President Schilling’s Board Report for April 26, 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 April 26, 2022

Cypress College is participating in the Healthy Minds Survey (HMS), which is currently available to all Cypress students. This survey, from American College Health Assn. and the Healthy Minds Network, has been assisting community colleges to collect mental health data since 2014.  We all know that mental health has become a challenge for each of us — and especially our students. Ninety-three percent of students rate mental health as a top request for services on campus (per HSACCC COVID Survey, April 2021). We also know that anxiety, stress, and depression are reported by 67% of community college students (SSCCC COVID Survey, May 2020). Students who report anxiety also report having to drop one or more courses (26%). The Healthy Minds Survey gives students an opportunity to voice their mental health needs and direct future mental health support for Cypress College. We appreciate Marla Mc Bride, Kristin Camacho, and our Health Center staff for administering this important survey on our campus.

Five Cypress College students participated in a Student Symposium, moderated by Student Trustee Meena Pandian and Associated Students President Sydney Pike. This 90-minute discussion included questions on what they liked about remote instruction, what challenges they have faced during the pandemic, and services the college has offered that have helped. There were varying opinions about the benefits and flexibility of online education as well as a clear desire for more events on campus to help them engage with others. Our free laptop and food distribution programs were overwhelming favorites. This was the first panel discussion on the topic of flexible course and service modalities and will be followed by multiple focus groups and a student survey which will be released before the end of the semester.

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and the Health Center has prepared activities for the Cypress campus community. Wellness Wednesday on April 20 from 12-1 p.m. will focus on how to discuss consensual sex, love language, and healthy boundaries. In addition, Active Minds and EOPS have come together to bring another Denim Day Resource Fair on April 27 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.  As in years past, we will have the Clothesline Project on campus to display t-shirts made by sexual assault survivors, as well as other community resources.

Cypress College is thrilled to be the recipient of a Rising Scholars Network grant from the Educational Services and Support Division of the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office. The grants were awarded to the colleges who could demonstrate the ability to meet diverse goals and regional needs for our formerly incarcerated students. The college received $148,000 which will be available to provide support to our students from July 1, 2022 – June 30, 2025. Thank you to Anne-Marie Beck for her efforts securing this application and to Lisa King for her assistance in guiding us and submitting this important grant.

April’s Student Services Spotlight is on Patrick Tuufuli, who came to Cypress in August of 2017 as an A&R Evaluator specialist. Patrick relies on a great team of evaluators who collectively have many years of experience, a wealth of knowledge, and inspire one another with their strong work ethics; together they keep the records part of Admissions and Records — and its various functions — moving forward. In the past two years, the evaluators have adapted and overcome challenges to keep the evaluation process vital for our students, and the result is a continued record number of students completing their degree. Patrick enjoys cooking and playing his guitar in his free time. We are grateful Patrick is at Cypress College!

World Fest took place on April 13, with 18 clubs and programs participating at a festival by our pond. Clubs and programs included Active Minds, ARCA-MCA, CalFresh, Disability Support Services, Black Student Union, FITE, Charger Experience, ASL Chargers, International Students, Veterans Center, Cheer, Puente, Campus Christians, Career Planning Center, Cypress Honors Club, Queer Straight Alliance, Financial Aid, and Pre-Med Association. Some examples of the countries represented included Italy, Taiwan, Cuba, France, Eritrea, South Korea, Peru, Greece, Sweden, and The Netherlands. There was a great turnout of over 200 students that interacted with the displays, enjoyed food together, and celebrated the experience of new and different cultures.

Our last Speech and Debate competition of the semester will be on Tuesday, April 26, 2022 at 4:30 p.m. The theme is “Spring Into Action.” Students will compete in two categories: persuasive speeches and performances, and argumentative photo essays (videos). Each category has a prize of $50 for the winners. Thank you to Jennifer Paige and Joshua House, our Speech and Debate faculty, for continuing to offer these competitions and open them up to the campus community.

Cypress College is pleased to announce our 2022 Presidential Scholars of Distinction. These nine students, chosen for their excellence in the classroom as well as overcoming challenges and adversity, are nominated and chosen by each division’s faculty, and will represent their academic pathway during commencement. They are: Rasha Jasim, Business/CIS; Dan Son Kim, CTE; Bradi Palomar, SEM; Justin Anthony Urquilla, Library/LRC; Abdul Millar, Fine and Performing Arts; Pauline Lim, Health Sciences; William Deiro, Kinesiology/Athletics; Krystal Kosacki, Language Arts; Mireya Alt, Social Sciences. Associated Students also named our Outstanding Graduate of the Year who was also Bradi Palomar. Congratulations to all these scholars!

Support Cypress College on Amazon Smile. The Cypress College Foundation has begun our annual scholarship application process. Students can now apply online, and last year we doubled the number of students applying and receiving scholarships. You can also support our Foundation by putting your Amazon purchases to work toward a good cause by designating the Cypress College Foundation as your charity of choice. The Cypress College Foundation supports students through scholarships, emergency assistance, book loans, and more.

The college will be kicking off Cypress College Black Success Week with Mental Health Monday (April 18, 2022) and an HBCU Mini-Conference (April 20, 2022). In addition to the raffles and participation in the daily webinars the week of April 25-28, there will be also be a special installment of Mental Health Monday featuring speaker King Carlos Martin who will be talking about microaggressions, racial trauma, and healing through storytelling. Thank you to LaRon Armstead, Regina Rhymes, and our Transfer Center for putting these events together!

The Counseling Division will be hosting its spring High School Counselor’s Breakfast on April 26 from 8–9:30 a.m. This annual event invites our high school partners to come and hear updates from the college as well as brainstorm ways to partner on behalf of our students. We look forward to a great turnout on campus after hosting the past two breakfasts virtually.

Buen Cypress! We Take This Journey Together!

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