KCCD living every moment, not just existing

The proper function of man is to live, not to exist.
I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them.
I shall use my time.

Last scene in the recent James Bond movie a Jack London quote read by M about Bond.

Did the rare Friday night movie yesterday. Totally enjoyed the recent Bond movie No Time to Die – Daniel Craig’s fifth and last. If you are a Bond movie fan, watch the firs four before you see this last one. Casino Royale (2006), Quantum of Solace (2008), Skyfall (2012), Spectre (2015), No Time to Die (2021). I also have also been a fan of the Bond songs for as long as I can remember…. Sheena Easton’s For your Eyes Only, Adele’s Skyfall, Sam Smith’s Writings on the Wall… And No Time to Die by Billie Eilish beautiful and haunting. Here it is.

Good morning, friends…
It is October 23, 2021.
The sun shines bright over KCCD.

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


This week, all three of our campuses celebrated Undocumented Student Action Week. It’s a statewide effort led by the California Community College Chancellor’s Office, Community College League of California, and the Foundation for California Community Colleges. 

This year’s theme, “Change in Action”, aimed to find ways to engage in local, state, and federal action to support undocumented students in their goal of earning a college education. 

Across KCCD, daily events helped support our students on a local level, while also encouraging participation in the statewide efforts. Undocumented students were able to get assistance on topics like financial aid, transfer, or immigration questions. Other events encouraged allyship and cultural education. 

Students at Cerro Coso Community College were encouraged to share their Immigration Story. Porterville College held a virtual sugar skull decorating event. Bakersfield College welcomed guest speaker Yehimi Cambrón to speak about Immigration, Art, and Activism. 

It’s such a joy to see the many ways our students, faculty, and staff are able to support one another and work together to create a better educational experience for all of our students. 

Porterville College

Women’s Volleyball returns triumphant for late FIRST home game of the season

The Porterville College Women’s Volleyball team has logged a lot of road miles this season. Just as they were about to play their first home game on September 15th, they were forced to hit the road instead.

Due to the wildfires raging in nearby Sequoia National Park, the PC Gym was being used as a shelter for local residents forced to flee their homes. From that day, all of their scheduled home games had to be played away, starting with that night’s game vs. Columbia College.

The rest of the season turned out to be more of the same, playing game after game on the road so that their gym could be used as a place of shelter for others. With the fires not letting up, the shelter stayed open for more than a month before the fires were finally under control enough to allow the shelter to close just this past week. 

The Pirates were finally able to make the return to their home turf on October 20th, and what a triumphant return it was! The team made the night memorable by sweeping the West Hills Lemoore Golden Eagles, 3-0

PC President Dr. Claudia Habib shared her excitement for the Pirates return on twitter, “Today’s highlight is to watch our first home game Women’s Volleyball team @PCollegePirates against West Hills-Lemoore @WHCLemoore PC takes the Set!  🏐 #SeaOfRed @cvc_sports @gopcpirates

Great Job Pirates!

Clint Smith Joins PC Writer & Poet Speaker Series on November 3rd

The Porterville College Writer & Poet Speaker Series welcomes the third speaker of the Fall Semester on Wednesday, November 3rd, from 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM, via Zoom.

Clint Smith is a staff writer at The Atlantic and the author of the narrative nonfiction book, How the Word Is Passed: A Reckoning With the History of Slavery Across America, which was a #1 New York Times Bestseller, and the poetry collection Counting Descent, which won the 2017 Literary Award for Best Poetry Book from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association.

Smith was a finalist for an NAACP Image Award. He has received fellowships from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, New America, the Emerson Collective, the Art For Justice Fund, Cave Canem, and the National Science Foundation.

His essays, poems, and scholarly writing have been published in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, The New Republic, Poetry Magazine, The Paris Review, the Harvard Educational Review and elsewhere.  We are very excited for Mr. Smith to share his journey and his perspective with our students and community!

To join us for this event, please register via Zoom at https://cccconfer.zoom.us/j/98328713664

Cerro Coso Community College

Cheers for Charity Donates $6,000 for Promise Scholarships

Cheers for Charity committee members Lydia Chaney (left) and Marcia Thompson (right) present CC Director of Institutional Advancement Natalie Dorrell (center) with a check for $6,000 for Promise scholarships for Tehachapi students.

Shout out to Cheers to Charity for donating $6,000 of its proceeds to the Cerro Coso Community College Promise Program in support of 6 – $1,000 scholarships for Promise students in Tehachapi. They raised an amazing $55,000 in support of local charities during their Wine, Craft Beer, and Food event held in August. 

Cheers for Charity is committed to helping non-profits in the Tehachapi area.  A local organization that developed from a concept and gained momentum with enthusiastic member participation. By combining time and resources, the organization is able to make a significant contribution to local philanthropy. 

Established in 2014, their mission is to financially improve small, charitable organizations that make a visible difference in the greater Tehachapi area. 

Their first year they raised $12,000 and this year the organization raised more than $55,000 for local charities.  Launched by the Cerro Coso Community College Foundation in 2018, the Cerro Coso Promise provides unparalleled access to community college education by removing financial barriers and providing wraparound support. 

The Cerro Coso Promise provides qualified students at Cerro Coso with a $1,000 a semester, for up to 4 semesters, essentially providing a free community college education. Leveraging funds provided by the state of California and with the support of generous donors, the Cerro Coso promise ensures that no student is denied access to a high-quality education due to lack of resources. More than 227 students have received Promise scholarships since 2018.    

Cerro Coso participates in Great California ShakeOut

In 2019 Ridgecrest, home of Cerro Coso’s Main Campus, experienced the strongest earthquakes to strike Southern California in 20 years.  It all started on July 4, when a 6.4-magnitude foreshock struck northeast of Ridgecrest. Thirty six hours later, an even larger 7.1-magnitude earthquake struck near the same area, releasing 10 times as much energy as the foreshock of July 4. Thousands of aftershocks followed for weeks putting nerves on edge. 

Californians have long feared the “Big One.” Unfortunately, despite living in earthquake country, many people are not prepared for earthquakes. 

In the days following the first Ridgecrest earthquake, there was a lot of misinformation on how to best survive a big shaker.  In an earthquake, you may only have seconds to protect yourself before strong shaking knocks you down, or something falls on you. 

On Thursday, October 21, at 10:25 a.m. all Cerro Coso campuses participated in the Great California ShakeOut Drill, a chance to practice together how to protect ourselves, and for everyone to become prepared.  The goal is to save lives and prevent disasters from becoming catastrophes. At 10:25 a.m. a message was delivered through the internal Mitel Phone System, that also came across the Cerro Coso network computer screens that directed everyone to drop, cover and hold on.  The college also used this drill as an opportunity to practice safe evacuation. 

The 2021 ShakeOut drill is estimated to be the largest preparedness event in world history. 

Meet SGCC Vice President Dianne Espindola

I wanted to share this welcome from SGCC Vice President Dianne Espindola:

“My name is Dianne Espindola and I am the Vice President of Student Government for Cerro Coso (SGCC). Throughout this school year, I’d like to see students meet their goals and have a great time at Cerro Coso. As a Vice President, I would love to engage with many new students to help them along this college journey. I’m also the President of Latinos Unidos Club here at Cerro Coso and I like to bring students together to have a good time while attending Cerro Coso. My experience at Coso has been a great one and I just want other students to have a great experience at Coso.  The SGCC is the official student organization, with membership open to all students.  Through its governing body the Student Senate, the SGCC promotes the Student Activities Program at the college.  A system of self-government has been established by which the students, through democratic action, formulate and execute policies and programs and prepare the student body’s financial budget.  The mission of the SGCC, is to create an interactive atmosphere and immersive culture by providing student-oriented services, opportunities for involvement, and increased campus accessibility. “

Bakersfield College

KCCD Board Approves “Valley Strong Energy Institute” Renaming

This week, the Kern Community College District Board of Trustees voted to approve the naming of BC’s community education efforts linked to the college’s Energy Technology, Transfer and Workforce Development initiative. The new name comes after a $2 Million gift by Valley Strong Credit Union to The Bakersfield College Foundation meant to support the college’s work focused on energy technologies and job training for the vibrant and growing workforce in Kern County.

Bakersfield College’s community-wide education efforts kicked off last year in a series of webinars with industry leaders and partners, including the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) and the County of Kern. The webinars are free, open to the public, and widely promoted to students as a virtual forum where they can hear directly from subject matter experts on the cusp of new technologies like agrovoltaics.

Check out this video about the partnership.

And thank you John Cox for this great piece in the Bakersfield Californian!

Press event for Valley Strong donation and naming of the energy technology transfer and workforce development effort at BC as the Valley Strong Energy Institute

BC’s Art Students in Action at Via Arte

Students from BC Art Professor Joseph Tipay‘s Drawing I and Drawing II classes spent the weekend turning the pavement into a work of art at the annual Via Arte Italian Street Painting Festival at The Marketplace.

The students voted to determine which piece of art to re-create, and the selected piece was “Spring” by French Artist Edouard Manet.

The end result was a beautiful example of our students’ talent! Many thanks to the BC Foundation who sponsored the event, securing a place for our students to display their work.

BC at the California Coalition of Early & Middle College

BC was represented at the California Coalition of Early and Middle College (CCEMC) 8th Annual Dual Enrollment Summit by our Director of Early College, Kylie Campbell. Kylie was the keynote speaker on Day 2 of the conference, hosting a panel discussion with students from dual enrollment programs across the state.

Kylie also presented on how BC is leading the way in dual enrollment and early college efforts in Kern County. The first session was presented in partnership with DualEnroll.com to share how BC is automating and streamlining the enrollment process for high school students to ensure access and participation for all students. The second presentation was in partnership with Kern High School District, sharing about the remarkable opportunity for students from throughout KHSD to earn associate degrees by the time they graduate from high school.

BC continues to increase opportunity and access for high school students to start their degree pathway as early as the 9th grade. Thank you to CCEMC for highlighting our work, and for the statewide collaboration that you facilitate among our California Community Colleges and our high school partners.

3rd Agriculture/Water/Energy (AWE) Education Series Webinar on Nov. 9

On Tuesday, November 9th, BC’s third webinar in the Agriculture/Water/Energy (AWE) Education Series will take place, featuring a panel of local stakeholders and national researchers. The guests will share different perspectives on carbon management opportunities that impact Kern County.

The webinar is focused on carbon capture and storage projects, which have increased more than 50 percent worldwide in the last 9 months. Within the last two weeks, the US Department of Energy announced grants of $20 million and $45 million, respectively, to support research and implementation of carbon capture and storage technologies.

Panelists will include Steve Bohlen, Ph.D., Emily Wimberger, and Chris D. Gould.

Register for the Webinar, which will take place from 3-4 pm on November 9.

Poetry Corner

Please enjoy this poem from Jack Hernandez:


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

KCCD Board of Trustees Meeting

Here are a few photos and updates from Tuesday’s KCCD Board of Trustees Meeting:

In accordance with County Board of Education action, certificates of recognition are given to school trustees for multiples of five years of service.  This year, John Corkins is being recognized for fifteen years of services to Kern Community College District. KCCD Board of Trustees President Romeo Agbalog presented the certificate.

The Board also adopted a resolution recognizing Porterville College President Claudia Habib and Porterville College staff for their invaluable service to the region, and Porterville College Director of Maintenance and Operations John Word for his leadership and dedication.

Check out this recognition of John Word.

Cerro Coso Progress Report

I appreciated this report from Corey Marvin about the student-centered funding formula and how Cerro Coso Community College is doing. As you can see, total degrees and certificates awarded reached a new high in the 2020-2021 academic year, with 931. Such great information – thank you!

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month – a designation it has held since 1989. It is a time to acknowledge survivors of domestic abuse, and help provide a voice for its victims.

At Bakersfield College, Campus Prevention Education Specialist Adrianna Oceguera Donahue will be providing a presentation on Interpersonal Violence. It will be via Zoom on Tuesday, October 26, starting at 12:00 pm. If you are interested, please register online!

In the News

PC Presidential Medal Winner turns 100

James Howell, who is a Rotarian with the Porterville Rotary Club, turns 100 this Sunday – one day after the Porterville Rotary Club celebrates its own centennial birthday. James graduated from Porterville High in 1939 and was attending Porterville College when patriotic duty called and he joined the U.S. Navy. In 2013, James became the first recipient of the President’s Medal of Distinction at Porterville College.

Character Counts! Honors Isabel Cervantes

I enjoyed this feature in the Visalia Times Delta about Strathmore High School senior – and Porterville College student – Isabel Cervantes. She’s extremely active in supporting her high school, and has managed to add on health classes at the college this year.

Fun Photos and Spotted on Social Media

Check out this 5-sec video of our Cerro Coso president Dr. Sean Hancock at the ACCT conference in San Diego

Here’s Jennifer Serratt and Dylan Wang at the press event announcing the renaming of the Valley Strong Energy Institute:

Students from Summit Collegiate High School in Porterville take part in the PC Orientation as they prepare for their next step! 

It’s always great to see new Pirates at the start of their PC journey!

#LoveThatPCSwag #NewPirates #PCStudentSuccessStartsEarly

Love this photo of the BC campus at night, taken by Diego:

Steven Watkin shared these photos from BC’s Homecoming Football Game. 7th graders from Sunset Middle School were in attendance.

And speaking of Homecoming, I love this picture that Fredi Saucedo Castrejon shared – including BC President Zav Dadabhoy, KCCD Trustee Yovani Jimenez, and KCCD Student Trustee Gian Gayatao:



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

The future is bright at KCCD.

a joyful and grateful Chancellor


KCCD a place for all

This week I had the opportunity to travel to San Diego for the 2021 ACCT Leadership Congress. The Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) is a non-profit education organization headquartered in Washington, DC. With a membership of more than 6,500 trustees who govern over 1,200 community, technical, and junior colleges in the United States and beyond, ACCT is the only national conference dedicated to community college trustees.

Check out the KCCD delegation at the conference – including Trustees Yovani Jimenez, Romeo Agbalog, and Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, as well as Cerro Coso Community College President Sean Hancock.

Good morning, friends…
It is October 16, 2021.
The sun shines bright over KCCD.

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

Porterville College

PC Student becomes one of the first to take advantage of a new state program

Rosaura Castro Gatica

The DREAM Act Service Incentive Grant Program (DSIG) encourages California Dream Act Application (CADAA) students with a Cal Grant B award to perform community or volunteer service.  

For the first time, this new program allows CADAA students to apply to for an award of $1500 to complete up to 150 internship hours a semester through the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC).

We are pleased to report that current Porterville College Freshman and graduate of the Granite Hills ACE Pathway Program, Rosaura Castro Gatica, has been chosen as one of only 200 students statewide to be a part of this new program.  She has shown impressive initiative and determination in receiving this honor. 

As part of the program, Rosaura will be interning on campus with the PC Student Services department to support Access Programs (EOPS, CARE, Undocumented Services, CalWORKs).  

Her evolving story is a great example of the impact of collaboration and partnership on a student’s life journey.  Thank you to PC’s partners at Granite Hills High School and the ACE Pathway Program for being a strong force in helping local students achieve their educational goals.

Congratulations Rosaura! We’re excited to see all that you will accomplish! 

For more information on this program, you can visit www.csac.ca.gov/dsig

Porterville College Foundation Scholarship Application Window opens

The Porterville College Foundation has officially opened the window to apply for scholarships for the 2022 academic year.  The Foundation will be accepting applications through their website (https://www.portervillecollegefoundation.org/scholarships.html) from October 15th through November 30th, 2021.

Porterville College awards scholarships to students presently enrolled and attending Porterville College and graduating sophomores continuing their education at a four-year institution. Applicants are considered for all awards for which they qualify.

Applications are available online during the filing period. Some scholarships are awarded based on grades alone, but many also have other requirements. The Porterville College Foundation scholarship application is available on the Foundation website from mid-October through mid-November for the following year. The annual Scholarship Awards Ceremony is held in late April.

To be eligible, you must be a regular admit student.  You must also have completed a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form or The California Dream Act Application (CADAA) and have completed a minimum of 12 units at Porterville College by the end of the Fall 2021 semester with a cumulative GPA of 2.5.  For more information on the requirements for scholarship and the application process, students can attend one of the virtual workshops offered by the Foundation. 

Manuel Muñoz Joins PC Writer & Poet Speaker Series on October 21st

Manuel Muñoz

The Porterville College Writer & Poet Speaker Series welcomes its next speaker on Thursday, October 21st, from 12:00 PM to 1:30 PM via Zoom.

Manuel Muñoz is the author of a novel, What You See in the Dark, and the short-story collections Zigzagger and The Faith Healer of Olive Avenue, which was shortlisted for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award. 

He is the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York Foundation for the Arts.  He has been recognized with a Whiting Writer’s Award, three O. Henry Awards, and an appearance in Best American Short Stories.  His next collection, “The Consequences,” is forthcoming from Graywolf Press in late 2022 or early 2023.

Muñoz is a native of Dinuba, California, and a first-generation college student. His work has appeared in numerous publications, including the New York Times, American Short Fiction, Glimmer Train, Epoch, and Freeman’s, and has aired on National Public Radio’s Selected Shorts. Muñoz has been on the faculty of the University of Arizona’s creative writing program since 2008. He currently lives and works in Tucson, Arizona.

To join us for this event, please register via Zoom at https://cccconfer.zoom.us/j/91235194383

Cerro Coso Community College

CC Promise Students Assist in Set Up of New Salvation Army Store

New corps officers Lts. Chris and Gina Noble’s first task was to completely refurbish the Salvation Army Family Store and Donation Center. On Sept. 15, the Salvation Army stopped accepting household donations, and on Oct. 1, the doors to the popular thrift store were closed to the public. Volunteers have helped to breathe new life into the tired, warehouse building by sorting, cleaning, painting, and remodeling. Cerro Coso Promise students, Ladaija Baker, William Hoover, Dorothy Lindula, Aileen Bundy, and Butterfly Sawyer joined Outreach Director Katie Bachman to assist in the setup of the newly remodeled center.  

Cerro Coso Promise students are required to provide 8 hours of outreach activities per semester, and eligible students worked from 9 am to 3 pm earning 6 hours of outreach volunteer hours. 

The Chris and Gina Noble praised their volunteers for giving time to serve others that they don’t even know. 

Mammoth Campus Gets First Sprinkling of SNOW

You never outgrow the excitement of looking out your window and seeing the season’s first snowfall.  The Cerro Coso Mammoth Lakes Campus got its first snow on Friday, October 9th.

A reminder that the Eastern Sierra Ski Season is only four weeks away with the Mammoth Mountain Ski resort scheduled to open on November 13th. 

Photos taken by ESCC Education Advisor Kimberly Blackwell, “it’s a beautiful 20° in Mammoth,” she said. “The 2nd picture is my office view.  Worth the drive on the ice slab today.”

Mammoth Mountain was founded in 1953 by Dave McCoy, and averages an impressive 400 inches of annual snowfall, allowing it to have one of the longest ski seasons in California. McCoy recently passed away at 104 years. He was also instrumental in the development of the Mammoth campus and the Mammoth Lakes Foundation, which assists local students in a big way through scholarships. 

McCoy is the only recipient of an honorary Associate of Arts Degree from Cerro Coso, presented to him in June of 2015 at the age of 99. 

The beautifully located Mammoth Lakes Campus is a full service campus offering educational opportunities through classes in transfer degrees, career growth, technical education, or simply for personal enrichment. A wide range of classes are offered on campus, televised through interactive television, or online, and in schedules ranging from a semester to a few weeks. 

Students looking for the most beautiful ski town college should look no further than Cerro Coso’s Mammoth Lakes campus.

Wall of Courage

CC Military and Veterans Services invites all military and veteran students, alumni, staff, faculty, spouses, dependents, and community members to submit a photo for the 2021 Wall of Courage.  A tribute to honor all those who serve or have served in the United States Armed Forces, the Wall of Courage is an exhibit of photos and service information that will be on display in the Ridgecrest Campus Student Center and online the whole month of November.  To submit your entries please go to: https://form.jotform.com/212417068868161

On the 11th hour…of the 11th day…of the 11th month…the fighting of World War I ended in 1918.   Due to the conclusion of “the War to end all Wars,” November 11th became a recognized day of celebration. 

Cerro Coso will honor all veterans…who unselfishly placed their lives on the line for our freedom during the month of November. The Wall of Courage serves as a unique reminder that our military defends us 365 days a year.    

Veterans Day isn’t just a day for veterans – it’s a day for all Americans.  It’s a time to say “thank you,” and honor those who selflessly devoted their time to protect our freedoms.  It’s an opportunity to pay respect and let those who have made many sacrifices know that their dedication has not gone unnoticed.  Today and Always.  Thank you for your service.

Bakersfield College

Homecoming for the Renegades

This week was homecoming for the BC Renegades and the Office of Student Life had many fun activities. In addition to TikTok Challenge on Monday and Tuesday, Wednesday featured Mural Painting, and Thursday was a Pop Up Renegade Closet. The week ended with the traditional showing of Renegade Spirit judging and winner selection. Today the fun continues with the 17th Annual Make a Difference Day at various locations around Bakersfield.

BC Presents 2021 Athletics Hall of Fame Inductees

Bakersfield College proudly presents the 2021 Athletic Hall of Fame inductees. Inductees consisted of standout former student athletes, coaches, administrators and other community members who have rendered extraordinary service to the department.

The list of inductees this year included: Gil Bishop, Carl Bowser, Bruce Burnett, Gerry Collis, Bob Covey, Billy Cowan, George Culver, Frank Gifford, Dean Jones, Colby Lewis, Aisha Harrison Matson, and Hank Pfister Jr.

The sold-out ceremony was held at Luigi’s Warehouse.

A big thank you to our presenting sponsors Southern California Orthopedic Institute, our legacy sponsor Clifford & Bradford Athletic Foundation, all American sponsors: Congressmen Kevin McCarthy, Mary Trichell, Christopher Lake and Strata Credit Union. In attendance from the community were Action Sports, BC Foundation, SC Anderson, Premier Lighting and many more.

I was unfortunately unable to attend the event, but I wanted to share my taped remarks with you:

The nomination form for 2022 is now open and the community can start nominations for next year’s class.

BC Art Students in Action at Via Arté

Bakersfield College and the BC Foundation are proud sponsors of Via Arté at the Marketplace October 16 & 17. We’re even MORE proud of BC’s art students who will be out creating their chalk masterpiece under the guidance of BC’s Art Department Professor Joseph Tipay.

Artists will start work on Saturday morning, finishing up on Sunday afternoon. Be sure to come out and watch our BC Art Students in action! There will be plenty of time to enjoy Via Arte AND cheer the Renegades on to a win against Canyons Saturday evening!

More information about Via Arté.

Early College presents at Arvin High School’s Parent University meeting

The Early College team headed out to Arvin High School this past Monday night to present at their Parent University meeting for 9th grade students and their parents. Early College Director Kylie Campbell, Program Manager Berenice Arellano, and new Educational Advisor Diana Figueroa presented to students and parents on the Early College opportunities at Arvin High School and how students can graduate high school with an Associate Degree for Transfer in Communication Studies. They even stopped by “Hazte Loko” afterwards for some fun treats! The ladies recommend this as a must for those visiting Arvin!

You can learn more about Early College opportunities at Arvin High School at https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/earlycollege/arvin.

BC Participates in the Annual National Night Out

Thank you to Pat Smith, Professor of Criminal Justice, for submitting this summary.

National Night Out is a community-police awareness event that takes place on the first Tuesday in October throughout the United States. The event is meant to bring the community together and share information about police programs and supportive agencies. 

The Bakersfield College Public Safety Department and the Delano Campus, participated in the National Night Out event at Cesar Chavez Park, 925 Ellington Street, Delano, on October 5, 2021.  There were approximately 40 vendors who attended this event and met with the many families who arrived at the park.  Many of the vendors provided games and prizes for the children making it a fun night for the families.  We were able to speak to several early college students who stopped by our booth.  Some shared they are currently enrolled at BC and they will soon be graduating from high school.  One student said that he is currently attending high school, BC and has a class at CSUB.  It was amazing to hear that many of the high school students in this area are enrolled in early college.   Brent Burton demonstrated CPR on a mannequin to an 11-year-old child, who is already interested in the medical field.  Local reporters interviewed our BC staff about Bakersfield College participating in this event.  It was a very successful neighborhood event that strengthened partnerships within the Delano community and certainly for Bakersfield College.

A big thank you to Dean Rich McCrow, Derek Robinson, Brent Burton, Pat Smith, Raquel Lopez, Carolina Madrigal, Charles Truvillion, Jaime Lopez and Vickie Coffee for representing Bakersfield College at this event that was organized by the Delano Police Department.

Poetry Corner

Please enjoy this poem from Jack Hernandez:

An Old Man

An old man sits alone
at an empty table,
he cradles his coffee cup
looking at no one,
inward only at his solitude,
after isolated time passes
he rises to leave
discarding his cup,
outside walking
and talking,
waving a finger
in indifferent air,
he persists,
coming back each day
for his coffee
and thoughts
about which roads
will take him
to truth
and home.

Quick Tips for Teaching Success

This week, Porterville College continued their Quick Tips for Teaching Success series with a session on Wednesday called “Quick Tips for Sneaky Strategies to Improve Student Success.

Check out all the session resource page, or see the Quick Tips for Teaching Success homepage to catch up on previous sessions.

In the News

The Daily Independent in Ridgecrest shared this writeup from the visit Cerro Coso Community College’s founding president, Dr. Richard Jones, made to the college last month.

Fun Photos and Spotted on Social Media

On Saturday, BC attended the Kern County Farm Bureau’s Bounty of Kern County.

Romeo Agbalog, Exec Dir – Kern County Farm Bureau

BC attendees included Stephanie Baltazar, James Selgrath, Lindsay Ono, Domenica Trinidad, and Anthony Cordova. It was so nice to see you all there. We also saw State Senator Shannon Grove!

Check out these moves from Porterville College Men’s Basketball Coach Amaurys Fermin:

I loved this tweet from Brian Sylva about running into KCCD Trustee Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg at the ACCT Conference:

Steven Watkin shared this photo from a BC Outreach/Early College Zoom meeting –

The Vision Continues!

And check out the Student Government of Cerro Coso:



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

The future is bright at KCCD.

a joyful and grateful Chancellor


Higher Ed in the spotlight in CA

Look who has come to visit. Bessie has arrived from the Marina and will be in Bakersfield for the next month.

Bessie relaxing poolside – one of her favorite spots.
Oct 9, 2021

And Neo is very pleased that his best friend is here.


What an amazing week for Higher Education in California. On Wednesday, Governor Gavin Newsom signed college affordability and accessibility legislation while highlighting the historic $47.1 billion higher education package.

A few notable bills that he signed into law –

Assembly Bill 927 makes permanent and expands the pilot program that allowed 15 community colleges throughout the state to offer baccalaureate degrees. One of those initial colleges is Bakersfield College, which offers a Baccalaureate Degree in Industrial Automation. I’m excited that more of our state’s students will be able to experience the success BC’s Industrial Automation cohorts have enjoyed over the past several years.

Assembly Bill 928 helps to streamline the transfer process for our students. It requires the CSU and UC systems to consolidate their general education transfer pathways to a singular pathway, allowing students to save time and money while meeting admission requirements for both systems.

The Higher Education Package includes ongoing funding for the UC, CSU and California Community Colleges systems, as well as investments to make higher education more affordable for more students – including expanding the Cal Grant program to additional community college students.

I’m so grateful for the investment and support of higher education in our amazing state. When we work together and invest in our students, we are truly investing in all our futures.

I am sure you will enjoy this email from Cerro Coso Community College President Sean Hancock as much as I did.

On Monday, October 11th, Cerro Coso Community College joins communities throughout the nation in recognizing Indigenous Peoples’ Day, honoring the resilience, history, traditions, and cultures of Native American peoples.   This day serves to honor and celebrate the lives, traditions, and stories of Indigenous people.    

I encourage you to learn more about the history of our Native people in the United States. Often presented through the lens of colonizers, ignoring indigenous perspectives and experiences, everyone is encouraged to take the opportunity to learn about the lives of Native communities through their lens, and support our Native people telling their own stories.

By understanding who we are and how we came to be, we eliminate the false narratives or lack of knowledge that has devalued and harmed Native people. This re-education and filling in the blanks of history benefits everyone in our communities.  We’re seeing the manifestations of these developments in our social consciousness across our nation. In protests, rallies, and through advocacy, people are eager to bridge divides, acknowledge the past, and address areas of social inequalities such as those suffered by our Native Americans throughout our nation’s history.  These actions and recognitions will echo in time and pave a path forward that will influence future generations of citizens. 

My hope is that these acknowledgements further opportunities for engagement and serve as another step on our journey towards becoming an educated and inclusive society.  There is still a tremendous amount of work ahead as we continue our endeavors in cultivating meaningful relations with our Native communities. 

To our Native staff, students, and communities, we stand with you in honoring Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

Dr. Sean Hancock

Good morning, friends…
It is October 9, 2021.
The sun shines bright over KCCD.

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

PC Transfer Fair shares virtual space with gamers

COVID-19 has changed the game for just about everything. Like many large-scale crises, it has led to innovation by necessity in unexpected places.

A perfect example is the Transfer Fair at Porterville College (October 21 from 10 am to 2 pm). This event is now hosted in one of the most unexpected places: a video gaming chat platform called Discord.

You might be thinking, “Wait, did you just write ‘video gaming’ and ‘transfer fair’ in the same sentence?”

That’s right. No Zoom. No Teams Chat. No typical virtual conferencing. Porterville College has collided with the gaming community.

What exactly is Discord? As noted by Digital Trends, it’s essentially a chat application (similar to Slack) that was launched in 2015 to cater to gamers. The founders of the company, who were diehard gamers themselves, noted how the chat options in the gaming world were out of date. They wanted to build a modernized platform where gamers could more readily share media and chat in any format they wanted (i.e. typing, voice, or video) with ease and privacy. Things took an interesting turn for the company when non-gaming users began using Discord for other purposes such as community organizing or simply a place to be with friends and share memes.

Besides expanding beyond gaming, the company has created a slick chat platform that—wouldn’t you know it—lends itself well to the vendor-and-booths context of a college fair in which students must virtually stop by multiple stations to chat with different schools. In fact, Porterville College may be one of the first (if not the first) community college in California to use Discord for this purpose.

Porterville College’s Discord Server

When Stephanie Olmedo explored the Discord option for the event, she realized she needed to give students something different than the typical Zoom set-up: “Zoom just felt disorganized, and I didn’t want to lose students between visits to reps presentations or give them Zoom fatigue.”

Stephanie Olmedo

Olmedo is a long time gamer and Discord is a venue that is often used by gamers who play MMORPGs to organize game events such as raids and instances. She uses Discord as an option for students to use for counseling meetings or just to message her.

Students use one link to go to PC’s server, and then they have access to all the college booths live. If they have any questions or tech issues, staff members are there in the Discord server with them so they can assist them immediately.

Discord CEO Jason Citron summarized the original vision of the platform this way: “Video games are about people. They have the power to bring together people, from different walks of life, from different parts of the world, united by something they love. They help create memories filled with laughter, nostalgia, frustration, achievement, and togetherness. This is why we originally created Discord: we wanted a simple and easy way to capture and enable these feelings we experienced growing up playing games with friends.”

Transfer Fairs are about people too, and this is why PC is using Discord: the college wants a simple and easy way to capture the real-world Transfer Fair experience for their students in a way that will be memorable and helpful.

You can visit PCs Discord server at https://discord.com/invite/EVrPYv7
The PC Transfer Fair will be held virtually on Thursday, October 21st from 10 am to 2 pm.

PC partnership with JC Penny helps to “Suit-Up” students

Students often find themselves needing new outfits for showing up and looking their best during their time in school. It is vitally important that students have the proper attire for socials and award ceremonies, and of course, job interviews. Unfortunately, business suits and dresses can be expensive and hard for students to afford.

Because of this, the Porterville College Job Entrepreneur and Career Center (JEC), in collaboration with JCPenney, hosted a virtual version of Suit-Up, an exclusive shopping event for PC students this week from October 4-8.

“First impressions in job interviews and internships are important,” said Ashley Land, JEC Coordinator and Organizer of the virtual event.

Ashley Land

The Virtual event allowed PC students the chance to purchase professional attire at up to 60 percent off ticketed prices. Students were able to shop from a wide variety of men’s and women’s business clothing at JC Penny online. They were also able to save on items like jewelry, shoes, handbags, professional headshots and salon appointments.  

According to the JC Penny corporate website, “JC Penney is committed to helping students look and feel their best as they embark on their career journeys. We know it can be difficult to find appropriate and affordable career clothing that is also stylish, so we are delighted to assist these students with our virtual Suit-Up events.”

For more information about the event or future “Suit-Up” events, contact Ashley Land at ashley.land@portervillecollege.edu.

Rotaract Club Comes to PC

With in-person learning in full swing and the return of students to campus, many student clubs have been able to grow and expand this Fall semester.  Not only have many of our long-standing clubs made their return, but many new clubs have been added to student life roster as well, like the recently created PC Rotaract Club – the first of its kind in the Porterville area.

Rotaract is a service club for students who attend Porterville College. The members are dedicated to finding innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges while developing leadership skills and making friends from around the world.

Rotaract club members are also members of Rotary International. Students in the PC club will work with the local community and local Rotarians to complete a community project.  They will also partner with an international Rotary club and help develop an international project, all the while networking with local business owners and community leaders to develop new skills.

Stephanie Cortez

According to PC Rotaract’s faculty advisor, Stephanie Cortez, “Rotaract Club offers a professional meeting set with by-laws, agendas, and minutes. There is a Board of officers, and a committee. There is a Rotaract outstanding project award that can be nominated by the Rotary group and if chosen, the Rotaract club is invited to present their project at the annual Rotaract Preconvention. Rotaract members may also earn scholarships from participating in the club. Ultimately, this will develop new leaders for our community.”

Cerro Coso Community College

Cerro Coso to Hold COVID-19 Information Session for Faculty

Cerro Coso has about 50 instructors who are teaching in-person classes this term across all sites, 26 of whom are full-time. To support those faculty who have been physically working directly with students, the Instruction Office is hosting a virtual COVID-19 information session during college hour on Tuesday, October 12 from 12:30-1:30 p.m., and another session will be held on Friday, October 15th from 10:30-11:30 a.m. 

Dr. Chad Houck, Dean of Instruction; Nicole Griffin, Dean of Career Technical Education; and Kevin King, Program Manager for Safety and Security will host the dialogue/working session with instructors via Zoom. 

Instructors are encouraged to submit questions to be addressed in advance and to come prepared to share their unique experiences so far. The session will cover the importance of the KCCD App in our COVID efforts and the way in which to respond to a “red pass” from the app. They will answer questions submitted prior to the event, and host a Q & A in response to what was shared, and talk about their experiences.  Members of the COVID-19 Response Team will also be in attendance. 

The event will be followed up with an email that documents the important points of the session and a Zoom link to the sessions for other faculty to watch. While progress has been made since the beginning of the pandemic, concerns for health and safety still significantly impact the way we work. 

As faculty on campus continue to adapt to evolving circumstances in their work environment, the college wants to reach out and offer support and address their individual questions. 

Coyote Safe. Coyote Strong.   

Coyote Athletes Give Back to the Community

Many young students dream of one day playing sports professionally and grow up regarding star athletes as their heroes. 

Though very few students go pro, many continue to value athletics for a lifetime. This is often because playing a sport provides opportunities that nothing else can, even opportunities outside of athletics.  School pride creates a more positive environment, and athletics is often a building block for promoting this pride. 

Cerro Coso could not be more proud of its Coyote baseball team. Every year the IWV Youth Baseball League runs a fall instructional clinic to help their players learn and build on their skills for the upcoming season. The Coso baseball team volunteers players each day to support and provide instruction to the community youth. 

Creating an important connection between the league and Cerro Coso’s program. These Coyotes not only helped these youth improve their skills for the upcoming season, they demonstrated their values of integrity, respect, responsibility, sportsmanship, and servant leadership in the form of community service making them the real star athletes.

Go Coyotes!

Transfer Awareness Week at CC

Transfer is a central mission of Cerro Coso Community College and we honor that mission by providing a week of transfer-related services that educate our students about the transfer process and encourage them to consider all of their transfer options.  

This year’s activities kicked off on Monday with a presentation on preparing to transfer, the transfer process, Cerro Coso programs, and timelines. In the spirit of Transfer Week, staff were encouraged to represent their alma mater by wearing their college gear as an opportunity to celebrate and build excitement around the college transfer process. 

Tuesday featured a CSU Application Workshop to go over the application and provide assistance with completion. 

Wednesday was a workshop to help students get a jump-start on the UC Application. The workshop helped student with getting started and what to expect when filling out the UC application. 

Thursday a workshop was held to provide students guidance on how to answer “Personal Insight Questions” and demonstrated what UC’s are looking for and what to consider while answering the questions. 

The week’s activities culminated on Friday with a workshop explaining what a transferable GPA is and taught students how to calculate their own GPA. It also went over the California Virtual Campus website.  All of these transfer activities were presented by Counseling staff, and held via Zoom for all campuses to attend. Transferring to a four-year college or university can be easy with the expert help of Cerro Coso’s counselors and transfer staff.  

Contact the college Transfer Center for more information.  Explore. Inspire. Go.

Bakersfield College

Grand Opening of BC’s First Outdoor Learning Area: The Peace Garden

On Monday, Bakersfield College hosted the grand opening of the first Peace Garden on the BC campus and announced the second garden, to be located outside the Humanities building on the Panorama campus.

The Peace Garden Project, which was funded by a generous donation by the Ravi and Naina Patel Foundation, is designed to create intentional spaces for wellness and personal development throughout our campus. The first Peace Garden, known as the Learning Garden, is located in front of the Panorama Campus library.

Trustee Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Senator Shannon Groves rep Christopher Quinones

Several members of our local Rotary International chapters funded the development of the peace pole inside the Learning Garden, which has the phrase “may peace prevail on Earth” inscribed in English, Spanish, Hindi, and Tagalog.

Look at the amazing craftsmanship on the first Peace Pole to grace the Bakersfield College campus – many thanks to Klint Rigby, chair of the Industrial Technology department.

And enjoyed this article by Sam Morgen for the Bakersfield Californian highlighting the garden featured #FrontPageAbovetheFold

The Scoop on Renegade Athletics

Women’s volleyball team huddles on the court

Last week, Women’s Volleyball hosted their first western conference game against College of the Canyons, making a sweep for their 34th straight home win and their 26th conference win. I’m told the team hasn’t lost a home game since 2017, which is incredible. The women will be back at home on Friday, October 8th to take on Antelope Valley at 6:00PM. 

BC’s Men’s Cross Country team finished 3rd out of 14 teams. The team was led by Mario Gutierrez, a Freshman, who won the race with a time of 21:03 at the WSC preview. Coach Pam Kelley says we have not had a first place winner in over 25 years. 

On Saturday, Football won big at Memorial Stadium! The Renegades defeated the visiting team from San Bernardino Valley College, 52-8. The Gades have now won 4 out of 5 games this season and will return home for the Homecoming game on October 16th.

Renegade Spotlight on Jana Richardson

Jana Richardson came to BC in the fall of 2017 from Kern County Public Health, EMS division. Not only is this her first tenured semester, but she has recently taken on the role of Paramedic Training Coordinator and will be leading us through the accreditation process. Jana has served on the Assessment Committee since starting at BC and is responsible for developing the paramedic program as a hybrid program. This was an essential development that filled a training need for our local fire departments. Her forward thinking led to the awarding of a grant from the Renegade Innovation Fund that will be used to create more real-world scenarios for students in developing their EMT and Paramedic skills.

Renegade Spotlight on Officer Francisco Salazar

While serving at BC as a Campus Safety Officer, Francisco Salazar has also continued to serve our country as a Specialist in the US Army. On August 15th, Officer Salazar was presented with the 729th Transportation Company Detachment’s first unit coin for his outstanding professionalism, commitment, leadership, positive attitude and dedication to 729th Detachment. Salazar also recently passed the Non-Commissioned Officer board exam for an upcoming promotion to Sergeant. His performance as a US Army Specialist mirrors the same high level of dedication and professionalism that he displays daily as a BC College Safety Officer. 

BC Alumni Association Board of Directors elects new members

A warm welcome to the Bakersfield College Alumni Association Board of Directors’ newest board members – Mia Cifuentes and Rick Anthony.

And stay tuned – the board is planning a unique event for BC alums and the entire community for the spring!

Poetry Corner

Please enjoy this poem from Jack Hernandez:


I have lived
in many places,
tree shaded streets
during summers
when I wheeled
my bike,
baseball mitt swinging
from its handlebars,
the corner coffee house
where words come
from caffeine and memories
of the ocean’s infinity,
the snow purifying
a nearby mountain,
places where I have walked
stood and waited,
places that made me
sass and sigh,
laugh and long
for love’s touch,
places of my life
now pictures
on the walls
of my mind.

In the News

Bakersfield College in Valley Ag Voice

Check out this article in the Valley Ag Voice spotlighting BC’s new Professor of Animal Science, Julie Beechinor.

“Being a teacher has been the most humbling experience of my entire life. My students are ‘my kids.’ They are my life. Each night as I leave school and lock the door to my room I always turn back and look one last time before I close the door. As I quickly capture the image of this empty room and the stillness of life that was present earlier that day, I always say thank you for being allowed to do the one thing that brings me such great joy.” – Julie Beechinor

PC Nursing Student earns Sierra View scholarship

Cassandra Sandoval, who has been accepted into the PC Registered Nursing Program with plans to graduate in Spring 2023, received one of four scholarships from the Sierra View District Hospital Volunteer League last week.

According to the article in The Porterville Recorder, Sandoval has been with Sierra View for four years and is currently an endoscopy technician.

The Sierra View District Hospital Volunteer League awarded a combined $8,000 in scholarships to four employees of Sierra View Medical Center.

Fun Photos/Spotted on Social Media

Ariel Dyer rides her bike to work

Jessie Ryan, Executive Vice President for the Campaign for College Opportunity, shared this photo of a few of us at CSU Northridge for Governor Newsom’s historic bill signings on Wednesday:

Sonya Christian, Marc Berman, Michele Siqueros

BC Outreach and Early College show new advisors around campus and check out the beautiful new Peace Garden on Monday:

Porterville College President Claudia Habib shared this post from the CenCal WESTP Seminar this week:

And here’s Bakersfield College’s Tarina Perry keeping her positive attitude:



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

The future is bright at KCCD.

a joyful and grateful Chancellor


This is our community. Make it. Protect it. Pass it on.

October 2, 1967, 54 years ago, Thurgood Marshall was sworn in as the first Black Justice on the US Supreme Court.

He had been nominated four months prior by President Lyndon B. Johnson. He had been at the forefront of legal battles for Civil Rights and the destruction of Jim Crow segregation. From 1938 to 1961, he served as the NAACP’s chief counsel, arguing more than a dozen cases before the U.S. Supreme Court – including a victory in 1954’s groundbreaking Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka case.

Marshall’s placement on the highest court in the land was as an important milestone in the still-continuing march for racial equality and peace in this country.

Where you see wrong or inequality or injustice, speak out, because this is your country.
This is your democracy. Make it. Protect it. Pass it on.
Thurgood Marshall

Good morning, friends…
It is October 2, 2021.
The sun shines bright over KCCD.

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

Porterville College

PC Receives $1.7 million grant to help prepare local students for college

Porterville College has been awarded a $1.7 million grant from the US department of Education as part of the Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs, or GEAR UP, partnership program.

GEAR UP provides six-year and seven-year grants to develop partnerships that provide services at high-poverty middle and high schools. GEAR UP partners, such as Porterville College, serve an entire cohort of students beginning no later than the seventh grade and follow the cohort through high school.

This award will fund a seven-year project at PC to increase the number of low-income students within our service area who obtain a High School diploma and are then prepared to succeed in college.  The program will achieve this goal by meeting the following objectives for 400 students per year for the duration of the project:

  • Increase the academic performance and preparation for post-secondary education for GEAR UP students.
  • Increase the rate of high school graduation for GEAR UP students.
  • Increase the number and percentage of students and parents demonstrating knowledge of post-secondary education options, financial aid options, cost of college attendance, and how to acquire financial aid.
  • Increase the number and percentage of GEAR UP students entering college after high school.
  • Increase the number and percentage of GEAR UP students persisting to the second year of college.

Matthew S. Hopson-Walker Brings “A Tower of Ashes Built” to PC Art Gallery

The public is invited to an exhibition, of the work of Matthew S. Hopson-Walker starting Monday, October 4.  His exhibition, entitled “A Tower of Ashes Built”, will show at the Porterville College Art Gallery from October 4th to the 28th.  Gallery Hours are Monday – Thursday from 12 – 2 pm and 4 – 6 pm. 

Matthew S. Hopson-Walker’s work is based on self-investigation within the context of American popular culture. As Hopson-Walker says, “The difference between the drawn mark and the appropriated image is a metaphor for the conflict between reality and ideology that many of us experience. I try to create a sense of uncomfortable visual tension by blending thoughts and images that do not fit together. I am influenced by narratives and characters found in contemporary entertainment, which often centers on themes of dystopia and unresolved conflict. I want my work to record and document specific times and places, suggest the selfish motives that lurk beneath socially acceptable behavior, and reference the surface qualities and rich graphic aesthetic in the history of printmaking.”

Born and raised in Fresno California, Matthew Hopson-Walker grew up reading comic books and dystopian science fiction novels. During a formative age he was exposed to movies such as Mad Max, Total Recall, Escape From New York, Blade Runner, and The Omega Man, and many themes from these movies show up in his work.

After working as a janitor for several years, Hopson-Walker matriculated to the Kansas City Art Institute and received his BFA in Printmaking in 1998. After graduating he and a friend opened their own gallery and screen-printing business. To support himself and his heavy metal bass playing “career” he worked as a print technician at his alma mater, did construction, bounced and bussed at various bars, delivered mail and cashiered at liquor stores. These jobs influenced his generally misanthropic outlook on humanity and the images he made as an artist. In 2002 he completed his MA followed by his MFA in 2003 from the University of Iowa. In 2006 he was recipient of the prestigious James D. Phelan Award in Printmaking given by the San Francisco Foundation and administered by the KALA Institute. He has been included in 222 juried or group exhibitions and 14 solo shows since 2006. Matthew Hopson-Walker is now Assistant Professor in Printmaking at Fresno State University.

PC Welcomes a new Enrollment Services director to the Pirate Team

Jonathan Miranda has been named the new Interim Director of Enrollment Services at Porterville College. His bachelor’s degree is in Philosophy from UCLA, and he is currently finishing his master’s degree in Higher Education Leadership from Sacramento State University.

Jonathan has worked in higher education for 10 plus years in the Los Rios and State Center community college districts.

He is a first-generation college student who began his journey as a Federal Work Study student and worked his way up to Financial Aid/A&R Manager. 

Jonathan has dedicated his work to creating programs that grant equitable access to all student populations. His efforts have helped many students achieve academic success and excellence. To this end, he is excited to begin serving the students and community of Porterville College.

In his free time, he enjoys playing music on his saxophone, which he has been playing for over 25 years, and playing frisbee with his two Australian Shepard furballs, Merlin and Casper. 

Cerro Coso Community College

Dave’s Scholars Brunch

The Mammoth Lakes Foundation held their Dave’s Scholar brunch outside on September 17th. After a year of connecting virtually it was a beautiful morning to connect in-person with returning and new scholars. One of the goals at the MML Foundation is to help Cerro Coso students plan their next steps after community college.

Deanna Campbell, Director of the Cerro Coso Community College Eastern Sierra College Center, shared information on the UC Transfer Admission Guarantee (TAG) program. 

The Mammoth Lakes Foundation Scholarship program was launched in 2003 to encourage Mono County residents and high school graduates to take advantage of local education opportunities through Cerro Coso Community College’s Mammoth Campus and has since awarded more than 750 scholarships.  Support for an individual scholarship ranges from $800 to $1,000 each semester and covers tuition and books.  

The Dave’s Scholar Transfer Scholarship represents a significant undertaking and financial investment by the MML Foundation to further their mission of supporting higher education and cultural enrichment.  Recipients must demonstrate a capacity to excel in their continued studies and understand that they represent the MML Foundation locally and in the wider world. 

Each Dave’s Scholar has a unique story to share as they pursue their dreams at CCCC. Some are the first to attend college in their families; some are returning to college after a hiatus; and others are seeking a certificate or degree to help them with their business.  Every donation made to the program changes lives. 

Meet Our CCCC Ambassadors

Meet the Cerro Coso 2021-2020 Student Ambassadors: (l to r) Geraldine Valdez, Aden Ostash, Nicole Harper, Taylir DeStefano, Sara Orlando, Abigail Wright, and John McHenry.  All of these students attend full-time and are Cerro Coso Promise students, three are moms, and three are Coyote athletes, and all have committed to serving as emissaries for the college. 

Student Ambassadors demonstrate their wiliness to share Cerro Coso’s goals and vision with college visitors, new students, and the community.  Participation in the program is an opportunity for current students to show pride in their school while making an impact on the lives of individuals who are planning for a college education. 

Being a Student Ambassador is a challenging and rewarding educational opportunity with a truly positive and memorable experience. These are the faces of Cerro Coso that set an example for other students and incoming freshmen. They have a passion for the college and represent Cerro Coso at community and on-campus events, accompany recruitment personnel on high school visits, lead campus tours, assist with new student orientation, participate in focus groups and student discussion panels, speak to groups regarding special interests at the college, and participate in mass media projects.  

In return these students develop leadership skills, participate in extracurricular activities to add to college and scholarship applications, develop skills that will transfer to other employment opportunities, and interact with students and faculty in weekly meetings. CC Ambassadors are here to help!

What’s On Our Walls

Painting barren hallways can dramatically change a campus’ atmosphere. In November of 2018 College Council developed a task force to discuss what should be displayed throughout the main building at the Ridgecrest campus and in what manner the information should be exhibited.

The task force was not identifying specific locations for displaying things or identifying specific products for those displays. Membership on the task force included representatives from Student Government, classified staff, faculty, and administration. The task force met throughout the spring of 2019 and in the spring of 2020 some “conceptual” images were developed and shared with stakeholders based on the recommendations of the task force.

They were not intended to be accurate or definitive, merely a way of investigating and communicating design principles and aesthetic concepts. Staff, faculty, and students were given the entire semester to provide feedback.  The goal of the task force was to employ strategic uses of color for wayfinding and delineating spaces in a way that warmed up the sterile long hallways and created a sense of belonging and pride in the institution utilizing school logos, colors, and motivational words. In 2021 Cerro Coso began the first phase of implementation. 

It is exciting to see the hard work of the task force being executed creating an environment that communicates the college’s core values and improves the college experience. 

Bakersfield College

BC to Receive $14 Million in State Funding for New Delano Campus Building

Bakersfield College and Assemblymember Rudy Salas announced the construction of a new two-story building for the BC Delano Campus, thanks to $14 million in state funding advocated for by Salas in the most recent budget cycle.

The announcement was made on Tuesday, September 28, 2021, during a press conference at the BC Delano Campus in an outdoor area near the vacant land where the structure will be built. The new 40,000-square-foot Learning Resource Center will include classrooms, office space, a library and designated spaces for student services to help accommodate and support a growing population of students throughout Delano and North Kern. Construction is expected to begin in January and will take about 22 months to complete. The funding for this project also includes funding from Measure J. Thank you Assemblymember Salas, and to Kern County residents for voting yes on Measure J. Read the entire press release.

Emma Gallegos, Sonya Christian

And I loved Emma Gallegos‘s front page story in the Bakersfield Californian about the announcement. #FrontPageAbovetheFold

Rudy Salas and Sonya Christian

Webinar on Future Impacts of Technology and Water Resources on Farming

Join Bakersfield College’s Energy Technology Transfer and Workforce Development initiative on Tuesday, October 5th, at 3 p.m., for its second webinar in the Agriculture/Water/Energy (AWE) Education Series, featuring a panel of local stakeholders and national researchers sharing their perspectives on the impacts of technology and water resources on farming.

Panelists will include: John Moore III, Former President of the Kern County Farm Bureau, Owner of Moore Farms and White Wolf Potato Co.; Dr. Joshua Viers, Professor, Water Resources Management, UC Merced School of Engineering; and Dr. Helen E Dahlke, Associate Professor, Integrated Hydrologic Sciences, University of California, Davis. RSVP for the Webinar

BC to Host Livestream of the Unveiling and Opening of First BC Peace Garden

The Bakersfield College Peace Initiative will host the grand opening of the first peace garden on the BC campus at 10 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 4.

The event will feature short speeches by local peacemakers and partners, and will be the first garden in a series of gardens on BC campuses. Additionally, the garden will feature “Peace Poles,” provided and paid for by local Bakersfield Rotary Clubs. Speakers will include: myself, Krista Moreland, Professor of Anthropology, Naina Patel, The Ravi and Naina Patel Foundation, and Edith Mata, BC Student Government Association President.

I invite you to watch this livestream event this Monday Oct 4 at 10:00 on the BC YouTube Channel. Complete information is in this press release.

Check out this video about the Peace Garden, with footage from BC’s Opening Day 2020 and the Groundbreaking Ceremony for the Peace Garden:

Thank You Cindy Collier!

On Monday, Bakersfield College recognized Cindy Collier for her 28 years of dedicated service to the college and the Kern Community College District. Cindy retired this summer. Her illustrious career at Bakersfield College began when she became a nursing faculty member in 1993. She became director of the nursing program in 2001. She also held a number of administrative roles – Executive Director of Student Health, Dean of Instruction, Associate Vice Chancellor of Economic and Workforce Development for KCCD, faculty director of the Inmate Scholars Program, and Director of the Student Health and Wellness Center.

Here are my closing remarks from the event:

You can see the whole recording on Bakersfield College’s YouTube channel.

Poetry Corner

Please enjoy this poem from Jack Hernandez:

The Desert        

The moon rise
over the desert
is no longer surprising,
he had not foreseen
living in its barren canvas
painted in his later years.

Until this time his life
scurried like an ant
seeking    always seeking,
now he sits grasping
for nothing more
than silent truth
in silver light.

UN International Day of Peace

Last week, I shared a few videos from Bakersfield College’s celebration to honor the UN International Day of Peace on September 21st. 

Today, I am sharing two more videos from that production.

Bakersfield Mayor Karen Goh’s remarks:

The Bakersfield College Chamber Choir’s performance of “Light of a Clear Blue Morning”:

Quick Tips for Teaching Success

This week, Porterville College continued its Quick Tips for Teaching Success series. The live presentations are open only to Porterville College faculty and run on Wednesdays at 12 pm. However, the recorded presentations are available to anyone and are a fantastic resource for all our educators.

Check it out at QUICK TIPS FOR TEACHING SUCCESS – Resources (weebly.com).

Wednesday’s session was called “A Deep Dive Into Teaching Controversial Issues.

“Do you teach a course with subject matter some consider controversial? Do you wonder how to best ensure students learn about sensitive topics without getting lost in heated emotions or a refusal consider other views with an open mind? Have you ever found a class got off track when something controversial inadvertently entered the conversation? The ‘Quick Tips’ team has, and we’ll share our stories, experiences, and techniques for managing these delicate situations while ensuring students learn new ideas and perspectives and remain respectful to others in the classroom – and the world around them.”

Check out the recording online

Thank you to presenters Dustin Acres, Rebecca Baird, Joy Lawrence, Melissa Long, Ian Onizuka, Elisa Queenan, and Robert Simpkins.

In the News

Hogan, longtime Folkloric dance instructor, to be honored

I saw in The Porterville Recorder this story about longtime Folkloric dance instructor Maria Antonietta Hogan Abrego (Mrs. Hogan). She taught at schools throughout Porterville, including night classes at Porterville College. She will be moving to Idaho and her family held a Bon Voyage party for her this week, allowing the countless students whose lives she touched a chance to wish her well.

“She molded us in such a way to be citizens of the world. We were just all good kids,” Elva Beltran said. “We will always be grateful for that. This is our chance to come and hug her and send her off with love.”

Community Voices: The Veil of Ignorance

Jack Hernandez penned this piece for the Bakersfield Californian that looks at philosopher John Rawls’ idea of the veil of ignorance, and how we must use that veil to better show compassion and empathy for one another.

“Thus, he asks us to do what is difficult for all of us: to put on the veil of ignorance and imagine ourselves in the shoes, in the lives, of others, especially those who suffer. We live in a society that tends to ignore the role fortune, luck, plays in our lives. The myth of success is that all that happens is because of our effort, and if we are not successful we have simply not worked hard enough.”

Fun Photos and Spotted on Social Media

Here’s the KCCD Team at the Hearts of Hope event to benefit Casa Esperanza:

Cerro Coso Military And Veterans Services invited all military and veteran students, alumni, staff, faculty, spouses, dependents, and community members to submit a photo for the Wall of Courage 2021. Submissions begin Monday. The Wall of Courage will be displayed in person on the Ridgecrest campus throughout the month of November. it will also be featured on the Cerro Coso website.

The submission link will be sent out via student emails, social media, and the Cerro Coso website beginning Monday, 10/04/2021.

At BC, Student Life Program Director Nicole Alvarez spent the morning with the L.U.P.E club recruiting new members:

Porterville College professors Jonathan Hernandez and Jeff Jacobs shared these photos of Administration of Justice Professor Jacobs joining Professor Hernandez’s Intercultural Communications class to discuss issues on social justice, equity, and empathy.

And check out Porterville College in coaching sessions with Dr. Al:



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

The future is bright at KCCD.

a joyful and grateful Chancellor


Join us in imagining and making it so

This past Tuesday was the International Day of Peace – designated by the United Nations as a day of international peace, calling for global ceasefire and nonviolence. It provides one day for everyone around the world to come together in community and commitment to peace above all differences, contributing to a worldwide culture of peace.

In 1981, the UN set aside the first day of their general assembly – the third Tuesday in September – as International Day of Peace. After the 9/11 attacks in 2001, the date was officially moved to always take place on September 21.

In honor of this year’s International Day of Peace – as well as the 50th anniversary of the recording of the song “Imagine” – the UN Postal Administration released a series of stamps featuring music legend and peace advocate John Lennon. So many have followed in his footsteps in an effort to help the world “live as one,” as his iconic song says.

The Bakersfield College Peace Initiative hosted a virtual gathering on Tuesday as part of the International Day of Peace. The event featured short speeches of local peacemakers, musical performances, and is the first in a series of activities in the coming months. I will be sharing segments from the program, or you can watch the full presentation on YouTube.

Here are my remarks from the event:

“UN Peace Day provides one day for everyone around the world to come together in community and commitment to peace, above all differences, contributing to a worldwide culture of peace. Each year it provides the opportunity to reflect on both the lack of peace and more importantly, the hope for peace. And a reminder that peace is within reach when we unite in support and solidarity, it helps us remember that we are the ones who keep hope alive for a world filled with peace.”

I also wanted to share Dr. Portia Choi’s remarks as she introduced our program and shared her poem:

“With each breath, I am committed to my peace. With each breath I am committed to peace for you. You and I, we can be a community for peace.”

What a beautiful thought – committing to our own peace and committing to each other’s peace. Community and unity and unending compassion.

Hearing those words reminded me again of this poem by my dear friend and colleague Jack Hernandez :

There is a garden
where we might gather
to walk and talk as one
to find the innocence
of peace with ourselves
and others in love’s
tranquility and forgiveness,
a garden where
all voices are heard
all lives are embraced
in joyful grace.

Good morning, friends…
It is September 25, 2021.
The sun shines bright over KCCD.

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

Porterville College

Wildfires force closures, send evacuees to PC

According to press releases from Tulare County, an evacuation order has been issued for the communities of Ponderosa, Quaking Aspen, Camp Nelson, Pierpoint, Coy Flat, Mountain Aire, Cedar Slope, Alpine Village, Rogers Camp, Sequoia Crest, Johnsondale, Camp Whitsett, California Hot Springs, Pine Flat, McNallys, Sugar Loaf, Sugarloaf Mountain Park, Sugarloaf Saw Mill, White River, Idlewild, Posey, Panorama Heights, Poso, Balance Rock, and Spear Creek due to the Windy Fire centered in the Sequoia National Forest east of Porterville. As of Friday, the fire sat at 49,053 acres in size and was 6% contained.

Since many of these communities are so close to our campus, Porterville College is currently being used as a Temporary Evacuation Point for individuals displaced by these fires. 

Red Cross officials are stationed in the campus parking lot to provide information to evacuees.  Space in our parking lots has been made available for campers and RVs from the evacuation zones and the PC Gym is being used as an overnight shelter for those displaced by the fire. Pets are being housed in the gym’s locker rooms so they can be close to their owners. The Treasure Café is providing food service for the evacuees at the Gym.

My sincere thanks to the Porterville College Maintenance and Operations Staff, led by director John Word, for their tireless work in making sure that those evacuated have the facilities needed to maintain some semblance of normalcy during this very difficult time in their lives. Many of Porterville College’s staff stayed on campus through the night after working a full shift to ensure our everything was ready for any evacuees that would arrive. I would also like to thank Bakersfield College for providing additional security officer support.

SWAP Meet returns to PC

PC Foundation Staffer Maribel Hernandez (left) and Director Ramona Chiapa (right) visit with Dr. Claudia Habib at the PC SWAP meet at the Fairgrounds.

After over a YEAR of being away, the PC SWAP meet returns to the Porterville College campus today, from 8 am to 2 pm.  The swap meet has been a Porterville weekend tradition for over 30 years with thousands in attendance each week.  Proceeds from the Swap Meet support Porterville College Foundation student scholarships, facilities, programs, and activities for the benefit of the college and its students.

The SWAP Meet was closed on campus due to the COVID-19 Shutdown of 2020. In April of 2021, after a one-year closure, the PC Foundation re-opened at the Porterville Fairgrounds — a place with ample space to meet state COVID-19 guidelines for vendors and social distancing for customers.

For some, the new location didn’t have the same appeal that campus had for all those years.  For many of the people who have attended the swap meet since childhood, the return to campus is a welcome one.

The swap meet offers everything from bedding and clothing to cowboy boots and hats, belts, sunglasses, and shoes. There are vendors who sell household tools, electronics, plants, medicines, candles, candy, toys, and cooking equipment of all sizes. In addition, food items and drinks are always available for purchase.

For more information on the PC SWAP Meet, visit www.portervillecollegefoundation.org or call 559-920-2001.

Porterville Volleyball rallies to defeat West Hills Lemoore 3-1

The PC Volleyball Team visits with PC President Claudia Habib before hitting the road for a game.

Freshman Victoria Dabney totaled a match-high 14 kills to lead the Porterville College women’s volleyball team to a 3-1 Central Valley Conference win at West Hills College Lemoore on Friday.

West Hills took the opening set but the Pirates rallied to win the next three and take the match. With the victory, Porterville improved to 4-5 overall and 2-0 in conference play. After getting off to an 0-5 start, PC has now won four straight.

Dabney had help on offense from sophomores Madison Doty and Emily Kissick. Doty posted nine kills while Kissick chipped in the seven. Sophomore Jordan Castaneda led all with 25 assists.

West Hills (2-5, 1-1 CVC) was led by sophomore Claire Broomfield. The sophomore totaled nine kills, 13 digs, and three aces. Jordan Turner contributed seven kills while setters Kimberly Beltran and Makayla Alapisco Zamora both had 14 assists.

Cerro Coso Community College

2020-2021 Report to the Community

The 2020-2021 Report to the Community is now available online here.  

Dr. Sean Hancock’s first report to the community as President of Cerro Coso Community College, is a glimpse into what we see every day . . . student success. This report serves to provide stakeholders with an annual update on the state of the college and progress towards achieving its mission to improve the life of every student they serve. A number of metrics and observations are presented providing evidence of success in some areas, and opportunities for the continued pursuit of excellence in others.  Looking forward to a full and active semester where “every moment counts” for our students.  Coyote Safe. Coyote Strong.

TAG Workshop: Guarantees Admission to a UC

Did you know that 92% of UC transfers come from California Community Colleges? These students add to the fabric of the UC community and arrive with the intellectual passion to graduate and succeed. 

Cerro Coso hosted a Transfer Admission Guarantee (TAG) Workshop for students on Tuesday, September 21, 2021 via Zoom. By participating in a TAG workshop, students will receive early review of their academic records, admissions notification, and specific guidance about major preparation and general education course work. 

Six UC campuses offer Cerro Coso students who meet specific requirements guaranteed admission to one of their campuses: UC Davis, UC Irvine, UC Merced, UC Riverside, UC Santa Barbara, and UC Santa Cruz.  These workshops are designed to guide students through the online TAG application process. 

The College’s Transfer Center is available to assist students in researching their options and making plans for a smooth transition to a four-year university or other institution. 

Constitution and Coffee

The Student Government of Cerro Coso served iced coffee to students and staff and shared the importance of the U.S. Constitution on Thursday, September 16, 2021. 

The Constitution acted like a colossal merger, uniting a group of states with different interests, laws, and cultures. Under America’s first national government, the Articles of Confederation, the states acted together only for specific purposes. 

The Constitution united its citizens as members of a whole, vesting the power of the union in the people.  Without it, the American experiment might have ended as quickly as it had begun. 

Constitution Day is held every year on September 17th, commemorating the September 17, 1787, signing of the United States Constitution. 

Each educational institution that receives Federal funds for a fiscal year is required to hold an educational program about the U.S. Constitution for its students. This year the event was held by the SGCC on Thursday, because Friday the 17th was a half day. 

Cerro Coso Partners with Sav-On to Host Vaccination Clinics

Cerro Coso has partnered with Sav-On Pharmacy at the Albertson’s on China Lake Boulevard to hold weekly vaccination clinics. Through the month of October the college will be holding Vaccination Clinics in the parking lot on Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  

Cerro Coso requires all students, employees, and community members conducting business or taking classes on any of its campuses to be fully vaccinated by November 1, 2021.  

The clinics are FREE and open to anyone 12 and older who needs a first or second dose. Third shots, or booster shots, will not be available. 

Getting vaccinated is the best protection from severe illness, hospitalizations, and death. The College encourages all unvaccinated people to get vaccinated and continue masking indoors regardless of vaccination status. With the Delta variant, this more urgent than ever. 

To reduce personal risk and protect our community, the College strongly urges every member of the community to be fully vaccinated. 

Bakersfield College

BC Announces Launch of Pathway to Bachelors Degree at McFarland High

On Tuesday, September 21, 2021, Bakersfield College’s Early College Program announced a new Early College option to McFarland High School freshman to earn a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Automation in five years! This year’s class of 232 incoming ninth grade students will be able to start on a pathway toward a bachelor of science degree that begins their freshman year and is completed one year after they graduate from high school. Really appreciate the leadership of Superintendent Aaron Resendez and Trustee Romeo Agbalog.

37th Annual Kern Shakespeare Festival Begins October 1st

Bakersfield College’s theatre program will be holding outdoor performances for the 37th Annual Shakespeare Festival starting Friday, October 1st! Tickets are now available for A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Macbeth! Performances will be held in the Edward Simonsen Performing Arts Center (PAC) and begin at 7:30 p.m. A Midsummer Night’s Dream will be performed on October 1, 7, and 9. Macbeth will be performed on October 2, 6, and 8. Tickets are $10 general admission and $5 for students/staff/seniors/veterans. See the news release for more information. Purchase your tickets at Eventbrite.

Bakersfield College Foundation Announces New Vice Chair and Board of Directors 

The Bakersfield College Foundation announced the recent election of Derek Yurosek as its new Vice Chair, along with three new members to its board of directors! Yurosek is managing director of Arable Capital, which invests in operating businesses throughout the agriculture sector. Yurosek’s breadth of experience in management and investing will benefit the Foundation, whose endowments and other assets exceed $56 million. 

New directors elected to the BC Foundation are Megan Person, News Chief for NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center; Frank Wooldridge, Administrator of Investigations and Public Affairs for Law Offices of Young Wooldridge; and John Petri, Chief Operating Officer of Motor City Sales and Service and Lexus of Bakersfield and CFO of Seven Oaks Country Club.

Chancellor’s Seminar Series

After a short break, my Chancellor’s Seminar Series returned this week with a panel discussion, “COVID Impact on Our Local Hospitals.”

Porterville College President Claudia Habib spoke with Donna Hefner, CEO/President of Sierra View Local Health Care District:

Michael Metcalf, Faculty Director of Emergency Medical Technology at Cerro Coso Community College, spoke with Jayde Glenn, Director of Marketing & Communications/PIO at Ridgecrest Regional Hospital:

Carla Gard, Dean of Instruction for Nursing/Allied Health at Bakersfield College, spoke with Terri Church, Division Chief Nurse Executive for Dignity Health.

Thank you to all of our panelists for sharing such important information with our KCCD community. And thank you to all who tuned in to hear their remarks.

You can view videos from the Chancellor’s Seminar Series on the KCCD website.

In Memoriam

This week, I am saddened to share the passing of two amazing people: Scott Lay and Josephine Triplett.

I considered Scott Lay a friend. He was a fixture in the California State Capitol, and a fierce advocate for community colleges. He spent nearly two decades with the Community College League of California, joining as an intern in 1995 before becoming CEO in 2006 – a role he held until 2014. He passed away earlier this month at the age of 48.

Anthony York’s tribute in the Capitol Weekly painted a clear picture of a dedicated and passionate soul who faced inner, often silent turmoil.

That generosity and passion was evident in much of Scott’s pursuits. I know from experience the amount of hours he would dedicate to a new passion project, not because he expected some big financial reward, but simply for the sake of doing it.

Josephine Triplett also passed away earlier this month, on September 4. She was 88.

Josephine dedicated 33 years of her life to Bakersfield College. Even after her retirement in 2003, her impact on Bakersfield College students continued, with the Josephine Triplett Early Childhood Education Scholarship.

“Her extraordinary and quiet way with children will always be remembered, along with her ability to motivate others to value education, community activism, and embrace one’s heritage.”

In the News

Matthew S. Hopson-Walker Show to be held at PC Art Gallery

The Porterville Recorded published this story about an upcoming exhibit at the PC Art Gallery.

Fresno native Matthew S. Hopson-Walker’s show: “A Tower of Ashes Built,” will the Porterville College Art Gallery from October 4-28. Gallery hours are noon to 2 p.m. and 4 to 6 Monday through Thursday.

“I am influenced by narratives and characters found in contemporary entertainment, which often centers on themes of dystopia and unresolved conflict. I want my work to record and document specific times and places, suggest the selfish motives that lurk beneath socially acceptable behavior and reference the surface qualities and rich graphic aesthetic in the history of printmaking.”

Fun Photos & Spotted on Social Media

Dena Rhoades, KCCD Interim Vice Chancellor of Human Resources, celebrated her grandson Boston’s 8th birthday:

At Cerro Coso, Jarrod Bowen, Professor of Administration of Justice, and Melissa Bowen, Professor of Psychology and Human Services, welcomed their 8th grandson, Rowyn Matthew, on August 7th:

Porterville College shared this great bit of Hobbit trivia:

Cerro Coso students joined President Sean Hancock to help with the Coyote Cupboard distribution:

And BC Nursing shared this pic of some of their students:



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

The future is bright at KCCD.

a joyful and grateful Chancellor