Tag Archives: Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg

Kern CCD praising and celebrating life!

March ended with celebrations, more celebrations and even more celebrations.

The more you praise and celebrate your life,
the more there is in life to celebrate.
Oprah Winfrey

The celebrations started with the 15th Annual Sterling Silver Dinner to benefit the Bakersfield College Foundation.

I’d like to thank everyone who turned out to support our students. Kern CCD Trustees Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Romeo Agbalog, Christina Scrivner, and Yovani Jimenez were among those in attendance.

BC’s brand-new event center was the site of the reception and dinner.  The spectacular venue spans the third floor of the new Campus Center and was the ideal setting for recognizing community members whose support helps thousands of students. Btw, the renovation of the Campus Center was made possible by Measure J. Thank you Kern County for voting Yes on J!

Honorees included:

Valley Strong Credit Union, Corporate Philanthropist Award


Marjorie and Bud Lindsey, Individual Philanthropist Award


Fran Florez, BC Foundation Service Medal


Jean Fuller, Leadership in Education Award


Women in Leadership Panel

This week, Kern CCD hosted the 4th Annual Women in Leadership Panel. Moderator Jean Fuller facilitated a discussion with 3 remarkable women in our community: Judge Gloria Cannon, District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer, and Donna Hefner, CEO of Sierra View Medical Center.

Kern CCD trustees were there in full force.

Thank you Dr. Maria Wright for guiding the programming for the event. And thank you Prof. Olivia Garcia for being the emcee.


On Friday, I was one of the awardees, along with Susan Kennedy, Rudy Salas and Tim Rainey, at the 7th annual Cesar Chavez Legacy Breakfast presented by Farmworkers Institute of Education and Leadership (FIELD).

So happy that our trustees were there . Trustee Romeo Agbalog introduced me and was eloquent describing KCCD’s leadership role in workforce development and the deep partnerships that we have with the community.

Thank you Trustee Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg and Trustee Yovani Jimenez, for joining the Kern CCD family at this event.


“The more you praise and celebrate your life,
the more there is in life to celebrate.”


Good morning friends.
It is April 1, 2023.
The sun shines bright over Kern CCD.

Porterville College

PC Film Students Impress at New Festival

Front row, L to R: Tino Linas, Johnnie Tillery
Back row, L to R: Angel Nieves, Christian Rivera, Lorenzo Zepeda,
Ignacio Ibarra, Roxanne Ibarra, Diran Lyons

Porterville College student filmmakers screened eight films at the first Screenville Film Festival on March 25, 2023, in Springville, CA. For several PC students, it was their first experience at a film festival.

Ranging from serious and philosophical to lighthearted and comedic, all their works were well-received by the audience and prompted valuable dialogue. You can see the festival, and particularly, PC students’ work:

Students, Faculty Bond on Trip

At the Getty Museum

This past month, the group had the opportunity to take a two-day trip to attend the 24th Annual UCLA STOMP Conference put together by the Student Transfer Outreach and Mentor Program (STOMP). STOMP is a volunteer-based, transfer student organization that helps students achieve their university goals. As Puente Program Counselor Patricia Serrat put it, “We’re so grateful to be able to spend some real quality time with our Puente students. Visiting universities and museums in California is a great opportunity for students! A life-changing experience!”

Many of the STOMP volunteers are transfer students, so they could relate to our student’s experience and they offered valuable insights during our visit.

On the first day of their tour, the group stopped at UC Riverside for a quick visit and look at the school. They walked the botanical gardens before another stop for lunch and an afternoon visit to The Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art & Culture. They ended the first day of the trip with a stop at CSU Fullerton for a tour.

The next day started with the UCLA STOMP conference followed by a stop at the Getty Museum on the way back to Porterville.

Cerro Coso Community College

One of Bees Days

Two Cerro Coso students, Jessica Cliff and Lacy Roberts, participated in the 2nd Native Bee Workshop at the College of the Canyons (CoC) on March 11-12, 2023. This workshop is part of the Campus as a Living Lab (CALL) initiative organized by CoC whose aim is to use college campuses as a living laboratory, where students can research native bee biodiversity. The objective was to teach students about native bees, their identification, collection and pinning practices, documentation, and data input, as well as their role in the ecosystem, and contributions to the pollination economy.

The two-day workshop covered various activities, including lectures, demonstrations, laboratory work, and a presentation by Krystle Hickman, a TEDx speaker, artist, and photographer motivated by her passion and curiosity of native bees. The first day of the workshop focused on lectures, where students were introduced to the concepts of native bee biology, the bee genera found in California, their characteristic morphology, and classification. On the second day, students participated in hands-on practice of bee identification using published keys and were also taught various methods of photographing bees for identification and archival purposes including the uploading of data to iNaturalist to be shared publicly.

This is the second year that Cerro Coso students have participated in the Native Bee Workshop. In the coming Spring, Jessica and Lacy will join three other students (Fatima Anwar, Elajae Lee and Aria Ayres) to survey native bee species around campus locations and nearby undeveloped areas. They will identify floral hosts that best support our local native bee population and create habitats for them. Given the spate of rainfall recently and the possibility of super blooms, we are excited that we may be humming with bees. Students will present their findings at the Native Bee Conference in August. These students are mentored by Professors Claudia Sellers and Guck Ooi.

Cerro Coso Students Presented at the HTCC Student Research Conference

For the first time since the pandemic, the 23rd Annual UCI-Community College Honors Research Conference is now back in-person, and Cerro Coso Community College is represented this year by three students. This multidisciplinary conference sponsored by University of California, Irvine and the Honors Transfer Council of California (HTCC), showcases outstanding faculty-mentored research by students from California community colleges, with a focus on honors students.

Jessica Cliff’s presentation entitled “Mind Games – Cognitive Benefits of Video Gaming on Older Adults” reviewed studies which showed that playing video games can prevent cognitive decline in older adults. The beneficial cognitive effects of regular daily gaming were not only demonstrated by subjective observational assessments such as cognitive and memory tests, but also were followed by structural changes in the gray matter volume in the hippocampus and cerebellum. Interestingly, unlike younger adults, the beneficial effects in older adults were longer lasting and persisted up to at least four weeks after training. Jessica was mentored by Profs. Guck Ooi and Claudia Sellers.

Fatima Anwar researched the use of melatonin to treat schizophrenia. Her presentation, “Benefits of Melatonin in Treating Schizophrenia” discussed a study in which a rat model of schizophrenia was used to test melatonin efficacy compared to the standard drug olanzapine, either by itself or in combination. Although the study showed that melatonin by itself was not effective, it has strong effects in mitigating against the inflammatory side effects of olanzapine indicating that melatonin may be useful when used in combination with olanzapine. Fatima was mentored by Profs. Claudia Sellers and Guck Ooi.

Lacy Roberts participated in the conference by acting as a moderator in a session that discussed health-related issues among women and under-represented groups. Each presentation in the session focuses on a different aspect of health, including neglect in women’s healthcare, obesity and psychological well-being, and the susceptibility of certain ethnicities to specific diseases.

Presenting their work at the HTCC Student Research Conference makes these Cerro Coso students eligible not only for monetary awards but also to submit their work for publication in the HTCC anthology Building Bridges, published through the University of California, Irvine.

Cerro Coso Community College is a member of the Honors Transfer Council of California, and sends honors students to participate in the Building Bridges Honors Conference every year. To learn more about the Honors Program at Cerro Coso visit the website at www.cerrocoso.edu/academics/honors-program.

Bakersfield College

BC’s Jaime Lopez Joins Lamont Chamber of Commerce

The city of Lamont hosted an event on March 9th for their installation of officers and awards celebration. The installation ceremony recognized Jaime Lopez as a “Year Three Director” and was well attended by a number of supportive Renegades. Congratulations to Jaime and what a great pick for the city of Lamont Chamber of Commerce. 

CCCAOE Advocacy Day

Billie Jo Rice and Anthony Cordova recently attended the California Community College Association for Occupational Education (CCCAOE) Advocacy Day. They met with assembly member Dawn Addis and CCCAOE staff member Emily Berry, lobbying for continued support for both K-12 and community college career education programs. This continued support will help with the expansion of baccalaureate programs that will allow the 1.8 million students in the community college system to have a brighter chance to be a part of our future workforce.

Getting Back in the Arena

The Rodeo Team at Bakersfield College competed in Coalinga at the West Hills Rodeo Complex for the first rodeo of the spring semester. The team had a great time building morale and pushing themselves to improve. BC had a few competitors run their personal best times in Barrel Racing on Friday, and on Saturday most of the team improved their times from the day before. The team is looking forward to getting back into the practice pen to prepare for a competition in San Luis Obispo at Poly Royal in just a few weeks.

Remembering Carl Bryan

I had the pleasure of attending an event honoring the life of Carl Bryan, who was lovingly referred to as the “Voice of the Renegades” for announcing athletics events at Memorial Stadium for more than 35 years. He had a deep love and an encyclopedic knowledge of track and field, and over the course of his illustrious career, Carl announced 13 valley championship track meets, six California Community College championship meets, two NAIA national meets, Junior Olympics, World Masters and numerous state high school championships.

Carl Bryan is celebrated in the half of fame for BC track and field, California Community College Coaches Track Association, and East High, where he graduated in 1963. Carl passed away this December. His colleagues spoke very highly of him as a warm, gentle man who cared about young people and wanted to see them succeed at the highest levels of their athletic potential. Renegade basketball coach Paula Dahl quoted the poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow as she spoke about Carl:

“O, how wonderful is the human voice! It is indeed the organ of the soul! The intellect of man sits enthroned visibly upon his forehead and in his eye; and the heart of man is written upon his countenance. But the soul reveals itself in the voice only.”

Carl Bryan attend Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh and served in the Vietnam War. He also taught in the Bakersfield City School District and Kern High School District for nearly 20 years. He is sorely missed.

Fun Photos & Spotted on Social Media

From PC President Claudia Habib:

So grateful for all volunteers assisting many individuals and their pets displaced by the storms. @PCollegePirates contributes to these efforts as a Temporary Evacuation point #TEP @TulareCo_HHSA @cityporterville @AmeriCorps #CERC @RedCross @CCADT1 #Solidarity #DisasterRelief

Here is the Kern CCD – BC Team at Open Door Network:

UCLA Chancellor Gene Block shared this photo from our meeting last week:

And here is Nicole Parra with Gato, the cat, adopted by KernCCD:


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

The future is bright at Kern CCD.

a joyful and grateful Chancellor


Being vigilant about not hurting each other

Coolio passed away at age 59. His biggest hit, one of my favorite songs, Gangsta’s Paradise, was released in 1995.

“Tell me why are we, so blind to see
That the ones we hurt, are you and me?”

The song was featured in the film “Dangerous Minds,” a movie based on retired U.S. Marine LouAnne Johnson’s autobiography “My Posse Don’t Do Homework.” In 1989, she took a teaching position at Carlmont High School in Belmont, California, teaching a class of mostly African-American and Latino students from racially segregated and economically disadvantaged East Palo Alto. Her students are disengaged and involved in drugs and gangs, and she utilizes unconventional teaching methods to reach and inspire them.

The song, which was released just days before the film, relies heavily on biblical themes – starting with the opening lyrics “As I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,” a reference to Psalm 23:4. Choral background vocals add to this religious imagery. It is perhaps a surprising juxtaposition – a Grammy-winning Rap song that starts by quoting a Bible verse.

And while the rest of the song diverges sharply from the Psalm’s tone and message, it does come to a universal message –

Tell me why are we, so blind to see
That the ones we hurt, are you and me?

On Wednesday night, the Kern Community College District held the first annual Jack Hernandez Phronesis Award & Jack Hernandez Lecture Dinner. Award recipient and Bakersfield College professor Nick Strobel gave the lecture, titled “The virtue of humility in science, religion and freedom of speech.”

In his section on humility in religion, he discusses the importance of humility in our interactions with each other, and the importance of loving one’s neighbor. He quotes Paul’s letter to the Romans:

“Consider everyone as equal, and don’t think that you’re better than anyone else. Instead, associate with people who have no status. Don’t think that you’re so smart.”

And from Paul’s letter to the Phillippians:

“Don’t do anything for selfish purposes, but with humility think of others as better than yourselves. Instead of each person watching out for their own good, watch out for what is better for others.”

You can view his entire lecture here:

What do we lose when instead of humility and love for one another, we focus only on our own selves with no regard for our neighbors?

“Tell me why are we, so blind to see
That the ones we hurt, are you and me?”


Good morning, friends.
It is October 1, 2022.
The sun shines bright over Kern CCD.

Porterville College

Janice Ledgerwood: “Campus Cuties: Trophy Wives Prep Program” Exhibition Comes to the PC Gallery on October 3rd

The public is invited to see our latest exhibition at the PC Art Gallery, Janice Ledgerwood: “Campus Cuties: Trophy Wives Prep Program”.

  • DATES OF SHOW: October 3 – 27, 2022
  • GALLERY HOURS: Monday – Thursday from 12 – 2 pm and 4 – 6 pm

Janice Ledgerwood’s work as an artist embraces both established and emergent technologies while examining the places where feminist philosophy and theory, political ideologies and theories, popular cultural production, personal experience, and narratives (both fictional and real) intersect.

The Campus Cuties, as named and produced by Marx Toys in the mid-twentieth century, are two series of six-inch figurines of women in contemporary clothing of that time. Since Ledgerwood’s discovery of this toy series, it has been a focus of her work.

For this exhibition, the artwork explores the confluence of contemporary political discourse with history, pop culture, and women’s roles, status, and participation within Western society. The sculptures in this exhibition are 3D-printed mid-century figurines that are hand-painted and displayed on pedestals designed in Photoshop and produced with a laser cutter.

Ledgerwood has exhibited in both group and solo exhibits throughout the United States as well as in France and the Netherlands.

Ledgerwood earned her BFA at Mount St. Mary’s University in Los Angeles, CA, and her MFA at California State University, Fullerton. Prior to her tenure at the State Center Community College District, Ledgerwood lived and worked in southern California as an adjunct professor at USC and various community colleges, as an art museum director, and as a community art gallery director where she organized and curated a variety of exhibitions. Ledgerwood is currently a tenured art and multi-media professor at Clovis Community College.

PC VP of Student Services Delivers Keynote for CSUB Scholarship Ceremony

Porterville College Vice President of Student Services Primavera Arvizu delivered the keynote address at the 39th Annual Hispanic Excellence Scholarship Fund (HESF) Awards Program at CSU Bakersfield on Friday, September 23.

The fund recognizes academically excellent students with awards and scholarships. Since 1984, HESF has supported over 1,800 outstanding students from our community.  It seeks to increase access to a college education for academically excellent financially deserving underrepresented students who demonstrate leadership potential. 

Arvizu, who is a former recipient of an HESF award, delivered the keynote address to a room of over 20 scholarship recipients, including three recipients from the Kern Community College District. Frank Ramirez, PC’s Director of Student Services, was also in attendance at the event.  He had the following to say about Arvizu’s Address, “Primavera inspired the recipients of the California State University, Bakersfield Hispanic Excellence Scholarship. The biggest moment [for me] was when she dropped the African Proverb about a Gazelle. Read it and let it sink in on how it relates to the journey that all first-generation college students and first-generation professionals face every day.”

The proverb used in her address follows: 

Every morning in Africa a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning a lion wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the slowest gazelle or it will starve to death. It doesn't matter whether you are a lion or a gazelle. When the sun comes up, you better start running.

Next CHAP Event Explores the Claim, “We Are All Romans”

Jay Hargis (Pictured at a prior CHAP event)

The Porterville College Historical Awareness Program (CHAP) continues its celebration of 20 years and this semester’s theme of The Anthropocene with our next presentation, “We Are All Romans”.

The event, presented by PC Professor Emeritus Jay Hargis, will explore our understanding of our historical roots.

Join us on Thursday, October 6th from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm in the PC Theater for this discussion on heritage, history, and where we all come from.

Professor Jay Hargis has offered classes in history at Porterville College since 1991 – first as an adjunct and then as a full-time history professor. He retired from PC earlier this year.  Areas of historical interest that he has explored in 23 previous CHAP and other topical presentations over the years have included Mexican and Mexican American history, the Cold War, US politics of the ‘60s and ‘70s, our Islamic heritage, medieval history, 19th-century European conflicts, the legacies of World War I, the US in the Middle East since the 1940s, fictional history in the works of J.R.R. Tolkien, and other topics. 

For more information on the CHAP program, you can visit https://www.portervillecollege.edu/chap.

Cerro Coso Community College

Star Party and Barbecue Draw Big Crowd to Cerro Coso

Cerro Coso understands the public’s fascination with the night sky and goes the extra mile to welcome and accommodate guests that are keen to stargazing at their annual Star Party and Barbecue.

For the first time in two years the annual Star Party and Barbecue was held on Friday, September 23, 2022 in the fountain area of the Ridgecrest campus. 

After an evening a good food, great music, and raffles, participants stayed to enjoy the spectacular night sky at the Dr. Alex Shlanta Astronomical Observatory.

Special thanks go out to this year’s event Sponsors: Desert Valley’s FCU, Henzel Phelps Construction Company, Ridgecrest Regional Hospital, Toyota of Ridgecrest, 760 Fitness, The Swap Sheet, T.J. Frisbee, and Sylvia Sotomayor. 

The China Lake Astronomical Society joined Astronomy Professor Dr. Scott Cameron in educating party goers on the impressive objects in the sky.

The event drew kids of all ages to the college for a variety of fun activities, games, and viewing of the beauty and wonder of the night skies. 

Thanks to the Maintenance and Operations team for their hard work in setting up and bringing new and creative ideas to this year’s event, and to the many volunteers that contribute to the success of this year’s event.

The Cerro Coso Community College Foundation held this fundraising event in support of Cerro Coso programs, students, and staff. It is estimated between 350 and 400 people were in attendance.

Hands on with science and astronomy – educational and fun for the whole family!

Cerro Coso to participate in Relay for Life

Relay for Life is the American Cancer Society’s signature fundraiser, bringing communities together to honor and remember loved ones and take action for lifesaving change in the fight against cancer.  Cerro Coso will be participating and invites all to be a part of their team.   

The event will be held on Saturday, October 8, 2022, at the Leroy Jackson Sports Complex from 9 AM to midnight.

The goal of participating in this event as a whole college is to recognize and honor those individuals and support the cause to raise funds to fight against cancer.  The more people who participate in Relay for Life, the more money can be raised to support breakthrough research, 24/7 support for cancer patients, access to lifesaving screenings, and much more.

Will you join us to help raise money for the American Cancer Society? To walk, simply Click here to view the TEAM page for Cerro Coso Community College

Purchase a Luminaria: https://secure.acsevents.org/site/SPageServer?pagename=relay_luminaria&PROXY_TYPE=21&PROXY_ID=102622&fr_id=102622&search=event  Click that link and find the team name Cerro Coso Community College you can donate and purchase a luminaria in honor of someone you love.

Banned Books Week

The Cerro Coso Library celebrated the freedom to read during Banned Books Week, September 18th-24th, with displays encouraging students to #resistthepurge on social media or by reading books that have been banned from libraries across the country – titles that include To Kill a Mockingbird, The Diary of Anne Frank, and the Harry Potter series.”

Banned Books Week has been an annual nationwide campaign led by the American Library Association since 1982. It draws attention to the problems of censorship and highlights the value of open access to information.

For more information, check out https://bannedbooksweek.org/

Bakersfield College

Delano 50th Anniversary

On Monday, September 26th, I joined the Bakersfield College community, Kern CCD Trustees Romeo Agbalog and Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, and Assembly Member Rudy Salas to commemorate 50 years of Bakersfield College supporting Renegades in Delano.

It all began when the Kern Community College District voted to build a second campus for Bakersfield College in downtown Bakersfield in the mid-1970s, Delano’s leaders clamored for their own dedicated campus in Delano. That led in the fall of 1977 to the construction of a new facility on Randolph Street where 50 courses were offered to 850 students. Now, BC continues to grow and looks forward to the opening of the newest Learning Resource Center facility on the BC Delano campus. Special guests in attendance at Monday’s event included Julio Segura, Trustees Romeo Agbalog, Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, and Assemblymember Rudy Salas.

6th Annual Panorama Creative Music Summit

The Panorama Music Summit kicked off this week at Bakersfield College for the 6th time. During week one, students were invited to participate in special workshops throughout the day and concerts were held for students and the community in the evening. 

Luke Temple gave an Improvisation talk on Wednesday, and spoke about his own sources of inspiration. As a child he enjoyed listening to punk rock and later found an interest in jazz, though now his favorites also include The Beatles and Elliott Smith. His songwriting career began with folk music. One student asked Mr. Temple, “What distinguishes pop music from the other genres?” Temple responded, “Well, pop stands for popular, so the primary thing that distinguishes pop music from the others are simply the numbers.” Temple later went on to say that songwriting is meaningful to him because he sees it as a form of self-discovery and expression. 

For information on next week’s activities, visit bcjazz.org.

Bakersfield College RN – Mercy Hospital Recruitment

Another of our many partners, Mercy Hospital, hosted our upcoming graduating class of Registered Nursing students at the beautiful Stockdale Country Club this week. Future RNs had the opportunity to meet with department managers and ask questions about each department and their individual culture. Fifty-six of our soon-to-be graduates took advantage of learning detailed information from Mercy’s various departments to determine if they are a good fit for that team. Thank you, Mercy Hospital.

2022-23 Basketball Media Day

The Bakersfield College Athletics Department would like to invite the campus to attend the 2022-23 Basketball Media Day. The 2022-23 Basketball season is upon us and BC Athletics is extending a warm welcome to join the Renegades in kicking off the season with the 2022 BC Basketball Media Day on Thursday, October 6th at 11:00AM at the Gil Bishop Sports Center. The event will take place on the top floor of the main front entrance. A full list of speakers can be found below and more to come.

The event is free to the public. Attendees are encouraged to park in lot P7, off of Mt. Vernon.  

Fun Photos & other news spotted on social media

Subscribe to Kern CCD TALE blog todayhttps://kernccdtaleblog.org/

The Teaching-and-Learning Experiences (TALE) blog provides a virtual space for faculty, instructional support staff, former faculty, and others within KCCD to contribute original blog posts that describe their insights and ideas rooted in their experiences in the classroom or working with our students, their implications for ensuring that learning occurs with intentional outcomes, and their relationship to faculty engagement and innovation, and student success. 

BC Industrial Automation shared this post:

“Thank you AeraEnergyLLC for your internship presentation and for creating an Automation Internship opportunity for our students locally.”

The Cerro Coso Learning Assistance Center created this video to help students access their Math & Writing Lab:

And check out this great video by Jonathan Hernandez at Porterville College:


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

The future is bright at KernCCD.

a joyful and grateful Chancellor


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


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 

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:


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

The future is bright at KernCCD.

a joyful and grateful Chancellor


It’s March – Celebrating Women

On Tuesday – International Women’s Day – the California Community Colleges Women’s Caucus gathered virtually for a panel discussion about Student Parents, the second in a three-part series co-sponsored by the Caucus and California Competes.

I wanted to share this short video highlighting some of the inspirational women who have broken new ground for women in higher education, as well as some photos from the Caucus’ first 1 1/2 years. #WomenInspire

Talking about inspiring women, here is one of my favorite people – T Johnson doing what she does …..

Bakersfield College Launchpad welcomes the Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce “Leadership Bakersfield” Class of 2022 for “Education Day” hosted by Kern County Superintendent of Schools. Participants toured the Launchpad and learned about the resources and educational workshops for entrepreneurs to help start and grow businesses in our community.  NaTesha “T” Johnson presented to the leaders on the importance of supporting entrepreneurs, start-ups and small businesses throughout Kern County.

Good morning, friends…
It is March 12, 2022.
The sun shines bright over KernCCD.

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

Porterville College

Porterville College names Women’s Soccer coach, looks to start new program in Fall

We’re excited to announce the appointment of PC alum Amber Hernandez as the Head Coach for the new PC Women’s Soccer team. #WomenLead

Ms. Hernandez has spent the better part of her life playing soccer, jokingly saying that she has “been a soccer player since the moment I could walk”. She brings valuable experience starting up new soccer programs, having served as assistant coach for the first soccer team fielded at Reedley College.

Amber was a member of the Women’s Mexican National Soccer team, she also played semiprofessional soccer with the Seattle Reign. She’s coached younger recreational soccer players for over 9 years, having worked with the South Valley Chivas Academy and the Porterville Soccer League. She comes to PC directly from her position as an assistant coach for the WPSL Fresno Freeze women’s soccer program.

As a graduate of Porterville College and a Porterville resident, Ms. Hernandez looks forward to making a difference in the lives of players in our community. She is particularly excited to start recruiting new players from the area. “For far too long talent here has been kept a secret and hidden, now is time to showcase all that hidden talent! This program will encourage so many young girls, female athletes, and women of all ages to dream big and use their talent to help open doors to their fullest potential.”

PC Athletic Director Joe Cascio is excited about the addition of both Hernandez and the new program. He says, “We are very fortunate to have Amber in charge of reviving women’s soccer at Porterville College. She has an extensive soccer background, strong ties to the community, and a genuine passion for student-athlete success. I’m excited to see her hit the ground running.”

This mother of two holds her bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary studies from National University and a teaching credential in Multiple subjects. She already has big plans for the program in its first years, “My plan is to create a program where female athletes can strive and be successful both on and off the field.”

Scene on Campus: Student Life Club Rush Event

The PC campus continues its “spring back to life” this week as the student life office presented the latest Club Rush in the quad.  Interested students met with club members and advisors to learn about the variety of clubs available on campus.  The event showcased a wide range of cultural, service and interest clubs offered on campus. 

It is also nice to see students gathering in the quad again and taking advantage of events as the weather begins to improve and some of the limitations of the pandemic begin to subside.  According to Vice President of Student Services, Primavera Arvizu, “It is great to see the clubs, students, and club advisors engaging in Student Life again”. #WomenLead

Student artists provide artwork for new Presidents Exhibit

Some Porterville College art students are getting to show off their talent in a new location on campus, thanks to the recent addition of the first “President’s Office Student Art Exhibit”, located inside the PC President’s Office.  The exhibit of student works was created to highlight several pieces of student art on a rotating basis in our administrative offices.   #WomenLead

Dr. Habib thought it would be a wonderful way to highlight student’s incredible talents and show off their artwork to community guests and others that visit the President’s Office on a regular basis.  Thank you to Art Professor Dr. James Entz for organizing this showing of student art.  Feel free to stop by and check out the student’s incredible work the next time you are on campus!

Cerro Coso Community College

CC Holds Virtual Military and Veterans Aid Workshop

Cerro Coso Community College is offering a virtual Military and Veterans Aid Workshop on Friday, March 18th from 12 to 1:30 p.m. viz Zoom. 

The college strives to support, empower, and assist military and veteran students through military-connected transitional challenges; increase student veteran retention and completion; foster the development of skills needed to succeed in their educational goals; and create an awareness of military culture and how to support veterans on campus. 

This workshop will provide a review of military and veteran education benefits such as Tuition Assistance, GI Bill®, MyCAA, and the CalVet Fee Waiver.  Other topics will include academic and Financial Aid resources to ensure students are well prepared or the upcoming term. 

Cerro Coso employees Adeline Windsor and Jessica Kawelmacher, Admissions & Records and Military & Veterans Services; Katie Bachman, Director of Outreach Services; and Alfonso Guzman, Counseling and Military & Veterans Services will be on hand to provide their expertise, direct discussion, and answer questions.   

For more information on Military and Veteran Services at Cerro Coso Community College call 760-384-6291.

Virtual Parent Night March 23

Parents who have questions about their child’s path to college success are invited to attend an upcoming Cerro Coso Community College virtual Parent Information Night and see firsthand what CCCC offers. From career-training programs that include Nursing, Welding, EMT, and Cyber Security, to Associate Degrees for Transfer, and Associate Degree programs, CCCC provides the education and training students need for success in rewarding, high-demand career fields.

Helping parents navigate the college planning and enrollment process, Cerro Coso’s Parent Information Night will enlighten parents of prospective students on college costs and how to pay for college—including financial aid and scholarship availability. Representatives will share details on available resources, enrollment process, transfer requirements, vocational programs, and information on how high school students can earn college credit through dual and concurrent enrollment classes.  Time will be allotted for questions and answers.

Cerro Coso’s Virtual Parent Night will be held on Wednesday, March 23, 2022 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. via Zoom.  Reserve your spot at https://www.cerrocoso.edu/event/virtual-parent-night-all-sites .

All Cerro Coso Community College campuses are now OPEN.  Contact your local Cerro Coso Community College Counseling Department for assistance. 

Coso Baseball Back at the Dawg Yard

After a week on the road, the Coyote Baseball team returned to the Dawg Yard for some IEAC action on Tuesday as they took on the Chaffey Panthers.   

The Panthers enter the contest with a 1-2 IEAC record, but are traditionally regarded as a top performer in the conference. After a long battle on the ball field, the Coyotes lost to the Panthers with a score of 13-16. 

The Coyotes look to get back to their winning ways against some stiff competition this week, after squaring off with Chaffey on Tuesday, they will travel to Mt. San Antonio college in a non-conference matchup and then return home to host San Bernardino Valley College on Saturday (12:00 noon first pitch). 

#CoyoteSpirit – Go Coyotes!

Bakersfield College

Amazon Presents Check to BC Foundation in Appreciation for Student Assistance in Marking Catalytic Converters

Students and faculty from BC’s Automotive Technology program teamed up with the Bakersfield AMAZON distribution team at Motor City Quick Lube lanes in the Auto Mall to mark and label approximately 150 catalytic converters on AMAZON employee’s vehicles.

Amazon employee vehicles were being vandalized and catalytic converters were being stolen from them at their distribution warehouse. AMAZON was looking for a way to try to reduce the number of thefts that were taking place when they heard about a partnership between BC Automotive Technology students, faculty, BPD, and the District Attorney’s office.  They reached out to BC and found a way to coordinate similar events and provide scholarship opportunities for students working the event.

During the one-day event, students interacted with AMAZON’s security management to learn more about employment options with the company.  

In appreciation for BC’s help, the company provided AMAZON gift cards to the students, the company donated $10,000 to the BC Foundation and each student was given a $150 AMAZON gift card.

Andrew Haney, BC Automotive Professor, stated that the most important experience for students was the opportunity to work with others in the community.  “The skill most learned from this event was the students realizing the benefits of community service, building relationships and the accomplishments that can be achieved when a community works together for a greater cause of good.” 

Groundbreaking Ceremony for Expansion of BC’s Delano Campus

On Friday morning, BC held a groundbreaking ceremony for a new facility at our Delano Campus. Construction on the new building is thanks to $14 million in state dollars secured by Assemblymember Rudy Salas.

The Delano campus has experienced significant growth of students attending 15 hours of classes per week since 2015. This increase in attendance and engagement created a need for an additional building. The hope is that the new building will be finished and operational in the Fall of 2023.

The program, emceed by Jaime Lopez, was brief with a nice line up of speakers.

Dr. Zav Dadabhoy and Dr. Jessica Wojtysiak talked about the significance of the new building for the community of Delano.

Trustee Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg spoke on behalf of the KCCD Trustees beautifully narrating the history and growth of the Delano campus. #WomenLead

I was also really happy that Trustee Yovani Jimenez attended the event.

Our student Marcus Mateo brought it home that he and many of his family members would not have attended college if it was not for the Delano Center. #WeAreBC

The man of the hour, Assembly member Rudy Salas, who brought in the matching $14M for the project concluded the program with heartfelt remarks about his hometown.

More photos

BC’s Community Partnerships Framed by Adult Education, Credit and Noncredit Programs

Bakersfield College is hard at work engaging with community partners to support economic growth and upward mobility. Through our Adult Education and Noncredit education, we are providing high-touch, comfortable environments where adults can walk in, skill up, and reach their potential.

Last fall, BC pioneered a partnership with Chick-fil-A to provide employees with a dedicated, noncredit program of study to develop office and business skills. The sixth cohort of students will graduate soon from BC’s Project HireUp, providing a pathway from homelessness to successful employment. The number of programs and pathways available through this unique partnership with CityServe continues to grow, now including welding, core construction/industrial skills, and occupational safety and risk management. Adult students can also access courses through our JobSpot partnership with the Kern High School District.

In non-credit, our immediate focus has turned to the development and launch of several summer academies. This summer, students can complete Career Development and College Preparation (CDCP) certificates in a wide range of areas. Currently, Bakersfield College offers almost 20 noncredit programs, and nearly 150 courses in 23 subject areas!

BC’s Expanding List of Community Partners includes:

  • Bakersfield City School District – Parent University
  • City Serve & Project HireUp
  • Wonderful Training Academy
  • Farmworkers Institute Education and Leadership (FIELD)
  • JobSpot
  • Edible Garden at the Main Campus/Regenerative Garden at the Delano Center
  • Greater Bakersfield New Car Dealership
  • Education Partners Throughout Kern County

BC Celebrates Women’s History Month

Women’s History Month and More (WHAM) at Bakersfield College has organized an array of programs and special events to celebrate the historical accomplishments of women. 

This year, WHAM chose to emphasize the positive change women can make in the lives of each other and in broader society. This year’s events include a film screening, guest speakers, discussion panels, and much more.
Visit the Women’s History Month information page for a list of all the events and resources.

Renegade Athletics Update

Women’s basketball hosted their first playoff basketball game in seven years against Long Beach City on Thursday evening, March 3rd, in front of a large crowd. Unfortunately, the Renegades came up short and ended their season but Coach Paula Dahl and the entire team wanted to send out a big thank you for the community’s support this season! #WomenLead

Softball has been on a roll! This week the team went against College of the Sequoias and won 11-1. Pitcher Talia Nielson had 10 strikeouts and only one run on Saturday, March 5th. 

Remembering Fernando Alaniz

This February, McFarland High dual enrollment instructor Fernando Alaniz passed away. On Wednesday, a memorial service was held for the popular teacher and girls basketball coach. Steven Watkin, Alma Feathers, and Kylie Campbell were in attendance, and I wanted to share some of the words that Kylie prepared:

“Without the contributions of Mr. Alaniz to the Early College program at McFarland High School, there would have been hundreds of students who did not have the opportunity to get college credit while in high school.

We are grateful of the time and the hard work that Mr. Alaniz dedicated to his students and to this program. Fernando Alaniz Ochoa was a true Cougar Renegade, and the team at Bakersfield College will hold his memory close to our hearts as we continue the work that he helped us begin just a couple of years ago.

On behalf of Bakersfield College, we extend our condolences to Mr. Alaniz family, to all students and staff and McFarland High, and to the community of McFarland. We would also like to present these flowers to Fernando’s wife as a thank you for the mark that Fernando left on the McFarland High Early College program.”

Getting to Know: Melanie Jeffrey

This week, we are getting to know Cerro Coso English Professor Melanie Jeffrey:

For Cerro Coso English Professor Melanie Jeffrey, community college isn’t just where she works. She says it also saved her life.

Growing up in Los Angeles, her family was poor and on welfare most of her young life. In high school, she attended a regional occupation program in cosmetology which landed her a job working in a hair salon straight out of school, which was her first career. 

Fine out more about Melanie Jeffrey on the Kern CCD website.

Fun Photos & Spotted on Social Media

Marlene Heise sent me this beautiful photo from her visit to Wisconsin:

2 degrees in WI right now.  Sunrise …. no water, only ice in the bay, still beautiful and peaceful!

The KernCCD and BC team was out in full force at the Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce installation this week:

Cerro Coso updated their Facebook cover photo – check it out:

New dad Nicky Damania had a warm welcome back to BC:

BC Rural Initiatives Program Director Jaime Lopez was installed into the Greater Lamont Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors:


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

The future is bright at KCCD.

a joyful and grateful Chancellor