A week of flowers – Spring 2023

What a week – flowers everywhere.

And beautiful skies:

Good morning friends.
It is April 15, 2023.
The sun shines bright over Kern CCD.

Porterville College

Pizza with the President

Students from different backgrounds and experiences all gathered in the SCCR this week to share some pizza and conversation with PC President Dr. Claudia Habib. This “Pizza with the President” forum was the held to update students on some of the projects and events happening on campus, and to discuss student issues and concerns. By meeting in person, we can give students a direct line of communication with the President and administration at PC.

Those in attendance discussed some future projects on campus and were given an update on the progress of the Allied Health Building, currently under construction. Several students had questions and concerns that were discussed as the forum continued.

Pizza with the President is held two to three times per year at varying times to accommodate student schedules.

PC Writer & Poet Speaker Series Celebrates Poetry Month with Poet Laureate Lee Herrick 

California Poet Laureate Lee Herrick joined students, faculty, and staff in the SCCR to discuss his life as a poet and his experiences as both Fresno and California’s Poet Laureate. He is the author of 3 books of poems: “Scar and Flower”, “Gardening Secrets of the Dead”, and “This Many Miles from Desire”.

Mr. Herrick is also co-editor, with Leah Silvieus, of The World I Leave You: Asian American Poets on Faith and Spirit. He served as the City of Fresno Poet Laureate from 2015-2017. His poems have appeared widely in literary magazines, anthologies, and textbooks.

Herrick serves on the advisory board of Terrain.org and Sixteen Rivers Press. He has taught in Qingdao, China, and for Kundiman. He was born in Daejeon, South Korea, adopted at ten months of age, and raised in California. He lives with his family in Fresno, California, and teaches at Fresno City College and in the MFA program at the University of Nevada Reno at Lake Tahoe. He is the 10th California Poet Laureate, and the first Asian American to serve in the role.     

Softball wins fifth straight, sweeps Allan Hancock

Cassie Cannon

The Porterville College softball team continues to play some of its best ball of the season. On Wednesday, the Pirates swept their second consecutive doubleheader, this time taking two from visiting Allan Hancock College.

PC opened with an 11-0 victory in five innings and followed that with a 9-7 come-from-behind win to close out the day.

Sophomore Ally Boyd helped lead Porterville to the Game 1 victory. She smacked a home run as part of a 2 for 3 effort at the plate with 3 RBI. She also went the distance in the circle, earning the complete-game win by allowing just six hits.

Cassie Cannon (1 for 2), Cienna Enriquez (2 for 3), and Arieana Castillo (3 for 3) all drove in two runs for PC. Jennilu Martinez also went a perfect 3 for 3 with a run and RBI.

The Pirates had to rally late to pull out the victory in Game 2. Trailing 7-4, PC scored five runs in the bottom of the sixth to complete the comeback.

Cannon (2 for 4, 2B, 3B) and Castillo (3 for 3) totaled 3 RBI each to lead the offense. Ashlyn Houston picked up the win in the circle, going three innings while allowing two runs and one hit.

The pair of victories improved PC to 13-14 overall. The Pirates will look to keep the momentum going on Saturday (Apr. 8) when they host Chabot College in a non-conference doubleheader that starts at 12 p.m.

Cerro Coso Community College

Bishop Campus Open House

The Open House at the Cerro Coso Bishop campus was a huge success! Thank you so much to everyone who showed up.

Please remember, registration is OPEN for Summer/Fall 2023! Call 760-872-1565 for more information.

Student Spotlight: Gabriela

Gabriela is graduating from Tehachapi High School this year not only with her high school diploma, but also with two Associate degrees: an AS-T in Administration of Justice and an AA in Liberal Arts: Social & Behavioral Sciences. While attending high school and Cerro Coso College, she was in Phi Theta Kappa and was accepted into the Honors Program. She will be transferring to California State University Fullerton in the fall and will major in Criminal Justice/Criminology. Afterwards, she plans to complete a Master’s in Criminal Psychology.

Read more at https://www.cerrocoso.edu/news/2023/0412-student-spotlight-gabriela.

Bakersfield College

BC Nursing on the Air

BC’s Nursing Executive Dean Carla Gard, and Associate Dean Dr. Ronnie Knabe were interviewed on-air Wednesday, March 29th for The Ralph Bailey Show on Kern Radio Talk. The topic was how BC nursing has developed partnerships with community healthcare employers to create and implement solutions for the workforce shortage in nursing. Dean Gard highlighted BC’s work to meet the needs of our diverse nursing student population through various resources, access to mental health services, and addressing food insecurity so that students can focus on learning.

BC Writing Center Hosts SoCal WCA Tutor Conference

On Saturday, March 25th, the Writing Center welcomed its colleagues from all over the region for the first ever online version of the Southern California Writing Centers Association annual Tutor Conference, which was co-hosted by Bakersfield College. This year, nearly 25 individual or group presenters from community, four-year, public ,and private colleges and universities conducted sessions under the theme of “creative resilience.”

BC Announces Brand New Student-Centered Website

BC’s Web Team is excited to reveal that a new website will be published this summer and will feature a more modern design, easier navigation, more intuitive organization, and up-to-date information on all programs and pathways! They are working tirelessly to ensure the launch is as smooth as possible for students, staff, faculty, and the general public. Higher education continues to advance and move forward, and BC’s new website will ensure it keeps up and does just that! Here is a sneak peek:

BC’s Performing Arts Combined Concert Tickets Now Available

The Bakersfield College Performing Arts Department has announced the details of their upcoming Combined Concert, featuring the Choirs, Concert Band, Jazz Ensemble, and BC/CSUB Orchestra on stage together. BC’s highly talented music students will perform the once-a-year concert, MC’d by Music Professor Dr. John Gerhold, on Wednesday, May 3 at 7 PM in the Bakersfield College Edward Simonsen Outdoor Theatre. Admission is free.

Remembering Bill Henry

The story of Bill Henry is the story of two illustrious careers – one in law enforcement, and the other in education, totalling 45 years of public service. In every role that Bill Henry played throughout his life – as a police officer, a detective, a spokesperson, a criminal justice professor, an administrator, and as the President of Porterville College – Bill took his responsibilities to his students and to the public very seriously.

Bill’s story starts at the Kings County Sheriff’s Office in 1974, as one of a handful of individuals who became a sworn peace officer at the age of 18. At age 21, he would move back to his hometown to serve as an investigator in the Bakersfield Police Department, solving vice and homicide cases before moving to an administrative role with the department. It’s very rare for police officers to make the move up to detective at such a young age, and Bill had an uncanny knack for understanding the law and how it relates to human behavior.

He was a great spokesman for law enforcement. Although he was a man of few words, he always made sure those words counted. If he had something important to tell you, he was always right to the point. 

In 1979, Bill started working as a part-time criminal justice professor at Bakersfield College while he continued working the beat as a detective at the BPD. He also served as evening supervisor at the Delano Campus, which gave him great insight into the campus and the students there.

As a teacher, he brought an invaluable wealth of practical knowledge to his criminal justice students. He taught part-time until his retirement from BPD in 1998, capping off a 24-year career in law enforcement. Many of us would be content to ride off into the sunset at that point, but Bill enjoyed teaching and working with students, so he took a full-time position at Porterville College.

At PC, Bill had the opportunity to witness an unprecedented period of growth, as the city of Porterville nearly doubled in size and the campus added a new library and fitness center, remodeled the Math and Science building, and planned the development of the new Health Careers building as part of Measure J. But Bill always appreciated the small-town feel of Porterville and considered the 60-acre PC campus his home. 

Just like in his first career in law enforcement, Bill rose through the ranks from criminal justice professor to high-level administrator over the course of 20 years. When the discussion of an interim President came around, Bill was reluctant to apply, but his friend and outgoing President Rosa Carlson convinced him to take the job. Bill served as President between 2017 and 2019, through the end of an accreditation cycle and the appointment of Claudia Habib.

He was always committed to whatever his mission was. He said that after the life and death situations of law enforcement, it takes everything else away. He was able to see exactly what needed to be done in any situation, and was always working toward completing whatever the most important task was. His clarity brought him great respect – you always knew what you were getting with Bill. 

When I was President at Bakersfield College, I worked closely with Bill and with Jill Board at Cerro Coso. Bill was a very kind-hearted man who was direct. There was no ambiguity in what he thought and what he wanted to do. He had a unique sense of humor and a fun way of speaking that often diffused difficult and tense situations. When those moments came, he would take a moment, shake his head, and find the exact right words to say that would bring everyone past the tension and toward a solution.

Unfortunately, I received word yesterday that Bill Henry has passed away following a four week stay in the hospital. He is survived by his wife, Kailani, sons Danny and Brian and daughter Janae, and six grandchildren. He is further survived by his mother Pauline Landes, sisters Marsha Eggman and Pam Bailey, brother Dave Landes, as well as nieces and nephews. He also loved his pet boxers. 

He leaves behind an unprecedented legacy as a steadfast public servant in two careers – education and law enforcement. He was a legend in the Kern Community College District and at the Bakersfield Police Department, and he will be missed.

In the News

Bakersfield College highlights public safety training program

Check out this piece from 23ABC about BC’s public safety training program.

“It has a large impact because if you just want to help your community, these are the things that we want. These particular industries I just mentioned are really shrinking,” Program Manager Tiffany Sagbohan said. “We’re trying to increase those, get folks interested in helping and protecting their own community, so this is a way to do it and I know a lot of folks don’t know that Bakersfield College actually has those opportunities here.”

Fun Photos & Spotted on Social Media

Steven Watkin, Nicky Damania, and Maria Wright with Dr. Melanie Lundquist, who spoke at BC this week as part of the speakers series:

Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg was recognized at this month’s Kern CCD Board of Trustees Meeting for her 5 years of service:

Trustee Kay Meek was recognized for 25 years!

And congratulations to Steve Watkin, the incoming Interim Bakersfield College President:


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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