We all have an afterlife on this Earth. An afterlife of our stories remembered by those who have known us for many years…
My life lives on in them, especially in my daughter and my sister.
And they will tell stories that I do not know, will never know. He did this, he did that, can you believe it!
That is my afterlife here on Earth. That is our afterlife here on Earth.
Community Voices: Our Lives. Our Stories.
Jack Hernandez. March 25, 2021
This week, Bakersfield lost a legend. Jack Hernandez was one of the sweetest, most brilliant people I’ve ever had the pleasure to know. I know many of you have known Jack, or seen him writing at Dagny’s. It is hard to put into words how tremendous his impact on Bakersfield College and our Bakersfield community has been over the past 60 years.
Jack grew up near Detroit and graduated from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor’s in English and philosophy and a Master’s degree in English language and literature.
In 1961, he joined Bakersfield College as a faculty member.
He began his Renegade career as a philosophy professor, and he also served as Dean of Students and as Vice Chancellor before returning to teach philosophy in 1984. In 1989, he became Chair of the philosophy department, and in 1996 he won the Shirley Trembley Distinguished Teaching Award.
In 2007, he began organizing events for the newly-created Norman Levan Center for the Humanities. He spent 10 years developing and caring for a space the celebrate arts and scholarship before he retired in 2017. He also launched the Norman Levan Faculty Colloquium.
He was a prolific writer, spending hours at Dagny’s Coffee Shop penning Community Voices pieces for the Bakersfield Californian or writing one of his many poems – some of which he would send to me, and I would publish in my blog. His writing was truly extraordinary – he had such a gift with words and turn of phrase and was able to capture emotion and nuance so beautifully. I have so enjoyed sharing these pieces with all of you.
One of the last poems he sent me hadn’t made it to my blog yet, but I will share it with you now.
He sent this on November 1st with the note “Hope…”
Hope is empty
with liquid dreams
shaken and held
up to the light,
a toast to a future
of thirst’s delight.
the glass now empty
is carefully shelved
for another day.
Check out this 3-min video from Thursday’s KCCD Board meeting.
Jack leaves behind a monumental legacy in our district and in this community. His infectious passion for literature and the humanities inspired generations of students, including Reggie Williams, who took Jack’s Intro to Philosophy course when he was a student at Bakersfield College and now continues his legacy as the current director of the Levan Center.
Here is a paragraph from the bc_all email sent by Jerry Ludeke.
Throughout it all, Jack has been Jack. You always knew what you were getting with Jack…..clear thinking (maybe a bit esoteric or humorously a bit sarcastic), clear writing (going from essays to plays to academic papers and most recently free flowing poetry), morally principled action (which sometimes appeared in Community Voices in The Californian), and open hearted honesty (speaking of hard times in his life and injustices witnessed today.)
Good morning, friends…
It is November 20, 2021.
The sun shines bright over KCCD.
This week, the Pirates, the Coyotes, and the Renegades continue to
PC brings awareness to hunger and homelessness
This week, Porterville College took a stand against Hunger and Homelessness as we hosted a series of activities to support students facing food and housing insecurities.
The PC Pirate Pantry helps over 200 students each month. Students are able to come to the on-campus food pantry once a week and show their student I.D. card to receive 2 or 3 bags of groceries for free. The groceries include non-perishables, refrigerated, and frozen items.
PC Student Services, in partnership with CalFresh, the Community Food Bank, and the Family Crisis Center held several activities throughout the week to bring awareness to this growing problem among the student population. A weeklong donation drive is underway to collect personal hygiene items, jackets and blankets. Various workshops were held throughout the week to raise awareness and educate the community and our students on the growing problem of food insecurity and homelessness.
San Juanita Baldwin, a PC student who has struggled with hunger and homelessness in the past says, “I know that the financial aid office has the food pantry and many of the school clubs try to help out with the homeless. They donate food items, clothes, and toiletry items. I believe in our school and on campus we have a lot of students who are hungry and they cannot afford nutritional food because it’s expensive. From my personal experience with homelessness, I was in transition from moving from one city to another. Because of lack of stability and lack of access to nutritional food my diabetes flared up. Now I’m stable and my diabetes is under control.”
Director of financial aid Tiffany Haynes added, “We are here to help students with these programs and events, and we hope many take advantage of what we are able to offer through the generous donations of our campus and community.”
PC WeComm Club steps up to help community efforts
WeComm is a newly established club of students interested in communication at Porterville College. The club, which began at PC this semester, seeks to get students involved in their community through volunteer work. They have already been making a big splash around town, having been seen volunteering at several events and community efforts to help others.
Just this month, they were seen joining forces with the California Farmworkers Foundation in Earlimart to help hand out boxes of fresh fruits, vegetables, and dairy products to families in need at their food distribution center. Club faculty advisor Dr. Jonathan Hernandez said, “It was a great day, and we plan to team up with their organization for future events!”
They were also seen assisting Sierra View Medical center during their recent pop-up vaccination clinics, helping spread the word about the benefits that vaccinations can have for our community.
They even spent time cleaning up Veteran’s Park in Porterville, as part of a communitywide effort to keep Porterville beautiful!
But it’s not all hard work for this club, they were also seen hitting a PC basketball game as a group to cheer on the Pirates and show their school spirit.
PC Innovation Centers hosts its final STEM Enrichment Workshop of the Semester
The new STEM Innovation center at PC hosted the last in its series of Career Enrichment Workshops this week via Zoom.
Each PC USDA STEM Enrichment Workshop aims at highlighting a different USDA agency and/or partner. The workshops are developed to introduce local, regional, and state USDA Agencies, federal, and industry partners to STEM students and the campus-wide community.
Additionally, the enrichment workshops utilize an interactive, discussion-based format designed to engage students actively in their own career development process. Students will also learn about opportunities offered by USDA to optimize their STEM major, internship, and career searches.
Guest speaker Dr. Maria Esteras talked with attendees about her role as the USDA Food Safety Inspection Services Veterinary Recruiting and Outreach Coordinator. In this role, she oversees recruitment and retention of veterinarians across the nation.
In her work with the USDA, Dr. Esteras has been able to create awareness of the critical role that veterinarians play in food safety and public health as well as assist with creating new policies and incentives that affect veterinarians within the agency.
Cerro Coso Community College
ESCC Nursing Students Prepare to Graduate and Serve
Preparing nursing students for making the transition from student to nurse is crucial for entry into practice. Students in Cerro Coso’s Nursing Program undergo a rigorous program of study and clinical practice to prepare them for their transition to the world of nursing.
In the next few weeks, the nursing cohort at the Eastern Sierra College Center in Bishop will finish their finals, take their state licensure testing, and will be poised to join colleagues nationwide “in the most noble of professions,” thanks to Cerro Coso’s program.
These students have, once again, shown amazing resolve and adaptability to graduate in the mist of the most difficult health crisis our country has ever seen. They are well prepared to serve their communities.
Even in moments of uncertainty, there is an underlying sense of optimism. Positioned to start a new chapter in their lives despite a national pandemic, when all their peers were shifting to online classes, they kept attending in-person classes in the homestretch of their nursing education. Cerro Coso nursing faculty have worked hard to deliver all the classes they need, following all safety protocols, to keep them on track for graduation.
The college will be holding a Nursing Capping and Pinning Ceremony on Thursday, December 3rd at the Bishop campus that signifies the conclusion of their program at the college. All those attending will be required to wear a mask and show proof of Covid vaccination or a negative Covid test administered within the last 72 hours.
Nothing can take away these students’ passion for, and commitment to, helping others as nurses.
Congratulations to the ESCC Nursing Class of 2021!
Basketball Home Opener BIG Win for the Coyotes Men’s Basketball Team
Coming off of a strong early start to the 2021-22 CCCAA Men’s Basketball Season, the Cerro Coso Coyote’s men’s basketball program kicked off their home schedule on Saturday, November 12th against West Hills Coalinga College (WHCC).
The Coso team opened up their home schedule with a convincing win over West Hills Coalinga College. With only a 1 point lead going into halftime, the Coyotes made the necessary adjustments to run away with a 20 point margin to finish the game at 77-57.
The Falcons played tough defense throughout the contest, but were no match for the fast paced Coyote offense as Cerro Coso eventually wore them down. The Coyotes were led by Josh Miller (27 pts), Jalen Williams (17 pts.), and Jhadon Banks (15 pts.).
Coso returns to action on the road this Wednesday as they take on a top ranked opponent in Fullerton College. They will return to home action this Saturday, 11/20/21 @ 5:00pm as they play host to Cypress College.
Dribble it. Pass it. Let’s make a basket! Go Coyotes!
It’s a Wrap
No need to get all wrapped up in all the holiday stress! Cerro Coso elves (Penny Talley, Courtney Bowen, and Franki Gregor) offered the community some wrapping relief during the Student Services United Club’s Gift Wrapping and Donation Drive held at Walmart on Wednesday, November 17th. Shoppers were able to stop by the booth and have their holiday purchases wrapped for a donation. All proceeds from the event will be used to support Club activities.
The Student Services United Club provides students with the opportunity to develop a networking system that is consistent with the challenges they encounter on a day-to-day basis. It provides an opportunity for special services students to develop leadership skills through the presentation of various campus and community activities and cooperation with other organizations. The underlying theme for the club’s activities is to educate the college and community about ethnic-cultural diversity and about the needs and contributions of disabled and economically challenged people.
BC Gifted $11,000 By The Scott Kirschenmann Family Foundation
The Scott Kirschenmann Family Foundation has gifted the Bakersfield College Foundation $11,000 to expand and renovate the Bakersfield College Agriculture Farm Laboratory, an outdoor learning space for students on the corner of Panorama and Haley St. Christy Hornbuckle, Scott Kirshenmann’s sister, joined members of the BC Foundation for a tour of the area on Wednesday morning. The tour was led by Dean of Instruction, Jessica Wojtysiak, Agriculture Department Chair, Heather Baltis, and Food Science faculty, LeAnn Riley.
And check out this story from KGET about the donation & visit:
Automotive Tech Renegades at the 29th California Hot Rod Reunion
The 29th California Hot Rod Reunion was held at Famoso Dragstrip and the three day event serves as the final race in the NHRA Heritage Series. Eleven of BC’s Automotive Technology students participated as crew members on Top Fuel Dragster teams, a program sponsored by the Jim McLennen Foundation and NHRA. The program was started years ago when Bob McLennen, Jim’s son, contacted BC’s Auto faculty looking for ways to introduce students to drag racing in memory of his father’s legacy. This program is an extension of the Renegade Motorsports team, which has already built a fully functional racecar trainer and is currently constructing two endurance race cars for competition on road courses across the western states.
Native American Heritage Month – Resources at BC!
Faith Bradham and Laura Luiz have created a Native American LibGuide and set up displays in the Library in celebration of Native American Heritage Month. The guide focuses on books and online resources including videos, podcasts, and more.
The Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian is celebrating with a Native Cinema Showcase, November 12th through 18th. This year’s showcase focuses on Native people boldly asserting themselves through language, healing, building community, and a continued relationship with the land. Activism lies at the heart of all these stories. The showcase provides a unique forum for engagement with Native filmmakers from Indigenous communities throughout the Western Hemisphere and Arctic.
Interested in learning about local Native Peoples? Check out the following sites: Tejon Indian Tribe, Tachi Yokuts Culture, Tule River History, Native American Resilience: The Tachi Yokut Tribe and the Preservation of Tribal History and Tradition, The Kawaiisu Culture, and Tubatulabals of Kern.
BC Recognized Twice by The Campaign for College Opportunity
Last week, I shared that The Campaign for College Opportunity has announced Bakersfield College will be recognized as a Champion of Higher Education. I wanted to update you all to that BC was honored twice during the annual Champions of Higher Education celebration on November 16th.
Champion of Higher Education for Excellence
The first recognition is as a 2021 Champion of Higher Education in regards to exemplary work to ensure strong transfer pathways. BC has seen a sustained increase of 1000% in degrees awarded since 2014-2015.
Champion of Equity for Latinx Students
BC was also recognized as a 2021 Equity Champion for Excellence in Transfer for Latinx Students. In the past few years, BC has achieved parity in enrollment and completion for this population with 70% of Associate Degree for Transfer earners identifying as Hispanic/Latino/a/x in 2019-2020.
In the News
BC breaks ground on a new Edible Education Garden
On Friday, BC broke ground on the new Edible Education Garden. The garden will be open to all students, and its harvests will be available both to students in the culinary arts program cooking at the Renegade Room, as well as for students at the Renegade Pantry.
I enjoyed Emma Gallegos’ article in The Bakersfield Californian about the project.
BC looks to ‘unique’ pot of state money for proposed 152-bed residence hall
Last Saturday, I enjoyed reading Casey Christie’s article in The Bakersfield Californian about a plan to build dedicated student housing for BC students.
“KCCD trustee John Corkins, who represents the Porterville College area and serves on the district’s finance committee, said a grant that covers 100 percent of the funding is rare and allows the district to take a reasonable risk. It’s a risk few community colleges have taken up until now: A recent Assembly memo notes that only 12 community colleges have housing programs.“
Fun Photos & Spotted on Social Media
Cerro Coso shared this picture taken while filming on the Bishop campus:
Excited to wrap up the virtual 360 campus tour filming today at our Bishop and Mammoth campuses. We are thrilled to bring all of Cerro Coso’s campus locations to you soon virtually! Don’t forget open registration is available now to register for spring classes! You belong here! #ccpride
PC President Claudia Habib shared these photos on Twitter:
“Beautiful Yokut tribe artifacts, regalia and games were on display at the tabling event by the Native American Club.”
Here a a few photos from this week’s Launchpad Lunch & Learn event – thank you to Earl Parsons for these great photos:
I just love this post from BC History Professor Olivia Garcia:
Can I just say how much I love my job?! Yes COVID has made it challenging for professors to teach in this new setting, but I’m so proud of my students for their resilience and creativity. Case in point: I created an assignment where my history students could create something that reflected what they wrote about in their history research papers. Here are some examples from my history classes: One created an Aztec pyramid as he wrote about the fascinating engineering of this society. Another made a suffragette sash to highlight the women’s suffrage movement. Another created a Venus figurine out of clay for her paper on Paleolithic societies and portrayal of women through these carvings. Another drew her own interpretation of Mona Lisa to highlight her paper on the Renaissance. The list goes on! It was a fun, creative assignment for my face-to-face classes, and their work was so inspiring. Thank you to my students for reminding me of the rewards of teaching history to young, thriving college minds. #mystudentsarethebest⭐️❤️ #thatprofessorlife🙋🏽♀️ #wearebc #historyrocks🌏
And Vance Palm announced his retirement this week after 23 years of covering BC Renegade Athletics:
After a total span of 23 years covering basketball, football and volleyball for my beloved BC Rengades, this afternoon was the finale. Called my first hoops game in 1998 – as the Assistant coach!I played basketball & baseball there, coached there, worked there and was lucky enough to help with the Inaugural BC Athletics Hall of Fame. I Tagged a bunch of the people who I enjoyed along the way. Much love#gogades
That’s a wrap for now.
See you next Saturday!
The future is bright at KCCD.
a joyful and grateful Chancellor
Tagged: #KCCDDaringMightyThings, Bakersfield College, Cerro Coso College, Claudia Habib, Jack Hernandez, Kern Community College District, Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Porterville College, Sean Hancock, Sonya Christian, Zav Dadabhoy