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
PC to provide access to vaccinations on campus for students during “Fall Welcome back Week”
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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:
Cerro Coso Community 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.
Last week, I shared Part 1 of Jack Hernandez’s “Rockport in June” poetry series. Today, please enjoy Part 2:
I sit in a chair
white like a sheet
of paper a blank
page offering me
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
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.email@example.com.
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.
That’s a wrap for now.
See you next Saturday!
The future remains bright at KCCD.
a joyful and grateful Chancellor