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Closings and Gratitude – Bécalos Program

Becalos Closing CeremonyThe Bécalos Program Closing Reception and Ceremony took place on Tuesday, December 16.  Each Bécalos student was individually recognized for their efforts this semester and the event featured an address by Skyline College President, Dr. Regina Stanback Stroud, and a heartfelt thank you from Vice President of Instruction, Dr. Sarah Perkins.  The event also featured student musical performances, a video of memorable events and student addresses. Several students were personally recognized for their endeavors in business as well as other notable achievements, including perfect attendance. The event was a success, and we are proud to have shared the gathering with many key members of our Skyline College community.

Becalos at GoogleAs the Bécalos Program came to a close, our visiting students from Mexico also had the exciting privilege to take part in guided tours of the Google campus in Mountain View on Monday, December 8 and Monday, December 15, 2014.  The students personally witnessed typical working days at the dynamic campus.  They had the opportunity to view and interact with Google technology and ask questions regarding Google employment, benefits, and the history of the world-renowned company.

The Global Learning Programs and Services Division would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to all members of the Skyline College community who assisted in any and all capacities with the Bécalos Program.  For the past five months, members of our college and the surrounding community have worked tirelessly and diligently to ensure the program’s success during its inaugural year.  As the program has come to a close, we are indebted to Skyline College President, Dr. Regina Stanback Stroud, Vice President of Instruction, Dr. Sarah Perkins and Vice President of Administrative Services, Eloisa Briones, for their unwavering support. We would also like to thank the Classified Senate, Auxiliary Services, faculty and staff members who hosted and assisted with the student job shadow program, and all faculty, staff, and student volunteers who have so eagerly given their time and expertise to assist both the GLPS Division and our Bécalos students. We believe this has been a tremendous opportunity for the GLPS Division and the College.  Felicidades a todos!

For more information on the Bécalos Program, please contact Pcyeta Stroud at

Article by Alessandra Zanassi | Photos by Salvador Martinez and Pcyeta Stroud

Happy Holidays!

red-gold-xmas-ballsAs the year ends, I’d like to take a moment to wish each and every one of you a wonderful holiday season and a joyous new year. I am so very grateful for the hard work and dedication of this Skyline College family and for your constant commitment to the students we serve.

Dr. Regina Stanback Stroud

Reflections on the Fall 2014 Umoja X Conference

Umoja photoAs we enter into the year 2015, some are under the impression that we exist within a “post-race” society. The 10th annual Umoja Conference, Umoja X, which took place between Thursday, November 20 through Saturday, November 22, served as a momentous force for somber reflections on the past, ethnic celebration, and progressive thought. The Umoja Conference reminded us that race and race matters are especially relevant now, more than ever before. Taking place in San Diego, California, the San Diego Community College District hosted this special event, but noteworthy colleges like San Diego Mesa College and universities such as the University of California, Davis and San Diego State University also sponsored the event. In addition, several Historical Black Colleges and Universities came to support Umoja X, even extending the opportunity for on-site admittance to qualifying students.

A central highlight of this conference was the opening lecture led by the keynote speaker, highly revered and world-renowned educator, Dr. Joy DeGruy, author of Post-Traumatic Slave Syndrome, who spoke on how fear created by ignorance can be the catalyst for so much destruction. Dr. Degruy’s presentation exposed evidence of racism and racial injustices being hidden in plain sight, even down to our present day, and though this evidence was startling, DeGruy emphasized the urgency of exposing the pain in order to truly begin the healing process in our society. She also encouraged elders in the community to make sure that the youth, especially young African American males who are an endangered demographic in America, know how much they are loved and that they are a source of pride. It is vital that they receive these acknowledgments, so that they can feel empowered to progress academically, ultimately ensuring their holistic success and healing.

The remainder of the conference included various workshops led by educators and students that addressed different layers of De Gruy’s presentation. It was encouraged that participants reflect on the ways they use words and social media to make meaning, whether that meaning is a source of damage to those in the African American community, or a source of liberation to the community.  All present were reinvigorated to apply the topics and mindsets discussed as they returned to their perspective colleges and universities; we were motivated to pass on the knowledge and love received in all aspects of our lives, not just academically. Thanks to the self-less efforts of retiring Vice Chancellor for Student Services and Special Programs in the California Community College system, Linda Michalowski, and those who have worked closely with her to support this conference for the last 10 years, the Umoja legacy will have the financial support needed to continue this unique and essential work for years to come.

Article by Chanel Daniels

Veterans Resource Center Welcomes New Program Services Coordinator

Gina CiardellaPlease join us in welcoming Gina Ciardella in the position of Program Services Coordinator for the Veterans Resource Center.

Gina comes to Skyline College from San Jose State University where she served as an Academic Advisor, providing educational, personal and career counseling to students in the College of Science including Veteran, International and Transfer students.

Prior to her role at SJSU, Gina served as a Program Services Coordinator in Workforce Development at Skyline College.  In addition, she has worked for the San Mateo County Human Services Agency in the Workforce Development division.  She received her A.A. Degree in General Education from the College of San Mateo, B.A. Degree in Psychology from UC Davis and M.A. degree in Education/Counseling and Student Personnel from San Jose State University.

Gina is excited to join the Skyline College Enrollment Services team and looks forward to serving the Veteran student population.

Article by John Mosby | Photo by Claudia Paz

Outreach Hosts Skyline College Program Fair at Jefferson High School

Outreach at Jefferson High 1 On Wednesday, December 10, 2014, the Outreach Department hosted the first annual Skyline College Program Fair at Jefferson High School in Daly City. Sparkpoint, Financial Aid, Automotive, Massage Therapy, and ASTEP were just some of the programs from Skyline College that attended.


Outreach at Jefferson High 2The students of Jefferson High School showed a vast amount of interest in the various programs that Skyline College had to offer. Over 200 students attended the event amounting to over 1,000 impressions made by the five Skyline College programs in attendance . The Outreach department also held a free drawing for the students that attended. The prizes included Skyline College sweaters, t-shirts and the grand prize was a tablet donated by the Skyline College Bookstore. The event was an overall success that benefitted the students and staff of Jefferson High School.

Article and photos by Florentino Ubungen

BuddyUp Program: Connecting Students to Foster Success

BuddyUpBuddyUp is a social media startup with the goal of connecting students within specific courses to facilitate peer-to-peer learning. Brian Forrester was inspired to found this company based on the difficulty he experienced as a college student trying to find study partners for a difficult math course.

The launch of this program is a collaboration between the SMCCD Foundation office, Skyline College, CSM, and Caňada College Learning Centers, and the CARE Foundation. The CARE Foundation has awarded subsidies to community colleges that serve a high population of first-generation students. With the goal of helping these students in mind, all three colleges will identify challenging courses to target for this program beginning in spring 2015.

The BuddyUp program is just one of several new or redesigned support programs at Skyline College that utilize best practices in higher education to improve academic success for incoming students, many of whom are starting below college level in one or more subjects. The Supplemental Instruction program, Supplemental Learning Assistance program, and a new pilot program designed by the College Success Initiative are related efforts that will provide more direct support to students inside and outside of the classroom.

More information about BuddyUp can be found at their website. Stay tuned for more college-specific information as the program is introduced throughout the SMCCD this spring.

To get more information about TLC programs and services, please visit us in Building 5, or visit us on the web at

Article submitted by David Reed

TRiO’s Arash Daneshzadeh Speaks on School-to-Prison Pipeline at Claremont Colleges

Arash at Claremont 2 On Saturday, December 13, 2014, Arash Daneshzadeh, Interim Director of Skyline College’s TRiO SS Program, was keynote speaker at a conference on Race, Gender and Equity at the Claremont Colleges. This two-day program was hosted by Pitzer College. Over 175 students participated in Arash’s workshop on community cultural wealth, presentation on hip hop and critical pedagogy and brown bag seminars highlighting his career investment with historically marginalized communities of color, particularly in the wake of public scrutiny over police brutality.

Arash at ClaremontArash’s keynote presentation was conceptually grounded in his doctoral research on issues germane to the school-to-prison pandemic—such as restorative justice, black male identity theory, cultural mistrust, and zero tolerance policies. This event was sponsored by the governance bodies representing the Associated Students and Black Student Union of the Five Claremont College Consortium. Student leadership at both Pitzer College and Pomona College will continue to utilize Arash’s seminal work on integrating cultural wealth and restorative justice into the judiciary practices on their own campuses.

Article by Arash Daneshzadeh

TRiO Student Spotlight: Cynthia Fregoso

Cynthia Fregoso“Hello, my name is Cynthia Fregoso and I am a TRiO student.  For the past 3 years TRiO has helped me accomplish my dreams to pursue my educational goal to transfer to San Francisco State University to earn a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology.  The TRiO staff and fellow members welcomed me and treated me as a member of the TRiO family and provided me with the support I needed to become a successful college student.

“Through my time with TRiO, I gained a positive outlook on what I could accomplish in life.  More importantly, as a full time student, a mother of two children and a full time employee, I was given the emotional and academic support by TRiO that made me believe in my strengths. Now that my time at Skyline College is coming to an end, I hope that one day I can contribute to our communities and impact people’s lives just like TRiO has done for me.”

As part of the TRiO family, Cynthia has been fundamental in establishing strong relationships with fellow participants in the program. She actively contributes to the outreach component of the program through referring potential TRiO participants.

Article by Guillermo Villanueva

Women’s Basketball Update

Skyline Women’s Basketball Beats Porterville to Open FCC Tournament

Skyline College improved their record to 6-0 with an opening round win over Porterville College in the Fresno City College Tournament.  Skyline fell behind early and battled their way back to a 35-27 halftime lead with the help of a 24-6 run to end the half.  Porterville chipped away at Skyline’s lead throughout the entire second half before finally regaining the lead at 62-61 with just one minute left.  Trailing by one, Skyline came up with a big defensive stop allowing Stephanie Allen to score the winning basket with 20 seconds left in the game for a 63-62 win.  Stephanie Allen led all scorers with 23 points, while Alyssa Dela Cruz added 13 points and Jazel Talauta chipped in 12.

Skyline Women’s Basketball Downs Las Positas 

Skyline College defeated Las Positas College on Saturday night to advance to the championship of the Fresno City College Tournament.  Skyline College and Las Positas battled back and forth in the first half until Monique Garret hit a buzzer-beater to put the Trojans up four at halftime.  They continued to push the tempo on offense and were able to limit Las Positas’s three-point shooting with tight defense.  Skyline College eventually stretched the lead and won by a final of 73-56.  The College had 4 players in double figure scoring including Stephanie Allen, 17 points, Jazel Talauta, 12 points and 7 assists, Tianna Mitchell, 14 points and 10 rebounds, and Monique Garret, 11 points.  Skyline will play Reedley College in the tournament championship.

Skyline Women’s Basketball Wins Fresno City College Tournament

Skyline College battled back from being down 15 points at halftime to defeat Reedley College for the championship of the Fresno City College Tournament.  The Trojans’ slow start offensively, coupled with Reedley’s efficient scoring attack, led to the halftime deficit.  Skyline College never gave up though, and slowly chipped away at Reedley’s lead.  The Trojans finally took their first lead of the game with about three minutes left.  The final three minutes were back and forth with Skyline College finally sealing the game after back to back lay-ups by Sahara Clay and Jazel Talauta.  Skyline improved their record to 8-0 with the win.  Jazel Talauta was named to the All-Tournament Team and Stephanie Allen was named Tournament MVP.



Transfer Initiative Yielding Results!

The Transfer Initiative Advisory Committee continued to meet through this fall semester to focus on the campus-wide Transfer Initiative priorities set forth last year. The meetings focused on developing a strong foundation for a campus-wide evaluation of transfer.

During the 2013-2014 Academic Year the committee set priorities around increasing our campus-wide transfer culture through outreach, cross-division collaboration and other practices. Many of these ideas have been implemented and others will be implemented, if funded, in coming months and years.  Multiple collaborations have been happening – such as the campus-wide push to support our students to have their personal statements reviewed, cross-program and division promotion and implementation of transfer events and much more! The word is definitely out and student participation in transfer-related events, workshops and services is on the rise! Applications for UC Transfer Admissions Guarantees were up this year and we expect to see an overall increase in transfer numbers.

The missing link to our work is knowing, through research, where we are being effective and successful and what we can do to improve transfer as a campus.

In order to better understand and design programming and interventions based on student needs, the Advisory Committee has been working closely with the Office of Planning, Research and Institutional Effectiveness (PRIE) to design fundamental research questions that the PRIE office can use in its transfer research. Last spring, the committee met to evaluate what information, both quantitative and qualitative, we want to know about students who are in the completion/transfer stage of the completion by design process. This fall, we continued this work, looking at the connection and entry phases as well.  In addition to designing the research needed, we created a Transfer Student Exit survey implemented over last spring and fall which yielded positive results. Additionally, the Committee continues to focus on the original priority of how to increase our campus-wide transfer culture.

Article submitted by Suzanne Poma

Coming Up…

Friday, December 19, 2014

  • Day and Evening Classes End
  • Scholarship Application 2015-2016 Available Now Through February 12, 2015, Skyline College, Building 2, Room 2234
  • 3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m., Women’s Basketball v. San Bernadino College at City College of San Francisco Tournament, City College of San Francisco
  • 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m., Men’s Basketball at Hartnell College, Hartnell College

Saturday, December 20, 2014

  • 1:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m., Women’s Basketball at City College of San Francisco Tournament, City College of San Francisco

Sunday, December 21, 2014

  • 12:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Women’s Basketball at City College of San Francisco Tournament, City College of San Francisco

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

  • Holiday Break/College Closed, December 24, 2014 – January 1, 2015

For the latest information on events and activities happening at Skyline College, please view our calendar.

If you would like to include your college event or activity on the calendar, please submit the event, date, time and location to Jennifer Owen-Blackmon via email at

Skyline College Storm Closure Q&A

Dr. Stroud and FacilitiesSevere weather prompted the closure of Skyline College on Thursday and Friday.  Thanks and kudos go out to the leadership at the District, the outstanding Facilities, Maintenance, and Operation Team along with Public Safety for the great work resolving the issues of flooding, and leakages that came as a result of the wet weather.  Thanks to the Skyline College team that remained on to handle the day including Jennifer Owen-Blackmon, Aaron McVean, and Eloisa Briones for getting here and staying through to make sure all was taken care of.  

Below is a list of Q& A that will provide more information.

When will Skyline College reopen?

  • The College will remain closed on Friday, December 12 and will reopen on Saturday, December 13, 2014.
  • The College’s administration has continued to monitor the progress of the storm and has chosen to delay the reopening of the College by an additional day until they we can be certain that there is safe passage to campus on the roads, consistent power to the buildings, and all of the minor flooding on campus has been mitigated.
  • All Friday classes and activities on campus are cancelled, with the exception of the Skyline Classic Basketball tournament, which will proceed as planned.

When will the Child Development Center reopen?

  • The Child Development Center, Building 14, lost power and is closed until further notice.
  • It will reopen when the College reopens and power to the building is restored by PG&E.

How did the College prepare for the storm?

  • Facilities took significant measures to prepare the campus and its buildings for the storm, including:
    • Storm and roof drains cleaned (before and during the storm)
    • Street cleaning to clear debris from previous storms from the roads (before and during)
    • Tree assessment
    • Roof repairs (before the storm and during)
    • Generators were prepared onsite
    • Sandbags and waddles (rainwater sacks) were positioned in front of flood-prone areas
    • Loose debris picked up around campus.
  • Facilities and Public Safety collaborated with the District in safety preparedness meetings.
  • AIC reviewed the preparation protocols for school closures and power outages.
  • President Stroud had several meetings on Wednesday with the Cañada College and CSM Presidents and District Chancellor to discuss campus closure and contingency plans.
  • Skyline College’s PR office sent email notices to the campus community on Wednesday urging sign-up for campus alerts and prepared statements and communications in case of different scenarios.
  • The Vice President of Instruction met with the Deans on Wednesday afternoon to plan for communications in case of class cancellations or a College closure.

What were the key factors in the decision to close the Skyline College campus?

  • The School District was sensitive to the proximity of final exams. Closing the College in the week before finals is a serious decision that impacts thousands of students’ educational progress at a critical time in the semester.
  • Measures had been taken to prevent flooding and maintain open roads on campus, with the goal of avoiding an interruption in the school schedule.
  • Safety of our students, faculty and staff was the paramount concern as the administration monitored the progress of the storm.  We were prepared to close the College if we lost power, if substantial flooding occurred, or if the roadways became unpassable.
  • When it became clear this morning that roadways and key campus buildings were compromised by flooding, the decision was made to close the College.

Why did Skyline College close, but not its sister Colleges Canada or CSM? 

  • As the storm progressed from north to south, Skyline College was hit more severely earlier in the day.
  • The other colleges were also prepared to close if power was lost, substantial flooding occurred, or the safety of the campus community was severely compromised.

How were students and faculty informed of the campus closure on Thursday morning?

  • The decision to close campus was made by Dr. Stanback Stroud at 8:15 a.m. after consulting with the Chancellor.
  • Within 15 minutes of the decision, the following communications were sent out:
    • Campus Announcement email to faculty and staff
    • GWAMail to students
    • AlertU text message
    • Announcement box went live on homepage of website
  • Within 45 minutes of the decision, the following communications were completed:
    • Announcement on the College’s Facebook page, and responses/ questions were monitored and responded to throughout the day
    • Press release to all local media outlets.
  • The College’s Marketing, Communications, and Public Relations office also responded to inquiries by phone and email throughout Wednesday evening and Thursday morning.

When the closure was announced, how was the campus secured?

  • Public Safety visited each building to inform students, instructors and administrators that the campus was being closed, and secured each building once everyone had left.
  • Announcements were put on the electronic sign boards throughout campus.
  • Public Safety staged an officer at each entrance to the College to inform individuals who were arriving that the campus was closed.
  • Public Safety called several tow trucks to assist disabled cars in the parking lots.
  • Students and staff remained in the lobby areas of Building 5 and 6 until their rides arrived; once these buildings were cleared they were secured.
  • John Doctor and his Facilities staff, Rob Dean and his Public Safety officers, President Stanback Stroud, Vice President Briones and MCPR Director Owen-Blackmon remained on campus throughout the day.

Was there any damage to the College campus or facilities as a result of the storm?

  • No permanent damage was sustained.
  • Building 14 (Child Development Center) lost power. PG&E was contacted. As of 4:00 p.m. on 12/11 power has not yet been restored.
  • In Building 4, flooding on the 1st and 2nd floor by the front and side entrances was cleared.
  • In Building 19 (Pacific Heights), roof leaks were mitigated during the storm.

Did the campus lose power?

  • Other than temporary flickering lights, the campus as a whole did not lose power.
  • The Child Development Center did lose power.

Were any injuries sustained on campus as a result of the storm?

  • None that we are aware of.

Will Thursday and Friday’s classes be made up?

  • Instructors will work with students to reschedule any examinations or activities that were planned for these days
  • Two extra days will not be added to the academic calendar.

Will campus employees be paid for the day?

  • Thursday, December 11 and Friday, December 12 will be treated as a regular paid days for all employees, whether or not they were able to come into work.
  • The same will apply for hourly employees, i.e. they will still be paid and should submit timesheets for scheduled hours as if they worked today (unless today was a scheduled day off or they were using sick leave).

Will the public-facing events planned on campus for Thursday and Friday be rescheduled?

  • The Dolores Huerta lecture will be rescheduled in the spring.
  • The District Strategic Planning session will be rescheduled for January.
  • We will advise new dates for the other events as soon as they are confirmed.

Please direct any additional questions to Skyline College’s Office of Marketing, Communications and Public Relations at or (650) 738-4346.


TRiO End Of Semester Celebration

Trio End of Semester Celebration 1Last Friday, December 5, TRiO-SSS celebrated the close of a successful Fall semester of academic prosperity through a cultural potluck. This event allowed students, faculty, and staff to celebrate a wealth of cultural literacy through conversation, song, stories, and food! This year’s Potluck Celebration was no exception, as we shared food from a host of geographical regions and ethnic frameworks, including Persian, Italian, Greek, Mexican and a broad swath of American dishes. The variety of food was also demonstrated in the desserts, a vehicle for rich conversation on historical understanding.

trio end of yearDuring the event, students and staff engaged in an activity where they shared the genesis behind their respective holidays and how they are celebrated in their families and cultures. Dr. Regina Stanback Stroud, President of Skyline College, graciously joined in the lively discussion around the importance of community-building and culture-sharing. It was a great time for reflection!

We want to thank all students and staff who contributed to make this wonderful event a reality

Article by Daniel Erazo | Photos by Cindy Castillo

International Student Workshop A Success

International StudentsAs part of International Education Week 2014, the International Student Program (ISP) hosted a workshop for the international students at Skyline College. The invitation was extended to all international students currently on campus and the event was well attended, despite the rain.

During the workshop, Wissem Bennani, ISP Manager, gave a presentation on job opportunities for international students during their study here at Skyline College and after their graduation. Andrea Vizenor, Director of the Retail, Hospitality and Tourism Program, joined the workshop as a guest speaker, introducing the new initiatives in her program and inviting students to attend the 2014 Bay Region Hospitality Summit – an exciting opportunity offered to Skyline College students. Following the presentations, students had a chance to mingle with ISP staff members and fellow international students.

Student feedback was positive as most of the information given at the workshop was new to them. One student from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) commented “I am glad that I attended the workshop today. I did not know I could legally stay here and work after my graduation!”

International Education Week is an opportunity to celebrate the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide. Skyline College currently hosts 110 international students from over 30 countries, including China, Saudi Arabia, France, Brazil and Indonesia to name but a few!

If you are interested in learning more about future ISP programs and events, contact ISP Manager, Wissem Bennani at

Article and Photo by Chikako Walker

TRiO Participates in “Project Connect” Transfer Day at San Francisco State

trio project connectOn Wednesday, November 5, 2014, TRiO Student Support Services took 25 students for a campus visit to San Francisco State University during the 9th Annual Bay Area Community College Transfer Day.

The event was kicked off by signature events, courtesy of the Project Connect Associated Student Initiative that serves historically marginalized communities from first-generation, low-income backgrounds. TRiO SSS students enjoyed a comprehensive tour of the campus led by admission representatives and student liaisons. Additionally, Kenneth Monteiro, Dean of the College of Ethnic Studies, delivered a keynote address underscoring the correlation between social justice and historical relays of power discussed in Ethnic Studies courses.

The event was a pivotal opportunity for students to learn about other additional resources beyond the classroom during breakout sessions. The SFSU Study Abroad office, scholarship liaisons, Liberal Arts and Creative Arts Departments, and the Colleges of Health, Business, Engineering and Teacher Education all hosted workshops. Jasari X, community organizer and hip hop artist, facilitated a special spoken word presentation and interactive dialectic on the school-to-prison pipeline.

The Bay Area Transfer Day program closed with a session led by current undergraduates at San Francisco State who shared their personal experiences and provided a glimpse into navigating the nuanced milieu of higher education as a first-generation student.

Article and photo by Arash Daneshzadeh