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Donna was honored at this year's "Women in Business Awards" by the Orange County Business Journal!


Daughter Julina says, "I had no idea that the event itself was so big. I was amazed to see such a large crowd of people; they were there being honored or showing support for the honorees. All the guests were excited and there was a buzz in the air. As I approached our table, the room was full of beautifully dressed men and women, and everyone was so friendly. My mom greeted me and introduced me to the other guests seated with us. I was impressed that my mom was one of the nominees but I became considerably more impressed with her when I read how many outstanding women were also nominated. In such a short time, my mom created a successful business to help and improve the lives of others. She is a mentor, coach and most importantly a positive influence to her many clients. Hats off to Dr. Donna Friess!"

Dr. Donna Honored at Women in Business Awards

Donna is featured in July's Orange Coast Magazine
Donna is featured in July's Orange Coast Magazine

Donna was honored as one of four 2012 Super Volunteers of the Year by the City of San Juan Capistrano Senior Programs. Ms. Heidi Ivanoff and Mayor Larry Kramer presented Donna with an engraved crystal paper weight at the beautiful formal luncheon held at the Community Center in San Juan Capistrano on Thursday April 29th. Donna was recognized for her work designing and facilitating the Loss of a Loved One Support group which has become a well attended group. Donna offers this grief group on the first Thursday of each month in San Juan Capistrano. There is no charge. The program has served a important community need.

If We Are Not Supposed to Dance... Why All the Music?

This is a tale of a horse named Windy inspired by another horse named Windy.

It also is a tale of spunk, strength and ignoring naysayers.


Several weeks ago I wrote about learning to ride for a backcountry horse race called Ride and Tie. Our little team was made up of two riders and one horse. The humans traded off running and riding Windy. Despite my newness – and with the help of a mentor named Kat Swigart – we managed to win.


Donna Friess of San Juan Capistrano saw the column and shared a tale of her own... read more

Loss of a Loved One Support Group - Free, Monthly Meeting

This group welcomes anyone who has lost a loved one through death or divorce. In this group, members will have an opportunity to share their grief experiences in a safe environment. This on-going monthly program will include discussions of the grief process, positive transitions, goal setting, the psychology of human happiness, dealing with depression, and changing old ways of being. There will be interactive activities which will assist members in their journey toward living a happier life. Group is limited to twenty. Reservations recommended. Meeting is held the first Thursday of each month from 1 p.m.-3 p.m.


To sign up, call (949) 493-5911. Meetings are held at Community Services, San Juan Capistrano Community Center, 25925 Camino del Avion, San Juan Capistrano.  Or contact Donna directly.

40-Plus-Year Faculty Member Donna Friess Entering Retirement

Donna Friess, Cypress College’s veteran Language Arts Communication Studies professor for 44 years — and the 2008 Cypress College Teacher of the Year is retiring on December 17. She is the last active member who was hired in Cypress College’s first year.


Among her many accomplishments, she has received a Medal of Excellence in Teaching in 2009. Friess said she will miss the excitement of the classroom, her students and colleagues, but now is the time for her to try something a bit different. She is developing her own seminar communication business


Recalling her early experiences on campus, Friess said it “feels like it was only yesterday that her commute to school along Valley View was the ‘view’ of dairy upon dairy and drive-through milk stores. Then I arrived at school it was not much more than 10 or so portable buildings and a few tiny struggling trees barely out of their five gallon containers!”


“Newsweek” magazine ran photos and a story of the “Instant Campus,” Friess recalls. She remembered appearing on the front page of the “Hoofbeat,” Cypress College’s former student newspaper, in 1968 when her Buick Riviera burned up on Center Drive. 


Friess began teaching at Cypress College on September 5, 1967. She has been given credit for pioneering the development of the Department of Communication Studies from the college’s inception. She has also served as department coordinator. Friess has been a consistent member of Cypress College campus and North Orange County Community College District committees, as well as a frequent speaker on campus and off.


“She stays on top of developments in her field,” said Eldon Young, Dean of Language Arts, and the Library/Learning Resource Center. “Being very effective and creative, she has been given credit for having a profound influence in the lives of her students.”  Continue Story Here

40+ Years of Communications Education!

1973 - In class using new video taping technology

2010 - utilizing new digital recording technology in the classroom.