President Schilling’s Board Report for April 28, 2020

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 April 28, 2020

Much continues to change and evolve since our campus closed to students and the public over six weeks ago. We continue to modify plans, begin looking towards summer and fall instruction, discuss the many details involved in distance education training and support, and try to find ways to engage. Our students continue to show amazing resilience; but, also experience hardship and extreme challenges that make it hard to focus on their studies. We continue to try to address their financial, food, and technology needs, while removing barriers in our processes that require unnecessary obstacles to moving forward. The following report attempts to recap progress, challenges, and plans we are making as we continue with this new reality we face together.

Cypress Cares Campaign: Our student ambassadors have been reaching out to all of our students to find out how they are, what they need, and what we can do to assist. To date they have emailed 10,415 students, and made 3,595 phone calls to our most at risk students. In addition, calls have been made to 1,360 students who were on probation (below 2.0). Thank you to Gisela Verduzco and Kassandra Abreu for their leadership, but a special thanks to our students who have worked tirelessly on behalf of their peers.

Town Hall: In the ongoing effort to update our campus on the many changes occurring daily and weekly, we have continued to conduct town halls. The most recent convening was Wednesday, April 15 for employees and community members. We welcomed almost 180 participants to share updates, words of encouragement and kudos to all our campus employees for the excellent work they are doing. We also introduced our Cypress@Home campaign, which is depicted on the last page of this report. We hope you will also share how you are weathering this health crisis while @Home.

Pathways of Hope Hub: The Cypress College Food Bank is currently closed; however, Pathways of Hope continues to offer food and other assistance to Cypress College students at its Hub of Hope in Fullerton at 611 S Ford Ave. Cypress College students are invited to stop by to receive a bag of groceries once a week from 1-2:30 p.m. daily. We continue to be grateful for this important partnership.

Presidential Scholars of Distinction: We are thrilled to announce the 2020 Presidential Scholars of Distinction. This tradition, begun in 2019, honors a scholar from each of our eight academic pathways, plus either counseling or L/LRC, who were nominated and voted upon by the division faculty. Each student was chosen using the following criteria: a) Must be graduating in 2020; b) In good academic standing; c) Exhibited persistence in achieving and overcoming adversity; and d) Represented the values of the academic division. Our scholars are: Brandon Nguyen, BUS/CIS; John Lasater, CTE; Kylie Christensen, Fine Arts; Christina Williams, Health Sciences; Frankie Islas, Kinesiology; Nathaniel Garcia, Language Arts; Anh Nguyen, L/LRC; Connor Klizer, SEM; Sarah Queneau, Social Science. Each scholar will also receive a $1,000 scholarship from our Foundation. Congratulations to these outstanding students!

Virtual Events: We are pleased to announce that many of our end of the year celebrations will continue in a virtual format. The following are those that we have confirmed, and hope you will be able join us!

Superintendents Cybersecurity Cup: The second annual Cyber Patriot competition, held on April 23 from 6 – 7 p.m. between our middle and high school students, will feature 275 students from 16 different schools and 8 districts competing to take home “The Superintendent’s Cup.” Students have been earning points since last fall and these points will be tabulated to determine the winning team. All eight superintendents, and Cypress College administrators will be there to salute and support these hard-working scholars. Our student mentors have coached and worked with these students all year, under the leadership of Dean Henry Hua and our dual enrollment team of Stephanie Teer and Stephanie Flores. Last year our winning district was Centralia. Who will win the Cup this year?

Yom HaShoah: We are pleased to announce our 2020 Cypress College virtual Yom HaShoah Holocaust Memorial event will be held on April 29 from 6 to 7:30 p.m.  Please join Holocaust Survivors’ Dr. Jacob Eisenbach and Sarah Schweitz, along with liberator Lt. Col. Sam Sachs, who flew his glider into Normandy Beach and fought in the Battle of the Bulge.  This will be a historical event that should most definitely be witnessed.  One benefit of being online is that it can be viewed anywhere.

Commit2Cypress: Our annual Promise and Pledge event, to welcome incoming freshmen to “commit” to Cypress College, will be held on Thursday, April 30, from 6 to 7:30 pm.  Interested seniors from our local high school districts will be invited to join us virtually to be welcomed, encouraged, and informed about our college. In addition to the messages and ceremonial hand-off between AUHSD, Cypress College, CSUF, and UCI, students, and their parents, will be able to choose from over eight different breakout sessions, including parent-only sessions in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese.

Commencement: By now you have heard that Cypress College will be conducting our commencement virtually on May 22, beginning at 5 p.m. Although a few students were disappointed not to have a live commencement, we have assured everyone that they will be invited to our next live commencement, and commemorate them as the Class of 2020, whenever that may be. Our students are excited and eager to participate, and we believe we have an exciting and impactful commencement planned. In addition, each student will receive a 2020 medallion, a Cypress photo frame, commemorative sash by academic pathway, and special app for a grad photo. Students will also be able to purchase, at a substantial discount, their regalia and a free photo session when we are able to come on campus.

Online and Remote classes: The percentage of courses that have now moved fully online is at 97%. Due to the ingenuity of our faculty, and collaborative work of our deans, we have been able to move almost all classes to a remote format. Some classes have remaining hours left to complete, which we hope we can complete during the summer on campus, practicing social distancing.

Silver Linings

3D Masks: Instructors Devon Tsuno and Ed Giardina, along with other artists from Cypress College Art Department and CSU Dominguez Hills PRAXIS art engagement program + DHAC student art club are voluntarily working together (remotely) to construct, assemble and distribute 3D face shields to communities in need during the COVID-19 pandemic. These communities include healthcare and essential workers – such as hospitals and clinics, senior communities, grocery and delivery workers, public-transportation riders, and other under-funded non-profits. Their efforts have been funded by donations made by people across the globe via social media. Bravo Ed, Devon and our caring students!

Buen Cypress! We Take This Journey Together!

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