Financial Aid Awareness Day

financial aid awarenessOn Thursday, October 4, the financial aid office hosted its fall Financial Aid Awareness Day attracting over 150 students. The event promoted the new 2019-2020 FAFSA and California Dream Act application which opened for students to apply on October 1, 2018. Students were invited to learn some of the new changes and features that rolled out with the 19-20 applications such as the myStudentAid mobile app which allows students and their families to complete the FAFSA on their smartphones. Free Costco Hot Dogs were provided to students after completing a brief survey regarding their current use of financial aid which includes the California College Promise Grant (CCFG) fee waiver, grants, scholarships and the Federal Work-Study program.

Students were also exposed to the fall financial aid workshops and the upcoming scholarship season. The financial aid office will be hosting a Scholarship Kickoff event on November 5, 2018. For more information or questions regarding financial aid, please visit the website:

Article and Photo by Jeremy Evangelista-Ramos

Peer Mentoring: Creating a Community of Strong Learners

College can be confusing, and students often find themselves overwhelmed. Peer Mentors are here to help ease the adjustment to college life!

The Learning Center Peer Mentoring program at Skyline College has served over 150 students in September by leveraging the skills of experienced Skyline College students to help their fellow students succeed. Our eight peer mentors are trained to facilitate academic and personal success for their fellow students through practical skill development by:

  • Building mentee’s knowledge of college resources
  • Promoting development of educational, leadership, career, and learning goals
  • Fostering social engagement and a sense of belonging to large and small campus communities
  • Increasing student engagement with their academics

The Peer Mentoring program works closely with Promise Scholars, Counseling 100 Faculty, Middle College, and other programs across campus to provide workshops customized to student needs. Workshops planned for Fall 2018 include:

  • Navigating Your First Year in College
  • Introduction to Microsoft Word
  • Be Web Savvy: Tips & Tricks
  • How to Connect to Your Professor
  • Time Management & Organization

For additional information about Peer Mentoring, our current mentors and workshops, or how to schedule an appointment, please visit our website at

Phone: (650) 738-7136

Article by Raymon Gutierrez and Chelssee De Barra | Photo by Zaw Min Khant

From Censorship to Citizenship: Learning Commons Events Challenge Us All to Speak Out

Censorship Banned Books WeekEssential ideas championed by American libraries — the freedom to read what we want, the role of books in an informed democracy, and the rights of citizens and citizenship — received a flurry of attention during September at the Learning Commons.

Special events marked “Banned Books Week,” a national awareness event showcasing books historically excluded from schools and libraries. Among the banned books that flew off the library’s shelves during the month were 24 favorites handpicked by Skyline students, faculty and staff in a survey.  On September 27, selections from many of these were featured at a Banned Books Reading before a packed house at the library. Each reader chose passages or scriptures to share while giving background on the reason behind the book being banned.

Librarian Pia Walawalkar read from Salman Rushdie’s Satanic Verses, Music Professor Zachary Bruno read from The Bible, English Instructor Monique Iles read from Virginia Woolfe’s Ms. Dalloway, Interim Dean of the Language Arts Division Chris Gibson read from Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, English Instructor Katherine Harer read from Ulysses, and Interim Dean of Social Sciences/ Creative Arts Division read from Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale. Visit the Learning Commons Facebook page for photos of the event at

“Banned or Not?” an interactive library exhibit, challenged students to guess which ones, from a selection of books, had been banned in the past. The exhibit was accompanied by “Censorship by the Numbers” literature to answer vital questions about the why’s and how’s of censorship in America.

A Citizenship Day booth, hosted by the Skyline College Dream Center, the USA student club, and the Learning Commons, gave students a place to voice resistance to current immigration policies while also promoting awareness, through shared messages of support for Skyline College’s nearly 400 undocumented students who live, work, and study without the protections of citizenship. The library has a core collection of books about undocumented immigrants on display through October.

San Francisco Peninsula People Power came to the Learning Commons on September 25 to promote Voter Registration Day and help people register to vote.  Additional voter registration forms are available through October at an Exercise Your Rights information table in the library.

During October, the Library is recognizing National Hispanic Heritage Month with a mini-exhibit of books by LatinX authors and a poetry reading by English Instructor Brandon Diaz on October 8, 2018 at 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m., in Skyline College Library. See you there!

Article by Jessica Silver-Sharp | Photo by Marisa Thigpen

Skyline College Hosts Dr. Anthony Brown from the University of Johannesburg, South Africa


Anthony Brown The Global Learning Programs and Services Division and SMCCCD Study Abroad hosted Dr. Anthony Brown and Dr. Mabatho Sedibe, visiting faculty from the University of Johannesburg, South Africa, on Tuesday, October 2, 2018.

Dr. Brown collaborated with Skyline College’s South Africa Study Abroad program in 2017 and 2018 at the University of Johannesburg. He led a session on cultural identity in South Africa for SMCCCD students as part of Professor Danielle Powell’s two-week Intercultural Communication course. Many students found Dr. Brown’s session to be a watershed moment of their respective academic experiences. His lecture on October 2, 2018, however, was the first time that he gave a lecture to Skyline College students in the U.S.

Dr. Brown presented his lecture, Humanizing Education through the Spirit of Ubuntu to over 50 students, staff, and faculty. Ubuntu is an African philosophy that connects human existence and well-being as a collective responsibility. Dr. Brown shared his life journey and intersecting identities with students. He explained how education was what allowed him to break out of the script South African society had pre-written for him. He described the Power of the Decimal (e.g., 30.0 is greater than 5.00), explaining that no matter what number of resources we begin with in life, education is a tool to move the decimal over. He encouraged students to use education to move their decimal, to find their identity, to write their script, and to make positive changes in society.

Later in the afternoon, Dr. Brown hosted an interactive workshop for students in the ASTEP Learning Community and Women’s Mentoring and Leadership Academy. The workshop, titled The Self in the Learning Space: Education for the Realities of Today and a Hopeful Tomorrow, incorporated many of the key themes that students learned during the summer Study Abroad Program in South Africa.

Dr. Brown graduated with a Doctorate of Education in Inclusive Education from the University of the Birmingham in the United Kingdom. He holds a Masters of Arts (Special Educational Needs) from Leeds University in the United Kingdom and a Bachelor in Education (English) from the University of Namibia. He is currently a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Johannesburg.

San Mateo County Community College District (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 abroad, faculty teach abroad opportunities, visiting international faculty presenters and student scholarship opportunities, please contact Zaid Ghori at (650) 738-7088 or

Article by Stephanie Wells | Photo by Zaid Ghori

Skyline College Passport Office Increases Hours of Operation

Passport OfficeThe United States Passport Office at Skyline College is excited to announce our new and extended hours of operation. Effective October 1, 2018, the new hours of operation are:

  • Monday, Wednesday, and Friday: 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday, and Thursday: 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Skyline College Passport Services is a recipient of Skyline College’s President’s Innovation Fund for 2017-18 and part of the Global Learning Programs and Services Division in Building 2, Room 2-319B. We also offer on-site passport photo services for $8. For questions or to schedule an appointment, please visit our website at or call (650) 738-4252. Email inquires can be sent to

The U.S. Department of State determines eligibility for a U.S. Passport and makes the final decision to issue a passport to an applicant. As a Passport Acceptance Facility, we are authorized to receive completed applications for a U.S. Passport and submit the application along with all necessary documentation to the U.S. Department of State.

Article and Photo by Zaid Ghori

EOPS Welcomes New Students with Kick-off Mixer and Resource Fair

EOPS Kickoff eventExtended Opportunity Programs & Services (EOPS), which also includes the CARE and Guardian Scholars Program, held a new student mixer and campus resource fair on September 25, 2018, in the Multicultural Center Hosting Gallery. The purpose of the event was to welcome new EOPS students to the program as well as meet EOPS staff, faculty, ambassadors and fellow EOPS students.  It was also an opportunity for attendees to obtain important information about campus resources and other student services.

Some of the campus resources who tabled were the Financial Aid Office, The Disability Resource Center, The Guardian Scholars Program, and The Division of Student Equity and Support Programs. Students obtained information about scholarships, upcoming campus-wide events, and applied to other student services for which they found themselves eligible. Attendees engaged in an interactive game utilizing their smart phones to answer trivia questions about EOPS program benefits, requirements, and student resources.

The EOPS/CARE/Guardian Scholars program is still accepting applications for Fall 2018 and looks forward to holding another mixer and resource fair in the Spring semester. For more information about EOPS/CARE/Guardian Scholars, please email or call (650) 738-4319.

Article and Photo by Melanie Espinueva+Aure

Beta Theta Omicron’s Research is Published

Beta Theta Omicron’s Honors In Action project, “Human Microbiomes and How the Earth Works,” was published in the 2018 edition of Civic Scholar: Phi Theta Kappa Journal of Undergraduate Research. This journal features substantive research and community engagement by community college scholars. The 2017 Honors Study Topic was How the World Works: A Global Perspective. For their 2017 project, chapter members, led by Thanh Nguyen and Shelvana Cai, investigated the prevalence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteria in our community.

Projects selected for publication in Civic Scholar begin as chapters’ investigations into Phi Theta Kappa’s honors study topic. Chapters then narrow their focus to a particular theme and develop research questions related to their chosen theme. Ultimately, students turn their research into action by using their findings to fill specific community needs. To be considered for publication in Civic Scholar, a chapter must enter submit a Hallmark Awards entry for the chapter’s Honors in Action project.

Beta Theta Omicron’s article and the Civic Scholar table of contents are at

Article by Christine Case

Welcome Gavin Townsley to the Learning Commons!

Gavin TownsleyThe Learning Center is excited to welcome back Skyline College alumnus, Gavin Townsley, to the Skyline College Community! Gavin graduated from San Francisco State University with an MFA in Creative Writing and with Certifications in Teaching Composition and Post-Secondary Reading in spring 2018. Previously, Gavin worked at Cañada College as a Retention Specialist for Basic Skills Students, taught Basic Skills English in Cañada College Word Jams, and also worked as a Lecturer for the Creative Writing Department at SFSU. Not only is Gavin a Skyline College graduate, but he also served as an Instructional Aide II for the Supplemental Instruction program at The Learning Center, an English tutor for the Summer Scholars program, and as an SLA for the Supplemental Learning Assistance Program here at Skyline.

In his new role as the Supplemental Instruction (SI) Program Services Coordinator, Gavin will lead a team of 40+ SI Leaders to support students in highly enrolled and traditionally difficult courses. He is looking forward to working closely with Skyline College students, faculty, and staff.  In his free time, Gavin enjoys hiking, running (he’s currently training for the Berkeley Half Marathon), exploring nature, watching movies, and playing video games. He’s also a fervent reader and writer of both fiction and nonfiction. Come join us in welcoming Gavin back to our community – his office is in Building Five, Room 5110!

Article written by Chelssee DeBarra and Joshua M. Lindo

Students Learn Marketing at the BAEC

workshopThe Bay Area Entrepreneur Center of Skyline College (BAEC) is in its third week of the Student Internship Job Shadow Program!  All seven of the BAEC student interns across the different programs on campus came together for an Online Marketing Made Easy Workshop on September 26, 2018. This workshop was led by Terri Wade, BAEC Marketing Coordinator, and focused on growing essential business skills, learning best practices for marketing and creating a dynamic marketing campaign.

As a team, the BAEC student interns will be collaborating on a project to solving a problem that they themselves and their community face. This project will include a marketing campaign to gain awareness of the problem and ways to solve it.  Student Intern, Michelle Huang is currently working on a marketing campaign for a sustainability project on campus, which includes using solar and fog energy to increase energy efficiency at Skyline College. Each student intern bring a unique set of skills to this project and to the Internship Job Shadow program, as a whole.

The Student Internship Job Shadow Program empowers students to develop the necessary skills needed to enter into the workforce or to develop their own business ideas.  These skills include teamwork, time and project management, effective communication, mastering the art of interviewing, tips to improve their resume, and developing their professional network. The Student Internship Job Shadow Program is for students to gain a better understanding of their interests, available career paths, all while building their professional networking and resume.

For more information on student internship opportunities at the Bay Area Entrepreneur Center of Skyline College, or other resources, please contact us via email, phone (650) 738-7992, on the web at, or come visit us in-person!  The BAEC is located at 458 San Mateo Ave, San Bruno, CA 94066.

Article by Terri Wade & Pcyeta Stroud | Photo by Ling Chien

Automotive Department Partners with Ford

Skyline College Automotive Department is now an official partner with Ford Motor Company.  Through sponsorship from Serramonte Ford the Skyline College Automotive Department is now part of the Ford ACE (Automotive Career Exploration) program. Ford Motor Company, in conjunction with Serramonte Ford, is working on donating a 2014 Ford Focus to be used for training. Additionally Ford is providing educational training for staff and students along with equipment donations which will enhance the training for our students on Ford Technology.  “ Our students will benefit greatly from this partnership which in turn benefits Skyline College and the Automotive Program.”  Serramonte Ford is offering internships for students interested in working on Ford products.  Skyline Automotive program is excited about working with Serramonte Ford and Ford Motor Company as we work toward enhancing the education of our students while staying connected to our employers and our community.

Article by Thomas G. Broxholm