Monthly Archives: December 2016

International Food Festival A Big Success

students at Food FestivalThe International Food Festival organized and hosted by the International Student Program (ISP), on Tuesday, November 15, 2016 was a grand success. A range of students from various ethnic and cultural backgrounds participated in the event. The countries represented by the students were China, Japan, Germany, Venezuela, Brazil, Columbia, Thailand, Myanmar, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Ivory Coast and South Africa. The event was hosted in Building 6 where the students of Skyline College were able to meet, sample regional foods and learn about the various cultures that were highlighted.

There were individual tables for each country and the students were dressed in traditional clothing representing their country. The German table was laden with traditional foods from Germany such as Brockwurst (a sausage variety), Sauerkraut (a pickled cabbage) and Pretzels. An interesting fact about Germany is that there are over 300 varieties of bread! The South African table had delicious food such as Amakheke which are a type of scone and Harrissa paste which is a chili paste that is synonymous with the region. The table was decorated in South African prints and flags. An interesting piece of information about South Africa is that is has the longest wine route in the world. The Latin America table was busy with the “Alfajores” (caramel sandwich cookies) and “Pao Doce Com Coco” (coconut bread) being extremely popular. Students also learned interesting facts about the regions such as how Venezuela is home to own of the tallest waterfalls in the world, known as “Angel Falls”. The South Eastern table was filled with Thai foods such as Pad Thai, Egg rolls and a Burmese Tea Leaf salad which many students were eager to try.

The student hosts were dressed in richly embroidered gold and silk outfits and enthralled the students. The students representing China had almond pastries, almond cakes, cookie rolls and prepared squid that were delicious and gave students a chance to try something different. We could hear Chinese words being exchanged and students being exposed to the culture of China. The table was decorated in traditional Chinese Red and Gold material with flags, teapots and exquisite Chinese dolls. There was also a Japanese Origami table where students could learn to do Origami which is the ancient art of paper folding. The Middle East was also represented with the Baklava they displayed flying off the table as they were highly sought after. Students learned about Jordan and interesting information including the fact that a lot of popular movies were shot there, which was fascinating to know!

The International Food Festival event presented international students with an opportunity to share their cultures, and for other students to get a glimpse into the traditions of other cultures. The events served to highlight the diversity that is a key feature of Skyline Community College and its mission.

International Student Program will continue to provide international and cultural programs and events for Skyline College students, faculty and staff members and the greater Skyline College community. Please check future events on the ISP website at: www.skylinecollege.edu/international.

Article by Sujaya Chandran | Photo by William Nacouzi

Bay Area Entrepreneur Center Featured in The San Mateo Daily Journal!

Incubator Speaker Series-3Building the next generation’s business skills: Skyline College entrepreneur program offers training for students

The Bay Area Entrepreneur Center of Skyline College launched a business incubator program in early 2014 to offer classes, training, instruction, mentoring and other valuable information to help small companies grow.Aspiring entrepreneurs enrolled at Skyline College can lean on a new program designed to build their business development skills and fuel their burgeoning company on the way to success.

As a portion of its offerings, the center is also hosting a speaker series placing successful business owners in front of students, who can absorb the knowledge and pepper pros with questions regarding their recipe for success.

Such an opportunity Thursday, Dec. 1, brought Eddie Lin, founder and CEO of marketing company NexusEdge, before the students and program participants to share his strategies for building a brand.

“I want to be able to help students or anyone in the space that I was in before who are encountering the same struggles I had previously,” he said.

Lin’s speech is the second in a series of three speakers who visited the center over the past month. Global trade expert Raja Ben spoke roughly two weeks ago and intellectual property attorney Heather Bennett is scheduled to appear Tuesday, Dec. 15.

Terri Wade, a business and marketing consultant for the center, said she believes granting access to the wisdom of accomplished business people alongside the variety of other resources available helps many hopeful entrepreneurs see a path to achievement more clearly.

“The speakers are there to offer their expertise and open up eyes to different possibilities out there and learning from those who have been there and done that,” she said.

Ultimately, Wade said a goal of the center and its programs is to encourage young business owners to constantly push the boundaries of what they believe is possible to accomplish.

“Many are thinking small and local, but we want them to think larger,” she said. “So we are able to nurture the entrepreneur to take their business to the next level.”

There are only a handful of participants currently enrolled in the incubator program, said Wade, spanning from those who want to launch a secure wireless network company to another attempting to build a marketing firm.

Those enrolled can access the variety of services available at the center, located in downtown San Bruno at 458 San Mateo Ave., such as conference rooms, co-working spaces, workshops, seminars and an opportunity to access the network of venture capitalists, local businesses and professionals who may be able to offer mentoring or stewardship.

The center has established partnerships with the San Bruno Chamber of Commerce, along with small business associations in San Francisco and San Mateo counties for a portion of the advising services.

Incubator members also stand to access business development money available from the program’s board of directors, said Wade, though the investment fund has yet to be launched.

The resources are only available to students who go through an application process and pay a fee to enroll, which Wade said is an effective mechanism to assure those who participate are committed to their endeavor.

Members are asked to spend between $150 per month for a virtual membership which grants access to programs but no office space to $450 monthly for unlimited access to resources along with two consulting appointments.

Wade said the program was borne from a desire among many students at Skyline College to build their talents for growing a small business into a viable and successful company and interest for the services has jumped since the incubator recently launched.

“It has encouraged a lot of Skyline students,” she said.

Skyline College President Regina Stanback-Stroud offered a similar perspective in a prepared statement.

“The Bay Area Entrepreneur Center will be a business catalyst to seed and develop entrepreneurship in our region. Leading creative economic development partnerships such as this are exactly what the college is designed and committed to do,” she said. “It is just another way for the college to invest in the community and identify and engage the businesses and workforce of tomorrow.”

For his part, Lin said he is hopeful his message resonates by encouraging students to overcome the potential fears associated with taking the risks which may initially seem intimidating but stand to benefit a company’s growth.

“Most people are too scared to talk to strangers, but that is when the most interesting things happen,” she said.

This article was originally published in the Daily Journal on December 05, 2016, by Austin Walsh

Article: Austin Walsh, The Daily Journal | Photo: Terri Wade

De-Stress for Success at the Library!

De-stress eventsThe Skyline College Library hosted daily programs to help over 300 Skyline College faculty, staff, and students de-stress during the last week of the semester. Students enjoyed cupcake decorating, button making, a visit from therapy dogs, and a mindfulness session. The library also offered week-long drop-in activities such as popular board games, bookmark coloring, and jigsaw puzzles.

Monday, December 5: Cupcake Decorating

Sweets-loving students decorated vanilla and chocolate cupcakes – jelly beans and rainbow sprinkles were popular toppings.  “It really puts a smile on people’s faces” and “definitely stress-relieving” said students. Other students requested that the library host more food programs in the future.

Tuesday, December 6: Button Making

“I want to do this all day!” was a common refrain by students, staff, and faculty. Students made their own personal pins or magnets. A 1-inch press was used to design custom buttons of popular cartoon characters reading. Disney characters and Pokémon, and “I love reading” and “I love library” designs were popular.

Wednesday, December 7: Therapy Dogs

This semester the library once again hosted Therapy Dogs in partnership with the Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA. Over 100 students, faculty, and staff came out to meet two of their furry friends: Canine Good Citizen certified therapy dogs Hunter and Marianna. Students enjoyed petting both golden retrievers and interacting with the volunteer owners – some suggested that we have therapy dogs every day!

Thursday, December 8: Mindfulness

Psychology Professor Jennifer Merrill hosted a mindfulness and meditation session in the library classroom. Students took a break from their stressful workloads, learned about the benefits of mindfulness, and took a quiz to measure “how present are you?”. Students learned tips for paying attention while engaging in daily activities, leading to a calmer and engaged outlook.

Finals Week:

Over Finals Week (December 12-16), the library will offer healthy snacks and coffee to stressed and hungry students. We would like to thank Kevin Chak, Skyline College Bookstore Manager for donating coffee and hot water.

Library Update:

The Skyline College Library will be closed Saturday, December 17, 2016, through Monday, January 16, 2016. We will reopen to the public for the spring semester, Tuesday, January 17, 2016, with the updated hours of:

  • Monday – Thursday from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
  • Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • Saturday from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

For non-immediate assistance regarding your library account, please call the Library at (650) 738-4311, or visit a Peninsula Library System (PLS) public library during the closure.

Article by Kristen Lee, Photos by Dr. Pearl Ly and Kristen Lee

Food Drive Collects 2,400 Pounds of Food

 

food bank logoThe Kappa Beta Delta food drive was a success thanks to all who participated during this busy time of year. A sincere thank you goes to Professor Whitten and Margo Feldman for assisting with the food drive this year. Both of them have done this in the past, and having them help along the way made everything easier.

A big thank you to the Honors Club and Phi Theta Kappa! The honors club assisted with preparing the barrels around campus, and Phi Theta Kappa made posters to place next to the barrels. Both clubs also helped promote the food drive by sending emails to their members and bringing it up during their meetings.

Many departments on campus contributed. The Bookstore helped by providing the proper materials needed to move the barrels and place them around campus. The Math, Science and Technology Department collected nearly a full barrel by their office. The Learning Center raised a lot of food as well and was close to a full barrel!

Overall the food drive was a success, collecting 2,400 pounds and over $1,000 in donations. Thanks again and Happy Holidays!

Article by Luis Hernandez

Capital Improvement Projects Forum

Environmental Science RenderingAt the fifth of an on-going series of campus forums held Monday, December 5, Vice Chancellor Jose Nuñez led a discussion on the status and progress of our capital improvement projects.

Several major projects are in various stages of planning and design, including the expansion of parking lot L, construction of new Building 12 (Environmental Science), demolition of existing Building 1 and construction of a new building (Creative Arts and Social Sciences), and preparation of Building 19 (Pacific Heights) for current residents of B1 during the B1 project.  Designs for other smaller projects are also underway.

State Proposition 51, passed by the voters in November, will provide funds in 2017 and 2018 for major projects in Buildings 2 and 5.

Article by Cherie Colin

Skyline College Attends the White House Community College Convening

Photo of Skyline College leadership in Washington, D.C.Skyline College has undertaken the development of the Skyline College Promise, a commitment to be the College where students can “Get in. Get through. Get out…on-time!” This involves a two-pronged approach of 1) removing financial barriers that have limited access to higher education through the Promise Scholarship, and 2) redesigning the processes, procedures, and programs of the college to increase student success, persistence, and on-time completion.

Doing this work includes learning how we can enhance the Skyline College Promise. Skyline College representatives attended the PromiseNet Conference in Washington, D.C., October 24 – 26, 2016, hosted by the nationwide College Promise Campaign. PromiseNet is a convening of practitioners, policymakers, and researchers to learn more about the College Promise movement.  Over the course of three days, stakeholders who are committed to expanding access and affordability throughout higher education came together to learn about efforts underway to replicate and scale the College Promise with state and federal support.

The central foci included: 1) Creating Your Promise, 2) Enhancing Your Promise, 3) Promise in Your Community, 4) Researching Promise, and 5) Advocating for the Promise.  Skyline College representatives included:  Dr. Angélica Garcia, Vice President of Student Services; Aaron McVean, Interim Vice President of Instruction; Chad Thompson, Interim Director of SparkPoint & Career Services; and Andrea Vizenor, Director of Career and Workforce Programs.

The Skyline College team connected with colleagues across the nation to learn about Promise Programs that focus on providing students with access to and support services for college completion. Some highlights of the conference included attending a networking session at the U.S House of Representatives, Cannon Hall, as well as attending the White House Community College Convening at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building.

The White House Community College Convening included an agenda of lessons learned from PromiseNet by colleagues across the country involved in Promise Programs, evidence for program design and decision-making, and sustaining partnerships for impact beyond college. Some notable presenters included the U.S. Department of Education Secretary, John King, The U.S. Department of Education Under Secretary, Ted Mitchell, White House Domestic Policy Council Director, Cecilia Muñoz, The White House Chief of Staff, Denis McDonough, and current College Promise Campaign Executive Director, Martha Kanter.

Aaron McVean, Interim Vice President of Instruction at Skyline College, joined other community college leaders at a luncheon hosted by Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, a community college professor herself, at the Vice Presidential residence.  Vice President and Dr. Biden recognized the role of community colleges in providing the vast majority of people in the country an access point to higher education, and thanked those present for their work and dedication.  The Bidens’ warm gesture was a reaffirmation of the Obama administration’s investment in and support for community college, which is the largest part of the American higher education system.

Article by Dr. Angélica Garcia

Capital Improvement Projects Forum

Graphic of the proposed new building 1 of Skyline CollegeYou are cordially invited to the fifth of an on-going series of campus forums that will be held to keep the college community informed of the status and progress of our capital improvement projects.

Come and engage in conversation with our District Facilities Planning and Operations team led by Vice Chancellor Jose Nuñez on Monday, December 5, 2016, from 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m., Building 6, Room 6-202.

For more information, please contact Linda Bertellotti at bertellottil@smccd.edu or ext. 7141.

Skyline College Celebrates International Education Week!

Photo of Chikako Walker with a colleague and a studentInternational Student Program (ISP) kicked off International Education Week (IEW) 2016 with an opening reception on Monday, November 14th.  On its second year of being funded by the President Innovation Fund, IEW is a joint initiative of the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of State to highlight the importance and benefits of international education in the U.S. and around the world (Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs, 2016). More than 50 faculty, staff, and students from across campus attended the reception.

Dr. Kimberlee Messina, Interim Vice Chancellor of Educational Services and Planning, delivered the opening remarks followed by welcoming remarks from Eloisa M. Briones, Vice President of Administrative Services. Dr. Messina, who recently joined the District from Foothill Community College, showed her support for international education at Skyline College, and congratulated ISP for organizing the event.  Two international students demonstrated the value of international education in their remarkable speeches:  Soriannys “Sori” Mosquera Pino from Venezuela and Franck Yao from Ivory Coast.  Sori introduced the International Affairs Student Club (IASC) of which she has been president for the past two semesters, and showcased how it has contributed to campus internationalization. Franck was glad to have chosen Skyline College among many other choices as he finds the college welcoming and supportive, stating that teachers, staff, and friends are “like a family.”

ISP 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 ISP events at: www.skylinecollege.edu/international/

Article by Chikako Walker | Photo by Rossmia Coo

Thanksgiving Dessert with ESOL Students

Photos of students in various activities“I do not want my house to be walled in on all sides and my windows to be stifled. I want cultures of all lands to be blown about my house as freely as possible.”-Mohandas k. Gandhi

In the spirit of creating a welcoming place to a diverse group of ESOL students, the English language Institute (ELI) hosted a two-day Thanksgiving celebration on November 21st and 22nd.  ESOL students were invited to drop in for dessert, to play games, hang out, and take fun photo booth pictures.  The ELI also set up an interactive “What is Happiness…” chalkboard.  Some of the ESOL students wrote, “Happiness is having everyone you love with you”, “Having good friends you can trust”, and “Being able to share your struggles to help others.”

Part of the ELI’s vision is to foster a sense of community among ESOL students and to help them experience Skyline College as a place to belong. The diversity of the student population at Skyline College, which includes over 300 students in the ESOL program, is a strength and a gift. The ELI seeks not only to help ESOL students in “getting in” and “getting through” Skyline College, but also to provide services marked with a spirit of hospitality.

Article and Photo by Mylene Foo

Middle College Students Earn Hospitality Certification

The AHLEI LogoThe Center for Workforce Development and Middle College at Skyline College partnered to offer an “Excellence in Service” college course by Andrea Vizenor, Director of Career and Workforce Programs.  She provided a series of workshops focused on workforce readiness skill elements and customer service strategies.  Middle College students learned the necessary skills to deliver superior customer service such as how to handle dissatisfied customers and how to deliver service recovery techniques.

By completing the course, students earned the “Certified Guest Service Professional Industry Certification” awarded by the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI), the preeminent industry leader in hospitality certification. Professional certification from the AHLEI is the ultimate distinction of professional excellence for the hospitality industry. Recognized worldwide, it strongly supports and encourages the certification of hospitality professionals and workforce readiness development of its graduates.  Middle College students are now able to give exceptional service by engaging with guests and creating memorable experiences.  This workshop was a huge success:  Students gained customer service skills and how to use them effectively in different jobs. One Middle College student who wo
rks at a local mall exclaimed, “My customer service and sales are going to be great!”

Article by Andrea Vizenor and Dr. Raymond Jones