Campus News

Be a Part of the Commencement Ceremony for Pierce's Class of 2015

Celebrate the hard work and achievements of Pierce College’s Class of 2015 at the 67TH Commencement Ceremony, Tuesday, June 9, 2015. Graduates are getting their caps and gowns ready; families and friends carrying flowers, balloons and gifts will gather with the graduating students in a crowd of about 3,000.


Author-director-producer Rick Najera will be Pierce College’s keynote speaker. Join us at 6 p.m. under the shade of the trees in Rocky Young Park. It’s a festive time for all.


The Pierce College Philosophy Club Presents the Icebox Student Contest



Icebox invites you to participate in our Pierce College STUDENT CONTEST!


Icebox is a visual art and literature journal that aims to inspire and illuminate its readers by converging the worlds of art, literature, and philosophy. Through the student contest, Icebox provides students with the opportunity to explore philosophy through artistic creation and to have their work showcased in our online publication as well as at the Philosopher’s Cabaret. Winners will also receive a cash prize.


This semester's theme for the Icebox student contest is View through the Rabbit Hole: the Paradox of Perspective. When we open the icebox, we are looking to be inspired, nourished, indulged. We hunt through the shelves and find an assortment of ingredients and dishes. Every flavor the mind can conceive is waiting to be sampled and savored. The icebox we aim to explore with the student contest isn’t just any old refrigeration device. Its our imagination, which houses creativity, artistry, and individual perspective. For this semester’s theme, we are exploring the philosophy of perspectivism and asking you to artistically respond with what you think about perspectives and/or their significance in our world.


Poetry Contest:  We ask you to write a poem exploring the ideas behind perspectivism. Work should not exceed 500 words in length. Submissions must be formatted as a Word document.


Art Contest: We ask you to create a visual work of art exploring the ideas behind perspectivism. Work may comprise of any material (e.g., oil on canvas, papier-mâché, mosaic, clay sculptures, etc.). Work must be submitted online as a .pdf document.


First place winners will be published in the Icebox online journal and will each receive a $50 prize. Performers will be showcased and all winners announced at "The Philosopher's Cabaret," which will take place in The Great Hall at Pierce College, on Thursday, May 28th at 5pm.


Deadline for submission is Sunday, May 24th at 11:59PM. Submissions can be sent to  Please write “Student Contest Submission” as the subject of your email.  **Late submissions will not be accepted.** For more information, please visit, or direct questions to, with “student contest inquiry” as the subject of your email.


Students To Be Celebrated for their Achievements on Marquee


Pierce student achievements will be highlighted on the electronic marquee at the corner of Victory and Winnetka beginning June 8, 2015. Look for the names of students who are transferring from Pierce College to a university or college, or who have earned a degree or certificate, this June. 


Students who would like to be shown on the marquee must personally send an email to with the following information by Friday, June 5:  

  • Your Name
  • One of the following:  Name of the college you are transferring to, name of the degree, or the name of the certificate you earned
  • Your Student ID88 number

Then watch the corner marquee for your name in June! Pierce College students are going places.


Indulge in the Icebox Philosopher’s Cabaret on May 28

Pierce students celebrate the creative exploration of philosophical ideas with this mixed media event that combines digital video, live spoken word, and live performance. Students will create and present performances (up to 4-minutes) centered on the theme View through the Rabbit Hole: the Paradox of Perspective.


The Philosophers Cabaret will take place on Thursday, May 28th at 5 p.m. in the Great Hall; reception immediately following; live bands to open and close the cabaret; special guest host to perform throughout; refreshments and DJ after the show.


Performances may include original songs, skits, videos, poetry, dance, performance art, etc. Students may also create visual artworks, which will be displayed in The Great Hall. There will be an opportunity to participate in a group art project during the Cabaret. All Pierce students are encouraged to participate. To perform or submit art, email Dr. McQuitty by deadline of Monday, May 25 at 9 a.m. Or just show up and enjoy the show!


When we open the icebox, we are looking to be inspired, nourished, indulged. We hunt through the shelves and find an assortment of ingredients and dishes. Every flavor the mind can conceive is waiting to be sampled and savored. The icebox we aim to explore with the student contest isn’t just any old refrigeration device. It’s our imagination, which houses creativity, artistry, and individual perspective. For this semester’s theme, we are exploring the philosophy of perspectivism and asking you to artistically respond with what you think about perspectives and/or their significance in our world.


Icebox Student Contest winners will be announced at the Cabaret, and they will each be awarded a $50 prize. We will also be celebrating our third issue of Icebox Journal with readings from the upcoming edition.



Calling all Speech 101 Students—Ready to Join the Annual Speech Tournament?



Professors organizing the Third Annual Pierce College Speech Tournament are looking for current Speech 101 students to join in the competition on Friday, May 15, 2015 from 12 to 5 p.m.  Participating students and everyone who would like to watch will begin in the Village, and the finalists will move on to the Great Hall.


Winners will earn cash prizes--$200 for first place, $100 for second place, and $75 for third place. Instructors are giving out extra credit for participation. The event is put on by the Speech Communication Department under Chair Jennifer Rosenberg. It is also supported by the Associated Students Organization, which is paying for food and prizes.


“Generally students polish a speech on a chosen topic they’ve worked on in class,” Rosenberg said. “We’ve seen topics from why you should travel to Kenya to the secrets behind magic,” she said.


According to Rosenberg, students will speak from 5-7 minutes each in either of two categories, Informative or Persuasive. Judges are Pierce professors until the finals, which are judged by a panel of CSUN professors under Dr. John Kephart, head of debate at CSUN.


“This tournament brings the campus together and provides an experience for students to work on the speaking skills they’ll use later in their careers,” Rosenberg said.


Talk to your Speech 101 Professor to get involved.

Journey Through Nostalgia with Pierce Encore Singers


The Encore Singers at Los Angeles Pierce College will be presenting their spring concert on Sunday, June 7, at 2:30 p.m. at the Performing Arts Building on the Pierce College campus. The concert, entitled "I’ll Be Seeing You: A Journey through Nostalgia," will include music made popular during the WWII era. Songs will include: Don’t sit Under the Apple Tree, The White Cliffs of Dover, Don’t Get Around Much Anymore, Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy and, of course, I’ll be Seeing you. 


Tickets may be purchased the day of the concert beginning at 1:00 p.m. at the Theater Box Office. For more information and directions to the college, please visit us at Pierce Encore Singers on Facebook.  Tickets are $10 General Admission and $5 for Children under age 12. 



Annual Student Art Show To Open with Awards Ceremony


The Pierce College Department of Art and Architecture invites you to the 2015 Annual Student Exhibition.  The exhibition opens Thursday May 7th and runs through Wednesday May 26th.  The opening reception will be on Thursday May 7th at 6 pm with an awards ceremony and reception in the gallery courtyard.


The Annual Student Exhibition is the culmination of the school year. It celebrates the creative effort and artistic growth of Pierce College students taking classes in the Art and Architecture Department.  Many mediums are represented including sculpture, ceramics, painting, drawing, multimedia, graphic design, printmaking, illustration, and architecture.  This year’s exhibition will be awarded prizes for Best of Show, as well as First through Third Place Awards, and Honorable Mentions.  Guest jurors for prizes are Addy Renteria-Gonzalez and Erin Stone, Directors of 11:11 A Creative Collective, our local San Fernando Valley pop-up gallery space.  The Annual Student Exhibition is supported by a grant from the Pierce College ASO and the Foundation for Pierce College.


If you need an accommodation due to a disability to participate in this exhibition, please contact the Department of Art and Architecture, Associate Professor of Art and Gallery Director, Monika Del Bosque, at 818-710-2262 or email


Public Invited to See Pierce Renovated Theatre Complex, Reopening May 1


The Pierce College Performing Arts Center, which has been closed for renovations, will showcase its upgrades beginning May 1, 2015 on the Mainstage with the classic American story, “To Kill a Mockingbird.” Classes have been underway in the theater during spring semester, and the public will now be invited to see the $8 million transformation made possible by voter-approved bond measures.


Set on a hill, the 34-year-old complex consists of a large main theatre with lobby and box office, a smaller 100-seat “black-box” theatre, a large scene shop where sets are built, gardens with a courtyard and view of the mountains, and an array of classrooms, offices, and underground areas which house a costume shop (where costumes are constructed) and dressing and makeup rooms, as well as an added storage area for costumes, props and set pieces.


Built in 1981, it was time for the entire theatre building to be refurbished and made more accessible for our public. The present Mainstage was outfitted with state-of-the-art lighting, rigging and sound equipment to increase the quality of the stage performances.  Aisles have been lined with hand rails, and 345 new cushioned seats are ready to be filled by audience members who will now have more legroom. Acoustical upgrades were made to the auditorium. Wheelchair access by a lift on one side of the auditorium will offer handicapped patrons seating in the fourth row.

The enhanced lobby, following a red color scheme throughout, has been enlarged and greets patrons with a new built-in box office and concession area. An architectural highlight is the curving teak ceiling with contemporary lighting. Classrooms and the 100-seat Dow Arena Theatre (which was renovated in 2005 thanks to a grant by actress and former Pierce Theatre Instructor Ellen Dow) was brought up to modern standards with new flooring. Theatre offices were remodeled, and all bathrooms, inside and out, have been enlarged and modernized.

Underground, a “trap room” was installed directly beneath the stage with a new stage trap door system to allow performers and sets to “appear” through the floor.  The costume and makeup area doubled in size with added costume and properties storage.  

On the outside of the building, the current wheelchair ramp is less steep and the patio has been redone with benches and other seating areas. Another welcome addition is a new garden to the east of the building, which, along with the Eugene Francis Dow Courtyard, has been sustainably landscaped and furnished with benches and tables so students and theatre-goers can enjoy the beautiful view from atop the hill.

“To Kill a Mockingbird” will run on the Mainstage from May 1 through 10, 2015.  Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel is adapted for the stage by Christopher Sergel and will be directed by Pierce Professor Emeritus RoZsa Horvath. Tickets are available from the Pierce Theatre Department at 818-719-6488, or online at


American Classic "To Kill a Mockingbird" Will Close LAPC Theatre Season


Los Angeles Pierce College Theatre’s 2014-2015 Season concludes in May with Christopher Sergel’s stage adaptation of Harper Lee’s beloved, Pulitzer Prize winning novel, To Kill A Mockingbird. Performances begin Friday, May 1 and continue through Sunday, May 10, 2015. This is the inaugural production on the Mainstage of Pierce College’s newly-renovated Performing Arts Center.


Set in Alabama during the Great Depression, momentous events unfold through the eyes of 10 year old Scout, growing up in a close-knit neighborhood with her older brother Jem and their summertime visitor Dill. When their father Atticus Finch, a well-respected lawyer, mounts a vigorous and compelling case for the defense of Tom Robinson, a black man accused of the rape of a young white girl, an idyllic world of childhood is changed forever. Through the drama of the trial and its aftermath comes a searching examination of freedom, justice, honesty and hypocrisy. To Kill A Mockingbird is a timeless, compelling and deeply moving story told with warmth and humor.


LAPC Theatre’s production of To Kill A Mockingbird is directed by RoZsa Horvath, and features Michael Chandler as Atticus Finch, Elyse Hamilton as Scout, Matt Markham as Jem, Jean Hyppolite as Tom Robinson, Gannon Hays as Dill and Robin McClamb as Calpurnia. The rest of the cast includes Steven Alpert, Robin Anderson, Cody Bailey, Chakiyah Bowman, Matt DeHaven, Leah Foster, Danielle Handel, Will Hill, Kayla Humphrey, Scott Kriloff, Lark Soleil Le Clear, Von Schauer, Michele Selin, Arvie Sherman, Albert Thakur and Vance Wells. Scenic design is by Gene Putnam, costume design by Eileen Gizienski, lighting design by Michael Gend and sound design by Edward Salas. Natasha Wells is the stage manager.


To Kill A Mockingbird opens on Friday, May 1 at 8pm, and continues on Saturday, May 2 at 8pm, Sunday, May 3 at 2pm, Friday, May 8 at 8pm, Saturday, May 9 at 8pm and Sunday, May 10 at 2pm. Tickets are priced at $12 for students and seniors and $15 for general admission. Free parking is conveniently located in parking #6 on the Pierce College campus, adjacent to the Performing Arts Center.  For more information, or to purchase tickets, call 818-719-6488. Tickets may also be purchased online at



Pierce Students Tackle World Problems in First Town Hall Project


Pierce students will begin to resolve world problems in a first-ever special event hosted by the college called the “Town Hall Project,” or, “How to Change the World and Solve Problems.” 


The project involves more than 550 students from various disciplines who will identify problems, perform research and develop solutions to those problems. It culminates in a May 1 Town Hall where they will meet with experts in the fields of government, non-profits, business—many, Pierce’s own alumni—to solve world problems. Assemblymember Matt Dababneh will join the Town Hall, which runs from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Great Hall, as the keynote speaker. He represents California’s 45th State Assembly district, encompassing most of the western San Fernando Valley. Students will be greeted in the morning by college President Kathleen F. Burke and hear a short address by Vice President of Student Services, Earic Peters.


According to Denise Robb, Pierce Political Science Professor and Town Hall organizer, Pierce is the only community college undertaking the Town Hall Project, a pilot program modeled after the heralded California State University, Chico, Town Hall.


“I think this is an exciting opportunity for us to show students that classroom learning doesn’t have to end there,” Robb said. “Life is an adventure, an opportunity to grow and change and be a part of the world. This is their time to shine and see how they can leave a lasting legacy for positive change in addition to gaining their world-class educational and research skills.”


This multipronged project began in classes this semester, with students researching and writing papers on six topics: homelessness, immigration, climate change, gender inequality, disparities in the criminal justice system and mental health issues. For example, in geography, Professor Adrian Youhanna’s classes are mapping immigration patterns. Students in subjects as diverse as anthropology, English, political science, philosophy, math, geography, communications, sociology and criminal justice are participating. On May 1, students will divide into groups of 15-25 and attend two-hour workshops for discussion and to present their research to experts who have volunteered to meet with and help them develop their solutions—perhaps even implement some of those solutions.


“For example, if a student decided to tackle the problem of the myriad young children coming across the border who are being processed and detained, they will meet with one of our experts from CHIRLA (Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights in Los Angeles) and discuss potential solutions to this problem. If their subject is homelessness, they might meet with a Coalition to End Hunger and Homelessness representative.”


Approximately 200 people have volunteered as experts, facilitators or simply to help with the event logistics.  More than half of these volunteers are distinguished Pierce College alumni and the rest are Pierce faculty, staff and students. Pierce’s Associated Student Organization (ASO) will help facilitate the event. Afterward, students will be tracked to see if they continued at Pierce, transferred, or graduated as part of the college’s Student Success Initiative.


CSU Chico created this Town Hall experience because it improves students' confidence as scholars and boosts retention. Aside from the obvious benefits of having students engage with real world problems so that their education is not just esoteric, there is data to support that this project has increased retention, graduation, persistence and success for all students. CSU Chico reports that the Town Hall Meeting participants have a significantly higher first-year retention rate than non-Town Hall students. For every year since the inception of the program, there is a 5-7% increase in retention among those who experience the Town Hall Meeting.  This reached a 91 percent retention rate in 2010-11.  Also, data shows that among minority students, retention is 6-9 percent higher among students in the Town Hall, culminating in a 93 percent retention rate in 2010-11.


The Town Hall was one of the reasons why CSU Chico received the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching 2015 Community Engagement Classification, in addition to being named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for the seventh time in eight years. 


“This is the generation we are relying on to leave their mark,” Robb concluded.  It makes us proud.  It gives us hope.”


For details, speak to your participating professor or contact Professor Denise Robb at 818-710-2660; email