Student Experience at College of San Mateo
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November 12 - January 21
Flex Day - No Classes
Activities for Faculty & Staff
Wednesday, November 26
Thanksgiving Holiday Weekend
No classes November 26-30
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Student Experience
Featured Stories

Luis Carlos Alvarez
Luis Carlos Alvarez Stanford University, Astrophysics Luis Carlos attended CSM as a Middle College student in his junior year of high school because he needed more academic stimulation than regular high schools offered. By graduating, he became the first in his family to earn a high school diploma. He decided that his best course of action would be to continue to attend CSM as a college student with the goal of transferring.
Arianna Avendano
Arianna Avendano College of San Mateo, A.A.
CSU East Bay, Psychology
For Arianna Avendano, the key to her success at CSM was all about making the most of the college’s resources. “It was a combination of the staff, faculty and the services at CSM that contributed to my success. I was able to find the resources I needed in order to prepare for a university, and the support I received along the way was exceptional!”
Mario Ayala
Mario Ayala College of San Mateo, A.A., Broadcasting and Electronic Media CSM is educating the next generation of media makers and Mario Ayala is a perfect example of that college-to-career connection. When Mario arrived in U.S. from Mexico in 2002, he couldn't imagine that he would earn a college degree and that the degree would lead to a broadcasting career with a world-class media company. “My English was limited, I had a six-month old daughter and I didn’t have a job.”
Rhonda Demars
Rhonda Demars College of San Mateo, A.A., Social Science Rhonda Demars “is doing her dream.” As an entrepreneur and president of her own company, which produces natural cosmetics and skincare products, Rhonda credits CSM with a share of her success, “I have to say if it wasn't for CSM and my teachers I wouldn't be where I am today!” Rhonda enrolled at CSM when she was in her late 30s with the goal of earning a degree in psychology. At that time, her philosophy was to take one class at a time while not concentrating on how long it would take to complete her degree. “Each class was a challenge but I was determined to finish. I was even awarded scholarships, which paid for books and supplies.”
Gabriel Denham
Gabriel Denham Columbia University, Economics & Mathematics Gabriel Denham's journey to college was anything but traditional. After attending four different high schools, he came to the conclusion that school just wasn't for him. In his junior year, Gabriel left school, took the state proficiency exam and earned his GED. At age 17 and out of school, he never considered going to college. Instead, Gabriel spent 10 years in the workforce employed at various jobs and gaining life experience. After being sidelined from work due to illness, he reconsidered education.
Jacqueline Guilbault
Jacqueline Guilbault University of Nevada, Reno, B.A., Communications & Marketing After graduating from Mill High School, Jackie Guilbault made the strategic decision to begin college at CSM. Jackie’s plan was to explore different areas of study, select a career and then chose a university based on what would lead her to reach her career goal. “I wanted to get the most out of my community college experience and attending CSM helped me make those important decisions.” To foster her decision making, Jackie sought out internships related to her classes. Her idea was to find internship opportunities which would give her real-world experience in a career field that interested her.
Stephen Kadash
Stephen Kadash College of San Mateo, Fire Technology Stephen Kadash says participating in community service projects during high school inspired him to pursue a career that would allow him to serve his community on a daily basis. The dream job and career goal for this Redwood City native was to become a firefighter. “Being a firefighter is a career that gives me the opportunity to help someone who is having one of the worst days of their life and they are depending on me and the rest of the crew to help them.” Knowing the increased competition for jobs in fire service and the demand for more educated applicants, Stephen took the first step toward his career goal by enrolling at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. In 2012, he graduated with a bachelor of science degree in forestry and natural resources.
Sarah Lowe
Sarah Lowe UC Davis, Biology I loved my experience at CSM,” says Sarah Lowe, who first stepped foot on CSM’s campus as a concurrently enrolled high school student. By the time she graduated from Mills High school, she had already earned eight units of college credit and completed several college requirements. Her decision to continue at CSM as a transfer student was easy. “CSM has a great atmosphere and the people are so nice! Because I was familiar with the college and understood what professors expected, I knew attending CSM and transferring to a university was the right path for me.
Grace  Noland
Grace Noland San Francisco State University, Communications For Grace Noland, a graduate of Mercy High School in Burlingame, attending CSM was an enhancing and transforming experience. She arrived at the college as a determined and independent student uncertain of what she wanted to pursue academically, but she had confidence that she would be able to figure it out at CSM. "I wanted to start over. I wanted my successful past—that had been successful because of my dedicated parents and supportive teachers and coaches—to be put to the test. I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it alone. And, I wanted my supporters to be proud that they had contributed to my success."
Efrosini Proios
Efrosini Proios UC Berkeley, Molecular and Cell Biology After completing high school in Greece, Efrosini Proios decided that California was where she wanted to continue her education. Arriving in the Bay Area, she began exploring the wealth of college and university options the region offered. Efrosini recalls, “I visited CSM’s campus and it seemed like a beautiful place to go to school. And, I learned the college offered many different majors, lots of activities and had some of the best professors in the Bay Area.
Chris Seminoff
Chris Seminoff Simon Fraser University, BC, B.S., Physical Geography Chris Seminoff, a 2007 graduate of Aragon High School, says that choosing to attend CSM was an easy decision. “I wanted to continue to play football but I also wanted to get a good education. Living in the community, I knew that CSM had a strong athletic program and reputation as one of the best community colleges in the state for academics.”

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