Monthly Archives: January 2019

Engineering Student Oversees Construction Project at Skyline College

Civil Engineering Melanie TrujilloOver the course of Fall semester, the Skyline College community has seen the construction of the new Environmental Science building progress tremendously. Having an interest in Project Management, a Civil Engineering student in Skyline College’s Engineering and Technology Scholars Program, Melanie Trujillo, spent her winter break shadowing Pam Welty. Pam is the Senior Construction Project Manager of Swinerton Builders, who is currently overseeing the new Environmental Science building construction project.

For two weeks, Melanie learned the ins and outs of construction management. This was a rewarding opportunity for Melanie to see aspects of civil engineering being applied in real-time and gain valuable skills. She assisted Pam while she managed the communication among the entire construction team and supervised the progress of the project to make sure all components of the projects were coming together seamlessly. One of the activities that Melanie appreciated the most was seeing her engineering courses being applied on the job through learning to reading construction plans.

This short trip became a crucial experience for her to see her education come alive and served to strengthen her confidence and decision in pursuing a degree in civil engineering. Seeing how these experiences have enriched her, Melanie aims to continually serve as a mentor for local youth. Last Spring semester, Melanie facilitated a workshop on the applications of electronics and engineering during the Expanding Your Horizons Conference and strives to continue engaging young women to pursue STEM.

Article By Melanie Trujillo, Maryam Khan & Jenny Le

2018 Ireland Community Travel Program Participants Reunite at Local Irish Restaurant

GLPS Ireland Community TravelOn Thursday, January 24, 2019, Skyline College’s Global Learning Programs and Services (GLPS) Division gathered with community members at Fiddler’s Green—a traditional Irish Pub and Restaurant in Millbrae—to share in memories of their travels in Ireland last summer with the SMCCCD Community Travel Program. Russell Waldon, Dean of GLPS, Sonya Pope, Division Assistant for GLPS and Stephanie Wells, Program Service Coordinator for Study Abroad, joined with 11 members of the community to reminisce of their time on the Emerald Isle while enjoying tasty Irish fare and singing along to traditional Irish songs.

Community Travel participant Sherry Lynes brought her guitar and sheets of lyrics—including an original she wrote about their time in Ireland—and the group sang together, as they had last summer. During the gathering, all were joyfully surprised by a phone call from their tour director, Mr. Brendan Heneghan, who called from Ireland to say hello. To the group’s delight, he said that he now plays Lynes’ song on every tour he leads and that it is always a hit.

The SMCCCD Community Travel Program is a curated, small-group travel experience for lifelong learners. With the Community Travel Program, members of our community have the opportunity to travel around the world with an SMCCCD representative and local tour director as they enjoy local food, special attractions and guided sightseeing. Upcoming Community Travel Programs for 2019 include Cuba, South Africa, Ireland, Italy and Japan.

The Community Travel Program was created as a way for Skyline College to connect with the larger community of San Mateo County as well as a way to help our students live and learn in other countries. For many college students, studying abroad is a special goal of their undergraduate years. However, financially, the experience is often out of reach. With Community Travel, $500 (tax-deductible) of the registration fee goes directly into the SMCCCD Foundation for Study Abroad Scholarship Fund, helping to make transformative global opportunities more accessible for all of our students.

The Community Travel Program is part of the SMCCCD Study Abroad Program—a district-wide study abroad program housed in the Global Learning Programs and Services Division at Skyline College. For more information about studying or interning abroad, faculty teach abroad opportunities, travel for lifelong learners, visiting international faculty presenters and student scholarship opportunities, please contact Zaid Ghori at (650) 738-7088 or You can also learn more by visiting the SMCCD Study Abroad Facebook page or Instagram page @smcccd_study_abroad.

Article by Stephanie Wells | Photo by Sonya Pope

SparkPoint and Skyline College Highlighted in National Student Food Insecurity Report

SparkPointIn 2017, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) started their work on a national report covering student food insecurity and the promising programs currently being offered to address this issue at the college level. The research team contacted SparkPoint at Skyline College and requested a full day of interviews with staff, faculty and administrators from across the campus, as well as a confidential student focus group. Data was collected for over a year and the report was released on January 9, 2019 (link below).

Highlights from the report:

  • Researchers interviewed universities and colleges from six states. Skyline College was the only community college from California selected for an interview.
  • As of September 2018, over 650 colleges reported having a food pantry on campus. This number has been growing steadily.
  • Of the 3.3 million students who were potentially eligible for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in 2016, less than half said they participated.
  • The report starts with the following quote, which expresses the impact that student food insecurity can have on the national educational system and budget:

“In fiscal year 2017, the federal government spent over $122 billion in grants, loans and work-study funds through federal student aid programs to help make college accessible to students. This substantial federal investment in higher education is at risk if college students drop out because they cannot afford basic necessities like food.”

  • Recommendation: Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) should clarify the rules and share information on how states help eligible students use SNAP.

This report will increase awareness about the national issue of student food insecurity and prompt more lawmakers, colleges and communities to take action. Please share this report with any colleagues and any other interested parties.

If you have any questions about the report or would like to get more involved with programs addressing student food insecurity at Skyline College, please contact Chad Thompson, Director for SparkPoint at Skyline College,

You can access the full report here:

 Article by Chad Thompson

SparkPoint Accepting Applications for Spring 2019 Grove Scholarships

Grove ScholarshipsSparkPoint at Skyline College is currently accepting scholarship applications for 25 Career and Technical Education (CTE) students in the Spring 2019 cohort. Grove Scholarship applications are available online at and are due by February 6, 2019 at 3:00 p.m.

Eligible students will be selected for the program based on three short personal statements that describe who they are, why they have chosen their career path and why financial literacy is important to them. Academic standing and GPA are not a factor in selection, as long as the student meets the minimum requirement of a 2.0 GPA and 75% completion rate. Once being selected for the Grove Scholars Program, students will receive individualized financial coaching and career counseling, as well as a $2,000 scholarship for the semester.

If you would like to refer a student to the Grove Scholars Program or if you would like a SparkPoint staff member to share scholarship information or other SparkPoint Services with your class or program, please call (650) 738-7035, or email our SparkPoint Coordinator, Flor Lopez, at

SparkPoint is located in Building. 1, Room 1-214.

Article and Photo by Chad Thompson

Info Sessions for 2019 Study Abroad and Global Internship Programs

Study Abroad Info SessionStudent applications for the Summer 2019 Global Internship Program and other Summer and Fall 2019 Study Abroad Programs are open. As application deadlines approach, the SMCCCD Study Abroad Office is holding info sessions at Skyline College, Cañada College and the College of San Mateo for interested students and their families to learn more about the programs, courses, costs and scholarships.

Global Internship and Study Abroad Info Session Schedule:

Tuesday, January 29 | 12:30 – 1:30 PM | College of San Mateo | 10-401
Tuesday, February 5 | 1:30 – 2:30 PM | Cañada College | 3-104
Wednesday, February 6 | 1:30 – 2:30 PM | Skyline College | 6-203

Students may RSVP for an info session online.

Applications for the Summer 2019 Global Internship Program close February 11, 2019. Application deadlines for other 2019 Study Abroad Programs may be found at

To make an appointment with a study abroad advisor, students can call (650) 738-7098, email or visit the Global Learning Programs and Services (GLPS) Division in Building 2, Room 352 at Skyline College.

SMCCCD Study Abroad is the district-wide study abroad program housed in the Global Learning Programs and Services Division at Skyline College.  For more information about studying or interning abroad, faculty teach abroad opportunities, community travel for lifelong learners, visiting international faculty presenters and student scholarship opportunities, please contact Zaid Ghori at (650) 738-7088 or You can also learn more by visiting the SMCCCD Study Abroad Facebook page or Instagram page @smcccd_study_abroad.

Article by Stephanie Wells | Photo by Zaid Ghori

Faculty Teach Abroad Opportunities in 2020 or 2021 | Applications Due Friday, March 1, 2019

Faculty Teaching Study AbroadThe San Mateo County Community College District (SMCCCD) Study Abroad Program is currently accepting applications from SMCCCD faculty who wish to teach abroad during the Fall 2020 semester in London or Spring 2021 semester in Florence with the Northern California Study Abroad Consortium (NCSAC), as well as applications to develop Short-Term, Faculty-Led Programs in various locations around the world in Summer 2020:

Northern California Study Abroad Consortium (NCSAC)
Since 1986, SMCCCD Study Abroad has participated in the Northern California Study Abroad Consortium (NCSAC) to offer semester-long study abroad programs in various destinations in Europe. With this program, full-time SMCCCD faculty live and teach abroad for 12 weeks and are paid their usual salary for a 100% load. The NCSAC prefers disciplines that cover general education breadth requirements for the UC and CSU: English Communication, Arts and Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Physical and Biological Science (lecture only). Faculty in this program recruit at least 20 students, with the support of the SMCCCD Study Abroad office.

Short-Term, Faculty-Led Program (Summers, locations vary)
A Faculty-Led Program (FLP) is a credit-bearing course where the faculty member and the registered students travel abroad for a portion of a course or for the entire course (FLP’s average between 2-3 weeks). Typically, a faculty member will propose a location with which they have extensive experience and/or knowledge, and to which they can connect their course curriculum. Faculty Leaders work with the SMCCCD Study Abroad office, along with an approved third-party provider, to coordinate program logistics. All full-time and part-time SMCCCD faculty are welcome to apply and are paid their regular summer session rate. Faculty Leaders recruit at least 15 students.

All faculty proposals to teach abroad must be reviewed by the SMCCCD Study Abroad Advisory Committee, with prior approval by the faculty member’s Dean, Vice President of Instruction, College President, Dean of Global Learning Programs and Services at Skyline College, and Director of Special International Programs. Any study or travel tour must go through District approval as part of an educational program of the District and in collaboration with an approved study abroad program provider. Faculty may contact the Study Abroad office for a list of approved providers or for assistance in developing a study abroad program. Faculty may not promote any travel program to students without first receiving District approval. Please refer to District Board Policy No. 8.47 Study/Travel Tours for more information.

Applications to teach abroad in 2020 or 2021 are due March 1, 2019. Interested faculty may schedule a consultation with Zaid Ghori, Director of Special International Programs at (650) 738-7088 or

Teach Abroad Applications:

NSAC Semester Abroad Application
Faculty-Led Program Application

SMCCCD Study Abroad is the district-wide study abroad program housed in the Global Learning Programs and Services Division at Skyline College.  For more information about studying or interning abroad, faculty teach abroad opportunities, community travel for lifelong learners, visiting international faculty presenters and student scholarship opportunities, please contact Zaid Ghori at (650) 738-7088 or You can also learn more by visiting the SMCCD Study Abroad Facebook page or Instagram page @smcccd_study_abroad.

Article by Stephanie Wells

Join Skyline College’s Astronomy Club!

Astronomy Club LunarHello Skyline College Community,

After the generous donation of several high-end telescopes of math instructor Tadashi Tsuchida’s father Roy Tsuchida, we have revived the Astronomy Club. The lead was taken by STEM student, Rod Regado, who accepted the position as club president and gathered students who were interested in astronomy. An interesting fact about the members is that they do not exclusively have a STEM background. The members come from different fields but have the common interest of astronomy.

The most recent activity the Astronomy Club had was outside watching the sky last Tuesday. After the Lunar Eclipse on Sunday night, January 20, 2019, there is still a Supermoon. This means the Moon’s orbit brings it very close to Earth and allows excellent observation. At 7:00 p.m., the students took some of our new telescopes to the Skyline College Parking Lot R, next to the sports fields. This was a good position to observe the Moon as it was rising over the horizon. Everyone has seen the Moon many times, but it is exciting to take a closer look on its surface with its numerous craters and planes, also called mares, through a telescope. We had several different telescopes with us, which allowed us to see the difference in the make and image quality.

We are planning on doing various observation nights and if you are interested and want to learn more about the club or participate in some of the activities, we meet every Thursday at 12:30 p.m. in the Fab Lab, Building 7, Room 7-310.

Article and Photo by Marco Wehrfritz

Christopher Burch at the Skyline College Art Gallery

Christopher Burch Please join the Art Department in welcoming visual artist Christopher Burch to Skyline College next week. Coming from St. Louis Missouri, Christopher will be working on installing a solo exhibition of his artwork in the gallery during the next two weeks, with the show opening on February 11, 2019. Maroon Melodies (Soliloquies of a Slick Sound) will feature an installation of drawings, paintings, sculpture and mixed media works. The exhibit will be on view in the Skyline College Art Gallery from February 11th – March 15th. Keep an eye out for upcoming events and workshops with the artist. You can learn more about Christopher Burch’s artwork at:

Article by Paul Bridenbaugh

Bits N’ Bytes Club Members Travel to Japan!

bits and bytes at JapanOver the winter break, members of Skyline College’s computer science club, Bits N’ Bytes, traveled together to Japan to immerse themselves in innovative tech culture. Vice President of the club, Yuichi Okuhama is an Okinawa native and toured the club members in Tokyo.

Japan is a nation that is not afraid of innovation and progress, yet is passionately protective and proud of its culture. Temples, shrines, peaceful gardens and traditional customs co-exist with towering skyscrapers, futuristic architecture, speeding bullet trains and a quirky pop-culture. Beyond experiencing the amazing food and culture, the club members absorbed Japan’s vigor in technological advancements which propelled ideas for new projects this semester.

If you are interested in learning or practicing programming languages or computer science, Bits N’ Bytes would like to welcome new members to join and become a part of their club. They invite proactive STEM learners to participate in volunteer activities and career development opportunities. Your involvement will help continue to provide quality experiences for the campus and community.

For more information about Bits N’ Bytes, contact President Valentina Carreno at or Faculty Advisor Nick Langhoff at

Article and Photo by Valentina Carreno

Skyline College Engineering Department Pilots STEM Research Internship Program

STEM PathwaysEarlier this winter, the Science, Math and Technology Division along with the Engineering Department piloted the inaugural STEM Pathways Research Scholars Program to empower students of historically underrepresented minority backgrounds. The program focused on introductory research skills, academic engagement, internship applications, transfer preparedness, teamwork and developing a stronger sense of self-reliance and sense of community within our campus STEM programs.

Held January 2nd through January 11th in the Base11 Innovation Center, the program supported 26 participants (mostly first-year and rising second-year students). Program activities helped students develop skills in electronics, microcontroller programming, signal conditioning, data acquisition and supplemental topics in MATLAB programming and simulations.

Activities in the first week prepared the scholars for STEM research: exploring the research process, analyzing scientific papers, and developing and delivering technical presentation in STEM. The university transfer process was also explored to reduce students’ transfer anxiety and become “four-year ready”.

During the second week, the scholars were given semi open-ended design projects to create a device that used sensors to measure physical stimulus and provide a designated output. On-hand physics and engineering lab equipment were used to facilitate device manufacturing. Students presented their projects and live demonstrations on the second to last day of the program. The program concluded with a tour of San Francisco State University’s School of Engineering to gain insight on research in seismic/structural engineering, bio-electronics, intelligent computing and embedded systems as well as an orientation on the transfer process for engineering students.

Toward helping students prepare stronger internship applications, members of Workforce and Career Programs, Steven Lopez and Lauren Dekelaita, held a session on framing resumes for technical jobs and using LinkedIn profiles to enhance their Skyline College Alumni and STEM network. Surgical Technology Lead, Alice Erksine and the Dean of Science, Math and Technology, Ray Hernandez, shared related experience and equipment demonstrations on measurement devices and sensor technology that are used in the medical industry.

During recruitment, program benefits and incentives were highlighted, including compensation for work performed ($600) as well as the opportunity to gain introductory research experience. Upon selection of student participants, priority consideration was given to students from underrepresented minority backgrounds.

Upon completion of the program, a post-program survey was administered with a brief wrap up meeting. Skyline College aims to use the experiences of these scholars to further strengthen the program for future cohorts.

The STEM Pathways Research Scholars program is part of Skyline College’s newly funded grant project Strengthening Pathways to Success in STEM (SP2S – STEM Pathways Program): a collaborative project between Skyline College’s Engineering department and San Francisco State University. The project is funded through a five-year $3,750,000 grant from the Department of Education Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) Title V Program. With a large focus on supporting the college’s upcoming and highly anticipated STEM center, the STEM Pathways project is designed to improve and expand STEM educational opportunities and improve overall academic achievement for underrepresented and low-income students.

Article by Maryam Khan and Nick Langhoff