During each semester, the Science in Action Seminar Series is held every Tuesday from 4:30 p.m. - 5:30 pm, accessible via THIS link. Please note that the Zoom Link requires a password to join the Zoom Meeting, which can be obtained from your professor or Bryan Swartout. 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 at the Science in Action Seminar Series, please contact Alyssa Wong-Conway. If you have questions about attending the Science in Action Seminar Series, please contact Bryan Swartout.

Fall 2020 Seminar Schedule

Due to COVID-19 and closure of Skyline College campus, all remaining Science in Action seminars will be held VIRTUALLY until the end of the spring 2020 semester. To join us via Zoom, please click the respective link for a seminar. If you aren't able to watch the seminars live, visit our YouTube Channel, or click the respective link in each seminar description to be taken to a recording of the seminar you're interested in.

Preview our upcoming speaker schedule for this semester

Our Journey to become Ambysians: Women in Science at Ambys Medicines 

December 15, 2020 | 4:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.  | Meeting Link | YouTube

Krystle Okialda, Charity Juang, Carolina Diaz, Allyson Merrell, & Lisa Liao | Ambys Medicines

Ambys Medicines is a cell and gene therapy company focused on discovering and developing regenerative and restorative therapies for patients with advanced liver disease. We are pioneering the novel application of cell and gene therapies to reverse liver disease progression and restore liver function for patients with severe liver disease. This remains one of the most underserved areas of modern medicine. For thousands of patients with severe liver diseases, liver transplant is the only option, and nearly forty thousand cirrhosis patients die annually in the US. Our goal is to create a world without liver transplants.

Learn more about us from a group of dedicated researchers. The Ambys Women's Group would like to share our passion for our work, the unique journeys we have had to bring us to Ambys, and general advice and lessons we've learned to pursue a position in the biotech industry.

Quality Control Associate at Genentech 

December 8, 2020 | 4:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.  | Meeting Link | YouTube

Kaela Ann Fajilagutan | Genentech

Kaela Ann Fajilagutan is a quality control associate at Genentech. In 2019, she received her Bachelor's of science in biotechnology from UC Davis. She was an intern at Kokel lab in UCSF, where they studied neuronal and motor responses to chemical stimuli in Danio Rerio. Kaela is pursuing a career in clinical laboratory science.

Experiences and Lessons Navigating from Skyline to UCSF School of Dentistry 

December 1, 2020 | 5:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.  | Meeting Link | YouTube

Roger Krupetsky | Student: UCSF School of Dentistry

Roger Krupetsky attended Skyline College from 2013-2016 before transferring to UC Davis to complete a degree in Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior in 2018. Following his undergraduate degree, he spent 1-year working full time and attending a post-baccalaureate program at Cal State East Bay before applying to dental schools in the summer of 2019, and matriculating in September of 2020. He has a wide variety of experience ranging from wet-lab work in Skyline's own Biotech lab to managing a free dental clinic for the homeless in Sacramento. In addition, he has organized and led children's oral health education courses, and has been a private tutor within the STEM field for 8 years. 

*Today's event is meeting later to accommodate our speaker's schedule. 

My Journey from Skyline to Berkeley, Discovering and Exploring the Scientist I Want to Be

November 17, 2020 | 4:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.  | Meeting Link | YouTube

Phillip Sanvictores | Research Associate at Genentech

I recently gained a Bachelor of Arts in Integrative Biology from the University of California, Berkeley in May of 2020, I started at Skyline College in 2015 where I was able to explore my various interests and learn how to be a successful student. Landing on a passion for molecular biology from my time at Skyline led me to the path of pursuing research in molecular genetics as my main topic of interest where I found it to be greatly exhilarating and informed me of the science I aim to pursue in the future.  


I aim to share my own personal experiences that I’ve found to be of great help in my journey from Skyline and how I used what I learned from my community college experience to find success in Berkeley. I’ll share some of the research I’ve done in the Evolutionary Genetics Laboratory in Berkeley where we focused on conservation efforts of our species of interest Pleurodema maromartuml and my plans for the future. 

Panel Discussion: Women in STEM 

November 10, 2020 | 4:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.  | Meeting Link | YouTube

Morelia Karina Cruz, Carla Grandy, Mayra Lopez-Thibodeaux, Beatriz Qura del Rio, Susanne Schubert

Skyline College's Women In STEM discussion panel returns for a third iteration. The panel will take place virtually, organized in partnership between the STEM Center and the Library. Women in STEM will share experiences in their fields, lessons they have learned along the way, and what drives them to do the work they do. Panelist bios below: 

Morelia Karina Cruz

Morelia (also known as Karina) is a first-generation Mexican American student who received her Associate in Science Degree for Transfer in Mathematics and Physics at Skyline College. She was a part of organizations like the Associated Students of Skyline College, Engineering and Tech Scholars, the Latin American Student Organization club, and the Women in Science and Engineering club. She transferred to the University of California, Berkeley and is currently studying Mathematics and working as a STEM Center Peer Mentor at Skyline College. She will graduate in 2022 and plans to work in Tech as a Data Scientist.

 Carla Grandy, PhD

Carla Grandy is Dean of the STEM Division at Skyline College. Prior to that, she was Earth Science Faculty for 13 years. Carla has a B.S. in Environmental Geology from Texas Christian University, a M.S. in Oceanography from Oregon State University, and a PhD in Earth Science from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Carla has worked as a Hydrologist and Coastal Specialist in the Environmental Field. At Skyline, Carla coordinated the sustainability work on campus as well as serving as faculty advisor for the Energize Colleges Program.

 Mayra Lopez-Thibodeaux

I grew up in Mexico, and moved to  San Francisco as a young adult. I am a former Skyline College student who transferred to San Francisco State University (SFSU) to earned a B.S. in Astrophysics. I started doing research in dark matter in my second year at SFSU and continued doing so for the next three years after graduation at Berkeley's Space Science Lab and Berkeley-Lawrence National Laboratory. I am now a graduate student of Aerospace Engineering at San Jose State University and  working in my Master's Project. I was a graduate tutor at the Learning Center for four years before coming to the STEM Center in the beginning of this year as an Instructional Aid where I really enjoy tutoring students in Math and Physics  and coordinating the PI Leader program. 

 Beatriz Qura del Rio

My name is Beatriz Qura del Rio, I am originally from Lima-Peru. I came to the USA when I was 20 years old and started my education at Canada College taking the last level of ESL. I transferred to College of San Mateo in 1994 and took my lower division classes and then transferred to CSU East Bay obtaining a BS in Biological Science in 2002. After working as a lab assistant at a hematology lab, I developed great interest in patient care and decided to enter the Respiratory Care Program at Skyline College.

I graduated from Skyline College in 2005 and since then I have been working as a Respiratory Care Practitioner at the VA Palo Alto Healthcare System. I am new in the academia field but I have always liked teaching students doing their clinical rotations and training new employees in my health institution. In addition, I have a part time job at Foothill College as a clinical advisor

 Susanne Schubert, PhD

Susanne was born and raised in the eastern part of Germany. She studied and received her Ph.D. in Chemistry from the Free University in Berlin. Susanne started her teaching career in 2018 that led her to join Skyline College in the fall of 2020. Before jumping into teaching, Susanne worked at several research laboratories in Germany and the US. When she can get away from her computer, Susanne enjoys the great outdoors with her family, and she cannot wait for the moment it becomes again safe to travel so that she can tend to her ever-growing travel bug.

 **The panelists would like to respond to questions from the audience. Submit your questions (or vote for your favorite) by clicking on our Slido event link →

My Journey in Biology

November 3, 2020 | 4:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.  | Meeting Link | YouTube

Eric Huang | Manufacturing Associate at Pendulum Therapeutics

Eric was a Research Associate at Zymogen after graduating from the University of California, Davis with a degree in Biotechnology. Specializing in Fermentation and Microbiology, Eric has cultured numerous microbes, from strict anaerobes to soil bacteria. His passion lies in solving the intricacies of microbiology and the symbiotic relationship of the microbiota and its host. While in Davis, Eric studied the microbiota of ruminant animals, which led to the unforgettable yet awesome experience of working with a cannulated cow to study the anaerobic fungi and its role in breaking down cellulose.

My Educational Journey and my Past Research Projects

October 27, 2020 | 4:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.  | Meeting Link | YouTube

Malori Redman | Instructor (Skyline College & San Francisco State University & La Canada)

Malori was born and raised in a small rural town in Iowa, which is where her spark of interest in the weather began. She moved to the Bay Area when she was 15, which broadened her horizons very quickly. She obtained her Bachelor of Science in Atmospheric and Oceanic sciences with an emphasis in Meteorology from San Francisco State University in 2014. After graduation, she took 2 years off to travel the world and expand her horizons even further. When she returned home, she pursued her Master's degree in Atmospheric Science from the University of Arizona. After graduating in August of 2018, she returned home to the Bay Area and immediately began teaching at SF State, and later in 2019 at Skyline College. She currently teaches at both colleges and also La Canada.


After a brief introduction to Malori’s journey in the STEM field and the challenges faced while pursuing her degrees, she will go through some of the various research projects that she has had the pleasure of working on. They vary from going to Burning Man in 2013, to atmospheric rivers, to how thunderstorms in the Indian Ocean can influence weather patterns here in the United States.

Panel Discussion: Black Minds in STEM Matter!

October 20, 2020 | 4:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.  | Meeting Link | YouTube

Marie-Ange Eyoum Tagne, Elizabeth Turner-Grays, Kolo Wamba, and Kenyatta Weathersby   

Despite it being 2020, STEM continues to have a serious diversity problem, and Black minds continue to be grossly underrepresented, mainly as a result of historical and structural inequities that continue to plague our society and the world.  Join us as we reflect on the personal journeys of four Black  STEM professionals who are making important contributions as faculty here at Skyline and as engineers and engineering executives in the industry.  We will have four panelists, as follows:

Marie-Ange Eyoum Tagne, PhD  Dr Eyoum Tagne is a veteran tech leader with 15 years of experience in product management and innovation in consumer electronics. She is currently a Lead Product Manager at Roku.Inc.  She received her Master’s and PhD in degrees in Electrical Engineering from the University of California-Berkeley with research expertise on the advanced process engineering of MEMS (Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems). When she’s not being an engineering executive, she enjoys spending time with her husband and beautiful toddlers (Zoey, 4 and Ian, 2).

Elizabeth Turner-Grays Elizabeth Turner-Grays, who goes mostly by “Liz,” hails from the San Diego area.  She has been a Test Engineer for almost 20 years. She has worked in various industries, although the majority of her experience has been in mobile. She is very excited to take part in this forum and looks forward to an illuminating discussion with all of the participants.

Kolo Wamba, PhD Having first come to Skyline College as an adjunct in the Spring of 2018, this Fall marks Kolo’s first semester as a full-time instructor of physics.  Prior to this, he worked at various R&D jobs at different tech companies around California.  He received his PhD in applied physics from Stanford University.  When he’s not doing physics he enjoys spending time with his family.

Kenyatta Weathersby, MS Prof Weathersby received his Master’s degree in Statistics from CSU East Bay.  He joined the Skyline College faculty as a full-time instructor of mathematics and statistics in the fall of 2017 and is currently part of an effort to create a Data Science program of study at Skyline. Prof Weathersby is an active participant in the Umoja-ASTEP and BAM groups.

 **The panelists would like to respond to questions from the audience. Submit your questions (or vote for your favorite) by clicking on our Slido event link 

Trying to Understand our Universe - The General Antiparticle Spectrometer (GAPS) in the Search of Dark Matter

October 13, 2020 | 4:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.  | Meeting Link | YouTube

Mayra Lopez-Thibodeaux | Instructional Aide II - STEM Center  

Mayra is an Instructional Aide at the STEM Center of Skyline College and holds a B.S. in Astrophysics from San Francisco State University. She is now working on her Aerospace Engineering master’s project at San Jose State University. Mayra moved to San Francisco as a young adult and studied English and her general education at Skyline College and College of San Mateo. Her professional background includes observational and particle Astrophysics research in dark matter detection and the application of Artificial Neural Networks on orbital astrodynamics at SJSU, SFSU, Berkeley Space Science Laboratory, and Lawrence-Berkeley National Laboratory.


During this presentation, Mayra will tell us about her experiences through school and research, and how she was able to stay on track despite the challenges she encountered. She will also give us a deeper description of her favorite research experience, participating in the integration of the General Antiparticle Spectrometer Prototype (GAPS), which led to the next step of her academic path.


My Journey to Environmental Engineering and the Use of Electrochemistry to Remediate Contaminated Groundwater

October 6, 2020 | 4:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.  | Meeting Link | YouTube

Andrea Naranjo | UC Berkeley Master's Graduate 

Andrea has a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Connecticut and a Master of Science degree in Environmental Engineering from UC Berkeley. Before moving to the United States, she lived in Colombia, where she saw many communities not having access to clean air and water, food, and sanitation. This experience motivated her to find ways to help low-resource communities have access to safe drinking water.  Currently, she is part of Dr. Gadgil's lab, working on the scale-up of low-cost remediation technologies for contaminants present in groundwater. 


After giving an introduction on her journey, Andrea will give a summary of some of the projects she has been working on in Dr. Gadgil's Lab. She will mainly present on her current project, which consists of the design and distribution of a procedure for making a disinfecting solution at a low-cost.  

Wildfires: Can We Predict Their Destructiveness? 

September 29, 2020 | *4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.  | Meeting Link | YouTube

Nery Barrera | UC Berkeley Master's Graduate (Skyline College Alumnus)

Nery Barrera is a senior research associate at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Nery started his higher education in Skyline college. In Skyline, he collaborated as a peer tutor at the learning center and TRiO, besides volunteering at the MESA center. He then transferred to UC Berkeley in 2016, where he graduated with a BS in environmental engineering. He then obtained a master’s degree in civil and environmental engineering in May of 2020, with a focus on fluid mechanics and water resources management, also at UC Berkeley.

Nery has participated in several research projects at UC Berkeley and the Berkeley National Lab. Today he will present his research about wildfires in California. This research aims to use weather data to calculate a weather index on the day that destructive wildfires occurred. We will explore his journey on data analysis, and get to know more about his research to determine if an occurring wildfire has the potential to become destructive.

*Today's event is meeting earlier to accommodate our speaker's schedule. 

From Dirty (Log) Books to Finding Dirty Data: The Impact of Benford’s Law

September 22, 2020 | 4:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.  | Meeting Link | YouTube

Bryan Swartout | Program Services Coordinator-STEM Center

Bryan Swartout is currently the Program Services Coordinator for Skyline College's The STEM Center. His higher education journey started at Lake Tahoe Community College before transferring to Occidental College where he completed his Bachelor’s Degree in 2013 (Mathematics Major/Computer Science Minor). 

Bryan will present his former research project (from Occidental College) about Benford’s Law: a statistical phenomenon regarding numerical data pulled from real-world observations. We begin with the phenomenon’s discovery by Simon Newcomb in 1881, and follow its development until finally proven by Theodore Hill in 1995. It’s story sheds light to some of the best parts of math: taking what seems to be an innocuous observation and developing deep insight into a profound and effective tool to help navigate this current world dealing with fake news and fake data. 

Aerospace Engineering

September 15, 2020 | 4:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. | Meeting Link 

Samneet Singh | Project Engineer, Jacobs Engineering Group

Samneet was born and raised in Punjab (India), moved to California during high school. He is a former community college student who transferred to San Jose State University and finished a Masters (2019) in Aerospace Engineering. His future plans include pursuing an MBA after gaining a few years of experience in the industry. During his Master’s career, he designed a two-seater electric aircraft that runs completely on the electric power. The research was selected and presented at the 4th Annual International Conference on Mechanical Engineering in Athens, Greece. Currently, he is working as a Project Engineer with Jacobs Engineering Group since 2017.