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College's First Women's Recognition Month Luncheon is Today

March 24, 2011 — 10:20 a.m.

The college's first Women's Recognition Luncheon will be held today from 11:30-2:30 p.m. in the Cypress College Complex. The event recognizes women on campus - including students, faculty, staff and administrators - in a variety of categories for their commitment to the college.

Organizers from the Diversity Committee and Associated Students hope it will become an annual gathering as part of the Women's Recognition Month celebration.

There are 144 nominees in 13 categories: Woman of the Year; Most Inspirational; Most Supportive; Most Supportive of Student Success; Collaboration/Helping/Mentoring; Unsung Heroes; Most Influential; Outstanding Woman Who Goes Above and Beyond; Woman Athlete of the Year; Best Teacher Contributor to the Community; Best Student Contributor to the Community; Rising Leaders; and Young Achievers.

Woman of the Year: Nina DeMarkey; Velia Lawson; Jennifer Caspellan; Stephanie Silva; Becky Rojas; Robin De Roo; Sandy Meredith; Julie Brown; Renee Ssensalo; Karen Cant; and Therese Mosqueda-Ponce.

Most Inspirational: Tiffany Walton; Jennifer Caspellan; Nancy Miller; Sheri Ward; Tiffany Saw; Becky Rojas; Ruby Hussein; Robin De Roo; Barbara Meyer; Margaret Mohr; Renee Ssensalo; Michele Dugan; Fran Wahl; and Renay Laguana-Ferinac.

Most Supportive: Danielle Dancer; Stephanie Silva; April Whitham; Becky Rojas; Jennifer Caspellan; Robin DeRoo; Kathy Godshalk; Juliana Campbell; Debora Silva; Diane Henry; Pat Humpres; Shirley Smith; Arnette Edwards; and LaQuita Jones.

Most Supportive of Student Success: Jennifer Dunn; Renee Ssensalo; Mary Jones; Stephanie Silva; Becky Rojas; April Witham; Hira Ahmed; Kathy Godshalk; Robin De Roo; Marion Shocklee; Karen Cant; Fran Wahl; Rhonda Kraft; Debora Michelle; Celda Nicastro; and Mary Lou Garibaldi.

Collaboration/Helping/Mentoring: Becky Rojas; Robin De Roo; Stephanie Silva; Jennifer Duran; Veronica Broines; Danielle Dancer; April Whitham; Margaret Mohr; Joyce Dewthers; Gina Marrocco; Regina Rhymes; Deidre Porter; Mary Lou Giska; and Therese Mosqueda-Ponce.

Unsung Heroes: Tiffany Walton; Gina Mault; Stephanie Silva; Amalia Marquez; Debora Sung; Elizabeth Gutierrez; Jennifer Caspellan; Danielle Dancer; April Whitham; Renee Ssensalo; Becky Rojas; Lela Beck; Kim Bartlett; Laura Stephens; Shirley Smith; Fola Odebunmi; Olga Moran; Patrica Koger; Kathy Bowerman; Kris Nelson; and Susan Johnson.

Most Influential: Lynette Young; Margaret Mohr; Danere Traux; Velia Lawson; Jennifer Caspellan; Stephanie Silva; Renee Ssensalo; Becky Rojas; Kathy Godshalk; Robin De Roo; and Danielle Dancer.

Outstanding Woman Who Goes Above and Beyond: Jennifer Caspellan; Mayra Morfin; Margaret Mohr; Danielle Dancer; Tiffany Walton; Becky Rojas; Stephanie Silva; April Whitham; Robin De Roo; Kathy Godshalk; Yongmi Han; and Doreen Villasenor.

Woman Athlete of the Year: Robin De Roo; Kathy Godshalk; Margaret Mohr.

Best Teacher Contributor to the Community: Margaret Mohr; Kathryn Sonne; Mary Forman; Penny Gabourie; and Erin Landry.

Best Student Contributor to the Community: Tiffany Walton; Danielle Dancer; Sonia Magdaug; Tiffany Saw; Mayra Morfin; Jennifer Caspellan; and Brandi Helt.

Rising Leaders: Claudia Zaragoza; Jennifer Caspellan; Danielle Dancer; Mary Jones; Karen Watson; Stephanie Silva; April Whitham; Hira Ahmed; and Michelle Holmes.

Young Achievers: Mary Jones; Jennifer Caspellan; Danielle Dancer; Tiffany Saw; Jasmine Lee; Amalia Marquez; and Stephanie Silva.

Posted by Marc S. Posner

Alumna Toni Glover Appointed to Texas Human Rights Commission

March 21, 2011 — 12:26 p.m.

Texas Governor Rick Perry appointed Cypress College alumna Toni Glover to his state's Human Rights Commission, according to an article in The State Column. The State Column notes:

Glover is an advocate and community volunteer for people with developmental disabilities. She is a member of the ARC of Tarrant County, Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Needs Council of Tarrant County, Tarrant County Mental Retardation Community Advisory Committee, Lake Worth Area Historical Society, and Supreme Court of Texas Guardianship Certification Board. She is an advisor of Expanco in Aktion, and a member and advocate of the Lanterman Parents Coordinating Council. She is also an ambassador and chair of the Northwest Tarrant County Chamber of Commerce Chamber Cares Committee, a member of the Azle Chamber of Commerce, Fort Worth Kiwanis Club, and Holy Trinity Catholic Church Womens Guild, and a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Ladies Auxiliary. Glover attended Cypress College in California and Phoenix College in Phoenix, Arizona.

Posted by Marc S. Posner

Video Goes Behind the Scenes of Kiel Johnson Cardboard Collaboration

March 21, 2011 — 11:28 a.m.

In February, visiting Artist in Residence, Kiel Johnson worked with Cypress College students in an intensive three-day workshop to help him create and film his upcoming video project.

The work of Cypress College art students, conducted in the main lobby of the Fine Arts Building, was highly visible. The collaboration produced magnificent cardboard sculptures which were when used in a video production by ROGER.TV, Arthur S. Mor and Will Tee Yang. The completed video project is on view in this semester's group video exhibition The Quotidian World (through tomorrow) in the Art Gallery.

Mor has shared a behind-the-scenes look at the project in Behind the Cardboard Curtain, a video posted on his Vimeo site.

Posted by Marc S. Posner

Ventura County Star Profiles Women's Basketball Coach Margaret Mohr

March 21, 2011 — 10:51 a.m.

The Ventura County Star ran a nice profile on Cypress College Women's Basketball Coach Margaret Mohr on March 11, the day prior to the opening of the California Final Four tournament. I didn't come across the piece until after the competition concluded, but the story is too good not to share.

Here is an excerpt:

Mohr, the CIF Player of the Year and National Catholic Player of the Year in 1983 while playing for her elder sister Cathy, was reminded of "Acorn Acres," the Thousand Oaks Community Center, where she wore away the nets in the offseason with her daily regimen.

"I used to live there," said Mohr. "It was so bad that my mom would call the office and they'd come get me shooting in the gym."

The inaugural Ventura County Athlete of the Year in 1983, Mohr scored 1,818 points at La Reina before moving on to Long Beach State, who she captained to a Final Four berth in 1987. She was inducted into the Ventura County Sports Hall of Fame in 2004.

But she wasn't just a one-sport wonder. Mohr also earned individual and team honors in softball, volleyball and cross country.

The full Ventura County Star article is available here.

Posted by Marc S. Posner

Accreditation Team Commends 'Espirit de Corps' of Cypress College

Team Chair Dr. Lori Gaskin addressed the campus in a forum on Thursday afternoon to share recommendations and commendations.

March 18, 2011 — 4:55 p.m.

Cypress College's site visit concluded yesterday with a 12:30 Exit Meeting and Oral Report to the Campus. During the meeting, Dr. Lori Gaskin, who chaired the 12-member team, shared both commendations and recommendations.

The shining moment, however, came at the close of the half-hour meeting with Dr. Gaskin talking about the pride members of the campus community have in Cypress College.

"I would like to conclude with perhaps the most powerful commendation. One that was pervasive, shared by nearly everyone with whom we had the pleasure of interacting. We describe it as your espirit de corps -- your strong belief in a common purpose to serve the educational needs of your students; and the fact that you carry out this common goal with a strong sense of camaraderie and joy. You live and breathe your core values of collegiality, integrity, excellence and inclusiveness."

@Cypress will delve into the particulars of the oral report next week. In the meantime,
we offer this complete video from the meeting and the following message from Dr. Kasler, who was also singled out by the team as being "beloved by all."

Dear Colleagues,

The visit is over!!! I can't guarantee what the outcome of the final accreditation report will be, but I can say that, no matter what it is, I am very proud and appreciative of the work you did to prepare for it, and, more importantly, all you do everyday in working with our students. A four-day visit doesn't even scratch the surface of what all of you do to help our students succeed. From the discussions I've had with several members of the Visiting Team and comments I have heard from a number of our folks who were interviewed by the Visiting Team, the meetings they had with folks on campus, students they talked to, observations they made, etc., is that the Team was very impressed with the work we have done (and continue to do). In my opinion, we are #1, but I may be just a little biased.

As you look at pages 25-28 of the Self Study, you will see that a large number of faculty and staff were involved in preparing this document. Probably "thousands" of hours were spent on it. I am afraid to ask our Maintenance and Operation staff how many hours they spent making our campus/buildings even more beautiful, or the number of hours spent by the Office of Institutional Research and Planning staff preparing documentation "links," support staff in my office scheduling a "multitude" of meetings and making all of the arrangements for the visit, Academic Computing setting up the technology, etc. I am sure I have missed some areas, but not intentionally. If I were to list the names of all the people who were involved getting ready for accreditation, it would be in the "hundreds" and I know I would miss a few names. THANK YOU!!!

There are a few folks who deserve some extra recognition for the work they did: Cherie Dickey, Santanu Bandyopadhyay and his staff, Mike Kavanaugh and Academic Computing staff, Marc Posner, Pat Humpres, Albert Miranda, Jose Recinos, and the M&O staff. THANK YOU!! THANK YOU!!!

Once again --I can't thank all of you enough and I am very proud to be your President. Now we can enjoy St. Patricks Day and the weekend.

-- Mike

Posted by Marc S. Posner

Puente Program Celebrates Quinceanera

March 18, 2011 — 4:45 p.m.

Aztec Dancers will open the exciting celebration for the Cypress College Puente Program Quinceanera in the Campus Theater lobby on Thursday, March 24, at 6 p.m.

Quinceaneras derive from Aztec tradition and celebrate girls' transition from childhood to adulthood when she turns 15, according to Putente Program Coordinator Therese Mosqueda-Ponce.

"Hispanics on the border have continued the custom of making a girl's 15th birthday one of the most important and memorable events in her life," Mosqueda-Ponce said.

Planning for the event began last year, she said, when Puente student Nereyda Rojo suggested holding a quinceanera when the program turned 15.

"I thought what a great idea!" Mosqueda-Ponce shared. "We have invited as many students possible from all 15 classes and have 15 students, representing each of the 15 years, who will participate in the traditional waltz."

The quinceanera will be traditional, but will not include the associated Catholic mass, Mosqueda-Ponce said.

At the event, Puente will also host guest speakers from the program's graduates, along with an accompanying multimedia presentation. These Puente Program alumni will share their experiences, and how they have been successful afterwards, beyond college, in their chosen professions.

The Puente Program is celebrating its 15 years of success at Cypress College with about 200 students, their families, guests, and mentors in attendance.

The event will feature a catered buffet and DJ. The Puente Program Quinceanera celebration will last until 10 p.m.

For more information, contact Mosqueda-Ponce at ext. 47180, or Randa Wahbe at ext. 47171.

Posted by Marc S. Posner

Pair from Forensics Team Earn National Invitation

March 18, 2011 — 4:42 p.m.

Two Forensics Team members -- Brittney Price and Richard Gallon -- have qualified to compete at the American Forensics Association National Individual Events Tournament to be held at the University of Nebraska-Kearney in early April.

Price and Gallon have qualified to compete in Duo Interpretation. Price has qualified in Dramatic Interpretation as well.

"Qualifying to attend this competition alone is a big accomplishment and we are very excited about this opportunity," said Liana Koeppel, the team's faculty advisor. "Thanks for all of your support of the Forensics Team!"

Posted by Marc S. Posner

Community Colleges to Unite in 'Hands Across California' Event on April 17

March 18, 2011 — 4:38 p.m.

Hands Across California, scheduled for Sunday, April 17, is slated to be the single largest participatory event in the history of higher education in this nation.

About 2 million people will be asked to participate, and join hands in one continuous line up and down California. Hands Across California will help in a broad grassroots effort to raise money for permanent scholarship funds for California Community Colleges, and their nearly 3 million students.

"There is an excitement building throughout our system among students, faculty, and staff," said Dr. Paul Lanning, President & Chief Executive Officer of A Foundation for California Community Colleges.

Hands Across California aims to be a momentous event that will generate unprecedented media attention, public awareness, and private support for California's community colleges, he said. Lanning explains that this is an opportunity to help tell the world why California Community Colleges are so vital to the future. At the same time, it will raise money toward scholarships -- supporting generation upon generation of students.

Hands Across California is working to literally pass through and near as many colleges as possible, in hopes to have those in more remote areas join the line by traveling to the nearest points in the line.

"We hope to see t-shirts, banners, signs, even marching bands and cheerleaders from every college in the state in line on April 17!" Lanning said. "Please join us in this historic effort to create unprecedented public awareness and build a permanent scholarship support for students at every one of our 112 community colleges, support that will benefit students each and every year, forever."

Funds raised through the event will directly support the California Community Colleges Scholarship Endowment, the permanent fund that provides annual scholarships to thousands of students with the greatest need at every community college in the state.

"Thanks to the generosity of The Bernard Osher Foundation, every dollar raised for the Endowment through Hands Across California will be increased by an additional 50%, significantly increasing the impact of every donation, Lanning said. "As our students face ever-increasing costs of pursuing an education, the creation and growth of scholarship funds for students will continue to increase in importance."

For more information contact:

Posted by Marc S. Posner

Students Named to 'Who's Who 2011'

March 18, 2011 — 4:33 p.m.

Thirteen Cypress College students have been selected for "Who's Who 2011."

The students are:

• Hira Ahmed
• Sandra Elias Esparza
• Rosa Garcia
• Karina Hernandez
• Rocquel C. Johnson
• Lisa Ketelsleger
• Brianne Little
• Michael McCombs
• Natalia Orosco
• Wendy Ramirez
• Danial Shakeri
• Julie Trang
• Claudia Zaragoza

In February, Student Activities Advisor Paul Bottiaux solicited nominations of outstanding sophomore students from the college's faculty and deans as part of the Who's Who among Students in American Junior Colleges program.

Earlier this month, an Associated Students committee selected the thirteen students. They will be recognized during the college's commencement on Thursday, May 26, 2011.

Updated: March 21, 2011 at 10:26 a.m.

Posted by Marc S. Posner

Jane Elliott, Known for 'Blue Eyes/Brown Eyes' Exercise to Speak on Campus March 30

March 18, 2011 — 4:30 p.m.

The Cypress College Diversity Committee is co-sponsoring a presentation by Jane Elliott, author of "A Class Divided: Then and Now," on Wednesday, March 30, 2011 from 3:30-5 p.m. in the Campus Theater. She is an internationally known teacher, lecturer, diversity trainer, and recipient of the National Mental Health Association Award for Excellence in Education.

Elliott will discuss prejudice and bigotry for what it is. Her book is an expose on an irrational class system based upon purely arbitrary factors. She devised the controversial and startling "Blue Eyes/Brown Eyes" exercise in response to the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. more than 30 years ago.

The "Blue Eyes/Brown Eyes" exercise is famous for labeling participants, as inferior or superior, based solely upon the color of their eyes. Therefore, it exposes them to the experience of being a minority. Elliott said, "If you think this does not apply to you ... you are in for a rude awakening."

The Diversity Committee will be hosting a book signing immediately following her presentation, from 5-6 p.m., in the Theater Lobby. For more information please contact Yongmi Han, Manager of International Students' Program at ext. 47050.

Posted by Marc S. Posner

'Great Picture' Finds Great Audience as it Goes on Exhibit in China With CC Faculty in Attendance

March 18, 2011 — 4:27 p.m.

"The Great Picture" -- the world's largest photograph, created by Cypress College faculty and students -- has gone on display in Beijing, China this month.

Rob Johnson, Cypress College Photography Department coordinator, and Clayton Spada, also from the Photography Department, spent the week of March 7-11 in Beijing attending the international premier of "The Great Picture."

It will be exhibited until Sunday, March 27, at the Art Museum of the Central Academy of Fine Arts. The CAFA is one of the prestigious art venues in China, in a newly designed building by Japanese architect Arata Isozaki.

The exhibition opened on March 8.

In addition to Johnson and Spada, other Cypress College Photography Department faculty co-creators of the "Great Picture" include the late Jerry Burchfield, and Mark Chamberlain.

They were among a total of six well-known photographic artists that made up the Legacy Project. As part of that, "The Great Picture" project started in the summer of 2006, aided by 400 volunteers, artists, and experts.

"The Great Picture" is a unique gelatin silver photograph image that is three stories high and eleven stories wide. It is considered a rarity: an exceptional image that has been recognized by critics as a photographic historical landmark. It is also an art world object with great popular appeal, and a remarkable photograph of substantial importance. The image was made using a vacant F-18 jet aircraft hangar at the shuttered El Toro Marines base. The hangar was transformed into the largest camera ever made.

"The Great Picture" uses the oldest of image technologies. It was made in a camera obscura fashion, discovered by the Chinese, and noted by Aristotle.

It's not just the scalescale, beauty, or popular attraction; the photograph encapsulates this history of vision technologies, throughout photographic history.

For more information contact Rob Johnson at ext. 47242.

Posted by Marc S. Posner

Accreditation Site Visit Hits Full Stride

March 15, 2011 — 10:42 a.m.

Cypress College's accreditation site visit is in full swing this morning as a team of 12 educators is on campus to validate the 2011 Institutional Self Study authored by the college.

Accreditation takes place every 6 years. Cypress College is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, which is an institutional accrediting body recognized by the Commission on Recognition of Postsecondary Accreditation and the U.S. Department of Education.

In short, they are the agencies with the authority to give the college - and your education here - an official stamp of approval.

This morning Dr. Lori Gaskin, the Chair of the Site Visit team, spoke to a group who worked on authoring the Self Study - roughly 100 employees and students contributed to the report.

In the meeting, Dr. Gaskin said "We really want to get a flavor and a sense of the campus."

The team will be at Cypress College through Thursday afternoon.

Open forums - where members of the campus community can share their thoughts - will be held today and tomorrow, and the team's exit report will be presented on Thursday.

Here is that schedule:

Tuesday, March 15 - 11 a.m.-noon
Open Forum, FA-304

Tuesday, March 15 - 4-5 p.m.
Open Forum, BUS-203

Wednesday, March 16 - 9-10 a.m.
Open Forum, FA-304

Thursday, March 17, 12:30-1:30 p.m.
Exit Meeting and Oral Report to the Campus, CCCPLX-L216

Dr. Lori Gaskin (far right), chair of the team, introduces members of the Accreditation Site Visit Team.

Posted by Marc S. Posner

Accreditation Team's Campus Visit to Take Place March 14-17

March 4, 2011 — 4:35 p.m.

Since March, 2009, we have all been involved one way or another in getting ready for our site visit during the week of March 14. Some chaired Standard Committees, others served on Standard Committees, others provided information to Standard Committee members to include in the Self Study, some were proofreaders, and several worked on "packaging" the information into its final form, etc. It does take an entire "college community" to prepare for accreditation!

What an amazing document, but what's more impressive is all of the work you have done since our last Accreditation to improve on ways to help students succeed and make adjustments, where needed. Thank you! I believe the 12-member Accrediting Team will have the same impression of our College as we all do -- it's a great place for students and employees.

The Accrediting Team will be on campus Monday, March 14, through Thursday, March 17. Prior to their arrival, they will have read the Self Study and reviewed the support documentation.

The Team will be visiting some classrooms, attending campus meetings, holding campus forums, and scheduling meetings with various individuals/groups. In preparation for these activities, if you haven't already done so, I encourage you to read the Self Study (I know you will also be impressed with what's been done at our College). The Self Study can be accessed from the college homepage or at

Within the next week or so, you will be receiving the names and bios of the visiting team members and their schedules.

I believe we are ready for the visit and we should all be proud of the work we have done and continue to do.

Thank you,


Posted on behalf of Dr. Kasler

Americana Produces Outstanding Results

March 4, 2011 — 4:35 p.m.

The 36th Annual Americana Awards were a smashing success -- with both attendance and net income appearing to have approached their all-time highs. The event honored Frank Garcia as Man of the Year as well as Citizens of the Year from the eight cities in the college's primary service area.

At Americana Title Sponsor Union Bank extended its commitment to the college two additional years through 2015 -- a five-year, $125,000 commitment to serve as Title Sponsor.

Early post-event accounting indicates that net proceeds will exceed $116,000 -- up dramatically from last year, and close to the most the event has ever raised. Nearly 700 people attended.

Posted by Marc S. Posner

Forensics Team has Successful Tournaments

March 4, 2011r — 4:35 p.m.

During the Presidents' Day Weekend, members of the Forensics team were enjoying success at the Tabor Venitsky Tournament at Cerritos College. Ibrahaim Abbas was a Finalist in Novice Impromptu, Brittney Price took third place in Open Drama and Sara Meyer took home first place in Novice POI. The team as a whole earned second place in Limited Entry Sweepstakes!

This past weekend, the Forensics team traveled to Simi Valley to compete at Spring Champs at Moorpark College. At only his second tournament ever, Jonathan Gryn was a finalist in both Novice Extemp and Impromptu. The team also had success in Junior POI where both Elizabeth Wolf and Meyer were finalists. Also receiving a finalist award was Price in Open Prose. Meyer and her partner, Richard Gallon, went 6-0 in Novice Parli Debate and took home a Silver Medal, and Meyer was named Top Speaker. Finally, Ana Bautista was another big winner in IEs, taking home first place in both Junior Informative and Novice Impromptu.

"It was a very exciting tournament and we hope the wave of success continues," said Liana Koeppel. District and State Championships are upcoming.

Posted by Marc S. Posner

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