Kern CCD Daring Mighty Things Oct 2022

This week we announced the soft launch of the California Renewable Energy Laboratory (CREL)

Thank you Assembly member Rudy Salas, the Governor and other political leaders in California for the $50 million to help establish CREL.

We are creating the future; committed to developing the workforce, creating grid resilience, clean transportation, and leading Kern County in energy innovation. CREL is just the beginning of a promising future in a changing energy landscape, and we are so thankful to have the support of our State and local leaders.

Good morning, friends.
It is October 8, 2022.
The sun shines bright over Kern CCD.

Porterville College

PC Continues Celebration of Hispanic Heritage with Visit from Author Gary Soto

Porterville College continued its celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month with a visit from author, filmmaker, and poet Gary Soto this week.  The author joined students, faculty, and community members in the Porterville College Theater to talk about his works and to share stories from his VERY colorful life and career as a writer.   

Gary Soto was born and raised in Fresno, California. He is the author of thirteen poetry collections for adults, most notably NEW AND SELECTED POEMS. He has received the Discovery-The Nation Prize and the California Library Association’s John and Patricia Award [twice], in addition to fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts [also twice], and the Guggenheim Foundation.

Soccer returns to Jamison Stadium after a 20-year absence

A surprisingly large crowd for a Tuesday afternoon watched the return of Pirate Soccer to Porterville College this week as the Woman’s Soccer team hit the field at Jamison Stadium for the first time in over 20 years. 

It was uncertain at the beginning of the semester whether the team would be able to play on-campus this year due to delays in the refurbishing project at the stadium.  The campus was alerted that the stadium project would be complete by the first scheduled home game in the nick of time and the program was able to return home on time.  If Tuesday’s attendance was any indication, it seems like fans are excited to come out for Collegiate soccer in Porterville. 

The team, headed by head coach Amber Hernandez, put up a strong showing, despite being shut out by the Fresno City College Rams in their debut. Regardless of the score, we can’t wait to see what the Pirates bring to the field this year and in years to come!

PC Law Enforcement Academy Hits the Range

Administration of Justice Professor Jeff Jacobs (@theUSinjustice) Shared some photos of our Law Enforcement academy hitting the Porterville Police Department firing range last weekend as part of their training. 

Cerro Coso Community College

Cerro Coso proud sponsor of Inaugural Women’s Leadership Conference in Tehachapi

Cerro Coso Community College was a sponsor for the inaugural Women’s Leadership Conference in Tehachapi on September 28. 

The event included an immersive day of hands-on workshops, panel discussions and inspiring conversations with entrepreneurs, industry leaders, and change-makers making an impact in business and the community. 

Cerro Coso faculty and staff in attendance were Vonetta Mixson, Saya Novinger, Denise Allen, and Nicole Griffin. 

Cerro Coso also formed and participated in a Fellows Program, which awarded 8 students in the community free admission to the event. The Fellows awardees were Lauren Willis, Justice Anderson, Kristen Roghair, Jocelyn Botello, Emily Soto, Imanni Brar, Angelina Flores, and Mia Flores. 

It was a wonderful and inspirational event for women in STEM and across multiple industries.

Transfer Awareness Week October 10-14

Transfer Awareness Week will kick off on Monday, October 10th with a workshop on Preparing to Transfer from 12:30 to 1:30 pm in MB 350 B and via Zoom.  Topics will cover the transfer process, Cerro Coso programs, and timelines.  

On Tuesday, October 11 from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. is a CSU Application Workshop in MB 318 and via Zoom.  This is a great workshop for students planning to transfer to a CSU and wanting help filling out the CSU application. 

A UC Application Workshop will be held on Wednesday, October 12th from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. in MB 318 B and via Zoom.  Want to get a jump start on your UC Application?  This workshop will help students get started and show them the process of filling out the UC application.  

A UC Questions Workshop will be held on Thursday October 13th from 12:30 to 1:30 pm in MB 318 and via Zoom.  This workshop will provide guidance on how to answer, “Personal Insight Questions?”  What UCs are looking for and what to consider while answer the questions will be covered.

A Transfer Resources Workshop will be held on Friday,  October 14th from 11 am to 12 pm in MB 318 and Zoom.  This workshop is designed to provide students with more information on transferring.  Information and useful transfer resources like Cerro Coso’s COL C131: Making Transfer Easy course.  

College employees are encouraged to participate by wearing their alma mater gear and being prepared to share the highlights.

Registration is required to attend any of the workshops via Zoom.  Links and information available at

Tehachapi Campus hosts Hocus Pocus Movie Night Oct. 28 

The Tehachapi campus of Cerro Coso (SGCC) invites the public to enjoy a unique viewing experience of the popular 90’s classic Hocus Pocuson Friday, October 28, 2022 at 6:30 pm in the quad.  

Join them in the quad for an outdoor fun, free, spooky, Halloween movie night.  

Drive-in movies are virtually a thing of the past – movie goers are encouraged to bring their family, friends, blankets, and lawn chair to enjoy a unique experience.  

Hocus Pocus is a 1993 American fantasy comedy film that follows a villainous comedic trio of witches (Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy) who are inadvertently resurrected by a teenage boy (Omri Katz) in Salem, Massachusetts, on Halloween.  The film is directed by Kenny Ortega and written by Neil Cuthbert and Mick Garris.  

Free popcorn and treats, just bring a bowl.

Wear your favorite costume or come just as you are.

The first 30 people to attend will receive a ghoulish goodie bag.  

Kawelmacher Named New Director of Admissions and Records

Congratulations to Jessica Kawelmacher on her new position as Director of Admissions & Records.

Kawelmacher is a Ridgecrest native that managed to move out of Ridgecrest for a few years and experience other places after her high school graduation. She found herself back in Ridgecrest in 2011 with her two older daughters and soon after met her husband Kenneth.

She started working at Cerro Coso in 2015 in the Financial Aid office and moved to the Admissions & Records Department in 2016.

A Cerro Coso alumna, Kawelmacher holds an AA in Liberal Arts: Social and Behavioral Sciences (2019), and a BS in Management from Bellevue University (2021).  She is also a 2019 graduate of the KCCD Leadership Academy.  She has plans to go back to school in the spring to earn a teaching credential with the hopes of becoming a CC adjunct professor in the next few years, while also managing the A&R office, of course. 

For fun, Kawelmacher loves to camp, hike, create crafts with her Cricut, paint, work with wood, read, and play The Sims.  

A very reputable motto that Kawelmacher lives by is, “The only time I set the bar low is for limbo.” –Michael Scott (from “The Office”).

Congratulations to Jessica on her new leadership position at Cerro Coso Community College! 

Koiyan Now Director of Financial Aid

Congratulations to Victoria Koiyan on her new position as the Director of Financial Aid.

Also known as “Tori”, Koiyan has over 12 years in Financial Aid and worked with Bakersfield College for 6 years before moving to Cerro Coso Community College.  

She grew up in Delano and eventually moved to Bakersfield when she started high school.  She lived in Bakersfield for 18 years before moving to Ridgecrest this past year.

Koiyan holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Ashford University.   

For fun, Koiyan likes to dance, sing, do random monologues for her family, occasionally fish, and as it cools down, she will get back into hiking. 

Her motto in life is “Your happiness is worth the risk!” 

Cerro Coso welcomes Tori to her new role as the Director of Financial Aid.  Congratulations!

Bakersfield College

Ribbon cutting held for 2nd Peace and Learning Garden 

This week BC held the ribbon cutting for the second Peace and Learning Garden on campus – the Gandhi Peace and Learning Garden. Thank you Ravi and Naina Patel for helping create this beautiful space for our students and community.

Check out more photos at:

Men’s and Women’s Track and Field Takes 1st at WSC Preview

The Renegade Cross Country team traveled to LA Pierce for the 2022 WSC Preview for their fourth meet of the season on Friday, September 30th. A total of 10 teams were ready to compete and see where they would stand in the Western State Conference.

The Men finished 1st with a total time of 1:52:28 on the four-mile course. The highest men’s finisher was BC freshman Francisco Felix finishing on top (1st) with a time of 21:30.

The Women finished 1st with a total time of 1:40:46 on a 5k course. The highest finisher was BC sophomore Rain Gomez finishing on top (1st) with a time of 18:25, a personal best. 

Gandhi Alliance for Interfaith Harmony Conference

Last weekend BC hosted the in-person return of the 25th Annual Gandhi Alliance for Interfaith Harmony Conference to our Renegade Ballroom. In partnership with Bakersfield College’s Distinguished Speaker Series, the event welcomed Reverend James Lawson and several other esteemed guest speakers from various faith backgrounds. The event brought together students, staff, faculty, and the community to discuss the role of faith in promoting peaceful co-existence and non-violent action as a feasible response to modern civil transgressions. The conference allowed for thoughtful dialogue between panelists and audience members to foster a new generation of leaders who can continue engaging in this work. Mayor Karen Goh presented the conference a Certificate of Appreciation for the event’s commitment to  “promoting a message of interfaith harmony, increasing appreciation and respect for diverse faith traditions, and fostering peace and non-violence.”

BC Transfer Pathways Collaboration

Bakersfield College Transfer Pathways continues to prepare prospective transfer students for the upcoming fall application season. Various in-person and Zoom workshops for the California State University and University of California have begun, and will extend through the month of October and November at the Main, Southwest, and Delano campuses. Details of the workshops and participant sign-up may be found on the Transfer Pathways webpage,  

Highlighting a most recent collaboration for transfer pathways, on September 26th, UC Santa Cruz Admissions Representative Jenny Moreno partnered with the BC Transfer Pathways team to host an in-person UC Transfer Admission Guarantee workshop (UC TAG). UC prospective students anticipated for the fall 2024 class joined at the Fireside Room and received valuable early insight, preparation, and guidance in applying to the UC.


This week, we had a new submission in the KernCCDTALEBlog – “Entering A Brave New Metaworld: VR and Education.

Porterville College English Professor Rachel Tatro-Duarte shared her experience using virtual reality to reach students and share virtual experiences.

Perhaps it’s time for us to — not say goodbye to what learning in the classroom used to look like pre-Covid — but welcome VR, the newcomer, into our brave new post-Covid educational world.

In the News

Bakersfield College Second Peace and Learning Garden

KGET aired this video about the newest Peace and Learning Garden at BC:

Steven Mayer also wrote this piece for The Bakersfield Californian about the garden.

“These peace gardens are a place for students, faculty, staff and community to reflect, to grow, to find inspiration and to practice engaging others with compassion and tolerance,” said Krista Moreland, chair of Behavioral Sciences at Bakersfield College.

Read more:

Fun Photos & Spotted on Social Media

BC Academic Technology wished Pam Rivers a happy birthday on October 7:

Nicole Parra shared this photo with NaTesha Johnson and Rudy Salas:

Porterville High School shared photos of the PC team on the PHS campus for College Day:

BC Rural Initiatives shared this post from the Delano Street Fair:

“2022 Delano Chamber of Commerce-Street Fair. It was great to see so many of our community members walking around after a couple of years of having this event cancelled. it was a great success, we had several families stopping by our table, getting information about returning to in-person classes. Bakersfield College did an amazing job representing we had two tables our Rural Initiatives team as well as out Bakersfield College CTE partners. Providing information about our programs and services we offer to our students is what we do best.”


In August, I was the invited speaker to the DKG, AAUW and League of Women Voters event celebrating Women’s Equality Day. I wanted to leave you with a video of my remarks:


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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