Cypress : College Gives Honor to Geography Instructor


Cypress College’s first Outstanding Faculty Member award has been won by Russ Flynn, an instructor in oceanography and geography.

Nominated by several of his colleagues, Flynn, 40, was selected for the award by the Cypress Academic Senate. He received a plaque and a check for $1,000 from the Cypress College Foundation.

The foundation, a private, fund-raising arm of the community college, launched the new award “to recognize the good teachers at the college,” said Art Gray of Anaheim, a member of the foundation’s board of directors.


Flynn’s students have praised him for his creative teaching methods, college officials said. The instructor is credited with using ordinary materials to help students visualize difficult concepts.

Gayna Byrd, a former student who now manages the Cypress College bookstore, recalled that in one class session, Flynn gave each student an orange and instructed them to lay the peel flat to show how the world becomes distorted on a flat map.

Flynn also stresses the value of having students do class work together. “Group work forces students to get to know one another,” he said.

Flynn, who received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Cal State San Diego, lives with his wife and two children in Santa Ana.