Monthly Archives: May 2016

Over 160 High School Seniors Welcomed During PEP Days!

PEP CollageOn April 23, 2016, and May 14, 2016, the Outreach Office hosted Priority Enrollment Program (PEP) Days.  Combined, the PEP Days assisted over 160 students with the completion of their steps to successful matriculation.

Participants, affectionately referred to as PEPsters, were greeted with breakfast and an official Skyline College t-shirt to promote school spirit.  After a warm welcome from Will Minnich, Dean of Enrollment Services, and Luis Escobar, Dean of Counseling, students either attended Orientation or Assessment Testing.  PEPsters enjoyed pizza for lunch and had the opportunity to engage with current students, faculty, and staff during the Resource Fair. A few lucky PEPsters even won more Skyline College swag, graciously donated by Kevin Chak, Bookstore Manager, during our lunchtime raffle.  After lunch, students completed the remainder of their steps including counseling appointments to receive an abbreviated SEP and their first semester of recommended courses.  In between counseling appointments PEPsters attended workshops on the Promise Scholarship, Summer Scholars Institute, Financial Aid, Transfer Center, and even a campus tour.

Many thanks to everyone who assisted with both days!

Resource Fair Participants: Kwame Thomas, Nathan Jones, Carlos Cuna, Rachel Zabaneh, Troy Barros, Josie Glenn, Sam Sanchez, Jorge Murillo, Lesley Bode, Leitu Takapu, Will Sapigao, Tia Holiday, Elizabeth Tablan, Marisa Thigpen, Kristina Brower, Emma Briones, Nick Kapp, Monique Hernandez, Jesse Raskin (and Legal Studies Students), Karen Lai and Phi Theta Kappa, Alice Erskine, Nate Nevado, Liza Erpelo, Marlboro Bato, and the Associated Students of Skyline College.

Workshop Presenters: Lesley Bode, Jocelyn Vila, Lucy Perez, Nate Nevado, Liza Erpelo, Marlboro Bato, Melanie Espinueva, Lucia Lachmayr, Alina Varona

Counseling Faculty: Alberto Santellan, Melissa Komadina, Javier Urena, Lorraine DeMello, Lou Ferguson, Kim Burks, Andrea Anyawu, Jose Calderon, Tim Dupre, Kent Gomez, Lucy Perez, Will Sapigao, Jessica Lopez, Liliana Rivera, Kwame Thomas, Melanie Espinueva

Staff: Will Minnich, Luis Escobar, Grace Beltran, Jocelyn Vila, Lauren Ford, Eric Imahara, Vitoria Goncalves, Henry, Huang, Kristy Nguyen, Marta Cuellar, Kevin Chak, Vinny Samujh, Tao Liu, Robin Alim, Joseph Jaballa, Martin Marquez, Guillermo Alonzo, Carolina Avalos, Jackie Flores

Article by Lauren Ford

Skyline College Reaches Out!

Outreach CollageThe spring 2016 semester has proved to be quite busy for the staff and faculty at Skyline College.  At the beginning of the semester, college recruiter, Lauren Ford, reached out to various departments on campus to capture the amount of outreach conducted across campus and within the community.  Outreach events consisted of workshops, presentations, campus tours, tabling events (college & job fairs), and campus events such as the Brothers & Sisters Conference and CTE Day.

Lauren collected outreach data from the following departments: Outreach, Financial Aid, Career Advancement Academy, Cosmetology, Automotive Technology, SparkPoint, Middle College, Veteran’s Resource Center, and English Language Institute.  Through the efforts of these offices, Skyline College was able to make over 5700 impressions within our community!

If anyone would like to contribute to the Outreach/Recruitment Database and share your outreach efforts with Lauren, please contact her at  Lauren would like to thank everyone for their hard work in reaching out to our community to promote the mission and vision of Skyline College.  It truly takes a village!

Article and Photos by Lauren Ford

College Awarded Two-Year Grant To Provide Free Shuttle Service For Students

Skyline CollegeSkyline College was awarded a two-year grant to establish free non-stop, round trip shuttle service between the Daly City BART station and the campus, thanks to the San Mateo County Transportation Authority (TA) and the City and County Association of Governments of San Mateo County (C/CAG). The organizations approved the grant submitted by the San Mateo County Community College District for Skyline College in response to the San Mateo County Shuttle Program Call for Projects at their May board meetings.

The “Skyline College Express” shuttle service will launch August 2016, just in time for the start of fall semester classes on August 17, 2016. The shuttle will run every hour from 7:25 a.m. to 6:44 p.m., Mondays to Fridays. The 28-person shuttle service will be open to students, faculty and staff as well as community members who utilize the services available on campus such as SparkPoint, the Library and Veterans Resource Center. Those who come to campus to attend performing arts, athletics, guest lectures or other college events can avail of this convenient service.

Initial discussions on the project began in 2013 at the first annual Success Summit hosted by the President’s Council where a breakout session entitled, “The Last Mile” spurred much enthusiasm. This discussion demonstrated a clear need for a solution to the problem of transportation to and from campus from major transit hubs. A comprehensive transportation survey conducted in 2014, highlighted that due to the long travel time and lack of convenience, 67% of students and 74% of faculty and staff drive alone to the campus or have someone drive them. Implementation of the shuttle program will create convenient first / last mile connections for more than 5,000 students and employees residing in Daly City, San Francisco, and East Bay vicinities, representing close to half of the campus population.

The shuttle program will support students in getting to campus in a timely fashion at no cost, helping to mitigate socio-economic barriers to education and decrease commute times. Potential students who otherwise had no means of transportation to attend college will now have access to world-class educational opportunities, with approximately 100 degrees and certificates to choose from, for only $46 per unit.

Article by Cherie Colin

2016 Statewide Classified Employee of the Year Award

Jocelyn Vila Board of Gov May 2016On May 16, 2016, California Community Colleges Board of Governors honored Jocelyn Vila, Program Services Coordinator in the Financial Aid Department at Skyline College with the 2016 Classified Employee of the Year Award.  This award honors a classified employee who demonstrates the highest level of commitment to professional ethics and standards and serves the institution through participation in professional and/or community activities.

Jocelyn’s primary focus during her seven years of service at Skyline College has been to implement strategies to improve, expand, and ensure access to higher education for low-income and educationally disadvantaged students—particularly foster youth students—and also other student populations such as AB540/undocumented students, probation/juvenile justice youth, veteran students, students with disabilities, and homeless youth.

Because her passion is rooted in helping others overcome challenges and adversity, she has successfully developed a strong foundation and rapport with individuals representing a myriad agencies and postsecondary educational institutions.

She is a member of the EdSupport Working Group for Foster Youth Students in San Mateo County, the San Francisco Foster Youth Higher Education Subcommittee, and the Northern California Foster Youth Higher Education Consortium.  She also works closely with San Mateo County’s and San Francisco County’s Human Services Agencies (HSA), Independent Living Skills Programs (ILSP), Transitional Housing Program-Plus (THR-Plus) Providers, and Juvenile Justice/Probation Departments.  She was also appointed as the Region 3 Representative for the Foster Youth Success Initiative (FYSI) in 2014, keeping abreast of legislation as well as having assisted with the passing of Senate Bill 1023.

Jocelyn has been a great role model to the students and her colleagues. She is a constant anchor, always encouraging students and colleagues to believe in themselves and to continue pursuing their ambitions and dreams. As an educator and mentor of many skill sets, Jocelyn is the most deserving individual to receive the Community College Classified Employee of the Year.

Article by Regina Morrison | Photo by Dr. Regina Stanback Stroud

Students Receive 2016 Youth Scholarships


L to R Chad Thompson, Lavinia Zanassi, Marie Barbara Estacio, Jing Cai, and Kristina Brower Present, but not included in photo, Cherie Colin, Pcyeta Stroud, and student recipient, Jana May Oclaman

Several Skyline College Staff members were in attendance at the 34th Annual “Our Youth our Future” fundraising breakfast. This event, sponsored by Jobs for youth of San Mateo County, is a year-round program designed to help young people develop job competencies. This year’s program was emceed by Former Assemblymember, Gene Mullin and held at the Foster City Crowne Plaza. The program is dedicated to providing employment services to all San Mateo County youth between the ages of 14-21 years old at no cost to them or to employers.

Aside from being a fundraising event, businesses and youth from the county were awarded for their participation and dedication.  Three of the students receiving recognition were from our very own Skyline College!  Janah May T. Oclaman a sophomore majoring in Natural Science, Marie Barbara Estacio, a student active in both Trio and the Kababayan Learning Community, and Hannah Ticzon, who will be transferring from Skyline College to continue her studies at  California State University of Northridge, pursuing a degree in Radiology.

Article by Lavinia Zanassi and Kristina Brower

End of Year Celebration

End of Year CelebrationOn Thursday, May 19, the Academic Senate and Classified Senate combined forces to host another fun and exciting End-of-Year Celebration. The theme “Tiki Time” was hosted by faculty member, Amber Steele, and the fun and enthusiastic Classified Senate President and Transfer Center Program Services Coordinator, Michele Haggar. The event featured two traditional dance performances, in an effort to create a calming and relaxing event where faculty and staff have the opportunity to get-together for lunch, celebrate the end of the year, and recognize the efforts of our fellow colleagues.

To kick off the event, Amber Steele’s students performed a traditional Tahitian dance choreographed by Shannen Vergara, which highlighted and brought awareness to the Tahitian culture. Following this beautiful performance, our guest speaker Buz Deadwax, invited by Amber Steele, provided a historical presentation about Tiki culture, which added to our experience of Tiki Time. Later, Anjelica Gacutan, Student Life and Leadership Assistant and Guest Artist, and Kalani Viloria, a Skyline College Student, choreographed Amber Steel’s students to perform a dance piece named after the song, “Ka Uluwehi o Ke Kai”. This graceful dance performance symbolized the beautiful and moving process of selecting our life long partners using seaweed as the metaphor. And throughout the event, Jose Bonilla, Head Athletic Trainer, lent his talents by playing the Ukulele, which was a wonderful touch to our event.

The celebration also featured a drawing for generous basket donations provided to us by various divisions, programs, and departments on campus! The proceeds, totaling over $700 dollars will be going toward scholarships for Skyline College students. And as part of an incentive to encourage basket donations, a contest was held to see who would win the “Best Basket” by cheer vote from the attendees. The lucky winner was the Administrative Offices who provided a basket full of gift cards to various businesses and they will be receiving a complimentary continental breakfast generously donated to us by Kevin Chak, Skyline College bookstore manager.

In addition to the cultural arts presented and performed, this was a time for us to recognize, say thanks, and congratulate our Classified Staff Retirees Linda Herda, Mannie Peix, and Cass Christian. The Special Recognitions Award was presented to Vinesh “Vinnie” Samujh, our facilities staff member, by his supervisor, John Doctor and to Ellen Lee, our Payroll Technician, by her supervisor Eloisa Briones. These two individuals were presented this award in recognition of their hard work and dedication within their respective positions.

Nathan Jones, English Instructor and our ASTEP Coordinator, was awarded the Meyer Excellence Teaching Award from the Academic Senate. This award recognizes the contributions of a faculty member in their first five years of hiring who demonstrate excellence in teaching, on/ off campus activities, and overall collegiality. Faculty retirees Lauri Biagi from Cosmetology, Michael Moynhihan from Sociology, and Garry Nichols from English were also honored. Additionally it was announced that Garry would serve as the Faculty Marshall for Commencement. And last, but certainly not least, the Academic Senate adopted by acclamation thanking our much loved Vice President of Instruction, Dr. Sarah Perkins for her outstanding service in honor of her retirement.

With that said, the organizational team would like to thank Theresa Tentes for arranging the catering for the event, the Academic Senate and Classified Senate for their donation toward the materials for the event, Annie Trinh and Linda Bertellotti for scheduling the rooms, to facilities for room setup/ cleanup, and to Pacific Dining for our lunch. And an extra special thanks to Skyline College students Shanté Wong and Christabelle Pabalan for serving as our “Mock-bartenders”.

Overall the event was well attended and we look forward to hosting our next End of Year Celebration in Spring 2017.

Article by Michele Haggar | Photos by Amber Steele

Transfer Center Campus Tours to San Jose State and UC Santa Cruz

students touring Santa CruzOn March 18 the Transfer Center took a group of nearly 40 Skyline College students to San Jose State University.  The students were able to tour the campus, eat in the Dining Commons and get a special Housing Tour as well. Many students reported not being sure about applying to the campus, but after attending the tour they planned to add it to their list of colleges they are going to apply to for in the fall. And in attendance were a group of admitted students who were able to learn about the opportunities available at this campus so that they could make a more informed decision in attending the campus this upcoming Fall.

On April 22, a group of nearly 40 Skyline College students attended a tour to UC Santa Cruz. A large group from the PACE learning community attended as well. Students received a full 1.5 hour tour of the campus, up and down the many hills despite the rain. They also received a personal Admissions presentation from their Admissions Advisor.

Students who attended these tours learned a lot about each campus, were actively engaged in trivia on the bus ride home and provided overwhelmingly positive feedback on the surveys.  For many of our students, this may have been their first opportunity to tour a UC campus or consider UC Santa Cruz and to visit any campus outside of the immediate area. By gaining exposure to the campus environments, students are able to learn about not only opportunities, but also where they see themselves after they transfer.

This is the third year the Transfer Center has been able to host three Campus Tours in the Spring semester and this year were able to travel further due to an increase in funding. Campus Tours support students’ process in “Getting Through” and “Getting Out” and provide the opportunity for students who may not otherwise have the resources to get to visit these campuses.

Article written by Suzanne Poma and Michele Haggar

Career Advancement Academy End of the Year Celebration

CAA End of Semester CelebrationOn Thursday, May 19, the Career Advancement Academy (CAA), hosted its end of the semester celebration. Current CAA students mingled with faculty, program staff, and students from previous cohorts to acknowledge and celebrate students’ hard work during this and past semesters.

We were delighted to see familiar faces and celebrate the accomplishments of our current and former students. We also had the opportunity to recognize the CAA students who will be participating in the Skyline College Commencement ceremony and donning their CAA sashes: Utopia Hammond and Nicholas Zuniga, Allied Health, Michelle Hembry and Nikki McLaughlin, Legal Careers, and Roy Richards, Automotive Technology. Congratulations to them—and to all of our Career Advancement Academy students—on making it to the final stretch!

The Career Advancement Academy creates bridges to higher-wage careers and additional opportunities in higher education by integrating career and technical training, basic skills courses, and support systems. Currently, the Skyline College CAA has programs in Allied Health, Automotive, Education, Biotechnology, and Legal Careers.

For more information about Career Advancement Academy contact, Jeremy Evangelista.

Article and Photo by Jeremy Evangelista

Veterans Celebrate End of Year Achievements

Veterans CelebrationOn Monday, May 16, 2016 the Skyline College Veterans Club in partnership with the Veterans Resource Center held its annual End of the Year Celebration.  During the event, veterans were recognized for their academic achievements of receiving degrees or certificates and/or transferring to four-year universities.

The event began with a wonderful introduction from the Veterans Club President, Jose Luis Sanchez, followed by inspirational words from Dr. Luis Escobar, Dean of Counseling and Advising. Club advisor, Jarrod Feiner, and Veterans Resource Center Coordinator, Gina Ciardella, addressed the audience and provided additional words of motivation. The event included a ceremony with presentation of stoles to those who will be participating in the graduation ceremony. An extra special addition to this year’s ceremony was the presentation of a Skyline College Veterans Challenge Coin to all veterans being acknowledged for their accomplishments. Challenge coins are typically presented in the military to those who have met a specific achievement. They can also signify membership in a particular unit. The Skyline College Veterans Challenge Coin is both an achievement award and a token to signify that awardees are and will always be a part of the Skyline College family. The procurement of the Skyline College Veterans Challenge Coin was made possible due to the support of the Student Equity Plan, along with President Stanback Stroud, Vice President of Student Services, Dr. Angélica Garcia, and Dean of Enrollment Services, Will Minnich.

The event concluded with a round of applause and dinner provided by the financial support of the Associated Students of Skyline College. This event is a great example of many campus partners coming together in support of our student veterans as they persist and complete their educational goals.

Article by Gina Ciardella | Photo by Sandra Ruiz

Transfer Achievement Dinner, Celebrating Success

students at transfer dinnerAs part of the Transfer Initiative the Transfer Center recently hosted its second annual Transfer Achievement Dinner on Friday, May 20 from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm in the Fireside Dining Room. The event is designed to bring awareness to transfer and to continue to build the culture of transfer at Skyline College. More specifically, the evening highlights the success of Skyline College students who have been accepted and are transferring to a 4-year college or university this coming fall 2016. In the weeks leading up to the event many students shared with us that they were excited and happy to see that they will be able to celebrate with their family and classmates their transfer success.

With over 130 students and families attending to celebrate this major accomplishmeTransfer Dinnernt, the event was well attended. Attendees had the opportunity to meet with fellow transfer students. The evening’s program included inspirational stories and advice from a student guest speaker, the Dean of Counseling, and the San Francisco State Transfer Articulation Bridge Program instructor, Paul Mendez, who received a Certificate of Appreciation for his years of dedication to Skyline College students. Additionally, for the first time, the Transfer Center awarded Transfer Recognition Cords for students to wear while attending commencement. These cords symbolize their efforts and success toward transfer.

Feedback from both students and parents was overwhelmingly positive. Many students shared their appreciation and excitement for the event. One parent said that this was the first time he had attended a transfer recognition event and found it to be very meaningful to him and his family. Another student expressed their excitement to be participating in the event since they were not earning an associate degree, “this is my way of celebrating my transfer accomplishments with my family.”

With that, the Transfer Center would like to thank the staff and Student Ambassadors Ashely Cabrera, Allyson Roa, and Nu Nu N-Dwang for assisting with the preparation and set-up. Thanks to Pacific Dining Services for providing our menu for the evening. A special thanks to Forest Jensen for playing the piano and providing us with the entertainment. And thank you to William Nazcouzi for documenting our evening by taking photos of the event. Thank you to our guest speakers, Jessca Gonzales, Vanessa Aragon, and Dr. Luis Escobar.

We are looking forward to hosting the event again next year for our next round of transfer students.

Article by Michele Haggar | Photographs by William Nazcouzi