President Schilling’s Board Report for September 14, 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 September 14, 2021

Although we are well underway with the fall semester, I want to thank our student services team and academic leaders for hosting our 2021 Virtual New Student Welcome Night and helping our students get off to a positive start. On August 20, over 650 students and their families tuned in to our Livestream for the Main Session and participated in the breakout sessions with Student Services and Academic Programs. Our support teams continue to be there to reassure and answer all of our students’ questions about the upcoming semester. Thank you to Gisela Verduzco, Pryscilla Truong, Paul de Dios, and all our Academic and Student Services deans, staff, and faculty for participating in this important event!

We are proud to announce that Yanet Garcia Padilla, AnnMarie Ruelas, and Gisela Verduzco have been accepted as fellows into the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) Leadership Academy/La Academia de Liderazgo Fellowship Program — a program designed to increase diverse representation in executive and senior-level positions in higher education. Three of the 25 higher education leaders selected are from Cypress College — more than any other institution in the United States. The one-year fellowship is 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). Congratulations to each of these dynamic leaders!

Cypress College will be hosting a Bystander Intervention Training on September 30, 2021 3–4:30 p.m. This training will be held for all Cypress College students, faculty, and staff. The Bystander Intervention Training will address specific strategies that can used to intervene on behalf of others who are targets of harassment, disrespect, and other racist attacks, either in person or online. Individuals who undergo the one-hour interactive training will learn the five D’s – distract, delegate, document, delay, and direct – and how to prioritize their own safety while intervening. The training, organized by Paul de Dios and Pryscilla Truong, is in response to this spring’s spike in anti-Asian hate incidents post-COVID. Attendees will also learn about the AAPI experience in the Southern California region and will empower individuals to make a meaningful difference as allies to AAPI friends, colleagues, and neighbors.

September is National Suicide Prevention Month and the Cypress College Health Center is committed to educating and raising awareness, as well as advocating for mental health services and resources to help break the stigma surrounding mental health. This year, the college took another step forward by establishing an Active Minds chapter on our campus. Active Minds is a national nonprofit organization leading the way for mental health awareness, through education and suicide prevention for young adults. They are active on over 800 college campuses and are now in high schools and even the workplace.

To further our goals to support the wellness of our students, the Health Center will be piloting new Mental Telehealth services for students, which allows for unlimited mental health counseling for our LGBTQ, veterans, athletics, EOPS, Legacy, Puente, and DSS students this fall. Our goal is to expand this service across the campus in spring. Please see the following events from the Health Center this month:

  • “S Word” Film Screening on Wednesday, September 1 @ 4-6 p.m.
  • World Suicide Prevention Day: Mental Health First-Aid and Self-Care Techniques with Dr. Erica Gergely on Friday, September 10
  • “Wake Up” Film Screening on Tuesday, September 14 @ 3-5 p.m.
  • Wellness Wednesday – Sorting Out Chaos: Accessing Our Mental Health Resources on Wednesday, September 22 @ 12-1 p.m.
  • A Collaborative Workshop with Active Minds, Integrative Wellness Club, and the Cypress Wellness Collaborative on Wednesday, September 29 @ 4-6 p.m.

Our student laptop program is underway with the first 2000 free laptops going to students in our Legacy, Puente, Veterans, Athletics, EOPS, the Charger Experience, and STEM(2) Programs. Another 1000 laptops will be arriving soon for Phase Two of this important technology program. In the meantime, any student may request a free Chromebook from our L/LRC.

Tyler University faculty member George Rodriguez reached out to Cypress Ceramics chair, Molly Schulps, to participate in a Cup Exchange Project between Cypress and Tyler students. Each student will be paired with another student and then will ship their cups to each other and have a meet up on Zoom. We can’t wait to see what they will create! Please check out Craft in America, Storytellers featuring George Rodriguez, for more on this project.

In other news, one of our Cypress College students, Saul Nieto, was featured in a profile by EdSource on community college students who are making the most of federal aid support during the pandemic. Saul received two emergency grants from our campus during the spring semester totaling $1050. He shares his story in this linked article.

Upcoming Events

Save the date!  The Grand Opening of the new Veterans Resource Center and SEM building has been set for October 19, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Look for invitations with more information coming soon. Also, on the calendar is our November 10 Veterans Day fundraising event beginning at 5 p.m. and hosted by the Cypress College Foundation. Details to come!

Our Disabilities Student Support (DSS) team will host a virtual “Drop-In with DSS!” one day each month during the fall semester. Please pop in and out during the hour or stay for the entire session to hear what your colleagues are asking! September 8, October 12, November 10, December 2, all from 12-1 p.m.

Save the Date! The 36th Annual Cypress College Foundation Golf Classic will be held on October 25 at the Los Coyotes Country Club. Come for a day of golf or join us for the dinner/banquet as we raise funds to support scholarships for Cypress College students.

Here are the upcoming events featured during our Hispanic Heritage Month. We hope you will be able to join us for all or some of these wonderful convenings celebrating the contributions of our Latinx community in our lives and institutions.

Buen Cypress! We Take This Journey Together!

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