KCCD Trustees recognize Chancellor Emeritus Tom Burke

My first semester as Chancellor of the Kern Community College District has come to a close. I have so enjoyed this time with all three of our wonderful colleges and was overjoyed when the three presidents came together to thank the Board of Trustees for their leadership and support. It was definitely a moment …. and while President Claudia Habib spoke on behalf of the three presidents at the December Board meeting, I grabbed my phone and snapped this picture. #KCCDDaringMightyThings

President Zav Dadabhoy, President Sean Hancock, President Claudia Habib

At this week’s KCCD Board of Trustees meeting, the Board officially recognized Tom Burke as Chancellor Emeritus. Before the meeting, we held a short reception with delightful refreshments prepared by Chef Fidel and crew from BC and invited a few dignitaries to share remarks. With the pandemic and the emergence of omicron, we restricted the in-person gathering and did a livestream of the event. Tom’s colleagues and friends from across the state tuned in. Please note that masks were required for the indoor gathering and were only removed for photos.

Tom’s beautiful wife Tina attended the event:

Here are my remarks from the event:

As well as Vice Chancellor John Means:

KCCD Trustee Kay Meek:

And of course, the man of the hour himself – Tom Burke:

You can see all the videos on the Kern Community College District YouTube channel.

Good morning, friends…
It is December 18, 2021.
The sun shines bright over KCCD.

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

Porterville College

Huge turnout for Polar Express Drive-Thru at PC

Porterville College got into the holiday spirit early, by hosting a community organized event to support local families with free services and food and to provide FREE community vaccinations. The Polar Express themed Drive-Thru event was held on campus this past weekend. The response was amazing, with hundreds of cars full of families coming out. 

The line of cars extended so far during the event that organizers actually had to reroute people to accommodate the traffic and keep things running smoothly.

Volunteers from the Parenting Network, Porterville College, Imperial Ambulance, Sierra View Medical Center, the City of Porterville, and the United Farm Workers Foundation (UFWF) worked tirelessly to provide vaccines to community members, along with food boxes, turkeys, Christmas gifts for the children, and gift wrapping. The event also provided disinfectant wipes, and necessities such as sanitizer and face masks to participants.

Lucy Hernandez from the UFWF said she was amazed at the turnout of Porterville community residents for the vaccine clinic. “The first thing they said to me was, ‘This will be a lot of help for Christmas dinner.’”

When asked why she thought this type of event was so important, Hernandez said, “It’s so great to see these people happy when they receive the gifts.”

Psych Tech Program Holds Virtual Graduation

A special virtual ceremony was held on Saturday, December 11, recognizing 20 students for completing PC’s Psychological Technology program.

By using zoom for the ceremony, we were able to provide an experience that allowed students to celebrate their accomplishment, share their feelings, and include their families in this milestone. Many families even staged their own celebrations with loved ones in their homes during the ceremony.

The 2021 cohort of graduating students shared their thanks and went through virtual versions of their pledge to service and “pinning”.

It is an honor to be able to share these wonderful moments with our students in spite of this continuing pandemic!

CONGRATULATIONS to the Porterville College Psych Tech Class of 2021!

The following are some thoughts shared by students during the ceremony:

“Thanks to our program faculty for working extra hard during this pandemic to make our program work” –Veronica Bedolla

“Thank you to my amazing classmates for all the support and helping me get through the program!” – Maria Ayala Rosiles

“When we achieve something, it’s usually because others helped along the way.  Thank you for all that help.” – Elizabeth Gamboa

“I’m excited to be done with this part so we can move on to the next step in our careers.” – Aldo Camacho

PC M&O Director honored by Tulare County for service during crisis

Congratulations to PCs Maintenance & Operations Director John Word for being honored by the Tulare County Board of Supervisors for his hard work and support for the community during the Pure, KNP, and Windy Fires as well as his years of partnership with the County. We’re proud of our fellow PIRATE!

Congratulations, John! Thank you for always going the extra mile to make Porterville, and Porterville College, a better place!  

Click the link below to listen to audio of the presentation from Tulare County Supervisor Dennis Townsend.

Cerro Coso Community College

Coso Basketball Climbs to a #19 State Ranking

The Cerro Coso men’s basketball team continues to climb its way towards the top of the CCCMBCA state poll, as they moved up 5 spots from the last release. As of December 7, the Coyotes now claim ownership of the #19 ranking in the CCCAA (https://cccmbca.org/sports/mbkb/2021-22/releases/Poll_December_7) The #19 ranking is the highest state ranking for a Cerro Coso program in recent history, and the team has provided the college and community with an exciting collegiate atheltic experience.

This ranking is the result of continued success on the court, as the Coyotes have moved to 7-2 on the season, with the only losses coming to top ranked opponents, #1 Fullerton College and #3 Ventura College. The Coyotes are coming off of a 2nd place finish in the Gregg Anderson Memorial Tournament, hosted by Antelope Valley College. During the tournament Cerro Coso opened up play against LA Pierce with 75-57 win and then followed up on Saturday with 93-61 statement against host AVC. The two wins positioned Cerro Coso to face Ventura College in a championship matchup. The contest was back and forth during the first half which saw the Coyotes take a 33-29 lead into the locker room at half time. But Ventura was quick to respond in the second half, scoring early and regaining the lead. From that point the Coyotes could not pull their offense together, shooting just 36% from the floor and would eventually fall by the score of 66-81. The tournament experience will give Coach Dugan the chance to continue preparing his team for IEAC play and a renewed focus towards conference competition. 

The Coyotes hosted Reedley College at 3:00pm in the Cerro Coso Gymnasium.

Cerro Coso Closed for Winter Recess

Cerro Coso Community College will be closed for winter recess from Monday, December 20, 2021, through Sunday, January 2, 2021.

Online registration will be available 7 days a week, 24 hours a day through the College website at www.cerrocoso.edu. Try this easy and convenient way to register for classes. The spring schedule of classes is also available online.

Business will resume at all college locations on Monday, January 3, 2021, and staff will be available to assist in person, via email, phone, and scheduled Zoom sessions.

Register now. Pay later. Spring semester classes at the college officially start on January 18, 2021. 

Vaccination and/or approved exemption must be uploaded to the registration system before registering in on-campus classes. If the information is not in the system, an error message will be received and it will not allow you to register. Remove on-campus classes from your cart and proceed to register for any online classes you wish to take. 

Vaccination and exemption information is available on the website at www.cerrocoso.edu.

New this spring, Cerro Coso is accepting new applications to the Cerro Coso Promise Scholarship contact Financial Aid for more information at cc_faid@cerrocoso.edu.

Cerro Coso Community College. Your Hometown College.

Progress Report: First-Time Degree-Seeking Student Cohort

I wanted to share this update sent by Cerro Coso VP of Instruction Corey Marvin:

The First-Time Degree-Seeking Student Cohort Report is produced annually by the KCCD institutional research office for each of the three colleges. It was developed originally as part of the district’s entry into the Achieving the Dream network in 2013. This report (formerly known as Elements of Student Success) compiles a variety of performance data points, mostly short-term measures that focus on student success in the first two semesters. The newest annual report was released right before Thanksgiving.

Unlike other data sets, this report does not look at the whole student population. Instead, it is limited to a cohort of first-time degree-seeking students entering in the fall term, students whose declared goal or course-taking pattern shows they intend to pursue an award or transfer. Yearly this produces a group of some 500 to 600 students. In Fall 2020 (the newest cohort), it was 516 students.

So how did we do? 

As you can see, we have every reason to be proud. Across all metrics, the Fall 2020 cohort outperformed the 2019 cohort, and in every case but one, it continued a five-year trend of improvement across the board.

Bakersfield College

BC receives $2 million gift to agriculture program

Friends and family of Bakersfield College Agriculture faculty and pig farmer, Billy Barnes, gathered in his memory at the BC Agriculture Farm on Friday morning to make a $2 million gift to support the college’s agriculture program.

Bakersfield College leadership also unveiled “The Billy Barnes Animal Science Institute at Bakersfield College,” with future signage at the entrance of the new Animal Science Lab to be located in the upcoming agriculture building to be completed in 2024 . 

“Billy Barnes was a much-loved member of the BC Agriculture family,” said KCCD Trustee Kay Meek. “He was both a pig-farmer and an educator at heart. Throughout his successful career, he was named ‘Pork All-American’ by the National Pork Producers council and went on to become internationally known as a top swine judge. He was a valuable addition to Bakersfield College, passing on his knowledge to students, and also showing his heart and passion for caring for animals and seeing students succeed.”

Barnes attended Bakersfield College after graduating from South High School in 1983. He then transferred to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo before later graduating from Fresno State University in Animal Science. He earned the title “Pork All-American” by the National Pork Producers Council which honored pig farmers under 40 who established themselves as community leaders.

CARE & CalWORKS Holiday Celebration

In the spirit of the holiday season, the CARE and CalWORKs program hosted their annual Holiday Celebration for parenting students. The purpose of the Holiday Celebration is to promote family togetherness and student support by collecting gifts for the children of CARE and CalWORKs students to open during the holiday season. This year, the BC community came together to provide gifts to over 100 children. Thank you to our BC family for extending your blessings this holiday season by adopting a family, contributing to the fundraiser, and for spreading the word about the event!

AB 540 & USP Holiday Paint Workshop

The AB 540 and Undocumented Students Program celebrated the end of finals by hosting a wellness workshop and painting activity for students. The workshop discussed the benefits of creative outlets, especially in times of pressure and stress. Students participated in painting and bonding activities.

Mindy Wilmot is newest Interim Associate Dean of Instruction

Melinda “Mindy” Wilmot has agreed to serve as Interim Associate Dean of Instruction at Bakersfield College. She will lead the Family and Consumer Education (FACE) department, the BC Child Development Center, and the Education Pathway.

Mindy has served as professor/reference librarian at Bakersfield College since September, 2014. During this time, she provided orientation and research instruction via workshops and within courses to our students. She has also served as Director of the Bakersfield College Archives since January, 2020, where she oversaw the process to gather, handle, and store materials, making important pieces of BC history accessible to patrons.

Mindy earned her bachelor’s degree from California State University, Bakersfield and her Master’s Degree from San Jose State University. 

Please join me in expressing our gratitude and excitement over her willingness to step into this new leadership role!

Industrial Automation Visits Port of Long Beach

Total Terminal International, LLC Employees and BC Industrial Automation Staff and Students

Bakersfield College’s Industrial Automation staff and students had the opportunity for an exclusive behind the scenes tour of Total Terminals International, LLC in the Port of Long Beach. They gained in-depth knowledge surrounding the many causes behind the current supply chain crisis including labor shortage, outdated equipment/technology and the recent surge in demand. While some terminals have invested in automation, many are still behind, further adding to the strain from the deficit of products still waiting to make it to the shelves. Bakersfield College continues to train the future workforce with the most advanced technology and equipment to reduce the pressure on the industry, and improve our quality of life.

Fun Photos & Spotted on Social Media

Dr. Brij Bhambi

Enjoyed Dr. Brij Bhambi’s lasted blog post on COVID. Check it out at https://bhambiandchristian.com/

The California Coalition of Early and Middle Colleges had one of BC’s Dual Enroll students as a Student Spotlight this week. Congratulations Jorge Flores!

Craig Hayward, Dean of Institutional Effectiveness at BC, was featured on Data and Donuts for Higher Ed Professionals:

And as we start on our winter break, I wanted to share this post from Porterville College about making sure your break is refreshing:

Check out the tips at https://t.co/VUU5D64Nn7.


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 Trustees recognize Chancellor Emeritus Tom Burke

  1. Michael O’Doherty December 18, 2021 at 1:33 pm Reply

    You did a Great Job Tom Burke!

  2. […] KCCD Trustees recognize Chancellor Emeritus Tom Burke […]

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