President Schilling’s Board Report for December 10, 2019

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 December 10, 2019

Happy Holidays from Cypress College!

Campus Events

Our Legacy Program Kwanzaa event was held on December 5, featuring keynote speaker, Rashad Cromwell, who comes from four generations of HBCU scholars. Mr. Wallace is the founder and President of Harbor Institute, an educational firm based in Washington DC and focused on cultural competency, student success and Black/Latino male development. It was a great night for celebrating the traditions of Kwanzaa and we are grateful for those who serve as Legacy mentors. Special thanks to Regina Rhymes and LaRon Armstead for their leadership of the Legacy program.

Please join us on December 12 for our annual EOPS and Guardian Scholars Holiday celebration. All our EOPS and Care families will be gathered for our annual Adopt a Family event, as well as our Guardian Scholars Foster Youth program. We want to thank Ann Marie Ruelas, Ashley Berry, and the EOPS team, as well as the entire campus community who have stepped up yet again to contribute to ensuring our students have a festive and happy holiday.

The Cypress College Music Department highlighted our students in two excellent events including the Jazz Concert, held on Monday December 2, and our Vocal Concert on December 6. Both featured our students performing holiday classics and the timeless classics of Motown. Kudos to music faculty Gary Gopar, Ronal Segovia, and Terra Hurdle for their musical direction.

Our Associated Students will be holding a Finals Fuel event during finals week December 9-12. Students will receive free scantrons, blue books, coffee and snacks, and there will be therapy dogs available across the campus to help students de-stress. Thank you, David Okawa, Jay Shonkweiler, and our student leaders for supporting our students this week!

Our graphic art students participated again in our 2nd annual Holiday Card Contest. Three winners were chosen – Phat (Ken) Huynh, Gabriela Jaramillo, and Benjamin Eusebi – receiving $250, $100, and $50 respectively. Ken’s winning design will be used as an electronic animated card, and will also be sent as a traditional card to our community and partners. Congratulations to our student winners!

Vanessa Natera, a Cypress College STEM student, was one of three students interviewed as a panel on Spectrum News for their “Inside the News” show on Wednesday December 4. The segment was part of an episode focused on the California community college experience and featured students from Compton, Long Beach, and Cypress Colleges.  The episode aired at 8 and 11 p.m. that evening and we will share a link when it becomes available.

Go Chargers! Four of our five fall sports teams made it to the CCCAA Playoffs this year, including women’s volleyball, women’s soccer, men’s soccer, and women’s water polo. Women’s soccer went undefeated on their way to winning the 2019 Orange Empire Conference Championship. In addition, 14 of our athletes were All-Orange Empire Conference selections this Fall. Congratulations to these outstanding scholars and to our coaches, Nanci Welliver, Erick Hurtarte, Christina Rus, and Mark Canner, Athletic Director Wes McCurtis, and Dean Rick Rams, for an outstanding season.

The Accelerate Program, a Civitas-based pilot that is focused on encouraging working students taking 6 units to accelerate to 9 units, was implemented this week with its first nudge email message which was delivered to 1,120 students identified as either at risk of dropping out or might be interested in this program. Students were offered a specific course that was being saved for them. The program also includes online counseling support and other access to books and materials designed for a student who doesn’t have much time. Thank you to Kristina Oganesian, Lisa Gaetje, Deidre Porter, and Henry Hua for working with Marc Posner to initiate this campaign.

On November 16, the college held an LGBTQ feedback forum to hear from our students and better understand the challenges they face at the college. Topics included preferred names and pronouns, and gender-neutral bathrooms. The college will be implementing preferred names through Canvas on our rosters for spring, while the district works through the policies and procedures to implement this across the district.

A New Creative Writing Certificate in Creative Writing is being offered by Cypress College’s Language Arts Division. The 18-unit certificate is designed for students seeking a broad appreciation of literature and increased skills in communication. Six courses, including three new ones — Introduction to Poetry Writing, Introduction to Short Story Writing, and Introduction to Creative Nonfiction Writing — are being offered in spring 2020 and will fulfill the certificate requirements.

Our Cypress College Mortuary Science Program held their end of the semester Memorial Service on December 4 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. This memorial is planned and organized by our students, faculty, and staff to memorialize all those who came into their care for instruction this past year. Thank you to faculty members Lori Collins, Jolena Grande, and Damon de la Cruz for their support of this event.

The college completed our biannual Climate Survey last week. Every two years all employees take part in a self-evaluation process. The purpose is to assess how employees feel about the campus, our services, their interaction with colleagues, and a variety of issues including equity, participatory governance, and planning processes  Survey results are widely shared and used to improve planning, communication, and decision-making at the college.

Community Events

Our vocal students performed this year at the annual Cypress Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony, held on December 3 at City Hall. The Cypress vocal ensembles joined high school choirs and community members in this annual kick off to the holiday season.

Cypress College will be a sponsor of the Cypress Chamber Holiday Extravaganza on December 12 at the Navy Golf Course in Cypress. We have a table for eight people if any of our board members wish to join us at 6 p.m.

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

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