President Schilling’s Board Report for February 14, 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 February 14, 2023

Happy Valentine’s Day! And for some sweet news, congratulations to our Financial Aid teams across the District for being awarded the ACE Bank Mobile Disbursement Award for 2022. Only 200 colleges and universities in the nation were recognized and NOCCCD, including Cypress and Fullerton Colleges, was among only 20 community college districts in California to be recognized for this honor. The criteria for the award were having more than 90% of all awards being distributed electronically and over 40% of students complete the refund process. This takes a tremendous effort from our Financial Aid Team, so I want to acknowledge their hard work, and special thanks to Director Gabriela de la Cruz and Coordinator Nai Hilo for working behind the scenes and emailing students when their funds are returned and assisting them to select a Bank Mobile refund preference, Chris West for monitoring the Bank Mobile fraudulent report, and Chelsea Truong for creating our semester kick-off letters that remind students to select a refund preference. Congratulations and thank you to all!

The Orange County Theatre guild has recognized several of our students and adjunct faculty for their professional work this season. Recent theater alum Sophia Barajas and current musical theater student Angie Chavez are nominated for their supporting roles in American Idiot and Next to Normal at The Chance Theatre. Adjunct professor Bradley Lock is nominated for his costume design work on American Idiot, also at the Chance Theatre. Adjunct professor Marcie Alberti is nominated for her costume and makeup designs for The Toxic Avenger at Wayward Artist Theatre. Adjunct professor Keenah Armitage is also nominated for her choreography on The Toxic Avenger. Last, but not least, adjunct professor Gabrielle Maldonado is nominated twice for a musical direction on Next to Normal and Little Women at the Chance Theatre. Winners will be announced April 27, 2023, at the ceremony held at Segerstrom Center for the Arts. Congratulations to our amazing faculty and students!

And while we are bragging about our illustrious alumni and talented faculty, technical theater alum Dylan Jackson has accepted a position as stage manager at The Public Theatre in New York. And recent theater arts graduate Kevin Aguilar has accepted a position as a lighting technician at South Coast Repertory Theatre in Costa Mesa.

Please mark your calendars for our upcoming productions of Beauty and the Beast  to be performed in the Campus Theater on March 10, 11, 17, and 18 at 7 p.m. and March 12 and 19 at 4 p.m. Mr. Burns – A Post Electric Play will be performed in the studio theater on April 12, 22, 28, 29 at 7 p.m. and April 23 and 30 at 4 p.m. Tickets can be purchased here.

Congratulations to our STEM(2) Program for successfully being awarded a $1.5 million Mathematics, Engineering, and Science Achievement (MESA) Program Award grant for the next five years. Thank you to STEM(2) Director Yanet Padilla, Interim Dean David Vakil, Director of District Grants Lisa King, and our SEM faculty who submitted this exceptional application. This funding will allow us to expand our excellent STEM(2) program in support of students not traditionally represented in the sciences.

STEM(2) will be hosting two separate orientations this semester. The first will be taking place for returning STEM Scholars on Friday, February 10, 2023, from 9 to 11 a.m. The second will take place for all new STEM Scholars on Friday, February 24, 2023, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in GYM I. We are creating a sense of belonging for these scholars and thrilled to welcome them back on campus for the spring semester.

This month’s Student Services Spotlight is on Jennifer Jennings, a CalWORKs student services specialist. In August 2022, Jennifer joined the Cypress College team and enjoys assisting her CalWORKs colleagues guide our student-parents on a successful journey at Cypress College. As a CalWORKs alumni, Jennifer understands the challenges our students face in navigating college and enjoys giving back to the program that once helped her on her own journey. Thank you, Jennifer, for joining the Cypress team!

Cypress College will be participating in the #RealCollegeCaliforniaCoalition student survey in March. This assessment of food and housing insecurity among our students, will be the first undertaking of this new coalition, replacing the Temple University/Hope Center survey in 2018. In addition, Cypress is in the process of enlarging our Basic Needs Center and food pantry to provide more access, services, and expand our fresh food options for students. Thank you to Student Activities Director David Okawa, Jay Shonkwiler, and VPSS Dr. Paul de Dios for this important expansion.

February is American Heart Month, so our Health Center will be sponsoring a “Healthy Heart Walk 2023” every Tuesday in February at 11 a.m. Join us for this 15-minute walk around the pond. We are also trying to raise the awareness of our new “Rad Care/MH Resources 2023” which stands for: Reach Out. Ask for Help. Do Something. This past year, the Health Center has added multiple mental health services, a racial trauma counselor, Protocall – a 24/7 resource line where students can talk to a real person at all hours – and renewing our Wellness Wednesdays program every week on a new topic from 12-12:30 p.m. in the Health Center. Thank you to Anna Spencer-Lonetti, Krista Chavez-Camacho, and Director Marla McBride for stepping up to serve the mental health of our students.

Please join us for our Black History Month activities on Feb 6, Feb 9, Feb 21 and Feb 22. This year’s theme focuses on Black Professionals in STEM fields, with a special discussion on race and reparations led by LA Times columnist Erika D. Smith on Feb 22, 2023. See a full calendar of events, dates and times.

Cypress College Veterans Resource Center is proud to host the next Centers for Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans and Military Connected families February 23-25, 2023.

Buen Cypress! We Take This Journey Together!

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