During each semester, the Science in Action Seminar Series is held each week, on Tuesdays from 4:30 p.m. - 5:30 pm, accessible via THIS Zoom Meeting link. You may also view older Science in Action seminars on our Youtube channel.

This weekly series is presented in partnership with the San Francisco State University Bridges to Baccalaureate Program, the Skyline College Science and Math Division, and the Math, Engineering, Science Achievement Program (MESA).

The seminar series is free and open to the public. The topics vary and are geared not only towards science, but the entire college experience, so we encourage non-science students to attend. Attendance confirmation slips will be provided. We look forward to seeing you there!

If you're interested in presenting and attending the Science in Action Seminar Series, please contact Bryan Swartout.




My summer experience at Cyber Defenders: Python Academy

September 26, 2023 | 4:30 - 5:30 pm | Meeting Link 

Allison Galon and Michael Jordan | Skyline College Students

Cyber Defenders Python Academy is a 2-week program to learn Python in a live, synchronous course from technology professionals and cybersecurity consultants. The program aims to provide hands-on experience developing proficiency in Python and culminates with individual coding projects. Get a chance to hear about the program and chat with two students who participated this past summer. 

Allison Galon is a data science major who works as an Supplemental Instruction Leader for Data Science and Statistics at Skyline College. She is also the co-president for Skyline College’s Data Science Club. 

Micheal Jordan is pursuing a Mechanical Engineering degree with an interest in Computer Science. He joined Cyber Defenders Academy to learn more about Python Programming and get hands-on experience with a coding project from start to finish. 

How to land my dream job in BioTech and Food Science

September 12, 2023 | 4:30 - 5:30 pm | Meeting Link 

Negar Harati | Quality Specialist at Gilead Sciences

Negar is currently working at Gilead Sciences as a Quality Specialist. She has a Bachelor's and Master's degree in Food Science, studying Food Science, and Human Nutrition at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. After graduation in 2019, she was able to work with Kraft Heinz in Chicago. In 2019, Negar relocated to the Bay Area and started working with a startup company as a Production Manager. After a couple of months, she had the opportunity to join Gilead Science and begin her new Journey in the Biotech industry. In her free time, she loves to bake and decorate cakes and go hiking.

From Environmental Science to Data Science: a choose-your-adventure tale

May 16, 2023 | 4:30 - 5:30 pm | Meeting Link 

Kim Engie | Senior Consultant at Slalom, Inc.

Kim Engie is a senior consultant at Slalom, Inc., practicing data science and engineering. She earned a bachelor's degree in ecology, followed by graduate degrees in Marine Policy and then Geography where she studied fisheries and marine reserves. Life events and networking happenstance brought her back to her native California and working for civil rights campaigns, startups, and all manner of tech companies. Join us to hear about her career path and perspectives on leveraging different skillsets across domains. 

From Academia to the Industry: A Physicists' Journey

May 2, 2023 | 4:30 - 5:30 pm | Meeting Link 

Lucie Tvrznikova | Systems Engineer at Waymo

Lucie is a Systems Engineer at Waymo - formerly the Google self-driving car project. Originally from Prague, Czech Republic, she received her undergraduate degree in physics from the University of St Andrews in Scotland, and a Physics PhD from Yale in 2018 working on direct dark matter searches. After a postdoc appointment at Lawrence Livermore National Lab, she left academia for the tech industry. Come join us to hear about the transition from academia to industry and how a physics background can provide a solid foundation for work in tech!

Catalyst - Make Your Mark! PTK Conference Takeaways

April 25, 2023 | 4:30 - 5:30 pm | Meeting Link 

Sahil Niwas, May Chel Myat Myint, & Lasheana Husni  | Skyline College PTK Members

Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) is an international Honor Society, with 1262 active chapters throughout the US. Students of the Skyline PTK chapter, Beta Theta Omicron, will share their PTK experience and stories from the recent regional Spring convention in LA and the annual international Conference - Catalyst in Columbus, Ohio. You will hear about how PTK supported them in their personal and professional growth and how attending conferences and running for regional and international offices has changed their lives. Bring your questions about PTK and the Beta Theta Omicron Chapter to find out how you can get involved and how PTK can support you and your educational journey.

MESA Leadership Retreat: Experiences & Lessons Learned

April 11, 2023 | 4:30 - 5:30 pm | Meeting Link 

Leonardo Calle, Emanuel Gonzalez, & Aaron Torres Mendoza | Skyline College MESA Students

The 28th annual MESA student leadership retreat hosted three Skyline College students (Leonardo Calle, Emmanuel Gozalez, and Aaron Torres Mendoza) in Happy Valley, CA. Please join us for an inspiring and informative discussion where students will share their experiences traveling to the annual leadership retreat.  You will hear about their takeaways and how to find opportunities for networking and technical growth from the students. If you are looking to get involved and would like some support and guidance, get a chance to get connected with our incoming Retention Specialist, Luis Jibaja Prado!

From Skyline to the Software Engineering Industry 

April 4, 2023 | 4:30 - 5:30 pm | Meeting Link 

Andres Cortes | Skyline College Alumnus & Software Engineer

Andres Cortes attended Skyline College from 2014 to 2017, before transferring to San Jose State University to pursue a degree in Computer Science. After completing his Bachelor's Degree, Andres applied for full-time roles in the tech industry and is now working as a Software Engineer at Veeva Systems. Andres took advantage of many opportunities and support programs while at Skyline College and looks forward to sharing his experience, insights, and perspective with participants. Come learn how his experiences at Skyline College best prepared him for his journey beyond, and how he leveraged his time to gain opportunities after transferring. 

Panel Discussion: Women in STEM

March 21, 2023 | 4:30 - 5:30 pm | Meeting Link 

In honor of Women's History Month, Science In Action Speaker series will host a discussion panel featuring Women in STEM. All are welcome to join us for a one-time discussion panel with Skyline’s very own Professional Women in STEM. Discover the inspiration, struggles, and goals these women have experienced, & all the wisdom they have to offer while going through their STEM journey. We will be joined by: 

Denise Hum is a math professor and MESA Co-Director at Skyline College.  She has been at Skyline since 2016 and previously taught at Canada College.  In between her two degrees, she worked as a software engineer at a couple of start-ups.  She holds a BA in mathematics from San Francisco State University and an MS in statistics from CSU East Bay. 

Wendy Lee received her B.A. in Global Studies from UC Santa Barbara.  After working in the law field for seven years, she decided to switch careers and went to Canada College where she met Denise Hum.  This inspired her to later pursue and complete an M.S. in Statistics at Cal State East Bay (Hayward).  She is now leveraging the data analytics skills she has learned into a rewarding career as the new research and planning analyst at Skyline College.

Natalie Siu is a fourth-year student at UC Davis and is working towards a B.S. in Animal Science. During this summer she is planning to study abroad in South Africa and Thailand to work on cheetah and elephant rehabilitation as well as to study veterinary medicine. She hopes to become a veterinarian someday and will begin applying to vet schools to continue her education starting next year.

***Our panelists look forward to responding to questions from the audience. Submit your questions (or vote for your favorite) by clicking on our Slido event link.

Film Screening - Secrets of the Surface: The Mathematical Vision of Maryam Mirzakhani

March 14, 2023 | 4:30 - 5:30 pm | Meeting Link 

In Honor of Women's History Month, Science in Action will host a film screening of a documentary film both in the STEM Center and through Zoom. The film examines the life and mathematical work of Maryam Mirzakhani, an Iranian immigrant to the United States who became a superstar in her field. In 2014, she was both the first woman and the first Iranian to be honored by mathematics’ highest prize, the Fields Medal. This seminar serves as Part One, of a two-part series, where Science in Action will host a panel of Women in STEM to discuss and reflect upon the experiences of Maryam Mirzakhani and themes expressed in the film (March 21).  

Lessons Learned as an Engineering Student and my Experience in the Aerospace Industry as an Early Career Engineer

March 7, 2023 | 4:30 - 5:30 pm | Meeting Link 

Myron Zou | Structural Design Engineer

Myron Zou is an associate structural design engineer currently at Aurora Flight Sciences in Virginia and has a Bachelors of Science in Aerospace Engineering from the University of California, Davis. Myron was born in San Francisco and is a 1st-generation Asian American engineer. He will discuss what engineers do and share his arduous journey, detailing where he started to where he is now, with the aim of imparting important lessons learned to future STEM students and engineers joining the industry.

The Fellowship of the Naphthoquinone Ring System: Research Funding and Natural Products Drug Discovery

February 28, 2023 | 4:30 - 5:30 pm | Meeting Link 

Devin Simbol | Graduate Researcher, NIH Bridges Fellow

Devin Simbol is a chemistry graduate student at San Francisco State University researching anticancer drugs derived from marine bacteria. He began his thesis work as an undergraduate student and has since been fully funded through research fellowships. Come join us to learn about natural products chemistry, getting involved in research, and how to get paid for your work!

Clinical research at Stanford School of Medicine

February 21, 2023 | 4:30 - 5:30 pm | Meeting Link 

Tayler Hughes | Clinical research coordinator

Tayler Hughes, lead clinical research coordinator at Stanford school of medicine department of obstetrics and gynecology, will be joining us to talk about her journey into clinical research! She’ll also be discussing the different positions available within the field of clinical research beyond the traditional healthcare roles we know of (i.e., doctor, nurse, medical assistant, etc.). Please join us!

My experience at Brookhaven National Laboratory (a Winter 2023 internship)

February 14, 2023 | 4:30 - 5:30 pm | Meeting Link 

Camille Catolos | Skyline College Student

Camille Catolos is a current Skyline College student aspiring to transfer as a Computer Science major to a four-year university. She started her time at Skyline as a Middle College student and is now involved in many on-campus activities such as clubs, work experience, and research projects. She recently completed an in-person winter research program in Upton, New York. Come join us to gain insights, advice, and perspectives from her educational journey and research experience!

An international perspective: the journey to Genentech (via Community College and UC's) 

December 13, 2022 | 4:30 - 5:30 pm | Meeting Link 

Cynthia Chen & Yuko Koike | Genentech Scientists

Cynthia and Yuko were both international students who transferred from community colleges to UC schools. Regardless of the cultural and language barriers, they graduated from UC schools with bachelor's degrees in bioengineering and are currently working for Genentech as scientists. In the seminar, they will share their stories from community college to their professional careers and discuss with the students how they can prepare themselves to achieve the future they want.

From community college to supervising a government lab (food & agriculture)

November 29, 2022 | 4:30 - 5:30 pm | Meeting Link 

Poonam Chandra | Laboratory Supervisor

Poonam Chandra has worked as a laboratory supervisor for the California Department of Food and Agriculture for the past nine years. In this session, gain insight and perspective on the current research work in a government lab and the journey there from a community college. Join us to learn what you can do now as a student and the various ways to get into a career in laboratory research!

*Please note: by request of our speaker, this meeting will not be recorded, and only be available for those in attendance.

From Skyline to an Aerospace Engineering Internship

November 8, 2022 | 4:30 - 5:30 pm | Meeting Link 

Arden Abude | Skyline College Alumnus

Arden Abude attends Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, pursuing a degree in Electrical Engineering. He is currently studying Power Electronics coming from a passion for Analog Integrated Circuit (IC) analysis and gaining real-world experience with projects working with Analog ICs, Power, and potentially Control Systems. Arden participated in an internship at Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. this past summer and looks forward to sharing his experience, insights, and perspective with participants. Come learn how his experiences at Skyline College best prepared him for transferring to Cal Poly, and how he leveraged his time to gain an internship experience. 

Identifying Ways to Prepare (build a community for) Students in STEM

November 2, 2022 | 4:30 - 5:30 pm | Meeting Link 

Andrea Hernandez | HSI STEM Counselor 

Skyline College is currently recognized as a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI), which has led to taking a critical look at what the student experience is upon their first interaction with the college when they come onto campus or seek information throughout the community. 

The STEM Division and Learning Communities at Skyline recently applied and received an HSI STEM Grant to provide more support to our STEM students from marginalized backgrounds as they pursue successful careers in promising STEM fields. As a counselor, Andrea is aware of the challenges that students may experience navigating STEM majors. Her goal is to continue building community in the STEM Center/MESA and put students at ease as they prepare for transfer and the workforce. Please join us as Andrea shares her journey, experience, and insight with you in Science in Action!

A Homecoming: My educational journey from Skyline College to UC San Diego, and back

October 25, 2022 | 4:30 - 5:30 pm | Meeting Link 

Luis Jibaja | Skyline Alumni & (Incoming) Instructional Aide II at Skyline College

Luis Jibaja's academic journey from Skyline College to UC San Diego has been a challenging process that he has successfully achieved through a mix of factors. The resources that Skyline College provided him have supported his arduous path of obtaining his diploma in Computer Science. He understands the different fears that a student can feel when choosing a career, and the difficulties of navigating that path as a transfer student looking to obtain an engineering degree. His goal is to create his own software engineering company which develops mobile apps that benefit his surrounding community. Please join us as Luis shares his journey, experience, and wisdom with you in Science in Action!

Skyline at SACNAS

October 19, 2022 | 4:30 - 5:30 pm | Meeting Link 

Monica Mendoza | Skyline Student presenting at SACNAS

Monica Mendoza is an aspiring bioengineer. She will be applying for transfer this fall to complete her undergraduate degree in bioengineering and plans to pursue a Ph.D. in Biophysics. She is currently an intern at the Stanford Cancer Institute and a member of the Rogala Lab. Monica is learning more about how nutrient sensing is integrated with other chemical signals, such as hormones, to determine cellular decisions involved in cellular growth.


The discovery of penicillin in 1928 sparked an active period of natural-product antibiotic discovery, positively impacting the human lifespan. Modern medicine has employed antibiotic drugs to treat bacterial infections. However, the widespread misuse of antibiotics has led to antibiotic-resistant bacteria while the list of infections continues to rise. This dilemma fuels efforts to find novel sources of antibiotics that can be effective against today’s antibiotic-resistant pathogens. Throughout history, plants have been sources of natural-product antibiotics and continue to be viable sources. For example, many Native American tribes in the southwestern United States used Anemopsis californica (Saururaceae) as a disinfectant and topical antiseptic. In this study, a methanol extract of A. californica roots and rhizomes (210.1 mg/mL to 215.3 mg/mL) inhibited the growth of Bacillus cereus bacteria with zones of inhibition ranging from 10 to 14 mm. These findings contribute to the research required to identify new sources for novel antibiotics and shed light on the unique contributions Native American tribes have made to the field of antimicrobial discovery.

STEM Internship Opportunities @ SLAC with CCI

October 11, 2022 | 4:30 - 5:30 pm | Meeting Link 

Hillary Freeman & Sean Kalsi | Program Managers at SLAC

Please join us in learning more about 2023 paid STEM summer internships for Community College students at SLAC, a world-renowned National Laboratory located on Stanford’s campus. We want you to actively invest your time in the future, including hands-on design, building, research, and coding that happens to accomplish great discoveries. From the tiniest of particles (the proteins on the outside of the coronavirus and elusive neutrinos) to the biggest things (like black holes), we’d like you to be involved.

Frontend Programming: developing the web & yourself

October 4, 2022 | 4:30 - 5:30 pm | Meeting Link 

Hariklia "Aria" Frangos | Web Programmer Analyst

The opportunities and applications of computer science in the industry are far and wide, which is one of the reasons it can be so hard to decide what you want to do with it! Aria will speak about some core elements and entry points into web design & development, as well as her own introduction to and experience in the field. There is no single correct place to start diving into such a broad field as web development. The varied backgrounds, experiences, and priorities of web developers are part of what drives the field forward and makes the Internet an interesting space to work in. Aria's background in cognitive science and computer science as well as some additional demos and resources will help provide context on a few ways you can get started or continue forward in your exploration of web dev and frontend. Learn about some ways that you can use and extend your education to explore personal development and professional opportunities in programming, user experience, design, analytics, accessibility, and more.

My experience at the Stanford Summer Community College Premedical Program (SSCCPP 2022)

September 21, 2022 | 4:30 - 5:30 pm | Meeting Link 

Sahil Niwas | Skyline College Student

Sahil Niwas is a current Skyline College student taking prerequisite courses in pursuit of becoming a doctor. Prior to his time at Skyline College he completed a Bachelor's Degree in Mathematics and Physics from the University of the South Pacific in Fiji. He recently completed a summer research experience at Stanford University. Come join us to gain insights, advice, and perspectives from his educational journey and research experience!

Science in Action Fall 2022 Kick-Off: Introducing the seminar series, resources, programs, and clubs!

September 13, 2022 | 4:30 - 5:30 pm | Meeting Link 

Our Science in Action Speaker Series started in 2014 with the aim to connect Skyline students with researchers and professionals related to the STEM industry. Our speakers focus on two main themes during our sessions: sharing their research work and the educational journey that brought them there, providing a first-hand perspective to students interested in or exploring various STEM-related careers. What careers and research are you interested in? Who do you want to hear from? 

Attendees will also gain the opportunity to connect with resource programs and clubs associated with STEM. Spend our kick-off session with us to connect with dedicated faculty, staff, and peers! Hope to see you there! 

Science in Action Spring Finale: Featuring Tauba Auerbach

May 17, 2022 | 4:30 - 5:30 pm | Meeting Link 

Tauba Auerbach

Tauba Auerbach is an artist, typographer, and publisher whose work contends with structure and connectivity on a variety of scales. An ongoing student of math and physics, Auerbach often invents tools and techniques to induce material behaviors, building on crafts in many disciplines. In this talk, Auerbach will discuss how their research and creative practices support each other. 

Transfer Program Panel: Bell Engineering

May 11, 2022 | 4:30 - 5:30 pm | Meeting Link

Darcie Christianson, Luke Nyberg, a current Student  | Bell Engineering Program at Minnesota State University

The Iron Range Engineering (IRE) Bell program strives to educate engineering students by providing the synergistic qualities of technical learning coupled with work on authentic projects with industry partners. In addition to the development of new engineers, Iron Range Engineering looks to benefit the local, northern Minnesota, community and industries while addressing the needs of community college graduates and transfer students across the nation. Science in Action will host Darcie Christianson (Instructor), Luke Nyberg (Program Facilitator), and a current student to provide their unique insights and perspectives on the Bell Engineering Program

***Our panelists look forward to responding to questions from the audience. Submit your questions (or vote for your favorite) by clicking on our Slido event link.

Insights from a Neurologist: Dr. Kim 

May 4, 2022 | 4:30 - 5:30 pm | Meeting Link

Dr. Lawrence Kim | Neurologist 

Dr. Lawrence Kim is a neurologist and site leader for the Peninsula Division of Palo Alto Medical Group Foundation. He completed fellowship training at UC San Francisco and adult neurology residency at UC Davis Medical Center. He will provide a brief talk on applied biosciences and technology in the diagnosis and treatment of strokes. 

The Unfashionable Side of Fashion - Impact of the Fashion Industry on Plastic Pollution

April 26, 2022 | 4:30 - 5:30 pm | Meeting Link | YouTube 

Benjamin-Rafael Mingoa | Current Biology Student at Skyline College 

Susanne Schubert | Chemistry Professor at Skyline College

Microplastics originate from many urban sources, including the degradation of synthetic fabrics like acrylic or polyester. This presentation focuses on the fashion industry, which contributes to 35% (190,000 tons) of oceanic microplastic pollution every year. The wear and production of these synthetic fabrics wash into bodies of water and accumulate in local lakes and rivers before being deposited into the ocean. We will be presenting the impact the fashion industry has on microplastic pollution, how we study and quantitatively measure these microscopic pollutants, and what changes and studies we are doing to combat plastic pollution in our world.

Benjamin-Rafael Mingoa is a Biology student at Skyline College who has been studying microplastic pollution for the past year and a half. His research started as a semester-long honors project for BIOL 215 and has since expanded to studying other types of plastic accumulation in our community.

Honoring Earth Day: Film Screening and Discussion

April 19, 2022 | 4:30 - 5:30 pm | Meeting Link | YouTube 

Susanne Schubert | Chemistry Professor at Skyline College 

This week, in honor of Earth Day, Science in Action will host a film screening and subsequent discussion of the documentary “From Flint: Voices of a Poisoned City.” Afterward, participants will get to learn how to access water quality information in their own homes and discuss action steps we can take to advocate when that water is unhealthy/inadequate.

Earth Day is an annual event on April 22 to demonstrate support for environmental conservation and advocacy. First organized on April 22, 1970, it is celebrated by over 1 billion people in more than 193 countries. In honor of our planet, the Skyline College Library has put together this virtual book, and you can learn more about Earth Day here.


(Data) Science in Action

April 13, 2022 | 4:30 - 5:30 pm | Meeting Link | YouTube 

Victor Nazlukhanyan & Christabelle Pabalan | Data Scientists and Skyline College Alumni

Join Victor and Christabelle as they discuss data science, artificial intelligence, data ethics, and career paths in the data space! From meeting in a yoga class at Skyline College in 2015 with two opposing goals to embarking on identical career paths—they’ll discuss their shared academic journey and how they navigated uncertainty and imposter syndrome along the way.
Victor and Christabelle attended Skyline College from 2015 to 2017 before they transferred to UC San Diego to study cognitive science. Afterward, they both worked as math tutors before completing their master's in data science from the University of San Francisco in 2021. Victor and Christabelle are now both machine learning engineers at Spotify and Headspace Health, respectively.


Student Club Leadership Panel: Triton Software Engineering Club

March 22, 2022 | 4:30 - 5:30 pm | Meeting Link | YouTube 

Nirmal Agnihotri, Rickie Chen, Emmanuel Flores, and Philip Zhang

Getting involved in extra-curricular projects, and having a robust project portfolio, is one of the best ways to gain an edge in being competitive in the job market. Join us for a chance to connect with four students who are members of the Triton Software Engineering (TSE) Club at UC San Diego. As a powerhouse of 36 developers and 8 UI/UX designers, the club works extremely collaboratively to provide software services pro bono for 18 nonprofit organizations for the past five years (and continuing to grow). We will be joined by: 

Nirmal Agnihotri is a third-year Computer Science student at UCSD. He is currently the Engineering Manager for TSE’s Laktaa team and will be interning as a Software Engineer at Amazon this summer.

Rickie Chen is a third-year student at UCSD studying Cognitive Science w/specialization in Design & Interaction. He is a Product Designer at Triton Software Engineering. He will be interning at 23andMe over the summer as a Platform Design Intern.

Emmanuel Flores is a second-year Computer Science student at UCSD. He currently serves as the Product Manager for TSE’s Laktaa team and will be interning at BD this summer as a Software Engineering Intern.

Philip Zhang is a second-year attending UCSD as a Computer Science major. For TSE, he is currently a Developer for The Animal Pad Dog Matching project team and is an incoming Software Engineering Intern at Stripe this summer. 

***Our panelists look forward to responding to questions from the audience. Submit your questions (or vote for your favorite) by clicking on our Slido event link.


Women in STEM Panel: A Collaboration with Associated Students of Skyline College in honor of Women's History Month

March 16, 2022 | **12:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.**  | Meeting Link | YouTube 

Jing Folsom, Emilie Hein, and Kirsten McMichael 

In honor of Women's History Month, Science In Action Speaker series will host a discussion panel featuring Women in STEM, facilitated by ASSC (Skyline College's Student Government). All are welcome to join us for a one-time discussion panel with Skyline’s very own Professional Women in STEM. Discover the inspiration, struggles, and goals these women have experienced, & all the wisdom they have to offer while going through their STEM journey. We will be joined by: 

Jing Folsom is a Biology-Biotechnology Instructor at Skyline College since 2013. She is also the MESA Co-Director at Skyline College STEM Division. Jing was born and grew up in China and she graduated from Zhejiang University, China with her bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry and Master's degree in Botany. She came to the US to continue her education, graduated from Iowa State University with Ph.D. in Molecular Cellular Developmental Biology in 2010. Jing has taught at different local community colleges before she took the full-time faculty position at Skyline College. She is passionate about supporting students to pursue a STEM-related career pathway. She loves teaching and loves seeing her students learn and succeed.

Emilie Hein has been teaching Physics at Skyline College since 2014 and has been leading the Physics department since 2019. She holds a B.S. and M.S. in Physics from France, a Ph.D. in Particle Physics from UC Irvine, and earned a Data Science certificate from Stanford University.

Kirsten McMichael is a third-year graduate student pursuing a Ph.D. in Physics at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY. As a researcher, she is a member of both the nEXO and NEST collaborations. Kirsten also has a passion for DEI and hopes to improve the culture surrounding STEM. 

***Our panelists look forward to responding to questions from the audience. Submit your questions (or vote for your favorite) by clicking on our Slido event link.


Experiences participating in research in industrial projects: Student panel

March 8, 2022 | 4:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.  | Meeting Link | YouTube 

Andrea Boskovich, Miguel Fuentes, Rebecca Lopez, and Katherine Thai | Research in Industrial Projects for Students (RIPS) Participants

Interested in getting involved with research, but unsure how to start? Join us for a chance to connect with four students who participated in the Research in Industrial Projects for Students (RIPS) Program. The RIPS Program provides an opportunity for undergraduates studying math, computer science, and related disciplines to work in teams on real-world research projects proposed by sponsors from the industry/public sector. We will be joined by: 

Andrea Boskovich is a first-year PhD Student in Statistics at the University of Washington in Seattle. I was in RIPS after my sophomore year of college, when I worked on a project for Alibaba investigating the best way to recommend products to users on an e-commerce shopping website. A fun fact about me is that I was born in Bosnia and have dual citizenship.

Miguel Fuentes is a PhD student at UMass Amherst, he is currently working with Daniel Sheldon on probabilistic modeling of bird migration. While at RIPS he worked with Google to develop a metric to evaluate the security of Ads Data Hub. In his free time, Miguel practices the martial art Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and while in LA for RIPS he visited several BJJ gyms in the area. 

Rebecca Lopez is a Master's student in Applied Mathematics at the University of Washington in Seattle. Her project at UCLA RIPS 2019 focused on the application of convergent cross-mapping and empirical parameter inference in finite rate chemistry for the US Air Force Research Laboratory. In her free time, she looks to cook and is well known for her thanksgiving turkey that she has been making since she was 10. 

Katherine Thai is a PhD student in Computer Science at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst studying applications of Natural Language Processing (NLP) to literary text. She participated in both RIPS Hong Kong in 2018 and RIPS LA in 2019. During RIPS LA, she worked with the Aerospace Corporation and has continued to intern with them. She has two dogs, a German Shepherd named Minnie (for the minimax algorithm) and a Pomsky named Mimosa.

***Our panelists look forward to responding to questions from the audience. Submit your questions (or vote for your favorite) by clicking on our Slido event link.


My educational journey to a Ph.D program

March 2, 2022 | 4:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.  | Meeting Link | YouTube 

Viviane Zurdo Costa | Ph.D. Student at University of Maryland

Viviane earned her B.Sc in Physics from Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Brazil, in 2014. She started working as an undergraduate research assistant in one of the university’s experimental condensed-matter laboratories in the second semester. She worked there for 3 years and acquired experience in chemical synthesis and the basics of microscopy. Halfway through undergraduate, she was awarded a scholarship by the Brazilian government to study for one year in The Netherlands, at the University of Twente, where she participated in applied geophysics research. After moving back to Brazil, Viviane worked for 7 months on a theoretical nuclear astrophysics research group where she studied hadronic matter subjected to strong magnetic fields. Viviane moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in 2015. After many turns into her career path, she joined the quantum materials and nanodevices lab at San Francisco State University as a volunteer and, eventually joined the MSc Physics program. At SFSU, she acquired extensive experience in 2D materials, sample fabrication, spectroscopy characterization techniques, and enjoyed tutoring physics to undergraduate students and mentoring students in the lab. Currently, she is a Ph.D. student in the Electrical and Computer Engineering program at the University of Maryland, where she studies fundamental physics of two-dimensional magnetic materials. She has served as the president of the Women in Physics and Astronomy Club at SFSU and intends to continue working against inequities in academic and educational systems that are purposely designed to perpetuate privilege and maintain toxic and excluding environments.


Skyline College and beyond: A transfer student panel 

February 23, 2022 | 4:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.  | Meeting Link | YouTube 

Arden Abude, Carlos Acuna, Hollywood Banayad, Christal Nevarez, Allen Ramsey, and Ezekiel Saldajeno | Skyline College Alumni

Every spring semester, the transfer process seems to loom over the minds of students. We invite six former Skyline College students to share insights and wisdom on their experiences during their process of applying, deciding, and starting their transfer school. We will be joined by: 

Arden Abude attends Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, pursuing a degree in Electrical Engineering. He is currently studying Power Electronics coming from a passion for Analog Integrated Circuit (IC) analysis and gaining real-world experience with projects working with Analog ICs, Power, and potentially Control Systems.

Carlos Acuna attends SFSU majoring in Mechanical Engineering with the goal of obtaining a Master's degree in advanced manufacturing or mechatronics systems. 

Hollywood Banayad attends SFSU and is set to graduate this spring with a BS in Physics. He plans on starting his graduate studies for a Ph.D. in Biophysics or Physics in the Fall with the aim of attaining a career as a professor in a postsecondary institution.

Christal Nevarez attends UC Davis as an Environmental Engineering major. Her goals are to gain internship experiences to find work in the industries relevant to pollution and contamination remediation.  

Allen Ramsey attends SFSU as a Cell and Molecular Biology major, with a goal to complete a Bachelors in Spring of 2023 and transfer into a Ph.D. program at UCSF, Berkley, or Stanford for an interdisciplinary program including Cell and Molecular Biology, Genetics, Biochemistry, and a few other sub-fields. Allen's current goal is to successfully execute a research project at SFSU with the guidance of a Ph.D. advisor focused in Stem Cell Translation

Ezekiel Saldajeno attends SJSU as an Electrical Engineering major. He is exploring both options of either pursuing/applying for internships that transition into industry work or pursuing a Master's degree in Engineering. 

***Our panelists look forward to responding to questions from the audience. Submit your questions (or vote for your favorite) by clicking on our Slido event link.

A roundtrip home

February 15, 2022 | 4:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.  | Meeting Link | YouTube 

Emily Quach | Faculty at Laney College

As an undergraduate, I explored different types of courses within the Peralta Community College District (PCCD) and found my favorite classes in the Department of Biology at Laney College. After obtaining my A.S. in Biology and a Certificate of Proficiency in Biomanufacturing, I continued my education by obtaining a B.S in Biotechnology at UC Davis and a M.S. at CSU East Bay. At East Bay, I focused on Toxoplasma gondii’s ability to stage convert after disruption of a metabolic enzyme. Understanding the role of stage conversion determines the severity of the parasite. After graduation, I joined the Biology Department as part of the Faculty Diversity Internship Program (FDIP). I transitioned as an adjunct at both Laney and Skyline College. Most recently, I joined Laney College as a biology instructor. I am happy to be part of the Biology Consensus Structure. I hope to instill adaptability in my students in a small classroom where I can watch them thrive as they achieve their own personal milestones.


Changing the Face of STEM

February 8, 2022 | 4:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.  | Meeting Link | YouTube 

Tiffany Reardon | Associate Director of Engineering Student Services, UC Berkeley

For nearly twenty years Tiffany Reardon has been working to change the face of STEM. She began doing this at Skyline Community College where she worked as the Director of the Mathematics Engineering, Science Achievement Program from 2000 to 2008. After successfully establishing Skyline's MESA program she accepted a position as the Assistant Director of Programs for MESA Statewide at the University of California’s Office of the President working with nearly 70 community college and university MESA programs. In 2012, she joined UC's flagship campus by accepting a position at the UC Berkeley in the College of Engineering. In 2013, she established Berkeley’s Transfer Pre-Engineering Program (T-PREP) which serves engineering students that have transferred from community colleges. Aside from T-PREP, she also directs the Pre-Engineering Program (PREP) which serves freshman engineers. Both PREP and T-PREP support students throughout their time at Berkeley. Tiffany has helped hundreds of students successfully transfer to top-tier universities, prepare for graduate school, and gain prestigious research fellowships. In 2018, she launched REUFinder which is a blog aimed at exposing non-traditional students to paid research opportunities.


My experiences in nursing and working to support my community 

February 1, 2022 | 4:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.  | Meeting Link | YouTube 

Juner Ryan Valencia | Skyline Alum, ER Nurse, & Co-Founder of HelpTestBayArea

Hello, my name is Juner Ryan Valencia, RN BSN, PHN and I’m currently an Emergency Room Nurse at Highland Hospital in Oakland, CA. My nursing experience also includes Telemetry, Oncology and Psychiatric nursing. I also worked as a Public Health Nurse in San Francisco deployed to help at the start of the pandemic and continue now with their COVID Response Task Force. I attended Skyline College in the summer from 2002 to 2005. I also attended San Francisco State University, University of San Francisco, Chabot College, and Samuel Merritt University from where I earned my Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree.

At the start of the pandemic, COVID-19 Testing was non-existent or very limited for my fellow frontline healthcare workers, so I started a non-profit organization called HelpTestBayArea in partnership with Caring Angels Foundation. Our goal is to connect community members, frontline workers, grassroots members, and community leaders to work together in COVID-19 testing the community and thereby giving every community member a chance to make a difference during this pandemic in fostering a sense of community regardless of background or affiliation.