KCCD – love that let’s us live

This week, after the horrific massacre at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, we have been struck by collective grief. Let’s quietly read Amanda Gorman’s new poem in the NY Times, “Hymn for the Hurting,” in response to the tragedy.

An excerpt is below:

This alarm is how we know
We must be altered —
That we must differ or die,
That we must triumph or try.
Thus while hate cannot be terminated,
It can be transformed
Into a love that lets us live.

May we not just grieve, but give:
May we not just ache, but act;

Image by Angie Wang – NY Times

Throughout this week, I tried, unsuccessfully, to bring back a state of equilibrium to my mind and heart with poems, music, walks and other practices. In these meanderings, I stumbled on this 4-min video that was created from the 2020 Memorial Day letter after another national tragedy.

Also, below is one of my favorite images, a 2009 iconic photo of 5-year old Jacob reaching out to touch President Obama’s hair – love that lets us live, even in the face of unimaginable tragedy.

This week, Jacob and Barack had a virtual reunion as Jacob graduates high school. The former president shared a video on his Twitter highlighting the encounter:

Good morning, friends.
It is May 28, 2022.
The sun shines bright over KernCCD.

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

Porterville College

PC Nursing Completion Ceremony

The celebration of our students’ success continued this week with a ceremony to celebrate 19 Porterville College students who just completed the PC Nursing Program, each of them earning an associate of science degree in nursing and receiving a pin symbolizing their transition from student nurse to professional nurse. 

The afternoon featured several speakers, including PC President Dr. Claudia Habib, Kimberley Estrada, a former graduate and current instructor in the program, and Sofia Jimenez, the class president and student keynote speaker.  Kim Behrens, the associate Dean of Health Careers and various faculty from the program were also featured in the ceremony.  The graduating class then showed a video presentation to those in attendance.

The entire class entered the ceremony holding candles symbolizing their profession.  They then rose to recite the Florence Nightingale Pledge – affirming their commitment to the profession of nursing.  At the close of the ceremony, each student was “pinned” by their families during a moving processional.

Congratulations to the PC Nursing Class of 2022! Love that let’s us live.

Check out more pictures at https://photos.app.goo.gl/ZPUasmRYzLKUJkVx8.

Three more student athletes sign letters of intent

It was a big week for Pirate Athletics as three student athletes penned their commitment to continue playing at 4-year schools this past Tuesday.  Congratulations to PC Men’s Basketball Athlete, Chirrag Sidhu and Baseball Athletes Justin Francis and JT Edmunds for their commitments. 

Sidhu signed to play basketball for the Langara Falcons in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Francis signed his letter of intent to play baseball for the Oregon Tech Owls.

Edmunds signed to play baseball for the McPherson Bulldogs in Kansas. 

Great job, and good luck Pirates!

Baseball Standouts Earn Post-Season honors

Chris Ortega (left) and Luca Dincola (right) captured
All-Central Valley Conference baseball honors.

Following the close of the 2022 Porterville College baseball season, two of our Pirate athletes received All-Central Valley Conference postseason honors.

Chris Ortega was named second-team all-conference at the infield position while Luca Dincola was selected for the CVC Gold Glove Team for his play in the outfield.

Ortega, a freshman out of Clovis North High School, saw action at both first and third base this season. He was the Pirates’ top hitter, leading the offense with a .357 batting average, 51 hits, 12 doubles, 4 home runs, 24 RBI, 17 runs, and a .524 slugging percentage.

Dincola, a sophomore from Lakewood, Colorado (Lakewood HS), was solid for the Pirates in centerfield. Over 103 total chances, he committed just a pair of errors and totaled 4 assists from the outfield. With the bat, he hit .234 with 32 hits, 25 walks, and drove in 13 runs.


Distance Ed Committee recognizes faculty commitment to high quality, accessible education

In a message to faculty and staff, Karen Bishop, Professor of Sociology, Chair of the Social Science Division, and co-chair of the Distance Education Committee at Porterville College expressed her excitement about a recent achievement made by several of our faculty members.

In her message, she said, “Before we close the books on this academic year, I want to share some amazing news on behalf of the Distance Education Committee and our local Peer Online Course Review team. I want to express how happy we are for our faculty colleagues who have recently passed the final stage of the intensive CVC-OEI Quality Review process for their online courses.

These educators have crafted inspiring and dynamic online courses that engage students with diverse learning styles and are accessible to learners with disabilities as well. As if that wasn’t enough, then they tweaked, polished, and updated them some more as part of this rigorous, multi-stage review process. What an incredible testament to their commitment to a high quality, equitable, and accessible online education!”

Here is a list of the Spring 2022 CVC-OEI Quality Badged PC Courses:

  • MUSC P112 – Ben Makino – Quality Badged 05/11/2022
  • ANTH P102 – Karen Oeh – Quality Badged 04/22/2022
  • LING P100 – Clara Zimmerman – Quality Badged 04/22/2022

Prior CVC-OEI Quality Badged PC Courses

  • ENGL P101A – Jennifer Rios – Quality Badged 01/05/2019
  • ANTH P101 – Karen Oeh – Quality Badged 08/02/2018
  • SOCI P102 – Karen Bishop (4/30/21)
  • SOCI P130 – Karen Bishop (6/15/21)
  • SOCI P170 – Karen Bishop (2/17/21)

Submitted for CVC-OEI Quality Badge Review

  • MATH P110 – Dustin Acres – Passed PC POCR Review 05/11/2022
  • ENGL P101A – Joy Lawrence – Passed PC POCR Review 05/11/2022

Cerro Coso Community College

38th Spring Awards Recipients

Student Government of Cerro Coso (SGCC) Front: Mia Guzman, President; (Middle l to r) Mary Piatt, Finance manager; Catey Boyenga, Secretary; and Dianne Espindola, Vice President; (Back) Dr. Sean Hancock, College President.

The Student Government of Cerro Coso held their 38th annual Student Awards Ceremony virtually again this year.  Designed to recognize the outstanding accomplishments of Cerro Coso students, faculty, and staff, the event is a time honored tradition to celebrate and bid adieu to graduating students. The following awards were presented:

President’s Outstanding Academic Achievement Award:

Miranda Anderson, Coral Ashlock, Athena Baca, Nicholas Baca, Susannah Balcer, Carah Bernal, Jocelyn Blanton, Kenneth Bourque, Lauren Brown, Conner Burrows, Helen Chen, Jessica Cliff,  Carson Dorough, Michael Easterby, Ida Feldman, Miguel Frasco, Melannie German, Madison Grandas, Gyana Gutierrez, Jeanine Halbrook, Nichole Hamblin, Alexander Harmon, Emily Haugen, Cali Hugelen, Satori Kalie, Steven Labelle, Alyssa Larson, Elajae Lee, Jeremiah Lillion, Noa Lish, Raul Lopez Bautista, Shea Macintire, Sienna Manning, Rachel McChesney, Ignacio Munoz,  Charles Myers, Sara Orlando, Mitchell Parsons, Amelia Plumhoff, Monica Sarpong, Butterfly Sawyer, Misty Siebert, Rebecca Torr, Shane Troxell, Geraldine Valles, Abigail Wright, David Young, and Lauren Zissos.

Outstanding Student of the Year in a Subject Area

  • Allied Health: Dezerea Edulag;
  • Business and Information Technology: Marjaana Lisma-Celestine;
  • Child Development: Christine Cruse;
  • English and Foreign Languages: Lauren Zissos;
  • Industrial Arts: Diana Palacios;
  • Mathematics: Dorothy Lindula;
  • Science: Elajae Lee;
  • Social Science: Alan Esparza.

Site Student of the Year

  • East Kern: Kent Schornick;
  • Eastern Sierra College Center: Irvin Gonzalez

Tutor of the Year: Kate Brown

Student-Athlete Academic Achievement Award: Geraldine Valles

CCCC Foundation President’s Award:  Susannah Balcer, Bridget Buge, Carson Dorough, Helen Chen, Ida Feldman, Madison Grandas, Alexander Harmon, Eva Howell, Mikailey Judkins, Satori Kalie, Mako Lentz, Taylor Moore, Sara Orlando, Mitchelle Parsons, Misty Siebert,  Jack Slovacek, and Queen Mona Lisa Visico.  

Faculty and Staff Awards

Faculty of the Year: Lucila Gonzalez-Cirre

Adjunct Faculty of the Year: Brian Schuldt

Classified Staff of the Year, selected by Academic Senate: Lacey Navarro

Classified Staff of the Year, selected by Classified Senate:

  • East Kern: Kristie Nichols;
  • Eastern Sierra College Center: Yvonne Flores;
  • Indian Wells Valley: Kimberly Carrasco.

Love that let’s us live.

Honor Graduate Recognition

The Cerro Coso Community College Honors Program virtually celebrated its 2022 graduates: Noa Lish, Diana Palacios, Brianna Murphy, Madison Grandas, Mikayla Jones, and Anna Helvey. 

Professor Guck Ooi, Coordinator of the Honors Program congratulated the graduates on behalf of the Honors faculty recognizing their outstanding achievements. “These graduates have demonstrated their ability to be actively involved in all aspects of their scholarship and they have shown initiative, creativity, and intellectual independence.  They have worked hard for their academic excellence and are deserving to graduate with honors,” said Ooi.   

Two $500 Faculty Honors Scholarships were awarded to Noa Lish and Diana Palacios for their exceptional academic performance.

“Noa took the initiative to co-author a library resource guide, Images of Inclusion, that assists faculty in building curriculum that recognizes and promotes diversity, “said Julie Cornett, Professor of Information Competency and Librarian.  “She also co-presented a session on culturally responsive curriculum at the 2021 faculty professional day, offering a first-hand account of how curriculum that excludes certain groups negatively impacts students.  Noa is destined for great things and we are lucky that she graced our college with her passion and service.”    

Noa Lish

Music Professor Thomas Foggia had this to say about Diana, “I had the pleasure of working with Diana in my Music Appreciation Honors class back in Fall 2020.  Due to the COVID pandemic, this was the first semester that the honors classes were offered entirely online, which posed a number of challenges for both students and instructors.  Despite those challenges, Diana rose to the occasion, producing quality work week after week.  Diana will tell you that she’s a welding major, but based on the outstanding work that Diana submitted in my class, I suspect that she would be successful at whatever major she pursues.  I also admired Diana’s open-mindedness when it came to defining art and music, as she was one of the very few students to find music within those random ambient sounds that surround us daily (John Cage’s “4’33’).  I appreciate knowing that I’m not the only who defines music in such broad terms, nor the only one who’s crazy enough to define birds randomly jumping on electric guitars as music!”

Diana Palacios

Designed for students who are academically talented and motivated and searching for experiences to fulfil their educational ambitions, Cerro Coso’s Honors Program offers enriched experiences and challenges that promise to fulfill their goals. 

To be certified as an Honors Program transfer student or graduate, a student must complete a total of 16 or more units of Honors credit, either through courses, contracts, or a combination, have a minimum grade point average of 3.25 in transfer-level courses, meet the Cerro Coso graduation requirements or the transfer requirements to a four-year college, and apply for graduation from the program.

Honors students received red cords and tassels to be worn at graduation.  “Students in the Honors Program routinely produce some of the highest quality scholarship at Cerro Coso; work that is expected of the best graduate students. Every year these students raise the bar even higher. Congratulations,” said English Professor Cliff Davis. 

Preparing for College: Mojave Jr. High School Leads the Way!

It’s never too soon to start thinking about getting your college degree. That was Cerro Coso Community College’s theme during a successful 8th grade college day at Mojave Jr. High School.

Cerro Coso College’s Early College dual enrollment program allows students to enroll in Cerro Coso Community College courses while they are still in high school. Dual-enrollment gives students a taste of college coursework while they are still enjoying their supportive high school environment. Students earn college credits that will apply toward a two-year degree and/or four-year degree – tuition free!

On Thursday, May 19, 2022 a team of Cerro Coso Community College employees, lead by Dual Enrollment Campus Manager, Kristin Hanle, and supported by the Director of East Kern, Lisa Stephens, and East Kern Learning Resource Center Technician, Heather Bopp, went to Mojave High Junior High School to embark on a “Mojave Jr. High School College Day” that assisted 8th grade students to start on their college bound pathway. The amazing team of Mojave High School counselors Natalia Moessner, Allison Michel, Nora Torres and Suzie Clipperton (Mojave Adult School Principal) were onsite and assisting each step of the way. The 8th graders were invited to participate in acquiring a Cerro Coso College student ID (that allows them to register for future college classes) and a college student email address while receiving a Cerro Coso College collegiate t-shirt, and lunch. All items were made available due to  the support of the Guided Pathways Alignment Project (GPAP) grant obtained by the college that supports forming strategic partnerships between community colleges and high schools in the Central Valley focused on increasing student success, advancing an equity agenda and college/career readiness.

Cerro Coso Community College’s team lead and Dual Enrollment Manager, Kristin Hanle, stated, “I get excited about these types of events. Going into the high schools and working with these students opens them up to the possibilities of college and you can definitely see the excitement on their faces”.

Bakersfield College

Collaboration at its best! Shafter High School, Wonderful Education, and Industrial Automation

Celebrations continued as Bakersfield College partners with The Wonderful Company and The Wonderful Education team welcomed our second cohort of Industrial Automation Early College students at Shafter High School.

By the time these dually enrolled students graduate high school they will have earned an INDA certificate of achievement through this collaboration.

The Wonderful Company is providing scholarships to these students to promote continuation of their education after high school in addition to internships to provide valuable work experience to bridge the transition from education to joining the workforce.

Bakersfield College’s Industrial Automation and Early College would like to thank our partners, KHSD, Shafter High, and The Wonderful Education team for this collaboration and the value they are investing into the futures of these bright students.

Industrial Automation Industry Student Tours

When industry calls, INDA answers! Industrial Automation students had the opportunity to tour three different local industry facilities last week as industry partners continue to request more INDA students for potential employment opportunities. INDA students toured Cintas, Witron and Cognito Motorsports, who are all in high need of technical skilled employees. 

Renegade Wellness Walks are underway!

This week several staff members from the SHWC, Counseling, STEM, the Testing Center, and Nursing/Allied Health departments met up outside the Office of Student Life to participate in the first “Wellness Walk” of the summer. 

A total of 12 BC staff members joined in and walked around campus in the spirit of good health. 

All staff, faculty, and students are welcome to take a break and join in on the wellness walks every Monday and Wednesday @ 9am throughout the summer. Hats and adequate hydration are highly recommended!

Delano Campus Pre-Commencement Celebration

The Rural Initiatives team welcomed graduates and families to the Delano Campus for a Pre-Commencement Celebration to commemorate such a huge accomplishment in their educational journey. Attendees were welcomed to the celebration by rural faculty and staff where they had the opportunity to take pictures with their families and enjoy delicious food prior to departing for the main commencement ceremony. Rural Initiatives Program Director, Jaime Lopez,  also recognized Helen Calip for her service and dedication to the Delano Campus and community. Congratulations to the graduating rural renegades of the class of 2020, 2021 and 2022! Love that let’s us live.

In the News

BC hosts groundbreaking for Arvin campus

On Wednesday, Bakersfield College hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for the future Arvin campus, made possible through Measure J.

The Bakersfield Californian quoted Kern CCD Trustee Yovani Jimenez in their front-page article:

“I believe that what makes this campus special — it was something that the community asked for, and they worked for it,” Jimenez added. “They went door by door, knocking during Measure J. They got different leaders involved. So this campus shows that when a community asks for something, everything is possible when people from the left and right come to accomplish what’s better for the community.”

Yovani Jimenez, Sonya Christian, Bill Thomas, Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg,
Bill Thomas, Sonya Christian

And check out this video from KGET:

Fun Photos & Spotted on Social Media

The BC Delano Campus recently hosted a Tree Planting Day to beautify the campus thanks to the donation of 50 trees provided by the Tree Foundation of Kern. Faculty, staff and volunteers arrived early in the morning to the campus and worked tirelessly to create a more welcoming and beautiful campus for future generation of rural renegades!

Jamie Lopez shared this update:

I was fortunate to serve as the Inspirational Speaker for the Lamont Chamber Scholarship Ceremony this evening! I also had the pleasure to present a scholarship to one of our rural Renegades on behalf of Bakersfield College.

Karen Goh shared this:

Congratulations to the graduates of the Latina Leaders of Kern County YOUTH LEADERSHIP PROGRAM. Wonderful to hear high school students share how the program has helped them grow. Many thanks to President Gabriela Gonzales, Past President Norma Rojas-Mora, keynote speaker Judge Wendy Avila, and all of the mentors who foster leadership and identify and develop opportunities for young Latinas.

I loved this post from Fredi Saucedo Castrejon about the Arvin groundbreaking:

And this one from Nicole Parra:


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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