faculty at symposium Energized Skyline College adjunct faculty gathered on Saturday, August 13, for a full-day of teaching and learning activities at the 2nd Skyline College Adjunct Faculty Teaching & Learning Symposium. The Symposium was designed to provide adjunct faculty the opportunity to engage in workshops and collaborative activities that help promote “meaningful and culturally relevant learning experiences” (The Skyline College Promise), particularly geared towards addressing first and second semester student success.

President, Dr. Regina Stanback Stroud, Vice President of Student Services, Dr. Angélica Garcia, Interim Vice President of Instruction, Aaron McVean, and Professional Development Coordinator, Nina Floro, kicked of the day by welcoming adjunct faculty with words of empowerment and encouragement. Following the welcome, Dr. Amelito Enriquez, Professor of Engineering and Mathematics at Cañada College, delivered an inspiring Symposium keynote, “Confessions of a Reluctant Community College Instructor.” Dr. Enriquez exemplary achievements include serving as the Principal Investigator for over $12 million in grants funded funded by the National Science Foundation, US Department of Education, NASA, and Department of Labor, among others. He has also received numerous local, regional, and national awards, including but not limited to the 2016 American Society for Engineering Education Outstanding Teaching Award and the prestigious Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM) presented by President Obama in 2011. Dr. Enriquez’s narrative-based keynote emphasized the importance of faculty mentoring of students, especially those who are vulnerable and at risk.

faculty at symposiumSymposium workshops led to lively discussions and engaging teaching and learning activities. They included:

  • “Get Up and Get Moving: Easy Ways to Add Kinesthetic Learning to the College Classroom,” presented by Jessica Hurless, Communication Studies Professor
  • “Student Learning Styles & Metacognition: Fostering Students’ Self-Awareness As Learners,” presented by Sarita Santos, ECE Professor
  • “Herding CATs: Using Classroom Assessment Techniques to Understand Student Learning,” presented by Dr. Bianca Rowden-Quince, Instructional Designer
  • “Beyond Talk: Moving into Action/Critical Thinking with First-Day Ice Breakers & Lesson-Driven Community Building Strategies,” presented by Nina L. Floro, Professional Development Coordinator/English Professor
  • “Teamwork Makes the Dream Work: A Student Services Overview,” presented by Lasana Hotep, Dean for Student Equity & Support Programs; Dr. Luis Escobar, Dean of Counseling; and Dr. William Minnich, Dean of Enrollment Services Instructional

After lunch, the Symposium concluded with an interactive, informational panel moderated by Interim Vice President of Instruction, Aaron McVean. The panel featured student services such as the Disabilities Resource Center (Melissa Matthews, DRC Coordinator), the SparkPoint Center (Chad Thompson, SparkPoint Director), the CARES Program (Dr. Luis Escobar, Dean of Counseling), and the Learning Commons (David Reed, Learning Center Manager).

Overall, participants reported they plan to implement newly learned strategies and ideas in their classes this fall semester. They are looking forward to next year’s Skyline College Adjunct Faculty Teaching & Learning Symposium, which they hope will continue to provide them with innovative ways to foster student success.

Article by Nina Floro | Photo by Ricardo Flores