Grand Opening of STEM Building – Thank you for voting Yes on J!

Before I jump into my blog, let me take a moment to thank you for voting Yes on J.


On Thursday, the world turned its eyes to Balmoral Castle in Scotland as we learned that Queen Elizabeth II was in her final moments. She was one of history’s longest serving monarchs, having ascended the throne on February 6, 1952 – making her reign 70 years, 214 days. Only France’s Louis XIV had a longer reign, at 72 years, 110 days.

An analysis of data from the CIA World Factbook indicates that more than 90% of the current world population was born after Queen Elizabeth II was coronated, and she had been the only British monarch they ever knew.

It is hard to overstate how long her reign lasted. During her time on the throne, there were 15 prime ministers – 12 men, and 3 women. Closer to home, the United States saw 14 presidents during her reign. Queen Elizabeth II met 13 of them (Lyndon Baines Johnson was the only exception). The Catholic Church had 7 popes during her 70 years as queen.

And of course, Queen Elizabeth II was well-known for her love of dogs. She also owned more than 30 Corgis and Dorgis during her reign – most descended from her first Corgi, Susan, which she received when she turned 18 in 1944.

But for all that she accomplished, and for all the grand things she was known for, it was particularly poignant when her son – the former Prince Charles, now King Charles III – made his first address after ascending to the throne. His words remind us all that she was, after all, a mother and grandmother – and leaves a family in grief.

“To my darling mama, as you begin your last great journey to join my dear late papa, I want simply to say this: Thank you. Thank you for your love and devotion to our family and to the family of nations you have served so diligently all these years. May flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.”

This week has been a week of remembering my mom, Pam … She was a huge fan of Queen Elizabeth and a huge fan of tennis. As I watch the US Open this week, I’ve been missing her terribly.

I watched Serena Williams’ amazing career-the supposedly last match…. but knowing Serena, well, you never know… What a remarkable woman who truly broke barriers as she rose to the top in her sport. Among her many other titles, she won the US Open in 1999, 2002, 2008, 2012, 2013, and 2014.

I also watched my mom’s favorite, Rafael Nadal – who won the US Open in 2010, 2013, 2017 and 2019. He made it to the Round of 16, where he was defeated by Frances Tiafoe.

Among the highlights for me this year has been watching the upcoming talent. Carlos Alcaraz, 19, played the second longest match in US Open history as he fought off Jannik Sinner, 21. The match lasted 5 hours and 15 minutes, ending at 2:50 am. EST.

Watch this 30-sec clip when Alcaraz takes a shot from behind his back and makes the point.

I also thoroughly enjoyed this New York Times article about the match and the next-generation talent tennis fans enjoyed.

Tiafoe and Alcaraz faced off in a thrilling match in the quarter-final Friday night. Tiafoe took an early lead with the first set, but Alcaraz came back in two dominating sets before Alcaraz narrowly won the fourth. Alcaraz won the final set and with it, the match. He will go one to compete in the finals.

Tiafoe was the first American man to reach the semifinals – let alone the quarterfinals – since 2006. Looking forward to seeing more of Tiafoe in future tennis.

I’ve also been following the Artemis program, a moon exploration program led by NASA with a goal to reestablish a human presence on the moon for the first time since the Apollo 17 mission in 1972. Artemis I’s launch has suffered delays, with the next goal to launch between September 23 and October 4.

In his recent column, BC Planetarium director Nick Strobel shared updates on the Artemis program.

“While the Apollo mission was primarily designed as a Cold War competition between two political systems, Artemis’s focus is on lunar science and learning how to build a long-term presence on the moon using as much lunar material as possible, instead of relying solely on materials transported from Earth. That knowledge will enable us to go to Mars a decade or so later.”

Imagine – NASA’s earliest astronauts and scientists, innovating and putting a man on the moon, creating a legacy that soon could see a younger generation of explorers set foot on Mars.

#DaringMightyThings indeed.

Good morning, friends.
It is September 10, 2022.
The sun shines bright over Kern CCD.

Porterville College

Women’s soccer returns to PC with season opener at Bakersfield

Women’s soccer is officially back in play at Porterville College for the first time in over 20 years! Last Wednesday, the Pirates kicked off the 2022 season with a non-conference game at Bakersfield College.

Porterville returns to action on Friday, September 9th when the Pirates travel to Sacramento City College.

PC will play its next five games on the road before making its home debut on Oct. 4 at 4 p.m. against Fresno City College.

Two PC Administrators Join Leadership Porterville’s Class of 2023

Two Porterville College Administrators were recently selected to join the Leadership Porterville Class of 2023. Vice President of Administrative Services Maria Battisti and Director of Enrollment Services Jonathan Miranda were officially inducted into the program at a celebration held at Don Vino’s Italian Restaurant in Porterville on Thursday September 1st.

Leadership Porterville assists the further development of community leaders.  For over 25 years, Leadership Porterville has inspired, developed and connected local leaders. According to their web site, the program’s purpose is “to enable potential and emerging community leaders to positively impact Porterville as interested and informed residents.” 

Both Battisti and Miranda addressed those in attendance during the event. Battisti spoke of her love for the community and that she wants to “feel a part of something bigger than me”. She said she’s called to serve Porterville, PC, and is excited to immerse herself in the community.

Mr. Miranda spoke at length about his family, and his move from Sacramento to the Central Valley. He mentioned how Higher Education provided him with opportunities he wouldn’t take for granted. 

PC President Dr. Claudia Habib said of the celebration, “Wonderful celebration to welcome the Leadership Porterville Class of 2023. PC was well represented; hearing the stories of these emerging leaders was inspiring.”

President Dr. Claudia Habib, VP of Student Services Primavera Arvizu and VP of Instruction Dr. Thad Russell

Cerro Coso Community College

Bitter-sweet Farewell to Lacey

On Thursday, September 9th, 2022, the office of instruction put together a surprise going-away party for Lacey Navarro.

She joined the Career Technical Education staff as an Administrative Secretary in July of 2019 and quickly became indispensable. She applied and competed for the position of Administrative Assistant to the Vice President of Instruction and of course was offered the position.  Lacey is always welcoming, helpful, caring, kind, and a great team player.

She originally moved to Ridgecrest from Bakersfield in 2019 to join her husband who had been commuting between the two locations for four years.  Now she is following her husband Jorge to Texas where they will make their new home.  

We appreciate everything Lacey has done for Cerro Coso. She will be truly missed.

Cerro Coso wishes her nothing but the best in the future!

This is not a goodbye; it is a see you later!  

Make friends and learn about Latino culture

The Latino’s Unidos Club is ready to reengage with students this fall.  All Cerro Coso students are invited to celebrate and learn about diverse Latino cultures and become part of an on campus family support system for all club members.

Students do not have to be Hispanic or Latino to join this club, simply have an interest in raising their cultural awareness.

Contact advisor Ana Mora at 760-384-6250 / or René Mora at 760-384-6219 / for more information.

Rainbow Club

Do you believe in creating a safer community to learn, live, and grow? Consider joining the Rainbow Club at Cerro Coso.

The goal of the club is to raise awareness, take action, and build relationships while closing equity gaps together.

The Rainbow Club allows persons of any sexual orientation, gender identity, and/or expression and allies of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning (LGBTQ+) persons to obtain support from their peers, staff, faculty, and community.

They aim to unite members and to collaborate with other clubs to establish and maintain a positive and non-judgmental community where all members can fully express their individuality.

They also aim to increase awareness, decrease intolerance, and create a welcoming and accepting environment for all.

Connect with them in Pronto using group code For more info contact Michael Bonner 760-384-6181 /

Constitution Day Lecture: “Is the Constitution Racist and Outdated?”

Constitution Day commemorates the formation and signing of the U.S. Constitution by thirty-nine brave men on September 17, 1787, recognizing all who are born in the U.S. or by naturalization, have become citizens.   

On this day in 1787, the Founding Fathers signed the most influential document in American history: the United States Constitution. This document established the framework of our government and the rights and freedoms that “We the People” enjoy today.

Every year, the SGCC commemorates that historic day by hosting an event. This year the SGCC will present a lecture by Professor Matt Jones as he discusses modern perspectives of the US Constitution.

Open to all students at all campuses, students are invited to join them for free pizza and popcorn in the Lecture Center at the Ridgecrest Campus on Wednesday, September 14th @ 12:30pm.  The event will also be available to students at other campuses via Zoom.  Register for zoom access at:

A celebration of the adoption of the U.S. Constitution and the importance of the document today. 

Bakersfield College

Science & Engineering Building Grand Opening

On Wednesday morning, Bakersfield College celebrated the official grand opening of its newest addition on campus and a crown jewel of the Measure J infrastructure bond, the 71,061-square-foot Science & Engineering Building that will house several disciplines like biology and geology, as well as a high-tech robotics lab. 

Dr. Zav Dadabhoy

Expanding STEM education has been a priority for Bakersfield College for the last nine years. The 71,000 square-foot Science and Engineering building is a manifestation of this commitment to providing the spaces and tools to unleash imagination, magnify curiosity, and deepen critical thinking and problem solving for our students.  With this state-of-the-art facility alongside our talented and dedicated faculty, BC students are well positioned for the future.

Trustee Romeo Agbalog

“With this building, we are upholding our responsibility to prepare students for the jobs of the future,” said Kern Community College District Board of Trustees President, Romeo Agbalog. “A few years back, I read a report that said nearly 50% of jobs in the metropolitan Bakersfield area were subject to automation and this new building has never been needed more than right now. As industries innovate and evolve and new industries emerge it’s our duty and responsibility to prepare the workforce of the future; especially if our region intends to lead and compete in a global economy. ”

The three-story Science & Engineering building is home to BC’s Biology, Engineering and Physical Sciences (chemistry, geology and physics) departments, which combined offer more than a dozen associate degrees and degrees for transfer. In addition to classrooms and laboratories for physics, geology, engineering, biology and chemistry, anatomy and more,  the building includes a Makerspace and a state of the art robotics lab. The building’s design features heavy use of glass, allowing for ample natural light, a striking multi-story atrium at the center of the building, interactive spaces and architectural elements throughout that highlight the connection of science to society. In fact, there are multiple secrets built into the building that encourage discovery and learning of the sciences. 

Sonya Christian, Jay Tamsi, Mike Turnipseed
Dr. Steve Waller my partner in the work of expanding STEM education in Kern.

Measure J was a  $502 million infrastructure bond passed by voters throughout the Kern Community College District in 2016 to fund upgrades and modernize the district’s three colleges: Porterville College, Bakersfield College and Cerro Coso Community College. Bakersfield College, the largest of the three institutions, received $415 million to transform a number of new, high impact projects, including a new Campus Center, revamped administrative building and in the coming year, a new welcome center, athletics complex, and agriculture pavilion. 

Check out more photos from the celebration at

Thank you Nicole Parra for leading us through the Measure J work.

Latinos Unidos Por Educación at The California Endowment Youth Awards in Oakland

The Bakersfield College LUPE StudOrg on campus was recognized as one of five youth-led organizations in California and granted the Youth Power Partner Award at the California Endowment Youth Awards this year.

The California Endowment Youth Awards are held in recognition of young leaders who work towards an equitable and healthy future: creating innovative models of service, strengthening local communities, and cultivating youth power.

A special thank you to all the staff from the EOP&S/Categorical Programs who took care of all the logistics to make this memorable event possible for our students.

Wylie and May Louise Jones Gallery Reception with Audia Dixon

Audia Yvonne Dixon, Attractive Nuisance, 2021, Oil on Canvas, 65” x 96”

The directors of the Wylie and May Louise Jones Gallery are proud to present Eden, a solo exhibition by Fresno-based artist Audia Yvonne Dixon (b. 1992). This show is a selection of paintings connected to a history of pastoral landscape and portraiture.

Save the Date for the Fall Levan Faculty Colloquium – to honor David Koeth

Save the date for our next Norman Levan Faculty Colloquium. We will honor David Koeth, Emeritus Professor of Art, for his artistic contributions to his field and to our campus.

The Levan Center for the Humanities provides unique opportunities for community college faculty to engage in and promote their scholarly research and/or creative work. Come celebrate Professor Koeth’s accomplishments and show your support for our BC faculty member. More details to follow in the coming weeks.  

Norman Levan Faculty Colloquium: “The Citrus Series: Ideation, Art Making, and Citrus”  

  • Date: Friday, October 7th, 2022  
  • Time: 10:30 am to 12:00 pm
  • Location: Norman Levan Center for the Humanities.

Campus Zoom Center Opens

Bakersfield College is happy to announce that you have a campus location to attend zoom classes on our Panorama Campus! Starting Tuesday, September 6th, the northeast corner of the Computer Commons in the BC Library will be available for students who need a space to participate in their Zoom courses.

​Space is limited and will be first-come-first-serve. Computers and headsets will be available but we encourage you to bring your own. If you aren’t sure where to go, check in at the Renegade Hub or the Circulation desk.


This week, we had another post on the Kern CCD TALE Blog ( This one was written by Porterville College’s Robert Simpkins, on the topic “Room to Fail.”

“Because our work as educators does not occur in isolation and is always embedded in a complex web of changing perspectives, expectations, and requirements, some degree of failure is probably inevitable for instructors, regardless of the number of years of experience in the profession.  Achieving success in the long-term then means that faculty need a support structure that expects occasional failures and supports the correction and experimentation needed to ensure the success of the student learning experience – yet that support system is rarely placed systematically and intentionally for all faculty, including adjunct faculty as well as tenure-track and tenured faculty.”

Check it out at

Jobs Demand Education Blog

On Labor Day, I published my first post in the new JobsDemandEducation blog – a place to share new approaches to workforce and economic development, with a goal of supporting economic mobility for our community while staying committed to the health of our people and the health of our environment.

My first post, “Good Jobs Demand Education,” highlighted part of our Kern CCD delegation trip to the National Resource Energy Laboratory in August, as we work to establish California Renewable Energy Laboratory (CREL) here. I wrote about Integrated Energy Pathways, one of NREL’s critical objectives.

“During our trip, I learned that one of NREL’s critical objectives is in integrated energy pathways, which involves leveraging innovations in microgrids, clean transportation and other renewables to work in concert with our existing energy infrastructure. To truly create a power sector free of carbon emissions, all of these innovations in renewable energy can’t be siloed. Integrated energy pathways are strategies to modernize the electric grid by taking advantage of new energy storage technologies, connecting the grid to clean transportation infrastructure, and improving grid resilience.”

In the News

Community Voices: Unions help narrow the gender wage gap

Astronomy Professor and Academic Senate President Nick Strobel wrote this piece for The Bakersfield Californian about the role unions continue to play in workplace conditions:

“I’m thankful for the faculty union’s collective bargaining agreement that guarantees equal pay for equal work. At the university where I did graduate work, individual professors were able to secure different salary packages and perks than their colleagues. Thanks to the faculty and classified staff unions, our contracts also include a good health care benefits package.”

How much has changed in equality for women?

Community College Daily published my piece about equality for women in higher education.

“According to a 2021 report from Pew Research, the median earnings of women in STEM jobs is 74% of their male counterparts. This is a wider gap compared to the broader labor market. So even when we have women entering the STEM workforce, they are not equally represented in the types of high-paying jobs we see more frequently awarded to men.”

At 50, BC’s Delano campus remains well-traveled pathway for students

The Bakersfield Californian ran this article highlighting BC’s Delano campus, which first began offering classes 50 years ago in September 1972.

“Without this campus, it would’ve been more stressful for a lot of us to handle work or younger siblings or not being able to drive yet,” [student Joanne] Aguirre said. “It would have made us think, ‘Oh, college isn’t for me.’”

Fun Photos & Spotted on Social Media

I was able to attend BC’s home football game and spend some time with colleagues:

From PC President Dr. Claudia Habib:

“We had a great start for Fall semester, now on the third week. Today we enjoyed a small sweet treat #Paletas #popsicles to celebrate the good work and to cool off in this very hot day #112degrees I am grateful for my team #PCFamily @PCollegePirates @KernCCD”

Fun was had at the New Faculty Reception at Bakersfield College. President Zav Dadabhoy enjoyed welcoming all the new faculty who have joined our Renegade family this fall. I was so pleased to join in the welcome, alongside members of the Kern County Community College District Board of Trustees. Check out some of the photos:

Porterville College advisor Cody Ridenour presented to the Students at Burton Middle School. The school shared this post about his visi:

“Thank you PCollegePirates for presenting to BMS students on college and career paths!”


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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