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Students Organize Successful Charity Event: Together We Thrive

Students at Together We Thrive EventOn August 2, 2014, Skyline College hosted Together We Thrive (TWT). Families in the community came to campus for an exchange of needed goods. Skyline College students Nicole Garza and Irene Yim conceived the idea because Skyline College is in one of the richest counties in the country but approximately 18% of the population is living below the poverty line and an additional unknown percentage is below the housing wage. Nicole and Irene raised over $1,500 to purchase school supplies and backpacks for kids in the local community. About 80 children showed up in the Student and Community Center to receive their backpacks filled with school supplies. The accompanying clothes drive was successful and everyone is looking forward to next year’s TWT event.

The ECE/EDU students that participated, really enjoyed coming together to participate in an event that benefited young children and spoke about organizing a club in order to network and be a part of more events benefiting children and families.


At the event, activity tables were hosted by Gaylord Garcia (Respiratory Therapy Program), Kristina Brower (Early Childhood Education), Mary DeAngles (Karate club), Sherri Bookstaff (Biology Department), and John Carpio (Photography Club).


Nicole and Irene reached out to the community and received cash donations to purchase school supplies from the following.


  • San Francisco Plumbing
  • Ideal Carpentry
  • Lakewood Apartments
  • Nicks Seafood Restaurant
  • SF Department of Building Inspections
  • Target
  • Outback
  • Home Depot
  • Skyline College Cosmetology
  • Genentech


Students at Together We Thrive Event Volunteer at Together We Thrive Event

Article by Christine Case & Kristina Brower | Photos by John Carpio


California Science Teacher Association Award Winner Credits Biology Professor with Recent Success

Carina Anttilasuarez

Carina Anttila-Suarez in a biology classroom

All professors wonder if they are making a difference in the lives of their students. Dr. Carina Anttila-Suarez loves being a Biology Professor at Skyline College but wonders if her teaching impacts the future of the students in her classroom. Carina was recently rewarded with the answer to this question when her former student Laurie Gillis won the Future Science Teacher Award for 2014 from the California Science Teacher Association (CSTA). Laurie contacted her former professor to let her know that the award application essay was based on the effect Carina’s teaching had in her life.

“I wrote about my experience in your classes in my application essay.  It turns out I received the award and they quoted my essay on the website(!).  They didn’t include your name (unfortunately), but this little excerpt is about the significant impact you made on me and I just wanted to tell you what an amazing and inspiring professor you were for me.  There were a lot of little moments in your classes that have stayed with me and made such a positive impact on my life/career.  I can’t thank you enough for those experiences.”

Carina celebrates Laurie’s accomplishment and works hard as a Skyline College faculty to give her students a similar experience!

Article by Carina Anttila-Suarez

Bringing our Campus Together with Shared Curriculum!

English Shared CurriculumIf you assign reading and writing in your class, please consider joining us in using the Rhetoric: What, Why, and How? which was written by the English teachers at Skyline College with contributions from our librarians and ESOL faculty. This project was volunteer and not for profit.


* to promote consistency amongst our classes by using shared definitions, philosophies and approaches when teaching the fundamental writing and reading concepts.

* to save our students money! We know textbooks are expensive, so we created one that is free online and can be used at all levels. If students want a print version of the textbook, they can get a copy through our bookstore and pay only the duplication costs of $35 plus tax

* to appeal to different types of learning styles. Since we created all the materials, we were also able to adapt the lessons into PowerPoint and voiced podcasts for students with more visual and auditory learning styles.

Article by Rachel Bell

Public Safety’s Newest Full Time Officer Leo Khersonskiy

Public Safety Officer Leo KhersonskiyLeo Khersonskiy comes to Public Safety as a full time employee after working both as a part-time Public Safety Officer and as an Office Assistant in the Counseling Office helping students with scheduling and appointments. He has worked on all three campuses and has an easy, welcoming demeanor, willing to help others at any time. Officer Khersonskiy is a graduate of University of San Francisco, majoring in Economics. Leo attended the San Francisco Police Academy and has worked previously for the San Francisco Police Department and the San Francisco Parks & Recreation Department. Officer Khersonskiy is fluent in Russian, should his services in that language be needed.

Article by Rob Dean

Computer Access for Students and Labs Available for Instruction

Recent changes in Building 2 to the space formerly occupied by the Center for Advanced Learning and Technology (CALT) have resulted in new options for computer access for students and for instruction at Skyline College.

Computers and Printing Available for Students
Networked PC-platform computers are available to any registered student doing specific course-related work on a drop-in basis at several areas on campus.

Library ComputersLibrary Computers
Computers with printing services are available in the Library located on the 2nd floor of building 5, during open library hours. Students can work on course-related work for up to 3 hours at a time. The Library is open Monday through Thursday from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Learning Center Computers
For students registered for LSKL courses, computers are available in the Learning Center located on the 1st floor of building 5 during open center hours. Students need to sign-in at the Learning Center Welcome Desk using the CRN for their LSKL course. LSKL 803 is a 0 unit course that provides students with access to peer tutoring and other Learning Center resources. The Learning Center is open Monday through Thursday from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.Learning Center Computers

Computer Applications for Business Labs (CABL)
The CAB Labs serve students enrolled in Computer Applications for Business classes. These labs are located on the first floor in Building 8, Rooms 8119 and 8121. The labs are open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. during the daytime hours and in the evenings from 4:30 p.m. until 9:30 p.m. The labs close at 4 p.m. on Fridays. During the summer semesters, the labs are not open on Fridays or Saturdays. Please call (650) 738-4291 for more information.

Computer Labs for Instruction
Computer labs are available for faculty to reserve for occasional instructional use.

Building 2 Room 2117B is available for instruction on an as needed basis:
• To schedule a class in the Room 2117B, please contact Alana Utsumi at
• Please contact Public Safety Officer at 650.738.4199 to unlock/lock room 2117B
• If you encounter any computer problems in room 2117B, please place a work order using the following link:
• Room 2117A is no longer available to be scheduled. This is a multimedia lab (Apple Computers) that is managed by the Social Science/Creative Arts department.
• Room 2122 no longer has computers

Building 8
Business Department computer labs in Building 8 are also available for limited use:
• To schedule a class in the business computer lab contact Teresita Del Castillo at

The Library classroom in Building 5 is primarily used to support Information Literacy workshops for students, however it is also available for research workshops with faculty librarians for any course. The research workshop request form is located at or you may contact Thomas Hewitt at

Article & Photos by Jonathan Paver

MCPR (Marketing, Communications and Public Relations) Wins Two Awards

Skyline College CampusOn April 10, 2014 Skyline College MCPR attended the CCPRO (Community College Public Relations Organization) Annual Conference in Santa Cruz. Skyline College won First place for the College Annual Report award category for the second year in a row and won Second place for the TV PSA (Public Service Advertising) or Ad award category among the 32 PRO categories. The PRO (Public Relations Organization) awards recognize outstanding work by California’s community college marketing and public relations professionals.

The statewide Community College Public Relations Organization (CCPRO) is a professional development and service organization that seeks to promote excellence in California’s community college public relations and related professions. The organization serves as a central resource of information and provides counsel and assistance relating to the advancement of community colleges statewide and the professional growth of its members.

Article by Claudia Paz | Photo by Raul Guerra

Try Our Library’s New SUPER SEARCH

Super SearchSkyline College Library has launched a brand new search system which does a single search for books in our library catalog and articles in most of our article databases, plus e-books and other academic documents all at the same time!  The system is a trial of a new type of comprehensive library search system called a “discovery service” which allows library users to enter searches in a single “Google-like” search box for all library materials.  You’ll find our new “SUPER SEARCH” in the middle of the library home page.  Give it a try and let us know what you think.  Librarians are happy to show it off to individuals and classes any time.

Hermanos/as Students Celebrate Successful Academic Year

The end of the year is a time to celebrate and recognize the great accomplishments of the 2014 class of Los Hermanos/as students. On May 15, 2014, Los Hermanos had their End of the Year Celebration. Over 25 of students were in attendance, along with their families and friends. The evening began with dinner catered by La Tapatia, the carne asada and chicken tacos were very tasty!

Keynote speaker, Jorge Murillo.

Keynote speaker, Jorge Murillo.

As the evening continued, the celebration took off with numerous speeches. First was the keynote speaker, Jorge Murillo, a Hermanos and Skyline College Alum. The story he shared was very moving and inspirational and he was very happy to announce that he would be graduating from UC Davis in June! Next, were student speakers from the 2014 Hermanos class, Brian Miranda, Manuel Verdin, and Gabrial Pinacho. All three students shared their experience in the program and how it has motivated them enroll in college, Mr. Pinacho stated “We are hardworking and intelligent individuals. We are committed improving the Chicano statistics. By going to college, we will increase our knowledge to achieve our goals, dreams, and desires…We are Hermanos!”

As the event continued, on came the moment everybody was waiting for, the awarding of the certificates to the Hermanos/as class of 2014. Each student was awarded their certificate, a Skyline College T-shirt, and an Hermanos/as sash to wear at their high school and/or college graduation. One by one, each student came up with a smile knowing they have completed the Hermanos program and now are one step closer to graduating from high school.

As the event concluded, students stuck around for pictures and talked amongst each other about the program. They were all very happy and felt well prepared for college; the majority of the students will attend Skyline College in the Fall. So as the 2014 year class was a great success, we are excited for a new cohort for the 2014-2015 school year!

Article & Photo by Alberto Santellan

Classified Leadership Attend State Institute

Classified Leadership Institute Photo Collage

(Pictures, clockwise from left: 1) Alana Utsumi and Michele Haggar representing Skyline College, 2) The “Adventure” theme, 3) Nancy, Linda, Alana, Michele)

The California Community Colleges Classified Senate (4CS) held their annual Classified Leadership Institute conference June 19-21 in Ventura, California, and the theme for the conference was An Adventure towards Student Success. With over 150 classified staff in attendance for the three day event, Classified Senates from around the state gathered to engage in dialogue around challenges faced by classified staff, receive training on new and improved ways to be a more active part of the college community, and exchange ideas on leadership practices. This year Dr. Erika Endrijonas, Executive Vice President of Oxnard College, and President of the Chief Student Services Officers’ Organization, gave a presentation on “The Student Success Act and its Implementation (SB 1456).” This was the largest attended workshop of the institute. From this presentation, classified staff gained a better understanding of SB 1456 and its implications in California Community Colleges.

The 2013/14 Classified Senate President Linda Allen was joined by Nancy Lam, 2013/14 Classified Senate Secretary, Alana Utsumi, 2014/15 Classified Senate President, and Michele Haggar, 2014/15 Classified Senate Vice President, for this year’s conference. In addition to participating in the event, Skyline College Classified Staff participated as volunteers during down-time to assist in welcoming participants to the conference.

The conference also recognized Linda Allen as she was sworn in as the Bay Area 2 Representative. She will serve as a liaison between 4CS and the local classified senates of Cañada College, City College of San Francisco, College of Marin, Napa Valley College, Santa Rosa Jr. College, and Skyline College.

The Classified Leadership Institute provides access to tools that help further develop personal and professional leadership skills. All Classified Staff are encouraged to attend the Classified Leadership Institute.

For more information on the institute visit 4CS at

Article by Michele Haggar & Alana Utsumi | Photos by Linda Allen, Nancy Lam, & Alana Utsumi


Coming Up….

Friday, August 22, 2014

• 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., Ice Cream Social, Skyline College, Quad

Tuesday, September 2, 2014 – Friday, September 5, 2014

• Double Vision: Photographic Portraits from Cuba & Ghana, Skyline College, Gallery, Building 1, Room 121

Thursday, September 11, 2014

• 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m., An Evening with Dr. Cornel West, Skyline College, Theater

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 Cherie Colin via email at

Just a Note of Thanks from the President

regina-actionI would like to thank all of the faculty, staff and students for a tremendously successful academic year. We are incredibly fortunate to be a part of such a vibrant, innovative, excellent and important institution in the community.

Some of you will be away from the college for the summer – I hope you have an opportunity to refresh and relax. Some of us will be there throughout the summer continuing to serve students and carry out the general operations of the college.
Thank you for your continued and tireless efforts as well.

We will soon publish an annual report that will allow you and the community to reflect on the college’s accomplishments related to the Mission, Vision, Values, and Strategic Priorities. We have a lot to celebrate and a lot more to do. Your enthusiasm and willingness to engage and participate makes us all better able to serve.

In the next few weeks, we will announce the President’s Innovation Funds Awards so the recipients may return in the fall and begin their projects and programs immediately. The President’s Council raised more than 120,000 dollars – a great job indeed. The requests totaled over a half-million dollars. That means that we were not able to fund all of the great ideas and will definitely encourage the proposers to seek alternate sources and consider applying in the following year. Much more to come on this topic in the near future.

We are finishing up the year with a host of hiring processes as we bring in new faculty, staff and administrators, most of whom we will meet on the opening day in the fall. The work is hard, the process is long and can even be tiresome, but certainly, it is a good problem to have…having to have all these interviews and hire all these great people!

Finally, thank you for the great work in supporting our students in their educational pursuits. We have many who leaving as they graduate, transfer, go to work or do any combination of the three. Yet, we have many more coming in the front door to get started. And we are right here ready to serve them. Let’s all say congratulations to the class of 2014 and welcome to the next class.

Have a wonderful summer….

Article by Dr. Regina Stanback Stroud


Skyline College Salutes Virginia Padrón

v2After 36 years of service to San Mateo County Community College District, Virginia Padrón, retires on May 23, 2014. Virginia began her tenure within the district at Canada College in 1978, where she dedicated herself as a Counselor for the English Institute Program and provided leadership for the Latino/a American community. Since her arrival at Skyline College in 1997, Virginia has worked tirelessly to develop a comprehensive Career Services Program. Under her leadership students have benefited from expanded career counseling faculty, dozens of career themed workshops and classes, access to online career assessments, a comprehensive library of career exploration resources, a dedicated staff to assist in job development and internship services, unforgettable community events such as Career Networking Night, and the founding of the Career Services Center in 2012. Virginia has served with honor and distinction, and leaves an indelible mark at Skyline College that will continue to benefit students for years to come.

v1In celebration of her retirement, the Counseling Department and Career Services Center hosted a “Bon Voyage” retirement party. In attendance were Chancellor Ron Galatolo, Vice-Chancellor Harry Joel, Vice-Chancellor José D. Nuñez, and Dr. Donald Casella, a former Director of the Career Center at SFSU and Virginia’s long-time mentor. Virginia also received four separate certificates of distinction for her service to San Mateo County including Certificates of Recognition from State Senator Jerry Hill and Congresswoman Jackie Speiers. These awards were presented by representatives from CA Employment Development Department, Jenny Carreno, the San Mateo County Workforce Development Office, Victoria Yeh, and Skyline College Counselor Cecilia Gutierrez. Bon Voyage Virginia! Thank you for 36 years of passion, kindness, and unforgettable leadership!

Check out the photos from the party:

Dean Angélica Garcia and Virginia Padrón


Virginia Padrón, Lavinia Zanassi, Donald A. Casella, and Eric Larson


Virginia Padrón and Cecilia Gutierrez


San Mateo County Workforce Development’s Victoria Yeh, Virginia Padron, and EDD’s Jenny Carreno


 Article by Lezra Chenportillo

ASTEP Graduation at Skyline College


On Monday, May 19, the Skyline College ASTEP program celebrated its graduating class of 2014. The ASTEP graduates, twenty students in all, received ASTEP certificates signed by the Skyline College President, Dr. Regina Stanback Stroud and ASTEP Coordinator and faculty member, Phyllis Taylor Gulbransen. The students also received Kente Cloth Stoles as a rite of passage through the ASTEP program.


The students and the Skyline College Community was humbly graced with a riveting speech facilitated by Emmanuel Stewart the keynote speaker. Stewart also co-signed on the value of education, a theme that resounded with a special resonance for Skyline College students.

The event once again proved to be a night filled with many deserving students who had completed their AA/AS degrees and transfer requirements. The ceremony began with a wonderful opening speech from our President, Dr. Stroud, who eloquently addressed the students about the importance of education and equity. During her presentation, Dr. Stroud encouraged all the students to look closely to their left to visualize what their futures could possibly be like, by using the administrators and faculty members as a model of excellence and champions for higher education.

14059941079_a24e3a6841_zThe evening activities provided the students with a special treat, from Skyline College’s own Richard Porter, the graduate guest speaker whose oration moved and inspired the ASTEP graduates. Porter painted a picture of his journey to success by demonstrating how Skyline College has afforded him many opportunities and aided his decision to achieve his career goals.

14059987737_4fa2144801_zIn all the beautiful moments that occurred during the graduation celebration, it marked a bitter/sweet new beginning. For the past seven years, Professor Phyllis Taylor Gulbransen, the current ASTEP Coordinator, will be retiring at the end of the Spring Semester. As she transitions into her new role as a retiree, she will be sorely missed but not forgotten for all the hard work, time and dedication she put into making the ASTEP program a success.

To all the faculty, staff, friends, members, students and community volunteers that aided in making this year’s event a wonderful success, the ASTEP family thanks you.

Article by Nathan Jones | Photos by Raul Guerra

Skyline College “Beams Up” at End of Year Celebration

photoSkyline College’s End of Year Celebration on May 16, 2014 was nothing short of epic!  The theme “To Boldly Go Where No College Has Gone Before” featured the crew of the Starship Skyline, namely, Ray Hernandez as Captain Kirk, Pat Tyler as Scotty, Nancy Lam as Bones, Bryan Besnyi as Mr. Spock, and Leigh Anne Shaw as Lt. Uhura.  Groovy tunes were provided by the Skyline College Jazz Quintet, led by Professor Zachary Bruno.

DSC_0376Video mash-ups by Bryan Besnyi kicked off the event, which netted a whopping $1,139.00 in the division basket raffle.  The proceeds will be donated to scholarships.  The Classified Senate presented a Special Recognition award to Chris Weidman and one to Linda Allen for their excellent service to the college.  The Academic Senate presented a Special Recognition award to Kate Williams Browne for her service, and an award to Nina Floro, which was accompanied by a resolution outlining her many great deeds and which was adopted by the Senate by acclamation.  The Classified Senate also honored retiree Clydie Rizzo, while the Academic Senate honored retirees Katharine Harer, Phyllis Taylor, Kevin Sullivan, John Chavez, and Virginia Padron.

The Academic Senate was pleased to receive many nominations for the Meyer Award for Excellence in Teaching, and decided to give two awards:  Chris Gibson and Amber Steele were the recipients.

Outgoing Classified Senate President Linda Allen made an appearance by video in which she announced that she had been elected to the State Classified Executive Board as the Bay Area 2 representative.  The Classified Senate council members for Fall 2014 will be:

President:  Alana Utsumi
Vice President:  Michele Haggar
Secretary:  Linda Herda
Treasurer: Barbara Lamson
Historian: Barbara Daley
Parliamentarian:  Kennya Ruiz

The Academic Senate council members for Fall 2014 will be:

President:  Kate Williams Browne
Vice President:  no candidate
Secretary:  Leigh Anne Shaw
Treasurer:  Tiffany Schmierer
Curriculum co-chairs:  Dennis Wolbers and Christine Roumbanis
Educational Policy:  Nick Kapp
Professional Personnel:  Zachary Bruno
Research:  Mousa Ghanma

The organizational team would like to thank Sherrie Prasad and Theresa Tentes for arranging the catering for the event.  It was a great way to celebrate before the grueling week of finals began, and many attendees left with smiles and good cheer.

Article by Leigh Anne Shaw | Photos by Claudia Paz

Time to Tool Up


Set to leave on her first international build with Habitat for Humanity, Skyline College student, Latasha Washington is enthusiastic about constructing affordable housing in Cape Town, South Africa. Having volunteered with HFH domestically, driving nails and drywall are not new to her. Ms. Washington is a vibrant student and active member of the Women in Transition Program and ASTEP. She is co-founder of POP! which is a club for students who are Parents without Partners.

photo 2

Habitat for Humanity requires of its participants to cover their own expenses. For a student and single mom, that price tag was significant ($4,939!) but she was not to be deterred. She pursued fundraising by selling hot dogs, pizza, and requested donations. The Skyline College community has been most generous in assisting her with fund raising for which she has expressed deep gratitude. She has met her goal with a $2500 scholarship from the San Mateo Community College Foundation, and the rest was made up from donations from students, faculty, staff and administrators. Most impressively, approximately 506 students contributed to her cause.

photo 3Reflective of her deeper core values, she feels it’s critically important to be aware of people who struggle for basic necessities and to give back to the community. She intends to share her experience with the Skyline College campus when she returns and to encourage other students to take up the HFH challenge. Ms. Washington will be transferring to Howard University next spring where she will complete her BA. Her ultimate goal is to become a lawyer.

It’s so appropriate to highlight this exceptional member of our Skyline College community —Latasha Shines.

Article by Lori Slicton | Photo by Latasha Washington