OC Weekly Spotlights Cypress Culinary Alum

Cypress College alumni go on to great careers in a range of fields, and OC Weekly recently featured one of those success stories- Spencer Kim, an alumnus of the Hotel, Restaurant, and Culinary Arts Program. Spencer has a restaurant, Spencer’s Bistro, in Buena Park, and the Weekly spoke with him about food, cooking, and his background.

Spencers_Bistro_Kim1-thumb-550x367(Photo Credit: OC Weekly/Brian Feinzimer)

Spencer credits the program at Cypress for helping him break into the industry:

…I am glad I went there because if it wasn’t for the support and recommendation from the dean, Mike Bird, I wouldn’t have ended up at Roy’s, the place where I refined my skills tremendously.

Spencer’s success demonstrates the quality of the Hotel, Restaurant, and Culinary Arts Program. The program is hands-on, with Culinary students managing and operating the full-service Bistro Café. Many alums go on to open their own restaurants, transfer to the nation’s best four-year institutions, and pursue management careers in hotels, resorts, clubs, and tourism operations. Culinary product development and special events/meeting planning are also popular career tracks for HRC alums.

Read Part One of the interview here, and Part Two here.

Spencer’s Bistro is located at 6084 Orangethorpe Ave, Buena Park. For more info on the restaurant, check out their website and Yelp page.

Congratulations, Spencer, and best wishes in your culinary endeavors!




Cypress Alum on the Food Network

Update: 9/24/15 – GDBros had a great run on the Food Network’s “The Great Food Race.”

In their own words:

Wow, what an experience! Nothing like traveling the road with the best crew in the world, doing what you love. When you look outside that window, and there’s a huge line outside waiting to try your food, you get this pump of adrenaline. There’s no better feeling knowing you put a smile on their face after watching them take that first bite. Never did we ever think we’d be on @foodnetwork: The Great Food Truck Race. Each city welcomed us with open arms, and we made friendships that will last a lifetime. We wanted to make Orange County, CA proud, and although we didn’t take it home, we wanted to thank each and every single one of you from the bottom of our hearts. With your love and support, we were able to make it as far as we did. Most definitely the experience of a lifetime. It’s been a great ride so far, but this is only the beginning. (Photos: Photos: @gdbroburger)


Although they’re no longer on the Food Network, they are close by in the O.C. – in a newly inaugurated brick and mortar locale.  Visit them at 2321 E 4th St. Santa Ana, CA 92705.





Travel Route #66 with one of our own! Cypress College Hotel, Restaurant & Culinary Arts student and CSULB Hospitality Management alum Geoffrey Manila is competing for a $50,000 cash prize on the Food Network’s Great Food Truck Race! Geoffrey and his GD Bro Tuck team – friends Kevin and Mark – kicked off the show’s sixth season premiere in Santa Monica. In the weeks ahead they will compete against seven other professional food truck entrepreneurs along 2,500 action-packed miles in an effort to be part of the grand finale in Chicago. In order to make it that far, they will have to face a number of challenges that test their resolve as a mobile business. We’ve already heard news that their signature “globally delicious stuffed burgers” are a hit. Show your support; vote for them in the Fan Poll. Way to represent, and best of luck Geoffrey, Kevin and Mark! All images courtesy of the Food Network’s Great Food Truck Race.

Vote for Geoffrey Manila on the Food Network!




























































Images courtesy of the Food Network’s Great Food Truck Race.

M2C3 Minority Male Collaborative

Cypress College Joins Innovative Program to Promote Men of Color

Cypress College has joined the Minority Male Community College Collaborative (M2C3) National Consortium on College Men of Color. Participation in the M2C3 Consortium will enhance the College’s commitment to improving the success of historically marginalized students, including men of color.
To diminish this achievement gap, the M2C3 Consortium facilitates an exchange of ideas between community colleges across the nation on how best to serve men of color in our educational institutions.

“The focus on student equity throughout the California Community Colleges is momentous. It is important that we partake in opportunities that strive to meet the goals of serving underrepresented groups. Joining the M2C3 consortium will enhance our scope of knowledge in working with men of color, and ensuring their successful completion of degrees and/or certificates,” said, Ashley Griffith, Special Projects Director of Student Equity.

As a member of the consortium, Cypress College will have access to a vast clearinghouse of resources provided by M2C3. The collaborative frequently facilitates webinars on male, students of color and creates virtual discussion boards to encourage dialogue on best practices.
Cypress’ collaboration with M2C3 will enhance professional development for faculty and staff, enable informed interventions for our current programs serving men of color, and inspire new initiatives addressing challenges facing these men. During the 2015 – 2016 academic year, M2C3 will host several workshops at Cypress College to assist in our student equity efforts.

Register here for the November 6th Workshop.


More information about the M2C3 project can be found at: http://interwork.sdsu.edu/sp/m2c3/
Questions or comments? Please contact Ashley Griffith: agriffith@cypresscollege.edu.


In the News: Professor Craig Goralski

Until recently, counties across California buried unidentified human remains – known as John & Jane Doe’s – in nondescript plots of open land. Many who reside in such cemeteries were victims of foul play and/or lived on the fringes of society. Their passings remain a mystery, their histories largely untold. It’s only with relatively recent advances in forensic science that questions of anonymity can be resolved; a name can be connected to a body – a decades old case finally closed.

Our very own Dr. Craig Goralski, Professor of Anthropology, is heralding this effort on behalf of San Bernardino County. As Co-Director of the Institute of Field Research Unidentified Persons Project, Dr. Goralski leads students from around the world in the delicate excavation and genetic analysis of Potter’s Field –  a dusty, three-acre tract of land where roughly 7,000 individuals reside, approximately 700 of which are unidentified.

The Orange County Register featured Dr. Goralski and his team this August in a piece titled ‘Who is Buried in Potter’s Field?’. The article is testament to Dr. Goralski’s expertise, sensibility and leadership, and is an example of the quality of our faculty at Cypress College.

In addition to his field talents, Dr. Goralski is also widely renowned for his teaching. In the spring of this year (2015) he was inducted into the University of California, Irvine (UCI) Hall of Fame as an Influential Educator. More on that notable commendation here.

The full article ‘Who is buried in potter’s field?’ can be found on the OC Register website. For additional information on Dr. Goralski’s field work in forensic archaeology see the Gizmodo article ‘The Coldest Case’.

(Photo Credit: Alexis Gray)

Cypress College #3 in California Community Colleges


Cypress College ranks third of 112 California Community Colleges in a Schools.com assessment. The report, published Tuesday, May 5th, is derived from key indicators of student success based on metrics from the National Center for Education Statistics, the University of California and California State University systems.

As the third-highest scorer, Cypress College places behind Saddleback College and Santa Monica City College. It is followed by Pasadena City College (No.#5), Golden West College (No.#6), and El Camino College (No.#10). The independent review praises Cypress College’s educational accessibility, affordability, and student success.

School.com’s methodology analyzes six criteria to assess an institution’s ranking: transfers to the University of California and California State University systems (30 percent), affordability (30 percent), student-to-faculty ratio (15 percent), distance education (15 percent), retention rates (5 percent), and graduation rates (5 percent).

“California community colleges are important — not just to California, but to the entire nation…. [they] are vital for the state’s future economic success,” state the report’s authors. The California Community College system is the state and nation’s largest workforce training provider. Nearly 70% of CA nurses and 80% of firefighters, law enforcement personnel, and emergency medical technicians are trained at a CCC. California Community Colleges are also a smart financial pathway to four-year institutions; students can save at least $40,000 by completing their general education requirements at a CCC before transfer to CSU or UC campuses.

Cypress College is one of 112 community colleges in California, which together comprise the largest system of public higher education in the nation. The College was founded in 1966 with a vision to support and advance the diverse academic and professional pursuits of local residents. With more than 50 university-transfer majors, 138 career certificate programs and degrees in 61 areas of study, Cypress College provides nearly 20,000 students each year access to a top-quality education that lays the foundation for future success. For more information, please visit: www.cypresscollege.edu

To view the report in its entirety, please visit: http://www.schools.com/articles/top-25-community-colleges-in-california (link is external).

OC Weekly: ‘Stick a Fork in it’ Profiles Alum Gio Bolivar

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The May 18, 2015 edition of OC Weekly features Culinary Arts alumnus Gio Bolivar of Dory Deli in Newport Beach. In the piece, authored by OC Weekly’s Anne Marie Panoringan, Bolivar discusses, food, the culinary industry, and his educational preparation to go into the field.

From Panoringan’s column:

Where did you attend culinary school? And did you learn anything that you might not have been taught if you didn’t attend?
I attended Cypress College; they have an amazing culinary program headed by Chef Jeremy Peters and Lisa Clark. I feel that culinary school really got me ready for a life in the kitchen and put me on the right path for the future.

The full piece is available at: http://blogs.ocweekly.com/stickaforkinit/2015/05/dory_deli_newport_beach_gio_bolivar.php.

Cypress Head Coach Brad Pickler’s Scores Legendary 1,200 Career Victory


Cypress College is blessed to have the most-decorated active women’s college softball coach in California Community College Athletic Association history.

Head Coach Brad Pickler’s landmark 1,200th career win came with a 9-1 Charger defeat of Orange Coast College on Wednesday, March 18. The Chargers’ victory consolidates Pickler’s legacy, besting programs led by Head Coach Robert Maglione at Napa Valley College and Sacramento City College (1,177-381) as well as Mark Eldridge at Palomar College (1,083). In his 28 seasons of leadership, Pickler has led the Cypress Chargers to a state record eight CCAA State Championships, 23 State Championship appearances, and 19 Orange Empire Conference Championships.

On the national scene, Pickler is the fifth most accomplished active collegiate softball coach among all divisions, and ranks 11th all-time.

This milestone is recognized on the CCCAA Sports state website: http://goo.gl/SQyRhN.

TVB (USA) Visits Cypress College to Report on Mortuary Science Bachelor’s Degree


TVB (USA), a Chinese-language channel appearing across the country, visited Cypress College on Tuesday to prepare a news report about Cypress College’s participation in the California Community College’s pilot bachelor’s degree program. Cypress College’s Mortuary Science Program was one of the 15 programs selected to represent the state’s 112 community colleges in the first-of-it’s-kind effort in the Golden State.

It’s not yet known when the TVB story will air, but the plan is that it will be shown nationally, in the Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York markets.

Professor Dave McCament hosted the news crew in his Restorative Arts classroom for more than 3 hours. Both he and his students did a fantastic job when interviewed.

UPDATE: Here is the report (note: only the interviews are in English).


Long Beach Press-Telegram Highlights Mohr’s Milestone


Last week, Cypress College women’s basketball Coach Margaret Mohr reached a milestone with her 300th career victory. The Long Beach Press-Telegram noted the occasion, adding background about Mohr’s local ties:

Mohr starred for Long Beach State’s women’s squad in the mid-80s and was inducted into the 49er Hall of Fame in 2011.

More information about Coach Mohr and her team is available at: http://sports.cypresscollege.edu/sports/wbkb/index.

Cypress College’s Mortuary Science Program Selected in California’s First Bachelor’s Degree Pilot Program



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Cypress College is one of 15 California community colleges that will offer a bachelor’s-degree program as part of a statewide pilot effort. The College’s Mortuary Science Program was selected by the California Community Colleges Board of Governors, which voted its initial approval of participating colleges on Tuesday afternoon.

“I’m just thrilled,” Cypress College President Dr. Bob Simpson said. “This is an extraordinary opportunity for our students. Our faculty worked with tremendous diligence to meet the application requirements. In addition, the College’s proposal was enhanced by the participation of Mortuary Science students and alumni in the process. While this is a significant step for community college students, it is also important to note that successful implementation of this program will not impede the core work of the college.”

Cypress College’s Mortuary Science Program is so well regarded that the HBO series “Six Feet Under” repeatedly referenced Cypress College to add authenticity. The program is one of only two at public institutions in the state and no public university in the Western United States offers a bachelor’s degree in the field. The closest such program is in Oklahoma.

In the News

OC Breeze — Cypress College’s Mortuary Science Program selected in California’s first bachelor’s degree pilot program

Orange County Register — Santa Ana, Cypress colleges slated to offer 4-year degrees

Los Angeles Times — Fifteen community colleges in California to offer four-year degrees

Long Beach Press Telegram — Cypress College among 15 campuses to offer 4-year degrees

OC Weekly — Cypress College Moves on to Better Place With Early Nod for 4-Year Mortuary Science Degrees

Cypress College’s Mortuary Science Program was selected last November by North Orange County Community College District Trustees to apply for the California pilot program. Districts were permitted to submit only one program each. Programs also were required not to be in conflict with bachelor’s-degree programs already offered in the Cal States or UCs.

In September 2014, Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation that allows California community colleges to award bachelor’s degrees in a pilot program. The legislation, known as SB 850, was sponsored by Sen. Marty Block (D-San Diego).

Instruction in the pilot baccalaureate degree program in 15 college districts will begin no later than the 2017-18 academic year. Under the new law, community colleges would charge only $84 more per unit for upper-division baccalaureate coursework than they currently charge for lower-division courses. The Legislative Analyst’s Office will conduct an interim evaluation of the bachelor’s degree program in 2018, and a final evaluation by July 2022. The pilot program will end in the 2022-23 academic year, unless extended by the Legislature.

Nationwide, more than 50 community colleges operate almost 500 baccalaureate programs in 21 states.

About Cypress College:

Cypress College has motivated the minds of students since 1966. For nearly a half-million people — including actors, athletes, doctors, executives, mechanics, nurses and teachers — Cypress College has been a springboard to their dreams. For some, Cypress College is the ticket into their university of choice. For others it provides essential training for a rewarding career. Just one Cypress College class is often all it takes to provide cutting-edge skills that lead to a promotion or a new job.

Cypress College’s 16,000 students and its highly qualified teaching faculty are proud of its many excellent academic and vocational programs. Cypress College offers 50 university-transfer majors, 138 career-certificate programs, and degrees in 61 areas of study. The College’s traditional semesters begin in January and September, while short-term courses start throughout the year. A Cypress College education costs $46 per unit — $138 for a typical, full-credit class — California’s lowest higher education tuition. Financial aid and scholarships are also available to qualifying students.

Cypress College is one of three campuses in the North Orange County Community College District and a member of the 110-campus California Community College System. The college primarily serves the cities of Anaheim, Buena Park, Cypress, Garden Grove, La Palma, Los Alamitos, Seal Beach and Stanton. Dr. Bob Simpson is the president.

Located at 9200 Valley View Street in Cypress, the College is easily accessible from several Southern California freeways, including the 5, 91, 605, 22 and 405. The campus is just a stone’s-throw from Downtown Disney and Knott’s Berry Farm.

More information about Cypress College is available by calling (714) 484-7000 or by visiting the campus Web site at http://www.CypressCollege.edu.


NOTE: The official news release is available here — Cypress College’s Mortuary Science Program Selected in California’s First Bachelor’s Degree Pilot Program