KCCD living every moment, not just existing

The proper function of man is to live, not to exist.
I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them.
I shall use my time.

Last scene in the recent James Bond movie a Jack London quote read by M about Bond.

Did the rare Friday night movie yesterday. Totally enjoyed the recent Bond movie No Time to Die – Daniel Craig’s fifth and last. If you are a Bond movie fan, watch the firs four before you see this last one. Casino Royale (2006), Quantum of Solace (2008), Skyfall (2012), Spectre (2015), No Time to Die (2021). I also have also been a fan of the Bond songs for as long as I can remember…. Sheena Easton’s For your Eyes Only, Adele’s Skyfall, Sam Smith’s Writings on the Wall… And No Time to Die by Billie Eilish beautiful and haunting. Here it is.

Good morning, friends…
It is October 23, 2021.
The sun shines bright over KCCD.

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


This week, all three of our campuses celebrated Undocumented Student Action Week. It’s a statewide effort led by the California Community College Chancellor’s Office, Community College League of California, and the Foundation for California Community Colleges. 

This year’s theme, “Change in Action”, aimed to find ways to engage in local, state, and federal action to support undocumented students in their goal of earning a college education. 

Across KCCD, daily events helped support our students on a local level, while also encouraging participation in the statewide efforts. Undocumented students were able to get assistance on topics like financial aid, transfer, or immigration questions. Other events encouraged allyship and cultural education. 

Students at Cerro Coso Community College were encouraged to share their Immigration Story. Porterville College held a virtual sugar skull decorating event. Bakersfield College welcomed guest speaker Yehimi Cambrón to speak about Immigration, Art, and Activism. 

It’s such a joy to see the many ways our students, faculty, and staff are able to support one another and work together to create a better educational experience for all of our students. 

Porterville College

Women’s Volleyball returns triumphant for late FIRST home game of the season

The Porterville College Women’s Volleyball team has logged a lot of road miles this season. Just as they were about to play their first home game on September 15th, they were forced to hit the road instead.

Due to the wildfires raging in nearby Sequoia National Park, the PC Gym was being used as a shelter for local residents forced to flee their homes. From that day, all of their scheduled home games had to be played away, starting with that night’s game vs. Columbia College.

The rest of the season turned out to be more of the same, playing game after game on the road so that their gym could be used as a place of shelter for others. With the fires not letting up, the shelter stayed open for more than a month before the fires were finally under control enough to allow the shelter to close just this past week. 

The Pirates were finally able to make the return to their home turf on October 20th, and what a triumphant return it was! The team made the night memorable by sweeping the West Hills Lemoore Golden Eagles, 3-0

PC President Dr. Claudia Habib shared her excitement for the Pirates return on twitter, “Today’s highlight is to watch our first home game Women’s Volleyball team @PCollegePirates against West Hills-Lemoore @WHCLemoore PC takes the Set!  🏐 #SeaOfRed @cvc_sports @gopcpirates

Great Job Pirates!

Clint Smith Joins PC Writer & Poet Speaker Series on November 3rd

The Porterville College Writer & Poet Speaker Series welcomes the third speaker of the Fall Semester on Wednesday, November 3rd, from 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM, via Zoom.

Clint Smith is a staff writer at The Atlantic and the author of the narrative nonfiction book, How the Word Is Passed: A Reckoning With the History of Slavery Across America, which was a #1 New York Times Bestseller, and the poetry collection Counting Descent, which won the 2017 Literary Award for Best Poetry Book from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association.

Smith was a finalist for an NAACP Image Award. He has received fellowships from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, New America, the Emerson Collective, the Art For Justice Fund, Cave Canem, and the National Science Foundation.

His essays, poems, and scholarly writing have been published in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, The New Republic, Poetry Magazine, The Paris Review, the Harvard Educational Review and elsewhere.  We are very excited for Mr. Smith to share his journey and his perspective with our students and community!

To join us for this event, please register via Zoom at https://cccconfer.zoom.us/j/98328713664

Cerro Coso Community College

Cheers for Charity Donates $6,000 for Promise Scholarships

Cheers for Charity committee members Lydia Chaney (left) and Marcia Thompson (right) present CC Director of Institutional Advancement Natalie Dorrell (center) with a check for $6,000 for Promise scholarships for Tehachapi students.

Shout out to Cheers to Charity for donating $6,000 of its proceeds to the Cerro Coso Community College Promise Program in support of 6 – $1,000 scholarships for Promise students in Tehachapi. They raised an amazing $55,000 in support of local charities during their Wine, Craft Beer, and Food event held in August. 

Cheers for Charity is committed to helping non-profits in the Tehachapi area.  A local organization that developed from a concept and gained momentum with enthusiastic member participation. By combining time and resources, the organization is able to make a significant contribution to local philanthropy. 

Established in 2014, their mission is to financially improve small, charitable organizations that make a visible difference in the greater Tehachapi area. 

Their first year they raised $12,000 and this year the organization raised more than $55,000 for local charities.  Launched by the Cerro Coso Community College Foundation in 2018, the Cerro Coso Promise provides unparalleled access to community college education by removing financial barriers and providing wraparound support. 

The Cerro Coso Promise provides qualified students at Cerro Coso with a $1,000 a semester, for up to 4 semesters, essentially providing a free community college education. Leveraging funds provided by the state of California and with the support of generous donors, the Cerro Coso promise ensures that no student is denied access to a high-quality education due to lack of resources. More than 227 students have received Promise scholarships since 2018.    

Cerro Coso participates in Great California ShakeOut

In 2019 Ridgecrest, home of Cerro Coso’s Main Campus, experienced the strongest earthquakes to strike Southern California in 20 years.  It all started on July 4, when a 6.4-magnitude foreshock struck northeast of Ridgecrest. Thirty six hours later, an even larger 7.1-magnitude earthquake struck near the same area, releasing 10 times as much energy as the foreshock of July 4. Thousands of aftershocks followed for weeks putting nerves on edge. 

Californians have long feared the “Big One.” Unfortunately, despite living in earthquake country, many people are not prepared for earthquakes. 

In the days following the first Ridgecrest earthquake, there was a lot of misinformation on how to best survive a big shaker.  In an earthquake, you may only have seconds to protect yourself before strong shaking knocks you down, or something falls on you. 

On Thursday, October 21, at 10:25 a.m. all Cerro Coso campuses participated in the Great California ShakeOut Drill, a chance to practice together how to protect ourselves, and for everyone to become prepared.  The goal is to save lives and prevent disasters from becoming catastrophes. At 10:25 a.m. a message was delivered through the internal Mitel Phone System, that also came across the Cerro Coso network computer screens that directed everyone to drop, cover and hold on.  The college also used this drill as an opportunity to practice safe evacuation. 

The 2021 ShakeOut drill is estimated to be the largest preparedness event in world history. 

Meet SGCC Vice President Dianne Espindola

I wanted to share this welcome from SGCC Vice President Dianne Espindola:

“My name is Dianne Espindola and I am the Vice President of Student Government for Cerro Coso (SGCC). Throughout this school year, I’d like to see students meet their goals and have a great time at Cerro Coso. As a Vice President, I would love to engage with many new students to help them along this college journey. I’m also the President of Latinos Unidos Club here at Cerro Coso and I like to bring students together to have a good time while attending Cerro Coso. My experience at Coso has been a great one and I just want other students to have a great experience at Coso.  The SGCC is the official student organization, with membership open to all students.  Through its governing body the Student Senate, the SGCC promotes the Student Activities Program at the college.  A system of self-government has been established by which the students, through democratic action, formulate and execute policies and programs and prepare the student body’s financial budget.  The mission of the SGCC, is to create an interactive atmosphere and immersive culture by providing student-oriented services, opportunities for involvement, and increased campus accessibility. “

Bakersfield College

KCCD Board Approves “Valley Strong Energy Institute” Renaming

This week, the Kern Community College District Board of Trustees voted to approve the naming of BC’s community education efforts linked to the college’s Energy Technology, Transfer and Workforce Development initiative. The new name comes after a $2 Million gift by Valley Strong Credit Union to The Bakersfield College Foundation meant to support the college’s work focused on energy technologies and job training for the vibrant and growing workforce in Kern County.

Bakersfield College’s community-wide education efforts kicked off last year in a series of webinars with industry leaders and partners, including the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) and the County of Kern. The webinars are free, open to the public, and widely promoted to students as a virtual forum where they can hear directly from subject matter experts on the cusp of new technologies like agrovoltaics.

Check out this video about the partnership.

And thank you John Cox for this great piece in the Bakersfield Californian!

Press event for Valley Strong donation and naming of the energy technology transfer and workforce development effort at BC as the Valley Strong Energy Institute

BC’s Art Students in Action at Via Arte

Students from BC Art Professor Joseph Tipay‘s Drawing I and Drawing II classes spent the weekend turning the pavement into a work of art at the annual Via Arte Italian Street Painting Festival at The Marketplace.

The students voted to determine which piece of art to re-create, and the selected piece was “Spring” by French Artist Edouard Manet.

The end result was a beautiful example of our students’ talent! Many thanks to the BC Foundation who sponsored the event, securing a place for our students to display their work.

BC at the California Coalition of Early & Middle College

BC was represented at the California Coalition of Early and Middle College (CCEMC) 8th Annual Dual Enrollment Summit by our Director of Early College, Kylie Campbell. Kylie was the keynote speaker on Day 2 of the conference, hosting a panel discussion with students from dual enrollment programs across the state.

Kylie also presented on how BC is leading the way in dual enrollment and early college efforts in Kern County. The first session was presented in partnership with DualEnroll.com to share how BC is automating and streamlining the enrollment process for high school students to ensure access and participation for all students. The second presentation was in partnership with Kern High School District, sharing about the remarkable opportunity for students from throughout KHSD to earn associate degrees by the time they graduate from high school.

BC continues to increase opportunity and access for high school students to start their degree pathway as early as the 9th grade. Thank you to CCEMC for highlighting our work, and for the statewide collaboration that you facilitate among our California Community Colleges and our high school partners.

3rd Agriculture/Water/Energy (AWE) Education Series Webinar on Nov. 9

On Tuesday, November 9th, BC’s third webinar in the Agriculture/Water/Energy (AWE) Education Series will take place, featuring a panel of local stakeholders and national researchers. The guests will share different perspectives on carbon management opportunities that impact Kern County.

The webinar is focused on carbon capture and storage projects, which have increased more than 50 percent worldwide in the last 9 months. Within the last two weeks, the US Department of Energy announced grants of $20 million and $45 million, respectively, to support research and implementation of carbon capture and storage technologies.

Panelists will include Steve Bohlen, Ph.D., Emily Wimberger, and Chris D. Gould.

Register for the Webinar, which will take place from 3-4 pm on November 9.

Poetry Corner

Please enjoy this poem from Jack Hernandez:


With all their money
they launched themselves
into space,
were admired
for their weightless
distance from those
starving on the earth.

KCCD Board of Trustees Meeting

Here are a few photos and updates from Tuesday’s KCCD Board of Trustees Meeting:

In accordance with County Board of Education action, certificates of recognition are given to school trustees for multiples of five years of service.  This year, John Corkins is being recognized for fifteen years of services to Kern Community College District. KCCD Board of Trustees President Romeo Agbalog presented the certificate.

The Board also adopted a resolution recognizing Porterville College President Claudia Habib and Porterville College staff for their invaluable service to the region, and Porterville College Director of Maintenance and Operations John Word for his leadership and dedication.

Check out this recognition of John Word.

Cerro Coso Progress Report

I appreciated this report from Corey Marvin about the student-centered funding formula and how Cerro Coso Community College is doing. As you can see, total degrees and certificates awarded reached a new high in the 2020-2021 academic year, with 931. Such great information – thank you!

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month – a designation it has held since 1989. It is a time to acknowledge survivors of domestic abuse, and help provide a voice for its victims.

At Bakersfield College, Campus Prevention Education Specialist Adrianna Oceguera Donahue will be providing a presentation on Interpersonal Violence. It will be via Zoom on Tuesday, October 26, starting at 12:00 pm. If you are interested, please register online!

In the News

PC Presidential Medal Winner turns 100

James Howell, who is a Rotarian with the Porterville Rotary Club, turns 100 this Sunday – one day after the Porterville Rotary Club celebrates its own centennial birthday. James graduated from Porterville High in 1939 and was attending Porterville College when patriotic duty called and he joined the U.S. Navy. In 2013, James became the first recipient of the President’s Medal of Distinction at Porterville College.

Character Counts! Honors Isabel Cervantes

I enjoyed this feature in the Visalia Times Delta about Strathmore High School senior – and Porterville College student – Isabel Cervantes. She’s extremely active in supporting her high school, and has managed to add on health classes at the college this year.

Fun Photos and Spotted on Social Media

Check out this 5-sec video of our Cerro Coso president Dr. Sean Hancock at the ACCT conference in San Diego

Here’s Jennifer Serratt and Dylan Wang at the press event announcing the renaming of the Valley Strong Energy Institute:

Students from Summit Collegiate High School in Porterville take part in the PC Orientation as they prepare for their next step! 

It’s always great to see new Pirates at the start of their PC journey!

#LoveThatPCSwag #NewPirates #PCStudentSuccessStartsEarly

Love this photo of the BC campus at night, taken by Diego:

Steven Watkin shared these photos from BC’s Homecoming Football Game. 7th graders from Sunset Middle School were in attendance.

And speaking of Homecoming, I love this picture that Fredi Saucedo Castrejon shared – including BC President Zav Dadabhoy, KCCD Trustee Yovani Jimenez, and KCCD Student Trustee Gian Gayatao:



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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