President Schilling’s Board Report for September 25, 2018

The following is a report to members of the North Orange County Community College District Board of Trustees.

Presented by Cypress College President JoAnna Schilling, Ph.D.

on September 25, 2018

Campus News

  • Hispanic Heritage Month: Cypress College continued celebrating our Latinx students and community by hosting a Fiesta on September 19. Student dancers shared Folklorico with students and staff, and our own Yanet Garcia thrilled us with her singing prowess. On September 25, the college will host an evening with Alex Bernal, Cypress’ Safety coordinator, whose father, Joseph, was the key player in desegregating housing in Fullerton in 1943. Mr. Bernal found a home located on the Sunnyside tract of Fullerton which the owners of that property had agreed to sell to him. Shortly after his father, wife Esther, and sisters Irene and Maria Teresa moved in, residents of the Sunnyside tract met Esther and learned that they were of Hispanic descent. These residents sued his father and ordered them to get out because of land restrictions that read, “No portion of the said property should be used, leased, owned or occupied by Mexicans or persons other than Caucasian race.” His father hired an attorney who would go on to represent the Mendez’ in their school desegregation case in the 1950s, to defend their right to live in their home. This landmark case gained worldwide recognition and paved the way to end housing segregation. We are honored to have witnesses to history living among us and appreciate Alex sharing his family story.
  • Pledge Welcome Center on September 19, the College welcomed elected officials, community members, our generous donors, Catherine Sorenson, and the Disneyland Resort, as well as Board member Jackie Rodarte, Foundation board members, Chancellor Marshall, and AUHSD officials, to the grand opening of our Pledge Welcome Center. It was a wonderful celebration to acknowledge the importance of this partnership, the students who are benefiting from the generosity of our donors, and the great job our staff have done in coordinating efforts to ensure student success. The Welcome Center is focused on providing a space to help students know of various resources available across campus. Thanks to Dr. Paul de Dios and Gisela Verduzco for their great work!
  • Cypress College student Brandon Davis was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma, a rare form of childhood cancer, last November. The college sponsored a GoFundMe campaign for this courageous young man to help his family while he underwent treatment. Brandon’s tumor was in an inoperable location on his neck and this past year he has had to endure grueling chemotherapy treatments. He just finished his 16th treatment, and hopefully final round of chemo, and is about to start radiation, which is his last phase of treatment. Luckily his prognosis is very good, but he obviously still has to endure all of the pain, trials & tribulations of being a 20-year old man with cancer. Through it all he has kept an amazing attitude. Never bitter or spiteful, always smiling, even though he’s hurting. Amazingly he’s managed to finish almost all of the incompletes he had to take in Fall 2017 and he’s enrolling in online classes this semester. His plan is to transfer to CSULB and become a math teacher. His timeline is a little delayed, but we are happy to report that Brandon is doing much better and his spirit is strong. We have such amazing students at our college and I am reminded daily that it is they who teach us the most important lessons of resiliency, courage, and persistence. Brandon is featured on our My Cypress Story wall in the Humanities Building.

Community Events

  • Our Foundation Golf Classic will be held on October 1, 2018 at the Seacliff Country Club in Huntington Beach. We invite all Board members, either as part of a golfing foursome, or to attend the late afternoon award dinner at 3:30 p.m. We look forward to seeing you!
  • On September 26, Dr. Schilling will have the pleasure of being the keynote speaker at the Orange County Women’s Conference, held from 9 a.m. to 12 noon at the Cypress Community Center. Her message will focus on the power of education to transform lives. Please join us, if you can!
  • On September 21, Gail Taylor and Dr. Schilling had lunch with Dennis Kuhl, Chairman of the Angels. The Angels are hosting 38 Cypress students on September 25 to participate in a career panel with Angels executives, who will discuss how they got into a sports career. The 38 students will also attend the Angels game the same night. Our goal is to forge a more robust partnership with the Angels organization and to make Mr. Kuhn aware of our own illustrious baseball history at Cypress.

Transfer-level Placement Rates

  • Cypress College expanded the use of high school data, as part of multiple measures, in 2017-18 to help place students in transferrable courses who graduated from high school up to two-years prior before enrolling at Cypress College.
  • This resulted in a large increase in the percentage of transferrable English placements and a slight increase in the percentage of transferrable mathematics placements. These rates are further expected to increase for 2018-19 with further expansion of multiple measures for all incoming students.

That’s the Board Report from Cypress College. Buen Cypress!

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