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Outdated releases stored for archival purposes only​​


November 17, 2011

Information Sessions to Help Students Explore SHARP Program

Officials will hold a series of information sessions designed to shed more light on the college’s Skills for Healthy Aging Resources and Programs (SHARP) certificate program and the emerging career opportunities associated with this field of the health care industry.

The first program of its kind to be offered anywhere in the nation, the 12-unit SHARP program at COC is designed for students to be able to complete in just one semester, with classes scheduled in the evenings and afternoons to accommodate working adults.

Geared toward those interested in careers in aging services or the larger health care industry, the SHARP program will provide the skills and knowledge needed to begin delivering various types of evidence-based health promotion (EBHP) strategies to older adults, in a variety of health care settings.

“The goal of the SHARP program is to teach students about these issues and get them trained to be able to go out into the field and relay this important information to the growing number of older adults who are in need of such services,” said Dr. Patty Robinson, Dean of the Social Sciences and Business Division at College of the Canyons.   

According to recent projections, more than 10,000 adults from the baby boomer generation will join the ranks of “older adult” each day, until 2029 — representing approximately 25 percent of the nation’s population by 2025.

It’s also projected that by the year 2030 approximately six of every 10 people will be managing more than one chronic health condition.

As a result, various state-run EBHP programs are being offered to older adults in settings such as senior centers, hospitals, health clinics and senior housing facilities. However, the program leaders and facilitators responsible for overseeing these programs have recently been required to undergo specific training in order to be certified for such work.

A recent Aging Labor Force Study conducted by the California Social Work Education Center found that most public social services employees do not have any formal training related to aging and older adults.

“The SHARP program was designed to provide those organizations with qualified set of graduates to form an applicant pool and hire from,” said Dr. Janet Frank, Assistant Director for Academic Programs, Multicampus Programs in Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology, UCLA. “However, gerontology is a multidisciplinary field, so the content included in this program will give students a great foundation to pursue many types of work in the health care industry.”

The SHARP program was formed in collaboration with College of the Canyons, Santa Barbara City College, Partners in Care Foundation, National Council on Aging, California Geriatric Education Center and the California Council on Gerontology and Geriatrics, with funding from the U.S. Department of Education.

Students interested in learning more about the college’s one-semester SHARP program and the growing number of employment opportunities available in the aging services and health care industries should plan on attending one of four upcoming information sessions.

SHARP information sessions will be held at the college’s Valencia campus at the following dates and times:

● 4 to 5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 28 — Aliso Lab, Room 101
● 5 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 30 — Hasley Hall, Room 232
● 5 to 6 p.m. Monday, Dec. 5 —Hasley Hall, Room 232
● 4 to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 14 — Hasley Hall, Room 232

This spring, the college will offer the four-course, 12-unit, SHARP certificate program, with students being able to complete the first two courses in the program — Gerontology101: Introduction to Healthy Aging and Gerontology 102: Health Promotion-Behavior Change Theories and Practices — during the first six weeks of the program. 

During the second 10-week block, students will begin to apply the skills they have learned in the courses Gerontology 103: Health Promotion Program Implementation and Gerontology 104: Health Promotion-Field Practicum, which involves 60-hours of fieldwork at a local community service provider.

Upon completion of the program students will be able to pursue employment in the aging services industry in positions that require individuals to plan, administer, evaluate and/or teach such programs.

November 10, 2011

Theatre Department to Present Second Fall Semester Production

The theatre department will present its second production of the fall season, with the character-driven drama “In Arabia We’d All Be Kings,” running Nov. 16-20 in the college’s Black Box Theatre.

“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 routinely 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 a unique collection of characters — each of whom is out of work and strapped for cash — the production chronicles the group’s often misguided hopes and dreams, and eventual demise, as the city they know and love quickly begins to change.

Written by New York playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis and originally directed by Academy Award-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, “In Arabia We’d All Be Kings” has been described as “a rich character study of down-on-their-luck individuals.”

“Stephen Adly Guirgis is America’s next great playwright,” said COC theatre department chair Paul Wickline, “and this is one of his most powerful plays.

“Though the dialogue and subject matter in this production are likely to cause some audiences discomfort, the language used is true to the characters and situations being depicted,” added Wickline.

The College of the Canyons theatre department’s production of "In Arabia We'd All Be Kings" is being directed by COC adjunct faculty member Stephen Whelan.

The production opens Wednesday, Nov. 16, and runs through Sunday, Nov. 20, in the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center (PAC) Black Box Theatre. Performances will be held at 8 p.m. Nov. 16-19, and 2 p.m. Nov. 20.

General admission tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for COC students and senior citizens.

This production contains adult language and mature content and is recommended for mature audiences only.

November 8, 2011

Mission to Saturn Subject of College’s Scholarly Presentation

Community members are invited to join professor, research scientist, author and motion picture science advisor, Dr. Grazier, Ph.D, as he shares a wealth of information, first-hand experiences and personal anecdotes related to his work on the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) Cassini-Huygens mission to the Saturn system, during the College of the Canyons scholarly presentation “Lord of the Rings.” 

The College of the Canyons Scholarly Presentation “Lord of the Rings” will take place at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 9, on the main stage of the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center (PAC).

Featuring unique insight and data pulled from NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) mission plans, along with orbit charts, photos and other important scientific data retrieved during the Cassini-Huygens space probe’s trip to visit Saturn, its many moons, dynamic rings and various satellites, this multimedia presentation is sure to thrill audiences of all ages.

In addition, Grazier will present some stunning new insights about what the Cassini-Huygens mission has discovered about Saturn’s surface makeup, topography, and atmospheric composition — along with the potential to harbor life on Saturn and it’s largest moon, Titan.

Dr. Grazier holds undergraduate degrees in computer science and geology and physics, along with a Master of Science in physics from Purdue University. In addition, Grazier completed his doctoral research in planetary physics at UCLA by performing long-term, large-scale computer simulations of early solar system evolution.

While still completing his dissertation, in 1995 Grazier began working at NASA’s JPL writing multi-mission planning and analysis software. In 1998, he joined the team of scientists assigned to the Cassini-Huygens mission to the Saturn system, eventually assuming the position of investigation scientist for the mission’s imaging science subsystem, and working to write and run software to help the spacecraft determine when and where certain scientific observations could be made.

The recipient of several JPL and NASA-wide software awards, Grazier continues to teach classes in planetary science, astronomy, cosmology, the search for extraterrestrial life and the science of science fiction.

He has also served as the scientific advisor for a variety of TV and film productions — including the popular science fiction series “Battlestar Galactica” — and has been a featured guest on the History Channel series “The Universe.”

Continually working to bring the wonders of science and space to the public, Grazier is an active participant in several educational outreach programs, speaking to thousands of K-12 students each year and serving on a number of NASA sponsored educational product review panels.

The scholarly presentation “Lord of the Rings” is being presented by the College of the Canyons Foundation. Admission to the event is free, however seating may be limited. Attendees can park for free in college lots 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8, located off Rockwell Canyon Road adjacent to the PAC. 

A post-presentation reception sponsored by the Santa Clarita Community College District Board of Trustees will be held in the PAC lobby beginning at 6 p.m. the evening of the event.

For more information about the College of the Canyons Scholarly Presentation “Lord of the Rings” please contact the COC Foundation at (661) 362-3434.

November 8, 2011

Canyon Country Campus to Host Veterans Garden Dedication Ceremony

Subject: COC Canyon Country Campus Veterans Garden Dedication Ceremony

Time: 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 10, 2011.

Place: COC Canyon Country Campus, 17200 Sierra Highway, Santa Clarita, CA 91351

Event: In observance of the upcoming Veterans Day holiday, College of the Canyons will honor the service of its many veteran students by dedicating a permanent Veterans Garden area at the college’s Canyon Country campus. 

Featuring an arrangement of red, white and blue flower varietals, the college’s Veterans Garden area will be located at the junction between the campus’ main and lower access roads, along the main thoroughfare students and visitors will pass upon entering campus. 

The small garden area is meant to recognize the service of veterans who have pursued their educational dreams at College of the Canyons. 

“The establishment of our Veterans Garden area on the Canyon Country campus is one visible means of paying tribute to those who have served our country and are now pursing education and training through College of the Canyons,” said Dr. Dena Maloney, Vice President of the Canyon Country Campus and Economic Development. “We wanted a spot on campus which draws attention to those who have served in the armed forces and are now in our classrooms, meeting new challenges and achieving new goals.” 

Information about a new COC student-veteran scholarship campaign will also be announced during the dedication ceremony.

For more information about the Veterans Garden Dedication Ceremony, or to RSVP to attend please contact the COC Canyon Country campus at (661) 362-3802.

November 1, 2011

Art Gallery Gets ‘Complicated’ with Opening of Jay Willis Exhibition

The work of Los Angeles based sculptor-painter and former University of Southern California (USC) art professor Jay Willis will be on display at the College of the Canyons Art Gallery beginning Tuesday, Nov. 8, with the opening of the exhibition “Jay Willis — It’s Complicated.”

Willis served as a professor of Fine Arts at USC from 1969 to 2010 where he was the founding director of Public Art Studies and former chair of the university’s Studio Arts department.

In addition to his responsibilities at USC, Willis has maintained studios in Pasadena, working to produce large-scale pieces of art and sculpture through a variety of different mediums.

“This exhibition represents a significant event in my life and career as a recently retired professor,” Willis said.

Willis’ work has been widely exhibited throughout the United States and in particular Southern California, at venues including Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Skirball Cultural Center, Armory Center for the Arts, USC’s Fisher Museum of Art, Cirrus Gallery, Torrance Art Museum and California State University, Fullerton (CSUF) Grand Central Art Center — along with several private galleries and public art projects.

Featuring an array of bright wall pieces, highlighted by a black freestanding floor sculpture, Willis’ exhibition at College of the Canyons will showcase the artist’s reputation for incorporating a primary palette of colors into his work.

“This is a great opportunity to see a mature, contemporary artist in an intimate setting,” said Larry Hurst, COC Art Gallery director. “The new black sculpture will be a great contrast to Mr. Willis’ bright and colorful wall pieces. 

“The art included in this exhibition is challenging and abstract, often requiring the viewer to stop and think,” added Hurst.

“Jay Willis — It’s Complicated” opens Tuesday, Nov. 8, and will run through Thursday, Dec. 8. An artist’s reception will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. the evening of Nov. 8, in the COC Art Gallery.

In addition, the gallery will host a special conversation with the artist at noon Wednesday, Nov. 23.

The College of the Canyons Art Gallery is open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Those unable to visit the gallery during normal hours are welcome to call (661) 362-3612 to schedule a viewing appointment. All gallery exhibitions and related events are free and open to the public.