Cypress College Celebrates 55th Commencement

Cypress College hosted its 55th Commencement on Friday evening — the first in-person graduation ceremony in 3 years — with a record number of graduates and guests participating. The event was held in the college’s Gateway Plaza with more than 800 graduates from the classes of 2022, 2021, and 2020 in attendance.

Video of the full commencement and photos of the ceremony are available in Commencement Central. You’ll also find bios of honorees, including the Outstanding Graduate and the Presidential Scholars of Distinction.

More to come in the following days.

a student participates in Cypress College's 55th commencement as faculty applaud the Class of 2022 during the processional

Dr. Schilling Honored by Senator Newman as Citizen of the Month

Cypress College President JoAnna Schilling, Ph.D., was honored by California State Senator Josh Newman as the representative’s Citizen of the Month for April.

“For the month of April, I was very pleased to have the opportunity to recognize another outstanding community member, Dr. JoAnna Schilling,” said Sen. Newman, who represents California’s 29 Senate District. “As President of Cypress College, Dr. Schilling has firmly established herself as an exemplary administrator, educator, and role model through her ardent and effective commitment to strengthening and increasing the accessibility of California’s community college education system.”

Senator Newman’s district includes Cypress, along with portions of Los Angeles, Orange, and San Bernardino counties.

In addition to a certificate of recognition from the California Senate, the honor also came with a box of stuffed cookies.

New Accounting Pathway Program Guarantees Transfer to University

A flyer describing the Cypress College Accounting Pathway Program, featuring information that is shared on this page.

The College of Business and Economics at California State University, Fullerton, and Cypress College recently signed an agreement that creates a program for students to earn a bachelor’s degree in accounting in four years and continue to earn a master’s degree in the fifth year with Guaranteed Transfer. The Cypress Collage Accounting Pathway Program is now open for enrollment for fall 2022.

According to Vivek Mande, chair and professor of accounting at Cal State Fullerton, the most notable benefit of the program is to ensure those transfer students are well-prepared for the rigors of the university’s accounting program, the second largest in the nation.

The partnership between CSUF and Cypress College was developed over two years, says Henry Hua, Dean of Business and Computer Information Systems. It offers dedicated accounting classes, business skills workshops, mentorship, and more.

Incoming Cypress College students can learn about the program on May 13 at 9:30 a.m. via Zoom, apply during the spring 2022 semester, and be part of the first CCAP program cohort group in fall 2022. Students in the cohort who complete the undergraduate program can add one more year to their studies to earn a Master of Science in accountancy at CSUF — and meet the educational requirements to become a licensed certified public accountant.

 

Learn more here: https://careers.cypresscollege.edu/cypress-college-accounting-pathway/

First Lavender Graduation to Take Place at Cypress College

Cypress College will hold its first-ever Lavender Graduation on Monday, May 23 from 5-8 p.m.! All current, former, and future LGBTQ+ graduates are invited to attend!

A light purple background flyer with beautiful rainbow gradient text announcing Lavender Graduation with the details that are listed on this page.

Lavender Graduation is a special graduation ceremony for our LGBTQ+ graduates to honor and acknowledge their achievements, contributions, and unique experiences at Cypress College. It is an opportunity for our LGBTQ+ students to be celebrated as their true selves alongside those with whom they choose to celebrate.

“The celebration provides an opportunity for LGBTQ+ students to celebrate their achievements in a space that is safe for them to be recognized and honored as their authentic, true selves, something they may not be comfortable doing at the official Commencement Ceremony” says Jenelle Herman, Cypress College LGBTQ+ Liaison, Queer-Straight Alliance (QSA) Faculty Advisor, and Gay & Lesbian Association of District Employees (GLADE) President. She organized the event, which she says will acknowledge this student community’s “strength in overcoming the many societal and institutional obstacles in order to succeed.”

The ceremony will take place on campus and include dinner for graduates and guests, music, heartfelt words, free individual graduate photos, a free raffle for all LGBTQ+ students, and other activities. LGBTQ+ graduates will be awarded a Lavender Graduation certificate and rainbow stole, presented to each individual by a person who has supported them on their educational journey. There will also be a group photo with all of the graduates.

If you identify as LGBTQ+, or you’ve actively advocated for LGBTQ+ students on our campus, you are welcome to attend. Please register by Friday, May 13.

If you identify as LGBTQ+ and cannot attend, we would love for you to fill out our LGBTQ+ Opt-In Signup Form so that we have permission to send you LGBTQ+-specific updates and invitations in the future.

Nursing Workshop Promotes DEI, Appreciation Day

The Cypress College Nursing Department held an end-of-year celebration for current students with a luncheon, teacher acknowledgement, and interactive workshop today.  

Interim Director Thu Pham welcomed Sharonne Herbert, Ph.D. ABPB, of Children’s Health Orange County, to the workshop, which centered on implicit bias in health care. Herbert spoke via Zoom to the roughly 50 attendants about how bias is ingrained in everyone, and the way to begin lessening its impact is by acknowledging it.  

Nursing students sit in audience of classroom for a zoom workshop.

“Our brains are association machines,” Herbert said, when discussing the reasons why people link ideas together in a way that informs future decisions. She led students through interactive exercises in which participants answered poll questions on their personal devices and saw the answers shared on the Zoom screen.  

“It’s so normal,” Herbert said about possessing biases. She went on to say equity and inclusion can only follow if we accept implicit bias as common, and “as much as we can, move toward talking about it that way.” 

Nursing faculty line up in front of a classroom to be acknowledged for service.

Following the workshop, Pham invited Nursing faculty to the front of the room to thank them. Students presented them with roses and warmly applauded them in appreciation for their work.  

Cypress College Nominates Political Science Professor for 2023 Teacher of the Year Award

For Immediate Release
May 2, 2022
Contact: Marc Posner
(714) 484-7006

(Cypress, Calif.) – Cypress College announces the nomination of Political Science Professor Gloria Badal for the 2023 Orange County Teacher of the Year award. Bestowed by the Orange County Department of Education (OCDE), the annual award recognizes outstanding K-12 and community college educators in Orange County. Candidates will be honored at a recognition banquet hosted by SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union at the Disneyland Hotel on October 28.

Gloria Badal Teacher of the Year

A 19-year veteran educator, Badal has been a professor of political science at Cypress College since 2007. She has also served as a lecturer at California State University, Fullerton, and adjunct instructor at Santiago Canyon College, Saddleback College, Irvine Valley College, and Riverside Community College.

From the first political science class she took as an undergraduate at California State University, Fullerton, Badal recalls falling in love with political science and realizing she wanted to be like the professors who made ideas come alive for her.

“My inspiration were professors like Raphe Sonenshein, Bruce Wright, Jesse Owens Smith, and Carl Jackson. Today, my motivation is still in those early memories of the inspiration I gained from my professors. If I am that inspiration to my students, my goal has been achieved.”

Badal said receiving the nomination to represent Cypress College as Teacher of the Year is the highest honor of her career.

“This nomination means that my students know how much I love teaching them and how important their success—not only in my class, but in life—is to me,” said Badal.

In addition to her role as professor, Badal is the political science department coordinator, the faculty advisor for the political science club, a faculty mentor for the Legacy Program, and the political action committee chair of United Faculty.

According to Dr. Lisa Gaetje, dean of social sciences at Cypress College, Badal is a beloved professor who creates a climate where students are allowed to respectfully disagree, become advanced critical thinkers, and enhance their commitment to social and political engagement and global citizenship.

“Gloria sees the relevance of her course content to the advancement of educational trajectories, but also to engaged participation in society as a whole,” said Gaetje. “She is thoughtful about the equitable experiences of students and is keenly aware of how a college experience and student connectedness to their courses and instructors can change lives.”

About Cypress College:

Cypress College offers students a pathway to their future in an environment in which employees commit to joining students on their educational journey. The college’s half-million-plus alumni include actors, athletes, doctors, executives, mechanics, nurses, and teachers. For some, Cypress College is the ticket into their university of choice, and for others, it provides essential training for a prosperous career. Just one Cypress College class is often all it takes to provide cutting- edge skills that lead to a promotion or a new job.

Cypress College’s 16,000 students and the highly qualified teaching faculty are proud of the many excellent academic and vocational programs. Cypress College provides a pathway for each of our students, offering 56 university-transfer majors, 174 career-certificate programs, and degrees in 98 areas of study. The college’s traditional semesters begin in January and August, while short-term courses start throughout the year. A Cypress College education costs $46 per unit — $138 for a typical, full-credit class — California’s lowest tuition. Eligible first-time students qualify for free tuition through Cypress College’s Charger Experience promise program. Financial aid and scholarships are also available to qualifying students.

Cypress College is one of three campuses in the North Orange County Community College District and a member of the 116-campus California Community College system. The college primarily serves the cities of Anaheim, Buena Park, Cypress, Garden Grove, La Palma, Los Alamitos, Seal Beach, and Stanton.

Located at 9200 Valley View Street in Cypress, the college is easily accessible from several Southern California freeways, including the 5, 91, 605, 22, and 405. The campus is just a stone’s-throw from Downtown Disney and Knott’s Berry Farm.

In response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, Cypress College’s instruction and services are now offered both in person on campus and in an online/remote format. Students can access support services online at cypresscollege.edu/coronavirus.

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Cypress College Recognized as a Top Higher Education ESL Program in California

For Immediate Release

April 29, 2022

Contact: Marc Posner

(714) 484-7006

In two recently published reports, Cypress College’s English as a Second Language (ESL) program was recognized as a top ESL program among California community colleges.

The Research and Planning Group for California Community Colleges (RP Group) and the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) identified the most successful programs by measuring their “throughput,” which indicates a successful transition from ESL into and through Freshman Composition within a three-year timeframe. Following landmark legislation AB 705, which focused on successful completion of freshman composition rather than individual course success, a new metric was needed to assess the quality of an ESL course program.

“We always knew we were doing well at Cypress, but we didn’t know how we were doing relative to the whole state,” said Cypress College ESL Professor Kathy Wada. “So we’re excited to be identified in both of these reports and to be interviewed for these reports about our high throughput, which just means we are successfully equipping ESL students to succeed in Freshman Composition.”

Cypress College Alumna Ngoc Ngo emigrated from Vietnam, following her dream to pursue a field that was not available to her in her home country.

“I love studying psychology, but there was not an opportunity for me to pursue it in Vietnam,” Ngo said. “Thus, despite the language barrier, I set a goal to double my efforts and get ready to face challenges in order to achieve a degree in psychology here in the U.S.”

The first-generation college student successfully navigated the ESL program and transferred to the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). She is one of the thousands of ESL students that have successfully gone through Cypress’ program.

“My ESL professors helped me build my very first foundation for academic writing and reading in English,” Ngo said. “They have all helped me on my educational and career pathway. Their encouragement motivates me, making me believe more in myself.”

She graduated with Distinction (Cum Laude) from UCLA with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. She said all of the faculty and staff that she worked with at Cypress College set her up to succeed in college, both at the two-year institution and at UCLA.

The college was also the first in the state to create Guided Pathways ESL Milestone Certificates of Achievement, signifying the ESL student has demonstrated reading and writing skills at an advanced, postsecondary level and is working toward a degree, certificate, or transfer in their educational pathway. The California Community College Chancellor’s Office approved the nine certificate programs, and the college began awarding the certificates of achievement in fall 2019.

Yohannes Tade, a Cypress ESL student from Ethiopia, successfully completed the program and earned his Milestone Certificate before pursuing his studies in Radiologic Technology. When he learned he was successful in his ESL courses, he said he “felt beyond excited.”

“It represented all the hard work I put into all my college career to get to where I am today,” Tade said. “It might be an easy thing for some people, but for a young, black Ethiopian who came not so long ago to the States with confusion, it represents everything. It represents accomplishment; it represents that we have support too. It represents that all our hard work has value, and it represents that we can aim and execute big too.”

“These certificates are incredibly meaningful to our ESL students,” Wada said. “It gives them something tangible that signifies their success in academic reading and writing skills and achievement in their prerequisite course work. When they receive this certificate, it is very clear that these certificates mean so much more to our ESL students than just a piece of paper. They are recognition from Cypress College and the state that they are on their way to achieving their dreams.”

About Cypress College:

Cypress College offers students a pathway to their future in an environment in which employees commit to joining students on their educational journey. The college’s half-million-plus alumni include actors, athletes, doctors, executives, mechanics, nurses, and teachers. For some, Cypress College is the ticket into their university of choice, and for others, it provides essential training for a prosperous career. Just one Cypress College class is often all it takes to provide cutting- edge skills that lead to a promotion or a new job.

Cypress College’s 16,000 students and the highly qualified teaching faculty are proud of the many excellent academic and vocational programs. Cypress College provides a pathway for each of our students, offering 56 university-transfer majors, 174 career-certificate programs, and degrees in 98 areas of study. The college’s traditional semesters begin in January and August, while short-term courses start throughout the year. A Cypress College education costs $46 per unit — $138 for a typical, full-credit class — California’s lowest tuition. Eligible first-time students qualify for free tuition through Cypress College’s Charger Experience promise program. Financial aid and scholarships are also available to qualifying students.

Cypress College is one of three campuses in the North Orange County Community College District and a member of the 116-campus California Community College system. The college primarily serves the cities of Anaheim, Buena Park, Cypress, Garden Grove, La Palma, Los Alamitos, Seal Beach, and Stanton.

Located at 9200 Valley View Street in Cypress, the college is easily accessible from several Southern California freeways, including the 5, 91, 605, 22, and 405. The campus is just a stone’s-throw from Downtown Disney and Knott’s Berry Farm.

In response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, Cypress College’s instruction and services are now offered both in person on campus and in an online/remote format. Students can access support services online at cypresscollege.edu/coronavirus.

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COVID-19 Booster Now Required for NOCCCD Fall Semester In-Person Classes

To continue providing the safest educational environment possible, the North Orange County Community College District (NOCCCD) Board of Trustees has extended the COVID-19 vaccination mandate through the end of the calendar year 2022.

Fully Vaccinated to Include Booster Dose

As part of the NOCCCD COVID-19 vaccine requirement, all employees, and students over the age of 12 using campus facilities and/or taking in-person classes, labs, or visiting the library or learning centers, will need up-to-date vaccinations, which now includes a single booster dose when eligible*, on or before August 15, 2022. Students and employees will be informed when they can upload their updated documentation to the myGateway portlet.

*Get the COVID-19 Booster

For students who are eligible for the COVID-19 booster, we encourage you to get it right away so as not to delay any in-person classes or services after August 15, 2022. NOCCCD will host several opportunities for all community members to get vaccinated:

  • Fullerton College will host a free vaccination clinic on Tuesday, April 26, 2022 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. For details, visit fullcoll.edu/return
  • Cypress College will host a free vaccination clinic on Thursday, April 28, 2022 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. For more details, visit cypresscollege.edu/coronavirus

*Booster Eligibility

NOCCCD is following the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines for determining when an individual is eligible for the booster. Visit the CDC website for additional details.

  • Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna: If you received Pfizer or Moderna for your primary vaccine series, you are eligible to receive a booster shot five months after the second dose
  • Johnson & Johnson: If you received Johnson & Johnson for your primary vaccination, you are eligible to receive a booster shot two months after the single dose
  • World Health Organization-approved vaccines (vaccination outside of the United States): If you were vaccinated outside the U.S. with a WHO-approved vaccine, you are eligible to receive a booster shot five months after the final dose in the primary vaccination series. If you receive a booster shot in the United States, it is advised to choose either Pfizer-BioNTech or Modern for the booster shot

If Needed, Apply for an Exemption or Take Online Classes

As a reminder, students can apply for a medical or religious exemption. Students who are approved for an exemption will be required to submit to weekly testing. Students taking fully online courses or never coming on campus to access services, will not be asked to adhere to the NOCCCD vaccine mandate. To request an exemption, please click this link and complete the required documentation.

Information about COVID-19 and NOCCCD requirements are available at: nocccd.edu/covid19.

For links to the March 22, 2022, board agenda item and meeting minutes, see below:

 

 

Cypress College Program Receives Partnership Approval for Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship in Earth and Environmental Sciences

For Immediate Release
April 14, 2022
Contact: Marc Posner
(714) 484-7006

(Cypress, CA) – Cypress College’s (STEM) ² program has received partnership approval in collaboration with Chapman University for the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship in Earth and Environmental Sciences (SURFEES).

The National Science Foundation – Research Experience for Undergraduates (NSF-REU) sponsored program will provide between 10 and 15 community college students with the opportunity to engage in faculty-mentored research projects in biology, chemistry, food science, and geoscience. Students in the program will also participate in seminars with faculty speakers and environmental professionals and professional development workshops.

“Summer research experiences are known to change students’ lives by boosting their confidence to persist in their respective STEM majors, careers, and pursue advanced degrees in science,” said Yanet G. Padilla, director of Educational Partnerships – (STEM) ² at Cypress College. “We are elated to be partnering with Chapman University for this common purpose.”

They will receive a $4,800 fellowship award and on-campus housing at Chapman University for the eight-week program. After the program, students will present their research and participate in the program’s commencement ceremony.

“Chapman is excited to welcome students from Cypress College to participate in the long-running SURFEES program in Chapman’s Schmid College of Science and Technology,” said Christopher S. Kim, associate dean of Academic Programs at Chapman University. “Through this NSF-funded summer research program, Chapman offers students from two-year colleges such as Cypress the opportunity to join an active scientific research lab for an eight-week intensive research experience, including on-campus housing, professional development seminars, social bonding activities, and an end-of-summer research showcase for SURFEES fellows as well as their family and friends.”

About Cypress College:

Cypress College offers students a pathway to their future in an environment in which employees commit to joining students on their educational journey. The college’s half-million-plus alumni include actors, athletes, doctors, executives, mechanics, nurses, and teachers. For some, Cypress College is the ticket into their university of choice, and for others, it provides essential training for a prosperous career. Just one Cypress College class is often all it takes to provide cutting-edge skills that lead to a promotion or a new job.

Cypress College’s 16,000 students and the highly qualified teaching faculty are proud of the many excellent academic and vocational programs. Cypress College provides a pathway for each of our students, offering 56 university-transfer majors, 174 career-certificate programs, and degrees in 98 areas of study. The college’s traditional semesters begin in January and August, while short-term courses start throughout the year. A Cypress College education costs $46 per unit — $138 for a typical, full-credit class — California’s lowest tuition. Eligible first-time students qualify for free tuition through Cypress College’s Charger Experience promise program. Financial aid and scholarships are also available to qualifying students.

Cypress College is one of three campuses in the North Orange County Community College District and a member of the 116-campus California Community College system. The college primarily serves the cities of Anaheim, Buena Park, Cypress, Garden Grove, La Palma, Los Alamitos, Seal Beach, and Stanton.

Located at 9200 Valley View Street in Cypress, the college is easily accessible from several Southern California freeways, including the 5, 91, 605, 22, and 405. The campus is just a stone’s-throw from Downtown Disney and Knott’s Berry Farm.

In response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, Cypress College’s instruction and services are now offered both in person on campus and in an online/remote format. Students can access support services online at cypresscollege.edu/coronavirus.

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CYProud: Melissa M. Whitewater

Student success comes in many different forms, and Cypress College is proud to recognize and celebrate the variety of paths our students take to achieve their dreams. Whether it’s transferring to a four-year institution, or receiving an associate degree or certificate and heading into the workforce, we want all of our students to know we are on this educational journey with them and are pleased to feature distinguished #CYProud students for 2021.

CYProud Student Melissa Whitewater wears graduation regalia and stands by a tree on the Cypress College campus.

Melissa Whitewater juggled a lot when she first started at Cypress College. She was a reentry student with a newborn, so she had to figure out how to get back into the flow of school while raising an infant. This could be why she was cautious when she dipped her toes in the water of the medical industry, by studying Health Information Technology to become a medical coder. She soon realized, however, that she wanted to do more to help people directly and decided to become a doctor. She is transferring to UCLA to study psychology before going on to medical school and graduating as a physician. Melissa has clearly learned how to manage her time, and then some.

Please tell us about yourself. Where did you grow up? What are your interests? What is your story?

Where do I begin? I think to tell my story would mean I’d end up with a best-selling novel. So, for the sake of time, I will do my best to sum up my life’s story in the simplest way. After all, to know my story is to know the woman that I am today. I grew up in a family of five: myself, two siblings, a mother, and a father in the city of Azusa here in California. I didn’t realize until I was much older that my parents suffered from generational traumas. They grew up as minorities having to live through the toxicity of their parents’ problems and struggles. And so, as it would come to be, I grew up with similar experiences of what it meant to be a minority going through those same traumas. Even though my parents struggled within their personal lives, they always made it a point to show my siblings and me the importance of unconditional love. I think that is the one thing I appreciate the most from my parents that they instilled within me and has shaped who I am today.

Both of my parents passed away at young ages from illnesses. My father didn’t get to see me graduate with honors at high school, and my mother didn’t get to see me become a mother or start off my academic career later in life. Analyzing my life from hindsight, I’ve come to see that those lost experiences were why I “fell off the wagon,” for lack of a better phrase, and didn’t start my college education until I was 31 years old. I am everything non-traditional but I have come to love my non-traditional ways because they are proof that ANYTHING is truly possible!

I worked hard all my life after high school to earn a living for myself and became pregnant at the age of 28. My son and my experiences in many ways have helped me to realize my time on Earth is precious. After my son was born, I made the decision to devote the time I have left toward helping others. To do so, I overcame adversities, statistics, and generational trauma to raise my son and pursue my educational dreams. With the help of my family and friends, I have graduated from Cypress College with two Associate in Arts degrees and am a UCLA CCCP Scholar transferring to UCLA this fall 2021 to major in psychology. One day I will become Dr. Whitewater and will pave the way for my son’s future while touching thousands of people’s lives as a future physician. 

What are you most passionate about? Why?

I have many passions but I think I am most passionate about being able to help others. I find myself often being sought out for advice from others, or “playing doctor” as my son would say, for fixing his “ouches.” It is in those moments that I feel the most capable and receive instant gratification. Knowing that I can change someone’s life, even if it’s for something small is an indescribable, priceless feeling for me. Ever since I was a little girl, I knew that I wanted to become a doctor; however, I lived through many negative experiences growing up that made me believe I wasn’t capable or deserving. It took a lot of growing, self-healing, and encouragement from my family to instill within me a new confidence toward my mindset. Being able to pursue higher education to become a physician and help more people in an impactful way is my ultimate passion.  

Student Melissa Whitewater stands in front of the Cypress College pond with the Science, Engineering and Math building, as she holds a "We journey together" pennant.

Why did you choose Cypress College?

Initially it was my son’s father who encouraged and supported my decision to go to college. His ability to see something in me more deserving and capable before I saw it within myself was the reason why I decided to look into going to college after a 13-year break from school. I am forever grateful to him for that. My son’s father’s side of the family is a huge part of my life. They have been a great support system and influence toward my successes. My aunt Victoria Whitewater is the reason why I chose Cypress College. From the state of Montana, she researched programs she thought I’d find an interest in and discovered that Cypress College had a great Health Information Technology (HIT) Program.

I originally was in the HIT program at Cypress in 2018. Once I entered the program, I discovered that my truest passion wasn’t going to be behind the scenes of the health care industry as a medical coder but rather at the forefront as a physician. Because of that, I withdrew from the program to pursue a pathway toward medical school. The program and instructors were great; however, I do not regret leaving the program because I am now pursuing a career pathway that I am much more passionate about.

What have you been involved in at Cypress College? How has your path unfolded?

My first years at Cypress were non-traditional, so as a first-time mother to a newborn I couldn’t involve myself in any events or clubs like I would have liked to. All my time was dedicated to homework, studying, and raising my son. The little time I did have I had to remember to sleep. Joking aside, over the years it has gotten much more manageable with juggling my academic career and being a mother. I am currently part of UCLA’s CCCP Scholars program and intend on joining more club organizations and events at UCLA in the coming future. Cypress College has shaped and paved the way for me to learn how to balance both an academic career and motherhood.

Who are the faculty and staff (in your major, an academic or other support program, etc.) who have helped you get where you are today?

I owe a good part of my success to my counselor Jennifer Zier from the SEM department. I would be lost without her! Not only was she a great motivation to me, but she believed in me when at times I had doubt in myself. Counselor Zier always went above and beyond with keeping me on the right track with my academic goals. She was communicative and made herself readily available to me when I needed her. I had many counselors throughout my time at Cypress, but counselor Zier was by far the most professionally and emotionally invested in not just her job as a counselor, but in seeing that my academic career was just as important to her as it was to me. Thank you, Counselor Zier, if I could I’d take you with me to UCLA!

I also want to thank Professor David Kensinger from the Communications Studies Department for not only having the best communications class on campus but for taking me out of my shell and teaching me how to better communicate in a public setting. His class was enjoyable because of his ability to make his students feel comfortable and safe. I dreaded the first day of communications class until he showed me a different perspective on communication.

I’d also like to thank my Spanish professor, Arturo Navarro. I enjoyed the time I had as one of his students. He always picked on me to answer questions in Spanish (I dreaded it every time) but it was his way of helping me to learn, and I am grateful that he challenged me in the ways that he did. Professor Navarro and Professor Kensinger were two of the most influential professors that I had the pleasure of having as teachers. They both helped me to grow in ways that were impactful toward my academic success. Thank you all so much for investing in my future in the ways that you did.

Cypress College student Melissa Whitewwater poses on the steps leading to a campus building and holds a UCLA bound sign.

How has Cypress College supported you throughout your time at the college?

Other than the influence and support of my professors and counselor, the Financial Aid Office and the Cypress College Foundation gave the utmost academic support throughout my time at Cypress. If it weren’t for the support of both the Financial Aid and Foundation offices, I would not have been able to continue the pursuit of higher education.

What are your immediate plans after completing your studies at Cypress College (at your transfer institution, in the workforce, etc.)?

I am transferring to UCLA in the fall of 2021 and majoring in psychology.

What are your long-term goals? What do you aspire to?

After finishing my undergraduate degree, I plan to go to medical school to become a physician. My son is half Diné (Navajo), and I’d like to be able to practice close to the Navajo Nation reservation where I can treat the Diné people who are underrepresented in this country. My ability to impact those in dire need as a future physician is my life’s purpose and being able to raise my son close to his cultural roots is my aspiration.

What are you most proud of?

Wow, this is a great question! I have many things in my life to be proud of; however, I am most proud of myself. I never thought I could be capable of so many accomplishments in my life. Despite all my hardships, I have found it within myself to continue forward and make the best of my life,even when at moments my best was limited. I like to say that I lived my life backward, because I chose the non-traditional route of life. But it is all the “backward” moments that gave me the greatest experiences in life that not many people can survive. For that, I am most proud. My life has aligned and it’s all forward from here on.

What one bit of advice would you give to current and future Cypress College students?

DON’T GIVE UP! Life isn’t meant to be a breeze; we need these challenges in life to grow and to be the best version of ourselves that we can be, that we are destined to be! I know this is going to sound cliché, but I promise you, if I can do this, you can too! Don’t be afraid to reach out for help whether that be from family and friends or professors and counselors, this is your future, so invest in yourself and speak up.

How have you been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic? What has gotten you through and/or what have you learned from it?

The Navajo Nation reservation was the most affected area within the nation per capita of COVID-19 cases. The pandemic uncontrollably took over the reservations in the worst ways and at an alarming rate. Many of my family members and friends live on the Navajo Nation reservations. The lack of awareness and resources caused many loved ones to become hospitalized and/or lose their lives to COVID-19. Although I was physically safe by staying indoors during the pandemic, I felt extremely helpless not being able to physically help my family and friends during the pandemic. I got through it by sewing. I sewed masks, and collected sanitizer and Lysol for members of my family to take back to Arizona to use and disperse to those in need. I’ve learned that it’s never too soon to be prepared for a crisis. Today, I make it a point to educate those around me about the Navajo Nation in hopes of spreading awareness and knowledge.

Cypress College student Melissa Whitewater wears a casual shirt as she stands on the second-level piazza on campus in front of a CYProud sign.

Is there anyone in particular you’d like to thank?

I’d like to thank my mom Karen, my grandma Amelia, and my dad Johnny for being with me in spirit and guiding me through life – for doing the best they could as parents and raising my siblings and me to be great kids, and now accomplished adults. I’d like to thank my siblings Albert, Steven, and Lisa for encouraging me when I didn’t believe it was possible. Thank you to my niece Elena, and my nephews Dylan, Andrew, Messiah, Izaiah, and Damien for motivating me to be the best aunty I can be. Thank you to my son and his father for being my biggest fans and pushing me when I feel like giving up, for showing me that my purpose is bigger than my fears and that I can do absolutely anything that I put my mind to.

A huge thank you to all my Whitewater/Begay family, for loving me and supporting my dreams. You all are my hype squad I don’t know where I’d be without you all. Mom Teri, dad Howard, Má’sání, Aunt Vickie, Uncle Rick, Chawa, Nika, Tana and kids, Sunny and kids, Cody, and Ashley. Thank you to my cousin Elaine for being more like a sister than a cousin to me, and always having my back,for being my son’s Godmother and being there for us whenever we need you. You inspire me and I love you so much! Finally, a big thank you to my best friend Valeri Goins for encouraging me through the late nights when I didn’t think I could do it all – for teaching me about perspective and rooting for me always. It takes a village to raise a child and pursue an academic career at the same time, so thank you to everyone who I may have missed (both family and friends); I couldn’t have done it without all your love and support.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

I am honored to have been nominated as a featured student for the 2021 CYProud and hope that my story inspires many future Cypress College students. I feel blessed beyond measure and am thankful that Cypress College paved the way for me. I’m officially a Cypress College alumni! Thank you, and Buen Cypress!

CYProud: Geraldine Lopez

Student success comes in many different forms, and Cypress College is proud to recognize and celebrate the variety of paths our students take to achieve their dreams. Whether it’s transferring to a four-year institution, or receiving an associate degree or certificate and heading into the workforce, we want all of our students to know we are on this educational journey with them and are pleased to feature distinguished #CYProud students for 2021.

Student Geraldine Lopez in graduation regalia stands in front of the Cypress College Student Life and Leadership building.

Geraldine chose Cypress College at a time in her life when she felt out of options. She had endured two abusive relationships and had been working hard to raise her children well. She realized she wanted to make a change. Geraldine says deciding to go to Cypress was the best decision, because it’s where she fell in love with Sociology. Now, she is dedicating her life to helping people and becoming a counselor, so she can aid others who might feel as if they, too, are out of options.

Please tell us about yourself. Where did you grow up? What are your interests? What is your story?

I was born in Fountain Valley, California. We were not there for long; my mother decided that we return back to Mexico when I was a year old. I grew up and studied in Mexico until I graduated from high school. At the age of 18, I decided to move to California to learn English and prepare myself educationally. I have always known that I wanted to work with helping people. Due to bad decisions and immaturity, sadly, I could not achieve my goals. It took me 10 years to return to my education. During those 10 years, I became the mother of a beautiful boy and a girl, and I survived two abusive relationships. However, I never quit my dreams of getting back to where I started. Still, this time it was clear because I wanted to dedicate myself to studying Sociology and become a counselor.

What are you most passionate about? Why?

I am passionate about justice, freedom of thought, helping, and guiding people. I believe that my personal experiences have motivated me to help people who suffer from different types of abuse in their lifetime. I want to encourage and guide people to a much better place. For me, it is easy to have empathy when a person approaches to talk about an event in their life. I want to be able to return to the community that helped me get to where I am, so I can do the same and help future generations become successful.

Why did you choose Cypress College?

I chose Cypress College because I had nowhere to turn to, and I did not have any knowledge of schools that would be good for me. It wasn’t until I met a counselor at the Anaheim campus who recommended that I go to Cypress College. I took his word for it and decided to give it a go, and in the long run, it has contributed to my success. I believe that having decided to go to Cypress was the best decision because I discovered my passion for Sociology.

I was fortunate to have been involved and experienced working at Cypress as a work-study student. This atmosphere helped me define what path I wanted to take for my career. I love interacting with other students and informing them of new opportunities within the campus.

Cypress College student Geraldine Lopez stands in front of the campus pond wearing an EOPS t-shirt.

Share a memorable event or experience while you’ve been a Cypress College student.

I had the opportunity to participate in a Folklorico dance for heritage month when I was in Cypress professor Maha Afra’s class. It was a great experience in front of several students. Having Cypress make this event to represent my heritage will be something I cherish most.

Who are the faculty and staff (in your major, an academic or other support program, etc.) who have helped you get where you are today?

During my stay at Cypress, I was fortunate to be part of EOPS, CARE, and CalWorks programs. Thanks to their support and their constant guides and many workshops and seminars, they helped me to be an organized, sociable, outstanding student. Many great people such as Alan Reza from EOPS, Christina Barrios and Briceyda Maldonado from CalWorks, Lili Perez from CARE. Thank you for your advice and for listening to my requests during my time at Cypress. Above all thank you for believing in me, when I could not.

How has Cypress College supported you throughout your time at the college?

Throughout my educational journey at Cypress I have always felt supported by various members of the school in order to achieve my goals. EOPS, LRC, and excellent professors who were always willing to help me achieve my goals.

Student Geraldine Lopez holds a "We journey together" pennant as she stands on the Cypress College second-level piazza.

What are your immediate plans after completing your studies at Cypress College (at your transfer institution, in the workforce, etc.)?

I will be transferring this fall 2021 to UC Riverside to continue my studies and my journey into studying social sciences.

What are your long-term goals? What do you aspire to?

I intend to go for a bachelor’s degree and perhaps a master’s degree at UC Riverside. I aspire to become a counselor in the student environment, and to be able to help students, who like me once felt overwhelmed between classes and personal situations. Moreover, I am also open to any opportunity that brings growth to my person.

What are you most proud of?

I am proud to be a student, mother, first generation in college, and a second-language student. Despite adversity, I always had the strength, discipline, and spirit to complete this cycle at Cypress. I am also proud that I graduated with honors, and I am the first in my family to earn an associate degree.

What one bit of advice would you give to current and future Cypress College students?

My advice to students is not to be discouraged from asking for assistance of any kind. Cypress has an excellent team of counselors, professors, and programs to ensure that you are successful on your journey.

Geraldine Lopez wears a blush-colored button-down shirt in front of a white wall.

How have you been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic? What has gotten you through and/or what have you learned from it?

The impact of this pandemic was somewhat chaotic. I was not prepared for online classes. In fact, I did not feel capable of this new reality. I had to relocate with my family to another county, and have to be with my children in the same room, all three of them taking classes at the same time. After a while my children and I began to accept the situation and adapt to the new environment. I discovered that I am a person with discipline and consistency in my school and family work. Now I trust more in myself and what I can achieve.

Is there anyone in particular you’d like to thank?

I would like to thank my counselors Alan Reza and Christina Barrios for believing in me at all times, even when I doubted my potential. I also thank my supervisors at EOPS for giving me the opportunity to learn from them in the workplace. Also to my family and especially my cousins Miguel, Jennifer, and Ernesto who were always supporting me from the first day in Cypress.

I would like to share with my fellow Cypress colleagues and future students, do not be discouraged by age, different languages, or different living situations. It is never too late to learn and achieve something in life. Time never stops, but it is up to you to decide how to manage that time.

Dr. Schilling Presents State of the College Report to NOCCCD Trustees

Cypress College President Dr. JoAnna Schilling, Ph.D. presented the annual State of the College report to members of the Board of Trustees on Tuesday, March 22, 2022. During the 20-minute presentation, Dr. Schilling shared the college’s successes and challenges in the past year and put the spotlight on Cypress College students.

A highlight of the event came when student Mireya Alt shared her story of overcoming obstacles to enroll — and remain enrolled — at Cypress College, even through the pandemic. Alt received a standing ovation from trustees, employees, and guests in attendance at the meeting. Dr. Schilling also highlighted the success story of 2021 Presidential Scholar of Distinction Jacklyn Williamson.

In addition, Dr. Schilling shared information from the college’s Institutional Effectiveness Report, a publication examining the performance of the college as informed by data such as enrollment, persistence, completion, and success.

2022 Cypress College State of the College Presentation

 

Dr. Schilling: Supporting the People of Ukraine

Dear Chargers:

As we watch the events unfolding in Ukraine, I know many of you have personal relationships and family members that may be impacted. And we know we have students who may be suffering or impacted by the war in Europe.

I am sharing some resources and places you can donate or provide support for those in need.

I also want you to know that I have personally been reaching out to local organizations who can support our refugee communities in Orange County — which includes our Afghan and Ukrainian communities — and we are building a support network for students and families who may need our assistance.

Cypress College has always been a place that cares for others and we will continue to be there for one another and our community.

Thank you for caring,

JoAnna Schilling, Ph.D.
President,
Cypress College

 

UNICEF
UNICEF supports health, nutrition, education, safe drinking water, sanitation and protection for children and families caught in the conflict in Ukraine.

Médecins Sans Frontieres/Doctors Without Borders
MSF runs a range of activities in Ukraine working with local volunteersorganizations, health care professionals and authorities to help people travel to health care facilities and access prescribed medications.

Voices of Children
The Ukrainian organization’s Charitable Foundation helps provide psychological and psychosocial support to children affected by the armed conflict, according to its website.

Sunflower of Peace
The nonprofit organization is raising money to prepare first aid medical tactical backpacks for paramedics and doctors on the front lines.

International Committee of the Red Cross
The Switzerland-based organization is aiming to help people affected by the conflict and support the work of the Ukrainian Red Cross.

Save the Children
Save the Children, based in London, helps to deliver lifesaving aid to vulnerable children in Ukraine and around the world.

The Rotary Foundation
Rotary International’s The Rotary Foundation has prioritized donations to its Disaster Response Fund through April 30, 2022 to support disaster response grants for those affected. These can be used for supplying water, food, medicine, shelter, and clothing.

CARE
CARE is raising money for its Ukraine Crisis Fund, which will provide immediate aid including food, water, hygiene kits, support services and direct cash assistance.

IRC
The International Rescue Committee helps those impacted by humanitarian crises, including Europe and the Americas. The IRC is on the ground in Poland and working to help displaced families. You can donate here.

Razom for Ukraine
Razom for Ukraine was founded in 2014 and has since launched efforts to build a stronger democracy. Now, the nonprofit is “focused on purchasing medical supplies for critical situations like blood loss and other tactical medicine items. Razom — which means “together” in Ukrainian — posted a list of the lifesaving supplies it has already purchased and is asking for more support here.

Afghan Innovation
Afghan Innovation: this organization works to raise funds to help media professionals and students find visas to come to the US. We are currently working wiht them to bring some Afghan students to Cypress College.

Uplift Charity
Uplift Charity is an Orange County charity committed to disrupting the cycle of poverty by supporting rental assistance, eviction prevention, vocational training, and food security. They are currently working to support the Afghan refugee community here in Orange County.

CYProud: Emily Costello

Student success comes in many different forms, and Cypress College is proud to recognize and celebrate the variety of paths our students take to achieve their dreams. Whether it’s transferring to a four-year institution, or receiving an associate degree or certificate and heading into the workforce, we want all of our students to know we are on this educational journey with them and are pleased to feature distinguished #CYProud students for 2021.

A woman, Emily Costello, in graduation garb raises her mortarboard above her head on the Cypress College campus.

Emily Costello worried that enrolling in college would take time and resources away from her primary focus: being a mom. She chose Cypress College because it was close to her children’s school, so she could always feel on-call if anything happened. Cypress also helped her with support services that helped this first-generation college graduate navigate higher education and finish her general education with a clear career path. Emily made it into Cypress College’s competitive Dental Hygiene program and will graduate into a world where she can provide health care services to the public and a role model to her children.

Please tell us about yourself. Where did you grow up? What are your interests? What is your story?
I was born and raised here in Orange County with my mom and younger sister. My mom was a struggling single mother and my dad was in and out of our lives battling with alcohol and substance abuse. Growing up I had low self-esteem and abandonment issues that led to many problems and I eventually lost my way through life. We struggled financially, and we didn’t always have what we wanted, but we had what we needed. When I became a mom in my early 20s to my two wonderful children, I tried to change my life but it wasn’t until I became a single mom in 2015 that I knew I had to do something to raise my children on my own. Today, I am the first generation of my family to graduate college and have a degree. I want my children to know that I did this for us and for our future. I want them to be proud of their mom and to know all those sacrifices we all had to endure will one day be worth it.

What are you most passionate about? Why?
I am most passionate about helping people. With my situation I had no idea how I was going to support myself and two children, so all the resources and learning experiences that I went through these last few years I try to give back to my fellow students.

Why did you choose Cypress College?
I chose Cypress College because it was close to my kids’ school and home. It was very important that I stay close just in case anything would happen. Cypress College also has the Dental Hygiene program, which is what I decided to do to further my career in the dental field from being a dental assistant to eventually a hygienist.

Emily Costello holds a Cypress College pennant as she stands on the memorial bridge on campus.

What have you been involved in at Cypress College? How has your path unfolded?
I have been involved in the EOPS/CARE/CALWORKS programs. I started off by researching the school’s website to see if there was any help financially. I am so grateful for EOPS because this led me to CARE and CALWORKS, which are all wonderful support programs. After I was established, all of my worries were gone, and I no longer feared being in school while trying to support myself and my children. EOPS offered me a work-study in the office and I was able to help other students succeed in their academic career. My self-esteem and passion for helping others grew with time and I was able to create such wonderful relationships with friends and coworkers.

Share a memorable event or experience while you’ve been a Cypress College student.
I became homeless and entered a family shelter with my kids. This was such a difficult time for us, but I was so determined to not let this stop me. As the lights would go off at 9 p.m. I would use my flashlight to do my homework, while everyone was sleeping. Another memorable event is when my dad suddenly died in 2019. This was also a rough time for my children and me, but I was able to take care of everything for my dad. During these times I had to learn the lesson of giving myself a break. I dropped a couple of classes to give me some slack, although doing this made me feel like a failure because it pushed me back almost a year. Today, I know this happened for a reason and timing was all part of God’s plan for me.

Who are the faculty and staff (in your major, an academic or other support program, etc.) who have helped you get where you are today?
From my experience, the professors who create their curriculum for the success of the students will make all the difference. Of course, students have a major responsibility and must put in work. I want to thank all the professors I had along my journey because they were motivating, helpful, and hopeful for the future success of their students. Everyone at the EOPS/CARE/CALWORKS office who were my coworkers and then became my second family. They helped me get through the hardest days and celebrated all my triumphs. My boss Lili Perez, who taught me the value of self-care while giving me time to grieve my father and let me come back when I was ready. My counselor Eva, who has been with me since the beginning, telling me I could do it even when I thought I couldn’t. I would not be here today if it wasn’t for the support of everyone, especially during all the times I was ready to quit.

How has Cypress College supported you throughout your time at the college?
Cypress College has supported me with all the resources and programs they provide.

What are your immediate plans after completing your studies at Cypress College (at your transfer institution, in the workforce, etc.)?
I have been accepted into the Cypress College Dental Hygiene program. Therefore, my immediate plans are to prepare and gather everything I will need to start in fall 2021. In the next two years, I will be a graduate of the program in 2023.

Emily Costello wears scrubs from the dental clinic as she stands on campus.

What are your long-term goals? What do you aspire to?
My long-term goals are to be working in a dental office as a practicing hygienist. I aspire to work and give back to my community through health, while making a living to support my two children financially, physically and emotionally. My kids want to have a house with a yard and a trampoline in it and I hope to give them that one day.

What are you most proud of?
I am most proud of my children. Everything that I went through, they went through. It has not been easy, especially having to sacrifice my time with them to study and go to school. I remember going through the shelter and seeing how hard that was on them, but I kept reminding them that as long as we stay together, we will be OK.

What one bit of advice would you give to current and future Cypress College students?
I would like to tell future students to continue to work hard and be the best they can be and to give themselves grace through the hard times. It is not the destination that makes the person, it’s the journey along the way.

Emily Costello stands in front of the new Veteran's Resource Center.

How have you been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic? What has gotten you through and/or what have you learned from it?
Personally, COVID-19 has impacted my family and it was very scary to see my sister struggle with her family being sick. I am grateful that all of them have recovered but I know that is not the same for some people and their families. The pandemic has also impacted me financially with the school closures because I had a work-study and was not able to work. My income took a hard hit but I learned to save my money and luckily had a safety net. I learned to take the pandemic one day at a time, and I knew that whatever we were going through wouldn’t last forever.

Is there anyone in particular you’d like to thank?
I just want to thank everyone who believed in me.

CYProud: David Garcia

Student success comes in many different forms, and Cypress College is proud to recognize and celebrate the variety of paths our students take to achieve their dreams. Whether it’s transferring to a four-year institution, or receiving an associate degree or certificate and heading into the workforce, we want all of our students to know we are on this educational journey with them and are pleased to feature distinguished #CYProud students for 2021.

David Garcia wears graduation regalia in front of greenery on the Cypress College campus.

David Garcia started at Cypress College after having already earned a bachelor’s degree. What he still felt he’d like to achieve was a way to help others that he was passionate about. Entering the Mortuary Science program, he found it. Pursuing this path during the COVID-19 lockdown was difficult, but with the help of faculty, staff, and community, he pulled through with great success.

Please tell us about yourself. Where did you grow up? What are your interests? What is your story?

I grew up in a part of Los Angeles between Koreatown and East Hollywood. After the 1992 riots of Los Angeles my family and I moved to Inglewood and have been living there to this day. I love to CrossFit, go for trail runs, travel, try new foods and restaurants, attend concerts, museums, and read books on poetry. Most of my adult life I have worked in the field of education as a teacher’s assistant for children with special needs and as a physical fitness instructor for K-12 students, specifically targeting communities in Los Angeles county that have a high obesity rate. I have seen first-hand how much of a positive impact non-profit organizations have on low-income communities when they offer physical and mental health education, tutoring, art, technology, and English classes all free of charge.

What are you most passionate about? Why?

I am most passionate about helping others in need. All my adult life I have worked for non-profit organizations and I have seen how much of a positive impact they have on children and families in underserved communities. I love knowing I have helped a student or family be successful in either their educational, physical fitness, and/or health path. I now work in the funeral industry and get great satisfaction knowing that I have executed a funeral service for a family in which all of their wishes were fulfilled and they were able to see their loved one, one last time in the best possible condition, making their transition as smooth as possible.

Why did you choose Cypress College?

I chose Cypress College because I have heard they have a great Mortuary Science program.

David Garcia poses on the second-level piazza of Cypress College.

What have you been involved in at Cypress College? How has your path unfolded?

At Cypress College I have been involved in the Mortuary Science Program. While in the program, I have worked three part-time jobs, gotten my certification to be a cremation operator, passed my funeral director’s exam, and passed the National Board exams in the funeral service industry.

Share a memorable event or experience while you’ve been a Cypress College student.

A memorable event I attended was when our class took a field trip to Forest Lawn in Cypress. The staff at Forest Lawn were so hospitable and informative and definitely set the bar high on what to expect from a mortuary in terms of customer service, appearance, and professionalism.

Who are the faculty and staff (in your major, an academic or other support program, etc.) who have helped you get where you are today?

The staff members that have helped me get to where I am are Dr. Damon de la Cruz, Lori Collins, Jolena Grande, Professor Ojeda, and Professor Villa.

How has Cypress College supported you throughout your time at the college?

Cypress College has supported me by providing me with a laptop to use throughout the semester when the campus was closed due to COVID-19. The campus also provided boxes of groceries and toiletries every week to help students who were struggling.

David Garcia, a man wearing dark pants and a white button-down shirt and tie, folds his arms and stands in front of a Cypress College building with banners promoting students.

What are your immediate plans after completing your studies at Cypress College (at your transfer institution, in the workforce, etc.)?

After my studies at Cypress I joined the workforce full time at a mortuary.

What are your long-term goals? What do you aspire to?

My long term goal is to eventually have a non-profit organization in which I can offer my skills as a funeral director/embalmer to families in need at a reduced cost or free of charge.

David Garcia stands in front of the Mortuary Science department sign.

What are you most proud of?

I am most proud of completing the Mortuary Science Program. Before the program I earned my Bachelor’s degree at CSUN in Liberal Studies and it was nowhere near as difficult as completing the Mortuary Science Program at Cypress.

What one bit of advice would you give to current and future Cypress College students?

I would tell the students to network with other students, make friends and get contact information with as many people as possible. You won’t have all the answers to difficult problems, but someone in your class will be able to help you.

How have you been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic? What has gotten you through and/or what have you learned from it?

Everyone in my household caught COVID-19 and my dad had to be hospitalized for two weeks, so getting through this last semester was especially difficult. What helped get me through was having family bring us the food and supplies we needed when we were too weak to do anything and had to quarantine. The professors were especially accommodating to all of us students in terms of assignments and taking exams.

Is there anyone in particular you’d like to thank?

I would like to thank Dr. de la Cruz for taking his time to explain the material to me and giving me opportunities to be successful outside of class. I also need to thank professor Grande for being so very understanding and accommodating and taking time out of her personal day to meet with us online and make sure we understood the material.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

I would advise students to take advantage of their professors’ office hours to go over exams, assignments, and any material they do not fully understand.

CYProud: Patrick Hale

Student success comes in many different forms, and Cypress College is proud to recognize and celebrate the variety of paths our students take to achieve their dreams. Whether it’s transferring to a four-year institution, or receiving an associate degree or certificate and heading into the workforce, we want all of our students to know we are on this educational journey with them and are pleased to feature distinguished #CYProud students for 2021.

Patrick Hale poses in front of Cypress College Student Life and Leadership building with his graduation regalia and walker.

A former girlfriend told Patrick Hale he wasn’t just unique, he was Patrick, and truly he has forged his own path through life. It was sometimes hard. He lost his home, close family members, and possessions; along the way, he became dependent on a walker. What he kept, however, was a spirit that motivated him to move forward in his life and turn his focus outward, to others. Now, 40 years after receiving his high school diploma, he has an associate degree in Liberal Arts in Social and Behavioral Sciences and is a junior at California State University, Fullerton, studying Human Services. His strength will surely be an asset in helping others, and his story provides inspiration to anyone else experiencing difficult times to pull through and succeed.

Please tell us about yourself. Where did you grow up? What are your interests? What is your story? 

Born in Newport Beach, I grew up in Huntington Beach with middle-class parents who did not attend college. I love to ski and other nature-related activities. I now do less of these activities as I have degenerative osteoarthritis. Today, I take my walker on adventures. 

I have lost those that meant the most to me growing up, except for my brother, although our relationship is distant. We lost our sister to domestic violence, and in 2015 I lost my best friend: our mother. I lost my home and most of my possessions at the end of 2016. I was in and out of hospitals while being homeless in 2016 and 2018. After I left the last hospital, I concluded that none of that mattered; I had lost the most essential thing: myself. That is when I decided to go back to school and get a college degree. 

What are you most passionate about? Why? 

My passion today is acknowledging who I am, not what I am! One of the driving forces is to use my life experience and pass it on so others might not have to go through the trials and tribulations of my existence (yes, the phrase is redundant but that is life at times). A young friend said I am the strongest person she knows, well not as strong as I care to be. In some ways, I am self-involved. Why? Because I mentor and do things for others because it is who I am, and at the same time it gives me more than monetary things. The main thing I am learning is this is OK, as long as I give to myself first to be effective in helping others. Today, I know where I am going with the rest of my life; it just took 57 years to learn. We all grow up at different times, and I am a grown man. 

Patrick Hale, an older white man with silver hair, poses on second level piazza at Cypres College.

Why did you choose Cypress College? 

Coming back to school was a no-brainer decision; I could no longer deny who I was. I am physically no longer able to do my former profession, which is fine. I started my “Journey” at NOCE, learning how to use a computer for other things than surfing the web. I moved on to Fullerton College as a Computer Information Systems major and realized I did not belong there. The next step was a Human Service and a General Education class at Cypress College. I knew I belonged when I met the person who would be my counselor and my advisor and friend, Alan Reza of EOPS. I completed my first college degree 40 years to the month after receiving my high school diploma – my associate degree, Liberal Arts in Social and Behavioral Sciences. 

What have you been involved in at Cypress College? How has your path unfolded? 

Cypress College affiliations: EOPS, DSS, HCOP Student Ambassador for Allied Health Academy, LIFE Program, FITE Club, Cypress College Wellness Collaborative, Charger Experience. 

Patrick Hale sits at the edge of the Cypress College pond, holding a college pennant as he smiles at the camera.

Share a memorable event or experience while you’ve been a Cypress College student. 

The most memorable (not including my first college degree) would be when I met my best friend at school—a 24-year-old Navy veteran. I sat next to her in an English class, and by the end of that day, I knew we would be friends. We did our first presentation project together, and within a week, the school went on COVID-19 alert; we were now online students overnight. We stayed together throughout and have kept the friendship strong throughout the “Journey” COVID-19 thrust upon us. Our life paths will go different ways, which is OK because I will carry her in my heart and mind for life. College can be a magical time, and the most challenging thing you may have ever tried, but it is worth it all! 

Who are the faculty and staff (in your major, an academic or other support program, etc.) who have helped you get where you are today? 

I could mention professors who have impacted me, but I am trying to keep this brief, so I will leave it to them to know who they are; I keep in touch with them through email. There is one person who I will give credit to by name: Alan Reza, EOPS counselor. He has become my friend and advisor throughout and even after graduating. If you meet one faculty/staff member you can count on, you have accomplished more than most. 

How has Cypress College supported you throughout your time at the college? 

Cypress College allowed me to choose what I wanted to become; if you remember, I state who I am is the most important thing to me, but I also needed to learn what I need to be in my world. My past did not judge me but allowed me to engage in my future each day as you can only live in the present! 

What are your immediate plans after completing your studies at Cypress College (at your transfer institution, in the workforce, etc.)? 

Today, I am a Junior at CSUF majoring in Human Services Generalist for my Baccalaureate. 

Patrick Hale proudly holds a Cypress College banner as he stands in front of the campus pond with his walker at his side.

What are your long-term goals? What do you aspire to? 

My long-term goal is to receive my master’s in Social Work, MS LCSW from CSULB. I had some bad experiences in the hospitals and institutionalized world of government services and want to make a change as an advocate in Social Work and Human Service in this world. No human being should be treated the way I was when I was homeless and suffering physically and mentally on the streets of the “wealthiest” state in the nation. Upon release from hospitals, I was handed a bus pass and told to go to a homeless shelter at 3 a.m. I’m not trying to be a character in a Shakespearean tragedy; this was how I was treated. It did not matter the color of my skin or gender, I was considered a piece of trash to be pushed aside out of the sight of the hospital social worker who had more important things to do than recognize I was a “Human Being.” 

What are you most proud of? 

I am most proud of “myself” and what I have accomplished through this, the first and final stages of my life’s adventure. The accolades bestowed upon me by the staff/faculty of Cypress College mean a great deal to me, but what I have been able to do mentoring other students from every background has taught me I am choosing the right path for the rest of my life. I will turn 58 this month, and I have finally found/grown up to be who I should be today. I do belong! 

What one bit of advice would you give to current and future Cypress College students? 

The one piece of advice I can pass along: “Be who you are and who you want to become.” If the only reason you are in school is to please your family or community, you do not belong – you exist. 

How have you been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic? What has gotten you through and/or what have you learned from it? 

COVID-19 has impacted me in many ways but the most significant would be how it taught me to alter the situation at hand and think of your fellow human beings as equals, not to choose sides, but have empathy above all! We all occupy this planet together, so let’s stop punishing others who do not think the same as you! 

Is there anyone in particular you’d like to thank? 

I want to thank those who put up with my quirks that make me who I am. I once had a girlfriend who had a nickname for me: she called me “U KNEE Q” because she said I was not just unique, I was Patrick. I wish she could see me now!! 

Is there anything else you’d like to share? 

I only want to thank those who realize each of us is special and stop before you judge because you still have to look in the mirror each day!  

An “I” focused world is inevitably a lonelier O.N.E.! (Author Unknown) 

CYProud: Lisa Plechner

Student success comes in many different forms, and Cypress College is proud to recognize and celebrate the variety of paths our students take to achieve their dreams. Whether it’s transferring to a four-year institution, or receiving an associate degree or certificate and heading into the workforce, we want all of our students to know we are on this educational journey with them and are pleased to feature distinguished #CYProud students for 2021.

Lisa Plechner poses in graduation regalia outside a Cypress College building.

Military Mom, grandmother, and first-generation college student Lisa Plechner restarted her life at age 50. That’s when she left and abusive marriage with nothing to her name. She promised herself to stay with an education plan and she did so at Cypress College. She earned scholarships, accolades, and a new belief in herself. She wants to bring that spirit of breaking free and starting again to others who have been abused. With her newfound strength, there’s no telling how many people she can help.

Please tell us about yourself. Where did you grow up? What are your interests? What is your story? 

This moment seems so surreal it is almost like I am living in a dream! Doing as well as I have done and completing my associate degree program is amazing. Being nominated and selected as a featured student for #CYProud is unbelievable to me. I am emotional, honored and grateful to be recognized. 

My story … I’m a very proud Military Mom, grandma of three and a first-generation college student. A Southern California native – born in South Bay and grew up in Cerritos. I graduated from Artesia High School in 1986, attempted a year at FIDM OC right out of high school and did horribly because I was in full freedom, party mode. At that time it seemed school / FIDM wasn’t my thing, so I concentrated on working and having fun with friends. 

A few years later I met a boy, got married and had a beautiful baby girl. I left the marriage right before my daughter’s first birthday due to constant turmoil and fighting that eventually turned to physical violence. I spent the next few years doing the single mom thing, working and raising my daughter. 

When my daughter was 3 I met the man I would go on to have a 20-year tumultuous marriage with, and two amazing sons. Ultimately it was this chaotic and abusive relationship that led me to become a student at Cypress College. 

Woman holds graduation cap high in front of Cypress College campanile.

What are you most passionate about? Why? 

I am most passionate about victim advocacy for domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking. Our country is facing an epidemic of violence and abuse. I’m interested in educating, empowering, and advocating for other victims. Being stuck in the cycle of abuse feels daunting, and impossible to escape. My passion is to show others who feel hopeless, helpless, and defeated that they can make changes that can and will have major positive impacts to their lives, which will lead to success and happiness. 

My purpose is to inspire others and be an example that great things are possible and achievable, if you believe in yourself, and put in the hard work to reach goals. That it is never too late to start over, and it does not matter how old you are or what you have been through. 

By utilizing community college, and the financial assistance and programs available from the government, they too can reclaim their life, be free from abuse, gain an education, and make a new, better life for themselves. It is not easy, but it is possible. I am proof that anything is achievable if you take the first step to make it happen and stick with the plan. The first step is believing that it is possible. 

Why did you choose Cypress College? 

I guess you could say I became a college student in a very different way than most. I chose to attend Cypress College after being a stay-at-home mom for 20 years, while putting together a plan to leave my abusive relationship and relocate to Orange County. Cypress College was five minutes from where I would be moving and it had a Human Service certificate program that seemed doable to me at the time. 

On June 16, 2017, I finally left a 20-year domestic violence marriage and moved from my home in Fallbrook to a room at my mom’s house in Buena Park. I gave up all financial security I had, and would be starting over at 50 with a hundred dollars cash, no credit cards, no car, and no future financial assistance from my ex. 

I was terrified and it was all very overwhelming! But I promised myself I would stick to my plan of being in school full time. This would keep me from falling back into the web of abuse I had gone back to so many times. I started school in the fall of 2017, and Cypress College would prove to be my saving grace in being able to leave and stay out of the toxic relationship. 

What have you been involved in at Cypress College? How has your path unfolded? 

During my time at Cypress, I had the pleasure to be involved with the Disability Support Services program, both as a student and as a student assistant with the Work Study Program. Being a part of the DSS program was an integral part of my success at Cypress College. The services they offered me were crucial. The experience I had in the program and working in the office with other students with disabilities helped restore my confidence in my abilities. 

When I started at Cypress in the fall of 2017 my self-esteem was at an all-time low, and my depression and anxiety were at an all-time high! In addition to the mental health challenges I was experiencing, I was also faced with a hidden disability of being almost deaf in my left ear and suffering from constant severe tinnitus. I was struggling with hearing the lectures, and simply being on campus around so many people started to trigger some anxiety and PTSD issues for me. 

Thankfully I reached out to the Student Health Center on campus, and was able to speak with one of the therapists there in the Health Center. She recommended I take COUN105 Stress & Anxiety Management (great class), and referred me to contact the DSS office to get services and accommodations for my disabilities. 

The Stress & Anxiety Management class and being a part of the DSS  program were game changers for me. The class taught me effective techniques to help with my stress and anxiety, and it was one of my favorite classes at Cypress. The services I received at DSS were such a blessing and were instrumental to my success at Cypress College. 

While being a student at Cypress College I also had the privilege of being involved with the Human Services Club. It was very fun and rewarding. Not only did I get to make some great friends in the club, we got to have a great time together doing things that were making a positive impact for students on campus and people in the community. 

Lisa Plechner poses with pennant in front of Humanities building on Cypress College campus.

Share a memorable event or experience while you’ve been a Cypress College student. 

I’ve been blessed to have many memorable experiences and been a part of many wonderful events on campus both as a student, and a student worker with the DSS office. One of my most cherished memories at Cypress College happened while I was working at the DSS office as a student assistant. I got to be an assistant for one of our blind students in her Science lab class. She was a true inspiration to me, and I will forever be grateful for crossing her path. Watching her in action in the Science lab was humbling and inspiring to say the least 

Having the opportunity to interact with her and other students on campus has been such a blessing to me. I believe that interaction is the intervention that so many people desperately need. Simply being there with someone, for someone, can make a huge impact and could literally change or save someone’s life. 

Who are the faculty and staff (in your major, an academic or other support program, etc.) who have helped you get where you are today? 

When I think back over my time at Cypress, there are countless people that were instrumental in helping me get where I am today. I seriously doubt I would have been as successful as a student without the support I received from the DSS staff and program. My DSS counselors were supportive, informative, and helpful. The support staff in the DSS office also made my time at Cypress much easier to handle. I am especially thankful for the professionalism and empathy displayed to me and so many other students by Summer Justice – she is an absolute angel in the DSS office! She made a huge positive impact on time and success in getting to graduation. 

There were countless professors that were so supportive and inspiring during my time at Cypress. Professors Adams, Tapia, and Zager were instrumental to me sticking with my program and ultimately my success in finishing with my degree at Cypress College. Professor Ledesma renewed my faith in my ability to not only do math but finish Statistics with an A. Professor Lewis taught me that History can be fun and memorable, and Professor Eaves opened my eyes to the wonderful world of Sociology. 

Professor Maha Afra inspired me and helped me believe in my passion for advocacy. 

How has Cypress College supported you throughout your time at the college? 

Cypress College has supported me in so many ways throughout my time at the college. The instructors and the programs and services I received were amazing. I was fortunate to take part in the EOPS Program which was very helpful with educational planning and textbook assistance. The DSS Program supported me and my disabilities and helped me be a success at Cypress College. 

What are your immediate plans after completing your studies at Cypress College (at your transfer institution, in the workforce, etc.)? 

My initial plan after completing my studies at Cypress College was to transfer to a university to complete a bachelor’s program in Sociology. I applied to and was offered admission to four schools. I accepted admission to and was set to attend Cal State Los Angeles in the fall of 2021. Since finishing the semester, however, I feel that I need to take a mental health break and take some time off from school to recharge my spirit and my soul. 

I want to be able to give my all to my bachelor’s program, like I did my studies at Cypress, and I don’t feel that I am able to do so at this time. It was not an easy decision to make but I have decided to focus on self-care for the time being. I look forward to enjoying some time with friends and family, and having some time to work more hours and make some money. 

Ideally I would like to find an online bachelor’s program to finish my education, so I can get started in my career of victim advocacy. I am currently looking into an online Sociology program at Cal State Fullerton, which is one of the schools I applied to and was offered admission with distinction. 

What are your long-term goals? What do you aspire to? 

My long-term goal is to continue my studies to complete my bachelor’s program in Sociology, and eventually get into the field of victim advocacy. I aspire to show other people that it is never too late to change the path of your life, make goals and be successful in achieving them. I want to inspire people to believe in themselves and know that they are capable of great things in their lives. 

Lisa Plechner points to #CYProud wall in Humanities building.

What are you most proud of? 

One of my proudest professional accomplishments that I have achieved is obtaining state Victim Advocacy certification for Domestic Violence (2017) and Sexual Assault & Human Trafficking (2018). Obtaining these certifications was crucial for me to be able to work with other victims of violent crimes. 

As a student, I am very proud to have also been honored with several Foundation and Human Service Scholarships during my time at Cypress. Some of the Human Service awards were Memorial Scholarships in honor of parents of my Human Service professors, which makes the scholarships even more special to me. Having my name on the plaques in the Human Service building hall showcase is a great honor that I am very proud of and I will cherish for the rest of my life. 

Being an older student with disabilities has been very challenging, especially after having been out of school for more than 30 years. My experience being a student, and finishing my associate program at Cypress with High Honors is something I could have never imagined when I first enrolled. The thing I am most proud of is being the first person in my family to go to college and obtain a degree. 

What one bit of advice would you give to current and future Cypress College students? 

Some words of advice that I would give to current and future Cypress College students is to be dedicated and organized with your time for school and your assignments. I found that it was easy to get overwhelmed with everything that was due with all the different classes – especially at midterm and finals time. Schedule your time to get your assignments done early so you are not as stressed about deadlines the night before a project or paper is due. Study and be prepared. 

Be an involved part of your classes. Take part in class discussions, and be ready to answer questions that instructors ask. Sitting in the back row kicking back, not being an active part of the class, isn’t really giving you the best college or life experience. Read the chapters, take good notes, and appreciate the PowerPoint presentations that the instructors put together. They really helped me in taking good notes for my classes and being prepared for class lectures, discussions, and exams. 

If you are a student with any type of disability take advantage of all the beneficial services and accommodations available through the DSS office. They have many different services available including a computer lab, notetaking assistance, and provisions for additional time on exams. 

How have you been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic? What has gotten you through and/or what have you learned from it? 

When I think of the ways I was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic the first thing that comes to mind is my mental health. As a person who had struggled to get comfortable leaving the safety of hiding in my house for so many years, suddenly being forced to be back in that sort of isolation was filled with mixed emotions. Initially I was overwhelmed with all the new things that were happening so suddenly. Having to transition to a completely online program overnight was a lot to handle mentally and emotionally. 

Not only was it affecting my school program but it was also affecting my job in the DSS office. When the campus closed down the student workers got let go. This obviously added additional stress and pressure for me. Eventually I was brought back to work virtually from home and even had the pleasure of hosting a weekly meetup group for the DSS office. 

Getting through the pandemic and ultimately completing my associate degree program with the campus closed was very challenging for me. Having to do all my classes online was difficult for me at first but ultimately it proved to be a very good way for me to do school, with my disabilities and hearing issues. Now after doing both I would say I definitely miss the energy and excitement of being on campus but it was easier for me with my hearing issues to be able to stop lecture videos and go through PowerPoint presentations at a pace that was good for me. These things I feel were ultimately very helpful to me continuing to achieve all A’s in my classes even after campus closed down and we transitioned to the online format. 

The most valuable lesson I feel that I learned from the pandemic and the school closure is to be flexible and adaptable. Just because something is strange or uncomfortable at first you need to give it a chance and try to make it work. Life will always throw you curveballs and you will need to be able to adapt to different situations, and overcome a variety of obstacles that may cross your path on your journey. It’s how you handle these things that will either prove to aid in your success or contribute to your failure. 

Is there anyone in particular you’d like to thank? 

There are so many people that have been instrumental to my success these past few years. From my friends and family who supported my decision to make the changes in my life that have brought me to this point today, to other students I made friends with on campus, and instructors who made lasting impressions and indelible marks on my life. 

Ultimately if it wasn’t for my mom offering me a place in her home, and a way out of the nightmare that I was living I would not have ever had a chance to be a student at Cypress College, and the successful thriving person I am today. She helped me in so many ways … helping me financially, giving me rides to and from school at all hours of the day and night, helping me with my dog so I could attend classes and work on campus without having to worry about anything. She has been my biggest fan and supporter and I am forever grateful for her kindness, support, and love. 

Is there anything else you’d like to share? 

My path to this point has been extremely challenging! Getting out of an abusive relationship to be able to enroll in college was one of the most difficult things I have ever had to figure out how to do. Putting a plan together that would lead to a permanent, successful outcome seemed impossible, but committing to college gave me a reason to be somewhere else. I was not only on an educational journey, but a rescue mission to save myself. Cypress College gave me an opportunity to reclaim my life, make my children proud, and get “ME” back. 

The education I’ve gained at Cypress has been invaluable. It was an honor to be recognized for the President’s Honor List fall 2017, spring 2018, fall 2018, spring 2019, and fall 2020. When I look back over my transcript, I am amazed that I have earned 31 A’s and three B’s. My GPA is currently 3.89, and I am in the top 7% of students at Cypress. I am beyond proud of how well I was able to do. I was able to get A’s in classes I never dreamed of being able to do so well in, such as Biological Anthropology, Statistics, History, Physical Geography, and Political Science. 

My time at Cypress College has renewed my self-esteem and taught me so much about myself. One of the most valuable lessons I have learned on my journey the past few years is that I am so much stronger than I ever thought or believed I was. I know now that I can accomplish anything I set out to do, and I want to inspire others that they can do the same. 

 

President Schilling’s Board Report for February 22, 2022

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 February 22, 2022

Although enrollment continues to be a challenge, students are back on campus and accessing our services. Our new Legacy and Puente centers are actively being used, and enrollments in our Health Sciences and Kinesiology/Athletics, which mostly have in person classes, are trending up 6.5% and 12.5% respectively. Our online courses vastly outnumber our in-person classes, based on student enrollment demand – 72% online to 28% on campus – and our fill rates and retention for our online classes are trending above our in-person classes 82% to 71%. So, what to make of these data? We believe that students are asking for the flexibility of online offerings, with the high-touch experience of on campus services and engagement spaces where they can connect with their peers and faculty. We will continue to monitor these trends and try not to make simple decisions as we study and gather more information on what our students need and expect to be successful.

Cypress College will be participating in the Healthy Minds Student Survey, which will collect data in three critical areas: mental health needs, mental health utilization and help-seeking, and resilience and coping. We will also be adding some custom questions on food and housing insecurity, and financial support to better understand our students’ needs. This survey will be going to all students in April and will be another way to inform our decisions regarding how we can continue to offer a rich academic environment, while providing much-needed support for students. We will share these survey results when they are completed. Our thanks to Marla McBride and Anna Spencer-Lonetti for their help compiling this survey.

Cypress welcomed Dr. Laura Rendon to the college on February 17. Dr. Rendon developed and introduced Validation Theory in 1994, which underscores the importance of validating students and supporting their critical needs.  Dr. Rendon is professor emerita at the University of Texas-San Antonio, and has held faculty and administrative appointments at several universities.  She is part of a network of public speakers affiliated with SpeakOut-The Institute for Democratic Education and Culture. She earned a doctorate in higher education administration at the University of Michigan. Referencing her theoretical framework, she discussed how we can continue to help our students succeed during these difficult times. Thank you to Dr. Paul de Dios for bringing this important speaker and presentation to our college!

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded Cypress College; University of California, Irvine (UCI); and California State University, Fullerton (CSUF) a $1.5 million partnership grant over three years. The grant will be used at the three campuses to encourage underrepresented students to consider studying data science and prepare them for careers in STEM fields. The collaboration will fund the creation of the CADET (California Data Science Experience Transformation) Program, which will help better prepare students for careers in math, statistics, and computer science. Once students complete the internship portion of the program, they will receive a stipend of $5,000. This grant will also fund the creation of two new courses at Cypress College that will be transferable to UCI and CSUF. Kudos to STEM(2) Director Yanet Padilla and District grant director Lisa King for their work partnering with our four-year partners on this grant.

The Chargers are off to a great start to the spring season. Read about all our sports programs in depth. Here’s the latest:

  • The Cypress Women’s basketball team is 15-10 and 7-3 in conference. Next up is Santa Ana on February 25.
  • The Cypress Men’s basketball team is 14-10 and 6-6 in conference. Coach Drew Alhadeff earned his 100th victory as Head Coach of Cypress with a win over Golden West College in early February. Congratulations, Coach Alhadeff! Next up is Riverside on February 25.
  • The Cypress Women’s Softball Team are off to a hot start and are focused on winning another CCCAA State Championship. They are currently 6-0 and take on Santiago Canyon on February 23.

Please join us for an upcoming game of your choice. Fans are welcome to attend indoor games with proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test. Masks are required for all games – indoor and outdoor.

Cypress is proud to co-sponsor the Grads to Be Programs Hosting UndocuAlly Educators Training Series, a series of events with Fullerton College in support of our undocumented students. The UndocuAlly Educators Training Series is composed of three trainings designed to inform, train, and equip district staff, faculty, managers, and the community on how to best support undocumented students and students in mixed-status families. Click on the dates below to register for each session. Participants only need to attend one training date for each part.

Part 1 – Foundational Knowledge: An Introduction to the Undocumented Community
February 15 at 3–5 p.m.  |  February 25 at 1–3 p.m.

Part 2 – Effective Strategies: Supporting and Working with Undocumented Students
April 1 @ 1–3 p.m.  |  April 4 @ 3–5 p.m.

Part 3 – Taking Action: Understanding Undocumented Student Rights
April 29 @ 1–3 p.m.  |  May 5 @ 3–5 p.m.

Support Cypress College on Amazon Smile. The Cypress College Foundation has begun our annual scholarship application process. Students can now apply online; last year we doubled the number of students applying and receiving scholarships. You can also support our Foundation by putting your Amazon purchases to work toward a good cause by designating the Cypress College Foundation as your charity of choice. The Cypress College Foundation supports students through scholarships, emergency assistance, book loans, and more.
Head to Amazon Smile →

Cypress College is proud to announce that we are now a chapter college for the African American Male Education Network and Development (A2MEND). This organization focuses on addressing the success of our African American male students in the California community colleges. Cypress will be sending 20 students, five faculty members, and four administrators to the A2MEND Summit in Los Angeles March 3-4. Our own Chancellor, Dr. Breland, is a Board member. Five faculty and students will be attending the pre-conference for women on March 2. Thanks to former VPI Lee Douglas, LaRon Armstead, Virgil Adams, and Troy Davis for their work applying for, and organizing, our participation in A2MEND on behalf of our students.

Celebrate Black History Month at Cypress College by participating in this series of virtual events examining and celebrating the Black experience throughout the month of February. This year’s theme is “The Souls of Black Folk: Being Black in the 21st Century.”

Buen Cypress! We Take This Journey Together!

CYProud: Raelynn Requena

Student success comes in many different forms, and Cypress College is proud to recognize and celebrate the variety of paths our students take to achieve their dreams. Whether it’s transferring to a four-year institution, or receiving an associate degree or certificate and heading into the workforce, we want all of our students to know we are on this educational journey with them and are pleased to feature distinguished #CYProud students for 2021.

Raelynn Requena had felt disconnected from people while growing up. She experienced hard times in high school and getting good grades was not a priority. Once she attended Cypress College, however, she gained a sense of community. She became involved in several campus groups and immersed herself in her studies. Now, with a 3.57 GPA, she plans to transfer to UC Davis to study Psychology and African American Studies, while minoring in Education.  

Please tell us about yourself. Where did you grow up? What are your interests? What is your story? 

I have lived in California for almost my entire life and have been in Buena Park for over 10 years. Growing up, I faced a lot of hardships that affected my motivation for school and negatively impacted the way I viewed my future. Although I always had the love and support of my family, many of the “friends” I surrounded myself with were damaging for my mental health and caused me to feel completely isolated. Once I began attending Cypress, I was able to find myself and form new, positive, and healthy connections. I broke out of my shell and developed new hobbies such as kickboxing, hiking, and traveling.  

What are you most passionate about? Why? 

Most of my passions are rooted in helping people and making positive changes in our society. I make it a point to educate myself, and those around me, on the issues faced by minority groups and how they, ultimately, affect all of us collectively. I want to be able to say that my actions contributed to gaining equality for everyone across the board. 

I am also passionate about my studies and plan to work hard to achieve my academic and career goals. Although I might not have always believed it myself, my parents often told me I was meant to do amazing things in this world and knew I would succeed in whatever I put my mind to. I am determined to prove them right and make them proud! 

Why did you choose Cypress College? 

In high school, I lost all motivation for school and let my grades drop (my highest GPA was a 2.5). Because of this, I didn’t bother taking the ACT or SAT and never applied to any 4-year universities. Cypress was the closest community college to my house and my mom was a former student and current employee, so I decided to enroll. It was one of the best decisions I ever made because I was able to explore my interests at an affordable cost, build a community with like-minded people, and received help from various resources on campus. I developed better study habits, rediscovered my love for school, and managed to graduate with three major degrees, two emphasis degrees, and a 3.57 GPA.  

What have you been involved in at Cypress College? How has your path unfolded? 

I spent some time with the Queer-Straight Alliance club and was one of two social media officers during my first semester. I was also a part of work study for three years with the Student Activities Office (soon to be Student Life and Leadership). Both experiences allowed me to meet some amazing people who provided me with useful advice and a safe place to be myself. I take comfort in knowing they will continue to be with me throughout my personal and academic journey.  

Share a memorable event or experience while you’ve been a Cypress College student. 

My most memorable experience at Cypress was the EOPS trip I went on in the fall semester of my second year. We went up north to visit a few colleges and that is where I fell in love with UC Davis. Even though my grades were picking up, I still never gave much thought to where I would go once I graduated. I never had a “dream school” and figured I would go to the closest university I got into.After visiting Davis, however, I knew that was where I belonged and promised myself I would do everything in my power to transfer there. I worked harder and began paying more attention to the requirements for transferring. Fortunately, my determination paid off, and I will be attending UC Davis in the fall.  

Who are the faculty and staff (in your major, an academic or other support program, etc.) who have helped you get where you are today? 

  • Dave Okawa and Jay Shonkwiler (Student Activities): Dave and Jay were my supervisors while I was working in the Student Activities Office, but I have come to see them as two of my greatest friends. They were always there when I needed them and created an environment where I felt comfortable being myself. Some of my best memories took place in that office and I will miss them both dearly. 
  • Alan Reza (EOPS): Alan was my EOPS counselor and I appreciate that he always encouraged me to choose my own path in life. When I wanted to suddenly switch from being a Kinesiology major to being a Psychology and African American Studies double major, he supported my decision and helped me make the necessary adjustments. Without him, I would have been lost and would probably still be in a major I didn’t care about.  
  • James Tapia: Professor Tapia taught my Psychology 101 class and made me realize my love for the subject. His class was the first I ever wanted to go to, and I found myself excited to learn something new. Professor Tapia’s passion for psychology really shines through in his lectures, and he does his best to keep the class engaged. I am grateful I was able to experience that and I’m thankful it opened my eyes to what I really want to pursue career-wise.  
  • Daniel Lind: Professor Lind taught four of my Ethnic Studies classes and I could not have wished for a better teacher! His passion and enthusiasm for the subject is contagious and he is always willing to help and have open discussions. I learned so much valuable information in all his classes and it has helped power my activism outside of class. He does require a lot of reading and work, but it prepares you for the workload you’ll face at a university, so I am thankful for it. I wish I could take a million more classes with him! 

Raelynn Requena poses in casual clothes in front of the Cypress College pond.

How has Cypress College supported you throughout your time at the college? 

Financial aid has been a huge benefit and has allowed me to focus on my schoolwork without worrying about money. I also appreciate the tutoring services that are offered and all the programs that are created to promote student success. My professors have also offered me a lot of support. I have never had a professor who didn’t make the time to talk with me outside of class to help me understand a lesson. 

What are your immediate plans after completing your studies at Cypress College (at your transfer institution, in the workforce, etc.)? 

I plan to attend UC Davis in the fall and continue double majoring in Psychology and African American Studies, while also minoring in Education.  

What are your long-term goals? What do you aspire to? 

Right now, I am torn between therapy, teaching, and school counseling. Maybe I will dabble in a little of all three but my main goal is to help those who need it. I never want someone to feel like they are alone and have no one to talk to. No matter what career path I choose, I want people to know they can come to me with whatever problems they have.  

What are you most proud of? 

I am proud of how far I’ve come in such a short period of time. I have a completely different mindset than 18-year-old me in high school, and I’m thankful to have a brighter view of my future. I know that no matter where I end up in life, I will do my best and aim for success.  

What one bit of advice would you give to current and future Cypress College students? 

Don’t think you have to have everything figured out right away. Everyone’s path and pace are different, so never feel like you’re being left behind. Also, it’s OK to change your mind. If you want to change majors five times just do it! You’re the one living your life, so you should make sure you’re doing something you’re passionate about.  

How have you been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic? What has gotten you through and/or what have you learned from it? 

Other than working less and being isolated from friends and family, I have been doing all right. Online classes were difficult to get used to at first but I quickly adjusted and managed to keep my grades from slipping. It has taught me to manage my time better and I have learned to create a schedule with all my work for the week and divide up the assignments accordingly. It is a skill that will come in handy when I go to university. 

Is there anyone in particular you’d like to thank? 

I mostly want to thank my parents for always supporting me, even when I thought I was making dumb decisions. They let me find my own path and figure out what I want to do with my life on my own. I’m grateful I have them in my corner and I’m proud to be their daughter. 

President Schilling’s Board Report for February 8, 2022

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 February 8, 2022

During the first two weeks of the semester, we welcomed over 2500 students back to campus, mainly in Health Sciences; Fine Arts; Science, Engineering & Math; Kinesiology/Athletics; and our CTE programs. Due to some shifts in student demand and pandemic-related scheduling, we now anticipate 27% of our classes will be fully on-campus this semester, 13% delivered in a hybrid modality, and 60% will remain online. Faculty, staff, and managers have been on campus to serve new and continuing students, and additional staff return this week when we will double our on-campus student population. Our Campus Safety teams, M&O, and IT staffs have been holding our campus together during the past two years with determination, kindness, and hard work. We can never fully thank them for all they have done, and continue to do, for our entire campus community. We are looking forward to seeing more students and employees on our campus this week.

We know the start of a semester can be overwhelming for our students so, to assist our students in navigating the beginning of the new semester, our Communications Team put together a handy checklist of tips, services, important dates, and FAQs to help guide students through the first few weeks of the semester. Visit Spring Semester Central, or click on the links below to view student communications with helpful information provided prior to the start of the semester.

Dr. Schilling was able to attend the annual CSEA Installation Ceremony on January 29, along with our classified professionals and Presidents Contreras and Purtell. Celebrating their installation as CSEA officers, and representing Chapter 167, were Pamela Spence, Summer Marquandt, Monica Hagmaier, Belinda Allan, and Melissa Serrato. State President Shane Dishman provided the keynote speech and raffled off Anthony Rendon socks! Thank you to our CSEA officers for your service to our District.

Congratulations to our Cypress College Classified Awardees! At this year’s Opening Day we honored three classified professionals for exhibiting excellence in their work. Overall there were 36 extremely worthy nominees, but three rose to the top with multiple nominations. They are: Summer Justice, Disability Support Services (DSS) for Student Engagement; Evelyn Lindley, Title V Grant support, for Collaboration with Colleagues; and Ernesto Dominguez, Health Sciences, for Service to the Campus Community. Each of these winners received a beautiful plaque, as well as a check for $500, courtesy of Schools First. We were honored to celebrate them for their service to our campus community. Congratulations to Summer, Ernesto, and Evelyn and to all our nominees!

Our (STEM) ² Program is now an approved partner in collaboration with Chapman University for the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship in Earth and Environmental Sciences (SURFEES). The NSF-REU-sponsored program will annually provide 10-15 students from selected community colleges with the opportunity to engage in faculty-mentored research projects.  Participants will earn a $4,800 fellowship award and are provided with on-campus housing at Chapman University for eight weeks, professional development workshops, seminars, and a concluding research poster presentation and commencement ceremony.

Cypress College was proud to be represented in the #RealCollegeCA Basic Needs Summit on February 4. Cypress College EOPS student, Mireya Alt, served on a student panel speaking about her experience with homelessness and food insecurity. Mireya is a current EOPS/CARE & CalWORKs student and struggled with housing, but has now found housing for herself and her three young sons. She is also a work-study student with Admissions and Records and a former Soroptimist scholarship recipient. Mireya worked closely with our CalWORKs counselor Christina Barrios and specialist Briceyda Maldonado, who assisted her in navigating, advocating, and obtaining permanent housing with Project Self-Sufficiency and the Family Crisis Center through referrals from the CalWORKs office. Mireya also utilizes the campus food pantry on a regular basis. We are proud of Mireya and grateful to hear her story of hope and resilience.

Cypress was also featured in a Washington Post article focused on the challenges students face in balancing work, their basic needs, and striving to complete their education. LIFE student Tony Williams was interviewed about the challenges he has faced as a college student trying to make ends meet and how the college has helped him along his journey. We are awed by the courage and resilience exhibited by our students and proud they are willing to share their stories.

To kick off Black History Month, the Cypress College Professional Development Committee, in tandem with the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee, co-sponsored a special workshop on Post-Traumatic Slavery Syndrome (PTSS) featuring Dr. Joy De Gruy on Friday, February 4.

Dr. De Gruy is a national speaker, advocate, and author. Those in attendance were inspired by her passion and insights. Thank you to our Black History organizers and to Professional Development coordinators Ruth Gutierrez and Michael Brydges for bringing her to our campus.

Kudos Cards have arrived at Cypress College! We were in the process of launching this campaign of appreciation in the spring of 2020, but due to the pandemic, they were never fully implemented across campus. So they are receiving a relaunch and we are asking employees to acknowledge the work of their colleagues by sending them kudos that reflect the values of our college. Each card represents one of the college values of Excellence, Integrity, Collegiality, Inclusiveness, and Equity. So send a kudos to someone who makes a difference, and thanks for all you do!

Buen Cypress! We Take This Journey Together!

Student Mireya Alt Speaks at #RealCollegeCA Basic Needs Summit

Cypress College was proud to be represented in the #RealCollegeCA Basic Needs Summit on February 4. Cypress College EOPS student, Mireya Alt, served on a student panel speaking about her experience with homelessness and food insecurity. Mireya is a current EOPS/CARE & CalWORKs student and struggled with housing, but has now found housing for herself and her three young sons. She is also a work-study student with Admissions and Records and a former Soroptimist scholarship recipient. Mireya worked closely with our CalWORKs counselor Christina Barrios and specialist Briceyda Maldonado, who assisted her in navigating, advocating, and obtaining permanent housing with Project Self-Sufficiency and the Family Crisis Center through referrals from the CalWORKs office. Mireya also utilizes the campus food pantry on a regular basis. We are proud of Mireya and grateful to hear her story of hope and resilience.

portrait of student Mireya Alt

Cypress was also featured in a Washington Post article focused on the challenges students face in balancing work, their basic needs, and striving to complete their education. LIFE student Tony Williams, who studies Human Services, was interviewed about the challenges he has faced as a college student trying to make ends meet and how the college has helped him along his journey. We are awed by the courage and resilience exhibited by our students and proud they are willing to share their stories.

How to Use an Add Code

If you’re wondering about how to use an add code he is the lowdown on enter an add code to officially enroll in your course.
  • Add codes are available at the discretion of course instructors only. Search instructor contact information here. If an instructor determines they have space available, they may provide you with an add code.
  • If you receive an add code, go to myGateway to add the class as you normally would. Input the course CRN, and then apply the add code.
  • Add codes will not work until the first class meeting. Additionally, if you attempt to use an add code prior to the start of classes, it will expire five (5) days after the first attempt at using it.
  • The last day to use add codes is the same as the deadline to add a course. The deadline to use an add code for full-semester (16-week) courses is the semester add/drop deadline: Sunday, February 6. The deadline to add short-term or late-start courses varies and can be found on the searchable class schedule by clicking on the CRN of the course you wish to add.

Cypress College, UCI, CSUF awarded National Science Foundation Grant to Increase Diversity in STEM, Ensure Workforce Readiness

For Immediate Release
February 3, 2022
Contact: Marc Posner
(714) 484-7006

 

The National Science Foundations (NSF) has awarded Cypress College; University of California, Irvine (UCI); and California State University, Fullerton (CSUF) a $1.5 million partnership grant over three years. The grant will be used at the three campuses to encourage underrepresented students to consider studying data science and prepare them for careers in STEM fields.

The collaboration between Cypress College, UCI, and CSUF will fund the creation of the CADET program (California Data Science Experience Transformation Program), which will help better prepare students for careers in math, statistics, and computer science to be able to handle data-intensive problems. The CADET program began at Cypress College with the selection of the first cohort of six students in fall 2021. Those selected will attend a variety of seminars and workshops in the spring and attend a boot camp at UCI in the summer for training, followed by a paid internship with industry partners. Once the students complete the internship portion of the program, they will receive $5,000. It will also fund the creation of two new courses at Cypress College that will be transferable to UCI and CSUF.

Cypress College Mathematics Professor Alma Castro, the principal investigator for the NSF grant at the two-year institution, said participating in the CADET project will equip students to be more competitive in their careers when they enter the workforce.

“By incorporating data science into preexisting STEM curricula, CADET students are going to emerge from college with the tools to glean insights, skills that will make them perhaps more attractive for a job over another candidate,” said Castro. “I am very excited to bring this opportunity to Cypress College students that will allow them to participate in this newly emerging field, open a path to a new career, and place them in a job right after college.”

CADET aims to develop and implement modern data science curricula at UCI, CSUF, and Cypress College; create a gateway to diverse career opportunities; and increase data science opportunities for underrepresented science, technology, engineering, and math majors.

The colleges will facilitate data science training via curriculum development, hands-on experiences, and close interactions with academic and non-academic organizations. More than 120 CADET student scholars will participate in a host of activities, including a summer boot camp, team science training, weekly seminars, and a collaborative research project, all of which will lead to presentations at symposiums and conferences. Ultimately, through implementing new curricula and student and faculty training, the CADET project will establish a data science culture across STEM disciplines that extend beyond the lifetime of this award.

Castro said the Cypress College, UCI, and CSUF teams met regularly during the planning process to discuss details and create a reasonable and realistic plan that NSF could feel confident in funding.

“By demonstrating to NSF that our three institutions can work together and serve many of the very same students, we were able to make a convincing case that we could partner together and effectively execute this grant,” said Cypress College Interim Dean of Science, Engineering, and Mathematics David Vakil.

Of the 573 students that transferred to four-year institutions in the 2018-19 academic year, more than 480 of them transferred to a CSU or UC, with CSUF and UCI being the preferred universities.

Case in point: Castro is a former student of Dr. Sam Behseta, the lead principal investigator for the grant at CSUF. Before joining Cypress as a full-time professor, Castro taught as an adjunct at CSUF. Behseta previously collaborated on research efforts with Dr. Babak Shahbaba, the lead principal investigator at UCI.

“This is a project that correlates with the missions of the three institutions of higher education and puts a great value on the importance of community colleges in preparing knowledgeable and skilled students who are planning to enter the workforce shortly,” Castro said.

About Cypress College:

Cypress College offers students a pathway to their future in an environment in which employees commit to joining students on their educational journey. The college’s half-million-plus alumni include actors, athletes, doctors, executives, mechanics, nurses, and teachers. For some, Cypress College is the ticket into their university of choice, and for others, it provides essential training for a prosperous career. Just one Cypress College class is often all it takes to provide cutting- edge skills that lead to a promotion or a new job.

Cypress College’s 16,000 students and the highly qualified teaching faculty are proud of the many excellent academic and vocational programs. Cypress College provides a pathway for each of our students, offering 56 university-transfer majors, 174 career-certificate programs, and degrees in 98 areas of study. The college’s traditional semesters begin in January and August, while short-term courses start throughout the year. A Cypress College education costs $46 per unit — $138 for a typical, full-credit class — California’s lowest tuition. Eligible first-time students qualify for free tuition through Cypress College’s Charger Experience promise program. Financial aid and scholarships are also available to qualifying students.

Cypress College is one of three campuses in the North Orange County Community College District and a member of the 116-campus California Community College system. The college primarily serves the cities of Anaheim, Buena Park, Cypress, Garden Grove, La Palma, Los Alamitos, Seal Beach, and Stanton.

Located at 9200 Valley View Street in Cypress, the college is easily accessible from several Southern California freeways, including the 5, 91, 605, 22, and 405. The campus is just a stone’s-throw from Downtown Disney and Knott’s Berry Farm.

In response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, Cypress College’s instruction and services are now offered both in person on campus and in an online/remote format. Students can access support services online at cypresscollege.edu/coronavirus.

—30—

Cypress College Creative Writing Student’s Work Appears in Anthology

Cypress College student Dolores Jenerson-Madden has used different avenues for self-expression over the years, but the one medium she finds herself returning to again and again is the written word.

“I grew up as a very curious and emotionally intense child. I felt my daily experiences deeply,” Jenerson-Madden said. “Initially, I expressed myself through classical music playing violin and piano, as well as singing traditional Protestant church music in the children’s and young adult choirs at Union Baptist Church in Philadelphia.”

Student Dolores Jenerson-Madden

Dolores Jenerson-Madden

Jenerson-Madden is a student in Cypress College’s creative writing program, which launched in 2019. Her work was recently published in the poetry and short story anthology “Dewdrops Ride on the Wind.” She is currently earning her certificate in creative writing at the college and plans to self-publish her first book of poetry, “Crying Out,” later this year.

Jenerson-Madden began taking courses at Cypress College following retirement from full-time employment several years ago. Although she initially took music and photography classes, she found her true passion when she enrolled in Creative Writing for Seniors through Cypress College sister institution North Orange Continuing Education, taught by late instructor Barbara French. Jenerson-Madden attended every section of her course after that, up until French stopped due to failing health.

“She taught up until two weeks before her death. She was the most intellectually astute and vibrant 97-year-old I had ever encountered,” Jenerson-Madden said. “Not only was she a published author and a certified instructor, but she was also a great motivator and taskmaster for the written English language.”

By then, Jenerson-Madden was hooked on writing again, exploring the world around her and the different intersections of her identity as an African-American woman and senior citizen. Within “Dewdrops Ride on the Wind” alone, she has six poems, a romance story, a science fiction story, a comedy story, and an excerpt from her autobiography.

Among her favorite instructors in Cypress’ creative writing program are Stephanie Tran, Lawrence Keel, and Ashton Politanoff.

“I absolutely, indubitably LOVE the creative writing program at Cypress College,” she said. “Students willing to put in the time and effort will gain a foundation that will serve them throughout their writing careers.”

This spring, Jenerson-Madden will be taking Introduction to Screenwriting. Students who enroll in the creative writing certificate program must take Introduction to Creative Writing, the core class, but can choose from six different courses to fulfill the rest of the credit requirements.

The screenwriting class will be her final course in the program, and she plans to graduate in May. But Jenerson-Madden has no plans to stop writing and sharing her thoughts, observations, and musings that she has gained over the years with the world.

“I have experienced a very full and dynamic life that has provided me exposure to many slices of the human experience,” she said. “My ultimate goal is to develop into a respected multi-published writer in a variety of genres.”

Cypress College Student 1 of 2 in U.S. Awarded Diagnostic Medical Sonography Foundation Scholarship

For Immediate Release

January 7, 2022

Contact: Marc Posner

(714) 484-7006

Cypress College Diagnostic Medical Sonography (DMS) student Megan Park was one of only two recipients in the nation to receive the Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (SDMS) Foundation Sonography Student and Advanced Degree Scholarship, earning $2,500 to use toward her tuition, books, and educational fees.

Although Megan is committed to her education, she was unaware of the challenges she would face and overcome while working toward her degree. As a member of the first DMS cohort at Cypress College to be fully impacted by the effects of the pandemic, adapting to online courses and previous clinical training typically provided to students, Megan’s determination and ultimate success through her first two semesters speaks volumes of her dedication to the program and her future patients.

Lynn Mitts, program coordinator for DMS, said clinical training and on-campus courses allow students to connect what they have learned in the classroom to what they have learned in clinical settings. Students must be serious and hardworking to do well in this program due to the sheer amount of learning material, Mitts said.

“Megan has already overcome many obstacles to make it to the halfway point of the program,” said Mitts. “This scholarship only proves her dedication as a student, and to the field she is entering. She has demonstrated great commitment and hard work. We are very proud of her.”

“I admire Megan and her determination,” Dr. Stephen Schoonmaker, interim dean of Health Science, said. “I am also proud of our committed faculty in the Health Science Division and for the creative and dedicated work of the faculty in Diagnostic Medical Sonography. They have overcome tremendous obstacles during this global pandemic to help students like Megan gain the necessary knowledge and skills to become a successful and positive part of the healthcare sector – and for their contributions to the communities we serve.”

Cypress College’s DMS program is ranked number one in the state for the second year in a row by NursingProcess.org. DMS students are prepared for the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonography examination and hospital or clinical employment upon completing their coursework. Students receive practical training in general sonography (or ultrasound) on superficial structures, the abdomen, pelvis, and obstetrics.

Learn more about the DMS program at Cypress College.

About Cypress College:

Cypress College offers students a pathway to their future in an environment in which employees commit to joining students on their educational journey. The college’s half-million-plus alumni include actors, athletes, doctors, executives, mechanics, nurses, and teachers. For some, Cypress College is the ticket into their university of choice, and for others, it provides essential training for a prosperous career. Just one Cypress College class is often all it takes to provide cutting- edge skills that lead to a promotion or a new job.

Cypress College’s 16,000 students and the highly qualified teaching faculty are proud of the many excellent academic and vocational programs. Cypress College provides a pathway for each of our students, offering 56 university-transfer majors, 174 career-certificate programs, and degrees in 98 areas of study. The college’s traditional semesters begin in January and August, while short-term courses start throughout the year. A Cypress College education costs $46 per unit — $138 for a typical, full-credit class — California’s lowest tuition. Eligible first-time students qualify for free tuition through Cypress College’s Charger Experience promise program. Financial aid and scholarships are also available to qualifying students.

Cypress College is one of three campuses in the North Orange County Community College District and a member of the 116-campus California Community College system. The college primarily serves the cities of Anaheim, Buena Park, Cypress, Garden Grove, La Palma, Los Alamitos, Seal Beach, and Stanton.

Located at 9200 Valley View Street in Cypress, the college is easily accessible from several Southern California freeways, including the 5, 91, 605, 22, and 405. The campus is just a stone’s-throw from Downtown Disney and Knott’s Berry Farm.

In response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, Cypress College’s instruction and services are now offered both in person on campus and in an online/remote format. Students can access support services online at cypresscollege.edu/coronavirus.

—30—

New ‘2 Bills’ Scholarship Supports Cypress College Aviation Students, Honors Two Passionate Pilots

For Immediate Release

December 17, 2021

Contact: Marc Posner

(714) 484-7006

Four Cypress College students are the initial recipients of a new Cypress College scholarship — The 2 Bills Flight Scholarship — which honors Bill Symons, Sr., and Bill Symons, Jr. The two “Bills” are, respectively, the father and brother of Gail Symons Goldwasser.

Goldwasser, along with her husband Mark Chatinsky, established a scholarship of $10,000 to support students at Cypress College who are seeking their commercial pilot degrees and a career as professional aviators. Both of the individuals honored in the scholarship were pilots: Bill Sr., in the Army Air Force and Bill Jr., a FedEx Captain.

Flying was a passion of both men.

With the scholarship, Goldwasser and Chatinsky seek to commemorate these two pilots and to contribute to the passion for aviation of the students who will benefit. It is their intention that the two $10,000 scholarships will fund flight time and other costs for recipients who demonstrate financial need.

The initial recipients of the 2 Bills Aviation Scholarship are: Andrew Barajas, Samantha Cummings, Colin Skutnik, and Julia Lara. The recipients will receive $2,500 each.

“We are thankful to Gail and Mark for the support of our students,” said Howard Kummerman, executive director of the Cypress College Foundation. “Cypress College’s unique aviation program dramatically reduces cost for students and the 2 Bills scholarship helps students to fund the cost of flight time. Their support of our students helps make their access to a lucrative and in-demand profession more attainable. We are thankful for their support and thrilled to help these wonderful and deserving students.”

About Cypress College:

Cypress College offers students a pathway to their future in an environment in which employees commit to joining students on their educational journey. The college’s half-million-plus alumni include actors, athletes, doctors, executives, mechanics, nurses, and teachers. For some, Cypress College is the ticket into their university of choice, and for others, it provides essential training for a prosperous career. Just one Cypress College class is often all it takes to provide cutting- edge skills that lead to a promotion or a new job.

Cypress College’s 16,000 students and the highly qualified teaching faculty are proud of the many excellent academic and vocational programs. Cypress College provides a pathway for each of our students, offering 56 university-transfer majors, 174 career-certificate programs, and degrees in 98 areas of study. The college’s traditional semesters begin in January and August, while short-term courses start throughout the year. A Cypress College education costs $46 per unit — $138 for a typical, full-credit class — California’s lowest tuition. Eligible first-time students qualify for free tuition through Cypress College’s Charger Experience promise program. Financial aid and scholarships are also available to qualifying students.

Cypress College is one of three campuses in the North Orange County Community College District and a member of the 116-campus California Community College system. The college primarily serves the cities of Anaheim, Buena Park, Cypress, Garden Grove, La Palma, Los Alamitos, Seal Beach, and Stanton.

Located at 9200 Valley View Street in Cypress, the college is easily accessible from several Southern California freeways, including the 5, 91, 605, 22, and 405. The campus is just a stone’s-throw from Downtown Disney and Knott’s Berry Farm.

In response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, Cypress College’s instruction and services are now offered both in person on campus and in an online/remote format. Students can access support services online at cypresscollege.edu/coronavirus.

—30—

President Schilling’s Board Report for December 14, 2021

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 December 14, 2021

Enrollment is currently down around 8% for spring and demand for online classes (56%) is exceeding on campus classes (40%); our vaccination compliance is about 77% for all students and 99.7% for students who have registered for an in-person class. We are implementing multiple marketing and recruitment efforts to help stimulate our enrollment including: marketing campaigns focused on those interested in specific programs, geofencing (which identify social media buys that focus on specific areas of interest), and utilizing our partnership with Niche.com to promote programmatic interest. We are also preparing a mailer to all households in our District to highlight college programs, and our Cypress Cares Campaign ambassadors are calling all students who have left Cypress in the past year. More is coming for January!

The Cypress Women’s Soccer Team completed their season with an impressive 21-2-2 record, coming up one game short from winning the state championship. They lost in the Championship Final 3-0 to Hartnell College. The team is coming off back-to-back OEC Championships and were in their first final four appearance in over 10 seasons and battling for their fourth state championship and first since 2004. We are proud of their amazing season and know they will be back next year!

Also in the hunt for a state championship was our Chargers Women’s Volleyball team, who finished their season with a 23-2 record and earned the 4th seed in the CCCAA women’s volleyball championships. The Chargers were crowned 2021 OEC champions after a historic season, recording the best regular season record in program history. We are looking forward to the spring and our Beach Volleyball season which will welcome back many of the same players. Go Chargers!

The Veterans Resource Center and SEM Grand Opening was a big success and we captured a brief video of the event and speakers. Our thanks to Chelsea Salisbury, Kai Stearns, and Marc Posner for leading the way on this project.

Thank you to Cypress’ Guardian Scholars leader Ashley Berry and Fullerton College who hosted a District Foster Youth Friendly Ally Training on Friday, December 3. Over 70 participants joined us for an effective and important training to build empathy and understanding through a review of the child welfare system, trauma informed care, and best equity practices both in and out of the classroom.

Janet Owens-Driggs, Fine Arts faculty member and curator of our Cypress College Art Gallery, has published an article with KCET called “How a Nazi Infiltrated L.A.’s 1930s Art Scene.” Read this important and interesting article.

On Thursday, December 3, Cypress College Legacy Program celebrated our 2021 Kwanzaa event. The theme this year was It Takes a Village: Paying Homage to Our Ancestors. Our Legacy scholars shared lessons learned from the seven principles of Kwanzaa. Thank you to Professors Regina Rhymes, Virgil Adams, Annette Letcher, and Daniel Lind for guiding our Legacy Scholars and hosting a wonderful event. 

The LIFE Program, led by Counselor Anne-Marie Beck and supporting our formerly incarcerated students, ended the fall ’21 semester in style — with a Winter Solstice Party on Thursday, December 9 from 3-6 p.m. Students celebrated the successful end of the semester with a positive and supportive gathering.

On December 2, our English Department hosted young adult author Lanre Akinsiku  to chat with students about his early experiences with writing and subsequent success as an author. Thank you to Professors Ashton Politanoff and Kendyl Covey for bringing this opportunity to our campus.

The college enjoyed a week of holiday cheer from December 6-8. Our week of holiday support for our employees included Breakfast Buffet on Monday, Cookies and Cider on Tuesday, and our Holiday Luncheon for over 150 employees on Wednesday. We had a great time seeing one another in person again, enjoying raffle prizes donated by our managers, playing a round of Holiday Friendly Feud, and having a holiday meal together, sponsored by Schools First. Thank you to President’s Office staff, Ae Young Kim and Kristi Valdez, for all their efforts organizing a wonderful week of events for our campus!

Cypress College is proud to be named as a Top 150 College by the Aspen Institute, and on December 13, we submitted our application for the 2023 Aspen Prize, for an opportunity to be awarded as the top community college in the nation. The application process was arduous and detailed, but we are confident that we put our best efforts into this process. Thank you to our Board, our college community, and our writing team for all their efforts ensuring we show the Aspen Institute why we are #CYProud.

Student Eric Nguyen was named the winner of our annual Holiday Card contest. Since 2018, we have sent holiday cards designed by our fabulous Media Arts and Design (MAD) students and I hope you agree they do outstanding work. In addition to our winner, the two runner ups were Jocelyn Hernandez and Anthony Tolentino. Congratulations to our winners!

Americana 2022 is about to begin, starting with the Americana Kick Off event on December 16 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Americana 2022 will be held on March 26 at the Disneyland Hotel. Please save the date(s)!

The Cypress EOPS & CARE Program established the Adopt-A-Family program in 2016 to assist our single-parent CARE families during the holiday season. Last year our Charger family adopted over 35 families and generously provided gifts for the holidays! This year we celebrated our students and their families on December 10 with a drive-up visit from Santa and Movie Night in our Gateway Plaza. Thank you to AnnMarie Ruelas and her team for putting on a great evening in support of our students.

For the third year in a row, Cypress College was again voted the favorite community college by the Long Beach Press-Telegram. We are proud that the Long Beach readership and our students continue to understand we care!

Culinary Arts instructor and 2020 Instructor of the Year, Amanda Gargano sent this heartwarming message about one of our students from Chef Jay Garcia from Disneyland Resorts:. I wanted to share the news with you about Chef Elizabeth Ramos. She was promoted pretty quickly when we relaunched the park. We knew right from the beginning that we had someone special. Chef Elizabeth is a huge asset to the team and company. I only see more greatness in her future here at the Disneyland Resort. Thank you Cypress College for the training you provide your students! Thank you to our excellent instructors in the HRC Program and for the impact they are making in student success.

Congratulations to all our students who celebrated on December 7 in an on-campus Nursing Pinning Ceremony to commemorate the completion of their nursing program. We appreciate the efforts of our nursing faculty who helped these students persevere during the most challenging health crisis of our lifetimes. We are #CYProud of our graduating class of 2021.

Buen Cypress! We Take This Journey Together!

 

President Schilling’s Board Report for November 23, 2021

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 November 23, 2021

The Campaign for College Opportunity hosted the Champions of Higher Education Celebration, on Tuesday, November 16, 2021, from 10–11:30 a.m. via Zoom.  Assemblymember Marc Berman provided remarks, and it was gratifying to be acknowledged for the equity work. Cypress College was acknowledged as a 2021 Equity Champion of Higher Education for our exemplary work in awarding Associate Degrees for Transfer (ADT) to Latinx students on our campus. See below for our degrees awarded by ethnicity. In 2019-2020, we awarded more degrees and certificates than any previous year.

 

The Speech & Debate Team will be hosting monthly campus speaking/performing events open to all Cypress College Students. A prize of $50 will be given each month. Judges for each monthly event will be Speech & Debate Team Alumni, faculty, staff, outside volunteers, and administrators. November’s theme was “Thanks-Speaking: Speeches of Thanks and Dedication” and events were held on Tuesday, November 9 from 4–5:30 p.m. via CypressZoom and another on Tuesday, November 20, also from 4–5:30 p.m. Thank you to Josh House and Jennifer Page, our Forensic Teams instructors, for hosting these events and showcasing our students.

Our Associated Students are once again assisting students during the holidays. The A.S. council has placed collection boxes around the campus for non-perishable items that will help fill the Thanksgiving baskets that will be distributed to students who have expressed an interest in receiving a basket. Thank you for considering donating to assist students who have this need. Our goal is to distribute 30 baskets this year. Our community partner, Golden State Water, will be donating 50 turkeys to fill the baskets! We appreciate our Foundation Board President Ken Veccherelli of GSW for his continued generosity! A.S. is also hosting an ongoing coats and jackets drive to provide homeless shelters, or students in need, with warm coats this winter. All sizes are needed!

Our October Student Services Spotlight featured Belinda Allan, who just celebrated her fifth year at Cypress supporting our students in the Career Planning Center. Read Belinda’s profile. Our November Student Services Spotlight features Gloria Ortega, who is the executive assistant to Dr. Paul de Dios. Gloria is completing her second year with Cypress College and we are so grateful she is here. Read Gloria’s profile.

On November 10, T-TEN student Vincent Lagasca was awarded a $10,000 CNCDA scholarship, presented to the outstanding student of the year. At the event was Assemblyperson John Cho, who thanked Cypress for its outstanding T-TEN program, joined by other top executives from Toyota in attendance. We are so proud of this outstanding program, of our instructors Michael Klyde and Paul Kelley for their commitment to excellence year after year, and for our students who continue to excel.

Our Theater Department presented a production of All Together Now directed by vocal arts instructor Bradley Hampton on November 12-14. This musical revue was being performed at theaters nationwide as a celebration of the return of live performance, and Cypress took part. Thank you Jim Hormel, Jenny McMillen-Brick, Donny Jackson, and Bradley Hampton for supporting this project. Welcome back to live theater!

Our Dance Department presented their fall dance concert on November 19-20 at 7 p.m. and November 21 at 4 p.m., directed by instructor Maha Afra. The evening of dance was guest-choreographed by our Dance Department colleagues and student choreographers. Tickets can be purchased at the Theater and Dance Department box office which opens one hour prior to show time.

Cypress College participated in an Accreditation training on Friday, November 15. ACCJC presented a workshop on the new requirements for our upcoming Institution Self Evaluation Report (ISER) which will be presented in 2024. Over 50 attendees came to be part of this important process.

Americana 2022 is about to begin, starting with the Honoree Luncheon on Thursday, November 18. The 2022 honorees are: Chief Brian Fennessey (Man of the Year); Stephen Sain (Anaheim); Alice Burnett (Buena Park); Laurie Erpelding (Cypress); Virginia Moore (Garden Grove); Mic and Dee Vicenti (La Palma); Troy Edgar (Los Alamitos); Deb Machen (Seal Beach); and Tom Carpenter (Stanton). The Americana Kick Off event will be on December 16 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Americana 2022 will be held on March 26 at the Disneyland Hotel. Please save the date(s)!

As announced at the last board meeting, the week of November 8-12 was Veteran’s Appreciation Week. We were proud to host multiple events including two days of Green Zone Training on November 8-9.  This training is designed to provide students, staff, faculty, and administrators with the opportunity to learn more about the challenges servicemembers encounter when they return home after their military service. Over 25 attendees learned about the military culture, war trauma, MST, and how that impacts Cypress College veterans.

On November 10, Cypress College was excited to win the annual Fullerton VRC vs. Cypress VRC Softball Game for the second year in a row. Cypress College won 13-11 in a close match and is proudly displaying the winning cup in our new VRC, where we unveiled it at our Foundation fundraiser on November 10. Congratulations to Juan Garcia and the VRC Team! Go Chargers!

Also, on November 10, over 50 people were in attendance for the Veterans fundraiser, including Trustees Blount and Dunsheath; City Council members Jon Peat, Paolo Morales, and Anne Hertz; Cypress Schools Board President, Bonnie Peat; Forest Lawn CEO, Darin Drabing; General Peter Gravitt; Lt. Colonel Tom Lasser; and Veterans Student Services Specialist, Christy Montenegro, who sang a beautiful rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner – it was a wonderful evening to support our veterans. Our Media Arts and Design students, led by Professor Kati Angelov, put on a light show of patriotic images projected across our pond onto the SEM Building. Thank you to Howard Kummerman and Rachel Ghatikar for this excellent event to raise funds to support our students.

Warmth Drive: Cypress College veterans are collecting socks and blankets to benefit veterans across the community from November 3–24. So far, our campus community has generously supported this great initiative. If you wish to donate, please let Dr. Schilling, Dr. De Dios, or Dr. Garcia know of your interest.

The Cypress EOPS & CARE Program established the Adopt-A-Family program in 2016 to assist our single-parent CARE families during the holiday season. Last year our Charger family adopted over 35 families and generously provided gifts for the holidays! Sponsor a CARE family.

The Guardian Scholars Program will also continue their third year of the Adopt-An-Angel Program to assist our current and former foster youth. Sponsoring a Guardian Scholar with gift cards. We thank you for your generosity to our students during the holiday season!

Buen Cypress! We Take This Journey Together!

Cypress College Voted Favorite Community College by Long Beach Publication Readership

For Immediate Release

November 22, 2021

Contact: Marc Posner

(714) 484-7006

 

Readers for a Long Beach community newspaper voted Cypress College as their favorite community college in the region for the third year in a row.

Readership for The Grunion Gazette voted Cypress College as their favorite community college, along with one other two-year institution in the joint 2021 Readers’ Choice Award publication with the Long Beach Press-Telegram.

Cypress College President JoAnna Schilling, Ph.D. said the college was honored by the recognition.

“Cypress College exists to serve our community and all students who can benefit from instruction,” she said. “To be selected by our region in this way means our college is doing something right, and we will continue to strive for excellence for all in our service area.”

The two-year institution offers 56 university-transfer majors, 174 career-certificate programs, and degrees in 98 areas of study. The college has in-person, remote, and hybrid offerings and is currently enrolling for the spring 2022 semester.

Read the Press-Telegram and Grunion Gazette 2021 Readers’ Choice Awards.

About Cypress College:

Cypress College offers students a pathway to their future in an environment in which employees commit to joining students on their educational journey. The college’s half-million-plus alumni include actors, athletes, doctors, executives, mechanics, nurses, and teachers. For some, Cypress College is the ticket into their university of choice, and for others, it provides essential training for a prosperous career. Just one Cypress College class is often all it takes to provide cutting- edge skills that lead to a promotion or a new job.

Cypress College’s 16,000 students and the highly qualified teaching faculty are proud of the many excellent academic and vocational programs. Cypress College provides a pathway for each of our students, offering 56 university-transfer majors, 174 career-certificate programs, and degrees in 98 areas of study. The college’s traditional semesters begin in January and August, while short-term courses start throughout the year. A Cypress College education costs $46 per unit — $138 for a typical, full-credit class — California’s lowest tuition. Eligible first-time students qualify for free tuition through Cypress College’s Charger Experience promise program. Financial aid and scholarships are also available to qualifying students.

Cypress College is one of three campuses in the North Orange County Community College District and a member of the 116-campus California Community College system. The college primarily serves the cities of Anaheim, Buena Park, Cypress, Garden Grove, La Palma, Los Alamitos, Seal Beach, and Stanton.

Located at 9200 Valley View Street in Cypress, the college is easily accessible from several Southern California freeways, including the 5, 91, 605, 22, and 405. The campus is just a stone’s-throw from Downtown Disney and Knott’s Berry Farm.

In response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, Cypress College’s instruction and services are now offered both in person on campus and in an online/remote format. Students can access support services online at cypresscollege.edu/coronavirus.

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Mandatory OCTA Transportation Fee Starts Spring 2022

A new, mandatory OCTA transportation fee must be paid upon registration starting this upcoming spring 2022 semester. The cost is $2.50 for full-time students and $1.50 for part-time students and comes with a semester-long bus pass to ride all OC Bus fixed local routes.* This pass has been available to all students free of charge for the last two semesters.

*Additional fare applies for OC Express and Express routes.

Get more information at the OCTA website.

Note: As of November 10, 2021, OC Bus has a new app. On January 1, 2022, the current OC Bus app will no longer function. Be sure to download the new app to ensure that there is no interruption in using your college pass.

Cypress College Named One of the Best Community Colleges in California by Intelligent.com

Intelligent.com, a resource for online/on-campus program rankings and higher education planning, has included Cypress College to its list of the Best Community Colleges in California in 2022. The research identifies 50 top programs in the nation based on flexibility, faculty, course strength, cost, and reputation.

Cypress College logo with background image of campus grounds.

Cypress College was awarded Best Geology Program on the final list. The Intelligent.com ranking system judged each program on a scale from 0 to 100 across five categories. The scoring system compared each institution according to program strength, student readiness, return on investment, cost, and student engagement. Researchers compared 215 programs from 216 universities and colleges across the United States.

Cypress College offers flexible distance learning that appeals to busy adults or hybrid models that include on-campus and online formats. Analysts at Intelligent.com assessed programs in the Best Community Colleges in California that help students enhance and develop advanced skills for a variety of in-demand positions.

Studies show that obtaining a degree increases income substantially, with degree-holders earning 84% more than those with only high school diplomas or those without a completed GED. The percentage difference in earnings continues to grow with higher learning degrees such as masters, doctoral, or professional degrees, with the unemployment rate decreasing to as much as 1.1% for those with a doctorate. Click here to access the complete Intelligent.com California Community College ranking list.

President Schilling’s Board Report for November 9, 2021

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 November 9, 2021

At this board meeting, you will be hearing about the important DEIA work being accomplished at all of our campuses in support of our students, and specifically those who have been traditionally underrepresented. Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Anti-Racism work takes intentionality, but can often seem frustratingly slow. Working with urgency takes focus and the support of the entire campus, and so I want to acknowledge the many employees across Cypress College who have been working toward a more equitable campus for years, not just when the spotlight is on us. And that is why the past few weeks have been so gratifying as we see some landmark acknowledgements of the work our college has been working toward.

Campaign for College Opportunity has named Cypress College a 2021 Equity Champion of Higher Education for our exemplary work in awarding Associate Degrees for Transfer (ADT) to Latinx students on our campus. CCO looks at the percentage point gap (PPG) to identify campuses that are excelling in awarding ADTs to Latinx students, relative to their campus-wide ADT conferral rates. According to their award letter to the college, “The PPG tells us when campuses are acting with intentionality to ensure Latinx students who have a transfer goal earn an ADT. Across all California Community Colleges, your campus ensured that a high proportion of degree or transfer-seeking Latinx students received an ADT in the 2019-2020 academic year. This is a tremendous achievement and the real work of equity.” Cypress College and our sister college, Fullerton College, will be recognized at the Champions of Higher Education Celebration, on Tuesday, November 16, 2021, from 10–11:30 a.m. via Zoom.  Assemblymember Marc Berman will provide remarks. We will also be joined by student leaders and other California Community College and CSU honorees. Attendees can join the celebration by registering using the following link: https://bit.ly/HigherEdChampions21. We hope you will join us!

In other exciting news, on November 2, Cypress College was announced as one of the top 150 community colleges that have been invited to apply for the 2023 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence. Based on performance in student outcomes – including graduation rates, equity, and improvement over time – this invitation is an important marker of institutional performance. The Aspen Institute selected just 150 colleges from among approximately 1,000 community colleges evaluated nationwide. Since 2010, the $1 million Aspen Prize, awarded every two years, has brought a new level of public attention to community colleges, defined comprehensive measures of excellence in outcomes for community college students, and uncovered and disseminated practices that help exceptional colleges ensure great outcomes for their students. Each cycle, a committee of national experts selects 10 finalist institutions and, ultimately, the winner of this prestigious award. We are honored to be in the top 150 and eager to submit a strong application in December in order to be considered for this prestigious award. Congratulations to our college faculty, staff, and managers for their dedication to the important work of ensuring our students succeed! Read our press release.

Cypress College is committed to the importance of disability support as an integral part of our DEIA work and as Disability and Inclusion Month came to conclusion in October, our Disability Support Services (DSS) hosted activities and events to spark and engage in conversations of equity, inclusion, and accessibility. Cypress College appreciates the impact the disability community has made, and continues to make, on our society and we embrace disability as a natural part of our DEI work. Thank you to DSS Director Celeste Phelps and her team for the work they do creating campus awareness and support for our DSS students.

On Friday, November 5, the RP Group report on ESL Innovations was released, and Cypress will be featured again. This report coincided with a webinar at which ESL faculty, Alison Robertson and Kathy Wada, shared about the many ESL Innovations at Cypress College. Our ESL program has been a leader in the state for the creation of our ESL Certificate, for our participation in the UC Davis pilot of the engagement software, Ascend, and for the demonstrated outcomes of our ESL students. Congratulations to our dedicated faculty: Jenelle Herman, Jill Bauer, Samantha Simmons, as well as Alison Robertson and Kathy Wada. For those who wish to attend, you may access the webinar at 12-1 p.m. here.

Our Dual Enrollment counselors, Caitlyn Carralejo and Jovana Ramos, were recently featured in a TalentEd publication focused on the success of dual enrollment approaches in our local high schools. Caitlyn has seven years of experience in higher education and is also the Dual Enrollment Project Coordinator at Orange Coast College. Jovana has six years of experience in higher education and is currently a Ph.D. graduate student. The two counselors implemented a TalentED-inspired lesson into Jovana’s COUN 140C: Educational Planning, during a summer dual enrollment course for 39 high school students from the Anaheim Union High School District (AUHSD). They introduced students to priority career sectors and explored in-demand careers within our local community. Thank you, Caitlyn and Jovana, for the work you do in support of our students.

On November 5, our college Institutional Research & Planning team, led by new Director Bryan Ventura, held a Strategic Planning Retreat for over 100 participants from across the college. This retreat was to develop our Cypress College goals for the next three years and has been developed in tandem with our work developing a DEI Framework. The goals that came from the retreat will be shared through our shared governance process and adopted in spring 2022. This new DEI Equity Framework will be announced and shared with our college during a campus Town hall on December 3 from 12-1 p.m.

The college is also getting ready to send our 2021 Campus Climate survey to employees during the second week of November. This survey will help inform the college about the needs of and support required by our employees. We hope all employees will participate!

In Athletics news, our Lady Chargers are leading the way this semester. The Chargers Women’s Volleyball team leads the Orange Empire Conference with a 10-2 record. Cypress has an overall record of 18-3, which ranks them #5 in the state of California. Cypress College Women’s Soccer is also a premier program across California, ranking #7 in the state. The Chargers boast a dominant 11-1-2 record to go along with their conference record of 6-1-2. Go Chargers!

On November 9, Cypress College will be hosting our annual Connect2Cypress and Majors2Career event for the third straight year. In 2018, Connect2Cypress was developed in response to our Guided Pathways work, and we moved our spring Senior Day to the fall semester to help introduce students early to Cypress College as they consider attending college. This approach has been extremely successful and we thank Dr. Paul de Dios, Dr. Troy Davis, Gisela Verduzco, and all our academic deans for their efforts in planning this important event, which will be held virtually again this year. We also appreciate Career Center coordinator Angela Sardan and her team for aligning our Majors2Career event with the activities on November 9.

Buen Cypress! We Take This Journey Together!

Cypress College One of 150 U.S. Community Colleges Eligible for $1 Million 2023 Aspen Prize

For Immediate Release

November 2, 2021

Contact: Marc Posner

(714) 484-7006

 

The Aspen Institute College Excellence Program today recognized Cypress College as an Aspen Prize Top 150 U.S. Community College. Cypress College President JoAnna Schilling shared these comments about the prestigious recognition:

Today, the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program announced that Cypress College is an Aspen Prize Top 150 U.S. Community College. This, alone, is an impressive milestone for all of us here. This means we are now also eligible to compete for the 2023 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence and $1 million in shared prize funds — “basically the Oscars for great community colleges,” as President Obama put it.

Aspen Prize for community college excellence

We are truly proud of, and humbled by, this honor because it recognizes the great work, vision, and shared journey that every employee here at Cypress College has embraced. It affirms that student success is part of our campus culture and that our commitment to equity is enduring. Being recognized by the esteemed and highly regarded Aspen Institute speaks to a collective commitment at Cypress College to serve our students with an unapologetic and unrelenting effort to ensure that each and every student has the opportunity to reach their goals.

This news comes just one day after Cypress College was recognized by the Campaign for College Opportunity as one of their 2021 Equity Champions of Higher Education. I hope all of our employees pause a moment to reflect on how their commitment, dedication, and hard work are making a difference in the lives of our students.

About Cypress College:

 Cypress College offers students a pathway to their future in an environment in which employees commit to joining students on their educational journey. The college’s half-million-plus alumni include actors, athletes, doctors, executives, mechanics, nurses, and teachers. For some, Cypress College is the ticket into their university of choice, and for others, it provides essential training for a prosperous career. Just one Cypress College class is often all it takes to provide cutting- edge skills that lead to a promotion or a new job.

Cypress College’s 16,000 students and the highly qualified teaching faculty are proud of the many excellent academic and vocational programs. Cypress College provides a pathway for each of our students, offering 56 university-transfer majors, 174 career-certificate programs, and degrees in 98 areas of study. The college’s traditional semesters begin in January and August, while short-term courses start throughout the year. A Cypress College education costs $46 per unit — $138 for a typical, full-credit class — California’s lowest tuition. Eligible first-time students qualify for free tuition through Cypress College’s Charger Experience promise program. Financial aid and scholarships are also available to qualifying students.

Cypress College is one of three campuses in the North Orange County Community College District and a member of the 116-campus California Community College system. The college primarily serves the cities of Anaheim, Buena Park, Cypress, Garden Grove, La Palma, Los Alamitos, Seal Beach, and Stanton.

Located at 9200 Valley View Street in Cypress, the college is easily accessible from several Southern California freeways, including the 5, 91, 605, 22, and 405. The campus is just a stone’s-throw from Downtown Disney and Knott’s Berry Farm.

In response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, Cypress College’s instruction and services are now offered both in person on campus and in an online/remote format. Students can access support services online at cypresscollege.edu/coronavirus.

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President Schilling’s Board Report for October 26, 2021

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 26, 2021

Thank you to all who joined us for the Grand Opening of our new Veterans Resource Center (VRC) and Science, Engineering, and Math (SEM) buildings on October 19. This was a wonderful event, celebrating the completion of two new buildings that will serve Cypress College students for years to come. I want to thank Marc Posner and our Communications Team, Kai Stearns and Chelsea Salisbury, Kristi Valdez, as well as all our speakers, staff, and student ambassadors for making this a meaningful celebration.

Cypress College will be hosting three Vaccination Mandate Town Halls to help detail the November 1 implementation for students and employees. These will be held on October 22 @ 10 – 11 a.m. for employees only, October 26 @ 1-2 p.m. for students and employees, and October 28 @ 4-5 p.m. for students only.

The final Vaccination Clinic for our internal and external community will be held October 26 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in NOCE/Cypress Room 117/118. First and second doses of Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson will be provided, as well as booster shots on request.

DSS Counselor Dawn Decker, DSS Director Celeste Phelps, and DSS Student Services Coordinator Summer Justice presented at the California Association on Post-Secondary Education and Disability (CAPED) Conference in Lake Tahoe October 4-8. Their topic was demonstrating how they use the Clockwork technology to enhance the student experience through customizable modules, designed to meet our DSS students’ specific needs. Congratulations to our presenters and thank you for your support of our students.

The Pediatric Cypress College Registered Nursing Students spent October 9 administering flu vaccines to 156 school-aged children in the Savanna School District. This clinic was part of the “Teach Flu a Lesson” program sponsored by Kaiser Permanente and supported by Cypress College. This is the ninth year of our partnership for this event.  Thank you to Michael Faraci and our nursing faculty for organizing and supporting this event.

On October 27, from 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m., the LIFE Community, our support program for formerly incarcerated students, will host Danny Murrillo, a true leader in the field of FISI student empowerment. Murrillo was formerly incarcerated himself, and he co-founded the Underground Scholars Initiative at UC Berkeley, was a recipient of the John Gardner Fellowship for Public Service, as well as appearing in GQ Magazine, National Public Radio (NPR), Option B Stories, The Appeal Podcast, The New Yorker Magazine, Univision, and 60 Minutes with Oprah.

Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk Silva visited the Cypress College campus on October 14 to present certificates of achievement to our three HACU Fellows:  AnnMarie Ruelas, Gisela Verduzco, and Yanet Garcia-Padilla. Read our news coverage here.

The SDMS (Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography) Foundation Sonography Student and Advanced Degree Scholarship Programs awarded a $2,500 scholarship to Megan Park, a DMS student at Cypress College. Scholarships are awarded to deserving sonography students and sonographers who have been accepted or are currently enrolled in a diagnostic medical sonography or cardiovascular technology educational program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). Megan was one of only two recipients awarded this scholarship on a national level. She is a senior (second year) sonography student who will graduate in May 2022. Congratulations, Megan!

Do not miss the fabulous Cypress College Theater Department production of The Laramie Project. This important and beautifully acted play, detailing the death of Matthew Shepard, is directed by faculty member Jennifer McMillin-Brick, and will be presented October 15, 16, 22, and 23 at 7 p.m., and October 17 and 24 at 4 p.m. in our Campus Theater. Vaccination proof is required to attend in person. For those interested in seeing this production via live streaming, we will be presenting this on October 27 and 28 at 7 p.m. For tickets or streaming access please visit CypressCollegeTheatre.com.

In 2020, Cypress was one of 13 community colleges nationwide to be named as a NASA minority-serving institution. This month, 17 Cypress College students successfully completed the first NASA on-campus experience. Out of the seven community colleges who participated, Cypress College had the largest number of students to complete the online course and career assimilation program. Throughout the competition, three of our students won employee of the month and two others were part of the winning team. These students will be acknowledged October 29. During the second half of the event, some of the NCAS participants will be featured as panelists and have an opportunity to share about their personal experiences.

The Legacy and Puente Programs sponsored a John Henryism Workshop for Mental Health on Monday, October 18, 2021.  John Henryism (JH) is a strategy for coping with prolonged exposure to stresses such as social discrimination and other stresses that lead to expending high levels of effort, which results in accumulating physiological and psychological costs.

Now that in person events are starting to occur again, Dr. Schilling, Howard Kummerman, and Rachel Ghatikar had the opportunity to attend the Cypress State of the City/Cypress Chamber Social Mixer on October 6, along with Trustees Stephen Blount and Barbara Dunsheath. They also attended the Cypress/Anaheim Boys and Girls Club Masquerade Event on October 23 at the California Grand Hotel in Anaheim and, on November 20, they will also be supporting the Estrella Awards sponsored by the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Aligned with the college’s commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, this summer our student service team created three new Student Resource Guides – the Latin@ Resource Guide, the APIDA Resource Guide, and the Black Student Resource Guide. Thank you to Gisela Verduzco, Pryscilla Truong, Virgil Adams, and Paul de Dios for taking the lead in developing these wonderful resource guides for students and to Marc Posner and his team for helping to format, organize, and share with students. The official rollout of these new guides will be November 1.

Dr. Schilling will be presenting the AFHAT Transportation brief that she authored as a member of the Affordability, Food & Housing Access Taskforce at the Trustees webinar on November 4 @ 12-1:30 p.m. and again during the CEO webinar on November 9 @ 12-1 p.m. To access this brief, please click here.

On November 8, our Veterans Center will be hosting our annual Green Zone Training for all interested employees, in the effort to provide more support for our Veterans and military-affiliated families.

Buen Cypress! We Take This Journey Together!

Cypress College to Hold Grand Opening of Two New Buildings from Measure J

For Immediate Release

October 15, 2021

Contact: Marc Posner

(714) 484-7006

Cypress College officially unveils its two newest buildings — Science, Engineering, and Math (SEM) and the Veterans Resource Center (VRC) — the first new construction completed under the Measure J Bond project. The buildings are centerpiece projects of Measure J, a $574 million bond approved by voters in 2014 to provide next-generation facilities at Cypress College, Fullerton College, and North Orange Continuing Education.

Exterior of new SEM building

The grand opening takes place in the new event plaza, adjacent to the VRC on Tuesday, October 19, starting at 10 a.m. Tours will follow the presentation and ribbon cutting ceremonies. RSVPs are available at tinyurl.com/SEMVRCGrandOpening.

In addition to the new construction, Cypress College also officially opens a renovated pond area, featuring a tribute garden and flags for each branch of the military to honor those who served along with a refurbished Student Life & Leadership building.

Cypress College President JoAnna Schilling, Ph.D. said these state-of-the-art buildings are representative of the kind of support the institution enjoys, and that the SEM and SLL/VRC buildings would not have been possible without the widespread backing of the community.

“This project represents a promise kept with our students and our neighbors, who generously supported our Measure J Bond project,” said Dr. Schilling. “Our STEM students now have a state-of-the-art lecture and lab facility replacing one that was designed before humans walked on the moon. These spaces — including the immersive digital classroom — will prepare our next generation of scientists, engineers, and chemists.”

The new 106,000-square-foot SEM building will serve as the campus collaboration hub, and includes research and teaching laboratories, interactive student resource areas, a multidisciplinary classroom, lecture spaces, and conference rooms. The new building is designed to have lasting use, with versatile design features that allow for future expansion. The new building effectively replaces and doubles the size of the old facility, which had been in use since the early 1970s. Groundbreaking for the new building began in late 2018. It is the first new instructional space to open on the campus since 1976.

Perhaps one of the most unique and exciting features of the new SEM building is the immersive digital classroom, a 96-seat theater that features motion projection on the domed ceiling, and the possibility of a planetarium to be added later on.

Cypress College’s new VRC will offer essential educational support services to veterans as they transition from active military duty to civilian life, and it has been specifically designed with their unique needs in mind. Veterans and military-affiliated students will have access to updated computers and technology, as well as private counseling rooms, social space, and a private patio in the new facility.

Get more information about Measure J, the SEM building, or the SLL/VRC building.

About Cypress College:

Cypress College offers students a pathway to their future in an environment in which employees commit to joining students on their educational journey. The college’s half-million-plus alumni include actors, athletes, doctors, executives, mechanics, nurses, and teachers. For some, Cypress College is the ticket into their university of choice, and for others, it provides essential training for a prosperous career. Just one Cypress College class is often all it takes to provide cutting-edge skills that lead to a promotion or a new job.

Cypress College’s 16,000 students and the highly qualified teaching faculty are proud of the many excellent academic and vocational programs. Cypress College provides a pathway for each of our students, offering 56 university-transfer majors, 174 career-certificate programs, and degrees in 98 areas of study. The college’s traditional semesters begin in January and August, while short-term courses start throughout the year. A Cypress College education costs $46 per unit — $138 for a typical, full-credit class — California’s lowest tuition. Eligible first-time students qualify for free tuition through Cypress College’s Charger Experience promise program. Financial aid and scholarships are also available to qualifying students.

Cypress College is one of three campuses in the North Orange County Community College District and a member of the 116-campus California Community College system. The college primarily serves the cities of Anaheim, Buena Park, Cypress, Garden Grove, La Palma, Los Alamitos, Seal Beach, and Stanton.

Located at 9200 Valley View Street in Cypress, the college is easily accessible from several Southern California freeways, including the 5, 91, 605, 22, and 405. The campus is just a stone’s-throw from Downtown Disney and Knott’s Berry Farm.

In response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, Cypress College’s instruction and services are now offered both in person on campus and in an online/remote format. Students can access support services online at cypresscollege.edu/coronavirus.

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Cypress College’s New HACU Fellows Honored

Cypress College’s three HACU fellows — Yanet Garcia Padilla, AnnMarie Ruelas, and Gisela Verduzco — were honored by Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva during an on-campus ceremony on Tuesday, October 12, 2021. Quirk-Silva, who represents Cypress College as part of California’s 65th Assembly District, presented the three campus leaders with certificates of recognition in celebration of their achievement.

Three women standing in front of mural, holding awards

Padilla, Ruelas, and Verduzco were accepted last month by the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities as fellows into a program designed to increase diverse representation in executive and senior-level positions in higher education. Just 25 fellows were accepted into the program across the nation.

Quirk-Silva, an educator prior to serving as an elected official, told each of the HACU fellows she was proud of their work and the opportunities they created for others to achieve their dreams. The setting matched this theme as well. Quirk-Silva made the presentations in front of the campus’ prominent carved sculpture, created by J. Sergio O’Cadiz Moctezuma in 1967 as a sign of hope and possibility for Latino students. The sculpture was preserved in 2016 as Cypress College prepared for its 50th anniversary celebration and highlighted as part of an exhibition of O’Cadiz Moctezuma’s work. The Cypress College sculpture is one of the artist’s few surviving public works.

“These three Cypress College leaders … are all talented individuals who aspire to leadership positions and continue to bring innovative and inspiring programs to the students of Cypress College,” Quirk-Silva said on her social media account.

Five women (three new HACU fellows, Cypress College President Joanna Schilling, and Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva) stand in front of stone sculpture by O'Cadiz Moctezuma.

Cypress College President JoAnna Schilling, PhD., acknowledged this accomplishment for the three new fellows, the most selected from any single organization in the United States.

“We know the HACU Leadership Academy will further improve their opportunities for professional advancement and for the benefit of the students they serve,” Schilling said in a press release earlier this year.

“Cypress College is incredibly proud to have three fellows selected, more than any other institution in the nation. We believe this speaks to the commitment to support our employees and students as a Hispanic-Serving Institution.”

President Schilling’s Board Report for October 12, 2021

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 12, 2021

Cypress College will be holding the second of its two fall vaccination clinics on October 18 to assist students and employees in meeting the November 1 mandate. The second clinic will be held at the Cypress NOCE location from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., providing first and second doses of Pfizer, as well as Johnson & Johnson and Moderna vaccines on request. Any student or employee who receives their second vaccination dose (or first of Johnson & Johnson) by October 18 will meet the November 1 deadline.

Future Built, the Orange County Strong Workforce campaign, featured two of Cypress’ programs in their most recent newsletter: our Aviation and Automotive Technology programs. Click here to read these stories and how Cypress is making a difference in the lives of our students.

Over 40 Cypress College students attended the Huntington Beach Airshow on October 1-3. In preparation for this annual event, Cypress’ Aviation instructor, Ed Valdez, realized a lifelong dream of flying with the Blue Angels, during a practice run on September 29 at the Joint Forces Airbase in Los Alamitos. Ed has inspired so many of our students to reach for their dreams, so it was gratifying to see him realize one of his. Thanks to Kathleen Reiland, Marc Posner, Cypress council member Anne Hertz, and Supervisor Katrina Foley for attending.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and on Wednesday, October 6, the Health Center hosted the inaugural Community Partner Spotlight, inviting the Long Beach Trauma Recovery Center and the Women’s Transitional Living Center (WTLC) to present about interventions and support in observance of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Additionally, on Wednesday, October 20, 2021, from 12-1 p.m., the college continues our Wellness Wednesdays. This month the topic will be “Negotiating Boundaries with Family and Friends.” This workshop will present tips and tools to negotiating agreements and setting boundaries to create healthy habits in relationships, whether romantic or plutonic. More details to come for this workshop.

Stephanie Teer and Stephanie Flores were selected to present at the California Coalition of Early and Middle Colleges (CCEMC) 8th Annual Dual Enrollment Summit on September 23-24, along with Amanda Bean of AUHSD. Their presentation, titled Dual Enrollment Success Strategies in a Virtual World, featured the best practices to support students in the transition to virtual learning. The collaboration between both institutions introduced new strategies to capitalize on the opportunity to develop an innovative learning environment through the establishment of an online public high school embedded with various dual enrollment pathways. Congratulations to our Dual Enrollment team!

Cypress College Court Reporting was well represented at the National Court Reporter’s Association Annual Convention held in Las Vegas at Planet Hollywood this past summer.  Two students, Julia Kalina and Shayna Lutsky, were selected to receive convention sponsorship by the Los Angeles County Court Reporter’s Association.  In total, Cypress College had more than 15 students in attendance, one of the largest groups of students nationally. In addition, the Los Angeles County Court Reporter’s Association is also sponsoring six Cypress students to attend the virtual California Court Reporter’s Association convention to be held October 15– 17.  Our Cypress College Court Reporting students Alissa Legaspi, Alison Kelly, David Wong, Danielle Jones, Monica Ortega, and Nicole Marsalek look forward to attending.

In other news, our EOPS/CARE, CalWORKs & Guardian Scholars programs served more than 850 students during the spring 2021 semester and over 1,000 unduplicated students throughout the year. The program continues to support, engage, and connect with students by providing counseling, textbook assistance, priority registration, workshops, and events; services are now offered both virtually and in-person. The spring 2021 EOPS graduating class was the largest to date, with just over 200 students graduating and transferring.

Cypress College was named a subrecipient to CSUF’s Project RAISER grant. As a subrecipient, Cypress College will be awarded $15,000 per year for five years for a total of $75,000 (October 1, 2021 to September 30, 2026). This grant will focus on providing research opportunities for our students. Congratulations to Yanet Padilla for her application for this grant and dedication to the STEM(2) program.

In other STEM news, a group of 20 students attended the Base 11 Next Frontier Expo and Virtual Conference held October 6-7. Base 11 is a local organization committed to opening industry and career opportunities to underrepresented students in the STEM fields. This opportunity was offered free to our students through a partnership collaboration with Cypress and Base 11.

With continued support from Pathways of Hope, our student services team and campus volunteers effectively maintained operations of the Food Pantry drive-thru service by distributing over 9,300 bags of dry goods, produce, toiletries, diapers, and hygiene products this past academic year. We will continue this drive-up distribution during the fall semester with the expectation of moving operations again to our new food pantry in the spring. Donations are still needed for hygiene goods such as soap, shampoo, deodorant, feminine products, diapers, toothbrushes and toothpaste, and other non-food products.

As previously announced, the annual Look Who’s Dancing fundraiser by Pathways of Hope was postponed until 2022, but our Dance students, under the leadership of Maha Afra, recorded a promotional video to promote our commitment in the fight to end hunger and homelessness. Pathways of Hope Development Manager, Mychael Blinde, visited the campus the last week of September to video the choreographed PSA. We thank our students and Professor Afra for their dedication to this important cause. We will share the video when it is released later this month!

Undocumented Student Action Week (USAW) is taking place October 18-22. The Cypress College Grads to Be Program provides counseling, legal aid assistance, financial aid and scholarship assistance, mental health referrals, and workshops and events. Free legal services are also offered to our undocumented students in coordination with the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA). Grads to Be served over 50 students this past year.

The Grads to Be Programs across NOCCCD are also partnering to present a vibrant list of virtual workshops and offerings in celebration of USAW. Now in its fifth year at the state level, USAW encourages California Community Colleges to engage in advocacy and support efforts in solidarity with undocumented students throughout the state. See the full schedule of programming.

Buen Cypress! We Take This Journey Together

Trees Memorialize Two Former Cypress College Employees, Thrive in Spite of Recent Restoration Projects

For Immediate Release

September 30, 2021

Contact: Marc Posner

(714) 484-7006

For over 50 years, Cypress College has occupied a gorgeous location in the greater Orange County area where it resides. The campus itself is a beautiful mix of original architecture and contemporary design that wrap around a central pond where students, campus employees, and visitors alike can sit, study, ponder, and reflect.

Busy passersby may not notice the two smaller, unassuming trees that neatly grow on either side of the Cypress College pond. What the camphor tree and ginkgo biloba tree represent, however, were two women whose impact on the college simply could not go without recognition.

The ginkgo biloba tree was planted in 2002 in honor of Dr. Dorothy LaLonde Stout, longtime geology faculty member at the college who died in September 2001. On the northwest side of the pond, a camphor tree, planted in 2013, looks out to the pond, memorializing Dr. Kimberly K. Bartlett, the late director of Disability Support Services (DSS) at the college. Both trees survived the recent reconstruction project of the pond, according to Phil Fleming, director of Physical Plant and Facilities at the college.

Memorial tree and plaque

“These trees survived significant pond refurbishment,” Fleming said. “What’s even more interesting, perhaps, is that these trees not only survived the construction, but now appear to be healthier than ever.”

DSS Counselor Deborah Michelle remembers Bartlett well. Her sense of humor is what she thinks back on most. But what made her special, Michelle said, was her determination to make a better world for people with disabilities, especially the students on her campus.

“I think she would be impressed with how much further the campus has come in regards to accessibility for people with disabilities,” Michelle said. “Cypress was then, and is now, in a constant pursuit of a truly accessible campus.”

Marylou Garibaldi, DSS student services specialist, remembers her similarly, calling her the “nicest person you could ever meet.”

“She was truly an inspiration,” Garibaldi said. “I think she would love to see how much the campus has changed and how Disability Support Services is becoming more prominent on campus. I miss her dearly.”

Due to Dr. Bartlett’s advocacy, the campus was prompted to incorporate more accommodations, including automatic opening doors on the main buildings, electronic buttons to open doors, and more. She served at Cypress College from 2000 until her death in 2013.

Stout’s memorial tree tells a different story. Under the ginkgo biloba tree, a plaque with a quote attributed to her reads, “It is an awesome challenge to play a part in the lives of students and help them be more productive citizens.”

Memorial tree plaque for Dorothy Stout

Stout, a long-time faculty member, dedicated herself to Cypress College and its students from when she was hired in 1974 until she retired in 2001. Her colleagues remember her as an academic who was absolutely committed to the advancement of her field, and educating the next generation of future scientists. She served as the National Science Foundation’s program director for undergraduate education. She was widely respected in her field, and was even named the 1996 Orange County Community College Teacher of the Year.

Her field recognized her contributions as well. She was awarded the 2001 Excellence in Geophysics Education Award by the American Geophysics Union. She served as president of the National Association of Geology Teachers’ (NAGT), which now gives a namesake award in her honor.

Cypress College President Dr. JoAnna Schilling said the trees serve as a reminder to all who work at the institution what it means to “truly serve students.”

“Dr. Stout and Dr. Bartlett gave immeasurably to our college and students, and these trees are a fitting way to memorialize them both,” she said. “They were both strong yet gentle individuals who were always advocating for a higher calling to serve the students who needed them. Their legacies will not be forgotten.”

To learn more about the National Association of Geology Teachers and the Dr. Dorothy Stout Professional Development award, visit nagt.org/nagt/awards/stout.html.

About Cypress College:

Cypress College offers students a pathway to their future in an environment in which employees commit to joining students on their educational journey. The college’s half-million-plus alumni include actors, athletes, doctors, executives, mechanics, nurses, and teachers. For some, Cypress College is the ticket into their university of choice, and for others, it provides essential training for a prosperous career. Just one Cypress College class is often all it takes to provide cutting-edge skills that lead to a promotion or a new job.

Cypress College’s 16,000 students and the highly qualified teaching faculty are proud of the many excellent academic and vocational programs. Cypress College provides a pathway for each of our students, offering 56 university-transfer majors, 174 career-certificate programs, and degrees in 98 areas of study. The college’s traditional semesters begin in January and August, while short-term courses start throughout the year. A Cypress College education costs $46 per unit — $138 for a typical, full-credit class — California’s lowest tuition. Eligible first-time students qualify for free tuition through Cypress College’s Charger Experience promise program. Financial aid and scholarships are also available to qualifying students.

Cypress College is one of three campuses in the North Orange County Community College District and a member of the 116-campus California Community College system. The college primarily serves the cities of Anaheim, Buena Park, Cypress, Garden Grove, La Palma, Los Alamitos, Seal Beach, and Stanton.

Located at 9200 Valley View Street in Cypress, the college is easily accessible from several Southern California freeways, including the 5, 91, 605, 22, and 405. The campus is just a stone’s-throw from Downtown Disney and Knott’s Berry Farm.

In response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, Cypress College’s instruction and services are offered primarily in a remote format. Students can access support services online at cypresscollege.edu/coronavirus.

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Aviation & Travel Careers Chair Flies with Blue Angels

Ed Valdez, Cypress College’s Aviation & Travel Careers Department Chair, today reached one of aviation’s heights by flying with the U.S. Navy Blue Angels. Valdez flew in one of the new F/A-18 Super Hornets out of the Los Alamitos Army Airfield/Joint Forces Training Base, breaking the sound barrier, reaching a g-force of 7.5, and fulfilling a lifelong dream.

Ed Valdez holds a banner with Blue Angels pilot Justin Bratton.
Valdez was aboard Blue Angels #7 — a Boeing FA-18 Super Hornet — with Julius Bratton.

“Ever since I first saw them, I wanted to fly with them,” Valdez said of the Naval aviation group. “It has been my dream.”

The Blue Angels are celebrating their 75th Anniversary tour, and included Valdez as a VIP guest in the flight event leading up to this weekend’s Pacific Air Show in Huntington Beach October 1-3. When asked what being considered a VIP with the Blue Angels meant for him and Cypress College, Valdez was reflective, and a little emotional.

“To the students at Cypress College, I’d say ‘You can do it.’ I’ve made it, there were a lot of roadblocks, but I made it, and students can, too.”

Valdez was briefed before the hour-long flight on how to prepare for high speeds – the day’s flight clocked an indicated MACH of 1.21 – and strong gravitational force. Blue Angel crew members taught him anti-gravity exercises and the Hook Maneuver, to increase blood flow to his upper body and head in the face of forces stronger than seven times his body weight. The possibility of passing out was real but Valdez proved he could be a good student as well as a good teacher.

“No passing out for this guy!” he said upon landing. After deplaning, he said he enjoyed the in-air maneuvers and felt “humbled and blessed to have this opportunity.”

From left: Cypress City Council Member Anne Hertz, #7 Crew Chief Jordan Walls, Orange County Second District Supervisor Katrina Foley, who presented Valdez with a Certificate of Recognition, and Interim Vice President of Instruction and Career & Technical Education Dean Kathleen Reiland.

In attendance for the event were Orange County Second District Supervisor Katrina Foley, who presented Valdez with a Certificate of Recognition, and Cypress City Council Member Anne Hertz. Cypress College President JoAnna Schilling and Interim Vice President of Instruction and Career & Technical Education Dean Kathleen Reiland also joined to celebrate their colleague’s achievement.

“Thanks goes to Cypress College – I’m doing this for all the kids,” Valdez said. “It’s a great feeling to have them set their lives up and see their success. I tell them to always be putting one foot in front of the other. The destination’s important but you have to enjoy the path.”

Valdez has taught at Cypress since 2004. He has flown for Champion Air, Skywest Airlines, and occasionally for private Gulfstream G3 aircraft on a contract basis. He recently retired from being a pilot with United Airlines, where he flew Boeing 757 and 767 aircraft.

President Schilling’s Board Report for September 28, 2021

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 September 28, 2021

The semester is in full swing and it is hard to believe we are already entering the sixth week of instruction. The college is busy working with students and employees to upload their vaccination records, and provide timely information to our campus community. Cypress College will be holding two vaccination clinics to assist students and employees meet the November 1 mandate – on September 27 and October 18. Both clinics will be held at the Cypress NOCE location from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., providing first and second doses of Pfizer, as well as Johnson & Johnson and Moderna vaccines on request. Any student or employee who receives their second vaccination dose (or first of Johnson & Johnson) by October 18 will meet the November 1 deadline.

We are pleased to announce that the Cypress College Automotive Technology students received 20 percent of the California New Car Dealers Association Scholarship awards given to colleges in the state. Three students received substantial awards:

  • John Villegas: $5,000 — 2nd year General Program
  • Molly Poer: $5,000 — 1st year T-TEN
  • Vincent Lagasca: $10,000 — 2nd year T-TEN

In addition, another 25 students received multiple scholarships from the Orange County Auto Dealers Association. Congratulations to our outstanding students and to our automotive faculty who prepare them for excellence! We are proud of our industry partnerships and grateful for the support of our local auto dealers.

Dave Dahl Speaks! On September 22, Dave Dahl, the founder of the successful bread company, Dave’s Killer Bread, shared his amazing story from incarceration to CEO and entrepreneur with our LIFE students and campus community. Our students were inspired by hearing from a man who refused to allow his early mistakes define his life and who offered hope, encouragement, and practical tips to our students.

College Factual, the largest higher education analytics company in the U.S., has ranked several of Cypress’ associate degree programs in the top 25 in the nation. The rankings come from multiple factors including: accreditation, student employment success, student and employer demand, educational outcomes, affordability, and student satisfaction. The top programs acknowledged at Cypress College are: Business Administration (#3 in the nation); Hospitality and Culinary Arts (#5 in the nation); Health Services (#11 in the nation); Radiological Technician (#21 in the nation); Diagnostic Medical Sonography (#22 in the nation). Our Marketing program (#50) and Nursing Program (#68) both ranked in the top 15% of the national rankings. Read more about how Cypress College ranked.

Our M&O team has continued working to improve our campus facilities through the pandemic. They recently completed re-roofing the Business & the Gym II buildings. The final coating has a reflectivity rating that meets or exceeds all Title-24 R-Value and sustainability requirements. With proper maintenance, these new roof systems will last 30 years each. Thank you to managers Phil Fleming, Carlos Guerrero, and A.D. Fowler, and to our excellent M&O team for all they do!

There are lots of good things happening in our Cypress College Athletics Department, starting with the fact that our Cypress College Women’s Soccer Team is ranked #2 in the nation! The Lady Chargers soccer team opened their season with five straight wins and are currently 5-0 for the season. Go Chargers!

In other athletics news, Cypress Chargers Assistant Baseball Coach, former Athletic Director, and Cypress Hall of Famer Bill Pinkham, added another prestigious award to his resume as he was announced as the 2021 ABCA (American Baseball Coaches Association) Assistant Coach of the Year.

Cypress Athletics is also excited to announce the hiring of two full-time Athletic Trainers, Nicolette Marinello and Rachael Kirkpatrick. The appointments come following a comprehensive national search after the retirement of longtime Athletic Trainer, Scott Tucker. Welcome, Nicolette and Rachael! And thank you, Wes McCurtis and Colin Preston, for leading our athletics forward.

We are proud to share the first images (of Jupiter and Saturn) taken with a telescope in the new Cypress College Planetarium by Professor Michael Frey and SEM tutor Alex Miyoshi. As the faculty and staff learn about the new equipment and technology, the Astronomy Department plans to offer students lab opportunities where they will be able to use the equipment to produce images. Join us for Star Watch evenings this semester on campus in our new VRC outdoor complex.

Cypress College will be the beneficiary of a two-year grant with the Babson Financial Literacy Project (BFLP), a not-for-profit initiative designed to help young adults acquire the financial knowledge and skills necessary for long-term independence and prosperity. Their focus is to fill the financial literacy gap for underserved populations by providing them with access to personal finance education. Our Title V Grant identifies the need for financial literacy as a part of Guided Pathways, and we will be beginning a pilot this semester with all students in the Charger Experience to evaluate which BFLP workshops resonate with our students.

The Career Planning Center is offering several workshops each month throughout the fall semester to assist our students. Please review their schedule. Thank you to Angela Sardan and the Career Planning Center team for their support of our students.

Buen Cypress! We Take This Journey Together

T-TEN Students Earn Statewide Grants

Two Automotive Technology T-TEN students received awards from the California New Car Dealers Association Scholarship Foundation this month. This year’s annual “Car Careers” Scholarship program selected 20 total grant recipients and one overall statewide winner, a Cypress College student, to receive an additional $5,000.

Two Cypress College T-TEN students pose in front of Toyota T-TEN sign

Molly Poer, a Year 1 T-TEN student, received $5,000 from the organization. Vincent Lagasca, a Year 2 T-TEN student, who was awarded the Peter K Welch Honorary Scholarship, was granted $10,000.

“There’s something fulfilling about tightening the final bolt on a project – a sense of accomplishment that I haven’t found anywhere else,” Poer said in a press release. “Being an unconventional student, who has already completed previous degrees, worked in a different field, and yet still wants to grow my skill set to transition to a vastly different career, I know that I don’t fit the mold of a traditional technician… I want to be able to give people, men and women alike, the peace of mind that their vehicle is in the hands of someone who cares.”

The CNCDA scholarship program provided more than $100,000 to students in automotive technology programs. The organization awarded grants to applicants based on academic performance, career interests, and industry experience, according to a press release.

The Foundation Board selected the top four candidates from five regions across the state, who were each awarded $5,000 to cover education and training expenses. From these 20 grant recipients, Vincent Lagasca was selected as the overall statewide winner, receiving an additional $5,000 for the Peter K. Welch Honorary Scholarship.

“We were very impressed with the students who applied for this scholarship program and are proud to be able to support them as they pursue promising careers in the auto tech industry,” Brian Maas, CNCDA President and CNCDA Scholarship Foundation vice president, said.

The CAR CAREERS Scholarship will be offered again in 2022 and information on program specifics and the application process can be found here.

President Schilling’s Board Report for September 14, 2021

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 September 14, 2021

Although we are well underway with the fall semester, I want to thank our student services team and academic leaders for hosting our 2021 Virtual New Student Welcome Night and helping our students get off to a positive start. On August 20, over 650 students and their families tuned in to our Livestream for the Main Session and participated in the breakout sessions with Student Services and Academic Programs. Our support teams continue to be there to reassure and answer all of our students’ questions about the upcoming semester. Thank you to Gisela Verduzco, Pryscilla Truong, Paul de Dios, and all our Academic and Student Services deans, staff, and faculty for participating in this important event!

We are proud to announce that Yanet Garcia Padilla, AnnMarie Ruelas, and Gisela Verduzco have been accepted as fellows into the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) Leadership Academy/La Academia de Liderazgo Fellowship Program — a program designed to increase diverse representation in executive and senior-level positions in higher education. Three of the 25 higher education leaders selected are from Cypress College — more than any other institution in the United States. The one-year fellowship is open to “talented individuals who aspire to leadership positions at Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) and Emerging HSIs,” according to HACU (please see accompanying HACU news release). Congratulations to each of these dynamic leaders!

Cypress College will be hosting a Bystander Intervention Training on September 30, 2021 3–4:30 p.m. This training will be held for all Cypress College students, faculty, and staff. The Bystander Intervention Training will address specific strategies that can used to intervene on behalf of others who are targets of harassment, disrespect, and other racist attacks, either in person or online. Individuals who undergo the one-hour interactive training will learn the five D’s – distract, delegate, document, delay, and direct – and how to prioritize their own safety while intervening. The training, organized by Paul de Dios and Pryscilla Truong, is in response to this spring’s spike in anti-Asian hate incidents post-COVID. Attendees will also learn about the AAPI experience in the Southern California region and will empower individuals to make a meaningful difference as allies to AAPI friends, colleagues, and neighbors.

September is National Suicide Prevention Month and the Cypress College Health Center is committed to educating and raising awareness, as well as advocating for mental health services and resources to help break the stigma surrounding mental health. This year, the college took another step forward by establishing an Active Minds chapter on our campus. Active Minds is a national nonprofit organization leading the way for mental health awareness, through education and suicide prevention for young adults. They are active on over 800 college campuses and are now in high schools and even the workplace.

To further our goals to support the wellness of our students, the Health Center will be piloting new Mental Telehealth services for students, which allows for unlimited mental health counseling for our LGBTQ, veterans, athletics, EOPS, Legacy, Puente, and DSS students this fall. Our goal is to expand this service across the campus in spring. Please see the following events from the Health Center this month:

  • “S Word” Film Screening on Wednesday, September 1 @ 4-6 p.m.
  • World Suicide Prevention Day: Mental Health First-Aid and Self-Care Techniques with Dr. Erica Gergely on Friday, September 10
  • “Wake Up” Film Screening on Tuesday, September 14 @ 3-5 p.m.
  • Wellness Wednesday – Sorting Out Chaos: Accessing Our Mental Health Resources on Wednesday, September 22 @ 12-1 p.m.
  • A Collaborative Workshop with Active Minds, Integrative Wellness Club, and the Cypress Wellness Collaborative on Wednesday, September 29 @ 4-6 p.m.

Our student laptop program is underway with the first 2000 free laptops going to students in our Legacy, Puente, Veterans, Athletics, EOPS, the Charger Experience, and STEM(2) Programs. Another 1000 laptops will be arriving soon for Phase Two of this important technology program. In the meantime, any student may request a free Chromebook from our L/LRC.

Tyler University faculty member George Rodriguez reached out to Cypress Ceramics chair, Molly Schulps, to participate in a Cup Exchange Project between Cypress and Tyler students. Each student will be paired with another student and then will ship their cups to each other and have a meet up on Zoom. We can’t wait to see what they will create! Please check out Craft in America, Storytellers featuring George Rodriguez, for more on this project.

In other news, one of our Cypress College students, Saul Nieto, was featured in a profile by EdSource on community college students who are making the most of federal aid support during the pandemic. Saul received two emergency grants from our campus during the spring semester totaling $1050. He shares his story in this linked article.

Upcoming Events

Save the date!  The Grand Opening of the new Veterans Resource Center and SEM building has been set for October 19, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Look for invitations with more information coming soon. Also, on the calendar is our November 10 Veterans Day fundraising event beginning at 5 p.m. and hosted by the Cypress College Foundation. Details to come!

Our Disabilities Student Support (DSS) team will host a virtual “Drop-In with DSS!” one day each month during the fall semester. Please pop in and out during the hour or stay for the entire session to hear what your colleagues are asking! September 8, October 12, November 10, December 2, all from 12-1 p.m.

Save the Date! The 36th Annual Cypress College Foundation Golf Classic will be held on October 25 at the Los Coyotes Country Club. Come for a day of golf or join us for the dinner/banquet as we raise funds to support scholarships for Cypress College students.

Here are the upcoming events featured during our Hispanic Heritage Month. We hope you will be able to join us for all or some of these wonderful convenings celebrating the contributions of our Latinx community in our lives and institutions.

Buen Cypress! We Take This Journey Together!

HACU Leadership Academy Selects Three Cypress College Leaders for Fellowship Cohort of 25

For Immediate Release

September 2, 2021

Contact: Marc Posner

(714) 484-7006

Three of the 25 higher education leaders selected as HACU Leadership Academy fellows are from Cypress College — more than any other institution in the United States. The announcement was made earlier today by the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities.

The three Cypress College leaders are Yanet Garcia Padilla, AnnMarie Ruelas, and Gisela Verduzco. They have been accepted as fellows into a program designed to increase diverse representation in executive and senior-level positions in higher education.

“We are proud of these three amazing leaders,” said Cypress College President JoAnna Schilling, Ph.D. “Their leadership has already improved the success of thousands of students, and we know the HACU Leadership Academy will further improve their opportunities for professional advancement and for the benefit of the students they serve. Cypress College is incredibly proud to have three fellows selected, more than any other institution in the nation. We believe this speaks to the commitment to support our employees and students as a Hispanic-Serving Institution.”

The Leadership Academy (La Academia de Liderazgo) is a one-year fellowship open to “talented individuals who aspire to leadership positions at Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) and Emerging HSIs,” according to HACU (please see accompanying HACU news release).

Padilla is Cypress College’s Director of Educational Partnerships and Programs for the (STEM)2 Program. She launched this program in support of underserved students in the STEM fields in 2012 and has overseen its growth, which now includes oversight of a $4.1 million grant.

Ruelas is the Director of Cypress College’s EOPS/CARE, CalWORKs, Guardian Scholars & Grads to Be programs — a group of services providing support to first-generation students, single parents, emancipated foster care students, students without residency documentation, and returning adults, among others. She moved into the position on an interim basis in 2017 and was selected for the permanent position in 2018.

Verduzco is the Director of Student Equity and Success. She started at Cypress College as an adjunct counselor and was later promoted to interim Director of the Student Success and Support Program in 2018 before moving into her current role in 2020. She has responsibility for the college’s Promise Program — known as the Charger Experience Program — and outreach events such as New Student Welcome Night and Commit2Cypress. Verduzco was also responsible for the implementation of Cypress College’s multiple measures and guided self-placement (AB 705).

About Cypress College:

Cypress College offers students a pathway to their future in an environment in which employees commit to joining students on their educational journey. The college’s half-million-plus alumni include actors, athletes, doctors, executives, mechanics, nurses, and teachers. For some, Cypress College is the ticket into their university of choice, and for others, it provides essential training for a prosperous career. Just one Cypress College class is often all it takes to provide cutting-edge skills that lead to a promotion or a new job.

Cypress College’s 16,000 students and the highly qualified teaching faculty are proud of the many excellent academic and vocational programs. Cypress College provides a pathway for each of our students, offering 56 university-transfer majors, 174 career-certificate programs, and degrees in 98 areas of study. The college’s traditional semesters begin in January and August, while short-term courses start throughout the year. A Cypress College education costs $46 per unit — $138 for a typical, full-credit class — California’s lowest tuition. Eligible first-time students qualify for free tuition through Cypress College’s Charger Experience promise program. Financial aid and scholarships are also available to qualifying students.

Cypress College is one of three campuses in the North Orange County Community College District and a member of the 116-campus California Community College system. The college primarily serves the cities of Anaheim, Buena Park, Cypress, Garden Grove, La Palma, Los Alamitos, Seal Beach, and Stanton.

Located at 9200 Valley View Street in Cypress, the college is easily accessible from several Southern California freeways, including the 5, 91, 605, 22, and 405. The campus is just a stone’s-throw from Downtown Disney and Knott’s Berry Farm.

In response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, Cypress College’s instruction and services are now offered both in person on campus and in an online/remote format. Students can access support services online at cypresscollege.edu/coronavirus.

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DMS Instructor Goes Back to the Field and Refreshes her Industry Knowledge

Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program Director Lynn Mitts completed an externship in Radiologic Technology this summer, made possible through an OC Regional Strong Workforce project. Mitts went to Kaiser Permanente Hospital in Downey for her externship, which began in July.

Cypress College DMS Program Director Lynn Mitts works on radiologic tools at Kaiser Permanente Hospital in Downey, CA.

“It has been some years since I have been in the hospital setting as a radiographer so it was wonderful and exciting to be with the healthcare team,” Mitts said. “I have already updated my classroom lectures with the new items of information.”

Mitts spent time in the radiology department, learning about the latest digital equipment and software programs. She also observed various radiographic exams and how they differ from Mitts’ time as a radiographer.

Lynn Mitts stands behind Devin Grissom seated at his desk at Kaiser Permanente Downey, where he is the director of Diagnostic Imaging.

Mitts worked with Devin Grissom, director of Diagnostic Imaging at Kaiser Downey.

“I feel this externship provided me with a sense of renewal in my teaching. I was excited to see what changes have occurred since I have been in a radiology department. I was energized every day I walked into the hospital to see what new things I would discover.” After finishing the clinical portion, Mitts wrote a report, which included a review of the department’s quality assurance program, policies, and procedures. She interviewed the radiology department administrator, clinical instructor, radiologist, and students. Mitts asked questions about student-training expectations, future employees, and the future in imaging.
Two Cypress College students with their instructor Lynn Mitts outside Kaiser Permanente Hospital in Downey, CA.

Cypress College DMS students Krista De La Luz (left) and Samantha Smith (top) served their internship at Kaiser Downey at the same time as Mitts’ externship.

“I have gained invaluable experience in learning the capabilities of digital radiography equipment that is constantly changing. The conversations and interviews I had with different people in different positions were eye-opening.” In addition, 13 more Cypress faculty have completed an externship this summer through OC Regional Strong Workforce funding. Mitts says she would highly recommend all CTE instructors participate in an externship given the chance. “I feel it is important to rediscover the joy of our primary profession and bring that back to our students.”

President Schilling’s Board Report for August 24, 2021

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 August 24, 2021

Thank you to all who participated in our Opening and FLEX Day activities this past week. Many people contributed to an inspiring morning from Marc Posner and communications team members Marcie Kagawa, Anthony Diaz, and President’s Office staff Kristi Valdez and Louella Nelson. Highlighted in our pre-show were authors Stephanie Teer and retiree Donna Friess who have written a young adult book series and meditation and wellness, respectively. Anthony Ray Hinton, our keynote speaker, inspired us with an emotional presentation about his time on death row, and FITE Club student Dewayne McCoy shared his own challenges coming back to school after experiencing incarceration. We were also honored to present our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Award to all 22 members of our Black Lives Matter Taskforce — the first time a group was honored — for the important work they have contributed in support of transforming our college.

As part of the Flex Day events, a Campus COVID Update panel discussion was held on August 19, 2021 from 11:15 a.m.–12:45 p.m. Topics covered included:

  • Our Safe Return to Campus Guide
  • Facilities Update
  • Student Services Update
  • Health Updates

We appreciate the involvement of panel participants Paul de Dios, Alex Porter, Debbie Marriott-Simes, Marc Posner, and Marla McBride.

Our Communications Team has been busy providing updates to our students. Some of the recent efforts are below:

7/29 — Welcome Back to Campus

8/2 — (STEM)² Applications Now Available!

8/3 — Mortuary Science Application Workshop August 18

8/4 — Fall Classes Still Available

8/5 — We’re Here to Lend a Helping Hand

8/5 — Reminder: Get Vaxxed at Cypress College

8/6 — You’re Invited to New Student Welcome Night

Our athletics teams, led by Interim Dean Colin Preston and Athletic Director Wesley McCurtis, have been leading the way all year on COVID testing and vaccinations. CCCAA has mandated that 85% of student athletes must be vaccinated before weekly testing can be diminished. A recent survey sent to all our athletes showed the following results:

Total Survey Responses: 231

  • Vaccinated: 138 – 60%
  • Vaccinated + Planning to be Vaccinated: 168 – 73%
  • Vaccinated + Planning to be Vaccinated + Waiting for FDA Approval: 201 – 87%

We plan to be above 87% by October 15 for all sports teams.

Our M&O Team has been busy getting the college ready for students, returning faculty, and employees on campus. Thank you to Phil Fleming, Carlos Guerrero, and our outstanding team for this impressive list of work they have accomplished:

  • Over 2,000 visual aide decals have been installed throughout the campus in corridors/classrooms, entrances, and exits in these areas helping to direct students, staff, and visitors to their destination.
  • Hand-sanitizing stations and sanitizing wipes have been placed in all classrooms targeted for occupancy (a few more are still going out).
  • PPE has been distributed to every division on campus, and we will be re-stocking supply to meet the reoccurring demand throughout the entire fall semester. This PPE consists of face masks, some face shields, and latex gloves.
  • Every building on campus has been deep-cleaned and all restrooms have been deep-cleaned over the summer months.
  • We have placed over 200 individual plexiglass barriers at numerous locations throughout the campus, and our student services area is fully equipped with plexiglass protection.
  • Every HVAC filter on campus has been changed out to the MERV-13 standard filters.
  • HEPA air filters in each classroom for fall.

Cypress In the News

We are happy to share the latest press articles featuring Cypress College below:

The CEO Leadership Alliance-OC recently launched a career pathways program in partnership with OC school districts and community colleges.  North Orange County Community College District was acknowledged for our partnership in the CLA-OC Talent Bridge program with OC computer software firm Alteryx. Students in this program are earning a certification in data analytics, while gaining insight to the company’s career pathways. Upon conclusion they will be provided an invitation-only opportunity to network with top-level Alteryx leadership and affiliated Alteryx companies. Click here for CLAOC article.

The Event News-Enterprise carried additional news coverage in the last two weeks. This article covers both the OCADA awards provided to Cypress College and Michael Klyde’s CAT Teacher of the Year award.

And in late breaking news, the Cypress College Aviation Program was featured on Wednesday, August 18 on ABC Channel 7 news. We are trying to obtain a video of this great story, which we will share with you soon. Thank you to Edilberto Valdez for continuing to lead the way in our outstanding Aviation Program.

Upcoming Events

Save the date! The Grand Opening of the new Veterans Resource Center and SEM building has been set for October 19, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.  Look for invitations with more information coming soon.

At our last board meeting, we shared that Dr. Schilling would be participating in the Pathways of Hope Look Who’s Dancing competition. Unfortunately, due to concerns about the safety of holding this event in the fall, the fundraiser has been postponed until 2022.  Dr. Schilling looks forward to participating in the competition next year.

We are happy to share our Student Athlete Highlights:

  • 3.1 spring 2021 average GPA
  • 119 student athletes cumulative 3.0+
  • 42 different majors
  • 3.0 average cumulative student athlete GPA
  • 203 student athletes
  • 39 athletes with a 4.0 during spring 2021
  • 143 athletes with a 3.0+ during spring 2021
  • 11 teams with GPA 3.0+ in-season

Thank you to Sports Communication Specialist Brett Franchino for putting together this information. Go, Chargers!

Buen Cypress! We Take This Journey Together!

Cypress College Alumni Compete in Tokyo Olympics

For Immediate Release
August 24, 2021
Contact: Marc Posner
(714) 484-7006

 

Cypress College can now add two more names to its list of Olympians after two of its former students participated in the Tokyo Olympics this year.

Amanda Fama, of the Italian softball team, and Alon Leichman, of the Israeli baseball team, competed this summer in their respective events. Both athletes played for Cypress College while they were enrolled as students, with Fama playing from 2008-2010 and Leichman pitching from 2011-2013.

Fama, who plays shortstop, is the first-ever Charger to represent Cypress in softball at the Olympic games. While at Cypress College, Fama won a state championship in 2010 and three Orange Empire Conference (OEC) championships. She was inducted into the Cypress College Hall of Fame in 2017.

 

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Leichman pitched on behalf of Team Israel during the Tokyo Olympic games. He and his team went up against South Korea, the United States, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic. While at Cypress, Leichman was given the coveted closing pitcher role, and led the team to the state finals in 2013, where the Chargers clinched the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) Championship that year.

Cypress College Athletic Director Wes McCurtis said the college recognizes the value of supporting its student athletes, and it is committed to helping them move on to succeed in their academic and athletic endeavors.

 

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“As a community college, we have a limited window to impact student-athletes’ lives,” said McCurtis. “Ultimately, there is nothing more exciting than seeing our student-athletes embrace the opportunity they have here at Cypress, move on, and reach new heights in whatever they do. Amanda and Alon are role models for our student-athletes and alumni, highlighting the success that hard work and perseverance can lead to. That’s what our athletic program at Cypress is all about.”

Fama and Leichman are not the only alumni who went on to compete in the Olympics. Cypress College former Olympians include water polo player Bernice Orwig, judo athlete Tony Okada, and baseball player Augie Ojeda, who also went on to play in Major League Baseball for the Chicago Cubs, Arizona Diamondbacks, and the Minnesota Twins.

About Cypress College:

Cypress College offers students a pathway to their future in an environment in which employees commit to joining students on their educational journey. The college’s half-million-plus alumni include actors, athletes, doctors, executives, mechanics, nurses, and teachers. For some, Cypress College is the ticket into their university of choice, and for others, it provides essential training for a prosperous career. Just one Cypress College class is often all it takes to provide cutting-edge skills that lead to a promotion or a new job.

Cypress College’s 16,000 students and the highly qualified teaching faculty are proud of the many excellent academic and vocational programs. Cypress College provides a pathway for each of our students, offering 56 university-transfer majors, 174 career-certificate programs, and degrees in 98 areas of study. The college’s traditional semesters begin in January and August, while short-term courses start throughout the year. A Cypress College education costs $46 per unit — $138 for a typical, full-credit class — California’s lowest tuition. Eligible first-time students qualify for free tuition through Cypress College’s Charger Experience promise program. Financial aid and scholarships are also available to qualifying students.

Cypress College is one of three campuses in the North Orange County Community College District and a member of the 116-campus California Community College system. The college primarily serves the cities of Anaheim, Buena Park, Cypress, Garden Grove, La Palma, Los Alamitos, Seal Beach, and Stanton.

Located at 9200 Valley View Street in Cypress, the college is easily accessible from several Southern California freeways, including the 5, 91, 605, 22, and 405. The campus is just a stone’s-throw from Downtown Disney and Knott’s Berry Farm.

In response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, Cypress College’s instruction and services are offered primarily in a remote format. Students can access support services online at cypresscollege.edu/coronavirus.

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New Student Life, VRC, SEM Buildings Scheduled to Open at Cypress College This Fall

For Immediate Release

August 20, 2021

Contact: Marc Posner

(714) 484-7006

Cypress College is slated to open its Science, Engineering, and Math (SEM) building and its dually-housed Student Life & Leadership (SLL)/Veterans Resource Center (VRC) building this fall, both part of the larger 20-year, $574 million Measure J Bond project approved by voters in 2014. Measure J funds projects at Cypress College, Fullerton College, and North Orange Continuing Education.

Exterior of new SEM building

The new 106,000-square-foot SEM building will serve as the campus collaboration hub, and includes research and teaching laboratories, interactive student resource areas, a multidisciplinary classroom, lecture spaces, and conference rooms. The new building is designed to have lasting use, with versatile design features that allow for future expansion. The new building effectively replaces and doubles the size of the old facility, which had been in use since the early 1970s. Groundbreaking for the new building began in late 2018. It is the first new instructional space to open on the campus since 1976.

Perhaps one of the most unique and exciting features of the new SEM building is the immersive digital classroom, a 96-seat theater that features motion projection on the domed ceiling, and the possibility of a planetarium to be added later on.

Science, Engineering, Mathematics building

Cypress College President JoAnna Schilling, Ph.D. said these state-of-the-art buildings are representative of the kind of support the institution enjoys, and that the SEM and SLL/VRC buildings would not have been possible without the widespread backing of the community.

“This project represents a promise kept with our students and our neighbors, who generously supported our Measure J Bond project,” said Dr. Schilling. “Our STEM students now have a state-of-the-art lecture and lab facility replacing one that was designed before humans walked on the moon. These spaces — including the immersive digital classroom — will prepare our next generation of scientists, engineers, and chemists.”

Student Life and Leadership building

The SLL/VRC is also scheduled to open its doors to students in upcoming weeks and will serve Cypress College’s more than 16,000 students, including 900 who identify as veteran or military-affiliated. The VRC will serve as the centerpiece of the Veterans Education Resource Complex, which includes a tribute garden, veterans’ memorial bridge, and an outdoor event plaza. The project also saw the renovation of the SLL building (formerly the Student Activities Center), which will now house the International Students Program, and is connected to the VRC by the new construction.

Cypress College’s new VRC will offer essential educational support services to veterans as they transition from active military duty to civilian life, and it has been specifically designed with their unique needs in mind. Veterans and military-affiliated students will have access to updated computers and technology, as well as private counseling rooms, social space, and a private patio in the new facility.

Veterans Resource Center lobby

“The additions of the event plaza and tribute garden create a space for celebrating our U.S. veterans that is unique in Orange County — and the flags of our military branches will be watched over daily by our students who have transitioned from service to studies,” Schilling said. “Inside the VRC, these students will have access to services that will help them succeed.”

For more information about Measure J, the SEM building, or the SLL/VRC building, visit: cypresscollege.edu/measure-j-bond-program/veterans-resource-center-student-activities-center-building/.

About Cypress College:

Cypress College offers students a pathway to their future in an environment in which employees commit to joining students on their educational journey. The college’s half-million-plus alumni include actors, athletes, doctors, executives, mechanics, nurses, and teachers. For some, Cypress College is the ticket into their university of choice, and for others, it provides essential training for a prosperous career. Just one Cypress College class is often all it takes to provide cutting-edge skills that lead to a promotion or a new job.

Cypress College’s 16,000 students and the highly qualified teaching faculty are proud of the many excellent academic and vocational programs. Cypress College provides a pathway for each of our students, offering 56 university-transfer majors, 174 career-certificate programs, and degrees in 98 areas of study. The college’s traditional semesters begin in January and August, while short-term courses start throughout the year. A Cypress College education costs $46 per unit — $138 for a typical, full-credit class — California’s lowest tuition. Eligible first-time students qualify for free tuition through Cypress College’s Charger Experience promise program. Financial aid and scholarships are also available to qualifying students.

Cypress College is one of three campuses in the North Orange County Community College District and a member of the 116-campus California Community College system. The college primarily serves the cities of Anaheim, Buena Park, Cypress, Garden Grove, La Palma, Los Alamitos, Seal Beach, and Stanton.

Located at 9200 Valley View Street in Cypress, the college is easily accessible from several Southern California freeways, including the 5, 91, 605, 22, and 405. The campus is just a stone’s-throw from Downtown Disney and Knott’s Berry Farm.

In response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, Cypress College’s instruction and services are offered primarily in a remote format. Students can access support services online at cypresscollege.edu/coronavirus.

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President Schilling’s Board Report for August 10, 2021

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 August 10, 2021

Enrollment continues to be a challenge, despite the excellent efforts on the part of our Communications team, our Cypress Cares Campaign, our researchers, and our academic deans. The enrollment percentages continue to fluctuate and the challenges students are facing due to the COVID virus is impacting our enrollment. Interestingly, our online classes are filling faster than our on-campus classes, so we will continue to monitor this trend and adjust our schedule where we can.

Please join us for our Opening Day virtual convocation on Friday, August 20. It is hard to believe this will be our third virtual Opening Day, but we appreciate the efforts of Marc Posner and his team to pre-record, produce, and continue to make this event engaging. This year we will begin at 8:30 a.m. for a pre-show featuring interviews with three faculty members who have published books, and a brief update on our new construction projects. At 9 a.m., our program begins with greetings from our constituent leaders and Dr. Dunsheath, introduction of our new employees, the celebration of our three Faculty of the Year awardees, and the winner of our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Award. This year we are honored to have Anthony Ray Hinton as our keynote speaker. Mr. Hinton is featured in the movie Just Mercy, and has written his own book, The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row about his experience spending 27 years on death row for a crime he didn’t commit. We look forward to a fabulous morning and hope our Board members will be able to join us.

Our campus welcomed back our employees and managers during the week of August 2-5 and their presence and energy is already transforming our campus into a more vibrant place. Our Welcome Back Week provided an opportunity for employees to mingle, reconnect, and reengage.  We are grateful for everything our employees have accomplished this past year and look forward to welcoming our students back to campus very soon. Great to have our team together again!

We are also reminding everyone of our upcoming Vaccination Days on August 10 and August 31 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. each date. These events will be open to our entire District and local communities.  Please spread the word so we can encourage more people to receive their vaccinations and keep our campus and local community safe. Get the scheduling link here; we encourage you to share.

Cypress College will be hosting a Bystander Training for all employees on September 30 from 2:30 – 4:30 p.m. Bystander intervention training will equip allies with specific strategies to intervene on behalf of others who are targets of harassment, disrespect, and other racist attacks, either in person or online. Individuals who undergo the one-hour interactive training will learn the five D’s – distract, delegate, document, delay, and direct; and how to prioritize their own safety while intervening. The training will also provide opportunities to practice with this toolkit of options to safely intervene and make a difference. This training has been customized to speak to the AAPI experience in the southern California region, especially as it relates to this spring’s spike in anti-Asian hate incidents post-COVID. Thank you to Dr. Paul de Dios, Gisela Verduzco, and Pryscilla Truong for organizing this training for our campus community.

On July 30, Cypress College, Magnolia High School, and AUHSD partnered to present our annual White Cap Ceremony. In 2019, Cypress College received a grant offering a CyberSecurity pathway from high school to a bachelor’s degree. The CS3 Program provides a pathway from Magnolia High School to Cypress College, and then completion at UCI. Thirty students were accepted into the program in 2020 and 45 students are getting ready to begin in 2021. Thank you to Dr. Henry Hua, Stephanie Teer, and Sandra Rocha for leading this program partnership with Magnolia High School and UCI.

As announced at our last board meeting, alumna Amanda Fama made Cypress history as the first softball alum to represent the Chargers at the Tokyo Olympic Games. Amanda took the field in Tokyo, representing the Italian Softball National team. Amanda spent three seasons with the Chargers from 2008-2010 before transferring to Concordia University, Irvine. In addition, Charger baseball alum Alon Leichman (’13), was selected to Team Israel for this year’s Tokyo Olympics. Leichman pitched for the Chargers in the 2011-2013 seasons before moving on to become a scholar athlete at UC San Diego. Go Amanda and Alon and Go Chargers!

The Cypress College deans held their summer retreat in our new Student Activities Center (SAC) conference room on August 5.  Dr. Frank Harris joined us for the morning to discuss how we continue to lead the way in support of our students and employees of color, as well as a discussion on how to engage all employees on the important issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Our new Director of Institutional Research and Planning, Bryan Ventura, jumped right in as he joined senior researchers Eileen Haddad and Kristina Oganesian to present new Tableau reports on enrollment management. Thank you to our deans and presenters for participating in an engaging morning.

Dr. Schilling will be participating in the 2021 Look Who’s Dancing competition and fundraiser with Pathways of Hope. You may all recall that Dr. Greg Schulz and Fullerton College’s Director of Communication, Lisa McPheron, gamely stepped up to raise funds for our community partner, and now it is Cypress’ turn. The event will be held at Fullerton College on October 21. Please support us as we raise money for a worthy cause and come see Dr. Schilling stumble…uh, dance her way to support the work Pathways of Hope accomplished to fight hunger at our colleges and in our community.

Our campus communications team has been sending weekly briefs to our students and employees about enrollment, our safe campus reopening, public health information, and resources we are providing. To review this student outreach, the links below provide a sample of what has been sent to our students. Thank you to Marc Posner, Marcie Kagawa, and Cari Jorgensen for their excellent communication across our campus.

Student Communication

7/12 – What to Expect When Your Returning to Campus

7/12 – Safe Reopening of Campus

7/13 – ESC Open for Business

7/13 – Pre-Semester Laptop Survey

7/13 – Time for Registration (July 19-23)

7/14 – Fall Registration Fair

7/15 – Reminder: Learning Resource Center Open This Summer

7/20 – We’re Here to Support You

7/22 – Pre-Semester Aid Survey

7/27 – On-Campus Vaccination Clinic

Buen Cypress, We Take This Journey Together!

Cypress College Campus Reopens for Student Services Following 16-Month COVID Closure

For Immediate Release

July 29, 2021

Contact: Marc Posner

(714) 484-7006

Cypress College’s in-person services reopen for students on Monday, August 2, 2021 — a significant next step in the return to normal pre-COVID campus life. Students will also continue to have the option of meeting with support staff online moving forward, a modality that has proven to be highly convenient.

The college’s service areas will be open Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. beginning August 2 and will expand hours and services at the start of classes on Monday, August 23. Based on student and faculty demand, roughly 30% of Cypress College’s course offerings will take place on campus and in person. The remaining courses will continue online for the fall semester. The mix of services will be approximately the same — weighted for remote use.

“We’re excited for students to safely return to campus,” said Cypress College President JoAnna Schilling, Ph.D. “While they have appreciated the convenience of remote service, nothing can replace the experience of engaging face to face. We are happy for this next step in our return to being a campus community once again.”

Cypress College closed the campus and paused all in-person activity on March 13, 2020. Extremely limited in-person coursework — mostly in the technical trades and health sciences — resumed during the 2020-2021 academic year. Cypress College also safely and successfully resumed athletic competition during the spring 2021 semester. During the COVID pause, most employees worked from home — teaching and providing service to students. A core group of maintenance, custodial, technology, and campus safety employees continued work in person.

Students can complete the free admissions application on the campus website at CypressCollege.edu.

About Cypress College:

Cypress College offers students a pathway to their future in an environment in which employees commit to joining students on their educational journey. The college’s half-million-plus alumni include actors, athletes, doctors, executives, mechanics, nurses, and teachers. For some, Cypress College is the ticket into their university of choice, and for others, it provides essential training for a prosperous career. Just one Cypress College class is often all it takes to provide cutting-edge skills that lead to a promotion or a new job.

Cypress College’s 16,000 students and the highly qualified teaching faculty are proud of the many excellent academic and vocational programs. Cypress College provides a pathway for each of our students, offering 56 university-transfer majors, 174 career-certificate programs, and degrees in 98 areas of study. The college’s traditional semesters begin in January and August, while short-term courses start throughout the year. A Cypress College education costs $46 per unit — $138 for a typical, full-credit class — California’s lowest tuition. Eligible first-time students qualify for free tuition through Cypress College’s Charger Experience promise program. Financial aid and scholarships are also available to qualifying students.

Cypress College is one of three campuses in the North Orange County Community College District and a member of the 116-campus California Community College system. The college primarily serves the cities of Anaheim, Buena Park, Cypress, Garden Grove, La Palma, Los Alamitos, Seal Beach, and Stanton.

Located at 9200 Valley View Street in Cypress, the college is easily accessible from several Southern California freeways, including the 5, 91, 605, 22, and 405. The campus is just a stone’s-throw from Downtown Disney and Knott’s Berry Farm.

In response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, Cypress College’s instruction and services are offered primarily in a remote format. Students can access support services online at cypresscollege.edu/coronavirus.

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Return to Campus Information — Get “In the Know”

We present “In the Know” to keep you connected with the information Cypress College is sharing as we prepare to implement the safe return to campus.

Sign with red push pins

Click on the links below to get the return to campus information.

President Schilling’s Board Report for July 27, 2021

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 July 27, 2021

In a few short weeks the college will be welcoming back over 30% of our courses on campus, as well as offering all of our services both on campus and online. It will be fantastic to see students on campus in larger numbers for the first time in over 17 months. In order to encourage and facilitate students and employees to be vaccinated, the college will be hosting two on-site Vaccination Days on August 10 and August 31 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. each date. These events will be open to our entire District community, as well as the local community.  Please spread the word so we can encourage more people to receive their vaccinations and keep our campus and local community safe.

On July 31, 2021, Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva will honor individuals who have contributed to the community. Our own Dr. Juan Garcia has been selected as Veteran of the Year. Dr. Garcia has been a leader to our 754 military-affiliated students at Cypress College, instrumental in the design of and support of our new Veterans Resource Center, and served our country in the U.S. Marine Corps from 2004-2008, with three deployments in Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom. Juan will be honored on July 31 at 10 a.m. at Ehlers Event Center in Buena Park. This is a well-deserved honor and we offer our heartfelt congratulations to Juan and his family.

Also receiving recognition by Assemblywoman Quirk-Silva’s office is student Catherine Cueva, who just completed her associate degree in political science and will be continuing at UCLA in the fall. Catherine received the California Latino Legislative Caucus Foundation (CLLCF) Award which comes with a $5000 scholarship. Ms. Cueva, you might recall, currently represents Cypress College on the Student Leadership Council at the Hope Center, and also serves as a workforce commissioner in the city of Stanton. We are #CYProud of Catherine and wish her our congratulations!

Henry Hua, Dean of Business and CIS, has been selected by SynED for their CyberHero series, which “highlights cyber heroes who quietly go above and beyond in helping to prepare our national cyberforce.” The press release about Henry and the CyberHero series can be found here. We appreciate Henry’s guidance and leadership in helping us create successful opportunities for our students. Congratulations, Dean Hua!

Charger Baseball alum, Tylor Megill, recently made his Major League debut in a start for the New York Mets. Megill received a standing ovation after pitching 4 1/3 innings with 4 strikeouts.  While at Cypress, he helped lead the baseball program to a CCCAA Final-Four appearance in 2016 before transferring to the University of Arizona. Megill is the 26th Charger to appear in the Major Leagues. 

The Charger Experience Program added the Charger Nights component to expand the number of students served in the spring. Charger Nights allowed students to complete the matriculation process (ed plan, assessment process, orientation) and ensure that students were ready for registration in July. The total number of students served through Charger Fridays and Charger Nights was 843. These students represented over 30 high schools, in addition to our 10 AUSHD partner high schools.  Charger Friday and Charger Night make-ups were held the week of June 14, through 8 sessions that accommodated 200 students each to onboard and learn how to select classes and prepare for registration.

Priority Registration Events began the week of July 12. All CEP students attended sessions to assist them with the registration process and these workshops will continue throughout July for all students. Counselors will be on hand to assist with the registration process, clear any prerequisite errors that were encountered during registration, and ensure our Promise students enroll in 12 units, including English, Math, and a COUN course.

The Student Ambassador team continued the Cypress Cares Campaign this spring and reached 2,518 students.  The purpose of this campaign was to help students stay connected to the college and we will continue this for the fall semester. Students were directed to campus resources such as the campus food distribution, tutoring, and laptop rentals. Student Ambassadors also called students this spring to inform them of the Legacy Program to promote enrollment for spring 2021. The call campaign has also continued throughout the summer, focusing on students who have dropped classes in spring 2020 and have not returned, in order to ensure they are reenrolling in the fall semesters.  Ambassadors will connect students to resources and make referrals to our Student Success counselors. 

This summer, in an effort to help guide students who struggled during the pandemic, Student Success Counselors are meeting with students who would have been placed on Academic Probation and financial aid disqualification to provide a high-touch, holistic approach to better serve our students. Counselors help create Ed Plans and provide students with support services that ensure their success moving forward.  Our Financial Aid counselor has been working with students who have been disqualified from Financial Aid to complete their satisfactory academic progress appeals in an easy and student-centered way. We thank your dedicated student service counselors, Dr. Troy Davis, and Dr. de Dios for their innovative approach to serving students.

Congratulations to our five graduating ambassadors! These Student Ambassadors, who began as Promise students and then became ambassadors in their second year, have all stayed with us through the COVID pandemic and have made a difference by leading the Virtual Welcome Center, continuing to provide outreach support online, and maintaining a connection with our students through the Cypress Cares campaign. Each are transferring to a four-year institution. They are: Sean Del Castillo – CSUF; Vivian Tieu – CSULB; Haylee Barsumian – CSULB; Isabella Ferinac – CSULB; Jude Suleiman – CSUF. We are very proud of them and thank them for their commitment to Cypress College!

On July 8, our Toyota T-TEN instructors, Michael Klyde and Paul Kelly, with support from Dean Kathleen Reiland, hosted our 2020 and 2021 T-TEN Commencement for an in-person, on-campus event by the pond. Graduates from both years were able to receive their certificates and service plaques as their families and our Toyota Dealers looked on. Our Foundation supported the event by hosting a food truck for all attendees and a celebration cake to support our graduates. Congratulations to our T-TEN program for being the top ASE awarding college in the nation for the second year in a row!

Also on July 8, our Legacy Program hosted its first Summer Bridge Culmination Ceremony. This year, for the first time, incoming Legacy students participated in a two-week summer bridge program to help prepare them for the semester. The culmination ceremony included their instructors, greetings from Dr. Schilling and Dr. Davis, a keynote form Dr. Douglas, and families and friends. Twenty-seven new Legacy Scholars participated in the summer activities. Thank you, Regina Rhymes, Annette Letcher, Virgil Adams, and LaRon Armstead for putting together this great summer introduction to Cypress College.

In honor of those employees returning to campus, the President’s Office, Caring Campus coaches, and Guided Pathways are sponsoring a Welcome Back Week August 2-5. On Monday there will be a hosted breakfast from 9–10 a.m.; Tuesday will feature a taco cart from 11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.; Wednesday employees can enjoy ice cream sundaes from 1–2 p.m., and on Thursday we will have the Classified Carnival, featuring team competition. We are grateful for everything our employees have accomplished this past year and look forward to welcoming them back to campus.

Enrolled students participating in our affinity programs such as Legacy, Puente, EOPS, Athletics, Promise, DSS, Veterans, and students with demonstrated need, will be eligible for a Free Laptop and Grab & Go Meals for the 2021-22 academic year.  We are reaching out to all students who may be eligible for this program in order to support their education this year. Thank you to our student services, and VPs de Dios and Porter for leading this effort.            

Buen Cypress, We Take This Journey Together!

Students Take Home Prizes in Automotive Technology Competition

Office of Campus Communications

For Immediate Release

July 27, 2021

Contact: Marc Posner (714) 493-6626 (cell)

Five Cypress College students took home prizes in the Orange County Auto Dealers Association’s (OCADA) Automotive Technology Competition, including first place in the contest.

All five students representing Cypress College are dual-enrolled high school students in the Automotive Technology program, including Christina Do, a Cypress High School College student enrolled in her second semester in the program. Members of the Cypress College team attend either John F. Kennedy High School or Cypress High School during the day.

Students were required to take a written exam to qualify for the competition. Qualifying students were then required to put together a video presentation and a virtual automotive simulation.

Dr. Kathleen Reiland, the dean of Career and Technical Education at Cypress College, said the Automotive Technology Competition provides students with an excellent opportunity to test their knowledge and skills. She also acknowledged Automotive Technology Instructor David Endo’s dedication as key to his students’ success.

“I am very proud of our Cypress College Automotive faculty in helping our dual enrollment students participate in the event and achieve these awards,” Reiland said. “It was particularly rewarding to see a woman, Christina Do, in first place for the first time in 28 years! We are also thrilled that Cypress instructor David Endo’s extra work and commitment to these competitions was recognized, with him receiving the OCADA Teacher of the Year Award.”

The following video presentations were submitted from members of the Cypress College team:

Winners of the program received scholarships and professional automotive tools.

Learn more about Automotive Technology at Cypress College.

Learn more about Dual Enrollment at Cypress College.

About Cypress College:

Cypress College offers students a pathway to their future in an environment in which employees commit to joining students on their educational journey. The college’s half-million-plus alumni include actors, athletes, doctors, executives, mechanics, nurses, and teachers. For some, Cypress College is the ticket into their university of choice, and for others, it provides essential training for a prosperous career. Just one Cypress College class is often all it takes to provide cutting- edge skills that lead to a promotion or a new job.

Cypress College’s 16,000 students and the highly qualified teaching faculty are proud of the many excellent academic and vocational programs. Cypress College provides a pathway for each of our students, offering 56 university-transfer majors, 174 career-certificate programs, and degrees in 98 areas of study. The college’s traditional semesters begin in January and August, while short-term courses start throughout the year. A Cypress College education costs $46 per unit — $138 for a typical, full-credit class — California’s lowest tuition. Eligible first-time students qualify for free tuition through Cypress College’s Charger Experience promise program. Financial aid and scholarships are also available to qualifying students.

Cypress College is one of three campuses in the North Orange County Community College District and a member of the 116-campus California Community College system. The college primarily serves the cities of Anaheim, Buena Park, Cypress, Garden Grove, La Palma, Los Alamitos, Seal Beach, and Stanton.

Located at 9200 Valley View Street in Cypress, the college is easily accessible from several Southern California freeways, including the 5, 91, 605, 22, and 405. The campus is just a stone’s-throw from Downtown Disney and Knott’s Berry Farm.

In response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, Cypress College’s instruction and services are offered primarily in a remote format. Students can access support services online at cypresscollege.edu/coronavirus.

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City of Cypress to Hold “Salute to America” Event at Cypress College

The City of Cypress will hold its “Salute to America” Independence Day Celebration at Cypress College on Friday, July 2, at 5:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. A fireworks display is scheduled at 9 p.m., and the City is expecting about 3,500-4,000 attendees.

Salute to America flyer

To accommodate the event, some sections of campus will be impacted.

  • Parking lots 4 and 5 are closed through Friday, July 2, 2021. Vehicles in either lot are subject to towing.
  • On Friday, July 2, access to the campus from Holder St. will be ENTRY ONLY, and access from Orange Ave will be EXIT ONLY. The portion of Circle Drive between Orange Ave and Holder St. will be closed to vehicles.
  • The Valley View entrance/exit will remain open and unaffected.
  • Event parking will be offered in lots 6, 8, and 9 starting at 4 p.m.

Info: https://www.cypressca.org/activities/community-events/salute-to-america

Schedule for Fall 2021 Available

Cypress College’s Schedule of Classes for the fall 2021 semester is now available. Registration begins in July and classes begin the week of August 23.

Fall class schedule

The searchable class schedule is the definitive source for up-to-date, accurate listings. For convenience, the schedule also is available as a PDF.

Approximately 20% of the college’s courses will be available in person and on-campus as the college community returns from the COVID-19 pandemic. All services will be available in person and remote formats to best meet students’ needs.

Cypress College’s counseling faculty are available to assist students with educational planning for the coming semester.

President Schilling’s Board Report for June 22, 2021

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 22, 2021

June is National Pride Month, and in commemoration of our LGBTQ students and employees, the college has been flying a Pride Flag all month on our website, and on our Valley View marquee. The DEI Committee will also be hosting a Pride Week in fall featuring activities and an LGBTQ student of distinction will be featured each day during Pride Week.

There will be a Pathways to Private Schools Summer 2021 Virtual College Fair hosted by our Transfer Center on Thursday, July 8 from 4–7 p.m. Students will be able to meet virtually with over 20+ colleges and universities.

The City of Cypress will be hosting their annual Salute to America Celebration at Cypress College for the second year on Friday, July 2. This patriotic celebration will feature food trucks and live music from Electric Vinyl, all leading up to a spectacular fireworks display. Festivities begin at 6:30 p.m. and end around 9:30 p.m. Please join us for this celebration!

Cypress College managers came together for an outdoor teambuilding day on Tuesday, June 15. The purpose of this retreat was to begin building community as we start to come back to campus. Many managers were seeing one another for the first time in over a year, and some for the first time ever. It was a great morning of fun, shared purpose, and friendly competition. My thanks to Kristi Valdez for helping organize the day! Our activities and lunch were funded by Schools First and we thank Kristin Crellin for her generous grant on behalf of our employees.

The First Look Tour of our new campus buildings are currently underway. We have four tours scheduled to meet your schedules on June 21, 24, and 25. If you haven’t yet registered, we hope you will be able to join us to see these beautiful new additions to the Cypress College campus. Only Trustees, Foundation board members, and our Citizen Oversight Committee members are eligible for these tours, but we will be conducting more tours for members of the public beginning in September.

Retiring Dean of Health Sciences, Rebecca Gomez, has been recognized as the recipient of this year’s Educator Award by the California Health Information Association (CHIA).  The Educator Award honors an individual who demonstrates excellence in preparing the next generation of professionals for Health Information Technology (HIT) careers in a field that depends on a continual influx of well-trained new talent. The award winner must demonstrate excellence in all aspects of education and teaching by setting high standards of excellence and high expectations for students, while impacting the student as a role model through the instructor role. Rebecca will be receiving her award the week of June 14-16 at CHIACON21. Please join us in thanking Rebecca for her service to Cypress College the past 15 years and in congratulating her on this well-deserved award.

Athletics Update: The Chargers returned to competition this season on March 24 when women’s basketball hosted Golden West College for the first Cypress athletic event in over a year. With no competition in the fall of 2020, the CCCAA voted to participate in a Spring I and Spring II season. For Cypress Athletics, the Spring I season consisted of seven sports: men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s water polo, men’s and women’s soccer, and women’s volleyball. Spring II wrapped up in early June, with an OEC Tournament championship for women’s softball, a second place OEC finish for men’s baseball, and a third place finish for men’s golf. Cypress was one of fewer than 15 CCCAA schools to successfully compete in all sport offerings during the COVID modified season. Zero confirmed positive COVID cases in 5 months of daily testing proved the commitment of our student athletes, coaches, and staff to make this season happen. This season was far from normal for each sport, but our coaches and staff were overjoyed to have an opportunity that allowed our student athletes to compete and return to competition to bring a glimpse of normalcy to their physical and mental health. Below is a list of notable accomplishments in the 2021 spring season. Congratulations to all our coaches and to Athletic Director Wesley McCurtis and Interim Dean Colin McPherson for a successful season!

Also, in athletic news, we say thank you and farewell to long-time athletic director Bill Pinkham, three-time OEC swim coach of the year Larry Beidler, and Athletic Training Association Hall of Fame inductee Scott Tucker, who each completed their final season with the Chargers as they head into retirement. Below is a list of student accomplishments:

NOTABLE INDIVIDUAL STUDENT ATHLETIC ACCOMPLISHMENTS

  • Softball’s Emily Rush and Alyssa Huerta selected to All-OEC First Team. Paige Shafer and Eliza Sandoval selected to All-OEC Second Team
  • Baseball’s Coby Morales, Andrew Sojka, and Brenden Harris selected to All-OEC First Team. Julian Aguilar, Brett Garcia, and Ricky Lane make All-OEC Second Team
  • Swimmer Ethan Umpornpuckdi placed first in the 200- and 500-yard freestyles at the OEC Championships, while Zachary Sofai placed first in the 50- and 100-yard freestyles
  • Men’s Golfer Luke Bartram finishes second in the OEC with an overall average score of 73.4. Selected to All-OEC First Team
  • Baseball alumnus Tommy Nance makes MLB debut

Our newly formed Native American Faculty and Staff Alliance (NAFSA) held a contest for the best art concepts for a new logo for their group this past May. A $100 cash prize was awarded to the first-place winner, and two $50 prizes were awarded to the honorable mentions. All current and former Cypress College, Fullerton College, and NOCE students were able to submit original works.

Cypress College has received a full IEPI Grant, focused on improving our enrollment dashboards in Tableau and institutionalizing the Guided Pathways best practices identified by our Title V completion teams. The college will be working on a more detailed plan this summer with Academic Senate and college leadership, and we will expect our first campus visit in late fall.

The Community College League of California is pleased to announce the release of A College for All Californians: A History of the California Community Collegesthe first comprehensive written book on the history of the largest and most diverse public system of higher education in the United States. Serving over 2 million students annually—approximately one-quarter of the nation’s community college undergraduates—California’s 116 community colleges play an indispensable role in career and transfer education in North America and have maintained an outsized influence on the evolution of post-secondary education nationally. We invite you to pre-order this book, co-authored by League President and CEO Dr. Larry Galizio. Proceeds of book sales will go toward a League scholarship for California Community College students.

Buen Cypress, We Take This Journey Together!

Details for the 2nd Cypress College/City of Cypress Salute to America Celebrations is below:

Salute to America flyer

Thank you to our Office of Campus Communications for creating our Pride Month logo, currently on our Valley View marquee and our website:

#PrideMonth

President Schilling’s Board Report for June 8, 2021

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 8, 2021

The college has been working on a plan for a safe return to campus since March, and our three workgroups—including our Instructional Operations, Faculty Senate, and Student Services workgroups—have been meeting and conferring with our C19 Taskforce all semester. Currently, we are creating safe instructional, outdoor, and engagement learning spaces; finalizing the safety protocols developed this spring; creating training videos for students and employees; and putting in place the equipment needed to keep our employees and students safe.  By August we plan to have clear protocols in place to help guide students and employees as we begin to reestablish our in-person community this fall term.

May was Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month and in addition to our AAPI student and employee recognitions, the college also provided a list of resources to highlight the experiences of the AAPI community in the United States. Here are the resources shared and we encourage our board to also take time to better understand the contributions our AAPI community has provided to our college and country:

AAPI Information and Resources

Federal Asian Pacific American Council AAPI Resources
AAPI Heritage Stories
Anti-Asian Violence Resources
Anti-Asian Violence Resources for Educators
After Atlanta: Teaching About Asian American Identity and History
Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center
The Invisible Artistry of Asian Actors
Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center

Cypress College is proud to share the impactful work of one of our recent alumni, Alex Alpharaoh. Mr. Alpharoah was honored several years ago for his one-man play, “Wet: A DACAmented Journey,” the harrowing tale of how he came to reside in the U.S. Mr. Alpharaoh has continued to share his story virtually and was highlighted for his work in the  Los Angeles Times. He has just recorded his one-man show with the Los Angeles Center Theater Group’s Kirk Douglas Theatre, which will stream on their digital stage in June. Congratulations, Alex, and thank you to retired theater professor, Mark Majarian, for sharing this news with us!

Cypress College recently announced our collaboration with Cal State Fullerton on a new 2+2+1 Accounting Degree, which provides guaranteed admission from Cypress College to CSUF in Accounting all the way through a master’s degree. This important pathway for our Business students was shared at our recent Commit2Cypress event and is highlighted here in the CSUF student newspaper. Congratulations to our Accounting instructors Ann Sheridan-Solis and Samreen Manjra, and to Dean Henry Hua for this landmark collaboration!

According to a recent report by Georgetown University, Cypress College ranks among state and national leaders for post-degree wages among California colleges offering associate degrees. Cypress College ranks 5th in median monthly earnings at $6,036, compared to the average earnings of associate-degree awardees in all California community colleges at $2,423. View the full report.

The Affordability, Food & Housing Access Taskforce has released a new white paper that examines the transportation challenges confronting community college students. Addressing Affordable Transportation Needs. Dr. Schilling authored this paper in collaboration with the taskforce, which highlights the challenges our students face due to the high cost of, or access to, reliable transportation. This new report provides tangible transportation solutions for college leaders to implement on their campuses and advocate for their students, with a spotlight on the work Cypress, Fullerton, and our OC region is doing in partnership with OCTA to address student transportation at our colleges.

Cypress College is proud to be sending a total of 88 students, faculty, and staff to the 2021 National Conference on Race and Equity (NCORE), the first week of June.  Fifty-two faculty, staff, and managers are attending along with 36 students — an all-time high. This amazing conference features national leaders speaking on issues of race, equity, sexual orientation, and diversity, and is one of the foremost conferences in the country addressing the inequities facing our students. Each participant will be required to participate in a professional development plan that will help us to continue to develop our Cypress College Equity Framework and infuse this important work with student and employee feedback. Thank you to Director of Equity and Success, Gisela Verduzco, SEA co-chair Alison Robertson, and Professional Development co-chairs, Ruth Gutierrez and Michael Brydges for their work recruiting and organizing participation in this years’ NCORE conference.

The annual Cypress College Students’ Show, Adaptive Vision II, includes works from students across all departments in the Fine Arts Division – Art, MAD, Theater, Dance, Music, and Journalism – presented in a 3D environment that visitors can “walk” around, viewing the works and clicking on them for more information. Visit this exhibition and see our student work.

We invite our Trustees to join us for a tour of our new Veterans Resource Center, Student Activities Center, and Science Engineering and Math buildings on June 21 or June 25. You have been sent a link to register for the tour of your choice, which can also be accessed here. You must be a member of our Board or of our Citizens Oversight Committee to access this invitation. General public tours will be available beginning in September. We look forward to seeing you and showcasing our two newest buildings!

Dr. Schilling will be joining the statewide CEO Executive Board, representing the Orange County colleges as part of Region 10; she begins her three-year term on June 18.

Finally, it is with great sadness that we share the untimely passing of Mark Eaton, our 2004 Outstanding Alumnus, a 2014 Cypress College Foundation Man of the Year, and a member of the Chargers Athletics Hall of Fame. Mark was a tireless supporter Cypress College and he will be missed. Read more about Mark’s incredible journey.

Buen Cypress, We Take This Journey Together!

MAD Student Is a Festival Finalist

A Media Arts Design student at Cypress College is a finalist in the 2021 MODE: Motion Design Educational Summit festival and conference, being held June 10-13, 2021. Jocelyn Hernandez and 11 other Cypress College MAD students submitted work and earned free admittance to the annual conference.

Animated image of a young girl at left and a younger, "inner child" version of her on the right, listening to music on their respective devices and dancing.

This student competition is part of an international conference held since 2015. This year’s theme is “(re)connect,” to examine ways we can come together after a year of pandemic distance as well as highlight diversity and inclusion. The conference, workshop, and film competition focus on motion design, which is the commercial application of animation.

 

 

“I am tremendously pleased by the achievement of our students, because to create a finished and cohesive work at a community college level is a great accomplishment,” MAD professor Kati Angelov said. “Students from OTIS, SCAD, and Pasadena Art Center are entering these competitions, just to mention a few. To be a finalist from a community college is indeed a great accomplishment.”

Hernandez has a graphic design degree from CSULB, yet when she entered the job market, she found that her prospective jobs required more than her degree offered; they called for motion design skills. CSULB didn’t offer classes in motion design, so she enrolled in a class in the Cypress College MAD department. She has taken several classes with Angelov, and is working on earning her Motion Design Certificate.

“I am extremely proud of Jocelyn, who came to Cypress College specifically to learn motion design, as very few educational institutions offer this area of studies,” Angelov said. “[Jocelyn’s] success highlights the role we play in providing current and relevant education to our students. This success is a wonderful example why Cypress College is great in offering cutting edge, technology, and art driven courses and programs.”

The conference, which will be held virtually this year, will allow attendees an opportunity to learn about the motion design industry, to connect with professionals and other students, and to attend workshops to expand their knowledge of the field.

Cypress College Instructor Voted California Automotive Teacher of the Year

Cypress College Automotive Technology Instructor and Toyota T-TEN Program Coordinator Michael Klyde was selected by his peers in the California Automotive Teachers (CAT) Association as Automotive Teacher of the Year, 2021. The CAT board plans to honor Klyde for this achievement with a virtual ceremony and plaque presentation this fall.

Automotive Technology students on campus in the garage working on the Toyota T-TEN program.

CAT President Wendy Lucko informed Klyde of the news in a phone call, and said he was selected for this honor because of his continuous hard work and dedication as a professor in one of the top performing T-TEN programs. In addition to teaching during this 20-21 school year, Klyde has authored two advance automotive textbooks and received peer recognition, working with a small team to develop a Safe Labs plan to get automotive students back into labs as soon as possible.

Klyde presented the Safe Labs material to T-TEN instructors in May 2020 at Toyota headquarters and to attendees of the Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) National Instructor Conference last August. He also created generic versions of the materials and presented them at the ASE Education Foundation conference in July 2020 and at the CAT Conference in October 2020. He has also shared these resources with others on the Cypress College campus so colleagues can adapt them for use in their respective areas.

Remembering Alumnus Mark Eaton

Mark Eaton’s path to a record-setting NBA career could have been a Hollywood script. But, dig deeper and it also accurately depicts the role of community colleges: an instructor sees possibility and sets a student on a path they never expected. Eaton — the college’s 2004 Alumnus of the Year, the Cypress College Foundation’s 2014 Americana Man of the Year, and a member of the Chargers Athletics Hall of Fame — died on Friday.

Mark Eaton at 2014 Legends of Hoops Night

(L to R):Don Johnson, Mark Eaton, Swen Nater, Dr. Bob Simpson, Dr. Rick Rams at the Legends of Hoops Night at Cypress College. The event was held on Don Johnson Court on Friday, February 21, 2014

“Eaton played above the rim and all plausible dreams,” columnist Mark Whicker wrote in yesterday’s edition of The Orange County Register.

Eaton frequently shared the story that brought him from the tire shop at the corner of Lincoln and Knott to Cypress College, where he learned to play basketball. While driving past what’s now Just Tires (but was then Mark C. Bloome), Chemistry Professor Tom Lubin saw a tech looking in the window of a car — that was raised on the auto lift. Lubin, an assistant coach on the basketball team, swung back to the shop and began recruiting the 7-foot-4, 21-year-old who hadn’t been a basketball player at Westminster High.

In fact, he said he didn’t even like the sport.

But, Lubin and Cypress College Head Basketball Coach Don Johnson saw possibility. And, from there, the sky became the limit. He went on to UCLA and then the NBA, where he helped transform the culture of the Utah Jazz into a winning organization.

Eaton was part of Cypress College’s 1979-1980 state championship team. He transferred to UCLA, where he played, his bio says, “just 53 minutes in a total of 11 games” during his senior year.

That number later graced his Utah Jazz jersey and now hangs in the rafters after his #53 was retired by the franchise in 1996, the fourth player so honored by the team. His number #35 jersey was retired by Cypress College in 2014 during the first-ever Legends of Hoops night.

Eaton was drafted by the Jazz in 1982 and spent his entire 11-year NBA career with the team. He still holds the record as the NBA’s best shot blocker as well as for most blocks in a season. Twice, he was the league’s defensive player of the year. An NBA All-Star, Eaton is fourth in league history with 3,064 blocked shots, a category he topped in four different seasons.

Following his playing career, Eaton remained in Utah where he worked with at-risk kids, partnered in a restaurant, did TV work for the Jazz, became the president of the NBA’s retired players union, and hosted a nationally syndicated radio show.

He remained in Utah where he enjoyed the outdoors, “especially fishing, mountain biking, and golfing,” he said. It was while mountain biking on Friday night that Eaton apparently had a fatal accident, according to the Jazz.

In 2008, Eaton became a motivational speaker — and, Lubin again played a role in shaping his student’s future. As they struggled to articulate his story, Eaton’s speaking coach reached out to Lubin, according to the Salt Lake Tribune. Lubin identified keys to Eaton’s basketball success — “he knew his job, he did what he was asked, he protected people, and he unselfishly embraced making others look good” — the Tribune article noted. This became the foundation of Eaton’s message, Four Commitments of a Winning Team.

Mark Eaton with Tom Lubin

Mark Eaton with Tom Lubin.

When Professor Lubin passed last summer, Eaton authored a tribute titled “Today I lost my Coach,” and he graciously shared his words for Cypress College’s remembrance:

“In his wake he leaves legions of doctors, researchers and scientists who wandered into his Cypress College chemistry classes thinking, ‘I hope I can pass this course.’ They left inspired, by a man who would not let them fail. … He was committed to helping everyone he met find their potential.”

Undoubtedly, Mark Eaton was one of those alumni.

Mark Eaton, 2004 Alumnus of the Year, at Cypress College in graduation regalia

Cypress College Alumnus of the Year Mark Eaton, an NBA record holder, received his award during the graduation ceremony on Tuesday, May 25, 2004.

 

 

 

 

President Schilling’s Board Report for May 25, 2021

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 May 25, 2021

As we end the year, we want to thank each of you for attending our Cypress College Virtual Commencement. This year our students have earned 2,016 associate degrees in our 98 degree programs. In addition, 1,249 students have earned occupational certificates from one of our 145 career-certificate programs. This would be a remarkable feat in any year, but especially during this past year, when 98% of our courses have been in a remote format. We congratulate our resilient students, as well as our faculty and staff for their continual support.

Other commencement activities held the week of May 17-21 included our Nursing Pinning Ceremony on May 17, our DSS Graduation on May 20, and our Drive-Up EOPS event to honor our graduates on May 20. This year’s EOPS cohort featured an historic 209 graduates – the most in EOPS history. We are so proud of all our graduates!

This year 13 faculty members will be receiving tenure. Cypress College acknowledges this important milestone in their academic career. Congratulations to Jill Bauer, ESL; Michael Coronado, Journalism; Damon de la Cruz, Mortuary Science; Juan Garcia, Counseling (Veterans); Amanda Gargano, Culinary Arts; Anthony Hall, Physics; Ernesto Heredia, Counseling; Jeannie Jo, Management & Marketing; Jennifer Page, Communications; Thu Pham, Nursing; Jacquelyn Rangel, Counselor; Scott Roby, Mathematics; and Patricia Spitler, Health Information Technology. Many in this illustrious group of colleagues have already been honored individually for their excellence and we are grateful they are joining the ranks of tenured professors at our college.

Cypress College was ranked the #1 program by NursingProcess.org in their 6 Best Ultrasound Technician Schools in California for 2021. We are proud of our dedicated faculty and students for achieving this honor.  In addition, our Radiological Technician Program underwent its accreditation site visit May 13-14 and although the report will not be final for a few months, the exit report was stellar. Thank you to faculty members Lynn Mitts, Michael Frianeza, and Barry Siegel, as well as counselor Kelly Carter for their outstanding work in support of our students.

A team comprised of five students from the Dual Enrollment, Automotive Technology Program at Cypress College participated in the Orange County Auto Dealers Association’s “Automotive Technology Competition.”  Five students placed in the top 10 of the competition. Students were awarded scholarships totaling over $3000, and Snap-On Tools sets for their achievements. Christina Do, a Cypress High School student, took first place – the first woman in 28 years of competition to finish first! Congratulations to all these students on their success.

Michael Klyde was named as 2021 Instructor of the Year by the California Auto Teacher Association. Professor Klyde is our Automotive Technology and T-TEN Coordinator, and many of you know that our Toyota T-TEN program has been a national leader for years — and will be yet again this year. Our auto instructors are also active with the Orange County Auto Dealers as well as the California Auto Teacher Conference each year. We are proud of Professor Klyde’s acknowledgement by CAT and for the outstanding work he and our team do at Cypress College.

April was the California Community Colleges inaugural Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Awareness Month and Cypress College celebrated by offering activities to highlight our students throughout the month, concluding with Black Student Success Week April 26-30. May is now AAPI Awareness Month and the college has been highlighting a student daily for the past two weeks, as well as announcing our Alumna of the Year, Nancy Matsui, who is our first AAPI alumnus to be honored.

The Puente Program celebrated 25 years at Cypress College on April 30. It was a joyful celebration, reuniting past and present Puentistas, including Trustee Rosales. Dr. Mosqueda-Ponce, who has led this program since 1996, was surprised with a special award presented by Dr. Troy Davis and Lela Beck. Participants also enjoyed a guest performance by East L.A.-based band Las Cafeterias. Happy Birthday, Puente!

Dr. Nina Lanza, Team Lead for Space and Planetary Exploration at Los Alamos National Laboratory, joined our STEM(2) Scholars on May 7 to share her presentation How to Get to Mars and Back Without a Map about her journey as one of the lead geologists on the current Mars expedition. Over 107 scholars and faculty members joined her virtually for this exciting and empowering presentation. Thank you, Yanet Padilla and team for continuing to bring important speakers to inspire our students.

The Professional Development committee hosted our campus-wide End of the Year Fiesta on May 5, 2021.  It was wonderful to be together – even virtually – and to celebrate retirees and service pin recipients for their service and commitment to the college. Congratulations to Court Reporting faculty member, Carolee Freer, who earned her 40-year service pin. And thank you to our PD committee and Ruth Gutierrez and Michael Brydges, for planning such a great event.

The virtual Cypress College Foundation Scholarship Awards Ceremony was held on May 18, 2021 at 5:30 p.m.  This virtual celebration provided the opportunity for donors and recipients to meet and celebrate their accomplishments.  This year, $250,000 in scholarships were awarded to over 300 students, with the average total per student of almost $700 per award. Alumnus of the Year, Nancy Matsui, provided an encouraging message to our scholarship awardees. Thank you, Trustee Dunsheath and Irma Ramos, who donate a memorial scholarship each year, for attending!

Our ESL faculty keep leading the way on the creation of important ESL certificates in the state. Cypress participated in a case study conducted by the RP Group on our initial ESL Course Transferability Certificate. They will now be featured in another case study for their Guided Pathways ESL Milestone Certificate. Thank you to ESL faculty Kathryn Wada, Alison Robertson, Jenelle Herman, Samantha Simmons, and Jill Bauer for their exemplary leadership in ESL education.

The Cypress College Classified Appreciation Day will be held on Friday, June 4 at 12 noon. Each year our managers contribute to a raffle and this year will be no different. In addition, the President’s Office will be providing a Grub Hub e-certificate to all classified employees, whether or not they are able to attend the luncheon. We are eager to celebrate our classified professionals and look forward to being together in person soon.

Over 100 employees are participating in the Camino de Santiago Virtual Challenge this spring. Participants have until August 20 to log their miles and complete the 480-mile trip. We already have our first five participants to cross the finish line. They are: Sarah DeMartino, James Tapia, Joel Gober, Monica Doman, and Holly Segoviano. Each will receive their medal and Compostela (certificate of completion) on Opening Day. Kudos to our colleagues!

Buen Cypress, We Take This Journey Together!

Class of 2021 Celebrated in 54th Commencement

Cypress College celebrated the Class of 2021 in its live, remote 54th Commencement on Friday night.

photo of commencement participants in regalia

As one of Cypress College’s largest graduating classes, the 1,542 students overcame the pandemic along with the rigors of their normal coursework.

Graduates provided photographs and quotes shown on screen along with the recitation of their names. These individual slides can be found in the Commencement Central section of the college’s website. The live studio-based broadcast featured: Cypress College President JoAnna Schilling, Ph.D.; North Orange County Community College District Chancellor Cheryl A. Marshall, Ed.D.; NOCCCD Board of Trustees Vice President Jacqueline Rodarte; Cypress College Academic Senate President Dr. Craig Goralski; Cypress College Vice President of Student Services Dr. Paul de Dios; and Nicolette Garcia, who is both the Associated Students president and the 2021 Outstanding Graduate.

The ceremony — which was broadcast live at 5 p.m. on Friday, May 21, 2021, on the college’s Vimeo and Facebook platforms — also included video features of the 2021 Outstanding Graduate and the 2021 Presidential Scholars of Distinction.

Class of 2021

In all, the college awarded 2,016 associate degrees and eight bachelor’s degrees during the 54th Commencement. Some 62% of associate-degree graduates did so with transferable degrees, meaning they will be attending 4-year universities as juniors starting in the fall. There were 255 graduates on the President’s Honor Roll (3.75-4.0 GPA), 859 on the Dean’s Honor Roll (3.0-3.74 GPA). In addition, 1,249 students earned certificates this academic year from one of the college’s 145 certificate programs.

In its third year, the Presidential Scholars of Distinction is a scholarship highlighting the accomplishment and persistence in overcoming adversity of students in each of the college’s nine pathways. Faculty in each of these pathways nominate and vote on the recommendations with the students being affirmed by Dr. Schilling. The 2021 Presidential Scholars of Distinction are:

  • Jacklyn Marie Williamson, BUS/CIS;
  • Alexandra Camacho, CTE;
  • Paul Scott, Fine Arts;
  • Abigail Villegas, Health Sciences;
  • Jonathan Gad, Kinesiology;
  • Hiroki Funahashi, Language Arts;
  • Lia Thompson, SEM;
  • Wilfredo Carrasco, Social Sciences; and
  • Ayah Said, representing Counseling and Student Development and the “We Journey Together” pathway

Garcia, the Outstanding Graduate, was selected from among those who were graduating on the President’s Honor Roll based on their nomination submission and work of the review committee. In addition to her role as the Associated Students’ president, Garcia is a member of the DSS, EOPS, and Charger Experience programs, and help found or re-start student organizations such as the Anthropology and ASL clubs. She will attend Pepperdine University in the fall.

Meet the full class of 2021, see additional viewing options, and more at Commencement Central.

Campus Statement Regarding Video in the News

Update Regarding Video Interaction in the Media, 5/7/21:

Cypress College remains committed to protecting the individual rights of all those in a class video circulating in the media and acknowledges the importance of an objective review process that will help us understand the full context of this situation. We hope to bring closure to this matter in the weeks to come.

Throughout this process, we have done the right thing for the right reasons. In this case, the right thing has been honoring the request of the faculty member in the video to protect her identity for her own safety. The decision to remove her from the classroom was done to protect her safety, maintain her confidentiality, and mitigate attacks from those who sought to threaten her as well as the students in her class.

During the past week, Cypress College has worked closely with our partners in the Cypress Police Department. Out of an abundance of caution, the college elected to pause its limited on-campus operations on Monday, May 3, 2021, as a result of a threat directed at the campus community. Some on-campus activities resumed the following day and the normal pandemic-level operations were fully restored by Wednesday. Our campus IT department continues to monitor attempts to compromise our technology security, and several emails, social media comments, and other correspondence have been referred for examination throughout the week.

Cypress College has supported and will continue to support the academic freedoms we know are essential in an institution of higher learning. Equally important is our mission to serve our students in a safe learning environment. Our faculty remain committed to a culture that fosters a free exchange of ideas in the classroom while supporting the educational needs of our students. We are proud to provide an inclusive and welcoming educational environment — especially for those students whose only access to higher education is through the community colleges.

___________

Original post, dated 4/30/21:

Cypress College takes great pride in fostering a learning environment for students where ideas and opinions are exchanged as a vital piece of the educational journey. Our community fully embraces this culture; students often defend one another’s rights to express themselves freely, even when opinions differ. Any efforts to suppress free and respectful expression on our campus will not be tolerated.

The adjunct professor will be taking a leave of absence for the duration of her assignment at Cypress College. This was her first course at Cypress and she had previously indicated her intention to not return in the fall.

We are reviewing the full recording of the exchange between the adjunct professor and the student and will address it fully in the coming days.

President Schilling’s Board Report for April 27, 2021

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 April 27, 2021

We would like to share student survey results, which were sent to spring 2021 Cypress College students to assess their course preferences for fall 2021 and inform return to campus plans. Data collection is ongoing but, as of 4/20, a total of 2,234 students completed the survey and their responses are summarized below.

  1. What type of classes would you prefer for Fall 2021?
    Chart
  2. What is your preferred instruction method for online classes?
    Chart
  3. Do you plan to receive the COVID-19 vaccine before Fall 2021?
    Chart

We are proud to announce the Cypress College 2021 Presidential Scholars of Distinction. They are:  Jacklyn Williamson, Business/CIS; Alexandra Camacho, CTE; Ayah Said, Counseling and Student Development; Paul Scott, Fine Arts; Abigail Villegas, Health Science; Jonathan Gad, Kinesiology; Hiroki Funahashi, Language Arts; Lia Thompson, SEM; Wilfred Carrasco, Social Sciences. Each of these scholars were nominated and voted on by the faculty in each division, and represent their respective Academic Pathway. During the commencement, each scholar leads the graduates from their respective divisions during the Commencement Processional. This year, given that we are conducting our commencement virtually, each scholar will be highlighted during the ceremony. Congratulations to these wonderful scholars!

We are also thrilled to announce that Nicolette Garcia, Associated Students President, was named as the Outstanding Graduate of the Year. Nicolette, an Anthropology major who is transferring this year, has been involved in the campus wide DEI and Sustainability efforts, led our Drive-up Food distribution, and has created awareness for DSS innovations at the campus, among so many other initiatives. We look forward to honoring Nicolette at our commencement this year. Congratulations, Nicolette.

The Cypress College Theater Arts Department presented the spring musical EDGES, directed by Professor Jim Hormel, April 16-18. EDGES is a contemporary song-cycle about young adults at the metaphorical edge of their lives. The songs cover such universal issues as love, commitment, identity and meaning. Our students did a terrific job of blending a virtual performance into an ensemble performance. The production was edited by student, Sophia Barajas, who also edited the award-winning 96,000 number last year.

Cypress College held our Strategic Planning Retreat on April 23. Over 100 campus employees attended a virtual convening in order to align our DEI Framework with the District’s Educational and Facilities Master Plan’s Strategic Directions, while prioritizing our own guiding principles, goals, and objectives for the next three years. Thank you to Dr. Eileen Haddad, our interim IRP Director, and Kristina Oganesian, Senior Research Analyst, for leading us through the day. Also special thanks to Gisela Verduzco, Alison Robertson, Ruth Gutierrez, and Michael Brydges for leading the development of our DEI Framework.

Our Foundation undertook an equity audit of the 2019-2020 scholarship recipients in order to help guide our scholarship process this year. Below are the results, which align well with our student population. We are also happy to announce that we more than doubled the number of scholarship applicants this year. Thank you, Howard Kummerman and Rachel Ghatikar for your data-driven processes!

Scholarship Recipients by Ethnicity

Ethnicity Scholarship Recipients
n %
Am. Indian or Alaska Native 1 0.4%
Asian or PI 59 23.4%
Black 16 6.3%
Latinx 120 47.6%
White 48 19.0%
Not Reported 8 3.2%
Overall 252 100.0%

Scholarship Dollars Received by Ethnicity

Ethnicity Scholarship Dollars Received
n %
Am. Indian or Alaska Native $300.00 0.1%
Asian or PI $52,650.00 25.0%
Black $16,100.00 7.7%
Latinx $95,880.10 45.6%
White $41,098.02 19.5%
Not Reported $4,300.00 2.0%
Overall $210,328.12 100.0%

Upcoming Events

Commit2Cypress event will be held on April 29 from 4:30-7 p.m.  This will be our fourth annual Commit2Cypress event, and each year our numbers grow larger as we welcome our new and incoming Pledge and Promise students. This year Dr. Marshall, Dr. Schilling, and CSUF President Fram Virjee will be signing a ceremonial commitment for our new 2+2+1 accounting pathway with CSUF. This accounting degree will include two years at Cypress, guaranteed admission to CSUF for a baccalaureate degree with an option for a one-year master’s degree from CSUF. Thank you, Dr. Henry Hua, Dr. Catherine Greiner, and our accounting faculty members Ann Sheridan-Solis and Samreen Manjra, for your work on this important collaboration.

The 25th Anniversary Celebration of the Puente Program will be held on April 30 from 6-8 p.m.  We hope you will join us!

Buen Cypress, We Take This Journey Together!

Cypress College Pursues Racial Justice, Anti-Racist Campus

Cypress College President JoAnna Schilling, Ph.D. released the following statement regarding the verdict today in the murder of George Floyd:

The guilty verdicts have just been read in the trial for the murder of George Floyd. For many of our students and employees, this trial was nothing less than a measure of whether or not the racism embedded deep within our laws and values would prevail. We can breathe a sigh of relief that, this time, justice for all has been served. No matter what the verdict was today, at Cypress College we remain committed to our pursuit of racial justice, becoming an anti-racist institution, and being unapologetic in our assurance that our campus community will care for and be there for our students and employees.

As Ibram Kendi stated, “there is no neutrality in the racism struggle…One either allows racial inequities to persevere, as a racist, or confronts racial inequities, as an antiracist. There is no in between safe space of ‘not racist.’ The claim of ‘not racist’ neutrality is a mask for racism.” We are grateful for the work so many have done and continue to do at our campus to ensure this justice prevails today and every day.

Four Cypress Students Receive Soroptimist Scholarship

For Immediate Release

April 19, 2021

Contact: Marc Posner

(714) 493-6626 (cell)

Four Cypress College students, all who have overcome hardship to better their lives and the lives of their families, have been awarded more than $5,000 in scholarships from the local Cypress chapter of Soroptimist International to further their educational goals.

Image of Soroptomist International Centennial pin

Cypress students Charity Racaniello, Samantha Arroyo, Amber Portillo, and Emily Kosmol were the 2021 recipients of the Cypress Soroptimist “Live Your Dream Awards,” an annual scholarship given to young women to help them improve their education, skills, and employment prospects. The award recipients are all Extended Opportunity Programs and Services (EOPS) or Cooperative Agencies Resources for Education (CARE) students.

Racaniello, Arroyo, Portillo, and Kosmol were recognized during a virtual ceremony with the Cypress Soroptimists on March 24. “Live Your Dream Awards” recipients may use the cash award to offset any costs associated with their efforts to attain higher education, such as books, childcare, tuition, and transportation. Soroptimist International, a worldwide non-profit that seeks to improve the lives of women and girls, distributes more than $2.6 million in education grants to about 1,700 women all over the world.

Representatives from the group said they were “very proud to be part of a program that is so impactful for women in our Cypress community” and called the awards ceremony a “wonderful and moving presentation, and a reminder of why we do this each year.”

For those interested in learning more about Soroptimist of Cypress and how it empowers women and girls in the Cypress area, please email ssicypress@soroptimist.net.

About Cypress College:

Cypress College offers students a pathway to their future in an environment in which employees commit to joining students on their educational journey. The college’s half-million-plus alumni include actors, athletes, doctors, executives, mechanics, nurses, and teachers. For some, Cypress College is the ticket into their university of choice, and for others, it provides essential training for a prosperous career. Just one Cypress College class is often all it takes to provide cutting-edge skills that lead to a promotion or a new job.

Cypress College’s 16,000 students and the highly qualified teaching faculty are proud of the many excellent academic and vocational programs. Cypress College provides a pathway for each of our students, offering 56 university-transfer majors, 174 career-certificate programs, and degrees in 98 areas of study. The college’s traditional semesters begin in January and August, while short-term courses start throughout the year. A Cypress College education costs $46 per unit — $138 for a typical, full-credit class — California’s lowest tuition. Eligible first-time students qualify for free tuition through Cypress College’s Charger Experience promise program. Financial aid and scholarships are also available to qualifying students.

Cypress College is one of three campuses in the North Orange County Community College District and a member of the 116-campus California Community College system. The college primarily serves the cities of Anaheim, Buena Park, Cypress, Garden Grove, La Palma, Los Alamitos, Seal Beach, and Stanton.

Located at 9200 Valley View Street in Cypress, the college is easily accessible from several Southern California freeways, including the 5, 91, 605, 22, and 405. The campus is just a stone’s-throw from Downtown Disney and Knott’s Berry Farm.

In response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, Cypress College’s instruction and services are offered primarily in a remote format. Students can access support services online at cypresscollege.edu/coronavirus.

—30—

President Schilling’s Board Report for April 13, 2021

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 April 13, 2021

The Cypress Chargers are Back in Action!  The Chargers kicked off their first competition in over a year on March 24, when women’s basketball hosted the Golden West Rustlers. Cypress College opted into competing in Spring I and Spring II competition earlier this year. Cypress men’s basketball, women’s basketball, men’s soccer, women’s soccer, and women’s volleyball will participate in an abbreviated season over the four weeks as part of the Spring I competition. Spring II sports, including baseball, softball, men’s golf, men’s and women’s swim, women’s beach volleyball, and women’s tennis will begin competition April 12.  Due to COVID restrictions, no spectators are able to attend Cypress Athletics events this year.

April is Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion month. In celebration, Cypress is participating in the statewide social media campaign on the importance of DEI on our campuses. The college will also be honoring April 19-23 as Black Student Success week, by featuring the stories and accomplishments of our Black students each day during this week.

Cypress College welcomes Interim Dean of Kinesiology & Athletics, Colin Preston. After five years as Athletic Director at El Camino College, Colin has accepted the Interim Dean of Kinesiology & Athletics role at Cypress College. Originally from Modesto, CA, Colin grew up playing soccer and was an avid sports competitor. As our new Interim Dean of Kinesiology & Athletics, Colin is ready to make an impact on our student-athletes academically and support all 14 of our athletic programs at Cypress.

Cypress College student Catherine Cueva, one of 23 students nationwide selected as the inaugural cohort of #RealCollege’s Student Leadership Advisory Council, has now been appointed as one of the Stanton Commissioners on Public Safety. Catherine is a Political Science major at Cypress and wants to become a Supreme Court Justice one day. Congratulations, Catherine!

The CalWORKs association publishes a collective book of CalWORKs students and their stories across the regions titled “CalWORKs Student Voices.” Cypress College CalWORKs program had the second most submissions from all regions in the state! The book will be published with our student stories by the end of April.

On March 19-21, Cypress College Theater Arts Department presented the spring virtual play, Water by the Spoonful, directed by Professor Jenni McMillin-Brick.

Cypress Soroptimist held their Live Your Dream Awards program on March 24, 2021.

Awardees from the EOPS/CARE programs this year included Charity Racaniello, Samantha Arroyo, Amber Portillo, and Emily Kosmol. Over $5,000 in scholarships were provided to our students. We thank the Soroptimists of Cypress for their continued generosity!

On April 5, the Queer-Straight Alliance and Theater Arts Department, with the support of our Student Equity and Achievement Committee, hosted actress and activist Alex Billings. Alex has starred in multiple Broadway plays, as well as appearing on Transparent, and other TV series. She shared her experience, challenges, and success as a trans woman with students and employees. The event helped create more visibility and understanding of our trans students and employees. Thank you to our LGBTQ coordinator, Jenelle Herman, and theater professor, Donny Jackson for hosting the Q&A.

The Career Planning Center is hosting More Than A Pathway: Connecting Social Justice to Careers Conference on April 13 and 14 from 10 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.  Our own Vice President of Instruction, Dr. Lee Douglas, will be the keynote speaker.  Attendees will gain information on career options with a social justice focus, opportunities for networking, and community resources, information, and tools for providing services to diverse and underserved populations.

A new article from EdSurge, “AI Is Changing the Workforce. At This District, It’s Changing the Curriculum Too” features AUHSD, Superintendent Matsuda, Cypress College, and our Career Preparedness Systems Framework. The article can be found here.

Dr. Marshall, Dr. Schilling, and Superintendent Matsuda will be presenting to the CEO Leadership Alliance of OC on April 15 on Artificial Intelligence and the plans for the Cypress College CAIRE center (Center for Artificial Intelligence Resources and Entrepreneurship), a new resource space for students, faculty, community, and industry partners.

The Cypress College Health Center and Fullerton College Health Center will be co-hosting a Virtual Spring Health Fair on Wednesday, April 28, 2021 and Thursday, April 29, 2021. Each day will have two programs, a morning program (10 a.m.–12:30 p.m.) and an afternoon program (2–4:30 p.m.) with specific themes. We have invited community health and wellness organizations to present information about their services.

The Sustainability Committee will celebrate Earth Day week with a screening of the film, Kiss the Ground, on April 22 at 6 p.m., followed by a discussion. On Monday, April 19, from 12 noon to 1:30 p.m., we will be hosting a panel discussion on sustainability featuring Aditi Mayer, fashion designer; Diandra Marizet, Co-founder of Intersectional Environmentalist Platform; Isaias Hernandez, Creator of Queer Brown Vegan; Kamea Chayne, Creator of Green Dreamer Podcast; and Lauren Ritchie, Founder of It’s Eco Gal. Please join us!

Please join us for our 5th annual Yom HaShoah Day of Remembrance, Thursday, April 15, at 7 p.m. The event is free and you can register here. We will never forget!

Here is the overview of the recent national student basic needs survey by the Hope Center. Cypress College is a member of the #RealCollegeCalifornia alliance. This survey reveals that the needs of our students, and those across the country, continue to be serious, and that the pandemic only accelerated the challenges that already existed before — and will exist afterwards. We must continue to seek solutions to help provide the essential services and support to our most vulnerable students. Buen Cypress, We Take This Journey Together!

President Schilling’s Board Report for March 23, 2021

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 23, 2021

Cypress College hosted a COVID Town Hall on Wednesday, March 3, to provide updates on testing, vaccinations, and safe return to campus scenarios, as well as provide answers to questions and concerns. Marla Mc Bride, our Director of Health Services, and Dr. Chinsio-Kwong from OCHCA were present to answer questions submitted in advance and live during the convening.  For those who were unable to attend the event, the town hall is now available for viewing on the Cypress College website.

Congratulations to Dr. Jose Antonio (Tony) Sanchez-Duran, Cypress College’s Orange County Teacher of the Year for 2021. Tony is a full-time biology instructor and was named and nominated by our students, and then approved by the Associated Students. Dr. Sanchez-Duran is a committed and caring instructor, and we are proud to have him represent us in this year’s 2021 Orange County Department of Education Teacher of the Year Awards in October. Congratulations, Dr. Sanchez-Duran!

We hope you were able to join us for A Conversation About Racial Equity with Dr. Frank Harris on Monday, March 22, from 12:30 to 2 p.m.  The townhall featured a presentation by Dr. Harris on the importance of this work, a student panel discussion on their own experiences at Cypress College, and attendees had the opportunity to share thoughts in small breakout discussions. We thank all who attended!

The Cypress Speech and Debate Team is proud to announce this semester’s campus-wide speech competition – Honoring Student Voices: My Diversity Story. The first speech will be on March 23 from 5 – 6 p.m.  All Cypress College students are welcome to participate and compete for a $50 prize.  We hope to see you there, and if you are interested in being a judge, please let us know!

Ester Plavdjian has been invited to be a panelist for a conference hosted by the Society of College and University Planning on April 16 with Moore Ruble Yudell (MRY), the architects and planners from the EFMP committee. She will be representing the student voice alongside architects Carissa Oyedele, Mario Violich, and Dr. Cherry Li-Bugg. The session is titled “Innovative Tools for Engaging Contemporary Challenges in Equity and Inclusion.” Congratulations, Ester!

We are pleased to share our tribute to the Women of Cypress in a moving video created by our Communications Department. Women’s History Month is a time when we remember all of the women who have made an impact in the world, in our lives, and of course, at Cypress College. We salute all the women in our District, each of whom make an impact every day.

The Cypress College Foundation 46th Annual Americana Awards – The Reunion Year was a huge success.  Net proceeds totaled more than $120,000.  The event was held live in studio with a special watch party for former Americana Honorees, and pre-recorded stories featuring Cypress College students.  Funds were also raised to directly support students through the Fund-A-Need direct donations, and the new Americana Honoree Scholarship which will provide $1,000 awards to students exemplifying the ideals of service to the community.  A replay of the livestream, list of sponsors, Americana program, and all of the videos are available to view here.

The Cypress College Foundation submitted and successfully received $25,000 in COVID relief funds from the State of California Small Business COVID Relief Grant – designed for small businesses including non-profits. This funding will be used to support scholarships and support for students. Congratulations to Howard Kummerman for actively seeking this additional aid.

Cypress College is now reading the DEI Committee’s spring book selection, Caste: The Origins of our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson. To preview our discussion, please take a moment to view this 6-minute interview with the author. This fascinating book details the history of social hierarchy and racism in the United States, and will be discussed on March 23 and April 27 from 11:30 a.m. -12:30 p.m. and repeated on March 24 and April 28 at 4:30-5:30 p.m. Please join us!

Upcoming Events:

Please Save the Date for the Cypress College Scholarship Awards Ceremony which will be held virtually on Tuesday, May 18, at 5:30 p.m. The Cypress College Foundation awards nearly $400,000 in scholarships each year, and students are currently applying for this year’s awards.  Thank you to the many faculty and staff who are volunteering to serve on this year’s scholarship committee.

The LIFE Program has two exciting upcoming events. The first event is a presentation by Cathy Trinh a Vietnam-born mother, cancer survivor, and advocate for mental health awareness, holistic healing, and addiction recovery expert. She will be sharing her story and inspiration with us on Thursday, March 25: 1 – 2 p.m.  On Friday, April 9 from 1-3 p.m. we will host  Liberating Scholars Educational Training: Brittany Morton & the Breaking Bars Community Network. This training will assist faculty and staff provide equity-minded and culturally competent services to our formerly incarcerated student population on our college campus.

Please join us for the Cypress College Yom HaShoah Holocaust Remembrance event, to be held virtually on Thursday, April 15, at 7 p.m. This year we will hear powerful stories from several Holocaust survivors, as well as Irene Perbal, whose family risked their lives to hide Jews in Amsterdam.  Her story depicts the power of the human spirit, the unimaginable courage of human beings, and our amazing ability to bring light from darkness – a trait we all have within us. Registration is free but donations are accepted at www.YomHaShoah.org.  We hope to see you there!

Buen Cypress, We Take This Journey Together!

Two Cypress College Employees Earn Top State Honors for Serving Students with Disabilities

For Immediate Release

March 16, 2021

Contact: Marc Posner

(714) 493-6626 (cell)

 

Two Cypress College faculty were recognized by a state organization for their efforts to advocate and provide excellent educational experiences for students with disabilities.

Dr. Dawn Decker, learning disability specialist, and Professor of Dance Maha Afra were recognized by CAPED, the California Association for Postsecondary Education and Disability. The organization recently honored the two women for their efforts to make Cypress College an accessible place for students with disabilities.

Decker is a member of CAPED and was recognized internally by the organization for her efforts to ensure that students at Cypress College can access the resources they need in order to be successful in school.

Dr. Dawn Decker

“I feel like [this field] is something that chooses you. I feel like it chose me,” she said. “It’s not where I expected to be. I don’t even live in Orange County — I commute 30 miles to and from campus. But the second I walked onto campus, it felt right.”

Decker works in Cypress College’s Disability Support Services (DSS). She was selected for the CAPED President’s Award, a designation that is given to only one person per year within the organization.

Afra was nominated by Decker for the Teacher of the Year Award for her efforts. Afra, a self-proclaimed proud person with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, has developed dance classes that are accessible for students with disabilities. She said she pays special attention to each class and how each student learns so she can adapt her teaching style accordingly.

“You let the students inform how to teach, not have the students adapt to you,” Afra said. “The class is not about you; it is about the students. We want a collaborative space.”

Professor Maha Afra

Decker said this is precisely why she nominated Afra and why CAPED selected her for the award.

“She is such an advocate for the students. She exemplified what CAPED is about — every student having access,” Decker said of Afra.

Cypress College has prioritized accessibility in its programming. The college has: adaptive equipment; note-taking assistance; test accommodations; the ARISE hub, a space for students, faculty, and staff to unwind from the stresses of college life; and more. The ARISE (Academics, Relationships, Independence, Self-Advocacy, Emotional Health) Hub was originally designed to be a comforting, low-stimuli space for students with autism and other mental health conditions, but evolved to provide these services for all students and faculty.

Decker said that Cypress College is so accessible thanks to the hard work, advocacy, and dedication of the entire college to ensure all students can learn.

“We have a fantastic team at Cypress DSS. [Afra] and I may have been the awardees on this, but it’s our team behind us,” she said. “Nobody does this in a vacuum; no one does this alone. We lean on each other. Our hearts are on our students. We want to make sure all of our students have these opportunities.”

Cypress College President JoAnna Schilling, Ph.D. said the college is committed to providing accessible learning for all students who want to attend.

“Cypress College believes that we are made better by having a diverse group of students and by creating an environment of inclusion for all who wish to learn,” Dr. Schilling said. “Having faculty and staff who are also committed to accessibility and embracing all the students who attend our college is key to our success.”

Decker, who has worked at Cypress for nearly a decade, agreed.

“There’s something about Cypress. It’s just the people, the faculty, the staff, the administrators. It’s a beautiful place. The more I worked, the more it felt right,” she said.

About Cypress College:

Cypress College offers students a pathway to their future in an environment in which employees commit to joining students on their educational journey. The college’s half-million-plus alumni include actors, athletes, doctors, executives, mechanics, nurses, and teachers. For some, Cypress College is the ticket into their university of choice, and for others, it provides essential training for a prosperous career. Just one Cypress College class is often all it takes to provide cutting-edge skills that lead to a promotion or a new job.

Cypress College’s 16,000 students and the highly qualified teaching faculty are proud of the many excellent academic and vocational programs. Cypress College provides a pathway for each of our students, offering 56 university-transfer majors, 174 career-certificate programs, and degrees in 98 areas of study. The college’s traditional semesters begin in January and August, while short-term courses start throughout the year. A Cypress College education costs $46 per unit — $138 for a typical, full-credit class — California’s lowest tuition. Eligible first-time students qualify for free tuition through Cypress College’s Charger Experience promise program. Financial aid and scholarships are also available to qualifying students.

Cypress College is one of three campuses in the North Orange County Community College District and a member of the 116-campus California Community College system. The college primarily serves the cities of Anaheim, Buena Park, Cypress, Garden Grove, La Palma, Los Alamitos, Seal Beach, and Stanton.

Located at 9200 Valley View Street in Cypress, the college is easily accessible from several Southern California freeways, including the 5, 91, 605, 22, and 405. The campus is just a stone’s-throw from Downtown Disney and Knott’s Berry Farm.

In response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, Cypress College’s instruction and services are offered primarily in a remote format. Students can access support services online at cypresscollege.edu/coronavirus.

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Former Cypress President to Lead University

Former Cypress College president Dr. Christine Johnson McPhail has been named president of St. Augustine’s University in east Raleigh, NC. She takes the role held by her husband, Dr. Irving Pressley McPhail, who passed away in October 2020 after contracting COVID-19.

Christine Johnson McPhail poses for portrait
Christine Johnson McPhail, former Cypress College president, has been named president of St. Augustine’s University in North Carolina. Photo courtesy of St. Augustine’s University

The St. Augustine’s University Board of Trustees announced Johnson McPhail’s appointment as the HBCU institution’s 13th president in late February. The presidential search committee who selected her was made up of trustees, alumni, faculty, deans, local government officials and members of the surrounding business community.

“We are excited and fortunate to have an innovative, proven … leader of Dr. Christine McPhail’s stature to lead St. Augustine’s University to the next level of excellence as we reimagine a new model of the HBCU of the future,” James E. Perry, chairman of the St. Augustine’s Board of Trustees, said in a statement.

Johnson McPhail was Cypress College’s first Black and first female president when she was hired in 1995. She stepped down in June 1998, the same month she married her late husband.

Since her departure from Cypress ,Johson McPhail has served as a professor of practice at the John E. Roueche Center for Community College Leadership at Kansas State University, and the founding professor and director of Morgan State University’s community college leadership doctoral program. She has also worked as a leadership coach for Achieving the Dream from 2004 to 2018.

“I am committed to the success of this University and each of its students,” she said in a statement. “I also feel a responsibility to carry on my late husband’s work to establish the University as a 21st Century, learning-centered institution while at the same time leaning on several decades of experience in higher education leadership and strong partnerships with the [St. Augustine’s University] community to move us forward.”

President Schilling’s Board Report for March 9, 2021

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 9, 2021

Cypress Athletics: The Chargers took the first step in a return to practice and competition with the first day of rapid COVID testing on February 22. Every student athlete planning to compete for the Chargers this spring began their season with a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) COVID-19 test, which was administered under the supervision of our Cypress College Health Center and Athletic Training Staff.  Cypress Athletics’ top priority is the health and safety of all student athletes, coaches, and staff, so each athlete will be required to test daily prior to each scheduled practice or competition for the duration of the 2020-21 athletics season. The Chargers began practicing during the last week of February and hope to return to competition sometime in March.

The 46th annual Americana Awards was held virtually on February 27. Thank you to those who were able to attend in support of this event. The Fund-a-Need portion was very successful and, for the first time ever, we sold out our special Yamaha raffle — this time for two electric bicycles. Our Celebration packages were hand-delivered to all attendees and included a fabulous dinner of salmon and beef, and a German chocolate cake that will require working off some extra calories this week. Thank you to our Foundation staff, led by Howard Kummerman, Rachel Ghatikar, and Lesley-Anne Loon, as well as Marc Posner for his technical support and student Adrian Romero who sang during the event. We are grateful for the continuing generosity of our community.

Congratulations to Victoria Ygnacio, semi-finalist for the Jack Kent Cooke scholarship from Cypress College. Victoria is a pre-engineering major in her second year at Cypress College and intends to transfer in the fall. She is a student leader in the (STEM)2 program and participated in a summer research program at Cal Tech. Victoria has applied to multiple UCs for transfer. We are proud of Victoria and wish her much success when the finalists are announced later this spring.

The Cypress College COVID Townhall was held on Wednesday, March 3 from 1 – 2:30 pm.  Topics covered by campus professionals included: C19 updates/fact and fiction, de-mystifying the vaccination process, the Othena vaccination app, reporting protocols, and the safe return to work scenarios being discussed.  Thank you to Marla McBride, Dr. Bredehoft from OCHCA, Tami Oh, Alex Porter and all our presenters for a lively conversation about our campus needs and operations.

Cypress College was proud to send 30 students and employees to the A2MEND Conference on March 4-5. Thank you to Dr. Marshall and NOCCCD for sponsoring this important summit.

Our stellar Black History Month concluded with another excellent week of programming.  Thank you to Regina Rhymes, Virgil Adams, Annette Letcher and all our BHM organizers for an impactful month of events! On Friday, February 26, over 300 participants had the pleasure to join us for A Conversation with Dr. Angela Davis: Freedom is a Constant Struggle. Moderators Ruth Gutierrez, Michael Brydges, and Annette Letcher did a great job moderating the discussion with Dr. Davis, which is linked here in case you missed it.  The Hairtage Speaker Series was featured in Voice of OC this week, another accolade for this amazing exhibit. Hairtage was organized by Janet Owens-Driggs and curated by Nzuji De Magalhaes in conjunction with the Cypress College Black History Month Committee.

Other Black History Month events included:

  • A showing of the movie Rosewood about the 1932 Rosewood Massacre, and student panel discussion afterward
  • Debates hosted by Legacy Scholars: Does Capitalism benefit the Black Community? Are Reparations Required in Achieving Racial Justice?
  • Day of Expression – Let’s Express Social Justice, Dance, Music & Spoken Word hosted by Maha Afra

The Cypress College Transfer Center announced a robust lineup of virtual university group tours for Cypress College students on select Fridays. Tours will consist of an admissions presentation and live virtual campus tour led by currently enrolled university students. Upcoming virtual campus tours include UC San Diego, UC Riverside, CSU Long Beach, San Diego State, and CSU Dominguez Hills.

This fall the Charger Experience Program had a 100% acceptance rate at UCI, with 56 out of 56 of our Pledge/Promise students being admitted in fall 2020. 35% of students who applied to UCI were accepted and 53% of those began with us as Pledge/Promise students. These results are demonstrating that the high touch experience provided by our Charger Experience, as well as the commitment to provide a first-year experience where all Promise students take their math and English in the first year, is leading to successful transfer and success. Congratulations to Gisela Verduzco and her Charger Experience team, for making a difference!

The Career Planning Center is hosting a Virtual Career and Social Justice Conference More than a Pathway: Connecting Social Justice to Careers on April 13 and 14.  The goal for this conference/event is to:

  • Present information about career options with a social justice focus within each of the eight Cypress College Divisions
  • Create opportunities for networking with, as well as learning from, professionals who are engaged in advocacy work
  • Share community resources, information, and tools for providing services to diverse and underserved populations

Our classified professionals have just completed the Caring Campus coaching sessions. Caring Campus’ CEO, Brad Philips, recently sent the following acknowledgement: As President/CEO of the Institute for Evidence-Based Change (IEBC) I’d like to commend Cypress College on the successful completion of the Caring Campus coaching sessions and steps taken toward implementation. We know that students go where they feel welcome and stay where they feel cared for. Your professional staff have worked hard to identify and implement behaviors intentionally and campus-wide that ensure students feel connected to their college and, in turn, successfully persist and complete their educational goals.  Our Caring Campus teams are currently creating is an interactive sticker/avatar pack within the mobile app, CypressConnect. This will allow students to collect virtual stickers when they visit certain areas on campus, reach a milestone, or attend events. Thank you to Christy Montenegro and Summer Justice who are leading the two Caring Campus teams and to all our classified coaches for the work they are doing to support our students!

Congratulations to our Psychiatric Technology Program for receiving 100% passing scores for their state board exams during the last quarter of 2020. The program was also reaffirmed for accreditation from the California State Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians for four more years. We are #CYProud of our faculty, staff, and students!

Buen Cypress, We Take This Journey Together!

Supporting our Asian-American Community

Events targeting Asian-Americans in Orange County and throughout our state and country have, regrettably, become more common and more deliberate. When we see this kind of bigotry directed at our students and those within our community, we cannot be silent. Our campus community is proud of our almost 30% Asian/Pacific Islander student population, all of whom enrich and enhance our entire campus experience. These recent targeted attacks, which have been physical, verbal, and symbolic, denigrate the students and employees we all care about at Cypress College.

Hate crimes against Asian-Americans have seen an increase during the COVID-19 pandemic. Between March and September 2020, there have been more than 2,500 reports nationally of anti-Asian hate incidents related to the pandemic. Sadly, the true number is likely much higher. Many of our Asian-American students and colleagues have been the targets of micro and macro aggressions that seek to diminish their important contributions to our community. An example of this kind of harassment was reported in the Los Angeles Times, where a family in South Orange County has been repeatedly intimidated due to their ethnicity; the uplifting part of this story is that their neighbors have united to stand up against this hatred, and so must we stand together to condemn discrimination wherever we see it.

According to a recent report by the Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations, violent acts of hate (in LA County) in 2020 grew to their highest rate since 2008. The most notable increases are violent crimes against people of Middle Eastern descent (142%); Jewish descent (89%); Asian descent (32%); and transgender persons (64%). These numbers are shocking, in no small part because these violent actions are directed against friends, neighbors, and those identified as immigrants.

I am proud that Cypress College continues to speak out against all forms of bigotry. As educators, we can counter ignorance through the power of education; our students come to Cypress College seeking a better life and it is our responsibility to ensure that they are valued, supported, and empowered by the knowledge and love each of you provide every day.

Let us embrace the power we have as educators by refusing to give in to hate wherever it seeks to take hold.

You make a difference in the lives of so many, and we must continue to take this journey together.

Cypress College Student Cueva Selected for Inaugural #RealCollege Student Leadership Advisory Council

For Immediate Release

March 2, 2021

Contact: Marc Posner

(714) 484-7006

Cypress College student Catherine Cueva is one of 23 students nationwide selected as the inaugural cohort of #RealCollege’s Student Leadership Advisory Council. Cueva is the only member from the California Community Colleges and just one of four from the Golden State.

California’s additional selections come from Fresno State University, California Polytechnic State University at Pomona, and the University of California Berkeley. In all, the 23 students attend 19 public institutions, eight community colleges, and four Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Three-quarters of the SLAC members identify as female and 87% are people of color.

Cueva, said she joined the Student Leadership Advisory Council  “to help inform others about food insecurity, especially on college campuses.” Her interest is an extension of her volunteer efforts providing Thanksgiving meals to those in need.

“We are so pleased that Catherine Cueva has been selected to serve on the Student Leadership Advisory Council on behalf of Cypress College and the California community colleges,” Cypress College President JoAnna Schilling, Ph.D. said. “We know she will do a great job. #RealCollege is an effort that aligns strongly with our campus efforts to meet the needs of our students and we are also excited for the opportunity to strengthen this relationship and to tie the work of these 23 extraordinary students with the initiatives we recommend to legislators in California.”

#RealCollege is an initiative from the Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice based at Temple University. The effort seeks “to center college students as humans first and increase the availability of supports for their basic needs,” according to the organization. The new Student Leadership Advisory Council seeks to elevate students’ voices in decision making, to highlight the diversity of their institutions, and to introduce the amazing students at these colleges to a broader public.

Cypress College is one of the #RealCollege member institutions.

About Cypress College:

Cypress College offers students a pathway to their future in an environment in which employees commit to joining students on their educational journey. The college’s half-million-plus alumni include actors, athletes, doctors, executives, mechanics, nurses, and teachers. For some, Cypress College is the ticket into their university of choice, and for others, it provides essential training for a prosperous career. Just one Cypress College class is often all it takes to provide cutting-edge skills that lead to a promotion or a new job.

Cypress College’s 16,000 students and the highly qualified teaching faculty are proud of the many excellent academic and vocational programs. Cypress College provides a pathway for each of our students, offering 56 university-transfer majors, 174 career-certificate programs, and degrees in 98 areas of study. The college’s traditional semesters begin in January and August, while short-term courses start throughout the year. A Cypress College education costs $46 per unit — $138 for a typical, full-credit class — California’s lowest tuition. Eligible first-time students qualify for free tuition through Cypress College’s Charger Experience promise program. Financial aid and scholarships are also available to qualifying students.

Cypress College is one of three campuses in the North Orange County Community College District and a member of the 116-campus California Community College system. The college primarily serves the cities of Anaheim, Buena Park, Cypress, Garden Grove, La Palma, Los Alamitos, Seal Beach, and Stanton.

Located at 9200 Valley View Street in Cypress, the college is easily accessible from several Southern California freeways, including the 5, 91, 605, 22, and 405. The campus is just a stone’s-throw from Downtown Disney and Knott’s Berry Farm.

In response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, Cypress College’s instruction and services are offered primarily in a remote format. Students can access support services online at cypresscollege.edu/coronavirus.

—30—

Remembering the Ladies, a Celebration of Women’s History Month

Back on March 31, 1776, Abigail Adams pled to her husband, John Adams, in a letter to “remember the ladies and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors. Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the husbands. Remember, all men would be tyrants if they could. If particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies, we are determined to foment a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice or representation.”

Women’s History Month in particular is a time when we remember all of the women who have made an impact, however big or small, in the world, in our lives, and of course at Cypress College.

Numerous women have been remembered for their accomplishments since the writing of Adams’ letter. In 1848, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott helped organize the first women’s rights convention. The following year, Elizabeth Blackwell became the first woman to get a medical degree and become a doctor. Women’s rights were fought for by Sojourner Truth and Susan B. Anthony, among others. In 1932, the world saw the first woman (Amelia Earhart) to fly across the Atlantic nonstop.

Women standing in front of building

Women were instrumental in the Civil Rights Movement (Rosa Parks, 1955), and in the 1960s, the country saw birth control pills, Equal Pay Act, Title VII, and Title IX.

Tennis star Billie Jean King beat Bobby Riggs in “The Battle of the Sexes” only a few years before Sandra Day O’Connor was sworn in as the first woman to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court, leading to many firsts in government, including the most recent first: a female vice president.

As individuals, we remember our grandmothers, mothers, sisters, and aunts.

Coach Margared Mohr talks to her players during a time out on the Legends of Hoops Night at Cypress College. The event was held on Don Johnson Court on Friday, February 21, 2014

As an institution, we would be remiss to leave out the women who have made an impact here on campus. Christine Johnson was our first female president; two others have followed her: Margie Lewis (our ninth president), and JoAnna Schilling (our twelfth and current president). Professor Pat Ganer was our first female Academic Senate president. Geology Professor Dorothy Stout made groundbreaking strides in her field. Coach Margaret Mohr, Gail Taylor (Americana), our women deans (Rebecca Gomez, Katy Realista, Treisa Cassens, Kathleen Reiland, Lisa Gaetje), and so many others past and present have all made an impact on our campus community.

That impact includes you, too, Cypress College students, and everything you’ve done to be part of this legacy. Please join us in remembering the ladies and celebrating Women’s History Month, and share the name and/or a story of one in our comments below.

President Schilling’s Board Report for February 23, 2021

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 February 23, 2021

As part of Black History Month, HAIRTAGE: Tangled, Twisted, & Black Speaker Series continues featuring top speakers. The LA Weekly highlighted this exhibition as their Culture Pick of the Week. Cedric Adams shared his drawings on February 17. Adams is a child of the Watts Renaissance who is best known for his meticulous drawings; Cedric looks to life around him for the subjects of his artworks, which currently feature portraits of African American men and women that are, he explains, “a visual reaffirmation of how we see ourselves.” The Hairtage Speaker Series is organized in conjunction with the Cypress College Black History Month Committee.

Cypress College has kicked of the Camino de Santiago Challenge. Our team will take the journey together to complete the 480-mile Camino de Santiago trail virtually! All those who complete the full virtual journey to Santiago will receive a medal of completion. Schools First will be providing some incentive raffles between now and fall 2021 Opening Day to acknowledge and encourage the team’s progress. To add yet another reason to join, our Foundation is hosting an optional Camino de Santiago Crowdfunding site to raise funds for your journey. All funds raised will go directly to emergency aid for our students.

The college is providing an Auto-awards Pilot for five CTE certificate programs. Students were notified they were eligible to receive their specific certificate(s) in Baking, Culinary Arts, Food and Beverage, Hotel and Special Events. After one week 56 of 83 students had responded and 100% of the 56 accepted their certificate. Thank you to Kathleen Reiland, Stephanie Rosati, Marc Posner, David Booze, and our CTE counselors Jane Jepson and Jeannie Mitsch for getting this pilot program off the ground. We hope this is the first step in being able to more easily award our students with their earned degrees and certificates.

From November 8, 2020 through April 18, 2021 the California Botanic Garden in Claremont is exhibiting the works of some local ceramicist’s in their exhibition, Clayfornia. One of these artists is our adjunct professor, Mary Beierle. The Botanic Garden’s winter magazine cover features one of her works on display. We are proud of the talent we have at Cypress College and applaud Professor Beirele’s accomplishments. To view the California Botanic Garden’s Clayfornia exhibit click here.

Dr. Schilling and Kathleen Reiland were honored to attend the Orange County Business Council Annual Installation Dinner on February 4. Dr. Schilling attended as the guest of Union Bank and Regional Manager Robbin Narike Preciado. Captain “Sully” Sullenberger was the keynote speaker and spoke eloquently about the importance of teamwork, compassionate leadership, and ensuring all are elevated when the team accomplishes their work together.

On February 5, the CCCCO sponsored a webinar called Voices of Freedom: Stories of Hope from Formerly Incarcerated Rising Scholars. This powerful panel discussion on the pipeline to prison inherent in too many communities and educational systems, featured Cypress College’s FITE Club founder, Nohelani Casperson, who transferred last spring and is now attending UC Berkeley. Nohelani had powerful observations about how her educational journey was impacted by Cypress College, FITE Club advisor, Anne Marie Beck, and the importance of providing a path forward through education for our formerly incarcerated students. We are #CYProud of Nohelani and our FITE Club students!

Our Student Services Team welcomed Dr. Frank Harris to Cypress College on February 11 for the spring Student Services kick off meeting. The theme, Enhancing the Student Experience, was the focus of the morning, and Dr. Harris complemented this retreat with a powerful presentation on the digital equity divide. Thank you to Dr. Harris for presenting, and to Dr. de Dios for putting together a great morning of professional development for this team.

Dr. Schilling was invited to share her State of the College address to the Cypress City Council on February 8. She discussed our new buildings on campus, provided an Americana invitation to all council members, and discussed tentative plans for a limited re-opening of the campus this fall. We are grateful for our positive relationship with the city leaders in Cypress.

The Health Center now has a Canvas Shell and will be providing information, updates, and resources via Canvas, as well as using Canvas to conduct workshops. Please refer your students to our Canvas Shell for resources and event information. Feel free to forward the attached flyer at the end of this report.

Wellness Wednesdays continue this spring semester. Each Wellness Wednesday will be held virtually from 12-1p.m.

  • February 24, 2021- Creating Good Habits and BetterYou App
  • March 24, 2021- Eating Healthy for a Healthy Brain
  • April 21, 2021- Healthy Relationships & Setting Healthy Boundaries
  • May 12, 2021- Stress Reduction Techniques

Upcoming Events

Dr. Schilling will be attending the CEO Symposium on February 25-26; she will be facilitating one of the breakout sections on February 25 focused on the work recommended by the statewide Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Taskforce.

DEI Book discussions – Please join us for a discussion of Book Two of The Distance Between Us, by Reyna Grande on February 23 @ 11:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m. and February 24 @ 4:30 to 5:45 p.m. Next up are discussions of Caste, by Isabel Wilkerson on March 23 @ 11:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m. and March 24 @ 4:30 to 5:45 p.m., and on April 27 @ 11:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m. and April 28 @ 4:30 to 5:45 p.m.

Cypress College is planning a COVID Townhall on Wednesday, March 3 from 1 to 2:30 p.m. to hear from the OC Department of Health regarding vaccinations, testing, and will hear from campus professionals on reporting and safety protocol on campus, and open a discussion on plans for reopening in fall.

Our next Cypress College Equity Retreat– will be held on March 5 to begin development of our campus DEI Framework in support of our next Strategic Plan. Tony Santa Ana will be our guest facilitator and 100 campus colleagues will be attending to help lead the discussion on this important planning focus.

We hope you will all be able to join us for the 46th annual Americana Awards on February 27 at 6 p.m. This year all honorees from the previous 45 years will be acknowledged. All in virtual attendance will receive a Celebration package including dinner, dessert and wine delivered to their home. We hope to see you there as we raise funding for student scholarships!

Buen Cypress, We Take This Journey Together!

Cypress College Partners with NextFlex to Launch FlexFactor Program

Cypress College has partnered with NextFlex this spring to launch the FlexFactor program with both our native college students and our dual enrollment students from both the Anaheim Union High School District and the Garden Grove Unified School District.

Dual Enrollment FlexFactor Flyer

Through the launch of this educational partnership, students will have the opportunity to explore STEM and manufacturing pathways through project-based learning emphasizing technology and entrepreneurship. Students will identify a real-world problem, conceptualize a product solution, build a business model, and finally pitch their concept to panel of industry partners not limited to private companies, academic institutions, and nonprofits.

What is NextFlex
NextFlex is a nationally recognized network of nationwide institutes including private companies, academic institutions, nonprofits, local and federal government partners that have come together to narrow the manufacturing workforce gap, promote sustainable ecosystems, and facilitate innovation through many channels including K-14 educational programs.

What is FlexFactor
FlexFactor is an outreach program through NextFlex in partnership with Cypress College designed to promote STEM and manufacturing pathways to K-14 students. We are excited to announce that our first cycle of FlexFactor launches in spring 2021! The program uses a project-based learning approach to engage students with advanced technologies, entrepreneurship, and education/career pathways.

For additional information, please reach out to our Dual Enrollment program at DualEnrollment@CypressCollege.edu.

President Schilling’s Board Report for February 9, 2021

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 February 9, 2021

February is Black History Month and this year our BHM Committee at Cypress College collaborated with our Fullerton College colleagues for a series of exciting events planned for our campus communities. The kick-off, including the opening ceremony, was held on February 1 and featured our District CEOs to help launch the festivities. The theme for Cypress College’s Black History Month this year is “Social Economics and Liberation of the African American Community.” In addition to our kick-off event, there will be events featuring Dr. Frank Harris and Dr. Angela Davis, as well as many other opportunities for our students and employees to celebrate the vast contributions made by our African American community. For a full calendar of events, please visit our events calendar.

The Cypress College ESL department was commended by the RP Group as one of the top colleges in the state for its outstanding ESL program.  The college is among the top in the state for three of the four ESL student typologies that RP Group and the AB 705 Advisory committee are examining including:

  • US high school graduates (#2)
  • International Students on the ESL pathway (among the top 6%)
  • Degree-seeking Adult Ed ELL students (among the top 10%)

Thank you to our excellent ESL faculty. We are very proud of our students and our program!

Cypress College has been chosen to participate in the Co-Pilot Ascend pilot, a joint project conducted by Wheelhouse (UC Davis) and PERTS (Stanford) and funded by the Gates Foundation.  Twenty instructors in our Language Arts division will be piloting this new evidence-based software and process to enhance student engagement and equity in the classroom. Benefits include faculty receiving insights into how students experience their teaching, while improving student engagement and narrowing equity gaps in student experience. Cypress College is one of only four community colleges statewide have been invited to participate in this project, and this is the first pilot to include community colleges overall.

Extended by popular demand, the Cypress College Art Gallery will be continuing its popular Pic ‘n’ Mix virtual exhibition for the spring semester. Named for the gone-but-not-forgotten Woolworth’s candy counter, Pic ‘n’ Mix brings together collections amassed by members of the Cypress College community. From panda bears to bricks, from feathers to computer game screenshots and sundials, the Pic ‘n’ Mix collections tell tales of distant places and intimate dreams, passionate loyalties and political lies, and sometimes of great sweetness.  Thank you to Janet Owens-Driggs for curating these collections and to everyone who has generously shared their collections.

The Cypress College Art Gallery also presents HAIRTAGE: Tangled, Twisted & Black from January 21 to March 25, 2021. Curated by artist Nzuji De Magalhaes, the HAIRTAGE exhibition and speaker series gathers together artists who approach Black hair as a locus of tension and affirmation.

Cypress in the News: A recent article in Precinct Reporter Group featured one of our current Funeral Services BDP students, Margo Malone. The article covers how frontline morticians are dealing with the challenges presented by the pandemic.  Please click here to read the article.  According to Margo, “Not only have I had opportunity to use information and resources since I graduated so long ago, but I have been able to hone my skills through the B.S. program and the classes I have taken thus far. I would not be where I am in my career had it not been for the Cypress College Mortuary Science program.”  Margo is another amazing alumnus, and well on her way to completing her B.S in Funeral Services!

The Cypress College community will be participating in the Camino de Santiago Virtual Challenge. As many of you know, our Buen Cypress greeting was modeled on the Camino de Santiago, a 480-mile trail which runs from France to Spain. For the next 6.5 months, Cypress College will be taking the challenge to complete this journey virtually. To add yet another reason to join, our Foundation will be setting up Crowdsourcing pages to helping raise funds based on participant completions. All funds raised will go directly to emergency aid for our students. Please join us in taking the challenge! Buen Cypress and Buen Camino!

Open Study Space: Cypress College will again provide a safe study space on campus for students who need a quiet place to work, access their remote class, or study. We will be moving this space into the Cypress College Art Gallery this semester, with a planned opening on February 16. During warm weather, there will be tables outdoors around the gallery, as well as physically distanced and protected tables indoors. Students will still need to make an appointment on our mobile app, complete the wellness check form, wear a mask at all times, and check-in using our new temperature kiosk. Laptops, ear buds, and PPE are provided on request.

Our Athletics Department has launched an upcoming campaign called “Chargers for Change.” The goal is to shine light on the voices of our Cypress Athletics community while spreading awareness of the department’s commitment to anti-racism. This campaign will allow the entire Chargers community to speak, listen, learn, and reflect about the social injustices that impact their daily lives and those around them. Campus colleagues have been asked to share their thoughts in the form of a video, voice recording, or a simple quote that speaks to the importance of anti-racism. Statements from the Charger Athletics Community will be shared on all social media platforms and on our website. Thank you to Athletic Director, Wesley McCurtis, and Sports Information Director, Brett Franchino for putting this excellent campaign together. Go Chargers!

The Hope Center announced their Inaugural #Real College Student Leadership Advisory Council (SLAC) and Cypress College is proud that one of our students, Catherine Cueva, has been chosen in this important role. The 2021 SLAC cohort is comprised of 23 #RealCollege students from coast to coast, including 19 from public institutions, eight from community colleges, and four who attend Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Three-quarters of the students identify as female, and 87% are people of color. Catherine, who is the president of our Students for Basic Needs Club, is the only student chosen from a California community college for this honor. To read the full press release, please click here. Congratulations, Catherine!

We hope you will all be able to join us for our 46th annual Americana: Reunion Year. The event will be live-streamed virtually but will still include our fabulous silent and live auctions, and a Celebration Package delivered to your home including a full meal, wine, dessert and a few surprises. This year our special Opportunity Drawing will include two Yamaha electric-enhanced bicycles valued over $7,000 for the pair. The District will be sponsoring two tables of ten so we hope you will be in attendance as we raise funds for scholarships to support our students and celebrate all past honorees from years 1 through 45! The pre-event begins at 5:30 with the main program starting at 6 p.m. on Saturday, February 27, 2021.  See you there!

Buen Cypress, We Take This Journey Together!

President Schilling’s Board Report for January 26, 2021

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 January 26, 2021

As we begin the spring 2021 semester, the college continues to have enrollment challenges. Currently the college is trending down about 6%; a current statewide enrollment report shows Cypress trending above other colleges in our area, but we remain concerned about losing any of our students. Before the end of the fall semester, our Institutional Research Program, led by Dr. Eileen Haddad, sent out a survey to all students, asking the question What can we do to better support you? A total of 864 students responded to the survey, and 363 students provided an open-ended response. Here’s a brief snapshot of responses:

Most students plan to re-enroll at Cypress College in spring 2021

  • 95% said that they plan to re-enroll at Cypress College in spring 2021 (n = 822)

Most students had an “excellent” or “good” experience with remote instruction this fall—but many students did not

  • 53% had an “excellent” or “good” experience (20% excellent; 33% good)
  • 28% had an “average” experience
  • 19% had a “bad” or “terrible” experience (12% bad; 7% terrible)

Biggest Challenges Reported by Students

  • Having a quiet place to do their school work (45%; n = 386)
  • Financial difficulties (34%; n = 294)
  • Reliable internet (30%; n = 260)
  • Accessing academic support services (30%; n = 258)
  • Other (18%; n = 153) (e.g., mental health, instructor-related, engagement)

We are continuing our Cypress Cares Campaign with our student ambassadors, who have been, and will continue calling all students throughout the semester to help keep them on track, offer encouragement, and provide resources.

The Guided Pathways Workgroup offered Adjunct Learning Day on Wednesday, January 20, 2021 from 9 – 3:30. This event provided an opportunity for attendees to learn about current initiatives being implemented under Guided Pathways, connect with other adjunct faculty, learn more about the leadership of the college, find ways to have the adjunct voice included, and enhance their knowledge of how to connect students with support services at Cypress College. Thank you to our Guided Pathways team for offering this impactful day on behalf of our adjunct faculty.

Dr. Frank Harris was a guest speaker at the dean’s retreat on January 8, and provided a two-hour workshop on the importance of having difficult discussions about race across our campus. Dr. Harris will also be attending the Student Services Kickoff on February 11 to discuss bridging the digital divide exposed in our current remote environment. Thank you to VPs Dr. Douglas and Dr. De Dios for planning these events and leading your respective teams!

Thank you to those who were able to join us for our virtual Opening Day on Friday, January 22. Marc Posner and his team created an interview-type pre-show, focusing on conversations with new VP, Lee Douglas, a chat with Juan Garcia and Howard Kummerman about our Veterans fundraising campaign, and a conversation with Janet Owens Driggs on the recent gallery show Pic n Mix. Opening Day featured a presentation from our Guided Pathways Completion Teams and Caring Campus leaders on how Cypress College is moving forward and grounding our Guided Pathways in Equity. It was great to have our campus community together again, even in this virtual space.

As a result of the College’s participation in the Community College Equity Leadership Alliance this fall, several of our teams have been busy putting together projects to share with the campus. On FLEX Day, one team led two FLEX workshops on Understanding and Confronting Anti-Black Racism, detailing the work being done currently at Cypress, and the work that still needs to be done to create a socially just and anti-racist environment. Another team created an Implicit Bias tool which was presented in all division meetings on Opening Day. Thank you to all our teams for sharing their work to benefit their colleagues across the campus.

Also, on FLEX Day, the keynote speaker for both Cypress and Fullerton Colleges was Joe Feldman, author of Grading for Equity, and his colleague Dr. Shantha Smith, who shared compelling reasons for re-looking at how students are graded, with suggestions for how faculty might implement grading practices that improve student achievement and make their classrooms more equitable. And speaking of making classrooms more equitable, Cypress just completed a three-day Curriculum Equity audit with 15 full time faculty members. This review included looking at courses and syllabi through an equity lens. Thank you to curriculum chair, Silvie Grote, and VP Lee Douglas for bringing colleagues from LBCC to lead this important workshop.

Cypress College’s Toyota T-TEN program was again recognized for having the highest number of Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certifications per student nationwide for the second year in a row! As a result of this recognition, the college was awarded a Techstream Award and $8,000 for the program in honor of this achievement. Congratulations to faculty Michael Klyde and Paul Kelly, for their commitment to, and outstanding leadership of, the Cypress College Toyota T-TEN Program.

Cypress In The News:  Cypress was mentioned again in Superintendent Mike Matsuda’s article in Working Nation, highlighting the importance of preparing high school and college students for life after college and how Cypress College is working closely with AUHSD to create these essential pathway opportunities. Read this article featuring Cypress College student Andres Licea who came to Cypress from Savanna High School with a full year of college credit completed and is now an active Pledge mentor to other students. Andres has an inspiring story of how he is building a brighter future for himself and others through education.

Drs. Dunsheath, Contreras, and De Dios participated in a panel discussion at the CCLC new Trustee workshop on January 20, focusing on post-pandemic possibilities, challenges, and innovative practices that have emerged from the abrupt move to distance education stemming from COVID-19. The presentation, Navigating the New Normal: Innovative Practices and Challenges as Colleges Move to Distance Education reflected innovations and strategies at NOCCCD to provide effective student services while ensuring equity for our students.

The Wheelhouse Institute, part of the UC Davis research office, recently issued a report on the ten-year progress of Associate Degrees for Transfer (ADT) across the state. If you wish to read the full report, it is linked here. The next page provides an overview of the Cypress ADT progress for the past five years.

Buen Cypress! We Take This Journey Together!

Associate Degree for Transfer (ADTs) Data Trends

Cypress College currently offers 36 Associate Degree for Transfer (ADT) programs. In 2019-20, the College awarded 918 ADTs across 29 of these programs. Below is an historical overview of ADTs awarded overall, by ethnicity, and transfer rate in the past five years.

Spring 2021 Opening Day Provides Updates, Looks to Future

Cypress College employees kicked off the spring 2021 semester with the traditional Opening Day meeting on Friday, January 22, 2021 — held virtually for the second consecutive semester rather than in the Theater.

Dr. Schilling speaking at Opening Day Spring 2021

The event provided an update on what’s happened during the previous several months and a look forward at what’s anticipated in the coming months. This includes our efforts to build a more-equitable campus, the completion of the Veteran’s Resource Center and progress on the new SEM Building, and how we are addressing the pandemic. In addition, employees shared their reasons for involvement in Guided Pathways, including the new Caring Campus initiative, and the college’s common book was highlighted by author Reyna Grande reading from “The Distance Between Us.”

Links to individual segments of Opening Day are below.

Culinary Instructor Nominated for Teacher of the Year

Hotel, Restaurant, and Culinary Arts instructor Chef Amanda Gargano has been nominated as a 2021 Orange County Teacher of the Year. The award is bestowed by the Orange County Department of Education and SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union, and would have been granted to Gargano at a gala, however, the pandemic has put the in-person celebration on hold until at least fall 2021.

Culinary Instructor Amanda Gargano with flowers and balloons

Cypress College President JoAnna Schilling, Ph.D. and Associated Students representatives broke the news to Gargano with a certificate, flowers, and balloons. A presentation last December, sponsored by the OCDoE honored Gargano, and nominees. The acknowledgement ceremony was attended by David Okawa, Marc Posner, Schilling, and Career and Technical Education Dean Kathleen Reiland.

“In course evaluations, it is striking to see such consistently high marks and comments about Chef Amanda’s instruction from all students,” Reiland says. “Students rave about how wonderfully informative and supportive she is throughout their studies.”

Reiland said Gargano seeks creative learning opportunities and industry connections for the HRC Department, and that she is thrilled to have her at Cypress. Gargano is humble but her inspirational instruction has certainly reached the students who nominated her.

Culinary students gather around instructor Chef Amanda Gargano

Gargano with her culinary students before the pandemic prevented in-person classes.

“My teaching philosophy has always been to pique my students’ curiosity, lead by example, and empower them to be the best version of themselves,” Gargano says. “All students are capable of success!”

Nominees came from 28 school districts, three regional occupation programs, and 10 community colleges in the county. Two other North Orange County Community College faculty received nominations — Dr. Amber Rose González of Fullerton College and Erin Sherard of North Orange Counting Education (NOCE).

Each of the 58 nominees will receive a SchoolsFirst tote bag containing a personalized blanket, an all-access pass to OCDE Professional Learning Opportunities, an invitation to the Teachers of the Year gala, and other gifts — including a cash award of $500 from SchoolsFirst. Additionally, the Orange County Teachers of the Year Award Foundation provided each nominee with a gift of $3,000.

New Course: Civic Engagement in Public Health

Our current health crisis, along with changing political tides, has caused many to reevaluate the support networks in place for health and human services. At Cypress College, a new class could inform and prepare students for work in reinforcing structures that help communities navigate public health concerns.

Woman in classroom engaged with lesson.

KIN 289—Civic Engagement in Public Health (CRN 24245) educates students in several areas of supportive services. The class aims to instruct on assessing health education, create health and education programs based the needs of different populations, and design and facilitate health education trainings.

“Students completing this course will gain appreciation of community as a unit of identity,” instructor Silvie Grote says. “From a social justice perspective and with focus on health equity research for action, students will learn to lead initiatives to promote community health and community wellbeing.”

The class is offered as a required course for the Community Health Worker Certificate as well as for students who are passionate about health of their communities and want to gain skills to bring about change. Students will have the opportunity to put their instruction into practice, as the course includes 60 hours of internship in the area of public health engagement.

To enroll, visit the Cypress College spring 2021 class schedule here.

Take a Virtual Tour of Art Professor’s Studio

Cypress College art professor Paul Paiement will lead a virtual tour of his studio over Instagram Tuesday, January 19, at 2 p.m. An Instagram Live video by Tufenkian Fine Arts will show the interior of his Long Beach creative space as the first in its series of visits.
Painting by Cypress College art professor Paul Paiement of rolling hills and an abstract building.
Glendale-based Tufenkian announced the new series of online virtual artist studio visits on January 10 on its Instagram page. Click to view the upcoming visit.
Art professor Paul Paiement painting of trees mirroring each other in a forest.

To see more of Paul Paiement’s work, visit his website.

T-TEN Program Ranks First in Tests Passed per Student for Two Years in a Row

Cypress College’s T-TEN program has been recognized for the highest Automotive Service Excellence tests passed per student, for the second year in a row. The Automotive Technology Department program also was recognized for having 22 graduates in 2020, a year hampered by the COVID-19 pandemic.

A car waits to be serviced in the Automotive Technology department

The news was announced during the Toyota Technician Training and Education Network (T-TEN) annual conference the week of January 4. At the conference, Michael Klyde was recognized for serving on the T-TEN Safe Labs Project, the Distance Learning Team (which provided training to T-TEN instructors on Distance Education), and the T-TEN Instructor Community Board. He also presented two of the sessions during the event.

The Cypress T-TEN program earned an additional Techstream diagnostic scan tool to reward its ASE pass rate. There are eight ASE tests in the Master Automotive Series and the Cypress T-TEN class of 2020 had an average of 6.2 per student.

This is the second Techstream, valued at over $8,000, that the Cypress T-TEN program has earned in the past three months. It was awarded by Toyota for the Automotive Technology recruiting efforts this past November, during which Klyde interviewed 13 potential T-TEN students online. Since September, he has interviewed more than 35 potential T-TEN students.

“T-TEN and the entire Automotive Technology Department have stepped up in the face of COVID-19 to make the adjustments necessary to maintain a viable program for the past year,” Career and Technical Education Dean Kathleen Reiland says. “Our students are lucky to have such vested faculty, staff, and counselors to support our students’ success.”

“It is also good to hear that T-TEN recognized you for your work in providing pandemic related resources to Cypress College and other colleges to ensure safe lab usage and quality distance learning,” Reiland says.

Happy Holidays from Cypress College!

It brings us joy to share this year’s Cypress College video holiday card, which was initially designed by then-student art student Ken Huynh, who is now enrolled at Cal State Fullerton. We have added some highlight moments from this unique year — including a transformation from in-person to remote instruction.

As 2020 comes to a close, Cypress College will pause instruction and services starting at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, December 23, 2020. We will be back to serve you — refreshed and re-charged — on Monday, January 4, 2021.

“As we dream of a brighter future, I wish you and your families the best for a peaceful and restful holiday season,” said Cypress College President Dr. Schilling, Ph.D., in sharing the holiday card with the campus and broader community.

View our full year in review “Rewind 2020” video.

From all of us here at Cypress College, we wish you a most joyful holiday season. We hope you enjoy the holiday greetings in our campus card and the well-deserved rest during the upcoming winter recess.

President Schilling’s Board Report for December 15, 2020

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 December 15, 2020

This year, instead of an in-person gathering for the holidays, Cypress College is presenting the Festival of Holidays, which commemorates the many ways cultures across the globe celebrate this time of the year.

For 14 work days, from December 1–18, faculty and staff have been receiving a different holiday greeting. When recipients click on the envelope to open the message, they discover a new holiday tradition and have the chance to enter a daily holiday raffle.  Follow us as we visit holidays around the globe.

On Wednesday, December 9, the EOPS/CARE/CalWORKs and Guardian Scholars team hosted a drive-thru distribution of holiday cheer and gifts for approximately 50 of our students and their children. Every year the Cypress College community steps up to provide the generous donations and donated gifts from staff, faculty, and administrators that make this event and the “wish lists” of these children possible. Thank you to all who contributed this year. You have made these children and their parents feel loved and appreciated this holiday season!

The Cypress College Debate Event against Irvine Valley College was held on November 18.  The topic was “Resolved: When casting actors, preference should be given to actors within the identities of the characters being portrayed.”  Thank you to Co-Director Bill Neesen and the students from Irvine Valley College for a great debate.  Thirty-two (32) students participated and IVC won the debate by only 1 vote. Another event was held on November 19, with the theme of “My Diversity Story.”  Congratulations to Fatima Gonzalez Gomez for winning the $50 prize!  Thank you to judges Eldon Young, Billy Pashaie, and Jolena Grande for taking time out of their busy schedules to participate as judges for these events.

The 4th Annual Transfer/Pre-Graduation Fair was held on November 20.  More than 350 students participated in the virtual event and interacted with recruiters from over 65 four-year colleges and universities. Additionally, students received important information about graduation deadlines, academic regalia, and were able to strategize with Cypress College student support offices about how to receive similar support services at four-year institutions. And a special thank you to Howard Kummerman and the Cypress College Foundation for contributing scholarships to Transfer/Pre-Graduation Fair student participants.

The week of November 16-20 was 2020 International Education Week.  Normally, the ISP & International Club would coordinate and hold an event to promote the importance and benefits of international education.  Instead, Vivian Kim and Director Yongmi Han designed a special edition of International Focus, ISP Newsletter, highlighting our international students and their academic accomplishments for the past two years.

The Theater Arts Department’s fall production of Chrysalis streamed for free on November 19-20.  Chrysalis was a poetic and emotional response to the struggles of 2020, written and performed by our students and directed by Professor Jennifer McMillin-Brick.  Thank you to the Theater Arts Department for a wonderful production and for providing an original and beautiful opportunity for our students to express themselves.

The Health Center continues its Let’s Talk flyer series serving students during this time of isolation. Let’s Talk provides a space for students to connect with others, while providing them with tools and skills to manage stress and anxiety. In addition, the Cypress College Nursing Department held a joint workshop with the ARISE team on November 25.  The workshop covered how to create Healthy Habits Over the Holidays. These are just a few ways our faculty and staff are serving students during this pandemic.

Students in the Mortuary Science Program held the Mortuary Science Department Annual Memorial Service on December 3. Over the years this event, memorializing those from the county morgue who died without a proper burial, is organized by our students and faculty and has been held in various locations on our beautiful campus, including the Duck Pond, the Campanile, and the Theater Lobby. The event was held virtually this year. Thank you to faculty member Lori Collins for assisting our students plan this event.

The virtual #RealCollegeCA Basic Needs Summit was held on December 4, co-chaired by Cypress College and Imperial Valley College.  The theme of this year’s summit was Fostering Resiliency During a Pandemic. The summit, which welcomed over 500 participants, included workshops and panel presentations covering topics such as food security, housing, remote learning technology, fundraising efforts, and community partnerships. Soledad O’Brien served as the keynote speaker and agreed to waive her $2000 honorarium to provide four $500 scholarships offered as a drawing for all students who attended. A Cypress student, Gabriel Lauro, was one of the lucky winners! Thank you Trustees Dunsheath and Rodarte for attending; special thanks to Marc Posner and his entire team, as well as Kristi Valdez, who spent countless hours helping plan the event and offered amazing technical support throughout the day. Click here to view the keynote with Soledad O’Brien.

The Legacy Program held their Annual Kwanza Celebration on December 8. Dr. Douglas served as the keynote speaker.  Our students worked in teams to present the seven principles of Kwanzaa and created amazing video expressing these principles. Thank you to Regina Rhymes and our faculty leaders and mentors for their support of our Legacy scholars and for organizing this meaningful event.

It was an honor to celebrate Cypress’ Culinary Arts professor, Amanda Gargano, on December 7 with a presentation sponsored by the OC Department of Education. Amanda was named Orange County Teacher of the Year, and the acknowledgement ceremony was attended by Dean Kathleen Reiland, David Okawa, Marc Posner, and JoAnna Schilling. Normally we would have the opportunity to celebrate Amanda’s honor at the Disneyland Hotel, but we were happy to be able to let her know how proud we are of this accomplishment and hope to celebrate together next year! See photos at the end of this report!

On December 3, the Cypress College Psychology Department, led by faculty members Dr. Brandy Young and Dr. Randy Martinez, hosted the Fall 2020 Psi Beta Induction Ceremony. This induction is for the Honors Psychology students who have maintained a 3.2 GPA or higher in their major. Dr. Schilling and Dr. Gaetje had the pleasure of attending and supporting these young scholars.

Cypress In The News:  Cypress was featured twice this week – in NPR’s piece by Adolfo Guzman-Lopez highlighting enrollment across our region and student challenges during the pandemic. Counselor Anne Marie Beck and dance student Briana Sanchez were featured in this story sharing the difficult decisions students are facing to stay in school or support their families. Here is the link to this important story. Cypress was also mentioned in Superintendent Mike Matsuda’s article in Working Nation, highlighting dual enrollment student Anthony Gomez who attended Cypress College and interned at Hulu. Read this great article on creating equitable work and learning environments during the pandemic and the relationship between AUHSD, Cypress College, and our industry partners.

Upcoming Events

The Guided Pathways Workgroup is happy to announce an Adjunct Learning Day on Wednesday, January 20, 2021 from 9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. This event is designed to familiarize attendees with current initiatives being implemented under Guided Pathways. It will also provide an opportunity to connect with other adjunct faculty, learn more about the leadership of the college, find ways to have the adjunct voice included, and enhance their knowledge of how to connect students with support services at Cypress College.

Dr. Frank Harris will be a guest speaker at two events this spring. He will be attending our Dean’s Retreat on January 11 and again at the Student Services Kickoff in February. Thank you to VPs Dr. Douglas and Dr. de Dios for planning these events and leading your respective teams!

Dr. Schilling, Dr. Reiland, and Teacher of the Year Amanda Gargano

Celebrating Amanda Gargano, Cypress College Orange County Teacher of The Year!

 

Buen Cypress and Happy Holidays! We Take This Journey Together!

 

 

Dental Hygiene Clinic Upgrades

The Cypress College Dental Hygiene Clinic recently underwent a major renovation, to support the needs of the program and improve student success. The $50,000 investment in the award-winning Dental Hygiene program facilitated several significant upgrades.

The renovation includes new dental cabinetry, sterilization center, new ADA-compliant reception desk, front office, chairside power and data, portable aerosol collection units, dental grade air purifiers, chairside partitions, and privacy screens. In addition, the dental hygiene classroom has new computer workstations, power/data, and laptop computers.

Upgraded electronics in the Cypress College Dental Hygiene Clinic

“It looks like a professional dental lab, it looks beautiful,” Peter Maharaj, Ph.D., Manager, Technology Services and Academic Computing. He led the electrical and technological upgrade efforts. “Furniture, power, data and all the technology that’s associated with it to support the program have been very central.”

Funding came primarily from the Strong Workforce program. Cypress College provided additional financial support for equipment and supplies recommenced by the Dental Hygiene Board of California for compliance and COVID-19 regulations.

Renovated front office at the CYpress College Dental Hygiene Clinic

Dental hygiene procedures such as teeth cleaning and polishing can expose patients, students, faculty and staff to aerosols, so COVID-19 precautions needed to be taken. Six JADE Air Purifiers and 16 chairside Aerosol Collection Units were installed to address this need.

2020 Annual Safety and Security Report Released in Compliance with the Clery Act

Cypress College’s 2020 Annual Safety and Security Report is now available. The report meets the federal requirements intended to provide students and the public with access to information critical to their safety.

The Campus Safety Department prepares this report annually to comply with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Crime Statistics Act. The report is prepared in cooperation with local law enforcement agencies near our main campus and the North Orange County Community College District Office.

The report can be viewed in the Campus Safety section of the college website, which is linked in the footer of every page. The report is available directly here. If desired, paper copies of the report will be available through the Campus Safety Office.

If you see something, say something

Cypress College takes matters related to personal and campus safety seriously. Suspicious activity should be reported to Campus Safety and/or Cypress Police immediately. Providing such information may prevent someone else from becoming a victim. Campus Safety can be reached 24-7 at (714) 484-7387. All members of the campus community are encouraged to program the number into their mobile devices.

As part of our commitment to safety, Cypress College plans and implement drills each semester. When appropriate, Cypress College issues Timely Warnings in accordance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure Act. For more information, visit the main Campus Safety page.

The Clery Act

The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act is a federal law that requires colleges and universities to disclose certain timely and annual information about campus crime and security policies. All public and private post secondary educational institutions participating in federal student aid programs are required to comply with it.

The law, originally enacted by Congress in 1990 as the Campus Security Act, was initiated by Howard and Connie Clery after their daughter Jeanne was tragically murdered at Lehigh University in 1986. Amendments to the Act in 1998 renamed it in memory of Jeanne Clery.

President Schilling’s Board Report for November 24, 2020

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 November 24, 2020

The LIFE Program’s resource fairs and Lift Up3 events were held on November 9 and 16. LIFE is a grant funded program that supports our formerly incarcerated students and this was the first resource fair for formerly-incarcerated and system-impacted student populations. We were honored to host such amazing community resources as Project Rebound, Project Kinship, and Homeboy Industries. Attendees heard the voices of students who have experienced incarceration – and are now pursuing higher education.  They left feeling inspired by these individuals.

DSS counselor, Dawn Decker, was awarded CAPED’s highest honor – the 2020 President’s Award. Dawn has been a member of CAPED for many years and has been an active member, serving on several committees. She is well respected in the LD and CAPED communities for all of her hard work. Brava, Dawn! Also, at the CAPED convention, Maha Afra, was recognized as CAPED’s Teacher of the Year.  She was invited to the DSS team meeting on Thursday, November 12 to be recognized. The CAPED President, Dr. Chad Bowman, was also there to virtually present the award to her.  Congratulations, Maha!

Kane Smego, spoken word poet, hip hop artist, and cultural diplomat returned to Cypress on Friday, November 13, 2020 to hold the second in a series of workshops for students. Drawing on the concept of intersectionality pioneered by Kimberly Crenshaw and harnessing the power of poetry, this dynamic workshop series helped students tell their own stories by creating an original piece of spoken word poetry.  Kane’s workshop series will culminate with an open mic session in two weeks.

Cypress College just wrapped up a fantastic Hispanic Heritage Month celebrating our Puente Program’s 25 Years of Success. Thank you to all faculty and staff that attended and those who sent students to our events. A big thanks to our wonderful Hispanic Heritage Month planning committee members and Puente leaders Therese Mosqueda-Ponce and Ashton Politanoff.  These events were not only culturally inspiring but also brought much needed human connection. Students commented that they looked forward to these activities and they appreciated learning about the Hispanic culture.

The Cypress Health Center, in partnership with the Orange County Health Care Agency, provided over 300 flu shots with 3 separate Drive Thru Flu Clinics. The HC staff supervised students from psych tech and nursing programs to provide clinical hours to these students. Since going live with “TeleHealth” in March, the HC has provided over 600 medical visits and 200 counseling sessions.  The HC has supported the formation of Cypress Wellness Collaborative to support health and wellness across the campus including drop in sessions for students called “Let’s Talk”, Wellness Wednesdays, and supported Mental Health events such as “Movies for Mental Health” on a virtual platform for students and staff.  Movies 4 Mental Health (online) workshop last week had 77 participants.  Participants stated they felt the event created awareness of mental health issues and helped them confront and address stigma related to mental illness. Attendees that were not already receiving mental health support also reported an increased likelihood to reach out for help.

The Veterans Resource Center construction is almost complete.  Take this opportunity to leave a permanent tribute and support Cypress College students with the opportunity to name a space, room or building at the new Veterans Resource Center.  Or honor veterans and your family, a loved one, or business through an engraved paver along the path at the new VRC complex.  For inquiries email foundation@cypresscollege.edu.

The Cypress Farmer’s Market has a new mural/banner, designed by our student Michelle Bac.

Brooke Straus, the City’s communication analyst reached out to the college earlier this year seeking a partnership. Four students submitted design ideas and received $25 vouchers for the Market, with one receiving a $100 voucher for the design that was selected by the City of Cypress. The Market could not provide an actual wall, so the final product is a portable printed banner and it looks great. Customers will be able to take selfies and photos of themselves in front of this mural. We’ve included a photo of Michelle’s winning design at the end of this report. Congratulations Michelle!

Dr. Barbara Dunsheath spoke at the Soroptimist Club of Cypress on November 18, sharing her lecture on a Women’s Right to Vote and the impact that women’s clubs had on the Suffragist Movement. It was a wonderful, thoughtful, and inspiring lecture on the women who fought for the right to vote and the importance of ensuring all citizens can make their voices heard through the act of voting. In the words of Trustee Dunsheath, “We are stronger when we are organized and work together!”

Congratulations to students Joyce Lin, Ryan Chieng, and Traci Nguyen, for presenting their research papers at the Western Psychological Association (WPA) conference last month. All three students developed their research under the tutelage of advisors, Randy Martinez and Brandy Young, and are members of Psi Beta Phi, an honors society for psychology scholars. We are #CYProud!

Upcoming Events

The Career Center’s first ever drive thru event will be a socially-distanced Headshot Happy Hour! This will be held on Wednesday, November 18. This event will be set up at the roundabout in front of the theater.  Students will be able to pull up to the curb, get out to take a headshot, get back in their car and drive away. One to three professional headshots will be emailed to them for use on their LinkedIn or Portfolium profiles, or for other career readiness and attainment needs.

Due to the recent fires in Irvine, the Debate against Irvine Valley College was rescheduled to Wednesday, November 18.  The debate topic is “Resolved: When casting actors, preference should be given to actors within the identities of the characters being portrayed.” There will also be a Speech/Performance Event on Thursday, November 19.  The theme this month is “My Diversity Story.”

The Legacy Program is sponsoring a series of engaging study sessions for our students. One will be Game Night on November 19 that uses a Jeopardy format. The second study session will be a Jam Session that will include the Pomodoro Study Technique coupled with Karaoke / dancing.  The goal of these study sessions is to create a fun environment for our students to review important subjects before the final.

Mental Wellbeing, Stress and Mindfulness Workshop will be held on Friday, November 20, 2020.  Sam Gould and Angela deDios will look at stress, its effects on health, and how mindfulness can be applied to our life, allowing us to live and experience the fullness that life affords us.

Please join us on December 8 at 5 p.m. for the Cypress College Annual Kwanza Celebration. This year the event will be virtual, but it promises to be as inspiring as ever. Our students work in teams to present the seven principles of Kwanzaa: unity (umoja), self-determination (kujichagulia), collective work and responsibility (ujima), cooperative economics (ujamaa), purpose (nia), creativity (kuumba), and faith (imani). Please join us for this important celebration.

Buen Cypress! We Take This Journey Together!

CYProud: Francisco Cornejo-Garcia, Computer Science

Francisco Cornejo-Garcia was born in Mexico, and grew up in California. As a deaf and hard of hearing individual, Francisco found his life positively impacted by a cochlear implant, spurring an interest in technology and computer science in particular. Reflecting on the power of the computer, Francisco said, “it is the possibilities of where and how to apply this tool that has launched me into the field of computer science.” He ultimately hopes to pursue a doctoral degree, but in the meantime will be transferring to Rochester Institute of Technology in New York to pursue a bachelor’s degree in computer science.

Student Francisco Cornejo-Garcia

Please tell us a little about yourself. Where did you grow up? What are your interests? What is your story?

Born in Mexico, my family and I moved to the United States when I was about 3 years old. As I was growing up in California, I realized that computers are something special. As a deaf and hard of hearing individual, I wear a cochlear implant, which translates sound into electrical signals to my brain. For a technology that has impacted my life in such a meaningful way, it has kickstarted my journey into computer science in a search to help and perhaps create something that can make an impact, no matter how big or small, in this amazing world we live in. My interests include improving my software engineering skills, practicing piano, meditating, and drawing.

Why did you choose Cypress College?

Nearly my entire family has attended Cypress College. It would not make sense if I hadn’t chosen this college, too. From their advice and experiences, they had helped me understand and take advantage of the many resources this college has to offer. It didn’t hurt that it was close to my home, and I would be able to do more around campus, knowing that I don’t have to spend too much time with transportation.

What have you been involved in at Cypress College? How has your path unfolded?

Coming into Cypress College, I wasn’t sure how I was going to take advantage of my time here; however, I found a flyer for the (STEM)2 Program, which inspired me to join, along with the recommendations of my peers. I joined the program and became inspired to become a family group leader. From one stepping stone to another, I gained courage in leading others and giving advice while I learned from others’ stories and experiences. I even applied to scholarships and summer research experiences that I was sure I wasn’t qualified for, but still went for anyway. I joined various clubs to explore my interests, which led to my motivation to help develop the American Sign Language Chargers Club to teach and guide others about this amazing language and the community that it is a part of. I even developed some tools to help with learning ASL.

Student Francisco Cornejo-Garcia sitting in front of the Science building

What are you most passionate about? Why?

You cannot live your life without algorithms. You perform a series of steps and actions every day, from getting dressed to making a cup of coffee. In a similar way, a computer follows a series of steps as well, but at a much faster and efficient rate. Such computational power fascinates me, and it is the possibilities of where and how to apply this tool that has launched me into the field of computer science. I am fortunate to have my major become something I am most passionate about. I truly hope to contribute to this field someday.

Who are the faculty and staff that have helped you get where you are today? How has Cypress College supported you throughout your semesters?

As I have taken classes here, I’ve met some amazing faculty, as well as interesting students. Throughout my semesters, I was able to balance my course load along with the responsibilities I have both academically and personally. Also, I cannot understate the impact the (STEM)2 Program and its faculty has made on me, in both academic and personal capacities. To name all the people who have impacted me and my life at Cypress College would take up a lot of space, so to all the faculty and professors who are reading these words, I personally express my gratitude for your commitment and knowledge you have shared. Thank you.

What are your immediate plans after completing your studies at Cypress College (at your transfer institution, in the workforce, etc.)?

I will be transferring to an out-of-state university called Rochester Institute of Technology in New York to continue my studies and my journey into studying the field of computer science. Before I do so in fall 2020, I will be researching in the STARS Program at UCSD to improve my academic skills and hopefully contribute to their research.

What are your long-term goals? What do you aspire to?

I intend to go for an M.S. degree and perhaps a Ph.D. As my journey may take a different path than I expect, my goals might change; however, thanks to Cypress College, I know I have the ability and skills to work hard toward any goal I intend to succeed at. I simply aspire to give the best of my ability to my goals, for my family, to enjoy life.

What are you most proud of?

I am personally proud of the impact I have made at Cypress College. As a (STEM)2 family group leader, there were amazing experiences I’ve had with my various groups each semester. As president of the ASL Club, I have helped teach students what ASL truly is and the culture behind the deaf community. Simply being able to share my knowledge and advice, especially to those who seek it, is one of the most rewarding things I have experienced.

What one bit of advice would you give to current and future Cypress College students?

Finally ready to transfer, it becomes obvious to see how I could have improved or done in my time at Cypress College. To those reading my words, if you are a Cypress College student or will be, here is my advice to you: Visualize yourself graduating Cypress College. See yourself, already successful and proud of what you’ve done. Now, the only question is: how would you define your success? Follow that, and that vision might just come true.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

I have developed a motto that I now follow every day of my life. While these words are special to me, I hope they will help you: Be the person you wished was there for you.

CYProud: Nader Barsoum

Nader Barsoum grew up in Cairo, Egypt, and moved with his family to the United States when he was fairly young. He had an opportunity to attend Cal State Long Beach straight out of high school, but decided to “see where I could go if I pushed myself and strove to do better in school.” At Cypress College, he committed to getting involved on campus, joining multiple clubs and programs that both supported and motivated him. All his hard work and extracurricular involvement at Cypress College has paid dividends; Nader was accepted to attend Johns Hopkins University in fall 2020. With a passion for life and learning about the human body, along with seeing the community he grew up in struggling with health insecurity, Nader aspires to attend medical school and specialize in dermatology or orthopedics.

Student Nader Barsoum holding a pennant and sitting on a bench on campus

Please tell us a little about yourself. Where did you grow up? What are your interests? What is your story?

I grew up in Cairo, Egypt and moved to the United States when I was still relatively young. I had a very atypical childhood, but it was all for the sake of me and my brother to build on our parents’ sacrifice in order for us to have a better future. I was always involved in sports from a young age, from the athleticism to the physique, it was always something I admired and was what got me started on my path to wanting to learn more about the human body.

Why did you choose Cypress College?

I chose Cypress because I wanted a second chance. In high school, I did what I needed to get by and even though I pushed myself academically by taking multiple AP course, I still always knew I could do more and be better. I was ready to dorm with a friend of mine at Cal State Long Beach, where a lot of my friends were going at the time, but I wanted to see where I could go if I pushed myself and strove to do better in school.

What have you been involved in at Cypress College? How has your path unfolded?

From the moment I walked on campus, I wanted to make sure that I did everything I could so that when it came time for me to transfer, I would leave with no regrets. I was involved in multiple organizations on campus such as the (STEM)2 Program, STEM Club, Honors Club, and EOPS. Through these programs, I was able to meet and make a lot of valuable friendships with Alan (EOPS counselor), Yanet Garcia (STEM Director), and many professors who helped me push myself and motivated me to keep pursuing my goals even when I thought I couldn’t.

What are you most passionate about? Why?

I am passionate about life. It’s mind-blowing how complex and ordered the human body is in order to properly function. In my biology and chemistry courses, I got to learn and apply what I was learning in the classroom to a real-life situation. I grew up in an area where a person’s health wasn’t taken for granted because we didn’t have the capability to get medical treatment easily. Seeing my community’s insecurity with health pushed me to want to make a change and bring a sense of relief to those in need.

Student Nader Barsoum standing in Gateway Plaza

Who are the faculty and staff that have helped you get where you are today? How has Cypress College supported you throughout your semesters?

Julie Angevine (SEM Office): Ms. Julie can turn a bad day into a good day. She was always there when I needed someone to talk to, reassuring me that everything would be okay and that my efforts would be rewarded. I always knew I could go to Ms. Julie regardless of how I was feeling.

Alan & Alex (EOPS Counselor & Mentor): Whenever I needed guidance academically or with something in my life, I was always met with the same radiant energy and support. Every time I went in, I would set a new goal, see how far along I was, and see what I needed to improve in order to reach it.

Dr. Tomooka (Chem 211A&B): One of my favorite classes on campus was organic chemistry! All those times after class when I would stay in his office hours, talking to him asking for advice, will be a staple memory of my time at Cypress. Despite teaching such a difficult subject, he always made room to get a cheesy joke in.

Dr. Ogoshi (Bio 175): I never thought I could learn so much material in one lecture, only to go to the next and learn just as much, if not more. The friendships and memories that I made in that class, as well as the conversations I had and advice I received from Dr. Ogoshi will stick with me throughout my entire academic journey.

Caleb Jones (Bio 174 Lab instructor): Professor Jones taught my first biology lab course. His attitude and smile lit the room as he always worked with his students, making learning fun.

Professor Phyllis-Mays (Chem 111B): Professor Phyllis was more than a professor; she was a role model who expected the best from all her students. She was there for me during some of the lowest moments and helped me get back on my feet. Her energy will wake the most tired students in the class.

Johnathon Harris (Math 150A): I would always go to the MLC with the same group of friends from class and keep practicing problems from WebAssign until we felt like our brains were fried. Professor Harris would always sit down with us, help us, and assure us that we were capable of accomplishing any task even when we felt stuck. He was more than a professor; he was a friend.

What are your immediate plans after completing your studies at Cypress College (at your transfer institution, in the workforce, etc.)?

Upon transferring to Johns Hopkins, I plan to involve myself as much as I did at Cypress, if not more so. I want to network and get involved in the research and academic opportunities the school offers so that when I go to my first research study in the summer, I will be prepared and well versed in what’s required of me.

What are your long-term goals? What do you aspire to?

Upon finishing medical school, I want to specialize in skin, or bones and muscles, using that knowledge to help those in my community. I want to be able to help those in need by lessening the burden on their shoulders when it comes to health.

What are you most proud of?

I’m most proud of the path I’m setting for myself. I want to continue to go down a path of continual growth and improvement.

What one bit of advice would you give to current and future Cypress College students?

Surround yourself with those who want to succeed and make you want to improve as both a student and a person.

VRC Presents Virtual Wall of Heroes on 101st Annual Veterans Day Observance

November 11, 2020 marked the 101st annual observance of Veterans Day, which originated as Armistice Day on November 11, 1919, the first anniversary of the end of World War I. Congress passed a resolution in 1926 for an annual observance, and November 11 became a national holiday in 1938.

Virtual Wall of Heroes Landing Page

In celebration of this year’s Veterans Day, our Veterans Resource Center collected submissions for its virtual Wall of Heroes to honor and recognize those who have served.

See the virtual Wall of Heroes here.

President Schilling’s Board Report for November 10, 2020

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 November 10, 2020

The ARISE Hub (Academics, Relationships, Independence, Self-Advocacy, Emotional Health), which originated at NOCE, is now open virtually at Cypress College. The facility which could not open on schedule due to the pandemic, was designed to be a comforting, stimulus-sensitive space for students with autism and other mental health conditions, but has now evolved to serve as a virtual space sponsoring workshops and other resources for our DSS students and in alignment with our Wellness Collaborative. We look forward to safely opening this new space when we are back on campus, but appreciate the services currently offered to our campus community.

Cypress College is now certified as an HBCU transfer institution. On October 21, 2020, 59 Cypress College counselors, faculty, and staff participated in a Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCU) training and certification event. This session was conducted by Helen Young (El Camino College Counselor) who serves as the Project Director for the California Community Colleges Transfer Guarantee Agreement to HBCUs. Tools, resources, and activities to broaden knowledge and support of pathways for students into the nations 100+ HBCUs, 39 of which have a CCC transfer agreement was covered in this high energy and informative discussion.

The Financial Aid Office participated in our first Virtual Cash 4 College event for Western High School on October 21, 2020. Over 200 students and families received direct assistance for completing a 2021/2022 FAFSA or Dream Act application. Cypress College remains committed to supporting our local High Schools in their college preparedness efforts and will be continuing outreach to our local districts.

The 35th Annual Cypress College Foundation Golf Classic is happening! Schedule your tee time between November 16 and December 18, including weekends. Participants may complete their registration online to receive the Golf Classic Tournament Instructions. Your donation supports the work of the Cypress College Foundation supporting student scholarships, book loans, emergency assistance, faculty grants, endowment development, and more. Thank you for participating!

Cypress in the News: The Cypress College Open Space was featured in the state Chancellor’s Office Twitter feed and in the OC Breeze, as was the press release on our new ARISE Hub.

The Cypress CARE Program has launched its annual “Adopt-A-Family” program to assist our single-parent CARE families during the holiday season. Last year our Charger family adopted over 55 families and generously provided gifts for the holidays. If you are interested in sponsoring a CARE family, please click on the previous link. In addition, The Guardian Scholars Program will continue their second year of the “Adopt-an-Angel” Program to assist our current and former foster youth. Please let us know if you are interested in sponsoring a Guardian Scholar. Thank you for making the holidays so special for our students, especially during these unprecedented times! Please respond by Tuesday November 17, 2020.

The Cypress Legacy Program sponsored two workshops examining racial and social justice issues and their impact on self-esteem and self-efficacy, followed by practical tips for self-care and mindfulness. The topics were Exploring Race and the Imposter Syndrome (Wednesday, October 28 @ 11:30 a.m.) and Black Coping in an Era of Madness (Monday, November 2 @ 11:30 a.m.).  In addition, the Legacy program conducted a special “Let’s Talk” feedback forum post-election to assist students cope with the election results. Thank you to Regina Rhymes, LaRon Armstead, and our Legacy faculty and mentors for their support of our students.

Our Associated Students will also be hosting a post-election Town Hall on November 13 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Congratulations to STEM Scholar Alumna, Alejandra Garcia who was recently featured in the CSU Office of the Chancellor magazine. Alejandra shares her story and the power of self-determination, positive guidance, and mentorship, emphasizing how the STEM Program at Cypress College helped her educational journey. Her story is one of courage and resilience, but also of the important role our faculty, peer mentors, administrators, and counselors play in her success. Thank you, STEM(2) Director, Yanet Garcia, for sharing and supporting Alejandra’s journey.

Upcoming Events

The Cypress College Equity Retreat, rescheduled from spring due to the pandemic, will be held in two sessions, November 6 and on November 13. The purpose of the retreat, facilitated by Veronica Keifer-Lewis, will be to have deep conversations about the meaning of equity on our campus, and to begin the process for a common definition and DEI framework that will then provide the foundation for our Strategic Plan, which will be revised in spring 2021. 100 leaders across the campus will be participating. Thank you to Ruth Gutierrez, Michael Brydges, Gisela Verduzco, and Alison Robertson for their leadership developing the agenda for this important campus retreat

Please join us on November 19 or 20 at 6 p.m. for a virtual production of Chrysalis, a student-driven play about 2020 and all it is doing to each of us. This very personal play was written and performed by our theater students, directed by faculty member Jennifer McMillin-Brick. It will be streaming free at www.CypressCollegeTheatre.com

Kane Smego, spoken word poet, hip hop artist, and cultural diplomat will be leading three workshops for students on November 6, 13 and 20 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Drawing on the concept of intersectionality pioneered by Kimberly Crenshaw and harnessing the power of poetry, this dynamic workshop series helps students tell their own stories.

The Transfer Center and Admissions & Records are teaming up again on November 19 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. to host this year’s TPG Fair in a virtual format. Students can meet representatives from 65+ universities, learn important graduation information, attend specific breakout sessions with the colleges of their choice, and hear from our student services team at Cypress College.

Join us for a drive-in screening of “The Story of Plastic,” sponsored by the Cypress College Sustainability Committee. The movie takes a sweeping look at the man-made crisis of plastic pollution and the worldwide effect it has on the health of our planet and the people who inhabit it.

This event is free and open to the public. The movie begins at 7 p.m. in Lot 1; pre-show raffle begins at 6:30 p.m.

Information on attending our upcoming book club discussions is on the following page.

Buen Cypress! We Take This Journey Together!

Campus Common Book Discussions Are Happening!

Join your fellow campus community members in reading “The Distance Between Us,” a memoir by Los Angeles-based author, Reyna Grande, the selected common book for the academic year.

The college’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee will be holding multiple discussions over the fall and spring semesters on the following schedule:

  • Discussion #1 Book One: Prologue – Chapter 7 – November 3*, 4**
  • Discussion #2 Book One: Chapters 8-14 – November 17*, 18**
  • Discussion #3 Book One: Chapters 15-20 – December 1*, 2**
  • Discussion #4 Book Two: Prologue – Chapter 9 – February 2*, 3**
  • Discussion #5 Book Two: Chapter 10-18 – February 23*, 25**
  • Discussion #6 Book Two Chapter 19 – Epilogue –  March 9*, 10**

*11:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.
**4:30–5:45 p.m.

To access the Canvas course and join the virtual discussion via Zoom, please go to: cypresscollege.instructure.com/enroll/KYLDXP

 

ARISE Hub Provides Cypress College with Online Support to Students Struggling with Isolation

In a time when college students might feel particularly isolated from the world due to the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic, Cypress College and sister campus North Orange Continuing Education (NOCE) are offering students a bit of reprieve in the form of social and mental health support.

Female student wearing a sweatshirt gazing in front of her

The ARISE (Academics, Relationships, Independence, Self-Advocacy, Emotional Health) Hub, which has locations at Cypress College and other NOCE locations, had served as a space for students, faculty, and staff to come and unwind from the stress of college life. Originally, the facility was designed to be a comforting, stimulus-sensitive space for students with autism and other mental health conditions, but evolved when the hubs realized that all students and faculty could benefit from their services.

Cypress College’s ARISE Hub physical space was slated to open this year, but was sidelined due to the pandemic. As on-campus activities were moved to online, facilitators and counselors for the ARISE Hub knew students would need socio-emotional and mental health support more than ever — so they brainstormed ways to pivot and move their efforts to assist students virtually.

NOCE ARISE faculty coordinator Casey Sousa said the facilities and their virtual counterparts were designed with the needs of the college student. The hope is that by providing students and faculty with mental and socio-emotional support, their academics will also improve.

“(The ARISE Hubs) are helpful for everyone: the biggest expansion has been recognizing this holistic approach and having a place for students to go when things are really overwhelming,” said Sousa. “So we are an academic institution but all of these areas impact that.”

Facilitators have made sure that students are still having the most “real college” experience they can possibly have, in spite of the lack of on-campus activities. To date, the ARISE Hub has hosted virtual talent shows, movie nights, and social hours to keep students connected and socializing.

Cypress College President Dr. JoAnna Schilling, Ph.D. said the college is committed to supporting the health of students, faculty, and staff.

“Now, perhaps more than any point in recent memory, it is important to focus on our wellbeing and the wellbeing of others in our community,” Dr. Schilling said. “We have launched ARISE to serve as a virtual Wellness Center for all students at Cypress College. This space is also a symbol of successful partnerships as it was created in partnership with our sister campus, NOCE. Together, we are able to provide social hours for students to connect, study hours and workshops to help guide students with college-related issues, social support and community building, and emotional and mental health wellness support.”

Beyond social activities, counselors hope to teach students coping strategies so they can take those skills with them as they move beyond community college to either a four-year university or into the workforce.

“We teach our students self-advocacy so that they can take care of themselves even when we’re not around,” said Cypress College ARISE Counselor Sneha Kohli Mathur.

Workshops held by the program include coping strategies, mindfulness exercises, guided meditation, and how to deal with “Zoom-fatigue.”

For more information about the ARISE Hub at Cypress College, please email Sneha Mathur smathur@cypresscollege.edu, ARISE@noce.edu, or call (714) 484-7465.

About Cypress College:

Cypress College offers students a pathway to their future in an environment in which employees commit to joining students on their educational journey. The college’s half-million-plus alumni include actors, athletes, doctors, executives, mechanics, nurses, and teachers. For some, Cypress College is the ticket into their university of choice, and for others, it provides essential training for a prosperous career. Just one Cypress College class is often all it takes to provide cutting-edge skills that lead to a promotion or a new job.

Cypress College’s 16,000 students and the highly qualified teaching faculty are proud of the many excellent academic and vocational programs. Cypress College provides a pathway for each of our students, offering 56 university-transfer majors, 174 career-certificate programs, and degrees in 98 areas of study. The college’s traditional semesters begin in January and August, while short-term courses start throughout the year. A Cypress College education costs $46 per unit — $138 for a typical, full-credit class — California’s lowest tuition. Eligible first-time students qualify for free tuition through Cypress College’s Charger Experience promise program. Financial aid and scholarships are also available to qualifying students.

Cypress College is one of three campuses in the North Orange County Community College District and a member of the 116-campus California Community College system. The college primarily serves the cities of Anaheim, Buena Park, Cypress, Garden Grove, La Palma, Los Alamitos, Seal Beach, and Stanton.

Located at 9200 Valley View Street in Cypress, the college is easily accessible from several Southern California freeways, including the 5, 91, 605, 22, and 405. The campus is just a stone’s-throw from Downtown Disney and Knott’s Berry Farm.

In response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, Cypress College’s instruction and services are offered primarily in a remote format. Students can access support services online at cypresscollege.edu/coronavirus.

—30—

Virtual Apps, Cloud Storage Available for Students

Cypress College Academic Computing has built a virtual platform for students to access several high-powered software applications and file storage capacity. By visiting my.cypresscollege.edu, all enrolled students have 24/7 access to My Office Online, featuring the Microsoft suite of programs and file storage through One Drive, along with the new Virtual Labs called the Charger Cloud. The Charger Cloud offers access to a broader range of programs, depending on the courses in which students are enrolled, such as the Adobe Creative Cloud Suite, Autodesk AutoCAD, and IBM SPSS.

Student wearing glasses and looking

“The COVID-19 pandemic has restricted access to the campus physical computer labs, so we went to the cloud and offered virtual services,” Dr. Peter Maharaj, manager of Technology Services & Academic Computing, said.

Students’ coursework can benefit from this in multiple ways. If a student completes a written assignment using MS Word, they can save the file via their One Drive, and then access via Charger Cloud to store even more information. If the student completes an assignment that requires the IBM SPSS application, they can save the project automatically to their One Drive as well, and have the convenience of accessing it anywhere, anytime.

“The processing power occurs in the cloud, so students don’t need access to a powerful computer,” Dr. Maharaj said. “The use of Chromebooks offers a more accessible resource to these services with a lower entry. Cypress College offers Chromebooks to our students through the great work by the staff in the Library and LRC in support of our students’ learning needs; this allows students to utilize programs to complete assignments for their classes during the time the campus is closed.”

We control the Charger Cloud using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to scale resources based on demands and ensure access to our enrolled students, Dr. Maharaj says. The controls in place allow the college to scale resources and support Cypress College student and faculty technology needs for both teaching and learning.

“Learning does not occur between fixed time; rather, we can have our virtual labs and resources to accommodate our student body to learn whenever and wherever they choose,” Dr. Maharaj said. “As a college, we have to be proactive, agile, and be ready to lead our students and support our colleagues through these challenging times. Cypress College has led the way with support from faculty and staff, including drive-up Wi-Fi, VoIP, touchless services, hardware distribution, technology training, and new cloud services to ensure operational sustainability.”

President Schilling’s Board Report for October 27, 2020

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 27, 2020

The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee has chosen “The Distance Between Us” by Reyna Grande, as our fall book selection. Ms. Grande was also a guest speaker on October 21, as part of our Hispanic Heritage Month activities. We will be announcing the dates and times of our virtual book discussions beginning the week of November 1, 2020. Please join us!

Last spring Cypress was one of 18 colleges awarded a grant from the Institute for Evidence Based Change (IEBC) to participate in the Caring Campus initiative. Twenty classified employees were chosen to represent their respective areas, and to develop campus protocols for serving students in alignment with our campus Guided Pathways. Last week the chairs of this project, Summer Justice, Christy Montenegro, and subcommittee leads, Gloria Ortega, Ayman Gadalla, Belinda Allan, and Angela Haugh presented their behavioral-based commitments to the managers, including 1) Developing a Resource Guide for the campus; 2) Implementing a Warm Welcome Referral Program supporting students; and 3) Ensuring someone from each department is answering phones, checking emails, and responding to students each day. The managers and Executive Team then created their own commitment to support our classified professionals in this work.

The college has completed two of the twelve Equity Alliance convenings through our membership in the California Community College Equity Leadership Alliance at USC’s Center for Race and Equity. Two groups of five attended Fostering and Sustaining Inclusive Classrooms for Students of Color on September 10, and Understanding and Addressing Implicit Bias on October 12. Both groups will be developing projects with our Professional Development team to share what they learned with the campus community. The next workshop will be Understanding and Confronting Anti-Black Racism on November 12. We are currently accepting applications for attendance at all upcoming convenings.

Cypress is also getting ready to implement the National Assessment of Collegiate Campus Climates, a student survey also made available to us through our Equity Leadership Alliance membership. The survey will be sent to students between November 14 and December 14, and is intended to capture student campus climate on race, equity, engagement, and available resources at Cypress College.

Thank you to Peter Maharaj and his IT Team who have developed an innovative wellness check form in our mobile app to measure student readiness to be on campus. All students attending F2F classes on campus must check in 12 hours before their class by going to the CypressConnect app and answering key wellness questions. Based on the responses, the student either receives a green check mark or a red stop sign, indicating whether or not they are cleared to be on campus. Their information is confidential and if a student is not cleared, they will be followed up with for further support and instruction by a designated employee.

In collaboration with our Connect2Cypress event, our third annual Majors2Careers 2020 Virtual Event will be held on Tuesday, October 27 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Students will be able to join in virtually for workshops featuring: Career Exploration, Connecting Your Interests to Cypress College Programs, Employer Career Panel, and more! Thank you to Angela Sardan, our Career Center Coordinator, and her dedicated team.

In support of Undocumented Students Action Week, October 19 to October 23, our Grads to Be Program, in collaboration with the District, Fullerton College, and NOCE hosted multiple workshops, resources, and learning opportunities for our undocumented student population and districtwide community across all three campuses. View the event schedule here.

This year, as we celebrate Veterans Day remotely, we would like to celebrate our Veterans with our Virtual Wall of Heroes campaign. This campaign invitation is open to Cypress College students, board members, alumni, faculty/staff, family members or any veteran you may know and want to celebrate their service. Requested information includes name, branch, service dates, rank, military occupation, deployments, and a brief comment on your service; favorite memories, shout outs, or dedications (500-word maximum). We will be sharing all submissions online through a webpage that will be accessible by URL link on November 10, 2020. If you would like to be included, please CLICK HERE to complete the online registration form.

The construction on our new Veterans Resource Center is moving forward on schedule and we anticipate that this new facility will be fully completed by January 2021. Furniture and fixture deliveries will begin in November and the Veterans Memorial Bridge and Tribute Garden are close to completion. Water is back in our pond, and new drought resistant landscaping has been planted. Our Foundation staff will be sharing important naming opportunities soon and a fundraising campaign is planned for acknowledging the veterans in your lives. We look forward to scheduling some sneak preview tours within the next few months. Stay tuned!

Cypress College is pleased to announce that we have received a grant from the Orange County Transit Authority to provide bus passes to all enrolled students who have paid their Associated Students fee, beginning in the spring semester. The grant provides us with a full year of funding to support this initiative. We appreciate Fullerton College leading the way on this important initiative and beginning in January, students will receive a free bus pass for all OCTA routes 24/7, including weekends throughout the year. Although students will not be coming to the campus in spring, the benefit to students extends throughout the county. Thank you to Student Trustee Ester Plavdjian and Associated Students President, Nicolette Garcia for their leadership, as well as Student Activities Director David Okawa, Jay Shonkwiler, and Dean Rick Rams.

The Cypress College Equity Retreat, rescheduled from spring due to the pandemic, will be held in two sessions, November 6 and on November 13. The purpose of the retreat, facilitated by Veronica Keifer-Lewis, will be to have deep conversations about the meaning of equity on our campus, and to begin the process for a common definition and DEI framework that will then provide the foundation for our Strategic Plan, which will be revised in spring 2021. 100 leaders across the campus will be participating. Thank you to Ruth Gutierrez, Michael Brydges, Gisela Verduzco, and Alison Robertson for their leadership developing the agenda for this important campus retreat.

On the next page is an overview of the work our Dual Enrollment Team is doing with AUHSD in our Cybersecurity Program. This work was made possible by a 1.5 million dollar grant by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and supports complete K12 and college pathways in Cybersecurity. Our Dual Enrollment Team, led by Dean Henry Hua, will be presenting the following information at the upcoming 2020 ATE (Advanced Technology in Education) Conference for NSF Grantees.

Buen Cypress! We Take This Journey Together!

Cypress College Opens New Study Space to Serve Students Impacted by COVID and WFH

Cypress College has expanded its on-campus study space by opening a 4,500-square-foot, open-air facility capable of accommodating 70 students. The Outdoor Student Study Space follows the model used by many restaurants to continue dine-in service during the pandemic and expands on the free WiFi program Cypress College initiated in the aftermath of the campus closure in March.

Tent with tables and chairs and a student studying

“Finding creative solutions to help our students succeed is an important part of our work to ensure our students can meet their goals,” said Cypress College President JoAnna Schilling, Ph.D. “We know that some of our students are doing homework, attending classes, and even studying in their parked cars because multiple people in their household — siblings, parents, spouses, their own children — are also attending school remotely or working from home. Our Outdoor Student Study Space provides a safe alternative with reliable WiFi.”

Students can use the space for studying or for attending live sessions of their courses.

The study space is available each weekday, from 7:30 a.m.-10 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and until 5 p.m. on Friday. Students may walk up or reserve a space through the college’s award-winning mobile app.

Students complete a wellness check in the app and must abide by health and safety regulations while using the study space. Restrooms, charging stations, and protective barriers are available.

About Cypress College:

Cypress College offers students a pathway to their future in an environment in which employees commit to joining students on their educational journey. The college’s half-million-plus alumni include actors, athletes, doctors, executives, mechanics, nurses, and teachers. For some, Cypress College is the ticket into their university of choice, and for others, it provides essential training for a prosperous career. Just one Cypress College class is often all it takes to provide cutting-edge skills that lead to a promotion or a new job.

Cypress College’s 16,000 students and the highly qualified teaching faculty are proud of the many excellent academic and vocational programs. Cypress College provides a pathway for each of our students, offering 56 university-transfer majors, 174 career-certificate programs, and degrees in 98 areas of study. The college’s traditional semesters begin in January and August, while short-term courses start throughout the year. A Cypress College education costs $46 per unit — $138 for a typical, full-credit class — California’s lowest tuition. Eligible first-time students qualify for free tuition through Cypress College’s Charger Experience promise program. Financial aid and scholarships are also available to qualifying students.

Cypress College is one of three campuses in the North Orange County Community College District and a member of the 116-campus California Community College system. The college primarily serves the cities of Anaheim, Buena Park, Cypress, Garden Grove, La Palma, Los Alamitos, Seal Beach, and Stanton.

Located at 9200 Valley View Street in Cypress, the college is easily accessible from several Southern California freeways, including the 5, 91, 605, 22, and 405. The campus is just a stone’s-throw from Downtown Disney and Knott’s Berry Farm.

In response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, Cypress College’s instruction and services are offered primarily in a remote format. Students can access support services online at cypresscollege.edu/coronavirus.

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Grads to Be Program Adds Free Legal Consults for Campus Community

Cypress College has been selected by the CCCCO, the Foundation for California Community Colleges, and the California Department of Social Services as a pilot school to provide free legal services to our undocumented students and neighboring communities. We have contracted with the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA), to provide free legal services to students. This new service will further enhance our Grads to Be Program for undocumented students by providing additional resources and support.

If you are a student needing immigration legal services, CHIRLA, can help. They serve students, faculty and staff to ensure their rights and protections. The CHIRLA immigration attorneys and Department of Justice representatives provide culturally competent, reliable expertise with sensitivity to the trauma our immigrant community regularly sustains.

To book a free confidential virtual appointment, visit legal.chirla.org/ and select Cypress College.

President Schilling’s Board Report for October 13, 2020

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 13, 2020

We are now beginning our eighth week of instruction, the midpoint of the semester. I want to thank our faculty, counselors, managers, and staff for the many ways they continue serving our students. The work of the campus continues, but it is important to acknowledge that there exists a palpable fatigue due to the many stresses that our employees and students are facing as we continue learning remotely. To that end, the college has launched the Wellness Collaborative, in partnership with our Health Center, faculty experts, and Professional Development Team, who will be providing free mindful meditation, yoga, group therapy sessions, as well as health and wellness workshops to help our students and employees find ways to de-stress. We appreciate the leadership of adjunct faculty member Sam Gould, our Health Center staff, led by Marla McBride, and our Professional Development coordinators, Michael Brydges and Ruth Gutierrez. View our classes here.

The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee has just released our three selections for a common book reading series this fall semester. The three books are: “Caste” by Isabel Wilkerson, “How to Be An Anti-Racist” by Ibram X. Kendi, and “The Distance Between Us” by Reyna Grande, who will also be visiting our campus as part of Hispanic Heritage Month. Our larger goal is to strengthen our community and continue to work towards dismantling the systemic barriers that impede racial equality on our campus. The campus will be voting on the top selection and we would like your input! Please vote here by October 15. We will announce our campus common book and discussion series soon after voting closes.

I had the opportunity to appear on AUHSD’s “Future Talks” series on Wednesday, October 7. Superintendent Mike Matsuda has begun this important discussion with county leaders to inform AUHSD’s 30,000 students and their families about the future of work for young people post COVID-19. Guests come from a broad spectrum from work, careers, and higher education, who are grounded in kindness and compassion dedicated to making a world a better place. The podcast will be shared soon with AUHSD friends and family.

The college hosted our second Presidential Advisory Group meeting on September 22, featuring 30 industry and community leaders. Presentations included updates on internships, our technical programs, Charger Experience, dual enrollment, and opportunities to support the college financially and through employment opportunities for our students. To see our presentation, please click on the following link.  Videos need to be viewed in presentation mode.

Our Queer Straight Alliance, under the oversight of ESL faculty member, Jenelle Herman, hosted a student and employee panel on October 8, commemorating National Coming Out Day. The panel focused on de-colonizing the fears inherent in coming out, and hearing from our current and past students who shared their powerful and empowering stories. We appreciate the faculty, staff and students who attended and provided their support.

The college welcomed Dr. Lee Douglas, our new Vice President of Instruction, to the campus on October 5. We are all looking forward to his leadership and the support he will provide for our faculty and academic divisions. Welcome Dr. Douglas!

The statewide Affordability, Hunger and Housing Taskforce has begun meeting again and I am honored to again represent Region 10 on this taskforce. I will also be serving as the co-chair for the #RealCollegeCA conference, which will be held virtually on December 4. Soledad O’Brien will be the keynote speaker and talk about her work providing support for young women of color who are struggling with food and housing. The third annual conference will focus on the many initiatives being implemented and pursued across the state to assist our food and housing insecure students, especially in this challenging environment. We hope you will be able to join us virtually at this year’s convening.

CARES Funding update: As of last Wednesday, 7,008 students have been awarded emergency grants from the CARES Act set up last spring to address student need due to COVID 19, providing a grand total of $3,501,075. This includes specifically reaching out to Legacy and Puente program leaders, who were given the opportunity to notify their students prior to the grants being released to the entire student body. In the spring 2020 semester, 3,794 students were awarded $500 emergency grants totaling $1,895,075. In the fall 2020 semester, 3,203 students were awarded emergency grants totaling $1,606,000. Additional funding has been spent on the purchase of technology to support students, including laptops, wi-fi hot spots, lab kits, and other instructional support. The college will be looking at additional emergency grants for students through our shared governance process and how we might allocate additional grants for the spring semester.

Upcoming events

Cypress College’s annual High School Superintendent and Principals convening will occur on October 29 from 7:30 to 9 a.m. This year’s convening will include representatives from AUHSD, Fullerton Union, ABC Unified, Garden Grove Unified, and Los Alamitos Unified Districts.

The college Sustainability Committee will be hosting a campus Drive-In Movie event on November 13 at 7 p.m., premiering The Story of Plastic. This impactful movie, about the presence of plastic in our oceans, polar ice, and the air we breathe will change your mind about the many ways we use, and rely on, plastic in our consumer culture. Please join us for a socially responsible evening together on campus.

The Pic ‘N Mix Collection continues virtually, from September 17 to December 3. This unique exhibit features collections amassed by members of the Cypress College community. At a time when we cannot meet in person, Pic ‘n’ Mix invites you to unwrap its ‘candies,’ savor old friends, and make new connections. Visit the Exhibition, as well as other events offered this semester in the Cypress College Art Gallery.

Our annual Connect2Cypress event on October 27, will welcome up to 1000 high school seniors to our campus for a virtual introduction to the campus, introduction to Guided Pathways, the opportunity to interact with career center staff in the Majors2Careers event, and information about the Charger Experience Program.

Please join us on Thursday, October 15 from 10:00 am to 11:30 am for “Cafecito with Sylvia Mendez” as Hispanic Heritage Month continues. Ms. Mendez was a child when her parents were involved in Mendez vs. Westminster, a 1947 landmark case effectively ending racial educational segregation in California. Her firsthand story is harrowing and enlightening and she tells it with a quiet grace and power. Also coming up is a Q&A with author Reyna Grande, author of “The Distance Between Us”, which is also one of our book selections this fall. That event will be offered on October 21 at 5 – 6 p.m.

Buen Cypress! We Take This Journey Together!

Cypress College Reports First Student-Related COVID-19 Case of 2020-21 Academic Year

A Cypress College student who is currently enrolled in a class that meets intermittently on campus tested positive for COVID-19. The student notified Cypress College of a positive test result on Thursday, October 8, and was last on campus the morning of October 1.

Tracing information provided by the student states that appropriate protective equipment, including a face mask, plastic shield, and gloves were worn at all times when the student was on campus. In addition, the student did not have either direct or prolonged contact with anyone else on campus. The student reported no needs of support from the college and is self-isolating in accordance with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control.

According to the CDC, “A potential exposure means having close contact within 6 feet of an individual with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 for 15 minutes or more without Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). The timeframe for having contact with an individual includes the period of time of 48 hours before the individual became symptomatic.”

While the CDC guidelines for potential transmission exposure to others was not met in this instance, Cypress College has notified all students in the course, along with the instructor and staff member who was assisting that day, so that they are informed about the positive COVID-19 result. To be cautious, Cypress College has encouraged each student enrolled in the class to self-quarantine at home and to practice physical distancing. In addition, Cypress College has made available its Health Center professionals to answer questions or to provide additional guidance and support to these students.

In advance of the semester, Cypress College launched its “We Above Me” Health and Safety Protocol campaign which connected the college’s motto with the need for safety precautions both on and off campus.

All participants in on-campus coursework and study sessions must complete a health and wellness screening in the college’s mobile app prior to participating. Students are not permitted to participate in on-campus activities if they are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or if they believe they may have been exposed to someone with the virus. In addition, masks and social distancing are required at all times while on the Cypress College campus.

Dr. O. Lee Douglas Joins Cypress College as New Vice President of Instruction

Portrait of Dr. Lee DouglasCypress College is proud to announce the arrival of the new Vice President of Instruction, Dr. O. Lee Douglas, who began in his position on October 5.

Douglas said he has long admired Cypress College and sees the school as an admirable institution that is providing pathways to brighter futures for all of its students and its community-at-large.

“When the position opened up at Cypress College, I jumped at the chance because of what they stood for, and the wonderful reputation the school has,” Douglas said. “And their motto, ‘We take this journey together,’ speaks volumes about the institution.”

Douglas said he has a number of goals he hopes to achieve in his new role. His highest priorities include continuing the great work and tradition of serving the students and community of Cypress College. His second goal is to work with faculty to promote equitable outcomes for all student groups to close the equity gaps ensuring students continue to achieve at a high level.

The work looking at programs, policies, processes, and pedagogy to address unintended barriers to student success has been Douglas’ life’s work through positions at various institutions, including El Camino College, Pepperdine University, Cal State Dominguez Hills, and, most recently, Long Beach City College.

“I have always been a champion for equity,” he said. “Making sure all students have equal opportunity is an obligation we have as a community college. And I have a personal obligation to provide students with what they need to succeed. We need to provide that type of help, support, and instruction.”

Cypress College President Dr. JoAnna Schilling said this is one of the reasons Douglas was brought on board.

“Dr. Douglas is deeply committed to dismantling systemic, structural barriers that produce inequitable student outcomes,” Schilling said. “I am thrilled that he has agreed to join our leadership team and look forward to the great things we will accomplish together under his academic leadership.”

Douglas is hoping his visibility as a successful individual who believes in the individual capability of every student at Cypress College, along with the collective support of the institution, will motivate students to work their hardest to achieve their full potentialities.

“I’d say to the younger version of myself, ‘Believe in yourself.’ It may seem a little trite, but it’s true. I didn’t have a lot of good role models to look to. I didn’t know if I could go to college. So believe in yourself, and find others who believe in you. You can be what you see.”

Dr. Douglas Jr. was raised in Southern California and completed his bachelor’s degree in communication at Pepperdine University, master’s degree in education from California State University at Dominguez Hills, and Ed.D. in community college leadership from National American University.

About Cypress College:

Cypress College offers students a pathway to their future in an environment in which employees commit to joining students on their educational journey. The college’s half-million-plus alumni include actors, athletes, doctors, executives, mechanics, nurses, and teachers. For some, Cypress College is the ticket into their university of choice, and for others, it provides essential training for a prosperous career. Just one Cypress College class is often all it takes to provide cutting-edge skills that lead to a promotion or a new job.

Cypress College’s 16,000 students and the highly qualified teaching faculty are proud of the many excellent academic and vocational programs. Cypress College provides a pathway for each of our students, offering 56 university-transfer majors, 174 career-certificate programs, and degrees in 98 areas of study. The college’s traditional semesters begin in January and August, while short-term courses start throughout the year. A Cypress College education costs $46 per unit — $138 for a typical, full-credit class — California’s lowest tuition. Eligible first-time students qualify for free tuition through Cypress College’s Charger Experience promise program. Financial aid and scholarships are also available to qualifying students.

Cypress College is one of three campuses in the North Orange County Community College District and a member of the 116-campus California Community College system. The college primarily serves the cities of Anaheim, Buena Park, Cypress, Garden Grove, La Palma, Los Alamitos, Seal Beach, and Stanton.

Located at 9200 Valley View Street in Cypress, the college is easily accessible from several Southern California freeways, including the 5, 91, 605, 22, and 405. The campus is just a stone’s-throw from Downtown Disney and Knott’s Berry Farm.

In response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, Cypress College’s instruction and services are offered primarily in a remote format. Students can access support services online at cypresscollege.edu/coronavirus.

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Remote Instruction to Continue During Spring Semester at Cypress College

Cypress College has announced that course instruction will continue in a remote/online format during the spring 2021 semester as a response to the current COVID-19 pandemic. The decision was made as the college works to finalize the course offerings for spring in time for registration to begin in a few weeks.

Computer screen with image of student center and words "spring 2021 online/remote"

“This decision allows us to balance the safety needs of our students while providing them with certainty about their coursework for the upcoming semester,” said Cypress College President JoAnna Schilling, Ph.D. “Although we sincerely wish we could welcome our employees and students back to our campus this spring, this decision was made in the best interest of our students and employees, while allowing our faculty the necessary time to best prepare their courses for continued remote/online delivery.”

Spring classes begin January 25, and registration begins November 9. Prospective students are invited to visit www.cypresscollege.edu/admissions/apply-now to apply. Cypress College’s spring offerings will be expansive, roughly at the same pre-pandemic level of spring 2020. Nearly all fall courses are being taught remotely with a limited number of face-to-face courses meeting occasionally on campus to meet lab and accreditation requirements. These include courses in Career Technical Education, Health Science, and Kinesiology.

All of the college’s student services, activities, and premier support continue to be provided via our virtual services all semester. In addition to free, drive-up WiFi, Cypress College this month initiated an on-campus outdoor student study space — a power and data-equipped, socially distanced gathering spot where students can find a quiet location to study and/or attend virtual class meetings.

Cypress College halted in-person coursework on March 13, 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In May, the college notified students that instruction would continue to be remote in the fall semester to allow for the greatest level of preparation possible for students as well as faculty and staff.

For more information about Cypress College, visit www.cypresscollege.edu.

About Cypress College:

Cypress College offers students a pathway to their future in an environment in which employees commit to joining students on their educational journey. The college’s half-million-plus alumni include actors, athletes, doctors, executives, mechanics, nurses, and teachers. For some, Cypress College is the ticket into their university of choice, and for others, it provides essential training for a prosperous career. Just one Cypress College class is often all it takes to provide cutting-edge skills that lead to a promotion or a new job.

Cypress College’s 16,000 students and the highly qualified teaching faculty are proud of the many excellent academic and vocational programs. Cypress College offers 56 university-transfer majors, 174 career-certificate programs, and degrees in 98 areas of study. The college’s traditional semesters begin in January and August, while short-term courses start throughout the year. A Cypress College education costs $46 per unit — $138 for a typical, full-credit class — California’s lowest tuition. Financial aid and scholarships are also available to qualifying students.

Cypress College is one of three campuses in the North Orange County Community College District and a member of the 116-campus California Community College system. The college primarily serves the cities of Anaheim, Buena Park, Cypress, Garden Grove, La Palma, Los Alamitos, Seal Beach, and Stanton.

Located at 9200 Valley View Street in Cypress, the college is easily accessible from several Southern California freeways, including the 5, 91, 605, 22, and 405. The campus is just a stone’s-throw from Downtown Disney and Knott’s Berry Farm.

In response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, all of Cypress Colleges and services are offered remotely. Students can access support services online at cypresscollege.edu/coronavirus.

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President Schilling’s Board Report for September 22, 2020

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 September 22, 2020

Cypress College is now in the third week of the “drive-through” food distribution in partnership with NOCE and Pathways of Hope. This drive-up event occurs each Wednesday at 9 a.m.-12 p.m. throughout the fall semester. Through the first three weeks, we have served over 500 students.  Many of you have asked how you can support our efforts so here are ways you can help:

  • Donations: The Cypress College Food Pantry welcomes donations of all non-perishable, pre-packaged food items. Additionally, we welcome donations of sealed and prepackaged hygiene products (toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, deodorant, feminine hygiene products, toilet paper, men’s/women’s razors, shaving cream, soap, shampoo/conditioner) as well as household essentials such as toilet paper, diapers, wipes, baby formula and related products that are sealed and fresh.
  • Where to Donate: For fall 2020 while we are remote, donations can be dropped off at our Campus Safety Office (1st Floor, Business Building). Campus Safety will work with our staff to deliver donations to our Food Pantry staging area for packaging and distribution. We recommend that you contact Campus Safety prior to arrival to ensure a staff member is available to meet you in their office. Financial contributions can be made through our Foundation by selecting where you wish your donation to go.
  • Volunteering: During the pandemic, we are limiting volunteers to the Food Pantry at the moment to comply to social distancing and COVID safety guidelines on campus. Our staging area and distribution area are currently staffed sufficiently thanks to the support of NOCE and Cypress College staff and student leaders. However, if a need arises to increase the need for additional volunteers, we will put out a separate call for participation. Thank you for your understanding and support!

VRC Update: The Cypress College VRC is conducting Zoom mixers every other week for students to connect with one another during this remote learning era. The staff is also keeping connected with our veterans through “Operation Re-supply” where students are picking up much needed school supplies and information to on/off-campus resources. Students receive biweekly email updates with pertinent information about VA education benefits, tutoring services, mental health resources, food and housing information, and mentoring services.

Financial Aid Update: The College Financial Aid offices dispersed Pell Grants to 3,745 students for a total of $4,051,028.92 in the first week of classes. We are now contacting all CARES eligible students for an additional 2,797 $500 emergency grants. We are making special efforts to reach out to affinity groups to ensure all in need have access to request this emergency funding. Additional funding will be handled through an online application that was successfully implemented spring 2020.

Cypress Cares College Campaign 2.0: Our Charger Experience Ambassadors are calling every enrolled student during the fall semester to provide support, understand their challenges, and provide needed resources. In this remote environment, we are finding that students appreciate the human touch and our student ambassadors are stepping up to support their peers.

Cypress College will be implementing Wellness Workshops for students and employees to help handle their stress and anxiety this semester. We will be implementing weekly workshops on yoga, mindful meditation and a group “Let’s Talk” series for students who need to connect during this stressful time. In addition, there will be wellness resources posted in all Canvas shells, on our website, and in the Health Center, including a menu of weekly activities each week. For employees, we will be launching a series of Friday workshops on stress management and then encouraging participation in quick “touch point” workshops on mediation, stress management and other techniques specifically directed towards employees.  More to be shared very soon. Please join us if you can!

The College will be hosting our second Presidential Advisory Group meeting on September 22, featuring 30 industry and community leaders to share the work the college is doing to support our community, and gain important insight on what our industry professionals need from us. The presentations will include an update on internships, our technical programs, Charger Experience, dual enrollment, and opportunities to support the college financially and through employment opportunities for our students.

Cypress College has been accepted to present at the Pathways to Equity Conference, sponsored by the CCC Foundation, and presented virtually September 29-30. Our presentation is called: Centering Guided Pathways in Equity at Cypress College and will be an overview of our efforts the past three years to ground our Guided Pathways implementation in ensuring equity for our students. The focus of our presentation will be the connection between data and equity, and the opportunity to use the data to tell stories of inequities. This centering of Guided Pathways presents an opportunity to shift the very culture and thinking of a college, from college policies to classroom practices to implicit biases, that will change the college experience for all students, but most dramatically for students of color. Presenters include Eileen Haddad, Lisa Gaetje, Steven Estrada, Ruth Gutierrez, Deidre Porter, and JoAnna Schilling.

In his most recent report to AUHSD, Superintendent Mike Matsuda acknowledged the partnership between AUHSD, Cypress College and NOCCCD. Here is his report and links to the specific work we are doing with our feeder high schools: Prior to the pandemic, I had the honor of representing the District (along with JoAnna Schilling, President of Cypress College) at IBM’s international education conference in New York highlighting STEM workforce pathways.  AUHSD was the only California school district invited to this prestigious event. Dr. Schilling and I were asked to share with national and international participants how we are transforming education through our Anaheim Educational Pledge, our award winning AIME (Anaheim Innovative Mentoring Experience) program, and our dual credit courses with Cypress and Fullerton Colleges, which all lead to preparing students for good jobs and careers. Besides the award winning partnership with Cypress College and the  Cyber Security Pathway at Magnolia High School, the District is developing Artificial Intelligence at Kennedy High School, Biotechnology at Anaheim High School, and Orange County’s first business and entrepreneurship incubator (iLab) at Western High School. Thank you, Superintendent Matsuda for the shout out, and to our Dual Enrollment Team, led by Henry Hua and Stephanie Teer in developing this important pathway approach in our dual enrollment programs.

Speaking of our partnership with AUHSD, the following graphic details the growth of our Promise Program (called the Charger Experience), disaggregating this by Pledge students in AUHSD, and all other students from other Districts, including Fullerton, Garden Grove and Los Alamitos. The success of this program has led to a dramatic increase in students completing math and English their first year (a requirement for Promise students) and over 30% of Charger Experience students maintain over a 3.0 GPA, placing them on the Deans or President’s Honor Lists.

Buen Cypress! We Take This Journey Together!

New On-Campus Charger Study Space Now Open

Cypress College is providing a new, safe study space on campus for students to use throughout the fall semester.

Tent in Gateway Plaza with words "Charger Study Space, Safe, Open, Outdoor"

The study space will be available Monday–Thursday 7:30 a.m.–10 p.m. and Friday 7:30 a.m.–5 p.m.  Make a mandatory appointment in two-hour blocks using the college’s Cypress Connect app. If you haven’t downloaded the app already, please download it here.

To complete your reservation time, please go to our COVID-19 module within the mobile app. Next, complete the required Wellness Check Form, also located in the COVID-19 module in the app, each time before coming onto campus. Wear a mask while on campus and maintain a distance of at least 6 ft. with others.
Additional guidelines are available below:

I made an appointment. How do I access the study space?
You may enter the study space using the designated access area from Lot 1 through Gateway Plaza only.

Will charging outlets be available?
Limited charging outlets will be available in the study space. It is strongly recommended that you charge all of your devices prior to coming on campus.

Will I be able to use the restroom while on campus?
Yes, there will be designated restrooms and hand-washing stations for use. You must wipe down or spray each area touched after each use.

Can I eat while studying?
No, food is not allowed in the study space. There will be designated areas for eating. Please ask a staff member about these designated areas.

Is it OK for me to attend a Zoom class while at the study space?
Certainly! To be considerate of others using the study space, you are required to use head/earphones if you are taking a live Zoom class that requires sound and interaction.

Can I go anywhere else on campus?
No. Students must stay in the study area only. When exiting campus, leave the study space area and return straight to your transportation. Exceptions will be made for students with an on-campus class before or after using the study space; however, these students are also limited to accessing only those areas at the entry point identified by their instructors.

What health and safety precautions are being taken to provide this study space?
You must wear a mask while on campus, and may only remove it when seated at your designated study space and at least 6 feet away from anyone else. Hand sanitizer will also be available to students at every table.

The study spaces must be wiped down and disinfected with provided materials by students and staff after each use, and the campus’ Maintenance and Operations team will do a nightly deep cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing.

President Schilling’s Board Report for September 8, 2020

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 September 8, 2020

As we end the first two weeks of the semester, we are seeing an enrollment dip from last year but are showing consistent fill rates over 90% across the curriculum. We are, however, offering 90 fewer sections than last fall, mainly in the arts, athletics, CTE, and health sciences due to the inability to fully offer remote and online course offerings in those areas; we are not seeing significant student drops due to online instruction. The college has distributed over 800 laptops, Chromebooks, and WiFi hot spots and our faculty, counselors and students services staff continue to work tirelessly serving our students in this remote environment.

Cypress College is now offering an on-campus “drive-through” food distribution each Wednesday at 9 a.m.-12 p.m. throughout the fall semester. The first distribution was on Wednesday, September 2. Students received one large reusable Buen Cypress grocery bag of select non-perishable and fresh food items delivered to the campus on the day before our distribution. Additional personal hygiene items may be requested, if in stock. To help our efforts in managing inventory, a weekly reservation will be required to access this service every visit. After registration, students will receive a confirmation number and details including the location of the distribution.  We will be asking for volunteers from the campus and community once our operational team gets through the first distribution. On the first Wednesday, our team of Cypress and NOCE staff served a total of 220 students, including 134 Cypress Students and 86 NOCE students. A huge thank you to Dave Okawa, Jay Shonkwiler and our NOCE partners for their leadership coordinating the details of this service.

Hispanic Heritage Month kicks off with a special program, led by Dr. Therese Mosqueda-Ponce, on September 17 at 12 noon including a virtual lecture by Obed Silva on the significance of Hispanic Heritage month in context of our current national reckoning on race. This will be followed by a virtual Dance concert on September 24 from 6-7 p.m. led by Maha Afra and the Cypress College dancers. More activities are planned in October with a lecture on the importance of Dia de los Muertos on October 1 from 12-1 p.m. Please join us!

The Grads to Be Program is starting its third year and is aimed at assisting and supporting undocumented students at Cypress College. The program provides counseling and advising, legal aid assistance, financial aid and scholarship assistance, mental health referrals, and workshops and events. We are proud that Cypress College has been selected by the CCCCO, the Foundation for California Community Colleges, and the California Department of Social Services as a pilot school to provide free legal services with CHIRLA to undocumented students and neighboring communities.

Congratulations to the Dr. Juan Garcia, our Veteran’s Coordinator for successfully defending his dissertation, titled Eye balls! Click! Ears! Open!: A Qualitative Study to Begin Understanding the Experiences of Veteran Resource Center Administrators Within California Community Colleges

Congratulations are also in order for faculty member, Jenelle Herman, who was honored as the recipient of Cypress College’s 2019-20 Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Award. Jenelle has served as a full-time member of the English as a Second Language Department faculty since fall 2016. She is also an advisor for the LGTBQ student club, the LGBTQ Faculty coordinator and one of our champions for ensuring gender neutral bathrooms and preferred names on campus. Jenelle has been a mentor for the Legacy Program, serves on the college DEI Committee, and spearheaded the planning of Coming Out Day at Cypress College. Congratulations, Jenelle!

Please join us for our 2020 Foundation Scholarship Awards. Held virtually on September 10 at 6 p.m., we will be celebrating our outstanding scholarship winners, hearing form our Alumna of the Year, Catherine Sorenson, and providing over $200,000 in scholarship funding to our worthy students. Please let us know if you can attend this short virtual ceremony and we will provide the Zoom link.

Our Associated Students will be hosting Student Townhalls throughout the semester to help students stay connected, build community, and communicate their needs to AS leadership and the administration. Thank you to our Associated Students leaders, President, Nicolette Garcia, Student Trustee Ester Plavdjian, and the AS Executive Board for hosting these important townhalls, held every Wednesday from 11:30 a.m.to 1:30 p.m.

Cypress College will serve as a Voting Center during this year’s November election period. We will facilitate both in person voting as well as drop-off balloting. The county will be responsible for running the center and providing oversight. We appreciate our M&O staff, led by Director, Phil Fleming, for working with the county to provide this important service to the community.

The college is also partnering with the City of Cypress to host Parking Lot Cinema, a Drive-In Movie Night, on the Cypress campus in Lots 4 and 5 each month. The next Parking Lot Cinema event will be a showing of The Karate Kid on September 25. Registration is required and the college opens to cars at 7 p.m. with the movie beginning at 8 p.m.

The college will be opening our first outdoor study space to support students who cannot find a quiet space to study at home. The first open-air tented space is already installed on our Gateway Plaza and will open to students the week of September 14. The space will accommodate up to 70 students at a time and students will need to register for 1, 2, and 3-hour appointments via our mobile app. All students will be required to follow our campus and District protocols including completing a wellness check form, be temperature-checked, wear a mask while on campus, and maintain a distance of more than 6 feet at all times. The tent features room for 70 students with socially distanced tables, electrical outlets, lighting and WiFi access. Open 7:30 a.m.to 10 p.m. M-Th, and 7:30 a.m.to 5 p.m. on Fridays.

To help keep students engaged with all the services and resources available on campus, the Communications Team has complied a guide to assist new and returning students. The following links will take you to our new website and services, all located at Fall Semester Central on our website.

Fall Preparation Tips
Frequently Asked Questions
Academic Services
Student Services
Health & Safety
What to Expect/Important Dates & Deadlines
Online Student Tips

Buen Cypress! We Take This Journey Together!

Register to Vote, Help Cypress College Win Ballot Bowl

The California Secretary of State, along with each California higher education system and the Lieutenant Governor, has created the California Students Vote Project (CSVP). The goal of the CSVP is to help improve student civic engagement, the Secretary of State’s Office wrote in an email sent to California colleges and universities.

Graphic of a ballot box stating "Your vote is your voice. Be heard."

As part of this goal, California colleges and universities have been asked to participate in the second Ballot Bowl, a competition encouraging students to vote. Cal Poly San Luis Obispo won the last Ballot Bowl with over 3,000 registrations, according to an email sent by the Secretary of State’s Office.

Can Cypress College win this year? To do so, we need your help! Register to vote here.

#CYProud: Amber Winey, Addiction Studies

Student success comes in many different forms, and Cypress College is proud to recognize and celebrate the variety of paths our students take to achieve their dreams. Whether it’s transferring to a four-year institution, or receiving an associate degree or certificate and heading into the workforce, we want all of our students to know we are on this educational journey with them and are pleased to feature distinguished #CYProud students for 2020.

Student Amber Winey with a quote

Amber Winey was raised in Los Angeles’ South Bay area by a single mother. She’s had a longstanding interest in human behavior and psychology, and has a passion for “total wellness for my fellow humans and being an advocate and resource for underserved communities.” Now a single mother herself after removing herself from a situation involving domestic violence, Amber and her daughters faced homelessness at the beginning of the year; however, with help and support from Cypress College and Pathways of Hope, she found stability while continuing to pursue a certificate in addiction studies. Ultimately, Amber strives to earn a master’s degree in psychology and become a drug addiction counselor.

Please tell us a little about yourself. Where did you grow up? What are your interests? What is your story?

I grew up in the South Bay area in Los Angeles. I was raised by a single mother from birth, and although she did her best to protect us from life’s struggles, I was a very perceptive child and ‘tween.’ During this time, I tried to solidify my own identity as a daughter, sister, granddaughter, and girl growing up in the world. I developed mental health issues and spent my adolescence with this passion and understanding of human need, but not being able to express my own. I was always extremely interested in the processes of human behavior on the scientific side of psychology and then on the relational side wondering “how” and “why” people interact the way that they do. Perhaps this was my way of making sense of understanding the behaviors exhibited in my own family. Maintaining this goal of self-identity has kept my self-awareness one of my greatest tools. In my senior year of high school, I began a relationship and became pregnant. I began attending Orange Education Center to finish my diploma, and I now know from educating myself and speaking up that this time in my life was the beginning of my experience with domestic violence, I have only just been able to remove myself from it 10 years later. Without that final piece of awareness and understanding of the importance of my own safety (and that of my children), as well as the help of Cypress College, I would have probably never reached a state of stability like I have within the last year. I have opened myself up to being vulnerable, to telling my story, to expressing passion and love for humanity, and showing my daughters that breaking the cycle (from my own family’s history and now ours) is the KEY.

Why did you choose Cypress College?

I chose Cypress College specifically because of the extensive support services around mental health, and because of programs (like DSS and EOPS) available to assist with adult re-entry into college. The ability for fun events hosted by Charger Experience were also an important consideration for me because I was able to include my children in my education.

CYProud Amber Winey, candidate for an Addiction Studies certificate, with her daughters

What have you been involved in at Cypress College? How has your path unfolded?

My first participation was in the Humanities event during Club Week of Fall and against my previous introversion, I stopped and participated in the photo session regarding what type of world I would like to live in. Working with Pathways of Hope at Cypress College, along with much diligence, my daughters and I were assisted with rapid re-housing within the last six months! During this time of homelessness and working more one-on-one with community resources, the path of adding human services to my psychology degree unfolded.

What are you most passionate about? Why?

My passion is total wellness for my fellow humans and being an advocate and resource for underserved communities. I have a passion regarding how we acknowledge and treat mental illness among adolescents; how our system works with ex-offenders and treats and assists them in re-entry. I have a passion for working one-on-one with clients to help them achieve their own goals and realize their strength and resilience. I am skilled in art therapy and hope to add these types of certifications as I plan to broaden my client scope. For me, without those people in my corner, I would not have made it through, back from when I was an adolescent, so I developed this passion and have kept my goals steady since age 12. Keeping this passion has allowed me to remain resilient during my life.

Who are the faculty and staff that have helped you get where you are today? How has Cypress College supported you throughout your semesters?

Dawn Decker supported me by connecting me to the DSS office and the ability to sit down and follow the career paths of the hundreds of certificate programs it seems Cypress offers. Dawn assisted in connecting me with the Department of Rehabilitation, which has been the ultimate lifesaver regarding my unique situation. Penni Lavoot, set to retire this year, will be sorely missed! Molly Schulps offered me tough love during my first semester back at Cypress and helped me assess that at that point in time, I was not ready mentally for daily classes. I hope to prove to her when I am ready to commit to her pottery class because the aesthetic work is something I personally thrive in. During spring 2020, my situation came to a head and Professor Brandy Young remained steadfast in her support of what I was going through and doing my best to hang on to a class that ended up being a credit towards my certificate without trying! Her encouragement and this nomination helped push me through the scariest time in my life.

What are your immediate plans after completing your studies at Cypress College (at your transfer institution, in the workforce, etc.)?

Obtain employment as a drug addiction counselor to complement my residential treatment experience and maintain my certificate.

What are your long-term goals? What do you aspire to?

My longer term goals include continuing on my path to finishing my bachelor’s degree in psychology and working with Cypress on transferring my old credits. I plan to obtain my master’s in psychology with added certificates in human services, victimology, and art therapy. My employment goal is one-on-one or group settings in residential treatment facilities or hospitals.

What are you most proud of?

For me, being normally self-deprecating, I can now actually say that I am proud of myself! I am proud that I have two (soon three) small faces watching me achieve my goals, even when I sometimes get off track, but always keeping my endurance to work towards my passion. I have continued school while homeless and now being nine months pregnant; I am welcoming a NEW CHARGER by the end of the summer session.

What one bit of advice would you give to current and future Cypress College students?

NEVER falter from your dreams for they remain within you to be attained, and do not allow the outside world to change that love we carry for our fellow humans.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

I want every man, woman, and even child who steps foot on this campus to know there is support for them here. There is someone on campus who understands your journey. You are not alone!

President Schilling’s Board Report for August 25, 2020

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 August 25, 2020

Navigating this new world: As we start the fall semester online, we are learning much about our student needs, the support they need to navigate this virtual environment, and building community and connection when we are not able to be on campus together. Challenges like reaching a counselor, financial aid rep, service, or talking to a live person to answer questions, have posed new challenges. To address these barriers, we have opened Express Counseling centers, our Student ambassadors are available at our Zoom Welcome Center to respond in real time to student inquiries, are sending daily social media blasts to inform students of our services and how to access them, and our faculty are reaching out to help guide and direct.  Our enrollment has improved since our last Board meeting and we are now close to the enrollment from last fall. The key will be retaining our students during the first critical weeks of the semester and we appreciate the work our managers, staff, and, especially, faculty are doing to reassure students we are with them. This summer has been anything but quiet and I am grateful for the faculty, staff, and managers who have delayed or shortened their own vacation time to address the important issues facing our college.

Student Support: To address technology challenges, all students may request a laptop and WIFI hot spot to assist them in their studies. Our L/LRC team is distributing this equipment to students during designated hours and so far the demand has been high. We appreciate our L/LRC team, led by Treisa Cassens, and our IT team, led by Peter Maharaj, for their work obtaining and distributing these resources to students. In addition to our Drive Up WIFI access in Lot 1, we are also exploring having safe outdoor study spaces on campus to support students who cannot find a quiet space to study at home. The first space is planned on our Gateway Plaza with social distanced tables, plexiglass shield, appointment only service, and WIFI access. We are still working out the logistics of how to allow students on campus and ensure their safety and the security of our employees. We hope to have this in place by mid-September.

Don’t forget your mask! Although the number of students on campus this fall will be limited, when they are here, we are providing direction on our expectations. Students must complete a wellness check form on our mobile app before accessing our campus. To view the recent PSA video on safety protocol for students, please check out this video.

The college’s HSI Title V Grant focuses on the creation of Completion Teams for each academic pathway (meta major) which are led by faculty peer and data coaches. In addition, each Completion Team includes a counselor, success coach, transfer coach, career coach, financial aid rep, and dean. The purpose of these completion teams is to form support communities and utilize data to inform the support and actions needed within each community. At the core of our Guided Pathways approach is ensuring equity for our students. To ensure equity is grounded in our teams, our peer and data coaches took part in an important kick-off training during the week of August 10-14, led by Title V Project Director, Deidre Porter, Director of IRP Eileen Haddad and Research Analyst Kristina Oganesian, Guided Pathway co-chairs Ruth Gutierrez and Lisa Gaetje, and Peer Coach lead, Steven Estrada. We are off to a strong start in reaching the outcomes of our grant and ensuring all students have the support and resources needed to succeed at Cypress College.

Graduation Packets: Associated Students coordinated the Cypress College Grad Pack Drive Up on August 17-18, 2020.  Students, many with their families in the car, were welcomed by Dave Okawa, Jay Shonkwiler, Ester Plavdjian, Nicolette Garcia, Garret Sepulveda, a.m.erica Olmedo, Joshua Boynton, Harley Tran, and Marielena McDermott.  Recent graduates received a commemorative 2020 Buen Cypress Medallion, Academic Pathway Sash (Business, Career Technical Education, Fine Arts, Health Sciences, Kinesiology, Language Arts, Science/Engineering/Mathematics, Social Science, and/or We Journey Together), picture frame, and diploma cover. This week’s event drew almost 900 students. We have scheduled another Grad Pack Drive-Up in late September.

Black Lives Matter Oversight Task Force: The BLM Taskforce Recommendations Report has been released and is located on our website. Although this report is still in the early stages of discussion, our Board is welcome to request a copy for your own review. You can find the recommendations included in our affirmation and commitment to racial equity page, which is prominently displayed on our Cypress College home page and college marquee at the campus entrance along Valley View Street.

Equity Institute Training: The Cypress College Executive Team, Senate Executive Team, academic deans and all of our peer and data coaches who are leading our Guided Pathways Completion Teams – a total of 40 faculty, staff and managers —  are participating in an 8-week course through USC’s Center of Race and Equity to provide leadership skills for us to engage in the necessary, and uncomfortable, discussions required to address racial equity at Cypress College.  The course began August 5 and runs every week through September 23 and will result in eight focused projects that will be implemented at the college. I am grateful for the seriousness in which all attendees have embraced the opportunity to become race-conscious leaders, and for Lisa Gaetje and Ruth Gutierrez, our Guided Pathway co-chairs who saw the need for this training and created this space for us to learn together. Our work with the Equity Alliance will expand the number of participants in this work to an additional 60 participants in the coming year.

Our COVID 19 Response Team continued to meet throughout the summer and we thank our Senate for their work in developing recommendations for Cypress College and the District for faculty-student interaction. Cypress faculty, who have been engaged in teaching courses on campus this summer, have put in countless hours developing protocols for student interaction on campus, and their work helped inform the F2F protocols which will be included in our NOCCCD Return to Work guidelines.

Cypress College has a new website! This has been over a year in the making and after countless hours by our Communications and IT Teams, (with special thanks to our web designer, Cari Jorgensen), our official unveiling occurred on August 18. The navigation of our site is much easier for our students, employees, and community members, and although we will continue to modify the content throughout the fall semester, we are proud of our new look and the clear focus on our academic pathways.

Our Opening Day convocation was held virtually this year on August 21 from 9 –11 a.m. Thank you to Marc Posner and his Communications staff who put in countless hours creating the content for Opening Day, and to all our guests and presenters who participated in making this a unique and inspiring morning together. If you missed it, you will be able to view the event on our website. The Opening Day event featured an engaging pre-show with faculty interviews, campus updates, and some entertainment. The program focused on celebrating our students, faculty awardees, and a panel of our Black faculty who discuss their personal and professional experiences with racism. Thank to those who were able to join us!

Buen Cypress! We Take This Journey Together!

Degree and Certificate Attainment for 2019-2020

Here are some key trends:

  • We had another record-breaking year, awarding more degrees and certificates than any previous year
  • African-American and Latinx students saw a greater increase in the number of awards earned since 2017-18 (76% and 54%) than White students (22%)
  • The largest increase in awards was observed among Asian students who more than doubled the number of awards earned since 2017-18 and saw a 136% increase

Degrees and Certificates Awarded 2019-20

Two charts

Impacts of AB 705 Implementation

With the implementation of AB 705 in Fall 2019, the completion rate of transfer-level English within one year increased from 46.5% in Fall 2015 to 71.2% in Fall 2019, and the completion rate of transfer-level math within one year increased from 23.2% in Fall 2015 to 43.3% in Fall 2019 (see Figures 1 and 2).

Two charts

  • In English, the completion of transfer-level was 1.6 times higher among African American students, increasing from 36.5% to 59.3%, and 1.7 times higher among Latinx students, increasing from 38.2% to 64.8%, whereas for White students, completion rates were 1.5 times higher, increasing from 50.8% to 78.6%.
  • In Math, the completion of transfer-level was 3.1 times higher among African American students, increasing from 8.6% to 26.8%, whereas White student completion rates were 2.4 times higher, increasing from 22.8% to 55.2%.

Chart

Professor Jenelle Herman Earns Annual Diversity Award

Faculty member Jenelle Herman is the recipient of Cypress College’s 2019-2020 Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Award. Herman has served as a full-time member of the English as a Second Language Department faculty since Fall 2016. She also is an advisor for the LGTBQ student club, has been a mentor for the Legacy Program, serves on the college DEI Committee, and spearheaded the planning of Coming Out Day at Cypress College.

Award for Jenelle Herman; Jenelle standing with surfboard

“This year one name rose to the top for her work in ensuring that all voices are heard at our college, for her fierce advocacy on behalf of our LGBTQ community, and despite her own personal fight with cancer this past semester, she has never stopped fighting for our LGBTQ students to be treated with dignity and respect,” President JoAnna Schilling, Ph.D., said during the award presentation. “Jenelle has worked tirelessly to advocate for preferred names on our rosters and in Canvas, for the need for gender neutral restrooms and is currently serving as the campus LGBTQ faculty coordinator, among so much more.”

The annual award is presented based on nominations made to the college’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee. Nominations are evaluated for individuals or groups that: Demonstrates outstanding effort in support of advancing the issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion on campus and in our communities.

Cypress College Affirms that Black Lives Matter and Our Commitment to Racial Equity

As we begin our summer, the tragic events unfolding across our nation demand a response, so please allow me to affirm our commitment to our work in support of equity on the Cypress College campus. Recent events remind us, yet again, there is no escaping just how far we have to go to eradicate the awful stain of racism within our communities and institutions. 400 years after the first enslaved people were forcibly taken from their homes, 160 years after their descendants were “freed,” 60 years after the civil rights movement, we still live in a country where too many of our citizens cannot go about their daily lives without the fear that a trip to the store, a jog down the street, or a drive into a new neighborhood could result in violence or death. Each death, each act of bigoted violence, each moment someone is silenced or told they don’t belong, diminishes each of us. It is a pain that cannot be ignored.

Students with their arms raised in the air, fists clenched with words "Black Lives Matter"

As members of an institution of higher learning, we must continue our resolve to take racism seriously on the Cypress College campus and stand up to the institutional norms that cripple each of us, no matter who we are. The responsibility of living within a democracy is both a gift and a chore.

These are uncertain times but I am reminded that each generation has faced their own defining point; I hope this will be ours. I hope we will finally say “enough,” and stand together for change. Willing or not, change is upon us and we must choose a world where justice is offered to all. [Read Dr. Schilling’s full statement here.]

Cypress College is a member of the Equity Alliance. See the Black Lives Matter Task Force Recommendations.

Application, Registration Remain Open For Cypress College’s Fall Semester

Don’t miss your chance to study at Cypress College for the upcoming fall semester. Applications are available and registration for courses is underway and open for all students, including those who have changed their plans to attend a university this fall.

Person typing on computer

Classes begin August 24, and registration is now open. Prospective students are invited to visit www.cypresscollege.edu/admissions/apply-now to apply. Returning students are invited to view the schedule of classes at www.cypresscollege.edu/schedule-of-classes-and-college-catalog.

Cypress College notified students in May that instruction would continue to be remote in the fall semester to allow for the greatest level of preparation possible for students as well as faculty and staff. All our services, activities, and premier support will continue to be provided via our virtual services all semester. Welcome to the #1 community college in California, according to the 2020 Best Community Colleges in Niche.com.

For more information about Cypress College, visit www.cypresscollege.edu.

About Cypress College:

Cypress College offers students a pathway to their future in an environment in which employees commit to joining students on their educational journey. The college’s half-million-plus alumni include actors, athletes, doctors, executives, mechanics, nurses, and teachers. For some, Cypress College is the ticket into their university of choice, and for others, it provides essential training for a prosperous career. Just one Cypress College class is often all it takes to provide cutting-edge skills that lead to a promotion or a new job.

Cypress College’s 16,000 students and the highly qualified teaching faculty are proud of the many excellent academic and vocational programs. Cypress College offers 56 university-transfer majors, 174 career-certificate programs, and degrees in 98 areas of study. The college’s traditional semesters begin in January and August, while short-term courses start throughout the year. A Cypress College education costs $46 per unit — $138 for a typical, full-credit class — California’s lowest tuition. Financial aid and scholarships are also available to qualifying students.

Cypress College is one of three campuses in the North Orange County Community College District and a member of the 116-campus California Community College system. The college primarily serves the cities of Anaheim, Buena Park, Cypress, Garden Grove, La Palma, Los Alamitos, Seal Beach, and Stanton.

Located at 9200 Valley View Street in Cypress, the college is easily accessible from several Southern California freeways, including the 5, 91, 605, 22, and 405. The campus is just a stone’s-throw from Downtown Disney and Knott’s Berry Farm.

In response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, all of Cypress Colleges and services are offered remotely. Students can access support services online at cypresscollege.edu/coronavirus.

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President Schilling’s Board Report for July 28, 2020

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 July 28, 2020

In the last month, our campus community continues to address the challenges brought on by the surge in COVID-19 cases, the continued commitment to addressing anti-racism on our campus and in our communities, and challenges posed by budget and declining enrollment. Despite our enrollment being up by 1% for summer, our fall enrollment is down almost 5%, an alarming trend. Although this is in line with other colleges across the state, the feedback we received from students indicated they would be returning in the fall. We are actively reaching out to all students who have missed a registration appointment to determine how we can assist and support. This summer has been anything but quiet and I am grateful for the faculty, staff, and managers who have delayed or shortened their own vacation time to address the important issues facing our college.

Community College Equity Leadership Alliance: Cypress College will be participating in USC’s Race and Equity Center’s Equity Leadership Alliance with other community colleges across the state. This alliance will provide the college with access to a 12-month curriculum led by racial-equity experts; an online resource library of rubrics, readings, and case studies; guidance on designing action plans; and climate surveys for students, faculty, and staff members. The first eConvening will be from 1-5 p.m. on Thursday, September 10. The topic will be Fostering and Sustaining Inclusive Classrooms for Students of Color. Attention will be paid to equitable teaching practices in virtual and traditional on-campus learning environments. A decision will be made on which participants will take part at this eConvening by the Equity Alliance Task Force at our meeting July 28.

Black Faculty and Staff Association Task Force:  A group of Cypress College BFSA members have been meeting the past 5 weeks to identify and make recommendations on six areas for change as we grapple with becoming an anti-racist campus. These six subcommittees are: 1) Documents, Compliance and Policies; 2) Campus, District Committees; 3) Institutional Hiring Committees; 4) Curriculum; 5) Special Programs; 6) Student Needs. My thanks to the leaders of these committees, Annette Letcher, Fola Odebunmi, Daniel Lind, Virgil Adams, Renee Ssensalo, and Deidre Porter.

Black Minds Matter: The Cypress College Executive Team is taking part in the Black Minds Matter webinar series provided by CSUSD. This weekly series is offered each Thursday beginning July 16 and continues through August 13.

Our COVID-19 Response Team continues to meet throughout the summer to address planning for the fall semester. The Response Team is identifying the equipment, PPE, and other safety requirements for an eventual re-opening of the campus, when it is deemed safe. The C-19 Response Team is working in tandem with our Emergency Operations Committee to plan for C-19-related and other emergencies requiring a clear and informed response. As we have seen a spike in employee cases of C-19, we continue to modify our plan for remote work, and have developed protocols for those limited courses that still require some F2F instruction on campus.

Athletics moves to spring semester: The CCCAA Board of Directors overwhelmingly approved implementation of its Contingency Plan on Thursday, July 17, providing a return to intercollegiate athletics for the 2020-21 academic year that shifts all sports to the spring season. The return to athletics in January will only occur if it is safe to do so, a decision that will be guided primarily by state and local health guidelines. The Contingency Plan can be viewed here.

Food Distribution: Our food bank, which is closed during the campus closure, will be re-opening in August in collaboration with NOCE and Pathways of HOPE. The college will be implementing a weekly drive-up food distribution for all students on the Cypress campus each Tuesday, as well as virtual appointments to assist with student housing needs. Volunteers will be needed each week to assist.

Caring Campus Kick Off: We are happy to announce the classified employees who have agreed to be Caring Campus Coaches this year. They are: Summer Justice, Diana Domingo, Evelyn Lindley, Cari Jorgensen, Tayler Thomas, Mohammad Chaudry, Jodie Thomas, Sarah Barriga, Angela Haugh, Ayman Gadalla, Anne Marie Valadez, Ashley Berry, Temperance Dowdle, Belinda Allen, Cindy Lopez, Julie Vorathavorn, Vivian Kim, Gloria Ortega, and Cindy Cao. The upcoming coaching sessions are scheduled for: Session 1, July 28; Session 2, August 18; Session 3, September 15; Session 4, October 6. Thank you to Lisa Gaetje and Ruth Gutierrez for organizing our classified employees as part of IEBC’s Caring Campus Initiative.

Cypress College in the News: Our STEM(2) program was recently named as one of NASA’s 11 top community colleges in the nation for their work as a minority-serving institution. This honor comes with funding to help recruit and retain more underrepresented students in the STEM fields, while providing opportunities for research internships with NASA. Congratulations Yanet Garcia and the STEM(2) team!

For the third year in a row, Cypress College was voted as the Long Beach Press-Telegrams’ Best Community College, by its readers. This designation was given by readers and students at surrounding community colleges (including Cerritos, Long Beach, Golden West, El Camino, and Compton colleges) for our student-friendly outreach, support for students and community, and for being the college students most want to attend. Congratulations for the continued excellence of our faculty, staff, and administrators.

Congratulations is also in order for the Cypress College IT team for the recent recognition by Modo Labs at the 2020 Appademy Awards for Best Student Driven Mobile Application. Cypress beat out other institutions across the country, including runners-up Penn State and UC Berkeley, for this honor.  We are very proud of the work performed by students James, Chia, Tareq, and Urjaa on the projects they worked on and for the support of our IT team to move us forward in the digital application ecosystem.

A reminder to our board that our Opening Day convocation will be held virtually this year on August 20 from 9–11 a.m. On August 19, the FLEX Day focus will be on Distance Learning, in collaboration with Fullerton College. The Opening Day event will feature a virtual guest speaker discussing the laws that support racism against our communities of color, followed by a panel of our Black faculty who will discuss their personal and professional experiences with racism. We hope you will join us for this virtual event.

Buen Cypress! We Take This Journey Together!

Retired Professor, Coach Tom Lubin Remembered

Cypress College is remembering retired professor and coach Tom Lubin. One of the college’s pioneering faculty, Lubin was a chemistry professor who is fondly recalled for his memorable lessons — including jumping off a building — and for his devotion to students, including standouts Swen Nater and Mark Eaton.

Professor/Coach Tom Lubin

The Lubin Family has established the Tom Lubin Memorial Scholarship Endowment with the Cypress College Foundation. The endowment is intended to provide scholarships to chemistry students and the Men’s Basketball program in perpetuity. The goal is to raise $30,000 “in honor of the 30 years he dedicated to Cypress College” and in hopes of naming a chemistry lab in the new SEM building in honor of his contributions to the campus and its students.

Professor Lubin lost his battle with Lewy Body Dementia on July 1, 2020, at the age of 80. Always known for going the extra mile for students, Lubin’s last complete sentence was: “can I do anything to help you?”

“That was him. Always teaching. Always helping. Always encouraging,” his daughter Kara Lubin wrote in tribute on Facebook.

Helping others certainly was a theme for Lubin, who started at Cypress College in 1967, just one year after the campus began operation. The stories of NBA standouts Nater and Eaton clearly illustrate Lubin’s commitment, passion, and devotion to students. Both still hold NBA records, but neither one was playing basketball when Lubin, Cypress College’s assistant basketball coach, discovered, recruited, mentored, and trained them outside team practices. After completing their studies at Cypress College, both played at the University of California at Los Angeles before going on to NBA careers.

The Cypress College Foundation’s 39th Annual Americana Awards were held on Saturday, February 22, 2014, in the Grand Ballroom of the Disneyland Hotel. Photos by George Fenton/Fenton Photography.

Both men frequently credit their success to Lubin — a man whose impact was so large that his name appears over and over in newspaper articles featuring Nater or Eaton. This includes a New York Post feature on legendary UCLA coach John Wooden. In 2017, Lubin joined his former students in the Cypress College Athletics Hall of Fame.

You don’t have to appreciate or know basketball, though, to appreciate the lengths Lubin went for students.

One legendary story had Lubin jumping off the roof of a campus building to illustrate a lesson to his science students. To be fair, it was one of the many pre-fabricated buildings that dotted “the instant campus” in those early days. Still, even for a man of Lubin’s stature, that’s a tall order.

“I saw him jump off the roof,” said Patricia Ganer,