President Schilling’s Board Report for February 9, 2021

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 February 9, 2021

February is Black History Month and this year our BHM Committee at Cypress College collaborated with our Fullerton College colleagues for a series of exciting events planned for our campus communities. The kick-off, including the opening ceremony, was held on February 1 and featured our District CEOs to help launch the festivities. The theme for Cypress College’s Black History Month this year is “Social Economics and Liberation of the African American Community.” In addition to our kick-off event, there will be events featuring Dr. Frank Harris and Dr. Angela Davis, as well as many other opportunities for our students and employees to celebrate the vast contributions made by our African American community. For a full calendar of events, please visit our events calendar.

The Cypress College ESL department was commended by the RP Group as one of the top colleges in the state for its outstanding ESL program.  The college is among the top in the state for three of the four ESL student typologies that RP Group and the AB 705 Advisory committee are examining including:

  • US high school graduates (#2)
  • International Students on the ESL pathway (among the top 6%)
  • Degree-seeking Adult Ed ELL students (among the top 10%)

Thank you to our excellent ESL faculty. We are very proud of our students and our program!

Cypress College has been chosen to participate in the Co-Pilot Ascend pilot, a joint project conducted by Wheelhouse (UC Davis) and PERTS (Stanford) and funded by the Gates Foundation.  Twenty instructors in our Language Arts division will be piloting this new evidence-based software and process to enhance student engagement and equity in the classroom. Benefits include faculty receiving insights into how students experience their teaching, while improving student engagement and narrowing equity gaps in student experience. Cypress College is one of only four community colleges statewide have been invited to participate in this project, and this is the first pilot to include community colleges overall.

Extended by popular demand, the Cypress College Art Gallery will be continuing its popular Pic ‘n’ Mix virtual exhibition for the spring semester. Named for the gone-but-not-forgotten Woolworth’s candy counter, Pic ‘n’ Mix brings together collections amassed by members of the Cypress College community. From panda bears to bricks, from feathers to computer game screenshots and sundials, the Pic ‘n’ Mix collections tell tales of distant places and intimate dreams, passionate loyalties and political lies, and sometimes of great sweetness.  Thank you to Janet Owens-Driggs for curating these collections and to everyone who has generously shared their collections.

The Cypress College Art Gallery also presents HAIRTAGE: Tangled, Twisted & Black from January 21 to March 25, 2021. Curated by artist Nzuji De Magalhaes, the HAIRTAGE exhibition and speaker series gathers together artists who approach Black hair as a locus of tension and affirmation.

Cypress in the News: A recent article in Precinct Reporter Group featured one of our current Funeral Services BDP students, Margo Malone. The article covers how frontline morticians are dealing with the challenges presented by the pandemic.  Please click here to read the article.  According to Margo, “Not only have I had opportunity to use information and resources since I graduated so long ago, but I have been able to hone my skills through the B.S. program and the classes I have taken thus far. I would not be where I am in my career had it not been for the Cypress College Mortuary Science program.”  Margo is another amazing alumnus, and well on her way to completing her B.S in Funeral Services!

The Cypress College community will be participating in the Camino de Santiago Virtual Challenge. As many of you know, our Buen Cypress greeting was modeled on the Camino de Santiago, a 480-mile trail which runs from France to Spain. For the next 6.5 months, Cypress College will be taking the challenge to complete this journey virtually. To add yet another reason to join, our Foundation will be setting up Crowdsourcing pages to helping raise funds based on participant completions. All funds raised will go directly to emergency aid for our students. Please join us in taking the challenge! Buen Cypress and Buen Camino!

Open Study Space: Cypress College will again provide a safe study space on campus for students who need a quiet place to work, access their remote class, or study. We will be moving this space into the Cypress College Art Gallery this semester, with a planned opening on February 16. During warm weather, there will be tables outdoors around the gallery, as well as physically distanced and protected tables indoors. Students will still need to make an appointment on our mobile app, complete the wellness check form, wear a mask at all times, and check-in using our new temperature kiosk. Laptops, ear buds, and PPE are provided on request.

Our Athletics Department has launched an upcoming campaign called “Chargers for Change.” The goal is to shine light on the voices of our Cypress Athletics community while spreading awareness of the department’s commitment to anti-racism. This campaign will allow the entire Chargers community to speak, listen, learn, and reflect about the social injustices that impact their daily lives and those around them. Campus colleagues have been asked to share their thoughts in the form of a video, voice recording, or a simple quote that speaks to the importance of anti-racism. Statements from the Charger Athletics Community will be shared on all social media platforms and on our website. Thank you to Athletic Director, Wesley McCurtis, and Sports Information Director, Brett Franchino for putting this excellent campaign together. Go Chargers!

The Hope Center announced their Inaugural #Real College Student Leadership Advisory Council (SLAC) and Cypress College is proud that one of our students, Catherine Cueva, has been chosen in this important role. The 2021 SLAC cohort is comprised of 23 #RealCollege students from coast to coast, including 19 from public institutions, eight from community colleges, and four who attend Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Three-quarters of the students identify as female, and 87% are people of color. Catherine, who is the president of our Students for Basic Needs Club, is the only student chosen from a California community college for this honor. To read the full press release, please click here. Congratulations, Catherine!

We hope you will all be able to join us for our 46th annual Americana: Reunion Year. The event will be live-streamed virtually but will still include our fabulous silent and live auctions, and a Celebration Package delivered to your home including a full meal, wine, dessert and a few surprises. This year our special Opportunity Drawing will include two Yamaha electric-enhanced bicycles valued over $7,000 for the pair. The District will be sponsoring two tables of ten so we hope you will be in attendance as we raise funds for scholarships to support our students and celebrate all past honorees from years 1 through 45! The pre-event begins at 5:30 with the main program starting at 6 p.m. on Saturday, February 27, 2021.  See you there!

Buen Cypress, We Take This Journey Together!

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