Daily Archives: March 7, 2019

Championing Voices Through Poetry

poetry cornerSince its inception on October 8, 2018, the Learning Commons Poetry Corner Series continues to be more than a monthly event where an instructor and a few students just gather in Skyline College Library’s lounge area to read classical poetry and engage in boring philosophical discussions. The Poetry Corner continues to be that activity where students express their ideas, read their original work, declare their spoken word and engage in challenging discussions.

On February 13, 2019, Spring semester kicked off with African American Heritage Month. Three original paintings by Skyline College student Calvonnia Kelly were on display and Nathan Jones, English Associate Professor, published author and host of the Learning Commons Poetry Corner, facilitated the poetry reading.  After reading his response to a poem written by Maya Angelou, the discussion commenced with a question about the parallelism and differences of the African American communities in Oakland, CA and Harlem, NY.

Middle College student Jessica Jacinto also shared her original poems: “What happened to 1?” was about her desire to pursue political science as a major with an emphasis on social justice, as well as imagining herself in the shoes of victims of systemic racism. “Fake News, Real News” was an ode to journalists who have passed while pointing out the tragedy of suppressing the journalistic voice. The most poignant stanza “as I look out at the ropes of society, fake news becomes our reality while reality is distinguished, causing us to lose our mortality” was a reminder of the damaging effects of fake news.

Sonya Pope, Interim Division Assistant for Global Learning Programs, shared her original poem, “We Must Speak Her Name.”  She wrote this in response to police brutality toward women like Sandra Bland and many others. This spurred more students to share published poems that spoke to the need for empathy and support for the communities that are continually being disenfranchised.  Even another student who decided to leave his study group shared the chorus line from a Kanye West song called “We Don’t Care.”  With over 20 attendees, this successful event sets the precedent for what is to come in the next two months.

Join the Learning Commons Poetry Corner on March 15, 2019 at 12:00 p.m. in the Skyline College Library. Kim Davalos, Pinay, counselor for Student Services, photographer and published poet, will host and share her original poems, as well as other female artists in honor of Women’s History Month. Treats and refreshments will be served.

If you have any questions, please contact Rob Williams, williamsr@smccd.edu; Pia Walawalkar, walawalkars@smccd.edu; or Sherri Wyatt, wyatts@smccd.edu. See you at the next Learning Commons Poetry Corner event from 12:00 p.m. until 1:00 p.m. on March 15, 2019!

Article and Photo by Sherri Wyatt

Skyline College Announced as the Top Gilman Scholarship Producing Community College in California

TGilmanhe U.S. Department of State announced its list of U.S. higher education institutions that sent the most students overseas on the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program over the 2017-2018 academic year. Skyline College has been announced as the #1 community college in California and the #3 community college (tied with Kirkwood Community College) nationwide for producing Gilman Scholars. The State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, in collaboration with the Institute of International Education, compiles the list of top producing institutions, organized by size and type.

Skyline College was the only community college in California to be recognized as a Gilman Top Producer for Students with Disabilities and First-Generation College Students. It was also recognized for Greatest Growth for Associate’s Colleges, Most Unique Destinations, and Students with Disabilities. This recognition highlights Skyline College’s commitment to making international study and internships more accessible and inclusive for American students of all backgrounds through the Gilman Program. Staff have made district-wide efforts in prioritizing the Gilman Scholarship by hosting scholarship workshops for students and collaborating with the Financial Aid and The Learning Center offices on campus.

The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program, with the support of the U.S. Congress, is reshaping study abroad to make it more accessible and inclusive for American students. The Gilman Program broadens the U.S. student population that studies and interns abroad by providing scholarships to outstanding undergraduates who, due to financial constraints, might not otherwise participate. Since the program’s establishment in 2001, over 1,300 U.S. institutions have sent 28,000 Gilman scholars to 149 countries around the globe. For a full list of the institutions by category, please visit the Gilman Scholarship website at www.GilmanScholarship.org/TopGilman.

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 ghoriz@smccd.edu. You can also learn more by visiting the SMCCCD Study Abroad Facebook page or Instagram page @smcccd_study_abroad.

Article and Photo by Stephanie Wells

Model United Nations

UNDuring the weekend of February 28, 21019 through March 3, 2019, the Skyline College Model United Nations (MUN) team participated in the UCBMUN XXIII Model UN conference at the Hilton hotel in San Francisco, CA.

Skyline College MUN is a parliamentary debate team that competes against other universities at regional conferences where they attempt to solve global issues in the style of the United Nations. Committees include crisis, specialized, general assembly formats, and discussion topics range from historical scenarios to the most recent current events.

The UCBMUN XXIII conference featured teams from all over the world, including prestigious universities like UCLA, UC Berkeley, USC and Stanford University. Delegations from universities in Russia, Africa and the West Point military academy provided unique perspectives on the issues in their committees. The best delegate in each committee is awarded the gavel in the closing ceremony after the final session of debate. While the Skyline College MUN team didn’t bring home any gavels from this conference, each member of the delegation had the opportunity to contribute to the flow of debate and to learn from their colleagues from other schools.

For this conference, the Skyline College MUN team also featured eight students from the Skyline College Middle College community, one international student and several Skyline College Promise scholars. Middle College senior, Nicole Liu, said about her experience, “Despite having little experience with Model UN, I gained a lot of confidence over the span of the three days to the point where I voluntarily stepped up to deliver a direct examination in my committee.”

The club’s agenda for the rest of the 2019 semester includes preparing for another competitive debate season next year, recruiting new members, as well as hosting a Skyline College Invitational MUN conference at the end of the school year.

Skyline College MUN actively welcomes new members who are interested in participating in debate both locally in weekly meetings at Skyline College, as well as those interested in travelling to participate in regional conferences and competitions. Please e-mail skylinemun@gmail.com for more information.

Article by Tim Rottenberg

WOW! Women on Writing Event Inspires the Campus Community

WOWWriters and readers from all over the Bay Area gathered at Skyline College on Saturday, March 2, 2019 for WOW! Voices Now: A Morning of Readings and Refreshments, an annual celebration of creativity during Women’s History Month. An energetic crowd of 70 people braved a morning rainstorm to savor literary work crafted by a wide variety of writers.

Event coordinator Kathleen McClung welcomed the two featured speakers, award-winning authors Aileen Cassinetto and Jacqueline Doyle. Both read from their books and spoke about their dedication to writing over the years. Cassinetto is Poet Laureate of San Mateo County. Doyle teaches at CSU East Bay and specializes in flash fiction.

During a lively question and answer, both authors spoke in depth about their writing process. Cassinetto talked of growing up under martial law in the Philippines and Doyle, who wrote her doctoral dissertation on Edgar Allan Poe, said she tends to explore dark themes in her work. Both emphasized the necessity for community, especially during difficult times nationally and personally.

After a break for book signing, networking and continental breakfast, Professor Katharine Harer presented awards and gift bags to two outstanding Skyline College students, Haley O’Shea and Yvette Estrada who read their powerful work with poise and passion and received sustained ovations from the audience. The awards memorialize two multi-talented, influential women from the WOW! community, Isabelle Maynard (1929-2007) and Joyce Unger (1942-2016).

12 writers from around the Bay Area shared short poems and prose during the Open Reading, exploring families, cultures, identity, creativity, nature and other themes. Skyline College students Emanie O’Neal and Gwyneth Ochsner were among the Open Readers.

“It’s so important for writers to come together to share experiences, bounce ideas around, and listen to each other deeply,” said Skyline College English professor and author Kathleen McClung. “The WOW! community spans all ages, interests, and backgrounds. The common ingredients are encouragement and support.” The WOW! conference was founded in 2003 by Marijane Datson in collaboration with Skyline College faculty, staff and community members.

Thanks to Kevin Chak, manager of the Skyline College Bookstore and World Cup Cafe, Chris Gibson, interim dean of Language Arts and Learning Resources, English/creative writing professors Rob Williams and Katharine Harer, and WOW! ambassadors Lisa Suguitan Melnick, Ellen Woods, and Tom McAninley.

Article by Kathleen McClung | Photo by Tom McAninley

Students Connect with Student Services at EOPS Spring Mixer

spring mixerOn Tuesday, February 19, 2019, the EOPS, EOPS/CARE, CalWORKs, and Guardian Scholars Programs held their annual Spring Mixer. The Spring Mixer was an opportunity for newly admitted program students to meet EOPS staff, faculty and student ambassadors and to connect with other students. It also served as a resource fair for attendees to gain information about many student services on campus.

Students engaged in mini informational interviews with student services such as Financial Aid, TRiO, Outreach, Learning Communities, The Learning Commons, Peer Tutors, Personal Counseling Services, The Transfer Center, SparkPoint, in addition to the EOPS/CARE/CalWORKs/Guardian Scholars Programs. Attendees and staff/faculty enjoyed lunch together and engaged in lively conversation about the benefits of each program.

Applications are still being accepted on a rolling basis for EOPS/CARE/CalWORKs/GSP. We thank all student services that were present at the mixer. Should you have any questions about any of our programs, please contact skyeops@smccd.edu or call (650) 738-4139.

Article by EOPS Staff | Photo by Guillermo Alonzo

From OUR Uniform, to THE Uniform

police uniformsLast month, Alexander Austria became the latest men’s basketball alum to join the San Francisco Police Department.  Here’s a look at some other former players now serving the community in various public safety capacities.

Pictured (clockwise from top left) are: Rodney Freeman (SFPD, Skyline College ‘09), Ronney Freeman (SFPD, Skyline College ‘09), Shawn Echols (Dallas Fire Dept., Skyline College ’09), Alexander Austria (SFPD, Skyline College ’11), Dan Johnson (San Mateo County Sheriff’s Dept., Skyline College ’12), Pierre Battle (SFPD, Skyline College ’09).

Article by Justin Piergrossi

The English Language Institute (ELI) Will Become ESL Connect on March 25

ESL ConnectTo better reflect how we support our students, we are excited to announce that we are changing our name to ESL Connect!

At the heart of ESL Connect’s service is to link both new and current ESL students to a community of support at Skyline College and beyond.

The English Language Institute was founded in Fall 2009 as a service to better facilitate orientation and enrollment of new ESL students in Skyline College. The new ESL students needed more time and personal connection to complete the matriculation steps. Since its inception, the ELI has become a starting place for thousands of students entering college. Staffed by multilingual staff, ELI provides language support and personalized referrals to enable new enrollees to fully understand the complexities of college and the U.S. educational system.

Through our program outreach, we met Carlos Acuna, a new immigrant from El Salvador studying ESL in adult school in 2016. He attended the ESL Registration Day and got personalized help with Financial Aid and SparkPoint referral. Carlos also got connected to the Career Center who helped him explore his major. He decided on being a mechanical engineer.

As an ESOL student, the ELI connected him to the services at The Learning Center for ESOL tutoring and workshops. Through the ELI program, Carlos became an ESOL Student Liaison to develop his public speaking skills and to be a peer support to his classmates. As Carlos demonstrated increased leadership skills, he got hired as a student assistant at the ELI helping many immigrants access Skyline College. He also became a math tutor at The Learning Center. Carlos is one semester away transferring to a UC School or a CSU School of Engineering. The ELI, soon to be named ESL Connect, is proud to have supported him in his success!

Article by Mylene Foo & Leigh Anne Shaw | Photo by Rossmia Coo

NV/CA Northwest District Summit at Skyline College

PTK summitThe Nevada-California Northwest District Summit was hosted by Northwest Vice President of Northwest District, Michael Wong, in collaboration with the Beta Theta Omicron Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa at Skyline College on March 2, 2019. Despite the rain, 36 members from Cañada College, College of San Mateo and Skyline College attended the summit.

Attendees were greeted at the door with refreshments, and were introduced to the Commit to Complete campaign. The three-hour summit began with an icebreaker called “The Name Game” and ended with a game of Jeopardy.

Attendees learned about Phi Theta Kappa projects including Honors in Action, College Project, Five Star Competitive Edge, Five Star Chapter Plan, and Regional and International Conventions. Most importantly, the attendees were able to build stronger fellowship among Phi Theta Kappans. The attendees rated the summit 4.8 on a 5.0 scale. The summit was a great beginning to prepare for the upcoming hallmark awards submissions and to build stronger chapters.

Article by Christine Case

Student Receives Hites Scholarship

michelle huangMichelle Huang has been selected as one of only 10 students to receive Phi Theta Kappa’s 2019 Hites Transfer Scholarship, the Phi Theta Kappa’s most prestigious and largest scholarship offering at $7,500.

Hites Scholars are selected based on outstanding academic achievement, leadership and engagement in college and community activities. They were selected by a panel of independent judges from more than 2,800 applicants.

Michelle Huang is a business administration major. She is president of the Beta Theta Omicron Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa and is in the Honors Transfers Program. She is a peer tutor for economics, accounting, and statistics and a peer mentor. Through Phi Theta Kappa, Michelle volunteers at senior centers and middle schools. Also, Michelle did a fog-use study for Skyline College. Michelle aspires to work in finance, then give back to the community by becoming a college professor. Michelle wants to inspire individuals to aim high, believe in their capabilities and act toward their dreams.

Article by Christine Case | Photo by Zaw Min Khant