BC continues to be vibrant virtually

As KCCD launches an exciting partnership with NREL focused on energy opportunities at BC, I thought it would be a great time to look back and see what BC has done in the past to lead the way in the conversation about energy in the Central Valley. 

In 1979, the Renegade Raconteur reported on BC professor Bob Tuttle, who was known across the state for teaching other community college professors about what was, at the time, the new and uncharted world of solar energy.

More than 40 years later, we have major solar energy projects in California City, Rosamond and throughout Kern County, and programs like Energy TT&WD will help us expand those projects even further.

Good morning Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, October 17, 2020…a great day to be a Renegade.

Check out the story by Raconteur Editor Gerrie Kincaid, with photos by Jeff Kasinger.

Solar energy workshop held at BC

By Gerrie Kincaid
Raconteur Editor

Bakersfield College instructor Bob Tuttle has been helping teach solar energy systems installation to other community college instructors from throughout California and the Western US. The work is being done under a $95,000 US Department of Energy grant to the League of Innovation in the Community College.

Tuttle and his partner on the project, Bill Abernathy of Orange Coast Community College, have designed a 28-foot mobile trailer with a built-in solar space heater using heat stored rocks and a hydronic solar energy system. This was put on display at the solar energy workshop held at BC in October. Twenty instructors attended this meeting for an intensive workshop on solar energy theory, practical systems and how to teach others to install them.

During the fall semester, Tuttle taught a night class titled Solar I, which dealt mostly with the solar heating and cooling of residential buildings. “I go into the basic theory of solar heating on their [the students’] own home,” stated Tuttle. “We discuss economics involved and the various types of systems.”

In order to make his students better shoppers for solar energy systems, Tuttle teaches the real application of solar energy rather than the arts and crafts aspect of it.

“I’m into proven working systems,” stated Tuttle. “This includes things you need to know to purchase, and what is needed for your own home.”

Tuttle said he would eventually like to teach day classes on solar energy that involved energy conservation in the home, sizing installation and designing systems.

Another Jack Hernandez, inspired by a hibiscus flower:

Silent Beauty

A single red flower
bows its head,
Perhaps in meditation
searching for a thought
about solitude’s consolation,
Perhaps waiting for another
to share the ecstasy
of opening to life,
Perhaps with sadness
in air woven with conflict,
Perhaps simply praying
that we will occasionally stop
to wonder at its silent beauty.

Project HireUp Video Premiere

On Thursday, October 15, 2020, the Project HireUp: A Community Collaborative to End Homelessness video premiered on YouTube and Facebook. Great partnersip with CityServ, Mission for Kern County, The Homeless Shelter, and Adventist Health.

Find out how a dynamic partnership among Kern County organizations is taking homeless people to a job with wraparound services designed to fill every gap that leads to homelessness. Thank you Endee Grijalva, Program Manager of Adult Education; Valerie Urso, Web Content Editor; John Harrer, Student Intern; and the many others involved in producing this video.

A Week of Celebration and Success for Outreach & Early College

This week was fun and busy for our Outreach & Early College team! They started off the week by celebrating our beloved Steve Watkin’s birthday with a virtual celebration and surprises delivered to his house throughout the day. Happy Birthday, Steve!

The team added pictures of Steve to their virtual background
to have a fun Zoom celebration.
Steve got some surprise deliveries throughout the day!

Amidst the celebration, they also planned an Express Enrollment event specifically for our 8-week late start classes that begin next week.

The team assisted 75 students on Wednesday with issues that would have prevented each of them from registering in classes if our team was not there to provide immediate assistance. This care and service for our students is what makes us BC. We are BC!!

BC Bowlers Bowl Virtually

The BC Faculty and Staff Bowling league returned to action on Thursday, October 8th in a new format–via Zoom. Bowlers have missed seeing each other each Thursday, so they’re excited to be together again. The league is using Cat Bowling.net just in time for Halloween!

If anyone would like to join them, please e-mail Susan Pinza at spinza@bakersfieldcollege.edu, and she’ll send you the link. This is a fun way to meet faculty and staff from all over campus.

Kern Shakespeare Festival moves online

From Brian Sivesind in our Theatre Department:

“For 35 years, Bakersfield College has found a way to mount its annual Kern Shakespeare Festival. We persevered through the Great Recession, through years with no theatre to call home, and through many a background football game, rainstorm, or helicopter adding “ambience” to our performances in the Outdoor Theatre. While we may not be able to present live productions this year, the show must… and Will… go on. (See what I did there?)

For the 36th annual Kern Shakespeare Festival, we will be presenting Bootycandy by Robert O’Hara, directed by Tevin Joslen. Along with this exciting new play, we will be presenting The Comedy of Errors, directed by Bob Kempf, and The Tempest, directed by Brian J. Sivesind.”

Information about the virtual productions will be available in the coming weeks. Check back with my blog, or see the Kern Shakespeare Festival Facebook page for more information.

Learning Together

This week, I continued my President’s Virtual Forum series with the second installment of Learning Together. This week’s discussion focused on two videos.

The first is a TED talk from diversity consultant Verna Myers titled “How to Overcome Biases?: Walk Boldly Toward Them” which encourages viewers to recognize their biases in order to overcome them. The video may be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uYyvbgINZkQ&ab_channel=TED 

The second video of our discussion will be “A Conversation About Growing Up Black” from the award-winning New York Times “Op-Docs” series. African American young men candidly discuss the daily challenges they face. The link for this video is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rSAw51caEeg&feature=youtu.be 

I’d like to share two segments from Thursday’s virtual forum.

Sara Manuel, Psychology Professor:

Mindy Wilmot, Reference Librarian:

I will be archiving all the President’s Virtual Forum series, including the Learning Together series, on my website at https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/president/events.

Welcome to the Renegade Family!

Rick Range, a professor of Automotive Technology, shared that he and Darlene have welcomed their new daughter, Naomi.

Congratulations to the Range family!

#LightACandle: A Juneteenth Conversation

I am continuing to share videos from our #LightACandle productions. This week, I am sharing several commitments from community members and BC faculty & staff. These aired on the final day of production, June 19.

Jay Tamsi & Nick Hill

Keith C. Wolaridge

Vikki Coffee

You can find out more about this production and view all the videos at https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/aai/lightacandle-a-juneteenth-conversation.

In the News

Science Sundays

Did you catch Dr. Timothy Plett, one of our physical science faculty, on 23ABC’s Science Sundays last week? He showed viewers how to find the center of mass on any object.

Check it out at https://www.turnto23.com/news/science-sundays/science-sundays-center-of-mass-experiment

Celebrating Higher Education in Bakersfield

BC History faculty member Olivia Garcia wrote the text for a new book celebrating CSUB’s 50th anniversary. Congratulations to Olivia for that labor of love and congratulations to CSUB for 50 years of transformation through education.

Find out more at https://www.bakersfield.com/opinion/community-voices-csub-at-50-book-chronicles-extraordinary-journey/article_e7bcb6e6-0a4e-11eb-9898-0736f46140fe.html

Spotted on Social Media

BC Nursing shared this photo on their Instagram page of Level 1 VN students after completing clinical. Congratulations to our students!

IT Director Todd Coston shared this photo of him and his wife Cari on a road trip to Texas:

The Jones Art Gallery at BC shared this piece of art on their Instagram page. It was created by Darlene Osterkamp in 1970. Darlene was a member of the BC Art Faculty from the 1960s to 1980s.

Nicole Alvarez, Early College Director, shared this photo on Twitter. She presented at the Strengthening Student Success online series along with Kylie Campbell, Teresa McAllister, and Angela Quinn.


Once Again Football Dominates the State in Attendance

Since Memorial Stadium was opened to fans in the mid 1950’s, we have consistently led the state in average fan attendance over the course of a football season. This last 2019 football season was no different. As you can see from the graphic, we dominated the rest of the state (and most likely the country) in football attendance for yet another year. We are all anxious to see our Renegades back in action and hope their next football season will be able to kick off in spring 2021 as set by the California Community College Athletics Association (CCCAA) current contingency plan.

‘Out of Bounds’ Special on 23ABC with Coach Littlejohn

This last week 23ABC Sports Director Kari Osep aired a panel of local coaches to discuss racial inequity and injustice. Our very own head football coach R. Todd Littlejohn and a handful of other local high school and college coaches sat down at the Fox Theatre to discuss the topic.

To watch the hour long special on the 23 ABC Facebook page click here:

Sonya Christian smiling.

That’s all for now.
Until next time.
With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.
sonya –
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Fall 2020 – Midterm Notes

Friday sunset!

Good morning Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, October 10, 2020…a great day to be a Renegade.

Introducing Bhambi and Christian Blog

Ladies and Gentlemen, let me introduce you to Dr. Brij Bhambi, a cardiologist for almost 40 years and an intellectual giant who will be engaging me in conversations about health, policy, philosophy and more. Check out BhambiAndChristian.com to watch our conversation grow and expand in new directions.

#LightACandle: A Juneteenth Conversation

Dr. Bhambi was also one of our speakers for the #LightACandle: A Juneteenth Conversation programming?

I have previously shared his video from the June 18th program, but today I will also share his commitment – which aired on June 19.

You can learn more about this project, or view all the videos, at https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/aai/lightacandle-a-juneteenth-conversation.

High School Counselor Conference

Bakersfield College packed the “virtual house” for this year’s High School Counselor Conference held on Thursday, October 8th. Over 160 members from our local high schools attended to learn about the latest information regarding programs and services offered at Bakersfield College.

In true Outreach & Early College fashion, they seized the opportunity to have fun with the attendees. Highlights include the BC spirit photo and doing the Cha Cha Slide for a  “stretch” break. Check out the captured moments below.

A BIG thank you to all the presenters who made this happen for our high school partners.

Academic Technology Hosts Online Teaching Forum

As we all continue to adapt to remote teaching and learning, it is inspiring to hear faculty supporting each other during this difficult time. October 6th provided an excellent example of the collegial spirit at Bakersfield College when over 30 faculty members joined Academic Technology for the first faculty forum of the year. The topic for this month was “Teaching Online: Field-tested Strategies from Renegade Faculty.”

The October faculty forum, facilitated by Alex Rockey, provided faculty an opportunity to share their experiences teaching online. Special thanks to the faculty experts who joined us: Christie Howell, Jana Richardson, and Dana Heins-Gelder. As faculty experts, they shared their own strategies for creating imperfect videos, interacting via discussion boards, and enabling conversations through strategic combinations of Google forms, Adobe Spark, Canvas Studio, and Padlet.

These strategies prompted a lively discussion in which faculty collectively explored how to use video to create connections with students, encourage meaningful participation in office hours, and curate existing videos to illustrate specific concepts.

During the semester, Academic Technology will host a faculty forum on various topics related to teaching and technology on the first tuesday of each month at 3:00 pm. The topic for the November 3rd faculty forum will be: “Using Video: Interactive lectures, feedback, and more!”

If you were unable to attend the event, a post compiling specific strategies discussed at the event will be available October 13th on the new BC Academic Technology blog at https://bcacademictechnology.wordpress.com/.

Quique Rivera to speak at BC October 14th

Quique Rivera

Quique Rivera is a Puerto Rican artist based in Los Angeles. He is an extensively awarded artist, animator, sculptor, and film maker. He has participated in international film festivals from Havana to Moscow over the past decade. Winning the Grand Jury Award at the 2012 New Orleans Film Festival for his film, El delirio del pez león. He was nominated for a Latin Grammy in 2015, had his films screened at over 70 international film festivals and currently has work on view at the Museum of Latin American Art.

For more information and samples of his work visit: Quique Rivera Rivera Artist/Animator.

For more, check out https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/event/guest-lecturer-quique-rivera-artist-and-animator.

HEAL Webinar: Wrap Up Page

The Health Equity and Learning (HEAL) webinar has wrapped, and the speaker presentations are now available for viewing in a couple different places listed below. You can also download the PDF’s of the presentations at the webinar page.

View at the Webinar Page.

View the full playlist on YouTube.

Opening Day 2020

As you may know, every year Bakersfield College has a big celebration for Opening Day. This year, that celebration moved online and transformed into a weeklong event (and, due to some technical difficulties, it actually spanned two weeks!)

Today, I wanted to share this video from Senator Jean Fuller and Early College Program Director Kylie Campbell, highlighting the Early College program:

Please visit the Opening Week 2020 website to see all the videos from this year’s programming.

Spotted on Social Media

Anthropology Professor Krista Moreland showed off her BC face mask on facebook:

Jonathan Schultz, one of our counselors, shared a post on his Facebook page from the Umoja club, after the group was able to have a meet up with masks and physical distancing:

Astronomy Professor & Planetarium Director Nick Strobel shared a post about Andrea Ghez, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics along with Reinhard Genzel and Roger Penrose:

Check out the video about her work at the Keck Observatory.

The BCSGA Instagram page shared this #ThrowbackThursday photo of the BC lunchline circa 1975:

The Jones Art Gallery shared this beautiful painting on their Instagram page:
Happy FriYAY! Make it a good one! ✨ • Phil Paradise • Flores • CA • 1960 Serigraph • Bakersfield College Art Collection


Renegade Athletics Brand Power

Bakersfield College Athletics has long been known as a state-leader in athletics excellence throughout the California Community College Athletics Association (CCCAA). The following graphic proves one huge area in which Renegade Athletics blows away the competition – social media. This is a developing area and since July 2018 we have seen a dramatic upswing in both the number of followers and engagement to our main Renegade social media pages.

In terms of followers Facebook has grown 154%, Twitter has grown (148%) and Instagram has grown (1640%). As the graphic illustrates, we lead the state – by a long shot – in numbers of total followers to our main athletics Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube pages. Great job athletics and keep up the great branding work!

That’s all for now.
Until next time.
With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.
sonya –
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Renegade Alums are everywhere. We are BC!

Good morning Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, October 3, 2020…a great day to be a Renegade.

Scholarship Season Begins at BC

Scholarships and FAFSA opened on October 1st. I encourage all of our Renegades to Apply 4 Money. Our scholarship manager, Amanda Stone, tells me that there is over $500,000 to give away! There is one easy online application to apply for nearly 300 unique opportunities. 70% of the scholarships are merit-based while 30% are need-based.  There are scholarships for all types of students and majors. There are even transfer scholarships available. Make sure to spread the word and get all of our Renegades to Apply 4 Money!

Energy Technology Transfer and Workforce Development

Bakersfield College and Kern Community College District are embarking on a region-wide strategic partnership with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).

A secure and stable energy future depends on an innovative coalition of public and private partners in an interconnected market where instability creates short-term winners and losers. Only the research capabilities of national laboratories and research universities, deployed for the workplace and workforce in a broad public/private alliance, have the potential to both hedge against short-term volatility and create long-term stability.

The Kern County Board of Supervisors spoke about this project at their September 22 meeting:

You can learn more about this effort at https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/energy-TTWD.

On Wednesday, October 7, at 10 a.m. BC will hold our first Energy Technology Transfer and Workforce Development webinar on energy opportunities impacting the future of Kern County.

Featured speakers include Dr. David Mooney from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL); Lorelei Oviatt from Kern County Planning and Natural Resources; Leticia Perez, Chair, Kern County Board of Supervisors; Congressman Kevin McCarthy, Republican Leader, U.S. House of Representatives, CA 22 District; Cathy Reheis-Boyd, President Western States Petroleum Association; Sarah Kurtz, Professor, Materials Science and Engineering, UC Merced; and Richard Chapman, CEO, Kern Economic Development Corporation

Visit the webinar registration page to sign up and receive more information. 

You can find out more about this webinar on the BC website.

Panorama Creative Music Summit 2020 – Dave Bazan

Next week, Dave Bazan, indie rock singer and songwriter will be showcased as part of the Panorama Creative Music Summit. Bazan, along with Pedro the Lion, will perform Tuesday, October 6, at 4:30 for about 20-30 minutes followed by a Q&A session with students. The session will be held on Zoom and broadcast free to the public via Facebook Live on the Bakersfield College Jazz Studies Facebook page.

You can also see videos from previous Panorama Creative Music Summit musicians on the Jazz Studies Facebook page.

There are lots more performances to look forward to through December, you can see the lineup on the Dave Bazan event page.

Job Corps Grant

Bakersfield College has received a grant for over $1.1 million from the U.S. Department of Labor to provide 80 Job Corps-eligible students with career technical training and career guidance.

Anthony Cordova
Anthony Cordova speaks at the Grand Opening from a previous blog

Thank you Tony Cordova and team for your work on securing this funding for our students.

Learn more at BC Receives Grant for Job Corps Scholars Program.

Manufacturing Day

On Wednesday, October 7, Bakersfield College will hold the annual Manufacturing Day 2020. Local High Schools and the Bakersfield Community are welcome to attend this day which will include virtual presentations on manufacturing related programs, along with virtual laboratory tours and demonstrations.

Our Industrial Technology department encompasses multiple areas related to manufacturing. There will also be representatives from the following programs: Occupational Safety and Risk Management, Welding, Industrial Drawing, Architecture, Construction, Engineering, Automotive, Ag Mechanics, Industrial Automation and Manufacturing. In addition, industry employers will participate with virtual informational sessions, answer questions, general inquiries, and demonstrate products and machines related to manufacturing. 

Anyone interested may register for Manufacturing Day.

Alumni Update

Tribute to BC Alum David Milazzo

This week, the Bakersfield Californian published a beautiful tribute to BC alum David Young Milazzo.

David was a talented architect whose work had a tremendous impact on Bakersfield’s landscape. He was also a devoted Rotarian and a loving husband and father who truly cared for the people in his community.

You can read it online at https://lnkd.in/gntb4Dg.

Renegade Alumni Council interview

This week, the Renegade Alumni Council hosted a live interview on Facebook. 2019 BCCSGA President Ashley Harp interviewed 2019 graduate Ines Castillo. Ines is a first generation college student, and she shared her experiences at Bakersfield College.

I look forward to seeing more interviews with our alumni in the weeks and months to come!

If you haven’t heard much about the Renegade Alumni Council, I’d like to share two videos from Opening Day 2020.

Becki Whitson, BC Alumni Association President, and I discussed Renegade Alumni engagement and the new Renegade Alumni Council:

And previous BCSGA Presidents Alex Dominguez, Clayton Fowler, Matthew Frazer, Dezi Von Manos, Ashley Harp, and Samantha Pulido created this video to promote it:

You can find more videos from Opening Day 2020 at https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/president/opening-week-2020.

First-Ever 100% Online Tutoring Conference

This past Friday, September 25, BC Tutoring embraced virtual interaction at a new level by successfully holding its first completely Zoom-based conference, hosted by tutors from the CRLA Level 2 Tutor Training course.

About 28 tutors, staff, and students came together in one of the Tutoring Center Zoom rooms and had a memorable time of learning and interacting, both as a whole group and in frequent breakout room sessions.

Professor Matt Jones was a guest speaker on the subject of peer learning and its unique power to help students reach their learning goals.

Other topics on the agenda included tutoring roadblocks, tutor hopes and fears, a pictionary game using the Zoom whiteboard, online tools for tutors to implement, and strategies for serving tutees with special needs as well as older tutees who may struggle with technology.

Thank you Eileen Pierce for this well-organized event. All that was lacking was a slice of pizza and a soda (maybe some background music, too). At the beginning of the Spring 2020 semester, pulling off a virtual conference like this would have been beyond belief, but the Tutoring folks not only pulled it off–they did it with amazing skill!

We can all be proud of our Tutoring team!

BC at CCEMC Dual Enrollment Summit

Jean Fuller was keynote speaker at the CCEMC 7Th Annual Dual Enrollment Summit

This past Friday, BC had a large presence at the California Coalition of Early and Middle College (CCEMC) 7th Annual Dual Enrollment Summit. Though the convening of dual enrollment programs from across the state was originally planned to take place in Sacramento this year, the summit went virtual and had a great turnout.

I was able to catch a very special keynote address from our beloved senator emeritus, Jean Fuller. Dr. Fuller is a true advocate for education and for Early College students, particularly those from our rural communities. Needless to say, Jean was a big hit!

Another member of our BC team, Kylie Campbell, moderated the student panel at this summit. Kylie herself was a dual enrollment student in high school, and her connection with these students from throughout the state made for a very special session.

Students from different dual enrollment programs in California shared their experiences in the programs offered at their high schools, and also shared personal stories of how COVID has impacted their lives and education.

And then I saw this post from Abel Guzman, who was also a presenter with Elysa Vargas from Wonderful.

BC was in full force at this statewide summit, shining light on the trailblazing work happening here at BC. We are BC!

HVAC/R program update

I am proud to announce that the HVAC/R program has continued moving forward, despite the obstacles and challenges of today. 

From its inception the program has been meeting needs by acquiring the types of equipment and tools that entry-level technicians would need to work on in today’s modern air conditioning and refrigeration industry. 

Thank you to Rudy Salas for continued support of Bakersfield College!

Over the last six months of being mostly a virtual learning environment, the program has continued to stay current by acquiring a new commercial grade walk-in low temperature freezer. 

Steps are already being taken to begin the construction of the system. This will be a hands-on project for our students. Once completed the system will be used by students for diagnostic procedures, adjustment procedures, and component identification of a full-scale commercial refrigeration system. 

In addition to the new walk-in, the HVAC/R program has acquired a forklift to be used as the program expands. We are thankful for Assembly Member Rudy Salas who made this funding possible.

BC Presents at Statewide Equity Conference

I was proud to watch BC’s Director of Student Success & Equity, Lesley Bonds, present at the statewide California Community College’s Pathways to Equity virtual conference this week.  In their session titled, “Keeping Equity Central: Applying Lessons from the Central Valley,”the presenters discussed the ways in which students in the Central Valley have been affected by what I’m calling a “triple crisis” – COVID-19, the economy/unemployment, and racial unrest.

Using regional data and BC survey data that recently revealed the challenges students are navigating due to the transition to an online environment, Lesley made the case that equity leaders throughout the Central Valley need to unite for system-wide reform to secure resources and spark policy change to address the digital divide, food and housing insecurity, and mental health concerns.

#RealTalk with Danny Morrison

On Tuesday the 29th, Bakersfield College hosted the 9th Episode of #RealTalk with moderator Danny Morrison. This episode focused on DREAMers and their journey at Bakersfield College. You can view the full show on Danny Morrison Media’s page HERE.

Two recent BC graduates, Jared Torres a sociology major and Karen Cid, a psychology major, shared the challenges they have faced as undocumented students. Karen recently earned an Associate’s degree from BC in Psychology and has successfully transferred to CSUB and is working towards a Bachelors in Psychology. Jared also graduated this past May with four Associate’s degrees and a certificate. 

Karen talked about EOP&S and the other financial and social networking support that BC provides to undocumented students. For more information on the resources available, click here.

Jared gave a special shout out to our EOP&S faculty counselor, Manuel Rosas, who helped orchestrate the Latinos Unidos Por Educación (LUPE) student organization. Thank you to Imelda Simos-Valdez, Manuel Rosas, Rafael Centeno, Pedro Ramirez, and the many other members of the completion coaching community who support our Dreamers.

I really enjoyed listening to the students’ stories that led to their success. #SomosBC

#LightACandle: A Juneteenth Conversation

On the final day of our #LightACandle: A Juneteenth Conversation programming, we shared a series of commitments from local and state leaders.

Today, I’m sharing three of those commitments.

State Senator Shannon Grove:

Bakersfield Mayor Karen Goh:

Bakersfield Police Chief Greg Terry:

You can find more information, including videos from all the productions, on the BC Juneteenth Website.

Community Voices

BC graduate Lanie Camarillo – who transferred to Western Oregon University – wrote a Community Voices piece in the Bakersfield Californian titled “The life-changing BC volleyball program.”

She wrote of how coach Carl Ferriera pushed his players and encouraged them to invest in themselves and each other.

“My last two years with the Renegades were ones of complete transformation. At first I struggled, something that my teammates and I would learn was part of the process. We would come to understand that struggling was the key component to growing and we began to embrace it.”

Spotted on Social Media

Endee Grijalva, Adult Education Program Manager, South Kern, shared this tweet about the Californians Deserve Credit Town Hall this week:

On Instagram, the Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce shared these photos from the COVID-19 testing at the BC campus this week:

Also on Instagram, the BCSGA shared this throwback photo on their Instagram page, of a Lucille Parmenter’s typing class, Circa 1958:

Librarian Mindy Wilmot shared this photo of her dog helping her out this week:

Associate Professor of History Olivia Garcia showed that her son is following in her footsteps –

“Proud mom moment. When your son volunteers to read to his class about the Sumerians and Hammurabi’s Code.”

Educational Advisor Isabel Castaneda also shared a photo of her son doing some virtual work through Dual Enrollment:


Throwback to 2018 Football Media Day

This week in athletics we’re going to throw it back to our 2018 football media day held at Memorial Stadium. While this event was only two years ago, with all we’ve been through in the last six months during the pandemic it seems like it could have been longer.

The highlight of the day included four of Renegade football student athletes – Cameron Roberson (22), Elisha Ortiz (5), James Thomas (35) and Carson Olivas (10) showing up in a fire engine to greet the crowd in their new Nike game uniforms. What an entrance!

Nick Ellis aNickPhoto.com 661.706.7999

Each of those four went on to earn post-season All-Conference awards due to their play in the 2018 season. Cameron is now playing for UMass, James in now playing for Houston Baptist University and Carson just finished his playing time at UCLA. We are proud of all our Renegade student athletes and are very much looking forward to being back together for times like these!

Nick Ellis aNickPhoto.com 661.706.7999



That’s all for now.
Until next time.
With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.
sonya –
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

BC – the light of the heart’s hymn to life

Good morning Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, September 26, 2020…a great day to be a Renegade.

Another Jack Hernandez:

The Heart’s Hymn

We walk through
this valley
shadowed with smoke,
walk by those masked
concealing all
but eyes watching
out for invisible death.

Our hurried silence
smothers laughter,
we smile to ourselves,
smoke however dark
cannot quell the light
of the heart’s hymn
to life.

Beautiful Bakersfield Award

Bakersfield College is proud to be a pillar in this community, serving as an engine for economic and social mobility for tens of thousands of students and their families. We are honored to be nominated for the 2020 Beautiful Bakersfield Awards. Thank you Greater Bakersfield Chamber for the exciting nomination.

HEAL Webinar Launches

Bakersfield College’s Rural Health Equity And Learning (HEAL) Collaborative hosted a webinar on Tuesday, focusing on the Central Valley in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The afternoon gave public health leaders an opportunity to discuss advancing strategies around the mental health of vulnerable communities, the barriers faced by migrant workers, contact tracing for disease control, and the need to reshape public health infrastructure.

A recording of the webinar is available on the Bakersfield College Facebook – there is a link from the webinar webpage. To learn more about this event visit https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/news/2020/0923-bcs-heal-takes-a-closer-look-at-covid-19-and-the-central-valley

Dr. Kathleen Murphy, one of our featured speakers, also wrote this article calling for a “second public health revolution.”

Dr. Kathleen Murphy

She wrote about the need for equity and a focus on human health and well-being in our federal laws. Human health should be a determining factor in every aspect of legislation – she notes that even housing policies, school districts or road design can have a profound impact on our ability to live a healthy life, but impact on health is often not considered.

Dr. Murphy and Dr. Pollack Porter, who co-wrote the article, call for a Congressional Health Office to help guide legislation toward promoting public health, and to look for any unintended negative consequences proposed laws could have on our public health.

Dr. Kathleen Murphy and I

COVID Testing at BC

Bakersfield College is continuing our commitment to provide high quality support services to the community.

Alongside Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Kern County Public Health Services Dept. and the #KernCoLatinoCOVIDTaskForce, BC held free COVID-19 testing this past week on the Panorama campus.

Thank you to all who participated in making this happen for the community.

Opening Day 2020: A Better BC

On Day 3 of our Opening Day Celebration, Maintenance & Operations Executive Director Bill Potter and I shared an update on our Measure J construction projects on campus.

For more videos from our Opening Day 2020 celebration, visit the Opening Day website.

This week, Bill also presented updates on our Measure J projects to the Kern Economic Development Corporation.

You can find out more about our A Better BC projects at https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/abetterbc.

Umoja Club speaker provides budgeting advice to students

Umoja Club students and a picture of Alana

Financial aid just dropped — money that must last students the rest of the semester. Budget Coach Alana Herbert offered tips and strategies to students in the Umoja Club.

Alana, who is a college counselor at KIPP So Cal, shared information on budgeting, saving, credit scores, and investing.

Alana called budgets a “conscious spending plan,” and she advised students to check in with their plan on a regular basis using whatever system works. The idea is that “every dollar has a purpose,” she said.

With the app, students created the sample budget of a student who had monthly income from a part-time job and a one-time financial aid payment that had to last three months. The student had school, housing, transportation, and personal care expenses. Umoja students considered the fixed expenses as well as the flexible expenses and devised a plan to set aside funds for emergencies.

Alana advised students to use the 50/20/30 formula with 50% needs, 20% wants, 30% saving.

Some of Alana’s tips on sticking to a budget

The Umoja Club has activities the first and third Thursdays of every month. Officers include Blake Burton, Sha’ron Bradley, Alexis Brown, Zariyah Hall, Aaron Beal, and Tahnjanique Teague. The Club advisor is Umoja Coordinator Dr. Paula L. Parks.

BC-SW Building Update

This week I received an email from Lee Caldwell with photos of construction of BC Southwest. The project is coming along and looks great!

Early College Website gets a facelift

Our Early College department has been hard at work to revamp and simplify their website. The finished product was rolled out this past week.

Visitors of the website can find information on what Early College is and what options high school students who want to take college courses have. The team worked to simplify the concurrent enrollment process and provide up-to-date information on the programs, pathways, and courses available through each high school partner. Stop by and take a look when you have time! 

Check it out at https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/earlycollege.

Culinary Students stay safe

Suzanne Tangeman, Faculty Chair of the Food & Nutrition Program, shared these photos of our culinary arts students. Some of our hands-on courses are returning to campus, but with extra safety precautions. As you can see, our culinary arts students are wearing masks and face shields:

Community Voices

I wanted to share a few Community Voices from the Bakersfield Californian this week.

On Tuesday, Jack Hernandez wrote about taking a pilgrimage for peace.

“The phantom of fear is the most powerful obstacle on this pilgrimage — the one that builds a thick, high wall around us, within which it whispers, keeping us from examining ourselves and others. We are fearful that when we talk openly with others about our and their beliefs, we may have to recognize and admit that ours have weaknesses and theirs have strengths”

On Wednesday, BCSGA President Gian Gayatao wrote about the importance of staying connected during these times of uncertainty.

“Our character will be measured by how we respond and act under these circumstances. It is in our hands to help pave the way for a better future. 

#LightACandle: A Juneteenth Conversation

This week, I am sharing a few videos from the #LightACandle production.

Delta Kappa Gamma Society, Alpha Alpha Chapter:

Jamal Wright:

You can find more information, including videos from all the productions, on the BC Juneteenth Website.

Spotted on Social Media

Endee Grijalva, Adult Education Program Manager for South Kern, shared a thank you note she received from a student in the Project Hireup program:

“Over the past 6 weeks, our team has been fully entrenched in cohort #2 of Bakersfield College’s Project Hireup – Homeless to a job. Literally masked up and armored up to fight for the success of every individual who steps into programming. This cannot be possible without every single component in place. People’s lives are literally at stake and carrying that weight can be exhausting sometimes. Today was one of those days but yet again, I’m reminded of the WHY…this is it. There’s no glory or title needed, just this!”

Jenny Frank, Veteran Services and Programs Manager, shared a few photos on Facebook from a road trip she’s taking by motorcycle:

BCSGA continued their #ThrowbackThursday with this Instagram post showing a group of bicyclists riding through the Panorama Campus circa 1978:

BC Nursing shared their own throwback photo on Instagram, from a previous Kern County College Night:

And have you been noticing the Renegade Athletics billboards around town? Check out this post from the Renegade Athletics Facebook page:


23ABC Sports Feature on Reggie Bolton and Coach Littlejohn

Local sports reporter Kari Osep did a great piece on our newly hired Dean/AD Reggie Bolton and head football coach R. Todd Littlejohn being the first two African Americans hired in their respective positions at BC. Combined, both men bring 50 years of leadership into their new positions as the department is on the verge of 100 years of existence, being founded in 1922.

To watch the video that aired on 23ABC and an extended podcast segment, click here: https://www.turnto23.com/sports/bakersfield-college-breaks-racial-barriers-with-recent-athletics-hirings

Be sure to stay connected to Renegade Athletics on social media:

That’s all for now.
Until next time.
With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.
sonya –
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Finding our path to peace

The west coast has endured another week of catastrophic wildfires, which have burned more than 3 million acres of land across California this year. For another week, we are waking to reports of loss of life, damages to businesses and family homes, and harmful air quality that continues to force us indoors.

I saw this satellite photo showing the extent of the smoke, which has even extended across the rest of the United States and extending into Europe:

During these times, I think of our firefighters who are in the depths of the inferno ….. let’s pause for a moment in prayer to keep them safe. Across the state, many of those firefighters learned the skills they needed to protect our communities here at BC, through our Fire Technology program.

At Bakersfield College, our Fire Technology faculty are dedicated to protecting life, property and the environment by providing our students the high qualify education in fire science. If you’re interested in saving California’s beautiful forests and parks out on the front lines, we have a Wildland Firefighting Associate of Science degree, which prepares Renegades for a career with a state or federal wildland firefighting agency. At BC, we’re also proud to train our Bakersfield City firefighters through our Fire Fighter I Academy and Chief Fire Officer and Company Officer program.

This year’s wildfire season has highlighted the need for more trained fire professionals in California, so please recommend our Fire Technology program to anyone you think might be a good fit. For more information, check out the BC Fire Technology website.

Remembering Ruth Bader Ginsburg

I was also heartbroken last night to read about the passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, at 87.

Justice Ginsburg has been a strong voice for women and equality since she was nominated by President Bill Clinton in 1993.

There will never be another Ruth Bader Ginsburg. But there will be many more women who will follow in her footsteps and continue the path she began, and change the world.

As we continue to navigate these difficult times, I wanted to share this beautiful poem from my dear friend Jack Hernandez, about the pain we all are facing and the opportunity we have to find and share our own empathy and compassion for one another:

A Time by Jack Hernandez

A time when
smoke mutes
the sun
fires blacken
the forest skin
political rage
burns compassion.

A time when
the heart opens
to refugees from pain
bears the scars
of those severed
from homes
of those struck
by love’s loss
of the stranger
waiting to enter.

A time of burning
A time of sowing
new seeds daring
all to care
as one.

Good morning Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, September 19, 2020…a great day to be a Renegade.

BC Offers Free COVID Testing

From an email from Cindy Collier:

In our continued efforts to help support the health and safety of our community, BC is proud to announce that we will be hosting a Free Mobile COVID-19 testing site on campus on September 22, 2020 from 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. at the parking lot on the corner of Haley and University.

Through our partnership with the Kern County Hispanic Chamber and Kern County Public Health, BC will be hosting the Federally provided Mobile Testing Site which will provide FREE COVID-19 testing for anyone wishing to be tested. Thank you Jay Tamsi!

Jay Tamsi and Sonya Christian

This walk-up clinic will be using the less invasive “Self-swab” test. Pre-registration is required, please register at https://doineedacovid19test.com, but the Mobile Testing unit can accept a limited amount of walk-up participants. Once registered, participants need to bring the appointment voucher with reference number to the appointment.

Thank you Norma Rojas-Mora. Thank you Cindy Collier.

Please help me share this information with students, staff, friends and family. See attached flyers for more information.

Rural HEAL webinar Sep 22nd 1:00 p.m.

You don’t want to miss this webinar on Tuesday, Sep 22nd from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. Even if you have just 30 minutes during this time block, go ahead and register here https://cccconfer.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_4bhHSE-OQiO_uvKOt1a0GA. You should be able to get at least one presentation.

International Peace Day

From Krista Moreland.

Now that we are actively working on the Peace Garden Project at BC, International Peace Day seems to hold greater significance.  Peace is something we need to work towards, it will not happen unless we make it happen. And we make peace happen by practicing compassion, kindness, and tolerance. In the spirit of our Peace Garden Project, I would like to share a little about Peace Day with everyone, and I hope it helps bring you a little peace during these tumultuous times.

Monday, September 21st the U.N. International Day of Peace will be observed around the world. This Peace Day was established unanimously by the U.N. in 1981 as a 24hr period for humanity to come together and commit to peace and compassion. Each year on this day, “The United Nations invites all nations and people to honour a cessation of hostilities during the Day, and to otherwise commemorate the Day through education and public awareness on issues related to peace.”   This year is also the 20th anniversary the U.N. Resolution of the Program of Action on a Culture of Peace.

This year’s theme for the International Day of Peace is “Shaping Peace Together”, encouraging everyone to practice compassion and kindness and stand together in the face of hardship. The U.N. Secretary-General has “called on all warring parties to lay down their weapons and focus on the battle against this unprecedented global pandemic” as we come together for this global day of peace. The theme of Peace Day fits with the U.N.’s year of ‘listening and learning’, marked by the largest global conversation on fostering peace and prosperity.

Campus Visit

This week, I was able to visit the campus with Bill Potter and Jennifer Marden. I enjoyed being able to connect in person with my colleagues, while keeping our social distance.

The construction work is continuing on campus, and I can not wait until we are able to share the updates with our entire Renegade family, and our Bakersfield community.

KHSD Early College Pathways Program Kicks Off

Our BC Counselor, Jesus Oropeza, guides his 9th grade STDV B6 students through his syllabus on Canvas during their first virtual class meeting.

This week, 354 students from Kern High School District attended their first course from our new KHSD Early College Pathways program. About one third of these students are incoming 9th grade students who are beginning a pathway that will lead to the completion of one of the following associate degrees: Industrial Automation AS, Psychology AA-T, Administration of Justice AS-T, and Public Health AS-T. The rest of the students are 10th, 11th and 12th grade students who are getting a head start on their college education and will graduate from high school with between 9 and 45 college credits. 

The students in these pathways will follow strategically designed educational plans to complete two BC courses in the evenings each term at either KHSD’s new CTEC facility or at our BC Southwest Center.

Psychology adjunct, Tamarah Tallman, welcomes her 10th grade students taking PSYC B1A this Fall with great excitement that they have chosen the Psychology pathway.

Early College continues to be our strategy for getting our students on the correct pathway and for creating a pipeline that will increase and sustain baccalaureate degree attainment in Kern County.

I am so excited to welcome these new cohorts of KHSD Renegades, and I can’t wait to watch them cross our Commencement stage in 2024 with associate degrees. I want to thank KHSD leadership– Superintendent Bryon Schaefer, Assistant Superintendent Dean McGee and Director Carla Stallworth for partnering with BC to make this opportunity possible.

You can read more about these new pathway opportunities in a wonderful piece by Ema Sasic in the Bakersfield Californian:  https://www.bakersfield.com/news/bc-khsd-partner-to-offer-4-new-early-college-pathways-to-high-schoolers/article_8a1c8d06-cd2a-11ea-a6f2-3f9a8891a788.html

$3m to BC for Public Health Sciences

Bakersfield College has been awarded $3 million to boost and support graduates in Health Sciences!

The Hispanic Serving Institution Title V grant for Health Sciences was awarded to BC in recognition of their significant work to advance student completion and workforce readiness.

BC will leverage grant dollars to bolster existing efforts designed to address shortages in the health care workforce made more visible due to the COVID-19 pandemic. By expanding the college’s footprint of health sciences pathways through Early College, transfer pathway agreements, and strong partnerships with health care providers and community organizations, BC will systematically strengthen Kern’s education-to-workforce pipeline while improving health outcomes for local residents.

BC to Honor Spring 2020 Nursing Grads

Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, BC’s Nursing graduates, family, friends, faculty, and administration will gather remotely on September 19, 2020 at 6:30pm to celebrate the 105th Renegade Nursing Pinning celebration by video on the college’s YouTube channel.

The pinning ceremony usually takes place at the conclusion of each semester and signifies the successful completion of the program for its graduates. This event will focus on the more than 60 Renegade Nursing graduates from spring 2020 of BC’s rigorous two year RN program.

The community is invited to celebrate this new cohort of nurses on our YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/bakersfieldcollege. The program will begin promptly at 6:30pm on Saturday, September 19, 2020.

Renegade Alumni Council

The Renegade Alumni Council at Bakersfield College had a great week starting with 2015’s SGA President, Alex Dominguez sharing his voice in a piece submitted to The Bakersfield Californian.

In his piece, he said “Little did I know our “campus on the hill” would be the place where I find myself, my purpose and determine my future. It was all thanks to the exploration, learning, creativity and freedoms that I know my friends who went away to college did not receive. Not to mention, I also had some amazing faculty including professors Steven Holmes and Ed Borgens.”

On Tuesday, the RAC core team hosted the first Renegade Talk Live on FB. For the show, Alex chatted with 2016’s SGA President, Clayton Fowler. Check out the pic showing this dedicated team at work.

Are you a Renegade Alumni? Connect with this new initiative to come back to BC with RAC and check out the video at www.facebook.com/BCSGARAC/

And then today, there was another great piece in the Californian from an alum Jay Boydstun. https://www.bakersfield.com/opinion/community-voices-keep-the-bc-tradition-alive/article_71971bda-f6c8-11ea-baa9-a3ec3f34e393.html

Sonya Christian, John Boydstun, Jay Boydstun

“One of my earliest memories is from the 1960s, when my father gave me a BC football schedule coin pouch. I will never forget the smell and feel of those little things. Each year, without fail, my father would distribute the BC football schedule coin pouches as a business promotion, but also because he had a passion for Bakersfield College.”

The first issue of BC’s The Grapevine Journal

From an email from Naomi Rutuku:

I have some exciting news to share with you all. Today is the official launch of the first publication of The Grapevine Journal, a collection of Bakersfield College student work! We (co-editors Rae Ann Kumelos, Keri Wolf, and I) are thrilled to have our first edition published today, digitally, on our website. BC students have worked hard for this accomplishment and we couldn’t be prouder.

I hope that you take a look at our publication on our website (click here) and that you might find useful ways of using the published student work in your classes; examples of former BC student work are always interesting and helpful for our current students. In this first edition of The Grapevine, you will find a table of contents that organizes the work by discipline.

 We are always accepting submissions on a rolling basis, so keep your eye out for some more excellent student work this semester! Thank you for continuing to inspire our students.

BC Faculty Featured

Diego Gutierrez Monterrubio, an adjunct faculty in our Art Department, shared that he was featured on the cover of California English, the quarterly journal of the California Association of Teachers of English. 

I especially loved his quote from inside the journal:

“With life, each individual must find a sense of serenity. For me, to create, to paint and portrait the world, is my purpose, my path to peace.”

In trying times, we must all find our own path to peace.

First “Learning Together” Reading

From an email from Kirk Russell:

Kirk Russell, Library Director

Our first campus “Learning Together” discussion will take place on Tuesday, September 22nd at 4:00 p.m. as part of President Christian’s virtual seminar series.  The first community read is an essay from the June 22, 2020 issue of Time Magazine entitled “The Overdue Awakening” by Justin Worland.  It can be found in the EBSCOhost database at the link below.  You will be prompted for your BC email address and password to gain access.  If you’d like to view the digitized version as it appeared in the original issue of Time, click the PDF Full Text link on the left side of the screen after clicking the link below.

The librarians feel this essay is a timely and fitting introduction to the issues we will be discussing throughout this academic year.  Our discussion on the 22nd will provide time for us to learn, reflect and increase understanding.

Also, the newly-created libguide “Race and Cultural Competence” is now published and available for you to review at https://bakersfieldcollege.libguides.com/culturalcompetence 

Submissions from across campus allowed us to include a variety of perspectives on issues of race and equity.  As mentioned before, our hope is that with ongoing input from the campus community this guide will grow during the year.

Kirk also spoke at Opening Day about the Learning Together project:

Opening Day 2020

In addition to “Learning Together”, we have additional projects and initiatives this year at Bakersfield College to address equity and inclusion. We shared some of this at Opening Day, which was held virtually this year.

Below are videos outlining some of the work our colleagues are doing.

Bryan Hirayama, USC Program:

Jennifer Johnson, FCDC:

Rich McCrow, Governance:

Norma Rojas-Mora, Department Commitments:

All the Opening Day 2020 videos can be found on the Opening Day website.

Archives Throwback: An Encouraging Message to Graduates

An editorial in the 1931 edition of the Renegade Rip illustrates how our Core Value of Community is timeless. At the close of another semester, the staff of the Rip left a heartfelt goodbye to their fellow students and encouraged them to become the best version of themselves possible at the next step in their lives.

A few former BCSGA presidents started the Renegade Alumni Council (aka the RAC), to help graduates maintain the bonds of community they established during their time at BC and help them give back to the place that made them who they are today, because now, just like back in 1931, once you become a Renegade, you’re a Renegade for life. 

Check out the editorial from May 21, 1931 below.

Good Luck, Graduates
“As the year draws to a close, we find that many of our friends are leaving Bakersfield Junior College. Many will go on to even higher institutions of learning, but some will be through their school days forever.
“Wherever you go, Graduates, remember that Bakersfield Junior College is backing you to the greatest degree possible. We are proud of you, and we hope that the students will carry on the next years afterward to make this college one that you will be proud to say, ‘I went there for my first two years’.
“Some are not so fortunate. They will not leave for a more advanced college next year. To them, we say, “Come back and we will be glad to see you and help you so that you will be able to continue your advanced work later on.
“If you are to start in this great game called ‘Life’ and put school days behind you, remember that we wish you all the success possible and the best luck in the world!”

Thank you to Earl Parsons for sharing this piece.

#LightACandle: A Juneteenth Conversation

Today, I am sharing three videos from the June 18th production of Bakersfield College’s Juneteenth programming.

Steve Watkin musical performance:

LaMeka Ross:

Valerie Robinson:

For more, including all the videos, please visit the Bakersfield College Juneteenth website.

Spotted on Social Media

Bakersfield Mayor Karen Goh shared this photo of Heather Pennella, Alumni and Donor Relations Manager of the Bakersfield College Foundation. Heather is also a volunteer with the Keep Bakersfield Beautiful Committee, and she helped clean up the Truxtun Lake area:

Michael Lennemann shared this photo:

“This is a picture of some outstanding athletes from the 1972 Bakersfield College State Championship Team.

Included in this pictures are Charles Mackey (7 ft high jumper), Jerlynn Atlas Kendricks, McKinley Mosley, Gary Ray (RIP), Louis Wright (Former Denver Broncos Standout), Vernell Jackson (RIP), John Nichols (RIP) and Stanley Mackey.

The BCSGA has continued with their #ThrowbackThursday posts on Instagram. This week they shared a photo of students on campus in 1975:

Librarian Mindy Wilmot shared a photo of herself practicing the ukulele as part of a Levan Institute course:

Lesley Bonds, Director of Student Success and Equity, shared this photo from our recent Admin Council meeting.

“Today, we repurposed our 2 hour @BAKcollege Admin Council meeting to make time to check-in with students directly via phone and text, and then collectively process lessons learned. 50+ managers contacted hundreds of students!”


Former Renegade Tyrone Crawford Set For Ninth NFL Season

Former Renegade football standout Tyrone Crawford took the field for his ninth NFL season as a member of the Dallas Cowboys this last Sunday. The Cowboys took on the Rams in the opening week of the NFL in the newly built Sofi Stadium in Los Angeles. Crawford started his career at BC in 2008 when he was named All-Conference as a freshman. In 2009 he was named a JC All-American as well as first team All-State and first team All-Conference. He then transferred to Boise State where he spent his final two seasons of collegiate eligibility. In 2011, his senior season, he was named First-Team All-Mountain West. In 2012 with the 81st pick of the NFL Draft, Dallas selected Crawford and he has remained a Cowboy ever since. Although the Cowboys didn’t win the game, we are excited to see our former Renegade competing at the highest level.

Be sure to stay connected to Renegade Athletics on social media:

That’s all for now.
Until next time.
With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.
sonya –
the luckiest and happiest college president ever