These outdated news releases and advisories are stored here for archival purposes. 


January 31, 2008

Spring Community Education Classes Start Next Week

The Community Education Department is offering several non-credit classes for older adults, many starting the week of Feb. 4, 2008. 

The classes include Gardening as Self Expression, Life-Long Learning Through Basic Spanish, Computer Resources: Computer and You II. 

“Community Education classes are fun and are held in a relaxed environment,” said Jennifer Brezina, interim dean, noncredit and community education. “These factors make the classes all the more enjoyable.”

Gardening as Self Expression teaches students how to select, plan, nurture and group flowers and plants for either indoor or outdoor gardens. The class is held from 4 to 5:30 p.m. on Tuesdays at Valley Oak Village in Newhall and on Thursdays at Fountain Glen Valley in Valencia.

Adults can learn the skills necessary to communicate with Spanish speaking individuals in the community by taking Life-Long Learning Through Basic Spanish. The class is designed for individuals who have little or no background in Spanish. Two sections are available from 11 a.m. to noon on Saturdays at Canyon Country Senior Apartments, and from 3 to 4:30 p.m. on Thursdays at the Santa Clarita Valley Senior Center. 

Computer Resources – Computers and You II helps older adults learn the hands-on skills to become informed and prudent users of computer technology. Students will learn how to safely use the Internet, email and web-based services such as online information services in the areas of medicine, law and finance. One section of the class is held 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday at the college’s Canyon Country campus.

January 31, 2008

Unleash Your Inner Hobbit

College of the Canyons will hold auditions for three different spring productions, including The Hobbit, the New Works Festival, and for a series of one-act evenings featuring the works of contemporary playwrights. Auditions for all three will be held in the Black Box Theater of the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, February 6th and at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, February10th.

“We are going to have a number of great opportunities for our students and community members in these three productions,” said Mark Salyer, producer for the College of the Canyons Theatre Department.

Actors must be 16 years of age and older, and all experience levels are welcome. Those auditioning need to prepare a short contemporary monologue — about one minute in length — to perform on either audition date, with call-backs to follow.

The J.R.R. Tolkien classic, The Hobbit, will be performed on the main stage in May, and will be directed by award-winning Randee Trabitz. The series of one-act evenings, directed by Steve Whelan and Leigh Kennicott, will be held in the Black Box and will include the works of Sam Shepard, Carol Churchill and other esteemed playwrights. David Stears will direct the selections from the New Works Festival, sponsored by the English and Theatre Departments at COC. 

January 31, 2008

Casting Call: Auditions Set for Three Theatre Productions
College of the Canyons will hold auditions for three different spring productions, including “The Hobbit,” the New Works Festival and a series of one-act evenings featuring the works of contemporary playwrights. Auditions for all three will be held in the Black Box Theater of the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 6 and 1 p.m. Sunday, Feb.10.
“We are going to have a number of great opportunities for our students and community members in these three productions,” said Mark Salyer, producer for the College of the Canyons Theatre Department.
Actors must be 16 or older, and all experience levels are welcome. Those auditioning need to prepare a short contemporary monologue — about one minute in length — to perform on either audition date, with call-backs to follow.
The J.R.R. Tolkien classic “The Hobbit” will be performed on the main stage in May and directed by award-winning Randee Trabitz. The series of one-act evenings, directed by Steve Whelan and Leigh Kennicott, will be held in the Black Box and include the works of Sam Shepard, Carol Churchill and other esteemed playwrights. David Stears will direct the selections from the New Works Festival, sponsored by the English and Theatre Departments at COC.

Upon being cast, students are required to register for the Theatre 190 class at College of the Canyons.

January 30, 2008

Focus the Nation Conference at College

What:  College of the Canyons’ Sustainable Development Committee is hosting the Focus the Nation Conference: Global Warming Solutions for America.

When:  9 am to 5:30 pm, Thursday, January 31, 2008

Where: The Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center on the College of the Canyons Valencia campus. (Additional activities will occur at other campus locations. See information below.)

Who: Keynote addresses will be given by Dr. Dianne Van Hook, Superintendent-President, College of the Canyons; Bill Ichord, Vice-President Government Relations, Sempra Energy; and Marsha McLean, City of Santa Clarita Councilwoman and former Mayor.

Why: College of the Canyons’ efforts are part of the larger Focus the Nation movement started by Lewis and Clark College in Oregon. More than 1,400 colleges and universities across the nation will engage on Thursday in a day of action through seminars, workshops, and other educational activities and events to discuss global warming solutions.

More than 370 local citizens have already pre-registered online for College of the Canyons’ conference at The conference and registration is free.

Sponsored by the Southern California Gas Company, the Associated Student Government, the City of Santa Clarita, and 25 other corporate, civic, and non-profit sponsors, the conference will include three breakout sessions of 10 panel discussions each.

The broad topics for the three breakout sessions are “Historical Roots of Current Environmental Problems,” “Roles of Education in Building a Sustainable Future,” and “Practical Solutions and Tips We All Can Use.”

A play titled,“Time Capsule Can Save The World... And Other Tips,” will be performed by Joanna Trafecanty’s fourth grade class from North Park Elementary School. The play will be performed twice. The first performance will take place at approximately 9:40 a.m. and the second performance at approximately 5 p.m. Both performances will occur on the main stage of the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center.

The Associated Student Government is coordinating an opportunity to sign letters or write emails to local and federal officials advocating for current legislation in securing a better environmental future. This activity will occur in the Student Center Computer Lab, Room STCN-124, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Other components of the conference will include a vendor fair in the lobby of the Performing Arts Center and a tour of the campus highlighting the college’s sustainable development efforts.

A benefit concert featuring classic rock tribute bands Ticket to Ride (Beatles) and 5150 (Van Halen, the Sammy Hagar era) will be held at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 1, at the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center to raise funds for student scholarships and internships. Tickets are $15, $20, $25 and $30 with a $5 discount for students with identification, children 12 and under and seniors 60 and older. Tickets may be purchased by mail or in person at the PAC box office located on the College of the Canyons campus in Room S-127 of the Student Center. For ticket information or box office hours please call (661) 362-5304.

January 29, 2008

New Spanish Training Available for Local Businesses

The Employee Training Institute at College of the Canyons is now certificated as an official registered provider of Command Spanish language and cross-cultural training programs. Command Spanish is the nation's leading provider of occupational Spanish language and cross-cultural training and materials. 

As an Official Registered Provider, the Employee Training Institute can offer on-site, job-specific Spanish language and cross-cultural training in more than 30 occupational areas, including nursing, law enforcement, dentistry, public safety, construction, hospitality, banking, office management, warehousing, manufacturing and retail sales. Classes on the college's Valencia campus will be offered based on local business interest beginning in February. 

All Command Spanish programs are non-grammar based, and are focused on enabling the trainee to be understood rapidly, using phrases key to an individual occupation. No previous Spanish language experience is necessary to enroll in classes, which are low-stress, occupation-specific, and run for a total of 8 to 24 hours. 

The Employee Training Institute is the contract education unit of the Economic Development Division of the College of the Canyons.  ETI's mission is to be the training partner of choice for employers of the Santa Clarita Valley, by providing convenient, high quality, customized, affordable training of all types to employees in the Santa Clarita Valley.

January 29, 2008

Double Vision: Photographs of Melvin and Michael Nelson at Art Gallery

Photographers Melvin and Michael Nelson, father and son, are the subject of a moving and amusing exhibition to open at the College of the Canyons Art Gallery on February 5. The aesthetic connection between this father and son duo may not be apparent, but the impact of the father's work on the son is unmistakable. “This exhibition allows the viewer to witness two distinct sensibilities expressed through photography but with a different intent and style,” said gallery director, Larry Hurst.  

The exhibition runs through February 28.

Melvin Nelson photographed his three sons as they grew up in Illinois during the 50’s and 60’s. With the backdrop of vacation destinations, such as Disneyland, these images take on an additional historic significance. “Utilizing an instinctual gift for composition and an intuitive use of equipment,” stressed Hurst, “he created works that might bring to mind the photographs of Diane Arbus or Elliott Erwitt.”  

“There are reasons sons become photographers,” said Michael Nelson, and the inspiration generated by his father’s work laid a groundwork for his own development. In contrast to the sometimes amusing work of his father, Michael’s photographs are cool and elegant images from the series Floorwork, which he shot using a long exposure at floor level, creating fluid effects similar to those found in painting.

A reception for the artists will be held in the gallery from 3 to 6 p.m., Saturday, February 9, 2008, and the public is encouraged to attend.

The College of the Canyons’ Art Gallery is located in Mentry Hall in the center of the Valencia campus. It is open to the public 11:00 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday 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 schedule an appointment.

January 18, 2008

Admissions & Records Office Now Open Saturdays

In a move to help students with busy schedules, the Admission and Records Office at College of the Canyons is permanently extending its office hours to include Saturdays.

With the exception of Saturdays following a Friday holiday, Admission and Records will be open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.  Students will also be able to speak to representatives in the counseling and student business offices, which will allow students to settle all their admission needs in one convenient stop.

“We are always looking for ways to make things easier for our students,” said Jasmine Ruys, director of Admission and Records at the college. “The new hours will help us accommodate students who may work during the week or who only take Saturday classes.” 

During the week, the office will operate under regular hours, from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Monday though Thursday and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday. Online services are available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. 

January 17, 2008

College Names New Managing Director for Performing Arts Center

Adam Philipson, who holds a Master of Arts in Organizational Management with a special customization in arts management from Antioch University, reported to his new position on January 2. He replaces outgoing PAC theatre manager Karen Schmidt who relocated to Nevada.

“I had the opportunity to tour the Performing Arts Center when it first opened and have since seen some performances in it and have been able to watch how well it has served the community. I’ve been absolutely impressed with how well it’s run,” Philipson said, “I see this as a great opportunity to help take the PAC to the next level and that’s really exciting.”

With an extensive 16-year-long professional acting background which included roles in several Off-Broadway performances, two national tour theatrical productions, and one Broadway role with over 400 performances as Eugene Morris Jerome in Neil Simon’s “Broadway Bound,” — in addition to more than 100 national and local television and radio commercials and appearances in more than 25 episodic television programs and feature films — Philipson comes to College of the Canyons by way of neighboring Santa Monica College (SMC), where he has worked since 1999. 

During his tenure at SMC, Philipson held a number of different positions but most recently served as both the assistant director of the Madison Project at SMC, the non-profit operating entity of the college’s $45 million performance and visual arts center, and managing director of the Madison Performance Series and accompanying youth arts education programs.

As part of his duties at SMC, Philipson was responsible for producing all of the Madison Project’s performance-related and fundraising activities, the oversight of the theatre’s $2.4 million annual operational budget and accompanying district departmental and foundation budgets, as well as the coordination and booking of all artists for the SMC Performance Series.

“Mr. Philipson’s professional experience made him a very strong candidate for this position,” said Dr. Floyd Moos, COC dean of fine and performing arts. “Our hiring committee was especially impressed with his passion for theatre administration and arts education and his commitment to community involvement and community outreach programs. We strongly believe he will be an asset to the continued development and success of our Performing Arts Center, the college and the Santa Clarita Valley community.”

Responsibilities of the PAC managing director include the planning and executing of all fundraising, marketing, promotional, public relations and communications programs in support of the facility, the booking of talent for the “COC Presents” professional and academic performance lineups and the oversight and implementation of the PAC’s short and long term business goals and educational/entertainment objectives.

While at SMC, Philipson was involved in a number of community outreach and arts education programs, including collaborations with the Los Angeles Opera Company and The Museum of Tolerance, to offer an after-school Opera Camp and the development of various K-12 arts education programs and performances in the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District.

“We created and administered a program where we provided kids who wanted to learn to sing opera with in depth training and work with Los Angeles Opera artists and directors,” said Philipson about the program in which students eventually performed an opera originally written and performed inside the Terezin concentration camp located in what is now the Czech Republic during World War II.

“That was a really wonderful and rewarding collaboration to be able to bring three major institutions together like that,” Philipson said. “And it was a very rewarding and profound experience for the kids, they just had an amazing time.”

As part of the arts education partnership between SMC and the Santa Monica-Malibu district Philipson helped coordinate a series of educational arts performances for students of all ages to attend throughout the school year.

“There are many statistics showing what happens to students when they are versed in the arts and educated in the visual and performing arts standards,” Philipson said. “As arts education funding continues to be cut in local schools, performing arts centers have increasingly been stepping in to fill that role, so working with the local school districts here in the Santa Clarita Valley is something that I'm absolutely excited about.”

However, Philipson seems most excited about the opportunity to build on the tradition of industry excellence already established by College of the Canyons the PAC and its staff.

“What I was really drawn to about College of the Canyons and the Performing Arts Center is that the facility is being used by professional groups, by the college and by the community and that blend is really attractive,” Philipson said. “One of the things I tried to do at Santa Monica College was to find new and interesting ways to work with students and partner with faculty, so I'm really excited about developing that type of synergy with the students, faculty, staff and surrounding community here at COC.”

January 15, 2008

Adventurers Wanted for Archaeology and Anthropology Class 

Harrison Ford will be reprising his role as the snake fearing archaeologist, Indiana Jones, in this summer’s sure-to-be-blockbuster movie “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,” because even after nearly 20 years since the film’s last installment, snakes and skulls still sell. 

This spring, College of the Canyons will be offering Anthropology 105: An Introduction to Archaeology and Prehistory, a class that blends the fields of archaeology and anthropology and provides students with a global overview of archaeology and human prehistory from human origins to the development of state societies. 

“Archaeology provides an incredibly important perspective about the world,” said Richard Martinez, chair of the anthropology department at the college. 

“The course will change the way students look at the world,” added Martinez. “It will both whet their appetite to see it first-hand and deepen their understanding of the past and the need to preserve and protect it.” 

Borrowing from many other fields such as geology, geography, botany and anatomy, the class will introduce students to working with data and obtaining field and laboratory experience without being a science major. Students can also acquire useful skills in measuring, statistical description and critical thinking. 

Held on Wednesdays from 7 to 10 p.m. at the College of the Canyons Valencia campus, the class will be taught by Matthew Curtis, a working archaeologist who is currently doing research on early humans in Africa. 

January 15, 2008

College’s Small Business Development Center Honored
The Small Business Development Center won top honors at the 2007 Annual Los Angeles Regional SBDC Network meeting, winning three of the four awards that were presented, including “Top Overall Performing SBDC” and “Highest Overall Long-Term Clients.”
The college’s SBDC team member, Gil Murphy, was also awarded the “Top Consultant Award” at the awards ceremony held on Dec. 12 at the Crown Plaza in Los Angeles.
“Our organization’s hard-working and professional staff has allowed our center to grow and make a difference in the local economy by helping over 2,000 businesses in its first two years,” said Paul De La Cerda, director of the Small Business Development Center. “We are grateful for the support we receive from College of the Canyons and our corporate and government sponsors, which allows us to continue to serve business owners in the Antelope, San Fernando and Santa Clarita valleys.”
Since January 2006, the SBDC has served more than 3,000 people and has conducted more than 160 business and training seminars. The SBDC has assisted with $1.5 million in capital investment into the local economy and has helped create 51 new jobs.
“The work done by the Santa Clarita SBDC, hosted by College of the Canyons, has in a very short period of time been noteworthy,” said SBA District Director Alberto G. Alvarado. “All small business owners and those aspiring thereto should be pleased with the services that are available through the SBDC. The recent recognition that was afforded the College of the Canyons and its entrepreneurial staff underscores their commitment to the community in support of our growing small business sector. We salute director Paul De La Cerda and the entire staff for their work and this well deserved honor.”
Funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration, the California Economic Workforce Development Program, community business sponsors and host institutions, Small Business Development Centers offer free one-on-one business counseling and low-cost training workshops in English and Spanish providing special programs for minority, women, disabled and veteran owned businesses. Determined to help the local economy remain vibrant and strong, the COC SBDC fosters small business growth, offers one-stop assistance and a wealth of information, expertise and guidance to business owners and budding entrepreneurs in North Los Angeles County.
“College of the Canyons is proud of the role it plays in the ongoing development of Santa Clarita's dynamic economy. Fostering the growth of small businesses is an important aspect of our mission, and something we take seriously,” said Dr. Dianne Van Hook, College of the Canyons Superintendent-President. “Being recognized for the excellent job we are doing is extremely gratifying.”

January 14, 2008

College Art Gallery Hosts Weaving Demonstrations with Local Fiber Artists

The Art Gallery will host two upcoming weaving demonstrations in conjunction with the gallery’s current exhibition “The Fine Art of Weaving: Reconnecting to the Hand Woven Tradition” that will run until Jan. 28, 2009. 
The demonstration schedule is: 

●  “The Spin In”—from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on January 24.
●  Weaving—from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on January 28.

“People seem to enjoy talking to the weavers and seeing the process,” said Larry Hurst, the college’s art gallery director. 
Co-curated by Hurst and Diane Stewart, the college’s dean of early childhood education and training programs and a local gifted weaver, the exhibition features the woven works of more than 20 local fiber artists. Pieces such as traditional shawls, garments and mounted abstractions are on display.

Art gallery events are open to the public.

The College of the Canyons Art Gallery is open 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. 

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

January 10, 2008

Volunteers Needed for Veterans History Project at College

This spring, College of the Canyons is calling for volunteers to begin interviewing the more than 20,000 veterans living in the Santa Clarita Valley to preserve their war experiences as part of the Library of Congress' nationwide Veterans History Project.

The project includes an in-depth interview of the participant, which will either be videotaped or audio recorded. A copy of the interview will be sent to the American Folklife Center of the Library of Congress where it will be archived and accessible for future generations. 

“The Veterans History Project provides a wonderful opportunity for those who have served our country to share their stories, as well as to create a setting whereby young and old can learn from their experiences,” said Patty Robinson, dean of social sciences and business division at the college.
Created by the U.S. Congress and signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 2000, the Veterans History Project aims to provide first-hand accounts of those who served in WWI, WWII, the Cold War, Korean War, Vietnam War, Persian Gulf War, or the current Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts. The project also includes the accounts of U.S. citizen civilians who supported the war efforts as war industry workers, USO workers, medical volunteers and other roles. 

As of 2005, the U.S. Census Bureau estimated that 24.5 million U.S. veterans from various wars remained alive, but almost 9.5 million of them are over the age of 65. 

The college is working directly with several community partners, including local veterans, Herb Hightower and Morris Deason, Pat Saletore of the SCV Historical Society and Becky James of the Sepulveda Veterans Project. 

The deadline to sign up as a volunteer is Feb. 22. Volunteers will interview veterans throughout the spring semester and use interviewing kits supplied by Congress.  

The Veterans History Project is also linked to Vets Back to War Zone, a local program that takes veterans back to the war zone for post-traumatic stress therapeutic purposes. 

For more information about how to be a volunteer or how to be interviewed, please contact Hightower at (661) 299-1487 or Robinson at (661) 362-3992. 

January 7, 2008

College Art Gallery Exhibit to Focus on Fine Art of Weaving

For the first time, the College of the Canyons Art Gallery will exhibit the intricacy and vibrancy of weaving in the exhibition “The Fine Art of Weaving: Reconnecting to the Hand Woven Tradition.”  

The exhibition will run from January 12 to January 28 and feature the woven works of several local fiber artists. Pieces such as traditional shawls, garments and mounted abstractions will be on display. 

“It’s amazing to scrutinize these works,” said Larry Hurst, the college’s art gallery director. “As a painter, I am naturally drawn to the rich color and abstraction created by this process. These are objects that will appeal to everyone.” 

A weaving is a textile composed of two interlacing threads, the warp and the weft.  Most modern weavers use a loom, but other methods are also employed. 

A reception for the artists will be held from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, January 17. 

Art gallery events are open to the public and admission is free. 

The College of the Canyons Art Gallery is open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday and Wednesday; 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday and Friday; 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.

January 3, 2008

College Receives $1.3 Million Emerging Technologies Grant

Subject: Check Presentation Ceremony

Time: 3 p.m., Friday, January 4, 2008

Place: The check presentation ceremony will be held on the College of the Canyons Valencia campus, Aliso Laboratory Building, Room 113. 

Participants: U.S. Rep. Howard P. “Buck” McKeon, 25th Congressional District
Mr. Sandy Baruah, Asst. Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development
Mr. Ernie Tichenor, President, College of the Canyons Board of Trustees
Dr. Barry Gribbons, Assistant Superintendent/Vice President, Institutional Development, Technology and Online Services 

Event:  A check for $1.3 million from the Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration will be presented to College of the Canyons by Asst. Secretary Baruah and Congressman McKeon. The money will be used by the college to develop and support a new Emerging Technologies training program, the only such program in Southern California to train workers.  

Between 1990 and 2003, California lost 372,000 manufacturing jobs, while Los Angeles County saw a decline of more than 300,000 factory workers.  This program, a joint effort of the Engineering and Biology departments, along with the Economic Development Division at COC, will help prepare workers for new, high wage jobs in advanced manufacturing and biomed/biotech companies.

Manufacturing creates 2.5 additional secondary jobs for every new manufacturing job. Manufacturing jobs generate four and one-half times more secondary employment than retail jobs. In addition, the United States Department of Labor estimates that biological technicians, a key biotechnology occupation, are expected to grow significantly by 2012, outpacing the growth of biological scientists.

COC will purchase equipment to train laboratory technicians for employment in companies using biotechnology, nanotechnology and autonomous technology. The advanced equipment needed for this program will be located in the new Science Lab Building (Aliso Laboratory) on the campus.