Monthly Archives: September 2020

Classified Senate Executive Board (CSEB) Retreat 2020

The Classified Senate kicked off the three-day 2020 Classified Senate Summer Professional Development Retreat on July 27,2020.

The virtual sessions focused on self-care, reflection, courage, and mindfulness, which were reinforced by thoughtful messages from then outgoing Interim College President Dr. Jannett Jackson and incoming College President Dr. Melissa Moreno who acknowledged the importance of Classified roles and their impact on student success.

Gustavo Beltran, licensed clinical social worker from San Mateo County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services, and Golda Margate, VPSS Executive Assistant, facilitated an engaging workshop that invited participants to reflect on personal identities.

Dr. Cheryl Johnson, Dean of Student Equity and Support Programs, led a powerful workshop titled “Courageous Conversations,” which dealt with anti-Black and other forms of racism.

The retreat culminated in a self-care workshop with Michelle Batista, Director of Student Support, and Liz Llamas, Psych Services Counselor, wherein the importance of meditation and mindfulness was emphasized especially during these unprecedented times. The workshop included breakout sessions where participants shared challenges, experiences, and best practices for the mind, body and soul.

Despite the virtual format, each session was well-attended and included up to 30 classified professional participants.

Thanks go to Dr. Jannett Jackson; Dr. Melissa Moreno; workshop facilitators Gustavo Beltran, Golda Margate, Dr. Cheryl Johnson, Michelle Batista, Liz Llamas; and the Classified Executive Senate Board: Sherrie Prasad, President; Golda Margate, Vice President; Kennya Ruiz, Historian; Belinda Chan, Treasurer; Grace Beltran, Secretary; and Jeremy Evangelista-Ramos, Parliamentarian, for coordinating.

Article by Jeremy Evangelista-Ramos | Graphic by Grace Beltran

Kindergarten Supply Kits for SSFUSD

The South San Francisco Rotary Club, in cooperation with the Skyline College Bookstore, purchased and distributed 634 starter school supply kits and custom water bottles for the kindergarten students of the South San Francisco Unified School District and private schools. The affordable starter kit, filled with the school supplies that students need during this unprecedented time, was meant to help parents and teachers as much as students.  The project was the brainchild of Skyline College Bookstore staff who sought creative solutions to the many challenges presented by quickly changing school regulations and a community affected by a pandemic. The generous donation by the SSF Rotary Club was a humbling experience for the Bookstore team, which hopes to continue this type of work in the future.

Article by Amanda Bortoli

Internship Opportunities

The Career Readiness & Job Placement Team understands 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.  We look 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.

Science Technology & Health Internships

Just In Time Internships

 

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,

Melissa

Dr. Melissa Moreno
President