Like Olympic Athletes, KCCD #DaringMightyThings with kindness

Loved watching #TeamUSA at the Tokyo Olympic Games. I’m sure many of you followed the story of Simone Biles – probably one of the greatest, if not THE greatest, gymnasts to ever compete – as she removed herself from the team competition last week. This week, she again removed herself from several individual events. But on Tuesday, she competed in the Individual Balance Beam competition and won a hard-earned Bronze medal for the United States.

Simone’s decision to withdraw from the world stage has made mental health a focus of these Olympics, at a time when many of us have been struggling after nearly a year and a half of pandemic. Dr. Brij Bambi’s says it well in his raw bold way of story telling ….. check out this recent post https://bhambiandchristian.com/

The world watched our strongest and fastest engage with their mental health, and we have also been witness to incredible acts of kindness between these competitors.

An amazing moment of these Olympic Games was when Mutaz Essa Barshim of Qatar and Gianmarco Tamberi of Italy decided to forgo a jump-off and to instead share the gold medal for the men’s high jump.

U.S. swimmer Caleb Dressel, who won 5 gold medals at these games, threw one of his relay medals to teammate Brooks Curry, who swam in the team’s qualifying heats in Dressel’s place. While both men will ultimately receive medals for their work on the relay team, it was still a wonderful gesture to see as Caleb recognized Brooks’ efforts in not only securing the relay medal, but helping him stay energized for his other events.

Japanese surfer Kanoa Igarashi was disappointed when he lost to Brazilian Italo Ferreira in surfing’s Olympics debut. But when Ferreira needed help at a press conference, Igarashi stepped in and translated a question.

It has been a truly beautiful Olympics, watching our world class athletes not only compete at astonishing levels, but also demonstrating a global sense of community . What an inspiration these Kindness Games have been.

Good morning, friends…
It is August 7, 2021.
The sun shines bright over KCCD.

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


Porterville College

PC to provide access to vaccinations on campus for students during “Fall Welcome back Week”


PC Nursing Students Assist with Prior County Run Vaccination Clinics on Campus

As we prepare for a safe and healthy return to campus, it’s critical for students to know that getting vaccinated, combined with mask use, is the most important thing they can do to ensure the health and safety of those around them. Vaccination has been proven to prevent severe illness, hospitalizations, and even death.

As we make the return to on-campus learning, Porterville College is urging unvaccinated people to get the the COVID-19 vaccination as soon as possible. With the emergence of the Delta variant of COVID-19, this step is more urgent than ever to ensure the health and safety of everyone in the community.

To ensure that as many students as possible receive this information and get vaccinated, Porterville College is starting an effort to distribute information to students and to provide easier access to vaccinations on campus and other scheduled vaccination clinics in the area. Please view our Adobe Spark presentation: How to Protect Yourself & Others for more information.

PC is making COVID-19 Vaccinations and testing available to all students, in partnership with Sierra View Medical Center and Imperial Ambulance.  These mobile vaccination clinics will be held on campus leading up to and during the Welcome Back Week (Aug. 23-26) with the first scheduled dates being August 12th, 19th and 26th.

Summer camp introduces future PC program to young audiences

Professor Diran Lyons works with students on their video projects.

PC’s new Video Production camp was created to provide local students with the knowledge needed to improve their skills in creating videos for social media or other applications. During this week-long class, local high school students were provided instruction on video techniques using both phones and cameras, planning out a project from start to finish, and finally editing they content they captured to put together a finished video project. These TikTok videos were produced with industry-standard equipment and editing software.

Diran Lyons

This camp was designed by Filmmaker and PC Art Professor Diran Lyons, and provided just over a dozen High School Students with a taste of what is to come at Porterville College.  Starting in Fall 2022, the college will offer a video production class to students as part of the on-campus art department offerings. 

A summer camp student previews work on her video.

Basic Needs Support for Community College Students Is Urgent and Actionable

NOTE: I’d like to share a story about one of our students, as described in a letter from Luke Hejl, CEO and co-founder of TimelyMD, to EdSource Magazine.  TimelyMD is the company that provides PC Timely Care services to our students. This letter highlights the importance of a program like PC Timely Care for our students and the increased need for Health Support services of all kinds during these difficult times.

When COVID-19 hit and Joelene Jones lost her job after 17 years, she was still grieving the recent death of her mother. Suddenly without any income, medical insurance, or family to help during her time of need, Joelene understandably felt quite distraught.

As one of 2.7 million Californians who lost their jobs due to the pandemic, Joelene knew she wasn’t alone, but she felt that way. If something didn’t give, she would have to give something up – and she didn’t want that to be the pursuit of her educational and career goals.

Fortunately, Joelene was enrolled at Porterville College, a community college in California’s Central Valley, which offers students free, 24/7 medical and mental health care through TimelyMD, the telehealth company I co-founded to meet the specific needs of college students. She turned to TalkNow, our on-demand mental health support service, to connect with licensed counselors about the anxiety she was experiencing. They listened to, supported, and gave her some tools and strategies to navigate her new, more stressful life circumstances.

Unfortunately, many community college students like Joelene are frontline workers in medical, manufacturing, education and food service industries whose commitment throughout the pandemic came at the expense of their own well-being.

Even as the economy recovers, many students enrolled in two-year colleges are struggling with financial, housing, food or childcare insecurity. Responses from nearly 900 community college students we surveyed nationwide in June underscore the importance of boosting basic needs support now:  

  • Nearly 60% have struggled to meet their basic needs over the last year.
  • More than 70% have experienced emotional distress, stress and/or anxiety due to lack of basic needs.
  • Medical and mental health care essentially tied as their most pressing basic needs, with one-third of students surveyed citing each. Food insecurity, clothing needs and housing rounded out their top 5 concerns.
  • Just over half sought or used resources like a food pantry, transportation voucher, reduced price/free internet or affordable housing in the last year.

Four out of every ten undergraduate students in the U.S. are enrolled at community colleges, yet historically they haven’t received the resources needed to support their physical well-being, mental health or other basic needs. These students deserve support on these four fronts

Economic – Research shows that students whose basic needs go unmet are more likely to have lower GPAs, higher levels of mental health issues, and poorer health, in general. Any of these factors, let alone a combination of them, can threaten students’ academic success and affect their ability to remain enrolled, which puts at risk their long-term earning potential. A report by the American Association of Community Colleges found that community college-educated workers added $800 billion to the national economy in 2012. Investing in the basic needs of community college students is a win-win – it’s good for our economy, and more importantly, it’s the right thing to do.

Partnerships – After listening to feedback from community colleges, TimelyMD is introducing a new service to connect students at partner schools with free or reduced-cost programs that provide support for services such as in-person health care, food and housing assistance, transit, bill paying, childcare, and legal services. During our pilot phase, we have helped students in California and Texas find low-rent housing, identify local support groups for a student-parent of an autistic child, connect them with food pantries on campus, and facilitate stay in a safe shelter.

Fortunately for Joelene, Porterville College offered her the support she needed to rise above her myriad needs and anxieties and achieve a milestone in her educational journey. This spring, she completed her Associate in Science in Business Administration for Transfer (AS-T) in Business Administration and has applied to several schools in pursuit of her bachelor’s degree. She is also working as a counselor to inmates in a local prison, with a goal of someday joining the administrative team once she completes her education.

Without the support of her campus community and our counselors, she admits her GPA would likely have suffered, she would have dropped a class, and that would have delayed her graduation.


Cerro Coso Community College

CCCC to host vaccination clinic August 19

Ridgecrest Regional Hospital is partnering with Cerro Coso Community College to hold a COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic at the college on Thursday, August 19, 2021, during the CC Rocks Welcome Back event at the Ridgecrest Campus. 

The recent effort to vaccinate as many students and community members before the start of the fall semester comes on the heels of a recent increase in positive COVID-19 cases. The college has hosted two pop-up clinics this month and will continue to partner with the Hospital to find ways to increase access to the vaccines.

The August 19th Vaccination Clinic is open to the public

Cerro Coso strongly encourages all members of the campus community to receive the vaccine to help stop the spread of the virus. The combination of the COVID-19 vaccination and following the Center for Disease Control’s guidelines offers the best protection from COVID-19 and the Delta Variant. For more information on Cerro Coso’s Safe Reopening Protocols in response to the COVID-19 virus, or to learn more about available resources, visit https://www.cerrocoso.edu/cam…/covid-19/covid-19-resources

Cliff Davis Presents at Eastern Sierra Book Festival

English Professor and Chair of the Curriculum and Instruction Council, Cliff Davis, presented at the Eastern Sierra Book Festival in Mammoth. The event was organized by Jennifer Crittenden, a published author, and an extremely accomplished Cerro Coso student.

She took Davis’ Shakespeare class in the spring and asked him to speak at the festival on a subject that emphasizes a nexus between Shakespeare’s works and the effects of the COVID 19 pandemic.

The title of Davis’ presentation “To be or not to be: Hamlet’s Infinit[iv]e Possibilities,” had two central emphases: the speech is famous because “it is perhaps the most brilliant articulation of paralysis, isolation, and the fear of death ever expressed in any language,” said Davis. “It is particularly relevant now because “we’re finally – but still very slowly – dragging ourselves out of a self-imposed isolation and paralysis necessitated by the all-too-real fear of death caused by the pandemic of COVID-19.”

Professor Davis has published several articles on classical and Renaissance Literature.

CCCC Foundation to participate in Cheers to Charity

The CCCC Foundation will be a participant in this year’s CHEERS TO CHARITY annual fundraising event featuring vibrant music, amazing food, fine wines, craft, and home-brewed beers beneath the canopy of a beautiful Tehachapi August night.

100% of the proceeds from the event benefit Tehachapi nonprofits including the CCCC Foundation. The event includes mouth-watering tapas, wonderful wines, and skillfully made craft and home-brewed beers. Choice cigars will be available for purchase, a silent auction, and a coffee and dessert bar will round out the festivities at the Tehachapi Airport on Saturday, August 14, 2021, from 6 to 10 p.m.

Please join us, eat, drink, celebrate, and support Cerro Coso Tehachapi students! Purchase your ticket today at www.cheerstocharity2021.eventbrite.com


Bakersfield College

Project HireUp & CityServe Recruitment Tour

In effort to get educational resources directly into the hands of those who need it the most, Bakersfield College’s Project HireUp and the CityServe Educational Collaborative Center, teamed up on the week of July 26th for a Fall 2021 Recruitment Tour. This tour consisted of site visits to several local shelters and residential living facilities, including visits to the M St. and Brundage Lane Navigation Centers, Mission of Kern County and Keepers of the Cross Recovery Home. Participants had the opportunity to hear presentations on a variety of programs offered through CSEC, BC Enrollment & Resources and more specifically BC’s Project HireUp Homeless to Job Program, which kicks off August 23rd with Cohort #4. This tour makes it rounds all the way through August 20th.

HEAL Webinar – Vaccine Education Outreach – Central Valley

The Health, Equity, and Learning Collaborative hosted a multi-day webinar summit that focused on Vaccine Education Outreach – Central Valley. Topics included vaccine hesitancy, conversations with providers, and community-led efforts.

The first day’s topic was “Vaccines and the Pandemic: Where are we now?” Rais Vohra from the Fresno Public Health Department discussed Covid in the Valley and vaccine hesitancy. Dr. Tania Pacheco shared information about community health workers.

Here’s the Q&A from that session:

On Day 2, we discussed “Difficult Conversations with Patients and Public About COVID-19”. Reshma Patel and Nimisha Amin shared information about children under 12, and how the vaccine affects our youth. KVPR journalist Madi Bolanos discussed communicating efforts to the public.

The final day was titled “Meeting the Moment: Using Community-Based Approach for Vaccine Hesitancy.” Linda Gleason from Cradle to Career Fresno County and Norberto Gonzalez from Healthy Futures California discussed Community Efforts in California. Dr. Keith Norris and Joseline Garcia shared information about community efforts and partnerships in Bakersfield.

Our panel moderators included Norma Rojas-Mora, Tania Pacheco, and Kathy Murphy.

Thank you to all the speakers who engaged with the audience and all who attended to hear this important information.

Recordings from the event are starting to be available on the HEAL website.

BC’s Student Health & Wellness Center giving away 100 Tickets to Justin Moore Concert

 

Bakersfield College’s Student Health and Wellness Center will be giving away 100 free tickets to the August 12th Justin Moore concert at Mechanics Bank Arena , in sets of 2, to the first 50 individuals to get vaccinated during the on-campus vaccine clinic today, August 7th. 

The clinic is open to the public and will operate at Bakersfield College’s main campus (1801 Panorama Drive) in the Veterans Resource Center on August 7, 2021, from 10:00AM to 2:00PM. The clinic is scheduled to distribute only the Moderna Vaccine. 

For those who cannot make the August 7th clinic, but still wish to receive a vaccine, the BC Student Health and Wellness Center is administering the Moderna vaccine on Tuesdays and Wednesdays between 9:00AM and 3:00PM and the Janssen vaccine on Thursdays between 9:00AM and 3:00PM each week on campus. Find out more on the BC Get Vaccinated page.

Read more about the ticket giveaway and the vaccine clinic.


Chancellor’s Seminar Series

This week, I continued my Chancellor’s Seminar Series with a session on Monday titled “A Look at Facilities.”

Randy Rowles, Vice Chancellor, Construction & Facilities, led the discussion about what the Maintenance & Operations departments throughout the Kern Community College District have been doing to get our sites ready for our students and employees to safely return in-person.

Thank you to our other speakers:

  • Cody Pauxtis, Director of Maintenance & Operations at Cerro Coso Community College
  • John Word, Director of Maintenance & Operations at Porterville College
  • Marcos Rodriguez, Executive Director of Facilities & Operations at Bakersfield College
  • Don Birdwell, Building Facility Manager at KCCD District Office

I’d like to highlight 3 videos from this webinar, where we focused on updates at each of our three colleges:

Bakersfield College

Cerro Coso Community College

Porterville College

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

You can find videos from the Seminar Series at https://www.kccd.edu/chancellors-office/chancellors-seminar-series.

Poetry Corner

Last week, I shared Part 1 of Jack Hernandez’s “Rockport in June” poetry series. Today, please enjoy Part 2:

Photo of Rockport

Rockport 2

I sit in a chair
alone watching
the morning
white like a sheet
of paper   a blank
page offering me
the possibility
of poetry
or simply
the silence
mending  my weary heart.

In the News

Valley Ag Voice

Dr. James Selgrath, professor of agribusness & animal science at Bakersfield College, wrote the new monthly Renegade Round-Up column for the August edition of the Valley Ag Voice. It was a fantastic showcase of BC’s Agriculture Department. I look forward to future columns. Check it out on Page 3!

I also enjoyed seeing the piece from Executive Director of the Kern County Farm Bureau and KCCD Trustee Romeo Agbalog, and Kern County Farm Bureau President John C. Moore, titled “How Much Are You Willing to Pay for Drought?” You can read it on Page 2 of the Valley Ag Voice.

Bakersfield College helps high school students achieve AA degree with Early College Program

Kylie Campbell,
Early College Program Director

I loved this article by Lizette Chavez for Bakersfield Life Magazine about the Early College program at Bakersfield College.

My family was very excited about the opportunity because they were not fortunate enough to be able to finish their education or pursue a higher education, like my dad he always tells me if he had the opportunity to, he would go to college, but it just was never an option for him. I feel like it’s something that I did that’s making him very proud and he’s proud to see that I’m pursuing a degree further, my bachelor’s degree.”

– Jayleen Vargas, Recent Wasco High school and BC graduate who was recruited in eighth grade

Musicians invited to join PC orchestra, band

The Porterville Recorder published this article inviting local musicians to join the PC Orchestra and Band this fall semester. The combined class is open to community members of all abilities who play an instrument. The rehearsal schedule is 6-7:45 pm every Tuesday and Thursday.

For more information, including on how to register, contact Tianna Heppner Smith at Tianna.heppner@portervillecollege.edu.

Spotted on Social Media

Cerro Coso Community College Foundation welcomed a new class of Cerro Coso Promise scholarship students:

Porterville College shared a few pictures of PC President Claudia Habib and the PC administration serving breakfast to their classified staff:

BCSGA shared a photo of their team at the Ready Set Back to School Health and Wellness Fair:

This week I had my second retreat with the presidents of the three colleges. The first one was at Cerro Coso. This second one was at Bakersfield College. Check out a few photos that Debi Anderson snapped.

Sonya Christian, Zav Dadabhoy, Claudia Habib, Sean Hancocl

==========

==========

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

The future remains bright at KCCD.

-sonya
a joyful and grateful Chancellor

#KCCDDaringMightyThings

Wrapping up July with grandness — Olympics, Beach, and KCCD

I’m sure many of you, like me, have spent the past week catching the Olympics bug, supporting Team USA and watching as the world’s athletes push themselves to the limit in pursuit of greatness and gold.

As I watch the Games, my senses are heightened with the pageantry and history, traditions that not only tie us together as a worldwide community for 2 weeks every 4 years – but that tie us through time, binding us to those that have come before and will come after – generations cheering on athletic achievement.

The Olympic Games originated in ancient Greece – the first written records of these ancient games date to 776 BC when a cook named Coroebus won the only event (a 192-meter footrace). The games were held every four years at Olympia in honor of Zeus. This four year period became known as an Olympiad, and Olympiads became a way for ancient Greeks and historians to date events. 

The first modern Olympics were held in Athens, Greece, in 1896. There were 280 participants (all male) from 12 nations, competing in 43 events in track and field, gymnastics, swimming, wrestling, cycling, tennis, weightlifting, shooting and fencing. The United States sent 14 athletes, winning 20 medals (11 gold, 7 silver, and 2 bronze). 

The first Olympic Champion in those games – and thus, the first Olympic Champion of the Modern Olympic Games – was James Connolly, an American Harvard student who won the triple jump.

Women were first included in 1900 in Paris. Hélène de Pourtalès of Switzerland became the first female Olympic champion, as a member of a team sailing event. Charlotte Cooper from the United Kingdom was the first individual female Olympic champion, winning the women’s singles tennis competition. Margaret Ives Abbott, a golfer, was the first female Olympic champion from the United States.

The first African-American to win an Olympic gold medal was John Taylor, a track and field athlete who was a member of the men’s medley relay at the 1908 Summer Olympics in London.

In the 1984 Summer Olympics, Mary Lou Retton became the first American woman to win an Olympic all-around gold medal for gymnastics. 

In 2008, swimmer Michael Phelps won a historic 8 gold medals at the Beijing Olympics, breaking Mark Spitz’s record for the most gold medals won at a single Olympics (Mark, also a swimmer, won 7 gold medals in 1972). Phelps has now won 28 Olympic medals across 5 Olympic Games.

But one of my absolute favorite Olympic moments isn’t about a medal. It happened at the women’s 5,000 meter race at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016. Abbey D’Agostino from the United States and Nikki Hamblin from New Zealand were involved in a tumble during the race. Abbey encouraged Nikki to get up and continue the race after the fall, and Nikki returned the favor in encouraging Abbey to keep running when Abbey realized she had injured her knee in the fall. 

It is not just being on top of the podium that shows the true grit and amazingness of our Olympic athletes and embodies the Olympic spirit.

I’ve so enjoyed this year’s Olympics. While some of the storylines have been unexpected, Team USA has had a tremendous showing.

Here are a few of my favorite Team USA moments from the first week of Olympics competition:

Bobby Finke won the men’s 800m free gold with a breathtaking final effort. Watch that amazing race on YouTube.

Carissa Moore captured the first-ever Olympic gold medal in women’s surfing. Check out the video on YouTube.

Lydia Jacoby, who is 17, won the gold meal in the 100m breaststroke in a shocking race where she defeated defending champion and fellow member of Team USA Lilly King: You can watch the race on YouTube.

Jagger Eaton took bronze in the first men’s street skateboarding contest. Relive some of the action on YouTube:

Katie Ledecky was utterly dominant in the first Olympic women’s 1500m swimming race. Watch the highlights from the race.

Good morning, friends…
It is July 31, 2021.
The sun shines bright over KCCD.

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


Cerro Coso Community College

Welcome Back Celebration Planned for August 19

Cerro Coso is planning the Cerro Coso Rocks Welcome Back Celebration from 3-7 pm on August 19th. The event will be both virtual and in-person on campus, with campus tours, orientation, and student workshops to prepare incoming students for success in the upcoming year.

To help get you in the mood for this exciting event, check out this video highlighting their 2019 event:

Cerro Coso to offer new certificate programs

Cerro Coso Community College is proud to announce two new certificate programs launching this fall: Cloud Computing and Linux Administration.

These programs aim to meet the ever-growing and changing Information Technology Field.

The Cloud Computing Certificate aims to provide students with an understanding of cloud environments and support systems, as well as prepare students to transition traditional technology architectures to a cloud platform. The certificate prepares students for careers in the cloud computing area and to enter the workforce as a cloud system administrator, cloud technician, cloud architect, and cloud security officer.


Porterville College

PC to host STEM Workshops in Partnership with USDA

As part of an ongoing Title V funded project, Porterville College is set to host several Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) related workshops this Fall in partnership with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Each of these PC USDA STEM Enrichment Workshops will aim at highlighting a USDA agency and/or partner. The workshops were developed to introduce local, regional, and state USDA Agencies, federal, and industry partners to STEM students in Porterville and the campus wide community. 

These workshops will utilize an interactive, discussion-based format designed to engage students actively in their own career development process. Students will learn about opportunities offered by the USDA to optimize their STEM or Agriculture major, internship, and career searches.

For more information on the upcoming camps contact Juan Alvarez at Juan.Alvarez@usda.gov.  The first of these camps will be held on the Porterville College Campus on September 22 from Noon to 1:00 PM.

PC Student Services Team Works on Improving Student Experience

The Student Services Leadership Team runs through an exercise designed to demonstrate how easy it is to lose messages in the clutter of a student’s daily communications. Pictured Left to right: Roger Perez, Frank Ramirez, Errin Sullivan Arcos[seated], Tiffany Haynes [seated], Ashley Land, Jasmin Quinones

As part of our ongoing effort to improve the overall student experience, the student services team at PC participated in several workshops to explore new planning strategies for students utilizing our services as they navigate their educational pathway at Porterville College and beyond.

On Thursday, the team spent the day exploring the creation of a new annual communications strategy with the assistance of Director of Communications and Community Relations, Roger Perez. Perez worked with the leadership team to help them create a map of the student lifecycle to use in development of a new plan for communicating with our current students. This plan will better utilize available communication channels and maximize the return on investment for our communications efforts with students. 

During the workshop, the team participated in several activities designed to demonstrate the problems facing students in a society cluttered with ads, text messages, emails and push notifications.

PC CHAP Program returns for 20th Anniversary with New Leadership

James Entz

We are excited to announce the return of the Cultural and Historical Awareness Program (CHAP) to Porterville College this fall with new Coordinator James Entz.

Entz is a professor in the Fine and Applied Arts Division and has been involved with CHAP for many years as a committee member.  “I have been a part of it for so long because I found that CHAP is a great program that encompasses all those things that I love about teaching.  First, it is a collaborative process. It brings us together from across campus and the community to create a richer learning experience for our students (and us!).  Second, It builds community. As we, as a college, come together for speakers and events and through the common CHAP theme for the year and as we develop resources that enrich our teaching. Third, it is interdisciplinary and encourages integrative learning, making connections across disciplines and beyond the classroom, reinforcing and broadening our students’ understanding of what we teach in the classroom.”

CHAP was organized at PC in 2002, by Richard Osborne, to enhance students’ awareness of certain important aspects of our society to which they may previously have had little or no exposure. A theme is chosen by CHAP committee members each school year, and faculty members across the campus are encouraged to integrate elements of that theme into their coursework. Additionally, a variety of field trips, guest speakers, panel discussions and videos are presented throughout the year and are all open to the public. The working theme for this year is CHAP’s 20th Year Anniversary.

If you’d like to become involved in the CHAP program you can join us at events and speaker presentations, suggest speakers and events to the CHAP committee, or become directly involved in the planning and the decision-making process by joining the CHAP Planning Committee.  Contact Jim Entz at chap@portervillecollege.edu for more information. 


Bakersfield College

Becki Whitson’s Birthday Party

The BC community joined together to celebrate the life of Becki Whitson this Monday – July 26th, on what would have been Becki’s 68th birthday.

Becki truly embodied the Renegade spirit, both as a longtime Cheer coach and President of the Alumni Association.

I’d like to share my remarks from the celebration:

BC Student Veteran Spotlight: Kimberly Rodriguez

I wanted to share this update I received from Educational Advisor Armando Trujillo from the Vernon Valenzuela Veterans Resource Center. He wrote me about Kimberly Rodriguez, a Specialist with the California National Guard and a BC Student Veteran.

Specialist Kimberly Rodriguez recently arrived in Kuwait after three months at the Al Asad Air Base in Iraq. She is serving as a Signal Support System Specialists (25U) with Charlie Company, 640th Aviation Support Battalion in support of the 40th Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigade. She is slated to return home in December or January.  

Kimberly is an Agriculture Plant Science AST major, and she has completed 36 degree-applicable units while serving on reserve and active-reserve duty status. During her time here at BC, she has served as Treasurer for the Veterans Club. She also attended the 2020 Student Veterans of America National Conference in Los Angeles.  

“Going to the SVA Conference was such an amazing experience. It felt comforting seeing everyone who served/is serving all in one place striving to be better. Learning about all the job opportunities that are available and how much more of an asset us veteran/service members play in the bigger picture on the civilian side was reassuring in pursuing a career. The food and lodging as amazing!” 

Kimberly has maintained contact with her Veteran Educational Advisor while she has been away to make sure she is taking the correct courses to earn her degree. She said the support she has received from the BC Vernon Valenzuela Veterans Resource Center has made it easier to be away.  

“The Veterans Resource Center at Bakersfield College is extremely welcoming to any military-affiliated individual. It amazes me how much different we all are, yet the bond is second to none. Whether we’re dealing with personal or academic struggles, it’s comforting being surrounded by people who understand the same struggle of going back to school after the military. Definitely can’t wait to go back to my VRC family.  

The VRC cannot wait until her safe return. See you soon.

BC Presents at eLumen Conference

Congratulations to our BC team of Rich McCrow, Kristin Rabe, and Kim Nickell, who presented at the eLumenation 2021 Annual User Conference this week.

The group’s presentation was called “Creating a College Program Review Cycle that Facilitates Inclusiveness and Completion for the Entire College.”

Bakersfield College holding auditions for science fiction play ‘R.U.R.’

Want to lead the robot rebellion? Audition for Bakersfield College’s production of “R.U.R.,” a 1920 play about a factory that manufactures robots who rise up and end the human race.

Open auditions will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. on Aug. 5 and 6 via Zoom. Email Theater Professor Kimberly Chin for the Zoom link and an audition slot at kchin@bakersfieldcollege.edu.

Remembering Renegade Deputy Sheriff Campas

A memorial service will be held Friday August 6 at 11 a.m. at the Mechanics Bank Arena in Bakersfield for Kern County Deputy Sheriff Phillip Campas. Our community is still mourning the loss of a well-loved deputy as well as the mother and her two sons that he tried to rescue in Wasco. Campas was a former Renegade, having attended Bakersfield College before he enlisted in the Marine Corps in 2005. He also played Renegade football as our quarterback.

Our hearts go out to the families, friends and coworkers who are grieving such a great loss to our community. Campas served in the Afghanistan War before joining the Sheriff’s Office. He is survived by his wife, three children, his parents, siblings, cousins and in-laws. Bakersfield College thanks our former Renegade for his public service.

Child Development Center Now Enrolling for Fall Semester

Bakersfield College’s Child Development Center is now enrolling children ages 2-5 for the fall semester.

The center, which is located on the college’s main campus at 1801 Panorama Dr., is open Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. and is open to children of BC students. Besides providing child care, the center also serves as a learning lab for students majoring in child development, teaching and similar fields.


Poetry Corner with Jack Hernandez

Jack Hernandez recently shared with me a series of poems titled “Rockport in June,” and I will be sharing them with you over the coming weeks:

Rockport in June #1

My daughter and my sister
discuss the what for all
of planning weddings,
rings, clothes, guests, flowers,
I listen as we drive
in darkness from the airport,
their closeness is a comfort
as the night closes
on us and the weekend
waits with a jumble
of joy and our favorite cranberry bars.

In the News

Congressman Rudy Salas secures $6M for BC health education programs

I returned from a mini-vacation to see this amazing article above the fold in the Bakersfield Californian. Congressman Rudy Salas has secured an additional $6 million in state funding for Bakersfield College,  authorized in Assembly Bill 132.

The projects proposed will include expanding the college’s Rural Health Equity and Learning collaborative, the Certified Nursing Assistant and Registered Nurse programs, and the allied health programs such as the new Physical Therapy Assistant program, while also providing funding for new post-pandemic student health and wellness services, and new certification programs, such as the Mental Health Worker Certificate.

“I am happy to champion more money coming to Bakersfield College,” Salas stated in the releases. “This additional $6 million will help train more nurses and health professionals for the valley so that our local families will have greater health access and options.”

Porterville College grad working for Space Force

Check out Esther Avila‘s article in The Porterville Recorder about Adrian Joseph Torres, who recently accepted a position with the United States Space Force. Torres graduated from Porterville College before transferring to Cal Poly Pomona, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering.

“I start August 1 as a general engineer, but first I have to pass a security clearance,” he said. “I will be looking over contracts for rocket launches and will oversee whose is best and most efficient for the satellites — GPS and Spy satellites — they are contracting.”

BC Student Featured at Senate Judiciary Hearing on Immigrant Farmworkers

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and others testified on immigrant farmworkers before a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. Lawmakers questioned Secretary Vilsack about the Farm Workforce Modernization Act, H-2A visas concerning temporary agriculture workers, migration at the U.S.-Mexico border, and the impact of COVID-19 on the food industry.

Sen. Dick Durbin from Illinois discussed the risks that farmworkers face, both from the pandemic as well as from the immigration system. Durbin highlighted Vicente Reyes, a DACA recipient studying roboticist engineering at Bakersfield College. Reyes, a member of United Farmworkers, is also a farmworker.

Spotted on Social Media

BC Jazz shared a few photos from their Jazz & Commercial Music Academy studio day. Check out their digital album at https://bcjazzstudies.bandcamp.com!


Jonathan Hernandez shared this snap from an online summer course he taught at Porterville College:

Kalina Hill shared a picture of herself as she came back to the Bakersfield College campus:

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

The future remains bright at KCCD.

-sonya
a joyful and grateful Chancellor

#KCCDDaringMightyThings

KCCD taking longer strides

July 20, 1969 – the day man first walked on the moon. It has been 52 years since President John F. Kennedy’s challenge to put an American on the moon by the end of the 1960s was met as millions watched Neil Armstrong take that historic first step.

In this famous photo, Neil captured fellow astronaut Buzz Aldrin on the lunar surface:

In 1957, the Soviet Union launched Sputnik, thus starting the space race. Two years later, President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s administration answered with Project Mercury. The new space program had three main goals: Orbit a manned spacecraft around Earth, investigate the ability of astronauts to function in space, and recover astronauts and spacecraft safely.

On April 12, 1961, Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first man to orbit the Earth.

The US had its first spaceflight involving human beings on May 5, 1961, launching Alan B. Shepard to an altitude of 115 nautical miles. A few weeks later, on May 25, 1961, President Kennedy made an impassioned speech to Congress calling for an ambitious space exploration program.

“Now it is time to take longer strides–time for a great new American enterprise–time for this nation to take a clearly leading role in space achievement, which in many ways may hold the key to our future on earth.”

He said, “this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before the decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the earth.”

Within 9 months, on February 20, 1962, John Glenn because the first American to orbit Earth, aboard the Friendship 7 capsule.

The Soviets achieved the first lunar orbit on April 3, 1966. Four months later, NASA’s Lunar Orbiter 1 was the first U.S. spacecraft to orbit the moon.

On December 23, 1968, astronauts Frank Borman, James Lovell, and William Anders became the first men to orbit the moon, aboard Apollo 8. They performed 10 total lunar orbits and took this famous photo of the Earth:

.

The first lunar landing mission, Apollo 11, lifted off on July 16, 1969. At 4:18 pm EST on July 20, 1969, the lunar module landed on the lunar surface with astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin, while Michael Collins stayed in the Apollo Command Module.

It was the culmination of a decade of scientific and cultural efforts and achievements.

62 years later, we have been treated to another type of space race as billionaire entrepreneurs test the limits of privately-funded space exploration.

This week, on July 20 – 52 years after the first person touched the surface of the moon – Wally Funk became the oldest person to go to space as she joined Jeff Bezos aboard Blue Origin for a sub-orbital flight.

Wally Funk isn’t a name that many people had heard before this week, but she was an important part of the space program’s history. She was one off the Mercury 13, a group of female pilots in 1961 testing whether women were fit for space travel. They passed many of the same tests as their male colleagues – Wally once stayed submerged in a tank of water in a dark, soundproofed room for 10 1/2 hours before a doctor ended the experiment – but the program was ultimately canceled and she was never accepted by NASA.

It has been thrilling watching the ingenuity and innovation on display in the recent resurgence in space exploration – the Mars Perseverance Rover, SpaceX missions, Virgin Galactic’s VSS Unity, and now Blue Origin. It was especially wonderful to see an amazing woman who had worked her whole life to earn that spot finally be rewarded and #daremightythings.

And if that wasn’t enough inspiration, here on Earth, halfway across the globe, the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games finally opened, after a year delay due to COVID-19. I wanted to share a few images from the Opening Ceremonies:

The Olympics are such a joy, watching athletes around the world come together in community and competition, sharing in each other’s cultures as they speak the universal languages of their respective sports.

The Opening Ceremonies are always such a time of promise and excitement, before we learn what the stories will be of these Olympic Games. I can not wait to see what these next two weeks will bring for Team USA.

Good morning, friends…
It is July 24, 2021.
The sun shines bright over KCCD.

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


Cerro Coso Community College

Cerro Coso offers new entrepreneurship program

Cerro Coso is offering a new entrepreneurship program in Tehachapi leading to a certificate of achievement.

Own a small business? Want to start one? Cerro Coso is launching a new certificate with just four classes that will help you develop an entrepreneurial mindset and launch your business ideas.

The first two classes will be offered on the Tehachapi campus on Tuesdays and Thursdays this fall. Enroll now!

Courses to complete the certificate can be taken in-person at the Tehachapi campus or online, and can be completed in just two semesters.

Fall classes begin Aug. 23. The schedule of classes is available at www.cerrocoso.edu.

Beginning Aug. 9 a full-complement of student and instructional support services will be back on the Tehachapi Campus located at 126 S. Snyder Ave.

Ajia Saunders receives Eastern Sierra Foundation Transfer Scholarship

Ajia Saunders was awarded the inaugural Eastern Sierra Foundation Transfer Scholarship in July. She earned her associate degree of liberal arts and humanities from Cerro Coso in May.

During her time at CCCC, she was a recipient of the ESF scholarship, which covers the cost of tuition and books.

Ajia will attend CSU Chico to puruse a bachelor’s degree in English. She also plans to pursue a teaching credential while finishing her first novel.

The Eastern Sierra Foundation’s Transfer Scholarship is valued at up to $10,000 per recipient. It is intended to support ESF scholarship recipients who attended and graduated from Cerro Coso’s Bishop Campus and who plan to transfer to earn a bachelor’s degree.


Porterville College

PC Excited to offer Grammarly Services Free to all students

We are pleased to announce free access to Grammarly @ EDU for all PC students! Grammarly works one-on-one with a student to develop essential writing skills, reinforce proper revision habits, and prevent plagiarism. In addition, Grammarly checks for more than 400 common grammar errors, saving time for students while improving their skills.

Grammarly’s sophisticated AI corrects grammatical mistakes and also suggests stylistic changes making writing more understandable. Integrated tools help writers make the right impression on the intended readers based on audience and goals. In addition, Grammarly can check the tone of documents, provide synonym suggestions to improve readability and precision, and even check papers for plagiarism.

Department of Labor providing benefits to PC Students

Porterville College has secured new benefits available through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Adult Program for students in several of our programs. WIOA, offered by the Office of Workforce Investment, provides students who qualify with financial assistance to cover the cost of books, uniforms, tuition, student center and health fees, certifications, and program materials.

This program provides assistance to students seeking professional careers while helping employers meet their workforce needs. It also helps PC students find good jobs by providing them with job search assistance and additional training opportunities.

The following programs at PC are now eligible for assistance through this program:

  • Basic Wildland Firefighter Academy
  • Emergency Medical Technician
  • Fire Technology
  • Industrial Maintenance
  • Industrial Technology
  • Psychiatric Technician
  • Registered Nurse
  • Welding Technology

For more information, students can apply for this opportunity at their local Employment Connection office or contact Ashley Land at the Job Entrepreneur and Career Center at Porterville College.

PC Telehealth to relaunch as PC TimelyCare

For more than a year, Porterville College has provided 24/7 medical and mental health care for all our students through PC Telehealth.  Through this service, the college offers around-the-clock access to care for all enrolled students, regardless of their location. 

Using telehealth has allowed PC to expand health and wellness offerings to students greatly.  Many students have reported that they have taken advantage of these telehealth services more than prior in-person services because of the 24/7 aspect and the ease and increased privacy that comes with telecare. 

On July 28, the PC Telehealth service will get an upgrade and change its name to PC TimelyCare. With this new name comes a new, enhanced mobile and desktop app. The new app is easier to use, faster and will continue to deliver the highest quality of care for our enrolled students.

For more information, students can visit timleycare.com/pc to find FAQs or chat 24/7 for technical support.


Bakersfield College

BC’s new Student Services Center opens for in-person services

On Monday, July 19, Bakersfield College’s new one-stop shop to address student needs and concerns, BC’s Student Services Center, opened on campus to assist students on the main Panorama campus Monday through Thursday from 7:30AM to 5:00PM. New and returning students can seek help and support from several different departments, all conveniently located in the CSS building, in room CSS 151. 

The Student Services Center is meant to ease the student journey and will include Admissions and Records, Financial Aid and Scholarships, EOPS, CARE, CalWORKS, NextUp, AB540, Early College, and all Welcome Center services such as enrollment support, class scheduling, and troubleshooting.  

BC Prepares To Roll Out Third Mobile Welding Unit

BC’s Welding department will be rolling out an additional mobile welding unit this fall semester to reach students throughout areas of Kern County, especially those who may not have the ability to commute to BC’s main campus in Bakersfield to take welding courses. The unit will act as a classroom on wheels, including ten separate welding booths equipped with multi-process welding machines. The college’s welding program develops student’s knowledge and skills in areas of oxyacetylene welding, blueprint reading, layout procedures, safety protocols, Shielded Metal Arc (SMAW) and other welding technologies.

“The best part about getting out into the community with the Mobile Welding Units is seeing the look on my students’ faces when they finally figure out, they too can adapt and overcome their own insecurities about learning a new skillset. ” said BC’s Welding Professor, Jeremy Staat. “And the mobile welding unit provides a way for us as instructors to build a great work ethic within our students and apply real world scenarios using industrial grade equipment for our students to experience before entering the welding industry.”

BC Coach presents at Bakersfield Rotary

Coach Todd Littlejohn

Bakersfield College Head Football Coach R. Todd Littlejohn presented at the Rotary Club of Bakersfield. He discussed some of the life skills he tries to instill in his players. He told the club what his football program is about, and how he aims to support his players academically, athletically, and socially.

As you can see, many Renegades came out in full support! Thank you Dr. Girish Patel for the photos.

Dr. Bill Baker, Janet Tarjan, Sonya Christian, Manny Mourtzanos
Manny Mourtzanos, Jay Rosenlieb, Bill Thomas, Bill Baker, Sonya Christian, Todd Littlejohn, Janet Tarjan

Big Things on the Horizon for BC Alumni 

The Bakersfield College Alumni Association made good use of the “pandemic pause” by focusing on its board of directors as a dynamic team of leaders that has hit the ground running.  The board held a planning retreat this week, in what was their first in-person meeting since the new board was created.

Under the leadership of President Alex Dominguez and Vice President Sandy Woo-Cater, great things are ahead for BC alums in the coming year.  If you’re not yet a member of the Alumni Association, more information is available here: https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/alumni 


Jack Hernandez Poetry Corner

Movie Sets

We live as though
on a movie set
we think is real,
but the set changes,
some with wagons
some with carriages
some with Model Ts
some with jets
skirting over continents,
these illusions
constantly give way
to new ones,
only the soul’s desire
for love and meaning
exists whatever
the ephemeral set.

In the News

Inyo County Job Spot focuses on adult education

The Inyo Register and Sierra Wave Media talked about the the Adult Education Center and Job Spot, an adult education center established through a partnership between the Inyo County Office of Education and Cerro Coso Community College.

The Job Spot provides services aimed at assisting adults in obtaining skills to better themselves.

Community Voices: Entering Bakersfield College through the Bridge To BC

I loved this piece in the Bakersfield Californian from BC student Stephanie Ruiz:

I first heard about the Bridge to BC program during my senior year of high school when BC’s representatives visited my high school, and I wasn’t initially planning to participate in the Bridge to BC opportunity because I thought I felt prepared for college. I’m not the first in my family to seek higher education; I have an older sister who is also attending BC so I thought I would be able to pick up what I needed to know from her or just ask my parents, but when the COVID-19 pandemic emerged and classes moved online, it made me rethink how prepared I really was and how many questions they could really answer for me.

Since I had never taken any online courses, I was really anxious but through the online Bridge to BC program, my first year of college was pretty great. The experience really helped me ease into my first year of college, not only introducing me to online courses using Canvas, but also giving me an overview of the many resources and programs BC offers for students. These tips, tricks, resources, and support systems are a huge part of the reason my first year of college was a success!”

Stephanie Ruiz
Bridge to BC Director
Dr. Kimberly Bligh

Spotted on Social Media

Jennifer Garrett shared some photos from BC’s Summer Choral Academy:

And check out this video from the choral academy:


BC Foundation Executive Director Cheryl Scott posted a photo with Dolores Huerta, who spoke at Bakersfield Breakfast Rotary Club:

Today, Bakersfield Breakfast Rotary Club was the first Rotary Club ever to host Dolores Huerta as a speaker. Did everyone agree with her in all ways? No. As leaders, though, I believe it’s important for us all to hear different perspectives, ideas, and experiences. I hope we will always welcome the opportunity to learn from a wide variety of guest speakers. Even when we don’t agree, or maybe even relate, it’s an important step in creating an informed, collaborative, empathetic, and peaceful community. #peacebuilding #rotaryinternational #rotary


The Cerro Coso Community College Library announced that it is now open for in-person services. Hours are Tuesdays and Thursdays, from noon to 3 pm. Anyone coming to the Cerro Coso campus is required to fill out the pre-screening form.


Porterville College shared this fun and inspirational post honoring the first Black female opera singer to perform in the US:

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

The future remains bright at KCCD.

-sonya
a joyful and grateful Chancellor

It’s summer…yet KCCD is on the move!

This week started off with a great Sunday on July 11th. Wimbledon, Unity 22, Euro 2020, …..

“Breakfast with Wimbledon” has been something I have associated with my mom who would wake up early and get ceremonially ready to watch the big event.

Miss you so much mom

So, on Sunday I tuned into the game just to feel her presence …. Although mom always rooted for Nadel over Djokovic I suspect she would not have complained too much since Nadel was not the opponent this time.

Novak Djokovic claims a record-tying 20th Grand Slam victory.

Also tuned into the Virgin Galactic’s VSS Unity launched into a sub-orbital spaceflight with Virgin Group founder Richard Branson on board. Branson is hoping to usher in a new age of space tourism, and the Unity 22 flight was a successful test flight in that quest.

Wrapped up my Sunday watching Italy beat England in a penalty shootout, dashing England’s hopes of winning its first major title since the 1966 World Cup — followed by giving Neo his weekly bath.

Have not had such a relaxing Sunday in a long time.

Good morning, friends…
It is July 17, 2021.
The sun shines bright over KCCD.

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

Cerro Coso Community College

CCCC offering certificate program in Digital Media and Marketing

In a world where more and more activities are centered online, developing an effective digital marketing strategy is a must for every organization. 

Cerro Coso is offering a NEW certificate program in Digital Media and Marketing this fall.  Ideal for those who work in business office technology, real estate, sales, marketing, administration, education, science, engineering, healthcare, small business, and other industries. This program will teach how to develop high-performing integrated visual communication and social media marketing that delivers on key metrics. 

Sign up today!

Lecture Center updated as part of Measure J

The first of several projects at Cerro Coso’s Ridgecrest Campus funded by Measure J included updating the college’s Lecture Center.  The project involved installing handrails and lighting along the steep stairs, refinishing the floors, installing new curtains and carpet, and making needed updates to the lighting and sound system original to the facility,  The project will be completed over the next few weeks.   

Thank you Kern County for voting YesonJ!

Police Office Standards and Training Modular Academy is relaunching

Cerro Coso has an upcoming Police Officer Standards and Training (POST) Modular Academy re-launch in Tehachapi this fall. More information on what can be done with the Level 3 and 2 certification is available at www.cerrocoso.edu/academy under the FAQ Section. 

In addition to enabling becoming a full-time officer, the progressive certification through the series of courses is perfect for code enforcement, arson investigators, reserve officers, county probation, park rangers, etc. 

Contact Department Chair and Academy Director Peter Fulks at peter.fulks@cerrocoso.edu for additional information.

Peter Fulks

Porterville College

PC Welcomes Division 1 Standout and Former Pro-athlete as New Head Basketball Coach

Porterville College (PC) has announced the appointment of Amaurys Fermin as the new Pirates Head Men’s Basketball Coach.

After competing at the High School level at John F. Kennedy High School in Bronx, NY, Fermin began his career at the Junior College level at Missouri State and Hagerstown Community College. He then went on to play Division I ball at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, where he graduated with his bachelor’s degree in history.

During his senior season at Cal Poly, he led the Big West Conference with 119 assists, and helped the Mustangs reach the program’s second-highest victory total in 18 Division I seasons. He comes to us directly from Allan Hancock College where he was the Lead Assistant Coach and Recruiting Coordinator for 5 seasons. He also served as the West Coast Elite UA Central Region Program Director.

Fermin has also spent time as a professional athlete, playing on the Dominican Republic National Team alongside the likes of NBA players Al Horford, Karl Anthony Towns and Francisco Garcia. In 2012, they brought home the CentroBasket Championships Gold Medal. Fermin has also played professional ball for teams in Cyprus, Greece, Finland, and Puerto Rico.

PC “Mobile” Campaign Continues to Increase Awareness While Directly Supporting Students

Porterville College has employed several new methods of marketing and engagement with our community. One such method is the “PC Pirate Fleet” campaign. Check out the cars “wrapped” with branded decals promoting PC.

The current “cohort” of cars hit the road this July. The first cohort recently completed an 8 month campaign that boasted some very impressive results. An average of 8,000 miles per month were driven by the fleet of eight cars, adding up to over 100,000 people seeing these cars and their messaging per month in Porterville and our surrounding service areas.

Look for the Pirate Fleet to start making coordinated appearances in Porterville and surrounding communities in the Fall, starting with our opening week festivities on campus! 

PC Focuses on Water Conservation During Times of Severe Drought

The need for water conservation is critical for California with our most recent drought conditions. According to the latest data from the state government, 94.7 percent of California has now reached the “D2 – Severe Drought” category, 84 percent has reached the “D3 – Extreme Drought Conditions”.

Even without these severe drought conditions, water conservation is crucial for college campuses in California and across the nation. Porterville College has been working on this problem for many years–long before the current drought conditions–and the campus is doing some amazing things with its conservation efforts, including an average savings of 2.5 million gallons of water per month in the summer months.

This conservation is accomplished through the hard work of the Maintenance and Operations (M&O) department, led by Director John Word. PC has incorporated two water retention basins into the campus infrastructure during the complete repaving of the back service road on campus. This allows water from irrigation  to seep back into the ground to re-charge aquafers.

PC has adjusted irrigation systems removing sprinklers for trees and shrubs and replacing them with drip systems.  By shutting off irrigation to open fields that are not being used for any specific purpose, the college has realized high savings on our water consumption.

Another big year-round savings comes from replacing sections of live turf along College Ave and in front of the AC building with synthetic turf – thus removing the need to irrigate. This, along with the addition of low flow sprinkler heads and the incorporation of drought tolerant shrubs and trees into the landscaping on campus also realize additional water savings.

Porterville College is actively participating with the City of Porterville as they construct a city-wide water reclamation system and we are beginning to incorporate pipe systems into future construction projects that will be ready to connect to the city system. Additional retention basins are also being engineered for all future construction projects.

PC is in the process of developing an Engineering and Environmental Science program to better serve the community.

Bakersfield College

BC’S First Cohort Completes Introductory Course Focused on Electric Vehicles

Bakersfield College’s first set of auto tech students looking to increase their employability have completed AUTO B70NC – Introduction to Electric Vehicles, a brand new course focused on electric vehicles, repairs, and maintenance. The course is part of a larger program that’s still in the final stages of curriculum development aiming to provide students with the trainings and certifications necessary to secure well-paying jobs in the growing field of zero-emission electric (ZEV) vehicles.

Developed in partnership with Valley Clean Air Now (Valley CAN) and with funding provided by Electrify America, the comprehensive curriculum provides students with the training needed to diagnose, repair, and maintain electric plug-in vehicles. Dean of Instruction Anthony Cordova says this course is one of the first and perhaps the only one of its kind.

BC To Offer Free Summer Performing Arts Academies

Starting next week, Bakersfield College will hold three free summer academies for participants interested in music, theater, and arts. The Choral Academy will run July 20-23 from 9:00am to 3:00pm daily. The Jazz and Commercial Music Academy will run July 26-30 from 9:00am to 2:15pm daily. The Theater Acting Workshop will run August 2-5 from 9:00am to 3:25pm daily. There is no cost associated with these summer offerings but registration is limited.

Professor of Music and Director of Choral and Vocal Studies at Bakersfield College Dr. Jennifer Garrett is excited for this new opportunity to engage participants. She says, “After finding innovative ways to stay connected throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, I am overjoyed for the opportunity to bring participants together for this multi-day summer academy where we can explore music in a shared space.”

Thank You from BC’s Early College Industrial Automation Summer Academy

I so appreciated this email from Job Specialist Carlos Medina:

I just wanted to say THANK YOU for opening your doors and participating in our Early College Industrial Automation Summer Academy. The students enjoyed every visit and were delighted they had the opportunity to explore four different industries. A big special thanks to our partners at Phillips 66 for providing this opportunity for our Early College students and making our Industrial Automation Summer Academy possible.

We look forward to working together again in the near future as we prepare for the fall semester and get our Class of 2022 ready for the workforce. Enjoy the rest of your summer!

Chancellor’s Seminar Series

On Tuesday, I kicked off the Chancellor’s Seminar Series with a Back to Campus discussion. Thank you to our panelists, Dena Rhoades and Eileen O’Hare-Anderson, for providing answers to our KCCD community. I’d also like to thank Tina Johnson (BC CSEA), Matt Crow (KCCD CCA), and Manny Mourtzanos (KCCD Management Association), who represented our employee groups and asked the questions during the seminar. And of course, thank you to Todd Coston for providing our introductory comments and technology support.

Here are a few of the highlights from the presentation:

Will vaccines be required on campus, and will we require proof?

How about wearing a mask?

Are there contingency plans if variants pose an increased risk?

How should we handle conflicting reports and guidelines?

You can see all the videos from the seminar on the KCCD Chancellor’s Communications webpage.

Poetry Corner

Please enjoy this poem from Jack Hernandez:

Weightless

With all their money
they launched themselves
into space,
were admired
for their weightless
distance from those
starving on the earth.

Spotted on Social Media

Porterville College President Claudia Habib got a chance to meet with students on campus:

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

The future remains bright at KCCD.

-sonya
a joyful and grateful Chancellor

KCCD Colleges faculty and staff are ready for you. Enroll today at BC, PC, CCC!

My first full week as KCCD Chancellor has been a busy one.

On Wednesday, I was honored to speak at the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office webinar in my role as ACCJC chair. Enjoyed hanging out with some of my faves — Chancellor Eloy Oakley, Deputy Chancellor Daisy Gonzales, Stephanie Droker, Anne Marie Gable, Willy Duncan, Lizette Navarette, John Hetts.

On Thursday, KCCD held its monthly Board of Trustees meeting – my first as Chancellor. Starting this month, our meetings are back to being in-person, and it was wonderful to be able to meet face to face again. I’m grateful to everyone who was able to attend, and to everyone who made the technology possible so those unable to attend in person could stay informed as well.

I have been loving seeing all our physical campuses come alive again, as we welcome back our faculty, staff, and students to our in-person spaces full time. While all three colleges will continue to offer flexible choices for those that cannot yet return to full-time in-person learning, I’m grateful to see the vibrant holistic student life on campus at the colleges coming back.

Good morning, friends…
It is July 10, 2021.
The sun shines bright over KCCD.

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

Sonya Christian with President Dadabhoy, President Habib, President Hancock

Cerro Coso Community College

Cerro Coso Library to reopen this week

Two years ago, on July 4th and 5th, 2019, Ridgecrest was shaken by major 6.4 and 7.1 earthquakes. This caused some damage to the Cerro Coso LRC at the IWV campus, which remained under construction for nearly a year.

During that time, library services moved to the East Wing and we waited with anticipation for the LRC’s scheduled reopening in April 2020. Those plans were, of course, quickly derailed by the pandemic, and our services were moved once again – this time fully online. We have been primarily working from home for the past year, with the exception of our curbside pickup service

Now that vaccinations are on the rise, we are looking forward to being able to reopen the library at long last. (Knock on wood!) To start with we will be open for limited hours during the summer: Tuesdays and Thursdays from noon to 3pm, starting on July 15th, 2021

We’ve missed you, and we look forward to seeing you back in the physical library!

Alumni Spotlight: Letia Bogan

A real cool Alumni Spotlight from the Cerro Coso Community College Foundation:

Meet Letia Bogan, a Cerro Coso graduate in both 2019 AND 2020. Letia received her Associate Degree in Liberal Arts and Humanities in 2019, and then went on to complete a certificate in Information Technology in 2020. After graduation plans last year got disrupted due to COVID restrictions, Letia was finally able to walk across the stage at Cerro Coso’s May 2021 graduation ceremony!

Letia has been a proud member of the UMOJA Club at Cerro Coso, a community dedicated to enhancing the cultural and educational experiences of African American and other students. She has met so many new people and learned a great deal about the significance of HBCU’s (historically black colleges & universities). These experiences have greatly enriched her academic journey. She is also grateful for Cerro Coso employees Penny Talley and Heather Ostash, both of whom have supported Letia in her endeavors over the past few years.

Remarking on her academic journey so far, Letia says, “It’s been a joy going to this college because I have learned so much. The counselors are great with helping me whenever I need it. UMOJA is such a good way to learn new things about HBCU’s. I got my first Degree in Liberal Arts and Humanities. I did get my certificate in IT and am about to get my degree as well!”

CC to host admissions workshop

On Wednesday, from 4-6 pm, Cerro Coso will hold a Zoom workshop on admissions with a step-by-step demonstration on how to apply to Cerro Coso Community College. An Admissions & Records Technician will be available to answer questions, provide guidance, and share best practices.

A Financial Aid Technician will review the Cerro Coso Promise scholarships, outside scholarships, and more! The Cerro Coso Promise is a scholarship intended for dedicated students focused on getting an education, regardless of financial or personal status. Students meeting basic criteria may qualify for up to $1,000 per semester for 2 years to help with tuition, books, and fees.

You can register for this Zoom workshop or find more information at https://www.cerrocoso.edu/event/college-admissions-workshop-july-14.

Porterville College

PC helps to “Grow Futures” in the farm community with new partnership program

In a new effort to reach out to the many farm communities within the Porterville College service area, PC is partnering with the California Farmworker Foundation to offer new services to farm workers throughout the Greater Porterville Area.  The program offers free classes and multiple benefits to local farm workers in an effort to increase their access to educational attainment and advancement within their respective organizations. “PC Growing Futures”, as the program is called, offers free access to classes, laptops, free textbooks, and free access to Rosetta Stone Software to help them achieve student success.

Meet Jasmin Quiñones

Porterville College has hired its first Student Life & Leadership Program Manager with the goal of strengthening the student life experience. 

Jasmin Quiñones grew up in Exeter, CA, and comes to PC from the University of the Pacific where she served as the Orientation Coordinator and Intercultural Student Success Coordinator. She holds both a Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Education from University of the Pacific.

Ms. Quiñones has a passion for “working with students and helping them reach for their highest dreams,” and is excited to be returning to the area to give back to her community. 

We look forward to all she will do to strengthen the Porterville College student experience through activities, events and programs. 

Welcome Jasmin!

PC to Hold next “Pirate in a Day” Event on July 15th

On July 15th, PC will be hosting its next “Pirate in a Day” event, designed to improve student access and provide one-on-one help to students and potential students as they become a Pirate.

“Pirate in a Day” is held to increase access and ease of registration. During each event, new, returning and transfer students can complete the enrollment process in just one day.

PC staff will be on hand to help students complete a FAFSA, develop a student education plan, register for classes, and apply for other support services on campus.  

To sign up for an in-person appointment on campus, visit https://pcpio.wufoo.com/forms/r7lyzuo1tg0yct/

Bakersfield College

BC receives donations from Phillips 66

The BC and BC Foundation team hosted representatives from Phillips 66 this week, and the college was the grateful recipient of two large donations. One contribution is funding this summer’s Early College Industrial Automation Academy for high school students. Our guests had the chance to watch an Academy class in action before answering students’ questions about working in the energy industry. The other donation is providing continued funding for BC’s scholarship program. Thank you, Phillips 66, for your constant support!

Earl Parsons marries Rachel Pori

I have worked with Earl Parsons for many years at BC and he is often the person behind the photos that you see or the mind behind the writing on Measure J and COVID briefings. I was delighted to receive an email from another one of my favorite people, Kim Arbolante, who is Earl’s friend. Enjoy a glimpse of his wedding day … a few excerpts from kim’s email.

By Kim Arbolante, Writing Center Lead, Bakersfield College
Photos credit Anston Crane Photography

I am filled with joy for my dear friends who recently afforded me the privilege of being the maid of honor in their wedding, but I’m getting ahead of myself. Fourth of July weekend 2020, Earl Parsons along with his girlfriend Rachel Pori, myself, and another close friend, all headed to a cabin in the hills above San Bernardino to watch the cityscape erupt in a glow of fireworks—while maintaining social distance of course. Inspired by the moment, Earl popped the question to Rachel!

One year later, we came together at The Gardens at Mill Creek, surrounded by their loved ones and friends—maskless, vaccinated and smiling—to witness Earl and Rachel’s marriage. It was truly the most beautiful event! Their wedding colors were lilac and black. Rachel’s dress was custom made, and I have never seen Earl more excited than when he gazed upon her beauty as she walked down the aisle towards him.

Rachel Pori & Earl Parsons exchanging vows with guidance from officiant and friend Jay Varvel


The happy couple & their wedding party. What wedding is complete without a Writing Center Lead?

It is no secret that Earl is a great writer, and there was not a dry eye to be found as he read his marriage vows to Rachel. Always a Renegade, I think I even caught a bit of our BC spirit in those vows as he proclaimed, “we’ve accomplished so much together, and I know that we have so much more to do. Tonight, we are planting the seeds of a tree whose fruits will be determined by our actions and the way we treat each other going forward.” To which part of Rachel’s vows replied, “your cup will never be empty for I will be your wine. I will spark the fire when it dulls. We will be abundantly blessed.” Having known these two friends for years, I have no doubts that they will keep the promises they made to each other that day.

Poetry Corner

Please enjoy this poem from Jack Hernandez:

A Fragile Spring Day

When anger threw him
to the floor,
shattered the window
he held sacred,
looked through
for light and love,
he wondered how
to put its pieces
together again
in a pattern
strong enough
to remove anger’s
pressing arms,
so he could stand
fragile as a spring day,
storms pushed away,
roses brightly waving
at unimagined possibility.

In the News

The Sun-Gazette published this feature about Richard Torrez, Jr., who will represent the United States at the upcoming 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo in boxing. The 2017 graduate of Mission Oak High School in Tulare is the son of Kimberly Torrez, an adjunct faculty member in the ESL department at Porterville College.

Spotted on Social Media

Kim McAbee shared this photo of KCCD Trustee Kyle Carter at the Westchester 4th of July Parade:

Bakersfield Mayor Karen Goh shared a few pictures of the Golden Empire Drum & Bugle Corps and their director, Tim Heasley, from the Westchester parade. Members get college credit at BC for marching:

I loved this post from Cerro Coso – I hope you’re keeping cool this weekend!

Kern Country Farm Bureau shared that bureau president John Moore was interviewed on America’s Newsroom to discuss the impacts of the California drought:

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

The future remains bright at KCCD.

-sonya
a joyful and grateful Chancellor