Category Archives: Uncategorized

We remember … 9-11-2001

Twenty years ago this morning, the world was forever changed as the 9/11 attacks thrust us all into a new period of fear and war.

On September 11, 2001, 19 Al-Qaeda terrorists boarded four commercial aircraft – American Airlines Flight 11, United Airlines Flight 175, American Airlines Flight 77, and United Airlines Flight 93.

When the first plane, American Airlines Flight 11, crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center at 8:46 am, it was not yet clear what was happening. When the second plane, United Airlines Flight 175, hit the South Tower just 17 minutes later at 9:03 am, it became evident this was no mere accident and America was under attack.

Two more crashes followed shortly after, with American Airlines Flight 77 hitting the Pentagon at 9:37 am.

United Airlines Flight 93 crashed in a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, after crew and passengers – who by this time had learned of the other attacks – attempted to seize the aircraft and the terrorists responded by intentionally rolling and crashing the plane. It is believed that plane was intended to target the White House or the Capitol.

These attacks caused unfathomable grief and despair not only across the United States, but across the globe. In one morning, everything changed and it was clear there would be no returning to the world before. For days and weeks, many of us sat in disbelief as television offered 24/7 coverage of the events and possible repercussions.

The terrorist attacks killed 2,977 victims and injured 25,000 more. In the years since, many of the first responders who bravely faced the firestorm to save what souls they could have succumbed to injuries and illnesses sustained by their acts of courage.

But in the days following the senseless attacks, we joined together and found reasons for hope.

Today, 20 years later, so much has changed. The US has just left Afghanistan following the War in Afghanistan that began in October 2001 in response to the September 11 attacks. We are facing a different global threat of a pandemic that has killed over 4.5 million people around the world. We as a nation – and even as a state – face fierce division and distrust of one another.

But just as we did 20 years ago, we can find common ground, find our strength in one another, and find reasons for hope. Good news abundant in the details where we care to look: Thailand making PPE out of upcycled bottles; Two Atlanta teachers have their students start their day with positive affirmations; School faculty surprised the custodian with a car so he wouldn’t have to walk to work.

It may not always be flashy and it may not always be the top story – but good news, inspiring stories, uplifting tales of people coming together and helping one another – they are all around us.

Prof. Jeremy Staat’s welding students build a twin tower monument

Good morning, friends…
It is September 11, 2021.
The sun shines bright over KCCD.

This week, the Pirates, the Coyotes, and the Renegades continue to 

Porterville College

PC Welcomes Award Winning Poet to Speaker Series 

The Porterville College Writer & Poet Speaker Series is proud to present our first speaker of the Fall Semester.  EVERYONE is invited to attend via Zoom for a conversation with Tim Z Hernandez.  He is a non-fiction writer and the author of “Mañana Means Heaven” and the first installment in The Plane Crash Series, “All They Will Call You”. Hernandez is the recipient of such accolades as the American Book Award, the Colorado Book Award, the International Latino Book Award, and more! Below are just a few review excerpts about his book.

“Hernandez’s intimate knowledge of life amid the agricultural fields of central California and his ability to conjure the thoughts and emotions of the young Bea Franco make for a graceful and melancholy tale.”—The Associated Press

“Through documents, interviews and dogged research, Tim Z. Hernandez pieces together her life and the significance of that chance encounter that shaped both of their lives forever.” —The New York Times

Join us on September 23 from Noon to 1:00 pm for a reading from his latest work, a presentation on his life and his writing, and a Q&A session. 

Connect via PC / Mac / Linux / iOS / Android:  Meeting ID: 941 6437 0603 

STEM Workshops offer a look into life as a USDA Engineer

Porterville College and the USDA have teamed up to provide STEM Enrichment Workshops that highlight USDA agencies and/or partners. The workshops have been developed to introduce local, regional, and state USDA Agencies, federal, and industry partners to STEM students and the campus wide community. Additionally, these enrichment workshops utilize an interactive, discussion-based format designed to engage students actively in their own career development process. Students will take away information about opportunities offered by USDA to optimize their STEM major, internship, and career searches.

The first workshop in this series will be held on September 22nd on campus.  The featured speakers include Blair Bain, a Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Civil Engineer and Dave Krietemeyer, a Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Area 3 Engineer.

Blair Bain began his career with NRCS in 2011 as an Earth Team Volunteer. He has held the position of Civil Engineering Technician with NRCS in Fresno and Hanford, Civil Engineer in Visalia, and just recently became the Team Engineer for the Southern San Joaquin Valley. He provides technical assistance for conservation planning, surveying, design, construction and inspections, as well as project management for a wide variety of engineering projects. He has worked extensively on irrigation and dairy digester projects throughout his career. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Fresno State.

Dave Krietemeyer began his career with NRCS in Ohio. He has worked as a Hydraulic and Planning Engineer, Field Office Engineer, and Area Engineer since coming to California in 1992. He has worked on watershed projects as well as fire and flood rehab projects throughout the southern half of the state, and numerous irrigation, dairy, and range projects in the Central Valley and Sierra Nevadas. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Engineer from the Ohio State University.

PCs Dreamer’s success center partners with the UFW Foundation to offer Free Legal Services

The UFW Foundation and Porterville College have partnered to bring FREE immigration legal services directly to students, faculty, and staff.  Immigration Attorneys and Department of Justice accredited representatives are available to provide free, culturally-competent, and reliable expertise to the campus community.

Services include Immigration eligibility consultations, DACA Renewal, Naturalization, Family-based immigration, and other immigration services.

Claudia Lopez, staff attorney for the UFW Foundation says of the program, ”UFW Foundation immigration attorneys and DOJ Accredited Representatives are available to provide culturally competent, trauma-informed, and reliable expertise to the campus community. We can serve people in multiple languages, including English, Spanish, Mixteco, and Mandarin; simply indicate your language preference.”  For assistance, you can schedule a FREE appointment with the following link:

This service is offered through the DREAMER’s Success Center on campus. 

Cerro Coso Community College

Late Start courses at Cerro Coso still available for Fall 2021

Cerro Coso Community College is offering a number of late start classes this fall. Late start classes can be to pursue a degree, or for professional development and personal enrichment. Offered in a variety of formats including completely online, hybrid, schedule Zoom, or on campus, students can pick the format that best meets their needs.  

With a variety of start dates, the college is offering an array of classes in Administration of Justice, Anthropology, Business Office Technology, Child Development, English, Health Careers, Information Technology, Spanish, and so much more. 

A complete listing of late start classes is available on the college website at Contact a counselor today.

Denise Allen joins CTE team at Ridgecrest campus

Cerro Coso would like to welcome Denise Allen, the new CTE Administrative Secretary at the Ridgecrest campus.

A graduate of Cerro Coso, Denise holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Development and Family Sciences and a minor in Psychology from Oregon State University. Married with two children, she enjoys playing games with her family, going on hikes, lounging in her backyard, and exploring. 

The college’s CTE Program specializes in skilled trades, applied sciences, modern technologies, and career preparation. Learners of all ages are provided the academic and technical skills, knowledge and training necessary to succeed in future careers. 

The programs prepare these learners for the world of work by introducing them to workplace competencies, and makes academic content accessible to students by providing it in a hands-on format. Welcome Denise to the CCCC community! 

TimelyCare Telehealth available for Cerro Coso students

Being a college student right now can be overwhelming, especially when the world keeps shifting under our feet. College students should take health care seriously – Cerro Coso does.  TimelyCare Telehealth for Coyotes provides 24/7 access to FREE medical and mental health support for all Cerro Coso students. Students can talk to a licensed provider from their smartphone or any web-enabled device, anywhere in the United States, day or night, for FREE!

Licensed physicians and counselors are available to offer medical and mental support via phone or secure video visits. Students can go to to register with their college email address and receive on-demand or scheduled access to a medical provider who can treat a wide range of common illnesses like cold and flu, sinus infection, allergies and more, or talk to a mental health professional to talk about anything at anytime, or schedule an appointment to meet with a licensed counselor. 

TimelyCare also offers group sessions: Weekly Guided Meditation and Yoga, plus specialized sessions throughout the year. Students can also get prescriptions if the provider deems it clinically appropriate.  TimelyCare.  It’s for students.  For FREE. 

Need help? Find out more at CoyoteTelehealth.

Bakersfield College

BC 9/11 Monument in the Renegade Crossroads

From President Zav Dadabhoy’s email:

As we approach the 20th anniversary of one of the most profound tragedies our country has ever endured, the attacks of September 11, 2001, Bakersfield College is ever mindful of each soul that was lost. We remember with gratitude the heroic actions and selfless sacrifices of the first responders that day and of the servicemen and women who went on to fight the War on Terror in the years that followed. Through this memorial monument, we wish to honor and pay tribute to all those who perished. We at Bakersfield College vow to remember them on this 20th anniversary and throughout the ages.

Bakersfield College invites students, staff, and the community to share in our tribute by visiting the Veteran Resource Center booth to pen a message of remembrance and affix it to a red memorial carnation provided by the BC Veteran Resource Center. The carnations will be placed at the foot of the Twin Tower memorial, which will be located in the quad throughout the week.

The Twin Towers Memorial Monument was a collaborative project by the BC VRC staff, designed and built by BC faculty, Jeremy Staat. BC Horticulture faculty, Lindsay Ono, provided the plants and rubble to complete the memorial. The base of the monument bears resemblance to the current memorial in New York where the twin towers once stood. There are nearly 3,000 welding tacks within the monument in honor of the souls lost that day. New life, hope and the tenacity of our country are represented by the foliage overcoming the rubble below the towers.

Check out this video from 23ABC News about the monument.

The monument will be displayed through September 11.

Renegade Athletics Return

Football season is back and fans will be returning to Memorial Stadium on Saturday, September 11, 2021, at 6pm as the Renegades face off against the El Camino Warriors!

On the anniversary of September 11th, the ‘Gades will be honoring all first responders during halftime and all first responders will be receiving free admission.

Renovations made to Memorial Stadium since 2019 include the remodeled concession stands, new stadium lighting, and an HD video scoreboard which will enhance the game day experience at Memorial Stadium. Gates open to the public at 5pm. 

This week, the BC Men’s Soccer team traveled to Cerritos, where they unfortunately lost 4-1.

On Friday, September 10, Men’s and Women’s Cross Country traveled to Oxnard College for the Oxnard Invitational at 10:00AM.

Wrestling also returned on Friday, after not competing since 2019. They hosted Victor Valley in the Gil Bishop Sports Complex at 6:00PM. This morning, they host the Bakersfield College Duels at 10:00AM.  

Poetry Corner

I have been sharing Jack Hernandez‘s multi-part poem, Rockport in June. Today I’m sharing the remaining parts 7-9:


I am up,
the others
are asleep,
the sun glows
through clouds
flowing water
slowly passing
the island
solid and there
before my eyes
like my future.


The boats sail leisurely
or speed by bouncing
on the waves,
occasionally a lobster boat
sits patiently,
which one am I?
I think as I slowly
rise to get another
cup of coffee
feeling my knees say,
“Stay a little longer.”


I could move here
and be a monk
in winter,
on each snow filled
morning how blessed
I am to see
the sun flashed
ocean    to have
the love
of my laughing
joyful family.

Ag/Water/Energy (AWE) Education Series 

The Energy Technology Transfer and Workforce Development initiative launched a new webinar series bringing together experts and stakeholders in natural resources for Kern County. 

For the first edition of the Ag/Water/Energy Education series, Kern County Farm Bureau Executive Director Romeo Agbalog started off by introducing Roger Aines, a scientist from Lawrence Livermore laboratories who talked about the rich potential for biomass and carbon sequestration projects in Kern County.

Romeo Agbalog’s Opening Remarks:

I will bring the other speakers to you in future blogs.

Emeritus Recognition at KCCD Board Meeting & Luncheon

At this month’s KCCD Board of Trustees meeting, three of our distinguished faculty members were recognized as Emeritus Recipients.

Congratulations to:

Ron Glahn, Porterville College

Claudia Habib, Ron Glahn, Trustee John Corkins

Becky Head, Bakersfield College

Sandi Taylor, Bakersfield College

Was happy that Earl Parsons snapped this photo of sandi and me.

Here is a 3-min video where I present a life time achievement award to Sandi

After the board meeting Isabel Melendez snapped this photo of me with the three presidents.

Quick Tips for Teaching Success

I’ve been looking over the archive from Porterville College’s Quick Tips for Teaching Success Series, and I wanted to share this amazing resource with you.

Quick Tips for Online Success began as a group of faculty from Porterville College decided to join forces in order to help colleagues and each other in the move to online learning.  In the summer of 2020, the team began presenting weekly on topics such as student-to-student interaction and creating engaging videos, condensing a presentation into an action-packed 20 minutes.  The goal of the group is to learn from each other through sharing best practices so that we can do the very best for our students during this time of uncertainty. 

Check out the recording from the webinar “A Deep Dive into Surviving High (Academic) Anxiety”.

Ethics in Leadership event set for September 15

I received this email from Traco Matthews this week, and I wanted to share it with you as ethics in leadership is such a critical topic:

You are cordially invited to attend this Kegley Institute of Ethics event the evening of Wednesday, September 15, 2021 at 6pm. Due to the recent surge in COVID-19 cases, this event will now be held virtually. I look forward to seeing many of you there as we discuss the role of ethics in leadership.

In the News

KCHCC Receives Prestigious Chamber of the Year Award from the California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce

Jay Tamsi and Sonya Christian

The Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (KCHCC) is proud to announce it will be receiving the prestigious award of Chamber of the Year. This honor will be awarded at The California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce’s (CHCC) Annual Statewide Convention on September 11, 2021, in Palm Springs, California.

This award recognizes a Hispanic Chamber for their work in leading the advancement of Hispanic small businesses and the communities they serve. The award recognizes excellence in operations, member services, and community leadership.  

“This is an absolute honor that I am proud to share with our Board of Directors, especially, over the course of the past two years,” says Jay Tamsi, President/CEO of the KCHCC. “Our organization is resilient and continues to be dedicated to Kern County’s economic and community development.

Since its inception in 1985, the Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce has been dedicated to helping Hispanic owned businesses and business professionals succeed within its community. Through various community partnerships, the organization has dedicated itself to granting access to business development workshops, community-based academies and educational seminars to its members and the community at large. Member celebrations such as grand-openings, special events and monthly mixers have also been a strong suit of the Chamber’s ability to bring its community together.

Over the last 12 months, KCHCC partnered with Kern County Public Health and numerous community partners, community leaders and health care institutions to bring free COVID-19 testing sites and vaccination clinics to Kern County’s underserved neighborhoods and community centers. These widely successful and heavily attended clinics are due in part, to the chamber’s strong community presence and esteemed reputation.

In addition to the Kern County Latino COVID-19 Task Force, the Chamber was able to implement a strong virtual learning arena for its members and local business community. Online seminars relating to employment law, health and safety rules and regulations and traditional business readiness and preparation were continuously offered during the pandemic.

BC Foundation publishes September edition of Panorama

This week, the BC Foundation published the September edition of their Panorama newsletter.

Highlights include –

A feature on BC Interim President Zav Dadabhoy:

Dr. Dadabhoy brings a variety of experience to the position.  In fact, a career in higher education was not his original plan.  “In my first career, I worked as a public accountant in England. I came to the U.S. in 1982, to study Organizational Behavior, and that evolved into a career in higher education,” he said.    

A preview of the 14th Annual Sterling Silver, on March 19, 2022:

Honorees include the Contreras Family, Individual Philanthropist Award; Bank of America, Corporate Philanthropist Award; Assemblymember Rudy Salas, BC Foundation Service Medal; and Congressman William “Bill” Thomas, Lifetime Achievement Award

Check out the September edition of Panorama online. Thank you to BC Foundation Executive Director Cheryl Scott!

Fun Photos and Spotted on Social Media

I wanted to share this photo from last weekend as many of us travelled to LA Pierce to watch the first Renegade Football game.

Sonya Christian with Sharon Baker

Porterville President Claudia Habib shared these photos as Summit HS Freshmen became PC students:

So proud of this freshman class and excited about their bright future ahead #DualEnrollment #EarlyCollege #partnership  #studentsuccess @SummitHS_Bears @PCollegePirates @Burtonsuper2018”

Porterville College Director of Student Services Frank Ramirez shared this post from the start of the KCCD Leadership Academy:



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

The future is bright at KCCD.

a joyful and grateful Chancellor


KCCD leaders with our communities

We are wrapping up our third week of the Fall 2021 semester, and all three of our campuses have been alive with the bustle of students, faculty, and staff. We’ve also welcomed the return of athletics on our campuses. I invite you to follow our Porterville College Pirates, Cerro Coso Community College Coyotes, and Bakersfield College Renegades throughout the season.

This week, I was honored to speak at the Rotary Club of Bakersfield Downtown’s meeting on Thursday.

I shared some of the work that has been happening over the past few years, and throughout the pandemic, and the plans for the next five years. #KCCDDaringMightyThings

I am grateful for the deep and meaningful connections our colleges have to our communities.

Good morning, friends…
It is September 4, 2021.
The sun shines bright over KCCD.

This week, the Pirates, the Coyotes, and the Renegades continue to 

Porterville College

PC brings new Leadership to Equity and Diversity efforts

Porterville College’s new Director of Equity and Student Success hopes to use his background in Equity and Inclusion to strengthen the student experience. 

Dr. Julian West

Dr. Julian West holds two degrees from California State University, Bakersfield: a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and an M.B.A. with an emphasis in Marketing. Additionally, He has studied at San Diego State University where he earned a doctorate degree in Educational Leadership with an emphasis in community college leadership. Before coming to Porterville College, Julian was serving as a Director at the Career Ladders Project. While at Career Ladders, Dr. West assisted in developing equity work at various community colleges across the state.

Prior to that, he served as the Educational Advisor for African American Success at Bakersfield College. While at BC, the college received the innovation of the year award from the Community College League of Innovation for the African American Mentor Program (AAMP).

PC Students RUSH to join clubs on campus

Porterville College held its first Club Rush event of the Fall Semester this past week, bringing students to the quad to explore different choices for student clubs available on campus. 

Club Rush is held every semester to promote campus clubs, student involvement, and recruitment. Due to the Pandemic, this is our first time hosting the event in-person for over a year.

Various clubs were in attendance to provide students with information on things that might meet their interests –whether those interests be academic, career or hobby. From honor societies, to LGBTQIA+ clubs, to entertainment and cultural clubs, Club Rush had a wide variety to choose from.

The RUSH for club recruitment continues next week with another day in the quad for students on Wednesday, September 8th.

PC Sports ask students to MASK UP!

The Porterville College Men’s Basketball and Women’s Volleyball Teams were seen on social media asking students to wear their masks.  They have been taking to Twitter, Instagram and Facebook in recent days with the hashtag #PiratesMaskUp. Go Pirates! 

Cerro Coso Community College

Cheers for Charity Pulls Out All the Stops

Math Instructor at the Tehachapi campus Jaclyn Kessler and President Sean Hancock pose for a picture in front of the Cheers for Charity welcome banner.

The CCCC Foundation would like to thank Cheers for Charity for selecting Cerro Coso Community College as a recipient of this year’s wine, food, and beer fundraiser in Tehachapi.  The fun, laid-back atmosphere boasted an awesome selection of food, wine, beer, music, and games all in support of local non-profits. 

Guests sipped, savored, mixed and mingled their way through an impressive number of local award-winning wines, craft beers, homebrews, and culinary exhibits. 

The evening was a breath of fresh air with some of the most passionate and knowledgeable volunteers. the event was a great way to enjoy everything the region has to offer. Proceeds will benefit Cerro Coso Promise Scholarships for Tehachapi students.

Library Supports ISEP Students

The Cerro Coso Library is pleased to announce a new “Core Academic Collection” of print reference titles for the Tehachapi Prison D-Yard Library! This collection of over 200 titles was purchased with Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) funding and was curated with input from ISEP faculty. 

The collection includes such titles as:  African American Culture: An Encyclopedia of People, Traditions, and Customs; American Prisons and Jails: An Encyclopedia of Controversies and Trends; Economics: The Definitive Encyclopedia from Theory to Practice; The Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice; Encyclopedia of Psychology; and The International Encyclopedia of Anthropology. The collection addresses a gap in access to academic sources at the prison, most recently made clear by students taking LIBR C111 “Advanced Library Research and Information Studies.” 

When asked to contribute to the library blog, students were eager to reflect on the social, psychological, and physiological impacts of living in an information-restricted environment while their non-incarcerated peers are living in an information-saturated society.

Read their blog posts at:

Ridgecrest Parade of 1,000 Flags to remember 20th anniversary of 9/11

September 11, 2021, will mark the 20th anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks in the U.S. that killed 2,977 people and injured more than 6,000 others. Cerro Coso will participate in this year’s Parade of 1,000 Flags in Ridgecrest on September 11, 2021 at 9 a.m.  

Despite our shared grief in the aftermath of 9/11, hope, resilience, and unity lifted us up as a nation. Twenty years later, these lessons are more important than ever.  Since 2008 the Parade of 1,000 Flags has become one of the community’s signature events. 

As a nation we vowed to “never forget” and on this day Cerro Coso students, employees, and family members will march in unity with others in remembrance of those who were killed and injured in the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, as well as the many rescue and recovery workers and members of the military who bravely rose in service in response.

Bakersfield College

BC to Offer License Renewal Course for Smog Repair Technicians

Bakersfield College announced that they will offer a 12-hour Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) License Update Training course required for smog repair technician license renewal.

The 12-hour course, UTO47 – Advanced Valve Timing and Engine Mechanical Diagnostic, along with the required BAR 4-hour online course, will satisfy the inspector update training requirements.

The course will be taught in-person on the Panorama campus September 16th, September 17th, September 23rd and September 24th from 6:00pm – 9:00pm. BC is meeting the rising need for continual education opportunities for Smog Repair Technicians.

Interested individuals may sign up by contacting the Career Education office.

Bakersfield College to Host AWE Education Series Webinar I on Tuesday

On September 7 at 10 a.m., the Bakersfield College Energy Technology Transfer and Workforce Development initiative is hosting its first webinar in the Agriculture/Water/Energy (AWE) Education Series. The webinar, “An Introduction to Existing and Potential Opportunities in Kern County” features a panel of local stakeholders and national researchers sharing their perspectives on emerging opportunities and technology within their respective fields.

The panelists are – Roger Aines, Senior Scientist and energy researcher at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory; Patricia Poire, Executive Director at the Kern Groundwater Authority; and Joe Ashley, Director of Regulatory and External Affairs at California Resources Corporation.

To attend this event, Register for the AWE Webinar.

James Fitzgerald, Criminal Profiler and Forensic Linguist “Visits” Bakersfield College

BC students, faculty, staff, and community members were treated to a presentation about the Unabom serial bomber investigation this week. James Fitzgerald, criminal profiler, forensic linguist and author, shared stories of his involvement in the Unabom case and his experience in other cases as a forensic linguist. He was live via Zoom and on BSGA’s Facebook. Recordings will be available soon.

You may have seen the Discovery Channel’s scripted mini-series Manhunt: Unabomber that aired in August 2017. Fitzgerald was portrayed by actor Sam Worthington and shared a few photos and compared real life events with how it was portrayed on TV.  He also shared a few experiences with his consultant work on CBS’s Criminal Minds. He finished his presentation with advice for students on entering the forensic linguist and criminal profiler fields and advice for reaching the goal of working for the FBI.

This was the first of this year’s Distinguished Speaker Series (DSS) which brings community leaders from around the world to benefit Bakersfield with their knowledge and experience. The speakers are brought to us by the BCSGA and Office of Student Life in collaboration with departments and faculties of Bakersfield College. Thank you to Pam Smith, Professor of Criminal Justice, for coordinating this event. 

Don’t miss the rest of the series! Check out the schedule, which includes Rob Reiner in April, at BC Distinguished Speaker Series.

Webinars to discuss C.O.P. The Color of Power: Odyssey of a Black Cop Webinar

The Levan Center for the Humanities is kicking off this year’s lineup of events on Thursday, September 9th, with two virtual events starring our own Tommy Tunson. Tommy will be hosting two webinars on Thursday that are based on his recent book: The Color of Power: Odyssey of a Black Cop. Since these events are webinars, they require advanced registration. The times and links are below. Please tell your students about these webinars and encourage them to attend, again underscoring that they must register in advance. As always, thanks for all of your support, and I look forward to see all of you Thursday!

After decades of civil unrest protesting police brutality against communities of color, the George Floyd murder has provided a long-awaited catalyst in demanding necessary reform. Local Leader Dr. Tommy Tunson Advocates for Unity between Law Enforcement & Communities of Color. Kern County Author Releases New Book, The “Color of Power: Odyssey of a Black Cop.”  “Sylvester Stone” is the pen name of Dr. Tunson. This book is one cop’s story of the internal struggle of being a cop of color. All students and community members are invited to hear his amazing story! This event is highly recommended for CJ students and law enforcement professionals. September 9th, 1100 am and 5:00 pm.

Sign up for this motivating webinar:

11am registration link:

5pm registration link:

Professors win grant to bring attention to the farmworker movement

BC History Professor Oliver Rosales is co-directing a grant with CSUB’s Adam Sawyer who directs liberal studies.  They worked together on projects dating back a decade. 

This grant award builds upon Energizing Humanities in California’s San Joaquin Valley, a NEH grant wrapping up at KCCD (2017-2021).  While the existing grant focused exclusively on community college faculty within KCCD, this new NEH landmarks grant will expand opportunities for 72 K-12 educators to learn about historical landmarks in the San Joaquin Valley during a professional development opportunity in summer 2022.

Poetry Corner

Photo of Rockport

Last week, I shared the fifth part in Jack Hernandez‘s Rockport in June series.

Please enjoy Part 6:

With its flicking light
the lighthouse signals
the island’s existence
in this thick night,
I go to bed with hope
that such a sign
will let me know
I still have
many places to go.

In the News

Community Voices: The mighty thing about early college

KCCD Trustee Romeo Agbalog wrote this piece in the Bakersfield Californian about the next step in BC’s Early College Program.

“So in a few weeks, join Bakersfield College and McFarland High School-Early College in daring mighty things in announcing a new opportunity for high school students to earn a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Automation in five years. In partnership, Bakersfield College and McFarland High School–Early College has removed barriers and created an opportunity for all students with the chance to have a college education, regardless of their circumstance or background.”

COUCH’S CORNER: State agriculture secretary visits District 4

My visit with Secretary Ross concluded at McFarland High School, where we were greeted by the school’s audiovisual production class. McFarland High School students also gave a tour of the agriculture and industrial automation degree programs offered at the campus. I would be remiss if I did not mention that roughly 26 percent of the students graduate with an AA degree from Bakersfield Community College. The high school students also had a separate robotics challenge on display, and we took a tour of their recently renovated welding shop.

Read more:

Community Voices: The matter of religious liberty on vaccines

Let me start by thanking those who decided to get a COVID-19 vaccination. Your decision has reduced my chances of getting COVID-19 and has reduced the chance of all the children under 12 getting COVID-19, children who do not have a choice because they cannot get the vaccine. Whether you decided because of a self-interest in not wanting to risk getting seriously ill or because of a sense of social responsibility in being part of a society that can only thrive by cooperating and helping each other out — whatever the reason, thank you. Because COVID-19 is a very infectious disease, your decision affects my and other people’s health.

Read more:

Leadership Porterville Class of 22 introduced

Esther Avila of The Porterville Recorder wrote this article about the Leadership Porterville Class of 22. This year’s class includes Refugio Rodriguez, CTE/Dual Enrollment Director at Porterville College. PC President Claudia Habib was the keynote speaker at the event.

Fun Photos/Spotted on Social Media

PC President Claudia Habib shared these photos from the Leadership Porterville event:

Cerro Coso Athletics shared a post from their kick off Cosolympics 2021 event:

Jennifer Garrett shared this great photo from a BC Chamber Singers rehearsal:

And I loved this adorable picture Cheryl Scott shared of her dog, Remi:

Kern County Supervisor Leticia Perez, left, and BC program manager Stacey Shepard, right, show off their BC pride. Supervisor Perez has been going out with BC canvassers as part of our door-to-door, on-site vaccine effort in partnership with UCLA’s Get Out the Vaccine project and our community partners Dignity Health, Kern Health Systems and Hall Ambulance.

Dr. Kimberly Bligh with a TRIO student

Pictures from the Rotary meeting on Sep 2, 2021



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

The future is bright at KCCD.

a joyful and grateful Chancellor


Times that call for compassion and love

This has been a sad week with the tragic events unfolding in Afghanistan. On Thursday the bombing attacks outside of Kabul airport killed 13 U.S. service members and as many as 170 other people.

The news coming out of Afghanistan has been painful, and particularly so for our veteran men and women who have served in the region over the last 20 years, and for their families. I’m deeply proud that the Kern Community College District serves over 800 student veterans, and I hope that each of them knows they can turn to our veterans services teams at all of our colleges for any assistance they may need.

I pray for the safety of our military personnel and others who are in extremely dangerous situations. I pray for our veterans who have served in Afghanistan and returned…. I pray for peace and compassion.

On another note, last Saturday I tuned in to the We Love NYC: The Homecoming Concert held in Central Park. The free show welcomed 60,000 vaccinated fans.

Andrea Bocelli’s rendition of “O Sole Mio” was breathtaking.

Here is Jennifer Hudson’s performance of “Nessun Dorma”.

And then Barry Manilow was unfortunately interrupted mid-song due to weather as hurricane Henri storm cells brought the threat of lightning. While the concert was much shorter than planned, it was wonderful to see people able to celebrate and gather in community once again after nearly 18 months of pandemic.

Saturday was also the harvest festival Onam, which is the official festival of Kerala, India. Onam commemorates the kind-hearted and much-beloved King Mahabali, who is said to return to Kerala during this festival.

Sonya poses with 20 Onam participants.
This photo was taken two years ago during the Onam celebration in Bakersfield

During the ten-day festivities, devotees ritually bathe, offer prayers, wear traditional clothes — women of the household wear a white and gold saree – participate in dance performances, draw flower rangolis and cook traditional vegetarian feasts called sadya. Sadya is served on banana leaves during Onam.

Check out this article from The Indian Express, which goes into more detail about the importance of this festival.

Good morning, friends…
It is August 28, 2021.
The sun shines bright over KCCD.

This week, the Pirates, the Coyotes, and the Renegades continue to 

Porterville College

PC Returns with new spaces, student excitement, and opportunities for vaccination

Hundreds of students returned to in-person classes at Porterville College this week for the first time in more than a year. Even after being away for a year and a half, as the students return in person, PC is ready for them. “We’ve done a lot to prepare for the return to campus over the past year. First, we addressed health and safety,” President Habib said before listing some recent changes at Porterville College.

New seating areas have been added all around campus buildings and foyers, including furniture with phone and other device charging stations. Our cafeteria has been modernized and we’ve added outdoor WIFI. There is also a lot of new comfortable outdoor seating.

Many students could be found at the Porterville College Bookstore browsing for textbooks, snacks, drinks, PC gear, electronics, and other school essentials.

“Today is our first foot-traffic day,” said store manager Beatrice Arellano. “It’s been really smooth. No problems at all. We’re happy students are back on campus face to face.” New store hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., but the store will stay open as long as students are there, Monday through Friday, said Arellano.

Outside of the bookstore, a group of freshmen basketball players enjoyed some of the seating in the Student Union. The team members said they liked the campus and were excited about their first year at PC and their first  basketball season. By the looks of this new team led by coach Amaurys Fermin, we’re exited for the season as well!

Inside the Student Center Conference Room in the cafeteria, Dr. Kunal Sukhija, Director of Kaweah Health Street Medicine and the Medical Society of Tulare/Kings County, helped administer a “pop-up” COVID Vaccination Clinic for students and staff.  He talked with a group of nursing students, residents and physicians administering vaccines to Porterville College students.

Out in the campus quad, students visited the Student Services Welcome Area, set up to provide information, games, and PC Swag between classes. It was also the perfect time to introduce incoming students to student clubs.

First semester Biology instructor Denise Jackson was also on hand to welcome students and provide program information. “I thought it would be cool to be here and welcome students,” said Jackson, “So I grabbed a few things and came out here.”

The “things” she grabbed made quite an impression on the Natural Science Department table.  They included porcupine poop, a huge bullfrog tadpole, a clam with calcite, a DNA molecule structure and a model of a human skull.

“We’ve been working hard all summer gearing up for the start of fall,” said Primavera Arvizu, vice president of student services. We offer support and counseling, technology, and financial aid for students.  We make sure they have whatever they need to be successful.”

Friends Benjamin Valencia-Andrade, Miguel Ruiz, Jonathan Carrillo and Marco Vilog, walked around together from booth to booth, getting information, asking questions and picking up free items.

Local radio station Hitz104.9 played music, and frequent announcements throughout the day reminding students to get their COVID Vaccination.

“I just hope they learn something about Porterville College that works for them that they didn’t know before they showed up,” said Vice President of Instruction Dr. Thad Russell.

For more Opening Week photos, visit

Student Story: Marivid Sepulveda

Marivid Sepulveda comes to campus each day with a dream of becoming the best version of herself.  “Ever since I was 13 years old my dad always woke me up in the morning to go work in the fields, so I have a lot of experience in fieldwork… but I always thought ‘I wanna be the one doing the orders and the other stuff!’”

This first year Agribusiness major didn’t initially choose to attend college, but life has a way of steering you in new directions, “I didn’t always want to do this”, said Sepulveda. “[In my family] when you’re younger, they tell you either come to work in the fields, or hit them books. Right now, I could go work in the fields no problem for $12 an hour, but am I still going to be able to do that work when I’m 50? And that’s not enough to take care of my kids. Thinking about my future now, I’d rather be 50 years old and the one in the truck making the calls and making the orders… and making the money.”

Marivid is a single mother of three.  Not too long ago, she found herself without a place for them to live.  “3, 4 years ago, I ended up homeless, I was actually working with my daughter [holding her] in a baby seat.  She would have to go with me and she was only like 7 months old. When I would move the ladder for the oranges, I would move her with me. Ever since then, I just know I can’t let my kids down.”

It was that hard time in her life that had her finally say “enough is enough”. She saw an opportunity to change her life around at Portervillec College, not only for herself, but for her children.  She explains, “At Porterville college they set that plan and schedule for you, that I can see myself in two years actually graduating, when 5 years ago I didn’t believe I could ever do that. It’s a perfect opportunity now.  While my kids are at school, I’m at school too. My kids are my support.  They’re the ones telling me ‘Mom, you can do it’. It’s them that drives me.” 

Marivid is excited about our return to campus and says she appreciates the rules set in place to keep her and others safe. “I’m glad we have rules to keep us safe.  I’m here on campus, then go back home, study with my kids, then back here again hitting the books the next day.  I want to keep my kids healthy, myself healthy and everybody else healthy. I don’t want to get sick or my kids to get sick.  Nobody wants to miss out on school.  We’ve missed already so much.”

Marivid is grateful that PC is here to provide education for people like her.  She says, “I used to be a negative person, now I’m all about this. I was born and raised in Porterville. This is all me right here. My daughters are fueling my fire back. I feel like I should be here.  Like I’m meant to be here.”

Campus Quotable

“I want to express to you all how beautiful and welcoming the campus was today. The signage was great, instructions clear, new bathroom upgrades are lovely (yay for changing tables too!). It is clear to me that a lot of care and work went into making the campus welcoming and safe for everyone. Thank you to everyone involved. It was a beautiful thing to see.” – Karen Bishop, Professor and Chair of the Social Science Division

Improvements to campus include a redesigned cafeteria and Student Life Center (Pirates Cove), improved seating in building entryways, and more outdoor seating for students to enjoy between classes

PC Math

I was delighted to read this email from Melissa Long, English Professor, Outcomes Coordinator and AB705 Implementation Coordinator:

I want to highlight the terrific work our math department is doing and share with you the new Just Equations report, “Solving for Equity in Practice: New Insights on Advancing College Math Opportunity and Success,” in which Porterville College is featured prominently.  Please take a moment to read the article and commend our math colleagues for this accomplishment.

Cerro Coso Community College

CC offers private security courses

Complete two one-day courses in a weekend and you can advance your career opportunities in private security and receive your guard card.  Cerro Coso is offering classes back to back, ADMJ C050 Powers to Arrest & Weapons of Mass Destruction and ADMJ C054 Officer Safety and First Aid/CPR at the Bishop, Ridgecrest, and Tehachapi campuses in October. “Since the tragedy of 9/11 private security has been the fastest-growing field in America,” said Professor Dr. Jarrod Bowen.

“I have been a certified BSIS instructor since 2009 and I can say with confidence that the increase in salary and professionalism in the field of private security makes this training invaluable to anyone interested in a law enforcement future, private or public.

This program is authorized by the Bureau of Security and Investigative Services.  For more information on the program contact Department Chair Peter Fulks at 760-384-6166 or email him at

Submit COVID-19 Vaccination Proof Online

Cerro Coso students and employees can now submit proof of COVID-19 vaccination on the KCCD Campus Pass App and on the website on the Covid-19 Resources page.

CC Welcomes Students Back to Campus

As first-and second-year students begin their in-person Coyote experience, student Ambassador Geraldine Valles and John McHenry and staff member Kim Carrasco greeted them the first two days of classes at the Ridgecrest campus with maps, class locations, and breakfast.  They also taught them how to download the KCCD Campus Pass App and scan various QR codes around campus. All designed to help them settle in to the new semester. 

Bakersfield College

Renegade Room Accepting Dine-in Reservations, To-go Orders

The Renegade Room, a public restaurant operated by students enrolled in Bakersfield College’s Culinary Arts program, is now accepting dine-in reservations and to-go orders for the fall semester. The Renegade Room offers gourmet, fresh restaurant style meals and service while students receive hands-on training in both the kitchen and front of the house customer service roles.

Starting September 8th, the Renegade Room will be open for Wednesday lunch service from 11:15 am to 12:30 pm. Beginning September 14th, Renegade Room will begin serving dinners on select Tuesdays and Thursdays at 5:30pm. Make your reservations early by visiting our website and booking a table. 

Menus are emailed weekly to patrons who sign up by contacting 661-395-4441 or email

BC’s Veterans Services Holds Information Sessions

Bakersfield College’s Veterans Resource Center held two information sessions for student veterans and military-affiliated students on Wednesday, August 25. The 2-hour programs provided students with information on support services and some of the most frequently requested resources.

Jenny Frank, BC’s Manager of Veterans Services and Programs was excited to see students face-to-face. She says, “We have many students who have never had the opportunity to step foot inside BC’s beautiful Veterans Resource Center and we want them to know we’re here and that this space exists for them.”

BC Student Life Hosts 2021 Welcome Week

The Office of Student Life at Bakersfield College hosted the first of two Welcome Weeks this past week.

Activities included Welcome Tents placed throughout the campus daily, Renegade Rollout where free donuts and student planners were handed out, Pizza with the SGA Pres & town hall meeting,  and inflatable Joust & Boxing on the CSS lawn. Next week’s events include Welcome Tents, The Student Involvement Festival, Distinguished Speaker Series with Criminal Profiler & Forensic Linguist James Fitzgerald, and a Live Band Event featuring Dancing Tommy.

Check out the photos from Week 1 below!

SGA President Edith Mata & Student Trustee Gian Gayatao at the Inflatable Joust & Boxing Event
The counseling team at one of the Welcome Tents
Staff hands out donuts and planners on Day 1

Poetry Corner

Photo of Rockport

Last week, I shared the fourth part of Jack Hernandez‘s poetry series “Rockport in June.”

Please enjoy Part 5:

On this warm day
the water flows
unhurriedly by,
my granddaughter
brings in a tiny
snail in a cup,
we feel the breeze
and talk of dinner,
not seeing the snail
inching free
toward the beckoning
ocean over which
birds sweep
beyond our grasp.

Chancellor’s Seminar Series

On Tuesday, I continued my Chancellor’s Seminar Series with “Caring for the Campus Community”. We heard strategies that each college is using to help guide their students, faculty, and staff through the difficulties of the pandemic.

Rich McCrow and Manny Mourtzanos shared from Bakersfield College:

Roger Perez and Primavera Arvizu spoke about Porterville College:

And Heather Ostash and Katie Bachman discussed Cerro Coso Community College:

Thank you to all our presenters and those who tuned in to hear the discussion. And as always, thank you to Todd Coston for provided technical support.

You can see videos from our past Chancellor’s Seminar Series at

Fun Photos & Spotted on Social Media

I was honored to join Karen Ross, Secretary of California Dept. Of Food and Agriculture who was visiting Superintendent Aaron Resendez of McFarland School District. KCCD trustee and Kern County Farm Bureau Executive Director Romeo Agbalog and others joined the event that included a tour of Browning Road School, McFarland Junior High, and McFarland High School/Early College.


Here are a few photos from a recent Board Docs Refresher Training session. Thank you Danielle Hillard for leading this session!

Check out this sneak peak from Cerro Coso Volleyball picture day:

BC Nursing shared this photo of the Umoja Career Prep Academy Students:

Back to School Photos

I enjoyed seeing all the photos students, faculty and staff across the district have been sharing during our first week back to in-person instruction.

Here’s a great post from Porterville College President Claudia Habib:

Cerro Coso President Sean Hancock was ready to greet students:

PC’s Sarah Rector was ready to start the fall semester:

BC’s Olivia Garcia was happy to be back in her office:

Cerro Coso’s Heather Ostash was helping out with CC Rocks:

In the News

Community Voices: Welcome back, students

BC Chemistry Professor Deborah Rosenthal wrote this wonderful piece in the Bakersfield Californian about getting our students back on campus.

“Our community has many first-generation students with dreams of becoming engineers, biologists, physicians, physical therapists, science teachers, professors, pharmacist, researchers, etc. In the science field we need them on campus so we can guide them and instill confidence. I have a newfound excitement to be on campus this fall. I thank the community for trusting me with their children and I look forward to seeing students on campus.



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

The future is bright at KCCD.

a joyful and grateful Chancellor


KCCD Colleges Ready for our students!

We are just days away from the start of the Fall 2021 semester – where did the summer go?

Bakersfield College’s new Academic Senate President, Nick Strobel, created this pre-term message that I wanted to share with all of you as we begin our fall term:

And students, plz get your KCCD Campus Pass App today ! Here is a message from the presidents of the three colleges!

Good morning, friends…
It is August 21, 2021.
The sun shines bright over KCCD.

This week, the Pirates, the Coyotes, and the Renegades continue to 
Dare Mighty Things

Porterville College

Students start vaccination process with on-campus pop-up event

PC Kinesiology major Deisy Emigdio was one of many students who began her journey to full vaccination on campus this week.  She took advantage of a clinic made available through a partnership between Porterville College, Sierra View Medical Center, and Imperial Ambulance.  Through this partnership, we will be offering a series of pop-up vaccination clinics on campus aimed at helping to lower barriers to students receiving the Vaccine.  Emigdio stopped in to receive her first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine within the comfort of her own campus during our first clinic. “This was easier than I thought it would be,” she says.

PC and the SVMC-Imperial Ambulance Community Vaccination Team invite PC Students and community members to stop by and receive their COVID-19 Vaccine at the next pop-up clinic scheduled for Tuesday, August 24, from 1-5 pm on campus.

PC Faculty and Staff Begin Fall Semester with a close look at “reconnecting disconnected students”

Emeritus Professor Diego Navarro works with PC Faculty and Staff during Fall Flex Day

Porterville College continues the annual Fall Flex tradition with two days of collaboration, planning, and inspiration from and for our Faculty and Staff as they prepare for the return of students to campus this Monday.

This year’s Keynote speaker, Diego Navarro, shared a fantastic presentation on reconnecting disconnected students, pointing out that a culture of dignity and inclusion in our classrooms and offices is key to student success.

Diego Navarro is Professor Emeritus at Cabrillo College. He founded the Academy for College Excellence (ACE) in 2002, which has now been studied and replicated by numerous colleges around the country. Navarro has trained faculty in affective learning approaches and developed the Five-day Experiential Learning Institute (FELI) to teach faculty and staff how to have embodied interactions and employ non-cognitive learning activities to create psychological safety in students. He received the American Association of Community College Trustees, William H. Meardy National Faculty Award in 2009.

PC Faculty and Staff participate in Navarro’s workshop via Zoom

In his workshop, Navarro asserts that our classrooms and campus form a cultural environment that students may experience differently, depending on their background.

Navarro then focused on showing our Faculty and Staff that our responsibility is to help students transition their innate strengths to our college’s programs by creating conditions of belonging and psychological safety in their areas.

This was just one of the many instructional and planning opportunities shared during Fall Flex.  Events also covered student equity issues, engagement, guided pathways, accessibility in our classrooms, and electronic equity, among other topics and brainstorming sessions.

In the words of PC President Dr. Claudia Habib, “Collaboration and Creativity will set the stage for the next century at PC! We are proud to create spaces and experiences that encourage students to survive and thrive. We can’t wait to see everyone on campus this Monday, Go Pirates!”

KCCD Chancellor Dr. Sonya Christian, KCCD Trustee John Corkins,
PC Vice President of Instruction Dr. Thad Russell, PC President Dr. Claudia Habib

Cerro Coso Community College

CC Rocks, Flex Day welcome students, staff, faculty back to campus

After a year of online classes, Zoom lectures, and empty classrooms, Cerro Coso campuses are buzzing again as students meet in person with counselors, enroll in classes, and join Welcome Back activities, many for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic pushed them all online in the spring of 2020.  Mask wearing, vaccinations, and COVID testing, are the new normal, but everyone is anxious and excited for an on-campus experience that is dynamic, safe, and ensures that the high level of both learning and development are possible. 

“It was great to see so many students and staff back on campus during CC Rocks,” said Outreach Director Katie Bachman.  The event held a Promise Student Meet and Greet, Ice Cream Social with President Hancock, Orientation, Campus Tours, Student Need to Know, and provided other vital resources available to students.  All sessions were available via Zoom for those who could not attend in-person.  “There was excitement and a little bit of caution in the air,” said Bachman.  “But the spirit of coming together again as a true learning community was beyond refreshing.”

CC Rocks also included a FREE Vaccination Clinic for students, employees, and the public in partnership with Ridgecrest Regional Hospital.  The timing was perfect before the start of the fall 2021 semester and followed the announcement by the College that it will require all students and employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by November 1, 2021, and masks are to be worn at all times in its facilities.  “It is through the addition of these safety protocols that we are able to continue our much-anticipated return to face-to-face instruction and student support services,” said Dr. Hancock.

“It’s a Year of Renewal – Renewed Hope, Renewed Optimism, and Renewed Purpose,” said Dr. Hancock in his welcome message at Faculty Flex on Thursday, August 19th.  Dr. Hancock provided an overview of Cerro Coso as we close out 2020-2021.  He also gave an update on the District wide Enrollment, Student Success, and Equity efforts underway; the development of the 2022-2025 Strategic Plan; the 2019 Climate Survey Task Force, and plans to begin work on revising the Participatory Governance Model.  Flex Day is a day of professional development geared towards faculty to welcome them back on campus, update them on process and procedures, and to participate in workshops related to “faculty, student, and instructional improvement.”  

Bakersfield College

Kern Transit Offering Free Rides to BC Students During Fall Semester

Kern Transit will once again be offering free rides for all currently enrolled BC students on all Kern Transit 100-routes (e.g.: Rte 110, 120, etc.) with a valid BC Student ID. Free rides will be available during the fall semester, beginning August 21, 2021 and will continue through the end of finals week on December 11, 2021. Additionally, students may ride free on all 100-numbered routes, not just on routes to and from the college. Read more about transportation to and from campus at Bakersfield College Transportation.

Bakersfield College Opening Day with Dr. Zav Dadabhoy

BC kicked off the semester with a two-day virtual opening day. Everyone was very excited and had a lively chat. To the question “what do you look forward to most this semester?” The predominant answer was “SEEING THE STUDENTS!”

I was so touched by this tribute video the BC team made for me….. so many memories …

KHSD Early College Launch Event

I wanted to share this wonderful email from Kylie Campbell, Director of BC’s Early College Program:

Berenice and I wanted to send a huge THANK YOU to everyone who came out to help make our KHSD Early College launch event a success last night. We had an amazing turn out! 290 of the 480 students showed up last night with their parents. We were able to distribute books for the Fall term, give each student an awesome Early College backpack (provided by our sponsors), and each pathway had a great presentation from BC and KHSD administrators, sponsors, industry partners, and our fantastic faculty. We could not have done all of this without YOU!

Our event was on the front page of today’s Bakersfield Californian. Here is the great article by Emma Gallegos. It is a must read! “KHSD Students Embark on College Pathways” by Emma Gallegos — The Bakersfield Californian

You can also check out pictures from the event using this Smug Mug link. Thank you, Dylan!

Hoping that I don’t miss anyone, but we want to acknowledge everyone who made last night’s event possible…

To our presenters (Dr. Dean McGee, Ryan Coleman, Steven Watkin, Berenice Arellano, Cheryl Scott, Josie Guillen, Jackie Stoner, Tony Cordova, Thomas Wallace, Jessyka Johnson, Roy Allard, Paul Murray, and Jessica Gorman) — Thank you for the time you took to prepare and share with our students and parents. Each of you brought a special element to the program, and I know that our students and parents (and myself) left extremely encouraged and excited for this school year! 

Dean McGee
Steven Watkin

To our sponsors and industry partners (Bank of America, Phillips 66, and Centric Health) — Thank you for your continued support of this program and for attending last night to celebrate our students with us. I know that they loved their new backpacks, and we are extremely thankful for the textbooks and supplies that you helped us provide for this school year. I also want to thank our amazing BC Foundation team (Cheryl Scott and Heather Pennella) for all of work they put into finding donors to support educational programs like Early College all across Kern County.

Cheryl Scott
Michael Bowers

To our faculty (Rebecka Zepeda, TJ Wallace, Stephen Mears, Richard McGuirre, Crystal Rodriguez, Jessyka Johnson, Jessica Gorman, Carolyn Brandenburg, Amy Vasconcellos, and Walter Meyer) — It was so great to see most of you last night and for the students and parents to have the chance to meet you before the term begins. We have 22 sections of BC courses scheduled at CTEC this Fall for these pathways, and that is all thanks to you being willing to teach these amazing students and support this opportunity. Thank you!

To the KHSD / CTEC teams (David Carter, Ryan Coleman, Erin Briscoe, Lindsay Mallard, Crystal Cavazos, Staci Haggerty, Todd Bentley and the fabulous CTEC Maintenance crew) — The CTEC facility is beautiful, and I am so glad that we were able to have this event there last night. It was so energizing to see the students and parents, and we could not have pulled off this event with the CTEC maintenance team helping us move a ton of boxes around campus and set up all the tables and chairs. Todd was even able to work magic and get the projectors working right in time for the event. Everything was perfect and the whole crew was so helpful! Thanks to ladies working the textbook checkout (Lindsay, Crystal, and Staci), we got our students through the check in lines quickly and we kept everything moving ahead of schedule. Fantastic work! Special shout to KHSD’s Erin Briscoe for getting the press release out and ordering the awesome balloons and backdrop. Everything looked perfect!

To our hard-working BC volunteers (Ashlea Ward, Kara McDonald, Monika Scott, Dylan Yuan Wang, Cecilia Gabaldon, Nikki Castruita, Jackie Stoner, Josie Guillen, Maria Herrera, Vanessa Beltran, and Kaylee Stafford) — WOW! What would we have done without you? Thank you for all of your help setting up, getting textbooks to students, and cleaning up after the long night. Special shout out to Maria for helping students with last-minute registrations to make sure they are all set for next week. You are all awesome!

And last, but certainly not least — Thank you to our BC Maintenance & Operations team for driving 40 boxes of backpacks across down for our event and unloading them for us. We are so grateful for all of the work that your team does to support our campus and our programs. Thank you!

WOW! We could not have done this with you. Thank you again, and I hope you all have an amazing Friday and a great weekend!

Thank you,
Kylie Campbell
Interim Director, Early College

Kylie Campbell

Chancellor’s Seminar Series

This week, I continued my Chancellor’s Seminar Series. On Tuesday, I invited the Vice Presidents of Instruction and Academic Senate Presidents from our three colleges to discuss “Fall 2021 – Teaching & Learning with VPIs and Senate Presidents.”

Our speakers:

From Porterville College – Bob Simpkins, Academic Senate President; and Thad Russell, Vice President of Instruction.

From Cerro Coso Community College – Yvonne Mills, Academic Senate President; and Corey Marvin, Vice President of Instruction.

From Bakersfield College – Nick Strobel, Academic Senate President; and Billie Jo Rice, Vice President of Instruction.

Thank you to Todd Coston for working with me on the seminar series.

You can find videos from the Seminar Series at

Poetry Corner

Photo of Rockport

Last week, I shared the third part of Jack Hernandez‘s poetry series “Rockport in June.”

Please enjoy Part 4:

Only the birds fly
in this tight fog,
only they are free
to be themselves
skimming through
the blank sky,
stopping on rocks
that end the world,
I envy their freedom
to live so
quickly and smoothly
this morning
when I know only
that I do not know.

Fun Photos & Spotted on Social Media

Cerro Coso shared this fun campus tour from their CC Rocks event:

Primavera Arvizu shared a few photos from Porterville College’s Guided Pathways Academy:

BC’s Adult Education shared some photos from the Job Spot as they enrolled students for this upcoming semester:

I love this photo of Tarina Perry with Rudy Salas:

And I was thrilled that KCCD Board of Trustees President Romeo Agbalog joined me for Bakersfield College Athletics Media Day:


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

The future is bright at KCCD.

a joyful and grateful Chancellor


KCCD gearing up for in-service week of activities

What a week! Colleagues across the Kern Community College District have been hard at work making the final adjustments as we return to in-person learning this fall. Of course we have plenty of options for students … besides face-to-face classes we have online, hybrid, zoom online etc. We’re just about a week away from the start of Fall 2021 semester – and welcoming many of our students, faculty, and staff back after nearly 18 months away.

As we approach the finish line for these preparations, I had to share this 1-min epic video my daughter made of Bessie at the beach set to the theme of Chariots of Fire. Loved it!

And of course, here’s my own Neo, who has a new mischievous streak including hiding in the bramble.

And here is a quick tribute to Cornell. Saw his gorgeous face on Jessica Wojtysiak’s FB post.

Good morning, friends…
It is August 14, 2021.
The sun shines bright over KCCD.

This week, the Pirates, the Coyotes, and the Renegades continue to 
Dare Mighty Things

Porterville College

PC Promise Students return to campus early for In-Person Orientation

President Claudia Habib visits with new freshmen Promise Students in the cafeteria.

Porterville College welcomed its newest class of PC Promise Students to campus this week for a four-day in-person orientation event.  Dozens of students attended in-person, while many more attended the event virtually.  During the annual four-day orientation, students learned about campus and received tours, listened to motivational speakers, and attended panels that provided tips for success from our financial aid staff and several Porterville College student ambassadors. 

The Porterville College Promise Program serves first-time college students through their first year with a comprehensive plan of financial and academic support.  It is open to students who attend PC full-time, with on-time completion of 30 units per year, meeting the 15 to Finish campaign pledge.  To remain in the program, students must also declare a Pathway and establish an Education Plan.

Students get back to building their dreams of becoming firefighters

Porterville City Fire Chief Dave LaPere (right) talks with Fire Academy Students

This past weekend, President Claudia Habib Visited the Porterville College Fire Academy, which is conducted in partnership between Porterville College and the City of Porterville Fire Department, to welcome the new cohort of Firefighter-I Academy students.

The students began their semester with welcome messages from both Dr. Habib and Porterville Fire Chief Dave LaPere. Habib said of the day, “It was so inspiring to hear their stories. A common thread among them was chasing life-long dreams of becoming Fire Fighters.” 

Porterville College conducts the Academy in the Fall, along with an Interagency Basic Wildland Firefighter Academy that takes place in the Spring each year. The programs are designed to help students prepare for Entry-level firefighter job opportunities, both locally and on the state level.

The one-semester Firefighter-1 Academy runs from August through December and helps prepare graduates to apply for entry-level firefighter positions with most fire departments in the state. It is accredited by the Office of the California State Fire Marshal and provides the training students need for certification by the State Fire Marshal as a Firefighter-1.

Let’s say a small prayer for our brave California Firefighters as we move through this summer 2021 which is already a difficult fire season.

Porterville College is Growing Futures with Outreach

PC faculty and staff recently spent the day spreading the word about continuing education to local farm workers.

The “PC Growing Futures” program provides farm workers classes offered in their own communities, with access to laptops, textbooks, and access to Rosetta Stone Software to help them achieve student success.

Just this past week, several teams of Porterville College advisors, counselors and outreach staff traveled to fields and cold storage facilities in Porterville and the surrounding communities to provide direct outreach and information to hundreds of farm workers about PC Growing Futures and other PC programs.  During these very full days of outreach activities, they spent the mornings and evenings mingling with employees one-on-one and giving quick presentations to large groups.

With this program, PC continues to partner with the California Farmworker Association to offer new services to farm workers throughout the Greater Porterville Area.

PC Educational Advisor Connie Oropeza talks to warehouse workers about continuing their education.

Cerro Coso Community College

P.O.S.T. Academy recruits return to speak to incoming class

Student success! Two prior Cerro Coso P.O.S.T. Academy recruits, now officers, Sunny Hasnian (McFarland PD) and Zach Page (Tehachapi PD) joined the academy orientation for the upcoming fall in Tehachapi to give some guidance and answer questions to nervous potential recruits.  The Program’s graduation and placement rates are outstanding for the last class (97% success and 75% employed) even during the pandemic!

Cerro Coso campuses open for in-person instruction and services

All Cerro Coso campuses are now OPEN offering a full complement of student and instructional services. What the staffing looks like may be different for each department as we continue our phased-in approach to our return.  Dr. Hancock welcomed staff back with donuts and coffee the first two days.  He has long anticipated the day when the Cerro Coso family could gather again in-person. 

College facilities were closed and staff working from home when Dr. Hancock took over the Office of President in September.  #CoyoteSafe. #CoyoteStrong.  

Don’t forget – the Cerro Coso Rocks Welcome Back Celebration is this Thursday, August 19, from 3-7 pm. There will be in-person and virtual events. There will also be a COVID vaccine clinic.

Find out more at

Thank you to M&O Staff for HVAC work!

In the past year, Cerro Coso has poured a lot of time and money into getting its HVAC units up and running.  For the first time in a couple of years, we are above 90% of our units operating at full capacity.  All of the M&O staff are to be commended for making this happen.

Bakersfield College

Local Officials Join BC For Get Out The Vaccine Neighborhood Canvas

Earlier this year, Bakersfield College students began participating in the statewide “Get Out The Vaccine” project, utilizing canvassers to share vaccine knowledge, information, and awareness with residents living throughout the zip codes of 93307 and 93301.

On Thursday, local officials including Kern County Supervisor Leticia Perez and community partners such as Dignity Health and Kern Health Systems joined BC’s students and nursing program to offer both the Moderna or the Johnson and Johnson vaccines on the spot in neighborhoods.. 

Renegade Athletics Holds Media Day

Bakersfield College’s Athletics extended a warm welcome to join the Renegades in kicking off the 2021 fall sports season with the annual BC Athletics Media Day on Thursday, August 12th.

The event featured a full lineup of guest speakers, including:

  • Opening Remarks with Kenny Calvin
  • Remarks by Bakersfield Mayor, Karen Goh 
  • Men’s Coach, Vayron Martinez
  • Cross Country, Pam Kelley
  • Volleyball, Carl Ferreira
  • Golf Women’s coach, Wes Coble
  • Football, R.Todd Littlejohn
  • Athletic Director, Reggie Bolton

BC Student Convocation Going Virtual

From email from OSL:

In light of the newest Kern County COVID-19 updates, Bakersfield College is moving to a virtual setting for the upcoming New Student Convocation.

If you have already registered for the ceremony, you do not need to do anything. You will receive a separate email, one day before the event, with the virtual link.

If you have not yet registered to participate, please do so now at

Another Successful Express Enrollment Event at Bakersfield College!

Bakersfield College Outreach with support from Financial Aid, Counseling, and more, hosted a Virtual Express Enrollment Event on August 11th from 12pm to 8pm to help new and continuing students enroll and get the classes they need.

The enrollment team helped around 200 students enroll in courses for fall, while interacting with students meaningful and impactful during this fast paced event. One student shared the positive experience on the “Surviving Bakersfield College” page below.

The next virtual express enrollment event will be August 18th from 12pm to 5pm, and ongoing registration events are happening throughout August.

Visit the website for more details:

Or register for the next virtual express enrollment event here:

Health Science team hosts Peak Performance event

On Wednesday, August 11th, the Title V Health Science team hosted their first on-campus event, “Peak Performance: Health for the Whole Person.” This was an in-depth seminar on self-care, peak performance and mental health treatment modalities as it relates to Health Science Careers. Dave Seymour was our speaker and got the semester off to a great start with his expertise, compassion and guidance as students start their journeys back on campus and into their prospective programs. This is the first in a series of seminars for the Fall semester in hopes to providing successful skills and support to students pursuing health science careers.


Seminar Series

This week, we held two seminars that are part of the Chancellor’s Seminar Series.

On Monday, we heard from Dena Rhoades, Roger Perez, Resa Hess, Nicky Damania, Joe Grubbs and Terri Higgins as we discussed the new KCCD Campus Pass App.

Representatives from each of our colleges shared details about how the App works at their locations.

Roger Perez, Porterville College:

Resa Hess, Cerro Coso Community College:

Nicky Damania, Bakersfield College

We also had a Q&A session with Joe Grubbs and Terri Higgins – Terri is from ReadyEd, the company that made the app:

On Tuesday, we had a chance to get a student perspective. Student trustee Gian Gayatao hosted a panel with Edith Mata (BC), Yvette Carranza (PC) and Mia Guzman (CC). The student panel asked a series of questions to nursing faculty and COVID Response team leaders for the three campuses. Thank you to our students and to our panelists: Alisha Loken, Kim Behrens, Matthew Wanta, Nicky Damania, Roger Perez, and Kevin King.

Here’s the Q&A Panel from that discussion:

You can see all the videos from the Chancellor’s Seminar Series at

Poetry Corner

Photo of Rockport

Last week, I shared the second part of Jack Hernandez‘s poetry series “Rockport in June.”

Please enjoy Part 3:

The ocean cannot
be seen
through the morning fog,
the sun that lays
a lighted path
Is hidden
as are our days     
that sometimes begin
with only large rocks
before our eyes,
and we wonder
if we will see
the vast sea
that promises
a day of joyful

In the News

Cerro Coso to hold virtual admissions workshop

The Tehachapi News shared this information about the upcoming Virtual College Admissions Workshop at Cerro Coso, scheduled for this upcoming Wednesday. A financial aid technician will review the Cerro Coso Promise scholarship, Foundation scholarships, outside scholarships, and more!

BC partnering with auto industry to bring training center to Bakersfield

I saw that both the Bakersfield Californian and KGET shared the news that BC will partner with the Greater Bakersfield New Car Dealer Association and other auto industry experts to bring a new auto facility to Bakersfield.

“Through many ideas and conversations, we developed this partnership as a way for Bakersfield College students to train on the vehicles that otherwise might not be profitable due to normal technician labor costs, giving new access for the students to work on current and relevant technologies,” said Automotive Instructor Andrew Haney.

Fun Photos & Spotted on Social Media

Porterville College shared their next Community Vaccination Clinic, which will be held on Thursday, August 19, from 11 am to 2 pm in the Porterville College Cafeteria. Anyone age 12 and older is welcome to receive their first Pfizer dose.

Thank you to Laurel Mourtzanos for the STEM Academy photos.

I’d also like to thank those that took part:

  • Kathleen Rush, Dept. Chair Math
  • Jon Brown, Math Faculty
  • Jesse Oropeza, STEM Counselor and Rural Initiatives
  • Laurel Mourtzanos, STEM Counselor
  • James McGarrah, Associate Dean, STEM
  • David Riess, Faculty Psychology (Presentation on Imposture Syndrome)
  • Karen Gomez, Faculty Psychology (Presentation on Imposture Syndrome)
  • Connie Gonzalez, Director MESA
  • Rebecca Bumpous, Financial Aid

And student interns:

  • Gabriel Diaz
  • Jose Lopez
  • Praise Oo
  • Brandon Mondragon
  • Brandon Peffer


Here are some photos from the Bakersfield College EAC/SALT/OIE Enrollment Management Workday on Tuesday morning.

Snapped with photo after the Board meeting.

Zav Dadabhoy, Sonya Christian, Kay Meek, Claudia Habib, Dena Rhoades, Sean Hancock



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

The future is bright at KCCD.

a joyful and grateful Chancellor