Congratulations and Thank You For Your Service, Retirees!
Cypress College thanks the following employees for their commitment to students and offer them our best wishes in retirement.
Jane Boyce has been a registered nurse and instructor at Cypress College in the Psychiatric Technology program for the past 39 years. Jane has been an integral part of the program, searching out new clinical rotations for students, and teaching about clinical depression and bipolar illness as well as mental illness in children and the elderly. She has taken students on field trips that include visiting prisons, jails, and the homeless, exposing them to all aspects of mental health and illness while instilling in them the compassion to work with severely mentally ill individuals. Jane has been active throughout the campus, was a Puente mentor, and attends both the PT program and college graduations each year. Students would say that Jane “knows her stuff,” is a “no-nonsense” individual, and supports and cares deeply for the patients she serves and the students she teaches.
Robert Greg Cavin
Robert Cavin has been teaching philosophy and religious studies at Cypress College since 1996.
Cherie Dickey began teaching full time in the English/Reading Department in 2000. An excellent instructor, Cherie’s dedication to student success was most recently exemplified in her teaching Fast-Track classes, giving English 57 students an opportunity to progress to English 60 in just one semester. Other direct and broader contributions to student success came through her service as Title V Grant coordinator, helping to establish and develop the math and English success centers, and her service as the Basic Skills Initiative co-coordinator. Indeed, Cherie has shouldered many important responsibilities that have been integral to the success of the college, the most notable perhaps being her roles as Curriculum Committee chair, Academic Senate president, and College Accreditation chair. Years ago, during her tenure review, one student wrote, “Keep up the good work on teaching us, Mrs. Dickey. You are a keeper in my book.” If possible, her colleagues would like to keep her, but apparently so do her husband and family. We will miss her.
Darlene “Dee” Fishman has been at this campus for 40 years! It is difficult to summarize her accomplishments—she has contributed to the college in so many ways—but here are a few of the highlights: Darlene began at Cypress as an educator in the Vocational Nursing program. The program did not stay at Cypress, but she did! She taught numerous students as a professor of nursing with a focus on teaching fundamentals, and obstetrics and maternal care. Darlene has been the director of the Registered Nursing program working to ensure that the program continues to receive accolades and a superb reputation in the nursing community. She has authored many grants and innovations to improve the college’s nursing program. She was also the faculty advisor for the college’s California Student Nursing Association chapter for over 20 years, mentoring and encouraging student leadership. Darlene received her NLN Nurse Educator certification in 2009. As if that weren’t enough, Darlene received her doctor of education in 2013. What will she do next? Whatever she does with her newfound freedom, one thing is for sure, she will be missed! Thank you, Darlene. We will continue the work!
At the onset of her teaching career at Cypress College in 1997, Mary Forman co-coordinated the Puente Program, which at the time was in its beginning, formative phase. After this experience, she went on to create and lead her own cohort, the University Transfer Achievement Program, as well as coordinate Peer-Assisted Learning, a precursor to Supplemental Instruction. Mary was also active in numerous committees, and one would not have to guess too hard as to which one was her favorite: Study Abroad. Not only did she lead a number of study abroad programs in Europe, she was keen on arranging scholarship assistance for students struggling financially to have this experience. Mary also wanted to ensure that students were aware of this wonderful opportunity. A permanent reminder of this is the display at the entrance of the Language Arts Division Office that she arranged to be funded and personally designed. Mary’s deep-seated motivation to help students was greatly appreciated; one student wrote, “I will never forget her.” Neither will her colleagues.
Joe Franks is a psychiatric technician and registered nurse with an instructor credential in health and related technologies and a master’s degree in Spanish. He has been an instructor at Cypress College in the Psychiatric Technology program for the past 36 years, teaching first mental disabilities and then nursing. His campus involvement includes senate representative for the Health Science Division, Puente mentor, and being actively involved in student activities around campus. Joe was actively involved in recruiting clinical sites and is a member of the California Association of Psychiatric Technician Educators (CAPTE), where, notably, many of his former students are now educators in the PT Program. Joe Franks has been a popular instructor with students.
Sally Frumkin is retiring from the Registered Nursing program after 11 years of teaching. She has spent her teaching career educating first-semester students in the medical-surgical environment. She has been committed to ensuring that our students have a solid foundation in nursing fundamentals. She is dedicated to her students in the clinical setting, encouraging them to provide a high level of care to their patients. In her free time, Sally enjoys hiking, exploring nature, and traveling with friends. She is looking forward to more time to explore, read, and enjoy her home. We thank her for her service and wish her the best.
Betty Germanero started at Cypress as a student in the Court Reporting program in the ’80s. After working as an hourly employee at the college in different offices, including in the SEM Division, where new-student testing and orientations took place, she became the secretary in the Counseling Department from 1989 until 1993. A coworker, Lovice MacKay, urged her to apply for her current position in the Facilities Use and Rentals Office, where she has been for 25 years. Betty has no immediate plans in retirement except to get her house in order, start having fun, and maybe do a little traveling; however, she may move to Texas, where she hears everything is bigger (maybe even her paycheck).
Farid Gesri has been working in the district since 2005.
David Gill has been teaching biology at Cypress College since 1999.
Jackie Ha has been a member of Cypress College since September 1980. She began her journey as a work-study student, moving on to part-time staff one year later, and finally becoming a full-time staff member on September 1, 1982. Jackie has seen many changes during her time at Cypress College, from the implementation of Banner to the modernization of the financial aid process, and now working under her sixth director of financial aid. Throughout it all, she has maintained a positive, upbeat attitude that has been enjoyed for over 35 years by students and her fellow coworkers.
Sabah Hermiz has been working in the district since 2001.
Astiphan Jajo has been working in the district since 1990.
Tina Johannsen is a psychiatric technician with a master’s degree in counseling. She has taught mental disabilities, leadership, supervision and ethics, and behavior modification courses for the past 11 years at Cypress College in the Psychiatric Technology program. Tina’s previous 30-year IT/business background helped her write a comprehensive State Board Review course to bring state examination rates up. Active on many leadership committees, Tina believes in “paying it forward.” She served as the curriculum representative for the Health Science Division for six years, resigning when elected as president of the United Faculty. An active member of UF, Tina also previously held elected positions of vice president and grievance representative. She served as treasurer of the California Association of Psychiatric Technician Educators (CAPTE) for nine years, on the Academic Senate for four years, on the State Senate Standards and Practices Committee, and supported OC Pathways promoting the Psychiatric Technology program by presenting at local schools. Students would say that Tina “knew a lot and told great stories” and was a “tough, but fair teacher” who taught them how to market themselves to achieve the success they desired.
Susan Johnson has been teaching psychology at Cypress College since 1996. She was introduced to the sexuality field 40 years ago in North Carolina with Dr. Paul Fleming, a gynecologist and sex therapist. With him, she had the opportunity to do individual, couple, and group counseling; community education; and professional training all over the country. She later moved to California and graduated from Pepperdine University-Orange County with a master’s degree in clinical psychology. She taught at Pepperdine-OC for 21 years as an adjunct faculty member. “Teaching is my passion and I have been thrilled to be part of Cypress College,” she said. “The highlight of my career here, of course, has been introducing and continuing SEX Day: Celebrating Love, Sexuality and Diversity. The umbrella goal was to contribute to a campus culture promoting greater comfort around personal responsibility for sexual, physical, and psychological health; integrity; and embracing diversity.” Outside of academia, Susan enjoys being at the beach with her dogs and dancing. She does some biking, loves nature, and also enjoys hockey and college basketball. “I was born in North Carolina,” she said. “Loving college basketball is state mandated!”
In Barbara Kashi’s first evaluation in fall 2000, “effervescent persona” were the words used to describe how she was valued by both her peers and Learning Center staff. “Warm,” “energetic,” “vivacious,” “disarming,” “and ebullient” were just a few of the other adjectives used to describe her in following years. “Empathetic” was probably the best one to describe how she impacted students in developmental English courses; she would share her own struggles in the past and then impress upon students her high hopes for their success. Her steady pursuit of professional development resulted in her becoming the English/Reading Department’s magician of metacognition, employing a variety of creative techniques to convince students of their ability to succeed. And it worked! In tracking student success, the Institutional Research Office discovered that her metacognitive teaching magic resulted in her students having incredibly high persistence rates. Barbara also pioneered and excelled in the use of instructional technology, a model for her peers. Beyond instruction, she was an active contributor to campus committees. Overall, she exemplifies why Cypress is one of the best colleges in California.
Dan Kawahara started his career here at Cypress College as an electrician in March 1989. Within a few years, he became the college’s communications electrician and has never looked back.
Since the time she was hired in 1999, Susan Klein’s impact on her colleagues is best described in this sentence, written in her second year: “Her dynamic leadership serves as a cohesive force within the department.” These descriptive words captured her efforts then and later as she served as a long-term department coordinator and developed new innovative curriculum throughout her career: open entry/exit, workshops, crossing disciplines, and acceleration were the pathways she explored and led. With new ideas come new best practices, and she worked hard to give opportunities to faculty to further excel in the classroom, such as the Active Collaborative Engagement Strategies film series she produced. Her “cohesive force” extended beyond her department as best teaching practices were shared across disciplines. Another way she added to the cohesion of Cypress College was her long-standing hard work in screening Foundation scholarship applications. Beyond being a great asset to Cypress College, Susan forged wonderful relationships with many Chargers, who now wish her the very best in her retirement.
Katie Kruse is happy to announce her retirement from our nursing faculty after 27 years of teaching. She taught in most of our medical-surgical nursing courses over the years. She is dedicated to patient safety and always encouraged her students to practice with safety and caring in mind. She was a leader in implementing our newest curriculum focused on safety and quality in nursing education. Her main passion is for geriatrics. In developing and teaching our geriatric nursing class, Katie hoped to pass this passion on to future nurses. Taking load bank this spring, she has already begun to embrace retirement. Always the life of the party, she is out and about enjoying her new free time traveling and enjoying Broadway shows, food, and pools with her daughter; looking forward to the birth of her first grandchild with her son and his wife; and making plans to relax with her husband, Jim. We wish her the best as she moves into this next phase of life.
Donna Landis has been with Cypress College for about 28 years. She started as an hourly employee while attending the Court Reporting program and later progressed to a part-time classified position in the Production Office. Realizing she didn’t care much for court reporting, she went on to working full-time with Staff Development, as a DOM in the Health Science Division, and the majority of time as the catalog and schedule coordinator.
Maureen Leopold, or Mo as she is better known, started at Cypress College in the Bursar’s Office as an hourly February 1979. She became a full-time staff member in the office July 1983 and stayed there for the duration of her career while raising three young kids and earning her associate degree at the college. The campus accounting manager at the time designed a position just for Mo because the Bursar’s Office was taking on more and more job duties—and so was Mo—who eventually assumed the title of accounting specialist. While her family grew exponentially, her three kids grew into six, so did the tug at her heart to retire.Mo retired to new adventures with her mom, husband, kids, and grandkids who simply adore her. She has said, “Cypress College and my family there will always be a part of my heart.”
After 25 years running an advertising photography studio, Cliff Lester started teaching at Cypress College as a full-time instructor in 2002. “My experiences here have been incredibly rewarding,” he said. “As I leave Cypress, I have much to be grateful for including my wonderful colleagues and my hard-working students who have put so much into their class projects. Many have gone on to amazing careers in photography. Together we have produced hundreds of pro-bono photos which have truly made a difference for community organizations. Perhaps I am most proud of being involved in our Yom HaShoah event for the last three years, as well as leaving behind a photo gallery of Holocaust survivors in the Student Center, which I plan to keep updated with new images as I continue to photograph survivors. I look forward to spending time with my loved ones, traveling, gardening, cooking gourmet meals for my wife, and perhaps playing a little golf.”
Angie Lippolt-Rios started her career with the NOCCCD in June 1976 as a groundskeeper. She has held many positions, from groundskeeper to equipment operator, and has been the college’s landscape coordinator for many years. Angie worked out of the La Habra Plant, Fullerton College and ultimately made her home away from home here at Cypress College since 1986.
Rod Lusch started his career with the NOCCCD at the La Habra plant in 1980 as the district welder/sheet metal mechanic. Rod then went to Fullerton College for a few years and finally came home to Cypress College and has been here since 2005. Most of us know him as our very own in-house CSEA Local Chapter #167 president extraordinaire.
For 37 years, Mark Majarian has given selflessly of himself serving as the Theater Department chair and, more recently, the chair of the Curriculum Committee. He is passionate about his students, many of whom have gone on to enjoy successful careers. Mark swears that when he leaves Cypress College, he is not really retiring, but rather joining the French Foreign Legion for a completely different career. A short story from Mark: “The Circle in the Square Theater in NYC was producing Chekov’s ‘Uncle Vanya’ during the summer of 1973 with sold-out performances. Mike Nichols had directed the play with an all-star cast: Lillian Gish, George C. Scott, Nicol Williamson, and Julie Christie. Julie Christie had already won the Academy Award for best actress in Pasternak’s ‘Doctor Zhivago.’ I was 22 and studying at the Circle in the Square conservatory that summer. I witnessed her perform the role of Yelena in the play onstage one night. Students at Circle were encouraged to meet the actors backstage after performances if they had questions. I was directed to her dressing room. I stumbled through her door and her back was to me. She was alone, petite, and arranging herself in front of a mirror. She spun around to greet me and asked me what I thought of the performance. Strange, furtive, incoherent sounds emanated from my mouth. She smiled and said, ‘That’s wonderful love. Well, I have to be leaving…’ as she dropped over and shot back up flipping her hair back over her shoulders. I bolted out of her dressing room holding my breath until I hit West 50th Street.”
Jose Martinez started his career at Cypress College in December 1984 as a maintenance assistant and has been an HVAC mechanic since the early ’90s.
David McCament began teaching the embalming components of Cypress College’s Mortuary Science program in 2006, coming to the college after almost four decades in funeral service. He is a 1978 graduate of Cypress and was a member of the first class transitioning from the California College of Mortuary Science to Cypress College in 1977. Since joining the faculty, David has migrated from teaching embalming to practicing restorative art. He has served as the Heath Science Division representative on the campus Student Learning Outcomes Committee and more recently as a senator to the Academic Senate.
Richard McKnight earned his electrical engineering degree from Cal State Long Beach. After graduation, he married and entered the U.S. Army, and received his officers commission teaching at the U.S. Army Artillery and Missile School. After leaving the Army, he worked several years as a systems engineer for IBM before earning his master’s degree in business from Chapman University to prepare for a career teaching in higher education. In his first year of teaching, he was a part-time instructor at Cypress College, El Camino College, and Rio Hondo College. A year later, he was offered a full-time position at Cypress and started the Computer Information Systems Department as its first full-time instructor. He created and designed the CIS111 Computer Information Systems and CIS211 Introduction to Programming classes along with several other courses leading students to credential and transfer programs. “My most rewarding achievement is having taught for over 43 years and to 20,000 students, helping them achieve their dreams as I had been helped in achieving mine,” he said.
Alex Mintzer has been teaching biology at Cypress College since 1999.
Albert Miranda started his career in adult education here at Cypress College in August 1976 as an hourly employee. Since then, he has held many positions, most notably as the college’s director of physical plant/facilities. In 2017, he was awarded the NOCCCD’s North Star Award for his extensive contributions to the college and district.
Hoang Nguyen has been working in the district since 1979.
Public Safety Officer Daniel Ortega started his career with Cypress College in January 2002. His on-the-job skills, dedication, and professional conduct has contributed enormously to the safety of our campus community, and he is well-respected by his peers. Officer Ortega is assigned to the California State Military Reserves and is responsible for training and working with National Guard units. He also serves on the State Honor Guard unit and serves the community. His military unit has volunteered for color guard during graduations at Cypress. The Campus Safety Department thanks Officer Ortega for his service to the campus, helping to provide a safe academic environment. He will be deeply missed.
Joyce Patti is leaving behind a large legacy of students who have successfully transferred, received degrees in art, and are working professionally in the illustration or fine arts fields. She was the Art Department chair for 12 years and an inspiration to her colleagues. She championed for the faculty and especially the students. She will be missed deeply.
Patty Pelachik has been teaching in the Business Division at Cypress College since 1991.
Mark Peterson has served as the accompanist for both the Music and Dance departments for 16 years. In addition, he has tutored numerous music students in theory and performance. Mark has a particular passion for opera and has written a number of them himself. We wish him the best of luck as he sets off on new adventures. Hopefully, Mark will now have the time to focus on composing another new opera!
In 31 seasons as the Cypress College head softball coach, Brad Pickler has earned over 1,300 career wins while leading the college to a record nine CCCAA State Softball Championships. Brad also led the Chargers to 26 state finals appearances and helped Cypress earn 23 Orange Empire Conference titles. In 2017, his team completed the first-ever undefeated State Championship run in CCCAA softball history, finishing the season 48-0 and earning his staff the NFCA Cal JC National Coaching Staff of the Year Award. In 2018, his team extended their win streak to 62 games, which is believed to be an all-time collegiate record for consecutive victories. Brad has also served as fitness lab coordinator for the Kinesiology Division and helped ensure improvements to our facilities in his role as a discipline instructor.
Bob Riffle started his career at Fullerton College as a student hourly in the cafeteria in 1981, later attaining permanent status as a custodial helper in January 1984. Bob worked at the La Habra Plant, Fullerton College, and Cypress College and has held many positions throughout his career with the NOCCCD. Here at Cypress, Bob had been the interim maintenance and operations manager in 2003, and then again permanently since July 2014.
Luis Rivas has been working in the district since 2001.
Terry John Roberson
John Roberson started his career as a painter at Fullerton College in 1988 and then came to his true home away from home, Cypress College, in 1991.
Becky Rojas started at Cypress College in December 2001 after a friend mentioned the Student Activities Center job to her, noting she would likely be a good fit. “I am so grateful she did,” Becky said. “This was the best move I could have made.” Becky has been on several committees at Cypress, including Senior Day, KinderCaminata, and Graduation. She was awarded Woman of the Year twice and said she has enjoyed working with so many students over the years. “I am blessed to have been working with all the students that come in the Student Activities Center. When I started, for some reason they started calling me Miss Becky, and it has stayed the entire time I have been here. I am happy and look forward to hearing about their future endeavors.”
Ramon Sanchez has been working in the district since 2007.
Laura Stephens has been working in the Cypress College Foundation Office since 2005.
Mariye K. Takahashi
Mariye Takahashi was hired in 1991 to teach Japanese, but much more than this, she developed a whole program, which for many years was unique and singular among community colleges in giving students more opportunities to gain fluency. She took pride in preparing students for future success in universities and for obtaining passing scores on Japanese government-sponsored proficiency exams. She was also a pioneer in developing curriculum that centered on students gaining more experiences with Japanese art and culture through manga, anime, and general film mediums; her curriculum was copied by neighboring CSUs. On campus she advised the Anime Club, and off campus she encouraged students to study Japanese martial arts (being an expert herself) and take advantage of local cultural opportunities. Every summer, she led a group of students on an affordable trip to Japan, made possible by an alliance she forged with Kyushu Sangyo University. Mariye’s dedication to the Japanese Program was evident in her successful grant applications from the Japan Foundation and her leadership of Teachers of Japanese in Southern California. She certainly deserves our great respect and gratitude for what she has done for Cypress College students.
Pablo Trinidad started at Cypress College as a graveyard-shift custodian in October 1990 and within three years, became a daytime groundskeeper/field maintenance worker. He has been a campus equipment operator since June 2004.
After 18 years of service to the Registered Nursing Department, Wendy Valencia has retired. Wendy taught all levels of students in the medical-surgical environment as well as pharmacology; however, as a geriatric nursing practitioner, geriatrics is her real passion. Together with fellow retiree Katie Kruse, she helped design and implement a dedicated geriatric nursing course imparting her passion to the next generation of nurses. On load bank this semester, Wendy is already enjoying her retirement with her husband and family, including five grandchildren, her most treasured things in life.
Rick Van Beynen
Rick Van Beynen started his career at the La Habra Plant as a maintenance assistant in July 1983. A year later, he was promoted to plumber and then worked at Fullerton College. Since 1997, Rick has been Cypress College’s go-to plumber.
Donna Woo has been teaching in the Business Division at Cypress College since 1984.
Cypress College Years of Service
We recognize the following employees for their years of dedicated service to the college.
Garet Hill; Janelle Salinas; Samantha Simmons; Ratha Thong; Hoa Tran; and Ed Valdez.
Nancy Corrales; Lisa Gaetje; Vanessa Gonzales; George Isaac; DaJuan Jackson; Jason Luna; Nishad Marathe; Elizabeth Pacheco; Rosemary Penesa; Aaron Pilkey; Parwinder Sidhu; Stephen Tom; Carlos Urquidi; and Lynette Young.
Michael Beard; Alex Bernal; and Alan Reza.
Michael Brydges; Armando Mendoza; Margaret Mohr; Marty Orozco; Kevin Peery; Bill Pinkham; Jessica Puma; Adel Rajab; Lili Stroud; and Federico Vazquez.
Deidre Porter and Kathy Wada.
Lynn Mitts and John Roberson.
Albert Miranda and Rick Van Beynen.