Daily Archives: September 11, 2020

International Students Begin Global Online Learning Program

On Tuesday, September 1, Skyline College’s International Student Program (ISP) held a meeting to welcome the fall 2020 group of international students participating in the Global Online Learning (GOL) program. This semester’s group is comprised of nine international students from various countries including China, Japan, and The Netherlands. This welcome meeting provided GOL students with both an opportunity to introduce themselves and to learn more about the ISP staff that they will be working with for the duration of their studies.

The GOL program is a district-wide program that provides international students with the opportunity to take classes through Skyline College, College of San Mateo, or Cañada College while remaining in their home countries. GOL is an excellent opportunity for participants to further their educational goals by earning college credits in a distance education environment. In addition to taking college courses, participating students can save on living expenses while still having access to various campus support services such as the Learning Center and the Library. For more information on the GOL program at Skyline College, please contact the ISP office at (650) 738-7179.

Written by Isabella Marinos

Study Abroad Hosting Gilman Scholarship Webinar on September 16

The San Mateo County Community College District (SMCCCD) Study Abroad Program is hosting a webinar and student panel to provide details on applying for Study Abroad scholarships, including the Gilman International Scholarship, a grant program through the U.S. Department of State 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 all students.

SMCCCD Study Abroad assists students in applying for this prestigious scholarship every March and October; 27 students were selected for the Gilman Scholarship program last year.

Please join us to learn more about the Gilman Scholarship Program and other opportunities for funding in-person and virtual Study Abroad experiences and hear from our Gilman Scholarship alumni about their experiences applying for the Gilman Scholarship, studying abroad, and what they’re doing now!

Webinar details are below:

  • Study Abroad Gilman Scholarship Webinar and Student Panel
    Learn how to apply for scholarships for virtual and in-person study abroad experiences
  • Wednesday, September 16, 2020
  • 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Space is limited! Register at bit.ly/gilmanwebinar

The next deadline to apply for the Gilman Scholarship is Tuesday, October 6, 2020, so don’t wait! If you’re unable to attend the webinar, you can schedule your one-on-one advising session at smccd.edu/goabroad or email studyabroad@smccd.edu.

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

Article by Stephanie Wells

Skyline College’s Free Immigration Legal Clinic Now Open

Our free Skyline College Immigration legal clinic has officially opened for the semester! What does this mean?

You can speak to a licensed immigration attorney for free if you:

  • Want a screening to see if you are eligible for any immigration remedies to adjust your status
  • Need support with Permanent Residency and Citizenship application support
  • Need to renew your DACA
  • Have any general immigration questions

Anyone (students and community members) can make an appointment online.

Please note that now is a great time to take advantage of the legal clinic because USCIS (the immigration office that processes a number of immigration applications) is slated to have significant fee increases. For example, a green card holder who wishes to apply to be a US citizen would need to pay $640 (plus the biometrics fee) this month for the N-400 Application for Naturalization filing fee. This fee will go up to $1,170 (plus biometrics fee) on October 2. For more information, check the website.

If you have any questions, you can reach the Dream Center at skylinedreamcenter@smccd.edu

Article by Pamela Ortiz Cerda

STEM Division Shines at Lab Kit Distribution

The Lab Coordinator CrewTo maintain a high standard of education during COVID19, a collaboration between faculty and lab coordinators of the STEM division at Skyline College started to develop and purchase lab kits, to allow the students to have hands on lab experience in their homes.

The lab coordinators developed the operation as a drive thru, and the team setup on parking Lot A at Skyline College with help from facilities, public safety and the bookstore to distribute lab kits to students. This maneuver took place the first time in the summer semester, which was basically a training run for the fall. This operation was again, successfully performed in fall, where we distributed more than 700 lab kits for Biology, Chemistry, Engineering and Physics.

The worldwide COVID-19 lockdown caused delays in delivery times and other surprises for the lab coordinators, to deal with.

Our Chemistry Lab Kits came in various states with missing items and so a scavenger hunt, was played out by our Chemistry Lab Coordinator, Mousa Ghanma. One kit was missing one item, the other kit another item and so on. He had to overhaul all 70 of them to get the lab kits ready for distribution.

Another bottleneck caused by the COVID-19 pandemic was seen in the microbiology lab kits. For microbiology, we were using lab kits which were purchased in a complete state, but even when they were ready to be distributed, they got stuck in transport on a cargo train in Idaho while we started our distribution session on August 11. Lab Coordinator Gary Cheang adapted to the situation and started to reschedule the pickup, when suddenly the lab kits arrived. Gary also did a tremendous job in organizing the pick-up scheduling via the appointment platform, Calendly, and handling all the different time slots for the students to come to campus.

For Physics we used both fully assembled kits and custom made ones. The first we could distribute over the bookstore and ship direct to the students. The others were for Physics 220, 260 and 270 and were made from scratch. Physics and Engineering Lab Coordinator, Marco Wehrfritz, turned the Fab Lab in building 7 into an assembly line and manufactured 200 lab kits for pick up with the help of Physics Faculty Emilie Hein.

Last but not least we had to assemble 150 lab kits for Biology 215 and 230 in house. The lab kits contained interesting items like fetal pigs and live plants, and lab coordinator Christian Galang called in the other lab coordinators Mousa, Gary and Marco and with the help of Dean Carla Grandy and Program Services Coordinator, Alyssa Wong, we were able to assemble all 150 lab kits in three days to be ready to distribute them on September 3rd. It turned out, that there were some things missing in the kits but overall the students received most of the materials.

A big Thank you for the support and making this happen: to our new STEM Dean Carla Grandy, Kevin Chak and the Skyline Bookstore Team, John Doctor and the Facilities Team and Public Safety. The students and faculty will benefit from the Lab Kits as instructions keep being held online.

Article by Marco Wehrfritz, Gary Cheang and Mousa Ghanma | Photo taken by Susanne Schubert

BAEC Assists with Business Recovery

Assistance recovery program participantsThe Bay Area Entrepreneur Center of Skyline College (BAEC) in partnership with the San Bruno Chamber of Commerce and the City of San Bruno is responding to the needs of our local business community by helping explore outdoor dining and service options.  For many businesses, the ability to provide outside dining and services is helping to keep them afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic. The BAEC continues to outreach to the community, develop responsive content and make sure that businesses have access to all the resources the need right now, including the Small Business Assistance and Recovery Program.

If you are in need of assistance or know of a business that is, please connect with us, we’re here to help!

San Bruno Business Recovery

Small Business Assistance & Recovery Program Survey

Article and Image by Olivia Vialau

Open Door: The President’s Blog

I have had an amazing couple of weeks! I attended (in-person!) our first Drive-Thru Community Market on Wednesday, September 2. Chad and Raul, and our District’s public safety team, did an incredible job preparing (with our sponsor Second Harvest) to offer a well-managed and expertly orchestrated distribution on our campus. Chancellor Claire and several members of the President’s team, alongside a number of volunteers, participated in the distribution of food to 250 families. As word gets out, I imagine this service will explode as there are many in our community, including students, in need.

I attended Puente’s Noche de Familia – where students and their families joined in a roundtable conversation. We met students, their parents, grandparents, siblings, and friends. The Puente Learning Community links students, a counselor, an English instructor, and community mentors in an effort to increase the number of educationally under-served students who enroll in four-year colleges and universities. These students are in great and supportive hands with Lucia and Dino.

I also attended the Intercultural Center launch presentation. The Center offers a masterful and diverse menu of spaces for students and employees to gather and center around a number of topics. The vision of the Center is to create and maintain safe spaces for restorative self-reflection, broadening critical consciousness, and developing solidarity. The Center’s mission is  to celebrate our intersectional identities, challenge oppressive ideologies, and overcome our linked struggles through embracing vulnerability, channeling indignation, and uplifting marginalized communities. In this space, we strive to eliminate white supremacy, heteropatriarchy, and dehumanizing capitalist practices. This is an impressive mission! The passion of this team – Allen, Martin, and Dr. Johnson – shines through in everything they do.

I also attended a Connecting Point – which offers space for grounding and connection – a place where it’s okay to not be okay. We opened with a beautiful meditation, and were able to share our personal challenges. I felt a lot less stressed after this meeting, and it was good for my soul. I thank Michelle and Perry for this experience. These are ongoing twice a month. Register online for the next one! Reach out to Michelle if you need more information: batistam@smccd.edu

I conducted the first ever President’s Roundtable, that invites informal dialogue on concerns and challenges we are facing as a campus community. President’s Cabinet joins our constituent groups monthly – students, classified professionals, and faculty – for an open conversation. We heard from our student leaders how difficult it is to be in an online environment without time for casual interaction and how students are unable to get to know their peers. The students highlighted a number of events being offered through the Center for Student Life that are so meaningful and engaging, and will improve our students’ feelings of isolation. Look for upcoming events that include a particularly poignant space to honor loved ones and create an offering (Ofrenda) for those who have recently passed.

I hope you are able to stay engaged and healthy amid the smoke and fire, the pandemic, and continued isolation (and apparently the ants! What’s next?) Let’s continue to chase that ever elusive work/life balance.

In support of all of you,


Dr. Melissa Moreno

Dream Center Task Force seeks New Members

The Skyline College Dream Center Task Force is looking for new members! Our goal is to be a campus-wide group but currently we lack members from SMT and Humanities. No matter your department, everyone is invited to attend our September 22 meeting at 3:00 p.m. where you can learn more about how to get involved.  No experience is needed.

What’s the Dream Center Task Force? We’re a small campus group of classified professionals and faculty, both full-time and part-time, who are allies in support of undocumented and immigrant students and employees at Skyline College. The Task Force was established in 2017.

What’s involved?  Meetings generally begin with a state and national legislative update by Dream Center Program Service Coordinator Pamela Ortiz Cerda, who explains how changes in laws, legal cases and government policies are affecting or expected to affect our students locally.

Pamela also updates our group about new programs and work being conducted on campus in support of our students. Discussions often center on communication opportunities, educational activities and ways to overcome obstacles faced by students.

Task Force members help plan and support:

  • Annual UndocuWeek of Action
  • Flex Day programs
  • Social mixers for allies and students
  • Fundraising
  • Migration Celebration (graduation)
  • Collaboration with other campus groups or events
  • Advocacy work
  • Updating your Division and colleagues about the work of the Dream Center.

This summer the Task Force set up the new emergency Skyline College Dream Center Fund to support our undocumented students individually and help fund programs and events. We encourage you to donate now! See below for Three Ways to Donate. 

Responsibilities of Task Force Members. The Task Force meets by Zoom twice monthly on Tuesdays from 3:00-4:00 p.m. Joining the Task Force doesn’t require you to attend every meeting. Members also volunteer additional time towards the activities described above as they are able.

Where can I learn more? Please visit the Dream Center website and read a recent article about our district Dream Centers and students, “Undocumented students more vulnerable than ever during pandemic.”

Interested? Contact Pamela Ortiz Cerda at ortizcerdap@smccd.edu to introduce yourself and request the Zoom link for our next meeting on Tuesday, September 22 at 3:00 p.m. We look forward to meeting you!

Three Ways to Donate to the Skyline College Dream Center Fund

  1. Donate online (bit.ly/DreamCenterFund) 1. Select amount $. 2. Select “Designation: Other” (drop down menu). 3. Write in Other category: “Dream Center Fund.” 4.Complete your payment information.
  2. Sign up for the SMCCC Foundation’s recurring payroll deduction: (bit.ly/DCFPayrollDeduction). 1. Purpose: Enroll. 2. Designate my gift for: Skyline College. 3.Fill in “Dream Center Fund” where form says: “OR, designate my gift for the following fund.”
  3. Donate by mail: Send your check to: San Mateo County Community Colleges Foundation, 3401 CSM Dr., San Mateo, CA 94402. Make check out to: SMCCC Foundation. In a note or memo field, specify “Dream Center Fund” Skyline College.

Article by Jessica Silver-Sharp