Monthly Archives: December 2016

Marketing’s Mia Coo Joins Team as Visual Communications Coordinator

Mia CooThe Marketing Department would like to extend a belated official campus-wide introduction to the newest member of the MCPR team, Rossmia “Mia” Coo who has been serving as the Visual Communications Coordinator for the college since October. Mia is a talented graphic designer with experience working in a marketing department for a performing arts organization and most recently as an Office Assistant in Cosmetology here at Skyline College providing exemplary customer service and producing marketing materials for the department. She volunteers her graphic design services to nonprofits throughout the bay area. Her experience also includes copyediting, copywriting, photography and social media.

Mia earned a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science degree in Political Science from International Islamic University in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. She was just 6 credits shy of completing her Master’s in Business Administration from Ateneo Graduate School of Business in the Philippines, when she emigrated to the United States. Mia has continued her education in the U.S., taking graphic design and art courses at City College of San Francisco and Skyline College.

Mia can be found with the MCPR team in office 4329-A, and can be reached at extension 7062 or Please extend a Skyline College welcome if you haven’t already.

Equity Summit Brings Thought Leaders to Campus

angela davis speaking at Skyline College
Skyline College has made a commitment to rethink and be intentional about the way we engage teaching and learning. In an effort to remain true to this commitment, on Friday, December 9, 2016, the college invited some of the nation’s leading scholars on educational equity and critical pedagogy to share their theories and practices. The program opened with a welcome from President Dr. Regina Stanback Stroud and Nina Floro from the Center for Transformative Teaching and Learning. Dean of Student Equity and Support Programs, Lasana Hotep, opened the program reminding the audience that, “As we reimagine our educational institutions, we should consider the material needs, support services, and pedagogy we implore in charting a new course for student success.”

The Summit featured six 15-minute equity talks addressing topics ranging from political imaginations of STEM education and integrating culturally relevant pedagogy. This style of short, concise presentations kept the audience engaged throughout the day. Six of the speakers engaged in dialogue on two separate plenary sessions: Value of Race and Equity in Education and Equitable Pedagogical Practices. The speakers shared a wealth of knowledge drawing from their experiences as faculty and administrators within their respective campuses on programs, strategies and practices that value difference and the lived experiences of students.

administrators with angela davisThis format, alternating between short talks and plenary sessions, made for a community-oriented and intellectually stimulating experience adding a modern twist to the traditional model of a professional development conference. The purpose of the Equity Summit was for students, staff, faculty, and administrators to increase their understanding of educational equity and learn best practices on culturally relevant teaching. It also gave a preview of what can be expected for the Equity Training Series (ETS), a six-week professional development opportunity for Skyline College staff, faculty, and administrators that will be offered in spring 2017.

The event culminated with a Keynote Address from Distinguished Professor Emerita, scholar-activist, and public figure, Dr. Angela Davis. “I would like to begin from the assumption that there can be no social transformation with no education and that the overarching purpose of knowledge is, indeed, to make a difference in the social world…ultimately it is about creating a better world, creating a more habitable universe,” Dr. Davis said to a crowd of over 450 attendees from all over the Bay Area, Central Valley, and Southern California.

Dr. Davis covered a myriad of local and global issues in relation to the current state of education. These topics included the prison-industrial complex, post-election climate, and the history of institutionalized oppression that continues to affect communities of color in the United States and abroad. Dr. Davis’ address was followed by a Community Connection Mixer where participants were able to continue the dialogue and network.

Lucia Lachmayr, an Associate Professor of Language Arts shared, “The Equity Summit was a much-needed boost for me as an educator. It helped me to reimagine the classroom beyond a safe space to a brave space, beyond critical pedagogy to humanizing pedagogy. It also reminded me that oftentimes we are not just teaching content, but helping students unlearn ineffective ways of learning as much as teaching them new ways of learning. It was incredibly engaging, useful professional development. And to cap it all off, Angela Davis! This summit was a much-needed tonic and I’m very excited about continuing the discussions next semester.”

Article by Lasana Hotep and Katrina Pantig | Photo by Gino DeGrandis

International Students Host Holiday Get-together!

international studentsInternational Student Program (ISP) hosted the holiday get-together for international students during finals week, on Wednesday, December 7. Students enjoyed watching the slideshows, decorating holiday cookies, and making hot chocolate together!

The event was also an opportunity to thank international students for their contribution to the college. This year, more than 30 international students actively participated in the ISP programs. The highlight of the fall semester was the International Food Festival that took place during International Education Week 2016. Students from 18 countries took part in the event, introducing the rich cultures and traditions from their home countries.

The International Student Program is part of the Global Learning Programs and Services Division. ISP plans to host follow-up workshops in the Spring semester for Skyline College faculty and staff members. Please check future events on the ISP website at:

Article & Photo by Chikako Walker

Career Services Engages with Bay Area Employers

Career Services Center at PWCCareer Services brought together students and employers through a variety of Career Development events in November and December.

On November 29, a networking workshop with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), one of the Big Four auditors and ranked as the most prestigious accounting firm in the world for seven consecutive years, presented on the importance of building relationships in the world of work. PwC will be returning for a second year in the spring to invite, interview, and select eligible students as participants for competitive PwC summer internships.

December 7 brought SV Academy CEO, Rahim Fazal to the campus for a Lunch and Learn in the Career Services Center. The afternoon featured the launching of an academic fellowship in January 2017. This 12-week training is designed to assist graduating Skyline College students in finding jobs within the fast-growing tech industry. This free inaugural fellowship will guide students through the process of landing sales & business development jobs at Silicon Valley start-ups.

On December 8, Career Services and Digital Film Professor Sam Sanchez held an evening with cinematographer Jacques Haitkin and photographer Johnny Wu.  Both passionate about the creative fields in which they work, they had fascinating stories to share. Johnny Wu, specializing in the photographing of action figures, explained how his “hobby” became a career.  Mr. Wu was gracious enough to show scenes from recent work that he completed while going over some of the techniques that he uses in his award winning photos. Jacques Haitkin, a professional cinematographer who has worked in partnership with the film industry’s biggest names for 5 decades, spoke about the various contributions he has made to such action movie projects as Captain America, Kong: Skull Island, Fast 8 and several others.  He also gave us insight into a typical day on the set of a Hollywood production.

On December 9, KQED, the Bay Area’s premier Public Broadcasting Station generously offered an afternoon tour of its San Francisco studio. Thanks to Skyline College student, Jolie Bauman, ‎Associate Director of Membership Marketing, who served as docent and host, gave a behind-the-scenes look and shared KQED’s mission to recognize the importance of membership television in broadcasting programs that entertain and educate on culture, politics, theater, and documentaries. Employing both technical and language arts majors, KQED’s history of communicating both historical and news-breaking stories makes it one of the most trusted sources of information. A follow-up student group visit will be coordinated in the spring semester.

Article by Lavinia Zanassi | Photo by Nicholas Zuniga

Associated Students Host District-wide Student Senate Mixer

On Friday December 2, the Associated Students of Skyline College hosted a social and training mixer for the student senates of Skyline College, Cañada College and CSM. The mixer aimed to help participants strengthen the relationship between sister schools, learn about team building, and gain cultural competency training. After starting off with an ice breaker introduction between senate members, the mixer was divided into three activities—one focusing on team work, another on strategy, and the final one focusing on diversity training. The mixer ended with a cross-the-line activity and discussion about privilege and how to be competent and representative as councils at each of our respective schools. The mixer most importantly succeeded in bringing together the Associated Students within the District —setting up a strong basis for moving forward as representatives and unified schools. The mixer ended with dinner, socializing, hopeful discussions of our now more relationship-based future, and hope for another mixer in the near future.

Article by Margo Feldman

Results of the Community College Survey of Student Engagement

Community College Student ReportHow do you feel when you hear that 97% of survey respondents would recommend Skyline College to a friend or family member? In fact, 84% of survey respondents indicated that their overall Skyline College educational experience was “good” or “excellent.”

These insights were garnered from the Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE), a national survey which 1,005 Skyline College students completed last spring. What students are doing within and outside of the classroom, knowing their goals, and understanding their external responsibilities can inform how we create an environment that enhances their learning, development, and ultimately their ability to succeed in achieving their academic goals. A snapshot of students’ experiences, the current results can be compared with the results from the 2016 cohort (colleges that administered the survey between 2014- 2016) and the past two times we administered the survey.

The CCSSE provides information on the institutional practices and student behaviors that are highly correlated with student learning and retention. Conceptually related items are clustered under the five “benchmark” areas which educational research has shown to be important to students’ college experiences and educational outcomes: (1) active and collaborative learning, (2) student- faculty interaction, (3) academic challenge, (4) student effort, and (5) support for learners. The College fared better than the 2016 cohort in “support for learners,” and was most challenged in “student effort.” “Support for learners” encompasses a variety of goals: providing effective student support services, cultivating positive relationships among groups on campus, and demonstrating a commitment to student success. “Student effort,” meanwhile, pertains to students’ own behaviors. For instance, with one survey item, 21% of Skyline College respondents “often” or “very often” come to class without completing readings or assignments, compared to 14% of the 2016 cohort. The point of the CCSSE is not to blame, however, but rather to better understand the challenges students face—including those outside of school, and to take an honest look at our roles in impacting students’ ability to flourish at Skyline College. For further exploration of the survey items that fall under these benchmarks, you’re encouraged to participate in one of the CCSSE interactive presentations that will take place next semester.

Our college community has begun to analyze the results, and the Planning, Research, and Institutional Effectiveness (PRIE) office is eager to engage more of the college in talking about the results. So far, discussions have taken place in the Institutional Effectiveness Committee (IEC), the Strategic Planning and Allocation of Resources Committee (SPARC), the College Governance Council (CGC), and the CTTL’s Boot-Up Camp. Next semester, additional venues will be through the Center for Transformative Teaching and Learning (CTTL) and potentially division meetings and governance committees, as well as research briefs in “Skyline Shines.” We hope to see you at one of these interactive presentations!

For more information about the CCSSE, visit, or for a copy of the actual survey, see .

Article by Karen Wong

Kappa Beta Delta Hosts Post-Election Analysis with Dan Logan

KBD Post Election AnalysisKappa Beta Delta, International Business Honor Society, hosted a Post Election Analysis on Monday, November 28, 2016 and it was a great success. KBD invited Stanford graduate Mr. Dan Logan who was actively involved in registering voters in Mississippi 50 years ago during the Freedom Summer. Mr. Logan led the discussion and analysis of the 2016 election. During the event, the audience participated in various activities such as expressing their opinions about the election and discussing how this election will affect their future. They also had a chance to hear different voices and perspectives from the community including Jacqueline Jacobberger, a previous President of the League of Women Voters of North and Central San Mateo County. The event ended with Mr. Logan raffling off a few copies of his book for the audiences who actively participated in those activities. Thank you to all those that joined.

Article by Seng Bu Aung

Skyline College Joins AAC&U Advisory Board

Cheryl AjirotutuDr. Cheryl Ajirotutu has been appointed to the Global Learning Advisory Board, within the American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U). Dr. Ajirotutu will represent Skyline College, advancing AAC&U’s global learning agenda through participation in and preparation of conferences and meetings, technical support mentoring for AAC&U member institutions, grant projects as well as reviewer for AAC&U global learning projects.

AAC&U has advanced global learning for over three decades. Its ongoing work facilitates national conversations on important global issues such as:

  • Outcomes, Assessment and Curriculum/Co-Curriculum Global Learning Pathways
  • Ethical Obligations to International and Domestic Students and Community Partners Strategic Planning for Global Learning: Designs for Greater Inclusivity
  • Integration of Global Learning with Other High-impact Educational Practices

Cheryl Ajirotutu is Coordinator for the African Diaspora Program in the Global Learning Programs and Services (GLPS) division at Skyline College.

Article by Cheryl Ajirotutu

College Governance: SPARC Meeting Update

The Skyline College Strategic Planning and Allocation of Resources Committee (SPARC) held its final meeting for 2016 on Thursday, December 8, 2016.

Eloisa Briones, Vice President of Administrative Services gave a quick update on the Facilities Planning underway at Skyline College.  She noted that the Pacific Heights building will be upgraded instead of the original plan to demolish and construct a new building in its place.  Due to an escalation in construction costs, the funding that was allocated to build three new structures is only adequate for two new structures.

Aaron McVean, Interim Vice President of Instruction was available to provide the group with an overview of three major grants that are available to Skyline College.  Currently in process is a technical assistance grant from the Laura and Arnold Johnson Foundation to facilitate implementation of the Skyline College Promise.  The grant of $836,607 for two years will allow the college to model the best practices from the highly successful City University of New York Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (CUNY-ASAP) which allows students to attain Associate Degrees within 3 years.  CUNY-ASAP graduation rate is over 50%.

Two other major grants from the State with a deadline of February 3, 2017 are the Award for Innovation in Higher Education from the California State Department of Finance of up to $2.5 million per award and the California College Promise Innovation Grant Program from the California Community College Chancellor’s Office for $750,000.   Both grants will allow the college to fully implement and expand the Skyline College Promise of “Get in. Get through. Get out…on time!”

Karen Wong, Coordinator of Institutional Effectiveness and Zahra Mojtahedi, Planning and Research Analyst, gave a hands on presentation of the highlights and implications of the results of last spring’s college wide survey, the Community College Survey for Student Engagement (CCSSE).   CCSSE, which was created in 2001, is designed to capture the institutional practices and student behaviors that are highly correlated with student learning and retention.  Skyline College has administered the survey once every four years since 2008.   The survey was administered in 51 randomly selected courses to ensure a decent sample, resulting in 1005 students taking the survey.  The survey allows the college to also compare results against the 2016 cohort of colleges that administered the survey. The highlights will help inform faculty, staff and administrators on how to improve upon institutional practices that enable students to meet their educational goals and increase student engagement. Please see the accompanying article on the CCSSE in this edition of “Skyline Shines.”

Article by Judy Hutchinson

College Governance: Emergency Response Task Force Update

The Emergency Response Task Force met on December 1, 2016. The Task Force is rotating locations of meetings and including a building tour to become more familiar with the various building nuances to better prepare for emergencies. The following updates were provided during the meeting and a robust discussion on improvements and next steps took place, followed by a building 7 tour by Dean Hernandez.

Communication Go Packets: Cherie Colin reported that she is working in conjunction with the Chief of Staff at the district, the other two college PIOs and Tom Maloney, the district consultant for emergency preparedness, to develop communications “go” packets for various emergency scenarios.

Emergency Vests: Tom Maloney has provided a recommendation to the district on a rollout of emergency vest color coding for building captains and Emergency Operations Center members to wear during drills and in the event of an emergency situation. The district will prescribe what colors that will be used at all three campuses for consistency. Vice President Briones has requested that the vests be ordered in time for our February tabletop exercise.

Building Safety Teams: Tom Maloney is recommending that we adjust the district-wide terminology from Floor and/or Building Captains to Building Safety Teams, so that a more team-oriented approach is taken.

Building Captains: Tom Maloney is recommending a policy for determining how many Building Captains should be assigned based on the size of the building. Part of the recommendation includes that each division determine its needs based on their building to create a Building Safety Team so there are multiple people in the division available to support emergency response efforts. Chief of Public Safety, Jim Vangele would like to assign staff to these positions who are willing to be trained to take on the safety tasks as part of their regular duties. While faculty can assist, he would only like to recruit those who voluntarily want the assignments. John Doctor, Facilities Manager said that Facilities is prepared to assist with Building Captain duties in the evening in all campus buildings. They have established a chain of command to back up the Facilities Manager if he is not on campus. Scott Mansfield will be contacting the division deans and ask them to be intentional about who they assign to their Building Safety Team.  He will also ask the deans to assess how many team members are needed, what their resources and specific needs are. Chief Vangele is available to walk through each building with the dean(s) to assist in determining what their needs are.

Emergency Supplies: Chief Vangele reported that Skyline College will be organizing its emergency equipment and “go bags” and needs a final list of what to order. They would like these supplies to be standardized throughout the district.  The Chief and Tom Maloney will coordinate with district and report back to the committee.

Evacuation and Emergency Response: All faculty and staff should be required to participate in and follow instructions from Building Safety Teams during drills. It should be mandatory that they evacuate in all instances, including during drills, which did not happen during the last drill.

Campus Radio Training: Chief Vangele scheduled and held radio trainings before the Winter Break for interested staff and faculty.

Building 7 Tour: The Task Force toured Building 7, which houses classrooms, labs and staff offices. There are also chemicals and other hazardous materials stored in the building. Because of the multiple stairwells and exits, evacuation during the October Great California Shake-Out was complicated. Dean Hernandez pointed out that the maps near stairwells will need to be corrected and should be easier to view in an emergency as they are oriented wrong. Building 7 connects with Building 8, so coordination between the Building 7 and Building 8 Building Safety Teams should be established. A suggestion was made to standardize the evacuation route for Building 7 and create a set of instructions. Emergency egress locations need to be established for each building.

Article by Cherie Colin & Linda Bertellotti