Monthly Archives: October 2017

Technology Redesign Commences with Consulting Firm Kennedy & Company

In September 2017 the Board of Trustees approved the hiring of consulting firm Kennedy & Company to assist the district with a technology redesign. The focus of the technology redesign is to architect a suite of well integrated solutions that will empower our students and campus community to support student success at scale. The combination of the College Redesign (Meta majors, Guided Pathways, and Promise Scholars Program), the technology redesign, and dedicated faculty and staff will allow us to achieve student success rates of 75% or higher.

On October 17, 18, and 19 the technology redesign work kicked off with consultants from Kennedy & Company beginning their discovery phase by visiting all three campuses and the district office. During their initial visit they met with various groups including students, faculty, staff, admissions, financial aid, counseling, student services, administration, and chancellor’s cabinet. However, there will be more engagement points throughout project that will include in-person interviews, focus groups, task force meetings, and leadership meetings.

The consultant work will take approximately five to six months to complete, which will include discovery, design (software vendor review), and final recommendations. The plan is to start implementing the first pieces of technology by fall 2018, with full implementation of all tools by fall 2020.

Article by William Minnich

The Grove Scholarship Program Celebrates its Thirteenth Successful Semester

The Grove Scholarship program awarded 25 new and continuing Career and Technical Education (CTE) scholars for the Fall 2017 semester. Recipients were selected on a competitive basis among approximately 70 applications from diverse academic programs.

On October 6, 2017 the selected students met in the Career Services Center to complete the Grove Scholarship orientation. The orientation gave participants an overview of the expectations for the Grove Scholars Program which include: the maintenance of a 75% completion rate, 2.0 GPA, enrollment in at least 1 CTE course, financial workshop attendance and participation in the student Awards Ceremony. The orientation additionally, highlighted SparkPoint Center services such as: benefits access, personal financial appointments available for budgeting, savings, credit, food pantry, and Career Center services. A celebratory lunch was served to congratulate recipients.

Grove scholarships are funded by a generous $125,000 grant from the Grove Foundation eponymously named after Andy Grove, a founder of Intel Group Corporation. Each scholarship is worth up to $2,000 per semester and $4,000 of funding per school year per eligible participant.

Please forward any questions regarding the Grove Scholarship program to Andrea Doffoney Anyanwu at, or to

Article by Andrea Doffoney Anyanwu and photos by Brynn Harlow

Skyline College Partners with AmeriCorps!

Skyline College SparkPoint Center and the Career Services Center were awarded a grant to participate in the AmeriCorps California Community College Student Ambassador Program. This program will give four Skyline College students the opportunity to build strong leadership skills, to participate in service-learning, and to make connections that lead to getting things done for the betterment of our community. These four Skyline College AmeriCorps volunteers will become part of the more than 80,000 Americans currently working as volunteers to help support American families in a number of ways.

On our campus, the Skyline College AmeriCorps Volunteers will be working specifically with SparkPoint Services, Career Services, and Health Services to help increase awareness of the resources available both on and off campus to support their peers. Via a peer-based approach, “ambassadors will provide… awareness of the availability of public benefits and the value of healthy behavioral choices. They will increase students’ access to resources and support systems by networking with on-campus support programs and off-campus agencies and organizations to raise awareness of the availability of public benefits.” This is a student leadership position and it will expose them to personal and professional development through work-based learning that will contribute to the college’s mission. More specifically, the students selected to serve as AmeriCorps Student Ambassadors for the program will be committing to complete 900 hours, about 20 hours per week for 12 months. Once they have completed these hours, they will receive a $2,907 scholarship.

Ultimately, this grant serves as a great way for students who are selected as AmeriCorps student ambassadors to support their community, to spotlight their leadership experience and community services, all of which will also contribute to building their resumes and to information they could include in scholarship applications.

With that we are in the process of actively recruiting students for this program! If you know students who might be interested in participating in this program and want more information, please contact Valerie Higgins, SparkPoint Coordinator at and Michele Haggar, Program Services Coordinator for Career Services at

Article by Valerie Higgins and Michele Haggar

Music Students, Faculty, and Guests Perform Together

On Friday, October 20, students in the Skyline College Concert Band (MUS. 430) shared the Skyline College Theater stage with the San Francisco State University Wind Ensemble and professional guest artists, wowing an audience of more than 300 music-lovers.

Skyline College Music Department faculty members Meghan Dibble (voice), Margaret Fondbertasse (piano), and Elizabeth Ingber (viola) performed duets and trios by Brahms, Schumann, and Heggie prior to the SF State Band’s beautiful set of music with Professor Brad Hogarth conducting and Professor Jeannie Psomas featured on clarinet.

The 34-member Skyline College Concert Band, led by Professor Zack Bruno, continued the program with lively selections by Bach and Saint-Saëns as well as the West Coast premiere of the three-movement Frackenpohl Bassoon Concerto with German guest artist Friedrich Edelmann. The night’s final piece featured both bands joining together for John Philip Sousa’s rousing march, “The Washington Post.”

Later this month, the Skyline College Jazz Band (MUS. 450) will perform jazz tunes from animated movies in Half Moon Bay at the Odd Fellows Hall on Saturday, October 28, at 8:00 p.m. with concert proceeds benefiting the Cabrillo Unified School District’s music programs. Also, the Concert Band will be doing a (surprise!) “flash mob” performance of Mussorgsky’s spooky “Night on Bald Mountain” in the Skyline College Library on Halloween at 8:30 p.m.

Article by Dr. Zachary E. Bruno



Welcome Fall 2017 Job Shadow Program Student Interns!

The Internship Job Shadow Program is excited to welcome its newest class of eight motivated student interns. Through this program, student interns are provided the opportunity to shadow under college programs of their interest and experience a variety of work-based learning outcomes.

Along with learning 21st century job skills, student interns have the opportunity to experience a number of innovative events on campus and throughout the community. Student interns have access to a variety professional development opportunities, on and off campus, as well. This program also provides students with the tools needed to build their professional network and build their resume.

The Internship Job Shadow Program focuses on the development of essential workforce skills such as customer service, critical thinking, time management, marketing, professionalism and basic organization skills.

Each semester brings an opportunity to recruit a new team of student interns. For information on our Spring Internship Program, please visit our website. For more information about BAEC or the Internship Job Shadow Program, in general, contact Pcyeta Stroud at

The Internship Job Shadow Program is supported by the President’s Innovation Fund.

Article by Terri Wade | Photo by Linda Truong



Respiratory Care Program’s Meet & Greet Halloween Party


On Tuesday Oct. 17, the Respiratory Care Program had their 2nd Bi-Semester Meet & Greet event for Respiratory Care program students.

This event fosters fellowship between the first and second year students of the program, which gives the first year students some insight as to what’s ahead, and gives the second year students teaching and mentoring opportunities.

The theme of this party was Halloween. Students were dressed in costumes such as Superman, minions, an evil queen, museum of ice cream, and Eazy-E which won the costume contest.

At this party, the first year students provided their predecessors with delicious homemade food including lumpia, pupusas, lasagna, pork wontons, pork sisig, and peach cobbler.

They also played games such as mummy wrap, a game that involved students wrapping teachers: Dr. Ijaz Ahmed and Ray Hernandez in streamers as much as possible within one minute, then it was the teachers’ turns to wrap the students!

The winners of the games were awarded Starbucks gift-cards and candies. Luke Markus, a second year Respiratory Care Student, said “I loved how festive everyone was in their costumes. Good food and fun games!”

Article by Dr. Ijaz Ahmed


Academic Senate Resolution on Equity

The Academic Senate of Skyline College has been in intense discussion about events and circumstances of racism on our campus, Skyline College faculty recommendations to the District Board of Trustees, and our responsibilities to support anti-racism. With multiple authorship and a first reading, a Resolution on Equity was passed unanimously. The Senate will now work with our College community, present it to the Board of Trustees, and begin the process of putting into action the “resolves” below. The Resolution below can be accessed on the Academic Senate web page

Resolution on Equity

Skyline College Academic Senate

19 October, 2017

Whereas Skyline College is a community of diverse faculty, staff, administrators and students;

Whereas Skyline College faculty, staff, and administrators work and serve in the context of an increasingly sophisticated society full of racial, ethnic, cultural, gender and class dynamics;

Whereas as educators we have a responsibility to fight to promote, protect, and ensure human dignity and equality in Skyline College and classrooms;

Whereas the Skyline College Academic Senate recognizes that despite the various equity efforts and professional development that is offered, racially insensitive acts against communities of color continue to occur on Skyline College’s campus and these acts have caused harm;

Whereas such intolerance and discrimination directly goes against our values and harms our community;

Whereas all faculty, students, staff and administration have the right to work in an environment free of hatred, bigotry, and intolerance;

Therefore, Be It Resolved, that Skyline College Academic Senate affirms its core values to

-a comprehensive diversity framework that promotes social justice throughout policies, procedures and practices in the context of all matters academic and professional of the College;

-a campus-wide climate that reflects mutual respect between all constituencies-faculty, students, staff and administrators- and appreciation for diversity;

-just, fair, inclusive and well-understood, transparent governance processes based on open and honest communication;

-ensuring diversity and equity at all levels of the institution so that Skyline College’s mission and strategic priorities will consistently align and be fully implemented in curricular content and pedagogical approaches, deepen critical thinking, enhance cultural fluency, strengthen campus community, and increase student success;

Be It Further Resolved, that the Skyline College Academic Senate affirms its intention to stand publicly and privately for justice and equality by supporting the creation of the following:

  • Intentional insertion of curriculum on Race Relations in Skyline College courses.
  • College-wide Forum and/or Flex Day workshops on Racism and Bias mandatory for all faculty and staff.
  • A mandatory semester-length Equity Training Series for all faculty, staff and administration.
  • A module on Equity in the New Faculty Academy.
  • Ethnic Studies/Social Justice Program/Degree on Skyline College’s campus.
  • Multi-cultural Center expansion to coordinate and facilitate campus-wide programming addressing cultural days, issues related to marginalized populations, and culturally-based student groups.

Be It Further resolved, that the Skyline College Academic Senate will engage in collegial conversations that remind all college constituents about our shared responsibility to eliminate racism and discriminatory acts within the campus community;

Be It Further Resolved, that the Skyline College Academic Senate calls upon the Skyline College and San Mateo Community College District communities to intensify efforts to combat intolerance, hatred, bigotry, and discrimination;

Be It Further Resolved, that the Skyline College Academic Senate urges the San Mateo Community College District Administration to mobilize resources in support of the creation of

  • Intentional insertion of curriculum on Race Relations.
  • College-wide Forum and/or Flex Day workshops on Racism and Bias mandatory for all faculty and staff.
  • A mandatory semester-length Equity Training Series for all faculty, staff and administration.
  • A module on Equity in the New Faculty Academy
  • Ethnic Studies/Social Justice Program/Degree on Skyline College’s campus.
  • Multi-cultural Center expansions to coordinate and facilitate campus-wide programming addressing cultural days, issues related to marginalized populations, and culturally-based student groups.

Be It Finally Resolved that the faculty of Skyline College commits to being influential and impactful leaders in advancing equity at Skyline College for students, faculty, staff, and administration.


Article by Kate Williams Browne

Skyline College Welcomes Ellen Murray as Promise Scholars Program Director

Skyline College is proud to welcome Ellen Murray as the new Promise Scholars Program Director. In this position, she will help to guide the continued development of the Promise Scholars Program.

Ms. Murray has over seven years of experience working in the City University of New York system, where much of her work focused on student engagement, leadership and retention. At Hunter College, she served in multiple roles at the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute, working to create stronger ties between faculty, community organizers, and government officials to drive evidence-based policy making and share best practices. She also worked with students to host conferences, workshops, and event series to increase civic engagement across campus.

At City College, she directed fellowship and leadership programs for students committed to pursuing careers in public service, and worked with the college’s Office of Student Success on efforts to increase student retention.

Most recently, she served as the director of programs at Meritus College Fund, a Bay Area scholarship and college success non-profit organization.  Having recently moved to the Bay Area, Ellen spends most of her free time exploring San Francisco, hiking throughout the region, and generally wondering why she didn’t move to the West Coast sooner

Ms. Murray holds a Master of Science in Urban Affairs from Hunter College, City University of New York, and a Bachelor of Arts from New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study.


New Club Looks to Teach About Japanese Culture

The new ‘Japanese Culture Link’ club hosted its first major event on Friday, October 16, 2017 in the Multicultural Center. The event was sponsored by the International Student Program.

They invited guests to come together and watch the critically acclaimed Japanese anime called “Your Name” (also known as “kimi no na wa”). This is a movie about two high school students, a girl in rural Japan and a boy in affluent Tokyo who swap bodies.

Before the film started, the organizers of the event taught the spectators a few Japanese words and phrases so they could better understand of the movie. They also gave them a brief explanation of the movie’s message and its origins. The students enjoyed some Japanese snacks and watched the movie picnic-style. This was one of the many ways that this club will try to get students to learn more about Japanese culture.

Japanese Culture Link was formed with the intention of expanding knowledge about Japanese culture at Skyline College. Kae Yoshii, the club’s president and founder, is an international student from Japan. She feels that there’s a need for this club on campus and believes that the students do not know enough about Japanese culture.

Kae aims to add many new members to the club. She emphasizes that membership is not restricted to just Japanese students, but anyone who is interested in the culture.

“I want to connect different people who are interested in Japanese culture to form a community”, she said. “There is no Japanese language class so there is no opportunity to learn Japanese culture. The club is a doorway to that.”

She hopes that people will gain interest in learning about the Asian country and hopefully even travel to Japan themselves.

Club meetings are held every second Wednesday from 12:10 to 12:40 in the Multicultural Center Conference Room, Building 4. The next meeting is on Wednesday, October 25.

If you are interested in joining, you can attend the meetings or send them an email to Keep up with the club’s events and announcements by following them on social media: Facebook: Japanese Culture Link, Instagram: jculturelink.

Article by Naledi Mthembu | Photo by Chikako Walker

Skyline College Featured at the 2017 Strengthening Student Success Conference

On Thursday, Oct. 12, and Friday, Oct.13, the Career Advancement Academy (CAA) and Career Ladders Project (CLP) presented to over 60 California educators at the 2017 Strengthening Student Success Conference (SSSC).

The conference gathers California Community College professionals and educators from across the state to engage in discussion and highlight strategies for building institutional effectiveness, supporting student learning, and increasing equitable outcomes. The Skyline College team, Dr. Jennifer Taylor Mendoza, Interim Vice President of Instruction, Lorraine DeMello, Counselor, Alina Varona, Faculty Coordinator for the Career Advancement Academy, Program Services Coordinator for the Career Advancement Academy Jeremy Evangelista, along with Career Ladders Project’s Amanda Amal Issa and Luis Chavez, led sessions which highlighted best practices that influence successful student transitions from alternative high school to community college.

In California, “alternative school” refers to seven types of schools and programs that provide different educational settings for students who are behind in school. In California approximately 500 public alternative high schools serve more than 15% of high school students but account for more than 50% of high school drop-outs. Evaluation of the most successful alternative high schools finds that programs maintaining strong partnerships with local community colleges are more successful in ensuring students complete high school and start postsecondary education.

By creating a “bridge to the bridge,” the Career Advancement Academy aims to scale their most promising and effective practices and increase alignment and collaboration with education feeder partners—especially adult education, continuation high schools, and alternative high schools.

The “Exploring and Expanding Alternative High School and Community College Partnership” session was featured under the conference’s Creating Coherent Pathways strand, which showcases practices and programs aimed at rethinking and restructuring how students enroll in, progress through, and successfully complete their goals.

Friday’s post conference workshop “An Inclusive Front Door: Strategies for Ensuring Smooth Transitions and Early Success in Community College for All Californians” was an interactive half-day intensive workshop that presented strategies used by colleges across the state to improve transitions and success for alternative high school students. Attendees learned from high school and community college practitioners about existing models, exchanged ideas, created action plans for their sites, and discussed how to best structure supports for alternative education students.

A special thanks to the entire Alternative Education presenting team, including: Dr. Elisha Arrillaga, Amanda Amal Issa, and Luis Chavez from CLP, Dr. Jennifer Taylor Mendoza who shared her expertise as a panelist and provided a critical lens as an administrator supporting good work in alternative education, Lorraine DeMello, lead counselor and faculty for our Skyline College’s alternative education pilot bridge programs, and Jeremy Evangelista, who provides critical student, family, and programmatic support for all of our alternative education students.

The California Alternative Education community of practice will continue to engage in idea and resource exchange via an online community of learning for folks deeply involved in the important work of connecting alternative high school students to college and career. You can read our forthcoming blog about the May 12th 2017 Community of Practice that convened over 50 practitioners to discuss successful alternative high school-community college partnerships at:, and please keep an eye out for the Skyline College Career Advancement Academy, Equal Measure, and Career Ladders Project pending publication on best practices for alternative high school and community college partnerships due out this winter!

Article by Alina Varona | Photos by Alina Varona