These outdated news releases and advisories are stored here for archival purposes. 


May 25, 2007

Music Students Present ‘Evening of Electronika’

The catchy pulses and waves of electronic music rippled through the airwaves during the 1980s and 1990s, launching the careers of artists such as Devo, Moby, Massive Attack, Radiohead, Björk and New Order. With the developments of sequencing, sampling and synthesis technology, musicians could create and record electronic music from their own personal computer without the financial support of a major recording label. Today, elements of electronica can be detected in the music of mainstream artists proving that electronica was never a passing phase.

The College of the Canyons Music Department will present its very first “Evening of Electronika” on June 1 at 7:30 p.m., where students from the Electronic Music for Stage class will create, manipulate and perform their material live in the COC Black Box Theatre.

“Evening of Electronika” will showcase the works of Jettdee, a highly creative producer and rapper who gives hip-hop an unexpected twist by bringing in some funk, soul, dub and jazz grooves to his cool way of rapping. Actress, singer and composer Janet Strauss, will present her dream-like video as a tribute to the “quiet Beatle,” George Harrison. Justin Bardales, Pejman Roozbeh, and Tim Sloan have created dramatic and perplexing music, where the sounds of the piano are transformed live through digital processes. Sherief Zakher has created a remix of astonishing timbres that are mixed on-stage with eloquent guitar riffs. Soundscapes that transform sadness into hope are common in both of Charlie Camarillo and Andrew Wroblewski’s music. The musical collaboration of David Innes and David Nelson results in a performance that combines electric guitars with computer-modeled instruments. Jana Janouskova, a native artist and dancer from the Czech Republic who studied at the Prague Music School before joining the program at COC, has written an evocative and otherworldly chant on a text by Paul Mercogliano.

“Evening of Elektronica” will be curated by Bernardo Feldman, chair of the COC Music Department, and celebrated multi-media composer whose innovative work has been featured throughout the country and abroad at major music festivals. Admission is free.

May 25, 2007

College Offers Mandarin Chinese for First Time

Starting in the fall semester, the College of the Canyons Foreign Language Department will offer Mandarin Chinese language classes for the first time.

“Mandarin Chinese was added to the foreign language department in response to a state and national initiative to include Asian languages in the educational system,” said Gina Bogna, COC curriculum coordinator.

The course will place an emphasis in developing essential skills in communication, such as speaking, understanding and reading and writing Chinese characters. The course will also introduce geography, customs and culture of China.

The course will be equivalent to the first two years of high school-level Chinese.

May 24, 2007

Santa Clarita Valley Wine Classic Uncorks on June 2

The area’s premier wine-tasting event — the Santa Clarita Valley Wine Classic — returns with a huge array of stellar wines including from vintners Leona Valley, Fess Parker, Dobbin Lane and Rutherford Ranch on Saturday, June 2, 2007.

Set to take place at California Institute of the Arts from 7 to 10 p.m., the event will allow attendees to be able to sample great wines provided by dozens of wineries, distributors and other companies, as well as food from some of Southern California’s favorite restaurants. Live music and silent auctions will also be taking place throughout the evening.

Tickets purchased prior to June 2 are $70 each or $130 a pair. Tickets can be purchased at the door for $80 each or $150 a pair. Designated driver tickets are also available for $35 each.

All proceeds from the event directly benefit the Santa Clarita Valley Youth Orchestra, an instrumental educational program based at College of the Canyons that provides a positive and creative outlet for hundreds of young musicians throughout the community.

May 24, 2007

New Classes Scorch Summer at Canyons Extension

The Canyons Extension at College of the Canyons is now taking registrations for a wide variety of short-term classes, workshops and seminars scheduled for the summer.

New classes include Four-Week Salsa, Cream Puff Heaven, Hot August Night with Romance Writer Lori Wilde, Millionaire Mindset for Successful Sales, Take In a Meteor Shower, Antiques Appraising, Hot Summers — Happy Plants, Movies and Metrolink, and even classes geared towards children.

“Summer is the perfect time to try something new,” said Karen Gorback, associate dean for community extension and noncredit programs. “Join your friends and neighbors on a cool evening or Saturday morning to learn how to play the ukulele or learn how to square dance or speak a bit of Russian.”

May 24, 2007

First Measure M Bonds Sold, Yield Nearly $80 Million

The first bonds from Measure M, the College of the Canyons general obligation bonds approved by voters in November 2006, were sold last week, yielding nearly $80 million for new buildings and facilities upgrades at both campuses.

The bonds went to market May 17 with 40-year maturities overall and a rate of 4.825 percent, which is a very good rate and a low cost of borrowing for the college. The net proceeds to the district will be $79,997,270 on May 30.

The bonds are a combination of serial and term bonds (interest paid semi-annually and principle annually), with maturities between 2007 and 2025. Capital Appreciation Bonds (CABs), which only pay interest to the investor until maturity when the full principle is paid, were also sold. These will mature between 2012 and 2046.

“Now that we the money we need, we can get busy building new state-of-the-art learning spaces and provide students access to top-notch transfer courses and highly skilled technical training,” said Superintendent-President Dr. Dianne Van Hook. “Whatever course of study our students choose, we want to ensure they are prepared to move on to four-year colleges and universities, or to land good paying jobs in high demand industries.”

The funding will also position College of the Canyons to leverage millions of dollars in state resources that can be spent in the Santa Clarita Valley. “Having local bond funds gives us a crucial advantage in competing for money at the statewide level,” Van Hook said. “And gaining those state resources allows us to stretch our Measure M dollars further and get more bang for our buck.”

Among the work planned for the Valencia campus is an expansion of the Library, updating aging classroom and laboratory facilities, and constructing a new Student Services building.

The proceeds from Measure M will also provide for permanent facilities at the Canyon Country Campus, which will open for the fall 2007 semester in modular buildings. Plans call for six 40,000-square-foot structures to house classrooms, labs, and student support facilities.

“None of this would be possible without the support of local voters,” Van Hook said. “Thanks to them, and their belief in what we do, we are able to create a campus that matches the high expectations of the community we serve.”

The total value of Measure M bonds is $160 million. The additional bonds will be sold at a later date.

May 18, 2007

Maloney Appointed Founding Dean of New Campus

Dena Maloney, who has served as dean of economic development and director of the Employee Training Institute at College of the Canyons for 10 years, has been appointed by the college board of trustees as the founding dean of the about-to-open Canyon Country campus.

“We are all extremely pleased that Dena applied for and was appointed as founding dean for the new Canyon Country Campus of College of the Canyons,” said Sue Bozman, dean of district communication, marketing and external relations of the college.

“Dena has 10 years of experience building programs from scratch. She is a professional with the drive, integrity and skills to open our new campus, build it from the ground up and provide the leadership needed to be sure it thrives. She loves working with our community, understands the needs of our local businesses, and has strong ties to the schools,” added Bozman.

Since 1993, Maloney has developed extensive partnerships with local business and industries and has generated more than $8.4 million in training dollars to support the economic development in the Santa Clarita Valley. During Maloney's tenure at ETI, the program developed training partnerships with the Valley Industrial Association, the SCV Chamber of Commerce, garnered education funding from federal, state and local sources, served 2,325 businesses and trained 11,068 employees.

“Filling Dena’s shoes in her current job as the dean of economic development for the college is a very high priority for the district, as it is an extremely important position, overseeing the college’s work to provide training and other support for our local businesses, entrepreneurs and industries,” stressed Bozman. “The various departments in the Economic Development Division are led by district managers, and these managers will continue to keep their respective areas running smoothly until a new dean is appointed to fill that leadership role.”

Maloney will lead a team of College of the Canyons faculty and staff at the new campus. “I am thrilled to be working with our talented faculty and staff at the Canyon Country campus,” said Maloney. “Our goal is to bring the same high caliber instruction and services to the campus as those that are provided at the Valencia campus. The new campus will bring more opportunities to students to access higher education and achieve their dreams.”

Maloney received her doctorate in education from University of La Verne, her master's degree in government from Georgetown University and a bachelor’s degree in political science from Loyola Marymount University.

May 11, 2007

College Encourages Veterans to Tell Their Stories

In an effort to assist the Library of Congress’s ongoing Veteran's History Project, College of the Canyons will host interview sessions from 1 to 4 p.m. Tuesday, May 15 in the Performing Arts Center lobby prior to the free concert of the United States Air Force Band of the Golden West. Veterans who served during wartime are encouraged to come tell their stories, which will be collected and sent to the Library of Congress.

“This is an important program aimed at keeping the stories of wartime veterans alive,” said Bruce Battle, director of advertising and public information at College of the Canyons. “I would imagine we would find some fascinating stories from veterans living throughout the Santa Clarita Valley.”

The U.S. Congress created the Veterans History Project in 2000. It is aimed at collecting oral history interviews, memoirs, letters, diaries, photographs and other original materials from veterans of World Wars I and II; the Korean, Vietnam and Persian Gulf Wars; and the Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts (2001-present). College of the Canyons students will be on hand to conduct interviews, which will be digitally recorded. A pre-written narrative can also be dropped off.

In addition to narratives, the project is also asking for videos or films, photos, maps, letters and military papers. The project cannot accept medals, canteens, uniforms, dog tags, weapons, military equipment or flags.

The United State Air Force Band of the Golden West will then play a free concert beginning at 7:30 p.m.

May 8, 2007

College Jazz Ensemble Wins at Reno Jazz Festival

The Jazz Ensemble won first place in the community college division at the 45th annual Reno Jazz Festival held at the University of Nevada, Reno from April 26 through 28. The largest jazz festival and competition of its kind in the western United States, last year's festival attracted more than 10,000 participants and guests from all over the nation.

“Our students represented us well and we received positive comments from all three nationally recognized adjudicators, our clinician, and many new friends and colleagues in attendance,” said K.C. Manji, music director at College of the Canyons.

“This was our first appearance at the Reno Jazz Festival and it was a terrific experience for our students who listened and learned from other clinicians, bands, and performing artists,” added Manji.

The award-winning COC Jazz Ensemble will perform their annual spring concert featuring pop tunes and jazz favorites at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, May 18 at the COC Performing Arts Center.

May 7, 2007

Classic Play ‘Mother Courage and Her Children’ to be Presented

Is it right to profit from the misery of others during war? What if that profit was the only thing that kept you and your children alive? That dilemma comes to the main stage of the College of the Canyons Performing Arts Center when Bertolt Brecht's classic play Mother Courage and Her Children sets up camp for a four-day run beginning Thursday, May 10.

Considered to be one of the most definitive anti-war plays of the twentieth century, Mother Courage and Her Children was written by Brecht in 1938 and portrays Mother Courage as she and her three children follow a Protestant regiment into the Thirty Years War of the 17th Century. While trying to keep her family alive, Mother Courage discovers a talent for business and becomes prosperous as a result of the suffering of others.

“Although the play is set in the 17th century, ‘Mother Courage and Her Children’ is truly a chronicle of all wars,” said director Stephan Whelan. “It has a universal message that especially resonates in the world today.”

Mother Courage opens Thursday, May 10 at 7 p.m., shows again on Friday, May 11 and Saturday, May 12 at 8 p.m., and closes with a 2 p.m. matinee show on Sunday, May 13. Tickets are $10 for adults, seniors and students with a current ID, and $5 for children under 12.

May 7, 2007

Sheriff’s North Academy Cadets and Supporters Participate in ‘Colors Run’

Subject: The entire class (72 members) of the current L.A. County Sheriff’s Academy North, located at College of the Canyons, along with 50 to 60 Sheriff's Department personnel and supporters will complete a 5.4-mile run in formation through the streets of Santa Clarita, earning their respective departments’ “colors” and “patches” and cloth badges. As part of the run, the Academy class will stop and honor, with a small prayer service, Deputy Hagop “Jake” Kuredjian at the memorial erected in his honor in Stevenson Ranch. Kuredjian was killed on duty during a shootout in Stevenson Ranch in the Santa Clarita Valley on August 31, 2001.

When: May 8, 2007 – 7 am - Start of run

Place: Depart Sheriff’s North Academy (College of the Canyons - Stadium Way off Valencia Blvd.)

7:45 am - Arrive Kuredjian Memorial (corner of Stevenson Ranch Parkway and Poe Parkway) for prayer service with Sheriff’s Department Chaplain

8:30 am - Return to College of the Canyons (Cougar Den - adjacent to COC stadium), meet with Sheriff's Administrators, Academy members for breakfast

Route: From COC - South on Rockwell Canyon Road to McBean Parkway; west on McBean Parkway to Stevenson Ranch Parkway to Poe Parkway. Return route exact opposite.

May 4, 2007

New Building Inspection Program to be Offered

Last year, College of the Canyons introduced Land Surveying and Construction Management programs. The development of these programs was in response to the community's need for trained professionals necessary to keep up with growth in the Santa Clarita Valley. This year, the college is adding a building inspection program that will allow students to receive a certificate of achievement and prepare them to take building code certification exams typically required for employment.

“Building inspection has been identified by the Employment Development Department has one of the occupations having high employment potential,” said Audrey Green, Dean of Program Development and Community Extension. “Both the City of Santa Clarita and Los Angeles County Department of Public Works have indicated a need for qualified individuals in this area. With the explosive growth in the Santa Clarita Valley, public agencies find themselves without an adequate number of building inspectors,” adds Green.

Building inspectors are employed by government agencies, private companies, contractors and lending institutions. Inspectors must observe, evaluate, judge and enforce laws and regulations pertaining to building construction and must have a broad base of knowledge in all aspects of construction including plan reading, specification interpretation and legal requirements.

Building Inspection classes which will be offered include Construction 103: Blueprint Reading for Construction, Construction: 108: Introduction to Construction Inspection and Codes, Construction 109: California Building Code, California 120: California Mechanical Code, Construction 122: California Plumbing Code and Construction 124: California Electrical Code.

Classes begin in the Fall 2007 semester but consult the Summer and Fall schedule of classes for exact course offerings.

May 3, 2007

University Center to be Named for Van Hook

The Santa Clarita Community College District Board of Trustees voted unanimously Wednesday night to name the University Center building to be constructed on the College of the Canyons campus, the Dianne G. Van Hook University Center. In naming the Center after Van Hook, the trustees cited her “tireless commitment to enhancing access to education, her belief in the power of dreaming big and never giving up, and her premise that we, as individuals and institutions, become what we give ourselves the power to be.”

The action came during a joint meeting of the District Board of Trustees and the College of the Canyons Foundation Board held in the lobby of the college’s Performing Arts Center, before an overflow crowd of well wishers and supporters.

“I am deeply honored and humbled by this gesture of the Board and am very grateful to have this building named after me,” said Van Hook. “It hasn’t been easy, but no project of this magnitude and complexity could be accomplished without a steadfast resolve to see it through,” stressed Van Hook. “I am particularly thrilled that we can all celebrate the fruits of what this Center will provide the Santa Clarita Valley for many years to come. From fundraisers Congressman Buck McKeon, to Tom Lee and Lou Garasi; to corporate and individual donors; to the enlightened folks at the state level; to the college staff, to those who contributed whatever they could to this noble and worthwhile cause,” said Van Hook, “we can all be proud and pleased about the access to education the University Center will provide our community. I am just delighted to have my efforts recognized and my name associated with it.”

Both Lee and Garasi addressed the boards and praised Van Hook for her leadership and vision. “The naming of this University Center,” said Garasi, “is the way that our childrens’ children, and maybe even their children will understand what Dianne Van Hook has done for this community.
The idea is such a powerful one that the U. S. Secretary of Education, Margaret Spellings will visit the college on Friday, May 4, to learn about its implementation and take away some “best practices” ideas that have the potential of being replicated across the country. Board of Trustees president, Michele Jenkins, pointed out that the role of the community college has always been about providing access to higher education for those who want and need it. She praised Van Hook, the college's foundation and several programs at the college — particularly the financial aid office — for their efforts in doing everything they can to provide that access. She noted that Secretary Spelling’s visit to the college is a testament to the University Center concept as a “cost-effective way of delivering higher education at the local level.”

The University Center concept was Van Hook’s brainchild, an idea that she nurtured for several years. She became convinced of the need for a way to provide advanced degrees to residents of the Santa Clarita Valley after hearing story after story from frustrated students who, for a variety of reasons, couldn’t gain access to 4-year universities because of freeway issues, child care issues, unavailability of needed programs, work schedules and other roadblocks.

She also heard from business owners who expressed frustrations about the Santa Clarita Valley not having enough appropriately trained employees to hire. Three separate surveys of the community revealed that businesses wanted and needed skilled graduates. Van Hook listened carefully, and the University Center concept was born.

To prove a point, Van Hook arranged for an Interim University Center to operate on the College of the Canyons campus in 2000. First to sign on to the idea was California State University, Bakersfield which brought degree programs in communications and liberal studies as well as a credential program in school administration and a multi-subject teaching credential. These programs were wildly popular and, over the years, hundreds of graduates attest to the value of being able to earn advanced degrees locally.

The University of LaVerne followed suit and brought programs in business administration as well as a master’s degree program in school counseling. These programs also took off and, over the last seven years, those universities have been joined by CSU Fresno, Chapman University, CSU Northridge, ELS Language Centers, and National University. Now, more than two dozen degree and certificate programs operate out of a temporary facility on campus. Since 2002, more than 13,000 students have enrolled in classes at the temporary facility and nearly 750 have received degrees. Additional universities are awaiting the construction of the permanent Center to bring their programs.

After nearly seven years of focused effort by Van Hook that included an aggressive fundraising campaign, a successful strategy at the state level for funding and the development of some innovative partnerships locally, the idea is moving from concept to reality thanks to the help of fundraising co-chairs Tom Lee, Lou Garasi, Congressman McKeon and the many people who have helped at the college as well as in the community. “It takes a team to build a University Center,” said Van Hook, “and we had a great one.”

On March 16, ground was broken on a permanent building that will provide 110,000 square feet of space on a portion of the College of the Canyons campus overlooking the I-5 freeway and sweeping views of the Santa Clarita Valley. The building will not only house the programs of university partners, but will also include at a minimum the William S. Hart District's Academy of the Canyons, the Technology Business Incubator initiative, customized training programs for local business and industry, a professional development institute on teaching, contract education and extension programs.

May 3, 2007

Secretary of Education, Congressman McKeon to Hold Round Table Discussions

Subject: U.S. Secretary of Education, Margaret Spellings, and Congressman Buck McKeon to visit College of the Canyons and meet with University Center administrators, faculty and students to gather some “best practices” ideas that have the potential of being replicated across the country.

Time: 9:30 - 10:30 a.m., Friday, May 4, 2007

Place: College of the Canyons Performing Arts Center
26455 Rockwell Canyon Road, Santa Clarita, CA 91355

Event: The Secretary and Congressman will meet in the lobby of the College of the Canyons Performing Arts Center for opening remarks and a briefing about the University Center concept by College of the Canyons Superintendent-President, Dianne Van Hook. After the 10-minute briefing, a round table discussion will be held with administrators, faculty, and students who provide and have participated in University Center programs on the COC campus to learn specifics of how the operation works.

The University Center concept is the brainchild of Van Hook. It is a means by which colleges and universities bring complete bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs to the local community college campus to provide increased access to education for those who are working adults, have a need to live at home, can't travel freeways for any number of reasons, or who simply wish to access high-quality academic programs locally. An interim center has been operation on the COC campus since 2002 with more than 1300 students taking classes and 724 already earning degrees that they otherwise would not have achieved.

May 2, 2007

College of the Canyons Recognizes Employees

Employees at College of the Canyons were recognized for their contributions to the college at an awards luncheon held on Wednesday, May 2, 2007. The luncheon was held with the “twist” that board members, administrators and managers served college “classified” employees a catered meal.

Classified employees hold support positions at the college. They are most often the behind-the-scenes people who are responsible for the day-to-day functioning of the college.

This is the 11th year that awards were presented to individuals in several categories. Five awards were presented.

The College of the Canyons Employee of the Year was awarded to Nancy Faulconer who is the administrative support person for the Allied Health office on campus. The award recognizes an individual who has made contributions to the college through service to the campus. In Faulconer’s case, she was singled out for her efficiency; problem solving; positive attitude; handling all of the admissions and records data for nursing students and collaboration with faculty, staff and students during a period of tremendous growth of the college’s nursing program. The Employee of the Year award consists of a decorative plaque and $300 cash.

The Humanitarian Award went to Chris Miner. This award acknowledges an indispensable contribution to the college and cites community involvement and dedication. Miner is an administrative assistant for the college’s facilities department. She has been a team captain for the American Cancer Society Relay of Life for several years, runs the recycling program for the college and is very active in her church. The award consists of a decorative plaque and a $100 cash award.

The New Visions Award recognizes an employee who brings new insight to the job, which improves the college. A positive attitude and providing an inspiration to other employees are key elements in selecting the award winner. The 2007 New Visions Award winner is Edwin Abrenica. He is the Chemistry department’s instructional stockroom technician. Abrenica was cited for his work in the organic chemistry labs and, in particular, his contributions to make the labs safer and more efficient for students and faculty. His award consists of a plaque and a $100 cash award.

A decorative plaque and a $100 cash award also went to Lynne Mayer, this year’s winner of the Professional Achievement Award. Mayer is the administrative assistant to the college’s Board of Trustees and is a key member of the superintendent-president's staff. The award recognizes outstanding performance through educational achievement and a record of excellent job performance. She was cited for enthusiastically seeking training to improve her skills and her understanding of the myriad rules that apply to elected Boards. Mayer was also cited an excellent communicator who has participated in the college’s mentor program as well as on the committee to coordinate the development of the University Center.

New this year is the Gloria Jackson Service Award, named after a beloved member of the College of the Canyons communication’s department staff who passed away in November of 2006. Jackson had worked for 25 years at the college’s switchboard and mailroom and was noted for her depth and breadth of information, her encyclopedic memory for numbers and her endearing laugh. The award consists of a decorative plaque and a $100 cash award. Two winners were named for this award — Michelle Thun and Mary Haines. Thun is a member of the college’s human relations office staff who worked closely and caringly with Jackson’s family after her death. Thun is described as sensitive, kind, calm, compassionate, patient and particularly adept at working with people who are experiencing difficulties. Haines is a long-time co-worker of Jackson at the college’s switchboard and mailroom. She was cited as carrying on Gloria Jackson's legacy of outstanding customer service by making a personal connection with people and displaying a positive attitude, even when things are hectic. She was singled out for being pleasant and personable with a great sense of humor and the ability to laugh. On hand to present this inaugural award were Jackson’s children.

Each year the California School Employee Association (CSEA) presents its Member of the Year Award at this luncheon. This year’s winner was Yvette Barrios, a family studies technician in the college’s Family Studies and Early Childhood Education Center. Yvette was cited as devoting countless hours to the local chapter, sitting on committees and boards, and fighting for important provisions to the current contract. She received a plaque and a $100 cash award.

The awards were presented by College Superintendent-President, Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook as well as member of the college’s Board of Trustees.