Monthly Archives: December 2022

Virtual Sendoff for Skyline Retirees (Nina, Kathy, Donna, & Christine)

As everyone is wrapping up the semester, we would like to offer an opportunity to participate in a virtual sendoff to some of our colleagues who are retiring/retired this year. Each of them has helped to make Skyline College a better place over the years, and we are so grateful for their years of service!

Please see the links below to individual Padlets for you to sign and leave your well-wishes.

Congratulations on this new chapter Nina, Kathy, Donna and Christine! We appreciate your incredible work and your contributions to Skyline College and our students. You will be missed by so many and we wish you all well on this next adventure!

Student Voice Survey Ends

The Skyline College Student Voice Survey has concluded and it was a major success! With more than 1,300 students responding (20% response rate), Skyline College students showed up to make sure their voices were heard. Climate surveys truly help us better understand the needs and priorities of our students, information crucial to improving our overall campus climate.

The survey responses are currently being analyzed by the RP Group, and the complete results will be shared with the college community in Spring 2023. For now, we can share a few top-level results that caught our attention.  For example, if you’ve ever wondered how much time Skyline College students spend on campus, we now know!  We asked our face-to-face and hybrid course students how much time they spend on Skyline’s campus outside of class time in a typical week:

We also learned that 64 percent of respondents are working at least part time, with just under twenty percent working full time. More than half of student respondents care for dependents, with 15 percent dedicating more 30 hours each week to dependent care. Our students have busy lives, but they are still committed to furthering their education, with 94% of respondents expressing confidence in their ability to achieve their educational goal at Skyline College. Way to go, Trojans!

As a thank-you for participating in this valuable work, respondents were eligible to win one of ten Amazon gift cards, with a $200 gift card grand prize! Some of these lucky student winners include Andrew Hines, Vairea Samn, Adrian De Leon, Ronin Morata, Zaemel Santos, Keyahna Lopez, and Sara Morrison. We want to thank each one of them and all of the student participants for taking the time. Skyline College doesn’t work without you! Stay tuned for more student survey results in the Spring 2023 semester, as well as the rollout of the Skyline College Employee Voice Survey. We look forward to hearing your voice!

Article by Becky Threewit and Ingrid Vargas

Skyline Forensics Fall 2022 Season in Review  

On September 30 – October 2, 2022, Skyline College’s Forensic team competed in the Golden Gate Season Opener tournament that spanned over the course of three consecutive days. Twenty-four schools from across the Bay Area, Southern California, Oregon, Nevada, and Texas participated in the intercollegiate speech and debate tournament hosted by the San Francisco Collective: San Francisco State University, City College of San Francisco and Skyline College. Students had the opportunity to showcase talents in over fifteen different categories of speech and debate events. 

Trojans competed in Novice Impromptu Speaking. In this event, students are given a set of quotations and have 2 minutes to pick one quotation and then have to prepare a 5-minute speech. This is not an easy task. The following five students participated in Impromptu Speaking (alphabetical order): Isaiah Angeles, Ben Cook, Illeana Guillen, Julia Rogers and Anthony Tolosa. The first tournament of the academic year is stressful, especially when new team members are navigating the world of forensic tournaments for the first time. Julia Rogers broke to the final round in novice impromptu placing 6th overall earning bronze.

Traditionally tournaments will hand out actual medals and trophies, but the SF Collective awards students with succulents and plants. The plants represent growth in many ways. Students who compete in forensics are pushed to expand research, analytical, and performative skills and due to this foundational structure students in turn “grow”. The plant awards are a physical reminder of how we should strive to grow: our minds, skill sets and potentially change the way we see concepts or ideas through participatory discourse.   On Saturday November 19, 2022, Skyline College’s Forensic team competed in the “DVC Thing” tournament. Twenty-two schools from across the Bay Area, Southern California, Arizona, Nevada and Washington participated in the inaugural tournament held at Diablo Valley College located in Pleasant Hill, CA.

Four students (pictured from left to right): Ben Cook, Anthony Tolosa, Lindsey Ayotte (Coach), Isaiah Angeles, and Julia Rogers competed in individual events (speech events). Anthony Tolosa advanced to finals in Novice Persuasion placing 3rd place overall! 

I would like to take the time recognize Skyline College colleagues who came out to support not only Skyline College, but who continue to foster growth within the larger Forensics community: Language Arts Division Assistant Kennya Ruiz, Communication Studies Professors Jessica Hurless, Joanne Babin, Sage Russo and Danielle Powell, Business Professors Grace Beltran and Soledad McCarthy, Dean Chris Gibson, and Dean Dino Nomicos. Thank you for your continued support. If you are interested in joining the speech and debate team, please consider enrolling in COMM 172: Forensics. No previous skills or experience required to join; all are welcome!  If you know someone who may be interested in joining the speech and debate team, please help spread the word! If you have any questions about joining the team, contact Director of Forensics, Lindsey Ayotte at and (650)738-4276.

Article by Lindsey Ayotte | Photo by Anthony Tolsoa and Sage Russo

Beta Theta Omicron hosted the Fall 2022 PTK Induction Ceremony for all SMCCD Colleges

Every year, new members and officers of the Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Honor Society are inducted at their home colleges. For SMCCD, it is a long-standing tradition that the PTK chapters of all sister colleges collaborate once a year for this ceremony. This year, Skyline College’s PTK chapter, Beta Theta Omicron, was in charge of hosting the induction ceremony on Friday, November 18, 2022, from 5 pm to 6:30 pm in the Fireside Dining Room. This was our chapter’s first in-person induction ceremony after the pandemic. In the induction ceremony, new members and officers from each of the colleges, Canada College, College of San Mateo, and Skyline College who joined since the fall of 2021 were inducted formally by the chapter advisors. Many of the attending inductees took advantage of the possibility to thank their mentors at the ceremony.

The ceremony began with our college President, Dr. Melissa Moreno giving an opening speech in which she welcomed all the inductees as well as their mentors and family members and highlighted how the PTK Hallmarks, Leadership, Service, Fellowship and Scholarship, are also a foundation of Skyline College. The ceremony was continued by the lead of our Skylines Beta Theta Omicron Co-Presidents, Lasheana Dilian Husni and Kaitlyn Huang; President from Beta Xi Eta of CSM, Alex Bird; and Presidents from Beta Zeta Nu of Canada College, Giovanna Mancinelli, and Anthony Leon Chumpitazi.

PTK advisors Patty Hall of the Beta Zeta Nu chapter, Jennifer Howze-Owens of the Beta Xi Eta chapter, and Susanne Schubert of the Beta Theta Omicron chapter were reading the inductees’ names to come forward and give thanks to one of their mentors. With over 60 inductees and their family members in attendance, the induction ceremony was successfully hosted by the Skyline College PTK chapter. The organizing committee would like to thank the many helping hands that made this event happen: Marco Wehrfritz and the fab lab crew, Tammy Wong, Nadia Tariq, Robert Daleiden, Qimmah Tamu, Bryan Swartout, Annie Trinh, and Emily Hein.

Article by Susanne Schubert

Poetry Touches the Hearts of Everyone: A Report from “The Poetry of Many Tongues”

Last month Skyline College Library’s Third annual poetry reading in international languages began in the zoom chat with a flood of greetings by more than thirty participants in their native languages, setting the stage for an inspiring lineup of passionate readings by students and faculty lasting into the early evening. 

“Buenas tardes! | “Kumusta?! | “Oi, Boa tarde! | “Xin Chào! | “Naimbag a malem! | “Namaskar!”,Sziasztok! | “Guten Nachmittag! Ich freue mich hier zu sein! | “Ciao!, Guten Tag!| “Dober vecer! | “Mahalo!” | “Nyob zoo! | “Oi gente tudo bom? | “Ba’ax ka wa’alik | “Salu!” 

Joined by faculty from both Skyline and Cañada Colleges, Skyline and College of San Mateo students, encouraged by their English and language professors, also participated by reading original poems or works by poets they admired. Some of the readings included: 

  • World languages professor Luciana Castro read poems by her mother, the poet Abagail Castro, in Portuguese.
  • Skyline College librarian Mary Torres-Volken conveyed poet Pablo Neruda’s “La Muerta” dramatically in American sign language. 
  • Guest poet Nooshan Shekarabi was unable to join the virtual session but sent a recording of her own poem in Farsi titled “Love Over Fear.” Prof. Shekarabi is Professor of Political Science and chair of the Department of Political Science at Santiago Canyon College. 
  • Canada College ESOL professor and Mayan native Gerardo Pacheco Matus read his original poem, “How not to become a ghost.”
  • College of San Mateo student Daniel Abera read “A friend of my heart,” a poem he’d composed in his native Amharic, the national language of Ethiopia.
  • Alexandra Szabo, an international student from Hungary, read a poem in Hungarian by Attila Jozsef. 
  • Soon to be published poet/Skyline student Giti Abbasi read her original love poem in Farsi.
  • Skyline student Yesika Wong Sanchez read “Eternity”/”Eternidad” by Cuban poet Dulce María Loynaz y del Castillo.
  • Fulbright scholar Ryan Domingo read a poem by the Alex Stabag in Ilocano, one of the languages spoken in the Philippines. 
  • Biology faculty Simantini Karve and event host and librarian Pia Walawalkar read the poem “Kanna “ by Marathi poet Kusumagraj.
  • Pia Walawalkar and Chemistry faculty member Susanne Schubert read in German and English from poems by Franz Xaver Kappus and Rainer Maria Rilke.
  • Poet Aileen Cassinetto read an anaga poem about homeland and homecomings in Tagalog. 

Throughout the session, participants and listeners together enjoyed powerful, inspirational, passionate and sometimes very dark poetry on the themes of love, life, death and migration. It was clear from the session that poetry touches the hearts of everyone, transcending language barriers and bringing us together.

Thank you to our event hosts for once again actively and positively affirming the rich diversity of our college community through poetry. You can visit the Library’s Poetry Research Guide for help locating poems or exploring your passion for poetry.

Article by Jessica Silveer-Sharp

Skyline College’s Drive-Through Community Market

Introduction to Psychobiology examines how our brain influences behavior and includes an overview of how what we eat affects our brain. Students in the class were able to share this knowledge with our larger community by connecting with folks attending Skyline College’s Drive-Through Community Market.

Students created recipe cards containing ingredients commonly distributed at the market, like eggs, vegetables, and rice. Importantly, each recipe provided information about how these foods contribute to good brain health. For example, one recipe shared that “Eggs contain choline, which is helpful for learning, memory, and movement.”

Before heading to the Market, students worked together to develop an elevator pitch to give to each car to let Market attendees know who they were, what they were doing, and why they were doing it.

In addition to applying the information learned in class, this assignment also helped students practice the 21st century skills of critical thinking by determining how to relay complicated information in an accessible way, creativity in the way they designed the recipe, collaboration and social skills by working in groups, productivity, and effective communication.   

Article by Jennifer Merrill

Zero Textbook Cost Makes Course Materials Free for ALL Skyline Students

Skyline faculty use of Open Educational Resources (OER) and Skyline Library electronic resources supports free course materials access for ALL Skyline students – regardless of program, cohort, enrollment status, or county of residence. This Fall, Skyline offered students 356 ZTC class sections for which course materials are $0, and 87 lower-cost (LTC) class sections for which material costs are ≤$40. Combined, Fall ZTC & LTC classes resulted in an estimated savings of $851,448 – money that stays in students’ pockets and can be used for food, rent, and other necessities! 

We’ve come a long way; but the work is not done yet! The CCCCO has explicitly identified the goal of reducing the overall cost of education for students through the development and implementation of local ZTC degree and certificate pathways to completion – and they have thrown some funding our way to support this work. The ZTC Team is looking forward to connecting with our faculty and administrative colleagues to identify and develop Skyline’s next ZTC degree or certificate pathway(s). Ready to get started? Let’s chat.

Article by Ame Maloney

Violin Class Performs at the Child Development Laboratory Center

On December 1, 2022, students from the Music Department’s Violin/Viola class had the opportunity to perform for the children at the Child Development Laboratory Center. The class, which is a mix of students with past playing experience and students who are just learning to play the violin for the first time, prepared a set of popular children’s tunes and other selections.

The children were introduced to the different sounds that a violin can make, marched around the room to the sounds of a Scottish march and volunteered to be chickens to strut around to the fiddle tune Cluck Old Hen. The violin class also performed Twinkle, Twinkle and Pop Goes the Weasel, incorporating activities to engage the children’s listening skills and make connections to musical concepts throughout the performance.

The class has performed for the children before in past semesters, but it was the first time back since classes went remote in 2020. They hope to return again in future semesters.

The violin students new to learning violin appreciated the opportunity to perform for the very first time and enjoyed playing for the young children. Working together taught them ensemble skills and pushed them to prepare each of their individual parts well to come together as a strong group.

The Violin/Viola class is currently open for Spring 2023 enrollment. There are four levels of class enabling students with no musical experience to join and learn an instrument for the first time, as well as allowing students with past experience to continue their musical studies. Details on this class and others taught by assistant professor Elizabeth Ingber can be found in the WebSchedule.

Student Sherri Li, who has studied piano in the past, joined the violin class for the first time this semester.  She was thankful to have the opportunity to learn a new instrument and expressed her belief that “it is never too late to learn music.” Michele Pelter who thought she’d be “squeaking for at least a few more years” is thrilled to be able to play with a clear tone and play recognizable pieces.  She has even written out some holiday music to learn on her own for the upcoming season. Patti Leggett-Wantz, also a first-time student, and new to violin, reported that the class was a “great community to learn music with and it’s amazing much progress you can make in a semester. It’s fun!”

Article by Elizabeth Ingber

Skyline Wins at The NorCal Journalism Association Regional Conference

The Skyline View staffers hold up the awards they won at the Journalism Association of Community Colleges NorCal Regional Conference on Oct. 22, 2022, at Los Positas College.

In addition to recently publishing their first hard-copy newspaper since February 2020, The Skyline View won numerous awards at this semester’s Journalism Association of Community Colleges NorCal Regional Conference, held at Los Positas College Oct. 22.

Former opinions editor Zachary Navarra clinched two first-place awards, one for photo illustration and one for opinion story, while also picking up an honorable mention for another opinion story he wrote. Former editors Izzy Herrera and Andrea St. Domingo took home a first-place win for an informational graphic they collaborated on. Former editor Adriana Hernandez won two second-place awards–one for editorial cartoon and the other for illustration—and a fourth-place win for feature story. Former EIC Steven Rissotto earned a third-place win for column writing and an honorable mention for profile feature story. The paper as a whole took home both a third-place award and an honorable mention for its editorials. Former reporter Isaac Camacho earned an honorable mention for a critical review he wrote.

But perhaps the most exhilarating award of the day for The Skyline View was the first-place win for on-the-spot social media story, an award the entirely new TSV crew earned by covering the conference event itself through TSV social media channels on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok (@theskylineview).

You can find the latest copy of The Skyline View on campus or at          

Article by Nancy Kaplan-Biegel

Puentistas Attend Puente Motivational Conference at UC Merced

On November 19, 2022, over 20 Skyline College student Puente students attended the Puente Motivational Conference at the University of California Merced! Students and faculty woke up bright and early to be at the bus by 5 a.m. and drive to UCM to attend a conference with hundreds of Puentistas from all over Northern California, all excited to discover UC Merced.

The conference was from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and was filled with a variety of different workshops from UC’s and CSU’s including UC Berkeley, UC Santa Cruz, and San Francisco State. The keynote speaker was Julissa Arce, who spoke about the challenges of staying true to her culture in an environment that rewards assimilation. This was a great opportunity for students to learn and explore a beautiful college campus as well as hear about the wide variety of opportunities students have after graduating and transferring from Skyline College.

Following the workshops, students were able to tour the UC Merced campus. Students had the opportunity to explore the campus and learn about the vast variety of programs available to them.

After a long day at UC Merced, students returned to campus at 7p.m., tired but with bigger dreams to transfer to a 4-year university.

It was really inspiring to see all the Puentistas from Northern California come united and share our unique and overlapping stories. Chicano/Latinx folk are often left out of prestigious academic institutions which is why programs like Puente are so important. They help you with resources and honestly feels like a family. ~Stephanie Borja

Our trip to UC Merced was real eye opening and fun. I enjoyed meeting new people and having a personal view of a UC campus. It was my first time ever experiencing the atmosphere of a large helping community. It made me realize that there’s so much out there and it made me want to be more involved in Puente. I’m real thankful for the opportunity and I’m definitely recommending Puente to family and friends. ~Christofer Benitez

I really liked how they explained the college and how the resources there can help me achieve my major goals. ~Ian Pulumbait 

Our Puente students planned a trip to this incredible university, UC Merced. It was not on my dream school list but now it is part of it because of the amazing people I met. We had a tour of how their system works and enjoyed some workshops where we found new connections and extended our network. My favorite workshop was the mental health workshop where we shared our thoughts on mental health and released a lot of stress. I appreciate professor Lachmayr for giving us the opportunity to find our element by trying different things. ~Liz Posso

It was fun. ~Geovanna Souza

I had a wonderful experience at the Puente conference at UC Merced. Being able to meet other Puente students and hearing about their experiences was a nice thing to take a part of. It’s always fun to meet new people and learn from them. ~Adan Arambula

Article by Lucia Lachmayr