During each semester, the Science in Action Seminar Series is held each week, on Tuesdays or Wednesdays 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.


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.