Monthly Archives: October 2021

Skyline Shines BAEC Guest Host Tiffany Razo

BAEC HostThe Bay Area Entrepreneur Center hosts many virtual workshops that help people gain and master different tools and experiences for their businesses. Recently we were fortunate to have Tiffany Razo, a California Tax Education Council (CTEC) Registered Tax Preparer co-host an event where she provided detailed tax updates.  With fourteen years of experience, Tiffany has worked alongside one of the top-tier firms in San Francisco and is currently a Senior Trademark Docket Specialist who recently opened a professional service firm in February.  Tiffany Tax Services offers remote tax returns with extensive experience in administrative, legal, real estate, and tax services.

A Skyline College alumni, Tiffany excels in problem solving and decision making.  She describes herself as friendly, responsive, and organized.  Her specialties include task management, Microsoft products, quantitative research, and customer service. Collaboration and communication are very important to Tiffany and she is always developing ways to maximize these skills.

When asked why does she enjoy working with the Bay Area Entrepreneur Center Tiffany responded “I like working with the BAEC because its mission is driven to encourage and motivate entrepreneurs with business management assistance, networking opportunities, one-on-one consulting, business workshops, and facilities by providing these resources to take businesses to the next level. Also, to the fact and connection that I’m an alumnus of Skyline College where I recently received my individual tax preparer certificate in 2020”.

Article by Daniela Klemish

Community Activist mark! Lopez Delivers Call to “Act Locally, Impact Globally” Against Environmental Racism

mark! LopezSkyline College was pleased to welcome community organizer and environmental activist mark! Lopez to a webinar-style presentation and discussion, “Take the Movement Home and Build it in the Streets: Pandemic Perspectives on the Climate Crisis Confirmation” on October 12.

More than 85 students turned out to hear Lopez’s personal story as a third-generation activist who founded Los Angeles’ East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice organization to fight massive lead contamination from the Exide battery smelter, work for which he earned the prestigious international Goldman Environmental Prize in 2017.

In his talk, sponsored in part by Skyline’s Science in Action Series, Lopez framed the concept of environmental racism as resulting from institutional failures by structures and systems in our country that were designed to marginalize communities of color. He explained how a large catastrophic event – such as the pandemic – can serve to highlight these failures, which are only magnified for marginalized people. When this happens, he asked, “How do we take advantage, open up space for more communication and involvement?”

Lopez offered practical advice for young activists for bringing “activism in the streets  – desire for justice – back home to the community context where we have relationships with each other,” and then took it further:

“Your feelings on the issue is how you develop your principles that will be your guide for how you want to operate in the world and engage with it. When you ask a question, oftentimes a challenge is going to come, or a contradiction will come. Your ability to grow and engage with others will grow as you ask questions. This provides an opportunity for you to be wrong – everybody can be wrong; it lets others provide their own questions and answers and open the conversation, [it] has to be accessible.”

He gave a number of examples of how his Los Angeles community organized to take environmental problems into their own hands and creatively forge solutions, reminding us that sometimes we must also “offer support to the leadership on the “other side” of the tracks. Reach out, offer to volunteer, donate and spread the word.” Throughout his talk, he stressed the communal aspects of organizing around problems caused by racism:

“In order for 7 million pounds of lead to come into our communities a certain amount of dehumanizing is already happening. Having the privilege to not think about these things is also dehumanizing. Thinking about it this way is an opportunity for us to come together.”

Event organizers and students alike were inspired and posed thoughtful questions. Dean Carla Grandy, Chemistry professor Susanna Schubert, Learning Commons Director Gabriela Nocito and Equity and Outreach Librarian Pia Walawalkar reflected on how Lopez’s mission mirrored Skyline College’s value that sustainability is a social justice issue for which civil action is an important solution. Towards this goal, students and faculty in attendance were also directed to the college’s new research guide, Sustainability Resources for Faculty and Students, available here:

“Take the Movement,” sponsored by the President’s Innovation Fund, was a long time in the making as Pia Walawalkar and Lopez stayed in touch for almost two years, working to turn the anticipated face-to-face session “virtual.” This lecture is now available for you to watch or screen in class here:

Questions? Please reach out to Pia Walawalkar <>.

Article by Jessica Silver-Sharp

Dialogue to Break the Silence

Evolve BentonThe Student Equity and Support Programs Division (SESP) invites you to our second session on understanding LGBTQI expansiveness, Dialogue to Break the Silence facilitated by Evolve Benton, happening on Wednesday November 3rd @ 4PM.

What does an inclusive community look like to you? Do you want to help build an inclusive community?

These sessions are intended to help us explore the lives of marginalized people from the LGBTQI community and People of Color. Through these sessions, we hope to move towards a collective understanding and action towards social justice and empowering the lives of LGBTQI people.

Please contact if you have any questions, otherwise, we hope to see you there!

Article by Allen Ocampo

Support LUNAFEST – Short Films By and About Women

LUNAFESTThe Skyline College President’s Council is thrilled to be presenting LUNAFEST – a program of short films that are by and about women.

Join us for a virtual screening that you can enjoy in the comfort of your own home while celebrating women in film and supporting students in our community to achieve their dreams.   

The 2021 LUNAFEST season features seven (7) short films with a total program running time of 86 minutes. Ranging from animation to fictional drama, these films by women filmmakers offer compelling stories of resilience, courage, compassion, and empowerment. 

You can screen the films beginning Friday, November 5, at 7:00pm to Sunday, November 7, at 7:00pm.  The virtual format provides so many options. You can make it a date night at home with dinner and festive beverages! Watch it in the morning over brunch! Invite friends to view from the comfort of their homes and then discuss the films together – we’ll provide the discussion guide.  Rewind and watch it all again!

Buy your tickets now and get ready for a unique film experience while supporting our students!

Together as a community, we can make positive impacts on the students of Skyline College. Proceeds raised through ticket sales and donations will fund two amazing Skyline College programs: The Women’s Mentoring and Leadership Academy and The Skyline College Promise Scholars Program.

Help Spread the Word – More Participants Needed for the Media Preferences Survey!

Media Preferences SurveyWill you help us learn more about our students’ attitudes, opinions, and media consumption habits? We have a unique opportunity to collect this crucial data and improve our marketing and outreach services, and we need your assistance to spread the word! For the data to be most effective, we need more participants, so please help spread the word to students!

We’ll be partnering with Interact Communications to launch the Media Preferences survey about students’ media habits and communication preferences. It will remain open through November 14th. Participants will earn the opportunity to win an Amazon gift card up to $150 in value!

Here’s how you can help:

Faculty: Please encourage students to keep an eye out for college emails with the survey link.

Staff: Please keep the momentum going and share the information with students when appropriate, directing them to their email for details.

The more students who participate, the stronger our data becomes. The types of questions in this media survey can provide critical information for marketing and communication at our college, including targeted recruitment efforts for our programs.

Students can visit:

Survey Code: california

Also, please note that the survey…

  • Is voluntary, anonymous, and 100% confidential and non-identifiable
  • Takes ~20-30 minutes to complete
  • Is available on a computer, tablet, or smartphone
  • Is for currently enrolled students only
  • Concludes with an option to enter a drawing and win a prize from the college

Let’s take advantage of this timely opportunity to bolster our marketing and planning efforts for our college’s future. Having accurate, fresh data is more important than ever, and your participation is key.

We are grateful for your assistance!

Planting Legaseeds at SMCCCD: Creating Filipinx Learning Communities Collegewide, Districtwide, and Statewide

At the October 27, 2021 Board of Trustees meeting, Dr. Liza Erpelo from the Kababayan Learning Community at Skyline College, Doris Garcia from Katipunan at College of San Mateo, and Griselda Paredes representing Cañada College presented “Planting Legaseeds at SMCCCD: Creating Filipinx Learning Communities Collegewide, Districtwide, and Statewide.”


Riding the momentum of Kababayan’s 18 years as a learning community at Skyline College, the pending approval of the Katipunan Learning Community at CSM, and the emerging work at Cañada College, the group presented on the historical work at each campus, current projects, and most importantly, future aspirations for our Filipinx students. The work is predicated on the pillars of LOVE + HOPE = TRANSFORMATION, drawing from concepts in Valerie Kaur’s work on revolutionary love, Jeff Duncan-Andrade’s critical hope, and Carolyn Shield and Newin Orante’s transformative critical leadership.


The asks from the Board of Trustees were for help with systemwide transformation with the creation of a Statewide Filipinx Learning Community, districtwide transformation in building out Study Abroad and Balik Aral programs and partnerships, and campuswide transformation at each school while maintaining each college’s autonomy.  And not only did the group get the Board’s full support going forward, the doors are now open for discussion with administrators to start building, creating, and supporting a solid foundation for our Filipinx students across all three campuses.


This presentation was made possible by collaborative efforts of the following administrators, faculty, staff, and students:


Dr. Newin Orante, VP Student Services, Skyline College

Golda Margate, Executive Assistant, VP Student Services, Skyline College

Melanie Espinueva+Aure, EOPS Counselor/Faculty Coordinator

Dr. Nate Nevado, Coordinator, CIPHER Hip Hop Learning Community

Ezekiel John Recto, Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant

Alvin Gubatina, Student Life and Leadership Manager

Francesca Dolor, Counselor, Kababayan Learning Community

Jeremy Evangelista-Ramos, College Recruiter

Alex Guiriba, Counselor and Co-Advisor, Katipunan at CSM

Jairil Pangilinan, Student Ambassador & KLC Student

Caitlin Collantes, Student Ambassador, Filipinx Student Union Co-President, KLC Student


For more information about the work being done at the local level as well as statewide, email Dr. Liza Erpelo at and please check out the Padlet links here:


Kababayan Learning Community @ Skyline College


FAEAC 2021: Planting LegaSEEDS


FAHM + More Padlet – What’s going on?!

Article by Liza Erpelo

New Staff and Staff Changes at Skyline College

Once a month, Skyline Shines will highlight staff changes at the college. “New Staff and Staff Changes at Skyline College” will provide a list of new staff members in each division, including transfers and detail positions. Please be sure to email with any new members of your staff and they will be featured here at the end of the month. Join us in congratulating the following employees!

June-October Staff Changes:

  • Derek Allenby
    Career Resources/Counseling Aide
    Strategic Partnerships & Workforce Development
  • Sirreck Brown-Smith
    Staff Assistant
    Equity Institute
  • Christopher Collins
    Distance Education Coordinator
    Academic Support and Learning Technologies
  • Araceli Arias Cuevas
    Office Assistant II (Middle College)
    Strategic Partnerships & Workforce Development
  • Rachel Cunningham
    Instructor, Geography
    Social Science/ Creative Arts
  • Lynsey Hemstreet
    Cosmetology Instructor
    Business, Education and Professional Program
  • Joseph Jaballa
    Program Services Coordinator
  • Aditi Joshi
    Biology Instructor
    Science, Technology, Engineering & Math
  • Danni Redding Lapuz
    Interim Vice President of Instruction
    Office of the Vice President of Instruction
  • Margaret Leary
    Admissions & Records Assistant III
    Enrollment Services
  • Elizabeth Llamas
    Personal Counselor
  • Zahra Mojtahedi
    Senior Research Analyst
    Planning/Research/ Institutional Effectiveness
  • Joseph Morello Jr.
    Vice President of Administrative Services
  • Kaung Naing
    Office Assistant II (Assessment/Counseling)
  • Muang Pharn
    Office Assistant II (Passport Acceptance Facility)
    Global Learning Programs and Services
  • Nicole Porter
    Acting Dean of SS/CA
    Social Science/Creative Arts
  • Carmen Towler
    Retention Specialist
    Strategic Partnerships & Workforce Development
  • Linda Truong
    Project Director
    Strategic Partnerships & Workforce Development
  • Guadalupe Vozar
    Office Assistant II (Passport Acceptance Facility)
  • Lauren Wagner
    Admissions & Records Assistant III
    Enrollment Services
  • Tammy Wong
    Program Services Coordinator – STEM

Men’s Basketball Team Participates in #AllVoteNoPlay and #AllintoVote Activities ahead of Election Day

CanepaThe men’s basketball program took time out of its busy practice schedule the past few weeks to assist players in registering to vote and discuss civic engagement. Both activities were in support of the National Association of Basketball Coaches #AllVoteNoPlay initiative. Special thanks to Skyline College alum, and current San Mateo County Board of Supervisors President, David Canepa who visited with the team to discuss his career path and the importance of voting.

The team kicks off its season next week, with the home-opener on November 5th (double-header with the Skyline College women’s team). You can find the complete schedule here.

Article by Justin Piergrossi

CA COVID-19 Rent Relief Program

COVID Rent ReliefThe CA COVID-19 Rent Relief program covers 100% of unpaid rent and utilities for eligible renters and their landlords who have been impacted by COVID-19. The program will continue accepting applications until all funds are exhausted. Beginning October 1, 2021, state eviction protections changed, and a renter should apply to the program if they haven’t already, to prevent eviction.

As of October 1, 2021, landlords seeking an eviction based on non-payment of COVID-related debt or of rental debt incurred between October 1, 2021 and March 30, 2022, must prove that that they have applied to the COVID-19 Rent Relief program, and that the application has been denied or the renter has failed to complete their section, before a legal eviction can take place. Eligible renters who are at risk of eviction are urged to apply, even if their landlord has not applied.

To check eligibility and apply, visit or call 833-430-2122. For assistance in another language, or to verify eligibility, get help with an application or upload paperwork, applicants are encouraged to schedule an appointment with a local organization by calling 833-687-0967.

Renters: Eligible renters who have unpaid rent due to COVID-19 and are at risk of eviction should apply for the CA COVID-19 Rent Relief program as soon as possible. As of October 1, 2021, if an eviction notice is received, a renter has 15 business days to apply for the CA COVID-19 Rent Relief program AND must notify their landlord that they’ve applied. Renters do not need to wait to receive an eviction notice before applying for the program. The sooner a renter applies for rent relief, the sooner they will be protected from eviction for non-payment of COVID-related debt.

Landlords: Landlords with tenants who owe unpaid rent due to COVID-19 must apply for the CA COVID-19 Rent Relief program before starting an eviction process and should consider submitting a joint application with their tenant. Upon approval, landlords will be paid directly for 100% of an eligible renters’ unpaid rent.

Once an application is submitted by either party, both parties will be notified to submit any additional information needed to complete the application process or will be informed of approval and payment processing. All applicant information is kept private and will not be shared. Eligible applicants may qualify regardless of immigration status and will not be required to show proof of citizenship.

If a landlord does not participate in the CA COVID-19 Rent Relief program, a renter should still apply on their own, notify their landlord of their application, and if approved, will receive 100% financial assistance for their unpaid rent. Once funds are received, the renter must pay their landlord within five business days.

Assistance from the CA COVID-19 Rent Relief program does NOT count as earned income for renters and will NOT affect eligibility for any other California state benefit assistance programs, such as CalFresh and CalWORKS. Applying to the program will not impact your residency status or impact path to citizenship.

Virtual Workshops With The Bay Area Entrepreneur Center

BAEC Workshop FlyerThe Bay Area Entrepreneur Center of Skyline College (BAEC) hosts various workshops for the Skyline community, local businesses, and students. Due to the pandemic, the BAEC transitioned to hosting virtual workshops and events via Zoom, which allowed people from around the world to join us and learn more on different business topics.

Due to the increased use in Zoom, the BAEC hosted a How To Use Zoom For Your Business last week for small business owners. Facilitator Nicole Moreno-Deinzer went over the basic steps from how to download the application to your computer, set up an account, change your virtual background, to how to record and upload to your social media platforms.

We also co-hosted a workshop with a Skyline College graduate, Tiffany Razo, a CTEC Registered Tax Preparer. She provided detailed tax law updates for 2021 and brought resources to local business owners and the community.

If you have expertise that a small business or the community is looking for or you’re interested in hosting a workshop and sharing your knowledge, JOIN US! You can fill out a cohost interest form here and we’ll reach out to you.

For more information, connect with us at


Article by Ling Chien

Image by Ling Chien