President Schilling’s Board Report for March 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 March 8, 2022

As we approach the midpoint of our spring semester, we begin to look ahead to what our campus will be like in a post-pandemic world. Although much is unclear, the one thing we do know is that higher education will be different. At Cypress there are many conversations occurring about what students most need, and these are the discussions that need to happen to better address how we will serve students. We are planning a Student Symposium in April and our researchers are working to provide a Districtwide survey for students to inform us how they have changed during this pandemic. We look forward to preparing for this new future of higher education, and how we communicate the importance of attaining a college education to current and future students.

The Cypress College Sustainability Committee is busy planning our Earth Day activities the week of April 18-22. We will be showing an outdoor screening of Biggest Little Farm, a documentary which chronicles eight years of The Chester Family as they attempt to create a sustainable farm. The event will include free picnic blankets to all in attendance and a plant-based BBQ. Also planned that week will be a virtual panel discussion on the relationship between what we eat and our own mental and physical wellness, led by our Wellness Collaborative. We will be sharing more details soon but hope you will join us!

Congratulations to STEM Scholar, Bradi Palomarez, who was accepted to participate in a 10-week (in-person) Physics research program at Boston University this summer. The goal of the program is to foster long-term undergraduate interest and success in physics and related fields by developing student technical skills and showcasing rewarding career opportunities. The program is particularly interested in supporting students from community colleges who often have limited research opportunities. Bradi will be mentored by a faculty member from Boston University, provided with on-campus housing, and awarded a stipend of $5,515 at the end of her program.

Our Dance and Theater departments will be hosting several upcoming productions on campus this semester. Please mark your calendars so you can attend!

  • HAIR — March 11, 12, 18, 19 at 7 p.m.; and March 13 at 4 p.m.
  • Our Lady of 121st Street — April 8, 9, 22, 23 at 7 p.m.; and April 10 & 24 at 4 p.m.
  • People in Motion (Dance) — May 13, 14 at 7 p.m.; and May 15 at 4 p.m.

Cypress College Associated Students hosted a Spring Social and Club Rush Event on March 2 from 11:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. in the Cypress College Gateway Plaza. They grilled burgers, served Joe’s Italian Ice, and hosted a petting zoo, games, and much more! It was a well-attended event and opportunity to enjoy some good food, and interact with students and staff. Congratulations to our Associated Students, AS President Sydney Pike, and Student Trustee Meena Pandian, for putting on a great event.

Our Speech and Debate Program held their first competition for the semester – Speak From The Heart: Topics Important to Students, on March 1 from 4:30-5:30 p.m.

Our thanks go to our nursing faculty for offering clinical opportunities for students at St. Joseph Infusion Center — the only community college at this site! Dr. Thu Pham, Interim DON, sent over sandwiches to show appreciation for the 20+ staff providing oversight for our students. Students are able to learn how to use an IV, access a chemo port, and other specialized work at the center. Two students who participated recently, Julie Hong and Andres Vale, shared the importance of this experience, stating, “it was a learning medium that exemplified proper communication amongst the clinicians involved, candid, therapeutic communication, and shared, evidence-based, critical decision-making.” We are grateful to Dr. Pham, Shinah Ji, and all of our nursing faculty for the many ways they support and innovate on behalf of our students.

Cypress College, led by International Students Program Director, Yongmi Han, has been working with county organizations to provide support for our local Afghan community and prospective students who are interested in attending college at Cypress. In an effort to provide guidance on the documents required to attend college as an international student, Director Han and Dr. Schilling have met with representatives from Supervisor Foley’s office, Senator Newman’s Office, and the President of Uplift Charity, as well as the Islamic Center of Fullerton, all of whom are providing support for the Afghan refugee community. We are hopeful to provide opportunities, as well as scholarship support to Afghan students who are eager to come to the U.S. to study.

Please mark your calendars for this year’s Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Day of Remembrance. On Yom HaShoah, and every other day of the year, we remember those who lost their lives in the Holocaust, and have the opportunity to learn from those who survived and honor those who risked their lives, livelihoods, and families to aid the Jewish people. These survivors demonstrate the resilience of the human spirit and that inclusiveness and diversity are our strength. This year the main program will be held on April 20 at 7 p.m. in the Campus Theater. At 4 p.m. we will also have a special dedication of our new Ursula Lowenbach Holocaust Memorial Gallery. We hope you will join us for both of these important and deeply affirming events.

Dr. Schilling had the opportunity to attend the A2MEND Conference at the LAX Hilton Hotel on March 3, as well as serve as a reader at San Marino Elementary School in Buena Park as part of National Read Across America Day. This year’s event was held virtually and she had the pleasure of sharing an hour with a class of eager third graders.

Dr. Schilling also attended the annual CEO Symposium, held in San Diego on March 3-6. Dr. Breland, as President of our statewide CEO Board, hosted the event, and Dr. Schilling participated on a DEI discussion panel about the work being accomplished at Cypress College. Finally, she served as Vice Chair of an ACCJC peer-review team for Folsom Lake College/Los Rios District the week of February 21-25.

Congratulations again to our Classified Awardees! At this year’s Opening Day we honored three classified honorees for exhibiting excellence in their work. The awardees were Summer Justice, Disability Student 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. We finally had the opportunity to officially present them with their awards on Monday, February 28.

Buen Cypress! We Take This Journey Together!

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