April 2022 — Here we come

While clear blue sunny skies are lovely, it’s always nice to take the time to appreciate the beauty when the clouds roll in as well:

On Tuesday, I was so excited to announce at our 6th AWE Webinar that our community was selected for two US Department of Energy grants through the Communities Local Energy Action Program (LEAP) — on Carbon Capture and Sequestration and Microgrids. Kern CCD partnered with the county for one and with the city for the other along with numerous other partners.

Here is my announcement from Tuesday:

Once again, the Kern Community College District is at the forefront of innovation as we work toward sustainability and securing a better economic future for all in our region.

Check out this article from John Cox in The Bakersfield Californian about the grant.

This week I was invited to meet US Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona.

It was wonderful hanging out with Chancellor Eloy Oakley and other CA higher ed leaders – UC Merced Chancellor Juan Sanchez Munoz, Compton College President Keith Curry, Cerritos College President Jose Fierro, University of La Verne President Devorah Lieberman, and Long Beach City College President Mike Munoz, as we discussed ways the US Department of Education can support our most disadvantaged students.

Women in Leadership Panel

On Tuesday, the Kern Community College District hosted the 3rd Annual Women in Leadership Panel. Moderator Jean Fuller led a discussion featuring Martha Flores, Porterville Mayor; Wendy Avila, Kern County Superior Court Judge; and Brenda Lewis, CA Board of Education Member and former Kern High School District Superintendent.

It was so inspiring to hear these accomplished women speak about their roles and how their histories led them to where they are now.

And the panel discussion:

Here are some fun photos.

Good morning, friends…
It is April 2, 2022.
The sun shines bright over KernCCD.

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

Porterville College

PC Hires New Gear Up Manager, Begins to move program to the community

PC welcomes the new Gear Up Program Manager, Gloriann Garza.

Gloriann migrated with her family to the central valley from the island of Puerto Rico when she was just 7 years old and has lived in the area ever since.

She is a first-generation student who earned her Bachelor’s in Psychology and Master’s in Educational Counseling from CSU Bakersfield.

For the past 10 years, she has worked for her Alma mater as a Financial Aid Counselor, and most recently as a University Outreach Counselor.

Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) is a federally funded program designed to elevate the academic achievement, college attendance, and graduation rates of first-generation, low-income, underrepresented, and underserved students.

GEAR UP works in partnership with educational and community institutions to provide students and families with individual and group advising, academic and tutoring support, college and career exploration opportunities, skill building workshops, enrichment programs, college visits, and educational field trips. Porterville College was awarded the GEAR UP Grant in the Fall of 2021.

The Porterville College GEAR UP program is partnered with Porterville Unified School District and Earlimart School District to provide exclusive services to the Class of 2028.

Two PC students Qualify for Phi Theta Kappa All-California Community College Academic Team

Porterville College Students, Erica Coon and Javier Corona-Rosas have all been selected to be a part of the 2022 Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) All-California Academic Team. This year, 114 students were selected out of the millions of community college students enrolled in California schools.

Ms. Coon was ranked among the top 75 community college students in California which put her onto the All-California 2nd Academic Team. Mr. Corona-Rosas was ranked among the top 100 students, placing him on the 3rd team. They join two students from Bakersfield College, to represent the Kern Community College District in the All-California Teams this year.

The purpose of the Phi Theta Kappa All-State Academic Team Program is to provide recognition at the state level for our top community college students.

Grades, leadership, and community service determine selection to the All-California First, Second and Third Teams. The students selected represent some of the best of over two million students enrolled in California’s 116 community colleges. Students have undoubtedly faced many additional and unprecedented challenges over the last two years. The 2022 winners should be exceptionally proud of their achievements during these difficult times.

To view the team selections and rankings, click here. Please join us in congratulating these fine students for this outstanding collegiate achievement.

Sandra Cisneros will discuss recent works for PC Writer & Poet Speaker Series

Sandra Cisneros is a poet, short story writer, novelist, and essayist whose work explores the lives of the working-class. Her numerous awards include NEA fellowships in both poetry and fiction, the Texas Medal of the Arts, a MacArthur Fellowship, the PEN/Nabokov Award for International Literature and the National Medal of the Arts, awarded to her by President Obama in 2016.

Ms. Cisneros will discuss her work with the Porterville College community as the next guest speaker in our PC Writer and Poet Speaker Series on April 21st from 12pm to 1pm.

Her novel, The House on Mango Street has sold over seven million copies, has been translated into over twenty-five languages, and is required reading in elementary, high school, and universities across the nation.

She will be discussing her new book, Martita, I Remember You/Martita, te recuerdo, a story in English and in Spanish, that was published in 2021. In the fall of 2022, a new collection of her poetry, Woman Without Shame, her first in 28 years, will be published by Knopf Publishing.

Cisneros is a dual citizen of the United States and Mexico who earns her living by her pen. You can register for this upcoming event at via zoom at https://tinyurl.com/3v8m6xnr. It is open to everyone.

Cerro Coso Community College

CC Garden Club – Seed Planting Success

Alan Esparza and Elajae Lee

Many students participate in college clubs to extend their learning opportunities and make new friendships.  The Cerro Coso Garden Club provides a great way for students to learn about gardening and gain hands-on experience growing their own food, and tasting the fruits (and vegetables) of their labor. 

A successful garden club experience requires planning and patience, and most of all, a spirit of adventure. 

Novice and experienced gardeners know that no matter how well you plan, Mother Nature will add her own variables like scorching hot days, cabbage worms, and even freezing rain. 

The Cerro Coso Garden Club is experiencing great success with their garden.  Promise student Alan Esparza and PTK President Elajae Lee are actively involved in the garden club project. Professors Guck Ooi, Claudia Sellers, and Sarah King, all have been working very hard to bring the club to life and produce food items like carrots, onions, arugula, and so much more.  The idea is to provide fresh produce for students, faculty and staff on a regular basis and continue to work closely with the Coyote Cupboard.  Fresh produce days are coming and will be available campus wide very soon.  Donations will be helpful when anyone takes an item — all donations will go back to support the Garden Club and Coyote Cupboard.

Gardening is a wonderful learning experience. It is also an exercise in patience, trial and error, and working with uncontrollable variables like the weather.  Whatever they cultivate will be a worthwhile learning experience for CC students. 

Take Control of Your Future – Register for Summer and Fall Classes at Cerro Coso

No matter where you are on your educational journey, Cerro Coso Community College has a program designed to meet you where you are. 

This is the time to focus on your future and take steps toward achieving your goals.

Open registration for summer and fall classes will begin April 13, 2022.  The new student registration process delivers a fresh user experience with a modern look and feel.  Features include: increased efficiencies, new tools, and improved capabilities.  The upgrade launched March 1, 2022 and those registering for classes will notice changes to the registration process, and there are lots of resources available to help understand how to use the system. 

On campus offerings this summer include Kinesiology and Welding.  Online classes include Administration of Justice, Paralegal, Web Management, Art, Spanish, Sociology, and a lot more.  A complete listing of summer and fall classes is available online at www.cerrocoso.edu .  Plan today to secure a class schedule that works best for you. 

Summer is a great time to get a head start on your college journey.  For more information contact the Cerro Coso Counseling Department at 760-384-6219 or email them at counseling_forms@cerrocoso.edu.

Need help paying for college?  Cerro Coso has lots of resources to help pay for college.  Contact the college Financial Aid Office for assistance with FASFA, State Financial Aid, Scholarships, Finish Line Scholars, Promise and more at 760-384-6221 or email at cc_faid@cerrocoso.edu.   Summer classes begin June 6, 2022 and Fall classes begin August 22, 2022.  There is something for everyone at Cerro Coso Community College.  Your hometown college.      

Find Out How Your Student Can Earn College Credit While In High School

Getting a head start on college credits during high school will save money, impress college admissions departments, and offer greater degree flexibility. Earning college credits in high school is a great way for students to take initiative, strengthen their chances of admissions, explore their interests, or try something new.  By gaining credits towards a degree while still in high school, students can graduate faster, spend less money, and position themselves for success. 

Cerro Coso Community College is hosting a virtual Dual and Concurrent Enrollment Programs Workshop for parents of high school students on Tuesday, April 12 from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

If you are the parent of a junior or senior in high school, find out how your student can get a head start in earning college credits before they leave high school, ultimately making their college experience more affordable, efficient, and enriching.

Cerro Coso Community College offers dual and concurrent enrollment classes for high school students throughout its service area.

Parents are being asked to pre-register for the Zoom workshop at www.cerrocoso.edu.

For more information contact the College Outreach Office at 760-384-6150 or email outreach@cerrocoso.edu.

Registration for summer and fall 2022 classes begins April 13. 

Bakersfield College

Bakersfield College Honored with Shafter Education Award

Bakersfield College was honored with the education award at the annual Shafter Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet last week for our work with the City of Shafter to reopen the community library in January. The library was closed at the start of the pandemic in March 2020, when it was part of the Kern County Library system.

The City of Shafter has since taken over the operation of the library and has partnered with Bakersfield College to staff and operate the facility. In preparation for the re-opening, a significant investment has been made in new books, with a focus on children. The city also provides classes, tutoring and access to computers at Shafter Learning Center, co-located at library, and Bakersfield College also offers classes, registration events and counselor support at the center through our Rural Initiatives program. Bakersfield College is proud to help provide our rural communities with the same access to educational resources as their big city counterparts.

Thank you to Kern CCD Trustee President Romeo Agbalog, who accepted the award.

Industrial Automation’s Robotic Dog SPOT Continues Tour of Kern County

It has been a busy couple of weeks for Industrial Automation’s robotic dog SPOT as he continued his tour of Kern County.

On March 9th, SPOT along with Industrial Automation program manager Carlos Medina and faculty Dr. Paul Murray, were interviewed on a local TV show “Do The Math.” On the show, they discussed how SPOT ended up at BC, other robots in the program, how SPOT enhances the programming learning experience in BC classrooms, and more. It was a wonderful time showcasing SPOT’s features and functions.

On March 22nd, SPOT joined the Agriculture Department at Farm Day in the City at the Kern County Fair where he was able to interact with elementary students and challenge them in a push up competition.

It is amazing to see young students in Kern County having the opportunity to interact with BC faculty and staff, and to see first hand how education and creativity can produce amazing designs like SPOT.

BC Alumni Association to Host Fundraising Event

The BC Alumni Association will be hosting the “Kern County Premium (KCP)” Fest at the Temblor Brewing Company on Saturday, April 23rd, 6:00PM – 10:30PM. The event will feature live performances by Mento Buru and DJ Mikey, and will feature drink specials for attendees. The event is open to all ages and is 5 dollars to attend.

The KCP Fest will benefit the Bakersfield College Alumni Association. It will be a great opportunity to reconnect with BC friends and family, while raising funds that will benefit future Renegade students and alumni. We hope to see you there. For more information visit the BC Alumni Association Facebook page.

BC Hosts Grad Fair

Bakersfield College’s 108th Commencement is quickly approaching.  To help eligible students prepare for the ceremony, BC hosted a Grad Fair on the main campus this week. Students had the opportunity to get all of their graduation materials including regalia, invitations, mementos, rings, portraits, and more.

It truly is an exciting time for our students as they have the opportunity to participate in the first in-person commencement celebration in several years.

In the News

PC orchestra director to perform at Grammys

The Porterville Recorder published this piece about Dr. Tianna Heppner Smith, the Director of Band and Orchestra at Porterville College, who will perform at this weekend’s Grammys, taking place on Sunday at 5pm.

“Music has been a passion of mine since I began in my local program in sixth grade and I can’t imagine doing anything else,” she said. “I love performing, I love being a pedagogue and helping students and novice string instrumentalists improve on their instruments.”

New 150-tree arboretum beginning to take root at Bakersfield College campus

Steven Mayer wrote this article in The Bakersfield Californian about a new arboretum on BC’s campus.

“One of the concepts behind the Bakersfield College Arboretum is to create an outdoor living laboratory for the students of horticulture, forestry and plant science to have an eyes- and hands-on learning experience,” said Melissa Iger, a certified arborist who heads the Tree Foundation of Kern.

Fun Photo and Spotted on Social Media

PC President Claudia Habib shared this from the Porterville College Plant Sale:

Cerro Coso President Sean Hancock was also spending time with his college’s garden:

Vice Chancellor of Educational Services John Means was recognized at the Kern Education Pledge Convening. This was his last KEP meeting and he was honored with a very nice resolution on a plaque presented by Mary Barlow

Cheryl Scott shared these photos from the KernCounty STEMposium & Career Expo:


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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