Monthly Archives: April 2022

The 22nd Annual Student Art Show – Now Open!

The 22nd Annual Student Art Exhibition is now open at the Skyline College Art Gallery. Come join us after over two long years of being virtual and online for a real life art experience! The exhibition is on view from now until May 19, 2022 and features sculpture, paintings, drawings, photographs, ceramics, mixed media and digital media artworks by Skyline College students.

We will have a reception for the artists on May 9, 2022, 12 p.m. – 2 p.m. Come join the fun and support the arts at Skyline College! Refreshments and Food will be served. Be sure to come check out this fantastic exhibit.

The Skyline College Art Gallery will be open Monday-Thursday from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., and is located on the ground floor of Building One. For more information, including hours, please visit the gallery website.



Dates:  Now – May 19, 2022

Times: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., Monday – Thursday

Location: Art Gallery, Building 1, Room 1-121 (beside Parking Lot E)



Date:  Monday, May 9, 2022

Time: 12 – 2 p.m.

Location: Art Gallery, Building 1, Room 1-121 (beside Parking Lot E)


The Annual Student Art Exhibition is a vital part of the Skyline College Creative Arts program, and is an essential component of an art student’s educational experience. It provides students the opportunity to prepare and present their artwork in a high quality setting, and serves as a platform for public exposure – itself a learning experience different from that gained in the classroom – and facilitates community-building by bringing together students, their families, faculty and staff, and the local community.

On Monday, May 9, 2022, the reception and awards ceremony for the 22nd Annual Student Art Exhibition will be held against a lively backdrop of music, oven-fresh pizza, desserts and beverages. Featuring over 70 artworks in all media, the Skyline College Art Gallery is a great place for students, their families, and faculty members to mingle and learn more about each other.

The Skyline College Art Gallery is an educational and community oriented exhibition space, with programming that reflects our College Mission and Values. We exhibit a mixture of student shows, faculty exhibits, and curated exhibitions featuring local, national and international artist.

Visit or like/follow us on Facebook ( to keep abreast of all our exhibitions and events!


Article by Amir Esfahani

Job Opportunities

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—

Whether you’re interested in short- or long-term career planning, the Career Readiness & Job Placement team offers a variety of services and career readiness experiences to assist you with your specific career needs. If you want to work with a Job Placement Coordinator, please fill out this brief welcome form and someone will contact you soon to schedule an appointment!

uSOAR Returns for a Two-Day Showcase on Student & Faculty Research 

Skyline College’s uSOAR (Undergraduate Symposium of Academic Research) returned in-person this Spring 2022 semester! uSOAR is a two-day event designed to highlight the research of faculty and students in different subject areas and provides students the opportunity to present their research in a conference format. It was held on April 27-28, 2022 at the Skyline College Library. Following a welcome from the Director of the Learning Commons Gabriela Nocito and Skyline College President Dr. Melissa Moreno, uSOAR kicked off day one with over 70 in attendance, ranging from volunteers, coordinators, community members, staff and students.

The first day’s keynote speaker, History Professor John Ulloa, presented on “From Barrio Streets to the CLASSROOM: intersections of lowriding culture.” He shared some of his research on the worldwide lowriding community and the potential influence the emic perspective can have on students’ research.

The student panel consisted of five students: Allen Bustos, Curtis Chou, Tara Grover, Shannon Hoang and Benjamin-Rafael Mingoa, who shared their experiences with research and in leadership positions. Some of these roles included being a part of the Associated Students of Skyline College, Honors Transfer Program, Phi Theta Kappa, and Project Change. Initiatives included research presentations, outreach, suggestion and implementation of ideas on-campus, and working as a Peer Instructor in the STEM Center and Learning Commons. Dr. Susanne Schubert and Skyline College student Julio Lau moderated the panel.

Jonathan Mariano-Smith reflected on his academic and personal journey as Skyline College’s student keynote speaker for the second day of uSOAR. He spoke on opportunities and challenges, mentors, experiences and what he hopes to accomplish in the future.

The faculty research panel represented a variety of majors and areas of study within the Skyline College campus community. Dr. Carla Grandy (Dean STEM), Lynsey Hemstreet (Cosmetology), Dr. Katie Hern (English), Dr. Shaun Perisho (Psychology), Dr. Nicole Porter (Acting Dean Social Sciences and Creative Arts) and Dr. Kolo Wamba (Physics) shared their experiences in research. They provided students with insightful information on the process of researching, from how to get started and reminding attendees that research is a constantly evolving process. Outreach & Equity Librarian Pia Walawalkar and Skyline College student Grace Xu moderated and fielded questions from attendees during the panel discussion.

From a wide range of topics including literature, art, and science, student researchers presented their impressive work. Poster contributions, which will be on display at the Skyline College Library Quiet Study Area until the end of the semester, include the works of Nathalie Alfaro, Mikayla Balan, Virgil Daggert, Jerry Hnin, Nicholas Kim, Michelle Kleytman, Aliaksandra Liubetski, Nathan Lo, Madeleine McSwain, Benjamin-Rafael Mingoa, Cindy Mont, May Myat Chel Myint, Florence Thwe, Chuyun Wang and Isabel Wong.

Professor Kenyatta Weathersby’s class presented a class research project. Contributing students were: Alexis Boac, Logan Brown, Virginia Figueroa, Courtney Harold, Toyo Kano, Lala Lautaimi, Natalie Shives, Angelina Tjogas, Arthur Veloso Nepomuceno Da Silva and Jeremie Quaile.

The following students presented their work through presentations on the main stage and Library classroom: Azure Bell, Allen Bustos, Tara Grover, Jiries Kaileh, Julio Lau, Gael Lee, Faith Mackriss, Anny Gabrielly Moreira da Silveira, Steven Orozco, Roxanna Restrepo, Julia Rogers, Catherine Stoehr (via Zoom) and Grace Xu.

This work would not have been possible without the many Skyline College faculty mentors who volunteer their time to support student research projects. Their dedication to supporting student success is a key factor to the success of events like these.

The organizing committee, Rachel Cunningham (Geography), Jennifer Merrill (Psychology), Janice Sapigao (English), Dr. Susanne Schubert (Chemistry), Pia Walawalkar (Library) and Chris Woo (Social Science/Creative Arts including Project Change) would like to thank the Associated Students of Skyline College (ASSC) and the Barker Fund for Social Science for their generous financial support of this event.

For more information about uSOAR and how to get involved, email, or visit the website at:


Article by Kaileiani Louie, Janice Sapigao, Susanne Schubert, Pia Walawalkar and Chris Woo | Photos by Marisa Thigpen and Kaileiani Louie


Biotech Students Attend Built with Biology Conference/Race Against the Clock Summit

L-R: Johnathan Der, Leslie Igtanloc and Jonathan Zhang at Built with Biology Conference/Race Against the Clock Summit at the Marriott City Center in Oakland, Calif., April 14, 2022.

After a long delay with many starts and stops due to surges in the pandemic, Skyline College Biomanufacturing students met with biotech industry partners and other community college students from across the nation at the Built with Biology (formerly the SynBioBeta conference), an annual biotechnology conference started in 2015, and held on April 14, 2022 at the Marriott City Center in Oakland, California. This global conference focuses on biotechnology for food, biofuel and feedstock chemicals for a sustainable planet, not just biopharma.  Ivan Jaubert and Seth Peachey of Duplo Bio, hosts of Race Against the Clock (an annual summit part of Built With Biology), invited community college students and those who have a broad, general interest in biotechnology. The title Race Against the Clock is in reference to the sense of urgency necessary to fight climate change.

The conference was sponsored by Ginko Bioworks, which covered conference fees, lunch and a hotel room for both business and biotech students. Ginkgo Bioworks is a research and development foundation focused on utilizing genetic engineering for other biotech companies. To capture the attention of those unfamiliar with the field, they also publish magazines that showcase the different applications of biotechnology. 

Students attended a wealth of show-and-tell and panel discussions at the conference. One particularly captivating talk was about Wonder Alpine, a company that makes skis from an algae-based bioplastic as a sustainable alternative to petroleum-based plastics (founded by Matt Sterbenz, a one-time philosophy major who switched to biotech). Similarly, bioplastics were also applied to such products as vinyl records, illustrating the vast applications of biotechnology and its potential to provide sustainable alternatives and solutions in addressing climate change. This was made more evident in the trade show where companies displayed and provided demonstrations of their products: cutting edge lab equipment, bricks made out of mushrooms, Virtual Reality software to examine 3D protein structures, cosmetics produced from genetically engineered bacteria, and, of course, the skis made from bioplastic. One company had a genetic foundry, a large gene library where they could create almost anything from scratch using synthetic biology. The representatives of these companies were very excited to talk to the students and one even offered a plasmid kit to students involved in research that could use them. 

Biotech industry leaders also spoke about their career paths and industry experience, and shared advice for students and emerging leaders who aspire to be part of the industry. “As this is an annual event, it would be great to invite more students,” said Biotechnology professor Nick Kapp. “I hope that next year we can also invite our business students to come and see what opportunities there are in the nation’s growing bioeconomy,” he added.


Article by Leslie Igtanloc and Johnathan Der | Photo by Nick Kapp

Skyline College Biomanufacturing Tables at the Bay Area Science Festival

Top left: Chuyun Wang, Johnathan Der and Nick Kapp hold the BASF sign; top right: An example moss terrarium made by Chuyun Wang to show attendees; bottom: The field from the stands at Bay Area Science Festival at Oracle Park, San Francisco, Calif., April 24, 2022.

Professors Jing Folsom and Nick Kapp’s Biomanufacturing Club students presented at the Bay Area Science Festival held at Oracle Park on April 24, 2022.   Students attending included Jonathan Zhang, Johnathan Der, Azure Bell, Shirley Luong and Chuyun Wang.  The Bay Area Science festival is an annual event where local universities, colleges, companies and nonprofits put on a technology demonstration to entice youth to go into STEM, inspire curiosity, and convey basic science principles.  Skyline College Biomanufacturing worked for 2 weeks to develop a scientific demonstration activity that included local moss, a moss bioreactor and some of local snails. The event was expected to attract over 25 thousand visitors and about 9 thousand walked by the Skyline College booth. Students worked hard to explain the life cycle of moss and what a moss bioreactor is to over 400 kids and their parents in the 5 hours that they had the booth. Azure Bell says that the event “went well and kids really enjoyed being able to hold the snails with gloves on and being able to construct a moss terrarium using the snails.”  

Both professors and students hope to showcase more scientific discoveries and bring more fun to youth in the next Bay Area Science Festival.


Article by Azure Bell and Nick Kapp | Photos by Nick Kapp, Jonathan Zhang and Johnathan Der


Physics Instructors Participate in American Association of Physics Teachers Conference

L-R: Prof. Kolo Wamba, Prof. Marco Wehrfritz and Prof. Polin Yadak at NCAAPT at Pasco in Roseville, Calif., Saturday, April 23, 2022.

Three Skyline College Physics instructors spent last Saturday, April 23, 2022 at the annual meeting of the Northern California-Nevada section of the American Association of Physics Teachers (NCNAAPT), which took place in Roseville, California. The NCNAAPT conference has been held twice a year since the 1950’s at various locations around the Northern California/Nevada region. This time it took place on the corporate campus of PASCO, a major US supplier of lab equipment and instructional materials for high school and collegiate physics courses.

This was the first time in just over two years that the meeting was held in person, and it was rather well attended. All the participants were overjoyed to finally have the chance once again to interact in the flesh, and the vibrant exchange of pandemic survival tips and war stories — to go along with the obligatory talk about physics teaching — added to the palpable atmosphere of camaraderie.

Skyline College contributed two wonderful presentations to the conference program, and both were very well received. One was from longtime Skyline College Physics instructor Dr. Polin Yadak, who gave an excellent description of the work she has been doing alongside Skyline College Physics Program Lead Dr. Emilie Hein (who unfortunately could not attend the NCNAAPT meeting this time due to a personal conflict) to bring the Myopenmath homework system, a free Online Educational Resource (OER), to Skyline College’s physics program.

The other Skyline College presentation was given by Lab Coordinator and Physics instructor Marco Wehrfritz, and it consisted of a lively overview of Skyline College’s innovative and wildly successful Physics lab kit project.  The program was conceived by Prof. Wehrfritz and Prof. Hein as a way to make it possible for physics students to continue to have hands-on lab experiences despite being forced to take all their physics courses online due to the pandemic. It was put into practice by providing the students with inexpensive kits containing everything they need to complete their physics lab activities at home. The Skyline College physics program was able to make this happen thanks in large part to the efforts of Prof. Wehrfritz, who led the kits’ development, implementation, distribution, and support.

This NCNAAPT meeting was the first that physics instructor Dr. Kolo Wamba would attend as a full-time Skyline College physics professor, and it was an amazing experience for all involved.  The three Skyline College professors who were in attendance – Prof. Wamba, Prof. Wehrfritz and Prof. Yadak – greatly appreciated the in-person professional networking opportunities and enjoyed the talks. But for each of them the true highlight of the whole experience was the keynote address by SJSU Prof. Emeritus Dr. Brian Holmes on the physics of musicmaking with brass instruments.  Prof. Holmes’ presentation was a master class in how to make a difficult subject fun and engaging– at one point he even used Prof. Wehrfritz (together with a few additional volunteers) as a visual aid to demonstrate the behavior of standing acoustic waves inside a trumpet.  It was truly a great time.  Our physics faculty look forward to the next AAPT meeting and hope that we will be able to send an even bigger Skyline College contingent to take part.

Article by Kolo Wamba, Marco Wehrfritz and Polin Yadak

President’s Breakfast Back in Person!

Skyline College hosted its 21st Annual President’s Breakfast on Thursday, April 14, 2022 in the beautiful Farallon Room in Building 12, marking the first time the event has been held on campus. Approximately 175 guests were welcomed to campus from across northern San Mateo County, including representatives from national, state and local government; the San Mateo Community College Board of Trustees; our sister colleges and fellow educators; and the local business community.


This year’s Breakfast raised over $94,000 to support students through the Promise Scholars Program. In addition to providing student scholarships, these funds continue to support the innovative projects and initiatives of the President’s Innovation Fund – a mini-grant process that allows faculty and staff to launch creative and effective approaches to achieving Skyline College’s mission, vision and values. These projects continue to shape the landscape of Skyline College.


A live student performance of the song “Haven’t We Met” by Ruth Batchelor, arranged by Rosana Eckert, featuring soloist Amy Spencer, was performed by the Skyline College Vocal Jazz Ensemble. Attendees then watched a short film highlighting the great work accomplished by several of the President’s Innovation Fund recipients – work that is a direct result of fundraising from the breakfast.
This year’s student speaker, Promise Scholar Patricia Mae Sumang, spoke about the benefits of the Promise Scholars Program and how it has transformed her Skyline College experience. Speaking to a crowd of over 150 people in the Farallon Room at Skyline College, Patricia said the following: “I know there are so many students who have similar stories to me. The challenges we face are tough. But for so many of us Promise Scholars, this program has allowed us to meet those challenges head on and has provided us the tools to take charge of our lives.” The moving address underscored why the Promise Scholars Program is such a critical initiative to ensure that every student can attend college and graduate successfully.
Article by Cherie Colin & Connor Fitzpatrick | Photos by Mia Coo & Paul Bridenbaugh

Transfer College Hour

Thank you to the entire Skyline College community that supported the Transfer College Hour. We welcomed over 75 students to the Transfer tabling resource fair on April 20, 2022. Students had the opportunity to engage with admission professionals from universities and colleges and to win giveaways, play games, enjoy refreshments, and listen to music in the Fireside Dining Room. University admissions staff provided Skyline College positive comments on our first in-person fair since the 2019 academic year. Students gained information that will help them explore, plan, define, and achieve their transfer pathways.

We are grateful for the professors who collaborated and walked their class to the event, and to our instructors who helped spread the word in classrooms. We are thankful to ASSC, Media Services, Bookstore, Public Safety, Facilities Team, and all not mentioned, that helped put this event together. In addition, thank event planning team, Jackie Flores, Saul Milan, Dr. Nate Nevado, Joseph Jaballa, and Dr. Luis Escobar. We are incredibly thankful to our wonderful student employees for their event planning: Amal, Fatima, Robert, and Rocio.

Save the Date for Transfer Day and Alma Mater Day on Tuesday, October 11, 2022!

Article by Ernesto Hernandez

STEM Division’s Investment in Earth Day 

Today, April 22, 2022 is Earth Day. In honor of this year’s theme “Invest in our Planet,” the STEM Division hosted a series of events this week.


Science in Action kicked off this week’s Earth Day celebration on Tuesday, April 19th, through a film screening and discussion, facilitated by Dr. Susanne Schubert. Twenty-five students and participants engaged in conversation surrounding the importance of water quality and what we can do in our local communities to ensure equitable access to clean water in our homes.


Landon Smith, the Sustainability Coordinator, and members of the District Office’s Sustainability team, Georgia Roden, Evan Christo, and Kimiya Khoshkhou, hosted tables in the Quad on Wednesday, April 20th, during Skyline’s College Hour, which drew over 50 students and staff. The office provided learning opportunities for students to learn more about the community benefits and effectiveness of alternative non-electric or gas powered cookers. This also gave students the opportune moment to ask questions on a variety of sustainability topics and connect directly with members from the district office’s sustainability team.


For more information about sustainability on campus, please reach out to Landon Smith (, or visit the website at:, to learn more about the programs on campus.


Article and photo by Kaileiani Louie

Rock The School Bells Hosts 15th Annual Hip Hop Conference

Rock The School Bells (RTSB) hosted their 15th Annual Hip Hop Conference on Friday, April 15, 2022, also known affectionately in the Bay as 415 Day. This year’s theme was created by our students – RTSB 15 HERE. HERE stands for Hip Hop’s Evolution through Resiliency and Energy.


The conference is a testimony to Tupac’s poem about roses growing from the concrete. These last two years, students have experienced so much pain and struggle navigating home, work, and school. Despite these challenges, students were able to grow from these experiences – oftentimes evolving in ways that amplified their creativity and entrepreneurial spirit. Similar to Hip Hop, they found avenues to explore and elevate their sense of being and how they see themselves in the future. Hip Hop is about the remix and (r)evolution.


We were able to host over 200 students from Skyline College’s Middle College, San Francisco International High School, Peninsula High School, Brothers Empowering Brothers (College of San Mateo), Capuchino High School, Presidio Middle School, San Jose City College, and CHALK SF (Community in Harmony Advocating for Learning and Kids). They attended various workshops rooted in the elements of Hip Hop facilitated by Today’s Future Sound, Zulu Gremlin, Orlando ZEPS Molina, Amir Esfahani, and Janice Sapigao. Students were greeted by a powerful welcome address by Dean Russell Waldon that paved the way for keynote speaker and performer, Reza Dregs One Harris. Dregs One shared his experiences on how Hip Hop allowed him to see that he can be his authentic self in every space. As a graduate from the School of Law from UC Davis, he shared his ability to serve his community while still honoring his identity as a Hip Hop artist and muralist.


This event could not have happened without the support of our partners at Middle College (Martina Center-Goodman and her amazing team), Student Equity and Support Programs (Allen Ocampo), Student Life and Leadership (Alvin Gubatina and Ryan Samn), Puente (Alex Urbina), CIPHER (Sol McCarthy and Janice Sapigao), Promise Scholars Program (Kim Davalos), Outreach & Counseling (Jeremy Evangelista and Joseph Jaballa), our AV support team (Dave Camicia & Ricardo Flores) and our Counseling Interns (Atheena Haniff-Martinez and Jonathan Justo). Special gratitude to Andrea Vizenor and the Strategic Partnerships and Workforce Development team for helping with lunch; to our photographers for capturing the life and energy of the event – Tia Samn, Charlie Morales, Marisa Thigpen, and Michael Sagum; to all of our Skyline College Leadership Team especially Dean Russell Waldon and Vice President of Student Services Newin Orante for seeing us and connecting with students; lastly, to all of the student volunteers from ASSC, Outreach, and the Learning Communities who showed up and showed out. Thank you for welcoming our attendees with open arms and energy. You all truly make Skyline shine!


The pandemic shook us like loud Hip Hop classics reverberating from speakers. Hip Hop made us feel again. It continues to remind us who we are and who we can still become. This conference is about recognizing and lifting up students. It is a testament to the world that they are still HERE; that RTSB 15 HERE.


Next year, Hip Hop will be celebrating its 50th Anniversary. If you are interested in getting involved with Rock The School Bells in 2023 and/or would like to learn more about RTSB/CIPHER, you can contact Dr. Nate Nevado at


Written by Nate Nevado | Photos by Marisa Thigpen, Charlie Morales, Tia Samn, & Michael Sagum