Last week, for me, was intense and full of activity …. faculty, staff, and administrators were gearing up for the start of the spring term. In addition, our accreditation commission which I chair, had its meetings scheduled throughout the week wrapping up yesterday, Friday. So this morning I woke up with the same spaciousness I always felt the day after a big examination. It is still dark outside, and here I am immersing myself in this week’s blog post with a cub of coffee …. #FeelingBlessed
On Monday, communities across this nation will come together to honor Martin Luther King Jr. I usually re-read some of his writings during this three-day weekend. The letter from Birmingham Jail (June 1963) and “I have a dream speech” in (August1963):
“With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope.”
I also wanted to share these words that BC Web Content Editor Valerie Urso wrote about film icon Sidney Poitier:
It is with great sadness that the world learned of Sidney Poitier’s passing this past week. Poitier was a Bahamian-American actor, director and producer who broke ground in his field, receiving the first Academy Award for best actor given to an African-American.
His first role as a film actor was in 1950’s No Way Out, after starting a successful career in live theater and touring nationally. His starring role in the stage production of A Raisin in the Sun won accolades from critics and he went on to reprise his role in the film version in 1961.
In the 1970’s, Poitier began directing, working with famous actors like Harry Belafonte, Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor.
Sidney Poitier is remembered for his refusal to cater to racist stereotypes, forging a career that was bold and unapologetic, setting records and blazing his own trail.
In addition to his work in the arts, Poitier served as the Bahamian ambassador to Japan from 1997-2007.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. called Poitier “a soul brother”, saying, “He is a man of great depth, a man of great social concern, a man who is dedicated to human rights and freedom.”
These two great men broke down barriers and worked for a better world. Let’s remember and honor their legacies.
Good morning, friends… It is January 15, 2022. The sun shines bright over KCCD.
This week, the Pirates, the Coyotes, and the Renegades continue to #DareMightyThings
PC to begin spring semester online
Due to the recent rise in COVID cases in Tulare and Kern Counties, Porterville College has announced that the majority of classes will be delivered via online modalities for the first two weeks of the Spring Semester. The semester is set to begin on Tuesday, January 18th.
Beginning that day, all on-campus lecture classes will switch to an online format. Exceptions will be made for lab portions of classes such as STEM courses and activities that require in-person participation, including athletics, CTE programs, performing arts and clinical rotations. Those activities will continue to be held on-campus.
PC has already announced that no spectators will be allowed at PC home men’s and women’s basketball games for at least two weeks.
In her letter to the campus, President Habib says, “We have been tracking the latest omicron surge in the state and in Tulare County. Over the last 10 days, Tulare County’s positive test rate has risen from 6.2 percent to 22.6 percent. The county’s case rate has also skyrocketed to 58.6 per 100,000. Seeing these numbers, it is not surprising that we are experiencing a rise in COVID cases on our campus. Due to the fast spread of the omicron variant, we have decided to exercise extra caution as we begin this new term. To that end, we will minimize risk by transitioning all on-campus lecture classes to an online format for the first two weeks of the semester.”
For classes beginning on Tuesday, students should check their campus email and CANVAS for updates from their faculty on the status of their classes. Student support services, including tutoring, counseling, admissions, records, financial aid, mental health services and library services, will be available online and in-person on a limited basis for the first two weeks of the semester.
In her letter Habib also encouraged students and staff to be vaccinated, wear a mask, social distance and be regularly tested even if asymptomatic.
PC hits the park to make registration easy for Porterville Residents
The PC Student Services team is continuing to remove barriers to education with another community-based recruitment event. These events are held in high traffic local “gathering spots” to meet potential students where they are and make the entire process of registration easier.
“We know how busy it can get this time of year, so we hope that we can make registration that much easier by bringing staff and registration equipment to areas where we know lots of people will be,” said Roger Perez, Director of Communications and Community Relations for PC.
“We know that sometimes it can be tough for people to find the time to make a special trip to campus to register, especially with complicated schedules – working at odd hours and trying to take care of everything that life can throw at us. With these outreach events, they can register for classes as they head to pay bills or run errands during the day. They can even have some lunch on us at the same time!”
The goal of these events remains to make registration as EASY as possible for our community – allowing EVERYONE that wants to register for classes the access, and the simplicity, that they need to get it done quickly.
The most recent of these events was held on Wednesday, January 12 in Porterville’s Centennial Park just steps away from where many people go to pay their utility bills or shop at local businesses. Staff was on hand to answer questions and register people on the spot. FREE lunch was provided for all who attended.
Cerro Coso Community College
New Semester Brings Enthusiasm and Opportunities
Cerro Coso was in full force showing off the school pride, drawing inspiration from students, peers, and the surrounding communities.
Cerro Coso aims to prepare students for life-long success. It’s all about the future. Whatever the career goal, a college education can help. The College offers a variety of Associate Degrees and certifications, Associate Degrees for Transfer that guarantee acceptance to the California State University system, and community education.
A leader in online education since 1997, students can also take classes from the comfort of their home or office through CC Online. A virtual campus of Cerro Coso, CC Online offers 22 accredited online associate degrees, 23 certifications, and more than 160 courses per year. The college also offers high school students the ability to finish college faster through dual and concurrent enrollment programs offered through their high school. Interested high school students are encouraged to contact their counselor for more information.
Classes begin Tuesday, January 18th. Registration is still on going and there are a numbers of classes to choose. From anthropology to welding, Cerro Coso truly has something for everyone. Contact the college counseling department today at 760-384-6219.
A call to action at Cerro Coso:
Vaccinate and get your booster to ensure the safety or all, or have an approved exemption on file with a regular testing schedule set up;
Wear a face covering when inside any college facility and in groups of people;
Download the KCCD Campus Pass App and pre-screen prior to coming to campus. If you receive a Green Pass you are cleared to come to campus. If you receive a Red Pass do not come to campus until you receive further instructions;
Scan QR codes using the KCCD Campus Pass App when entering and traveling around campus;
Wash your hands and wipe down your desks and working stations regularly with supplies provided;
Do NOT come to campus if you are exhibiting any COVID-19 symptoms;
Familiarize yourself with our Safe Campus Reopening Protocols available on our website here.
What are your goals for 2022? Share them on Cerro Coso’s Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram pages.
Need help? call 760-384-6219. We are here for you!
Cerro Coso Community College Participates in the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act (DFSCA)
The Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act (DFSCA of 1989 – also known as the Drug-Free Schools and Campuses Act) – requires higher education institutions to establish policies that address unlawful possession, use, or distribution of alcohol and illicit drugs for faculty, staff, and students.
All members of the Cerro Coso community are encouraged to review the information on the following pages. This information is distributed on an annual basis.
Please follow the hyperlink below to review KCCD and Cerro Coso Community College Drug and Alcohol Prevention Program.
Cerro Coso welcomes new applications to CC Promise Program
For the first time since launching in 2017, the Cerro Coso Promise Program is opening up for new applications this spring offering students up to two full-years of tuition-free education.
Recognizing that many students take a break in the fall semester and choose to begin their college education in the spring, the Cerro Coso Promise Program is welcoming new applications this spring for the first time.
The Cerro Coso Community College Foundation (CCCC Foundation) launched the Cerro Coso Promise Program in 2017 to ensure that no deserving student is denied the opportunity to earn a college degree or certificate. Besides covering two full years of tuition-free education, the program helps with textbooks, counseling, and the kind of hand-on support that is helping students within the Kern Community College District service area develop an educational plan meeting their career and academic goals.
“The Promise has given me the opportunity to fulfil my education with no out of pocket cost,” said student Nikki Lewis. “I have been attending college off and on for years. By not having to worry about cost, I have been able to get further than I ever have.”
Student athlete Rayan Brennan agrees, “the program has kept my baseball and schooling aspirations alive, without me having to go into much debt.”
A recent evaluation of the program showed student in the Cerro Coso Promise Program attempt more units, are more engaged on campus, are more likely to earn degrees and certificates, and are from more diverse backgrounds than their non-Promise peers.
“I encourage other students to participate in the Promise Program as it benefits them in various ways,” said 2021 program graduate Manasi Panchal. “The various outreach activities give students a chance to interact with other students on campus, or on Zoom, and get to know them. Students also receive priority registration, career advice, counseling, help with transferring, and other student support services to help them further their goals.” Panchal graduated from the program last May and is now continuing her education at CSU Channel Island.
Information and application for the Cerro Coso Promise Program is available on the college website at www.cerrocoso.edu
The Cerro Coso Promise is funded through the support of generous donors and the statewide California College Promise.
Students attending Cerro Coso Bishop and Mammoth Lakes campuses are eligible to apply for the Inyo or Mono Promise.
BC’s SouthWest Center opens next week
Bakersfield College’s SouthWest Center will open to serve students next week, January 18th, 2022. The long-anticipated 60,000-square-foot facility has almost 50 classrooms, as well as labs, faculty offices, student services and student hang-out spots. The SouthWest Center gives students a closer-to-home option to use Bakersfield College computer lab facilities, purchase books for classes, work in the new dry and wet labs or attend lectures.
Large windows flood the three-story building with light, with the first two floors opening for classes January 18th and the third floor planning to open for late start classes that begin in March. The sunny location will provide a training ground for students on a healthcare track. Bakersfield College offers pre-nursing classes, certificates for radiologic technicians, ultrasound technician certificates, veterinary tech & animal science degrees and many other educational opportunities for students seeking healthcare careers. Read more about the impact of the new SouthWest Center at Bakersfield.com: New BC SouthWest Center prepares to op
BC Flex Week
Every semester, Flex Week offers an array of exciting and informative workshops for BC faculty and staff. A big thank you to Pam Rivers for coordinating this wonderful opportunity for our BC community for growth and learning. These are a few of the topics that were covered, with many more workshops each day of Flex Week 2022:
Student Employment Join Stephanie Baltazar during Flex week for two separate sessions to keep you up to date with everything you need to know about Student Employment.
Active Shooter Training
Todd Dearmore leads this workshop that has important information for all employee groups. An active shooter response requires a campus-wide partnership. A few moments of your time might save your life or the lives of others.
Advancing Responsiveness to Accommodation Support at BC
This workshop will highlight the processes from eligibility to test request, test administration, and tracking for DL and/ in-person course exam completion. The presentation will also include information on our internal forms and moderating quizzes with extra time and additional attempts.
Spring Opening Day was held this Thursday, January 13th, 2022, from 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM virtually on Zoom.
We heard from campus leaders such as, BCSGA President, Edith Mata, the COVID-19 Task Force, Accreditation Mid-Term Team, and more. Opening Day keeps us plugged in and connected every semester – thank you to all who participated.
Renegade Athletics Update
Spring Sports Media Day
This week Athletics held their Spring Sports Media Day on January 13th. Renegade Athletics welcomed the community to come hear from the coaches and a few student athletes on the coming up season!
At media day, longtime BC Baseball Coach Tim Painton announced that this upcoming season will be his last. Coach Painton has been with BC Baseball for 27 years – amassing more than 600 wins and coaching more than 250 student-athletes on to scholarships at other schools.
Also, Reggie Bolton was announced as Athletic Director. He had been serving as Interim Athletic Director.
Check out this video from KGET:
Women’s basketball competed for the first time since December 18th and won against the West LA Wildcats, 73-68. Due to no fault of their own, the women has had to postpone or cancel their previous games because of a water leak at home and covid outbreaks from the other team. The team will be back at home on Saturday, January 15th at 5:00pm.
The men’s basketball team will be postponed at a later time in the season due to safety protocols.
Spotted on Social Media
Mammoth Lakes Foundation thanked the Mammoth Parks N Rec Parks Maintenance crew for clearing out snow on the College Multi-Use Path:
KCCD CEOs welcome you back faculty and staff to spring 2022 in-service as we gear up for our students KCCD continues to #DareMightyThings
Thought I would start my blog by sharing the books I read this past year.
The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing, and the Future of the Human Race by Walter Isaacson
“The bestselling author of Leonardo da Vinci and Steve Jobs returns with a “compelling” (The Washington Post) account of how Nobel Prize winner Jennifer Doudna and her colleagues launched a revolution that will allow us to cure diseases, fend off viruses, and have healthier babies.“
Count the Ways by Joyce Maynard
“In her most ambitious novel to date, New York Times bestselling author Joyce Maynard returns to the themes that are the hallmarks of her most acclaimed work in a mesmerizing story of a family—from the hopeful early days of young marriage to parenthood, divorce, and the costly aftermath that ripples through all their lives.”
The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
“Somewhere out beyond the edge of the universe there is a library that contains an infinite number of books, each one the story of another reality. One tells the story of your life as it is, along with another book for the other life you could have lived if you had made a different choice at any point in your life. While we all wonder how our lives might have been, what if you had the chance to go to the library and see for yourself? Would any of these other lives truly be better?”
Unwinding Anxiety by Judson Brewer
“We are living through one of the most anxious periods any of us can remember. Whether facing issues as public as a pandemic or as personal as having kids at home and fighting the urge to reach for the wine bottle every night, we are feeling overwhelmed and out of control. But in this timely book, Judson Brewer explains how to uproot anxiety at its source using brain-based techniques and small hacks accessible to anyone.”
Post Corona: From Crisis to Opportunity by Scott Galloway
“The COVID-19 outbreak has turned bedrooms into offices, pitted young against old, and widened the gaps between rich and poor, red and blue, the mask wearers and the mask haters. Some businesses–like home exercise company Peloton, video conference software maker Zoom, and Amazon–woke up to find themselves crushed under an avalanche of consumer demand. Others–like the restaurant, travel, hospitality, and live entertainment industries–scrambled to escape obliteration.
But as New York Times bestselling author Scott Galloway argues, the pandemic has not been a change agent so much as an accelerant of trends already well underway. In Post Corona, he outlines the contours of the crisis and the opportunities that lie ahead. Some businesses, like the powerful tech monopolies, will thrive as a result of the disruption. Other industries, like higher education, will struggle to maintain a value proposition that no longer makes sense when we can’t stand shoulder to shoulder. And the pandemic has accelerated deeper trends in government and society, exposing a widening gap between our vision of America as a land of opportunity, and the troubling realities of our declining wellbeing.”
The Truths We Hold: An American Journey by Kamala Harris
“From Vice President Kamala Harris, one of America’s most inspiring political leaders, a book about the core truths that unite us, and the long struggle to discern what those truths are and how best to act upon them, in her own life and across the life of our country.”
Divided we Fall by David French
“David French warns of the potential dangers to the country—and the world—if we don’t summon the courage to reconcile our political differences.
Two decades into the 21st Century, the U.S. is less united than at any time in our history since the Civil War. We are more diverse in our beliefs and culture than ever before. But red and blue states, secular and religious groups, liberal and conservative idealists, and Republican and Democratic representatives all have one thing in common: each believes their distinct cultures and liberties are being threatened by an escalating violent opposition. This polarized tribalism, espoused by the loudest, angriest fringe extremists on both the left and the right, dismisses dialogue as appeasement; if left unchecked, it could very well lead to secession.”
I was thrilled back in December 2020 when the ACCJC Learning Seminar Series welcomed David French as a featured speaker at our session “Learning to Stand Together: A Call for Higher Education to Bridge the American Divide Through Equity.”
The full video from that discussion is below. It’s about an hour but worth the watch.
Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Irin Carmon and Shana Knizhnik
“She was a fierce dissenter with a serious collar game. A legendary, self-described “flaming feminist litigator” who made the world more equal. And an intergenerational icon affectionately known as the Notorious RBG. As the nation mourns the loss of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, discover the story of a remarkable woman and learn how to carry on her legacy.”
Untamed by Glennon Doyle
“There is a voice of longing inside each woman. We strive so mightily to be good: good partners, daughters, mothers, employees, and friends. We hope all this striving will make us feel alive. Instead, it leaves us feeling weary, stuck, overwhelmed, and underwhelmed. We look at our lives and wonder: Wasn’t it all supposed to be more beautiful than this? We quickly silence that question, telling ourselves to be grateful, hiding our discontent—even from ourselves.
For many years, Glennon Doyle denied her own discontent. Then, while speaking at a conference, she looked at a woman across the room and fell instantly in love. Three words flooded her mind: There She Is. At first, Glennon assumed these words came to her from on high. But she soon realized they had come to her from within. This was her own voice—the one she had buried beneath decades of numbing addictions, cultural conditioning, and institutional allegiances. This was the voice of the girl she had been before the world told her who to be. Glennon decided to quit abandoning herself and to instead abandon the world’s expectations of her. She quit being good so she could be free. She quit pleasing and started living.”
The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
“From The New York Times-bestselling author of The Mothers, a stunning new novel about twin sisters, inseparable as children, who ultimately choose to live in two very different worlds, one black and one white.The Vignes twin sisters will always be identical. But after growing up together in a small, southern black community and running away at age sixteen, it’s not just the shape of their daily lives that is different as adults, it’s everything: their families, their communities, their racial identities. Many years later, one sister lives with her black daughter in the same southern town she once tried to escape. The other secretly passes for white, and her white husband knows nothing of her past. Still, even separated by so many miles and just as many lies, the fates of the twins remain intertwined. What will happen to the next generation, when their own daughters’ storylines intersect?”
The Guest List by Lucy Foley
“The bride – The plus one – The best man – The wedding planner – The bridesmaid – The body
On an island off the coast of Ireland, guests gather to celebrate two people joining their lives together as one. The groom: handsome and charming, a rising television star. The bride: smart and ambitious, a magazine publisher. It’s a wedding for a magazine, or for a celebrity: the designer dress, the remote location, the luxe party favors, the boutique whiskey. The cell phone service may be spotty and the waves may be rough, but every detail has been expertly planned and will be expertly executed.”
Deadliest Enemy: Our War Against Killer Germs by Michael Osterholm
“Unlike natural disasters, whose destruction is concentrated in a limited area over a period of days, and illnesses, which have devastating effects but are limited to individuals and their families, infectious disease has the terrifying power to disrupt everyday life on a global scale, overwhelming public and private resources and bringing trade and transportation to a grinding halt.”
Grace and Grit: My Fight for Equal Pay and Fairness at Goodyear and Beyond by Lilly Ledbetter
“The courageous story of the woman at the center of the historic discrimination case that inspired the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act–her fight for equal rights in the workplace, and how her determination became a victory for the nation.”
This past June, The California Community Colleges Women’s Caucus was honored to have Lilly as a speaker for Lilly Ledbetter Equal Pay Event. It was truly inspirational to hear her story directly from her, as she shared her experience in fighting for equal pay for equal work.
Good morning, friends… It is January 8, 2022. The sun shines bright over KCCD.
This week, the Pirates, the Coyotes, and the Renegades continue to #DareMightyThings
Six PC volleyball players earn All-Central Valley Conference honors
Following the close of the 2021 regular season for the Porterville College women’s volleyball team, six members of the Pirates earned All-Central Valley Conference postseason honors.
Leading the way for Porterville was second-team All-CVC selection Victoria Dabney. The freshman outside hitter was the Pirates’ primary threat on offense this season, leading her squad with 192 kills, 534 attempts, 52 total blocks, and a 2.31 kills per set average. Dabney’s 126 digs ranked second on the team. She came to PC from Porterville High School.
Named All-CVC honorable mention were sophomore middle blocker Madison Doty (Monache HS), sophomore middle blocker Paige Borges (Strathmore HS), sophomore outside hitter Emily Kissick (Strathmore HS), sophomore setter Jordan Castaneda (Farmersville HS), and freshman outside hitter Kaitlyn Keovilaysane (Porterville HS).
The Pirates wrapped up the season with a 10-14 overall record and finished fifth in the final Central Valley Conference standings with a 7-9 mark under head coach Pete Rasmussen.
PC hosts series of events to connect with the community
The PC Student Services team is removing barriers to success while sharing some great treats with the community. Over the next several weeks, the department will be holding several registration events in popular Porterville Gathering Spots, all in an effort to make registration as EASY as possible for our community – meeting potential students where they gather with mobile registration services and staff on hand to answer questions and provide guidance and support.
The first of these events was held on Thursday, January 6, 2022, at Stafford’s Chocolates, a very popular coffee shop and local hangout right in the center of Downtown Porterville. The next event will be held on Wednesday January 12 at Centennial Park, also in Downtown Porterville.
These events allow anyone to ask questions and get help with registration as they go about their daily errands. The setup of these events allows PC staff to assist potential students with registration as they are stopping into their local morning spot for coffee or when they are on the way to do banking or get something to eat for lunch. Staff will be on hand at each of these “pop-up” registration events to make the process simple while addressing concerns about the cost of college by showing students how to easily sign up for financial aid and other programs that will help students pay for tuition, books, and other supplies needed during their time at PC.
Men’s basketball has impressive start on and off the court
We are very proud to report that, not only has the Porterville College men’s basketball team had the best first half start to a PC Basketball season in over 20 years (8-2), but they finished the Fall semester with a team 3.0 Grade Point Average!
These scholar athletes (10 Freshmen and 2 Sophomores led by head coach Amaurys Fermin) have VERY bright futures ahead of them! We can’t wait to see what happens next!
The Pirate’s next home game is on Wednesday, January 12th as they face West Hills Lemoore. Come out and show us that #SeaOfRed!
Peter Fulks, professor in Administration of Justice, is a member of the inaugural Smart Justice Think Tank, a coalition of higher education champions and directly impacted leaders. The SJTT will develop a guiding framework for scholars, advocates, practitioners, legislators, and re-entry organizations in post-secondary higher education in prison and on-campus programs.
They will seek to address incarcerated and formerly incarcerated students’ unique needs as they strive toward academic success and their career goals.
College Admissions Workshop
Cerro Coso Community College will hold a college admissions workshop on Monday, January 10th, from 12-1 pm. Students will get information on how to apply, as well as guidance on best practices or any other questions students may have.
Students who take advantage of this workshop will be able to attend classes this spring semester!
For more information, contact Outreach Director Katie Bachman at (760) 384-6353.
Dave’s Scholar: Julia Sarver
Check out this letter from Dave’s ScholarJulia Sarver, who graduated in December:
The importance of being a Dave’s Scholar for me is that I have been able to start my educational path in nursing without a financial burden. With the help of this scholarship, I have already received my Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) license, and I am about to become a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN).
After I graduate in December, I will take my NCLEX state test to become licensed and start working as a nurse. In the spring, I plan to continue my education to complete the rest of my prerequisites for a Registered Nurse (RN) program. I believe I have another three more years of schooling to become an RN if I am accepted into a program right away. With so many nursing schools being impacted, I know I will have to work hard to achieve my goal. Ultimately, my goal is to receive my Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN).
Being a Dave’s Scholar has helped me save money to help me pay for the school that is to come. I am very grateful to be offered an opportunity like becoming a Dave’s Scholar.
Thank you, Julia Sarver
BC’s Catalytic Converter Etching Event with Kern County DA’s Office
BC’s Auto Technology team held a Catalytic Converter etching event in partnership with the Kern County DA’s office on Saturday, December 11th, 2021. These license plate number etchings make it easier for law enforcement to identify potentially stolen parts. There has been a significant rise in catalytic converter thefts in Kern County over the past 2 years. KGET reported that 2,224 catalytic converters were stolen in 2021 in an article about a surge in crime dated 12/30/2021. The Catalytic Converter Etching event was reported by KGET on 12/8/2021 and KERO on 12/9/2021.
On Thursday, January 13th 2022, will be the Opening Day.
Bookstore employees are busy preparing to fill book orders for the Bakersfield College students. There is still time to register! BC is holding a Virtual Registration Rocks Event on January 12th, 2022 from 12-5 PM. Come join the Renegades! Spring 2022 begins on January 16th, 2022.
Christmas Tree Recycling
Christmas time is an exciting time of bright lights and beautiful trees brought into the house and decorated in festive ornaments and lights. When the season is over, these trees are discarded and those that end up in landfills produce methane as they decompose which exacerbates the climate change problems we are facing. Every year, Bakersfield College hosts a Christmas Tree Collection site where the City picks up the trees and properly recycles them at no charge to our community. BC is continuing to collect trees through Monday January 10th, 2022 at 11:00 PM in the southwest parking lot (P16) at the corner of Haley and University.
To the Matthews family: your beautiful family and music to bring peace in this sorrowful time is an inspiration to us.
Wendy Gerhold — a beautiful soul
My tweet on the passing of Sidney Poitier
Also this week, Monika Scott shared this photo from a previous commencement at Bakersfield College – I love seeing the crowd packing the Memorial Stadium to celebrate our amazing students. Seeing this photo helps me relive every graduation ceremony. Thank you Monika!
I saw that the Arvin High We the people team was recognized as the 21st Congressional District champions for the We the People Competition. Good luck at state!
And Porterville College is holding Porterville College Day at Centennial Part on Wednesday, from 9 am to 4 pm!
Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness — Desmond Tutu
I was sad to read about the passing of Desmond Tutu, a bold and fearless leader who always called it as he saw it.
In re-reading his life’s journey through all my news feeds, the day after Christmas, it put me in an elevated state of awareness during this week between Dec 26th and Jan 1st; a critical week as we sunset the current year and watch the sunrise of the new year. As I write this blog, I am overcome with a tremendous sense of anticipation for KCCD in 2022. There is so much movement and energy that is coalescing and gaining momentum across KCCD. Join us friends in this new year as we continue to #DareMightyThings.
Good morning and Happy New Year Friends. It is January 1, 2022 The sun shine bright over KCCD
I have been blogging for 9 years.
Today, as is the tradition for my New Year blog publication, I will go back and share past posts from each of the years since 2013. Full disclosure….. this is a long blog with link that will take you to the past. Take time to relax, click the links and sink into our stories.
“Let me tell you, being president of Bakersfield College is like being strapped to a rocket at the speed of light. So much is happening so very fast, and all the moving parts which keep the college going can be difficult to keep track of. However, I am glad to have been hitting the ground running and working with an amazing team of individuals who all have the ultimate goal – success for all Bakersfield College students – in mind at all times.”
So much has changed in the 9 years since I wrote these words – and yet, so much remains the same. I still work with an amazing team of individuals with a laserlike focus on student success and equity for all the students the Kern Community College District serves.
2013 was Bakersfield College’s Centennial year, and I have loved looking back on my posts from that year and remembering all the ways we celebrated that milestone.
“The Tree Foundation of Kern (http://www.urbanforest.org/) sponsored yesterday’s tree planting of the Centennial trees. The trees were donated by contributions from Trans West and PG & E. The purpose for the variety of trees selected is to create a shade walk on campus, beautify and create a selection of trees for an arboretum. The arboretum status will allow us to also hold industry tests for the professional groups such as California Landscape Contractors Association, California Association of Nurseries and Garden Centers, and the International Society of Arborists.
It is always great to see our community come to its college and yesterday, March 23rd, they certainly did, with enthusiasm to plant the 49 trees. The Ag department had the ground prepped ahead of time with the trees in their 5-gallon containers ready for the volunteers to plant.
Our group of five, Sonette Russell (Forestry major transferring to Humboldt State at the end of this term), her nephew Wyatt Wynn, Neeley Hatridge (faculty from the Communications department), Janet Tarjan (math faculty) and myself had responsibility for a tall beautiful Russian Olive tree. I must confess that I did a lot more standing around than working with the shovel.”
The late Bakersfield Mayor Harvey Hall joined then-VP of Instruction (and now KCCD Trustee) Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg and myself in digging the hole for the California Oak.
In June, I wrote about BC at ATD – when KCCD sent a delegation to the Achieving the Dream kick-off conference in Orlando.
“Achieving the Dream focuses on equity and excellence and closing the achieving gap is a primary focus of the work. By adopting a rigorous approach of studying the data by drilling down, interventions can be developed that are laser focused on a certain target population with the goal of improving their progression towards goal attainment.”
Our work with Achieving the Dream – and BC being named an Achieving the Dream Leader College in 2015 – is among my proudest achievements during my time as Bakersfield College president.
In September 2013, the CCLC Came to Town as Bakersfield College hosted the Community College League of California.
“In my introductory remarks, I talked about the leadership of people in Bakersfield, over the last 100 years, who believed in education being the right for all Californians. In 1913, the vision of this small rural community was to create a path to the higher education offered at Berkeley. Decades later, it was a Bakersfield legislator, Dorothy Donahoe, who initiated the work on the California Master Plan.
It seems fitting that the CCLC is promoting the same vision of equity that was articulated right here in Bakersfield in 1913. Joining us from CCLC were staffers Ryan McElhenny, Lizette Navarette, and Teresa Tena.”
Also from September – I had to share this photo that Tom Moran took of Jennifer Garrett and her daughters…. so cute!
At the event, Mary Kay Shell and Jean Fuller were recognized as being among the 100 Stars of Bakersfield College.
On February 9, 2014, I reached my 100th post – and fittingly, it was a Happy 100th Birthday to MarianTriplett.
Her life story is amazing, from extraordinary beginnings:
“On February 6, 1914, Marian Naomi was born prematurely at home, the second-born twin of her sister Jeanne. Marian was small and weak, and her color was not good. The doctor thought she would not live, but her father, James Triplett, gave her a reviving teaspoon of whiskey, and a box in the home oven served as her incubator. According to family lore, the story spread that “twin triplets” had been born. People came from miles around to their home in Fullerton, California, expecting to find six babies.“
To a lifelong dedication to learning:
“After her children were raised and her husband had passed away, Marian earned a librarian assistant certificate from Bakersfield College. She had always wanted to work in a library, and “Marian the librarian” went to work at the Beale Memorial Library and volunteered at the Emerson Junior High School library. An annual award was established in Marian’s name to honor an enthusiastic student reader at Emerson.
Finances and family postponed Marian’s higher education, but her love of reading has never diminished. Marian returned to Bakersfield College in her 70s and earned her own college degree. Now, at 100, she still reads the paper every day. Not bad for a baby who wasn’t expected to live and a girl who couldn’t learn to read!”
In April, I wrote about the Eloquent and graceful speakers at a recent meeting – when three amazing women from BC spoke at a KCCD Board of Trustees meeting at Bakersfield College. Liz Rozell spoke in support of BC pursuing the opportunity to offer a baccalaureate degree in Industrial Automation (BC’s first baccalaureate class graduated in 2018!). I’d like to highlight her comments again here, as I reflect on the long road from vision to completion that BC undertook to provide this opportunity for our students:
“We can provide educational services in reaction to workforce data or we can be strategic in what we want education to look like in Kern County. It may very well play a part in driving the workforce development in our area. We need to be visionary rather than reactionary.”
“Bakersfield was built on agriculture, and it is important that we always remember how much of the area’s economy is reliant on the fertile fields surrounding our city. Last month, Bakersfield College led the effort (thank you Lindsey Ono, Chris McCraw, Leah Carter, and Mary Jo Pasek) to bring additional focus to agriculture, and to have a broad conversation on the issues and opportunities facing the southern San Joaquin Valley. This was part of the Learn@BC! series for 2014-2015.
Thank you, on behalf of Bakersfield College, to Congressman Kevin McCarthy, our honorary chair and keynote speaker, for his time. Thank you, Senator Jean Fuller, for taking the time to talk about water issues and legislation. Thank you, Congressman David Valadao, for helping our attendees understand more about the issues and trends affecting agriculture in the valley. Thank you to California Agriculture Secretary Karen Ross, for your time speaking to the group about upcoming needs of agriculture on a statewide basis.”
“What you see here today, is what we call ‘timeless’ architecture. It’s borrowing from existing architecture around campus, and creating a ‘new’ form to an old vernacular – but not allowing it to compete for attention. Here, we basically emulated the inviting approach similar to the Administration and Student Union entries to develop this ‘grand entrance’ and approach into the building – expanding the lobby and spilling out into this quad.”
Nearly 3 dozen members of the 1965 Bakersfield College choir reunited to share memories and relive glory days from when they took first place at the prestigious Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod in North Wales.
“The competition was the centerpiece of a trip of a lifetime for the choir’s 48 young men and women, a six-week European tour that saw the troupe perform in Ireland, Scotland, England, Wales, Holland, Germany, Austria, Italy, Switzerland and France.
Then, it was off to New York and “across the pond” for a whirlwind schedule of performances in nearly a dozen different nations and territories, including a once-in-a-lifetime exhibition of their talents for Pope Paul VI at his papal summer residence Castel Gondolfo just outside Rome.
No pressure. But even the tension of performing for a papal audience couldn’t have matched what those young men and women felt hitting the stage in Wales.
After competing against the top voices of Europe and collecting their championship (by just one point!), the crew capped off their victory on the way home with one final stop at the White House for some congratulations from — and a performance for — President Lyndon Johnson.”
Such a long and proud history of choral greatness at Bakersfield College!
“The official convocation ceremony kicked off at exactly 7:13 p.m. (19:13 in military time, symbolizing the year BC was founded) as our Renegade mascot marched down to the stage and rang the ceremonial gong. Nicky Damania mentioned this to me and asked that I include this in my opening remarks.
The vibration of the gong symbolizes the beginning of our incoming students’ academic journey — and if they each work hard, they’ll hear the gong sound once again in their honor in the Counseling Center once they’re confirmed for graduation.”
One of my favorite parts of my time as BC President was spending time celebrating students. I’m very eager to be able to do more of that as KCCD Chancellor when it is safe to do so.
In my first blog in September 2015, I shared the news that BC Drumline and Concert Band Director Tim Heasley had recently found the audio file to the BC Fight Song.
“The fanfare from Quo Vadis, which goes directly into the Renegade Fight Song, was arranged by Calvin Mueller. Cal Mueller was the BC Band Director from 1947-1967. It is thought that, for the fight song, Calvin used the tune from the 1944 film Meet Me In St. Louis, and the Quo Vadis movie from 1951, making the arrangement sometime between 1951 and 1953.”
We will fight fight fight when we’re winning
We will fight fight fight when we lose
Ere play ere goes ere the whistle blows.
We will fight where ere we choose.
We will fight fight fight in the morning,
We will fight fight fight in the night.
We are bound to win today, as we battle in the fray.
We will fight fight fight fight fight.
For my September 11, 2015, blog, I wrote about the Porterville College campus. I had visited the campus for the September 10 KCCD Board of Trustees meeting, and I shared some thoughts about what makes Porterville College so great:
“Communities aren’t defined by an insular silo approach to problem-solving. They’re defined by individuals moving to take care of those problems. And for decades, Porterville College has taken a proactive, can-do approach to tackling issues with studied persuasion and plenty of old-fashioned heart.
Among its many virtues, perhaps the aspect of PC that I’ve always treasured the most is the sense of intellectual curiosity exhibited by PC’s faculty and staff. Nowhere is that thirst for new and exciting pursuits more in evidence than in Porterville’s exceptional CHAP program.”
BC Professor Oliver Rosales modeled Bakersfield College’s CHAP (Cultural and Historical Awareness Program) after PC’s. It’s one example of the many ties that link the KCCD colleges together.
The BC administrative team retreated for 2 days over the summer break.
“I asked Karla Young, our new Student Success Program Manager to capture this two-day event. Let’s hear from Karla:
Part of that year-round drive for excellence includes our summer Administrative Council Retreat, a much-needed annual opportunity for some connection and reflection throughout our BC family.
Over the course of the retreat, the entire management team at BC came together to reflect on accomplishments, develop work plans for the upcoming year, reconnect, foster leadership, and enjoy a friendly lip-sync competition.”
BC’s Third Annual was a greatest success with dignitaries who honored Bakersfield College’s student veterans.
I also shared the eloquent words of Paul Beckworth, who wrote this in his 2015 Veterans Day message:
“After your years of service it is now your time, as Bakersfield College student-veterans, to move forward. You have a great responsibility. You have a great responsibility to you; A responsibility to use your military experience to better yourself, your family and your community. You have a responsibility to get educated, and pursue your goals in a timely, productive manner. It is indeed frustrating at times. It isn’t easy. If it was easy, everyone would do it. But, you aren’t everyone. You are the real 1%. Only 1% ever served in the military. If you are part of that elite percentage, then college is simply another challenge to overcome before the next challenge. The fact that you are at Bakersfield College says this about you: You don’t fight to hold ground. You fight to win.“
Just came across this photo of Nan that I love. Enjoy!
And my friend Janet Tarjan
In December 2015, I wrote about Vision for the Valley, as BC hosted the Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce’s inaugural Vision for the Valley summit.
“Nick Ortiz and our friends at the Chamber really outdid themselves, creating a half-day symposium that assembled some of our area’s most knowledgeable business, legislative and analytical minds to examine issues we all face every day (whether we think about them or not) — issues around energy, water, agriculture, housing, transportation and their interlocking impacts on Kern County’s economy…
As for the panels themselves…well, delving into “big think” topics like this can be an enormous challenge, but the summit’s roster of insightful speakers — under the well-orchestrated direction of moderators Richard Beene and Louis Amestoy of the Bakersfield Californian — crystallized the major points around these complex issues, making them all very relatable.”
I was so proud that BC was able to host such an important summit, and be at the forefront of discussions that greatly impact everyone who lives in our community.
The breakfast on Martin Luther King Jr. Day – January 18 that year – brought the community together in harmony to honor the life and legacy of Dr. King and further his message. Many of our BC Renegades were in attendance.
“I am proud of our work at Bakersfield College, working with the community of Bakersfield, in our own way, letting freedom ring from Panorama Bluffs, through education and our work together, for we are speeding that day called for in Dr. King’s stirring words.”
I wrote my February 5, 2016, blog from San Antonio, where I was attending the AACC Guided Pathways Institute with several BC colleagues.
“Bakersfield College is one of the 30 colleges nation-wide selected to be part of the three-year AACC Guided Pathways Initiative. Long days at the Pathways Institute ….. visionary and detailed work all at once. There are two other colleges from California as part of the Pathways initiative — Mt SAC and Irvine Valley. The goal of this initiative is to get students from High School to degree completion in the shortest amount of time while improving the quality of the learning.
My blog post also focused on the KCF event on BC’s campus to introduce the College Futures Foundation to key Kern County education partners.
We are so lucky in the Kern Community College District to have amazing community partners that share our goals and vision, and work with us to support our students and provide quality education.
BC Professor Paula Parks was named NAACP’s Educator of the Year. Janet Flulks, Nicky Damania, and Grace Comisso presented at the ASCCC Academic Academy in Sacramento. Janet spoke about how BC addresses equity with Making it Happen and Guided Pathways. Nicky and Grace shared insights from their work on the Students of Concern team.
Assemblymember Rudy Salas recognized BC’s good work, and named me “Woman of the Year” for the 32nd Assembly District – an honor I was truly humbled to receive.
On April 26th, the Board of Governors visited Bakersfield College, and I wrote about it in my April 30 blog.
“It was a treat having two members of the Board of Governors, Arnoldo Avalos and Connie Conway, visit BC on Tuesday, April 26th. Rather than doing a special series of presentations, we decided to fit their itinerary into what was happening at BC. The morning started with them attending an annual event where we connect with leaders from high school and share with them the advances made on the goals set the previous year. After that, they toured the campus and connected with faculty and students in the sciences, music, CTE etc. Thank you Joe Saldivar, Jen Garrett, Liz Rozell, Manny Gonzales, Clayton Fowler, Nicky Damania and others who helped. And the fabulous Jennifer Marden who pulled all this together.”
On June 9th, Mayor Harvey Hall, as chair of the Bakersfield College Blue Ribbon Committee, briefed the KCCD Board about the work being done by the committee in planning and ensuring a state-of-the-art campus and quality facilities for the next 50 years.
And thank you to the senior advisor for Measure J — Congressman Bill Thomas.
I shared about how we celebrated our amazing students at the 2016 Commencement Ceremony on May 13th – BC’s 102nd.
We also celebrated our faculty and staff at Closing Day – check out our planning team:
“A well-respected group of speakers took turns on the stage as they shared memories, pronouncing the love Jack had for BC, his students, and accomplishing the greatest common good. Brigham’s friend, Milt Younger, led the honors, praising his activism, philanthropy and passion for politics. Mayor Harvey Hall, Abdallah Ben Hamallah, Bob Severs, John Hefner, Cory Carter, Jorge Guillen, Dolores Huerta, Judy Sims-Barlow, Javier Valdez, Alex Dominguez, and Randal Beeman followed by describing how Brigham had changed their lives and motivated them to be better people. To ensure that Brigham’s legacy of inspiring young people in Kern County continues, a scholarship will be established in his name.“
I am eternally grateful for the numerous volunteers who put in countless hours working to get Measure J passed and secure #ABetterBC (and #ABetterKCCD)! Love love the title of this September blog – Hope is the ability to hear the music of the future; faith is the courage to dance to it today.
On October 29, I wrote about Moments that Take Our Breath Away. “On Friday, October 28th, the Wonderful Academy opened its doors to their new location. Lynda and Stewart Resnick have been great partners of Bakersfield College and committed to advancing the educational attainment levels in the Central Valley. Trustee Romeo Agbalor, Rich McCrow, and Raquel Lopez represented KCCD and BC at this event. There were many dignitaries to support the great work being done by Wonderful.”
After months of hard work, I am so grateful to our voters for supporting our community colleges! And I am grateful to the many volunteers who turned out over the past few months to get out the vote and spread the word about the great things that this bond will do for Bakersfield College and all of the college in the Kern Community College District. And a special thank you to my friend who reminds me everyday to Keep the Faith!
The January 29, 2017 blog starts with the sentence “it has been a busy week at BC” which seems to be the case all the time 🙂
Loved attending the game when Coach Paula Dahl received recognition for her 300th game.
The phrase that struck me as I re-read my Feb 18, 2017 blog post – Uncommon accomplishments require uncommon commitment. Thank you Dr. Paula Parks for this phrase and your commitment to BC’s Umoja program. Jay Tamsi, President of the Kern Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, let me know that I was selected as Woman of the Year.
I was so thrilled to share in my April 29, 2017, blog, about the announcement of The Kern Promise.
So many amazing community leaders, political representatives, and industry partners joined together to pledge commitment to The Kern Promise – the held students complete their Associate Degree for Transfer within two instructional years through structured support, priority access to courses, and financial assistance to those who qualify.
Check out the incredible list of speakers, leaders and friends who joined me in signing The Kern Promise:
Tom Burke – KCCD Chancellor
Superintendent Bryon Schaefer – KHSD
President Horace Mitchell – CSUB
Trustee Bill Thomas – KCCD Board of Trustees
Karen Goh – Mayor of Bakersfield
Leticia Perez – Supervisor, County of Kern
Michael Turnipseed – CEO, Kern Taxpayers Association
Michael Herrera – Senator Jean Fuller’s Office
Amanda Sampson – Assembly Member Rudy Salas’ Office
Michael Bowers – Senator Andy Vidak’s Office
Lauren Skidmore – Assembly Member Vince Fong
Nick Ortiz – Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce
Jay Tamsi – KC Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Arleana Waller – KC Black Chamber of Commerce
Jose Gurrola – Mayor of Arvin
Rebecca Farley – Wonderful Academy
Adam Alvidrez – Chevron
Kristen Barnes – Kern Community Foundation
Richard Chapman — Kern Economic Development Corporation
I’d like to again share Chancellor Eloy Oakley’s keynote address
I opened my February 4, 2018, blog by sharing the Express Enrollment event held at the BC SouthWest center – which then was located at the corner of Buena Vista and Stockdale. BC has since opened an all new, state of the art, campus center at 9400 Camino Media:
On May 20, I shared the sad news that former Bakersfield Mayor Harvey Hall had passed away. Harvey was a longtime supporter and friend of Bakersfield College – a true Renegade who always put students’ needs first. The entire KCCD community is grateful for his steadfast support of the Measure J bond – he was the chair of the Measure J bond for Bakersfield College.
I loved Romeo Agbalog’s quote from his remarks at the event:
“This program began with a conversation that started with three simple words–‘What If We?’” Agbalog said. “Now it’s not just an idea. It’s happening, and it’s happening here first.”
I also loved Jean Fuller’s remarks:
“I wanted to be somebody, but I didn’t know what a somebody was,” Fuller said. “[Your children] can be whatever they want to be, and what we need them to be.”
On May 19, I celebrated the Class of 2019. I called it a record breaking historical evening – we had no way of knowing then how historic it would be, being our last in-person commencement before a pandemic hit and caused us to cancel the in-person events for 2020 and 2021.
That year, we celebrated the highest number of eligible graduates to obtain a degree in BC’s history, with more than 2,746 students eligible.
That same blog, I congratulated Senator Jean Fuller and Grimm Family Educational Foundation CEO Barbara Grimm Marshall as they were inducted into the Bakersfield City School District Hall of Fame. A KCCD group attended the ceremony — Kern Community College District Trustees Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg and Romeo Agbalog, his wife, Lilly Perez Agbalog, and Bakersfield College employees Steve Watkin, Kylie Swanson, Norma Rojas-Mora and Michele Bresso — celebrating the service of Jean and Barbara, partners in BC’s Early College Program that enables high school students to earn simultaneous college degrees.
I also shared some of the photos and stories from when BC made its big move to the hill in January 1956 – 65 years ago!
In March 2020, the whole world changed.
In my March 7 blog, I shared that Gov. Gavin Newsom had declared a state of emergency in California. At Bakersfield College, we were closely monitoring the situation and mobilizing teams to keep our students, faculty, and staff safe and educated about how COVID-19 was progressing and what we needed to do as a campus.
“In this time of uncertainty and crisis, I am amazed at how swiftly and robustly BC moved to continue supporting our students. We have been ahead of the curve with our response to the COVID-19 pandemic, sending out emails to our faculty and staff as early as January 30 with resources to keep themselves safe.
From the moment the incident command team was activated in late February , we canceled events as we systematically ramped up our actions to ensure the health and safety of our campus community. Over the next three weeks we systematically moved all of our instruction, student services, and academic support online while preparing 40,000 students and 1,000 employees with resources for using Canvas, ConferZoom, Starfish and accessing their desktops remotely.”
I am still so proud of our campus community and our ability to quickly move where the puck was going to be – and not just play where the puck was. The ability to anticipate what issues might arise and figure out creative solutions – this allowed us to continue serving our students during times of great uncertainty.
Thank you to Bill Moseley and the Academic Technology team for the heavy lift as BC went online.
Then, Memorial Day 2020, the world shifted again as George Floyd was murdered in the streets of Minneapolis. It sparked a summer of protests and hard conversations as we as a nation grappled with how to move forward, and what our future should look like.
I invite you all to look back over the videos and news coverage from that series of events, available on the BC website, as we continue these conversations.
BC’s 2020 Commencement was shifted to a special televised event that aired on KGET on July 12. In keeping with tradition, we opened the program with a video of John Gerhold performing the National Anthem (recorded at the 2019 commencement ceremony):
Also on July 18, I shared the news of John Lewis’ passing – he had died the day before. I shared this tweet he had posted on June 27, 2018:
I encourage everyone to live their lives in a way to “never, ever be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble, necessary trouble.”On July 29, BC aired the program “#GoodTrouble: Celebrating the Life of John Lewis.” You can view videos from that program on the BC website.
On July 27, I shared this video message from the BC Executive Team, encouraging our community to continue keeping up safe and healthy practices during the pandemic:
In my September 19, 2020 “Finding our path to peace” blog, I wrote about the catastrophic wildfires that burned across California in 2020. I also wrote about the passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
“There will never be another Ruth Bader Ginsburg. But there will be many more women who will follow in her footsteps and continue the path she began, and change the world.”
Check out the Lifetime Achievement award to Corny Rodriguez.
And the Lifetime Achievement award to Sandi Taylor
In my January 30, 2021, blog, I shared how the Central Valley was taking the center stage. Dolores Huerta was chosen as one of the speakers at “Celebrating America,” the concert to honor President Jo Biden’s inauguration.
I had also noticed in a photo of the president in the Oval Office, that he had placed a bust of Cesar Chavez behind his desk.
NPR interviewed Dolores Huerta about the significance of featuring Cesar Chavez so prominently:
“It’s really a very strong message that the strongest person in the whole world, the president of the United States of America, would have a bust of Cesar Chavez, a very simple, humble farmworker, a leader, a person who stood up for gun violence, who dedicated his life to make life better for the poorest of the poor – to me, that was a very strong message.”
Also in January, some in our KCCD community began receiving the COVID-19 vaccine – here are KCCD Trustee Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg and track & field coach Pam Kelly:
The 2018 Commencement – which celebrated the first Dual Enrollment class from Wonderful Academy, the first cohort of The Kern Promise, AND the first four-year baccalaureate degree recipients from Bakersfield College.
I so loved my time spent as President of Bakersfield College. I truly was the luckiest and happiest college president.
I began my new position as KCCD Chancellor on July 1, 2021. In my July 3 blog – my first as Chancellor – I shared how KCCD was Daring Mighty Things.
The phrase “Dare Mighty Things” comes from a Teddy Roosevelt quote:
“Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure … han to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.”
I was so inspired on April 19 – the day that the KCCD Board of Trustees announced that I would be the next chancellor – by the Ingenuity helicopter that made its first flight ever on another world when it flew on Mars. Earlier when the Perseverance rover that carried the Ingenuity helicopter to Mars was landing, a coded message to “Dare Mighty Things” was discovered on the parachute that delivered the rover close to the Martian terrain.
I hope that we all take this advice to heart and continue to Dare Mighty Things in our own lives.
In October, BC welcomed California Secretary of the Government Operations Agency Yolanda Richardson.
Also, our three campuses prepared for the vaccine mandate, which took effect on November 1.
On November 20, I was greatly saddened to share the news that my dear friend Jack Hernandez had passed. “Jack Hernandez was one of the sweetest, most brilliant people I’ve ever had the pleasure to know. I know many of you have known Jack, or seen him writing at Dagny’s. It is hard to put into words how tremendous his impact on Bakersfield College and our Bakersfield community has been over the past 60 years.”
Here are Tom’s remarks as he embarks on his well-deserved retirement:
My dear friends, it has been an amazing journey from my return to Bakersfield College as president, to today as KCCD Chancellor. I am so grateful to work side by side with fantastic colleagues at KCCD.
I always enjoy the beautiful banyan trees in Hawaii… it brings back memories of growing up in Kerala and doing weekend trips to Courtallam with mom and dad.
Banyans are a special tree that creates trunk-like roots from its mighty branches to the ground, allowing the tree to walk in a way, traveling and spreading out over many years. The largest banyan tree in the world is located in India – it is over 250 years old and covers about 3.5 acres, with 3,600 aerial roots that give it the appearance of a full forest.
The Great Banyan Tree in India was affected by a fungal attack after two cyclones in the 19th Century, and its main 51-foot trunk had to be removed. However, this network of aerial roots has allowed the tree to go on and thrive.
Here is a red crested cardinal (Brazilian Cardinal) perched on a Jamaican Poinsetiia … gorgeous.
There is a tradition that says when you see a cardinal, it should serve as a reminder to embrace the new beginnings ahead, and believe those beginnings will comfort your soul.
And then there are lizards…the one below was snapped at a garden in Hawaii …. house geckos are quite common in south India…. and, I am not a fan, btw.
Hawai’i for me always brings back childhood memories.
And on Christmas eve NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope was launched in French Guiana. Nick, I am sure you will write about this in one of your great Californian pieces.
Good morning and Merry Christmas, friends… It is December 25, 2021. The sun shines bright over KCCD.
This week, the Pirates, the Coyotes, and the Renegades continue to #DareMightyThings
Quick Tips for Teaching Success: A Deep Dive Into Ensuring Learning
I’ve been sharing some of the presentations from Porterville College’s “Quick Tips for Teaching Success” series. Today, I’m sharing one from last April that I particularly enjoyed but haven’t had a chance to share yet.
In it, panelists discuss ways to address learning loss and ensure learning for their students.
Thank you to presenters Dustin Acres, Melissa Long, and Elisa Queenan!
Cerro Coso Community College
Message from President Sean Hancock
I wanted to share part of the message Cerro Coso Community College President Sean Hancock sent out just before the end of semester:
“I am inspired by the way you live out our mission to “make a difference in the life of every student we serve” and admire your ongoing commitment, collaboration, and compassion throughout it all. I hope that during this season of joy, you will take a moment to reflect on the many contributions you make to this college, its students, each other, and the communities we serve.
As I look back on the past year, I am humbled and deeply proud of everything we have accomplished, and the improvements that we have put in place that will have a lasting impact over the years to come. So, as we wrap up the year, let me wish you a joyful and restful holiday season.
I look forward to resuming our important work together in January 2022 as we continue to make Cerro Coso Community College an incredible and transformative place that shapes the lives of so many students. I am confident that we can, and will, triumph over any new challenges in the New Year as we continue to “figure it out” together. “
Umoja ASTEP Celebrates Kwanzaa and mentors
Bakersfield College’s Umoja African-American Success Through Excellence and Persistence (ASTEP) Program held a pre-Kwanzaa and Mentor Appreciation Celebration. Kwanzaa is an African-American cultural holiday created by Dr. Maulana Karenga and celebrated from Dec. 26 though Jan. 1. It is based on African harvest festivals. Each day has a specific theme: unity, self- determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, and faith.
The students also thanked their mentors. Juwan Priddie said of his mentor BC faculty Charles Truvillion: “Although Mr. Truvillion is a very busy man, he still checks up on me as if I were his own son. . . I will use his wise words as a guide in my life. Thank you Dr. Parks and thank you Mr. Truvillion.”
Also recognized were the students who completed the two-semester Umoja Career Prep Academy, a partnership between Umoja, Dr. Ken Robinson, Dignity Health, and the BC Nursing department. The program was funded by grants from Morgan Clayton and the BC Foundation.
The Umoja ASTEP program was founded by Dr. Parks in 2015 and offers coursework, mentoring, counseling support to stay on track and graduate, academic and cultural trips, book loans, college tours, and motivating speakers and events. This Celebration was more intimate due to COVID restrictions on in-person events.
Tom Burke Recognition
Last week, I shared about the KCCD Board of Trustees’ recognition of Chancellor Emeritus Tom Burke. Today, I’d like to share another video and some photos.
Here’s State Assemblymember Rudy Salas:
And a few photos:
Fun Photos & Spotted on Social Media:
Bakersfield College’s Outreach & Early College team had a festive gathering:
The Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce shared this:
“The Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce with presenting sponsor CHEVRON was proud to host a special 2021 Energy and Ag Academy graduation. Dedicated to inspiring and educating local high school and collage students about the thriving industries within Kern County, the academy, in its seventh year, continues to instill core leadership skills in its participants.
Over 40 students participated in the annual educational program. Participants were chosen from area high schools (juniors and seniors) and students enrolled at Bakersfield College, Taft College, CSU Bakersfield and CSU Fresno who have an interested in the Energy and Agriculture sectors.
This year’s Energy and Agriculture academy was made possible through a collaborative partnership with the Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (KCHCC), Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Business Education Foundation, Presenting Sponsor, CHEVRON, and industry partners: Bakersfield College, California Resources Corporation, and Aera Energy, LLC.“
Mary Jo Pasek sent me this photo of the BC Choir visiting the Bakersfield Breakfast Rotary:
Assemblymember Vince Fong was in Bakersfield for the annual Christmas Eve Toy Run:
BC Librarian Faith Bradham shared this post from visiting the library her grandmother directed:
Porterville College Communications Professor Jonathan Hernandez was in a festive spirit:
My first semester as Chancellor of the Kern Community College District has come to a close. I have so enjoyed this time with all three of our wonderful colleges and was overjoyed when the three presidents came together to thank the Board of Trustees for their leadership and support. It was definitely a moment …. and while President Claudia Habib spoke on behalf of the three presidents at the December Board meeting, I grabbed my phone and snapped this picture. #KCCDDaringMightyThings
At this week’s KCCD Board of Trustees meeting, the Board officially recognized Tom Burke as Chancellor Emeritus. Before the meeting, we held a short reception with delightful refreshments prepared by Chef Fidel and crew from BC and invited a few dignitaries to share remarks. With the pandemic and the emergence of omicron, we restricted the in-person gathering and did a livestream of the event. Tom’s colleagues and friends from across the state tuned in. Please note that masks were required for the indoor gathering and were only removed for photos.
Tom’s beautiful wife Tina attended the event:
Here are my remarks from the event:
As well as Vice Chancellor John Means:
KCCD Trustee Kay Meek:
And of course, the man of the hour himself – Tom Burke:
Good morning, friends… It is December 18, 2021. The sun shines bright over KCCD.
This week, the Pirates, the Coyotes, and the Renegades continue to #DareMightyThings
Huge turnout for Polar Express Drive-Thru at PC
Porterville College got into the holiday spirit early, by hosting a community organized event to support local families with free services and food and to provide FREE community vaccinations. The Polar Express themed Drive-Thru event was held on campus this past weekend. The response was amazing, with hundreds of cars full of families coming out.
The line of cars extended so far during the event that organizers actually had to reroute people to accommodate the traffic and keep things running smoothly.
Volunteers from the Parenting Network, Porterville College, Imperial Ambulance, Sierra View Medical Center, the City of Porterville, and the United Farm Workers Foundation (UFWF) worked tirelessly to provide vaccines to community members, along with food boxes, turkeys, Christmas gifts for the children, and gift wrapping. The event also provided disinfectant wipes, and necessities such as sanitizer and face masks to participants.
Lucy Hernandez from the UFWF said she was amazed at the turnout of Porterville community residents for the vaccine clinic. “The first thing they said to me was, ‘This will be a lot of help for Christmas dinner.’”
When asked why she thought this type of event was so important, Hernandez said, “It’s so great to see these people happy when they receive the gifts.”
Psych Tech Program Holds Virtual Graduation
A special virtual ceremony was held on Saturday, December 11, recognizing 20 students for completing PC’s Psychological Technology program.
By using zoom for the ceremony, we were able to provide an experience that allowed students to celebrate their accomplishment, share their feelings, and include their families in this milestone. Many families even staged their own celebrations with loved ones in their homes during the ceremony.
The 2021 cohort of graduating students shared their thanks and went through virtual versions of their pledge to service and “pinning”.
It is an honor to be able to share these wonderful moments with our students in spite of this continuing pandemic!
CONGRATULATIONS to the Porterville College Psych Tech Class of 2021!
The following are some thoughts shared by students during the ceremony:
“Thanks to our program faculty for working extra hard during this pandemic to make our program work” –Veronica Bedolla
“Thank you to my amazing classmates for all the support and helping me get through the program!” – Maria Ayala Rosiles
“When we achieve something, it’s usually because others helped along the way. Thank you for all that help.” – Elizabeth Gamboa
“I’m excited to be done with this part so we can move on to the next step in our careers.” – Aldo Camacho
PC M&O Director honored by Tulare County for service during crisis
Congratulations to PCs Maintenance & Operations Director John Word for being honored by the Tulare County Board of Supervisors for his hard work and support for the community during the Pure, KNP, and Windy Fires as well as his years of partnership with the County. We’re proud of our fellow PIRATE!
Congratulations, John! Thank you for always going the extra mile to make Porterville, and Porterville College, a better place!
Click the link below to listen to audio of the presentation from Tulare County Supervisor Dennis Townsend.
Cerro Coso Community College
Coso Basketball Climbs to a #19 State Ranking
The Cerro Coso men’s basketball team continues to climb its way towards the top of the CCCMBCA state poll, as they moved up 5 spots from the last release. As of December 7, the Coyotes now claim ownership of the #19 ranking in the CCCAA (https://cccmbca.org/sports/mbkb/2021-22/releases/Poll_December_7) The #19 ranking is the highest state ranking for a Cerro Coso program in recent history, and the team has provided the college and community with an exciting collegiate atheltic experience.
This ranking is the result of continued success on the court, as the Coyotes have moved to 7-2 on the season, with the only losses coming to top ranked opponents, #1 Fullerton College and #3 Ventura College. The Coyotes are coming off of a 2nd place finish in the Gregg Anderson Memorial Tournament, hosted by Antelope Valley College. During the tournament Cerro Coso opened up play against LA Pierce with 75-57 win and then followed up on Saturday with 93-61 statement against host AVC. The two wins positioned Cerro Coso to face Ventura College in a championship matchup. The contest was back and forth during the first half which saw the Coyotes take a 33-29 lead into the locker room at half time. But Ventura was quick to respond in the second half, scoring early and regaining the lead. From that point the Coyotes could not pull their offense together, shooting just 36% from the floor and would eventually fall by the score of 66-81. The tournament experience will give Coach Dugan the chance to continue preparing his team for IEAC play and a renewed focus towards conference competition.
The Coyotes hosted Reedley College at 3:00pm in the Cerro Coso Gymnasium.
Cerro Coso Closed for Winter Recess
Cerro Coso Community College will be closed for winter recess from Monday, December 20, 2021, through Sunday, January 2, 2021.
Online registration will be available 7 days a week, 24 hours a day through the College website at www.cerrocoso.edu. Try this easy and convenient way to register for classes. The spring schedule of classes is also available online.
Business will resume at all college locations on Monday, January 3, 2021, and staff will be available to assist in person, via email, phone, and scheduled Zoom sessions.
Register now. Pay later. Spring semester classes at the college officially start on January 18, 2021.
Vaccination and/or approved exemption must be uploaded to the registration system before registering in on-campus classes. If the information is not in the system, an error message will be received and it will not allow you to register. Remove on-campus classes from your cart and proceed to register for any online classes you wish to take.
Vaccination and exemption information is available on the website at www.cerrocoso.edu.
New this spring, Cerro Coso is accepting new applications to the Cerro Coso Promise Scholarship contact Financial Aid for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cerro Coso Community College. Your Hometown College.
I wanted to share this update sent by Cerro Coso VP of Instruction Corey Marvin:
The First-Time Degree-Seeking Student Cohort Report is produced annually by the KCCD institutional research office for each of the three colleges. It was developed originally as part of the district’s entry into the Achieving the Dream network in 2013. This report (formerly known as Elements of Student Success) compiles a variety of performance data points, mostly short-term measures that focus on student success in the first two semesters. The newest annual report was released right before Thanksgiving.
Unlike other data sets, this report does not look at the whole student population. Instead, it is limited to a cohort of first-time degree-seeking students entering in the fall term, students whose declared goal or course-taking pattern shows they intend to pursue an award or transfer. Yearly this produces a group of some 500 to 600 students. In Fall 2020 (the newest cohort), it was 516 students.
So how did we do?
As you can see, we have every reason to be proud. Across all metrics, the Fall 2020 cohort outperformed the 2019 cohort, and in every case but one, it continued a five-year trend of improvement across the board.
BC receives $2 million gift to agriculture program
Friends and family of Bakersfield College Agriculture faculty and pig farmer, Billy Barnes, gathered in his memory at the BC Agriculture Farm on Friday morning to make a $2 million gift to support the college’s agriculture program.
Bakersfield College leadership also unveiled “The Billy Barnes Animal Science Institute at Bakersfield College,” with future signage at the entrance of the new Animal Science Lab to be located in the upcoming agriculture building to be completed in 2024 .
“Billy Barnes was a much-loved member of the BC Agriculture family,” said KCCD Trustee Kay Meek. “He was both a pig-farmer and an educator at heart. Throughout his successful career, he was named ‘Pork All-American’ by the National Pork Producers council and went on to become internationally known as a top swine judge. He was a valuable addition to Bakersfield College, passing on his knowledge to students, and also showing his heart and passion for caring for animals and seeing students succeed.”
Barnes attended Bakersfield College after graduating from South High School in 1983. He then transferred to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo before later graduating from Fresno State University in Animal Science. He earned the title “Pork All-American” by the National Pork Producers Council which honored pig farmers under 40 who established themselves as community leaders.
CARE & CalWORKS Holiday Celebration
In the spirit of the holiday season, the CARE and CalWORKs program hosted their annual Holiday Celebration for parenting students. The purpose of the Holiday Celebration is to promote family togetherness and student support by collecting gifts for the children of CARE and CalWORKs students to open during the holiday season. This year, the BC community came together to provide gifts to over 100 children. Thank you to our BC family for extending your blessings this holiday season by adopting a family, contributing to the fundraiser, and for spreading the word about the event!
AB 540 & USP Holiday Paint Workshop
The AB 540 and Undocumented Students Program celebrated the end of finals by hosting a wellness workshop and painting activity for students. The workshop discussed the benefits of creative outlets, especially in times of pressure and stress. Students participated in painting and bonding activities.
Mindy Wilmot is newest Interim Associate Dean of Instruction
Melinda “Mindy” Wilmot has agreed to serve as Interim Associate Dean of Instruction at Bakersfield College. She will lead the Family and Consumer Education (FACE) department, the BC Child Development Center, and the Education Pathway.
Mindy has served as professor/reference librarian at Bakersfield College since September, 2014. During this time, she provided orientation and research instruction via workshops and within courses to our students. She has also served as Director of the Bakersfield College Archives since January, 2020, where she oversaw the process to gather, handle, and store materials, making important pieces of BC history accessible to patrons.
Mindy earned her bachelor’s degree from California State University, Bakersfield and her Master’s Degree from San Jose State University.
Please join me in expressing our gratitude and excitement over her willingness to step into this new leadership role!
Industrial Automation Visits Port of Long Beach
Bakersfield College’s Industrial Automation staff and students had the opportunity for an exclusive behind the scenes tour of Total Terminals International, LLC in the Port of Long Beach. They gained in-depth knowledge surrounding the many causes behind the current supply chain crisis including labor shortage, outdated equipment/technology and the recent surge in demand. While some terminals have invested in automation, many are still behind, further adding to the strain from the deficit of products still waiting to make it to the shelves. Bakersfield College continues to train the future workforce with the most advanced technology and equipment to reduce the pressure on the industry, and improve our quality of life.