Engineering Technology New Equipment Makes Program “One of the Best”

Engineering Technology recently acquired new equipment and software licenses to assist students. The additions have raised the quality of the program above and beyond others, according to Professor of Engineering & Engineering Technology Massoud Saleh.

“Our Mechatronics lab is one of the best and most complete labs anywhere,” as a result of the recent purchases, Saleh says.

The following is a list of the new additions:

  • Ten computer stations added to room 102, converting the lab to a computer lab
  • Eight units of Elvis III
  • Quanser sensor and mechatronics panels, for hands-on training of the students
  • A Parker Hydraulic/Pneumatic trainer cart (our system is the newer version that is more compact than the one in the video but has same functionalities)
  • License to LabVIEW. This is software that also can be used as a virtual replacement of some equipment for remote teaching. More information about LabVIEW can be found here:

“We were able to purchase a sample of almost every type of sensor out there for hands-on training of the students,” Saleh says. “These sensors can be connected to Labview for a realistic analysis of any system in form of a digital twin.”

Cypress College Partners with National Guard in 22-Week Jobs ChalleNGe CTE Academy

Cypress College was awarded the 2020 National CyberWatch: Innovations in Cyber Security Education award for their work with Jobs Challenge last semester. This is the second consecutive year in a row that the Cypress College Cybersecurity Program is being honored.

The program is led by Ben Izadi and Russ Alizadeh and the Dual Enrollment team, led by Dr. Henry Hua, Stephanie Teer, and Stephanie Flores, was also involved in the effort, along with the Auto Technology program faculty. The Jobs Challenge program is a collaboration with the National Guard and Joint Forces Training Base in Los Alamitos.

Last semester, nearly 50 students completed the California Jobs ChalleNGe, a 22-week residential career technical academy at Cypress College. The program was formed by the National Guard to provide post-secondary Career Technical Education (CTE) to graduates of the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe program.

The California Jobs ChalleNGe program provided CTE training and career readiness skills that will lead to gainful employment. Student participants earned industry-recognized certificates, college credits and selected between automotive technology, construction pre-apprenticeship and cybersecurity programs.

“We are so honored to have hosted this important program,” said Cypress College President Dr. JoAnna Schilling. “One of our Cybersecurity students, Noah Touchstone, broke the record on our campus earning the highest score on the CompTIA IT Fundamentals+Cybersecurity exam, and students in our automotive program also earned Cypress College certificates and achievement patches. Most important, every student participated in Career Professional Development activities to assist with potential employers. We are proud of our partnership with the National Guard and each of the students who participated in this program.”

Forty-seven students participated in the California Jobs ChalleNGe program graduation, held at the end of last semester. Program participants must be between the ages of 17 and a half and 20 years of age, have graduated from a California ChalleNGe Academy, have a high school diploma or GED, and agree to reside at the Los Alamitos Joint Forces Training Base for the duration of the program.

Cybersercurity graduates Grace Motley, Ivan Torres, Noah Touchstone, and Daniel Uscanga were sponsored by the Western Academy Support and Training Center (WASTC) to co-present with Cypress College on the cybersecurity program at the WASTC 2020 Winter ICT Educator Conference in January at CISCO’s headquarters in San Jose, California.

Four graduates of the program have already accepted internships at local companies and are continuing their studies at Cypress College in pursuit of their associate degrees.

This year’s graduates are: Robert Augustine, Leann Avila, William Barela-Irvin, Edward Barragan, Jonathon Benson, Dulce Cardona, Kiley Cardona, Victor Castaneda, Nicholas Castro, Romero Clark, Jaden Crawford, Juan Delgado, Brian Elias, Zach Fretland, Justin Fuentes, Carmen Garcia, Arriana Gonzalez, Nancy Hernandez Tovar, Maleni Hernandez, Gilberto Jaramillo, Isaiah Johnson, Chantal Lopez, Sandra Luna, Ethen Magana, Isabella Martinez, Samantha Martinez, Anthony Mcgrew, Ricardo Mendoza Torres, Wendy Montoya, Miguel Moran, Grace Motley, Ruby Nunez, Alex Olivera, Natalie Omana, Dixie Palacios, Nathaniel Peralez, Kathy Perez, Maria Ramirez, Christin Rios, Ivan Torres, Noah Touchstone, Gabriella Urquidez, Daniel Uscanga, Joana Vargas, Juana Venegas-Jeronimo, William Washington and Jimmy Zamecki.

For more information about the Jobs Challenge, visit http://cajc.us.

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, 176 career-certificate programs, and degrees in 73 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 115-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.

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Aviation Department Coordinator Flies In Memorial Day Tribute

Capt. Ed Valdez, Cypress College’s aviation instructor, participated in a well-publicized Memorial Day tribute. He was among the aviators aboard the “Flabob Express,” a World War II-era DC-3 that flew in the lead group.

In all, about 14 vintage aircraft flew as the “D-Day Express” across Southern California on Monday, May 25, crossing above landmarks in San Bernardino, Riverside, Orange, and Los Angeles counties.

Valdez is aboard the light-colored plane in this group of three Douglas DC-3 aircraft.

Valdez is aboard the light-colored plane in this group of three Douglas DC-3 aircraft.

Valdez is the department coordinator for Cypress College’s Aviation & Travel Careers Department , as well as an instructor with the Commercial Pilot Program.

Ed Valdez flies the DC-3 "Flabob Expres.s"

Valdez’s view from the Douglas DC-3 “Flabob Express.”

In addition to teaching at Cypress, Valdez flies for United Airlines on the Boeing 757 and 767; he occasionally flies private Gulfstream G3 aircraft on a contract basis as well.

Recently, he was invited to fly the Flabob Express (a Douglas DC-3) as a volunteer pilot, and is currently in training for the aircraft.

MAD Film Fest Premieres Online

The Media Arts Design Film Showcase debuts today, to display the work of MAD students and , this year, to offer alumni contributions. In keeping with government guidelines to limit the spread of the Coronavirus, this year’s festival will take place online.

According to Professor Ian Holmes, digital cinema coordinator, the virtual event features 50 works from live-action narrative films, to stop-motion animations, to motion graphics title sequences. You can see all entries here.

Originally, the MAD department planned to hold an alumni film showcase in April, separate from the the annual student event. The campus closure related to COVID-19 caused organizers to rethink the two events and combine them into one.

Mort Sci Student Answers Call to Volunteer Assistance with Coronavirus Victims

The spread of COVID-19 continues to grow nationwide, and the need for medical responders rises with it. The duty of first responders, such as doctors and nurses, is well known, but there is also a call for last responders: workers who tend to those who have passed.

The National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) alerted its members that volunteers in heavily affected areas would be valuable in addressing the pandemic. Several have responded, including a student in Cypress College’s Mortuary Science program named Soraya Pitram.

“I was already packed and ready to go — I had my scrubs — and then they told me that they had sufficient staff,” Pitram said. She planned to work in New York City for two weeks at a medical center teaching hospital.

Pitram, who is in her second year of the program and works in the industry at two Orange County funeral homes, had secured the proper identification and was fully prepared. Volunteers in closer proximity, however, were selected to fill in for the NFDA’s requested two-week volunteer rounds.

“What I’ll be doing now, since I have my ID, is that I have access to all volunteer opportunities,” Pitram said. “When people’s two weeks are over, I’ll have a chance to go.”

Pitram says this is unlike other NFDA calls for last responder volunteers, such as during Hurricane Katrina, where the experience is to do recovery after a catastrophe has occurred. She says in this case, the need for last responders will ebb and flow as the Coronavirus infection curve flattens and possibly resurges.

“Honestly, with how things are going in California, I might get sent to Sacramento or LA or somewhere more populated,” Pitram said. “Who knows how long this is going to last.”

Go MAD This Semester

This spring, several courses offer a variety of ways to learn or improve computer illustration, modeling, and projection mapping, among other skills. These Media Arts Design classes can help expand and enhance your professional portfolio or provide enrichment if you are simply interested in digital design.

Learn art that you can apply with the following courses, which still have availability for the upcoming spring semester. Visit myGateway today to enroll.

MAD 104 C – Intro to 3D Graphics-Mac (3 units)
MAD 105 C – Intro to 3D Graphics-Win (3 units)

Find out about 3D computer graphics, with an emphasis on 2D paint and 3D modeling and animation software used in animation. You’ll create original 3D still and animation imagery for your portfolio. This course is a gateway into the variety of classes for the Art Computer Graphics program, where you can pursue more in-depth study on the topic(s) you were drawn to during this introductory class.


MAD 106 C – Social Media Vlog Production (3 units)

Examine the evolving role social media and video play in cultural and corporate 21st Century life. You will learn to create a Vlog (Video Blog), and shoot and edit video and audio content. You’ll create a plan to distribute and market your Vlog brand identity.


MAD 112 C – Electronic Illustration-Mac (3 units)
MAD 113 C – Electronic Illustration-Window (3 units)

Learn how to generate Mac and Windows Postscript (vector) images for desktop publishing/page layout software and as standalone images with high-resolution output. In these classes, professional artists can build basic Mac and Windows skills needed for employment and/or advancement.


MAD 120 C – 3D Modeling-Mac (3 units)
MAD 121 C – 3D Modeling-Windows (3 units)

These courses focus on the introduction of Mac and Windows creation techniques for making three-dimensional computer graphics content. Classes emphasize 3D modeling and animation tools, menu structures, and model-building applications.


MAD 201 C – 3D Typography for Media Design (3 units)

This intermediate typography course focuses on graphic communication usage. Learn how to develop concepts, layout, and presentations. Projects include lettering design, layout, and 3D typography. You’ll learn electronic design techniques in 2 dimensional and 3 dimensional forms.


MAD 207 C – Projection Map/Live Entertain (3 units)

Get an overview of the many uses of projection mapping with an emphasis on 2D and 3D design to make digital presentations. You will create projection mapping projects for public display.

Former HRC Instructor Meets Challenges on ‘Chopped’

Blackmarket Bakery owner Rachel Klemek can work under pressure. She runs three bakeries, has four kids, and counts herself as a former Hotel, Restaurant & Culinary Arts faculty member of Cypress College. And now, she can call herself a “Chopped” episode champion and season finale runner-up.

We asked her a few questions about her experience. She offered an inside glimpse of the popular cooking competition show, as well as some sound advice that works in and out of the kitchen.

How did you get involved in being on the show “Chopped?”
Back in October of 2018, I received an email from a casting company requesting that I apply to “Chopped.” At that time, I hadn’t seen more than a few snippets from “Chopped” over the years but thought I should just give it a try anyway. My family strongly discouraged me, given how challenging it looked. Being an optimist, I filled out their app online and submitted a few videos of myself baking. A Skype interview and a more in-depth phone interview followed. Even then, I didn’t think I would get cast. Then, a producer called to schedule my “bio-pack,” where a crew filmed in the bakery location. But the producer warned that nothing was decided. Then, three weeks before the first episode filmed, they emailed to say that I was cast in a dessert episode and needed to get to NYC! I memorized and tested as many “fast” recipes as possible, not knowing what kinds of desserts I would be making.

At the start of the “Sweets Showdown: Cake” episode, you said your philosophy on the show was to “Keep Calm and Cake On.” Is this your motto for everyday life, too?

I think I came up with that on the spot, at the producer’s prompt to have a tagline. But in essence, I aspire to follow that advice. Freaking out about stuff is not productive, but sometimes it still happens!

You called one of the judges on the show, Sylvia Weinstock, a legend. Did that make you more nervous?
The whole process of filming was completely nerve-wracking, but I don’t know if any particular judge made it any more so. Sylvia Weinstock was a trailblazer in exquisite sugar flowers and incredible tiered cakes, so I was familiar with her stature in the industry but decided that being overly intimidated would be a handicap so tried to act as normal and confident as possible.

Squid-ink toffee — what inspired you? It was very popular!

Toffee is basically sugar, butter, water and a bit of salt. Since the salt is necessary to balance the sweetness, the saltiness of the squid ink seemed like it would work well. My mistake was adding the squid ink before the toffee was completely cooked, since I relied on the color to tell doneness. Luckily, I was able to guess when the toffee reached temperature (before burned and turned bitter) by the bubbles. Plus seafood and butter made sense to me!

You said the other contestants’ Bundt cakes were simpler. Do you think your more complex take helped you?
I think substituting the tomato soup as part of the liquid in the cake was the key to my surviving that round. Adding ganache and caramel, which seemed like a good idea for a dessert, was perceived by the judges as going overboard…

What did you win for being the best chef of that episode?
For winning the Chopped Cake episode, I won the chance to go back and compete in the Sweets Finale. And the ability to claim that I am a Chopped Champion. That’s it!

For the finale, the pressure seemed stronger. And did the ingredients seem weirder?
The ingredients were pretty weird in all six of my rounds (in both shows), but in every round there were at least two items that were easier to address. With Martha Stewart judging and that $50,000 on the line, the pressure was more intense in the finale.

It appeared as if the closer the show drew to the end, the more camaraderie there was among contestants. Did you feel that way?
Not particularly. In between rounds, there was a minimum of conversation between contestants. We were all coping with a very stressful situation together, but since we were still in it, I think we all kept pretty focused and to ourselves.

What was the most intimidating/challenging thing in that episode? What was the best?
Making a dessert to flambé was really tough for me. A new experience! I considered using the cotton candy machine but hadn’t done so before and didn’t want to count on it without any prior experience. The high point was making desserts for Martha Stewart and hearing positive feedback. One of my favorite cookbooks as a young baker was Martha Stewart’s Pies and Tarts, so I am a huge fan!

You got good feedback on your flavor. And your flambé looked so pretty! Judge Alex Guarnaschelli said you are “such an unbelievable baker.” Is that how you were able to walk away saying you were “feeling like a winner for sure”?

Going into the whole “Chopped” experience, I had no expectation of getting through even one round. So winning one episode and being the runner up in another constitutes a big accomplishment in my view. Being a business owner, I spend lots of time on office stuff like marketing, hiring, accounting, scheduling, etc and not much in the kitchen anymore. So I was proud to have gotten as far as I did!

Is there anything you learned from the experience that you might bring back to your students?

My take-away from filming two “Chopped” episodes is:
1. Practice, prepare, and be as ready as possible (for life, for baking, for anything)
2. Trust your instincts
3. Do work you are proud of
4. Remember to have fun and not take yourself too seriously

Cypress College Career Technical Education Receives Two Awards

Automotive Technology instructor Russell Bacarella and student Gable Kemma-Berg received the Instructor Finalist Award and a Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Scholarship, respectively, last month at the 2019 SEMA Education Event in Las Vegas.

The three-day event, part of the annual SEMA show and organized by SEMA and the North American Council of Automotive Teachers (NACAT), saw approximately 2,000 students and instructors from across the United States and Canada.

Bacarella, a master Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certified technician who has been teaching since 1999, received his award at the Educator of the Year Awards banquet. With approximately 200 instructors in attendance, Bacarella and two instructors from across North America received the honor for fostering the professional development of promising new students. The award is open to anyone who teaches automotive-related instruction including auto tech, diesel and collision, and recognizes instructors who implement and emphasize aftermarket technology in their classrooms.

Additionally, Cypress student Kemma-Berg received a $3,000 SEMA Student Scholarship, created to introduce and encourage students studying automotive, diesel or collision to pursue careers in the automotive aftermarket industry.

As the largest automotive organization in the world, SEMA has roughly 21,000 corporate members. The annual SEMA Show hosts over 200,000 annually during the four-day event in Las Vegas.

Hospitality & Culinary Students Tour Marriott

In late October, Hotel, Restaurant, and Culinary Arts students toured Marriott Anaheim to hear from professionals in their field and see where a degree or certificate from the HRC program could take them.

The field trip included students from the Hospitality Law class and the Hospitality Leadership class. Marriott gave an orientation and walked students and faculty, including professors Jeannette Jones and Lisa Clark, through the heart of the house to hear from managers and key associates.

“It was especially fun to hear from the Banquet Chef, Patrick Duralde, former Cypress alumni,” Clark says. “We have dozens of students working for Marriott with many more over the years. Marriott is a long-standing educational partner. They serve on our advisory board, offer field trips, guest speak, attend career fairs and, of course, hire and develop our students.”

Professor Jones also works on call with Marriott. Clark calls her connections “invaluable” in coordinating these opportunities.

Instructor Exhibits in Louvre Museum

This month, Cypress College art instructor Paul Paiement exhibited at the Louvre museum in Paris during a special event. Annual art fair Le Carrousel du Louvre took place October 18-20 and included artists selected by a committee, based on nominations. Paul’s European art dealer Adelinda Allegretti submitted his work for consideration.

“It’s a huge honor to exhibit my paintings in the largest and most prestigious art museum in the world,” Paul said. “Drilling a screw into the same walls that house Leonardo da Vinci’s ‘Mona Lisa’ was an incredible experience.”

Paiement selected four paintings from his Nexus series to exhibit. He was able to complete these paintings during a sabbatical from teaching at Cypress, a period in which he says he was “more prolific than I’ve ever been.”

The resulting work was well received at the show; Paul says the pieces created a lot of dialogue among visitors, and his painting ‘Nexus — Ronan, Montana’ was selected and published in the exhibition catalog.

“It was all very real,” Paul said. “By real, I mean tangible. I’ve read, seen documentaries, and heard stories about the Louvre. It’s has a ‘larger than life’ mythology. It has the largest and most comprehensive art collection the world has ever seen. Assisting the museum staff in the installation of my artwork was very real.”

The work exhibited in Paris was painstakingly created. Paul says during the school year, one of his paintings can take anywhere from 3-14 months to complete; during his sabbatical, his goal has been to complete one painting a month — based on a 40-60 hour week. The sabbatical continues until spring 2020 but even when Paul returns he will find a way to continue on this creative streak.

“I don’t find time to create — I create time to create art,” he says. While teaching, he commits to working in his studio three to five days a week.

Paul’s Nexus series bridges natural backdrops and engineered structures. It incorporates the elements that inspire him.

“I draw inspiration from concepts and questions about our reality. Questions like who are we? Who am I? What is nature? Am I part of nature? I hope these concepts are communicated to the viewer in my paintings.”

To view more of Paul’s exhibited work, click on his Carrousel du Louvre link here. You can see additional paintings by visiting his personal website here.

Cypress College Career Technical Education Counselor Named Counselor of the Year

The Orange County Career Education Community College Network recently named Cypress College Career Technical Education Counselor Dr. Jane Jepson as a 2019 Counselor of the Year. The award, given each year to counselors who excel in a number of areas pertaining to student and career success, will be presented at the 2019 OC Counselor Symposium on Thursday, November 7.

“Dr. Jepsen is good-natured, positive, and hard-working, but most importantly she has demonstrated an empathetic understanding and sensitivity to her students,” said Cypress College Vice President of Student Services Dr. Paul de Dios. “She has earned the respect of administrators, faculty, and students. She is committed to student learning, assessment of learning outcomes, and helping students reach their goals. I can attest to the significant impact she made not only in the lives of her students, but for the community as well. She has truly made, and continues to make, a difference.”

Counselor of the Year recipients promote student enrollment, and college and career readiness; advocate for the integration of academic, personal, and career learning; are knowledgeable in current goals, changes, and processes of the community college system; collaborate with other counselors; engage in ongoing professional development efforts; and possess collaborative and leadership capabilities in their current role.

“It is a labor of love to work with a diverse population of students seeking better, more productive, and engaged lives in a progressive educational environment,” said Jepsen. “It is my pleasure to be recognized for what is the best job ever, which is providing information and inspiration to people wanting to enrich their lives with relevant knowledge and skills.”

Jepsen said she shares the honor with all Orange County Career Education counselors with whom she shares a commitment to championing career education at the community college level and the students who have touched her life over the years.

“Each student is dear to me, special because of the uniqueness of their aspirations and background and desire to be the best they can be,” she said. “And although I may not remember the details of each student’s story from month to month and year to year, I hope each one of them knows I am a vessel for their hopes and dreams, and a witness to their challenges and accomplishments.”

Jepsen received her master’s degree in counseling and recently completed her doctorate in social and environmental pedagogies at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco. Her research, subtitled “Finding Meaning, Locating Praxis and Connecting to Place,” focuses on alternative ways of knowing and being in a world of interconnected social and environmental inequities and injustices. In fall 2020, she will launch a Global Citizenship Studies program.

Jepsen currently serves on Cypress College’s curriculum committee, oversees the Perkins and Strong Workforce grants, and teaches “Educational Planning” for the Counseling Division and “Cultural Tourism” for the college’s Aviation and Travel Careers program. In her free time, she enjoys traveling and gardening and is a strong advocate for creating ecologically friendly habitats of native, bee and bird-attracting plants in home gardens.

Over 700 counselors are anticipated to attend the 2019 OC Counselor Symposium, which will be held at the Anaheim Marriott Hotel and focuses on supporting student wellness and success through academic, career, and social/emotional support and development.

AC&R Program Passes Accreditation

Cypress College’s Air Conditioning & Refrigeration Program passed a reaccreditation visit on Oct. 3, ensuring its accreditation for six more years.

Members of validation group HVAC Excellence, which sets educational program standards and verifies their fulfillment, met with Cypress faculty Doug Sallade, Carlos Urquidi, and Richard Hock to tour the Air Conditioning & Refrigeration facilities and review curriculum.

The Air Conditioning & Refrigeration program offers an associate degree and nine certificates, ranging from core knowledge to a four-semester long comprehensive certificate. The Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges job placement rate reports that 93% of recent program graduates were hired in their field. The US Department of Labor projects a 15% growth in employment by 2026 for Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers.

The photo above shows the faculty and HVAC Excellence team. From left to right: Sallade, HVAC Excellence Accreditation Specialist James Crisp, Urquidi, Esco Group Director of Technical Education & Standards Eugene Silberstein, Hock, and HVAC Excellence Accreditation Specialist Steven Allen.

Associate Degree Nursing ACEN Accreditation Site Visit Oct. 9, 2019

Public Notice of Upcoming Accreditation Review Visit by the ACEN

The Cypress College Registered Nursing Program is hosting a site review for continuing accreditation of its Associate Degree program by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).

You are invited to meet the site visit team and share your comments about the program in person at a meeting scheduled at Cypress College in TE3-203 (Health Science, Building 13) on Wednesday, October 9, 2019, from 12:45–1:45 p.m.

Written comments are also welcomed and should be submitted directly to:

Dr. Marsal Stoll, Chief Executive Officer
Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing
3343 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 850
Atlanta, GA 30326
Or email: mstoll@acenursing.org

All written comments should be received by the ACEN by Wednesday, October 2, 2019.

Click here for more information on the Cypress College Nursing Program.

Cypress College’s Automotive Technology Program Named Toyota’s Top T-TEN School in the U.S.

Cypress College’s Automotive Technology Program swept the recent Toyota Technician Training & Education Network (T-TEN) awards — including being named the #1 T-TEN program in the nation. The announcements came at the recent Toyota Technician Training & Education Network (T-TEN) awards held at Lakes Community College in Laconia, New Hampshire.

“I am proud and deeply appreciative of the standard set and maintained by our Automotive Technology Program,” said Cypress College President JoAnna Schilling, Ph.D. “The department is constantly searching for ways to set the bar higher and provide the best possible learning experience for our students. Being recognized in this way shows the hard work and dedication of our students and staff to this lucrative field.”

Cypress College was the recipient of three awards:

  • T-TEN ASE Award for the highest per student pass rate, 6.4 of 8, of available Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certification tests;
  • T-TEN Techstream Award — presented to only two, two-year colleges — for graduating 15 or more students this past year; and
  • T-TEN Top School Award, given to the school with the most graduating students and highest ASE pass rate in 2019.

The T-TEN awards recognized certified programs that have excelled and met the standards set by Toyota.

In recognition of these accomplishments, Cypress College’s Automotive Technology Program will receive four new Techstream scan tools, valued at $8,000. These four Techstream scanners will join the two Techstream tools acquired by the program in 2019 and will improve student access during practice lab on-vehicle diagnosis.

“This past May, we were able to graduate 17 students, which was the highest number of graduates of all 38 T-TEN programs across the United States,” Dr. Schilling said. “Eight of those graduates received all eight available ASEs. Our program is focused on ensuring students earn a livable wage after completing the program. Students with all eight certifications are valuable employees to dealerships and can perform almost all available warranty and recall work. These students are poised to earn over $60,000 within the first 18 months of employment, and over $75,000 within three years.”

The Toyota T-TEN program at Cypress College is a cooperative, two-year training program designed to enhance the technical and professional competency of Toyota and Lexus dealership technicians. Students participate in classroom and laboratory sessions using current Toyota and Lexus vehicles and components to receive valuable work experience at a Toyota and Lexus dealership. Cypress College’s program has been part of the T-TEN family of schools since 1990 and begins a new cohort every summer.

Cypress College students typically receive over 1,000 hours of internship during the 63 units of coursework needed to complete the program and graduates have received positions as shop foreman, service managers at local and regional offices, as well as returned to Cypress College to teach part-time in the college’s general automotive program. All instructors in Cypress College’s National Automobile Technician Education Foundation (NATEF)-certified program are National Institute of Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) Master Technician Certified. For additional information, visit cypresscollege.edu/academics/divisions-special-programs/career-technical-education/automotive-technology/toyota-t-ten.

About Toyota T-TEN

Toyota’s Technician Training & Education Network (T-TEN) is a partnership between Toyota, community colleges, vocational schools and Toyota and Lexus dealerships to develop and place thousands of factory certified technicians in challenging, rewarding and well-paid positions in over 1,400+ Toyota and Lexus dealerships across the country. The T-TEN program provides state-of-the art, hands-on automotive diagnosis and repair education and training in classroom and dealership settings. Since its inception in 1986, T-TEN has been considered as the auto manufacturers’ benchmark for technician career-entry programs, with over 10,000 students that have completed the program and received Toyota factory Certification. Each year 9 out of 10 T-TEN graduates are hired by a Toyota or Lexus dealer.

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, 176 career-certificate programs, and degrees in 73 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 115-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.

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Note: View the news release

Cypress College Aviation Program Adds Full-Motion Simulator to Enhance Technical Skills

Cypress College is home to a full-motion, twin-engine flight simulator.

Cypress College recently announced the addition of a full-motion, Twin-Engine Reciprocating & Turbine Motion Simulator to its new Aviation Lab.

The Twin-Engine Reciprocating & Turbine Motion Simulator enables Cypress College instructors to train aspiring pilots for their initial private pilot certificates. This on-the-ground training saves students between 30 and 60 hours of flight time, equating to a savings of $7,500 to $15,000.

“This new simulator will enhance the training we’re able to provide students,” said Cypress College President JoAnna Schilling, Ph.D. “It dramatically reduces FAA required flight training times, providing our students with an economical path to the completion of their flight program. We couldn’t have made this purchase without the donation we received from an anonymous donor last year.”

Last October, Cypress College was the recipient of the largest individual gift in campus history when an anonymous donor provided a $1 million donation to the college’s aviation program. The donation was earmarked to transform Cypress’ state-of-the-art flight simulator lab into the region’s best public facility, support Cypress’ flying team, and be used toward the purchase of an airplane. In addition to the new Twin-Engine Reciprocating & Turbine Motion Simulator, four FAA certified simulators will soon be installed to better enhance the attainment of technical skills and increase student completion rates. The five simulators are part of the ultimate plan for the Aviation Lab to include eight flight simulators, with one slated as a full-motion multi-engine turbo-prop simulator. The college is home to a unique simulator that mirrors the recently released Boeing 737 Max commercial jet.

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, 176 career-certificate programs, and degrees in 73 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 115-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.

Note: View the news release

#CYProud: Musab Awad, Registered Nursing

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 2019.

Musab Awad

Many times, education is a family affair. Musab Awad followed in his mother’s footsteps when he chose to attend Cypress College. Interested in science and the human body from a young age, Musab, one of four sons to a single mother, graduated from the college’s Registered Nursing program. He currently works at Hoag and and is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing at California State University, Fullerton.

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

I grew up here in Orange County, but we traveled out of the country many times during my childhood. My interests were mainly toward science and the human body. My mom is a single parent and when we moved back to the States in 2008, my mother was stuck with four kids, an apartment with no steady income to pay rent, and no college education. She found out about Cypress College and attended full time while working to support us. She was in EOPS, which provided her with much-needed support and relief. She motivated us to always move forward with our education and never settle for simple things in life. She taught us to aim high and work hard for everything we do in life. She introduced me to nursing and helped me to become the nurse I am today.

Why did you choose Cypress College?

Nursing was a competitive major and most programs were impacted and some were expensive. I applied to many nursing programs, but Cypress College had a great nursing program. It was also near my place of residence.

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

I wasn’t involved very much since most of my time was spent toward earning A’s on my prerequisite nursing classes and supporting my mom while she was out working. I helped manage the house, cook dinner, laundry, any kind of chores that would bring relief to my mom when she got back from work.

What are you most passionate about? Why?

I am passionate about helping others in their worst times.

Who are the faculty and staff that have helped you get where you are today?

All the Registered Nursing and EOPS faculty and staff!

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

I am currently working at Hoag and pursuing my bachelor’s degree in nursing at California State University, Fullerton.

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

I plan to continue to work and experience the different areas in nursing. I plan to go for my master’s degree afterward. I aspire to be the best nurse I can be and continue to serve people in need.

What are you most proud of?

I am most proud of my class for becoming registered nurses.

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

Make good connections and make new friends. It’s hard tackling things alone.

#CYPossible: Pedro Romero-Nieva Santos, ESL

Pedro travelled far to begin his Cypress College journey. The strength he possessed from his supportive family upbringing in Madrid, Spain, not to mention his dedication to sports, helped him gain a foothold in his new life abroad. The Cypress ESL faculty and staff also assisted Pedro in his new life, and he credits the program with boosting his ability to seize his dreams. Combined with the network he was able to build within the college’s athletic program, Pedro reflects warmly on his time at Cypress as the gateway to his coaching career.

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

My coaching career and academic formation started in my home city of Madrid, Spain, back in 2006. I earned my bachelor’s degree in kinesiology, exercise science, from the Universidad Politecnica in Madrid where I graduated in 2011. During the last three years of my degree, I had the opportunity to study high performance conditioning soccer coaching under the current Real Madrid Fitness Coach, Dr. Javier Mallo, who has had a huge impact on my professional and personal development within the field of coaching. Between 2008 and 2011, I also combined my education with practical experience on the field coaching at both youth and professional soccer academies in Madrid.

In 2012 I had the opportunity to move overseas to play soccer and study at Cypress College, California, where I played for the soccer team and earned a certificate in athletic coaching in 2013. After this, and thanks to the relationship I built within the coaching staff at Cypress College, I began my coaching career in the United States at the community college, high school, and club levels.

Why did you choose to attend Cypress College and how did being a student here help you find your first position after completion?

I was playing in Spain back in 2011 when I was contacted by a company that promoted soccer players from Europe, all around universities and colleges in the United States. They came to my games and filmed me playing to then send the videos to the United States. I received several offers to play soccer from colleges in Utah, Chicago, and finally Cypress College reached out. I always wanted to move to California, so that was an excellent opportunity for me to live there and learn English while experiencing college and soccer life abroad. My year as a student athlete at Cypress College was incredibly positive and rewarding for my personal and professional development. The coaching staff was extremely nice with me, which helped a lot in order to build a very close relationship that still to this day I keep with every one of them. My teammates welcomed me with open arms from the beginning, and I also developed some great friendships that I still keep. Academically, Cypress College helped me a lot to improve in my English, and to further my knowledge within the field of kinesiology. I also developed great relationships and friendships with some of the professors that I still keep to these days. Overall Cypress College helped me to build a very strong bond with the American culture, motivating me to stay here and make a living in the States. I have to say that if it wasn’t for the amazing experience I had at Cypress College, and the relationships I developed, I would have probably moved back to Spain after one year.

What were you involved in at Cypress College? How did your path unfold and who were the faculty and staff who have helped you along that path?

I got accepted into Cypress College for the 2012/13 academic course. I was enrolled in the Athletic Coach Certificate, English as Second Language, and I was also a part of the Men’s Soccer Program. I was there for only one season, but it was an extremely rewarding and productive experience. There were so many people at Cypress College who helped me in my first year living and studying in the United Sates, and I couldn’t ask for a better experience than the one I had at Cypress.

To begin with, I would like to make a special mention to the International Student staff, Yongmi Han and Gina Marrocco, who helped me with my visa paperwork, helped me to adapt to the cultural and lifestyle differences, and made my life much easier overall.

Within the field of kinesiology and athletic coaching, I was able to establish and develop very good relationships with professionals from the field of athletic training, coaching, and teaching such as Coach [Margaret] Mohr, or Scott Tucker, among others, who made a very positive impact in my personal and professional growth. On the soccer field, I developed very strong friendships among the teammates, some of them still last to this day.

Among the coaching staff I have to say I developed very strong bonds with them from day one. Head Coach Ed Kephart welcomed me to the team with open arms and allowed me to be part of the team in what I consider it was a great season. I also developed very good friendships with assistant coaches Tony Barber and Martin Wallwork, who helped me on and off the field especially in my first and second year in the States. Finally, assistant coach Mike Stauber made the biggest impact in my journey by helping me to pursue my coaching career in Southern California, and becoming not only a mentor but also one of my best friends to this day. Lastly, I would like to give a special mention to Professor Kathryn Wada who not only taught me English as my ESL professor, but most importantly became my “American mom” who always has looked after me, and continues doing so. I am extremely grateful for her help, her advice, and her belief in me from day one. She is definitely one of the reasons I am where I am today.

What did you pursue after completing your studies at Cypress College (at your transfer institution, in the workforce, etc.) and where are you now?

After completing my studies at Cypress College, and thanks to the relationship I built within the coaching staff at Cypress College, I began my coaching career in the United States at the community college, high school, and club levels. I helped Cypress College during the 2014 and 2016 seasons as Assistant Coach and Strength and Conditioning Coach. At the high school level, I worked at Kennedy High School in La Palma from 2013 to 2015 as the Girls Varsity Head Coach. In 2015, I was offered as position at Canyon High School, located in Anaheim Hills, California, as the Program Director and Girls Varsity Head Coach. In my last season with the Comanches (2017/2018), I was offered to take over both the boys and girls programs as Program Director and Varsity Head Coach. During my time at Canyon High School, the Girls Program won two league titles in three seasons. While at Canyon I created, developed, and implemented the curriculum for all levels (Varsity, Junior Varsity, and Frosh/Soph); moreover, I developed several players to transition to youth national teams all over the country as well as to D1 schools such as the University of Southern California, University of Arizona, University of South Carolina, Kansas University, and Texas Tech University among others. At the club level, I coached at Chelsea Soccer Club and Pateadores Soccer Club, in Orange County, before I moved up to be part of the Pateadores Academy coaching staff from 2016-2018, which provided me with the opportunity to implement their curriculum as well as to develop players to the highest levels of the collegiate, national, and professional levels.

In 2016 I decided to further my education at Azusa Pacific University, combining my graduate level coursework with practical experience on the field. In 2018, thanks to my thesis titled, “The Influence of Small Sided Games in Soccer Tactical Periodization,” I got an internship with the Los Angeles Galaxy. I have spent the last year working as the Sports Science and Performance Associate at the LA Galaxy First and Second teams. After that, I was offered to be the Strength and Conditioning Coach for the LA Galaxy Academy, as well as the U15s Head coach where I continue working to help the players achieve their maximum potential within the highest level of youth soccer in the country.

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

As a coach I aim to coach at the highest level. Currently I am involved in a professional club, working for an MLS academy, which allows me to have a direct contact with the highest level of youth soccer in the country, and access to the professional level as well. This unique environment is helping me within my personal and professional growth in the field of coaching. As an aspiration, and future goals, I would like to see myself coaching at the professional level or involved in it at any coaching role possible, but I am aware of the difficulties that this goal entails. Therefore I continue enjoying the journey, and living the current experience of coaching at the LA Galaxy Academy to its full potential. Whatever happens next will depend on what I do now. If you had told me 10 years ago that I would be coaching at the LA Galaxy Academy, I would probably call you crazy. Life can take you places you have never imagined and this is why I am focused on my current journey here at the LA Galaxy, and the amazing learning experience this has been so far.

What are you most passionate about? Why?

Coaching is my true passion. I want to make a positive impact to the players I coach, not only as soccer players but most importantly as good people, and good individuals. I truly believe in sports as one of the most powerful tools in our society in order to influence and impact people by promoting positive values. Therefore my ultimate goal as a coach, is not only develop players to their best and full potential soccer-wise, but also and ultimately, to develop good people and good individuals preparing them for their future life within positive values, morals, and principles that can help and guide them to become the best version of themselves they can possibly be in their future careers and life.

There is nothing more rewarding as a coach than seeing a player growing and developing as a mature individual who is able to deal and cope with his life in the best way possible through the practice of soccer. I have always felt attracted by sports, and have participated in multiple sports since a very early age, although soccer has always been my main passion and I would even say an obsession. My passion for sports in general and soccer in particular kept growing as I grew up. The older I became the more interested I was in everything regarding sports, the benefits of sport in the human body, and how to improve people’s life through sports. I knew from my early high school years that I wanted to study kinesiology and later on I decided to specialize in sport science and high-performance conditioning soccer coaching. In my last years of playing, I started discovering a new passion in me within the field of coaching and how to impact players on and off the field within a particular philosophy of coaching and style of playing. There was not such a special or critical moment in my life that drew me to this field, but the fact that I have always involved in sports from an early age, and the support I have always felt from my family at pursuing what made me happy, were indicators that lead me toward the field of sports and everything related to it.

What are you most proud of?

I have to say that moving by myself to California from my hometown of Madrid, Spain, and leaving my family there, has been the toughest but most rewarding experience of my life, and I am definitely most proud of everything that has happened to me since. Moving to California changed my life from day one due to the different challenges I had to face. From speaking English (which I struggled with a lot during my first few months), to adapting to a complete different culture, developing new friendships, and adjusting to the challenges that any college student has to but in a completely different environment than what I was used to. I was the first member of my family to move abroad, and the fact that I have been able to live here for the past seven years, earned a master’s degree, and currently been coaching at one of the most prestigious soccer clubs in the nation is something that makes me very proud. Another thing I am very proud of is that I have been able to do all this by carrying the morals, principles, and work ethic that my family always taught me from day one. And not only that, but I have also tried to impact the student-athletes that I have coached within the same morals and principles that my family raised me with, through the practice of soccer, communicating it all in a different language, and in a completely different culture.

If you could do it all over again, what would you do differently?

I don’t think I would change anything I did in the past. I truly believe that everything in life happens for a reason and that the way I am today is the result of my previous experiences. Therefore I wouldn’t change anything from the past, because these experiences (good and bad) have shaped me the way I am today, and has taken me to where I am right now.

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

Probably the best advice I can possibly give current students is to get out there and master their craft with practical experience. In the field of physical education, sports science, coaching, and strength and conditioning, the hours on the field/class/gym are incredibly important in order to improve and grow. Besides the information from research articles, books, and other sources, the day-to-day job and being hands-on is what truly helps in terms of becoming a better professional who better understands the dynamics of athletes, teams, and groups of training.

Another piece of advice I would give to the students is to always connect with people from the same field. Networking is key, and in my particular experience, it has played a very important role since I moved to the United States. Making real and lasting connections with other coaches, players, and staff is important as you pursue your career goals. Given a certain level of academic education and preparation and theoretical foundations that can back up your work, how you connect with colleagues is key in order to achieve your goals. If it weren’t for the connections I have made through my practical experiences in the field of coaching, I would have never gotten to where I am now.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

Yes, I would like to motivate all the students at Cypress College to always dream big, have big goals in mind, and work toward them. Do not let bad experiences or others’ opinions get in the way of your goals, and keep working toward them. Always remember to enjoy and focus on the journey, not the destination, as life and experiences can take you places that you can never imagine.

#CYProud: Holly Herrera, Mortuary Science

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 2019.

Holly Herrera

Holly Herrera worked as an EMT until she decided she wanted a career focusing on the surviving family members of a trauma. Committed to working in the funeral industry, she returned to school to pursue an education in mortuary science while working full time and raising a family. Holly is now a licensed funeral director and registered apprentice embalmer at a funeral home in Corona. She also hopes to pursue a bachelor’s degree in forensics or criminalistics to one day work as an investigator for a coroner or in a similar medicolegal career.

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

I was born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee. Like most people, my childhood wasn’t ideal, but I am forever grateful for the experiences that have shaped me into the adult I am today. I currently live in the Inland Empire with my husband, our three children, and the most beautiful and talented fur-baby you have ever seen! I am also a licensed funeral director and a registered apprentice embalmer for a funeral home in Corona, California.

Professionally speaking, I come from a background of emergency medicine. During my time as an EMT, I encountered every aspect of humanity. I have seen the ugly, the terrifying, the promising, and the innocence of life. After some time, I felt compelled to move on to a new chapter of my career, this time focusing on the surviving family. It is a privilege to help families celebrate the life of their loved one.

Why did you choose Cypress College?

Once I had committed myself to working in the funeral industry, I began to research schools. When I found that Cypress was not only within a commutable distance, but also regarded as having one of the leading Mortuary Science programs, I knew it was meant to be. Returning to school after a hiatus of raising children and working in a different career path was daunting. I felt intimidated and unsure if I could do it. My first meeting with a counselor reassured me that I was making the right choice and just how lucky I was to attend Cypress.

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

It wasn’t until the third semester of my program that students and faculty were able to establish the Sigma Phi Sigma chapter here on campus. The purpose of our fraternity is to educate the public about the funeral industry and shed light on a field that is often misunderstood. I encourage all students to enhance their educational experience by participating in clubs and fraternities. You really owe it to yourself to give it a try.

What are you most passionate about? Why?

Not to sound cliché, but I am passionate about life. Since working in the funeral industry, I have come to appreciate just how little time we have on this earth. Witnessing firsthand how unpredictable death can be has put my own life into perspective. Time flies by. It is a precious gift that many of us take for granted. Spend the time you have with careful words and a forgiving heart.

Who are the faculty and staff that have helped you get where you are today?

Each faculty member of the mortuary program has positively contributed to my time here.

Professor Grande has become a mother figure to me, whom I hold in high regard. In an industry that is historically made up of men, she has worked her way to the top and is single-handedly the most knowledgeable person of funeral law. Jolena Grande is a force to reckon with, and I admire her tenacity and appreciate her nearly impossible homework load. Professor Grande, I thank you.

Dr. de la Cruz is an aristocrat of mortuary science. He is truly a student’s advocate and holds our best interests at heart. Not surprisingly, he is also one of the most generous people I have ever met. There is never a dull moment in a DLC class. He has created a drive in all of us to become the best we can possibly be, and to do so with unfailing integrity. Dr. de la Cruz, I thank you.

Professor Collins, the fashionista of mortuary science, has the best attitude and sense of humor, both of which are desperately needed in this industry! Her door is always open to students and she takes time to hear us out and find solutions to our problems. She relates to her students and her desire to help us succeed is genuine. Professor Collins, I thank you.

Professor McCament. There are not enough sweet words to describe this man. He is the most selfless soul, commuting unthinkable miles, all in the name of teaching. When my cohort first heard that he was retiring, we legitimately felt sad. There is no end to this man’s patience. I could not have asked for a better instructor and I feel confident in my own skillset thanks to his guidance. Professor McCament, I thank you.

Lastly, but certaintly not least, Professor Nichols. Even though we had a short time with you face-to-face, you managed to get us all excited for restorative art. Even though your days are spent outside of the classroom, you are always reachable and ready to help us with any concerns. More importantly you taught us not to take ourselves seriously and to enjoy our work. Professor Nichols, I thank you.

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

I am currently in a two-year apprenticeship for my embalmer’s license. I will continue to work both as a registered apprentice and a licensed funeral director. I look forward to applying what I have learned here at Cypress.

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

My plan is to begin my undergrad in forensics or criminalistics while I am completing my apprenticeship. My aspirations are to work in the capacity of an investigator for a coroner, or in another medicolegal position.

What are you most proud of?

I will be completely honest, when I received notification that I was selected to be recognized, initially I did not feel as if I deserved it. There have been many times during the duration of my program that I wanted to give up. Through the challenges of having a family, working full-time, and attending school full-time, I questioned my choice daily. However, I stuck with it, and I refused to back down. I am proud that I am just a few weeks of completing this chapter of my life and look forward to the next challenge.

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

I’d like to speak directly to those who find themselves wanting a change in careers, or who have spent their lives being a caretaker and now want to do something for themselves: You can do this. No matter what field calls your name, once you make that commitment, see it through. Life will throw all sorts of obstacles your way. There will be times that you will find yourself in tears questioning your decision. Those are the times that define us and show us just how fierce we are. Take the time to shed your tears, gather your thoughts, and move one foot in front of the other.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

I’d like to personally thank all the members of my cohort. We have been through some difficult times together, and I am honored to have stood alongside every one of you. I hope you all have learned something from me as I have learned from you. I wish you well and I hope to see you once again.

Fullerton 99s Visit Cypress College

The Aviation & Travel Careers Department hosted the monthly meeting on Wednesday, April 24, 2019 for the Fullerton Chapter of the Ninety-Nines, an organization of licensed women pilots from around the world. Students with an interest in aviation were invited to participate in the monthly meeting and enjoy pizza and drinks.

After the meeting, students and members moved to the Aircraft Simulation Lab and explored the features and possibilities of the equipment. The time in the simulator lab provided opportunities for students and members to work with one other, sharing knowledge and experiences across different age groups.

Fullerton 99s Member, Cypress Alum, and Pilot Kim Ernst

Students and members also had the opportunity for team building, by working together to solve navigation problems and by practicing crew resource management. The lab time also built confidence, by flying new types of aircraft, exploring aircraft systems, flying at sunset, and by practicing pilotage and navigation.

For more information about the Fullerton Chapter of the Ninety-Nines and scholarship opportunities, visit them on Facebook.

Anyone who is interested in Aviation, Travel Careers, Homeland Security, or UAV/UAS (drones) should attend the Aviation & Travel Careers Department’s Program Information Meeting on Friday, August 23, 2019 from 4:30–5:30 p.m.

ATC Students Attend Women in Aviation Conference

Twenty students from the Aviation & Travel Careers Department volunteered and attended the 30th Annual International Women in Aviation Conference. The conference this year was held at the Long Beach Convention Center March 14–16, 2019. Students who attended had the opportunity to interview with employers and see what future job opportunities are available to them. Student volunteers assisted with media development, silent auction, merchandising, and more. Students also had the opportunity to attend education sessions on careers, general aviation, leadership, pilots, and technical operations. Two of our students have recently obtained jobs from attending the Women in Aviation Conference. One is now working for Dynamic Aviation as a pilot and the other is working for JetSuiteX as a flight attendant.

More than 4,500 people, from 33 countries, attended the conference. Present were 170 companies representing the aviation industry, including unmanned aircraft vehicles. This year, Women in Aviation International awarded 146 scholarships, worth a total of $875,065.

For more information about Women in Aviation International, visit their website at wai.org.

The next conference will be held at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort, in Lake Buena Vista Florida.

Aviation Students Attend LAX AirEx Training

On April 10, 2019, 25 students from the Aviation & Travel Careers Department participated in the Los Angeles International Airport AirEx full-scale exercise plan. The exercise is held every three years to test the airport’s ability to respond to an accident at the Flight Path Museum, next to the airport on Imperial Highway. Students participated by acting as crew members and passengers with different injuries. Some of the students acting with fatal injuries were covered in fake blood. Participating in the event gave students the opportunity to see and experience emergency airport operations, walk onto restricted areas of the airport, get up close to commercial aircraft, and interact with first responders.

Pyrotechnics were used to start the event. First on the scene were the airport’s newly acquired Aircraft Rescue Firefighter (ARFF) rigs. This equipment has the ability to pierce the aircraft skin and spray water or foam directly into the cabin. Next on scene were Engine 51 and Rescue 51. These units are also located at the airport. Soon after, additional equipment arrived to begin triaging and treating victims. Crew members were also identified and isolated for safety, debriefing, and drug testing purposes. Responders said that passengers can sometimes become aggressive toward crew members, blaming them for the accident or injuries.

The simulation included volunteer victims and first responders.

The simulated event was that an Airbus A319 declared an emergency landing, due to the smell of fuel in the cabin. After the airplane landed, it was unable to stop and went off the runway, shearing off the left landing gear. When the aircraft finally stopped, a fire erupted on the right side of the aircraft.

In total there were about 150 victim volunteers, nearly 200 first responders, and approximately 300 observers.

+C Team Wins $2,000 Ideathon Prize, Trip to MIT

Cypress College teamed with ModoLabs to host the inaugural Ideathon™ on Saturday, April 13. Eleven teams qualified for the weekend’s competition, and vied for the grand prize of $2,000 and a trip to the 6th Annual Kurogo Mobile Conference at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, where they will have the chance to compete for a national prize of $10,000.

First-place winners, Team +C

The first-place team, +C, wanted “to make an app for the college students where they can post about the textbooks they want to sell. We have noticed it is very hard to access cheap books and sell your textbooks.”

Team Innovate took second place and a prize of $300.

Second-place winners, Team Innovate

“Many students are unaware of the plethora of educational resources found on campus,” the team stated. “For both incoming and previously enrolled students, it can get overwhelming to grasp a hold on everything. Our app targets incoming students and aims to inform them of the resources and assets that Cypress College has to offer. Our app addresses this challenge by providing an easy to use platform for students to be aware of particular office hours and available tutoring sessions. Our platform applies the use of an open forum that will allow students to communicate with each other, providing an educational and welcoming community feel for everyone.”

Third-place winners, Team STEM Cells

Placing third was team STEM Cells, whose app idea dealt with “how to establish good habits, to present resources and information on what a habit is, and how [to] effectively change [those] habits.”

For more information about the 2019 Digital Innovation & Ideathon Competition, visit our website here.

Dual Enrollment Students, Instructor, Place First at Auto Tech Competition

Five Cypress College Dual Enrollment students took top prize at a county-wide automotive technology competition last Saturday, March 23, and earned their instructor an award, too. The Orange County Automobile Dealers Association 26th Annual Technology Competition pitted 14 teams of high school students against each other in several categories at Hyundai Motor America in Fountain Valley, and offered thousands of dollars in prizes.

Five students from Western High School, who take Automotive Technology courses at Cypress College as part of the Dual Enrollment program, won First Place. Additionally, adjunct instructor David Endo, who worked and prepared the winning team, was granted the OCADA Teacher of the Year award.

The winning team, pictured with the car they get to bring back to the Cypress Auto Tech shop. Top row, left to right: Sergio Salgardo, David Endo, Andy Salgado. Bottom row: Jorge Torres, Andrew Campos, Salvador Ramos.

Prizes include more than $11,000 in Snap-On Tools and over $30,000 in scholarships, according to OCADA. The winning team also got to take a 2018 Hyundai back to their classroom shop for training purposes.

Auto Technology instructor Russel Bacarella taught the Western students in their Automotive Fundamentals class and was proud of their success.

“They’re competing with kids who have had as much as three, four years of experience,” Bacarella said. “They’ve had about a class and a half. They’ve done very well considering the time they’ve had to work with.”

The Dual Enrollment students competed against high schools such as Mission Viejo High School, Irvine High School, Loara High School, Katella High School, Buena Park High School, Rancho Alamitos High School, and those in Santiago Canyon, many of which have their own auto tech department, Bacarella says.

“It makes us feel like we are doing a pretty good job here, and hitting on the necessities,” Bacarella said. “There seems to be a gap between leaving high school and entering the workplace, and we’re doing the job of filling it in.”

Students were tested on theory and practical applications in several categories. Some of the tasks included electrical repairs, brake-related workstations, an online safety test, a suspension identification, and diagnosing engine mechanical failure. A STEM element asked competitors to construct and repair electrical circuits.

Cypress College instructors Dave Endo, Russ Bacarella, and Michael Klyde participated in planning meetings for the competition. In addition, Bacarella was the event chair; Endo was a team leader; Kelley and Klyde did separate two-hour seminars to help prepare the participants; and Beard and Klyde were event judges.

Cypress College’s own High School Auto Competition took place March 16 and included 14 teams of high school students putting their automotive technology education to the test. Tasks given to the two-person teams fell into six skills stations: tire rotation; brake rotor runout measurement; engine component measurement; scan tool operation; series circuits; and parallel circuits.

The top-place teams in the annual spring competition were:

  1. Western High School Team 1/Dual Enrollment
  2. Rancho Alamitos Team 1
  3. Western High School Team 2/Dual Enrollment
  4. Oxford/Kennedy All female team/Dual Enrollment

Other teams included Katella High School, Loara High School, Buena Park High School, and Santiago High School.

“What a great event! I’m so proud of our winners,” said Elizabeth Ovesen, adjunct counselor. She also extended “a special thank you to our wonderful instructors for their support and guidance.”

Prizes were donated by Mac Tools, Hedman Hedders, and K&N Performance Air Filters. The competition committee was made up of Russ Bacarella, Mike Beard, and Paul Kelly, and the support staff was Cypress College’s own automotive students.

OC Weekly Names Mortuary Science Chair to ‘OC People’ List for 2014

OC Weekly has included Cypress College Mortuary Science Department Chair Glenn Bower in its “annual Orange County People edition.” OC People 2014 celebrates the 30 “most fascinating people in Orange County,” according to the publication.

Person holding newspaper

In the feature on Bower, OC Weekly’s Taylor Hamby writes:

Whether you know him or not, the work of Glenn Bower has probably touched you. As the longtime director of mortuary science at Cypress College, he or someone in his seven-person staff has likely taught someone at the center of one of the most emotionally trying times of your life. The department is the only one of its kind at a community college in Southern California, one of just two such programs in the state.

Bower is quoted in the publication about the types of students who enroll in the Mortuary Science program.

Many students who enroll in the program have experienced a loss themselves and want to comfort others who will inevitably mourn someone’s passing. “Some had a great funeral experience, and they want to emulate that,” explains Bower. “Most of the people coming through have that internal drive to help people.”

OC Weekly also asked Bower about a view of “the funeral-service industry as a depressing or macabre”:

“It’s a great business to be in to help people,” he says. “This is an emotionally hazardous time. To lose somebody of such relational significance is very hard to do.”

The full piece is an enjoyable read and provides additional insight to the industry and some background about Bower, including how he — and the entire Mort Sci faculty — are Cypress College alumni.

Nursing Program Accreditation Site Visit on March 11 and 12

Cypress College’s Nursing Program will host some special visitors this week as members of the Board of Registered Nursing accreditation site-visit team will be on campus each day, from 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Computer and stethoscope

Members of the visit team will be available for appointments from any interested party on Wednesday, March 12, from 1-2 p.m. in Tech Ed II/Health Science, Room 201. Appointments can be made though the Health Science Division office by calling (714) 484-7283. Such individual visits facilitate any public comment and provide students and faculty the opportunity for private interaction with the site visitors.

High School Students Compete in Third Cypress College Automotive Competition

Cypress College’s Third High School Auto Competition included competition from seven two-student teams. The students competed in tasks at six different skills stations: tire rotation; brake rotor runout measurement; engine component measurement; scan tool operation; series circuits; and parallel circuits.

Snap-On Tools provided prizes for first through third place. All participants received hats and sponsor t-shirts.

students who competed in Cypress College's High School Auto Competition #3

Seven two-person teams competed at Cypress College’s High School Auto Competition #3, which was held on Thursday, January 9, 2013.

Also attending the event, held by Cypress College’s Toyota T-TEN automotive technology program, where high school instructors, parents, and students. The event helps emphasize to high school students and their parents the high-tech skills required for employment in the automotive industry, as well as the potential career paths.

Cypress College employees responsible for the successful event include automotive technology faculty and staff members: Michael Klyde, Louis Krebbs, Lidia Coman, Russ Bacarella, and Marty Orozco.