Monthly Archives: September 2019

Taco Tuesday with the Latest STEM Intern in a Genentech Histology Lab

AnneOn Tuesday, September 23, 2019 Skyline College students met with Anne to hear about her internship at Genentech Histology Lab.Anne Marizz Onte, our latest STEM intern as a research associate, is a very dynamic individual, having aspirations to research cancer and to run her own clinic in the Philippines.

Genentech recently asked Skyline College biotechnology manufacturing to provide the names of students, specifically ones that live locally, to apply for positions in a lab at Genentech. For many of us in the Science|Math|Technology Division, specifically biotechnology, this is a dream job. Being an employee for the first biotechnology pharmaceutical company at this stage in our careers is quite a feat.

Anne Marizz Onte is our latest student to gain an internship at Genentech. She works for a histology lab within South San Francisco Genentech and spends early mornings in the lab, ensuring that the lab is clean and that the histology machinery is working and filled up with materials. Anne is a full-time student working on her Biotechnology Associates degree as well as being a full-time employee at Genentech.  While she is doing what many of us have to do in school, at least in this position she is learning in real time what she is studying in the classroom. While it is hard, she feels that she is supported by her colleagues at work to continue her education and to do a quality job for Genentech.

During her talk, Anne described the interview process that she went through to get her job.  Believe it or not they asked about how she cleans and she told the story of how her grandmother taught her how to clean, a process she now uses at home and in the lab. A second question that she was asked  was what friends she has in the lab. Nick Kapp thinks this question may be a way to see how well she works with others. If you have a friend in the lab you are more likely to get along with others, which is more what Genentech wanted to know. Lastly, they asked her about a project that she did in the lab. This was easy for Anne because in her biology class, each student is asked to do a research project. Anne was able to talk in great detail about how she isolated a strain of yeast that would break down cellulose and what she did to characterize it.

When one of the attendees asked Anne what the most important “thing” is to get employment, she said it was to just ask.  While you may not think you are ready, someone will think you are and hire you. She suggested getting your resume ready right now and to just try.

We can see from her picture that she has the support of her friends who came to wish her well. She feels that she is working hard and is on her way to be that cancer researcher with support from Skyline College and her coworkers at Genentech.

Article by Elsa Jimenez-Samayoa | Photo by Nick Kapp

Phi Theta Kappans Participate in Coastal Cleanup

On Saturday, September 23, 2019, 31 members of the Skyline College chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society participated in Coastal Cleanup Day.

The group selected the Notch Trail on Sweeney Ridge as their site. Starting from Parking Lot C, the group collected 54 pounds of trash: The most common items were food wrappers and pieces of glass. The most unusual items were a hard case for a power drill and a dictionary.

Coastal Cleanup Day is an international day of action to protect our oceans and watersheds from trash and debris. Our group selected this site because it drains into four watersheds and their 2019 Honors in Action project is an investigation of the effects of urbanization on creeks.

Article and Photo by Christine Case

Middle College Back to School Night

middle college

On Tuesday, September 24, 2019, the Middle College at Skyline College hosted a Back to School Night for parents and students.

32 parents, 21 current students, four alumni, SSFUSD Board of Trustee Pat Murray, and SMCCCD Board President Maurice Goodman joined Middle College faculty, staff, and administration to highlight the program.  Parents had the opportunity to meet with their students’ teachers and learned about the Middle College program as well as upcoming events for parents and students.

Special thanks to Strategic Partnerships & Workforce Development, Outreach, and the Bookstore for donating to the raffle at the end of the night.  Thanks to the hard work Middle College faculty and staff, the night was a great success!

Article and Photo by Chris Gibson

Forensics Team Wins Big at Season Opener!

forensicsThis past weekend Skyline College’s Forensic team competed in the Golden Gate Season Opener tournament that spanned over the course of three consecutive days. 23 schools from across the Bay Area, Southern California, Oregon and Nevada participated in one of the largest intercollegiate speech and debate tournaments hosted by San Francisco State University. Students had the opportunity to showcase talents in over 15 different categories of speech and debate events. The community welcomed the Skyline College Forensic team with open arms and are excited to add an additional school to the Northern California Forensics Association.

On Friday and Saturday, Trojans competed in team debate (NPDA). The team of Isabella Perez and Joedel Penaranda competed in five preliminary rounds. The team of Benjamen Gao and Zane Chang advanced to elimination rounds and finished the tournament as finalists, taking 1st place in the novice parliamentary debate category. Benjamen Gao finished in the top 10 speakers for the novice division placing 3rd.

On Saturday, two students competed in individual debate (IPDA). Dianne Argueta competed in three preliminary rounds. Joedel Penaranda advanced to elimination rounds, and placed in the top 25% of the field earning bronze.

On Sunday, two students Dianne Argueta and Eduardo Unisa competed in Individual Events (speech). Both students competed in Impromptu. This event students are given a random prompt or quotation and have two minutes to prepare a five minute speech. This is not an easy task.

Traditionally tournaments will hand out actual medals and trophies, but SFSU awards students with succulents and plants. They put an emphasis on sustainability and attempting to limit plastic consumption and waste. The succulents represent growth in many ways. Students who compete in forensics are pushed to expand research, analytical, and performative skills and due to this foundational structure students in turn “grow”. The plant awards are a physical reminder of how we should strive to grow: our minds, skill sets and potentially change the way see concepts or ideas through participatory discourse.

I would like to take the time recognize Skyline College faculty who came out to support not only Skyline College but who continue to foster growth within the larger Forensics community: Dean Chris Gibson, Communication Studies Professors Joann Babin and Sage Russo. Thank you for your support at GGO.

Students will be traveling to University of Nevada Reno to compete in the “Biggest Little City Classic” mid October. Wish us luck as we continue to “lay down our roots”!

Article by Lindsey Ayotte

SMCCCD Study Abroad Offers Advising for Applying to the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship

gilman scholarThe U.S. Department of State’s Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship is a grant program that enables students of limited financial means to study or intern abroad. The program is committed to reshaping study abroad to make it more accessible and inclusive for students who, due to financial constraints, might not otherwise participate. Its goal is to increase opportunities to live and learn abroad to build mutual intercultural understanding between students and their host communities.

The SMCCCD Study Abroad Program at Skyline College is committed to making high-impact practices like study abroad and global internships accessible for all students who wish to participate. In 2017-2018, Skyline College was ranked as the #1 community college in California and #3 community college nationwide for Gilman Scholar recipients.

This month, the Study Abroad Program launched a new advising appointment software, shared by the Skyline College Passport Acceptance Facility, which allows students to schedule one-on-one advising sessions with a study abroad advisor. Over the last several weeks alone, the Study Abroad team has met with nearly 50 students who are in the process of completing study abroad scholarship applications. The next deadline for the Gilman Scholarship Program is Tuesday, October 1, 2019 at 9:59 pm PST.

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 or (650) 738-7088 or Stephanie Wells at You can also learn more by visiting the SMCCD Study Abroad Facebook page or Instagram page @smcccd_study_abroad.

Article by Hein San and Stephanie Wells

Five Trojans Named to Academic All-State Team

Five Skyline College student athletes have been named to the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) Academic All-State Team for fall 2019. The student athletes are:

Genevieve McVanner Rogers, Women’s Soccer

Sierra Olsen, Women’s Soccer

Alejandro Verdin, Men’s Soccer

Makaena Gee, Women’s Volleyball

Janice Luong, Women’s Volleyball

The criteria for nomination are:

  1. Participation in an intercollegiate sport during fall 2018 or earlier.
  2. Successfully completing 24 or more units starting with their first participation through summer 2019.
  3. Achieving a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher for all units attempted from their first participation through summer 2019.

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

High School Partners Breakfast

high schoolOn Friday, September 20, 2019 the Outreach Office hosted this year’s annual High School Partners Breakfast at Skyline College.

The breakfast attendees included 30 high school counselors, administrators, and district representatives from the Jefferson Union, South San Francisco and San Mateo Unified High School Districts. Representatives from charter high schools in San Francisco were also in attendance to hear Skyline College’s program updates, new initiatives, and intentional programming for transitioning high school students.

After a warm welcome by Dr. Angelica Garcia, Vice President of Student Services and Will Minnich, Dean of Enrollment Services, Katrina Pantig, Program Services Coordinator for Student Equity and Support Programs spoke about our campus’ efforts in how we are approaching equity, including equity related professional development opportunities such as the Equity Institute for external constituents.

Dr. Luis Escobar, Dean of Counseling, Advising and Matriculation, introduced the “Getting In” components of the college’s redesign which included the High School Liaison Program, the new-student counseling experience, and our annual Preview Day – wherein we introduce our Meta Majors to incoming students.

Attendees were provided with Skyline College reference binders comprised of information about our college, Meta Majors, degrees and certificate programs, campus resources, student support programs, step-by-step instructions on how to apply for financial aid, concurrent enrollment, and more! High school partners were also given posters to display at their high schools with this year’s upcoming events particularly for incoming students.

Overall, based on survey results, attendees highly rated the breakfast and agreed that it was “simply informative” with a 100% response rate of “very likely” to attend the event again in the future. One partner commented, “the breakfast was greatly put together and we’re so appreciative of everything that Skyline College does for their students”.

The breakfast agenda also highlighted the Promise Scholars Program, Financial Aid, Concurrent/Dual Enrollment, Career Pathways, our Disability Resource and Dream Centers. A special thank you to the Outreach ambassador team, facilities members, and our presenters: Ellen Murray, Suzanne Poma, Patricia Flores, Bianca Pineda, Kelly Li, Melissa Matthews, and Pamela Ortiz Cerda and to Strategic Partnerships & Workforce Development for graciously sponsoring the breakfast.

The next High School Partners Breakfast will be held fall 2020.

Article by Jeremy Evangelista-Ramos | Photo by Grace Beltran

Middle College Students Attend Global Youth Climate Strike

Climate StrikeOn Friday, September 20th, 2019, Middle College students responded to the call for action from youth activists around the world to attend the Global Youth Climate Strike. 30 juniors and seniors from Middle College traveled to the Youth-Led Climate Strike, marched, and spoke their minds in downtown San Francisco. Over 40,000 people attended the rally in San Francisco, with over four million participating worldwide.

Middle College student, Amadea Manalili is a student activist who helped organize her classmates to attend the protest. Motivated to attend the strike. “The rights to our land are being challenged by massive institutional systems such as colonialism and consumerism. The issue is all encompassing. Solving climate change would solve so many other problems as well.”

When asked how attending the march felt, “ It was awesome. Uniting. Being a part of something that everyone in the world was taking part in was an experience that I cannot describe. I became aware of a sense of cooperation and solidarity with the entire human race as an organism sharing space in a sensitive ecosystem.”

For many Middle College students, this was their first exposure in taking direct public action. Having the opportunity to use their voice and express their concerns about the threat of climate change was an empowering and impactful experience for the students.
The protest action was contextualized within the curriculum at Middle College through service learning pedagogy. Students first learned about the protest from a speaker with the Youth vs. Apocalypse movement, who visited Middle College on Friday, September 13th to discuss their movements platform, agenda, and planned actions. Following the protest, Middle College juniors considered the historical precedent of competition for scarce resources in their U.S. History class with a modern day reflection assignment, and the seniors explored how to turn their raised awareness into action with a workshop and brainstorming session on the Just Transition framework.

This action comes at a pivotal moment in the climate justice movement. The massive social movement that our students contributed to was recognized globally by the United Nations at their Climate Action Summit, held on Monday, September 23rd. Speaking at the summit, youth climate activist Greta Thunberg echoed the concerns of many of our students when she said, “We will not let you get away with this. Right here, right now is where we draw the line. The world is waking up. And change is coming, whether you like it or not.”
An exhibit of student photographs and protest signs from the march is on display at Skyline Middle College, located on the third floor of Building 2.

Article and Photo by Timothy Rottenberg

Coastal Cleanup Day

Coastal Clean UpOn Saturday, September 21, 2019, Skyline College joined the Pacific Beach Coalition and community members at Linda Mar Beach in Pacifica to participate for California Coastal Cleanup Day 2019.

Students from TRiO, WMLA, and the PACE Learning Community as well as members from faculty and administration met on a beautiful Saturday morning and spent two hours picking up trash in the area surrounding Linda Mar Beach.  The group also picked up more than 100 cigarette butts as they pitched in for a cleaner community.

If you’re interested in getting involved, check the Pacific Beach Coalition’s website for their regularly scheduled beach cleanups.

Article by Chris Gibson | Photo by Chris Mraz



SPARC Meeting Update

The Skyline College Strategic Planning and Allocation of Resources Committee (SPARC) held their first meeting for FY 2019-20 on Thursday, September 12, 2019.

SPARC tri-Chair Ingrid Vargas, Dean of Planning, Research, Innovation and Institutional Effectiveness, led the discussion on the committee charge and purview.  The committee charge is to coordinate, integrate and communicate college wide budget and planning, and to make recommendations to the College Governance Council (CGC).  The committee also reviewed member responsibilities which include to report and discuss SPARC items to represented area(s) and bring feedback to SPARC; to understand the planning and resource allocation process; to review Comprehensive Program Review (CPR) reports and to provide valuable feedback on the CPR process. For a list of SPARC members, see the Compendium Fall 2019 (see page 17).

Interim President Jannett Jackson and Vargas reviewed and obtained feedback from the committee on a new diagram depicting the existing Integrated Planning and Resource Allocation Model Process.  Dr. Jackson noted that she will be forming a short-term workgroup to review college committee structures as part of the evaluation of the participatory governance process.  The workgroup will make a recommendation to the CGC in Spring 2020.

Paul Cassidy, Finance and Operations Manager, presented an overview of the College adopted budget for FY 2019-20.  The Board of Trustees adopted the district final budget during its meeting on September 11, 2019.  Details of the final budget are available at FY 2019-20 Adopted Budget. Between the approval of the Tentative Budget in May and the adoption of the Final Budget, the college site allocation increased by $1.1M.  SPARC will make a recommendation to CGC on how these ongoing dollars will be allocated.

Vice President of Instruction Dr. Jennifer Taylor-Mendoza and Vice President of Student Services Dr. Angelica Garcia provided a brief history of the Comprehensive College Redesign, and the strategies described in the Education Master Plan to achieve the goals of the Redesign.  The college priorities for FY 2019-20 include the AB705 design and implementation, Guided Pathways/Meta Majors, Counseling Redesign, High Impact Practices (E-portfolio), Zero Textbook Cost and Online Educational Resources, Programs and Online Degree Development and Dual Enrollment.

The Committee was presented with several budget scenarios for initial review and discussion.  SPARC will discuss further at the next meeting, and provide additional information so members can present the budget scenarios to their divisions/constituencies and request feedback.  SPARC will make final deliberations and a recommendation to CGC when it meets on October 10th.

Next meeting is September 26, 2019 (Thursday) from 2:10 to 4:00 p.m. in Room 4-301

Article by Judy Hutchinson