Daily Archives: May 12, 2023

18th Annual Pilipino Cultural Night (PCN): The Heart of Pleasant Hill

On May 4 and 6, 2023, the Kababayan Learning Community at Skyline College presented its 18th annual Pilipino Cultural Night, The Heart of Pleasant Hill, in the Gallery. The play was written by the ENGL 103 class in Fall 2022, then produced by the ENGL 104 class in Spring 2023, under the guidance of Dr. Liza Erpelo, who teaches both courses. The 18-person cast and crew was led by executive producer Trinity Velasco-Frias and executive director Ryan Roi Domingo, who is also this year’s Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant.

The link to the show’s program can be found here: https://bit.ly/PCN18ProgramKLC

This year’s story not only highlighted the little-known history of Filipinos in Louisiana, but also incorporated Filipino mythological creatures into the storyline. Students performed in an elaborate hip hop number choreographed and taught by Joel Jayce Capistrano, U-Jam Fitness and Zumba instructor. The students also presented dances and music of the T’boli people of the southern Philippines as taught by Bonifacio Valera and assisted by Jae Tioseco, a Kababayan Learning Community alumnus, from Barangay Dance Company.

All proceeds from the ticket sales went directly to the Friends of Kababayan scholarship fund. More information about the Kababayan Learning Community and ways to donate to the scholarship fund can be found here: https://skylinecollege.edu/kababayan/index.php

At Gala Night on May 6, in addition to acknowledging this year’s 15 graduates/transferring students, the Kababayan Learning Community also honored this year’s recipients of the Friends of Kababayan scholarships:

Caitlin Collantes
Carla Nicole Pangan
Janine Sophia Peralta
Kristopher Ken Reyes
Mikaela Aspiras Yangco

These shows would not be possible without the help of several important people. Many thanks to the Theatre Events Manager, Joshua Harris; Amanda Bortoli, Skyline College Graphic Arts & Graphic Production; and Danni Redding-Lapuz, Dean of the Social Sciences/Creative Arts Division.
Thank you, see you again next year, and mabuhay!

Article by Dr. Liza Erpelo | Photos by Dr. Liza Erpelo and Aubrey Lassen

Study Abroad Students Awarded $19,000 from U.S. Department of State’s Gilman Scholarship

Four study abroad students from College of San Mateo (CSM) and Skyline College were awarded a total of $19,000 from the U.S. Department of State’s Gilman International Scholarship (March 2023 application cycle).

Two of them are Skyline College students, Philip G. and Atiyana A. The other two winners are Jeramy V. and Jared S. from CSM. Eight SMCCCD students applied and four were awarded – an award rate of 50%, which has been the case for SMCCCD in the past few years. This is the second time for Philip to win the scholarship. Congratulations to the winners and Gilman scholars!

The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and is administered by the Institute of International Education (IIE). The program “enables students of limited financial means to study or intern abroad, providing them with skills critical to our national security and economic prosperity,” according to IIE.

SMCCCD Study Abroad housed in the Division of Global Learning Programs and Services (GLPS) has been promoting the Gilman Scholarship. The staff hosted a Gilman Scholarship Workshop and Luncheon in Building 6 at Skyline College on February 13, 2023. The goal was to help the SMCCCD students learn about the federal funding for study abroad and the study abroad programs offered by SMCCCD. GLPS Interim Dean, Zaid Ghori invited Dr. Melissa Moreno, former Skyline College President and now Interim Chancellor of SMCCCD, and Dr. Vinicio Lopez, Vice President of Instruction to welcome the participants. Both emphasized the significance of study abroad and its contribution to building Skyline College as a community of global learners, which is the College’s educational mission. Dr. Lopez even shared his own study abroad experience and good memories. They celebrated Skyline College’s great achievements in study abroad scholarship advising with the participants. Skyline College was announced as “the number one college among U.S. community colleges that sent the most scholars abroad through the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program during academic year 2020-2021” by the U.S. Department of State in October 2022. Its applicant acceptance rate was much higher than the national acceptance rate.

Three students, Philip G., Chris W., and Veronica S. were invited to serve on the Gilman Scholar Panel to share their recent Gilman application and study abroad experience. They all gained a lot from the application process and are willing to help other students to win the scholarship. They shared that they made good use of resources (study abroad office, writing services, etc.) on campus to improve the quality of the required essays (Statement of Purpose and two community impact essays – the Building Mutual Understanding Essay and the Follow-on Service Project Proposal). Philip and Veronica were able to use part of the scholarship they won to attend a virtual program in Japan. In addition to the improved writing skills, they gained life-long friendship through the study abroad program. The Gilman experience has great impact on their personal growth and career development.

The SMCCCD Study Abroad and three study abroad faculty leaders offered information about the Fall 2023 Barcelona Program (to be led by Prof. Jeremy Ball), the Spring 2024 Florence Program (to be led by Prof. Jessica Marshall), and the Fall 2024 London Program (to be led by Prof. Lindsey Ayotte), global internship programs, and transfer abroad services. The study abroad office offered one-on-one Gilman Scholarship advising sessions. Students were encouraged to reach out to the study abroad office and the three professors to learn more about Gilman and the semester study abroad programs.

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 Dr. Alice Yang at yanga@smccd.edu. You can also learn more by visiting the SMCCD Study Abroad Facebook page or the SMCCCD Instagram page @smcccd_study_abroad.

Article by Alice Yang | Photo by Alice Yang

Ceramics Students Showcase Artwork at the 2023 California Clay Conference

April 28th and 29th marked the fifteenth anniversary of Skyline College ceramics students’ participation in the annual California Conference for the Advancement of Ceramic Art in Davis. The conference, hosted by the John Natsoulas Center for the Arts, draws ceramics students from the West Coast to display their colleges’ artwork and to attend exhibitions by other colleges from the region. Each school is provided a space in downtown Davis to transform into a gallery for the weekend. This year Skyline College was in a large exhibition hall with many other institutions, including other California community colleges, CSUs, and private arts colleges.

As a capstone project for intermediate-level ceramics classes, participating students shared their conceptual inspirations, ideas, and techniques with visitors. The large variety of school exhibitions presented a beneficial opportunity for students to connect with instructors and current students from potential transfer colleges. In addition to attending the student shows, several local galleries held statewide and national ceramics exhibitions featuring a wide range of ceramic artwork from professionals in the ceramics field. This concentration of ceramic art and practicing artists provided an engaged community of those passionate about working in clay. In fact, this nationally recognized conference was recently listed as one of the best art activities to do in Northern California by the New York Times!

Skyline’s Student Ceramic Exhibition featured a wide range of clay pottery and sculpture, representing our students’ wide creative and technical span. One featured piece was a sculpture, “Two Paths: Our Choice,” by Valerie Lapin. In a statement about climate change, a globe is presented on an hourglass. The globe’s color is based on a map created by NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, with different hues reflecting the amount of change in average temperatures since the industrial revolution. The hourglass is interactive and can be turned to illustrate the path we are on with fossil fuels on one half, and on the other half depicting a future of solutions based on use of renewable energy.

The student exhibition was collaboratively co-curated by Tiffany Schmierer, Art Professor, Ashley Asaro, Studio Art Lab Technician, and the ceramics students. Ash also exhibited his sculpture in the SFSU student show, and Tiffany’s sculpture was on display at the John Natsoulas Gallery.

Article by Ashley Asaro and Tiffany Schmierer | Photos by Michael De Natale and Tiffany Schmierer

Beta Theta Omicron Spring Update

It’s been an amazing semester for the Beta Theta Omicron Chapter. This year the chapter received several awards this year! The list includes:

• 2 international awards at the annual convention in Ohio in April
• Distinguished Honors in Action research for their work on integrated play in the community college classroom
• Distinguished chapter award placing Beta Theta Omicron chapter amongst the top 40 chapters in the U.S.
• May Myat Chel Myint, Thanh Nguyen, and Dr. Susanne Schubert received the distinguished chapter member award
• PTK members Kaitlyn Widjaja and Amber Gonzales made the All-California Academic team, 2nd and 3rd team respectively

Congratulations everyone! The chapters work on campus as well as their research efforts made these accolades possible.

This year, the chapter has gone to several conventions and events. The chapter officers attended educational forums and networked with students from across the US. At one conference, the current co-president Lasheana Husni campaigned for the role of international officer for the Division IV and gave a research speech before the entire congregation of over 5000 attendees. Even though the spring was busy with travel activities the chapter also offered a number of events and workshops to the campus community.

The chapter held study skills workshops and invited university representatives to share their specific scholarships for PTK students. Chapter member Erin Denny took the initiative and coordinated the chapter’s participation at the Skyline Earth Fest and shared her passion of foraging and shared recipes on how to make your own pesto from stinging nettles.

In another workshop series, Laura Dickson (VP of College Project) set up the Feel Good Fest. She shared with students how to stretch properly and help with common aches when working and studying on the computer. At another workshop, Prof. Rick Hough shared sustainable and health recipes to nourish the body that are easy to make. Finally, attendees made their own goodie bags with essential oil mixes shared by Erin Denny, resistance band for stretching and much more.

On Thursday, May 11, 2023, another workshop was hosted by Sahil Niwas (VP of Honors in Action) entitled Sexual Abuse Awareness Workshop the theme of this workshop was to spread awareness with support from the Rape Trauma Services on consent, mandated reporters, sexual assault, abuse, and trauma. To wrap up the semester, this Friday, May 12, 2023 from 4- 6pm the chapter will have their final celebration, BOO – Con, in which the officer team looks back on lessons learned and accomplishments gained, as well as thank their supporters on campus. Members will campaign for officer positions and elections will be held. The celebration will end with the installation of the new officer team!

Article by Susanne Schubert and edited by Sha’Kuana Ona | Photos by Susanne Schubert

Solar Boat Team Set Sail Again in Annual SMUD Solar Regatta

For the 5th time, the Skyline Solar Boat Team of the Engineering and Robotics Club (ERC) joins the SMUD (Sacramento Municipal Utility District) Solar Boat competition at Rancho Seco Recreational Area in Herald, CA. It was the 10th time this state-wide event took place and the second time after the pandemic.

Due to the aftermath of COVID, the number of participants has drastically declined. While we had 20 teams in the past, only 9 teams participated this year.

But this year, something happened, which never has before; it was raining! Until the last minute, the SMUD organization team waited to give green light for the competition to happen. Of course, solar power doesn’t work best when it’s pouring so the competition was held on batteries only.

The second thing, that had never been seen before, was the number of team members going to the competition: 26 students! We never had that many participants and this shows that students are eager to engage in face-to-face activities again, after the long break during the pandemic. The team arrived on a rainy Friday to pitch the tents on the usually warm and sunny lake of Rancho Seco. The team was in a great mood, the food was great (thanks to Chef Nick Kapp) and the team sat at the fire pit to enjoy being outdoors the night before the race. Only 5 additional teams out of the 9 teams arrived the night before the regatta and spent the night at the lake. The SMUD program manager gave them extra kudos for doing that, since camping in the rain isn’t for everyone. But the students, advisors and the dog Chloe stayed dry and were eager to race on the next morning!

The races were fast and the competition tough. Skyline had a hard time beating the slim and fast boats of City College of San Francisco or San Joaquin Delta College. But our boat sustained heavy rain and competed all the races, where others were left dead in the water but in the end suffered an electronic failure. It wasn’t enough for a trophy but the team spirit and the motivation were still on an all time high! The members of the Engineering and Robotics Club celebrated their president, John Michael Rada at the end of the races, carrying on their shoulders as their trophy.

Nevertheless, it was a great experience and everyone enjoyed the supportive and collaborative atmosphere among the participants and the organizer of SMUD. Thank you SMUD, for hosting such a great event again and giving students a great learning experience!

A big thank you also to Physics faculties Dr. Emilie Hein and Mayra Lopez-Thibodeaux, Biology faculty Dr. Nick Kapp, and Chemistry faculty Dr. Susanne Schubert, who drove the students, equipment and supplies to Rancho Seco on Friday night and camped with them, provided food and support till the dawn of the race and drove them all safely back to Skyline!

And special thanks to Dino Nomicos, Dean of Kinesiology, for letting us use the vans and to the Associated Students of Skyline College (ASSC) , for the funding and support!

Article by Marco Wehrfritz, Emilie Hein and Sean Ruiz

International Student Program Hosts Annual Global Extravaganza

The International Student Program (ISP) hosted its annual Global Extravaganza event on Wednesday, April 19, 2023, to promote cultural diversity and educate the school community about the various cultures represented by the international students at Skyline College. Julius Wijaya, an international student from Indonesia, served as the emcee for the event from 12 pm to 1 pm at the Fireside Dining. He started the event by introducing Cia Garcia, a Sundanese (West Javanese) dancer from the Bay Area. Cia performed two classic Indonesian dances: the masked dance and the Jaipongan dance, while dressed in two different traditional Indonesian costumes.

Several tables were set up during the event with different activities to enhance the cultural experience. There was an instrument table where attendees could play traditional instruments with the help of ISP student ambassadors and student volunteers. The traditional instruments from Myanmar and Indonesia, such as Angklung, Kendang, and Saron from Indonesia, Singing Bowl from Nepal, Xylophone from Myanmar, and Hank Drum from the Aztec culture, were displayed at the musical instrument table.
From there, the attendees could move along and test their Chinese, Burmese, and Javanese calligraphy. Finally, the attendees could show off their talents at the Origami folding table by learning how to fold a paper tray and a paper crane.

ISP also had a traditional gaming table. Participants learned how to play a traditional Vietnamese game called Klah Klok, played on New Year’s Day; a Singaporean game involving mini bean bags called Five Stones, a game similar to Jacks. We also had a traditional game called Mancala. It is played in several Asian countries as well as some African countries This game requires a lot of patience and wit because it can take hours to play.

Overall, many staff, faculty, and students showed up for the event and participated. The event was a big success since it allowed students, faculty, and staff to learn about other countries cultures. The event was enriching and instructive, with cultural showcases from all over the world.

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 skyinternational@smccd.edu.

Article by Tim Luong | Photos by Hnin Thandar Win

International Student Program Hosts CSU College Fair

On Monday, May 1, 2023, the International Student Program (ISP) hosted California State University (CSU) College fair and international admission representatives from 13 CSU campuses visited. The college fair took place in Building 6, Room 6-202 from 1:30 pm to 3:30 pm.

Representatives from the following CSUs were present: Bakersfield, Chico, East Bay, Humboldt, Long beach, Los Angeles, Monterey Bay, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Francisco, San Jose, Sonoma, and Stanislaus. About 10 international students and the International Student Academic Counselor, Carlos Romero, came by the college fair. They were able to ask questions about the CSU campuses, admission, scholarships, and on-campus employment. ISP hopes to continue to host more events for students who are interested in transferring to a 4-year university.

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

Article by Hnin Thandar Win | Photos by Hnin Thandar Win

Psi Beta Attends Psychological Conference

From April 27 through April 30th, members of the Psi Beta Honor Society attended the Western Psychology Association’s annual conference in Riverside, California. Students attended poster sessions, symposiums, and distinguished speaker sessions. One member summarized some of the other benefits of the conference with the following reflection: “The WPA conference provided an opportunity for networking within the professional psychological community and learning about potential higher education pathways. It created a space for bonding between club members and connecting with future peers and mentors. It was a fantastic way to introduce undergraduates to the world of research and potentially give an opportunity for presenting research.”

This was the first professional conference for all of the Skyline College Psi Beta members who attended and they extend their profound thanks to those who contributed financial support to make the trip possible.

Article by Jennifer Merrill

CTTL Hosts Successful PIF Writing Lab

The Skyline College CTTL recently hosted the first PIF Grant Writing Lab that welcomed campus colleagues to the CTTL in Building 5. The open lab was aimed at providing support to the campus community who were seeking information, collaboration, and idea sharing before the upcoming PIF grant deadline.

The event was attended by a diverse group of faculty, staff, and students from various departments across the college, all of whom shared a common interest in learning more and collaborating on their PIF grant application in support the college’s mission and vision. The PIF Grant Writing Lab provided the time and space for participants to connect with one another, exchange ideas, and learn more about the PIF application and funding in general from Paul Cassidy, Skyline College Finance and Operations Manager. A special thanks to Paul for sharing his insights and time with us while he gracefully listened to critical feedback and suggestions around the PIF process including specific requests around more transparency and an earlier notification timeline. Attendees had the chance to ask questions about the application itself, network with peers looking to strengthen their grant writing skills and find potential collaborators. The lab provided practical tips and guidance and fostered a sense of community among colleagues who share a passion for advancing Skyline College’s mission including enrollment recovery, improving the student experience, and increasing students’ sense of belonging.

As the college looks towards the future, there will continue to be many opportunities for faculty, staff, and students to come together and support one another in pursuit of common goals. The PIF Grant Writing Lab was just one example of how collaboration and idea sharing can help Skyline College shine.

Best of luck to this year’s PIF grant applicants, those submitting for their 2nd and 3rd years as well as previous awardees who are now in the process of securing support and funding to institutionalize and continue successful projects.

Article by Marisa Thigpen with support of ChatGPT | Photos by Marisa Thigpen