Sep 11th reminds us to celebrate our country

It was 235 years ago today – September 17, 1787 – that the U.S. Constitution was signed in Philadelphia. On February 29, 1952, Congress designated September 17 as Constitution Day, commemorating that historic signing.

Of the 42 delegates who attended most of the Constitutional Convention meetings, only 39 signed the final document. Edmund Randolph and George Mason of Virginia, and Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts, refused to sign, partially due to the lack of a Bill of Rights.

The first 10 amendments to the Constitution – the Bill of Rights – was created two years later, on September 25, 1789. It was ratified on December 15, 1791.

Benjamin Franklin was the oldest signer, at 81. The youngest was Jonathan Dayton of New Jersey, who was 26.

Six of our founding fathers signed both the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution: George Read, Roger Sherman, Benjamin Franklin, Robert Morris, George Clymer, and James Wilson.

George Washington established the first Thanksgiving – Thursday, November 26, 1789 – as a day for the public to give thanks for the constitution.

And today, I am thankful for the Nineteenth Amendment – The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.

Check out this quick read ….. my Sep 5th Viewpoint publication in the Community College Journal reflecting on Women’s Equality Day

Good morning, friends.
It is September 17, 2022.
The sun shines bright over Kern CCD.

Porterville College

PC Celebrates Hispanic Heritage with Writer & Poet Speaker Series 

We are extremely excited to welcome bestselling author Reyna Grande for the PC Writer & Poet Speaker Series.  Ms. Grande will join students, faculty and the community on Tuesday, September 20th from 11:00am to Noon.  

Reyna Grande is the author of the bestselling memoir, The Distance Between Us, where she writes about her life before and after she arrived in the United States from Mexico as an undocumented child immigrant. The sequel to that novel, A Dream Called Home, was released in 2018. She will discuss her work and her unique perspective on the “American Experience” via her virtual presentation on the 20th

Her other works include the novels, Across a Hundred Mountains, Dancing with Butterflies, and A Ballad of Love and Glory, and the anthology Somewhere We Are Human: Authentic Voices on Migration, Survival and New Beginnings.  

She has received an American Book Award, the El Premio Aztlán Literary Award, and a Latino Spirit Award. In 2012, she was a finalist for the prestigious National Book Critics Circle Awards. 

The young reader’s version of The Distance Between Us received an International Literacy Association Children’s Book Award in 2017. Writing about immigration, family separation, language trauma, the price of the American Dream, and her writing journey, Reyna’s work has appeared in The New York Times, the Dallas Morning News, CNN, The Lily at The Washington Post, Buzzfeed, among others. In March 2020, she was a guest on the Oprah’s Book Club television special. 

This event will be delivered via zoom and all are invited. You can register for this event in advance at

PC Celebrates Hispanic Heritage  

We celebrate Hispanic Heritage each year from September 15th through October 15th.

This month-long celebration, started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week and then expanded to a 30-day period in 1988, is used to recognize the achievements and contributions of Hispanic American champions who have inspired others to achieve success and change for our society.

Join us on the web to explore curated galleries, museum links, infographics, and learn fun facts about the history of this important month (i.e. why does it start in the middle of the month?). You can visit our celebration page here: You can also visit for more info on this year’s national celebrations.

Porterville College CHAP Celebrates Constitution Day with “The Vice Presidency: A Built-In Constitutional Crisis”

The Porterville College Historical Awareness Program (CHAP) continues it’s celebration of 20 years with an all new Fall Schedule of programming. The 2022-2023 theme is The Anthropocene.

The Anthropocene Epoch is an unofficial unit of geologic time, used to describe the most recent period in Earth’s history when human activity started to have a significant impact on the planet’s climate and ecosystems. The 2022-2023 calendar of CHAP events all cover topics related to the Anthropocene – beginning with our first event of the season on September 19th.

Join us on Constitution Day, September 19th from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm, as CHAP hosts “The Vice Presidency: A Built-In Constitutional Crisis,” a lecture by Leslie Pelon, Adjunct Instructor of History at Porterville College. Ms. Pelon’s lecture will explore the history of the Constitution through the lens of the Vice Presidency. The lecture will be held inside the PC Theater, located on the Porterville College Campus.

Leslie Pelon spent her childhood in the Bay area until moving to Porterville in 2000. She attended Westfield, Bartlett, and Porterville High School, and took classes at Porterville College. After graduating from Porterville High School, she went to Brigham Young University where she studied History and English literature. After ten years in Utah and Maine, she returned to make her permanent home in Porterville with her husband and two children.

She spent several years substitute teaching at Porterville High School while pursuing a Master’s in History from Southern New Hampshire University. Her thesis focused on women preachers of the Second Great Awakening. Since earning her Master’s Degree, she has been teaching History classes at Porterville College.

  • Event: “The Vice Presidency: A Built-In Constitutional Crisis”
  • Date: Monday, September 19, 2022
  • Time: 11:30 am – 12:30 pm
  • Where: Porterville College Theater (100 E. College Avenue, Porterville, 93257)

For more information on the CHAP program, you can visit

PC Cross Country teams open season at Fresno Invitational 

PC Cross Country Teams

The 2022 Porterville College men’s and women’s cross-country seasons are officially underway.

This past Saturday, the Pirates competed against over 15 of the state’s top teams at the Fresno Invitational. The event, hosted by Clovis Community College, was held at Woodward Park in Fresno.

On the women’s side, freshman Krissta Kunze competed in her first collegiate event for the Pirates and finished up the 3.1-mile course with a time of 28.44.2, good for 65th place overall.

The Pirates men’s team had six competing at the event. Leading the way was freshman Adrian Martinez. He cleared the four-mile course with a team-best time of 26:37.6 to finish in 97th place overall.

He was followed by freshman Peter Gomez at 29:40.3, freshman Ty Robinson at 30:47.1, freshman Sal Renteria at 31:05.8, freshman Brandon Pulido at 38:14.9, and sophomore Carlos Rodriguez at 38:14.9.

Up next for the Pirates is the Bakersfield Invitational / SoCal Preview meet on Friday, Sep. 23. The event is set for a 9 a.m. start at the Kern County Soccer Park in Bakersfield.

Cerro Coso Community College

Cerro Coso Saddened by Loss of Dr. Mary Retterer

I am sharing this note from Cerro Coso President Sean Hancock on the recent passing of former Cerro Coso President Dr. Mary Retterer:

It is with genuine sadness that I share the passing of former president Dr. Mary E. Retterer on Thursday,

September 8, 2022 in Gardnerville, Nevada.

Dr. Retterer became Cerro Coso’s sixth president on July 1, 2007 after serving as interim president for one year. 

She retired in June of 2010.

I am sad that I will not have the pleasure of meeting this dynamic leader whose’ wealth of experience in community colleges had such a positive impact on this college, and the communities we serve.  It is my understanding she assisted the college in receiving a $250,000 grant from the State of California to strengthen Career Technical Education (CTE) programs through “Project Lead the Way,” in partnership with Sierra Sands Unified School District and the Naval Air Weapons Center, to meet the future workforce needs of our region. She was here when the Mammoth Lakes Foundation broke ground for student housing, and when we held our first Phi Theta Kappa induction ceremony. Dr. Retterer led the college through a very important accreditation review, and created a collaboration between the college and the IWV Water District on a large scale water conservation project on the Ridgecrest Campus.  She was an expert fundraiser and started many of the college’s signature events like the Star Party and Denim and Diamonds to help support the college and our students.  Her accomplishments were many and her legacy will live on is so many ways at Cerro Coso Community College.

She once referred to Cerro Coso as a “diamond in the dessert” and stated how proud she was of the people within as she looked to an exciting future here.  She noted your tremendous creativity and looked to “harness that creativity and turn it into growth and improved service to all of our communities.”  She was an essential part of our institution’s history, and spent a lifetime being an influential advocate for education.  I had hoped to personally meet Dr. Retterer at some of our 50th Anniversary activities beginning next year, and am sad that I will not get that opportunity. 

Like myself, Dr. Retterer was a former community college student and earned an Associate of Arts Degree from Craft Hills College, California.  She transferred to California State University, San Bernardino, where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Administration with a concentration in accounting; and a Master of Business Administration Degree, with a concentration in accounting.  She earned a Doctorate of Philosophy in Educational Administration, Community College Leadership Program from the University of Texas at Austin.   

An active member of the local community, Dr. Retterer served as a Rotarian on the China Lake Rotary Club and a member of the local Elks lodge.

We honor the legacy of Dr. Retterer, and mourn her loss alongside her husband Richard, family, and friends.    A celebration of life will be held for Dr. Retterer at the Elks Lodge in Gardnerville, Nevada next week.   

Ridgecrest commemorates 9/11 with Parade of 1000 Flags

More than 1000 community patriots took to the streets of Ridgecrest on Saturday, September 10, 2022, at 10 a.m. carrying flags in memory of those lost and first responders of the terrorist attacks of 9/11 in 2001.

This signature event draws people from near and far and is noted to be one of the most patriotic events of 9/11 commemorated anywhere.  Cerro Coso was proud to show their support with a large showing of students, employees, and family members carrying flags. 

Flag bearers were led by Travis Combs, Bagpiper, and the Burroughs High School band, followed by a host of VIPs which included: NAWC Grand Marshall Captain Jeremy Vaughan, Captain Weinwright, Director Harlin Kooima and elected officials Congressman Kevin McCarthy, Senator Shannon Grove, Assemblyman Vince Fong, District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer, Sheriff Donny Youngblood, Supervisor Phillip Peters, and Mayor Eric Bruen.  

Many of the students and children in the parade were not yet born at the time of the attacks, but they need to know and understand the significance of one of the darkest days in America’s history. The annual parade helps etch that into their memories.

The Parade of 1000 Flags began with a march down China Lake Boulevard to City Hall where the flags were posted in Freedom Park followed by a program at the gazebo.

A signature event for Ridgecrest, the Parade of 1000 Flags is a strong symbol and image of what the community stands for: a patriotic community with a strong presence of the US Navy and the role it supports in the defense of our country.

A candlelight vigil was held on Sunday night a 7 p.m. in the park.  Kern County Fire Division Chief Bill Steers presented the Bell Ceremony and Fireman’s Prayer.  Several hundred attendees lit candles at the close of the program as a tribute to those who were lost. 

United we stood as 9/11 responders toiled and families searched in 2001.

We will never forget!

Hernandez and Gomez to lead this year’s SGCC

The Student Government of Cerro Coso (SGCC) are ready for a great year!  Meet the new president and vice president of the SGCC for the 2022-2023 academic year, Justin Hernandez and Fatima Chavez Gomez. 

Justin is serving as president of the SGCC this year.He is currently pursuing his degree in psychology and plans to transfer and continue his education next fall.  “This year I plan to make a positive difference and to continue having a welcoming environment to both the campus and to student life.”

“I joined student government to get involved in our campus as well as get an experience from this,” said SGCC vice president Fatima.  “I plan to make this year a fun and an exciting year where students can learn what our campus is all about!”  Fatima is majoring in history and also plans to transfer to continue in that field of study.

Cerro Coso Community College students can purchase a Coyote Card sticker each semester at the time of registration. The Coyote Card sticker is placed on each students identification card. These funds support the Student Activities Program which benefits the college and contributes to the welfare of all students. Possession of a Coyote Card sticker may qualify an individual to serve as a club representative or a student Senator, to hold office, to join college student organizations, and to receive student discounts at various merchants in the community. Members are also entitled to reduced or free admission to various on-campus and off-campus events sponsored by the SGCC.

The SGCC gives students the opportunity to foster skills like leadership, communication, teamwork, organization, and public speaking – all skills need to succeed in college.  Not only do these skills help students in class but they are also valuable if students are interested in co-op programs and on job applications.

Students wanting to civically engage and share their own voice on campus are encouraged to join the SGCC.  Contact Tyson Huffman at for more information.   

Constitution Day Lecture by Professor Jones

In September of 1787, the Founding Fathers signed the most influential document in American history: the United States Constitution.

Every year, the Student Government of Cerro Coso (SGCC) commemorates that historic day by hosting an event to inform students on the importance of the Constitution and the freedoms our founding fathers secured for us. 

This year the SGCC hosted a lecture by Political Science Professor Matt Jones on the thought provoking question “Is the Constitution Racist and Outdated”.  An argument that has divided many.  Dr. Jones shared the arguments he believes to be the case and presented evidence in support of that belief. 

Thank you to Dr. Jones and the SGCC for providing this thought provoking lecture. 

Couch Recognized by KCCD Management Association

Cerro Coso Vice President of Finance and Administrative Services Dr. Chad Houck and Lisa Couch, Budget Analyst.

For the month of September, the Kern Community College District (KCCD) Management Association unanimously voted to acknowledge and recognize the work, leadership, and achievements of Lisa Couch, Budget Analyst at Cerro Coso Community College.

Couch’s nominating colleagues wrote, “Lisa has provided leadership and stability in times of great need, both past and present,” said Bonita Steele, Management Association president. “Lisa supported the college community during campus renovations – always a tough gig – and through two major earthquakes. In addition to the COVID 19 pandemic and even without these extraordinary events, Lisa has been a steadfast collaborative colleague known throughout the district for her expertise.  More recently, Lisa supported Business Services when two vice president of finance positions became vacant.   She helped Bakersfield College and Porterville College complete their tentative budgets, assisted them in wrapping up the prior fiscal year, coordinated and collaborated with classified and management staff, and assisted the Interim CFO with the district tentative budget process.  She is now helping to onboard and train two new vice presidents of finance.  For her expertise and collegiality the Management Association is proud to honor Lisa Couch as our September 2022 Manager of the Month.”

“On behalf of all members of the KCCD Management Association, we express our ongoing appreciation for Lisa’s leadership,” concluded Steele.

The KCCDMA is comprised of all managers, administrators, supervisors, and confidential management staff by virtue of their position. The Association is self-funded and functions separately from District or college operations. The Association conveys the needs and interests of its members, as well as provides ongoing professional development and networking opportunities.

Bakersfield College

Transfer Day 2022

Bakersfield College hosted Transfer Day this week in the Renegade Conference Room on the Panorama Campus. Students had the opportunity to review information booths of more than 40 colleges and universities from around the country.

This is the first time Transfer Day has been in-person since 2020, and the response was incredible. Hundreds of students visited throughout the day and were able to talk to school representatives, get swag, and walk away with valuable resources that can further their academic journey.

BC Participates in Kern County College Night

Kern County College Night took place earlier this week and BC was well represented throughout the event. Thousands of prospective students came to Mechanics Bank Arena to preview several colleges and universities.

Bakersfield College had a strong presence throughout the night with more than 100 staff and administrators on hand to provide support, answer questions, and hand out promotional materials and swag! The BC Drumline and Cheer Squad were also there to lend their talents and enthusiasm to the evening. 

Industrial Automation Program to host Manufacturing Day 2022

The Industrial Automation Program at BC is hosting Manufacturing Day on Friday, September 30th from 9:30AM-1:30PM in the Simonsen Outdoor Theater. They have invited local high schools and community members to come and experience this unique event which will include presentations on manufacturing-related programs, laboratory tours, and hands-on demonstrations.

Attendees will also get to interact with industry employers who will be available throughout the event at their information booths. They will showcase various products and machines, share resources and answer questions. Attendees will also be able to register with various participating employers to tour an industrial facility on select dates through the end of October.

For registration information, please visit the Creators Wanted Manufacturing Day webpage.

Nursing Students Meet with Local Healthcare Employers

Several of BC’s Registered Nursing students had multiple opportunities to meet with local healthcare employers to learn more about the industry and the nursing hiring process.  On August 30th, several healthcare employers came to BC’s Panorama Campus and gave presentations about their company, hiring expectations, and information on how to apply.  There were representatives from Adventist Health, Bakersfield Heart Hospital, Kern Medical Supply, Dignity Health Memorial Hospital and Mercy Hospitals.

On September 6th, more than 40 Registered Nursing students had a meet and greet with Kern Medical Center. The event consisted of a hospital tour, nursing residency program presentations, a nurse panel and an overview on the hiring process.

Panorama Creative Music Summit 2022

The Bakersfield College Jazz Studies and Commercial Music Programs are proud to present the 6th annual Panorama Creative Music Summit. The event will feature two weeks of workshops, masterclasses and free public performances featuring world-renowned musicians and industry professionals.

All are invited to the two free public concerts on September 28th and October 5th at 6:00PM in the Simonsen Indoor Theater.  There will be special performances from Grammy winning performers, producers, composers and singer/songwriters. If you are a fan of live music, then you will definitely want to attend one or both of these exclusive performances.

For information and performance schedules, please visit the Panorama Creative Music Summit event page.

In the News

KCCD’s new energy lab looks to support ‘Carbon Valley’

Did you catch this front page story by John Cox in Monday’s edition of The Bakersfield Californian about the California Renewable Energy Laboratory?

Part of the vision has already been outlined, with plans for three centers of excellence devoted to clean energy and grid resilience, clean transportation and the California Resources Corp. Carbon Management Institute.

Each is expected to perform a range of educational activities, workforce development and “technology transfer” efforts that will commercialize new technologies. There also will be “living laboratory” demonstration projects to include a carbon-capture project at Bakersfield College and a microgrid system at BC’s Weill Institute downtown.

Community Voices: BC helps students develop a vibrant community

BC’s Student Government President and Kern CCD student trustee Shehrazad Barraj wrote this Community Voices piece for The Bakersfield Californian about her experiences in student government.

“I learned a lot, not just about parliament, but about myself, and my community, and all WE can do for our community. With my time in BCSGA, I went from being nervous and reserved, to being outgoing, to being a student leader and team player! The BC community is here to support, sustain and encourage us on our journey to success.”

Shehrazad Barraj

Fun Photos & Spotted on Social Media

Representatives from Bakersfield College and KCCD District office attended the HOPE Latina Empowerment Conference on Friday in Bakersfield. The day’s activities included discussions on estate planning, renewable energy, and education accessibility. Early College counselor Josie Guillen gave the lunchtime remarks on dual enrollment and Early College. The day closed with this group picture of the BC and KCCD attendees. 

Kern CCD Trustee Yovani Jimenez shared these photos from the Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Mexican Independence Day celebration:

Cerro Coso President Sean Hancock shared this photo:

Grateful for having heard from Assistant Secretary of Career, Technical, and Adult Education, Dr. Amy Lloyd at this morning’s keynote for the Rural Community College Alliance! Joined by Corey Marvin, Heather Ostash, and Chad Houck.

Porterville College President Claudia Habib has been sharing updates from her experience with UC Davis’ Wheelhouse Institute:

“Thank you UCDWheelhouse for providing a great learning experience. I Enjoyed every minute, every robust conversation, reflexión, camaraderie and laughter with these amazing leaders.

Check out this post from the BC Cheer Team:

We are honored to showcase Sally Hill (Payne) as our first “Where are They Now? BC Cheer Alumni Edition,” alumni cheerleader!! Swipe to learn a little more about this lovely lady!! We LOVE you Sally


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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