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

Skyline College Forensics Team Hosts NCFA Spring Fling Speech and Debate Tournament

On Saturday April 29, 2023 the Skyline College Forensics Team hosted our first on-campus tournament on behalf of the Northern California Forensics Association (NCFA). Over 150 competitors, coaches and judges from 19 colleges and universities traveled to Skyline College to compete in the final NCFA sponsored tournament of the competitive year. Students had the opportunity to showcase talents in over fifteen different categories of speech and debate events.  

Trojans, Illeana Guillen (Journalism Major) and Christian Reyes (Mathematics Major) competed in the events of impromptu and informative speaking. Impromptu speaking is a limited preparation event where competitors are given a set of quotations and have 2 minutes to pick one quotation and then prepare a 5-minute speech. It is one of the more challenging events to compete in. Illeana and Christian broke to the final round in novice impromptu both earning bronze. 

Hosting this event would not have been possible, let alone a success, without the work and collaboration of 3 particular individuals: Communication Studies Professor Jessica Hurless, Business Professor Grace Beltran and Forensics Team Captain Anthony Tolosa. I would also like to take the time to recognize Skyline College colleagues who came out to support leading up to and the execution of the event: The Facilities Team, Kennya Ruiz, Annie Trinh, Angelica Mendoza, Cassidy Ryan-White, Dr. Bianca Rowden-Quince, Ricardo Flores, Isaiah Angeles, Elian Fontanilla, Chris Gibson, Vice President of Instruction Dr. Vinicio Lopez, President Joe Morello and Public Safety.  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 ayottel@smccd.edu and (650)738-4276. 

Article by Lindsey Ayotte | Photo by Jessica Hurless

Promise Scholars Program (PSP) Priority Registration Drop-In Event

Skyline College Promise Scholars Program (PSP) hosted its Priority Registration Drop-In event on Wednesday, May 3rd and Thursday, May 4th both in-person at the Intercultural Center and virtually on Zoom. The two-day event was provided to support students with not only Fall 2023 registration, but for those who wanted to see a PSP counselor for a variety of reasons. This included figuring out their schedule, registering for classes, reviewing their education plan, and more! In collaborating with the Learning Center, Peer Mentors were also available to support students with Finals Week preparations. Students who joined in person were welcomed with donuts, coffee, and snacks. For those who wanted to just drop in and relax, an art station and a variety of games were available on the side as additional self-care activities. The whole Promise Scholars Program team (support staff and counselors) organized this event that had almost 100 student attendees who took advantage of their priority registration in preparation for the upcoming semester.

Article by Albin Lee | Photos by Albin Lee

Cultivating Student Leaders at the Skyline College Learning Center

Since Fall 2022, the Skyline College Learning Center has hosted a series of All-Hands Trainings in partnership with the STEM Center to support its team of student workers in cultivating strong, professional development skills. Through attending a year-long sequence of helpful workshops, academic Peer Tutors, Student Assistants, Peer Mentors, and Supplemental Instructors (SIs) were provided the opportunity to learn about various on-campus resources and services, and gain practical knowledge on how these Skyline College programs can best support their success and those of the students they serve.

Most recently, on Friday, April 21, 2023, both academic support centers welcomed Brittney Sneed and Derek Allenby from the Career Readiness & Job Placement Hub (a program within the Strategic Partnerships and Workforce Development Division (SPWD)) to provide their expertise on drafting effective resumes and cover letters, and offer useful recommendations for preparing for a job interview. During this workshop, students drafted 5-word “elevator pitches” that best marketed their professional skills and abilities, and spotlighted their individual talents and strengths. Students also engaged in career-related goal-setting, and developed short- and long-term timelines to help put their plans into action.

Earlier this semester, the Learning Center and STEM Center teams were graced by the presence of SparkPoint’s Flor López, who discussed the abundant network of resources offered by the program– from housing services and financial coaching to sustainable food connections and free, weekly groceries. Following an overview of services, López presented a compelling and relatable lesson on financial literacy, where students were able to exercise critical thinking and participate in fruitful, group discussions regarding credit building and smart money management.

In addition to exposing students to an array of Skyline College resources, both centers received coaching on how to engage in student-centered dialogue when providing peer support. In Fall 2022, Joshua Lindo from the Student Equity & Support Programs (SESP) Division educated students on how to identify and effectively address microaggressions. Committed to creating an equitable environment for all, the Learning Center also facilitates ongoing, professional development trainings focused on maintaining a safe and inclusive workplace, and provides regular coaching to its student leaders on how to foster a kind and supportive student community.

Through these trainings, the Learning Center aims to support its amazing team of student support professionals in building transferable job-related skills that will continue to serve them far beyond their employment and education at Skyline College. Furthermore, the Learning Center is passionate about providing an academic space that encourages whole-student growth, and is a program truly dedicated to exposing students to hands-on experiences and resources that support their lifelong success.

Article by Monique Ubungen | Photos by Monique Ubungen and Gavin Townsley

Comprehensive Program Review Share-Outs

After almost three years of planning and hard work by the Institutional Effectiveness Committee, Skyline College and our community engaged with and experienced the newly revamped CPR Share-Outs on April 10, 2023 and April 24, 2023. The following programs participated in this year’s CPR Share-Outs: Accounting, Computer Science/Engineering, Counseling, SparkPoint Center, Career Readiness and Job Placement, Communication Studies, EOPS/CARE/CalWORKS, and Respiratory Care. The CPR Share-Outs started with time for programs to share their posters and engage in conversations with attendees followed by a moderated panel discussion with the participating programs. The new format has received positive feedback, and we are proud of the hard work, dedication, and thoughtfulness of the Institutional Effectiveness Committee and participating programs in helping make the event a success.

Link to posters: https://www.skylinecollege.edu/iec/assets/agendas-minutes/2022-2023/CPR%20Share%20Outs%20posters%20SP2023_IEC.pdf

Article written by Chris Gibson and Ame Maloney | Photos taken by Karen Wong and Ame Maloney

Skyline College Celebrates Earth Day with Interactive, Fun and Educational Exhibits

On April 19th, the SMCCCD Sustainability Committee at Skyline College hosted an Earth Day event that brought together students, staff, and faculty to celebrate our planet and learn how we can all do our part to protect it. The inaugural Skyline Earth Fest, spearheaded by Skyline College Sustainability Committee members Aria Frangos, Qimmah Tamu and Marisa Thigpen, was designed to engage our campus community and encourage conversation and action about protecting and conserving the earth’s resources in support of our planet’s health. The campus community was invited to join, share activities and table at the event as well as post how they help protect, celebrate and help create a more sustainable planet the earth through personal choices via our Skyline Earth Fest Padlet

Phi Theta Kappa, International Honor Society members were excited to do some outreach through this event. PTK member Erin Denny educated table visitors about foraging and wild foods. In addition, she shared her homemade pine preserves (jelly) made with baby pinecones and pine needles served on crackers with cheese – a totally new flavor for most brave enough to try with most finding it “yummy!”   

Pictured, Erin Denny of PTK International Honor Society sharing her homemade pinecone jelly. 

The Museum of Tomorrow exhibit was an exciting visual centerpiece of the event in the quad, encouraging students walking by to stop and check out what was going on. This interactive exhibit is one of many designed by our District Utility and Sustainability Coordinator, Jessica Ho. Overall, the Museum of Tomorrow portrays climate change via an innovative approach, translating the abstract and distant issue of “climate change” into a tangible and immediate experience. Through visual, experiential, Instagrammable exhibits, the concept of battling climate change was shifted into something digestible and actionable. Jessica and the Sustainability Team displayed the Fast Fashion and Wish Tree exhibits to inform students about the impact of clothing waste and to get students to share their “wishes” for a sustainable Skyline College campus, respectively.  

Pictured, Museum of Tomorrow fast fashion columns engage students to think about their fashion choices.

Another highlight of the event was the Clothing Swap, where attendees could bring gently used clothing to exchange with others. The swap helped reduce wasted clothing items and found many happy students a fun new piece for their wardrobes. It was also a fun way to promote mindfulness around buying clothes and sustainable fashion practices in general! 

Pictured, Skyline College students try on donated clothes from the clothing swap.  

Two local off-campus partners also joined us for the event, Pacific Beach Coalition and California State Parks at Half Moon Bay State Beach. The Pacific Beach Coalition representatives shared information about ways to get involved in local beach clean-ups, including their official Earth Day Clean-Up. The representative from Half Moon Bay State Beach offered an engaging table with a planting activity to cultivate local wildflowers and educational materials on supporting local ecosystems. Another planting opportunity at Earth Fest invited participants to bring plant clippings or rooted babies to help repopulate the flora in the building 7 ‘Grow Globe’ (new name). Biology Professor Michael Song supported the effort in rooting and planting the seeds and clippings and helping our young friends from the Skyline College Child Development Laboratory Center with a fun planting activity that they could take back to their classroom or homes. 

Pictured, SMCCCD Sustainability Team members take a moment to enjoy the photo props from the California State Parks at Half Moon Bay State Beach. 

The e-waste collection was also a popular feature of the event, allowing campus community members to dispose of electronic waste in an environmentally friendly way. Used batteries and broken or old electronics and cables were collected to be properly recycled and disposed of by the District Sustainability Team of Jessica Ho, Adrielle Cailipan, and Ananya Subramanian. The event also provided a space to share information about ways to save electricity via our digital choices with a useful infographic and webpage produced by Aria Frangos.  

Overall, the inaugural Skyline Earth Fest was a success in engaging our campus community to make a positive impact on the planet where we can all contribute to a healthier and more sustainable future. After the event, a Skyline Earth Fest volunteer shared that she found the event inspiring to be in community with others who are passionate about the environment and thinking creatively about how we can care for the world around us. Thank you to everyone who volunteered and participated in this event and let us continue to celebrate and protect our planet every day!  

You can find out more information including links to sustainability podcasts, Skyline College Library resources and so much more by visiting our Skyline Earth Fest Linktree. For details and data on District-wide sustainability projects and metrics, visit the SMCCCD Sustainability website

Pictured, Event organizers and campus community members take a moment to enjoy the Cupid Shuffle. 

Article by Aria Frangos and Marisa Thigpen I Photos by Marisa Thigpen