Chancellor Search: Open Forums Held February 11

Updated February 11, 2016 at 1:53 p.m.

The four finalists in the selection process for the new Chancellor of the North Orange County Community College District (NOCCCD) participated in open forums on Thursday, February 11, 2016. The finalists are:

To view their biographies, please click here.

Provide your feedback on the candidates.

At each open forum, finalists presented a brief statement and answered questions from students, faculty, staff, and community members. Comments and public feedback will be submitted electronically via the District’s website, and will be reviewed by the NOCCCD Board of Trustees.

The Board of Trustees will interview the five finalists on February 12. Plans are to announce the new Chancellor this spring, with a start date of July 1.

Mr. Fred Williams has served as Interim Chancellor of the NOCCCD since March 2015.

The candidates made their presentations in Cypress College Complex, Room 414 at the times listed below:

9 a.m. — Dr. Cheryl Marshall
10 a.m. — Dr. Melinda Nish
11 a.m. — Mr. Cliff Davis
12 p.m. — Dr. Elñora Webb

The College also broadcast the presentations live (video feed inset below) with recordings made available on Thursday afternoon. Separate forums will be held at Fullerton College. Additional (and potentially updated information) is available on the NOCCCD website.

Forum broadcast:

Live streaming video by Ustream


Cypress P.D. Hold SWAT Exercise on Campus Today


As part of Cypress College’s ongoing partnership with the Cypress Police Department, the agency will conduct a SWAT exercise on campus today (January 21, 2016). The training provides opportunity for the officers to familiarize themselves with the College’s buildings. In turn, this facilitates a more-informed response to any incident members of the law enforcement agency attend to on the campus.

The drill will include approximately 100 uniformed officers and will be centered on the north side of campus  and will include the Humanities, which will be completely closed and under the Cypress Police Department’s control. Employees who work in the building have been relocated to the Fine Arts Building for the day. This includes staff of the division offices.

The drill will commence with an 11 a.m. orientation for participants in the drill, including some college employees who have volunteered for assignments.

Members of the campus community, and perhaps the immediate surrounding area, may hear noise simulating either gun fire or explosive devices. Police will use use blanks and diversionary devices, but no live ammunition will be used in the exercise.

Full Video of Candidate Forum for Vacant Area 3 Trustee Seat Available

Four candidates for the vacant NOCCCD Board of Trustees seat representing Area 3 participated in a candidate forum last night at Cypress College. The League of Women Voters of North Orange County sponsored and ran the event.

The North Orange County Community College District Board of Trustees Area 3 includes major portions of Buena Park and La Palma, as well as parts of Cypress and Anaheim. A special mail-in election will be held February 9, with vote-by-mail balloting beginning January 11.

The four candidates are:

  • Stephen T. Blount, Member, Cypress School District Board of Trustees
  • Daniel D. Billings, Contract Manager
  • Steve Hwangbo, Orange County Businessman/Councilmember
  • Alan ‘Al’ Salehi, Trustee, Buena Park Library District

To learn more about the candidates, visit the Orange County Registrar of Voters.

The North Orange County Community College District is governed by seven elected trustees who establish all policies that guide the general operation of the District. Student trustees representing each of the colleges also sit on the Board.

For more information on the Trustee Candidate Forum, please contact Debra Vagts at the League of Women Voters of North Orange County at (714) 390-3852 or NOCCCD District Director of Public and Government Affairs Kai Stearns Moore at (714) 808-4829.

NOCCCD Special Election

Campus Closed for Winter Holiday, Re-Opens January 4


Cypress College is closed for the winter holiday. The campus re-opens on Monday, January 4.

During the winter break, students should have access to services such as myGateway and the campus Facebook page.

Classes for the spring semester begin on Monday, February 1, 2016.

From all of us at Cypress College, we wish you joy in the holidays you celebrate, happiness with your loved ones, and relaxation.

Wireless Authentication Enabled for Campus WiFi

All devices connecting to the Cypress College wireless network now require authentication once per semester. Users of the campus’ free WiFi will be prompted to authenticate with their myGateway username and password. Guest access is available for those who don’t have a valid myGateway account. To join the network, users must also agree to the acceptable use policy.

New Science, Engineering, Math Building Approved by Board

An artist's rendering depicts what a new Science, Engineering, and Math Building might look like. The potential new facility is one possibility that has gained traction as Measure J planning is progressing.
An artist’s rendering depicts what a new Science, Engineering, and Math Building might look like. The new facility was approved by the NOCCCD Board of Trustees last wee as part of the Measure J program.

A brand new Science, Engineering and Mathematics Building will replace the existing facility. The decision to start from scratch rather than conduct a full remodel was approved by the Board last Tuesday when Trustees reviewed a study comparing costs for the two options.

Providing modern facilities to support the sciences was a top priority of voters when they approved Measure J in 2014.

“I believe this decision is one of the most significant and positive actions taken by our Board during my time in the District,” said Cypress College President Dr. Bob Simpson, who then addressed his two primary themes in communicating change to employees. “When I consider ‘Dream Big Dreams’ and ‘Do Big Things,’ this is what I am talking about.”

The decision facilitates the construction of a state-of-the art facility that will not be constrained by the existing building’s footprint and unalterable interior concrete walls. The current building does not meet existing student demand. In addition, the new building can incorporate both a planetarium and design features that allow for future expansion. Designing and building fully modern labs is another key benefit of starting from the ground up.

The decision came on a unanimous 6-0 vote by members of the North Orange County Community College District Board of Trustees at their meeting on Tuesday, December 8. Dr. Simpson and Vice President Karen Cant presented Trustees with the result of a study comparing the benefits of the two options, a renovation versus new construction, as well as a fiscal analysis.

Cypress College will begin planning for the new building, which will be constructed adjacent to the existing building and the Library/Learning Resource Center. Once construction is complete on the new SEM building, the existing facility will be used as swing space for the duration of the Measure J construction program. Another advantage of building a new facility is that it eliminates the need for a multi-million-dollar, temporary and disposable “science village” and for $19 million in upgrades to the the existing building to bring it up to code prior to a full renovation. It also means that expensive and delicate equipment will only need to be moved once, rather than both to and from a temporary facility.
In addition to allowing for expansion to meet current needs and for future expansion should the program continue to grow as projected, the new building facilitates stronger ties with the College’s Nursing Program and its Mortuary Science Program.

Baccalaureate Program Approved by Accrediting Agency

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Cypress College is one giant step closer to offering a baccalaureate degree.

Selected in January as one of 15 campuses to pilot test the California Community College Baccalaureate Degree Program, a significant hurdle was cleared late last week when Cypress College’s proposal was approved by the accrediting agency. The action officially allows Cypress College to offer the new program: Bachelor of Science in Funeral Service/Mortuary Science. Instruction is set to begin in fall 2017.

The action taken by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges is officially known as a “Substantive Change” and it means that students who seek their bachelor’s degree will do so at an institution qualified to present such a degree. Without approval of this request, Cypress College would not have been able to offer instruction.

Earlier this year, the California Community Colleges selected Cypress College as one of the 15 campuses to participate in the program.

“There are many who deserve our thanks and appreciation for this significant achievement at the College, District and state levels,” Cypress College President Dr. Simpson said in an email to the campus community. “At the top of the list are our Mortuary Science faculty and staff who ‘Dreamed Big Dreams.'”

Cypress College also received congratulations from Dr. Brice Harris, Chancellor of the California Community Colleges.

“What an exciting opportunity for your college to be selected as one fo the 15 Baccalaureate Degree Pilot Programs,” he said. “I realize the extra work is significant as we collectively develop new programs, but the opportunities for our student are extraordinary and you have my sincere appreciation for taking on this exciting endeavor.” Dr. Harris’ full letter is posted below.

Cypress College’s Mortuary Science Program was selected in November 2014 by North Orange County Community College District Trustees to apply for the California pilot program. Districts were permitted to submit only one program each. Programs also were required not to be in conflict with bachelor’s-degree programs already offered in the Cal States or UCs. In September 2014, Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation that allows California community colleges to award bachelor’s degrees in a pilot program. The legislation, known as SB 850, was sponsored by Sen. Marty Block (D-San Diego).

Cypress College and the NOCCCD will provide financial oversight for the entire Baccalaureate Degree Pilot Program in California.



Words of Gratitude, Inspiration at (STEM)2 Fall / Summer Research Symposium


How does one go from the projects of Pacoima to one of the most prestigious universities in California… and then move on to become one of the youngest directors of an international science/tech company? Jesse Lamas Calvillo, Director of AGQ Labs (USA), tells us how. In a keynote address to over 100 Cypress College students, faculty and staff at the (STEM)2 Program’s 4th Annual Fall Research Symposium on Friday, November 13, 2015, Mr. Calvillo shared his incredible personal story of perseverance, hard-work and gratitude.

Mr. Calvillo’s presentation will resonate with any student who is working hard to get ahead while highlighting challenges often faced by historically underserved, lower socioeconomic demographics. By demonstrating through his own life and career path how a first-generation Mexican American moved from Section-8 housing to a scholarship at Pepperdine University, even studying at the #1 Dispute Resolution Program in the nation, he encourages all students to find their personal passions in life – to seek them and to always reach out and give back as they succeed in their respective fields.

Mr. Calvillo’s appearance was part of a larger event intended to inspire Cypress College students to continue their pursuit of careers in the Sciences, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics disciplines.

Following Mr. Calvillo’s morning address, a panel of current STEM(2) Cypress College students spoke about their summer research experiences at various local and national institutions. This session was followed by an open forum poster display, which presented the full array of research findings and student participation. Congratulations to the following 2015 Cypress STEM(2) Fall Symposium / Summer Research Scholars:
CSU Fullerton Research

Ly Nguyen – Chemistry / Bio-Chemistry
Khanh Nguyen – Chemistry / Bio-Chemistry
Ana Avila – Chemistry / Bio-Chemistry
Stephany Angarita – Geology
Sam Rodriguez – Physics
Robert Aguillar – Civil and Environmental Engineering
Sophia Plaza – Civil and Environmental Engineering
Stephanie Alegria – Civil and Environmental Engineering
Ngoc Nguyen – Computer Engineering
Junnior Rodriguez – Mechanical Engineering

Cal Poly Pomona Research
Omar Mercado – Chemistry / Bio-Chemistry
Brittany Cortez – Civil Engineering
Robert Bufanda – Civil Engineering
Julia Chavez – Geological Sciences

Out-of-State Research 
Lynnette Reed – Marine Biology – Dolphin Research – Sarasota, Florida

UC San Diego Research – Training Academy for Research Success (STARS Program)
Valeria Gonzalez – Electrical Engineering (Read more about Valeria here /#CYProud2015 Graduate)

National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA Leadership Project) – New Mexico
Irene Ngo – Protein Design & Structure Evolution

Yanet STEM I


Yanet STEM II (1)

If you are interested in participating in summer research within the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (a $5,000 paid opportunity!), then you should join the Cypress College (STEM)2 Program. Additional member benefits include: one-on-one counseling, transport support to any 4-year university, networking with industry professionals; priority admission to Cal State Fullerton; STEM workshops on careers, transfer processes, scholarships, conferences and much more.

To apply, visit Applications are due Friday, December 18th.


#CypressCollege #STEM

2016 Scholarship Applications Now Available

The Cypress College Foundation today released the application form for the 2016 scholarships. Applications are due February 17, 2016 — although priority for the Osher Scholarship is placed on the submission date of qualified applications. All applications are submitted to the Financial Aid Office.

The applications are located in the Foundation Office, in the Financial Aid Office, and online.

Timely Warning: Man Aggressively Attempts to Engage Student



Timely Warning

November 30, 2015

A female student reported that a man aggressively attempted to engage her after he approached her asking for a donation to his organization. When she declined, he followed her around the pond as she attempted to walk away. The incident took place at approximately 5:15 p.m. on Monday.

The male followed the student from the area in front of Associated Students around the pond to the front of the Science, Engineering, and Math Building. During this time, he went from seeking a donation to telling the student how beautiful she was, and then escalating to cursing and calling her a liar, according to Campus Safety.

Campus Safety was unable to locate the suspect. He was described as African-American, approximately 5-foot-4, wearing a blue sweatshirt or jacket, grey pants, a black Jansport backpack, and a red-and-white baseball-style cap with writing on it.

The student was not harmed and she reported the incident to Campus Safety immediately. After follow-up investigation, the Campus Safety Department determined that the campus community would benefit knowing the details of the incident.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Campus Safety at (714) 484-7387. Imminent threats should be reported to 911.

Students and employees are reminded to report incidents or suspicious behavior to Campus Safety and/or Cypress Police immediately. Additionally, students are reminded that Campus Safety can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at (714) 484-7387, and that it is important to program that number into their mobile phones for quick access.

Cypress College issues Timely Warnings in accordance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure Act. For more information, visit: