COC kicks off International Forum on Youth

College of the Canyons professor Brent Riffel talks to a group of students to kick off the first annual International Forum on Youth at College of the Canyns Monday afternoon. Cory Rubin The Signal

Dozens of College of the Canyons students, professors and community members gathered Monday for the college’s inaugural International Forum on Youth, which will consists of four days of special events and presentations.

COC’s International Services & Programs department presented the 2019 forum in an effort to raise awareness on the issues that are faced by the youth of the current generation, as well as celebrate their courage and triumph as the future leaders of the world, college leaders said during the event. This is why COC has invited a diverse range of guest speakers and presenters, including professor Brent Riffel, who presented a discussion Monday titled: “Life After Truth: Youth Culture and Identity in an Uncertain Age.”

After Riffel discussed how the world struggles to discern the truth from various forms of propaganda during the forum’s first speaker series, Jia-Yi Cheng-Levine, the college’s dean of International Affairs & Global Engagement, thanked the approximately 50 attendees for participating and invited those who wish to learn more about studying abroad to the college’s International Services and Programs office.

“We’re trying to internationalize the college,” Cheng-Levine said, mentioning the school’s attempt to partner with Japanese universities to allow COC students the chance to study abroad for a semester at no cost.

Following Riffel’s discussion, the 2019 International Forum continued Monday with a “Tea with the Scholars” event and film showing that concluded the evening’s festivities.

The forum continues Tuesday when Steven Phelps kicks off the day’s events at 12:30 p.m. in Canyons Hall 201 with a presentation that will precede Vincent Tsai’s discussion, “Issues, Challenges and Aspirations for Youth in Taiwan,” which will occur in Boykin Hall 105 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

The night’s festivities will once again end with a film showing from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., according to the forum’s schedule of events

Wednesday will feature a similar lineup of presentations and distinguished scholars, including director Hanayo Oya, who will host a Q&A session in the evening after a film showing in Mentry Hall 305 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The forum will conclude Thursday, but not before a student panel in Mentry Hall 343 from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. A closing reception will immediately follow in the same room from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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