At Cypress College, we are proud of our employees and realize that recognizing personal and professional achievements, along with establishing a human connection between students, faculty, and staff, promotes a collegial atmosphere imbued with the Charger Spirit! Our employees always strive for excellence and make significant contributions to the campus and surrounding communities every day. We are pleased to feature distinguished #CYProfessional educators like Journalism instructor Michael.
What was your path to Cypress?
For two decades I worked as a professional journalist at The Orange County Register and The Press-Enterprise, first as a staff writer, then later as an editor. As a reporter I covered military affairs, the prison system, city and county government, and various beats. In 2003, I reported from Iraq as a war correspondent for nearly two months. In 2013, I was appointed editor of The Press-Enterprise, overseeing nearly 80 journalists at the Inland Empire’s largest news-gathering organization. I had the opportunity to teach part time in 2013 at OCC, and in 2016 discovered an opportunity to teach full time at Cypress.
What inspires you as a teacher?
I get inspired by students who learn about journalism and media in-depth for the first time and a light goes off. They realize that asking the right questions in today’s connected world is vital to understanding facts. I get inspired by students who understand why a free press is so important to our democracy. I get to talk about these things every day—and they pay me! How cool is that?
How do you balance your work as an instructor with your other professional/creative work?
My family keeps me busy. Along with my wife, Amanda, my family consists of our two girls, Gabriella, 6, and Alessandra, 3. Much of my career has revolved around journalism, learning, and teaching, so I’ve had to get used to figuring out a good balance, but it’s worked out pretty well.
Is there anything else you’re working on at the moment?
Our student newsroom in November put out its first edition of the Cypress Chronicle newspaper in many years. It’s great that we have the student voice back on campus. Now, we’re working on rebuilding our existing digital news platforms while creating new ways of telling stories and expanding our class offerings. In Spring, I recruited Michael Goulding, one of the finest photojournalists in California, to teach visual journalism and photography alongside our newsroom staff. I want to build the finest journalism program in the community college system and that will take time but it’s a lot of fun. Our student newsroom is a blast to be around. If you want to join us, sign up for JOUR 225.