Kern CCD – Wrapping up an active October 2022

Kern CCD Chancellor Emeritus Tom Burke was recognized at the ACBO conference.

Tom Burke’s wisdom, leadership and fiscal prudence has made the Kern Community College District a model of fiscal stability for the entire state. Since joining the district in 1997, Tom Burke has been a champion for higher education in the San Joaquin Valley. During his tenure as Chancellor, Tom streamlined district office operations, collaborated with K-12 schools on cradle-to-career educational initiatives, and helped secure hundreds of millions of dollars for facilities renovations at our three colleges.

I started at Bakersfield College as a math faculty in the early 1990s and Tom joined us in 1997 as the Business Officer for the College. His intelligence and practical approach to problem solving with a keen mind for numbers has time and time again helped the district.

Tom has been a steady rock for the college and the district over two decades and is one of the “go to” leaders statewide particularly in matters related to finances.  Tom’s warmth and his open, honest, unassuming style has served our district well when situations got heated. 

As President of BC, I reported to Chancellor Tom Burke for five years.  He was a great boss … he unified the colleges within the district…. He was always kind no matter what….. he was wise in his counsel … and constant in his support.

We all know Tom as an extremely smart guy…. And when we remember him we automatically smile and say, “he is one of the good guys.”

Good morning, friends.
It is November 5, 2022.
The sun shines bright over Kern CCD.

Porterville College

Halloween on Campus

Halloween came to the Porterville College Campus in “spooktacular” fashion this week. The PC Staff and Faculty got into the holiday spirit by taking part in the Student Services Annual Halloween Throw Down Office/Department Decoration Contest

Each department went all-out to transform their areas into Halloween spooklands with matching costumes and themes – ranging from Disney villains to an interactive crime scene investigation and everything in between.

The decorations and costumes were judged by students on Halloween day with the first-place winner receiving a pizza lunch and the honor of holding on to the coveted Halloween “Broom” Trophy for a year, along with bragging rights.

This year, the trophy went to Admissions & Records for their fantastic recreation of the “Upside Down” from the Netflix show Stranger Things.  Congratulations to all of our participants for their fantastic creativity and Halloween Spirit!  Go, Pirates!

Some of the other entries:

Students take advantage of the first “Fall” day of the season

Art Professor Jim Entz made the campus quad his classroom for the afternoon and took his class out to paint the emerging fall colors. The great Fall weather made this the perfect opportunity to spend time outside creating. 

It is always wonderful to see the campus come alive with activities such as this. 

6th Annual Transfer Fair Returns to Campus

PC Held the 6th annual transfer fair for students on Thursday, November 3 in the PC Quad.  It is the first time that the Transfer Fair has been able to be held in person since before the pandemic in 2019. 

Over 18 4-year transfer schools were represented throughout campus and spoke with Porterville college students who are interested in transferring after graduation from PC.  Students were able to get personalized attention from the schools of their choice, asking questions and collecting swag from what they hoped could be their future alma maters.

Vice President of Student Services Primavera Arvizu says, “Transferring to a four-year university is a time to learn and grow. Exposure to a diversity of ideas, people, and activities is crucial to a well-rounded education. The staff, faculty, and administrators at Porterville College are dedicated to supporting [our students] well-being, growth, and success.  We are committed to assisting students in taking the next step to transfer. We wish [every student] the best on this next adventure in transferring with success.”

Cerro Coso Community College

Boo to you from our Crew

Nothing like a little Halloween dress up to chase those Monday morning blues away.

No. Halloween is not a national holiday but that doesn’t mean we cannot have a little fun.

Cerro Coso employees expressed their inner ghosts and goblins by wearing costumes and enjoying some bewitching treats. 

“”It’s a great way to have some fun and relieve some office stress,” said Chandler Petrovich one of the event organizers. 

Events like this boost employee morale while fostering a fun, creative work environment. 

“I’m always amazed at the creativity displayed this time of year,” said PIO Natalie Dorrell

Fangs for the memories and nightmares!

Too Cute to Spook = Trunk-or-Treat

Children and parents attended the Parks and Recreation’s Trunk or Treat event at the Kerr McGee Center on Friday, October 28th

Welcoming the likes of dancing bumble bees, Superwoman and the littlest Spider-Man you’ve ever seen.  All of them were ready to fill up their pails with sweet treats. 

Recognizing there are not a lot of events like this in the community, “It’s an opportunity for people to gather, feel safe, make some memories for their family, and for Cerro Coso to engage with the community” said Outreach Director Katie Bachman.

Attendees enjoyed music, games, and even food while collecting candy. 

A Safe Halloween is a Happy Halloween!

Hocus Pocus Under the Stars in Tehachapi

The Student Government of Cerro Coso (SGCC) invited the public to enjoy a unique viewing experience of the Halloween classic 1990’s version of Hocus Pocus against the beautiful backdrop of the night skies in Tehachapi.

Drive-in movies virtually a thing of the past, movie goers were encouraged to bring family, friends, blankets, and lawn chairs to the Tehachapi Campus quad on Friday, October 28th.   

Hocus Pocus is the story of the Sanderson Sisters, a frightening trio of witches.  After teen Max lights the black flame candle on Halloween night, he accidentally brings the ancient women back to life.  The sisters immediately set out to resume their interrupted campaign of hunting children across Salem, Mass.  Max, his littler sister Dani, and friend Allison do everything they can to stop the menacing witches from wreaking havoc on their town. 

It was fun for the whole family!  Funded by the SGCC, the event was FREE and popcorn and treats.

Mexican Consulate Provides Vital Services at ESCC Bishop Campus

The Mexican Consulate was at the ESCC Bishop campus from October 24th-27th

They completed approximately 370 appointments, and already have a wait list for their visit next May. 

Serena Johnson of Inyo County Health & Human Services said, “They helped Inyo and Mono residents receive critical documents that help them open bank accounts, hold jobs, receive medical care, and go to school.”  

Holding the Mexican Consulate locally is a great way to reduce the need for travel to Fresno to provide these important services. 

A special thank you to Julie Metz, Adjunct Faculty of English, for putting this together for the communities! 

CC Welcomes Two New Program Coordinators

Meet Ian Seiter one of the new Program Coordinators for Outreach at the Ridgecrest Campus. 

Originally from San Diego, Ian has lived in many other cities including Vancouver, New York, Kansas City, and now calls Ridgecrest home. 

Ian has a sense of humor and says he is a simple man who “wakes up in the morning and ‘washes’ his face and ‘brushes’ his teeth just like everybody else.”

He loves being around family and friends and says, “it’s for them as much as for myself that I refuse to stop learning and try to go to sleep at night knowing that I’ll rise the next day a better version of myself.”

Ian has a Bachelor’s degree in English from San Diego State University and an MFA in Creative Writing from Hunter College. 

For fun he enjoys reading and writing, and is a big fan of horror movies, playing and watching ice hockey “Let’s go Rangers,” traveling, and tropical escapism. Ian and his wife love to cook and host get-togethers for old friends and new ones. 

His motto in life is…”Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.” – Samuel Beckett.

Welcome to the Cerro Coso family Ian.  


Ivan Ibarra Pimentel is also a new Program Coordinator for Outreach.

Born in the state of Michoacán in Mexico, Ivan’s family migrated to the Central Valley (Fresno Area) when he was just 8 months old.  He lived in Reedly, CA for 22 years until he and his siblings were able to help their parents buy their own house.

Soon after, Ivan moved to San Diego where he attended UC San Diego and achieved his Bachelor’s degree in Political Science with a focus on Internal Relations, and a minor in Chicano Studies. Eventually, he would like to go back to school and obtain a Master’s degree in Student Affairs.

A first-generation student, Ivan is naturally passionate about being a resource for students who want to pursue higher education and/or explore new educational opportunities.

Ivan’s wife is from Bakersfield and graduated from UC Berkeley.  The two met in Florence, Italy during a study abroad trip. Their first conversation was about being from the Central Valley, having a passion for education, and surprisingly she knew his older sister who was in her last year at Berkeley. What a small world! “We’ve been together ever since.”

For fun, Ivan enjoys hiking and watching nature and history documentaries. He took a class in “Craft Brewing in San Diego” which made him a fan of craft beers.

“Each One, Teach One,” was his high school yearbook quote and is significant to Ivan because it represents the idea that knowledge is powerful but without action, it is useless.

Welcome to Cerro Coso Ivan. 

Bakersfield College

BC Ag and Culinary Attend Fundraiser and Network with Industry Leaders

On October 8th, BC Agriculture attended the Kern County Farm Bureau’s Bounty of Kern fundraiser. BC’s Agriculture department was able to network with industry leaders. Everything that was served at the fundraiser dinner was grown right here in Kern County. As the 2nd largest agricultural producing county in the nation, we feel deep pride in being able to cultivate our own food and support our community.

Department faculty were thrilled to get reacquainted with former BC students in attendance and see them thriving in industry.Later in the month The Grimm Family Foundation hosted the Edible School Yard fundraiser “Toast & Taste the season”. This was a wonderful evening where BC’s Culinary Arts students had a chance to display their culinary knowledge with excellent tastings and pairings.

Veterans Appreciation Month

Bakersfield College is continuing the annual celebration of Veterans with events beginning November 9th and continuing through the end of the month. Each week includes a featured speaker or event for student veterans. This month is dedicated to show honor and appreciation to all current and past members of the Armed Forces who have given their time and service to defending our country’s freedoms.

Manufacturing Day 2022

BC’s Career Education, STEM, and Industrial Automation departments hosted over 1600 students for Manufacturing Day at BC Main campus on Friday September 30th, 2022. This interactive event started at BC’s Outdoor Theater and moved through campus to various presentations on manufacturing-related programs, laboratory tours, and hands-on demonstrations. Over 30 industry employers participated and answered questions at their informational booths, and showcased various products and machinery related to the manufacturing industry to get students engaged and excited about modern manufacturing. The event raised awareness about what modern manufacturing looks like in Kern County and hopefully inspired the future generation to pursue careers within the industry! 

BC Swim Hosts Standard Middle School

Since 2007, Bakersfield College Athletics and the BC Swim Team have been giving back to the community through their Elementary Swim Program (ELSP). The program grew to support several elementary schools and even Bakersfield Parks and Recreation. This summer Standard School District joined the program and 500 of their students participated in a learn-to-swim program taught by BC Swim Team members. Swimmers learned basic competitive swimming skills and the 6 week program culminated in a swim meet where 150 elementary students were able to showcase their new skills in front of coaches, families, and even members of the BC swim and soccer teams who attended to cheer them on. 


Porterville College’s Leslie Pelon penned the newest entry in the Kern CCD TALE (Teaching and Learning Experiences) Blog, “Building Community 15 Minutes at at Time.”

She shares that when we went into lockdown in spring of 2020, she was looking for ways to connect with students, and began one-on-one virtual meetings with her students.

“After starting to require these meetings, I have seen my students’ success improve drastically. They do better on the assignment when they meet with me because I can explain it to them and answer questions one-on-one. They show up to student/office hours more often throughout the semester. Because my student has had the chance to get to know me, they have been eager and willing to ask me for help and share their insights. And best of all, I have seen them feel more confident participating in class and engaging with their peers.”

In the News

Promise of equity shines through at economic summit

John Cox wrote this article for The Bakersfield Californian about last week’s California Economic Summit. He wrote about a panel that featured Kern CCD’s own Norma Rojas-Mora, as well as Raji Brar, Krystal Mae Raynes and moderator Connie Perez-Andreesen.

“Panelist Norma Rojas-Mora, born in Mettler, told her story of living on a ranch, her mother working in a packing shed, when a teacher said to her, “Kids like you don’t go to UCLA.” So she made it her goal to do so, and did.

Bakersfield College edible education garden to ‘cultivate a better future’

Ishani Desai wrote in The Bakersfield Californian about the first edible education garden on Bakersfield College’s Panorama Drive campus.

BC professor of environmental horticulture Lindsay Ono said gardening allows students to watch their labor transform from a seedling into beautiful flowers and “learn by doing.”

“We get to experience the culmination of our labors and our patience to taste the sweet flowers of nature’s fruits,” Ono said.

Fun Photos & Spotted on Social Media

Here’s Kern CCD Board of Trustees President Romeo Agbalog, Kern CCD Early College Director Kylie Campbell, and McFarland Superintendent Aaron Resendez:

Cerro Coso President Sean Hancock shared this post:

Grateful to Girl Scout Troop 3312 for collecting food in support of the Coyote Cupboard!!!

PC President Claudia Habib shared this update:

Many inspiring moments @CCCOLEGAS #ColegasConference2022 I am very proud of my team @PCollegePirates
Our presentation was well received: “Unearthing our voice: Sembrando semilla”. I am humble by the reaction of the audience who were inspired by our stories #RepresentationMatters

And congrats to BC Volleyball Head Coach Carl Ferreira, who secured his 500th win on Friday, October 28th against conference opponent Glendale College, 3-0.


That’s a wrap for now.
See you next Saturday!

The future is bright at KernCCD.

a joyful and grateful Chancellor


Tagged: , , , , ,

One thought on “Kern CCD – Wrapping up an active October 2022

  1. Michael O’Doherty November 5, 2022 at 2:54 pm Reply

    Great job Tom, well deserved recognition

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: