Monthly Archives: August 2017

Join the College Redesign Teams!

faculty at workJoin Skyline College’s Comprehensive Redesign and help the college fulfill its promise to empower students to find success at every point in their educational journey.

In year two of the redesign, we will confirm Meta-majors, continue to develop guided pathways, redesign Student Services, continue to expand the implementation of the Promise Scholars Program, and explore how we can redesign general education to engage students in deep and meaningful learning.

To start, the Design Team is creating six inquiry teams that will research, explore and work towards making recommendations to the Design Team on the following topics:

  1. Exploratory CourseAn exploration of how to best design a first semester course to support all students through the transition into college and careers with the goal of promoting academic and professional success for all.
  2. Foundation (Affective Domain)An exploration of the beliefs and behaviors that promote college success for all and how Skyline College can incorporate them into all foundational courses.
  3. GE RedesignA continued exploration of how Skyline College should contextualize general education courses to make them more relevant to students and make the curriculum more cohesive.
  4. HIPs (High Impact Practices)An exploration of pedagogy centered on equity and high impact teaching practices such as undergraduate research, service learning, e-portfolios, culminating projects, study abroad, internships and more.
  5. Student Support ServicesAn exploration of redesigning student services to be in alignment with meta-majors that includes implications for modifications to orientation, delivery of career development support and services, increasing comprehensive educational plans, and examining integration with instruction.
  6. The Undeclared Student ExperienceAn exploration of the experience of undeclared students, including how to incorporate exploration into their experience to give them the tools to choose a degree or certificate.

The inquiry teams will begin their work this semester and we need you! Interested in serving as inquiry team leader or joining as a member? Please e-mail for more information!

Have additional questions? Please reach out to the Meta-majors & Guided Pathways co-leads: Lorraine DeMello, Luis Escobar, Carla Grandy, Mary Gutierrez, Jessica Hurless, Mustafa Popal and Jesse Raskin or visit the Meta-Majors & Guided Pathways website:

Article by Jessica Hurless

Students View Total Eclipse in Oregon

STUDENTS IN OREGONThe Skyline College Science and Research Club, in collaboration with the Engineering and Robotics Club, coordinated a trip to Linn Benton Community College to watch the total solar eclipse on August 21. The event was streamed live by the Skyline College excursion team for viewers and students watching at the Skyline College Fireside Dining Room and elsewhere. During the eclipse the traveling students attempted to repeat several experiments, took a spectrum of the corona, and captured many pictures during the eclipse.

Dr. Nick Kapp and Marco Wehrfritz from the SMT division secured funding from the President’s Innovation Fund to travel to the Linn Benton Community College in Albany/Oregon in order to view the eclipse. They were joined by IT specialist Jairo Barreto and instructional technologist Allison Hughes who helped with the live streaming of the event. The group was also supported by guest scientist Dr. Daria Genzel-Wehrfritz, who demonstrated how research on bats is performed during the evenings.

A group of fifteen students currently studying biology and engineering were chosen on a first come first serve basis, and demand was exceptional. A small group of five students who couldn’t get one of the 15 available seats in the vans even rented a car and drove all the way up on their own to meet with us and celebrate the eclipse together!

The Journey

The expedition started on Saturday, August 19, with Lake Siskyou at Mt. Shasta as the first destination. The group spent the night in tents and after getting up early on the second day they drove the rest of the distance to the Linn Benton Community College (LBCC) in Albany.

LBCC transformed their soccer field into a campground for the eclipse fans. On the day of the eclipse, everyone was excited and got ready for the experience and for taking their measurements, then right after the eclipse was over, the group jumped in the vans and drove all the way back to Skyline College.

EclipseStudent Research

In order to study the gases present in the corona of the Sun, students used a self-constructed spectrometer to measure the wavelengths of light being emitted by the supercharged gasses of the corona as seen during the eclipse. The spectrometer can capture the wavelengths of ultraviolet lights and the unique color combination produced by the gaseous emission spectrum. From the formation to the end of eclipse, the spectrometer was directed at the sun while it captured the most prominent wavelengths emanating from the Sun. The results included the documentation of the light intensity drastically decreasing as the Sun became eclipsed as well as the capture of the hydrogen emission spectrum. The most prominent spectrum found had a distinguishable combination of red, green and blue light that can be identified as hydrogen. Because the gases on the sun is dominated by 70% hydrogen, the data was a reflection of this ratio as the emission spectrum of hydrogen was documented throughout the entirety of the study. The study using a spectrometer helped students become more familiar with the characteristics of the sun and how wavelengths of light work.  This work will confirm the first observation of Helium by scientist during the eclipse of 1868.

On our way to Oregon the students captured several yeast samples in order to cultivate them here in the Bioengineering Lab at Skyline College. There are various yeast cultures spread over the country, all with different properties. After cultivating and investigating them, students will learn more about this. In addition to the yeast the students also collected several samples of plants following the spirit of the first explorers of our environment.

A Transformative Experience

This adventure lasted for three days and amongst all the experiments and studious activity, students were given the opportunity to enjoy a change in scenery from laboratories to the dense forest near Mt. Shasta. For some, the outdoor experience was foreign but soon became thrilling. Students set up tents, swam in Lake Siskiyou, and bonded over late-night snacks by the campfire. Everyone helped to prepare the food with guidance of Star-Chef Dr. Kapp with his super bbq and cooking skills.

The eclipse inspired and implanted a sense of awe and mystery in the students as they witnessed the moon slowly hide the sun from view. As the light of day changed from one of harsh bright, white light to a deep blue twilight, the energy of the students and everyone present mounted until cheers erupted as the eclipse reached totality. There was a sense of calm and tranquility as the audience gazed upon the eclipse, but excitement still buzzed through the air. For all who participated in the trip and those watching back home, the mystery of the eclipse brought anticipation and an eagerness to learn more about the science behind this phenomenon. The community participated in the delight as people began to read into the history of the eclipse and add to the growing excitement. Students on the expedition carried the excitement of their college on their shoulders as they conducted experiments and brought home experiences to share. It was a great and unique experience for all participants.

Thank you to the President’s Innovation Fund for making this possible!

Article by Nick Kapp, Marco Wehrfritz, Anna Mora and Vivionna Tran

AmeriCorps Student Ambassador Program

americorps picSkyline College has been selected as an AmeriCorps member placement site for the California Community Colleges Student Ambassador Program. The California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office and the Foundation for California Community Colleges launched this new program to expand student ambassador programs supporting student success. The program offers an exciting opportunity to complement and expand existing college efforts by placing Skyline College students as AmeriCorps volunteers in a “student ambassador” capacity. These student ambassadors will focus on connecting peers to health and wellness services OR work-based learning opportunities, particularly among economically disadvantaged peers.

The Skyline College mission “to empower and transform a global community of learners” is in complete alignment with the AmeriCorps values around alleviating poverty and developing leaders. The volunteers selected for this program will support the efforts of the following programs and increase the effectiveness of their services:

  • SparkPoint: financial health, food pantry, housing and public assistance
  • Career Services: work-based learning opportunities
  • Health Services: workshops on physical & mental health issues and community resources fairs
  • Outreach: increase awareness and connection to on-campus support programs and resources

AmeriCorps Student Ambassadors will help other students access services, improve employability, and reduce barriers to completion while also gaining valuable work experience. Students will complete 900 service hours over the course of the 2017-2018 academic year, overseen and coached by Skyline College personnel. Each member’s term of service will be a minimum of 900 hours over the academic year. Each member will receive a small living allowance, and an Education Award of $2,907.50 from the National Service Trust once they complete the term of service.

Student recruitment for this program is just beginning, so please refer any interested students to Chad Thompson, Director of SparkPoint and Career Services, at or 650-738-7038.

Article by Chad Thompson, Photo by AmeriCorps California

Meta-Major Mondays Begin!

With all the discussion and work surrounding Meta-majors and Guided Pathways, do you have questions, comments or ideas?  Want updates? Want to know how to get involved? We would love to chat with you!

Starting Monday, August 28, 2017, you will find members of the Design Team Co-Leads tabling on the 2nd and 4th Mondays of the month in the Fireside Dining Room from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.  So feel free to stop by!

We look forward to seeing you at Meta-Major Mondays.

Article written by Jessica Hurless

Students Spend Their Summer as Servant-Leaders

phi theta kappa photo collageThe Skyline College Phi Theta Kappa members had a busy summer volunteering in the community. They initiated several community service projects during the spring semester and continued the projects throughout the summer. Continuing their Computer Literacy and Internet Competency for Seniors (CLICS) program, students held training sessions at Magnolia Senior Center to help senior citizens learn to use their smartphones and tablets.

Chapter co-president, Xiaowen Cai, said “CLICS does not only help the seniors catch up with the information age to keep in touch with their family members but also offers volunteers an opportunity to serve the community. This is one of the most constructive and meaningful activities of the Beta Theta Omicron Chapter, and we will definitely pass it along.”

Beta Theta Omicron continued their precollege outreach at South San Francisco Community Learning Center. Chapter members encouraged children to learn science with fun labs making ice cream, silly putty, and baking-soda boats.

Chapter co-president, Thanh Nguyen, said “We had a good time with the kids while building their interest in science. Working with these kids was such a wonderful experience for not only me, but also for the whole group of volunteers. The kids learned about science from us and we learn to be patient and creative from them.”

The team has more community outreach planned for the fall and all Skyline College students are welcome to participate.

Article by Dr. Christine Case

Internship Job Shadow Program

BAEC InternsThe Bay Area Entrepreneur Center recently completed its Summer Internship Job Shadow Program! Five eager student interns came to the BAEC for career exploration and to learn what it is like to work in a business industry atmosphere.  As a result of this Internship Job Shadow Program, one of our summer interns, Ms. Kelly Li, has been hired by Skyline College in the study abroad & exchange program.  Congratulations to Kelly and to all of our summer interns for a job well done!

Each semester the BAEC recruits a new cohort of hard working, self-starters to join the Internship Job Shadow Program.  There is still time for students to apply for fall, so please spread the word.  Students can click here to complete the application.

Students in the Internship Job Shadow Program learn essential skills, create professional networks, develop and enhance their technical skills and have the opportunity to experience innovative events at Skyline College and throughout the county with both a local and international presence – all to better prepare students for their desired career.

If you’d like to participate in the Internship Job Shadow Program by hosting an intern, please contact Pcyeta Stroud at

The Internship Job Shadow Program is supported, in-part, by the President’s Innovation Fund.

Article by Terri Wade

Global Learning Programs and Services Welcomes Dr. Lorna Jones

lorna jones

The Global Learning Programs and Services Division is pleased to welcome Dr. Lorna Jones as the Interim Director for the Center for International Trade Development (CITD).

Lorna holds a Ph.D. in Human Geography with an emphasis on Diaspora Trade. Her study “The Impact of the UK-based African Caribbean Diaspora on Enterprise and Job Creation in the Caribbean” focused on international trade across five countries. She has a Master’s Degree in International Development and a Bachelor’s Degree in French. Lorna worked in the UK and also in France at the Business and Industry Advisory Committee (BIAC) to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). While in Paris, she taught English to business executives in addition to teaching evening classes for seven years. Lorna has also worked in other international capacities, leading students to take part in cultural exchange programs to London and acting as a teaching assistant in Martinique where she worked with first-year university students.  Additionally, Lorna has events marketing and sales experience as she introduced a new North American software into the UK and Saudi Arabian markets.

Lorna has a particular interest in education. She founded and continues to run a global essay contest that encourages research, reading, and self-expression among children of African descent to tackle some of the world’s most challenging international issues.  Lorna’s natural curiosity about the world and the peoples across the globe has taken her to 44 countries.  She believes that foreign experience offers students an international perspective and a better understanding and acceptance of others.  This, she says, can lead to improved relationships.

When not hiking the Bay Area’s most challenging mountains, Lorna can be found learning Python and working on her project in the unstructured data space. Please join me in welcoming Lorna to our Skyline College Team!

Article by Dr. Tammy Robinson

Welcome New SparkPoint Coordinator Valerie Higgins

Valerie HigginsSparkPoint and Career Services at Skyline College would like to extend an official campus-wide introduction to a new member of the team, Valerie Higgins.  Valerie serves as a SparkPoint Coordinator and Financial Coach here at Skyline College. Valerie Higgins had her first experience with Skyline College as a student and young single mother. She relied on the support of her family and Skyline College programs like EOPS, ASTEP and the Honors Transfer Program throughout her community college career. She left Skyline College as an Honors Transfer student with an Associate’s Degree in Liberal Arts and ultimately attended San Francisco State University, where she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Social Empowerment & Cultural Expression, as well as her Master’s Degree in Ethnic Studies.

Despite her long educational journey, she states very strongly that it was at Skyline College that she found her identity “as a woman, as a scholar, as a mother and as a conscious world citizen.” Valerie’s personal experiences and life journey inspired her to work in a career that empowers and transforms lives in her community. She has over a decade of experience helping at-risk students and parents access quality educational programs and achieve their academic goals.  She believes in the power of love and human resilience and she is passionate about social justice, especially concerning foster youth, at-risk youth, students of color, working class families and low-income families.

As a SparkPoint Coordinator at Skyline College, Valerie hopes to use her passion, experience and knowledge to provide support to students and community members so that they can break cycles of poverty and elevate their lives by accessing educational opportunity and economic independence.

If you are interested in having Valerie speak to your students about financial literacy and other SparkPoint services, or if you would like to refer someone to her directly, please contact SparkPoint at 650-738-7035 or at (Room 1-214)

Article by Chad Thompson

BAEC Establishes Advisory Board

BAEC Advisory BoardThe Bay Area Entrepreneur Center has an established Advisory Board to help current and aspiring entrepreneurs grow their business! Learn more here.

The BAEC Advisory Board members serve as volunteers and are experts in various areas of industry and education. The Advisory Board supports the BAEC in developing and implementing resources and programs for Skyline College students and the community.  This includes support of BAEC workshops and classes, enhancing visibility for businesses, consulting and planning the BAEC Action Summit – our most popular networking event.  Some of the most successful entrepreneurs in the bay area share their expertise on staring, growing and successfully transforming their businesses during our Action Summit. Stay tuned for the next Action Summit coming November 2017.

The BAEC Advisory Board meets once a quarter and is in its second consecutive year.  Thank you to all of our past and current Board Members for such a successful year!

If you are interested in joining the BAEC Advisory Board please contact the Director of the Bay Area Entrepreneur Center, Pcyeta Stroud at

Article by Terri Wade | Photo by Linda Truong

College Governance Council

College Governance Council

August 23, 2017


Attendance: Christine Abella, Eloisa Briones, Kate Browne, Angélica Garcia, Michele Haggar, Jesse Raskin, Regina Stanback Stroud, Jennifer Taylor-Mendoza, Leandro Torres Mantilla, Christina Trujillo

Recorder: Sherrie Prasad

The College Governance Council held its first meeting for the academic year on August 23, 2017 chaired by Dr. Regina Stanback Stroud, President.


Approval of Minutes

The May 24, 2017 minutes were approved. (M/S/U Garcia/Trujillo) Unanimously.


Constituency Reports

Academic Senate

Academic Senate meetings regularly include visits and discussions with key administrators about the state of the College and issues for this year.

August meeting included:

Discussions of:

-Skyline Promise.  Design Team Leads Raskin, Grandy & Popal suggested the ASenate have regular reports and put it as an ongoing discussion item.

-Introduction of new Interim Vice-President of Instruction Jennifer Taylor-Mendoza, with discussion of her connections to ASenate work both local and state levels, and her background in both Community College system and teaching.

-AS Revision Task Group.  Chair Jessica Hurless is ready to re-convene the Task Group, called for revised membership, to complete work & make recommendations for ASenate approval by December, 2017.

-Skyline College Integrated Plan was introduced by Deans Luis Escobar [SSSP], Lasana Hotep [SEEED] and Jim Houpis [CIS] with a discussion of tasks and timelines, along with a suggestion to have regular communication/reporting from each of the three groups.

Actions on:

-By acclamation, Resolution honoring Leonard “Len” Herzstein

-Faculty screening committee appointments [DRC Assistive Technology Specialist/Mathews & Director, Skyline Promise Scholarship/Escobar

Reports from ASenate Standing Committees & Organizations:

-Curriculum, -Educational Policy, and –Professional Personnel will meet once membership is complete in September.

-AFT. Negotiation & Contract update made by Eric Brenner followed by discussion and announcement of District Faculty Workload Committee, with representation from each college’s AFT and Academic Senate.  Skyline’s members will be Nina Floro [AFT] and Leigh Anne Shaw [AS].

Forward into Fall Upcoming Plans:

DAS & District Faculty Workload, VPI & Librarian screening committees; Compendium of Committees  Canvas update;  SWF update & CTE liaison; State events & meetings, Fall Plenary [11/2-4]; visit by President Regina Stanback Stroud.

Classified Senate

Classified Senate recently hosted their first 17/18 meeting and with over 25 attendees, the meeting was very successful. In the meeting we introduced goal setting and shared a glimpse of the schedule for the fall semester.

  • We’ve set dates for our See’s Candy Student Scholarship Fundraiser
  • SHNSF Student Scholarship Fundraiser (will be sending out a Campus Announcement for all faculty and staff to participate)
  • Secured Off-site volunteer opportunity for classified to do landscaping restoration on Alcatraz Island on Oct. 14
  • Updates to our Constitution
    • ​adding resolution to include senates
    • updating specific item in constitution
  • Creating incentives to encourage staff to participate and get involved in senate meetings

There are also plans to update our constitution by adding an amendment and adding senators. Senators will serve as representative of their areas, but more information will come regarding this amendment.

 Associated Students of Skyline College

The Associated Students of Skyline College have focused primarily on outreach during the first week of school. They promoted themselves and the other on-campus services and student organizations through Welcome Week, which included the events Coffee and Donut Social, the Pancake Breakfast, and Program Services and Club Fair. They are in the process of finalizing their calendars for upcoming events of the fall semester. These events include LatinX Heritage Month and domestic violence workshops. At the next meeting, the ASSC will provide a more detailed description of their events for both ASSC and SOCC.

President’s report

Success Summit is a half day forum that brings together community organizations, business and civic leaders, faculty, staff and student leaders. Attendants will participate in progress seminars that focuses on issues that impact the northern region of the San Mateo County. This year’s summit will focus on topics for housing and jobs. The Academic Senate President, Kate Browne will be on the summit planning committee for next year. The Success Summit will be held on September 22, 2017 in Building 6 at Skyline College.

Accreditation update

The next site visit will be in October 2019. Skyline College is gearing up for the accreditation visit. The new Dean of PRIE, Dr. Jacqueline Honda will be the ALO for Skyline College. Dr. Honda will lead the accreditation process. The accreditation committee will lead the logistics and work closely with the ALO. We will be updating our integrated plans and tie it to the District Strategic Plan. The self-evaluation training for Skyline College will be held on Wednesday, September 27th.

Facilities Update

VP administrative Services Eloisa Briones provided the committee an update on the construction projects at Skyline College.  Under the Capital Improvement Program (CIP), the college has 3 major projects.  The Lot L expansion is currently underway and is expected to be completed at the end of November 2017.  The construction of the new Environmental Science Building (B12) at the vista point is about to start in early September, and is expected to be completed in December 2018.  The construction of the new gateway to the college, the Social Science Creative Arts Building (B1), is going to commence in Spring 2019 and is expected to be completed in May 2021.  During construction of the new building, classrooms and offices currently located in B1 will swing at the end of Fall 2018 to Pacific Heights (B19) and an off-site location.  The Child Development Lab Center will also undergo some minor renovations inside the Center and in the play yard during the summer and fall 2018.

With the major work happening on the Lot L expansion, the college is experiencing a shortage in parking spaces this semester.  The Executive Leadership and the CIP team are working on solutions to address this shortage over the next 3 months.  Once Lot L is completed at the end of November, the college will have a net increase of 61 parking spaces, including new accessible parking and EV charging stations.

President’s Breakfast

The breakfast is the primary fundraising event which provides seed money to faculty and staff to dream out loud for creative programs and services. Half of the fundraising money will be used for promise scholarships. The President’s Breakfast will be held on March 22nd, 2018 at the South San Francisco Conference Center.

Next Meeting’s Agenda Items – September 25, 2017

  • Accreditation
  • Skyline College Promise
  • Integrated Plan
  • Constituency Reports


M/S/U (Haggar/Browne) Unanimously.