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

The Chargers started the playoffs with both women’s and men’s basketball teams competing this year. Men’s Basketball team, led by Head Coach Drew Alhadeff and assistant coach Jordan Hamamoto, beat Long Beach City College on Wednesday, February 22 and traveled to Citrus College, where they lost in a close game on February 25. Women’s Basketball, led by Head Coach Brittany Imaku and assistant coach Margaret Mohr, played their first game against Ventura on Saturday, February 25, winning in a close come-from-behind contest, and then traveled to take on Moorpark College, where they won on March 4, to move forward in the Elite 8. They now travel to West Hills for the state championships, competing against Butte College on March 10-12 in single elimination games. They are already winners and we are #CYProud. Go Chargers!

Our annual Americana Awards was a great success and we thank all of you who attended this year’s gala at The Disneyland Hotel on March 11. Over 600 guests attended and this year; for the first time, we had two students emcee the event! Thank you to our hardworking Foundation staff, Howard Kummerman, Rachel Ghatikar, Lesley-Anne Loon, and Victor Jimenez, for the countless hours they put in to prepare and implement this wonderful event. And we thank the many volunteers and donors who made this event the success it was.

Our first weekend of Beauty and the Beast was performed in the Campus Theater on March 10, 11, and 12. You still have time to bring your friends and family to the closing weekend on March 17, 18 at 7 p.m., and March 19 at 4 p.m. Don’t miss this fabulous family-friendly show. Tickets can be purchased at

Student Services Spotlight is on Luu Xuan Tran this month. Luu began her career first as an FWS student while attending Cypress, and then moved to a Special Projects Coordinator of Student Success and Support Program at Cypress in 2015, after graduating UC Riverside with a BA in accounting. In 2018, Luu became the Program Budget Coordinator of SSSP and since January 2020 she served as the Administrative Assistant maintaining daily operations in the Express Counseling Center, and supporting the counseling center, faculty, staff, students and the public. Luu accomplished all this while continuing her work as SEA budget officer to provide support to the Charger Experience Program. Luu always tries to provide the customer service she wishes others would provide to her and we can all say Luu’s presence working with Charger Experience changes lives daily. Thank you, Luu!

Our Foundation staff has begun an investment newsletter with plenty of great tips about planned giving and ways to give back to our student scholarships. The Gift Legacy email is generated on a weekly basis and always has interesting and useful information. If you wish to receive this weekly email, please sign up here: E-Newsletter Sign Up Link. If you have any additional questions about our Legacy Society program or planned giving options, please reach out to Foundation Executive Director Howard Kummerman to get started.

Yom HaShoah will be held on April 26 at 7 p.m. in our Campus Theater; tickets are selling fast so we encourage you to register now if you plan on attending. This year’s featured speaker will be Joe Alexander, a 100-year-old survivor of 12 concentration camps. Although general admission tickets are free, special VIP tickets are available with a donation to our Holocaust Education Fund. For more details or to register, please visit our Yom HaShoah webpage.

Cypress College Art Gallery invites you to a behind-the-scenes look at the extraordinary inventiveness and skill that go into creating a front-of-house spectacle! This two-person exhibition, SUPER MAKERS, showcases costumes, case studies, photographs, videos, and artifacts from the careers of Stacia Lang and Michael Philpot, whose storied credits include Spiderman, Superman, Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Amazing Race, the New York City Ballet, Billy Idol, Trisha Paytas, Dolly Parton, and Prince – to name just a few. The exhibition runs from March 2-April 7 and the Gallery is open Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. or by appointment.

Theater Arts student, Chrisna Chhor, has a supporting role in the independent film, The Harvest, which premiered this month at the Santa Barbara Film Festival. Its next stop will be the Phoenix film festival, where it is the “official selection of 2023.” Keep an eye on this rising talent from Cypress College!

As part of our continued reengagement and outreach plan, Cypress hosted two fantastic events on campus in the past two weeks for our area high school students: On March 1, our Auto Technology department hosted the Automotive Skills Challenge & Career Fair. Over 300 high school students came to tour the campus, have lunch, and compete in the skills challenge (won by Loara High School!) Orange County Auto Dealers Association (OCADA) and other vendors attended to provide prizes, funding, and support students on their journey. Thank you to Russell Bacarella for organizing with the support of our automotive faculty and Interim Dean, Margaret Fernandez.

On March 6, our Fine Arts Department hosted the High School Arts Experience, attended by over 400 high school students. They were treated to music and theater performances, tours by our student ambassadors, and an introduction to the excitement of studying and participating in the arts at Cypress College. Thank you to Dean Kellori Dower for conceiving this event and to our faculty and staff who helped make it happen.

Cypress College’s Engineering Faculty Massoud Saleh is a key partner in the Mechatronics Apprenticeship Program Partners (MAP2), which was established by Festo Didactic in partnership with DIAG USA and the Orange County Regional Consortium to address the workforce skills gap in Advanced Manufacturing. MAP2 CA is designed to equip individuals with advanced manufacturing skills while earning an associate degree in mechatronics. This program, which is based on German workforce development, is an excellent opportunity for our students who are accepted for an internship with participating employers because the employer covers the cost of education, provides secure employment for two years with a starting pay rate of $20/hour where the students can gain precious hands-on experience at major manufacturing companies with the possibility of relocating across the U.S. and even overseas. At this time, only two students from the entire region of participating colleges (Saddleback, IVC, Orange Coast, Fullerton, Santiago Canyon, and Cypress College) were accepted to this competitive internship program, and they were both from Cypress College! Devin Armendariz will be interning at Oakley, and Jose Covarrubias will be an intern at Architas. Thank you to Professor Saleh for his work preparing our students for this opportunity.

Buen Cypress! We Take This Journey Together!

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