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College Of The Canyons Academic Teams Garner Big Wins

Cougar teams earned big achievements off the field recently, with a pair of academic squads performing well, one on a national stage for College of the Canyons. 

The Model U.N. team and the speech team both earned recognition for their achievements. 

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Communication Studies
 COC’s forensics team continued its record-breaking ways this past weekend by taking first place at the Pacific Southwest Collegiate Forensics Association Spring Champs Speech Tournament in the Limited Entry Division.

The team now moves on to state and national tournaments with a school-record of 29 final rounds this season.

If past history is any indication, that could be a short-lived record, according to a school news release. The previous mark was set just last year.

In addition to the team win, the following students have turned in stand-out performances. Derek Isomaki, Shawn Kern, and Hillary Phillips won first place honors over the weekend, while Brandon Miller and Jessie Warme were team finalists.

Isomaki’s first-place finish COC's first-ever top win in this event.

“(Team coach Michael Leach) deserves a standing ovation for the energy and effort he has devoted to his students, and which have yielded such tremendous results,” stated Bruce Battle, communications director, in an email.

But he is quick to share the credit for the team's success with assistant coaches (and COC alumni) Billy Hatton, Simon Kern, and Loretta Rowley, as well as Tony Laschi, who has been with the program for eight years.

Click here for a link the the department’s website.

Political Science
The school’s  Model U.N. team traveled to a national competition at Harvard University in February.

Led by professor Phil Gussin from the college’s Political Science department, the team took part in its first competition at Harvard.

COC students were one of only four community colleges in the country – and the only one from California – in the competition, according to a COC news release.

More than 300 colleges and universities competed, with COC students being supported by faculty, staff, administrators, outside donors, the COC Foundation and the Associated Student Government, which rallied around the team to help bring the funds together to make this trip possible.  

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