Daily Archives: May 2, 2019

Learning Commons’ Human Library Concludes Successful Spring Season

Human LibraryThe Human Library drew Skyline College another step closer as a community, with as many as 80 participants including staff, students and faculty, exploring each other’s stories as part of an interactive international movement to “unjudge.” At Human Library sessions, “human books” are “loaned” to readers just as libraries loan physical books to library visitors. Continuing the theme, “don’t judge a book by it’s cover,” readers are encouraged to ask questions freely for honest answers in return, as books and readers engage in conversations at the Skyline College Library.

On April 22, 2019, 54 readers selected from their choice of 11 inventively titled and richly diverse human books. The living booklist included In transit, The Belara dream, Ser educada: the new Mestiza, Becoming Dr. B, Stage fright: finding a voice in unexpected places, AA to PHD: join me, Immigrant or American?, Academic probation? Me?, Showing up differently, Navigating life’s series of firsts, and When life throws you lemons…make cranberry juice!

The April session also brought new changes as staff welcomed professors David Hasson (Math) and Serena Chu-Mraz (ESOL) and their students to participate as readers, while Skyline College president and administrators Dr. Regina Stanback Stroud, Dr. Angelica Garcia and Dr. Jennifer Mendoza-Taylor, settled in as books to share their unique journeys.

Sherri Wyatt, library instructional aid and event organizer, invited her family to the April session. Her sister Ja’Net Wyatt, a professional balloon artist, uplifted the event with balloon creations. In turn, she was able to “check out” President Stanback Stroud’s story, relaying afterwards:

“The Human Library was a very interesting experience. Dr. Stanback Stroud’s story was the same as many of us who major in one field and end up in another career. Yet she had a burning desire to assist in the resolution of the nation’s hard-to-solve problem of poverty. My curiosity in her anti-poverty program revealed the underlying reasons for the increases in poverty amongst minorities: racism and white supremacy laws. I applaud her efforts to be part of the solution…”

Also new in April? As books and readers returned to engage for the second or even third time, and as students arrived in class groups, the session was adapted for books to share stories for longer periods and with multiple readers at once. Still, as books acquired waiting lists of curious readers, staff were challenged to curtail stories to accommodate those waiting.

The March 20 event also drew many readers and five new books including California dreamin’, Gratitude speaks, The Indecisive young mom, Legend of Latin rock’s rise from darkness into the light, and Brave starts today.

The Human Library received a wealth of positive feedback from its Spring participants who have requested that more such events take place campus wide. One reader commented poignantly,  “I learned so much by being “allowed” to ask naive questions and know that it wouldn’t offend.” Another relayed the value of “learning how we can rise to the top of our dreams and goals and fall and still land in a great place along the journey of life.”

All human books are invited to return to Skyline College Library for our Human Book Mixer on May 16, 2019 from 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. This is an opportunity to mingle and celebrate the success of the Human Library events.

Please check out photos of the event on Facebook as well as many good reads in the Human Library Archives. Questions? Contact Pia Walawalkar at walawalkars@smccd.edu.

Article by Jessica Silver-Sharp | Photo by Marisa Thigpen

TRiO Celebrates Student Success


On Wednesday, May 1, 2019, the TRiO Program and community celebrated its 2018-19 Graduates, Transfers, and Scholarship Recipients. In attendance were 125 family members, Skyline College administration and of course, student scholars. Sixty five (65) TRiO students earned degrees and/or are transferring to 4-year colleges and universities. Moreover, 13 students were awarded the TRiO Scholarship as determined by their scholarship (GPA), service, and leadership.

A festive time was had by all as students, family members, and TRiO staff, administration, and faculty.  After stirring remarks by Dr. Jennifer Taylor-Mendoza, Vice President of Instruction, RoseMarie Mendoza Morrison, provided a touching reflection on her Skyline College and TRiO Program College experience by reminding students that “it takes determination and desire. As I look around this room, I see students who all have that drive to succeed and to better their future. The road is long and hard, but well worth the travel. Everyone says it’s the destination that is the important part of your future, but the journey is just as rewarding.”  Following her remarks, TRiO recognized two students who received the TRiO Student of the Year Award for their scholarship, service and leadership.  The 2018-19 TRiO Students of the Year are:

  • Giller Asuncion, AS-T Business Administration Major
  • Lubna Tanatrah, AS-T Biology Major

The evening included great food, family, fun and most importantly the recognition of student success as TRiO students are continuing their educational journey at a number of esteemed universities, including UCLA, UC Berkeley, UC Davis, and many more.

Article by Michael Stokes

Skyline College Students to Participate in Internships with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

ValentinaRobertThis summer, Skyline College students Valentina Carreno (Cognitive Science) and Robert Sillona (Computer Engineering) are participating in an internship program working with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). In coordination with Station1, a non-profit based in Boston, whose mission is to expand opportunities for STEM focused students, Valentina and Robert will be participating in hands-on research relative to their fields of study in STEM. This internship opportunity is all-expenses paid.

Culminating experiences in the program will allow these two students to gain both personal and professional experience, to forge mentoring relationships with scientific experts in their fields of study and to gain experience in hands-on, applied research.

It is very rare for community college students to participate in a competitive program of this caliber and this is a tremendous opportunity for Valentina and Robert. Both students are first in their families to attend college. Both students wish to express a very special thank you to Dr. Regina Stanback Stroud, Skyline College President,  for making this dream come true.

Article by Stephen Fredricks | Photo of Robert by Robert Sillona; Photo of Valentina by Stephen Fredricks

Women in STEM: Skyline College Faculty Members Share Their Experience With Over 150 Students

Women in STEMIn honor of Women’s History Month, Skyline College organized a panel discussion of Women in STEM on Wednesday, March 27, 2019. The event was a great success, with over 150 students in attendance. It was part of the Science in Action Lecture series, a biweekly event presented in partnership with the San Francisco State University Bridges to Baccalaureate Program, the Skyline College Science, Math, Technology Division, and Mathematics Engineering Science Achievement (MESA).

The panel consisted of seven Skyline College faculty members representing various STEM fields. It included (pictured from left to right) Emilie Hein from Physics, Polin Yadak from Physics, Alice Pevyhouse from Astronomy and Physics, Denise Hum from Mathematics, Maryam Khan from Engineering and Physics, Jing Folsom from Biochemistry and Elsa Jimenez-Samayoa from Biology (not pictured).

The event was hosted in collaboration with the WISER! Club (Women in Science and Engineering Represent!), who helped coordinate and moderate the discussion.

After brief introductions, the panelists took turns answering questions from the audience, ranging from what factors helped them gain the confidence to go into STEM to what difficulties they still face as minorities in their fields. The audience was very receptive to the personal stories and compelling experiences that were shared. It was an empowering and rewarding moment for people on both sides of the table. The hour went by very fast and more questions still needed to be answered, so a similar event is already being planned for Fall 2019. Please stay tuned!

A big thank you to all faculty, staff and students who were in attendance, and to Ray Hernandez, Dean of Science / Mathematics / Technology Division; Maggie Li, Division Assistant; and Nadia Tariq, Program Services Coordinator for their support and assistance in making this event successful.

Article by Jing Folsom, Emilie Hein, Denise Hum, Elsa Jimenez-Samayoa, Maryam Khan, Alice Pevyhouse and Polin Yadak | Photo by Nadia Tariq