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Outdated releases stored for archival purposes only​​​​


May 27, 2011

College Honored for Commitment to Community Service

For the fifth time in as many years, College of the Canyons has been honored for its dedication to providing access to service-learning educational opportunities with inclusion on the 2010 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction.

Administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service, inclusion on the annual Honor Roll is the highest federal recognition a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service learning and civic engagement.

College of the Canyons is one of only 15 higher education institutions in the state — and the only California community college — to earn “distinction” honors. The college has been included on the honor roll every year since its inception in 2006 — having previously earned “distinction” honors in 2007 and 2009.

“There is a strong spirit of volunteerism that thrives on our campus,” said College of the Canyons Chancellor Dr. Dianne Van Hook. “As a college, we believe in giving back to our community, which supports us and enables us to be what we have become. That engagement with the community allows our students to gain hands-on experience and augment what they’re learning in the classroom.”

Service-learning is a teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to teach civic responsibility, strengthen communities and enrich the learning experience.

With the belief that students can make valuable contributions to the world while gaining educational experience, College of the Canyons strives to increase community involvement, strengthen student leadership skills and build meaningful community relationships by carrying out various service-learning projects.

“Inclusion on the President’s list exemplifies the college’s commitment to engaging our students and creating strong community ties,” said Jennifer Hauss, director of service learning at the college. “It’s an honor and a privilege to work with the faculty, students and community-based organizations who devote so much of their time and energy to making a difference.”

Last semester service-learning projects at COC included the participation of roughly 45 faculty members from across the college’s various disciplines, 80 non-profit community-based organizations and more than 400 students.

Recent College of the Canyons service-learning projects have included placements with The Gentle Barn, SCV Education Foundation, Placerita Canyon Nature Center, SCV Food Pantry, and the Boys & Girls Club.

Another successful service-learning collaboration is the annual drive-thru flu clinic — jointly sponsored by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, the city of Santa Clarita, College of the Canyons and the L.A. County Sheriff’s and Fire Departments — in which COC nursing and EMT students gained valuable experience working with patients and dispensing flu vaccinations.

The Corporation for National and Community Service oversees the Honor Roll in collaboration with the Department of Education, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Campus Compact and the American Council on Education.

Honorees are chosen based on a series of selection factors, including the scope and innovation of service projects, percentage of student participation in service activities, incentives for service and the extent to which the school offers academic service-learning courses.

May 27, 2011

‘Tecnifícate’ Conference to be Held at College on June 4

The California Community Colleges Economic & Workforce Development Program and Ariel Coro, founder of Tu Tecnologia, have joined forces to present ‘Tecnifícate,’ an educational workshop focusing on the importance of technology in the personal and professional development of members of the Latin community.

‘Tecnifícate’ is designed specifically for Spanish-speaking residents of California to encourage greater adoption and understanding of technology while, at the same time, educating attendees on the tangible and positive impact it will have on their lives.

This free, one-day event will include presentations from a panel of distinguished speakers and information on how to leverage technology to:

• Find jobs
• Grow a business
• Improve a child’s education
• Stay up-to-date and in contact with family members

This workshop will be specifically focused for the Latin community and will be conducted entirely in Spanish.

‘Tecnifícate’ will take place 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, June 4, at the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center (PAC) at College of the Canyons, 26455 Rockwell Canyon Road, Santa Clarita. Doors open at 10:30 a.m.

May 20, 2011

Art Gallery’s Group Exhibition Explores Post-Minimalist Terrain

The Art Gallery will present the group exhibition “Obsessive Reductive,” featuring the work of five diverse artists who have created a collection of abstract paintings and sculptural wall reliefs which each explore a rich, post-minimalist pictorial terrain. The exhibition opens May 26.

“While at first glance many of the exhibition’s works appear to share the same cool, detached quality that characterizes much minimal work, upon closer examination all these pieces are clearly made by hand,” said Larry Hurst, Art Galley director. “However, the resulting imperfections don’t hinder the result, but in fact are essential to its effect, with each handmade surface giving the work a warmth and depth that belies its formal rigor.”
The exhibition is being co-curated by art department faculty member Michael McCaffrey and artist Peter Barrett, who is one of the five artists whose work will be displayed.

Other participating artists include:

• Peter Barrett — This artist works principally in painted reliefs — paintings that edge into the third dimension without becoming fully sculptural. He creates hybrid forms that push painting into the third dimension without giving up its essential nature.
• Cecilia Biagini — This artist’s shim pieces use off-the-shelf materials to create playfully elegant forms that transcend their humble origins.
• Peter Fox — This artist lets gravity pull his paint toward the floor as he applies it to the picture surface, intervening as it drips, to create fascinating intricacies where hand, accident and physics all contribute.
• Heather Hutchison — This artist’s work displays a meticulous use of materials, and a balance between the hard-edged (plywood, plexi) and the liquid (wax, paint) elements in her work, which allows her to wring a startling variety of experiences from just a few elements.
• Miki Lee — This artist uses a deceptively simple device: non-repeating colors defined by undulating contours. The varied results show just how much energy can spring from adjusting a few parameters.

“This exhibition will offer viewers a cutting edge experience, as they witness first-hand some of the techniques that contemporary artists use to explore color, shape and material, and investigate new artistic possibilities in the process,” McCaffrey said.

“Obsessive Reductive” will run through Thursday, June 23. An artist’s reception and discussion will be held in the Art Gallery from noon to 2 p.m. May 26.

The Art Gallery is open 10:30 a.m. to 5 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.

May 18, 2011

Grammy Winner Kenny Loggins to Headline New PAC Season

The Performing Arts Center (PAC) has announced the lineup for the 2011-12 College of the Canyons Presents season. For the second time in as many years, a Grammy Award-winning artist will perform at Opening Night, with legendary singer and songwriter Kenny Loggins taking the stage Friday, Sept. 16.

Kenny Loggins has enjoyed incredible success over the past four decades, having continually been celebrated from his work as: an accomplished singer and songwriter; guitar player; one half of a legendary country-rock duo; a massively successful solo artist; a pioneer of the smooth jazz genre; a reigning soundtrack superstar; and an amazing live performer who has made an impact with music fans of all generations.

With 12 platinum albums, and four decades worth of chart-topping hits — including “I’m Alright,” “This Is It,” “Danny’s Song” and “What a Fool Believes” — Loggins will now bring his dynamic sound to the PAC main stage.

Other acts and artists highlighting the 2011-12 PAC season include: Grammy Award-winning vocalist Dionne Warwick, comedian and Saturday Night Live alum Martin Short, Travel Channel’s “No Reservations” host Anthony Bourdain, legendary pianist Roger Williams, Ozomatli, Second City, Momix “Botanicum,” Tao: The Art of the Drum, “101 Years of Broadway,” “Charlotte’s Web,” “The Mask Messenger” and Rennie Harris: RHAW.

“There are so many great artists that will be part of the upcoming COC Presents season,” said Adam Philipson, PAC managing director. “Of course, we are all thrilled about Kenny Loggins and our other talented headliners, but what’s most exciting about this season is the fact that almost every performance will include additional opportunities for students and community members to connect with visiting artists and acts.

“From special receptions to intimate jam sessions, and student bus-in events to master classes, patrons of the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center will have a variety of unique opportunities to experience the season,” added Philipson.

The 2011-12 PAC schedule will offer shows spread across six series selections: Chancellor’s Choice, Great Performances, In Motion, Almost Free Family Series and the all new Sounds of Latin America series and SCV World Music Concert Series.

As in years past, the PAC will also host a number of College of the Canyons theatre, music and dance department productions, as well as community group performances.

PAC series subscription sales will begin 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, June 15, while individual tickets for Kenny Loggins, Dionne Warwick, Martin Short, Ozomatli and all other performances will go on sale 10 a.m. Saturday, July 16.

Tickets can be purchased online, over the phone, or in person at the PAC box office. It’s recommended that patrons plan to purchase their tickets early for Kenny Loggins, as Opening Night at the PAC sells out fast!

May 10, 2011

ARTstART Festival Returns to College May 13 and 14

The Fine and Performing Arts Division will host the third annual ARTstART Festival May 13 and 14, showcasing the aesthetic achievements of its students and the college’s ongoing dedication to arts education.

Offering community members a glimpse inside the daily activities of the college’s Fine and Performing Arts Division, ARTstART was first held in spring 2009. Since that first year the event has attracted thousands of community members eager to experience the arts through College of the Canyons.

Throughout the weekend, ARTstART 2011 attendees will have the opportunity to view and experience samplings from the college’s music, dance, theatre, animation, media and entertainment arts (MEA), graphic design and studio arts departments, while touring the division’s state-of-the-art facilities.

“This event presents a unique opportunity for the community to interact with the creative energy of the fine and performing arts and see how integral they are to the college and to the Santa Clarita Valley,” said Michael McCaffrey, COC faculty member and chair of the ARTstART Steering Committee. “The deep and varied talents of our faculty, staff and, most of all, our students, will be on display in a rich and varied program of events.”

The festival will coincide with the “16th Annual COC Student Art Exhibition,” and annual Jazz Pops Concert, COC Dance Showcase, New Works Festival and theatre department's “Solopalooza.”

ARTstART activities are also scheduled to include an array of music and student theatre performances, interactive lectures and workshops, in-class demonstrations and movie screenings.

Opportunities to take part in a unique open house and tour of the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center and the recently expanded media and entertainment arts building, Mentry Hall, will also be included.

A selection of Saugus Union School District (SUSD) students from Charles Helmers, West Creek and Plum Canyon elementary schools will also have their work featured in the SUSD Student Art Show running both days of the festival.

The ARTstART Festival will begin at 10 a.m. Friday, May 13, and run throughout the day until approximately 10 p.m., continuing from 10 a.m. to approximately 10 p.m. Saturday, May 14.

May 6, 2011
Theatre Department to Stage Classic Greek Comedy May 19 to 22

The Theatre Department will present Greek playwright Aristophanes’ bawdy, politically inspired comedy ‘Lysistrata’ on the main stage of the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center (PAC) May 19 to 22.

Glorifying the power of fertility in the face of destruction, ‘Lysistrata’ — loosely translated as “she who disbands armies” — is set in Athena during the 20th year of the Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta.

The play follows a group of angry, fed-up Athenian women who barricade themselves in the Acropolis and go on a sex strike in hopes of forcing their husbands into a peace treaty with warring Sparta.

The production features a cast of 25 students and community members, and has been translated into a more modern version of Aristophanes’ classic work by playwright Carolyn Balducci.

“The director of the production, Randee Trabitz, and the scene and lighting designer, Brodie Steele, have come up with a very entertaining ‘Looney Tunes-like’ concept for this production, which will be great fun for actors and audiences alike,” said Paul Wickline, chair of the Theatre Department.

‘Lysistrata’ runs Thursday, May 19, through Sunday, May 22, on the PAC main stage. 

Performances will be held at 8 p.m. May 19 through 21, and 2 p.m. Sunday, May 22. General admission tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for COC students and senior citizens.

This production contains mature subject matter and language. Parental discretion is advised for children under 13.

May 5, 2011

College Recognizes Outstanding Employees

​Employees at College of the Canyons were recognized for their contributions to the college during an awards luncheon Thursday, May 5. The luncheon was held with the “twist” that board members, administrators and managers served college “classified” employees a catered meal, this year with a British “Royal Celebration” theme.

Classified employees hold support positions at the college. They are most often the behind-the-scenes people who are responsible for the day-to-day functioning of the college.

This is the 15th year that awards have been presented to individuals in several categories. Six awards were presented.

Employee of the Year Award

For the first time in 15 years, two staff members were recognized as Employees of the Year. The award itself recognizes an individual who has made outstanding contributions to the college through service to the college. This year two individuals distinguished themselves to such a degree that a tie was declared.

One College of the Canyons Employee of the Year award was earned by Lonnie Davis, who works in the college’s Career Center. Davis was recognized for her positive attitude and her tireless efforts in helping students and community members with workshops, job fairs and career assessments, all the while remaining upbeat, positive and encouraging.

The second person recognized as Employee of the Year was Linda Clark who, until just last month, split her time between her regular job as a technician in Human Resources and assisting in the new Adult Re-Entry and Veterans Affairs Office. Linda’s quiet and competent leadership qualities made her the natural choice to take leadership of the Re-Entry and Veterans Affairs Office when the director received orders to deploy to Afghanistan.

Both Employee of the Year winners received a decorative plaque and $300 cash.

Humanitarian Award

The college’s Humanitarian Award went to Lin Betancourt. This award acknowledges an indispensable contribution to the college and cites community involvement and dedication. Betancourt, who works in the colleges Distance Learning office, was recognized for her service to “Tough Love” assisting parents, teens and families by providing support and solutions for families in crisis. She is also a member of the Board of Directors for the Special Olympics and is active with the Alzheimer’s Association. Amongst an impressive array of other volunteer efforts, Betancourt and her dog, Roxie, have been awarded their official “Pet Therapy License” with the Delta Society and they both volunteer at hospitals, nursing homes and Senior Centers providing comfort, hope and security to those in need.

The award consists of a decorative plaque and a $100 cash award.

New Visions Award

The New Visions Award recognizes an employee who brings new insight to the job, which improves the college. A positive attitude and providing an inspiration to other employees are key elements in selecting the award winner. The 2011 New Visions Award winner is Juli Mosier. Mosier works in the Human Resources office. Her co-workers recognized her for her innovation, insight and the “go to” person who can always find a solution when something isn’t working. She was also an instrumental member of the campus team that brought the “Gardens of the Canyons” project from idea to reality.

Her award consists of a plaque and a $100 cash award.

Professional Achievement Award

A decorative plaque and a $100 cash award also went to Angelica Franco, the winner of this year’s Professional Achievement Award. Franco works in the office of Academic Affairs at the college. She is extremely active in professional development activities, taking lead roles in several projects to improve campus productivity and effectiveness, all the while working to achieve her degree by taking two classes per semester.

Gloria Jackson Service Award

The Gloria Jackson Service Award was named after a beloved member of the College of the Canyons communication’s department staff who died in November of 2006. Jackson had worked for 25 years at the college’s switchboard and mailroom and was noted for her depth and breadth of information, her encyclopedic memory for numbers, her outstanding customer service and her endearing laugh. The award consists of a decorative plaque and a $100 cash award. This year the college has named two winners of the award.

The first is Britt Anderson who works in the college’s Allied Health program. Anderson is described as having a contagious positive attitude — always in a good mood, always smiling and always helpful. She approaches students and community members calmly and pleasantly and is always able to explain complex issues in a way that that is clear and understandable.

The second winner of the Gloria Jackson Service Award is Sally Chavez, who runs the switchboard and mailroom at the college’s Canyon Country campus. Chavez has been at the Canyon Country campus since it opened in 2007 and set up many of the procedures for the mailroom and information functions at the campus. She is noted for her smile and for being a pleasant, energetic and vivacious staff member who is a great ambassador of the college.

CSEA Member of the Year Award

Each year the California School Employee Association (CSEA) presents its Member of the Year Award at this luncheon. This year’s winner is Nancy Shamrock who works in the college’s purchasing department and currently serves as the CSEA chapter’s treasurer. She was recognized for her dedication to the union and the meticulousness in her record keeping. She received a plaque and a $100 cash award.
All awards were presented by members of the college district’s administration and Board of Trustees.

May 2, 2011

Actors of All Ages Sought for Theatre Department’s Summer Sci-Fi Musical

Actors of all ages, from children to adults, are invited to audition for the College of the Canyons theatre department’s musical production of Lois Lowry’s award-winning science fiction novel, ‘The Giver,’ being staged this summer in partnership with the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center (PAC) and the Festival of New American Musicals.

Producers are in need of at least 20 male and female actors, ages 16-60, to play a variety of teenaged and adult roles, along with a few child actors to help round out the musical’s multi-generational, ensemble cast. A full cast breakdown of ‘The Giver’ is listed below:

 Jonas — 12 years old (looking for a male actor aged 15-20 who looks younger) charismatic, insightful, strong-willed.
 Asher — 12 years old (looking for a male actor aged 15-20 who looks younger) playful and temperamental.
 Jonas’ Father — 30 to 45 years old, nurturing, kindly and bland.
 The Giver — 40 to 60 years old, aging, with a heavy emotional burden.
 Fiona — 12 years old (looking for a female actor aged 15-20 who looks younger) smart and mindful of the rules.
 Jonas’ Mother — 30 to 45 years old, structured, rigid and committed to the rules.
 Jonas’ Sister — 8 years old (looking to cast a female child actor aged 10-12 who looks younger) playful, troublemaker.
 Ensemble cast — eight to 12 male/female actors of various ages to play community members, children, people who appear in memories, etc., along with the roles of The Speaker, The Chief Elder and Rosemary.

“‘The Giver’ is an exciting project for both actors and audiences alike. The beautiful score is reminiscent of the works of Stephen Sondheim and William Finn,” said Paul Wickline, co-producer and chair of the college’s theatre department. “We are looking for talented teenagers and adults to fill several excellent principal and chorus roles.”

Released in 1993, the novel ‘The Giver’ follows a boy named Jonas through the twelfth year of his life, in a futuristic, assumedly utopian, society, which has eliminated all feelings of pain and strife by converting the masses to what is called the “Sameness” plan.

With this societal setup gradually appearing more and more dystopian, Jonas suddenly finds himself in the position of “Receiver of Memory,” the person in charge of storing all of society’s memories from the time before “Sameness” was implemented. But as Jonas takes the reigns of his new job, he discovers the power these memories posses.

He soon faces a dilemma — should he embrace his new role within this society, and live a life without love, color and choices; or should he seek out a more fulfilling, and meaningful life.

“We are so excited to offer our students another opportunity to participate in the Festival of New American Musicals,” said Adam Philipson, PAC managing director. “Students will have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work on new material as well as interact with the composer and writer.”

Running throughout the spring and summer months, the Festival of New American Musicals celebrates the return of the American musical by showcasing full productions, staged readings, concerts, master classes and other performance-based events in conjunction with performance arts organizations in cities across Southern California.

The college’s production of ‘The Giver’ will be cast entirely with students who enroll in the summer session course Theatre 193: Summer Theatre Workshop and Festival of New American Musicals.

Auditions for ‘The Giver’ will be held at noon, Saturday, June 4, and 6:30 p.m., Monday June 6, in the PAC Black Box Theater, located on the college’s Valencia Campus.

Performers are asked to prepare 16 to 32 bars (one to two minutes) of a song from a musical production. Audition material should be no more than three minutes in length, and should be accompanied by sheet music in the correct key. Music in CD form will not be accepted.

All selected cast members will need to register for up to four units in Theatre 193. Those who are not cast will be offered additional opportunities to participate in the production. 

Rehearsals will take place from 6:30 to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and noon to 3 p.m. on Saturdays, beginning the week of June 7. Performances of ‘The Giver’ are scheduled to take place July 8-9, in the PAC Black Box Theatre.