KCCD – We #GetItDone

One of my favorite moments this week was listening to the “get out the vaccine” project testimonials about work funded from a grant that UCLA received. I was so pleased that they immediately reached out to BC-KCCD to be a sub grantee. Norma Rojas did the heavy lift of getting volunteers to make vaccinations available in every part of our county. Thank you Leticia Perez for brining in community groups to help with this effort. Special thank you to Halls Ambulance for being available as part of the mobile team going out to rural communities.

Secretary Yolanda Richardson visited BC because she had heard about this innovative “get it done” approach taken by BC staff and nursing faculty and students.

Trustee Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg did the welcome address for Secretary Richardson’s visit. Here are some photos that Dylan snapped.

And …. Happy Halloween!

I hope you are all enjoying some fun times with your loved ones this weekend as ghosts and goblins haunt our neighborhoods.

Let’s check out Jack’s recent poem (and thank you to Aricia Leighton for sharing this seasonal image!)


Pumpkins give us
Candle lit smiles,
Ignite laughter
From children
Holding hands open
For ghostly candy,
Decorate our tables
Like orange medallions,
Fill our hunger
With eager thanksgiving
For such sweet Vibrant pies.

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 

Porterville College

Campus Prepares for Vaccine or Testing Requirement with “Education Approach”

To preserve the health and safety of all students, employees, and the public, everyone on campus must wear a mask and show proof of COVID 19 Vaccination by 11/01/2021. Beginning Monday, November 1st, ANY student who has not submitted their proof of vaccination or applied for an exemption before November 1st, 2021 will no longer be allowed to attend on-campus classes or visit the campus for any reason. Those students’ ability to register for in-person classes may also be affected.

To ensure all students are ready for this transition, PC administrators and classified staff were at “education checkpoints” around campus.  These checkpoints were placed at entry points to the campus throughout the day so that staff could talk to students as they arrived to attend classes.  The vast majority of students were able to show us their “Green Pass”.  

“We figured the best approach was to do a trial run of checking the passes this week.  We were able to use this time as an educational opportunity for all visitors to campus.  This way we could speak one-on-one with students and community members about the requirements for next week, answer their questions and ensure they had everything they need for an easy transition,” said Roger Perez, Porterville College Director of Communication and Community Relations.  

PC Alum Honored to share his 100th birthday with Porterville Rotary

Last week, I shared a news article about Porterville Alum Jim Howell. This week, I’m excited to share more about his story.

The Rotary Club of Porterville celebrated its centennial birthday this past Saturday, October 23rd. The club and Howell practically share the same birthday. Born on October 24,1921 at the Mt. Whitney Hospital on Main Street in Porterville, Mr. Howell was born just hours after the Rotary Club of Porterville was chartered.  His father, Everett Howell, was a charter member of the Club. Jim Howell has been with the club 64 years, served as the 1962-63 president, was the club’s secretary-treasurer for more than 35 years and instrumental in the start of the Breakfast Rotary Club. A Diamond Paul Harris Fellow and a Homer Wood Fellow recipient, he often jokes the annual celebration party is really a birthday party for him.

At 3 years old, he made headlines when he took the family car for a spin.  The headline in the Recorder read, “Three-year-old Barney Oldfield Shocks: Jimmy Howell Goes for Spin”.

“Mother was fixing dinner and asked my father to go to the store to get some butter or something,” Howell said. “When we got back, he jumped out and hurried inside. In those days it was common to leave the keys in the car.”

Howell said he had seen his father start the vehicle many times and figured it would be simple to take the car for a ride.

As Jim Howell entered his pre-teen, teen and young adult years the adventures grew ….. he saw, in-person, Amelia Earhart at a Fly-in airshow; Sea Biscuit; big-band leaders in New York; and Billie Holiday – who was just starting out at the time.

A 1939 Porterville High graduate, he was attending Porterville College when patriotic duty called. He entered the U.S. Navy in 1942 as a Sonarman 1st class on the U.S.S. Barker (DD-213). When he was 20 years old, he had his tonsils removed. His ship was about to leave but was told it would wait for him. It didn’t. He was left behind on Mere Island in French Guiana. But as a result, he saw a private show by Bing Crosby and Bob Hope.

After the war, he and his wife, Terra Bella native Irene Howekamp, returned to Porterville where Jim Howell continued working with his father in managing three theaters in downtown Porterville, and where Jim and Irene Howell started a family and raised three children.

Known as a great resource on local history, he has served on the Porterville Unified School District Reunion Committee for years. In 2008, he participated on the panel of Porterville College during a special program on the 1940s. And he was the inaugural recipient of the President’s Medal of Distinction at PC.

In 2009, Howell was recognized and presented with a plaque for “Recognition for a lifetime of community service” — for his contributions during his life in Porterville and with Rotary.

Jim Howell, like his father, worked in theater. His father managed three theaters in town, The Crystal, The Monache and The Molino, and later the Porter Theater in 1949. The younger Howell managed the Porter Theater for 30 years, overseeing the remodeling of the theater into three screens and sponsored free children’s matinees with Santa after the Children’s Christmas Parade, playing Santa himself for several years. He also started the Monache Mickey Mouse Club.

Through it all, he said, one of his happiest times was standing in the spotlight of the theater stage hearing all the children laughing and singing the Monache Mickey Mouse Club anthem — a thrilling sound that still reverberates within him and helps him to dance along each day.

Former student raises awareness of the importance of language on success

Here is a spotlight on former PC student and current PC Professional Expert for Title V programs, Mallory Brown. She was recently asked to answer 5 questions on how languages played a role in her success by Lead with Languages, a national nonprofit campaign aimed at making language proficiency a national priority.

Lead with Languages seeks to raise awareness across the U.S. and motivate people to take action around the rapidly rising importance of language skills to a wide array of careers, our nation’s economy, national security and international standing. They use the stories of standout students and educators to help highlight how important language can be to success.  You can read the complete interview with Mallory online.  Congratulations Mallory!

Cerro Coso Community College

Celebrate What’s Great at the DEF

Promise students Emily Curtis, Serah Basham, Rayna Gillette, and Alan parza engage with the community while staffing the Cerro Coso booth ring the Desert Empire Fair.
Dr. Sean Hancock at the Desert Empire Fair

It is fall and that means the days are shorter, the mornings are cooler, and the evening sunsets are breath-taking. It’s also the season for lemonade, laughter, and the Desert Empire Fair (DEF). In many ways, the DEF is a lot like Christmas. It comes only once a year and requires extensive advance preparation followed by lively bursts of fun and exhilaration.

An iconic piece of Americana with a rich history stretching back over centuries, people embrace local fairs as an opportunity to set the rest of life aside and enjoy the sights, sounds, and feelings that combine to create an unquestionably unique experience, while at the same time timeless and familiar. Three days, 25 employees and students, and more than 52 volunteer hours are what it took to staff the college’s booth at this year’s fair, October 22-24.

The DEF is an annual showcase of people’s creativity and artistry and provides the college with a unique opportunity to interact with the community in a dynamic and exciting environment, sharing the many valuable resources the college has to offer. Who knew LIFE could be this good…the Desert Empire Fair?

Meet new English Professor Debilyn Kinzler

Debilyn Kinzler

Originally from the beautiful foothill community of Sonora, California, new English Professor Debilyn Kinzler is very excited about her new position at Cerro Coso working for the English and Foreign Language Department.  A self-confessed “college dropout” Debilyn says she got serious about college when her second daughter was 17 and applying for colleges, she asked Debilyn, “When you were little, what did you want to be?” 

Debilyn replied “a college professor.” “You know you still can, don’t you?” said her daughter.  Inspired by her daughter’s confidence in her, Debilyn enrolled in Los Angeles Pierce College, and then transferred to Cal State Northridge where she earned her Bachelor’s Degree. 

“I often say that it took me 25 years to graduate with a four-year degree but what I learned from doing it this way is that it’s never too late to continue learning.”   

Debilyn now holds an Associate of Arts in Business Administration from Los Angeles Pierce College, a Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing from Cal State Northridge, a Master’s Degree in English Literature from Cal State Northridge and currently a Doctoral student of English Literature with a concentration in American Studies from Claremont Graduate University. 

Debilyn has been married to husband Steven for 31 years and together the two have two daughters, two sons, four dogs, two turtles, and two snakes. She loves the outdoors, camping, hiking, dirt bike riding, though her off-road vehicle has four wheels, while the rest of her family’s have two.

Building Bridges: Systemic Solutions to Support Undocumented Students

The fifth annual Undocumented Student Action Week was held October 18-22, 2021. This year also marked the twentieth anniversary of Assembly Bill 540, the landmark legislation that opened the doors of higher education to thousands of undocumented students by removing the burden of out-of-state tuition. The week featured special conversation by Acting Chancellor Dr. Daisy Gonzales, Chancellor Dr. Joseph I. Castro, President Dr. Michael V. Drake, and President Kristen Soares that will highlight systemwide efforts to support AB 540 students and discuss shared commitments to continue addressing challenges that remain in order to support the success of all of our undocumented students. Cerro Coso shared resources available to undocumented students and invited them to share their immigration stories in the Student Center.

Bakersfield College

Industrial Automation Presents at Mojave Air and Space Port

The Industrial Automation program was invited to the Mojave Air and Space Port for a lunch and learn opportunity to meet with professionals from the aerospace industry. Some of the companies in attendance included Virgin Galactic, Stratolaunch, Masten, Interorbital Systems and more. The Bakersfield College Team; Carlos Medina, along with Anthony Cordova, Jason Dixon, Paul Murray, Lora Larkin, Blair Pruett and Tim Dekorte also had the opportunity to present to MASP’s tenants on opportunities for collaboration with the Industrial Automation program. The Industrial Automation team is hopeful this collaboration will result in opportunities and expansion of our own BC students advancing the workforce needs of the aerospace industry.

Really enjoyed this tweet about Richard Van Horn from BC’s first baccalaureate class. He has made BC so proud!

BC Recognizes Undocumented Students Week

Last week AB 540 & Undocumented Students Program, in collaboration with campus partners, hosted the fifth annual Undocumented Student Action Week. Throughout the week we heard from students, alumni, community/state partners, artists,  and more! BC’s Program Manager, Marcela Gamino, presented at the statewide AB 540 Conference on how Bakersfield College is addressing common challenges in awarding nonresident tuition exemption. 

We were honored to host Immigrants Rising’s Director of Higher Education Initiatives, Nancy Jodaitis, for Bakersfield College’s first UndocuALLY Training. Over 100 staff and faculty members from Bakersfield College were in attendance. The UndocuALLY training informed allies about the common issues that undocumented students face and how to provide support to our students. SOMOS BC!

BC Outreach Hosts the Annual High School Counselor Conference

BC’s Outreach hosted its annual High School Counselor Conference to empower over 155 local high school counselors to ease the transition for our incoming first-time students. The conference had multiple breakout sessions on topics such as: InsideBC, AB540, DSPS, and TRIO.

Distinguished Speaker Dr. Moogega Cooper at BC

Dr. Moogega Cooper

A real life “Guardian of the Galaxy,” Dr. Moogega “Moo” Cooper holds the awesome responsibility of keeping the red planet safe from any of the Earth’s contaminants. Moo is the planetary protection lead of the famed NASA 2020 Mars mission—with its highly viewed landing on February 18, 2021. Her work with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory is integral to the ongoing mission to discern whether Mars could be habitable for humans and that we don’t harm what’s already there—a job she has been working up to for most of her life.

Moo is passionate about empowering organizations and others to achieve their dreams and overcome obstacles that she articulately conveys through her life story and love of her work. A role model for women in science and technology, she is also passionate about introducing more people to the wonders of the STEAM world, including by talking about her work to boys and girls from underrepresented communities and appearing on shows like Because Space and Bill Nye Saves the World.

Learn more and RSVP for the webinar about the STEAM world at the Distinguished Speaker Series.

Title V Health Science Team hosts Health Science Pathway Fair

During the week of October 18th 2021,  the Title V Health Science team launched their first Health Science Pathway Fair at our high school sites. This gave our high school students an early exploration and information on our health science pathway and opportunities at Bakersfield College. Faculty, advisors, counselors and staff presented at Arvin, BHS, CTEC, Cesar Chavez, Delano, RFK, McFarland, Shafter and Wasco. We have reached 434 students as of this week and have received great feedback. As a couple students’ said, “I enjoyed the presentation and I might contemplate what I want to go after more” and “It encouraged me more to know which pathway to go on for my chosen career”. 

Thank you to our incredible health science team for making this successful and giving our high school students a chance to meet you and hear more about our programs.  

We Are BC | Health Science  

Quick Tips for Teaching SUccess

This week, our colleagues at Porterville College continued their Quick Tips for Teaching Success series with a session on Wednesday called “Project Quick Tips.”

Check out the video and more on the Quick Tips For Teaching Success website.

In the News

A poignant story of a Black kid who just wanted to be a good cop

I enjoyed Jose Gaspar‘s feature in The Bakersfield Californian about BC’s own Tommy Tunson.

Growing up in the 1970s and ’80s in a metropolitan city in California, Tunson points out the greatest causes of death for Black males in his neighborhood appeared to be drugs, gangs and the police. So I asked Tunson the same question he raised in his book.

“Because you want to have a positive significant change on society,” Tunson said. “Historically that has never existed.”

Community Voices: Our Renegade community is resilient

Check out BCSGA President Edith Mata‘s piece in the Bakersfield Californian!

As a BC student and the SGA president, I am grateful to have flexible options for my classes, while also having options to stay connected to the campus community. Being a full-time student and a mother requires constant adaptability and juggling of responsibilities. The fully online, hybrid and rural site options helped me develop an ideal schedule that works with my lifestyle. It’s wonderful to see the Renegade community protecting and looking out for one another by following the protocols set forth, using the KCCD campus pass app, and practicing social courtesies in the classroom and on campus.

Fun Photos & Spotted on Social Media

Jo Ellen Barnes shared this photo of the BC Budget Committee, which meets every month. Next month, they will hold thie ropen budget forum.

PC President Claudia Habib shared from the opening and dedication of Larry Itliong Resource Center in Poplar. She’s joined by Dolores Huerta, Assemblymember Rudy Salas, California Attorney General Rob Bonta, Assemblymember Mia Bonta, and others.

Diego Monterrubio shared this photo of Early College in Shafter.

Bakersfield College was present in full force at the Grimmway Edible Schoolyard dinner event

Bill Moseley shared this post about a collaboration we had:

Funny – This has been sitting on my desk unopened for a couple of months, and I hadn’t even opened it up. It’s always cool to see your name in print. Thanks to @sonyachristian for collaborating with me on this work.

Kylie Campbell from BC-KCCD and Kristin Hanle from Cerro Coso presented at the Dual Enrollment conference.




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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2 thoughts on “KCCD – We #GetItDone

  1. Michael O'Doherty October 31, 2021 at 9:54 am Reply

    I really like all the work being done to help the undocumented get a good education. Let me know if there is anything that i can do to help

  2. […] KCCD – We #GetItDone […]

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