Monthly Archives: April 2020

San Bruno Chamber Features Essential Businesses

baecThe San Bruno Chamber of Commerce along with the Bay Area Entrepreneur Center (BAEC) has teamed up with the City of San Bruno to showcase a limited series on open businesses during the shelter in place order.

Over the past several weeks, the City in coordination with the San Bruno Chamber and BAEC staff and volunteers, worked together to compile a working list of open and adapted San Bruno businesses and to schedule socially-distant photos of the owners of the businesses and their staff. 

These images reflect the dedication of the San Bruno community, as we all continue to navigate this crisis. For more images of local businesses click here. For more information, on open and adapted businesses in San Bruno and for links to small business resources, visit the San Bruno Chamber website.

Article by Olivia Vialau & Pcyeta Stroud | Photo by John Hampton

Sustainability at Skyline College: Energize Colleges Update

With the Energize Colleges student internship program in its fourth year, a set of 10 interns are working hard on their individual sustainability projects! These projects include zero waste, energy analysis on the new Environmental Science building, environmental education, the Green Office Program, construction of a solar-powered charging station, continued work on the Growsphere and Food Insecurity.

In adapting to the campus closure, our student interns are still hard at work on their projects, focusing on keeping connected with Skyline College students and campus community through remote methods. Below is an update on two current projects by our Green Office Intern Chris Wardell and Building Analyst Intern GaHyeon Shin:

chris“The Green Office Program is designed to optimize offices in the areas of energy usage, personal activity, and waste reduction. Dean Ray Hernandez and the SMT Division office were integral in piloting the implementation in their workspace and surrounding areas.

By reducing energy used, creating more awareness around our individual and collective activities, and reducing the waste we generate, we can transform Skyline College and the San Mateo County Community College District into a flagship for sustainability and environmental education. The Green Office Program is key in helping to meet the district’s climate action goals of zero waste by 2025 and zero net energy by 2030.

Thanks to the support of Facilities Supervisor Bryant Evans, we have implemented composting capabilities in Building 7 around the STEM Center to reduce the amount of smaller waste bins – and the associated plastic can-liners. Through the commitment of Dean Hernandez, the SMT division, and the SMCCCD Sustainability team, we are increasing our ability to divert waste intelligently and realize cost savings that can be applied to developing broader student support programs.

Since the switch to remote-work, I have reimagined the Green Office Program by drafting and designing a brief informative newsletter with helpful, sustainable ideas to help improve your life and wellbeing – all while benefiting the world at large. Win-win. Feel free to look over them here: Volume 1, Volume 2” – Chris Wardell


GaHyeon“My name is GaHyeon, I am a student interested in the field of Sustainability and Urban Studies. At the beginning of this school year, I was looking for jobs/internships on campus and came across this wonderful opportunity. Over the last few years, Skyline College has taken a progressive step to adopt and promote sustainable practices on campus and one great example is the new Environmental Science Building that was recently completed in fall 2019.

The goal of my project is to provide the Skyline College community information regarding the sustainability of Building 12 and the beneficial impacts of sustainable buildings on human health in hopes to raise awareness toward the importance of sustainable practices. Prior to the campus closure, I used the campus as a living lab and had an opportunity to cooperate with the district sustainability team. Since the campus shut down I have had some difficulties due to restricted access to campus; however, I have been trying my best to gather accurate and appropriate information through online databases. It is certainly unfortunate to see how pandemic has tremendously been affecting our lives. Meanwhile, I learned to appreciate the simplicity and freedom that nature offers us and felt it’s even more important to protect and sustain our ecosystem and our planet.

I will be transferring out after this Spring semester, but I would like to highly encourage anyone who is interested in sustainability or any related major to take this wonderful internship opportunity. I have learned so much along the way and got to explore new aspects I have never come across in my life so I would like to thank Kayla and everyone who has helped me with the project. Hope everyone stays safe and healthy!” – GaHyeon Shin

Want to get involved or know more information? Check out the Skyline College Sustainability Page, SMCCCD Sustainability Page or follow on Instagram! The Sustainability team has transitioned to remote work but are getting ready to continue their sustainability initiative virtually to stay connected with the students and campus community.

Article by Kayla Belich, Chris Wardell & GaHyeon Shin

Sheroes Amongst Us Virtual Panel

Sheroes PanelThrough the collaborative efforts of the Bay Area Entrepreneur Center of Skyline College (BAEC), the Student Life & Leadership Office and the Associated Students of Skyline College, eight women came together (at a distance) as thought leaders to share their experiences and insights, in honor of National Superhero Day. The Sheroes Amongst Us virtual panel discussion highlighted these amazing women who serve the community every day and lead from many different levels. The Panel was proudly moderated by Pcyeta Stroud, Director of the BAEC.  Panelists included Skyline College students, staff, faculty, as well as alum.  The “Sheroes Amongst Us” virtual panel went live on April 28th on YouTube, if you missed it, the recording may be viewed here.


Connect with them on LinkedIn! 

Pam OrtizProgram Services Coordinator, Skyline College Dream Center

Lucy JovelCounselor & Transfer Center Coordinator, Skyline College

Olivia Vialau Staff Assistant, San Bruno Chamber of Commerce & Skyline College Student

Gisel Martin  Business Coach & Strategist, Creator of Relate & Elevate Podcast

Kaelynn Malani Student Trustee, SMCCCD Board & Skyline College Student

Dr. Regina Stanback Stroud Chancellor, Peralta Community College District

Dr. Emilie Hein Physics Instructor, Skyline College

Maryam Khan Engineering Instructor & WISER Club Advisor, Skyline College

Article by Sarina O’Gilvie | Photo by Alvin Gubatina

Internship Opportunities

We understand that many students and our community members may have lost their job due to the unprecedented times of the COVID-19 Pandemic. It is our commitment to continue to offer information regarding paid internships and quality job opportunities that are available along with support in design or update of a resume, preparing for an interview and expanding one’s network to secure employment during these uncertain times.

The Career Readiness & Job Placement Team looks forward to doing all we can to ensure students and our community members have what they need to get a job and continue to offer remote services and resources while the shelter-in-place order is in effect.  If one of the jobs shared does not meet your needs or interests please complete this form and we will reach out to you directly to assist!  Please stay safe.

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—

Article by Alexa Moore

Job Opportunities

We understand that many students and our community members may have lost their job due to the unprecedented times of the COVID-19 Pandemic. It is our commitment to continue to offer information regarding paid internships and quality job opportunities that are available along with support in design or update of a resume, preparing for an interview and expanding one’s network to secure employment during these uncertain times.

The Career Readiness & Job Placement Team looks forward to doing all we can to ensure students and our community members have what they need to get a job and continue to offer remote services and resources while the shelter-in-place order is in effect.  If one of the jobs shared does not meet your needs or interests please complete this form and we will reach out to you directly to assist!  Please stay safe.

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 Alexa Moore

Just Breathe – Yoga Students Find Ways to Relieve Their Anxieties

During the COVID-19 lockdown, students in Diane Roby’s Hatha Yoga classes at Skyline College have found relief from stress and anxiety through assignments on daily relaxation, developing a home yoga practice, meditation, and deep breathing to relieve harmful physical effects of chronic stress. Many students have jobs in medical fields, including EMT, paramedics, respiratory therapy, and medical records, and are also concerned with educating their children, feeding their families, and caring for elderly family members. 

An assignment on yoga breathing for stress relief produced valuable observations, some of which are shared here:


“I never knew I would have needed breathing exercises to keep me sane during these weird times. Although I thought I would have no problems entering shelter in place, my body tells me otherwise. No matter what external causes my anxiety levels to rise, I honestly feel deep breathing has helped me reduce them.”

“In times like these, when we feel helpless, breathing will always be there to help us. I feel like deep breathing has dramatically helped my mind, body and soul.”

“I strongly believe that yoga has kept me steady and clear-minded during this shelter-in-place period. To me, yoga breathing mainly slows down my normal breathing patterns and really focuses on how my body changes with every breath.”

“When I get anxious or nervous, I breathe deeply, and I feel myself relax quite a bit. I have been using this practice since the class began, and have found joy and relaxation in breathing deeply throughout the day, not only when I feel anxious. This has had a great effect on my mental health, especially during this quarantine, when my anxiety has been at a high.”

“[In my work as an EMT], when I start to feel the pangs of stress and adrenaline going to a call, I stop the negative spiral in my mind by focusing on my breathing. … I feel the breath enter and leave and focus on each part of it. It resets me and allows me to clear my mind. A clear mind gives me space to work under pressure, it provides me with a chance to reset and get back on track.”

“When I am under stress, I am much more agitated and can’t focus as well or make the decisions as well. When I finally realize I am barely breathing, I stop and take two or three deep breaths. Doing this completely changes my mood and calms my whole body. It helps me focus my energy into what is happening around me. Once my breathing returns to normal, my entire body relaxes.”

“When I am stressed, especially during this Coronavirus situation, I notice more irregular breathing patterns, my heart pounding faster, my muscles tightening up, and my anxiety spiking. Whenever this happens, I will pause whatever I am doing and find a quiet place nearby. I will then close my eyes, take slow and deep breaths, and exhale slowly, in hopes that I can slow my heart rate and clear my mind. After all these breathing exercises, I feel happier and more relaxed. My level of stress lowers and I am pleased that I can end my day on a good note.”

I find my head clearing and my confidence building to properly respond as I take in each breath. I am able to take a moment to prioritize what is important for me. Giving myself the time to assess the situation helps me to respond versus reacting [right away]. I am able to give a mature response that either leads to a resolution or to a better outcome.”

The act of ‘calming my breath’ focuses on the inhalation and exhalation of the air in my lungs. My mind moves away from the anxiety-inducing thoughts/actions and focuses on breathing, which is something that I can control.”

“My life is in a very transitional period where I have noticed a lot of comfortable things changing. With that being said, I have been very overwhelmed, emotionally, and mentally, and constantly stressed. Thanks to the [breathing] practices in this class, I have been able to control my breath and lower my stress levels to a tolerable rate and I have noticed the benefits it brings to my life!”


The moral of this story is: Take time for yourself, and if stress is getting the better of you or your loved ones, try to take a few moments to pause, take a few deep breaths, and then return to handle the situation with a clear head and loving heart. As one student wrote:  “I know we will get through this event. I only wish more people did yoga to feel less stressed and be able to be considerate and kind to one another. “ 

Article by Diane Roby

The International Student Program Goes Virtual!

isp virtualThe International Student Program (ISP) team has worked hard to move their operations online so that they can continue to provide support to the international student population at Skyline College in a similar capacity as before. While some operations such as email and phone calls have continued as before, ISP has had to come up with creative ways to continue to stay in touch with students. Here are some of the things that have been done:

  • All appointments have gone virtual. The ISP staff meets with students via Zoom as needed. Carlos Romero, the academic counselor, is constantly booked about a week in advance.
  • Virtual drop-in hours: There is a one hour drop-in Zoom meeting every afternoon for students to drop by to chat or ask questions.
  • ISP has also held several webinars to ensure that students get the necessary information to maintain their F-1 statuses and stay on track. Some of the webinars that were hosted are:
    • SEVIS Updates: There have been two webinars on this, updating students on the regulatory changes that have been made because of the COVID-19 situation.
    • Health Insurance: A How-to Guide
    • Peer Panel: Students shared tips and tricks on how to stay on track with online classes/distance learning, how to get essentials such as food, and where to get support if a student needs it
    • Employment Workshops
  • Severe Economic Hardship
  • Summer Curricular Practical Training and Optional Practical Training

On top of these, a weekly newsletter goes out to students on Tuesday at noon via email and there are daily social media posts in order to reach out to as many students as possible. Last, but not least, the International Student Club (ISC) hosted its first virtual general meeting on April 16, 2020 where students got together to catch up and play some virtual games. The ISC intends to host at least one more virtual general meeting before the end of the semester.

The ISP will continue to provide the same level of support to the international student population to the best of its capabilities by providing more avenues for students to get in touch, hosting webinars and other events, as well as ensuring that students know that ISP is there for them.

Article and Photo by Clair Yeo-Sugajski

Phi Theta Kappa Students Takes Top Honors at International Convention

ptkSkyline College’s Beta Theta Omicron Chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society was named a Distinguished Chapter at the 2020 Phi Theta Kappa Convention. The convention was held online on April 16 and 17, 2020. To be considered for the Distinguished Chapter Award, a chapter must submit entries for both the Honors in Action Project and College Project. Chapters scoring in the top 25 are awarded Distinguished Chapter.

Skyline College’s Chapter received the 2020 Honors in Action Award for their project. During the year, members investigated the effects of urbanization on our local creeks. The Chapter won the 2020 College Project Award for their work toward helping the College achieve the Skyline Promise. The Chapter has consistently earned national recognition since its chartering in 1999. The Chapter has earned Distinguished Chapter 14 times and has earned the Nevada/California Regional Distinguished Chapter award five times.

The 2020 awards were the result of competitive essays documenting the Chapter’s multiple projects this year, including the year-long project investigating local creeks.

Additionally, Skyline College student Thanh Nguyen received the Distinguished Regional Officer Award for her work as 2019-2020 Nevada/California Regional President. Thanh was the 2017-2018 Chapter president.

These awards recognize our students for their outstanding service to our college and the community. And makes our chapter one of the top chapters in the world.

Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society is the largest honor society in American higher education with more than 1,300 chapters at two-year and community college campuses in all 50 of the United States and Canada, Germany, the Republic of Palau, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, and the British Virgin Islands. There are 94 chapters in California.

Article by Christine L. Case

Behind the Curtain: CHICAGO, The Musical! On Zoom

chicagoAlthough live performances of CHICAGO are postponed, the faculty, staff, and cast understand and support the current need for common cultural experiences to remind us of what we share. In response, Skyline College Artist-in-Residence Gary D. Ferguson hosted our first Skyline College Behind the Curtain, VIP Broadway Celebrity Zoom Sessions on April 14th and 16th with cast members from the original Broadway touring company of CHICAGO and other special guests including Broadway professionals in choreography, costumes, dance, hair, and sets.

“Behind the Curtain” offered cast members and the college community exposure to a variety of opinions, ideas, cultures, and people with different experiences and backgrounds in an atmosphere of dignity and respect. Attendees heard ideas and opinions about race, gender, body image, sexual and gender identity in the arts and society, and participate in a Q&A session with each presenter.

We thank Spring Musical Project faculty Jude Navari and Amber Steele for organizing this event.

Article and Photo by Chris Burwell-Woo

Study Abroad Student Receives Prestigious Scholarships Amidst Pandemic – Award Deferred to Summer 2021

study abroad irelandThe San Mateo County Community College District (SMCCCD) Study Abroad Program hosted at Skyline College congratulates its second-ever Fund for Education Abroad (FEA) Scholar, Ms. Nicole Banuelos!

Ms. Banuelos is currently studying Biology and Psychology at Skyline College and plans to complete a Global Internship in Dublin, Ireland to gain healthcare experience in an international setting as she works towards her long-term goal of becoming a Doctor of Medicine. Her top three goals for her global internship are to “increase adaptability, strengthen [her] ability to work with diverse populations, and develop [a] global mindset.”

Ms. Banuelos was selected for the FEA’s “Breakout Scholarship for Community College Students,” and is the second-ever SMCCCD student to receive this prestigious award. In addition, Ms. Banuelos was among 16 other SMCCCD students selected last November for the U.S. Department of State’s Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship for Study Abroad, for which Skyline College has been nationally recognized as a “Top-Producing Two-Year Institution.”

Both the Gilman Scholarship Program and the Fund for Education Abroad work to make transformational international experiences accessible to all by supporting students who have been historically underrepresented in study abroad programs, including “minority, community college, and first-generation college students, before, during, and after they participate in education abroad programs.”

Ms. Banuelos had planned to use these scholarships to cover the program, housing, and travel costs of her two-month internship this summer. However, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and the current global health and travel restrictions in place, the SMCCCD Global Internship Programs have been suspended for the Summer 2020 session. Nicole has thus decided to defer her scholarship awards until Summer 2021 and participate in the Global Internship Program in Dublin next summer, prior to transferring from Skyline College.

We have no doubt that Nicole will accomplish all of her goals and more. Please join us in congratulating Nicole Banuelos, and all the SMCCCD Gilman Scholarship Recipients, on their stellar achievements!

To learn more about the FEA scholarship and the 2020-2021 scholars, visit To learn more about the Gilman Scholarship Program, visit

SMCCCD Study Abroad is the district-wide study abroad program housed at the Global Learning Programs and Services Division at Skyline College. For more information about the program, and scholarship opportunities please visit the SMCCCD Study Abroad website at or email

Article by Stephanie Wells | Photo by Nicole Banuelos