News Release Archive
These are outdated news releases and advisories that are posted here for archival purposes.
September 28, 2007
College Hosts 2nd Entrepreneur Conference
Subject: 2007 "Dream and Discover" Entrepreneur Conference
Time: 8 a.m. Tuesday, October 2, 2007
Place: College of the Canyons, Performing Arts Center
Event: A conference for business owners and entrepreneurs who are interested in starting their own business or need business advice. This conference will provide tips to small business owners and entrepreneurs about how to better plan for business growth and access capital, while also discussing the various challenges associated with starting a new business.
Speakers at the conference include Rohit K. Shukla, founder and CEO of Larta Institute, and award-winning photographer, Steve Uzzell.
For those who are looking for on-site professional business consulting advice, the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is hosting SpeedBIZ, an interactive session with eight specialized SBDC counselors, including representatives from Citibank and Poole & Shaffery, LLP. This will occur at the conclusion of the speakers' sessions.
Tickets for the conference are $39 in advance, $49 at the door, and $15 with a valid student ID. For access to the SpeedBiz session, tickets are $20 more.
To learn more about the event, register to attend or learn how to become a conference sponsor please visit www.canyonsconference.com
or call the College of the Canyons Economic Development Division at (661) 259-3874.
September 28, 2007
College Hosts Alumni Barbecue & Awards Ceremony
Subject: Homecoming Alumni & Friends Barbecue and Awards Ceremony
Time: 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29, 2007
Place: College of the Canyons, Cougar Den at Cougar Stadium
Event: An event honoring COC alumni and Lenny Mohney, dean of physical education at the college and Vicki Engbrecht, assistant superintendent of the Hart High School District. The barbecue will be followed by the college's homecoming football game against West Los Angeles College at 7 p.m.
The barbecue will include dessert and beverages and all proceeds will go towards the Alumni Scholarship Fund.
September 27, 2007
Entrepreneur Conference SpeedBIZ to Talk Business
If the world of business was to have its own version of speed dating, the SpeedBIZ panel at the 2007 Dream & Discover Entrepreneur Conference would be it. Hosted by College of the Canyon's Small Business Development Center (SBDC) on October 2, 2007, the panel is the perfect way for business people to ask business consultants questions in short, interactive sessions.
Participants in the SpeedBIZ panel can informally speak with business consultants and ask business related questions, before a bell rings and it is time to move on to the next consultant. The process is repeated, ensuring participants with a quick, informative and fun alternative to an in-depth business consultation.
"Our business consultants' insight and experience in their respective arenas will be beneficial to all business enterprises who are interested in taking their business to the next level," said Paul De La Cerda, chair of conference and director of the Small Business Development Center at the college.
The SpeedBIZ sessions will be held after the half day conference from 1 to 2:30 p.m.
Joining the SBDC consultants during SpeedBIZ are Willie Pleitez, a professional commercial lending representative from Citibank, and Chris Jacobsen, an expert in commercial leasing from the Valencia-based law firm Poole and Shaffery, LLP.
After the sessions have finished, participants are welcome to make an appointment with the SBDC consultant of their choice, free of charge.
The second annual "Dream and Discover" Entrepreneurs Conference is organized by the College of the Canyon's Economic Development Division which includes the Small Business Development Center, Center for Applied Competitive Technologies, Employee Training Institute, and the i3 Advanced Technology Incubator. Corporate sponsors for the conference include the main event sponsor Citibank, JF Design, Mellady Direct Marketing, Union Bank of California, Staples Business Advantage, SCV Bank, Mission Valley Bank, Momentum Venture Management, Pasadena Angels, Xnergy, The Entrepreneurs Source, Sign-A-Rama, Entrepreneur Magazine, and HomeTown Buffet.
Those interested in participating in the SpeedBIZ panel are encouraged to register ahead of time and the cost is only $20 which includes lunch.
To register or learn more about the conference, visit www.canyonsconference.com
or call the College of the Canyons Economic Development Division (661) 259-3874.
September 26, 2007
College to Host Law Appreciation Day
College of the Canyons students interested in going to law school will be able to learn which majors can help them get there and talk to professors who are attorneys during the college's Law Appreciation Day on Oct. 1, 2007.
"The decision as to whether to go to law school is a difficult one and it's always best to get as much information as possible before making a decision regarding where to apply," said Nicole Lucy, an assistant professor of paralegal studies at the college.
"In today's litigious society, careers in law-from law enforcement officers to lawyers-will always be in high demand," added Lucy. According to the Department of Labor, the employment for paralegals will grow much faster than average until at least 2014.
"There are many steps to getting into the 'right' school for each student," said Lucy. "Some of those steps include having a very good GPA, doing well on the LSAT, filling out lengthy applications, and asking the right people for written recommendations."
Law Appreciation Day will help students with advice and direction for their future careers practicing law or enforcing it.
September 21, 2007
Comedian Presents Autobiographical Show on Depression
Winston Churchill called it his "black dog." Actress Brooke Shields battled it after the birth of her daughter and comedian Jim Carrey took medication in order to get through its peaks and valleys.
Every year depression afflicts more than 18 million Americans, but on October 3, 2007 at the College of the Canyons Performing Art Center, professional comedian Brian Wetzel's one-man autobiographical show "Side-by-Side: A Journey with Depression-A Funny Look at Serious Survival," will help point out the silver lining.
Sponsored by the college's Student Nutrition and wellness Advocates at COC (SNAC) program and the Student Health and Wellness Center, "Side by Side" has also been presented at Stanford University and Napa State Mental Hospital.
"So many students are silently struggling with depression - feeling overwhelmed, alone, and hopeless," said Sheri Barke, nutrition and wellness coordinator at the college. "Often, these feelings lead to drugs, alcohol, eating disorders, and other addictions; or they can be translated into rage, self-harm, and abuse of others. Sometimes, the consequences can be deadly as was seen with the tragic shootings at Virginia Tech earlier this year."
Wetzel's career as a professional comedian and speaker was challenged by his 20-year struggle with clinical depression and subsequent addiction. It wasn't until after a stay at an emergency psychiatric clinic and visit with a psychiatrist who had a thick French accent, that Wetzel started finding the humor in his condition. Wetzel's one-man show, "Side by Side," blends his comedic talent and experiences with depression on the stage, taking his audience on a journey filled with laughter, truth and hope.
"We hope this event will help sufferers feel understood and more hopeful about treatment and that it will raise community members' awareness about depression so they can detect early warning signs and intervene appropriately," added Barke.
"Side by Side" will take the stage from 4:30 to 6 p.m. followed by a Q&A until 6:30 p.m.
Admission is free but a donation of $5 is suggested.
For more information, please call Sheri Barke at (661) 362-3244.
Note: Content and themes may not be suitable for younger audiences.
September 18, 2007
College, President to Receive National Honor
Already recognized throughout the state for staff development excellence, College of the Canyons announced this week that its professional development program and Superintendent-President Dr. Dianne Van Hook will be honored by the National Council for Staff, Program and Organizational Development (NCSPOD), for determined efforts in the advancement of employees.
The NCSPOD was formed in 1977 through the vision of community college faculty, staff and program development practitioners across the country -- who shared a mutual need for developing industry knowledge and skills while sharing information and networking within the field.
The group's annual international conference, which features the discussion of practical approaches to common problems in the field, will be held this year in Buffalo/Niagra, New York, October 10 to 13. Its awards ceremony, the highlight of the conference, will honor both the college and Van Hook, who will be presented the annual College President/Chancellor's Award in recognition of her outstanding leadership in support of professional development programs at College of the Canyons and throughout the state.
"I am so thrilled to be honored with this award," said, Van Hook. "I encourage everyone in higher education to dream of what they can accomplish for our students and our communities, and then I work creatively to support them as they develop the skills they need to bring their dreams to reality."
Throughout her 19 years of service to the Santa Clarita Community College District and College of the Canyons, and her 35 plus years in higher education, Van Hook has played a major role in helping to create and implement professional development programs -- which have served as models for other colleges to adopt.
"Professional development is not a program -- it is not a one-time thing -- it is, rather, a long-term commitment to innovation, to change, to people, to programs and builds on a belief in possibilities, dreams, the power of teamwork, and the potential of our greatest human resource - the people in our profession," Van Hook said.
Under Van Hook's leadership COC has added professional development to the college's mission statement, instituted a full-time staff development director position, and provided funding for the college's wide-scale professional development program. For the past seven years, Director, Leslie Carr has managed the program, organized within the district's human resources office.
Van Hook also initiated an educational incentive program for classified staff, encouraging the pursuit of higher education and professional growth, as well as the establishment of classified leadership awards, and she organized a management staff development program -- which was awarded the 2001 Outstanding Staff and Organizational Development Activity by the California Community College Council for Staff and Organizational Development. In addition, Van Hook supported the development of the Theodore Hesburgh award-winning Associate Program for adjunct faculty development and the college's Institute of Teaching and Learning.
"This high level of dedicated leadership has provided the direction for the college's professional development program," said Diane Fiero, Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources at the college, "Dr. Van Hook's work sets the tone for an organizational climate at the college in which employees can thrive and work together to achieve common goals, reach their greatest potential and meet the challenges of being leaders with great success."
The college's faculty members say they directly benefit from her efforts. "Dr. Van Hook believes that educators within the system need to understand the goals of the college and know the foundation and principles upon which California community colleges are founded," said Claudia Acosta, chair of the foreign languages department. "One of many ways she accomplishes this complex task is through a leadership seminar on campus. She shares with faculty the history and the role of community colleges while coaching them to explore professional options within the system. She is without a doubt a great educational leader who inspires people to find and follow their passion contributing positively to the educational system. The outcome is: educators who are proud of serving, and who want to contribute to the system. In one word -- commitment."
Van Hook's efforts have not been limited to College of the Canyons, as her extensive involvement in statewide staff development programs is equally impressive. She started the Association of California Community College Administrators Mentor Program in 1990, and has served as a formal mentor to more than 40 community college administrators statewide - while also demonstrating her commitment to the advancement of women leaders in higher education as a member of the organizing team, a participant and a presenter at the Asilomar Women's Leadership Skills Seminar.
Van Hook also founded the California Community College CEO Conference, is co-founder of the California Administrators Leadership Skills Seminar, and is one of the founders of the statewide Classified Staff Leadership Training Institute.
As the professional development program director at the college, Carr will accept the NCSPOD Institutional Merit Award, recognizing the college for its excellence in the delivery and impact of professional development programs, and for its longtime and continued promotion of such programs on surrounding community college campuses.
"We are honored and thrilled to receive this award, recognizing our outstanding professional development program. This group represents community colleges in the U.S. and Canada, placing our program among the best of the best in most of North America," Carr said. "We work very hard to provide quality programs and lots of choices for development activities because we place great value on the advancement of our employees."
Carr said the college is dedicated to seeing the improved professional growth of its faculty, staff and administrators, and operates under the expectation that all employees will engage in professional development activities each year through the college's Flexible Calendar (FLEX) program.
The various professional development workshops incorporated into the FLEX program operate with a goal to allow College of the Canyons staff members the ability to acquire job skills in technological advancement, institutional effectiveness, student support, excellence in teaching and learning, and foster the importance of creating a sense of community among students and staff, while inspiring innovation and enabling the development of leadership skills of all staff members.
Other professional development opportunities available at College of the Canyons include the Institute for Teaching and Learning, which helps faculty members hone their teaching skills; the Associates Program, designed for adjunct faculty, annual administrative retreats, and a thriving mentor program.
"We offer a comprehensive program for all district employees that focuses on leadership development, technology training, institutional effectiveness, student support and success, and promoting excellence in teaching and learning," Carr said.
September 17, 2007
Campus Art Gallery Expands Operating Hours
The Art Gallery has expanded its hours for the fall semester in order to accommodate gallery visitors.
"We hope the gallery's expanded hours will create more opportunities for visitors to appreciate the talent and creativity visible in our students' work and those of professional artists," said Larry Hurst, gallery director at the college.
The art gallery will be open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Mondays, from 11 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Tuesdays through Thursdays and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays.
Visitors unable to attend during these hours are welcome to call the gallery at (661) 362-3612 to make an appointment.
For more information, please visit the college's website at www.canyons.edu
or call the COC Art Gallery at (661) 362-3612.
September 13, 2007
Dream and Discover at Entrepreneurs Conference
Community members interested in either starting or expanding their own business or learning the secrets of those who have already achieved business world success are invited to the second annual Dream and Discover Entrepreneurs Conference hosted by College of the Canyons.
Featuring an accomplished panel of speakers - including award-winning photographer and entrepreneur Steve Uzzell as the event's closing keynote speaker - this year's conference will take place Tuesday October 2, 2007 from 8 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. in the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center.
"The Dream and Discover Entrepreneur Conference will provide timely information to entrepreneurs and small business owners in Los Angeles County and the surrounding areas," said Peter Bellas, Director of the Center for Applied Competitive Technologies at College of the Canyons. "It will be equally valuable to entrepreneurs who have a great idea involving technology as well as those small business owners and entrepreneurs in the retail or service sector."
The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at College of the Canyons serves a 2,838 square mile service area, which includes the Santa Clarita, San Fernando and Antelope Valleys. Since opening its doors in January 2006 the SBDC has assisted more than 2,500 individuals with free consultation services and low-cost business training.
Last year's conference provided tips to more than 200 small business owners and budding entrepreneurs about business marketing methods and how to better plan for business growth and access capital, while also discussing the various challenges associated with starting a new business.
"This event is extremely important in the continuing economic development of our community," COC Superintendent-President Dr. Dianne Van Hook said. "It will prove valuable to entrepreneurs and small business owners alike, and will no doubt help them turn their ideas into new ventures."
As this year's keynote speaker, Uzzell will use samples of his work to present conference attendees with a lesson on how to remain open to unexpected business solutions, while also stressing the importance of preparation and groundwork in order for magic to happen.
Now one of the top advertising and corporate photographers in the country, Uzzell got started in the photography business 35 years ago as an assistant to the editor of National Geographic and a member of their photography staff. He now shoots for a roster of clients including airlines, automobile manufacturers and various travel and fashion magazines.
Joining Uzell at the conference will be Rohit Shukla, founder and CEO of the Larta Institute - a professional services firm providing entrepreneur training, commercialization and technology transfer services to its clients - and Kevin Malone, co-owner of Mercedes Benz of Valencia and former executive vice president and general manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Shukla will present an action plan for entrepreneurial success in today's global markets while also examining knowledge flows, the process of achieving entrepreneurship as a team and the U.S. market as the launching pad for building an effective global presence.
Malone's presentation will discuss what it was like working for a big organization versus what it is like working for himself, while also touching on the role of vision, teamwork and planning in the business world.
In addition, a three-member investment panel made up of Nia Stefany, founder and managing partner of Xnergy, Al Schneider, vice chairman of Pasadena Angels, and Matt Ridenour, managing director of Momentum Venture Management, will try to raise the awareness of entrepreneurs about available capital possibilities and the financial needs in a business' startup and growth stages.
"Small businesses are the economic engine for business growth in our region and the SBDC is committed to providing more resources to entrepreneurs and small businesses in the area," said Paul De La Cerda, SBDC director and chair of the event. "The conference will continue to help small business owners and entrepreneurs learn how to build their business and reach their financial goals."
Ticket prices for the event, which include a continental breakfast, are $39 if purchased in advance, $49 at the door, or $15 with a valid student ID.
Immediately following this year's conference the college will host SpeedBIZ - an interactive information session featuring eight SBDC professional business consultants and representatives from Citibank and Poole & Shaffery, LLP from 12:15 p.m. to 2:45 p.m. The cost to attend SpeedBIZ, which includes lunch, is just an additional $20.
The 2007 Entrepreneurs Conference is being organized by the College of the Canyon's Economic Development Division which includes the Small Business Development Center, Center for Applied Competitive Technologies, Employee Training Institute, and the i3 Advanced Technology Incubator.
Corporate sponsors for the conference include event sponsor Citibank and JF Design, Mellady Direct Marketing, Union Bank of California, Staples Business Advantage, SCV Bank, Mission Valley Bank, Momentum Venture Management, Pasadena Angels, Xnergy, The Entrepreneur's Source and Sign-A-Rama.
Event partners include the U.S. Small Business Administration, California Community Colleges Economic & Workforce Development Department, city of Los Angeles, city of Santa Clarita, city of Palmdale, Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce, North Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce, Palmdale and Antelope Valley Hispanic Chambers of Commerce and Valley Industrial Association.
To learn more about the event, register to attend or learn how to become a conference sponsor please visit www.canyonsconference.com
or call the College of the Canyons Economic Development Division at (661) 259-3874.
September 13, 2007
Public Invited to Opening Celebration for New Campus
Even though the College of the Canyons Canyon Country Campus has already been holding classes for a number of weeks, college officials are inviting the community to an Opening Celebration, to tour and visit the $51.6 million new facility.
Set to include food, live entertainment, living history exhibits and child activities and a variety of campus giveaways and raffle prizes, the Canyon Country Campus (CCC) will also provide an opportunity for community members to meet college faculty, administrators and staff members -- including counselors -- who will be on hand throughout the day to share specific program and department information and help enroll interested students in late-start classes.
The College of the Canyons CCC Opening Celebration will take place Saturday, Oct.6, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., at 17200 Sierra Hwy. in Canyon Country.
"This new Canyon Country Campus is a place where student dreams, community vision and the college's commitment have joined to create a very special place for student learning and community development," said Dena Maloney, founding dean of the CCC. "The same dedicated and talented faculty and staff who've made College of the Canyons the number one transfer college in Los Angeles County, and who've created the statewide model for economic and workforce development, are working together with you, our community, to define the types of unique programs that will allow this campus to fulfill its mission, meet our student's needs and create that special place."
Helping to make at least one lucky student's dreams come true will be the event's top raffle-prize-package of one free year of college - including a scholarship from the College of the Canyons Foundation, a parking permit donated by the college's student services office, textbook gift certificates from Barnes and Noble and school supplies from Staples.
Other prizes being raffled throughout the day include a laptop computer donated by CBC Cleaning and Restoration, a GPS navigation device from NE Systems Inc., Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center tickets and a variety of gift cards donated by local businesses.
Located on Sierra Highway, less than two miles north of Soledad Canyon Road, the CCC is terraced into the rolling hills of the 70-acre site, which provides a sweeping view of the surrounding terrain. Opening with 24,000 square feet of instructional space -- which includes two science labs, two computer labs, a library, a book store, a PE building, an Early Childhood Education facility and 23 classrooms complete with wireless Internet connectivity -- the CCC serves more than 3,000 students and is offering more than 300 courses in the inaugural semester alone.
In addition to the high number of transferable, basic skills and vocational education courses and associate's degree and certificate programs being offered at the CCC, students will also have access to a number of non-credit and community extension courses.
Also included on the CCC will be the William S. Hart Union High School District's Early College High School - in which students take both high school and college level classes, with a goal to graduate with both a high school diploma and associate's degree. The ECHS opened with 85 students in its freshman class, and will add a new class each year.
At build-out, currently scheduled for 2015, the CCC will serve nearly 10,000 students and contain seven permanent multi-story buildings, the first of which is scheduled to begin construction during the 2008-09 academic year.
"This campus represents many things. For our students it represents opportunity, access, an open door and a future," COC Superintendent-President Dr. Dianne Van Hook said. "But for me it represents what can be done when you look where you want to go long-term versus just where you're going with your next step. It represents the power of belief, and it is a visible representation of the spirit and context with which College of the Canyons operates."
September 13, 2007
Sustainable Development Committee Hosts Book Discussion
The Sustainable Development Committee will kick off their fall semester lineup of environmentally informative events with a discussion of the book "Planet U: Sustaining the World, Reinventing the University," by Michael M'Gonigle and Justin Starke.
The discussion, which will be led by COC faculty member and Sustainable Development Committee (SDC) member Alene Terzian, will take place Tuesday, September 18, from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. in Hasley Hall room 232.
Described as an easy, but extremely useful and informative read, "Planet U" reviews the roughly 900-year-long modern history of the university, while also examining several North American and European environmentally-themed campus initiatives.
The authors of "Planet U" contend that colleges and universities are at the forefront of the sustainability movement, but also question their ability to properly equip and prepare students to deal with this generation's more serious societal questions, including conservation and long term sustainability.
The book goes on to suggest that colleges and universities need to begin playing a more serious role in the sustainable development movement, and begin focusing on a mission to create models of local and global innovation around questions including: how institutions of higher education can help society become a post-automobile and energy saving society; how colleges and universities can help the cities they reside in become more sustainable; and how colleges and universities can be better governed to promote sustainability.
"We think this book is going to be a good start to this season of discussion," said SDC Chair Jia-Yi cheng-Levine about the semester's lineup of events, which includes book discussions, film screenings, panel discussions and a student sustainability project contest. "This book will help the reader realize higher education's role in the sustainable development movement, while also examining examples of what some colleges and universities have done to reinvent curriculum with a sustainable development theme and create a network of support for the movement."
For more information about the College of the Canyons sustainable Development Committee or the September 18 book discussion of "Planet U: Sustaining the World, Reinventing the University" please visit www.sdcommittee.com
or contact Jia-Yi Cheng-Levine at (661) 362-5806.
September 11, 2007
Hart District Host College & Transfer Day
More than 60 colleges and universities will descend on College of the Canyons on Saturday, September 29, for Santa Clarita Valley College & Transfer Day 2007. Representatives will be on hand to provide information about their schools and programs to COC students interested in transferring, college-bound high school students and their parents. The event will take place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Sponsored by College of the Canyons and the William S. Hart Union School District, the day will feature a mall-like area where students can stop and speak with representatives of the schools. Workshops and presentations are also scheduled that will provide in-depth discussions of admissions procedures, financial aid processes, insights into the UC, CSU, community college systems and much more.
"We're really glad to host an event of this magnitude that benefits local high school students and our COC students," said Herlisa Hamp, Director, Office of Student Recruitment & School Relations for the College. This is the forth year that College Day has been held on the COC campus and the attendance has grown dramatically. "We've also added some new workshops to help students be better prepared when applying to the four-year institutions," said Hamp.
College & Transfer Day is also an opportunity for parents and students to get acquainted with the COC campus since recent studies show that 60 percent or more of William S. Hart Unified School District graduates go on to attend College of the Canyons. For parents and students interested in finding out more about what College of the Canyons has to offer, several departments will have representatives on hand to share information about their various majors.
Admission to the event is free, as is parking in all COC student lots.
Note to Editors: A partial list of colleges, universities and affiliated businesses that plan to participate follows.