Dr. JoAnna Schilling Selected as 12th President of Cypress College


Dr. JoAnna Schilling will become Cypress College’s 12th president. She was selected from among five finalists, who appeared on campus on March 30 for open-forum presentations to the campus community. The finalists also interviewed with District leadership and with the NOCCCD Board of Trustees last week.

Below is the announcement from Chancellor Dr. Cheryl Marshall:

Dear Cypress College Colleagues,
I am thrilled to announce the selection of Dr. JoAnna Schilling as the next President of Cypress College.  Dr. Schilling brings a wealth of experience as an educational leader with strengths in partnership development, enrollment management, and accreditation.  The people who have worked with her describe her as a transformational leader who is collaborative, empowering, inclusive, visionary, and personable.  I believe she will build on your successes and lead the college forward to achieve your desired future.
I want to thank everyone who was involved in the selection process including the committee and those who organized and participated in the forums.  Your input was an important part of the process.
Dr. Schilling will begin her service in July.  Over the next few months she will be visiting the campus to get to know you and learn about your work.  I hope you will join me in welcoming her to the Charger family.
Professional Regards,
North Orange County Community College District
Cheryl A. Marshall, Ed.D. / Chancellor

Dr. Schilling will succeed Dr. Bob Simpson, who retires at the end of June. Dr. Simpson assumed Cypress College’s CEO role in July, 2012 and is concluding a 30-year career in higher education.

During last week’s Open Forum on campus, Schilling said, “The students that we have in our community college are exceptional. You have grit, you have courage, you have knowledge, you have power, you have diversity, you have passion for what you do, and it really, truly transformed me and I wanted to be part of that.”

Dr. Schilling currently serves as Interim Vice President of Academic Affairs at Rio Hondo College, where she also previously served in multiple roles as the Dean of Arts and Cultural Programs, Continuing and Contract Education, and Interim Vice President of Academic Affairs from 2006-2012. From 2012 to 2016, Dr. Schilling served at Cerritos College as Vice President of Academic Affairs/Assistant Superintendent.

Dr. Schilling has a doctorate in education from Oregon State University, an MFA in Playwriting from Carnegie Mellon University, and a BA in English from Smith College. She currently serves as the co-chair on the Chancellor’s Office Curriculum Inventory project (COCI) and also sits on the statewide Chief Instructional Officers (CIO) Executive Board representing the Orange County/Los Angeles County region. Other previous statewide community college committees include the strategic planning committee for the LA/OC regional consortium, and as the CIO rep on the 3csn advisory committee.

Dr. Schilling is a staunch advocate for student success; under her leadership Cerritos was awarded two Gates Foundation grants to reduce textbook costs and support faculty in the development of OER materials. She has overseen three HSI Title V grants, totaling over 10M, all focused on providing academic support for underrepresented communities, a 2.4M DOL grant that created partnerships between the Retail Management program at Cerritos College and several national grocery associations, and is proud that Rio Hondo was recently the only community college in the state to receive a Basic Skills Transformation grant and the Basic Skills Pilot Partnership grant, totaling 3.5M over three years to help move the needle on developmental education at the college. At both institutions, Dr. Schilling initiated K12 and K16 Summits with district high schools and local CSU partners focused on the remediation barriers that inhibit successful college completion. Rio Hondo is also a pilot college for multiple statewide initiatives including the California Assessment Initiative (CAI) Open Education Initiative (OEI) and the Multiple Measures Assessment Project (MMAP).

Schilling is an accomplished playwright and screenwriter, as well as a classically trained vocalist. Prior to her experience in higher education, she was a literary associate and educator in the professional conservatory at South Coast Repertory Theatre. She is the author of recent journal publications in the Community College Journal of Research and Practice, Community College Enterprise, and Management Learning, was a contributing editor at Dog Fancy Magazine, and is the author of three “Dog Lover Companion” books for Avalon Travel Publishing/Perseus Books.

Schilling served on the boards of the Rio Hondo Symphony Association, the East Whittier Arts Foundation, as well as serving as a juror for the Newport Beach Film Festival and on the California Arts Council. She and her husband are members of the Society of Fellows at the Huntington Library and Gardens in San Marino, CA. and are strong supporters of the arts in their community.


Cypress College Presidential Search

3/30/2017 — President Finalists Speak on Campus

3/16/2017 — Five President Candidates Identified as Finalists; Forum on March 30

9/14/2016 — President Simpson Announces Retirement at Academic-Year’s End

6/28/2012 — Dr. Bob Simpson Appointed Cypress College’s 11th President, Assuming Duties on July 2





Measure J Construction to Begin June 2018

***Timelines Updated Wednesday, April 19, 2017***

Planning and design of Cypress College’s Measure J construction projects are currently underway. Groundbreaking for both the new SEM building and new Veterans Resource Center with renovated Student Activities Center begins next April and June, respectively.

The new SEM building is expected to open April 2020; the new VRC and renovated SAC are anticipated to open at the end of 2019.

The pond area will be impacted by construction and laydown areas during the projects. Due to noise and obstructed passageways, events should be held elsewhere during construction.

The new SEM building will be built in a portion of Lot 7 near the current SEM building. The entire lot will be closed during construction.

SEM Building Timeline

Program Validation: June-October 2016
Schematic Design: November 2016-March 2017
Design Development: March-July 2017
Construction Documentation: June-October 2017
Groundbreaking: June 2018
Construction Completion: June 2020
Furniture, Fixtures, Equipment: June-September 2020
Opening: September 2020

Veterans Resource Center and Student Activities Center Timeline

Program Validation: December 2016-February 2017
Schematic Design: February-April 2017
Design Development: April-July 2017
Construction Documentation: July-October 2017
Groundbreaking: June 2018
Construction Completion: August 2019
Furniture, Fixtures, Equipment: August-September 2019
Opening: September 2019

Veterans Memorial Plaza Timeline


Please remember all future dates are tentative and highly subject to change.

President Simpson Looks to College’s Future in Final Opening Day Address

In a forward-looking address to faculty and staff, Cypress College President Bob Simpson set an energetic tone as he welcomed all back to campus for the spring semester Friday,  Jan. 27 on his final Opening Day.

“Rather today than looking in the rearview mirror at what we have achieved,” Dr. Simpson said, “I want to look ahead because there’s so much that’s been happening, so much going on, some very important tasks that are before us.”

The College has a variety of ongoing and upcoming projects to improve its capacity to serve the needs of current and future Cypress students, including the 2017-2020 strategic plan; the College’s first bachelor’s program in funeral sciences; new buildings and renovations through the Measure J construction program; and a thermal energy project.

Buildings in the Measure J project are in various stages of the design phase. Drawings of the new Science, Engineering, and Math building are nearly complete, and the new Veterans Resource Center and Student Activities Center remodel are currently in design-development.

“But we’re excited that we’re going to be breaking ground before too long,” Dr. Simpson added.

The $8.5 million energy project—installation of a thermal storage tank and HVAC chiller on the north side of campus—will provide climate control for those future and current buildings, and aid in the College’s energy efficiency goals.

“All that we will do in the future is dependent upon that energy that will be provided,” Dr. Simpson said.

The College is also preparing for accreditation renewal this year by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges.

Phil Dykstra, the College’s Director of Institutional Research and Planning, and Liana Koeppel, the self evaluation chair, are currently processing feedback to finalize the first draft of the self evaluation report for submission to the District Board of Trustees Feb. 14. There will be a second round of feedback during the spring, with final Board approval in April. The report is due to ACCJC July 15.

In a change from the last round of accreditation, the accrediting team will also conduct a pre-visit to campus sometime this semester, in addition to the usual site visit in the fall on Oct. 9-12.

Another major project underway this semester is the College’s website redesign, headed by Cypress’ Director of Campus Communications Marc Posner, and web content specialist Cari Jorgensen. The current website was designed a decade ago.

The redesign aims to update and modernize the look and feel of the Cypress College website while also improving navigation and user-friendliness. It will be created on WordPress, an easy-to-use content management system expected to facilitate continuity across the website’s many sections and simpler editing by individual users.

Dr. Simpson also recognized a recent honor for the College and expressed his appreciation for the City of Cypress’ support. During the city’s State of the City Luncheon this past January, Mayor Paulo Morales presented Cypress College with an honorary “Key to the City” in recognition of the College’s 50th Anniversary.

“We are so fortunate at the College to have an incredible relationship with the City of Cypress,” Dr. Simpson said.

“One of the reasons we are able to do as much as we are able to do to support our students is because of that extraordinary support that we receive from the community,” he continued, “and at the top of the list of supporters is the City of Cypress. We are so gratified to have that kind of relationship.”

The culmination of the College’s 50th anniversary celebration is a reunion and community festival on April 1 at the pond. Planned by the Cypress College Foundation, the festival will include food trucks and a kid zone, College presentations and displays, discussion panels, a classic car show, and even a duck pond race—a hallowed College tradition returned for one day only.

Opening Day included music by the Mighty Cypress College Art Players, featuring faculty members Gary Gopar, Marcus McMillan, and Terra Schwartzwald. They performed several jazz pieces throughout the program, accompanied by dance routines from Fine Arts students under the direction of Maha Afra.

Though the start of the semester is always a happy occasion, for many this semester was bittersweet with President Simpson’s impending retirement on June 30.

Near the end of the program, Dr. Simpson also picked up a guitar and pleased the crowd with a touching rendition of Neil Young’s ’71 classic, “Old Man,” backed by the Art Players.

“The last ten years have been the most significant and productive of my professional life,” Dr. Simpson said in his closing remarks, “and if I was left at the end with only my time at Cypress College, I would still consider that life to have been full and rich and rewarding.

“I want to thank you for allowing me the privilege of serving the last five years as the president of this amazing place,” he continued. “It has been an extraordinary ride, and I don’t have the words to thank you, but, Chargers, thank you all.”






Campus Energy Efficiency Efforts Ongoing

The College has recently had a number of initiatives underway to improve energy efficiency and sustainability on campus.

One of these is construction on the College’s new HVAC water chillers, which includes the installation of large underground water tanks that cool water at night. This water will then be circulated throughout buildings to help with cooling during the day.

The project closed several walkways over the holidays, but we are happy to announce that the path between the Fine Arts and SEM buildings will be OPEN throughout the semester. We anticipate, however, that the pathway adjacent to SEM near the pond will be CLOSED the entire semester.

The chiller installation project is an effort by the school to create enough cooling capacity for both existing buildings and future construction. With the expanded system, we expect a cost savings of approximately $400,000 a year from reduced reliance on air conditioning.






Spring 2017 Cypress College Parking Permit Information

At Cypress College, your license plate is your parking permit.

Activate Your Parking Permit

Once you’ve paid all your fees in full, simply activate this new permit in myGateway by entering your plate number. That’s it. If you’re changing cars for the day (or a period of time), simply login and input the temporary plate.

Important Information About Parking

  • Students must have all fees paid in full, including parking to obtain a valid semester permit
  • Students must check that their vehicle(s) information is correctly input into the system via myGateway
  • Students must select the Spring semester when activating the virtual permit

Special Instructions for Parking at Fullerton or Anaheim

  • All students with a valid Spring semester virtual permit can park at both Fullerton College and Anaheim campuses in addition to Cypress College.
  • Cypress College students parking at Fullerton College CANNOT park in structure at Lemon St./Chapman Ave. The Fullerton Police Department enforces parking in that parking structure and does not have access to our system.

No More Lines

To register your vehicle, simply login to myGateway. The “Cypress College Parking” link is in the “Registration Tools” section of your “Student” tab. All fees must be paid in full to activate parking privileges.

Cypress College is Now On Pinterest

Whether you’re a student, faculty member, or staff employee at Cypress College, when you walk on campus you’re immediately surrounded by the rich history and life that makes up this campus. No matter your role, you know using words to describe Cypress College and campus life is simply not enough. Short of being on campus and experiencing it in person, the next best thing is experiencing Cypress College through pictures.

How best to do that? Pinterest, of course.

For us, Pinterest is a view book through which our campus is showcased. Come visit us there and see the beauty of Cypress College – from the campanile to our art gallery to the spaces and places on campus and more (including the ducks!).

To follow us on Pinterest, click here.

Like our Pinterest boards and have photos to add? Email us here.

Campus Closed for Winter Holiday, Re-Opens January 4


Cypress College is closed for the winter holiday. The campus re-opens on Monday, January 4.

During the winter break, students should have access to services such as myGateway and the campus Facebook page.

Classes for the spring semester begin on Monday, February 1, 2016.

From all of us at Cypress College, we wish you joy in the holidays you celebrate, happiness with your loved ones, and relaxation.

Public Invited to First Community Forum About Measure J Bond Program


The public is invited to a community forum to learn about the Measure J Bond Program at Cypress College and to provide input into existing plans that will help shape the 20-year renovation of the Campus.

The first community forum is scheduled for Thursday, June 25, from 6-8 p.m. It will take place in the Cypress College Complex Building, Room 414. The forum is free, though an RSVP is requested to help determine a headcount of participants.

For those unable to attend the first forum, the program will be repeated on Wednesday, July 29, also from 6-8 p.m., and also in CCCPLX-414. The RSVP for that date is available here.

The input of community members is an important component of the College’s effort to design and build the best possible facilities. View the invitation here.

Members of the campus community were invited to participate in a forum on May 18 (read the meeting summary) and an additional internal forum will will be held on August 27, from 2-4 p.m.

Cypress College’s educational facilities — including the Science, Engineering, and Mathematics classrooms and labs — will be transformed during the next 20 years as a result of Measure J. In addition to the STEM disciplines, the many other projects include renovation of the Fine Arts Building, expansion of the Library/Learning Resource Center, and construction of a new Veteran’s Resource Center. Measure J passed by a supermajority (55%) of the voters in the District on November 4, 2014. The bond will provide $574 million Cypress College and the North Orange County Community College District for facility renovations on each of the District’s three campuses: Fullerton College, Cypress College and the School of Continuing Education.

Cypress College’s vision for the future of the campus is detailed in the Educational and Facilities Master Plan. Revisions to the projects and goals will be guided by our stakeholders, including students, employees, and the community.