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.
The 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.
In 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