President Schilling’s Board Report for October 10, 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 October 10, 2023

We are extremely proud that Cypress College has again been designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense through the academic year 2028. Cypress College will be listed on the CAE Institution Map and Cypress and Fullerton Colleges are two of only eight community colleges in California with this important designation. This has been a huge undertaking to be named twice as an NCAECD and we want to thank faculty members Ben Izahdi and Russ Alizadeh, as well as Interim Dean Treisa Cassens and former Dean Henry Hua for all their efforts in ensuring we continue to meet these high standards in support of our students. Congratulations to all!

On Thursday, October 19, from 1-5 p.m., Cypress is hosting a workshop for college, middle, and high school educators sponsored by Schools First and funded by our Holocaust Education Program. Documentary maker, Charlene Stern, daughter of 101-year-old Holocaust survivor, Ben Stern, will be leading this workshop, Not Here, Not Now, focused on her father’s message of hope, tolerance, and kindness. The workshop will provide K-12 and college educators tools to teach the lessons of the Holocaust, how to recognize bullying, and how to combat antisemitism and hate speech. To attend this workshop, RSVP by October 12.

We are proud that three Cypress employees have been accepted into the HACU Enlace Fellowship Program – the most of any college in the country! Juan Garcia, Veterans coordinator; Gabriela De La Cruz; Financial Aid Director; and Jose Sanchez, Academic Computing Director, will be participating in this year-long fellowship supporting advancement opportunities for Latino/a/x educators. Congratulations to these three outstanding professionals.

On September 21, Drs. Schilling, de Dios, and Davis, and transfer coordinator, Penny Gabourie, attended the Whittier College Transfer Summit to discuss forming a transfer agreement between our colleges. We will be meeting for a follow-up discussion to focus on ways to make it easier, and more affordable, for Cypress students to attend Whittier College.

Dr. Schilling participated in a recent podcast with Follett to discuss the Charger Book Pass between Cypress and Follett. This podcast episode is now live on Apple and Spotify and highlights how Cypress College is focused on student basic needs, while gathering data to analyze if students who have access to their course materials immediately are able to turn this into success in the classroom. Dr. Schilling will also be presenting on the Book Pass at the upcoming CCLC annual conference in Indian Wells on Friday, November 17, at 2:30 p.m.

Please Save the Date on October 17, for the premiere of The College Tour on Amazon Prime, featuring none other than Cypress College! Ten current and former students speak to the host Alex Boylan about their experiences at Cypress College. Please join us for a blue-carpet screening with a welcome featuring the showcased students at 5 p.m., a first-look screening from 5:30-6 p.m., and a Q&A from 6-6:30 p.m. in our Immersive Digital Classroom (IDC) in our SEM Building. We hope you can join us!

Local Cypress High School student, Rachele Nguyen, competed on Tuesday night on The Voice. She had a brief exchange with former Cypress College student, Gwen Stefani, and expressed the desire to attend Cypress College. Go Chargers and go Rachele! Listen to her beautiful singing and shout out to Cypress.

We are pleased to share an article in Voyage LA, featuring one of our commercial music graduates, Frank Nguyen. Frank shared their story and experience as a commercial music student at Cypress College, working with Professor Marcus McMillan who helped inspire and shape their career. Our students continue to benefit from the outstanding programs and faculty members in the arts at Cypress.

On September 28 from 6-9 p.m., the Cypress Photo Department hosted a pop-up art show and silent auction in the Edouard de Merlier Photography Gallery in Tech Ed 1 benefitting the Maui citizens who lost their homes. This fundraiser was organized through the Council of Native Hawaiian Advancement: The Kāko’o Maui Fund. The Photography department displayed artworks available for purchase through a time-sensitive online auction. Some top contemporary artists, along with our faculty, staff, and students, have donated captivating and groundbreaking work in an effort to help those effected by the devastating fires in Maui. Get more information on this fundraiser.

The Cypress L/LRC is making some big changes! Ismat Kahlon has joined the LRC staff from Academic Computing, to lead a long overdue academic computing help desk for students. Ismat is permanently located on the first floor of the LRC working in the open student computer lab, shifting from helping staff to assisting students. Faculty member Sam Simmons has taken over as the Distance Education Faculty Coordinator.  She is the campus contact for curriculum issues, professional development, general help questions, and more. She is joined by Michael Ashton, our new Distance Education Instructional Designer. Michael has joined the Distance Education team to assist Cypress faculty with professional development, Canvas tools, and design of Canvas courses. Lastly, Elli Constantin is our new Distance Education Director and comes with an impressive knowledge and skills set related to accessibility.  She also has been a core member of the POCR team (Peer Online Course Review) at her previous institution and is ready to share tips on navigating that process.  Our Distance Ed team will be leading the POCR and the Online Teacher Training (OTT) work as we join the CVC/OEI as a teaching college the week of October 9. Welcome to these new and newly promoted staff members!

As we enter LGBTQ+ history month, our Pride Center hosted the first employee LGBTQ+ training, Gender 101, in our new Pride Center on Friday, September 29 from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. The goal of the workshop was to raise awareness on conscious and unconscious biases around gender, and to create more inclusive spaces in our classrooms, our work spaces, and the communities we inhabit. Thank you to LGBTQ+ coordinator Jenelle Herman for leading this important discussion.

Please join us for our fall Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA) theater productions, starting with the musical Carrie, which runs October 6, 7, 8, 13, 14, and 15, followed by the Curious Incident of the Dog at Night on October 27, 28, 29, and November 3, 4, and 5. All performances are at 7 p.m., except Sundays which are at 4 pm. We hope to see you at one of our upcoming productions!

The non-profit, Root & Rebound, will be providing a workshop for our Rising Scholars students and community members on the expungement process, helping students understand how to expunge one’s record of certain minor infractions that may appear on one’s record. This is scheduled for Friday, October 13 from 10-11:30 a.m. on Zoom.  Root & Rebound is an advocacy organization for individuals who have experienced incarceration.

Dr. Schilling will be participating on a Presidents’ Panel discussing “Community College Capacity for New Programs and Current Programs Serving the Space Industry Sector” November 8 at CSULB. This discussion will feature several CSU and community college presidents talking about nurturing and developing underrepresented students in the sciences. We will share more about this panel discussion as it takes shape.

Cypress hosted multiple Sustainability Listening Sessions the week of October 2-6 from 3-4 p.m. These sessions were sponsored by DLR, the architectural firm retained by NOCCCD to help develop our Sustainability Plan, and were meant to solicit input from our campus community on the initiatives we will be developing at Cypress College as we formulate our sustainability goals. Thank you to Dr. Stephen Schoonmaker and our Sustainability Committee for leading these discussions.

In the latest edition of the Orange County Business Journal, Cypress was highlighted for our workforce partnership with Big Brothers, Big Sisters, and Disneyland Resorts. This partnership provides qualifying Cypress students unique mentorship opportunities with Disney professionals as they proceed with their education at Cypress College and learn the professional skills to succeed in the workplace.

Buen Cypress! We Take This Journey Together!

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