2019 International Forum on Youth

September 9 - 12, 2019

2019 International Forum on Youth Flyer pg1 int forum 2

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

Speaker Biographies


    Dr. Enas Mohamed Abou Youssef, Dean of Mass Communication Faculty, Ahram Canadian University since 2015. She is a Professor of Journalism and the editor in Chief of the Arab Journal of Media & Communication Research, one of the high ranked refereed journal in Egypt. Professor Abou Youssef main fields of research interests are international communication and media and gender. Her Ph.D was a co-supervision between Cairo University and UCSD where she has spent two years probing the coverage of the Arab Israeli struggle in the New York Times under the supervision of late Professor Herbert Schiller. As a media and gender researcher, she conducted many researches and papers concerning media and gender in Egypt, Tunisia and conferences at MESA 2013, and Germany 2012,2013,2014. She was a board member of Egyptian National Council of Women, 2006-2009 and the technical Consultant of Media Women Watch  National Council of Women and UNICEF 2004---2011. Professor Abou Youssef is also interested in international collaboration, she is one of the  founders of The Arab-European Association for Media and Communication Researchers (AREACORE) since 2013. She was a Visiting Professor Ocean County College as a Fulbright scholar 2006-2007, a part time teacher in Arabic Language and Communication Program in UN New York 2006 -2008 and a visiting Professor at Monmouth University NJ, USA , Fall 2008. As a Dean OF Mass Communication Faculty . she has a running collaboration program of students exchange with Free University in Berlin, a dual degree to start next spring with Ocean County and Kean University and an MOU with Montclair University concerning graduate studies.

    Availability for classroom presentations: 9/9/19 - 9/12/19 in the morning


    Professor of Mathematics at College of the Canyons

    Born and raised in Kobe, Japan, Dr. Sab Matsumoto came to the United States as a high school student at age 15. He has an M.S. from Virginia Tech and Ph.D. from the University of Michigan, both in mathematics. Before joining the faculty at College of the Canyons, Sab worked as a research fellow in pure mathematics at the University of Melbourne (Australia) and Tokyo Institute of Technology (Japan) and then as a full-time instructor at Belhaven College (Jackson, Mississippi) and The Master’s College (Newhall, California). Sab worked as Chair of the Mathematics Department for four years at COC; currently he is serving as the AB 705 math faculty coordinator, an Academic Senator, and a member of the Curriculum Committee. As a former ESL student who struggled with the English language and an F1 student living far away from home, Sab has a passion for helping international students. He is also involved with recent efforts to bring more overseas students to COC. 


    Journalist /Documentary Filmmaker/Fulbright Fellow, Investigative Reporting Program, University of California Berkeley /Adjunct Researcher, the Institute for Journalism at Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan. 

    Born in 1987, Chiba Prefecture, Japan, Journalist and documentary filmmaker Hanayo Oya has started her career as a TV reporter with Ryukyu Asahi Broadcasting, Okinawa, Japan, in 2012. For five years, she covered the issues of the U.S. military bases, crimes and accidents committed by the U.S. military personnel, and the Self-Defense Forces deployment issue on Okinawa. She also has earned six awards of excellence for her documentaries and reports.  Her latest documentary film “Boy Soldiers: The Secret War in Okinawa” (Co-directed by Chie Mikami) has been shown at theaters in Japan to a total of 27,000 audience members since the summer of 2018. It was also screened at Busan International Film Festival 2018 (South Korea), the largest film festival in Asia. The film received eight awards in Japan, and topped the 2018 Japan Film Pen Club's best documentary film ranking list, as well as the 2018 Kinema Jumpo's Best Cultural Film. Oya regularly publishes stories and video reports on Yahoo! Japan news, the most influential news outlet in Japan. Also works as an adjunct researcher at the Institute For Journalism, Waseda University. Currently lives in the U.S. and is in the process of making a new documentary film about the U.S. military's structural violence against the local communities inside and outside of the U.S. Earned M.A. in Journalism from the Graduate School of Journalism, Waseda University, 2012. B.A. in English Literature and a teacher's license from the Department of English Literature, Meiji Gakuin University, 2009. 

    Availability for classroom Presentations: 9/1/19 - 9/12/19 in the morning 


    Dr. Steven Phelps received dual bachelor's degrees in physics and philosophy from Stanford University and a Ph.D in physics from Princeton University, specializing in cosmology.  He served at the Baha'i World Centre in Haifa, Israel for 13 years in its Research Department, where he coordinated the indexing and collation of the Baha'i Sacred Writings and their translation from Arabic and Persian into English.  During that period he concurrently held a research position in the physics department at the Technion University in Haifa, where he published original research on the masses of nearby galaxies. He currently resides in Oregon with his wife and three daughters, where he uses AI to study sepsis in hospitals and the connectivity of the worldwide social network. He frequently speaks internationally on topics at the intersection of physics, philosophy and spirituality.


    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.  

    Tsai Chi Hua, born in 1966, graduated from Department of English in Tamkang University in 1990 and Graduate School in National Changhua University of Education in 2009. Chi Hua has been a teacher since 1992. Chi Hua is currently the Director of International Education at the Hui-Wen High School in Taichung, Taiwan. Prior to joining administration, Chi Hua has held a wide variety of teaching positions throughout his career, including as an English teacher at the Chin-Chen High School and Chang-Yi High School in Middle Taiwan, as well as lecturer in Tunghai University in Taichung City.

    In 2014, Chi Hua got the Best Teacher Award from the Education Ministry of Taiwan. In 2015, Chi Hua got Devotion Award of Education from Hsing Yun Education Fund, one of the biggest awards in Taiwan

    Simultaneously, Chi Hua is also a writer and poet, having got some writing awards in Taiwan, including first place of prose in Taipei Literature Award and Taichung Literature Award, as well as first place in poetry contest in Taichung City.

    Since 2013, Chi Hua has published seven books concerning literature, writing and education, luckily most of which get good sale.  From the website attached, you may see the seven books mentioned.


    Availability for classroom presentations: 9/7/19 - 9/11/19 in the morning