#CYPresidential

In 2019, Cypress College started a new tradition with the selection of the inaugural cohort of Presidential Scholars of Distinction, a new academic recognition and scholarship intended to honor nine students who exemplify what it means to be a Cypress College student. The Presidential Scholars were nominated by the faculty in their specific academic major clusters, selected by the members of that academic pathway, and affirmed by President JoAnna Shilling, Ph.D. During the college’s commencement ceremony, the Presidential Scholars will lead the graduates of their divisions during the commencement processional and be the first students earning their associate degrees to be called to the stage for their diplomas.

Business/CIS: Sagidah Karakra

Cypress College’s appreciation and value for diversity, along with her older sister’s academic success at the college, motivated Sagidah Karakra to pursue higher education at Cypress College. Sagidah has been involved in a number of extra-curricular activities, including the Muslim Student Association and Business Club. She found her niche in accounting after participating in AccountingContinue reading “Business/CIS: Sagidah Karakra”

Career Technical Education: Claudia Espinoza

Claudia Espinoza was born in Santa Ana, but at the age of 2, moved to Mexico where she grew up for 14 years. At 16, her family moved back to California where she spent long days going to school, completed homework in the afternoon in a language she barely understood, then attended ESL classes untilContinue reading “Career Technical Education: Claudia Espinoza”

Counseling: Jessica Button

Jessica Button has said she’s come further than she ever thought realistic. A fun-loving girl with endless creativity, she chased many different opportunities that deferred her degree completion, but for a third time, she found herself registering for college classes at Cypress College. Jessica is graduating with her associate of science degree for transfer inContinue reading “Counseling: Jessica Button”

Fine Arts: Nhi Nguyen

At the age of 19, Nhi Nguyen emigrated from Vietnam to the United States with her mother. In a completely new environment and having to cope in an unfamiliar language, Nhi initially intended to earn a degree in a health science field because she thought she would have a higher chance of finding a stableContinue reading “Fine Arts: Nhi Nguyen”

Health Science: Evelyn Hernandez

A first-generation college student and single parent when she first started on her educational journey at Cypress College, Evelyn Hernandez said the college has been her home away from home since day one. She is a proud member of EOPS, a program she learned of by happenstance. “I recall accidentally walking into some random officeContinue reading “Health Science: Evelyn Hernandez”

Kinesiology: Jane Woodward

Jane Woodward was a four-sport standout in high school, participating in varsity women’s volleyball, basketball, track, and tennis at Woodrow Wilson High School in her hometown of Portland, Oregon. After high school, Jane moved to Orange County on her own to attend Cypress College and play on the college’s volleyball and beach volleyball teams. SheContinue reading “Kinesiology: Jane Woodward”

Language Arts: Jene Viray

Born in the Philippines and raised in the United Arab Emirates, Jene Viray is an international student at Cypress College who is graduating with her associate of arts degree in communication studies. She hopes to transfer to Cal State Long Beach in fall 2020, and until then, will continue working in the college’s International StudentsContinue reading “Language Arts: Jene Viray”

Science, Engineering, Mathematics: Selina Jaimes Davila

Selina Jaimes Davila has been a high-achieving student from a young age and worked hard to graduate with high honors from Huntington Park High School, only to be rejected admission by four Cal States. Uncertain of her next step, Selina ended up at Cypress College pursuing a diagnostic medical sonography certification until deciding that sheContinue reading “Science, Engineering, Mathematics: Selina Jaimes Davila”

Social Sciences: Sandra Enriquez

Sandra Enriquez was still in high school when she had her first child. As a young mother who, admittedly, did not understand the reality of being a mother, she rebelled and found herself in an “extremely negative environment.” Pulling from her own experiences, Sandra said she is most passionate about helping others overcome obstacles, especiallyContinue reading “Social Sciences: Sandra Enriquez”