On Friday, May 6, 2022, the Honors Transfer Program (HTP) held a Graduation Medallion Ceremony and celebrated its 20th anniversary of the program at Skyline College. In a room with over 40 attendees consisting of prospective, continuing and graduating Honors Transfer Program students, family, faculty, staff, and administrators, everyone came together to enjoy food and celebrate our students.

The program began with a welcome from student co-hosts Curtis Chou and Alysia Tanimura, who are the outgoing and incoming Honors Club Presidents, respectively. Our Interim Vice President of Instruction, Danni Redding Lapuz talked about the importance of research, and she shared personal stories of opportunities that research brought her in her educational journey. Acting Dean of Social Sciences and Creative Arts, Dr. Nicole Porter, contributed a welcome video that was warm, genuine, and truly heartfelt–reminding everyone there about the importance of honoring students’ accomplishments. HTP Faculty Coordinator and English faculty Janice Sapigao introduced Melissa Rohlffs from the San Mateo County Community College Foundation, who shared a few words of gratitude for students; she also encouraged students to sign up for the SMCCCD Alumni Association

“HTP started because STUDENTS wanted it! At their request, in Fall of 1997, Donna Bestock, the Dean of Social Sciences at that time, started to work with a Steering Committee to create the Skyline Honors Transfer Program. After several years of planning, the program started in 2000 and has flourished since then, growing year by year,” HTP Counselor Joyce Lee began, as she shared the highlights of the 20-year history of the program. 

Student Speakers Curtis Chou, who will be transferring to UCLA as Computer Science major, and Anny Moreira, who will be transferring to UC Berkeley as a Cognitive Science major, shared both humorous and grounding narratives of their time as student-leaders at Skyline College. In part of Anny’s speech conclusion, she offered this reflection and advice for students, “While I leave Skyline as a better student thanks to the excellence of the faculty, Skyline’s greatest gift to me was to help me find my sense of belonging. Regardless of your journey at Skyline, if you are here today then you are also part of this community. This is our home.”

HTP acknowledged the years of work, care, and time of former Faculty Coordinators, English Professor Katharine Harer and History Professor John Ulloa, who each dedicated 7 years to the program and accomplished ensuring Skyline College as part of the UCLA Transfer Alliance Program, and established IDST 105: the Honors Research Seminar. They, along with the 20 HTP graduates, received medallions with the program logo to wear at Commencement. HTP graduates earn medallions after completing C.O.R.E. requirements: 15 units of Honors course contracts, earn an overall GPA of 3.25 before they graduate, accomplish research projects in each Honors contract course with a faculty-mentor, and engage in 16 hours of mutual aid/volunteer hours. 

Congratulations to all 20 of our HTP graduates from this past academic year! Communication Studies Professor and HTP Advisory Board member Lindsey Ayotte read aloud the names of students, their transfer schools, and advice graduates have for current students. One example of this is from HTP graduate Theresa Calingasan who will be transferring to the University of San Francisco as a Public Health major, and shared, “Always do things with purpose.”

Thank you to all who were listed above, and many thanks to Prof. Susanne Schubert, the Honors Club (Honors students Curtis Chou, Ryan Woo, Andrea Hernandez, Alysia Tanimura, Julio Lau, Florence Thwe, Benjamin Cook), Chris Woo, Prof. Jennifer Merrill, Prof. Rachel Cunningham, Facilities, Pacific Dining, Kathy Fitzpatrick, Ernesto Hernandez, and all attendees who coordinated, celebrated, and shared their continuous support of HTP and our students. HTP would not be possible without the ongoing support of the 60+ faculty who work diligently with HTP students on their research passions and interests every year.


Article by Janice Sapigao | Photos by Janice Sapigao and Julio Lau


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