2009 NEWS ARCHIVE
Outdated releases stored for archival purposes only
August 26, 2009
JPL Scientist to Present Findings of Phoenix Mars Mission
In collaboration with the Santa Clarita Valley Astronomy Group, the College of the Canyons astronomy and physics department will host the presentation “Results of the Phoenix Mission (to Mars),” led by Robert Denise of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, on August 28.
“This is a rare opportunity for anyone with an interest in space and astronomy to learn more about this groundbreaking mission from someone who was part of it, from start to finish,” said Ram Manvi, dean of mathematics, sciences and engineering at the college.
Launched on August 4, 2007, NASA’s Phoenix spacecraft traveled 423 million miles to the red planet, where it landed on May 25, 2008. For five months, Phoenix collected data in a Martian arctic plain that would help determine the planet’s history of water and its ability to support life. But as the harsh Martian winter approached, the solar-powered spacecraft began to lose power and the mission was completed. Even so, the mission’s findings were indispensable to the science community.
"Not only did we find water ice, as expected, but the soil chemistry and minerals we observed lead us to believe this site had a wetter and warmer climate in the recent past -- the last few million years -- and could again in the future," said Phoenix Principal Investigator Peter Smith of the University of Arizona, Tucson, according to the mission’s Website.
A resident of Santa Clarita, Denise has worked at NASA for more than 14 years, most recently as Tactical Mission Manager for the Surface Phase of the Phoenix Mission.
Denise’s presentation will be held from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Aliso Hall (Room 108).
Admission is free.
August 20, 2009
New Program Introduced to Improve Student Success
College of the Canyons will introduce a new program in the fall for students who need additional academic support and skills to help them succeed in the college classroom.
Sponsored by the Skills for Success initiative, the new program will offer instructor-led one-hour workshops on a variety of topics from fractions to essay writing. The workshops are designed to supplement classroom learning by providing students with additional practice and by reinforcing skills such as time management or note taking.
“Supplemental Instruction has achieved dramatic results nationwide,” said Denee Pescarmona, faculty coordinator of the Skills for Success program. “Our program will bring the benefits of supplemental instruction to College of the Canyons students.”
For students whose schedule does not allow them to attend a workshop, the Supplemental Instruction program offers individualized learning activities that can be completed at the student’s convenience in the college learning center with the help of a tutor.
“We have brought together faculty from various disciplines to design and teach activities that promote student success in courses campus wide,” said Jose Martin, co-coordinator of the SI program.
All workshops and individualized learning activities are free and will be held in the college’s Tutoring/Learning/Computer (TLC) lab. No registration is required.
August 20, 2009
Small Business Center Serves 100th Client in San Fernando Valley
The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) hosted by College of the Canyons (COC) has served its 100th small business client with one-on-one personal business counseling in the San Fernando Valley since the satellite office opened in February 2009.
“We are delighted to be providing these valuable services to business throughout the San Fernando Valley,” said SBDC Director Steve Tannehill. “We now have twelve business advisors providing a wide range of services to thousands of small business start-ups and existing businesses throughout northern Los Angeles County.”
The 100th client is a four-year-old industrial supply retailer and national wholesaler with more than $1 million in gross annual sales. The company was in need of overall business management assistance and help with securing new financing through an SBA loan to help lower their debt, explained Ben Tenn, SBDC business advisor who leads the team of SBDC counselors.
The COC-based SBDC, which launched in Santa Clarita in January 2006, is one of the most successful and effective centers in all of California and was ranked No. 1 in Southern California in 2007 and received the SBA Innovation and Excellence award for the Los Angeles District in 2009.
The SBDC, which provides programs and services to the small business community on behalf of the Small Business Administration, receives financial support from its host, COC and the State of California, local government and corporate sponsors. Those services include, but are not limited to, business start-up and expansion, business plan development, marketing and sales strategy, accounting and finance, access to capital and loan packaging, international trade and import/export, logistics, manufacturing, human resources and employment issues, legal issues, web site development, e-commerce and government procurement.
The SBDC also leads an ongoing monthly series of low-cost training workshops such as Effective Marketing for Small Business, How to Secure an SBA Loan, QuickBooks 101 and Advanced Email Marketing for Small Business among many more.
“I have been very busy meeting with several new entrepreneurs and experienced business owners in nearly every industry, product or service category who are confronting many issues in this challenging economy,” said Tenn, who specializes in business start-ups, marketing, sales strategy and overall business management.
Tenn has more than 35 years of business experience with a focus on marketing, sales and general management. He has been a corporate executive for Disney and Activision and the co-owner of a small business valued at $10 million. An independent business consultant since 1996, Tenn is a successful presenter of marketing seminars, a columnist for the San Fernando Valley Business Journal and a marketing instructor for UCLA Extension. He received his MBA from UCLA.
August 14, 2009
Volunteers Needed for Science and Engineering Education
Continually exploring new and innovative ways to enhance the academic experience associated with the college’s science and engineering programs, the College of the Canyons Mathematics, Sciences and Engineering Technologies (MSET) division is currently looking to establish partnerships with individuals interested in advancing technology-based education in the Santa Clarita Valley.
The fast-paced developments in the science and technological fields combined with the budget restraints associated with the current economic climate and lack of adequate resources are sure to place considerable stress on the educational community for the foreseeable future.
To address this challenge, the college’s MSET division has launched the Volunteers in Partnership (VIP) program in order to establish a series of collaborative partnerships with local volunteers interested in opportunities to share their knowledge and expertise in an academic setting.
What does a VIP volunteer do?
VIP volunteers work alongside College of the Canyons faculty, adjunct faculty and staff to assist with and enhance the day-to-day operations associated with classroom and laboratory instruction.
Volunteer opportunities are available in the following departments and programs:
biology, chemistry, physics, engineering, nanotechnology manufacturing and mathematics.
Who can volunteer?
VIP welcomes all volunteers with a math, science, engineering or technology background and relevant professional experience. Specifically, VIP is seeking volunteers who:
Can serve as positive role models for College of the Canyons students.
Are outgoing, friendly and enjoy working as part of a team while interacting with students and division faculty and staff.
Are interested in enhancing the math, science, engineering and technology-based programs at the college.
Understand the importance of the college’s technology-based course offerings and their relation to the well-being of the SCV— and both the state and nation’s future economies.
When can you volunteer?
VIP volunteer commitments are flexible and can be scheduled around each volunteer’s personal schedule.
What are the benefits of being a VIP volunteer?
In addition to the personal satisfaction that comes from working with students and promoting student success and academic achievement, VIP volunteers will know what it means to part of the College of the Canyons family.
The college is a great place for community members to share their time, talents and experiences while helping to promote the type of student success and academic achievement that is so beneficial to local communities.
August 14, 2009
College Students Excel on Land Surveying Exam
In April, seven College of the Canyons students sat down to take the Land Surveyor In Training (LSIT) exam -- a very rigorous test that is administered by the state and is part of the process to becoming a state licensed surveyor. All seven students passed the exam, which had a 36.2 percent pass rate.
“I am so proud of each of our students and the tremendous effort and commitment each has made toward attaining their professional and educational goals,” said Regina Blasberg, chair of the surveying department at the college. “It is seeing the success of the students that makes teaching so wonderful.”
In order to take the exam -- which is offered only twice a year -- students must have completed at least two years of post-secondary education in land surveying, have at least two years of land surveying experience, or have one year of each, explained Blasberg.
The land surveying program, which was introduced at the college in fall 2006, was created in response to the community's need for trained professionals necessary to catch up with construction in the Santa Clarita Valley. In June, the program graduated its first student with an associate of science degree in land surveying.
“Our program is designed to get them started on their career path and prepare them for an entry-level position,” said Blasberg.
Land surveyors measure and record property boundaries and the topography of the land covered by construction and engineering projects. Surveys are used to establish legal boundaries, prepare maps and exhibits, and are the basis for written descriptions of land tracts that satisfy legal requirements. Surveyors use mathematical reasoning ability to visualize objects, measure distances, sizes, and other abstract forms. They must be precise and accurate in their work because mistakes can be costly.
August 13, 2009
College Holds Second Annual Non-Profit Fair
College of the Canyons will host the second annual Non-Profit Fair on Sept. 16, which will have more than 25 non-profit groups and organizations to reach out to students and community members and explain how they can help further their non-profit causes.
“In this financially difficult time, our community non-profits desperately need our involvement,” said Jennifer Hauss, director of the college’s service learning program, which is sponsoring the event. “Students participating in the Service Learning program are able to make their college educations more relevant by becoming involved and engaging with their community.”
The service-learning program allows students to apply the concepts and theories they learn in the classroom to real-life situations and challenges through volunteering in their community.
“Education becomes more relevant,” Hauss said about the program’s benefits. “Students are able to network and explore career options while they enhance their grades and give back to our community.”
Some organizations that have already signed on to participate are Ahead With Horses, Betty Ferguson Foundation, City of Santa Clarita, Department of Child & Family Services, County of Los Angeles, Domestic Violence Center of SCV, Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles, Habitat for Humanity of San Fernando and Santa Clarita Valley, Help the Children, Project Kindle, Single Mothers Outreach, Special Olympics of the Santa Clarita Valley, The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and Valley Trauma Center.
The fair will be a great opportunity for all students, faculty, staff and community members to learn about our community-based, non-profit organizations’ missions and volunteer opportunities.
The fair will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Student Center atrium.
Admission is free and open to the public.
August 13, 2009
Valencia Campus Traffic Advisory
The City of Santa Clarita has completed repaving work on Rockwell Canyon Road just in time for the start of the fall 2009 semester.
Please note that if you use Rockwell Canyon Road to access the campus, the striping of the road has been changed to accommodate bike lanes and dedicated turn lanes into our parking lots. These changes are designed to make access and egress from our parking lots safer and more efficient.
The addition of the bike lanes is an acknowledgement that more and more people will be using bikes to get to campus. Drivers should be mindful of the potential presence of more bikes on Rockwell Canyon road and exercise caution and good judgment so we minimize the possibility of accidents.
As with any change in traffic patterns, drivers should be extra careful and pay close attention. It won’t take long for everyone to become comfortable with the changes.
The safety of our faculty, staff, students and visitors is paramount, so please drive carefully and enjoy the fall semester.
August 11, 2009
40 Ways to Change Your Life at College of the Canyons
Could you use a free laptop? How about a 1-in-40 chance to win one as College of the Canyons kicks off its “40 Ways to Change Your Life” promotion in celebration of the college’s 40th Anniversary.
Starting the week of Aug. 17, the college will release a fun, 40-second video examining different ways people can change their lives at COC. Forty different videos will be released once a week for the entire 2009-10 academic year-- excluding the two weeks the campus is closed in December -- culminating during Finals Week in May 2010.
Each video will only be posted on the college’s Facebook page, though, so anyone hoping for a chance at the laptop will have to sign up for a free account if they don’t already have one. A Twitter account is also needed, because at some point during each video, a “Twitter Word of the Week” appears. The first person who tweets that word to the COC Twitter account wins a COC 40th Anniversary flash drive, and is entered into a drawing at the end of 40 weeks for the laptop.
“These are fast, fun informational videos taking a look at some of the non-traditional activities taking place at the college, from auditioning for a play to getting help finding a job,” said Bruce Battle, director of advertising and public information at College of the Canyons. “Lots of people come here for a terrific college education, but not everyone knows about all the exciting events going on that anyone could take part in.”
The videos will be posted on a random day each week. Those people who become “fans” of the COC Facebook page will get an inside scoop on when the video will be available.
“If we’re going to post a video on a Thursday, for example, fans will get a notice on Thursday morning that that’s the day it will go live,” said Battle. “It makes being a fan of the page all the more important for a chance at the laptop.”
“It’s important for the mission of the college to be visible in various social networking sites, such as Facebook,” said Sue Bozman, vice president district communication, marketing and external relations at College of the Canyons. “This is a creative program that has fun while still providing information about the amazing opportunities at COC.”
August 10, 2009
Performing Arts Center Program Introduces Children to Arts
Early first-hand exposure to the arts can play an important part in child development, but such access is limited for many children at a time when art programs are cut from school curriculums because of lack of funding.
Launched last year, the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center K-12 Arts Education Outreach program exposes students to the visual and performing arts, while also collaborating with teachers and administrators in local school districts to develop an enhanced arts education curriculum.
“This program is particularly exciting because it not only gives local students an introduction to the arts, but it also gives them a chance to connect with their community college,” said COC Chancellor Dr. Dianne Van Hook. “In an effort to help all students pursue their goals and succeed, it’s never too early to introduce students to new ideas and opportunities.”
Through school assemblies, bus-in programs, classroom visits and family performances, students can enjoy performances that meet or exceed the state of California’s Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA) standards.
“We anticipate reaching more than 10,000 children this year alone,” said Adam Philipson, PAC managing director. “Our goal is to work closely and serve students from each of the five districts in Santa Clarita.”
A brochure of the new season’s art education offerings has been sent to every superintendent, principal and teacher and school PTA in the Santa Clarita Valley, said Philipson. “We have already received many calls and are very excited about the response.”
Among the new season’s offerings are student assembly performances by legendary tap dancer Skip Cunningham, harpist and flutist Arpa y Aulos, The Santa Clarita Symphony’s Children’s Instrument Petting Zoo, The Mary Pickford Institute’s mobile editing studio and a 45-minute interactive recital by LA Opera.
Bus-in opportunities are also available for schools interested in attending free performances by The Crayon Court, Spirit of Uganda and the Lula Washington Dance Theatre.
August 11, 2009
Open House Slated for Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook University Center
An open house event for the Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook University Center will be held on Aug. 20 to introduce prospective students and community members to the new center, which will be completed in time for the fall semester.
Held from 4 to 7 p.m., the event will give prospective students and community members the chance to talk with university representatives, meet with academic counselors, learn about financial aid programs and fill out admissions applications. In addition, visitors can take a sneak peek at the new state-of-the-art facility that will open for classes on Aug. 24.
“The University Center is a godsend to those of us who have full-time careers and busy family lives,” said Cathy Ritz, interim director of the Center and chief operating officer of the college’s foundation. “The University Center allowed me to complete my educational goals without the stress of having to leave the Santa Clarita Valley.”
In light of the lack of upper-division, graduate school and continuing education programs in the Santa Clarita Valley, the University Center was created to increase student access to advanced degrees by forging partnerships with surrounding four-year colleges and universities, which will make their academic programs available to students at the Center.
While these academic opportunities have been available at the college’s Interim University Center since 2002, students enrolled in University Center programs in the fall will be among the very first to utilize the center’s brand new classrooms and exceptional educational facilities.
Located on the southern boundary of the Valencia Campus -- positioned to command a spectacular view of the valley -- the 110,000-square-foot Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook University Center is expected to house up to 10 partner institutions and offer more than 50 bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees and credential programs. Current partner institutions include University of La Verne, UCLA Extension, Chapman University, National University, California State University (CSU) Bakersfield and CSU Northridge.
August 6, 2009
Ribbon-Cutting Event Scheduled for Culinary Institute
Subject: Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony (Invitation only)
Time: 11 a.m. Friday, Aug. 7, 2009
Place: Institute for Culinary Education (I-CuE), 24300 Town Center Drive, Valencia
Event: A ribbon cutting ceremony for College of the Canyons’ new Culinary Arts teaching facility located in a former restaurant space at the Westfield Valencia Town Center.
Formerly housed in the college’s Valencia campus cafeteria and co-located in a crowded space with the cafeteria’s food service operation, the new facility’s increased size, layout and design will allow the Culinary Arts program to expand by offering classes throughout the day, on weekends and in a variety of formats.
Speaking at the event will be Mrs. Joan MacGregor, President of the college’s Board of Trustees; and Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook, Chancellor; Audrey Green, Associate Vice President, Academic Affairs; Cindy Schwanke, Culinary Arts Instructor; and Murray Wood, Chief Development Officer, College of the Canyons Foundation.
Note: I-CuE is led by Cindy Schwanke, an accomplished chef with more than 25 years of professional culinary experience. Before joining the College of the Canyons Culinary Arts Program three years ago, Cindy worked as a pastry chef for The Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel, Wolfgang Puck’s famed Spago restaurant, Goodfood catering, and the Hyatt Hotels. Joining her in seasoning the next generation of chefs are a cadre of adjunct professors, including Daniel Otto, executive chef of The Oaks Grille at Tournament Players Club Valencia, and DiMaggio Washington, sommelier and winemaker.
August 4, 2009
Individual Tickets for Performing Arts Center Season on Sale Aug. 13
Individual tickets for the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center’s 2009-2010 season at College of the Canyons will go on sale at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 13, 2009.
“We have a very exciting season this year including performances from well-known artists such as Pat Benatar and Neil Geraldo, Kris Kristofferson and Three Dog Night,” said Adam Philipson, PAC managing director. “We have worked hard to create a season with broad appeal.”
World-renowned artists Pat Benatar and Neil Geraldo, Kris Kristofferson, Three Dog Night and Steve Tyrell are the headlining acts in the Chancellor’s Choice series. The Cabaret on Stage series, which sold out last year, will be offered again this season with intimate cabaret-style performances from Linda Purl and Kevin Spirtas. The In Motion series includes performances from the Lula Washington Dance Theatre and Champions of Dance, which features stars from ABC’s "Dancing with the Stars" and international ballroom and Latin dance champions.
The Great Performances series will offer an assortment of multicultural performances from the traditional Irish group “Danu” and from “Spirit of Uganda,” a group of East African children who will fill the Center with the sounds of their homeland. The McDonald’s of Santa Clarita Almost Free Family series offers affordable family-friendly entertainment with the help from “Max and Ruby,” “The Crayon Court” and “A Year With Frog and Toad.”
On Dec. 6, country music star Phil Vassar will take the stage for the 2nd annual Go Country 105 acoustic holiday concert.
August 3, 2009
Art Gallery Presents Photography of Robert Glenn Ketchum
The College of the Canyons Art Gallery will exhibit the photography of landscape photographer and environmental advocate Robert Glenn Ketchum from Aug. 24 through Sept. 19.
“When you first view Mr. Ketchum’s work, you are immediately impressed by the sheer beauty and impeccable quality of these photographs,” said Larry Hurst, director of the college’s art gallery. “Upon further investigation you discover the passionate environmental advocacy that invests these images with their extraordinary power.”
After graduating from UCLA and experiencing an epiphany in the California redwoods, Ketchum began focusing exclusively on landscape photography. Soon he was doing work for the Sierra Club and eventually became the Curator of Photography at the National Park Foundation. It was during this time that he realized a bond was developing between him and the environment. “I decided that maybe there was some way, within the work, to speak out on behalf of the land or to make the work serve it,” said Ketchum.
He has had more than 400 solo and group exhibitions and published 12 books of his photographs. His work can be found in major museum collections around the world.
A reception for this exhibition will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. on Aug. 25 at the College of the Canyons Art Gallery. A lecture and book-signing is scheduled for 5 p.m. on Sept. 17.
This exhibition and all related events are free and open to the public.