BC helping our community #getvaccinated

This week, Kern County Public Health announced that all Kern County residents 16 and older are eligible to receive the Covid-19 vaccine. Governor Gavin Newsom also announced that California has administered 20 million shots of vaccines. Even more excitingly, he announced that if California’s vaccine supply remains sufficient and hospital rates are stable and low, California will fully reopen on June 15 – while keeping mask requirements and common-sense risk reduction measures.

It has been one of the most hopeful weeks in this entire pandemic: Everyone’s hard work – from staying home and wearing masks to major efforts in bringing vaccines into our communities – is paying off in real and tangible ways.

Bakersfield College is continuing to host vaccination clinics. These clinics are open to the community. Appointments can be found through myturn.ca.gov. Please visit the Bakersfield College vaccination clinic webpage for up-to-date information about our clinics.

And check out the galleries from our drive-thru clinics on March 21 and March 26!

I also wanted to share some personal good news with you…. Bessie has turned the corner in her recovery from Valley Fever. She has been convalescing in Bakersfield since January and will probably be here until June. With, what appears to be a sudden improvement in her health, she is back to her mischievous self ….. flower beds are no longer safe. And her stealthy pseudo attacks on Neo are back in full force.

Good morning Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, April 10, 2021 … a great day to be a Renegade.


BC is promoting vaccinations as a public health necessity.

One-minute #getvaccinated promotional video.

Here is a 10-minute video of Cindy Collier dispelling some myths about the Covid-19 vaccine:

BC Selected for Citizen Leadership Center

Allen Bolar

This week, the Citizens Campaign announced Bakersfield College as one of 10 locations nationwide to establish a Citizen Leadership Center.  These centers, primarily at Community Colleges, aim to give citizens the tools and know-how to exercise their power beyond the ballot, equipping them with the pragmatic, problem solving skills needed to work together despite their political differences. 

The announcement was livestreamed on Facebook and included BC Political Science Professor Allen Bolar, who said, “Developing new leaders who know how to work with people with whom they disagree and are skilled at identifying practical solutions is essential if we are to successfully address our local and national challenges. Those are the skills that our Citizen Leadership Center will impart to our students and interested members of the communities we serve.”

You can watch a recording of the announcement media conference.

Virtual Seminar Series: Workgroups

This week, we continued the Virtual Seminar Series with forums featuring two of our campus reopening workgroups.

On Tuesday, we heard from members of the instructional workgroup. Dean Richard McCrow led a Q&A session with faculty members Jordan Rude, Christie Howell, Joe Saldivar and Rony Recinos, talking about what faculty, students, and staff can expect as we begin reopening our campus more broadly.

In this 3:31 video, the panelists reflect on what faculty and staff can do to take part in the planning process as we prepare for students’ return:

On Thursday, we heard from members of the Student Workgroup. We heard from Student Life Director Nicky Damania, Student Health and Wellness Center Director Cindy Collier, Student Success & Counseling Director Marisa Marquez, Nursing Professor Lisa Harding, and Nursing student Abigail Greenleaf-Porcho.

Please check the BC website in the coming days for the rest of the videos from Thursday’s panel. You can also see an archive of the Virtual Seminar Series videos on that page. As always, thank you to Earl Parsons, Todd Coston, and Nicky Damania for your continued work in facilitating these important information sessions.

The Southern San Joaquin Valley Cal-SOAP Spring Staff Development Training

The California Student Opportunity and Access Program (Cal-SOAP) held their Spring Staff Development Training on March 29th and 30th. This two-day training provided the Cal-SOAP Student Success Coaches with valuable information regarding the “Next Steps” for high school students entering into higher education. Cal-SOAP has 26 Student Success Coaches that support high school students at 21 school sites throughout Kern County. Professionals from Bakersfield College, California State University, Bakersfield, University of California Merced, and University of La Verne provided information on topics such as registration, auto enrollment, web portals, housing, and campus updates for incoming freshmen students. The Cal-SOAP staff provided training on financial aid next steps that included FAFSA/CADAA corrections, reviewing Student Aid Reports, Webgrants for Students, Chafee Grant, and verification forms. This training is one of serval Cal-SOAP trainings that are held throughout the year.

7th Annual Levan Lecture: Attorney and Professor of Law Barry Scheck

This Thursday, April 15, Bakersfield College will host its 7th Annual Levan Lecture, which is also one of this year’s Distinguished Speakers in the Distinguished Speakers Series. The speaker for this year’s lecture is esteemed Attorney and Professor of Law Barry Scheck

Scheck is an influential practicing attorney in the United States. He has tried numerous significant cases, but he is likely best known for two reasons: Scheck pioneered and helped to legitimize the use of DNA evidence in criminal trials in the early 1990s, and he co-founded the Innocence Project, which to-date has used DNA evidence to exonerate 375 wrongful convictions, many of them capital convictions. That is, in appeals courts, Scheck’s team has scientifically shown 375 inmates not to have committed the crimes for which they were convicted, obtaining full release of those persons from prison and clearing their records.

Scheck will speak twice next Thursday, 4/15, at 10:00 am and 6:00 pm. Both talks will be held virtually via zoom, and they require pre-registration.

Thank you to Philosophy Professor and Levan Center for the Humanities Director Reggie Williams for bringing this speaker to Bakersfield College.

STEM & Pre-Health Conference set for Friday

Also this week, on Friday, Bakersfield College MESA Program, partnering with UCLA MEDPEP, is hosting the STEM & Pre-Health Conference 2021.

The event will be held virtually via zoom on Friday, April 16, 2021, from 1:00 pm – 2:00 PM. The conference aims to increase undergraduate students’ participation in STEM and pre-health careers. The focus is to be inclusive of all, specially of the students that come from historically underrepresented STEM backgrounds.  

The agenda will be as follows:

Keynote: Dr. David Hayes-Bautista, Distinguished Professor of Medicine UCLA

Plenary speaker panels in STEM and Pre-health careers.

Breakout Session Panels: 

Pre-Med Panel: Learn how to navigate your way into health careers and make yourself stand out!

STEM Panel: Diverse leaders and problem solvers are critical to fostering and accelerating creativity and innovation in STEM; come and learn on STEM career pathways.

Research Panel: Graduate school and STEM studies are key to solving problems, exploring issues, and predicting trends. Discover your potential!

Please register to get the zoom link for the MESA Diversity & Inclusion in STEM Conference:


Poetry Corner: Walking

Please enjoy this poem from Jack Hernandez, entitled “Walking”:


On this sun bright afternoon
we walk along neighborhood paths,
she slowly behind her walker
stopping occasionally to pick up trash,
we talk about our youthful places
those times of flashing newness.

A father throws a baseball to a boy,
he misses and I pick it up
failing to throw it very far,
she tells me that it’s difficult
to read regular print anymore.

Her husband and son have recently died
but she continues on living alone
waking and walking each day
accepting what comes, what goes.

A lesson I have learned
this gleaming day.

In the News

Spotted on Social Media

Endee Grijalva, Adult Education Program Manager, shared these photos taken by a student in a hybrid welding course:

Kalina Hill from the BC Testing and Placement Center shared this beautiful image and message on her birthday this past week:

The Jones Art Gallery shared this amazing artwork by Janet Valenzuela from the Bakersfield College Student Art Show:

BC supporter Michael Bowers, of Centric Health, was sworn in to the Kern Health Systems Board of Directors. Congratulations!


Catch Baseball/Softball Live Streams

The abbreviated Spring II sports season is set to begin this week. Be sure to catch our Renegade baseball and softball teams in action on the livestream. As no fans are allowed to attend the games in-person at this point, this is the best way to keep up with the Renegades. Check the baseball/softball schedules to know game days/times and to get the livestream links. We’re glad our student athletes have the chance to compete this spring.


That’s all for now.
Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.
sonya –
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

BC — Beat Covid

BC stands for Beat Covid — David Torres

David Torres, Centric Health Foundation Chairman, put it best “BC may stand for Bakersfield College, but to all of us here in this community, for us, BC stands for Beats Covid.”

I loved his energy and excitement at the clinic:

We also celebrated Community Relations Director Norma Rojas-Mora’s birthday with a drive-through singalong:

On Friday, March 26, Bakersfield College hosted our second big drive-through vaccination event – vaccinating 1,025 people!

I am grateful to everyone whose hard work and dedication helped make BC’s second drive-through Covid vaccination clinic an absolute success.

Check out more pictures from the March 26 clinic on BC’s SmugMug site.

I’m continuing to share pictures of our vaccinated Renegades. If you’d like to share your vaccination photo, please email it to president@bakersfieldcollege.edu.

BC supporter Nicole Parra got her vaccination at our first drive-thru clinic:

Nicole Parra getting vaccinated

Program Manager for Counseling & Student Success Isabel Castaneda tweeted about her Johnson&Johnson vaccination:

Food Services Manager Fidel Cabuena got his second Pfizer shot:

Department Assistant Cheryl Caswell-Fairbanks got the shot with her husband and Shawn Newsom from the History Department:

Good morning Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, April 3, 2021 … a great day to be a Renegade.

This Easter weekend, I wanted to share a few photos of spring flowers:

And the rose season is getting started:

First Lady comes to Central Valley

This week, First Lady Dr. Jill Biden visited the Central Valley to meet with farmworkers at The Forty Acres. She was joined by Gov. Gavin Newsom in touring The Forty Acres, which was created by Cesar Chavez and became the headquarters for the United Farmworkers of America, and in thanking farmworkers for their hard work during the pandemic. Connie Perez-Andreeson from the BC Foundation Board introduced Dr. Jill Biden…. so cool!

And here is an Instagram post by FLOTUS; the picture is of Connie introducing her.

Sonya Christian, Dolores Huerta, Norma Rojas-Mora

Young Mothers for Peace

Mothers for Peace, the first in a series of seminars through the Bakersfield College Peace Initiative, kicked off on Tuesday this week with a Zoom webinar where panelists reflected on their experiences and concerns as they raise their children, as well as their visions for a peaceful future. Norma Rojas-Mora, served as emcee. Our panelists were Sandy Woo-Cater, Anti-Trafficking Expert; Lauren Skidmore, District Director for Assembly Member Vince Fong; Pawan Gill, Director of HR and Community Development for the City of Arvin; and Antrenette Carr, Human Resources Manager at Amazon.

Here are my opening remarks:

Then, our panelists each gave a short introduction of themselves and their families:

Norma then asked our panelists to reflect on a series of questions.

As a mother, what do you see as the threat?

Let’s fast forward to 2035, your child is now an adult. As you envision that world what do you want it look like? 

What do you want to do to reach that vision for a peaceful society  in 2035?  What is your call to action?

Norma wrapped up the seminar with a few closing comments:

Please stay tuned to the BC Peace Initiative website for information about upcoming seminars, events, and other projects.

Early College Info Night at Valley Oaks Charter

Last Thursday the Early College team hosted a virtual student & parent information night for Valley Oaks Charter School. The session was focused on incoming 9th graders and their parents, but was open for all Valley Oaks students. The student testimonials were the highlight of the event. Two graduating seniors shared their experiences with taking Early College classes through Valley Oaks. They also participated in a question and answer session for the parents and students.

Here are some quotes from our Early College students:

“It’s a really good experience… If you do start, I would start with 1-2 classes.” – Jaxon Young

“I was nervous too. It’s ok to be nervous. It puts a little bit of pressure on you but don’t be afraid to ask your professors for help.” – Elise Mayer

Inmate Scholars Update

Jennifer Craig, an assistant professor of English and the Inmate Scholars Program, sent out the latest edition of the Inmate Scholars Newsletter on March 26.

You can check it out below:

She also shared two links – Success Stories (Roberto Luca’s story), and Professor Sara Wallace’s Reflections from Outside blog.

Spotted on Social Media

BC Cheer shared a throwback photo from the 1994-1995 squad:

The Kern Exceptional Family Center shared some pictures from their vaccination clinic in partnership with the Kern Regional Center and Bakersfield College:

History Professor Olivia Garcia spotted some Easter cheer on a trail:

One of our Culinary Arts students was preparing pastry boxes for Nixtamal Cafe:

Job Development Specialist Carlos Medina’s family took a bike ride through the bluffs:

The Story of Kitty

Before I wrap up with the Athletics Corner that Brandon sends my way, I wanted you to enjoy this story written by one of my regular contributors to the blog, Dr. Jack Hernandez, aka “Grandpa Jack” who wrote a delightful short story for his seven year old granddaughter who is a terrific gymnast…she was cartwheeling and flipping when he was visiting in Williamstown.

        Kitty was a small, grey fluffy cat. Her older sister, Kiki, loved to musically meow and dance, waving her paws in the air like flags. Her big brother, Cosmic, was a superstar mouse chaser.

        But one morning as Kitty watched them from her high breakfast perch she wondered what she could do to be happy like them. She remembered all the things she had tried to do, but hadn’t worked.

        First she had tried swimming, but didn’t like her fur all wet, soggy, and heavy. So that didn’t work.

        Next she had played catball, but didn’t like waiting for her turn, plus she missed too many. So that didn’t work.

        Then she had gone outside on the grass to race snails, but that was too easy. Like even an ant can beat a snail. So that didn’t work.

        Finally she had tried tooting a horn, but didn’t like her lips all tired and worn. So that didn’t work.

        O me, o my, she thought, what can I do? And as she sat and wondered, she suddenly fell from her perch and without thinking landed upright on her paws! Wow, she said, I can do this, can do tricks in the air!

        So when her mama cat, Lipsi, brought her a pancake, she asked her how she could learn to leap and turn, leap and circle in the air.

        He mom answered, “I know a place, Kitty, that teaches kiddy cats to do catnastics, and after breakfast I’ll take you there.”

        “Thank you, mom,” Kitty purred as she put some syrup on her pancake.

        So that very afternoon Kitty began her catnastics lessons. And she practiced and practiced.

        Then one day, not too long after, she was cartwheeling her way! Here and there! Everywhere!

        O how she could flip and dip! Backward and forward! Up and down! Cat flips to the ceiling, to the floor. Tricks, tricks, and tricks galore!

        She was no longer just watching other cats in their jazzy fur. She was now cool, cool Kitty. Jumping. Pumping. Swinging and zinging. Every day.  Every way.

        And that is how she became Kitty–The Cartwheeling Cat.


Volleyball End Spring I Season With Perfect Record

Even though they were not playing competitively for over a year, the Renegade Women’s Volleyball squad is playing like they haven’t skipped a beat. They recently wrapped up play in the abbreviated California Community College Athletics Association (CCCAA) Spring I sports season with a perfect 9-0 record. In the process they swept seven of the nine opponents and only gave up two sets in those nine games. While there will be no conference or state championship for them to play at the end of this season, we are proud of the what they accomplished and how they represented BC!

Coach Littlejohn on KGET Coaches Corner

Be sure to catch our very own Renegade Head Football Coach R. Todd Littlejohn as he joins KGET sports reporter Taylor Schaub to dissect the local high school football games each week. Watch last week’s segment of the first week of Kern High District games by clicking below:



That’s all for now.
Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.
sonya –
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Bakersfield College – Bakersfield’s Disneyland

I woke up on Monday, March 22, to this headline in The Bakersfield Californian, written by its executive editor, Christine L. Peterson:

Christine L. Peterson

‘Today is a victory’: BC hosts first mass drive-thru COVID-19 vaccine distribution in Kern

“They’re not celebrating at Disneyland quite yet, but you might have thought those at Bakersfield College on Sunday had already arrived at the happiest place on earth.

Cars and trucks lined up to make their way into the parking lot abutting University Avenue for a poke in the arm in the form of one of 1,000 Johnson & Johnson vaccine doses.

The event was dubbed the first mass drive-thru COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Kern County, and you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who wasn’t smiling.”

Beautiful writing….. beautiful words…..

We kicked off the clinic with a press conference with some wonderful speakers:

Norma Rojas-Mora, BC Director of Communication and Community Relations:

Assemblyman Rudy Salas:

KCCD Trustee Romeo Agbalog:

Kern County Supervisor Leticia Perez:

David Torres, Centric Health Foundation Chairman:

Imelda Ceja-Butkiewicz, President of the Kern Inyo Mono Central Labor Council:

Jay Tamsi, Co-founder of Kern County Latino COVID-19 Task Force:

Joseph Lopez, on behalf of State Senator Melissa Hurtado:

The entire day had an air of celebration and collaboration as so many different people and groups worked together to get 1,000 vaccine shots-in-arms for the clinic. It is amazing what we can accomplish when we all work together toward a common goal.

Check out more photos from our first mass drive through clinic on BC’s SmugMug website.

And be sure to check the BC Covid-19 Vaccine Clinic web page for information about future clinics!

I also wanted to share a few of the vaccination photos I’ve received this week.

Our KCCD Chancellor, Tom Burke:

Chancellor Tom Burke

Trustee Kyle Carter, who was vaccinated by Miss Yen from the BC Nursing Program:

Astronomy Professor Nick Strobel:

History Professor Olivia Garcia:

Instructional Technology Instructor Alex Rockey & Biology Professor William Rockey:

If you have a photo of your COVID-19 vaccination, please send it to president@bakersfieldcollege.edu.

And be sure to check out our gallery of vaccinations.

Good morning Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, March 27, 2021, my dad’s b’day … a great day to be a Renegade.

Paul Christian, Sonya Christian

Photos & Poetry

This week, a friend sent me this amazing photo…the heavens have opened:

Arvin, CA

I thought of this photo – these gray skies broken up by a few rays of radiant sunshine – when I read this poem that Jack Hernandez sent to me:

Exit Road

The little yellow flowers
along the freeway exit road
smile as I wait for the light
to give me permission to go.

Some sunless days though,
eager winds sowing dust,
they stay tightly closed,
I drive on unsure and cold.

Another friend of mine, who lost her partner, shared this poem from Khalil Gibran:


It is said that before entering the sea
a river trembles with fear.

She looks back at the path she has traveled,
from the peaks of the mountains,
the long winding road crossing forests and villages.

And in front of her,
she sees an ocean so vast,
that to enter
there seems nothing more than to disappear forever.

But there is no other way.
The river can not go back.

Nobody can go back.
To go back is impossible in existence.

The river needs to take the risk
of entering the ocean
because only then will fear disappear,
because that’s where the river will know
it’s not about disappearing into the ocean,
but of becoming the ocean.

Magnificent sunset photos at BC taken by Janet Tarjan on March 25th

Morning walk celebration of dad’s birthday.

Jess Nieto Conference

The 3rd Annual Jess Nieto Memorial Conference was held this past week. Professor Jess Nieto established the Chicano Studies program and Chicano Cultural Center at Bakersfield College. He was an entrepreneur, civil rights activist, educational leader and mentor to countless students. 

The conference this year included a wonderful mix of education, entertainment and celebration. Contributions from student organizations, professors, community leaders and partners make this a truly special event. Panels include “Unraveling Latina Stereotypes: Latinas Unidas in Conversation”, “Celebrating the Legacy of Cesar Chavez, the Farmworker Movement, and the Ongoing Work of the UFW and Cesar Chavez Foundation” and many more.

Check out this video from Abel Guzman, Executive Director of Rural Initiatives, which was part of the opening day programming:

You can see all the Opening Day programming in a YouTube playlist.

A Conversation with Dolores Huerta

On Thursday, the Jones Art Gallery exhibit Dolores Huerta: Revolution in the Fields / Revolución en los Campos officially kicked off with a Conversation with Dolores Huerta.

Dolores Huerta spoke via Zoom with Dr. Taína Caragol, Curator of Latino Art & History at the Smithsonian Institution. The event was co-sponsored by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service, the Dolores Huerta Foundation, the Wylie and May Louise Jones Art Gallery at Bakersfield College, and the Norman Levan Center for the Humanities at Bakersfield College.

Dolores Huerta: Revolution in the Fields / Revolución en los Campos is organized by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service in collaboration with the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C. See the virtual tour and get more information at the Jones Art Gallery.

Measure J – Thank You Nicole!

I love this photo of Nicole Parra and her dog, Bailey, sitting in front of our first Measure J Project – the Vernon Valenzuela Veterans Resource Center.

Thank you, Nicole, for managing our Measure J campaign. We could not have done it without you, and I’m so glad you were able to enjoy the fruits of your labor 5 years later!

Dual Enroll

Gone are the days of receiving thousands of paper application submissions! We are excited to announce the launch of our new online program, dualenroll.com, that has replaced the paper form submissions for Dual Enrollment and Concurrent Enrollment. Students from all high schools can now use Dual Enroll to register for Summer 2021 and Fall 2021. This transition will streamline services for students and will make these opportunities more accessible in distance and online learning environments.

Dual Enroll is a win-win! Check it out at https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/earlycollege/how-to-enroll.

In the News

Community Voices: Building a peaceful future

Kara McDonald, program manager for Student Success & Equity, wrote this piece about the importance of embracing peace instead of conflict – and highlighting the new Peace Initiative that Bakersfield College will be embarking on over the next 18 months.

“This initiative includes the Peace Garden that will soon begin construction on BC’s campus, as well as a series of projects done in partnership with other community groups working toward peace. Finally, the Peace Initiative includes a seminar series designed to engage small groups of women, veterans, educators and police in conversations about what peace looks like here in Kern County and how we build it.”

On Tuesday, we will kick off the Peace Initiative with the first installment of the Peace Initiative Seminar Series, “Mothers for Peace.” For more information, or to register for the Zoom event, visit the Bakersfield College website.

Community Voices: Our lives, our stories

Jack Hernandez, retired director of the Norman Levan Center for the Humanities, wrote a piece about how our lives live on in the stories, minds and memories of those who know us.

“But we all have an afterlife on this earth. An afterlife of our stories remembered by those who have known us for many years. Many live on in my mind: the stories of dad working two jobs to send me to college, of mom sending me off every morning to school, filled with breakfast and secure in her love. My Bakersfield College students, friends and colleagues during my many years here after I drove to Bakersfield from Detroit, not knowing what to expect when I came down Edison Highway in my own “Grapes of Wrath.””

Bakersfield College Ranks 3rd in State

Check out this video & article on KGET – BC ranks 3rd in degrees awarded among California Hispanic serving institutions!

“Bakersfield College said in recent years they have worked on improving student outcomes, reducing achievement gaps and increasing access for students using a Guided Pathways approach. Since BC first started its Guided Pathways program in 2014, the college has seen growth and improvement across multiple student success metrics.”

Spotted on Social Media

Bakersfield Mayor Karen Goh shared this post about our vaccination clinic:

Bill Moseley shared his delicious weekend plans:

Jessica Wojtysiak also had a delicious night, courtesy of BC’s culinary arts students:

And Kristin Rabe shared the daisies outside her porch:


Alyson Dees Named CCCWVCA State Player of the Week

Women’s Volleyball are undefeated thus far in the abbreviated Spring I season and to top it off, sophomore Alyson Dees was named the California Community College Women’s Volleyball Coaches Association (CCCWVCA) State Player of the Week for her performance against Cerro Coso the week prior. Alyson embodies the spirit of the team and as her coach Carl Ferreira said “one of the most amazing things about Aly is how much selfless energy she gives to her teammates. If that’s not enough, she’s an even better person.” Congrats Alyson!


That’s all for now.
Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.
sonya –
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Hello Spring 2021 … One year later

When President Joe Biden announced his pledge of 100 million vaccinations during his first 100 days, it was an ambitious goal requiring coordination to increase vaccine distribution across the country. But we have reached that goal – with 42 days to spare!

It was bittersweet to see that news on the one year anniversary of when we announced a physical campus closure at Bakersfield College, just hours before Governor Gavin Newsom issued a statewide order to shelter in place.

Public Safety secured campus for our physical closure last March.

In that ensuing year, we have come together and innovated in ways we never previously dreamed would be possible – or necessary. I want to thank everyone in our Renegade community – students, staff, faculty, and administration – for all of the creativity and effort you have all put into making sure BC was able to continue the mission of educating and preparing our students.

And now, we’re slowly starting to open up again, while BC has become a vaccination center. You can stay up-to-date on BC’s vaccination clinics, and schedule your appointment at https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/studenthealth/clinic. The next clinic will be Sunday, March 21, from 10 am to 3 pm.

Check out these photos submitted from our Renegade community this week:

Craig Hayward
Jordan Rude
Sondra Keckley

If you have photos from your Covid-19 vaccination, please send them to president@bakersfieldcollege.edu. You can see all our submitted photos in our online gallery.

I love seeing these photos – every vaccination brings us that much closer to returning to normal.

Good morning Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, March 13, 2021 … a great day to be a Renegade.

Jones Art Gallery Exhibit Dolores Huerta: Revolution in the Fields / Revolución en los Campos

Dolores Huerta speaks to United Farm Workers members and supporters during an open-air meeting, location unknown,
ca. 1970s

Unidentified photographer. Walter P. Reuther Library, Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs, Wayne State 
University, Detroit, Michigan.

This week will be the kickoff with the opening for the new exhibit Dolores Huerta: Revolution in the Fields / Revolución en los Campos in the Jones Art Gallery!

Thursday, March 25, 2021 at 3PM, festivities begin with a Conversation with Dolores Huerta. Dolores Huerta will talk via Zoom with Dr. Taína Caragol, Curator of Latino Art & History at the Smithsonian Institution. This event is free and open to the public, and it is co-sponsored by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service, the Dolores Huerta Foundation, the Wylie and May Louise Jones Art Gallery at Bakersfield College, and the Norman Levan Center for the Humanities at Bakersfield College. Register for the Conversation with Dolores Huerta.

That same day, we will unveil our virtual 360 tour of the Dolores Huerta: Revolution in the Fields / Revolución en los Campos Exhibit in the Jones Art Gallery. This virtual exhibition features bilingual descriptive text (English-Spanish) of historic and personal photographs and documents, along with protest art from the farm workers’ movement.

The Bakersfield College Jones Gallery display also features unique artworks, awards and historical objects courtesy of Dolores Huerta, Lori de Leon, and the Dolores Huerta Foundation. Dolores Huerta: Revolution in the Fields / Revolución en los Campos is organized by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service in collaboration with the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C. See the virtual tour and get more information at the Jones Art Gallery.

Thank you to Oliver Rosales, Ronnie Wrest, and Jeffrey Huston for all your hard work in bringing the Smithsonian Exhibit to BC and organizing the virtual tour.

Music Open House

Photo by: Diana Martin Photography (www.DianaMartinphoto.com)

Bakersfield College has many music programs in our Performing Arts Department. You, or someone you know, may love music and be missing out on some of these opportunities. During these socially distant pandemic times, we haven’t been able to showcase traditional public musical demonstrations. Dr. Jennifer Garrett is thinking outside of the box to showcase music performances through a Music Open House this afternoon from 2PM-4PM. 

This event will begin with an introduction to faculty and the beautiful BC Performing Arts Center. Breakout sessions will include: the various ensembles at BC, meeting with private instructors to get to know and work with them, learning about the Commercial Music Certificate, the Music Major classes, a general Q & A, and more. Sessions will include performances by private instructors.

This virtual event is open to anyone interested in learning more about music at BC – incoming students, future students, high school students, the community and all BC students, faculty & staff. Due to the pandemic the event will be hosted on Zoom.  Sign up for the Zoom event.

For more information, please contact Dr. Jen Garrett at jennifer.garrett@bakersfieldcollege.edu.

Jack Hernandez Poem: “Walking”

Please enjoy this poem from Jack Hernandez:


On this sun bright afternoon
we walk along neighborhood paths,
she slowly behind her walker
stopping occasionally to pick up trash,
we talk about our youthful places
those times of flashing newness.
A father throws a baseball to a boy,
he misses and I pick it up
failing to throw it very far,
she tells me that it’s difficult
to read regular print anymore.
Her husband and son have recently died
but she continues on living alone
waking and walking each day
accepting what comes, what goes.
A lesson I have learned
this gleaming day.

BC Vaccination clinics

In Delano on March 15, 2021. Thank you Trustee Romeo Agbalog.

In Arvin on March 14, 2021. Thank you Mayor Olivia Trujillo and Trustee Yovani Jimenez

Drive thru at the Panorama Campus on March 13, 2021

BC faculty to take part in Humanizing STEM academy

Bakersfield College has been invited to participate in the Humanizing STEM academy this summer. The academy is a 6-week online professional development course designed to support faculty as they integrate humanizing practices in their courses with the goal of helping to eliminate equity gaps. Faculty applied for the academy in record time — we were able to identify 11 Renegade STEM instructors to participate in the academy in one day! Alex Rockey and Pam Rivers will serve as faculty support.

Jess Nieto Memorial Conference

The third annual Jess Nieto Memorial Conference goes virtual this week with a series of Zoom events and panel discussions. All Zoom events are free and open to the public, but require prior registration. Please visit the Jess Nieto Memorial Conference homepage for a schedule of events and links to register.

The Jess Nieto Memorial Conference is an annual event honoring the memory of Professor Jesus “Jess” Gilberto Nieto. A noted internationalist, entrepreneur, civil rights, and educational leader, Nieto was responsible for establishing a Chicano Studies program and Chicano Cultural Center at Bakersfield College and was the first advisor for the campus’ MEChA chapter. His influence and legacy at BC are still visible in the college’s course offerings related to Latinx history and experience as well as various student organizations and services on campus.

All conference programming is free and open to the public. ZOOM events require prior registration to attend.

Spotted on Social Media

Jen Garrett‘s puppy Remi is as adorable as ever:

Kalina Hill shared a picture with her son:

The Padrinos de Bakersfield College held a virtual mixer:

Look who turned 4 on March 17 2021

Neo turns 4!


Athletics to hold Inaugural Hall of Fame in 2021-22

Renegade Athletics announced publicly this week that they will be establishing the Bakersfield College Athletics Hall of Fame this coming school year. The first class will be honored at an event this coming fall. A newly organized Hall of Fame committee consisting of former BC student athletes and community members will review nominees for induction each year.

We are excited about this new hall of fame and if you know of anyone who is deserving of being nominated into the inaugural class, please visit this link to do so.

Action Photos

Enjoy some of these photos from last week’s athletic action on campus. Remember that to watch the livestreams for each event go to team schedules on GoGades.com.

Men’s Soccer

Men’s Basketball


That’s all for now.
Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.
sonya –
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

An evening to remember. Sterling Silver 2021

This week, while she was getting her vaccine at BC’s very own vaccination clinic, Jennifer Serratt stopped by to visit our culinary program. She sent me this photo:

Did you know our Renegade Room is back open for take-out service? Thank you so much to Christian Flores-Castaneda and everyone in our culinary arts program for all the work you’ve put in to making it possible for our students to serve our community.

Good morning Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, March 13, 2021 … a great day to be a Renegade.

Sterling Silver

Last Saturday’s Sterling Silver broadcast on KGET/Channel 17 was an amazing celebration of our outstanding philanthropists. I hope you were able to tune in and watch as the BC Foundation honored Margaret “Peggy” Haight, Patricia Mettler, Greg & Mary Bynum, and Becki Whitson.

If you missed the production, or if you’d like to check it out again, please enjoy the following videos.

Thank you to KGET-17’s Tami Mlcoch, who served as emcee for the evening:

BC Foundation Executive Director Cheryl Scott:

My introduction:

KCCD Board of Trustees President Romeo Agbalog‘s remarks:

Of course, our honorees.

Margaret “Peggy” Haight:

Patricia Mettler:

Greg & Mary Bynum:

And Becki Whitson:

And finally, the conclusion of our production:

Thank you so much to our honorees; to Cheryl Scott, Heather Pennella and the BC Foundation team; Norma Rojas-Mora and the BC Communications team (especially video editor Valerie Urso); tp Tami Mlcoch and everyone at KGET; and to everyone who put so much careful time and effort into creating a memorable evening.

We are BC!

Previous Sterling Silver Celebrations

Sterling Silver 2020

Sterling Silver 2019

BC Vaccination Clinic

BC’s Renegades have been dedicated to being a part of the solution to end this pandemic. Today, BC’s Student Health and Wellness Center hosted BC’s first vaccination clinic to distribute the Johnson and Johnson Janssen vaccine. THANK YOU to BC’s nursing students and faculty, the KC Latino COVID-19 Task Force, and all our partners who provided PPE, support, and guidance helping BC do our part to serve the community. #WeareBC!

You can see a photo gallery from the clinic on the BC SmugMug site.

Our updated vaccination clinic schedule is available on the BC website at https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/studenthealth/clinic. Any any eligible individuals who meet the COVID-19 Vaccine Schedule per Kern County Public Health are able to attend these clinics.

Billie Jo Rice also shared with me these photos of our students giving vaccines at Bakersfield Heart Hospital:

Our BC community is continuing to get vaccinated, and I enjoy every time another photo comes into my inbox. Check out these recent Vaccinated Renegades:

If you have a photo of your COVID-19 vaccination, please send it to president@bakersfieldcollege.edu.

And be sure to check out our gallery of vaccinations.

Virtual Theatre Performance: The Book of Fairy Tales

Spring 2021 THEA B27: Acting Theatre Lab class produced a virtual performance of “The Book of Fairy Tales: Stories from Around the World.” The stories were adapted and directed by Cody Ganger and inspired by Angela Carter’s Book of Fairy Tales.

Each piece was first discussed and rehearsed over Zoom before meeting in small groups to film. The actors and crew followed masking and social distancing guidelines for all in-person meetings, including being masked any time they were in the same space as other actors.

The cast of the performance is Vanessa Beltran, Connor Deming, Ivy Hasselbar, Alexxandra Lamacchia, Jason Land, Michael Morales, Serena Ornelas, Abraham Ortega, Abigail Putman, April Toelle, and Shane Young.

The stories include Kate Crackernuts (England), The Rabbit (Swahili), The Princess in the Suit of Leather (Egypt), The Letter Trick (Suriname), East o’ the Sun and West o’ the Moon (Norway), The Three Lovers (Mexico), The Wicked Stepmother (West Africa), The Werefox (China), The Armless Maiden (Russia), Nature’s Way (Armenia).

The performance will be available online until Sunday, March 21.

A Shot of Reality – Alcohol Awareness

The Office of Student Life held a zoom viewing of “A Shot of Reality,” an interactive alcohol awareness program presented by two professional comedians. A Shot of Reality has performed for the US Navy/Army and hundreds of colleges. The presenters have a realistic interactive discussion about the destructive and deadly consequences of alcohol abuse, assault, DUIs, health issues and more. This program was created with health professionals, local police, and members of various alcohol rehab programs. The two presenters not only use comedy to engage the audience, but they also attack the serious impact of this national campus epidemic.

You can view the “A Shot of Reality” video at https://vimeo.com/148129896

Tutoring Center – Open for Students

From an email from Tutoring:

Great news! The Bakersfield College Tutoring Center is open, available online and ready to support our students. The BC Tutoring Center offers free, one-on-one online peer tutoring with CRLA trained tutors.

Services offered:

  • Weekly 50-minute appointments
  • 15-minute drop-in tutoring (for Math and English)
  • Tutors available in many subjects

For more information and to sign up for tutoring, go to our website at https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/student/tutoring.

The BC Tutoring Center is a proven student success service that provides FREE online tutoring to all currently enrolled Bakersfield College Students. Our one-on-one Peer Tutors, who are trained and certified, can assist you with many Bakersfield College courses. Whether for course content, assignments, required papers (at any stage of the writing process) and/or academic skills, assistance is available through drop-in and scheduled appointments for most BC courses. Please feel free to share this information with your students. Thank you so much.

Thank you to the BC Tutoring Center Team – Bradley Cramer, Monica Huyck, and Sonia Avila – for proving this important service to our students!

Community Voices

Political Science professor Allen Bolar wrote a piece in the Bakersfield Californian about using Discord – an app originally used by gamers – in the classroom to encourage connection and engagement.

“Text chatting on Discord allows students to show their personality as discussions segue from the pros and cons of upcoming ballot propositions to a movie recommendation to advice about scholarships to a question about the next quiz deadline. We even had a heated debate about what makes the perfect pizza. It’s much easier to respond quickly (and painlessly) to requests, and students benefit from seeing questions others ask rather than being isolated in an individual email silo.”

Spotted on Social Media:

Isabel Castaneda gave a shoutout to Carlos Medina:

EODAC shared a Zoom photo of a recent meeting:

Abel Guzman gave a radio interview to encourage the Latinx community to enroll at BC:

Nick Strobel shared some beautiful springtime poppies:


Renegade Athletics Are Back!!

After much work and tireless coordination – Renegade Athletics became one of the first colleges in the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) to return to sports competition this last week. BC is one of a handful of schools from the over 100 CCCAA schools that compete in athletics to 1) Opt-in for the Spring I season and 2) Have enough regional opponents to create a schedule of games.

Volleyball and Men’s Soccer started the Spring I season off with a bang by winning their opening games of the Spring I abbreviated season. Both teams played College of the Sequoias in their respective sports with Volleyball winning 3-1 and Men’s Soccer 4-2.

At the current time only Men’s Soccer, Volleyball and Men’s and Women’s Basketball are playing. All teams however are practicing and conditioning on-campus. While strict COVID protocols do not allow for fans in the stands at this time, it doesn’t mean you have miss out on the action – make sure to visit GoGades.com to know days/times for each sports and catch the live-stream’s through this link: https://video.ibm.com/channel/bc-renegades-athletics.

Action Photos

Seems like a dream that some of our student athletes are back in action, soon we’ll have more teams competing as well! Here are Volleyball and Women’s Basketball in action this week. Thank you Brandon Urry for getting these photos to me.


That’s all for now.
Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.
sonya –
the luckiest and happiest college president ever