Kern CCD praising and celebrating life!

March ended with celebrations, more celebrations and even more celebrations.

The more you praise and celebrate your life,
the more there is in life to celebrate.
Oprah Winfrey

The celebrations started with the 15th Annual Sterling Silver Dinner to benefit the Bakersfield College Foundation.

I’d like to thank everyone who turned out to support our students. Kern CCD Trustees Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Romeo Agbalog, Christina Scrivner, and Yovani Jimenez were among those in attendance.

BC’s brand-new event center was the site of the reception and dinner.  The spectacular venue spans the third floor of the new Campus Center and was the ideal setting for recognizing community members whose support helps thousands of students. Btw, the renovation of the Campus Center was made possible by Measure J. Thank you Kern County for voting Yes on J!

Honorees included:

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


Women in Leadership Panel

This week, Kern CCD hosted the 4th Annual Women in Leadership Panel. Moderator Jean Fuller facilitated a discussion with 3 remarkable women in our community: Judge Gloria Cannon, District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer, and Donna Hefner, CEO of Sierra View Medical Center.

Kern CCD trustees were there in full force.

Thank you Dr. Maria Wright for guiding the programming for the event. And thank you Prof. Olivia Garcia for being the emcee.


On Friday, I was one of the awardees, along with Susan Kennedy, Rudy Salas and Tim Rainey, at the 7th annual Cesar Chavez Legacy Breakfast presented by Farmworkers Institute of Education and Leadership (FIELD).

So happy that our trustees were there . Trustee Romeo Agbalog introduced me and was eloquent describing KCCD’s leadership role in workforce development and the deep partnerships that we have with the community.

Thank you Trustee Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg and Trustee Yovani Jimenez, for joining the Kern CCD family at this event.


“The more you praise and celebrate your life,
the more there is in life to celebrate.”


Good morning friends.
It is April 1, 2023.
The sun shines bright over Kern CCD.

Porterville College

PC Film Students Impress at New Festival

Front row, L to R: Tino Linas, Johnnie Tillery
Back row, L to R: Angel Nieves, Christian Rivera, Lorenzo Zepeda,
Ignacio Ibarra, Roxanne Ibarra, Diran Lyons

Porterville College student filmmakers screened eight films at the first Screenville Film Festival on March 25, 2023, in Springville, CA. For several PC students, it was their first experience at a film festival.

Ranging from serious and philosophical to lighthearted and comedic, all their works were well-received by the audience and prompted valuable dialogue. You can see the festival, and particularly, PC students’ work:

Students, Faculty Bond on Trip

At the Getty Museum

This past month, the group had the opportunity to take a two-day trip to attend the 24th Annual UCLA STOMP Conference put together by the Student Transfer Outreach and Mentor Program (STOMP). STOMP is a volunteer-based, transfer student organization that helps students achieve their university goals. As Puente Program Counselor Patricia Serrat put it, “We’re so grateful to be able to spend some real quality time with our Puente students. Visiting universities and museums in California is a great opportunity for students! A life-changing experience!”

Many of the STOMP volunteers are transfer students, so they could relate to our student’s experience and they offered valuable insights during our visit.

On the first day of their tour, the group stopped at UC Riverside for a quick visit and look at the school. They walked the botanical gardens before another stop for lunch and an afternoon visit to The Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art & Culture. They ended the first day of the trip with a stop at CSU Fullerton for a tour.

The next day started with the UCLA STOMP conference followed by a stop at the Getty Museum on the way back to Porterville.

Cerro Coso Community College

One of Bees Days

Two Cerro Coso students, Jessica Cliff and Lacy Roberts, participated in the 2nd Native Bee Workshop at the College of the Canyons (CoC) on March 11-12, 2023. This workshop is part of the Campus as a Living Lab (CALL) initiative organized by CoC whose aim is to use college campuses as a living laboratory, where students can research native bee biodiversity. The objective was to teach students about native bees, their identification, collection and pinning practices, documentation, and data input, as well as their role in the ecosystem, and contributions to the pollination economy.

The two-day workshop covered various activities, including lectures, demonstrations, laboratory work, and a presentation by Krystle Hickman, a TEDx speaker, artist, and photographer motivated by her passion and curiosity of native bees. The first day of the workshop focused on lectures, where students were introduced to the concepts of native bee biology, the bee genera found in California, their characteristic morphology, and classification. On the second day, students participated in hands-on practice of bee identification using published keys and were also taught various methods of photographing bees for identification and archival purposes including the uploading of data to iNaturalist to be shared publicly.

This is the second year that Cerro Coso students have participated in the Native Bee Workshop. In the coming Spring, Jessica and Lacy will join three other students (Fatima Anwar, Elajae Lee and Aria Ayres) to survey native bee species around campus locations and nearby undeveloped areas. They will identify floral hosts that best support our local native bee population and create habitats for them. Given the spate of rainfall recently and the possibility of super blooms, we are excited that we may be humming with bees. Students will present their findings at the Native Bee Conference in August. These students are mentored by Professors Claudia Sellers and Guck Ooi.

Cerro Coso Students Presented at the HTCC Student Research Conference

For the first time since the pandemic, the 23rd Annual UCI-Community College Honors Research Conference is now back in-person, and Cerro Coso Community College is represented this year by three students. This multidisciplinary conference sponsored by University of California, Irvine and the Honors Transfer Council of California (HTCC), showcases outstanding faculty-mentored research by students from California community colleges, with a focus on honors students.

Jessica Cliff’s presentation entitled “Mind Games – Cognitive Benefits of Video Gaming on Older Adults” reviewed studies which showed that playing video games can prevent cognitive decline in older adults. The beneficial cognitive effects of regular daily gaming were not only demonstrated by subjective observational assessments such as cognitive and memory tests, but also were followed by structural changes in the gray matter volume in the hippocampus and cerebellum. Interestingly, unlike younger adults, the beneficial effects in older adults were longer lasting and persisted up to at least four weeks after training. Jessica was mentored by Profs. Guck Ooi and Claudia Sellers.

Fatima Anwar researched the use of melatonin to treat schizophrenia. Her presentation, “Benefits of Melatonin in Treating Schizophrenia” discussed a study in which a rat model of schizophrenia was used to test melatonin efficacy compared to the standard drug olanzapine, either by itself or in combination. Although the study showed that melatonin by itself was not effective, it has strong effects in mitigating against the inflammatory side effects of olanzapine indicating that melatonin may be useful when used in combination with olanzapine. Fatima was mentored by Profs. Claudia Sellers and Guck Ooi.

Lacy Roberts participated in the conference by acting as a moderator in a session that discussed health-related issues among women and under-represented groups. Each presentation in the session focuses on a different aspect of health, including neglect in women’s healthcare, obesity and psychological well-being, and the susceptibility of certain ethnicities to specific diseases.

Presenting their work at the HTCC Student Research Conference makes these Cerro Coso students eligible not only for monetary awards but also to submit their work for publication in the HTCC anthology Building Bridges, published through the University of California, Irvine.

Cerro Coso Community College is a member of the Honors Transfer Council of California, and sends honors students to participate in the Building Bridges Honors Conference every year. To learn more about the Honors Program at Cerro Coso visit the website at

Bakersfield College

BC’s Jaime Lopez Joins Lamont Chamber of Commerce

The city of Lamont hosted an event on March 9th for their installation of officers and awards celebration. The installation ceremony recognized Jaime Lopez as a “Year Three Director” and was well attended by a number of supportive Renegades. Congratulations to Jaime and what a great pick for the city of Lamont Chamber of Commerce. 

CCCAOE Advocacy Day

Billie Jo Rice and Anthony Cordova recently attended the California Community College Association for Occupational Education (CCCAOE) Advocacy Day. They met with assembly member Dawn Addis and CCCAOE staff member Emily Berry, lobbying for continued support for both K-12 and community college career education programs. This continued support will help with the expansion of baccalaureate programs that will allow the 1.8 million students in the community college system to have a brighter chance to be a part of our future workforce.

Getting Back in the Arena

The Rodeo Team at Bakersfield College competed in Coalinga at the West Hills Rodeo Complex for the first rodeo of the spring semester. The team had a great time building morale and pushing themselves to improve. BC had a few competitors run their personal best times in Barrel Racing on Friday, and on Saturday most of the team improved their times from the day before. The team is looking forward to getting back into the practice pen to prepare for a competition in San Luis Obispo at Poly Royal in just a few weeks.

Remembering Carl Bryan

I had the pleasure of attending an event honoring the life of Carl Bryan, who was lovingly referred to as the “Voice of the Renegades” for announcing athletics events at Memorial Stadium for more than 35 years. He had a deep love and an encyclopedic knowledge of track and field, and over the course of his illustrious career, Carl announced 13 valley championship track meets, six California Community College championship meets, two NAIA national meets, Junior Olympics, World Masters and numerous state high school championships.

Carl Bryan is celebrated in the half of fame for BC track and field, California Community College Coaches Track Association, and East High, where he graduated in 1963. Carl passed away this December. His colleagues spoke very highly of him as a warm, gentle man who cared about young people and wanted to see them succeed at the highest levels of their athletic potential. Renegade basketball coach Paula Dahl quoted the poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow as she spoke about Carl:

“O, how wonderful is the human voice! It is indeed the organ of the soul! The intellect of man sits enthroned visibly upon his forehead and in his eye; and the heart of man is written upon his countenance. But the soul reveals itself in the voice only.”

Carl Bryan attend Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh and served in the Vietnam War. He also taught in the Bakersfield City School District and Kern High School District for nearly 20 years. He is sorely missed.

Fun Photos & Spotted on Social Media

From PC President Claudia Habib:

So grateful for all volunteers assisting many individuals and their pets displaced by the storms. @PCollegePirates contributes to these efforts as a Temporary Evacuation point #TEP @TulareCo_HHSA @cityporterville @AmeriCorps #CERC @RedCross @CCADT1 #Solidarity #DisasterRelief

Here is the Kern CCD – BC Team at Open Door Network:

UCLA Chancellor Gene Block shared this photo from our meeting last week:

And here is Nicole Parra with Gato, the cat, adopted by KernCCD:


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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One thought on “Kern CCD praising and celebrating life!

  1. Jennifer Garrett April 6, 2023 at 7:02 pm Reply

    The Bakersfield College Chamber Singers (pictured above) were honored to be a part of the Carl Bryan Memorial. We wish his family peace and many happy memories.

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