President Schilling’s Board Report for January 24, 2023

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 January 24, 2023

Thank you to those who attended our Opening Day convocation at Cypress College. We heard an inspiring message from Robert Terenishi, Professor of Social Science and Comparative Education, Morgan and Helen Chu Endowed Chair in Asian American Studies, and co-director for the Institute for Immigration, Globalization and Education at UCLA. Dr. Teresnishi’s work is focused on the importance of disaggregating data to fully understand the success and challenges facing our AAPI students. He provided an important message about how we can support these students.

Enrollment continues to trend positively in comparison with last spring. Cypress is up 10% with a 75% fill rate in all classes; 85% in online courses. We continue to call students, send nudges when they miss their registration date, market on social media, add classes where needed, as well as encourage students through our Guided Pathway maps to take an additional class. We are feeling positive about seeing our students begin to return to our campus again.

The Cypress College Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee along with the Student Equity and Achievement Committee collaborated to host an Orange County Human Resources (OCHR) Mediation Training at Cypress the week of January 9-12. The DEI Committee has been working on a plan to train mediators across the District to help mitigate conflicts between employees, students, and staff. This first group of eleven, who participated in the training, will provide feedback on how we can improve and implement this positive approach to conflict.

Our Athletics Department has announced the Cypress College 2023 Hall of Fame class. Twelve Chargers will be inducted on May 11 in a semi-formal fundraising dinner at the college. They are: Vedda “Faith” Desatoff, Women’s Soccer; Jane Spect, Women’s Soccer; Bernice Orwig, Water Polo; Sloan Turner, Women’s Basketball; Koral King, Softball; Nicole Moojen, Softball; Craig Foster, Wrestling; John Bell, Football/Wrestling; Scott Tucker, Athletic Trainer; Josh Kliner, Baseball; Jeff Patterson, Baseball; Tyrone Branyan, Men’s Basketball.

Cypress College is participating in the Equity in Mental Health Initiative in partnership with The Steve Fund, completing a readiness self-assessment in December, and this month we will be participating in multiple student and employee listening sessions focused on students who are parents. We have been impressed with the level of coaching and support we have received from the Steve Fund and look forward to ramping up our services based on this feedback.

Please join us for Black History Month. This year’s theme is Black/African Americans in STEM and Selective CTE Programs.” The Legacy Program will be partnering with faculty in a series of important discussions highlighting the challenges to recruit and retain Black talent in STEM. LA Times columnist, Erika Smith, will also be joining us for a discussion of The Bruce’s Beach reparations controversy in Manhattan Beach, and the recent decision to sell the land back to the county. We are still finalizing the times, but here are the events and dates:

  • February 4 – Virtual Opening: Legacy, Nursing Mortuary Science and Computer Science
  • February 9 –  STEM Panel Discussion (STEM, SEM, Legacy)
  • February 21 – The Day of Expression (Fine Arts and Legacy)
  • February 22 – Erika Smith Lecture and Q&A
  • February 24 – Porch Talk (A2Mend and BSU)

Cypress College is pleased to host the next New Ventures Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans and Military Connected, on Thursday, February 23 through Saturday, February 25. This will be an opportunity to spotlight the Cypress College Veterans Resource Center (VRC), as we invite participation from our veterans and other allied organizations such as: the Tierney Center, our local military-affiliated organizations, Cal State Fullerton, and our local chambers.

Our architectural partner, LPA Design, featured Cypress College in their latest news magazine video. We appreciate the spotlight on our SEM Building and VRC, and the detailed analysis of how this building was designed, built, and currently serves students. Please take a look at this excellent presentation.

Our T-TEN Program continues to shine as Cypress College maintained the highest graduate count and lowest attrition rate in the nation for 2022, while our students received the most ASE pass rate awards from Toyota of all 36 programs across the country. Thanks to faculty Mike Klyde and Paul Kelley who continue to keep this program in the national conversation year after year.

Our Veterans program received a year-end appropriations grant from outgoing US Representative, Alan Lowenthal. This grant of $500,000 will augment the essential support services of counseling, tutoring, book vouchers, and other support materials to help our veterans succeed. We have been trying to support our growing veterans population, with a goal of serving our current 900 students to 1,500 veterans by 2024, so this new funding will help us make strides in achieving this goal. We are grateful to Rep. Lowenthal for his advocacy and support!

The Canadian film company, B&B, will be on campus January 30 to film their documentary on the work the campus is doing in Holocaust Education. They will be focused on Cliff Lester and his impactful work featured in the new Ursula Lowenbach Foster Holocaust Gallery, as well as interviewing others on campus, including students, about the importance of this work. Please Save the Date for our 2023 Yom HaShoah event on April 26.

After Student Trustee Kisha Mehta’s outstanding work during her service as an intern in the Governor’s office in the fall semester, Governor Newsom’s  office has reached out to Cypress College again, offering another internship spot to a Cypress student. We are currently recruiting students for this wonderful opportunity and thank Kisha for demonstrating the excellence of our students.

Cypress will be participating in the National Day of Racial Healing with the OCHR 2023 Dialogue Series.  OCHR offered its first dialogue on January 17, 2023, in partnership the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s, Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation efforts. Register with OCHR directly. Future 2023 Dialogue Series Topics and Dates are:

  • Indigenous Communities February 2 & 9
  • Black/African American Communities March 2 & 9
  • Latinx Communities April 6 & 13
  • Sikh Community as Part of the Asian Communities May 4 & 10

Congratulations to our Classified of the Year Awardees, announced during the Opening Day ceremony. This year’s winners, voted on by our Classified Senate are: Ayman Gadalla, Outstanding Student Engagement Award; Tori Felipe, Outstanding Collaboration with Colleagues Award; and the entire IT Team of Paul Hamblin, Mazen Itani, Ismat Kahlon, Andy Majdalawi, Troy McKeown, and Michael Land for their Outstanding Service to the Campus Community.

Buen Cypress! We Take This Journey Together!

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