Tag Archives: Sean Hancock

Remembering Jack – an afterlife on this Earth

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Glass

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

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

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

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

Jack Hernandez and Reggie Williams

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

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

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

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


Porterville College

PC brings awareness to hunger and homelessness

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

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

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

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

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

PC WeComm Club steps up to help community efforts 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Cerro Coso Community College

ESCC Nursing Students Prepare to Graduate and Serve

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

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

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

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

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

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

Congratulations to the ESCC Nursing Class of 2021!

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

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

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

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

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

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

It’s a Wrap

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

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


Bakersfield College

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

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

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

Automotive Tech Renegades at the 29th California Hot Rod Reunion

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

Native American Heritage Month – Resources at BC!

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

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

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

BC Recognized Twice by The Campaign for College Opportunity

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

Champion of Higher Education for Excellence

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

Champion of Equity for Latinx Students

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


In the News

BC breaks ground on a new Edible Education Garden

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fun Photos & Spotted on Social Media

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

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

PC President Claudia Habib shared these photos on Twitter:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The future is bright at KCCD.

-sonya
a joyful and grateful Chancellor

#KCCDDaringMightyThings

Veterans thank you for your service

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Also spotted a tarantula!

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

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


Porterville College

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pirates Basketball off to a great start with new coach

Amaurys Fermin

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

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

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

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

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

PC Baseball Team and Students Step Up to help local organization

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Cerro Coso Community College

Honoring our Veterans and Active Duty Military

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

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

Balk – New Associate Professor of Nursing

Lisa Balk

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

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

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

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

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

Welcome to Cerro Coso Lisa!  

High School Students Can Earn College Credit: Find Out How

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cerro Coso Community College – Your Hometown College.


Bakersfield College

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Renegades Serve as Contact Tracers in Kern County Schools 

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

BC & Adventist Mobile Health Clinic in McFarland and Rural Kern

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

BC Peace Project: Peace and Military Service

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

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


Poetry Corner

Please enjoy this poem from Jack Hernandez:

Striding

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

Quick Tips for Teaching Success

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

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

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

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

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

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

Check out our speakers’ presentations.

Steve Bohlen:

Chris Gould:

Emily Wimberger:

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

In the News

Renegade Roundup: Forestry and Natural Resources Program at Bakersfield College

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

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

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

Kern County Women in STEM: An Interview with Cheryl Scott

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

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

Cheryl Scott

Fun Photos and Social Media

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

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

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

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

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

The future is bright at KCCD.

-sonya
a joyful and grateful Chancellor

#KCCDDaringMightyThings

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

Sunsetting May 2021 as BC Builds Bridges

This week I read an article about the Brooklyn Bridge. May 24th was the 138th anniversary of the opening of the Brooklyn Bridge, which connected New York and Brooklyn for the first time in history. It seems almost impossible now to imagine a time when those two cities were not connected. And the sheer amount of planning, thought, work and engineering that went into what became the “eighth wonder of the world.”

I’m so pleased to see resources set aside in the upcoming nationwide infrastructure plan that will help restore our great nation’s precious bridges — a thing of remarkable beauty and great engineering feat.

And it’s not only physical bridges that are key to maintaining our relationships. Our metaphorical bridges also must be maintained so that we can continue to connect with people and ideas that otherwise may have been unreachable.

That’s why I’m so proud of the Bridge to BC program. This high-touch, high-tech program helps our first-year students get all the support and guidance they need to be successful. This year’s program will be fully online, designed as a one-week course with online sections that run Monday through Saturday. The sessions will run from June through August, and are available to all our incoming freshmen, including those who earned college credits in high school.

Chancellor Tom Burke visiting Bridge to BC before COVID. With Isabel Casteneda and Kimberly Bligh

The thousands of students who completed Bridge to BC over the last 6 years were twice as likely to attempt and complete more units, including transfer level Math and English, and to persist Fall-to-Fall than non-Bridge students. 

Stephanie Ruiz

Stephanie Ruiz, a studio arts major who plans to transfer to CSUB, wrote a piece in the Bakersfield Californian about how the Bridge to BC program helped her:

“When Bridge to BC returns to being an on-campus or hybrid experience, I know students just like me will continue to benefit, learning to navigate college both online and on campus. This experience was a great introduction and it made my first year enjoyable even though all my classes were online. This next year, I feel even more prepared to tackle my classes with confidence thanks to all the support from Bridge to BC.”

Kimberly Bligh and our entire Bridge to BC team are truly remarkable.

Where would we all be without bridges?

Good morning Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, May 29, 2021 … a great day to be a Renegade.

Thousand Flags at The Park at River Walk

If you’re looking for a way to honor our heroes over Memorial Day weekend, head out to The Park at River Walk where Bakersfield Breakfast Rotary Club will present “Thousand Flags.” 

Bakersfield College and Rotary have been partners in many ways over the years, and the college has close ties to the Breakfast Rotary club in that Cheryl Scott, Mary Jo Pasek, and Mindy Wilmot are all members of the club, and of course Chancellor Tom Burke is a member as well!

Umoja Community honors all African-American grads

Umoja Community African-American Success Through Excellence and Persistence (ASTEP) celebrated student accomplishments and honored all African-American graduates.

Despite the challenging times, there was much to celebrate: Umoja grew in the number of courses and in programing. Jazz Appreciation, taught by Kris Tiner, and Statistics for the Behavioral and Social Sciences, taught by David Reiss, were both offered in Umoja with an African-American cultural component.

In addition, Umoja in conjunction with the Nursing department created the Employment Preparation Academy – exposing four pre-nursing students to options in the nursing field and giving them tips on applying to BC’s program.

But the real highlight of the program was honoring the eighteen participating African-American graduates. Two students shared their struggles and triumphs on the way to completing their associates degrees.

Zariyah Hall

Explained Zariyah Hall, who struggled in high school: “It wasn’t until I joined Umoja that I saw the value of my journey. I learned that I have an ancestral obligation to be successful and that revolutionary patience is a virtue. These are lessons I will take with me.”

She added that she will attend an Historically Black College in the fall and earn a degree in communication with the goal of creating content that tells the stories of Black people.

Shorell Darrett

Shorell Darrett said she almost didn’t make it: “I found myself in one of those dark moments and lost my focus when my younger brother died from COVID and my sister from cancer within the same week during my finals. I couldn’t see myself finishing, but here I am graduating with three degrees (early childhood education, communication, and liberal arts) and cum laude. I am forever thankful to my village: family, friends, BC counselors, and professors who held up the light that guided me.”

Thank you to Umoja Coordinator Dr. Paula L. Parks, Executive Director of Outreach and Early College Steve Watkin, and Educational Advisor Daron Mackey for making this event happen.

Umoja is accepting applications for fall and offering enrollment sessions throughout the summer. See https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/student/aai/umoja for more information.

Virtual Express Enrollment Event on June 2

Last week, Bakersfield College’s Outreach Team served over 230 students during their Express Enrollment Event on May 19th. We hope to see similar turnout throughout the summer! The next Express Enrollment Event is Wednesday June 2 from 12pm to 8pm.

Register here: https://forms.gle/og858uCosjSU6Cao9 or visit the website at https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/registrationrocks

There will also be three more Express Enrollment events planned for this summer, on June 16th from 12pm to 5pm, July 7th from 12pm to 8pm, and August 11th from 12pm to 8pm.

Thank you to the Child Development Center

I wanted to share this touching email from a student, thanking our Child Development Center Rosita Barron:

Hello,

My name is Sapphire Hernandez. I am the mother to Daniel Bredemann, a current student and Elizabeth Bredemann, a former student. When I originally had my children I became discouraged that I would no longer be able to pursue a higher education. After a few years I left the state I was living in, left my job and moved back with my mother determined to make a better life for my children. This semester I ended all my prerequisites for my nursing degree, graduating with a 3.8 GPA. I am eligible to apply to both BC and CSUB nursing program. I just really wanted to express my gratitude towards the Child Development Program. Knowing that my children are in a safe place with people who are honestly invested in their well being feels like a blessing. I know that my achievements would not have been possible without this program. I really appreciate the support and feel determined to achieve my goal of becoming a nurse.  

Thank you. 

I’m so proud of the Child Development Center and all they do to help our student parents. In fact, at this year’s Closing Day celebration, the CDC team received my President’s Leadership Award:

Closing Day 2021

Our first day of Closing Day 2021 programming also featured a musical performance from the Bakersfield College Choir, Chamber Singers, and Renegade Chorus. Please enjoy “In Meeting We Are Blessed”:

Vice President of Instruction Billie Jo Rice also recognized our faculty receiving tenure:

All the videos from our Closing Day programming are available at https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/president/closing-day-spring-2021.

BC Hosts Fire Department Training Session

This week, Bakersfield College welcomed friends from the Bakersfield City Fire Departments Technical Search and Rescue Team to the Panorama campus. The BFD team used blocked off areas of the campus to perform non-invasive training exercises and drills utilizing GPS, search cameras, and activities focused on search and reconnaissance. I am so happy that our campus continues to be a place of learning, growth, and skills attainment for our community.

Commencement 2021 Tribute

Our 2021 Commencement again went virtual with a special tribute program that aired on KGET and Telemundo.

Today, I’d like to share a few videos from that production.

Outgoing BCSGA President Gian Gayatao’s remarks:

And our Bachelor of Science in Industrial Automation graduates.

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

Poetry Corner

Another Jack Hernandez poem, inspired by the horrific violence facing parts of the world:

A Distant Country

My car is being routinely
serviced    oil changed
brakes and tires checked,
I at a table by a window
drinking special coffee
watching people order
their favorites to go.

In a distant country
dusty and war weary
young school girls
leaving their classroom day
are shredded by a bomb,
their clothing now
bloody pieces,
their parents weeping.

My car is ready for the road.
The girls are lowered into the ground.

In the News

Community Voices: The Crowning Glory of Vaccines

Dr. Brij Bhambi

Dr. Brij Bhambi wrote about the importance of vaccination and continued mitigation measures as we fight to come out of the Covid-19 pandemic:

“As I have reiterated ad nauseam, vaccine hesitancy is the last mile we need to triumph through doctors offices. It’s the steepest part of the hill, the part where you retool to summit the top.”

You can read more of Dr. Bhambi’s thoughts on the blog he and I have created together, https://bhambiandchristian.com/.

Community Voices: Out of the cave, into the sun

Jack Hernandez’ piece in the Bakersfield Californian looked at what good might come after over a year of pandemic:

“So as we leave the shadows of the pandemic, let us also leave the false shadows of so-called normal life. Let us leave all the shadows of the cave. Let us emerge into the clear sunlight of the truth about what is really important in life: that we care for others, our families, our friends, our neighbors, the strangers who are homeless.

Community Voices: Education is peacebuilding

Kara McDonald wrote about the place education has in building peace in our society:

“So, what if in school, we were taught to recognize indicators of conflict? Or how to have non-violent conflict? Or how to listen with empathy and curiosity instead of judgment? Our lives would also be exponentially easier if we understood peace as much as we understand conflict. We would navigate conflict more easily, there would likely be less violence, and we would develop societies where peace, justice, and equity are able to thrive.”

I’d like to share a few more videos from the Educators for Peace seminar on May 18.

The first question in that seminar was “what is peace, and what does a peaceful future look like to you?”

Here is Jessica Wojtysiak responding to that:

And Richard McCrow:

You can see all the videos from the Educators for Peace seminar, as well as the Mothers for Peace seminar, at https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/president/bc-peace-initiative.

Fun Photos & Spotted on Social Media

I loved this message from Bakersfield City Councilmember Andrae Gonzales, about the Cash for the Arts utility box project. These are near Williams Elementary in East Bakersfield:

Olivia Garcia got some exercise with her mother:

Check out this view from Faith Bradham, who shared a picture from Canyonlands National Park:

Abel Guzman shared this note from the McFarland graduation – Early College team members Alma Feathers and Raquel Lopez were on hand to celebrate our Early College graduates from McFarland. Congratulations class for 2021!

This week, Cerro Coso Community College President Sean Hancock hosted Zav Dadabhoy (who will be BC’s interim president), Porterville College President Claudia Habib, and myself.

President Claudia Habib, Incoming President Zav Dadabhoy, President Sean Hancock, Incoming Chancellor Sonya Christian

I also had to share this throwback photo of Neo, four years ago, taken June 3, 2017.

Athletics

Congratulations to former Renegade Hector Ruvalcaba, who was named to the 2021 National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association’s 2021 All-Central Region Team. Hector now plays for Oklahoma Baptist University.

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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

KCCD – Daring Mighty Things

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kay Meek:

Romeo Agbalog:

And a few photos from the event:

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

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

President’s Virtual Seminar Series – Campus Reopening

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

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

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

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

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

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

2021 Bakersfield College Art Student Show

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

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

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

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

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

NEH Conference with Mark Arax Keynote

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

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

Mark Arax

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

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

Other topics included:

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

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

Chris Cruz-Boone

First Annual Pursuing the Dream Conference

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

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

Student Leadership & Involvement Awards Virtual Ceremony

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

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

BC Faculty speak to Liberty High students

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

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

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

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

Umoja Community celebrates creative expression

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

Poet/vocalist/activist Gina Loring

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

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

Performer/writer/musician Dahlak Brathwaite

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Welcome Marcos Rodriguez!

From email from Mike Giacomini:

Good afternoon,

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

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

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

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

Commencement Committee – Hard at Work

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

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

Poetry Corner

Please enjoy this poem sent to me by Jack Hernandez:

Pages

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

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

Updates from EOPS

EOPS Regalia Distribution

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

CSUB Transfer Information Session

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

Career Education Workshops for EOPS students

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

In the News

Community Voices; College lets you broaden your worldview

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

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

Kern County leaders say Chauvin trial is just the beginning

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

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

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

Spotted on Social Media

Jonathan Schultz shared a pic of some Umoja gear:

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

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

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

Athletics

Track and Field and Swimming Get Underway

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

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

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

That’s all for now.
Until next time.

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