Dr. Dianne Van Hook with NCMPR District 6 Director Juan Gutierrez following her recognition as the National Council for Marketing and Public Relations' Pacesetter of the Year for Region 6 in September 2106. Photo Courtesy of College of the Canyons
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College of the Canyons (COC) Chancellor Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook was named the National Pacesetter of the Year by the National Council for Marketing and Public Relations (NCMPR) at NCMPR’s national conference held in Charleston, S.C. Tuesday.

The Pacesetter award recognizes a community college president or CEO who has demonstrated leadership and support in the area of college marketing and public relations, according to NCMPR’s website.

“I am honored to receive the National Pacesetter of the Year Award,” Van Hook said in a press release. “Public relations and marketing are essential components of our college’s ability to create quality and results-driven messaging that positively impacts our students and defines their experience at College of the Canyons.”

The National Pacesetter Award is presented annually to one of NCMPR’s seven district winners of the regional award, making this the second time Van Hook was recognized for efforts at the college by NCMPR.

In September 2016, Van Hook was named Pacesetter of Year for Region 6, which incorporates Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Utah, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Republic of Palau, Republic of the Marshall Islands the Territory of Guam.

“Dr. Van Hook throughout the years has been an advocate for community college, has been at the forefront for outreach for her district… and has really supported the marketing and public relations for College of the Canyons,” NCMPR District 6 Director Juan Gutierrez told The Signal in October.

Van Hook became CEO of the Santa Clarita Community College District July 1, 1988 at 37 years old.  Twenty-eight years later, Van Hook is the longest serving community college CEO in California.

Under Van Hook’s leadership, COC increased its facilities square footage by five times on its two campuses.  It also founded the Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook University Center, named in her honor, in 2009 and established the Institute for Culinary Education in 2015.

In February 2017, COC was one of 14 colleges awarded a California College Promise Innovation Grant from the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office.

“We at College of the Canyons are very fortunate to have Dr. Van Hook as a visionary and inspirational leader,” said Steve Zimmer, president of the COC Board of Trustees. “She has been able to oversee the long term growth of our college and widely communicate our student success story to our local community and throughout the entire state through the effective use of public relations and marketing.”

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Christina Cox
Christina Cox is a multimedia journalist covering education, community and breaking news in the Santa Clarita Valley. She joined The Signal as a staff writer in August 2016.
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