Several students from Kern County were honored during the California History Day competition held May 10-12 in Rocklin.

Six groups or individuals won their categories at the state competition. State winners in the senior (grades nine through 12) and junior (grades sixth through eighth) categories are now eligible to move onto the National History Day, which will be held June 9-12 in Maryland.

Students create historical projects in one of five categories: documentary, exhibit, paper, performance or website. Using primary and secondary sources, participants focused their projects around the theme “Triumph & Tragedy in History.”

Local students who won their categories:

Senior Individual Performance

Madeline Abernathy from Bakersfield Christian High School

Junior Group Documentary

Dane Kassube and Thomas Gnacke from Discovery Elementary

Junior Individual Exhibit

Gianna Nicomedes from Earl Warren Junior High

Junior Individual Website

Evan Taw from Fruitvale Junior High School

Elementary Individual Poster

Thomas Wilson from Discovery Elementary 

Elementary Group Poster

J.R. Olson and Mikayla Wagoner from Highland Elementary School.


Bakersfield College has transitioned to its summer hours

The campus will be open from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays. It will be closed on Fridays.

The college will also be closed on May 27 for Memorial Day and July 4.

Regular hours will resume on Aug. 19.


Cal State Bakersfield President Lynnette Zelezny announced two recipients will be awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters at the university's commencement ceremony May 24, according to a press release.

Jon Van Boening, senior vice president of operations for Dignity Health’s Central California service area, and social justice advocate Jane Elliott will receive the honor.

Van Boening has served as president and chief executive officer of Bakersfield Memorial Hospital since 2001, and as the senior vice president of operations for Dignity Health’s Central California Service Area since 2012, according to a press release. He is also a CSUB alumnus.

He currently serves on the university’s Foundation Board as well as the School of Business Executive Advisory Board. He took part in securing a Dignity Health sponsorship to help develop the first Family Nurse Practitioner Program at CSUB.

Elliott is the creator of the Blue-Brown discrimination-reducing exercise, developed in response to the assassination of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., to explain the concept of racism, according to a press release. Her work showing how phenotype differences such as eye color are given social value has demonstrated to a general audience how irrational prejudice can be.

She has been the subject of eight documentaries and continues to conduct race-relations workshops and interviews throughout the country.

Previous recipients of an honorary degree at CSUB have included Rayburn S. Dezember, Merle Haggard, Harvey Hall, George, Walter W. Stiern and Ben and Gayle Batey.

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