My first full week as KCCD Chancellor has been a busy one.
On Wednesday, I was honored to speak at the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office webinar in my role as ACCJC chair. Enjoyed hanging out with some of my faves — Chancellor Eloy Oakley, Deputy Chancellor Daisy Gonzales, Stephanie Droker, Anne Marie Gable, Willy Duncan, Lizette Navarette, John Hetts.
On Thursday, KCCD held its monthly Board of Trustees meeting – my first as Chancellor. Starting this month, our meetings are back to being in-person, and it was wonderful to be able to meet face to face again. I’m grateful to everyone who was able to attend, and to everyone who made the technology possible so those unable to attend in person could stay informed as well.
I have been loving seeing all our physical campuses come alive again, as we welcome back our faculty, staff, and students to our in-person spaces full time. While all three colleges will continue to offer flexible choices for those that cannot yet return to full-time in-person learning, I’m grateful to see the vibrant holistic student life on campus at the colleges coming back.
Good morning, friends…
It is July 10, 2021.
The sun shines bright over KCCD.
This week, the Coyotes, the Pirates and the Renegades continue to Dare Mighty Things:
Cerro Coso Community College
Cerro Coso Library to reopen this week
Two years ago, on July 4th and 5th, 2019, Ridgecrest was shaken by major 6.4 and 7.1 earthquakes. This caused some damage to the Cerro Coso LRC at the IWV campus, which remained under construction for nearly a year.
During that time, library services moved to the East Wing and we waited with anticipation for the LRC’s scheduled reopening in April 2020. Those plans were, of course, quickly derailed by the pandemic, and our services were moved once again – this time fully online. We have been primarily working from home for the past year, with the exception of our curbside pickup service.
Now that vaccinations are on the rise, we are looking forward to being able to reopen the library at long last. (Knock on wood!) To start with we will be open for limited hours during the summer: Tuesdays and Thursdays from noon to 3pm, starting on July 15th, 2021.
We’ve missed you, and we look forward to seeing you back in the physical library!
Alumni Spotlight: Letia Bogan
A real cool Alumni Spotlight from the Cerro Coso Community College Foundation:
Meet Letia Bogan, a Cerro Coso graduate in both 2019 AND 2020. Letia received her Associate Degree in Liberal Arts and Humanities in 2019, and then went on to complete a certificate in Information Technology in 2020. After graduation plans last year got disrupted due to COVID restrictions, Letia was finally able to walk across the stage at Cerro Coso’s May 2021 graduation ceremony!
Letia has been a proud member of the UMOJA Club at Cerro Coso, a community dedicated to enhancing the cultural and educational experiences of African American and other students. She has met so many new people and learned a great deal about the significance of HBCU’s (historically black colleges & universities). These experiences have greatly enriched her academic journey. She is also grateful for Cerro Coso employees Penny Talley and Heather Ostash, both of whom have supported Letia in her endeavors over the past few years.
Remarking on her academic journey so far, Letia says, “It’s been a joy going to this college because I have learned so much. The counselors are great with helping me whenever I need it. UMOJA is such a good way to learn new things about HBCU’s. I got my first Degree in Liberal Arts and Humanities. I did get my certificate in IT and am about to get my degree as well!”
CC to host admissions workshop
On Wednesday, from 4-6 pm, Cerro Coso will hold a Zoom workshop on admissions with a step-by-step demonstration on how to apply to Cerro Coso Community College. An Admissions & Records Technician will be available to answer questions, provide guidance, and share best practices.
A Financial Aid Technician will review the Cerro Coso Promise scholarships, outside scholarships, and more! The Cerro Coso Promise is a scholarship intended for dedicated students focused on getting an education, regardless of financial or personal status. Students meeting basic criteria may qualify for up to $1,000 per semester for 2 years to help with tuition, books, and fees.
You can register for this Zoom workshop or find more information at https://www.cerrocoso.edu/event/college-admissions-workshop-july-14.
PC helps to “Grow Futures” in the farm community with new partnership program
In a new effort to reach out to the many farm communities within the Porterville College service area, PC is partnering with the California Farmworker Foundation to offer new services to farm workers throughout the Greater Porterville Area. The program offers free classes and multiple benefits to local farm workers in an effort to increase their access to educational attainment and advancement within their respective organizations. “PC Growing Futures”, as the program is called, offers free access to classes, laptops, free textbooks, and free access to Rosetta Stone Software to help them achieve student success.
Meet Jasmin Quiñones
Porterville College has hired its first Student Life & Leadership Program Manager with the goal of strengthening the student life experience.
Jasmin Quiñones grew up in Exeter, CA, and comes to PC from the University of the Pacific where she served as the Orientation Coordinator and Intercultural Student Success Coordinator. She holds both a Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Education from University of the Pacific.
Ms. Quiñones has a passion for “working with students and helping them reach for their highest dreams,” and is excited to be returning to the area to give back to her community.
We look forward to all she will do to strengthen the Porterville College student experience through activities, events and programs.
PC to Hold next “Pirate in a Day” Event on July 15th
On July 15th, PC will be hosting its next “Pirate in a Day” event, designed to improve student access and provide one-on-one help to students and potential students as they become a Pirate.
“Pirate in a Day” is held to increase access and ease of registration. During each event, new, returning and transfer students can complete the enrollment process in just one day.
PC staff will be on hand to help students complete a FAFSA, develop a student education plan, register for classes, and apply for other support services on campus.
To sign up for an in-person appointment on campus, visit https://pcpio.wufoo.com/forms/r7lyzuo1tg0yct/
BC receives donations from Phillips 66
The BC and BC Foundation team hosted representatives from Phillips 66 this week, and the college was the grateful recipient of two large donations. One contribution is funding this summer’s Early College Industrial Automation Academy for high school students. Our guests had the chance to watch an Academy class in action before answering students’ questions about working in the energy industry. The other donation is providing continued funding for BC’s scholarship program. Thank you, Phillips 66, for your constant support!
Earl Parsons marries Rachel Pori
I have worked with Earl Parsons for many years at BC and he is often the person behind the photos that you see or the mind behind the writing on Measure J and COVID briefings. I was delighted to receive an email from another one of my favorite people, Kim Arbolante, who is Earl’s friend. Enjoy a glimpse of his wedding day … a few excerpts from kim’s email.
By Kim Arbolante, Writing Center Lead, Bakersfield College
Photos credit Anston Crane Photography
I am filled with joy for my dear friends who recently afforded me the privilege of being the maid of honor in their wedding, but I’m getting ahead of myself. Fourth of July weekend 2020, Earl Parsons along with his girlfriend Rachel Pori, myself, and another close friend, all headed to a cabin in the hills above San Bernardino to watch the cityscape erupt in a glow of fireworks—while maintaining social distance of course. Inspired by the moment, Earl popped the question to Rachel!
One year later, we came together at The Gardens at Mill Creek, surrounded by their loved ones and friends—maskless, vaccinated and smiling—to witness Earl and Rachel’s marriage. It was truly the most beautiful event! Their wedding colors were lilac and black. Rachel’s dress was custom made, and I have never seen Earl more excited than when he gazed upon her beauty as she walked down the aisle towards him.
Rachel Pori & Earl Parsons exchanging vows with guidance from officiant and friend Jay Varvel
It is no secret that Earl is a great writer, and there was not a dry eye to be found as he read his marriage vows to Rachel. Always a Renegade, I think I even caught a bit of our BC spirit in those vows as he proclaimed, “we’ve accomplished so much together, and I know that we have so much more to do. Tonight, we are planting the seeds of a tree whose fruits will be determined by our actions and the way we treat each other going forward.” To which part of Rachel’s vows replied, “your cup will never be empty for I will be your wine. I will spark the fire when it dulls. We will be abundantly blessed.” Having known these two friends for years, I have no doubts that they will keep the promises they made to each other that day.
Please enjoy this poem from Jack Hernandez:
A Fragile Spring Day
When anger threw him
to the floor,
shattered the window
he held sacred,
for light and love,
he wondered how
to put its pieces
in a pattern
to remove anger’s
so he could stand
fragile as a spring day,
storms pushed away,
roses brightly waving
at unimagined possibility.
In the News
The Sun-Gazette published this feature about Richard Torrez, Jr., who will represent the United States at the upcoming 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo in boxing. The 2017 graduate of Mission Oak High School in Tulare is the son of Kimberly Torrez, an adjunct faculty member in the ESL department at Porterville College.
Spotted on Social Media
Kim McAbee shared this photo of KCCD Trustee Kyle Carter at the Westchester 4th of July Parade:
Bakersfield Mayor Karen Goh shared a few pictures of the Golden Empire Drum & Bugle Corps and their director, Tim Heasley, from the Westchester parade. Members get college credit at BC for marching:
I loved this post from Cerro Coso – I hope you’re keeping cool this weekend!
Kern Country Farm Bureau shared that bureau president John Moore was interviewed on America’s Newsroom to discuss the impacts of the California drought:
That’s a wrap for now.
See you next Saturday!
The future remains bright at KCCD.
a joyful and grateful Chancellor