Collaboration, Community, and Conferences!

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, November 16, 2019… A great day to be a Renegade.

What a week for Bakersfield College and for education throughout the state! Yesterday, leaders and educators from K12, community colleges, CSU’s, UC’s, and independent colleges together with industry leaders met in Bakersfield, working together to increase educational attainment by reducing barriers and mapping out seamless pathways for students. The sold-out event was a great success thanks to the enthusiasm of our attendees, the generous support of our sponsors, and inspirational leadership of key speakers. I will cover this in detail next week. For now let me share just one signature photo!

Sonya Christian, Lande Ajose, Eloy Oakley, Lupita Alcala, Rudy Salas, Mary Barlow

2019 Champion of Higher Education

On Thursday evening Bakersfield College was honored as a 2019 Champion of Higher Education by the Campaign for College Opportunity. The award recognized our high-touch, high-tech, and focused strategies to both grow and streamline transfer pathways that address baccalaureate attainment.

Samantha Pulido, Sonya Christian, Romeo Agbalog, and Tom Burke were present to accept the recognition

BCSGA President, Samantha Pulido and Director of Student Life, Nicky Damania joined myself, Trustee Romeo Agbalog and Chancellor Tom Burke for the award celebration.

According to data from the California Department of Education, Kern County’s baccalaureate attainment rates are only roughly half the statewide rate. In rural service areas, fewer than nine in every 100 residents holds a bachelor’s degree or higher. This gap is even more significant given the Public Policy Institute of California estimate that statewide by 2030 there will be a workforce shortage of over 1 million workers holding a baccalaureate degree.

Bakersfield College has worked in innovative ways to address the educational attainment shortfall, including:

  • Increasing Associate Degree for Transfer Completion by 637% in five years through the Finish-in-4 agreement with CSU Bakersfield and the development of increased transfer course offerings at Bakersfield College Southwest, a new campus that is colocated with CSU Bakersfield.
  • Motivating degree completion by creating the nationally acclaimed Program Pathways Mapper web tool that aligns curriculum across systems, and gives students a visual map of degree completion.
  • Offering Early College across Kern County, allowing over 11,000 high school students annually the opportunity to complete college credit, certificates, or even an Associates Degree before high school graduation.

At yesterday’s event Chancellor Eloy Oakley said that “There would be no Bakersfield without Bakersfield College.” Our graduates are vital to our communities. Our grads are the nurses, the teachers, the welders, the fire fighters, safety officers, and more.

Michele Siqueriros on the screen with Arnold Schwarzenegger

Partners like the Campaign for College Opportunity are vital to the work we’re doing. They are singularly focused on increasing the number of students that attend college and complete their degree, and they are partners in the shared goal of strengthening California’s future. We owe a special thank you to The Campaign for College Opportunity and CCO President, Michele Siqueiros.

Sharing the Success of Early College at the California Economic Summit

I had the opportunity to attend the California Economic Summit in Fresno, CA, where I was invited to join BC’s partners from the Wonderful Company: Dr. Noemi Donoso, Executive Vice President of Wonderful Education, and Andy Anzaldo, Chief Operating Officer for Wonderful Education, and Victor a student from the first graduating class in 2018. At the Summit we shared the story of the success of the Early College partnership which was started in 2013 with the goal of providing students at Wonderful’s Delano campus an opportunity to complete an Associate of Science in Agriculture Business from BC by the time they graduated from high school. 

The pilot program proved successful when the 2018 graduating class from Wonderful walked across the Bakersfield College graduation stage to receive their associate degrees a week before participating in their high school graduation. All students went on to attend college or enter the workforce. Those who graduated with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above and enrolled full-time in a four-year university were eligible for a renewable four-year scholarship of up to $24,000 per year through the Wonderful Academy. The following year, our number of graduates almost tripled and by 2023, BC expects to award over 1,000 Early College certificates and degrees.

Now, that’s a positive change for the central valley and future generations that we can all be proud of.

Energy Festival

The Kern County Foundation held their annual Kern County Energy Festival on Saturday, November 9, to celebrate the positive impact that energy has on our community.  BC Industrial Automation Bachelor of Science Program Manager, Aubrey Priest,  educated the attendees about the great opportunities the program offers our community in the energy sector. Carlos Medina from Career Education shared information about the different energy-related programs BC offers to support the community and increase the skilled workforce.

Kern County Energy Summit

Attending the 13th Annual Kern County Energy Summit this week offered new insight into ways that Bakersfield College can contribute to building a sound energy future for our community. The event opener Lorelei Oviatt, Director of Kern County’s Planning and Natural Resources Department, who painted a picture of Kern County as a place for energy growth and innovation in a way that is not always recognized outside the county.

Lorelei said she is often contacted by energy innovators in France and Germany, people who consider Kern County to be the first choice when launching energy technologies, inviting her to share Kern’s policies and incentives in their own efforts to to support a comprehensive energy portfolio. Kern County has evolved far beyond the iconic wooden oil derricks from the 1930’s:

  • Kern County is number one in the state and 5th in the nation in oil production.
  • Kern County is a leader in innovating new energy technologies in the fields of solar and wind energy, biomass, hydrogen.
  • Kern County energy sector is upwardly mobile: a person is more able to move from the bottom 20% to the top 20% of wage earners than anywhere else in the country.
  • Kern County leads in the growing need for and development of energy storage—battery storage, water storage, underground energy storage.
Sonya Christian & Stu Witt

At our table, Tony Cordova, BC’s Director of Career and Technical Education, and Klint Rigby, BC Department Chair of Industrial Technology, talked about workforce needs Bakersfield College could fulfill in Kern County. Meanwhile, former Top Gun pilot and new member of the National Space Council, Stu Witt and Dr. Michele Bresso, Bakersfield College Communication Professor, strategized about building partnerships between energy leaders and education.  Stu was discussing the sunset of fossil fuels and the need to restructure education to meet the growth and change in workforce needs for the vast array of energy industries that would emerge in our region. Bakersfield College is well-positioned to fuel the energy industry workforce innovation and growth with its educational programs in Engineering, Industrial Automation, Industrial Technology, Physics, Chemistry and more.

Michele Bresso & Klint Rigby

And, it can’t come a moment too soon, according to the predictions of summit speaker, Dr. Steven R. Bohlen, Energy and Homeland Security Program Director at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Dr. Bohlen offered an exciting perspective about the future when he said that Kern County is the next Silicon Valley in terms of carbon management: turning agriculture waste into biomass energy and other products.

BC Education Department LETS TEACH Conference

BC’s Education Department hosted their 5th FUTURE TEACHERS conference on October 25, 2019. The conference consisted of 16 interactive breakout sessions focusing on Building Bridges for Diversity in Education. Presenters were from the Edison School District, BC faculty John Hart and Michael Westwood, vendors with representatives from our BC programs, K-16 stakeholders, and local organizations that employ future teachers.

A special thanks to Christina Maldonado, Isabel Castaneda, Dr. Kimberly Bligh, and the Education Department peer mentors, as well as the BC CTE and food services staff who assisted with the event!

Early College Team Goes to Central Valley Higher Education Consortium Meeting in Fresno

Last Tuesday, November 12th, Steve Watkin and Kylie Swanson represented BC at the Central Valley Higher Education Consortium (CVHEC) meeting in Fresno, CA, in a regional discussion on Dual Enrollment. Our team was joined by the Kern High School District’s Director of Educational Services, Carla Stallworth. Kylie and Carla were invited to be on one of three panels that took place during the meeting. They shared with our regional partners how we are scaling up dual enrollment and implementing Early College opportunities throughout Kern County. 

Other panels for the day included a discussion on pathway development from West Hills College and their high school partners in Mendota Unified School District, and a focus on data-driven outcomes from a collaboration between Fresno City College, CSU Fresno, and Valley ROP.

Kylie Swanson & Steve Watkin

Thank you for representing BC and Kern County, Steve, Kylie, and Carla!

Cal EPA in Bakersfield

The California Environmental Protection Agency is developing several studies on making our state a carbon neutral economy, and invited stakeholders in Kern County’s energy industry to the Levan Center on Wednesday to discuss their preliminary findings and get feedback from our community about climate change, energy consumption, and vehicle emissions.

Cal EPA and the office of Governor Newsom brought together representatives from Aera, Chevron, the Western States Petroleum Association, and other local energy giants, as well as environmental advocates from organizations like the Sierra Club and the Center on Race, Poverty and the Environment. The Levan Center was packed with participants looking to have their perspective heard on this important issues. 

CASFAA Conference

Last week, BC’s Director of Financial Aid, Jennifer Achan, and her team of financial aid experts returned from this year’s California Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (CASFAA) conference, held in Riverside. The focus of this event was to discuss the latest financial aid policy issues; participate in in-depth training and professional development; and engage with peers, policy makers, and other educational partners to better serve California’s expanding college student population.

Rebecca Bumpous, Vanesa Hernandez, Lysander Ramos, and Nick Chidgey (Financial Aid Technicians) excited to attend the 2019 CASFA

Tom Gelder’s Farewell Ice Cream Social

Friends and colleagues wished retiring BC Foundation Executive Director Tom Gelder good luck as he heads into retirement this week, celebrating the occasion with an abundance of Rosemary’s ice cream! Tom has been with the Foundation since 2014.

Speakers at the party included Heather Pennella, Academic President Steven Holmes, Athletic Director Sandi Taylor, and Communications Director Norma Rojas. Tom and his wife, Anthropology Professor Dana Heins-Gelder, will remain in the area and Tom intends to keep closely tied to all things BC. As Dana has expressed on numerous occasions, “I’m too young to retire!” So, she will continue to teach her anthropology and gender courses.

Tom Gelder, Sonya Christian

Mrs. Bakersfield Pageant

Adjunct theater professor Leslie Aldridge was one of the three pageant queens crowned during the competition, judged based on personality, interview skills, and presentation on stage. The theme of this year’s competition was “Service Above Self”, designed to honor veterans, military and first responders. The three pageant queens showed their pride for Kern County’s service members by marching at the Veterans Day parade in downtown Bakersfield on Monday.

Aldridge designs costumes for many of our amazing theater productions, and will be teaching beginning acting at BC next spring. Throughout 2020, she will be accompanying Miss Teen Bakersfield Zoe Gudino and Miss Bakersfield Shelby Moore in attending more than 50 major local events. We couldn’t be more proud of Leslie’s accomplishments and wish her the best of luck during her reign as Mrs. Bakersfield 2020.  You can see more about the story from 23ABC

Fun Photos:

Veterans Parade

BC had our traditional float at the Veterans Parade.

Student Veterans Panel

Earlier this week, BC Veterans Services hosted a Student Veterans Panel for BC’s student veterans to talk about their experiences serving in the military as well as their transition to civilian life and college. BC’s student veterans Aaron Neubert, Ilene Garcia, Josiah Thomas, and Kimberly Rodriguez, BC Veterans Educational Advisor Armando Trujillo, and BC History Professor and Veteran Services faculty Paul Beckworth, talked about their service in the military with the Marines, National Guard, and Navy as well as their experiences serving in the military during their transition to civilian and college life. Our BC student veterans talked about their experiences traveling abroad while stationed in places around the world such as in Australia, Hawaii, Iraq, Japan, and Thailand and talked about the personal growth that they experienced while serving in the military. 

Armando Trujillo discussed the challenges veterans may have due to concerns with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and adjusting to the transition of civilian and college.

California Economic Summit

It was great seeing Van Ton-Quinlivan and Dr. Omid Pourzanjani at the 2019 California Economic Summit in Fresno! 

Sonya Christian, Van Ton Quinlivan, Omid Pourzabjani
Abstract and Nature Photos

Web Content Editor Earl Parsons shared some nature photos he took around campus during the summer and early fall, as well as some abstract photos that he took during various events. For instance, during the most recent Opening Day, he took some photos of speakers through the black gauze that hung over the monitors.  Great photos, Earl!

Renegade Wrestling Claims the 2019 SCWA Title

Coach Brett Clark and his Renegade Wrestling team claimed their third conference title of the last four years this last week at the Southern California Wrestling Alliance Conference Tournament held at our Gil Bishop Sports Center. Taking first in their individual weight classes for the Renegades were Alexis Becerra at 141 lbs., Scott Hokit at 174 lbs., Jordan Annis at 184 lbs., and Ricardo Gonzalez at 197 lbs. Coach Clark and Co-Head Coach Marcos Austin were named SCWA Coaches of the Year. Assistant coaches Joe Espejo, Ryan Meloche and Jessie Urbie were named SCWA Assistant Coaches of the year. Becerra was named the Outstanding Lower Weight Wrestler of the Tournament. Congrats, Brett and team!

Kern Schools Federal Credit Union Renegades of the Week

Ryan Bayne, Volleyball

In two matches last week that clinched the fourth consecutive Western State Conference (WSC) championship for Renegade Volleyball, Ryan totaled 10 kills, 0 errors and 19 attempts for a .526% hitting percentage.

Alexis Becerra, Wrestling

Alexis was the 141. lb champion at last Saturday’s SCWA Tournament in helping the team their third conference championship in the last four years. Alexis was also named the ‘Outstanding Lower Weight Wrestler’ of the tournament.

Student Athlete Spotlight: Keithen Estrada, Wrestling

Enjoy this week’s Renegade Student Athlete Spotlight video on sophomore Keithen Estrada from our Renegade Wrestling team. Keithen took 7th at last years state finals and is looking to top that performance this year. The Wrestling team just won the conference title and is looking to add a state title this year as well. The video was shot and edited by BC digital media student Manny Robinson. Great work, Manny!

Tina Cummings Swim Class

Our very own Tina Cummings celebrated her 55th birthday by swimming 55 x 50 yard laps. Her beginning swim class joined in on the fun and swam 55 x 25 yard laps to celebrate with her. In her own words, “They didn’t think they could do it when they started, but I knew they could. They were awesome! They went from not being able to swim a lap, to swimming 55 of them in a row.” Way to push our students and Happy Birthday, Tina!

Renegade Athletics updates from this past week

Athletic events ‘On the Hill’ this coming week

Be sure to put on your Renegade Red and cheer on our student athletes as they compete this coming week. If you can’t make it in person, check GoGades.com to catch the livestream. Events include:

  • 11/22 at 4pm – Men’s Basketball vs. Cuesta
  • 11/23 at 3pm – Men’s Basketball vs. Napa Valley


That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

sonya-
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

BC celebrates our Veterans

A message from Paul Beckworth

Paul Beckworth at VRC

On behalf of all the student-veterans, Thank you.     While we veterans are honored every November 11th, I want to take this opportunity to honor you.

Lisa Kent, Paul Beckworth, Olivia Garcia, and Armando Trujillo
Lisa Kent, Paul Beckworth, Olivia Garcia, and Armando Trujillo

Faculty, I honor you.  Your emails and phone calls to me due to grave concerns about veterans in your class, fearful for their safety, show your humanity.  You have taken their PTSD, and/or TBI into account when you felt it necessary or appropriate.  Your patience with them, your listening ears, are lifesavers, figuratively and literally. 

Classified staff, I honor you.  Your willingness to jump in and help never wanes.  You are always so helpful, knowing that when we ask for something, it is to assist a veteran.  You are professional when veterans are upset and act out in Financial Aid, or A&R or you name it.  You cut through red tape like a hot knife through butter. As far as I am concerned there need not be any contract negotiation because you have earned all that you are asking for, and more, period.

Administration, I honor you.  Your concern for all students is fundamental to your leadership. Your passion for the success of our veterans is second to none.  Other veteran service departments are literally jealous over the support we get from our administration.  I can text Sonya and get a response rather quickly. Others schools cannot fathom that my president gave me her cell phone number in the first place.  It is all because our administrators care, not just through words but actions.

There could be no veteran student success, no veteran completion, without people like you all. So, on this Veterans Day, on behalf of our student-veterans, I thank you for your service to our veterans.

Happy Veterans Day!

https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/veterans/student-deployment-spotlight

https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/veterans-resource-center

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uSMlIM9zLio (you’ll need tissues)

(Special thoughts and prayers to History Professor Olivia Garcia as her Marine son ships off to Okinawa today)

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, November 9, 2019… A great day to be a Renegade.

A garden of American flags in the grass.

Veterans Breakfast 

L-R: Zav Dadhaboy, Mike Giacomini, Karen Goh, Tom Burke, Kay Meek, Billie Jo Rice, Sonya Christian, Paul Beckworth, Cinthia Zimmer, Armando Trujillo

Bakersfield College kicked off Vet Month on Monday, November 4th, with an invitation-only delicious breakfast by the culinary arts students in the Renegade Room. Several local dignitaries attended the annual Veterans’ Breakfast event to learn more about BC’s comprehensive plan to meet the education needs of Kern County’s brave men and women who have served our country in the military. Assemblyman Vince Fong, Mayor Karen Goh, and District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer and others were joined by KCCD Chancellor Tom Burke and Trustees Kay Meek, Romeo Agbalog, and Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg.

Paul Beckworth and Tamara Baker shared the latest details about the Vernon Valenzuela Veterans Resource Center, a one-stop shop for our veterans and dependents as they strive to achieve their educational goals, which will be unveiled to the public at a ribbon cutting ceremony on December 10. This will be the first capital project of Measure J to be completed.  

Tamara Baker and Paul Beckworth
Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Armando Trujillo, Bilie Jo Rice, Sonya Christian, Tom Burke

Keynote speaker Abel Guzman also explained how the Rural Initiatives and Adult Education teams are working to remove the barriers that can keep veterans from translating their military experience into successful civilian careers. See his presentation.

Abel Guzman
Zav Dadabhoy, Kay Meek, Vince Fong, Earl Parsons

Trustee Kay Meek, Trustee Romeo Agbalog, and Mayor Karen Goh addressed the group.

Thank you to Paul Beckworth, Armando Trujillo, Bernadette Martinez and everyone in the Veteran Services team for organizing this lunch, to BC Culinary Arts for providing a lovely meal, and to all of the dignitaries that took time out of their busy schedules to learn how BC is supporting veterans in the classroom. Thank you Mayor Karen Goh for some of the great photos.

Trustee Romeo Agbolog, Armando Trujillo and me.

Vet Fest 2019

4 uniformed men with the CA and US flags.
Kern County Sheriff Color Guard

The VetFest celebration is an annual tradition at BC to recognize the contributions of those who have bravely served our country. Wednesday’s event in the CSS lawn is part of a whole month of programming that we’ve developed to honor our local veterans, culminating with the unveiling of the Vernon Valenzuela Veterans Resource Center next month.

Veteran and BC faculty member Tommy Tunson started the presentation by asking all of the veterans in the audience to come to the front and have their service celebrated. It was a great chance to see all of our faculty and student veterans in one place.

VetFest featured a resource fair, free food, vendors, and a DJ on the CSS lawn. The keynote speaker for Wednesday morning was Jenny Frank, a former marine who encouraged our student veterans to utilize all of the opportunities they’ve been given. Assemblyman Vince Fong also spoke about the history of Veterans’ Day.

And then there was Danny Morrison….one of my all time favorites…. Danny Morrison kept the celebration going all day.  I loved the videos of Danny leading the Cupid Shuffle! 

Although Danny Morrison was at the event as a DJ with 103.9 The BEAT where he focuses on elevating stories about local community programs that make Bakersfield a better place, BC’s partnership with Danny dates back long before his time with the radio station.  Danny has been a vocal advocate for our students – particularly those most vulnerable – and is always just a text away when we need him.  In my seven years as president, I have called on Danny many times and he has shown up without question.  From his tireless advocacy on Measure J to speaking out about the value of Inmate Education, Danny operates from an ethic of care for our students.

Danny understands that education transforms communities, and never misses an opportunity to highlight valuable programs on his show and on social media. Be sure to catch The Pulse with Danny Morrison Sundays from 8am-12pm, and The B-Town Mixdown on Saturdays from 6pm-midnight to catch information about Early College, student and academic supports, BC’s guided pathways work, and more.

I would like to thank all of our veterans for their bravery and sacrifice, as well as BC Veterans Services for putting together another great VetFest.

Vince holding a Veterans Club t-shirt.
Veterans club presented a club T to Assemblymember Fong

We started Vet Fest in 2013, the year I started as a new president. Here is a walk down memory lane.

2018 Vet Fest blog, BC Loves our Vets: https://sonyachristianblog.com/2018/11/10/bc-loves-our-vets/

2017 Vet Fest blog, Celebrating our Veterans all week long: https://sonyachristianblog.com/2017/11/11/celebrating-veterans-all-week-long/

2016 Vet Fest, Thank you Kern County: https://sonyachristianblog.com/2016/11/12/thank-you-kern-county/

2015 Vet Fest blog, Remembering America’s Best: https://sonyachristianblog.com/2015/11/11/veterans-day-vet-fest-and-remembering-americas-best/

2014 Vet Fest blog, 2nd annual vet fest: https://sonyachristianblog.com/2014/11/11/student-veterans-and-bcs-2nd-annual-vet-fest/

2013 Memorial Day blog, Our student veterans: https://sonyachristianblog.com/2013/06/05/out-student-veterans/

There are more photos in our Smugmug photo gallery:

When will you get a chance to hear from Lande Ajose, Senior Policy Advisor to Higher Ed for Governor Newsom; Eloy Oakley, Chancellor for CA Community Colleges; Tony Thurmond, State Superintended. Register today for the November 15th symposium here in Bakersfield.

https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/conference/intersegmental-pathways-symposium

Radiologic Technology Program 50 Years Celebration

Jaycee Hill, Carla Gard and Nancy Perkins

Jacelyn Hill, Director of Radiologic Technology here at BC, spoke eloquently at the Radiologic Technology Program Celebration of 50 years at BC on Thursday, November 7, 2019. She spoke of the National Rad Tech Week, discovery of the technology that changed health care, the history of the program at Bakersfield College, and the people who made it happen.

Holding the proclamation.
Vice Mayor Chris Parlier and Jaycee Hill

November 3-9 is National Radiologic Technology Week™ in which medical radiology technologists are celebrated for their role in health care.This week celebrates the detection or x-rays by Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen on November 8 1895. Vice Mayor Chris Parlier was in attendance for Mayor Karen Goh to read the official proclamation declaring:

Proclamation from Karen Goh.

“November 3-9, 2019 as ‘Radiologic Technology Week’ in our city, and urge all citizens to recognize this event in our community, celebrating 50 years of educational excellence in Radiologic Technology at Bakersfield College.”

In addition, the BC Foundation and the BC Rad Tech program honored former Program Director Nancy Perkins with a bench for her great work of over 39 years of improving the program and the establishment of the Nancy Perkins Scholarship.

The history of the Rad Tech program at BC began in 1958 at Mercy Hospital under Ferris Boyce with a certificate program and on-the-job training. Mrs. Ferris worked with Bakersfield College administration and faculty, including John Ackland and George Lawrence, to move the program to BC so that students could earn an associate degree. In 1969 the classes were taught at Kern General. The X-Ray program moved to the Panorama campus in August 1979, when Nancy Perkins, at a mere 23 years old began at BC. She started in the very room where the ceremony was held and continued improving the program until her recent retirement. You can read all about this important history in the Fall 2018 Archives Newsletter.

Program students and faculty gathered around the bench.

Yessenia Diaz, a proud Rad Tech student told the attendees she was happy to be a part of this program as it will allow her to help people. She said “the program is worth the effort and very rewarding.” 

Speaking to room.
Yessenia Diaz

Our graduates work all over Kern County and beyond. Nancy estimates that at least 85% of Radiologic Technologists in our area are BC Graduates. Our Rad Tech Graduates have 100 percent job placement. They continually exceed Board expectations, and win awards even in competition with 4-year universities programs.

Thank you Vice Mayor Parlier for taking the time to participate, thank you Mayor Goh for the proclamation, and Jacelyn Hill, Carla Gard, and Nancy Perkins for all of your hard work on our Rad Tech program.

Distinguished Speaker Jason Beardsley

Beardsley at the podium.

On Thursday, November 7th, former Master Sergeant, Jason Beardsley, presented his “An Apotheosis of America” as part of the Distinguished Speakers Series in the Levan Center. He discussed the importance of recognizing the everyday challenges and influences that hinder our growth for success and overcoming them in order to achieve our goals. 

Beardsley used the challenges and issues in his life to demonstrate the importance of recognizing and overcoming obstacles in order to reach our goals. We decide whether we succumb to the pressures of society preventing us from achieving our goals, or whether we overcome the challenges to further our goals. He pointed out the importance of understanding yourself in order to identify your ideals and goals. What are the goals that will shape who you are and determine your achievements? 

Thank you Jason Beardsley, for your inspiring words. I would also like to thank Reggie Williams of the Levan Center, Paul Beckworth and Veterans Services, and Nicky Damania and the Office of Student Life for bringing this speaker as part of the Distinguished Speaker Series.

HBCU Caravan Comes to Bakersfield College

The Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) Transfer Caravan stopped by BC on Monday, November 4th, during their tour of California.  There were 19 HBCUs on-hand working with our students and students from our local community to talk about the transfer opportunities outside the State and the guaranteed admission for California Community College students to the HBCUs.  Students who complete an AA-T or an AS-T with a 2.5 GPA are guaranteed admission to the HBCU partner colleges. Representatives also provided students with information about scholarships available to students showing that it is possible to afford a baccalaureate degree.  

This event was made possible by the joint collaboration between the Office of Outreach and School Relations, the Transfer Center, African-American Success Through Excellence and Persistence (ASTEP), Umoja, and the Office of Student Success and Equity.

BC Umoja students gain motivation at the Umoja state-wide conference

 The Umoja Community state-wide conference in Oakland was motivating, eye-opening, and engaging for BC’s Umoja students. The annual event, held each fall, exposes students to ideas and people that they otherwise might never would have had the opportunity to. 

Student with Paula in front of the Umoja sign.

One of our students Zions stated: “My experience at the Umoja Conference was one of the greatest events I’ve been a part of. . . Before the conference, I felt mentally asleep, but now I feel woke and motivated to reach my full potential.”

BC’s Umoja Community African-American Success Through Excellence and Persistence is in its fifth year.

Group of students and representatives at a table.

The conference was so effective in part due to powerful keynote speakers, such as activist Bree Newsome Bass and Professor/Author/Speaker Dr. Marc Lamont Hill. Workshops included topics such as Student Leadership, Learn Math Through Hip Hop, and Pursuing a Career in STEM. 

Students at a table in front of a large full room.

The speakers “really inspired me to do better and influence others to follow the same path,” said Tyler.

BC Students with Paula in front of the Umoja Conference sign.

Lauren echoed his thoughts: “I was moved to tears throughout both speeches. I feel pushed to strive for greatness.”

speaker at the conference.

The warm, loving environment was another aspect that students described as never having experienced on such a large scale.

Students holding lots of information pamphlets.

Said Tahnjanique: “I’ve never been around that much positive black energy. It made me feel comfortable, loved, and empowered.”

Students speaking to a rep from Bowie.

All of the 70 Umoja programs around the state have the same foundation – the Umoja practices.  Love is at the center of everything Umoja does at the state-wide level and on BC’s campus. Students respond to the love, high expectations, and culturally relevant curriculum — and succeed!

Students with rep holding a CSUB B.

BC Students Tour Measure J Construction

Earlier this week, Professor Kenneth Jones Intro to Construction class visited our Measure J construction site to experience it directly.  AECOM/Parsons project manager Jared Cascadden spoke to students about what goes into building a facility, as they were able to get a first-hand look at the new Vernon Valenzuela Veterans Resource Center. Thank you to AECOM/Parsons and S.C. Anderson for hosting our students and showing them how much work goes into these projects.

Child Development Center: A Phenomenal Evaluation

On November 5th, a team of consultants from the California Department of Education Early Learning and Care Division arrived at Bakersfield College to evaluate our Child Development Center. In KCCD, the child development centers at Bakersfield College, Cerro Coso College, and Porterville College are evaluated as a single agency. On the first day of the evaluation, the consultants were greeted by John Means, Vice Chancellor of Education Services, Jessica Krall, the Program Manager of the Cerro Coso Community College Child Development Centers, Karen Ball, the Program Manager of Porterville College Child Development Center, and Bakersfield College’s Vice President of Instruction Billie Jo Rice and Dean Jessica Wojtysiak

Panel members and BC administrators.

The state evaluates Child Development Centers every three years. During their visit, the evaluators reviewed enrollment and financial files from all three colleges and conducted classroom observations at the Bakersfield College and Porterville College Centers, scoring them in categories such as Space and Furnishings, Personal Care Routines, Language and Reasoning, Activities, Interactions, and Program Structures.

Administrators and visiting panel.

While the evaluators were originally scheduled to stay for four days, we were informed that they were ready to share their findings on Thursday, ahead of schedule. In the exit meeting, lead Child Development Consultant Roseanne Pitz, called the final report “phenomenal.” The report noted no negative findings, and the Child Development Centers received three perfect scores on the Infant-Toddler Environment Rating (ITERS) Scale in Listening and Talking, Interactions, and Program Structure and two perfect scores on the Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale (ECERS-R) in Interactions and Program Structure.  The Bakersfield College Child Development Center provides quality childcare for the children of Bakersfield College students, and we are delighted that the hard work of our center’s employees was recognized by the state’s team.

Faculty Art Exhibition

The Bakersfield College Art Department is hosting the 2019 BC Art Faculty Exhibition from October 24 to November 27 at the Wylie and May Louise Jones Gallery, which showcases the artistic work of our incredibly talented BC Art Faculty. The Art Faculty Exhibition presents a variety of artistic mediums, including drawings, paintings, sculptures, photography, video, and digital media. 

BC Art Professor, Jamee Eaton, presents her works “Loss & Remembrance I, II, & III.”  These three pieces depict an overlap of layers signifying our journeys that intertwine and connect together as a whole in space and time.

Abstract painting of an artist.

BC Art Professor, Diego Gutierrez Monterrubio, presents his work “El Triste Pintor,” which translates to “The Sad Painter.”  This piece of art depicts the misunderstood realm of imagination and his dedication to the world of art as an artist.

BC Art Professor, Yvonne Cavanagh, presents her work “Perceptible,” depicting the expression of the moment one’s life changes from unforeseen circumstances to finding the hope and ability to embrace the unknown.

Perceptible by Cavanagh.

Here are a few more to entice you to the exhibit before the 27th.

If you can’t get to the Exhibit, you can view some pictures of the wonderful artwork.

Thank you to the BC Art Department for hosting the Art Faculty Exhibition. This awe-inspiring artwork will surely inspire our future BC artists and community.

Gandhi’s Legacy Speech

Large crowd behind the Bakersfield College Delano Campus sign.

The first weekend in November the BC Department of Communication coordinated with Gandhi Celebration Committee, CHAP, Rural Initiatives and Student Affairs to host a series of Speech and Debate events that discussed the legacy of Gandhi. The event organizers Chris Cruz-Boone and John Geirtz created these events to give all students an opportunity to practice and apply methods and skills studied in courses, such as public speaking, persuasion, small group, intercultural communication & argumentation. The department has aimed to embody the “We Are BC” mantra and it is notable that competitors for the two events included students from: Kern Valley State Prison, Early College Arvin, Early College Valley Oaks/Homeschool, Job Spot, BC Delano, BC Southwest and BC Panorama. 

Kern Valley Prison Lincoln Douglas Debate Tournament  
7 participants lined up in front of the crowd.

On Friday, the first day of November, men at Kern Valley State Prison took part in a Lincoln Douglas debate tournament.  The event was held in yard B, the same yard that in August of 2019 graduated 17 students with Associate of Arts in Communication.  The event was spearheaded by the student Debate Club at Kern Valley and supported by both yard staff and faculty advisor John Giertz. The tournament champion was honored with a first-place certificate to mark his achievement.

Gandhi Legacy Speech Tournament  

Walking through the applauding crowd.
Chris Cruz-Boone

The following day, the BC Gandhi Legacy Speech Tournament awarded cash prizes of $500 to top speakers in each event category. On Saturday November 2nd, more than one-hundred people including students, their families, faculty and volunteers participated in speech tournament held at the BC Delano campus. The event coordinators provided free transportation for 46 Bakersfield College students to the event. The winners for the Speech Tournament included:  

 Awards for Persuasive Research Speeches About Gandhi’s Legacy   
  • 1st Place – Karen Fuentes (BC Panorama) 
  • 2nd Place – Karolina Kuntz (BC Panorama) 
  • 3rd Place- Abi Kyles (Early College Homeschool) 
3 students accept their awards from Helen.
 Awards for Informative Research Speeches About Gandhi’s Legacy    
  • 1st Place- Cristian Ocampo (BC Panorama) 
  • 2nd Place- Mike Aldano (BC Panorama) 
  • 3rd Place- Marisabel Perez (Arvin High School Early College) 
4 participants applaud Helen.
Awards for Impromptu/ Spontaneous Speeches about Gandhi  
  • 1st Place – Julio Moreno (BC Panorama) 
  • 2nd Place- Eduarda Angeles (Arvin High School Early College) 
  • 3rd Place – Anastasia Bryand (Early College Homeschool) 

“People should take the opportunity to come to these events because it helps you get a broader view on how to speak.” – BC student

 PEN America

Courtesy of PEN America

The non-profit organization PEN America awarded BC adjunct professor Jerry Mathes with a Writing for Justice Fellowship to work on his novel In Strange Company. Mathes will be working with editor Kerri Arsenault of the National Book Critics Circle to develop In Strange Company, which tells the story of a young man who rises above incarceration, mental illness and addiction to find humanity through music.

PEN International is a worldwide organization that aims to defend and celebrate free expression through the advancement of literature and human rights. Some famous past and present members of PEN America include Maya Angelou, Arthur Miller, Norman Mailer, Phillip Roth, Salman Rushdie, John Steinbeck, and Toni Morrison. The organization also advocates for press freedom and the safety of journalists and campus free speech.

The Writing for Justice Fellowship is in its second year, and the fellows for 2019-20 were invited to New York City on November 1 to hear the 2018-19 winners read from their published works. It is a profound honor to have one of BC’s own adjunct faculty selected for this award.

In Memory of Peggy Haight

Margaret Haight as a young woman in BW photo.

Another memorial bench was placed on campus this week for Peggy Haight. Margaret “Peggy” Haight, one of Bakersfield College’s most generous donors, passed away a year ago on October 21, 2018.  On the anniversary of her passing, a bench in her memory was unveiled outside the Administration Building.  

The wording on the memorial plaque reads:

Close up of plaque.

In loving memory of

Margaret “Peggy” Haight

1924 to 2018

A nearby neighbor of modest demeanor, Peggy attended classes and campus events.  She donated more than $1.25 million to the Bakersfield College Foundation because she loved Bakersfield College and its students.

Peggy was smart, light-hearted and epitomized true generosity.

While Peggy always kept a low profile and never wanted recognition for her contributions, she is perhaps best known by a select group of faculty and staff as the elderly woman who walked across campus to the BC Foundation office from her near-by co-op, carrying over $100,000 in cash in a couple of grocery bags.  The world needs more Peggy Haights. 

Metal bench with pebbled sides and BC emblems.

Fun Photos

Construction

Corny Rodriguez snapped these of the construction on campus this week.

BC students in the workplace
Selfie.

Sheila Fuller sent this to me: I had an x-ray done at San Joaquin Hospital and had the pleasure of a BC RAD Tech Student learning how to take x-rays.  Then, on October 2, 2019 I was hanging out at Memorial hospital. My daughter had a baby girl who had some problems and had to stay in the NIC unit. My granddaughter is doing great and at home with her older brother, Mom and Dad.  While wandering around the hospital I ran into our Nursing students and they were all happy to take pictures with me. 

Students in red scrubs pose.

Athletics Updates

Renegade Volleyball Claims Fourth Consecutive Conference Championship

A huge congrats goes out to Coach Carl Ferreira and his 2019 squad for claiming their fourth consecutive outright Western State Conference championship after beating West LA at home this last Wednesday, 3-0. The team has a perfect home record of 10-0 this season with a total of 16 sweeps with one regular season game remaining on their schedule. This is a phenomenal accomplishment Coach Carl! 

Renegades of the Week

Renegade Athletics is proud to announce this week’s (10/27-11/2) Kern Schools Federal Credit Union Renegades of the Week:

Bandon Dunn and Emily Clark.

Emily Clark, Volleyball – Emily totaled 18 kills, 0 errors and 37 attempts in helping the team to sweeps over Santa Monica, Glendale and Citrus last week.

Brandon Dunn, Football – Brandon grabbed two interceptions, his first as a Renegade in last week’s game at East LA.

Renegade Report: Women’s Soccer and Women’s Golf

Watch both of this week’s edition of the Renegade Report on the Bakersfield College Athletics Facebook page featuring our Renegade Women’s Soccer and Women’s Golf teams. Head Coaches Scott Dameron and Wes Coble sat down with host Kenny Calvin to discuss their seasons 

 Women’s Soccer Segment:

Women’s Golf Segment

Renegade Athletics updates from this past week:

Athletic events ‘On the Hill’ this coming week

Be sure to put on your Renegade Red and cheer on our student athletes as they compete this coming week. If you can’t make it in person, check GoGades.com to catch the livestream. Events include:

  • Tue. 11/12 – Men’s Soccer vs. Citrus, 3pm
  • Thur. 11/14 – Wrestling vs. Fresno City, 7pm
  • Sat. 11/16 Football vs. Canyons, 6pm


That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

sonya-
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

November is Here!

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, November 2, 2019… A great day to be a Renegade.

First Responders Day

America honored the brave men and women on the frontlines of catastrophe on Monday during the first annual National First Responders Day. This summer, the US Senate approved a bipartisan resolution establishing October 28 as a day to honor the 4.6 million first responders who keep us safe every day.

BC’s programs range from our EMT and paramedic programs to our fire science and police academies.

Our EMT students spend 350 hours training in the Hall EMT Academy, developed in partnership with Hall Ambulance. The program is now in its 18th year. Hall Ambulance founder and former Bakersfield mayor Harvey Hall was the program’s fiercest champion.

Our registered nursing program is the 6th oldest in the state of California, launching in 1951 through a partnership with Kern General Hospital (now Kern Medical Center). BC’s first cohort of graduating nurses received certification in 1952, and the program has continued changing people’s lives ever since.

Industry partnerships have been crucial to the development of first responder training programs at BC. Our BC Fire Science program launched in 1956 through the joint efforts of the Bakersfield Fire Department and our vocational career leadership. Students learn a special curriculum designed for Bakersfield city firefighters that mixes academic courses with on-the-job training, incorporating all motorized fire equipment used in emergency situations.

Fire tech student learning to carry a person down a fire ladder
A Fire Tech student learning to carry a person down a fire ladder in 1975.

In another example of joint partnerships benefiting our students and community, our police academy consists of both Bakersfield Police Department staff working together with BC Public Safety Training staff.

Let’s take a moment to recognize those who have chosen the difficult but meaningful career path to be a first responder. Every day, we have first responders to be thankful for, as we are reminded now in the midst of the wildfires blanketing the state.  Whether first responders are assisting a neighbor or rallying together to address larger statewide needs, the quality of our lives is only possible thanks to their care and sacrifice.

ACBO 2019 Conference: Supporting Equity and Inclusion with Early College

This past week, Vice President Mike Giacomini, Senator Emeritus Jean Fuller and Early College Manager Kylie Swanson attended the Association of Chief Business Officials (ACBO) Fall 2019 conference in San Diego. Our team presented on our Early College initiative, and attended sessions related to business operations and incorporating equity into every aspect of our institutions.

The team’s presentation framed Early College as a “sound strategy” for both student success and fiscal sustainability.

My thanks to our team for representing BC at the Fall 2019 ACBO Conference.

BC’s Disability Awareness Day

The last day of October was also BC’s Disability Awareness Day, a day to shine a light on disability awareness by celebrating special programs and services, such as tutoring, accommodation, and job placement, that help students with disabilities.

Dr. Terri Goldstein, Director of Disabled Student Programs & Services (DSPS) presented awards to some of our outstanding departments, faculty, staff, and students who work with students with disabilities.

Participants had the opportunity to learn about the game of Goalball. This paralympic sport for athletes with vision impairment is designed around senses of hearing and touch. William Slason explained the rules of the game to those in attendance. Basically, Goalball is a 3-on-3 sport played with a ball that has bells inside. Similar to soccer, the object of the game is to roll the ball over the opponent’s goal line.

Thanks to our exhibitors for sharing valuable information with BC students, and to William Slason for teaching everyone how to play Goalball!

BC Choir and Chamber Singers

Last Friday, October 25, the BC Choir and Chamber Singers gave an amazing performance in creative collaboration with the Synergy String Quartet, a professional Bakersfield ensemble. Jennifer Garrett this was yet another amazing concert!  Check out the videos below to catch a glimpse of the talent that was on display that night. 

BC Jazz Combos Concert

On Thursday, October 30, the BC Jazz Studies program hosted the 2nd annual BC Jazz Combos concert in the Indoor Theatre.  The BC Monday, Wednesday, and Applied Jazz Combos were featured, along with a special guest performance by the jazz band Ralph Alessi and This Against That.

The Monday and Wednesday Jazz Combos performed an arrangement of songs from Miles Davis’ “Milestones”, Lee Morgan’s “The Sidewinder”, Charles Mingus’ “Nostalgia in Times Square”, and Nina Simone’s “Feeling Good”. The Applied Jazz Combo performed original songs by students from Izzy Foster’s “Hmm, What’d You Say” and Abigail Wilson’s “Jet Lag,” which showcased students’ creative musical talents.

I love Nina Simone…. Here is the piece Feeling Good performed at the concert.

and here is my favorite Nina Simone song….. Sinnerman

The night featured the world-class jazz band Ralph Alessi and This Against That, who performed their original songs “Iram Issela” and “Fun Room” from their recently released 2019 hit record “Imaginary Friend.”  Ralph Alessi noted that the title of their song “Iram Issela” is actually his daughter’s name spelled backwards. Thank you Kris Tiner for bringing to us this amazing concert.

Thank you to the BC Jazz Studies program, Wednesday, Monday, and Applied Jazz Combos, and Ralph Alessi and This Against That for their incredible and inspiring musical performances.

BC Hosts Undocumented Student Week of Action Activities

During the week of October 14-18, 2019, a collaborative week of events was organized across the AB 540 Program, EOPS, Rural Initiatives team, Student Life, BC Foundation, SGA, LUPE Student Club, and Project Conexiones. Community organizations provided support and services, including UFW Foundation and Youth 2 Leaders. The planning committee included Dr. Anna Laven (AB 540 Program Manager), Jaime Lopez (Rural Initiatives Program Manager), Benjamin Balderrama (Student Life Program Manager), Manuel Rosas (EOPS Counselor and LUPE Advisor), Marivel Servin (Catalyst Fellow and BC Graduate), and Christopher Hernandez (SGA Director of Student Activities).

Anna Laven, Imelda Valdez
Rafael Centeno, Educational Advisor, explains about the AB 540 Program to Open House attendees.
Left to right: Manuel Rosas, Elizabeth Rodacker, Dr. Anna Laven, Rafael Centeno, and Isabel Castaneda

Attendees were asked to use a pin to show where their journey began.  Pins were placed across the world, ranging from Southern California, Central America to as far as Pakistan and the Philippines.

Serving the largest population of undocumented students in the state, California Community Colleges are committed to serving ALL students, regardless of immigration status. Undocumented Student Week is a systemwide campaign to advocate and provide support resources for our undocumented student population.

Launching the week-long series of events was the AB 540 Program Open House, housed within the EOPs umbrella. Students and faculty stopped by…thank you Elizabeth Rodacker for bringing your class.

The Bakersfield College AB540 Program provides a comprehensive program of services for students who are eligible under the AB540 out-of-state tuition exemption. The goal of the program is to help eligible students meet their educational objectives, whether they seek occupational certificates, associate degrees, or transfer to four-year institutions.

Signed into law in October 2001, California Assembly Bill 540 (AB 540) is a bill that provides an exemption to the requirement to pay nonresident tuition.  California Community College students who are granted an AB 540 exemption will be charged in-state tuition and fees, and not the supplemental tuition charged to nonresidents.

The AB 540 team (Dr. Anna Laven, Rafael Centeno, student Catalyst Fellows, Marivel Servin, Maria Jaimes, and Imelda Simos-Valdez) provided an informational table and materials at the GBLA-sponsored Immigrant Civil Rights Conference, hosted at Hodel’s, Those in attendance gained helpful information about the asylum process and importance of the census, and heard as well from BC student, Jose Bello, and other notable speakers including Supervisor David Couch and Bakersfield Police Chief Lyle Martin.

The Delano Campus also hosted a number of events including an activity called “Painting the Symbolic Butterfly: What does it mean to you?,” which included a fun and symbolic opportunity to paint butterflies.  The monarch butterfly is commonly used as a symbol to recognize the globalization and movement of people.

The movie by CSUB graduate Maria Rodriguez Ornelas, entitled “5 Decades Later: The Aftermath of the Grape Strike,” was viewed by aproximately 20 students, followed by a panel discussion led by student Catalyst Fellows, Marivel Servin, panelists, Oscar Camacho, Yesenia Garcia (BC students), and Professor Bianca Moreno (Communications).

Dr. Anna Laven introduces the filmmaker and discusses the importance of recognizing the Undocumented Student Week of Action.

More than 60 students, faculty, staff, and community members attended the sugar skulls activity hosted by the LUPE student organization and headed by their Faculty Advisor, Manuel Rosas.  The two dozen butterfly images produced during the “My Immigrant Story” held earlier in the week were showcased at the sugar skulls workshop.

Dr. Anna Laven poses with LUPE student club leadership.

Learn more about the AB 540 Program at Bakersfield College.

Larry Itliong Day

Local middle school students in Delano got the opportunity to learn about the rich history of labor and civil rights activism in their community during the celebrations for Larry Itliong Day on BC’s Delano Campus last week.

In 2015, Assemblyman Rob Bonta introduced a bill officially declaring October 25 as “Larry Itliong Day” to honor the contributions of Filipino-Americans in the farm labor movement of the 1960s. While thousands of pages have been written about the work of Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta, it was Larry Itliong and the Filipino laborers who initiated the famous Delano grape strike and boycott in 1965. When Chavez and the Mexican laborers agreed to join the Filipinos in their strike, the United Farm Workers organization was born, and it would take five years and a nationwide movement for workers to achieve a Collective Bargaining Agreement, the first for farm workers in American history.

BC’s programming for Larry Itliong Day was organized by Andrew Bond, Oliver Rosales, and the team for the “Energizing the Humanities in California’s San Joaquin Valley” grant provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities . The festivities started with an historic tour of Filipino History in Delano. Alex Edillor, President of the Filipino American National Historical Society, Delano Chapter, led BC faculty and staff through a number of historic landmarks from the Delano grape strike and boycott era.

The tour concluded at Agbayani Village, which was built by Itliong, Filipino activist Philip Vera Cruz, and the UFW in 1974 to house retiring Filipino laborers known as Manongs. The Manongs were able-bodied Filipino men who migrated to the US in the early 20th Century to work in the fields from Alaska to the Coachella Valley. Manongs were unable to marry or have children outside of their race due to anti-miscegenation laws, and an entire generation of these laborers grew old without families to support them, so Agbayani Village was created as a safe haven and retirement community for them. Once the last Manong passed away in 1997, Agbayani Village was converted into a national historic landmark. It’s also where Cesar Chavez participated in his last fast in 1988, a 36-day water-only hunger strike to draw attention to the dangers of pesticide use on farm workers and their families.

The BC team later reconvened at the Delano Campus to greet middle school students from the Delano Union School District. The NEH team screened the documentary “Delano Manongs” for students and answered any questions that students had about their community’s history. Delano resident Javier Cardena also shared his personal collection of photos, newspaper clippings, and memorabilia from the grape boycott with middle school students. His collection will be archived by the BC team as part of the Digital Delano project.

After lunch, the keynote speaker for the event, author Patty Enrado, talked about her book “A Village In The Fields”, which tells a fictionalized account of a Manong in Agbayani Village. The book was the culmination of 20 years of research on Agbayani Village and the Manongs, and it was shortlisted for the 2016 Saroyan Prize for Fiction.

I thank the National Endowment for the Humanities team for organizing this event, Abel Guzman for supporting the event at the Delano Campus, and the Delano Union School District for busing students out of class to participate in Larry Itliong Day, as well as the BC Education Department for providing additional funding.

High School Chamber Festival

Fall is musical season for local high schools. Before they start performing at other schools around the county, BC holds its annual High School Chamber Festival on Monday in the Indoor Theater.

Our award-winning BC Chamber Singers host this event every year so high school choirs can perform and get advice from professionals, such as this year’s guest Dr. Christopher Peterson, a professor and concert choir director at the University of Fullerton. Dr. Peterson gave constructive feedback on each high school’s performance, and also demonstrated different techniques and drills that local choirs could use for maximum performance.

The event also featured the first-ever performance of BC’s Men’s Chorus that had the audience on the edge of their seats.

Thanks to the BC Chamber Singers for organizing, as well as Dr. Peterson for helping so many students.

Cafe Murder

On Thursday, October 17, the Office of Student Life collaborated with the Theater Arts department to host a murder mystery dinner called Café Murder. Guests arrived to the Renegade Room at 5:30 p.m. to enjoy a Basque-themed dinner, but found themselves sharing the space with a birthday party. After some awkward encounters with the birthday guests, and the fact that everyone seemed to hate the birthday girl, they all left to use the restroom, and that is when the night turned upside-down. The birthday girl never returned and fingers were pointing at everyone in the room, especially since everyone mentioned how much they disliked the birthday girl. After some questioning from the audience, they were left to determine who was the murderer, and let’s just say, it’s in your best interest to tip and treat your waiter generously in the future.

This event was highly popular (it sold out within a day) and both offices look to collaborate in the future. This performance was made possible with the guidance of Professor Kimberly Chin.

Standout Interview and Resume Seminar

To help our students develop strong resumes and stand out in job interviews, BC held a workshop on Monday in the Levan Center.

The guest speaker for the workshop was Susanne Rego, Senior Manager of Human Resources for Target. Rego spoke about what she looks for personally from a resume and job interview. Business pathways counselor Jonathan Ward informed students about all the things they should watch out for during the semester, including the start of priority registration.

I thank all employees who helped with this event, from our business department to our job development specialists embedded within BC’s Learning and Career Pathways.

Pre-Rad Tech Orientation

BC’s Radiologic Technology Department held an orientation on Wednesday to inform students about how to apply and what to expect out of the Rad Tech curriculum at BC.

BC faculty and staff, including Jacelyn Hill, Venessa Reyes, Victoria Coffee, and Dinorah Castro, presented information regarding pre-requisites, scholarship and employment opportunities. Current students in the Rad Tech program held a panel discussion to answer students’ questions about learning habits, time management, and personal growth during the program.

The Radiologic Technology Program is a 2-year commitment that prepares students to pass licensure and eligibility for California’s Fluoroscopy Permit exam. Thank you to BC Rad Tech and Allied Health for preparing the Rad Techs of the future!

Chevron Employee Appreciation Day

Bakersfield College was invited by Chevron North America to participate in their Employee Appreciation Day at the Chevron Kern River Oilfield site on Thursday, October 31. This was an opportunity for approximately 1,000 Chevron employees to come together and enjoy a lovely lunch, play yard games, and have the chance to connect with local organizations.

Heather Pennella and Aubrey Priest

Heather Pennella, Alumni & Donor Relations Manager and Aubrey Priest, Program Manager-Industrial Automation, attended the event. Thank you to Gina Pettit of Chevron for including Bakersfield College in the celebration!

BC at the Vineyards

Our Bakersfield College Rural Initiatives Team took their outreach efforts on the road! Last week, the team visited vineyards throughout rural Kern County during the 2nd Annual BC at the Vineyards to promote the programs and services Bakersfield College has to offer throughout its various locations to more than 1,000 farmworkers. These visits to the vineyards were followed up with matriculation events at the Delano Campus and Arvin High School, where prospective renegades had the opportunity to complete their applications and meet with a counselor to determine their pathway options. 

These outreach efforts would not have been possible without the collaboration of the California Farmworkers Foundation and support from the Outreach and CTE Departments at Bakersfield College.

Huge shout out to our Rural Initiatives team, especially our Program Managers Jaime Lopez and Endee Grijalva for coordinating these efforts!

Foundation of California Community Colleges Provides Mobile Hotspots to 11 BC MESA Students

Through collaboration with the Chancellor’s Office and MESA (Math, Engineering, Science Achievement) program, and in partnership with ThinkEDU, the Foundation for California Community Colleges and California Connects Equity Program has provided 11 BC MESA students with free WiFi hotspots with 12 months of prepaid service. The California Connects Equity Program helps reduce barriers to learning by assisting MESA students who are currently enrolled in a California community college. Although many students are connected through a smartphone, they are considered “under connected” in that the consistency of their access is lower than they would like it to be.

Left to right: Annabelle Recino, Ramssess Patterson, and Peter Rodriguez

The requirements for participation are: (1) student is enrolled in the MESA program; (2) student is enrolled in a California community college; and (3) student is willing to receive and respond to periodic surveys measuring the efficacy of this program and online education for the community colleges.

Danielle Zepeda and Ian Spark

MESA students receiving the hotspot devices include Jesus Barrita, Mark Gutierrez, Jason Moore, Katie Ramirez, Annabelle Recinos, Peter Rodriguez, Rebecca Sinor, Ian Spark, Maria Valencia, Alejandra Zapata, and Danielle Zepeda.  At the conclusion of the 12 months of prepaid service, students will have the option to return the device or pay $19.99 per month for continued service.

As the Acting Program Director for MESA, Martin Perez has purchased a device (valued at $125.00) for his own use.  He is paying the $19.99 monthly service charge and will be disconnecting his internet from home.  Learn more about these hotspot devices.

Fun Photos

Fun Photos: Times Past

I received a wonderful email from Trustee Nan Gomez-Heizeberg about a trip we once took together.  We had traveled to Tehachapi to observe an adjunct faculty member teach a math class; I was the department chair at that time and Nan a dean.  Such great memories! Check out this magazine article from years ago regarding Nan’s many trips up and down Highway 99.

Students’ Halloween at BC

Web Content Editor Earl Parsons snapped these great photos of some Renegade students wearing their Halloween costumes.

Financial Aid Halloween

Heather Skibinski, Financial Aid Technician, sent over these great photos of Financial Aid staff in their Halloween costumes. Bob Ross, Slash, and a T-Rex? What’s not to love?

Physical Science Halloween

Chris Benker‘s authentic Indian garb!

Taken From Facebook: BC Staff Celebrate Halloween

Some of our BC staff posted photos on Facebook of how they celebrated Halloween. Check out these great photos!

Endee Grijalva and her daughter looked very spooky!
Monika Scott spent Halloween in Toronto with Buzz Lightyear.
At Basketball
Fun Video: Creative Design Center

Renegade video intern, Thanh Cao, from the Marketing and Public Relations Department, created a short video highlight reel using footage provided by Derrin Willis, Professor of Industrial Drawing. The short video will be featured on the BC website.  Great work, Thanh!

Fun Video: Health Fair

Renegade video intern, Thanh Cao, also created another short video highlight reel about the Health Careers Fair.  Great work (again), Thanh!

Kern Schools FCU Renegades of the Week (10/20-10/26)

Emily Lostetter, Women’s Soccer

Emily scored three goals in a 7-0 win over West LA, and two more goals in a 4-1 win over Glendale for a total of five on the week.

Jonathan Hunter, Wrestling

Jonathan placed 1st in the 165 lb. class at the Meat Head Movers Tournament on Saturday (10/26) beating both the #1 and #2 ranked wrestlers in the state to help the team to a 2nd place finish.

Student Athlete Spotlight

Anthony Ponce, Men’s Soccer

Enjoy this week’s Renegade Student Athlete Spotlight video on Anthony Ponce from our Renegade Men’s Soccer team. The video was shot and edited by BC digital media student Jacob Amado. Great work, Jacob!

Renegade Athletics Scoreboard

Athletics Events ‘On the Hill’

Be sure to put on your Renegade Red and cheer on our student athletes as they compete this coming week. If you can’t make it in person, check GoGades.com to catch the livestream. Events include:

  • Tue. 11/5 – Women’s Soccer vs West LA @ 3pm
  • Wed. 11/6 – Volleyball vs. West LA @ 6pm
  • Fri. 11/8 – Women’s Soccer vs. LA Valley @ 3pm
  • Sat. 11/9 – Wrestling hosts SEWA Tournament

That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

sonya-
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

The Energy that’s BC!

Berkeley Waterfront

Good morning from Berkeley, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, October 26, 2019… A great day to be a Renegade.

The tune that has been in my head this week… Imagine Dragons Believer

2019 Homecoming!

Last week was BC’s Homecoming week, and our Renegades played a hard-fought game!  Thank you for coming out and showing your Renegade pride. Here are some photos and videos from last week’s game.

The Energy that’s BC!

The 16-sec ending to the Chamber singers doing the National Anthem at the game.

Jennifer Garrett and the BC Choir singing the National Anthem
Sonya Christian, Steve Watkin, Catherine Rangal, Tonya Cordova
Mayor Goh, President Christian, Catherine Rangel and Mary Jo Pasek
Bill Potter with 17 rowdy kids!
BC Fireworks!

BC SouthWest Has Officially Moved! 

The move has happened!  We officially moved our classes to the new BC SouthWest campus, which will be held in modulars while construction for the new building is underway.  It was a busy and exciting week, but we are ecstatic to begin our journey at our new home in Southwest Bakersfield! Make sure to check out this great video on the new BC SouthWest center!

Leo Campo and Brynn Shock

BCSGA Power Lunch with Rudy Salas

We had the pleasure of hosting Assemblymember Rudy Salas this past week, who spoke with BC students in the Levan Center for another great BCSGA Power Lunch. BCSGA believes that it is important for students and the community to hear from the people that are representing them, so they invite an important government leader in Kern County to participate in the Power Lunch every month.

Assemblymember Rudy Salas at the BCSGA Power Luncheon

Assemblymember Salas talked about his childhood in southeast Bakersfield, as well as his career in politics, which started with being a financial analyst for the White House in Washington, DC. Assemblymember Salas would eventually move back to Bakersfield to become the first Latino to sit on our City Council before becoming Kern County’s representative on the California Assembly for the last seven years.

OSL serving lunch to attendees

Salas has also been instrumental in funding for career and technical education programs at BC, awarding $1 million to our campus for two consecutive years. Check out my July 20, 2019 blog of the recognition event https://sonyachristianblog.com/2019/07/20/recognition-gratitude-one-proud-renegade-prez/

Salas inspired our students with…. “If you have it in your heart to make a difference, you can do it.”

Assemblymember Salas, Mike Giacomini and Zav Dadabhoy

I would like to give a huge thank you to Assemblymember Rudy Salas. I would also like to thank BCSGA for putting on yet another great event.

Assemblymember Salas and BCSGA’s Legislative Affairs director Johnny Maddon

Dr. Paula Green: Peacebuilding in Divided Communities

Nicky Damania, Reggie Williams, Paula Green, Nick Strobel

Our BC Student Government Association and the Office of Student Life had the pleasure of hosting the Distinguished Speaker Dr. Paula Green and her presentation Peacebuilding in Divided Communities earlier this week. Dr. Green, founder of The Karuna Center for Peacebuilding, presented her work on the significance of peacebuilding efforts in communities worldwide with the purpose of resolving conflicts and the valuable impact of understanding one another’s different views. Dr. Green discussed the importance of reconciliation through our mutual understanding to communicate on the issues that divide communities and give rise to conflicting views making it necessary to discuss and understand our differing perspectives. 

Dr. Paula Green presenting in the Distinguished Speaker Series

The humanitarian efforts of the Karuna Center for Peacebuilding advocate for the importance of bridging divides in order to develop a sustainable peace in communities worldwide affected by political, civil, religious, and war conflicts. Dr. Green has recognized that we must learn to be deep listeners and to understand the circumstances of others around us in order to accept the differences of others and to reach a point of unity and peace. Thank you to the BC Student Government Association and the Office of Student Life for hosting this presentation, and a very special thank you to Dr. Green for taking the time to visit our campus and share her insight.  And thank you Nick Strobel!

Dr. Paula Green, Dr. Ximena Da Silva

BC Hosts Distinguished Speaker Samuel Sternberg

Our second Distinguished Speaker for this week was biochemist Samuel H. Sternberg, who shared in-depth details about the revolutionary gene-editing tool CRISPR in a series of lectures at the Panorama Campus on Thursday.

Dr. Sternberg

Dr. Sternberg is an assistant professor in biochemistry at Columbia University and co-author of the book “A Crack in Creation: The New Power to Control Evolution”. His research in this field has been instrumental in the development of new technologies to edit the DNA of practically any living organism, raising thousands of bioethical questions in the process.

CRISPR, which stands for Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats, is a phenomenon that was first observed in the bacteria E. coli as a way to fight off destructive bacterial viruses known as phages. A strand of RNA in the bacteria identifies where the phages are actively attempting to destroy its cellular structure and deploys an enzyme to “cut” the virus out of its DNA.

Benny Balderrama, Dr. Sternberg and Dr. Joe Saldivar

Thank you Dr. Sternberg for coming to BC, and thanks to everyone on the Office of Student Life team for making this happen. Our next Distinguished Speaker will be veteran Jason Beardsley, who will be giving three presentations in the Levan Center on November 7.

Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) Visits BC 

Earlier this week, BC hosted members of the Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) to evaluate our Baccalaureate program.  The visit was to assess the progress of the Industrial Automation Baccalaureate Degree Program as one of the 15 pilot programs chosen by the State Chancellor’s Office in collaboration with the Academic Senate against the purposes articulated in the SB 850 legislation.

Legislative Analyst Edgar Cabral, from the State Chancellor’s Office, met with our team (Jason Dixon, Lora Larkin, Thomas Rush, Roy Allard, Aubrey Priest, Amber Hroch, Michelle Pena, Liz Rozell, Jennifer Achan, Cynthia Quintanilla, & Manny Fernandez), our students (Richard Van Horn, Edwin Marroquin, Aaron Thomas, & Armando Gutierrez), and industry partners Blair Pruett (Kern Steel), Jonathan Greersen (California Resources Co.), Carlos Media (BC Job Development Specialist), Sam Gomez (Tasteful Selections), Tim McCord (Carboline), Paisley Stidham and Anthony Gutierrez (GAF) yesterday to discuss our Baccalaureate in Science degree for Industrial Automation.  Thank you to our dedicated team of faculty, staff, students, and employers who helped showcase our program and our community it serves. 

State and National Visibility for Early College

Our Early College team has been busy spreading the word about the amazing work being done in association with our high school partners. Steve Watkin, Kylie Swanson, and Ashlea Ward have been sharing the scaling up of Early College across the county and the innovative ways that we have been increasing college accessibility in our rural areas. 

Ashlea Ward and Kylie Swanson

In September, the team, along with several of our high school partners, went to Riverside, CA to present at the 6th Annual California Dual Enrollment Summit, put on by the California Coalition of Early and Middle Colleges (CCEMC). Then, in October, the team went to Salt Lake City, Utah to share our work at the national level with the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NACEP).

CCEMC Panel

As we build our relationships with other colleges across the state and across the nation, we are coming together to present Early College as a solution to the degree attainment crisis that is plaguing our nation. Early College is our chance to get students on path as early as the 9th grade, and to equip them with the skills and mindset necessary to follow that path all the way through baccalaureate completion, and beyond. 

Kylie Swanson, Steve Watkin and Ashlea Ward

Thank you for doing this crucial work, Early College team!

BC at the Kern County Education to Workforce Summit

Employers’ Training Resource, Kern Community College District and Kern High School District partnered with America’s Job Center to sponsor “Kern County Education to Workforce Summit”. The summit was held on October 24th, 2019 at the DoubleTree Hotel by Hilton.

Teresa Hitchcock and Norma Rojas-Mora

BC was in full force at this Summit, with businesses, education staff, community leaders, human resource professionals, students, and the general public, providing information on hot topics in business and their impact on today’s economy. 

Norma Rojas, Mayor Goh, Nateasha Johnson and Steve Watkin

BC Ag Departments Hosts 3rd Annual Agriculture Career Expo

The Ag Expo was huge!

This past week, the Agriculture Department and the Kern County Farm Bureau hosted its 3nd Annual Agriculture Career Expo.  Over 300 FFA high school students visited campus to learn about different career opportunities in the agriculture industry. Ariana Joven, Executive Director of the Kern County Farm Bureau spoke to students about the importance of agriculture in Kern County and BC’s drumline arrived to get the students excited about the day – thank you Tim Heasley.

Students from Heather Baltis’ Agriculture Leadership Class along with the Agriculture Ambassadors helped plan and guide students around campus. High school students went to four rotations learning about different careers in the agriculture industry. A special thanks to all the industry professionals that took time to invest in these students.

Along with the different rotations, students went to the Agriculture Career Expo. Domenica Trinidad and the CTE team did an amazing job connecting students with agricultural companies around Kern County.

Domenica Trinidad and the CTE team

We would also like to thank our sponsors for making this day possible. This is a valuable experience for the next generation of agriculture employees. It was a great day to be a Renegade. WE ARE BC!

BC Presents before Sons in Retirement Group

The Sons In Retirement (SIR) Branch 163-Golden Empire, reached out and invited Heather Pennella and Tamara Baker to attend their October monthly meeting held at Hodel’s. SIRs began in 1958, and has thousands of members and branches in most areas of Central and Northern California. Tamara provided a Measure J construction update and offered information on the future projects slated to take place. Heather discussed an increased need for Alumni Engagement, and various opportunities available to support the mission of Bakersfield College. There were several Renegade alums in the crowd and all were impressed to hear that BC attendance has grown to 37,000 students. Thanks to SIR for their hospitality, and to David Fabrizius and Ron Harrington (and little Ron, see picture) for the invitation to share information about Bakersfield College with the group.

Tamara Baker, Heather Pennella, Ron Harrington and Little Ron

BC Holds New Student Orientation

Last week the BC Outreach & School Relations department held a Fall 2019 New Student Orientation session welcoming new incoming students to the BC campus. Our Outreach Advisors Angela Williams, Savannah Andrews, and Jo Ann Acosta led the New Student Orientation session guiding students on available academic resources that help students on their educational journey at BC.

2019 Mental Health Symposium

Earlier this week BC partnered with the Kern County Public Health Services Department and Kern County Behavioral Health & Services to host the first annual 2019 Mental Health Symposium.  The Symposium was held at our Indoor Theater, recognizing and raising awareness on the concerning mental health issues affecting first responders and others with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), a growing mental health issue.

BC Public Safety EMT Instructor Jana Richardson, and Kern County Public Health EMS Program Manager Jeff Fariss highlighted the importance of gathering together as a Bakersfield community in order to support our first responders and everyday people affected with mental health issues and raising awareness on the symptoms of PTSD. Mental health symptoms of PTSD include stress, fear, anger, negative thoughts, recurring memories, and hyper-arousal which causes strong reactions to sounds and sights around an affected person. It is important that we work together as a community to understand the issues concerning mental health awareness and recognizing PTSD symptoms in order to help identify affected people in need of support. Thank you to the BC Public Safety, Kern Public Health, Kern Behavioral Health, and the Bakersfield community for their dedication and commitment to recognizing and raising mental health awareness in support of our first responders and community.

Bakersfield College Attends Prospanica Leadership Conference

BC Latinx students attended the Prospanica Leadership Conference this week.

Local high school students, including college students from CSUB and Bakersfield College, participated in a series of workshops which included: Dress For Success 101 (Jerry Gamez: Finos Menswear & Tux); Financial Literacy (Lorenzo Tafolla, Jesse Quintanilla, Manuel Muralles); Finding Your Purpose (Jason Hanash– Senior Pastor Discovery Church); and were inspired by the words of affirmation and wisdom imparted by the Conference Emcee (Robert Gonzales – Realtor)

Thank you Manuel Muralles (Program Manager- Rural Initiatives) who diligently served in the planning committee to develop an excellent conference and for extending the invitation to Latinx males from Bakersfield College. Also, thank you to Rene Deniz (EOPS Adjunct Counselor) for incorporating Lamont youth into the conference and for serving as a positive role model in the community.

STEM and Chemistry Day at BC

BC celebrated National Chemistry Week with a STEM fair in the courtyard of the Science and Engineering Building on Wednesday. All departments and student organizations that fall under the STEM pathway participated in this event

Some of the groups that participated in the event include MESA, the Physics Club and BC’s Artificial Intelligence club. Thank you to STEM Counselor Laurel Mourtzanos for working to help promote all of the STEM programs that we offer to inspire the science and engineering leaders of tomorrow.

National Chemistry Week is an annual event organized by the American Chemical Society (ACS), an organization founded in 1876 to improve people’s lives through the power of chemistry. The theme of this year’s National Chemistry Week is “Marvelous Metals”, and the ACS website has all kinds of resources for educators to share interesting experiments with metals.

Thank you to the STEM program for honoring National Chemistry Week on our campus, and thank you to all of the clubs who helped organize another great event for our students.

Emails Worth Sharing: Student Success Story

Tom Moran recently shared a link to a video he made that highlights a Renegade student success story. In his email, he describes Jasmine Rubio as a graduate from ITP who has also secured two jobs including one at BC! Check out this incredible Renegade spotlight:  

French Sister City Residents Attend BC Football Game 

Earlier this week, 17 students from Bakersfield’s French sister city, Saint-Jean-de-Luz, came to visit as part of the city’s exchange program.  One of their stops was none other than a BC Renegade Football game, where they were able to take in this great American pastime. We hope that had a great trip to this amazing place we call home! Check out this great piece by KGET on their visit.

Rick Kreiser Distinguished Honoree at American Cancer Society Gala

I received this photo from Michael O’Doherty showing local community leader Rick Kreiser being honored at last week’s American Cancer Society Gala. Rick is a strong supporter of Bakersfield College, and truly deserves this recognition.  Congratulations Rick! 

Rick Kreiser at American Cancer Society Gala
BC’s Cheer Team

NAPD, New Advancement for People with Disabilities, had some of their special needs clients at the home game a couple weeks ago.  BC Cheer is volunteering at their Halloween dance doing Halloween make up, serving food, and are actors in their haunted house.  Here is their thank you video to the cheer team and the college.

Kern Schools FCU Renegades of the Week 

Renegade Athletics is proud to announce this week’s (10/13-10/19) Kern Schools Federal Credit Union Renegades of the Week:

Penelope Zepeda, Volleyball – Penelope played a key roll in the three sweeps the volleyball team collected last week. She was  9-1-18 with a .444 hitting%, collecting 6 digs and 10.5 pts against West LA; she was 9-2-24 with a .292 hitting%, collecting 14 digs and 11.5 pts against Antelope Valley and was 15-2-33 with a .394 hitting% collecting 9 digs and 15.5 pts against Canyons. For her efforts she was also recognized as the CCCWVCA SoCal State Player of the Week. 

Brock Mather, Football – Brock anchored the Renegade defense against Ventura, the fourth ranked team in the state, during the homecoming game on 10/19. He totaled 11 tackles (2 for a loss) and one pass break-up in the game. He also leads the team in tackles so far this season with 41. 

Wrestling Coach Joe Espejo Honored at Alma Mater 

Joe Espejo, one of our assistant wrestling coaches was honored by his alma mater, Dickinson State University where he was inducted as a member in their athletics hall of fame as a member of the 2007-08 Blue Hawk wrestling team. Joe first wrestled for BC before transferring to Dickinson State and is now back at BC coaching the next generation of Renegade wrestlers. Well deserved, Joe!

Volleyball’s Penelope Zepeda Named CCCWVCA State Player of the Week 

The California Community College Women’s Volleyball Association (CCCWVCA) has named Penelope Zepeda as the SoCal State Player of the Week for week #8 of the season. 

Zepeda led the Renegade volleyball team to three straight sweeps last week over West LA, Antelope Valley and Canyons. Congrats, Penelope! Check out this release on the California Community College Athletics Association (CCCAA) website.

Former Renegade Wrestler To Be Inducted Into National Wrestling Hall of Fame 

The National Wrestling Hall of Fame announced this week that former Renegade State Champion wrestler Bruce Burnett will be inducted as a Distinguished Member at the 44th Annual Honors Weekend on June 5-6, 2020 in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Burnett wrestled at Bakersfield College from 1969 to 1970 and was a two-time state champion at the 137/142 lb. weight class. In 1969 he played a key role in the Renegade wrestling team winning the state junior college championship under head coach Bruce Pfutzenreuter. He finished his Renegade career with a 55-3 career record and was named the state’s outstanding wrestler in 1970. Congrats Bruce!

Renegade Athletics Scores From This Past Week

Athletic Events ‘On the Hill’ This Coming Week

Be sure to put on your Renegade Red and cheer on our student athletes as they compete this coming week. If you can’t make it in person, check GoGades.com to catch the livestream. Events include:

  • Tues. 10/29 – 4pm Men’s Soccer vs. Canyons
  • Wed. 10/30 – 6pm Volleyball vs. Santa Monica
  • Fri. 11/1 – 7pm Women’s Basketball vs. Riverside
  • Sat. 11/2 – 5pm Women’s Basketball vs. Pasadena City

That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

sonya-
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Rally of the Renegades

Winning Volleyball Team

What a win for our Renegade Volleyball team at College of Canyons last night. With 15 wins and only 2 losses, these young women have taken control with an 8-0 conference record! 👏👏👏 Great job Coach Carl Ferreira, Corissa, Lisa, and team!

Good morning from Berkeley, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, October 26, 2019… A great day to be a Renegade.

It has been a reflective week for me in the midst of a very hectic work schedule of travel and statewide meetings. I found myself reading and re-reading a piece on grief in John Pavlovitz’ blog. Here is an excerpt:

“As much as I miss my dad (and I do miss him terribly) I miss the me that he knew, too. I grieve the loss of our shared story. I mourn losing the childhood me who napped with him on his bed, the teenage me who spent those priceless Saturday mornings with him, the college aged me who fell asleep while he drove the four-hour trip back to college, the middle-aged me who made him laugh with silly stories of his grandkids.” For the rest click on https://tinyurl.com/y25a49rc

Miles, this is for you
Found myself missing the voice of Sandy Wood on StarDate

For a long time, I’ve been a big fan of StarDate Radio, an astronomy show which airs at 6:20 a.m. every morning on our local NPR station. StarDate began as a daily telephone message service by the McDonald Observatory in Fort Davis, Texas, informing Texans about what they could expect to see in the night sky. More than 40 years later, StarDate is now the longest-running syndicated radio science show in the country.

Sandy Wood, the host of StarDate since 1991 and one of the first female DJs in the Southwestern United States, recently retired from the show for health reasons. New host Billy Henry, a lecturer in media arts for Texas State University in San Marcos, took over as the third announcer in the show’s history this July. Check out this piece on the transition from Wood to Henry https://www.kgou.org/post/sandy-wood-retires-billy-henry-becomes-voice-stardate

Bakersfield College has its own McDonald Observatory in the William M. Thomas Planetarium, and astronomy professor Nick Strobel uses the space as an important resource to inspire passion for science in our community. He also writes a column for the Bakersfield Californian every two weeks to talk about recent advancements in astronomy and promote some of the breathtaking shows that the planetarium puts on throughout the year. In his most recent column on October 3, Nick talks about the recently discovered exoplanet GJ 3512 and speculation that a proposed “Planet Nine” far beyond Pluto in our solar system could actually be a small black hole.

On the Road for a national conference on entrepreneurship

Last weekend, I hit the road for Newport Beach to attend the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship conference. Newport is a beautiful coastal city known for surfing, sandy beaches, and a boat-filled harbor. I enjoyed the sunsets every evening….

Newport Beach Sunset
Newport Beach Sunset

Bakersfield College was well represented in various panels at the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship and it was both enriching and rewarding to learn and hear about the innovative things taking place that blend education and entrepreneurship together.

Richard Chapman, Nora Dominguez, Sonya Christian, and JP Lake

On Sunday evening, I caught up with JP Lake, Richard Chapman, and Nora Dominguez who presented on the conference’s first day in a panel titled “Creating a Vibrant, Innovative Culture, Internally and Externally” regarding the experiences around developing BC’s Launchpad and the Bakersfield entrepreneurial community.

Kern County is home to over 904,000 people. Jobs increased 4.9% from 2014 to 2019, but this change fell short of the national growth of 6.9%. Bakersfield College serves a diverse student body of over 37,000, most of whom are first generation. Through partnering with the Kern Initiative for Talent and Entrepreneurship (KITE), a county-wide partnership under the leadership of the Kern Economic Development Corp. and the Seedcore Foundation, we are focused on boosting job creation and formulating new businesses in Kern County.

Together, we are expanding resource availability from large tech start up firms to include practical needs of local and small business owners. We’re removing the silo walls to break down isolated innovation, creating an ecosystem for small business and entrepreneurial needs.

“Every person has unique talents and when a community unites to harness the power of these gifts, transformation happens at both an individual level and a greater one.”

John Paul Lake, Founder, KITE Initiative

Bakersfield College, along with other educators, provided local workforce development across a variety of sectors and in all local industries.The entrepreneurship curriculum, created by Bakersfield College,expanded from the College’s Business Department into all Career Technical Education programs with StartitUp included within the courses.

Manny M and Rudy M at NACCE

Rudy Menjivar (Professor in Entrepreneurship, Accounting and Business Law), Manny Mourtzanos (Dean of Instruction) and Brad King (StartItUp) presented at the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE) on how Bakersfield College has embedded the StartItUp app in our Entrepreneurship courses to ensure students successfully complete a viable business plan prior to launching their entrepreneurial ideas or small businesses. Start-it-Up is the only end-to-end scalable mobile technology platform designed to guide students in launching small businesses, and has been able to increase the rate of successful business launch, retention, and growth.

On Tuesday, Gayle Richardson (Professor in Accounting) presented on BC’s Hackathon Competition, a three day competition in which teams of students develop proposals to complex environmental and social issues through ‘digital storytelling.’ Teams are given a maximum hypothetical budget of $25,000.00 to initiate their project idea. 

Strides for CJD

The Renegade family gathered at Lake Ming last Sunday in honor of Harvey Hall, a BC alum who was an enthusiastic supporter of higher education and was the chair of the Measure J campaign.

Lavonne Hall

The second-annual Strides 4 CJD event raised money for those affected with Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, a degenerative brain disorder that took the life of Harvey Hall, Bakersfield’s 25th mayor, a pioneer of emergency medical services in Kern County, and a kind-hearted man whose blood was Renegade Red through and through. The event provides families with a safe space to pay tribute to the loved ones they’ve lost to CJD while raising awareness of this condition, which affects more than 1 million people worldwide every year. CJD is caused by proteins that affect the central nervous system of the brain, and about 70 percent of people with CJD die within a year of being diagnosed.

The Volleyball team and Student Government along with President Samantha Pulido were there to support the event. We look forward to supporting those affected by CJD at next year’s event.

Homecoming Week

BC’s Homecoming Week was a huge success, with a plethora of events on all of our campuses leading up to tonight’s parade and Homecoming football game against Ventura College. Starting on Monday, the BC Homecoming team called for all staff and students to get into the Homecoming spirit with a poster and office decorations competition to see which students and departments could demonstrate the most school pride. Student posters were judged on creativity, spirit, and Renegade pride, while departments got to show their creative side by decorating their offices using this year’s Homecoming theme of “Renegades Around the World”.

BC’s F.O.T.O. club won first place in the poster competition, while the Science and Engineering departments took the crown for the office decoration, earning themselves a fully catered lunch in the process.

The Renegades prepared for the big Homecoming game against Ventura College during Thursday’s “Rally of the Renegades” on the Renegades Crossroads. Students turned out to show their school spirit before the game, and the BC Drumline and cheerleaders got the crowd ready for celebrations. The Agriculture Ambassadors and Free on the Outside clubs also had games for students to play, with a chance to win great prizes like 20 gift cards and free lunch coupons.

Homecoming Week: Chalk Walk

Students were encouraged to show their BC spirit and pride while illustrating this year’s Homecoming theme of “Renegades Around the World”. Students demonstrated their creativity and design skills, and student organizations with the best chalk designs got points for the Homecoming competition.

Homecoming Week: Gandhi Easel Event

Mahatma Gandhi is quoted as saying “in a gentle way, you can shake the world.” The tremors of that shaking could be felt in Levinson Hall on Monday night, as BC students gathered to honor Gandhi with an easel painting event.

In celebration of this year’s Homecoming theme of “Renegades Around the World”, students illustrated two hands joining in the shape of a heart, a visual representation of Gandhi’s core message, which is about bringing people together and promoting diversity. Rachel Cortes, a painting instructor for over 13 years, was crying tears of laughter as she joyfully assisted students with their paintings.

Homecoming Week: Karaoke & Pop Trivia

BC students sang some of their favorite songs of differing musical tastes along with friends and had many fun and entertaining duet performances. BCSGA Director of Legislative Affairs and Finance, Johnny Maddon, led the Pop Trivia panel with various pop culture references to music, movies, video-games, history, and entertaining stand-up comedy. 

Homecoming Week: BC’s Got Talent

Renegades showed off their creative talents in the Gym Huddle on Wednesday during the BC Got Talent event as part of Homecoming Week. The Office of Student Life and BCSGA welcomed all students to participate in the entertainment competition and perform their choice of singing, dancing or comedy.

Many of our students took the spotlight and sang their favorite songs from a variety of genres, from pop and rap to country and rock. During the performances, a panel of BCSGA representatives judged the auditions and joined in cheering for all of the amazing performances of our BC students.

Agra International Visits BC

This past week, BC’s Agriculture department with the help of our Agriculture Ambassadors hosted French students from Agra International tours. The tour group does educational agriculture tours to help students learn more about agriculture in other countries. This particular group of students were attending MFR La Pignerie, a professional college in France.

Corny Rodriguez speaks to the students

Many of our faculty were able to welcome the group and discuss different aspects of the agriculture industry in the United States. Dean Cornelio Rodriguez made these student feel welcome and our Agriculture Department Chair, Chris McCraw, highlighted that Kern County is one of the top producing agriculture counties in the United States.

This group of students are majoring in Mechanized Agriculture so our Agriculture Ambassador and current Mechanized Agriculture student, Bailey Dunn, took them through our shop and spoke to them about what it means to be a student in BC’s Mechanized Agriculture program. BC’s Mechanized Agriculture program was created 3 years ago to fill an industry need. Matthew Riley has built this program and had its first graduating class last year with 85% job placement/transfer rate.

Thank you Gabrielle Chauvin, Marion Renk-Rosenthal and Martin Jordan for bringing your students here to tour Bakersfield College and learn more about agriculture in the Kern County.

Great Shakeout Earthquake Drill

On Thursday, BC campuses participated in the international shakeout earthquake drill as an important reminder that we should always be prepared. The Incident Command Team jumped into action to practice important strategic planning to ensure campus safety in the event of an actual emergency. Special thanks and shout out to Dr. Nicky Damania, Officer Jason Mattheus and BC’s Public Safety team, and all emergency responders on campus.

Jennifer speeding over to the Incident Command Center

Professional Development Day

It was fun speaking at this year’s PMI-CVCC Professional Development Day – The Project Management Blueprint for Success. The event is designed to maximize professional development and the program enabled a personalized and authentic learning environment for peer-to-peer sharing and networking. Thank you Cheryl Scott and Blare Pruett for the invitation.

BC was present including Victor Diaz, Jaime Lopez, Endee Grijalva, Carlos Medina, Aubrey Priest with Industrial Automation Students & Faculty.

Community Voices: Senator Jean Fuller

In her recent Community Voices piece published by The Bakersfield Californian, champion for education and retired California State Senator Jean Fuller described Bakersfield College’s Early College program as “cutting edge,” saying that “very few models such as this – earning an associate’s degree or certificate as the same time of high school completion – exist on a national scale.”

Wonderful College Prep Academy and Environmental Justice 

BC is committed to sustainability, including environmental sustainability. History instructor Jennifer Grohol invited U.C. Berkeley staff member Shane Carter to interview B.C./Wonderful College Prep Academy students for a statewide podcast project titled Climate Change in CA.

This 12-episode podcast will feature interviews with 6 high school students around the state (2 from B.C.!), climate scientists from U.C. Berkeley and state legislatures. The podcast focuses on what students know about climate change and what state legislatures are doing about our changing environment.  Carter’s visit to the Wonderful campus involved a meeting with WCPA’s student-run Environmental club. The podcast will be complete next year, and B.C./Wonderful students are already excited to have a “viewing” party once it is released. It’s great to see so many young minds take an active stance on the environment! 

Be The Match: Bone Marrow Drive

The BC Pre-Med Club invited the organization Be The Match to the Gym Huddle on Thursday as part of a bone marrow registration drive. The club’s objective for the event was to raise awareness of registration for bone marrow donors, which could potentially save the life of a patient in need of a transplant. Be the Match is a worldwide recruiting registry for bone marrow donors, matching donors with compatible patients in need of a transplant. The organization works closely with the community to inform people of their services, encourage as many people as possible to join the registry to increase the chances of their patients being able to find a matching recipient. If you’re interested in joining the registry, visit the Be the Match website.