jonathan Palomino, Theo Do Valle, Aldrich Luna, and Gabriel Gonzalez. The Hermanos presenters at SSFHS were Aaron Spooner, Rupinderjit Singh (Harry), Cristian Arias, alongside  Hermanas students Illyana Chavez, Ariana Moreno, and Jackie Lopez.  Additionally, students Barbara Crispin and Cristian Arias at South San Francisco High School and Jose Macia and Theo Do Valle at Westmoor High School shared their own perspectives about their experience in the program.  Cristian Arias saying “The Hermanos program motivated me to earn a Doctorate Degree and increase the number of Latinos graduating from college.”

The Hermanos and Hermanas program continues to thrive as it moves into celebrating its 10th year next fall 2016. Celebrating the partnership between Skyline and the two high schools aligns is valuable as the program aims to support students and their families in their transition to college.

Article and Photo by Alberto Santellan and Lucy Perez

Women’s Mentoring Academy Year End Celebration


Women's Mentoring AcademyThe African Diaspora Program at Skyline College is proud to announce that the Women’s Mentoring Academy has successfully concluded its fall session.  On Tuesday, December 15, 2015 the program culminated in a final celebration where students shared vision boards, and affirmations and words of encouragement. The room was filled with fellow classmates, family members, and Skyline College staff, faculty and administrators. All thirteen students received certificates of completion signed by President Regina Stanback Stroud and the Dean of the Global Learning Programs and Services Division, Dr. Tammy Robinson.

The mission of the Women’s Mentoring Academy is to empower and transform the lives of the women in the program, so that they may achieve personal and professional growth.

The theme this semester was on personal development.  Activities, events and course work emphasized cultural and personal identity development, and the students learned strategies for effective intercultural communication in various contexts. For their participation in this semester’s academy, each student received a copy of the inspirational bestseller, The Year of Yes, by Shonda Rhimes, and a framed photo of the cohort as a reminder of the importance of community.

The GLPS Division would like to give a special ‘thank you’ to everyone who attended the Year End Celebration in support of the students.  Special thanks go to Dr. Jamillah Moore, Interim Vice Chancellor of Educational Services and Planning, Eloisa Briones, Vice President of Administrative Services, Mary Gutierrez, Dean of Language Arts/Learning Resources, and Kathleen Tshifunda, Office Assistant to the President.

The fall 2015 cohort was led by Communication Studies Professor, Danielle Powell, and the students were enrolled in her COMM 150: Intercultural Communication course.  The Women’s Mentoring Academy is a project within the African Diaspora Program, which is under GLPS division. Support for this program is made possible by the President’s Innovation Fund.

For more information on the African Diaspora Program, please contact the Global Learning Programs and Services Division at 650-738-7098 or Dr. Cheryl Ajirotutu at


Article by Danielle Powell and Pcyeta Stroud | Photos by Pcyeta Stroud

Food Drive Makes Holidays Merrier

Second Harvest Food Bank Logo Food Drive GraphicKappa Beta Delta extends a heartfelt thank you to the campus for all contributions to the food drive.

Overall the food drive was a success! Additional thank you’s go to Professor Linda Whitten for her support, and to Michael Bautista and Monina Ubungen for helping to place and collect the barrels.

Many departments on campus helped with the drive. Kevin Chak, the Bookstore Manager, helped place barrels in the most crowded areas in Building 6 by the cafe and by the textbook buy-back stand. The Math, Science and Technology Department collected nearly a full barrel by their office. Skyline Women Engineering promoted the food drive to their club and also during their Science Exploratorium. The Veteran’s Center was nice enough to watch over a barrel and the Learning Center collected a lot of food as well.

Thanks to all who helped with the food drive and Happy Holidays!

Article by Margo Feldman

Stressful Times Demand Relief: A New Library Program

Destress for Success ProgramDuring the days leading up to final exams, the Library carried out a first of its kind “De-Stress for Success” program consisting of drop-in activities in the Library. More than 470 students ate, drew, played and breathed their way through activities aimed at releasing tension and fostering creative relief. Cookie decorating, “relaxation crafting,” coloring, meditation and board games were just a few of the enterprises offered. Skyline College students were so positive about the experience that the Library plans to continue its “De-stress for Success” program every semester.

Article by Jessica Silver-Sharp

First-Ever Adjunct Teaching & Learning Symposium

Adjunct Faculty Symposium AgendaSkyline College and the Center for Transformative Teaching & Learning (CTTL) will be hosting its first-ever Skyline College Adjunct Faculty Teaching & Learning Symposium on Saturday, January 16, from 8:00am-2:30pm.  Skyline College is committed to providing professional learning opportunities for its faculty, including adjunct professors whose professional lives often pose barriers to accessing quality professional development geared towards enhancing effective teaching practices.  The Symposium will feature a special welcome and keynote delivered by Skyline College President, Dr. Regina Stanback Stroud, followed by a variety of teaching & learning workshops designed to provide faculty with practical strategies before they begin the Spring semester.

This adjunct-only event supports The Skyline College Promise by providing adjunct faculty with workshops and professional engagement that will help them deliver “meaningful and culturally relevant learning experiences” (The Skyline College Promise) particularly intended to foster student success in the first and second semesters of college.  Because “robust support for faculty to deepen their excellence in teaching and learning is an essential component of student success” (The Skyline College Promise), the Center for Transformative Teaching & Learning (CTTL) has designed this 1-day event to support adjunct faculty’s commitment to refining and improving their classroom practices.  No walk-up registrations will be accepted, so please RSVP by January 10, 2016 via the Eventbrite link at

For questions or additional information, contact Nina L. Floro, Professional Development Coordinator at or 650-738-4414.

Article by Nina L. Floro

Women’s Basketball Take Third at Fresno City Tournament

Skyline College bounced back after a tough loss to Fresno City College with an impressive come from behind win over San Jose City College on Sunday to take third place in the tournament.  Skyline College fell behind early, but clawed back into the game with good shooting.  By halftime the Trojans had closed the gap to just 4 points, trailing 41-37.  San Jose regained control in the third quarter and extended their lead to 8 points.  The Trojans picked up their intensity in the fourth quarter to quickly cut into San Jose’s lead and then took the lead for good with 3 minutes left in the game.  Skyline College was led by freshman Juliet Courtney who finished with 24 points.  Sophomore Dana Michaels added 13 while sophomore Stephanie Allen and freshman Arianna Sheehy each chipped in 10.  Stephanie Allen was selected to the all-tournament team for her solid all- around play throughout the weekend.  Skyline College will travel to the Golden Gate Classic to take on Los Angeles Valley College Friday at 3:30.

Article by Christopher Watters

A Whirlwind Year in Transfer Applications!

Students in Transfer CenterIn addition to a significant increase in the UC Transfer Admissions Guarantee (TAG) applications that happened earlier this Fall, the Transfer Center and Counseling Division saw a monumental increase in participation of Application Assistance support.

Over 400 students visited the Transfer Center during Application Assistance Drop-in Hours in the months of October and November, Transfer Awareness and Application Awareness Months.  Students received one on one support in completing their CSU and UC applications. Additionally, students who wrote personal statements for their UC applications had their statements reviewed one-on-one. As part of the CSU application process, students are asked to report their CSU Transferrable GPA. The importance of having an accurate GPA calculation can greatly impact a student’s eligibility, especially when applying to an impacted major. Through the application season, almost 250 students had their GPA calculated by a Counselor.

All these efforts could not have been possible without the support of the many people.

Here are some highlights of the support our students received:

Our dedicated representatives: UC Davis rep, Mayra Escobar and UC Berkeley rep Bryan Martinez and CSU reps Doris Fendt (SFSU) and Marc Strong (CSUEB) all stayed much longer than their scheduled time to help our students!

Several counselors gave up their coordination time and came in and calculated GPAs and helped out when they had no-shows or an extra 10 minutes. Many came early and many stayed late!  It was a true Division-wide effort!

College staff/directors came in as personal statement reviewers, and also came early and stayed late to support students through the last minute reviews of their personal statements.

The Transfer Center staff and student ambassadors stayed and made sure everything was orderly and students were served fairly and efficiently!

We could not have done any of this without such a strong network and Campus Community who truly supports transfer! Without a doubt, Skyline College students had the support they needed to put their best foot forward in this rigorous application process!

Article by Suzanne Poma | Photo by Vanessa Aragon