These outdated news releases and advisories are stored here for archival purposes. 


April 27, 2006

Coach Named Leader of Team USA in International Games

College of the Canyons Head Men’s Basketball Coach Howard Fisher was appointed as the head coach of Team USA in the upcoming Maccabi Australia International Games, being held July 2-10 in Sydney, Australia. Fisher will lead one of two American teams, consisting of the top Jewish collegiate players in the country.

“I am excited about this opportunity to coach players from all different universities and represent myself, College of the Canyons, the United States and Maccabi,” said Fisher.

The games will be held at the Sydney Olympic Park, a venue that was specifically built for the 2000 Summer Olympic Games.

This will not be the first time that Fisher teamed up with Maccabi USA. In 1997, Fisher helped Herb Brown, assistant coach of the Atlanta Hawks, in tryouts for the United States team that would travel to the Maccabi World Games in Israel. The team went on to win a bronze medal.

“In a time when there is so much going on in the world, it is an honor to be a part of an event that will include such a diverse group of people,” said Fisher.

Team USA will be ccomposed of more than 150 athletes and compete against 15 other countries, including: Argentina, Australia, Azerbaijan, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, South Africa and Venezuela.

Fisher has been the head coach of the men’s basketball team for six years and is only the second coach in the program after Lee Smelser’s 31-year coaching career with the school. Fisher led the Cougars to back-to-back Western State Conference Championships in 2004 and 2005, and was named Coach of the Year in 2004 and 2005.

April 26, 2006

‘The Laramie Project’ Comes to College

On Oct. 7, 1998, a young gay man, Matthew Shepard, was discovered bound to a fence in the hills outside Laramie, Wyoming, savagely beaten and left to die. After garnering international media attention, the case became a symbol of anti-gay violence. A year and a half later, the Tectonic Theater Project and writer Moises Kaufman visited Laramie six times, interviewed more than 200 residents and created the play “The Laramie Project.”

Hailed by Time Magazine as one of the “Top Ten Plays of the Year 2000,” “The Laramie Project” will play at the College of the Canyons Performing Arts Center on April 28-30, May 3-4, and 6-7.

Director Stephen Whelan, drama teacher at Valencia High School and COC professor, went to Laramie, Wyoming to see the town and speak with people in the community.

“What is so great about this play is that it places the people of Laramie in the spotlight, not with judgment, but in a very documentary-style of theatre,” said COC faculty member Mark Salyer. “I would say it behooves us all to acknowledge hate crimes like the murder of Matthew Shepherd, so they may never happen again.”

“The Laramie Project” was also made into a television movie and has been produced in regional theatres and colleges across the country. “The Laramie Project” will also be the first student-designed show with set design by student Michelle Wall.

April 25, 2006

Concert to Benefiting Ewart Family

A galaxy of musical stars will share their talents on Sunday, April 30 at 7:00 pm in a concert benefiting local resident David Ewart whose home was destroyed in a fire on December 19. Ewart, a professional violinist, is a long time Santa Clarita resident who has contributed hundreds of hours of volunteer time to local schools, churches and youth sports teams.  

The concert will feature several of his colleagues from the music community. Steve Amerson, dubbed “America’s Tenor” and well known Christian Music recording artist, will sing the title song “Go the Distance” from the movie “Hercules.” Amerson will be joined by local resident Leslie Garman on the duet “The Prayer” made famous by Andrea Bocelli.  

Busy studio singer, Randy Crenshaw, will no doubt delight the audience with his rendition of Josh Groban’s “You Raised Me Up” as well as current Brad Paisley hit, “When I get Where I am Going.”  Another local resident well known in music circles and in our community, Steve Lively will perform “As If I Were The Only One To Love” and other selections.

Kristine Hedwall, violinist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, accompanied by Ann Moore, accompanist for the Santa Clarita Master Chorale will play Arvo Part’s “Fratres.”

Even though still recovering from injuries sustained in  the fire, David Ewart will join a string ensemble composed of Ewart family members and colleagues for classical pieces by Vivaldi, Bach and Villa Lobos. Mr. Ewart will also perform Chopin’s “Nocturne in Eb.” 

Many other artists will be part of the program featuring uplifting and inspiring music. In each and every case, all performers will be donating their services. “David has shared his gifts with so many children and adults in this community. We just want to give back in this small way by being a part of this event. It is also a great opportunity to participate in a concert that will provide inspiration and encouragement to all who attend. Who wouldn’t want to be involved in something like that?” stated Sherry Klahs, co producer of the event.

“Go the Distance” will take place at the College of the Canyons Performing Arts Center, 24555 Rockwell Canyon Road, Santa Clarita. Tickets are $25 each and may be purchased by calling 255-1301. Tickets will also be sold at the door.

April 24, 2006

Catch a Wave with Beginning Surfing Class

“Let’s go surfin’ now, everybody’s learning how, come on and safari with me,” sing the Beach Boys, and this summer College of the Canyons will offer eager dudes and dudettes the opportunity to catch some waves in the new class PE 135: Beginning Surfing. COC professor Adam Kempler will teach the course.

After living in Norway for most of his early years, Kempler and his family moved to sunny Costa Mesa, CA at the age of nine. With no snowy mountains and nothing to do, Kempler’s mom signed him up for a surfing class offered by the Newport Beach lifeguards in the summer of 1974.

“Before I could drive, my friends and I used to ride our bikes to the beach in the morning before school with our boards under our arms. We would leave at 4 a.m. in blackness, ride our bikes four miles to the beach, catch waves for one hour as the sun rose, and then ride home. I dinged my board on my handlebars doing that, and then I was supposed to stay awake in school all day.”

Kempler has surfed both shortboards and longboards in places such as Old Mans in San Onofre, Malibu, Rincon, Mexico and once in Hawaii.

“I’m 40 now, so I have been surfing for 31 years. I have taught hundreds of people how to surf. My wife and I have six children and we all surf. One of my sons, Stephen, surfs a lot; he’s been in a few contests. He would rather surf than do almost anything else. That can be a problem. You have to be careful with surfing: it’s addictive,” said Kempler.

“I’ll walk out into the water and give someone a push on a surfboard towards shore. That person will stand up, ride the wave to the beach, and that’s enough. That person wants a repeat of that thrill, and no other experience will replace it. You can tell people that they should be doing their homework or going to work, fulfilling their responsibilities, but they will always make time to catch a few more waves first.”

Michael Wilding, a COC administrator explains the reason for surfing addictiveness. “The allure of surfing is the element of danger, although not too dangerous, and being connected to nature. There’s also a great sense of accomplishment because it is difficult. So when you first stand up, it’s the greatest feeling. It’s like standing on top of the world.”

One half of this 5-week course is lecture on surfing with emphasis on history, equipment, safety, environmental conditions, and surfing techniques. The other half of the course will include four required field trips to Ventura Beach for students to practice and acquire skills.

The class will meet from 7 to 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday and Thursday from June 13 to July 13. Surfboards will be provided.

Students must pass a 100-yard swimming test in the college pool and provide their own transportation to the beach.

April 21, 2006

Students Reach Finals in MTV Search for Hottest Band

When MTV began their search for the hottest new college band in the nation, the members of College of the Canyons-based Scenic Attraction submitted an entry, figuring they had just as good a chance as anyone.

Turns out, they had a much better one.

The five members of Scenic Attraction find themselves on the verge of stardom as one of the five finalists winnowed down from hundreds of entries and voted on by fans at MTV’s website.

“We were stunned,” said Brent Weiss, lead vocalist of the band. “I rushed home from work to find out, and when we heard, we were just so excited.

“Excited, but also nervous.”

The nervousness is understandable. Of the five finalists, only one will be chosen as the grand prize winner, and with it comes not only airing of the band's video on MTV, but a record contract with Drive-Thru records. Fans have from now until 11:59 pm on Sunday, April 23 to vote for their favorites on the Best Music on Campus website.

“It would be unbelievable to win,” said Weiss. “It would just be a tremendous gateway into so much more.”

The brainchild of bassist Randall Adams and guitarist Garrett Eberle — both College of the Canyons students — Scenic Attraction evolved into its current incarnation just more than a year ago. After trying different names and different members, the band meshed in its current form, which also includes guitarist Nick Pucci, drummer David Tiritilli and singer Weiss.

“I was actually trying out to be the drummer,” said Weiss. “But they liked my voice, instead.”

Scenic Attraction’s uptempo rock/pop songs have already garnered a large fan base, and the band continues to spread its wings on tour, with concert dates planned everywhere from the local American Legion Hall in Newhall on April 22, to clubs in Arizona, Oklahoma and Florida this summer.

“We’re a serious group, and this is exactly what all of us want to do,” said Weiss.

And like any up and coming band, Scenic Attraction still has to overcome its share of hassles and headaches trying to juggle so much in its reach for the brass ring.

“Work, school and money,” said Weiss. “Money’s always the biggest thing right now. But we deal with it, and manage it the best we can.”
But maybe — just maybe — after this weekend, money may very well be the least of their problems.

April 21, 2006

Animation Instructor Wins Prestigious Fellowship

College of the Canyons’ animation department chair Sheila Sofian has been awarded a National Video Resources (NVR) Media Arts Fellowship. With a cash prize of $35,000, these fellowships have been awarded annually for 19 years and recognize the artistic excellence of 20 film, video and new media artists from throughout the United States.

Sofian will use the prize money to work on her film, “Truth Has Fallen,” a live action and animation production that follows the work of James McCloskey, whose mission is to free prisoners wrongfully convicted of murder. Several of her other films have won critical acclaim and have been shown at film festivals internationally.

The Media Arts Fellowships program has awarded nearly $10 million to three hundred gifted media artists working in a variety of genres and is known as one of the most prestigious grants in the media arts. According to Brian Newman, executive director of NVR, “Those nominated for the 2006 Media Arts Fellowships represent some of the most important media artists working in the country today. From emerging artists to those more established in their careers, from documentarians to artists using software as their medium, they represent a wide array of artistic vision, and we congratulate them all.”

NVR is a not-for-profit organization founded in 1990 by the Rockefeller Foundation.

Sofian’s work was also honored recently when her painting-on-glass animated film, “A Conversation with Harris,” was selected to participate in Fundacia “La Caixa,” a contemporary art and animation exhibit in Spain and France during June 2006 until April 2007. “A Conversation with Harris” is a touching documentary narrated by an 11-year-old Bosnian immigrant as he recounts his experiences in the war in his homeland.

Sofian’s animation students at College of the Canyons benefit from her wide variety of interests and skills. Advanced animation students, under her direction, have been producing animated commercials that the college has been placing on local cable stations for three years.

April 19, 2006

Four Choirs Unite for One Great Show

College of the Canyons’ four choirs, under the direction of Julie Lawson, will celebrate spring with a musically diverse program at 7:30 p.m. May 25 in the College of the Canyons Performing Arts Center. The choirs will perform a variety of folk songs from around the world and will feature some of the outstanding female composers of the 20th and 21st centuries.

African rhythms have inspired the music of every country to which they were imported, and that will be evident in the music heard in the American spiritual, “Hear My Prayer,” by Moses Hogan, the Cuban patriotic song “El Mambi” by Luis Casas Romero, and the evening’s finale, “Kyrie from St. Francis in the Americans: A Caribbean Mass,” by Glenn McClure.

Rounding out the program will be English composer Michael Tippett’s “Bonny at Morn” sung by the women’s choir and accompanied by three flutists, as well as Aaron Copland’s “Stomp Your Foot” and Johannes Brahms’ selected “Liebeslieder Waltzes,” both for choir and one piano, four hands (chamber music genre for two performers playing at one piano).

“Just Jazz” will be performing two original tunes by Scott Fredrickson and a sensational arrangement of Paul Simon’s “Scarborough Fair.”

April 19, 2006

High School Art Exhibit Displayed at Art Gallery

College of the Canyons Art Gallery is pleased to present the First Annual High School Art Exhibition representing original art from high school students at campuses in the Santa Clarita Valley. All high schools were invited, and lead faculty members from each high school were asked to select and submit six works for inclusion in the gallery show. Participating high schools are Bowman, Canyon, Golden Valley, Saugus, Valencia and West Ranch.

The exhibition will run from April 19 through May 13.

Regular gallery hours are noon to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. For this exhibition, special evening hours will be from 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesdays. The gallery is closed Friday, Sunday and all College holidays. Admission is free.

Those wishing to attend the exhibition may obtain a $1 parking permit valid in any student parking lot from the vending machines in Lot 6 or the South Parking Lot on the College of the Canyons campus located at 26455 Rockwell Canyon Road in Santa Clarita.

The art gallery is located on the first floor of the Media and Fine Arts Building, which is best accessible by parking in the South Parking Lot and using the pedestrian bridge that connects the Library and Media and Fine Arts Building. More information is available by calling (661) 362-3612.

April 19, 2006

Tickets on Sale for Popular SCV Wine Classic

Robert Louis Stevenson said, “Wine is bottled poetry,” and on June 3 the poetry will flow at the 18th annual Santa Clarita Valley Wine Classic at CalArts.

The region’s premier wine-tasting event and fundraiser for the Santa Clarita Valley Youth Orchestra will feature an excellent array of rare and vintage wines donated by collectors and merchants. The event is also an ideal venue for food and music lovers, offering gourmet food from some of the Santa Clarita Valley’s finest restaurants and catering services. Also featured will be live orchestral music.

Guests will be able to bid on current and rare vintage wines offered during a silent auction, and vintage library wines will be available for testing. All guests will receive souvenir glasses and trays.

Ticket prices are as follows:
  • Through April 17: $65 each, $120 a pair
  • April 18 to June 2nd: $70 each, $130 a pair
  • At the door: $80 each, $150 a pair
  • Designated driver: $35 each
  • Group sales to May 30: $60 each (10 minimum)
The SCV Youth Orchestra is a three-tiered instrumental educational program that was founded at CalArts in 1969 and moved to College of the Canyons in 1989. The program provides a positive and creative outlet for hundreds of young musicians throughout the Santa Clarita Valley.

April 18, 2006

National University Brings Programs to University Center

The Interim University Center at College of the Canyons has added three additional programs through National University of Sherman Oaks. This spring saw the addition of a:
  • Bachelor of Science in Domestic Security
  • Master of Science in Homeland Security
  • Single Subject Teaching Credential
These programs are in addition to the Bachelor of Science in Allied Health that National University already offers at the Interim University Center.
All programs through National University are accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), as well as the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.

“National University recommends more teachers for credentialing state-wide than any other single institution in California,” according to Adriana Schaefer, Director of Student Services for National University, Sherman Oaks.

The Interim University Center currently offers twelve bachelor’s degrees, seven credentials, nine master’s degrees and one doctorate degree in majors such as liberal studies, communication and areas of education and business administration. The University Center boasts more than 15,000 students and 550 graduates in its short history, and plans to build a permanent University Center on the College of the Canyons campus.

“Through these new programs and all of the other current and future bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programs, we are committed to expanding higher education opportunities to meet the needs of our community,” said Dr. Barry Gribbons, vice president of institutional development, technology and online services at COC.

An information meeting for the Single Subject Teaching Credential has been scheduled 4 p.m. April 20 in the University Center.

April 10, 2006

Students Earn Statewide Academic Honors

Two College of the Canyons students were named to the 2006 Phi Theta Kappa All-California Academic Teams. Donovan Smith and John Walker were among students from throughout California who were honored at an awards luncheon in Sacramento on April 6.

The prestigious awards are sponsored by the Community College League of California, in conjunction with Phi Theta Kappa and USA TODAY.
Each of the 110 community colleges in California is eligible to nominate two students per campus for the awards. From the nominations received, sixty students are selected to comprise the First, Second and Third Teams. Walker, a psychology major, was selected for the First Team, and Smith, a mathematics major, for the Second Team. Both intend to transfer to University of California, Los Angeles.

“I am very proud we once again had our honorees selected for this important award,” said Dr. Brad Reynolds, director of the High Intensity Transfer Education (HITE) and Honors Program at College of the Canyons.

April 6, 2006

Ceremony to be Held for First Citizenship Class

Subject: Citizenship class will be holding its first class completion ceremony.

Time & Date: 9:30 a.m., Saturday, April 8, 2006

Location: Community Center, 22421 Market St in Newhall

Event: Twenty-seven students from South America, Eastern Asia, Russia, Mexico and India will be the first to complete College of the Canyons’ first citizenship class, a course that prepares students to take the U.S. Citizenship Examination. The class is offered through the Community Extension program, and the instructor is Deborah Anderson.

April 4, 2006

KTLA News Anchor Marta Waller Joins Women’s Leadership Conference 

The Women’s Leadership Conference on April 11 at College of the Canyons will be a day filled with professional enlightenment. With keynote speakers, including the newly added Marta Waller, breakout sessions and exhibitors, attendees will be challenged to broaden their perspectives and encouraged to pursue new ways of thinking about professional development, entrepreneurship skills, personal growth and enrichment. 

The closing keynote speaker, Marta Waller, provides medical reports and special features for “KTLA Prime News.” Waller has been with KTLA/WB for 20 years. She has reported on stories that have impacted and shaped Los Angeles, such as her contribution as anchor of KTLA/WB’s coverage of the O. J. Simpson murder trial. Waller has won numerous awards for her reporting and anchoring, including one from the Los Angeles Press Club for her reporting of the September 11 terrorist attacks. 

Jamaal Wilkes will be a morning keynote speaker for, “Successful under fire: Lessons for being your best in crunch time.” Wilkes, a former NBA Laker, is currently president of Jamaal Wilkes Financial Advisors, a company that offers comprehensive investment planning and management services to foundations, business owners/entrepreneurs, affluent professionals and non-profit organizations. 

Three women scientists from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena-Ashley Stroupe, Jaime Waydo and Ruth Fragoso-will be the luncheon keynote speakers. 

Stroupe will talk about her experiences working in operations for the Mars Exploration Rovers, a pair of robotic geologists looking for signs of water on Mars in hopes of determining if Mars ever supported a habitable environment. Stroupe will also briefly discuss the current combined efforts of developing the next generation of robotic planetary explorers, including climbing and construction.

Waydo, a lead mechanical engineer for the rover mobility system, will speak about NASA’s next rover mission planned for a fall 2009 launch. 
Ruth Fragoso is a mission training operations engineer for the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and is one of the Spanish media representatives for JPL. Fragoso will speak more about MRO and it’s abilities and duties while orbiting the red planet. 

The breakout sessions include topics on professional development, entrepreneurship and personal growth, including:

 Breakout 1: Be a leader not a manager
 Breakout 2: Teaching kids how to manage their money
 Breakout 3: Entrepreneurship: Is it really for you?
 Breakout 4: Power, politics and influence: presenting yourself with impact
 Breakout 5: Moving sales conversations forward
 Breakout 6: Cultivating your career path
 Breakout 7: Let’s talk money
 Breakout 8: Creating mentors and allies: building successful relationships

The afternoon program includes:

 Breakout 9: Nuts and bolts of starting your own business
 Breakout 10: Win-lose or win-win, it's up to you 
 ​Breakout 11: Networking 101: Build your business by networking with a purpose and plan

April 4, 2006

Scholarly Presentation Slated at College

Subject: Scholarly Presentation on how the brain deals with depth perception and 3D images.

Time: 4 p.m. Tuesday, April 4, 2006

Place: College of the Canyons Performing Arts Center

Event: College of the Canyons mathematics professor, George Rhys, has been fascinated by the idea and application of stereoscopy for many years. The study of 3D images is an old one, but many new applications, such as using the concept to study NASA’s photographs of Mars, and new understanding about how the brain interprets images have re-energized the topic. The Scholarly Presentation is an annual event in which a COC faculty or staff member formally presents a topic of unique interest to the college community and community at large.