Kern – Creating our Future

Let me introduce you to one of my bosses – The President of the Kern Community Collee District Board of Trustees Romeo Agbalog through this 2-min video segment where he was one of the panelist for the One Book event hosted by Prof. Chris Dison. He talks about the perspective with which we approach life. This is a must watch video.

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

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

National Renewable Energy Laboratory Director Martin Keller and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Director Kim Budil were on hand:

Check out some of the photos ….

We are in the process of segmenting the days’ videos into individual panels. Full videos of both days, as well as the videos that have been completed, are available at

On Thursday, I was honored to speak at the California Economic Summit during the Voices of Kern… Creating our Future segment. I joined speakers Traco Matthews, Emily Duran, Raji Brar, Michelle Corson, Aaron Resendez, Karen Goh, Rick Jhaj, Teresa Hitchcock, and Imelda Ceja in sharing our Kern County story.

On stage, I was joined by fabulous schoolchildren – Zachariah, Emilia, Liyu, and Noor.

Bakersfield College’s own Josh Ottum and Kris Tiner provided some entertainment:

Thank you to Emily Duran, Rosa Lopez, Connie Perez, Dee Slade, Raji Brar, Imelda Ceja, Michelle Corson, Theresa Hitchcock, Max Becerra, Sonia Kaur, Christian Clegg, Lauren Skidmore, Karen Zuber, Rick Jhaj, Traco Mathews, Dr. John Mendiburu, Jay Tamsi, David Franz, Dr. Dean McGee, Daniel Rodela, Aaron Resendez, Amanda Frank, Jonathan Dethloff, Timothy Reid, Mayor Goh, and Reyna Olaguez for your work in this important area.

Kern Community College District also had a presence on Day 2 of the summit, thanks to Norma Rojas-Mora:

Good morning, friends.
It is October 29, 2022.
The sun shines bright over Kern CCD.

Porterville College

PC Hosts Leadership Porterville on Campus

This past week, the membership of Leadership Porterville spent an afternoon on campus learning about PC.

PC President Dr. Claudia Habib led a group of administrators, including Vice President of Administrative Services Maria Battisti, Vice President of Student Services Primavera Arvizu, and Dean of Instruction Michelle Miller-Galaz, to discuss our various programs and campus operations with the group.

The day started off with lunch and networking for the Leadership Porterville members, which include Director of Enrollment Services, Jonathan Miranda.  The group then heard from the panel about our programs and services and how we provide pathways for the community to learn and grow. 

PC welcomes the new Administrative Assistant to the President

Please join us in welcoming Maribel Hernandez as the new Interim Administrative Assistant to the President!

Ms. Hernandez was born and raised in the Central Valley. She joins us with five years of service in support of Administration at the Kern Community College District.

Over her 15-year career in education, she has held a wide range of positions, including Behavior Management Specialist for Lindsay Unified School District, Case Management for Tulare County Office of Education, Head Start, Department Assistant for the Inmate Scholar Program at Bakersfield College, Executive Secretary for the Office of Instruction for Porterville College and, most recently, Administrative Assistant for the Porterville College Foundation. She has developed her leadership and managerial experience by coordinating the weekly Porterville College Foundation Swap Meet.

PC Choral Wows Full House

The PC Choral group performed their opening concert this past Tuesday on the PC Campus.  After long hours of rehearsal and hard work, the group, led by Music Instructor Ben Makino, held their first open recital of the semester. 

Dual Enrollment Students Visit Campus

PC Student Ambassadors introduced our campus to a group of HS Dual enrollment students this week, giving them a tour of campus and discussing possibilities for their educational futures. They heard about student life from Student Life and Leadership Program Manager Jasmin Quinones and were accompanied by their instructor (and PC History Professor) Rebecca Baird.

The group came from PUSD’s Granite Hills High School. On their tour of campus, the group ran into PC President Dr. Habib, who took some time to visit with the group and, of course, take a few selfies!

Cerro Coso Community College

Matt Wanta, Tyrone Ledford, Vonetta Mixson, Peter Fulks, and Nicole Griffin.

CTE Team attends CCCAOE Fall 2022 Conference

Cerro Coso’s CTE team attended the annual California Community College Association for Occupational Education (CCCAOE) Fall 2022 Conference in beautiful Rancho Mirage, Palm Springs in October.

The CCCAOE is an umbrella organization representing career technical education (CTE) and economic development professionals.  Many educational disciplines have their own professional organization, but CCCAOE is the only voice that speaks for all career technical education in the California community colleges.   

Attending this year’s event were Vonetta Mixson, Jarrod Bowen, Melissa Bowen, Peter Fulks, Richard Garrett, Tyrone Ledford, Matt Wanta, and Nicole Griffin.

Celebrate What Is Great at the DEF

It is fall and that means the days are shorter, the mornings are cooler, and the evening sunsets are breath-taking.

It’s also the season for lemonade, laughter, and the Desert Empire Fair (DEF).

In many ways, the DEF is a lot like Christmas. It comes only once a year and requires extensive advance preparation followed by lively bursts of fun and exhilaration.

An iconic piece of Americana with a rich history stretching back over centuries, people embrace local fairs as an opportunity to set the rest of life aside and enjoy the sights, sounds, and feelings that combine to create an experience that is unquestionably unique, while at the same time timeless and familiar.

For three days, 25 hours, Cerro Coso students and employees volunteered to staff the college’s booth at this year’s fair, October 21-23.

Flight Line Tap Room owner Ross Shingledecker,
CCCC student Julianna Gorduyn, and Cerro Coso Public Relations Director Natalie Dorrell.

Flight Line Tap Room and Cerro Coso College team up to fight food insecurity 

Julianna Gorduyn a student at Cerro Coso works at Flight Line Tap Room and saw an opportunity to help her fellow students. 

With the approval of owner Ross Shingledecker, Julianna has coordinated a Fall Food Drive to take place on Saturday, November 5, 2022.  Beer lovers can bring a non-perishable food donation for the college food pantry into the Flight Line Tap Room located at 259 North Balsam Street and receive a reduced flight price between 3 and 6 p.m.

“Cerro Coso understands that it is very hard to focus on being a successful student if you are worried about your next meal, unsure where you are going to sleep, or struggling with a lack of health care,” stated Outreach Director Katie Bachman. 

The Coyote Cupboard, a food pantry for college students, was established in 2017 to address the basic food needs of students. 

The Cerro Coso Coyote Cupboard accepts all food and monetary donations.  For more information on how you can help, contact the Outreach Office at 760-384-6353. 

Bakersfield College

BC Professor Kris Tiner Inducted into CSUB Alumni Hall of Fame

One of BC’s very best is receiving an amazing recognition from his alma mater. Performing Arts Department Chair and BC Jazz Studies Director Kris Tiner has been announced as one of four members of the 2023 class of inductees to the CSUB Alumni Hall of Fame. Professor Tiner is an internationally recognized trumpet player, educator, and composer with more than 80 original recordings including contributions to film, tv, and radio.

During his tenure as a Renegade, Professor Tiner has led the BC Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Combos to great success, being recognized with national awards by DownBeat Magazine, the leading Jazz Music publication in the world.

We are so proud to call Kris Tiner one of our own, and congratulate him on this wonderful accomplishment.

Delano Hosts One Book Project Discussion Panel

The Delano campus hosted a discussion panel, “Walking the Path: Overcoming Barriers to Education in the Central Valley” in partnership with the Kern County One Book Project. Students and community members heard the Mayor of Delano, Bryan Osorio, and Kern Community College District Trustee President Romeo Agbalog share their experiences as first-generation college students, the sacrifices made by themselves and their families, and the perseverance and determination it took to accomplish their goals of higher education.

BC Theater Dazzles Audience at 38th Annual Shakespeare Festival

From October 5th through October 15th the BC Theater department presented the 38th annual Kern Shakespeare Festival, a cherished Bakersfield College tradition founded in 1985. For two weeks student actors, faculty, and community members brought these stories to life in the Edward Simonsen Outdoor Theater. Love’s Labour’s Lost, directed by BC Theater Professor Cody Ganger, had audiences captivated by the peculiar antics and over-the-top comedy. 

BC Theater Professor Brian Sivesind, Artistic Director of the festival, styled his Romeo & Juliet with a 1980s twist, featuring a soundtrack of the biggest hits and costumes with the best and boldest styles of the decade. A hearty congratulations is due to both casts. The Kern Shakespeare Festival is a wonderful tradition that we cherish here at Bakersfield College and in our larger community.

BC Homecoming

Bakersfield College celebrated the “Renegade Fever” themed Homecoming week. The festivities started with events like Disco Dye and Groovy Glasses, giving students a break in studies to decorate outrageous accessories. The week ended with our parade of the Renegades and the Homecoming game on Saturday night. BC football took the victory over the Ventura Pirates and our Homecoming Royalty (Malcolm Jacobs, Anjel Flores, and Natalie Macias) took their crowns. 

BC Athletics Hall of Fame Dinner

The second annual Bakersfield College Athletics Hall of Fame dinner was held last week on Thursday, October 22nd at Luigi’s Restaurant. Seven Renegade alumni were inducted into the second class: Stan Greene, Brandon Kurtz, Jeremy Staat, Sandi Taylor, Octavio Martinez, Duane Damron, and Dr. Romain Clerou. All were in attendance with friends, family and colleagues supporting them while Dr. Clerou had his son there to represent him.

The Bakersfield College Athletics Hall of Fame was established with the goal to annually recognize Renegade Athletics success across all sports. Inductees consist of standout former student athletes, coaches, administrators, and other community members who have rendered extraordinary service to the department.

Since its founding in 1922 the Bakersfield College Athletics Department has been synonymous with athletic success in the Bakersfield community. Rich with history and tradition the department has won a grand total of 186 conference team championships, 15 state team championships and 10 national team championships in its century of existence.

To celebrate Sandi Taylor’s induction into the BC Athletics Hall of Fame, let’s watch again the video from two years ago.

In Memoriam

It has been a difficult few weeks of losing members of the BC family and extended family.

Link to the video on twitter:

Endee Grijalva‘s mother, Rebecca Endee Hurst, also recently passed away.

In the News

Community Voices: Revitalized campus brings welcome change

BC Journalism Professor and Renegade Rip adviser Erin Auerbach penned this piece for The Bakersfield Californian.

“After a prolonged period of deep uncertainty, a revitalized campus brings welcome change and emphasizes the sense of community that was suspended in the fray of a pandemic.”

10 Minutes With Tipton: Porterville College’s Roger Perez

Porterville College’s Roger Perez, Director of Communications and Community Relations, was featured in the latest edition of 10 Minutes With Tipton in The Porterville Recorder.

“I love that I get to do things that I’ve always loved to do. I think in a lot of professions, you’re sort of stuck to one thing. You train to do something and only do that your entire career. I get to do a little bit of everything in the creative world — video, social media, design, writing. I get to talk to big groups of people, I talk to small groups of people, and I get to represent a FANTASTIC school. There isn’t a lot I don’t like about my career and job.”

Fun Photos & Spotted on Social Media

A huge CONGRATULATIONS to BC art students Kaylee DeBerti, Gianna Villafuerte, Haylie Murrie, and Emma Elenes, for this beautiful version of “The Abduction of Psyche,” at last weekend’s Via Arte.  The students were awarded the “Best Rendition of a Master Work” award and the unofficial “Best Squad” award for their teamwork.  The BC Foundation was a proud sponsor of the event again this year, and we are extra proud of our students and their obvious hard work!

PC President Dr. Claudia Habib shared this post about Financial Aid Night:

College and Financial Aid Night taking place right now. Students from every high school came to learn about our programs and resources. I love meeting future students and their parents, some of them also PC graduates! #PirateFamily #StartHereGoAnywhereDoAnything @Foundation_PC

Check out BC Rural Initiatives at the Delano Trunk or Treat event:

California Community Colleges Interim Chancellor Daisy Gonzales shared this photo from the ACCT conference, where I presented on Guided Pathways with Todd Coston and Kern CCD Trustees Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg and Yovani Jimenez:

And here’s Kern CCD Trustees Yovani Jimenez and Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg with BC President Zav Dadabhoy at last weekend’s Renegade Football Homecoming Game:


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

The future is bright at KernCCD.

a joyful and grateful Chancellor


Kern CCD bustling with activity

Last weekend, I traveled to UCLA to speak as a panelist at the California Learning Lab Inspire Convening. The incredible Lande Ajose was our moderator, and I joined Michael Drake, John Perez and Romey Sabalius to discuss “who’s really in charge in higher education.” We talked about the stakeholders and governance structure involved in higher education, and what roadblocks faculty and administrators sometimes face in advancing innovation.

It is always such a treat to get get together with colleagues from across the state to share our experiences

And here’s a photo of the fantastic BC team that attended the convening (as well as John Matsui from UC Berkeley).

Good morning, friends.
It is October 22, 2022.
The sun shines bright over Kern CCD.

Porterville College

Art students help celebrate Undocumented Student Action Week with sidewalk art

Porterville College celebrates Undocumented Student Action Week (USAW) each year on the third week of October with events and activities for our Dreamer Students

This year, PC joined the California Community College Chancellor’s office from October 17-21 in presenting a series of webinars and on-campus activities designed to raise awareness about the challenges faced by undocumented students and discuss solutions that help them achieve their educational goals.

On the PC campus, many art students took to the sidewalks of the Quad to create artwork featuring butterflies in support of this USAW. Butterflies have become the symbol of USAW and “Dreamer” students.  

The monarch butterfly is significant to the Dreamer because it represents the beauty of immigration.

In effect, the monarch butterfly is known for its migratory patterns; they move from Mexico to U.S and vice versa, depending on the season.

According to the web page, Make the Road Nevada, the monarch butterfly is the perfect symbol for immigrants. “Since being adopted by 11 million undocumented immigrants, the symbol’s meaning has changed to symbolize the resilience and hope in the immigrant community”.

PC Staffers Celebrate Transfer week with their alumni colors

Each third week in October, PC also celebrates National Student Transfer Week. Many PC staff also took part in colors day, wearing the school colors of their respective alma matters. As transfer champions, it’s vitally important that we build awareness of common transfer barriers and the diverse student needs and identities within our transfer populations.

Remember, even though we all went through different pathways to get here, we are all one PC!    

Overcoming Food Insecurity at PC

Porterville College, and in particular the PC Financial Aid Department has been working to solve food insecurity issues among students by instituting several ongoing efforts to curb this problem facing more students every day.

Every month, we partner with CalFresh to provide food to students and the community in “drive-up” events at Jamison Stadium. We also regularly distribute lunches and other meals on campus to students from the Pirates Cove or the Campus Quad. The Pirate Pantry is open at regular times for students to come in and “shop” for food and other staple items in a discreet environment.  And recently, we have started providing between-class snacks for students with “pop-up fueling stations” scheduled at various times each month.     

For more information, visit

For a complete schedule of Pirate Pantry hours, visit

Cerro Coso Community College

CCCC Sponsor at Aerospace Valley Air Show

More than 15,000 peopled attended the Aerospace Valley Air Show, Open House, and STEM Expo at Edwards Air Force Base on October 14-16.

Cerro Coso’s Career Technical Education and Outreach Programs were a sponsor of the event that opened Friday evening just for students showcasing exciting STEM demonstration and impressive air displays.  Saturday and Sunday the event was open to the general public. 

The college promoted STEM, CTE, and dual enrollment programs while also providing information on military and veterans services.

Shout out to all volunteers: Katie Bachman, Denise Allen, Lisa Stephens, Kristin Hanle, Jessica Kawelmacher, Nicole Harper, and the wonderful support of the M&O team.

“A HUGE shout out to Denise Allen for orchestrating the planning for this event,” said CTE Dean Nicole Griffin.  “We couldn’t have pulled it off so seamlessly without her detailed planning, organization, and communication.”

High School Students Turn Out for Career Exploration Day

Cerro Coso’s Ridgecrest campus was even busier than usual on Wednesday, October 19th as the college welcomed 250 high school students from 8 different high schools to Career Exploration Day.

With only a few years left of high school, it’s time for these students to get serious about college and start making plans for their future. This highly successful event is designed to give participants a firsthand look at why Cerro Coso should be their first choice. High school students explored all the college has to offer and were exposed to the wide range of careers available to graduates locally.

The day began in the gymnasium with a warm welcome from Cerro Coso President Dr. Sean Hancock and Outreach Director Katie Bachman, followed by a lively visit to college department booths, tours, food, and drawings.

In addition to receiving valuable information on how to prepare for college, students were given the opportunity to spend time interacting with CCCC’s expert faculty and staff, and asked career questions from area employers.

Cerro Coso students provided tours of the campus and answered questions about their personal college experiences.

The Career Fair portion of the event was opened to Cerro Coso students and the public to provide an opportunity for both high school and college students to meet with representatives from a variety of employers and learn about the different careers and vocations available locally.

“A huge thank you to Katie Bachman for her tireless coordination and to EVERYONE who participated and supported Career Day,” stated Vice President of Student Services Heather Ostash.

The sky is the limit at Cerro Coso.  Take flight.  Spring 2023 registration begins in November.  Contact a college counselor today at 760-384-6219.

Coyote Sets Course Record at Mt. Sac CC Invitational

Coyote Christian Schultz set a phenomenal 19.16 course record at the Mts. Sac Cross Country Invitational on October 14th in Walnut, California. 

He shattered El Camino College‘s David Cardona’s 2010 record of 19:52 by 34 seconds.  

An outstanding performance by Schultz puts Cerro Coso’s new cross-country program on the competitive map. 

Congratulations Christian. 

New Solar Tables Allow Students to Chill and Charge

Members of the Cerro Coso community now have a new place to take a seat and recharge – literally.  Maintenance and Operations is busy installing new solar charged picnic tables around the Ridgecrest and Bishop campuses.  The new tables are a perfect fit for any college student – or anyone who is passionate about sustainability.  The tables are more than just a great place for students and staff to meet.  They also serve as charging stations and Wi-Fi hotspots, made from architectural-grade, eco-friendly materials. The tables feature two wireless charging pads, a multiple type A and type c USB plugs and 110V outlets for charging phones, tables, and laptops.  CCCC investing in our future.

Update from CCCC Safety and Security

The Safety and Security Department at Cerro Coso has been busy with several efforts to increase overall effectiveness. 

They are just wrapping up the first phase of the employee focused Active Shooter/ Assailant training which included 4 Zoom sessions over a 2-week period.  The next phase of the training will begin in November as an in-person and in workspaces event to assess RUN, HIDE, FIGHT strategies.

Additionally, they are working with the Faculty Flex Committee to explore the potential benefits of creating a core safety and security training element to the faculty flex training schedules in the fall.  This effort is in the same thread as their commitment to providing requested security training as an aspect of professional development. 

Safety and Security Manager Kevin King (far right in photo) recently met with the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigations) on the Cerro Coso IWV campus to discuss the potential of hosting relevant briefing and training events.  They will be looking to host the first of these events at the Spring Faculty Flex.

Bakersfield College

BC Receives Title V Grant for Early College Pathways

BC’s Title V grant proposal has been 1 of approximately 79 funded by the U.S. Department of Education under the Hispanic Serving Institution (DHSI) Program. Serving over 10,500 high school students per year, Bakersfield College has the largest Early College program in the state, 77% of which are Hispanic/Latino. Among these 10,500 students, approximately 1,200 high school students participate in pathways that will allow them to complete an associates degree from Bakersfield College by the time they graduate from high school. This grant award will enable Bakersfield College to increase participation, retention, success, and completion rates for high school students who enter Early College pathways in the 9th grade.

The programs are currently available at 7 locations: Wonderful College Prep Academy- Delano and Lost Hills campuses, Wasco High School, Arvin High School, Kern High School District- Career & Technical Education Center and BC Southwest Center, McFarland High School Early College, and Shafter High School. On average, 92% of the students on these associate degree completion pathways are Hispanic/Latino.

BC Recognized as 2022 Champion of Higher Education

BC has been named a 2022 Champion of Higher Education for Excellence in Transfer, and 2022 Equity Champion of Higher Education for our work in breaking barriers in transfer and  advancing racial equity in education. BC is one of the leading institutions in the state for Associate Degree for Transfer implementation, giving students a pathway to realizing their college dreams.

BC STEM Students Attend Aerospace Valley Air Show

BC STEM/Industrial Automation students attended the 2022 Aerospace Valley Air Show at Edwards Airforce Base, where they met various employers and explored industries directly related to their fields of study. They had a little fun introducing the crowds to Spot and Pepper, the two robots who joined the students on their air show adventures.

African American Health Science Luncheon

On October 11, 2022, Bakersfield College’s Health Science Pathway Team hosted a luncheon for current and prospective African American students to explore health science programs and resources on campus. Steven Watkins, Associate Vice Chancellor of Enrollment Services, and Carla Gard, Dean of Allied Health, led the day with inspiration and introductions to some of BC’s dedicated leaders:

  • Reggie Bolton– Dean of Kinesiology & Athletics (Physical Therapist Assistant included)
  • Dr. Charles Daramola-Director of Public Health
  • Dr. Tatevik Broutian-Human Biology Faculty
  • Dr. Melissa Buggs-Nursing Faculty
  • Ronnie Robinson & David Salazar -Radiologic Technology Students
  • Crystal Rodriguez-Health Information Technology Faculty
  • Jennifer Achan-Executive Director of Financial Aid

What a great day of information and networking!

Renegade Football Claims Victory over College of the Canyons

The Bakersfield College football team played against the College of the Canyons Thursday October 13th and not only won their second straight road contest, but ended an eight-game losing streak with a ten-point victory, 17-7. The Renegades hope to continue this victory trend as they play against the Ventura Pirates at this weekend’s Homecoming game!

In the News

BC rolls out 3-class certificate series on renewable energy

I enjoyed John Cox’s article in The Bakersfield Californian about BC’s new, free certificate series on renewable energy.

“Renewable energy has become a big focus at BC and its parent organization, the Kern Community College District, since the formalization of its unique partnership with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.”

And for those interested in the courses, visit

BC shares Measure J progress report, thank-you with Renegade Promenade

Perry Smith wrote about last weekend’s Renegade Promenade event in this article for The Bakersfield Californian.

“We wanted to hold this event because it’s been a long time since the community’s been up to BC with the pandemic and such,” said Cheryl Scott, executive director of the Bakersfield College Foundation, which assists the college by seeking community engagement and support. “And it would not be recognized by people who have not been on campus in the past couple of years.”

Fun Photos & Spotted on Social Media

Cerro Coso Community College celebrated Boss’s Day on October 17. Staff members showered the President’s, Marketing, and Finance and Administrative Offices with fun posters, breakfast, decorations, and gifts.     


Kylie Campbell shared this post from the Kern Equity Symposium:


Cerro Coso Community College students in the EOPS program took a trip to El Pueblo, Olvera Street, and visited several museums in October. It was a fun filled day of good food, dancing, shopping of course educational visiting the cultural museums for students in the EOPS/Access Program at Cerro Coso.     


Here’s one of the photos PC President Claudia Habib shared from last weekend’s Porterville College Foundation swap meet:


And check out these adorable pictures of Nicole Parra‘s dog, Bailey:


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

The future is bright at KernCCD.

a joyful and grateful Chancellor


A busy week in October at Kern CCD

Spent a few days in San Diego for a conference the same weekend the TwitchCon convention for the livestreaming video platform Twitch was in town. As part of their festivities, AT&T hosted a water show, “Rumble in the Harbor,” which featured 120-inch foot projections onto the seafront.

Just wow…..

Good morning, friends.
It is October 15, 2022.
The sun shines bright over Kern CCD.

Porterville College

PC Announces Next CHAP Event

Professor Richard Goode

The Porterville College Historical Awareness Program (CHAP) continues its celebration of 20 years with another fascinating discussion, this time from PC Professor Emeritus Richard Goode.

Join us on October 27th as Richard Goode introduces this Geologic Time Scale. He will discuss the term “Epoch” and what adding to or modifying the Geologic Time Scale could mean.

Richard Goode, Professor Emeritus of Physical and Earth Sciences, is a Porterville area native and a product of Porterville Schools – including Porterville College. He has a BS in Physics from California State University, Bakersfield, and an MS in Geoscience from Mississippi State University.

Professor Goode retired in May of 2021 after teaching Physical Science, Geology, and Earth Science at Porterville College for the past 22 years. He and his wife, Georgia enjoy SCUBA diving and traveling to as many dive spots as possible.

DRC Uses Film to highlight Disability Rights for Awareness Month

The Porterville College Disability Resource Center (DRC) held an event to educate PC students on the Disability Rights movement that started in the 1970’s with a group of camp attendees.  DRC Counselor Errin Sullivan Arcos spoke about how these events have a direct impact on Disability Rights.

This film is about the experiences of a group of disabled young people on their journey to activism and adulthood.

PC Participates in Innovators by Design Conference

Porterville College faculty, staff, and Administrators participated in the annual Innovators By Design Summit sponsored by the Tulare County Workforce Investment Board (WIB) on Wednesday, October 12, 2022, at the Visalia Wyndam Hotel and Conference Center.

CTE and STEM program faculty and staff met with local industry leaders and government partners on best-practices and solutions for the future of workforce development needs for the county.

PC Presents at HACU Annual Conference

A group of PC Students, Staff, Faculty, and Administrators headed to the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) annual conference in San Diego.

While at the conference, Ana Ceballos, Primavera Arvizu, Jackie Escareno Salas, and DJ Vanderwerff presented about the strength of partnerships in building pathways to education.

PC President Dr. Claudia Habib joined the group at the conference. She said, “Great presentation by our team of Pirates at this year’s HACU conference covering the importance of partnerships in our successful Early Education Pathway and Elementary Teaching Education degree. Congratulations to all of those involved!”

Cerro Coso Community College

Club Rush at the Ridgecrest Campus

The Student Government of Cerro Coso held their fall Club Rush on Wednesday, October 12, in the Ridgecrest Campus student center. 

“Club Rush is a great way for students to get involved on campus,” stated Student Activities Director Tyson Huffman.  “By getting involved in a club students have the opportunity to increase leadership, citizenship, and service skills that enhance Cerro Coso and the community.  Students meet new people, and most of all, do more of what they love.”

Every semester the SGCC and club leadership host a Club Rush to introduce the student body to the different clubs available on campus. 

Clubs are an important part of Cerro Coso as they motivate students to get more involved on campus, find friends with similar interests, and – in general – do some great things on and off campus.  They attract students who share the same interests like music, arts, or sports. 

Nightmare after Diagnosis – Relay for Life

Cancer does not discriminate.  It does not care if you are a male or female, what your ethnicity is, your age, or your social-economic status, or even if your family genes are prone to it happening or not…it can just show up! 

Cerro Coso’s Outreach Department championed this year’s Team “Nightmare After Diagnosis” raising funds and awareness during the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life event held on Saturday, October 8, 2022.

Relay for Life is one of the largest peer-to-peer fundraising events dedicate to saving lives from cancer. 

The college participates every year in honor and memory of those who have fought the battle against cancer and to support the community. 

Bakersfield College

Finish In 4 Update

The 2nd Finish in 4 convening took place on Friday, October 7th at Bakersfield College. Over 100 faculty and staff from both BC and CSUB met in their discipline area to align Finish-in-4 Pathways, and further increase 4-year college completion through.

For nearly 8 years, both institutions have been working together to serve local students through pathways which guarantee students complete their transfer degree in the first 2 years at Bakersfield College and a baccalaureate degree in the following 2 years at CSUB. Together, the goal has always been to move students through and to the next stage of their educational and career journey in an efficient and impactful way.

At Friday’s event, faculty and staff reviewed existing pathways for necessary revisions to keep curriculum and alignment up-to-date, while also adding new degree pathways to the program. Bakersfield College is aiming to include nearly 30 degrees including Kinesiology and Psychology, which is one of BC’s largest transfer disciplines.

1st Annual CV PATH Research Symposium

On Friday, September 23rd Bakersfield College hosted the 1st annual Central Valley Pathways in Academics, Teaching and Higher Education (PATH) research symposium.

Over the summer, 24 BC students for anthropology, science, math, and engineering participated in a four-week research program at either CSU Bakersfield or UC Merced. Faculty, administrators, and staff from the three campuses attended the Symposium luncheon, and students presented posters on their projects.  

Aera Energy Creates Four Internships for Industrial Automation Students

Aera Energy LLC, developed four internship positions just for our Bachelors of Science Industrial Automation students.

Domestic Violence Awareness Month – Trunk or Treat 

The Open Door Network, in partnership with Bakersfield College and the Consent Project Club, is hosting a Trunk or Treat event for Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM). This event will be held on Thursday, October 27th from 4:00PM to 7:00PM at Bakersfield College in the southwest parking lot at University and Haley. This is a community event open to everyone for free. Multiple local nonprofits and organizations, BCSGA, Office of Student Life, and BC departments will be participating. 

College Teams Represent Kern CCD at CCCAOE Fall 2022 Conference

Teams from all three colleges headed down to sunny Palm Springs last week for the CCCAOE Fall 2022 Conference. In addition to attending the conference, we were also well represented in the line-up of presenters. Dean Tony Cordova and Dean Jessica Grimes lead the CVML Regional Meeting, the Early College team from Bakersfield College had a packed breakout session on how to expand CTE programs through Dual Enrollment, and Kern CCD Vice Chancellor of Workforce and Economic Development Trudy Gerald participated on a panel lead by KCSOS on the K16 Grant Collaborative work taking place in the Central Valley. 

While sadly no one from our district brought home a trophy from the exciting rubber duck race that took place in the lazy river during the President’s Welcome Reception on Wednesday night, they all left feeling like champions from the week of great workshops and keynote sessions planned by CCCAOE and the opportunity to network with vendors and community college partners from across the state.

Kern CCD Partners with Futuro Health to Address Statewide Need for Medical Assistants

Left to Right: Nicole Griffin, Vanesa Hernandez, Victoria Koiyan,
Terri Hack, Matthew Wanta, Christine Small,
Jackie Stoner, Jessica Kawelmacher, Joy Hermsen.

Last Spring, Kern CCD entered into an innovative partnership with Futuro Health, a nonprofit organization focused on “providing relevant solutions to the healthcare workforce shortage in ways pertinent to this moment in time”. The planning team behind this partnership was led by Craig Hayward, Bonita Steele, Vice President Dr. Corey Marvin, Nicole Griffin and Kylie Campbell. The effort and dedication of these individuals made this partnership a reality and provided a successful model for future adult learner partnerships within Kern CCD.  

Program implementation for the first cohort from Futuro Health was led by Health Career Expansion Program Director, Jackie Stoner, along with key staff from Cerro Coso CC–Matt Wanta, Christine Small, Jessica Kawelmacher, Alyssa Bloomberg and Terri Hack, as well as BC Ed. Advisor Vanesa Hernandez. The team provided a series of workshops on the Medical Assisting program, CCCapply, financial aid, registration, and Canvas to make it possible for our first cohort of Futuro Health students to start their educational journey with us in Summer 2022. As they moved forward into their second semester, we could see and feel the excitement of our students as they are one step closer to their personal and career goals. This cohort will complete their Administrative Medical Assisting AND Clinical Medical Assisting Certificates with Cerro Coso in August 2023.

On Tuesday, September 27, the teams from Kern CCD, Cerro Coso and Futuro Health met in person for a full day retreat at the Weill Institute to discuss our efforts thus far, address barriers that we have seen and prep for additional cohorts. We are excited to announce that our second cohort will begin in Spring 2023, with recruitment starting this Fall!

The team has a running joke about Matt Wanta. Every time we think of something he can’t do, he comes back with one better. So, since he cannot fly (yet), we decided to get him his own personal superman cape. It is truly an understatement as Matt’s vision to serve students and the community shine through his effort to make anything possible. In his words “We are not only offering a great program, but we are grooming students into a recession proof career, a career serving communities and growing communities, helping them into being financially secure, serving the needs of clinics and providers, bolstering our (Futuro Health and Cerro Coso) success, and finally, if not evident, making a difference!”

Kern CCD is proud to partner with Futuro Health as they address a statewide need for well-trained healthcare professionals. A special thank you to my colleague and Futuro Healt CEO, Van Ton-Quinlivan, for her leadership in these efforts and for her team’s collaboration with us here at Kern CCD.

Chancellor’s Seminar Series

Last week, we held another installment in the Chancellor’s Seminar Series. October 4th’s seminar, “Future of Teaching and Learning,” featured a panel discussion lead by Bob Simpkins, with panelists Jaclyn Kesller, Chris Cruz Boone, Rachel Tatro-Duarte, and Alex Rockey.

Here are my opening remarks from the seminar:

And here’s the panel discussion:

You can see all Chancellor’s Seminar Series videos at

Kern CCD Faculty Innovation and Leadership Initiative

All Kern Community College District faculty are invited to apply to this year’s cohort of the Faculty Innovation and Leadership Initiative.

Those interested can apply and upload their CV at The deadline to submit is Friday, October 28th at 11:59 a.m. 

For more information, check out the flyer at

In the News

Letter to the editor: Star Party was a success

Cerro Coso Community College President Sean Hancock wrote this letter to The Daily Independent about the recent Astronomical Barbecue and Star Party – the first in two years.

Renegade Promenade: Alumni, Family, and Friend Day at Bakersfield College

Studio 17’s Kait Hill talked to Executive Director, Cheryl Scott and Alumni & Donor Relations, Courtney Carter of the Bakersfield College Foundation about the Renegade Promenade event happening today!

Check it out at Renegade Promenade: Alumni, Family, and Friend Day at Bakersfield College | KGET 17.

Overwhelming demand for online classes is reshaping California’s community colleges

An article in the Los Angeles Times this week looked at demand for online classes throughout the California community college system. Our own Emmanuel Mourtzanos was quoted:

“We have a lot of our younger students who want to be face to face,” said Emmanuel Mourtzanos, a vice chancellor in the Kern Community College District, which includes Bakersfield. “But I think that a lot of our older students are saying, ‘I never thought that this was possible.’”

Fun Photos & Spotted on Social Media

Here’s a photo of me with the three colloege presidents – Dr. Sean Hancock from Cerro Coso Community College, Dr. Claudia Habib from Porterville College, and Dr. Zav Dadabhoy from Bakersfield College:

This past Saturday morning several Renegade Football student-athletes teamed up to volunteer at the Mission at Kern County as they had a bye week.  They helped clean up around the Mission and provided much needed inventory support to help the staff facilitate their daily operations a little more efficiently. What a way to serve the community! Well done, Renegades!

Check out the schedule on for upcoming athletic activities.

Mayor Karen Goh sent me this photo of BC nursing students and their instructor serving at the Veterans Stand Down event at at Stramler Park on Thursday:

Nicole Parra shared this photo with NaTesha Johnson:

Thank you Jennifer for the invite to speak to the 2022 KCHCC Energy & Ag Academy. Great to meet so many students from Bakersfield College, CSUB & Fresno State interested in careers in ag, energy, industrial automation, welding and architecture! Wow! So cool to update them about CREL@KernCCD & the work our Chancellor Sonya Christian is leading in our energy ecosystem! #KCHCC #KERNCCD #CREL #partnerships #energy

And check out this video that Professor James McGarrah shared with me to promote the Modern Energy certificate. Thank you to Rebecca Farley and Professor Jeff Huston from BC’s Arts program!


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

The future is bright at KernCCD.

a joyful and grateful Chancellor


Kern CCD Daring Mighty Things Oct 2022

This week we announced the soft launch of the California Renewable Energy Laboratory (CREL)

Thank you Assembly member Rudy Salas, the Governor and other political leaders in California for the $50 million to help establish CREL.

We are creating the future; committed to developing the workforce, creating grid resilience, clean transportation, and leading Kern County in energy innovation. CREL is just the beginning of a promising future in a changing energy landscape, and we are so thankful to have the support of our State and local leaders.

Good morning, friends.
It is October 8, 2022.
The sun shines bright over Kern CCD.

Porterville College

PC Continues Celebration of Hispanic Heritage with Visit from Author Gary Soto

Porterville College continued its celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month with a visit from author, filmmaker, and poet Gary Soto this week.  The author joined students, faculty, and community members in the Porterville College Theater to talk about his works and to share stories from his VERY colorful life and career as a writer.   

Gary Soto was born and raised in Fresno, California. He is the author of thirteen poetry collections for adults, most notably NEW AND SELECTED POEMS. He has received the Discovery-The Nation Prize and the California Library Association’s John and Patricia Award [twice], in addition to fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts [also twice], and the Guggenheim Foundation.

Soccer returns to Jamison Stadium after a 20-year absence

A surprisingly large crowd for a Tuesday afternoon watched the return of Pirate Soccer to Porterville College this week as the Woman’s Soccer team hit the field at Jamison Stadium for the first time in over 20 years. 

It was uncertain at the beginning of the semester whether the team would be able to play on-campus this year due to delays in the refurbishing project at the stadium.  The campus was alerted that the stadium project would be complete by the first scheduled home game in the nick of time and the program was able to return home on time.  If Tuesday’s attendance was any indication, it seems like fans are excited to come out for Collegiate soccer in Porterville. 

The team, headed by head coach Amber Hernandez, put up a strong showing, despite being shut out by the Fresno City College Rams in their debut. Regardless of the score, we can’t wait to see what the Pirates bring to the field this year and in years to come!

PC Law Enforcement Academy Hits the Range

Administration of Justice Professor Jeff Jacobs (@theUSinjustice) Shared some photos of our Law Enforcement academy hitting the Porterville Police Department firing range last weekend as part of their training. 

Cerro Coso Community College

Cerro Coso proud sponsor of Inaugural Women’s Leadership Conference in Tehachapi

Cerro Coso Community College was a sponsor for the inaugural Women’s Leadership Conference in Tehachapi on September 28. 

The event included an immersive day of hands-on workshops, panel discussions and inspiring conversations with entrepreneurs, industry leaders, and change-makers making an impact in business and the community. 

Cerro Coso faculty and staff in attendance were Vonetta Mixson, Saya Novinger, Denise Allen, and Nicole Griffin. 

Cerro Coso also formed and participated in a Fellows Program, which awarded 8 students in the community free admission to the event. The Fellows awardees were Lauren Willis, Justice Anderson, Kristen Roghair, Jocelyn Botello, Emily Soto, Imanni Brar, Angelina Flores, and Mia Flores. 

It was a wonderful and inspirational event for women in STEM and across multiple industries.

Transfer Awareness Week October 10-14

Transfer Awareness Week will kick off on Monday, October 10th with a workshop on Preparing to Transfer from 12:30 to 1:30 pm in MB 350 B and via Zoom.  Topics will cover the transfer process, Cerro Coso programs, and timelines.  

On Tuesday, October 11 from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. is a CSU Application Workshop in MB 318 and via Zoom.  This is a great workshop for students planning to transfer to a CSU and wanting help filling out the CSU application. 

A UC Application Workshop will be held on Wednesday, October 12th from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. in MB 318 B and via Zoom.  Want to get a jump start on your UC Application?  This workshop will help students get started and show them the process of filling out the UC application.  

A UC Questions Workshop will be held on Thursday October 13th from 12:30 to 1:30 pm in MB 318 and via Zoom.  This workshop will provide guidance on how to answer, “Personal Insight Questions?”  What UCs are looking for and what to consider while answer the questions will be covered.

A Transfer Resources Workshop will be held on Friday,  October 14th from 11 am to 12 pm in MB 318 and Zoom.  This workshop is designed to provide students with more information on transferring.  Information and useful transfer resources like Cerro Coso’s COL C131: Making Transfer Easy course.  

College employees are encouraged to participate by wearing their alma mater gear and being prepared to share the highlights.

Registration is required to attend any of the workshops via Zoom.  Links and information available at

Tehachapi Campus hosts Hocus Pocus Movie Night Oct. 28 

The Tehachapi campus of Cerro Coso (SGCC) invites the public to enjoy a unique viewing experience of the popular 90’s classic Hocus Pocuson Friday, October 28, 2022 at 6:30 pm in the quad.  

Join them in the quad for an outdoor fun, free, spooky, Halloween movie night.  

Drive-in movies are virtually a thing of the past – movie goers are encouraged to bring their family, friends, blankets, and lawn chair to enjoy a unique experience.  

Hocus Pocus is a 1993 American fantasy comedy film that follows a villainous comedic trio of witches (Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy) who are inadvertently resurrected by a teenage boy (Omri Katz) in Salem, Massachusetts, on Halloween.  The film is directed by Kenny Ortega and written by Neil Cuthbert and Mick Garris.  

Free popcorn and treats, just bring a bowl.

Wear your favorite costume or come just as you are.

The first 30 people to attend will receive a ghoulish goodie bag.  

Kawelmacher Named New Director of Admissions and Records

Congratulations to Jessica Kawelmacher on her new position as Director of Admissions & Records.

Kawelmacher is a Ridgecrest native that managed to move out of Ridgecrest for a few years and experience other places after her high school graduation. She found herself back in Ridgecrest in 2011 with her two older daughters and soon after met her husband Kenneth.

She started working at Cerro Coso in 2015 in the Financial Aid office and moved to the Admissions & Records Department in 2016.

A Cerro Coso alumna, Kawelmacher holds an AA in Liberal Arts: Social and Behavioral Sciences (2019), and a BS in Management from Bellevue University (2021).  She is also a 2019 graduate of the KCCD Leadership Academy.  She has plans to go back to school in the spring to earn a teaching credential with the hopes of becoming a CC adjunct professor in the next few years, while also managing the A&R office, of course. 

For fun, Kawelmacher loves to camp, hike, create crafts with her Cricut, paint, work with wood, read, and play The Sims.  

A very reputable motto that Kawelmacher lives by is, “The only time I set the bar low is for limbo.” –Michael Scott (from “The Office”).

Congratulations to Jessica on her new leadership position at Cerro Coso Community College! 

Koiyan Now Director of Financial Aid

Congratulations to Victoria Koiyan on her new position as the Director of Financial Aid.

Also known as “Tori”, Koiyan has over 12 years in Financial Aid and worked with Bakersfield College for 6 years before moving to Cerro Coso Community College.  

She grew up in Delano and eventually moved to Bakersfield when she started high school.  She lived in Bakersfield for 18 years before moving to Ridgecrest this past year.

Koiyan holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Ashford University.   

For fun, Koiyan likes to dance, sing, do random monologues for her family, occasionally fish, and as it cools down, she will get back into hiking. 

Her motto in life is “Your happiness is worth the risk!” 

Cerro Coso welcomes Tori to her new role as the Director of Financial Aid.  Congratulations!

Bakersfield College

Ribbon cutting held for 2nd Peace and Learning Garden 

This week BC held the ribbon cutting for the second Peace and Learning Garden on campus – the Gandhi Peace and Learning Garden. Thank you Ravi and Naina Patel for helping create this beautiful space for our students and community.