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TRIO Director Leads Workshop on Hip Hop Pedagogy

trio workshopOn Saturday, March 7, Interim TRIO Director Arash Daneshzadeh presented on the intersections between pedagogy rooted in hip hop culture, the nuance of competitive chess, and martial arts at the 8th Annual Rock the School Bells Conference.

50 people from throughout the state of California including several doctoral students and educational practitioners focusing on issues of equity actively participated in his workshop. The theoretical frameworks for Arash’s presentation included Critical Race Theory, Mattering Theory, Involvement Theory, Restorative Justice, Self-Efficacy and Cultural Mistrust. These academic strands provided the bedrock upon which students were able to participate in an engaging dialogue and demonstration of “Restorative Classrooms” deconstructed from the lens of chess strategy and cultural responsive, anti-racist teaching practices. Participants were able to learn more about how this student-centered teaching praxis, bridging theory and leadership, has parlayed into partnerships with local school districts and juvenile penal systems, as Arash is acutely focused on deconstructing the school-to-prison pipeline.

Article by Arash Daneshzadeh

Delegation from No. 42 High School in Hebei, China Visits Skyline College

Students from Chinese High School Visit Skyline CollegeSkyline College may receive more students from an elite Chinese high school in the coming years. Principal Xiuying Zhang and selected students from Hebei No. 42 High School, Hebei Province, China visited the Skyline College campus on March 1, 2015. Hebei No.42 High School is one of the most prestigious and most international high schools in China, sending many of its graduates to colleges and universities overseas, including to Skyline College.

The visit was part of the 2015 Skyline College Executive Speaker Series hosted by the Skyline College Asian Studies Center in conjunction with the International Student Program (ISP) and organized by Asian Studies Professor, Hui Pate. Principal Zhang and her students were greeted by Wissem Bennani, ISP Manager, upon their arrival, and they started off with a campus tour guided by Roma Feng, ISP student assistant, and Xing Wei or “Star” – a current Skyline College international student and alumna of Hebei No.42 High School.

Following the campus tour, Principal Zhang gave a presentation about intercultural communication, stressing the importance of cultural exchange and encouraging students to study abroad. She also focused on the Chinese educational system, the challenges of intercultural communication, and her first-hand experience working with inbound foreign students and outbound Chinese students. After the presentation, students from Skyline College and Hebei No. 42 High School had an opportunity to network and socialize.

One student stated “it was a joy watching her share those experiences as well as insights with all of us.”  Another student commented “I think that we really need to have more communication between China and America in order to shrink the distance between us, and also to eliminate those misunderstanding caused by our different cultural perspective.”

The Asian Studies Center and ISP will continue to provide international and cultural events and programs for Skyline College students, faculty and staff members and the greater Skyline College community. Please check out the ISP website and the Asian Studies Center at Skyline College to learn more about events like these.

Article by Hui Pate and Chikako Walker | Photo by Hui Pate

Skyline College Students Give TED Talks

TED talks participantsOn Saturday, March 7, two Skyline College students and two alumni were invited to give TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) talks at the spring meeting of the Northern California Branch of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM).

Current Skyline College students Wafa Zeidan and Jackson Womack and alumni Jashwin Sagoo (UC Santa Cruz) and Keefah Khalil (SFSU) presented the research they completed in Biology 230 in Spring 2014 with Chris Case. Then Wafa, Jackson, Jash and Keefah teamed up to engage the audience in discussions about antibiotic resistance.

Other TED talks were given by students from UC Davis, CSU Sacramento, Stanford University, and CSU Chico. Wafa’s research was also accepted for presentation at the ASM national convention to be held in May in New Orleans.

Photo from left: Jackson, Keefah, Wafa, Jashwin

Article by Christine Case

Skyline College Students Participate in Hospitality Internships with Bon Appetit @ Google

Bon Appetit 2The Bay Region Retail, Hospitality, and Tourism (RHT) Initiative “Learn & Earn” Grant at Skyline College has been leading a regional internship experience in partnership with corporate food service leader, Bon Appétit Management Company housed at Google. Students participating in this paid internship program have been assigned to work either at the cafés at the Google location in Mountain View or at the YouTube location in San Bruno. A total of 11 students located within the California Bay Region have secured a position as a hospitality or culinary arts intern. Out of the 11 internship positions granted, a total of 5 are students are currently studying at Skyline College. The remaining participants are students from Diablo Valley College and other local Bay Area training programs.

As part of their 8-week internship experience, students were required to attend a 3-Day Internship Boot Camp held on January 21-23, 2015. This Internship Boot Camp incorporates soft skills training and the potential to earn up to 3 industry recognized certifications to include on their resumes. The first day was led by Andrea Vizenor, Deputy Sector Navigator, by introducing leadership topics that would aid the students to excel throughout their internship. Topics included in the training were professionalism, effective communication, team building, ethics and leadership. This day also included the certification exam for “Certified Guest Service Professional” awarded through the American Hotel and Lodging Association. On the second day, The National Restaurant Association led two workshops relevant to food service and restaurant operations. The students had the opportunity take two certification exams issued from the National Restaurant Association: ServSafe California Food Handler Certification and ServSafe Responsible Alcohol Certification. The third day composed of a workplace tour and lunch at Google to familiarize the students with environment they would be working in the next 8 weeks.

The Bon Appétit @ Google internship offers the opportunity for students to gain valuable skills in the field of Hospitality through work-based learning. Students have the choice of choosing between a hospitality position focused on customer service and café administration duties and culinary arts positions focused on basic cooking techniques. In this partnership, Bon Appétit provides students the opportunity to experience the many diverse careers available within corporate food service by training them in multiple active cafés while introducing students to different elements in restaurant management, culinary operations or in a business environment.

This internship program is an exciting experience for students looking to pursue a career in Hospitality and Food Service careers. It is a great way for students to build their resumes while pursuing their educational goals. The Bon Appétit @ Google internship is currently available to community college students during the Fall and Spring semesters as an 8-week paid internship and available to Bay Region high school students during the summer.

For more information, please contact Andrea Vizenor at

Article by Elizabeth Tablan | Photo by Mariah Hatfield

TRIO Visits Santa Clara University

trio at santa clara universityOn Friday, March 6, approximately 25 students from the TRiO Student Support Services (SSS) program participated in an-all day visit to Santa Clara University. Highlights of the trip include a student led tour, a visit to the high-tech Library, a presentation by outreach officer (and TRIO alumna) on transfer-related admission from the Santa Clara University Undergraduate Admission and Financial Aid Office, and a student panel comprised of first-generation, low-income students of color (including one former TRIO student) who fielded questions about their challenges and experiences on Santa Clara University’s high-profile campus life.

Upcoming trips include a visit to UC Berkeley on Friday, April 10, a Student Empowerment Conference at Stanford University on Saturday, April 4, and a day of service in partnership with the San Francisco Food Bank on Friday, April 3. TRiO Students may register with the TRiO office in the Learning Center in Building 5.

**NOTE: TRiO is still accepting applications for the 2014-2015 academic year. Spaces are limited, so qualified first-generation, four-year degree bound students are encouraged to apply by visiting the TRiO-SSS office in the Learning Center in Building 5, or online on our website

Article by Arash Daneshzadeh

ASTEP Shines at Spring 2015 Family Night

astep family night 1 The spring 2015 ASTEP Family Night, which took place on Monday, February 23 was a blowout success! Initial promotion of this event comprised of a uniquely designed flyer that left those planning to attend in eager anticipation of what the evening would yield. This semester’s event included some distinctive adjustments to the program that were well received by both planning committee members and attendees alike. Such refinements involved the inclusion of an extremely talented student, DJ Jorge, who graced us with positive vibes that inspired us to “bust a few moves” at intermittent segments of the program.

astep family night 1We were also fortunate to experience a live performance hosted by Professor Kymberly Jackson’s Urban Music Ensemble. An interactive Skyline College Campus Resources activity also took place, led by ASTEP Professor, Danielle Powell, TRiO Counselor, Brianna Clay, and TLC English Instructional Aide, Chanel Daniels with prize incentives for the most engaged participants.

Last, but certainly not least, ASTEP Learning Community Coordinator and Associate Professor of Language Arts, Nathan Jones employed a new twist on service by inviting the young men in the audience to take the lead in serving dinner to the women, young children and elders in attendance before serving themselves. This was indeed a tribute to one of the keystone values of ASTEP as an affiliate of the Umoja Community, building unity through reciprocity.

astep family night 1Conjointly with the newer additions to this special occasion were some “oldie but goodies” such as the introduction of the support staff, faculty, and administrators who serve as allies for students within the ASTEP Learning Community led by ASTEP Counselor, Kwame Thomas. This included Vice President of Student Services, Carsbia Anderson, Vice President of Instruction, Sarah Perkins, Dean of Science, Mathematics, and Technology, Raymond Hernandez, and Dean of Language Arts, Mary Gutierrez. In addition, other support staff and faculty in attendance included Kathleen Tshifunda, President’s Office, English Professor, Gwendolyn Fuller, TRiO Director, Arash Daneshzadeh, Biology Professor, Carina Anttila-Suarez, ASTEP Counselor, Timothy Dupre, and TLC Manager, David Reed to name a few.

Later Professor Nathan Jones informed all attendees about the mission of the ASTEP Learning Community followed by a question and answer, as well updates about upcoming ASTEP events.

It is noteworthy that this was the first ASTEP Family Night in recent years open to the Skyline College Community as a whole, and this new adjustment benefitted both ASTEP students and staff, as well as friends of ASTEP. The ASTEP learning community welcomes students of all diverse backgrounds to join its ranks and strives to represent the experience of the African American community within Skyline College. For any questions about ASTEP, please feel free to contact ASTEP at 650-738-7037 or visit the program in Building 4.

Article by Chanel Daniels   I   Photos by Jayvonn McGlothen

Dr. Joy DeGruy Speaks at Skyline College

Dr. Joy DegruyOn Thursday, March 12, Skyline College welcomed internationally renowned researcher, educator and author of Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome, Dr. Joy DeGruy. With over twenty years of practical experience as a professional in the field of social work, she is known for giving practical insight into various cultural and ethnic groups that form the basis of contemporary American society.

During her address to a packed crowd of Skyline College students and staff, DeGruy discussed the topic of the legacy of slavery, the taboo around the word, and the deeply rooted effects of slavery and its surrounding institutions that still deeply impact the African American community to this day. She argued that slavery led to deep-seeded, and ongoing, multi-generational trauma, but that the discussion of slavery and this trauma is something that is shied away from and in many cases discouraged. She underscored, throughout her lecture, the idea of cognitive dissonance, or the anxiety that results from simultaneously holding contradictory or otherwise incompatible attitudes and beliefs.

Drawing on an examination of the institution of chattel slavery, and pulling from words from a variety of scholars, DeGruy painted a picture of over 300 years of American slavery and illustrated the ways the resulting trauma has continued to affect African Americans and has directly contributed to a cycle of post-traumatic stress syndrome, dubbed slave syndrome by DeGruy, that has very real consequences that spread inexorably from one generation to the next.

DeGruy concluded her remarks by stressing that to begin to solve this problem, and to begin to heal, all of us need to break the taboo on the discussion of slavery and speak about it, learn about it, and more deeply explore the truth. She summarized with a call to action for the crowd: “Tell your stories. Our children don’t know who they are because we stopped telling our stories. It doesn’t matter if it’s a good story, or a bad story, or if we lost everything, because what we have in the end is each other.”

With this message in mind, the students and staff who attended the event will find it hard not to go forth and speak more knowledgeably about their own stories, and to try, at the very least, to better understand those stories within the undeniable and ongoing legacy of slavery.

Article by Connor Fitzpatrick | Photo by Maryam Hadi

8th Annual Rock The School Bells: Knowledge Rules Everything Around Me

Break Kid Last Saturday, March 7, the Center for Innovative Practices through Hip Hop Education and Research (CIPHER) hosted their 8th Annual Rock The School Bells Hip Hop Conference with over 400 participants from various middle schools, high schools, college/universities, and non-profit organizations.  Youth participants were able to choose from a choice of 20 workshops such as:

  • Hip Hop Healing
  • Hip Hop Profiling: Exploring Stereotypes and Identity
  • A Better Tomorrow: Addressing Police Brutality through Hip Hop
  • Knowledge through the Word: A Spoken Word, Emcee, and Poetry Workshop
  • A Story of Independence: Building a Hip Hop Legacy
  • Raptivism: Making Your Own Freedom Song

In addition, we were able to host our 2nd installment of workshops for educators, administrators, graduate students, and other professionals who work directly with youth and students.  Participants learned about the different ways in which Hip Hop pedagogies can be utilized in various educational spaces through workshops such as Hip Hop, Chess, and Life Strategies and Verses from the Abstract: Student Engagement through Youth Voice, Restorative Justice, and other Hip Hop Practices.

kid jumpingInterim VPSS, Carsbia Anderson, provided the welcome address and Jasiri X was the conference featured keynote speaker.  Jasiri is the founding member of the anti-violence community organization, 1Hood Media, where he leads a team of educators and artists in teaching young people media literacy and media creation.  He is a new millennium civil rights activist working closely with his mentor, Harry Belafonte to address ills of today’s society.

Participants were able to meet with representatives from different Skyline College programs and services such as the Career Advancement Academy, Youth Entrepreneurship Program, Sparkpoint, Financial Aid; Retail, Hospitality, and Tourism Program, and the Digital Arts Program.

JasiriXRock The School Bells was a successful event filled with workshops, music, education, art, and positive energy.  This event could not have been possible without the support of the President’s Innovation Fund, Career Advancement Academy, Skyline College Bookstore, Rockstar, Youth Entrepreneurship Program; Retail, Hospitality, and Tourism Program, and the many vendors who donated to the event.  A special recognition goes to all of the volunteers – students, staff, faculty, and administrators – who donated their time and efforts to make this event a huge success.

Here are some testimonials from the event:

  • “RTSB continues to improve each year, exposing more and more youth to the power of hip-hop, knowledge, and community. The conference brings together youth, artists, and educators in a true sense of community.”
  • “There is no event on the planet like RTSB. If you are an educator, and administrator or a kid in search of inspiration- this is the place.”
  • “Rock The School Bells (RTSB) and its staff are pioneering a way to make hip-hop accessible and taught with dignity and pride. RTSB should serve as a model for other educators planning to throw hip-hop events for the youth. This event and movement is only going to get bigger.”

Proceeds from Rock The School Bells will go towards educational scholarships for high school and college students.

For more information on Rock The School Bells and CIPHER, please contact Nate Nevado at or visit


Article by Nate Nevado | Photos by Berlin Tomas and Shane Menez

Coming Up…

Friday, March 13, 2015

  • The Incredible Art Faculty Exhibition, Skyline College, Building 1, Art Gallery
  • 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m., Mental Health First Aid Training, Skyline College, Building 6, Rooms 6202-6204
  • 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m., “Calculator Clinic” workshop, Skyline College, Building 5, Room 5115

Saturday, March 14, 2015

  • 12:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m., Baseball v. Canada College, Skyline College
  • 12:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m., Free Tax Preparation, Skyline College, Building 8, Room 8209

Monday, March 16, 2015

  • 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m., Science in Action Lecture Series, Skyline College, Building 7, Room 7106

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

  • 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m., “Reading Strategies” workshop, Skyline College, Building 5, Room 5115
  • 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m., Badminton v. Mission College, Skyline College

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

  • 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., Global Logistics Region Faculty Workshop, Skyline College, Building 2, Room 2352
  • 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m., “Spanish Vocabulary” workshop, Skyline College, Building 5, Language Lab
  • 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., Dolores Huerta Lecture “A Call to Consciousness,” Skyline College, Building 1, Theater
  • 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m., “Composition Development & Editing” workshop, Skyline College, Building 5, Language Lab
  • 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m., “Inventory: Costing” workshop, Skyline College, Building 5, Room 5115
  • 2:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m., Strategic Planning Session/Public Forum, Skyline College, Building 6, Rooms 6202-6206

Thursday, March 19, 2015

  • 7:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m., 15th Annual President’s Breakfast, South San Francisco Conference Center, South Airport Boulevard, South San Francisco
  • 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m., “Sentence Level Editing Practice” workshop, Skyline College, Building 5, Language Lab
  • 3:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., Badminton v. De Anza College, Skyline College

Friday, March 20, 2015

  • 8:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., Middle School Outreach Project (MSOP) Student Conference, Skyline College, Building 6, Room 6202
  • 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m., “Calculator Clinic” workshop, Skyline College, Building 5, Room 5115
  • 7:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m., Skyline College Concert Band and Jazz Band, Skyline College, Building 1, 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 Jennifer Owen-Blackmon via email at

Campus Forum Provides Updates on Capital Projects

capital projectSkyline College held a campus forum on February 27, 2015 to provide information on the progress of capital projects supported by the recently passed bond measure. The forum gave participants an opportunity to provide input and feedback on the current capital projects plan.

Jose Nunez, Vice Chancellor of Facilities Planning, Maintenance & Operations, gave an update on the Capital Improvement Program (CIP3), especially as it relates to projects at Skyline College.  Jose provided an overview of ongoing activities happening behind the scenes since the capital outlay bond measure was approved by the voters last November.

Jose also touched on the Facilities Master Plan Amendment which identified new facilities needed at Skyline College and the other two colleges in the District. Jose also presented the Skyline College project list, which includes construction of three new buildings and modernization of three existing ones.

There will also be district-wide infrastructure projects that will benefit the campus.  Karen Powell, Executive Director of Facilities Planning & Operations, walked the attendees through the process and timelines of a project from facilities planning to occupancy.  Attendees were engaged, raising questions and providing feedback throughout the presentation.   Jose announced that there will be a districtwide CIP3 forum that will be held on March 25, 2015 at CSM.  The Skyline College Education and Facilities Master Plan (EFMP) Task Force will be convening soon.  Meeting details will be announced shortly.

Article by Eloisa Briones