#CYProud: Madison May

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


#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.


#CYProud: Madison May Cypress to Niagara University (athletic scholarship, volleyball)


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