Kern CCD Colleges ready to welcome students back to Fall 2022 classes. Let’s go!

We are wrapping up another event-filled summer and getting ready to start our next school year, welcoming new Pirates, Coyotes, and Renegades into our classrooms. This week, all three of our colleges held activities welcoming students, faculty and staff back in anticipation of fall semester.

I was happy to be able to spend part of Thursday morning at Porterville College and Bakersfield College and to join Cerro Coso virtually for their opening day.

On Wednesday, the California Resources Corporation presented the Kern Community College District with a check for $1.94M to establish the CRC Carbon Management Institute to facilitate community education, workforce development, learning labs & student academies as Kern County defines its role in the new carbon economy. I am so excited to see how this gift will help as Kern CCD continues #DaringMightyThings.

The Bakersfield Californian covered the donation in this article.


I also wanted to share this video from 2016 of Teresa McAllister‘s father, Bob Martin, who passed away this July. In it, Bob talks about his experience watching the first touchdown at Memorial Stadium.

Good morning, friends.
It is August 20, 2022.
The sun shines bright over Kern CCD.

Porterville College

Faculty and Staff prepare for big fall at PC

The PC Faculty and Staff began gearing up for a BIG return this fall with our annual Fall Convocation and Flex day festivities which were held this week.  The two-day annual faculty development “Flex” event started with a morning-long Convocation kick-off on Thursday morning. 

Trustee John Corkins, Vice Chancellor Trudy Gerald, Senate President Bob Simpkins, Vice Chancellor Manny Mourtzanos, Sonya Christian

Trustee John Corkins was at the event, as well as dignitaries from the Porterville City Government, the Superintendents from both Porterville High School Districts, and the entire PC Faculty, Staff, and Administration.

This year’s theme centered around strengthening PC and community connections and our strong “Pirate Family” roots as we return to a campus full of students, faculty, staff, and administrators for the first time in years.

Opening remarks came from myself and Trustee Corkins. PC President Dr. Claudia Habib and PC Vice Presidents Primavera Arvizu and Dr. Thad Russell then highlighted our past year’s successes and created excitement for the future with a look at plans and goals for this year. 

PC Student and Rotaract President Hector Hernandez shared a student perspective on the return to campus with a moving presentation to all those in attendance and Ana Gutierrez, our keynote speaker, helped us think about how we can align education to innovation that creates new jobs and growth for our economy.

Check out the presentation video from the event:

Native American student orientation draws standing room only crowd

The Native American student orientation was a big hit this week at PC. Native American Services Program staff Katherine Figueroa and Jackie Escareno held an orientation for incoming Freshmen of Native American Descent this past week to a full house. 

The orientation provided important information, resources and supplies for the members of our Native American Services programs.  They outlined important benefits available to them and ensured that they know about important upcoming dates and milestones that they shouldn’t miss as they start their academic journey at PC. 

Cerro Coso Community College

CC Rocks Welcome Back

The sounds of a new school year with smiling faces, eager minds, and optimistic enthusiasm filled the air at the Cerro Coso Rocks event held the Thursday before school started at the Ridgecrest Campus.

A blissful vibrancy resonated as students returned to pick up class schedules, attend orientation, get their IDs, tour the campus, learn about all the resources available to them, and take the time to just have some fun. They even had the opportunity to interact with President Hancock over ice cream and meet administrators and staff.

The fall 2022 semester marks the full in-person return of students, staff, and faculty at all Cerro Coso campuses.

Chatter and laughter filled the halls that sat mainly dormant for the past 30 months.

Cerro Coso is ready to safely and enthusiastically welcome everyone back on campus.

All sessions were held via Zoom for those around the service area not available to attend in person.

“The college has been busy preparing an exciting and engaging academic experience that will help our communities thrive,” said Cerro Coso President Sean Hancock. “As our students begin their classes this fall, they will see that there is an entire Cerro Coso community that is supporting them throughout their journey.”

It’s a great time to join the Coyote Pack! 

OVCDC Partnership a Win for All

Dr. Sean Hancock, OVCDC Executive Director Ryan Howard, OVCDC Program Director Gina Jones, and CTE Dean Nicole Griffin.

The Owens Valley Career Development Center (OVCDC) hosted Cerro Coso President Dr. Sean Hancock and CTE Dean Nicole Griffin at their center in Bishop. 

OVCDC is a Tribal organization providing career education, family literacy, language, and temporary assistance to Native Americans in seven California Counties: Fresno, Inyo, Kern, Kings Tulare, Ventura, and Mono.  A dedicated American Indian organization operating under a consortium of Sovereign Nations.  The program provides the opportunity for improvement in the quality of life by focusing on education and self-sufficiency while protecting, preserving, and promoting their cultures.   

Their career education programs work in partnership with Cerro Coso in offering support to Native American students in six academic departments, leading to certificates awarded by the college.  They also offer support to those students pursuing continuation to an A.A. or A.S. degree beyond the completion of the certificate.

The Owens Valley Paiute-Shoshone Board of Trustees (referred to as OVBT) was established by the “1962 Land Ordinance” which was approved April 5, 1962 by the majority vote of tribal members residing on the Big Pine, Lone Pine, and Bishop reservations.  The OVBT was delegated to promote the general welfare, safeguard tribal interests, conserve and develop tribal lands and resources.  Throughout the years the OVBT has received Federal grants to administer social and economic programs for the three reservations.

The OVCDC was established in 1976 by the OVBT to oversee various tribal, federal, and state funded grants and programs.    

Since 2007, OVCDC has been a strong partner of Cerro Coso Community College, supporting nearly a 100 students each semester enrolling in Cerro Coso courses. 

Cerro Coso Students Present Research at Native Bee Conference

Two Cerro Coso students, Danielle Armstrong and Elajae Lee, presented at the Native Bee Research Workshop held at the College of the Canyons (CoC) on Sunday, August 7, 2022. The conference is part of the Campus as a Living Lab (CALL) initiative organized by CoC and funded by NSF.

Danielle and Elajae conducted their research over the summer, capturing, pinning, photographing and identifying bees, determining floral hosts, and data analysis. Their research indicated the large diversity of native bees in the desert environment, and the majority of these preferentially associate with native floral hosts and are ground nesting. Native bees are naturally diverse (over 1600 species in California) and not only do they provide stability to the terrestrial ecosystem, they can buffer against factors that threaten honeybee pollination (Plan Bee!). However, native bees themselves are also under threats from various sources including pesticides and land use changes.

Danielle and Elajae’s findings showed the importance of planting and maintaining native flowering plants, and of establishing areas withminimal mowing, uprooting and pesticide spraying to provide suitable habitats for native bees. Their results will contribute towards the CoC CALL application for the next phase of NSF funding. Danielle and Elajae were mentored by Profs. Claudia Sellers and Guck Ooi.

Campbell has Passion for Teaching

New full-time Business Professor Dr. Deanna Campbell, has always loved school and has worked in many aspects of education over the years.  She spent the last 16 years serving as site director for Cerro Coso’s Bishop and Mammoth campuses.

She is currently working towards a master’s degree in counseling, with only two more courses left. “I could not imagine being more excited to return to full-time teaching this fall, especially for Cerro Coso!”

Born and raised in the Chicago, Illinois area, Dr. Campbell left after high school and never looked back.  In the years since, she has lived in 20 different cities in five different countries including, Birmingham, UK; Taos, NM; Shanghai, China; New York City, NY: Singapore, and now Bishop, CA.  She enjoys playing in the mountains – trail running, mountain biking, skiing, white water kayaking, climbing, and canyoneering.  She also loves playing in the ocean – sailing, sea kayaking, paddle boarding, surfing, and swimming. 

Her teaching philosophy is adopted from bell hooks’ Teaching to Transgress: To hear each other…to listen to one another, is an exercise in recognition.  “I engage students by learning about them, figuring out how to connect the course topic to their own experiences and interests, recognizing that not all course topics are as important to them as they are to me,” she said, “and showing that I care about their success!”  Campbell says she is really excited about working more closely with the students in the community and supporting them in pursuing their academic and career goals.  “I am also very excited about learning from other faculty members to better support our students,” she concluded. 

Dr. Campbell holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana; Master’s Degree in International Studies from the Lauder Institute, University of Pennsylvania; MBA in Finance from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania; and a Doctorate in Education in K12 & Higher Education Administration from the Rossier School, University of Southern California (Doctoral Thesis: Perspectives of Native American Community College Students).  

Cerro Coso Community College – Your Hometown College!  

Bakersfield College

Renegade Nexus

Bakersfield College recently introduced a new program called Renegade Nexus. This unique support hub is designed to connect students to critical on-campus and community resources that promote academic achievement and holistic student wellness.

To better support BC’s students, the Renegade Nexus will provide access to:

  • Food
  • Clothing
  • Housing
  • Hygiene items
  • Mental Healthcare
  • Physical Healthcare
  • Transportation
  • Technology

If you know a student that you would like to help get support, please refer them to the BC Renegade Nexus Referral Form. A staff member will reach out to provide information and resources to the student.

BC’s New Science & Engineering Building Nears Completion

The brand new Science & Engineering building on the Panorama Campus is nearing completion. One of the recent completions was interior painting, and, of course, there was plenty of Renegade Red throughout. The ribbon-cutting ceremony is coming soon, and we hope you can join us on campus to celebrate the opening of this beautiful facility. 

The building is a direct result of the passing of Measure J which provided funds for many campus improvements, including the planning and construction of the Science & Engineering building.  We are so excited that this three-story space will equip thousands of current and future students to succeed in academics, careers, and beyond.

Fall Welcome Week  Events and Activities

The first day of the Fall Semester is August 22nd, and Bakersfield College has several events and activities planned to celebrate everyone’s return to campus.  Throughout the week there will be Welcome Tents on campus to help students find their classes, assist with the campus map, planners and more. They will also be accepting  donations of school supplies as part of the ‘Stock the Locker’ program, which gives those supplies to BC’s veteran students. If you bring a donation, they will hook you up with a free BC swag item!

The rest of  Welcome Week will include a staff versus student volleyball, a screening of the movie ‘127 Hours’ starring James Franco, special guest speaker Aron Ralston, a panel discussion (and free tacos) with the BC Student Government Association, and much more. 
For more details and an entire list of Welcome Week activities, please visit the BC Student Events page.

Opening Day at Bakersfield College

Bakersfield College hosted opening day on Thursday August 18th, and staff, faculty and administrators were invited to celebrate the beginning of the new school year. The event featured several staff and faculty members sharing welcome messages and updates. BC President Dr. Zav Dadabhoy welcomed everyone and shared his excitement about the upcoming school year and all the new things happening on campus.

Attendees were invited to take a quick tour of the new Science & Engineering building so they could get a preview of the new facility and its many state-of-the-art features. 

New Student Convocation

On Monday the BC Office of Student Life, in partnership with many other departments on campus, hosted New Student Convocation. The heat did not spoil the Renegade Spirit shown at this event with over 1200 new students and their family members in attendance! I enjoyed the faculty and staff processional with over 50 participants. The students orgs community and campus departments held a welcome fair outside the outdoor theater with over 40 tables.

Check out this 47-sec video of the Choir.

Thank you to all those who supported. BC Office of Student Life hopes to see you at all of their upcoming Week of Welcome events including Distinguished Speaker Series, BC Blood Drive, Student Involvement Festival, and so much more!

Cerro Coso, Bakersfield College team up to bring opportunities to McFarland area

Exciting things are happening in McFarland! Cerro Coso and Bakersfield College have collaborated to bring Cerro Coso’s Administrative Medical Assisting (AMA) and Clinical Medical Assisting (CMA) Certificates to our McFarland population and surrounding areas. We had a full house on the evening of August 9, 2022, packing 59 future students into the clinical lab classroom at the McFarland Learning Center.

Matthew Wanta continues to break barriers with his impressive drive to create new opportunities for students, across Kern County and beyond, who are interested in healthcare professions. One thing we can say, Matt makes it happen! It has been remarkable to see what he has done so far and we are looking forward to what the future brings for our students.

A special recognition is in order for Vanesa Hernandez, the Title V Advisor for Bakersfield College. Her recruitment effort was outstanding; taking flyers to businesses in McFarland and Delano, emailing and calling students and using Ocelot messaging to reach as many students as possible. She is such a valuable part of this team as she strives to make her students and team successful. As her background is in Financial Aid, she presented on the Resources and Financial support available to students. 

Students had the chance to meet the CMA instructor, Mr. Charles Tam, as he participated in our workshop. He provided great advice and encouragement to the group. Students have the potential to complete the Clinical Medical Assisting Certificate in two semesters, preparing them for quick and satisfying employment!

This collaboration has been very successful and we look forward to our work together in providing quality education to students and in our communities. Go team!

Teaching And Learning Experiences

The TALE Blog (Teaching and Learning Experiences) has a new post this week, from Porterville College Counselor Ana Ceballos. She wrote about her experiences in life, and the bonds she built with some of her PC colleagues in recent years.

Check it out at!

In the News

Community Voices: Vaccinated. Boosted. And infected.

I enjoyed this piece from Dr. Brij Bhambi, published in The Bakersfield Californian.

Here are some of his suggestions for treatments:

PC holds Convocation and Flex Day

The Porterville Recorder published this piece by Jamie A. Hunt about Porterville College’s Convocation and Flex Day.

[President Claudia ]Habib said now is the best time to talk about PC’s “great legacy” as it celebrates its 95th anniversary. “I invite you to prepare for the next century. How would the future look like for our students?

“It is said that ‘We live in the future that we see.’] Therefore, we need to imagine together the future for our students.”

Coaches discuss outlook for fall sports at BC media day

BC held its annual fall media day on Wednesday, and The Bakersfield Californian wrote about it in this article.

Bakersfield mayor Karen Goh was on hand to offer her support:

“That’s what makes Bakersfield College’s over-100-year history so wonderful, is that you are a part of our community,” Goh said. “And so to Reggie, to (BC broadcaster Ken) Calvin, to all of you, to all of you Renegades, I just wish you the very, very best. I’m looking forward to an amazing season.”

With BC Athletic Director Reggie Bolton, Bakersfield Mayor Karen Goh, and Renegade Report host Kenny Calvin

Fun Photos & Spotted on Social Media

Snow Cone Social Welcome Students in Tehachapi

A free snow cone on a hot summer day in Tehachapi?  Yes please? That is how the Tehachapi Campus chose to welcome new and returning students to the upcoming fall semester.  Students were invited to drop it, get their id’s, pick up their schedules, tour the classrooms, enjoy some sweet treats, say hello to the staff and faculty, and get the information they needed on all the resources available to help them succeed in college. 


Here’s Thad Russell and Robert Simpkins at Porterville College’s Flex Day:

Dr. Claudia Habib (@PortervillePrez) shared this on Twitter:
“It was great to meet student leaders from @PCollegePirates @cerrocoso @BAKcollege during their leadership retreat. With their enthusiasm and involvement students will have a very engaging academic year @KernCCD #ASPC #StudentGoverment”

And here is President Sean Hancock at Cerro Coso Rocks:


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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