Call for Nominations for 2018 Americana Citizens of the Year

On Saturday, February 10, 2018 Cypress College will hold its 43rd annual Americana Awards, sponsored by Union Bank. In addition to honoring a Man or Woman of the Year, the College will pay tribute to a deserving individual or couple as Citizen(s) of the Year from: La Palma, Los Alamitos/Rossmoor, Seal Beach, Stanton, Anaheim, Buena Park, Cypress and Garden Grove.

Please consider nominating an individual or a couple for this prestigious award.

Criteria for Nomination:

  • Lives, works or serves in the city in which he/she is nominated;
  • Is well-known, highly regarded and has remained active in the community for the past five years;
  • Will attract participation and help ensure the event’s success (proceeds benefit students);
  • Has made significant contributions of service to their community;
  • Is available to attend the Americana Awards on February 10, 2018;
  • Is not holding or running for office as an elected official.

Note: Nominees remain active for consideration by committees for three years. Nominations for 2018 Citizens of the Year are due by August 1, 2017. Click here to download the nomination form.

Selection Process – City Committees select a nominee and submit the name to the Americana Steering Committee for ratification.

For more information call 714-484-7126; or email

STEM Hosts ‘A Day with the NSA’

As young adults we often think we have to have all the answers, know what career we want and what paths we need to take to get there. The truth is we don’t always know. And that’s OK.

The Path that Led to the NSA

Víctor H. Maysonet González was born and raised in Puerto Rico. He didn’t grow up knowing he would one day work for the National Security Agency (NSA). He didn’t even know the NSA existed, he told a room full of STEM scholars at Cypress College on May 5. However, the paths he took led him there.

The son of divorced parents (his mother a teacher and father a dancer and musician), Maysonet González was exposed to different ways of thinking. His mother pushed him to succeed, impressing upon him the value of doing hard work and getting A’s in school. His father incorporated a strong sense of creativity into his life, even teaching a young Maysonet González how to dance.
Maysonet González’s background includes a degree in public communication with an emphasis on PR and advertising, and he worked at a hair salon, for Club Med, and for 20+ years as a dancer and choreographer. He was led to the NSA by his then-girlfriend – now wife – who had gotten a job with the Agency. He stressed that the choices you make have impact and to “be intentional with every step that you take.”

To read his resume, one might not automatically see how the steps he took prepared him for an NSA career. However, his education taught him strategy and safe-guarding an image. His job at the hair salon showed him how appearance affects lives. At Club Med he learned the value of diversity. And dance? Dance taught him “it’s OK to take a step back, but make it a rock step so you can go forward with more momentum.”

(STEM)2 student Kayla Calle took Maysonet González’s story to heart, saying, “The most important thing that I learned in the workshop was that no matter where you came from or what background you have, you can always use the skills you have to go out and thrive in whatever you want to do.”

Fellow (STEM)2 student Kevin Fune added that he learned from listening to Maysonet González that it is important “to be intentional with your actions, because it will always impact someone’s life. Be proud of where you came from to learn where you want to go, and surround yourself with cheerful people who will help you be successful.”

The National Security Agency/Central Security Service

Victor Maysonet Gonzalez spoke of what the NSA does. Photo courtesy of Romel Baniago
Victor Maysonet Gonzalez spoke of what the NSA does. Photo courtesy of Romel Baniago

The NSA/CSS saves lives, defends vital networks, advances U.S. goals and alliances, and protects privacy rights. Established in 1952, the NSA is a service organization that receives requirements, and operates and executes on those requirements using cryptologic components. Through the use of Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) and Information Assurance (AI), the NSA responds “to customer requirements for information relating to the plans, intentions, capabilities, and locations of foreign powers, organizations, terrorist groups, or persons, or their agents, who threaten America’s national security,” the NSA website states.

Throughout its offices in Maryland, Colorado, Georgia, Texas, and Hawaii, the NSA/CSS is unwavering in its respect for U.S. laws and Americans’ civil liberties – and in its commitment to accountability.

How You Can Work for the NSA

Students learned about career opportunities with the NSA from Courtney Tyler. Photo courtesy Romel Baniago
Students learned about career opportunities with the NSA from Courtney Tyler. Photo courtesy Romel Baniago

Interested in working for the NSA? Courtney Tyler, who works in the Recruitment Office at the Agency, informed students at the event of the various opportunities the Agency has for them. Undergraduates in their junior and senior years of college are eligible to apply to 12-week paid summer internships. Students who successfully complete the recruitment process receive partially paid housing, annual leave, sick leave, and are placed in offices directly related to the NSA’s mission.

Students in their second semester of their freshman year of college can enter the cooperative education program. This program, which is currently accepting applicants who are majoring in computer science, computer engineering, electrical engineering, cybersecurity, or Chinese, is an alternating program, meaning it’s a semester at work, then a semester at school, and so on. One of the perks is that each time you come back to the NSA you’re placed in a different office, giving you the opportunity to try out various areas and see which is the best fit for you.
Full-time employee benefits include travel opportunities, health and retirement, flexible work schedules, an onsite fitness center, relocation assistance (if you live 75 or more miles away), and more.

If you’d like to apply, there are a few requirements. Applicants must be U.S. citizens and undergo a background investigation, polygraph, and psychological assessment.

As (STEM)2 Peer Mentor Cat Aburto said, “It was great to learn about the opportunities available to students at the National Security Agency. The knowledge and experience that Víctor and Courtney shared with us definitely opened my eyes to new career and internship possibilities.”

To apply, visit

For more information on the Cypress College (STEM)2 program, visit the (STEM)2 website.

Holocaust Survivors, Haunting Photography Featured in Second Yom HaShoah Event

Over 1,000 people gathered at the pond at Cypress College last year in honor of the six million Jews who were killed by the Nazis. Those in attendance heard moving speeches by faculty as well as Holocaust survivor, Dr. Jacob Eisenbach.

On April 26, Cypress College will once again pay respect to Yom HaShoah, the Holocaust Day of Remembrance. This year’s ceremony will once again promote acceptance, inclusion, diversity, and justice, regardless of one’s race, religion, color, or creed.

The tribute will feature moving words by this year’s keynote speaker, Holocaust survivor Zenon Neumark. Accompanying Mr. Neumark are the unforgettably touching images Photography Professor Clifford Lester captured of Holocaust survivors, as well as dance and musical performances, and the lighting of memorial candles. In honor of this day of remembrance, the candles will be lit by Holocaust survivors Neumark, Gerda Seifer, Piri Katz, Harry Lester, Sarah Schweitz, and Rick van Beynan.

Also speaking at the Yom HaShoah event are Seifer, Cypress College professors David Halahmy and Lester, Dr. Holli Levitski of Loyola Marymount University, and Cypress College President Dr. Bob Simpson. A prayer will be led by Rabbi Heidi Cohen of Temple Beth Sholom.

Biographies of Participating Holocaust Survivors and Offspring

Zenon Neumark, Holocaust Survivor

Photography by Clifford Lester
Photography by Clifford Lester

Holocaust survivor Zenon Neumark avoided the horrors of the death camps by escaping from a Nazi Labor Camp and then living and working in Warsaw and Vienna as a fugitive under a false identity as a Catholic Pole. To share his unique story, he authored a book, Hiding in the Open. “Such a life was not easy. Each day as a fugitive presented the risk of being discovered and killed,” Neumark says.

He credits his survival to some daring and some luck, but mostly, to the help he received from many righteous people: Poles, Jews, and even some Germans. “In occupied Europe, especially in Poland, anyone caught helping a Jew with lodging, food, or work could be killed on the spot,” says Neumark. Thus, he is forever grateful to those who risked their own lives to save him as well as thousands of others. He refers to them as the true heroes of the Holocaust.

Zenon is a quiet and gracious man who is very thankful for the many successes he has had in his life. In particular, he feels gratified not only for his own survival, but also for the opportunities he has had to help others survive.

Gerda Seifer, Holocaust Survivor

Gerda Krebs-Seifer was born in Przemysl, southeastern Poland. She was the only child of Henryk and Edyta Krebs. In 1940 her family moved to Lwow, to avoid being sent to Siberia. They lived under both German and Russian occupation. She spent several months in the Lwow Ghetto — six weeks hidden in a cellar — during a violent Akcjonen roundup in the summer of 1942. Seifer lost her mother during that roundup, while Gerda was hidden in the cellar. Seifer then moved in with a Catholic family, acting as their illegitimate daughter, by taking the birth certificate of that child, who died in infancy.

Out of about 40 relatives, there were only two survivors: a cousin four or five years older than herself, and Seifer.

After the war Seifer was lucky to go to England as a war orphan and join her relatives, who escaped in the nick of time from Munich. She later learned enough English to train and become a State Registered Nurse in 1950. She arrived in America in 1951, where she met her husband.

Harry Lester, Holocaust Survivor

Photography by Clifford Lester
Photography by Clifford Lester

Harry Lester entered the German governmental school system in 1933. In January the Nazi party had become the majority in the Reichstag Parliament and Hitler had been appointed chancellor by the president. To state that no anti-Semitism existed in Lester’s classroom would be false. The woman teacher, who proudly wore a Nazi party membership pin, took another Jewish boy and Lester and seated them apart from their classmates. During recesses and on their way to and from school, they were harassed, beaten, and sometimes cut.

Lester’s mother worked feverishly to obtain a transfer for him to a Jewish school, but it took about six months for that to be accomplished. “I’m sure no kid felt as relieved as I did, on the first day at a new school,” Lester says.

Lester’s next upcoming “moment in the sun” was going to be his Bar Mitzvah. He had started studying, learning the many chants and prayers. All difficult stuff for a pre-teen to grasp. However, he wanted to do it well. Relatives from all over Germany arrived the day prior. There were a total of fourteen. Jews were forbidden by then to stay in hotels so somehow his parents had to squeeze all visitors into their small apartment. Whoever was able to grab a blanket or bed sheet, and an unoccupied few inches on the floor, was considered fortunate.

Unfortunately, the synagogue where the ceremony was to be held was occupied by an SS cavalry unit. Unable to enter, a teary-eyed Lester went back to his parents’ home.

His real Bar Mitzvah occurred several months later. The rabbi, who was supposed to preside at the original event, also served as spiritual advisor to a Berlin Jewish Hospital, arranged for the ceremony to take place at the hospital’s chapel. Lester recited the prayers, even though he was unable to read that week’s Torah portion. Thus, with no relatives present other than his parents, and in front of a few people sporting various illnesses, he became an adult Jew.

Sarah B. Schweitz, Holocaust Survivor

Photography by Clifford Lester
Photography by Clifford Lester

Sarah B. Schweitz was born in Trikala, Greece in 1940 to Abraham and Alice Barouh. When the Italians invaded Greece, her father was drafted into the Army and sent to the Albanian Front. After a year the German Air Force came to Trikala and destroyed almost every building except the Temple and some very nice homes that they intended for their use. Schweitz’s childhood home was located next to the Temple, and it was spared. It was also occupied by the Germans.

Schweitz’s father was captured and was sent to a concentration camp in another town in Greece with his co-workers from the Agrarian Bank of Greece. Schweitz’s father was Vice President of the bank in Trikala.

On March 23, 1944, Abraham Barouh was released from the concentration camp and joined his family in Trikala. It was a happy reunion. Early the next morning, the Germans went to the Jewish Quarter in Trikala and captured everyone except those few who escaped. Schweitz’s family was part of those few, thanks to the kindness of a righteous gentile, George Kalogerometrou. Because of his courage and generosity, Schweitz’s family remained in hiding in the high mountains of Greece until the end of the war in 1945.

Schweitz later moved the U.S. and graduated from Ohio State with a degree in pharmacy. She is married and has three daughters. She has committed herself to working so that the memory and legacy of the precious human lives lost in the Holocaust will not be forgotten. She lectures to students as well as different organizations to help overcome intolerance and indifference through learning and remembrance.

Piri Katz, Holocaust Survivor

Photography by Clifford Lester
Photography by Clifford Lester

Piri Gross Katz was born November 18, 1927 in Tibiva, Czechoslovakia, a small town in the Carpathian Mountains. She was the seventh of 11 children, the daughter of Volf Hersh and Chaya Blima Gross. In 1943, at age 15, she was taken to the Munkatch ghetto, during Pesach, and later was in the camps of Auschwitz, Geislingen, and sent to Dachau, where she was liberated by the Americans in May 1945.

After the war she was in a Russian prison for having more than one passport in her possession, and later was in displaced persons camps in Germany for two years before coming to the United States to her sister Roselyn and brother Sydney in Detroit, Michigan in November 1949. She went to night school in Detroit to learn English, worked as a seamstress making drapes, and later met the love of her life, her husband, Dr. Milton Katz.

Following Milton’s death in 1968, Katz worked at getting more of her family to the U.S. She took classes here at Cypress College and ran a small retirement home with her sister in Los Angeles, all in an effort to put her children through college and graduate school.

Katz will be 90 years old this November, and she continues to speak to young people about the Holocaust, and hopes that children will appreciate freedom, and be tolerant of others regardless of their race or religious beliefs. She continues to go to synagogue, is a staunch supporter of the State of Israel, and is thankful and proud to be an American.

Clifford Lester, Photography Professor, Holocaust Survivor Photographer

Cypress College professor Clifford Lester, son of late Holocaust survivor Ursula Lowenbach Foster, began photographing Holocaust survivors over a decade ago. After the death of his mother – who lived in Amsterdam and is mentioned in Anne Frank’s diary – in 2004, Lester decided to show the survivors in a different light, letting their faces, as they are, tell their stories. The first survivor he ever photographed was Nathan Langer, founder of the Langer Juice Company.

He has since photographed many others, the resulting images not only connecting him to his mother, but also being the driving force behind the Yom HaShoah events at Cypress College.

Lester said of his photographs of Holocaust survivors, “These images take a look at the human spirit and the determination for survival. As we take a glimpse into their eyes, it is my wish that they emerge ‘victorious’ over the evil that befell their loved ones. We will ensure that their spirit will forever live on, if we maintain respect for our fellow man.”

RSVP to this year’s event here.

Cypress Bistro Opens for Spring Semester

Love food? Love food that also looks good on Instagram? Then our Cypress Bistro is the place for you! Operated by Cypress College Culinary Arts students, the bistro offers a fine-dining experience at a casual-dining cost.

Beginning February 23 and open every Thursday from 12-1 p.m. through May 18, Cypress Bistro offers outstanding service and trending regional cuisines — from New England to Texas Buffet to Mexican to Pacific Rim and more. Click here for the Spring semester menu.

Check out some of the delicious meals that were provided last semester:

The Appetizer


The Entrée


The Dessert


Looks good, right?! Cypress Bistro is located on our Anaheim campus at 1830 W. Romneya Drive. Reservations are strongly recommended and can be made via email at See you there!

Spring 2017 Cypress College Parking Permit Information

At Cypress College, your license plate is your parking permit.

Activate Your Parking Permit

Once you’ve paid all your fees in full, simply activate this new permit in myGateway by entering your plate number. That’s it. If you’re changing cars for the day (or a period of time), simply login and input the temporary plate.

Important Information About Parking

  • Students must have all fees paid in full, including parking to obtain a valid semester permit
  • Students must check that their vehicle(s) information is correctly input into the system via myGateway
  • Students must select the Spring semester when activating the virtual permit

Special Instructions for Parking at Fullerton or Anaheim

  • All students with a valid Spring semester virtual permit can park at both Fullerton College and Anaheim campuses in addition to Cypress College.
  • Cypress College students parking at Fullerton College CANNOT park in structure at Lemon St./Chapman Ave. The Fullerton Police Department enforces parking in that parking structure and does not have access to our system.

No More Lines

To register your vehicle, simply login to myGateway. The “Cypress College Parking” link is in the “Registration Tools” section of your “Student” tab. All fees must be paid in full to activate parking privileges.

Classes Still Open for Spring Semester

Looking to fill your schedule for the Spring semester at Cypress College? There are multiple classes still available, in various fields of study.

One of our available classes is GEOG 230C, Introduction to GIS. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is a growing field with high-paying jobs. Employment is expected to grow 29% through 2022 (much faster than the average for all occupations, according to O*NET online.

Interested in business? CIS 109, E-Business Applications, is open for enrollment. This course introduces the technological infrastructure needed for implementing e-business solutions. It also discusses the software components necessary to implement such applications. A major component of the course will be hands-on projects of evaluating e-business tools and application software. The last day to add is February 12. For more open Business & CIS classes, click here.

Get one of your General Education requirements out of the way with Political Science 100C, CRN 20441. The class will focus on how government policies and politics affect our personal lives and what can be done about it. Topics include skyrocketing tuition, equal access to quality education, ending environmental destruction, law enforcement and race/ethnic relations and more. The class is on Mondays and Wednesdays from 1:50 to 3:15 p.m.

Other open classes include World Theater History I (THEA 102C), Scene Painting (THEA 146 C), Afro-Caribbean Dance (DANC 130), Pilates Mat Work (DANC 102C), Play Analysis (THEA 101C), and Tap Dance I/II (DANC 113C/DANC 114 C). To see the full list of open classes, view the class schedule in myGateway.

The Cypress College 2017 Spring Class Schedule is available here.

FAFSA/Dream Act Workshops Available

The Financial Aid Office will be hosting several one-on-one FAFSA/Dream Act workshops in February and March. These workshops are designed to help students and/or parents complete and submit the 2017-18 FAFSA/Dream Act application before the March 2 deadline. As you all know, submitting the FAFSA/Dream Act application before the deadline is required for all students if they want to gain access to Federal and/or State financial assistance to pay for college.

The students and/or parents can walk in anytime during the drop-in hours with no appointment needed.


Learning Resource Center, Room 130

What to Bring

Dependent Student

• Your and your parent(s) 2015 Tax Returns & 2015 W2s and/or 1099s
• FSA ID login information (you may create one at
• Student ID card

Independent Student

• Your (and spouse’s, if married) 2015 Tax Return & 2015 W2s and/or 1099s
• FSA ID login information (you may create one at
• Student ID card

Workshop Dates & Times

• Tuesday, 2/7/17: 11am-3pm
• Thursday, 2/16/17: 3pm-7pm
• Wednesday, 2/22/17: 11am-3pm
• Wednesday, 3/1/17: 3pm-7pm

For more information about financial aid, visit our Financial Aid page.
To see more Cypress College events, click here.

New Website for Bachelor’s Degree in Funeral Service Program

Cypress College offers associates degrees in multiple fields. Recently, Cypress was one of 15 community colleges in California approved to offer a bachelor’s degree as part of a statewide pilot program.

Cypress College’s program is a Bachelor’s of Science in Funeral Service. Such a degree is rare. In fact, Cypress College’s selection to offer a bachelor’s degree in funeral service presents a unique opportunity since there are no other colleges or universities offering this type of degree in the Western United States. The closest such program is in Oklahoma.

Cypress College’s Bachelor’s of Science in Funeral Service program is a course of study in funeral service education designed for students who wish to advance their career and employment opportunities as a funeral service practitioner. Students in the program will gain a strong knowledge of cemetery and crematory operations, mortuary jurisprudence, issues and trends in funeral service, and more, including externships in clinical embalming and funeral service.

To offer students the resources they need, Cypress College created a website specifically for the Bachelor of Science in Funeral Service program. The site, located at, serves as an information hub for students interested in this program.

If you are interested in the Bachelor of Science in Funeral Service program offered at Cypress College, please fill out this interest form. The enrollment period begins February 6, 2017.