It’s March – Celebrating Women

On Tuesday – International Women’s Day – the California Community Colleges Women’s Caucus gathered virtually for a panel discussion about Student Parents, the second in a three-part series co-sponsored by the Caucus and California Competes.

I wanted to share this short video highlighting some of the inspirational women who have broken new ground for women in higher education, as well as some photos from the Caucus’ first 1 1/2 years. #WomenInspire

Talking about inspiring women, here is one of my favorite people – T Johnson doing what she does …..

Bakersfield College Launchpad welcomes the Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce “Leadership Bakersfield” Class of 2022 for “Education Day” hosted by Kern County Superintendent of Schools. Participants toured the Launchpad and learned about the resources and educational workshops for entrepreneurs to help start and grow businesses in our community.  NaTesha “T” Johnson presented to the leaders on the importance of supporting entrepreneurs, start-ups and small businesses throughout Kern County.

Good morning, friends…
It is March 12, 2022.
The sun shines bright over KernCCD.

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

Porterville College

Porterville College names Women’s Soccer coach, looks to start new program in Fall

We’re excited to announce the appointment of PC alum Amber Hernandez as the Head Coach for the new PC Women’s Soccer team. #WomenLead

Ms. Hernandez has spent the better part of her life playing soccer, jokingly saying that she has “been a soccer player since the moment I could walk”. She brings valuable experience starting up new soccer programs, having served as assistant coach for the first soccer team fielded at Reedley College.

Amber was a member of the Women’s Mexican National Soccer team, she also played semiprofessional soccer with the Seattle Reign. She’s coached younger recreational soccer players for over 9 years, having worked with the South Valley Chivas Academy and the Porterville Soccer League. She comes to PC directly from her position as an assistant coach for the WPSL Fresno Freeze women’s soccer program.

As a graduate of Porterville College and a Porterville resident, Ms. Hernandez looks forward to making a difference in the lives of players in our community. She is particularly excited to start recruiting new players from the area. “For far too long talent here has been kept a secret and hidden, now is time to showcase all that hidden talent! This program will encourage so many young girls, female athletes, and women of all ages to dream big and use their talent to help open doors to their fullest potential.”

PC Athletic Director Joe Cascio is excited about the addition of both Hernandez and the new program. He says, “We are very fortunate to have Amber in charge of reviving women’s soccer at Porterville College. She has an extensive soccer background, strong ties to the community, and a genuine passion for student-athlete success. I’m excited to see her hit the ground running.”

This mother of two holds her bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary studies from National University and a teaching credential in Multiple subjects. She already has big plans for the program in its first years, “My plan is to create a program where female athletes can strive and be successful both on and off the field.”

Scene on Campus: Student Life Club Rush Event

The PC campus continues its “spring back to life” this week as the student life office presented the latest Club Rush in the quad.  Interested students met with club members and advisors to learn about the variety of clubs available on campus.  The event showcased a wide range of cultural, service and interest clubs offered on campus. 

It is also nice to see students gathering in the quad again and taking advantage of events as the weather begins to improve and some of the limitations of the pandemic begin to subside.  According to Vice President of Student Services, Primavera Arvizu, “It is great to see the clubs, students, and club advisors engaging in Student Life again”. #WomenLead

Student artists provide artwork for new Presidents Exhibit

Some Porterville College art students are getting to show off their talent in a new location on campus, thanks to the recent addition of the first “President’s Office Student Art Exhibit”, located inside the PC President’s Office.  The exhibit of student works was created to highlight several pieces of student art on a rotating basis in our administrative offices.   #WomenLead

Dr. Habib thought it would be a wonderful way to highlight student’s incredible talents and show off their artwork to community guests and others that visit the President’s Office on a regular basis.  Thank you to Art Professor Dr. James Entz for organizing this showing of student art.  Feel free to stop by and check out the student’s incredible work the next time you are on campus!

Cerro Coso Community College

CC Holds Virtual Military and Veterans Aid Workshop

Cerro Coso Community College is offering a virtual Military and Veterans Aid Workshop on Friday, March 18th from 12 to 1:30 p.m. viz Zoom. 

The college strives to support, empower, and assist military and veteran students through military-connected transitional challenges; increase student veteran retention and completion; foster the development of skills needed to succeed in their educational goals; and create an awareness of military culture and how to support veterans on campus. 

This workshop will provide a review of military and veteran education benefits such as Tuition Assistance, GI Bill®, MyCAA, and the CalVet Fee Waiver.  Other topics will include academic and Financial Aid resources to ensure students are well prepared or the upcoming term. 

Cerro Coso employees Adeline Windsor and Jessica Kawelmacher, Admissions & Records and Military & Veterans Services; Katie Bachman, Director of Outreach Services; and Alfonso Guzman, Counseling and Military & Veterans Services will be on hand to provide their expertise, direct discussion, and answer questions.   

For more information on Military and Veteran Services at Cerro Coso Community College call 760-384-6291.

Virtual Parent Night March 23

Parents who have questions about their child’s path to college success are invited to attend an upcoming Cerro Coso Community College virtual Parent Information Night and see firsthand what CCCC offers. From career-training programs that include Nursing, Welding, EMT, and Cyber Security, to Associate Degrees for Transfer, and Associate Degree programs, CCCC provides the education and training students need for success in rewarding, high-demand career fields.

Helping parents navigate the college planning and enrollment process, Cerro Coso’s Parent Information Night will enlighten parents of prospective students on college costs and how to pay for college—including financial aid and scholarship availability. Representatives will share details on available resources, enrollment process, transfer requirements, vocational programs, and information on how high school students can earn college credit through dual and concurrent enrollment classes.  Time will be allotted for questions and answers.

Cerro Coso’s Virtual Parent Night will be held on Wednesday, March 23, 2022 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. via Zoom.  Reserve your spot at .

All Cerro Coso Community College campuses are now OPEN.  Contact your local Cerro Coso Community College Counseling Department for assistance. 

Coso Baseball Back at the Dawg Yard

After a week on the road, the Coyote Baseball team returned to the Dawg Yard for some IEAC action on Tuesday as they took on the Chaffey Panthers.   

The Panthers enter the contest with a 1-2 IEAC record, but are traditionally regarded as a top performer in the conference. After a long battle on the ball field, the Coyotes lost to the Panthers with a score of 13-16. 

The Coyotes look to get back to their winning ways against some stiff competition this week, after squaring off with Chaffey on Tuesday, they will travel to Mt. San Antonio college in a non-conference matchup and then return home to host San Bernardino Valley College on Saturday (12:00 noon first pitch). 

#CoyoteSpirit – Go Coyotes!

Bakersfield College

Amazon Presents Check to BC Foundation in Appreciation for Student Assistance in Marking Catalytic Converters

Students and faculty from BC’s Automotive Technology program teamed up with the Bakersfield AMAZON distribution team at Motor City Quick Lube lanes in the Auto Mall to mark and label approximately 150 catalytic converters on AMAZON employee’s vehicles.

Amazon employee vehicles were being vandalized and catalytic converters were being stolen from them at their distribution warehouse. AMAZON was looking for a way to try to reduce the number of thefts that were taking place when they heard about a partnership between BC Automotive Technology students, faculty, BPD, and the District Attorney’s office.  They reached out to BC and found a way to coordinate similar events and provide scholarship opportunities for students working the event.

During the one-day event, students interacted with AMAZON’s security management to learn more about employment options with the company.  

In appreciation for BC’s help, the company provided AMAZON gift cards to the students, the company donated $10,000 to the BC Foundation and each student was given a $150 AMAZON gift card.

Andrew Haney, BC Automotive Professor, stated that the most important experience for students was the opportunity to work with others in the community.  “The skill most learned from this event was the students realizing the benefits of community service, building relationships and the accomplishments that can be achieved when a community works together for a greater cause of good.” 

Groundbreaking Ceremony for Expansion of BC’s Delano Campus

On Friday morning, BC held a groundbreaking ceremony for a new facility at our Delano Campus. Construction on the new building is thanks to $14 million in state dollars secured by Assemblymember Rudy Salas.

The Delano campus has experienced significant growth of students attending 15 hours of classes per week since 2015. This increase in attendance and engagement created a need for an additional building. The hope is that the new building will be finished and operational in the Fall of 2023.

The program, emceed by Jaime Lopez, was brief with a nice line up of speakers.

Dr. Zav Dadabhoy and Dr. Jessica Wojtysiak talked about the significance of the new building for the community of Delano.

Trustee Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg spoke on behalf of the KCCD Trustees beautifully narrating the history and growth of the Delano campus. #WomenLead

I was also really happy that Trustee Yovani Jimenez attended the event.

Our student Marcus Mateo brought it home that he and many of his family members would not have attended college if it was not for the Delano Center. #WeAreBC

The man of the hour, Assembly member Rudy Salas, who brought in the matching $14M for the project concluded the program with heartfelt remarks about his hometown.

More photos

BC’s Community Partnerships Framed by Adult Education, Credit and Noncredit Programs

Bakersfield College is hard at work engaging with community partners to support economic growth and upward mobility. Through our Adult Education and Noncredit education, we are providing high-touch, comfortable environments where adults can walk in, skill up, and reach their potential.

Last fall, BC pioneered a partnership with Chick-fil-A to provide employees with a dedicated, noncredit program of study to develop office and business skills. The sixth cohort of students will graduate soon from BC’s Project HireUp, providing a pathway from homelessness to successful employment. The number of programs and pathways available through this unique partnership with CityServe continues to grow, now including welding, core construction/industrial skills, and occupational safety and risk management. Adult students can also access courses through our JobSpot partnership with the Kern High School District.

In non-credit, our immediate focus has turned to the development and launch of several summer academies. This summer, students can complete Career Development and College Preparation (CDCP) certificates in a wide range of areas. Currently, Bakersfield College offers almost 20 noncredit programs, and nearly 150 courses in 23 subject areas!

BC’s Expanding List of Community Partners includes:

  • Bakersfield City School District – Parent University
  • City Serve & Project HireUp
  • Wonderful Training Academy
  • Farmworkers Institute Education and Leadership (FIELD)
  • JobSpot
  • Edible Garden at the Main Campus/Regenerative Garden at the Delano Center
  • Greater Bakersfield New Car Dealership
  • Education Partners Throughout Kern County

BC Celebrates Women’s History Month

Women’s History Month and More (WHAM) at Bakersfield College has organized an array of programs and special events to celebrate the historical accomplishments of women. 

This year, WHAM chose to emphasize the positive change women can make in the lives of each other and in broader society. This year’s events include a film screening, guest speakers, discussion panels, and much more.
Visit the Women’s History Month information page for a list of all the events and resources.

Renegade Athletics Update

Women’s basketball hosted their first playoff basketball game in seven years against Long Beach City on Thursday evening, March 3rd, in front of a large crowd. Unfortunately, the Renegades came up short and ended their season but Coach Paula Dahl and the entire team wanted to send out a big thank you for the community’s support this season! #WomenLead

Softball has been on a roll! This week the team went against College of the Sequoias and won 11-1. Pitcher Talia Nielson had 10 strikeouts and only one run on Saturday, March 5th. 

Remembering Fernando Alaniz

This February, McFarland High dual enrollment instructor Fernando Alaniz passed away. On Wednesday, a memorial service was held for the popular teacher and girls basketball coach. Steven Watkin, Alma Feathers, and Kylie Campbell were in attendance, and I wanted to share some of the words that Kylie prepared:

“Without the contributions of Mr. Alaniz to the Early College program at McFarland High School, there would have been hundreds of students who did not have the opportunity to get college credit while in high school.

We are grateful of the time and the hard work that Mr. Alaniz dedicated to his students and to this program. Fernando Alaniz Ochoa was a true Cougar Renegade, and the team at Bakersfield College will hold his memory close to our hearts as we continue the work that he helped us begin just a couple of years ago.

On behalf of Bakersfield College, we extend our condolences to Mr. Alaniz family, to all students and staff and McFarland High, and to the community of McFarland. We would also like to present these flowers to Fernando’s wife as a thank you for the mark that Fernando left on the McFarland High Early College program.”

Getting to Know: Melanie Jeffrey

This week, we are getting to know Cerro Coso English Professor Melanie Jeffrey:

For Cerro Coso English Professor Melanie Jeffrey, community college isn’t just where she works. She says it also saved her life.

Growing up in Los Angeles, her family was poor and on welfare most of her young life. In high school, she attended a regional occupation program in cosmetology which landed her a job working in a hair salon straight out of school, which was her first career. 

Fine out more about Melanie Jeffrey on the Kern CCD website.

Fun Photos & Spotted on Social Media

Marlene Heise sent me this beautiful photo from her visit to Wisconsin:

2 degrees in WI right now.  Sunrise …. no water, only ice in the bay, still beautiful and peaceful!

The KernCCD and BC team was out in full force at the Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce installation this week:

Cerro Coso updated their Facebook cover photo – check it out:

New dad Nicky Damania had a warm welcome back to BC:

BC Rural Initiatives Program Director Jaime Lopez was installed into the Greater Lamont Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors:


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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