In a forward-looking address to faculty and staff, Cypress College President Bob Simpson set an energetic tone as he welcomed all back to campus for the spring semester Friday, Jan. 27 on his final Opening Day.
“Rather today than looking in the rearview mirror at what we have achieved,” Dr. Simpson said, “I want to look ahead because there’s so much that’s been happening, so much going on, some very important tasks that are before us.”
The College has a variety of ongoing and upcoming projects to improve its capacity to serve the needs of current and future Cypress students, including the 2017-2020 strategic plan; the College’s first bachelor’s program in funeral sciences; new buildings and renovations through the Measure J construction program; and a thermal energy project.
Buildings in the Measure J project are in various stages of the design phase. Drawings of the new Science, Engineering, and Math building are nearly complete, and the new Veterans Resource Center and Student Activities Center remodel are currently in design-development.
“But we’re excited that we’re going to be breaking ground before too long,” Dr. Simpson added.
The $8.5 million energy project—installation of a thermal storage tank and HVAC chiller on the north side of campus—will provide climate control for those future and current buildings, and aid in the College’s energy efficiency goals.
“All that we will do in the future is dependent upon that energy that will be provided,” Dr. Simpson said.
The College is also preparing for accreditation renewal this year by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges.
Phil Dykstra, the College’s Director of Institutional Research and Planning, and Liana Koeppel, the self evaluation chair, are currently processing feedback to finalize the first draft of the self evaluation report for submission to the District Board of Trustees Feb. 14. There will be a second round of feedback during the spring, with final Board approval in April. The report is due to ACCJC July 15.
In a change from the last round of accreditation, the accrediting team will also conduct a pre-visit to campus sometime this semester, in addition to the usual site visit in the fall on Oct. 9-12.
Another major project underway this semester is the College’s website redesign, headed by Cypress’ Director of Campus Communications Marc Posner, and web content specialist Cari Jorgensen. The current website was designed a decade ago.
The redesign aims to update and modernize the look and feel of the Cypress College website while also improving navigation and user-friendliness. It will be created on WordPress, an easy-to-use content management system expected to facilitate continuity across the website’s many sections and simpler editing by individual users.
“We are so fortunate at the College to have an incredible relationship with the City of Cypress,” Dr. Simpson said.
“One of the reasons we are able to do as much as we are able to do to support our students is because of that extraordinary support that we receive from the community,” he continued, “and at the top of the list of supporters is the City of Cypress. We are so gratified to have that kind of relationship.”
The culmination of the College’s 50th anniversary celebration is a reunion and community festival on April 1 at the pond. Planned by the Cypress College Foundation, the festival will include food trucks and a kid zone, College presentations and displays, discussion panels, a classic car show, and even a duck pond race—a hallowed College tradition returned for one day only.
Opening Day included music by the Mighty Cypress College Art Players, featuring faculty members Gary Gopar, Marcus McMillan, and Terra Schwartzwald. They performed several jazz pieces throughout the program, accompanied by dance routines from Fine Arts students under the direction of Maha Afra.
Though the start of the semester is always a happy occasion, for many this semester was bittersweet with President Simpson’s impending retirement on June 30.
Near the end of the program, Dr. Simpson also picked up a guitar and pleased the crowd with a touching rendition of Neil Young’s ’71 classic, “Old Man,” backed by the Art Players.
“The last ten years have been the most significant and productive of my professional life,” Dr. Simpson said in his closing remarks, “and if I was left at the end with only my time at Cypress College, I would still consider that life to have been full and rich and rewarding.
“I want to thank you for allowing me the privilege of serving the last five years as the president of this amazing place,” he continued. “It has been an extraordinary ride, and I don’t have the words to thank you, but, Chargers, thank you all.”
Participation in the Baccalaureate Degree Pilot Program
Diversity and Inclusiveness
Completion and Transfer
“It is my honor this evening to present to you an overview of the 2015-2016 academic year at Cypress College. The College’s accomplishments will resonate and propagate decades into the future,” Dr. Simpson said in opening his presentation to the Trustees for the North Orange County Community College District and other leaders.
The Board’s decision to approve a new Science, Engineering, and Math Building served as the first significant highlight in Dr. Simpson’s report.
“This new building will support the education of our next generation of scientists, engineers, technology experts, and mathematicians,” he said. “In this new facility, students will learn concepts we can’t yet conceive.”
Construction of the new SEM building is scheduled to be completed in 2020. The project will run in tandem with construction of a new Veteran’s Resource Center and Memorial Plaza that includes a bridge spanning the pond.
The presentation continued with an update on development of the College’s baccalaureate degree in Funeral Services. One of 15 programs included in California Community Colleges pilot program, instruction in the Funeral Services B.S. degree program will begin in fall 2017. In the past year, curriculum has been developed and the accrediting agency approved the key components of the bachelor’s degree.
A highlight of the year was the Yom HaShoah event in May. Focusing on the College’s core value of Inclusiveness, the Yom HaShoah commemoration featured portraits of Holocaust survivors created by Photography Department Chair Clifford Lester. About 1,000 people attended the event, which featured survivor Dr. Jacob Eisenbach.
In the area of equity, Dr. Simpson highlighted the first-ever Equity Summit held in April and the shift in employee demographics to more-closely resemble the student body. He also noted that nearly half of the incoming freshman class were first-generation college students.
Speaking about academic achievement, Dr. Simpson said the number of associate degrees awarded has grown significantly in the past five years from 753 to 1,201. The number of certificates awarded has also increased over that same period. In addition, 458 transfer degrees were awarded in 2015-16, up from 114 in 2012-13.
The College also exceeded its target for both degree and certificate completion. The most common degrees awarded by Cypress College are in Liberal Arts, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Life and Physical Sciences, Math, and Business. Students earn the highest number of certificates in Automotive Technology, and in the Hotel, Restaurant, and Culinary Arts program.
Finally, speaking about environmental stewardship, Dr. Simpson noted a recent state award presented to the College as a leader in energy efficiency. Water consumption at the College was reduced by 30% and electricity usage by 5.4 million kilowatt hours last academic year. More than 8,600 energy-efficient lighting fixtures and bulbs were installed by College employees — generating an annual savings of approximately $80,000.
“These are good times at Cypress College and the unsolicited accolades we have received are the result of commitment, hard work, and a true investment in our students,” he said. “Fifty years ago, people of foresight and vision committed to the development of a new college serving the needs of North Orange County. We and the students who have been served over the years are the recipients of that grand vision. Today, we are laying the groundwork for the next 50 years. It is a privilege to be a part of that legacy and to know that because we have dared to Dream Big Dreams, we are now positioned to Do Great Things.”
He closed with the observation that the two printed documents “validate the commitment of the College to our Core Value of Excellence.”
As Cypress College celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, we are not only celebrating the past, but looking ahead to our next chapter. We are pleased to have 28 new full-time faculty begin their employment at Cypress College this fall — our largest group of new tenure-track instructors, counselors, and librarians.
Business & Computer Information Systems
Bret Clarke (CIS)
Counseling & Student Development
Dawn Decker, LD Specialist (Disability Support Services)
In addition to our new faculty, the College is happy to have nine new full-time classified staff come on board as well, in areas across the campus that are vital to supporting the instructional work of the institution.
The College looks forward to seeing the impact that these individuals will bring to motivating the minds of our students, and helping them get to where they want to be. We are thrilled to have each one of them join the Cypress College family!
Bob Simpson will preside over one final commencement — Cypress College’s 50th. A fierce advocate of public education, Dr. Simpson announced his retirement decision to the campus community late Tuesday — and he received a standing ovation when he shared the news during the NOCCCD Board of Trustees meeting about an hour later. His final day as president will be at the end of the academic year next June.
Dr. Simpson was selected as Cypress College’s 11th President in June, 2012, following a 5-year stint as the College’s Executive Vice President. He has spent 30 years working in education and serving as an advocate for access to higher education, especially for those who begin their studies unprepared for the rigors of academic life.
A California native, he grew up in the Southland and graduated from Norwalk High School. His academic background includes both a bachelor’s in arts and master’s in arts in mathematics from California State University, Fullerton, and a doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Dr. Simpson was a classroom teacher at Fullerton College for 12 years. He also served the college as an instructional dean for 9 years before coming to Cypress College in 2007 as the Executive Vice President. During his tenure at Cypress College, Dr. Simpson has focused upon issues of access, equity, student support, and community outreach.
In his free time, Dr. Simpson enjoys outdoor sports, reading, cooking, playing the guitar, rooting for the UCLA Bruins, and fly fishing his favorite trout streams in south-central Idaho.
Here is his announcement:
I came to Cypress College in June of 2007 as the Executive Vice President. It became obvious to me very quickly that I had made the right career choice and that I had been given an extraordinary opportunity. Everything that has transpired since that time has validated my first impression. In my time here, I have felt a sense of excitement and vitality and belonging in a way I had never previously felt in my professional life. I came to love this College.
As I think back upon that time, my first impressions and all that has since transpired, we have accomplished so much together, and I believe the future is now brighter for the College then it has ever been. The tasks before us this academic year, once completed, will lay the foundation and position the College for the next 50 years, and I will work diligently with you to assure this comes to pass. At the same time, this is my 10th year at the College and my 30th year in education. I have a growing sense that my time as the leader of this outstanding institution needs to give way so that others can carry forward the work we have begun. I have decided that it is the appropriate time to announce that I will be stepping aside at the end of this academic year.
There are some significant tasks remaining before us this year, including the Accreditation Self Study, 50th Anniversary celebrations, 3-Year Strategic Planning, and Measure J construction planning (S E M Building, Library/LRC expansion, Veterans Resource Center). These “additional duties” are on top of the regular business of the College which continues unabated. With these tasks substantially under way, it is my sense that the time is appropriate to step aside so that you will have the opportunity to identify your next leader in a timeframe that will best suit the needs of the College. Going forward, I have no doubt that the person chosen to be your next leader will have the same kind of support I have experienced, support that is directly responsible for any success I may have had as your President.
We have much work to do before that last day, and I am hopeful that if anything, I may be leaving a year too early rather than a year too late. It is my intention to work with you, to laugh and to celebrate with you, and to contribute in every way that I can through the end of this academic year. I want each member of the Charger family to know how very much I have appreciated your contributions to our work. It has been, and remains, a privilege to engage in that work beside you.
As the academic year comes to a close, Cypress College recognized a number of employees at its annual end-of-the-year lunch. Campus employees were honored for their commitment to Cypress College students. Employees were recognized for milestones in their employment, including years of service or their retirement.
Cypress College employees retiring in 2015-2016 are noted below, followed by those reaching milestones in their years of service.
Peggy Austin — Peggy Austin was hired as the Instruction Librarian in fall 1991. Her interest in librarianship stemmed from a passion for doing research but without actually having to write the paper. She served on the Curriculum Committee, including as chair, and most recently, as the Interim co-coordinator of Professional Development and an Academic Senate representative. Her first love has always been assisting students at the reference desk.
Walter Caloretti — Walter (Jesus) Caloretti started at Cypress College on May 3, 2004 as a Custodian. Most notably, he spent 17 years at Knott’s Berry Farm as a Janitor honing his skill prior to joining the Cypress College M & O Department. Walter’s dedication and commitment to Cypress College was appreciated.
Lulu Cayabyab — Lu Cayabyab worked in the Cypress College Physical Education Division for nearly 20 years. As a valued office manager, Lu was a critical resource for the faculty, staff, and administrators she served during her time. Lu is recognized for her contributions to the success of our Physical Education and Athletics department. She will forever be part of our championship tradition.
Marlene Akilah Courtney — Akilah Courtney is well-known within the Cypress College community for her knowledge of policy and procedure and her pleasant demeanor. She has a reputation for determination in completing her work and being helpful when others are in need. She began her career at Cypress in October of 1985 as a student-hourly employee in the Office of Instruction. Shortly thereafter she accepted a position with the Admissions and Records Office where she has remained ever since. Akilah’s attention to detail and her ability to manage processes then propelled her to a leadership position as Records Supervisor (1999) which was later retitled, Evaluator Specialist (2003).
Joan Daniels — Joan Daniels devoted 27 years as a full-time member of the English Department. Along with being an exemplary instructor with great concern about students’ acquisition of writing skills, Joan assumed different roles in maintaining the integrity and success of her department and the Language Arts Division, which included hiring and evaluating many instructors. For a number of years she also served as a Puente mentor.
Nancy Deutsch — Nancy Deutsch began teaching in the English/Reading Department in 1983. Along with serving as department coordinator for seven years, Nancy assumed many responsibilities that have greatly benefitted the college, these include serving as Academic Senate President and Staff Development Coordinator. She also helped write and coordinate one Title III and two Title V grants. In 2000, she received the Faculty Development Award, now known as the Charger Award.
Les Doak — Les Doak started at Cypress College in 1990 as an adjunct faculty in the Geography Department and became a full-time faculty member in 1998 when he was hired to teach geography courses and direct the state-approved Geographic Information Systems Program and certificates. He also created one of, if not the first, GIS certificate programs at the community college level in the U.S. Dozens of former students are now gainfully employed as a direct result of his efforts. Les also wrote and received an $800,000 GIS Access National Science Foundation grant in 1999, and he also served as United Faculty vice president and negotiator 2009-2012.
Mary Lou Ford — Mary Lou Ford worked as an instructional aide in the Computer Information Systems Lab. She was known for her cheerful interaction with students and her command of software. Organization is her forte which has kept the CIS lab running smoothly, ensuring a high level of service to students.
Joseph Gallo — Some of the Fine Arts Division’s favorite memories of Joe Galo are: his gold records proudly displayed on two walls, not pretentious, just proud; and playing his piano and composing beautiful melodies filling the office area with calm. Joe truly did feel like Cypress College was his home and music was his driving passion.
Laura Greico — Laura Greico has been part of the Cypress College family for 32 years. In that time, she has helped educate over 1,280 Radiologic Technology students. Laura worked at St. Jude Med. Center and came to Cypress College in 1984 as an adjunct faculty member in the Radiologic Technology department. In 1989 she was hired full time as the Clinical Coordinator. She was active in the California Society of Radiologic Technologist, serving as president and delegate. She also was President of the Orange District Society of RT and was active with the American Society of RT.
Phillip Grisotti — Phillip (Phil) Grisotti started with the NOCCCD at the District Maintenance Center in La Habra as a Maintenance Assistant I in the Automotive Shop in 1984. Prior to that, Phil was a weapons mechanic in the United States Air Force and he owned and operated Fullerton Muffler Service. Since Phil joined the Cypress College family in 1989 he dedicated himself to the Campus and it’s automotive and equipment repair needs.
Beverly Harrington — For 19 years, Bev Harrington touched many lives at Cypress College with her energetic personality and sensitive, compassionate, caring attitude towards Cypress College students. She began her Cypress College career in the Academic Computing department in 1996. Bev later worked in the DSS office at the end of 2013. In addition to focusing on students, Bev was a gurdian of the budget, and known to work vendors for a better price.
Roy Hurtado — Roy Hurtado started with the NOCCCD in 1975 as a Groundskeeper I at the District Maintenance Center in La Habra. Roy worked all sites with various duties ultimately becoming an Equipment Operator I. Roy made Cypress College his permanent home field in 1982 keeping the Campus Grounds and Athletic Fields in tip top shape.
Lydia Jewell — During her time at Cypress College Lydia evaluated 26,000 applications for admission to Health Science programs and has notified each applicant of the outcome. Over the years she also processed hundreds of students for nursing career mobility testing. When asked what she most enjoyed about her work she said, “Notifying applicants that they had been accepted into a health science program.” Lydia has been a strong supporter of our student worker program and has trained 1 to 2 student workers each semester.
Patricia Kishel — As instructor and department coordinator, Patti Kishel created new classes and programs to build the marketing and management departments to attract a wide variety of students. She achieved outstanding results in the area of certificate awards and made all of the Bus/CIS departments work harder to catch up with her. Patti and her husband Greg (who has also taught here) make an excellent teaching team and have co-authored many books and articles. The division and the community will miss her creative and energetic delivery of new approaches to marketing and management.
Veila Lawson — The satisfaction of counseling and mentoring her students has made a tremendous impact on Velia Lawson’s life, and she has felt honored to help the future teachers, Language Arts, and Social Sciences students attain their academic goals. She began at Cypress College in 1985, where she also contributed to the inception of the Student Success workshops for Academic & Progress Probation students, adhering to the philosophy that no college student should be left behind!
Rosalie Majid — Rosalie Majid retired after approximately 30 years as Coordinator of the Health Information Technology program at Cypress College. Rosalie is a past recipient of the California Health Information Association Educator Award for excellence in training new HIM professionals. She has been a dedicated advocate for creating awareness and fostering career pathways, beginning at the high school level. Her longstanding relationships with hospitals and healthcare partners in the Southern California area provided employment opportunities for many of her students.
Allen Mottershead — Allen Mottershead grew up in England during World War II but found his way to the United States via the University of Toronto, where he earned his bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering, and U.C. Berkeley, where he earned his master’s in the same field. He joined the faculty at Cypress College in 1969 and has taught more than 7,000 students here (and that’s a conservative estimate). He has authored two textbooks, which have been used widely and internationally, and holds a patent for a glazing maching used by Honey Baked Ham Corp. He is highly regarded as a professor who is as effective today as he was 50 years ago — something evidenced by his recent honor by EOPS as an instructor who makes a difference.
Anita Rogers — Anita Rogers started with the NOCCCD as a Senior Clerk in 1984. Anita held many positions here at Cypress College and some of the titles are as follows: Duplication Clerk, Switchboard Operator, Receptionist, and finally, Production Center Coordinator. In that last role, she produced in excess of 6 million copies per year of instructional handouts, tests, syllabi, etc.
Jesse Saldana — Jesse Saldana contributed many years to Cypress College as an adjunct CIS instructor and then as a full-time instructor after he retired from Boeing. His expertise in information technology and supervision from the aerospace industry was appreciated in the Business and CIS Division and on campus. He served on the Academic Senate for years as the division rep and was president. His leadership in the division as CIS instructor and CIS Department Coordinator was also appreciated.
David Wassenaar — Dave Wassenaar has worked in many capacities over the last 29 years: as a classroom instructor, Dean of Admissions & Records, and Dean of Business and Computer Information Systems. Under his tutelage, the Business and CIS division introduce flipped classrooms, a number of hybrid classes, and instituted computer forensics courses. Over the years, he has participated enthusiastically in a number of activities to advance Cypress College in and out of the classroom and in the community. Acknowledging his lifelong contribution, the Cypress Chamber of Commerce has selected Dave as the 2016 Man of the Year for the City of Cypress.
The following employees reached milestones in their employment at Cypress College in the current academic year.
Five Years: Russell Bacarella, Auto Technology; Mohammad Chaudhry, Library; Vivian Gaytan, Business Office; Nicole Alexandra Ledesma, Mathematics; Armando Vega, Public Safety; Sharon Webb, Language Arts Office; and Adrianne Williams-Collins, Custodial Services.
Ten Years: Terry Carpenter, Executive Vice President Office; Ly Chang, Admissions & Records; Margaret Cortez, Matriculation; Alfonso Flores, Custodial Services; Jennifer Franklin, Health Science Office; Joel Gober, Biological Sciences; Jerry Gomes, Grounds Maintenance & Repairs; Rebecca Gomez, Health Information Technology; Yongmi Han, Center for Intercultural Understand; Jeri Hernandez, Admissions & Records; Lori Hopper, Mortuary Science; Lenore Landis, Chemistry; Donny Lemos, Custodial Services; David McCament, Mortuary Science; Richard Rams, Student Support Services; Douglas Smith, Public Safety; Grace Suphamark, Photography; Jeanne Thompson, Financial Aid; Keith Vescial, Reading; and Alycia Wildman, Library.
Fifteen Years: Raul Alvarez, Foundation; Steven Auger, Disabled Student Programs & Services; Cindy Cao, Vocational Technical Office; James Carrocino, Library; Christy Davis, Admissions & Records; Daniel Fangmeyer, Building; Brian Gomber, Custodial Services; Sabah Hermiz, Custodial Services; Ian Holmes, Art Computer Graphics; James Hormel, Theatre Arts; Marcia Jeffredo, Maintenance & Operations; Ismat Kahlon, Academic Computing; Lawrence Keel, English; Erin Landry, Dance; Daniel Lind, Ethnic Studies; Abed Majdalawi, Academic Computing; Gina Marrocco, Center for Intercultural Understand; Sally McNay, Nursing; Louella Nelson, President’s Office; Mark Peterson, Music; Regina Rhymes, Sociology; David Richards, Public Safety; Luis Rivas, Custodial Services; Alison Robertson, English as a Second Language; Rebecca Rojas, Stud Act. & Spec Projects Office; Shirley Smith, Public Safety; Stephanie Spooner, Biological Sciences; Domenic Travaglia, Grounds Maintenance & Repairs; Diane Villegas, Fine Arts Office; Randa Wahbe, English; and Jennifer Wheeler, Health Science.
Twenty Years: Ron Armale, Physical Sciences; Larry Beidler, Physical Education; Linda Borla, English; Roselle Calderon-Teneza, Financial Aid; Matthew Carnes, Custodial Services; Robert Cavin, Philosophy; Lidia Coman, Auto Technology; Larry Curiel, Sociology; Steven Donley, Vocational Technical Office; Edgar Herrera, Foreign Language; Susan Johnson, Psychology; Kevin Luckey, Grounds Maintenance & Repairs; Brenda Maitlen, Switchboard; Jeanne Miller, Accounting; Alireza Moady, Computer Information Systems; Lisa Morales, Bursar’s Office; Melanie Nabahani, English; Dustin Nguyen, Admissions & Records; Paul Paiement, Art; Kathryn Sonne, English; Herman Tran, Grounds Maintenance & Repairs; and Barbara Woolner, Vice President’s Office.
Thirty Years: Joseph Franks, Psychiatric Technology; Laura Greico, Radiological Technology; Robert Johnson, Photography; George Kraft, Building; Carol Lewis, History; and Eapen Peter Mathews, Political Science.
Thirty-five Years: John Alexander, Auto Technology; Carolee Freer, Court Reporting; and Mark Majarian, Dramatic Arts.
Four Cypress College faculty are poised to earn tenure on Tuesday night when the Board of Trustees of the North Orange County Community College District recognizes them for attaining this professional milestone. Two math faculty, Adam Eckenrode and Nicole Ledesma, will be recognized along with accounting faculty Ann Sheridan Solis, and Nursing faculty Marredda Williams Cooksey. The Board of Trustees meeting is held at the Anaheim Campus, beginning at 5:30 p.m.
Adam Eckenrode – Science, Engineering, Math
Adam Eckenrode came to Cypress College as a full-time faculty member in the Mathematics Department in Fall 2012. He taught while enrolled as a graduate student at Cal Poly Pomona and continued there as an adjunct faculty. He eventually started teaching at the University of La Verne and Mt. SAC. He described the workload as challenging and said that being asked to interview for a full-time position here at Cypress College was professionally life changing. “Accepting this position has been the greatest highlight of my career. I found a place I can call home where I get to work with amazing people within my department, throughout my division, and across the campus.”
His involvement at Cypress College includes: serving as the SEM division representative on Academic Senate, a tutor in the Math Learning Center, lead instructor for the mathematics Summer Boost Program, a Puente mentor, Strategic Plan direction committees, organizing booths at KinderCaminata, and three hiring committees.
Eckenrode received both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Mathematics from Cal Poly Pomona.
Nicole Ledesma – Science, Engineering, Math
Nicole Ledesma started at Cypress College as an adjunct in 2011 and was hired full-time in 2012. Her career highlights include getting hired full-time, earning tenure, and “being part of the best department in the world!” At Cypress College, Ledesma has served on the Student Learning Outcomes committee and currently serves on the Basic Skills Initiative and Curriculum committees. In addition, she served as the Statistics and Pre-Algebra course coordinator.
Ledesma earned her bachelor’s (2009) and master’s (2011) degrees in Mathematics at California State University, Fullerton.
Ann Sheridan Solis – Business/Computer Information Systems
Ann Sheridan Solis joined Cypress College’s adjunct faculty in spring 2003 and was hired as a full-time faculty member in fall 2012. She currently serves on the Curriculum Committee, Distance Learning Committee, and participates in a new Career Planning Committee. Additional activities at Cypress College include: Accounting Career Day; Student Accounting Society meetings with Cypress College students at Cal State Fullerton and Cal State Long Beach; Business Club Advisor; assisting students with obtaining various accounting internships and accounting jobs; and attending professional accounting society meetings with students to assist them networking and scholarship opportunities.
She holds a Certified Public Accountant License and earned her bachelor’s degree in accounting from Cal Poly Pomona.
Marredda Williams-Cooksey – Health Science
Marredda Williams-Cooksey, MSN, Ed., RN joined the Cypress College Nursing faculty full time in fall 2012. She was nominated as a Great Teachers Facilitator, a role she is fulfilling this month. She has also been involved on campus as a Remediaiton/Simulation Specialist for Nursing, and on the Curriculum and Accreditation committees.
She earned her associate’s degree in Nursing from Mount St. Mary’s, her bachelor’s degree at California State University, Los Angeles, and her master’s degree from California State University, Dominguez Hills.
Enrollment is as strong as it has ever been. As of today, Cypress College has 16,672 students enrolled in classes. That’s two greater than the all-time high recorded at first census. First census is an important milestone since it establishes official enrollment in a course and is the point in the semester from which the state derives benchmark enrollment figures.
In Fall 2009, Cypress College had an unduplicated student count of 16,670 at first census. State budget cuts in subsequent terms precluded the College from expanding on that record enrollment.
With the first census date arriving this Sunday (students can drop up to that date with no record of enrollment noted on their transcripts), it appears as if Cypress College will record its second-highest headcount figures in college history.
Depending on how many students have yet to use add codes, it is possible that the all-time high could be eclipsed. Headcount — the number of unique students enrolled in at least a single course — peaked at 16,699 on August 29 and 30.
A dip of just 27 students since last weekend is a strong indicator that faculty have successfully made retention of students a priority.
“Thank you for your contribution towards improving access to post-secondary education for the students,” Executive Vice President Santanu Bandyopadhyay said. “This would not have been possible without the excellent teamwork, right from outreach to marketing, enrollment services to financial aid processing, high quality of instruction, and accommodating as many students as possible in the classroom without compromising on pedagogy. Job well done!”
While keeping students enrolled through census is an important step for the College, the goal is to foster student success through course and program completion, he noted.
“Access is the initiation of the academic journey of our students,” Dr. Bandyopadhyay wrote. “Our next goal is to retain the students in the classroom and helping them acquire the skills they need in order to be successful. I am confident that with your commitment and dedication to our students, we will see the improvement in retention and success of our students. Let us continue the great work!”
Sixteen Cypress College employees who retired during the 2014-2015 academic year, including several who will complete their careers here at the end of the spring semester, were honored during an annual campus ceremony held on Wednesday in the campus Theater Lobby. The employees include faculty and support staff. Two of the employees — Virginia Derakhshanian and Regina Ford — served Cypress College students for 4o years each.
The new retirees are: Shirley Ashburn, Nursing faculty; Paul Baca, Maintenance and Operations; Robert Burson, Maintenance and Operations; Hong Chi, English as a Second Language faculty; Virginia Derakhshanian, Library/Learning Resource Center; Michele Dugan, Extended Opportunity Programs and Services; Regina Ford, Admissions and Records; Cathy Franklin, English/Reading faculty; Donna Gibson, Maintenance and Operations; Carol Green, Dental Hygiene faculty; Brett Harrington, Campus Safety; Pat Humpres, President’s Office; Michael Johnson, Media Arts Design faculty; Kathy Llanos, English as a Second Language faculty; Nancy Miller, Career Planning Center; Carol O’Brien, Campus Safety; and Antonio Fernando Oliviera, Foreign Language faculty.
Cypress College recognized the contributions of campus employees on Wednesday as part of the annual End of the Year Luau. The event is a celebration of this year’s retirees and a recognition of employees reaching milestones in their employment. The Luau also coincides with two wider celebrations: Teacher Appreciation Week, which is observed May 4-8, and Classified School Employee Week, celebrated May 17-23.
A large number of Cypress College employees were recognized at the Luau.
Shirley Ashburn, Paul Baca, Robert Burson, Hong Chi, Virginia Derakhshanian, Michele Dugan, Regina Ford, Cathy Franklin, Donna Gibson, Carol Green, Brett Harrington, Pat Humpres, Michael Johnson, Kathy Llanos, Nancy Miller, Carol O’Brien, and Antonio Fernando Oliviera. Read about each of the retirees here.
Employees reaching 25 years of service:
Stephanie Acosta, Kelly Carter, Penny Gabourie, Robert Grantham, Susana Jianto, Victor Jimenez, Patty Kishel, Kathy Llanos, Aggie Martinez, Jose Siordia, Pablo Trinidad, and Eldon Young.
Other employees reaching service milestones are listed below, by the number of years of employment in the District.
Maha Afra, Kendra Contreras, Michael Frianeza, Craig Goralski, Roberta Lawrence, Michelle Palmisano, Joyce Peacock, Shajith Ratnapala, and Stephanie Rosati.
Meg Alton, Michelle Bandak, Lela Beck, Sujata Chiplunkar, Becky Floyd, Catherine Franklin, Mike Frey, Janet Fujimoto, Farid Gesri, Edward Giardina, Tracey Heine, Stacey Howard, Rhonda Kraft, Della Lopez, Sal Martinez, Denise Medina-Bernstein, Barbara Meyer, Miguel Rodriguez, Nahid Salkovieh, Dee Ann Sato, Laura Stephens, Samuelu Vaeoso, Zifeng Xie, and Brandy Young.
Virgil Adams, Karen Cant, Victoria Castle-Donovetsky, Lisa Clark, Yvonne Cota, Susan Davis, Cherie Dickey, Christie Diep, Dao Do, Temperence Dowdle, Arcelia Dropulic, Richard Fee, Michael Flores, Mary Lou Ford, David Halahmy, Sarah Jones, Barbara Kashi, Kathleen McAlister, David Nusbaum, Mary Odebunmi, John Payne, Marc Posner, Elizabeth Putman, Kathleen Reiland, Douglas Sallade, Dawn Sontag, Renee Ssensalo, Wendy Valencia, Thu Hang Vo, and Nancy Welliver.
Donna Landis, Randy Martinez, David Okawa, Theresa Tracy, and Manuel Verdugo.
Steven Banneck, Colleen Barger, Marlene Courtney, David Gibson, Velia Lawson, Barbara Marshall, Scott Pickler, Christina Plett, and Scott Tucker.
Deann Burch, Rodney Lusch, and Therese Mosqueda-Ponce.
Biology Professor Dee Sato is Cypress College’s 2015 Outstanding Faculty Award recipient. Emma Anton, who teaches in the Diagnostic Medical Sonography program, is the Outstanding Adjunct Faculty Award recipient. Peter Mathews, of the Political Science Department, is being honored with the Charger Award.
The three faculty members were selected by members of the Academic Senate for the awards of excellence in their field. They will be recognized for their achievement both at commencement on May 22 and at Opening Day in the fall.
Each year, the Academic Senate honors one full-time and one adjunct faculty member who have demonstrated outstanding teaching abilities and made significant contributions above the norm to the students’ learning experience.
The Senate also annually presents the Charger Award, which recognizes a faculty member who has made significant contributions to the educational community outside of their classroom.