Daily Archives: September 2, 2021

International Student Program Welcomes Global Online Learning Students for Fall 2021!

International Students WelcomeOn August 11, 2021, the International Students Program (ISP) hosted a welcome Zoom Meeting for newly admitted Global Online Learning (GOL) students. The GOL program provides international students with the opportunity to take online classes through Skyline College, College of San Mateo, or Cañada College without leaving their home countries. GOL is an excellent opportunity for international students to start their college education at home.


This semester, ISP welcomed new GOL students from Indonesia, Japan, China, Hong Kong, Thailand, and Myanmar. The meeting kicked off with the Interim Vice President of Instruction, Danni Redding Lapuz, and Dean of Global Learning Programs and Services, Russell Waldon, welcoming the students to our campus community. VPI Danni Redding Lapuz encouraged all the students to explore different topics, feel empowered to have different opinions, and make international friends. Dean Russell Waldon expressed that having international students is valuable to the whole campus community as this may be the only exposure students may have to the international student’s home countries. Students shared posts of their favorite foods, including Fried Rice and Hotpot. ISP staff members also talked about How to Be Successful in Online Learning and showed the college’s online resources, such as the Skyline College Library. The students were encouraged to join the International Student Club and to connect with ISP staff with any questions.


For more information on the GOL program at Skyline College, please contact the ISP office at skyinternational@smccd.edu


Article by Evelyn Rossi & Michelle Amaral

ISP Hosts Virtual Welcome Event for Incoming International Students!

ISP Orientation The International Student Program (ISP) hosted a Virtual Welcome Event for incoming international students on August 10, 2021.

The Interim Vice President of Instruction, Danni Redding Lapuz and Dean of Global Learning Programs and Services, Russell Waldon, opened the event by welcoming the students to Skyline College. Dean Russell Waldon shared how important International Education is for the entire Skyline College community. “As ISP students begin their educational journey at Skyline College, the students share different perspectives and we all learn about other cultures.” Chikako Walker, Interim 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.  She also talked about the Safe Return to Campus.

We shared a Padlet icebreaker of “Where Do You Want to Go When You Get to the Bay Area?” Some of the new ISP students also played Kahoot reviewing some of the campus resources and were invited to join the International Student Club. Students had the opportunity to meet the staff and get to know who to reach for support.

For questions or inquiries, please contact the Skyline College International Student Program at 650-738-7021/7179, or email the skyinternational@smccd.edu


Article by Michelle Amaral
Photo by Clair Yeo-Sugajski

Skyline Drive-Thru Free Community Market Extended Through December 2021!

Produce BoxThis past week marked the 49th Skyline College Free Drive-Thru Community Market! At this most recent weekly grocery distribution event we served 880 families under the leadership of the SparkPoint program and with the support of 30 volunteers from Skyline College and our local community!


Be advised: The Skyline College Free Community Market will be held in Lot C and Lot F moving forward in order to lower the impact on faculty, staff and students returning to the campus this fall.


Every week each household or family receives almost 50 lbs of groceries, including milk, eggs, pasta, rice, fresh produce, canned goods and dry goods, as well as a protein item (ham, chicken, turkey, etc.).  Second Harvest Food Bank calculates that over 1.9 million pounds of groceries have been distributed since our program started in September 2020 and that we have offset over $3.5 million in grocery costs for the most at risk members of our local community! A special thanks goes to SMCCCD employees from SparkPoint, public safety, and facilities, as well as the wonderful volunteers who make this event possible every week.


This event is held at Skyline College every Wednesday, 11:00am-1:00pm and has been extended through December 2021. All staff, volunteers and participants adhere to all COVID-19 Health and Safety Protocols at all times.


  • Only drive-thru pickups will be served
  • All participants must remain in their cars at all times and wear a mask
  • Open to students and the community
  • No I.D required to pick up food
  • Please call 650-738-7970 for weather and air quality closure updates
  • Please use Skyline Blvd entrance (turn left and enter Lot C)


If you are interested in volunteering, please sign up through the Second Harvest Food Bank website.  If you have any questions please email us at skylinesparkpoint@smccd.edu.


Article by Chad Thompson

SparkPoint Accepting Applications for Fall 2021 Grove Scholarship Program

Grove WallSparkPoint at Skyline College is currently accepting scholarship applications for 25 Career and Technical Education (CTE) students for the Spring 2021 cohort. Grove Scholarship applications are available online at skylinecollege.edu/sparkpoint and are due by 3:00 p.m. on September 14th, 2021.

Eligible students will be selected for the program based on three short personal statements that describe who they are, why they have chosen their career path and why financial literacy is important to them. Academic standing and GPA are not a factor in selection, as long as the student meets the minimum requirements of a 2.0 GPA and a 75% completion rate. Once selected for the Grove Scholars Program, students will receive individualized financial coaching and career counseling, as well as a $2,000 scholarship for the semester.

If you would like to refer a student to the Grove Scholars Program or if you would like a SparkPoint staff member to share scholarship information or other SparkPoint Services with your class or program, please call (650) 738-7035, or send an email to grovescholar@smccd.edu.  Additional information and support can also be found through the SparkPoint website.


Article by Chad Thompson

Workshops at the BAEC!

BAEC WorkshopDo you have an interesting topic relating to business that you would like to share with others? The Bay Area Entrepreneur Center of Skyline College has launched its Partner Workshop Initiative where we will be featuring content from local businesses and entrepreneurs who wish to share resources with the community.  We have hosted several partner workshops over the summer with topics ranging from finance to website design to pivot strategies and these sessions provide useful tools and information for both seasoned and growing businesses. All business professionals and entrepreneurs are invited to sign up and host a workshop with us. These workshops will be shared with our networks and the recording will be shared on all of our social media platforms. This is a great opportunity to get your name and business out there and to build your network.   Complete this brief form to get started: https://bit.ly/BAECPartnerWorkshop.  We hope to hear from you!


For more information on the BAEC, connect with us: baec@smccd.edu, skylinebaec.org,

BAEC Instagram, BAEC LinkedIn.


Article and Image by Olivia Vialau


Skyline College Receives US Department of Energy Grant Award to Work on nEXO

Student at laptopnEXO stands for the next-generation Enriched Xenon Observatory for double beta decay.  It is an international nuclear physics experiment designed to search for an extremely rare form of radioactivity. The nEXO collaboration consists of over 150 scientists at 35 institutions in nine countries, among them Stanford University and the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. The special form of radioactivity that nEXO will search for is called neutrinoless double-beta decay, and the search will take place using a common isotope of xenon. Xenon, like neon, is part of the family of chemical elements in the periodic table that we call noble gases. Neutrinoless double-beta decay has never been observed, and if discovered would represent revolutionary new physics with the potential to provide many important insights into the fundamental nature of our Universe.


Earlier this year, Skyline College’s physics department, led by Prof Emilie Hein and Prof Kolo Wamba, formally became a part of nEXO and was awarded a grant by the US Department of Energy’s Office of Science to participate in this research. This award has made it possible for Skyline College to partner with Stanford University and SLAC and to take on four amazing student trainees who are now contributing to the ongoing detector R&D activities for nEXO. In initiating the program, Profs Wamba and Hein have also partnered with Fabrication and Physics Lab Coordinator Marco Wehrfritz, who has played a major role in supporting the nEXO trainees.  He has provided lab equipment and software, and organized and led an extremely successful soldering workshop for the students. This year’s nEXO student trainees are Shannon Hoang, Jiries Kaileh, Madeleine McSwain, and Brendan Murtagh.


Shannon Hoang is an Environmental/Energy Engineering student. This summer she has worked on special hardware to support one of the nEXO detector subsystems currently under development at SLAC. SLAC scientist Dr. Brian Mong provided much of the equipment along with helpful advice for Shannon’s project. Throughout the academic year she will continue to take on various other projects at SLAC and Stanford as they come up.


Jiries Kaileh is a Computer Science student. His nEXO project is called the “Analog Discovery 2 Synchronization and Triggering Project.” It consists of a study that is vital to scaling the measurements of neutrinoless double beta decay events within the nEXO detector. He has been working closely with Stanford Postdoc Evan James Angelico, who has been an invaluable source of mentoring and advice.


Madeleine McSwain is a Computer Science student. Over the summer, she worked on some electronic hardware to be used in the Xenon Purity Monitor (XPM) experimental setup at SLAC. Over the academic year, she will shift her focus to supporting more of the software in use on the same experimental setup at SLAC.


Brendan Murtagh is a Physics student. He has been working on testing ways to restore the performance of optical fibers used on the Xenon Purity Monitor (XPM) at SLAC. Over the summer he finished the preparations for the experiment and is now working on data collection and analysis.


An important goal for this project is to increase the number of students from underrepresented populations who choose to pursue graduate studies in nuclear physics. The Skyline College trainees are currently the only Community College students who are part of  nEXO. This unique approach to diversifying the field was presented at this year’s Low Energy Community Meeting (LECM). Additionally, mentors and trainees have become active members of the nEXO Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee, chaired by Dr Sander Breur and Dr Erica Caden, and whose priorities are to increase diversity in physical science and engineering by fostering an inclusive, equitable environment within nEXO.


The nEXO trainees have done amazing work this summer that they will continue throughout the year. They are excited to share their work with the community and will be presenting at a Science in Action Seminar this semester.


This work has benefited from important contributions from both within and outside of Skyline College. Dean Carla Grandy has been a strong supporter of the project since its inception. The Skyline College nEXO group would also like to acknowledge SLAC scientist Dr Lisa Kaufman, for giving Prof Wamba the idea to introduce Skyline College to nEXO, and Stanford physics Prof Giorgio Gratta, from whom Prof Wamba first learned about the US Department of Energy’s “Research Traineeships to Broaden and Diversify Nuclear Physics” grant program. We would also like to thank SLAC scientist Dr Peter Rowson for hosting our team at SLAC and for being a great mentor to Prof Wamba and our students. Finally, the group of graduate students and postdoctoral scholars at SLAC and Stanford have also been incredibly valuable in helping to mentor the Skyline nEXO trainees.


This work is supported by the DOE Office of Science (Office of Nuclear Physics).


If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to Professor Emilie Hein (heine@smccd.edu) and Professor Kolo Wamba (wambak@smccd.edu).


Article by Shannon Hoang, Jiries Kaileh, Madeleine McSwain, Brendan Murtagh, Emilie Hein, and Kolo Wamba

Photo by Emilie Hein



Skyline College Music, Drama, and Dance take us to URINETOWN

Urinetown, the MusicalSince 2012 the Spring Musical at Skyline College is a Music, Drama, and Dance tradition. Past live musicals include “Avenue Q,” “Into the Woods,” and “In the Heights.” On April 23-25, 2021, Skyline College Music, Drama, and Dance presented the Skyline College 2021 edition of the Spring Musical – URINETOWN, The Musical.


When faced with the real possibility of cancelling this tradition as we began the 2020-2021 academic year, the production team – Gary Ferguson (Director and Dance Instructor), Jude Navari (Music Director and Music Instructor), and Josh Harris (Technical Director and Theater Manager) – jumped into action.


“Several theatrical rights organizations … made the performance rights for plays and musicals available for streaming performances as live performance venues continue to be closed during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Navari said.  The team chose URINETOWN as the Spring Musical 2021 for its Brechtian style. This style of theatre features actors ‘breaking the fourth wall’ by directly speaking to the audience as well as the use of minimal set and props. These were features that they thought would work well in the Zoom-filmed video medium.  Cast members recorded their singing parts asynchronously through an online, web-based DAW program in which they were followed guide tracks prepared by staff accompanist Margaret Fondbertasse. Then, these tracks were mixed together and combined with video recordings from live Zoom sessions in which the cast acted and danced. The show was a presentation of the ‘movie’ that they made together from these performances.


“You can’t use up creativity. The more the you use, the more you have.” – Maya Angelou


Producing and performing a new musical each year is already a monumental task that requires gobs of creativity to combine music, drama, and dance into a seamless whole.  The endeavor is made all the more difficult when directors and performers cannot be in the same physical space. With enthusiasm and energy, the directors, cast, and crew worked together to find new ways to tell a story working in a virtual environment. Their efforts were evident in the final show, truly embodying the statement “you can’t use up creativity”.


Cast members included:


Little Sally
Audrey Degon

Officer Lockstock
Grant Gomez

Josephine Strong
Eliana Grant

Bobby Strong
Jeffrey Hyche

Officer Barrel
Raissa Marchetti-Kozlov

Senator Fipp
Jamari McGee

Penelope Pennywise
Melissa Momboisse

Mrs. Millennium
Martie Muldoon

Mr. McQueen
Ron Munekawa

Old Man Strong
Patrick O’Malley

Julie Cassidy
Cece Rebelé

Caldwell B. Cladwell
James Schott

Tiny Tom
Gabriel Tompkin

Hope Cladwell
Katie Traynor


Dancer and Choreographer Twyla Tharp once said that “Art is the only way to ‘run away’ without leaving home.”  In creating a virtual URINETOWN, the Spring Musical team showed a way to create theatrical art and help people ‘run away’ even when they can’t leave home. For two laugh-filled hours, the audience joined the cast as they pondered through music and satire, “What is URINETOWN, where the poor are sent if they can’t or won’t pay to pee?”


More than 125 attendees viewed the Skyline College Spring Musical 2021.  Technology Distribution Coordinator and Music Instructional Aide Pedro Gomez shared, “I am amazed at the talent and courage on display in putting together such a successful online performance of Urinetown!

My hats off to the cast and crew that had the courage and talent to put together a musical in the age of COVID-19.”

We look forward to seeing how the lessons learned from virtual theater inform the return of live theater in 2022!



Article by Chris Burwell-Woo

Annual Report Highlights 2020-2021 Academic Year

Annual Report CoverEach year, Skyline College releases an Annual Report which showcases a few of the milestones and accomplishments of the past academic year, alongside an at-a-glance look at some key statistics and financial updates. Normally, we print the report and distribute it at our Opening Day celebration, but this year, in an effort to be increasingly sustainable and to ensure all employees can engage with the document, we are promoting the report virtually.


The 2020-2021 academic year was one we won’t soon forget. Take a moment to read through the report, along with the introduction by President Melissa Moreno, to reflect back on the last year at Skyline College.


Read the Annual Report online.


Article by Connor Fitzpatrick