Campus News

Moving Family Drama "Independence" Concludes LAPC Theatre Season

Los Angeles Pierce College Theatre’s 2013-2014 Season will conclude in May with award-winning playwright Lee Blessing’s powerful family drama, Independence. The play opens on Friday, May 2 and runs through Sunday, May 11, 2014. The setting is the small town of Independence, Iowa, the lifelong home of Evelyn Briggs. Her oldest daughter, Kess, is a university professor in Minneapolis, but she has come home at the request of her sister Jo who is concerned for Evelyn's mental health. Kess wants to cut her family ties once and for all; Jo, an incurable romantic and longtime virgin, is the homebody of the three; while Sherry, salty-tongued and amoral, wants only to finish high school so she can leave home for good. Independence is a powerful, disturbing study of a family divided against itself.


“Lee Blessing sinks his teeth into the rich emotional meat of a troubled family and manages to carve out fully realized characters who surprise, provoke and trouble the mind long after the show is over,” says the Los Angeles Times.


LAPC Theatre’s production of Independence is directed by Anita Adcock. The cast features Leah Foster as Evelyn, Stephanie Zushi as Kess, Elyse Hamilton as Jo and Sadé Reid as Sherry. Scenic design is by John Jones, with lighting design by Ellie Rabinowitz, costume design by Eileen Gizienski and sound design by Edward Salas. Erica Lawrence is the stage manager. The production opens on Friday, May 2 at 8pm, and continues on Saturday, May 3 at 8pm, Sunday, May 4 at 2pm, Friday, May 9 at 8pm, Saturday, May 10 at 8pm and Sunday, May 11at 2pm. Tickets are priced at $12 for students and seniors and $15 for general admission. Free parking is conveniently located in parking lots #7 and #8.  For more information, or to purchase tickets, call 818-719-6488. Tickets may also be purchased online, at CONTACT: MICHAEL SANDE, MANAGING DIRECTOR, 818-719-6488, EMAIL:


Summer Schedule 2014—with 400 classes—Now Posted Online at Pierce

Pierce is having the largest summer ever with 400 classes offered in three sessions—the variety of classes goes far beyond just core class offerings. Check out the schedules at, which posted on April 7, and Continuing Students can begin to register on April 14.


Watch your email for your registration appointment, or log into the Student Information System (SIS) at You can also reach the SIS from the home page by clicking on Admissions and Records, then Add/Drop Classes.


Summer Session 2014 dates are:

Session A:  June 16 - July 19 (5 weeks)

Session B:  July 21 - Aug. 23 (5 weeks)

8 week Session: June 16 - Aug 9


Plan your schedule for Summer now because this is a big opportunity for students who want to get some units under their belt before Fall comes. You can do it.



Governor’s Race, Obamacare Debate Featured in Day of Politics at Pierce College


Spring’s Day of Politics will showcase lively debate and discussion on Obamacare, the June primary for Governor, the 30th Congressional race and the 45th Assembly primary.  There will also be a Meet & Greet with numerous third party candidates and a Town Hall with Assemblyman Matt Dababneh. This is the latest in the college’s continuing series for the students and the greater community that brings in speakers to discuss and debate topical issues.


EVENT:            DAY OF POLITICS on upcoming June 3 Primaries

DATE:              Tuesday, April 29, 2014

TIME:               10:30 am – 6 pm

COST:              Free

LOCATION:      Pierce College Great Hall on the Mall

                        6201 Winnetka Ave., Woodland Hills, CA 91371



10:30-11:30 am  Prop 41 and 42 
11:30 am-12:30 pm    30th Congressional Race
12:30-2 pm         Health Care Debate – Obamacare, single payer or alternatives
2-3 pm                Governor’s Race
3-4pm                 45th Assembly Race (Susan Shelley confirmed)
4-5 pm                Third Parties – Meet and Greet, numerous candidates
5-6 pm                 Assemblyman Matt Dababneh Town Hall


This event will feature candidates competing in the June 3 statewide primary for Governor, 30th Congressional District and the only two candidates running for 45th assembly district.  Some of the featured guests include Eric Bauman, Vice Chair of the California Democratic Party (and Chair of the Los Angeles County Democratic Party), Luis Rodriguez, Green Party candidate for Governor, Assemblyman Matt Dababneh and his opponent, Republican Susan Shelley, who was a close runner-up in the special election for this seat a few months ago.  Additionally internationally renowned peace and social justice activist, whose son Casey was killed in Iraq will be appearing as a candidate for California Governor.  Dr. Dylan Roby of the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research will be defending Obamacare against Dr. Pam Brown, a Libertarian activist and Pierce professor and an additional speaker will represent California’s push for universal health care/single payer.  This promises to be a stimulating and informative event for both students and the wider community.


Day of Politics events are organized by Asst. Professor Denise Robb and sponsored by Pierce College’s Department of Political Science, Economics, Criminal Justice, Law and Chicano Studies. Co-sponsors are student organizations Alpha Gamma Sigma (AGS), the National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS), the Associated Students Organization (ASO), Politics Club and Feminist Club.


Pierce College is recognized as one of the most respected community colleges and transfer institutions in California. Located on 426 acres in the western San Fernando Valley, the two-year community college combines state-of-the-art technology and learning with the picturesque beauty of its rolling hills. The college serves 21,000 students in a diverse and dynamic mix of career, technical, transfer, workforce education and general interest programs. Visit the college website at



“An Evening with Dennis Prager” Will Shine Light on American Values


“An Evening with Dennis Prager” at Pierce College promises to be an exceptional special event on Wednesday, April 23, 2014, hosted by the ASO and Political Science Department. Doors open at 6:15 p.m. for the free 7 p.m. event in the Great Hall, and only students and their professors are invited as space is limited. Preregistration is required at


Dennis Prager is a nationally syndicated radio show host, columnist, author and public speaker who will speak on American values at Pierce as part of his college tour. He has lectured on all seven continents, in 45 U.S. states and in nine of Canada’s 10 provinces. He writes a syndicated column (Creators Syndicate) published in newspapers across the country and on the Internet.


Radio & TV – Prager is currently broadcasting live on KRLA radio in Los Angeles Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to noon. Sought after by television shows for his opinions, he has appeared on Larry King Live, Hardball, Hannity & Colmes, CBS Evening News, The Today Show and many others.


Films – In 2002 Prager produced a documentary Israel in a Time of Terror, a compelling look at how the average Israeli deals with the daily threat of terror. It has been shown at colleges, universities, churches and synagogues across the country. Dennis has also written and produced best-selling comedy videos on values: For Goodness Sake, directed by David Zucker (Naked Gun), For Goodness Sake II directed by Trey Parker (South Park).


Religion – Prager has engaged in interfaith dialogue with Catholics at the Vatican, Muslims in the Persian Gulf, Hindus in India, and Protestants at Christian seminaries throughout America. For ten years, he conducted a weekly interfaith dialogue on radio with representatives of virtually every religion in the world. Since 1992, he has been teaching the Bible verse-by-verse at the University of Judaism.


Academia and International Affairs – Prager was a Fellow at Columbia University’s School of International Affairs, where he did graduate work at the Middle East and Russian Institutes. He has taught Russian and Jewish history at Brooklyn College; and was appointed by President Ronald Reagan to the U.S. Delegation to the Vienna Review Conference on the Helsinki Accords. He holds an honorary doctorate of laws from Pepperdine University.


For more information on this event contact Political Science Chair Kathy Oborn at  818.710.2587 or



Earth Day at the Pierce Arboretum Shows off New Plantings, Clean Up


The Pierce Community is invited to visit the ongoing renovation at the Pierce College Arboretum in a celebration on Earth Day, Tuesday, April 22, 2014 at noon in Horticulture 4900. The Arboretum has been cleaned up by students and volunteers with new plantings and self-guiding interruptive signage to explain the different plantings. The Arboretum provides an open space for contemplation and study and is now available for the Pierce Community to enjoy. For information contact Gary at



KTLA Reporter to Discuss Covering the City’s Stories


Kimberly Cheng says her parents’ struggles as refugees motivate her to succeed. The KTLA reporter will speak Monday, April 28 at 11:15 in the Great Hall, discussing what it is like to cover the city of Los Angeles.  Cheng is a graduate of USC and has reported in Phoenix for an ABC affiliate and Palm Springs for a CBS affiliate. She has been an anchor, producer, reporter and red carpet host. Cheng is Cambodian-Chinese-American and her parents and siblings came to the U.S. as refugees. Her first job was selling doughnuts and coffee in her parents’ shop. Cheng says her parents’ struggles are what motivate her to succeed.


The television reporter will visit Pierce as part of the Pierce College Media Arts Department Speaker Series, a free program that welcomes esteemed speakers from the radio, film, journalism and website worlds. The events are a semester-long effort funded by the Associated Students Organization. Students, faculty, staff and the community are invited. Faculty can receive Flex Credit for attending. Refreshments will be served. Parking is available for $3 in Lot 1, near the Sheriff’s Station off Brahma Drive and Winnetka Avenue.

Bio courtesy of Kimberly Cheng:

“Kimberly Cheng is a reporter at KTLA in Los Angeles. An L.A. native, Cheng is proud to tell stories that affect the people of her hometown. Prior to joining KTLA, Cheng was a fill-in anchor, reporter and multimedia journalist at the ABC affiliate in Phoenix, Arizona. Cheng also worked at the CBS affiliate in Palm Springs, California. She has worn several hats: anchor, producer, reporter, red carpet host. Cheng has covered a variety of stories-- former President Gerald Ford's death; a controversial Prop 8 protest in Palm Springs that made national headlines; and interviewed some of the world's biggest celebrities.


Fight on! Cheng is a proud graduate from the University of Southern California where she earned a double-degree in Broadcast Journalism and Political Science. Cheng's professional background stretches beyond news. After graduating from USC, she worked for a prominent residential and commercial real estate developer. She also worked in commercial video production for one of the world's largest automakers.


Cheng is Cambodian-Chinese-American. Her parents and siblings came to the U.S. as refugees. They were forced to escape their homeland after years of torture and genocide under the Pol Pot regime. Without speaking a word of English and without a dime, her family started over. Her parents opened a donut shop in Los Angeles which they ran for decades. Cheng's first job was serving coffee and donuts. She has said her family's struggles are what motivate her to succeed. "With all the opportunities we have in this country, it would be a shame not to try and fulfill your true potential." In her free time, Cheng likes to stay active. Her hobbies include working out, snowboarding, hiking, and singing.”


Faculty can receive Flex Credit for attending. For more information contact Professor Stefanie Frith, Pierce College Media Arts Department, (818) 710-2960.


The Roundup, Bull and Collect Awards at Journalism Convention


The staff of Pierce College’s Roundup News, The Bull Magazine, and took home  ten awards the Journalism Association of Community Colleges’ 2014 State Convention, which took place at the Burbank Marriott Hotel and Convention Center in Burbank, Calif. The convention, which started Thursday, April 3, and ended Saturday, April 5, hosted community colleges statewide where student journalists were able to attend various workshops and compete in on-the-spot contests, mail-in, and bring-in categories. This year’s winners are:

Front Page Layout-Broadsheet
Third Place
Calvin Alagot

Magazine Cover Design
Third Place
Jeremy Nation/Monica Salazar

Photo Illustration
Fourth Place
John Gutierrez

News Photo
Third Place
Mohammad Djauhari

Photo Essay Story
Honorable Mention
Nelger Carrera

Newspaper Profile Feature
Third Place
Boo Reyes

Magazine Profile Article
Second Place
Kashish Nizami

Bring-in Photo
Second Place
Lynn Levitt

On-the-spot Sports Photo
Honorable Mention
Nelger Carrera

Webcast/Broadcast News
Second Place
Matt Gottesman




Farm Opens to Community on April 27 for Farmwalk 2014

WHAT:         Pierce College's Annual FARMWALK


WHO:         Open to the community, from toddlers through active seniors.


WHERE:     The Pierce College Farm (west side of campus)

                        6201 Winnetka Ave., Woodland Hills, CA 91371

                        Enter off Victory Blvd. at Mason Avenue--Free Parking


WHEN:      Sunday, April 27th 

                  9:30 am to 4:00 pm


COST:             $5.00 Donation Requested; Children under 12 play FREE


ACTIVITIES:     A Petting Zoo, Live Music, Tons of animals, Sheep Shearing, Wool Spinning,

                         Wool Dyeing, Multiple Horse Activities & Shows, Face Painting, Cow Milking,  

                         Greater LA Vector Control Department, Pierce College Choir, Firefighter Station

72 with their Fire Engine, California Beef Council, California Woman for Agriculture,

Mountain Lion Foundation, Agriculture & Animal Science Class Information,

Horticulture Displays, Cooked to Order Hamburgers Veggie Burgers and Hotdogs

by the Kiwanis Club, Antique Tractor Display, Vintage Car Display, Community

Information Displays, and Much Much More!


SPONSOR:     Pierce College Agriculture Department & the Foundation for Pierce College.


CONTACT: FOR MORE INFORMATION Please call Farmwalk Coordinator Noosha

                  Kohandarvish at 818-719-6463, email her at

                  Like us on Facebook at Pierce College Farmwalk.



Pierce Theatre Professor and Student Team set for Off-Broadway Premiere

The Pierce College Theatre Arts & Dance Department is pleased to announce that Assistant Professor & Department Chair Michael Gend has been hired as the lighting designer for the Off-Broadway, New York City premiere production of Annapurna this April at the Acorn Theater on West 42nd Street in Times Square. This will be Gend’s Off-Broadway design debut. Gend will be traveling to New York in early April and current Pierce College student Taylor Anne Cullen will serve as his second assistant designer in a one-of-a-kind internship opportunity. Cullen is a Theatre Arts major at Pierce, currently slated to graduate this coming June. 


“It is essential to the training of the next generation of theatre artists to not only study in the classroom but also get hands-on experience on professional productions,” said Gend. “The Pierce College Theatre Arts & Dance Department Faculty is full of working professional artists who can give our students experience and training that rivals that of any four year university. This is our first step in creating a national awareness of our program. Our students are now one step away from Broadway, which is the artistic capital of our industry.”


Gend was, in fact, a student at Pierce College in the late 1990s. “It has taken me over 15 years of tireless work to finally represent my college in the theatre capital of the country” he said.  “However I feel most gratified knowing that by doing so, Taylor Cullen will have the opportunity I never had, namely working on an Off-Broadway show during her tenure as a Pierce Theatre Arts student.  This is an incredible learning opportunity and one that she has earned in spades.


“I am hopeful that this is only the beginning,” Gend concluded, “and that the Pierce College Theatre Arts & Dance Department will one day serve as a direct career path/conduit to professional theatre jobs in Los Angeles, New York and throughout the country.”


Gend was the lighting designer for Annapurna during its Los Angeles premiere last spring at the Odyssey Theatre Ensemble.  The play is currently nominated as best production of the year by LA Weekly.  Annapurna is directed by Bart Delorenzo, one of L.A.’s most prolific directors and recipient of this year’s Los Angeles Drama Critic’s Circle Milton Katselas Award for Career Achievement in directing.  The play is written by Sharr White and stars real-life husband and wife Megan Mullaly (TV’s Will & Grace) and Nick Offerman (TV’s Parks & Recreation).  The New York premiere production will feature the entire L.A. creative team and cast.  The show is being produced by the New Group and is slated to run from April 13 to June 1.  For more information about the New York production of Annapurna, go to: or


Wi-Fi at Pierce is Now Secured with Log In


Have you ever been frustrated because you couldn’t get a Wi-Fi signal on campus? We want to change that and improve our students’ Wi-Fi experience. In the past we’ve offered open access, which has strained network capacity. The first step we are taking is to limit Pierce Wi-Fi access to just our students and staff.


The free Wi-Fi is called PierceAP. Starting in Spring 2014 Semester, Wi-Fi student users on campus will log on with their ID88 number and Pin password (four-digit birth month and year)—the same one used to sign up for classes. Faculty and Staff will log in with their regular email user ID and password.


What if you are a new student without an ID88 number?   Pierce will provide free Wi-Fi with no login for the first three weeks of each semester to give students time to apply and register. Find the guest login posted at the Information Desk on the first floor of the Student Services Building.


What if you are a new employee without a login?   Pierce will provide free Wi-Fi with no login for the first three weeks of each semester to give new employees opportunities to login.