Wrapping up April 2023 with a riot of roses

As April 2023 comes to a close ….. roses everywhere:

And here is photo #5 of the tree that I’m watching leaf out that I mentioned in previous posts. The story of the tree again – over the last five years I have been watching a beautiful tree in our neighbor’s front yard go through the cycle of shedding leaves in the fall, going dormant in the winter, coming back to life in spring, and providing glorious shade in the hot summers. I enjoy this tree each morning and evening during my Neo walks. I have started taking photos to chronicle its annual rebirth.

Good morning friends.
It is April 29, 2023.
The sun shines bright over Kern CCD.

Porterville College

PC recognized for Excellence in Equitable Placement two years in a row

Instructor Melissa Long (pictured left) accepts the 2022 Equity Designation on behalf of Porterville College.

We are once again very excited to announce that Porterville College will be recognized by The Campaign for College Opportunity as one of 56 California Community Colleges honored at the upcoming Excellence in Placement Award Ceremony for implementing landmark placement policy AB 705. This will mark the second year in a row that PC is receiving this prestigious honor.

Porterville College will receive the following honors at the ceremony, scheduled for May 31st: 

  • Campuswide Transfer-Level English Enrollment – Awarded to California Community Colleges supporting 100% of their students to enroll directly into transfer-level English coursework.
  • Campuswide Transfer-Level Math Enrollment – Awarded to California Community Colleges supporting 100% of students to enroll directly into transfer-level math coursework.
  • Equity Designation: Latinx Transfer-Level English Enrollment – Awarded to California Community Colleges supporting 100% of Latinx students to enroll directly into transfer-level English.
  • Equity Designation: Latinx Transfer-Level Math Enrollment – Awarded to California Community Colleges supporting 100% of Latinx students to directly enroll into transfer-level math.

Equitable placement practices have proven to be highly consequential for increasing access to transfer-level coursework, maximizing student success, and closing equity gaps. By starting in transfer-level English, completion rates have more than doubled for Latinx students. In math, completion rates have quadrupled for Latinx students.

Honoring the “PC Spirit”

Porterville College Faculty, Staff, and Administration gathered on Wednesday, April 27 for the annual Porterville College Staff and Faculty Service and Retirement Awards. This event serves to honor those staff members retiring this year as well as those celebrating service milestones.

PC employees filled the cafeteria to share stories, thank each other, and remember the fond times working together. It has become one of those rare opportunities for our faculty and staff to take a moment and enjoy each other’s company while honoring all of the hard work we do to ensure student success on campus.

This year PC introduced a new tradition to this event.  The presentation of the PC Spirit Awards from President Habib. The PC Spirit Award was created to honor and celebrate the outstanding contributions of those dedicated faculty and staff members who embody the spirit of Porterville College.

Congratulations to our first “class” of PC Spirit Award Recipients: Jodie Logan, Joe Tanguma, Jay Navarette, Dustin Acres, Jeff Jacobs, and the entire Maintenance and Operations Team!

Cerro Coso Community College

Save the Date: Commencement 2023!

It is the most wonderful time of the year, Graduation! You have worked hard to complete your degree or certificate, and Cerro Coso is excited to celebrate your accomplishments! Cerro Coso Community College is excited to bring back our annual celebration with an entirely in-person graduation ceremony this spring!

Cerro Coso Community College’s 49th Annual Commencement will be held Friday, May 12, 2023, at 11 am at the Dr. Raymond A. McCue Athletic Complex in Ridgecrest. Graduates must RSVP to participate. We ask graduates to submit their online RSVP by Tuesday, May 9.

For more information, visit the Cerro Coso Community College Commencement page.

Outreach at Mammoth High School

Cerro Coso held an outreach event at Mammoth High School this week.

As part of CCCC’s commitment to providing accessible higher education to our community, they offer college-level courses and programs right in Mammoth. This opportunity will help local students save money on tuition and stay close to home while pursuing their dreams. Call 760-872-1565 for more information!

Bakersfield College

BC Partners with Self-Help Enterprises to offer Courses to Residents and Community Members

Self-Help Enterprises is a nationally recognized community development organization whose mission is to work together with income-eligible families to build and sustain healthy homes and communities. Self-Help Enterprises’ service area is comprised of nine counties – Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, and Tulare County – in the heart of the San Joaquin Valley, the world’s most productive agricultural area. The organization primarily assists families with lower income levels within rural communities and makes it their goal to foster educational programming as the foundation for building sustainable futures for generations to come.

Bakersfield College has formed a partnership with Self-Help Enterprises to bring college courses to their Madison Place apartment complex, with the goal of further expansion across the organization’s service area. Residents and community members will have the opportunity to take courses during flexible hours outside of most individuals’ employment schedules right where they are. Bakersfield College is proud to be a contributor to a program which will serve a disproportionately impacted group of individuals to upskill and improve their life trajectories.

Public Safety Training Events

The Public Safety Training Pathway had two awesome events the past two weeks Bakersfield College Public Safety Pathway proudly hosted a panel discussion and recruitment event Thursday April 20th , 2:30pm-6:00pm at the Bakersfield College Fireside Room.

Industry partners from Shafter, KCSO, Kern County Probation, and BPD participated in the recruitment event. The panel included Chief Probation Office TR Merickel, Lt. Brandon Rutledge from Sheriff Office and Assistant Chief of Police from BPD .

Thank you, Dr. Tommy Tunson for moderating this event and to the BC Criminal Justice faculty for coming out and supporting the event. Also thank you Dominica Rivera, Fabiola Johnson, Natalie Castanon, Rachel Rivera, Jessica McGrath and Graciela Magallanes for all the support to make both the events a success.

Umoja Tours HBCUs

Groups from BC and Las Positas College at the Smithsonian African American Museum
in Washington, DC. They are wearing their shirts from the tour company,
Heritage Empowered.

Over spring break, Umoja Coordinator Dr. Paula L Parks took three Umoja students on a life-changing trip to visit Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). They toured colleges in Maryland, Washington DC, Virginia, and Pennsylvania as well as two museums. 

Said Jordyn Davis: “This trip changed how I view my college education for the better. . . It made me excited to learn again.” 

From left Eryka, Laila, Dr. Parks, and Jordyn

Laila Diaz, a studio art major, said her favorite college is Bowie State because the campus buildings have a more modern feel and the art department is strong. 

All three BC students said they enjoyed making connections with students from Las Positas College and visiting the cultural sites. 

“I feel like so much more is possible. . .  I’m more prepared for my upcoming years in college,” added Jordyn, who wants to be an attorney. 

Leadership Academy

I’d like to recognize the participants in the 2022-2023 KernCCD Leadership Academy. The Academy is our development program for faculty, classified, and managers.

From Bakersfield College:

Amalia Calderon, Anna Melby, Denice McCauley, Derek Robinson, Domenica Trinidad, Gilbert Ayuk, Jennifer Grohol, Kimberly Arbolante, Mirian Fuentes and Nicole Alvarez

From Cerro Coso Community College:

Jaime McClure, Kevin King and Sarah Land

From Porterville College:

Kristin Plunk and Manuel Caceres

From the District Office:

Becky Beed and Betsy Lopez

Thank you to all, and congratulations on completing the academy! Applications for the 2023-2024 KernCCD Leadership Academy are now open. Submission deadline is May 12. Please check your email for details.

This important program offers you the opportunity to learn about the many aspects of our district – from our trustees to student success initiatives to accreditation to business operations to legislative efforts and more. On the journey, you’ll develop lasting relationships with your cohort members, and connect with our chancellor, vice chancellors, college presidents, trustees and others. You’ll visit each of our campuses and attend a conference in Sacramento. It is the ultimate professional development opportunity!

If you have any questions, please feel free to email leadershipacademy@kccd.edu. Trudy Gerald would love to discuss this great opportunity with you!

In the News

Romeo Agbalog & Dario Diaz Talk KCCD’s Early College Program With McFarland High School

Ralph Bailey of Kern Radio welcomed KernCCD Board of Trustees President Romeo Agbalog and McFarland High School Principal Dario Diaz to discuss KernCCD’s Early College Program.

Check it out at https://www.kernradio.com/2023/04/26/romeo-agbalog-dario-diaz-talk-kccds-dual-enrollment-program-with-mcfarland-high-school/.

Community Voices: Participate in graduation — you won’t regret it

BC Journalism Professor & Renegade Rip Faculty Adviser Erin Auerbach wrote this piece for The Bakersfield Californian about the importance of taking part in commencement ceremonies.

“But for people who only see their AA degree as the first small step in a process of much bigger things to come, they still need to revel in this moment. Importantly, they should also let their families and/or closest friends celebrate with them.

Fun Photos & Spotted on Social Media

In Anaheim at the ASCCC (Academic Senate for California Community Colleges) Plenary Session, with incoming Senate President Cheryl Aschenbach:

And the BC Team at the ASCCC:

Then it was off to San Diego for the CACCRAO Conference (California Association of Community College Registrars and Admissions Officers):

With Lillian Justice and Michelle Smith

And the CREL Team at the 2023 Kern County Career & STEM Expo:

From PC President Dr. Claudia Habib’s Twitter account (@PortervillePrez)

Over $200,000 in scholarships were awarded this evening by The Porterville College Foundation @Foundation_PC @PCollegePirates it was inspiring to hear the students’ dreams and goals for the future. Thank you to all the generous donors who support our students. #StudentSuccess

From Cerro Coso Community College‘s Facebook page:

Happy Administrative Professionals Day to the backbone of our college! Thank you for keeping our campus running smoothly and supporting our students and faculty every day.

Your hard work and dedication are truly appreciated


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

The future is bright at Kern CCD.

a joyful and grateful Chancellor


Teaching and Learning Exchange (TALE) at Kern CCD


This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is TALEFEST_Main-400x133.jpg

Last week, 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. 

Porterville College’s Bob Simpkins led the initiative. The festival featured special guest speaker Susan D. Blum.

The exchange continues on the KernCCDTaleBlog – check it out!

Good morning friends.
It is April 22, 2023.
The sun shines bright over Kern CCD.

Porterville College

The Porterville College Fine Art Department Presents The 2023 PC Student Art Exhibition

The Porterville College Art Department invites the public to view the 2023 Student Art Exhibition, featuring the best work of over 50 current PC art students in a variety of media from photography, painting, drawing, digital art, video, sculpture and more.

The PC Art Gallery is currently under renovation, so the show and artists’ reception is located in the Fine Arts Building in room FA-2 and in the Foyer (through the double glass doors). The space will be open for viewing the show Monday through Thursday from 12 am – 2 pm and 4 – 6 pm from April 20 to May 4, 2023.

Five student artworks are also available for viewing in the President’s Gallery (the reception area to the President’s office). And when classes are not in session, photographs and digital art are available for viewing in FA-1. Parking is free. Please contact Jim Entz at 791-2257 with any questions.

PC Job Fair Brings Hundreds of Job Seekers to Campus

Porterville College, in partnership with the Porterville Adult School and the Workforce Investment Board of Tulare County, presented the 2nd PC Job Fair this past Tuesday.

The event, held in the PC Campus Quad, was a huge success, bringing hundreds of job seekers out on the beautiful spring day to meet with potential employers and apply for over 1000 available jobs from employers including Amazon, Eagle Mountain Casino, The City of Porterville, the Kern Community College District, the Porterville Unified School District, and many others.

Bryce Telfer, the sales and marketing coordinator for OACYS Technologies was impressed with the job seekers he spoke with. “It’s interesting overall, and I like the diversity here and the atmosphere. Everyone is talking to each other and having conversations.” He said.

“The great thing about the job fair is people not only get great information about job opportunities, but they also get to network together,” said Cody Ridenour, PC Adjunct Counselor for Veterans Services.

When asked about the benefit of holding a job fair like this on campus, Roger Perez, PC Director of Communication and Community Relations said, “The benefits are immense. Not only are we providing a service for our students by giving them a way to attend a job fair with minimal interruption to classes, but we’re proving to our community that our students emerge from an education at Porterville College ready for the workforce.”

Commencement Excitement Begins at Grad Fair 2023

The excitement is beginning to build for Commencement 2023 at Porterville College.

The 2023 commencement ceremony will be held on campus inside Jamison Stadium for the first time after the completion of stadium upgrades and renovation. This will allow us to accommodate the largest crowd ever in the stadium to view the ceremony.

On Wednesday and Thursday, April 19th and 20th, the 2023 graduates were treated to their first taste of that graduate pomp and circumstance at the PC GradFair.

The event was created as a one-stop shop for commencement needs at PC. The event’s organizers hope to ensure that graduates have all of the information they need along with opportunities to properly commemorate their remarkable achievements with gear and accessories for the ceremony.

During the event, Grads visited the quad, the student center conference room, and the PC Bookstore for all things commencement. They were able to try on and order their cap and gown, take graduation portraits, pre-order event photo packages, and more.

For more information on this year’s commencement ceremonies, visit https://www.portervillecollege.edu/commencement

Cerro Coso Community College

Art Gallery Reopens

We are so thrilled to have the Art Gallery open again! Thank you so much to everyone who came out to the opening of “Corrugated Space” by Artist Steve King. The gallery will be open until June 9th. Please feel free to come up any time to enjoy the artwork.

The Art Galley is located in the LRC at the Ridgecrest/IWV campus.

Middle School Students Take Campus Tours

Last week, Cerro Coso Community College welcomed students from Monroe and Murray Middle School’s AVID programs for a pair of campus tours.

Interested in Cerro Coso? Are you an educator that would like to afford your students the opportunity to visit a college campus and learn what it can offer them? Well, contact us to schedule a campus tour!

Aside from walking the beautiful grounds, we can offer informational overviews about our offerings, or invite faculty and staff to discuss specific programs and services. We’ll cater the experience to your needs. We hope to see you on a CC campus soon.

Cerro Coso Partners with Women’s Center-High Desert

On any given day—in our pop-up “kitchen” in the Student Center—you can find Starbucks sandwiches, bagels, and pastries, chicken from KFC, and other donated items from numerous business in the Ridgecrest community. If you’re hungry, come on by! Sign in, grab something from our labeled cooler, and enjoy, friends.

Bakersfield College

Garden Fest Returns to BC

BC’s Horticulture, Ag, and Culinary departments were on full display as they hosted Garden Fest 2023. Community members of all ages came to campus to enjoy vendors offering everything from plants and gardening gear, to prepared food, handmade goods, and local resources. Culinary faculty and students gave a cooking demonstration, while the Ag and Horticulture department offered community members a chance to ask a panel of experts all of their home gardening questions. This was an excellent opportunity to show off the new Edible Education Garden and various programs the community can engage in.

Graduate Spotlight

Jasmine Martinez is a single mom of two while double majoring in Sociology and Psychology at Bakersfield College. She is part of EOPS, CARE and CW, and maintains a 4.0 GPA. Aside from caring for her two children, Jasmine has struggled with depression and anxiety throughout most of her adult life and never imagined returning to college at the age of twenty six to obtain a degree. Against all odds, Jasmine is on track to graduate in the Spring of 2023 and plans to attend CSUB following graduation.

BC Receives NASSSP Grant

BC has been selected as one of 20 California Community Colleges to receive the Native American Student Support and Success Program Grant (NASSSP). This grant is provided to community colleges to establish Native American student support through integration of peer mentorship, development of cohorts, and provision of culturally responsive resources. Congratulations to interim VP of Student Affairs, Imelda Simos-Valdez, and her team for the hard work that led to BC’s success in receiving this grant.

Dave Seymour Leads the First Student Support Fair

Dave Seymour is the senior mental health clinician for BC where he has served for more than 7 years as a counselor and mental health provider. Dave’s goal with the Student Support Fair was “simply familiarizing students with the different supportive services that make up the safety net that is necessary…for a successful outcome in their academic career, and to create a positive and fun association for students who tend to stigmatize supportive services”.

The Student Success Fair was attended by hundreds of people, with representatives from over a dozen BC departments, clubs and other campus groups.

“The Student Support Fair is exemplary of Dave’s work at BC,” said Charles Collum of the Student Health and Wellness Center. “It was student centered, effective, and fun. All things we associate with Dave.”


This week, I traveled to the ASU + GSV conference in San Diego, a collaboration between Arizona State University and Global Silicon Valley. It’s always a pleasure to connect with colleagues, policy makers and leaders in higher education and tech as we share ideas.

I then headed to Sacramento, to the CCCAOE (California Community College Association for Occupational Education) spring conference .

Check out more of the KernCCD team at CCCAOE:

In between all of the activity, I was able to do a few long walks on the boardwalk.

moments that take your breath away.

In the News

Garden Fest Returns to Bakersfield College

23ABC published this piece about last weekend’s Garden Fest at BC.

“It’s great to get back to a normal cycle again and getting out in the sunshine, it’s just a gorgeous day here in Bakersfield,” said Professor of Ornamental Horticulture Lindsay Ono.

10 Minutes With Tipton: PC’s Olmedo-Hinde

Check out this feature in The Porterville Recorder featuring Porterville College General & Transfer Counselor and Student Services Division Chair Stephanie Olmedo-Hinde.

“I love that I get to help students figure out what they want to do with the rest of their lives and I get to watch them do it. Working with students from when they first get here to when they graduate and move on to bigger colleges is the best part of my job. I am very lucky to get paid to talk with and guide people on what to do to accomplish their long term academic goals. I am thankful for my job every day.”

Fun Photos & Spotted on Social Media

John Harte shared this photo when we met at the KCCD Leadership Academy awards luncheon.

Cerro Coso Anthropology students in Tehachapi had a study session with tutors in the library:

And Happy Birthday to Kylie Campbell, who shared this post yesterday:

“What an awesome birthday!! I had the honor of moderating a plenary panel on #dualenrollment at
@CCCAOE, my AMAZING coworkers spoiled me, and @devon_hauser even flew up to celebrate with me! What more could I ask for?!”


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

The future is bright at Kern CCD.

a joyful and grateful Chancellor


A week of flowers – Spring 2023

What a week – flowers everywhere.

And beautiful skies:

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

Porterville College

Pizza with the President

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Softball wins fifth straight, sweeps Allan Hancock

Cassie Cannon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cerro Coso Community College

Bishop Campus Open House

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

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

Student Spotlight: Gabriela

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

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

Bakersfield College

BC Nursing on the Air

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

BC Writing Center Hosts SoCal WCA Tutor Conference

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

BC Announces Brand New Student-Centered Website

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

BC’s Performing Arts Combined Concert Tickets Now Available

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

Remembering Bill Henry

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In the News

Bakersfield College highlights public safety training program

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

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

Fun Photos & Spotted on Social Media

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

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

Trustee Kay Meek was recognized for 25 years!

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


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

The future is bright at Kern CCD.

a joyful and grateful Chancellor


Happy Easter 2023

Last weekend was an unusually beautiful weekend.  No traveling.  I spent time enjoying glorious weather in Bakersfield, gardening, cooking and binge watching The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. 

It’s such a funny show. The main character – Miriam Maisel – has an idyllic life in late 1950s New York when her life takes a surprising turn. She ends up discovering her hidden talent for stand up comedy. Rachel Brosnahan is just fantastic, and Alex Borstein, who plays her manager Susie is wonderful.

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Season 4 Rachel Brosnahan and Alex Borstein cr: Christopher Saunders/Amazon

And here is photo #3 of the tree that I’m watching leaf out that I mentioned in previous posts. The story of the tree again – over the last five years I have been watching a beautiful tree in our neighbor’s front yard go through the cycle of shedding leaves in the fall, going dormant in the winter, coming back to life in spring, and providing glorious shade in the hot summers. I enjoy this tree each morning and evening during my Neo walks. I have started taking photos to chronicle its annual rebirth. First photo, March 15, 2023, second photo March 23rd, third on March 29th

And in case you are wondering how Neo is doing…

Good morning friends.
Happy Easter
It is April 8, 2023.
The sun shines bright over Kern CCD.

Porterville College

PC Vice President Named as Rising Presidents Fellow

We are proud to share that PC Vice President of Student Services Primavera Arvizu has been selected as one of 35 up-and-coming community college leaders to participate in the Aspen Institute’s Rising Presidents Fellowship.

These fellows are selected for their commitment to student success and equity and their demonstrated ability to lead change. As a #PresFellow, Ms. Arvizu will spend almost a year collaborating with top community college experts and developing new skills to support Porterville College and our talented students.

Learn more here: https://highered.aspeninstitute.org/meet-the-rising-presidents-fellows/

PC draws large crowds for High School Connection Event

The Porterville College Student Services Department hosted nearly 450 students and their parents for the 2023 PC Connection High School Senior registration event this past week on campus.

Students and community members from 11 local high schools lined up on campus on Wednesday and Thursday, April 5th and 6th to register for Summer and Fall classes at PC.

PC Connection is an annual event held each spring by the Student Services office to provide on-demand registration services and to help local high school students get a jump on Summer and Fall classes with priority registration, advising, and counseling.

Transgender Day of Visibility

The members of the PC Pride Club celebrated the national Transgender Day of Visibility here on campus with a T-party. The group gathered in the Pirate’s Cove, shared tea and refreshments and enjoyed each others company in order to raise awareness of the day.

International Transgender Day of Visibility is an annual event occurring on March 31 dedicated to celebrating transgender people and raising awareness of discrimination faced by transgender people worldwide, as well as a celebration of their contributions to society.

If you would like more information on the club, contact studentlife@portervillecollege.edu

Cerro Coso Community College

Student Spotlight: Julianna Gorduyn

We had the opportunity to catch up with Cerro Coso student, Julianna Gorduyn! Julianna is currently a dual major in IT and Cybersecurity and part of Student Government.

Can you give a shoutout to someone who has made an impact on your time here at Cerro Coso?

“I became a temporary staff here recently, and it really changed my perspective on how I see the staff. The staff here at Cerro Coso put their heart and soul into the work that they do for the students, without skipping a beat. The entire staff here are nothing short of selfless, kind, and generous people.”

Lastly, do you have any words of wisdom for your fellow students?

“It’s okay to fail because that’s how you learn, but it’s not okay to give up. Here at Cerro Coso, you can fail, but everyone here will pick you back up. Remember that you are the author of your future, so when you sit down to write, make sure that you write your chapters well.”

Read more at https://www.cerrocoso.edu/news/2023/0327-student-spotlight-julianna-gorduyn.

Allied Health Information Session April 10

CC Bishop students, future students, and community members, are invited April 10th from 5 PM to 6 PM for an Allied Health information session at the Bishop Cerro Coso Campus! Come prepare for the medical assisting program starting this fall! We hope to see you there. 

2023 Employer Meet & Greet April 12

Mark your calendars for April 12th from 4 pm to 7 pm for the 2023 Employer Meet & Greet at Cerro Coso Community College in Ridgecrest! This is a great opportunity to meet potential employers! We hope to see you there.

The free event is open to the public.

NAVAIR Pathways Program Information Session

A huge THANK YOU to the Infrastructure Resources and Planning Management department with NAWCWD for taking the time to come out and speak to our students about the Pathways Program.

The Pathways Intern Program provides paid opportunities to explore federal careers for current students in high school, college, trade school, and other qualifying educational institutions while completing their education.

Bakersfield College

BC Adds Bachelor’s Degree Program in Research Laboratory Technology

Bakersfield College now offers a Bachelor’s degree program in Research Laboratory Technology! This program is designed to give students hands-on experience in laboratory research techniques and technologies.

As a graduate, you’ll have the skills and knowledge to work in various laboratory settings, from healthcare to biotechnology. Don’t miss the opportunity to jump-start your career in this high-demand field. Apply today and start your journey toward success!

Art Student Exhibition

The directors of the Wylie and May Louise Jones Gallery are pleased to present the 2023 Bakersfield College Art Student Exhibition. The exhibit includes student-made artwork created in Bakersfield College art courses in media ranging from charcoal drawings, acrylic paintings, photography, graphic design, ceramics, video and many others. The work was juried by California-based artist and educator Audia Yvonne Dixon.

The exhibition will be open Mon-Thurs. from 2pm-5pm; March 30th-May 4th in the Jones Art Gallery inside the Grace Van Dyke Library.

Activism, Philanthropy, and Systemic Change- Distinguished Speaker, Dr. Melanie Lundquist Next Week!

From Dr. Maria Wright:

Dr. Melanie Lundquist

It is with great enthusiasm that I invite you to attend our final Distinguished Speaker event of the semester! It is an honor to welcome the incredible activist and philanthropist, Dr. Melanie Lundquist. Together with her husband, the Lundquist’s have donated more than $450 million over the past decade to multiple educational and cultural initiatives as well as health care efforts, predominantly in Southern California. Her focus on affecting change on a systemic level is inspiring and can be seen in how she makes it a point to be active in all levels of the organizations she is involved with.

Next week on, Thursday, April 13th, 2023, you will have two opportunities to see her in the Renegade Events Center:

  • 2 PM in the Renegade Events Center, Campus Center, 3rd Floor; and
  • 7 PM in the Renegade Events Center, Campus Center, 3rd Floor.

Please remember to share this incredible event with your students and encourage them to come.

To find out more about the amazing Dr. Melanie Lundquist, please visit our Distinguished Speaker Series page. We look forward to seeing you all there next week!

Fun Photos & Spotted on Social Media

Here’s another photo from last week’s Sterling Silver event. Norma Rojas-Mora:

PC President Claudia Habib shared this post:

Today’s Rainbow Flag Raising Ceremony was a beautiful and inspiring event; the result of student’s courage and a demonstration of support and solidarity. At @PCollegePirates we hope LGBTQIA+ students are thriving, feeling safe, healthy, supported and loved. #PC_PrideClub

From Bakersfield College Rural Initiatives:

What a great way to finish our our week at our Wasco community. We had the opportunity to greet people as they were finishing their shopping at Walmart. Many of the ones that approached us, were previous BC students and glad to hear about all the services we currently provide in Wasco. We can’t wait to see everyone on April 12, 2023 stating at 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm for our Express Enrollment at Wasco Adult Education Center 1445 Posó Dr., Wasco, CA 93280. Thanks to my partner Carolina Leyva for supporting this event.


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

The future is bright at Kern CCD.

a joyful and grateful Chancellor


Kern CCD praising and celebrating life!

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

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

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

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

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

Honorees included:

Valley Strong Credit Union, Corporate Philanthropist Award


Marjorie and Bud Lindsey, Individual Philanthropist Award


Fran Florez, BC Foundation Service Medal


Jean Fuller, Leadership in Education Award


Women in Leadership Panel

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

Kern CCD trustees were there in full force.

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


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

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

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


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


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

Porterville College

PC Film Students Impress at New Festival

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

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

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

Students, Faculty Bond on Trip

At the Getty Museum

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

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

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

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

Cerro Coso Community College

One of Bees Days

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

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

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

Cerro Coso Students Presented at the HTCC Student Research Conference

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bakersfield College

BC’s Jaime Lopez Joins Lamont Chamber of Commerce

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

CCCAOE Advocacy Day

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

Getting Back in the Arena

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

Remembering Carl Bryan

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