Monthly Archives: November 2020

New Staff at Skyline College

Once a month, Skyline Shines will be highlighting staff changes at the college. “New Staff at Skyline College” will provide a list of new staff members in each division, including transfers and detail positions. Please feel free to email with any new members of your staff and they will be featured here at the end of the month.


November Staff Changes:

Herlene Grace Beltran – Instructor, Business – Business, Education & Professional Programs

Ariackna Soler – Director of Financial Aid Services – Enrollment Services

Jackie Flores – Detail PSC Transfer Center – Counseling

Sherri Wyatt – Detail Division Assistant – Counseling


Article by Becky Threewit

Poetry Corner Excites Audience to “Re-enVISION Our Future Together”

Library Event Zoom ScreenshotOn Friday, November 6, Poetry Corner brought together 35 participants for a lively and rewarding virtual reading and discussion jointly hosted by Skyline College Library and English departments. Taking place three days after the national presidential election, but hours before media outlets called the election in President-Elect Biden’s favor, the uncertainty in the virtual space was palpable, making the event’s goal – of bringing together participants in a safe and democratic space to discuss and celebrate poetry – all the timelier.

Librarian Pia Walawalkar began by introducing a new theme for the afternoon’s reading: 2020: Re-enVISIONing Our Future Together. Why? To acknowledge how during these times in which many of us are also isolated amidst the pandemic, “we are all striving to find clarity and to imagine a future that celebrates both our commonalities and our differences.”

Professor Rob Williams spoke next, reminding those gathered that the College offers several creative writing courses and publishes an annual journal of student writings, The Talisman. “Poetry is a vital and important part of our college, and every chance to celebrate it, we do!”

Williams next introduced San Mateo County Poet Laureate Aileen Cassinetto who in turn introduced student poetry club president Hilary Mejia Cruz, who facilitated audience discussions between readings by the events’ featured poets, Luisa A. Igloria and Octavio Quintanilla, as well as Skyline College students and other San Mateo County poets.

Igloria and Quintanilla took turns reading several poems each, many reflecting their own experiences as immigrants to the US. This was especially true of Igloria’s poem “The Others,” “Short Manual for immigrant Survival,” and “America.” She explained, “With poetry, we are trying to imagine what it’s like when we inhabit the experience of others.”  Quintanilla read several poignant poems reflecting his immigrant childhood in El Paso, including “Finding my way,“ “Loneliness,” and “Why you never got in a fight in elementary school.”

Hilary Mejia Cruz read powerfully about genocide and chaos in her native Guatemala explaining of her childhood there, “We don’t learn that history, we barely learn history.” Father and son Elijah and Kiraat Pringle each read moving poems, the son of love lost, then found, and the father of the famous Stonewall Riots in Greenwich Village during 1969.

Megan Brown, speaking to concerns outside of the election and pandemic, read a poem of motherhood called “Wings.” Skyline College student Sumaya Eskariyat followed with a poem dedicated to the Ghanian peoples she met on a visit, of singing an Adele song they knew in common that bridged their language differences. Student Katherine Alm, deeply impressed by what she’d heard, read her poem on the personal significance of LGBTQ community, in colors: “Purple marches through the street unafraid…A rainbow of color, of pain, power, and love!! Fires burning behind eyes… We will not give up on orange.” Tatiana Espinoza also read an original poem.

Another especially timely reading by San Mateo Poet Laureate Aileen Cassinetto, followed: “There are no kings in America, only gilded men we can topple again and again…,” sharing her gratitude for a place and space “where poetry might be part of real life.”

Throughout the session, the Zoom chat was buzzing with remarks on the beauty and poignancy of the verses and with compliments for the poets.

The event concluded with an opportunity for students and other members of the audience to ask important questions.  About writing and reading poems in one’s native language, Igloria encouraged her audience members: “Every tongue has it’s own music…it encourages the kind of attentiveness that’s special to poetry. Even if you don’t know the language… that can take you somewhere.”

Others asked the poets about the writing and publishing process, receiving sage advice from Quintanilla:

“Just write and the publishing will come. I wasted a lot of time sending poems to journals that rejected me. Do research on the journals you like, make a list of journals where you want to be represented. Read them! Then wait until your work is ready. The work will tell you, ‘I’m ready for you to send me out.’”

You can also learn more about poets Igloria and Quintanilla here.

The Library and Learning Center would like to extend a special thanks to our courageous student poets who read aloud from their original works to an audience or peers, faculty and renowned poets, with additional thanks to faculty members Rob Williams and Lucia Lachmayr for encouraging and supporting them.

Poetry Corner will return in Spring 2021! In the meantime, poetry books and e-books are available to all members of the Skyline community. Not sure what to read? You can use the Poetry research guide to get started, search the OneSearch catalog and use Curbside Pickup to pick up your books on campus, or even Chat with a Librarian in real time about what you’re looking for. Library cards are no longer required.

Lastly, we encourage you to consider bringing your class to Poetry Corner during Spring 2021. Please contact Librarian Pia Walawalkar <> if you’d like more information.

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—


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 during this time. 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—


Academic Senate Report, November 19, 2020

The Academic Senate met on November 19th, and here are highlights from that meeting:

Academic Senate supports Ethnic Studies:  At the recent Academic Senate for California Community Colleges (ASCCC) fall plenary, the statewide senate issued strong support for the creation of Ethnic Studies as a graduation requirement. Such changes require revisions to Title 5, which is anticipated to take up until Fall 2022. During that time, on request of the Skyline College Academic Senate, the College Governance Council will be convening an implementation team to prepare Skyline College for these changes ahead.

Comprehensive Program Review (CPR) templates available for comment:  CPR Work Group co-chairs Karen Wong and Leigh Anne Shaw shared that the draft templates are open for comment.  You can insert your comments directly on the Instructional Template and the draft Student/ Learning Support Services Template. Alternatively, you may submit your comments on the survey for the Instruction Template or the Student/ Learning Support Services template. Please do so by the evening of Saturday, November 28. Should you have any questions, please contact co-chairs Leigh Anne Shaw or Karen Wong.

Professional Personnel, ACED, and Continued Progress on Professional Development:   PPC chair Bianca Rowden-Quince, CTTL coordinator Nicole Porter, and Article 13 PD Committee chair Rob Williams shared some changes to the Article 13 PD process as well as progress on the effort to streamline and broaden access to professional development.  Dr. Porter shared that the ACED committee is still looking to fill more seats; they are doing an assessment of all the PD at the campus (which is quite a lot). The District will be holding in cross-campus flex activities; please reach out to Dr. Porter to arrange to present. Progress is also being made on the Skyline College Professional Development plan, and ACED is  looking to align local PD with resources at the CCCCO’s Vision Resource Center.   Dr. Rowden-Quince wishes to remind faculty to send nominations for the Hayward Award by end of day on Monday, November 30th.

Distance Education (DE) Handbook Update:  DE Coordinator Christopher Collins shared the Distance Education Handbook and the process for updating it.  The proposed revisions may be viewed here, and the senate will be asked to support it at the Dec. 3 meeting. Please refer comments and suggestions to Chris Collins.

Senate Dues discussion:  Treasurer Rika Yonemura-Fabian presented a proposal for a change to senate dues. The collection of voluntary dues results in a static average of $1500 per year, which goes to scholarships and awards.  A proposal to increase the amount and the number of participants is intended to allow the senate to support senators in attending senate leadership events. The senate will consider and vote at a future meeting.

College Governance Council Campus Climate Work Group:  In response to the release of the McPhail report, Dr. Moreno asked for members from each campus constituency to review the report and determine the best response. The Senate appointed Suji Venkataraman and Lavinia Zanassi to serve on this work group.

The next Academic Senate meeting will be December 3, 2020, at 2:10pm.  Pres. Leigh Anne Shaw is available in Senate office hours every Monday from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm via Zoom.

Article by Leigh Anne Shaw

Transfer Student Panel: Students Breaking Barriers!

Transfer Panel Zoom Graphic The Transfer Center and the Associated Students of Skyline College (ASSC) hosted “Students Breaking Barriers,” a virtual student alumni panel. Attendees got the opportunity to hear from Morelia Karina Cruz, a Math major at UC Berkeley, Mark Estrada, an Asian American Studies major at San Francisco State, and Nick Perez, a Business Administration graduate from San Francisco State. The panelists shared narratives of their educational experiences that inspired and motivated the audience. The conversation centered around ways in which Skyline College helped them prepare for transfer and for their careers, advice they had for students considering transfer, and the importance of building a network of support.

Our alumni panelist shared their personal narratives and strategies for success that they gained through their college experiences. The panelists encouraged students to seek opportunities to explore campus communities, their majors, and careers, especially in the form of internships and extracurricular activities. In response to a question about what tips they have regarding transfer, Morelia Cruz reminded students to “work and do you, explore opportunities, get involved and do you. Don’t compare yourself to others.” The panelists emphasized the importance of relationship building and the value of making connections while at Skyline College. One panelist, Nick Perez, shared how “Skyline taught me to be professional.” The alumni also addressed “impostor syndrome,” as they attended not only Skyline College, but larger universities as well. Morelia Karina shared how in her first semester at UC Berkeley, she had to navigate imposter syndrome as she often felt she didn’t compare to those she attended class with, but she just kept working hard and using her community to succeed. She encouraged the attendees to not limit themselves and to “apply to colleges that you do not think you will get into; you might just get admitted into colleges such as UC Berkeley just like myself.”

Overall it was a fantastic experience, with over 40 students, faculty, and staff in attendance. The virtual Transfer Student Panel would not have been possible without the support of students, faculty and staff. A special note of appreciate for Rolando Mutul, Transfer Center Ambassador and ASSC Senator, who brought the three panelist together. The Transfer Center is appreciative of the continued support that allows us to create spaces for students to share their experiences. If you were unable to catch the event you can watch the recording here.

Article by Jackie Flores & Lucy Jovel

ASSC 2nd Annual Tonga Day Celebration

Tonga Day Flyer


On November 4, the ASSC celebrated Tonga National Day 2020. In honor of their Polynesian classmates, peers and community members who have heritage from the Kingdom of Tonga, the ASSC celebrated Tongan culture, history & language through their online event. The ASSC Commissioner of Activities Elline Arroyo and Student Life Assistant Ryan Samn worked with Punake Kuata Vainikolo and his wife Nia Vainikolo, of whom are Tongan community leaders from East Palo Alto to set up an exclusive online performance by their troupe KPA.

After the performance online, Punake Kuata and Nia gave a thorough presentation about the beautiful and cultural “faiva” outfits, cultural regalia often used in Tongan ceremony and dance. Next year the ASSC hopes to host Tonga Day as it was held in 2019: which was in person with a Kava Ceremony that honored our previous Vice President of Student Services, Dr. Angélica Garcia. If you’d like to see the video, it is on the ASSC YouTube Channel here:

Article by Ryan Samn and Felagot Desta

Study Abroad and WMLA Host Dr. Isa Torrealba from Veritas University, Costa Rica

Isa Torrealba Lecture ScreenshotOn Wednesday, November 18, 2020, the Women’s Mentoring and Leadership Academy (WMLA) and SMCCCD Study Abroad hosted a Global Speakers Series event – critical conversations with global leaders – in celebration of International Education Week. Over 45 students, staff and faculty attended. Dr. Isa Torrealba from Veritas Universidad in San José, Costa Rica, presented on Machismo/Marianismo and Matriarchate: A Cultural Perspective from Latin America. The topics covered during the lecture were:

  • The Costa Rican cultural context
  • The LATAM context: Basic definitions and different perceptions
  • Current discrimination issues impacting women
  • Women’s role in different ethnic groups: The Bribri´s matriarchate versus the Ngobe´s non-matriarchate

We look forward to offering more opportunities to connect virtually with academics and activists from around the world in Spring 2021. Keep an eye out for upcoming events!

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 You can also learn more by visiting the SMCCD Study Abroad Facebook page or Instagram page @smcccd_study_abroad.

Article by Stephanie Wells

Intercultural Center Dialogue Events!

The Student Equity and Support Programs Division is inviting you all to take part in the remaining Intercultural Center Dialogue Events for this semester!

Please share these events with your colleagues and students as we hope to see y’all there!


Meditation Mondays Registration – Morning Session

Meditation Mondays Registration –  Afternoon Session

Talambuhay Tuesday Registration

Wellness Wednesdays Registration

Solidarity Series Registration


Feel free to contact Allen Ocampo with any questions.


Meditation Mondays FlyerTalambuhay Tuesdays Flyer


Wellness Wednesdays FlyerSolidarity Series Flyer




$3,000 grants for 16 San Bruno Businesses – Applications Open Friday November 20th

Micro Grant FlyerThe Bay Area Entrepreneur Center of Skyline College is offering micro grants of $3000 to 16 San Bruno based businesses to help aid in their recovery from the financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Applications open on November 20th and close on December 4th at 11:59 p.m.  The last two Info Sessions are scheduled for Monday 11/23, and Tuesday 11/24 and attendance at an info session is required.  To register email

The Small Business Recovery & Assistance Program is here to help businesses with coaching, workshops, business tools and now with funding.  These grants are made possible with funding from the San Bruno Community Foundation. For more information, contact the BAEC at

Article by Gisel Martin

Image by MCPR & Olivia Vialau