Daily Archives: October 11, 2019

Biotechnology Conference Drives Partnerships

BABEC anual meeting viewOn Saturday, September 28, Skyline College Biomanufacturing partnered with the Bay Area Biotechnology Education Community (BABEC a non profit) to host the BABEC fall Conference 2019. Over 100 high school and community college bioscience educators and stakeholders from across the Bay Area and other parts of California attended the conference. The Biomanufacturing program, Science Math and Technology division as well as Strategic Partnerships and Workforce Development division partnered with BABEC to host the conference. The event was made possible by sponsorships and grants provided by the California Community Colleges, Biorad and Genentech. Attending and tabling were students representing the Skyline Biomanufacturing cub, the West Coast Student Chapter PDA, the Biolink Depot, BioSCOPE and Carlmont HS biomanufacturing group.

Dr. Jennifer Taylor-Mendoza, Vice President of Instruction, welcomed the conference attendees to Skyline College and our new building. The BABEC team featured their updated bioscience curriculum and introduced their new initiatives for the 2019-20 school year, which includes a collaboration with Genentech, and an expansion project funded by the National Science Foundation. The Regional K12 Strong Workforce Program (K12 SWP) team provided an introduction to the initiative and K12 SWP grantees shared how they plan to use the funding to develop talent for a stronger biotech workforce in the Bay Area.

In the BABEC tradition of creating a community for Bay Area bioscience educators, attendees were able to break out into regional groups to design collaborative pathways to biotech careers. With a strong mix of professionals representing colleges, high schools, administration, industry and nonprofits, the regional breakout groups formed cross-functional teams that focused on taking a diversified approach to building successful bioscience programs in California.

As a result of their community work, attendees agreed that exposure to life science or STEM careers should start at an early age. Consequently, educators need access to updated innovative curriculum and support in introducing students to biotech careers. The annual kick off meeting by BABEC provides this support. The Bioscience educators were given a special presentation on how to easily align biotech lessons with NGSS by Kirk Brown, author of the text book “Biotechnology: A laboratory Skills Course” and Director of STEM Programs at San Joaquin County Office of Education. BABEC staff demonstrated their up to date curriculum and classroom support that is available to all local Bay area high schools. BABEC collaborates with community colleges like Skyline College and Laney College in order to provide materials to the high school in our initiative called BioSCOPE. BABEC looks forward to convening the bioscience community again to continue strategizing on how to support science teachers and inspire students for science careers.

The Skyline Biotechnology Manufacturing program will continue their work with our community college, high school and baccalaureate partners in order to form a strong connection for students to matriculate from the HS to CC and onto to Bachelors in Biomanufacturing programs. We plant to help this connection by forming partnerships with local industry like Genenetech, non profits like BABEC, Governmental bodies like SSF, High schools as well as Bachelors programs. The BioScope project (for which we just submitted an NSF grant proposal) allows the community college manufacturing programs to product “biotechnology” laboratory materials that are used in high schools. We hope to show high school students that our programs have relevant work experience that will allow them to compete for jobs, while they are in school.

Check out our social media (Instagram and Facebook) to see what Skyline Biotechnology Manufacturing is doing. For June 2020 we hope to partner with Madison Area Technical College, Solano Community College (NIIMBL and NSF) to convene a workforce summit for advanced manufacturing of cell and tissue based pharmaceuticals.

Article and Photo by Nick Kapp

Award-Winning Poet Jan-Henry Gray Welcomed to Campus!

flyerOn Friday, October 11, 2019 poet Jan-Henry Gray, author of the book Documents (BOA Editions, 2019) and winner of the 2019 A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize, will be the Learning Commons Poetry Corner Series featured poet for the month of October.

His visit represents the intersectionality of our campus on National Coming Out Day, Filipinx American History Month, and right before our Undocuweek. We are excited to welcome him to campus, and all are invited to attend two readings in the campus Library:

  1. From 9:10 a.m.-10:00 a.m., Jan-Henry Gray will read and share space with Janice Sapigao’s English 110 class. Janice Sapigao will facilitate with her students.
  2. From 12:00 p.m.-1:00 p.m., Jan-Henry Gray will read and discuss his work at length. Janice Sapigao will facilitate.

A tremendous thank you to the following organizers and everyone involved: Pia Walawalkar, Marisa Thigpen, Rob Williams, Alvin Gubatina, Ryan Samn, Liza Erpelo, and Chris Gibson.

Please take the time to read one of Gray’s poems here.

Article by Janice Sapigao | Flyer by Marisa Thigpen

Students Create and Celebrate Filipinx American History Month Mini-Museums!

studentsTwo mini-museum displays curated by the students of the English 103: Pilipinx Cultural Night (PCN) class are available for viewing beginning on Tuesday, October 8 until Thursday, October 31. The national theme for this year is “Pinay Visionaries – Celebrating Filipina American Women” as determined by the Filipinx American National Historical Society (FANHS).

There are two displays entirely created by the students is available for viewing:

  • The display in the second floor of Building 5’s Library entrance features contemporary artists, cultural objects, and recommended books and movies, as well as Filipino tribal designs. The display also includes two interactive elements: a ‘Flip the Script’ section that allows viewers to learn the indigenous alphabet, called Baybayin; and it features QR codes linking viewers to Pinay rappers’ music videos and educational websites with further information, allowing viewers to take the display’s information with them.
  • The display in the second floor of Building’s 6’s Student Life office will include photographs and micro interviews featuring Pinay tattoo artists and their art, as well as Pinays with personally  meaningful tattoos and batok. Come and see photos of our very own staff and faculty: English Professor Liza Erpelo, Counselor Kim Davalos, College of San Mateo Counselor Doris Garcia, and Student Life Manager Alvin Gubatina.

Thank you to the students: Alexa Julaton, Marianne Millena, Ysabelle Nazareno, Michael Sagum, and our TA/Fulbright Fellow, Joedel Penaranda. The display would not have been possible without the following organizers: Pia Walawalkar, Alvin Gubatina, Ryan Samn, Liza Erpelo, and the Kababayan Learning Community.

Article and Photo by Janice Sapigao

CIPHER Hip Hop Learning Community Takes Over Kizler Coffee

student viewing artworkThe CIPHER Hip Hop Learning Community celebrated their opening reception of their Visual Art Gallery titled “Way Back Home” at Kizler Coffee in Pacifica on Saturday, October 5. CIPHER students from the Counseling 100 and English 105 classes produced artwork that centered around their understanding of identity and intersectionality as well as illustrating their definitions of home and community.

The opening reception was a huge success as students, faculty, administrators, and community members experienced art and music produced by our students. The HTM 140: Event Planning class led by Soledad McCarthy transformed the coffee shop into our very own CIPHER Visual Art Gallery and provided the food for the evening. It was all about celebrating our students’ stories and experiences through art, music, and live performances.

“I had this amazing feeling that the night at Kizler gave students and even guests a breakthrough. That night, as well as the place itself, will be memorable for everyone because that is where they began to pursue their dreams and passions.” – Nhikkie Sagum, CIPHER Student

 “I learned by being part of this Visual Art Gallery is a reminder that if I give myself a chance to begin something and to be someone, I give myself a better chance at being successful.” – Marge Cruz, CIPHER Student

The CIPHER Visual Art Gallery is open to the public from now until the end of November at Kizler Coffee located at 330 Palmetto Avenue in Pacifica, CA.  Some of our students’ artwork are also on sale. We are planning another reception in November to showcase more art and live performances by our students so stay tuned for more details.

We want to thank the following people for their support in making this event possible – Josh Kizler, owner of Kizler Coffee, Nicole Orellana, CIPHER student/Kizler Coffee manager, Soledad McCarthy and her HTM 140 class, Grace Beltran, Janice Sapigao, Webster Cruz for the beautiful mural, Sarina O’Gilvie, and all of the volunteers.  Special thanks goes to Dean Russell Waldon for the warm welcome remarks, Dean Michael Kane, and Dean Chris Gibson for showing their support for our students.

For more information about the gallery and/or the CIPHER Hip Hop Learning Community, please contact Nate Nevado at nevadon@smccd.edu.

Article by Nate Nevado | Photos by Tia Samn

Skyline College Featured in KQED Report

On June 26, 2019, KQED’s California Report featured Skyline College student Marjorie Blen, English professor Lucia Lachmayr, and English professor Katie Hern in “In Move Away From Remedial Classes, California Community Colleges Roll Out More Transfer-Level Alternatives.”  The report focuses on how colleges are responding to AB705, state legislation that requires colleges to help all English Language Learners (ELL) complete transfer level English within three years and to help all non-ELL students complete transfer-level English within one year.

Read or listen to the full piece online at KQED’s Website.

Article by Chris Gibson

Skyline Striders at the Relay for Life

relay for lifeBeta Theta Omicron organized and participated in the San Bruno Relay for Life on September 28. The Skyline Striders walked the track at Taylor Middle School from 10 am to 10 pm to raise money for the American Cancer Society.  Chapter members raised $1500. Although the Relay is over, you can still contribute to the American Cancer Society by following the link under events at http://skylinecollege.edu/boo.

Beta Theta Omicron has a long history with the Relay for Life events. In 2009, the chapter worked with the American Cancer Society to hold the first San Bruno Relay. That Relay was held on the Skyline College track on one of our foggiest days. Visibility was limited to 300 feet, approximately the width of the track. At the start of each North Peninsula Relay for Life, the Board Chair always takes a moment to thank Skyline College for holding the first Relay for Life in San Bruno, and starting a beautiful tradition.

Article by Dr. Christine Case

Recent Science in Action Seminars Explore Plasma and Validation

science in action presenters One of the fun aspects of Skyline College is that we are definitely a community and family oriented College. The last two Science in Action events featured speakers who also brought their family along with them.

Brandon Edgehill is finishing his Master’s in Physics at UC San Diego looking specifically at Plasma Mirrors. We learned that plasmas are the 4th state of matter after solid, liquid and gas. Brandon talked about his homeland of Tabogo and why he came to the United States, first braving the cold of Pennsylvania to earn his undergraduate degree. He then moved to UC San Diego, to pursue graduate education. In the world of high energy physics, there are only a few labs all around the world that can host his type of research. Also, he needs to set up his instrumentation so that he captures his data in very small fractions of a second. A few seconds collecting data, then a year’s worth of data analysis.

science in action presentersSo-Yan Leung bribed her daughters Hannah and Faye with snacks, (our students also thank her for the snacks) so they would come and hear her talk. So-Yan has a Degree in Chemical Engineering from UC Berkeley by way of City College. She has been working at Genentech for the last 20 years in validation. So-Yan has a very inspiring story and infectious excitement about her career and Quality. When So-Yan was at Berkeley she flunked Organic chemistry. She did not quit, she tried again after finding friends to take the class with and forming a study group. She then went on to pass Organic Chemistry, and earn her degree in Chemical Engineering. Her mantra throughout the talk was “keep an open mind”. After earning her degree at Berkeley she really thought she would be getting a job at a large petrochemical company like Chevron. She kept an open mind and worked at smaller startup companies until a part time position opened up at Genentech. At Genentech she worked hard as a temporary contractor and eventually became a full time employee of Genentech when a position that she did not think about open up.

So-Yan transitioned from chemical engineering to work in validation, the process of establishing documentary evidence demonstrating that a procedure, process, or activity carried out in testing and then production maintains the desired level of compliance at all stages. She noted that pharmaceutical companies must produce safe and effective products and in order to do that every portion of the company that touches their product must be verified that it is doing what it is supposed to. A piece of equipment that is used in manufacturing must be shown to work properly, the person who sets up the machine needs to be verified that they are trained and capable of setting up the machine. The data system must also be shown to work as expected. Overall everyone was amazed by the amount of work that goes into just setting up a pharmaceutical company production line before drugs are even made.

The Science in Action Seminar Series has been set for the rest of the semester. You can see the schedule at the website. We are currently looking for speakers for the spring semester. If you wish to recommend someone please contact Nick Kapp(kapp@smccd.edu).

Article by Nick Kapp