Commit2Cypress and Take Advantage of Free Tuition Through Pledge and Promise

Join us at Commit2Cypress on Thursday, April 30 at 4:30-8 p.m. to learn more about and sign your contract for the fall 2020 North Orange Promise or AUHSD Pledge granting free tuition to all qualifying first-time college students for their first two years!

Meet representatives from support programs and services on campus, interact with deans and professors from the college’s academic programs, and attend sessions on topics most relevant to new college students and parents.

RSVP here!

Cypress College Foundation Raises $80,000 at its Annual Golf Classic

The Cypress College Foundation held its Annual Golf Classic at Los Coyotes Country Club in Buena Park October 21, raising $80,000 to fund student scholarships and book grants/loans, faculty grants, and more. There were 168 participants, including a member of the LPA team who shot a hole-in-one and won a new vehicle.

The Foundation gives a warm thank you to all of its sponsors, participants, and volunteers and student ambassadors.

Title Sponsor
TEM – Total Environmental Management

Corporate Sponsors
A.O. Reed & Co. and Foundation Pile
Control Air and Helix Electric
Forest Lawn Memorial Parks & Mortuaries
MAAS Companies
SUNDT Construction Inc

Eagle Sponsors
Air Treatment Corporation
Morgan Stanley
Newport Diversified

Birdie Sponsor
Cypress Lawn Funeral and Cemetery

Foursomes included players from the following sponsors
Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud & Romo
ACCO Engineered Systems
Air Treatment Corporation
American Crematorium
Buena Park Police Department
The City of Cypress
CSI Fullmer
Cypress Police Department
Remax/Tiffany
Fullerton College
So Cal Gas
Golden State Water
Hazelrigg Claims Management
Johnson Controls Fire Protection LP
Patron Property Management
Piping Industry Progress and Education
Toyota Place
Union Bank
Westberg White Architecture

Cypress College Career Technical Education Counselor Named Counselor of the Year

The Orange County Career Education Community College Network recently named Cypress College Career Technical Education Counselor Dr. Jane Jepson as a 2019 Counselor of the Year. The award, given each year to counselors who excel in a number of areas pertaining to student and career success, will be presented at the 2019 OC Counselor Symposium on Thursday, November 7.

“Dr. Jepsen is good-natured, positive, and hard-working, but most importantly she has demonstrated an empathetic understanding and sensitivity to her students,” said Cypress College Vice President of Student Services Dr. Paul de Dios. “She has earned the respect of administrators, faculty, and students. She is committed to student learning, assessment of learning outcomes, and helping students reach their goals. I can attest to the significant impact she made not only in the lives of her students, but for the community as well. She has truly made, and continues to make, a difference.”

Counselor of the Year recipients promote student enrollment, and college and career readiness; advocate for the integration of academic, personal, and career learning; are knowledgeable in current goals, changes, and processes of the community college system; collaborate with other counselors; engage in ongoing professional development efforts; and possess collaborative and leadership capabilities in their current role.

“It is a labor of love to work with a diverse population of students seeking better, more productive, and engaged lives in a progressive educational environment,” said Jepsen. “It is my pleasure to be recognized for what is the best job ever, which is providing information and inspiration to people wanting to enrich their lives with relevant knowledge and skills.”

Jepsen said she shares the honor with all Orange County Career Education counselors with whom she shares a commitment to championing career education at the community college level and the students who have touched her life over the years.

“Each student is dear to me, special because of the uniqueness of their aspirations and background and desire to be the best they can be,” she said. “And although I may not remember the details of each student’s story from month to month and year to year, I hope each one of them knows I am a vessel for their hopes and dreams, and a witness to their challenges and accomplishments.”

Jepsen received her master’s degree in counseling and recently completed her doctorate in social and environmental pedagogies at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco. Her research, subtitled “Finding Meaning, Locating Praxis and Connecting to Place,” focuses on alternative ways of knowing and being in a world of interconnected social and environmental inequities and injustices. In fall 2020, she will launch a Global Citizenship Studies program.

Jepsen currently serves on Cypress College’s curriculum committee, oversees the Perkins and Strong Workforce grants, and teaches “Educational Planning” for the Counseling Division and “Cultural Tourism” for the college’s Aviation and Travel Careers program. In her free time, she enjoys traveling and gardening and is a strong advocate for creating ecologically friendly habitats of native, bee and bird-attracting plants in home gardens.

Over 700 counselors are anticipated to attend the 2019 OC Counselor Symposium, which will be held at the Anaheim Marriott Hotel and focuses on supporting student wellness and success through academic, career, and social/emotional support and development.

#CYProud: David Su, Psychology

Student success comes in many different forms, and Cypress College is proud to recognize and celebrate the variety of paths our students take to achieve their dreams. Whether it’s transferring to a four-year institution, or receiving an associate degree or certificate and heading into the workforce, we want all of our students to know we are on this educational journey with them and are pleased to feature distinguished #CYProud students for 2019.

David Su

The pressure to perform and live up to parental expectations set by successful older siblings can be a difficult burden. For David Su, meeting those expectations was a simple task throughout primary and middle school, but became too much to bear in high school. In junior year, he fell so far behind in his classwork that he dropped out and instead attended an alternative high school that nulled his eligibility for a UC or Cal State.

“Cypress College has given me the opportunity and time to explore my options in life,” David said. “Essentially, for a person whose family places such a high importance on higher education, Cypress College has given me a second chance.”

David became heavily involved in a number of clubs on campus and was inducted into the college’s Psi Beta psychology honor society. He graduated with an associate degree in psychology and transferred to UC Irvine. He aspires to earn a master’s degree in educational counseling and become a counselor in higher education.

Please tell us a little about yourself. Where did you grow up? What are your interests? What is your story?

I grew up in Cypress, California, born to two loving parents who always doted on me and praised me for the high passing marks that I would receive in elementary and middle school. Back then, I passed all of my classes with flying colors — and, I had to. After all, I had to succeed like my wonderful older brother who had set impossibly high standards for me as he was seen as a genius in school. My parents assumed that I would do equally as well, so I worked hard just to please them — except, I didn’t.

Elementary and middle school were easy. I flew by with flying colors without really having to study at all because back then, everything came to me naturally. I failed to realize that the reason for this was because of the low difficulty; nevertheless, I settled into my bad habits of not studying and not working hard because why would I need to study or try hard when everything was so easy?

And then high school hit. And it was a disaster.

As I settled into high school, I found each passing year becoming more and more difficult for me, and in my junior year, I found the classes to be too difficult. No longer could I just sit back, relax, and let the information soak into my brain; I had to actually try this time around as my classes were no longer a cake walk. For the first time in my life, I had to actually study to succeed, and I couldn’t. I let my homework and assignments pile up as I slowly slipped behind, and I failed to study when I needed to. Eventually, my grades began to drop. It was at this point that I began to frequently miss school to attempt to make up my homework, but I failed to realize that this would only result in me having to catch up on more missing assignments for those missed days. Eventually, it was too much. There were too many late assignments to catch up on, my grades had fallen far too low, and some of my teachers even doubted if I would ever come back.

They were right. I never did come back. Instead, I graduated from an alternative high school that offered independent study. Because of that horrible disaster that was my first high school, I found myself afraid of learning and afraid of disappointing my parents, friends, and teachers.

That lasted for two years, and now I’m at Cypress College. Since then, I’ve tried my best to get over my fears, and in the process, I’ve rediscovered my love for education and passion for learning, most notably for my major of psychology. I love learning about the human mind and discovering the intricacies of human potential. Since my lowest point in high school, I’ve now been accepted to both the University of California, Berkeley and the University of California, Irvine.

Why did you choose Cypress College?

When I dropped out of high school and went to an alternative high school, I was automatically locked out of applying to any Cal States or UCs because the coursework at my alternative high school did not meet those colleges’ standards. I had no choice but to look at other alternatives for higher education, such as private school or community college.

I chose Cypress College because, as a child, I used to take summer and winter classes at the School of Continuing Education. Most of these classes were held at Cypress College, and I remember immediately falling in love with the campus at a young age when I first explored the campus grounds. Even when I wasn’t taking classes at Cypress College as a child, my family would often take my brother and me to exercise at the track.

After graduating from high school, I wasn’t exactly sure what I wanted to do with my future, but I knew immediately that I wanted to go to the college that I had fallen in love with as a child. Since then, Cypress College has given me the opportunity and time to explore my options in life. Essentially, for a person whose family places such a high importance on higher education, Cypress College has given me a second chance.

What have you been involved in at Cypress College? How has your path unfolded?

Ever since my enrollment at Cypress College, I’ve found myself becoming heavily involved with Circle K International (CKI), Psychology Club, Psi Beta, and Inter-Club Council (ICC). Joining CKI was an easy choice for me; I had fallen in love with volunteering and giving back to my community ever since high school (I volunteered more than I did homework back then), and I was thrilled with the idea of being able to continually engage in community service. Since joining, I have served as the vice president and president in CKI.

As for Psychology Club, I decided to join because it directly related to my major, but I stayed because I met two wonderful professors who were able to share their special love for psychology with their students. These two professors, Dr. Angela deDios and Dr. Brandy Young, would go on to expand the Psychology Club and establish Psi Beta, an honor society for psychology at the community college level, which I naturally became a member of because I wanted to follow the two professors that I look up to.

Finally, I became involved with ICC due to my involvement with the three aforementioned clubs because I was appointed as the ICC-representative for each of them. I would later go on to become the ICC secretary.

What are you most passionate about? Why?

I’m most passionate about my major, psychology. Ever since I began to take my major classes, I’ve really enjoyed learning about human behavior and development. I enjoyed learning about how someone could have a certain tendency or behavior because of their previous experiences in life or genetic susceptibility. Through this, I’ve also learned about my own tendencies and behaviors, and the reason why I failed in high school. I want to help others understand themselves and unlock the potential within them.

Who are the faculty and staff that have helped you get where you are today?

There are a lot of faculty and staff who have helped me get where I am today.

Dr. Angela deDios – Dr. deDios was one of the first Cypress College faculty members that I met. I took her for Intro to Psychology and Developmental Psychology. Not only did I learn a lot about psychology, I was able to apply many of her teachings to my own life. Dr. deDios is also the advisor of Circle K International, Psychology Club, and Psi Beta.

Dr. Brandy Young – Despite never having the chance to take Dr. Young’s classes, I was able to meet her through Psychology Club and Psi Beta. She gave me advice on life after Cypress College. Dr. Young gave us many opportunities to explore psychology on a professional scale with student speakers in graduate school, field trips to the UCLA Psychology Department, and networking experiences at the Western Psychological Association’s convention.

Transfer Counselor Yolanda Duenas – I’ve spoken with Yolanda Duenas on multiple occasions to discuss my education plan at Cypress College in order to transfer. However, on one occasion, I asked her about how she became involved with being a transfer counselor. I already had an affinity for advising students on how to transfer, yet Yolanda helped me see that this is something that I wanted to pursue.

Dave Okawa – As the director of Student Activities, Dave Okawa was someone I spoke to on multiple occasions as I was the president of CKI and an ICC representative for three different clubs. When the position of ICC secretary was vacant for the 2018-19 academic year, he motivated me to apply for this position.

What are your immediate plans after completing your studies at Cypress College (at your transfer institution, in the workforce, etc.)?

I plan on finishing my bachelor’s degree at UCI and going on to pursue my master’s degree in educational counseling.

What are your long-term goals? What do you aspire to?

My long-term goals in the future are to, hopefully, pursue my master’s degree in educational counseling. I’ve said before that I really enjoy realizing and unlocking the potential within others; I want to become an educational counselor because I want to help others realize that they can go on to achieve incredible things in life. After my master’s degree, I plan on becoming an educational counselor at the college level, most notably the community college level. I aspire to assist students who may need guidance on how they can transfer to four-year institutions.

What are you most proud of?

I’m most proud of my brother, who’s currently pursuing a master’s degree in pharmaceutical biology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. My older brother has always been my pillar of strength when I’ve needed him most; he’s always been there for me, right behind me to support me when I needed it the most. He gives me helpful advice when I need it, and, occasionally, the truth when I don’t want it. Sometimes, he even annoyingly calls me at weird times of the night to bother me, but I know he does it because he just wants to talk to me since we’re far apart from each other, living our own lives and pursuing our own futures — and that’s why I’m proud of him. Even though he’s extremely busy, he’ll always find time to help me out, to give me advice, or to annoy me at odd times of the night. He’s my older brother, but he’ll always find time for his little brother.

What one bit of advice would you give to current and future Cypress College students?

I would say that it is important to use the resources that are provided to you at Cypress College. If I didn’t use the resources that were provided to me, I don’t think I would have been as successful as I am now. To give an example, if I didn’t consult with my guidance counselors, I believe that I would have been incredibly lost when it came to the direction that I wanted to take my future in. I highly recommend consulting with the school’s guidance counselors as not only are they friendly, but they’ll help point you in the right direction.

There are a lot of other resources at Cypress College, but I think the most important thing to remember is this: the resources provided aren’t going to come to you, asking if you need help; you have to go out on your own accord and utilize these resources.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

Cypress College has truly been a place of comfort for me to pursue my education. While I entered Cypress College without many friends, I am exiting with a full network of friendships and opportunities for my future.

#CYProud: Tasmia Alam, Business Administration

Student success comes in many different forms, and Cypress College is proud to recognize and celebrate the variety of paths our students take to achieve their dreams. Whether it’s transferring to a four-year institution, or receiving an associate degree or certificate and heading into the workforce, we want all of our students to know we are on this educational journey with them and are pleased to feature distinguished #CYProud students for 2019.

Tasmia Alam

Tasmia Alam is passionate about making a difference and effecting change for the better. Of Bengali descent but born and raised in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Tasmia moved to the United States with her family after completing high school. In need of a path into higher education that wouldn’t put more of a financial strain on her family, she found Cypress College and knew it was where she wanted to start her higher education journey. With a desire to mix her creative side and passion for making a difference, Tasmia plans to build a career in marketing. She transferred to Cal State Fullerton to complete her bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in marketing and minor in communication studies. She later plans to earn a master of business administration (MBA).

Please tell us a little about yourself. Where did you grow up? What are your interests? What is your story?

I am a Bengali girl born and raised in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Since there is no birthright citizenship given in Saudi Arabia, my nationality has always been from Bangladesh. I graduated high school in 2014 and immigrated to the United States in 2015 with my family. Immediately after, I embarked on my higher education journey at Cypress College. My hobbies include dancing, traveling, and occasionally reading.

Why did you choose Cypress College?

Once I moved to the United States, I came across the community college system. Restarting life in the States was a financial strain on my family as it is; however, through community college, I could pursue higher education without being financially indebted. After researching a couple of colleges within my area, Cypress College attracted me the most. Visiting the campus and getting a glance at the beautiful architecture and the friendly ambiance, I knew instantly this is where I wanted to start my higher education journey. In addition, Cypress College was also ranked top three in their transfer rates at that time.

What have you been involved in at Cypress College? How has your path unfolded?

During the fall 2015 New Student Welcome Night, I was very intrigued by the Associated Students council and their presence on campus. Since then, I have been fortunate enough to be a part of the Cypress College Associated Students Council. The group’s commitment to representing and being the voice for the Cypress College student body drew me toward them the most. As an active member of the student government, I was able to work my way up from an activities coordinator my first semester, to senator, to finally being elected as the executive vice president for the academic year 2016-17. Within my two-year journey with the Associated Students, I was fortunate enough to be part of several planning committees, such as the Cypress College Food Bank, which was initiated to fight food and hunger insecurities on campus. In addition, I was also able to help a fellow associated student member with what was known as the first Cypress College resolution submitted. The resolution was about enriching student success through a more-detailed registration process. This resolution was passed in the spring 2017 SSCCC General Assembly.

In fall 2016, I was hired as a student ambassador on campus. As an ambassador, my main job is to help students and make their first steps in college easier. I have successfully helped several families and students join Cypress College and ensure their continuing success. Being located at the entrance of the Student Center, I help students during the registration process, as well as guide them around their way on campus. As an ambassador, I have also helped with other programs on campus such as the Pledge events and Charger Fridays. Active involvement in both the student government and Student Ambassador programs gave me the opportunity to participate in and help with several events hosted by Cypress College, including Kindercaminata, the Americana Awards, Pledge Night, and Cypress College’s annual commencement.

After completing my term as an executive vice president for Associated Students and gaining experience in helping students and working events through the Student Ambassador program, I decided I wanted to do more for the students of Cypress College, specifically, more for students in the Business Department. During fall 2017, I took the initiative to restart the Business Club on campus. My goal as the business club president was to educate students on how to be successful in the world of business including finance, management, marketing, and more. This club serves as a platform for students to network and explore the different sectors of a business. It also served as an opportunity where I could spread along the knowledge and experience that I gained through the Associated Students and the Student Ambassador program. Currently, I am still an active member of the club and manage the social media sites for them.

What are you most passionate about? Why?

My passion derives from making a difference. I believe in change and change for the better. Bringing innovative ideas and making a difference for the betterment of others is what drives me the most. As I dealt with culture shock and finding my place at Cypress during my initial weeks in the United States, I found my creative space in just learning about this new world that I stepped into. Creativity to me was creating my own place at Cypress and using the resources that helped me to help others. Facing challenges and overcoming them creatively gave me the platform to express myself. Being actively involved in various student leadership platforms gives me the opportunity to make a difference and create a similar space for students that may struggle with similar issues.

Who are the faculty and staff that have helped you get where you are today?

Throughout these four years that I have been part of this campus, I have been very lucky to have the guidance of several people who helped me become who I am today. Some people that I believe deserve special recognition and gratitude are:

  • Alan Reza, my EOPS counselor: He has always helped me reach my goals and has constantly provided me with resources and opportunities to succeed as a student at Cypress College.
  • Penny Gabourie, my Honors Program counselor: She always made sure I was on the right track with my education and transfer process.
  • Dave Okawa: He was my advisor for Associated Students and has always encouraged and motivated me to be the best student leader I could be.
  • Lark Crumpler, former supervisor of the Student Ambassador program: I am very grateful to her for giving me the opportunity to be a student ambassador and represent Cypress College.
  • Kassandra Abreu: She is my current supervisor who has constantly believed in me and encouraged me to pursue my goals and aspirations.

Last but not least, some faculty that I am thankful to are Kendyl Covey, whose English classes taught me the value of time management; Nicole Ledesma and Jane Gross, whose math classes taught me that math is not as hard as most people make it seem; and Parwinder Sidhu for her endless support for student success and making economics a fun subject to learn.
In addition, I am also grateful for everyone involved with the EOPS and Honors programs for constantly providing resources and opportunities that have made my educational journey easier.

What are your immediate plans after completing your studies at Cypress College (at your transfer institution, in the workforce, etc.)?

I will be transferring to CSUF in fall 2019 where I will be completing my bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in marketing and minor in communication studies. I look forward to also being an active student leader at CSUF. After completing my bachelor’s degree in business, I will be pursuing a master’s degree in business administration (MBA).

What are your long-term goals? What do you aspire to?

I want to build a career in the marketing field of business. Among the broad spectrum of business sectors, marketing intrigues me the most because of its constantly evolving and innovating techniques. With my passion for making a difference and creativity, a career in business marketing is what I am aspiring to right now.

What are you most proud of?

In addition to being proud of the difference I was able to make as an executive vice president of Associated Students and creating a platform for business students through the Business Club, I am most proud of the two scholarships that I received from Associated Students, for being an outstanding student leader in spring 2017 and spring 2019.

What one bit of advice would you give to current and future Cypress College students?

One piece of advice that I would like to give to the current and future Cypress College students is to always be curious and ask questions. One thing that I have learned through my journey at Cypress is that there are plenty of resources available for students to succeed and the only thing we need to do is seek them. One question that always pushes me to take that next step is to ask, “What’s the worst that could happen?” Curiosity and asking questions have led me to where I am today, and I hope that I continue to be curious and ask questions in my future educational endeavors.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

Cypress College has made me who I am today. It was the first place that I was introduced to when I moved here, and today, it is a place that I call home. I am extremely grateful for the opportunities this place has provided me with. Without the experiences that I have endured at Cypress, I would not be the Tasmia that I am today.

#CYProud: Musab Awad, Registered Nursing

Student success comes in many different forms, and Cypress College is proud to recognize and celebrate the variety of paths our students take to achieve their dreams. Whether it’s transferring to a four-year institution, or receiving an associate degree or certificate and heading into the workforce, we want all of our students to know we are on this educational journey with them and are pleased to feature distinguished #CYProud students for 2019.

Musab Awad

Many times, education is a family affair. Musab Awad followed in his mother’s footsteps when he chose to attend Cypress College. Interested in science and the human body from a young age, Musab, one of four sons to a single mother, graduated from the college’s Registered Nursing program. He currently works at Hoag and and is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing at California State University, Fullerton.

Please tell us a little about yourself. Where did you grow up? What are your interests? What is your story?

I grew up here in Orange County, but we traveled out of the country many times during my childhood. My interests were mainly toward science and the human body. My mom is a single parent and when we moved back to the States in 2008, my mother was stuck with four kids, an apartment with no steady income to pay rent, and no college education. She found out about Cypress College and attended full time while working to support us. She was in EOPS, which provided her with much-needed support and relief. She motivated us to always move forward with our education and never settle for simple things in life. She taught us to aim high and work hard for everything we do in life. She introduced me to nursing and helped me to become the nurse I am today.

Why did you choose Cypress College?

Nursing was a competitive major and most programs were impacted and some were expensive. I applied to many nursing programs, but Cypress College had a great nursing program. It was also near my place of residence.

What have you been involved in at Cypress College? How has your path unfolded?

I wasn’t involved very much since most of my time was spent toward earning A’s on my prerequisite nursing classes and supporting my mom while she was out working. I helped manage the house, cook dinner, laundry, any kind of chores that would bring relief to my mom when she got back from work.

What are you most passionate about? Why?

I am passionate about helping others in their worst times.

Who are the faculty and staff that have helped you get where you are today?

All the Registered Nursing and EOPS faculty and staff!

What are your immediate plans after completing your studies at Cypress College (at your transfer institution, in the workforce, etc.)?

I am currently working at Hoag and pursuing my bachelor’s degree in nursing at California State University, Fullerton.

What are your long-term goals? What do you aspire to?

I plan to continue to work and experience the different areas in nursing. I plan to go for my master’s degree afterward. I aspire to be the best nurse I can be and continue to serve people in need.

What are you most proud of?

I am most proud of my class for becoming registered nurses.

What one bit of advice would you give to current and future Cypress College students?

Make good connections and make new friends. It’s hard tackling things alone.