These outdated news releases and advisories are stored here for archival purposes. 


March 27, 2007

Scholarships to Honor Two of College’s Best

Two scholarships have been established by College of the Canyons, one in memory of John J. O’Brien, one of the college’s first instructors who died on January 19, 2007, and one in memory of student and hockey team member, Jerrod Miyaki, who died on November 9, 2006.

O’Brien taught administration of justice classes and traffic school as a part-time instructor for more than 30 years. O’Brien retired from the California Highway Patrol as a lieutenant in 1980 after 28 years of service. He was very active in the Santa Clarita community and was involved in the efforts to incorporate Santa Clarita in 1987. Married for 54 years to Pauline “Mimi” O’Brien who pre-deceased him in 2005, the O’Brien's raised their family in Saugus where their children attended Hart High School and COC.

“J.J. taught traffic school here for many years,” said Sue Bozman, Dean, District Communication, Marketing and External Relations at College of the Canyons. “Through his great teaching skills, he was personally responsible for improved driving awareness and attitudes in thousands of drivers. He lived in, supported and cared for this community and COC for more than 40 years.”

The John J. O’Brien Memorial Scholarship will be awarded to a student pursuing a career in law enforcement in honor of O’Brien's commitment to the community and service.

Jerrod Miyaki was a COC student and member of the hockey team when he was fatally injured by an apparent drunk driver, at the age of 18. A loved and valued friend, especially by his hockey teammates, Miyaki is remembered for his outgoing and enthusiastic approach to life, his generous personality and sense of humor.

The Jerrod Miyaki Memorial Scholarship, which was established by his hockey coach and teammates, will be awarded annually to a COC student who is a member of the hockey team.

Contributions for both scholarships can be sent to the COC Foundation, 26455 Rockwell Canyon Road, Santa Clarita, CA 91355. Checks should be made payable to the COC Foundation/J.J. O’Brien Scholarship or to the COC Foundation/Jerrod Miyaki Scholarship. For more information call (661) 362-3435.

March 27, 2007

Extension Classes Exercise Both Body and Mind

College of the Canyons Extension has added two classes to its Emeritus College schedule this spring. Aqua Aerobics for older adults will be held on Thursday mornings from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. from April 12 through May 31 at the Fountain Glen Apartment Community in Valencia. The address of the complex is 23941 Decoro Drive.

The same class will be conducted on Friday mornings from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m., April 13 through June 1 at Fountain Glen, Stevenson Ranch. The address is 25536 Fountain Glen Court.

These tuition-free classes are designed to promote the physical and mental well being of older adults through improved aerobic conditioning and strength training in a water environment. Swim skills are not required. Students from throughout the community are welcome to attend. Registration will be at the locations on the first day of class.

For more information about these new classes, please call Canyons Extension at 362-3300.

Other late-spring classes, workshops and seminars classes offered by College of the Canyons Extension in April are now taking registrations.

Country Line Dancing will be held from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Thursdays from April 12 through May 17 in the college’s gymnasium building, Room 110. This class has been added to the schedule in response to the tremendous turnout in the early spring class with prize-winning professional dancer Mike Bendavid. The cost is $89.00.

An Introduction to Voiceovers will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday night, April 20. Professional voice coach Mike Elmore will teach participants what it takes to break into the lucrative voiceover industry, either part or full time. The fee for this seminar is $45.00.

Dogs who need to learn or improve their manners will want to bring their people to Canine College from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. on six Thursday evenings beginning April 3. This beginning obedience class will be conducted by professional trainer, Robert Alcantara, whose dogs have been invited to both the AKC Eukanuba and Westminster Kennel Club Dog Shows. The fee for this class is $59.00.

Gardening fans will want to attend Saturday morning workshops with Certified Nurseryman John Windsor: Container Gardening on April 14; Roses, Roses, Roses on April 21 and Organic Gardening on April 28. Each workshop meets from 9:00 a.m. to noon, and the fee for each is $45.00.

March 20, 2007

Original Works, New Format for New Works Festival

The College of the Canyons New Works Festival is an event that invites local playwrights to submit original works and have them performed before live audiences in the College of the Canyons Performing Arts Center. Now in its fifth year, this year's festival will be held from March 22 to 25 in the center’s Black Box theater.

More than 18 playwrights submitted works this year and eight have been chosen for presentation. During the college’s winter session, the scripts were prepared for presentation and during the spring semester, they are rehearsed and performed.

“This is a unique process,” said David Stears, director of the New Works Festival. “With most festivals, the play is submitted and as a playwright, you don't see that work again until the performance. This is an opportunity to work through the entire process, so the playwright can refine the product right up until the end.”

Over the years, the festival's format has evolved and this year there are some substantial changes. This year, for the first time, the festival opened the submission process to anyone in the community. “We are a community college,” said Stears, “so why not invite everyone from the community to participate?”

Also new this year is a Playwright’s Symposium, a panel discussion beginning at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 22, with some of Los Angeles’ most exciting playwrights. The discussion will focus on the creation and production of scripts and will be followed by an open question, answer and discussion forum. Panel participants will be:
  • Katherine Griffith, Playwright
  • Randee Trabitz, Director
  • Mickey Birnbaum, Playwright
  • Jennie Webb, Playwright
Admission to the panel discussion is free, and there will be no late seating.

Since more pieces than usual were selected for presentation this year, it became more difficult to present all of the pieces in a single evening. “This challenge became an opportunity to widen the festival,” said Stears. “By adding performances and alternating the presentations, we’ve created more of a festival feel to the event.”

Scheduling isn’t the only difference in this year’s programs. “Two of the selections are what we consider challenging work,” said Stears. “So we’ve included those two pieces together in an evening.” Both pieces contain language and subject matter that may not be suitable for all audiences. Performances have been grouped into two distinct programs.

Program A

Challenges Faced — Six pieces of questions, challenges, and hope.
Suitable for most audiences.
  • Friday at 7 p.m.
  • Saturday at 4 p.m.
Program B

The Machiavelli Way — Two pieces with a common backdrop: revenge and reconciliation. This program may be considered challenging in language and content. Some material may be considered offensive or inappropriate for all audiences.
  • Saturday at 8 p.m.
  • Sunday at 2 p.m.
The final change to this year’s festival format is the addition of a Talk Back session after each performance. This is an opportunity for the audience to give its feedback to playwrights, actors, and directors on the work they’ve just seen. “It's an opportunity,” said Stears, “for audiences to express themselves and let their voices be heard.”

Admission is free for all New Works Festival performances. No advance reservations are accepted. Admittance is on a first-come, first-served basis. Doors open 30 minutes prior to curtain.

March 19, 2007

Small Business Development Center Holds Open House

The Small Business Development Center (SBDC), hosted by the College of the Canyons, will celebrate its grand opening and host an open house from 5 to 7 p.m., Thursday, March 22. The SBDC is located at 28460 Avenue Stanford, Suite 100 Santa Clarita, CA 91355.

Attending the event will be local dignitaries and partners. Local business owners, bankers, and clients of the SBDC will also be in attendance. Attendance is free.

In its first full year of operation, the local SBDC counseled and trained more than 2,100 clients and conducted in excess of 90 workshops. The SBDC is part of the largest non-profit business development organization in the Nation. As part of a network of centers led by Long Beach City College, the SBDC offers business consulting, training, and workforce solutions to small businesses (500 employees or less) throughout the Antelope, San Fernando, and Santa Clarita Valleys.

The SBDC promotes and stimulates the growth of small businesses by providing expert, no- or low-cost business and financial counseling and training services. The services of the SBDC are the newest addition to the College of the Canyons Economic Development Division programs, which includes the Center for Applied Competitive Technologies, the Employee Training Institute for customized business training, and the planned Advanced Technology Business Incubator for start-up technology companies.

The local SBDC is supported through grants and sponsorships by the federal Small Business Administration, the state of California Economic and Workforce Development Program of the California Community Colleges, the Santa Clarita Community College District, and local sponsors including Poole & Shaffery, LLP, L/B/W Insurance and Financial Services, Inc., SCV Bank, the City of Palmdale, the City of Santa Clarita, and the City of Lancaster. Additional partners include the Antelope Valley Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the Build WorkSource Center in Chatsworth, CA, the Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce, the South Valley WorkSource Center in Palmdale, and the Valley Industrial Association.

March 15, 2007

Presidential Chef Stirs Up New Culinary Arts Program

On his first day on the job as chef at the White House staff mess, a fine dining restaurant in the West Wing that serves the president, first lady and senior staff members, Chef Louis Eguaras was asked to see President Bill Clinton in the Oval Office.

“He wanted to meet me and welcome me on board,” said Eguaras. “I remember he said something funny, but I forget what it was because I was just so excited to be there.”

Eguaras who can trace his love for cooking back to the time when his mother taught him how to cook spaghetti and meatballs, has made a name for himself among the iron and naked chefs of the culinary arts world.

During his one-year stay at Camp David and four years of service at the White House, Eguaras, who now owns his own catering company, Presidential Culinary Service, had the honor and privilege to sauté and julienne the meals for a long list of dignitaries and celebrities that reads like a guest list for an awards ceremony.

“Some of the most memorable state dinners that I worked on was for President Nelson Mandela of the Republic of South Africa, the Emperor and Empress of Japan and President Henrique Carduso of Brazil,” said Eguaras.

“I also got a chance to work on celebrity dinners for Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, Demi Moore, Amy Grant, George Strait, The Rolling Stones, Tom Hanks, Jimmy Buffett, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Oliver Stone, James Woods, Crosby, Stills and Nash, and many more.”

“Every state dinner was an exhilarating moment for me,” reminisced Eguaras. “I got to see firsthand what it takes to produce lavish plates and the timing it takes to create a great event. I enjoyed working close with Executive Chef Walter Scheib, the residence executive chef, because he was very open to teaching new techniques and taught us how to plate state dinners for 250 people or more. It was very demanding but so much fun.”
But Eguaras, who also worked with the U.S. Secret Service and traveled with the president and senior staff to ensure that the meals prepared for the president were properly secured, is now teaching students how to cook a meal fit for the president in the new culinary arts program at College of the Canyons.

The culinary arts industry has grown so much in the past 10 years that there has been a great demand for high-quality, highly skilled individuals to work in this competitive industry and profession.

“I have been living in Valencia since 2001 and have seen the growth in this area. I feel that COC has a lot to offer the community of Santa Clarita and neighboring cities with regards to a great culinary arts education. The culinary arts industry has grown so much in the past 10 years that there has been a great demand for high quality, highly skilled individuals to work in this competitive industry and profession, which I think the culinary arts program at COC will help address.”

Eguaras helped College of the Canyons put together the new culinary arts program, serves as an advisor on the committee and has high hopes for the program’s future.

“I hope to create an innovative, extremely strong and competitive program where students will learn basic to advanced skills in College of the Canyons’ Culinary Arts Program,” said Eguaras. “I want our students to have a great foundation, confidence and be prepared to step into a commercial kitchen and produce great work for themselves, their employers and clients. We will offer classes in culinary fundamentals, advanced culinary arts, food safety and sanitation, garde manger, baking and food and wine studies.”

“By having these courses,” added Eguras, “I feel that a culinary srts student attending COC will have the proper knowledge, creativity and skills to succeed in a highly competitive industry. I feel that with my professional experiences and strong background in the industry, I will help students prepare for a successful profession in the Culinary Arts.”

When he’s not in the kitchen or teaching, Eguaras loves to travel, check out different recipes from around the world and dine out with his wife Agnes.

March 15, 2007

University Center Groundbreaking Scheduled March 16

Subject: Groundbreaking Ceremony

Time: 1:30 p.m. Friday, March 16, 2007 (The event should take about 45 minutes)

Place: College of the Canyons, outdoors at building location. Enter South Parking Lot off Rockwell Canyon Road and follow signs to ceremony location.

Event: A groundbreaking ceremony for the 110,000-square-foot, $36-million University Center building. The building is being funded through private donors, state and federal resources, and local bond measures. Construction is expected to take 18 months.

When completed, the building will house bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs offered by a wide variety of colleges and universities that will give Santa Clarita Valley residents access to advanced degrees right here in our valley. The building will also likely house the College of the Canyons Economic Development Department, an Advanced-Technology Business Incubator, and the Wm. S. Hart District's Academy of the Canyons Middle College High School.

Speaking at the event will be Michele Jenkins, president of the college’s Board of Trustees; Congressman Howard P. “Buck” McKeon; fundraising co-chairs Tom Lee and Lou Garasi; a special student speaker; and Dr. Dianne Van Hook, superintendent-president.

March 13, 2007

Second Section of Popular Computer Class Added

Due to the popularity of the College of the Canyons Extension class “Computers and You,” another section has been opened for older adults with little or no computer experience who wish to learn basic computer skills.

“Computers and You” is a hands-on class that teaches students how to use a mouse to conduct simple Internet searches, how to use email, and will address consumer awareness and basic safety. The textbook needed for the class costs $24.30 and can be purchased at the COC bookstore.

The class will be held from 9 to 11:10 a.m. starting Thursday, March 15 at the College of the Canyons campus. “Computers and You” is a tuition-free class offered through the Canyons Emeritus College, which provides lifelong learning opportunities for older adults throughout the Santa Clarita Valley.

March 13, 2007

Heart Gallery Exhibit Set for April 17 to May 1

College of the Canyons, in cooperation with the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services and the Heart Gallery, Los Angeles Committee will present The Heart Gallery, Los Angeles beginning April 17. The exhibition features photographs of children in the Los Angeles County foster care system who are in need of permanent adoptive families. The exhibition’s purpose is to help raise awareness of the need to find permanent, loving homes for more than 700 children in Los Angeles County.

The exhibition will run from April 17 through May 1. A reception is planned in the gallery from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, April 17. The public is welcome to view the photographic portraits of the children and enjoy refreshments. Social workers from the Department of Children and Family Services will be available to answer questions about adoptions or about making a difference in a child’s life.

Most of the children are school aged, of African American or Latino heritage, may have special needs, and may be part of a sibling group.

The Heart Gallery Los Angeles is one of more than 40 Heart Galleries that have been developed throughout the United States to help find permanent adoptive families for waiting children. This is accomplished by working with community partners and volunteer professional photographers to create a traveling gallery of photographs that feature these children and capture their beauty and spirit for those considering adopting a child.

Admission to the College of the Canyons Art Gallery is free. A $1 parking permit can be obtained from the South Parking Lot or Lot #6. This permit allows attendees to park in any regular space in the student lots.

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

Additional information regarding this and future exhibitions can be obtained by calling (661) 362-3612.

March 9, 2007

SCV Wine Classic Tickets Now Available

A limited number of tickets are now available for the SCV Wine Classic, the popular and long-running wine-tasting event benefiting the SCV Youth Orchestra. The 19th annual event will be held at California Institute of the Arts from 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday, June 2.

As usual, the event will boast a wide variety of vintage and current wines for tasting and purchase, as well as gourmet cuisine from some of the valley’s finest restaurants and caterers. An impeccable array of rare and current wines, restaurant certificates and other items will be auctioned.
Live orchestral music will fill the comfortable and intimate Main Gallery at CalArts. Vintage library wines will be available for tasting as well, and guests will receive souvenir drinking glasses and trays.

Discounts will be given to those who purchase tickets early. The pricing structure is as follows:
  • $65 each / $120 a pair through March 30
  • $70 each / $130 a pair from March 31 to June 1
  • $80 each / $150 a pair at the door
  • $35 each for designated drivers
  • $60 each (10 minimum) for group sales through May 25
The SCV Youth Orchestra is a three-tiered instrumental education 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.

March 2, 2007

College Offers Educational Trip to Massachusetts

This summer, College of the Canyons is offering students the opportunity to study American history and literature in Massachusetts from July 31 to Aug. 9, 2007. During the 10-day trip, students will experience, first-hand, the landmarks that served as a backdrop for the historical and literary legacy of America.

“There is no better place to study the birth of the United States or read the works of Thoreau and Emerson than in Massachusetts,” said James Glapa-Grossklag, co-chair of the educational travel advisory committee. “Even the most pristine and meticulous note-taking done from the lecture of a passionate instructor in a traditional classroom setting, doesn’t beat learning about American history from the place where it all began.”

Besides earning course units in History 111: History of the United States, taught by professor Connie Tripp, and English 260: American Literature I, taught by professor Mary Peterson, students will learn about the American Revolution by visiting the battlefields of Lexington and Concord and about the infamous Salem witch trials by visiting the Salem Witch Museum.

Other sites that will be visited include Plymouth Plantation, Boott Cotton Mills Museum in Lowell, Adams National Historical Park, Walden Pond, as well as Emily Dickinson and Herman Melville sites in Amherst.

The cost of the trip is approximately $2,200 including airfare, hotel accommodation, two daily meals, and all entry fees. Classes will meet on campus for lecture and an orientation prior to trip departure.

March 2, 2007

College Offers ESL Classes at Local High School

College of the Canyons is offering students a friendly environment in which to learn English as a second language (ESL) at Golden Valley High School this spring. A perfect fit for students on the go, classes are held in the late evening once every week.

“Learning English is so important because those who don’t speak English would like to feel a part of the happenings around them, to be able to speak to their children’s teachers or to be better prepared for a different job,” said ESL instructor Anna Glapa-Grossklag.

“But most importantly, non-English speakers would like to understand the society in which they live and have a voice in America,” adds Glapa-Grossklag. “For example, a former student, who had learned English while raising two children, shared her story of starting at a new job at a major retail store in Santa Clarita. Although she had a basic knowledge of the appropriate vocabulary, she was puzzled by customers’ reactions to her and her relationships with her co-workers and supervisor. When she came to class, she was able to discuss not only the proper grammar and meaning of words but also the layers of verbal relationships in places such as her employment. This student expressed her gratitude at being able to discuss these kinds of issues with others who shared her experience. In the end,” said Glapa-Grossklag, “she decided to pursue a degree at COC in order to advance her career opportunities in America.”
  • ESL 060 is an entry-level class that focuses on grammar, reading and writing. The class meets from 6 to 9:30 p.m. on Wednesdays starting March 7, 2007.
  • ESL 083 is an intermediate class that improves reading, vocabulary and speaking skills. The class meets from 6 to 9:30 p.m. on Tuesdays starting March 6, 2007.
“The best thing about these classes is that the teacher gives you the time and the help you need to improve your English,” said Heather Maclean, chair of the ESL department at College of the Canyons. “Students only have to come one night a week.”

March 1, 2007

College to Host Federal Hearing on Textbook Prices

Subject: A public hearing on textbook prices organized by the Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance, which is part of the federal Department of Education. This hearing is part of a one-year study requested by Congressman Howard P. “Buck” McKeon.

Time: 9: 30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday, March 5, 2007.

Place: College of the Canyons, Performing Arts Center

Event: Testimony from organizations and individuals from around the country who are currently working to make textbooks more affordable will be voiced followed by public comment and discussion.

The information gathered will be used to inform recommendations in the final report, due to Congress by May 2007.

The preliminary agenda is as follows:

9:30 a.m. - Welcome/Opening Remarks
​​​●  Ms. Judith N. Flink, Chairperson
9:35 a.m - Moderator: Mr. Darryl A. Marshall, Committee Member
●  Dr. Steven Boilard, Director, Higher Education Legislative Analyst’s Office
●  Mr. Hal Plotkin, President, Board of Trustees, Foothill-De Anza Community College District
●  Dr. Martha Kanter, Chancellor, Foothill-De Anza Community College District
●  ​Mr. Robert C. Strong, General Manager, SFSU Bookstore and Lecturer, SFSU College of Business, San Francisco State University
10:45 a.m. - BREAK
11:00 a.m. Presenters:
●  Ms. Beth Asmus, Dean of Special Programs, Financial Aid Office, College of the Canyons and President, California Community Colleges Student Financial Aid Association
●  Mr. Thomas Scotty, Vice President, Sales and Operations, Bedford, Freeman, and Worth Publishing Group
●  ​Mr. Thomas Bauer, Director of Auxiliary Services, San Mateo County Community College District
1:30 p.m. - Moderator: Dr. Lawrence W. Burt, Committee Member
●  Mr. Leon Marzillier, President, District Academic Senate, Los Angeles Community College District
●  Mr. Jeremy Mills, Chair, Legislative Affairs, California State Student Association
●  Ms. Aimee Marie Munoz-Lopez, Chair, Textbook Affordability Committee, Associated Students of UCD/Co-Coordinator of the Affordable Textbooks Campaign, California Public Interest Research Group
●  Mr. Don Newton, General Manager, City College of San Francisco Bookstores
●  Mr. Sean Wakely, President, Thomson Arts and Sciences
●  ​Dr. Diana Watkins, Computer Networking Professor, College of the Canyons
2:30 p.m. - Closing Remarks
​​​​●  Ms. Judith N. Flink, Committee Chairperson