These outdated news releases and advisories are stored here for archival purposes. 


January 31, 2007

High School Counselors to Tour College of the Canyons

Subject: The office of program development will host a group of 20-25 high school counselors with a specific focus on sharing the career education programs at the college and providing a guided tour with faculty presentations of labs and classrooms.

Time: 9 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 1, 2007

Place: College of the Canyons Performing Arts Center

Event: A group of high school counselors will be given the opportunity to become familiar with different career paths available at College of the Canyons to better inform their college-bound students. Counselors will be given a campus tour and program overviews by COC faculty members Sue Albert for nursing, Kevin Jenkins and Mark Daybell for graphic and multimedia design, Jon Amador for radio, television and film, Jim Wolf for biotechnology and Tim Baber for welding.

January 31, 2007

New Spring Courses at Emeritus College

College of the Canyons Extension is gearing up for the spring semester of its newly expanded Emeritus College. Formerly known as the Older Adult Program, Emeritus College courses are developed to promote the mental and physical health of older adults by exercising their creativity and thought processes, as well as increasing their mobility through fitness and individual development classes. 

“Emeritus classes are specifically designed to meet the needs of older adult learners, addressing not only a wide variety of subject matter but also the social and emotional needs of mature students who take classes for the love of learning,” said Karen Gorback, associate dean for community extension and noncredit programs. 

Some new classes starting in the spring include Tai Chi, Tai Chi in a Chair, Computers and You II, Shakespeare Is Still Number One, The Law and How to Use it, Creative Expression through Symphonic Band, and Preparing Your Writing for Publication. Other classes include Film Appreciation, Tuesdays With the Professor, Creative Expression Through Jazz Band, Writing Personal Histories and Music Appreciation.

Students are invited to attend classes at several locations, including the main COC campus and at active senior developments and apartment complexes throughout the Santa Clarita Valley. Classes are tuition free but may require students to purchase materials or books.  For more information, please call the Canyons Extension office at (661) 362-3300.

January 25, 2007

Community Leader Garasi Named 2007 Silver Spur Honoree

The Foundation Board of Directors revealed Tuesday its choice of Rita Garasi, long-time community volunteer, as the recipient of the coveted “Silver Spur” Community Service Award for 2007.

Garasi, Santa Clarita’s 1990 Woman of the Year, has long been one of the community’s most active volunteers, providing leadership to a string of nonprofit groups and local agencies. In recent years she has also dedicated herself to supporting the college’s success.

“Rita’s record of service speaks to her visionary leadership and selfless devotion to issues that benefit the entire community. From supporting Santa Clarita’s city-hood, to the performing arts, healthcare and education, Rita has lent her time, talents, and resources to making the Santa Clarita Valley the wonderful place that it is. Her remarkable contributions deserve to be recognized and we are proud to salute her as our 2007 Silver Spur honoree,” said Dianne Van Hook, College of the Canyons Superintendent-President.

The Silver Spur Award committee is co-chaired this year by two couples: Gary and Myrna Condie and Jeff and Kiki Hacker. The chairs plan to announce the date and location of the annual Silver Spur Celebration shortly. “We are so proud to be organizing this gala event to honor Rita and plan to make it an evening everyone will fondly remember,” said Gary Condie.

Garasi’s support for College of the Canyons has involved numerous major projects, most recently serving as campaign chair for the 2006 “Yes on Measure M” bond campaign that will bring $160 million to the college for capital improvements.

She is a supporter of the University Center capital campaign, and also was co-chair and campaign manager for the college’s 2001 “Yes on Measure C” campaign. She served two terms on the Measure “C” Citizens Oversight Committee, including one as Vice Chair; is a current member of the COC Foundation; and serves on the college’s Canyon Country Campus Advisory Committee.

Previous to her involvement with the college, Garasi served on the Santa Clarita Valley Planning Advisory Committee, participated on the Santa Clarita City Formation Committee, and served on the City of Santa Clarita Planning Commission, for which she served as chair and also as a planning commissioner. She has been a board member and chair of the Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital Board of Directors.

In addition to running the college’s bond campaigns, in 1987 she provided leadership to Santa Clarita Valley elementary & high school districts’ funding measures as chair and campaign manager. She also has served on the UCLA Chancellor’s Task Force on Rural Development Standards and the Los Angeles Countywide General Plan Committee.

“Above all else, Rita is a person of character,” said Van Hook. “She adheres to the highest standards of integrity and is unwilling to compromise her beliefs. Coupled with her talent and quick wit, she is a true original and one of Santa Clarita’s gems. Our community is lucky to have had the benefit of her leadership, foresight, commitment and courage over the years.”

The Silver Spur Celebration was originally the brain-child of LaVerne Rosa Harris, a member of the COC Foundation Board of Directors who became the 1996 Silver Spur honoree. The very first gala was held at the Gene Autry Museum in 1989, with Cliffie Stone as the recipient. The Foundation Board of Directors at the time wanted to create a signature event for the COC Foundation and also to reflect the western heritage of the Santa Clarita Valley.

The event remains today one of the most popular elegant evenings for the community traditionally held at historic museums, clubs and Los Angeles landmarks.

Other previous recipients of the award include Aggie Agajanian, Scott and Ruth Newhall, Tom Dierkman, John Hoskinson, Robert Ormsby, Dick Luechtefeld, Roberta Veloz, Michael Berger, Lou Garasi, Tom Lee, Jay and Joyce Rodgers, Gary Cusumano, Charlotte and Frank Kleeman and Tom Veloz.

January 19, 2007

Virtual Reality Simulation a Competitive Business Advantage

Virtual reality simulation is rapidly making its way into a wide variety of applications such as aircraft and automotive design, truck driver training, mineral mining and oil exploration, and is fast becoming a competitive advantage in businesses. Once limited to military applications and the entertainment industry, virtual reality simulation technology is now being used in more private sector applications.

Business leaders and educators will have the opportunity to experience virtual reality simulation at the Digital Technologies and Immersive 3D Simulation presentation on January 25, 2007 at College of the Canyons.

Hosted by College’s Center for Applied Competitive Technologies as part of Los Angeles County Technology Week, the Technology Briefing includes a reception, technology demonstration, and a question and answer period. The event begins at 4 p.m. and will conclude by 7 p.m. There is no charge to attend but pre-registration is strongly encouraged.

Entrepreneurs are using virtual reality simulation technology to launch new businesses and spark innovation. For example, Stereovision Imaging, Inc. based in Altadena California, develops and commercializes advanced 3D imaging technology for portable systems based on patented optical and 3D facial recognition algorithms. Stereovision Imaging Inc. also produces digital binoculars using patented technology developed by the company that are capable of recording 3D images. The binoculars have consumer, industrial and military/security applications.

Interactive Digital Media Centers are springing up around the country as colleges and universities begin adopting the technology for instructional purposes. Conventional content can be converted into exciting new curriculum using digital simulation technology. “Using 3D virtual simulation technology, teachers can bring the solar system into the classroom or take students inside the human body or a single atom,” says Dena Maloney, Dean of Economic Development at College of the Canyons. “This technology has exciting potential for sparking student interest in science, math, and engineering, as well as other topics.”

EON Reality, the world’s leading interactive visual content management software provider, is working with College of the Canyons to provide the Technology Briefing. EON Reality has used its software to develop virtual reality simulations for Airbus, Bombardier, Lexmark, Siemens, and Whirlpool. These simulations have been used in trade shows, marketing promotions, and prototype design projects.

“This is an exciting new technology”, said Pete Bellas, CACT Director and one of the sponsors of the event. “With the proliferation of digital content that is now becoming available, it has the promise to connect many fields and disciplines.”

January 19, 2007

Extension Offers Certified Food Handling Course

Last year’s E.coli outbreaks, which generated a nationwide scare of spinach and lettuce, placed the handling of food safety standards under a microscope. With this in mind, the College of the Canyons Extension is offering a new one-day class to train and certify California Food Handlers.
“Canyons Extension is excited to be able to offer this important certification class to the local food industry community,” said Karen Gorback, Associate Dean for Community Extension and Noncredit Programs.

The class includes hands-on experience and a curriculum that emphasizes the important concepts necessary to become a successful and safe food handler in the state of California. During the last hour of class, students will take the certification exam to become certified food handlers.

Gevork Kazanchyanhas, who will teach the course, is an environmental health specialist for the Los Angeles Public Health Department and has a master's of science in environmental and occupational health. Kazanchyanhas is also an adjunct instructor at College of the Canyons.

The one-day class will be offered twice, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 10, 2007 and Saturday, March 31, 2007. The course fee is $74 and an additional $25 materials fee, which is paid directly to the instructor.

January 18, 2007

Citizens Invited to Serve on Measure M Committee

The Santa Clarita Community College District is seeking nominations and applications from qualified candidates who would like to serve on the Measure M Oversight Committee.

Measure M, the $160 million bond measure approved by voters on November 7, is subject to strict accountability rules mandated by Proposition 39. The law requires the college to appoint a committee to provide oversight to ensure bond revenues are expended only on those projects specified in the bond measure and that they are not spent on instructor or administrator salaries or operating expenses of the District.

The district's Board of Trustees is particularly interested in attracting committee volunteers who can bring a variety of talents to the process such as:

●  knowledge of the Santa Clarita Community College District
●  knowledge of the local (Santa Clarita Valley) community
●  knowledge of financial/budgeting matters
●  availability to invest time to attend scheduled meetings
●  experience in community relations and local community involvement
●  demonstrated interest in higher education issues
●  involvement in previous volunteer positions.

For detailed information about how to become a committee member or to receive a nomination packet in the mail, call the Office of the Superintendent-President at College of the Canyons at (661) 362-3400. The Web site also has complete information about Measure M, an application form and instructions for submitting nominations. The deadline for receipt of applications is 5 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 21.

By law, members of the oversight commit must represent five categories:
●  a recognized community business organization,
●  a senior citizens’ organization,
●  a bona fide taxpayers’ organization,
●  a student government member,
●  a Santa Clarita Community College District advisory committee or foundation board member.

The law excludes from service any college employee or citizen with a potential conflict of interest.

This same process was used to oversee the bond revenues and expenditures of Measure C, the $82.1 million bond measure approved by voters in 2001. Although the committee was required to have at least seven members, 12 citizens were appointed.

January 18, 2007

Auditions for Two Theatre Productions Set for Feb. 7 and 11

Despite the recent freezing temperatures, the College of the Canyons Theatre department is looking ahead to the spring production of “Company” in April and “Mother Courage and Her Children” in May, and will hold open auditions for both shows in February.

The Tony Award-winning musical “Company” follows five married, once-married or soon-to-be married couples along with their bachelor friend, Robert, who learns that having some company is a necessary part of life. Set in New York, “Company” addresses the highs and lows of marriage, commitment, friendship and loneliness through a series of vignettes and memorable melodies such as “Being Alive,” “Getting Married Today,” and “The Ladies Who Lunch.”

“‘Company’ is one of my favorite musicals because it’s so intimate,” said Mark Salyer, the producer of both shows. “We see each character so transparently as they negotiate marriage and dating and just what it means to be alive. It’s a great show for actors who sing. There is a new production of ‘Company’ on Broadway this season and our director, Andrea Slominski flew out to see it. It garnered rave reviews and sold-out houses, because this show still speaks to people.”

“Company,” which Variety called “one of those little-seen masterpieces of the American musical theatre,” will open at the Black Box Theatre at the COC Performing Arts Center on April 11, 2007 for a five-day run, and will be directed by Andrea Slominski.

Following closely on the heels of “Company” is Bertolt Brecht’s “Mother Courage and Her Children,” a classic story of a woman torn between protecting her children or profiting from war.

“Mother Courage is a grand and epic story of a woman who does everything she has to do to survive in a war-torn country,” noted Salyer. “The character Mother Courage is a real tour de force role for a woman. The supporting characters are wonderfully eccentric and feature people of all ages and types. The show was revived last year at the Public Theatre in New York with Meryl Streep playing the role of Mother Courage.”

“Mother Courage and Her Children” will open on May 10, 2007 on the main stage of the COC Performing Arts Center and will be directed by Steve Whelan.

Auditions for both “Company” and “Mother Courage and Her Children” will be held at 7 p.m. on February 7, 2007 and at noon on February 11, 2007 at the COC Black Box Theatre.

Students and non-students of all ethnicities are encouraged to audition and must be 16-years and older. Although no preparation is necessary, those who would like to familiarize themselves with the plays are welcome to take advantage of the show’s scripts and music on reserve at the COC library as of Jan. 22.

Those given roles in the shows will need to register in a theatre production course at College of the Canyons.

January 10, 2007

Workshop in Advanced Negotiation Skills Offered

Negotiation expert Chester Karrass said, “You don’t get what you deserve in life, you get what you negotiate.” Running through the month of March, the College of the Canyons Employee Training Institute will teach how to improve negotiation skills in the new workshop, “Advanced Negotiation Skills.”

“Whether it’s negotiating for an increase in budget, the purchase of computer equipment, or the acquisition of a complementary business,” said Kristin Houser, director of the COC Employee Training Institute, “a core set of skills are used by successful negotiators. This class will be a practical and fun way to focus on developing those skills.”

Gina Rae Hendrickson, who has negotiated business disputes since 1989 and is a Federal and State workplace mediator, will teach the workshop. Hendrickson teaches negotiation and mediation at the University of California, Santa Barbara and is a corporate trainer for collaboration in the workplace. Hendrickson is also a graduate of Harvard’s Negotiation Program and is a certified practitioner in Neuro-Linguistic Programming, which is the study of how people receive information, learn and set goals.

“Learning negotiation skills is as important as learning driving skills,” said Hendrickson. “We need to know how to navigate through our daily lives as problem solvers.”

The workshop will teach how to improve the outcomes of the most challenging negotiations, increase the ability to influence others and reach goals. Participants will also learn the three phases of a negotiation, the seven elements that determine the success or failure of a negotiation and how to plan for important negotiations.

Managers in business development, sales, finance, purchasing, or any other function requiring negotiation are encouraged to take the course.
The workshop will run every Thursday from March 1 through March 22, 2007 from 1 to 5 p.m.

The workshop fee is $440 per person and classes will be held in Building X-8 at College of the Canyons.

January 9, 2007

ETI Workshop Focuses on Conflict Resolution

Just like in a family, tension, personality clashes and misunderstandings can all erupt within a workplace, no matter how big or small the work force. Every Thursday from January 18 through February 22, 2007, the College of the Canyons Employee Training Institute will offer the workshop, “Conflict Resolution: Turning Conflict into Collaboration,” which will provide positive ways to resolve conflict in the workplace.

“Today’s workplace is characterized by the demand for getting more work done, more quickly, with fewer resources. This inevitably leads to conflict,” explains Kristin Houser, director of the COC Employee Training Institute.

Participants will learn how to move from problems to solutions, collaborate with others, handle difficult conversations, use active listening skills for reaching an agreement, reframing communication and learn about the power of questions in resolving conflict.

“Employees who are skillful at being able to navigate through these conflicts are more productive than those who can’t, and companies that nurture development of these skills are the successful ones,” said Houser.

The workshop fee is $550. State funded training through the Employee Training Panel is available for eligible manufacturers, employers and their employees who face out-of-state competition. Those who qualify must pay a $125 materials fee.

Classes will be held from 5: 30 to 9:30 p.m. in Building X-8 at College of the Canyons.

January 8, 2007

ETI Presents Two Half-Day Workshops

Business owners will learn how to go green and save green with two half-day workshops, “Workplace Safety as a Competitive Advantage” and “Environmental Performance as a Competitive Advantage” offered by the College of the Canyons Employee Training Institute on January 20, 2007.
“Through these workshops, participants will learn how they can manage their environment and safety responsibilities strategically and proactively and thereby gain a business advantage,” said workshop facilitator Bob Ehrhardt.

Besides learning how to meet compliance obligations in the workplace safety and environmental arenas, participants will learn about the hidden costs of sub-par environmental and safety performance and how to turn an under-achieving organization into an environmental and workplace powerhouse.

Ehrhardt is a former environment and safety leader with the General Electric Company and has more than 30 years of experience in environment and safety programs for large and small businesses, consulting and government. He is also a past president of the National Association of Environmental Professionals and is an OSHA-authorized outreach trainer for general industry compliance.

The first workshop, “Workplace Safety as a Competitive Advantage” will be from 8 a.m. to noon, and “Environmental Performance as a Competitive Advantage” will run from 1 to 5 p.m. Workshop fees are $89 each or $160 for both.

January 5, 2007

Technology Week Event Planned at College

The magic of three-dimensional simulation and virtual reality will come to life at a January 25, 2007 event at the College of the Canyons Performing Arts Center. Part of Los Angeles County Technology Week, the three-hour Technology Briefing will showcase working examples of digital technologies popularized in movies such as Minority Report and Star Trek.

Hosted by the College of the Canyons Center for Applied Competitive Technologies (CACT), the Technology Briefing includes a reception, technology demonstration, and a question and answer period immediately following the demo. The event begins at 4 p.m. and will conclude by 7 p.m. There is no charge to attend but pre-registration is strongly encouraged.

Now in its fourth year, L.A. County Technology Week showcases the creativity, resources and technology talents available throughout the Los Angeles region. The week-long series of events highlights the wealth of technology entrepreneurship in Southern California in diverse industry sectors such as entertainment, advanced manufacturing, logistics and media. The College of the Canyons event focuses specifically on engineering, entertainment, and education-related applications of three-dimensional simulations.

“Over the last two to three years we have seen a convergence of digital technologies,” said CACT director, Peter Bellas. “This ability to move and adapt digital content from one discipline to another opens up a myriad of new possibilities for industry as well as education and other applications.”
EON Reality, the world’s leading interactive visual content management software provider, is working with College of the Canyons to provide the Technology Briefing. Winner of the Orange County Innovation business group award for technology, EON Reality is recognized for its 3D and holographic imagery systems. EON Reality is establishing Interactive Digital Centers at colleges in the United States and Europe to develop curriculum and train technicians in the use of three dimensional virtual reality and immersive simulation.

“Digital technology and three-dimensional simulation is changing so many aspects of daily life, from the way products are created and marketed, to the way in which students learn,” said Dena Maloney, Dean of Economic Development at College of the Canyons. “The January 25th Technology Briefing will open our eyes to the future and attendees will understand the impact of this exciting technology.”

January 4, 2007

‘Zest at Work’ Kicks Off Year for Employee Training Institute

Have you ever gone out for dinner with friends and family, only to be greeted by a mumbling waiter, who not only gets the order wrong but neglects to come back to check if you need a refill? This lack of “spirit to serve” the customer is exactly what the half-day seminar “Customer Service: Zest at Work,” from NewLeaf Training and the Employee Training Institute at College of the Canyons intends to counteract on January 26, 2007.

“It is often the case that people forget who their customers are, and that is in turn mirrored in the language and attitude they use when serving them,” said Paul Butler who will lead the workshop. “It is important to always remember that we are human beings, not human doings.”

Because highly motivated teams deliver better customer service and earn greater profits, this interactive seminar aims to inspire new positive energy and enthusiasm within work teams.

“This interactive seminar is meant to help those employed in the service industry to transfer their own zest for life into the workplace, a practice which will naturally yield better customer service and differentiation amongst ones competitors,” said Butler.

Besides increasing and improving customer service, the seminar will also teach participants how to improve their personal performance, achieve work-life balance, improve team communication, reduce labor turnover and how to have better customer interactions.

“A concerted focus on good customer service can make the difference between red ink and black ink for a business today,” said Kristin Houser, the director of the COC Employee Training Institute. “We’re excited to be able to offer this action-oriented seminar as part of our Employee Training Institute course lineup.”

Butler has extensive corporate experience within leading global service companies such as Hilton, Marriott, and PricewaterhouseCoopers and is owner of Valencia-based company, NewLeaf Training and Development, a company which trains and develops programs which help work teams achieve their full potential and increase their profits.

The workshop will be from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Mann Biomedical Park in Valencia. A fee of $195 per person also includes a continental breakfast.

January 3, 20007

New Online Registration for Extension Classes

This year, the College of the Canyons Extension is eliminating the hassle of buying postage stamps and registering for classes over the phone by implementing online registration.

The online website will be accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and will make registration easy for those with busy schedules.

“We are very excited about the enhanced access this site provides to the community,” says Karen Gorback, Associate Dean for Community Extension and Noncredit Programs.

“The website provides busy members of the community with the opportunity to leisurely browse through the schedule and enroll in a wide variety of classes, seminars and workshops on their schedule, not ours.”

New classes beginning in the spring include, Private Pilot Ground School, Opera Appreciation for Beginners, Beginning Conversational Arabic, Organic Gardening, Electronics for Kids, Fly Fishing and Intro to Highland Bagpipes.​​