Tag Archives: Cerro Coso College

Thanksgiving 2021–To live gratitude is to touch heaven

To speak gratitude is courteous and pleasant,
to enact gratitude is generous and noble,
but to live gratitude is to touch heaven
– Johannes Gaetner

Wednesday afternoon, I was on the road heading south to my daughter’s place at Marina Del Rey to spend Thanksgiving with her, since she is working through the holiday. The drive took about twice as long as usual, with the notorious Wednesday pre-thanksgiving traffic. I let myself comfortably sink into the slow drive and my mind wandered.

Thanksgiving — I give thanks for my parents Paul and Pam, for a loving and generously irreverent upbringing.  

Paul Christian, Kevin Christian, Roy Christian, Pam Christian, Anita Christian & Sonya Christian

I give thanks for Dr. Rick Wright and Dr. Jim Young for signing the required papers for my green card that put me on the path to become a citizen of this great country. 

I give thanks for the 7-member Board of Trustees who take such good care of all of us in the Kern Community College District.

I give thanks for all of my dear colleagues, who are so committed to our students and to one another. I give thanks for the amazing community that surrounds our Kern Community College District, and the support you all have for our colleges and most importantly, our students.

Most importantly, I’m so grateful for our amazing students who find the resolve to persevere through all the many challenges they encounter. I’m thankful for the innovative future that they will help create when they finish their education, and how they’ll use their motivation and drive to transform the lives of their families and our community.

I hope you all enjoyed some time with friends and loved ones both far and near over this Thanksgiving weekend.

As I do every year, I took some time to look over my blog posts from throughout this year, as well as those from the past few Thanksgivings (2020, 201920182017, and 2016).

I truly have so much to be grateful for.

Happy Thanksgiving

Good morning, friends…
It is November 27, 2021.
The sun shines bright over KCCD.

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


Porterville College

Men’s Basketball goes 2-0 at Milt Stowe Classic, moves to 5-1 for season!

The Porterville College men’s basketball team had a very successful stretch during its home tournament, the Milt Stowe Classic, winning both games. The Pirates opened play in the first game of the tournament with a thrilling 63-61 victory over the Bakersfield College Renegades and closed out the two-day event by defeating Moorpark College 90-78.

PC is off to one of its best starts in program history under new head coach Amaurys Fermin at 5-1.

The Pirates opening contest against Bakersfield came down to the final minutes. Porterville trailed 33-24 at halftime, but in the second half, the Pirates chipped away at the lead, and with seven minutes to play, PC built up a 53-43 lead.

Bakersfield responded with an 11-0 run over the next three minutes to get back out in front 54-53. But with 3:20 left, Quame Smith’s bucket after a missed free throw gave PC the lead for good at 55-54. Porterville put together a 7-0 run and was able to hold off a late Bakersfield surge for the win.

Chirrag Sidhu led Porterville in the contest with 14 points. Isaiah Josue totaled 10 points and 5 assists while Julio Phipps had 7 points, 10 rebounds, and 5 assists. Smith ended the game with 9 points and 5 rebounds.

2021 Milt Stowe Classic Results

Day 1
Moorpark 99
, West Hills Coalinga 97
Porterville 63, Bakersfield 61

Day 2
Bakersfield 72, West Hills Coalinga 51
Porterville 90, Moorpark 78

Porterville College President Claudia Habib with tournament namesake Milt Stowe

PC Fire Academy Graduates 24 in its 37th Class of Cadets

Twenty-four graduates from the Porterville College Fire Academy’s 37th class were honored during a ceremony on Thursday, November 18th.

The ceremony was recorded at Porterville Fire Station 2, where the Academy’s facilities are located. The event was pre-recorded to keep the event small enough to allow for COVID safety protocols and will be shared with the families and friends of the cadets via YouTube and the Porterville College Website.

The graduates each completed an intensive, 12-week training program to get here. Several of the cadets were honored with awards and scholarships, including scholarships presented by the families of Ray Figueroa and Patrick Jones – two firefighters who tragically lost their lives in the fire that destroyed the Porterville Public library on February 18, 2020.

Taylor Christiansen

The cadets also presented their class project to the academy – a large pull-up apparatus to “help future cadets stay strong”. According to Class Battalion Chief Taylor Christiansen, “We have included this plaque that is inscribed, ‘In memory of Captain Ray Figueroa and Firefighter Patrick Jones’ and then the slogan we’ve been living by, ‘Be Better Every Day’.”

Claudia Habib
Mario Garcia

Chief Mario Garcia, who retired from the Porterville Fire Department, is an instructor with the Academy. He led the evening’s program in the absence of Program Coordinator and Porterville Fire Chief Dave Lapere, who is out on medical leave. 


Cerro Coso Community College

ISEP Leadership attends 2021 NCHEP

Cerro Coso’s Incarcerated Student Education Program (ISEP) faculty and administration attended the National Conference on Higher Education in Prison (NCHEP) November 11-14 in Denver, Colorado.  The conference is not only an event – it’s a lifeline for the community of people who are committed to expanding educational opportunities for students who are currently or formerly incarcerated.

The annual gathering brings together people working to expand the field of higher education in prison, and offers an opportunity for higher education in prison community members to be heard, supported, and inspired.  Fostering collaboration, the conference is an incubator for new projects and initiatives, and a trusted venue for constructive dialogue. 

Attendees leave the conference with new tools and connections, as well as a renewed sense of purpose and confidence.

Peter Fulks, Professor of Administration of Justice, and Alec Griffin, Professor of Anthropology, hosted a workshop at the conference on The Insurgency Model: Leveraging the Collaborative Processes Across Institutions. The workshop focused on how establishing a strategic campus model is a specialty and stand-out component of the Cerro Coso Incarcerated Student Education Program.  The goal of the workshop was for attendees to identify hard truths in their program and begin to create a strategic goal to manage and leverage strengths, understand and plan with weakness in mind, identify opportunities for personal and programmatic growth, and clearly identify program threats that could be internal and external. 

Cerro Coso attendees included: Jesus Gaytan, Alec Griffin, Peter Fulks, Kristie Nichols, Anna Carlson, Melissa Bowen, Chad Houck, Nicole Griffin, and Suzanne Phillips.

Vigneault Shares Naval Academy Experience

MIDN 1/C Grant David Vigneault a 2018 Burroughs High School graduate and a current member of the Class of 2022 at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD, shared his insights and advice to all those interested in the Naval Academy on Monday, November 22.  

Grant is a Robotics, Control Systems, and Weapons Engineering major with a focus in Engineering Management.  He is a member of the Navy Spirit team where he has served as the captain of the Mascot Team for two consecutive years.  Grant spent his entire childhood in the Ridgecrest area before departing for Maryland in 2018.  He enjoys hiking, fishing, baseball, and the military lifestyle. 

The U.S. Naval Academy is the undergraduate college of our country’s naval service.  Located in Annapolis, MD, it prepares young men and women to become professional Officers of competence, character, and compassion in the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps.   Naval Academy students are midshipmen on Active Duty in the U.S. Navy.  They attend the Academy for four years, graduating with Bachelor of Science degrees and commissions as Ensigns in the Navy or Second Lieutenants in the Marine Corps.  Naval Academy graduates serves at least five years in the Navy or Marine Corps. 

Grant spoke on topics including the admissions process, student life, and what to expect post-graduation followed by a question and answer session. 

Charitable Giving – Gifts that Support a Cause

The CCCC Foundation participated in the third annual ALTERNATIVE GIFT FAIR hosted by the Rotary Club of China Lake on Saturday, November 20 from 10 am to 2 pm at the SpringHill Suites.   The event promotes meaningful gift giving and support for local non-profit organizations.  

The Gift Fair enables shoppers to purchase holiday gifts for their loved ones in a festive, family, and community-friendly environment.  Participating nonprofit organizations create shopping lists of cash designations, ranging in value from $10 to $200, that reflect the needs of the organization.  For each donation, the shopper receives a holiday card provided by the Giving Fair and an insert with a description of the organization and gift. 

The Foundation’s theme for this year’s booth was “Give the Gift of Education this Holiday Season” and offered participants the opportunity to donate a parking pass for $20, a $100 donation to the Coyote Cupboard, or $200 to help offset the cost of books. 

2021 has been a difficult year for everyone, and especially Cerro Coso students many whom have faced uncertainty in their home, work, and school life.  The CCCC Foundation is here to help students reach their full potential and overcome the many challenges they face through scholarships, emergency aid, food pantry, faculty support, and more.  

Every dollar donated to the CCCC Foundation makes a significant impact on the life of a Cerro Coso student. 


Bakersfield College

BC Received $5 Million Grant for STEM Programs

Bakersfield College has been awarded $5 million for the Step Up to STEM: Start Strong, Stay Strong, Finish Strong project from the United States Department of Education as part of their Hispanic Serving Institutions – Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Articulation program. The Kern Community College District Board of Trustees formally accepted the grant award on November 18, 2021.

​​The five-year funding agreement will support activities to enhance STEM student success, supporting Hispanic and Latinx students from lower-income backgrounds and those that have first generation college-student status.  Read the full press release Bakersfield College Receives $5 Million Grant Designed To Support The Hispanic Serving Institutions Stem Programs, With Focus On Program Expansion And Student Completion and the story from 23ABC Bakersfield College awarded $5 million from U.S. Department of Education.

National Radiologic Technology Week

Last week, BC’s Radiologic Technology program celebrated National Radiologic Technology Week, a celebration to commemorate the discovery of the x-ray by Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen on November 8th, 1895. The day calls attention to the importance of medical imaging and radiation therapy professionals in patient care and healthcare safety. 

BC’s program is also adding a mammography certificate for the program’s students and the technologists in our community that will start in Spring 2022.

Criminal Justice Students Visit Kern County Sheriff’s Office

BC’s Criminal Justice students had the opportunity to visit several departments throughout the Kern County Sheriff’s Office. 

From demonstrations with a K9 deputy, crisis negotiators team, SWAT, bomb squad, and air support units, students engaged with officers learning what it takes to qualify for those specialty departments.

Students had the opportunity to learn what an average and sometimes, life changing day is like for the KCSO team. 


In the News

The Cutting Edge: TV pilot being produced in Porterville

I read in the The Porterville Recorder about the filming of TV pilot “Porterville,” a police drama about a murderer on the loose in Porterville. I am so proud that three of our Porterville College students – Leslie Ochoa, Florentino Linas, and Erika Coon – served as production assistants!

Denice Aguilera, a Kern Promise student from BC who went on to CSUB, was featured in US News & World Report’s 2022 Guidebook. She was one of several students who shared their strategies for paying for college.

Aguilera lives at home, saving on living expenses, and works as a peer mentor for other students taking advantage of the Kern Promise. The introvert now acts as a leader, offering advice and answering questions as students adjust to college. While at Bakersfield College, she also tutored students and volunteered at the computer commons. She expects to graduate debt-free.

Aguilera encourages high school students not to overlook community colleges. “It’s a smaller community,” she notes, and “staff, faculty and students can know you.” She plans to graduate with honors, become a certified public accountant and “come back to work for Bakersfield College. I fell in love with BC. It’s my home.”

You can read her story on the US News & World Report website.

For more information about the guidebook, check out Best Colleges 2022 Guidebook (usnews.com).

Fun Photos/Spotted on Social Media

Porterville College’s campus on a gorgeous fall day, courtesy of professor Jonathan Hernandez:

BC Industrial Automation shared this post:

Glad we were able to participate in the @SME_MFG Smart Manufacturing Roundtable to discuss accelerating the adoption of smarter manufacturing in order to stay competitive with the global advance manufacturing industry. #WeAreBC#IndustrialAutomation#Automation

Here’s Bill Moseley’s beautiful family enjoying time together on Thanksgiving:

Happy Thanksgiving

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

The future is bright at KCCD.

-sonya
a joyful and grateful Chancellor

#KCCDDaringMightyThings

Remembering Jack – an afterlife on this Earth

We all have an afterlife on this Earth. An afterlife of our stories remembered by those who have known us for many years…
My life lives on in them, especially in my daughter and my sister.
And they will tell stories that I do not know, will never know. He did this, he did that, can you believe it!
That is my afterlife here on Earth. That is our afterlife here on Earth.

Community Voices: Our Lives. Our Stories.
Jack Hernandez. March 25, 2021

This week, Bakersfield lost a legend. Jack Hernandez was one of the sweetest, most brilliant people I’ve ever had the pleasure to know. I know many of you have known Jack, or seen him writing at Dagny’s. It is hard to put into words how tremendous his impact on Bakersfield College and our Bakersfield community has been over the past 60 years.

Sonya Christian, Jack Hernandez, Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Bob Allison, and Jerry Ludeke

Jack grew up near Detroit and graduated from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor’s in English and philosophy and a Master’s degree in English language and literature.

In 1961, he joined Bakersfield College as a faculty member.

He began his Renegade career as a philosophy professor, and he also served as Dean of Students and as Vice Chancellor before returning to teach philosophy in 1984. In 1989, he became Chair of the philosophy department, and in 1996 he won the Shirley Trembley Distinguished Teaching Award.

Untitled photo

In 2007, he began organizing events for the newly-created Norman Levan Center for the Humanities. He spent 10 years developing and caring for a space the celebrate arts and scholarship before he retired in 2017. He also launched the Norman Levan Faculty Colloquium.

Untitled photo

He was a prolific writer, spending hours at Dagny’s Coffee Shop penning Community Voices pieces for the Bakersfield Californian or writing one of his many poems – some of which he would send to me, and I would publish in my blog. His writing was truly extraordinary – he had such a gift with words and turn of phrase and was able to capture emotion and nuance so beautifully. I have so enjoyed sharing these pieces with all of you.

Untitled photo

One of the last poems he sent me hadn’t made it to my blog yet, but I will share it with you now.

He sent this on November 1st with the note “Hope…”

A Glass

Hope is empty
until filled
with liquid dreams
shaken and held
up to the light,
a toast to a future
of thirst’s delight.

Desires quenched,
prophesies fulfilled,
the glass now empty
is carefully shelved
for another day.

Check out this 3-min video from Thursday’s KCCD Board meeting.

Jack leaves behind a monumental legacy in our district and in this community. His infectious passion for literature and the humanities inspired generations of students, including Reggie Williams, who took Jack’s Intro to Philosophy course when he was a student at Bakersfield College and now continues his legacy as the current director of the Levan Center.

Jack Hernandez and Reggie Williams

Here is a paragraph from the bc_all email sent by Jerry Ludeke.

Throughout it all, Jack has been Jack.  You always knew what you were getting with Jack…..clear thinking (maybe a bit esoteric or humorously a bit sarcastic), clear writing (going from essays to plays to academic papers and most recently free flowing poetry), morally principled action (which sometimes appeared in Community Voices in The Californian),  and open hearted honesty (speaking of hard times in his life and injustices witnessed today.)

Good morning, friends…
It is November 20, 2021.
The sun shines bright over KCCD.

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


Porterville College

PC brings awareness to hunger and homelessness

This week, Porterville College took a stand against Hunger and Homelessness as we hosted a series of activities to support students facing food and housing insecurities.

The PC Pirate Pantry helps over 200 students each month. Students are able to come to the on-campus food pantry once a week and show their student I.D. card to receive 2 or 3 bags of groceries for free. The groceries include non-perishables, refrigerated, and frozen items.

PC Student Services, in partnership with CalFresh, the Community Food Bank, and the Family Crisis Center held several activities throughout the week to bring awareness to this growing problem among the student population. A weeklong donation drive is underway to collect personal hygiene items, jackets and blankets.  Various workshops were held throughout the week to raise awareness and educate the community and our students on the growing problem of food insecurity and homelessness.

San Juanita Baldwin, a PC student who has struggled with hunger and homelessness in the past says, “I know that the financial aid office has the food pantry and many of the school clubs try to help out with the homeless. They donate food items, clothes, and toiletry items. I believe in our school and on campus we have a lot of students who are hungry and they cannot afford nutritional food because it’s expensive. From my personal experience with homelessness, I was in transition from moving from one city to another. Because of lack of stability and lack of access to nutritional food my diabetes flared up. Now I’m stable and my diabetes is under control.”

Director of financial aid Tiffany Haynes added, “We are here to help students with these programs and events, and we hope many take advantage of what we are able to offer through the generous donations of our campus and community.”

PC WeComm Club steps up to help community efforts 

WeComm is a newly established club of students interested in communication at Porterville College. The club, which began at PC this semester, seeks to get students involved in their community through volunteer work. They have already been making a big splash around town, having been seen volunteering at several events and community efforts to help others.

Just this month, they were seen joining forces with the California Farmworkers Foundation in Earlimart to help hand out boxes of fresh fruits, vegetables, and dairy products to families in need at their food distribution center. Club faculty advisor Dr. Jonathan Hernandez said, “It was a great day, and we plan to team up with their organization for future events!”

They were also seen assisting Sierra View Medical center during their recent pop-up vaccination clinics, helping spread the word about the benefits that vaccinations can have for our community.

They even spent time cleaning up Veteran’s Park in Porterville, as part of a communitywide effort to keep Porterville beautiful!

But it’s not all hard work for this club, they were also seen hitting a PC basketball game as a group to cheer on the Pirates and show their school spirit.

You can catch them on Twitter and Instragram (WECOMMPC) to see what they are up too.

PC Innovation Centers hosts its final STEM Enrichment Workshop of the Semester

The new STEM Innovation center at PC hosted the last in its series of Career Enrichment Workshops this week via Zoom.

Each PC USDA STEM Enrichment Workshop aims at highlighting a different USDA agency and/or partner. The workshops are developed to introduce local, regional, and state USDA Agencies, federal, and industry partners to STEM students and the campus-wide community.

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

Guest speaker Dr. Maria Esteras talked with attendees about her role as the USDA Food Safety Inspection Services Veterinary Recruiting and Outreach Coordinator. In this role, she oversees recruitment and retention of veterinarians across the nation.

In her work with the USDA, Dr. Esteras has been able to create awareness of the critical role that veterinarians play in food safety and public health as well as assist with creating new policies and incentives that affect veterinarians within the agency.


Cerro Coso Community College

ESCC Nursing Students Prepare to Graduate and Serve

Preparing nursing students for making the transition from student to nurse is crucial for entry into practice. Students in Cerro Coso’s Nursing Program undergo a rigorous program of study and clinical practice to prepare them for their transition to the world of nursing. 

In the next few weeks, the nursing cohort at the Eastern Sierra College Center in Bishop will finish their finals, take their state licensure testing, and will be poised to join colleagues nationwide “in the most noble of professions,” thanks to Cerro Coso’s program.   

These students have, once again, shown amazing resolve and adaptability to graduate in the mist of the most difficult health crisis our country has ever seen. They are well prepared to serve their communities.  

Even in moments of uncertainty, there is an underlying sense of optimism.  Positioned to start a new chapter in their lives despite a national pandemic, when all their peers were shifting to online classes, they kept attending in-person classes in the homestretch of their nursing education. Cerro Coso nursing faculty have worked hard to deliver all the classes they need, following all safety protocols, to keep them on track for graduation.

The college will be holding a Nursing Capping and Pinning Ceremony on Thursday, December 3rd at the Bishop campus that signifies the conclusion of their program at the college. All those attending will be required to wear a mask and show proof of Covid vaccination or a negative Covid test administered within the last 72 hours.

Nothing can take away these students’ passion for, and commitment to, helping others as nurses.  

Congratulations to the ESCC Nursing Class of 2021!

Basketball Home Opener BIG Win for the Coyotes Men’s Basketball Team

Coming off of a strong early start to the 2021-22 CCCAA Men’s Basketball Season, the Cerro Coso Coyote’s men’s basketball program kicked off their home schedule on Saturday, November 12th  against West Hills Coalinga College (WHCC).

The Coso team opened up their home schedule with a convincing win over West Hills Coalinga College. With only a 1 point lead going into halftime, the Coyotes made the necessary adjustments to run away with a 20 point margin to finish the game at 77-57.

The Falcons played tough defense throughout the contest, but were no match for the fast paced Coyote offense as Cerro Coso eventually wore them down. The Coyotes were led by Josh Miller (27 pts), Jalen Williams (17 pts.), and Jhadon Banks (15 pts.).

Coso returns to action on the road this Wednesday as they take on a top ranked opponent in Fullerton College. They will return to home action this Saturday, 11/20/21 @ 5:00pm as they play host to Cypress College.

Dribble it. Pass it. Let’s make a basket! Go Coyotes!

It’s a Wrap

No need to get all wrapped up in all the holiday stress! Cerro Coso elves (Penny Talley, Courtney Bowen, and Franki Gregor) offered the community some wrapping relief during the Student Services United Club’s Gift Wrapping and Donation Drive held at Walmart on Wednesday, November 17th.   Shoppers were able to stop by the booth and have their holiday purchases wrapped for a donation.  All proceeds from the event will be used to support Club activities. 

The Student Services United Club provides students with the opportunity to develop a networking system that is consistent with the challenges they encounter on a day-to-day basis.  It provides an opportunity for special services students to develop leadership skills through the presentation of various campus and community activities and cooperation with other organizations.  The underlying theme for the club’s activities is to educate the college and community about ethnic-cultural  diversity and about the needs and contributions of disabled and economically challenged people. 


Bakersfield College

BC Gifted $11,000 By The Scott Kirschenmann Family Foundation

The Scott Kirschenmann Family Foundation has gifted the Bakersfield College Foundation $11,000 to expand and renovate the Bakersfield College Agriculture Farm Laboratory, an outdoor learning space for students on the corner of Panorama and Haley St. Christy Hornbuckle, Scott Kirshenmann’s sister, joined members of the BC Foundation for a tour of the area on Wednesday morning. The tour was led by Dean of Instruction, Jessica Wojtysiak, Agriculture Department Chair, Heather Baltis, and Food Science faculty, LeAnn Riley.

And check out this story from KGET about the donation & visit:

Automotive Tech Renegades at the 29th California Hot Rod Reunion

The 29th California Hot Rod Reunion was held at Famoso Dragstrip and the three day event serves as the final race in the NHRA Heritage Series. Eleven of BC’s Automotive Technology students participated as crew members on Top Fuel Dragster teams, a program sponsored by the Jim McLennen Foundation and NHRA. The program was started years ago when Bob McLennen, Jim’s son, contacted BC’s Auto faculty looking for ways to introduce students to drag racing in memory of his father’s legacy. This program is an extension of the Renegade Motorsports team, which has already built a fully functional racecar trainer and is currently constructing two endurance race cars for competition on road courses across the western states.

Native American Heritage Month – Resources at BC!

Faith Bradham and Laura Luiz have created a Native American LibGuide and set up displays in the Library in celebration of Native American Heritage Month. The guide focuses on books and online resources including videos, podcasts, and more.

The Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian is celebrating with a Native Cinema Showcase, November 12th through 18th. This year’s showcase focuses on Native people boldly asserting themselves through language, healing, building community, and a continued relationship with the land. Activism lies at the heart of all these stories. The showcase provides a unique forum for engagement with Native filmmakers from Indigenous communities throughout the Western Hemisphere and Arctic. 

Interested in learning about local Native Peoples? Check out the following sites:  Tejon Indian Tribe, Tachi Yokuts Culture, Tule River History, Native American Resilience: The Tachi Yokut Tribe and the Preservation of Tribal History and Tradition, The Kawaiisu Culture, and Tubatulabals of Kern.

BC Recognized Twice by The Campaign for College Opportunity

Last week, I shared that The Campaign for College Opportunity has announced Bakersfield College will be recognized as a Champion of Higher Education. I wanted to update you all to that BC was honored twice during the annual Champions of Higher Education celebration on November 16th.

Champion of Higher Education for Excellence

The first recognition is as a 2021 Champion of Higher Education in regards to exemplary work to ensure strong transfer pathways. BC has seen a sustained increase of 1000% in degrees awarded since 2014-2015.

Champion of Equity for Latinx Students

BC was also recognized as a 2021 Equity Champion for Excellence in Transfer for Latinx Students. In the past few years, BC has achieved parity in enrollment and completion for this population with 70% of Associate Degree for Transfer earners identifying as Hispanic/Latino/a/x in 2019-2020.


In the News

BC breaks ground on a new Edible Education Garden

May be an image of 10 people, people standing, tree and outdoors

On Friday, BC broke ground on the new Edible Education Garden. The garden will be open to all students, and its harvests will be available both to students in the culinary arts program cooking at the Renegade Room, as well as for students at the Renegade Pantry.

I enjoyed Emma Gallegos’ article in The Bakersfield Californian about the project.

BC looks to ‘unique’ pot of state money for proposed 152-bed residence hall

Last Saturday, I enjoyed reading Casey Christie’s article in The Bakersfield Californian about a plan to build dedicated student housing for BC students.

“KCCD trustee John Corkins, who represents the Porterville College area and serves on the district’s finance committee, said a grant that covers 100 percent of the funding is rare and allows the district to take a reasonable risk. It’s a risk few community colleges have taken up until now: A recent Assembly memo notes that only 12 community colleges have housing programs.

Fun Photos & Spotted on Social Media

Cerro Coso shared this picture taken while filming on the Bishop campus:

Excited to wrap up the virtual 360 campus tour filming today at our Bishop and Mammoth campuses. We are thrilled to bring all of Cerro Coso’s campus locations to you soon virtually! Don’t forget open registration is available now to register for spring classes! You belong here! #ccpride

PC President Claudia Habib shared these photos on Twitter:

Beautiful Yokut tribe artifacts, regalia and games were on display at the tabling event by the Native American Club.”

Here a a few photos from this week’s Launchpad Lunch & Learn event – thank you to Earl Parsons for these great photos:

I just love this post from BC History Professor Olivia Garcia:

Can I just say how much I love my job?! Yes COVID has made it challenging for professors to teach in this new setting, but I’m so proud of my students for their resilience and creativity. Case in point: I created an assignment where my history students could create something that reflected what they wrote about in their history research papers. Here are some examples from my history classes: One created an Aztec pyramid as he wrote about the fascinating engineering of this society. Another made a suffragette sash to highlight the women’s suffrage movement. Another created a Venus figurine out of clay for her paper on Paleolithic societies and portrayal of women through these carvings. Another drew her own interpretation of Mona Lisa to highlight her paper on the Renaissance. The list goes on! It was a fun, creative assignment for my face-to-face classes, and their work was so inspiring. Thank you to my students for reminding me of the rewards of teaching history to young, thriving college minds. #mystudentsarethebest⭐️❤️ #thatprofessorlife🙋🏽‍♀️ #wearebc #historyrocks🌏

And Vance Palm announced his retirement this week after 23 years of covering BC Renegade Athletics:

After a total span of 23 years covering basketball, football and volleyball for my beloved BC Rengades, this afternoon was the finale. Called my first hoops game in 1998 – as the Assistant coach!🤣I played basketball & baseball there, coached there, worked there and was lucky enough to help with the Inaugural BC Athletics Hall of Fame. I Tagged a bunch of the people who I enjoyed along the way. Much love🌴#gogades

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

The future is bright at KCCD.

-sonya
a joyful and grateful Chancellor

#KCCDDaringMightyThings

Veterans thank you for your service

“Through their service, they have been honed into warriors and possess a warrior spirit. A veteran’s experiences and their duty to protect our country can create challenges to finding the sometimes-elusive peace they seek, beyond those of the average citizen.”

These words from Jenny Frank, manager of Veteran Services and Programs at Bakersfield College, have stuck with me this week as we celebrate and honor our nation’s veterans.

Veterans Day became a nationally observed holiday in 1938. It was first celebrated as “Armistice Day” in 1918 honoring the “eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month” – which was the end of World War I.  

The federal holiday was renamed Veterans Day in 1954 to honor all veterans of all wars. It has become a day to honor the sacrifices they have made so that we all can enjoy the freedoms we have. Their courage and dedication are of indescribable importance to our nation, and no words can ever express how much that means.

I am left with a heartfelt – but inadequate – thank you, to all our veterans, for your service.

It was a wonderful week, celebrating our student veterans at all three of our campuses with various events honoring their service.

I finished my week with a great hike, enjoying the peaceful tranquility of a fall morning.

Also spotted a tarantula!

Good morning, friends…
It is November 13, 2021.
The sun shines bright over KCCD.

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


Porterville College

Military Veterans Share Their Stories at 2021-2022’s First On-Campus CHAP Event

Jim Entz, PC Professor and Coordinator of the Cultural and Historical Awareness Program (CHAP), brought the organization into its 20th year on campus with Wednesday’s early afternoon event at the PC Theater.

Founded in 2002, CHAP has become a vital cultural institution of Porterville College. It exists to enhance awareness of important cultural aspects that are little known, and it uses panels, guest speakers, exhibits, and concerts to do so.

In honor of Veterans Day (Thursday, November 11th), the Wednesday panel included five veterans: Nicholas Oliva (Iraq), Roland Hill (Vietnam), Cody Ridenour (Coast Guard patrol in the Caribbean), Greg King (Vietnam), and Everette Morgan (Vietnam). The ages, experiences, and stories of the veterans ranged widely across the spectrum of military life. Branches included the Army, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard.

Their moving stories covered the spectrum of the human experience—grief and trauma, but also humor and the matter-of-fact reality of learning to survive through months of combat and high stress situations—all in locations across the globe. A $68 million dollar drug bust in the Caribbean Sea with the Coast Guard, a massive C-130 plane engaging in a combat landing in Baghdad, Iraq (where a plane nosedives straight down, then pulls up at the last minute to avoid enemy fire), a door gunner’s experience on a helicopter in Vietnam, soldiers racing to get back to base in their planes before the gates were locked—these were a few of the stories told.

One thing that especially stood out: despite there being a distinct contrast of ages and experiences in the panel, the silver-haired Vietnam vets shared a spirit of support and camaraderie with the younger veterans. There exists a unique and amazing bond between servicemembers in the military no matter the branch or time period, and this panel provided a moving, memorable example of that.

As Vietnam vet Everette Morgan said at the event: “You learned the guy next to you was your life…It was unique because your group would stick together no matter what. I’ve never seen that outside of the military.”

Pirates Basketball off to a great start with new coach

Amaurys Fermin

It didn’t take long for new Porterville College head basketball coach Amaurys Fermin and the PC men’s basketball team to make their presence felt on the court.

Facing Southern California’s preseason No. 10-ranked Allan Hancock College, Fermin and the Pirates earned their first victory, beating the Bulldogs by a final score of 78-76 in their 2021-22 season-opener.

PC led 39-32 at halftime and had to hold off a furious late-game surge by Allan Hancock to pull off the upset.

The Pirates have since gone on to an impressive 3 and 1 record to start the season after defeating Ohlone College (86-67) and Cañada College (67-47).  The season’s only loss to date came in a matchup with Chabot College (76-60).

We’re excited for their upcoming matchup with the BC Renegades, when they face them on the PC campus during the Milt Stowe Classic on November 19th!

PC Baseball Team and Students Step Up to help local organization

Last week, I shared an email from Library and Literacy Commissioner, Catherine May, about how the PC baseball team was helping the Friends of the Library organization.

Today I’d like to share a little more background about this effort.

Just over 18 months ago, the Porterville City Library was burned to the ground in a fire which cost our community not only an incredible resource, but the lives of two brave firefighters as well. The community has both mourned these losses and come together to help rebuild in many ways since that tragic day.

The Porterville Friends of the Library organization has been fundraising and selling books to make money for the Porterville Library for decades. They have been crucial in the Libraries effort to rebuild, but not without cost to them.

The fire that leveled the library also took away the organization’s space to store books. A local business was able to allow them to store books in their warehouse, for a time, but can no longer afford to spare the extra room.  Luckily, the city was able to provide space for the Friends of the Library, but they had to move the many heavy books in storage on their own. Unfortunately, the majority of the organization’s membership is older and unable to do much heavy lifting.

Enter the PC Baseball team. They answered the Friends of the Library’s call for help and spent a day moving the boxes from the warehouse to the new city facility.

Pirates Baseball Coach JL Buchanan shared this sentiment on Twitter about the effort, “Porterville College Pirate Baseball players helping out the Friends of Library organization today. So proud of them for giving back to their community.” @gopcpirates @PortervillePrez @PCollegePirates


Cerro Coso Community College

Honoring our Veterans and Active Duty Military

Cerro Coso Community College paid tribute to veterans and active duty military kicking off a week of activities beginning with a flag raising ceremony at the Ridgecrest Campus on Monday, November 8, 2021 by Naval Air Weapon Center, Weapons Division China Lake Color Guards. Speakers included college president Dr. Sean Hancock, Trustee and former Naval Officer Jack Connell, and Ridgecrest Mayor and Cerro Coso alum Eric Bruen.   

A virtual and physical Wall of Courage is on display on the college website  here, and the physical version on exhibit in the Student Center at the Ridgecrest Campus.  On Wednesday, Veterans Services hosted a barbecue for staff and students honoring veterans and those who currently serve our country. 

Balk – New Associate Professor of Nursing

Lisa Balk

Please join us in welcoming new Associate Professor of Nursing Lisa Balk to the Cerro Coso community.   

Born in Maryland, Balk, a military wife, has lived the military life and spent time in San Diego, Rhode Island, and Maryland when her husband was active-duty Navy.  She moved to Ridgecrest in 2016 when her husband took a job at China Lake. 

Balk has a real heart for animals and worked many years as a veterinary assistant while pursuing a career in nursing.  Balk and her husband have a son who lives in Ridgecrest and a daughter in the Los Angeles area training horses. 

She has two rescue cats,  enjoys working with the Guide Dogs for the Blind and is currently raising her fourth puppy.  He accompanies her to work at the college some days, enjoying all that the campus has to offer. 

Balk holds a Bachelor’s in Nursing from Stevenson University, and a Master’s of Science in Health Science, Leadership and Management with an Education Focus from the University of Maryland School of Nursing. 

Welcome to Cerro Coso Lisa!  

High School Students Can Earn College Credit: Find Out How

Cerro Coso Community College is hosting a virtual Dual and Concurrent Programs Workshop for parents of high school students on Tuesday, November 16 from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

If you are the parent of a junior or senior in high school, find out how your student can get a head start in earning college credits before they leave high school, ultimately making their college experience more affordable, efficient, and enriching.

Cerro Coso Community College offers dual and concurrent enrollment classes for high school students throughout its service area. 

Find out more about both programs, processes, and how it can benefit your high school student’s future.

Parents are being asked to pre-register for the Zoom workshop here.  

For more information contact the College Outreach Office at 760-384-6219 or email outreach@cerrocoso.edu .

Cerro Coso is now holding priority registration for spring 2022 classes. 

Cerro Coso Community College – Your Hometown College.


Bakersfield College

BC is a Top 150 Community College, Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence

Bakersfield College has been recognized as a member of the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence Top 150 list. The biennial Aspen Prize Top 150, awarded by the Aspen Institute, is considered the signature recognition for high achievement and performance among American community colleges.

Aspen selects their top college list based on student outcomes that include learning, completion rates, employment rates, earnings and equity. The Aspen Institute reviewed data from a select pool of over 1,000 public two-year colleges nationwide as having high and improving levels of student success, as well as equitable outcomes for Black and Hispanic students and those from lower-income backgrounds. Focused on student access and success, the Aspen Prize recognizes community colleges with exceptional achievements in four areas:

  1. Student learning;
  2. Certificate and degree completion while in community college and after transferring to a four-year institution;
  3. Employment and earnings rates after graduation; and
  4. Access for and success of minority and limited-income students.

The 150 eligible colleges have been invited to submit data and narratives as the next steps in an intensive data and practice review process, culminating in the announcement of the Prize winner in spring 2023. The next steps in the process include selection of the top ten finalists by a  panel of 15 experts in community colleges, higher education and workforce training, to be announced in spring/summer 2022 and Fall 2022 site visits to each of the ten finalists, during which the Aspen Institute and partners will collect additional information, including employment and earnings data and insights about promising practices.

BC Receives $6 Million For Health Education Through Advocacy of Assembly Member Rudy Salas

Assembly Member Rudy Salas presented $6 million dollars in state funding to expand and implement workforce training programs focused on health education. This will be the second time in 2 months, and the fourth time in 4 years that Salas will present substantial funding, totaling over $22 million, to support Renegades and educational programming at Bakersfield College. Read more about how these funds will make a difference.

Renegades Serve as Contact Tracers in Kern County Schools 

Through a partnership with the Kern County Superintendent of Schools and Kern County Public Health Services, select BC students who completed the Infectious Disease Contact Tracing course will now participate in contact tracing efforts and help stop the spread of the virus at schools in Kern County. Read the press release for Bakersfield College Students with Completion of Infectious Disease Training Course to Serve as Contact Tracers in Schools Throughout Kern County.

BC & Adventist Mobile Health Clinic in McFarland and Rural Kern

Bakersfield College is joining Adventist Health in an effort to make quality health services and health related education more accessible in McFarland through the Adventist Mobile Health Clinic. BC’s efforts will focus on community wellness initiatives, referral services for Early College students and their families, and creating additional opportunities for nursing students to participate in clinical settings and community wellness events. 

BC Peace Project: Peace and Military Service

This week, Bakersfield College continued the BC Peace Project with a seminar titled “Peace and Military Service.”

Check out the panel discussion from Wednesday’s event – thank you to Kimberly Rodriguez, Armando Trujillo, Deb Johnson, and Josh Dhanens for taking part:


Poetry Corner

Please enjoy this poem from Jack Hernandez:

Striding

In airports he strode
pridefully past those
slowed by worn years,
head high under a smug cap,
heart smiling secretly
in fortune’s false light,
unaware that soon
he would shuffle
in the wake
of those grinning
at his declining flight.

Quick Tips for Teaching Success

The Porterville College Quick Tips Team continued their education series with “The Quick Tips Team is Fraud Squad” on Wednesday.

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

Check out more at https://quicktipsforonlinesuccess.weebly.com/.

Ag/Water/Energy (AWE) Education Series Webinar #3

This week, the Valley Strong Energy Institute hosted another webinar in the Ag/Water/Energy Education Series. We welcomed Steve Bohlen, Emily Wimberger, and Chris Gould to discuss carbon management opportunities impacting Kern County.

I enjoyed this article from John Cox for The Bakersfield Californian about the webinar.

Check out our speakers’ presentations.

Steve Bohlen:

Chris Gould:

Emily Wimberger:

Find out more about the Institute at https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/valley-strong-energy-institute.

In the News

Renegade Roundup: Forestry and Natural Resources Program at Bakersfield College

Check out the latest feature from BC Agriculture in the Valley Ag Voice.

We are working closely with 4-year universities to make sure students have a clear path to transfer. We are currently working with Cal Poly – San Luis Obispo, Humboldt State University, and the University of California at Berkeley on the pathways for natural resource-based degrees. We also have an advisory board that seeks input from our partner universities as well as representatives from CALFIRE, the United States Forest Service, University of California Cooperative Extension, Windwolves Preserve, the Panorama Vista Preserve, and other local entities.

Bakersfield College has two professors within the Forestry department,
Dr. Renaldo Arroyo (left) and Dr. Jalisca Thomason (right)

Kern County Women in STEM: An Interview with Cheryl Scott

Debbie Charpentier with Charpentier Wealth Strategies recently interviewed BC Foundation Executive Director Cheryl Scott.

There are so many great reasons we should encourage girls and women to pursue STEM education and careers!  Working at Bakersfield College, I love seeing our faculty encourage students to explore their options.  The opportunities are endless, and thanks to the fact that STEM jobs generally pay considerably more than non-STEM jobs, they can set a woman up to be successful and self-sufficient.  Employers can help, too.  For example, Phillips 66 has established a scholarship at BC for women studying STEM disciplines.

Cheryl Scott

Fun Photos and Social Media

Trustee Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg got her COVID-19 booster. Booster shots administered by Diego and Marisa! Go BC Nursing Program👍🏽

The Porterville College WeComm club shared this group photo after they cleaned up Veterans Park in Porterville:

Cerro Coso Community College shared some photos from their Veterans BBQ:

Trustees Romeo Agbalog and Yovani Jimenez were among the fans at last Saturday’s Renegade Football game:

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

The future is bright at KCCD.

-sonya
a joyful and grateful Chancellor

#KCCDDaringMightyThings

KCCD paying attention – to a moment, to an idea, to a feeling

This past week was active with much laughter, hard work, oodles of warmth and love. Here are two especially fun moments captured on camera

Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg and Jim Heitzeberg at Renegade Footbal saturday before Halloween.

Photo of the panel that presented the Program Pathways Mapper at a conference in Merced. More on the conference next week.

Good morning, friends…
It is November 6, 2021.
The sun shines bright over KCCD.

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


Porterville College

PC Students are Friends of the Library Heroes

Check out this email from PC Adjunct Professor of History Leslie Pelon:

“I wanted to update everyone and say thank you for all the support in response to my last about needing help for the Friends of the Library.  I just got off the phone with Library and Literacy Commissioner Catherine May who was in tears she was so grateful.  She sent this message:

Thank you Porterville College Baseball players and students!  The Friends of the Library organization has been serving our community for years and their members are all older. When they asked for help getting people to move books they hoped to get 5-6 people if they were lucky.  We ended up with 17 people there today, 12 of them Porterville College Students.  Thank you so much for the overwhelming show of support and for making what seemed an impossible task almost easy.  

–Catherine May

I’m so grateful to be a part of the Porterville College Community.  Our students are truly amazing!”  

PC salutes veterans at fifth annual event

On Monday, Porterville College held the fifth annual “Porterville College Salutes Our Veterans” at the PC Veteran Memorial Flag.

U.S. Marine veteran and PC student Tom Bear began the program with a prayer, followed by a welcome from Dean of Counseling & Student Services, Erin Wingfield. Choir professor Sarah Rector sang the National Anthem with a small group of the choir.

Dr. Habib on twitter:

We started November with an early “Veteran’s Day” tribute to those who served. Our heartfelt gratitude for your courage and dedication. We are proud of our veteran faculty, staff and students, we are honored to have you as part of the #PC_Family @PCollegePirates #VeteransDay2021

The event also featured tables promoting resources available to Porterville College student veterans.

Thank you to all our student veterans!

PC Writer & Poet Speaker Series Welcomes Clint Smith

On Wednesday, the PC Writer & Poet Speaker Series continued with a virtual event featuring Clint Smith.

Clint Smith is a staff writer at The Atlantic. He is 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 and was a finalist for an NAACP Image Award.

Clint shared what poetry means to him, saying, “Poetry is how I became a writer, and poetry shapes and animates all of the writing I do.”

“Poetry has taught me to pay attention – to a moment, to an idea, to a feeling.”

He told those in attendance that poetry is like a painting – 1,000 people look at one painting and see 1,000 different things.

Clint also read from his newest book, “How the Word is Passed,” which explores how different sites across the country reckon with – or failt o reckon with – their relationship to the history of slavery.


Cerro Coso Community College

Wine and Food Pairing Fundraiser BIG Success!

On November 3, the Cerro Coso Community College Foundation teamed up with Mac’s International Restaurant and Coldwell Banker Best Realty Ridgecrest to host a Wine and Food Pairing Fundraiser. The event was an exclusive, intimate affair to help raise funds that support the financial needs of Cerro Coso students and programs. 

A special coursed out dinner experience led by wine expert Eric Le Barbé and Mac’s International Restaurant Owner and Executive Chef Kent McGowan, the evening was a journey for the palate and a deep dive into the world of wine. 

Mac’s International Restaurant is one of Ridgecrest’s best kept secrets. Chef McGowan and his team carefully craft delicious meals that leave patrons satisfied and wanting more.  It was the perfect venue for the Cerro Coso Community College Foundation’s first fundraising event in two years.  A flawless match of wines and foods for different types of dishes.

Chef McGowen created a menu that reflected his globally influenced culinary theme which included: Appetizers of Jalapeno Deviled Eggs, Smoked Pancetta Frittata Eggs with Roasted Peppers, and Quesadilla with Chorizo, paired with Dark Horse Rosé and Barefoot White Zinfandel. This was followed by Salad Greens with Dried Apricots and Balsamic Vinaigrette, and Sweet Potato Salmon Cake with Roasted Brussel Sprouts served with Saint Clair Marlborough New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc 2020, and William Hill Napa Valley Chardonnay 2019. The main course included Dry Rubbed Short Rib with Parmesan Mash paired with Louise M. Martini Alexander Valley Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignon 2019. S’Mores Pot De Crème was paired with Mia Dolce Piemonte DOC Moscato 2020 for dessert. 

Wines for the evening were generously donated by Coldwell Banker Best Realty Ridgecrest.      

Foundation President Derrick Hu said, “fundraising has been hard with the earthquakes of 2019 and the uncertainty of the ongoing pandemic. It was really great to get back out there and engage with the public. We are looking forward to more smaller events, that will help us raise funds that support scholarships, the Cerro Coso Promise, Coyote Cupboard, special grants, Phi Theta Kappa, and professional development.”

Wine Expert Eric Le Barbé and Executive Chef Kent McGowan used their expertise to pair the right combination of food flavors that highlight, harmonize, and enhance the features of the available wines, making the entire culinary experience a memorable one for guests.

The Cerro Coso Community College Foundation is a 401c3 nonprofit foundation whose primary mission is to ensure that students have access to an affordable, quality college education locally. 

Flag Raising at Cerro Coso to Kick-off Military and Veterans Week Celebration

In honor of all veterans and military and their families who have sacrificed so much for our freedom, Cerro Coso’s Military and Veterans Services will be kicking off a week of celebration with a Flag Raising ceremony at the Ridgecrest Campus at the flag pole at the main entrance on Monday, November 8th from 9 to 9:30 a.m.

The community is invited, especially veterans from all branches of the armed services.

Guest speakers will include Retired Naval Officer and KCCD Trustee Jack Connell, Mayor and Cerro Coso alum Eric Bruen, and college president Dr. Sean Hancock.

Other activities include a virtual Wall of Courage available at https://www.cerrocoso.edu/studentservices/military-veterans-service-center/virtual-wall-courage. The Wall of Courage is also on display in the Student Center for the entire month of November. A Veterans Day BBQ lunch Celebration will be held on Wednesday, November 10th from 12:30 to 1:30 on the Front Lawn of the LRC for staff and students.

The College will be CLOSED in observance of the Veterans Day holiday on Thursday, November 11, 2021 to honor America’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.


Bakersfield College

McFarland Early College Celebrates Dia de Los Muertos

Bakersfield College is proud to highlight our students from McFarland High School Early College

Our students who are in a pathway to complete their Spanish Associate in Arts have joined the Spanish Club on their campus and working hard in their classes at BC. This year the students came together to celebrate El Dia de Los Muertos to remember those that are no longer with us. Students joined in on several activities as they celebrated this special day.

Way to go, McFarland Cougar Renegades! 

Bakersfield College Jazz Ensemble to Host Fall Concert

Bakersfield College’s Performing Arts Department and Jazz Studies program are set to present a one-night-only performance by the BC Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Combos on Monday, November 15 at 7:30 PM in the Edward Simonsen Indoor Theater.

The concert will feature student ensembles led by Jazz Studies director and Performing Arts Department Chair Kris Tiner.

This concert will feature classic works by Duke Ellington and Neal Hefti as well as arrangements of tunes by modern jazz artists such as trumpeter Lee Morgan and pianist Chick Corea, who passed away earlier this year. The ensemble will also play a new composition by Ayn Inserto entitled “Notorious RBG”, a hip hop-inspired tribute to the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Students in the BC Jazz Combos will open the concert with a selection of original compositions and jazz standards.

Admission for the concert is $12 for general admission and $8 for students, staff, and seniors. The venue will be limited to 40% capacity (160 guests). Tickets are available for purchase on Eventbrite and are likely to sell out; if tickets sell out in advance, no tickets will be available at the door.

Masks are required while indoors and campus visitors must complete BC’s Daily Health Tracker on the day of the performance.

BC To Be Recognized as “Statewide Champion of Higher Education”

Bakersfield College has once again earned statewide recognition for our innovative work to advance student success, and was named this year’s Champion of Higher Education by the Campaign for College Opportunity. This recognition is a tribute to the dedication of BC’s faculty and staff and I am proud of your commitment, focus, and energy.

Our campus community is inspired by our students, many of whom are first generation and qualify for assistance and support services. We know that it is our responsibility as a Champion of Higher Education to think big, be creative, reduce barriers, increase support, and lead these Renegades on an efficient path towards degree attainment.

Thank you faculty and staff, for all you do to support Renegades. This is the 4th year that BC will be recognized with such a prestigious award and it is because of your engagement and commitment to our students. 

The formal recognition will be made virtually during the annual Champions of Higher Education and Equity Champions for Excellence in Transfer celebration on November 16, 2021 at 10:00AM.

Register to participate in the Campaign for College Opportunity Event

Workshop Series: Kern High Roads Regional Workforce Project

Bakersfield College, the Center on Race, Poverty & the Environment and the UC Merced Community and Labor Center will hold several public workshops over the coming weeks as they begin to develop the Kern Strategic Workforce Plan.

Earlier this year, KCCD and BC were awarded $2 million to develop and implement a blueprint for the future energy, workforce, and industry needs of Kern County and the central valley.  This initiative, known as The Kern Regional Workforce Coalition is a High Road Training Partnership (HTRP), aimed to create a stronger, healthier, and more economically resilient community by focusing on equity, education, industry security, and job quality.  

The project takes into consideration key local industries including energy, agriculture, healthcare, manufacturing, transportation, and logistics, and others with the goal of bolstering and strengthening these sectors with stable job growth, offering family sustaining wages and ample employment opportunities for skilled workers throughout the region.

Learn more about the Kern Strategic Workforce Plan and their plans for creating a “High Road” workforce by registering for one of the three virtual workshops planned for this week.

  • Wednesday, November 3rd from 6:00 AM to 7:30 PM
  • Friday, November 5th from Noon to 1:30 PM
  • Saturday, November 6th from 10:30 AM to Noon

Register Here: https://cccconfer.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_-5ahtjFaSMuRDEVLbkfaTg


Vaccine Requirement Goes Into Effect

Cerro Coso students Shannon Davis, Valerie Lucero, Natalie Thomas, Rana Khalifeh, Kylee Koch, Esteffany Ponce, and Dezerea Edulag

Kern Community College District announced in August that it would require all students and employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by November 1, 2021, and masks were to be worn at all times in its facilities, following the Kern Community College District (KCCD) Board of Trustees adopted resolution of August 12th.

“While our vaccination numbers continue to climb throughout the fall semester, we believe the vaccination requirement is necessary to ensure the educational experience in and outside of the classroom is not disrupted this spring” said Cerro Coso Community College President Sean Hancock.

The district uses the KCCD Campus Pass app, one of many virus mitigation tools launched in February, to monitor in-person engagement on campus. The app is used to track symptoms, get daily campus passes, scan QR codes for contact tracing, self-reporting, and to upload proof of vaccination. Those who have provided proof of vaccination or have an approved exemption will check in daily with the app to receive a green pass if they are not symptomatic. A green pass will allow them access to college facilities.

Students and employees may request exemption from the vaccine requirement due to a medical reason or a sincerely held religious belief. Those with an approved exemption will be required to test on a regular basis at the college. Visitors are asked to bring proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test administered within 72 hours of accessing any college facilities.

More information about the requirements is available on the KCCD website atwww.kccd.edu/chancellors-office/coronavirus-update.

Chancellor’s Seminar Series

This week, the Chancellor’s Seminar Series continued with “A COVID Conversation With Our Employee Leadership.”

I was unfortunately unable to attend the seminar, but Todd Coston was my designee to lead the seminar. Attendees also heard from KCCD CCA President Matt Crow, BC CSEA President Tina Johnson, KCCD Management Association President Manny Mourtzanos, Cerro Coso VP of Instruction Corey Marvin, and Cerro Coso HR Manager Resa Hess.

Check out the full video below:

You can catch up on all editions of the Chancellor’s Seminar Series at https://www.kccd.edu/chancellors-office/chancellors-seminar-series.

Jack’s Poetry Corner

A Baby

The scene of a starving baby
appears before me on the news,
its shriveled body punctuated
by a skeleton of bones,
a mother equally wizened
holds it in desperation,
tears of hope long gone.

I watch from my place
of good fortune born
and raised in joyful days,
warm bed    mother’s meat loaf,
now comfortable
in my destiny’s location.

That baby’s life tells me
I must be aware
that my life’s safe room
is not shared everywhere,
that fortune is random
that I must care for those
whose day is dry bones.

Fun Photos & Spotted on Social Media

BC Student Life Program Director Nicole Alvarez took her son Isaac to get an ice cream cone after he got his fist dose of the COVID vaccine:

Cerro Coso Library shared a post highlighting Native American Heritage Month and inviting students to check out their selection of books exploring heritage, traditions, and culture:

Corny Rodriguez share this photo from the FHS Hall of Fame Golf Tournament – I spy Alex Gomez and Joe Saldivar!

PC President Dr. Claudia Habib shared this photo from Dia De Los Muertos:

#DiaDeLosMuertos#Familia#CulturalHeritage Un pequeño tributo a mi papá y mi hermana que siempre vivirán en mi corazón.

(#DiaDeLosMuertos#Familia#CulturalHeritage A small tribute to my dad and my sister who will always live in my heart)

Kimberly Bligh also came out to support Renegade Football:

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

The future is bright at KCCD.

-sonya
a joyful and grateful Chancellor

#KCCDDaringMightyThings

KCCD – We #GetItDone

One of my favorite moments this week was listening to the “get out the vaccine” project testimonials about work funded from a grant that UCLA received. I was so pleased that they immediately reached out to BC-KCCD to be a sub grantee. Norma Rojas did the heavy lift of getting volunteers to make vaccinations available in every part of our county. Thank you Leticia Perez for brining in community groups to help with this effort. Special thank you to Halls Ambulance for being available as part of the mobile team going out to rural communities.

Secretary Yolanda Richardson visited BC because she had heard about this innovative “get it done” approach taken by BC staff and nursing faculty and students.

Trustee Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg did the welcome address for Secretary Richardson’s visit. Here are some photos that Dylan snapped.

And …. Happy Halloween!

I hope you are all enjoying some fun times with your loved ones this weekend as ghosts and goblins haunt our neighborhoods.

Let’s check out Jack’s recent poem (and thank you to Aricia Leighton for sharing this seasonal image!)

Pumpkins

Pumpkins give us
Candle lit smiles,
Ignite laughter
From children
Holding hands open
For ghostly candy,
Decorate our tables
Like orange medallions,
Fill our hunger
With eager thanksgiving
For such sweet Vibrant pies.

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 
#DareMightyThings


Porterville College

Campus Prepares for Vaccine or Testing Requirement with “Education Approach”

To preserve the health and safety of all students, employees, and the public, everyone on campus must wear a mask and show proof of COVID 19 Vaccination by 11/01/2021. Beginning Monday, November 1st, ANY student who has not submitted their proof of vaccination or applied for an exemption before November 1st, 2021 will no longer be allowed to attend on-campus classes or visit the campus for any reason. Those students’ ability to register for in-person classes may also be affected.

To ensure all students are ready for this transition, PC administrators and classified staff were at “education checkpoints” around campus.  These checkpoints were placed at entry points to the campus throughout the day so that staff could talk to students as they arrived to attend classes.  The vast majority of students were able to show us their “Green Pass”.  

“We figured the best approach was to do a trial run of checking the passes this week.  We were able to use this time as an educational opportunity for all visitors to campus.  This way we could speak one-on-one with students and community members about the requirements for next week, answer their questions and ensure they had everything they need for an easy transition,” said Roger Perez, Porterville College Director of Communication and Community Relations.  

PC Alum Honored to share his 100th birthday with Porterville Rotary

Last week, I shared a news article about Porterville Alum Jim Howell. This week, I’m excited to share more about his story.

The Rotary Club of Porterville celebrated its centennial birthday this past Saturday, October 23rd. The club and Howell practically share the same birthday. Born on October 24,1921 at the Mt. Whitney Hospital on Main Street in Porterville, Mr. Howell was born just hours after the Rotary Club of Porterville was chartered.  His father, Everett Howell, was a charter member of the Club. Jim Howell has been with the club 64 years, served as the 1962-63 president, was the club’s secretary-treasurer for more than 35 years and instrumental in the start of the Breakfast Rotary Club. A Diamond Paul Harris Fellow and a Homer Wood Fellow recipient, he often jokes the annual celebration party is really a birthday party for him.

At 3 years old, he made headlines when he took the family car for a spin.  The headline in the Recorder read, “Three-year-old Barney Oldfield Shocks: Jimmy Howell Goes for Spin”.

“Mother was fixing dinner and asked my father to go to the store to get some butter or something,” Howell said. “When we got back, he jumped out and hurried inside. In those days it was common to leave the keys in the car.”

Howell said he had seen his father start the vehicle many times and figured it would be simple to take the car for a ride.

As Jim Howell entered his pre-teen, teen and young adult years the adventures grew ….. he saw, in-person, Amelia Earhart at a Fly-in airshow; Sea Biscuit; big-band leaders in New York; and Billie Holiday – who was just starting out at the time.

A 1939 Porterville High graduate, he was attending Porterville College when patriotic duty called. He entered the U.S. Navy in 1942 as a Sonarman 1st class on the U.S.S. Barker (DD-213). When he was 20 years old, he had his tonsils removed. His ship was about to leave but was told it would wait for him. It didn’t. He was left behind on Mere Island in French Guiana. But as a result, he saw a private show by Bing Crosby and Bob Hope.

After the war, he and his wife, Terra Bella native Irene Howekamp, returned to Porterville where Jim Howell continued working with his father in managing three theaters in downtown Porterville, and where Jim and Irene Howell started a family and raised three children.

Known as a great resource on local history, he has served on the Porterville Unified School District Reunion Committee for years. In 2008, he participated on the panel of Porterville College during a special program on the 1940s. And he was the inaugural recipient of the President’s Medal of Distinction at PC.

In 2009, Howell was recognized and presented with a plaque for “Recognition for a lifetime of community service” — for his contributions during his life in Porterville and with Rotary.

Jim Howell, like his father, worked in theater. His father managed three theaters in town, The Crystal, The Monache and The Molino, and later the Porter Theater in 1949. The younger Howell managed the Porter Theater for 30 years, overseeing the remodeling of the theater into three screens and sponsored free children’s matinees with Santa after the Children’s Christmas Parade, playing Santa himself for several years. He also started the Monache Mickey Mouse Club.

Through it all, he said, one of his happiest times was standing in the spotlight of the theater stage hearing all the children laughing and singing the Monache Mickey Mouse Club anthem — a thrilling sound that still reverberates within him and helps him to dance along each day.

Former student raises awareness of the importance of language on success

Here is a spotlight on former PC student and current PC Professional Expert for Title V programs, Mallory Brown. She was recently asked to answer 5 questions on how languages played a role in her success by Lead with Languages, a national nonprofit campaign aimed at making language proficiency a national priority.

Lead with Languages seeks to raise awareness across the U.S. and motivate people to take action around the rapidly rising importance of language skills to a wide array of careers, our nation’s economy, national security and international standing. They use the stories of standout students and educators to help highlight how important language can be to success.  You can read the complete interview with Mallory online.  Congratulations Mallory!


Cerro Coso Community College

Celebrate What’s Great at the DEF

Promise students Emily Curtis, Serah Basham, Rayna Gillette, and Alan parza engage with the community while staffing the Cerro Coso booth ring the Desert Empire Fair.
Dr. Sean Hancock at the Desert Empire Fair

It is fall and that means the days are shorter, the mornings are cooler, and the evening sunsets are breath-taking. It’s also the season for lemonade, laughter, and the Desert Empire Fair (DEF). In many ways, the DEF is a lot like Christmas. It comes only once a year and requires extensive advance preparation followed by lively bursts of fun and exhilaration.

An iconic piece of Americana with a rich history stretching back over centuries, people embrace local fairs as an opportunity to set the rest of life aside and enjoy the sights, sounds, and feelings that combine to create an unquestionably unique experience, while at the same time timeless and familiar. Three days, 25 employees and students, and more than 52 volunteer hours are what it took to staff the college’s booth at this year’s fair, October 22-24.

The DEF is an annual showcase of people’s creativity and artistry and provides the college with a unique opportunity to interact with the community in a dynamic and exciting environment, sharing the many valuable resources the college has to offer. Who knew LIFE could be this good…the Desert Empire Fair?

Meet new English Professor Debilyn Kinzler

Debilyn Kinzler

Originally from the beautiful foothill community of Sonora, California, new English Professor Debilyn Kinzler is very excited about her new position at Cerro Coso working for the English and Foreign Language Department.  A self-confessed “college dropout” Debilyn says she got serious about college when her second daughter was 17 and applying for colleges, she asked Debilyn, “When you were little, what did you want to be?” 

Debilyn replied “a college professor.” “You know you still can, don’t you?” said her daughter.  Inspired by her daughter’s confidence in her, Debilyn enrolled in Los Angeles Pierce College, and then transferred to Cal State Northridge where she earned her Bachelor’s Degree. 

“I often say that it took me 25 years to graduate with a four-year degree but what I learned from doing it this way is that it’s never too late to continue learning.”   

Debilyn now holds an Associate of Arts in Business Administration from Los Angeles Pierce College, a Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing from Cal State Northridge, a Master’s Degree in English Literature from Cal State Northridge and currently a Doctoral student of English Literature with a concentration in American Studies from Claremont Graduate University. 

Debilyn has been married to husband Steven for 31 years and together the two have two daughters, two sons, four dogs, two turtles, and two snakes. She loves the outdoors, camping, hiking, dirt bike riding, though her off-road vehicle has four wheels, while the rest of her family’s have two.

Building Bridges: Systemic Solutions to Support Undocumented Students

The fifth annual Undocumented Student Action Week was held October 18-22, 2021. This year also marked the twentieth anniversary of Assembly Bill 540, the landmark legislation that opened the doors of higher education to thousands of undocumented students by removing the burden of out-of-state tuition. The week featured special conversation by Acting Chancellor Dr. Daisy Gonzales, Chancellor Dr. Joseph I. Castro, President Dr. Michael V. Drake, and President Kristen Soares that will highlight systemwide efforts to support AB 540