Monthly Archives: March 2017

Professor Joins Panel At Black History Month Celebration

tony jackson and panelDr. Tony Jackson joined a distinguished panel of mental health providers and community activists to present at the Annual Alameda County Behavioral Health Care Services’ (BHCS) Office of Ethnic Services and African American Empowerment Committee (AAEC) Black History Month Celebration.

This year’s event, held at the Scottish Rite Temple on February 24, featured thoughtful and deliberate presentations, all aimed at identifying and addressing culturally specific solutions to the mental health challenges facing the black community throughout Alameda county.

Dr. Tony Jackson (Skyline College Psychology Department) contributed to an engaging discussion on the state of the black community in Alameda County.  The discussion focused on a variety of issues including housing displacement and gentrification in Alameda County, the mental health impact of police violence and reliance on the prison system to address mental illness related issues

Dr. Jackson’s panel included:

  • Elaine Brown, Former Chairwoman of Black Panther Party
  • Tony Jackson, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist/Co-Director of PranaMind
  • Cat Brooks, Co-Founder of Anti-Police Terror Project
  • Babalwa Kwanele, LMFT, Clinical Supervisor at Berkeley Mental Health
  • Ndidi Okwelogu, Social Justice Organizer
  • Barbara White, Vice President, African American Steering Committee; Moderator

Article by Dr. Tony Jackson | Photo by Javaree Wilson

Moving Student Entrepreneurs from Idea to Execution

Intensive Workshop The Bay Area Entrepreneur Center is currently hosting a workshop series, Entrepreneur-in-Residence to support the programs at the College. The program is funded by a grant from the State Chancellor’s Office, Doing What Matters.  Our EiR instructor, Eddie Lin, has a multi-faceted background in the tech industry as well as media and social influence including TV appearances on Fear Factor.

It is our intention to utilize the experience and advice of consultants, like Eddie Lin.  Utilizing the expertise of the community business is part of the reason that the EiR grant is useful for San Bruno.  It is also a vehicle to teach our students the skills and techniques they need to succeed. We have done this is through a newly launched accelerator program called “The Intensive.”

We recruited eight students and one City of San Bruno Chamber of Commerce Board member that all had ideas about creating their own businesses, each of them coming from a different background and with their own level of readiness. One of these students is Juan Valencia.  He inspired Mr. Lin to create the workshop. Juan tells us that his whole life he has been searching for a salsa that fits the bill on flavor and likeness to his heritage, and after hearing Eddie Lin speak in one of his marketing classes last Fall, he decided to act on his feelings and create his own salsa brand!

Juan created Salsa Catrina by learning a family recipe from his relatives in México. He created his own logo, and bought mason jars to safely store his product. By December of 2016, he had printed his labels, had business cards ready, and prepackaged salsa to sell!

Juan is utilizing the skills from the workshop to help increase his sales. He has a company website completed with its own social media pages, and a renewed drive to push forward with his dream. When asked why he joined the Intensive he said “I didn’t know too much about branding and legal stuff so I thought they (BAEC) must have some sort of contacts and can help me out.”

Intensive Workshop After his time at BAEC, and learning from Eddie Lin, Juan says he feels better about beginning his own business. Juan expressed the fears that many people feel when they have an idea and do not fully know how to execute it. Juan recalls thinking, “…these people really are trying to help me, so obviously my business is not dumb, or at least my idea isn’t dumb. This is serious.”

The Intensive Workshop is a balance of BAEC learning more about its own efficiency and effectiveness, while simultaneously providing our students of the San Mateo Community College District with the experience, techniques, and knowledge of how to survive as an Entrepreneur in today’s world.

For those interested in supporting Juan on his journey, you can purchase a bottle at! To learn more about the different workshops and programs at the Bay Area Entrepreneur Center, send us an email at or stop in during business hours.

Article by Kari Bush | Photography by Gino Degrandis and Kari Bush

37th Expanding Your Horizons Conference draws over 1,200 girls

girls at EYHExpanding Your Horizons (EYH) provides an opportunity for 6th through 12th grade young women and interested adults to learn about career opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). The 37th EYH was held on Saturday, March 18 and was enjoyed by over 1,200 girls. The day was filled with fun, hands on activities from a wide array of disciplines, presented by experts who volunteer their time. The keynote speaker was May Noguchi, a Southwest Airline pilot. Teams of Skyline College students representing Phi Theta Kappa, Biology, Biotechnology, and Respiratory Therapy led several workshops. These students developed their hands-on labs with Chris Case, Nick Kapp, Nancy Ruis, Safiyyah Forbes, Ijaz Ahmed, and Elsa Jimenez-Samayoa. Skyline College faculty who led workshops included Jing Folsom, Nada Nekrep, Janelle Barbier, Alice Erskine, lkka Koskelo, Bruce Greenstein, Carla Grandy, Janice Mcomber, and Carina Anttila-Suarez.

A 6th grader wrote “It was an amazing experience. I look forward to coming back next year.” And a 9th grader asked us to “Please have more than one EYH each year at Skyline!”

One parent emailed “Thank you so much for hosting such an amazing conference yesterday. My daughter had a great time and had so much to share about her workshops. Her only regret was that she couldn’t do more! I‘m so grateful that she had such an amazing opportunity to participate in and appreciate all your effort put into organizing this event.”

The President’s Innovation Fund funded the conference. Soroptimists of North San Mateo County provided school buses and scholarships for north county girls. Volunteer planning committee members are AJ Bates, Shari Bookstaff, Christine Case, Stephen Fredricks. Jon Freedman, Ray Hernandez, Kylin Johnson, Nadia Tariq, and Alana Utsumi. Community members on the planning committee are Arlene Chang, Judy Lewis, and Barbara Irli

Article by Dr. Christine Case | Photos by Dr. Christine Case and Andrea Caesar.

CIPHER & Career Advancement Academy Host Dr. Marco Cervantes

Marco CervantesOn Thursday, March 9, 2017, in collaboration with the Career Advancement Academy (CAA), the Center for Innovative Practices through Hip Hop Education and Research (CIPHER) hosted its annual CIPHER Guest Speakers Series.  This year’s speaker was Dr. Marco Cervantes from the University of Texas at San Antonio where he is an associate professor in the Department of Bicultural-Bilingual Studies and Mexican American Studies Program.  He researches and publishes on the Black and Chicanx cultural overlap with a focus on music and shared spaces.  He also performs as hip hop artist Mexican Step Grandfather as part of the Afro-Chicanx hip hop collective, Third Root.

He presented his talk, “Working as a Scholar Emcee:  Hip Hop Activism from the Community to the University” to over 175 students, faculty, and community members.  The attendees also consisted of high school students from Baden High School, 3rd Street Youth Center’s Health Core, South San Francisco High School, June Jordan High School, El Camino High School, and Peninsula High School who were at Skyline College as part of the Career Technical Education (CTE) Day experience.

Dr. Cervantes spoke to the audience about the historical context of communities of color and how resistance movements towards peace and equity exist as a result of this history.  He shared his knowledge and experiences through recited verses of hip hop songs his group, Third Root, created to inform and educate the communities around topics such as immigrant rights, police brutality, and racism.  Students learned that the arts such as photography, poetry, music, and film are forms of active resistance that can be used locally and globally to spread awareness of various topics.

Many thanks to those who made this event possible:  Alina Varona, Lauren Ford, Jeremy Evangelista, and Nate Nevado.  The committee would also like to thank Lasana Hotep, Dean of Student Equity and Support Programs for providing the welcome remarks to kick start the presentation.


For more information about CIPHER, please contact Nate Nevado at

Article by Nate Nevado & Alina Varona | Photo by William Nacouzi

Model United Nations Club Wins Big at Diablo Valley College’s Model United Nations Conference

Amirah TullochSkyline College’s Model United Nations club comes home victorious from Diablo Valley College’s inaugural conference, VikingMUN I. Delegates at this conference were debating in three challenging committees, the large General Assembly of the United Nations which covered legality of Space Rights, John F. Kennedy’s EXCOMM meeting during the Cuban missile crisis, and the Second Continental Congress committee. Skyline College’s club won big in Second Continental Congress, with our newest delegate, Amirah Tulloch, bringing home the most prestigious and highest ranking award, Best Delegate.

In Amirah’s Second Continental Congress committee, delegates acted as representatives for the colonies, military officials on both sides, and other significant historical figures. In order to be successful in this fast-paced committee, delegates needed a strong understanding of the philosophical designs behind each of the governments of that time period and an understanding of cultural idiosyncrasies in the colonies. In addition an understanding the history before the start of the conflict between the patriots and the loyalists was essential to be successful in the committee.

Model United Nations, commonly referred as Model UN or MUN, requires students to role play as delegates representing countries, organizations, or historical figures of the United Nations and simulate UN committees, specialized bodies, or historically significant events, while concurrently building understanding of diplomacy, international relations, and parliamentary procedures of the real United Nations.

Amirah is a first year student at Skyline College, and she demonstrated her in-depth knowledge of American history, parliamentary procedure, and influential debate skills. She debated against students from several schools from the University of California, and students in neighboring and local Bay Area colleges. Amirah comes home victorious, bringing pride to Skyline College’s Model United Nations club and demonstrating a preview of what is to come at future conferences.

Article & Photo by Jonathan Gonzales

YouTube Hosts Students from Guardian Scholars Program

students at youtubeOn Friday March 17, 2017, 12 students from the Guardian Scholars Program, staff and Dean Lasana Hotep visited the YouTube headquarters in San Bruno. Students were treated to a panel with current YouTube employees, a buffet lunch from one of their many cafeterias, and finally a tour around the facilities. Students were able to get a glimpse at a film production studio, the collaborative work environment between developers, designers and filmmakers, and unique office spaces.

In addition, students were able to interact with employees and ask questions regarding the nature of their work, how to land a non-tech job at a technology company and the culture of YouTube. Consequently, students were able to identify careers they might apply to working at a company such as YouTube. Students who were previously uninterested in STEM majors started to take an interest and see first hand the importance of these majors. Guardian Scholar, Alfreda (Freda) Palmer says, “I was really thankful that I was able to go and experience this trip. I learned it’s never too late to learn a skill, especially one like coding”.

Article by: Tia Holiday

Disability Resource Center Hosts Priority Enrollment Program Day!

The Disability Resource Center hosted its Priority Enrollment Program (PEP) Day on March 4, 2017. DRC PEP Day is an orientation program for incoming high school students who have IEPs or 504 plans. In addition to Skyline College orientation and multiple measure placements, the 44 students who attended also learned about DRC services, connected with Financial Aid and Learning Communities, and received a demo of assistive technology. Parents were also welcome at the event and they participated in a workshop entitled “How to Support Your Child’s College Transition.” This year the DRC counselor, Melissa Matthews, has been holding follow up meetings with attendees at their high schools. DRC is thrilled to help these students get a jump on their college experience at Skyline!

Article by Melissa Matthews

The Guardian Scholars Program Goes to the Theater

guardian scholars students at theaterOn Sunday March 12, a few students from the Guardian Scholars Program (GSP) were gifted tickets by the John Burton Advocates for Youth to a special pre-show event and preview showing of the Tony award winning Broadway play, Hamilton in San Francisco. Student were treated to dinner, exclusive Hamilton favors and Hamilton themed photo booths. At the end of the event, students were then walked over to the Orpheum Theater where they watched the show.

Students were grateful for the opportunity as some have never seen a live, professional production nor would have had a chance to see the show. Guardian Scholar, Calvonnia (Cee Cee) Kelly said she was “Grateful for the opportunity to see Hamilton. It was a once in a lifetime experience that I will remember forever”.

Article by Tia Holiday

Read Across America Event

children at Read Across AmericaOn Wednesday, March 22, the Associated Students of Skyline College hosted the first ever Read Across America event which welcomed students, children from the Child Development Laboratory Center, faculty and staff to the Multicultural Center. Participants were invited to come relax, celebrate youth, and emphasize the importance of education, literacy, and building connections. The purpose of the event was to bridge the gap between the CDLC and ASSC. The ASSC wanted to stress the importance of reading and education. It was important that the children get to see students enjoying reading. Additionally, the hope is that the children got some inspiration by seeing students reading versus their teachers or parents reading to them.

The ASSC marketed the event campus wide inviting faculty, staff and students who would like to participate to join. The event was not catered to just the CDLC children. In the midst of midterms, it was also an opportunity for students to come read children’s book to celebrate youth, get some R&R and enjoy reading.

It was a safe, non-judgmental space to appreciate the privilege and freedom to read as well as create bonds with Skyline College community members despite age differences. Although the event only lasted an hour, students and staff befriended the children from CDLC; from looking at Dr. Seuss’ beloved classics to coloring Disney’s Bambi, they read stories, took pictures, and created drawings together. Participants at the event left with stickers, crayons, words of Dr. Seuss, and smiles.

Article by Members of ASSC

Late Night Hours at The Learning Center

extended hours flyersThanks to a recent survey of students, The Learning Center will be open for extended hours beginning Monday, March 20.

The hours are as follows;

  • Monday – Thursday: 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 Midnight
  • Friday: 8:00 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Students made it clear that they would welcome study spaces on campus that stayed open later. The expansion of The Learning Center’s hours will allow students to use valuable educational resources and dedicated study spaces well into the evening. The move will also help to accommodate Skyline College’s students who take primary evening classes.

By opening up a campus resource like The Learning Center later into the evening, Skyline College aims to increase access and equity for all students.

Article by Connor Fitzpatrick