#CYProud: Michael Gonzalez

Commencement is a celebratory time on campus. To capture this year-end spirit, we asked our faculty to tell us which students they are most proud of. Some of those profiled in this year’s #CYProud 2016 feature have overcome significant personal and financial hurdles to reach their educational goals; others have distinguished themselves as exemplars of academic achievement and/or student leadership.

As part of this year’s series, we are pleased to introduce Michel Gonzalez who will transfer to UCLA in the fall. Michael is a History major and on a Pre-Med track. He was involved in both the STEM(2) program and Puente at Cypress. #CYProud 2016

#CYProud 2016: Michael Gonzalez, Cypress to UCLA
#CYProud 2016: Michael Gonzalez, Cypress to UCLA

#CYProud: Michael Gonzalez
Cypress to UCLA

  1. Origin — what is your back story (hometown, high school, personal story…)

I first attended Fullerton College, but soon found out it was not the right fit. I ended up at Cypress College because of a close friend of mine who convinced me to come check out the campus. I really enjoyed the first class I took and felt that Cypress was a better fit for me. The instructors are awesome, the campus is beautiful, it’s not overly crowded. Plus, it’s close to home. When I began going back to school, I wasnn’t sure if I wanted to further my education in nursing or pursue medicine, but with such great programs like Puente and STEM I’ve decided to go for medicine.

  1. Why Cypress?

I am Puente Program graduate and an active member in the STEM(2) program. I initially got involved in Puente when I attended a counseling session with Dr. Therese Mosqueda Ponce. She explained what the program was about and I took an interest. Through the Puente Program I learned about STEM and all the opportunities available.

  1. @Cypress — what have you been involved with? How has your path unfolded?

There is a whole list of faculty and staff that have helped and supported me here on my journey at Cypress College, but I’ll keep it at my top three. The following three faculty are among the very few people that I can openly discuss issues with. I am truly honored to have not only to have worked with them, but also to simply have met them.

  1. Faculty or staff that have helped you get where you are today.

Dr. Mosqueda Ponce from the Puente Program has been a huge influence in my academic career. She is by far the best counselor I have had while at Cypress College and has been – and remains – a big support to fueling my academic dreams.

Cypress College President Dr. Robert Simpson has also been a huge support and wonderful mentor.

David Halahmy is one of the greatest history professors I have had.

Carlos Sandoval an awesome Psychology professor who is very passionate about his classes. There’s never a dull moment in his class.

  1. Post Cypress — what do you hope to do in the near term? What are your plans at UC Sand Diego?

I plan on finishing up my bachelor’s degree in History at UCLA and completing all my premed requirements. I’d then like to go to medical school. While at UCLA I would love to do scientific research in stem cells and HIV therapy.

  1. Longer-Term Vision — what do you aspire to?

I aspire to become an MD PhD Doctor working in the field of stem cell research.

  1. What are you most proud of?

I am proud of my accomplishment here at Cypress College and how far I have come as an individual.

  1. Anything else you’d like to add…

As Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see in this world.”

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#CYProud 2016: Michael Gonzalez, Cypress to UCLA

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Cypress College is recognized as one of California’s top community colleges. Recent accolades include:

– #1 in the U.S. | Top Toyota T-TEN Auto-Tech Program in the Nation.

– #2 in C.A. | Top Two ESL & Basic Skills English Programs in California.

– #3 in C.A. | Ranked as a Top Three California Community College (Schools.com)

– #3 in the Region | Ranked Top Three in Greater Los Angeles & Orange County for Student Transfer and Graduation Rates (EdSmart.org)

– 15 of 113 | California Community Colleges piloting a Bachelor’s Degree (Mortuary Science)

– #17 in the U.S. | National Ranking on MTV-U’s website “Rate-My-Professor”

– Top National Licensure Exam Pass Rates | Perfect state licensure pass rates for students in the following programs: Dental Hygiene, Diagnostic Medical Sonography: Abdomen; Diagnostic Medical Sonography (OB/Gyn); Diagnostic Medical Sonography: Physics; and Mortuary Science: Sciences. 90+% state licensure exam pass rates for students in the following programs: Dental Assisting; Mortuary Science (Arts); Radiology Technology. And 85%+ state licensure rates for students in: Health Information Technology; Nursing; and Psychiatric Technology.

– 2/3ds of the Class of 2015 qualified for transfer to a UC or CSU institution.

– 76 Orange Empire Athletics Conference Titles

– 25 California Community College Athletic Association State Championship Titles

#CYProud: Megan Imperial

Commencement is a celebratory time on campus. To capture this year-end spirit, we asked our faculty to tell us which students they are most proud of. Some of those profiled in this year’s #CYProud 2016 feature have overcome significant personal and financial hurdles to reach their educational goals; others have distinguished themselves as exemplars of academic achievement and/or student leadership.

As part of this year’s series, we are pleased to introduce Megan Imperial who will transfer to UC Berkeley in the fall. Megan is a Political Science major who was involved in Forensics and the Lively Arts Club at Cypress. At Berkeley she will major in Interdisciplinary Studies#CYProud 2016

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#CYProud 2016: Megan Imperial, Cypress to UC Berkeley

#CYProud: Megan Imperial
Cypress to UC Berkeley

  1. Origin — what is your back story (hometown, high school, personal story…)

Originally from Garden Grove, I went to a private Catholic school Mater Dei High for K-12. I grew up very active in volunteering and outreach programs, collecting over 1,000 hours of community service in high school alone. With the degree I will get in the future I hope to continue that outreach to have a scaled positively impact.

  1. Why Cypress?

Well, I actually was accepted to several universities in high school, but I decided to choose the community college path for financial savings. I chose Cypress College over other options because I was accepted into the EOPS program under Joanne Olimberio, who was actually my preschool teacher. I expected to do well here at Cypress and be successful right off the bat, but unfortunately my first semester was my worst due to the death of a close friend. I was very lost, but luckily I found strength by continuing my activities at Cypress College. My goals have changed immensely since entering Cypress College. I started off a Business major who was interested in working with studios and making big money. Now, however, I have a major similar to international relations. I’d like to work on equity issues. The topic of inequality interests me.

  1. @Cypress — what have you been involved with? How has your path unfolded?

There is a whole list of faculty and staff that have helped and supported me here on my journey at Cypress College, but I’ll keep it at my top three. The following three faculty are among the very few people that I can openly discuss issues with. I am truly honored to have not only to have worked with them, but also to simply have met them.

  1. Faculty or staff that have helped you get where you are today.

There is a whole list of faculty and staff that have helped and supported me here on my journey at Cypress College, but I’ll keep it at my top three. The following three faculty are among the very few people that I can openly discuss issues with. I am truly honored to have not only to have worked with them, but also to simply have met them.

Firstly, Liana Koeppel, my previous Forensics director and communications instructor. She is the one who pushed me to join the Forensics team after she saw my potential in a classroom setting. Liana taught me to dig deep into my emotions in my Programmed Oral Interpretation on feminism “the other F word” last year. She opened doors to the [crazy], but fulfilling world of Forensics and for that I am eternally grateful.

Next is Josh House, my current director and advisor of Forensics. Josh has continued to teach me ways to strengthen my debate skills and has entrusted me to help the Forensics program in every way that I can. Josh and I have sought to improve the Forensics community at Cypress College as a whole and I think next year’s team will do quite well at the CA State Championship tournament. Josh has greatly supported all the ideas that I have for Forensics, while putting up with me during plane rides, tournaments, and practices. In his first year at Cypress College he has an amazing job as Director and 2chainz mentor.

Last but not least, Barbara Meyer, my advisor for the Lively Arts Club and previous theater professor. Together, we have kept the Lively Arts Club alive and growing by supporting all the arts at Cypress College. We have gone through many hurdles and I greatly appreciate her for being there when I needed her. I also appreciate all the effort she has put into the club. As an advisor, she really taught me patience and how to delegate work as a President. We have so many great memories together.

Thank you all for helping me grow and I will miss you.

  1. Post Cypress — what do you hope to do in the near term? What are your plans at UC Sand Diego?

I will be transferring to UC Berkeley in the fall for Interdisciplinary Studies. At Cal I hope to be challenged in my field and come out on top in academics. I will be looking to study abroad for a year, hopefully intern in Washington D.C., and gain involvement and closeness with my new Golden Bear community. My goals are to learn as much as I can as I finish my bachelors degree. I hope to demolish any self-constructed limitations I may have and I’ll challenge myself to continue to do so throughout my life.

  1. Longer-Term Vision — what do you aspire to?

Long term, I aspire to complete my masters degree, travel, work in different countries, and continue in the political field. I am currently learning Japanese so I will most likely set my sights on first working for a think tank in Japan. I also would love to work in Washington D.C. to tackle head-on some of the legislative issues that are negatively impacting so many. Ultimately, I hope to be successful enough to make a positive impact in my local community and within the world.

  1. What are you most proud of?

I am most proud of myself. In truth, I am doing all this [being successful] because I choose to. But the reason I choose to everyday is not only for me, but in order to make my mother proud. I remember when I was young all my instructors had no hope for me in my academic path and kept trying to hold me back. But it was my mother who told them “No, she is smarter than you think she is; trust me, I know.” My mother’s belief in me has caused me to believe in myself and work past my own limitations in order to prove to her that I will succeed. I really enjoy making my mother proud. We have struggled together for so long. She has taking on such great burdens for me. I hope to ease her stress by ensuring that she doesn’t have to worry about me. I will succeed and get past obstacles because I choose to. Plus she gets to brag about me more to her friends this way haha.

  1. Anything else you’d like to add…

I will be going to Japan in the summer with Takahashi Sensei in order to strengthen my speaking abilities. I will greatly miss Cypress College, but I have grown comfortable here and with comfort comes restfulness. I will continue to be restless in order to fight against ignorance, injustice, and apathy. I will move forward and make my fellow Chargers proud to not be comfortable and to always strive to achieve.

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#CYProud 2016: Megan Imperial, Cypress to UC Berkeley

___________
Cypress College is recognized as one of California’s top community colleges. Recent accolades include:

– #1 in the U.S. | Top Toyota T-TEN Auto-Tech Program in the Nation.

– #2 in C.A. | Top Two ESL & Basic Skills English Programs in California.

– #3 in C.A. | Ranked as a Top Three California Community College (Schools.com)

– #3 in the Region | Ranked Top Three in Greater Los Angeles & Orange County for Student Transfer and Graduation Rates (EdSmart.org)

– 15 of 113 | California Community Colleges piloting a Bachelor’s Degree (Mortuary Science)

– #17 in the U.S. | National Ranking on MTV-U’s website “Rate-My-Professor”

– Top National Licensure Exam Pass Rates | Perfect state licensure pass rates for students in the following programs: Dental Hygiene, Diagnostic Medical Sonography: Abdomen; Diagnostic Medical Sonography (OB/Gyn); Diagnostic Medical Sonography: Physics; and Mortuary Science: Sciences. 90+% state licensure exam pass rates for students in the following programs: Dental Assisting; Mortuary Science (Arts); Radiology Technology. And 85%+ state licensure rates for students in: Health Information Technology; Nursing; and Psychiatric Technology.

– 2/3ds of the Class of 2015 qualified for transfer to a UC or CSU institution.

– 76 Orange Empire Athletics Conference Titles

– 25 California Community College Athletic Association State Championship Titles

#CYProud: Angel Garcia

Commencement is a celebratory time on campus. To capture this year-end spirit, we asked our faculty to tell us which students they are most proud of. Some of those profiled in this year’s #CYProud 2016 feature have overcome significant personal and financial hurdles to reach their educational goals; others have distinguished themselves as exemplars of academic achievement and/or student leadership.

As part of this year’s series, we are pleased to introduce Angel Garcia who will transfer to Cal State Fullerton this fall. Angel is a remarkable leader with natural charisma, charm, and positive, outgoing spirit. She is valued across campus. Angel has served Cypress as the 2015-16 Associated Students President and as an official student ambassador. Congratulations, Angel and best of luck at CSUF! #CYProud 2016

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#CYProud: Angelyn (Angel) Garcia Cypress to Cal State University, Fullerton

#CYProud: Angelyn (Angel) Garcia
Cypress to Cal State University, Fullerton

  1. Origin — what is your back story (hometown, high school, personal story…)

I was born in Fort Worth, Texas, but I moved here when I was 5 years old so this is where I feel most at home. I began my involvement with Student Government as early as elementary school and continued throughout both middle and high school. I graduated from Pacifica High School, and I took Advanced Placement (AP) classes and was a part of the Associated Student Body (ASB) and Filipino Club. I have grown so much since then, and I hope to continue to do so!

  1. Why Cypress?

My plans after high school were like those of many of my classmates – go to a four-year college or university because everyone says so. It’s ridiculous really, the stigma that community colleges are the easy way out and looked down upon. I had planned on attending Cal State Fullerton, but after I missed a deadline my admission was denied. It felt like the whole world was crashing on me, and I was so bitter. I wound up coming to Cypress because it was close to home. Truthfully, I had not heard anything about it so I felt that I was taking a huge risk. After my first week of classes, however, I knew that it was the best decision I had ever made. There are so many great faculty, staff, and administrators. Also, the campus is beautifu and there is a lot to offer within student life.

  1. @Cypress — what have you been involved with? How has your path unfolded?

I have been involved with the Associated Students since my first year at Cypress three years ago. I began as an Activities Coordinator, and then on the Executive Board as the Vice President of Public Relations. If you had asked me back in high school if I could ever picture myself as the AS President, my response would be, “Hell no!” But now I can’t imagine myself in any other position. I am so incredibly grateful for the opportunity I was given when I was elected President, to represent the Cypress College student body and the AS Council.

My current job is a Student Ambassador, but it doesn’t feel like work to me at all! I love what I do – helping Cypress students and assisting with the College’s outreach to local elementary/middle/high schools. Along with AS, I have worked with some amazing people who I will always cherish.

During my first two years, I was a contributor to the Cypress Chronicle when it was active. I had my own YouTube channel in which I posted weekly videos (I filmed/edited myself!), covered news on/off campus by writing articles, and published my photography.

I really do love to write, particularly fiction and poetry. I have participated in the two Open Mic Nights hosted by the Lively Arts Club and MEChA Club’s Noche de Arte event this year by reciting my original poetry.

Another club that I am involved with is Club LEAD (Ladies Empowered and Determined), whose purpose is I am fiercely passionate about. Cypress College truly has played such a significant role in my growth as a person and a leader, and I have learned so much about who I am and what I stand for. I am proud to say that I am a dedicated social justice advocate aiming to be an activist who fights for oppressed communities. As a woman of color, particularly a Filipino American woman, I strive to represent folks in my community and be their voice.

#CYProud: Angelyn (Angel) Garcia Cypress to Cal State University, Fullerton
#CYProud: Angelyn (Angel) Garcia, Cypress to Cal State University, Fullerton
  1. Faculty or staff that have helped you get where you are today.

There are so many awesome faculty and staff here at Cypress College! People who have significantly helped me get to where I am today are the AS Advisor Dave Okawa, the Student Ambassador Director Lark Crumpler, and my Ethnic Studies professor Daniel Lind. All of them have gone above and beyond their positions, each of them in their own individual way, and I am so grateful that they contributed to the person I am.

  1. Post Cypress — what do you hope to do in the near term? What are your plans at UC Sand Diego?

Once I graduate with my AA-T in Communications Studies, I plan to transfer to CSUF this fall semester. My major will be Communications with an emphasis on Public Relations, but I am interested in double majoring for Asian Pacific American Studies. I intend on being involved in the Associated Students, Inc. and/or social justice clubs.

  1. Advice to Future Students?

Take initiative! Seriously. Apply for scholarships, apply for financial aid, speak with a counselor and make an education plan, join clubs (A.S., of course! ;)), and visit our awesome student support programs and services! My biggest regret is not doing this until my last year here.

  1. Longer-Term Vision — what do you aspire to?

I know this is idealistic, but I truly do hope I achieve my goal of being a talk show host! Oprah inspires me, and while I may never be half as amazing as she is, I strive to follow her footsteps. Ultimately, I want to represent the Filipino-American and women community by having a platform to spread awareness of our issues. I want to give them hope that there are people that look like them and can relate to them. I aspire to become an activist, and I’m still learning (and will continue to learn throughout my life) how to get there. I also hope to publish my own novel.

  1. What are you most proud of?

I am most proud of becoming the AS President for an entire year. As I mentioned before, I would have never expected to be where I am today. I did not think I was capable of taking on such a significant leadership position – and succeed. And look, I did it! But I would be lying if I said this journey wasn’t hard and that I didn’t face many stressful difficulties. Trust me, it happened quite often. But there’s beauty in the struggle, and it has only made me stronger. I’m very grateful for my experience.

  1. Anything else you’d like to add…

Thank you!

#CYProud: Angelyn (Angel) Garcia Cypress to Cal State University, Fullerton
#CYProud: Angelyn (Angel) Garcia, Cypress to Cal State University, Fullerton

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Cypress College is recognized as one of California’s top community colleges. Recent accolades include:

– #1 in the U.S. | Top Toyota T-TEN Auto-Tech Program in the Nation.

– #2 in C.A. | Top Two ESL & Basic Skills English Programs in California.

– #3 in C.A. | Ranked as a Top Three California Community College (Schools.com)

– #3 in the Region | Ranked Top Three in Greater Los Angeles & Orange County for Student Transfer and Graduation Rates (EdSmart.org)

– 15 of 113 | California Community Colleges piloting a Bachelor’s Degree (Mortuary Science)

– #17 in the U.S. | National Ranking on MTV-U’s website “Rate-My-Professor”

– Top National Licensure Exam Pass Rates | Perfect state licensure pass rates for students in the following programs: Dental Hygiene, Diagnostic Medical Sonography: Abdomen; Diagnostic Medical Sonography (OB/Gyn); Diagnostic Medical Sonography: Physics; and Mortuary Science: Sciences. 90+% state licensure exam pass rates for students in the following programs: Dental Assisting; Mortuary Science (Arts); Radiology Technology. And 85%+ state licensure rates for students in: Health Information Technology; Nursing; and Psychiatric Technology.

– 2/3ds of the Class of 2015 qualified for transfer to a UC or CSU institution.

– 76 Orange Empire Athletics Conference Titles

– 25 California Community College Athletic Association State Championship Titles

 

 

 

#CYProud: Madison May

Commencement is a celebratory time on campus. To capture this year-end spirit, we asked our faculty to tell us which students they are most proud of. Some of those profiled in this year’s #CYProud 2016 feature have overcome significant personal and financial hurdles to reach their educational goals; others have distinguished themselves as exemplars of academic achievement and/or student leadership.

As part of this year’s series, we are pleased to introduce Madison May who will transfer to Niagara University in the fall on athletic scholarship. Madison is a seasoned volleyball player who will contribute greatly to her new D.I team in New York. #CYPCity #Chargers #CYProud 2016

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#CYProud: Madison May Cypress to Niagara University (athletic scholarship, volleyball)

#CYProud: Madison May
Cypress to Niagara University (athletic scholarship, volleyball)

  1. Origin — what is your back story (hometown, high school, personal story…)I was born in Long Beach, California and went to Los Alamitos high school. I graduated in 2014. Ever since I started playing volleyball when I was 12, it was my dream to play college volleyball. It was my goal throughout my whole volleyball career. To have ability and skill to play at the next level was my life dream. Volleyball is a very emotional, competitive, dynamic sport. And being able to play at a high level where the talent is incredible is really rewarding. To play on that level is the best gift anyone can ask for.After high school I played volleyball at Cal Poly Pomona for one year but it didn’t work out. I didn’t fit with the coaching philosophy and the team dynamic, and I felt I needed to move out. That’s when I decided to move to Cypress.
  1. Why Cypress?I chose Cypress because I’ve knew Coach Nancy Welliver my whole life. I felt it was a good fit competitively and team wise. Also Cypress is in a good area and I knew that the school would help put me in a good place for transferring.Being on the team we had this year was so special. I’ve made lifelong friends that I’m sure I’ll have forever. It was a great group of girls. Our season may not have ended as I wanted it to, but seeing my teammates grow and learn throughout the season was incredible. Being able to share the volleyball knowledge I had acquired in high school together with my experience at Pomona to my teammates (since most of them were first years) was very rewarding for me. And being a great leader for them and having them look up to me was also really meaningful. It was nice teaching them things that can help them in the future.
  1. @Cypress — what have you been involved with? How has your path unfolded?After high school I decided what my major was going to be. I had my path all planned out. So I’m majoring in political science because I have always been interested in history and politics. I have aspirations to go to law school after undergrad and hopefully make an influence in the political world.
  1. Faculty or staff that have helped you get where you are today.I joined the STEM program in the fall of 2014 because I wanted to re-ignite my drive. The purpose of the STEM program is to retain students in STEM majors and to increase underrepresented community college transfers to four-year institutions. Because of this program I have been able to tour the biological science and engineering labs at UC Davis, UC Berkeley, Stanford, and CSU Monterey Bay. In addition, I participated in workshops hosted by STEM professionals who really inspired me. I’ve also helped recruit students into the STEM program, organized networking events, and participated in panels about undergraduate research and scientific conferences.  All of this was supported and encouraged by my mentor Cypress College Marine Biology Professor, Jesus Reyes. Professor Reyes introduced me to research and encouraged me to apply for summer programs.
  1. Post Cypress — what do you hope to do in the near term? What are your plans at UC Sand Diego?I’m going to Niagara University in New York on full scholarship for volleyball. I look forward to this fall and hope to make an impact. I’d like to help the team win the conference title and move on to the NCAA Volleyball Tournament. Academically, I would like to stick with my major and take some classes that will give me the knowledge and experience to help me in my future.

6. Longer-Term Vision — what do you aspire to?

I have a mix of interests. Professionally, I’m thinking that I’d like to work in the political realm in some capacity, maybe for an elected official in Washington D.C.

  1. What are you most proud of?

I’m most proud of my accomplishments those of my team. I’m proud of the impact that I’ve made on my teammates outside of volleyball. Also, I’m proud of the fact that I got to accomplish my dream. I feel like what the team can take away from my time is that if you set your mind to a goal and work hard, you can achieve anything. Stay humble, be a good leader. It’s important to be a great teammate because you can’t go anywhere without the support of your teammates. If you show confidence in them, they will show confidence in you.

  1. Anything else you’d like to add…

If you work hard, you can achieve anything that you set your mind to.

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#CYProud: Madison May Cypress to Niagara University (athletic scholarship, volleyball)

___________

Cypress College is recognized as one of California’s top community colleges. Recent accolades include:

– #1 in the U.S. | Top Toyota T-TEN Auto-Tech Program in the Nation.

– #2 in C.A. | Top Two ESL & Basic Skills English Programs in California.

– #3 in C.A. | Ranked as a Top Three California Community College (Schools.com)

– #3 in the Region | Ranked Top Three in Greater Los Angeles & Orange County for Student Transfer and Graduation Rates (EdSmart.org)

– 15 of 113 | California Community Colleges piloting a Bachelor’s Degree (Mortuary Science)

– #17 in the U.S. | National Ranking on MTV-U’s website “Rate-My-Professor”

– Top National Licensure Exam Pass Rates | Perfect state licensure pass rates for students in the following programs: Dental Hygiene, Diagnostic Medical Sonography: Abdomen; Diagnostic Medical Sonography (OB/Gyn); Diagnostic Medical Sonography: Physics; and Mortuary Science: Sciences. 90+% state licensure exam pass rates for students in the following programs: Dental Assisting; Mortuary Science (Arts); Radiology Technology. And 85%+ state licensure rates for students in: Health Information Technology; Nursing; and Psychiatric Technology.

– 2/3ds of the Class of 2015 qualified for transfer to a UC or CSU institution.

– 76 Orange Empire Athletics Conference Titles

– 25 California Community College Athletic Association State Championship Titles

#CYProud: Erika Nilsen

Commencement is a celebratory time on campus. To capture this year-end spirit, we asked our faculty to tell us which students they are most proud of. Some of those profiled in this year’s #CYProud 2016 feature have overcome significant personal and financial hurdles to reach their educational goals; others have distinguished themselves as exemplars of academic achievement and/or student leadership.

As part of this year’s series, we are pleased to introduce Erika Nilsen who will transfer to San Francisco State University in the fall on athletic scholarship. Erika was a standout basketball player at Cypress. We’re sure that she’ll continue her trajectory of athletic and academic success at SFSU. Congratulations, Erika! #CYPCity #Chargers #CYProud 2016 

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#CYProud: Erika Nilsen Cypress to San Francisco State (athletic scholarship, basketball)

#CYProud: Erika Nilsen
Cypress to San Francisco State (athletic scholarship, basketball)

  1. Origin — what is your back story (hometown, high school, personal story…) I grew-up in Los Alamitos and went to Los Alamitos High School. I played on the basketball team during the four years that I was there. I earned good grades every year and was always on the academic honor roll. My senior year I earned a 4.0 grade point average. It was a pretty good experience and prepared me well for college.My dad signed me up for a youth basketball league when I was seven years old. I wasn’t too interested or excited in the game when I first started playing, but I quickly got better and began to enjoy it. I love its fast pace and understand every aspect of it. In my junior year of high school we broke the school record and were the first women’s basketball team to win the Sunset League.
  1. Why Cypress?

    Cypress College Basketball Coach Mohr recruited me in high school. I came to a few practices and games at Cypress while I was in high school to get a feel of the program. The team had great energy both on and off court, which made me want to join. My coming to Cypress was for basketball, but I also knew that the academic program was strong. In high school, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do either major-wise or career-wise. After some guidance while here at Cypress, I decided to focus on kinesiology. I was impressed with professional options and liked its direct application to sport. Learning about the human body and how it moves is really intriguing. As an athlete it has helped me understand why my body functions the way it does.

  1. @Cypress — what have you been involved with? How has your path unfolded?

    It’s been a lot of fun. It’s been an intense and very fast two years. I learned a lot about my game and how to be a better player. I learned how to be a better person on and off the court. It was just a really great experience that has prepared me well for the next level. I felt that I’ve matured. When I began, I felt like I was just quiet and shy and didn’t know how to do a lot independently. Coach Mohr has helped me grow as a person and as a player. She taught me how to lead my team and have more of a voice.Taking some of the health science courses here, especially in kinesiology, has helped me create a career path for myself.

  1. Faculty or staff that have helped you get where you are today.

    Obviously the coaches I had were a big influence: Coach Mohr, Coach Ford, Coach Armstrong, Coach B (Brittany Imaku) helped me a lot on and off the court. Mrs. Nguyen, a chemistry professor, helped me a lot with that subject and made it accessible and fun to learn. I took Advanced Placement chemistry in high school so I had a lot of passion for the subject heading into college.

  1. Post Cypress — what do you hope to do in the near term? What are your plans at UC Sand Diego? I’m going to San Francisco State and will ideally enroll in their Kinesiology program. I have completed the bulk of my general education courses, so I can begin focusing on kinesiology right away.The coaches and the girls on the basketball team at San Francisco State seem really nice. The SF State coach seems really interested in building the program and comes from an excellent background. I’m really excited to be part of the building block.

    For now, I look forward to learning more about basketball and being a smarter student.

  2. Longer-Term Vision — what do you aspire to?I’m not entirely sure what job I want to do quite yet. I am leaning towards physical and personal training. I really enjoy helping people get in shape.
  3. What are you most proud of? I’m proud that I was able get good grades and be a good athlete at the same time. I stayed above a 3.5 GPA while becoming a better player and person.
  4. Anything else you’d like to add…Advice. Just go to class. It’s not that long. You can do it. Really focus on your schooling so you can continue on with your education. Cherish your time because it will go by fast. You won’t get that time back.
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#CYProud: Erika Nilsen Cypress to San Francisco State (athletic scholarship, basketball)

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Cypress College is recognized as one of California’s top community colleges. Recent accolades include:

– #1 in the U.S. | Top Toyota T-TEN Auto-Tech Program in the Nation.

– #2 in C.A. | Top Two ESL & Basic Skills English Programs in California.

– #3 in C.A. | Ranked as a Top Three California Community College (Schools.com)

– #3 in the Region | Ranked Top Three in Greater Los Angeles & Orange County for Student Transfer and Graduation Rates (EdSmart.org)

– 15 of 113 | California Community Colleges piloting a Bachelor’s Degree (Mortuary Science)

– #17 in the U.S. | National Ranking on MTV-U’s website “Rate-My-Professor”

– Top National Licensure Exam Pass Rates | Perfect state licensure pass rates for students in the following programs: Dental Hygiene, Diagnostic Medical Sonography: Abdomen; Diagnostic Medical Sonography (OB/Gyn); Diagnostic Medical Sonography: Physics; and Mortuary Science: Sciences. 90+% state licensure exam pass rates for students in the following programs: Dental Assisting; Mortuary Science (Arts); Radiology Technology. And 85%+ state licensure rates for students in: Health Information Technology; Nursing; and Psychiatric Technology.

– 2/3ds of the Class of 2015 qualified for transfer to a UC or CSU institution.

– 76 Orange Empire Athletics Conference Titles

– 25 California Community College Athletic Association State Championship Titles

#CYProud: Josh Currenton

Commencement is a celebratory time on campus. To capture this year-end spirit, we asked our faculty to tell us which students they are most proud of. Some of those profiled in this year’s #CYProud 2016 feature have overcome significant personal and financial hurdles to reach their educational goals; others have distinguished themselves as exemplars of academic achievement and/or student leadership.

As part of this year’s series, we are pleased to introduce student-athlete Josh Currenton who will transfer to Cal State University, Fullerton. Josh was a stand-out basketball player at Cypress and plans to join CSUF’s team in the fall. #CYPCity #Chargers #CYProud 2016

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#CYProud: Josh Currenton, Cypress to Cal State Fullerton
  1. Origin — what is your back story (hometown, high school, personal story…)I went to five different high schools. I was born in Watts, California, but I moved all around. I ended up going to Iowa, to Illinois, to the Bay Area, to South Carolina, and came back to California when I was 13 because my grandma was sick. When I was homeschooled during my freshman year, I grew five inches. I went from 6’ to 6’ 5”. I was homeschooled because my mom didn’t want me to attend school in Watts since the environment there was bad. After that period, we moved up to Victorville and I attended Silverado High School. We ended up losing our house there because my mother couldn’t afford it anymore. So I ended up moving to Norco and lived with my aunt for a whole semester. I then went to La Sierra High School for my junior and senior years. That’s when I started to play basketball. Though I had always wanted to play for a team, it wasn’t possible prior to that because I was always moving around. I didn’t have roots.I started playing a lot of pickup basketball during the spring semester of my junior year and I was really bad. I couldn’t shoot a layup because I was so uncoordinated. I would travel all the time and couldn’t catch the ball. You can ask my teammates. I was so bad. I was 6’ 10” and I still couldn’t dunk. It was hard, but I stuck with it. I had several great mentors, including my high school coach who wanted to give me a chance to play. He had seen me in a pickup game and didn’t question me. He offered me an opportunity.
  1. Why Cypress?I was introduced to retired Cypress basketball coach, Tom Lubin, while in high school. Coach Lubin is a legend. He has worked with NBAA All-Star athletes like former Cypress College students Swen Nater and Mark Eaton. That meeting convinced me that Cypress would be a good fit for me, a place to develop. After that initial meeting, the College followed-up with a recruitment package, which I thought was really cool. I decided to come to Cypress on account of Tom, and began working out and practicing with the team that summer.Cypress College is a very hands-on school. There are counselors you can speak to for guidance and the school has many great academic resources, which have helped me figure out what I want to do and how to strengthen my weaknesses. I used to go the math center for additional help because I knew that math wasn’t my strong suit. But I also knew that I wanted to do something science-based. It was Cypress College professors that sold me on science. They were all so passionate about their respective subjects. I enjoyed hearing them talk about science and learning about life and how things worked. They really influenced to pursue that path and not do the easy “athlete” subjects like communications. I know that faculty will help me if I seriously go for it… even with a shortcoming in math. Science always fascinated me since it’s the study of life and how things work.
  1. @Cypress — what have you been involved with? How has your path unfolded?I spent my first two years at Cypress grey-shirting for the basketball team. Then I transferred out to Cuesta College and came back to Cypress when Coach Drew took over. I then redshirted during my third year. Finally, I again played this past year. I did a lot of community service while I was greyshirting and helped the coaches with recording the games and keeping stats.I also worked in the financial aid office with Dr. Richard Rams through work-study. It gets really busy at the financial aid office, especially when students come in frustrated because they need money to keep studying.I learned time management is the most important skill to have as a college student. You always have to find that balance. For me I have to study to keep my grades up and put in work at the gym. There will be times I study so much that it impacts how I play. I feel it during games, especially when none of my shots are falling. Then, if I put more time in the gym, I see that I play better, but my grades start slipping. It’s really about finding that balance.

    Aside from basketball and work, I helped out with Kindercaminata with my professor Tracy Van Herk. We organized some of the programs for the event and come up with fun games and activities for the children. I love people and I love kids, and it’s just fun to give back to the community. I never really had a father figure in my life, so I wanted to help mentor kids and be a good leader, one that I never had.

  1. Faculty or staff that have helped you get where you are today.Keith Cobb at the Financial Aid office, Dr. Rich Rams, Coach Drew, and my professor Tracy Van Herk all have been great mentors in my life. They have all chipped in and helped me become the man that I am today. I went through a rough patch last year. I was kicked out of my house, sleeping on my friend’s couch, and without money. I couldn’t afford to go to school anymore and practice basketball, so Coach Drew talked to Dr. Rams and they helped me get a job at the financial aid office. I ended up moving into a house across from Cypress College. I feel so blessed to be surrounded by people that genuinely care about me. They weren’t my blood, but they really cared about me. Coming from my background, you don’t really see a lot of that. It’s really special to be a part of Cypress College. Every day I thank God, and someday I want to be in a position where I can give back to someone in my position as well.
  1. Post Cypress — what do you hope to do in the near term? What are your plans at CSUF?In terms of a major, I’m between geography and kinesiology. In the future, I really want to teach. I want to become a college professor and help people learn. As for basketball, I want to score 20 points a game and grab 20 rebounds. That’s just the competitive nature in me. I definitely provide another tall body that can play physically and bring the energy. I bring energy along with hard work and hustle.
  2. Longer-Term Vision — what do you aspire to?I feel like there are a lot of teachers that have lost their passion for education. I want to be one of those teachers that will find new avenues to teach students. I learned that the classes where I learned the most were the ones where I was up and interacting with the classroom. I want to make a positive impact in how we learn. It would meaningful to leave that kind of legacy behind.
  1. What are you most proud of?I definitely take pride in being a member of Cypress College. It’s an enormous accomplishment for me, coming from my background and how far behind I was academically, especially in math. I’m proud that I actually stuck with it and didn’t give up. There were times where I thought about just leaving school and getting a regular job. But, I’m glad I was able to stick with school and work hard in the gym. Every day when I come home, I know I gave the best that I had.
  1. Anything else you’d like to add…

 

I’m thankful to be a Cypress Charger. I’m glad I get to graduate in the spring with my AA and go on to Cal State Fullerton to play. I would like to thank everyone at Cypress College for their guidance. So many people cheered me on and gave me hope, even when I felt down and out. We have something special here at Cypress College. It really feels like a family.

#CYProud: Josh Currenton, Cypress to Cal State Fullerton
#CYProud: Josh Currenton, Cypress to Cal State Fullerton

Currenton was also the subject of this profile, produced by Cypress College’s Sports Information/Marketing Representative Wes McCurtis:

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Cypress College is recognized as one of California’s top community colleges. Recent accolades include:

– #1 in the U.S. | Top Toyota T-TEN Auto-Tech Program in the Nation.

– #2 in C.A. | Top Two ESL & Basic Skills English Programs in California.

– #3 in C.A. | Ranked as a Top Three California Community College (Schools.com)

– #3 in the Region | Ranked Top Three in Greater Los Angeles & Orange County for Student Transfer and Graduation Rates (EdSmart.org)

– 15 of 113 | California Community Colleges piloting a Bachelor’s Degree (Mortuary Science)

– #17 in the U.S. | National Ranking on MTV-U’s website “Rate-My-Professor”

– Top National Licensure Exam Pass Rates | Perfect state licensure pass rates for students in the following programs: Dental Hygiene, Diagnostic Medical Sonography: Abdomen; Diagnostic Medical Sonography (OB/Gyn); Diagnostic Medical Sonography: Physics; and Mortuary Science: Sciences. 90+% state licensure exam pass rates for students in the following programs: Dental Assisting; Mortuary Science (Arts); Radiology Technology. And 85%+ state licensure rates for students in: Health Information Technology; Nursing; and Psychiatric Technology.

– 2/3ds of the Class of 2015 qualified for transfer to a UC or CSU institution.

– 76 Orange Empire Athletics Conference Titles

– 25 California Community College Athletic Association State Championship Titles

#CYProud: Madeline Garcia

Commencement is a celebratory time on campus. To capture this year-end spirit, we asked our faculty to tell us which students they are most proud of. Some of those profiled in this year’s #CYProud 2016 feature have overcome significant personal and financial hurdles to reach their educational goals; others have distinguished themselves as exemplars of academic achievement and/or student leadership.

As part of this year’s series, we are pleased to introduce Madeline Garcia who will transfer to the University of California, Los Angeles in the fall. Madeline is a sociology major who benefited greatly from our Puente Program. #CYProud 2016

Madeline Garcia, #CYProud 2016 Graduate, Cypress to UCLA
Madeline Garcia, #CYProud 2016 Graduate, Cypress to UCLA

#CYProud: Madeline Garcia, Cypress to UCLA

  1. Origin — what is your back story (hometown, high school, personal story…)

Growing up my mother instilled in me that it was essential to excel in school. Once my parents spilt up my mom went back to school to receive her bachelors and eventually received her Masters from Cal State LA. I still remember waking up in the middle of the night and seeing my mom studying. I will always strive to be half the woman she is. I want to make sure that I make my mother proud.

For me, school had always come easy. I did well – had a 3.7 GPA in high school – and was involved in my extracurriculars. All of my friends and I assumed we would graduate and move on to a four-year college or university. I thought I would be accepted into UC Santa Barbara, my dream school

But come second semester senior year I found out that I wasn’t. Not only was I rejected from UCSB, I was rejected from every school to which I applied except CSUF and CSULA. I was crushed. I felt like a loser. I felt stuck. As a result, I lost motivation and hope. I didn’t know what I was going to do.

The only choice I had was to attend community college. After accepting the fact that I had to delay my four-year aspirations, I began summer session here at Cypress a week after my high school graduation. In no time, I found renewed motivation. I told myself that I had a second chance to get into any school that I wanted, and felt confident that I would eventually wind up at UCSB. I just had to take a slightly different path, and that’s okay.

Now, looking back, I can say that attending Cypress College is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Without attending Cypress I wouldn’t have networked and been offered all the opportunities that I have today.

  1. Why Cypress?

I chose Cypress because I wanted to meet a new group of people. I knew that if I attended Cerritos College or Rio Hondo College I would see people that I already knew. I wanted to be in a new environment. When I first visited Cypress, I loved its feel and size. The campus is not too big or too small. When I attended the orientation it just confirmed that I really wanted to attend Cypress. Everyone was so welcoming and the campus was easy to navigate. I expected community college to be boring. I thought that I would simply go to class, do my homework in the library and go back home. I was, however, completely wrong and I’m glad I was. My goal going into Cypress was to get in and get out as quickly as possible. Now that I’m done I realized that I’ve done so much more than that. My goals have definitely changed. I now want to leave a mark in this world. Before attending Cypress, I just wanted to get my degree so that I could maintain a living. Now, I want to make a change. I want to help empower individuals by helping them find and follow their own unique paths. I want to create an example for underrepresented students to show that anything is possible.

  1. @Cypress — what have you been involved with? How has your path unfolded?

At Cypress I was involved in the Puente Program. The Puente Program gave us the necessary tools to transfer to a four-year university. Before Puente, I had no idea how to navigate my way to my goals. Through Puente, I acquired a solid understanding of what classes I had to take, and became aware of the many different opportunities that the campus had to offer. I loved being at school because of Puente. It was my second home. I had no idea what I wanted to do before going into Puente. After networking with various guest speakers, exploring different universities, and speaking with old Puentistas, it gave me many really good ideas of what I wanted to do career-wise. If it weren’t for Puente, I would probably be a little bit lost. I now know that I want to empower Latino students, and set an example for them. Just how Dr. P (Puente Director Dr. Therese Mosqueda-Ponce) and Mr. Silva (Obed Silva, Puente English instructor) have been to me.

  1. Faculty or staff that have helped you get where you are today.

Professor Obed Silva and Dr. Therese Mosqueda-Ponce are the two influential individuals that have helped me get where I am today. Their motivation and assistance has been so important to my growth. They unlocked many opportunities for me that I wasn’t aware were available. They have shared their struggles with us; they have showed us that our dreams are attainable.

Before attending Mr. Silva’s English class I did not enjoy writing. It was the subject I disliked most. Mr. Silva made English so interesting and easy to grasp. No matter how bad my writing was, he was patient and explained everything to me. Mr. Silva connected all the topics that we reviewed in class to things that we have experienced in our own personal lives. That is when I started to love English. By the end of the year, I had earned the most improved writer award. That was all because of Mr. Silva.

In Counseling 160, I learned so many useful things that I wouldn’t learn in any other class. Dr. Therese-Mosqueda-Ponce made sure that we were aware of what to do when it came to transferring. Dr. Ponce relayed so many impactful life lessons. She made sure that we were always connected with our roots, and to be proud of who we are as individuals. No matter what kind of crazy ideas we had she was always in full support of them. When I felt hopeless, and lost Dr. Ponce was always there to reassure me that everything was going to be okay. She always pushed me to do better than I did yesterday, to strive for the best.

Without, Dr. Ponce and Mr. Silva I would not have the motivation that I do today.

  1. Post Cypress — what do you hope to do in the near term? What are your plans at UC Sand Diego?

After I graduate Cypress I will continue to work towards my bachelors degree in Sociology at UCLA.

  1. Advice to Future Students?

I am most proud of staying true to myself. Life is very crazy and it is very easy to lose yourself. I am proud that I have stuck to my word and goals. I have worked hard to transfer to my dream school. I am proud to say that I will be the first in my family to attend a university.

  1. Longer-Term Vision — what do you aspire to?

I plan to continue my studies and complete a Ph.D. at either UC San Diego Scripps Institution of Oceanography or Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts. I have a strong interest in marine mammal acoustics and would love to become a principal investigator conducting research about the anthropogenic effects on social and behavioral patterns of cetaceans in noise-polluted areas. I’ve also considered a dual DVM/PhD, and plan to open a non-profit research and rehabilitation center with an emphasis on acoustic-related strandings.

  1. What are you most proud of?

I’ve accomplished a lot thanks to the wonderful resources at Cypress College, especially the STEM(2) program. I re-established the college’s Marine Biology Club and fulfilled the presidential role for two years. I volunteered in a research lab at CSU Long Beach with my mentor, Jesus Reyes, who provided me hands-on experience and the confidence to apply for summer internships. I did what I thought was the impossible and was one of ten students selected from across the United States to participate in a National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) with the Sarasota Dolphin Research Program in Florida. I was then selected to present this research at the 2015 SACNAS National Conference in Washington, D.C. This year, I was selected to participate in the Summer Training Academy for Research Success (STARS) at UC San Diego Scripps Institution of Oceanography conducting marine mammal acoustics research. So far, I have accomplished everything I’ve ever wanted to do in major, and have yet to graduate with my bachelor’s degree, so it’s really exciting to see what happens next!

  1. Anything else you’d like to add…

I will be forever grateful for the opportunities and memories that Cypress College has given me. Attending Cypress College has been one of the best decisions that I have ever made. I cannot wait to see what UCLA has in-store for me.

Madeline Garcia with fellow #CYProud 2016 Graduate, Puente student, and future UCLA Bruin Michael Gonzalez.
Madeline Garcia with fellow #CYProud 2016 Graduate, Puente student, and future UCLA Bruin Michael Gonzalez.

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Cypress College is recognized as one of California’s top community colleges. Recent accolades include:

– #1 in the U.S. | Top Toyota T-TEN Auto-Tech Program in the Nation.

– #2 in C.A. | Top Two ESL & Basic Skills English Programs in California.

– #3 in C.A. | Ranked as a Top Three California Community College (Schools.com)

– #3 in the Region | Ranked Top Three in Greater Los Angeles & Orange County for Student Transfer and Graduation Rates (EdSmart.org)

– 15 of 113 | California Community Colleges piloting a Bachelor’s Degree (Mortuary Science)

– #17 in the U.S. | National Ranking on MTV-U’s website “Rate-My-Professor”

– Top National Licensure Exam Pass Rates | Perfect state licensure pass rates for students in the following programs: Dental Hygiene, Diagnostic Medical Sonography: Abdomen; Diagnostic Medical Sonography (OB/Gyn); Diagnostic Medical Sonography: Physics; and Mortuary Science: Sciences. 90+% state licensure exam pass rates for students in the following programs: Dental Assisting; Mortuary Science (Arts); Radiology Technology. And 85%+ state licensure rates for students in: Health Information Technology; Nursing; and Psychiatric Technology.

– 2/3ds of the Class of 2015 qualified for transfer to a UC or CSU institution.

– 76 Orange Empire Athletics Conference Titles

– 25 California Community College Athletic Association State Championship Titles

#CYProud: Mallory Roa (Artist Profile)

As part of our ongoing student profile series (#CYProud), we’re pleased to highlight the extraordinary work of Mallory Roa, a Cypress College Class of 2016 graduate who will continue her art and photography studies on full merit scholarship at the prestigious San Francisco Art Institute, School of Photography (founded by Ansel Adams and home to legends such as Annie Leibovitz, Lewis Baltz, and our very own Cypress College alumna Carly Cram).

Mallory is a brilliant talent – an artist in all respects. Her photos are vivid and real; not just beautiful images in and of themselves, but narratively compelling. In some sort of magical way, she is able to convey a sense of history and essence through imagery… a significance of place, past and person.

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Compelling narratives; frank exposures; implied complicity. 

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Original views of geometry, texture, light and skyscapes. 

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Visual tapestries; evocative captures of color and elements. 

Scrolling her beautiful Instagram feed, it’s clear that she puts much thought and time into composition and design, the use of color and shape, and the progression of images on a page. She has a great and rare instinct for both curating and creating.

We’re proud that she’ll continue to cultivate and showcase her artistry at one of the world’s very best institutes for creative talents.

Congratulations, Mallory, and best wishes!

#CypressCollege #Photography #Art

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Mallory Roa. Photo Credit: David Dugoncevic
Talented photographer-artist, Mallory Roa. Photo Credit: David Dugoncevic (who will also attend SFAI on merit scholarship)

Mallory Roa | Artist Statement:

I am a photographer from Southern California. I have also lived in Rome, Italy for a semester. Traveling has brought awareness into my life. I work primarily in the studio and extremely manipulated and controlled environments. I find comfort in control, predictability, and symmetry. My portraits are printed in large scale to aid in creating an intimate, intense, and overwhelming experience. The broad themes in my work are identity, intimacy, and socio-etc commentary. I am also interested in the body image, gender identity, sexuality, virginity, finality of death, introversion, depression and anxiety, HSP tendencies, aphasia, and interpersonal connections. I look forward to living in a place where I am free to pose questions like “How can I be a feminist if I am rejecting my gender?”

My practice is centered on interpersonal relationships and how we view, interact, and stereotype those around us. Social justice is a major theme in my work. “The Generations” are sets of portraits of generational gaps in a family’s lineage. It comments on the physical aspects we pass along and genetics, as well as formality and honor. “Smokin’ Lesbians” is a light-hearted project with a play on words focusing on a group of people who can feel extremely objectified in public. Inspired by Richard Avedon, “Private Moment. Public Space.” is a street portrait exploration of first impressions and the image I impose on a subject. One of my older works, ”Match The Couples” was a survey and study conducted in my local art program that asked survey-takers to blindly match portraits of people into coupled pairs. Given no information, the intent was to discover how prevalent heterosexism, a system of attitudes and biases in favor of the opposite-sex sexuality and relationships, is in a small part of our society. Conducted in the art department, I expect that the results are still generous at 17.9% of participants choosing two heterosexual and two homosexual couples.

I am drawn to artists that explore the human condition. I am drawn to someone oppressed by societal standards in Catherine Opie’s “Self-Portrait,” people designated different at birth in Martin Schoeller’s “Identical,” or those governed by life choices in Rineke Dijkstra’s “Mothers” and “Bull Fighters”. Richard Avedon’s “In the American West” and Diane Arbus’ practices have given me the appreciation of people, their diversity, and rituals of portraiture. Other influences stem from artist’s genuine and pure curiosity of the seemingly mundane, such as John Divola’s “As Far As I Could Get” and Bernd and Hilla Becher’s “Water Towers”.

We plan to profile Mallory’s extraordinary portfolio (and other standout student artists, alums and faculty) with a rolling video narrative come summer. Stay tuned.
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Cypress College is recognized as one of California’s top community colleges. Recent accolades include:

– #1 in the U.S. | Top Toyota T-TEN Auto-Tech Program in the Nation.

– #2 in C.A. | Top Two ESL & Basic Skills English Programs in California.

– #3 in C.A. | Ranked as a Top Three California Community College (Schools.com)

– #3 in the Region | Ranked Top Three in Greater Los Angeles & Orange County for Student Transfer and Graduation Rates (EdSmart.org)

– 15 of 113 | California Community Colleges piloting a Bachelor’s Degree (Mortuary Science)

– #17 in the U.S. | National Ranking on MTV-U’s website “Rate-My-Professor”

– Top National Licensure Exam Pass Rates | Perfect state licensure pass rates for students in the following programs: Dental Hygiene, Diagnostic Medical Sonography: Abdomen; Diagnostic Medical Sonography (OB/Gyn); Diagnostic Medical Sonography: Physics; and Mortuary Science: Sciences. 90+% state licensure exam pass rates for students in the following programs: Dental Assisting; Mortuary Science (Arts); Radiology Technology. And85%+ state licensure rates for students in: Health Information Technology; Nursing; and Psychiatric Technology.

– 2/3ds of the Class of 2015 qualified for transfer to a UC or CSU institution.

– 76 Orange Empire Athletics Conference Titles

– 25 California Community College Athletic Association State Championship Titles

 

#CYProud: Mike Alcoran (Artist Profile)

Mike Alcoran
Mike Alcoran, Cypress College Class of 2016, Cal State University, Fullerton transfer.

As part of our ongoing student profile series, we are pleased to highlight Class of 2016 graduate Mike Alcoran, a prolific, award-winning filmmaker, photographer, and graphic artist, who will continue his digital cinema studies at Cal State University, Fullerton in the fall.

Mike is a tremendous talent. Through his art, he is able to make even the simplest of subjects wondrous. His signature style is infused with a flair and technique that brings surprising sensibility – beauty and intimacy – to the ordinary. Working primarily with a handheld camera, he details elements, people and places in their natural, often overlooked states. His films, mostly mood documentaries and travel logs, are beautiful, imaginative captures of the world in which we live. It’s a pleasure to view life through his perceptive lens.

A native of our local community (Cypress/Buena Park), Alcoran comes from a family of artistic talent – both his brother and cousins are skilled in the graphic arts and have a love of architecture. Mike began to explore his interest in design and photography as a student at John F. Kennedy High School. After graduation, the proximity and affordability of Cypress made college a possibility for him. Under the mentorship of several professors here at Cypress, Mike fine-tuned his natural gifts and found his true calling: film. He singles out Ian Holmes for help in the development of his craft, and Ed Giardiana for artistic inspiration and transfer direction.

In his relatively short span of cinema production, Mike has produced an impressive body of quality work. He has been a videographer for LA area hip-hop artist Transcendent, for Cypress College (beautifully covering two Student Art Exhibitions – 2013 & 2014, STEM, and other areas), and has done a number of short films for local businesses. Exploring his primary interests, he has completed several travel documentaries, including Through the Rocky Southwest (shown at the Cypress College film festival this year), Through the Pacific Northwest, and Oceanside Dreams. His first narrative feature, Strawberry Lemonade (an experimental horror film) premiered at the Emerging Artist Society’s First Annual Film Festival at Cal State Fullerton

Talent aside, Mike is just a really nice guy. Humble. It took a bit of Internet searching to uncover that he is extremely well prized, not only in film but in several other artistic areas as well. His photograph Five More Minutes, Please won a national award from the Canon Imagination Project, and several others have been picked up by Getty Images.

Five More Minutes, Please:

Five More Minutes, Please.

Through the Rocky Southwest

At some point in the future, after finishing at Cal State Fullerton, he plans to venture into the world of narrative filmmaking. Long-term, he aspires to join one of the major film studios like Disney or Dreamworks.

For more from one of our very favorite students, check out Mike’s talent via his website, Twitter , Instagram, and Vimeo page.

Congratulations, Mike, on all your success! We look forward to seeing more of your talent in years to come.

#CypressCollege #DigitalCinema #Photography #Arts

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Cypress College is recognized as one of California’s top community colleges. Recent accolades include:

– #1 in the U.S. | Top Toyota T-TEN Auto-Tech Program in the Nation.

– #2 in C.A. | Top Two ESL & Basic Skills English Programs in California.

– #3 in C.A. | Ranked as a Top Three California Community College (Schools.com)

– #3 in the Region | Ranked Top Three in Greater Los Angeles & Orange County for Student Transfer and Graduation Rates (EdSmart.org)

– 15 of 113 | California Community Colleges piloting a Bachelor’s Degree (Mortuary Science)

– #17 in the U.S. | National Ranking on MTV-U’s website “Rate-My-Professor”

– Top National Licensure Exam Pass Rates | Perfect state licensure pass rates for students in the following programs: Dental Hygiene, Diagnostic Medical Sonography: Abdomen; Diagnostic Medical Sonography (OB/Gyn); Diagnostic Medical Sonography: Physics; and Mortuary Science: Sciences. 90+% state licensure exam pass rates for students in the following programs: Dental Assisting; Mortuary Science (Arts); Radiology Technology. And85%+ state licensure rates for students in: Health Information Technology; Nursing; and Psychiatric Technology.

– 2/3ds of the Class of 2015 qualified for transfer to a UC or CSU institution.

– 76 Orange Empire Athletics Conference Titles

– 25 California Community College Athletic Association State Championship Titles

 

From Cypress to Stanford

Danial Shakeri with fellow Cypress College alum, Jennifer Franco - now a USC graduate, Class of 2016.
Danial Shakeri with fellow Cypress College alum, Jennifer Franco – now a USC graduate, Class of 2016.

While we often hear of students who transfer from Cypress to the UC’s and CSU’s, we don’t tell as much as we should the many stories of those who move on to top private institutions like Stanford, the Ivies, select liberal arts colleges, and top art institutes.

Danial Shakeri’s story is one worth telling. Since he was a kid, he had his sights set on Stanford University. He pursued admission the traditional route: graduating at the top of his class at Los Alamitos High, he applied….

But – as is the case for many high-achievers – didn’t get in.

Though he had offers at other great schools, Danial was all about Stanford. A smart guy, he knew that Cypress provided another way to get that admissions offer he so desired. With a brother that went from Cypress to UC Irvine and who spoke highly of the quality of education and transfer opportunities available, Danial decided to follow an alternative educational path by foregoing on the immediate four-year options and enrolling at Cypress instead.

From the get-go, he laid out a two year plan: get heavily involved in campus life – serve as an Associated Students Senator and then as A.S. President, get involved in the Honors Program, tutor in the Library Learning Resource Center – and do well academically (of course).

So he did all of those things, sent off his transfer application… and this time around was accepted. He graduated from Stanford in 2014 with a degree in Computer Science (he was accepted as a Psychology major and then switched while at Stanford his first year). He now works at Microsoft’s headquarters in Washington State.

Cypress has many stories of success similar to that of Danial’s – those who didn’t want to “settle” for any one school, and instead enroll at Cypress with the goal of transferring to their dream college or university. There are many others who move on from Cypress first to the UC’s and CSU’s, and to then to institutions like Harvard, Princeton, Yale, and MIT for graduate degrees.

If you’re interested in transferring from Cypress to Stanford – or similarly select schools – the key is to do well academically and to score high on the required SAT. Make sure that you also get involved in campus opportunities, and that you are able to clearly articulate in your transfer application how your personal narrative is unique. What obstacles have you overcome? How will you contribute to the university’s active community life and rigorous academic environment? Be specific by linking your interests to research areas or institutes of study at Stanford. Also, seek out professors and mentors who can write you strong letters of recommendation.

Those were a few pieces of advice offered to our Puente and Honors students on a recent visit to Stanford. Each of the speakers on our “Community College to Stanford” panel had a very compelling narrative. They had all overcome significant personal and financial struggles to find their distinct intellectual passions.

From left to right in the below photo, a brief overview of their stories:

Community College to Stanford panel.
Community College to Stanford panel.

Far Left, Electrical Engineering  – Grew-up without a father, much financial hardship; moved around a lot as a kid; has a story similar to that of Daniel’s in that knew he wanted to go to Stanford and knew community college could get him there; checked-off all the right boxes by getting involved; scored high on the SAT; sought out mentors.

His advice: “Have mentors for everything. There are people you’ll admire because they have strong families, others for professional reasons, etc…. maintain contact with those who inspire you and don’t hesitate to reach out to them for advice throughout your life.

Second to Left, Theoretical Math – Also grew-up with an absent father (who moved back to Brazil when he was a child); very poor background; from the Mid-West; didn’t pursue college after high school, instead worked a variety of service jobs for many years – at Jamba Juice, at a movie theater, in retail, etc. … until finally, he decided that he needed to make change so he enrolled at his local community college. He had always had an interest in math, and really found his passion through self-learning and while at community college.

Advice – “There are plenty of really great schools. While I do love Stanford, I’m sure that I would have been just as happy at Berkeley or UCSD…. or many other places for that matter.”

Third to Left: History + Education – Was a foster child who moved through multiple homes in the San Fernando Valley here in Southern CA. In her twenties, she enrolled at East LA College; did very well and won the prestigious Jack Kent Cooke scholarship, which awards some of the nation’s brightest and most promising students with up to $40,000 per year for four years of university study.

Right, Political Science  – Had to take care of sick mother and siblings early in high school… dropped out to do so and worked a variety of retail jobs for a number of years. Eventually, she got involved with GreenPeace (she had always had an interest in politics and environmental issues). She advanced professionally through the years and did well… so well in fact that political campaigns began to seek her advisory input. In her late twenties, she was told that she absolutely needed a degree to advance. At 30 years of age she enrolled at Santa Monica College. Though she felt out of place she focused and did well. She took her GED exam to finish high school. After completing her undergraduate Associates for Transfer (AS-T) courses at Santa Monica College she took the SAT in order to apply to the best of the best four-year institutions… and was accepted into Stanford.

Worried about the financial burden of attending a top private institution like Stanford? In addition to a needs-blind admissions policy, Stanford just announced earlier this year that it will waive all fees for students from families earning less than $125,000 a year.

If Stanford is your dream school, know that others from community colleges – including Cypress – have transferred.

#CypressCollege #Stanford #Honors #Puente #Transfers

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Cypress College is recognized as one of California’s top community colleges. Recent accolades include:

– #1 in the U.S. | Top Toyota T-TEN Auto-Tech Program in the Nation.

– #2 in C.A. | Top Two ESL & Basic Skills English Programs in California.

– #3 in C.A. | Ranked as a Top Three California Community College (Schools.com)

– #3 in the Region | Ranked Top Three in Greater Los Angeles & Orange County for Student Transfer and Graduation Rates (EdSmart.org)

– 15 of 113 | California Community Colleges piloting a Bachelor’s Degree (Mortuary Science)

– #17 in the U.S. | National Ranking on MTV-U’s website “Rate-My-Professor”

– Top National Licensure Exam Pass Rates | Perfect state licensure pass rates for students in the following programs: Dental Hygiene, Diagnostic Medical Sonography: Abdomen; Diagnostic Medical Sonography (OB/Gyn); Diagnostic Medical Sonography: Physics; and Mortuary Science: Sciences. 90+% state licensure exam pass rates for students in the following programs: Dental Assisting; Mortuary Science (Arts); Radiology Technology. And85%+ state licensure rates for students in: Health Information Technology; Nursing; and Psychiatric Technology.

– 2/3ds of the Class of 2015 qualified for transfer to a UC or CSU institution.

– 76 Orange Empire Athletics Conference Titles

– 25 California Community College Athletic Association State Championship Titles