President Schilling’s Board Report for May 12, 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 May 12, 2020

Now that we turn our attention to summer and fall in a remote format, we face new planning decisions. We will be analyzing the effect remote learning has had on student success and whether or not there was a disproportionate impact on certain student groups. In addition, we are sending out a survey to students in the next week assessing how we can better support them be successful in remote instruction and will use this information to develop and conduct student success workshops for online learning this summer. For faculty and staff, our Distance Education Team is putting together distance education training and our academic areas are identifying needed instructional support for online and remote instruction this fall. We continue to try to address our students’ financial, food, and technology needs, while removing barriers in our processes that require unnecessary obstacles to their success.

CARES Stimulus Funding: The college has worked on an ambitious plan to provide support for students using the first 50% of the CARES federal stimulus package allocated to support students. The federal dollars will go to support 7,148 grants of $500 for spring, summer and fall. In addition, we will be providing 250 additional $500 grants to Dream Act students, and 61 private grants using Foundation funding, for a total of 7,459 grants of $500 in support of our students. Thanks go to Dean of Student Services, Rick Rams, Financial Aid Director, Korey Lindley, and VPs Paul de Dios and Alex Porter for their creative solutions and hard work in allocating these dollars. Disbursements have already begun to be sent to students.

Cypress College in the News: Cypress College participated in an NPR interview with Adolfo Lopez-Guzman, about the factors colleges should consider in determining whether or not to re-open the college in fall for on campus or remote instruction. Other districts profiled along with Cypress, were Santa Monica and LACCCD. Read the full article.

Outstanding Graduate of the Year: We are pleased to announce that Elise Cunanan was named the Cypress College 2020 Outstanding Graduate of the Year. Elise is graduating as a Sociology major and has transferred to Cal State Fullerton to continue her education. Elise served as a Student Ambassador, has been involved in Associated Students, as well as maintaining a 3.87 GPA overall with a 4.0 GPA in her major. We all know and love Elsie as one of those students who volunteers for everything, is kind to her fellow students and who believes in the power of giving back. Elise will be featured in our commencement program and we are happy to honor her this year. Congratulations, Elise!

Congratulations to our newly tenured faculty! Each of these faculty has made a huge impact on the Cypress campus and within their divisions. We are proud to welcome them to our tenure ranks and look forward to the great work they do, and will continue to achieve, on behalf of our students: Kati Angelov, Media Arts and Design; Jolina Cadilli, Math; Justin Campbell, English; Alma Castro, Math; Bret Clarke, CIS; Angela De Dios, Psychology; Dawn Decker, DSS Counseling; Steven Estrada, Ethnic Studies; Jenelle Herman, ESL; Anthony Hutting, Baseball/Kinesiology; Shinah Ji, Nursing; Bret Kaufman, English; Mymy Lam, Counseling; Jennie Larez, HIT; Annette Letcher, English; Samreen Manjra, Accounting; Ryan Ortega, Nursing; Janet Owens Driggs, Fine Arts; Leslie Palmer, Library Science; Massoud Saleh, Engineering; Gary Shin, Biology; Diana Tira, Dental Hygiene; James Tapia, Human Services, and Stephanie Tran, English. Congratulations to these outstanding faculty!

Go Chargers!  Our long-time Athletic Trainer, Scott Tucker, will be inducted into the California Community College Athletic Trainers Association (CCCATA) Hall of Fame in 2021. Scott has served the college for 35 years and this is a well-deserved honor! In other great athletics news, Men’s Basketball student athlete, Demetri Mariolis, was selected as the Orange Empire Conference Male Character Champion Award recipient. This award is given to the student athlete who displays the following values: sportsmanship, respect, caring, fairness, civility, honesty, integrity and responsibility shown through a specific action, ideally directed toward an opponent during competition. He is the third Charger to win the award since its inception in 2012. Congratulations Demetri!

Superintendents CyberSecurity Cup: The second annual Cyber Patriot competition, was held on April 23 and featured 275 students from 16 different schools and 8 districts competing to take home “The Superintendent’s Cup.”  All eight superintendents, and Cypress College administrators were there to salute and support these hard-working scholars. Our winning school was Savanna Elementary School District. Congratulations to Superintendent Dr. Sue Johnson and her students!

Yom HaShoah: Thank you to everyone who was able to join us for Yom HaShoah on April 29. Holocaust Survivors’ Dr. Jacob Eisenbach, Sarah Schweitz, Piri Katz, and Joe Alexander along with l05 year old liberator Lt. Col. Sam Sachs, shared stories of inconceivable horror combined with incredible hope.  We are grateful to Cliff Lester for his expert interviews of each survivor, as well as David Halahmy and Howard Kummerman for organizing the evening. A rebroadcast of the event is on our Foundation website. We Will Never Forget!

Commit2Cypress: Our annual Promise and Pledge event was held virtually on April 30. We welcomed almost 700 interested seniors from our local high school districts who joined us on You tube and Facebook Live to learn more about the college. Kudos to Gisela Verduzco and Paul De Dios who put on a fantastic event, and to our faculty who joined us in program break-out sessions. We appreciate Dr. Marshall and AUHSD Superintendent Mike Matsuda, for sharing a few words of encouragement to our incoming freshman.

Commencement: We continue to make progress on our commencement planning. Thank you to presenters Craig Goralski, Presten Jiminez, Ester Plavdjian, Dr. Marshall, and Board President Bent, who have all videotaped their commencement messages. We currently have almost 500 students who have entered our portal and will be uploading their photos and profiles for our virtual graduation ceremony. We will be asking all trustees to make a brief video of yourselves to add to our recessional. Please join us on May 22 at 5 p.m. We will be sending an invitation and link very soon.

Silver Linings

As reported at last board meeting, we were happy to announce that Cypress College was ranked #3 nationally in the Best Community Colleges 2020 by College Consensus, a unique college ratings website that aggregates publisher rankings and student reviews. We are proud that Cypress continues to rank at the top of all colleges in the country, due to the quality support and instruction we provide to our students. Go Chargers!

Cypress College Theater Arts students gained national attention this month in a contest called “Stay Home and Sing,” sponsored by Their entry, a Zoom video edited by student Sophia Barajas, featured an adaptation of the song, “96,000” from the Lin-Manuel Miranda musical “In the Heights.” Check it out on our website and prepare to be amazed! They are shining stars!

Buen Cypress! We Take This Journey Together!

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