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Skyline College Rolls Out Phase One of New Website

Skyline College Website

We are excited to announce that we have officially begun to roll out the redesigned Skyline College website. During this first phase of the rollout, you’ll notice a few major changes on seven key pages at the top level of navigation.

What’s New?

Mobile Friendly:

These seven new pages, and all subsequent new pages, are “mobile friendly,” which means they use responsive web design to adapt to different sized mobile devices. In other words, these pages automatically scale up and down to best fit on your laptop, tablet, phone or other device by detecting how big your screen is. That means greater accessibility and ease of navigation for students and staff accessing the Skyline College website from devices other than a desktop computer.

Home Page:

The home page has a clean, dynamic new look designed for greater visual impact, simplicity and ease of navigation. The new design removes some of the clutter that clogged the old page and makes a large slideshow and key featured news stories the centerpiece of the new website – allowing us to better tailor our messaging to students and influence users’ immediate perception of the college through the visual cues on our website.

“Portal Pages:”

The black navigation bar at the top of our Home page lists six unique sections of the website including, Admissions, Academics, Career Advancement, Student Life, Campus Resources, andAbout. We wanted to highlight these important sections by creating new “Overview” pages for each of them – we’re calling them “portal pages” internally.

These pages include striking images with an aspirational “tagline,” a simplified navigation bar and clear and concise introductory text that highlights the college’s offerings and goals within each of these six areas. This new language is student focused, speaking directly to them as opposed to speaking generally about the college.

The Road Ahead

As we move into the coming months, we will be migrating other sections of the website to pages that blend with the look and feel of these initial 7 pages. This will be a long process and we ask you to be patient. In the meantime, your respective pages will remain on the old templates, and if you’ve made edits to the site using Omni in the past, you’ll still be making edits the same way until we migrate your page(s) to an updated template.

As with any major new launch, we expect to meet some small bumps in the road, and we also expect to fix them, quickly, as they arise, with a consistent eye towards improvement.

This is an exciting new step for Skyline College. We cater to an increasingly mobile-oriented and technologically-savvy student body – updating our website to reflect this reality is essential to making the student experience the best it can be.

Article by Connor Fitzpatrick

Startup Pitch Competition Held at Bay Area Entrepreneur Center

This past month at the Bay Area Entrepreneur Center of Skyline College, startups were eligible to pitch their products or services to venture capitalist, Carol Sands. There were four very interesting companies that we had the honor of critiquing at BAEC as they practiced refining their two-minute pitch. The following startups were represented:

• Nak3d has developed a device creating a 3D body model and helps guide you to the form you want.
• Kuveda helps people cure their cancer via analysis of the molecular makeup of a tumor.
• Consolidated Fuzz offers a solution for guitar players to manage all of their sundry electronic add-ons.
• FeedbacK offers a “coach in a smartphone” with current applications to improve your golf game.

These companies have much to offer and certainly have the potential to “make it big.” It takes a lot of courage to become an entrepreneur, and it also takes a dedicated investment of time and money to move the process along. If you are thinking about starting a company, visit the BAEC at 458 San Mateo Ave, San Bruno. Business starts here! Workshops and seminars on a variety of topics are available at no charge to students, so check out the calendar at and learn something new! For more information, contact Catherine Fraser at

Article by Catherine Fraser

California Association of Food Banks’ CalFresh Outreach Peer-to-Peer Meeting Panel Includes SparkPoint at Skyline College


Heather Smith from SparkPoint at Skyline College presented at the California Association of Food Banks’ (CAFB) CalFresh Outreach Peer-to-Peer Meeting in Oakland, California on Monday, March 16, 2015. Panel topics included:

A. Getting Data From Your County, Heather Smith, SparkPoint at Skyline College
B. Managing Subcontractors & Volunteers, Amanda Schultz, San Diego Hunger Coalition
C. CalFresh Awareness Month, Joel Campos, Second Harvest Food Bank, Santa Cruz County
D. Capturing Stories & Using Them Effectively, Amy Lopez, Food Bank Santa Barbara County

SparkPoint at Skyline College acquired expertise on benefits access data sharing protocols during a recently completed two year project with the Center for Law and Social Policy, which was designed to increase benefits utilization among eligible students. During that national demonstration project, significant capacity building between San Mateo County Human Services Agency and Skyline College resulted in a real time data-sharing protocol. This represents a contribution to effective practice nationally, which increases available resources for students to achieve their educational and economic goals.


Organizations that support benefits applications typically never receive application process feedback while that application is under review. Unlike most community-based organizations that provide public benefits assistance, SparkPoint at Skyline College receives both status updates and outcomes on individual public benefits applications, including those for food assistance (CalFresh), healthcare (Medi-Cal) and cash assistance (CalWORKs) while the application is in process. This allows SparkPoint to follow-up with students and others on the status of their applications before a final determination is made and assist them with successfully completing the application process. Since adopting this practice, SparkPoint has seen a significant increase in approval rates for public benefits applications. Additionally, applicants have also increasingly reported positive experiences navigating the public benefits application process via SparkPoint’s public benefits office.

Seventy food bank professionals from all over the state attended the meeting to obtain CalFresh (Supplemental Assistance Nutrition Program (SNAP)) updates and learn about best practices to mitigate policy and structural barriers, and increase benefits utilization among those who are eligible. Cultivating this organizational capacity is part of the commitment of Skyline College to ensure that all students realize their educational goals regardless of economic status. For information about SparkPoint at Skyline College, contact Dr. William Watson, Director, and for information about benefits access, contact Heather Smith, Program Services Coordinator both at 650-738-7035 or visit our website at

Article by Heather D. Smith | Photos by Stephanie Nishio, California Association of Food Banks Director of Programs

UCLA Visit to Skyline College a Success

Students visiting UCLA

On Tuesday, April 7th and Wednesday April 8th Skyline College welcomed Paitzar Giourdjian, Admissions Officer in Transfer Recruitment. She is one of 3 Admissions Officers for the whole state and only 9 Northern California campuses are being visited and Skyline College is one of them!

Her days were packed with full back-to-back student appointments on both days, tabling in the Fireside Dining Room and 2 presentations. She spoke to Professor Leach’s Honors Math 252 8:00 a.m. class and participated in a presentation hosted in collaboration with the Honors Club and the Transfer Center. The representative reported that our students had very informed questions and that she was impressed with the interest and participation and that she felt very welcomed on our campus.

In addition to the UCLA presentation, the Honors Club leadership gave students an overview of the Honors Transfer Program. The Honors Transfer Program gives students priority consideration to attend UCLA – a huge advantage that the Skyline College campus provides for students.

Overall, it was a very successful visit. Many thanks to Professor Leach for opening up his classroom for this opportunity, the Honors Club and the campus community for spreading the word about this visit!

Article by Suzanne Poma | Photo by Michele Haggar

Don’t Miss the Spring Musical “Grease”

Grease Promotional Poster

Don’t miss this year’s Spring Musical GREASE presented by the Skyline College Dance, Drama and Music Departments! Showtimes are Friday, April 24th and Saturday, April 25th at 7:30 p.m. and a matinee on Sunday, April 26th at 2:00 p.m. in the Skyline College Theater.

Purchase your tickets in advance for $10 on the bookstore website or $15 at the door!

Supported in part by the Associated Students of Skyline College and the San Mateo County Community Colleges Foundation.

Rick Escalambre Named Educator of the Year!

Rick Escalambre Teaching

Professor of Automotive Technology at Skyline College, Rick Escalambre was presented the Educator of the Year award at the Vision Hi-Tech Training and Conference in Overland Park Kansas in early March. The annual Conference is described as THE event for Automotive Service Professionals.

Escalambre teaches engine performance and is a leader in coordinating the automotive program at Skyline College. He previously taught automotive at the high school level, managed a Chevron Station and owned and operated an automotive repair business in Concord. He is the former Chairperson of the Bureau of Automotive Repair Smog Check Education Advisory Committee and a past president of the California Automotive Teachers (CAT) association. He is a respected author and editor of books in the field of engine performance, emissions, and computer controls. Escalambre earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from San Francisco State University. Congratulations to Rick Escalambre on a well-deserved accolade!

Information from Parts & People Northern California, April 2015 issue | Photo by Nancy Lam

Beta Theta Omicron Named Regional Distinguished Chapter

Phi Theta Kappa Students

Photo: from left: Livius Darmawan, Donway Sy, Twinkle Lok, Hilary Wong, Jaimelynn Alvarez, Pricsilla Sanchez, Jose Campos, Pauline Macay, Christine Case, Jia Lu

Skyline College’s Beta Theta Omicron Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa was recently recognized and awarded for achievement at the Phi Theta Kappa Regional Convention held in Reno, Nevada on March 27-29, 2015. Phi Theta Kappa Officers and members attended the convention, accompanied by Chapter Advisor, Christine Case.

The chapter was named The Distinguished Chapter in the Nevada/California Region. This recognition was based on the completion of two major projects in 2014. The chapter’s Honors in Action project, “Data mining—a new frontier in health,” received two awards, the Honors in Action Distinguished Theme Award and the Distinguished Honors in Action Project Award. For the year-long service component of the project, members and officers taught senior citizens to use their tablets and smartphones. The chapter’s College Project dealing with middle school outreach, bringing hands-on science labs to middle schools, was honored with a Distinguished Project Award.

“I am extremely proud of all of the hard work that our chapter officers did over the last year. These students truly exemplify leadership and dedication. They set high standards for themselves and the chapter and worked hard to develop and implement meaningful projects. They demonstrated a sincere desire to improve our community. We could not have been as successful without the support and encouragement of Dr. Stanback Stroud, and numerous Skyline College faculty and staff,” commented Case.

The Chapter also won the yearbook award. Congratulations to the yearbook team and their leader, Livius Darmawan. In addition to these recognitions, Wafa Zeidan, a Phi Theta Kappa member at Skyline College, was the Regional Distinguished Scholar and Olidipo Toriola was a Distinguished Scholar runner-up. Christian Galang was runner-up Distinguished Chapter Officer.

The purpose of Phi Theta Kappa shall be to recognize and encourage scholarship among two-year college students. To achieve this purpose, Phi Theta Kappa shall provide opportunity for the development of leadership and service, for an intellectual climate for exchange of ideas and ideals, for lively fellowship for scholars, and for stimulation of interest in continuing academic excellence.

Phi Theta Kappa members are four times more likely to complete college than an average student, but also they are nearly twice as likely to complete college than students with similar grade point averages (3.5 or higher),

Article and photo by Dr. Christine Case


Two New National Publications Cite SparkPoint at Skyline College

Two New National Publications Cite SparkPoint at Skyline College: The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – Administration for Children and Families Promote Financial Capability.


SparkPoint at Skyline College is a financial education and coaching center that improves college connection and completion by mitigating economic disparities. Students and other members of the community use SPSC services and resources to strengthen their financial capability and further their economic and educational goals. Now in its fifth year, this partnership with United Way of the Bay Area represents the work of our college and community to break the cycle of family income predicting college connection and completion. Our commitment to equity and inclusion and our resolve to strengthen our effectiveness motivate SparkPoint at Skyline College to excel at disrupting entrenched disparities. Our work is being noticed!

The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston has released a new publication titled, Promoting Pathways to Financial Stability: A Resource Handbook on Building Financial Capability which can be found at: To showcase the new publication, MDC will host an upcoming webinar titled: The Boston Federal Reserve: Helping Community College Students Achieve Financial Stability on April 9, 2015 at 2:00 PM EDT. Sarah Savage from the Boston Federal Reserve will present the Fed’s recent report: Promoting Pathways to Financial Stability: A Resource Handbook on Building Financial Capabilities of Community College Students. Dr. Savage is Community Affairs Manager at the Boston Federal Reserve. To register for this webinar, please go to


The United States Department of Education hosted a Roundtable this past March in Washington, D.C., which featured the Boston Fed’s launch of the publication. In addition to Skyline College President, Dr. Regina Stanback Stroud, and SparkPoint Director, Dr. William Watson, representatives from organizations included: Achieving the Dream, American Association of Community Colleges, Aspen Institute, Association of Community College Trustees, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, Guardian Life Insurance Company, U.S. Department of Education, U.S. Department of Treasury, and others.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – Administration for Children and Families, in partnership with the Corporation for Enterprise Development references SparkPoint at Skyline College as an example of a strong financial capability partnership representing a diverse array of organizations. Building Financial Capability: A Planning Guide for Integrated Services is an interactive guide for community-based organizations interested in integrating financial capability services into existing programs (e.g. housing, job training, or Head Start). To see the planning guide, please visit:

For more information about SparkPoint at Skyline College please visit our website at or contact the director of SparkPoint at Skyline College, Dr. William Watson, at or call 650-738-7035.

Article by Dr. William Watson

Twelve Hundred Girls Expand Their Horizons in Science and Math

On Saturday, March 21st, 1,200 middle and high school girls from San Mateo, San Francisco, Alameda, and Santa Clara counties attended the 35th annual Expanding Your Horizons in Science and Mathematics at Skyline College. EYH is a conference geared toward increasing their interest in the critical STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) careers through hands-on workshops.

Collage of  Conference Photos

The conference is planned by volunteers from Skyline College and North San Mateo County Soroptimist. The Soroptimist also funded scholarships and school buses for north county girls.

Girls came from 194 schools in San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Alameda, Contra Costa, Sacramento, and Stanislaus counties. Most (87%) of the girls are in middle schools. Over 100 scientists volunteered to present workshops. Additionally, Skyline College students and Skyline College alumnae who have completed their baccalaureates and professional degrees presented workshops. Skyline College faculty who presented workshops and/or mentored students developing workshops include Alice Erskine, Nick Kapp, Sandra Hsu, Chris Case, Carla Grandy, Carina Anttila-Suarez, Judith Crawford, Paul Rueckhaus, Jing Folsom, Elsa Jimenez-Samayoa, Nancy Ruis, Janice McOmber, Gary Cheang, Janelle Barbier, Shari Bookstaff, Jocelyn Vila, and Tatiana Irwin. The program is available at Another 70 Skyline College students volunteered to be go’fers at the conference to help usher girls between their sessions.

President Stanback Stroud started the day by welcoming the girls and introducing keynote speaker Carol Bauman, who gave an inspiring talk, encouraging the girls that they can do anything they want. Ms. Bauman is one of the Star Wars Women who created the Star Wars visual effects and is currently a Designer at Kernerworks.

In other sessions, girls dissected squid, designed a secret code, collected forensic evidence at the “murder in the produce aisle,” made lip balm as “cosmetic chemists,” and “scrubbed in for surgery.” There were 38 concurrent workshops for girls. Each girl participated in three workshops during the day.

Expanding Your Horizons aims to encourage girls to participate in high school math and science courses, provide role models for young women who are interested in math and science, and provide support for and promote interaction between people employed by industry and education.

Planning committee members include AJ Bates, Shari Bookstaff, Pat Carter, Chris Case, Gary Cheung, Judith Crawford, Stephen Fredricks, Jon Freedman, Mousa Ghanma, Ray Hernandez, Kylin Johnson, Nadia Tariq, and Alana Utsumi. Community members on the planning committee include Arlene Chang, Barbara Irli, and Judy Lewis.

Article by Christine Case | Photos by Andrea Caesar and Christine Case