President Schilling’s Board Report for February 28, 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 28, 2023

Last October, over 100 Cypress staff and students attended the All-Campus Lake Arrowhead retreat to discuss the future of teaching and learning at Cypress College. After pulling together the rich discussion over a two-day period, four major themes emerged: Physical Spaces and Resources, Remote Spaces and Resources, Socioemotional Care and Sense of Belonging, and College-wide Structures and Processes. One February 6, the attendees reconvened to continue discussion on all four themes, which has been shared with the District Flexible Workgroup. We also plan to include some of this work in the College’s Quality Focus Essay (QFE) for our upcoming accreditation ISER. We look forward to sharing this work and our ideas with you over the next year as we continue to discuss, refine, and implement.

Please join us on February 28 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. for our inaugural International Culture Festival. The purpose of this all-day festival is to showcase and celebrate the rich diversity of cultures, ethnicities, and traditions in our community and around the world. The events will include a variety of ethnic and cultural booths, world dance and music performances by Cypress College students, a fashion show, cooking demonstrations and tasting samples of international cuisine prepared by our own culinary department, and DEI-themed films and slide presentations at the planetarium (IDC). Participating programs include: Fine Arts Division, Culinary Arts, Astronomy, ESL, Anthropology, Library, SWANA, Puente Program, Legacy Program, Queer-Straight Alliance, and the Study Abroad Program, among others. All Cypress College students, staff and faculty, neighboring high school students, and the surrounding community are welcome.

We are excited to announce that math professor, Sarah DeMartino, will be the 2023 Orange County Teacher of the Year Awardee from Cypress. Sarah has been at the college for four years and this award is no surprise to those of us who know her. Professor DeMartino taught at Pacifica High School for 12 years and was named Teacher of the Year at Pacifica before coming to Cypress. She is described by her peers as someone who doesn’t just teach math: she teaches her students how to learn. Each year our students vote for the professor they believe makes the most impact on student lives and we all agree that Ms. Martino exemplifies what this award is meant to honor. The ceremony will be held in October at the Disneyland Hotel. Congratulations, Sarah!

Dr. Schilling will be the keynote speaker at the Cerritos College Women’s History Month event on March 6 at 11 a.m. The theme of the 2023 WHM is Providing Healing, Promoting Hope” and Dr. Schilling’s talk will focus on what women in leadership positions have gained and progress that still needs to be made in a presentation titled “We Reach the Top Together.”

Dr. Schilling will also be providing the keynote at the Cypress Chamber monthly breakfast on March 14 at 7:30 a.m. She will be looking back at her six years at the college and the experience of being a part of the Cypress community. The monthly speaker series is held at the Residence Inn on Katella.

The Chargers start the playoffs with both women’s and men’s basketball teams competing this year. Men’s Basketball team playoffs kicked it off Wednesday, February 22, at 7 p.m. and Women’s Basketball played their first playoff game on Saturday, February 25, at 7p.m. Winners move on to road games on March 4. Go Chargers!

Congratulations to EOPS student Samantha Arroyo, the Cypress College winner of the annual Cypress Schools Every Student Succeeding Award. This award goes to a student in every grade level of the Cypress school community from K-12, and for the last three years, they have included Cypress College. The awards go to individuals who have overcome great adversity to succeed. Samantha is a single mother of two who has not let life’s difficulties get in the way of her aspirations. She has maintained a GPA of above 3.8, and is a role model to her children and all single mothers who face similar challenges. This year the breakfast to honor these students will be held at the Cypress Community Center on March 2 at 7:30 a.m. and it is always an inspiring morning in celebration of our students’ resilience. Bring your tissues because there won’t be a dry eye in the house! Congratulations to Samantha and runner up, Puentista, Azusena Zamarippa.

Our alum Michael Yoshinaga completed an AT-S in film and focused on motion design in his studies while at Cypress. He received an internship last spring at Character Media — a media company focusing on Asians in Entertainment — through our MAD internship class. Michael created motion design pieces for the “Unforgettable Gala” at Beverly Hills using his motion design education. The Unforgettable Gala occurs every December in celebration of Asian Americans in entertainment. We are so proud of Michael and of our Media Arts Design (MAD) program, led by faculty member Kati Angelov.

Our annual Americana Awards is fast approaching and we look forward to seeing you at The Disneyland Hotel on March 11. We are off to our best pre-event sponsorships in years and eager to exceed last year’s outstanding fundraising. Thank you for supporting Cypress College students at our biggest scholarship  fundraising event of the year.

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; .and Mr. Burns – A Post Electric Play, which 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 at

The Career Closet Donation Drive is accepting donations of professional clothing for students of all genders and sizes. The Career Closet will be providing Cypress College students with a FREE professional outfit each academic year. The professional clothing available are graciously donated in gently used or new condition. Suits, skirts, blouses, ties, slacks, dress shirts, blazers, and dresses for men and women in all sizes are needed. Please be sure the styles are current and that all clothing has been cleaned before donating. To donate, please come to the CPC on the 2nd Floor of the Student Center Monday–Thursday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Career Planning Center is also hosting several career workshops and events this semester. Thank you to Career Center Coordinator, Angela Sardan, and her team for these great offerings.

The college is also partnering with Babson College Literacy Project to offer Financial Literacy workshops for all students, as part of our HSI Title V grant. Financial Literacy has been identified as one of the biggest barriers to completing college and future success, and Cypress has been collaborating with Babson for over a year. These important workshops are required for all Charger Experience students and we are ramping up to make this a part of our Guided Pathways student success workshops going forward.

Buen Cypress! We Take This Journey Together!

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