National Science Foundation Awards $3 Million to College
College of the Canyons has been awarded a four-year grant totaling $3 million from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The grant establishes the California Regional Consortium for Engineering Advances in Technical Education (CREATE) Renewable Energy Regional Center, and will create and expand courses and workforce training programs to help address the high demand for renewable energy technicians throughout the state.
The bulk of the grant money will be used to create new curriculum, purchase supplies and equipment, hire new instructors and/or train current faculty, perform outreach in local junior high and high school classrooms, and introduce renewable energy curriculum examples to local teachers.
Funding will also go toward developing renewable energy programs and workforce training at the consortium’s partner colleges, which include: Cuesta, Cerro Coso, Allan Hancock, Santa Barbara City, L.A. Pierce, Moorpark, Oxnard, Merced and Porterville; California State Universities in Los Angeles, Fresno and Channel Islands; and University of California, Davis.
“We are very enthusiastic about taking on this leadership role, as the grant will create unique opportunities for students throughout the state,” said COC Chancellor Dr. Dianne Van Hook. “With the funding, we can move forward in equipping students with the skills and education needed to secure well-paying positions. That, of course, will lead to significant positive economic impacts in those communities where our partner institutions are located.”
College of the Canyons developed the CREATE consortium in 1996 as a way to develop a regional approach to workforce preparation and training and meet emerging industry needs related to advances in high-demand engineering technology fields.
Colleges involved with the consortium serve as demonstration sites for regional technical workshops that pilot-test new curriculum, delivery systems and professional development programs in the area of technical teacher training.
Most recently the CREATE center fulfilled the objectives of a grant which provided funding for the development of a variety of both Information Technology and Manufacturing Technology-related courses and programs.
Funded by the NSF Advanced Technological Education (ATE) program — which was designed to strengthen the preparation of technicians for the high performance workplace of advanced technicians — the CREATE Renewable Energy Center at College of the Canyons is one of just 36 ATE centers of excellence in the nation.
“The NSF Advanced Technological Education program wants to fund innovative projects that meet emerging technical needs in a region. College of the Canyons has a proven track record of working with industry to help colleges in the region create the kind of technical curricula that will produce successful employees for emerging workforce needs,” said Kathy Alfano, COC faculty member and director of the CREATE Center.
“Our goal is to make sure the curricula of all our consortium colleges meet industry needs,” added Alfano, “and give our students the best preparation possible, so they are well qualified for the emerging renewable careers in our region.”
Through the consortium, College of the Canyons can now begin a wide scale assessment of the renewable energy curricula available at partner colleges, in order to better align those courses, programs and training methods with both the current economic climate and the identified needs of industry partners and employers throughout the region.
“With that assessment the college will be able to play a larger role in determining what curriculum areas most need to be strengthened, and in what areas of the region new renewable energy programs would prove to be most beneficial,” Alfano said. “The college does not want to get into a particular field, or develop a program in a geographic area, where there is no demand.”
Another area the consortium will explore is training for the growth of non-technical positions associated with sales, clerical, leadership and other office jobs related to the renewable energy industry.
“An education in renewable energy can be beneficial on several levels,” Alfano said. “The National Science Foundation’s belief in our consortium will help not only our students, but more generally, the economic development of our communities.”
August 24, 2010
Walk-Through Flu Shot Event Planned on Oct. 29
L.A. County Department of Public Health and College of the Canyons, along with the L.A. County Sheriff's and Fire Departments, will conduct a community flu-shot Point of Dispensing (POD) on Friday, Oct. 29, 2010. This is the fifth consecutive year that such an event will be held — although this year the drive-through will be replaced by a walk-through model.
The flu-shot POD will be conducted in the West Physical Education building on the College of the Canyons Valencia campus located off Rockwell Canyon Road. Parking will be in adjacent lots and shots will be dispensed from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., or as long as the vaccine lasts.
Inoculations against the seasonal flu at the POD are provided free of charge and will be dispensed at this event in anticipation of an active flu season. Anyone seeking flu shots at the POD are reminded to leave their pets at home (with the exception of guide dogs) since they are not allowed on the College of the Canyons campus and their presence in a location where shots are being administered is inappropriate.
While the drive-through concept proved to be very successful in past years, the main reason the shots are administered is to test the Cities Readiness Initiative (CRI) response during a bioterrorism attack and help prepare for our community’s response to a potential pandemic. The purpose of the CRI plan is to treat an impacted, mass population with medications within a short time period. Under the plan, communities are challenged to develop a variety of models through which vaccines can be distributed to mass populations. These “points of dispensing” can take many forms.
"The Flu POD not only provides a viable way for people to safeguard themselves against the flu season,” said Santa Clarita Mayor Laurene Weste, “but it also gives the community an important opportunity to practice preparedness on many levels."
Organizers of the local POD, which occurs each year at College of the Canyons, are confident in their ability to handle the drive-through model and, this year, have decided to go with a “walk-through” model in order to perfect that system. In the case of an actual need to inoculate the entire community, it is likely that both models would be activated in order to inoculate as many people as possible in the shortest amount of time.
The POD is designed to operate under a command structure required by the Standardized Emergency Management System (SEMS) and the National Incident Management System (NIMS), which have been established to provide effective management of multi-agency and multi-jurisdictional emergencies in California. Police, fire and other first-responder agencies use SEMS/NIMS procedures regularly because the system improves coordination and communications and reduces resource duplication during complex responses. The theory is that with more agencies and volunteers learning the specifics of SEMS/NIMS, the more efficient all complex response activities will become.
Each year, additional volunteers are brought into the organizational structure of the POD to learn the responsibilities of various key positions. As a result, more people are trained each year to assume the various responsibilities within the emergency structure. The hope is to develop a pool of people within the community who can step in and run multiple PODs if a future situation were to warrant that. More than 150 volunteers from the participating agencies help coordinate the event each year.
“It is amazing how creative and dedicated all of the volunteers are in making sure this event runs smoothly, and I am impressed with how much we learn every year that is extremely useful,” said Michael Joslin, the college’s dean of student services as well as the POD incident commander for the second consecutive year. “I am interested in seeing how well a walk-through model works and how many people we can serve in a relatively short amount of time.”
“The planning and implementation of the flu POD fosters cooperation and communication between agencies that otherwise don’t often work together,” stressed Joslin, “and who need to be able to coordinate their responses in the event of a large-scale emergency.”
The college’s Valencia campus is conveniently located near freeways and major arteries so that, in a real-world bioterrorism event, large numbers of people could be inoculated very efficiently.
College of the Canyons nursing students administer most of the shots, and students from the EMT program are an important part of the screening process prior to shots being administered. Both groups gain valuable, real-world experience from the POD.
In addition, nurses from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and the college, as well as volunteer nurses, are on hand to lend their knowledge and expertise to the POD. Numerous City of Santa Clarita staff, thecity’s Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) volunteers, as well as the City of Santa Clarita’s Emergency Communication Team volunteers will also participate.
In the event of a large outbreak of disease or a regional terrorist attack, many sites similar to this one in Santa Clarita would be needed to serve the needs of California communities.
According to public health officials, over the last four years the Santa Clarita flu-shot PODs have ranked among the best in all of California.
The number of flu shots administered each year depends on the availability of seasonal flu vaccine.
August 24, 2010
Diana Cusumano Named 2011 Silver Spur Award Honoree
As a second-generation Italian-American whose parents stressed the value of a good education and the importance of giving back to others, Diana Cusumano has done much to make her family, and community, proud. Dedicating the early part of her career to education and volunteering much of her time later on to organizations that work to advocate for it, Cusumano has shown time and again that education and volunteerism are the cornerstones of her life philosophy.
As a result, the College of the Canyons Foundation Board of Directors has named Diana Cusumano recipient of the college’s Silver Spur Community Service Award for 2011.
“Diana is not only a tireless, dedicated volunteer, but also she is a leader who inspires others to give of themselves,” said College of the Canyons Chancellor Dr. Dianne Van Hook. “Her legacy of selfless service to the Santa Clarita Valley is amazing, and we so appreciate the opportunity we have to recognize and thank her for all that she has done to touch so many lives for so many years.”
Over the years Cusumano has served as a College of the Canyons Foundation board member, playing a key role in organizing the annual Silver Spur award gala, while also volunteering her time to the college’s Library Associates and Education Scholarship committees.
However, Cusumano’s distinguished record of community service to this valley began in 1981 when she moved from Davis, Calif. to Santa Clarita, with her husband Gary and three children.
A former high school English teacher and longtime substitute teacher in the Newhall and William S. Hart Union High School districts, Cusumano was always an active volunteer in her children’s classrooms and for school reading programs. She served as President of the Wiley Canyon Elementary School Site Council and spearheaded the establishment of the Newhall Elementary Education Foundation.
When her children moved on to high school, Cusumano became a member of the Hart High School Parent Association Board and the Hart Auditorium Angels, which raised money to repair, restore and improve the historic Hart Auditorium.
Cusumano has also volunteered for the Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital (HMNMH) in a variety of capacities. She was a 10-year member and past president of the HMNMH Guild, a 16-year member of the HMNMH Home Tour league, and served on the board of the Sheila R. Veloz Breast Imagining Center for four years.
She is a director and current Chairman of the Foundation board of the SCV Child & Family Center, a founding member of the SCV Heart Association board and a former Betty Ferguson Foundation board member.
In addition, Cusumano is president of Interior Dimensions Inc., a decorative arts company based in Santa Clarita.
“Diana has integrity, and is a person of her word,” Dr. Van Hook said. “She never compromises her standards of care, compassion, commitment and quality.”
The annual College of the Canyons Silver Spur Celebration is traditionally held at a historic museum, club or well-known Los Angeles landmark each spring — and is considered to be one of the community’s most popular and elegant evening events.
The 2011 Silver Spur Celebration will take place Saturday, March 5, 2011, at the historic and exclusive California Club, located at 538 S. Flower St., Los Angeles.
The event begins at 6 p.m. and the dress code is “black tie optional.” The evening includes a dinner, live auction and a tribute video to the honoree.
Previous recipients of the Silver Spur award include: Myrna and Gary Condie, Harold and Jacquie Petersen, Wayne Crawford, Rita Garasi, Tom Veloz, Charlotte and Frank Kleeman, Gary Cusumano, Jay and Joyce Rodgers, Tom Lee, Lou Garasi, Michael Berger, Roberta Veloz, Dick Luechtefeld, Robert Ormsby, LaVerne Harris, John Hoskinson, Tom Dierckman, Scott and Ruth Newhall, Elisha “Aggie” Agajanian and Cliffe Stone.
For more information about the 2011 Silver Spur Award Ceremony, or to purchase tickets or become an event sponsor please call (661) 362-3434.
Culinary Arts Classes Move to New Location in Castaic
Culinary Arts students are advised that classes will be held at a new location — a 3,850-square-foot former restaurant in Castaic — for the fall 2010 semester. The new teaching facility is located in a shopping center at27911 Sloan Canyon Road. The center is located immediately west of Interstate 5 at the Lake Hughes Road exit. Retail landmarks at the center include a Walgreens and Jack in the Box restaurant (above).
Directions via Interstate 5 North
Exit I-5 at Lake Hughes Road
Turn left (west) onto Lake Hughes Road
Continue straight across intersection at The Old Road (Lake Hughes Road becomes Sloan Canyon Road
Turn right into shopping center at Walgreens
Directions via Interstate 5 South
Exit I-5 at Lake Hughes Road
Turn left onto The Old Road
Turn right at Lake Hughes/Sloan Canyon Road (first intersection)
Turn right into shopping center at Walgreens
August 18, 2010
Art Gallery Presents ‘I, Con: The Brilliant Work of Paul Conrad’
As the first exhibition of the fall 2010 semester, the College of the Canyons Art Gallery will feature the works of three-time Pulitzer Prize winning political cartoonist Paul Conrad.
Regarded as one of the most distinguished political cartoonists in the world, Conrad began his career at The Denver Post in 1950 before moving on to the Los Angeles Times in 1964 where he served as chief editorial cartoonist until 1993.
At 87, Conrad is still active and producing his biting cartoons for syndication in newspapers across the country and abroad.
Despite having been honored with three Pulitzers and numerous other prestigious awards, Conrad is most fond of his distinction for being included on Richard Nixon’s infamous “enemies” list — a comment on the impact of the artist’s prolific work during that era.
“I feel that this exhibition will be a real treat for our community. Of all the editorial cartoonists working today, no one has reached the status of Paul Conrad,” said COC art gallery director, Larry Hurst. “This type of creative work requires not only technical drawing skill, but a sharp wit and profound understanding of social and political events — not to mention humor! Mr. Conrad is certainly a master of this genre.”
Featuring more than 50 drawings, the exhibition “I, Con: The Brilliant Work of Paul Conrad,” will open Tuesday, Aug. 31, and run through Thursday, Sept. 30, 2010.
A special reception will be held in the COC Art Gallery from 4 to 6 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 31.
The COC Art Gallery is open 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Visitors unable to visit the gallery during these hours are welcome to call (661) 362-3612 to make a viewing appointment.
All gallery exhibitions and related events are free and open to the public.
August 17, 2010
Advanced Technology Incubator to Join BizSpark Program
The College of the Canyons i3 Advanced Technology Incubator (ATI) has been selected to join the new Microsoft BizSpark Program as a Network Partner, furthering the ability of the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at College of the Canyons to attract, launch, grow and graduate advanced-technology businesses into the local economy.
Microsoft BizSpark is a new global program designed to accelerate the success of early stage computer software startups by connecting them to other active members of the global software ecosystem, know as Network Partners, who can provide valuable resources, mentorship and guidance.
The end result is an ongoing, mutually beneficial ecosystem between Microsoft, the BizSpark Network Partners and other software startups, and a commitment from Microsoft to help other entrepreneurs transform their ambitions into sustainable and dynamic businesses.
“We are excited to have been selected as a Microsoft BizSpark Program Network Partner and welcome the ability to connect incubator clients with the significant tools available through this program, as well as the broader Microsoft BizSpark entrepreneur community,” said Steve Tannehill, SBDC director.
A component of the SBDC, ATI ‘incubates’ technology-based start-up companies by offering access to a wide range of support services focused on each client’s long-term success.
With no up-front costs and only minimal enrollment requirements, the BizSpark Program provides new startups with access to Microsoft full-featured development tools, platform technologies and production licenses, along with training, technical support and marketing visibility at a time when those resources are most valuable and least affordable -- during a company’s first three years of existence.
To be eligible for the Microsoft BizSpark Program, startups must be actively engaged in development of a software-based product or service that is a core piece of their business model, have been in business less than three years at the time of enrollment, and have less than $1 million in annual revenue.
Startups may enroll for the program by obtaining an enrollment code from a designated BizSpark Network Partner.
NOTE: All product and company names herein may be trademarks of their registered owners.
August 6, 2010
College of the Canyons Foundation to Host Annual Golf Tournament
Santa Clarita Valley golfers are invited to polish their clubs, gather a foursome and hit the links in support of education during the College of the Canyons Foundation’s 20th annual charity golf tournament.
Presented by Klassen Corp. and Lundgren Management, the COC Foundation’s charity golf tournament will take place Monday, Sept. 13, at Valencia Country Club.
Proceeds from this year’s event will benefit the COC hockey club team and the men and women’s golf teams, while also supporting the foundation’s ongoing efforts to provide increased educational opportunities for students and community members of all ages.
“Our company has been a strong supporter of College of the Canyons and its students for many years,” said Jerry Klassen, CEO, Klassen Corp. “We believe in the college’s mission and know the powerful impact a good education can have on the lives of students. We’re pleased to continue demonstrating our Canyons pride through events such as the charity golf tournament.”
Often times student athletes pursue higher education as a result of their passion for a specific sport, only to find themselves increasingly fulfilled by the academic programs and educational opportunities they encounter while in school.
In addition to providing the impetus to seek out higher education, athletic programs help develop leadership and goal setting skills, instill an appreciation for teamwork and sportsmanship and build character through the lessons learned through competition.
On average, College of the Canyons students pay roughly $2,100 per school year for academic fees, textbooks and supplies — making the cost of attending school one of the greatest barriers students will face on their educational journey.
In response, the foundation has continually worked to generate funds — through annual giving, special events and endowment programs — to provide more opportunities for an affordable and accessible college education for all those with the desire to succeed.
Tournament participants will be supporting students beyond what public funding will allow. Last year’s tournament featured more than 80 golfers teeing off in the name of education.
“Lundgren Management is pleased to sponsor the COC Foundation’s annual golf tournament,” said Dale Lundgren, president of Lundgren Management. “As a local company that calls Santa Clarita home, we are proud to be able to have a positive impact on the college’s continued commitment to serving students in our community.”
Single-player tournament sponsorship opportunities begin at $350, with each player receiving a continental breakfast, cart and greens fees, driving range privileges, a player’s gift bag, lunch and beverages on the course and participation in the post tournament awards reception.
For a $1,000 sponsorship, players will receive all tournament benefits, a sponsor sign display and entry into the hole-in-one, beat the pro, long drive and closest to the pin contests.
Tournament participants may also sponsor three-man teams and fill the final spot in the foursome with a current or former member of College of the Canyons’ championship golf team.
Other tournament team sponsorship opportunities include: