Good morning Bakersfield…. it is Sunday June 25, 2017 …I enjoyed waking up in my bed at home this morning, taking Neo out and feeling the 72 degree temperatures at 3:30 a.m., loving life. This week has been exhausting with a lot of travel…time on the road and time in planes. Bakersfield – LAX – Portland, OR – Eugene, OR – back to Portland – then a red-eye to Ft. Lauderdale, FL – back to LAX – finally home sweet home. During all my travels, I wore my Renegade t-shirts and sweatshirts. Proud to be a Renegade!
Are you keeping track of our weather this past week? It’s undeniably hot in Bakersfield and the LA Times posted an article on Wednesday, “California sees some of the highest temperatures ever recorded amid heat wave.”
Did you know you can beat the heat at the BC pool? It’s open for public swim, water aerobics, swimming lessons, and family swim. For hours, details, and lesson schedules, visit the BC website! What are your favorite ways to escape the heat or stay cool?
Speaking of the heat… it’s fire season, so I’m proud to celebrate the recent Firefighter graduates!!
On June 14th, we celebrated the Olive Drive Fire Training Facility Graduation inside our indoor theater. The Olive Drive Fire Training Facility and its staff are dedicated to train the men and women in the Bakersfield community who have chosen the fire service as a career or voluntary service. The people graduating this year have made a commitment to protect the citizens of Bakersfield and Kern County from the ravages of fire and other life or property threatening emergencies.
Firefighting is both an art and a science; to be successful requires education, experience, and motivation. This graduation marks the end of a twenty-five week basic fire academy and the beginning of a challenging and rewarding career; one which will require many more days of training in the field and in the classroom. Congratulations to all the graduates.
I can always count on BC’s Mary Jo Pasek to have great photos on her Facebook. The theater was packed!
On Monday and Tuesday the senior level administrators across the Kern Community College District met at the Padre in retreat, to come together as a team and plan for the next year. There are many new faces in senior leadership including the Chancellor, Tom Burke.
It was a great opportunity to connect with our counterparts and colleagues from across this huge district. It was clear from the first day that we have a lot in common. Regardless of the role, from Vice President to Vice Chancellor, General Counsel, President and Chancellor, everyone is committed to serving students and to supporting them reaching their educational goals.
Kern Community College District (KCCD) serves communities over a region of 24,800 square miles in parts of Kern, Tulare, Inyo, Mono, and San Bernardino counties through the programs of Bakersfield College, Cerro Coso College and Porterville College. Governed by a locally elected Board of Trustees, the district’s colleges offer programs and services that develop student potential and create opportunities for our citizens.
KCCD is geographically one of the largest community college districts in the United States. Our students represent a diversity of religions, economic backgrounds, sexual orientations, abilities, and ethnicities.
While the Kern Community College District was established as a separate entity in 1968 to respond to the changing needs of our communities, educational services have been provided to residents for many years: at Bakersfield College since 1913; at Porterville College since 1927; and in the Ridgecrest area since 1951 by what is now Cerro Coso College. All three colleges are proud members of the California Community College System and are accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.
Today, education centers and sites in Delano, downtown Bakersfield, the Mammoth/ Bishop area, Edwards Air Force, and the Kern River Valley offer additional convenient, localized instruction for thousands of residents. KCCD’s commitment to distance learning and other technological advances is creating increasing opportunities for education through the internet, satellite, and cable television to individuals across our broad service area and beyond.
Annual BCSGA President Brunch
I blogged about the SGA leadership in my last blog. Here it is again. I just love the photos.
And I saw on Instagram that the leaders of BCSGA are settling in to their offices. I love how Dezi says, “yes Renegades, BCSGA is in office, need something? Let us know!”
The Office of Outreach & School Relations hosted its first summer It’s Possible registration event on Tuesday. This is a reoccurring event for students to come to our campus and complete all enrollment steps in just one day. From application to registration, BC’s incredible staff from various departments on campus collaborated in making this event happen for our community. The summer heat was no barrier for students pursuing their educational goals as 116 students participated in the event, with approximately 75% of those being new students.
A special thanks to the Events Scheduling team, Maintenance and Operations, Food Services, The Office Student Success & Equity, Counseling staff, Admissions & Records, EOPS/Cal SOAP, and Office of Student Life!
The week of travels
The most interesting part of my travels this week was the changing temperatures and the time of sunrise and sunset. Check it out–
Portland at 45 degrees latitude North (sunrise 5:24 a.m.; sunset 9:04 p.m.; low temp 59 degrees; high temp 75 degrees)
Bakersfield at 35 degrees latitude North (sunrise 5:43 a.m.; sunset 8:43 p.m; low temp 72 degrees; high temp 105 degrees)
Fort Lauderdale at 26 degrees latitude North (sunrise 6:30 a.m.; sunset 8:16 p.m.; low temp 80 degrees; high temp 84 degrees)
Given the temperatures in Oregon, you can see why I needed my sweatshirt for part of the day.
During my one day in Eugene, I connected with my buddy Ken Murdoff and his chocolate-colored Lab Woody.
Check out Woody swimming last year in my July 3, 2016 blog at
Woody is the best natured dog ever. Talking about Woody — my inspiration for getting Neo — let me give you my weekly Neo update.
I felt like I left a puppy to start my travels and got back to find a dog. At 10 weeks he was 19 lbs; now at about 13 weeks he weighs in at 30 lbs.
Neo discovering stairs
The AACC Pathways Institute #5 was in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Hard to imagine we have just one more institute to go and then we are done with the program. BC was one of the 30 colleges selected to be part of the 3-year Guided Pathways cohort. Great work with great colleagues. We had a 6-member BC team attend: Lesley Bonds, Director of Student Success and Equity; Cindy Collier, Dean of CTE and Allied Health; Grace Commiso, Dean of Counseling and Student Success; Craig Hayward, Institutional Researcher; Mark Osea, Faculty Chair of Counseling; and Steve Watkin, Director of Outreach. Here are some photos from Florida.
Team at dinner on June 22, 2017
Grace Commiso and Lesley Bonds are two of the leads for our Guided Pathways work at Bakersfield College. Talented, smart, dedicated, and beautiful. I am the luckiest and happiest college president ever.
Sonya Christian, Grace Commiso, Craig Hayward, Lesley Bonds at dinner right by the Ocean. Fun conversation that ranged from work and data (what do you get when you have Craig Hayward at dinner with you) to dogs and movies.
Here is Bilbo the 5-lb yorkie who apparently makes the move shown in the picture when he wants Craig to scratch his belly.
Here is Rocky at 3 months with Joey Commiso
And here is Blue, the only Australian Shepherd that I know with an instagram account
We also talked about movies and so here is Misty Mountain Cold from the Hobbit.
Wish I had snapped a picture of the group with the Atlantic behind us. Oh well…. Instead, here is a picture from Cindy Collier’s room on Facebook.
An interesting tidbit:
When landing in LAX from Portland the captain announced that the largest passenger aircraft ever made was on the runway about to take off. So the passengers were all peering out of their windows in awe as they watched.
Here is a youtube clip of this double-decker taking off
The Airbus A380 is a double-deck, wide-body, four-engine jet airliner manufactured by European manufacturer Airbus. It is the world’s largest passenger airliner, and the airports at which it operates have upgraded facilities to accommodate it. It was initially named Airbus A3XX and designed to challenge Boeing‘s monopoly in the large-aircraft market. The A380 made its first flight on 27 April 2005 and entered commercial service on 25 October 2007 with Singapore Airlines. An improved version, the A380plus, is under development.
My friend Arlene Braganza texted me photos of Ken Burdick as Jesus Christ in Jesus Christ Superstar last night at Ovation Theatre. It looks like a brilliant show and I’m always proud to see the talent of BC’s chamber singers. For show photos and to see the cast, visit https://theovationtheatre.com/jesus-christ-superstar/
Have you seen that Bakersfield High School’s historic Griffith Field is set to finish its renovations shortly? After seeing this news on Kern Radio, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on the BC’s tradition of excellence at Griffith, where it all started and where we hosted all of our home football games from the stadium’s opening in 1923 until moving to our campus on the hill in the 1950s.
The Renegade football team had been dominant even before the campus moved to Panorama, winning a national championship in 1953 and selling out Griffith Field. Because of this, the development of Memorial Stadium and the Panorama campus was needed to meet the needs of the community. This story can be seen in an article in the April 2006 Bakersfield College Archives Newsletter.
District Superintendent Ralph Prator even appointed BHS Athletic Director J.B. “Cap” Haralson to coordinate the construction of Memorial Stadium, which hosted 16,500 people for the Renegades’ first home game against Pasadena City College, the largest crowd to ever watch a junior college game at that time. Griffith Field was part of the legacies of legends like NFL Hall of Famer Frank Gifford, who played for BC and BHS in the 1940s, and “Jack” Frost, BC head football coach from 1934 to 1952 whose name lives on in the Jack Frost Football League for young athletes in Kern County.
As this stadium remodeling turns the page to a new chapter in Drillers’ history, Griffith Field will always remain at the heart of Renegade history.
Student Services at BC!
In last weeks blog, I highlighted various academic support services available during the summer semester and it was great to hear from
Lawrence Salcido, Jr in the comments. Lawrence is an active member of BC’s Student Government, peer tutor, and he mentioned that in addition to the services I mentioned, the library is a great source of help for students with knowledgeable staff and workshops too! It’s true. BC is an incredible place of learning, support, hope, and education.
Speaking of support and hope, have you heard of BC’s EOP&S Department? The Extended Opportunity Programs and Services is a state-funded support program designed to provide academic support, financial assistance and encouragement for eligible, financially disadvantaged, and academically underprepared students. The goal is to help eligible students meet their educational objectives, whether they seek occupational certificates, associate degrees, or transfer to four-year institutions.
Students that participate in EOP&S receive the personalized support from registration to tutoring, and counseling and services, such as book vouchers, grants, and university campus tours. The EOP&S Office is located in the Student Services Building, Second Floor (Adjacent to the Financial Aid Office). To contact them by phone, call (661) 395-4351 or visit the website at www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/student/eops/eops It’s important that students are aware and take full advantage of all the services that BC has to offer.
And students, it’s vital that you allow BC’s team to work for you and enable you to put your mind towards the things that matter most, your education!
BC at the Online Teaching Conference with Eloy Oakley
I loved this picture of Chancellor Eloy Oakley with BC’s Bill Moseley and Matt Jones at the 2017 Online Teaching Conference in Anaheim, CA. The official website explains, “The Online Teaching Conference, which began over 15 years ago, is an event for faculty, staff and administrators who are engaged or interested in online education, including delivery of online services, emerging technologies, student success, library and technical support. In addition to learning, this conference is a great opportunity for educators to spend two or three days with colleagues, share knowledge, impart and receive best practices, and learn from other’s experiences.”
Summer Bridge video by Theresa McAllister
That’s all for now.
Until next time.
With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.
the luckiest and happiest college president ever