A busy week in October at Kern CCD

Spent a few days in San Diego for a conference the same weekend the TwitchCon convention for the livestreaming video platform Twitch was in town. As part of their festivities, AT&T hosted a water show, “Rumble in the Harbor,” which featured 120-inch foot projections onto the seafront.

Just wow…..

Good morning, friends.
It is October 15, 2022.
The sun shines bright over Kern CCD.

Porterville College

PC Announces Next CHAP Event

Professor Richard Goode

The Porterville College Historical Awareness Program (CHAP) continues its celebration of 20 years with another fascinating discussion, this time from PC Professor Emeritus Richard Goode.

Join us on October 27th as Richard Goode introduces this Geologic Time Scale. He will discuss the term “Epoch” and what adding to or modifying the Geologic Time Scale could mean.

Richard Goode, Professor Emeritus of Physical and Earth Sciences, is a Porterville area native and a product of Porterville Schools – including Porterville College. He has a BS in Physics from California State University, Bakersfield, and an MS in Geoscience from Mississippi State University.

Professor Goode retired in May of 2021 after teaching Physical Science, Geology, and Earth Science at Porterville College for the past 22 years. He and his wife, Georgia enjoy SCUBA diving and traveling to as many dive spots as possible.

DRC Uses Film to highlight Disability Rights for Awareness Month

The Porterville College Disability Resource Center (DRC) held an event to educate PC students on the Disability Rights movement that started in the 1970’s with a group of camp attendees.  DRC Counselor Errin Sullivan Arcos spoke about how these events have a direct impact on Disability Rights.

This film is about the experiences of a group of disabled young people on their journey to activism and adulthood.

PC Participates in Innovators by Design Conference

Porterville College faculty, staff, and Administrators participated in the annual Innovators By Design Summit sponsored by the Tulare County Workforce Investment Board (WIB) on Wednesday, October 12, 2022, at the Visalia Wyndam Hotel and Conference Center.

CTE and STEM program faculty and staff met with local industry leaders and government partners on best-practices and solutions for the future of workforce development needs for the county.

PC Presents at HACU Annual Conference

A group of PC Students, Staff, Faculty, and Administrators headed to the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) annual conference in San Diego.

While at the conference, Ana Ceballos, Primavera Arvizu, Jackie Escareno Salas, and DJ Vanderwerff presented about the strength of partnerships in building pathways to education.

PC President Dr. Claudia Habib joined the group at the conference. She said, “Great presentation by our team of Pirates at this year’s HACU conference covering the importance of partnerships in our successful Early Education Pathway and Elementary Teaching Education degree. Congratulations to all of those involved!”

Cerro Coso Community College

Club Rush at the Ridgecrest Campus

The Student Government of Cerro Coso held their fall Club Rush on Wednesday, October 12, in the Ridgecrest Campus student center. 

“Club Rush is a great way for students to get involved on campus,” stated Student Activities Director Tyson Huffman.  “By getting involved in a club students have the opportunity to increase leadership, citizenship, and service skills that enhance Cerro Coso and the community.  Students meet new people, and most of all, do more of what they love.”

Every semester the SGCC and club leadership host a Club Rush to introduce the student body to the different clubs available on campus. 

Clubs are an important part of Cerro Coso as they motivate students to get more involved on campus, find friends with similar interests, and – in general – do some great things on and off campus.  They attract students who share the same interests like music, arts, or sports. 

Nightmare after Diagnosis – Relay for Life

Cancer does not discriminate.  It does not care if you are a male or female, what your ethnicity is, your age, or your social-economic status, or even if your family genes are prone to it happening or not…it can just show up! 

Cerro Coso’s Outreach Department championed this year’s Team “Nightmare After Diagnosis” raising funds and awareness during the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life event held on Saturday, October 8, 2022.

Relay for Life is one of the largest peer-to-peer fundraising events dedicate to saving lives from cancer. 

The college participates every year in honor and memory of those who have fought the battle against cancer and to support the community. 

Bakersfield College

Finish In 4 Update

The 2nd Finish in 4 convening took place on Friday, October 7th at Bakersfield College. Over 100 faculty and staff from both BC and CSUB met in their discipline area to align Finish-in-4 Pathways, and further increase 4-year college completion through.

For nearly 8 years, both institutions have been working together to serve local students through pathways which guarantee students complete their transfer degree in the first 2 years at Bakersfield College and a baccalaureate degree in the following 2 years at CSUB. Together, the goal has always been to move students through and to the next stage of their educational and career journey in an efficient and impactful way.

At Friday’s event, faculty and staff reviewed existing pathways for necessary revisions to keep curriculum and alignment up-to-date, while also adding new degree pathways to the program. Bakersfield College is aiming to include nearly 30 degrees including Kinesiology and Psychology, which is one of BC’s largest transfer disciplines.

1st Annual CV PATH Research Symposium

On Friday, September 23rd Bakersfield College hosted the 1st annual Central Valley Pathways in Academics, Teaching and Higher Education (PATH) research symposium.

Over the summer, 24 BC students for anthropology, science, math, and engineering participated in a four-week research program at either CSU Bakersfield or UC Merced. Faculty, administrators, and staff from the three campuses attended the Symposium luncheon, and students presented posters on their projects.  

Aera Energy Creates Four Internships for Industrial Automation Students

Aera Energy LLC, developed four internship positions just for our Bachelors of Science Industrial Automation students.

Domestic Violence Awareness Month – Trunk or Treat 

The Open Door Network, in partnership with Bakersfield College and the Consent Project Club, is hosting a Trunk or Treat event for Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM). This event will be held on Thursday, October 27th from 4:00PM to 7:00PM at Bakersfield College in the southwest parking lot at University and Haley. This is a community event open to everyone for free. Multiple local nonprofits and organizations, BCSGA, Office of Student Life, and BC departments will be participating. 

College Teams Represent Kern CCD at CCCAOE Fall 2022 Conference

Teams from all three colleges headed down to sunny Palm Springs last week for the CCCAOE Fall 2022 Conference. In addition to attending the conference, we were also well represented in the line-up of presenters. Dean Tony Cordova and Dean Jessica Grimes lead the CVML Regional Meeting, the Early College team from Bakersfield College had a packed breakout session on how to expand CTE programs through Dual Enrollment, and Kern CCD Vice Chancellor of Workforce and Economic Development Trudy Gerald participated on a panel lead by KCSOS on the K16 Grant Collaborative work taking place in the Central Valley. 

While sadly no one from our district brought home a trophy from the exciting rubber duck race that took place in the lazy river during the President’s Welcome Reception on Wednesday night, they all left feeling like champions from the week of great workshops and keynote sessions planned by CCCAOE and the opportunity to network with vendors and community college partners from across the state.

Kern CCD Partners with Futuro Health to Address Statewide Need for Medical Assistants

Left to Right: Nicole Griffin, Vanesa Hernandez, Victoria Koiyan,
Terri Hack, Matthew Wanta, Christine Small,
Jackie Stoner, Jessica Kawelmacher, Joy Hermsen.

Last Spring, Kern CCD entered into an innovative partnership with Futuro Health, a nonprofit organization focused on “providing relevant solutions to the healthcare workforce shortage in ways pertinent to this moment in time”. The planning team behind this partnership was led by Craig Hayward, Bonita Steele, Vice President Dr. Corey Marvin, Nicole Griffin and Kylie Campbell. The effort and dedication of these individuals made this partnership a reality and provided a successful model for future adult learner partnerships within Kern CCD.  

Program implementation for the first cohort from Futuro Health was led by Health Career Expansion Program Director, Jackie Stoner, along with key staff from Cerro Coso CC–Matt Wanta, Christine Small, Jessica Kawelmacher, Alyssa Bloomberg and Terri Hack, as well as BC Ed. Advisor Vanesa Hernandez. The team provided a series of workshops on the Medical Assisting program, CCCapply, financial aid, registration, and Canvas to make it possible for our first cohort of Futuro Health students to start their educational journey with us in Summer 2022. As they moved forward into their second semester, we could see and feel the excitement of our students as they are one step closer to their personal and career goals. This cohort will complete their Administrative Medical Assisting AND Clinical Medical Assisting Certificates with Cerro Coso in August 2023.

On Tuesday, September 27, the teams from Kern CCD, Cerro Coso and Futuro Health met in person for a full day retreat at the Weill Institute to discuss our efforts thus far, address barriers that we have seen and prep for additional cohorts. We are excited to announce that our second cohort will begin in Spring 2023, with recruitment starting this Fall!

The team has a running joke about Matt Wanta. Every time we think of something he can’t do, he comes back with one better. So, since he cannot fly (yet), we decided to get him his own personal superman cape. It is truly an understatement as Matt’s vision to serve students and the community shine through his effort to make anything possible. In his words “We are not only offering a great program, but we are grooming students into a recession proof career, a career serving communities and growing communities, helping them into being financially secure, serving the needs of clinics and providers, bolstering our (Futuro Health and Cerro Coso) success, and finally, if not evident, making a difference!”

Kern CCD is proud to partner with Futuro Health as they address a statewide need for well-trained healthcare professionals. A special thank you to my colleague and Futuro Healt CEO, Van Ton-Quinlivan, for her leadership in these efforts and for her team’s collaboration with us here at Kern CCD.

Chancellor’s Seminar Series

Last week, we held another installment in the Chancellor’s Seminar Series. October 4th’s seminar, “Future of Teaching and Learning,” featured a panel discussion lead by Bob Simpkins, with panelists Jaclyn Kesller, Chris Cruz Boone, Rachel Tatro-Duarte, and Alex Rockey.

Here are my opening remarks from the seminar:

And here’s the panel discussion:

You can see all Chancellor’s Seminar Series videos at https://www.kccd.edu/chancellors-office/chancellors-communications/chancellors-seminar-series.

Kern CCD Faculty Innovation and Leadership Initiative

All Kern Community College District faculty are invited to apply to this year’s cohort of the Faculty Innovation and Leadership Initiative.

Those interested can apply and upload their CV at https://forms.office.com/r/fPHVCcQHF4. The deadline to submit is Friday, October 28th at 11:59 a.m. 

For more information, check out the flyer at https://sonyachristianblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/Faculty-Innovation-and-Leadership-Investment-Initiative-Fall-2022.pdf.

In the News

Letter to the editor: Star Party was a success

Cerro Coso Community College President Sean Hancock wrote this letter to The Daily Independent about the recent Astronomical Barbecue and Star Party – the first in two years.

Renegade Promenade: Alumni, Family, and Friend Day at Bakersfield College

Studio 17’s Kait Hill talked to Executive Director, Cheryl Scott and Alumni & Donor Relations, Courtney Carter of the Bakersfield College Foundation about the Renegade Promenade event happening today!

Check it out at Renegade Promenade: Alumni, Family, and Friend Day at Bakersfield College | KGET 17.

Overwhelming demand for online classes is reshaping California’s community colleges

An article in the Los Angeles Times this week looked at demand for online classes throughout the California community college system. Our own Emmanuel Mourtzanos was quoted:

“We have a lot of our younger students who want to be face to face,” said Emmanuel Mourtzanos, a vice chancellor in the Kern Community College District, which includes Bakersfield. “But I think that a lot of our older students are saying, ‘I never thought that this was possible.’”

Fun Photos & Spotted on Social Media

Here’s a photo of me with the three colloege presidents – Dr. Sean Hancock from Cerro Coso Community College, Dr. Claudia Habib from Porterville College, and Dr. Zav Dadabhoy from Bakersfield College:

This past Saturday morning several Renegade Football student-athletes teamed up to volunteer at the Mission at Kern County as they had a bye week.  They helped clean up around the Mission and provided much needed inventory support to help the staff facilitate their daily operations a little more efficiently. What a way to serve the community! Well done, Renegades!

Check out the schedule on gogades.com for upcoming athletic activities.

Mayor Karen Goh sent me this photo of BC nursing students and their instructor serving at the Veterans Stand Down event at at Stramler Park on Thursday:

Nicole Parra shared this photo with NaTesha Johnson:

Thank you Jennifer for the invite to speak to the 2022 KCHCC Energy & Ag Academy. Great to meet so many students from Bakersfield College, CSUB & Fresno State interested in careers in ag, energy, industrial automation, welding and architecture! Wow! So cool to update them about CREL@KernCCD & the work our Chancellor Sonya Christian is leading in our energy ecosystem! #KCHCC #KERNCCD #CREL #partnerships #energy

And check out this video that Professor James McGarrah shared with me to promote the Modern Energy certificate. Thank you to Rebecca Farley and Professor Jeff Huston from BC’s Arts program!


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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