Monthly Archives: September 2020

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 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 ( 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: ( 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

SPARC Meeting Update

The Skyline College Strategic Planning and Allocation of Resources Committee (SPARC) met on Thursday, August 27, 2020 for their first meeting of this academic year.

President Moreno joined the meeting initially to acknowledge the committee’s work and to field any questions members may have.  Incoming SPARC Tri-chair and Academic Senate President Leigh Anne Shaw welcomed new members and reviewed the committee charge.  To learn more information about SPARC please see SPARC overview

Vice President of Administrative Services Eloisa Briones presented the final fund 1 budget for Skyline College.  She noted highlights and risks of the State budget and college projections for the next two years.  Despite COVID 19, the college’s allocation increased slightly this year. SPARC had previously recommended that any new monies be used for one-time expenditures given the uncertainty of future allocations and the State budget.

Dean of PRIE Ingrid Vargas led the discussion of the Tentative recommendations of the Comprehensive Program Review (CPR) Task Force subcommittee of SPARC.  The Task Force committee shared their proposals to redesign the process.  SPARC members broke out into smaller groups to discuss and reconvened to review their input collectively.

Further input will be gathered from the Academic Senate and SPARC member constituents.  A final recommendation will be made at October 8, 2020 SPARC meeting and presented to the College Governance Council, who in turn will make a recommendation to the President.  If accepted, training on the new process will begin in spring 2021. Programs would use the new process for Program Review beginning in fall 2021.

Next meeting will be tentatively held on Thursday, September 10, 2020 at 2:10 pm.

Article by Judy Hutchinson

BAEC Business Recovery Workshops

SBRAP Workshop Youtube adAlong with business in general, the Bay Area Entrepreneur Center (BAEC), has pivoted and adapted to respond to the recovery needs of our small businesses.  Over the summer, BAEC launched the Small Business Recovery & Assistance Program. We have held over forty virtual workshops and webinars, all led by BAEC expert coaches, advisors and community partners. These workshops dive deep into relevant business tools and resources for the small business owner to help them navigate the changing environment. For upcoming workshops, visit our BAEC Eventbrite page.

In addition to supporting businesses in San Bruno, the BAEC serves the entrepreneurial community at-large, with valuable business tools and resources.  All live sessions take place on Facebook, Instagram, and Zoom.  Past sessions may be viewed on the BAEC Facebook page and our YouTube channel.

The workshops and resources are made possible by a grant from the San Bruno Community Foundation.

Questions? Interest? Contact us at or visit us at

Article by Nicole Moreno-Deinzer and Pcyeta Stroud | Image by Chad Burnaw

Small Business Recovery & Assistance Program at the BAEC

The Bay Area Entrepreneur Center has officially launched the Small Business Recovery & Assistance Program (SBRAP). A unique program designed to serve the small business community and respond directly to the challenges businesses are facing in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.  As our local businesses work to recover and reopen, this program will support them with workshops and tutorials, business tools and resources and one-on-one coaching from our team of experts.  The SBRAP covers topics such as reopening strategy, disaster planning, pivot assistance, online marketing, funding resources and more!

This program is made possible by a grant from the San Bruno Community Foundation and with additional funding from Cañada College to our expand services.  The SBRAP is supported by partnerships with the City of San Bruno, the San Bruno Chamber of Commerce, the Rotary Club of San Bruno, The mid-Peninsula Renaissance Center, and the San Mateo County Economic Development Association.

Questions? Interest? Contact us at or visit us at

Article by Pcyeta Stroud | Image by Chad Burnaw

Fall 2020 Virtual Internship Job Shadow Program Still Open

2020 Fall IJSP flyerApplications are still open for the Virtual Internship Job Shadow Program (IJSP) hosted by the Bay Area Entrepreneur Center.  Students can apply online, here!

The IJSP provides students opportunities to learn in a virtual environment with resources to build their knowledge and their resume. This program is a way for students to experience real-world learning in a professional and supportive environment with Meta Major, career exploration and educational interests, in mid.

If you know any students that are looking, build their resume, enhance their soft skills and be part of an engaging team, please share this information.

If you are interested in partnering with the BAEC by serving as a job shadow site, or participating in our mock interviews, please let us know.

For more information, connect with us at, or visit our website.

Article by Sarina O’Gilvie | Image by Olivia Vialau

Study Abroad Program Shares Video on Students’ Experiences in Italy

Video ScreenshotDuring the Spring 2020 semester, over twenty San Mateo County Community College District (SMCCCD) students were studying abroad in Florence, Italy, as part of the Northern California Study Abroad Consortium (NCSAC) Semester Abroad Program. As the Covid-19 virus began to spread from Northern Italy, SMCCCD, along with colleges across the country, suspended their program and worked with their partner organization abroad—the American Institute for Foreign Study (AIFS)—to bring students back home safely and swiftly.

You can hear the stories of three of our students who were in Italy during the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic here.

We would like to thank our students for sharing their stories, as well as the SMCCCD Study Abroad and Skyline College Passport Office staff for their collaboration in creating this video.

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 by Stephanie Wells

AFT 1493 Faculty Union Invites Community to Virtual Teach-In

On Thursday, September 10 from 12:00p.m.-3:00p.m, the Skyline College community is invited to participate in a dynamic virtual Teach-In, “Social Justice Unionism in Practice: From Part-Time Pay Parity to Anti-Oppression Organizing,” presented by AFT 1493. Speakers include several faculty members as well as former Skyline College Trustee Alfredo Olguin, Jr., now working with Change SSF.

Find additional event details on Facebook and register to receive Zoom links for each session here:

The schedule and speakers follow:


Social Justice Unionism in Practice: From Part-Time Parity to Anti-Oppression Organizing

Thursday, September 10th

Schedule and speakers

Plenary  (noon-12:30)

Welcome: Kolo Wamba, Skyline College, Physics, former Part-time & new Full-time Professor

Keynote Speakers:

  • Sarah Harmon, Cañada College, Spanish, Part-time Professor
  • Gustavo Lopez, Organizer, Change South San Francisco, and Faculty Coordinator, SFSU Metro Academy

Concurrent Sessions (12:30-2:00pm):

Session 1:  Part-Time Compensation as a systemic social inequity / the “two-tier system”

Panel discussion:

  • Kolo Wamba, Skyline College, Physics, former Part-time & new Full-time Professor
  • Maryam Khan, Skyline College, Engineering, Part-time Professor
  • Alan Franklin, Lyft Driver / Organizer with We Drive Progress
  • Nigel Hawkins, Student, Cañada College, Library part-time worker
  • Hannah Hersey, Student, CSM, Library part-time worker

Session 2: Organizing in our workplaces and communities NOW!

Panel discussion:

  • James Coleman, member of Change SSF and candidate for SSF City Council
  • Alfredo Olguin, Jr., member of Change SSF, former SMCCD Student Trustee
  • Kanani Cortez, member of Change SSF
  • Sam Avila Gomez, member of Change SSF
  • Liliana Rivera, member of Change SSF
  • Fiona Marten, organizer, Burgerville fast food unionization campaign
  • Valarie Bachelor, organizer, California Federation of Teachers and California child care workers unionization campaign

Session 3: Racial & Gender Justice in the union, our campuses & our communities

Panel discussion:

  • Danielle Powell, Skyline College, Full-time Communication Studies Professor
  • Malathi Iyengar, College of San Mateo, Full-time Ethnic Studies Professor
  • Christopher Collins, Skyline College, Part-time History Professor
  • Masao Suzuki, Skyline College, Full-time Economics Professor
  • Dontario Beverly, Former president of Cañada College BSU

2:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m.: Adjunct Faculty: Lived experiences and sharing stories in a safe space just for adjunct faculty (Facilitators: Suji Venkataraman, Skyline College, Education/Child Development, Part-time Professor, and Annie Corbett, Cañada College and Skyline College, Psychology, Part-time Professor).


Register here to receive Zoom links for all sessions.

We’ll see you on Thursday!

ISP Hosts Virtual Welcome Event for Incoming International Students!

New Student Welcome The International Student Program (ISP) hosted a Virtual Welcome Event for incoming international students on August 11, 2020. The event was hosted on Zoom and was attended by most of the new students.

The Dean of Global Learning Programs and Services, Russell Waldon, opened the event by welcoming the students to Skyline College. The students were then introduced to ISP staff. As most students had only been able to communicate with ISP staff via email, it was a great opportunity to put a face to their names. Wissem Bennani, Program Manager for ISP, then went over some of the F1 visa rules and regulations to ensure that students were aware of how to maintain their status. A quick icebreaker followed, and students found out if there were others from their own country at Skyline College.

Next, the students were introduced to some of the events that ISP had hosted for students before including campus tours and the virtual celebration of graduates for Spring 2020. Finally, they got to meet some of our student ambassadors and become familiar with how to reach out to ISP for support.

Article by Clair Yeo-Sugajski

Going Virtual: Challenges and Opportunities for Skyline College Library 

-An interview with Gabriela Nocito, Director of the Learning Commons

How have Skyline College library services changed during our campus closures?

Gabriela: “While the Library is unfortunately physically closed, we’ve actually been able to stay open “virtually” according to our usual Fall hours. Folks can get help from librarians as well as technical support by using the Library’s Chat service, put in place a few years back and more recently improved. The live Chat allows students, staff and faculty to text or meet via zoom for one-on-one research support with a librarian or make an appointment for a future date. In this way, the Library has been able to continue serving our community 65 hours/week.”

What about books? Are they available or not?

Gabriela: “Students and instructors are accustomed to relying on the Library’s reserve system to provide required texts to students who choose not to purchase them. In the new environment, Skyline librarians are assisting students in other ways, for example by locating free copies of e-books, purchasing e-books for our permanent collection (log in as you would to Canvas), directing students to our Bookstore and other book rental sites, and connecting students to free resources available at local public libraries for curbside pickup.”

“Skyline College library also provides one-on-one support and encouragement for faculty who are considering adopting online OER (Open Educational Resources) as free or low cost alternatives to the textbooks they usually assign. Faculty Services Librarian Ame Maloney works with faculty to identify and select high quality, openly available, no-cost online texts and materials. It’s not too late to reach out to Ame for support for your Fall courses at <>.”

What’s different for faculty instructors?

Gabriela: “In the past faculty would arrange to bring their classes to the Library for orientations and workshops taught by librarians. We’ve been able to continue this service virtually with librarians “embedded” in online courses or supporting faculty information literacy instruction in other ways. For synchronous and asynchronous teaching this Fall, it’s not too late for faculty to submit an instruction request. We aim to be as flexible as possible! New Skyline faculty are encouraged to make an appointment for a library orientation as well.”

The Library used to offer programs like the Human Library. Will these continue?

Gabriela: “Yes, during Spring the Library successfully hosted the Human Library, poetry readings and other events virtually via Zoom for the first time. In fact, many libraries have contacted us requesting guidance to host the Human Library virtually on their campuses. Stay tuned for email announcing our Fall events and programs.”

What have been some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced as a Director? Gabriela: “Planning ahead is certainly complicated with so much in flux. Most recently, the fires throughout Northern California have necessitated campus closures that interfered with students’ appointments to pick up technology. However, I would also say that the resulting cross-district collaborations have been amazing, as well as crucial, during these days of uncertainty.”

How do you think you’ll look back on this time a few years from now?

Gabriela: “What these times have provided me with is with a much clearer understanding of what our students really need. I’ve also had an opportunity to question and examine many of our library rules and procedures. In many ways, circumstances resulting from the pandemic have emphasized the need to remain flexible and think outside the box to find solutions.”