Skyline Stars 2006 Inductees into the Transfer Hall of Fame

Skyline College annually honors several outstanding former Skyline College transfer students who have gone on to achieve outstanding educational and career success.

May they continue to brightly shine as special lights of Skyline in the world and serve as an inspiration for many others. Thank you for being a part of this celebration of the power and importance of community colleges.

Congratulations to our 2006 Inductees!

Violeta BorjasGracie HoughVu Tran
Andy Davis Mark Simon Hellen Zhang

Skyline Star Biographies

Violeta Borjas

  • A.A. in University Studies, Skyline College, 2003
  • A.S. in Allied Health, Skyline College, 2003
  • A.S. in Automotive Technology, Skyline College, 2003
  • B.S. in Nursing, University of San Francisco, 2004

Violeta BorjasVioleta Borjas was born in Lima, Peru. She is the first in her family to attend college. While in Peru, she achieved her dream of being accepted to a Nursing Program, but her family did not have the economic means necessary to support her studies. She came to the United States, entered Skyline College, and worked closely with the Educational Opportunity Programs & Services (EOPS) and Disable Students Programs & Services (DSPS), due to a learning disability. While at Skyline she earned three associates degrees!, one in Automotive Technology, as she wanted to be a role model for other female students in the program. She still loves to work on cars as a hobby!

Violeta finally successfully realized her cherished dream of becoming a nurse, transferring to the University of San Francisco and being admitted to its highly selective nursing program. She graduated in December 2004 and passed the RN Licensure Exam last April 2005.

Violeta currently works as a children's oncology nurse at Children's Hospital in Oakland, and hopes to earn a Master's degree in Nursing one day. Buena Suerte (Good luck), Violeta! (top)

Andy Davis

Andy Davis(top)

Gracie Hough

  • A.A. Liberal Arts, Skyline College, 2001
  • B.A. Psychology, UC Berkeley, 2003
  • M.A. Education and Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, UC Berkeley, 2006

Gracie HoughGracie Hough was born in San Francisco. Her parents were born in Mexico, but came to the United States in order to find better educational opportunities for their six children. Gracie's father who had been a medical doctor in Mexico, sacrificed his career, working menial jobs to realize the family's dream, resulting in all six children having achieved a college education!

Gracie attended Lowell High School, but struggled with a Math "phobia" that was not overcome until she attended Skyline College, working with MESA (Math, Engineering, and Sciences Achievement Program). While at Skyline College, Gracie was an Honors student and was co-President of the Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society. She was a recipient of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund and transferred to UC Berkeley.

Gracie has been very dedicated to working with disadvantaged communities, participating in a Literacy Outreach Program for Migrant Workers, collecting research for the Child Trauma Research Program at San Francisco General Hospital and volunteering in a bi-lingual classroom in South San Francisco. Gracie also works as a neighborhood coordinator for the March of Dimes. She feels that she was "exceptionally well-prepared" for the rigors of UC Berkeley at Skyline College, and describes Skyline as a "place of redemption", which inspired her educational growth. She hopes one day to work as a bi-lingual elementary school teacher in San Mateo County. Gracie is married to Rick Hough, Mathematics instructor at Skyline College. (top)

Mark Simon

  • A.A. Liberal Arts, Skyline College, 1971
  • B.A. Journalism, San Jose State University, 1973

Mark SimonMark Simon was born in San Francisco and attended Crestmoor High School in San Bruno. He was part of the first graduating class at Skyline College along with 2005 inaugural inductees Dennis Arreola and Phyllis Lucas -Woods and graduated with honors. While at Skyline College, Mark was the editor of the "Skyline Press" and covered many issues during a time of civil unrest. He then transferred to San Jose State University where he wrote for the campus newspaper, "Spartan Daily."

Upon graduating with distinction, he went to work for the San Diego Union newspaper. He later returned to the Bay Area where he wrote for the "Electronic News", covering the just emerging Silicon Valley. After working for the "Redwood City Tribune", Mark was hired as a columnist by the San Francisco Chronicle. He worked for the San Francisco chronicle for over ten years and was twice named Columnist of the Year! During his last year at the Chronicle he was a political reporter and covered many local and national elections. Currently, Mark serves as the special assistant to the CEO of the San Mateo County Transit District. Mark has two sons and has been married for over thirty years to his wife whom he met at Skyline College! (top)

Vu Tran

  • A.A. Mathematics, Skyline College, 2000
  • A.S. Natural Science, Skyline College, 2000
  • B.S. Electrical Engineering, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, 2003
  • M.S. Electrical Engineering, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, 2003
  • Ph.D. Electrical Engineering, Stanford University, (in progress)

Vu TranVu Tran was born in Vietnam. He came to the United States in 1995 at age twenty-five, with his family. He entered Skyline College "not speaking a word of English." But through taking ESOL classes, working closely with the EOPS and MESA programs, he was not only able to earn two Associates degrees with High Honors, but was named by USA today as a member of the All California First Team, making him the top community college student in the State of California in 2000. He then transferred to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo where he earned a joint BS/MS degree in Electrical Engineering with Distinction in 2003.

Vu is currently completing a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering at Stanford University! But Vu still finds time to give back to his community by volunteering as a Mathematics and Computer tutor at the downtown San Francisco Vietnamese Community Center. The first in his family to attend college, Vu says Skyline was the "key" to his educational achievements and he still stays in touch with many individuals in the Skyline College "family" who helped support his wonderful educational success. (top)

Hellen Zhang

Hellen Zhang(top)


Share this page on: