Mortuary Science Alum First in Line as Baccalaureate Application Opens

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Steve Crawford was so determined to be the first applicant for Cypress College’s Funeral Service baccalaureate program, he flew to Southern California from the Bay Area a day early to hand in his completed application Monday.

“I’m very excited. I wanted to make sure that I was that person who was the first one in,” the alumnus said after he handed in his application. “I came down yesterday so I could be prepared, so I could be here, print all my stuff at eight o’clock, drive over here, and be done.”

Crawford graduated with an A.S. Mortuary Science degree in Fall 2014.

Applications for Cypress College’s first baccalaureate program opened Monday. The bachelor’s degree is part of a statewide pilot program signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown in September 2014 to offer four-year degrees at California community colleges. Under the pilot, these degrees do not compete with programs at UC or Cal State schools.

While a student, Crawford championed the program to the District Board of Trustees, helping to secure their support to submit the program to the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office for consideration. Each district could only submit one program. Cypress’ Funeral Service proposal was up against Fullerton College’s proposal for a law enforcement supervision degree.

In January 2015, the CCCCO selected Cypress as one of 15 community colleges to participate in the pilot.

Crawford credits Cypress Mortuary Science faculty member Jolena Grande with making the program a reality.

“If not for her, the program wouldn’t have made it,” he said. “I’m sure I helped, but the credit really goes all to her. She went all out for this. It’s really her baby.”

Cypress’ Mortuary Science program is just one of two public programs in the state and the only one offering a four-year degree on the West Coast. Courses for the program start next fall.

Crawford said his interest in mortuary science started with a desire to land a job in a coroner’s office. One way to meet job requirements was a degree in mortuary science, and Cypress was his school of choice “because it’s ranked really highly just in the list of mortuary programs nationwide,” he said.

“I don’t know if I would be where I am within my own organization without the education from Cypress,” he added.

Crawford is currently completing an embalming apprenticeship working as a crematory manager for the Holy Angels Funeral and Cremation Center in East Bay. He hopes to finish up his professional licensing while completing the bachelor’s program.

He said he hopes that having a bachelor’s program in funeral services will help to start change the way the mortuary and funeral industry is viewed by the public.

“The funeral industry kind of gets a bad rap,” he said. “People think they’re basically used car salesmen for death, trying to upsell people…taking advantage of people when they’re grieving.

“Hopefully, through furthering the education process and really getting involved more in the professional organizations, we will change that outlook.”

Dr. Simpson Delivers Annual Report to Trustees

Cypress College Annual Report for 2015-2016

President Bob Simpson presented his final Annual Report to the NOCCCD Board of Trustees on Tuesday night, lauding Cypress College students and the employees who support their success. The annual report presentation encompasses the Cypress College Annual Report and the Cypress College Institutional Effectiveness Report.

In providing an overview of the two printed documents, Dr. Simpson covered eight primary topics:

  • Measure J Bond Projects
  • Participation in the Baccalaureate Degree Pilot Program
  • Diversity and Inclusiveness
  • Equity
  • Academic Achievement
  • Completion and Transfer
  • Environmental Stewardship

“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.”

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Donate a Day of Service

Donate a Day of Service Robert Parlor

Donate a Day of Service Robert Parlor

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.” – Attributed to anthropologist Margaret Mead

We see images of violence, including wars, terrorist attacks, and mass shootings coming through our screens on an everyday basis. The political climate, both in the United States and abroad, is contentious, to put it mildly. It’s easy to be discouraged about the state of the world. But, as the quote attributed to Margaret Mead reminds us, the only way forward is for thoughtful citizens to commit to change.

On Wednesday, October 5th, the Associated Students & the Honors and Service Learning Program are giving students, faculty, and staff the opportunity to unite with other groups of citizens for change. From 11 a.m.-1 p.m. by the Pond, the 7th Annual Donate a Day of Service will feature booths where participants can connect with local non-profits such as the Boys Girls Club and the Orange County Food Bank.

If you attend the event, you can also make a difference right at that moment, by doing hands-on service including writing letters to members of the armed forces, making sandwiches for the homeless, and crafting items for hospitalized children. Donate a Day of Service is held in conjunction with the Fall Blood Drive, so you can save lives by giving blood as well.

To top it off, there’s free pizza for event participants. So come out, grab a slice, and make an impact!

#CYProud: Michael Gonzalez

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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

___________
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

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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

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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

___________

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

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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)

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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: Erika Nilsen

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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: Madeline Garcia

Madeline Garcia, #CYProud 2016 Graduate, Cypress to UCLA

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: Michelle Betanzos

#CYProud: Michelle Betanzos, Cypress to Cal Poly Pomona

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 Michelle Betanzos who will transfer to Cal Poly Pomona’s industry-leading Collins College of Hospitality Management in the fall. Michelle is a California Dream Act student who benefited greatly from our Puente and EOPS support programs.

#CYProud: Michelle Betanzos, Cypress to Cal Poly Pomona
#CYProud: Michelle Betanzos, Cypress to Cal Poly Pomona

#CYProud: Michelle Betanzos, Cypress to Cal Poly Pomona

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

I am originally from Tijuana. My parents brought me to the US as a young child fifteen years ago. From the start, my mom did everything possible to make sure that I had access to the best public education in the area. She worked hard so that I could go to the highest rated schools. She also encouraged me to take advantage of every extracurricular opportunity that I could. As a young girl she took me to our local YMCA and signed me up for youth basketball. I fell in love with the sport and have continued to play throughout my life. Today, I coach at the same YMCA that helped shape me. I absolutely love my job. The Y is like an extended family ­– so many there have seen me grow up.

  1. Why Cypress?

After graduating from Fullerton Union High School, I wanted to enroll at Fullerton College but soon learned that only Cypress offered a culinary arts program. After touring the Cypress campus, I was happy to enroll here. The campus is beautiful (more attractive Fullerton’s, in my opinion!), and the change of scenery turned out to be really nice. It felt better to know that I was going to a college that was a couple of miles away from my high school instead of just across the street.

When I started at Cypress I wasn’t really sure which classes I would take. I didn’t have much of a plan. Then I met Dr. Therese Mosqueda-Ponce, the Director of the Cypress College Puente Program. She helped me develop a comprehensive educational plan and define my career goals. Through her guidance, I realized that my interest in culinary arts was a viable professional path.

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

I began culinary arts in junior high as an extracurricular class and really enjoyed it. At Fullerton Union, I took part in their four-year culinary arts/restaurant program. Thanks to the CA Dream Act I was able to get my license and begin to work while in high school. I’m so happy that Cypress offers a program in culinary arts and that it’s enabled me to continue my studies at one of the best four year institutions in this career field: the Collins School of Hospitality Management, Cal Poly Pomona.

At Cypress, I was very fortunate to take part in the Puente Program, which provided me invaluable life and career guidance. I’m also grateful for the financial aid and academic support of the EOPS program, which paid for my tuition fees, textbooks, and school supplies. The staff helped me stay on track, especially when I overloaded myself with unit credits and my goal seemed impossible. I also have to thank both programs for opening up four-year possibilities to me. Through EOPS and Puente, I had the opportunity to tour great institutions like Berkeley, UC Davis, Monterrey Bay, UC Santa Barbara, UC Santa Cruz and UCLA.

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

Being a part of the Puente program was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made because it opened so many doors and possibilities for me. Director Therese Mosqueda-Ponce and English professor Obed Silva wanted nothing but the best for their students and reminded our group each and every day that every one of us is capable of realizing our full potential. My Puente cohort was truly a familia.

It was through Puente that I was introduced to our Culinary Arts Program by way of an assigned mentor – Chef Stephanie, instructor of Baking and Pastry. Stefanie has become more than a professional resource for me… she has become a great friend.

I am also very grateful for the incredible leadership of Ms. Lisa Clark who oversees the HRC (Hotel, Restaurant, and Culinary Arts Program). She truly is an expert in her field. She also happens to be one of the most compassionate people I have met. She has really helped me refine my people skills, which is key to any service industry. Professionally, she seeks the best for her students. She gets us connected to the industry by making us aware of job openings, special events and networking opportunities.

  1. Post Cypress — what do you hope to do in the near term? What are your plans at Cal Poly Pomona?

This fall I will transfer to Cal Poly Pomona for Hospitality Management. I hope to live on campus and get involved in several extracurricular activities and service clubs so my plan is to move to the area. I’ll continue to work as a gymnastics instructor for the YMCA and as a front desk agent at Marriot Hotel’s Anaheim Suites. Next summer, I plan to apply to an out-of-state internship with Marriot’s Vacation Club. I’d like to be in Orlando, Florida. At some point down the line I’d like to attend the University of Central Florida for further specialization in Hotel Management and Special Events Planning.

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

My goal is to be a General Manager of a full service luxury hotel with a fine dining operation like the Ritz Carlton. I’d also like to take advantage of my associate’s degree specialization in baking and pastry by dabbling in dessert catering and special events as an entrepreneur.

  1. What are you most proud of?

I’m most proud of getting into my dream school UCF, as well as all four state schools to which I applied: Cal Poly Pomona, Cal State Long Beach, San Diego State and San Francisco State. Although I decided to stay in state for the next two years, UCF remains in my future plans. Though it was difficult to make that decision, I know that it was the right one for now. My family is important to me and I still feel the need to stay close to home.

  1. Anything else you’d like to add…

I’ve been very fortunate during my time here at Cypress, I’ve had amazing counselors and very supportive staff to guide me along my way. Each year, I’ve had a financial aid package that made college a possibility for me. In addition, Cypress’ excellent student support services and programs like Puente helped me pay for textbooks, my cap and gown, school supplies and even my chef’s uniform. I’m grateful for all of these resources and incredible mentors– they’ve been foundational to my success.

In my time here, I’ve learned so much about myself. During my first year I had a car accident. Shortly thereafter, my mom suffered cardiovascular health issues. That was a hard period in my life. I became depressed, anxious, and my grades suffered as a result. I got out of that by becoming more proactive with my decisions and time. In taking care of my mom, I realized that nothing made me happier than taking care of others. I also came to realize that having the support of others really helped me, too. Instead of pushing people away, I opened up. That was possible because I found a group of people – faculty, staff and friends – who really wanted the best for me. I chose to spend more time with those who really matter to me.

I feel so blessed to be where I am today. I’ve been given so many opportunities and I won’t take any for granted.

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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