Tag Archives: Claudia Habib

April 2022 — Here we come

While clear blue sunny skies are lovely, it’s always nice to take the time to appreciate the beauty when the clouds roll in as well:

On Tuesday, I was so excited to announce at our 6th AWE Webinar that our community was selected for two US Department of Energy grants through the Communities Local Energy Action Program (LEAP) — on Carbon Capture and Sequestration and Microgrids. Kern CCD partnered with the county for one and with the city for the other along with numerous other partners.

Here is my announcement from Tuesday:

Once again, the Kern Community College District is at the forefront of innovation as we work toward sustainability and securing a better economic future for all in our region.

Check out this article from John Cox in The Bakersfield Californian about the grant.

This week I was invited to meet US Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona.

It was wonderful hanging out with Chancellor Eloy Oakley and other CA higher ed leaders – UC Merced Chancellor Juan Sanchez Munoz, Compton College President Keith Curry, Cerritos College President Jose Fierro, University of La Verne President Devorah Lieberman, and Long Beach City College President Mike Munoz, as we discussed ways the US Department of Education can support our most disadvantaged students.

Women in Leadership Panel

On Tuesday, the Kern Community College District hosted the 3rd Annual Women in Leadership Panel. Moderator Jean Fuller led a discussion featuring Martha Flores, Porterville Mayor; Wendy Avila, Kern County Superior Court Judge; and Brenda Lewis, CA Board of Education Member and former Kern High School District Superintendent.

It was so inspiring to hear these accomplished women speak about their roles and how their histories led them to where they are now.

And the panel discussion:

Here are some fun photos.

Good morning, friends…
It is April 2, 2022.
The sun shines bright over KernCCD.

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

Porterville College

PC Hires New Gear Up Manager, Begins to move program to the community

PC welcomes the new Gear Up Program Manager, Gloriann Garza.

Gloriann migrated with her family to the central valley from the island of Puerto Rico when she was just 7 years old and has lived in the area ever since.

She is a first-generation student who earned her Bachelor’s in Psychology and Master’s in Educational Counseling from CSU Bakersfield.

For the past 10 years, she has worked for her Alma mater as a Financial Aid Counselor, and most recently as a University Outreach Counselor.

Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) is a federally funded program designed to elevate the academic achievement, college attendance, and graduation rates of first-generation, low-income, underrepresented, and underserved students.

GEAR UP works in partnership with educational and community institutions to provide students and families with individual and group advising, academic and tutoring support, college and career exploration opportunities, skill building workshops, enrichment programs, college visits, and educational field trips. Porterville College was awarded the GEAR UP Grant in the Fall of 2021.

The Porterville College GEAR UP program is partnered with Porterville Unified School District and Earlimart School District to provide exclusive services to the Class of 2028.

Two PC students Qualify for Phi Theta Kappa All-California Community College Academic Team

Porterville College Students, Erica Coon and Javier Corona-Rosas have all been selected to be a part of the 2022 Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) All-California Academic Team. This year, 114 students were selected out of the millions of community college students enrolled in California schools.

Ms. Coon was ranked among the top 75 community college students in California which put her onto the All-California 2nd Academic Team. Mr. Corona-Rosas was ranked among the top 100 students, placing him on the 3rd team. They join two students from Bakersfield College, to represent the Kern Community College District in the All-California Teams this year.

The purpose of the Phi Theta Kappa All-State Academic Team Program is to provide recognition at the state level for our top community college students.

Grades, leadership, and community service determine selection to the All-California First, Second and Third Teams. The students selected represent some of the best of over two million students enrolled in California’s 116 community colleges. Students have undoubtedly faced many additional and unprecedented challenges over the last two years. The 2022 winners should be exceptionally proud of their achievements during these difficult times.

To view the team selections and rankings, click here. Please join us in congratulating these fine students for this outstanding collegiate achievement.

Sandra Cisneros will discuss recent works for PC Writer & Poet Speaker Series

Sandra Cisneros is a poet, short story writer, novelist, and essayist whose work explores the lives of the working-class. Her numerous awards include NEA fellowships in both poetry and fiction, the Texas Medal of the Arts, a MacArthur Fellowship, the PEN/Nabokov Award for International Literature and the National Medal of the Arts, awarded to her by President Obama in 2016.

Ms. Cisneros will discuss her work with the Porterville College community as the next guest speaker in our PC Writer and Poet Speaker Series on April 21st from 12pm to 1pm.

Her novel, The House on Mango Street has sold over seven million copies, has been translated into over twenty-five languages, and is required reading in elementary, high school, and universities across the nation.

She will be discussing her new book, Martita, I Remember You/Martita, te recuerdo, a story in English and in Spanish, that was published in 2021. In the fall of 2022, a new collection of her poetry, Woman Without Shame, her first in 28 years, will be published by Knopf Publishing.

Cisneros is a dual citizen of the United States and Mexico who earns her living by her pen. You can register for this upcoming event at via zoom at https://tinyurl.com/3v8m6xnr. It is open to everyone.

Cerro Coso Community College

CC Garden Club – Seed Planting Success

Alan Esparza and Elajae Lee

Many students participate in college clubs to extend their learning opportunities and make new friendships.  The Cerro Coso Garden Club provides a great way for students to learn about gardening and gain hands-on experience growing their own food, and tasting the fruits (and vegetables) of their labor. 

A successful garden club experience requires planning and patience, and most of all, a spirit of adventure. 

Novice and experienced gardeners know that no matter how well you plan, Mother Nature will add her own variables like scorching hot days, cabbage worms, and even freezing rain. 

The Cerro Coso Garden Club is experiencing great success with their garden.  Promise student Alan Esparza and PTK President Elajae Lee are actively involved in the garden club project. Professors Guck Ooi, Claudia Sellers, and Sarah King, all have been working very hard to bring the club to life and produce food items like carrots, onions, arugula, and so much more.  The idea is to provide fresh produce for students, faculty and staff on a regular basis and continue to work closely with the Coyote Cupboard.  Fresh produce days are coming and will be available campus wide very soon.  Donations will be helpful when anyone takes an item — all donations will go back to support the Garden Club and Coyote Cupboard.

Gardening is a wonderful learning experience. It is also an exercise in patience, trial and error, and working with uncontrollable variables like the weather.  Whatever they cultivate will be a worthwhile learning experience for CC students. 

Take Control of Your Future – Register for Summer and Fall Classes at Cerro Coso

No matter where you are on your educational journey, Cerro Coso Community College has a program designed to meet you where you are. 

This is the time to focus on your future and take steps toward achieving your goals.

Open registration for summer and fall classes will begin April 13, 2022.  The new student registration process delivers a fresh user experience with a modern look and feel.  Features include: increased efficiencies, new tools, and improved capabilities.  The upgrade launched March 1, 2022 and those registering for classes will notice changes to the registration process, and there are lots of resources available to help understand how to use the system. 

On campus offerings this summer include Kinesiology and Welding.  Online classes include Administration of Justice, Paralegal, Web Management, Art, Spanish, Sociology, and a lot more.  A complete listing of summer and fall classes is available online at www.cerrocoso.edu .  Plan today to secure a class schedule that works best for you. 

Summer is a great time to get a head start on your college journey.  For more information contact the Cerro Coso Counseling Department at 760-384-6219 or email them at counseling_forms@cerrocoso.edu.

Need help paying for college?  Cerro Coso has lots of resources to help pay for college.  Contact the college Financial Aid Office for assistance with FASFA, State Financial Aid, Scholarships, Finish Line Scholars, Promise and more at 760-384-6221 or email at cc_faid@cerrocoso.edu.   Summer classes begin June 6, 2022 and Fall classes begin August 22, 2022.  There is something for everyone at Cerro Coso Community College.  Your hometown college.      

Find Out How Your Student Can Earn College Credit While In High School

Getting a head start on college credits during high school will save money, impress college admissions departments, and offer greater degree flexibility. Earning college credits in high school is a great way for students to take initiative, strengthen their chances of admissions, explore their interests, or try something new.  By gaining credits towards a degree while still in high school, students can graduate faster, spend less money, and position themselves for success. 

Cerro Coso Community College is hosting a virtual Dual and Concurrent Enrollment Programs Workshop for parents of high school students on Tuesday, April 12 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.

Parents are being asked to pre-register for the Zoom workshop at www.cerrocoso.edu.

For more information contact the College Outreach Office at 760-384-6150 or email outreach@cerrocoso.edu.

Registration for summer and fall 2022 classes begins April 13. 

Bakersfield College

Bakersfield College Honored with Shafter Education Award

Bakersfield College was honored with the education award at the annual Shafter Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet last week for our work with the City of Shafter to reopen the community library in January. The library was closed at the start of the pandemic in March 2020, when it was part of the Kern County Library system.

The City of Shafter has since taken over the operation of the library and has partnered with Bakersfield College to staff and operate the facility. In preparation for the re-opening, a significant investment has been made in new books, with a focus on children. The city also provides classes, tutoring and access to computers at Shafter Learning Center, co-located at library, and Bakersfield College also offers classes, registration events and counselor support at the center through our Rural Initiatives program. Bakersfield College is proud to help provide our rural communities with the same access to educational resources as their big city counterparts.

Thank you to Kern CCD Trustee President Romeo Agbalog, who accepted the award.

Industrial Automation’s Robotic Dog SPOT Continues Tour of Kern County

It has been a busy couple of weeks for Industrial Automation’s robotic dog SPOT as he continued his tour of Kern County.

On March 9th, SPOT along with Industrial Automation program manager Carlos Medina and faculty Dr. Paul Murray, were interviewed on a local TV show “Do The Math.” On the show, they discussed how SPOT ended up at BC, other robots in the program, how SPOT enhances the programming learning experience in BC classrooms, and more. It was a wonderful time showcasing SPOT’s features and functions.

On March 22nd, SPOT joined the Agriculture Department at Farm Day in the City at the Kern County Fair where he was able to interact with elementary students and challenge them in a push up competition.

It is amazing to see young students in Kern County having the opportunity to interact with BC faculty and staff, and to see first hand how education and creativity can produce amazing designs like SPOT.

BC Alumni Association to Host Fundraising Event

The BC Alumni Association will be hosting the “Kern County Premium (KCP)” Fest at the Temblor Brewing Company on Saturday, April 23rd, 6:00PM – 10:30PM. The event will feature live performances by Mento Buru and DJ Mikey, and will feature drink specials for attendees. The event is open to all ages and is 5 dollars to attend.

The KCP Fest will benefit the Bakersfield College Alumni Association. It will be a great opportunity to reconnect with BC friends and family, while raising funds that will benefit future Renegade students and alumni. We hope to see you there. For more information visit the BC Alumni Association Facebook page.

BC Hosts Grad Fair

Bakersfield College’s 108th Commencement is quickly approaching.  To help eligible students prepare for the ceremony, BC hosted a Grad Fair on the main campus this week. Students had the opportunity to get all of their graduation materials including regalia, invitations, mementos, rings, portraits, and more.

It truly is an exciting time for our students as they have the opportunity to participate in the first in-person commencement celebration in several years.

In the News

PC orchestra director to perform at Grammys

The Porterville Recorder published this piece about Dr. Tianna Heppner Smith, the Director of Band and Orchestra at Porterville College, who will perform at this weekend’s Grammys, taking place on Sunday at 5pm.

“Music has been a passion of mine since I began in my local program in sixth grade and I can’t imagine doing anything else,” she said. “I love performing, I love being a pedagogue and helping students and novice string instrumentalists improve on their instruments.”

New 150-tree arboretum beginning to take root at Bakersfield College campus

Steven Mayer wrote this article in The Bakersfield Californian about a new arboretum on BC’s campus.

“One of the concepts behind the Bakersfield College Arboretum is to create an outdoor living laboratory for the students of horticulture, forestry and plant science to have an eyes- and hands-on learning experience,” said Melissa Iger, a certified arborist who heads the Tree Foundation of Kern.

Fun Photo and Spotted on Social Media

PC President Claudia Habib shared this from the Porterville College Plant Sale:

Cerro Coso President Sean Hancock was also spending time with his college’s garden:

Vice Chancellor of Educational Services John Means was recognized at the Kern Education Pledge Convening. This was his last KEP meeting and he was honored with a very nice resolution on a plaque presented by Mary Barlow

Cheryl Scott shared these photos from the KernCounty STEMposium & Career Expo:


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

The future is bright at KernCCD.

a joyful and grateful Chancellor


KernCCD stories of our people

This is a sad week. Hundreds of individuals have lost their lives in Ukraine, with many more to follow. I have been heartbroken by the stories and images coming from the region.

Journalist Tim O’Brien shared a series of photos last night as cities across the globe showed their support for the people of Ukraine.

While it may seem small, these symbols of peace and solidarity strive to be beacons of hope and peace, reinforcing that across the globe, across borders, across ethnicities or religions or beliefs, at our core we are all connected and must show love and compassion to one another.

Good morning, friends…
It is February 26, 2022.
The sun shines bright over KernCCD.

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

Porterville College

PC Breaks ground on Allied Health Building

This past Thursday, Porterville College held a groundbreaking ceremony to mark the start of construction on a new building that will significantly expand the school’s ability to provide health education to meet the growing community need.

The $21 million building will be the on-campus home for PC’s Nursing, Psych Tech, and EMT programs. Once completed, it will allow PC to move those programs from small portable classrooms to a state-of-the-art facility.

The project is being funding by bond measures G and J, approved by the voters for facility improvements.

In her opening remarks to the crowd gathered for the ceremony, PC President Dr. Claudia Habib stated, “There will be more than enough room to increase the size of these programs to meet the growing need for health care and emergency response professionals in Tulare and Kern Counties.”

Trustee John Corkins offered comments in his usual casual and humorous style.

Kim Behrens, Associate Dean of Health Careers for PC said, “I’m most excited about growing our current programs and adding new programs. When we brought Nursing to Porterville in 2003, we moved from the administrative building into the temporary classrooms with the hope of [eventually] being able to build a new building. That dream is finally coming true 20 years later.”

Afterwards, guests were able to view plans and see a “walkthrough” video from the architect showing off the ambitious designs for the building. Immediately following the program, the ceremonial “first shovels” of dirt were dug to kick off the construction phase of this project.

The building will be 23,000 square feet with classrooms, offices, and support spaces.

Pirates surge to No. 15 in state rankings with second-place CVC finish

Porterville’s impressive play under new head coach Amaurys Fermin isn’t going unnoticed. On Monday, the Pirates climbed five spots to finish out the season in second place in the Conference, at No. 15 in the latest California Community College Men’s Basketball Coaches Association (CCCMBCA) State Rankings.  The Pirates finished the year with an impressive 20-7 overall record.

Alberto Laureano scored a season-high 26 points to help lead Porterville College to an 88-82 win at Reedley College in its Central Valley Conference finale on Friday.

The Pirates faced a must-win game at Reedley last Friday to ensure its second-place Central Valley Conference showing. PC held a slim 41-40 lead at halftime and was able to pull out the victory.

The Pirates secured the second-place finish just before their eighth straight win (vs. LA Harbor on Wednesday). This was a make-up of an earlier non-conference game that was originally scheduled for late December. The Pirates can now focus their attention on the postseason as PC will likely earn an at-large bid into the Northern California Regional Playoffs.

Men’s Basketball Makes the Most of Closure on the Grapevine

This week, after being named number 15 in the state in the CCMBCA Coaches Poll, the Pirates men’s basketball team took a well-deserved snow break during a detour on the way to their game with LA Harbor. 

After being unavoidably redirected because of a closure on the Grapevine, the Pirates took the opportunity to do some team building and spent time playing in the snow.  It’s this team spirit and ability to get through challenging situations that makes these men so great at what they do.  We can’t wait to see what they do in the playoffs. Go Pirates!

Check out these great photos:

Cerro Coso Community College

CCCC Covid Update

The changing regulations of California’s approach to the pandemic are again evolving. Last week Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the expiration of the statewide indoor mask requirements for vaccinated individuals.

Management and staff are monitoring the situation and will make adjustments upon careful consideration of additional information, health organization announcements, and positivity rates. Since the original order for Californians to wear face coverings went into effect in 2020, the mask requirement has changed multiple times in response to rising and falling COVID case rates.

The American College Health Association (ACHA) has stated that comprehensive COVID-19 vaccination is the most effective way to return to a safe, robust on-campus experience in fall 2022.

Tread safely, Coyotes.

Coyote Softball Looked to Bounce Back at Home

Emily Curtis up to bat

On Thursday 2/17/22, the Lady Coyotes took on regional rival, the Porterville Pirates in CCCAA softball play. The game, a non-conference contest, still was a significant piece of the developmental puzzle for the Coyote 2022 spring season.

The Coyotes dropped two difficult losses earlier in the week to Santa Barbara City College during a double header where the team just wasn’t able to keep the momentum rolling. The Coyotes showed a lot of grit as Emilia DeSanctis pitched 14 complete innings and the team battled through difficult weather to stay focused through the end, but ultimately could not string enough runs together to keep up with the Vaqueros.

The team has had a bit of the injury bug early in the season forcing Coach Gray to shuffle players around the field, but he believes that as the early season develops, frustration will pay off  as the schedule unfolds leading into conference play. As the Coyote Softball team continues to heal and players hit their stride there will be much to cheer about, as the team has shown signs of progress with Kyla Collins hitting .433/13 H/1 2B/1 3B/1 HR. Defensively Sara Calderas has held down outfield play, and in the circle, Emilia DeSanctis has 47 IP with 36 Ks.

Celebrating Five Decades of Student Success

In 2023, Cerro Coso Community College will celebrate 50 years of helping thousands to realize the dreams of a college degree, transfer preparation, career, new skills, and personal development.  

The College officially opened in the fall of 1973, and within the year began expanding its service area to include the present region. CCCC now serves the largest geographic area of any community college in the state of California. 

The 50th Anniversary of the college’s founding, provides the school with an opportunity to reflect on the last five decades and to honor the staff, faculty, and students who have helped shape the institution.  It will also be a time to celebrate what lies ahead as the college looks forward to the next 50 years as the leading provider of an accessible, affordable, and high quality.

A 50th Anniversary Task Force is being formed to establish a 50th Anniversary theme and logo; and plan year-long activities that increase the awareness of the people, history, and impact of CCCC.  All current students, faculty, staff, retirees, alumni, trustees, donors, foundation members, corporate partners, and friends are encouraged to participate in the planning process. 

For more information, or to share ideas, please email 50anniversary@cerrocoso.edu.

Bakersfield College

BC has a SMARTER Strategy

In statewide news, last week Governor Gavin Newsom announced California’s new “endemic” strategy to combat COVID-19, marking a shift away from the pandemic approach. The new strategy is summarized in the acronym:  “SMARTER”: Shots, Masks, Awareness, Readiness, Testing, Education, and Rx (pharmaceutical treatments). Charles Collom, BC’s Director of Student Health and Wellness, shared that BC has been using the SMARTER strategy for more than a year to keep our community safe:

S: Vaccinations (“Shots”) have been provided at no cost to students, faculty, staff, and our local community since early 2021.

M: “Mask” wearing has been part of our campus protocol since the Spring 2021 academic semester.

A: Contact tracing and completing the Daily Health Checker (“Awareness”) has been a part of our campus community response to drive awareness since the implementation of the KCCD Campus Pass app in January 2021. Awareness also leads to understanding various prevention strategies, such as social-distancing, symptom checking, and our shared responsibility to care for one another on campus.

R: Cleaning supplies and PPE (“Readiness”) continue to be ordered, stocked, and distributed by our M&O team, who continue to provide sanitization and safe filtration of indoor spaces. Additionally, our intentional sanitization protocol and cleaning efforts continue to ensure a safe and healthy working environment.

T: Free COVID-19 PCR testing (“Testing”) continues to be available at no cost to the campus and community in our Fireside Room and drive-through testing facility.

E: Information sharing (“Education”) is facilitated by BC’s COVID Response Team to scale down broad epidemiological trends and information into readily available and easily digestible information which is relevant to our campus community. Campus-wide presentations and quick turn-around on data ensures that our community is well informed and up to date.

R: Any student who believes they are at risk from COVID-19 or may be infected, can contact BC’s Student Health and Wellness Center for evaluation and treatment (“Rx”). Employees may contact Human Resources for similar resources as needed.

Congratulations to the Newly Tenured Renegade Faculty

Reaching tenure is a major milestone in a faculty members’ career. The following Bakersfield College faculty members received tenure and were recognized at last week’s KCCD Trustees Board Meeting: Allison Ament, Radiologic Technology; Fabiola Butcher, Communication; Ashley Choate, Biological Science; Jeffrey Eagan, English; Bonnie Hammond, Electronics; Christina Howell, Behavioral Science; Maryam Jalalifarahani, Engineering; Francisco Llamas, Social Science; Rudy Menjivar, Business Management; William Rockey, Biological Science; David Rohac, Behavioral Science; Kellie Smith, Radiologic Technology; Sara Wallace, English; Emily Wilson, Biological Science; and Jamal Wright, Social Science.

Bakersfield College Alumni Hall of Fame Nominations

The BC Foundation, in conjunction with the BC Alumni Association, are excited to announce that nominations are open for the 2022 Bakersfield College Alumni Hall of Fame!  

We all know BC alums who have gone out in the world and achieved great things. We’re looking for your help in identifying these examples of Renegade excellence! Nominees may include alums who earned their associate’s degree, those who transferred directly to a four-year university, or alums who attended classes for continued education (without earning a degree).  Posthumous nominees are also welcomed. If you would like to submit a nomination, please visit the BC Alumni Hall of Fame Nomination form.

Nominations are open until 5:00PM on Friday, March 18th. Selected individuals will be honored at a gala set for June 23rd at Seven Oaks.

BC’s ENCORE Program Sets Students on Path to Success

BC’s ENCORE program has been up and running with student-participants since last year, giving disadvantaged youth the opportunity to receive a career-focused education. The program is still open to eligible candidates for the 2022 academic year and any interested and eligible youth are welcome to still apply.

One of the successful graduates of the ENCORE program, Mariana Jimenez, is currently preparing to take the NREMT state certification exam after completing the Emergency Medical Technician Certificate program through Bakersfield College’s ENCORE program.

“When I came across the advertisement for the ENCORE program, I thought this is my chance for having a good career I can rely on. I was stuck in a hard place working in the grape fields and feeling hopeless, switching jobs out of high school. I could not figure out how I could make it into college without any help or assistance” she said.

Learn more about BC’s ENCORE Program.

Celebrating the Life of Jack Hernandez

In November 2021, the Bakersfield College campus community lost a legend – Jack Hernandez.

Check out this 3:23-min video from the Board of Trustees meeting in November 2021

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. He joined Bakersfield College as a faculty member in 1961, and served the academic community at BC in several prominent roles until his retirement in 2017. He was also a prolific writer, penning Community Voices pieces for the Bakersfield Californian or writing one of his many poems which have been published in this blog. He will be greatly missed.

Please join us April 1st, 2022 at 4:00 p.m.  in celebrating the life and legacy of Jack Hernandez.

Sonya and Jack Hernandez.

BC, CCCC Team Up to Offer Clinical Medical Assistant Courses

Multiple courses necessary to earn a Clinical Medical Assistant certificate are now open for registration and will be held at Bakersfield College’s Delano campus and at BC Southwest. The courses are being made available in cooperation with Cerro Coso Community College through the Kern Community College District.

These core courses also satisfy requirements for the Administrative Medical Assisting Certificate. 

Courses start March 14th, 2022. More information about the courses is on the Cerro Coso website. Online registration workshops will be held to assist new or returning students with enrolling or learning more about the certificate. Interested individuals should register for one of the Zoom workshops.

Black History Month Breakfast

On Monday, February 28, at 8 am, the Kern CCD will be hosting a breakfast event to celebrate Black History Month.

The event will be livestreamed at https://youtu.be/LKuan1rll4M – please tune in!

Getting to Know: Amaurys Fermin

The best way to build the spirit of collaboration and partnership across Kern CCD is to get to know one another. So, working with the communications teams at the three colleges, I am launching a series called “Getting to Know” where we will profile an employee of the district.   #KernStories

Let’s #gettoknow Amaurys Fermin, the Head Men’s Basketball Coach and a kinesiology instructor at Porterville College. 

As I shared earlier in this blog post, the Porterville College Pirates have had an incredibly successful season. Amaurys joined the team in July, and has put together an amazing group of young men who are headed to the playoffs – PC Men’s Basketball’s first playoff appearance since 2003!

You can read more about Amaurys Fermin on the KernCCD website. #KernStories #Gettoknow our people.

Thank you, Roger Perez, for organizing this profile.  Thank you, Stacey Shepherd, for the write up.

In the News

Community Voices: BC expands opportunities for students to become more worldly

BC adjunct faculty member Yuki Takeuchi-Chan penned this piece in The Bakersfield Californian about the new AA degree in Japanese that BC offers – the program graduated its first student in May 2021.

“Learning a new language is a special and life-changing opportunity. Sometimes, these opportunities can take you to unexpected places. A Rotary international scholarship placement brought me from my hometown of Nagano, Japan to Bakersfield in 2003.

Women lead charge in latest BC production

I enjoyed this piece from Stefani Dias in The Bakersfield Californian about BC’s spring production of “The House of Bernarda Alba.”

Director Cody Ganger shared how she changed her original show plans after seeing “so many fantastic young women audition.”

Fun Photos & Spotted on Social Media

Bakersfield College’s Industrial Automation partnered up with The World Famous Harlem Globetrotters last Friday to keep SPOT’s Kern County Tour momentum going. SPOT is the robotic dog and newest addition to the Industrial Automation Lab’s robots I have written about in previous blogs. Industrial Automation students had the opportunity to meet the Globetrotters team prior to the game and coordinated a special Bakersfield script for the evening show. The INDA team had the privilege to sit courtside with the Globetrotters and participate as part of the show to introduce SPOT to the community.

I spotted this fun video on Krista Moreland’s Facebook – check out this screenshot:

Cerro Coso’s Caitlin Fabel got her first college home run this week!

Sondra Keckley shared that she and her husband Kurt had paid off their house, 20 years to the month they moved in. She shared these great side-by-side pics recreating their move in:


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

The future is bright at KCCD.

a joyful and grateful Chancellor


KCCD CEOs welcome you to the new semester

KCCD CEOs welcome you back faculty and staff to spring 2022 in-service
as we gear up for our students
KCCD continues to #DareMightyThings

President Dadabhoy, Chancellor Christian, President Hancock, President Habib

Thought I would start my blog by sharing the books I read this past year.

The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing, and the Future of the Human Race by Walter Isaacson

The bestselling author of Leonardo da Vinci and Steve Jobs returns with a “compelling” (The Washington Post) account of how Nobel Prize winner Jennifer Doudna and her colleagues launched a revolution that will allow us to cure diseases, fend off viruses, and have healthier babies.


Count the Ways by Joyce Maynard

“In her most ambitious novel to date, New York Times bestselling author Joyce Maynard returns to the themes that are the hallmarks of her most acclaimed work in a mesmerizing story of a family—from the hopeful early days of young marriage to parenthood, divorce, and the costly aftermath that ripples through all their lives.”


The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

“Somewhere out beyond the edge of the universe there is a library that contains an infinite number of books, each one the story of another reality. One tells the story of your life as it is, along with another book for the other life you could have lived if you had made a different choice at any point in your life. While we all wonder how our lives might have been, what if you had the chance to go to the library and see for yourself? Would any of these other lives truly be better?”


Unwinding Anxiety by Judson Brewer

“We are living through one of the most anxious periods any of us can remember. Whether facing issues as public as a pandemic or as personal as having kids at home and fighting the urge to reach for the wine bottle every night, we are feeling overwhelmed and out of control. But in this timely book, Judson Brewer explains how to uproot anxiety at its source using brain-based techniques and small hacks accessible to anyone.”


Post Corona: From Crisis to Opportunity by Scott Galloway

“The COVID-19 outbreak has turned bedrooms into offices, pitted young against old, and widened the gaps between rich and poor, red and blue, the mask wearers and the mask haters. Some businesses–like home exercise company Peloton, video conference software maker Zoom, and Amazon–woke up to find themselves crushed under an avalanche of consumer demand. Others–like the restaurant, travel, hospitality, and live entertainment industries–scrambled to escape obliteration.

But as New York Times bestselling author Scott Galloway argues, the pandemic has not been a change agent so much as an accelerant of trends already well underway. In Post Corona, he outlines the contours of the crisis and the opportunities that lie ahead. Some businesses, like the powerful tech monopolies, will thrive as a result of the disruption. Other industries, like higher education, will struggle to maintain a value proposition that no longer makes sense when we can’t stand shoulder to shoulder. And the pandemic has accelerated deeper trends in government and society, exposing a widening gap between our vision of America as a land of opportunity, and the troubling realities of our declining wellbeing.”


The Truths We Hold: An American Journey by Kamala Harris

From Vice President Kamala Harris, one of America’s most inspiring political leaders, a book about the core truths that unite us, and the long struggle to discern what those truths are and how best to act upon them, in her own life and across the life of our country.”


Divided we Fall by David French

“David French warns of the potential dangers to the country—and the world—if we don’t summon the courage to reconcile our political differences.

Two decades into the 21st Century, the U.S. is less united than at any time in our history since the Civil War. We are more diverse in our beliefs and culture than ever before. But red and blue states, secular and religious groups, liberal and conservative idealists, and Republican and Democratic representatives all have one thing in common: each believes their distinct cultures and liberties are being threatened by an escalating violent opposition. This polarized tribalism, espoused by the loudest, angriest fringe extremists on both the left and the right, dismisses dialogue as appeasement; if left unchecked, it could very well lead to secession.”

I was thrilled back in December 2020 when the ACCJC Learning Seminar Series welcomed David French as a featured speaker at our session “Learning to Stand Together: A Call for Higher Education to Bridge the American Divide Through Equity.”

The full video from that discussion is below. It’s about an hour but worth the watch.


Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Irin Carmon and Shana Knizhnik

“She was a fierce dissenter with a serious collar game. A legendary, self-described “flaming feminist litigator” who made the world more equal. And an intergenerational icon affectionately known as the Notorious RBG. As the nation mourns the loss of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, discover the story of a remarkable woman and learn how to carry on her legacy.”


Untamed by Glennon Doyle

“There is a voice of longing inside each woman. We strive so mightily to be good: good partners, daughters, mothers, employees, and friends. We hope all this striving will make us feel alive. Instead, it leaves us feeling weary, stuck, overwhelmed, and underwhelmed. We look at our lives and wonder: Wasn’t it all supposed to be more beautiful than this? We quickly silence that question, telling ourselves to be grateful, hiding our discontent—even from ourselves.

For many years, Glennon Doyle denied her own discontent. Then, while speaking at a conference, she looked at a woman across the room and fell instantly in love. Three words flooded her mind: There She Is. At first, Glennon assumed these words came to her from on high. But she soon realized they had come to her from within. This was her own voice—the one she had buried beneath decades of numbing addictions, cultural conditioning, and institutional allegiances. This was the voice of the girl she had been before the world told her who to be. Glennon decided to quit abandoning herself and to instead abandon the world’s expectations of her. She quit being good so she could be free. She quit pleasing and started living.”


The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

“From The New York Times-bestselling author of The Mothers, a stunning new novel about twin sisters, inseparable as children, who ultimately choose to live in two very different worlds, one black and one white. The Vignes twin sisters will always be identical. But after growing up together in a small, southern black community and running away at age sixteen, it’s not just the shape of their daily lives that is different as adults, it’s everything: their families, their communities, their racial identities. Many years later, one sister lives with her black daughter in the same southern town she once tried to escape. The other secretly passes for white, and her white husband knows nothing of her past. Still, even separated by so many miles and just as many lies, the fates of the twins remain intertwined. What will happen to the next generation, when their own daughters’ storylines intersect?”


The Guest List by Lucy Foley

The bride – The plus one – The best man – The wedding planner  – The bridesmaid – The body

On an island off the coast of Ireland, guests gather to celebrate two people joining their lives together as one. The groom: handsome and charming, a rising television star. The bride: smart and ambitious, a magazine publisher. It’s a wedding for a magazine, or for a celebrity: the designer dress, the remote location, the luxe party favors, the boutique whiskey. The cell phone service may be spotty and the waves may be rough, but every detail has been expertly planned and will be expertly executed.”


Deadliest Enemy: Our War Against Killer Germs by Michael Osterholm

“Unlike natural disasters, whose destruction is concentrated in a limited area over a period of days, and illnesses, which have devastating effects but are limited to individuals and their families, infectious disease has the terrifying power to disrupt everyday life on a global scale, overwhelming public and private resources and bringing trade and transportation to a grinding halt.”


Grace and Grit: My Fight for Equal Pay and Fairness at Goodyear and Beyond by Lilly Ledbetter

“The courageous story of the woman at the center of the historic discrimination case that inspired the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act–her fight for equal rights in the workplace, and how her determination became a victory for the nation.”

This past June, The California Community Colleges Women’s Caucus was honored to have Lilly as a speaker for Lilly Ledbetter Equal Pay Event. It was truly inspirational to hear her story directly from her, as she shared her experience in fighting for equal pay for equal work.


Good morning, friends…
It is January 8, 2022.
The sun shines bright over KCCD.

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

Porterville College

Six PC volleyball players earn All-Central Valley Conference honors

(Left-right): Paige Borges (Honorable Mention), Jordan Castaneda (Honorable Mention), and
Victoria Dabney (Second Team) were three of six 2021 All-CVC selections.

Following the close of the 2021 regular season for the Porterville College women’s volleyball team, six members of the Pirates earned All-Central Valley Conference postseason honors.

Leading the way for Porterville was second-team All-CVC selection Victoria Dabney. The freshman outside hitter was the Pirates’ primary threat on offense this season, leading her squad with 192 kills, 534 attempts, 52 total blocks, and a 2.31 kills per set average. Dabney’s 126 digs ranked second on the team. She came to PC from Porterville High School.

Named All-CVC honorable mention were sophomore middle blocker Madison Doty (Monache HS), sophomore middle blocker Paige Borges (Strathmore HS), sophomore outside hitter Emily Kissick (Strathmore HS), sophomore setter Jordan Castaneda (Farmersville HS), and freshman outside hitter Kaitlyn Keovilaysane (Porterville HS).

The Pirates wrapped up the season with a 10-14 overall record and finished fifth in the final Central Valley Conference standings with a 7-9 mark under head coach Pete Rasmussen.

PC hosts series of events to connect with the community

PC Dean of Student Success Erin Wingfield, PC VP of Student
Services Primavera Arvizu, Stafford’s Chocolates owner Rob Taylor,
and PC President Dr. Claudia Habib attend the event.

The PC Student Services team is removing barriers to success while sharing some great treats with the community.  Over the next several weeks, the department will be holding several registration events in popular Porterville Gathering Spots, all in an effort to make registration as EASY as possible for our community – meeting potential students where they gather with mobile registration services and staff on hand to answer questions and provide guidance and support. 

The first of these events was held on Thursday, January 6, 2022, at Stafford’s Chocolates, a very popular coffee shop and local hangout right in the center of Downtown Porterville.  The next event will be held on Wednesday January 12 at Centennial Park, also in Downtown Porterville.   

Student Services Staff on hand to assist new
registrants at Stafford’s Chocolates
Stafford’s Chocolates staff decked
out in PC Gear for PC Day at the shop

These events allow anyone to ask questions and get help with registration as they go about their daily errands.  The setup of these events allows PC staff to assist potential students with registration as they are stopping into their local morning spot for coffee or when they are on the way to do banking or get something to eat for lunch. Staff will be on hand at each of these “pop-up” registration events to make the process simple while addressing concerns about the cost of college by showing students how to easily sign up for financial aid and other programs that will help students pay for tuition, books, and other supplies needed during their time at PC. 

Men’s basketball has impressive start on and off the court

We are very proud to report that, not only has the Porterville College men’s basketball team had the best first half start to a PC Basketball season in over 20 years (8-2), but they finished the Fall semester with a team 3.0 Grade Point Average

These scholar athletes (10 Freshmen and 2 Sophomores led by head coach Amaurys Fermin) have VERY bright futures ahead of them!  We can’t wait to see what happens next!

The Pirate’s next home game is on Wednesday, January 12th as they face West Hills Lemoore.  Come out and show us that #SeaOfRed!

Cerro Coso Community College

Cerro Coso Faculty Joins Smart Justice Think Thank

Peter Fulks, professor in Administration of Justice, is a member of the inaugural Smart Justice Think Tank, a coalition of higher education champions and directly impacted leaders. The SJTT will develop a guiding framework for scholars, advocates, practitioners, legislators, and re-entry organizations in post-secondary higher education in prison and on-campus programs.

They will seek to address incarcerated and formerly incarcerated students’ unique needs as they strive toward academic success and their career goals.

College Admissions Workshop

Cerro Coso Community College will hold a college admissions workshop on Monday, January 10th, from 12-1 pm. Students will get information on how to apply, as well as guidance on best practices or any other questions students may have.

Students who take advantage of this workshop will be able to attend classes this spring semester!

For more information, contact Outreach Director Katie Bachman at (760) 384-6353.

Dave’s Scholar: Julia Sarver

Check out this letter from Dave’s Scholar Julia Sarver, who graduated in December:

The importance of being a Dave’s Scholar for me is that I have been able to start my educational path in nursing without a financial burden. With the help of this scholarship, I have already received my Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) license, and I am about to become a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN).

After I graduate in December, I will take my NCLEX state test to become licensed and start working as a nurse. In the spring, I plan to continue my education to complete the rest of my prerequisites for a Registered Nurse (RN) program. I believe I have another three more years of schooling to become an RN if I am accepted into a program right away. With so many nursing schools being impacted, I know I will have to work hard to achieve my goal. Ultimately, my goal is to receive my Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN).

Being a Dave’s Scholar has helped me save money to help me pay for the school that is to come. I am very grateful to be offered an opportunity like becoming a Dave’s Scholar.

Thank you,
Julia Sarver

Bakersfield College

BC’s Catalytic Converter Etching Event with Kern County DA’s Office

BC’s Auto Technology team held a Catalytic Converter etching event in partnership with the Kern County DA’s office on Saturday, December 11th, 2021. These license plate number etchings make it easier for law enforcement to identify potentially stolen parts. There has been a significant rise in catalytic converter thefts in Kern County over the past 2 years. KGET reported that 2,224 catalytic converters were stolen in 2021 in an article about a surge in crime dated 12/30/2021. The Catalytic Converter Etching event was reported by KGET on 12/8/2021 and KERO on 12/9/2021.

Bakersfield College Prepares for the Spring 22

BC is gearing up for Spring 2022! Flex week begins next week with lots of Professional Development workshop opportunities for faculty and staff.

On Thursday, January 13th 2022,  will be the Opening Day.

Bookstore employees are busy preparing to fill book orders for the Bakersfield College students. There is still time to register! BC is holding a Virtual Registration Rocks Event on January 12th, 2022 from 12-5 PM. Come join the Renegades! Spring 2022 begins on January 16th, 2022.

Christmas Tree Recycling

Christmas time is an exciting time of bright lights and beautiful trees brought into the house and decorated in festive ornaments and lights. When the season is over, these trees are discarded and those that end up in landfills produce methane as they decompose which exacerbates the climate change problems we are facing. Every year, Bakersfield College hosts a Christmas Tree Collection site where the City picks up the trees and properly recycles them at no charge to our community. BC is continuing to collect trees through Monday January 10th, 2022 at 11:00 PM in the southwest parking lot (P16) at the corner of Haley and University. 

Spotted on Social Media

Recently, Traco Matthews – a great leader in our community and dear friend of Bakersfield College – lost his mother. I was so inspired by this post from his father, Philip Matthews. This 5:18 video shows the family coming together in song to grieve:

To the Matthews family: your beautiful family and music to bring peace in this sorrowful time is an inspiration to us.


Wendy Gerhold — a beautiful soul


My tweet on the passing of Sidney Poitier


Also this week, Monika Scott shared this photo from a previous commencement at Bakersfield College – I love seeing the crowd packing the Memorial Stadium to celebrate our amazing students. Seeing this photo helps me relive every graduation ceremony. Thank you Monika!

I saw that the Arvin High We the people team was recognized as the 21st Congressional District champions for the We the People Competition. Good luck at state!

And Porterville College is holding Porterville College Day at Centennial Part on Wednesday, from 9 am to 4 pm!


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

The future is bright at KCCD.

a joyful and grateful Chancellor


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 

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


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

The future is bright at KCCD.

a joyful and grateful Chancellor


Like Olympic Athletes, KCCD #DaringMightyThings with kindness

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Porterville College

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

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

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

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

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

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

Summer camp introduces future PC program to young audiences

Professor Diran Lyons works with students on their video projects.

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

Diran Lyons

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

A summer camp student previews work on her video.

Basic Needs Support for Community College Students Is Urgent and Actionable

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cerro Coso Community College

CCCC to host vaccination clinic August 19

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

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

The August 19th Vaccination Clinic is open to the public

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

Cliff Davis Presents at Eastern Sierra Book Festival

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

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

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

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

CCCC Foundation to participate in Cheers to Charity

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

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

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

Bakersfield College

Project HireUp & CityServe Recruitment Tour

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

HEAL Webinar – Vaccine Education Outreach – Central Valley

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

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

Here’s the Q&A from that session:

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

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

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