Monthly Archives: March 2016

Vote for Your Favorite “Dare to Declare” T-shirt Slogans

staff in Dare to Declare shirtsIn preparation for the spring 2016, Meet Your Major Fair to be held on Wednesday, April 13, students and staff have been submitting creative, catchy, original or revised T-shirt slogans online.

Now, we need you to vote on those slogans to select the winner.

Please take this survey and select up to 4 choices that you think should win the T-shirt slogan contest.

You can vote for your favorite slogans online from now until April 3. The top four winners and their slogans will be announced on April 6 and will receive the following prizes:

  • First Place – $100 book voucher
  • Second & Third Place – $50 book voucher
  • Third & Fourth Place – $25 book voucher each

The four chosen slogans will be printed on t-shirts and handed out at the Meet Your Major Fair on Wednesday, April 13.

the Career Services Center urges students, staff, and faculty to take notice of the Dare to Declare movement.  Please help us to get the word out and challenge our campus community to think innovatively through a college-wide contest inviting students, staff, faculty and administrators to submit their own creative, catchy, original or revised T-shirt slogan or quote that is proudly declaring their major area of study. A sample of the type of quotes we are looking for can be seen in the advertisement below.

Article Compiled by Connor Fitzpatrick

Base 11 Partnership Launch Event on April 6

base11-logoPlease come to the Partnership Launch Event with Skyline College’s new partner Base 11 on Wednesday, April 6, 2016 from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. in the Student and Community Center in Building 6.

The Base 11 STEM Revolution is designed to empower students to become the STEM Leaders and Entrepreneurs of the 21st Century. Learn about the incredible opportunities Skyline College students now have access to, including internships, STEM entrepreneur classes and workforce training.

Light snacks and refreshments will be served. Please RSVP to Cherie Colin at or (650) 738-4346. We hope you can join us!

Two Skyline College Students Earn Phi Theta Kappa All-California Scholarships

Vitoria Araujo Goncalves
Two Skyline College Students, each Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society members, have earned All-California Scholarships and placement on the All-California Community College Academic Team. The selection for the All-California teams was determined by the scores nominees received from Phi Theta Kappa judges at the national level selecting winners for the national academic teams. These 60 students represent some of the best of the 2.1 million students enrolled in California’s 113 community colleges.

First-team member Vitoria Araujo Goncalves emigrated from Brazil at the age of seven. She has been a member of Phi Theta Kappa since 2014. Vitoria currently serves as a senator in the Associated Students of Skyline College. Vitoria has a passion for helping those who are English learners like her. Through Reading Partners, she has worked with numerous students to improve their reading levels. As a current student ambassador within Skyline College’s Outreach program, she publicizes to local high schools the importance of attaining an education through community college. Vitoria is majoring in Business Administration and plans to transfer to the University of California, Berkeley. Her long-term goal is to establish a sustainable manufacturing company and aid in the betterment of the textiles industry.

yelanaSecond-team member Yelena Vayn is studying Biology at Skyline College. She plants to transfer to the University of California to complete her undergraduate studies. She hopes to attend medical school, and eventually, work in the medical field. At Skyline, she has been on the dean’s list every semester, and joined both Phi Theta Kappa as well as the honors program. Her second semester, she became the teaching assistant for a general biology at Skyline College. She has been volunteering and doing research at Saint Mary’s hospital. Just recently, she became an English teacher at the Eye Level Center in Belmont. Aside from academics, Yelena is a competitive ballroom/Latin dancer. In 2014, she and her partner were bronze medalists in the USA National Latin Dance Championship. She went on to represent the USA in the world Latin dance championship in Moscow, Russia. Now, she is teaching Ballroom/Latin dance to students of all ages.

Article by Christine Case

SparkPoint Attended DREAM 2016

DREAM 2016 AttendeesThe DREAM 2016 Conference was held in Atlanta, Georgia from February 23 to February 26.  This year SparkPoint at Skyline College sent three representatives, including interim Director of SparkPoint and Career Service Center at Skyline College, Chad Thompson, Program Services Coordinator, Heather Smith, and Staff Assistant, Julie Lamson.

DREAM 2016 is an annual convening of the Achieving the Dream National Reform Network – the nation’s most comprehensive non-governmental reform network for student success in higher education. This event brought together about 2,000 influential policy-makers, investors, leaders, and practitioners from over 200 colleges throughout 34 states and the District of Columbia, who are dedicated to addressing one of our nation’s most urgent challenges: helping more community college students succeed. This year’s emphasis was on “Equity and Excellence,” focusing on student success and closing the achievement gaps for historically underserved student populations.

We reflected on and shared lessons about ways to increase student success by improving data analysis, program evaluation, and student-centered decision making.  Day 1 was spent with SparkPoint’s Working Student Success Network (WSSN), which included about 100 people from 23 colleges in 4 states. Julie Lamson presented about SparkPoint’s data collection and evaluation, and we shared best practices and strategies. Day 2 was filled with various breakout session, one in particular titled, “Beyond Financial Aid: How colleges are supporting students’ financial stability and improving outcomes” where SparkPoint at Skyline College was used as an example model program.  Heather Smith was asked by the presenters to speak about SparkPoint at Skyline College during the session.  Day 3, Chad Thompson presented in a spotlight session on “Centering Financial Wellness in Student Success” in which SparkPoint was highlighted as a resource for student success and retention.  The convening was directly tied to SparkPoint’s mission of mitigating economic disparities, and increasing student success and financial well-being.

Article by Julie Lamson | Photos by Chad Thompson and Julie Lamson

Dr. Regina Stanback Stroud Honored with the Mary McLeod Bethune Leaders of Distinction Award


awardees at the Leaders of distinction awardsThe African American Regional Educational Alliance honored Dr. Regina Stanback Stroud, President of Skyline College and five other African American female presidents and chancellors with the Mary McLeod Bethune Leaders of Distinction Award on Saturday, March 19, 2016. The award was bestowed upon Dr. Stroud since she has dedicated her life to not only improving the lives of students through education, but also advancing and exposing all students to the possibilities that are available to them by obtaining higher education degrees or certificates.

The award of distinction holds particular significance because Mary McLeod Bethune was the first African American female college president in the United States. Ms. McLeod Bethune opened the doors to the Cookman Institute for Men in 1923 and the institution later became known as Bethune-Cookman College. The college was one of the few places that African American students could pursue a college degree. She remained with the college until 1942.

Dr. Stroud is a champion for students and clearly lives up to the Mary McLeod Bethune Leaders of Distinction Award she was given as she states in her “President’s Welcome” quoting bell hooks, Teaching to Transgress:

“The academy is not paradise. But learning is a place where paradise can be created…In the field of possibility we have the opportunity to labor for freedom, to demand of ourselves and our comrades, an openness of mind and heart that allows us to face reality even as we collectively imagine ways to move beyond boundaries, to transgress. This is education as the practice of freedom (207).”

Dr. Stroud also writes: “I urge you to practice until you get it right. Get an education as if your life and the lives of future generations in your family depend on it – because they do.”

It is clear that Dr. Stroud lives up to the tenets of Mary McLeod Bethune Leaders of Distinction Award. One more note about the parallels of these two dynamic women is that Mary McLeod Bethune was known as the “First Lady of the Struggle.” She devoted her career to improving the lives of African Americans through education, political and economic empowerment.” Skyline College is again honored to have Dr. Regina Stanback Stroud as its college president.

Article and photos by Dr. Tammy Robinson

Pulitzer Prize-Winning Journalist Jose Antonio Vargas to Speak at Skyline College

Jose Antonio VargasPulitzer Prize-winning journalist, filmmaker and media publisher Jose Antonio Vargas will speak as part of the A Call to Consciousness College Lecture Series on Thursday, April 7 at 11:30 a.m. in the Student and Community Center, Building 6, Room 6202.

You can see his film Documented on Wednesday, April 6 at 12:00 p.m. in the theater.

Jose Antonio Vargas is a journalist, filmmaker and immigration rights activist. His work centers on the changing American identity. He is the founder of Define American, a non-profit media and culture organization that seeks to elevate the conversation around immigration and citizenship in America.

Jose Antonio Vargas owns #EmergingUS which is the first-ever media property owned by an undocumented immigrant. His work has been published by the New York Times Magazine and his film Documented world premiered at the AFI Docs film festival in Washington, D.C. in 2013.  Documented was released theatrically and broadcast on CNN and received a 2015 NAACP Image Award nomination for Outstanding Documentary.

Jose Antonio Vargas has written for daily newspapers, national magazines and was a senior contributing editor at the Huffington Post, where he launched the Technology and College sections. Among other accolades he has received are: a Public Service Award from the National Council of La Raza, the country’s largest Latino advocacy organization; the Salem Award from the Salem Award Foundation, which draws upon the lessons of the Salem Witch Trials of 1692; the Freedom to Write Award from PEN Center USA; and an honorary Doctor of Letters from Colby College. He is a very proud graduate of San Francisco State University (‘04), where he was named Alumnus of the Year in 2012, and Mountain View High School (’00) and currently resides in Los Angeles, CA.

For additional information about Jose Antonio Vargas and his work visit his website or his tumblr.

Articly by Anjelica Gacutan

9th Annual Rock The School Bells: Takin’ It Back!

tammy robinson at rock the school bellsOn Saturday, March 5, the Center for Innovative Practices through Hip Hop Education and Research (CIPHER) hosted their 9th Annual Rock The School Bells Hip Hop Conference to over 400 participants from various middle schools, high schools, college/universities, and non-profit organizations.  Youth participants were able to choose from a total of 22 workshops such as:

  • Not A Rebel, Just Indigenous: Rebel Music, Native America
  • Curators of Hip Hop: Gentrification through Hip Hop’s Lens
  • We Live This: Authentic Hip Hop Cultural Street Pedagogy and Career Readiness
  • Civil Rights to Kids with Mics: Why US History Must Include Hip Hop’s Origins
  • Take Back Our City! SF Hip Hop vs. Gentrification
  • My Influence through Hip Hop facilitated by our students of CIPHER and the Guardian Scholars Program

These workshops were aligned around the theme of “Takin’ It Back” where they addressed social and cultural gentrification that has impacted many of our communities such as San Francisco and Oakland.  They also addressed some of the cultural misappropriation and commodification in Hip Hop today that misrepresents the authentic essence of Hip Hop.  The theme also refered to reclaiming lands, cultures, identities, as well as redefining what education should be and look like in classrooms and in educational institutions as a whole.

In addition, we were able to host our 3rd installment of workshops for educators, administrators, graduate students, and other professionals who work directly with youth and students.  Participants learned about the different ways in which Hip Hop pedagogies can be utilized in various educational spaces through workshops such as Keep Ya Head Up: Hip Hop Pedagogy in the Classroom and Building a Hip Hop Ed Community Campuswide.

Interim Dean of Global Learning Program and Services (GLPS), Dr. Tammy Robinson, delivered an energetic welcome address to the theme of “Takin’ It Back” and Dregs One was the conference featured keynote speaker.  Dregs One is the founder of 5 Elements Hip Hop Youth Program, a non-profit organization that works with inner-city youth to address social issues such as gentrification and police brutality through the use of music.

Participants were able to meet with representatives from different Skyline College programs and services such as the Career Advancement Academy, Guardian Scholars Program, Sparkpoint, TRiO, and CIPHER.  In addition, we hosted over 10 local vendors and businesses.  Partial proceeds from vending also benefitted the Rock The School Bells Scholarship Fund.

Rock The School Bells was a successful event filled with workshops, music, education, art, and positive energy.  In addition, we were able to award six scholarships to four current Skyline College students and two high school students through the Rock The School Bells Scholarship Fund.

This event would not be made possible without the support of the President’s Innovation Fund, Career Advancement Academy,  the Counseling Division,  Skyline College Bookstore, Guardian Scholars Program, CIPHER Hip Hop Learning Community, Youth Entrepreneurship Program; ASSC, Global Learning Programs and Services, and the many programs and learning communities who donated their time to the event.  A special recognition goes to all of the volunteers – students, staff, faculty, and administrators, who also supported our efforts to make this event a huge success.

For more information on Rock The School Bells and CIPHER, please contact Nate Nevado at or visit

Article by Nate Nevado|Photos by Berlin Tomas and Shane Menez

1,100 Girls Expand Their Horizons in Science and Math at Skyline College

Expand Your Horizons AttendeesOn Saturday, March 12, 1,100 middle and high school girls from San Mateo, San Francisco, Alameda, and Santa Clara counties attended the 36th annual Expanding Your Horizons (EYH) at Skyline College. EYH is a conference geared toward increasing their interest in the critical Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) careers through hands-on workshops.

The conference is planned by volunteers from Skyline College and North San Mateo County Soroptimist. The conference was funded by the President’s Innovation Fund. The Soroptimist also funded scholarships and school buses for north county girls.

Girls came from over 150 schools and most (87%) of them are in middle school. Over 100 scientists volunteered to present workshops. Additionally, Skyline College students and Skyline College alumnae who have completed their baccalaureates and professional degrees presented workshops. Skyline College faculty and staff who presented workshops and/or mentored students developing workshops include Alice Erskine, Nick Kapp, Sandra Hsu, Chris Case, Carla Grandy, Carina Anttila-Suarez, Judith Crawford, Jing Folsom, Elsa Jimenez-Samayoa, Nancy Ruis, Nada Nekrep, Janice McOmber, Gary Cheang, Janelle Barbier, Shari Bookstaff, Tadashi Tsuchida, Wendy Lum, Ana Castro, Pcyeta Stroud, Jocelyn Vila, Julia Johnson, Alina Varona, Jeremy Evangelista, and Lauren Ford (more info is available in the event program). Another 70 Skyline College students volunteered to be go’fers at the conference to help usher girls between their sessions.

Dean Tammy Rombinson started the day by welcoming the girls and introducing keynote speaker Fran Kalal, who gave an inspiring talk, encouraging the girls that they can do anything they want. Ms. Kalal “dresses” the animated characters at Pixar Studies.

In other sessions, girls designed a secret code, collected forensic evidence at the “murder in the produce aisle,” made lip balm as “cosmetic chemists,” “scrubbed in for surgery,” and learned the chemistry of magic tricks. There were 43 concurrent workshops for girls. Each girl participated in three workshops during the day.

Expanding Your Horizons aims to encourage girls to participate in high school math and science courses, provide role models for young women who are interested in math and science, and provide support for and promote interaction between people employed by industry and education.

Planning committee members include AJ Bates, Shari Bookstaff, Pat Carter, Chris Case, Gary Cheung, Stephen Fredricks, Jon Freedman, Mousa Ghanma, Ray Hernandez, Kylin Johnson, Nadia Tariq, and Alana Utsumi. Community members on the planning committee include Arlene Chang, Barbara Irli, Judy Lewis, and Kim Toneh.

Article by Chris Case | Photos by Andrea Caesar and Chris Case

Community Veterans Resource Event

Veterans Resource EventOn Thursday March 10, Skyline College hosted a campus and community wide Veterans Resource Event. It offered opportunities for veterans, their family members, the greater campus community and the general public to connect with campus and community support resources.

There was a good turnout despite the rain and we were able to connect many veterans and dependents with exceptional resources. Representatives from 42 different veterans support organizations and institutions of higher education participated in a resource fair and provided valuable information to over 150 attendees.

San Mateo County Community College District students, faculty, staff and local community members attended the event. The event provided an avenue for Skyline College campus resources and local veterans’ agencies to come together and support veterans, highlight the support services and resources available both on campus and off campus, and help to develop an ongoing sense of community and network of support.

The energy and excitement on Thursday were amazing and the awareness raised of veterans support agencies in San Mateo and San Francisco Counties is remarkable! This event was made possible due to generous support of the Skyline College President’s Innovation Fund and collaboration between campus and community veterans service partners. We look forward to future opportunities to honor and support our service men and women.

Article by Gina Ciardella | Photo by Claudia Paz

2nd Career Technical Education Day Welcomes Local High Schools and Dr. Christopher Emdin

CTE DayOn March 10, 2016, the Career Advancement Academy (CAA) in collaboration with the Center for Innovative Practices through Hip Hop Education & Research (CIPHER) welcomed nearly 100  high school guests to Skyline College for the second ever Career Technical Education (CTE) Day. The day featured keynote speaker Dr. Christopher Emdin, a science advocate who utilizes techniques for self-expression and engagement through the use of hip-hop in the classroom. Following the guest speaker, students from Baden, El Camino, Peninsula, and Capuchino High School and their counselors toured three of the ten participating CTE programs, enjoyed lunch and a raffle hosted in the Automotive Department, and heard from dynamic college guest speakers.

Career Technical Education Day at Skyline College provides local high school students, instructors, and counselors an immersive transition-to-college experience by including campus tours, program tours, college preparedness workshops, and guest lecturers. Specifically, CTE Day seeks to expose students to college and engage students in Career Technical Education through the Career Advancement Academy, learning communities, and other CTE program offerings. After the event, many high school students emailed the Career Advancement Academy their observations with one student, Mareana, sharing: “Skyline College was so nice and friendly. The people there and the teachers that gave us a tour were really kind. I’m definitely looking forward to applying for the cosmetology program. It’s really cool!” While another student, Javier, wrote:  “thank you for giving us the opportunity to experience your campus. I learned a lot from this and all the classes I went to.”

This event was made possible thanks to generous support from the President’s Innovation Fund, which supports innovative events and programming at Skyline College and by the hard work and dedication of CTE Day Committee Members: Soledad McCarthy, Lauren Ford, Alina Varona, Jeremy Evangelista, Pcyeta Stroud, and Nate Nevado, along with support from Monique Hernandez and Troy Barros. Special thanks to Kevin Chak and the Skyline College bookstore who generously donated raffle prizes for our high school guests and to the dedicated facilities team who ensured the event ran smoothly.

The CAAs connect students to higher wage careers and opportunities in higher education by increasing foundational skills in reading, writing and mathematics while enrolling students in career technical training programs. Currently, the Career Advancement Academy has programs in Allied Health, Automotive Technology, Early Childhood Education, and Legal Careers with additional high school bridge programming at Baden High School and Peninsula High School. For more information about the Career Advancement Academy and related programs contact Jeremy Evangelista,

Article by Alina Varona | Photo by William Nacouzi