These outdated news releases and advisories are stored here for archival purposes. 


August 31, 2006

Alumni Donate $10,000 to Sponsor Football Campaign

With a check for $10,000, Heidi and Renato Rivas became official sponsors of the College of the Canyons 2006 football campaign. The Rivas’ are both COC alumni and co-founders of Crown Home Loans, a leading local mortgage loan company.

Season sponsorships allow the nationally ranked COC Cougar football team to buy new equipment and replace older materials used on the field, as well as help meet unexpected team needs that arise during a typical football season.

“We are happy and honored to give something back to our alma mater,” said Heidi Rivas, “since the education I received there helped set me on course for an excellent career. The football program,” stressed Rivas, “has brought regional, state and national recognition not only to the COC football program, but to all of the Santa Clarita Valley by association.”

Heidi Rivas continued her education at UCLA where she earned a bachelor’s degree in physiological sciences.

“We are passionate about our business, our community and our powerhouse COC football team,” said Rivas, “and we are confident that this year’s team will distinguish itself just as previous years’ teams have distinguished themselves on a state and national level.

Success on the playing field,” said Rivas, “is a community tradition which is very attractive to families looking to relocate here. It is a reflection of a community’s commitment to excellence and is a strong selling point for realtors and people in our business.”

August 28, 2006

New Director at Small Business Development Center

A local school board member and recipient of the Hispanic Engineering National Achievement Award is taking the helm as the new director of the Small Business Development Center, hosted by College of the Canyons.

Paul De La Cerda, who will begin his position as director on August 28, has work experience in small business after owning a successful technology business, which focused primarily on the development of patented wireless products and electronic systems for private industry and the federal government. Most recently, De La Cerda launched a private consulting practice focusing on business solutions, fundraising, and marketing strategies.

“I am very eager to work with someone like Paul De La Cerda,” said Dena Maloney, dean of economic development. “His solid background in business and strong ties to the community will undoubtedly benefit the college and the continued success of small businesses in our SBDC region.”

The Small Business Development Center, which was launched in January 2006, serves the Antelope Valley, San Fernando Valley, and Santa Clarita Valley. Long Beach City College, the lead Center for the entire network, defined the service areas last year.

The center helps prospective and existing small business owners in northern Los Angeles County start, retain or expand their businesses through workshops, one-on-one consulting, and many other resources to the business community. SBDC provides business owners and entrepreneurs with counseling in business plan development, basic accounting, marketing and sales and technology, as well as assistance in accessing capital, state and federal government contracting.

De La Cerda’s impressive resume also includes working for the City of Los Angeles in the Mayor’s Office as the Director of Homeland Security Grant Programs, the Economic Development Deputy for Los Angeles City Councilmember Greig Smith, covering portions of the San Fernando Valley. A founding member of the first Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in Oklahoma where he served on the Board of Directors for two years, De La Cerda is also a founding member of the Santa Clarita Chamber of Commerce Hispanic Business Committee, where he has consecutively chaired the “Excelencia Awards Gala” which highlights business achievements and excellence in the local community.

De La Cerda also taught strategic and business planning courses at Oklahoma State University for two years. He received his bachelor of science degree in civil and environmental engineering and a master of business administration from Oklahoma State University. He is also an executive management graduate from the University of Virginia’s Darden Graduate School of Business Administration.

August 25, 2006

Board of Trustees Appoints Wilk to Vacant Seat

The Santa Clarita Community College District Board of Trustees selected Scott Wilk, local spokesman and district director for U.S. Rep. Howard P. “Buck” McKeon, to fill the board’s vacant seat.

Wilk was one of 20 community candidates interviewed by the board during open session on Aug. 23. After the interviews, the four sitting members of the board cast four rounds of votes through which the 47-year-old Wilk emerged as the selectee.

“Scott brings experience,” said board president Bruce Fortine. “He is bright, dedicated, an advocate for higher education and an outstanding human being.”

Wilk attended his first board meeting on Sept. 13 and will serve in his position until the seat, vacated by Ron Gillis in July, comes up for re-election in November 2007.

“Scott Wilk brings a keen understanding of the political processes at work in Sacramento and Washington,” said Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook, superintendent-president of College of the Canyons, “and possesses an in-depth knowledge of local, as well as national, education issues. His passion for education and workforce training issues will prove invaluable in his service as a member of the Board of Trustees team.”

Wilk has said he was “humbled” by his appointment and that he will definitely run for the position in 2007.

August 25, 2006

Contemporary Cuban Art on Exhibit at College

The Art Gallery opens its 2006-07 exhibition season in grand style on September 6, with Cuba Oriente, an exhibition of exceptionally rich and vibrant works from Cuba’s eastern region, often described as the heartland of Cuban culture. The works are from the collection of Clyde and Brigid Hensley of Jensen Beach, Florida. The show will run from September 6 through October 14.

The artwork has been made available to the college’s art gallery through the energy and vision of Patricia McKeon, wife of Congressman Howard P. “Buck” McKeon and under the auspices of Eastern Cuba Cultural Exchange, in partnership with Meridian International Center in Washington, D.C.

“We are pleased and honored to be able to exhibit a show of this quality in the college’s art gallery,” said art department chair and gallery director, Joanne Julian. “It provides our students and the community with the opportunity,” said Julian, “to appreciate the complex elements of this collection in an intimate and personal environment.”

Clyde Hensley’s extensive travels and his lifelong interest in art brought him to Eastern Cuba in 1995. He befriended many artists there who work under difficult conditions and with few materials. He has since made numerous trips to the area and has helped to acquire supplies for the artists and has amassed a large and unique collection of art from the region.

The exhibit showcases the work of fourteen participating artists of varied backgrounds. The works in Cuba Oriente reflect the many styles of the region including landscape painting, cubism and surrealism.

An opening reception is planned for 6 — 8 p.m. Tuesday, September 5, for students, faculty, staff and members of the public. Admission to the gallery is free. A $1.00 parking permit can be obtained from the south lot or lot #6. This permit allows attendees to park in any regular space in the student lots.

Art Gallery and store hours are: Monday through Thursday from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The Gallery is closed Friday, Sunday and all college holidays.

August 24, 2006

New Director to Take Helm of Training Institute

Businesses in the Santa Clarita Valley that turn to College of the Canyons to train their employees, will be working with a new director, starting September 5.

The college’s Employee Training Institute announced it has hired Kristin Houser, a marketing and business professional with 25 years of experience in pharmaceuticals, biotech, education and small business, to oversee the program that assists businesses and industry partners in planning and delivering training to stay competitive.

“Kristin Houser brings a wealth of talent and experience to College of the Canyons,” said Dena Maloney, dean of economic development. “With her background in biotechnology, marketing, and education, she will be a great resource to employers in the Santa Clarita Valley, and a great addition to our economic development team.”

Most recently, Houser has served as General Manager of Miltenyi Biotec, Inc., a provider of sophisticated tools to the global medical research community. She also led the global efforts to launch novel cell therapy products for Baxter Cellular Therapies as Vice President of Global Marketing.
Houser’s resume also includes experience in the small business sector, after having developed and run a successful medical marketing consulting business, focused primarily on market analysis and strategy development for new products and markets for specialty companies. She also taught marketing and management courses for five years at the University of Redlands School of Business.

Houser received her master of business administration degree from the University of California, Berkeley, her master’s degree in clinical psychology from the University of Florida and a bachelor’s degree in English and psychology from Indiana University.

Established in 1989, the Employee Training Institute provides customized training to companies within the Santa Clarita Community College District. The institute’s role at College of the Canyons was further defined in 1991 as “the primary agency for retraining the segment of the workforce displaced through the changing technology and economic conditions” whose “short-term training programs will be responsible for the majority of the technical upgrade training done in our Valley.” Staying true to this defined role, ETI has provided training to more than 1500 firms and 10,000 participants since the early 1990’s.

August 24, 2006

College Receives $344,000 for Auto Tech Instruction

College of the Canyons has been awarded a $344,000 grant by the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office to develop and deliver an automotive technology program. The college became eligible for the funding, made available under an Economic and Workforce Development Program, because it was able to demonstrate that it had $347,000 in matching funds available — an important funding criteria.

The matching funds were provided through a collaboration with the Santa Clarita Valley Auto Dealers Association, the William S. Hart Union School District and College of the Canyons.

The Automotive Technology Program is badly needed in this region due to a critical shortage of highly qualified automotive technicians. “Today’s automotive technician bears no resemblance to the stereotypical ‘grease monkey’ of days gone by,” said Audrey Green, dean of new programs and vocational training at College of the Canyons. “The work of automotive technicians and mechanics,” said Green, “has evolved from mechanical repair to a high technology job.”

A recent local survey was conducted to determine the scope of the need for an automotive technology program. One-hundred regional businesses that included new car dealers, general automotive repair facilities and automotive specialty repair/maintenance shops were contacted. Survey results indicated that in the next year alone, there would be a 34 percent increase in demand for qualified automotive technicians. More importantly, over the next five years, demand for automotive technicians will increase 87 percent in this region of Los Angeles County.

“Because of the severe shortage of automotive technicians,” stressed Green, “competition between local dealers has even extended to hiring qualified auto technicians away from rival dealers.”

Today, integrated electronic systems and complex computers run vehicles and measure their performance while on the road. Technicians must have an increasingly broad base of knowledge about how vehicles’ complex components work and interact, as well as the ability to work with electronic diagnostic equipment and computer-based technical reference materials.

The college’s program will initially utilize space at the automotive bays at Saugus High School and will result in either an automotive technology associate’s degree or a program certificate of achievement. Money from the grant will be used to redesign the layout of the facility; upgrade wiring and infrastructure to support high tech and diagnostic equipment; and expand the number of auto service bays from two to four.

Once the auto technology program is fully implemented, it is the college's intention to apply for National Automotive Technicians Education Foundations (NATEF) certification.

August 24, 2006

Groundbreaking Ceremony for Physical Education Expansion

Subject: Groundbreaking Ceremony

Time: 11 a.m., Friday, August 25, 2006 (The event should take about 30 minutes)

Place: College of the Canyons, outdoors, east side of the Physical Education Building

Event: A groundbreaking ceremony for the 21,543 square foot, $6.4 million, Physical Education Building Expansion Project. The building is being funded through a split of money from the State of California ($2.7 million) and local Measure C ($3.7 million) funds.

The new 21,000-square-foot facility will add badly needed offices for full-time instructors, add new locker rooms to alleviate overcrowding in the Main Locker Room, and provide additional storage space for equipment. More importantly, it will create more physical education classroom space in the form of three sports courts that will create opportunities for new curriculum and the possible addition of Men’s Volleyball as an intercollegiate sport. The plans also call for five tennis courts to be constructed adjacent to the existing facility.

When the original Physical Education facilities opened their doors at College of the Canyons 30 years ago, they were part of a campus originally designed to serve 5,000 students. Enrollment recently surpassed 18,000 — a milestone not expected until 2011.

Speaking at the event will be Bruce Fortine, President of the college’s Board of Trustees; Mr. Len Mohney, Division Dean, Physical Education and Athletics; and Dr. Dianne Van Hook, Superintendent-President.

August 21, 2006

Registration Under Way for Free Classes

With fall registration well under way, a number of free classes are available through the College of the Canyons community extension program, which is specifically targeted for older adults.

Film Appreciation features viewings and discussions of classics such as, “Singin’ in the Rain,” “Stagecoach,” “Gunga Din,” “Casablanca” and “Citizen Kane.” Bruce Collins, who lectures on American popular culture and the film industry, will teach the class.

“Writing Your Personal History,” taught by published author Jack Adams, gives older adults the opportunity to recall and record their life experiences, adventures and memories.

“Writing is a wonderful way to engage our minds,” said Karen Gorback, associate dean for community and noncredit education.
“Lifelong Learning Through Global Events” is a popular series of classes featuring lectures and discussions on current local, national and international issues. COC sociology instructor Robert Turley and guest lecturers will lead this fall’s series.

Other classes include Music Appreciation, Physical Conditioning, Computers and You, Creative Expressions Through Needlework, and Painting Through Oil and Acrylics.

While the classes are tuition-free, students may need to purchase textbooks or materials.

August 21, 2006

StartupNation’s Sloan Brothers to Speak at Conference

Jeff and Rich Sloan, entrepreneur experts and co-founders of StartupNation, will be the keynote speakers at the 2006 Entrepreneur Conference hosted by College of the Canyons on October 31, 2006.

After a stint as successful entrepreneurs themselves, the Sloan Brothers founded Startup Nation, a media company offering advice to small business owners. Their website attracts a quarter million visitors per month, and their radio program is heard nationally in 80 markets. They are also authors of the StartUp Nation: Open for Business.

The half-day conference will provide tips to small businesses and budding entrepreneurs about start up challenges, planning for business growth, and accessing capital. The Sloan Brothers are known for witty, down-to-earth advice and audience credibility based on their own experience as entrepreneurs.

According the US Small Business Administration, 550,000 small businesses are started every year. California is home to 2.6 million small businesses with half the state’s employment in small business. Ninety-eight percent of all California businesses have fewer than five employees.

In northern Los Angeles County, the Small Business Development Center at College of the Canyons serves a 2,838 square mile service area including much of the San Fernando Valley, the entire Santa Clarita Valley, and the greater Antelope Valley. Within this service area, entrepreneurship and small business is booming.

“With small businesses being the economic engine for business growth in our region, College of the Canyons is committed to providing resources like the Sloan Brothers to entrepreneurs and small businesses in the area.” said Dena Maloney, Dean of Economic Development at College of the Canyons. “Their insights and small business tips will help small business owners and entrepreneurs capitalize on opportunities and avoid some of the common mistakes people make when thinking about building their business.”

In its 2005-06 Report, the San Fernando Valley Research Center noted that “The percentage of Valley residents declaring self-employment income is high and rising.” An analysis of Valley residents income tax statements indicate that 22.5 percent of tax filers showed self-employment income, up from 21.5 percent in 2001 and far outpacing California as a whole with 16.6 percent overall.

In the Santa Clarita Valley, most businesses are small businesses with fewer than 500 employees. And in the Antelope Valley, the economy is increasingly diversifying from aerospace to other industries. A recent Greater Antelope Valley Economic Alliance (GAVEA) report indicates that the percentage of employment related to aerospace dropped from 22 percent in 1990 down to 7 percent in 2006. In the City of Palmdale alone, new business licenses rose 9 percent in 2006.

“The Entrepreneur Conference will provide timely information to entrepreneurs and small business owners in northern Los Angeles County,” notes Peter Bellas, Director of the Center for Applied Competitive Technologies at College of the Canyons. “It will be equally valuable to entrepreneurs who have a great idea involving technology as well as those small business owners and entrepreneurs in the retail or service sector.”

August 17, 2006

The Play’s the Thing at College of the Canyons

Maya Angelou once said, “There is no agony like bearing an untold story inside of you.” This fall, those with stories trapped within will have the chance to share them during the Introduction to Playwriting class at College of the Canyons.

“It is a wonderful opportunity for students to learn the basic elements of dramatic story telling and showcase some of their work,” said COC professor David Stears, who has produced and directed more than 75 plays and 35 original scripts.

Students interested in submitting a play for the New Works Festival, which stages performances of plays selected from student-written submissions, are highly encouraged to take this class, as are those interested in learning the fundamentals of dramatic storytelling for stage, film, television and computer games.

“Our hope is that this class, combined with the New Works Festival, will eventually give birth to a full-length original play that becomes part of our season in the Performing Arts Center,” said Stears.

Introduction to Playwriting focuses on the fundamentals of dramatic story telling, discussion and analysis of structure, development of character, writing dialogue and the composition of a two-act play. The class, which can be taken as either a Theater or English class, will be conducted in a workshop setting with a combination of lectures, exercises and weekly readings.

The three-unit class will meet from 12:40 to 2 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and the first day of instruction is August 29.

August 11, 2006

Five Students Receive Scholarships to UCLA

Five College of the Canyons students bound for UCLA were amongst the 65 outstanding students to receive a Transfer Alliance Program (TAP) scholarship for the 2006-07 school year.

Scholarship recipients, Johnny Bontemps, Tiklat Issa, Andres Medina, Rose Silvas, and Donovan Smith completed the TAP Honors/Scholars Program while at College of the Canyons.

“I was pretty ecstatic,” said recipient Donovan Smith when he received the news. “I know there are a lot of things I wanted to accomplish while at UCLA. Besides majoring in Mathematics and Economics, I want to join the opera and choir groups and become fluent in Japanese. With this scholarship, I don't have to worry so much about money.”

TAP scholars are entitled to an academic scholarship of at least $5,000 per year, made possible through generous donations to UCLA. Scholarships can also be renewed a second year if students have achieved a grade point average of 3.0, completed 45 units and have participated in or are committed to participating in undergraduate research while at UCLA.

“College of the Canyons offers countless resources for transfer students, such as the Hite and Honors program and transfer alliance programs,” said Sue Bozman, dean of district communication, marketing and external relations. “We want to ensure that students have a successful and smooth transition to four-year universities and are just as capable as their fellow peers.”

Since 1985, College of the Canyons has been developing special transfer alliance agreements with the colleges and universities to which most of our students transfer. COC has special transfer alliances with several four-year institutions, such as UCLA.

Students who join one of these transfer alliances can benefit from receiving special priority consideration for admission, and possible special consideration for scholarships and housing.

August 10, 2006

Board Puts $160 Million Bond Measure to Voters

The Santa Clarita Community College District Board of Trustees voted Wednesday evening, August 9, to put a $160 million bond measure to fund badly-needed college classrooms, labs and other facilities needs on the November 7, 2006 general election ballot. The vote was unanimous (4-0).

“This is a firm statement,” said Board president Bruce Fortine, “that this Board is convinced a significant need exists at College of the Canyons for more classrooms, labs, safety improvements and technology upgrades. We believe voters will approve this bond,” stressed Fortine, “because the college has proven, time and time again, that it is dedicated to helping local students, professionals and employers meet their educational and business goals — from nursing to technology-based careers to giving local high school students a jump start toward four-year degrees. The college has excelled,” concluded Fortine, “in nearly everything it has undertaken in the many years I have been associated with it and I am convinced that investment in the future of the college is a smart move that will pay dividends to the community long after we are gone.”

The four-member board, one seat is vacant due to a resignation, was presented with in-depth information by college staff at a public, information meeting on August 7, about the projects that would be funded by a bond. They heard that there is a dire need to increase the number of classrooms and labs for the training of critical professions, such as nurses, emergency medical technicians, firefighters and law enforcement officers as well as needing more classrooms to serve a growing population of local students who need to take classes that will allow them to transfer to 4-year schools and to get training to enter the workforce.

Information was presented about how the college has been struggling to provide enough classes at times when students can take them. At peak times, from 8 am to 2 pm and from 6 pm to 10 pm, every classroom is in use and, in fact, classes are being held in areas not originally designed to hold classes, such as the faculty/staff dining room. As a result of this overcrowding, in last year’s fall semester 3,100 students applied but were not able to enroll in COC classes while 2,200 students were put on waiting lists for one or more classes. This is a particular problem for working adults who can only take classes at night.

Board members were told that 60 percent of the students who graduate from the Wm. S. Hart Union School District high schools attend College of the Canyons at some point. The governor also signed legislation recently lowering the unit fees at community colleges from $26 to $20 per unit. While this is a boon for students and parents’ pocketbooks, it will result in increased enrollments causing further overcrowding.

Community colleges in general, and College of the Canyons in particular, provide training for many of the critical jobs our society demands, from firefighters, to law enforcement, to teachers and nurses. Projections are that with baby-boomers retiring from the nursing professions, there will be a 100,000-nurse shortage in California by the year 2030. Despite that need, the waiting list to get into the College of the Canyons nursing program is 250 to 300 people long due to a lack of training facilities.

“We can’t train the nurses that we need,” said Sue Albert, Dean of Allied Health for the college, “if we don't have the facilities to train them in. It is as simple as that!” Albert also highlighted other health related professions such as radiology and histology technicians, physical therapy assistants, ultrasonography technicians and medical lab technicians as fields in which there will be future staffing issues if the means to train them can’t be found.

“We’re at a critical juncture,” stressed Superintendent-President, Dianne G. Van Hook, “in our ability to accommodate both our current and future enrollment and the community cannot rely on state funding alone to do it for them since that funding is very erratic and often falls short of the amounts actually needed by individual colleges. Having bond money available is extremely important,” added Van Hook, “since it would allow College of the Canyons to be eligible for more than $35 million of additional State matching funds in the next four years and close to $70 million in eight years for facilities improvements.”

The College of the Canyons main campus is located on 154 acres at the corner of Valencia Boulevard and Rockwell Canyon Road. It was designed 36 years ago for a maximum of 5,000 students. The college surpassed that mark years ago and this spring student population exceeded 18,000 — a number the state did not expect the college to reach until 2011. Projections now call for a student body exceeding 20,000 in less than three years.
The growing cost of obtaining an education in the UC and Cal-State systems and the shift in the area economy toward skilled jobs that require more than a high school degree but don't necessarily demand a traditional bachelor’s degree means more students will be turning to College of the Canyons. The growth in the area has also been a factor in planning at the college for many years and the administration has responded to this by planning ahead, developing Educational and Facilities Master Plans and being prepared to add new educational programs or construct new facilities as soon as the need is documented. Build out of the main campus and construction of a separate campus in Canyon Country, which would relieve overcrowding on the main campus, have been in the master plans for many years.

College staff presented information about the need to upgrade critical systems on campus, including electrical systems, plumbing, lighting, heating, ventilation, fire and earthquake safety as well as repairing or replacing several aging roofs, some of which are more than 30-years old. In addition, some of the stairs, walkways, ramps and parking lots on campus need to be upgraded to comply with current requirements for providing access to disabled students.

The November 7, 2006 general obligation bond measure will be conducted under the guidelines of Proposition 39, which requires approval by 55 percent of the voters within the college district. It also requires accountability measures such as a citizen oversight committee and annual audits.
The impact on homeowners will be $9.73 per $100,000 of assessed value (not market value), which will generate the $160 million. On average, each property owner in the college’s capture area will pay an additional $30 each year.

“It is very important for voters to understand,” said Fortine, “that the money raised by this measure will stay in this community, will be carefully monitored and will be used for the specific purposes we’ve described, not for things like faculty and staff salaries or other college operating expenses. This bond and the money generated by it,” stressed Fortine, “is about student access, about the college being able to provide the education and training necessary to meet the needs of students, whether their goals are to move on to higher levels of education, or to learn skills important for the local and regional workforce.”

August 9, 2006

Welding Accreditation, New Program Expand Choices

College of the Canyons has received national accreditation from the American Welding Society (AWS), which has granted the college its coveted designation as an AWS Accredited Testing Facility. The college is now one of only a handful of such testing facilities in all of California.

“This is as good as it gets,” said Tim Baber, chair of the college’s Welding Technology Program. “It really expands upon the certification choices students have.”

Also contributing to expanded opportunities are a variety of new courses in the highly skilled and lucrative field of pipe welding. Evening courses covering topics such as fundamental theories and applications, layout and fabrication, and advanced techniques and practices will begin in late August.

The pipe welding courses join a wide variety of existing course offerings in welding technology, metal sculpturing, metallurgy and weld inspection. And, of course, AWS welding certification adds a key component to the overall program, allowing students to train and test at one location.

As one of the state’s few such testing facilities, “College of the Canyons is well poised to become the central hub in regards to providing outstanding weld training and qualification testing for Southern California,” Baber said. AWS weld-qualification testing is expected to begin in early September.
The AWS testing will allow students to become certified in many different types of welding, Baber said, adding: “It opens up many more doors of opportunity because AWS is globally recognized. Our students can now go anywhere in the world to get work and advance their careers.”

AWS is the world’s largest organization devoted to promoting and supporting welders and the welding industry, and it hosts the world’s largest annual welding exposition.

Those who pass the organization’s welding certification exams are more likely to obtain work and typically earn higher wages, Baber said. 

Certification is becoming more and more important in the industry, he said, adding that the best jobs are increasingly going to welders who are certified.

To qualify for the AWS Certified Welders Program, the college’s Welding Technology Department underwent an extensive audit and a formal accreditation process, Baber said. The department passed the audit and accreditation process with “zero non-conformances.”

College of the Canyons has trained and qualified welders for more than 30 years. Its Welding Technology Department, staffed with experienced AWS-certified professionals, also offers comprehensive and affordable training in oxyacetylene, shielded metal arc, gas tungsten arc, gas metal arc, laser and orbital gas tungsten arc welding.

The college is equipped with the most technologically advanced welding equipment, and it is licensed with the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety to perform weld-certification testing.

For those considering careers in welding, the U.S. Department of Labor's outlook for future employment is promising. Qualified welders are in short supply nationwide, the department reported, and “job prospects should be excellent as employers report difficulty finding enough qualified people. In addition, many openings are expected to arise as a large number of workers retire over the next decade.”

A little more than 60 percent of welding jobs are currently in manufacturing. Jobs are concentrated in fabricated metal products; transportation equipment (motor vehicles and ship building); machinery for agriculture, construction and mining; architectural and structural metals, and construction, the labor department reported.

August 4, 2006

Auditions for ‘Rocky Horror Show’ Slated

College of the Canyons is holding auditions for its presentation of the Rocky Horror Show, which will rock the stage during the month of October in the Performing Arts Center.

Auditions will be held from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday, August 26 and from 6 to 10 p.m. on Wednesday, August 30.

Singers, dancers and Rocky Horror fans are encouraged to audition for roles. Music from the show will be available in the College of the Canyons library for those who wish to prepare beforehand.

“Each year of our musical theatre program we find more and more talented people at COC and in our community,” said Mark Salyer, who will be directing the show. “I think this show will attract a lot of singers and actors who maybe wouldn’t normally audition for a musical.”

From its US debut in 1974 at Los Angeles’ The Roxy to the cult classic movie, The Rocky Horror Show has become a rite of passage for American audiences, and on October 21, opening night, Santa Clarita will have its first Rocky Horror experience.

“We are planning an amazingly innovative production of Rocky Horror. Brodie Steele’s set design is incredible,” Salyer said. “We’re going to have a great show.”

Those given roles in the show will need to register for a theatre and music course at College of the Canyons.

August 4, 2006

Strength Coach Named National Coach of Year

Community college athletic programs have struggled to gain attention on a national scale. Fortunately, College of the Canyons and other community college athletic programs have excelled and gained respect over the last few years, and the Cougars have become a household name for producing quality four-year transfers and professional athletes. In 2005 alone, the men’s golf team won the state title while in 2004 the football team earned the title of national champions. More than 30 athletes from the 2005-06 season received scholarships to four-year schools, including six to the PAC-10.

Now one of the Cougars’ key coaches brings the shine of the national spotlight of success on the Cougar athletic program as College of the Canyons strength and conditioning coach Robert Dos Remedios was named the 2006 National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) College Strength and Conditioning Professional of the Year. Dos Remedios is the first community college coach ever to be nominated, and the first to win since the award was initially presented 26 years ago, in 1980.

“It is an honor to receive an award from my peers, but it is more of an acknowledgement for College of the Canyons. It is a reassurance that things in the strength and conditioning program are going well and continuing to advance,” said Dos Remedios, who has been nominated four times for this annual award.

NCSA presents the College Strength and Conditioning Professional Award annually at its national conference. Coaches are nominated by their peers, and six finalists are chosen.

This year’s nominees included Russell Barbarino of Tulane University; Rogjk Cutchlow of Illinois University; Paul Goodman of the University of Vermont; Scott Kirchmann of Belmont University; and Greg Werner of James Madison University.

The first award was given to a pioneer in the strength and conditioning field, Boyd Epley of the University of Nebraska, in 1980. Other coaches have included Bruno Pauletto of the University of Tennessee, Michael J. Clark of Texas A&M and Joe Kenn of Arizona State.

“To be recognized with a group of names like this is huge. I’ve looked up to most of these people,” said Dos Remedios.

Dos Remedios had his beginnings at Glendale junior college where he was a member of the football team.

“I went to Glendale College for two years and at that time, there was no organization when it came to strength and conditioning. When I transferred to University of California, Berkeley, the strength and conditioning coach, Robin Pound took me under his wing and made me understand that there was a science to my training,” said Dos Remedios.

The former Golden Bears center learned that there was a reason behind everything he did in the weight room and sought to understand it even more after college. After taking classes at California State University, Northridge, Dos Remedios went back to where he started his football career, Glendale College. He also had a short stint with John Burroughs High School in Burbank before there was an opening at COC.

In 1998, with the reinstatement of the football team, the Cougars were looking for a strength and conditioning coach to work with the team. By the spring of 1999, the position opened to work with all the sports at COC and Dos Remedios jumped on the opportunity.

“My goal was to get a job at the community college level. I get to work with Division I athletes but I get them at a level where they can still be impressed upon,” said Dos Remedios.

Lately, Dos Remedios is very busy and it is no wonder he received the national award from the NCSA. While holding the full-time position at COC, he also teaches classes to the general population, writes for Men’s Health magazine, speaks at national conferences and just finished a book on strength training.

“No one is going to be better conditioned than the Cougars. They may be faster, but never more conditioned. My program is very intense and I expect a high level of intensity from my athletes. I want to build better athletes and have the exercises I teach them, transfer to their performance,” said Dos Remedios.

And that is the philosophy makes a nationally recognized strength and conditioning coach.

August 4, 2006

Basketball Coach Leads Team USA to Bronze Medal

College of the Canyons men’s basketball head coach Howard Fisher led Team USA Blue to a bronze medal in the recent Maccabi Australia International Games in Sydney, Australia, with a 86-51 win over Australia.

This was Fisher’s first appearance at the games as a head coach.

“This was a great group of young men that I worked with and it made my experience that much better,” said Fisher, one of two coaches for the two Team USAs.

The Blue team won two early games in the opening round, beating Australia 85-68 and the Australia Development team 86-42. After two wins, the men competed against the other USA team and lost 95-72. A heartbreaking loss to Canada 75-61 placed the Blue team in the bronze medal game to face the hometown favorite Australia.

USA came out strong, posting a 10-point lead to start the game, but Australia came back to take a one point lead 27-26 to end the first quarter. By halftime, USA was back on top 51-34 and cruised to a 86-51victory over Australia.

The team consisted of the nation’s top Jewish collegiate players including Bary Dunn (Carnegie Mellon), Andrew Ecker (Arizona State), Eli Hami (Yeshiva) and Alex Pribble (UC Berkeley).

The team’s bronze medal was one of 45 medals that USA teams won at the International games, which ran from July 2-10. The men spent one week training in California before heading to Australia.

“I have never been to Australia and I have to say that the trip was amazing and I met some extraordinary people along the way,” said Fisher.

August 2, 2006

Students to Interview Former President of Nicaragua

Packed and ready for their studying-abroad trip to Central America, the participating College of the Canyons students will have something else to look forward to besides earning school credit during their 12-day stay in Nicaragua and Costa Rica.

Violeta Chamorro, president of Nicaragua from 1990 to 1996 and the first female president in Latin America, will meet the group of students in her own home in Managua for a personal interview.

“Not only is it an honor, but it is a once in a lifetime opportunity for our students studying the social and political dynamics of the country,” said Claudia Acosta, department chair of foreign languages at College of the Canyons who will accompany the students on the trip.

Chamorro is a Nicaraguan newspaper publisher and politician, who with strong U.S. support, was elected to be candidate for the National Opposition Union (UNO) in 1989, winning the presidency from David Ortega Saavedra. As president, Chamorro brought greater stability and democracy to the country, improved US relations, attempted to reverse many of the Sandinista’s policies, and promoted a free-market economy and press freedom.

Chamorro faced various domestic issues such as rising unemployment, strikes and obstruction in Parliament from the Sandinista Liberation Front (FSLN), which remained the largest party. Chamorro now lives a quiet life in Nicaragua.

“I think this is an amazing opportunity for our students to have a first-hand encounter with living history, said Sue Bozman dean of communication, marketing and external relations at College of the Canyons.

“I wish every student would take the opportunity to study abroad because it is one of the most maturing experiences anyone can have.”
The group of students also received an invitation from Dr. Julio Valle, secretary of culture, to an event at the National Palace in Managua.