President Schilling’s Board Report for June 13, 2013

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 June 13, 2023

Although we are slowing down from the end-of-year magic, we are also taking advantage of the summer months to develop productive partnerships with our community in support of our students. In the past few weeks, Cypress College has had the honor to host multiple community events on campus. In addition to providing administrative space on our campus for the Cypress Chamber of Commerce, and employing a staff member from Pathways of Hope to support our basic needs on campus, Cypress is also now entering into a partnership with the Boys and Girls Club of Cypress/Anaheim, which will occupy a new space on our CCCPLX 4th Floor. We believe these community-based partnerships enhance the mission of our campus while putting community at the center of our college services. Our recent events in support of the Cypress community are:

  • On May 22, Cypress College hosted Savanna Strings Youth Orchestra, performing for the first time to a live audience in our Campus Theater. The elementary school children were excited to be performing on a real stage in front of friends and family. Sue Johnson, Superintendent sent the following letter: “I cannot thank you and your team enough for ALL you did to provide a fantastic venue for our Savanna Strings concert Monday evening!  Parents were extremely impressed with the venue and the fact that their children were able to perform on an actual stage. While it was not expected, John Forsythe, President of the Pacific Symphony, attended the concert. We’ve partnered with the Pacific Symphony this year for the Savanna Strings program; their instructors have been fantastic.  Most of our students participating didn’t know how to read music and had never held a violin before this partnership began at the beginning of November, making it even more impressive to see and hear how well they were able to perform Monday night. The pride students felt as they performed on stage Monday night, the glow emanating from parents as they watched the performance, and the excitement shared between students, staff, and audience members demonstrated the success of the evening in ways I can’t even put into words. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you’ve done, and continue to do, to support our students.”
  • On May 31, Cypress College hosted the educational segment of the City of Cypress Citizen’s Academy, a six-week program for residents of Cypress to learn more about their city and the operations of local government. Presenting with Dr. Schilling were superintendents Mike Matsuda (AUHSD) and Anne Silavs (Cypress Schools) who discussed public education at all levels. Half of the attending cohort either attended Cypress, had a family member who attended Cypress, or knew someone about to attend Cypress College. It was a wonderful evening to share the importance of education and its impact in our community.
  • On June 1, we hosted the annual Soroptimist of Cypress Wine Social, welcoming over 80 people to our VRC for wine, food, and music. Modern Cellars, The Art of Pairing, donated and curated a wine tasting of six wines, and the local band 2/Fifths performed for the first time since 2020 to standing-room-only applause. This fundraising effort supports the young women in our community who are seeking a better life through education and, specifically, single parents in our EOPS program. Thank you to those who attended and donated an auction item or just bought a ticket in support of this organization that gives back to our young women.
  • On June 6, Cypress welcomed Honeywell Industries for a tour of our facilities and a discussion about partnerships, internships, and job training for our students. Attending the tour was Melinda Pfenning, Education Liaison for Honeywell; Schilling and Reiland; deans Patricia Menchaca and Margaret Fernandez, and Director of Communications, Marc Posner. We toured the Aviation and HVAC programs in CTE, the STEM facilities, and discussed the opportunity to build productive educational bridges with Honeywell Industries. Thank you to former councilmember of Anaheim, Jesus Silva, for organizing this opportunity!
  • On June 13, the college hosted the monthly Legislative Staffer Luncheon, sponsored by Curt Pringle and Associates. We served lunch on our VRC patio and welcomed staffers from Senators Nguyen, Umberg, and Newman, Congresswoman Steel, Assemblymember Quirk-Silva, and Supervisors Do, Chafee, and Foley. It was an excellent opportunity to showcase our beautiful college, discuss mutual interests, and get to know our legislative staff a little better. Thank you to Foundation Executive Director Howard Kummerman for initiating this luncheon.

Cypress College is proud to acknowledge the accomplishments of our North Star Award winner, Ashley Berry. Ashley has been a classified member at the college since 2017 overseeing our Guardian Scholars Program in support of our foster youth. In addition to her work in EOPS, she created an ally training, our holiday gift card donations, and advocates daily for the critical needs of our foster youth. In 2021, Ashley also spearheaded the efforts to form a classified senate at Cypress – for the first time in our history. Ashley currently serves as the President of our Classified Senate, leading classified retreats, professional development, and our annual appreciation awards in support of our amazing classified professionals. She has truly made an impact and we are thrilled the District is acknowledging her as our North Star recipient this year. Congratulations, Ashley!

It is with sadness that we announce the sudden passing of long-time Foundation Board member, Becky Ishii, who passed away unexpectedly on May 9. Becky had served on the Foundation since 2007 and was a beloved and fierce advocate for Cypress College. A longtime resident of La Palma, Becky served on our Americana committee and never missed a Foundation Board meeting – even attending a few weeks before her untimely death. Her memorial service was held on June 6 at The Reef in Long Beach and in typical fashion, her husband Cliff Ishii requested donations be sent to the Cypress College Foundation in lieu of flowers. Thank you for a life well lived, Becky. You will be deeply missed.

The Chancellor’s Office and Foundation for California Community Colleges for the Asian American Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander Student Achievement Program (AANHPI SAP), announced that Cypress College was one of 43 colleges to receive AANHPI SAP funding of $150,000 this year. We are planning to use these funds to create a new affinity space to bookend our current Puente, Legacy, LGBTQ+, and LIFE spaces in the Humanities Building.

Theater Arts students, Jose Tovar, Ashley Zarate, and Bradley Weaver have all been cast in the musical, Kinky Boots at the Torrance Theatre Company this summer. They are joined by alumni Kylie Christensen, Daniel Scipio and Andres De Dios. The show opens August 5 and tickets can be purchased at Please mark your calendars for a great summer performance!

Cypress College is pleased to announce that three of our managers have been accepted into HACU’s Inaugural Cohort of the Enlace Mid-Level Leadership program. The Inaugural Cohort will be comprised of individuals dedicated to higher education and ready for advancement to higher senior-level positions. The 2023-24 HACU Enlace Fellows from Cypress College are VRC Coordinator Juan Garcia, Financial Aid Director Gabriela de la Cruz, and Director of Academic Computing Jose Sanchez. They will all participate in a year-long professional development program with HACU supported by the President’s Office. The official announcement from HACU will be made in July. Congratulations to our new HACU Fellows!

We were excited to celebrate Classified Appreciation Week from June 5-June 8 and to present the first-ever professional development week specifically designed to address the needs of our classified staff. Thank you to our Classified Senate Executive Team who planned and hosted these trainings, and to Dr. Breland who moderated the Career Ladders panel presentation on June 5. Below you will find an overview of the workshops held, including the annual Classified Appreciation Luncheon sponsored by the President’s Office. It was a great week to thank our classified staff who do so much to support our employees and students all year long!

Buen Cypress! We Take This Journey Together!

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