Monthly Archives: December 2019

ASSC Hosts a Gratitude Dinner for Student Veterans

ASSC gratuity dinnerOn November 26, 2019, the Associated Students of Skyline College (ASSC) hosted a Gratitude Dinner honoring Skyline College’s student veterans. The event kicked off with an activity led by Interim Student Life Manager Alvin Gubatina, where round tables mixed with ASSC council, student veterans and staff had a menu of questions to ask each other to break the ice. Questions ranged from appetizer questions “What do you do when you’re not working?” to entree questions “What is on your bucket list?” to dessert questions “Are you afraid to speak your truth?”

Veterans Resource Center Coordinator Gina Ciardella shared her words of gratitude for the campus’s student veterans as well as shared Interim Jannet Jackson’s words in her absence: “The gratitude dinner is a validation of your commitment to the values and mission of Skyline College to empower and transform a global community of learners. But by your actions, you are empowering…Continue to collaborate, be curious, seek answers, and build community.”

The event was not only held for appreciating student veterans’ service but also as a time of coming together as a student community through fostering respect and recognition of each other’s efforts, whether large or small scale. ASSC commemorates student veterans’ service during the thankful season.

For more information on the Veteran’s Resource Center, contact Gina Ciardella at To reach out to the Center for Student Life and Leadership Development, contact Interim Student Life Manager Alvin Gubatina at

Article by Marie Kyla Perez | Photo by Alvin Gubatina

Violin/Viola Students Perform in Spirit of the Thankful Season

violin violaThe students of the Violin/Viola class capped off their semester of study with a performance for the children at the Child Development Center just before the Thanksgiving holiday.

Having spent the past few months learning string playing techniques and new repertoire, the violinists were able to entertain the children with popular tunes such as Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and Pop Goes the Weasel.  Led by music instructor, Elizabeth Ingber, the young audience was introduced to how different sounds are created on the violin, the idea of low and high tones, and marching in time to the music.  When the musicians played the folk tune Cluck Old Hen, a few of the young listeners volunteered to act out the part of the hen.

To finish the performance the students played a Scottish march, The Laird of the Foveran, while the children marched around the room.  It’s always a pleasure to share music with the children at the Child Development Center. The class looks forward to future opportunities!

Article and Photo by Elizabeth Ingber

Discover ASTEP Brings High School Students to Skyline College

discover ASTEPOn Wednesday, November 20, in collaboration with the African-American Success through Excellence and Persistence (ASTEP) learning community, the Outreach Office hosted 25 students from McClymonds (Oakland, CA) and El Camino High School for Discover ASTEP. Discover ASTEP provided students with an opportunity to shadow Skyline College courses, engage with culturally similar faculty, staff and current students to create a safe space to learn and ask questions about college.

Danielle Powell provided a warm welcome to the group followed by a campus tour led by Outreach ambassadors. High school participants sat in on classes that included: ADMJ 100 Introduction to Administration, BUS 100 Introduction to Business, SOCI 100 Introduction to Sociology, PSYC 300 Social Psychology, MUS 100 Fundamentals of Music, COMM 130 Interpersonal Communication, BUS 162 Money Talks: Personal Finance, and COSM 703 Cosmetology Chemical Concepts. Additionally, interactive hands-on workshops were conducted by faculty in the biotechnology and Fabrication Labs where participants got to experience real-world biomanufacturing and engineering simulations.

Andrea Vizenor, Dean of Strategic Partnerships and Workforce Development moderated a panel comprised of industry professionals: Ayo “Tae” Osilaja, financial analyst at Oracle Corporation, Linda Walubengo, Senior Manager at LinkedIn, Brandon Johnson, Global Artificial Intelligence Solutions Engineer at NetApp, and Shaylona Wheeler, Graduate Research Assistant at Santa Clara University. The panel covered topics such as “navigating through white-dominated companies as professionals of color” and “the importance of networking for career growth and advancement”. The high school participants connected to current ASTEP, Brothers Achieving Milestones (BAM), and The Women’s Mentoring and Leadership Academy (WMLA), and Puente students during lunch.

A thank you to everyone involved in the success of this event:

Danielle Powell, Kwame Thomas, Steve Aurilio, Soledad McCarthy, Rika Fabian, Jennifer Merrill, Nick Kapp, Marco Wehrfritz, Maryam Khan, Zack Bruno, Ryan Lescure, Cassidy Ryan and Eric Imahara.

Outreach ambassadors: Tom Tran, Athena Mendoza, and Eduardo Unisa. Student Volunteers: Sabrina Alegre, Jessica Davila, Brian Hutomo, and Michael Low.

Event and Facilities team, Media Services (Roger Marcelo) and Strategic Partnerships and Workforce Development for sponsoring the catering and hosting an awesome panel.

Discover ASTEP is a part of the Discover Days initiative. The purpose of Discover Days is to host shadow days for underserved high school students to help them connect to Skyline College and develop a level of comfort with higher education.  Discover Days is graciously funded by the President’s Innovation Fund and supported by the President’s Council. For more information about Discover Days, contact Jeremy Evangelista-Ramos at

Article by  Jeremy Evangelista-Ramos | Photo by Eric Imahara

International Food Festival a Huge Success!

international food festivalThe International Student Program (ISP) along with the Associated Students of Skyline College (ASSC) were proud to sponsor the International Food Festival as part of International Education Week on Thursday, November 21. The event was a huge success with students, staff, faculty, and community members able to see traditional attires and taste cuisines from countries such as Brazil, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Japan, Jordan, Myanmar, Nepal, Nigeria, Philippines, Russia, Taiwan and Tunisia.

The event started off with a fashion show where student models presented their countries’ traditional/modern clothing. Then, it was on to the highlight of the event—the food tasting! With 12 tables to choose from, attendees were spoiled for choice. Should they have pão de queijos from Brazil, momos from Nepal, puff puffs from Nigeria, or falafels from Tunisia? These were just some of the tasty treats featured at each table.

Along with the food, one could also get their names written in Japanese calligraphy at the Japan table. Also, each table had mini country flags that attendees were more than welcome to take. Soon, the tasty treats were gone, and bellies were full. Attendees had a blast and could not wait to attend next year’s event!

The International Food Festival presented international students with an opportunity to share their cultures, and for other students to get a glimpse into the traditions of other cultures. The events served to highlight the diversity that is a key feature of Skyline College and its mission.

Article by Clair Yeo-Sugajski & Rachel Zhang | Photo by Nyi Tun

PACE Celebrates Family Night

PACEThe PACE Learning Community* held its annual Family Night on Thursday, November 21 in the Multicultural Center.

Two cohorts of PACE students and their families, faculty and administration and PACE alumni gathered to celebrate their accomplishments and commemorate the people who have supported them in their educational journeys.

The hit of the evening was the potluck of foods from around the world, featuring dishes such as Peruvian lomo saltado, Korean dumplings, Brazilian brigadeiros, and Burmese tea leaf salad.  The MC for the evening, PACE student Silvia Guzman Gutierrez, began the evening with a warm welcome. Faculty and students then gave speeches highlighting what they were grateful for. Tony Mok, from Hong Kong, spoke about the struggles he has experienced in his life journey and the gratitude he has towards his wife. Alison Ormeno, from Peru, shared how she is grateful for her husband, children, classmates, and the staff and faculty at Skyline College who have supported her in her dream of becoming a speech pathologist. The evening concluded with a keyboard and vocal performance by PACE student Ayumi Asayama and a slideshow to music curated by Teddy Liu.

This event was a celebration of the diversity that makes our learning community and campus special. The co-coordinators of PACE, Erinn Struss and Serena Chu-Mraz, would like to thank all those who have supported PACE and have made this event possible.

* The PACE (Proficiency in American Culture and English) Learning Community brings together English language learners and dedicated faculty and staff in a four-semester series of linked classes starting with ESOL 840 and culminating in ENGL 110.

Article by Serena Chu-Mraz and Erinn Struss | Photo by Chris Mraz

Hospitality Students Volunteer at St. Anthony’s Dining Room

hospitalityOn Thursday, November 21, hospitality students from South San Francisco Adult School, San Mateo Adult School, Skyline College and Baden High School spent the day serving food, busing and cleaning tables and interacting with guests at St. Anthony’s Dining Room in the Tenderloin in San Francisco. Students, all enrolled in the Hospitality, Tourism and Management HTM. 125 course Restaurant and Banquet Operations had the opportunity to practice their hospitality skills and volunteer their talents, building on topics they have learned in class.

St. Anthony’s Dining Room provides meals for those in need and is open 365 days a week, serving almost 3,000 hot meals per day in an area with high poverty and homelessness. For many of the guests there, this would their only meal for the day.  Student Melencio Claros said he learned many things during the experience, but most importantly, he learned “to be grateful.”  After five hours of volunteering, the students were exhausted but happy to be able to contribute to the community and to demonstrate the true meaning of hospitality.

The HTM.125 class would like to thank Andrea Vizenor and Strategic Partnerships and Workforce Development for their support and Joe Morello and the Kinesiology Department for the generous use of their vans. A big thank you also goes out to the staff at Baden High School and South San Francisco and San Mateo Adult Schools.

Article by Serena Chu-Mraz

Study Abroad Students Awarded $33,000 from Gilman International Scholarship

gilman scholarshipSeventeen students from Skyline College, Cañada College, and College of San Mateo were awarded a total of $33,000 from the U.S. Department of State’s Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, 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 while building mutual intercultural understanding between students and their host communities.

For this last application cycle (Cycle 1), 30 SMCCCD students applied, and 17 students were awarded the scholarship—an award rate of 57%. The list of all colleges and universities awarded the Gilman Scholarship is listed on the Gilman Scholarship website. Cycle 2 will open in mid-January 2020 for applicants whose programs start from May 1, 2020 to April 30, 2021. This cycle encompasses Summer 2020, Fall 2020, Academic Year 2020-2021, and Spring 2021 programs.

Students were alerted of this scholarship opportunity by the SMCCCD Study Abroad Office. Director of Special International Programs, Zaid Ghori, and Study Abroad Program Services Coordinator, Stephanie Wells, worked to promote this scholarship opportunity and to assist interested students with the application process. We would like to thank the Skyline College Financial Aid office—Jenny Yang and Patricia Flores— for working with students to confirm their eligibility for the Gilman Scholarship, as well as the Skyline College, Cañada College and College of San Mateo staff and faculty who also helped spread the word to students about this opportunity.

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 and Photo by Stephanie Wells

Forensics Team Wins at Diablo Valley College!

On November 22 – 24, 2019, Skyline College’s Forensic team competed in the Valley to Valley tournament that spanned over the course of three consecutive days. 18 schools from across the Bay Area, Southern California and Illinois participated in the second inaugural tournament held at Diablo Valley College. Students had the opportunity to showcase talents in over 15 different categories of speech and debate events.

On Friday, November 22, Trojans competed in individual debate (IPDA). All three students (pictured right) who entered in this event advanced to final rounds. Joedel Penaranda competed in five rounds of IPDA ultimately earning him a Bronze medal. Dianne Argueta and Isabella Perez competed in six back-to-back rounds over the span of eight hours, finishing the tournament both earning silver awards. Participating in debate at this level of competition not only takes knowledge and technical skills but endurance!

On Sunday, November 24, five students (pictured left): Angelo Castillo-Canelo, Bernadette Noonan, Ariana Padilla, Joedel Penaranda, and Eduardo Unisa competed in individual events (speech events). Ariana Padilla, a middle college student, advanced to finals in Novice Prose, placing sixth place overall!

If you are interested in joining the speech and debate team consider enrolling in COMM 172: Forensics. You do not need to be a Communication Studies major to enroll and participate. All skill levels and experience is welcome! If you have any questions about joining the team, contact Director of Forensics, Lindsey Ayotte at and (650)738-4276.

Article and Photos by Lindsey Ayotte