Needing to build peace and humanity through compassion

On Monday, the world was once again thrown into grief as a magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck the Turkish province of Kahramanmaras, near the Syrian border. The quake occurred shortly before sunrise, killing more than 23,000 people in Turkey and Syria, and injuring tens of thousands more. It was followed by a 7.5 magnitude aftershock nine hours later.

The epicenter was near Gaziantep, known for its pistachio production and carpets. The city has more than 2.1 million peoples. It is located about 60 miles north of the Syrian city of Aleppo, and has a large population of Syrian refugees. Aleppo itself was one of the worst-hit areas in Syria.

Millions have been left homeless in the frigid winter – the Syrian city of Aleppo is forecast to have lows of 27-28 degrees through this weekend.

Glimmers of hope for survivors remain – on the fifth day since the earthquake, teams rescued a mother and her two daughters; another family of six; and a 16 year old boy who was pulled alive from the rubble in the Turkish city of Kahramanmaras 119 hours after the devastation hit.

The humanitarian crisis is complicated by a long-running civil war between opposition forces and the Syrian government, which is under US and EU sanctions. Aid groups like the Red Cross are calling for access to rebel-held parts of northern Syria. In a statement Friday, International Committee of the Red Cross President Mirjana Spoljaric said, “Impartial humanitarian assistance should never be hindered, nor politicized.”

Let us pray.

Good morning friends.
It is February 11, 2023.
The sun shines bright over Kern CCD

Porterville College

PC gets BIG hand from PTK to start honors program

Dr. Sherie Burgess, Kendra Haney, Dr. Lynn Tincher-Ladner

Dr. Lynn Tincher-Ladner, the President and CEO of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society (PTK), made a special visit to Porterville College earlier this month to help celebrate the local Phi Theta Kappa chapter’s work on campus. She was joined by a group of faculty, staff, administrators, and former student members of the program to share in this celebration.

PTK is a non-profit organization whose mission is to recognize the academic achievement of college students and to provide opportunities for them to grow as leaders. Porterville College has had a PTK chapter for more than 20 years.

Dr. Sherie Burgess and Kendra Haney are the on-campus advisors to the program. At the event, they shared stories of the activities they have been able to share with students over the years.

They discussed several of the program’s distinguished alumni including Arnold Trevino who overcame a prison sentence early in life to complete his education and run a program at Fresno State to help formerly incarcerated students like himself. They shared a photo of state assemblyman Devin Mathis during his time at PC, then Jacob Sandoval, a former PTK student, and current Educational Advisor at PC recounted his journey here at Porterville College.

Following the presentations, Dr. Tincher-Ladner went to the podium to share some great news with the attendees. The Phi Theta Kappa society has pledged a sizeable grant to help Burgess and Haney create a new honors program here are Porterville College.

Former Cerro Coso President Jill Board works on behalf of PTK

Through this sizeable three-year donation, they will allow PC to provide increased access to honors programming, leadership development, peer networking, travel opportunities, scholarships, and transfer and career coaching to Black and Latinx students in Porterville. PC President Dr. Claudia Habib said of the generous gift, “[Building an Honors Program] is something several faculty members have been trying to develop for some time. I’m happy that now, we have a way to perhaps make that dream a reality.”

Michael Garcia: “Waste No Time” Exhibition Now Showing at the PC Art Gallery

The public is invited to see the exhibition, Michael Garcia: “Waste No Time”, at the Porterville College Art Gallery. The public is also invited to meet the artist at the artist’s Closing Reception on Thursday, February 23rd, 5 to 7 pm, also at the PC Art Gallery. Refreshments will be served at the reception and the event is FREE to everyone.

Over the years, Fresno artist Michael Garcia has had solo art exhibitions at Shin Sakae Gallery of Art in Nagoya, Japan, Toyota City Municipal Gallery in Toyota City, Japan, and, in Fresno, California at Gallery 25, Artes Americas, 1821 Gallery, Fresno Art Museum, and Downtown Artist Gallery.

Garcia earned his BFA from California Institute of the Arts in 1979. After working as a commercial fisherman and for the Bureau of Indian Affairs in Alaska, he moved to Asia and made his home in Toyota City, Japan. As he worked the next ten years as an ESL teacher, he was able to use the inspiration of his surroundings to produce a body of work that he would show annually in group and solo shows in Nagoya and Toyota.

An interest in Chinese and Japanese Calligraphy moved him into a study of Shodo, which he incorporates into his own artwork. His most recent work has been a combination of mixed media on wood and wood panels.

Donald Munro, an art critic for the Fresno Bee, wrote this about Michael Garcia’s solo show last year at Downtown Artist Gallery in Fresno,

A new show by Michael Garcia is always a major event on the Fresno art scene. [In this show] he continues with his well-known esthetic, which is heavily influenced by the time he spent in Asia, particularly 10 years living in Japan. The artist’s process involves building up richly layered paint on panels, then tearing them down by scraping, sanding, and burning. Garcia enjoys delving deeply into one of his favorite shapes, the circle, exploring the philosophical and psychological connections, [as he says], ‘I still have the same maru (Japanese for circle) recipe, working on wood and the basic materials—house paint to oil and wax, some enamel paint.’ [He continues], ‘When I first had a show in Fresno, all the work had calligraphy on it. Now I think there are three pieces that have calligraphy. I’m moving away from it. I’m trying other things.’

The show will run from February 6 – 23, 2023. Gallery hours are Monday through Thursday from 12 to 2 pm and 4 to 6 pm. Parking is free. Please contact Jim Entz at 559-791-2257 with any questions.

Career Education Celebrates CTE Month

During the month of February, we celebrate CTE programs, and all that Career and Technical Education does to prepare students for high-wage, high-skill, and high-demand careers.

This week, as part of CTE Month, the CTE Division hosted a meet and greet and lunch for students, faculty, and staff on campus. Faculty from our various Career and Technical Education programs met with students, shared program swag, and provided a lunch prepared by the program faculty and staff.  A large group could be seen gathered in the parking lot between the Career Tech and Trade and Industry buildings. All who gathered enjoyed each other’s company along with the beautiful weather that the day had to offer. 

For more information on CTE programs, visit

Cerro Coso Community College

I’m Going To College Day!

This past week has been a BLAST at the IWV Cerro Coso campus celebrating “I’m Going to College Day” with the local 5th graders. This day provides opportunities for 5th graders to learn about the educational options available to them at Cerro Coso. They experience college in a playful, collaborative, and creative way that inspires them to pursue higher education. Thank you to everyone who helped make this day possible!

Throughout the day 5th graders toured the Ridgecrest campus, interacted with college students, took interesting and fun classes taught by college professors, did a Q&A with Cerro Coso student ambassadors, and participated in the game “Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader?” Many of these 5th graders had never been to a college campus before.

The experience is one they will never forget and stresses the importance of going to college long before they are ready to go. “You have BRAINS in your HEAD. You have FEET in your SHOES. You can STEER yourself any DIRECTION you CHOOSE.” – Dr. Seuss

Bakersfield College

Ballet Folklorico Ritmo y Sabor

When Ballet Folklorico Ritmo y Sabor was created at Bakersfield College back in September of this academic year, Counselor and Director Cynthia Zamora and Artistic Director Brenda Ruiz had big plans for Bakersfield College students. After months of hard work, BFRS hosted their first ever show, Arriba Norte. Over 80 dancers took to the stage to perform traditional dances from the regions of Northern Mexico.

This sold-out show raised funds that will aid our BC dancers enroll in several dance workshops, help pay for attire, and allow the group to compete in Los Angeles at a yearly dance competition for Ballet Folklorico. The group is performing at tonight’s Bakersfield Condors game as they continue to raise funds for several upcoming events, so be sure to show your support and Renegade pride! 

Check out this video about the group:

Dr. Kwame Anthony Appiah to Lecture at Levan Center

Dr. Kwame Anthony Appiah will be presented as the Levan Center’s Annual Lecture and as part of BC’s celebration of Black History Month on February 23rd at 6:00PM. Dr. Appiah is a Distinguished Professor of Law and Philosophy at NYU, with numerous books in print on cultural studies, race, social issues, and more. Dr. Appiah will be speaking for us on his newest work titled The Lies that Bind.

The event will be held in the BC Conference Room, (3rd floor, Campus Center). The event is free and open to the public. The talk will start at 6:00PM and conclude at 7:30PM.

Renegade Nexus Hosts Spring Farmer’s Market

On Tuesday, January 24th, 2023, the Renegade Nexus in partnership with the Community Action Partnership of Kern (CAPK), hosted the first spring Farmer’s Market.

Students, staff, and faculty stopped by the free market to pick up fresh vegetables including cauliflower, cabbage, onions, potatoes, carrots, lettuce, and more. In a few short hours, 370 individuals were served. Future farmer’s markets are currently being planned and details will be shared soon.

We are so proud to see the Renegade Nexus connecting students to vital resources both on campus and in the community. 


PC Anthropology Professor Robert Simpkins penned the latest entry in the Kern CCD TALE Blog, “The Long View of Teaching’s Impact: A Tale of Film School and Pandemic Survival.”

He reflects on an experience from the early days of the pandemic:

“A few decades later, in a household full of uncertainty about the future under COVID-19, I was busy learning how to transition my classes to online instruction while my wife and I waited for news from our children’s school about their plans for assignments, technology, etc.  With all of us being home all day every day, and with watching television as something we could all do together, I had an idea: I would create a film school curriculum, and teach our children about film history and improve their cultural literacy.”   

In the News

BC Culinary Arts Students Featured in the Bakersfield Californian

The Bakersfield Californian wrote about BC’s Culinary Arts program in an article on February 1st, highlighting how much experience students get from their classes, lunch and dinner service in the Renegade Room, and cross-training for all of the different roles in the kitchen. Culinary students routinely run the kitchen to mirror the way professional kitchens are run. Chef Alex and Chef Marcia Overturf aim to prepare their students for the fast-paced culinary industry. 

Educators and aerospace join forces to prepare workforce of the future

The Daily Independent of Ridgecrest published an article about the Feb. 1 Aerospace Workforce Coalition meeting at the Mojave Air and Space Port.

The meeting was hosted by Cerro Coso Community College President Dr. Sean Hancock and MASP CEO Tim Reid. It was coordinated by KCCD In partnership with CCCC and MASP.

Hancock said the hope is the ongoing interaction between educators and employers can reap big dividends for all involved. “We want to be able to provide the training necessary to support their future workforce,” he said.

“[Area employers] are constantly battling [workplace] attraction and retention issues. If we can upskill or reskill people in our area we can help address those issues that all of us are facing.”

Fun Photos & Spotted on Social Media

Check out these photos of Kern CCD at the Kern Hispanic Chamber of Commerce event. Bakersfield College Professor Olivia Garcia was installed a second year in a row as President of the Board.

Our Kern CCD team was also representing the district at the NAACP Awards Extravaganza:

Corny Rodriguez shared this post of his family supporting the LA Dodgers:

So fun seeing Bailey in a post from Nicole Parra:

And I wanted to share this post from Kern CCD Trustee Yovani Jimenez:

It was an honor to attend the Community College National Legislative Summit to advocate for our Community Colleges system. There were several topics discussed that are important to our system.

It was great to be surrounded by National Community College leaders.

Thank you to the Association of Community College Trustees for putting this event together and to all speakers for their valuable insights. I took away several key points.


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

The future is bright at Kern CCD.

a joyful and grateful Chancellor


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