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International Forum on Youth - Save the Date

2020 International Forum on Youth
November 16 - 19, 2020


Mission Statement 

As an innovative higher education institution, at College of the Canyons (COC), we pride ourselves in offering an accessible, enriching learning environment where our students excel in their academic and skill preparations. To meet our College’s mission, as stated in our Mission Statement, COC “embraces diversity, fosters technical competencies, [and] supports the development of global responsibilities.” To that end, the Office of International Services and Programs (ISP) hosts an annual International Forum on Youth (IFY) where we invite distinguished scholars and experts to the campus, in conjunction with our local and campus experts, to hold lectures, panels, and discussion forums to raise awareness on issues youth of this generation face, to reshape cultural and historical narratives about the youth, as well as to recognize and celebrate their courage and triumph as the future leaders of the world.  

Vision Statement

Being a leading 2-year college, College of the Canyons wants to be recognized as an innovative, inclusive, and entrepreneurial higher education learning institution. By implementing key tenets of Comprehensive Internationalization on campus, the Office of International Services and Programs (ISP), in its three-year strategic planning cycle, uses the format of this forum to raise our global profile, to further timely and scholarly dialogue on international matters, and to create opportunities where our students not only learn from scholars and experts across the globe but have the opportunity to voice their vision for the betterment of the world. 

The themes for the three-year strategic planning cycle for the IFY are:

2019 - Identity 

2020 - Migration 

2021 - Transition


  • Foster strong scholarship among faculty and connections with international scholars 
  • Encourage dialogue on challenging topics that are timely and international by nature
  • Generate interest among faculty, students, and staff for projects and education abroad

Watch Recordings on Facebook or YouTube 

*All times listed are in Pacific Standard Time*

Mon Nov 16, 2020

Tue Nov 17, 2020

Wed Nov 18, 2020

Thur Nov 19, 2020

11:00 AM - 12:15 PM

Introduction - Dr. Matsumoto & Dr. Cheng Levine

"One Way Ticket: The African American Experience during the Great Migration, 1915-1970"

by Dr. Brent Riffel 

11:00 AM - 12:15 PM

Introduction - Dr. Matsumoto

"1945: Letters from Atomic Bomb Survivors in Hiroshima and Nagasaki"

by Haruka Sakaguchi

11:00 AM - 12:15 PM

Introduction - Dr. Brent Riffel

"Challenges and Strategies for Youth Living in a Global Pandemic"

by Professor Pamela Williams-Páez

11:00 AM - 12:15 PM

Introduction - Dr. Cheng Levine

"Migrating Youth from China to the United States:  Effective Transition Strategies"

by Dr. Reagan Romali

2:00 PM - 3:15 PM

Introduction - Dr. Brent Riffel

"The Foundation Environmental System Conditions Underlining the Problem with Rapid Species Migration"

by Tim Honadel

2:00- 3:30 PM
Student Panel 

Ysabella Colwell COC Student from Canada

Susan Lin
COC Student from Taiwan

Wei-Ni Lin 
COC Student from Taiwan

Zhichao Ke  COC Student from China

Jace Trinidad COC Alumni at UC Riverside

Yinghua Yu
PhD candidate from Western Sydney University

2:00- 3:30 PM

Introduction - Tim Honadel

"Does Everything Really Cause Cancer? The Truth Behind Cancer Myths"

by Dr. Kelly Cude

2:00 - 4:00 PM

Scholar Panel
Professor James  Arvanitakis

Tim Honadel 

Dr. Kelly Cude

Dr. Brent Riffel 

Dr. Reagan Romali

Professor Pamela William-Paez 

Haruka Sakaguchi

5:00 PM - 6:15 PM 

Introduction - Dr. Cheng Levine

"The Importance of the Community College Experience:  Interconnectedness Lessons from Opening an American Community College in the Middle East"

by Dr. Reagan Romali  

5:00 PM - 6:15 PM 

Introduction - Dr. Brent Riffel

"The Citizen Scholar: How can we ensure our students are prepared for the next Black Swans"

by Professor James Arvanitakis



  • Haruka Sakaguchi Haruka Sakaguchi is a Japanese documentary photographer currently residing in Brooklyn, New York. She was born in Osaka, Japan and immigrated to the US with her parents when she was three months old. Haruka's documentary work focuses on cultural identity and sense of place, and has been published on The New York Times, National Geographic, TIME, The New Yorker, Smithsonian Magazine, Newsweek and The Washington Post among other publications. Her project 1945 was on display at the Nobel Peace Center in Oslo from November 2017 thru November 2018.
  • James Arvanitakis Professor James Arvanitakis (PhD) the Pro Vice Chancellor (Engagement) at Western Sydney University. He is also a lecturer in the Humanities and a member of Western Sydney University’s Institute for Cultural and Society, having recently spent 12 months at the University of Wyoming as the Milward L Simpson Fulbright Fellow.  

    In 2015, James founded The Academy at Western Sydney University – an Honours College – that received an Australian Financial Review Higher Education Excellence Award (2016). In 2016, he established Western’s Graduate Research School and was the Pro Vice Chancellor (Research and Graduate Studies) 2018-20.  

    James is internationally recognised for his innovative teaching, receiving the Prime Minister’s University Teacher of the Year Award (2012) and names an Eminent Researcher by the Australia India Education Council (2015) 

    James is an Honorary Fellow at the Australian India Institute since 2016. He has over 100 publications and his latest book is Teaching and Learning in Higher Education in India and Australia (2019). He is a regular media commentator often seen on the Drum and News24.

  • Regaen Romali

    Dr. Reagan F. Romali currently serves as the Interim Vice President for Administrative Services at Los Angeles Mission College, part of the Los Angeles Community College District.  She previously served for nine years as a college president including three as Superintendent-President of the Long Beach Community College District and six as President of Harry S Truman College, one of the City Colleges of Chicago.  She is a nationally recognized educational leader who has achieved groundbreaking work in student success, increased graduation rates, increased transfer rates and equitized outcomes.

    One of the most exciting opportunities of her career was when she served the Houston Community College on a venture to open a new community college in the Middle Eastern nation of Qatar, the first community college in that country.

    Dr. Romali has a multi-cultural family with two adopted sons from the People’s Republic of China and has lived outside the United States twice.

  • Brent

    Professor of History at College of the Canyons 

    Dr. Brent Riffel has taught American History and the History of the Middle East at College of the Canyons since 2008. Since 2015, he’s been the co-coordinator of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning. Among other activities, he also participates in the International Film Series, the SYNERGY Program, faculty mentorship, and is a LEAP graduate. A native of Little Rock, Arkansas, he holds a doctorate in modern American History from the University of Arkansas, where he specialized in labor and race relations in the contemporary South.  He has published articles in, among other publications, Southern Historian, the African American National Biography, the Arkansas Historical Quarterly, the Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture, the Ozark Historical Quarterly, and in the recent collection, Arsnick: The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in Arkansas, 1962-1967.  He also served as chief researcher for An Arkansas History for Young People, Fourth Edition, published by the University of Arkansas Press.  
  • Tim Tim Honadel is a life-long educator currently working at the College of the Canyons in the International Student program. He has worked in dozens of countries spanning decades of his career. Tim has worked on environmental sustainability and compliance issues for private industry, state and local governments, and not-for-profit organizations. Using a systems lens, Tim will present the fundamental premise for why the artificial migration of species negatively impacts the planetary systems that govern the thriving environment that we live in today.
  • Kelly Cude Dr. Kelly Cude joined the College of the Canyons (COC) Biological Sciences Department in January 2007 and has taught a multitude of courses ranging from cell biology and microbiology to molecular genetics and cancer biology.  Dr. Cude grew up in a coastal community near Monterey Bay California where she attended community college before transferring to the University of California, Davis (B.S. Genetics, 1998) and the University of Washington, Seattle (Ph.D. Molecular & Cellular Biology, 2004). Following her PhD studies, Dr. Cude took a full-time teaching position at Western Washington University, before transferring to COC. One of her goals as an instructor is to help her students to change their perspective of the living world through highlighting the amazingly diverse, complex, and intricate world of cells, the smallest unit of life.  In addition, she hopes to increase science literacy within her students by dispelling common science myths and by instilling an appreciation for critical thinking. 

    Her scientific field of study (and personal passion!) is cancer biology.  While Dr. Cude has worked in many areas of cancer research, including Phase II Clinical Trials at the National Cancer Institute, gene sequencing and in vivo assays in cultured cancer cells, one of her favorite ways to spend time is looking at cells through the microscope.  In the Fall of 2013, along with her co-presenter Professor Kelly Burke, Dr. Cude exhibited a collection of photomicrographs at their collaborative art show, ‘Life as Art.” The exhibit was highlighted in their 2014 TEDx presentation and remains on permanent display in the Biological Sciences Department at COC. Although no longer performing bench research, Dr Cude continues to present locally, nationally, and internationally on a variety of cancer topics including cancer risk factors, the biology of tumor formation, and targeted cancer therapies.  

  • Pamela Williams-Páez Pamela Williams-Páez is a Professor of Sociology at College of the Canyons in Valencia, California. Her primary areas of interest are Race & Ethnicity, Crime and Deviance, Social Justice Studies, and Teaching Sociology. Some influential folks that have impacted her craft are: Howard S. Becker, Sherman Alexie, Angela Davis, and June Jordan. Professor Páez has extensive educational travel experiences in places such as Germany, Palestine, Hungary, Spain, Colombia, Ecuador, Switzerland, and South Africa. She loves to travel. And when at home, as a native Californian, her interests including spending time at the beach and outdoors, listening to and making music, maintaining her garden, and creating handmade ceramic art.



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