Thanksgiving 2021–To live gratitude is to touch heaven

To speak gratitude is courteous and pleasant,
to enact gratitude is generous and noble,
but to live gratitude is to touch heaven
– Johannes Gaetner

Wednesday afternoon, I was on the road heading south to my daughter’s place at Marina Del Rey to spend Thanksgiving with her, since she is working through the holiday. The drive took about twice as long as usual, with the notorious Wednesday pre-thanksgiving traffic. I let myself comfortably sink into the slow drive and my mind wandered.

Thanksgiving — I give thanks for my parents Paul and Pam, for a loving and generously irreverent upbringing.  

Paul Christian, Kevin Christian, Roy Christian, Pam Christian, Anita Christian & Sonya Christian

I give thanks for Dr. Rick Wright and Dr. Jim Young for signing the required papers for my green card that put me on the path to become a citizen of this great country. 

I give thanks for the 7-member Board of Trustees who take such good care of all of us in the Kern Community College District.

I give thanks for all of my dear colleagues, who are so committed to our students and to one another. I give thanks for the amazing community that surrounds our Kern Community College District, and the support you all have for our colleges and most importantly, our students.

Most importantly, I’m so grateful for our amazing students who find the resolve to persevere through all the many challenges they encounter. I’m thankful for the innovative future that they will help create when they finish their education, and how they’ll use their motivation and drive to transform the lives of their families and our community.

I hope you all enjoyed some time with friends and loved ones both far and near over this Thanksgiving weekend.

As I do every year, I took some time to look over my blog posts from throughout this year, as well as those from the past few Thanksgivings (2020, 201920182017, and 2016).

I truly have so much to be grateful for.

Happy Thanksgiving

Good morning, friends…
It is November 27, 2021.
The sun shines bright over KCCD.

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

Porterville College

Men’s Basketball goes 2-0 at Milt Stowe Classic, moves to 5-1 for season!

The Porterville College men’s basketball team had a very successful stretch during its home tournament, the Milt Stowe Classic, winning both games. The Pirates opened play in the first game of the tournament with a thrilling 63-61 victory over the Bakersfield College Renegades and closed out the two-day event by defeating Moorpark College 90-78.

PC is off to one of its best starts in program history under new head coach Amaurys Fermin at 5-1.

The Pirates opening contest against Bakersfield came down to the final minutes. Porterville trailed 33-24 at halftime, but in the second half, the Pirates chipped away at the lead, and with seven minutes to play, PC built up a 53-43 lead.

Bakersfield responded with an 11-0 run over the next three minutes to get back out in front 54-53. But with 3:20 left, Quame Smith’s bucket after a missed free throw gave PC the lead for good at 55-54. Porterville put together a 7-0 run and was able to hold off a late Bakersfield surge for the win.

Chirrag Sidhu led Porterville in the contest with 14 points. Isaiah Josue totaled 10 points and 5 assists while Julio Phipps had 7 points, 10 rebounds, and 5 assists. Smith ended the game with 9 points and 5 rebounds.

2021 Milt Stowe Classic Results

Day 1
Moorpark 99
, West Hills Coalinga 97
Porterville 63, Bakersfield 61

Day 2
Bakersfield 72, West Hills Coalinga 51
Porterville 90, Moorpark 78

Porterville College President Claudia Habib with tournament namesake Milt Stowe

PC Fire Academy Graduates 24 in its 37th Class of Cadets

Twenty-four graduates from the Porterville College Fire Academy’s 37th class were honored during a ceremony on Thursday, November 18th.

The ceremony was recorded at Porterville Fire Station 2, where the Academy’s facilities are located. The event was pre-recorded to keep the event small enough to allow for COVID safety protocols and will be shared with the families and friends of the cadets via YouTube and the Porterville College Website.

The graduates each completed an intensive, 12-week training program to get here. Several of the cadets were honored with awards and scholarships, including scholarships presented by the families of Ray Figueroa and Patrick Jones – two firefighters who tragically lost their lives in the fire that destroyed the Porterville Public library on February 18, 2020.

Taylor Christiansen

The cadets also presented their class project to the academy – a large pull-up apparatus to “help future cadets stay strong”. According to Class Battalion Chief Taylor Christiansen, “We have included this plaque that is inscribed, ‘In memory of Captain Ray Figueroa and Firefighter Patrick Jones’ and then the slogan we’ve been living by, ‘Be Better Every Day’.”

Claudia Habib
Mario Garcia

Chief Mario Garcia, who retired from the Porterville Fire Department, is an instructor with the Academy. He led the evening’s program in the absence of Program Coordinator and Porterville Fire Chief Dave Lapere, who is out on medical leave. 

Cerro Coso Community College

ISEP Leadership attends 2021 NCHEP

Cerro Coso’s Incarcerated Student Education Program (ISEP) faculty and administration attended the National Conference on Higher Education in Prison (NCHEP) November 11-14 in Denver, Colorado.  The conference is not only an event – it’s a lifeline for the community of people who are committed to expanding educational opportunities for students who are currently or formerly incarcerated.

The annual gathering brings together people working to expand the field of higher education in prison, and offers an opportunity for higher education in prison community members to be heard, supported, and inspired.  Fostering collaboration, the conference is an incubator for new projects and initiatives, and a trusted venue for constructive dialogue. 

Attendees leave the conference with new tools and connections, as well as a renewed sense of purpose and confidence.

Peter Fulks, Professor of Administration of Justice, and Alec Griffin, Professor of Anthropology, hosted a workshop at the conference on The Insurgency Model: Leveraging the Collaborative Processes Across Institutions. The workshop focused on how establishing a strategic campus model is a specialty and stand-out component of the Cerro Coso Incarcerated Student Education Program.  The goal of the workshop was for attendees to identify hard truths in their program and begin to create a strategic goal to manage and leverage strengths, understand and plan with weakness in mind, identify opportunities for personal and programmatic growth, and clearly identify program threats that could be internal and external. 

Cerro Coso attendees included: Jesus Gaytan, Alec Griffin, Peter Fulks, Kristie Nichols, Anna Carlson, Melissa Bowen, Chad Houck, Nicole Griffin, and Suzanne Phillips.

Vigneault Shares Naval Academy Experience

MIDN 1/C Grant David Vigneault a 2018 Burroughs High School graduate and a current member of the Class of 2022 at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD, shared his insights and advice to all those interested in the Naval Academy on Monday, November 22.  

Grant is a Robotics, Control Systems, and Weapons Engineering major with a focus in Engineering Management.  He is a member of the Navy Spirit team where he has served as the captain of the Mascot Team for two consecutive years.  Grant spent his entire childhood in the Ridgecrest area before departing for Maryland in 2018.  He enjoys hiking, fishing, baseball, and the military lifestyle. 

The U.S. Naval Academy is the undergraduate college of our country’s naval service.  Located in Annapolis, MD, it prepares young men and women to become professional Officers of competence, character, and compassion in the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps.   Naval Academy students are midshipmen on Active Duty in the U.S. Navy.  They attend the Academy for four years, graduating with Bachelor of Science degrees and commissions as Ensigns in the Navy or Second Lieutenants in the Marine Corps.  Naval Academy graduates serves at least five years in the Navy or Marine Corps. 

Grant spoke on topics including the admissions process, student life, and what to expect post-graduation followed by a question and answer session. 

Charitable Giving – Gifts that Support a Cause

The CCCC Foundation participated in the third annual ALTERNATIVE GIFT FAIR hosted by the Rotary Club of China Lake on Saturday, November 20 from 10 am to 2 pm at the SpringHill Suites.   The event promotes meaningful gift giving and support for local non-profit organizations.  

The Gift Fair enables shoppers to purchase holiday gifts for their loved ones in a festive, family, and community-friendly environment.  Participating nonprofit organizations create shopping lists of cash designations, ranging in value from $10 to $200, that reflect the needs of the organization.  For each donation, the shopper receives a holiday card provided by the Giving Fair and an insert with a description of the organization and gift. 

The Foundation’s theme for this year’s booth was “Give the Gift of Education this Holiday Season” and offered participants the opportunity to donate a parking pass for $20, a $100 donation to the Coyote Cupboard, or $200 to help offset the cost of books. 

2021 has been a difficult year for everyone, and especially Cerro Coso students many whom have faced uncertainty in their home, work, and school life.  The CCCC Foundation is here to help students reach their full potential and overcome the many challenges they face through scholarships, emergency aid, food pantry, faculty support, and more.  

Every dollar donated to the CCCC Foundation makes a significant impact on the life of a Cerro Coso student. 

Bakersfield College

BC Received $5 Million Grant for STEM Programs

Bakersfield College has been awarded $5 million for the Step Up to STEM: Start Strong, Stay Strong, Finish Strong project from the United States Department of Education as part of their Hispanic Serving Institutions – Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Articulation program. The Kern Community College District Board of Trustees formally accepted the grant award on November 18, 2021.

​​The five-year funding agreement will support activities to enhance STEM student success, supporting Hispanic and Latinx students from lower-income backgrounds and those that have first generation college-student status.  Read the full press release Bakersfield College Receives $5 Million Grant Designed To Support The Hispanic Serving Institutions Stem Programs, With Focus On Program Expansion And Student Completion and the story from 23ABC Bakersfield College awarded $5 million from U.S. Department of Education.

National Radiologic Technology Week

Last week, BC’s Radiologic Technology program celebrated National Radiologic Technology Week, a celebration to commemorate the discovery of the x-ray by Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen on November 8th, 1895. The day calls attention to the importance of medical imaging and radiation therapy professionals in patient care and healthcare safety. 

BC’s program is also adding a mammography certificate for the program’s students and the technologists in our community that will start in Spring 2022.

Criminal Justice Students Visit Kern County Sheriff’s Office

BC’s Criminal Justice students had the opportunity to visit several departments throughout the Kern County Sheriff’s Office. 

From demonstrations with a K9 deputy, crisis negotiators team, SWAT, bomb squad, and air support units, students engaged with officers learning what it takes to qualify for those specialty departments.

Students had the opportunity to learn what an average and sometimes, life changing day is like for the KCSO team. 

In the News

The Cutting Edge: TV pilot being produced in Porterville

I read in the The Porterville Recorder about the filming of TV pilot “Porterville,” a police drama about a murderer on the loose in Porterville. I am so proud that three of our Porterville College students – Leslie Ochoa, Florentino Linas, and Erika Coon – served as production assistants!

Denice Aguilera, a Kern Promise student from BC who went on to CSUB, was featured in US News & World Report’s 2022 Guidebook. She was one of several students who shared their strategies for paying for college.

Aguilera lives at home, saving on living expenses, and works as a peer mentor for other students taking advantage of the Kern Promise. The introvert now acts as a leader, offering advice and answering questions as students adjust to college. While at Bakersfield College, she also tutored students and volunteered at the computer commons. She expects to graduate debt-free.

Aguilera encourages high school students not to overlook community colleges. “It’s a smaller community,” she notes, and “staff, faculty and students can know you.” She plans to graduate with honors, become a certified public accountant and “come back to work for Bakersfield College. I fell in love with BC. It’s my home.”

You can read her story on the US News & World Report website.

For more information about the guidebook, check out Best Colleges 2022 Guidebook (

Fun Photos/Spotted on Social Media

Porterville College’s campus on a gorgeous fall day, courtesy of professor Jonathan Hernandez:

BC Industrial Automation shared this post:

Glad we were able to participate in the @SME_MFG Smart Manufacturing Roundtable to discuss accelerating the adoption of smarter manufacturing in order to stay competitive with the global advance manufacturing industry. #WeAreBC#IndustrialAutomation#Automation

Here’s Bill Moseley’s beautiful family enjoying time together on Thanksgiving:

Happy Thanksgiving


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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