Celebrating Mother’s Day 2023 with Hummingbirds

Happy Mother’s Day to all of the mothers. I hope you have an enjoyable and restful weekend.

Check out this 23-sec video of a hummingbird from Sunday  morning in the garden when I was having my morning coffee on the porch.

My mom loved hummingbirds. Mom, this is for you!

This week, Chancellor Emeritus Tom Burke comes back to lead the Kern Community College District.

Welcome back home, Tom!

Tom Burke

In the meantime, I have been reflecting on my time as Kern CCD Chancellor, and Bakersfield College President, and looking over some of my past blog posts.

But first – a heartfelt congratulations to all of our graduates celebrating commencement this weekend! Your years of hard work have paid off, and I wish you all the best in all of your endeavors in the future.

Graduates, remember at KCCD, we Dare Mighty Things

Good morning friends.
It is May 13, 2023.
The sun shines bright over Kern CCD.

A Look Back

As I finish my time as Kern Community College District Chancellor, here are some memories from my blog over the past 2 years. Would you carve out sometime to click on the links and walk down memory lane with me?


July 3, 2021: My first blog post as Kern CCD Chancellor

KCCD Daring Mighty Things. Happy Fourth.

I was thrilled to share with you all the generous gift of $7 million gift that philanthropist MacKenzie Scott and her husband Dan Jewett gave to Porterville College.

MacKenzie Scott
MacKenzie Scott


August 28, 2021: Welcoming students back to campus for Fall 2021

Times that call for compassion and love

I shared updates from Bakersfield College, Cerro Coso Community College, and Porterville College as our colleges welcomed students back to campus for the Fall 2021 semester.


September 26, 2021: Peace & Expanding Early College Offerings

Join us in imagining and making it so

I shared my reflections on the UN International Day of Peace and the Bakersfield College Peace Initiative.

My remarks from BC’s virtual International Day of Peace gathering:

I also shared this update from Bakersfield College’s Early College Program, which announced a new Early College option to McFarland High School freshman to earn a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Automation in five years!

BC Early College Team at McFarland


October 30, 2021: Honoring a PC Alum

KCCD – We #GetItDone

I shared about PC alum Jim Howell, who shared his 100th birthday with Porterville Rotary.

Jim Howell


November 13, 2021: Honoring our Veterans

Veterans thank you for your service

Every year, I look forward to my Veterans Day post where I honor our student veterans. In 2021’s post, I shared an excerpt from an email from Jenny Frank, manager of Veteran Services and Programs at Bakersfield College:

“Through their service, they have been honed into warriors and possess a warrior spirit. A veteran’s experiences and their duty to protect our country can create challenges to finding the sometimes-elusive peace they seek, beyond those of the average citizen.”

I also shared from events that our colleges held:


December 18, 2021: Ending My First Semester as KernCCD Chancellor

KCCD Trustees recognize Chancellor Emeritus Tom Burke

The December 2021 Kern CCD Board of Trustees meeting recognized Chancellor Emeritus Tom Burke for his years of service to the District.

Tom Burke speaks in front of the Kern CCD Board of Trustees

Here are the remarks from his wife, Tina:

(And thank you Tom for saying yes to stepping back in as Chancellor of the Kern Community College District)


January 22, 2022: Spring Semester & MLK Day Breakfast

KCCD Colleges welcoming students back – Spring 2022!

I attended the MLK Day Community Awareness Breakfast, where keynote speaker Michael Bowers called for a move From #BlackHistory to #BlackFuture.


February 22, 2022: Visiting DC

KernCCD team in DC

I traveled to DC with a team from Kern CCD for the Community College National Legislative Summit.


March 26, 2022: Sterling Silver

Sterling Silver 2022

The  Bakersfield College Foundation’s 14th Annual Sterling Silver event returned to in-person, after 2020’s televised recognition celebration.


April 9, 2022: Remembering Jack Hernandez

April 2022 — Season of roses and poems

In April, we celebrated the life of Jack Hernandez, who passed away in November 2021.

Sonya and Jack Hernandez.

And a video announcing the Jack Hernandez Phronesis Award & Jack Hernandez Lecture Series:


May 14, 2022: Commencement

Kern CCD graduates largest class of Coyotes, Pirates, and Renegades

We celebrated graduates at all three of our colleges. Commencement weekend is always one of my favorites!


July 23, 2022: Welcoming Visitors to Kern CCD

Exciting times at Kern CCD

Tara Lynn Gray, Director of the California Office of Small Business Advocate, and the California Energy Commissioners Siva Gunda and Patty Monahan visited Kern CCD.


August 27, 2022: Starting Fall 2022

Kern CCD celebrates Women’s Equality Day

Our Kern CCD campuses welcomed back students for another wonderful semester. Bakersfield College held a welcome session for incoming faculty.


September 10, 2022: STEM Building Opens

Grand Opening of STEM Building – Thank you for voting Yes on J!

Bakersfield College celebrated the official grand opening of its newest addition on campus and a crown jewel of the Measure J infrastructure bond, the 71,061-square-foot Science & Engineering Building that will house several disciplines like biology and geology, as well as a high-tech robotics lab.


October 29, 2022: Community Economic Mobility

Kern – Creating our Future

Bakersfield was on display as host for the California Economic Summit on Thursday and Friday, hosted by California Forward. On Tuesday and Wednesday, Kern CCD held a Pre-Summit Institute, “Community Economic Mobility: A Focus On Energy and Climate Resilience.”

The events provided a gathering of statewide leaders working for regional approaches to economic prosperity, giving all Californians access to their California dream.


November 26, 2022: Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving 2022. There is much to be thankful for.

One of the things I was thankful for was the generosity in our community. Check out these photos from the Coyote Cupboard, which held a food distribution on Friday afternoon at the Desert Dog Pet Store for the community.


December 17, 2022: Winter Retreat

Kern CCD starting the holiday season

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.


January 8, 2023: Celebrating Early College

Rain bathing CA in glee

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


February 25, 2023: My Next Chapter

California Community College System names the eleventh chancellor

I was so thankful for those from our Kern CCD family who made the trek to Sacramento when the Board of Governors announced my appointment as the next California Community Colleges Chancellor.


March 11, 2023: Women’s History Month

Kern CCD Celebrating Women’s History Month

Kern CCD hosted several events for Women’s History Month 2023.

On March 21st at Bakersfield College’s event center, we will be Celebrating 50 years of Title IX: Women in Athletics and Education. (Check out more in my March 25 blog.)

On March 30 at the Weill Center, we will host the 4th Annual Women in Leadership Panel, moderated by Senator Emeritus Jean Fuller. (Read more in my April 1 blog.)


April 22, 2023: Teaching & Learning Exchange

Teaching and Learning Exchange (TALE) at Kern CCD

Kern Community College District hosted the inaugural KernCCD TALEFEST. The Teaching-and Learning Exchange Festival was created to celebrate and support Kern CCD educators through the sharing of teaching-and-learning stories and the discussion of strategic new directions in a festive, positive environment showcasing achievement and innovation, peer-learning opportunities, and building district-wide mutual understanding and connections – in support of the goals of continuous improvement toward ensuring student learning and achieving student success with equity. 

It has been an amazing two years, and I am so thankful for this time spent helping students in our Kern Community College District.

Remembering Hannah Douma

It is with a heavy heart I share this email from BC Communications/Journalism professor John Harte, about the passing of a truly remarkable student, Hanna Douma:

It is with profound sadness and a broken heart that I share with you the passing of one of the finest photography students to ever study at Bakersfield College. Hannah Douma, a beautiful, funny, sweet and remarkable young lady who battled through autism and became a photographer of stunning vision and drive, passed away yesterday after a four-year battle with cancer. She was 28.

Hannah started in my press photography class in 2016, then moved to Kris Stallworth’s black and white photo class. She was in Jeff Huston’s digital photography class when she was diagnosed with thymoma, a rare bone marrow cancer, and had to withdraw from Jeff’s class. She then developed leukemia, which is what took her life. 

Hannah embraced her photography throughout her illness, and made thousands of photographs with a skill and beauty I have never seen in my 26 years at BC. I am stunned and inspired by the caliber of images she made as she fought so hard for her life.

Hannah’s parents have given me permission to publicly share her photography, and I have made this slide show to showcase it. If you have a few minutes, please give it a look. She is one of the most remarkable photography talents to come through BC, and she was such a sweet young lady, taken from us way, way too soon.

In the News

A guide to earning college credit while in high school

Emma Gallegos wrote this guide for EdSource going over some of the ways high school students in California can earn college credits.

Fun Photos & Spotted on Social Media

Lizette Navarette shared this update from ATC 2023:

We reach our @CalCommColleges Vision goals and meet our commitments to students through strong partnerships! TY
@ccleague for inviting us – great turnout for the Partners in the #VisionforSucces session at #ATC2023

Andra Hoffman, LA Community College District Board President, was named California Community College Trustees (CCCT) board president.

Women’s Caucus at the League Conference

Neo in the backyard while I am returning phone calls in the evening.

And From the Home of the Renegades…

BC’s Women’s Wrestling Finishes Off First Season

BC women's wrestling team

The Bakersfield College women’s wrestling team competed at the inaugural CCCAA Women’s Wrestling State Championship in Norwalk, CA at Cerritos College. Ten CCCAA teams competed, and although the BC team did not have a full team competing for each weight class, they did have three athletes place in the tournament, including a first All-American. Athletes Chloe Espericueta and Diana Cardenas both placed 6th in their weight class, while Galilea Chavez took 2nd place securing the All-American title. BC hopes to continue their first-year success and bring on new recruits next season.


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

The future is bright at Kern CCD.

joyful and grateful


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