Tag Archives: Cerro Coso College

Kern CCD starting February on the move

I started my week up in Sacramento at the 2023 CCLC Legislative Conference, and was thrilled to meet with Kern CCD Leadership Academy participants from all three colleges.

On Tuesday, I joined Kern Community College District colleagues and others in our community at the Kern County State of the County. Thank you to newly-elected Kern County Chairman Jeff Flores, who delivered the address, and to the entire Kern County team for an excellent event.

Kern CCD starting February on the move.

Good morning friends.
It is February 4, 2023.
The sun shines bright over Kern CCD

Porterville College

Porterville College CHAP Announces the First Event of the Semester

The Porterville College Cultural and Historical Awareness Program (CHAP) continues its celebration of 20 years with another enlightening event, this time from Porterville College (PC) History Instructor Dr. Ben Nelson.

If one were to widen the scope of religious analysis, it may become clear that humans not only remain “political animals,” as Aristotle insisted, but they remain spiritual ones as well.

Join us on the Porterville College Campus on the 10th of February at 7:00 pm for a lecture by Dr. Ben Nelson entitled “The Triumph of Secularism or a Great Awakening: Belief and Spirituality in the Anthropocene”. In it, he will take a close look at religion and religious institutions and explore the implications of belief and spirituality in our modern world. 

Dr. Ben Nelson is an Adjunct Instructor of History at Porterville College, a Valley native, a product of Porterville area schools, and a proud graduate of PC. 

After PC he received his B.A. in History from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and a Ph.D. in History from UCLA. He specializes in popular religious expressions in early American society and culture.  While in graduate school he felt a powerful pull to teach and in 2009 returned to Porterville to begin his teaching career at Harmony Magnet Academy.  He has also taught as an adjunct in the History Department at PC since 2015.

For more information on this event or the PC CHAP, contact Jim Entz at 559-791-2257.

For more information on CHAP you can also view this video, produced by PC’s Multimedia Production Certificate Program Students:

Pirate Baseball beats Barstow 11-9, split opening games of the season

Playing in front of the home crowd for the first time this season, the Porterville College offense showed its fans what it is capable of this year. The Pirates totaled 14 hits on their way to an 11-9 non-conference win over visiting Barstow Community College on Tuesday.

PC scored early and often. Porterville put up four runs in the bottom of the first inning and added four more in the third to take a commanding 8-2 lead that they wouldn’t give up.

Catcher Daniel Clancy led the charge, driving in three runs while going 3 for 4 at the plate. Dylan Novotny also had three hits (3 for 4) and had 2 RBI. Ayden Markovich (2 for 4, 2B) scored a pair of runs and also drove in two.

Jason Kramlich went a solid three innings for the Pirates in the start. He allowed 2 unearned runs and 2 hits while striking out 7.

The victory came after a tough 12-3 loss on Friday in Porterville’s 2023 season opener against Feather River College in a game played in Taft. Feather River totaled just four hits but took advantage of five PC errors to score six unearned runs.

Chris Ortega smacked a two-run home run for the Pirates in the sixth and Koda Larsen hit a pinch-hit RBI single in the ninth.

Porterville, now 1-1 on the season, returns to action on Saturday (Feb. 4) at 11 a.m. when the Pirates travel to Barstow for a doubleheader.

Cerro Coso Community College

Student Spotlight: Mikailey

Mikailey is a recent graduate of Cerro Coso who was accepted at California State University Northridge, class of 2025, where she is a Kinesiology Major! While at Cerro Coso Tehachapi, Mikailey received two AA degrees: one AA-T in Art History and one AA in Liberal Arts and Humanities. While a student at CC, she worked as an English tutor. We caught up with Mikailey to ask about her time as a student at Cerro Coso and what her future holds: a career in medicine.

“I started Cerro Coso classes when I was 14. I actually started the summer before I began high school. My first class was an ASL C101 class, and I fell in love with learning at the college level. Being surrounded by adults who were working jobs and managing families gave me a huge appreciation for education. I grew not only as a student but as a person as well. Trying to juggle high school, college, extracurriculars, family, and friends wasn’t easy, but it taught me grit and determination.”

Read more online!

Scholarship Application Workshop

Cerro Coso Community College is hosting a scholarship application workshop on Wednesday, February 8, at 12:30 pm. Get information about Cerro Coso Foundation Scholarships, outside scholarships and more! We will also be providing step-by step information, and provide support while you finish and submit your application.

The workshop will be held in LRC 709 at the Ridgecrest campus from 12:30-1:30 pm. Sign up online!

Bakersfield College

Delano Library Open House

The Delano Library, Writing Center, and Tutoring Center invite staff, faculty, and students to an Open House event on February 7th from 2PM-6PM. Grab some snacks and meet with Delano librarians, writing center staff, and tutoring center staff to discover valuable services readily available to students.

HBCU Caravan 2023

BC hosted another successful HBCU Caravan! Several students left the event with scholarships and acceptance letters in-hand! We are always so overjoyed to see students take control of their futures, and this HBCU Caravan was full of hard-working and motivated students ready to jump into the next phase of their education.

BC Library Workshop Week

BC held 16 different Zoom workshops on Library Research Skills from January 30th to February 2nd. Students were able to learn about strategies for effective research, looking up articles in databases, and evaluating news sources.

Kern CCD hosts food policy summit

KernCCD was happy to host Adventist Health Blue Zones Food Policy Summit on Friday, February 3 at the Bakersfield College Conference Center.  We are a proud partner of Blue Zones Project which uses the secrets discovered in the original Blue Zones to help people live longer and better through community transformation programs. 

The partnership is working towards making Bakersfield an even greater place to live, learn, work, play, and worship by engaging the three main components of community: people, policy and places. The efforts will result in making it easier to make healthier choices and improve the quality of life for everyone in the Bakersfield area.

In the News

BC’s Kris Tiner Shares His Story

The Bakersfield Californian published a piece highlighting one of BC’s best, Kris Tiner. In the article, Professor Tiner talks about his musical story beginning in elementary school all the way through his professional career. He gives readers a glimpse of where his musical influence came from, his struggles along the way, and how his family and students inspire him to continue sharing his gifts. We know how lucky we are to have him as a department chair and faculty member as he continues to work tirelessly to inspire students. Kris says in the article, “If I hadn’t had music, I wouldn’t have had confidence that I had something to say that anybody was going to pay attention to. It’s kind of a small-town syndrome, too: ‘I’m nobody from no place and nobody is going to listen to what I have to say.’ … But on a deeper level, what we’re doing when we teach the arts is give kids confidence to know who they are and to have the courage to express that and to understand they’re a viable part of a bigger community. Kids from small communities need that.”

Professor Tiner is being inducted into the CSUB Alumni Hall of Fame on March 3 at the Doré Theatre on campus.

Educators and aerospace join forces to prepare workforce of the future

The Daily Independent of Ridgecrest published this piece about Wednesday’s Aeropsace Working Coalition meeting at the Mojave Air and Space Port. The meeting was hosted by Cerro Coso Community College President Dr. Sean Hancock and MASP CEO Tim Reid.

Hancock said the hope is the ongoing interaction between educators and employers can reap big dividends for all involved. “We want to be able to provide the training necessary to support their future workforce,” he said.

Kern Community College District hosts USDA Rural Development meeting

BakersfieldNow covered the recent USDA Rural Development meeting, held January 26th at the BC Delano Campus.

Fun Photos and Spotted on Social Media

Check out these photos from the Kern CCD team at a Job Fair in Oakland – thank you to Laci Beyes, Nicole Griffin, Michelle Miller- Galaz, Dustin Acres and Nikita Lowe!

From Cerro Coso Outreach:

Yotes supportin’ Yotes!
Love to see it. Students, family, friends, and fans came out and packed the stands today to watch the Women’s Softball team take on San Diego City for their home opener.
Check the schedule and join us for an upcoming game!

From PC President Dr. Claudia Habib:

Visiting our legislators was the highlight #LeadershipAcademy @KernCCD attending the 2023 Legislative Conference @ccleague #cclcLC23 Thank you @Senator_Hurtado @DrJasmeetBains for supporting #HigherEd #Students @PCollegePirates @cerrocoso @BAKcollege @CalCommColleges #Advocacy

And I loved this note from Mindy Wilmot at BC:

We wanted to share this amazing picture of a delicious partnership!
Within 24 hours, collard greens were in the BC Edible Education Garden, harvested, and prepared by Culinary Arts students.
Yummy! There is much more to come!!


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

The future is bright at Kern CCD.

a joyful and grateful Chancellor


Why save the good stuff for later?

Have you seen the latest Julia Roberts/George Clooney movie, “Ticket to Paradise?”

In the movie, there is a recurring phrase – “why save the good stuff for later.” 100% agreed….

And with everything going on at Kern CCD we are certainly NOT saving the good stuff for later.

Good morning friends.
It is January 28, 2023.
The sun shines bright over Kern CCD

Porterville College

Pirates snap losing streak with wins over Reedley and Taft

In their most recent outing, the PC Women’s Basketball team was able to turn their luck around in a nice performance against Reedley College.

Jazlynne (Jaz) Medrano scored a team high 19 points while Jenna Holder posted a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds to help lead Porterville College to a 78-58 Central Valley Conference victory over the visiting team on Saturday.

The win snapped a four-game losing streak and improved the Pirates to 6-14 overall and 1-4 in conference play.

PC led 37-25 at halftime and blew the game open by scoring 27 points in the third quarter. Porterville got numerous contributions in the win.

Medrano added 8 rebounds, 5 steals, 3 assists, and 2 blocks to her impressive all-around night. Mariah Castanon totaled 15 points, and Kaija Ambriz had 7 points and 10 rebounds.

Off the bench, Assyria Murrietta chipped in with 13 points and 5 rebounds and Davina Lopez contributed 6 points and 9 boards.

The Pirates looked to keep the momentum going on Wednesday as they traveled to Taft for more conference play.  They returned victorious from the night with an 86-70 victory over Taft College. The Pirates were led by Jaz Medrano with another impressive 19-point total and Kaija Abriz with a posting of 18.

Meet PC History Instructor, Leslie Pelon

This week, we sat down with PC History Instructor Leslie Pelon to talk about her love of teaching, her approach to teaching in today’s classroom, and how a recent professional development opportunity took her all the way to Philadelphia.

Meet her in our latest Pirate Profile:

Cerro Coso Community College

SGCC Hosts Back-to-School Lunch for Students and Employees

Cheers to new beginnings! A new year and a new semester starting!

The Student Government of Cerro Coso (SGCC) hosted a Back-to-School lunch for fellow students and employees on Thursday, January 26th in the LRC at the Ridgecrest Campus.

It was a great chance for students, faculty, and colleagues to meet and great… and eat! Student Julianna Gorduyn, event coordinator and communications officer for the SGCC, coordinated the lunch that included tasty food from the local restaurant Casa Corona. 

Bakersfield College

BC Philosophy Department Welcomes Dr. Kelly

Dr. Kelly is a new faculty in the Philosophy department at Bakersfield College, returning to his Renegade roots as a 22-23 new tenure track faculty member. Some of Dr. Kelly’s prominent achievements include: 

1. He is first author on a chapter in the forthcoming anthology Evaluating the Brain Disease Model of Addiction from Routledge (2022). View the anthology information. His co-authors are addiction researchers at the University College London in the UK, and during some independent work on which they were collaborating, they asked Dr. Kelly to adapt some of his dissertation work into the piece that became their chapter. Side note: two of the anthology editors (Nick Heather and Sally Satel) are significant names in addiction research. Dr. Kelly notes these were scholars he was reading during grad school, “so it was a proud and somewhat surreal experience to contribute to their volume”.

2. Dr. Kelly also just recently had a separate single-author paper on the nature of addiction, “Towards a Dispositionalist (and Unifying) Account of Addiction,” accepted for publication to the peer-reviewed journal Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics, a top journal in philosophy of medicine. You can read the journal here.

3. Dr. Kelly is also an avid tennis player. In October he and his girlfriend took second place in the open division of the mixed doubles in the Kern County Tennis Championships.

We appreciate Dr. Kelly’s numerous contributions to Bakersfield College and look forward to his continued success.

BC Office of Student Life Begins Spring Distinguished Speaker Series

Last Thursday, the Office of Student Life held their first Distinguished Speaker for the Spring 2023 semester. Students, staff, and community members got to hear from Paralympic Gold medalist, Evan Austin the “practice of getting up” and “living life without limits no matter the adversity faced.” Evan connected with audiences by discussing the struggles he had faced growing up with a familial spastic paraparesis and the resilience he showed to become a world champion swimmer and Paralympic gold and bronze medalist.

Fun Photos & Spotted on Social Media

The Kern CCD team was well-represented last weekend at a job fair in Los Angeles:

Our team included Gina Duran, Osvaldo Del Valle (PC), John McHenry (CC) Laci Beyes (CC), James McGarrah (BC) and Kim Bergens (PC).

Cerro Coso Community College President Sean Hancock shared this from an event last weekend:

Cerro Coso went “Plane Crazy” at Mojave Air and Space Port! Thanks to Devin Daugherty for representing KCCD as today’s speaker – great job

Check out this video from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, featuring Joseph Sickler – a graduate of BC’s Inmate Education Program with Kern Valley Prison.

And here’s a great picture of Todd Coston and Manny Mourtzanos!


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

The future is bright at Kern CCD.

a joyful and grateful Chancellor


Kern CCD – Together we can meet our many needs

Started my week joining a group from Kern CCD at the MLK Community Awards Breakfast Celebration to honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Bishop Broderick A. Huggins’ gave a powerful keynote address.

Here are a few excerpts:

“Too many needs, together we can meet.
Too many prisons that need to be emptied.
Too much poverty.
Too much sickness.
Too much violence.
Too much political gridlock.
Too much social upheaval.
Too much racism.
Too much hatred.

The problems of our humanity are too complex and convoluted not to be active in the Freedom movement.
Freedom is not an event, document, or a piece of legislation, but Freedom is a lifestyle.”

Nothing essential should be circumstantial….Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness should not rest upon chance, circumstance, color, contingency, site,


Those assembled gathered to celebrate with local community leaders and to offer support in striving for equity and justice. 

Two individuals connected to our Kern CCD community were also recognized with awards – including Dr. Jessica Grimes, and Steve Watkin‘s son, BDP Detective Aaron Watkin.

An excerpt from the program about Dr. Jessica Grimes:

“Dr. Jessica Grimes has a heart for students – guiding them to achieve their short-term or long-term goals in higher education. A dynamic mentor and gifted administrator, Jessica prioritizes collaborating with academic and corporate communities to enhance career pathways, especially among disproportionately impacted students. Jessica brings her positive leadership skills to broaden the minds and expand opportunities for collegiate students from diverse backgrounds both in her hom of Kern County and across the Central Valley/Mother Lode.”


Here are some photos from the event:

Check out Steve Watkin rocking out:

Good morning friends.
It is January 21, 2023.
The sun shines bright over Kern CCD

Porterville College

PC Welcomes Students Back to Start the Spring Semester

After our latest bout of California storms, it’s great to see students back on campus again in numbers rivaling, and even beating, pre-pandemic enrollment numbers.  It seems that students are once again eager to continue their on-campus educational journeys at Porterville College. 

Faculty, Staff, and Students celebrated the return to classes with a week of welcome events hosted by student services and several academic divisions. As part of the celebration, the center of the Quad became a “tent city” – with pop-up tents from various programs and departments featuring information, PC Swag, services, and lining the inner circle.

Here are some photos from the welcome week activities: https://photos.app.goo.gl/mjhAeiXH3P8YP5Tp7

Men’s Basketball wins a tight one in overtime

This past Wednesday, the Porterville College men’s basketball team returned to PC for a real nail biter against the Columbia College Claim Jumpers. The game kept fans on the edge of their seats and didn’t let up until the final buzzer in overtime. At that final buzzer, the Pirates took the game 62-55.

The Pirates had a fierce back-and-forth with the Claim Jumpers during the first half with the game remaining scoreless for some time. Both teams tried to get the upper hand and the Pirates won out, scoring the first basket almost 4 minutes into the game.

Some great defensive play by the Pirates kept the Claim Jumpers to 7 until the Pirates took the lead nearly 10 minutes into the game with a rebound and full-court return by Kiya McQueen.  The teams would spend much of the game exchanging the lead until a jumper by Jake Abrams brought the game to a 14-14 tie.

The first half ended with the Pirate’s Quincy White sinking a 3-pointer and securing a nine-point lead on the Claim Jumpers going into halftime.

The second half was just as exciting as the first with impressive offensive and defensive displays from both teams.  The teams were tied multiple times throughout the half at 36-36, 40-40, and 43-43.  The teams were tied at 51 to end the half. 

Now, with five minutes left on the clock and a gym full of screaming fans, the teams played out the overtime.

The Pirates didn’t let up and seemed to tire out the Claim Jumpers as they started taking control. After ties at 53-53 and again at 55-55, the Pirates earned the upper hand thanks to Quincy White who snagged the rebound and made the layup as the buzzer blared for the final Pirate win!

Rethinking the College Experience

Faculty and staff gathered in the PC cafeteria on Friday, January 13th to reconnect and prepare for the coming semester at PC’s Spring Flex Opening Day event. 

Flex events are traditionally held before our Fall and Spring semesters as a professional development opportunity for faculty and staff on campus. We use this time to welcome the PC family back to campus and prepare for the return of students for the next semester of classes.

This year much of our time was spent focusing on how we can make the student experience better by rethinking the college experience for different student populations.

It was wonderful to be part of such creative and collegiate discussions on redesigning the student experience to increase access to educational and career opportunities for all. Witnessing discussions like these and those about improving our onboarding experience make it clear that our faculty and staff are incredibly dedicated to our student’s success.

“Guided Pathways Guru” Dr. Davis Jenkins was the keynote speaker for the day. He started the day with an address and some coaching for the group on building clear pathways to student success. PC Academic Senate President and Guided Pathways Faculty Lead Dr. Robert Simpkins then lead the group through several tabletop exercises to discuss rethinking the onboarding experience and ensuring learning for different student populations here at Porterville College.

Winning in the classroom as well as on the court

On another sports-related note, we are EXTREMELY excited to report that the 2022/2023 Basketball Team recorded its highest team GPA in the last eight years!  This is an amazing accomplishment, and proof that along with their fantastic work ethic and play on the court, these fine young men are great students as well.

Great job Pirates!

Cerro Coso Community College

Welcome Back Coyotes!

On Tuesday, January 17th, 2023, the Cerro Coso campus was full of action! With spring 2023 semester starting brings flurries of student activity back to campus.

The Outreach department, along with student ambassadors, were ready to welcome students back. They were equipped with class schedules, campus maps, and snacks to ensure students were set up for success.

Ivan Ibarra, a program mentor in the Outreach department, remarked, “Seeing the students fill up the campus once again was amazing to see! From new students stepping foot on campus for the first time, to former students returning to campus and walking the halls once again, to lifelong learners exploring new skills, everyone had a place here at Cerro Coso. The college was running like a well-oiled machine with the commitment of staff, faculty, and admin who all rejoiced in seeing students back on campus. Let the Spring Semester begin!”

We are so excited to see what Spring 2023 holds in store for Cerro Coso Coyotes! Good luck to all!

Student Spotlight: Jocelyn

Meet an enthusiastic and friendly member of the Cerro Coso Tehachapi campus: Jocelyn! She will graduate in the Spring of 2023 with three degrees: an AA-T in Psychology, an AA in Liberal Arts: Arts and Humanities, and an AA in Liberal Arts: Social and Behavioral Sciences. She recently applied to a few colleges and hopes to transfer to her #1 choice: California State University, Monterey Bay as a Psychology Major! Jocelyn earns money as a student worker at Cerro Coso, and also volunteers in the Promise Program, a scholarship program at Cerro Coso. Jocelyn has this to say about her Cerro Coso experience:

“Cerro Coso allowed me to explore my career options without financial pressure or racking up debt. At first, I wanted to do Early Childhood Education, but after taking some classes, I realized it wasn’t for me. I went on and tried different subjects, but when I took my first Psychology class, it really clicked for me! I realized I still wanted to be in a school environment, but not necessarily teaching.”

“I’d like to give a shout-out to Karee Hamilton, my counselor, and Heather Bopp for helping me get into the Promise Program. They’ve been very helpful to me and my classmates. I’d also like to show appreciation to my Mom! She’s very understanding and supportive of my education. I’m really hard on myself, and she always assures me that I’m doing the best I can.”

Full-time Faculty Hiring Seminar Set

Cerro Coso Community College’s Human Resources department is holding a Full-Time Faculty Hiring Seminar on Tuesday, January 24, from 6-8 pm. During the webinar, faculty will share information about preparing your resume, writing your philosophy of education, creating your teaching demo and of course – nailing the interview.

Faculty will also be available to answer questions and meet and breakout rooms.

Register for the virtual webinar at https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZMlcOCgqDgtGtKbGGNBrD1UrwZOloFlxqfJ.

Bakersfield College

Opening Day at Bakersfield College was a success! Staff and faculty came together to celebrate the start of the spring semester and unite around our collective goal to support and encourage our students.

Vice President of Instruction Billie Jo Rice gave an inspirational presentation about how connected we all are at BC, and many other staff and faculty offered invaluable information to help meet the students’ needs. What a great way to kick off the semester! 

Miracle Mutts at BC

BC was fortunate enough to host four of Marley’s Mutts therapy dogs on Thursday the 19th! Students and staff spent time in the Library lobby petting and visiting with the dogs. Therapy dogs are trained to help lift spirits and alleviate stress in many different settings, including higher ed! 

First Day of Spring Semester

BC students are back on campus, ready to dive into their classes! Student Life and other campus organizations set up tents around campus to welcome students with hot coffee and muffins on their first day. After a long break and gloomy weather, it was wonderful to see the campus come alive again with students socializing and the BC team ready to support them.

Kern CCD at Chamber of Commerce

On Thursday, Jan. 19 the Kern CCD and Bakersfield College teams joined the Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce for the Annual Board Installation & Awards Luncheon.  The luncheon was a celebration of accomplishments made in 2022 and an opportunity to honor the volunteers who helped make the Chamber successful.  The luncheon highlighted the tremendous success of the California Forward Summit. Congratulations to the 2023 Chairman of the Board of Directors Ken Keller, President/CEO of Bakersfield Memorial Hospital – Dignity Health.

Kern CCD TALE Blog

Check out this week’s post in the Teaching-and-Learning-Exchange Blog (https://kernccdtaleblog.org/).

Oliver Rosales wrote about “Culturally Responsive Teaching, Innovation, and Public Humanities” and shared his experience with the Digital Delano archive, and how it led to other opportunities.

I find my own learning is continuously advanced by embracing culturally responsive teaching in Delano.  I’ve become fascinated by the use of ArcGIS and geospatial technologies and its capacity not only to create new forms of digital archives, but also how technology can be used to visually map communities in new ways.  The intersection of the work I’ve done in Delano and ArcGIS technologies informs my approach to the Whiting Foundation’s Public Engagement fellowship.  

Fun Photos & Spotted on Social Media

I enjoyed receiving this photo of the Chemistry faculty at BC celebrating the new department chair. It is so wonderful to see all the smiling faces.

Lotus Communications and the Spanish Radio Group held the 1st Annual Tu Voz Tu Héroe dinner Thursday night – 25 community leaders received the Hispanic Hero Award, many of them friends of Kern CCD and Bakersfield College.  Our own Norma Rojas-Mora was one of the individuals honored. 

Bill Moseley shared this image of Memorial Stadium:

Beautiful morning at the home of the Renegades. #WeAreBC

PC President Claudia Habib shared this post about Dual Enrollment students from Granite High

Today we welcomed Junior students from @granite_high @PortervilleUSD for a tour of the campus and library. They were proud to receive their PC student I.D. #DualEnrollment students are #CollegeStudents @PCollegePirates #Onboarding #FacultyChampion #HistoryClass #StudentSuccess

And check out this great video promoting Cerro Coso Community College:


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

The future is bright at Kern CCD.

a joyful and grateful Chancellor


KernCCD using our platform for good – Celebrating MLK 2023

This weekend, many of us will enjoy a three-day weekend as we honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who would have turned 94 on Sunday. As we pause to remember his contributions as a civil rights leader, I wanted to share a touching monument that also celebrates the love he shared with his wife, Coretta Scott King.

Yesterday, the city of Boston unveiled a memorial to Martin Luther King Jr. and his wife, Coretta Scott King. The statue, titled “The Embrace,” is modeled after an image of the couple hugging.

Boston was an important city for the Kings – Martin and Coretta met while he was a student at Boston University, studying philosophy and ethics, and she was studying opera at the New England Conservatory of Music.

During the ceremony, the Kings’ son Martin Luther King III spoke. His wife, Arndrea Waters King and their daughter, Yolanda Renee King, also gave remarks. You can watch the video on the NBCBoston website.

Yolanda, only 14 years old, closed with:

I am also challenged by their inspiring legacies of vision and courage and hope and healing. But I know that I am not alone. There is a sense in which we are all children and grandchildren of Martin and Coretta Scott King. We are all challenged to carry forth their unfinished work. This is the spirit we must keep as commemorate the 37th Martin Luther King Jr. holiday on Monday.
Let’s make it a great day of community service – a day of brotherhood, a day of sisterhood. A day of using your platform for good. A day of love and healing in the spirit of this wonderful monument.

Check out last year’s post: KCCD Colleges always a “stone of hope” for our communities. Celebrating MLK 2022. https://sonyachristianblog.com/2022/01/15/kccd-colleges-always-a-stone-of-hope-for-our-communities-celebrating-mlk-2022/

Good morning friends.
It is January 14, 2023.
The sun shines bright over Kern CCD

Porterville College

Native American Student Orientation

The excitement has started to build for next week’s start of classes as some of our student programs began holding orientation meetings around campus. 

The Native American and Alaskan Native Student Services Program welcomed some of its newest students to PC during a lunchtime orientation held on Monday.

Native American Services Program Counselor Katherine Figueroa-Fernandez held the orientation for incoming Freshmen of Native American or Alaskan Native Descent during a luncheon held in the Student Center Conference Room.

Pirate in a Day Helps Students with Last-Minute Registration Questions and Issues

The Student Services office offered last-minute help to nearly 200 last-minute registrants this week during our final Pirate in a Day registration event for Spring Semester.

These events provide a one-stop shop for students who need help with the registration process.  Faculty and Staff are on hand to provide counseling and information on helpful programs and services for students such as student support programs and available financial aid.  They also help students with course registration and assist with the creation of students’ educational plans.

Cerro Coso Community College

Dr. Hancock at Ridgecrest Chamber Luncheon

On Tuesday January 10th, Dr. Sean Hancock had the opportunity to speak with the community at the Ridgecrest Chamber Luncheon. Dr. Hancock’s presentation highlighted key points about who we are and Cerro Coso’s mission to “improve the life of every student it serves.” 

The community was very engaged throughout Dr. Hancock’s presentation and appeared particularly interested in Cerro Coso recently being ranked by Inteligent.com as one of the Best Community Colleges in California in 2023. When asked by an audience member about ongoing partnerships with China Lake Naval Air Weapons Station, Dr. Hancock emphasized the college’s role in providing students trained in cyber security technology to the base and the future development of a baccalaureate degree in cyber security technology.

Dr. Hancock went on to highlight Cerro Coso’s work with local military and aerospace employers through the Military and Aerospace Workforce Coalition, meeting with China Lake, Edwards Air Force Base, and Mojave Air and Space Port. Dr. Hancock is always eager for the opportunity to speak with Ridgecrest community members and thanks the Ridgecrest Chamber of Commerce for hosting this luncheon.

Bringing the Arcade to the CC Student Center

Desert Valleys Federal Credit Union is a long-time supporter of Cerro Coso Community College’s Foundation, and they recently donated four arcade game machines to the CCCC Foundation! These arcade games are four classics that would be seen in any arcade, bowling alley, or pizza parlor. The free arcade games, The Simpsons, Mortal Combat, Marvel Superheroes, and Teenage Ninja Turtles, are conveniently located in the Student Center of the IWV Cerro Coso campus. The perfect place to wind down and get your gaming on!

Whether students or staff are taking a study break, on their lunch, or in between classes, the arcade machines will be used and enjoyed! It is safe to say most Cerro Coso staff members feel the same way; Cerro Coso staff member Addy Windsor states, “the games in the student center are great- perfect for students to enjoy between classes and fun for the staff too!”

Thank you so much to Desert Valleys Federal Credit Union! We thank you for your continuous support of Cerro Coso Community College.

How Will They Transform the World?

Cerro Coso nursing students celebrated their completion of the program by participating in a Pinning and Capping Ceremony on the afternoon of Friday, December 9th.

The students lit lamps, recited pledges and received caps and pins as symbols of their preparedness to serve as compassionate caregivers. Family and friends filled the College Lecture Center to witness the ceremony and support their loved ones as they celebrated the completion of the highly respected and rigorous vocational nursing program at CCCC.

The thirteen nursing students honored were: Shannon Davis, Dezerea Edulag, Natalie Grubbs, Crystal Hardison, Rana Khalifeh, Kylee Koch, Valerie Lucero, Dawnell McKnight, DeAnnaSamantha Mellor, Kyla Mercado, Esteffany Ponce, Sesli Watson, and TaMara Williams. 

The capping and pinning ceremony signifies the official initiation into the brotherhood and sisterhood of nurses. It is a proud moment for the students as they are welcomed into the nursing profession.

“You have chosen an honorable profession.  One that is demanding both psychologically and physically, and holds a lot of responsibility,” said Cerro Coso President Dr. Sean Hancock.  “You may be sitting there thinking – I’m not prepared for what is next.  I am here to assure you that you are.  I have great confidence in the education you have received here at Cerro Coso,” he said.  “I declare, you are well equipped to accept the challenges ahead.  Whatever they may be.”

Bakersfield College

BC Staff Move Into New Welcome Center

Bakersfield College staff are thrilled to have a new facility opening soon for students to use as a one stop shop for resources and answers to questions. Staff have now started moving in before the facility officially opens. 

Garden Fest is Back!

Bakersfield College’s Garden Fest is returning Saturday, April 15th, 2023 from 9am-4pm. This year’s theme is “Here We Grow Again” and will feature presentations and artisans sharing how we can incorporate nature in our daily lives. The event will be filled with activities, vendors, food trucks, and several of BC’s student clubs and organizations. This event is for the whole family, so mark your calendars and get ready for another great Garden Fest! 

In the News

College president shares latest news with Chamber members

The Daily Independent of Ridgecrest published this article about Cerro Coso President Sean Hancock’s report to the Ridgecrest Chamber of Commerce.

“I am very appreciative of Cerro Coso families who went through earthquakes, Covid, weather, forest fire threat, and all kinds of things that were attacking our operation. We persevered. Whenever we face a challenge, we will figure it out. We have done it over and over again,” said Hancock.

BC unveils new women’s wrestling team at spring media day

Did you catch this update from The Bakersfield Californian after BC’s spring media day? Bakersfield College debuted their new women’s wrestling team.

“I think for any first program, we just want to build a strong foundation,” (coach Andrea) Prise said. “We want to have our fundamentals solid so that from here we can just keep building and building.”

Fun Photos & Spotted on Social Media

Norma Rojas-Mora shared this update:

Thank you to my Councilwoman Manpreet Kaur for the appointment to Bakersfield Public Safety/Vital City Services Measure N Citizens Oversight Committee & to Chancellor @sonyachristian for your ongoing support-ready to serve Ward 7 my community & @KernCCD #communityfirst #womenlead

Nicole Parra spoke at Rotary and shared this post:

Thank you Pete Leveroni for inviting me to speak at Rotary this morning! Great to see so many KernCCD Rotarians like Cheryl Harris Scott and Chancellor Emeritus Tom Burke! Thank you Stacey Shepard and Sara Sullivan KernCCD CREL team for joining me!
I am proud to be part of a team at KernCCD helping to lead our community in efforts to bring more resources, leverage relationships and support efforts to continue to feed, transport and defend our State. #Energy #workforcedevelopment #crelkccd
#community #hustle
Thank you Chancellor Sonya Christian & our KernCCD Trustees for supporting our teams to move the work!

Here are a few photos she shared of some of our Kern CCD team:

NaTesha Johnson shared this post:

Thank you Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce for inviting me to be a guest speaker for your Business Academy in Delano! I had the best time sharing about business and all the free business resources offered at the Bakersfield College Launchpad!!!
I truly enjoy working with our newest entrepreneurs in Kern! Continue the great work!!! Bringing Business Back!
Launchpad #bakersfieldcollege #BCLaunchpad #entrepreneurship

And check out this beautiful sunrise that Bill Moseley shared:


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

The future is bright at Kern CCD.

a joyful and grateful Chancellor


Rain bathing CA in glee

Rain in California…. just a glorious week with the ground soaking up the much needed water, brilliant rainbows, sunrises and sunsets.

In California, we welcome rain with glee. So here is a poem by Emily Dickenson that captures the relationship of Californians with rain as opposed to poets like Longfellow that write about rain representing the dreary and the gloom without sunshine.

Summer Shower
by Emily Dickenson

A drop fell on the apple tree,
Another on the roof;
A half a dozen kissed the eaves,
And made the gables laugh.

A few went out to help the brook,
That went to help the sea.
Myself conjectured, Were they pearls,
What necklaces could be!

The dust replaced in hoisted roads,
The birds jocoser sung;
The sunshine threw his hat away,
The orchards spangles hung.

The breezes brought dejected lutes,
And bathed them in the glee;
The East put out a single flag,
And signed the fete away.

Having grown up in Kerala, India, rain was part of life… monsoons with warm and heavy rain. Here is a one-minute youtube video to give you a sense of the place where I grew up.


Last year, in early January, I highlighted some of the books I read in 2021. Thinking I might start doing this each January … begin a blog tradition. Take a few moments and drop your list of books in the comments.

Here are some of the books I read in 2022:

The Cry of the Kalahari by Mark and Delia Owens

“Carrying little more than a change of clothes and a pair of binoculars, two young Americans, Mark and Delia Owens, caught a plane to Africa, bought a thirdhand Land Rover, and drove deep into the Kalahari Desert. There they lived for seven years, in an unexplored area with no roads, no people, and no source of water for thousands of square miles. In this vast wilderness the Owenses began their zoology research, working along animals that had never before been exposed to humans.”


The Mighty and the Almighty: Reflections on America, God, and World Affairs by Madeleine Albright

“In The Mighty and the Almighty, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright examines religion and foreign affairs through the lens of U.S. history as well as her own experience in public office. She offers a sharp critique of U.S. policy, condemnation for those who exploit religious fervor for violent ends, and praise for political, cultural, and spiritual leaders who seek to harness the values of faith to unite us in these confusing and dangerous times.


The Song of the Cell: An Exploration of Medicine and the New Human by Siddhartha Mukherjee

Mukherjee tells the story of how scientists discovered cells, began to understand them, and are now using that knowledge to create new humans. He seduces you with writing so vivid, lucid, and suspenseful that complex science becomes thrilling. Told in six parts, laced with Mukherjee’s own experience as a researcher, a doctor, and a prolific reader, The Song of the Cell is both panoramic and intimate—a masterpiece.


The Distance Between Us: A Memoir by Reyna Grande

“In this inspirational and unflinchingly honest memoir, acclaimed author Reyna Grande describes her childhood torn between the United States and Mexico, and shines a light on the experiences, fears, and hopes of those who choose to make the harrowing journey across the border.


Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

“Where the Crawdads Sing is at once an exquisite ode to the natural world, a heartbreaking coming-of-age story, and a surprising tale of possible murder. Owens reminds us that we are forever shaped by the children we once were, and that we are all subject to the beautiful and violent secrets that nature keeps.”


The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa Yoko Ogawa

Yoko Ogawa’s The Housekeeper and the Professor is an enchanting story about what it means to live in the present, and about the curious equations that can create a family.


The Loneliest Americans by Jay Caspian Kang

The Loneliest Americans is the unforgettable story of Kang and his family as they move from a housing project in Cambridge to an idyllic college town in the South and eventually to the West Coast. Their story unfolds against the backdrop of a rapidly expanding Asian America, as millions more immigrants, many of them working-class or undocumented, stream into the country. At the same time, upwardly mobile urban professionals have struggled to reconcile their parents’ assimilationist goals with membership in a multicultural elite—all while trying to carve out a new kind of belonging for their own children, who are neither white nor truly “people of color.”


The Art of Living: Peace and Freedom in the Here and Now by Thich Nhat Hanh

“In troubled times, there is an urgency to understand ourselves and our world. We have so many questions, and they tug at us night and day, consciously and unconsciously. In this important volume Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh——one of the most revered spiritual leaders in the world today——reveals an art of living in mindfulness that helps us answer life’s deepest questions and experience the happiness and freedom we desire.”


Deadliest Enemy: Our War Against Killer Germs by Michael T. Osterholm and Mark Olshaker

“In today’s world, it’s easier than ever to move people, animals, and materials around the planet, but the same advances that make modern infrastructure so efficient have made epidemics and even pandemics nearly inevitable. And as outbreaks of COVID-19, Ebola, MERS, and Zika have demonstrated, we are woefully underprepared to deal with the fallout. So what can — and must — we do in order to protect ourselves from mankind’s deadliest enemy?”


Check out the books I read in 2021 –



Good morning friends.
It is January 7, 2023.
The sun shines bright over Kern CCD

Porterville College

Become a Pirate in a Day

Porterville College invites prospective students to the next Become a Pirate in a Day event on Wednesday, January 11, from 9 am to 4 pm on campus.

Students can meet with a counselor/adviser, register for classes, and apply for financial aid and other support services.

Classes begin January 17, so take advantage of this opportunity to become a PC student!

American Indian/Alaskan Native Orientation

American Indian / Alaskan Native Students – don’t miss the Spring 2023 Orientation this Monday, Jan. 9th, from 12 – 1pm on campus!

There will be free lunch, backpacks, school supplies, Native American resources and other important information.

Cerro Coso Community College

ESCC Mammoth Campus Covered in Snow!

The town of Mammoth Lakes is getting some much-needed snowfall. Kim Blackwell, ESCC Director states, “it is absolutely dumping snow.”

According to the snow report, Mammoth has received 69 inches in the last eight days, and there seems to be no end in sight! Mammoth Lakes has received 300+ inches this winter season, and it is only January. If the storm cycles continue, it is going to be a historical record-breaking snowfall year for the town of Mammoth Lakes.

Blackwell excitedly expresses, “my office is an actual snow globe!” The ESCC Mammoth Campus has snowpack covering the windows. James Markham, part of the ESCC M&O team, finds himself snowplowing continuously during these snowy days.

Thank you, James!  

Snowpack in the Eastern Sierra Mountains is crucial to help fight the California drought that is currently taking place—that is why the enormous amounts of snowfall in Mammoth Lakes is very important this year.

To the ESCC campus and community, stay safe and warm! Enjoy the snowfall.

Two Attend Basic Needs Conference

Vice President Heather Ostash and Katie Bachman, Director of Outreach Services attended the #RealCollegeCalifornia Basic Needs Summit on Friday, December 9, 2022, at San Bernardino College.

Workshops and panel presentations covered topics such as food security, housing, health and mental health services, approaches to student outreach and identification, data collection, and fundraising efforts. More than ever before, our colleges are seeking innovative solutions and best practices to address basic needs insecurity among our students. 

Bakersfield College

Arvin Early College Celebration

Bakersfield College and Arvin High School welcomed 60 new 9th grade students into the Early College program, joining the other 10th – 12th grade students who are also working on earning an associates degree while in high school.

Students from all grade levels and their parents filed into the auditorium at Arvin High School to hear from representatives from the high school, Kern High School District, Bakersfield College, and Kern Community College District.

Early College Director, Kylie Campbell, shared a recent article from EdSource that has a picture of Arvin High’s Sophomore class in one of their communication courses. Campbell shared with them that:

“BC has the largest dual enrollment program in the state, and it is because of schools like Arvin High. It is the relationship between Bakersfield College and Arvin High that allows us to keep growing this program and welcoming more students into the program each year.”

2022 Basic Needs Summit

For the past several years, the Community College League of California has hosted the annual Basic Needs Summit to discuss high-impact practices that address quality of life, housing, and food insecurity concerns of our students. BC’s Office of Student Life sent representatives Dr. Nicky Damania, Caitlin Davidson, Kimy Salazar, Jordaun Bennett, and Jade Adams to the conference at San Bernardino Valley College.

BC representatives  were hand selected to be the closing presentation for the conference due to the reputation of the Students of Concern Team. The League asked the BC team to present the work being done at BC to an audience of 350 colleagues from across the state including college presidents, board trustees, students, and other Basic Needs managers. The presentation highlighted the disproportionately high levels of food insecurity, homelessness, and basic needs services needed in community college students and how the Renegade Pantry works with the Students of Concern team to advocate for students’ basic needs including mental health support to increase student persistence and completion rates.  

BC Women’s Soccer Success

Under the direction of head coach Edgar Linares, the Bakersfield College Women’s Soccer program went from a season of doubt and obstacles to being one of our most successful teams in fall 2022 for BC Athletics. Coach Linares rebounded from a 4-12-2 overall record last year to a 11-6-5 record this year, finishing with a playoff berth for the first time since 2018. After a promising showing in his first season as a Head Coach, Edgar immediately hit the recruiting trail looking for the top student athletes in Kern County. This year’s Women’s Soccer team proudly recruited student athletes from 14 different Kern High Schools including Tehachapi, Shafter, and Arvin.

Umoja’s Kwanzaa Celebration

Umoja Community students celebrated Kwanzaa and marked the end to a successful fall semester.

Kwanzaa is cultural holiday created by Dr. Maulana Karenga in 1965. Each day from December 26 through January 1 focuses on a principle, such as unity or creativity or faith. A candle is lit each day.

Students who were particularly active in Umoja and those who distinguished themselves academically received special Umoja gear gifts.

Industrial Automation Holds 2nd Annual Alumni Panel

The Bachelor of Science Industrial Automation program held their second annual Industrial Automation Alumni Panel. This year’s panel included an alumnus from the first graduating class of 2018 along with alumni from 2019, 2021, and 2022. This year’s panel featured two alumni who have quickly reached a seniority position at their place of employment.

Check out this video to learn more about Richard Van Horne, Senior Maintenance Manager at Amazon, and Chad Hidalgo, Senior Automation Technician at Berry Corporation.

Fun Photos & Spotted on Social Media

Mindy Wilmot shared this post about her journey from faculty to administration:

Nicole Parra was getting work done in Sacramento:

Nicole also posted a photo of me with California Labor Secretary Stewart Knox:


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

The future is bright at Kern CCD.

a joyful and grateful Chancellor