Employee Accolades

Welcome to our employee accolades page. Employee successes come in a variety of ways, and here at Cypress College we are honored to showcase these professional successes.

Have something to contribute? Send it to us at news@cypresscollege.edu.

  • Dr. Kellori Dower, Dean of Visual and Performing Arts, was elected the first African-American president of the National Collegiate Choral Organization in 2022. This organization has member institutions in the Ivy League, HBCUs, and other state and small liberal arts colleges.
  • Professor Donivan Howard, Chair of Art, is now a contracted artist for the new iteration of American currency (money) through a contract with the Dept. of the Treasury.
  • Cypress College ESL professors Kathy Wada and Alison Robertson were featured speakers at the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office Equitable Placement and Completion Learning Series webinar on May 9, 2022. The webinar focused on English as a Second Language (ESL) adoption plans and promising practices, and Wada and Robertson spoke on transferability.
  • President JoAnna Schilling was named Citizen of the Month in April 2022 by Senator Josh Newman, who stated in his newsletter that he was “very pleased to have the opportunity to recognize another outstanding community member.”
  • California Teachers Association featured Cypress College English Professor Randa Wahbe in honor of Arab American Heritage Month in April 2022.
  • Cypress College Art Gallery Director and Art History Professor Janet Owen Driggs published an article on KCET on November 15, 2021.
  • Cypress College ESL Faculty were invited to write and present on two of five ESL spotlights at The RP Group’s Emerging Practices and Resources to Support ESL Placement and Throughput Webinar in October 2021.
  • In June 2021, Business & CIS Dean Henry Hua was selected as SynED’s Cyber Hero for Empowering a Generation.
  • English Department Adjunct Faculty member Alyssa Gorman was named Orange County Teacher of the Year. She has served Cypress for almost four years and we are grateful for her thoughtful attention to our students. Nominations for this designation were made by Gorman’s students.
  • Veterans Counselor Juan Garcia was featured on ABC 7 news on Sunday, March 31, 2019, as part of the Cypress College Green Zone training, which was implemented by Dean Rick Rams.
  • Kathy Wada, ESL instructor, has been invited to participate on the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) panel event for the release of their report on English as a Second Language in California Community Colleges. The event will take place in Sacramento at the Capitol Event Center on April 30, 2019.
  • Cypress College was represented for the first time at the Chief Information Systems Officers Association (CISOA) Conference, which took place February 24–27, 2019. Representing the college were Academic Computing Manager Peter Maharaj and IT Services Coordinator Michael Land. The first presentation, “Transformational Change with Mobile Apps,” was led by Maharaj and looked at the work Cypress College and Modo Labs did in transforming communications and access to students and the community in the use of the Cypress Connect app. The initiative supports Guided Pathways and Student Services to improve persistence and graduation through mobile technology. Key takeaways from this presentation include the preparation of our students to lead in a digitally driven world, and the building out of technology, carefully and strategically in a cohesive approach. The second presentation was led by Maharaj, Land, Christopher Blackmore of Riverside Community College District (RCCD), Michael Back of SidePath, and Hari Mansoor of VMWare.  “The Paradigm Shift: The New Hybrid Cloud Operational Model” looked at the hyper converge work completed by Cypress College in June 2018 and the transformation of infrastructure by RCCD. Land and Maharaj focused on the needs analysis performed, the funding process, vendor analysis, and technical details to support the campus community.
  • Michael Brydges, professor in Communication Studies, was a speaker on two panel presentations at the 90th Annual Convention of Western States Communication Association. The convention, which was held February 23–25, 2019, focused on the theme “Advocating with Evidence.” Brydges’s topics included “Can Cultural Humility Exist with the Ethics of the 45 Era?” and “Beyond Our Egocentric Selves.”
  • ESL instructor Kathy Wada co-authored an article that was published in The CATESOL Journal in February 2019. The article focuses on AB 705 and ESL.