President Schilling’s Board Report for June 8, 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 June 8, 2021

The college has been working on a plan for a safe return to campus since March, and our three workgroups—including our Instructional Operations, Faculty Senate, and Student Services workgroups—have been meeting and conferring with our C19 Taskforce all semester. Currently, we are creating safe instructional, outdoor, and engagement learning spaces; finalizing the safety protocols developed this spring; creating training videos for students and employees; and putting in place the equipment needed to keep our employees and students safe.  By August we plan to have clear protocols in place to help guide students and employees as we begin to reestablish our in-person community this fall term.

May was Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month and in addition to our AAPI student and employee recognitions, the college also provided a list of resources to highlight the experiences of the AAPI community in the United States. Here are the resources shared and we encourage our board to also take time to better understand the contributions our AAPI community has provided to our college and country:

AAPI Information and Resources

Federal Asian Pacific American Council AAPI Resources
AAPI Heritage Stories
Anti-Asian Violence Resources
Anti-Asian Violence Resources for Educators
After Atlanta: Teaching About Asian American Identity and History
Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center
The Invisible Artistry of Asian Actors
Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center

Cypress College is proud to share the impactful work of one of our recent alumni, Alex Alpharaoh. Mr. Alpharoah was honored several years ago for his one-man play, “Wet: A DACAmented Journey,” the harrowing tale of how he came to reside in the U.S. Mr. Alpharaoh has continued to share his story virtually and was highlighted for his work in the  Los Angeles Times. He has just recorded his one-man show with the Los Angeles Center Theater Group’s Kirk Douglas Theatre, which will stream on their digital stage in June. Congratulations, Alex, and thank you to retired theater professor, Mark Majarian, for sharing this news with us!

Cypress College recently announced our collaboration with Cal State Fullerton on a new 2+2+1 Accounting Degree, which provides guaranteed admission from Cypress College to CSUF in Accounting all the way through a master’s degree. This important pathway for our Business students was shared at our recent Commit2Cypress event and is highlighted here in the CSUF student newspaper. Congratulations to our Accounting instructors Ann Sheridan-Solis and Samreen Manjra, and to Dean Henry Hua for this landmark collaboration!

According to a recent report by Georgetown University, Cypress College ranks among state and national leaders for post-degree wages among California colleges offering associate degrees. Cypress College ranks 5th in median monthly earnings at $6,036, compared to the average earnings of associate-degree awardees in all California community colleges at $2,423. View the full report.

The Affordability, Food & Housing Access Taskforce has released a new white paper that examines the transportation challenges confronting community college students. Addressing Affordable Transportation Needs. Dr. Schilling authored this paper in collaboration with the taskforce, which highlights the challenges our students face due to the high cost of, or access to, reliable transportation. This new report provides tangible transportation solutions for college leaders to implement on their campuses and advocate for their students, with a spotlight on the work Cypress, Fullerton, and our OC region is doing in partnership with OCTA to address student transportation at our colleges.

Cypress College is proud to be sending a total of 88 students, faculty, and staff to the 2021 National Conference on Race and Equity (NCORE), the first week of June.  Fifty-two faculty, staff, and managers are attending along with 36 students — an all-time high. This amazing conference features national leaders speaking on issues of race, equity, sexual orientation, and diversity, and is one of the foremost conferences in the country addressing the inequities facing our students. Each participant will be required to participate in a professional development plan that will help us to continue to develop our Cypress College Equity Framework and infuse this important work with student and employee feedback. Thank you to Director of Equity and Success, Gisela Verduzco, SEA co-chair Alison Robertson, and Professional Development co-chairs, Ruth Gutierrez and Michael Brydges for their work recruiting and organizing participation in this years’ NCORE conference.

The annual Cypress College Students’ Show, Adaptive Vision II, includes works from students across all departments in the Fine Arts Division – Art, MAD, Theater, Dance, Music, and Journalism – presented in a 3D environment that visitors can “walk” around, viewing the works and clicking on them for more information. Visit this exhibition and see our student work.

We invite our Trustees to join us for a tour of our new Veterans Resource Center, Student Activities Center, and Science Engineering and Math buildings on June 21 or June 25. You have been sent a link to register for the tour of your choice, which can also be accessed here. You must be a member of our Board or of our Citizens Oversight Committee to access this invitation. General public tours will be available beginning in September. We look forward to seeing you and showcasing our two newest buildings!

Dr. Schilling will be joining the statewide CEO Executive Board, representing the Orange County colleges as part of Region 10; she begins her three-year term on June 18.

Finally, it is with great sadness that we share the untimely passing of Mark Eaton, our 2004 Outstanding Alumnus, a 2014 Cypress College Foundation Man of the Year, and a member of the Chargers Athletics Hall of Fame. Mark was a tireless supporter Cypress College and he will be missed. Read more about Mark’s incredible journey.

Buen Cypress, We Take This Journey Together!

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