Tag Archives: Kay Meek

Kern CCD – Transforming Lives

I am regularly awestruck by our youngsters — their brilliant minds, their creativity, their humanity and their commitment to making this world a better place. This week in particular I have marveled at their abilities.

On Thursday night, the Scripps National Spelling Bee crowned a new champion after a historic spell-off. Harini Logan, 14, won the first-ever spell-off, going head-to-head with Vikram Raju, 12. The contestants were challenged to spell as many words correctly as possible within 90 seconds. Harini spelled 21 of 26 correctly, while Vikram got 15 out of 19.

Photo by Alex Brandon/AP/Shutterstock

The spell-off was absolutely incredible – both of these youngsters should be very proud.

Check it out below:

This morning, Katya Echazarreta, 26, is the first Mexcan-born woman and the youngest American woman in space after the Blue Origins NS-21 rocket launched this morning from Van Horn, Texas. Katya is a product of the California Community Colleges system – she is an alumna of San Diego City College.

CA Community Colleges #TransformingLives.

Good morning, friends.
It is June 4, 2022.
The sun shines bright over KernCCD.


Porterville College

PC Celebrates PsychTech Graduates

A touching ceremony was held on Friday, May 27th, inside the Porterville College Gym to honor the Psychiatric Technology program’s class of 2022.  After entering the gym in a processional, the students took part in the Psychiatric Technician Pledge. 

The celebration continued with opening remarks from Kim Behrens, the Associate Dean of Health Careers for PC and a welcome from PC President Dr. Claudia Habib.  The evening’s keynote speaker was Kenneth Osborn, a registered nurse from the Porterville Developmental Center.

The crowded gym then heard from class representatives Joshua Roach and Yadira Arellano before the presentation of several awards and the pinning of each student by their families.

Congratulations to the Psych Tech Class of 2022!

PC Graduates Record Number of Transfer Students

For PC students, transfer can often be a more difficult step than degree/certificate completion – particularly given the distance we are from our nearest transfer institutions. The closest CSUs are 49 and 67 miles away and the nearest UC campuses over 120.

Each year, the KCCD Institutional Research & Reporting department updates transfer data for each school. This year shows an exciting increase in our numbers for transfer, indicating a record high of 398 students who transferred to 4-year institutions after graduation from PC. 

Below are a few tidbits from the most recent data, provided by PC Director of Institutional Research Michael Carly:

  • Total number of transfers was over 300 for the third consecutive year and 2020-21 is the highest ever with 398.
  • Our two biggest transfer institutions continue to be CSU-Fresno and CSU-Bakersfield.   We used to send more students to Fresno, then, as that university got more impacted, we were often sending more to Bakersfield.  But last year, Fresno was once again higher, 148 to 108.
  • 2020-21 was tied for the highest year ever for transfers to the UC system with 18.  Interestingly, this seems to be the first year we sent at least one student to each of the ten UC campuses, with Merced getting the most (4).

The transfer velocity report is one we don’t talk about often, but it’s one that is the closest we have to a statewide transfer rate, which is pulled from the State Chancellor’s Office Data Mart.  This uses the accepted definition of a transfer rate within six years, so ours is 34.7%.  We could go out even longer as some of our students, particularly those who work, take longer to transfer. Extending to eight years, the rate would be 41.5%, an additional 30 transfers.

PC Women’s Soccer Program will make its 2022 home debut
playing Cerro Coso

The PC Women’s Soccer Team at the Academic and Athletic Achievement Awards
on May 2, 2022

Women’s soccer comes to Porterville College as new head coach Amber Hernandez and the Pirates are getting set to compete in their first season in fall 2022. The PC Athletic Department recently released the new program’s full schedule for 2022.

Fall practice will begin in August and the Pirates will begin their season with a scrimmage at Santa Monica College on Tuesday, August 23. A little over two weeks later, Porterville officially kicks off the 17-game season schedule on Friday, September 9 with its opening contest at Sacramento City College.

Porterville will play its first two games on the road before the Pirates make their home debut on Friday, Sept. 16 against Cerro Coso College at 6 p.m.

Following that match, PC begins its 14-game Central Valley Conference schedule at Merced College on Sept. 27. That is followed by a CVC game at Reedley College before the Pirates play their first home conference contest, in an Oct. 4 match up against visiting Fresno City College at 4 p.m.

The regular-season finale is set for Nov. 11 at 3 p.m. against Taft College in Porterville.

Click here to view the complete schedule.

Porterville College #TransformingLives


Cerro Coso Community College

Lead with Love: Celebrate Pride Month with Cerro Coso Community College

Photo by Markus Spiske: The rainbow is the most widely recognized LGBTQ+ symbol in the world. The first LGBT rainbow flag was designed by Gilbert Baker in 1978.  It immediately became and has continued to be the symbol of Pride

June is LGBTQ+ Pride Month, and Cerro Coso Community College is honored to celebrate it with our diverse students, staff, faculty, and community member.  Come out and join us in celebration!

Join the college in celebration by wearing any and all things rainbow on Wednesday, June 8th,or stop by the counseling desk at the Ridgecrest Campus to pick up a rainbow bracelet!

Friday, June 10th and 24th from 1-3 pm is Campus Pride Safe Space Training, a nationally recognized program that provides training and signage for institutions committed to support LGBTQ students.  A Safe Space Program is one of the measures of a supportive campus on the Campus Pride Index (CampusPrideIndex.org).  The college is offering a two-hour online version of the Safe Space Training. 

On Monday, June 20 from 1-3 pm is Stop the Hate training.  Stop the Hate is an educational initiative of Campus Pride and supports colleges and universities in preventing and combating hate on campus as well as fostering the development of community.  The national program serves as the premiere source of anti-hate education resources for higher education institutions and campus communities. 

Both training sessions are open to the community.  If you are interested in registering for either of these trainings please contact Tanner Barnett at tanner.barnett@cerrocoso.edu or call 760-384-6249. 

The College will also be hosting two Movie Nights in the Sculpture Garden.  Bring your blankets and/or chairs and enjoy the movies Rent on Thursday, June 9 at 8 pm and 3 Generations will be shown on Thursday, June 23 at 8 pm.  Admission and popcorn are FREE. 

Weekend Police Academy Courses at Cerro Coso

Cerro Coso Community College is offering Police Academy courses in Tehachapi this fall, helping to fill a shortage of police and law enforcement officers statewide.

Post Reserve Officer Level III and II is a progressive series of part time academy courses.  These courses are taken in sequence, module 3, 2, 1.  Must be 18 or older to start. The modular academy provides the same certifications as a full-time academy, through extended part-time courses.  The schedule is more flexible and each module provide different job opportunities or career advancement.  People may exit and return into the program after meeting the modular certificate requirements, whereas a full-time intensive academy requires a six month full-time commitment.  The different options serve different people.    

Cerro Coso Community College’s part-time modular format Police Academy is state certified by POST and meets the requirements for hire at agencies statewide. 

With a Module III, Arrest and firearms certifications (PC 832) recruits are allowed to serve as level III reserve officers, prisoner transport, park ranger, code enforcement, animal control officer, arson investigator, or federal law enforcement working within the state of California.

Module II, Reserve officer level II certification allows recruits to work as a paid or unpaid reserve officer with police powers on duty (under PC 830.6), parole agent, probation officer, some investigators, transit, harbor, or port officer, and Native American tribal police.

Module l, recruits are eligible to become a full-time sworn police officer or deputy within the state of California.     

Fall classes begin August 22, 2022.  To enroll students must become a Cerro Coso student, register for all three courses (ADMJ C140, C142, & C143), and will receive an application packet in an email.

For more information on the weekend Police Academy at Cerro Coso contact Academy Director Peter Fulks at peter.fulks@cerrocoso.edu

Sports Camps a Big Hit for Local Youth

The Cerro Coso Athletic Boosters and Student Athletic Clubs will be offering  a variety of sports camps and clinics this summer beginning with a Basketball Summer Skills Camp June 13-17 in the Cerro Coso gymnasium.  The camp will be held Monday – Thursdays from 9 am to 3:30 pm and on Friday from 9 am to 12 noon.  The camp is open to both boys and girls ages 7 – 14 years old and costs $175.00 per child (includes a t-shirt).  Contact Coach Dugan for more information on the camp at Christopher.dugan@cerrocoso.edu or phone at 805-354-9911.

Be on the look out for more campus offerings over the summer to advance your campers’ athletic skills. 

These camps provide local youths an opportunity to have fun while building sportsmanship, athletic skills, and confidence under the enthusiastic guidance of experienced and dedicated Cerro Coso athletes and coaches.

The money raised by these camps generates enough to cover expenses and any profits are used to advance athletics at the college.

Cerro Coso Athletics welcomes new Coyotes

Coyote baseball would like to introduce three of our latest signees. Left to right: Cameron Breeze, Kaden Millar, and Noah Medina from Paloma Valley High School.

Cerro Coso #TransformingLives


Bakersfield College

Revolution in the Fields Student Art Contest

In 2022, the Bakersfield College Social Justice Institute initiated a student art contest inspired by the Smithsonian traveling exhibit, Dolores Huerta: Revolution in the Fields. With support from the Arts Council of Kern BIPOC grant, the Bakersfield College Social Justice Institute was able to create a call for student art submissions in conjunction with the 4th annual Jess Nieto Memorial Conference. 

Below you may view the student winning submission and two honorable mentions.

BC Chamber Singers Present a Fundraising Event

On June 10 and 11 the Bakersfield College Chamber Singers will present 2 unforgettable evenings at the Stars Theatre in downtown Bakersfield. ‘’Something’s Coming: An Evening with the BC Chamber Singers & Friends” will feature current and past BC Chamber Singers along with incredible community members. Musical selections will include Les Miserables, Guys & Dolls, Jersey Boys, Phantom of the Opera, The Color Purple, Rocky Horror Picture Show, Little Women, Hadestown, West Side Story, and more. There will also be a live band throughout the evening. June 10 will include the full show and dessert. June 11 will include the full show with dinner, dessert, raffle, and live and silent auctions. Hurry and get your tickets! The proceeds of both nights will help make it possible for the BC Chamber Singers to represent BC and our community in Vienna, Prague, and Berlin in June of 2023. They cannot do it without your support. Consider buying one of the sponsor tables available on June 11! Tickets can be purchased from the BC Foundation’s Registration Page.  This will be an incredible night you don’t want to miss!

Umoja Community’s End-of-the-year Celebration 

Umoja Community held a celebration to acknowledge student persistence as well as those who graduated. Students shared their favorite Umoja activities and events as well as how Umoja faculty and fellow students helped them keep going. More than five Umoja students graduated from BC plus another from the Nursing program. Several are transferring to CSUB. Faculty and staff who attended had words of support for the students and praise for the program.

BC Agriculture Department Is Growing

Check out this story from the BC Foundation’s Panorama newsletter:

Bakersfield College is ramping up its Agriculture Department, and the reason for it is simple. Kern County is the No. 2 agriculture producing county in the state, and the Central Valley produces 25% of the nation’s food!  BC is committed to training the future (and current!) ag workforce in order to meet the needs of local employers – and a hungry nation.

Transformations are taking place to best serve BC students, so they can then go on to serve our ag employers. The Edible Education Garden is almost complete, and to go alongside it, there will be new Edible Education Garden non-credit courses offered this Fall. The Delano Campus is about to break ground on a Regenerative Farm which will be used to teach students about paper plot planting systems, commercial and home hydroponics, and traditional row crop seasonal crops. The Ag Department was recently awarded a grant for commercial and home hydroponic systems as well. Topping it all off, the BC Agriculture building and Horticulture laboratory will be demolished and replaced with brand new construction beginning this summer. Construction is planned to be complete in the fall of 2024.

Bakersfield College #TransformingLives


In the News

OPINION: Why community colleges are the perfect partner for green jobs — and good jobs

I wanted to share an opinion piece I wrote for The Hechinger Report.

“Kern County, in California’s Central Valley, is creating a prosperous future with environmentally supportive practices; and the Kern Community College District (Kern CCD) has become a perfect partner for businesses, industries and county government in creating an abundance of green jobs that are also good jobs, an important step toward establishing a strong, local economy.”

It’s the ‘Right’ time for residents to compete

I thought this article from Stefani Dias in The Bakersfield Californian was so fun – several Bakersfield residents have recently been involved in The Price is Right. BC Professor Heather Silvis won her showcase on an episode that aired March 25. BC Student Jacquelin Bugarin and Bakersfield Hospice nurse Sheila Fryer have also recently vied for spots on the show.

Heather Silvis

Local student graduates Bakersfield College, Ridgeview High at 17

KGET ran this piece about Kirsten Jiminez-Gray, who grated from Ridgeview High and Bakersfield College this spring at the age of 17. She started taking dual enrollment classes in middle school!

Fun Photos & Spotted on Social Media

On Tuesday, Congressman Kevin McCarthy visited Bakersfield College. Kern CCD Trustees Romeo Agbalog and Kay Meek, BC Foundation Executive Director Cheryl Scott, and others from Bakersfield College were on hand to meet with him:

PC President Dr. Claudia Habib shared this post from last weekend’s PC Foundation Swap Meet:

Love visiting our @Foundation_PC Swap Meet. Our staff and student workers are the engine that makes it all happen every Saturday. Es lindo ver las familias disfrutando su día aquí #FamilyActivity and I always find a good deal! #SabadosDeRemate#ScholarshipsFunds @PCollegePirates

Isabel Castaneda shared this snap from her son’s graduation:

Today another chapter closes, from a @students_FHS#trojan to @BAKcollege#Renegade, beyond proud to see my 2nd born join the BC Family and be part of @bc_bridge this summer #WeAreBC#WeAreTrojans

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

The future is bright at KernCCD.

-sonya
a joyful and grateful Chancellor

#KCCDDaringMightyThings

Sterling Silver 2022

Last weekend, the Bakersfield College Foundation’s 14th Annual Sterling Silver event returned to in-person, after last year’s televised recognition celebration.

The annual benefit dinner recognizes exceptional support and service to the BC Foundation, and to the college, with proceeds from the evening going directly towards the Renegade scholarship program and supportive services. The sold out event took place Saturday March 19th, 2022 at the Panorama Campus.

Thank you to the top Sterling sponsors

Joel and Connie Perez-Andreesen–Reception Sponsor

Ordiz Melby Architects–Sterling Level Sponsor

Chevron–Sterling Level Sponsor

Corporate Philanthropist Award: Bank of America

Individual Philanthropist Award: The Contreras Family

BC Foundation Service Medal: Assemblymember Rudy Salas

Lifetime Achievement Award: Congressman William “Bill” Thomas

Check out this 2-minute photo roll of Bill Thomas

I loved the impromptu remarks made by four of our trustees, led by President Romeo Agbalog. It was the cherry on top of the icing of a wonderful evening.

Bill Thomas with Kern CCD Trustees Kay Meek, Yovani Jimenez, Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, and Romeo Agbalog

Executive Director of BC’s Foundation, Cheryl Scott said, “Sterling Silver is one of our favorite times of the year because we’re able to recognize the thoughtful generosity and long lasting contributions of leaders who have stepped forward to make a difference in the lives of students. These individuals are creating a legacy of positive growth and inspiring bright futures through expansions, education, and support.”

BC’s brand new event space, located on the 3rd floor of the newly constructed Campus Center building hosted the special evening.

Here are a some photos:

More photos

Fabulous culinary students

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

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


Porterville College

PC Writer & Poet Speaker Series Returns with Helena María Viramontes

PC has announced Helena María Viramontes as the next speaker in the PC Writer & Poet Speaker Series.  She will join the PC community on March 31st at 12pm – 1pm via zoom at: https://cccconfer.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJcqfuysrjopGtQdfBym9zfAGULd_IIWTzia

Viramontes is the author of The Moths and Other Stories (1985) and two novels: Under the Feet of Jesus, which bears witness to the struggles of a makeshift family of migrant farmworkers in California, and Their Dogs Came with Them (2008), a masterful depiction of the lives of the dispossessed, the working poor, the homeless, and the undocumented of East Los Angeles, where Viramontes was born and raised.

In the 1980s, Viramontes became co-coordinator of the Los Angeles Latino Writers Association; later in the decade, Viramontes helped found Southern California Latino Writers and Filmmakers. In collaboration with feminist scholar Maria Herrera Sobek, Viramontes organized three major conferences at UC-Irvine, resulting in two anthologies: Chicana Creativity and Criticism-Charting New Frontiers in American Literature (1988) and Chicana Writes: On Word and Film (1993).

You can find more information on Viramontes via her Cornell faculty page and register for the event at https://cccconfer.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJcqfuysrjopGtQdfBym9zfAGULd_IIWTzia.

Getting to Know the PC ASPC in 4 questions:
ASPC Marketing and Publicity Representative Brayan Quevedo

At Porterville College, we believe that one of the keys to student success is a complete student life experience.  The Associated Students of Porterville College (ASPC) plays a large part in shaping student life on campus. 

We recently had the chance to connect with the Associated Students of Porterville College (ASPC) Marketing and Publicity representative Brayan Quevedo who shared about the journey to PC, studies and areas of interest, and future plans:

Can you tell us about your life before you came to PC and your journey that led you here?

My life’s a wild story. More specifically, before PC I lived in Oregon. I graduated last June (2021) from Sprague High School with a diploma in STEM. I knew I wanted to further my education through college but didn’t really know where to attend. What I did know was that I loved Computer Science and Mathematics, so I applied schools in Oregon and California that specialized in STEM.

During the college application process, some of my family members got sick and needed to be cared for so my mother and I moved. Since I was between two states, college admissions got extremely tricky as it’s quite uncommon to be moving during the final weeks of school, so I was charged out-of-state tuition for all the schools I got accepted to. What really motivated me to attend PC as opposed to other colleges were the cost, location, and small class sizes. Having just moved to the Central Valley, college costs were extremely worrying as it felt like I was spending money left and right, but Porterville College was extremely affordable – even as an out-of-state student. Instead of seeing $70k cost of attendance bills, it was only a few thousand, which made attending the school an obvious choice. Furthermore, they also helped me through the financial aid process to minimize my bill as much as possible!

Finally, the class sizes. One of my biggest concerns with going to a state school were the 200+ class sizes in huge auditoriums for an introductory level class, taught by a professor who couldn’t recognize one student from the next. At Porterville College, every instructor knows me by name, and genuinely wants me to succeed in their class. It’s such a welcoming environment that no state school could match.

What are you majoring in at PC and what career path do you have in mind?

As mentioned previously, I’m currently studying Mathematics and Computer Science. I chose these majors for their difficulty and their impact. I love tackling a hard problem and spending hours seeing what the most efficient solution is. Furthermore, you can use these tools that you learn in my majors to create REAL impact on the world! You could design the next biggest app, create infrastructure that millions of residents use yearly, help the human race reach intergalactic travel – truly the applications are limitless!

What are your hobbies and interests outside of school?

Besides just academics, I’ve been known to be a tree hugger for my love of nature and running. I spend any time possible at Sequoia or Yosemite. The entire experience of scaling a multi-thousand-foot mountain with your friends while messing around and enjoying yourselves brings me genuine joy and happiness that calls me back, one weekend after the next. I believe everyone should experience nature as often as possible, so they can see how beautiful the planet they live on is!

What are your plans after you finish at PC?

After graduating from Porterville College, my plans are to transfer to a UC to continue my study of Computer Science/Math. I aspire to get a Masters in one of these fields to push the bounds of what’s possible. After this, I hope to work in Silicon Valley to create products and services that better our lives!

PC Announces in-person Commencement, first Grad Fair for class of 2022

The last in-person commencement at PC’s Jamison Stadium was held in 2019.

Porterville College has announced that the commencement ceremony for the class of 2022 will once again be held in-person after a two year hiatus due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. In a letter from PC President Dr. Claudia Habib to graduating students, she states “I am delighted to report that this year, we will be honoring you and your families in an IN-PERSON Commencement Ceremony for the first time since 2019! The 2022 Commencement Ceremony will be held on Friday, May 13th, beginning at 7:00 pm inside PC’s Jamison Stadium. I can’t wait to see you all walk across that stage and become graduates!”

Due to the construction and upgrades project currently happening at the stadium, there will be limited seating for spectators this year. To accommodate this and ensure that everyone is able to invite family members, the college will provide six (6) spectator tickets to each graduate for guests to attend the event.

This year, PC will also hold the first “PC Grad Fair” on Wednesday, April 13th from 11:00am to 1:00pm. Scheduled to be held in the campus quad, this event will be a one-stop shop for all things commencement. Graduates will be able to order their cap and gown, take graduation portraits, pre-order event photo packages, and more.


Cerro Coso Community College

Coyotes Participate in Little League Opener

Little league – the opportunity for a community to create a local youth baseball program, built on life lessons, socialization, and sportsmanship that benefits the children and the adult volunteers who support those efforts.

Now practicing for several weeks, the Indian Wells Valley (IWV) Little League officially kicked off the baseball season on Saturday, March 13th with a fun and full day of festivities, including a complete slate of games.  Not even the threat of wind could dampen this first class show.

In a parade of players and coaches and a crowd of camera-clicking moms and dads the, Cerro Coso Baseball team was on hand to congratulate the players and wish them a successful season as they passed through the gauntlet of Coyotes.  Each team from every division was introduced, the players and coaches tipping their caps in proud acknowledgement before taking their place on the apron of the infield.    

It was a great day for parents too.  “It’s great to see everyone getting out and enjoying the fresh air and sports again,” said Outreach Director Katie Bachman.

Little League is a place where kids can have fun, and learn important life lessons.  It provides a sense of connection across generations, common ground between parent and child, and a reminder of what binds us together as a community and the source of our strength as a nation.  Cerro Coso plays an important role in serving as both mentors and supporters. 

What Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up?

A teacher.  A nurse. A rock star. An astronaut.  As a child your career aspirations are the stuff dreams are made of.  Secure in the knowledge that when you grow up you can be anything you want  to be.

To explore the intriguing connection between childhood career aspirations and adults’ chosen occupations, Cerro Coso participated in the Trona High School Career Day on March 18th.   The goal of Career Day is to help students understand the curriculum as it relates to specific, real-life job opportunities and a rewarding future.  The event provides students the opportunity to start thinking about their future, broadens their perspectives, and further motivates them to pursue productive careers.

Professor Vivian Baker, CTE Counselor Teri Hack, and Outreach Director Katie Bachman shared their job experiences and passion for the work they do.  The objective was to provide the students a relatable link to the real world, hands-on expertise, and concrete examples of how academics relates to future educational and occupational opportunities. 

A total of 29 organizations participated, and students, grade 5 through 12th, were able to listen to six different presentations.  Presenters included the following occupations: banking, law enforcement, probation department, veterinary care, nursing, heavy equipment operations, utilities technicians, teaching, fire program, photography, journalism, science and technology, EMT, and social services.

“Our students and staff really enjoyed having presents at our school.  I have been getting a lot of positive comments from students, staff, and parents,” said Ruth Soto, Trona High School counselor. 

What do you want to be when you grow up? The answer is right here in your own community, at CCCC the possibilities are endless.   

CCCC 48th Annual Commencement

Cerro Coso Community College will be hosting an in-person graduation in the gymnasium for the first time since 2019 on Friday, May 13th at 11 a.m.

Last year’s event was a unique scaled-down celebration, balancing safety and tradition.

This year Cerro Coso graduates will once again walk across the stage in the Gymnasium at the Raymond A. McCue Athletic Complex to receive their degrees in front of friends and family. 

“Throughout the pandemic our college community has come together to adjust and adapt our plans to prioritize the health and safety of our communities, and the same is true for commencement,” said President Sean Hancock.  “We have remained committed to honoring the achievements of our graduates, the Class of 2022, in person, on the campus many call home.”

The college’s Eastern Sierra College Center will hold their own in-person ceremony on Friday, May 6th in Bishop. 

The decision to host in-person events comes after the college considered current CDC and local health department protocols.


Bakersfield College

BC and CityServe Celebrate 13 Graduates of the Project HireUp Program

Bakersfield College and CityServe celebrated the graduation of 13 participants who successfully completed the program, earning one of three certificates in either Basic Office Skills, Basic Employability Skills, or Life Development. This is the 5th graduating cohort to successfully complete the Project HireUp program since its launch in 2020. 

Project HireUp is an innovative program combining community-based efforts, free education, and internship style employment, giving those in need the resources to change their lives. BC and CityServe launched Project HireUp alongside the County of Kern, the Mission at Kern County, M Street Navigation Center, and Adventist Health, with a pilot cohort of over 20 students. The students embarked on a 8-week journey to rediscover life skills, learn new ones, and engage in developing on-the-job-skills with entry level employment.

BC Professor Dr. Paula Parks Receives Prestigious Award

Dr. Paula Parks, Professor and Coordinator of the Umoja ASTEP Community, has been selected to receive the 2022 Stanback-Stroud Diversity Award by the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges. This award was created to recognize an individual that is exceptional in their contribution to the advancement of intercultural harmony, equity and campus diversity at their academic institutions.

Dr. Parks will be honored at the 2022 Spring Plenary Session in April.

Congratulations Dr. Paula Parks on being recognized for your hard work and efforts that contribute to making Bakersfield College a positive academic environment for all students, faculty and staff. We are proud to have you as part of our BC team.

Valley Strong Energy Institute Hosting Energy Education Webinar

Join us for the next webinar in the Valley Strong Energy Institute’s Ag/Water/Energy Education Series, which is dedicated to keeping Central Valley residents informed on natural resources infrastructure and its impact on our daily lives. For this session, we’ll be talking about microgrids, which are self-sustaining energy systems designed to power large facilities using renewable energy. 

Featured speakers for this session include California Energy Commission Vice Chair Siva Gunda, Mojave Air and Spaceport CEO Todd Lindner, and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory engineer Cecilia Klauber
To participate in this webinar, visit the registration link at bit.ly/AWEWebinar6.

Renegade Athletics Update

Over the last weekend, men’s tennis hosted the first annual Pfister Tournament.

Swimming competed at the WSC #2 meet this past Saturday at Cuesta College. The women finished 2nd overall while the men finished in 4th.

Softball won against College of the Canyons 2-0 on Tuesday and 10-1 against Glendale on Thursday. Currently, the team is 16-5 on the season and will be playing at home tomorrow (March 22nd) at 2:30PM.

Beach Volleyball competed in the conference opener and went 2-1. BC defeated Glendale 5-0 while Moorpark defeated BC 3-2.


Women’s History Month

As Women’s History Month comes to a close, I wanted to share with you a piece I had published in EdSource: “Heroic students who are also mothers deserve more support.

Community colleges are ‘success incubators’ for the marginalized. Seeing our student mothers and their needs clearly through data, through stories and through our commitment to meeting our basic goals indicates that investing in our student mothers, and especially student mothers of color, will produce great benefits to our society as a whole.

And to close out Women’s History Month, the Kern Community College District is hosting the third annual Women in Leadership forum, moderated by Senator Emeritus Jean Fuller and featuring panelists Martha Flores, Porterville Mayor; Wendy Avila, Kern Superior Court Judge; Brenda Lewis, CA Board of Education Member; and Karen Goh, Bakersfield Mayor.

The forum will be at 11:30 am at the Weill Institute on Tuesday, March 29 is sold out. However, you can join the livestream at bit.ly/WomenInLeadership2022.

In the News

Research continues on Artemis moon missions

Bakersfield College Astronomy Professor Nick Strobel‘s recent article in The Bakersfield Californian discussed the ongoing research into NASA’s Artemis program, which hopes to get humans back to the surface of the moon in the next 3-4 years. Currently, they are analyzing lunar samples brought back 50 years ago during the Apollo program.

“In an example of foresight uncommon today, NASA set aside a small amount of the samples for future research 50 years later, with the assumption that future generations of scientists and engineers would have developed more sophisticated analysis techniques and technology.

Nick Strobel

Green Side Up to kick off Castle Fire Restoration project

The Porterville Recorder published this article about the upcoming Castle Fire Restoration project. The “Green Side Up” project is hosted by the Rotary Club of Porterville, the Porterville Breakfast Rotary Club, the Rotary Club of Woodlake and Foothill Rotary of Lindsay in partnership with the Sequoia National Forest, Porterville College and CAL FIRE. On April 30, volunteers will plant trees and kick off the Castle Fire Ecological Restoration project.

Celebration of life set for Bakersfield College professor Jack Hernandez

Jose Franco published this piece for KGET about the upcoming Celebration of Life planned for Jack Hernandez. Jack passed away in November. He was an English and philosophy professor and the Dean of Students at BC, before serving as Vice Chancellor of the Kern Community College District. He was also the founding director of the Levan Center.

A celebration of life is scheduled for April 1 at the Bakersfield College Campus Center Conference Room. Doors open at 4 p.m.

Sonya and Jack Hernandez.

Fun Photos & Spotted on Social Media

Cerro Coso College posted about their Coyote Cupboard:

BC Rural Initiatives shared this post:

Congratulations to our amazing ENCORE Educational Advisor, Vikki Coffee, on being recognized today by Kern Behavioral Health and Recovery Services for her work and dedication to youth in our community.

Vikki was also previously recognized in February by the Transnational Aged Youth (TAY) Collaborative. #WeAreBC

I loved this throwback from BC Cheer about when they performed at Robobank with New Kids on the Block:

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

The future is bright at KernCCD.

-sonya
a joyful and grateful Chancellor

#KCCDDaringMightyThings

We remember … 9-11-2001

Twenty years ago this morning, the world was forever changed as the 9/11 attacks thrust us all into a new period of fear and war.

On September 11, 2001, 19 Al-Qaeda terrorists boarded four commercial aircraft – American Airlines Flight 11, United Airlines Flight 175, American Airlines Flight 77, and United Airlines Flight 93.

When the first plane, American Airlines Flight 11, crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center at 8:46 am, it was not yet clear what was happening. When the second plane, United Airlines Flight 175, hit the South Tower just 17 minutes later at 9:03 am, it became evident this was no mere accident and America was under attack.

Two more crashes followed shortly after, with American Airlines Flight 77 hitting the Pentagon at 9:37 am.

United Airlines Flight 93 crashed in a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, after crew and passengers – who by this time had learned of the other attacks – attempted to seize the aircraft and the terrorists responded by intentionally rolling and crashing the plane. It is believed that plane was intended to target the White House or the Capitol.

These attacks caused unfathomable grief and despair not only across the United States, but across the globe. In one morning, everything changed and it was clear there would be no returning to the world before. For days and weeks, many of us sat in disbelief as television offered 24/7 coverage of the events and possible repercussions.

The terrorist attacks killed 2,977 victims and injured 25,000 more. In the years since, many of the first responders who bravely faced the firestorm to save what souls they could have succumbed to injuries and illnesses sustained by their acts of courage.

But in the days following the senseless attacks, we joined together and found reasons for hope.

Today, 20 years later, so much has changed. The US has just left Afghanistan following the War in Afghanistan that began in October 2001 in response to the September 11 attacks. We are facing a different global threat of a pandemic that has killed over 4.5 million people around the world. We as a nation – and even as a state – face fierce division and distrust of one another.

But just as we did 20 years ago, we can find common ground, find our strength in one another, and find reasons for hope. Good news abundant in the details where we care to look: Thailand making PPE out of upcycled bottles; Two Atlanta teachers have their students start their day with positive affirmations; School faculty surprised the custodian with a car so he wouldn’t have to walk to work.

It may not always be flashy and it may not always be the top story – but good news, inspiring stories, uplifting tales of people coming together and helping one another – they are all around us.

Prof. Jeremy Staat’s welding students build a twin tower monument

Good morning, friends…
It is September 11, 2021.
The sun shines bright over KCCD.

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


Porterville College

PC Welcomes Award Winning Poet to Speaker Series 

The Porterville College Writer & Poet Speaker Series is proud to present our first speaker of the Fall Semester.  EVERYONE is invited to attend via Zoom for a conversation with Tim Z Hernandez.  He is a non-fiction writer and the author of “Mañana Means Heaven” and the first installment in The Plane Crash Series, “All They Will Call You”. Hernandez is the recipient of such accolades as the American Book Award, the Colorado Book Award, the International Latino Book Award, and more! Below are just a few review excerpts about his book.

“Hernandez’s intimate knowledge of life amid the agricultural fields of central California and his ability to conjure the thoughts and emotions of the young Bea Franco make for a graceful and melancholy tale.”—The Associated Press

“Through documents, interviews and dogged research, Tim Z. Hernandez pieces together her life and the significance of that chance encounter that shaped both of their lives forever.” —The New York Times

Join us on September 23 from Noon to 1:00 pm for a reading from his latest work, a presentation on his life and his writing, and a Q&A session. 

Connect via PC / Mac / Linux / iOS / Android: https://cccconfer.zoom.us/j/94164370603  Meeting ID: 941 6437 0603 

STEM Workshops offer a look into life as a USDA Engineer

Porterville College and the USDA have teamed up to provide STEM Enrichment Workshops that highlight USDA agencies and/or partners. The workshops have been developed to introduce local, regional, and state USDA Agencies, federal, and industry partners to STEM students and the campus wide community. Additionally, these enrichment workshops utilize an interactive, discussion-based format designed to engage students actively in their own career development process. Students will take away information about opportunities offered by USDA to optimize their STEM major, internship, and career searches.

The first workshop in this series will be held on September 22nd on campus.  The featured speakers include Blair Bain, a Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Civil Engineer and Dave Krietemeyer, a Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Area 3 Engineer.

Blair Bain began his career with NRCS in 2011 as an Earth Team Volunteer. He has held the position of Civil Engineering Technician with NRCS in Fresno and Hanford, Civil Engineer in Visalia, and just recently became the Team Engineer for the Southern San Joaquin Valley. He provides technical assistance for conservation planning, surveying, design, construction and inspections, as well as project management for a wide variety of engineering projects. He has worked extensively on irrigation and dairy digester projects throughout his career. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Fresno State.

Dave Krietemeyer began his career with NRCS in Ohio. He has worked as a Hydraulic and Planning Engineer, Field Office Engineer, and Area Engineer since coming to California in 1992. He has worked on watershed projects as well as fire and flood rehab projects throughout the southern half of the state, and numerous irrigation, dairy, and range projects in the Central Valley and Sierra Nevadas. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Engineer from the Ohio State University.

PCs Dreamer’s success center partners with the UFW Foundation to offer Free Legal Services

The UFW Foundation and Porterville College have partnered to bring FREE immigration legal services directly to students, faculty, and staff.  Immigration Attorneys and Department of Justice accredited representatives are available to provide free, culturally-competent, and reliable expertise to the campus community.

Services include Immigration eligibility consultations, DACA Renewal, Naturalization, Family-based immigration, and other immigration services.

Claudia Lopez, staff attorney for the UFW Foundation says of the program, ”UFW Foundation immigration attorneys and DOJ Accredited Representatives are available to provide culturally competent, trauma-informed, and reliable expertise to the campus community. We can serve people in multiple languages, including English, Spanish, Mixteco, and Mandarin; simply indicate your language preference.”  For assistance, you can schedule a FREE appointment with the following link: https://bit.ly/ccpappt

This service is offered through the DREAMER’s Success Center on campus. 


Cerro Coso Community College

Late Start courses at Cerro Coso still available for Fall 2021

Cerro Coso Community College is offering a number of late start classes this fall. Late start classes can be to pursue a degree, or for professional development and personal enrichment. Offered in a variety of formats including completely online, hybrid, schedule Zoom, or on campus, students can pick the format that best meets their needs.  

With a variety of start dates, the college is offering an array of classes in Administration of Justice, Anthropology, Business Office Technology, Child Development, English, Health Careers, Information Technology, Spanish, and so much more. 

A complete listing of late start classes is available on the college website at www.cerrocoso.edu/class-schedule. Contact a counselor today.

Denise Allen joins CTE team at Ridgecrest campus

Cerro Coso would like to welcome Denise Allen, the new CTE Administrative Secretary at the Ridgecrest campus.

A graduate of Cerro Coso, Denise holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Development and Family Sciences and a minor in Psychology from Oregon State University. Married with two children, she enjoys playing games with her family, going on hikes, lounging in her backyard, and exploring. 

The college’s CTE Program specializes in skilled trades, applied sciences, modern technologies, and career preparation. Learners of all ages are provided the academic and technical skills, knowledge and training necessary to succeed in future careers. 

The programs prepare these learners for the world of work by introducing them to workplace competencies, and makes academic content accessible to students by providing it in a hands-on format. Welcome Denise to the CCCC community! 

TimelyCare Telehealth available for Cerro Coso students

Being a college student right now can be overwhelming, especially when the world keeps shifting under our feet. College students should take health care seriously – Cerro Coso does.  TimelyCare Telehealth for Coyotes provides 24/7 access to FREE medical and mental health support for all Cerro Coso students. Students can talk to a licensed provider from their smartphone or any web-enabled device, anywhere in the United States, day or night, for FREE!

Licensed physicians and counselors are available to offer medical and mental support via phone or secure video visits. Students can go to timelycare.com/CoyoteTelehealth to register with their college email address and receive on-demand or scheduled access to a medical provider who can treat a wide range of common illnesses like cold and flu, sinus infection, allergies and more, or talk to a mental health professional to talk about anything at anytime, or schedule an appointment to meet with a licensed counselor. 

TimelyCare also offers group sessions: Weekly Guided Meditation and Yoga, plus specialized sessions throughout the year. Students can also get prescriptions if the provider deems it clinically appropriate.  TimelyCare.  It’s for students.  For FREE. 

Need help? Find out more at CoyoteTelehealth.


Bakersfield College

BC 9/11 Monument in the Renegade Crossroads

From President Zav Dadabhoy’s email:

As we approach the 20th anniversary of one of the most profound tragedies our country has ever endured, the attacks of September 11, 2001, Bakersfield College is ever mindful of each soul that was lost. We remember with gratitude the heroic actions and selfless sacrifices of the first responders that day and of the servicemen and women who went on to fight the War on Terror in the years that followed. Through this memorial monument, we wish to honor and pay tribute to all those who perished. We at Bakersfield College vow to remember them on this 20th anniversary and throughout the ages.

Bakersfield College invites students, staff, and the community to share in our tribute by visiting the Veteran Resource Center booth to pen a message of remembrance and affix it to a red memorial carnation provided by the BC Veteran Resource Center. The carnations will be placed at the foot of the Twin Tower memorial, which will be located in the quad throughout the week.

The Twin Towers Memorial Monument was a collaborative project by the BC VRC staff, designed and built by BC faculty, Jeremy Staat. BC Horticulture faculty, Lindsay Ono, provided the plants and rubble to complete the memorial. The base of the monument bears resemblance to the current memorial in New York where the twin towers once stood. There are nearly 3,000 welding tacks within the monument in honor of the souls lost that day. New life, hope and the tenacity of our country are represented by the foliage overcoming the rubble below the towers.

Check out this video from 23ABC News about the monument.

The monument will be displayed through September 11.

Renegade Athletics Return

Football season is back and fans will be returning to Memorial Stadium on Saturday, September 11, 2021, at 6pm as the Renegades face off against the El Camino Warriors!

On the anniversary of September 11th, the ‘Gades will be honoring all first responders during halftime and all first responders will be receiving free admission.

Renovations made to Memorial Stadium since 2019 include the remodeled concession stands, new stadium lighting, and an HD video scoreboard which will enhance the game day experience at Memorial Stadium. Gates open to the public at 5pm. 

This week, the BC Men’s Soccer team traveled to Cerritos, where they unfortunately lost 4-1.

On Friday, September 10, Men’s and Women’s Cross Country traveled to Oxnard College for the Oxnard Invitational at 10:00AM.

Wrestling also returned on Friday, after not competing since 2019. They hosted Victor Valley in the Gil Bishop Sports Complex at 6:00PM. This morning, they host the Bakersfield College Duels at 10:00AM.  


Poetry Corner

I have been sharing Jack Hernandez‘s multi-part poem, Rockport in June. Today I’m sharing the remaining parts 7-9:

7.

I am up,
the others
are asleep,
the sun glows
through clouds
lighting
flowing water
slowly passing
the island
solid and there
before my eyes
like my future.

                   8.

The boats sail leisurely
or speed by bouncing
on the waves,
occasionally a lobster boat
sits patiently,
which one am I?
I think as I slowly
rise to get another
cup of coffee
feeling my knees say,
“Stay a little longer.”

                   9.

I could move here
and be a monk
in winter,
reflecting
on each snow filled
morning how blessed
I am to see
the sun flashed
ocean    to have
the love
of my laughing
joyful family.

Ag/Water/Energy (AWE) Education Series 

The Energy Technology Transfer and Workforce Development initiative launched a new webinar series bringing together experts and stakeholders in natural resources for Kern County. 

For the first edition of the Ag/Water/Energy Education series, Kern County Farm Bureau Executive Director Romeo Agbalog started off by introducing Roger Aines, a scientist from Lawrence Livermore laboratories who talked about the rich potential for biomass and carbon sequestration projects in Kern County.

Romeo Agbalog’s Opening Remarks:

I will bring the other speakers to you in future blogs.

Emeritus Recognition at KCCD Board Meeting & Luncheon

At this month’s KCCD Board of Trustees meeting, three of our distinguished faculty members were recognized as Emeritus Recipients.

Congratulations to:

Ron Glahn, Porterville College

Claudia Habib, Ron Glahn, Trustee John Corkins

Becky Head, Bakersfield College

Sandi Taylor, Bakersfield College

Was happy that Earl Parsons snapped this photo of sandi and me.

Here is a 3-min video where I present a life time achievement award to Sandi

After the board meeting Isabel Melendez snapped this photo of me with the three presidents.

Quick Tips for Teaching Success

I’ve been looking over the archive from Porterville College’s Quick Tips for Teaching Success Series, and I wanted to share this amazing resource with you.

Quick Tips for Online Success began as a group of faculty from Porterville College decided to join forces in order to help colleagues and each other in the move to online learning.  In the summer of 2020, the team began presenting weekly on topics such as student-to-student interaction and creating engaging videos, condensing a presentation into an action-packed 20 minutes.  The goal of the group is to learn from each other through sharing best practices so that we can do the very best for our students during this time of uncertainty. 

Check out the recording from the webinar “A Deep Dive into Surviving High (Academic) Anxiety”.

Ethics in Leadership event set for September 15

I received this email from Traco Matthews this week, and I wanted to share it with you as ethics in leadership is such a critical topic:

You are cordially invited to attend this Kegley Institute of Ethics event the evening of Wednesday, September 15, 2021 at 6pm. Due to the recent surge in COVID-19 cases, this event will now be held virtually. I look forward to seeing many of you there as we discuss the role of ethics in leadership.

In the News

KCHCC Receives Prestigious Chamber of the Year Award from the California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce

Jay Tamsi and Sonya Christian

The Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (KCHCC) is proud to announce it will be receiving the prestigious award of Chamber of the Year. This honor will be awarded at The California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce’s (CHCC) Annual Statewide Convention on September 11, 2021, in Palm Springs, California.

This award recognizes a Hispanic Chamber for their work in leading the advancement of Hispanic small businesses and the communities they serve. The award recognizes excellence in operations, member services, and community leadership.  

“This is an absolute honor that I am proud to share with our Board of Directors, especially, over the course of the past two years,” says Jay Tamsi, President/CEO of the KCHCC. “Our organization is resilient and continues to be dedicated to Kern County’s economic and community development.

Since its inception in 1985, the Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce has been dedicated to helping Hispanic owned businesses and business professionals succeed within its community. Through various community partnerships, the organization has dedicated itself to granting access to business development workshops, community-based academies and educational seminars to its members and the community at large. Member celebrations such as grand-openings, special events and monthly mixers have also been a strong suit of the Chamber’s ability to bring its community together.

Over the last 12 months, KCHCC partnered with Kern County Public Health and numerous community partners, community leaders and health care institutions to bring free COVID-19 testing sites and vaccination clinics to Kern County’s underserved neighborhoods and community centers. These widely successful and heavily attended clinics are due in part, to the chamber’s strong community presence and esteemed reputation.

In addition to the Kern County Latino COVID-19 Task Force, the Chamber was able to implement a strong virtual learning arena for its members and local business community. Online seminars relating to employment law, health and safety rules and regulations and traditional business readiness and preparation were continuously offered during the pandemic.

BC Foundation publishes September edition of Panorama

This week, the BC Foundation published the September edition of their Panorama newsletter.

Highlights include –

A feature on BC Interim President Zav Dadabhoy:

Dr. Dadabhoy brings a variety of experience to the position.  In fact, a career in higher education was not his original plan.  “In my first career, I worked as a public accountant in England. I came to the U.S. in 1982, to study Organizational Behavior, and that evolved into a career in higher education,” he said.    

A preview of the 14th Annual Sterling Silver, on March 19, 2022:

Honorees include the Contreras Family, Individual Philanthropist Award; Bank of America, Corporate Philanthropist Award; Assemblymember Rudy Salas, BC Foundation Service Medal; and Congressman William “Bill” Thomas, Lifetime Achievement Award

Check out the September edition of Panorama online. Thank you to BC Foundation Executive Director Cheryl Scott!

Fun Photos and Spotted on Social Media

I wanted to share this photo from last weekend as many of us travelled to LA Pierce to watch the first Renegade Football game.

Sonya Christian with Sharon Baker

Porterville President Claudia Habib shared these photos as Summit HS Freshmen became PC students:

So proud of this freshman class and excited about their bright future ahead #DualEnrollment #EarlyCollege #partnership  #studentsuccess @SummitHS_Bears @PCollegePirates @Burtonsuper2018”

Porterville College Director of Student Services Frank Ramirez shared this post from the start of the KCCD Leadership Academy:

====================

====================

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

The future is bright at KCCD.

-sonya
a joyful and grateful Chancellor

#KCCDDaringMightyThings

KCCD – Daring Mighty Things

Last Sunday, I read Nick Strobel’s article in the Bakersfield Californian about the Ingenuity helicopter – which has now had several successful test flights on Mars.

Check out this video from the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) showing the first flight, on Monday, April 19th:

Innovation at its very best – and, yes, ingenuity – of all of the scientists and engineers who came together and were able to successfully fly a helicopter on the Red Planet. It was no easy task. As Nick mentions in his article, the surface air pressure on Mars makes it equivalent to 100,000 feet altitude on Earth, and the highest helicopter flight on Earth has only made it to about 41,000 feet.

It was against the backdrop of this inspirational scientific achievement that I was honored to be named the 6th Chancellor of the Kern Community College District, succeeding current Chancellor Tom Burke when he retires this summer.

April 19th felt auspicious to me for the public announcement — the same day that Ingenuity took its first flight on another world. The words “Dare Mighty Things” – JPL’s motto, first attributed to Theodore Roosevelt – written in binary code inside the parachute of the Perseverance Mars lander.

Loved the news coverage. The KGET youtube video made it to my hometown in Quilon, Kerala. Check it out

Then woke up to Steven Mayer‘s featured article in The Bakersfield Californian, front page, above the fold. Beautiful pictures by Alex Horvath.

Christian asked employees in the district — and by extension, the entire community — to join together, to “lock arms and do mighty things.”

At the Kern Community College District, we predict the future by creating it

Read more at: https://tinyurl.com/as6ca4fc

I want to thank Trustees Kay Meek and Romeo Agbalog for their kind words during the announcement.

Kay Meek:

Romeo Agbalog:

And a few photos from the event:

I am deeply honored and humbled to have been selected to lead the Kern Community College District. Together we will dare mighty things for all the students we serve.

Good morning Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, April 24, 2021 … a great day to be a Renegade.

President’s Virtual Seminar Series – Campus Reopening

This week, we had two more President’s Virtual Seminar Series forums to discuss our return to campus.

On Tuesday, the Student Work Group provided student perspectives. Chef Anna Melby and student Amanda Atksinson discussed what it’s been like on campus for culinary arts students. We also heard from Professor Thomas Rush and Industrial Automation student Benjamin Neville. Bradley Cramer and Monica Huyck also gave an update from academic support services.

On Thursday, we had more updates from the Instructional Work Group, led by Dean Richard McCrow. Panelists on Thursday included three psychology professors – Isaias Hernandez, Christina Howell, and David Riess.

Thank you to Nicky Damania, who introduced both sessions this week, as well as to Earl Parsons and Todd Coston for their continued support in this series.

You can find all the President’s Virtual Seminar Series videos on the Bakersfield college website.

As you can see from our forums, we are hard at work preparing for the return to campus – check out this photo of Bill Moseley, Dean of Academic Technologies, and Eileen Pierce, Program Manager for Academic Support Programs, as they were on campus getting ready this week:

2021 Bakersfield College Art Student Show

The directors of the Wylie and May Louise Jones Gallery are pleased to present the 2021 Bakersfield College Art Student Exhibition. The exhibit includes student made artwork, created in Bakersfield College art courses in media ranging from charcoal drawings, acrylic paintings, photography, graphic design, ceramics, video, and many others. The work was juried by Seattle based artist Teddy “Stat” Phillips.    

In past years, this exhibition has been located physically in the Wylie and May Louise Jones Gallery on the Bakersfield College campus. Due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, this will be our second year displaying the work as a digital exhibition. This exhibit represents the commitment and strength of our students in the face of uncertain times and displays the resiliency Bakersfield College art students have in their continued efforts working in a virtual environment.  

The work is available now at https://www.flickr.com/photos/192804348@N08/

You can also find and share the work at our social media sites below. Please support our BC art students by liking and sharing with your networks:

For more information please contact the Jones Gallery directors: jonesgallery@gmail.com.

NEH Conference with Mark Arax Keynote

This past Thursday saw the final events related to the National Endowment for the Humanities-funded project Energizing Humanities in California’s Southern San Joaquin Valley.

The day’s panels were dedicated to the memory of Gerald Haslam, who served as our grant project’s first speaker in 2017 and was an Oildale native, BC alumnus, prolific and celebrated author, and longtime educator. Gerry passed away last week and will be missed.

Mark Arax

The one-day conference culminated with a speaking engagement featuring Mark Arax.

Mark Arax is an author and journalist whose writings on California and the West have received numerous awards for literary nonfiction. He is a former staffer at the Los Angeles Times and The California Sunday Magazine, and his books include a memoir of his father’s murder, a collection of essays about the West, and the best-selling The King of California. Much of Arax’s work focuses on the Central Valley, and his most recent book, The Dreamt Land: Chasing Water and Dust Across California, uses family memoir, history, and extensive reportage on the land to tell the epic story of California’s invention and reinventions through the bending of water.

Other topics included:

Place Based Pedagogy and Our Experiences in the “Energizing Humanities in California’s San Joaquin Valley” Grant Project, which saw project directors Oliver Rosales, Josh Ottum, and Andrew Bond join current and previous faculty fellows to talk about their experiences during the run of the grant and how it has influenced their work.

Narrating the Southern San Joaquin Valley: Journalism and the Past and Future of Storytelling in the Region featured panelists Mark Arax, Olivia Garcia, Jose Gaspar, Lois Henry, Joe Moore, and Reyna Olaguez. Moderators were Erin Auerbach, BC journalism professor; and Haley Duval, Editor-in-Chief of The Renegade Rip.

Chris Cruz-Boone

First Annual Pursuing the Dream Conference

The AB 540/Undocumented Students Program and Rural Initiatives at Bakersfield College will be hosting our first annual Pursuing the Dream Conference: Resources-Advocacy-Empowerment for our Undocumented Student Community on Friday, April 30th from 1:30 PM -5:30 PM. This one-day conference is designed for students, educators, family, and community members to receive information on pursuing higher education, including the resources and support available to the undocumented student community.

Throughout the conference you will hear from one of the first undocumented students to receive a degree from Harvard, UFW Foundation lawyers, licensed therapists, BC and CSUB staff, students, and more! Please encourage your undocumented students and campus allies to attend.

Student Leadership & Involvement Awards Virtual Ceremony

Please join us for The Student Leadership and Involvement Awards Ceremony, coordinated by the Office of Student Life, which recognizes the accomplishments of our registered student organizations and various leaders at Bakersfield College. This event is to acknowledge their achievements to better the College community. It is an opportunity to showcase the wide variety of activities that occurred this year and to demonstrate ingenuity and creative talent. Let’s get together virtually and applaud the recipients!

The event will be on Thursday, April 29, from 6-7 pm. Registration is required by Wednesday, April 28. You can RSVP at https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/osl/awards.

BC Faculty speak to Liberty High students

Over the 2020 winter break, Professor Jeff Newby of the History Department was asked to join in on a dual enrollment history class at Liberty High School. Ms. Alyson Moss, one of Liberty’s first dual enrollment instructors, has worked closely with BC to provide her students with an experience as close as possible to actually being in a college classroom. Professor Newby spent the day meeting with three of her classes to go over how to construct historical-argumentative essays.

All in all, it was a wonderful experience helping bridge the gap between high school and college.

On April 13, 2021, Ms. Alyson Moss invited Professors Jeff Newby and Olivia Garcia back to Liberty High School, this time to speak to Liberty’s National Social Studies Honors Society (NSSHS). The purpose of the NSSHS is promote scholarship and academic excellence in social studies, as well as encourage an active interest in social studies in students’ communities and school environments.

Ms. Moss introduced both professors who spoke at length about their own personal journeys towards becoming college professors, advice they had picked up along the way, and the importance of earning a degree in the humanities. They then fielded questions from over 40 students ranging from Professor Garcia’s time as a journalist to Professor Newby’s time teaching abroad.

Umoja Community celebrates creative expression

Umoja Community program offered two recent Indabas to showcase the arts and foster creativity through expression. The Indabas (important meeting with important people) are offered each Monday to engage and connect students.

Poet/vocalist/activist Gina Loring

Poet/vocalist/activist Gina Loring spoke and sang a couple of her poems and offered writing prompts to empower students. She told students, “your voice is your liberation.”

Blake Burton said the prompts around identity and commitment “really made me think.”

Performer/writer/musician Dahlak Brathwaite

The other artist was spoken word/performer/musician Dahlak Brathwaite. Umoja partnered with BC’s Jazz Studies program to bring Dahlak to BC.

Dahlak shared clips from his solo play and film Spirit Trials. Those works traced the history of African Americans through music with the theme of adaptation.

In the film, the Sacramento native said sometimes you have to be someone else, but “the key is to never to lose yourself because to adapt is to be human so that you don’t disappear. What good is adapting if it means part of you isn’t still here.”

After that line, the chat was popping with, “that was so dope” and “whew.”

With the Jazz ensemble students, Dahlak talked about adapting from the creative and musical side. He explained how he merged forms (drama, spoken word, music, and poetry) to find the best platform for his message. He added that through freestyling he has learned not to be afraid to mess up.

Zariyah, an Umoja student and theatre major, said she admired how open and free he was – both creatively and in his worldview.

These two examples of creativity and expression sparked something inside students.

Umoja Community is a program designed for motivated African-American students to increase success and retention. It includes coursework with a cultural component, academic and cultural trips, and counseling support to keep students on track to graduate.

Thanks to Dr. Paula L. Parks, Umoja Coordinator, and Professor Kris Tiner, Jazz Studies lead, for partnering to expose students to the arts.

Welcome Marcos Rodriguez!

From email from Mike Giacomini:

Good afternoon,

I am very pleased to announce that Marcos Rodriguez will be joining the Bakersfield College team as the Executive Director of Facilities and Operations and will effectively lead this ever-growing department and teams as we continue to maneuver through the pandemic while simultaneously expanding our Measure J program on our campuses.  Marcos will be joining our Maintenance and Operations team on Monday, 4/26/21 to continue serving our community at each of our BC locations across Kern County.

Mr. Rodriguez is a local Kern County citizen who attended our own Bakersfield College and went on to getting a bachelor degree in Environmental Resource Management, and masters degrees in Industrial and Technical Studies and in Business Administration.

With this specialized education, Marcos has served schools with close to twenty years of management experience in local college campuses as well as elementary, middle and high school districts – all in Kern County.   

Please join me in welcoming Marcos Rodriguez to the Renegade family.

Commencement Committee – Hard at Work

The Commencement Committee has been hard at work. Kevin Ganger, Jeff Huston, Renegade student Julian, John Gerhold, and Josh Ottum joined Monika Scott to record the National Anthem this week. Be sure to tune in on May 16th to see this performance as we honor and celebrate the Renegade Class of 2021.

The special televised event will air on May 16th at 6 p.m. on KGET Channel 17 or on Telemundo Valle Central Channel 13 (with antennae, 17.3). This event will also be streamed on KGET’s website and KGET-TV17 Bakersfield Facebook. You do not need to have a Facebook account to view the stream on Facebook.

Poetry Corner

Please enjoy this poem sent to me by Jack Hernandez:

Pages

Have I had enough?
the seasons keep coming
ignoring the cries
of those scrambling below
to find a branch
above the flood.
a hill from which
to watch the sun’s
upward glow.

Mornings continue
to unfold
familiar pages
and I’ll reread them,
I have not yet
had enough,
the words   the words
always new.

Updates from EOPS

EOPS Regalia Distribution

The EOPS/CARE/CalWORKs/NextUp team hosted their annual Cap & Gown event to provide prospective BC graduates with their commencement regalia. Over 223 students visited the drive through event to pick up their free cap & gown as well as a certificate for their participation with the programs. EOPS/CARE/CalWORKs/NextUp wants to congratulate this year’s graduating class!

CSUB Transfer Information Session

Bakersfield College’s EOPS Department partnered with CSUB’s EOP and Office of Admissions to better prepare and inform students on the process of transferring in Fall 2021 and future semesters. CSUB’s EOP department was able to provide information to students to help them understand their EOP admissions process, services and resources offered upon transfer. CSUB’s Office of Admissions provided updates, reminders, and helpful tips for students transferring in the Fall. CSUB informed BC students on the transfer admissions requirements for their upcoming Spring 2022 application.

Career Education Workshops for EOPS students

Bakersfield College’s EOPS department partnered with Career Education to provide three informative workshops for the EOPS student groups. Through these workshops, Career Education provided training on Professional Resume Building, Jobspeaker, and Interview Skills which will support students with securing employment at BC and/or in the community.

In the News

Community Voices; College lets you broaden your worldview

This week, journalism professor and Renegade Rip adviser Erin Auerbach wrote a piece in the Bakersfield Californian about the importance of college for students to find the best path for their own futures.

“Taking a class in welding does not force you to become a welder. But it will teach you a skill that might prove useful for future options. Opportunity abounds, so take a chance on yourself. Attend an informational meeting. Sign up for that class that looks interesting.”

Kern County leaders say Chauvin trial is just the beginning

On Tuesday, former Minneapolis Officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of the murder of George Floyd, whose death launched widespread protest across the country last summer.

Bakersfield College’s Tommy Tunson spoke with 23ABC about the need the change our training and education programs for police officers.

“The training and education that we currently have, I think, is not enough to address racial equity and social justice in the curriculum in police academies,” he said.

Spotted on Social Media

Jonathan Schultz shared a pic of some Umoja gear:

Jen Garrett shared a behind the scenes look at filming for the upcoming BC Chamber Singers video project.

BC Rural Initiatives shared information about an upcoming mobile vaccine clinic in Arvin on Tuesday, April 27, from 8 am to 1 pm. For more information, visit the Arvin High School website.

And Maria Wright shared this pic of her husband Jamal Wright and their son, who had a close encounter with a dino:

Athletics

Track and Field and Swimming Get Underway

Both Track and Field and Swimming got their abbreviated Spring II sports season underway this last weekend.

Track and Field traveled to compete at Antelope Valley where they faced not only AVC but also Santa Monica. Both the men and women placed first overall. To view individual T/F results click this link.

The Renegade Swim squad went to Santa Monica where they topped the Corsairs with an overall score of 167-77. The men won 102-19 and the women 65-58. To view individual Swim results click this link. Way to go Renegade T/F and Swim!!

That’s all for now.
Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.
sonya –
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Feb 29, 2020 Celebrating Leap Year & showcasing Sterling Silver 2020

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, February 29, 2020…A Leap Year… A great day to be a Renegade.

Sterling Silver

Liz Rozell, John Petre, Sonya Christian, Kay Meek
Liz Rozell, Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Sonya Christian
left to right: Zav Dadabhoy, Sandi Taylor, Liz Rozell, Dr. William F. Baker, Jr., Sonya Christian, and Romeo Agbalog.
Liz Rozell, Rick Kreiser, Sonya Christian, Tom Gelder

We had a beautiful reception at the Seven Oaks Country Club last weekend as part of our 12th-annual Sterling Silver Dinner, which the BC Foundation puts together to honor and recognize the exceptional support that members of our community provide to BC every day. Proceeds from the Sterling Silver Dinner help fund scholarships for students, providing vital opportunities to make higher education a reality for thousands of Renegades.

Kris Tiner

The evening brought together Renegade alumni and supporters, generous donors, and friends of the college to celebrate this year’s honorees. Under the direction of Kris Tiner, the BC Jazz Ensemble masterfully entertained the crowd as they entered the event. Seven Oaks chef Paul Burzlaff prepared a wonderful variety of culinary delights with help from BC Culinary Arts students.

Several notable Renegade supporters were on hand to celebrate our honorees, including Mayor Karen Goh, Assemblymember Vince Fong, State Senator Shannon Grove, County Supervisor Zack Scrivner, and City Councilmember Andrae Gonzales. Other notable community partners included S.C. Anderson, Diane Lake, and AECOM/Parsons.

Corporate Philanthropist of the Year – Greater Bakersfield New Car Dealers Association

We started off the reception by recognizing the Greater Bakersfield New Car Dealers Association for their long-standing support of BC. The Greater Bakersfield New Car Dealers Association was founded in 1945 and has held several golf tournaments to promote education in Kern County.

Individual Philanthropist of the Year – Mr. Bill Kelly

Bill Kelly receives the Individual Philanthropist of the Year Award
Bill Kelly receives the Individual Philanthropist of the Year Award

Bill Kelly taught agriculture at BC for 37 years. In addition to being selected Professor of the Year in 2014, he has won accolades across the state for his influence on agriculture education. Mr. Kelly retired in 2019, but he loves what he does so much he is back on campus as an adjunct instructor. However, we honored Bill because he and his family have provided substantial financial assistance to generations of BC students through the Verna L. Kelly Memorial and Kelly Family scholarships, set up to honor his family and strengthen ag education.

Bakersfield College Foundation Service Medal – Dr. William F. “Bill” Baker, Jr.

Dr. William Baker receives the Foundation Service Medal.
Dr. William Baker receives the Foundation Service Medal.

Dr. William Baker has served as the Team Physician for Bakersfield College athletics since 1978 and has provided expert medical care to generations of athletes, witnessing milestones such as the 1988 State Championship and the 1990 Potato Bowl. Dr. Baker’s contributions continue in the scholarship that he and Dr. Michael Tivnon established and award annually through the Bakersfield College Foundation. Dr. Baker has a successful practice in town and is a fellow of the American College of Physicians and of the International Academy of Thrombosis, Hemostasis and Vascular Medicine. The Bakersfield College Foundation Service Medal recognizes extraordinary service to the Bakersfield College community for fifty-two years of commitment to Bakersfield College and Bakersfield College Athletics, and a lifetime of service to the good health of Bakersfield and Kern County.

Bakersfield College Foundation Service Medal – Rick Kreiser

Rick Kreiser receives the Foundation Service Medal.
Rick Kreiser receives the Foundation Service Medal.

Rick Kreiser is a Bakersfield College alum who has served on the Bakersfield College Foundation since 2001, even serving a stint as chair of the Foundation from 2005 to 2007. Over the years, Rick and his company, Carney’s, have helped numerous local charities raise money, especially to fight cancer. There is a scholarship benefiting Bakersfield College students in the name of his late wife, Kris Kreiser.

Thank Yous

Heather Pennella and Norma Rojas-Mora
Heather Pennella and Norma Rojas-Mora

Thank you KGET for covering the event and for producing the honoree videos. I’d also like to thank Norma Rojas-Mora, Monika Scott, Dylan Wang, Manny De Los Santos and Brandon Urry from BC’s Marketing and Public Relations team for the promotion and social media coverage of this year’s Sterling Silver Dinner.

Sterling Silver is the signature event for the Bakersfield College Foundation, and it wouldn’t be possible without the tireless planning and work of Heather Pennella, our Alumni and Donor Relations Manager. Thank you Heather, as well as the rest of the Foundation team, for coordinating another successful night. A special thanks also goes out to Liz Rozell for stepping in as Executive Director of the Foundation after Tom Gelder’s retirement.

Check out more photos from the Sterling Silver Dinner below, captured with the brilliant photography of April Massirio.

Karen Gohn, Sonya Christian, Christina Scrivner, Shannon Grove
Sonya Christian sits with Sterling Silver dinner attendees.
Seated: Dr. Michael Tivnon, Gerry Collis
Standing: Lorenzo Alvarez, Duane Damron, Carl Bowser, Dr. Bill Baker, Dallas Grider, Carl Dean, R. Todd Littlejohn, Bob Covey, Harvel Pollard.
front row: John Turner, Joi Turner, Patrick Beck; back row: Vince Fong, Julia Turner, Kay Meek, Sonya Christian, Lauraine Cook, Jerry Cook.
Front row: John Turner, Joi Turner, Patrick Beck;
Back row: Vince Fong, Julia Turner, Kay Meek, Sonya Christian, Lauraine Cook, Jerry Cook.