Hello Spring 2022!

Tomorrow marks the first day of spring, and I am thrilled to once again witness the winter world bloom back to life with beautiful flowers – both through my walks with Neo and from what friends are sharing on social media.

Nick Strobel has been sharing updates as his garden is blossoming:

The Cerro Coso Garden Club’s peas are flowering:

Kalina Hill shared The Awe and Wonders of Spring:

As we all adjust to the time change, may we enjoy the lingering sun into our evenings and appreciate the beauty in the world around us.

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but 
by the moments that take our breath away.

Good morning, friends…
It is March 19, 2022.
The sun shines bright over KernCCD.

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

Porterville College

PC CHAP shares “10,000 Lives, 10,000 Stories” from WWII War Relocation Center

Alisa Lynch

In 1942, the United States government ordered more than 110,000 Japanese American men, women, and children to leave their homes and detained them in remote, military-style camps. They were from cities and farms, young and old, rich and poor. They had only days or weeks to prepare. Businesses closed, classrooms emptied, friends separated. The US government incarcerated a total of 11,070 people at Manzanar in California’s Mojave desert between 1942 and 1945.

Today, the National Park Service preserves much of what was the Manzanar War Relocation Center. While most of the buildings are gone, many features remain and others come to life through historic photos, artwork, archives, and oral history interviews.

Tune in on March 22 at 11:30am, as the Porterville College Cultural, Historical Awareness Program (CHAP) hosts Alisa Lynch, Manzanar’s Team Lead for Interpretation and Visitor Services.  She will give all those in attendance a “virtual” visit to Manzanar, sharing some of the site’s “10,000 stories” past and present. Ms. Lynch started working at Manzanar on September 9, 2001. She oversees the site’s efforts in visitor services, education, publications, exhibit design, social media, and oral history. 

Twenty years ago, she met Porterville faculty Richard Osborne. Their meeting planted the seeds of what became PC’s CHAP Program. Since then, hundreds of Porterville students have visited Manzanar through field trips and service projects. You can explore about Manzanar at www.nps.gov/manz.

Register for the event at https://cccconfer.zoom.us/j/99362117317?pwd=bkhPMDR0RGY5TzlnUWNsc21kanhuZz09

Getting to Know the PC ASPC in 6 questions: President Carlos Rodriguez

The Associated Students of Porterville College (ASPC) plays a large part in shaping student life on campus. 

Let’s get to know ASPC President Carlos Rodriguez through this Q&A conversation.

Can you tell us about your life before you came to PC and your journey that led you here?
I originally hail from San Jose, California, but I have lived throughout many areas of the state. I never planned on going to college, but one day I had an epiphany that if I wanted to make it out of Porterville, education would be the best option for me. Luckily I graduated from Butterfield Charter High early, so I was able to get a headstart here at Porterville College

What are you majoring in at PC and what career path do you have in mind?
I am currently majoring in Business Management with an emphasis on entrepreneurship. Career-wise, I want to transfer to UCLA, get a PhD in Economics, and hopefully work for the CIA and eventually 100Thieves.

What are your hobbies and interests outside of school?
I love to learn, even when I’m outside of school. Every day is college for me. I spend a lot of time reading books and watching movies. Anything that involves history, business, and politics intrigues me.

What are some of your responsibilities and duties in your current ASPC position?
Some of my responsibilities include planning events and projects along with managing those same events and projects.

What do you enjoy about being on the ASPC?
I most enjoy seeing ideas of things flesh out and become real and tangible. I love solving issues that pertain to our college and being a part of student leadership.

What are your plans after you finish at PC?
After PC, I plan on moving to LA. With some dedication, I hope to run for something at UCLA in some capacity. Eventually, I wish to give back to my community at large, either through representation or another form of influence.

Cerro Coso Community College

College Virtual Parent Night

Are you a parent of a high school student and have questions about your child’s path to college success? Join Cerro Coso Community College for a Virtual Parent Night on Wednesday, March 23rd from 6 to 7:30 pm via Zoom. 

During the event Cerro Coso experts will share how high school students can earn college credit while in high school through the college’s Dual and Concurrent Enrollment Program.  Other topics will include: Admissions Process, Financial Aid and Scholarships, Resources, Transfer Requirements, and Vocational Programs.

The Cerro Coso Promise scholarship provides full-time, dedicated students financial assistance regardless of financial and personal status.  By meeting basic criteria students may qualify for a $1,000 per semester for 2 years to help with tuition, books, and fees.

CCCC’s lower tuition and fees allows students to graduate with less debt.  Flexible scheduling is designed for the convenience of students at every stage of life and career.  Smaller class sizes, supportive environment, and rich student life programs enrich the college experience at Cerro Coso.  The college helps guides students on their path to success with a host of student support services and peer mentoring programs.

Join CCCC for Virtual Parent Night and get a comprehensive look at what makes Cerro Coso Community College the right choice for your student.

Zoom registration information available at www.cerrocoso.edu .  Cerro Coso Community College – Your hometown college!

Yvonne Pickerell – DA II Tehachapi Campus

Meet new DA II at the Tehachapi Campus, Yvonne Pickerell

Now re-entering the workforce after a 20-year hiatus spent raising her family, Pickerell served as a US Marine, worked as an oilfield roustabout while attending college, got married, moved from Taft to the Kern River Valley and worked for a few years as a CNA & EMT at Kern Valley Hospital.

A Cerro Coso graduate, she earned her BA in Business Administration last year and is currently in a Master’s degree program majoring in Criminal Justice with an emphasis in Legal Studies with Grand Canyon University. Eventually, she plans to be an instructor at the community college level and, a little further down the road, open a non-profit legal services clinic in the Kern River Valley. 

Her home life is shared with an abundance of animals: mule, horse, ducks, chickens, goats, rabbits, guinea pigs, dogs, and cats. Her youngest daughter (17) manages all that and her own schoolwork while her dad and mom are away at work. 

In her free time she loves to ride her mule, Jetsetter, and sing in church.  The whole family consists of her daughter 17, as mentioned above, a 34 year old son that lives in the Kern River Valley with his girlfriend and four teenagers, a daughter living in Texas with her husband and three children, and her husband John.  They all love roller coasters so they have a membership at Magic Mountain. 

A well prepared, seasoned professional, Pickerell doesn’t think anything she has done would be considered crazy.  She has surfed in the Pacific Ocean, rafted the Merced River, tent camped for up to 2 weeks at a time in all kinds of weather, packed mules, dove off piers and bridges, and drove across the country, both ways alone.  

Cerro Coso welcomes Yvonne to the college family and wishes her all the best in her new career at the Tehachapi campus. 

Cerro Coso Recruiting Student Ambassadors

The Student Ambassador Program is a leadership opportunity for students who are dedicated to serving and representing Cerro Coso Community College.  The college is currently recruiting Ambassadors to serve this spring and in the fall.  Student Ambassadors provide campus tours, serve as CC representatives and perform duties at various CC campus and community events. 

Giving back and assisting others is the basis for community service and is the foundation of the Student Ambassador Program.  It teaches how significant it is to help students in need and connects them to the campus community and resources, and by improving the college experience for others, making it a better place for all. 

Student Ambassadors welcome and greet the public at CCCC, provide various services and referrals to the campus, develop a stronger understanding and knowledge of Cerro Coso, conduct campus tours for new students, schools, classes, and guests.  They represent CC during college events and assist with a variety of duties and tasks related to events put on by various Cerro Coso departments.

They work with diverse populations and provide tips on being a successful student.  In return, they develop a wide range of transferable skills that helps them improve communication and organizational skills, teamwork, planning, problem-solving, and task management that helps them succeed in college and in the workplace.  It broadens their horizons by helping them understand the needs of the college and the student population.

To serve as a Cerro Coso Student Ambassador, a student must show a high level of commitment to the college and their educational goals, maintain a GPA of 2.0,  enroll in 6 or more units, and demonstrate leadership and good communication skills.

Students interested in serving as a Student Ambassador may apply for the program online at www.cerrocoso.edu/campuslife .  Contact Outreach Director Katie Bachman at Kathryn.bachman@cerrocoso.edu for more information. 

Bakersfield College

KHSD Early College Pathway Program

Bakersfield College is excited to continue to partner with Kern High School District in offering our Early College Pathway Program. Thirty-five incoming 9th grade students will be accepted into our Early College pathways and complete a degree while they are in high school. The new cohorts of students accepted into this program will be starting this Summer 2022.

This past Monday, March 7th, 2022, we held our annual Early College Pathway Program Information meeting via Zoom. Berenice Arellano, Early College Program Manager, and our Early College advisors and counselor were joined by Ryan Coleman, Director of Educational Services at KHSD, and his team to answer questions from the parents and students in attendance. We presented our Early College Pathway Program presentation to a total of 185 potential students and their families.

The application is now open for students to apply to be a part of the new cohort of students in either Industrial Automation, Public Health, Psychology, Administration of Justice, or Introduction to Health Careers. The last day to apply is March 31st, 2022. Students will be notified if they are accepted after Spring Break.

Apply here: https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/earlycollege/khsd

2022 MESA STEM & Pre-Health Conference

The 2022 MESA STEM & Pre-Health Conference is taking place Saturday, April 2nd, 2022, from 8:00AM to 2:30PM.

The conference is designed to allow participants to network with professionals in STEM and health fields and explore these areas of education and careers. Participants will learn about opportunities that can further their education and careers in STEM or pre-health via workshops, a resource fair and keynote speakers.

The goals of the conference are to educate and inform the community about the educational system and what STEM and pre-health education is about.

For registration information, visit:

MESA STEM & Pre-Health Conference Registration

BC Tutoring Conference: 100% Run by Student Tutors

The BC Panorama-SW Tutoring Conference held on Zoom on Friday, February 25th, 2022, was made possible thanks to the talents of tutors enrolled in Susan Pinza’s Level 2 Tutor Training course. At least 20 attendees enjoyed a varied and creative format that addressed best practices for tutoring through whole group discussions, breakout rooms, a guest speaker, and even an interactive game. English tutor Christopher Thomas, host of the conference, presented the many different ways that BC’s Renegade Hub provides technical support to students and the importance of tutors conveying information on these resources to their tutees. Another returning tutor, Jesus Zavala, guided the group through part of a lively Kahoot game created by tutor Julia Newlin.

Renegade Spotlight on Dan Hall

BC’s Director of Student Success Technology Dan Hall has been selected to serve as our Caring Campus California lead.

Caring Campus California is an initiative of the Institute for Evidence-Based Change (IEBC). The initiative uses an evidence-based facilitated coaching model to instruct professional staff on how to increase student connectedness to the college.

We are fortunate to have Dan in his role to support the students at Bakersfield College. His strong passion for student success is unmatched.

BC Celebrates Women’s History Month

March is an exciting time at Bakersfield College as we celebrate Women’s History Month. The BC WHAM (Women’s History & More) Committee has been busy organizing so many amazing events this month. Each week has been filled with some wonderful presentations, and there is more in store.

On Tuesday, March 24, at 6 p.m., WHAM, in partnership with the Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, will hold a virtual webinar on “Latinas in Business and Leadership.” Moderated by History Professor Olivia Garcia, the webinar will feature Ariana Joven, Government Affairs Manager, The Wonderful Company; Adriana Coleman, Marketing and Physicians Relations, Comprehensive Blood & Cancer Center; Montserrat Castell-Eilers, Treasury Analyst, Bank of America; and Marilyn Maldonado, Business Development Associate, Valley Republic Bank.

Then on Thursday, March 26, at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., WHAM and BC SGA will feature Erika Sánchez, novelist, poet & feminist as part of the Distinguished Series. Sanchez is the author of the New York Times bestselling Young Adult novel, I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter.

And for a complete list of upcoming events, visit WHAM’s website: https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/womens-history-month

Nominations Open: Renegade Athletics Hall of Fame

Nominations are now open for the Renegade Athletics Hall of Fame that will induct its second class in the Fall of 2022.

A newly elected Hall of Fame Committee will review nominations for consideration and an induction ceremony will be held annually to honor and officially welcome each class. The second class is set to be honored and inducted in fall 2022. The exact date will be announced this summer. The deadline to submit nominations is Friday, April 1st, 2022.

Central Valley Higher Education Consortium

“Establishing Dual Enrollment Pathways in the Central Valley”

On March 17th, the Central Valley Higher Education Consortium hosted a convening for more than 150 secondary and postsecondary educators for the first time since the pandemic shutdown to address challenges and barriers related to dual enrollment success. Kern county was represented by Steven Watkin (BC & KCCD), Ryan Coleman (KHSD), Kristin Hanle (CC), and Refugio Rodriquez (PC). Participants discussed successes and challenges related to establishing Dual Enrollment Pathways for Central Valley high school students. 

Getting to Know: Endee Grijalva

I am excited to introduce you to Endee Grijalva, Program Manager at BC. I got to know Endee when we worked together to launch project HIRE up to get homeless individuals to a job. #KernCCDTalent #KernCCDHeart #KernStories #GetToKnow

At 20 years old, Endee Grijalva found herself packing up the car with all her belongings. She, her boyfriend and their two babies were newly homeless. A single thought raced through her mind.

“I knew I had to continue my education,” said Endee, now 36. “I enrolled at BC the next day and didn’t look back.”

Check out our previous “Getting to Know” features at https://www.kccd.edu/chancellors-office/news. Thank you Stacey Shepherd for the write ups.

Upcoming Events

Chancellors Seminar Series

After a short hiatus, the Chancellor’s seminar series is back with a topic that is near and dear to my heart – Teaching and Learning.  Porterville College Academic Senate President Bob Simpkins partnered with the senate presidents of BC and CC to develop a three-part series dedicated to the future of teaching and learning.  Part one is on March 23, 2022, at 4:00 p.m. Click here to register

Women in Leadership Panel

On March 29th, at 11:30 a.m., we will host the third annual Jean Fuller Women in Leadership event, celebrating Women’s History Month. This event will be at the Weill Institute in downtown Bakersfield with limited seating. To reserve a seat, please email KCCDevents@kccd.edu

Senator Emeritus Jean Fuller will moderate a panel of guests including Superior Court of Kern County Judge Wendy Avila, Porterville Mayor Martha Flores, and former Kern High School District Associate Superintendent Brenda Lewis, who was recently appointed to the State Board of Education.  

The program will also be streamed on our YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zaXZ4k8ig4A.

Ag/Water/Energy Education Series

Also on March 29th, I am co-hosting the Ag/Water/Energy Education Series, which is dedicated to keeping Central Valley residents informed on the evolution of our natural resources,  infrastructure considerations, emerging technologies and its impact on our daily lives. The next virtual seminar in this series is on the future of microgrids.

Our featured speakers for this webinar include: 

  • Siva Gunda – Vice Chair, California Energy Commission 
  • Todd Lindner – CEO/General Manager, Mojave Air and Space Port 
  • Cecilia Klauber – Power Systems Engineer, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory 

To participate in this webinar, please sign up using the registration link

In the News

2021 Porterville City Hall’s Wall of Fame inductees

The Porterville Recorded published this article about the 2021 inductees to Porterville City Hall’s Wall of Fame. Due to the COVID pandemic, earlier honorees of 2020 and 2021 weren’t publicly honored until Friday when they were recognized, along with the 2022 honorees, at Centennial Park.

2021 honorees include Janice Castle, who serves on the Porterville College Foundation Board of Directors; and Virginia Gurrola, a PC graduate and longtime member of the PC community before moving on to leadership positions in the city.

Community Voices: The bridge to BC

Kimberly Bligh wrote this piece for The Bakersfield Californian about the Bridge to BC program and how it can help students start on the path to success.

Bridge to BC is well-known for its high success and retention rates. We follow yearly cohorts to collect data to track critical college momentum success points such as completing their math and English college requirements in their first year, persistence from fall to fall, and completing 15 units in the first semester and 30 units in the first year. Every year, students who successfully complete Bridge to BC have double the success and persistence rates and meet those critical momentum points as compared to students who do not complete the program.

Fun Photos & Spotted on Social Media

Frank Ramirez, Director of Student Services at Porterville College, shared these photos:

PC hosting the March South County Collaborative meeting. It’s great to see everyone in-person!

National Read Across America Day

On March 2nd, the Bakersfield College Child Development Center celebrated National Read Across America Day, which encourages reading for small children and occurs annually on Dr. Seuss’s birthday.

The CDC invited members of the BC administration to read to the students. Here is Mindy Wilmot, Associate Dean over the Family and Consumer Education Department and Child Development Center, reading to a class.

Renegade Innovation Fund in Action: A “Real Home” for Paramedic Classroom Dummies

In the fall of 2021, the paramedic program applied for and received a grant from the Renegade Innovation Fund. The goal was to turn a standard classroom into a family home setting. Converting the classroom would allow students to “respond” in a real-world environment, which in turn would improve student learning outcomes.

This setting is created from the idea of “family” photos. These photos will be printed, framed, and placed throughout the home that was created by Paramedic Faculty Director Jana Richardson and her team. Current students, who are approaching completion, also wanted in on the photo shoot. They chose to make this the official picture for Class 31.

Here are a few more photos:

BC Blood Drive

The BC Office of Student Life and Nursing Program partnered with Houchin Community Blood Bank to host a blood drive on campus last week. It has been exactly 2 years since BC was able to host a blood drive on campus and the turnout did not disappoint! Houchin offered donors a free haircut, socks, and snacks for participation.

OSL staff Nicole Alvarez and student workers at their donation appointments
A bus full of life savers!


That’s a wrap for now.
See you next Saturday!

The future is bright at KernCCD.

a joyful and grateful Chancellor


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