News Release Archive: October 2007
These are outdated news releases and advisories that are posted here for archival purposes. 

October 31, 2007
Cougar Football Gives Free Admission to Firefighters, Police

The College of the Canyons is offering free admission to firefighters and police officers and their families to the Saturday, Nov. 3 Cougar football game, as a thank you for efforts provided during the rampant wildfires that plagued the Santa Clarita Valley last week.

"There were so many people who were affected by last week's fires," COC head football coach Garett Tujague said. "We wanted to make sure that we acknowledged the first responders who so diligently worked to keep our valley safe. This is only a small token of our appreciation."

Firefighters and police officers must show proper identification at the ticket booth to receive admission for themselves and family members.

The Cougars kick off against L.A. Harbor at 7 p.m. on Saturday evening in the last regular season home game. Canyons is in a tie for first place with Bakersfield College and holds a 7-1 overall record and is 5-0 in conference play.

For additional information, please contact (661) 362-3200.

 
 
November 1, 2007
College to Adopt Emergency Notification System

With earthquakes, wildfires and other campus emergencies a constant concern for colleges and universities across the state, College of the Canyons has announced that it will be installing a new Emergency Campus Notification system to better communicate with the college's many students, staff and faculty members in the event of such an emergency.

The college's new Emergency Campus Notification (ECN), produced by NEC Unified Solutions, Inc., is a software-based management system, designed specifically for mass notification, which provides a centralized and user-friendly command center for alerting and notifying different groups on campus.

NEC Unified Solutions, Inc. is a global leader in VoIP and data communications technology, serving markets in the education, government, healthcare and hospitality industries with a portfolio of solutions for wireless, unified communications, voice, data and management services.

At College of the Canyons the ECN will provide the ability to send both new and pre-programmed voice or text messages, either immediately or at pre-determined times, to alert first responders about any type of campus emergency while also quickly disseminating notification messages to a variety of communication destinations including: pagers, home, office and cellular telephone numbers, SMS text messages, e-mail accounts and personal digital assistants (PDAs).

"It's a very user-friendly program, and was the only system on the market that integrated our existing communication system and would work seamlessly with all of our current equipment," said Jim Schrage, COC dean of facilities. "We will be able to pre-program hundreds of different types of messages, depending on what emergency we could potentially be dealing with, and at the push of a button we can decide the message we want to send and pick what groups on campus we want to send it out to. Within ten seconds we can send out whatever we need to, wherever we need to and in whatever format we need to"

Sold to College of the Canyons by Digital Telecommunications Corp. (DTC), at a cost of roughly $52,000, the ECN system should serve as the long-term solution to all the college's emergency communication needs, Schrage said.

"By selecting ECN for mass alerts and notifications, College of the Canyons is on the leading edge of campus safety awareness," said Ray Maccani, vice president of sales for DTC. "As one of just a few NEC dealers with specialized expertise in vertical markets, DTC is dedicated to providing higher education institutions with the latest communications solutions for improved safety and learning."

Another key factor in the college's decision to implement the new ECN system was the ability to utilize the popularity of text messages as the preferred form of communication among COC students in alerting them to a campus emergency.

"We know from our student's behavior that most will check their text messages almost instantly, so in the event of a campus emergency this system should allow us to be able to quickly communicate with a significant portion of the student population," said Michael Wilding, COC assistant superintendent and vice president of student services. "They all text message, so you have to be able to provide the message in a way they are going to get it."

Though the ECN does have the capacity to contact students, staff and faculty via home and office telephone lines, both Wilding and Schrage are quick to point out the importance for members of the college community to keep updated cellular contact information on file with the college in order to take full advantage of the system's capabilities.

"It's critical that students keep their contact information up to date or they run the risk of not receiving such important messages," Schrage said.
With an estimated six to eight week system installation period, college officials plan to begin sending out sample messages and testing the new software at some point this semester, with a goal to be fully operational before the end of the year.

"We've always had people at the college who could handle the on-campus elements of a major emergency, but we've never had the ability to instantly notify the rest of the college community and tell people to stay away from campus," Schrage said, "so this really completes our emergency communication loop."

 
 
October 24, 2007
College Participates in Child and Adult Care Food Program

The Santa Clarita Community College District (College of the Canyons) Early Childhood Education Center participates in the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Child and Adult Care Food Program. To ensure access to the program by children within our community, we are required to notify the media in our service area of our participation in the program.

Attached is our public announcement of participation. Thank you for helping us inform our community about this important program.

For more information about this program, please contact Diane Stewart at (661) 362-3503. Stewart is dean of the college's early childhood education and training programs.

 
 
October 24, 2007
College of the Canyons Theatre Breathes Life into 'Cabaret'

The College of the Canyons Theatre Department has brought the Tony Award-winning Broadway Musical "Cabaret" to the Performing Arts Center stage during the month of October.

The final performances of "Cabaret" will be held at 8 p.m. on Oct. 26 and 27, and 2 p.m. Oct. 28.

Hailed as "the best show on Broadway" by the New York Post, "Cabaret" follows the budding romance between Sally Bowles, an English nightclub singer and Cliff Bradshaw, a struggling American writer during the tumultuous upheaval of 1930s Berlin, on the cusp of the Nazis' rise to power.

"'Cabaret' is not your typical musical," said director Mark Salyer. "It has great production numbers and the music is wonderful and clever, but this show is about the demise of a culture. I believe 'Cabaret' is one of the most important musical theatre pieces of the century."

With a cast of 31 members, Salyer said the COC production of "Cabaret" includes "probably the most ambitious and beautiful designs we've ever done."

"Cabaret" made its Broadway debut in 1966 and was nominated for 11 Tony Awards and won eight, including for Best Musical, Best Composer and Best Choreography. The 1998 revival of the musical took home Tony Awards for Best Revival, Best Actor and Best Actress.

For more information about the performance and how to purchase tickets, visit the college's Performing Arts Center website at www.canyonspac.com.

 
 
October 12, 2007
Cougar Football Teams Up with LETMESAIL

The College of the Canyons football team and LETMESAIL (Lifestyle Enrichment Through Meaningful Exercise, Social Activity and Independent Living) announced the co-sponsorship of the first SNAP (Special Needs Athletes and Peers) Flag Football League Tournament, which will be held at Cougar Stadium from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 21.

Admission to the tournament is free and open to the public. A total of eight teams from our area and the San Diego area will participate. A one-hour clinic will be conducted for the LETMESAIL members with the Cougar coaching staff and players that will focus on basic football skills.

"I think this will be a great experience for our staff and players as we give back to the community that gives us so much support," said College of the Canyons head football coach Garett Tujague. "College of the Canyons is Santa Clarita's college, and as a member of this community it is always good to contribute and show support for other organizations. SNAP is doing wonderful things, and Cougar football is honored that we can be a part of that."

LETMESAIL, a lifestyle enrichment program for differently abled individuals with disabilities, in conjunction with the Canyon Country Outlaws of the Pacific Youth Football League foster mentor relationships with the senior Outlaw teams and members of the LETMESAIL program, resulting in the SNAP program. SNAP was started in July 2007.

For more information, including volunteer and sponsorship opportunities, please contact program director Kristen Shvetsov at (661) 702-8555 or letmesail1@sbcglobal.net.

 
 
October 9, 2007
Gallery Exhibits Work of Emerging Artists, Former Professor

The College of the Canyons Art Gallery will showcase the work of three emerging Los Angeles artists who share a common educational background: all are former students of Richard Shelton. The exhibit is scheduled Oct. 27 through Nov. 17.

Christophe Cassidy, Arnaud Damasceno and Stacie Jaye Meyer studied under Shelton, who graduated from the Chouinard Art Institute (now known as CalArts) and retired recently as a faculty member of the Otis Art Institute. Shelton's work has been exhibited widely and is included in many public and private collections throughout the U.S., including the Hirshhorn Museum, the Smithsonian's museum of international modern and contemporary art.

The work to be exhibited is mostly oil- and acrylic-based paintings in a contemporary style.

"We are thrilled to welcome a well-established artist such as Richard Shelton and three emerging artists to share their work at the gallery," said Larry Hurst, director of the COC Art Gallery.

A reception will be held 3 to 6 p.m. Oct. 27. COC faculty member Robert Walker will conduct a roundtable discussion with the artists at 12:30 p.m. Nov. 8 as part of the gallery's new speaker series. The public is welcome to attend and bring lunch.

The Art Gallery is open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

Visitors unable to attend during these hours are welcome to call the gallery at (661) 362-3612 to make an appointment.
 

 
October 5, 2007
World-Famous Dance Ensemble to Conduct Master Class

Subject: A master class taught by dancers of the Spanish ensemble, "Noche Flamenca."

Time: 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6, 2007

Place: Black Box Theater, College of the Canyons Performing Arts Center

Contact: Floyd Moos, (661) 362-3386

Event: Prior to performing at the College of the Canyons Performing Arts Center at 8 p.m., dancers of "Noche Flamenca" will keep COC students on their toes in a master class, taught in the adjacent Black Box Theater.

A master class is a class given to students of a particular discipline by an expert of that discipline-usually music, but also painting, drama, or any of the arts. The difference between a normal class and a master class is typically the setup. In a master class, all the students (and often spectators) watch and listen as the master instructs one student at a time.

"Noche Flamenca" was founded in Madrid in 1993 and has become one of Spain's most successful flamenco companies.

Noche Flamenca's vitality, energy and passion have won accolades around the world, with raves and standing ovations in Egypt, Canada, Australia, Portugal and Spain, and now they bring the power of flamenco to Santa Clarita!

Funded in part by the National Dance Project of the New England Foundation for the Arts, with lead funding from Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. Additional funding provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Ford Foundation and JP Morgan Chase.
 

 
October 4, 2007
Scholarly Presentation Focuses on Environment

With a passion for environmental issues and a strong desire to change the way people go about making their daily consumer choices, two like-minded college English professors will cross the traditional boundaries of their discipline to co-present the 2007 College of the Canyons Scholarly Presentation, entitled "The Environment, A Daily Decision."

Sponsored by the College of the Canyons Foundation and the Santa Clarita Community College District Board of Trustees, the presentation will take place Tuesday Nov. 20, at 7 p.m. in the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center at College of the Canyons. The roughly hour-long multimedia presentation will focus on some of the environmental responsibilities of global citizenship and point out some of the environmental effects of many daily consumer choices, while also examining the consumption, disposal and recycling habits of Santa Clarita citizens, with a goal to change the way people think about those daily decisions.

Convinced that concerns about environmental protection, energy conservation and climate change brought about by global warming should no longer fall solely on the shoulders of the government officials and scientists who have for too long been burdened with the task of staving off environmental crisis, event co-presenters Dr. Jia-Yi Cheng-Levine, a COC English and humanities professor and chair of the college's Sustainable Development Committee, and Dr. Will McConnell, assistant professor of the writing program and assistant director of the writing center at Woodbury University, have worked together for more than a year to develop their presentation.

"Usually people tend to say, 'Oh,that's a scientist problem,' " Cheng-Levine said, explaining the all-too-typical way of thinking the presentation is designed to change. "So we need a way to have people start to think about the fact that it's no longer just governmental and scientific expertise that can solve these problems. Instead it should be everyone's daily concern."

McConnell, who is no stranger to COC students after having been a regular guest speaker in several Cheng-Levine-taught courses, is also looking forward to using the presentation to bring about a more environmentally friendly way of thinking, but also hopes to clear up the popular notion that environmental issues are just too big for individuals to tackle.

"I've had people actually come up to me and say things like, 'The problem is just too big,' " McConnell said. "I think a lot of people really want to do something, but many of us are not quite sure exactly what to do. There are a lot of sources of information out there, but I think we need different conversation venues to be able to deal with the sheer volume of the issue. We really need to decide what we can do individually, but we also need a more concerted communal effort, and I think that's what events like this give."

And with energy conservation, recycling and sustainable development movements gaining momentum in communities across the country, and the concept of global warming now widely accepted -- thanks in part to former Vice President Al Gore's venture into documentary movie making with "An Inconvenient Truth" and the emergence of more and more environmentally consciousness advertisement campaigns -- McConnell and Cheng-Levine both feel the timing of their presentation is perfect.

"When we first proposed the idea to present, these environmental issues were not as prevalent as they are today. But now everywhere you turn businesses are trying to do something good for the environment," Cheng-Levine said. "So the approach we want to take now is a little different. We don't have to really convince anybody that we have a problem. Now we want to make those global issues relevant to everybody's home and everybody's life, to the point where it just becomes part of our daily consciousness."

As a tool to reach that result, Cheng-Levine and McConnell plan to share a number of Santa Clarita-specific consumption facts during the presentation, before taking that idea a step farther and specifically identifying some everyday consumer choices and examining their environmental costs, by looking at a typical Santa Clarita Valley child's room.

"We're going to take a picture of a typical kid's room and show the audience the common everyday items -- computers, electronics, video games, dolls, toys -- that will show up in almost every kid's room, and then show you not just how much it costs at retail outlets but instead emphasize the environmental cost brought about by packaging materials, shipping and fuel costs and energy use," Cheng-Levine said. "Right now, most of us are just too overwhelmed with our daily activities to even take the time to consider these things, so why not help people think environmentally about the things we buy, the foods we eat, the things we recycle or don't recycle and the kinds of toys we should buy (for our kids) or avoid."

In addition, the presenters plan to shock audiences by revealing some startling statistics regarding the amount of trash SCV citizens produce, by creating a hypothetical visual image of the College of the Canyons campus as a massive landfill.

According to data gathered by Cheng-Levine, Americans produce an average of 5 pounds of trash per person, per day. Using that formula, in a single year a group of 10,000 people would generate enough trash to fill an acre of space 10 feet deep. Using the roughly 150,000 Santa Clarita population mark provided in the 2000 census, it would then take less than 10 years for Santa Clarita's population to fill the 153-acre College of the Canyons Valencia campus with trash.

"And that's something we just don't consider, so we'll be making a lot of localized connections like that for people to think about," Cheng-Levine said.

The College of the Canyons Scholarly Presentation is an annual event designed to showcase to the community the many varied interests, talents, academic scholarships and areas of research of the college's faculty, while providing a highly informative and entertaining series of events for community members to experience and enjoy.

"We always look forward to sharing our knowledge, research and varied interests, with the community so we eagerly invite everyone to come and see some of the really talented faculty we have here at College of the Canyons," said David Stevenson, chair of the COC Scholarly Presentation Committee. "Each year we select something that we believe will be of interest to the community, and the presentations are usually very informative, highly visual and quite entertaining."

Traditionally attracting somewhere in the neighborhood of 500 audience members, Stevenson is expecting this year's presentation to be even more highly attended because of the topic's wide-ranging appeal to various segments of the community.

Immediately following the presentation, the Santa Clarita Community College District Board of Trustees will host a guest reception in the PAC theater lobby, where audience members will have the opportunity to meet, greet and ask questions of the presenters.

Community members wishing to attend the Scholarly Presentation are requested to RSVP to the College of the Canyons Foundation, Shannon Muñoz at (661) 362-3737 or shannon.munoz@canyons.edu.
 

 
October 1, 2007
2nd Drive-Through Flu Shot Event Slated for Nov. 16

Based on the huge success of last November's first-ever, stay-in-your-car, roll-down-your-window, roll-up-your-sleeve, get-a-flu-shot-and-drive-off event held at College of the Canyons, local authorities have announced that a similar event will be held at the college on Nov. 16. Flu shots will be administered to the public from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The flu-shot production line will be a joint effort on the part of College of the Canyons, the L.A. County Department of Public Health, the City of Santa Clarita and the L.A. County sheriff and fire departments.

"We learned a lot from last year's drive-through exercise," said Donna Nuzzi, the city's emergency services supervisor, "and we plan to improve our efficiency this year. When you are working with a number of agencies in an exercise such as this, this practice time will enhance how we all respond to a real incident."

Flu shots are often provided to the public in anticipation of an active flu season, but the event serves a secondary purpose. This exercise will also test the Cities Readiness Initiative (CRI) response during a bioterrorism attack. The purpose of the CRI plan is to treat an impacted, mass population with medications within a short time period. Under the plan, the drive-through clinic is called a rapid point of dispensing, or POD. College of the Canyons is a designated POD site for the bioterrorism plan.

"The planning and implementing of the clinic fosters cooperation and communication between agencies that otherwise don't often work together, who need to be able to coordinate their response in the event of a national emergency," said Beverly Kemmerling, director of student health and wellness at the college.

In the event of a large outbreak of disease or a regional terrorist attack, many sites similar to this one in Santa Clarita would be needed to serve the needs of California communities.

According to public health officials, the 2006 flu clinic was one of the best in all of California. More than 120 volunteers from participating agencies helped coordinate the event. The clinic was not only a challenge for COC nursing students who helped administer the shots under the supervision of nursing instructors and county personnel, it provided valuable information about organization, traffic control and other logistics required to move a large number of people through the system in the shortest amount of time.

More than 800 community members participated and received the free shots during a three-hour period last year.
 
 
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