Kern CCD starting the holiday season

As we wrap up the semester – and the year – we have had some wonderful opportunities to gather with colleagues across the district.

On December 6th and 7th we had our Chancellor’s Winter Retreat which included Chancellor’s Cabinet and other administrators across the district.  We heard presentations on Early College, Rising Scholars, Supplemental, Adult Learners, and several other projects.  The session helped to focus the teams as we built our workplans for the spring semester.

Last week, the District Office employees returned to hosting our annual Holiday Event…a longstanding tradition that can only be interrupted by a global pandemic. This is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the hard work, dedication, and accomplishments of our amazing District personnel that support our colleges. Here are some fun photos of the event.

And check out this video from our snowball fight:

During the Holiday Event, we had the opportunity of celebrating 95 years of faithful service from our four amazing retirees:

Zeny Tutop, Accounting Technician II (33 years, 10 months)

Carl Bowman, Database Administrator II (33 years, 9 months)

Dena Rhoades, Interim Vice Chancellor (15 years, 1 months)

Don Birdwell, Building Facility Manager (12 years, 7 months)

Zenaida “Zeny” Tutop is retiring from Kern CCD after more than 33 years of service.  During her time here, she has worked in multiple departments across various campuses and the District Office.  Her dedication to Kern CCD has made an everlasting impact on us all, and we wish her well in her retirement years!

For over 33 years, Carl Bowman has worked behind the scenes at Kern CCD to keep Banner and the related applications up and running. His dedication and many late nights and weekends doing Banner upgrades and system maintenance has ensured that Banner is up and ready for our faculty, staff and most importantly our students. His dedication has been beyond reproach and we have all benefited from his skill and devotion to our district. Carl is leaving Kern CCD to enjoy is well deserved retirement but he will always be part of the Kern CCD family.

Dena Rhoades started with Kern CCD in November of 2007 as an HR Specialist.  She was later promoted to HR Manager, Assistant Director, Director, and ultimately the Interim Vice Chancellor of Human Resources.  Over the years, she has consistently demonstrated exceptional leadership and dedication to the Human Resources department and the entire district. Her hard work and commitment have been invaluable in helping develop and implement strategies that have improved employee satisfaction and productivity.  When asked, Dena has always been willing to step up and serve in roles that were vacated, filling the gap and keeping the work of Human Resources moving forward.

Don Birdwell came to Kern CCD in 2009 when Bakersfield College needed a plumber. He was promoted to BC Maintenance and Operations Manager in 2015, and became the Kern CCD Building Facilities Manager in 2017. One of his biggest projects was replacing every toilet on the Panorama campus – a huge effort that was estimated to save 38.5 million gallons of water annually.

Thank you Manny Mourtzanos, Todd Coston for organizing the event.

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

Porterville College

Drill Simulates Active Shooter on PC Campus

The Porterville Police Department started the day in the Porterville College parking last Friday, getting ready for a series of active shooter drills in which groups of first responders would hurry through the school chasing an “active” shooter.

The course began in the front parking lot where officers would arrive on scene, grab their practice rifle, and rush to PC’s Financial Aid Office. Officers would then pursue their target through dozens of student volunteers acting as innocent victims caught in the scene and into a classroom. Pushing through the classroom, officers would then take down their subject with non-lethal rounds at the rear entrance to PC’s Academic Center. 

Roger Perez, Director of Communications and Community Relations for PC, explained the drills are important for both PPD and PC who both benefit from them in various ways.  

“It gives local law enforcement an opportunity to interact with campus facilities in a real-world situation,” said Perez.

The goal of these drills is to allow local law enforcement to see how a real-world scenario might play out on the campus.  It also allows students and staff to practice techniques light “run, hide, fight” and be more prepared in the case of an emergency. Each time we can practice, it increases the ability of PC staff to keep their students safe. 

PPD wasn’t the only agency at PC getting in some practice. Personnel from Porterville Fire Department, CAL FIRE, and Emergency Medical Services were also taking the opportunity to get some of their own training done alongside the police department.

PC Partnership Provides Support for the community

Porterville College, along with the Porterville Parenting Network, spent this past Friday evening holding an event to support local families.  “The Grinch Who Gave Back Christmas” is a community event held in the Jamison Stadium parking lot that offers photos with Santa, appearances by the Grinch, Whoville Games, holiday food basket giveaways, dance performances, resource booths and so much more – FREE to members of the Porterville Community.

The event, currently in its 6th year, is put on by a consortium of over 30 agencies in Tulare County for the benefit of local families. There are dozens of resources given to each family at no cost, all for registering to the event.  Smiling faces both young and old filled the Jamison Stadium parking lot as volunteers from the Parenting Network’s partner agencies helped to spread early holiday cheer. 

Student Project from PC’s New Multimedia Production program honored at Porterville Film Festival

A scene from Eating Something You Don’t Like

Several Students from Porterville College’s new Multimedia Production Certificate program brought home an award for their film, Eating Something You Don’t Like, this past week from the Porterville Film Festival.  

The Festival, run by the Porterville Unified School District’s Multimedia & Technology Pathway program highlights videos created by students throughout the Central Valley. Showing both the fruit of, and the benefits of, multimedia programs and pathways. 

Festival Director Bobby Styles explained the pathway, also known as MTA, is designed to give students the real-world experience of working in the industry of Arts, Media, & Entertainment.    

Advisors and students from 13 schools from throughout the Valley, representing Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, and Tulare counties attended the festival, held at Porterville’s Galaxy Theater.

The Festival Jury Team consisted of 12 influential community members who are knowledgeable in multimedia production. They volunteered their time to watch and score the videos, and more importantly offer positive feedback and constructive criticism for each video.  

After the festival the jury comments were shared with the filmmakers to help the students reflect on their work and improve their skills.

Students were given a prompt and just two weeks to complete their videos. The limited amount of time gives them the experience of real-world situations in the film industry. More than 150 teams submitted videos with the top-scoring ones being featured and shown on the big screen.                                                                              

This year’s prompt required the students to film their entire video in one room using one light source at a time, and the story had to feature one character keeping a secret from another character.

The night also featured several films to highlight the new multimedia production program at PC.   Instructor Diran Lyons  and Communications and Community Relations Director, Roger Perez from Porterville College spoke about  the new program and showed some of the work made by their students this year.

Lyons said the program is designed to help train and promote film making at PC, as well as teach commercial layout and design. Perez is a member of the advisory boards for both the MTA and the new PC program. He emphasized the programs intent to work with the MHS pathways program to promote practical skills and real work knowledge that can be applied across many sought-after careers.

Congratulations to PC students Abby Stephens, Christian Rivera, Andres Gonzalez, and Steven Galindo brought home the Audience Award for their film Eating Something You Don’t Like.

Cerro Coso Community College

‘Peace, Love, & Joy’ theme for Children’s Christmas Parade

A tradition that brings us a dose of nostalgia throughout the year, Cerro Coso once again participated in the annual Ridgecrest Elk’s Children’s Christmas Parade on Saturday, May 10th

It was all hands on deck and creative minds at work on Friday morning as students and staff gathered to decorate the Cerro Coso float. 

A celebration of community that ties us all together, each float holds special meaning.  For Cerro Coso it is a way to share the coyote spirit that allows us to collaborate with others towards achieving common goals; show our pride for the college;  and encourage and motivate others to choose CCCC as their college of first choice. 

Nick Coy, a graduate of CCCC, and his wife Carol, founders of the Ridgecrest Veterans Advisory Council, served as grand marshalls for this year’s parade.  Forever a Coyote Nick! 

Whatever the reason or celebration, a good parade offers Cerro Coso the opportunity to gain recognition, while also offering watchers some plain, good old-fashioned fun.

SGCC Hosts Christmas Party for Students and Employees

Students Julianna and Wyatt Marvin, take a photo with President Hancock and another student.

Ho! Ho! Ho!  The magic of Christmas never ends.  And the greatest of gifts is hanging with friends.

The Student Government of Cerro Coso (SGCC) hosted a Christmas party for fellow students and employees on Thursday, December 8th in the Mezzanine at the Ridgecrest Campus.

CCCC students enjoying the festivities.

Student Julianna Gorduyn, event coordinator and communications officer for the SGCC, coordinated the festivities that included great food.  Julianna said her “plan this year is to create a positive environment in which SGCC actively involves students, staff, and the community.” Her second event this year…great job Julianna.   

Student Julianna Gorduyn and husband enjoy the festivities of the Holiday party she organized for the SGCC for staff and students.

Christmas is forever, not for just one day, for loving, sharing, giving, are not to put away…like bells and lights and tinsel, in some box upon a shelf.  The good you do for others is good you do yourself. – Norman Brooks

Employees Chandler Petrovich, Tyson Huffman, and Jessica Kowelmacher enjoy the photo booth.

Gaming Tournament: Ultimate Success

Super Smash Bros. has evolved into an enduring fan favorite—one that has managed the neat trick of appealing to both the casual and hardcore fans—and proved the perfect game for the Cerro Coso Community College Foundation’s second Gaming Tournament held on Saturday, December 10, 2022. This year, the Foundation teamed up with experts RIDG gaming to host the event.  More than 62 players showed up to play in one or more of the individuals, under ten, or corporate competitions.

The competition was fierce, with players of all ages who play in regular tournaments with esports, professionals, and with friends daily. Competitive as everyone was, it was all in good sportsmanship, which is important. As the remaining players dwindled, everyone gathered around to watch those who would come out on top.

Today’s top Smash Bros. players can perform feats that would seem impossible to mere mortals. In the end, after an entire day of battles it would be Jude Siracki, Orlando Mielke, and Matthew Raley who would take first, second, and third place respectively in the individuals’ competition. Team Raw Media, Auron Wakely took first place for the 10 and under competition, and RAW Media team of Sam King and  Jude Siracki won the prize trophy in the sponsorship competition.

Following the success of the first Gaming Tournament, the CCCC Foundation hopes to hold another tournament in the spring. Moving on to their next event mark your calendars for a Promise Color Fun Run in April at the Ridgecrest Campus.

Bakersfield College

Arvin Early College Celebration Event

Bakersfield College and Arvin High School welcomed 60 new 9th grade students into the Early College program this week, joining the other 10th – 12th grade students who are also working on earning an associate degree while in high school. 

Students from all grade levels and their parents filed into the auditorium at Arvin High School to hear from representatives from the high school, Kern High School District, Bakersfield College, and Kern Community College District. A current Senior in the program, Citaly Alvarez, also braved the stage to share tips for success with her peers and to encourage them to stay motivated and manage their time well, because “it would be so worth it in the end.”

Kern CCD Trustee Yovani Jimenez also attended and shared with students and parents, “Through Early College, you will have an associates degree by the age of 18. This will set you up to earn a bachelors degree by age of 20, and then, if your choose to do so, you could get your masters degree by the age of 22. Some of you may even then enroll in doctorate programs. By the age of 25 years old you could be a ‘Dr.’!” 

Another highlight of the program was Early College Director, Kylie Campbell, sharing a recent article from EdSource that has a picture of Arvin High’s Sophomore class in one of their communication courses. They had no idea they had become an image and an example of dual enrollment growth and equity across the state of California. Campbell shared with them, “BC has the largest dual enrollment program in the state, and it is because of schools like Arvin High. It is the relationship between Bakersfield College and Arvin High that allows us to keep growing this program and welcoming more students into the program each year.”

Over 30% of Arvin High students enrolled in at least one dual enrollment course last year through their Early College partnership with Bakersfield College. Over 150 of these students are also enrolled in an associate degree cohort, 10 of which we will see at our commencement ceremony next May. In a city with 2% degree attainment, Early College is truly moving the dial on educational and career trajectory for these students. 

BC Holds Express Enrollment Event Before Winter Break – SID Open with Special Holiday Hours

On December 14th, Bakersfield College held an Express Enrollment event to help new and returning students get their desired class schedule before the winter break. Staff from Outreach, Financial Aid, Counseling, and more were on hand to help any students enroll and get their classes during this one-day event. 

The BC team has also extended hours for the online Student Information Desk (SID) next week. BC’s SID is a fully staffed Zoom lobby which serves as a digital “face-to-face” portal for a variety of college-wide support needs. Questions involving enrollment, academics, financial aid, changing classes, and educational plans are just a few of the regular inquiries that the SID is ready to help students navigate in an online, yet still friendly environment.  The Bakersfield College online Student Information Desk (SID) will be open December 19th through 22nd between 8:00AM and 2:00PM to help new or returning students. 

BC Wrestling Finishes 6th at State

The Bakersfield College Wrestling Team took nine athletes to the 2022 CCCAA Wrestling Championships held over the weekend on December 9-10th. The team placed 6th overall and had five athletes place individually. 

Athletics to Hold Spring Sports Media Day

The Bakersfield College Athletics program is extending an invitation for the Spring Sports Media Day on January 13th, 2023, from 11:00 am to 12:00pm at Bakersfield College. This event is open to the public. 

BC teams in attendance will be baseball, beach volleyball, men’s golf, softball, swimming (men’s and women’s) tennis (men’s and women’s). All head coaches will be present for media questions and interviews as well as a few athletes from each team.

BC Foundation Announces Sterling Silver Award Honorees for 2023 Gala

The Bakersfield College Foundation will honor some of the most impactful supporters of education in Kern County on Saturday, March 25,at the BC Foundation’s 15th Annual Sterling Silver. Special recognitions will include:

  • Valley Strong Credit Union, Corporate Philanthropist Award
  • Marjorie and Bud Lindsey, Individual Philanthropist Award
  • Fran Florez, BC Foundation Service Medal
  • Jean Fuller, Leadership in Education Award

The Californian shared this news in a recent article as well. Check it out: 

In the News

BC Foundation to honor two women leaders, other local supporters at spring gala

Stacey Shepard wrote this piece for The Bakersfield Californian, highlighting the local supporters who will be honored at this spring’s Sterling Silver gala.

“Bakersfield College relies on the generosity of our community to help support many of the programs and activities that make college affordable, exciting and worthwhile for the tens of thousands who attend,” BC Foundation Executive Director Cheryl Scott said. “We look forward to celebrating all our honorees this year as a way to thank them for their dedication to BC and their communities.”

Early college program in Arvin puts high school students on college fast-track

23 ABC covered the Arvin High School Early College event this week.

Student Sebastian Velasquez shared, “I got to use those skills in my English classes when I give reports, and it helped me so much. I am very happy,” said Velasquez. “I am very fortunate because I know a lot of schools don’t have this program. This program… they really look out for us. They really want us to succeed in life.” 

Fun Photos and Spotted on Social Media

Here are a few photos from Nicole Parra’s Christmas party:

Jaime Lopez shared that he was selected as Manager of the Month by the Kern CCD Management Association:

PC President Claudia Habib caught a basketball game with former Porterville mayor Milt Stowe:

And our Kern CCD office staff’s last day of 2022:


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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