Join us in imagining and making it so

This past Tuesday was the International Day of Peace – designated by the United Nations as a day of international peace, calling for global ceasefire and nonviolence. It provides one day for everyone around the world to come together in community and commitment to peace above all differences, contributing to a worldwide culture of peace.

In 1981, the UN set aside the first day of their general assembly – the third Tuesday in September – as International Day of Peace. After the 9/11 attacks in 2001, the date was officially moved to always take place on September 21.

In honor of this year’s International Day of Peace – as well as the 50th anniversary of the recording of the song “Imagine” – the UN Postal Administration released a series of stamps featuring music legend and peace advocate John Lennon. So many have followed in his footsteps in an effort to help the world “live as one,” as his iconic song says.

The Bakersfield College Peace Initiative hosted a virtual gathering on Tuesday as part of the International Day of Peace. The event featured short speeches of local peacemakers, musical performances, and is the first in a series of activities in the coming months. I will be sharing segments from the program, or you can watch the full presentation on YouTube.

Here are my remarks from the event:

“UN Peace Day provides one day for everyone around the world to come together in community and commitment to peace, above all differences, contributing to a worldwide culture of peace. Each year it provides the opportunity to reflect on both the lack of peace and more importantly, the hope for peace. And a reminder that peace is within reach when we unite in support and solidarity, it helps us remember that we are the ones who keep hope alive for a world filled with peace.”

I also wanted to share Dr. Portia Choi’s remarks as she introduced our program and shared her poem:

“With each breath, I am committed to my peace. With each breath I am committed to peace for you. You and I, we can be a community for peace.”

What a beautiful thought – committing to our own peace and committing to each other’s peace. Community and unity and unending compassion.

Hearing those words reminded me again of this poem by my dear friend and colleague Jack Hernandez :

There is a garden
where we might gather
to walk and talk as one
to find the innocence
of peace with ourselves
and others in love’s
tranquility and forgiveness,
a garden where
all voices are heard
all lives are embraced
in joyful grace.

Good morning, friends…
It is September 25, 2021.
The sun shines bright over KCCD.

This week, the Pirates, the Coyotes, and the Renegades continue to 

Porterville College

Wildfires force closures, send evacuees to PC

According to press releases from Tulare County, an evacuation order has been issued for the communities of Ponderosa, Quaking Aspen, Camp Nelson, Pierpoint, Coy Flat, Mountain Aire, Cedar Slope, Alpine Village, Rogers Camp, Sequoia Crest, Johnsondale, Camp Whitsett, California Hot Springs, Pine Flat, McNallys, Sugar Loaf, Sugarloaf Mountain Park, Sugarloaf Saw Mill, White River, Idlewild, Posey, Panorama Heights, Poso, Balance Rock, and Spear Creek due to the Windy Fire centered in the Sequoia National Forest east of Porterville. As of Friday, the fire sat at 49,053 acres in size and was 6% contained.

Since many of these communities are so close to our campus, Porterville College is currently being used as a Temporary Evacuation Point for individuals displaced by these fires. 

Red Cross officials are stationed in the campus parking lot to provide information to evacuees.  Space in our parking lots has been made available for campers and RVs from the evacuation zones and the PC Gym is being used as an overnight shelter for those displaced by the fire. Pets are being housed in the gym’s locker rooms so they can be close to their owners. The Treasure Café is providing food service for the evacuees at the Gym.

My sincere thanks to the Porterville College Maintenance and Operations Staff, led by director John Word, for their tireless work in making sure that those evacuated have the facilities needed to maintain some semblance of normalcy during this very difficult time in their lives. Many of Porterville College’s staff stayed on campus through the night after working a full shift to ensure our everything was ready for any evacuees that would arrive. I would also like to thank Bakersfield College for providing additional security officer support.

SWAP Meet returns to PC

PC Foundation Staffer Maribel Hernandez (left) and Director Ramona Chiapa (right) visit with Dr. Claudia Habib at the PC SWAP meet at the Fairgrounds.

After over a YEAR of being away, the PC SWAP meet returns to the Porterville College campus today, from 8 am to 2 pm.  The swap meet has been a Porterville weekend tradition for over 30 years with thousands in attendance each week.  Proceeds from the Swap Meet support Porterville College Foundation student scholarships, facilities, programs, and activities for the benefit of the college and its students.

The SWAP Meet was closed on campus due to the COVID-19 Shutdown of 2020. In April of 2021, after a one-year closure, the PC Foundation re-opened at the Porterville Fairgrounds — a place with ample space to meet state COVID-19 guidelines for vendors and social distancing for customers.

For some, the new location didn’t have the same appeal that campus had for all those years.  For many of the people who have attended the swap meet since childhood, the return to campus is a welcome one.

The swap meet offers everything from bedding and clothing to cowboy boots and hats, belts, sunglasses, and shoes. There are vendors who sell household tools, electronics, plants, medicines, candles, candy, toys, and cooking equipment of all sizes. In addition, food items and drinks are always available for purchase.

For more information on the PC SWAP Meet, visit or call 559-920-2001.

Porterville Volleyball rallies to defeat West Hills Lemoore 3-1

The PC Volleyball Team visits with PC President Claudia Habib before hitting the road for a game.

Freshman Victoria Dabney totaled a match-high 14 kills to lead the Porterville College women’s volleyball team to a 3-1 Central Valley Conference win at West Hills College Lemoore on Friday.

West Hills took the opening set but the Pirates rallied to win the next three and take the match. With the victory, Porterville improved to 4-5 overall and 2-0 in conference play. After getting off to an 0-5 start, PC has now won four straight.

Dabney had help on offense from sophomores Madison Doty and Emily Kissick. Doty posted nine kills while Kissick chipped in the seven. Sophomore Jordan Castaneda led all with 25 assists.

West Hills (2-5, 1-1 CVC) was led by sophomore Claire Broomfield. The sophomore totaled nine kills, 13 digs, and three aces. Jordan Turner contributed seven kills while setters Kimberly Beltran and Makayla Alapisco Zamora both had 14 assists.

Cerro Coso Community College

2020-2021 Report to the Community

The 2020-2021 Report to the Community is now available online here.  

Dr. Sean Hancock’s first report to the community as President of Cerro Coso Community College, is a glimpse into what we see every day . . . student success. This report serves to provide stakeholders with an annual update on the state of the college and progress towards achieving its mission to improve the life of every student they serve. A number of metrics and observations are presented providing evidence of success in some areas, and opportunities for the continued pursuit of excellence in others.  Looking forward to a full and active semester where “every moment counts” for our students.  Coyote Safe. Coyote Strong.

TAG Workshop: Guarantees Admission to a UC

Did you know that 92% of UC transfers come from California Community Colleges? These students add to the fabric of the UC community and arrive with the intellectual passion to graduate and succeed. 

Cerro Coso hosted a Transfer Admission Guarantee (TAG) Workshop for students on Tuesday, September 21, 2021 via Zoom. By participating in a TAG workshop, students will receive early review of their academic records, admissions notification, and specific guidance about major preparation and general education course work. 

Six UC campuses offer Cerro Coso students who meet specific requirements guaranteed admission to one of their campuses: UC Davis, UC Irvine, UC Merced, UC Riverside, UC Santa Barbara, and UC Santa Cruz.  These workshops are designed to guide students through the online TAG application process. 

The College’s Transfer Center is available to assist students in researching their options and making plans for a smooth transition to a four-year university or other institution. 

Constitution and Coffee

The Student Government of Cerro Coso served iced coffee to students and staff and shared the importance of the U.S. Constitution on Thursday, September 16, 2021. 

The Constitution acted like a colossal merger, uniting a group of states with different interests, laws, and cultures. Under America’s first national government, the Articles of Confederation, the states acted together only for specific purposes. 

The Constitution united its citizens as members of a whole, vesting the power of the union in the people.  Without it, the American experiment might have ended as quickly as it had begun. 

Constitution Day is held every year on September 17th, commemorating the September 17, 1787, signing of the United States Constitution. 

Each educational institution that receives Federal funds for a fiscal year is required to hold an educational program about the U.S. Constitution for its students. This year the event was held by the SGCC on Thursday, because Friday the 17th was a half day. 

Cerro Coso Partners with Sav-On to Host Vaccination Clinics

Cerro Coso has partnered with Sav-On Pharmacy at the Albertson’s on China Lake Boulevard to hold weekly vaccination clinics. Through the month of October the college will be holding Vaccination Clinics in the parking lot on Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  

Cerro Coso requires all students, employees, and community members conducting business or taking classes on any of its campuses to be fully vaccinated by November 1, 2021.  

The clinics are FREE and open to anyone 12 and older who needs a first or second dose. Third shots, or booster shots, will not be available. 

Getting vaccinated is the best protection from severe illness, hospitalizations, and death. The College encourages all unvaccinated people to get vaccinated and continue masking indoors regardless of vaccination status. With the Delta variant, this more urgent than ever. 

To reduce personal risk and protect our community, the College strongly urges every member of the community to be fully vaccinated. 

Bakersfield College

BC Announces Launch of Pathway to Bachelors Degree at McFarland High

On Tuesday, September 21, 2021, Bakersfield College’s Early College Program announced a new Early College option to McFarland High School freshman to earn a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Automation in five years! This year’s class of 232 incoming ninth grade students will be able to start on a pathway toward a bachelor of science degree that begins their freshman year and is completed one year after they graduate from high school. Really appreciate the leadership of Superintendent Aaron Resendez and Trustee Romeo Agbalog.

37th Annual Kern Shakespeare Festival Begins October 1st

Bakersfield College’s theatre program will be holding outdoor performances for the 37th Annual Shakespeare Festival starting Friday, October 1st! Tickets are now available for A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Macbeth! Performances will be held in the Edward Simonsen Performing Arts Center (PAC) and begin at 7:30 p.m. A Midsummer Night’s Dream will be performed on October 1, 7, and 9. Macbeth will be performed on October 2, 6, and 8. Tickets are $10 general admission and $5 for students/staff/seniors/veterans. See the news release for more information. Purchase your tickets at Eventbrite.

Bakersfield College Foundation Announces New Vice Chair and Board of Directors 

The Bakersfield College Foundation announced the recent election of Derek Yurosek as its new Vice Chair, along with three new members to its board of directors! Yurosek is managing director of Arable Capital, which invests in operating businesses throughout the agriculture sector. Yurosek’s breadth of experience in management and investing will benefit the Foundation, whose endowments and other assets exceed $56 million. 

New directors elected to the BC Foundation are Megan Person, News Chief for NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center; Frank Wooldridge, Administrator of Investigations and Public Affairs for Law Offices of Young Wooldridge; and John Petri, Chief Operating Officer of Motor City Sales and Service and Lexus of Bakersfield and CFO of Seven Oaks Country Club.

Chancellor’s Seminar Series

After a short break, my Chancellor’s Seminar Series returned this week with a panel discussion, “COVID Impact on Our Local Hospitals.”

Porterville College President Claudia Habib spoke with Donna Hefner, CEO/President of Sierra View Local Health Care District:

Michael Metcalf, Faculty Director of Emergency Medical Technology at Cerro Coso Community College, spoke with Jayde Glenn, Director of Marketing & Communications/PIO at Ridgecrest Regional Hospital:

Carla Gard, Dean of Instruction for Nursing/Allied Health at Bakersfield College, spoke with Terri Church, Division Chief Nurse Executive for Dignity Health.

Thank you to all of our panelists for sharing such important information with our KCCD community. And thank you to all who tuned in to hear their remarks.

You can view videos from the Chancellor’s Seminar Series on the KCCD website.

In Memoriam

This week, I am saddened to share the passing of two amazing people: Scott Lay and Josephine Triplett.

I considered Scott Lay a friend. He was a fixture in the California State Capitol, and a fierce advocate for community colleges. He spent nearly two decades with the Community College League of California, joining as an intern in 1995 before becoming CEO in 2006 – a role he held until 2014. He passed away earlier this month at the age of 48.

Anthony York’s tribute in the Capitol Weekly painted a clear picture of a dedicated and passionate soul who faced inner, often silent turmoil.

That generosity and passion was evident in much of Scott’s pursuits. I know from experience the amount of hours he would dedicate to a new passion project, not because he expected some big financial reward, but simply for the sake of doing it.

Josephine Triplett also passed away earlier this month, on September 4. She was 88.

Josephine dedicated 33 years of her life to Bakersfield College. Even after her retirement in 2003, her impact on Bakersfield College students continued, with the Josephine Triplett Early Childhood Education Scholarship.

“Her extraordinary and quiet way with children will always be remembered, along with her ability to motivate others to value education, community activism, and embrace one’s heritage.”

In the News

Matthew S. Hopson-Walker Show to be held at PC Art Gallery

The Porterville Recorded published this story about an upcoming exhibit at the PC Art Gallery.

Fresno native Matthew S. Hopson-Walker’s show: “A Tower of Ashes Built,” will the Porterville College Art Gallery from October 4-28. Gallery hours are noon to 2 p.m. and 4 to 6 Monday through Thursday.

“I am influenced by narratives and characters found in contemporary entertainment, which often centers on themes of dystopia and unresolved conflict. I want my work to record and document specific times and places, suggest the selfish motives that lurk beneath socially acceptable behavior and reference the surface qualities and rich graphic aesthetic in the history of printmaking.”

Fun Photos & Spotted on Social Media

Dena Rhoades, KCCD Interim Vice Chancellor of Human Resources, celebrated her grandson Boston’s 8th birthday:

At Cerro Coso, Jarrod Bowen, Professor of Administration of Justice, and Melissa Bowen, Professor of Psychology and Human Services, welcomed their 8th grandson, Rowyn Matthew, on August 7th:

Porterville College shared this great bit of Hobbit trivia:

Cerro Coso students joined President Sean Hancock to help with the Coyote Cupboard distribution:

And BC Nursing shared this pic of some of their students:



That’s a wrap for now.
See you next Saturday!

The future is bright at KCCD.

a joyful and grateful Chancellor


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