Daily Archives: September 14, 2018

SparkPoint Snacks Continues to Address Food Insecurity on Campus

SparkPoint has distributed over 4,434 snacks to students in the first three weeks of operations! There are currently thirteen strategically placed SparkPoint Snack baskets around campus, each one hosted by a sponsor program working with SparkPoint to ensure that the baskets are fully stocked and supported at all times. We have also received a number of basket requests from faculty, staff and administrators throughout the campus who want to offer their support to this program and their students. With the help of these host programs, we will continue to disburse more throughout the academic year.

SparkPoint Snacks is a synergistic component of Skyline College’s paradigm of comprehensive support for the whole student. While it addresses food insecurity, it also serves as a point of contact for other SparkPoint services, all of which are specifically designed to assist students to overcome financial barriers – each snack has a SparkPoint business card attached to it in order to connect food-insecure students with CalFresh application assistance, financial coaching, the SparkPoint Food Pantry and more. Since the launch of SparkPoint Snacks, student engagement and requests for these SparkPoint services has steadily increased.

If you have any questions regarding SparkPoint Snacks or other SparkPoint services, please contact Chad Thompson, Director for SparkPoint and Career Services, at thompsonc@smccd.edu.

Article by Chad Thompson

Prominent Bay Area Artists to Show at Skyline College

The Skyline College Art gallery is proud to present Tropeycalia Club, a group installation of paintings, sculpture and more by prominent Bay Area artists John Yoyogi Fortes, Juan Carlos Quintana and Carlo Ricafort.  The exhibition runs from September 22, 2018 to October 20, 2018. A reception will be held for the artists on Saturday, September 22 from 3:00-5:00 p.m. at the Skyline College Art Gallery.

The title of the exhibition is a play on the 1960’s Afro-Cuban-Brazilian music movement, Tropicalia. Using a conscious misspelling tactic of ‘tropey’, the show explores myriad tropes associated with everything tropical. In his essay about the exhibition, artist and gallerist Arvin Flores explains, “Tales of exotic places, fantasy islands, and otherworldly paradises, utopian in essence, are discourses about the ideal, and thus political by nature. This notion has given inspiration to such classic gangsta rap hits as manifest destiny, or turn of the century eugenics, both having racist leanings with genocidal outcomes. In short, colonial mentality is but a reflection of the master’s image, and colonial states are bastardized versions of the ideal (of course this is not a news flash to everyone).”

The exhibiting artists both embrace and scathingly satirize kitsch tropical imagery that abounds in movies, TV shows, art, music, travel brochures and tourist trap souvenir shops. Imagery runs the gamut from coconut palm trees to stereotyped musicians, to tiki dolls, cannibals, pineapples and bleached bones scattered about on desert islands. Viewers are invited to participate in both deciphering the ways in which these tropical tropes perpetuate themselves in culture, and examining the (unexplored?) and conditioned mental spaces from which these tropes’ biases and prejudices arise.

Viewers are also invited to make their own tropeycalia drawings that can be added to a large collaborative mural project in the gallery. Participate by sending a jpeg image (300 dpi) of a black and white drawing of what comes to mind when you yearn to escape to or from the tropics. Image must be vertical and fit on an 8.5” X 11” sheet of paper. Color images will be converted to black and white. Selected submissions will be printed and installed as a collaborative piece on the gallery wall. To be included by the opening, work must be received by September 22nd. Please submit image no later than Oct 6, 2018.  (Disclaimer: By sending an image you give Tropeycalia Club and Skyline College Art Gallery permission to include your image in the exhibitions promotional material, social media, internet and print. All submitted images, both electronic and printed, will be destroyed after the close of the Tropeycalia Club exhibition.)

Send image to:  tropeycaliaclub@gmail.com.

For more information, visit facebook.com/skygallery

Article by Paul Bridenbaugh, Arvin Flores, Juan Carlos Quintana

Forum on Institutional Responsibility for Student Success

On September 12, 2018, the Office of Student Equity and Support Programs hosted the Beyond the Margins Equity Forum (BTMEF), Stay Woke: A Discussion About Student Success at Skyline College. This event brought together a cross-section of 65 students, staff, faculty and administrators to have a collective conversation about issues salient to the campus community.

Using key findings from the Student Voice Survey, the forum focused on economic marginalization and its impact on a student’s educational experience, and how institutional policies, practices and procedures can be responsive to student needs.

The program opened with welcoming remarks from Dean Lasana Hotep followed by a presentation from faculty facilitator, Jesse Raskin who provided information to help frame the discussion about Student Success. He stated, “Ensuring success in higher education among historically marginalized students is our institutional responsibility.”

The program also featured a panel including Rika Fabian (Professor of Sociology), Ivan Silva (Promise Scholar Counselor) and Danielle Powell (Professor of Communication Studies). Rika Fabian presented Student Voice Survey Data on students experiencing housing insecurity, food insecurity and the inability to afford required textbooks, resulting in taking fewer classes, not register for a required course on their SEP and/or perform poorly in a class.  Ivan Silva provided the audience with a working definition of marginalization and how the condition of being marginalized by an educational institution affects students academically, socially and psychologically. Danielle Powell discussed her work with the Women’s Mentoring and Leadership Academy and the strategies she has used to ensure students receive the support they need in order to be successful.

Article by Katrina Pantig | Photo by Zaw Min Khant

SparkPoint Cash Provides Incentives for Positive Financial Behaviors

SparkPoint at Skyline College has launched SparkPoint Cash; a financial education program that rewards students for smart money management.  SparkPoint Cash simplifies the financial coaching process for students by providing them with a menu of positive financial behaviors from which to choose. Students meet with their financial coach, identify a positive financial behavior, accomplish that behavior with the financial coach or on their own and then schedule a check-in meeting.  Students earn $25 for each completed positive financial behaviors for a maximum of $100.

SparkPoint Cash is based on behavioral economic concepts, which SparkPoint at Cañada College successfully implemented in 2016.  The first financial incentives “nudges” students to engage with a Financial Coach and complete a positive behavior, while the additional incentives “nudge” students to complete additional positive behaviors that eventually become positive financial habits.  When students complete behaviors like applying for CalFresh, completing a spending tracker, increasing their savings by $25/month, or review their credit report, they are preparing themselves to overcome potential financial barriers that might otherwise affect their academic success.

These positive financial behaviors and habits could ultimately be a determining factor for a student to persist in their educational program and/or degree, and lead to long-term financial stability and self-sufficiency.

If you have any questions about SparkPoint Cash or if you would like to refer a student to any SparkPoint Services, please contact (650) 738-7035 or skylinesparkpoint@smccd.edu.

Article by Chad Thompson

San Mateo Community College District Celebrates Undocumented Student Graduates

The journey to transfer and graduation is filled with many challenges, especially for undocumented and immigrant students. Last spring, Skyline College, College of San Mateo, and Cañada College partnered up to create SMCCCD’s first ever Migration Celebration, which aimed to celebrate the journeys, families, and achievements of undocumented and immigrant student graduates.

The Migration Celebration featured student leader speakers from each campus who shared their stories, experiences at SMCCD, and words of inspiration for their graduating cohort. The ceremony recognized a total of 18 students who had earned a certificate, Associate’s degree, or were transferring to a 4-year institution. The students expressed excitement about being a part of the first Migration Celebrtaion Cohort and stressed the importance of these events in inspiring other students to persist through their college journeys.

The three District Dream Centers are excited to continue this collaboration for years to come. If you are interested in participating or volunteering at this year’s Migration Celebration please visit the Skyline College Dream Center.

Article and photo by Pamela Ortiz Cerda