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News Release

April 23, 2019

District Communications Recognized for Marketing

The College of the Canyons District Communications Office – which develops integrated communications plans that coordinate the district’s marketing, advertising, public relations, and social media efforts – has won six Community College Public Relations Organization (CCPRO) awards and a Paragon Award from the National Council for Marketing & Public Relations (NCMPR).

The department received five awards during CCPRO’s annual conference in San Diego April 10 to 12. In addition, the department received a 2019 Paragon Award during NCMPR's annual conference in Orlando in March.

“I wish to congratulate our District Communications Office for this well-deserved recognition by their industry peers,” said Chancellor Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook, who was also named 2018 CCPRO PROmoter of the Year for her longtime and enthusiastic support of community college public relations and marketing. “The bridges they build and relationships they continuously develop help to form the foundation for our college’s future. They are resourceful, creative, and above all, dependable.”

The award-winning team includes 21 full-time and part-time staff in five departments: Public Information Office, Sports Information, Graphic Design Center, Reprographics Center, and Communication Center/Mailroom.

The office is led by Eric Harnish, vice president of public information, advocacy, and external relations, who received CCPRO’s illustrious All Pro Award. The award is given to one community college communicator for outstanding work on behalf of California’s community colleges.

“It’s an honor to be recognized by my colleagues around the state,” Harnish said. “And, I am privileged to lead an amazing team of professionals at College of the Canyons. Their talent and dedication make it all possible, and they share the credit for this award.”

In addition to managing the college’s marketing, advertising, and public relations, Harnish also leads the district’s government relations efforts. He first started working at COC in 2001 as special assistant to the chancellor. Prior to joining the college, he worked as a reporter and editor for The Signal, Santa Clarita’s daily community newspaper.

“Professional, flexible, creative, practical, and a person of integrity, Mr. Harnish has helped the entire department to evolve into the quality enterprise it is today,” Van Hook said. “He invests in relationships, helps to develop people, creates opportunities, and follows through. Easy to talk to and a good listener, he invites people in, engages, and gets amazing results.”

After graduating from the University of Southern California with bachelor’s degrees in print journalism and international relations, he earned a master’s degree in business administration, with an emphasis in marketing, from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

CCPRO is a Sacramento-based nonprofit organization whose voluntary membership consists of California’s 72 local public community college districts. The organization’s mission is to strengthen the state’s community colleges through leadership development, advocacy and district services.

Headquartered in New Mexico, NCMPR exclusively represents marketing and public relations professionals at community and technical colleges and is governed by a 14-member board of directors who are working community college marketing professionals.

College of the Canyons is proud to share this achievement during California Community College Month, which celebrates the civic contributions and academic achievements of the state’s community colleges during the month of April.