Poetry Touches the Hearts of Everyone: A Report from “The Poetry of Many Tongues”

Last month Skyline College Library’s Third annual poetry reading in international languages began in the zoom chat with a flood of greetings by more than thirty participants in their native languages, setting the stage for an inspiring lineup of passionate readings by students and faculty lasting into the early evening. 

“Buenas tardes! | “Kumusta?! | “Oi, Boa tarde! | “Xin Chào! | “Naimbag a malem! | “Namaskar!”,Sziasztok! | “Guten Nachmittag! Ich freue mich hier zu sein! | “Ciao!, Guten Tag!| “Dober vecer! | “Mahalo!” | “Nyob zoo! | “Oi gente tudo bom? | “Ba’ax ka wa’alik | “Salu!” 

Joined by faculty from both Skyline and Cañada Colleges, Skyline and College of San Mateo students, encouraged by their English and language professors, also participated by reading original poems or works by poets they admired. Some of the readings included: 

  • World languages professor Luciana Castro read poems by her mother, the poet Abagail Castro, in Portuguese.
  • Skyline College librarian Mary Torres-Volken conveyed poet Pablo Neruda’s “La Muerta” dramatically in American sign language. 
  • Guest poet Nooshan Shekarabi was unable to join the virtual session but sent a recording of her own poem in Farsi titled “Love Over Fear.” Prof. Shekarabi is Professor of Political Science and chair of the Department of Political Science at Santiago Canyon College. 
  • Canada College ESOL professor and Mayan native Gerardo Pacheco Matus read his original poem, “How not to become a ghost.”
  • College of San Mateo student Daniel Abera read “A friend of my heart,” a poem he’d composed in his native Amharic, the national language of Ethiopia.
  • Alexandra Szabo, an international student from Hungary, read a poem in Hungarian by Attila Jozsef. 
  • Soon to be published poet/Skyline student Giti Abbasi read her original love poem in Farsi.
  • Skyline student Yesika Wong Sanchez read “Eternity”/”Eternidad” by Cuban poet Dulce María Loynaz y del Castillo.
  • Fulbright scholar Ryan Domingo read a poem by the Alex Stabag in Ilocano, one of the languages spoken in the Philippines. 
  • Biology faculty Simantini Karve and event host and librarian Pia Walawalkar read the poem “Kanna “ by Marathi poet Kusumagraj.
  • Pia Walawalkar and Chemistry faculty member Susanne Schubert read in German and English from poems by Franz Xaver Kappus and Rainer Maria Rilke.
  • Poet Aileen Cassinetto read an anaga poem about homeland and homecomings in Tagalog. 

Throughout the session, participants and listeners together enjoyed powerful, inspirational, passionate and sometimes very dark poetry on the themes of love, life, death and migration. It was clear from the session that poetry touches the hearts of everyone, transcending language barriers and bringing us together.

Thank you to our event hosts for once again actively and positively affirming the rich diversity of our college community through poetry. You can visit the Library’s Poetry Research Guide for help locating poems or exploring your passion for poetry.

Article by Jessica Silveer-Sharp

Skyline College’s Drive-Through Community Market

Introduction to Psychobiology examines how our brain influences behavior and includes an overview of how what we eat affects our brain. Students in the class were able to share this knowledge with our larger community by connecting with folks attending Skyline College’s Drive-Through Community Market.

Students created recipe cards containing ingredients commonly distributed at the market, like eggs, vegetables, and rice. Importantly, each recipe provided information about how these foods contribute to good brain health. For example, one recipe shared that “Eggs contain choline, which is helpful for learning, memory, and movement.”

Before heading to the Market, students worked together to develop an elevator pitch to give to each car to let Market attendees know who they were, what they were doing, and why they were doing it.

In addition to applying the information learned in class, this assignment also helped students practice the 21st century skills of critical thinking by determining how to relay complicated information in an accessible way, creativity in the way they designed the recipe, collaboration and social skills by working in groups, productivity, and effective communication.   

Article by Jennifer Merrill

Zero Textbook Cost Makes Course Materials Free for ALL Skyline Students

Skyline faculty use of Open Educational Resources (OER) and Skyline Library electronic resources supports free course materials access for ALL Skyline students – regardless of program, cohort, enrollment status, or county of residence. This Fall, Skyline offered students 356 ZTC class sections for which course materials are $0, and 87 lower-cost (LTC) class sections for which material costs are ≤$40. Combined, Fall ZTC & LTC classes resulted in an estimated savings of $851,448 – money that stays in students’ pockets and can be used for food, rent, and other necessities! 

We’ve come a long way; but the work is not done yet! The CCCCO has explicitly identified the goal of reducing the overall cost of education for students through the development and implementation of local ZTC degree and certificate pathways to completion – and they have thrown some funding our way to support this work. The ZTC Team is looking forward to connecting with our faculty and administrative colleagues to identify and develop Skyline’s next ZTC degree or certificate pathway(s). Ready to get started? Let’s chat. SkylineZTC@smccd.edu.

Article by Ame Maloney

Violin Class Performs at the Child Development Laboratory Center

On December 1, 2022, students from the Music Department’s Violin/Viola class had the opportunity to perform for the children at the Child Development Laboratory Center. The class, which is a mix of students with past playing experience and students who are just learning to play the violin for the first time, prepared a set of popular children’s tunes and other selections.

The children were introduced to the different sounds that a violin can make, marched around the room to the sounds of a Scottish march and volunteered to be chickens to strut around to the fiddle tune Cluck Old Hen. The violin class also performed Twinkle, Twinkle and Pop Goes the Weasel, incorporating activities to engage the children’s listening skills and make connections to musical concepts throughout the performance.

The class has performed for the children before in past semesters, but it was the first time back since classes went remote in 2020. They hope to return again in future semesters.

The violin students new to learning violin appreciated the opportunity to perform for the very first time and enjoyed playing for the young children. Working together taught them ensemble skills and pushed them to prepare each of their individual parts well to come together as a strong group.

The Violin/Viola class is currently open for Spring 2023 enrollment. There are four levels of class enabling students with no musical experience to join and learn an instrument for the first time, as well as allowing students with past experience to continue their musical studies. Details on this class and others taught by assistant professor Elizabeth Ingber can be found in the WebSchedule.

Student Sherri Li, who has studied piano in the past, joined the violin class for the first time this semester.  She was thankful to have the opportunity to learn a new instrument and expressed her belief that “it is never too late to learn music.” Michele Pelter who thought she’d be “squeaking for at least a few more years” is thrilled to be able to play with a clear tone and play recognizable pieces.  She has even written out some holiday music to learn on her own for the upcoming season. Patti Leggett-Wantz, also a first-time student, and new to violin, reported that the class was a “great community to learn music with and it’s amazing much progress you can make in a semester. It’s fun!”

Article by Elizabeth Ingber

Skyline Wins at The NorCal Journalism Association Regional Conference

The Skyline View staffers hold up the awards they won at the Journalism Association of Community Colleges NorCal Regional Conference on Oct. 22, 2022, at Los Positas College.

In addition to recently publishing their first hard-copy newspaper since February 2020, The Skyline View won numerous awards at this semester’s Journalism Association of Community Colleges NorCal Regional Conference, held at Los Positas College Oct. 22.

Former opinions editor Zachary Navarra clinched two first-place awards, one for photo illustration and one for opinion story, while also picking up an honorable mention for another opinion story he wrote. Former editors Izzy Herrera and Andrea St. Domingo took home a first-place win for an informational graphic they collaborated on. Former editor Adriana Hernandez won two second-place awards–one for editorial cartoon and the other for illustration—and a fourth-place win for feature story. Former EIC Steven Rissotto earned a third-place win for column writing and an honorable mention for profile feature story. The paper as a whole took home both a third-place award and an honorable mention for its editorials. Former reporter Isaac Camacho earned an honorable mention for a critical review he wrote.

But perhaps the most exhilarating award of the day for The Skyline View was the first-place win for on-the-spot social media story, an award the entirely new TSV crew earned by covering the conference event itself through TSV social media channels on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok (@theskylineview).

You can find the latest copy of The Skyline View on campus or at www.theskylineview.com.          

Article by Nancy Kaplan-Biegel

Puentistas Attend Puente Motivational Conference at UC Merced

On November 19, 2022, over 20 Skyline College student Puente students attended the Puente Motivational Conference at the University of California Merced! Students and faculty woke up bright and early to be at the bus by 5 a.m. and drive to UCM to attend a conference with hundreds of Puentistas from all over Northern California, all excited to discover UC Merced.

The conference was from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and was filled with a variety of different workshops from UC’s and CSU’s including UC Berkeley, UC Santa Cruz, and San Francisco State. The keynote speaker was Julissa Arce, who spoke about the challenges of staying true to her culture in an environment that rewards assimilation. This was a great opportunity for students to learn and explore a beautiful college campus as well as hear about the wide variety of opportunities students have after graduating and transferring from Skyline College.

Following the workshops, students were able to tour the UC Merced campus. Students had the opportunity to explore the campus and learn about the vast variety of programs available to them.

After a long day at UC Merced, students returned to campus at 7p.m., tired but with bigger dreams to transfer to a 4-year university.

It was really inspiring to see all the Puentistas from Northern California come united and share our unique and overlapping stories. Chicano/Latinx folk are often left out of prestigious academic institutions which is why programs like Puente are so important. They help you with resources and honestly feels like a family. ~Stephanie Borja

Our trip to UC Merced was real eye opening and fun. I enjoyed meeting new people and having a personal view of a UC campus. It was my first time ever experiencing the atmosphere of a large helping community. It made me realize that there’s so much out there and it made me want to be more involved in Puente. I’m real thankful for the opportunity and I’m definitely recommending Puente to family and friends. ~Christofer Benitez

I really liked how they explained the college and how the resources there can help me achieve my major goals. ~Ian Pulumbait 

Our Puente students planned a trip to this incredible university, UC Merced. It was not on my dream school list but now it is part of it because of the amazing people I met. We had a tour of how their system works and enjoyed some workshops where we found new connections and extended our network. My favorite workshop was the mental health workshop where we shared our thoughts on mental health and released a lot of stress. I appreciate professor Lachmayr for giving us the opportunity to find our element by trying different things. ~Liz Posso

It was fun. ~Geovanna Souza

I had a wonderful experience at the Puente conference at UC Merced. Being able to meet other Puente students and hearing about their experiences was a nice thing to take a part of. It’s always fun to meet new people and learn from them. ~Adan Arambula

Article by Lucia Lachmayr

International Education Week 2022 – International Food Festival

To honor and celebrate International Education Week (IEW), the International Student Program hosted their annual International Food Festival at the Fireside Dining Room on November 16, 2022. Due to the pandemic, the food festival was held virtually for the last two years, but as the Covid-19 restrictions have lowered, we decided to do this event in-person again. This event was a huge success as students, staff, and faculty where able to experience seeing traditional clothes and were able to taste food from different countries like Brazil, China, Indonesia, Greece, Japan, Myanmar, Philippines, and the United States.

The festival started off by students representing themselves for each country in their traditional and modern clothes and serve people bite-size traditional food from their country. At the Indonesia table, not only they served savory finger food like kerupuk and martabak, they also served drinks like teh botol. They also tried to decorate their table with Angklung, a traditional Sundanese musical instrument made out of bamboo; Batik, a cloth where its pattern is made with a waxing technique originated from the Indonesian island of Java; and Wayang, a traditional Indonesian puppet made out of leather. At the Myanmar table, the student’s welcome people by wearing their traditional clothing called Longgyi and served delicious food like See Htamin & Kyauk Kyaw. At the Philippines table, they served Pancit Malabon. While the Brazil table served plenty of savory food like coyinhas, risoles, kibes, and rabo de tatu canudinho. At the American, Greece, China, and Japan tables, they served cornbread, gyros, pork and veggie dimsum, and sushi respectively. Each table at the food festival also had a food allergy notice to inform people about the potential allergens in the food and beverages they will be consuming.

The International Student Program is part of the Global Learning Programs and Services Division at Skyline College. If you wish to learn more about ISP, don’t hesitate to contact the ISP Office at skyinternational@smccd.edu.

Article by Lasheana Dilian Husni | Photos by Clair Yeo-Sugajski

Honors Alumni Panel Hosted by Honors Club & Honors Transfer Program

On Monday, November 7, 2022, the Honors Club and the Honors Transfer Program hosted six Skyline College alumni shared their experiences doing research in a Hyflux program with former Honors student-researchers–Nikole Grinn (UCLA), Justin Tom (UCLA), Yelena Vayn (Santa Clara University), and Ibrahim Amas (USC) were available in person on campus–and recent alumni currently attending UCLA, Jessica Win and Ryan Woo, were available online through Zoom. The panel was moderated by Lawrencedel Legaspi, sponsored by ASSC, and took place at the Fireside Lounge.

Student-moderator Lawrencedel Legaspi asked the panelists many questions that pertained to transfer student life, career trajectories, current interests and reflections on how their work in the Honors Transfer Program and other clubs impacted them. The panelists were honest, generous, and informative about topics like finding transfer housing if the school did not already provide it, making friends, making and saving money, getting the right meal plan, and adjusting to living, traveling, or commuting alone for the first time. Panelist Ibrahim Amas shared how attending the University of Southern California meant he “had to adult real quick!” and find an off-campus apartment in a new city outside of the Bay Area. Yelena Vyan and Justin Tom agreed, stating that some housing opportunities might be tough, but there are a variety of housing options available.

When asked about transfer support at their transfer university, Nikole Grinn shared that UCLA was very supportive, and that it allowed her to focus on creating a strong, academic foundation while there. Ryan Woo stated that transitioning from Skyline College to a school like UCLA showed him some major differences between his coursework, but that the difficulties helped him adjust to new expectations. Jessica Win echoed some of those sentiments, as she told audience members about how she had a hard time transitioning to living alone, getting used to a quarter system from a semester system, and being in upper-division versus lower-division coursework. She shared that she was able to pass many of her classes at Skyline College because she had a lot of support and was involved in many clubs. 

The Skyline College alumni on this Honors Club Alumni Panel have obtained jobs in academic labs, corporate consulting, biotechnology, marketing, and entertainment. Please reach out to the Honors Club if you’d like to contact the panelists.

Anyone who would like to be involved with the Honors Transfer Program can find more information on our website or you can follow the Honors Club on Instagram, @skylinehonorsclub.

Article by Janice Sapigao | Photos by Alysia Tanimua

Get informed, Be Prepared, and Stay Healthy (COVID, Monkeypox, and the Flu)

On November 2, 2022, Skyline College Library and Health Center collaborated to present an informative talk on monkeypox, the flu and Covid-19 by our college physician, Dr. Walter Cheng. A small but inquisitive group learned about the history of each virus, their treatments, and recommendations for staying healthy this coming holiday season. Dr. Cheng also reminded participants that the Health Center is offering free flu shots. “We are already experiencing an early and severe flu and cold season that promises to become even more chaotic during the holidays.” Dr. Cheng advised all members of our community to get their flu shots and Covid boosters, continue wearing masks indoors (to prevent against all three viruses), and wash your hands frequently. If you would like a copy of Dr. Cheng’s slide presentation to share with your colleagues or students, please send a note to Skyline College Nurse Emily Risk <riske@smccd.edu>.

Article by Jessica Silver-Sharp

Umoja-ASTEP Students Experience Black Opera at Stanford University

On October 15, 2022, the Umoja-ASTEP program took 14 students and staff to see The Ritual of Breath Is the Rite to Resist. This opera was created in response to the murder of Eric Garner, serving as an act of resistance. The event created an experience where music, visuals, text, and movement could intertwine and invite its audience to co-conspire and highlight the importance of breathing in any way we can.

The field trip was hosted in partnership with Skyline College’s WMLA, BSU, and BAM. It began with a van charter from Skyline College to Stanford University, allowing students a quick campus tour of Stanford University. Notable landmarks included Stanford’s Memorial Church, Stanford Stadium, and the CoHo Café.

Dr. Chad Coates, the Umoja-ASTEP Coordinator, mentioned, “This was a truly transformative experience for those of us who attended.  Most of our students had never attended an opera before, and for their first project to center on Black empowerment, rituals, and resilience as acts of resistance against oppression within our current social/cultural context is phenomenal.  Some students remained after the performance to hear from and engage in dialogue with the project’s creators.”

When asked about her experience, WMLA student Ashley Elliot said it was “very powerful…hearing it on the news…and then seeing the art…made the experience meaningful”. WMLA student assistant mentioned that the opera was a “mixer of emotion…I felt the pain and empathy, and hope…the play made me feel empowered to make a change being in community with one another”.

The Umoja-ASTEP learning community is part of the Global Learning Programs and Services Division at Skyline College. If you wish to learn more about Umoja-ASTEP, don’t hesitate to contact Dr. Coates at coatesc@smccd.edu.

Article by Sirreck Brown | Photo by Brittney Sneed