#CYProud: Evan Sue, Chemistry

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 are pleased to feature distinguished #CYProud students for 2017.

Evan Sue
Cypress + Chapman

Sue is a chemistry major transferring to Chapman University following his graduation from Cypress College. He represented the College as a student ambassador, and was involved in a number of programs and clubs, including the Honors and (STEM)2 programs. Sue hopes to pursue lab research on alternative fuels and clean energy, or medicine.

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

My name is Evan Sue. I grew up in Cerritos, CA, and I attended Cerritos High School. Some of my interests are reading, biking to the beach, playing video games, music, backpacking, and last but not least, chemistry.

Why did you choose Cypress College?

As a senior in high school, my plan was to go to a university like all my friends. After not receiving acceptances from some of the universities that I would have liked, I wondered if there was still a way to go to these dream universities. That’s when I heard about Cypress College and their amazing transfer rates. It also helped that I live 10 minutes from campus.

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

While I was at Cypress College, I was involved in the Honors Program and Honors Club, the Chemistry Club, the (STEM)2 Program, the Student Ambassador Program, the Cypress College Jazz Band, and the Applied Music Program. I was involved in a lot, and I believe it has made me a well-rounded student. By being involved in so many activities, I was able to create a personalized education for myself, which I really enjoyed.

The Honors program gave me a small classroom setting and challenged me to think critically; the (STEM)2 Program helped motivate me by showing me the endless opportunities I can receive with my STEM degree; the Jazz Band and Applied Music Program made me a better musician, both in group and solo performances. Also, while I was a Student Ambassador, I had the chance to help guide students through their first steps in enrolling at Cypress College and starting their educational journeys. Through all of this, I have created many strong friendships and learned that the word “community” in community college represents the close group of peers and faculty that helped, supported, and believed in me.

What are you most passionate about? Why?

I am very passionate about helping people. I have been this way from a very young age, starting with my time in the Boy Scouts. I am an Eagle Scout, and I loved all the community service work I had the opportunity to do. Even though I am no longer involved with the Scouts, I still volunteer my time to help others through my church. This is my passion because I can see that society needs people to step up and help the less fortunate. I may not have a lot of money, but I have more than enough time to spare.

This passion led me to choose chemistry as my major, because I love science and I want to use science to help others. While I do not have a specific field of interest, I hope that my degree allows me to achieve this goal either indirectly by researching alternative fuels and clean energy or creating more biodegradable plastics, or directly by researching a cure for cancer.

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

During my two years at Cypress, I have had a lot of faculty and professors help me along the way. I would like to thank:

  • Professor Kathryn Sonne, the Honors Program coordinator, and Penny Gabourie, the Honors Program counselor. Without them, I would have never had the opportunity to be a part of the Honors Program, which I really enjoyed. They also helped me choose classes, answered my questions, and made sure I got all of my transfer requirements completed.

  • Yanet Garcia and all of the (STEM)2 staff. Without them, I would have never had the chance to meet professionals in various scientific fields and been exposed to the many opportunities available to me after I earn my degree.

  • Gary Gopar, the Cypress College Jazz Band director. I loved playing the trumpet in his band; it was a great way to relieve the stress of the day. I learned many different musical styles from him, and he helped me become a better musician.

  • Professor Torri Draganov, my General Chemistry II professor, and Professor Anthony Hollow, my Organic Chemistry II lab instructor. They were both amazing professors and were always available to answer my questions, both during and after class (even when the class would end at 10:00 p.m.). They both cemented my interest in chemistry, giving me the confidence to pursue my passion.

  • Lark Crumpler, the Student Ambassador supervisor. Her cheerful mood always made my day, and through the Student Ambassador program I have made amazing friendships and memories.

  • Professor Bryan Seiling, one of my first professors at Cypress College. His U.S. History I course was one of the best general education courses I have ever taken. He is a great lecturer, funny, and great at explaining the content. He showed me that classes can actually be fun, something I am very grateful for.

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

After completing my studies at Cypress College, I will be transferring to Chapman University to continue my education and earn my bachelor’s degree in chemistry.

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

For my long-term educational goals, I plan to earn a master’s degree and then eventually a Ph.D. I aspire to work in a research lab.

What are you most proud of?

I am most proud of how far I’ve grown during my two years at Cypress College. I was pushed, challenged, and worked harder than I have ever had to in my entire life. I have had a very well-rounded education, and this has given me not only a wealth of knowledge, but an even greater work ethic, a plethora of skills, and many great memories.

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

Study hard, go to class, make some new friends, and don’t be afraid to try something new. You’ll learn a lot during your time at Cypress College, not only academic knowledge, but life skills as well: work ethics, communication skills, leadership, and organization to name a few.

Also, go to your professor’s office hours! They will love meeting you and answering any and all questions you have.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

I would like to say thank you to all the friends and faculty that have pushed and motivated me to get where I am today. Cypress College is more than a place, it is my home, and I will never forget it.

Posted in CY

New Play Festival Starts 18th Opening June 29

The Cypress College New Play Festival provides student actors and directors with a place to help develop new plays with professional playwrights from Los Angeles. We are celebrating our eighteenth summer season. Our festival won the OC Weekly best of 2008:

“Mark Majarian and the rest of this community college’s theater department deserve a chorus of hosannas for launching and growing a new-play festival as strong as any in Southern California. Many of the writers—and several of the plays—have subsequently received full-fledged productions at regional and off-Broadway theaters. They provide encouragement and incentive to playwrights, a strange breed of animal that chooses to work in an artistic field where recognition is hard to come by and financial compensation nearly impossible.”

Notable playwright collaborations have been with a reading and production of Oliver Mayer’s “Bold as Love,” Paula Cizmar’s “Venus in Orange” which was produced at the Victory Theater in Burbank, Jonathan Caren’s “Need to Know” produced at the Rogue Machine Theatre, Jennifer Maisel’s “@the speedofjake” produced by Playwright’s Arena, Erik Patterson’s “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” produced at the Theater of NOTE, Ruth McKee’s “Hell Money” produced at the Chalk Repertory Theater, Doug Cooney’s Long Story Short which won a design award and was invited as an “Invitational Scene” for the Region VIII, Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival. Also, Mickey Birnbaum’s “Big Death Little Death” (developed during the 2002 Cypress New Play Festival) which opened the inaugural 2005-06 season of the Wooly Mammoth Theater Company (in Washington D. C.). Mickey’s other play, “Bleed Rail,” (developed during the 2004 Cypress New Play Festival) was performed at the Theater @ Boston Court in Pasadena. Other notable past collaborations were with Cody Henderson whose play, “Cold Tender” won the 2002 OC Weekly award, Annie Weisman’s “Be Aggressive” which was produced at the La Jolla Playhouse in 2001 and Robert Glaudini’s “Poison Tree” which was produced by the Mark Taper Forum in 2001 and Michael Golamco’s play “Year Zero” which went on to premiere at the Victory Gardens Theater in Chicago in the fall 2009.

Performances: Thursdays 7:00 P.M. (June 29, July 6, 13, 20, 27, @ 7 P.M.) through July 27th. There will be a discussion with the writer following each reading. Admission is $5.00 to support the festival.

Studio Theater, Theater Building 9200 Valley View, Cypress 90630

For more information, contact Mark Majarian at (714) 484-7205 or email at mmajarian@cypresscollege.edu.

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“Shostakovich, or Silence” by Jason Grote, Thursday, June 29th at 7 p.m. (3 men, 2 women) 

Sometimes the things an artist must do to keep creating aren’t pretty, even if the art sometimes is. In Jason Grote’s riveting biographical play with music about the prolific Soviet-era composer Dmitri Shostakovich, the Great Terror is imprisoning and murdering writers and artists—and unfortunately for him, Shostakovich is out of favor with Stalin. But the human spirit is more powerful than any kind of artillery. And a composer must contemplate whether to use the power of art to change things, or remain silent.

Jason Grote

Jason Grote’s plays include 1001; Maria/Stuart; Civilization; and Shostakovich, or Silence. He has provided the text for various devised works, including David Levin’s HABIT (2013 OBIE), En Garde Arts’ Basetrack (NYT Top Ten of 2014), and Radiohole’s Tarzana. His work has been produced or developed at Playwrights Horizons, The Denver Center, Soho Rep, PS 122, The Flea, The Brooklyn Academy of Music, Woolly Mammoth, Sundance, The O’Neill, The Watermill Center, Center Theater Group, and elsewhere, and translated into German and Slovenian. TV work includes “Mad Men,” “Hannibal,” and “Smash,” and the upcoming “Knightfall,” produced by Jeremy Renner. He has adapted works by John Cheever and Hillary Mantel for film.

“Goat Springs Eternal” by Paula Cizmar, Thursday, July 6th at 7 p.m. (3 women, 3 men or more) 

¡Goat Springs Eternal! is a darkly comedic riff on Lope de Vega’s Fuenteovejuna (1612 – 1614), in which a small town rises up against a voracious commander who never met a woman he didn’t want to abuse or someone else’s property he didn’t want to steal. This contemporary update transports troubling events from the time of Ferdinand and Isabella to the U.S. – Mexico border, where justice is for sale and American companies are eager to buy. But when it all goes wrong, can an entire town get away with murder?

Paula Cizmar

Paula Cizmar is a playwright whose work is concerned with the way stories get told in a culture—and with who gets left out of the discussion. Her work has been produced at Portland Stage Company, the Women’s Project (New York), the Jungle Theatre, San Diego Rep, Passage Theatre, and Playwrights Arena @ LATC, among others. New plays include Antigone X, produced at USC MFA Rep; January, presented in NYC in the New Play Development Series at MultiStages; and The Last Nights of Scheherazade, recipient of the 2016 Israel Baran Award. The Chisera (AKA Lost Borders), was selected for the Mach 33 Festival of Science-Driven Plays. Paula has received commissions from Center Theatre Group, Salt Lake Acting Company, Echo Theatre, Portland Stage Company, and Playwrights Arena. Among her many awards are an NEA grant and a TCG/Mellon On the Road grant. She is a member of the WGA and the Dramatists Guild and is an Associate Professor of Theatre at USC’s School of Dramatic Arts. More information: www.paulacizmar.com

“The Subject” by Carolyn Kras, Thursday, July 13th at 7 p.m. (7 women, 4 men) 

Princess Sophia’s dysfunctional royal family includes notoriously mad father King George III, drug-dependent mother Queen Charlotte, sex addict brother Ernest, and five eccentric sisters (a confident stutterer, an agorophobe, an artist, a bossy fashion plate, and an ardent teen). When Sophia is raped and fights to bring the criminal to justice,

her family seeks to mastermind a cover-up of the secret for fear of losing the throne. With its timely themes and strong roles for women, The Subject has been a popular new play with 16 readings (and counting) in 2016-2017. The Subject was commissioned by the U.S.-U.K. Fulbright LUSK Award, had a United Nations Orange Day reading in London, and was developed in Antaeus Playwrights Lab.

Carolyn Kras

Carolyn Kras was recently Playwright in Residence at Sell a Door Theatre Company in London through the support of the Fulbright LUSK Award. Her play The Subject had a United Nations Orange Day Reading featuring Alfred Enoch and has had readings throughout the U.S. and U.K. in 2016-2017 via The Subject Project: https://thesubjectproject.wordpress.com Carolyn received the Visionary Playwright Award and Commission from Theater Masters, and the resulting play Mine & Yours was named a top national new play by the Bay Area Playwrights Festival (Finalist), The Kilroys List Honorable Mention, and L. Arnold Weissberger Award Nomination. Her plays have been produced or developed at The Blank Theatre, Chicago Dramatists, Stage Left Theatre, Live Girls! Theater, The Looking Glass Theatre, Centenary Stage Company, Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theatre, 20% Theatre Company Chicago. Honors include William Randolph Hearst Creative Artist Fellowship, Shubert Fellowship, Aspen Ideas Festival Scholar, Disquiet International Short Play Award, and “Best Playwright” Award in The Looking Glass Theatre’s Writer/Director Forum. Carolyn has a B.A. in Drama from Washington University in St. Louis and an M.F.A. in Dramatic Writing from Carnegie Mellon University.

“Eight Nights” by Jennifer Maisel, Thursday, July 20th at 7 p.m. (3 women, 4 men) 

The lives that inhabit an apartment from 1949 to 2016. A young refugee woman finally free to start anew in the United States confronts the past that haunts her. How much can she move forward without forgetting those she loved? Is history always doomed to repeat itself? Or do you need to voice the darkness to move into the light?

Jennifer Maisel

Jennifer Maisel’s Pen West Literary Award finalist There or Here was workshopped at PlayPenn before its critically acclaimed run at New York’s Hypothetical Theatre and is in talks for a London premiere. Her The Last Seder premiered Off-Broadway after productions in Chicago, D.C. and LA. Plays include Goody Fucking Two Shoes (ATL’s Humana Festival), birds (Rorschach Theatre), Eden (Theatre of NOTE, Original Works Publishing) and Match (UArts New Play Festival). Awards: Kennedy Center’s Fund for New American Plays Award, Charlotte Woolard and Roger L. Stevens awards; SCR’s California Playwrights Competition; two time PEN West Literary Award finalist; five time Heideman Award finalist, STAGES International finalist. Her #Sandy ran in Moving Arts’ The Car Plays at the Segerstrom Performing Arts Center and LiveGirls! in Seattle. She was commissioned by Chalk Rep for her If You Lived Here I Would Be Home By Now for their site-specific Flash Festival in the fall of 2014. She received an Ensemble Studio Theatre/Alfred P. Sloan foundation commission for Out of Orbit, developed at the Sundance Theatre Lab, the Gulfshore New Play Festival, the Berkshire Playwrights Lab and Cal Tech; Out of Orbit recently won the Stanley Award for Drama. Her newest play, @thespeedofJake, was Kilroy nominated. She also writes for film and television; her screenplay, Prodigal Son, went into production in November of 2014. She is a member of the Dramatists Guild, Ensemble Studio Theatre – LA Project, DogEar Playwrights Collective, Playwrights Union and the WGA.

“Losing My Religion” by Hannah C. Langley, Thursday, July 27th at 7 p.m. (3 women, 1 man) 

Charity, prized daughter of a radical anti-gay Church, struggles with her faith after failing to convert a nice Jewish boy over Twitter. With the guidance of her alter ego, Judy Garland, and a curious bartender, Charity sees the light and leaves her Church and its ways behind.

Hannah C. Langley

Hannah C. Langley is a playwright and novelist from Valencia, California. A recent graduate of University of California, Berkeley and a current Dramatic Writing MFA Candidate at University of Southern California, I write to expose the real life struggles of young women with a mix of mythology and magic. Her other creative interests lie in raising awareness about mental and physical illnesses as well as LGBTQ+ issues. Hannah currently works as a Teaching Assistant in the School of Dramatic Arts. Her mission is to help improve my students’ writing skills as well as their confidence.

#CYProud: Anna Rodriguez, Classical Studies

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 are pleased to feature distinguished #CYProud students for 2017.

Anna Rodriguez
Cypress + Cal

Rodriguez is a history major transferring to the University of California, Berkeley following her graduation from Cypress College. She persevered in her education despite falling ill during her senior year in high school, and has been part of the Honors Program at Cypress College, representing the College at the Honors Transfer Council of California’s Annual Student Research conference. She has a passion for learning and is interested in a wide variety of fields in the social sciences, humanities, arts, and sciences. She will major in classical studies at Cal.

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

I’ve actually lived in Cypress my whole life! I graduated from Cornelia Connelly School in 2014 with over a 4.0, but during my senior year I started getting really sick. I went off to school at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, but I left after my first quarter because my health started to deteriorate. I decided to start at Cypress, which is something I had never imagined myself doing before. That decision turned out to be one of the best decisions I ever could have made. Over the years, my health has gotten better along with my outlook on life! Being at Cypress was the unexpected experience in my life that has made all the difference.

Why did you choose Cypress College?

I chose Cypress College because it’s close to home and because I knew it was a great school with many opportunities!

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

When I first got to Cypress College, I was pretty confused. I hadn’t had orientation, I signed up for classes really late, and I didn’t even know community colleges had majors.

That first semester, I had signed up for an honors class because it had room. The next semester, I took a few more honors classes and found out about the Honors Program. Joining the program has been an integral part of my time here. It’s an amazing program that really encourages students and helps them achieve great things.

I represented Cypress College this year at the Honors Transfer Council of California’s 18th Annual Student Research for California Community Colleges at the University of California, Irvine! It was a great experience, and I learned a lot about conducting humanities research and presenting. My presentation was on the role of women in ancient Rome as revealed through original Latin texts. For the project, I compiled primary sources written in Latin and translated them into English, then used that evidence to form an analysis and summary of the lives of these women.

Most of my time here was spent taking different classes and preparing to transfer. I’ve also been quite involved in the art program at Cypress College, having taken three painting classes, pottery, and digital painting. The art program here is great, and I’ve learned so much from all my teachers. I’ve also had the opportunity to show some of my pieces in the annual student art show and in a few publications across campus!

What are you most passionate about? Why?

I’m most passionate about learning! I love school and I wish I could study and be a full-time student for the rest of my life! It’s really hard for me to pin down exactly what I’m most passionate about. I love the Classics, and will be studying that at Berkeley. I love the field because it combines so many interesting things, my love for Latin, history, philosophy, art, religion, politics, and so much more!

I’m also really passionate about astronomy/space exploration and art. I’m a huge Star Trek nerd, so naturally, I love space! This year, I participated in the online segment of the NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars program (NCAS). It was exciting to learn from people at NASA about space exploration, astronomy, physics, and the future of science and technology. I will also be going to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) for an on-site workshop!

Art has also always been a big part of my life. I’ve taken painting here with Paul Paiement as a beginning, intermediate, and advanced student. I feel like I’ve learned and grown so much as an artist, and my teachers here definitely helped a lot. For me, art is almost like an escape. It’s extremely difficult, but I like a good challenge, and it offers me an opportunity to become 100% focused for a few hours and block out everything else in the world. It’s also pretty exciting to see something you’ve worked on for months up in a gallery!

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

There have been so many amazing teachers here at Cypress College that have really helped me along the way! I’ve had a few teachers, like Professors Nicole Ledesma and Paul Paiement, who I’ve been fortunate enough to have taken multiple classes with.

Professor Ledesma was an amazing professor to have! I was so stressed and anxious about having to take math, but she made the classes I took with her great. I actually ended up enjoying statistics, which is another thing I never thought would happen! I know for sure if it wasn’t for her, I definitely wouldn’t have learned so much, enjoyed the subject so much, or have done as well as I did.

Professor Paiement has also been an amazing professor I’ve been lucky enough to have here at Cypress. I’ve taken art classes before, but he was the first teacher I’ve ever had where I truly felt like I was learning. He’s helped me so much as an artist, and I feel that I’ve gotten much better as a painter during my time here. He’s been very encouraging, but I also feel like he has challenged me a lot and driven me to be a much better artist and to not just settle.

Another of my favorite professors is History Professor Bryan Seiling. I loved his class so much. While it was difficult, he really made the class interesting. He has a great personality and sense of humor, and is clearly passionate about history.

Ms. Penny Gabourie has also been such an integral part of my time here at Cypress! She is an amazing counselor and has helped me so much with figuring out the transfer process. I definitely wouldn’t have been able to do it without her, and I am so thankful for all she has done for me!

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

In the beginning of June, I will be participating in an on-site program at NASA’s JPL which I’m really excited about!

In the fall, I will be starting my studies at the University of California, Berkeley in classical civilizations. There are a number of organizations I would like to get involved in there, and I would love to continue the research project I started while here at Cypress!

What are your long-term goals? What do you aspire to?
For now, my long-term goals are to do well in school at Berkeley and to be happy. I’m not exactly sure what I want to do after I graduate, but I’m planning to pursue a master’s degree and perhaps a doctorate, depending on what I decide to go into. There are so many things that I am passionate about and would love to spend my life doing. Right now, I’m content with the unknown. I’m looking forward to learning as much as possible at Berkeley and beyond.

Aside from education, I would love to travel as much as possible and learn as many languages as I can. I want to explore every corner of the world and learn about the cultures and histories of each unique place. I’d also really like to go to space when space-tourism takes off! I also want to become the world’s leading historian in something really obscure and be interviewed as an expert for a History Channel documentary.

What are you most proud of?

I’m most proud of myself! I’ve faced a lot of setbacks in my life and the last few years have been anything but easy. I’ve worked though being sick and recovering. I was diagnosed with two learning disabilities (dyslexia and dysgraphia) that I didn’t know I had until a year ago. I’ve achieved all that I have while maintaining a 4.0 GPA.

I’m really proud of how far I’ve come and how much I have overcome in the past few years. So much has been thrown at me, and I’ve constantly been recalibrating my course of life. It’s been quite difficult, but I’m so proud of all the hard work I’ve put into it all and everything that has come out of it!

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

Try your hardest in everything you do, no matter how trivial you think it is. Everything you do is a reflection of yourself and your values.

Also, talk to your teachers outside of class whenever you can! They love talking to their students and you can get a lot of learning done in a small amount of time when you talk with them one on one. Even if all you have is a few moments after class, ask them a question. It doesn’t even have to be on the topic/subject they are teaching. I think it’s always a good idea to ask people who are learned in any subject their opinions on things because they can offer you a unique and educated perspective.

One of the best things you can do as a student is connect what you learn in different subjects together with things in life. It makes subjects more relevant and interesting, and your education becomes strung together like a web. You may be surprised about how what you learn in one class may be so helpful for what you learn in another!

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

I’d just really like to thank everyone who has helped me get to where I am today. There are so many people who have helped me so much, and I can never thank them enough!

Posted in CY

#CYProud: Katherine Gendron, Anthropology

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 are pleased to feature distinguished #CYProud students for 2017.

Katherine Gendron
Cypress + CSUDH

Gendron is an anthropology major transferring to Cal State Dominguez Hills following her graduation from Cypress College. She has dreamed of being an anthropologist working in cultural and historical preservation since she was a child, and one day hopes to work on a team searching for the lost city of Atlantis. She also aspires to become the curator of the British Museum.

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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 Lakewood, CA. I attended and graduated from Sky Mountain Charter School in 2014, all the while volunteering at Ralph B. Clark Interpretive Center, which sparked my love of anthropology and understanding where our societies come from. I volunteered with the Long Beach Junior Golf Association for many years. Currently, I am working for the Disney Corporation in Anaheim and in the fall, I will be furthering my education at Cal State Dominguez Hills, majoring in anthropology with an emphasis in archeology.

Why did you choose Cypress College?

The flexibility of working my schedule around my jobs was very appealing. I also found professors who shared my love for anthropology and would continue to mentor and support my academic choices and future goals. The campus is very accessible, and the price-per-unit enabled me to attend full time while working two jobs.

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

Throughout my time at Cypress College, I continued to be on the Dean’s Honor Roll and became a member of the Anthropology Circle. I knew what I wanted my path to be and the professors at the College helped guide and support me to achieve my goals.

What are you most passionate about? Why?

I am most passionate about being the first child in my family to receive a college degree and continue my education at a higher level, as my family was unable to do so financially. I am also very excited to pursue a life-long dream of being an anthropologist and seeing, preserving, and saving historical cultures throughout the world.

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

There are two faculty members that I would like to highlight:

Professor Becky Floyd, to whom I owe my sincere gratitude for pushing me to continue my studies in the field of anthropology. She was my mentor and always open to helping to guide me through the choices of the field. She is a bright, energetic, and positive teacher and role model.

Professor Craig Goralski, who made classes fun, educational, and interesting, but continued to be stern regarding completing assignments, reading the material, and being prepared for exams and quizzes. He also encouraged us to be more responsible and respectful about historical and contemporary cultures.

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

I will continue my education at Cal State Dominguez Hills with a major in anthropology and minor in archeology. I will be continuing and pursuing a dream that I have had for 17 years.

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

My long-term goals are to help build people’s understanding and knowledge of cultural history before they are lost forever. I would also like to work with the team searching for the Lost City of Atlantis. It is also my dream to work for and become the curator of the British Museum

What are you most proud of?

I am most proud of completing the first step of my educational and career goals with the help, support, and love of my family. I am very proud of the fact that I completed this part of my education while working two jobs.

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

I would advise future students to be patient and honest. Never give up on your dream of completing your education, no matter what life throws at you.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

I would like to express my utmost gratitude to all of the staff at Cypress College making my two years here very enjoyable.

Posted in CY

#CYProud: Fernando Barboza, Political 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 are pleased to feature distinguished #CYProud students for 2017.

Fernando Barboza
Cypress + UCLA

Barboza is a political science major transferring to UCLA following his graduation from Cypress College. He is an honors student and represents the College as a Student Ambassador, sharing this educational journey with potential students. He is deeply passionate about politics, and hopes to pursue a jurisdoctorate after obtaining his bachelor’s degree.

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

“Mijo, felicidades! Son, congratulations,” my grandparents enthusiastically exclaimed with pride. It was supposed to be the best day of my life: finally graduating high school. Everywhere I looked, I saw joy, jubilance, and happiness. Yet, I felt disappointed and ashamed of myself, barely meeting graduation requirements and obtaining a grade point average of just 2.4. I simply felt I did not belong, so there was obviously much challenge. Therefore, I buried myself in a hole of fear and self-doubt.

Despite this, I transformed my life at Cypress College. I climbed out of the hole with my head held high and took initiative. All of a sudden, I was academically successful. I was getting the highest score on exams, straight A’s, and constantly participating in class discussion — something I had not done in high school. Furthermore, I gained a deep desire and passion for learning and fell in love with all aspects of political science. This led to a deep urge to consistently inform myself of different branches of politics by reading scholarly articles on topics ranging from the comparison of political economic theories to the externalities in foreign affairs. This is part of my personal insight question, but this perfectly depicts my life, my journey, and my story.

Why did you choose Cypress College?

I live in Artesia, California. What I am trying to say is that Cerritos College is really close by. I tried to talk to a college counselor there, and as a result, I visited Cerritos College on multiple occasions. It was always the same thing—the counselors were unavailable and I was always left confused. One day, my mom, a graduate of the Cypress College Psychiatric Technician Program, decided to give me a tour of the College. As I strolled through campus, I fell in love with the pond, the architecture, and the friendliness of the staff. Every time I visited campus, I always felt at home; the vibe just felt right. That’s the story of why I chose Cypress College.

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

During my journey at Cypress College, I have been involved in the Honors Club, Student Ambassador Program, and the Multicultural Club. The majority of the time, I have been involved with the Student Ambassadors.

As a student ambassador, I represent Cypress College at college and high school fairs, and give tours to prospective high school students. I also answer questions that students or prospective students may have about certain programs, resources, or any other offerings at Cypress College. One of the things that I love about being a Student Ambassador is that I am able to have direct contact with students who may be lost because I was once in their shoes. As a person, a student, and a Student Ambassador, I share my story with students, not so they can feel pity for me, but to exemplify that anything is possible.

What are you most passionate about? Why?

It is notable that my deep-burning passion is politics. I always find myself reading articles and talking to individuals about contemporary politics. I just find it extremely intriguing. When I am bored, you can always find me reading articles that have to do with politics, such as Samuel Huntington’s “Clash of Civilizations” or any political articles. Another reason why I find politics so interesting is due to the political culture in the United States. What I have found is that citizens are usually misinformed or unaware of political ideologies, key political issues, and how money plays a huge role in all levels of government. This has all sparked my curiosity in politics.

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

There are many faculty and staff that helped me get where I am. First, my EOPS counselors Alan Reza and Lisa Blod. They both helped put together my academic planner, and if it were not for them, I would not have received my second associate degree in liberal arts with an emphasis in social and behavioral sciences. I also have to acknowledge my political science professors Gloria Badal and Peter Mathews, who helped me fall in love with politics. Professor Badal’s international relations class particularly inspired me to pursue international relations as a concentration in my major at UCLA.

Furthermore, my English professors Christopher Kennison, Nicolas Gil, and Kendyl Palmer pushed me to develop my writing skills. Thus, I now see writing as a work of art. I also cannot forget to mention my music professor Gary Gopar. Professor Gopar has played an instrumental part in my life. His expertise in the jazz genre has made me love jazz and appreciate it with all my heart.

All these professors helped me get where I am today, but I cannot forget to mention the wonderful Lark Crumpler. She was the person who interviewed and hired me for the Student Ambassador Program. The program has me helped grow, learn, and aspire. In addition, all of my fellow student ambassadors are my home away from home. I want to again thank Ms. Crumpler and everyone else that I have mentioned.

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

My immediate plan is to arrange my academic courses for each quarter at UCLA. After that, I plan to enroll in the Center for American Politics and Policy Program (CAPPP) at UCLA. Once enrolled, I will be able to acquire a political or legal internship while taking courses at the University of California, Washington Center (UCDC). In other words, I will be studying and working on an internship for one quarter in Washington, D.C. Following that, I will join clubs at UCLA such as the Pre-Law Transfer Society and the Latinx Pre-Law Association so I can inform myself about the process of applying to law school. Ultimately, I plan to obtain my bachelor’s degree in political science with a concentration in international relations, as well as a minor in philosophy.

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

My long-term goals are eventually to obtain my juris doctor degree, pass the bar exam, and become an attorney of law. Furthermore, I dream of one day being able to give back to Cypress College by donating money to EOPS and the Political Science Department.

What are you most proud of?

I am most proud of our Cypress College Student Ambassador Program. The program plays a crucial role at Cypress College. You see, student ambassadors are the perfect “middlemen” between college students and administration. This is important because events such as graduation, Charger Experience, and Yom HaShoah would not have gone as smoothly without the presence of student ambassadors. Their hard work, perseverance, and integrity is always shown, and I am honored to be part of the program and more than proud of my fellow student ambassadors.

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

The advice that I would give Cypress College students is learn how you study best. For example, when writing a paper, I have to stop, relax, and dance like the world is not watching to get myself in a creative mindset. On another note, if you plan to transfer, it is crucial to constantly check Assist.org, as well as to start a UC TAP (UC Transfer Admission Planner). Finally, my biggest advice is to be a student outside of the classroom. Attend events that Cypress College offers, such as plays, dances, and musical events. Your experience outside of the classroom is equal to or even greater than your academic experience.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

If you would have told me two years ago that I would be accepted to UCLA and the University of California, Berkeley, and that I would be deeply involved on campus with the Student Ambassador Program, I would have laughed because I would not have believed you. This shows how it is possible to transfer to your dream school.

The last thing I would like to share is that it is an honor and privilege to be selected as a #CYProud student. I do not take this lightly. I wear this loud and proud, and if I had to do this all over again, I would choose Cypress College every time.

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#CYProud: Kimberly Worl, 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 are pleased to feature distinguished #CYProud students for 2017.

Kimberly Worl
Cypress + Mortuary Science

Worl is a mortuary science major looking to become a funeral director and embalmer following her graduation from Cypress College. She is a top-15 scholarship recipient from Service Corporation International, the largest funeral service provider in the country, and the first Cypress College student to receive the scholarship. She recently passed the state exam for her funeral director license and will take the state exam for her embalming license this summer.

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

I grew up in south Orange County and attended high school in Mission Viejo. When I was little, I used to say I wanted to dig up bones, and most of the books I read came from the true crime section of the bookstore. My plans to pursue work in forensic anthropology came to a halt while attending Golden West College. I was elected president of Circle K and from there I met a funeral home owner through Kiwanis International. I learned that being a licensed embalmer could lead to a career at the coroner’s office. Something just tugged at me and the only thing I could think of was getting a job at a funeral home.

I landed a six-nights-a-week on-call position, which entailed driving to a person’s location of death and transferring the deceased to the funeral home. During the day I worked a normal desk job and attended night classes. Soon, desk work became meaningless and I asked for a full-time position at the funeral home. I was very fortunate to have them sponsor my embalming apprenticeship, as well. Time flew by and I dedicated nine years to the profession before I finally got the courage to resign and dive into the rigorous Mortuary Science Program at Cypress College to obtain my degree.

Why did you choose Cypress College?

Cypress College is one of two schools in California that offers a Mortuary Science degree. The other school is located in Sacramento. Despite the fact that Cypress College was an obvious choice as far as distance is concerned, I fell in love with the campus while taking general education classes. Every single faculty member I have come in contact with is outstanding.

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

The Mortuary Science Program is nothing like anything I have ever experienced. In order to be successful, you must be active. By being active, I mean showing up every day, being engaged in each lecture, and being supportive of your cohorts. It is truly a team effort and we all help each other throughout the process.

I learned the hard way that sometimes your mind will get the best of you. I remember the first day of orientation, I was looking at the class load and thinking, “I can’t do this.” It hit me hard when I realized that I was my biggest obstacle. Since then, I have gained more confidence in myself, having faced what I had been putting off for all those years. I have so many opportunities that are opening up for me that I otherwise would not have had. I work hard, but I also owe my success to the amazing support system I have here. I just hope I can be an example to other students who are coming back after a long break. I want everyone to know, it is better late than never.

What are you most passionate about? Why?

I am absolutely passionate about the funeral service profession. It is an interesting line of work because it incorporates so many different aspects, including sociology, psychology, chemistry, anatomy, business, and law. There is never a dull moment. I know why I gravitated toward this career and it is not because I was curious about death as a child. It is because I live for helping others.

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

First I want to recognize Armando Garcia, who is a partnership counselor at the Cypress College School of Continuing Education. If it was not for Armando, I would have been lost when I got back to school. He was the one who counseled me through Math Co-Lab, which put me on a fast path to get to where I needed to be to apply for the Mortuary Science Program. I am forever grateful for his help and encouragement.

Second, I want to recognize the amazing faculty of the Mortuary Science Program:

  • Prof. Glenn Bower, for never letting your class be silent and always engaging us;

  • Lori Collins, for your care, patience, and encouragement in the embalming lab;

  • Dr. de la Cruz, for your uninhibited enthusiasm for chemistry and embalming;

  • Prof. Jolena Grande, for always keeping us on our toes and pushing us to do our best;

  • Prof. “Mac”, for your amazing talents in restorative art and for being my mentor; and

  • Stephen Nichols, for your tireless dedication to our success.

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

I just passed the state written examination for my funeral director license. I plan on taking the written examination to obtain my embalming license this summer. My goal is to be working as a licensed funeral director and embalmer by August. I already have funeral homes reaching out to me about work after graduation. The funeral profession in California is a small corner of the world. Everyone knows everyone and Cypress College is the place to be for Mortuary Science. So many opportunities will open up for you here.

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

I would like to continue my education to obtain a bachelor’s degree and eventually my master’s degree. I would love to go full circle and come back to Cypress College to teach in the Mortuary Science Program.

What are you most proud of?

I am honored to have been selected as a top-15 scholarship recipient for Service Corporation International, the largest funeral service provider in the U.S. Being in the top 15, I was flown to Houston, TX for a two-day event, one of which included three rounds of panel interviews. We were coached on our resumes and networked with over 30 SCI representatives, including recruiters to help place us in a funeral home after graduation. I am the first student from Cypress College to receive this scholarship, so it was a great feeling to be able to represent our school.

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

Try not to compare yourself to others. Your success is your own. Go at your own pace. If you feel discouraged, reach out to a faculty member. Lastly, please ENJOY the process because it will be over before you know it!

#CYProud: Amanda Nguyen, Biochemistry

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 are pleased to feature distinguished #CYProud students for 2017.

Amanda Nguyen
Cypress + UCI

Nguyen is a biochemistry major transferring to the University of California, Irvine following her graduation from Cypress College. She hopes to enter the medical field as a physician assistant and is passionate about working with non-profit organizations, where she has worked and volunteered at over the last eight years.

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

I’ve been living in Orange County and still plan to for the next few years. I guess you could say I don’t get out much, but that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing growing up because I was able to stay at home with my grandmother. At a young age, I started to care for her by reminding and assisting her with her medication, helping her with chores around the house, and assisting her in any other way I could. Over time, I realized that a career that incorporates human interaction, emotional support, and healthcare would be a perfect fit for me.

Why did you choose Cypress College?

I initially planned to attend a university after high school, but was only accepted to universities that would involve being away from home. Therefore, I decided to attend Cypress College due to personal and financial reasons.

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

While an active member of the (STEM)2 Program, I was exposed to a handful of opportunities. I became a (STEM)2 Study Lounge Leader, (STEM)2 Study Lounge Coordinator, and STEM Club President. The aforementioned positions have allowed me to promote student involvement, prioritize student networking, and improve community support through events hosted both on and off campus. My leadership positions have given me the platform to encourage others to assist those in need, which helped unfold my path and my passion for a career in healthcare.

What are you most passionate about? Why?

I am most passionate about working with non-profit organizations that emphasize charitable, scientific, and educational purposes. I have been working with several non-profit organizations for the past eight years and believe that coming together to support a common cause and purpose truly helps remedy problems in our communities.

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

There were times when I second guessed my major and career path, and wondered if I should continue as a science major. During those tough times, I confided in my mentors. Their patience and advice for me have helped get me where I am today. I would like to thank Yanet Garcia, Anella Aquino, Dr. Maryline Chemama, and Rosa Mejia. I have paid countless visits and the accumulated time I have spent with you all have given me the extra boost I needed to reach where I am today.

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

During the summer, I plan to do research for eight weeks at Cal Poly Pomona, where I will examine the chemical degradation of lignin by synthesizing new vanadium catalysts in order to remove oxygen from biomass. I will also continue as an emergency department volunteer at St. Jude Medical Center. Afterward, I plan to attend the University of California, Irvine in hopes of finishing my undergraduate education.

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

After earning a bachelor’s degree in chemistry at UCI, I believe the degree will lead me closer to a secure and successful career as a physician assistant. Whether or not my plan unfolds the way I would like it to, I still plan to contribute to the community by helping people medically, emotionally, and physically.

What are you most proud of?

I am most proud of growing the STEM student organization to what it is today. I believe that as president, I have accommodated the needs of the student population by incorporating service and STEM in an engaging way.

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

I would say to take advantage of the tutoring services, professors’ office hours, and especially make an effort to converse with your classmates. You may learn new study techniques that could benefit you in the classroom and improve your study habits overall.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

I am so thankful for the opportunities I have had here at Cypress College. I will forever remember my professors, my advisors, and the friendships I have made here.

Posted in CY

Yom HaShoah Teaches Lessons of Survival, Gratitude, Hope, Inclusiveness

They were taken away from their homes, kept behind metal bars and wire fences like criminals—animals. Millions were murdered. Millions more were displaced, left without a home, without family, without much hope. But they survived.

On Yom HaShoah, and every other day of the year, we: remember those who lost their lives in the Holocaust—condemned simply because of their religion; continue to learn from those who survived; and honor those who risked their lives, livelihoods, and families to aid the Jewish people. They show us the resilience of the human spirit; that inclusiveness and diversity are a strength and necessary priority; that there is always still hope for humanity; that in the end, we are all the same.

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With these themes of survival, gratitude, hope, and inclusiveness, Cypress College held its second Yom HaShoah Day of Remembrance event on Wednesday, April 26, 2017, a follow-up to the hugely successful inaugural event just a year prior.

Nearly 1,300 people lined the Cypress College Pond for the event featuring: remarks from Holocaust survivors Gerda Seifer and keynote speaker Zenon Neumark; music and dance performances by Cypress College students and faculty; photographs taken by Cypress College Photography Professor Clifford Lester; and a memorial candle lighting.

Also speaking at the event were Cypress College History Professor David Halahmy, Dr. Holli Levitsky of Loyola Marymount University, and Cypress College President Dr. Bob Simpson. Rabbi Heidi Cohen of Temple Beth Sholom led a Kaddish prayer.

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Holocaust survivors Seifer and Neumark were joined by three other survivors, Harry Lester, Sarah B. Schweitz, and Piri Katz, and second-generation survivor and Cypress College staff member Rick van Beynan, for a meet and greet with local middle school students prior to the ceremony and the lighting of memorial candles.

Neumark, the keynote speaker, focused his remarks on the “thousands of incredibly brave and decent people, men and women of all nationalities, who in the hour of need, and in spite of the risks, extended a helping hand and thus saved many from certain death.”

“I am here because of them,” he said, calling them the “real heroes of the Second World War.”

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Neumark was a teenager when the war broke out. He escaped from a Nazi labor camp and was given food and lodging for several days by an ethnic German family living in Poland.

“They never asked me how long I’m going to stay,” he said. “They never asked me for any remuneration. They were absolutely angelic by doing it. I can assure you, I cannot put into words the enormity of the deed that they had done.”

Neumark later lived in Warsaw, where he was involved in several underground Polish and Jewish movements, then Vienna, where he worked as an electrician, under a false Catholic Pole identity. He attended the University of Oklahoma and earned his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, then received his master’s degree in physics from UCLA. He worked for the Hughes Aircraft Company for 35 years.

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Gerda Seifer, who is just one of two survivors from her family of 40, also survived under a false identity as a Catholic Pole. Her mother died in a gas chamber at Bełżec, a concentration camp in southeastern Nazi-occupied Poland, and her father died under unknown circumstances.

An orphan, Seifer went to England following the War, learned English, and became a registered nurse in 1950. She moved to the U.S. a year later, met her husband, and settled in Long Beach, California.

At the Yom HaShoah event, Seifer implored the crowd to learn from history and keep the stories alive.

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“It is 72 years since the end of World War II, yet there is still so much violence, so much killing and prejudice in the world,” she said. “Why is it so hard for human beings to learn from history and not commit the same mistakes over and over again? It seems so simple, just to treat others as you would want to be treated.”

She continued, “I’m speaking as a survivor at a time when there are fewer and fewer survivors still alive. In 10 or 15 years, there will be no living witness to the horrors of the Holocaust, so I’m depending on you to keep alive the memory of this horrible tragedy in hopes that this history won’t repeat itself. It is a great responsibility, and there’s a reason I speak to so many people as I do.”

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Following Seifer and Neumark’s remarks, the crowd watched a slideshow of mesmerizing photos of Holocaust survivors taken by Clifford Lester, the Cypress College photography professor. The slideshow was accompanied by a musical composition written by Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter Michel Klein, and performed by Klein and Cypress College music faculty.

“Today, as a second-generation survivor, I take portraits of Holocaust survivors. I have been doing so since my mom’s passing,” Lester said. “It is my way to carry on her efforts to keep the memory of the Holocaust alive.”

Both of Lester’s parents are Holocaust survivors. His mother’s brother—his uncle—was murdered at Auschwitz.

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Lester, whose photos are now featured in a permanent Holocaust Survivor Photo Gallery at Cypress College, will be on sabbatical in the fall to pursue a project to photograph even more Holocaust survivors “and assemble their portraits and their biographies into an undying document.”

“It is my hope that through education and learning the powerful lessons of the past, that we will work diligently to honor one another with kindness, with respect, and that we will all make every effort to bring merit to the message of the survivor and bring forth light from the darkness,” he said.

“As we hear the stories of the survivors, we become witnesses of the past and we become the light that lives on. It is up to us now to continue to bring light into the world.”

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Cypress College President Dr. Bob Simpson added, “The example of the remarkable lives of the honored speakers with us today, the survivors who have graced us with their presence and their words, are living examples of the power of the individual to prevail in the face of all odds. Let us use their lives as inspiration for what we, too, may be able to accomplish in our time.”

#CYProud: Sarah Ormsby, Anthropology

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 are pleased to feature distinguished #CYProud students for 2017.

Sarah Ormsby
Cypress + England

Ormsby is an anthropology major transferring to Liverpool John Moores University in England following her graduation from Cypress College. She has a bachelor’s degree in theater and worked in entertainment at Disneyland for a number of years before returning to school to pursue her first love, the human body. She hopes to become a forensic anthropologist to help people affected by disasters.

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

I hail from the state of Nebraska, having moved to California in 2003 to pursue a master’s degree in theatre at the University of California, Irvine. I grew up in a small town where the average class size for K-12 schools was 10 students. Needless to say, it was quite the shock to step onto the UCI campus with a population equal to that of a city near where I was raised, but I thrived and immersed myself in my new surroundings and quickly obtained a job at Disneyland in their Entertainment Department. After some twists and turns, I chose to leave the entertainment industry to pursue my first love from school, the human body. This led me to pursue the associate degree in anthropology that I now possess, which is spring boarding me into my next career as a forensic anthropologist.

Why did you choose Cypress College?

I was previously taking courses at another community college when the one class I wanted to take to solidify my future plans was canceled. I quickly began a search for the same class elsewhere so as not to delay my education. Cypress College provided the class I wanted and was offering it that semester. By the end of that week, I applied to the college, was accepted, enrolled in the course, and purchased my required textbooks. Having enjoyed my experience considerably at Cypress, I have continued to take courses here.

What are you most passionate about? Why?

I am most passionate about helping others. My career and my own happiness are centered on service to others. From helping to bring a smile to a child’s face while working at Disneyland, to the simple act of pointing out the location of a restroom, to being a shoulder to lean on when the world seems empty, and to hopefully helping someone with closure after the loss of a loved one, I ultimately want to be of service to others.

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

Professors Becky Floyd and Craig Goralski have been the two faculty members to get me on my way. After having already taken the basic courses in anthropology, Professor Floyd and Dr. Goralski were there to teach the two most important and difficult classes for my degree, Forensic Anthropology and Field Studies in Archaeology. These were the two classes I truly needed before I could move on to pursue higher education, an internship, or a job. Both have given me tremendous insight into their respective specialties while also providing sound advice as I continue my journey.

Though at the time it seemed devastating, the best day while pursuing my new career was when the last course I needed for my degree was canceled. That instance brought me to Cypress College and to these two remarkable professors.

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

I will be attending the master’s of science program in forensic anthropology this fall term at Liverpool John Moores University in Liverpool, England. This accomplishment is thanks to my time spent at Cypress College, specifically with Professor Floyd and Dr. Goralski. Being a returning student, I was amazed at how much I could still learn in the classroom, not only on my topic of choice, but by learning to work with a new generation and making new discoveries about myself in the process.

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

My goal is to become a forensic anthropologist. I want to respond to mass disasters to help those affected by such events. I also look forward to working on cases from the past where natural disasters caused disarray, and to put victims of genocide and war, as well as their families, at peace. These will be special assignments alongside my work with law enforcement bringing justice to those who have suffered.

What are you most proud of?

At this time, I am most proud of being accepted into the master’s program at Liverpool. It has been a dream of mine since I was in high school to attend university overseas. Beyond that, I am also proud of each day I don’t give up. Even now, I have a lot of logistics to work out before attending Liverpool John Moores University, and each step could be an excuse not to go. On top of that, the United Kingdom has a different way of teaching, so I will have a large learning curve, not only in teaching myself how to learn in their education system, but also in adapting to their unique culture. As a student of anthropology, I can’t resist the opportunity to immerse myself in a foreign environment!

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

Don’t give up on what makes you happy. I thought I had my future laid out for me, but discovered the career path I had chosen did not fit my temperament. Rather than choosing to suffer the rest of my life in a job I no longer loved, I took the risk and returned to school. Was it scary? Yes. Have I had moments of terror as I think about my present and my future? Yes. Though I have yet to accomplish my ultimate goal, I know the risk has been worth it.

When I have moments of doubt, I remind myself of the alternative unhappy, unmotivated life I could be living and it pushes me to continue. I’m still scared. I’m moving to England in September with no plan to follow! But I’ve grown so much as a person and have a true passion for what I am pursuing that I know all will work itself out in the end.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

Being from another state, I did not understand how community colleges worked in California. My previous experiences with community colleges were that they only taught trades. Now that I know they also teach four-year university-level courses in all potential degrees, I encourage everyone to take advantage of such great institutions. The courses are affordable enough to allow for exploration, and the quality of these courses makes me proud to say I have taken them at these colleges. I plan to take more courses in the future knowing that knowledge is something that can never be taken away from me and that each topic learned makes me more well-rounded and understanding as a person in today’s world.

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Posted in CY

Plans Available for Measure J-Funded Veterans Resource Center

Cypress College is committed to serving its student veterans. The Measure J bond approved by District voters in 2014 provides the College with the necessary resources to significantly upgrade technical job training facilities, aging classrooms, and veteran amenities. Plans and renderings for the new Veterans Resource Center, Veterans Memorial Plaza, and Tribute Garden are now available. For the full presentation, click here.

This is what the Pond and current Student Activities Center area of the Cypress College campus will look like when the VRC and Veterans Memorial Plaza and Tribute Garden are completed.
The Pond and current Student Activities Center area of the Cypress College campus will look like this when the VRC, Veterans Memorial Plaza, and Tribute Garden are completed.
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The new VRC will be built in front of the current Student Activity Center and connected to the existing building, which will be renovated. The new SAC will also house the International Student Program.
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This is a detailed floor plan of the new Veterans Resource Center and Student Activities Center.
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This is a rendering of the front of the VRC building. In planning sessions with constituent groups, veterans voiced their desire for glass paneling that would not impede their view of their surroundings.
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The new VRC lobby is expected to look something like this.
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This is a detailed drawing of the new VRC, Veterans Memorial Plaza, and Tribute Garden. The garden will feature the U.S. flag, flags of the five military branches, and POW flag.
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This is a photo rendering of the VRC, Veterans Memorial Plaza, and Tribute Garden from the northeastern corner of the Pond area.
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This is a photo rendering of an aerial shot of the College’s new Pond area.

Veterans Resource Center and Student Activities Center Timeline

Program Validation: December 2016-February 2017
Schematic Design: February-April 2017
Design Development: April-July 2017
Construction Documentation: July-October 2017
Groundbreaking: June 2018
Construction Completion: August 2019
Furniture, Fixtures, Equipment: August-September 2019
Opening: September 2019

Veterans Memorial Plaza Timeline

TBA

Please remember all future dates are tentative and highly subject to change.