These outdated news releases and advisories are stored here for archival purposes. 


April 30, 2008

College to Host 12th Annual Student Art Exhibition

The Art Gallery will host the 12th Annual Student Art Exhibition this month, featuring an estimated 100 pieces created by students from the college’s art, photography, animation, graphics and multimedia, interior design and architecture, and radio television film departments.

“Our annual student show is an opportunity for our students to submit their best work for exhibition,” said Larry Hurst, director of the COC art gallery. “I’m always impressed with the level of creativity and skill that I see coming out of all of our visual arts classes here at COC, so I have no doubt that this will be a wonderful exhibition.”

A traditionally juried exhibition, this year’s invited juror will be Debby Doolittle, curator of the UCLA Medical Plaza’s arts program — which works to place artworks throughout the UCLA medical facilities.

Students can submit up to three pieces each, with Doolittle then deciding which pieces will be included in the exhibition. “It’s a competitive process designed to encourage our students to pay attention to all details of being a professional artist,” Hurst said.

The College of the Canyons 12th Annual Student Art Exhibition will run from May 14 through May 29. An artist’s reception will take place in the art gallery Wednesday May 14, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The COC Art gallery is open Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

April 25, 2008

College Hosts Open House for Engineering, Computer Science Programs
The Mathematics, Sciences and Engineering Division in collaboration with the college’s Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) program, will host an open house on May 6 that will showcase the college’s engineering, computer science, surveying, construction management and computer networking departments.

“We hope the open house will demonstrate to students, parents and local educators that an affordable and high-quality education in engineering and computer science can be attained at their local community college,” said Susan Crowther, director of MESA. 

After a tour of the college’s new state-of the-art engineering facilities in Aliso Lab, the engineering and computer networking departments will demonstrate autonomous robots that respond to the human touch, and explore fun activities such as building bridges and bottle rockets. Visitors will also have an opportunity to use a remote control robotic arm “armed” with a camera. 

Students interested in computer science might be interested in the short presentation, “Why not do both?” that demonstrates how students can achieve a computer science degree by attending COC and nearby California State University, Northridge.
“The two programs are so closely articulated, students can save time and money while reaching their educational goals,” said Crowther.  “High school students might not know this, but the salaries for engineering and computer science graduates have increased over the last year.” 

According to a quarterly survey done by the National Association of Colleges & Employers, the average starting salary for computer science and mechanical engineering graduates was $52,177 and $54,695, respectively, in 2007. 

The surveying program will present a movie about the program — with take-home copies available — and have surveying equipment on display.
The open house will be held in Aliso Lab, Room 114 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

For more information about the open house or the MESA program, call (661) 362-3448.

April 24, 2008

Dragon Sighted at Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center

Goblins, trolls, dwarves and an ancient red dragon descend upon the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center at College of the Canyons as the COC Theatre Department presents the timeless fantasy-adventure The Hobbit, from Thursday, May 1 through Sunday, May 4. 
“Its a fantasy spectacle with a huge cast, puppeteers, and a very large dragon,” said COC adjunct professor and director Randee Trabitz. 
Based on the novel by J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, a prequel to the immensely popular Lord of the Rings trilogy, tells the tale of the Hobbit Bilbo Baggins as he teams up with a band of dwarves and the powerful wizard Gandalf on a journey to the Lonely Mountain in search of lost treasure. 
Trabitz is adding her own twists and surprises into the story, including just where Middle-Earth is located.
“We’re staying true to the values and ideas of the story,” said Trabitz. “Its still about how the smallest of any of us can always be a hero.”
The Hobbit starts at 7pm, Thur. May 1 through Sat. May 3, and at 2pm on Sun. May 4. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students, seniors and children under 12.  Giant fire-breathing dragons are, as always, admitted free. 

April 21, 2008

Law Day Event Asks the Question ‘Can you BYOJ’ 

Encouraging both students and community members to “approach the bench and be heard,” College of the Canyons will host a Law Day event in celebration of the nationally recognized day’s 50th Anniversary.
Featuring live music, student debates and a special presentation on the issue of appointed versus elected judges — with insight and commentary from United States District Court Judge Otis Wright, Jr. and California Superior Court Judge Daniel J. Buckley — College of the Canyons Law Day will take place Thursday May 1, from 1p.m. to 2:30 p.m. on the Valencia campus.
“Our judicial branch of government rarely makes front page or headline news. However it is arguably the most important branch of government because the judiciary makes decisions about real people everyday,” said Nicole Lucy, COC Paralegal Studies Department Chair. “The decisions of judges and juries impact our lives directly and immediately. It just happens one person at a time.”
In 1958 the first Law Day was proclaimed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower to be a “day of national dedication to the principle of government under law.” Nationally, Law Day 2008 will explore the meaning of the rule of law, while also fostering a better public understanding of the rule of law through discussion of its role in a free society.
Organized entirely by a student planning committee, the college’s Law Day event theme was inspired by former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor’s recent article in the Los Angeles Times’ Parade Magazine, entitled “How to Save Our Courts.” In it O’Connor expresses her concerns about the state of the judiciary in America, specifically “the manner in which politically motivated interest groups are attempting to interfere with justice.”
“Justice O’Connor’s article highlights why an independent judiciary is so important,” Lucy said. “It inspired the planning committee to want to learn more about the issue and seek out a judge’s opinion about the process. The topic begged the question as to whether one day it would be possible to ‘Buy Your Own Judge’ (BYOJ).”

April 21, 2008

Junior High Summer Institute to Debut at College

Offering more than just the typical summer camp experience, the new College of the Canyons Community Education Junior High Summer Institute provides parents with a reliable day care option, while presenting students with a series of stimulating hands-on activities dedicated to highlighting possible career paths.

Designed for incoming seventh and eighth-graders, the Junior High School Summer Institute allows students the option of selecting from a group of fun and innovative curriculum tracks — designed and taught primarily by College of the Canyons faculty members — in the areas of film, fine arts, photography, science and theatre.

“We created the Summer Institute with two things in mind,” said Gina Bogna, director of community education at COC. “To expose young minds to possibilities that may encourage a career path, and to provide an alternative to the traditional day-care summer camp.”

With no homework and no grades, students will be free to focus on their daily experiences and decide what subject areas interest them most. “I essentially asked our faculty to create curriculum they’ve always wanted to teach, but couldn’t because it wasn’t in their course outline,” Bogna said. “So the curriculum offered here will contain very little theory and instead consist of primarily hands-on activities.”

Parents and students interested in attending can plan on a three-week immersion experience in all things fun, during which instructors will expose students to a specific area of expertise in an exciting and age appropriate manner, Bogna said. In addition, each curriculum track will include a specific career component, allowing students to learn how the class or project they are working on may lead to a future job or career path.

The College of the Canyons Junior High Summer Institute will run Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. from June 16, 2008 through July 3, 2008, and will consist of three one-week sessions:

Session One: June 16 — July 3, at a cost of $225.
Session Two: June 23 — June 27, at a cost of $225.
Session Three: June 30 — July 3, at a cost of $180.

Parents have the choice of enrolling their student for one curriculum track for the entire three-week period, or a different track for each weekly session. However students must sign up for all three weeks in order to register for the theatre track.

For parents and students wishing to extend the day, a free bonus hour from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. — featuring concepts from “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens” and other career related material facilitated by Junior Achievement — is also available.

With a unique approach that allows volunteer community members to share their life experiences with students, Junior Achievement is the world’s largest organization dedicated to educating students about workforce readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy.

“I’m really very excited about the institute; nothing like this is available for older adolescent children in this valley,” said Bogna. “I believe once word gets out about the program, the seats will fill quickly. We are set up to serve 100 students each week, so parents wanting their kids to participate should register now to secure a spot.”

Look for the College of the Canyons Community Education summer schedule in your mailbox beginning this week!

For registration information about the College of the Canyons Community Education Junior High Summer Institute, call (661) 362-3300.

Online registration is not available for the Junior High Summer Institute sessions due to the necessary registration forms and parent signatures.

April 15, 2008

Former District Attorney Gil Garcetti to Speak at Earth Day Celebration

This month College of the Canyons will host an Earth Day celebration featuring giveaways, vender booths, student presentations and a variety of environmentally themed panel discussions — including a special presentation on water and sustainability by former Los Angeles County District Attorney, and highly acclaimed photographer, Gil Garcetti.

Sponsored by the COC Sustainable Development Committee, the Earth Day event will take place Tuesday April 22, 2008 from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the College of the Canyons Valencia campus.

“We invite all community members to take part in our Earth Day celebration,” said Jia-Yi Cheng-Levine, chair of the college’s Sustainable Development Committee, “as we use these presentations and panels as a way to open up a community-wide discussion about the environment and our responsibilities in caring for it.”

Highlighting the day’s events will be the special presentation on water and sustainability by Garcetti at 2:30 p.m. in Boykin Hall 105. During the presentation Garcetti will share photos and experiences stemming from his book “Water is Key,” which focuses on safe water, health and the empowerment of women in West Africa and serves as a call to action for people in the industrialized world to become involved in helping bring safe water to that part of the globe.

“Everyone who attends, I’m sure will be touched by his presentation,” Cheng-Levine said.

Having spent 32 years in the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office, serving as the elected District Attorney from 1992 to 2000, Garcetti has always had a passion for urban photography. His first photography book, “Iron: Erecting the Walt Disney Concert Hall” received high praise for the use of photographs to both emphasize the immense contribution of American ironworkers and capture the beauty of the curved, angled and bent raw steel of the title structure. 

As a follow up, Garcetti’s second book “Frozen Music,” served as an interpretation of the abstract art included in the finished design of the Walt Disney Concert Hall. Now the author of five photography books, in 2003 American Photo named Garcetti one of the country’s four master photographers.

In addition, the panel discussion “Careers in Green,” focusing on the many environmentally friendly jobs and career paths available to students, will take place from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. in Boykin Hall 105.

“Even as a business person you can use those skills to do something positive for the environment,” said Cheng-Levine, “so we want to show people that you can go green and still profit from it.”

The day’s second panel discussion “Air Quality and Sustainability” will be held at 1 p.m. in Boykin Hall 105, and features the insights of City of Santa Clarita Sustainability Planner, Heather Mirenda, and Craig Grossman, President of Allied Bioscience Services — whose company is using new technology to address indoor air quality as a worldwide health issue.

From 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., students from Newhall Elementary School will share an environmental video presentation and follow up discussion about some of the ways kids can get involved in protecting the environment.

Later, students from Northpark Elementary School will perform the environmentally themed play “How Time Capsules Can Save the World and Other Tips,” at 12:30 p.m. in the COC amphitheater.

As a prelude to Earth Day, the COC Sustainable Development Committee has teamed with 1-800-GOT-JUNK to sponsor an e-waste collection date, Saturday April 19 from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the College of the Canyons Valencia campus.

April 9, 2008

College Appoints New Chief Development Officer

The Santa Clarita Community College District and the College of the Canyons Foundation have announced the appointment of Murray Wood to the post of Chief Development Officer — a position dedicated to securing major gifts and donations to the college in order to provide greater access and increased opportunity to COC students.

Wood, who comes to COC with more than 30 years of experience as a non-profit organization executive, will work closely with COC Superintendent-President Dr. Dianne Van Hook, the Board of Trustees and the Foundation to coordinate and lead the college’s ongoing fundraising endeavors, identify potential donors and develop and maintain collaborative relationships with community leaders, while ensuring the integration of the Foundation’s strategic plan to meet identified development goals and objectives.

“Fundraising and development are a lot like rocket science, we move from stage to stage, and at some point in the life cycle of an institution you are ready to move on to the next stage,” said Wood. “And that’s why I’m here, to help move our program up to the next level.”

The College of the Canyons Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)(3) auxiliary organization supporting the District by generating funds to support programs for student success and innovation. With more than 10,000 donors, the Foundation provides financial resources for scholarship endowment, educational programs, and capital improvements, which can mean the difference between ordinary and extraordinary programs and services.

“We are thrilled to have Murray join our fundraising team,” said COC Foundation Chief Operational Officer Cathy Ritz. “His extensive experience and high level of expertise will certainly help take the Foundation to the next level.”

As a highly skilled and successful development officer, Wood has considerable experience in raising funds for healthcare, human services and most notably institutions of higher education — a group Wood is admittedly passionate about serving. “I understand the value that higher education has in society, in the lives of students and the lives of their families,” Wood said. “So to be able to make a difference and help in that area is very important to me.”

In striving to help make that difference at COC, Wood is eager to familiarize himself with the campus and surrounding Santa Clarita Valley community, while beginning to form friendships and partnerships that will help serve the college. 

“I see part of my job as making friends and helping friends. So I envision that I’m not going to have too many free weekends or evenings in the next couple of months,” Wood said, referring to the many community events he has already been invited to attend. “But I’m excited to get out and around so that people can identify me with the college, and so I can become familiar with the folks that care most about COC.”

Though impressed with the college, the campus and the many programs and opportunities already available to students, Wood commented that in his new position the opportunity to seek out new and innovative projects and funding them will be very important.

“I think the campus looks very impressive,” Wood continued. “But it also seems to me that it would be advantageous for us to recognize people who have a philanthropic impulse and want to help the college, by offering them the opportunity to name these facilities in perpetuity so that they and their families, and heirs to come, will have a lasting legacy with College of the Canyons.”

Another immediate need recognized by Wood is to enhance the college's endowment fund, by helping donors wanting to leave enduring gifts that will play a vital role in the future of both the college and surrounding community. 

“Endowments are just one way of contributing, but it’s the gift that keeps on giving,” said Wood in reference to the fact that only the interest earnings of endowment gifts are used, leaving the principle to continually generate income for the college. “So one of our goals will be to have our endowment fund increase many fold.”

Wood’s history of work for institutions of higher education begin in 1996 at Ben-Gurion University of Negrev in Israel, where he served as the Southwest Regional Director, and was responsible for the University’s regional fundraising and public relations programs.

Beginning in 1999, Wood served as Associate Vice President for University Development at California State University, Northridge (CSUN), and was responsible for the overall direction and management of its fund development program. 

“I was there at a very formidable period of time,” said Wood about his time at CSUN, after the 1994 earthquake when major repairs and rebuilding construction was taking place. “So our development efforts were very much geared to support the growth that was taking place during that rebuilding.”

Wood went on to discuss some of the similar challenges facing both CSUN and COC in terms of their respective development needs — pointing out that both campuses are considered commuter schools, both are shadowed by larger surrounding institutions in the area, and both are state funded which often leads to a false perception that outside support isn’t needed.

While at CSUN Wood achieved an outstanding record in fundraising, including securing several major gifts of more than $1 million, while also successfully soliciting an individual major gift valued at $35-$38 million — the largest gift ever donated to a California State University campus. In addition, Wood led the effort to increase CSUN’s level of private support from $5 million in 1998-1999, to a record $23.4 million raised in 2003-2004.

In 2004 Wood assumed the post of Vice President of Institutional Advancement at the Monterey Institute of International Studies, and was again responsible for the direction and management of a comprehensive institutional development program. More recently Wood served as Director of Development and Marketing at New Direction, Inc. — a leading mental health and substance abuse recovery program for homeless U.S. veterans — from 2005-2007.

Prior to his appointment at COC, Wood served as the Executive Director of Variety — The Children’s Charity of Southern California — an entertainment industry-based organization dedicated to raising funds for the purpose of inspiring hope, enriching lives and building a better future for the children of Southern California.

“Fundraising and development are long processes, and they don’t happen over night. It’s a process of relationship building, and that’s why we call it development, because you are developing lasting relationships with the donors,” Wood said.

“So I try to match the interests of the perspective donor, with the priorities of the college. And hopefully you are able to achieve a favorable outcome, where the college is grateful for the support and the donor feels like they’ve done something that gives them a legacy into the future.”

April 9, 2008

Acclaimed Communications Strategist to Present at Performing Arts Center

Nationally acclaimed speaker and communications strategist, Dr. Pamela Cox-Otto, will visit the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center at College of the Canyons in May for a set of presentations focusing on generation gaps in the workplace and techniques to connect with and teach multi-generational students.

Considered an expert in generational communications, Dr. Cox-Otto brings a wealth of knowledge and experience on the topic of marketing to multi-generational audiences, blending the latest research in the field with a deep understanding of the needs of her audiences. 

Known to utilize a wild sense of humor at her presentations, her all-time favorite speaker’s review came from a college president who remarked, “If Robin Williams were a woman, he would be Pam.”

The first of the day’s two presentations, “Marketing to a Multi-Generational Audience,” will take place Monday May, 12 from 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. on the PAC main stage, and focus on how businesses can better survive the rough edges formed between the many generation groups — including traditionalists, baby boomers, gen-Xers, and millennials.

Geared towards business minded individuals, the presentation will include implications for improving not just day-to-day operations in the workplace, but also employee retention and recruitment levels, while strengthening marketing strategies. 

Following the presentation a panel of business professionals — including Jay Thomas, CEO of Six Flags Magic Mountain and Dr. Nora Hughes, CEO of Hughes Consulting Group, an international organizational development consultant firm — will be on hand to respond to Dr. Cox-Otto’s suggestions and take part in a question and answer session.

“There are at least four recognized generational groups in the United States, and with many global companies there are even more,” said Bruce Getzan, COC Dean of Economic Development. “This session is a wonderful opportunity for anyone associated with a business, industry, government, educational or professional organization, who may be dealing with these workplace intergenerational issues on a daily basis.”

Tickets to attend are $49, with group rates available.

The second presentation, “Connecting With and Teaching Today’s Multi-Generational Students,” will take place from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the PAC. Admission is free. 

During the presentation, Dr. Cox-Otto will look at how generations are shaping the classroom experience while discussing what educators should know about teaching in a multi-generational environment.

“This session should be of particular interest to teachers, faculty members, administrators and indeed all those involved in instruction,” said Leslie Carr, COC Director of Professional Development. “Educators throughout the Santa Clarita Valley and from other community colleges in the region are all invited to attend.”

Dr. Cox-Otto is the co-founder and CEO of Interact Communications, a communications service agency dedicated to providing media and marketing services to community colleges across the country.

Prior to forming Interact Communications, Cox-Otto spent more than 20 years working with community colleges, first in the California Community College System and later in the Wisconsin Technical College System. Also the author of books on website design for college recruitment and college branding, Cox-Otto is a frequent national keynote speaker.

Her Ph.D. is in Communications from the University of Minnesota, her Masters is in Communications from California State University, Long Beach, her BA is from Humboldt State University and she attended McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento.

April 4, 2008

Second City Touring Company Brings Laughter and Learning to College

Five lucky community members will have the opportunity to both laugh and learn alongside the world famous Second City Touring Company this month, as the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center at COC will offer a free improv for actors master class as a prelude to the company’s performance of “One Nation, Under Blog.”

“This is a great opportunity for interested community members to get involved, beyond just buying a ticket, and learn the skills of improv from a group of well trained performers,” said Adam Philipson, Managing Director of the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center.

With an alumni list that includes comedy legends John Belushi, Bill Murray, Mike Myers, Gilda Radner and Chris Farley, The Second City has been the place for young, upcoming comedians to perfect their skills while delivering laughs.  

Having performed to packed houses across North America for more than 45 years, the funny and fast-paced comedy of The Second City will take the main stage at the Performing Arts Center at 8 p.m., Saturday April 19.

“We can’t wait to perform for a California audience, and we’re especially excited to be playing a unique state-of-the-art venue like the Santa Clarita (Performing Arts Center) at College of the Canyons,” said Second City Touring and Theatricals Producer, Jenna Altobelli.

In addition, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the day of the show, The Second City Touring Company will host an improv for actors master class designed to teach COC performing arts students scenic improvisation, with an emphasis on connection and relationship — using concepts such as supporting the ensemble, mirroring, exploring and heightening, give and take focus, wants and intentions, subtext, scenic structure, given circumstances, beats and points of view.

“Providing the opportunity for our COC Performing Arts students to work closely with the Second City ensemble is very gratifying,” said Dr. Floyd Moos, Dean of Fine and Performing Arts. “World class artists booked into the PAC not only benefit the community, but also make possible a value-added instructional experience for our students.”

Perfect for college level actors and intermediate level improvisers, this unique educational opportunity will be made available, on a first come first served basis, to as many as five community members who wish to participate in the workshop.

April 4, 2008

College, Hoefflin Foundation Deliver ‘Wishes’ to Children with Cancer

Subject:  Delivery of donated gifts to children suffering from cancer
Time: 9:30 am until deliveries are completed, Saturday April 5, 2008
Meeting Place:  COC Student Center 
Event: COC administrators and Board of Trustees members partner with the Michael Hoefflin foundation volunteers to deliver wishes to the children with cancer.  For the last six years, this partnership has touched the lives of more than 150 children. Every wish has always been granted, and usually in abundance. This year, College of the Canyons staff and students are granting 22 wishes worth more than $9,100.