Tag Archives: Romeo Agbalog

This is our community. Make it. Protect it. Pass it on.

October 2, 1967, 54 years ago, Thurgood Marshall was sworn in as the first Black Justice on the US Supreme Court.

He had been nominated four months prior by President Lyndon B. Johnson. He had been at the forefront of legal battles for Civil Rights and the destruction of Jim Crow segregation. From 1938 to 1961, he served as the NAACP’s chief counsel, arguing more than a dozen cases before the U.S. Supreme Court – including a victory in 1954’s groundbreaking Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka case.

Marshall’s placement on the highest court in the land was as an important milestone in the still-continuing march for racial equality and peace in this country.

Where you see wrong or inequality or injustice, speak out, because this is your country.
This is your democracy. Make it. Protect it. Pass it on.
Thurgood Marshall

Good morning, friends…
It is October 2, 2021.
The sun shines bright over KCCD.

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


Porterville College

PC Receives $1.7 million grant to help prepare local students for college

Porterville College has been awarded a $1.7 million grant from the US department of Education as part of the Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs, or GEAR UP, partnership program.

GEAR UP provides six-year and seven-year grants to develop partnerships that provide services at high-poverty middle and high schools. GEAR UP partners, such as Porterville College, serve an entire cohort of students beginning no later than the seventh grade and follow the cohort through high school.

This award will fund a seven-year project at PC to increase the number of low-income students within our service area who obtain a High School diploma and are then prepared to succeed in college.  The program will achieve this goal by meeting the following objectives for 400 students per year for the duration of the project:

  • Increase the academic performance and preparation for post-secondary education for GEAR UP students.
  • Increase the rate of high school graduation for GEAR UP students.
  • Increase the number and percentage of students and parents demonstrating knowledge of post-secondary education options, financial aid options, cost of college attendance, and how to acquire financial aid.
  • Increase the number and percentage of GEAR UP students entering college after high school.
  • Increase the number and percentage of GEAR UP students persisting to the second year of college.

Matthew S. Hopson-Walker Brings “A Tower of Ashes Built” to PC Art Gallery

The public is invited to an exhibition, of the work of Matthew S. Hopson-Walker starting Monday, October 4.  His exhibition, entitled “A Tower of Ashes Built”, will show at the Porterville College Art Gallery from October 4th to the 28th.  Gallery Hours are Monday – Thursday from 12 – 2 pm and 4 – 6 pm. 

Matthew S. Hopson-Walker’s work is based on self-investigation within the context of American popular culture. As Hopson-Walker says, “The difference between the drawn mark and the appropriated image is a metaphor for the conflict between reality and ideology that many of us experience. I try to create a sense of uncomfortable visual tension by blending thoughts and images that do not fit together. I am influenced by narratives and characters found in contemporary entertainment, which often centers on themes of dystopia and unresolved conflict. I want my work to record and document specific times and places, suggest the selfish motives that lurk beneath socially acceptable behavior, and reference the surface qualities and rich graphic aesthetic in the history of printmaking.”

Born and raised in Fresno California, Matthew Hopson-Walker grew up reading comic books and dystopian science fiction novels. During a formative age he was exposed to movies such as Mad Max, Total Recall, Escape From New York, Blade Runner, and The Omega Man, and many themes from these movies show up in his work.

After working as a janitor for several years, Hopson-Walker matriculated to the Kansas City Art Institute and received his BFA in Printmaking in 1998. After graduating he and a friend opened their own gallery and screen-printing business. To support himself and his heavy metal bass playing “career” he worked as a print technician at his alma mater, did construction, bounced and bussed at various bars, delivered mail and cashiered at liquor stores. These jobs influenced his generally misanthropic outlook on humanity and the images he made as an artist. In 2002 he completed his MA followed by his MFA in 2003 from the University of Iowa. In 2006 he was recipient of the prestigious James D. Phelan Award in Printmaking given by the San Francisco Foundation and administered by the KALA Institute. He has been included in 222 juried or group exhibitions and 14 solo shows since 2006. Matthew Hopson-Walker is now Assistant Professor in Printmaking at Fresno State University.

PC Welcomes a new Enrollment Services director to the Pirate Team

Jonathan Miranda has been named the new Interim Director of Enrollment Services at Porterville College. His bachelor’s degree is in Philosophy from UCLA, and he is currently finishing his master’s degree in Higher Education Leadership from Sacramento State University.

Jonathan has worked in higher education for 10 plus years in the Los Rios and State Center community college districts.

He is a first-generation college student who began his journey as a Federal Work Study student and worked his way up to Financial Aid/A&R Manager. 

Jonathan has dedicated his work to creating programs that grant equitable access to all student populations. His efforts have helped many students achieve academic success and excellence. To this end, he is excited to begin serving the students and community of Porterville College.

In his free time, he enjoys playing music on his saxophone, which he has been playing for over 25 years, and playing frisbee with his two Australian Shepard furballs, Merlin and Casper. 


Cerro Coso Community College

Dave’s Scholars Brunch

The Mammoth Lakes Foundation held their Dave’s Scholar brunch outside on September 17th. After a year of connecting virtually it was a beautiful morning to connect in-person with returning and new scholars. One of the goals at the MML Foundation is to help Cerro Coso students plan their next steps after community college.

Deanna Campbell, Director of the Cerro Coso Community College Eastern Sierra College Center, shared information on the UC Transfer Admission Guarantee (TAG) program. 

The Mammoth Lakes Foundation Scholarship program was launched in 2003 to encourage Mono County residents and high school graduates to take advantage of local education opportunities through Cerro Coso Community College’s Mammoth Campus and has since awarded more than 750 scholarships.  Support for an individual scholarship ranges from $800 to $1,000 each semester and covers tuition and books.  

The Dave’s Scholar Transfer Scholarship represents a significant undertaking and financial investment by the MML Foundation to further their mission of supporting higher education and cultural enrichment.  Recipients must demonstrate a capacity to excel in their continued studies and understand that they represent the MML Foundation locally and in the wider world. 

Each Dave’s Scholar has a unique story to share as they pursue their dreams at CCCC. Some are the first to attend college in their families; some are returning to college after a hiatus; and others are seeking a certificate or degree to help them with their business.  Every donation made to the program changes lives. 

Meet Our CCCC Ambassadors

Meet the Cerro Coso 2021-2020 Student Ambassadors: (l to r) Geraldine Valdez, Aden Ostash, Nicole Harper, Taylir DeStefano, Sara Orlando, Abigail Wright, and John McHenry.  All of these students attend full-time and are Cerro Coso Promise students, three are moms, and three are Coyote athletes, and all have committed to serving as emissaries for the college. 

Student Ambassadors demonstrate their wiliness to share Cerro Coso’s goals and vision with college visitors, new students, and the community.  Participation in the program is an opportunity for current students to show pride in their school while making an impact on the lives of individuals who are planning for a college education. 

Being a Student Ambassador is a challenging and rewarding educational opportunity with a truly positive and memorable experience. These are the faces of Cerro Coso that set an example for other students and incoming freshmen. They have a passion for the college and represent Cerro Coso at community and on-campus events, accompany recruitment personnel on high school visits, lead campus tours, assist with new student orientation, participate in focus groups and student discussion panels, speak to groups regarding special interests at the college, and participate in mass media projects.  

In return these students develop leadership skills, participate in extracurricular activities to add to college and scholarship applications, develop skills that will transfer to other employment opportunities, and interact with students and faculty in weekly meetings. CC Ambassadors are here to help!

What’s On Our Walls

Painting barren hallways can dramatically change a campus’ atmosphere. In November of 2018 College Council developed a task force to discuss what should be displayed throughout the main building at the Ridgecrest campus and in what manner the information should be exhibited.

The task force was not identifying specific locations for displaying things or identifying specific products for those displays. Membership on the task force included representatives from Student Government, classified staff, faculty, and administration. The task force met throughout the spring of 2019 and in the spring of 2020 some “conceptual” images were developed and shared with stakeholders based on the recommendations of the task force.

They were not intended to be accurate or definitive, merely a way of investigating and communicating design principles and aesthetic concepts. Staff, faculty, and students were given the entire semester to provide feedback.  The goal of the task force was to employ strategic uses of color for wayfinding and delineating spaces in a way that warmed up the sterile long hallways and created a sense of belonging and pride in the institution utilizing school logos, colors, and motivational words. In 2021 Cerro Coso began the first phase of implementation. 

It is exciting to see the hard work of the task force being executed creating an environment that communicates the college’s core values and improves the college experience. 


Bakersfield College

BC to Receive $14 Million in State Funding for New Delano Campus Building

Bakersfield College and Assemblymember Rudy Salas announced the construction of a new two-story building for the BC Delano Campus, thanks to $14 million in state funding advocated for by Salas in the most recent budget cycle.

The announcement was made on Tuesday, September 28, 2021, during a press conference at the BC Delano Campus in an outdoor area near the vacant land where the structure will be built. The new 40,000-square-foot Learning Resource Center will include classrooms, office space, a library and designated spaces for student services to help accommodate and support a growing population of students throughout Delano and North Kern. Construction is expected to begin in January and will take about 22 months to complete. The funding for this project also includes funding from Measure J. Thank you Assemblymember Salas, and to Kern County residents for voting yes on Measure J. Read the entire press release.

Emma Gallegos, Sonya Christian

And I loved Emma Gallegos‘s front page story in the Bakersfield Californian about the announcement. #FrontPageAbovetheFold

Rudy Salas and Sonya Christian

Webinar on Future Impacts of Technology and Water Resources on Farming

Join Bakersfield College’s Energy Technology Transfer and Workforce Development initiative on Tuesday, October 5th, at 3 p.m., for its second webinar in the Agriculture/Water/Energy (AWE) Education Series, featuring a panel of local stakeholders and national researchers sharing their perspectives on the impacts of technology and water resources on farming.

Panelists will include: John Moore III, Former President of the Kern County Farm Bureau, Owner of Moore Farms and White Wolf Potato Co.; Dr. Joshua Viers, Professor, Water Resources Management, UC Merced School of Engineering; and Dr. Helen E Dahlke, Associate Professor, Integrated Hydrologic Sciences, University of California, Davis. RSVP for the Webinar

BC to Host Livestream of the Unveiling and Opening of First BC Peace Garden

The Bakersfield College Peace Initiative will host the grand opening of the first peace garden on the BC campus at 10 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 4.

The event will feature short speeches by local peacemakers and partners, and will be the first garden in a series of gardens on BC campuses. Additionally, the garden will feature “Peace Poles,” provided and paid for by local Bakersfield Rotary Clubs. Speakers will include: myself, Krista Moreland, Professor of Anthropology, Naina Patel, The Ravi and Naina Patel Foundation, and Edith Mata, BC Student Government Association President.

I invite you to watch this livestream event this Monday Oct 4 at 10:00 on the BC YouTube Channel. Complete information is in this press release.

Check out this video about the Peace Garden, with footage from BC’s Opening Day 2020 and the Groundbreaking Ceremony for the Peace Garden:

Thank You Cindy Collier!

On Monday, Bakersfield College recognized Cindy Collier for her 28 years of dedicated service to the college and the Kern Community College District. Cindy retired this summer. Her illustrious career at Bakersfield College began when she became a nursing faculty member in 1993. She became director of the nursing program in 2001. She also held a number of administrative roles – Executive Director of Student Health, Dean of Instruction, Associate Vice Chancellor of Economic and Workforce Development for KCCD, faculty director of the Inmate Scholars Program, and Director of the Student Health and Wellness Center.

Here are my closing remarks from the event:

You can see the whole recording on Bakersfield College’s YouTube channel.


Poetry Corner

Please enjoy this poem from Jack Hernandez:

The Desert        

The moon rise
over the desert
is no longer surprising,
he had not foreseen
living in its barren canvas
painted in his later years.

Until this time his life
scurried like an ant
seeking    always seeking,
now he sits grasping
for nothing more
than silent truth
in silver light.

UN International Day of Peace

Last week, I shared a few videos from Bakersfield College’s celebration to honor the UN International Day of Peace on September 21st. 

Today, I am sharing two more videos from that production.

Bakersfield Mayor Karen Goh’s remarks:

The Bakersfield College Chamber Choir’s performance of “Light of a Clear Blue Morning”:

Quick Tips for Teaching Success

This week, Porterville College continued its Quick Tips for Teaching Success series. The live presentations are open only to Porterville College faculty and run on Wednesdays at 12 pm. However, the recorded presentations are available to anyone and are a fantastic resource for all our educators.

Check it out at QUICK TIPS FOR TEACHING SUCCESS – Resources (weebly.com).

Wednesday’s session was called “A Deep Dive Into Teaching Controversial Issues.

“Do you teach a course with subject matter some consider controversial? Do you wonder how to best ensure students learn about sensitive topics without getting lost in heated emotions or a refusal consider other views with an open mind? Have you ever found a class got off track when something controversial inadvertently entered the conversation? The ‘Quick Tips’ team has, and we’ll share our stories, experiences, and techniques for managing these delicate situations while ensuring students learn new ideas and perspectives and remain respectful to others in the classroom – and the world around them.”

Check out the recording online

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

In the News

Hogan, longtime Folkloric dance instructor, to be honored

I saw in The Porterville Recorder this story about longtime Folkloric dance instructor Maria Antonietta Hogan Abrego (Mrs. Hogan). She taught at schools throughout Porterville, including night classes at Porterville College. She will be moving to Idaho and her family held a Bon Voyage party for her this week, allowing the countless students whose lives she touched a chance to wish her well.

“She molded us in such a way to be citizens of the world. We were just all good kids,” Elva Beltran said. “We will always be grateful for that. This is our chance to come and hug her and send her off with love.”

Community Voices: The Veil of Ignorance

Jack Hernandez penned this piece for the Bakersfield Californian that looks at philosopher John Rawls’ idea of the veil of ignorance, and how we must use that veil to better show compassion and empathy for one another.

“Thus, he asks us to do what is difficult for all of us: to put on the veil of ignorance and imagine ourselves in the shoes, in the lives, of others, especially those who suffer. We live in a society that tends to ignore the role fortune, luck, plays in our lives. The myth of success is that all that happens is because of our effort, and if we are not successful we have simply not worked hard enough.”

Fun Photos and Spotted on Social Media

Here’s the KCCD Team at the Hearts of Hope event to benefit Casa Esperanza:

Cerro Coso Military And Veterans Services invited all military and veteran students, alumni, staff, faculty, spouses, dependents, and community members to submit a photo for the Wall of Courage 2021. Submissions begin Monday. The Wall of Courage will be displayed in person on the Ridgecrest campus throughout the month of November. it will also be featured on the Cerro Coso website.

The submission link will be sent out via student emails, social media, and the Cerro Coso website beginning Monday, 10/04/2021.

At BC, Student Life Program Director Nicole Alvarez spent the morning with the L.U.P.E club recruiting new members:

Porterville College professors Jonathan Hernandez and Jeff Jacobs shared these photos of Administration of Justice Professor Jacobs joining Professor Hernandez’s Intercultural Communications class to discuss issues on social justice, equity, and empathy.

And check out Porterville College in coaching sessions with Dr. Al:

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

The future is bright at KCCD.

-sonya
a joyful and grateful Chancellor

#KCCDDaringMightyThings

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:

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

The future is bright at KCCD.

-sonya
a joyful and grateful Chancellor

#KCCDDaringMightyThings

KCCD leaders with our communities

We are wrapping up our third week of the Fall 2021 semester, and all three of our campuses have been alive with the bustle of students, faculty, and staff. We’ve also welcomed the return of athletics on our campuses. I invite you to follow our Porterville College Pirates, Cerro Coso Community College Coyotes, and Bakersfield College Renegades throughout the season.

This week, I was honored to speak at the Rotary Club of Bakersfield Downtown’s meeting on Thursday.

I shared some of the work that has been happening over the past few years, and throughout the pandemic, and the plans for the next five years. #KCCDDaringMightyThings

I am grateful for the deep and meaningful connections our colleges have to our communities.

Good morning, friends…
It is September 4, 2021.
The sun shines bright over KCCD.

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


Porterville College

PC brings new Leadership to Equity and Diversity efforts

Porterville College’s new Director of Equity and Student Success hopes to use his background in Equity and Inclusion to strengthen the student experience. 

Dr. Julian West

Dr. Julian West holds two degrees from California State University, Bakersfield: a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and an M.B.A. with an emphasis in Marketing. Additionally, He has studied at San Diego State University where he earned a doctorate degree in Educational Leadership with an emphasis in community college leadership. Before coming to Porterville College, Julian was serving as a Director at the Career Ladders Project. While at Career Ladders, Dr. West assisted in developing equity work at various community colleges across the state.

Prior to that, he served as the Educational Advisor for African American Success at Bakersfield College. While at BC, the college received the innovation of the year award from the Community College League of Innovation for the African American Mentor Program (AAMP).

PC Students RUSH to join clubs on campus

Porterville College held its first Club Rush event of the Fall Semester this past week, bringing students to the quad to explore different choices for student clubs available on campus. 

Club Rush is held every semester to promote campus clubs, student involvement, and recruitment. Due to the Pandemic, this is our first time hosting the event in-person for over a year.

Various clubs were in attendance to provide students with information on things that might meet their interests –whether those interests be academic, career or hobby. From honor societies, to LGBTQIA+ clubs, to entertainment and cultural clubs, Club Rush had a wide variety to choose from.

The RUSH for club recruitment continues next week with another day in the quad for students on Wednesday, September 8th.

PC Sports ask students to MASK UP!

The Porterville College Men’s Basketball and Women’s Volleyball Teams were seen on social media asking students to wear their masks.  They have been taking to Twitter, Instagram and Facebook in recent days with the hashtag #PiratesMaskUp. Go Pirates! 


Cerro Coso Community College

Cheers for Charity Pulls Out All the Stops

Math Instructor at the Tehachapi campus Jaclyn Kessler and President Sean Hancock pose for a picture in front of the Cheers for Charity welcome banner.

The CCCC Foundation would like to thank Cheers for Charity for selecting Cerro Coso Community College as a recipient of this year’s wine, food, and beer fundraiser in Tehachapi.  The fun, laid-back atmosphere boasted an awesome selection of food, wine, beer, music, and games all in support of local non-profits. 

Guests sipped, savored, mixed and mingled their way through an impressive number of local award-winning wines, craft beers, homebrews, and culinary exhibits. 

The evening was a breath of fresh air with some of the most passionate and knowledgeable volunteers. the event was a great way to enjoy everything the region has to offer. Proceeds will benefit Cerro Coso Promise Scholarships for Tehachapi students.

Library Supports ISEP Students

The Cerro Coso Library is pleased to announce a new “Core Academic Collection” of print reference titles for the Tehachapi Prison D-Yard Library! This collection of over 200 titles was purchased with Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) funding and was curated with input from ISEP faculty. 

The collection includes such titles as:  African American Culture: An Encyclopedia of People, Traditions, and Customs; American Prisons and Jails: An Encyclopedia of Controversies and Trends; Economics: The Definitive Encyclopedia from Theory to Practice; The Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice; Encyclopedia of Psychology; and The International Encyclopedia of Anthropology. The collection addresses a gap in access to academic sources at the prison, most recently made clear by students taking LIBR C111 “Advanced Library Research and Information Studies.” 

When asked to contribute to the library blog, students were eager to reflect on the social, psychological, and physiological impacts of living in an information-restricted environment while their non-incarcerated peers are living in an information-saturated society.

Read their blog posts at: cerrocoso.libguides.com/blog

Ridgecrest Parade of 1,000 Flags to remember 20th anniversary of 9/11

September 11, 2021, will mark the 20th anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks in the U.S. that killed 2,977 people and injured more than 6,000 others. Cerro Coso will participate in this year’s Parade of 1,000 Flags in Ridgecrest on September 11, 2021 at 9 a.m.  

Despite our shared grief in the aftermath of 9/11, hope, resilience, and unity lifted us up as a nation. Twenty years later, these lessons are more important than ever.  Since 2008 the Parade of 1,000 Flags has become one of the community’s signature events. 

As a nation we vowed to “never forget” and on this day Cerro Coso students, employees, and family members will march in unity with others in remembrance of those who were killed and injured in the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, as well as the many rescue and recovery workers and members of the military who bravely rose in service in response.


Bakersfield College

BC to Offer License Renewal Course for Smog Repair Technicians

Bakersfield College announced that they will offer a 12-hour Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) License Update Training course required for smog repair technician license renewal.

The 12-hour course, UTO47 – Advanced Valve Timing and Engine Mechanical Diagnostic, along with the required BAR 4-hour online course, will satisfy the inspector update training requirements.

The course will be taught in-person on the Panorama campus September 16th, September 17th, September 23rd and September 24th from 6:00pm – 9:00pm. BC is meeting the rising need for continual education opportunities for Smog Repair Technicians.

Interested individuals may sign up by contacting the Career Education office.

Bakersfield College to Host AWE Education Series Webinar I on Tuesday

On September 7 at 10 a.m., the Bakersfield College Energy Technology Transfer and Workforce Development initiative is hosting its first webinar in the Agriculture/Water/Energy (AWE) Education Series. The webinar, “An Introduction to Existing and Potential Opportunities in Kern County” features a panel of local stakeholders and national researchers sharing their perspectives on emerging opportunities and technology within their respective fields.

The panelists are – Roger Aines, Senior Scientist and energy researcher at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory; Patricia Poire, Executive Director at the Kern Groundwater Authority; and Joe Ashley, Director of Regulatory and External Affairs at California Resources Corporation.

To attend this event, Register for the AWE Webinar.

James Fitzgerald, Criminal Profiler and Forensic Linguist “Visits” Bakersfield College

BC students, faculty, staff, and community members were treated to a presentation about the Unabom serial bomber investigation this week. James Fitzgerald, criminal profiler, forensic linguist and author, shared stories of his involvement in the Unabom case and his experience in other cases as a forensic linguist. He was live via Zoom and on BSGA’s Facebook. Recordings will be available soon.

You may have seen the Discovery Channel’s scripted mini-series Manhunt: Unabomber that aired in August 2017. Fitzgerald was portrayed by actor Sam Worthington and shared a few photos and compared real life events with how it was portrayed on TV.  He also shared a few experiences with his consultant work on CBS’s Criminal Minds. He finished his presentation with advice for students on entering the forensic linguist and criminal profiler fields and advice for reaching the goal of working for the FBI.

This was the first of this year’s Distinguished Speaker Series (DSS) which brings community leaders from around the world to benefit Bakersfield with their knowledge and experience. The speakers are brought to us by the BCSGA and Office of Student Life in collaboration with departments and faculties of Bakersfield College. Thank you to Pam Smith, Professor of Criminal Justice, for coordinating this event. 

Don’t miss the rest of the series! Check out the schedule, which includes Rob Reiner in April, at BC Distinguished Speaker Series.

Webinars to discuss C.O.P. The Color of Power: Odyssey of a Black Cop Webinar

The Levan Center for the Humanities is kicking off this year’s lineup of events on Thursday, September 9th, with two virtual events starring our own Tommy Tunson. Tommy will be hosting two webinars on Thursday that are based on his recent book: The Color of Power: Odyssey of a Black Cop. Since these events are webinars, they require advanced registration. The times and links are below. Please tell your students about these webinars and encourage them to attend, again underscoring that they must register in advance. As always, thanks for all of your support, and I look forward to see all of you Thursday!

After decades of civil unrest protesting police brutality against communities of color, the George Floyd murder has provided a long-awaited catalyst in demanding necessary reform. Local Leader Dr. Tommy Tunson Advocates for Unity between Law Enforcement & Communities of Color. Kern County Author Releases New Book, The “Color of Power: Odyssey of a Black Cop.”  “Sylvester Stone” is the pen name of Dr. Tunson. This book is one cop’s story of the internal struggle of being a cop of color. All students and community members are invited to hear his amazing story! This event is highly recommended for CJ students and law enforcement professionals. September 9th, 1100 am and 5:00 pm.

Sign up for this motivating webinar:

11am registration link: https://cccconfer.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_FMMXwh04SAS64tDYoAEWag

5pm registration link: https://cccconfer.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_OgWh_J9dQweipiH0wCZokQ

Professors win grant to bring attention to the farmworker movement

BC History Professor Oliver Rosales is co-directing a grant with CSUB’s Adam Sawyer who directs liberal studies.  They worked together on projects dating back a decade. 

This grant award builds upon Energizing Humanities in California’s San Joaquin Valley, a NEH grant wrapping up at KCCD (2017-2021).  While the existing grant focused exclusively on community college faculty within KCCD, this new NEH landmarks grant will expand opportunities for 72 K-12 educators to learn about historical landmarks in the San Joaquin Valley during a professional development opportunity in summer 2022.


Poetry Corner

Photo of Rockport

Last week, I shared the fifth part in Jack Hernandez‘s Rockport in June series.

Please enjoy Part 6:

With its flicking light
the lighthouse signals
the island’s existence
in this thick night,
I go to bed with hope
that such a sign
will let me know
I still have
many places to go.

In the News

Community Voices: The mighty thing about early college

KCCD Trustee Romeo Agbalog wrote this piece in the Bakersfield Californian about the next step in BC’s Early College Program.

“So in a few weeks, join Bakersfield College and McFarland High School-Early College in daring mighty things in announcing a new opportunity for high school students to earn a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Automation in five years. In partnership, Bakersfield College and McFarland High School–Early College has removed barriers and created an opportunity for all students with the chance to have a college education, regardless of their circumstance or background.”

COUCH’S CORNER: State agriculture secretary visits District 4

My visit with Secretary Ross concluded at McFarland High School, where we were greeted by the school’s audiovisual production class. McFarland High School students also gave a tour of the agriculture and industrial automation degree programs offered at the campus. I would be remiss if I did not mention that roughly 26 percent of the students graduate with an AA degree from Bakersfield Community College. The high school students also had a separate robotics challenge on display, and we took a tour of their recently renovated welding shop.

Read more: https://www.bakersfield.com/delano-record/couchs-corner-state-agriculture-secretary-visits-district-4/article_0b763424-0d12-11ec-a59a-639fca298275.html

Community Voices: The matter of religious liberty on vaccines

Let me start by thanking those who decided to get a COVID-19 vaccination. Your decision has reduced my chances of getting COVID-19 and has reduced the chance of all the children under 12 getting COVID-19, children who do not have a choice because they cannot get the vaccine. Whether you decided because of a self-interest in not wanting to risk getting seriously ill or because of a sense of social responsibility in being part of a society that can only thrive by cooperating and helping each other out — whatever the reason, thank you. Because COVID-19 is a very infectious disease, your decision affects my and other people’s health.

Read more: https://www.bakersfield.com/opinion/community-voices/community-voices-the-matter-of-religious-liberty-on-vaccines/article_89900a40-0c06-11ec-889a-c70a8a58b8fb.html

Leadership Porterville Class of 22 introduced

Esther Avila of The Porterville Recorder wrote this article about the Leadership Porterville Class of 22. This year’s class includes Refugio Rodriguez, CTE/Dual Enrollment Director at Porterville College. PC President Claudia Habib was the keynote speaker at the event.

Fun Photos/Spotted on Social Media

PC President Claudia Habib shared these photos from the Leadership Porterville event:

Cerro Coso Athletics shared a post from their kick off Cosolympics 2021 event:

Jennifer Garrett shared this great photo from a BC Chamber Singers rehearsal:

And I loved this adorable picture Cheryl Scott shared of her dog, Remi:

Kern County Supervisor Leticia Perez, left, and BC program manager Stacey Shepard, right, show off their BC pride. Supervisor Perez has been going out with BC canvassers as part of our door-to-door, on-site vaccine effort in partnership with UCLA’s Get Out the Vaccine project and our community partners Dignity Health, Kern Health Systems and Hall Ambulance.

Dr. Kimberly Bligh with a TRIO student

Pictures from the Rotary meeting on Sep 2, 2021

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

The future is bright at KCCD.

-sonya
a joyful and grateful Chancellor

#KCCDDaringMightyThings

Like Olympic Athletes, KCCD #DaringMightyThings with kindness

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Porterville College

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


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

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

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

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

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

Summer camp introduces future PC program to young audiences

Professor Diran Lyons works with students on their video projects.

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

Diran Lyons

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

A summer camp student previews work on her video.

Basic Needs Support for Community College Students Is Urgent and Actionable

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Cerro Coso Community College

CCCC to host vaccination clinic August 19

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

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

The August 19th Vaccination Clinic is open to the public

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

Cliff Davis Presents at Eastern Sierra Book Festival

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

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

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

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

CCCC Foundation to participate in Cheers to Charity

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

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

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


Bakersfield College

Project HireUp & CityServe Recruitment Tour

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

HEAL Webinar – Vaccine Education Outreach – Central Valley

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

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

Here’s the Q&A from that session:

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

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

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

Thank you to all the speakers who engaged with the audience and all who attended to hear this important information.

Recordings from the event are starting to be available on the HEAL website.

BC’s Student Health & Wellness Center giving away 100 Tickets to Justin Moore Concert

 

Bakersfield College’s Student Health and Wellness Center will be giving away 100 free tickets to the August 12th Justin Moore concert at Mechanics Bank Arena , in sets of 2, to the first 50 individuals to get vaccinated during the on-campus vaccine clinic today, August 7th. 

The clinic is open to the public and will operate at Bakersfield College’s main campus (1801 Panorama Drive) in the Veterans Resource Center on August 7, 2021, from 10:00AM to 2:00PM. The clinic is scheduled to distribute only the Moderna Vaccine. 

For those who cannot make the August 7th clinic, but still wish to receive a vaccine, the BC Student Health and Wellness Center is administering the Moderna vaccine on Tuesdays and Wednesdays between 9:00AM and 3:00PM and the Janssen vaccine on Thursdays between 9:00AM and 3:00PM each week on campus. Find out more on the BC Get Vaccinated page.

Read more about the ticket giveaway and the vaccine clinic.


Chancellor’s Seminar Series

This week, I continued my Chancellor’s Seminar Series with a session on Monday titled “A Look at Facilities.”

Randy Rowles, Vice Chancellor, Construction & Facilities, led the discussion about what the Maintenance & Operations departments throughout the Kern Community College District have been doing to get our sites ready for our students and employees to safely return in-person.

Thank you to our other speakers:

  • Cody Pauxtis, Director of Maintenance & Operations at Cerro Coso Community College
  • John Word, Director of Maintenance & Operations at Porterville College
  • Marcos Rodriguez, Executive Director of Facilities & Operations at Bakersfield College
  • Don Birdwell, Building Facility Manager at KCCD District Office

I’d like to highlight 3 videos from this webinar, where we focused on updates at each of our three colleges:

Bakersfield College

Cerro Coso Community College

Porterville College

Thank you to Todd Coston for working with me on the seminar series.

You can find videos from the Seminar Series at https://www.kccd.edu/chancellors-office/chancellors-seminar-series.

Poetry Corner

Last week, I shared Part 1 of Jack Hernandez’s “Rockport in June” poetry series. Today, please enjoy Part 2:

Photo of Rockport

Rockport 2

I sit in a chair
alone watching
the morning
white like a sheet
of paper   a blank
page offering me
the possibility
of poetry
or simply
the silence
mending  my weary heart.

In the News

Valley Ag Voice

Dr. James Selgrath, professor of agribusness & animal science at Bakersfield College, wrote the new monthly Renegade Round-Up column for the August edition of the Valley Ag Voice. It was a fantastic showcase of BC’s Agriculture Department. I look forward to future columns. Check it out on Page 3!

I also enjoyed seeing the piece from Executive Director of the Kern County Farm Bureau and KCCD Trustee Romeo Agbalog, and Kern County Farm Bureau President John C. Moore, titled “How Much Are You Willing to Pay for Drought?” You can read it on Page 2 of the Valley Ag Voice.

Bakersfield College helps high school students achieve AA degree with Early College Program

Kylie Campbell,
Early College Program Director

I loved this article by Lizette Chavez for Bakersfield Life Magazine about the Early College program at Bakersfield College.

My family was very excited about the opportunity because they were not fortunate enough to be able to finish their education or pursue a higher education, like my dad he always tells me if he had the opportunity to, he would go to college, but it just was never an option for him. I feel like it’s something that I did that’s making him very proud and he’s proud to see that I’m pursuing a degree further, my bachelor’s degree.”

– Jayleen Vargas, Recent Wasco High school and BC graduate who was recruited in eighth grade

Musicians invited to join PC orchestra, band

The Porterville Recorder published this article inviting local musicians to join the PC Orchestra and Band this fall semester. The combined class is open to community members of all abilities who play an instrument. The rehearsal schedule is 6-7:45 pm every Tuesday and Thursday.

For more information, including on how to register, contact Tianna Heppner Smith at Tianna.heppner@portervillecollege.edu.

Spotted on Social Media

Cerro Coso Community College Foundation welcomed a new class of Cerro Coso Promise scholarship students:

Porterville College shared a few pictures of PC President Claudia Habib and the PC administration serving breakfast to their classified staff:

BCSGA shared a photo of their team at the Ready Set Back to School Health and Wellness Fair:

This week I had my second retreat with the presidents of the three colleges. The first one was at Cerro Coso. This second one was at Bakersfield College. Check out a few photos that Debi Anderson snapped.

Sonya Christian, Zav Dadabhoy, Claudia Habib, Sean Hancocl

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

The future remains bright at KCCD.

-sonya
a joyful and grateful Chancellor

#KCCDDaringMightyThings

Carnaval del Barrio as BC opens

This week, Bakersfield College officially welcomed students back to campus with an Ice Cream Social and vaccination clinic on Tuesday and Wednesday.

And look who visited us ……

Governor Gavin Newsom visited BC in a private event the day after he officially declared California as open. The Governor had heard about BC’s vaccination clinics staffed by ONLY volunteers — student nurses who gave shots, nursing faculty on site to supervise, along with other faculty, staff and students volunteering to do set up and take down of pop up clinics at our various communities as well as the mass drive-thru clinics on the Panorama campus.

What a thrill to share the amazing work being done at Bakersfield College with our governor.

And if you still need to get a vaccine, please come by BC. The BC Student Health and Wellness Center is open to all students and community to be vaccinated. In addition to the various community pop-up clinics, we are administering the Moderna vaccine on campus every Tuesday and Wednesday, and the Johnson & Johnson Janssen vaccine every Thursday between 9 am and 3 pm. Walk-ins are accepted at all clinics. You can also register at myturn.ca.gov or call (833) 422-4255 to schedule your appointment. Enter the zip code of 93305 to view the BC Student Health Center availability.

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

Juneteenth — Celebrating Independence and Freedom

Just watched this 4-min video that was done last year leading upto the Juneteenth events. Really love the music backdrop from our choir. Check it out.

This week, Bakersfield College held a series of Zoom events commemorating Juneteenth, leading up to our local community event this evening.

History: January 1, 1863 – June 19, 1865

On June 15, Rich McCrow facilitated a discussion between BC history professor Jamal Wright and CSUB history professor Kiran Garcha about the history of the African-American struggle from the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation to June 19, 1865 (Juneteenth).

What Juneteenth Means to Me?

On June 16, Dean of Counseling and Student Success Marisa Marquez hosted a forum titled “What Juneteenth Means to Me”. The panel featured Daron Mackey, BC Educational Advisor and Lead for the African-American Mentoring Program; Natasha Harris, Senior Admissions Officer at CSUB; and Julian West, Director of the Career Ladders Project.

Celebrating Juneteenth: Customs and Traditions

For the last seminar on June 17, we closed out the series with a look at Juneteenth customs and traditions facilitated by Keith Wolaridge, a BC professor of Business Management and Information Technology. The panel featured Dee Slade, Executive Director of the African-American Network of Kern County, in conversation with Vikki Coffee, Co-Chair of BC’s Equal Opportunity and Diversity Advisory Committee.

Finally, BC will be in attendance at the NAACP Bakersfield Branch’s Juneteenth Celebration at Yokuts Park between 3:30 and 8 p.m. today, June 19, where we’ll be handing out The Taste of Juneteenth food to the community.

Industrial Automation Summer Academy

Room full of excited students and their parents.

Last Thursday, June 10th, 2021, we kicked off our very first Industrial Automation Summer Academy for our early college students. We welcomed 31 students and their parents on campus during our orientation.

We were joined on stage by Roy Allard, instructor of the ELET B70 course the students will be taking during the academy, to review COVID guidelines and introduce the students to their course on CANVAS. We were also joined by one of BC’s advising experts, Dylan Jensen, and job development specialist, Carlos Medina, who presented information about our baccalaureate program and the awesome benefits of completing their industrial automation degree at Bakersfield College.

Our early college students were given backpacks full of Bakersfield College swag, textbooks for their summer course, and a guided tour of the industrial automation classrooms.

Industrial Automation Summer Academy students pose with
their backpacks and textbooks for ELET B70.

Participants left excited about the INDA Summer Academy and looking forward to starting class and the field trips we will be taking every Friday for the duration of the academy, starting this Friday, June 18th with a tour of the Witron facilities!!

Special thanks to Tony Cordova, the entire Industrial Automation team and the BC Foundation for finding our sponsor, Phillips 66, and making this all possible!

Kylie Campbell and Berenice Arellano
at the orientation check-in.

Free Immigration Legal Services at Bakersfield College

Bakersfield College and the United Farm Workers Foundation have partnered to provide free Immigration Legal Services to all Bakersfield College students, faculty, and staff. Services are provided by authorized immigration attorneys via Zoom/Phone appointments. As a reminder, USCIS, the agency that administers DACA, is NOW accepting initial applications. Bakersfield College AB540/Undocumented Students Program and the UFW Foundation strongly urges all BC students, staff and faculty who believe they may be eligible to schedule an appointment for free Immigration Legal Services. DACA fee assistance is currently available while funds last. 

Appointments can be scheduled using the following link: https://UFWFLegalServicesCollege.as.me/schedule.php

Poetry Corner

Please enjoy this poem from Jack Hernandez:

Namesake

His namesake was learning
to walk    getting a first tooth,
they would have looked
at each other recognizing
their yearning to be free
to follow roads
narrow    wide
up exultant hills
through reflective valleys,
but he had taken himself
off the road years before,
his namesake so sweetly fresh
would never know
his searching face.

Spring Internships: Windmill Cattle Ranch Video

In last week’s blog, I wrote about Spring Internship Success internships of several of our students.

Today, I’d like to share the video that student James Bruce created to capture his experience. James was one of three welding students who interned at Windmill Cattle Ranch on a project of tearing down old horse corrals and installing new ones.

Commencement 2021

On May 16, our special Commencement Tribute for the class of 2021 aired on KGET. Today, I am sharing 4 videos from that production.

KCCD Trustee Romeo Agbalog‘s remarks:

Congressman David Valadao‘s remarks:

The third section of our graduates:

And the fourth section of graduates:

You can see all the videos from our 2021 Commencement Tribute production at https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/admissions/2021-commencement-tribute.

Early College Newsletter

The Bakersfield College Early College team has created a newsletter to keep everyone informed about the great work that they are doing with our Early College students across Kern County.

The first edition includes recognition for the Early College Class of 2021, as well as highlights of student Jayleen Vargas and community supporters Clifford and Patricia Mettler, and more!

To subscribe to the newsletter, please visit https://lp.constantcontactpages.com/su/pX4CTY9.

Closing Day 2021

Our Closing Day 2021 production spanned 3 days and featured speakers and performances from across our Renegade community.

Today, I am sharing three videos – three of the President’s Leadership Award recipients.

The COVID-19 Vaccination Team:

The Academic Services Team:

And Pam Rivers:

Check out all the videos on the Closing Day 2021 website.

In the News

Bakersfield’s “kindness ambassador,” Chuck Wall, dies at age 80

Chuck Wall, a longtime Bakersfield College professor, was known as Bakersfield’s kindness ambassador to the world. He popularized performing “random acts of kindness”. He passed away at age 80 on June 8.

I hope you will all join me in honoring Chuck Wall with some extra kindness this week.

Disability Awareness Assessment Center Recepient Speaker Chuck Wall

Community Voices: BC and Community Voices: BC and Rotary: Building peace in Kern County

Mindy Wilmot and Cheryl Scott wrote this piece in the Bakersfield Californian promoting the next seminar in our ongoing peace seminar series.

“Indeed peacebuilding is at the heart of everything Rotary stands for. Through its service, Rotary is dedicated to causes that improve lives and communities around the world, including those in our own backyard.”

Please consider tuning in to the June 22nd event, which will be held via Zoom from 4-5 pm. Registration is required. Please visit the BC website to register.

You can find out more about the BC Peace Initiative, including the seminar series, on the Bakersfield College website.

Community Voices: Ignorance of Things Past

Jack Hernandez wrote this piece in the Bakersfield Californian about the importance of looking back on history, and trying to view it with a fair lens that acknowledges there was good as well as bad:

“What is the point of these revelations? How do we respond when we learn about the dark side of the past, our past? Forget? Forgive? Learn? Change? Some would have us demonize the past: all was evil and terrible. Others would have us mythologize the past: all was good and wonderful. Usually, though, the past is a mixture of happiness and suffering. In Detroit, growing up, I had a very happy childhood, while others had terrible, segregated, poor childhoods. Mine was full of opportunities, theirs was not.”

Community Voices: An American Tapestry

Check out Dr. Brij Bhambi’s piece here https://tinyurl.com/4jzfayw2

This world is not a monochromatic experiment. It’s a chaos of colors. Colors that lend diversity and festivity. Colors that divide and bridge. Prejudice is an ultimate versatile emotion, a true chameleon. It piggybacks on color, culture, nationalism, reason, region, religion and God forbid, politics.

What distinguishes the United States of America is its virtues, which far outweigh its flaws. The pursuit continues but progress is everywhere to see. It’s the most benevolent empire the world has witnessed in human history.

Community Voices: Everyone Deserves to Find Their Path

Sandy Woo-Cater wrote this piece in the Bakersfield Californian about the importance of supporting our students so they can achieve their goals:

“Imprinted on my heart is the encouragement I received from the late Jack Brigham, who instilled in me the values of social justice. Initially my history professor, he mentored me throughout my academic career until his passing. I will also never forget my second time on a plane. Don Turney, our former dean of students, took a group of us to D.C. for a student leadership conference. I remember buying my first blazer for that trip. With people like Jack and Don by my side, I understood for the first time that I had a purpose and contributions to make toward creating a just world.”

Fun Photos & Spotted on Social Media

Librarian Sondra Keckley shared some photos of new construction on campus:

“Today at work I finally took a look around the campus during my lunch break to see all the new changes. (For those who don’t know, we had a huge Measure J bond pass in 2016 for major building construction and improvements.) Thanks to the pandemic, the construction could go on without interrupting classes or a hassle for students, and we get to come back to a big surprise.”

Pamela Rivers shared an update from the Renegade Hub:

“The Renegade Hub is here to help our BC students with all their technology needs. See us in person in the library or online!”

Rural Initiatives Team in Wasco

The Library shared that they’ll be open this summer:

And I just loved this picture that Regina Rivera shared when she sent out the daily Gades Grub Food Menu on Tuesday:

The Gades Grub is parked right in front of the new Dining Commons. Currently, they are only accepting cash, with breakfast service from 7-10:30 am and lunch service from 10:30 am – 3 pm. If you’re on campus, be sure to stop by to try out the amazing breakfast burritos and other offerings from food service!

Lin-Manuel Miranda does it again

In the Heights is a must see. check out this 1-min teaser of my favorite song in the movie.

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That’s all for now.
Until next time.

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