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On Thursday, January 19, 2023, San Mateo County community members gathered at Skyline College, joining the SMCCCD Study Abroad Program and retired College of San Mateo Art faculty Rebecca Alex for a Meet-and-Greet Mixer for their upcoming Art in France Program. This event allowed the future travelers to get to know each other and prepare for their one-month stay in France this March.
Dr. Vinicio Lopez, Vice President of Instruction at Skyline College, gave a welcome address, sharing his own experience with study abroad as well as stories of the impact that study abroad has on students. He thanked the travelers for their participation in the program and their support of students. The Community Travel Program was created as a way for Skyline College to connect with the larger community of San Mateo County, as well as to help our students live and learn in other countries. For many college students, study abroad is a special goal of their undergraduate years; however, financially, the experience is often out of reach. With the Community Travel Program, $500 (tax-deductible) of each participant’s registration fee goes directly into the SMCCC Foundation for Study Abroad Scholarship Fund, helping to make transformative global opportunities more accessible for our students.
Seventeen members of the San Mateo County community will participate in the Spring 2023 Art in France Community Travel Program, many of whom have been waiting nearly three years for this program; the original program, scheduled for Summer 2020 was cancelled due to the start of the COVID-19 Pandemic. They expressed their excitement to finally be able to immerse themselves in the art of France for four weeks this spring while making new friends along the way.
The SMCCCD Community Travel Program is a curated group travel experience for adults and life-long learners. Participants travel with an SMCCCD representative and local tour manager as they enjoy local food, special attractions, guided sightseeing, and in the case of the Art in France Program, lectures with local art historians, visits to art museums, and guided time for painting and drawing. The program is part of the SMCCCD Study Abroad Program—a district-wide study abroad program housed in the Global Learning Programs and Services Division at Skyline College. For more information about SMCCCD Study Abroad and Community Travel Program opportunities, please contact Alice Yang, Acting Director of Special International Programs, at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also learn more by visiting the SMCCCD Study Abroad Facebook page or Instagram page @smcccd_study_abroad.
Article by Stephanie Wells | Photo by Joshua Porter.
In 2023, the STEM division hosted 25 students as part of the Winter Research Scholars Internship program. The two-week program, held from Tuesday, January 3, 2023, to Friday, January 13, 2023, in Skyline College’s Fab Lab, provides an introduction to scientific research as well as topics and skills to help students gain further research and industry internships in STEM. These exceptional students from computer science, biology, engineering, and chemistry majors gathered to learn about STEM research and participate in a variety of workshops.
Lauren Ashley Gan, a former Skyline mechanical engineering student and 2022 Winter Scholars graduate who transferred to San Francisco State University, was recruited to help with the program. She was of huge help and support to the students with their assignments and projects.
Brittney Sneed and the Career Readiness and Job Placement Program team provided valuable instruction on how to build a resume as well as feedback on the students’ resumes and cover letters for upcoming internship applications. Students had the opportunity to participate in mock group and individual interviews during the second week of the program and received valuable feedback on how to structure their answers, what to focus on, and general interviewer expectations.
Last year, COVID challenged the program; this year, it was the weather. The program was moved online using Zoom lectures as well as interactive online activities during the two days that the bomb cyclone passed over the Bay. The students spent the first week in the Fab Lab in BLDG 7 with Professors Marco Wehrfritz and Susanne Schubert, learning about rapid prototyping using 3-D modeling and printing techniques, laser cutting, soldering, working with sensors and metrology, and programming with the Arduino microcontroller. In week two, the group was divided into six working groups, each of which worked on an engineering project. The projects were self-proposed by the participating students. This year, we had a huge bandwidth of creative and sophisticated designs, all of which were Arduino-based and incorporated the Fab Lab’s programming, design, and manufacturing techniques. A room occupancy counter that tracks and transmits the number of people in a room, a camera stabilizer, a sourdough monitoring system, an atmosphere analyzer, an RFID tag controlled doggy door, and an autonomous garbage collecting boat to clean pools were among the projects.
On one day, students took a virtual lab tour of San Francisco State University’s (SFSU) School of Engineering in the morning, learning about faculty research areas and the S-SMART summer internship program, which includes projects in computational fluid dynamics, intelligent systems in structural engineering, neural machine interfaces, and assistive rehabilitative robotics.
On the last day of the program, all of the groups presented their work in the STEM center. Each group gave a presentation and demonstrated their prototypes to the group and attending faculty guests. They were able to put skills learned and honed during the presentation skills workshop to use, as well as reflect on their personal and academic growth during this internship, and there was a very lively and active discussion about each project.
The students grew tremendously during the time they were working together, both personally and academically. The groups were frequently mixed, so that by the end of the program, everyone had a chance to work with and meet everyone else in the program. Over time, the students learned to work as a team and created a supportive and collaborative environment, which led to them helping each other even outside of their own project groups. Some students were so inspired by their success and learning outcomes that they considered changing their major to engineering or purchasing their own Arduino to program on their own time.
The STEM Pathways project, a collaborative grant project funded by the US Department of Education’s Developing Hispanic Serving Institutions (DHSI) program, provides support for the Winter Research Scholars program (award No. P031S180169). Nicholas Langhoff, Marco Wehrfritz, and Dr. Susanne Schubert, the coordinators, would like to thank Thanh Nguyen, Bryan Swartout, Nadia Tariq, Rita Gulli, and Dr. Jing Folsom for their tremendous behind-the-scenes support. The organizers would also like to thank their colleagues at SFSU, Dr. Wenshen Pong, Dr. Quintero, Dr. Ghose, Dr. Chen, Dr. Wong, Dr. Wang, Dr. Zhang, Dr. Qin, and Dr. Khalkhal, for sharing their research with us and for the school’s long-standing collaboration with Skyline College.
Article by Marco Wehrfritz and Dr. Susanne Schubert
At the start of the Spring 2023 semester, the International Student Program (ISP) hosted a New Student Welcome, welcoming over 70 new international students from different parts of the world. Skyline College Vice President of Instruction, Dr. Vinicio Lopez, and Interim Dean of Global Learning Programs and Services, Zaid Ghori, opened the event. Following that, ISP staff members were introduced: Clair Yeo-Sugajski (Acting Program Manager), Sirreck Brown (Detail Retention Specialist), Carlos Romero (Counselor), and the student ambassadors.
ISP student ambassadors led an icebreaker activity, Bingo, to help the new international students get to know each other better. Each student was given a bingo sheet and walked around the room asking each other questions on the bingo sheet. They were allowed to ask the same person up to two questions. The first three winners received a prize. The second game was an F1 immigration regulation “Kahoot,” which required students to answer questions correctly and quickly. The top three winners of the game each received a prize too. Finally, the students participated in a campus tour scavenger hunt. Every group had to locate offices such as the ISP Office, the Library, the Learning Center, Admission and Records, Health Center, Bookstore, and Building 12 using hints, a campus map provided on a piece of paper, and with the guidance of a student ambassador.
After the scavenger hunt, the new students came back to Fireside Dining Room and had lunch together while listening to a presentation by Kari Mendoza, a Risk Strategies representative, on their health insurance. Overall, the New Student Welcome was a huge success as most of the students said that they had fun and they were able to make new friends at Skyline College.
On Saturday, January 14, 2023, over 20 San Mateo County Community College District (SMCCCD) students attended the pre-departure orientation for the Spring 2023 Florence Program at Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill. Although it was a windy and stormy day, they were excited to meet students from other community college districts who will attend the same program in Italy and eager to learn more about the logistics of the program to get prepared for their global learning and adventure. The orientation covered the detailed logistics of the program, including packing, flight, travel, living in Florence, housing, health and safety, student services, and cultural activites, etc.
The semester study abroad program is offered by the American Institute for Foreign Study (AIFS) in partnership with Northern California Study Abroad Consortium (NCSAC), which is composed of Contra Costa Community College District, Los Rios Community College District, Santa Rosa Junior College, and SMCCCD. Our district joined the consortium in 1986.
SMCCCD, one of the two largest sending institutions, will send 26 students to Florence for the Spring 2023 semester as part of a cohort of 98 students from the consortium. Faculty and students depart for Florence on February 4, 2023 and return on May 5, 2023.
Courses offered for this program are in the disciplines of art, business, economics, kinesiology, and sociology. Units earned in Florence will appear on students’ transcripts issued by the participating colleges. The SMCCCD Faculty Leader, Cañada College Economics professor, Paul Roscelli will teach four courses in Florence: Principles of Macro Economics, Principles of Microeconomics, Business Law, and Italian Life and Culture, which consists of weekly lectures focusing on historical, political, economic and cultural aspects of Italy and Florence, and some field trips.
Congratulations to Diana Castro and Kimberly Zarco from Cañada College, who received the prestigious U.S. Department of State’s Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship for the Florence Spring 2023 Program. We also want to congratulate Gianela Gutierrez from College of San Mateo, Sienna Martinez from Cañada College, and Diana Castro who were selected for the AIFS Ambassador Scholarship. They will share their study abroad experiences via AIFS social media and on campus after return from Italy. 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 Alice Yang at email@example.com. You can also learn more by visiting the SMCCD Study Abroad Facebook page or Instagram page @smcccd_study_abroad.
We are here to help you with your medical and health needs. Skyline College Health Services offer free virtual and in-person appointments. We provide health care, health & wellness education and referrals to off campus resources. For more information, contact us at 650-738-4270. Or come visit us in Building 19, Room 19-110