Monthly Archives: September 2018

Welcome Gavin Townsley to the Learning Commons!

Gavin TownsleyThe Learning Center is excited to welcome back Skyline College alumnus, Gavin Townsley, to the Skyline College Community! Gavin graduated from San Francisco State University with an MFA in Creative Writing and with Certifications in Teaching Composition and Post-Secondary Reading in spring 2018. Previously, Gavin worked at Cañada College as a Retention Specialist for Basic Skills Students, taught Basic Skills English in Cañada College Word Jams, and also worked as a Lecturer for the Creative Writing Department at SFSU. Not only is Gavin a Skyline College graduate, but he also served as an Instructional Aide II for the Supplemental Instruction program at The Learning Center, an English tutor for the Summer Scholars program, and as an SLA for the Supplemental Learning Assistance Program here at Skyline.

In his new role as the Supplemental Instruction (SI) Program Services Coordinator, Gavin will lead a team of 40+ SI Leaders to support students in highly enrolled and traditionally difficult courses. He is looking forward to working closely with Skyline College students, faculty, and staff.  In his free time, Gavin enjoys hiking, running (he’s currently training for the Berkeley Half Marathon), exploring nature, watching movies, and playing video games. He’s also a fervent reader and writer of both fiction and nonfiction. Come join us in welcoming Gavin back to our community – his office is in Building Five, Room 5110!

Article written by Chelssee DeBarra and Joshua M. Lindo

Students Learn Marketing at the BAEC

workshopThe Bay Area Entrepreneur Center of Skyline College (BAEC) is in its third week of the Student Internship Job Shadow Program!  All seven of the BAEC student interns across the different programs on campus came together for an Online Marketing Made Easy Workshop on September 26, 2018. This workshop was led by Terri Wade, BAEC Marketing Coordinator, and focused on growing essential business skills, learning best practices for marketing and creating a dynamic marketing campaign.

As a team, the BAEC student interns will be collaborating on a project to solving a problem that they themselves and their community face. This project will include a marketing campaign to gain awareness of the problem and ways to solve it.  Student Intern, Michelle Huang is currently working on a marketing campaign for a sustainability project on campus, which includes using solar and fog energy to increase energy efficiency at Skyline College. Each student intern bring a unique set of skills to this project and to the Internship Job Shadow program, as a whole.

The Student Internship Job Shadow Program empowers students to develop the necessary skills needed to enter into the workforce or to develop their own business ideas.  These skills include teamwork, time and project management, effective communication, mastering the art of interviewing, tips to improve their resume, and developing their professional network. The Student Internship Job Shadow Program is for students to gain a better understanding of their interests, available career paths, all while building their professional networking and resume.

For more information on student internship opportunities at the Bay Area Entrepreneur Center of Skyline College, or other resources, please contact us via email, phone (650) 738-7992, on the web at, or come visit us in-person!  The BAEC is located at 458 San Mateo Ave, San Bruno, CA 94066.

Article by Terri Wade & Pcyeta Stroud | Photo by Ling Chien

Automotive Department Partners with Ford

Skyline College Automotive Department is now an official partner with Ford Motor Company.  Through sponsorship from Serramonte Ford the Skyline College Automotive Department is now part of the Ford ACE (Automotive Career Exploration) program. Ford Motor Company, in conjunction with Serramonte Ford, is working on donating a 2014 Ford Focus to be used for training. Additionally Ford is providing educational training for staff and students along with equipment donations which will enhance the training for our students on Ford Technology.  “ Our students will benefit greatly from this partnership which in turn benefits Skyline College and the Automotive Program.”  Serramonte Ford is offering internships for students interested in working on Ford products.  Skyline Automotive program is excited about working with Serramonte Ford and Ford Motor Company as we work toward enhancing the education of our students while staying connected to our employers and our community.

Article by Thomas G. Broxholm

Accreditation Update

staffThe first Accreditation Forum for the 2019 Accreditation visit was held on Tuesday, September 25th and a broad range of the college campus participated in a fun Kahoots game to learn more about accreditation, with an update on the timeline, current status of the self-study, and the next steps. The first draft of the self-study was completed September 14th, 2018, with 95% of the draft is completed. The second forum will be a fun-filled afternoon on October 30th, with prizes for costumes and more input solicited from the campus around comments for the second draft, which is due October 19th. We look forward to seeing the campus community engage in this very important process!

Article by Jaqueline Honda

SparkPoint Presents at the California Guided Pathways Demonstration Project

flor lopezSparkPoint was asked to present at the California Guided Pathways Demonstration Project on September 7, 2018.

Flor López, the SparkPoint Coordinator and Financial Coach, presented to administrators, faculty and staff from community colleges across California in a breakout session titled, “Ensuring Basic Needs Are Met: Skyline College’s SparkPoint Program.” The break out session was designed to highlight SparkPoint at Skyline College’s services including: financial coaching, benefits access, the food pantry, housing resources and the role SparkPoint plays in connecting students with on and off campus partners. She shared strategies on how to provide student services with equity and dignity as the foundation for a student-centered program. Highlighted in the presentation was the partnership that SparkPoint and the Promise Scholars Program has in assisting students complete a Financial Game Plan and the importance of outreaching to students in their first year.

The presentation was well attended and was an excellent opportunity to present to community colleges wanting to address the basic needs of their students. The individuals present in the break out session had questions about program development, funding and strategies to connect with community organizations in their area.

Now, more than ever, community colleges are understanding that hunger, housing insecurity and financial burdens make it very challenging for students to succeed in higher education. SparkPoint at Skyline College is seen as an example of a program that provides holistic financial supports for students and we always welcome the opportunity to share what we have learned with other campuses.

For more information regarding the SparkPoint at Skyline College, the Food Pantry or the Benefits Office, please contact the SparkPoint at 650-738-7035 or

Written by: Flor López

Beta Theta Omicron Raises Money to Fight Cancer

studentSTUDENTSBeta Theta Omicron organized and participated in the North Peninsula Relay for Life on September 22. Their team, the Skyline Striders, walked the Millbrae Central Park track from 10 am to 10 pm to raise money for the American Cancer Society. Prior to the event, the team also did three days of food sales on the Skyline College campus to raise funds for the American Cancer Society. Team members included Michelle Huang, Sophie Huang, Gracia Trejo, Qijia Zhang, Yuele Zhang, Liu Zhang, Michael Wong, Thanh Nguyen, Wenjin Wang, Junying Chen and Justin Yu.

The Skyline Striders raised more than $1600 for the American Cancer Society. The team was also recognized as a Rising Star Team for raising over $1000. The team received the Most Spirited Team and Most Creative Fundraiser awards. Team member, Michael Wong, raised funds at the Relay by entering the Miss Relay contest. Michael won Miss Relay.

Beta Theta Omicron has a long history with the Relay for Life events. In 2009, the chapter worked with the American Cancer Society to hold the first San Bruno Relay, now the North Peninsula Relay. That Relay was held on the Skyline College track on one of our foggiest days. Visibility was limited to 300 feet, approximately the width of the track.

Article by Christine Case

SparkPoint Presents on Webinar Addressing Basic Needs Stigma at Community Colleges

John Burton Advocates for Youth has invited SparkPoint at Skyline College to be a panelist on Addressing Stigma: Strategies for Facilitating Access to Basic Needs Support at Community Colleges, a webinar highlighting ways in which colleges can structure services to encourage student access and reduce the potential shame or embarrassment that prevents students from accessing available benefits. This free webinar is on September 27, 2018 from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. To participate, please register at:

Many post-secondary institutions are developing services to help students address basic needs such as food pantries, benefits counseling, and financial literacy support in response to new data on the prevalence of food and housing insecurity among college students. A significant barrier to accessing these types of services, however, can be the stigma often associated with accessing basic needs resources, making students reluctant to engage with available support.

Students who face hunger, malnutrition, an unstable living situation, or homelessness will struggle to reach their full potential in a classroom. Changing the way we address, interact, and intervene on behalf of students can make a monumental impact in their lives and the lives of their families. We continue to look to improve the way we serve these students and remove the barriers they face to reach their goals.

If you have any questions, please contact Chad Thompson, Director for SparkPoint and Career Services at Skyline College, at

Article and image by Chad Thompson

California Community College System Dedicates a Week to Undocumented Student Support

The California Community College (CCC) system has created a statewide Undocumented Student Week of Action that will run from October 15-19, 2018 to show support for undocumented students enrolled in CCC’s throughout the state, and who number around 60,000-75,000. In alignment with this undertaking, Skyline College will hold its first-ever UndocuWeek that will feature a different theme for every day, a corresponding webinar facilitated by undocumented professionals from various fields, suggested campus events, and resources. Pamela Ortiz Cerda, Program Services Coordinator for the Dream Center, has been participating in monthly calls with the CCC Chancellor’s Office and other collaborators since early August to help coordinate this week of events.

Article by Pamela Ortiz Cerda

‘Tropeycalia Club’ Exhibition Opening Tomorrow at the Skyline College Art Gallery

Tropeycalia Club, the installation of paintings, drawings, sculptures and collaborative artworks by John Yoyogi Fortes, Juan Carlos Quintana, and Carlo Ricafort, opens Saturday, September 22, 2019 at the Skyline College Art Gallery in Building 1. There will be a reception for the artists on Saturday, September 22, 2018 from 3:00-5:00 p.m. Both the exhibition and the reception are free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served against a backdrop of lively music.

The title of the exhibition is a play on the 1960’s Brazilian artistic movement, Tropicalia. Using a conscious misspelling of ‘tropey’, the show explores myriad tropes associated with everything tropical. Come see for yourself what all the talk is about!

‘Tropeycalia Club’ will be on view in the Art Gallery until October 20, 2018. The Skyline College Art Gallery is open Mondays through Fridays and is located on the ground floor of Building 1. Check our Facebook page for current hours at The Gallery is open to all, with free admission.

For information please visit: or


Article and photos by Paul Bridenbaugh

Seven Trojans Nominated to Academic All-State Team

Seven Skyline College Student Athletes have been nominated to the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) Academic All-State Team for Fall 2018. The student-athletes are:

Griffen Bragagnolo, Men’s Soccer

Brittany Gutierrez-Kitto, Women’s Basketball

Toshiaki Hensley, Men’s Soccer

Keri La, Women’s Basketball

Christian Shelley, Wrestling

Raichel Tjan, Women’s Basketball

Morgan Vurek, Women’s Soccer

The criteria for nomination are:

  1. Participation in an intercollegiate sport during Fall 2017
  2. Successfully completing 24 or more units starting with the Fall 2017 semester through Summer 2018.
  3. Achieving a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher for all units attempted starting in Fall 2017.

Students nominated are automatically selected to the All-State Team once the CCCAA confirms that all the criteria have been met. Congratulations to these deserving students on their wonderful accomplishments both in the classroom and on the court, field and mat.

Article by Joe Morello