President Thayer’s Board Report for January 23, 2024

The following is a report to members of the North Orange County Community College District Board of Trustees
Presented by Cypress College President Scott W. Thayer, Ed.D.
on January 23, 2024

For the 2023 fall semester, the Pledge/Charger Experience Program welcomed more than 1,400 students to Cypress College, a 17.3% increase from their fall 2022 cohort.

The Pledge/Charger Experience Program is also partnering with our Financial Aid Office and is happy to offer our AUHSD schools on-site financial aid workshops. Partners are able to schedule financial aid labs to help students complete FAFSA or CA Dream Act applications.

Cypress College’s Health Science division is hosting a variety of virtual information sessions (Diagnostic Medical Sonography, Radiologic Technology, Nursing, etc.) this spring semester. All Health Sciences Workshops are open to interested AUHSD seniors to learn about the field.

Our annual Charger Friday events will begin March 1 and run through May 10; we are excited that many of our AUHSD partners have secured their dates!

Our annual Commit2Cypress Event will take place on Thursday, May 2 at Cypress College.

Spring Opening Day will be held on Friday, January 26. The program begins at 9 a.m. with a reception at 8:30 a.m. We invite you to join us in the Campus Theater.

On Wednesday, November 29, 2023, three students from Cypress College competed in SoCalGas’s Culinary Knockout Competition, including current HRC students, Alex Apodaca and Cristina Olvera, and recent alum, Ricardo Ledesma. Students worked in pairs under the guidance of a chef/mentor from a local senior living facility.  Students from HRC’s Culinary Fundamentals I class participated in a field trip to attend the event and support their peers. Before the competition started, representatives from SoCalGas approached the Culinary I students to explain that they needed one more student to participate in the competition. Student Cagla Bazley volunteered to compete. In the first round of this “knockout-style,” mystery-basket competition, the ten participating teams were required to create a plant-based appetizer in forty-five minutes. Cagla and her team were victorious in this round which allowed them to compete in Round Two with five other teams. In the second round, participants were given one hour to create a composed entrée. Cagla and her team impressed the judges so much that they moved on to the third and final round with two other teams. As part of their application process, chefs from the local assisted living facilities were required to submit their “signature dish” and provide all ingredients to prepare the dish in event they made it to the final round of the contest. Cagla’s chef, Chef Bernardo BoyBoy, and his team prepared pumpkin pudding, pumpkin spice whipped cream and candied pumpkin seeds. After careful deliberation, the judges deemed Chef Bernardo and team the winners of the Culinary Knockout competition! Prizes included a trophy and champion belt for the chef, as well as a chef’s knife and cash prize for the students. Congratulations, Cagla!

Our first Coffee with the President with Dr. Thayer was held on Thursday, January 18 and was a great success with sixty people in attendance. The next event will be held on Thursday, February 8, 2024, from 9-10 a.m. in CCCPLX-414. We look forward to seeing you there!

Cypress College Black History Month Committee would like to invite everyone to attend the following planned events for this year’s Black History Month. This year’s theme is A Tribute to Hip Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes.

  • Zoom Kick-Off Event Panel Discussion: Let’s Talk – Who does Hip Hop belong to? Is the history of White Privilege continuing with Macklemore’s Grammy Award for Best Album of the Year? Can rap music ever transcend race and class? Or is it too indelibly tied into the Black Urban Culture?
    Tuesday, February 6 from 2–3:30 p.m.
    Zoom Link
    Meeting ID: 886 1202 2473
  • Recognizing Outstanding Scholars: African-American scholars who continue to demonstrate advancement in their educational pursuits and enrich our community will be honored as part of our celebration of Black History Month. We will commemorate these academics’ resiliency, persistent tenacity, and devotion. Wednesday, February 7 from 9–10:30 a.m. CCCPLX-414.
  • Hip-Hop and Basketball: Hip-hop culture has shaped basketball apparel, player self-expression, and musician-athlete relationships. The two cultures share origin stories, social-cultural struggles, and an affinity for signature sneakers, flashy accessories, and bold fashion choices. The two cultures are inextricably entwined with rappers regularly honoring basketball heroes in their lyrics and many basketball stars moving on to pursue careers in hip-hop. Join us in celebrating our basketball players while chowing down on M and M Soul Food on Friday, February 9 from 5-8 p.m. in Gym II.
  • Hip-Hop and Mental Healing: Despite its unconventional nature, hip-hop often serves as a preferred genre for individuals grappling with mental health issues due to its ability to connect deeply with their experiences. Wednesday, February 14 from 9–10:30 a.m. CCCPLX-414.
  • A²MEND/BSU Event: Love, Intimacy, and Healthy Relationships. Thursday, February 15 from 3-5 p.m. Legacy Center.
  • Gangster Rap: Does gangster rap music criminalize or decriminalize youth behavior? Rape, drug dealing, street gangs, sexism, and more have all been attributed to Gangster Rap. Some critics argue that gangster rap is mere entertainment while others believe that exposure to this musical genre can lead to incarceration or early death. Both viewpoints will be examined in this workshop. Tuesday, February 20 from 6:30–8 p.m. CCCPLX-216.
  • Hip Hop Paint Party: Wednesday, February 21 from 2-4 p.m. Legacy Center 2–4 p.m.
  • A²MEND/BSU Barbershop Talk 2Speak Your Mind: Friday, February 23 from 1-3 p.m. Legacy Center.
  • Day of Expression: Hip-hop is not just a music style but a cultural movement that involves spoken word, self-expression, creativity, clothing, and art. Everyone has heard of it, but what is hip-hop culture? Some of the main elements of this urban culture are breakdance, rap, DJs, and graffiti. All forms of Hip Hop will be displayed during the Day of Expression. Tuesday, February 27 from 2-4 p.m. Theater Arts Lobby.
  • They Cloned Tyrone Film Discussion: Examining stereotypes, tropes, and conspiracy theories. Thursday, February 29 from 5:30-7 p.m. Humanities-136.

Finally, I was honored to be the guest on the Equity Avengers (@equityavengers) Twitter/X Equity Chat this past Wednesday. Hosts Dr. Keith Curry, Dr. Pam Luster, and Dr. Tammeil Gilkerson asked about our DEIA efforts and my new role here in NOCCCD and at Cypress College.

Buen Cypress! We Take This Journey Together!

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