Welcome to Spring ’19

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, January 19, 2019… A great day to be a Renegade.

Early College Program Announced!

Bakersfield Californian's Announcement "Jean Fuller to lead BC's Early College student program"

I am so excited and proud to announce that Senator Jean Fuller will be at the helm of the Early College Program at Bakersfield College. A true blessing for BC! She will lead the necessary intersegmental collaboration, relationships with business and industry, and connections with national policy organizations to scale up Early College regionally and nationally.

Sonya and Jean Fuller

Having served in public office from 2006-2018, Jean Fuller brings over 30 years of experience in education to Bakersfield College. Her desire to continue working in education at BC is a direct result of her commitment to working with young people and encouraging them to have the confidence and support to achieve their dreams.

Jean Fuller Speaking to an audience about her experiences and Early College
Jean with hand over heart

What is the Early College Program? It is a proven model for quality and cost-effective college degree completion, particularly in rural communities with high poverty rates and low educational attainment rates.

Romeo Agbalog, Sonya Christian, Jean Fuller, Abel Guzman, Raquel Lopez at McFarland High Aug 4 2018

Like other states, California is grappling with the increased need for access, efficiency, and excellence in education. By 2030 there will be a projected shortage of 1.1 million workers holding a bachelor’s degree. Kern County continues to rank among the lowest percentages in educational attainment in the nation. The Early College Program implements complementary strategies to expand access to college, increase graduation rates, and reduce time-to-completion. This work is vital for success in Kern county, California, and the nation.

Wonderful Academy Graduates 2018

The Early College model launched in partnership with local charter schools, including Wonderful Ag Career Prep, which introduces students — many who will be first-generation college students — to higher education course material during the summer prior to 9th grade. I was so proud to confer Associate degrees in Agriculture Business for 38 Wonderful Academy students last May 2018. Dual Enrollment, a strategy of early college, has been implemented in 24 Kern County high schools.

By aligning curriculum and adding college-level coursework into the high school schedule, Early College students have the opportunity to earn a certificate or associate degree by their high school graduation. A 2013 study by the American Institutes for Research found that students enrolled in Early College Programs were significantly more likely to graduate from high school and enroll in college than students who were not. They are also more likely than their peers to graduate from college and with maximum efficiency in regard to time and resources. The Early College students are performing at or near the same level, and in some cases, at a higher level than their traditional college student peers.

Wonderful Academy Graduates 2018 around the BC circle

Read more about the Early College Program at Bakersfield College and press release.

Trustee Romeo Agbalog Imagines a Bright Future for Kern County

Kern Community College District Trustee Romeo Agbalog was also in the Bakersfield Californian this week talking about Early College from the perspective of employment in Kern County, opportunity for students, and cutting the cost of college.

Trustee Agbalog is a major supporter of Early College and has been instrumental in bringing this program to fruition. Read the full Bakersfield Californian Community Voice.

A Brighter future and Kern County Only if we dare to imagine it and act.

First Week of Spring ‘19

We welcomed faculty and students back on a blustery Monday. I’m always excited to see the campus come alive after the empty hallways of winter break. The spring semester is a vibrant time as the weather begins cold but turns sunny and warm as we begin looking forward to commencement and celebrating successes of our graduating students. Thank you Manny De Los Santos for capturing photos of our students and faculty returning to campus.

Campus Center Breaks Ground

We were blessed with a sunny break in the rainy weather on Wednesday morning to hold the groundbreaking ceremony for Bakersfield College’s new Campus Center, the second building to be built using Measure J funds.

Students in Bakersfield College’s Commercial Music program opened the festivities, the BC Drumline marched in to start of the ceremony, followed by a rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner” by the BC Chamber Singers. On the dais, we were fortunate to have representatives from the offices of Congressman TJ Cox, Senator Shannon Grove, Assemblymember Rudy Salas, and Assemblymember Vince Fong.  Representing the Kern Community College District were KCCD Trustees Kay Meek, Romeo Agbalog and Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, as well as, retired Trustee and former Congressman Bill Thomas.

Director of Student Life Dr. Nicky Damania, BCSGA President Ashley Harp, Trustee Kay Meeks, Trustee Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg and Trustee Romeo Agbalog

Office of Student Life Director Dr. Nicky Damania was thrilled to lead the the groundbreaking ceremony for a building that will be at the center of student life at BC. Introducing the BCSGA presidents who were on the frontlines to help make the new Campus Center possible, Nicky said, “when we’re working, it’s for these students who are going to be the leaders of the future.”

former BCSGA president Alex Dominguez speaks at the podium

A succession of BCSGA leaders from previous years addressed the group, each in turn speaking from their personal experience what this new center will mean for students: Alex Dominguez, 2014-15 BCSGA President; Clayton Fowler, 2015-16 BCSGA president; former KCCD Student Trustee Rayven Acosta-Webb, speaking for Matthew Frazer, 2016-17 BCSGA; and Dezi Von Manos, 2017-18 BCSGA President. Then current BCSGA president, Ashley Harp, shared her vision of how the Campus Center will encourage student engagement.

Commemorative Shovel for the Campus Center Ground Breaking

After the Renegade Cheerleaders led the audience in a chant of “We Are BC”, Dr. Damania announced the opening of a time capsule left in the walls of the Administration building upon the Panorama Campus’ completion in 1955.

campus center rendering
Dignitaries on the dais

I’d like to thank Tamara Baker for all her work related to the implementation of Measure J, and I’d like to thank the taxpayers of Kern County once again for investing in community college education. Without your support, neither the Campus Center nor all of our other major construction projects funded through Measure J would be possible. Thank you for voting Yes on J in 2016.

See the entire photo gallery of the Campus Center Ground-breaking on A Better BC Facebook.

Old Campus Center Demolition

Panoramic view of the demolition of Campus Center

Food Services Moves to Huddle

Where do we eat with the cafeteria being demolished? Don’t worry, BC’s Food Services is finding ways to continue to serve our Panorama Campus community. The Panorama Grill has temporarily taken residency in the Gym Huddle. Food Services has also created a “food court”” of food trucks in front of Memorial Stadium and the Gym Huddle. Among the trucks is Pa’L Norte, Banderas Burger Grill, and The Rollin’ Bean. And coming soon, Panorama Grill will add their own food truck: Gades Grub!

As we build A Better BC there will be many department, staff and faculty moves. I would like to thank staff, faculty and students for graciously adjusting to the many changes happening around campus. Keep up on the changes happening on campus at A Better BC.

BC Time Capsule

On Tuesday afternoon, BC’s Student Government gathered students and staff together to open the BC time capsule from 1955. Jerry Ludeke was on hand with information about the cornerstone. Did you know the Masons conducted the cornerstone laying ceremony inside the Administration Building on April 30, 1955, exactly two years after the groundbreaking of the Panorama campus? This gem was filled with newspapers, a student handbook, student directory, and more.

“Only the Educated are Free”

You may view the contents of the capsule in BC Archives located on the second floor of the Grace Van Dyke Library.

Wow, notice the contrast between the past and current technology.

Dr. Nicky Damania will be coordinating the creation a new time capsule to be built into the new Campus Center. Submissions may be suggested to the BCSGA president or sent to Dr. Damania.

I wonder if they realized that Einstein would remain so influential in the future.

Thank you Manny De Los Santos for this short video to commemorate the event.

ITV Classroom Pilot for Dual and Concurrent Enrollment

An overflowing classroom with high school sophomores are participating in the pilot Interactive Television (ITV) Bakersfield College Music B2 class!

To bring dual enrollment course offerings to North High School students, ITV equipment was installed to bring Bakersfield College instruction to the campus. Funded by the College Futures grant, A Bakersfield College team led by Kristen Rabe and Dr. Anna Laven spent the last six months developing the equipment installation plan, which included two 80” TVs and one 65” plus lots of other high tech goodies to exactly mirror the ITV classrooms at BC.

Classroom with large screen tv's in the front
An overflowing classroom with high school sophomores taking the pilot ITV Bakersfield College course.

Developed in collaboration with North high school administration and counselors, the technology brings opportunities to many students for whom transportation to main campus is a significant barrier. As Mark Balch, principal of North describes, “seven miles might as well be 70 for these students”. Showing the strength of the program, over 60 students arrived at the orientation which could take only 30 students. One student indicated she was interested in participating after hearing a dual enrollment presentation during an African-American Mentor Program (AAMP) field trip to campus.

Kyle Burnham, instructor

With incredible support from Dean Manny Mourtzanos and Chair Dr. John Gerhold, the first pilot class begins next week, taught by Kyle Burnham. The department is working diligently to supply additional classes in the future due to demand.

Before picture with KHSD facilities collaborating on the install.

Dual Enrollment Featured in Bakersfield Life

Did you see the article about Dual Enrolment in Bakersfield Life Magazine? Mark Nessia wrote about the partnership with the Kern High school District and BC to “encourage a college-going culture in Kern County.” He quoted our own Anna Laven, Dual Enrollment Program Manager and highlighted the start of dual enrollment at the Wonderful College Prep Academy in Delano in partnership with BC. Read the Bakersfield Life Magazine Dual Enrollment Article.

Screen shot of Dual Enrollment feature page

17 News features Norma Rojas Mora

Tabatha Mills, 17 KGET News, featured a beautiful video of BC’s Director of Community and Public Relations, Norma Rojas-Mora, in her Women in Kern County segment. In the video, Norma speaks about her dedication to students, education and insuring students realize the opportunities that are available to them. I’m so honored to have Norma at BC. Read the article and watch the video of Norma on KGET.

BC students continue to ride free with Kern Transit

Kern Transit is continuing a program for all currently enrolled Bakersfield College students to ride free on Kern Transit routes with a valid student ID. Free rides began January 14th and continue through the end of finals week on May 10, 2019.

BC Students Ride Free

Students who choose to ride with Kern Transit will not have to struggle with traffic or find parking, and they can focus on their studies as they commute to school. Using public transit helps improve air quality. And students may ride free on all 100-numbered routes, not just on routes to and from the school, so they save money commuting all around Kern County. Thank you Kern Transit!

Chamber of Commerce Luncheon

(L to R) Gabriella Mello, VP Wells Fargo Bank, KCCD Trustee Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Norma Rojas-Mora and Tony Cordova, Bakersfield College, Michael Bowers, Centric Health, Sharlet Briggs, Adventist Health, Heather Pennella, Bakersfield College

It was a pleasure to see so many smiling faces at the 2019 Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce Board Installation and Awards Luncheon.  We were honored to have friends, partners and KCCD Trustee representatives joining us for this event.  Congratulations to the honorees: Josie Martin, named Volunteer of the Year, Kern Economic Development Corporation named association partner of the year, and Young Wooldridge honored as the chamber champion.  The Chamber’s executive committee will be chaired by Darlene Mohlke of Castle & Cooke with Derek Jeffery from KGET-TV 17 serving as incoming chairman.  They will be joined by Sue Benham, Bakersfield Memorial Hospital, Rob Duchow, Southern California Gas Co.,  Denise Newton of Pacific Gas and Electric Co. , Tasha Clayton of Tel-Tec Security, Andy Paulden of Brown Armstrong, Mark Bateman of Young Wooldridge LLP, and Pritesh Patel of Comprehensive Blood & Cancer Center.

From the Chamber Website

I look forward to continuing to serve on the Chamber’s Board of Directors alongside Andy Anderson of Aera Energy LLC, Kristen Beall of Kern Community Foundation, Mary Barlow of Kern County Superintendent of Schools, Sharlet Briggs of Adventist Health Bakersfield, Don Bynum of Temblor Brewing and Bynum & Associates, Leslie Golich of Kaiser Permanente, Rick Jhaj of Countryside Market & Restaurants, Ken Keller of Bakersfield Memorial, Jacob Panera of Varner Brothers and G. Riar of Deprigo.

Darlene Molhke and Jeff Green at the BC Culinary Kitchen working on Em’s treats

It is going to be a great year for the Chamber under the leadership of the fabulous Darlene Mohlke who has a great heart for our community, and who volunteers countless hours serving on boards of various organizations making a significant difference.

Chamber of Commerce Leadership Cohort

Endee and Brandon at the KGET news desk

Endee Grijalva, Program Manager in Adult Education, and Brandon Urry, Manager of Communications/Community Relations, Athletics, were at the KGET news desk representing BC as members of this year’s Chamber of Commerce Leadership Bakersfield cohort. One Friday of each month the participants learn about a different industry within Kern County. Friday was Communications Day, with KGET welcominig Endee and Brandon.

SGA Power Lunch

Also on Wednesday, BCSGA hosted its first Power Lunch of the semester in the Levan Center, inviting Bakersfield College’s three Vice Presidents to talk about their job duties and how they facilitate all of the work that needs to be done to keep the campus running smoothly.

Left to right: Mike Giacomini, Liz Rozell, Zav Dadabhoy

Mike Giacomini, Vice President of Finance and Administrative Services, who started at BC about three months ago, described the areas that he oversees, which include budgeting, Maintenance and Operations, Food Services, and Public Safety. Liz Rozell described the Office of Instruction, including all academic programs, enrollment management, and scheduling for BC’s instructional facilities. Zav Dadabhoy described starting in student government at the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, which led him to a career in student involvement culminating in his position as Vice President of Student Affairs, the department in charge of financial aid, counseling, tutoring, outreach, athletics and student services in general.

BCSGA student introducing the panel

The Vice Presidents answered questions about challenges that arise when managing a campus of over 33,000 students and 1,000 employees, and spoke to the the importance of working together across all of the different departments to solve problems and provide the highest quality of education possible. They also talked about how the KCCD Board of Trustees provides leadership and support for the College.

Zav speaking, Mike and Liz sitting at the table
The three Vice Presidents at Bakersfield College

Many thanks to BCSGA for organizing this educational event for students wanting to learn more about the inner workings of the college. Thanks to Mike, Liz and Zav for this time meeting with students!. And thanks to Food Services for providing lunch!

Renegade Athletics Roundup

If you missed watching the Renegade Report live this last Thursday at 11:00 AM, check out features from this week’s show.

Renegades of the Week

Renegade Athletics is proud to announce this week’s (1/6-1/12) Wells Fargo Renegades of the Week:

Athlete portraits
  • Dasia Wandick, Women’s Basketball – Scored a total of 33 points and grabbed 22 rebounds in helping the team to a 64-50 win over Cuesta and a close, 50-48 loss to Allan Hancock.
  • Marcus Jones, Men’s Basketball – Scored 12 total points and grabbed 10 rebounds in wins over Santa Barbara (94-68) and Cuesta (88-80). Also, was involved in a few crucial plays down the stretch to seal the win against Cuesta.

Renegades moving on to the next level

We are extremely proud of four of our Renegade student athletes who are transferring on to Division I academic and athletic competition this spring after wrapping up their BC careers. From the football team – Carson Olivas is at UCLA, Nathan De Jager is at UNLV and Cam Roberson is at UMass. From our volleyball team – Sarah Armendariz is now with Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

Roundup of Athletics Events this week

Around the ‘net

Renegades on Instagram

BC Alumnus, former Gades football player and current NY Jets player, Rishard Matthew’s posted a shout out to Coach Chudy, gave encouragement to students and showed some Renegade pride this week on Instagram.

Instagram post from Rishard Matthews

Facebook Fun

And I loved this post from Matt Garrett

Matt Garret's post about having Vanilla Ice hair in high school

Fun Photos: Veterans’ Bridge

Kimberly Bligh sent photos from our Veterans’ Bridge to BC. If you missed last week’s article about Veterans’ Bridge to BC, read it now.


Bridge Staff

Fun Photos: Urbane Cafe Sharing the Love for BC

On Tuesday, our near neighbor, Urbane Cafe, offered free sandwiches to BC Students and Staff.

Nicky's selfie in front of Urbane Cafe
Nicky Damania took advantage of the Shared Love.

Fun Photos: DKG 80th Anniversary

Last Saturday, January 12th, I was honored to join other women educators at the Delta Kapa Gamma (DKG) 80th Anniversary Lunch. DKG, Leading Women Educators, Impacting Education Worldwide, is an organization with a mission to promote professional and personal growth of all women educators.

We are a community of Renegades

Bailey (current Renegade), Charlie (future Renegade), Laura Wallace (alum Renegade)

Received this message from Billie Jo………#WeAreBC.

We are a community of Renegades! 😊 I snapped this picture today at Olive Drive Elementary School of my granddaughter Charlie practicing her sounds at speech therapy. During the visit, I discovered that her speech therapist, Laura Wallace, is a Renegade as well. She graduated with her degree in Child Development in 1982 and had nothing but great things to say about BC. Currently, her two sons are finishing up their coursework here at BC and are transferring to Humboldt State in the fall. From left to right my daughter Bailey (current Renegade), Charlie (future Renegade), and Laura Wallace (alum Renegade).

Fun Photos: Preparing for Spring Term

Last Sunday, a great group gathered at BC SouthWest to help students prepare for the beginning of the Spring term.
Fernando Lara on Sunday at 1:00 giving our new Renegade Taylor a tour of BC-SW.

Talk about fabulous folks at BC!!!!

Fun Photos: Cultivating a College-Going Culture

Love working with this dedicated and passionate group of people who care about the youth and Kern County and work hard to cultivate a college-going culture.

Ben Sherley- KHSD, Steve Watkins-BC, Ana Leyva- Arvin HS, Margarita Rodriguez- BC, Stephen Granucci- Arvin HS, Savannah Andrews- BC, Lesley Bonds-BC, Kylie Swanson- BC, Ed Watts- Arvin HS, Jesse Oropeza-BC, Abel Guzman-BC, Cynthia Zamora-Arvin HS

Fun Photo: Faculty

I love this photo of Deborah Rosenthal, Chemistry Faculty!

Deborah Rosenthal holding 2 Geese
Khushnur and Zav Dadhaboy with Nick Strobel at Fox Theater for the viewing of the movie Gandhi

A New Addition to the BC Family

Congratulations to Jeff (art faculty) and Janice Huston on the birth of Jonah David Huston yesterday morning at 3:26 AM!

That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Preparing for Spring 2019

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, January 12, 2019… A great day to be a Renegade.

Spring Opening Day

Bakersfield College kicked off Spring 2019 in style, with Opening Day activities filled with laughter, fellowship, and tales of student success.

On Thursday at the Indoor Theater, faculty and staff were treated to a delicious continental breakfast catered by Hodel’s Country Dining.  I’d like thank both Hodel’s and our Food Services Department for amazing food that got everyone in the Renegade spirit before Opening Day began.

Food from Hodels & BC Food Services

Acting BCSGA President Ashley Nicole Harp began the morning’s activities with an opening address reminding faculty and staff about the Distinguished Speakers planned for this semester, including
Temple Grandin, autism spokesperson and advocate for the ethical treatment of livestock. Ashley also encouraged faculty to nominate students for BCSGA elections during the nomination period in February.

BCSGA Acting President Ashley Harp

Although I was unable to be at Opening Day in person this time, due to the ACCJC Accreditation Commission meeting, Monika Scott and Manny De Los Santos helped me prepare videos on some of the major projects we have planned for 2019, and to share some of the work that we managed to accomplish in 2018, and that we’ll continue to build on in 2019.

Our work with the Early College initiative is kicking into high gear this spring, and members of the Early College team took the stage to talk about the ways that dual and concurrent enrollment is clarifying the path for students in rural Kern County. Rural Initiatives director Abel Guzman described how Early College has already proven to effective in leveling the playing field for young people in Kern County, and outlined plans for the program to expand from Wasco and Arvin, to McFarland, Shafter and beyond. Director of Student Success & Equity Lesley Bonds provided data on the 90 percent completion rate for the program, which is predominately composed of first-generation students of color.

L to R: Sarah Baron, Christine Cruz-Boone, Abel Guzman and Lesley Bonds

For a faculty perspective, Sarah Baron and Christine Cruz-Boone shared how Early College is touching the lives of students on an individual level while maintaining the rigor expected of college-credit courses. Baron shared the touching story of one high school student in her Introduction to Public Health class who broke down crying upon realizing that she was capable of earning a college degree, and the ways that achieving a college degree could transform her life and the lives of her family members. Cruz-Boone shared a similar story from her Public Speaking and Intercultural Communication courses, and encouraged faculty to invite Early College students to participate in events to make them feel closer to the BC community.

Billie Jo Rice gave a presentation about how software such as Starfish is an integral part of BC’s patented “high-tech, high-touch” approach to student success while informing enrollment management decisions, and announced that the Academic Development is changing to the Education Department, which better reflects serving students in our Education Pathway. Kimberly Bligh described analyzing Education Pathway data and working with the Mathematics Department to triple the seats available in transfer-level math, helping meet the momentum point goal of students completing transfer-level math in their first year. She also shared how the Bridge to BC: First Year Student Success program is beginning to incorporate our award-winning Program Pathways Mapper system.

L to R: Grace Torres, Kimberly Bligh, Billie Jo Rice and Isabel Castaneda

Education Pathway data coach Isabel Castaneda went into more detail on individualized case management using Starfish, and introduced Early Childhood Education major Grace Torres, who was inspired to become a first-grade teacher by the guided pathways framework and observing the dedication that BC students and staff exhibit toward their own students. Torres is currently one of our peer mentor tutors at BC.

Nick Strobel shared some information on how the Board of Governors developed the new statewide funding formula for community colleges, and Craig Hayward showed an Excel spreadsheet he created to calculate state funding allocations on a per-student basis.

L to R: Dan Hall, Angelica Perez, Grace Torres, Kimberly Bligh, Billie Jo Rice, Isabel Castaneda, Craig Hayward & Nick Strobel

Dan Hall introduced himself in his new role as Director of our Inmate Education program over the winter break, and and shared how he’s observed the positive influence that education can have on incarcerated students during his time working in inmate education at Taft College. BC’s Inmate Scholars program manager Angelica Perez recited the mission statement pledge that incarcerated students say while in the program, and described how providing opportunities for education for those in prison reduces recidivism and makes re-entry into society easier.

Dan Hall and Angelica Perez

At the conclusion of the Inmate Education portion of the ceremony, faculty and staff watched a video about Free on the Outside, a student organization that provides support and a sense of community for previously-incarcerated students at BC.

Free on the Outside is a student organization at Bakersfield College

Todd Coston, who also served as master of ceremonies for Spring 2019 Opening Day, provided an update for the various construction projects around campus. The Campus Center is currently in the process of being demolished, and there will be a groundbreaking ceremony for the new Campus Center next Wednesday, January 16. In the meantime, Food Services has moved to the Gym Huddle, and a food truck dubbed Gades Grub will complement the other food truck vendors on campus. The Vernon Valenzuela Veterans Resource Center is slated to be completed by November 2019; renovations to Memorial Stadium will be completed in two phases; and a new gym facility and new science and engineering building are currently in planning stages.

Todd Coston

Director of Student Life Nicky Damania announced that all Campus Center services have been moved to Levinson Hall, and that the Levinson courtyard will serve as an outdoor space for students to eat and study.

Nicky Damania & Ashley Harp

Bernadette Martinez announced CSEA President Tina Johnson as the classified union’s Member of the Year, and CCA President Tom Greenwood talked about the opening of faculty negotiations.

Bernadette Martinez and Tina Johnson
Tom Greenwood

Academic Senate President Steven Holmes announced the upcoming hiring of 35 new faculty, and then took the stage again to accept the Margaret Levinson Award for Faculty Leadership. Nick Strobel and Matt Garrett presented Holmes with the award, as well as a makeover kit that included dress shoes and a tie, lightly poking fun at his often very informal appearance while praising all that he’s done to advocate for BC faculty at the district level.  Steve is quite the jokester, so his colleagues wanted to return the favor. Here are some remarks from Matt:

Some of you may only know him as the boisterous jokester, but he truly has a huge heart for BC, and this year he is completing his fifth year as senate president – a tenure that exceeds that of any other senate president in the history of Bakersfield College. In that capacity he has partnered with faculty leaders to facilitate the roll out of a variety of initiatives and software, and software, and software; but more than that Steve ferociously defended this college against district growth in policy and practice, and established an important new precedent in securing proportional representation in district wide governance.

There is not time sufficient to review all Steve has done over just the past few years.

Matthew Garrett, January 10, 2019
Matt Garrett, Steve Holmes & Nick Strobel

Donna Starr also announced physics professor Richard Darke as the recipient of the Shirley Trembley Distinguished Teaching Award, and Darke talked about taking Shirley Trembley’s math classes as a student in the ’60s, and how that inspired him to pursue a career in STEM. Starr also shared that nominations have begun for the Norman Levan Faculty Colloquium Award.

Richard Drake & Donna Starr

This year’s Opening Day was packed with information and activity! I’d like to thank our ushers, Media Services, Marketing and Public Relations, Maintenance and Operations, and everyone who came together to assemble another great Opening Day.  Also, a very special thank you to Jennifer Serratt for making sure that opening day goes off without a hitch.

Jerry Ludeke and Jennifer Serratt

Bi-Annual KCCD SGA Retreat

Chancellor Tom Burke addressing the student leaders from all three colleges

On Monday January 7th, the Bakersfield College Student Government Association travelled to our sister institution Cerro Coso Community College for the bi-annual KCCD SGA retreat, along with members of the student governments at Cerro Coso and Porterville. The 20 student officers had a full day of leadership development, presentations, and planning for the spring semester. CCCC Vice President of Instruction Dr. Chad Houck gave a presentation about the evolution of leadership ending with servant leadership as it relates to the student officers roles at each college. KCCD Chancelor Tom Burke and KCCD Chief Financial Officer Debbie Martin also made the retreat to talk about developing projects at the district office and student leaders’ fiduciary role with student funds. The SGA advisors guided the students through conversations about their reasons for joining SGA and how to recruit more officers for future SGAs. Thanks to CCCC for hosting the retreat!

Student Employment for Spring 2019

While our students are learning new job skills in their classes, the Student Employment Department at BC offers them the opportunity to bring those skills into the workplace while they’re still in school.

Since 2017, Student Employment has used the Jobspeaker platform to provide students with work experience, and job development specialists work step-by-step with students to build an online job profile and resumes that are accessible right from their phones by both students looking for work, and potential employers looking to find the perfect applicants .

Student Employment program manager Stephanie Baltazar shared that in Spring 2019 there are 574 students participating in the Jobspeaker platform. As of opening day, there were 17 open positions for on-campus employment and 60 more on-campus positions that were in the interviewing process. There are also multiple off-campus positions available for JobSpeaker students to apply for. Any student interested in creating a Jobspeaker account should visit the Student Employment Lab in FACE 11 to speak with a job development specialist — no appointment necessary.

Stephanie Baltazar

BC’s Student Employment Department is under Career and Technical Education (CTE), which is currently in the process of launching a rebranding campaign as recommended by the Strong Work Force Task Force of the California Community College’s Chancellor’s Office. Research conducted by this task force has concluded that lack of knowledge about CTE programs and opportunities is the biggest barrier to enrollment in these programs. This statewide rebranding initiative aims to increase awareness and engagement by students, businesses, union leaders and community stakeholders about career technical education programs at community colleges.

Express Enrollment Throughout Kern County

The Outreach Department hosted a series of Express Enrollment workshops this week throughout Kern County, where students could become ready to start their college journey in just one day!

Students at Express Enrollment

Throughout the week, Express Enrollment events were held at the Delano and Panorama campuses, the Job Spot, Wasco High, and Arvin High. These events have facilitated students’ ability to get processed and registered for their classes, and it’s a major factor driving growth of our student population at BC.

Stay tuned for more information about Express Enrollment events happening throughout the semester.

Students in the BC Welcome Center

Web Team Behind the Scenes

I want to also take a moment here to highlight our web team in the Marketing and Public Relations Department and everything they do to ensure that all the information on the Bakersfield College website is accurate, accessible and up-to-date for our students.

The web team works closely with every part of the campus community to update and maintain BC’s website. This includes everything from routine date and deadline changes on web pages, to adding events and workshops to the BC Calendar, to ensuring that the website is in full compliance with state and federal accessibility and FERPA regulations.

Chris Blakemore, Aricia Leighton and Earl Parsons

The web team diligently handles dozens of requests in the weeks leading up to the start of each semester, and I would strongly encourage all faculty and staff at BC to take a look at the pages related to their respective departments to provide the web team with any needed updates. Faculty and staff can submit web requests by visiting the KCCD Service Center and creating a case under “Web Services” in the “Request Type” drop-down menu.

The Marketing and Public Relations department is also responsible for coordinating all of our Opening and Closing Day activities, and they do a great job of making these events engaging experiences that keep our BC family informed about both the new projects planned for the upcoming semester, as well as what’s been accomplished by ongoing projects.

I’m proud of the work our Marketing and Public Relations team does to connect the lines of communication between our students, staff and community, and I’m grateful to have such a dynamic group in charge of our website.

Educating One Another on Campus During FLEX Week

The week before every semester our campus holds “FLEX week,” with a series of professional development workshops for new and returning faculty and staff.

Brandon Urry on Social Media 101

Measure J Updates

It’s a busy time to be a Renegade!  Not only do we have active construction for both the Campus Center and Veterans Resource Center, but we have NINE other projects underway in various stages.  You can check out a full list of the projects and their statues on the A Better BC website.  Make sure to follow our Twitter and Facebook accounts to stay up to date with all that’s going on!

Looping in the Community

The Bakersfield Californian published a great article last week about the new Bakersfield College Campus Center and the impact that it will have on student life on the campus.  Student life is at the forefront of everything we do here at Bakersfield College, and the new Campus Center will enable us to keep growing while offering the best services possible in order for them to achieve their educational goals.  Make sure to read the full article “Bakersfield College starts cashing in to $502 million bond with $38 million campus center.”  Thank you to TBC Media reporter Joseph Luiz for helping spread the word!

TBC Media Photo

Next week we are holding the Campus Center Groundbreaking ceremony to celebrate this new facility.  Please join us next Wednesday, January 16 at 10:30am on the CSS Lawn (near the Admin building). This is going to be a great event and will be a celebration our students and their future on our campus.

Veterans Bridge to BC

On Tuesday, faculty and staff led a group of incoming veteran BC students through a tour of the campus as part of the Bridge to BC, an intensive, one-day course designed for students to familiarize themselves with the BC campus and prepare for the college experience. Initially piloted as a course offered to veterans in the summer, Bridge to BC has expanded to offerings throughout the year, and there are openings now for non-veteran students throughout the Spring 2019 semester.

Veterans heading in for Bridge to BC

For more information and to register for a Bridge to BC course, visit the Bridge to BC page.

Head Athletic Trainer Fred Smith Calls it a Career

Our very own Fred Smith wrapped up his career as an athletic trainer after 35 years working in the Bakersfield College athletic department. Fred has left a lasting impact on thousands of Renegade student athletes over the years and will be missed. Make sure to check out 23ABC’s story on Fred’s retirement.  

Fred Smith

Learning From Our Students

Earlier this week BC sent a survey to our enrolled students in order to learn more about food insecurity, and the need for housing and safety of our students.  This survey is a part of Kaiser Permanente’s Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA), which helps us identify primary concerns in the areas of access to medical care, availability of services, and service gaps.

Kaiser Permanente in Bakersfield

I would like to thank Kaiser Permanente for their commitment to our students and community, and for partnering with Bakersfield College to help gather this information.

Fun Photos: Happy Birthday Dean Waller

Steve Waller celebrates his birthday with STEM folks this week. Janet Thomas made the bunt cake filled with Fruit Loops and Lucky Charms.

Dean Waller slicing up some birthday cake.

Fun Photos: Opening Day

Janet Tarjan, Jerry Ludeke, and Gayle Richardson
Manny Mourtzanos as Steve Holmes

Renegade Athletics Roundup

Baseball/Softball Season is just around the corner

Our Renegade baseball and softball teams open the season in just a few weeks. Check their schedule on GoGades.com and make plans to enjoy some games in-person this spring. Home games will be live-streamed on the athletic Facebook page – search Bakersfield College Athletics to follow.

Baseball 2019 Promo Photo
Softball 2019 Promo Photo

Renegade Online Student Hub in Shafter

On Friday, David Franz, the Education Partnership Director for the City of Shafter, and employees from the Shafter Learning Center visited the Renegade Online Student Hub to receive training on supporting BC students in Shafter that are either taking online classes, or using technology in their face-to-face classes. Starting this Spring, the Shafter Learning Center will provide a dedicated space for BC students who live in the Shafter community to get online support, help with classes, and access online tutoring.

Renegade Online Student Hub training

That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

the luckiest and happiest college president ever

2019, here we come…..

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, January 5, 2019… A great day to be a Renegade.

Gandhi Turns 150

On a planet of more than 7 billion people, it’s striking when the actions of just one individual cause a ripple effect that changes our lives. And yet there are those individuals who set seemingly unattainable goals, work their entire lives to achieve them, and inspire millions of others to follow in their footsteps.

I saw this ad for “A Tribute to Mahatma Gandhi” in the Bakersfield Californian last week.
Ravi and Naina Patel

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was inspired by his Hindu faith and national pride to become a civil rights activist, fighting to free India from the yoke of colonial rule under the British Raj. Through a lifetime of non-violent civil disobedience and leading by example, Gandhi was able to achieve independence for almost a billion people, which earned him the title “Mahatma”, or “venerable” in Sanskrit. His approach to civil rights would inspire other similar efforts throughout the world, notably Martin Luther King’s non-violent protests in the United States in the ’50s and ’60s, or Nelson Mandela’s anti-apartheid movement in South Africa in the ’80s and ’90s.

October 2, 2019, Gandhi’s 150th birthday, will be celebrated worldwide as the International Day of Non-violence, and recognized in India as Gandhi Jayanti, a national holiday. In Bakersfield, Gandhi’s 150th birthday will be celebrated with a year-long series of events, kicking off with a screening of the Academy Award-winning film “Gandhi” starring Ben Kingsley in the Fox Theater on Sunday, January 13 at 2 p.m.

On March 30, the Ravi and Naina Patel Foundation and the Institute for Religion, Education and Public Policy will host a Festival for Peace and Non-violence at Cal State Bakersfield’s Don Hart East Lawn. The keynote speaker for the event will be Eisha Mason, Executive Director of the Center for the Advancement for Non-violence, who will give a presentation on the life of Mahatma Gandhi.

As Gandhi famously said, “be the change that you wish to see in the world.” To be that change we must believe in ourselves and act to realize our goals.

Taking the Polar Bear Plunge

Matt Moon and BC’s Swim Team hosted a Polar Bear Swim in the chilly morning yesterday. Participants had the option of taking a quick dip in the pool before jumping right back out, or taking a 25-yard swim across the pool. Either way it sounds like an experience for the daring at heart.

The Bakersfield Californian promo’ed the event in their article “Jump into 2019 with Polar Bear Swim and Dip at BC.” Then they covered it in a piece titled, “Bakersfield College holds first Polar Bear Swim” with some great photos. Here is one — check out The Bakersfield Californian for the rest.

Alumni Al Black jumps in to BC’s Pool. Photo by Alex Horvath of The Bakersfield Californian
I ran into KCCD staff member Cynthia Munoz at an exercise class early Saturday morning – come join us in 2019!

BC Dual Enrollment shining in Santa Barbara

On Thursday and Friday (Jan. 3-4), members of the Bakersfield College dual enrollment, outreach and CTE teams attended and presented at the Get Focused…Stay Focused! conference in Santa Barbara. Dr. Anna Laven co-presented with Claudia Johnson from SBCC on dual enrollment program logistics and with Dr. Darla Cooper of the RP Group on integration of dual enrollment in Guided Pathways. Dr. Laven also facilitated a working session on dual enrollment. 

Wondering what Get Focused…Stay Focused! is?  It is a well researched curriculum that supports student introspection in college and career choices, culminating in a ten-year plan. Offered as Student Development B3, 9th grade high school students earn college credit while gaining critical insight about their strengths, aspirations and career goals. STDV B3 continues to be the largest single dual enrollment course offering at Bakersfield College, and is an important first step for any student in clarifying their path. 

Attendees from across the state learned about the course itself, as well as opportunities to make connections with strong workforce and guided pathways work. 

BC had a large group in attendance — Steve Watkin, Kylie Swanson, Savanah Andrews, Tony Cordova, Alexander Clark, Martin Perez, Dawn Mosley, Carlos Medina and Dr. Anna Laven. A special thank you to Letty Garza of Academic Innovations for hosting a Bakersfield College dinner!

BC Food Services Stands Out with Rockstar Student Employees

Stephanie Stuart and Angelica Jauregui

Stephanie Stuart, Food Service Manager, hires over 20 student employees each semester. They admire her creativity in the kitchen, and would like to be like her!

Stephanie recognized her student employee, Angelica Jauregui for the way she starts every shift with a huge smile, a wonderful attitude that she brings out in others as well, and also for her skills, mastering every station in food service over the past two years.

Measure J is bringing some much needed upgrades to the cafeteria. With that progress comes challenges in the transition, and Aa Food Services Manager, Stephanie has been decisive and creative, soliciting food truck options to keep our students well fed as they study, and even creating a BC Gades Grub food truck of our own! She and her team are also creating new menu items to meet location challenges during the renovation. Follow the food service team on social media @bcfoodscene

Fun Photos: Preparing for Spring!

We’re all hard at work preparing for Spring, but Jennifer has us pause for photo opportunity. So many smiling faces!

Sitting, from left to right: Corny Rodriguez, Steve Waller, Abel Guzman, Michele Bresso
Standing, from left to right: Sonya Christian, Liz Rozell, Dan Hall, Andrea Thorson, Rich McCrow, Bill Moseley, Carla Gard

BC Choir Sings in the Sydney Opera House

Congrats to the BC Choir for their role in helping with the premiere of The Secret of the Sea at the famous Opera House in Sydney, Australia! They are in the center–the entire seating chart was based around them!

Check out the video below to see their wonderful performance.

BC Partners with Local Employers

Meathead Movers, a company new to Bakersfield, was on campus at the end of last semester to recruit student athletes looking for part-time employment. Their company provides their student athlete employees with flexible work schedules and study time, and provides opportunities for promotion — all while emphasizing their mission, “To support student-athletes working their way through college in pursuit of their own American dream.” The company strives to build strong work ethic, accountability, integrity, as well as a sense of social responsibility.

Meathead Movers Job Fair on campus

Last semester, 34 Bakersfield College students applied for jobs at the Meathead Movers job fair, and we will partner with them throughout the coming school year. Applications are still available in the Student Employment Lab on campus. Thank you Darrell Ballard, Program Manager, Kinesiology and Domenica Trinidad, Job Developer, for organizing this effort.

Last Chance Express Enrollment

Registration Rocks at BC!

BC will host another Express Enrollment event to assist incoming and returning Renegades with registration for the Spring semester. As we like to say, “It’s possible to become a Renegade in just one day!”

Invite anyone you know who might want assistance to come to campus on January 9th between 1PM and 6PM to get on the path to a college degree, certificate or job ready skill. All they need to do to get started is show up and we’ll work with them to take it from there to success!

Sterling Silver 2019 Coming Soon

Do you have your tickets yet for the 2019 Sterling Silver Gala and Dinner? Or have you marked your calendar for March 23, 2019? To get your tickets just call the BC Foundation Office today at 661-395-4800!

Tom Gelder, Sonya Christian, Marko B. and Theo Zaninovich

Sterling Silver is a college fundraiser hosted by the Bakersfield College Foundation, and those who have attended know that the Foundation knows how to host a wonderful evening. It’s hard to believe this will be the 11th annual evening of delicious culinary creations, amazing music, fellowship, and giving — creating support for BC students.

Last year, the event took place at BC’s library, a wonderful setting for our 200 guests. A highlight of the evening was honoring Kenneth M. Byrum with a presentation of the inaugural Bakersfield College Foundation Service Medal. Ken has been on the Foundation Board since its inception in 1975, and he continues to serve and support the students Bakersfield College through his work for the Foundation. The generosity and spirit of the Byrum family was present in full force that evening , with family members coming to town from across the country.

The Byrum Family at BC

Fun Photos: Snow Bunny

Thanks to Carlos Barbaran for snapping this photo of an adorable bunny from Colorado!

Bunny in snow

Farewell to Christmas Trees

BC has once again served as a community recycling location for Christmas tree recycling. Real Christmas trees are biodegradable, which means they can be easily reused or recycled for mulch and other purposes, but make sure before you drop them off that they’re free of all your precious ornaments and decorations!

Fun Photos: Construction on Campus

New year, new progress. The old Campus Center is being demolished to make way for newer and better buildings. I can’t wait until our new campus buildings and renovations are a reality!

Fun Photos: The Talented Mr. Santos

Had a great time with Manny de los Santos this week making a video for Opening Day.

Men’s Basketball Beats Glendale

Men's Basketball Beats Glendale in Western State Classic

The Bakersfield College Men’s basketball team hosted Glendale College in their first game of the Western State Classic on Friday evening, and came away with a commanding 81-68 victory.

The Renegades got off to a fast start with a 35-21 lead at halftime. In the second half the Renegades continued to apply the pressure as Glendale tried mounting a comeback. Bakersfield never lost the lead, and led
throughout the half — at times by as many as 14 points.

Leading BC in scoring for the game was Shahadah Camp with 22 points and 5 rebounds. Anieus Medrano added 19 points and 6 rebounds.

With the win the Renegades improve to 9-6 overall on the season.  

Fun Photos: Jack Hernandez

I love this photo of Jack Hernandez preaching in downtown Lenox, MA after having a great latte! 😀

Sonya Christian

That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

the luckiest and happiest college president ever

2018: A Year of Accomplishment, Generosity, & Anticipation

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, December 29, 2018… A great day to be a Renegade.

Happy New Year

As 2018 winds down, our thoughts are with family and friends. I am so grateful and honored to work with our extended BC family — the faculty, staff and students of Bakersfield College — the generous and hard-working people of Bakersfield, Delano, and nearby communities. Our work is more important than ever, and what we do is only possible working together.

Looking Back

As we look back on 2018 my thoughts are also with those BC family members we lost. All these and many more in our personal lives were important to us, and we should take a moment to remember them and be grateful for what they did for us and our community.

Harvey Hall

We did so much in 2018, and it is impossible to list more than a sampling of accomplishments to celebrate what we did this year, who we were and who we’ve become.

We have grown the student population that we serve. The annual 2017-18 student headcount was 33,257, producing 17,034 Full-time Equivalent Students (FTES), a 3.7% increase relative compared to 2016-17. These are not just numbers. This growth means that we are making education possible for individuals and families, improving lives for more of our communities.

Our student Renegades are diverse, working to overcome challenges and barriers to complete their education and improve their lives and the lives of their families.

Over the last year, BC has grown the work of Guided Pathways. Among the graduates were the first graduates of the Early College program through The Wonderful Academy and the first graduates of BC’s Industrial Automation Baccalaureate degree.

The Completion Coaching Communities serve our diverse community of students. These “coaching” teams of faculty and staff are evolving to provide more focused and holistic support for our students.
The lives they touch are reflected in the increasing completion and success rates, and these numbers and many others are tracked by Data coaches who are trained and supplied with data on the students in their particular meta-major. This focused and deliberate use of data supports the communication, the interventions, and the support for students attempting at least 15 units in their first term and completing transfer-level English and math in their first year.

In 2018 we continued to find new ways to support students and change lives.

Bakersfield College and CSUB partnered to develop the Kern Promise: Finish in 4 transfer initiative to address baccalaureate attainment in Kern County. The transfer task force, Workgroup to Advance Regional Baccalaureate Attainment (WARBA) works with faculty and staff at BC and CSUB to identify issues of misalignment across the transfer pathways program-by-program, and for each ADT offered. Through our collaboration, faculty identified course articulation and/or ADT modifications to develop 27 fully transferable, sequenced semester roadmaps with aligned coursework from the BC ADT through to the CSU Bakersfield baccalaureate. Our growth in ADT engagement and completion has been substantial.

The BC family is serving the diversity of Kern County through intentional outreach, expansions, and Early College programming. BC’s Rural Initiatives efforts include traditional services offered in surrounding communities, while also leading efforts in Early College and Adult Education. In partnership with K-12 schools, adult schools, city governments, private industry partners, and non-profit organizations, BC’s Rural Initiatives team is changing lives in communities with historically low degree attainment rates, and high unemployment numbers.

The BC family includes partnerships too many to list, with partners like the
Wonderful Company — a strong advocate for education, that also encourages their employees to take advantage of new, local educational services. In 2018, the North Kern Adult Education Team, in collaboration with the Wonderful Company, developed services in Lost Hills to prepare future Renegades for the EMLS program, future CTE certificates, and degree pathways.

The community strongly supported the facilities vision of bond Measure J in 2016. As we look back on 2018 we can see the beginning of making this vision a reality. Fittingly we started construction by celebrating the groundbreaking for the Vernon Valenzuela Veterans Resource Center this past November. We started meeting community needs for safer and better parking options with refurbishments early in 2018 and throughout the summer. The 2018 year only saw the very beginning of Measure J work, but what a great year it’s been.

Digital Rendering of the Veterans Resource Center
Digital Rendering of the Veterans Resource Center

In 2018, more than ever, BC and the Bakersfield community are blessed with leaders who share a passion for education and how it changes lives for students and their families. The instances of service and generosity of community leaders are ongoing, and too numerous to recognize them all. Assembly Member Rudy Salas secured $1 Million to fund various programs at for BC; Senator Andy Vidak hosted a healthcare partners round table discussion. Countless political leaders like Jean Fuller, Vince Fong, Leticia Perez, and many others around our region have come to speak at the BCSGA Power Lunches, and Mayor Goh is in all ways one of the biggest supporters of BC that could ever be hoped for.

There’s so much 2018 to celebrate!

Students Engaging in the Future of California

I saw on Facebook an article posted by Oliver Rosales titled “Engaging students in the future of California: A CA 2020 Media Summit Recap” that aims to answer what would happen if you bring together students from different counties to talk about the future of media and the state of California. The article says, “Students from Foothill and De Anza Colleges in Silicon Valley, San Diego City College, Shasta College in Redding, and Bakersfield College and South Kern Sol came together for two days. The students from the four campuses had the incredible opportunity to make connections, reflect on questions of media literacy and their role as emerging journalists and storytellers and to learn practical skills from professional journalists and from one another.

The project brought Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Sonia Nazario to campuses throughout California and brought the four schools together at a Media Summit, where the students learned from leading media makers and shared skills and insights from their projects.

Students from Bakersfield College/Kern Sol News visit the KQED Public Radio newsroom in San Francisco. Photo: Kern Sol News.
Students from Bakersfield College/Kern Sol News visit the KQED Public Radio newsroom in San Francisco. Photo: Kern Sol News.

Christmas Story of Hope

Olivia Garcia texted me, “Please watch this news clip if you haven’t already. Larry and Sabrina were my students in my California history class this fall. Watching this video made me cry. They had told me before that they had their share of struggles but I didn’t realize how much until I saw the KGET news coverage. These two were such an amazing pair of students in my class. Always contributing to discussions, always reaching out to me for advice or guidance. So kind-hearted and friendly. I can proudly say both did so well in my history class. Yes, there were times that they felt the stress of school and questioned their ability to succeed, but I always encouraged them they could do it – and they did. They worked so hard, they used campus resources like SI and the writing resource center. They didn’t give up and I’m so proud of them. Just like the work of Covenant that KGET highlighted, BC is also about giving chances and transforming lives. I just feel so rewarded to have been in a small part of their journey. This is why I love what I do.”

Check out the story at KGET titled, “A Covenant Christmas: Once homeless, but never hopeless.”

In addition to the text from Olivia Garcia, I also received a text from Kimberly Bligh about these students who were in her class as well.

Fun Christmas & Holiday Photos

Friends and Supporters at the Abernathy Christmas Party
Friends and Supporters at the Abernathy Christmas Party
The Strobel Family attends Christmas services
The Strobel Family attends Christmas services
The 2018 Collier Family Christmas Photo
The 2018 Collier Family Christmas Photo
The Garrett and Urry Children are ready for Santa to visit
The Garrett and Urry Children are ready for Santa to visit
Fred Misono, a Rotarian and a supporter of BC
Fred Misono, a Rotarian and a supporter of BC
Monika Scott visits Toronto for Christmas
Monika Scott visits Toronto for Christmas

Fun Photos from Bob Allison’s 80th

Happy Birthday to a dear friend and colleague, Bob Allison.

Fun Photos

Margot the corgi with big ears
Margot the corgi with big ears

David Franz had a Community Voices piece published recently where he shared his thoughts on higher education and bringing college to the City of Shafter. Here is an excerpt:

” As a region, higher education is important to us in less obvious ways. As Kern County grows, we will need people in board rooms around the state to share our perspective and represent our interests. We often complain about how we are treated by far off elites. We need our own people in those rooms. A degree is part of the cost of entry.”

Check out his entire article at The Bakersfield Californian titled “Bringing Higher Education to our Youth.”

This personal piece I wrote about celebrating Christmas 2011 in Ceylon with my mom was published on Christmas day in The Bakersfield Californian

Pam Christian

I could easily continue to celebrate much, much more of BC 2018, but I think I’ll say:

That’s all for 2018…

Until 2019…

That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

the luckiest and happiest college president ever

A Bakersfield College Wonderland

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, January 5, 2019… A great day to be a Renegade.

Merry Christmas

Dr. John Gerhold 2016 Culinary and Christmas Caroling
2017 BSO and BC. Home for the Holidays. It is beginning to look a lot like Christmas
Neo, December 21 2018…..3 months away from being 2

Rural Initiatives in McFarland

Big things are happening in rural Kern County! This picture was taken after a two hour session of planning how McFarland Unified School District and Bakersfield College will level out the playing field for hundreds (and eventually thousands) of students through early college opportunities. I’m thankful to Aaron Resendez and Brian Bell for providing us this opportunity in McFarland.


“There are times in our lives where people cross each other’s path and assist in creating greatness,” wrote McFarland High Principal Brian Bell on Facebook.  I couldn’t agree more, Brian!

Planning for the launch of the 2019 9th grade Early College
Bakersfield College and McFarland High School Early College Planning Team

KCCD Trustees Award Gym Design/Build to S.C. Anderson

One of the commitments that we made on the Measure J campaign trail was on keeping construction work local whenever possible, and this newest award shows that.  You can check out this piece by BakersfieldNow about the contract.  We are extremely excited to work with S.C. Anderson, and can’t wait to get the ball rolling on our new gym!

Current picture of the BC Gym

Campus Center Groundbreaking January 16

We will be holding the Campus Center groundbreaking at Bakersfield College on January 16! The Campus Center is the second building construction project breaking ground thanks to the funding of Measure J.  Please join us for music, fun and a performance by the BC drumline! And thank you for voting Yes on J!

Campus Center Groundbreaking Invite

Coming Soon: Gades Grub!

Our BC food trailer “Gades Grub” is officially on campus!  We are so excited to show this baby off in the spring semester, but I thought I’d give you all a sneak peak.  Gades Grub will help feed our students while Campus Center is under construction. It will be near the Huddle (the gymnasium area) so make sure to visit it and try some delicious BC eats!

RAD Training at BC

BC’s Public Safety team held its two-day Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) training on campus earlier this week. RAD is a self-defense course designed just for women and was founded in 1989 by a former college police officer.  This training was open to female students, staff and the public at no charge. Twenty-two attendees learned defensive techniques to empower them to deal with unexpected situations that can take place anywhere at any time.

Public Safety tries to hold these trainings a couple of times each semester, and will be holding one down the road at Porterville College. Thank you to Chief Counts and his team! Make sure to keep an eye out for future trainings!  

Wreaths Across America

Bakersfield National Cemetery held its Wreaths Across America ceremony Saturday morning to honor and remember veterans. Our very own Mary Jo Pasek and her husband Tom organized this event.  Make sure to check out the Bakersfield Californian story with more photos.

Mary Jo & Tom Pasek at the Wreaths Across America ceremony.

White Christmas in Massachusetts

Jack Hernandez shared this beautiful photo with me, where he skied in Lenox, Massachusetts with his family.  Look at that gorgeous snow!

Jack Hernandez in skis

Happy Holidays From Tampico Hermoso

Diego Gutierrez Monterrubio shared these beautiful Christmas Parade photos from Tampico Hermoso. Diego and his family visited the Mexican Venice in Tampico, Tamaulipas, México, where he said that the canal was 30 feet from his front door!  This is absolutely stunning and I think I might have to add it to my travel list.

Thank you KGET!

KGET’s Tabatha Mills swung by campus this week to take a look at the Campus Center construction, and specifically, the Fireside room.  Thirty years ago, BC’s Phyllis Hullett and the women of Junior League planned the very first Women’s Business Conference right in that room, which Tabatha will feature a story on down the road. Thank you Mary Jo Pasek and Bill Potter for showing Tabatha the room, and taking a walk down memory lane!  

Mary Jo Pasek, Tabatha Mils and Bill Potter

Dual Enrollment Orientation

Michele Bresso shared a photo of BC’s Industrial Automation faculty member Manny Fernandez orienting the high school dual enrollment teachers about BC classes on the high school campuses. We are strengthening this pipeline to our baccalaureate degree program.  Thanks for capturing the moment, Michele!

Dual enrollment orientation

Express Enrollment

The Outreach and School Relations Department wrapped up a busy December with Express Enrollment events in Arvin and the Panorama Campus on Wednesday, the last of seven express enrollment days in just this month.  Express Enrollments were held at the Panorama and Delano campuses, as well as BC Southwest, Shafter and Arvin in the month of December.

The Outreach and Dual Enrollment staffs celebrated the holidays together with a Christmas party at La Costa Mexican Grill on Tuesday.

I’d like to thank the Outreach staff for everything they do to get our students started correctly on their educational journey. The first Express Enrollment of 2019 is on Wednesday, January 9 at 1 p.m. starting in the Welcome Center.

Honoring Devin Aldridge

Bakersfield College is a place where students come to achieve their dreams and complete their education under sometimes very extreme circumstances. Take the case of Renegade Devin Aldridge. Devin was diagnosed with an aggressive and eventually fatal brain cancer, but was committed to his education. One of his professors, Andrew Haney tells me Devin attended all his classes, took every final, and was a dedicated Renegade. Professor Haney requested that I confer his BC credentials at the service. At a service honoring Devin’s life, I presented Devin’s father with his certificates. It warmed my heart to see the closeness that faculty members in automotive program had created for their students. Clearly Prof. Haney and the students were BC family for Devin. I am so proud that BC has faculty of the caliber of Andrew Haney…..incredibly smart, work long hours, absolutely committed to our students, with a great heart that embraces our community.

BC Chamber Singers Visit Breakfast Rotary

BC Chamber Singers visited the Breakfast Rotary meeting this week, which just so happened to be Mindy Wilmot’s birthday!  Happy belated birthday, Mindy!  I love when we are able to show the community how wonderful our students are.  Thank you to our Director of Choral and Vocal Studies, Jennifer Garrett for all of your hard work! Check out the picture of the choir with our Chancellor Tom Burke who was beaming like a proud father at the great performance of the students.

BC’s High Touch Strategy

BC is a Guided Pathways college that uses a high-touch, high-tech approach to student support.  While we are integrating the newest technology to support students with the Pathways Program Mapper, Starfish, etc, we are also keeping the high-touch personalized face-to-face, staff to student, support as well. Our teams across campus have been using the High Touch strategy to support students in their spring enrollment.  Thank you to everyone for your commitment to our students!

Umoja Milestone Celebration Receives Senate Resolution

Dr. Paula L. Parks, Umoja Community coordinator, received a Senate resolution at the Umoja Milestone Celebration. In addition to Dr. Parks’ recognition, three Umoja students were honored for graduating, program mentors were acknowledged, and Umoja faculty and community supporters were thanked.

Mr. Michael Bowers presented the resolution from Senator Andy Vidack’s office, and Dr. Parks was very appreciative and quite touched. Umoja student David Thomas had contacted Mr. Bowers asking that Dr. Parks, who started the program in 2015, be recognized for her dedication to and work with Umoja. This semester the program grew to include two sections of English/student development and a campus club.

Michael Bowers presenting Dr. Paula L. Parks with a Senate resolution.

The three December graduates are Tyler Johnican, Mikeisha Lowder, and Donna Polk – all from the first cohort. The program is designed to increase the graduation and transfer rate of African-American students, and Dr. Parks noted the pride in seeing students graduate, but the sadness in seeing them leave BC. All three of the graduates said that the program was instrumental in their success and growth.

The Milestone Celebration also included the welcome by RIchard McDowell; opening ritual by Dr. Parks and Mr. Jonathan Ward, the Umoja counselor and student development instructor, Kwanzaa candle lighting by students in the English 53 class; and words by the Umoja Club President Korrie Edwards and English 1a student Michaela Edwards.

Also noted as key to the success of the Umoja program is the support of BC and community mentors; the Umoja advisory board; dedicated faculty Mr. Michael Little (math), Ms. Kalisha Hudgins (math), Ms. Faith Bradham (library), Coach Reggie Bolton (health), and Mr. Gilbert Ayuk (astronomy); and BC’s awesome administrative team.

May 2019 Commencement at Rabobank

Guess what?  The May 2019 Graduation is moving to Rabobank!  Due to Measure J construction, the ceremony will not be at the Memorial Stadium, but not to worry, the planning power team has already started the planning!  

Monika Scott, Kristin Rabe & Jennifer Serratt on their way to Rabobank.

Fun Group to Work With

Had a lovely time meeting with this group of innovative leaders as we discussed amazing things for local entrepreneurship.

Back Row: David Teasedale, John Means, Manny Mourtzanos, Goli Ameri
Front: Cindy Collier, Sonya Christian, JP Lake

A Gift to Remember

On Thursday, Bob Covey delivered a special gift to my office. The photo shows the back side of Saturn. The white dot in the distance is Earth. Can you believe it?  The photo came from Ed Saltzman who worked for NASA for 51 years. Had to share this incredible gift from Bob and Matha Covey.

The Hills Are Alive!

Community member Tony Moreno posted this gorgeous video last week, showing Bakersfield from Alfred Harrell Highway.  Thanks to the rain, our hills are a rich green!

Photos from this week

Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Sonya Christian, Janet Tarjan

Some of our wonderful BC staff and faculty visiting the CALM lights last week.  Looks like they had a blast!

The BC Exec team celebrated our December birthdays.  I’m so lucky to have such a great team!

I loved running into Bob Hawks while out and about doing Christmas shopping. Bob worked for Educational Services at KCCD for many years. He is a great supporter and advocate for education and he always greets me with a smile and a warm hug. Bob began working for small business development in the mid-90s and retired a few years ago.

Bob Hawks & Sonya Christian

Our Strong Workforce team celebrated the holidays with an Ugly Christmas Sweater party!

Strong Workforce Ugly Sweater Party

Our Adult Ed team also sends warm holiday wishes. 🙂

Adult Ed team

David Spencer came to visit us. I was so happy to see him!

Tarina Perry, David Spencer & Sonya Christian

BC SouthWest showing off their holiday spirit!

Officer Marcos Cifuentas, Joanne Acosta, Fernando Lara

Roundup of Athletics Events This Week

As always, it was a full week of athletics events for our Renegades teams.
Highlights from the week include (click for the story on GoGades.com):

Jordyn Jimenez from Renegade Softball signs with Peru State College

Congrats to Jordyn Jimenez from Renegade Softball who signed to continue her playing career with Peru State College, an NAIA school located in Peru, Nebraska.

Jordyn is from Delano and went to Cesar E. Chavez HS. She will begin her career as a Bobcat this spring as she enrolls in classes and will compete on the diamond immediately. This last season as a Renegade Jimenez batted .326 with 18 stolen bases, 32 runs scored, 12 RBI and 1 HR in helping the team set three school records: best overall record at 33-11, best conference record at 13-1, most wins in a season at 33 and won the 2018 WSN North Conference Championship.

Jordyn Jimenez

Stay Connected to Renegade Athletics

Be sure to stay connected with Renegade Athletics by following us on social media. On Facebook find us under ‘Bakersfield College Athletics’, on Twitter – @GoGadesGo and on Instagram – @gogadesgo.

Helping Those in Need

The chamber singers donated new toys for their holiday dinner this year and gave them to Lydia Ranger, whose church feeds families and provides toys for those in need. Lydia was instrumental in helping our singers get to Australia, and I love how they are paying it forward.

That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

the luckiest and happiest college president ever