College of the Canyons Chancellor Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook shares a story about how a vision for the campus was developed in the 1980s and 1990s during a ceremony marking the completion of a parking structure on campus. Austin Dave/The Signal

Van Hook named 2018 PROmoter of the Year

In recognition of her longstanding support of community colleges and the coordinated efforts of the school’s communications office, the Community College Public Relations Organization named COC Chancellor Dianne Van Hook the 2018 PROmoter of the Year.

Van Hook received the award during CCPRO’s annual conference in San Diego on April 11, according to a news release sent Monday. CCPRO is a Sacramento-based nonprofit organization whose voluntary membership consists of California’s 72 public community college districts. The organization’s mission is to strengthen the state’s community colleges through leadership development, advocacy and district services.

“I am very honored to accept the CCPRO PROmoter of the Year award,” Van Hook said in the release. “To be a community college means that we must be in constant communication with those we serve, both to ensure that students and businesses know about the opportunities we provide, and more importantly, to listen and ensure we understand what the community needs.”

The chancellor added in Monday’s release that her love for community colleges traces back to 1968, when she was a Long Beach City College freshman student with an undeclared major.

“That’s when I became a community college convert, and that is why I chose the California Community College system to pursue my career,” Van Hook said.

These are but a few reasons why Van Hook, who is California’s longest-serving community college CEO, has had a hand in three bond measure campaigns and the college’s Open Educational Resources program, which has saved students more than $3 million in textbook costs, the release states.

“I am convinced,” Van Hook said, “that community colleges are a game changer, a vehicle for social justice and a place where endless opportunities are created and achieved if you dare to dream.”

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