Brandman News

Antelope Valley campus celebrates ribbon cutting

October 09, 2015

Antelope Valley campus director Norma Contreras wields an oversized pair of scissors to cut ribbons from the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce and Palmdale Chamber of Commerce as dignitaries and campus staff and faculty look on.

Officials from two chambers of commerce, a city councilman and representatives from state legislators, a congressman and a L.A. County supervisor were among those on hand to congratulate the Antelope Valley campus on its new site in Palmdale Wednesday morning.

Although the campus moved to 39115 Trade Center Drive, Palmdale, California, several months ago, Wednesday’s Open House included the official ribbon cutting ceremony. The campus was decorated in fall colors with faculty and staff greeting visitors and offering them tours that included the newly upgraded “classroom of the future” with its high-definition screen and Adobe Connect system.

The numerous visitors were also impressed with the other bright classrooms and the student and staff lounge area with computer stations, refrigerators and vending machines – something the old campus lacked.

Brandman staff members, led by campus director Norma Contreras and Community and Corporate Relations manager Kitty Calhoun, greeted members of the Palmdale Chamber of Commerce and Lancaster Chamber of Commerce and other local business leaders.

AccoladesPresenting proclamations and praising Brandman for its service to the community were:

  • U.S. Congressman Steve Knight (25th district) represented by Lisa Moulton, district director
  • California Sen. Sharon Runner’s office (21st district) represented by Donna Termeer, district director.  Runner is the vice chair of the California Senate Education Committee.
  • Assemblyman Tom Lackey (36th district) represented by Glenna McKie, field representative
  • Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael Antonovich’s office (5th district) represented by Patricia Russell, assistant deputy
  • Palmdale City Councilman Fred Thompson, representing the city of Palmdale
  • Lancaster Chamber of Commerce CEO Mark Hemstreet
  • Chuck Church, chair of the board for the Palmdale Chamber of Commerce

“Education is powered by innovation and Brandman leads the way,” said Thompson, who is also a former dean of Antelope Valley Community College. He said the flexible hours and varied degree programs help members of his community reach their goals.

Termeer said Brandman adds another component of higher education to the Antelope Valley and that more than any other university in the area understands that one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to education.

Open house discussion

Corporate and Community Relations manager Kitty Calhoun (left) and Assistant Vice Chancellor Matt Venegas talk with Lisa Moulton, district director for Congressman Steve Knight, and Donna Termeer, district director for state Sen. Sharon Runner at the open house Wednesday.

Several community members were particularly impressed by Brandman’s history, especially its ongoing service to veterans and their families. The video of Brandman’s history played in a continuous loop in one of the new classrooms. Visitors left with brochures and fliers about Brandman’s connections to the military and veterans as well as the programs supported across multiple campuses to share with their employees and constituents.

Dr. Shelly Neal, vice chancellor of Strategic Initiatives, and Matt Venegas, assistant chancellor of Corporate Relations and Strategic Business Initiatives, represented Brandman’s leadership team and stressed Brandman’s strong graduation rate and low default rate when talking with visitors.

Other Antelope Valley and Santa Clarita faculty and staff attending the event were Carol Aliano, Raulie DeLaFuente, Beth Couch, Mary Rockwell, Marysol Ramirez-Ayon, Suzy Mix, Jane Uhazy and Dr. Kat Ringenbach.

More photos: Antelope Valley Today Facebook page; The Lancaster Chamber of Commerce Facebook page and the Palmdale Chamber of Commerce Facebook page.

About Antelope Valley
Largest cities: Lancaster, Palmdale
Population: 530,179
Median age: 33.2
Average household income:$67,830
55 percent of the population is age 18-54
45 percent have some college or an associate degree
21 percent have a bachelor’s degree or above
Source: Greater Antelope Valley Economic Alliance 2015 Roundtable Report: http://socalleading

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