President Schilling’s Board Report for November 10, 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 November 10, 2020

The ARISE Hub (Academics, Relationships, Independence, Self-Advocacy, Emotional Health), which originated at NOCE, is now open virtually at Cypress College. The facility which could not open on schedule due to the pandemic, was designed to be a comforting, stimulus-sensitive space for students with autism and other mental health conditions, but has now evolved to serve as a virtual space sponsoring workshops and other resources for our DSS students and in alignment with our Wellness Collaborative. We look forward to safely opening this new space when we are back on campus, but appreciate the services currently offered to our campus community.

Cypress College is now certified as an HBCU transfer institution. On October 21, 2020, 59 Cypress College counselors, faculty, and staff participated in a Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCU) training and certification event. This session was conducted by Helen Young (El Camino College Counselor) who serves as the Project Director for the California Community Colleges Transfer Guarantee Agreement to HBCUs. Tools, resources, and activities to broaden knowledge and support of pathways for students into the nations 100+ HBCUs, 39 of which have a CCC transfer agreement was covered in this high energy and informative discussion.

The Financial Aid Office participated in our first Virtual Cash 4 College event for Western High School on October 21, 2020. Over 200 students and families received direct assistance for completing a 2021/2022 FAFSA or Dream Act application. Cypress College remains committed to supporting our local High Schools in their college preparedness efforts and will be continuing outreach to our local districts.

The 35th Annual Cypress College Foundation Golf Classic is happening! Schedule your tee time between November 16 and December 18, including weekends. Participants may complete their registration online to receive the Golf Classic Tournament Instructions. Your donation supports the work of the Cypress College Foundation supporting student scholarships, book loans, emergency assistance, faculty grants, endowment development, and more. Thank you for participating!

Cypress in the News: The Cypress College Open Space was featured in the state Chancellor’s Office Twitter feed and in the OC Breeze, as was the press release on our new ARISE Hub.

The Cypress CARE Program has launched its annual “Adopt-A-Family” program to assist our single-parent CARE families during the holiday season. Last year our Charger family adopted over 55 families and generously provided gifts for the holidays. If you are interested in sponsoring a CARE family, please click on the previous link. In addition, The Guardian Scholars Program will continue their second year of the “Adopt-an-Angel” Program to assist our current and former foster youth. Please let us know if you are interested in sponsoring a Guardian Scholar. Thank you for making the holidays so special for our students, especially during these unprecedented times! Please respond by Tuesday November 17, 2020.

The Cypress Legacy Program sponsored two workshops examining racial and social justice issues and their impact on self-esteem and self-efficacy, followed by practical tips for self-care and mindfulness. The topics were Exploring Race and the Imposter Syndrome (Wednesday, October 28 @ 11:30 a.m.) and Black Coping in an Era of Madness (Monday, November 2 @ 11:30 a.m.).  In addition, the Legacy program conducted a special “Let’s Talk” feedback forum post-election to assist students cope with the election results. Thank you to Regina Rhymes, LaRon Armstead, and our Legacy faculty and mentors for their support of our students.

Our Associated Students will also be hosting a post-election Town Hall on November 13 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Congratulations to STEM Scholar Alumna, Alejandra Garcia who was recently featured in the CSU Office of the Chancellor magazine. Alejandra shares her story and the power of self-determination, positive guidance, and mentorship, emphasizing how the STEM Program at Cypress College helped her educational journey. Her story is one of courage and resilience, but also of the important role our faculty, peer mentors, administrators, and counselors play in her success. Thank you, STEM(2) Director, Yanet Garcia, for sharing and supporting Alejandra’s journey.

Upcoming Events

The Cypress College Equity Retreat, rescheduled from spring due to the pandemic, will be held in two sessions, November 6 and on November 13. The purpose of the retreat, facilitated by Veronica Keifer-Lewis, will be to have deep conversations about the meaning of equity on our campus, and to begin the process for a common definition and DEI framework that will then provide the foundation for our Strategic Plan, which will be revised in spring 2021. 100 leaders across the campus will be participating. Thank you to Ruth Gutierrez, Michael Brydges, Gisela Verduzco, and Alison Robertson for their leadership developing the agenda for this important campus retreat

Please join us on November 19 or 20 at 6 p.m. for a virtual production of Chrysalis, a student-driven play about 2020 and all it is doing to each of us. This very personal play was written and performed by our theater students, directed by faculty member Jennifer McMillin-Brick. It will be streaming free at

Kane Smego, spoken word poet, hip hop artist, and cultural diplomat will be leading three workshops for students on November 6, 13 and 20 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Drawing on the concept of intersectionality pioneered by Kimberly Crenshaw and harnessing the power of poetry, this dynamic workshop series helps students tell their own stories.

The Transfer Center and Admissions & Records are teaming up again on November 19 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. to host this year’s TPG Fair in a virtual format. Students can meet representatives from 65+ universities, learn important graduation information, attend specific breakout sessions with the colleges of their choice, and hear from our student services team at Cypress College.

Join us for a drive-in screening of “The Story of Plastic,” sponsored by the Cypress College Sustainability Committee. The movie takes a sweeping look at the man-made crisis of plastic pollution and the worldwide effect it has on the health of our planet and the people who inhabit it.

This event is free and open to the public. The movie begins at 7 p.m. in Lot 1; pre-show raffle begins at 6:30 p.m.

Information on attending our upcoming book club discussions is on the following page.

Buen Cypress! We Take This Journey Together!

Campus Common Book Discussions Are Happening!

Join your fellow campus community members in reading “The Distance Between Us,” a memoir by Los Angeles-based author, Reyna Grande, the selected common book for the academic year.

The college’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee will be holding multiple discussions over the fall and spring semesters on the following schedule:

  • Discussion #1 Book One: Prologue – Chapter 7 – November 3*, 4**
  • Discussion #2 Book One: Chapters 8-14 – November 17*, 18**
  • Discussion #3 Book One: Chapters 15-20 – December 1*, 2**
  • Discussion #4 Book Two: Prologue – Chapter 9 – February 2*, 3**
  • Discussion #5 Book Two: Chapter 10-18 – February 23*, 25**
  • Discussion #6 Book Two Chapter 19 – Epilogue –  March 9*, 10**

*11:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.
**4:30–5:45 p.m.

To access the Canvas course and join the virtual discussion via Zoom, please go to:


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