Record Enrollment Possible as Fall Headcount Challenges 2009 Mark

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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!”

Retirees Among Cypress College Employees Honored for Service

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New retirees from Cypress College toast each other with their apple-shaped awards at the annual End of the Year Luau on Wednesday, May 6, 2015. Pictured (from right): Shirley Ashburn, Virginia Derakhshanian, Bob Burson, Nancy Miller (obscured), and Carol Green.

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.

Brief bios of the 2014-2015 retirees are available in a publication distributed at the ceremony.

In addition, the Cypress College Academic Senate conferred the title of Professor Emeritus for the following faculty:

  • Shirley Ashburn, Health Science Division (2015)
  • Hong Chi, Language Arts Division (2015)
  • Cathy Franklin, Language Arts Division (2015)
  • Carol Green, Language Arts Division (2014)
  • Laura Grieco, Health Science Division (2015)
  • Michael Johnson, Fine Arts Division (2015)
  • Kathy Llannos, Language Arts Division (2015)
  • Rosali Madjid, Health Science Division (2015)
  • Fernando Oliviera, Language Arts Division (2014)

Faculty, Staff Recognized for Contributions to Cypress College Students

Cypress College faculty member Richard McKnight (left) and staff member Roy Hurtado (right) are recognized by Cypress College President Dr. Bob Simpson on Wednesday, May 6, 2015, for their 40 years of service to the campus and the College's students.
Cypress College faculty member Richard McKnight (left) and staff member Roy Hurtado (right) are recognized by Cypress College President Dr. Bob Simpson on Wednesday, May 6, 2015, for their 40 years of service to the campus and the College’s students.

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.

5 Years:
Maha Afra, Kendra Contreras, Michael Frianeza, Craig Goralski, Roberta Lawrence, Michelle Palmisano, Joyce Peacock, Shajith Ratnapala, and Stephanie Rosati.

10 Years:
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.

15 Years:
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.

20 Years:
Donna Landis, Randy Martinez, David Okawa, Theresa Tracy, and Manuel Verdugo.

30 Years:
Steven Banneck, Colleen Barger, Marlene Courtney, David Gibson, Velia Lawson, Barbara Marshall, Scott Pickler, Christina Plett, and Scott Tucker.

35 Years:
Deann Burch, Rodney Lusch, and Therese Mosqueda-Ponce.

40 Years:
Roy Hurtado and Richard McKnight.


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Assemblywoman Young Kim provided resolutions recognizing Cypress College employees for milestones in their employment and in recognition of new retirees.

Sato, Anton, Mathews Selected by Academic Senate for Annual Faculty Awards

Dee Sato
Dee Sato, a professor in Biology, is the 2015 recipient of the Cypress College Academic Senate’s Outstanding Faculty Award.

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.

Bacarella, Lawrence Set for Board Recognition for Attaining Tenure



Two Cypress College faculty — Russ Bacarella, of Automotive Technology, and Roberta Lawrence, from the Dental Hygiene Program — will be recognized by the NOCCCD Board of Trustees on Tuesday night for their milestone of attaining tenure. The Board meets at 5:30 p.m. on April 28 at the Anaheim Campus.

Roberta Lawrence
Dental Hygiene

Roberta Lawrence is Co-Director of the Cypress College Registered Dental Hygiene Program. She joined the campus in an adjunct capacity in 2001 and was hired as a full-time faculty member in 2011. With a strong background in academic and clinical instruction, Roberta has helped position Cypress College’s Registered Dental Assistant program as one of the very best in the nation, with consistent annual student state licensure pass rates of 100%.

Roberta holds a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Biology from California State University, Fullerton, as well as a Masters of Science (MSc) in Higher Education from Kaplan University. She is a Registered Dental Assistant (RDA) and Registered Dental Hygienist (RDH) through Cypress College, and is also a Registered Dental Hygienist in Alternative Practice (RDHAP).

Prior to teaching, Roberta worked within an intersection of tech and the arts as a graphic designer and Assistant Lead Art Director for Hughes Aircraft, and later as Art Director of Northrop Grumman’s B-2 Bomber project. Wishing for more autonomy in her career, Roberta decided to pursue an alternative path and return to her roots in the sciences. To do so, she attended Cypress College’s Dental Hygiene Program for her certification in the field.

After working as a dental hygienist in private practice for three years, Roberta began to teach part-time in the RDA and RDH programs here at Cypress. Around this time, she also obtained her RDHAP degree from West Los Angeles College and started her own business to accommodate elderly patients’ home-care dental needs. For the last five years, Roberta has participated in the Annual Free Clinic held each October. She has also participated in and helped coordinate an international cultural exchange visit of dental hygiene students from Nagano, Japan for the last three years.

Russ Bacarella
Automotive Technology

Russ Bacarella found his niche young. At the age of twelve, he joined his father repairing motorcycles and working the parts counter for the family business. In automotive matters, Russ’ experience is solid. He has worked in a number of automotive-tech capacities over the years, for on-site service stations, at a new car dealership, as an on-the-road fleet operator for Austin Products Servicing, and as a loyal employee of Buddy’s Auto.

Since his early career start, Russ has merged his passion for automotive technology with a love of teaching. Prior to joining the Cypress campus community, Russ spent eight years as a full-time teacher at Loara High School NOCROP and seven years as a part-time teacher for Central County ROP. In 2011, Russ was hired as an adjunct Automotive Fundamentals instructor within Cypress College’s Automotive Technology Program. Later that year he was promoted to full-time faculty as the program’s Engines instructor.

When asked what he values about the College, Russ highlights his department’s collaborative approach to teaching and learning, which has endowed him with a deep respect for the work of his colleagues, who are “real industry experts… that have enabled me to become a more well-rounded, better prepared instructor.”

Russ holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Automotive Field Service Operations from Weber State and an Associates Degree in Automotive Technology from Cerritos College.

RELATED: View the 2015 Tenured Faculty publication

OC’s 100 Most Influential Includes Mortuary Science’s Glen Bower

Glen Bower, Director of Cypress College’s Mortuary Science program, was one of Orange County’s “100 Most Influential” people, according to the Orange County Register, which highlighted the year’s “game changers” in publications during late December. In addition to being a member of the faculty, Bower is also an alumnus of the program.

In the article profiling Bower, OC Register Staff Writer Anders Howmann described Bower’s selection this way:

Why he’s an influencer: In 2014, Bower began working on a curriculum to create the state’s only four-year moruary-science program, at Cypress. Bower already directs one of only two accredited mortuary-science schools in California, and the current 18-month program boasts an employment rate of 70 percent.

The full profile of Bower is available here on the Register’s website. The Mortuary Science program’s application for California’s pilot program to offer bachelor’s degrees in community colleges was discussed in this entry.

Remembering Our Colleague Carol Ridley

Carol Ridley
Carol Ridley

Cypress College employees are remembering our colleague Carol Ridley this morning.

Dr. Simpson shared the sad news of Ms. Ridley’s passing:

Dear Chargers,

It is with the deepest sadness that I inform you of the passing of Carol Ridley, Executive Assistant to Vice President Karen Cant.  She passed away unexpectedly over the weekend after being admitted to the hospital last week.  Carol came to Cypress College just a short seven months ago and immediately became a fun and contributing member to our team.​  She was an active participant in College activities and was a dedicated member of Karen’s staff.

Family members of Ms. Ridley are also employed in the North Orange County Community College District. The Cypress College family extends our condolences to them in this time of grief. Please feel free to share your tributes to Ms. Ridley on our Facebook page.

Orange County Breeze: Dr. Simpson to Discuss School Bonds at Cypress Chamber


Cypress College President Dr. Bob Simpson is the guest speaker at the upcoming Cypress Chamber of Commerce Networking Breakfast. The event takes place on Tuesday, October 14, at 7:30 a.m. at the Residence Inn by Marriott.

The Orange County Breeze reports:

Dr. Simpson will discuss the pros, cons, and impact of school bonds in general, with an emphasis on Measure J, which affects the North Orange Community College District.

Reservations are required and can be made though the Cypress Chamber of Commerce at 714-827-2430. Cost of the breakfast is $20 in advance or $25 at the door.

Read the full OC Breeze article here.

Photo of the Week: Rainbow Over the Student Center

Rainbow over Cypress College (photo credit: James Hormel).
Rainbow over Cypress College (photo credit: James Hormel).

Yes it’s only Tuesday morning, but I’m perfectly comfortable declaring this as the “Photo of the Week.”

“Rainbow over Cypress College” was taken on Monday evening, about 7:30 p.m. by James Hormel, Cypress College’s Theater And Dance Department Chair. Cypress College’s Student Center Building and iconic campanile are seen in the foreground.

Study Abroad in Rome for Spring 2015 Application Deadline is November 1


The Study Abroad Program is headed to Rome for the spring 2015 semester. Two Cypress College faculty — Ed Giardina and Kathryn Sonne — will lead the learning experience.

Study Abroad is open to all Cypress College and Fullerton College students. Applications are due by November 1.

Students can obtain more information about the program, and view a short video, on the Study Abroad Program page for Rome on Facebook or by sending an email to Professor Giardina.

Giardina is an interdisciplinary artist and teacher who lives and works in the Los Angeles area. His research interests include design, media theory, technology, and contemporary art. He is an Asscociate Professor in the Art Department at Cypress College where he works with students in the Advertising & Graphic Design Program and the Art Computer Graphics Program.

Sonne is an English professor,  teaching topics such as critical thinking, reading and writing about literature and film, and is a regular participant in the Study Abroad Program — “where the literature literally comes to life,” she says. In addition, Sonne is the director of the Cypress College Honors Program and the Cypress College Service Learning Program.