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We have been informed by the property manager from one of the neighboring shopping centers that they are set to begin towing the vehicles of students who park in the center as of March 1.

I'm told — and I trust — that it's a step they don't wish to take.

But, in their words, "We really do not want to tow students' cars; in fact we have tried about everything we can without doing so."

The Campus View Center, located across Valley View from Cypress College, has signs posted in the lot reading "No Student Parking." Despite the warning, the property manager says that she has received numerous complains from tenants about the issue.

Please keep in mind that the center reached out to the college in an attempt to prevent towing.

Posted by Marc S. Posner

We're learning today that the State of California is seeking to use a "February Surprise" to reduce funding for community colleges by an additional $149 million this current budget year. The state's 112 community colleges have already sustained more than $405 million in funding cuts this budget year, according to numbers released by the Community College League of California.

While not broken down specifically by campus, the cut, would eliminate in excesses of $4 million from the North Orange County Community College (which oversees Cypress College, Fullerton College and the School of Continuing Education), according to projections from the League.

The cuts will result in fewer students being able to attend the colleges and will "have a lasting impact on an entire generation of students," said Dr. Jack Scott, Chancellor of the California Community College system (and a former Cypress College president).

"This $149 million reduction is unexpected and even larger than the mid-year trigger cut that the community college system has already endured," Chancellor Scott said. "This will result in colleges further reducing course sections, additional borrowing and staff reductions. The new 2.75 percent budget decrease is effectively doubled because colleges only have a half year to try to find savings.

"Because of the poor economy, we've seen a dramatic increase in the number of students receiving the California Community Colleges Board of Governors Fee Waiver. This alone accounts for $107 million of the added shortfall. As a state, we need to recognize the lasting damage that the disinvestment in higher education is having and commit to properly funding our colleges and universities."

Scott Lay, President and CEO of the Community College League of California, called the cuts a "February surprise," and noted that the come on top of $313 million in reductions made in the original state budget last summer and another $102 million in "triggered cuts" made last month when state revenues fell short of projections.

"It is unconscionable that the state continues to foreclose on educational opportunity at this time of record demand and high unemployment," said Lay, whose organization is a nonprofit association of California's 72 community college districts, serving the districts in governmental relations, leadership development and district services. "These latest cuts threaten the elimination of even more classes and more faculty and staff layoffs."

Lay said that this round of reductions would bring "the one-year cut to California's three segments of public higher education to over $2.1 billion."

"Before the latest cuts, community college were operating with $996 million (23%) in less funding since 2008-09, and have reduced enrollment by nearly 284,000 students at a time when demographically they should have significantly increased enrollment," he said.

Posted by Marc S. Posner

At approximately 3:10 this afternoon, a female student reported to Cypress Police that a man attempted to photograph or videotape her while she was using a restroom in the college's Humanities Building.

This evening, Cypress College Campus Safety officers were able to identify the suspect on recorded surveillance video. A still image extracted from that video accompanies this report.

a photograph from a surveillance video showing a suspect; description of the suspect follows

The victim described the suspect as 5-feet, 10-inches and heavy set. He was wearing black pants and a black hoodie, with a red collar showing under the sweatshirt. He was also carrying a black backpack. A video shows the suspect exiting the Humanities Building from the north door, heading towards Lot 9.

Anyone with information about the suspect is asked to contact Campus Safety and or Cypress Police immediately.

Campus Safety can be reached at (714) 484-7387. Every member of the campus community should program this number into their mobile phones so it is handy. Anyone with additional information is asked to contact the Cypress Police Department at (714) 229-6600.

Students are reminded that activity that appears to be suspicious should be reported to Campus Safety and/or Cypress Police.

Here are some personal safety tips that are important to follow so that we can continue to maintain a safe campus:

    •  Exercise caution when approaching or being approached by someone you don't know.

    •  Travel in groups or pairs, and in well-lit areas at night.

    •  Report suspicious activity if you observe it.

    •  Report incidents immediately.

    •  Campus Safety is located in the Business Building, with an entrance from Parking Lot 1.

    •  Escorts to and from your vehicle are available by contacting Campus Safety.

    •  Emergency phones are located in a number of places on campus; they ring directly to Campus Safety and are identified on the campus map with a phone symbol.

    •  If you feel there is an immediate threat, dial 911.

A version of this Timely Warning is available in PDF format.

Posted by Marc S. Posner

a photograph showing the ribbon cutting ceremony to mark the opening of Cypress College's English Success Center on Monday, February 6, 2012.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held on the morning of Monday, February 6, 2012, to mark the opening of the Cypress College English Success Center. Pictured are (l to r): Eldon Young, Dean of Language Arts and the Library/Learning Resource Center; John Payne, the ESC Coordinator; Cherie Dickey, the Title V Component I Coordinator; Nancy Deutsch, the Title V Project Manager; Melanie Nabahani, the Faculty Mentor; and Alyssa Geurin, a tutor in the ESC.

The new English Success Center opened its doors yesterday for the first time, providing an opportunity for students to enhance their education and improve their chances of successfully completing English coursework at the college.

A small ribbon-cutting ceremony was held at 9 a.m. at the ESC, which is located on the first floor of the Library/Learning Resource Center.

The center offers tutoring, directed learning activities (known as DLAs) and workshops.

It is open to students in Engligh 57, English 58, and English 60, as well as all ESL students. Next semester, the center will add service for students enrolled in transfer-level English courses.

The ESC is funded the the federal Title V grant awarded to the college in October, 2010. The five-year, $3.25 million grant is being used to enhance student success, including the introduction of support services in math, English, ESL and reading, among other programs.

ESC hours are: Monday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Tuesday, 9 a.m.-7 p.m.; Wednesday, 9 a.m.-7 p.m.; Thursday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; and Friday, 9 am.-1 p.m.

Participating in the ribbon cutting were: Eldon Young, Dean of Language Arts and the Library/Learning Resource Center; John Payne, the ESC Coordinator; Cherie Dickey, the Title V Component I Coordinator; Nancy Deutsch, the Title V Project Manager; Melanie Nabahani, the Faculty Mentor; and Alyssa Geurin, a tutor in the ESC.

Posted by Marc S. Posner

A viewing for Karen Watson has been scheduled for Thursday eventing, between 5 and 8 p.m., at Westminster Mortuary.

Karen's husband, Dennis, asked that the information be shared with the "Cypress family":

I know many will not be able to attend one or the other of the viewing or the memorial service, but if some would like to come and talk at the viewing in the chapel at Westminster Cemetery, I and perhaps other family members will be there and will gladly chat with any who would wish to come. I would expect both tears and laughter at both the viewing and the memorial service. I know this is how Karen would like it. Her life made so many people encouraged and happy. How could there not be joy when those memories are shared and tears to think of the loss of her early departure.

Dennis also shared the family's appreciation for the memories shared by students and colleagues on the Cypress College Facebook page.

Meanwhile, the video of Karen teaching, which we shared last week (see below), has surpassed 300 views.

Posted by Marc S. Posner

Karen Watson's memorial service will be held on Saturday, February 11, at 10 a.m.; and, students are encouraged to attend — as emphasized by her husband Dennis:

I need to make it known that students will be welcome at her memorial which will be on February 11, 2012, a Saturday (so as not to interfere with weeknight homework) at 10am at our church, Eastside Christian Church, at the corner of State College Blvd and Yorba Linda Blvd just north of Cal State Fullerton. I would love to make a special invitation to any students of hers that would like to come. After the memorial service I am inviting everyone to our house after. It will be crowded but we will give students and others a chance to talk about her if they wish. It is true that she cared for her students, she talked about it with me numerous times. I would love as many as wished to be there.

In lieu of flowers, Watson's family asks that donations be made for construction of a water well in a village in India.

Here is Dennis Watson's description of the effort:

In lieu of flowers Karen and I talked about it and would ask for donations to MMS International for the ministry of "Home and Jenny Steward" in the memo portion of the check. These are dear friends of ours in India. There is a neighboring village to Home and Jenny that do not have access to good water because the water table is more then eighty feet down. The donations will be used by Home to build a well three feet in diameter with concrete lining and there will be a plaque placed on the well which will read in English and Hindi: "The Karen L. Watson Well of Living Water." Donations can be brought to the memorial service.

Tax-deductible contributions may be sent to:
MMS International, Inc.
P.O. Box 10302
Glendale, Arizona 85318
Memo: Home and Jenny Steward

If you'd like to share your memories of Karen Watson, please do so on our Facebook page. Earlier today, Karen's daughter, Lani, posted that the comments there have been meaningful to the family. There is also a link there to Karen's blog.

In his email to the college, Dennis also mentioned a video of Karen teaching.

Last night my brother watched with me the video of Karen teaching a math class, (I need to find out who gave that to me, it is a treasure!). This truly was my favorite class that I had ever heard Karen talk about, but I had never seen her teach before.

Dennis went on to mention that he and his brother learned about logarithms watching that video.

Thanks to Susan Davis, in the Science, Engineering, and Mathematics Division Office, I learnd of the video and that it originated with Dr. Gil Contreras as part of a PAL training session. He was kind enough to locate the video and deliver it to me on a flash drive.

I'm working on converting it for our YouTube site — but, I can tell you this: If Karen Watson can get me to understand logarithms, she's must have been one amazing math teacher.

Folks, Karen Watson WAS an amazing teacher. Check out the video to see for yourself.

Related: Karen Watson, 2003 Teacher of the Year, Succumbs to Cancer.

In this video from the 2008-2009 academic year, Cypress College Mathematics Professor Karen Watson explains logarithms and works through solving them. This is a portion of a standard class, and was recorded by the college's Supplemental Instruction program to assist SI leaders.

Editor's note: We are sharing the full video because of its value to those who want to comprehend logarithms, in tribute to Mrs. Watson, and in hopes that her exemplary teaching will live on. If you want to gain the sense of the impact of this lesson, you can watch the first 3.5 minutes of the video and the final 2 minutes or so (pick up at the 14-minute mark). The progression of the students is amazing.

Posted by Marc S. Posner

ATTENTION STUDENTS!!

2011 Tax time is approaching! Quickly and conveniently access your Tuition Payment Statement through myGateway! Your IRS Tax Form 1098-T can be immediately viewed and readily available for your tax information, and you'll be helping the environment by saving paper!

For instant access to your IRS Form 1098-T E-Form, simply visit myGateway, click on the Student tab if you're not already there, click the Student Records link, and click the IRS Form 1098-T: Tuition Payment Statement link. You will be directed to an electronic consent form. Just click "E-FORM" and you're set!

Re-posted From the MyGateway blog

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