Employees to Recognize Retiring Colleagues, Celebrate Years of Service

Cypress College faculty and staff will celebrate the end of the school year, and recognize retiring colleagues and coworkers receiving service pins at a luau in the Theater Lobby Wednesday, May 3. There are 26 employees retiring this year and 65 employees being recognized for their years of service at the College.


  • Raul Alvarez, Foundation/Community Relations
  • Karen Cant, Administrative Services
  • Nina DeMarkey, Social Sciences
  • Steven Donley, CTE/Economic Development/Grants
  • Bonnie Fast, Library
  • Pat Ganer, LA/Communications
  • David Gibson, Physical Plant / M&O
  • Carol Harvey, Health Science/Nursing
  • Robert Johnson, Fine Arts/Photography
  • Michael Kavanaugh, Systems Technology Services
  • Velia Lawson, Counseling
  • Kevin Luckey, Physical Plant / M&O
  • Barbara Marshall, LA/English
  • Agnes Martinez, Counseling
  • Debra McPherson, LA/ESL
  • Barbara Meyer, Fine Arts/Theater
  • Jeanne Miller, Business&CIS/Accounting
  • Tien Nguyen, Physical Plant / M&O
  • Mary Rothera, SEM
  • Cathy San Roman, Physical Plant / M&O
  • John Sciacca, Health Sciences
  • Robert Simpson, Administration
  • Gail Smead, SSS/CARE-CalWORKS
  • Shirley Smith, Campus Safety
  • Judith Swytak, Health Science/Nursing
  • David Wassenaar, Business/CIS


Service Recognition

Five Years  

  • Sharon Bataran, Health Center
  • Yadira Cazales, Production Center
  • Adam Eckenrode, Mathematics
  • Marla McBride, Health Center
  • Charles Rogers, Dramatic Arts
  • Ann Sheridan-Solis, Accounting
  • Nadia Wallace, Fine Arts Office
  • Marredda Williams, Nursing

Ten Years  

  • Julie Angevine, Science, Engineering & Math Office
  • Remedios Anzurez, Custodial Services
  • Blanca Atkins, Admissions & Records
  • Gloria Badal, Political Science
  • Raymond Collins, Custodial Services
  • David Dang, Biological Sciences
  • Paul De Dios, Counseling & Student Development
  • Robin De Roo, Chemistry
  • Michael Faraci, Nursing
  • Sally Frumkin, Nursing
  • Raul Garcia, Custodial Services
  • Miguel Garcia, Custodial Services
  • Ruth Gutierrez, Reading
  • Michael Klyde, Auto Technology
  • Michael Land, Academic Computing
  • Rebeca Laveaga, Transfer Center
  • Marcus Marquardt, Psychiatric Technology
  • Joseph Melodia, English
  • Fumio Ogoshi, Biological Sciences
  • William Pashaie, Library
  • Jeremy Peters, Culinary Arts
  • Larry Ramos, Auto Collision
  • Linda Redd, Admissions & Records
  • Ramon Sanchez, Custodial Services
  • Jose Sanchez Duran, Biological Sciences
  • Martin Santos, Custodial Services
  • Bryan Seiling, History
  • Robyn Udell, Biological Sciences

Fifteen Years  

  • Jennifer Coopman, Mathematics
  • Ayman Gadalla, Computer Information Systems
  • Willis Heusser, Philosophy
  • Behzad Izadi, Computer Information Systems
  • John Lambros, Forensics
  • Eunju Lee, Mathematics
  • Clifford Lester, Photography
  • Zoe Megginson, Learning Resource Center
  • Laurie Morvan, Mathematics
  • Danny Ortega, Public Safety
  • Sylvia Paek, Mathematics
  • Nancy Pound, Social Science Office
  • Jaime Ramos, Psychiatric Technology
  • Carlos Sandoval, Psychology
  • Judith Swytak, Nursing
  • Penn Wu, Computer Information Systems

Twenty Years 

  • Keith Cobb, Financial Aid Ofiice
  • Mary Forman, English
  • Jane Jepson, Counseling Office
  • Sergio Leonardo, Grounds Maintenance & Repairs
  • John Linhares, Grounds Maintenance & Repairs
  • Daniel Pelletier, Counseling Office
  • Stuart Rosenberg, English

Twenty-five Years  

  • Dana Bedard, Matriculation
  • Joseph Vasquez, Custodial Services

Thirty Years  

  • Bonnie Fast, Library
  • Troy McKeown, Academic Computing
  • Fidel Ugarte, Grounds Maintenance & Repairs

Thirty-five Years  

  • Carole Villasenor, Counseling Office

Five Cypress College Faculty Members Receive Tenure

Cypress College’s newly tenured faculty were honored by Trustees of the North Orange County Community College District on Tuesday, April 11. Pictured are: (front row, from left) Michelle Palmisano, Ed Valdez, Samantha Simmons, Cypress College President Dr. Bob Simpson, (back row, from left) Cypress College Academic Senate President Bryan Seiling, and Garet Hill.

Cypress College is pleased to congratulate five full-time faculty members from three divisions for completing the tenure process. They will be recognized by the North Orange County Community College District Board of Trustees at its April 11 meeting.

Garet Hill, SEM

Garet Hill, mathematics professor

Garet Hill joined Cypress College as a full-time faculty member in the Mathematics Department in Fall 2013. Prior to joining the College, he was a teacher at Orange Lutheran High School from 2009-2013 and an adjunct faculty member at Golden West College, Santiago Community College, and Concordia University.

At Cypress College, he is an Academic Senate representative for the SEM division. He said one of his favorite experiences at the College was participating in the “ACES” Film Series on advocating collaboration amongst students, faculty, and staff. He also competes on the SEM faculty team in the annual EPC Dodgeball Tournament.

Hill earned his bachelor’s degree from Biola University and was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers and Philadelphia Phillies out of college. He signed with the Phillies following his senior year and played in the minor leagues for a few years. He went on to receive his master’s degree in mathematics from California State University, Fullerton.

Michelle Palmisano, SEM

Michelle Palmisano, biology professor

Michelle Palmisano, Ph.D., began teaching at Cypress College as an adjunct professor and was hired as a full-time faculty member in the Biology Department in 2010.

She has participated in a number of committees at Cypress College and has been a mentor to newly hired faculty. She is also certified as a distance education instructor.

“I have been blessed with many educational opportunities and am very proud to be part of the Cypress College community,” Palmisano said. “I am most proud of my students, and I credit my family, my parents as role models and giving me a proper foundation for love of faith, family, and work. I would not have completed this without the support of my husband and children.”

Palmisano earned her bachelor’s degree in biomedical and electrical engineering from Vanderbilt University where she earned a full athletic scholarship and played on the women’s basketball team, which advanced to the Elite Eight in the NCAA playoffs. She also played varsity tennis. She earned her master’s degree and doctorate from the University of California, San Diego and did post-doctoral research in skeletal muscle physiology.

Samantha Simmons, Language Arts

Samantha Simmons, ESL professor

Samantha Simmons started at Cypress College as a full-time faculty member in the English as a Second Language Department in 2013. Prior to that, she was a lecturer at the University of California, Irvine; an ESL instructor and teacher trainer at the University of California, San Diego Extension, English Language Institute for more than eight years; and an adjunct faculty member at several Southern California community colleges.

At Cypress College, Simmons has been a mentor in the Legacy Program and was recognized as Mentor of the Year in Spring 2016.

She received her bachelor’s degree in speech with an emphasis in intercultural communications from California State University, Fullerton and her master’s degree in linguistics with a specialization in teaching English as a second language from San Diego State University.

Hoa Tran, SEM

Hoa Tran, mathematics professor

Hoa Tran began teaching at Cypress College as an adjunct Mathematics Department faculty member in 2011 and became a full-time faculty member in 2013.

She is the SEM representative for SLOs and has been involved in KinderCaminata and piloting the Summer Boost program at Cypress College, which aims to improve students’ math comprehension.

Tran said she originally wanted to to be an engineer, but found a love for teaching while she was a graduate student. Following graduation, she taught at California State University, Fullerton for a few semesters, then started teaching at local community colleges.

“I enjoy working with students and find this profession rewarding,” she said. “It is rewarding to see students grow mathematically.”

Tran received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in applied mathematics from California State University, Fullerton.

Edilberto Valdez, CTE

Ed Valdez, aviation and travel careers professor

Ed Valdez began teaching at Cypress College as an adjunct faculty member in 2004 in the Aviation and Travel Careers Department and became a full-time faculty member in 2013.

He has worked in the aviation industry for nearly 35 years starting as a ramp agent at Los Angeles International Airport at 18 years old. He was a pilot for United Airlines, Champion Air, and Skywest Airlines; he was also a corporate chief pilot. Valdez continues to fly Gulfstream jets all over the world and also teaches corporate pilots, military pilots, and NASA test pilots.

He is involved in the Cypress College Academic Senate and was instrumental in the development of the College’s new drone photography program.

Valdez received his bachelor’s degree in aeronautics with a minor in business administration from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.


A.S. Announces Cypress College Nominee for OC Teachers of the Year

Associated Students chose English faculty member Christie Diep as Cypress College’s nominee for the 2018 Orange County Teachers of the Year.

Diep has been teaching English at Cypress for over 15 years and is the co-advisor of Club LEAD (Ladies Empowered and Determined).

The OC Teachers of the Year program recognizes outstanding teachers in the region. Nominees are honored at an annual banquet in the fall hosted by SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union.

Congratulations Christie! The campus community is proud of your commitment to students.

Mortuary Science Alum First in Line as Baccalaureate Application Opens

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.”

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.”






‘Matriarch’ Pat Ganer to Retire

Dr. Ganer is the Longest-Serving Faculty and One of the College’s First Students


As an alumna of both USC and UCLA, the moniker “a person divided” accurately applies to Dr. Pat Ganer. Despite loyalties on both sides of that Southern California rivalry, there’s little doubt about which campus holds her heart: Cypress College.

She was standing at the campus flagpole on Day 1, September 12, 1966, as one of Cypress College’s very first students — student number 428, to be precise. Fifty years later she again stood at the flagpole; this time, as the matriarch of Cypress College, she emceed an anniversary event.

Dr. Ganer, a faculty member in Speech Communication at Cypress since 1971, will retire at the end of the academic year. At Cypress College, she spent 7 years as Chair of the Curriculum Committee, served four terms as President of the Academic Senate, chaired the Professional Growth and Development Committee, and was the first faculty Chair of the Accreditation Self-Study. She twice instructed in the semester-abroad program in both London and Madrid. For two decades, she directed the school’s speech teams, taking them to local, state, and national competitions.

Off campus, she served as President of both the American Forensics Association and the Western States Communication Association. She has taught consistently at California State University, Long Beach. Known, in part, for wearing her politics on her sleeve, Dr. Ganer has served as an analyst on presidential debates for the Los Angeles Times and MSNBC. One of her courses at Cal State Long Beach focuses on campaign-based communication. Another of her classes covers international speaking —  an area in which she also brings real-world experience, having presented at conferences in Japan, Dublin, Amsterdam, Sydney, and Sao Paolo.

In 2010, Dr. Ganer was dubbed the “Matriarch of Cypress College” after the retirement of colleague Donna Friess. In fact, Friess provided her with a crown to make the moment official. “I love the atmosphere at Cypress College,” Dr. Ganer said at the time. “It is a very collegiate environment. Everyone pulls together to make things work.”

She earned her B.A. in Political Science from the University of Southern California, her M.A. in Political Science, from the University of California, Los Angeles, and her Ph.D. in Communication, with an emphasis on Political Communication, from the University of Utah. She is an avid fan of the Utah Utes as well as the Anaheim Angels.




Welcome to New Full-Time Faculty and Staff

Cypress College new faculty


As Cypress College celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, we are not only celebrating the past, but looking ahead to our next chapter. We are pleased to have 28 new full-time faculty begin their employment at Cypress College this fall — our largest group of new tenure-track instructors, counselors, and librarians. 

Business & Computer Information Systems

Bret Clarke (CIS)

Counseling & Student Development

Dawn Decker, LD Specialist (Disability Support Services)

Mymy Lam, Counselor (Teacher Preparation Program/Humanities)

Fine Arts

Katalin Anguelov (Media Arts)

Janet Owen (Art History)

Terra Schwartzwald (Music)

Health Science

Shinah Kim (Nursing)

Jennie Larez (Health Information Technology)

Marcus Marquardt (Psychiatric Technology)

Ryan Ortega (Nursing)

Diana Tira (Dental Hygiene)

Language Arts

Jill Bauer (ESL)

Justin Campbell (English)

Jennelle Herman (ESL)

Bret Kaufman (English)

Annette Letcher (Reading)

Stephanie Tran (English)

Library & Learning Resource Center

Angela Boyd, Librarian (Library)

Leslie Palmer, Librarian (Library)

Physical Education & Athletics

Jeff Benito (PE/Tennis)

Anthony Hutting (Baseball)

Science, Engineering, and Mathematics

Jolina Cadilli (Math)

Alma Castro (Math)

Saleh Massoud (Engineering/Physics)

Gary Shin (Biology)

Social Sciences

Angela DeDios (Psychology)

Steven Estrada (Ethnic Studies)

James Tapia (Human Services)

In addition to our new faculty, the College is happy to have nine new full-time classified staff come on board as well, in areas across the campus that are vital to supporting the instructional work of the institution. 

Classified Staff

Belinda Allan, Instructional Assistant (Career Center)

Casey Carmichael, Facilities Custodian (Maintenance and Operations/Physical Plant)

Khanh Cao, Instructional Assistant (Business a& Computer Information Systems)

Raul Garcia, Facilities Custodian (Maintenance and Operations/Physical Plant)

Briceyda Maldonado, Student Services Specialist (CalWorks/EOPS)

Jeanette Pattison, Instructional Aide (Health Science)

Desiree Sendejas, Campus Safety Officer (Campus Safety)

Daniel Wallenberg, Campus Safety Officer (Campus Safety)

Felicia Xa, Library Assistant (Library & Learning Resource Center)

The College looks forward to seeing the impact that these individuals will bring to motivating the minds of our students, and helping them get to where they want to be. We are thrilled to have each one of them join the Cypress College family! 

Cypress College new faculty

Holocaust Survivors, Unique Portrait Collection by Photography Professor Highlight First Yom HaShoah Event

NOTE: View and download as a pdf file


Multiple Holocaust survivors and a pair of children of survivors highlight Cypress College’s first-ever Yom HaShoah event on May 4. The event is inspired by Cypress College Photography Professor Clifford Lester’s unique portraits taken of survivors. The portraits will be on display during the event and Cypress College students will perform an interpretative routine in reaction to the photographs. More than 400 people are expected to attend.

The remembrance takes place adjacent to the campus pond on Wednesday, May 4, 2016, from 7-8:30 p.m. Admission and parking are free and the event is open to the public. Cypress College, located at 9200 Valley View Street in Cypress, CA.

Holocaust survivors Dr. Jacob Eisenbach and Natalie Weinstein-Gold are the featured speakers. They are among the five or six survivors of the Nazi Holocaust who will be honored at the event, along with two children of survivors.

Cypress College students, college employees, and community members will also participate. These include History Professor David Halahmy, representatives for the German Consulate in Los Angeles and Rabbi Heidi Cohen of Santa Ana’s Temple Beth Sholom.

Cypress College’s tribute is also centered around an exhibition of haunting and spirit-filled portraits of survivors photographed by Cypress College Professor Clifford Lester. Professor Lester’s portraits of Holocaust survivors were exhibited during an all-faculty meeting at the start of the school year. The work was so well received the photographs are now displayed in the campus Student Center. At one time facing extermination, these survivors now express determination to keep the memories of the Holocaust alive. The portraits create an enduring voice for the survivors, a voice that speaks out against hatred, injustice, stereotypes, and anti-Semitism. Among Cypress College’s core values is “inclusiveness” and the college’s Diversity Committee agreed to hold a Yom HaShoah event in this spirit.

Yom HaShoah is the annual Holocaust Remembrance Day for the six million Jews who were murdered by the Nazis during World War II. This year it begins at sunset on Wednesday, May 4 and concludes at sunset on May 5. Cypress College pays respect with a ceremony that promotes acceptance and inclusion, diversity and justice, no matter one’s race, religion, color or creed. This message will be accentuated by Cypress College Dance students, who will present an original interpretive performance interconnected with music and photography.

The lighting of memorial candles is part of the Yom HaShoah tradition. Four of the Holocaust survivors and two children of survivors — including a Cypress College employee — will represent the six million Jews who were murdered during the Holocaust. Lit candles will then be floated onto the campus pond.

Confirmed Holocaust survivors participating in Cypress College’s Yom HaShoah event are: Dr. Eisenbach, Ms. Weinstein-Gold, Sarah Schweitz, and Harry Lester; the children of survivors are David Langer (representing his father Nathan and mother Mira), and Rick Van Beynen (representing his mother Rachel). Biographies of the participants are attached below.

Biographies of Holocaust Survivors and Offspring Participating:

Dr. Jacob Eisenbach — Holocaust Survivor

At 93 years old, Dr. Eisenbach recently retired from dentistry after practicing for 60 years. Dr. Eisenbach and his family lived in Lodz, Poland. Before the war broke out, Dr. Eisenbach lost his mother to illness. After Poland was invaded, he lost his sister, father and youngest brother at the hands of the Nazis.  Despite all of these losses, Dr. Eisenbach retains his strength by remembering his parents’ words, telling him “to never lose hope for a better tomorrow.” As a result, Dr. Eisenbach is quick to state he has never lost his faith in humanity.

Natalie Weinstein-Gold — Holocaust Survivor

At the age of 18 months, Natalie Weinstein-Gold was left on the doorstep of a lawyer’s house with a cross around her neck in the hope that this would save her life during the war. Four and a half years later, she was found at a convent by her father, a Warsaw Ghetto fighter named Leon Weinstein. Ms. Weinstein-Gold, now a psychologist, shared many Sabbath dinners with her father after coming to the United States in 1952.

Sarah Schweitz — Holocaust Survivor

Sarah Schweitz was born in Trikala, Greece. When her father was captured during World War II by the Germans, he was threatened with his death by the German Commandant of a Detention Camp. When asked why his life should be spared, he showed the Nazi a picture of his 31/2 year old daughter and said she was waiting for him to come home. Reminded of his own daughter, the German spared Sarah’s father’s life and let him go.

Harry Lester — Holocaust Survivor

Harry Lester, father of Cypress College Photography Professor Clifford Lester, was formerly named Horst Littwitz, until coming to the United States on the Italian Ship Vulcania. Faced with harassment from the Nazi’s as early as 1933, Mr. Lester survived the first part of the war despite events such as the trashing of the synagogue where his bar mitzvah was to be held. Mr. Lester migrated to the U.S. with his mother in November of 1939. His father Max  was left behind because of U.S. quotas limiting immigration from Poland. Fortunately, they were joined by his father a year later.

David Langer — Son of Holocaust Survivors

David Langer is the son of Nathan and Mira, both Holocaust survivors. They immigrated to the U.S. after World War II. Nathan, who grew up in a family of wine makers, later founded Langer Juice Company. A native of Krakow, Poland, he was the only survivor of his immediate family.

Rick  Van Beynen — Son of Holocaust Survivor

Rick Van Beynen, a Cypress College employee, is the son of Rachel (Kops) Van Beynen, who was born in Amsterdam in 1926. Ms. Van Beynen was the first person in the family to be taken by the German SS at age 16. She ultimately survived 10 concentration camps — including a death march from Auschwitz, when the Germans knew they were losing the war. After the war, she learned that her mother, father, sister, brother, grandparents and 53 other family members had been exterminated.

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 56 university-transfer majors, 164 career-certificate programs, and degrees in 71 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.

Board to Grant Tenure to Four Faculty


Four Cypress College faculty are poised to earn tenure on Tuesday night when the Board of Trustees of the North Orange County Community College District recognizes them for attaining this professional milestone. Two math faculty, Adam Eckenrode and Nicole Ledesma, will be recognized along with accounting faculty Ann Sheridan Solis, and Nursing faculty Marredda Williams Cooksey. The Board of Trustees meeting is held at the Anaheim Campus, beginning at 5:30 p.m.


Adam Eckenrode – Science, Engineering, Math

Adam Eckenrode came to Cypress College as a full-time faculty member in the Mathematics Department in Fall 2012. He taught while enrolled as a graduate student at Cal Poly Pomona and continued there as an adjunct faculty. He eventually started teaching at the University of La Verne and Mt. SAC. He described the workload as challenging and said that being asked to interview for a full-time position here at Cypress College was professionally life changing. “Accepting this position has been the greatest highlight of my career. I found a place I can call home where I get to work with amazing people within my department, throughout my division, and across the campus.”

His involvement at Cypress College includes: serving as the SEM division representative on Academic Senate, a tutor in the Math Learning Center, lead instructor for the mathematics Summer Boost Program, a Puente mentor, Strategic Plan direction committees, organizing booths at KinderCaminata, and three hiring committees.

Eckenrode received both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Mathematics from Cal Poly Pomona.


Nicole Ledesma – Science, Engineering, Math

Nicole Ledesma started at Cypress College as an adjunct in 2011 and was hired full-time in 2012. Her career highlights include getting hired full-time, earning tenure, and “being part of the best department in the world!” At Cypress College, Ledesma has served on the Student Learning Outcomes committee and currently serves on the Basic Skills Initiative and Curriculum committees. In addition, she served as the Statistics and Pre-Algebra course coordinator.
Ledesma earned her bachelor’s (2009) and master’s (2011) degrees in Mathematics at California State University, Fullerton.


Ann Sheridan Solis – Business/Computer Information Systems

Ann Sheridan Solis joined Cypress College’s adjunct faculty in spring 2003 and was hired as a full-time faculty member in fall 2012. She currently serves on the Curriculum Committee, Distance Learning Committee, and participates in a new Career Planning Committee. Additional activities at Cypress College include: Accounting Career Day; Student Accounting Society meetings with Cypress College students at Cal State Fullerton and Cal State Long Beach; Business Club Advisor; assisting students with obtaining various accounting internships and accounting jobs; and attending professional accounting society meetings with students to assist them networking and scholarship opportunities.
She holds a Certified Public Accountant License and earned her bachelor’s degree in accounting from Cal Poly Pomona.


Marredda Williams-Cooksey – Health Science

Marredda Williams-Cooksey, MSN, Ed., RN joined the Cypress College Nursing faculty full time in fall 2012. She was nominated as a Great Teachers Facilitator, a role she is fulfilling this month. She has also been involved on campus as a Remediaiton/Simulation Specialist for Nursing, and on the Curriculum and Accreditation committees.

She earned her associate’s degree in Nursing from Mount St. Mary’s, her bachelor’s degree at California State University, Los Angeles, and her master’s degree from California State University, Dominguez Hills.

Associated Students Hosts Women’s Recognition Awards

The Associated Students hosted their annual Women’s Recognition Awards last week to cap Women’s History Month. A.S. President and Student Ambassador Angel Garcia, who contributes to @Cypress and the College Twitter feed, reports here on the event.

Women's Recognition Awardees 2016

The Associated Students hosted our annual Women’s Recognition Awards last Wednesday, March 30th to celebrate Women’s History Month.

Women's Recognition 2016

 In this ceremony, we recognize the wonderful women (staff, faculty, administration, and students) on campus for their hard work and dedication to Cypress College. To better gauge as to who to recognize, ballots were given to everyone on campus to nominate women for these categories: Rising Leader, Most Dedicated, Most Inspirational, Most Contributing, Most Warmhearted, and Woman of the Year.

Women's Recognition Students 2016Associated Students Chief of Staff Lona Redd was the head coordinator of this event, and the rest of the AS team helped make it all happen. Student Trustee Tanya Washington and I hosted the ceremony, and we were joined by Vice President of Campus Activities Amanda Aros and AS Committee Member Perla Bravo, who presented the awards.

Women's Recognition 2016 Karen Cant

We are very grateful to have had two amazing speakers at our event: Cypress College Vice President Karen Cant and Legacy Program Coordinator and Social Sciences Professor Regina Rhymes. Both of these amazing ladies shared their personal experiences as women working in their fields, and inspired all of us by proving the quote, “Women hold up half of the sky,” being true.

Women's Recognition Awards 2016 Lark Crumpler

Many tears were shed once Student Ambassador Coordinator and Outreach Manager Lark Crumpler was recognized as the Woman of the Year. Although many different people on campus agreed with awarding her with this prestigious award, she was still genuinely surprised! As I wrote the script for this event, I found it incredibly easy describing her dedication and sincerity.

Other award winners include:
Rising Leader
Student Trustee Tanya Washington
AS President Angel Garcia
MEChA Vice President Anissa Garcia
AS Vice President of Campus & District Affairs Rae Gelvin

Most Dedicated
STEM Director/Counselor Yanet Garcia
Dean of Library/Learning Resource Center Dr. Treisa Cassens
Professional Development Coordinator Mary Forman
Professional Development Coordinator Peggy Austin

Most Inspirational
Admissions & Records Specialist Akilah Courtney
Dean of Social Sciences Nina DeMarkey
Puente Program Coordinator/Counselor Dr. Therese MosquedaPonce
Legacy Program Coordinator/Social Sciences Professor Regina Rhymes

Most Contributing
Admissions and Records Specialist and Veterans Program Official Christy Davis
Cypress College Vice President Karen Cant
Honors Program Counselor and Transfer Center Director Penny Gabourie
Career Tech Professor Kathleen Reiland
Executive Assistant Ty Volcy

Most Warmhearted
Social Sciences Division Administrative Assistant Nancy Pound
Career Tech Counselor and Specialist Jane Jepson
Communications Office Outreach/Marketing Assistant Tracy Bassett
EOPS/CARE and CalWorks Program Coordinator Lili PerezStroud
Admissions and Records Administrative Assistant Nahid Salkovieh

Honorable Mentions
Academic Senate President and Mortuary Science professor Jolena Grande
Student Equity Director Ashley Griffith
EOPS/CARE Manager Elaine Lipiz Gonzalez
EOPS Specialist Ashley Berry
EOPS Specialist Leilani Matanguihan

Check out #AskAngel every Tuesday from 2-3 PM on Twitter!