Monthly Archives: April 2023

Psi Beta Inducts New Members

On Friday, April 21st, 2023, Psi Beta inducted eight new members! Psi Beta is an Honor Society for community college students interested in Psychology and focuses on four pillars: leadership, scholarship, community service, and research. After the formal induction ceremony, a slide show was presented highlighting how club members engaged in each of the pillars. The presentation included the following achievements: electing officers, creating chapter bylaws, holding fundraisers, and organizing speakers/ campus-wide events, attending the Western Psychological Association’s annual conference to keep current in the field, volunteering in the community to help raise awareness around mental health challenges, and producing original research.

Psi Beta members would like to thank Dom’s Noms for the delicious food and the SMCCCD Foundation and Skyline College’s Strong Workforce Development for the donations of swag. The contributions were very much appreciated.

Article by Jennifer Merrill

American Academy of English International Students Visit Skyline College!

The International Student Program (ISP) hosted a Skyline College Campus Tour for the American Academy of English (AAE) students on Tuesday, April 4, 2023. Lasheana Dilian Husni, an ISP Student Ambassador, led the campus tour, accompanied by Chikako Walker, Acting Director of International Education.

Students first visited Professor Bryan Swartout’s Introduction to Data Science class to begin the tour. Next, that students headed to Building 19, where they saw the Health Center and Admissions and Records office. At Building 6, the students visited Fireside Dining, a favorite hangout spot for many Skyline College students, and the Bookstore, the go-to place for Skyline College swag and snacks. Next, they went to Building 7 to see a variety of amazing STEM-related facilities and resources, including the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Center, the Fab Lab, the MESA (Mathematics Engineering Science Achievement) Center, the Biology Lab, Chemistry Lab, Microbiology Lab, and the Biomanufacturing Lab. Thanh Nguyen, a STEM Center Instructional Aide II, and Nick Kapp, a Biology professor, assisted with the tour of building 7.

Lasheana escorted students to Building 12 to enjoy the breathtaking and panoramic view of Pacifica and the Pacific Ocean. This was a great opportunity for a photo op and students took many photos there. The last stop of the tour was Building 5 – students were introduced to the support services at the Learning Center and the Library. The program came to a close with a Q&A session at the Intercultural Center in Building 4 as attendees had lunch. It was a successful tour as the students were able to gain an idea of what community college life is like.

The International Student Program is part of the Global Learning Programs and Services Division. ISP will continue to provide services and programs for international students as well as for the entire Skyline College community. If you are interested in learning more about future ISP programs and events, contact ISP office at

Article by Lasheana Dilian Husni and Photo by Chikako Walker.

Skyline College Passport Office Experiences High Demand as Travel Abroad Rebounds

Skyline College received the U.S. Department of State approval for Passport Acceptance Facility designation in December 2017. The U.S. Passport Office, part the Global Learning Programs and Services (GLPS) Division, helped many students, faculty, staff and the local community people to apply or renew their passport. A passport is a necessary and official document issued by a government to its citizens that certifies their identity and nationality for the purpose of international travel.

According to the U.S. Department of State, “Processing times have changed several times in the last few months. As of March 24, we are processing routine applications in 10-13 weeks, and expedited applications in 7-9 weeks.”

Due to the recent high demand for passport services after COVID, the Passport Office decided to extend the services hours in order to meet the needs of the community. We added walk-in hours on some Fridays and additional appointments on some Saturdays. The passport office staff are authorized to accept completed passport applications and submit the applications along with the required documentation to the U.S. Department of State for their review and approval. The additional 6-day services since February helped more than 200 applicants to apply/renew their passports and brought additional revenue to the College.

In addition to the increased quantity of accepted applications, our passport agents offer first-class efficient and satisfactory services to the applicants. One client commented on Yelp, “Sonya was so incredibly helpful to my partner, allowing her to come back the next day since we were missing a key document.  Such a sweet lady and super funny!!  Will definitely recommend this place to anyone I know!”

Another wrote, “I have not been to a passport office in 10 years and didn’t realize you can no longer drop in at the post office without an appointment. Appointments are 4 weeks away and I need my passport in 3 months. Luckily, I found this office and they had drop-in Saturday hours. Amazing service, plenty of parking and no wait. I recommend this office if you cannot mail it in.”

The Passport Office received a bookshelf donation from the Bay Area Entrepreneur Center and is building a Children’s Library for minor applicants. It takes about 15 minutes for processing one application. Minor applicants may make use of the waiting time to read some books while waiting for their passport applications to be processed. Donations of children’s books from the Skyline community are welcome.

SMCCCD students are also welcome to contact the Passport Office if you have plan to travel abroad for study or internships. We will offer special passport appointments for students.

The Skyline Passport Office is located at Room 412 in Building 19. Please visit our website at for the updated passport service hours. Email inquiries can be sent to

Article and Photos by Alice Yang

Presenting the 3rd Annual Skyline College Undergraduate Symposium of Academic Research (uSOAR)

Join us next week for the 3rd Annual Skyline College Undergraduate Symposium of Academic Research (uSOAR) in Bldg.6! 

DATE:  Tuesday, May 2nd and Wednesday, May 3rd, 2023 

TIME:    4:00 p.m. – 6:00  p.m

PLACE:  Building 6 

FREE and Open to All!

uSOAR will feature:

  • Over 20 student-researchers who will share their posters and panel presentations
  • A panel of educator-researchers who will discuss their research experiences
  • A student leadership panel with current students and Skyline College alumni
  • Faculty and Student Keynote Speakers

On Tuesday, May 2, 2023, Chemistry Professor Susanne Schubert will introduce our uSOAR Student Keynote Speaker Mowen Tan, who will share her speech on “Treasures for the Future.” Professors Jennifer Merrill, Rachel Cunningham, and Susanne Schubert will moderate student research presentation panels featuring topics in academic disciplines from Psychology, Data Science, Biology, and Communication Studies. Students will present topics such as “Robotic Arm” by Gabriel Hapin, “How Electronic Use Has Affected the Sleep Quality of College Students” by Maya Lip, and “Big Brother Data Analysis” by participants of the WinterScholars Program. The day will conclude with a student leadership panel, facilitated by Professor Jennifer Merrill and Honors Transfer Program student moderator Isaiah Angeles, featuring both Skyline College current students and alumni associated with on-campus programs such as Project Change, Associated Students, and the Skyline View. 

On Wednesday, May 3, 2023, the day’s events will begin with English Professor Janice Sapigao introducing our faculty keynote speaker, Ethnic Studies Professor A. Villela-Smith. The day will continue with three interdisciplinary student research presentation panels featuring several students, including those discussing topics such as “Elemental Energy: The Potential of Hydrogen Fuel Cells” by Anaya Pant, “Liminality in Viet Thanh Nguyen’s The Sympathizer and The Committed” by TuongVan Do, and “The Environmental Injustice at Cancer Alley and Hinkley” by Julio Lau. The day’s events will conclude with an educator research panel, facilitated by Librarian Pia Walawalkar and Honors Transfer Program student moderator Lawrence Legaspi, featuring Skyline College faculty and professional staff: Amir Esfahani, Ricardo Flores, Denise Hum, Mustafa Popal, and Michael Song. 

Please register here if you’d like to attend any part of the 3rd Annual Skyline College uSOAR Undergraduate Symposium of Academic Research

Article by Janice Sapigao

Skyline College’s Inaugural R.I.D.E. Conference

“If You Can Dream It, Build It.” -John Ulloa 

On Friday, April 21, 2023, Skyline College hosted its Inaugural R.I.D.E. Conference. Presented by the Puente Learning Community, Dream Center, and Promise Scholars Program, in partnership with Lowride Worldwide, the R.I.D.E. Conference was the first, in-person Lowrider Studies educational conference in history. Coined by “Brothers Empowering Brothers” Co-Founder and Counselor, Dionicio “Dino” Garcia, the R.I.D.E. acronym stands for “Realize Our True Potential. Identify Our Goals. Develop A Plan. Explore.” and it represents a custom spin to the career planning process. The conference was meaningfully designed to build a bridge between the academic and career exploration-based R.I.D.E. framework and the various S.T.E.A.M. fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Mathematics) through the lens of Lowrider aesthetics, mechanics and culture.

Deep-rooted within Mexican-American history, Lowriding began in the 1940s in the American Southwest as a recreational community pastime, and spread as a result of the expansion of customized, classic car culture in the United States. Throughout the 1960s and 70s, Lowriding culture grew alongside the Chicano Movement as not only a form of socio-political solidarity, but as a powerful and artistic manifestation of Chicano pride, identity, and self-expression. Today, Lowriding is practiced and celebrated across the globe in countries such as Japan and Brazil. In 2023, in light of calls to lift “cruising bans” across California, the R.I.D.E. Conference and its presence at the Skyline College campus is not only historically significant, but timely. For over 40 years, “cruising bans” have served as a form of systemic racism against Latinos, in addition to other Black and Brown communities, as a strategy to criminalize community gatherings, limit artistic expression, and generate and maintain harmful cultural stereotypes. 

Beginning on Monday, April 17, the greater R.I.D.E. Conference kicked off as a week-long series of in-person and virtual panels, discussions, and career conversations led by members of the Lowriding community, where students had the opportunity to learn about navigating life and their career trajectory. Facilitators included Julio Ausejo, an aircraft mechanic for United Airlines, Marisa Rosales, a social worker and San Diego Chapter Member of Dukes Car Club, and Brian McGill of Frisco’s Finest Car Club. 

Friday’s event began with opening remarks by Dionicio Garcia, followed by an amazing keynote address by John Ulloa, Professor of History and Anthropology and Scholar of Lowrider Studies. Throughout the day, students engaged in workshops that infused Lowrider history with electrical engineering and circuitry, business concepts, and various artistic mediums. The conference extends its great appreciation to Ricardo “Tijuana Rick” Cortez, Ashley Paloma (Owner of Gypsy Rose Salon and Member of Sacramento’s Majestics Car Club), and Minerva Banuelos for hosting such thoughtful and intentional workshops. 

The day concluded with a Show & Shine night market, which invited students, staff, faculty, friends and family to enjoy an evening filled with music, food, fundraising, vendors, and a car show– where over 40 Lowriders were presented on campus. The event brought many community members to Skyline College for the first time, and provided them the vital opportunity to learn more about the many resources the college has to offer.

This conference would not have been possible without the following:

  • Dionicio Garcia for his vision and creativity in creating the R.I.D.E. framework, his lifelong passion for Lowrider culture, and his drive and commitment to transform this conference from a dream to reality. 
  • Monique Ubungen for her huge support and initiative throughout the planning, organizing, and coordination processes of the R.I.D.E. Conference.
  • Dulce Martinez Luna for her skill and leadership in administration and logistics. 
  • Lucia Lachmayr and Marisa Thigpen for their patience, guidance and encouragement.
  • John Ulloa for helping pave the way for this event by serving as a source of inspiration and empowerment.
  • Luis Escobar for believing in the vision of the R.I.D.E. Conference.
  • Joseph Jaballa, Andrea Hernandez, Judith Martinez, Kim Davalos, Albin Lee, Alexandra Urbina, and the fantastic team of student volunteers for assisting in the execution of the event. 
  • Martin Marquez and the Dream Center for hosting and organizing R.I.D.E. Show & Shine.
  • Frisco’s Finest Car Club for donating the skateboards for the Pin-Striping workshop and giveaway.
  • Last, but not least, a big thank you to Newin Orante, Vinicio Lopez, and Acting President, Joe Morello for providing the R.I.D.E. family the opportunity to host this historical event at Skyline College.

To learn more about the R.I.D.E. Conference or to get involved in next year’s event, please contact Dionicio “Dino” Garcia at

Article by: Monique Ubungen and Dionicio Garcia | Photos by: Marisa Thigpen, Monique Ubungen, Dulce Martinez Luna, and Dionicio Garcia

Honors Transfer Program Students Represent Skyline College at the Bay Honors Consortium

Skyline College students Julio Lau, Dunhoja Robbins-Bishop, and Julia Rogers were selected to present their original, undergraduate research at this year’s Bay Honors Consortium Symposium, which will be held on Saturday, May 6th, 2023 at Stanford University. The Bay Honors Consortium (BHC) is made up of Honors Directors and Counselors from 16 Northern and Central California Community College Honors Programs. The BHC’s mission is to promote and support Honors Programs and host our annual Honors Research Symposium.

Julio, Dunhoja, and Julia are current Skyline College students who are presenting research they’ve completed with their faculty-mentors in the Honors Transfer Program. Professors Michael Cross, Jennifer Merrill, and Lindsey Ayotte mentored Julio, Dunjoha, and Julia, respectively. 

I asked the students to share information about their projects and upcoming presentations. 

JS: What is your research project about?

Dunhoja Robbins-Bishop: I created The Black Maternal Advocacy Project so that I could spread awareness about how medical racism and outdated medical practices within the United States is contributing to the significant increase of African American women, dying from pregnancy related complications and diseases. I have been researching the main conditions and complications that women face when going through with a pregnancy as well as the medical practices that are being done or aren’t being done. I am using my own personal experience in a way that will help people understand the disparities that women face every day and to also make the information that I have researched make more sense to those who don’t have a background in the medical field and haven’t been exposed to this issue. My goal is to point out the lack of awareness and to try and provide possible solutions to help increase the amount of awareness on the subject because it affects any and everybody no matter their race, gender or socioeconomic background. 

Julio Lau:  The Trickster character is present in many cultures around the world that are seemingly unrelated. The Trickster is part of human nature and it’s relevant now as it was in the past. Loki, like other trickster characters, represents the fundamental problem with ideals, suggesting that dualities like good and evil hide the complexity and contradictions of an ever-changing society; as a result, the trickster is a crucial figure for the contemporary world because it highlights the messiness and complexity of human existence, allowing us to improve as individuals and as a society by being more realistic and honest with ourselves about our oversimplified conceptions about the world we live in today.

I created a literature review mainly focused on classic Norse mythology (prose edda and poetic edda). I also researched other trickster characters present in other mythologies, and the appearance of Loki in modern popular culture.

Julia Rogers: I propose to research the health disparities for African Americans in the United States in order to spread awareness of this issue related to racism and public health. My research question is: Why is the United States health system failing to provide the same quality of care for African Americans as for whites? My research uncovers the century-old history of African Americans being abused by medical professionals.

In my speech, I explain the understandable reasons for African Americans’ suspicion of the health system, starting from the cruel medical practices done on slaves to the present-day experiences that blacks have with race-driven pain diagnoses and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Finally, I elaborate on the current fight for inclusivity in healthcare. This includes making illustrations of black people in medical textbooks, collecting data on racial biases, and addressing disparities to end misdiagnoses of black patients.

JS: What excites you the most about presenting your research at the Bay Honors Consortium?

Julia Rogers: I am most excited for the networking opportunities at the research symposium. I expect there to be some well-known scientists at the conference and would like to connect with them. 

Julio Lau: It’s exciting to be able to present at Stanford. Presenting my research is a great opportunity to practice my public speaking skills, as well as share the knowledge I’ve acquired from my classes at Skyline. I’m excited to be presenting because it will be the culmination of the hard work I’ve been putting into this project. I’m also thankful to all the instructors who supported me throughout the process of research and preparation for the symposium because I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for them.

Dunhoja Robbins-Bishop: As a first-generation student, this is an opportunity of a lifetime. When I submitted my application, I truly thought that I was not going to get selected for the Honors Consortium because this is the first time, I’ve ever conducted my own research project. I’m so excited that I get to bring awareness on this topic at one of the top schools in the country because I know that someone in that crowd is going to have an impact left on them that might make other people do research into this topic themselves so that we can get as much awareness on this topic as possible. I feel like this is something that will help future generations, because if more research is done in this manner, our children and their children won’t have to face the health disparities that we face today as this problem is an epidemic that needs to be put to rest before more damage is done. I’m also excited because this is something that I can look back on because being a teen mom, there are a lot of odds that are stacked against you, and it helps me to understand that no matter what obstacles are thrown at you, you can accomplish anything. I can’t wait to look back on this when I get older and show my son the things that I accomplished and the shared experiences and memories we will make along my academic journey. 

Article by by Janice Sapigao

Accelerate Fellowship students launch marketing campaigns for the downtown San Bruno business district

This Spring semester, the Bay Area Entrepreneur Center launched the Accelerate Fellowship, a semester-long program that uses a human-centered design approach to improve the San Bruno downtown business district. 

Students spent February and March exploring the business district; learning about the issues local businesses face; conducting interviews and surveys with owners, professional experts, and potential customers; and conducting observations of other business districts to see what makes them successful. 

Based on their research and findings, students developed four marketing campaign ideas to attract new customers to the area and presented mockups of their concepts to the local community. 

Students will work with Maria Langbauer, the new Economic Development Manager of San Bruno, as well as local business leaders to build a website, social media accounts, and marketing campaign content and to build engagement with business owners and the community over the summer. 

So far, business and community members have responded positively to the student’s ideas and are happy to see the influx of new energy and enthusiasm from young people.  One member responded, “Thank you, guys, for taking the step forward on this and helping the small business owners to progress in the long run.”

Students are enjoying the real-world experience the Fellowship has given them. 

“For me, seeing the whole building process of the project,  figuring out how everything works together, I’ve never seen that before from start to finish so that’s really exciting. I’ve also learned how to talk to new people.  For example, talking to business owners, it felt awkward at first. I was not confident in articulating my thoughts but with more experience in going door-to-door with the other fellows, I became more comfortable in communicating with professionals.” Jacob Martin. 

“The moment when we started putting ideas on the board with everybody, that was really enjoyable for me because it’s so collaborative and I get to see what different people think.” Marynette Queseda

“Going from nothing to now we have a project that we are working on, we’re looking to have it out in the real world, that’s been the highlight.”  Ryan Tsui

Moving forward, BAEC and the fellows will be working with the new Economic Development Manager of San Bruno to implement other projects to help activate the downtown. The students identified several areas for improvement and will be presenting their findings and recommendations to the City. 

Article by Leah McGlauchlin | Photo by Olivia Vialau

Skyline College Forensics Team Competes at Nationals 

From April 9th-April 15th, 2023, Skyline College’s Forensic team traveled to compete in their first national tournament. As a newly founded program, the Phi Rho Pi organization enthusiastically welcomed us with open arms. Student Anthony Tolosa qualified to compete at the Phi Rho Pi National Speech and Debate Tournament that was held in Bethesda, Maryland. The tournament spanned over the course of 5 consecutive days of competition. Anthony competed in Informative Speaking against other competitors from fifty-four 2-year colleges across the nation. 

Phi Rho Pi, the National Junior and Community College Forensic Association and Honor Society is a non-profit organization committed to increasing knowledge and appreciation of the forensic arts at the junior and community college level. It has the honor of being one of the oldest forensics organizations having been founded in 1927. Phi Rho Pi offers community college and junior college students the only full service national tournament in the United States with 11 individual events, three forms of debate and interpreters’ theatre.

The theme for this year was “Make It Monumental” and we took advantage of exploring the nations capitol, Washington D.C. while there. This was an extremely fun, exhausting and powerful tournament experience. We have come home with a newfound outlook and appreciation for what this activity is and can be.

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 | Photos by Anthony Tolosa

Ode to Furry Friends @ Your Library

To celebrate National Poetry Month, the Library invites you to join a community reading “Ode to Furry Friends” on Tuesday, April 25,2023 2:00-3:00p.m. Bring a favorite animal themed poem you’ve enjoyed or written yourself to share aloud — or just listen in. Book displays around the Library include poetry and books to read for Earth Day, both of which are celebrated during April. Light refreshments will be served. The Library is located in Building 5 on the 2nd floor. Questions? Please Contact Pia Walawalkar, Equity and Outreach Librarian

Rock The School Bells 16

“Celebrating 50 Years of Hip Hop Culture: Authenticity, Innovation, & Evolution”

On Thursday, April 13,2023 the CIPHER Hip Hop Learning Community hosted their 16th Annual Rock The School Bells (RTSB) Hip Hop Conference to over 200 students from various high school groups. This year marks the 50th anniversary of Hip Hop culture and to celebrate it, students had the opportunity to participate in a choice of 15 different Hip Hop workshops that were rooted in authenticity, innovation, and evolution.  Some of the workshops were hosted by our very own Skyline College faculty who opened their classes to be part of the RTSB experience. Thank you to Dr. Rod Daus-Magbual, Dr. Liza Erpelo, John Ulloa, Soledad McCarthy, Rika Fabian, Arnette Villela-Smith, and Lucia Lachmayr for co-creating this experience for our high school students.

In addition to attending various workshops such as Hip Hop Entrepreneurship, The Era of AI Technology, and the FEMCEE: Women’s Empowerment through Writing, attendees also had the opportunity to experience live performances by DJ Bitesize, Feline Finesse (all-girl dance crew), Rhymosaurs, Oswald Ferrer, and Allen Bustos.  They also had the opportunity to experience a car showcase where owners shared their story about their cars and how it informed their own identity and the communities they come from.

Vice President of Instruction, Dr. Vinizio Lopez provided the welcome remarks highlighting the importance of creating spaces for youth and students to be their authentic selves. Our closing keynote speaker, Unlearn The World, provided a captivating message amplifying the strength and power of our youth voices, reminding us that Hip Hop culture provides youth the platform to express themselves freely and authentically in spaces where they are often silenced and invisibilized. 

Creating this educational experience for our students, there are so many people that came together in making this happen. Thank you, Marisa Thigpen, for organizing the Resource Fair that included the Learning Communities, Financial Aid, Strategic Partnerships and Workforce Development, the Learning Center, Peer Mentoring, and Cosmetology. Special shout out goes to the Barbering Program for giving our attendees free clean-ups and quick shaves. Gratitude to SPWD for providing lunch for our attendees, facilitators, and performers. Thank you to the Outreach Office for inviting our high school partners. To our Facilities team, thank you for creating the space we envisioned for our conference. To the Media Services team especially Josh Porter, thank you and your team for supporting our AV efforts throughout the day.  We are also grateful for our donors and vendors who made this event successful – Derby SF, Campos Jewelry, Atlas Skateshop, Whipt Cookies, Rhymosaurs, and Kim Davalos. Special shout out to our community vendors, HD Light & Party SF, who brought life to the event with their amazing LED dance floors and Impact Sounds Photobooth for providing event photos for our attendees.

None of this would be possible without the support of our Skyline College Administration who have supported our event for the last 16 years – Acting President Joe Morello, VPI Vinizio Lopez, VPSS Newin Orante, and all of our Academic Deans and educational leaders. Lastly, to the RTSB planning team who have tirelessly planned for this event for the last 6 months – David Nguyen, Alex Urbina, Joseph Jaballa, Caitlin Collantes, Isaiah Angeles, Anthony Tolosa, Guadalupe Jimenez, Shinna Kim, Jayde Tijero, Mandy Lucas, Charlie Morales, Kim Davalos, Marisa Thigpen, and Brianna Clay along with the 30+ volunteers that made the event flow seamlessly.

From the words of one of our high school partners, “This event felt so magical. Thank you for providing this event for our students. ”It truly takes a whole village to create this magic in the spirit of Hip Hop culture.

To learn more about Rock the School Bells, you can go to If you want to get involve for next year’s RTSB, please contact Dr. Nate Nevado at

Article by: Nate Nevado | Photos by: David Nguyen & Marisa Thigpen