I’m sure many of you, like me, have spent the past week catching the Olympics bug, supporting Team USA and watching as the world’s athletes push themselves to the limit in pursuit of greatness and gold.
As I watch the Games, my senses are heightened with the pageantry and history, traditions that not only tie us together as a worldwide community for 2 weeks every 4 years – but that tie us through time, binding us to those that have come before and will come after – generations cheering on athletic achievement.
The Olympic Games originated in ancient Greece – the first written records of these ancient games date to 776 BC when a cook named Coroebus won the only event (a 192-meter footrace). The games were held every four years at Olympia in honor of Zeus. This four year period became known as an Olympiad, and Olympiads became a way for ancient Greeks and historians to date events.
The first modern Olympics were held in Athens, Greece, in 1896. There were 280 participants (all male) from 12 nations, competing in 43 events in track and field, gymnastics, swimming, wrestling, cycling, tennis, weightlifting, shooting and fencing. The United States sent 14 athletes, winning 20 medals (11 gold, 7 silver, and 2 bronze).
The first Olympic Champion in those games – and thus, the first Olympic Champion of the Modern Olympic Games – was James Connolly, an American Harvard student who won the triple jump.
Women were first included in 1900 in Paris. Hélène de Pourtalès of Switzerland became the first female Olympic champion, as a member of a team sailing event. Charlotte Cooper from the United Kingdom was the first individual female Olympic champion, winning the women’s singles tennis competition. Margaret Ives Abbott, a golfer, was the first female Olympic champion from the United States.
The first African-American to win an Olympic gold medal was John Taylor, a track and field athlete who was a member of the men’s medley relay at the 1908 Summer Olympics in London.
In the 1984 Summer Olympics, Mary Lou Retton became the first American woman to win an Olympic all-around gold medal for gymnastics.
In 2008, swimmer Michael Phelps won a historic 8 gold medals at the Beijing Olympics, breaking Mark Spitz’s record for the most gold medals won at a single Olympics (Mark, also a swimmer, won 7 gold medals in 1972). Phelps has now won 28 Olympic medals across 5 Olympic Games.
But one of my absolute favorite Olympic moments isn’t about a medal. It happened at the women’s 5,000 meter race at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016. Abbey D’Agostino from the United States and Nikki Hamblin from New Zealand were involved in a tumble during the race. Abbey encouraged Nikki to get up and continue the race after the fall, and Nikki returned the favor in encouraging Abbey to keep running when Abbey realized she had injured her knee in the fall.
It is not just being on top of the podium that shows the true grit and amazingness of our Olympic athletes and embodies the Olympic spirit.
I’ve so enjoyed this year’s Olympics. While some of the storylines have been unexpected, Team USA has had a tremendous showing.
Here are a few of my favorite Team USA moments from the first week of Olympics competition:
Bobby Finke won the men’s 800m free gold with a breathtaking final effort. Watch that amazing race on YouTube.
Carissa Moore captured the first-ever Olympic gold medal in women’s surfing. Check out the video on YouTube.
Lydia Jacoby, who is 17, won the gold meal in the 100m breaststroke in a shocking race where she defeated defending champion and fellow member of Team USA Lilly King: You can watch the race on YouTube.
Jagger Eaton took bronze in the first men’s street skateboarding contest. Relive some of the action on YouTube:
Katie Ledecky was utterly dominant in the first Olympic women’s 1500m swimming race. Watch the highlights from the race.
Good morning, friends…
It is July 31, 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
Welcome Back Celebration Planned for August 19
Cerro Coso is planning the Cerro Coso Rocks Welcome Back Celebration from 3-7 pm on August 19th. The event will be both virtual and in-person on campus, with campus tours, orientation, and student workshops to prepare incoming students for success in the upcoming year.
To help get you in the mood for this exciting event, check out this video highlighting their 2019 event:
Cerro Coso to offer new certificate programs
These programs aim to meet the ever-growing and changing Information Technology Field.
The Cloud Computing Certificate aims to provide students with an understanding of cloud environments and support systems, as well as prepare students to transition traditional technology architectures to a cloud platform. The certificate prepares students for careers in the cloud computing area and to enter the workforce as a cloud system administrator, cloud technician, cloud architect, and cloud security officer.
PC to host STEM Workshops in Partnership with USDA
As part of an ongoing Title V funded project, Porterville College is set to host several Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) related workshops this Fall in partnership with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Each of these PC USDA STEM Enrichment Workshops will aim at highlighting a USDA agency and/or partner. The workshops were developed to introduce local, regional, and state USDA Agencies, federal, and industry partners to STEM students in Porterville and the campus wide community.
These workshops will utilize an interactive, discussion-based format designed to engage students actively in their own career development process. Students will learn about opportunities offered by the USDA to optimize their STEM or Agriculture major, internship, and career searches.
For more information on the upcoming camps contact Juan Alvarez at Juan.Alvarez@usda.gov. The first of these camps will be held on the Porterville College Campus on September 22 from Noon to 1:00 PM.
PC Student Services Team Works on Improving Student Experience
As part of our ongoing effort to improve the overall student experience, the student services team at PC participated in several workshops to explore new planning strategies for students utilizing our services as they navigate their educational pathway at Porterville College and beyond.
On Thursday, the team spent the day exploring the creation of a new annual communications strategy with the assistance of Director of Communications and Community Relations, Roger Perez. Perez worked with the leadership team to help them create a map of the student lifecycle to use in development of a new plan for communicating with our current students. This plan will better utilize available communication channels and maximize the return on investment for our communications efforts with students.
During the workshop, the team participated in several activities designed to demonstrate the problems facing students in a society cluttered with ads, text messages, emails and push notifications.
PC CHAP Program returns for 20th Anniversary with New Leadership
We are excited to announce the return of the Cultural and Historical Awareness Program (CHAP) to Porterville College this fall with new Coordinator James Entz.
Entz is a professor in the Fine and Applied Arts Division and has been involved with CHAP for many years as a committee member. “I have been a part of it for so long because I found that CHAP is a great program that encompasses all those things that I love about teaching. First, it is a collaborative process. It brings us together from across campus and the community to create a richer learning experience for our students (and us!). Second, It builds community. As we, as a college, come together for speakers and events and through the common CHAP theme for the year and as we develop resources that enrich our teaching. Third, it is interdisciplinary and encourages integrative learning, making connections across disciplines and beyond the classroom, reinforcing and broadening our students’ understanding of what we teach in the classroom.”
CHAP was organized at PC in 2002, by Richard Osborne, to enhance students’ awareness of certain important aspects of our society to which they may previously have had little or no exposure. A theme is chosen by CHAP committee members each school year, and faculty members across the campus are encouraged to integrate elements of that theme into their coursework. Additionally, a variety of field trips, guest speakers, panel discussions and videos are presented throughout the year and are all open to the public. The working theme for this year is CHAP’s 20th Year Anniversary.
If you’d like to become involved in the CHAP program you can join us at events and speaker presentations, suggest speakers and events to the CHAP committee, or become directly involved in the planning and the decision-making process by joining the CHAP Planning Committee. Contact Jim Entz at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Becki Whitson’s Birthday Party
The BC community joined together to celebrate the life of Becki Whitson this Monday – July 26th, on what would have been Becki’s 68th birthday.
Becki truly embodied the Renegade spirit, both as a longtime Cheer coach and President of the Alumni Association.
I’d like to share my remarks from the celebration:
BC Student Veteran Spotlight: Kimberly Rodriguez
I wanted to share this update I received from Educational Advisor Armando Trujillo from the Vernon Valenzuela Veterans Resource Center. He wrote me about Kimberly Rodriguez, a Specialist with the California National Guard and a BC Student Veteran.
Specialist Kimberly Rodriguez recently arrived in Kuwait after three months at the Al Asad Air Base in Iraq. She is serving as a Signal Support System Specialists (25U) with Charlie Company, 640th Aviation Support Battalion in support of the 40th Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigade. She is slated to return home in December or January.
Kimberly is an Agriculture Plant Science AST major, and she has completed 36 degree-applicable units while serving on reserve and active-reserve duty status. During her time here at BC, she has served as Treasurer for the Veterans Club. She also attended the 2020 Student Veterans of America National Conference in Los Angeles.
“Going to the SVA Conference was such an amazing experience. It felt comforting seeing everyone who served/is serving all in one place striving to be better. Learning about all the job opportunities that are available and how much more of an asset us veteran/service members play in the bigger picture on the civilian side was reassuring in pursuing a career. The food and lodging as amazing!”
Kimberly has maintained contact with her Veteran Educational Advisor while she has been away to make sure she is taking the correct courses to earn her degree. She said the support she has received from the BC Vernon Valenzuela Veterans Resource Center has made it easier to be away.
“The Veterans Resource Center at Bakersfield College is extremely welcoming to any military-affiliated individual. It amazes me how much different we all are, yet the bond is second to none. Whether we’re dealing with personal or academic struggles, it’s comforting being surrounded by people who understand the same struggle of going back to school after the military. Definitely can’t wait to go back to my VRC family.
The VRC cannot wait until her safe return. See you soon.
BC Presents at eLumen Conference
Congratulations to our BC team of Rich McCrow, Kristin Rabe, and Kim Nickell, who presented at the eLumenation 2021 Annual User Conference this week.
The group’s presentation was called “Creating a College Program Review Cycle that Facilitates Inclusiveness and Completion for the Entire College.”
Bakersfield College holding auditions for science fiction play ‘R.U.R.’
Want to lead the robot rebellion? Audition for Bakersfield College’s production of “R.U.R.,” a 1920 play about a factory that manufactures robots who rise up and end the human race.
Open auditions will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. on Aug. 5 and 6 via Zoom. Email Theater Professor Kimberly Chin for the Zoom link and an audition slot at email@example.com.
Remembering Renegade Deputy Sheriff Campas
A memorial service will be held Friday August 6 at 11 a.m. at the Mechanics Bank Arena in Bakersfield for Kern County Deputy Sheriff Phillip Campas. Our community is still mourning the loss of a well-loved deputy as well as the mother and her two sons that he tried to rescue in Wasco. Campas was a former Renegade, having attended Bakersfield College before he enlisted in the Marine Corps in 2005. He also played Renegade football as our quarterback.
Our hearts go out to the families, friends and coworkers who are grieving such a great loss to our community. Campas served in the Afghanistan War before joining the Sheriff’s Office. He is survived by his wife, three children, his parents, siblings, cousins and in-laws. Bakersfield College thanks our former Renegade for his public service.
Child Development Center Now Enrolling for Fall Semester
Bakersfield College’s Child Development Center is now enrolling children ages 2-5 for the fall semester.
The center, which is located on the college’s main campus at 1801 Panorama Dr., is open Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. and is open to children of BC students. Besides providing child care, the center also serves as a learning lab for students majoring in child development, teaching and similar fields.
Poetry Corner with Jack Hernandez
Jack Hernandez recently shared with me a series of poems titled “Rockport in June,” and I will be sharing them with you over the coming weeks:
Rockport in June #1
My daughter and my sister
discuss the what for all
of planning weddings,
rings, clothes, guests, flowers,
I listen as we drive
in darkness from the airport,
their closeness is a comfort
as the night closes
on us and the weekend
waits with a jumble
of joy and our favorite cranberry bars.
In the News
Congressman Rudy Salas secures $6M for BC health education programs
I returned from a mini-vacation to see this amazing article above the fold in the Bakersfield Californian. Congressman Rudy Salas has secured an additional $6 million in state funding for Bakersfield College, authorized in Assembly Bill 132.
The projects proposed will include expanding the college’s Rural Health Equity and Learning collaborative, the Certified Nursing Assistant and Registered Nurse programs, and the allied health programs such as the new Physical Therapy Assistant program, while also providing funding for new post-pandemic student health and wellness services, and new certification programs, such as the Mental Health Worker Certificate.
“I am happy to champion more money coming to Bakersfield College,” Salas stated in the releases. “This additional $6 million will help train more nurses and health professionals for the valley so that our local families will have greater health access and options.”
Porterville College grad working for Space Force
Check out Esther Avila‘s article in The Porterville Recorder about Adrian Joseph Torres, who recently accepted a position with the United States Space Force. Torres graduated from Porterville College before transferring to Cal Poly Pomona, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering.
“I start August 1 as a general engineer, but first I have to pass a security clearance,” he said. “I will be looking over contracts for rocket launches and will oversee whose is best and most efficient for the satellites — GPS and Spy satellites — they are contracting.”
BC Student Featured at Senate Judiciary Hearing on Immigrant Farmworkers
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and others testified on immigrant farmworkers before a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. Lawmakers questioned Secretary Vilsack about the Farm Workforce Modernization Act, H-2A visas concerning temporary agriculture workers, migration at the U.S.-Mexico border, and the impact of COVID-19 on the food industry.
Sen. Dick Durbin from Illinois discussed the risks that farmworkers face, both from the pandemic as well as from the immigration system. Durbin highlighted Vicente Reyes, a DACA recipient studying roboticist engineering at Bakersfield College. Reyes, a member of United Farmworkers, is also a farmworker.
Spotted on Social Media
BC Jazz shared a few photos from their Jazz & Commercial Music Academy studio day. Check out their digital album at https://bcjazzstudies.bandcamp.com!
Jonathan Hernandez shared this snap from an online summer course he taught at Porterville College:
Kalina Hill shared a picture of herself as she came back to the Bakersfield College campus:
That’s a wrap for now.
See you next Saturday!
The future remains bright at KCCD.
a joyful and grateful Chancellor