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Skyline College Welcomes Civil Rights Activist Dolores Huerta to Campus

Delores HuertaOn Wednesday, March 18, civil rights activist, community organizer and co-founder of United Farm Workers, Dolores Huerta, spoke to a full crowd at the Skyline College Theater. Ms. Huerta has battled inequality for over 50 years, taking especially strong stands for unions, workers, immigrants, women, and the LGBTQ community. Her work has garnered her numerous awards including the Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.

Huerta spoke to Skyline College students and staff on a variety of topics, but she opened by highlighting the theme of the speaker series: raising consciousness. Huerta stressed that “knowledge itself doesn’t really cut it. We have to combine knowledge with action and that’s the way that we can really make a difference in this world.”

Huerta cited examples like climate change where scientific knowledge is routinely ignored and political leaders are slow to enact impactful change. The overtly partisan political landscape in Washington, D.C. Huerta argued, is driven by a wealthy few, including major corporations that are free to pour virtually unlimited amounts of money into political causes; often these funds are directed towards attacking unions, immigrants, or minorities. She went on to describe the plight of labor unions, specifically a move in the U.S. to destroy labor unions and all they stand for.

Shifting focus, Huerta described the U.S. as a nation of immigrants, but also as a nation that often forgets to give credit to the minorities that established its foundation. She stressed the need for comprehensive K-12 ethnic studies education that highlights the contributions of people of color in order to paint a truer picture of American history.

Huerta also placed special emphasis on women’s collective struggle for equality, quoting Coretta Scott King by saying “We will never have peace in the world unless women take power.” She called on women to take charge of their lives, do away with stereotypes of what a woman should be, and to take credit for their work, ideas and accomplishments even in the face of backlash.

While the barriers to meaningful, democratic change and social equality are high, there are ways to overcome them and raise our voices for progress. One of the key ways to do so, according to Huerta, is to vote.

“Things will not change unless we make it happen,” Huerta stated. “We have the power, but we’ve got to get out there and we’ve got to do the work.”

She then led the audience in a call and response, calling out “Who’s got the power?” while the audience responded, “We’ve got the power!”

“What kind of power?”

Then alternately, “People power!” and “Voting power!”

The call and response proved an inspiring reminder of Huerta’s history as a leader of the worker’s rights movement, where she originated and championed the United Farmworkers’ motto “Si se puede!” or “Yes we can!” – a motto coopted by President Obama during his 2008 presidential campaign.

With an eye towards educating the next generation, Huerta brought her community organizing to Skyline College, and inspired the students and staff in attendance with a vision for making change by exercising our rights and getting out there to do the work oF moving the world in the right direction.

Article by Connor Fitzpatrick | Photo by Raul Guerra

Skyline College Receives Final Approval to Offer Bachelor’s Degree Program in Respiratory Care

Respiratory Therapy 2015On Monday, March 16, the California Community Colleges Board of Governors gave final approval to Skyline College and 11 other community colleges to participate in a landmark pilot program that allows them to offer bachelor’s degrees in fields such as respiratory therapy, dental hygiene and aerospace manufacturing technology.

“This is an appropriate expansion of our mission designed to meet the needs of an economy that is requiring more workers with four-year degrees,” said Geoffrey L. Baum, president of the Board of Governors. “We have consulted closely with the leadership of the California State University system throughout this process and are pleased to approve these innovative pilot programs that will provide students with affordable degree options in fields that have demonstrated job growth.”

Initial approval was granted in January, pending additional evaluation of the proposals by the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office and further consultation with California State University and the University of California.

Skyline College’s new baccalaureate degree program in respiratory care will be one of just three 4-year degree programs in this field offered in the state of California (Modesto Junior College was also selected to create a program as part of this pilot project, and one other currently exists at a private college in Southern California.) The first cohort of 25 students is expected to begin in the fall of 2016.

“This is a great opportunity to provide further education for the profession of Respiratory Care, and Skyline College is well poised to meet this need,” said Dean of Math, Science and Technology Raymond Hernandez. “This is yet another way in which Skyline shines.”

For additional information about Skyline College’s plans, please see our FAQ.

Read the full press release.

Article by Jennifer Owen-Blackmon | Photo by Maryam Hadi

A Passport to Education: Let the Journey Begin

Passport to EducationNelson Mandela once remarked, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”  On Tuesday, March 10, Skyline College hosted its first Educational Panel featuring a dynamically diverse group of doctoral degree holders and candidates who are doing amazing work in the field of education throughout the Bay Area communities at large. The presentation was moderated by Skyline College students Conor O’Brien, Jazmena Bannag, and ASTEP faculty Professor Powell and Professor Jones. This year’s theme was a subtle tribute to the late Malcolm X, as homage and tribute were paid to his genius, legacy and hallmark of wisdom and knowledge, regarding education being “…the passport to the future…”

The purpose of this group discussion was to demonstrate to Skyline College students that education can truly open doors, unlock the path to success, and provide endless career opportunities once a degree is obtained and utilized. The ASTEP Learning Community and the Center for Student Life and Development thought it was crucial and urgent that students of color should see themselves represented in academia as well as being privy to the excellent minds making change and critiquing the institutions of higher learning, while contributing to the edifice of excellence at Skyline College.

The panelists featured were Dr. Jamal Cook of San Francisco State University, Associate Professor in the Department of Secondary Education; Dr. Nolan Jones, Director of the Upward Bound Program, Hip Hop Constructive, and Instructor at Mills College; Dr. Greg Tanaka, Principal and Senior Researcher at Center for the Study of Democracy and Social Change; Clyde Lewis, Adjunct Professor at Skyline College and Doctoral Candidate at San Francisco State University; and Irene St. Roseman and Paul St. Roseman, Doctoral candidates at Mills College.

Each of the speakers brought a unique brand of insight and voice to the conversation, which focused on unlocking the keys to academic success by using education as a means to navigate the world, and to promote social justice and change. During the panel discussion Dr. Jones, the Hip Hop Constructivist, made a very important assessment regarding the passport metaphor addressing education. He stated, “It is the application of the passport that opens the access. The passport is no good if you do not get it stamped; once it is stamped you can travel.”  This is when the odyssey of experience thoroughly impacts one’s life.

The most intriguing element of the panel was that each participant either hailed from Oakland, California or has become a residence there, which ultimately suggests that there is a great vibrant bandwidth of highly informed educators coexisting and comingling to conspire to shift the paradigm of collective consciousness around the value of education, and how it will impact the future of our youth.

This was significant because this group of educated intellectuals exhibited a different image than that which is so often associated with persons living in Oakland. Their presence alone defied the stereotypes and presented an academic module shift that is uncommonly companioned with people of color living and working in the East Bay. Dr. Martin Luther King framed it best, “The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character–that is the goal of true education.”

Article by Nathan Jones | Photos by Joseph Adams

The Outreach Exclusive Event Brings the House Down

Outreach Exclusive 1On Thursday, March 12, Skyline College hosted the first ever Outreach Exclusive Event in the Theater. The goal of the event was to raise money for the Darryl Burns Memorial Outreach Scholarship, which was named for the late father of CRSB’s co-lead singer Sonny Burns, who passed away from cancer last year.

The event was a great success; over 200 people attended the event and we raised over $500 for the scholarship. The headliner was CRSB, a musical duo based out of the San Francisco Bay Area who created their own brand of Island Soul-Infused pop. Since 2009 CRSB has had three #1 songs and 5 top hits on the Hawaiian radio wave and they performed them all for us. CRSB had the Skyline College crowd screaming and cheering at the top of their voices with every song they performed and they brought the house down.

Outreach Exclusive 1 Besides CRSB, Skyline College also set the night on fire when Skyline College students took the stage. Melvin Gutierrez started the night off right with his smooth, sultry voice doing an acoustic set with just his ukulele. Following Melvin was Skyline College’s own HOLLADOUGHBLEH. She set the tone the minute her words started flowing from her mouth. She was also joined by her brother and special guest Counselor Nate Nevado. The last group to hit the stage before CRSB was Los Dos, a dynamic duo that consisted of the Urban Youth Society’s MC Aztec and Professor John Ulloa. These two fly gentlemen fused hip-hop with traditional percussion sounds and rocked out the Skyline College stage. Big Body Cisco DJed and co-MCed the event with Outreach Coordinator Florentino Ubungen.

The event was a great success and there was nothing but love and good vibes throughout the whole event. If you would like to see videos and pictures, go to the Skyline College Instagram @skyline_college.

Article by Florentino Ubungen | Photos by Amanda Bortoli

Umoja Regional Symposium at UC Davis

umoja conferenceOn Friday, March 13, the ASTEP Learning Community of Skyline College was proudly represented at the Northern California Regional Umoja Symposium, which took place at UC Davis. Umoja is a well-known regional and statewide conference that brings many California community colleges together in order to promote the importance of community building, cultural awareness and empowerment. During the conference, keynote speaker Dr. Joy DeGruy discussed the “Agents for Healing and Empowerment” focusing specifically on overcoming “Vacant Esteem, Anger and Racist Socialization.” 

A few crucial points that Dr. DeGruy addressed included:

  • Knowing ourselves
  • Healing from past injuries
  • Building self-esteem
  • Modeling positive behavior
  • Building community
  • Creating strong leadership
  • Telling our story
  • Post-Traumatic Slave Syndrome (PTSS)
  • The Theory of Triadic Influence (TTI)
  • The Relationship Approach- “It takes a village to raise a child”

Later in the agenda, students were placed into different groups to discuss their understanding of the three concepts (Vacant Esteem, Anger and Racist Socialization) and to strategize different approaches and solutions for how to move forward in life. This activity challenged students to think critically, to demonstrate their competency and to reflect on how they could make a difference on their college campuses.

This year’s Umoja Regional Symposium was especially noteworthy because the California Community Colleges Board of Governors forged a historic student transfer agreement with nine historically black colleges and universities. What this means is that students who complete their AA/AS degrees from any California community college will have automatic transfer opportunities to any of nine selected HBCUs.

The conference also included a UC College Fair, a student panel with student perspectives from UC Davis, UCLA and UC Berkeley. Furthermore, there was an inspirational and empowering spoken word segment to conclude the event. Students and faculty from ASTEP were truly honored to participate in a program sharing resources for students who are traditionally underrepresented educationally and economically. Umoja progressively develops self-awareness and a solid base for their academic success.

Article by Brianna Clay | Photos by JayVonn McGolthen

GLPS Division Welcomes New Staff

GLPS New HiresPlease join the Global Learning Programs and Services Division as we welcome our two new full-time team members, Ms. Alessandra Zanassi, Division Assistant and Ms. Alina Din, Program Services Coordinator-CITD/Study Abroad Program.

Alessandra brings a great deal of experience to the position and to the division. She received her Bachelor’s Degree from Santa Clara University with a double major in Communication and Philosophy.  In additional to clerical experience she has worked with both college and high school student programs locally and abroad. She enjoys volunteering, sports and spending time with her dog, Emmy.

Alina comes to the division with a wealth of knowledge in both the economic sector and in community development. Alina earned her Master’s degree in Urban Regional Planning from UCLA and has worked with the Pakistani government at the local level to enhance the use of technology to streamline governance.

We are excited to have them both on board. Please make sure to say hello and (officially) welcome them to the Skyline College family!

For more information on the GLPS division, please contact skyglps@smccd.edu or call (650) 738-7098.

Article by Pcyeta Stroud | Photos by Keisha Ford

Upcoming College Capital and Maintenance Projects

As we start preparing for and begin to do many capital/maintenance projects at Skyline College, you will start seeing more emails with “Construction Notices” or “Facilities Notices” in the subject line. In these notices, you will find a description of the project, the schedule, the campus impact, and who to contact about the project. Please read them carefully and contact Facilities at (650) 738-4115 if you have any questions. Thank you.

 Article by John Doctor

Skyline College Hosts Second Annual Brothers and Sisters Conference

brothers and sisters conference 1 Skyline College concluded its African American Heritage Month with the second annual Brothers and Sisters Conference. The conference serves as a transitional and welcoming opportunity for African American high school students as they graduate and move on to college. The conference also strengthens Skyline College’s existing outreach efforts to increase the number of African American students on campus.

brothers and sisters conference 1This year’s theme was “It’s Your Time to Shine,” focusing on college success and how to navigate through the college system. The students experienced an engaging keynote speaker, participated in workshops, went on a campus tour showcasing our premiere CAA/CTE programs (Automotive, Cosmetology, and Respiratory Therapy), and lastly heard inspirational stories and important information from our student panel. The high schools that participated this year were:

  • Lowel High school
  • Jefferson High school
  • Oceana High School
  • Westmoor High School
  • El Camino High School
  • South City High School
  • Capuchino High School

Special thanks to all the Skyline College students, faculty, classified staff and administrators who helped make the conference memorable for the high school students and chaperones who attended.

Article by Kwame Thomas

New Class Begins Internship Job Shadow Program

internsPlease join us in welcoming our new class of interns into our Student Internship Job-Shadow Program for the spring 2015 semester! The Internship Job-Shadow Program, provides an opportunity for Skyline College students to receive training and exposure in real-world business environments. The program is a collaboration between the Skyline College Career Resources Center, the Global Learning Programs & Services Division (GLPS) and the Retail Hospitality & Tourism Program (RHT).  Through our job-shadow program, students interested in business, international trade, marketing, international tourism and other related industries are exposed to professional development and networking opportunities. Our interns are also eligible to receive up to three units of college credit through the Cooperative Education Program.

All students in the program participate in a welcome orientation and workshop, where they may also register for a COOP class.  Interns are provided with a “welcome packet” that includes a handbook and assessments to determine specific areas of interest and were treated to a presentation on the importance of obtaining and updating job skills.  Via the Internship Job Shadow program students are exposed to valuable experiences such as:

  • Networking events
  • Business Seminars
  • Grant Writing
  • Trade Conferences
  • International Delegation Events and Meetings
  • Campus events
  • In-bound Trade Missions
  • And more!

The GLPS division provides internship and job-shadow opportunities each academic semester to all Skyline College students regardless of their field of study.  We congratulate our new class of interns and welcome them to the GLPS team!

Article by Pcyeta Stroud | Photos by Troy Barros

Transfer Fair a Success

transfer fairOn Wednesday, March 11, the Transfer Center hosted the 7th Annual Transfer Fair with over 20 representatives from local, out-of-state, public, and private colleges and universities who were able to address student questions about transferring to their campuses. College representatives were impressed with Skyline College students and were excited to see that they asked good questions, showed strong interest in transferring, and took initiative to seek out answers. One representative shared that this was their “favorite event this year…Students’ preparation and questions were really good. Excellent event”.

The Spring Transfer Fair’s attendance this year doubled from last year with over 250 students who signed in to participate! We also welcomed several classes to the event along with over 20 faculty and staff also taking time out of their day to visit, show support, and meet with representatives.

Over 70 students completed student evaluations and their responses were overwhelmingly positive. One student said that this event shows that “people are interested in my future,” while another expressed how this event illustrated that “the possibilities of transfer are endless.” Another student said “awesome fair, I got a lot of information.”

In addition to learning about private and out-of-state colleges, as well as two of our main feeder campuses SFSU and UC Davis, students were able to learn more about the various programs and services offered by the Transfer Center, TRiO, and Veteran’s Resources Center, and Financial Aid!

Many thanks to the English, Math, Social Science/Creative Arts, and Counseling Division Faculty who brought their classes to the fair, and to faculty from various disciplines who offered extra credit for attending the event!

Special thanks to Palo Alto University for providing breakfast and for the Transfer Center Ambassadors and staff for their efforts in making the day run seamlessly!

Additionally, In the spirit of promoting a campus-wide transfer culture and encouraging students to inquire about and plan for transfer, the Transfer Center hosted Alma Mater Day.

Over 25 faculty and staff from the Counseling Division alone participated, while several other faculty and staff from various divisions proudly wore their Alma Mater gear! Many thanks to Counseling Division Dean Garcia for spearheading Alma Mater outreach efforts in the Counseling Division and to all Divisions!

Thanks to those who participated and took the time to talk to students about transfer and their experience attending a four-year university!

Article by Michele Haggar