President Schilling’s Board Report for March 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 March 9, 2021

Cypress Athletics: The Chargers took the first step in a return to practice and competition with the first day of rapid COVID testing on February 22. Every student athlete planning to compete for the Chargers this spring began their season with a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) COVID-19 test, which was administered under the supervision of our Cypress College Health Center and Athletic Training Staff.  Cypress Athletics’ top priority is the health and safety of all student athletes, coaches, and staff, so each athlete will be required to test daily prior to each scheduled practice or competition for the duration of the 2020-21 athletics season. The Chargers began practicing during the last week of February and hope to return to competition sometime in March.

The 46th annual Americana Awards was held virtually on February 27. Thank you to those who were able to attend in support of this event. The Fund-a-Need portion was very successful and, for the first time ever, we sold out our special Yamaha raffle — this time for two electric bicycles. Our Celebration packages were hand-delivered to all attendees and included a fabulous dinner of salmon and beef, and a German chocolate cake that will require working off some extra calories this week. Thank you to our Foundation staff, led by Howard Kummerman, Rachel Ghatikar, and Lesley-Anne Loon, as well as Marc Posner for his technical support and student Adrian Romero who sang during the event. We are grateful for the continuing generosity of our community.

Congratulations to Victoria Ygnacio, semi-finalist for the Jack Kent Cooke scholarship from Cypress College. Victoria is a pre-engineering major in her second year at Cypress College and intends to transfer in the fall. She is a student leader in the (STEM)2 program and participated in a summer research program at Cal Tech. Victoria has applied to multiple UCs for transfer. We are proud of Victoria and wish her much success when the finalists are announced later this spring.

The Cypress College COVID Townhall was held on Wednesday, March 3 from 1 – 2:30 pm.  Topics covered by campus professionals included: C19 updates/fact and fiction, de-mystifying the vaccination process, the Othena vaccination app, reporting protocols, and the safe return to work scenarios being discussed.  Thank you to Marla McBride, Dr. Bredehoft from OCHCA, Tami Oh, Alex Porter and all our presenters for a lively conversation about our campus needs and operations.

Cypress College was proud to send 30 students and employees to the A2MEND Conference on March 4-5. Thank you to Dr. Marshall and NOCCCD for sponsoring this important summit.

Our stellar Black History Month concluded with another excellent week of programming.  Thank you to Regina Rhymes, Virgil Adams, Annette Letcher and all our BHM organizers for an impactful month of events! On Friday, February 26, over 300 participants had the pleasure to join us for A Conversation with Dr. Angela Davis: Freedom is a Constant Struggle. Moderators Ruth Gutierrez, Michael Brydges, and Annette Letcher did a great job moderating the discussion with Dr. Davis, which is linked here in case you missed it.  The Hairtage Speaker Series was featured in Voice of OC this week, another accolade for this amazing exhibit. Hairtage was organized by Janet Owens-Driggs and curated by Nzuji De Magalhaes in conjunction with the Cypress College Black History Month Committee.

Other Black History Month events included:

  • A showing of the movie Rosewood about the 1932 Rosewood Massacre, and student panel discussion afterward
  • Debates hosted by Legacy Scholars: Does Capitalism benefit the Black Community? Are Reparations Required in Achieving Racial Justice?
  • Day of Expression – Let’s Express Social Justice, Dance, Music & Spoken Word hosted by Maha Afra

The Cypress College Transfer Center announced a robust lineup of virtual university group tours for Cypress College students on select Fridays. Tours will consist of an admissions presentation and live virtual campus tour led by currently enrolled university students. Upcoming virtual campus tours include UC San Diego, UC Riverside, CSU Long Beach, San Diego State, and CSU Dominguez Hills.

This fall the Charger Experience Program had a 100% acceptance rate at UCI, with 56 out of 56 of our Pledge/Promise students being admitted in fall 2020. 35% of students who applied to UCI were accepted and 53% of those began with us as Pledge/Promise students. These results are demonstrating that the high touch experience provided by our Charger Experience, as well as the commitment to provide a first-year experience where all Promise students take their math and English in the first year, is leading to successful transfer and success. Congratulations to Gisela Verduzco and her Charger Experience team, for making a difference!

The Career Planning Center is hosting a Virtual Career and Social Justice Conference More than a Pathway: Connecting Social Justice to Careers on April 13 and 14.  The goal for this conference/event is to:

  • Present information about career options with a social justice focus within each of the eight Cypress College Divisions
  • Create opportunities for networking with, as well as learning from, professionals who are engaged in advocacy work
  • Share community resources, information, and tools for providing services to diverse and underserved populations

Our classified professionals have just completed the Caring Campus coaching sessions. Caring Campus’ CEO, Brad Philips, recently sent the following acknowledgement: As President/CEO of the Institute for Evidence-Based Change (IEBC) I’d like to commend Cypress College on the successful completion of the Caring Campus coaching sessions and steps taken toward implementation. We know that students go where they feel welcome and stay where they feel cared for. Your professional staff have worked hard to identify and implement behaviors intentionally and campus-wide that ensure students feel connected to their college and, in turn, successfully persist and complete their educational goals.  Our Caring Campus teams are currently creating is an interactive sticker/avatar pack within the mobile app, CypressConnect. This will allow students to collect virtual stickers when they visit certain areas on campus, reach a milestone, or attend events. Thank you to Christy Montenegro and Summer Justice who are leading the two Caring Campus teams and to all our classified coaches for the work they are doing to support our students!

Congratulations to our Psychiatric Technology Program for receiving 100% passing scores for their state board exams during the last quarter of 2020. The program was also reaffirmed for accreditation from the California State Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians for four more years. We are #CYProud of our faculty, staff, and students!

Buen Cypress, We Take This Journey Together!

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