Moments that take our breath away

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take,
but by the moments that take our breath away.

I enjoyed seeing Jules last weekend, a sweet, well made movie about how a rural man’s life is turned upside down when a UFO crashes in his backyard and he befriends a mysterious alien. Ben Kingsley plays the 78-year old senior citizen, Milton, who has a routine life which includes taking his civic responsibilities seriously and attending the weekly city council meeting in quiet, cozy Boonton, Pennsylvania. Fellow senior citizens Sandy (Harriet Sansom Harris) and Joyce (Jane Curtin) become co-conspirators with Milton in keeping Jules, the alien, a secret from the rest of the town.

Kingsley is a fave of mine and I really liked his portrayal of Mahatma Gandhi in the 1982 movie Gandhi. He was born in England to a British mother and an Indian father of Gujarati descent.

I have always enjoyed Jane Curtain’s deadpan expression when delivering funny lines in Saturday Night Live…. also enjoyed both John Lithgow and Jane Curtain in 3rd Rock From The Sun.

Check out the trailer:

Talking about spaceships … India successfully landed a spacecraft on the moon’s surface. India is now the fourth country to land on the moon – and the first to land on the south pole.

Chandrayaan-3’s lunar rover Pragyan is now spending 2 weeks roaming around an area of the moon’s surface that has never before been explored.

Scientists think that there could be substantial quantities of water ice in the rocks of the polar craters, which are permanently in shadow. If this water can be extracted, it could lower costs of future human moon exploration, or be split into hydrogen and oxygen to make fuel for rockets.

Good morning California.
It is August 26, 2023.
A good day to be a Community College Champion

From California Community Colleges.
Our Time is Now!

College of San Mateo Dual Enrollment Team Hosts Summer Experience

Earlier this month, the College of San Mateo Dual Enrollment team hosted a 2-day summer experience, “Strategies for Successful Teaching in Dual Enrollment” for the college’s new and returning faculty who will be teaching dual enrollment courses in the new academic year.

» Read more about CSM’s “Strategies for Successful Teaching in Dual Enrollment”

Oxnard College Receives $100,000 Grant from
Metallica’s All Within My Hands’ Scholars Initiative

Oxnard College has been selected to receive a $100,000 grant from the Grammy Award-winning band Metallica and its foundation, All Within My Hands. The award will support students in the college’s Culinary Arts, Dental Hygiene and Fire Academy programs as the band continues its multimillion-dollar investment in critical workforce programs at community colleges nationwide.

» Read more about the grant!

Ohlone College students join Tesla program for bright future

Ohlone College announces that 55 students joined the esteemed Tesla Manufacturing Development Program (MDP), paving the way toward a career in a high-tech, high-demand, high-paying industry. 

» Read more about this program!

In Case You Missed It

Public Policy Institute of California:
Improving College Access and Success through Dual Enrollment

The PPIC recently published a report about how College and Career Access Pathways Programs can improve access to higher education, as well as success for those students.

Students gain an array of benefits from participating in dual enrollment in both high school and college: participation is associated with higher high school completion, college readiness, attendance, retention, and academic achievement (Berger et al. 2014; Edmunds et. al 2015). Dual enrollment students also enroll in college at higher rates and accumulate more credits, earn higher GPAs, and attain overall higher achievement in college (Allen and Dadgar 2012; An 2013; CLP and KCCD 2022; Giani et al. 2014; Struhl and Vargas 2012; Fink, Jenkins, and Yanagiura 2017; Ryu et al. 2023).

» Read the report


LA Times: A big remake is coming
to California community college education, new chancellor says

Recently, I spoke with LA Times reporter Debbie Truong about some of my goals for the California Community Colleges.

“The fundamental principle of Vision 2030 is the idea of taking college to the future learner. One is definitely dual enrollment. We have 436,000 eighth graders going into the ninth grade. What if, in the ninth grade, the default schedule was for those students to have at least a one college credit class — bringing college to them so they can start seeing what college is about. Twelve credits is a specific goal by the time they finish their four years of high school.”

» Read the article

» Read more about Vision 2030


LA Times De Los: What former first-gen students wish they knew about college

I saw a piece in LA Times’ De Los publication about former first-gen students, including Audrey Dow – senior vice president at the Campaign for College Oportunity.

“I was this 18-year-old Chicana from East L.A. talking to this white professor, and he’s like, ‘My suggestion is you drop out.’ And I said, ‘Drop out of your course?’ And he said, ‘Drop out of Brown.’”

» Read the article

Blast From the Past

I was looking through old videos from my time as President of Bakersfield College, and came across this one from March 16, 2020.

Fun Photos & Spotted on Social Media

CCC Deputy Chancellor Daisy Gonzales spoke at San Diego Mesa College’s convocation last week.

Thank you for the opportunity to share @CalCommColleges@sonyachristian#Vision2030 with @sdmesacollege@SDCCD President @PrezHands ! Mesa College is illuminating the path by shining a light on the potential to serve adult learners and youth in San Diego with urgency


Compton College shared this student success story:

At Compton College, Every Student is a Success Story! Congratulations to Kaitlyn Gomez who graduated from Compton Early High School in 2023, earning both a high school diploma and an associate degree from Compton College. She is headed to UC San Diego this fall to major in astrophysics. Through our partnership with Compton Unified School District dual enrolled high school students can earn both a diploma and a degree simultaneously – saving time and money in completing their higher education!


From Porterville College President Claudia Habib:

I met Arnold in the quad today. He shared his amazing journey from prison to college graduate @PCollegePirates & @Fresno_State and now full time advisor for #ProjectRebound and partner of our #TogetherWeCan Student Club and #RaisingScholars program for justice involved students.


In the latest post from the Kern CCD TALE Blog, Robert Simpkins discusses his family’s trip to the Walt Disney Studio Lot in Burbank.

The historical marker outside Gelson’s Market on Hyperion Avenue in Los Feliz, marking the former location of the Walt Disney Animation Studio from 1926 to 1940. [Photo by Robert Simpkins]

Although the studio on Hyperion Avenue no longer exists (a Gelson’s market now stands in its place, but inside are photos of the studio), standing at its former site helped me feel the presence of all those early artists working together and wonder what impact they had on each other, as they each evolved creatively while working collaboratively.

I also wondered what the equivalent experience could be in my own field of education, and how to bring together educators of different backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives into a place where we could learn from each other, be inspired by each other, and seek to improve ourselves with each other’s support.

» Read the post


And check out this video from Citrus College!

Students from the Citrus College Cosmetology program recently provided free haircuts to local elementary & middle school students to kick off the new school year with confidence & excitement. Thanks to @sierrasubaru for hosting the back-to-school event!

And From the Home of the Renegades

BC Welcomes Students Back to School for Fall 2023

The first week of the fall semester was a success for new and returning students at Bakersfield College. All students had the opportunity to get involved in events and find community on campus

» Read more!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Remember – our greatest challenges enable us to do our greatest work.

That’s all for today.

See you next Saturday!

With much hope and joy, 

Your Chancellor,



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One thought on “Moments that take our breath away

  1. Michael O'Doherty August 26, 2023 at 10:38 am Reply

    Well this last Thursday was my Final Bakersfield College Foundation Board meeting. We are moving to Spokane WA. to be by some of our children and their kids. First time I met you my roll was sitting President of that Board. It was a good lunch, and I told my wife later that evening “this woman is going to change Bakersfield College tremendously”. And so you did.
    After working through many issues we finally agreed 100% on one thing…Cheryl Scott as Executive Director of the Bakersfield College Foundation. Shed’s a winner as are may of the people you placed around the various facilities and positions.
    We are in Indiana today our granddaughter Sophia is turning “1”. Sophia’s other grandparents were born in Ireland & India and met in England. So I will always remember you and your great work.

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