President Schilling’s Board Report for February 8, 2022

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 8, 2022

During the first two weeks of the semester, we welcomed over 2500 students back to campus, mainly in Health Sciences; Fine Arts; Science, Engineering & Math; Kinesiology/Athletics; and our CTE programs. Due to some shifts in student demand and pandemic-related scheduling, we now anticipate 27% of our classes will be fully on-campus this semester, 13% delivered in a hybrid modality, and 60% will remain online. Faculty, staff, and managers have been on campus to serve new and continuing students, and additional staff return this week when we will double our on-campus student population. Our Campus Safety teams, M&O, and IT staffs have been holding our campus together during the past two years with determination, kindness, and hard work. We can never fully thank them for all they have done, and continue to do, for our entire campus community. We are looking forward to seeing more students and employees on our campus this week.

We know the start of a semester can be overwhelming for our students so, to assist our students in navigating the beginning of the new semester, our Communications Team put together a handy checklist of tips, services, important dates, and FAQs to help guide students through the first few weeks of the semester. Visit Spring Semester Central, or click on the links below to view student communications with helpful information provided prior to the start of the semester.

Dr. Schilling was able to attend the annual CSEA Installation Ceremony on January 29, along with our classified professionals and Presidents Contreras and Purtell. Celebrating their installation as CSEA officers, and representing Chapter 167, were Pamela Spence, Summer Marquandt, Monica Hagmaier, Belinda Allan, and Melissa Serrato. State President Shane Dishman provided the keynote speech and raffled off Anthony Rendon socks! Thank you to our CSEA officers for your service to our District.

Congratulations to our Cypress College Classified Awardees! At this year’s Opening Day we honored three classified professionals for exhibiting excellence in their work. Overall there were 36 extremely worthy nominees, but three rose to the top with multiple nominations. They are: Summer Justice, Disability Support Services (DSS) for Student Engagement; Evelyn Lindley, Title V Grant support, for Collaboration with Colleagues; and Ernesto Dominguez, Health Sciences, for Service to the Campus Community. Each of these winners received a beautiful plaque, as well as a check for $500, courtesy of Schools First. We were honored to celebrate them for their service to our campus community. Congratulations to Summer, Ernesto, and Evelyn and to all our nominees!

Our (STEM) ² Program is now an approved partner in collaboration with Chapman University for the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship in Earth and Environmental Sciences (SURFEES). The NSF-REU-sponsored program will annually provide 10-15 students from selected community colleges with the opportunity to engage in faculty-mentored research projects.  Participants will earn a $4,800 fellowship award and are provided with on-campus housing at Chapman University for eight weeks, professional development workshops, seminars, and a concluding research poster presentation and commencement ceremony.

Cypress College was proud to be represented in the #RealCollegeCA Basic Needs Summit on February 4. Cypress College EOPS student, Mireya Alt, served on a student panel speaking about her experience with homelessness and food insecurity. Mireya is a current EOPS/CARE & CalWORKs student and struggled with housing, but has now found housing for herself and her three young sons. She is also a work-study student with Admissions and Records and a former Soroptimist scholarship recipient. Mireya worked closely with our CalWORKs counselor Christina Barrios and specialist Briceyda Maldonado, who assisted her in navigating, advocating, and obtaining permanent housing with Project Self-Sufficiency and the Family Crisis Center through referrals from the CalWORKs office. Mireya also utilizes the campus food pantry on a regular basis. We are proud of Mireya and grateful to hear her story of hope and resilience.

Cypress was also featured in a Washington Post article focused on the challenges students face in balancing work, their basic needs, and striving to complete their education. LIFE student Tony Williams was interviewed about the challenges he has faced as a college student trying to make ends meet and how the college has helped him along his journey. We are awed by the courage and resilience exhibited by our students and proud they are willing to share their stories.

To kick off Black History Month, the Cypress College Professional Development Committee, in tandem with the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee, co-sponsored a special workshop on Post-Traumatic Slavery Syndrome (PTSS) featuring Dr. Joy De Gruy on Friday, February 4.

Dr. De Gruy is a national speaker, advocate, and author. Those in attendance were inspired by her passion and insights. Thank you to our Black History organizers and to Professional Development coordinators Ruth Gutierrez and Michael Brydges for bringing her to our campus.

Kudos Cards have arrived at Cypress College! We were in the process of launching this campaign of appreciation in the spring of 2020, but due to the pandemic, they were never fully implemented across campus. So they are receiving a relaunch and we are asking employees to acknowledge the work of their colleagues by sending them kudos that reflect the values of our college. Each card represents one of the college values of Excellence, Integrity, Collegiality, Inclusiveness, and Equity. So send a kudos to someone who makes a difference, and thanks for all you do!

Buen Cypress! We Take This Journey Together!

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