President Thayer’s Board Report for April 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 April 9, 2024

Presidential Scholars of Distinction

We are pleased to introduce our 2024 Presidential Scholars of Distinction. This is our sixth class of Presidential Scholars of Distinction, each selected to represent their pathway at commencement and to inspire peers and future students. These scholars were nominated by their faculty, selected by members of their division, and affirmed by President’s Staff.

  • Subina Adhikari — Business/CIS
  • Cassandra Rehome — Career Technical Education
  • Jessie Ramirez — Library Learning Resource Center/We Journey Together
  • Eric Johnson — Health Sciences
  • Kathy Pannell — Kinesiology
  • Jamie Seitz — Language Arts
  • Daanish Noor — Science, Engineering and Math
  • Samantha Ramos — Social Sciences
  • Saul Conde — Visual and Performing Arts

Our Campus Communications team is interviewing and photographing our scholars this week and we look forward to you meeting them at Commencement on May 24.

Faculty Awards Recipients

The Academic Senate has selected their award recipients for the 2023-2024 academic year. The Outstanding Full-Time Faculty is Adel Rajab from our Biology Department. The Outstanding Adjunct Faculty is Nora Simoes, from English. The final recognition is the Charger Award, which is for contributions outside the classroom, and the award is presented to Jill Bauer, from the ESL program, in recognition for her role in our accreditation process.

Students Take HBCU Tour

Cypress College’s Legacy Program took 19 students on an HBCU College Tour over spring break in hopes of expanding their transfer options while also highlighting cultural experiences. Students and program faculty toured Howard University, Delaware State University, Lincoln University, Morgan State University, and Bowie State University. The group also visited the U.S. Capitol, the White House, the Lincoln Memorial, and the National Museum of African American History and Culture. The trip was funded and supported by the Student Equity and Achievement (SEA) grant. Thanks go to Dr. Paul de Dios and the Legacy Team of Regina Rhymes, Dr. Annette Letcher, Daniel Lind, Virgil Adams, and Shawnnie White.

Chancellor Connect Event

Last week, Cypress College was abuzz with excitement as we welcomed our esteemed District Chancellor, Dr. Byron D. Clift Breland, to our Chancellor Connect event. We had a turnout of about 50 people who enjoyed coffee, treats, and engaging conversations. Following this, Dr. Breland hosted a Q&A session where attendees eagerly posed thought-provoking questions, sparking insightful discussions and leaving everyone enriched by the experience.

City of Cypress Every Student Succeeding Awards Breakfast

This year’s City of Cypress Every Student Succeeding Awards break- fast was held on Wednesday, April 17. The Kiwanis Club of Cypress treated attendees to a delightful pancake breakfast. The event recognizes students attending schools throughout the city.

Cypress College student Kendrick Hobson was selected to represent out campus. Mr. Hobson, who some of you met and heard at the re- cent Americana Awards, is a 12-year U.S. Army veteran who served in Operation Enduring Freedom in 2011 and 2014. He was raised primarily by his grandparents and enlisted despite his acceptance to Troy University. Mr. Hobson is now an active member of our Veterans Resource Center and he credits the VRC for helping him transition to civilian life. At Cypress College, he is a computer information systems major. He attends Cypress College with his daughter, who is a sociology major who is transferring to Cal State Fullerton.

Yom HaShoah

Our annual YomHaShoah event will be held in the Campus Theater on Thursday, April 25, starting at 7 p.m. The event will feature Holocaust survivor Yetta Kane and will include additional survivors Joe Alexander, Lou Fogelman, Dr. Jacob Eisenbach, Harry Davids, Mila Gokhman, Sarah Schweitz, Eva Schneider, Leah Bernstein, Dr. Henry Nahoum, Desiree Engel, and second-generation survivors Marie Knecht and Rick van Beynen. The Yom HaShoah observance is the outgrowth of a sabbatical project by now-retired Photography Professor Clifford Lester.

Invisible Features Exhibit

Deon Nuckols presented on Thursday, April 4, followed by Mark Page on Wednesday, April 10 in the Cypress College Art Gallery as part of the exhibition Invisible Features exhibit, curated by Donivan Howard. Invisible Features showcased 2D and 3D concept art, final imagery, figurines, animations, and game art by Black artists who had achieved great success in the entertainment industry, having worked with world-class companies such as the Disney Company, Walt Disney Imagineering, Riot Games, Rhythm & Hues, Renegade, 20th Century Fox, and Lionsgate, on projects that included the X-Men, Black Panther, Spider-Man, and Avengers franchises, among others.

The gallery exhibition featured a diverse array of works by Emmy-nominated artist Layron DeJarnette, Riot Games animator Benjamin Davis, theme park designer Mark Page, graphic designer Jon Davis, story- board illustrator Todd Harris, and toy designer Deon Nuckols.

Additionally, the Society of Illustrators of Los Angeles 61st Annual Illustration Competition exhibition showcased over thirty stunning illustrations from across the county, including medal-winning works by artists such as Robert Carter, Tianqi Chen, Fangyu “Matu” Ma, Steve Carroll, Martin French, and Peter Diamond.

Spring Finals Fuel

During the previous semester (fall 2023), the Library and Learning Resource Center (L/LRC) hosted a highly successful Finals Fuel event after hours in collaboration with the Student Services team. The event extended our hours until midnight, providing students with a conducive environment for studying that was safe, quiet, and clean. Students had access to computers, textbooks, and received support for their research needs from librarians. Additionally, Dario Resendiz and the ambassadors were instrumental in assisting with answering questions and staffing the rotunda, while the Associated Students (AS) provided food and water to “fuel” the students.

The event garnered widespread acclaim, prompting us to consider hosting it again to further support our students. The event is scheduled to take place from Monday, May 13 to Wednesday, May 22, including Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings from 6 p.m. to midnight. L/LRC staff were scheduled to be on-site Monday to Thursday until 9 p.m., with various librarians covering shifts from 6 p.m. to midnight. Additionally, the Thursday, May 23 event was covered by the Library group.

Career Fair

Our Career Fair was set for Tuesday, April 9 in Gateway Plaza. With an impressive lineup of more than 50 employers spanning various industries, excitement was palpable among our students.

The first 200 students who checked in at the Career Center table (located in front of the Student Center) were greeted with a delightful surprise: a coveted Career Fair Kit! Bursting with snacks, mints, hand sanitizer, a pen, and a bag, these kits were the perfect companion for a day of networking and exploration.

Each student who connected with at least three employers and completed our online evaluation was automatically entered into an opportunity drawing, with exciting prizes awaiting the lucky winners. Details were provided at check-in, adding an extra layer of anticipation to an already thrilling event!

Welcome to Adrienne Sanchez, DSS Counselor

In exciting news, Adrienne Sanchez will be joining us as our new DSS Counselor starting July 1, 2024, pending board approval. Adrienne has been an integral part of our Cypress College DSS team since 2016, bringing a wealth of experience and a strong dedication to student success. During her time with us as an adjunct, Adrienne has been a driving force behind many initiatives, including the development of our Study and Learning Strategies program and the creation of the Summer Bridge

program for incoming Cypress students. Her expertise extends beyond the community college level, having served as a learning specialist at a university and as a school psychologist in the K-12 system.

Adrienne holds an impressive academic background, with advanced degrees in school psychology and educational psychology, along with a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts. Outside of work, Adrienne enjoys a vibrant array of activities, from traveling with friends and family to indulging in diverse culinary experiences and exploring her city of Long Beach.

CCVO Pizza Night Fundraiser

The Cypress College Veterans Organization (CCVO) had the pleasure of organizing our highly anticipated Pizza Night Fundraiser, held at Coach’s Corner in Cypress on Thursday, April 18. Coach’s Corner generously pledged a portion of their food proceeds to the CCVO, contributing to our ongoing efforts in organizing club activities and events. This incredible offer applied to both dine-in and takeout orders, ensuring that even those unable to stay could still contribute by phoning ahead and picking up dinner.

Scholarship Review Committee

It’s the best time of the year – scholarship season! A record number of students finished submitting scholarship applications this month and now it is time to begin the review process. This is a very rewarding experience reading the stories of our students, learning about their many accomplishments and the tremendous obstacles they have overcome — many with assistance and care from Cypress faculty and staff!

Sergio Leonardo Memorial

We are planning an on-campus memorial service for our colleague Sergio Leonardo, who passed away last month. During the campus memorial, we will also plant Sergio’s favorite tree in his honor.

Buen Cypress! We Take This Journey Together!

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