Monthly Archives: September 2019

Encourage Students to be a Part of the STEM Community

MIT internsElaine JohnsonPlease encourage your students to come to talks and events that are held on campus. Take this coming Tuesday, September 24.  We have men and women’s soccer, the ribbon cutting of the new Environmental Science Building , a Lunch and Learn featuring a student who is doing an internship at Skyline College and a Science in Action talk with a UCSD student giving an example of a Doctoral Research Thesis in Physics.

In a past Science in Action talk, two of our recent graduates, Robert Tristan Sillona III and Valentia Carreno, talked about the internships they had at MIT this past summer. Their attendance at this internship was facilitated by Dr. Regina Stanback Stroud before she retired. Robert and Valentia lived and worked in Boston at one of the most prestigious schools in the country. While it was a lot of work, they reported that they were able to keep up with everyone and that people from all over the country and institutions like MIT had their strengths and weaknesses.

On the other end of the age spectrum, Elaine Johnson, who recently retired from  Biolink, an NSF funded center of excellence, from the American Association of  University Women, gave an informative talk on the importance of community of like minded individuals. The AAUW was founded by women university graduates when there was not a lot of women university graduates around. Our local chapter is very active and gives many scholarships to students who go to Skyline College. They also talked about the importance of negotiating for proper pay and rises for everyone. If our community shows interest, the AAUW is willing to come back and give us a workshop on these issues.

Article and Photos by Nick Kapp

New Internship and Job Opportunities!

Internship Opportunities

Expand your network in ways that will lead to your dream job. The Career Readiness & Job Placement team is excited to share the following paid internship opportunities with you. Check them out:

Job Opportunities

How may we assist you in landing your dream job? The Career Readiness & Job Placement team is excited to share the following job opportunities with you. Check them out:

Article by Laura DeKelaita


Biotechnology Students Network on the Future of Food

GABAOn September 15, 2019, the Biotechnology students from Skyline College’s BTEC 400 and BTEC 210 classes took a field trip to the Embarcadero center in San Francisco to attend a talk at GABA (German American Business Association).  GABA invited four local biotechnology companies to talk about how they started and how new food biotechnology companies operate.

Babak Kusha talked about intellectual property and how his company can support startup biotechnology companies in obtaining their first patents and protecting their intellectual property. He described the process of getting a patent and why is important for beginning companies.

Dr. Nick Legendre from New Age Meats then talked about the startup he works with and how they are developing sustainably to replace meat in our diets. New Age Meats’ notable product is $20,000 worth of breakfast sausages from cultured cells.

Chris Davis Ph.D. is with Impossible Foods, one of the most successful biotechnology food companies in the world. Their “Impossible” burgers are in many fast food restaurants and in our local grocery stores. At least four of Skyline College alumni are currently working for Impossible Foods.

Th Good Food Institute was represented by Blake Byrne. The Good Food Institute is interested in developing more sustainable foods using biotechnology, by funding cultured meat and vegan food development. Fund startups will caveat that their intellectual property be available to the public at large. They encouraged our students to apply for a grant if they want to start their own companies.

Skyline College students were very excited about the talks and stayed for about an hour afterward, networking and asking questions.  Jason said, “I learned something about how companies must protect their intellectual property, if someone copies your patent and started making a product and selling it, then you need to send your lawyers over to stop them.”  Catherine asked Impossible foods if they are going to go into schools. The company replied that while they are looking into providing this healthy alternative, that the price point is not there right now.  They hope future editions of their burgers will be more affordable.

We would like to thank GABA for giving the Biotechnology Manufacturing classes a break on registration.   We also would like to acknowledge Genentech’s support that allowed us to fully fund one class and have all Biotechnology classes attend this event.

Article by Arlyne Bautista | Photo By Nick Kapp

CTTL Shines at Zero Textbook Cost Degree Summit

CTTL ZTCOn September 6, 2019, Skyline College’s Center for Transformative Teaching and Learning (CTTL) presented to the CCC’s Zero Textbook Cost (ZTC) Degree Summit results of a grant-funded project to make the A.S. in Respiratory Care a fully Zero Textbook Cost degree program. Ame Maloney, Faculty Services Librarian, and Bianca Rowden-Quince, Instructional Designer, provided quantitative and qualitative measures to illustrate the impact the 22 ZTC courses associated with the A.S. in Respiratory Care have had on Skyline College students.

The courses developed under this grant include seven prerequisite courses and 15 core courses in the Respiratory Care Program. Having launched the ZTC-enabled program in 2018, three-year projections estimate that 223 sections will be offered because of this project, impacting nearly 5,500 students and saving these students more than $1.35M dollars.

ZTC has been successful at Skyline College, according to Maloney and Rowden-Quince, because of the synergy of our community working together to support resource development, resource adoption, and amplification of the pedagogical benefits of teaching and learning through open education resources. This strength was echoed by a student who, upon completing some of the Respiratory Care coursework, stated, “ZTC is an amazing system just based upon accessibility and reduced cost. College is already so expensive and the cost of some textbooks, especially ones used in science, is outrageous. I really like ZTC and feel it’s just a matter of getting used to the format.”

There are ample opportunities for Skyline College faculty to get engaged with ZTC and create, edit and apply open education resources in their courses. The ZTC Task Force is accepting 2019-2020 academic year applications for support in transitioning courses to a zero textbook cost model. The first-round of applications are due September 27, 2019.

For more information, email or visit the ZTC website at

Article and Photo by Rolin Moe

The Countdown Begins: Preparing for the Accreditation Site Visit

AccreditationThis past Tuesday and Wednesday, Skyline College community members attended two sessions to demystify accreditation and the upcoming site visit. The first featured a broader view of accreditation from Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) Senior Vice President Stephanie Droker, and the second highlighted what to expect during the actual site visit, with panelists who served on site visit teams at other colleges. The upcoming site visit is a follow-up to Skyline College’s self-evaluation (the ISER) of how well we fulfill our mission and meet the accreditation standards. The ACCJC standards are considered best practices in operating a two-year college and aligned with federal regulations. The team that will visit Skyline College consists of nine (down from the original ten) administrators and faculty from member institutions of the ACCJC.

Senior VP Stephanie Droker assured the audience that accreditation has evolved, which was echoed by panelists’ recent experiences. A major shift is in how the site visit team is trained. As opposed to seeking out problematic areas, they are on campus primarily to validate what we stated in our institutional self-evaluation report (ISER). How? They’ll do so through meeting with leaders on campus, perhaps asking for further clarification and evidence. They won’t impose their own practices on Skyline College, but rather will evaluate the College based on how well it fulfills its mission. Meetings with college leaders are intended to be dialogues, not interrogations. As Senior VP Droker emphasized, accreditation is a peer driven process.

Skyline College’s site visit is only two weeks away, from September 30 to October 3, 2019. Even if you are not asked to meet with site visit team members, you have an opportunity to share your views with them at one of the forums. Please attend and spread the word!

  • Tuesday, October 1, 2019 | 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
    Building 6, Rooms 6-202, 6-204, 6-206
  • Wednesday, October 2, 2019 | 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
    Building 1, Theater

On a last note, special thanks to Interim President Jannett Jackson, Vice President of Administrative Services Eloisa Briones and Vice President of Instruction Jennifer Taylor Mendoza for sharing their accreditation experiences.

For more information, please see the accreditation site visit web page.

Article by Karen Wong | Photo by Brittney Sneed

Forensics Team Kicks Off Their Competitive Season

forensicsStudents from Skyline College’s Forensics Team attended The Northern California Forensics Association Speech and Debate Camp at Solano Community College in early September. At the day-long event, students attended workshops and lectures given by esteemed speech and debate coaches from different event categories such as Parliamentary debate, Lincoln-Douglas debate, and Individual Events.

Specific topics covered in workshops ranged from how to build an affirmative case, platform speech composition, constructing and refuting topicality, and how to “flow” a debate. The day culminated with students competing in sample rounds as a way to put into practice what they learned over the day. The team left excited and ready for more!

Students will be competing in the first district tournament at the end of September held at San Francisco State University.

Article by Lindsey Ayotte | Photo by Benjamen Gao

First Lunch and Learn of the Academic Year

The first Lunch and Learn talk of the 2019/20 academic year started out with Dr. Jing Folsom talking about an overview of the Biotechnology Manufacturing Program at Skyline College. Dr. Nick Kapp then spoke about how the Biotechnology Manufacturing Program classes can be used to gain useful skills for pursuing further education and careers in the biotechnology field.

These valuable talks provide students with an opportunity to hear about and work on their career goals while eating lunch, and take place throughout the academic year. Information and dates can be found on the website. Students will also be introduced to resources available to them, including job and internship placement provided by Strategic Partnerships and Workforce Development.

The most exciting part of the day was when Dr. Ying-Tsu Loh presented the BioSCope project that Skyline College is collaborating with Bay Area Biotechnology Education Community (BABEC). Together the Skyline College Biotechnology Manufacturing Program and BABEC are making scientific materials more affordable to local high schools by manufacturing them in our classrooms. Skyline College students are gaining work-based experience through this project while also practicing communication and coordination in this collaboration.

Dr. Loh also announced a job opening where students may apply for the Bioscope On-Site Operations Coordinator position. More details of the position can be found here. The Skyline College student who gets hired in this position will get paid to learn how to work in a biotechnology contract manufacturing environment. Apply today!

If you need help applying, please see Else Jimenez or Jing Folsom, or contact them at their respective emails: and

Funding for the position is through the State Chancellor’s Office Regional Joint Venture. Food was provided by a grant from Genentech.

Article by Jing Folsom and Elsa Jiminez-Samayoa | Photo by Nick Kapp

Kicking off the Fall Job Shadow Internship Program at BAEC

BAEC job shadowingThe Internship Job Shadow Program welcomed 11 new interns this fall semester! This promising group of Skyline College students range in a variety of both aspirations and career interests. These interns will be working both on and off campus in personally selected programs during the fall semester.

Students will be participating in the following programs this semester: San Bruno Chamber of Commerce; GP Aspiring Artists Foundation; Skyline College Bookstore; Global Learning Programs & Services; Student Equity and Support Programs Division; Center for Student Life and Leadership Development; Marketing, Communications, and Public Relations (MCPR); Cosmetology; and Strategic Partnerships & Workforce Development – thank you to all of our Job Shadow Partners for their commitment to our student success!

Throughout the semester, student interns will learn, expand, and fine-tune their career readiness with variety of technical and soft skills such as marketing and outreach, business communications, client relations, use of design software, office organization and customer service.  All student interns will get the opportunity to experience innovative events at Skyline College and throughout the community.

Each semester the BAEC recruits a new cohort of hard working, self-starters to join the Internship Job Shadow Program. For more information on the Internship Job Shadow Program or to serve as a job shadow site, please contact

Article by Jasmine Pon & Pcyeta Stroud | Photo by Samantha Panganiban

Biotechnology Faculty Meet with Dr. Pat McKay

On Wednesday September 11, 2019, Biotechnology instructors met with Dr. Pat McKay at Genentech to learn more about a protein purification machine that they donated to Skyline College’s Biotechnology program. Dr. McKay is a long-term adjunct professor of chemistry at Skyline College. He works as a researcher for Genentech during the day and teaches chemistry at night. While his job discovering new lifesaving drugs is important, Dr. McKay is also dedicated to his students here at Skyline College, helping develop a new generation of chemists. Dr. McKay is a perfect example of how Skyline College attracts local industry to enhance our students’ education.

The Biotechnology program appreciates using the AKTAexplorer in order to demonstrate the large scale purification of proteins. The Skyline Research club will be the first using the machine in order to purify GFP (Green Fluorescent Protein) to use as a demonstration at the Bay Area Science Festival that will be held in November at the Giants Stadium.

Article and Photo by Nick Kapp

Community Members Experience Ireland’s “40 Shades of Green”

SMCCD IrelandThis September, community members of San Mateo County explored the Emerald Isle during the fifth San Mateo County Community College District (SMCCCD) Community Travel Program.

The SMCCCD Community Travel Program is a curated, small-group travel experience for adults. With the Community Travel Program, members of our community have the opportunity to travel around the world with an SMCCCD representative and local tour manager as they enjoy local food, special attractions, and guided sightseeing.

The 2019 Ireland tour started in Dublin, with visits to places such as the Guinness Storehouse and Trinity College. After Dublin, the group made its way to the quaint seaside villages of Kinsale and Cobh in the south—two winners of the national “Tiny Tidy Towns” contest. They then ventured up a portion of the “Wild Atlantic Way,” experiencing the innumerable shades of green, rugged cliffs, ancient stone walls and crashing Atlantic waves of the west coast. They stayed in the city of Galway, where in many places Irish Gaelic and ‘trad music’ (traditional Irish music) can be heard in pubs and on the lively pedestrian streets. Finally, the group ended in Belfast in Northern Ireland, visiting the Giant’s Causeway and various sites of historical importance.

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

Upcoming Community Travel Programs will include India (February 2020), France (June 2020), and Japan (October 2020).

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 SMCCCD Study Abroad and Community Travel Program opportunities, please visit the SMCCCD Study Abroad website or contact Zaid Ghori at or Stephanie Wells at

Article and Photo by Stephanie Wells