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Allan Hancock College

Hancock Conversations

Welcome to Hancock Conversations, the official Allan Hancock College podcast! Join Hancock Superintendent/President Kevin G. Walthers, Ph.D., as he invites past and present Hancock students, staff, faculty, and community members to discuss important issues and share their stories. This podcast is also available on Spotify and the Apple Podcasts App.

On the inaugural episode of the Hancock Conversations podcast, Allan Hancock College Superintendent/President Kevin G. Walthers, Ph.D., sits down with Board of Trustees member Hilda Zacarías to discuss her work on the board and her passion for serving her community. (Recorded 1-24-20)

Ep. 1 Transcript



In this episode of Hancock Conversations, we hear from retired AHC welding instructor Ray Snowden. Snowden began his career at Hancock in 1982. Over the next 29 years, he played a key role in building the college’s welding technology program and guided countless students into careers in the welding industry. (Recorded 3-6-20)

Ep. 2 Transcript


This week, we learn more about the past, present, and future of Allan Hancock College's dance program from three generations of instructors. Guests include Agnes Grogan, who started her career at the college in 1965 and founded the women's dance program, Dianne McMahon, who oversaw the program for more than 38 years before retiring in 2019, and current dance program coordinator Jesus Solorio, who steered the program through the challenges of COVID-19. (Recorded 10-14-20)

Ep.3 Transcript

Join us for a spirited interview with Hancock alumnus and Santa Maria Valley YMCA CEO Shannon Seifert. Seifert, a fifth-generation Californian, shares the stories of her farming roots, her educational journey at Hancock, and her deep connection to the community she now serves. (Recorded 3-3-20)

Ep.4 Transcript

In this episode, we talk with Arturo "Cheech" Raygoza, a 2020 Hancock graduate and a co-founding member of the college's Beyond Incarceration Greater Education (BIGE) Club. Raygoza shares his journey as a formerly incarcerated student, and how his experience at Hancock inspired him to become a guide and mentor for other formerly incarcerated students. (Recorded 10/14/21)

Ep.5 Transcript

2020 was an unprecedented year for Hancock students as they learned to adjust to the "new normal" of the COVID-19 pandemic. In this episode, we hear from AHC student ambassadors  Ana Rosas Pacheco, David Bautista,  and Francisco Avila, who shared their stories about they dealt with the challenges posed by the pandemic while serving their fellow students and the community. (Recorded 10/22/20)

Ep. 6 Transcript


Join us as we speak with Wally Ajanel. Ajanel is the founder and owner of Wally’s Bicycle Works in San Luis Obispo.  In this episode, he shares the story of leaving his home country of Guatemala in 1994, coming to Santa Maria, and how he worked toward his dream of owning a business by taking ESL classes at Hancock while working in the nearby strawberry fields. (Recorded 1/22/20)

Ep. 7 Transcript

In this episode, we talk about Hancock's history with retired vice president of student services Roger Welt. Welt retired in 2009 after 17 years at Hancock. He is also a Vietnam veteran and holds degrees from Idaho State, Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, and the University of San Francisco. As a college student, he served as a park ranger at Yellowstone National Park and later went on to serve as a college administrator in Micronesia and Tahoe. (Recorded 10/7/20)

Ep. 8 Transcript

2020 changed the world for everyone, including Hancock's students. In this episode, we spoke with Hancock 2020 alumnus and former Associated Student Body Government president Tyler Little about the challenges and triumphs of graduating during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Recorded 11/12/20)

Ep. 9 Transcript

As Hancock prepares for the graduation of its centennial class, we talked about the college's history with AHC class of 1954 alumna Marilyn Cronk. Cronk is an art curator and painter who served as the executive director of the Elverhoj Museum of History and Art in Solvang before retiring at age 67. Three of her daughters also attended and graduated from Hancock before transferring to four-year universities and moving on to successful careers. (Recorded 10/20/20)

Ep. 10 Transcript


Hancock film professor Chris Hite joins us to talk about his new documentary, Firestorm '77. The film chronicles the true story of a deadly fire near Vandenberg Air Force Base that took place in 1977.  Learn more about the film at (Recorded 3/25/21)

Ep. 11 Transcript

Heidi Mendiola is a 2020 Hancock graduate and former Class of 2020 AHC student trustee.  In this interview, she shares her journey as a Hancock student and talks about the challenges she and other 2020 graduates faced during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Recorded 11/12/20)

Ep.12 Transcript

After working as a salon manager and stay-at-home mother, Veronica Van Horn decided to pursue her passion for cooking and baking, going back to school and enrolling in Hancock’s culinary program. After graduating from the program, she started her own baking business, V’s Sweet Treats. (Recorded 10/28/20)

Ep.13 Transcript

Allan Hancock College's Fire Academy has trained generations of highly skilled firefighters. In this episode, we spoke with Associate Dean of Public Safety Mitch McCann,  retired  Fire Academy coordinator Andy Densmore,  and academy graduate and Carpinteria-Summerland Battalion Chief Robert Kovach about the academy and its legacy in our community. (Recorded 10/29/20)

Ep.14 Transcript

In this episode, we spoke with former Hancock Superintendent/Presidents Dr. Ann Foxworthy Lewellen and Dr. José Ortiz about how their leadership helped shape AHC and its mission to serve students in Northern Santa Barbara County. (Recorded 10/26/20)

Ep.15 Transcript

AHC photographer and videographer Kevin Boland has worked to document life at Hancock for nearly a decade. In this episode, we sat down with him to talk about his career at Hancock and his family's close ties to Hancock and Santa Maria.  

Ep. 16 Transcript

In this episode of Hancock Conversations, we sat down for an interview with Hancock graduate Robert Martinez, also known as BobbyBeenFresh.  Martinez has been making and releasing music since high school. His style is described as “old-school gangster rap that incorporates newer, contemporary sounds throughout his extensive catalog”. Martinez is also a Hancock alumnus, graduating with a certificate in sound production. You can listen to his music on Spotify and follow him on social media.

Ep. 17 Transcript

Hancock's Industrial Hemp Research Program is producing important research and preparing students for careers in a growing job sector. In this episode, we explored this exciting program with AHC Professor Dr. Anjali Misra and students Leticia Segoviano and Joey Kehoe.

Ep. 18 Transcript