HACU Leadership Academy Selects Three Cypress College Leaders for Fellowship Cohort of 25

For Immediate Release

September 2, 2021

Contact: Marc Posner

(714) 484-7006

Three of the 25 higher education leaders selected as HACU Leadership Academy fellows are from Cypress College — more than any other institution in the United States. The announcement was made earlier today by the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities.

The three Cypress College leaders are Yanet Garcia Padilla, AnnMarie Ruelas, and Gisela Verduzco. They have been accepted as fellows into a program designed to increase diverse representation in executive and senior-level positions in higher education.

“We are proud of these three amazing leaders,” said Cypress College President JoAnna Schilling, Ph.D. “Their leadership has already improved the success of thousands of students, and we know the HACU Leadership Academy will further improve their opportunities for professional advancement and for the benefit of the students they serve. Cypress College is incredibly proud to have three fellows selected, more than any other institution in the nation. We believe this speaks to the commitment to support our employees and students as a Hispanic-Serving Institution.”

The Leadership Academy (La Academia de Liderazgo) is a one-year fellowship open to “talented individuals who aspire to leadership positions at Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) and Emerging HSIs,” according to HACU (please see accompanying HACU news release).

Padilla is Cypress College’s Director of Educational Partnerships and Programs for the (STEM)2 Program. She launched this program in support of underserved students in the STEM fields in 2012 and has overseen its growth, which now includes oversight of a $4.1 million grant.

Ruelas is the Director of Cypress College’s EOPS/CARE, CalWORKs, Guardian Scholars & Grads to Be programs — a group of services providing support to first-generation students, single parents, emancipated foster care students, students without residency documentation, and returning adults, among others. She moved into the position on an interim basis in 2017 and was selected for the permanent position in 2018.

Verduzco is the Director of Student Equity and Success. She started at Cypress College as an adjunct counselor and was later promoted to interim Director of the Student Success and Support Program in 2018 before moving into her current role in 2020. She has responsibility for the college’s Promise Program — known as the Charger Experience Program — and outreach events such as New Student Welcome Night and Commit2Cypress. Verduzco was also responsible for the implementation of Cypress College’s multiple measures and guided self-placement (AB 705).

About Cypress College:

Cypress College offers students a pathway to their future in an environment in which employees commit to joining students on their educational journey. The college’s half-million-plus alumni include actors, athletes, doctors, executives, mechanics, nurses, and teachers. For some, Cypress College is the ticket into their university of choice, and for others, it provides essential training for a prosperous career. Just one Cypress College class is often all it takes to provide cutting-edge skills that lead to a promotion or a new job.

Cypress College’s 16,000 students and the highly qualified teaching faculty are proud of the many excellent academic and vocational programs. Cypress College provides a pathway for each of our students, offering 56 university-transfer majors, 174 career-certificate programs, and degrees in 98 areas of study. The college’s traditional semesters begin in January and August, while short-term courses start throughout the year. A Cypress College education costs $46 per unit — $138 for a typical, full-credit class — California’s lowest tuition. Eligible first-time students qualify for free tuition through Cypress College’s Charger Experience promise program. Financial aid and scholarships are also available to qualifying students.

Cypress College is one of three campuses in the North Orange County Community College District and a member of the 116-campus California Community College system. The college primarily serves the cities of Anaheim, Buena Park, Cypress, Garden Grove, La Palma, Los Alamitos, Seal Beach, and Stanton.

Located at 9200 Valley View Street in Cypress, the college is easily accessible from several Southern California freeways, including the 5, 91, 605, 22, and 405. The campus is just a stone’s-throw from Downtown Disney and Knott’s Berry Farm.

In response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, Cypress College’s instruction and services are now offered both in person on campus and in an online/remote format. Students can access support services online at cypresscollege.edu/coronavirus.


%d bloggers like this: