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News Release

November 9, 2021

College Hosts International Forum on Youth

For the third year in a row, College of the Canyons will host an International Forum on Youth on November 15-19, 2021, which will highlight the challenges and aspirations faced by today’s young people through lectures, scholarly presentations, and other virtual events.

“Building on the success of the last two years, we are truly excited about this year’s theme of transition in a globalized world,” said Dr. Jia-Yi Cheng-Levine, dean of International Affairs & Global Engagement at the college. “At our first event, we reached over 500 attendees. Last year, we doubled the number of online views. What makes our third-year events unique is our focus on actionable projects. We want to listen to our students on what kind the world they want to live in and provide platforms where young people could feel that, together, we do so something about it.”

Hosted by COC’s International Services & Programs, the five-day forum was designed to help foster strong scholarship among faculty, form connections with international scholars, encourage dialogue on challenging topics that are timely and international by nature, and generate interest among faculty, students, and staff for projects and comprehensive internationalization.

The 2021 International Forum on Youth will feature scholars and experts from Nepal, Vietnam, Poland, and other nations, along with COC professors, who will provide insights into today’s youth based on their respective areas of expertise and inspire youth to act.

This year’s keynote speaker will be Chancellor Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook who has been at helm of College of the Canyons since 1988, making her the longest serving community college CEO in California. During her professional career, there has been a transition in how society views women’s roles in the workplace. She will share her personal experience as a woman in leadership roles over the past 30 years.

Other presenters include:

  • Prakash Chandra Giri, a principle and scholar from Nepal.
  • Dr. Mark A. Ashwill, an international educator whose career expands the public, non-profit and private sectors over three countries.
  • Magdalena Błyskosz, a high school student, social entrepreneur, TEDx speaker, and event organizer from Poland, whose global organization hosts networking events for students around the world.
  • COC faculty members

The forum will include a student panel that will offer COC students a chance to voice their perspectives and will conclude with a virtual town hall where attendees can voice ideas and make suggestions regarding COC’s international efforts.

For a complete schedule of events and to access the forum online via Zoom, please click here.

For more information about the 2021 International Forum on Youth, please email