Daily Archives: March 18, 2016

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 nevadon@smccd.edu or visit www.rocktheschoolbells.com.

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, evangelistaJ@smccd.edu.

Article by Alina Varona | Photo by William Nacouzi



Transfer Center Hosts 8th Annual Transfer Fair

Spring Transfer FairOn Wednesday, March 9, the Transfer Center hosted the 8th Annual Transfer Fair, with over 20 representatives from local, out-of-state, public, and private colleges and universities who were able to address student questions about transferring to their campuses.

College representatives were impressed with Skyline College students and were excited to see that they asked good questions, showed strong interest in transferring, and took initiative to seek out answers. One representative shared “Great event yet again guys! Love visiting Skyline” and another said “Wonderful event. Great students.”

The Spring Fair was again well attended and the Transfer Center welcomed several classes to the event along with over 20 Faculty and Staff also taking time out of their day to visit, show support, and meet with representatives. Student evaluations and their responses were overwhelmingly positive. One student said that this event helped them know “the options available to me that will help me in transfer planning while another expressed how this event gave them more options to possibly attend different four year colleges along with ways to move forward and speed up the process. Many students commented on exploring majors and campuses as well. In addition to learning about private and out-of-state colleges, as well as three of our main feeder campuses SFSU, CSU East Bay and UC Davis, students were able to learn more about the various programs and services offered by the Transfer Center and Career Center!

Many thanks to the English, Math, Social Science/Creative Arts, and Counseling Division Faculty who brought their classes to the fair, and to faculty from various disciplines who offered extra credit for attending the event!!! Over 40% of students reported they learned about the event from a Professor/Instructor, so the referrals are working!

Special thanks to the Associated Students of Skyline College and Palo Alto University for sponsoring the event and for the Transfer Center Student Ambassadors and staff for their efforts in making the day run seamlessly!

Article by Suzanne Poma | Photo by William Nacouzi

Skyline College Alma Mater Day reflects strong Transfer Culture

students at Alma Mater DayThe Transfer Center hosted yet another Alma Mater Day with great participation from Skyline College Faculty, Staff and Administrators!

In the spirit of promoting a campus-wide transfer culture and encouraging students to inquire about and plan for transfer, the Transfer Center hosted yet another Alma Mater Day during the Spring Transfer Fair.

Over 25 faculty and staff from the Counseling Division alone participated, while several other faculty and staff from various divisions and departments proudly wore their Alma Mater gear! Additionally, several faculty had on their “Where Did You Go to College” Pins, which helped promote and keep the transfer conversation going with our students throughout the day.

Thanks to those who participated and took the time to talk to students about transfer and their experience attending a four-year university!

SAVE THE DATE (and your PINS): Our next Alma Mater Day will be on Monday, October 31st, 2016. Are you a Gator, Golden Bear, Slug, Spartan? Dare to dress up as your school mascot!

Article by Suzanne Poma | Photo by William Nacouzi

Dr. Christopher Emdin Delivers Powerful Presentation

Chris Emdin at rock the school bellsOn Thursday, March 10, the Center for Innovative Practices through Hip Hop Education and Research (CIPHER) in partnership with the Career Advancement Academy (CAA) hosted Dr. Christopher Emdin who delivered his talk titled: S.T.E.M. With No Roots Bears No Fruit:  Full S.T.E.A.M. Ahead in #HipHopEd.

Dr. Emdin is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mathematics, Science, and Technology at Teachers College, Columbia University, where he also serves as Director of Science Education at the Center for Health Equity and Urban Science Education.  He is also the author of two books:  Urban Science Education for the Hip Hop Generation – Essential Tools for the Urban Science Educator and Researcher and For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood…And the Rest of Y’all Too.

Like a true Hip Hop emcee, he was able to deliver his message to a packed house in such a way that it was engaging for everyone in attendance ranging from high school students, faculty and staff, college students, and administrators.  High schools that were in attendance included:  Baden, El Camino, Peninsula, and Capuchino.

His presentation centered around his teaching philosophy through #HipHopEd and his work around reality pedagogy which focuses on how to create emancipatory spaces where students’ personal narratives are interwoven in the classrooms, specifically in areas around STEM majors.  He shared accounts of students’ experiences in schools that sheds light on the causes for the lack of educational achievement of urban youth, most notably how students of color perceives themselves in educational spaces.  He also shared his insights around financial literacy through STEM and the importance of sharing this information to all students, particularly students of color, in order to buck the trend of systemic financial oppression that exists in communities of color.

This event was made possible by the President’s Innovation Fund, the President’s Council, and the support of the CTE Day Committee members:  Soledad McCarthy, Lauren Ford, Jeremy Evangelista. Pcyeta Stroud, and Monique Hernandez.  Thank you to Dr. Angelica Garcia for providing her welcome remarks in the spirit of CIPHER and Rock The School Bells.  Special thanks to Kevin Chak, Amory Cariadus, Golda Margate, and Grace Beltran for the behind the scenes work in creating this successful event.

For more information CIPHER, please contact Nate Nevado at nevadon@smccd.edu.

Article by Nate Nevado| Photos by Will Nacouzi


WOW! Voices Now Event Celebrates Creative Writing at Skyline College

Attendees at Women On Writing ConferenceSkyline College faculty, staff, and students welcomed writers and readers from throughout the Bay Area to the campus on Saturday, March 12 for WOW! Voices Now, an annual literary event showcasing the accomplishments of women writers in honor of women’s history month.  Kathleen McClung, adjunct professor of English, served as creative director and event coordinator for the seventh year.

More than seventy audience members of all ages listened closely to keynote speakers Danusha Laméris and Ethel Rohan as they presented their award-winning work and engaged in thought-provoking Q & A.  Danusha Laméris read from her book of poetry, The Moons of August, as well as new poems. Ethel Rohan read from her memoir, Out of Dublin, and from her short story collection, Goodnight Nobody.  Both authors shared eloquently from their life experiences, offering wisdom and writing advice. After receiving sustained applause for their presentations, they signed books and spoke encouragingly with individual audience members.

WOW! founder Marijane Datson presented awards to outstanding Skyline College students Jacquie Espino and April M. Yee who each read well-crafted and moving pieces written in Prof. Rob Williams’ creative writing class. They both received enthusiastic ovations from the crowd, along with golden gift bags containing books and certificates. The ISA Awards honor the memory of Isabelle (Isa) Maynard, a featured author at the first WOW! Conference in 2003 whose creative accomplishments spanned many decades and art forms.

Fourteen writers of all ages read a rich assortment of poems, short stories and memoirs during the Open Reading.  Participants came from as far away as Sebastopol and Santa Cruz to contribute their talents and connect with fellow writers.

One Skyline student said about the event, “I felt as if everyone in the audience was a family who may have gathered that morning for different reasons, but left the program feeling the same way: touched and inspired.”

Another student said, “The event was outstanding. Just listening to the women speak gave me a sense of women can do any and every thing that they want. I was so empowered by their marvelous readings it inspired me to do my best in class.”

Thanks to Mary Gutiérrez, Dean of Language Arts, and Kevin Chak, Skyline Bookstore Manager, as well as WOW! Ambassadors Ellen Woods, Valerie Malliett, Tom McAninley, and caterer John Alvergue.

Article by Kathleen McClung | Photos by Shizue Seigel

Puentistas Visit Los Hermanos and Hermanas

hermanos and hermanas studentsOn March 14, 2016, Puente students and faculty from Skyline College made a visit to South San Francisco High School and connected with students from Los Hermanos and Hermanas.  Over 40 high school seniors were in attendance as they are preparing to transition into their first year in community college.

As the day kicked off, Puente English Professor, Lucia Lachmayr, introduced herself and completed a quick presentation outlining the Puente model, mission and goals.  Next, it was time for the Puentistas to take over the show!  Skyline College students, Koryna Barajas, Kim Cano, Natalia Gomez, Cassandra Gutierrez, Jose Gutierrez, and Lizandro Recinos introduced themselves and shared their background and experience being in Puente.  Following introductions, each of the Puentistas led a team building activity – each Puentista grouped up with 6 to 7 Hermano and Hermana students, passing out small cards with questions, questions ranged from, “if you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be” to “if you could sit front row at any concert, which would it be and why.” This activity had students smiling, laughing, and connecting their newly befriended Puentista!

Next, it was time for the Puente student panel, where the Puentistas were able to share their wisdom to the Hermano and Hermana students. Each Puentista had their unique story, sharing the barriers they faced and how they overcame them.  As the panel went on, it transitioned into a question and answer where each student had the opportunity to answer questions for Hermano and Hermana students.  The information and experience they received from the Puentistas was invaluable and eased the nervousness as they prepare for college.

Following the Puente student panel, Puente Counselor, Melanie Espinueva+Aure, led another team building activity, “build the highest tower.”  Again, each Puentista grouped up their Hermano and Hermana students and took on the challenge of building the highest tower using only the materials provided which included paper, plastic cups, tape, and straws.  Students were cutting, taping, folding, and doing whatever they could to build the highest tower.  Students showed their creativeness with one group who built a tower over 5 feet tall!  The students reflected on the activity and connected it to strategies for academic success both in high school and college. The teamwork and collaboration amongst the Hermano and Hermana students with their Puentista had them filled with excitement!

As the day came to an end, Puentistas shared their final words of wisdom, each saying something to motivate and inspire our future leaders.  It was a great event, one that was extremely beneficial for our Puentistas and our Hermano and Hermana students.  With such a successful event, there was no better way to end with a unity clap and a group “Sí, se puede​​​!”.

Article and Photo by Alberto Santellan and Melani Espinueva+Aure