2011​ NEWS ARCHIVE​​​​​​​
Outdated releases stored for archival purposes only​​​​​​​​​

August 23, 2011

Canyon Country Campus to Unveil New Building with Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony

Subject: The College of the Canyons Canyon Country campus will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the campus’ eagerly anticipated first permanent building — the Applied Technology Education Center (ATEC).

Event: After the ribbon-cutting ceremony college officials will lead a facility tour and technology demonstration of the ATEC’s approximately 15,600-square-feet of workshop and laboratory space.

The new facility will provide the campus with the space needed to support the type of Career Technical Education (CTE) training that leads directly to employment.

Included in the building’s design are four modular buildings, accompanying modular restrooms, and a permanent, spacious, facility for the college’s automotive technology program. Other COC programs moving into the ATEC include: plumbing, water systems technology and the college’s new solar technology and renewable energy program.

College of the Canyons Chancellor Dr. Dianne Van Hook, Dr. Dena Maloney, Vice President of the Canyon Country campus and Economic Development, and members of the college’s Board of Trustees will be joined by other college administrators, faculty and staff who will participate in the ribbon-cutting event.

Time: 5 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 25, 2011.  

Attendees should plan to arrive early and park in the southern end of Lot 2. Shuttles will be transporting guests up to the ATEC for the event.

Location: The ATEC facility entrance, located on the south side of the Canyon Country campus in Quad 7, adjacent to the Campus Safety department and overlooking the campus’ two main parking areas.

August 22, 2011

Grant Brings Lula Washington Dance Theatre Back to Local School Districts

The Performing Arts Center (PAC) at College of the Canyons has been awarded a grant from the California Arts Council to bring the Lula Washington Dance Theatre’s (LWDT) Educational Residencies program back to Santa Clarita Valley school districts as part of the PAC’s ongoing K-12 Arts Education Outreach Program.

This year, LWDT’s long-term residencies will be taking place at one school site in both the Newhall and Sulphur Springs school districts. During the residency students will learn about various modern dance moves, terms and historical dance artists as a way to help students connect to the elements of dance, both physically and academically.

“These types of opportunities can be life-changing for young students,” said PAC managing director Adam Philipson, who also oversees the K-12 Arts Education Outreach Program. “This residency will offer a chance for local students to receive dance instruction from an internationally-known choreographer right in their own backyard. We are very appreciative of the support from the California Arts Council.”

The LWDT stresses the participatory nature of dance which is emphasized through team-building exercises and student-generated choreography. The emphasis on generalizing the residency work into other subject areas is an integral part of the learning process instilled with the students. 
By highlighting dance as a creative process requiring rigorous focus, discipline, technique and teamwork, students in turn learn that these values have benefit beyond the scope of their dance residency, and are applicable to other areas including school work, body familiarity (posture, fitness, etc.) and self-confidence.

“The Newhall School District is thrilled to participate in the California Arts Council grant for Lula Washington in the 2011-12 school year,” said Nancy Copley, NSD Assistant Superintendent Instructional Services. “Teachers, students and administrators are excited to take advantage of this great program. We have heard so many positive comments from other districts within the valley, and we believe that this program will be a wonderful opportunity for our students. Once again the commitment to the arts in our schools is what makes this valley unique!”

The 12-week LWDT residencies have been a part of the PAC’s K-12 Arts Education Outreach Program for the last three years, providing unique dance-related curriculum to more than 1,000 students during that time.  

The PAC K-12 Arts Education Outreach Program has been providing top-tier arts education programming to SCV schools since 2007. In past years program events have included special student assemblies, bus-in performances and master classes with visiting artists.

In 2010, the PAC K-12 Arts Education Outreach Program was recognized by the Kennedy Center’s Partners in Education Program for its efforts in building community partnerships to achieve its goal of providing quality arts education programming to every student in the Santa Clarita Valley.
About Lula Washington Dance Theatre

The Lula Washington Contemporary Dance Foundation is a 501(c)3 tax exempt non-profit organization founded in 1980 by Lula and Erwin Washington to provide a creative outlet for minority dance artists in South Los Angeles. The founding mission is to build a world-class contemporary modern dance company that travels worldwide with contemporary modern dance works that reflect African-American history and culture. Its education mission is to create a school in the inner city where young people can learn the art of dance, launch careers in dance, and where dance is used to motivate, educate, inspire, challenge and enrich the lives of young people so they can become successful, productive and competitive citizens.

About the California Arts Council

The California Arts Council (CAC) is the state agency with the mission to advance Californians through the arts and creativity, with a key focus on arts education and arts in local communities. The agency is governed by an 11-member policy-setting Council, which is appointed by the Governor and state legislature. The CAC’s Artists in Schools program integrates community arts resources — professional artists and arts organizations — into a comprehensive, standards-based program, underscoring the critical role the arts play in shaping a student’s overall well-being and academic achievement.

For more information about the PAC’s ongoing K-12 Arts Education Outreach Program or the California Arts Council grant supporting the Lula Washington Dance Theatre’s (LWDT) Educational Residencies please call (661) 362-5305.​

August 17, 2011

Art Gallery Partners with Getty Museum for First Fall Exhibition

The Art Gallery will open its fall season with the exhibition “Engaged Observers: Student Perspectives,” being staged in collaboration with the education department at the J. Paul Getty Museum.

“Engaged Observers: Student Perspectives” features the work of nine College of the Canyons photography students who recently participated in a larger collaborative learning project at the J. Paul Getty Museum.

As part of the Getty Museum project, selected photography students at four local community colleges — College of the Canyons, East Los Angeles College, Pierce College and Santa Monica College — spent the spring semester studying the Getty exhibition “Engaged Observers: Documentary Photography since the Sixties.”

During this time students also had the opportunity to work with well-known Indian photojournalist Sudharak Olwe as part of a unique two-week program that encouraged the creation of more personalized documentary photography projects.

The Getty program also included a workshop on photography and social documentation, which asked students to go out into the city and photographically document their surroundings. Students from each college were asked to focus on one of the four specific themes related to the exhibition: identity, labor, environment, and, as COC’s assignment, conflict.

The results of that assignment will now be displayed in the college’s Art Gallery.

“I am very excited about this collaboration, and must thank Wendy Brill-Wynkoop, COC photography department chair, for making it possible,” said Larry Hurst, Art Gallery director. “This project presented a unique opportunity that our students will long remember, and which will greatly enhance their learning experience here at College of the Canyons.”

“Engaged Observers: Student Perspectives” will open Tuesday, Aug. 23, in the COC Art Gallery and run through Thursday, Sept. 15. An artist’s reception will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 27, in the COC Art Gallery.

The College of the Canyons Art Gallery is open 11 a.m. to 4 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 5, 2011

Theatre Department to Hold Series of Fall Production Audition Dates

The theatre department will hold three days of auditions this month for students and community members interested in joining the casts of two upcoming fall semester productions.

This year’s COC theatre department fall lineup of productions includes the Tony Award-winning “Drowsy Chaperone” by Bob Martin and Don Kellar with music and lyrics by Lisa Lambert and Greg Morrison, and “In Arabia We’d All Be Kings” by Stephen Adly Guirguis, which was originally directed by Academy Award-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman.

“Drowsy Chaperone” is a family friendly show within a show. The story begins when a die hard musical fan plays his favorite cast album — the 1928 smash hit entitled “Drowsy Chaperone” — and magically becomes part of the show! As the story unfolds audiences follow the tale of a celebrity “showgirl” bride and her chaotic wedding day plans, complete with an array of thrills and surprises that are sure to entertain.

The COC production of “Drowsy Chaperone” features roles for eight men, five women and a five to seven-member ensemble. Actors of all ages and ethnicities are encouraged to audition.

“In Arabia We’d All Be Kings,” focuses on a bar in the Hell’s Kitchen section of New York City where a motley crew of characters gathers to drown their sorrows amidst the backdrop of the widespread gentrification that took place in the city during the 1990s. Offering a bleak look into the lives of these characters, the production features roles for eight men and five women. Actors of all ages and ethnicities are encouraged to audition.

“We are pleased to offer both student and community actors the opportunity to participate in these two projects,” said COC theatre department chair Paul Wickline. “Both of these titles are critically acclaimed and have been popular with audiences wherever they have been produced. They each feature excellent roles for actors and will be exciting projects for both students and community performers.”

Audition Schedule:
“Drowsy Chaperone” — noon Saturday, Aug. 20.
“Drowsy Chaperone” and “In Arabia We’d All Be Kings” — 6:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 22.
“In Arabia We’d All Be Kings” — 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 23.

All auditions will take place in the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center (PAC) Black Box Theatre, located on the college’s Valencia Campus. Scripts for both productions are available on reserve at the Valencia campus library. Actors are encouraged to read the plays before auditions. 

Actors auditioning for “Drowsy Chaperone” are asked to prepare 16 to 32 bars from a musical theatre song. Audition material should be no more than two to three minutes in length, and should be accompanied by sheet music in the correct key. Actors will be divided into two groups and will both sing and complete a choreographed movement piece as part of the audition process. Script readings will take place at the callback audition, 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 25, in the Black Box Theatre.

Those cast in “Drowsy Chaperone” will need to enroll in the courses Theatre 190C and Music 116. Rehearsals will take place from 6:30 to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday, and Saturdays from noon to 3 p.m. beginning Monday, Aug. 29, and running through Thursday, Oct. 20. The production of “Drowsy Chaperone” will run Oct. 21-23 and 28-30, on the PAC main stage.

Actors auditioning for “In Arabia We’d All Be Kings” are asked to prepare and present a one to two minute contemporary monologue. Script readings will take place at the callback audition, 6:30 p.m. Thursday, August 25, in the Black Box Theatre.

Those cast in this production will need to enroll in the course Theatre 190D. Rehearsals will take place from 6:30 to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday, beginning Monday, Sept. 19, and running through Tuesday, Nov. 15. The production of “In Arabia We’d All Be Kings” will run Nov. 16-19, in the Black Box Theatre.

August 5, 2011

College’s Economic Plan Mirrors Lieutenant Governor’s Agenda

College of the Canyons officials were pleased to learn the college’s ongoing efforts to help spur statewide economic development mirror the guiding principles and strategies outlined in Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom’s recently released Economic Growth and Competitiveness Agenda for California.

The Lt. Governor’s Economic Growth Agenda outlines the initial steps of the current administration’s plan to help California bounce back from the ongoing economic downturn, while also outlining the steps necessary to begin building a post-recession “Next Economy.”

“This document, and the actions it calls for, outlines how we can retake control and drive forward again, moving California back into the lead on sustainable growth and real job creation — regaining our leadership role as America’s opportunity capital,” said Newsom in the report’s introduction. “It marks the beginning of a statewide conversation about how we can win again.”

In the report, Newsom points to a number of key objectives that the state’s economic shareholders — including the state’s 112-member Community College System — should continue working towards.

Highlighting the report were Newsom’s calls for: a reinvigoration of the state’s manufacturing industry; the continued support of new and innovative technologies; an acceleration of California’s “clean economy”; and the continued establishment of an educated and highly skilled workforce that will be ready to meet the labor demands of the “Next Economy.”

Also included were a number of suggested best practices, that state and local agencies should consider implementing into their day-to-day operations and planning strategies. Those included an organized and streamlined approach to local and statewide economic development practices, and the practice of community partnerships, regional alliances and new forms of collaboration.

“I am pleased to see the depth of analysis and innovative recommendations in the Lt. Governor’s Economic Growth Agenda for California,” said COC Chancellor Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook. “College of the Canyons has long held a strong commitment to economic development as part of the mission of the California community colleges. We strive to develop partnerships, integrate economic and workforce development, and establish new programs that invigorate manufacturing, clean technologies, support small business, and create opportunities for student success and degree attainment. The Economic Growth agenda provides an excellent roadmap and structure for economic recovery and California competitiveness.”

With a prolonged commitment, and regional approach, to economic and workforce development, the College of the Canyons Economic Development Division (EDD) has continually worked to advance the region’s manufacturing and technology industries through a number of projects and partnerships.

The EDD is home to the Advanced Technology Business Incubator (ATI), designed to provide business consulting and assistance to technology-based start-up companies, and the award-winning Center for Applied Competitive Technologies (CACT) regional center, which provides business assistance and technical training to regional companies involved in both advanced technology and manufacturing.

Continued grant funding has also allowed the college to dedicate resources to provide training to new and incumbent employees in the areas of welding, manufacturing technology and precision assembly processes. The college has also established an Emerging Technology program — complete with state-of-the-art clean room and cutting-edge manufacturing/engineering equipment.

More recently, College of the Canyons has increased its contributions to a number of “clean economy projects.” Including all industry sectors that produce goods and services with an environmental benefit, clean economy related projects at COC include several grants the college has secured to fund the creation of new curriculum and workforce training opportunities in the areas of alternative energy.

In 2010, College of the Canyons received a four-year, $3 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to oversee the establishment of the California Regional Consortium for Engineering Advances in Technical Education (CREATE) Renewable Energy Regional Center. As part of that project, COC continues to serve in a leadership role to form regional partnerships and begin developing renewable energy programs at partner colleges throughout the state.

“Our goal is to make sure the curricula of all our consortium colleges meet industry needs,” said Kathy Alfano, COC faculty member and director of the CREATE Center.

This fall, College of the Canyons will debut its own solar energy technician certificate program. Upon successful completion of the solar program students will posses a detailed understanding of the PV and solar thermal energy technologies currently being employed, and will be qualified to accept entry-level positions in the fields of solar PV and solar thermal design, installation and maintenance.

“All of our new solar technology courses and program options have been developed in conjunction with an advisory board composed of local businesses and industry representatives to make sure the curriculum addresses the direct needs of the industry,” said Kristin Houser, dean of career technical education at the college.

Indeed, industry partnerships and other forms of collaborations have continued to play an important role in how the college addresses key economic and workforce development issues.

Collaborative efforts between the college and nearby Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital (HMNMH), Aerospace Dynamics International, as well as other industry-specific companies in the areas of welding, green technology and automotive technology, have all yielded new employment opportunities for COC students.

Strategic partnerships also exist between the college and the City of Santa Clarita, William S. Hart Union High School District, County of Los Angeles, regional workforce development boards, and other key economic and workforce orientated organizations such as the Santa Clarita Valley Economic Development Corp. (SCVEDC), which is located inside the Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook University Center.

The SCVEDC works to provide an integrated approach to attracting, retaining and expanding a diversity of business and industry in the Santa Clarita Valley. With an overarching focus on the creation of high-paying jobs for the local workforce, the SCVEDC is dedicated to promoting the existence of an educated workforce and positioning the SCV and its businesses to better compete in the global economy.

“At the SCVEDC we are already acting on many of the principles outlined in the Lieutenant Governor’s economic agenda,” said Jonas Peterson, president and CEO of the SCVEDC. “Our partnership with College of the Canyons has allowed us to tie education with workforce development, and business attraction and retention, for the good of the entire valley. Any additional support that comes as a result of this report would be a welcome addition to our efforts.”

August 3, 2011

SBDC to Participate in Statewide Economic Development Summit

As part of a collaborative effort to generate economic growth throughout California, on Thursday, Aug. 11, the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at College of the Canyons will take part in the second event of a statewide Economic Development Summit Series designed to highlight the strategies made successful through the creative collaboration of resources.

Operating with the theme “Collaborative Economic Development: Building Momentum with Lean Resources,” this statewide summit is being organized by the California Small Business Development Centers and the California Association for Local Economic Development (CALED).

The summit series is targeted at the many state agencies and local non-profit groups involved in the economic development of California. The goal of the series is to reach 1,000 economic developers from across the state by the end of the summer.

In support of a central event being held in downtown Los Angeles on Aug. 11, the SBDC at College of the Canyons is inviting all community members to a streaming simulcast satellite summit being held from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 11, in the Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook University Center, located on the college’s Valencia campus.

The satellite summit hosted by the SBDC at College of the Canyons is one of a number of local streaming simulcast summits that will be hosted by California SBDCs from across the state, in partnership with the California Association for Local Economic Development (CALED).

“What makes this summit series so exciting is that the program will reach more than 18 communities through broadband streaming, and never impact city and county travel budgets,” said California SBDC Chair Kristin Johnson. “Rural and metropolitan economic developers and partners don’t typically have many opportunities to work together or share ideas, and the California SBDC is proud to facilitate the interaction.”

Designed to showcase out-of-the-box initiatives and ideas already proven to be successful during the nation’s ongoing economic recovery, the event at College of the Canyons will feature a presentation from keynote speaker Nancy Lublin, CEO of DoSomething.org, who will speak about how economic development professionals can leverage existing creativity and pool resources by taking lessons from each other.

In addition, representatives from the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp., Los Angeles County Business Federation and the Development Management Group will hold a panel discussion on regionalized best practices to generate economic growth using minimal available resources.

“These events are a great way to bring all the regional economic development stake holders together and get attendees thinking about unique solutions to the local issues we may be dealing with,” said Pete Bellas, dean of economic development at College of the Canyons. “The speakers that will be on hand at this event will provide tools, resources and motivation to get people thinking and collaborating.”

After the simulcast, event organizers will host a luncheon and roundtable discussion on how to best apply these principles in our local economy. Admission to this event is free, however space is limited and registration is required.

For more information or to register to attend, follow the link below or contact the SBDC hosted by College of the Canyons at (661) 362-5900.

August 1, 2011

Richard and Marian Sandnes to be Honored with Silver Spur Award

For more than three decades, longtime Santa Clarita Valley residents Richard and Marian Sandnes have embodied the definition of philanthropy, continually giving of themselves and striving to make this community, and indeed the world, a better place through countless acts of kindness and 
overwhelming generosity. Tireless advocates for education, children’s services and the importance of family values, the Sandnes’ have dedicated much of their lives to helping others, and have had a profound impact in doing so.
As a result, the College of the Canyons Foundation has named Richard and Marian Sandnes recipients of the college’s Silver Spur Community Service Award for 2012.

“This is the most important recognition that we at College of the Canyons can afford to anyone, and given the support that Richard and Marian have given to the college for so many years, it is only fitting that we honor and celebrate their contributions,” said College of the Canyons Chancellor Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook. “They are truly unsung heroes and amazing role models, who do the right things for the right reasons, and help others in a quiet, consistent and significant way.”

Richard and Marian Sandnes are active supporters of several key projects and programs at the college, including the COC Foundation student scholarship program, the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center (PAC) K-12 Arts Education Outreach Program, the annual Silver Spur celebration and the COC Athletics department.

However, the couple’s relationship with College of the Canyons first began as football fans, when their son, all-conference safety Michael Sandnes, roamed the defensive backfield for the Cougars’ 1975 Western State Conference championship football team.

A natural leader and inspiration to all those he knew and played with, Michael tragically lost his battle with cancer in 1979 at the age of 21, just as his life was beginning to blossom.

In the years that followed, Richard and Marian searched for a meaningful way to honor their son, eventually deciding in 2005 to establish an endowed scholarship fund at College of the Canyons dedicated to Michael’s memory.

“Marian and I always wanted to do something for Mike and the college,” said Richard at the time. “We thought about it for many years, and we’ve reached a point in our lives where we can honor Mike and help others in the process. We’re confident this will help many College of the Canyons students in the future.”

By participating in the COC Foundation’s recent Bernard Osher Foundation matching grant initiative, the Sandnes’ have been able to significantly enhance the endowment’s value to the point where it now awards 11 annual $1,000 scholarships to COC student athletes studying kinesiology.

The Sandnes’ reach into this community also extends far beyond College of the Canyons. Richard and Marian are major supporters of the Boys and Girls Club of Santa Clarita, The Canyon Theatre Guild, the Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital Foundation and the SCV Child & Family Center.

Richard is also a member of the Bank of Santa Clarita’s founders group, and an active member and past trustee of the Elks Lodge 1625 in Lancaster.
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 2012 Silver Spur Celebration will take place Saturday, March 3, 2012, at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library Air Force One Pavilion located at 40 Presidential Drive, in Simi Valley.

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. This year’s event is being co-chaired by Jeff Hacker and Randy Moberg, members of the COC Foundation Board of Directors.

Previous recipients of the Silver Spur award include: Diana Cusumano, 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 2012 Silver Spur Award Ceremony, or to purchase tickets or become an event sponsor please contact the College of the Canyons Foundation at (661) 362-3434