Tag Archives: YesonJ

Grand Opening of STEM Building – Thank you for voting Yes on J!

Before I jump into my blog, let me take a moment to thank you for voting Yes on J.


On Thursday, the world turned its eyes to Balmoral Castle in Scotland as we learned that Queen Elizabeth II was in her final moments. She was one of history’s longest serving monarchs, having ascended the throne on February 6, 1952 – making her reign 70 years, 214 days. Only France’s Louis XIV had a longer reign, at 72 years, 110 days.

An analysis of data from the CIA World Factbook indicates that more than 90% of the current world population was born after Queen Elizabeth II was coronated, and she had been the only British monarch they ever knew.

It is hard to overstate how long her reign lasted. During her time on the throne, there were 15 prime ministers – 12 men, and 3 women. Closer to home, the United States saw 14 presidents during her reign. Queen Elizabeth II met 13 of them (Lyndon Baines Johnson was the only exception). The Catholic Church had 7 popes during her 70 years as queen.

And of course, Queen Elizabeth II was well-known for her love of dogs. She also owned more than 30 Corgis and Dorgis during her reign – most descended from her first Corgi, Susan, which she received when she turned 18 in 1944.

But for all that she accomplished, and for all the grand things she was known for, it was particularly poignant when her son – the former Prince Charles, now King Charles III – made his first address after ascending to the throne. His words remind us all that she was, after all, a mother and grandmother – and leaves a family in grief.

“To my darling mama, as you begin your last great journey to join my dear late papa, I want simply to say this: Thank you. Thank you for your love and devotion to our family and to the family of nations you have served so diligently all these years. May flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.”

This week has been a week of remembering my mom, Pam … She was a huge fan of Queen Elizabeth and a huge fan of tennis. As I watch the US Open this week, I’ve been missing her terribly.

I watched Serena Williams’ amazing career-the supposedly last match…. but knowing Serena, well, you never know… What a remarkable woman who truly broke barriers as she rose to the top in her sport. Among her many other titles, she won the US Open in 1999, 2002, 2008, 2012, 2013, and 2014.

I also watched my mom’s favorite, Rafael Nadal – who won the US Open in 2010, 2013, 2017 and 2019. He made it to the Round of 16, where he was defeated by Frances Tiafoe.

Among the highlights for me this year has been watching the upcoming talent. Carlos Alcaraz, 19, played the second longest match in US Open history as he fought off Jannik Sinner, 21. The match lasted 5 hours and 15 minutes, ending at 2:50 am. EST.

Watch this 30-sec clip when Alcaraz takes a shot from behind his back and makes the point.

I also thoroughly enjoyed this New York Times article about the match and the next-generation talent tennis fans enjoyed.

Tiafoe and Alcaraz faced off in a thrilling match in the quarter-final Friday night. Tiafoe took an early lead with the first set, but Alcaraz came back in two dominating sets before Alcaraz narrowly won the fourth. Alcaraz won the final set and with it, the match. He will go one to compete in the finals.

Tiafoe was the first American man to reach the semifinals – let alone the quarterfinals – since 2006. Looking forward to seeing more of Tiafoe in future tennis.

I’ve also been following the Artemis program, a moon exploration program led by NASA with a goal to reestablish a human presence on the moon for the first time since the Apollo 17 mission in 1972. Artemis I’s launch has suffered delays, with the next goal to launch between September 23 and October 4.

In his recent column, BC Planetarium director Nick Strobel shared updates on the Artemis program.

“While the Apollo mission was primarily designed as a Cold War competition between two political systems, Artemis’s focus is on lunar science and learning how to build a long-term presence on the moon using as much lunar material as possible, instead of relying solely on materials transported from Earth. That knowledge will enable us to go to Mars a decade or so later.”

Imagine – NASA’s earliest astronauts and scientists, innovating and putting a man on the moon, creating a legacy that soon could see a younger generation of explorers set foot on Mars.

#DaringMightyThings indeed.

Good morning, friends.
It is September 10, 2022.
The sun shines bright over Kern CCD.

Porterville College

Women’s soccer returns to PC with season opener at Bakersfield

Women’s soccer is officially back in play at Porterville College for the first time in over 20 years! Last Wednesday, the Pirates kicked off the 2022 season with a non-conference game at Bakersfield College.

Porterville returns to action on Friday, September 9th when the Pirates travel to Sacramento City College.

PC will play its next five games on the road before making its home debut on Oct. 4 at 4 p.m. against Fresno City College.

Two PC Administrators Join Leadership Porterville’s Class of 2023

Two Porterville College Administrators were recently selected to join the Leadership Porterville Class of 2023. Vice President of Administrative Services Maria Battisti and Director of Enrollment Services Jonathan Miranda were officially inducted into the program at a celebration held at Don Vino’s Italian Restaurant in Porterville on Thursday September 1st.

Leadership Porterville assists the further development of community leaders.  For over 25 years, Leadership Porterville has inspired, developed and connected local leaders. According to their web site, the program’s purpose is “to enable potential and emerging community leaders to positively impact Porterville as interested and informed residents.” 

Both Battisti and Miranda addressed those in attendance during the event. Battisti spoke of her love for the community and that she wants to “feel a part of something bigger than me”. She said she’s called to serve Porterville, PC, and is excited to immerse herself in the community.

Mr. Miranda spoke at length about his family, and his move from Sacramento to the Central Valley. He mentioned how Higher Education provided him with opportunities he wouldn’t take for granted. 

PC President Dr. Claudia Habib said of the celebration, “Wonderful celebration to welcome the Leadership Porterville Class of 2023. PC was well represented; hearing the stories of these emerging leaders was inspiring.”

President Dr. Claudia Habib, VP of Student Services Primavera Arvizu and VP of Instruction Dr. Thad Russell

Cerro Coso Community College

Bitter-sweet Farewell to Lacey

On Thursday, September 9th, 2022, the office of instruction put together a surprise going-away party for Lacey Navarro.

She joined the Career Technical Education staff as an Administrative Secretary in July of 2019 and quickly became indispensable. She applied and competed for the position of Administrative Assistant to the Vice President of Instruction and of course was offered the position.  Lacey is always welcoming, helpful, caring, kind, and a great team player.

She originally moved to Ridgecrest from Bakersfield in 2019 to join her husband who had been commuting between the two locations for four years.  Now she is following her husband Jorge to Texas where they will make their new home.  

We appreciate everything Lacey has done for Cerro Coso. She will be truly missed.

Cerro Coso wishes her nothing but the best in the future!

This is not a goodbye; it is a see you later!  

Make friends and learn about Latino culture

The Latino’s Unidos Club is ready to reengage with students this fall.  All Cerro Coso students are invited to celebrate and learn about diverse Latino cultures and become part of an on campus family support system for all club members.

Students do not have to be Hispanic or Latino to join this club, simply have an interest in raising their cultural awareness.

Contact advisor Ana Mora at 760-384-6250 / ana.mora@cerrocoso.edu or René Mora at 760-384-6219 / rene.mora@cerrocoso.edu for more information.

Rainbow Club

Do you believe in creating a safer community to learn, live, and grow? Consider joining the Rainbow Club at Cerro Coso.

The goal of the club is to raise awareness, take action, and build relationships while closing equity gaps together.

The Rainbow Club allows persons of any sexual orientation, gender identity, and/or expression and allies of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning (LGBTQ+) persons to obtain support from their peers, staff, faculty, and community.

They aim to unite members and to collaborate with other clubs to establish and maintain a positive and non-judgmental community where all members can fully express their individuality.

They also aim to increase awareness, decrease intolerance, and create a welcoming and accepting environment for all.

Connect with them in Pronto using group code https://app.pronto.io/invites/hVTsRZvVE. For more info contact Michael Bonner 760-384-6181 / michael.bonner@cerrocoso.edu.

Constitution Day Lecture: “Is the Constitution Racist and Outdated?”

Constitution Day commemorates the formation and signing of the U.S. Constitution by thirty-nine brave men on September 17, 1787, recognizing all who are born in the U.S. or by naturalization, have become citizens.   

On this day in 1787, the Founding Fathers signed the most influential document in American history: the United States Constitution. This document established the framework of our government and the rights and freedoms that “We the People” enjoy today.

Every year, the SGCC commemorates that historic day by hosting an event. This year the SGCC will present a lecture by Professor Matt Jones as he discusses modern perspectives of the US Constitution.

Open to all students at all campuses, students are invited to join them for free pizza and popcorn in the Lecture Center at the Ridgecrest Campus on Wednesday, September 14th @ 12:30pm.  The event will also be available to students at other campuses via Zoom.  Register for zoom access at: https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYldeyoqTkiGdMGMM6U-ffxkqju0B_YJCaq

A celebration of the adoption of the U.S. Constitution and the importance of the document today. 

Bakersfield College

Science & Engineering Building Grand Opening

On Wednesday morning, Bakersfield College celebrated the official grand opening of its newest addition on campus and a crown jewel of the Measure J infrastructure bond, the 71,061-square-foot Science & Engineering Building that will house several disciplines like biology and geology, as well as a high-tech robotics lab. 

Dr. Zav Dadabhoy

Expanding STEM education has been a priority for Bakersfield College for the last nine years. The 71,000 square-foot Science and Engineering building is a manifestation of this commitment to providing the spaces and tools to unleash imagination, magnify curiosity, and deepen critical thinking and problem solving for our students.  With this state-of-the-art facility alongside our talented and dedicated faculty, BC students are well positioned for the future.

Trustee Romeo Agbalog

“With this building, we are upholding our responsibility to prepare students for the jobs of the future,” said Kern Community College District Board of Trustees President, Romeo Agbalog. “A few years back, I read a report that said nearly 50% of jobs in the metropolitan Bakersfield area were subject to automation and this new building has never been needed more than right now. As industries innovate and evolve and new industries emerge it’s our duty and responsibility to prepare the workforce of the future; especially if our region intends to lead and compete in a global economy. ”

The three-story Science & Engineering building is home to BC’s Biology, Engineering and Physical Sciences (chemistry, geology and physics) departments, which combined offer more than a dozen associate degrees and degrees for transfer. In addition to classrooms and laboratories for physics, geology, engineering, biology and chemistry, anatomy and more,  the building includes a Makerspace and a state of the art robotics lab. The building’s design features heavy use of glass, allowing for ample natural light, a striking multi-story atrium at the center of the building, interactive spaces and architectural elements throughout that highlight the connection of science to society. In fact, there are multiple secrets built into the building that encourage discovery and learning of the sciences. 

Sonya Christian, Jay Tamsi, Mike Turnipseed
Dr. Steve Waller my partner in the work of expanding STEM education in Kern.

Measure J was a  $502 million infrastructure bond passed by voters throughout the Kern Community College District in 2016 to fund upgrades and modernize the district’s three colleges: Porterville College, Bakersfield College and Cerro Coso Community College. Bakersfield College, the largest of the three institutions, received $415 million to transform a number of new, high impact projects, including a new Campus Center, revamped administrative building and in the coming year, a new welcome center, athletics complex, and agriculture pavilion. 

Check out more photos from the celebration at https://bakersfieldcollege.smugmug.com/Community-Events/2022-Community-Events/2022-SE-Building-Grand-Opening/n-wX23zx.

Thank you Nicole Parra for leading us through the Measure J work.

Latinos Unidos Por Educación at The California Endowment Youth Awards in Oakland

The Bakersfield College LUPE StudOrg on campus was recognized as one of five youth-led organizations in California and granted the Youth Power Partner Award at the California Endowment Youth Awards this year.

The California Endowment Youth Awards are held in recognition of young leaders who work towards an equitable and healthy future: creating innovative models of service, strengthening local communities, and cultivating youth power.

A special thank you to all the staff from the EOP&S/Categorical Programs who took care of all the logistics to make this memorable event possible for our students.

Wylie and May Louise Jones Gallery Reception with Audia Dixon

Audia Yvonne Dixon, Attractive Nuisance, 2021, Oil on Canvas, 65” x 96”

The directors of the Wylie and May Louise Jones Gallery are proud to present Eden, a solo exhibition by Fresno-based artist Audia Yvonne Dixon (b. 1992). This show is a selection of paintings connected to a history of pastoral landscape and portraiture.

Save the Date for the Fall Levan Faculty Colloquium – to honor David Koeth

Save the date for our next Norman Levan Faculty Colloquium. We will honor David Koeth, Emeritus Professor of Art, for his artistic contributions to his field and to our campus.

The Levan Center for the Humanities provides unique opportunities for community college faculty to engage in and promote their scholarly research and/or creative work. Come celebrate Professor Koeth’s accomplishments and show your support for our BC faculty member. More details to follow in the coming weeks.  

Norman Levan Faculty Colloquium: “The Citrus Series: Ideation, Art Making, and Citrus”  

  • Date: Friday, October 7th, 2022  
  • Time: 10:30 am to 12:00 pm
  • Location: Norman Levan Center for the Humanities.

Campus Zoom Center Opens

Bakersfield College is happy to announce that you have a campus location to attend zoom classes on our Panorama Campus! Starting Tuesday, September 6th, the northeast corner of the Computer Commons in the BC Library will be available for students who need a space to participate in their Zoom courses.

​Space is limited and will be first-come-first-serve. Computers and headsets will be available but we encourage you to bring your own. If you aren’t sure where to go, check in at the Renegade Hub or the Circulation desk.


This week, we had another post on the Kern CCD TALE Blog (https://kernccdtaleblog.org/). This one was written by Porterville College’s Robert Simpkins, on the topic “Room to Fail.”

“Because our work as educators does not occur in isolation and is always embedded in a complex web of changing perspectives, expectations, and requirements, some degree of failure is probably inevitable for instructors, regardless of the number of years of experience in the profession.  Achieving success in the long-term then means that faculty need a support structure that expects occasional failures and supports the correction and experimentation needed to ensure the success of the student learning experience – yet that support system is rarely placed systematically and intentionally for all faculty, including adjunct faculty as well as tenure-track and tenured faculty.”

Check it out at https://kernccdtaleblog.org/2022/09/07/room-to-fail/.

Jobs Demand Education Blog

On Labor Day, I published my first post in the new JobsDemandEducation blog – a place to share new approaches to workforce and economic development, with a goal of supporting economic mobility for our community while staying committed to the health of our people and the health of our environment.

My first post, “Good Jobs Demand Education,” highlighted part of our Kern CCD delegation trip to the National Resource Energy Laboratory in August, as we work to establish California Renewable Energy Laboratory (CREL) here. I wrote about Integrated Energy Pathways, one of NREL’s critical objectives.

“During our trip, I learned that one of NREL’s critical objectives is in integrated energy pathways, which involves leveraging innovations in microgrids, clean transportation and other renewables to work in concert with our existing energy infrastructure. To truly create a power sector free of carbon emissions, all of these innovations in renewable energy can’t be siloed. Integrated energy pathways are strategies to modernize the electric grid by taking advantage of new energy storage technologies, connecting the grid to clean transportation infrastructure, and improving grid resilience.”

In the News

Community Voices: Unions help narrow the gender wage gap

Astronomy Professor and Academic Senate President Nick Strobel wrote this piece for The Bakersfield Californian about the role unions continue to play in workplace conditions:

“I’m thankful for the faculty union’s collective bargaining agreement that guarantees equal pay for equal work. At the university where I did graduate work, individual professors were able to secure different salary packages and perks than their colleagues. Thanks to the faculty and classified staff unions, our contracts also include a good health care benefits package.”

How much has changed in equality for women?

Community College Daily published my piece about equality for women in higher education.

“According to a 2021 report from Pew Research, the median earnings of women in STEM jobs is 74% of their male counterparts. This is a wider gap compared to the broader labor market. So even when we have women entering the STEM workforce, they are not equally represented in the types of high-paying jobs we see more frequently awarded to men.”

At 50, BC’s Delano campus remains well-traveled pathway for students

The Bakersfield Californian ran this article highlighting BC’s Delano campus, which first began offering classes 50 years ago in September 1972.

“Without this campus, it would’ve been more stressful for a lot of us to handle work or younger siblings or not being able to drive yet,” [student Joanne] Aguirre said. “It would have made us think, ‘Oh, college isn’t for me.’”

Fun Photos & Spotted on Social Media

I was able to attend BC’s home football game and spend some time with colleagues:

From PC President Dr. Claudia Habib:

“We had a great start for Fall semester, now on the third week. Today we enjoyed a small sweet treat #Paletas #popsicles to celebrate the good work and to cool off in this very hot day #112degrees I am grateful for my team #PCFamily @PCollegePirates @KernCCD”

Fun was had at the New Faculty Reception at Bakersfield College. President Zav Dadabhoy enjoyed welcoming all the new faculty who have joined our Renegade family this fall. I was so pleased to join in the welcome, alongside members of the Kern County Community College District Board of Trustees. Check out some of the photos:

Porterville College advisor Cody Ridenour presented to the Students at Burton Middle School. The school shared this post about his visi:

“Thank you PCollegePirates for presenting to BMS students on college and career paths!”


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

The future is bright at KernCCD.

a joyful and grateful Chancellor


It’s summer…yet KCCD is on the move!

This week started off with a great Sunday on July 11th. Wimbledon, Unity 22, Euro 2020, …..

“Breakfast with Wimbledon” has been something I have associated with my mom who would wake up early and get ceremonially ready to watch the big event.

Miss you so much mom

So, on Sunday I tuned into the game just to feel her presence …. Although mom always rooted for Nadel over Djokovic I suspect she would not have complained too much since Nadel was not the opponent this time.

Novak Djokovic claims a record-tying 20th Grand Slam victory.

Also tuned into the Virgin Galactic’s VSS Unity launched into a sub-orbital spaceflight with Virgin Group founder Richard Branson on board. Branson is hoping to usher in a new age of space tourism, and the Unity 22 flight was a successful test flight in that quest.

Wrapped up my Sunday watching Italy beat England in a penalty shootout, dashing England’s hopes of winning its first major title since the 1966 World Cup — followed by giving Neo his weekly bath.

Have not had such a relaxing Sunday in a long time.

Good morning, friends…
It is July 17, 2021.
The sun shines bright over KCCD.

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

Cerro Coso Community College

CCCC offering certificate program in Digital Media and Marketing

In a world where more and more activities are centered online, developing an effective digital marketing strategy is a must for every organization. 

Cerro Coso is offering a NEW certificate program in Digital Media and Marketing this fall.  Ideal for those who work in business office technology, real estate, sales, marketing, administration, education, science, engineering, healthcare, small business, and other industries. This program will teach how to develop high-performing integrated visual communication and social media marketing that delivers on key metrics. 

Sign up today!

Lecture Center updated as part of Measure J

The first of several projects at Cerro Coso’s Ridgecrest Campus funded by Measure J included updating the college’s Lecture Center.  The project involved installing handrails and lighting along the steep stairs, refinishing the floors, installing new curtains and carpet, and making needed updates to the lighting and sound system original to the facility,  The project will be completed over the next few weeks.   

Thank you Kern County for voting YesonJ!

Police Office Standards and Training Modular Academy is relaunching

Cerro Coso has an upcoming Police Officer Standards and Training (POST) Modular Academy re-launch in Tehachapi this fall. More information on what can be done with the Level 3 and 2 certification is available at www.cerrocoso.edu/academy under the FAQ Section. 

In addition to enabling becoming a full-time officer, the progressive certification through the series of courses is perfect for code enforcement, arson investigators, reserve officers, county probation, park rangers, etc. 

Contact Department Chair and Academy Director Peter Fulks at peter.fulks@cerrocoso.edu for additional information.

Peter Fulks

Porterville College

PC Welcomes Division 1 Standout and Former Pro-athlete as New Head Basketball Coach

Porterville College (PC) has announced the appointment of Amaurys Fermin as the new Pirates Head Men’s Basketball Coach.

After competing at the High School level at John F. Kennedy High School in Bronx, NY, Fermin began his career at the Junior College level at Missouri State and Hagerstown Community College. He then went on to play Division I ball at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, where he graduated with his bachelor’s degree in history.

During his senior season at Cal Poly, he led the Big West Conference with 119 assists, and helped the Mustangs reach the program’s second-highest victory total in 18 Division I seasons. He comes to us directly from Allan Hancock College where he was the Lead Assistant Coach and Recruiting Coordinator for 5 seasons. He also served as the West Coast Elite UA Central Region Program Director.

Fermin has also spent time as a professional athlete, playing on the Dominican Republic National Team alongside the likes of NBA players Al Horford, Karl Anthony Towns and Francisco Garcia. In 2012, they brought home the CentroBasket Championships Gold Medal. Fermin has also played professional ball for teams in Cyprus, Greece, Finland, and Puerto Rico.

PC “Mobile” Campaign Continues to Increase Awareness While Directly Supporting Students

Porterville College has employed several new methods of marketing and engagement with our community. One such method is the “PC Pirate Fleet” campaign. Check out the cars “wrapped” with branded decals promoting PC.

The current “cohort” of cars hit the road this July. The first cohort recently completed an 8 month campaign that boasted some very impressive results. An average of 8,000 miles per month were driven by the fleet of eight cars, adding up to over 100,000 people seeing these cars and their messaging per month in Porterville and our surrounding service areas.

Look for the Pirate Fleet to start making coordinated appearances in Porterville and surrounding communities in the Fall, starting with our opening week festivities on campus! 

PC Focuses on Water Conservation During Times of Severe Drought

The need for water conservation is critical for California with our most recent drought conditions. According to the latest data from the state government, 94.7 percent of California has now reached the “D2 – Severe Drought” category, 84 percent has reached the “D3 – Extreme Drought Conditions”.

Even without these severe drought conditions, water conservation is crucial for college campuses in California and across the nation. Porterville College has been working on this problem for many years–long before the current drought conditions–and the campus is doing some amazing things with its conservation efforts, including an average savings of 2.5 million gallons of water per month in the summer months.

This conservation is accomplished through the hard work of the Maintenance and Operations (M&O) department, led by Director John Word. PC has incorporated two water retention basins into the campus infrastructure during the complete repaving of the back service road on campus. This allows water from irrigation  to seep back into the ground to re-charge aquafers.

PC has adjusted irrigation systems removing sprinklers for trees and shrubs and replacing them with drip systems.  By shutting off irrigation to open fields that are not being used for any specific purpose, the college has realized high savings on our water consumption.

Another big year-round savings comes from replacing sections of live turf along College Ave and in front of the AC building with synthetic turf – thus removing the need to irrigate. This, along with the addition of low flow sprinkler heads and the incorporation of drought tolerant shrubs and trees into the landscaping on campus also realize additional water savings.

Porterville College is actively participating with the City of Porterville as they construct a city-wide water reclamation system and we are beginning to incorporate pipe systems into future construction projects that will be ready to connect to the city system. Additional retention basins are also being engineered for all future construction projects.

PC is in the process of developing an Engineering and Environmental Science program to better serve the community.

Bakersfield College

BC’S First Cohort Completes Introductory Course Focused on Electric Vehicles

Bakersfield College’s first set of auto tech students looking to increase their employability have completed AUTO B70NC – Introduction to Electric Vehicles, a brand new course focused on electric vehicles, repairs, and maintenance. The course is part of a larger program that’s still in the final stages of curriculum development aiming to provide students with the trainings and certifications necessary to secure well-paying jobs in the growing field of zero-emission electric (ZEV) vehicles.

Developed in partnership with Valley Clean Air Now (Valley CAN) and with funding provided by Electrify America, the comprehensive curriculum provides students with the training needed to diagnose, repair, and maintain electric plug-in vehicles. Dean of Instruction Anthony Cordova says this course is one of the first and perhaps the only one of its kind.

BC To Offer Free Summer Performing Arts Academies

Starting next week, Bakersfield College will hold three free summer academies for participants interested in music, theater, and arts. The Choral Academy will run July 20-23 from 9:00am to 3:00pm daily. The Jazz and Commercial Music Academy will run July 26-30 from 9:00am to 2:15pm daily. The Theater Acting Workshop will run August 2-5 from 9:00am to 3:25pm daily. There is no cost associated with these summer offerings but registration is limited.

Professor of Music and Director of Choral and Vocal Studies at Bakersfield College Dr. Jennifer Garrett is excited for this new opportunity to engage participants. She says, “After finding innovative ways to stay connected throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, I am overjoyed for the opportunity to bring participants together for this multi-day summer academy where we can explore music in a shared space.”

Thank You from BC’s Early College Industrial Automation Summer Academy

I so appreciated this email from Job Specialist Carlos Medina:

I just wanted to say THANK YOU for opening your doors and participating in our Early College Industrial Automation Summer Academy. The students enjoyed every visit and were delighted they had the opportunity to explore four different industries. A big special thanks to our partners at Phillips 66 for providing this opportunity for our Early College students and making our Industrial Automation Summer Academy possible.

We look forward to working together again in the near future as we prepare for the fall semester and get our Class of 2022 ready for the workforce. Enjoy the rest of your summer!

Chancellor’s Seminar Series

On Tuesday, I kicked off the Chancellor’s Seminar Series with a Back to Campus discussion. Thank you to our panelists, Dena Rhoades and Eileen O’Hare-Anderson, for providing answers to our KCCD community. I’d also like to thank Tina Johnson (BC CSEA), Matt Crow (KCCD CCA), and Manny Mourtzanos (KCCD Management Association), who represented our employee groups and asked the questions during the seminar. And of course, thank you to Todd Coston for providing our introductory comments and technology support.

Here are a few of the highlights from the presentation:

Will vaccines be required on campus, and will we require proof?

How about wearing a mask?

Are there contingency plans if variants pose an increased risk?

How should we handle conflicting reports and guidelines?

You can see all the videos from the seminar on the KCCD Chancellor’s Communications webpage.

Poetry Corner

Please enjoy this poem from Jack Hernandez:


With all their money
they launched themselves
into space,
were admired
for their weightless
distance from those
starving on the earth.

Spotted on Social Media

Porterville College President Claudia Habib got a chance to meet with students on campus:


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

The future remains bright at KCCD.

a joyful and grateful Chancellor

Kern County — Thank you for supporting BC

As we wrap up the first month of 2021 – a month that has brought upheaval and many changes – I was grateful this week to be able to get back to campus briefly to see the progress on the construction of our new buildings. I was joined by Billie Jo Rice, and it was wonderful to spend some time together and appreciate the future of Bakersfield College as we build #ABetterBC.

Sonya Christian, Billie Jo Rice

Kern County, thank you for voting Yes on J

In addition to the in-person campus tour, I also had a great virtual budget meeting with Steven Holmes, Mike Giacomini, and Teresa McAllister.

If we have learned nothing else from the past year, it’s to truly enjoy and embrace those moments of normalcy and camaraderie. I am so excited about what the future holds and how we can best serve our students.

Good morning Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, January 30, 2021 … a great day to be a Renegade.

Central Valley Takes Center Stage

While I was watching “Celebrating America,” the concert honoring President Joe Biden’s inauguration, I noticed that one of the speakers chosen to read from previous inaugural addresses was Dolores Huerta.

It was a great moment to see one of our local legends featured on a national level.

And did you notice that behind the president’s desk, he has a bust of Cesar Chavez?

NPR interviewed Dolores Huerta about the significance of featuring Cesar Chavez so prominently:

It’s really a very strong message that the strongest person in the whole world, the president of the United States of America, would have a bust of Cesar Chavez, a very simple, humble farmworker, a leader, a person who stood up for gun violence, who dedicated his life to make life better for the poorest of the poor – to me, that was a very strong message.”

You can listen to the interview on NPR’s website.

Renegades Receive the Vaccine

As COVID-19 vaccinations continue throughout California, some of our Renegades have had the chance to receive their first immunizations.

I was pleased to see Trustee Nan-Gomez Heitzeberg and track and field coach Pam Kelly get their COVID-19 vaccines from Kern County health care workers. Nan got her vaccine at the Bakersfield Heart Hospital from a BC student – Ariana Nahjmabadi. There were a lot of nursing students there in their Renegade Red tops, working very hard and doing an exceptional job. #WeAreBC

On Friday, Deborah Rosenthal set up a vaccination clinic aimed at those in our BC community who are over 65. Bill Kelly shared with me that he was getting his vaccine Friday morning.  

If you’re a BC faculty or staff member who has pictures receiving the vaccine, please send them to president@bakersfieldcollege.edu or earl.parsons@bakersfieldcollege.edu.

Jack Hernandez Poem: Relevance

Jack Hernandez shared this poem with me:

When past a certain age
the question of whether
we matter descends
like a morning fog,
whether we are needed
or just an afterthought  
like those decades old
clothes hidden in a closet,
dishes given as gifts
stacked out of sight.
Once others welcomed
our routines
sought our thoughts
on practical truth,
but now we are seen
as a classic car
stored in a garage
annexed to the main house,
a book of wisdom
out of print.
Yet though alone
we do not moan,
use unruffled time
to find ourselves,
sing our stories
to the moon.

Distinguished Speaker Gordon Bellamy

On Tuesday, February 2, our first Distinguished Speaker is a Visiting Scholar of USC Games and head of an incubator program to develop designers and programmers for video games and other interactive media. Gordon Bellamy has an extensive background in the video game industry as a designer for the Madden NFL football franchise and product management roles at Tencent, a Chinese entertainment company that owns the studio behind League of Legends.

Gordon Bellamy will be giving two presentations at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Visit the event listing on the BC calendar for more information, and visit the Distinguished Speaker Series website for a full listing of the speakers for this semester.

Undocumented Student Workshops in February

The AB 540/Undocumented Students Program has partnered with the United Farm Workers Foundation (UFW) to bring a series of workshops to Bakersfield College. These workshops are open to BC students, staff/faculty, and community members.

To Register for AB 540/Undocumented Students Program Workshops, visit tinyurl.com/Y53QRDQX.

Suicide Prevention: Know the Signs

From an email from College Safety:

Care for mental health is an important part of college life. Please take a moment to review our Know The Signs presentation on suicide prevention.

Bakersfield College staff, faculty, students, and community members are influential. When someone is in distress, we have an opportunity to provide care and support. Pain isn’t always obvious, but most suicidal people show some signs that they are thinking about suicide. Remember our motto: If you see something, say something, so we can do something.

If you think someone is in distress, visit our Help Someone In Distress website for some tips on how to provide help to someone quickly.

As always, if you have questions or concerns, please reach out to us at collegesafety@bakersfieldcollege.edu or (661) 395-4554.

Measure J: Photos From the Campus Center

Progress on our Measure J construction projects continues while we all work to build A Better BC for our students and community. Earl Parsons snapped this shot of the BC logo on the new Campus Center, slated for completion in April 2021. 

The structure of the new Science and Engineering building gets stronger every day and is on pace for completion in November 2021. From the second floor of the Math and Science building, you can see it towering over the existing Science and Engineering building.

We are also entering the mobilization phase on construction of the new gym and fieldhouse, which is now slated for a March 2023 completion due to the delay in DSA approval. Finally, we’re engaged in discussions on the design of the new Agriculture building, which is projected for an April 2024 completion.

For more information about Measure J projects, visit the A Better BC website.

Emails from BC: The Legacy of JB Teasley

I was inspired earlier this week by an email from the fabulous Jerry Ludeke currently overseeing the BC Archives looking back on the life of JB Teasley, a retired BC faculty member and member of the Delano College Center Foundation.

Here is the email below:

“When a person dies at age 94 and has been retired for around thirty years from Bakersfield College, it is not surprising that there are few who remember him in his vital, teaching days.  That does not diminish the person’s importance in the history of the BC family, and it is our honor to recognize their memory.

Fortunately, Phil Feldman recognized the notice of JB TEASLEY’s death.  Phil himself is now retired from the faculty at BC but remembers JB as “a teacher and very active Delano College Center Foundation member when I ran that Center going on forty years ago.”

 The obituary tells us that Teasley, originally from Mississippi,  taught at Buttonwillow Elementary and Wasco Junior High, becoming a teacher and counselor at Delano High School, and remaining in Delano for the rest of his life.  He became connected with BC’s Delano College Center and, as Phil mentioned, was active in the Delano College Foundation.  However, he also spent many years as a teacher, counselor, and administrator at the Delano College Center. 

One interesting tidbit in the obituary caught my eye.  It stated that JB was born in May, 1926.  It also mentioned that he was Honorably Discharged with the rank of Petty Officer 1st Class after serving in the U.S. Navy from 1942 to 1947.  Think about those dates.  If he was born in 1926 and entered the Navy in 1942, he must have been one of those brave young men who, at only age 16, possibly with his parents’ reluctant permission, enlisted in the months after Pearl Harbor, served for five years, and survived.  He was remembered with Military Honors on January 22 at the Bakersfield National Cemetery.

We are proud of his service to our country and to Bakersfield College.

Thank you Mindy Wilmot for finding the photo for me.

In The News

Academic Technology featured in Education Technology Insights

Bill Moseley and Alex Rockey had their article published in Education Technology Insights. The article, Reimagining Access: Leveraging Mobile Devices to Transform Education, looks at how we as educators must utilize the technology many students already have – phones and mobile devices – as we try to engage with them, especially during the pandemic. The article highlights BC’s “Person Up” program, which sees a faculty member and instructional designer work together to best address the needs of the students and reimagine how we teach online.

You should also check out the Academic Technology blog,

Community Voices: Vayron Martinez

Head BC Men’s Soccer Coach Vayron Martinez published a Community Voices piece in the Bakersfield Californian titled, “Putting Bakersfield on the map through soccer.”

“One of our core program values in our team is “community.” Our young men give back to the community with various community service events throughout the year. We want to showcase the hard work Bakersfield has when we step foot onto the field and play anyone in the state. We don’t shy away from playing the best teams even if the outcome is not the desired one.”

Fun Photos

Jennifer Serratt enjoying her time in the snow:

Todd Hansen shared these pics of the digital billboard on Oak Street/California Ave, showcasing our BC Partners:

Spotted on Social Media

Kylie Campbell‘s tweet of BC’s Early College team met with 150 high school administrators on Friday morning:

Renegade Athletics shared this throwback photo of the Renegade tradition of firing the cannon at home football games:

Nick Strobel made a delicious looking pecan pie — unfortunately there were no pies left outside my front door.

BCSGA shared this inspiring quote:

Todd Coston shared this great view from a hike he took with his daughter, Ashli:


Ulloa Headed to Cal State Bakersfield

This last baseball season was cut short due to the pandemic, but even before that happened Renegade pitcher Gabe Ulloa’s season was cut short due to an injury to his throwing arm. Gabe has been working through rehab to get back to full strength and announced this week that he is headed to play baseball across town at Cal State Bakersfield. Ulloa will join fellow former Renegade pitcher Benji Caggienelli, who transferred to CSUB back in October. We are proud of Gabe and will be cheering on both the former ‘Gades turned ‘Runners!

Fun Photos

Enjoy these fun photos of some our Renegade Athletes who were ‘shrunk’ into bobbleheads!


That’s all for now.
Until next time.

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