Monthly Archives: March 2016

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

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

Automotive Department Hosts March Hiring Day

students and employers at Automotive Hiring DayWednesday, March 9, 2016, was a rainy and blustery day, but it did not deter potential employers in the industry from participating in one of our Hiring Days for the Spring Semester.

Amongst the 18 employers that braved the weather, were dealerships, independents, chain stores (tires & mass merchandisers), and Muni.  Lunch was served after the employers were settled in; students that signed up for the event were also served lunch upon their release from their respective classes.

All in all it was a very productive Hiring Day for the Automotive Department, and per Julia Johnson, our faculty member, a number of employers had to be turned away due to our limited space in the department.

The Automotive Department greatly appreciates the time and effort Julia Johnson put in to organizing this successful event.

Article by Nancy Lam | Photo by Tom Broxholm

Defining Student Success

Skyline College has long prided itself on its “students first!” approach in all it does, from its instructional programs and student services, to campus life and events. It is from this focus that the College derives its commitment to student success, as reflected in the Mission-Vision-Values (MVV) statement. And yet, until recently, the concept of student success has lacked a clear definition, leading many to wonder how we as a College and District should measure “student success.”

To that end, our college community is presently engaged in defining student success and determining which indicators are appropriate in order to evaluate our effectiveness in increasing student success. A draft definition has been developed and operationalized as follows:

At Skyline College, we value students’ success in achieving their goals, and strengthening their voices as they transform their lives through their educational experience. As an institution, we define student success as students’ achievement of their educational goals. We operationalize our definition of student success across four key indicators:

  • Academic Achievement: the extent to which students demonstrate satisfactory or above satisfactory academic performance as measured through successful course completion.
  • Student Persistence (semester-to-semester): the rate at which students persist to the subsequent semester, based on their educational goals.
  • Degree and Certificate Completion: The rate at which students complete their programs of study and achieve the educational attainment goals they set out to achieve.
  • Transfer Achievement: The rate at which students who indicate transfer as an educational goal are able to achieve transfer.

In addition to the indicators identified above, student success entails a myriad of less tangible outcomes that are more difficult to define or measure. For example, holistic learning and development as an indicator of student success may include, inter alia, the ability to strive for deeper understanding, build communication skills, think critically, and be civically engaged. The Institutional Student Learning Outcomes (ISLOs) identified in the Skyline College SLOAC Framework provide one approach for assessing some of the fundamental holistic learning and development outcomes that are typically associated with student success.

This draft is beginning to make its way through the College’s participatory governance processes, starting in the Institutional Effectiveness Committee (IEC) at its Monday, March 21st meeting. From there it will be taken to the Strategic Planning and Allocation of Resources Committee (SPARC) for review, as well as be presented to the Academic Senate, Classified Senate, and Associated Students for discussion before being taken to the College Governance Council (CGC) for final consideration. For any questions, please contact Aaron McVean, Dean of Planning, Research, and Institutional Effectiveness (PRIE) at

Article by Karen Wong

Students Vote for Sustainability Projects at Summit

2016 Sustainability SummitOn Tuesday, March 1, over 80 students came together for the Student Sustainability Summit Voting Day to vote on four student-led sustainability projects proposed in February. Grants to support these projects were awarded courtesy of the President’s Innovation Fund. The Summit was led by a team of Skyline College and San Mateo Community College District employees, dedicated to making Skyline College a more sustainable campus.

Four students, including Yanni Guo, Kendra McIntyre, Angelique Fuentes, and Jose Iniguez, presented diverse sustainability projects for the spring semester. The winners were chosen by student vote using iClickers during the Summit.

In first place, Yanni Guo will lead an awareness campaign about water bottles and promoting on-campus hydration stations.

In second place, Kendra McIntyre will be working alongside Pacific Dining and the Garden Project, a local nonprofit farm located near campus, to conduct a pilot project, sourcing local, sustainable, organic food in the cafeteria. The project hopes to offer new vegetarian and vegan recipes.

The third place winner, Angelique Fuentes, will expand on her innovative Carpooling Pilot Project from last year. She will be expanding carpool options beyond Parking Lot M and exploring incentives to encourage carpooling among students.

Jose Iniguez, fourth place, proposed a solar aquaponics project to be located near the Pacific Heights Buildings to educate and bring students into the world of solar aquaponics.

We look forward to supporting the students to ensure they lead successful projects this spring.

Thank you to the faculty advisors who assisted the students in their proposals: Lucia Lachmayr, Carla Grandy, Ronda Wimmer, and Carina Anttila-Suarez. Thank you to the District Sustainability Team, Joe Fullerton, Hilary Ego, and Gwen Alldredge, for their support, especially Joe Fullerton for facilitating the event. Finally, thank you to Jennifer Mair for four years of help organizing this event and to Ray Hernandez for his continued sponsorship.

If you are interested in joining a project, please email Allison Callow, Sustainability Coordinator, at or join us at an upcoming Student Ambassadors Network meeting held on the first Tuesdays of each month in Building 6, Room 6203.

Article by Allison Callow and Carina Anttila-Suarez | Photo by Hilary Ego

Information about Power is Power

new water meter assembly installed

Installing new meters is no simple task. Skyline College’s new water meter took multiple days to prepare and install.

Buildings across campus are constantly working to supply all of us with fresh air, heat as appropriate, and the appropriate amount of light. Pumps, motors, fans and other systems are all programmed to efficiently and effectively keep buildings safe and comfortable. These critical services require a lot of energy.  Unfortunately the Facilities team can only guess at how much energy each building uses.

You might be wondering why there is not more certainty about where our energy is being used.  The answer is that Skyline College, like many College campuses, is metered as a whole. Historically, individual buildings have not been metered. That is, until now.

Currently San Mateo County Community College District, in partnership with Schneider Electric, is installing an advanced Facility Management System (FMS). The FMS consists of hardware and software that, as it nears completion later in 2016, will increasingly help building operators and users understand and see energy issues in near real-time. Not only does the FMS present a wonderful opportunity for shifts in building and energy management, it also allows for building users to see, and thus positively influence, energy use patterns.

water and gas meters within fence area

Hardware to collect data from a water meter is secured alongside a PG&E meter interface.

One of the most exciting elements of this project is the ability for the campus to interact with the new system – a major asset in turning Skyline College into a living laboratory. The possibilities are endless but one can imagine a situation in which psychology students might study the behavioral impacts of having information about energy usage. Mean-while statistics students might find exciting efficiency opportunities by examining data derived from the system.  Communications students might find opportunities to tell the story of energy and water use on campus, while students at the Center for Sustainable Construction may find exciting ways to expand their knowledge of residential systems to commercial applications.

Be on the look-out for building energy dashboards that help you see how much energy is being consumed in your building in late 2016.

To find out more about SMCCCD Sustainability Initiatives please visit:

Article by Joe Fullerton

4th Annual Middle School Outreach Project Student Conference

MSOP ParticipantsThe Middle School Outreach Project (MSOP) was founded four years ago with the goal of exposing middle school students to college and careers beyond their scope at a young age.  The project also seeks to provide information about college and financial aid to parents in order to foster and support their development as educational advocates for their child.

Throughout the 2015-2016 academic year, the MSOP Team has worked closely with forty 8th grade middle school participants from Parkway Heights Middle School and approximately forty-five former MSOP participants currently in 9th, 10th, and 11th grade at South San Francisco High School.

On Friday, February 26, 2016, the College hosted the Middle School Outreach Project Student Conference at Skyline College for forty participating middle school students and staff.  During the conference, students toured the campus and visited various CTE labs, including Respiratory Therapy, Surgical Technology, Cosmetology, and Automotive Technology.

Students visited the soccer field and spoke with former Skyline College soccer players about their experiences as student athletes.  In addition, middle school students attended a financial aid presentation led by Jocelyn Vila and experienced a college class firsthand!

The conference concluded with a dynamic college panel comprised of current and former Skyline College students who eagerly shared their personal experiences in college and offered words of encouragements for our middle schoolers.

The conference was a tremendous success, which served to instill motivation and the desire to attend college among participants.

Article by Jessica Lopez | Photo by TRiO Student