BC Renegades March for Humankindness

Good morning Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, October 20, 2018…..A great day to be a Renegade.

Last weekend I had family visiting and we all went to A Star is Born……a terrific movie.  It is indeed “old-fashioned, big-feeling drama” as Manohla Dargis of the New York Times wrote.  The original movie was released in 1937, remade in 1954 with Judy Garland, and again in 1976 with Barbara Streisand – each great in their own way. In this most recent release Lady Gaga gives an incredible performance both musically and in her intimate and powerful acting. It was a treat to see her “unmasked” without all her layers of stage production attire.  Bradley Cooper does a great job directing, and in his portrayal of the superstar in decline that for me had a Willie Nelson-esque quality with the hat but not the braids.  Perhaps what I enjoyed the most in the movie are the songs.  Here’s a taste of one of them:

Come out to see BC at Via Arte at the Marketplace!

via arte from bmoa websiteBakersfield College and the Levan Center have partnered up to sponsor a 12’ x 12’ square at the Marketplace’s Via Arte, which is happening this weekend. BC Art Professor Diego Gutierrez Monterrubio and some of his talented students will be doing a chalk rendering of Caravaggio’s painting of Medusa. Please come out and support them—they will be working for essentially two solid days on this piece!! If you do stop by, take a selfie with the piece and share it with me! I can’t wait to see.

HVAC Tech Program Unveiled in Delano

Group photo with Rudy Salas, Romeo Agbalog, Abel Guzman, Sonya Christian

HVAC Groundbreaking (11)Earlier this week we unveiled the first HVAC certificate program at the Bakersfield College Delano campus.  This program is the only one of its kind within the Kern Community College District! As a part of our Rural Initiatives, it is offered solely at the Delano campus. We also broke ground on a new HVAC lab space which will be completed in late 2019, and we are in the process of developing an Associates of Science in HVAC Technology!

HVAC Groundbreaking (13)The funding came from the monies secured by Assemblyman Rudy Salas in the 2018-2019 state budget summer sessions.  I cannot begin to thank Assemblyman Salas enough for his support and commitment to Kern’s rural areas. Over the past four years, our enrollment in the rural communities has grown 87% and we wouldn’t be able to offer students the best education possible without the support of our elected officials and community members.

HVAC Groundbreaking (5)

Trustee Romeo Agbalog

I’d also like to thank Trustee Agbalog, a voice on the Kern Community College District board for the North Kern area.  Trustee Agbalog’s dedication to the region’s education and economy is unparalleled. He has helped to spread the word of the importance of higher education in our community.  Thank you Trustee Agbalog!



HVAC Groundbreaking (4)


Celebrating Diversity and Humankindness

March for Humankindness Photo by Alex Horvath TBC

Photo by The Bakersfield Californian, Alex Horvath

Renegades are on the front lines of marching for humankindness as seen in the cover photo on this Bakersfield Californian Article, “March aims to celebrate diversity, spread kindness” by Joseph Luiz. Photographer Alex Horvath captured Mayor Karen Goh with Assembly Member Vince Fong and Robin Mangarin Scott leading the way followed by the charge of BC Renegades. The walk, held on Thursday afternoon at CSUB, celebrated diversity and what unites our community as kind and caring. Robin Mangarin emceed the short program which included speakers Raji Brar, Dr. Matab Singh, and two young girls who started a local organization called Kind Girls Make Strong Women.

Raji Brar, in her remarks, spoke about moving to Bakersfield as a young girl and living in a diverse neighborhood where her neighbors, although different, were family just the same. She spoke about turning to our neighbors and the people standing beside us, realizing that we’re all different but we’re all special and together we can create a kinder world.


It is great to see how well represented our community was at the first annual walk. Organizations in attendance included the Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Jay Tamsi, the African American Network of Kern County and Dee Slade, Bakersfield City Fire Department, Bakersfield East Rotary Club, Bakersfield High Interact, Bakersfield High School, Bakersfield Marathon, Bakersfield Memorial Hospital Foundation and Community Boards, Bakersfield Californian, Bakersfield Sikh Women, Boys and Girls Club, California Resources Corporation, Costco, Centennial High School, Chevron, CSUB, Ford Dreambuilders, Gamers at CSUB, Garden Pathways, Good Samaritan, Junior League, KERO, KGET, KBAK, KUZZ, Kind Girls, Leaders in Life, Mercy Hospital Foundation and Governing Boards, Mira Monte High School, NAPD, Panda Express, Real Property Management,Ronald McDonald House, and West High Ridgeview, Valley Children, and of course Bakersfield College!

Dignity Health’s Human Kindness Award

Nusring Faculty, Leah Elliott was nationally recognized as the recipient of the Steward Award at the HumanKindness Gala, hosted by Dignity Health Foundation in San Francisco. This award showcases and celebrates the power of humanity, hope, and healing – a perfect fit for a Nursing Professor!  Congratulations from all of us at BC!

Great Shakeout

f18shakeout03-x5Bakersfield College participated in The Great ShakeOut 2018 on October 18 at 10:18AM. The Incident Command Center immediately formed and began duties to clear campus. With the leadership and diligence of our campus community, all buildings were cleared and reported safe by 10:39AM. This year, our Incident Commander gave the all-clear signal 6 minutes faster than the year prior. Bakersfield College takes the ShakeOut and all emergency drills seriously to train our response skills and ensure students, staff, and faculty are as safe as possible.


BC’s Child Development Center also ensured the little ones were safe out on the grass area in clusters.

Here are photos from the Incident Command Center:

49th Annual High School Shakespeare Festival at BC

BC Volunteers

BC in support!

The Bakersfield College Theatre Program hosted the 49th annual Peg Pauly High School Shakespeare Festival last weekend, welcoming over three hundred students from thirteen local high schools.

On Friday, each high school presented a ten-minute scene which was adjudicated by Bakersfield College theatre professors. On Saturday, students presented monologues and short scenes, competing for top prizes and receiving feedback from a cadre of experienced judges, including professors from BC and CSUB and a number of local theatre veterans.

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Nearly twenty Bakersfield College Theatre majors worked as volunteers for the event, which operated in conjunction with the 34th annual Kern Shakespeare Festival’s closing weekend, where the winning high school groups performed prior to the two Festival productions.

Renegade Report

If you missed watching the Renegade Report live this last Thursday at 11am, check out the segments from this week’s show from the links below. We highlighted our Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and their efforts to reach out and give back to our local community. Be sure to head to Bakersfield.com at 11am each week to watch the show live.

Segment 1 with Brooks Douglas of NOR Sports

Segment 2 with Renegades Marcus Jones and Shahadah Camp

Segment 3 with Renegades Anieus Medrano and Kobe Garner

Renegades of the Week

Renegade Athletics is proud to announce this week’s Wells Fargo Renegades of the Week!

Renegades of the Week

Brooke McDonald and Adrian Godinez

Brooke McDonald, W. Soccer – recorded two shutouts in goal to help women’s soccer to a 1-0-1 record on the week, in a 4-0 win at home against Victory Valley and a tie on the road against #4 Citrus.

Adrian Godinez, Wrestling –  Went 3-0 at the CCCAA State Dual Southern Regional on Saturday 10/13 helping the Renegades to a 5th place overall finish.

Article on Renegade Kicker

The Bakersfield Californian featured an article by Jose Gaspar titled “Lamont teen has the leg, and the will to succeed” on Renegade kicker Tony Garcia who hails from Lamont. His story embodies the Renegade way and we are proud to have him represent BC on the field.

Men’s/Women’s Basketball Schedule

Our Men’s and Women’s Basketball Schedules are now available on GoGades.com. Make plans to come support Renegade Basketball teams this season as they each compete to bring home conference championships this year.

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Homecoming Football Game

We hope you are making plans to join us for the Homecoming football game on Saturday, Oct. 27th at 6pm in Memorial Stadium. Fans are more than welcome to arrive early and tailgate, enjoy the game and then stay for a special fireworks show post-game sponsored by Kern Schools Federal Credit Union. Don’t miss out on the action!


Roundup of Athletics Events this week

It was a full week of athletics events for our Renegades teams. Highlights from the week include:

Stay connected with athletics on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube

Ag Career Expo

Ag Career Expo

Ag Career Expo

The Gym Huddle played host to the Agriculture Career Expo on Friday, October 19, where dozens of students gathered to explore career opportunities with various industry employers and higher education representatives.  Enthusiasm was in the air as students engaged in thought-provoking dialogue with agricultural experts, trying to learn as much as possible.

Expo visitors were in awe of the farm equipment on display.  Some climbed inside to view the inner workings of these enormous machines.  Vendors included major companies as Caterpillar, New Holland, and Berchtold, as well as universities such as Cal State-Bakersfield, Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo, and Fresno State. A heartfelt thanks goes out to BC Career and Technical Education and all the vendors who came out for this event.  Thank you for showing our Renegade students what a modern agricultural career can look like.  The Central Valley is a worldwide leader for the farming industry, and there’s no better place to start a career in agriculture than BC!

Ag Career Expo

MESA University Trip: Staying on the Path

MESA University trip (3)The MESA program took a university trip with students interested in attending Cal Poly SLO. The students were able to tour the campus as well as the special tour for the college engineering.  It was an especially great experience for our students because they got to meet with BC alumni Ryan Luke who showed them his current electrical engineering project at PolySat.

PolySat is a student-run, multidisciplinary, independent research lab that does CubeSat development. A CubeSat is a minimum a 10cm x 10cm x 10cm (also called a 1U) satellite which can be manufactured and deployed in space for a relatively low cost. This allows students and other research institutions to perform experiments and participate in space exploration. Most of the launches are through the NASA ELaNa program, and PolySat has worked with various teams such as NASA Goddard, NASA JPL, SRI, and Scientific Solutions.

MESA University trip (1)

MESA University trip (2)

Alejandra Zapata  (Engineering), Gemma Trujillo (Mathematics) Issac Garcia (Engineering), Ryan Luke (BC Alumni Electrical Engineering), Katie Ramirez and Alejandra Tristan (Biology)

Ryan Luke (BC Alumni) mentioned how grateful he was for professor Darke’s assistance.  Richard Darke helped him develop an independent research project during his time at BC.  This project contributed to Ryan success making him now one of the lead Electrical engineering students at the lab.

Also, the BC MESA students met with a community college transfer-student panel hosted by the Multicultural Engineering Program (MEP).  At the panel there were BC MESA student alumni Rey Fernandez and Zeph Nord who answered questions about transfer process in the STEM fields to Cal Poly and shared their personal journeys and experiences coming from BC to Cal Poly SLO. They talked about how BC was a great place to seek opportunities and experiences for STEM students through the MESA program and the STEM program.

Thank you Connie Gonzales for your passion and commitment to MESA and STEM.


Collector ArtThe directors of the Wiley and May Louise Jones Gallery are proud to present COLLECTOR. A body of work from Los Angeles based artist Matthew Craven. His work utilizes found imagery collage, sourced from texts rich with historic iconography, which he arranges into compelling contemporary images. Craven’s process driven work employs a unique balance of combined patterns, textures, and figures. The fusion of new and old allows the viewer to interpret the struggles of past cultures and can serve as a reminder of contemporary aberrations. While other pictures offer quiet, meditative retreat through repetition and precise use of color. This combination of inquiry, creates a challenging, yet rewarding experience.

The Wylie and May Louise Jones Gallery is located in the Grace Van Dyke Bird Library on the Panorama campus. The exhibition will be on view until November 29th, 2018 with an opening reception on Thursday, October 25th, from 4 – 7 P.M. Fall 2018 hours of operation are: Monday-Thursday: 1:00-4 P.M.

Spotlight on Kris Tiner

Kris Tiner performs with Wadada Leo Smith (photo by Aaron Griffith)

Kris Tiner performs with Wadada Leo Smith. Photo by Aaron Griffith

BC’s Jazz Studies professor Kris Tiner recently performed in Los Angeles with renowned composer Wadada Leo Smith in the world premiere of his Rosa Parks Oratorio. The music is an extended, multicultural meditation on Parks’ legacy performed by three vocalists, trumpet quartet, string quartet, pipa, percussion, electronics, and a Japanese Butoh dancer. This event took place on the closing night of the Angel City Jazz Festival in the REDCAT Theater at Walt Disney Concert Hall. It was reviewed in the Los Angeles Times and the San Francisco Classical Voice.

Race, Citizenship, and the American Farm Worker

On Thursday, BC’s Social Justice Institute hosted University of Oregon professor Sarah Wald in the Levan Center for a discussion of the ways that literature written by and about farm workers seeks to reclaim the humanity of agricultural laborers while challenging traditional American virtues of property ownership.

Attendee at Dr. Wald's Presentation

Attendees at Dr. Wald’s Presentation

Valley Public Radio covered this event and the website includes an audio clip with Dr. Wald. English professor Andrew Bond had been organizing this event, titled “Race, Citizenship and the American Farmworker” in one form or another for the past two years during the writing of the Energizing Humanities in California’s San Joaquin Valley grant. Dr. Wald was one of the first people to write a letter of interest to the National Endowment of the Humanities as part of the grant, which provided funding for research and programming that celebrates the historical and cultural contributions of the Central Valley.

Dr. Sarah Wald

Dr. Sarah Wald

Dr. Wald, an Associate Director of Environmental Studies and Director of English Graduate Admissions at the University of Oregon, began her discussion with an examination of the ways farming is depicted in popular culture, contrasted with depictions of actual farm labor. In advertisements by Dodge and Chipotle that Wald showed during her discussion, the family farmer is portrayed as a paragon of individualist American values and a model citizen. Actual farm labor, however, is commonly depicted as being beneath the average American citizen, and throughout our nation’s history, people in the fields are denied citizenship, from African-American slaves forced to toil on Southern plantations, to the undocumented migrant laborers working on farms throughout California today.

Even in ecological social movements, Wald argues, the struggles of farm laborers, who face poor housing conditions and lack of medical care, are subsumed in their utopian pursuit of hyperlocal, community-based farming. “For many people in the alternative food movement, it’s easier to imagine a world where farm workers don’t exist than one in which they are treated fairly,” Wald said.

f18racecitizenship09-x3To counter these entrenched stereotypes about farm work, Wald talked about the novel “Under the Feet of Jesus” by Helena Maria Viramontes, which is about a young girl named Estrella and her Latino family who works in the dangerous conditions of California fields. Throughout the book, Estrella develops a feeling of interconnectedness with the soil she works in every day, which gives her a sense of belonging that transcends national identity. Wald refers to this interconnectedness with the land as “denizenship”, which challenges traditional notions of citizenship that are rooted in cultural stereotypes about who gets to be considered American.

I’d like to thank Dr. Wald for coming to Bakersfield College for this fascinating discussion, and I’d like to thank the Social Justice Institute for continuing to bring engaging speakers to campus. See all the photos at BC’s Smugmug.

Mayor’s HIRE Luncheon

HIRE Luncheon BC AttendeesBC was well represented at the 13th annual Mayor’s HIRE Committee Luncheon, a celebration of outstanding Bakersfield Employer and Employee Champions and National Disability Employment Awareness Month on October 16, 2018 at Hodel’s Restaurant.

Ramon Puga, BC’s Manager of Maintenance and Operations, was honored as Employer of the Year for large businesses.  Daniel Gutierrez, BC custodian, was also honored as an Employee of the Year Nominee.

HIRE Employer of the Year award, Ramon Puga

BC’s Ramon Puga accepting the award

HIRE Committee members, Denise Crawford, Program Manager and Rudy Gutierrez, Job Development Specialist of the BC Workability, helped organize the largest turnout in the event’s history.   Also in attendance from BC: Dr. Terri Goldstein, BC’s DSPS Director, Paul Beckworth, BC’s Director, Veterans Services; Jessica McGrath and Carlos Medina, CTE Job Development Specialists.

BC’s DSPS Hosts Dept. of Rehab (DOR)

DSPS hosts DOR (1)Disabled Students Programs & Services (DSPS) hosted staff from the Bakersfield Office of the CA Department of Rehabilitation (DOR). The half-day event featured presentations by Dr. Terri Goldstein about services available through the DSPS program & What’s New at Bakersfield College. Christine Morales and Rachel Allen spoke about KCCD/BC Business Services processes that help ensure that things go smoothly when DOR is paying for students’ classes at BC. Similarly, Angela Medina, Manager of the Barnes & Noble College Bookstore at BC, discussed improvements to bookstore services for DOR clients. The program wrapped up with presentations by two Students of our Concern Master Student Interns, Natalia Hatley and Anabe Jimenez, covering the many programs and services available through the Office of Student Life to support the varied needs of our eclectic student population.

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After a brief tour of the new DSPS program space, guests were treated to a campus tour in one of our new electric limo carts. Rudy Gutierrez from DSPS’ WorkAbility III drove the cart, while a Student Tour Guide provided by Outreach & School Relations narrated the trip. Including breakfast burritos provided by BC Food Services, and sponsored by Student Equity and Success, the day was a fantastic representation of support and collaboration among departments at BC for the benefit of our community partners, and ultimately the success of our students/clients!

College Leadership

A group of college leaders including Dean of Instruction Andrea Thorson, Michelle Pena, Grace Commiso, Victor Diaz and Kalina Hill discussed the Spring 2019 implementation for AB 705.

College leadership also gathered on Monday to look at data and explore the ways to improve students success!

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Fun Photos this week!

Was happy to attend an event at the Gill family residence in Delano.  David Valadao and trustee Romeo Agbalog were there.  Here is a photo compilation.

David Valadao event at the Gill Family residence in Delano Oct 2018

Volkswagen provided free training for BC’s Auto Tech students and faculty this week!

BC's Auto Tech and Volkswagen

Happy Birthday to Steve Watkin, BC’s Director of Outreach Relations!

Steve Watkins Birthday

Veronica Hathaway and Janet Thomas shared a photo of Dean Waller with his gifts on Bosses Day.

Dean Waller - Bosses Day 2018

Chris Blakemore helping Tamara Baker cart shovels to her car for the HVAC Program Unveiling on Monday in the Delano campus.

Chris Blakemore with shovels

Fun Photos from College Council

Superheroes on Campus: Dean Billie Jo Rice

The Communication and FACE Departments celebrated Dean Billie Jo Rice this week. Professor Neeley Hatridge wrote,

In the Communication Department we have had several exceptional deans over the years, but what we didn’t know was that someone else would come along that would set the bar far higher for anyone who follows her.  Dean Rice stepped in and stepped up when assigned as Dean over FACE & Communication. Billie has approached her position with focus and humility—a desire to get things done well, and a willing spirit to explore creative thinking and new approaches.

4-2018When people describe Billie Jo and the work she does here, words like composed, efficient, approachable and resourceful are used.  Much like a superhero, she is cool-headed under pressure, so when Boss’s Day neared and it coincided with “Super Hero Day” on campus, Renee McMillon, Billie’s Executive Secretary, conspired to put together a celebration that demonstrated our gratitude for Billie and her leadership.  Faculty and staff paraded around the room wearing superhero capes and masks with Billie’s face to get into the spirit. Chef Alex, Chef Suzanne, and several others helped to prepare a baked potato bar and contributed dinner for a date night for Billie and her husband, Bud, which was presented at the celebration. Christian Flores-Castaneda created a beautiful invitation that was also presented which Dean Rice LOVED! In the end, we all took a moment to show our “superhero” our appreciation and we delighted in seeing her joyful reaction.

Bosses Day for Billie Jo

Community Voices from BC’s Professor Bell

5bbc1be450d34-imageBC’s English faculty, Justin Bell wrote a published Community Voices piece titled “Treat women the way you want to be treated” in which he says,

“The propensity of people in our society who would dismiss the way that some men treat and talk about women as “locker room talk” or “just boys being boys” is, frankly, sickening. We can argue about how our culture contributes to this subjugation of women from the moment they are born, but that is only part of the issue, and a paradigm shift may take generations.”

SoCal ICWA Fall Directors Meeting

f18iwca01-x4On Friday, BC was honored to host the Southern California chapter of the International Writing Center Association (SoCal IWCA) in the Fireside Room for its fall directors meeting.

BC’s Writing Center organized the conference, which was designed for SoCal IWCA directors to plan their Spring 2019 conference, titled “Vis/Ability”, which will focus on discussions about improving writing center services for marginalized and disabled students. There were also roundtable discussions about how writing center tutors can implement AB 705 and EO 1110.


f18iwca03-x3Writing Center Lead Kim Arbolante gave a brief introduction to Bakersfield College at the beginning of the event, including how BC’s writing center operates and how Measure J is transforming our campus community. Vice President of Student Affairs Zav Dadabhoy also spoke to the SoCal ICWA directors, praising Arbolante’s service to our Writing Center students. I’d like to thank the BC Writing Center for graciously hosting the SoCal ICWA directors on our campus.

We are BC!

Sonya Christian Oct 15 2018


That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Proud to Announce “The Bakersfield College Vernon Valenzuela Veteran Resource Center”

Good morning Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, October 13, 2018…..a great day to be a Renegade.

Let me start my weekend blog with the the Board of Trustees meeting where the board voted unanimously to name the first project of Measure J the Vernon Valenzuela Veterans Resource Center.

Naming the Veterans Resource Center

Group Photo of BC Representatives at the KCCD Board Meeting

Group Photo of BC Representatives at the KCCD Board Meeting

Thursday, October 11th was a historic day for Bakersfield College! The Kern Community College District unanimously voted to approve the naming of the new VRC to The Bakersfield College Vernon Valenzuela Veteran Resource Center. We are proud the KCCD Board of Trustees voted to name the center after a local veteran advocate, inspirational leader, and Renegade.

1973 From Left Ed Simonsen Chancellor, Vernon Valenzuela Faculty, John Collins President, Phyllis Mallory Faculty, Loren Voth Trustee, Cecil Bailey Trustee

1973 – From Left: Ed Simonsen (Chancellor), Vernon Valenzuela (Faculty), John Collins (President), Phyllis Mallory (Faculty), Loren Voth (Trustee), Cecil Baileyaa

Vernon Valenzuela left a lasting legacy, for the Home of the Renegades, but also for his extended community, and in the hearts of all who knew him. His life’s work to benefit veterans lives on through the veterans he worked with, and the Renegades whose lives he helped transform.

Digital Rendering of the Veterans Resource Center

Special thank you to Paul Beckworth and Olivia Garcia who prepared the Board proposal, and to our guest speakers who shared with the Board their personal stories:

  • Jenny Frank, Manager of the Bakersfield Veterans Center
  • Tom Corson, Executive Director of the Kern County Network for Children
  • Randy Dickow, Attorney from the Veteran Justice Program


Paul Beckworth made the recommendation on my behalf, and Chancellor Burke supported the recommendation.

Paul Beckworth, Randy Dickow, Tom Corson, Jenny Frank, Olivia Garcia, Zav Dadabhoy VRC.jpg

Paul Beckworth, Randy Dickow, Tom Corson, Jenny Frank, Olivia Garcia, Zav Dadabhoy


Kay Meek, President of the KCCD Board of Trustees, made the motion, Bill Thomas seconded the motion.

The Board voted unanimously to name the new VRC the Vernon Valenzuela Veterans Resource Center.

Kay Meek then gave the rendering of the new Vernon Valenzuela Veterans Resource Center to Vernon’s widow Lise Valenzuela.  As you can see both the audience and the trustees were elated and gave a standing ovation.

Our community’s support for Bakersfield College has given us a unique opportunity to give back to our veterans by establishing a supportive and welcoming environment for all student veterans. We also must remember that this dedication would not even be possible without the sacrifices of those who have served our nation through military service.

Moments like these are a reminder of our responsibility to ensure steadfast commitment for our veterans. They are a reminder of our personal and collective responsibility to build a future that positively impacts veterans, and supports their education and their dreams.

Thank you to the Board of Trustees for the decision to name the new VRC after Vernon Valenzuela.

Standing ovation after the vote Oct 11 2018.jpg


Trustees doing a standing ovation.jpg

We will honor Vernon and all other veterans next month when we hold the official groundbreaking ceremony on November 5.  Mark your calendars!


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Grand Opening of Student Employment Lab

Student Employment Lab Grand OpeningMonday began with the grand opening and ribbon cutting of our new Student Employment Lab on the Panorama Campus. BC’s Strong Workforce is supporting our students to meet the demand to fill highly sought after skilled jobs with livable wages throughout California. The Student Employment Lab, located in the FACE building, provides career related support including access to resume development, employment resources like Jobspeaker, and preparation for successful interviews. In addition, resources are available from donations that students can utilize, such as paper, pencils, hygiene products, and more.


Jobs prioritize being a student first, and provide important industry and career connections to help students explore what they really want for their futures. The Bakersfield College Student Employment Team is proud to help bridge the gap between education and employment by sharing our model, tools, and resources with other community colleges throughout California.

Thank you to the Student Employment team, led by Stephanie Baltazar and all who attended Monday’s grand opening including Cindy Collier for this new space.

Student Employment Lab Grand Opening

Student Employment in Action

Arisve_Pimental,_Selena_Gasca,_and_Danyel_RitterSpeaking of student employment, each month the Student Employment Office selects an on-campus supervisor to recognize their outstanding service. The Supervisor then has the honor to highlight one of their top student employees. This month, Arisve Pimentel and Danyel Ritter, Department Assistants for the Office of Student Life are being recognized because they oversee many services and programs, including the Renegade Pantry, Pantry Shelf Program, Daily Bread, Homecoming festivities, and the Renegades mobile app! They teach their student employees organizational and time management skills, make them feel valued, and always keep them on track. Both ladies selected student assistant Selena Gasca for always coming to work prepared, with a positive attitude, and a friendly demeanor.

Visit with Justices of the Fifth District Court of Appeal


Justices of the Fifth District speak to students

This past Thursday, BC was visited by the Justices of the Fifth District Court of Appeal.  The Justices spoke very candidly to our pre-law students, staff and faculty about their professional career paths, and explained how they came to be justices at the Court of Appeal.  They talked about how life isn’t a sprint but a marathon, and how this is extremely applicable to a life in law.

Many explained how they never thought about being a judge, but wouldn’t change a thing.  Their perspective shed light on the ethics and importance of law in supporting democracy, and explained the how Justices are appointed to the Court. They talked about how the work is demanding, and a balance of work and life is essential.


Thank you to Justices Brad R. Hill, Herbert I. Levy, Charles S. Poochigan, M. Bruce Smith, Kathleen A. Meehan, Mark W. Snauffer and Thomas DeSantos for visiting Bakersfield College and for showing our students the many different paths there are in the legal profession. And thank you to Corny Rodriguez and all the students who attended this incredible opportunity. See all the photos at BC’s Smugmug.

Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU)

Tom Burke and Corny Rodriguez

Chancellor Burke and Corny Rodriguez

The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) held its annual conference last weekend in the Marriot Marquis in Atlanta, Georgia to discuss the emerging trends in higher education affecting Hispanic-Serving Institutions. BC’s Corny Rodriguez attended alongside KCCD Chancellor, Tom Burke.

The HACU was established in 1986 to represent the needs of all higher education institutions with a 25 percent or higher Hispanic population, which are defined by federal law as Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs). HSIs, which include Bakersfield College, face unique challenges compared to other degree-granting institutions, including a disproportionately low-income student population. In 1992, the HACU petitioned Congress for recognition and federal appropriations to HSIs, which led to increased funding to HSIs through Title V of the Higher Education Act.

Student Profile (Ethnicity) from Scorecard

Student Demographic 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18
Hispanic Student Count (%) 61.5% 65.1% 66.3% 66.7% 65.7%
Student Count   14,997 16,486 18,312 20,863 21,847
Group Photo at HACU

Ana Ceballos, PC Counselor Teacher Education; Prima Arvizu, VP of Student Affairs; Kimanthi Warren, PC Director Equity and Educational Services, Chancellor Tom Burke; Laura Vasquez CCCC Faculty, Lucilia Gonzalez-Cirre CCCC Faculty; and Corney Rodriguez. BC Dean

Here are two fun photos of our Chancellor at HACU 2018. Chancellor Burke getting up to date information from Georgia Tech professor at the STEM/HACU student workshop and riding on a ” Bird”, electric scooter.

Renegades of the Week

BAKERSFIELD, CA – Renegade Athletics is proud to announce this week’s (9/30-10/6) Wells Fargo Renegades of the Week.


Rhyan Acosta, Women’s Soccer – scored the winning goal in a road victory, 2-0, over #12 rankead LA Valley, and then scored the first two goals in a 4-0 home win over #11 ranked Cuesta.

Armando Alvarez, Men’s Soccer – had a shutout against Santa Barbara, the no. 6th ranked team in California (16th in the nation). He had 3 key saves in the last 2 minutes of the game to preserve a 0-0 tie and finished with a combined total of 7 saves for the game.

Roundup of Athletics Events this week

It was a full week of athletics events for our Renegades teams. Highlights from the week include:

Renegade Athletics Social Media

Public Safety Career Expo

On Wednesday, October 10, the Bakersfield College CTE Department brought together more than 60 local, state, and federal agencies together for the Public Safety Career Expo. Representatives were on hand to answer questions and provide information to those who were interested in pursuing a career in public safety.  Hundreds of students were seen having engaging conversations with members of the police, fire department, and military in the hopes of one day making public safety their profession.

Numerous vehicles were on display, such as an ambulance, fire engine, SWAT team vehicle, and even a Kern County Sheriff’s helicopter! Visitors were able to climb in and tour many of the vehicles, getting an up-close view of how these technologically-advanced machines operate.

Thank you to everyone who took part in making this amazing event happen, and a special thank you to all of the men and women who make such great sacrifices to keep our country safe.  BC extends our deepest gratitude to you and your families.

See all the photos at BC’s Smugmug!

Young Women Empowered for Leadership Conference

YWEL Event (2)

Dr. Paula Parks (front, left) with some of the attendees

Dr. Paula Parks, English Professor and Umoja Community Lead, was a panelist at the second annual Young Women Empowered for Leadership conference sponsored by the Kern High School District. The focus of the luncheon event organized by Assistant Superintendent Dr. Brenda Lewis was on women in education.

Other distinguished panelists included Highland High School math teacher and BC adjunct instructor Kalisha Hudgins, Foothill High School Counselor Denise James, CSUB Associate Vice President Dr. Jacqueline Mimms, CSUB Assistant Athletic Director Dena Freeman-Patton, and retired educator and Project BEST founder Fushia Ward.

Young Womens Event

Panelists spoke on what inspired them to pursue a career in education, their experiences being the only African American in their graduate classes and in their places of employment, and overcoming challenges. They all encouraged the girls to maintain a sisterhood and never give up on their dreams no matter what the struggles are.

YWEL Event (4)

The high schoolers were engaged and attentive. They asked questions such as the professionalism of wearing one’s hair in natural styles and about getting people to stop using the n-word. Most of the panelists had always worked in education, and the students found it interesting that Dr. Parks moved from a career in journalism to one she found more fulfilling in directly making a difference in the lives of students. They expressed interest in the Umoja Community program and asked Dr. Parks aoout the cultural program in the high schools. Parks encouraged the girls to attend BC and become part of the Umoja program and then transfer to a four-year university.

Sonia Nazario


Sonia Nazario and Joaquin Alvarado

Bakersfield College was honored to host two respected journalists in the country on our campus to lead a conversation about immigration and reporting as part of a state-wide initiative to keep young people informed about democracy and the functions of government.

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Sonia Nazario and Joaquin Alvarado, founder of the new media organization StudioToBe and the former CEO of The Center for Investigative Reporting, spoke to students in the Forum about the ways that the media frames immigration issues in the wake of increased public scrutiny over ICE detention centers and the separation of families at the border.


The event was presented as part of BC Office of Student Life’s Distinguished Speaker Series, BC Social Justice Institute, and the California Humanities’ new initiative titled “CA 2020: Democracy and the Informed Citizen”, a year-long partnership with California community colleges to get young people engaged in democracy and journalism by bringing Pulitizer-winning reporters to their campuses. At the beginning of the event, California Humanities CEO Julie Fry was proud to announce that the organization had secured approximately $1 million in funding for statewide programming through the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Federation of State Humanities Councils and other non-profit organizations.

South Kern Sol Executive Director Reyna Olaguez also announced the four local winners of media fellowships as part “Cal 2020” project. The four young reporters will be working with trained journalism professionals to develop stories on topics that are relevant to our community. Nazario is best known for her book “Enrique’s Journey,” in which she travelled over 12,000 miles atop freight trains from Honduras to the United States to follow the path of a 17-year-old boy who was searching for his mother. The journey was fraught with danger from police officers and immigration authorities, as well as opportunistic coyotes who take advantage of the thousands who come to America via El Tren de la Muerte—The Train of Death.

f18sonianazario15-x4Nazario’s approach to journalism is hands-on, seeking to capture an inspiring narrative thread that contextualizes some of the most polarizing and divisive issues in our society. As part of a 1997 series on the one in five children in the United States who are raised by drug-addicted parents, Nazario lived in crack houses to be able to write accurately and honestly about their experiences.

“My job is to afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted,” Nazario said.

After covering immigration issues for over 20 years, Nazario has seen the face of immigration shift from Mexicans seeking economic opportunities in the US to Central American families seeking asylum from the horrific violence brought about by criminal narcotics cartels. Her work reporting on asylum cases has led her to serve as a board member for Kids in Need of Defense, an organization that procures lawyers for young children seeking asylum, who often have to formulate their own cases without the education necessary to go toe-to-toe with US attorneys fighting against them in court.

While immigration has become a hot-button issue in the current presidential administration, Nazario and Alvarado, who served as the moderator for the evening’s discussion, stressed the importance of looking beyond the talking points being spouted by 24-hour cable news networks on both sides of the political divide and connecting people with stories that affect their day-to-day lives while empowering them to become more invested in their communities.

I’d like to thank all who attended including retired KCCD Chancellor, Sandra Serrano, BC faculty, Olivia Garcia, Erin Auerbach, and Heather Pennella, Jerry Ludeke, and more. Social Justice Institute, the Office of Student Life, and California Humanities for bringing this insightful and thought-provoking conversation to our campus. See all the photos at BC’s Smugmug.

Cristina Sommers


Dr. Cristina Sommers

On Thursday, October 11, 2018, the Levan Center for Humanities welcomed Dr. Christina Sommers to discuss ideas presented in her book Who Stole Feminism? How Women have Betrayed Women. At least 100 students, faculty and staff attended the afternoon session where Dr. Sommers presented her ideas and engaged in an informal discussion.

Former professor of philosophy at Clark University, Dr. Sommers is now a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. She began writing articles in the mid-80’s when asked to teach a class on Feminist Theory. It was while preparing for teaching the class and researching the textbooks on the subject that she found feminist theory to be inconsistent with philosophical theory in not providing both theory and its rebuttal in the same manner, making many assumptions without argument or support. She began to question the assumptions and the research methodologies.

dsc04606-x2Sommers’ articles appeared in The Journal of Philosophy, The New England Journal of Medicine, The New York Times and The Atlantic. She went on to write several books including Who Stole Feminism, The War Against Boys, Freedom Feminism: Its Surprising History and Why It Matters Today (Values and Capitalism), The Science on Women and Science, and she coauthored One Nation Under Therapy: How the Helping Culture is Eroding Self-Reliance with Sally Satel M.D. and Vice and Virtue in Everyday Life with Fred Sommers. She also hosts many YouTube videos on the Factual Feminist channel.

In her talk she articulated the need to look at research with an open mind and not ignore variables that might not prove the feminist view, and suggested that radical feminist views may hurt the cause more than help it by turning away those with more moderate or conservative. She said that the future for feminism lies not only in increasing inclusion of all races, but in creating inclusivity that is intellectually diverse as well, incorporating perspectives of conservatives and liberals, and to include males in the movement. She views herself as a liberal feminist in the classical sense of liberalism of enlightening and empowering the female.

dsc04594-x2One student brought up the New York Times article that described the “Intellectual Dark Web,” and had included her in their description of those participating. He asked how one would be included in such a list. Sommers explained that someone, perhaps a journalist, published a list of people the internet that were challenging the status quo from within the status quo. The New York Times took that list, dubbed it the “Intellectual Dark Web,” wrote the article and sent a talented photographer to take beautiful, but “scary,” photos of the people on the list. She laughed it off, saying that the only people using the expression “Intellectual Dark Web” were the critics of the people on that list.

I am so lucky to have faculty and staff that bring a wide array of views and culture to our school, to the benefit of students, faculty and community members.  See all the photos at BC’s Smugmug.

Strengthening Student Success

Bakersfield College rural initiative team recently presented at the Strengthening Student Success Conference. The panel of presenters notably included Destiny Ramos, a 15 year-old Arvin High School sophomore and Bakersfield College Early college student.

Accreditation - Delano Team3

BC’s Rural Initiatives Team

Early College is a partnership with local community colleges and a local public secondary school that provides students the opportunity to simultaneously earn their high school diploma as well as up to two years of transferable college credit. The panelists discussed  developmentally appropriate instructional design, and how to create a student-centered learning environment when teaching high school students collegiate content. Presenters included Maria Ramos, Arvin High School parent; Destiny Ramos, Arvin High School; Dr. Chris Cruz-Boone (Communications Faculty), Abel Guzman (Interim Director, Rural Initiatives), and Jesse Oropeza (Counselor), Bakersfield College.

UCD Pre-Health Conference

UCD Pre Health (2)

Natali and Rebecca with Dr. Joe Saldivar

Dr. Joe Saldivar, biology faculty and chair, took a van full of pre-med students to the 16th annual UC Davis Pre-health Conference this past October 6, 2018.  This was the biggest pre-health conference on the west coast with over 4,500 attendees. During the one-day conference our BC students received information about medical school, allied health career pathways,  pre-health admissions; they engaged with exhibitors and had the opportunity to speak with UC Davis campus professors. The MESA program sponsored the trip for the students, supporting our students on the STEM Guided Pathway. Rebecca Sinor, student President of the Pre-med club said, “It was a fantastic trip, thank you so much for everything.”

Texts Worth Sharing

Corny Rodriguez shared with me “I took a coffee break yesterday. Found these BC Nursing students studying at Starbucks.”  Here is Brooke Hurt, Jennifer Jhon, Deveney Miller, and Sarah Voss studying for their classes. BC Nursing Rocks!!

BC Nursing Students

Renegade Nursing Students at Starbucks

Gadfly Cafe

Reggie Williams

Reggie Williams moderating the discussion

On Wednesday, October 10, the Levan Center played host to another edition of the Gadfly Café.  This month’s topic was all about bias.  A crowded room saw students, faculty, and community members participating in a free-flowing discussion about their personal experiences with bias, with moderator Reggie Williams maintaining a fair and non-judgmental atmosphere.

Bias regarding gender, age, sexuality, disability, and socioeconomic status was the topic of the day.  Many engaging stories were shared during the one-hour session, and received in quiet thoughtfulness, though some were met with applause. Be sure to stop by the Levan Center for next month’s Gadfly Café on Wednesday, November 14 at 12:30 p.m., where the topic will be “Suicide: In Pain, Protest, and Honor.”

Project BEST at BC

On Friday, BC hosted project BEST students for a morning of learning. Bakersfield College is always happy to host Project BEST events. Project BEST provides one-time scholarships that focus on first-year college success. The program has awarded over 1,000 scholarships over the past 2 years.  Special thank you to Julian West who represents BC and education, inspiring young people to attend college.

MESA Student Leadership Conference

MESA Student Leadership Conference2

BC’s MESA Students

On Saturday, October 6, four Bakersfield College MESA students were invited to attend “The Student Leadership Conference (SLC).”  Math Faculty Dillon Giblin chaperoned the students at the event which brings together select engineering and computer science students and industry professionals in an effort to develop the next generation of diverse STEM leaders. The conference is an opportunity for STEM students to develop “soft skills” necessary to successfully transition from college to professional careers. During the conference students explored career opportunities, practiced collaboration and problem-solving skills, enhanced oral and written communication skills, and developed interviewing skills.

Industry partners provide workshops and presentations, conduct mock interviews and identify candidates for internship and full-time STEM positions. The well-attended event hosts more than 200 selected MESA undergraduate students, over 30 MESA center directors throughout the state, MESA alumni from around the country, industry and government agency representatives and various national, state, and local government representatives.

MESA Student Leadership Conference

Students are selected by their MESA directors based upon demonstrated potential to be future leaders for their college, the MESA program, and the community. Attending this year from BC were: Sabrina Lugo Computer Science, Issac Garcia Civil Engineering major, Peter Rodriguez Mechanical Engineering major, and Ian Jaurez Chemical Engineering major.

California Society of CPA’s

BC Accounting ProfessorsBC accounting professors Lynn Krausse, Rudy Menjivar, and Gayle Richardson attended the California Society of CPA’s Bakersfield Chapter ABC Mixer (Attorneys, Bankers and Certified Public Accountants) raising money for student scholarships.

It’s wonderful to see BC faculty involved in their communities for the benefit of students!

Friends, this is yet another reason that I’m the luckiest and happiest college president ever!

Seen on FB:  Kern Sol spotlight on Dr. Rosales

FB Kern SolSouth Kern Sol, a youth-led journalism organization funded by The California Endowment, profiled BC history professor Oliver Rosales and his work documenting the farm laborer rights movement in Kern County during the 1960s and ’70s.

Check it out here!

The profile describes Rosales’ passion for writing about the farm worker movement where it began in Delano, and mentions that his father taught at Bakersfield College alongside Jess Nieto, the founder of the Chicano Studies program at BC and a former dean at the Delano Campus.

Rosales engages students with their own history as reflected in the stories of the work of Cesar Chavez, the UFW and farmworker strikes, making them aware that these stories are studied by professors at Ivy League universities across the country. “I try to get [students] to understand that the outside world talks about their history,” Rosales is quoted as saying in the article. “I didn’t know what I wanted to do until I could see my own world in the curriculum.”

BC Southwest Tutoring Center

We often don’t get to see the work that makes transforming students’ lives possible. Ying Vang set up laptops for the SW Tutoring Center. The cart was delivered from Delano and BC’s Academic Support Services provided funding for the laptops. Over 314 students have been served by 14 Peer Tutors in the Southwest center and now the added technology will enhance the tutoring experience.

Ying at BCSW

Emails Worth Sharing – From the UK!

f18wimbish07-x3This week, I an awesome email from Joe Simpson at VisitBakersfield.com that made its way to my inbox. Joe explained that a few weeks ago, he received an inquiry from Mr. Harvey in the UK, who would be visiting Bakersfield and wanted to know where to find some good music during his trip. The email that Joe forwarded said,

“I have just arrived back in the UK. When we stayed in Bakersfield on Sunday and Monday, 23 and 24 September we went to Ethel’s Old Corral Cafe on the Sunday to see the Sante Fe Band and to the Bakersfield College to see Doug Wimbish. Both events were absolutely brilliant! So, I simply had to get back to you to thank you for bringing these to my attention. Thank you so much.” See my blog coverage from the Doug Wimbash event here!

Fun Photos

From the High School Counselor Conference

From Accreditation Week:

Accreditation Logistics Team

Love this picture.  Monika Scott and Nicky Damania working hard in the SGA Board Room with treats in the foreground!

Monika and Nicky computer training


BC is proud to partner with Dignity Health and CSUB in the March for Humankindness.

March for Humankindness

Join the Renegades and our community as we March for Humankindness! This short walk will celebrate our diversity and highlight what unites us as members of such a kind and caring community. Come out this Thursday, October 18th at 5:00PM at CSUB’s Icardo Center. Wear your favorite BC shirt and let’s represent our Renegade pride! Gather your friends, family, coworkers, and classmates as we walk together to create a kinder community. While you’re out, snap a selfie and send it to me! I’d love to feature it in my blog next weekend!

HVAC Program Unveiling

On Monday, 10:00 am on Bakersfield College Delano Campus we’ll unveil its first HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) Technology Certificate of Achievement Program. I will be attending, along with Assemblymember Rudy Salas and Trustee Romeo Agbalog, among others. This program is the only one of its kind within the Kern Community College District and is a part of Bakersfield College’s Rural Initiatives, which provides BC’s surrounding communities with the means to better equip residents with workforce skills through college education. The funding for this program comes from the monies secured by Assemblyman Rudy Salas in the 2018-2019 state budget.  If you can, come join us for this wonderful event!


Manny Fernandez, Sonya Christian, Romeo Agbalog, Tom Burke, Freddie, Rudy Salas, Abel Guzman


We are BC!

Sonya Christian and Paul Beckworth


That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

BC: A place where dreams are made and fulfilled

Good morning Bakersfield. 
It is Saturday, October 6th…..a great day to be a Renegade

Sonya Christian Oct 4 2018 croppedWhat a week…. The accreditation evaluation team’s visit has concluded.  We will not know the final result of their report until later in January 2019, where you will, of course, hear the results immediately on my weekly blog.  The evaluators were on our campus for four days and left on Thursday.

I decided to relax a little and headed to campus Friday evening to watch Renegade Volleyball and what a match it was.  BC (ranked 8) beat El Camino (ranked 3) in a fast paced tough 3-game win.  It was a fabulous evening and I loved seeing our faculty, staff and even a trustee come out to support our students.  Enjoy these pictures from the evening.

Coach Vayron Martinez had his soccer players out supporting the Volleyball team.

Soccer team supporting Volleyball Photo 1Soccer team supporting Volleyball Photo 2

Coach Casey Goodman had her softball team out to support the Volleyball team.  Here is Coach Goodman with us.

Janet Tarjan, Romeo Agbalog, Lily Agbalog, Sandi Taylor, Sonya Christian, Casey Goodman

Janet Tarjan, Romeo Agbalog, Lilly Agbalog, Sandi Taylor, Sonya Christian, Casey Goodman

It was an amazing game and we walked up to congratulate Coach Carl Ferreira.

Romeo Agbalog congratulation Coach carl Ferreira

Carl Ferreira, Sandi Taylor, Sonya Christian, Romeo Agbalog

Coach Carl Ferreira, Sandi Taylor, Sonya Christian, Romeo Agbalog

Loved seeing the Athletics department supporting our students.  Here is Stig… and then I snapped with selfie with Keith Ford and brandon Urry.

Lilly Agbalog captured with 5-second video of the soccer team cheering a point scored by BC.


Accreditation Visit

This week we welcomed a team of 10 ACCJC evaluators to campus for the reaffirmation of Bakersfield College’s accreditation status. This method of peer review assures that our institution offers a quality education that will lead Renegades to successful futures. ACCJC says that, “By establishing high standards and then being externally evaluated against those standards, colleges and universities can provide a degree or certificate that students and the community can trust.”

Kathleen Burke

Our visiting team included a diverse group of colleagues from around the state of California led by the Accreditation Team Chair, Dr. Kathleen Burke, Chancellor, South Orange County Community College District (SOCCCD). Dr. Kathleen F. Burke was named chancellor of SOCCCD on April 30, 2018, a District that serves over 42,000 students and currently offers 409 degrees and certificates. There are 390 full-time faculty, 1200 adjunct faculty, over 1760 classified staff, 101 classified managers, and 40 administrators. Prior to her current position, Dr. Burke served as the president of Los Angeles Pierce College for eight years.

Sheri BergerThe Team Assistant, Ms. Sheri Berger has served as the Vice President of Academic Affairs at Los Angeles Pierce College for four years and also serves as the College’s Accreditation Liaison Officer. Prior to becoming Vice President, she was a Dean of Academic Affairs at Los Angeles Valley College supervising the Natural and Social Sciences. Sheri has worked in higher education for 28 years with 22 at the Community College Level. She holds her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Mathematics from California State University, Northridge.

Cheryl BaileyThe team included three academic representatives including Ms. Cheryl Bailey who is an instruction librarian and chair of the library at Irvine Valley College (IVC) in Irvine, CA. As a faculty member at IVC, Cheryl has served as the Academic Senate Recorder, the Online Education Co-Chair, and as the Student Learning Outcomes coordinator. Cheryl has a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Art History from California State University, Long Beach and a master’s in Library and Information Science from San Jose State University.

Michael Fino Oct 1 2018Mr. Michael Fino is the Dean of Mathematics and Sciences at Mira Costa College in Oceanside, CA. Mike has leadership responsibilities for six academic departments, four academic support centers, and online learning. Mike serves as the Co-Principal Investigator on a National Science Foundation Advanced Technology Education grant to promote the development of biomanufacturing educational infrastructure. He has authored a first-of-its-kind Bachelor of Science in biomanufacturing and has had governance leadership roles in program review, student success, basic skills, accreditation, and as president of the Academic Senate. Mike holds degrees in bioengineering (BS, MEng) from the University of California, San Diego and is currently in a doctoral program in community college leadership at San Diego State University.

Liz RomeroMs. Elizabeth Romero is a Child Development faculty member and Academic Senate President at Clovis Community College (CCC). She is in her fifth year as the Senate president and has been teaching Child Development for the past 13 years. She has recent accreditation experience at CCC. The College received initial accreditation in 2015 and then immediately went into re-accreditation to align their cycle with other colleges in the district. Liz loves the accreditation process; it helps to identify areas for growth, which in turn creates better opportunities for students.

Duncan SuttonThe team also includes five administrative representatives including Dr. Duncan Sutton, the Director of Institutional Effectiveness and Strategic Planning at The Salvation Army College for Officer Training. He is responsible for all accreditation-related efforts and serves as the College’s Accreditation Liaison Officer and Student Learning Outcomes coordinator. In addition to his 7 years of Institutional Effectiveness/Research experience, Duncan has 14 years of faculty experience and almost 25 years broader experience as a music educator, performer, and conductor. With his undergraduate studies in music education occurring in England, Duncan continued his education after moving to the U.S., earning his MA and Ed.D from Long Beach State.

Ken StoppenbrinkMr. Ken Stoppenbrink is the Deputy Chancellor at West Hills Community College District (WHCCD). In his over 30 years of experience, Mr. Stoppenbrink has overseen all areas of human resources and the business office as well as participated in negotiations for collective bargaining agreements. He is responsible for reporting on the financial status of the District to the Board of Trustees. Additionally, he has been involved in bond projects as well as tax credit deals, which bring in revenue to the District. Ken holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Phoenix, a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Chico State University, and an Associate in Arts in Business from Shasta Junior College.

Dale van DamMr. Dale van Dam is currently the Vice President of Instruction and the Accreditation Liaison Officer (ALO) at Reedley College in Reedley, California. Prior to his current position, he served as Dean of Instruction at the El Dorado and Rancho Cordova Centers of Folsom Lake College for 11 years. In that position he had oversight for transfer programs, CTE programs, and student services offices. Van Dam holds a master’s degree in Geology from the University of Utah and taught Earth Science, Geography and Geology at American River College for 10 years, where he helped create a Geographic Information Systems degree and certificate program. He has also taught at Yuba College, Sierra College and California State University, Sacramento. In addition, he has served as a partner/owner of several environmental consulting firms in the Sacramento region since 1987.

Lisa WilkensDr. Lisa Cooper Wilkins is the Assistant Superintendent/Vice President for Student Services at San Joaquin Delta College (SJDC). She has administrative oversight for Enrollment Services and Student Development, Counseling and Special Services, Police Services, CalWORKs, and the Hazel Hill Child Development Center. She joined the District in 2014 as the Dean of Enrollment Services and Student Development. Lisa has spent her career in roles that foster access, equity, inclusion and opportunity for underrepresented and underserved students. Dr. Cooper Wilkins completed her doctoral studies at the George Washington University in Higher Education Administration Program. She possesses a Master of Arts in Psychological Services and a Post-Master’s Certificate in Counseling from Marymount University, a Master of Science in Counseling and Human Relations from Villanova University, and a Bachelor of Arts in History and International Relations from Goucher College.

Mandy LiangDr. Mandy Liang is a passionate educator and leader with 12 years of professional and leadership experience in both instruction and student services at multiple California Community Colleges. Dr. Liang’s dedication and commitment to promoting student success and equity in higher education is rooted in her personal experience as an immigrant and first-generation college student. Currently, she is the Associate Dean of Matriculation and Assessment at City College of San Francisco (CCSF). Previously, she served two consecutive terms as the Academic Senate President and Accreditation Faculty Co-Chair. Prior to her Senate Presidency, she worked as the Student Services Student Learning Outcomes (SLO) Coordinator. She serves on a number of statewide committees, and she is involved in a number of Institutional Effectiveness Partnership Initiatives (IEPI). She is the Vice President of the California Community College Assessment Association (CCCAA).

Accreditation - Delano Team3

Bakersfield College’s Rural Initiatives team was honored to kick off the week for some of the visiting team. The team learned a little bit about the history of Delano and Bakersfield College on the drive to Delano from their driver, history professor, Dr. Oliver Rosales. Upon arrival, they were greeted by the team with delicious pastries from the famous Fil-Bake Shop, as well as sweet grapes from local fields. After a tour and several interview sessions, the panel got to hear about Bakersfield College’s connections to rural communities from a large group of community partners representing K-12 schools, government, non-profit, and private agencies throughout North Kern. A big thank you to all involved and especially those that helped prepare for the event: Carolina Madrigal, Endee Grijalva, Raquel Lopez, Juan Torres, Jaime Lopez, Gustavo Enriquez, Lily Pimentel-Stratton, Monica Huyck, Matthew Rodriguez, Helen Calip, Oliver Rosales. Thank you to main campus team members who made the drive to Delano to help out: Tarina Perry, Steven Holmes, Victor Diaz, Liz Rozell, Bill Potter, and Chris McCraw.

They then arrived at the Panorama campus for a meet and greet with members of College Council, Academic Senate, FCDC, and Admin Council and for a tour of our campus which they would call “home away from home” for a few days. Over the course of the week, the team conducted over 175 interviews, examined over 750 pieces of evidence, and grew to know the Home of the Renegades like no other.

The BC Spirit was strong and bright, including at the Open Forums where students, staff, faculty, administrators, and community members should share with the evaluating team how BC has impacted their lives and what BC means to this community.

Accreditation Visit

The entire week, our community waited in anticipation for the Exit Interview scheduled on Thursday morning. During her remarks, Evaluator Kathleen Burke had effusive praise for every facet of our institution – from our inspirational instructors, counselors, advisors, and academic support staff, to our innovative leadership and shared governance structure. She recounted some of the dozens of stories that the accreditation team heard from current and former BC students, as well as industry leaders throughout the community, who thanked BC for enabling individuals throughout Kern County to reach their highest potential.

“Throughout this process, we have recognized the Renegade pride and sense of family at this institution,” Burke said. “This empowering environment drives your innovation.”

Burke thanked the logistics team who coordinated their visit for being endlessly accommodating to the evaluators, highlighting the Food Services Department, Renegade Room and Technology Support Services for being attentive to their needs. The team even led us in a “We Are BC” chant.

“Short of becoming employees, we would like to be adopted as honorary Renegades,” Burke said.

Upon the conclusion of their positive report, the audience in Fireside erupted in an explosive standing ovation. Stephanie Stuart and the Food Services team provided some appetizing refreshments, and we all took the opportunity to celebrate this momentous occasion, which wouldn’t have been possible without every single member of the campus community going above and beyond what is expected of them and working together for the common goal of providing the best education possible for our students.

Sonya Christian at the Post-Report Celebration

Sonya Christian at the Post-Report Celebration

Once everybody got settled, I took the opportunity to thank a few folks who made the accreditation visit a tremendous success, including ISER editors Nick Strobel, Sondra Keckley and Sarah Baron; Liz Rozell, Jason Stratton and Jessica Wojtysiak of the Accreditation Committee; accreditation team leads Todd Coston and Lesley Bonds; as well as Tarina Perry and Chris Glaser, who helped coordinate logistics for the site visit.


Nick Strobel, Sonya Christian, Sarah Baron

Sondra Keckley, Sonya Christian, Sarah Baron, Lesley Bonds, Nick Strobel.jpg


Tarina Perry, Sonya Christian, Chris Glaser

Trustee Bill Thomas was on hand to give a few remarks in support of BC’s committed faculty, staff, and students.

Trustee Bill Thomas

Trustee Bill Thomas

Nick Strobel

Nick Strobel

Nick Strobel spoke briefly about providing a unified voice for BC’s ISER and describing the myriad ways that this campus brings hope to our community by encouraging academic excellence and critical thinking.  Here is an excerpt:

Bakersfield College’s people bring together their minds of critical thinking and analysis and their hearts passionate about educating our students and ourselves, to dialogue and explore our humanity within a structure that has been intentionally-designed to enable that dialogue and exploration to flourish in a safe, inviting environment.

I knew that the ISER Editor job was going to take a lot more time than the release time I was offered but I decided to submit my application because 1) I thought I should try a writing project like this once in my career; and 2) I feel that Bakersfield College is a special place filled with special people doing work that is absolutely vital to the future of our society.

Both of our all-campus forums for the accreditation visiting team were packed with people passionate about BC. Over and over again we heard from students, staff, faculty, administration, and community members about how BC has transformed their lives and lives of people in their families, how BC gave them a second chance to start over or the first chance in their life to build or create something great, and how BC supported them to grow beyond what their previous life experience had taught them was possible.

Yesterday morning I read an essay by Anne Lamont in the latest issue of National Geographic. It is an essay about hope. One passage in particular struck me as describing why the people who come to BC for a job and stay for many years—people like me—why we do that. Lamont writes, “We take action—soup kitchens, creek restoration, mentoring—and then the insight follows: that by showing up with hope to help others, I’m guaranteed that hope is present. Then my own hope increases. By creating hope for others, I end up awash in the stuff.” We bring hope in a better tomorrow and boy, don’t we need hope in today’s world? We need hope, want hope, we get hope here. That’s why we stay.

Jason StrattonHere is an excerpt from Jason Stratton’s remarks

As I stand here today, there are a multitude of impressions, feelings and thoughts swirling through me….I am sure I am not alone.

Today we have the beginning of closure on Accreditation 2018, although the true finale won’t be until January.

As we all worked together to develop our ISER and do all we could to reveal the quality that BC exudes, I was very impressed by the individual and collective efforts involved.

We had an ISER with which Visiting Team member Dale van Dam indicated he was VERY impressed. He especially called out the ‘one voice’ evident throughout.

And then, there was the actual visit- and the work all people on campus have done in preparing for it, organizing it, coordinating it, supporting it, and participating in the interviews.

From my involvement in this process, I can say I was duly impressed, but not surprised.

This quality is who we are, and that shows throughout all of this process.

  • Lao Tzu once said that “Great Acts are made up of small deeds.”
  • What that means to me is that every small action from all of us contributed to make BC a great institution, which became apparent in our ISER and to the visiting team this week.

It has been my privilege to be engaged in this process as the Faculty Co-Lead on the ISER.

  • I am incredibly grateful for this opportunity, as it allowed me to truly see the myriad small deeds being performed that continually led to innovation and improvement- which was documented in our ISER.
  • It was a lot of work from everyone,
    • and it was worth

Paraphrasing Oliver Wendell Holmes, we have now crossed the finish line and it is time to do a cool down lap, as we begin to excitedly share our experiences and express our relief that the race is run.

Yet, as we take this time to, figuratively, let our hair down, something else strikes me:

  • That this is an end, but that it is also a beginning, and a becoming.

My students [and kids] probably think I am ‘hokey’- and now is your chance, as I leave you with a bit of my personal philosophy that seems appropriate:

  • No matter how great, or how poor, a result was- once it is over it doesn’t truly
  • What matters at that point is what you do with it.
  • It doesn’t matter what it ‘is’, but what it ‘becomes’- as life is about becoming.
    • Becoming better:
      • a constant work in progress [sorry strategic directions], without the Sisyphean overtones.

How do we take our experiences and observations, and use this knowledge to become better?

Liz Rozell said that the accreditation process has transformed Bakersfield College forever, and those who participated in it will remember it for years to come.

“Accreditation is part of who we are, and it’s going to always be a part of our blood,” Rozell said.

Crowd in the Fireside Room thanking the evaluators

Crowd in the Fireside Room thanking the evaluators

Fun Photos from Accreditation Week

Accreditation Team - Chris Glaser and Jennifer Serratt

Food Services working hard

Food Services working hard

Todd Coston

Todd Coston


Eric Carrillo, BC Graphics

Eric Carrillo, BC Graphics

See all the photos on BC’s Smugmug of the 2018 Accreditation Visit and the Post-Report Celebration.

MESA Paying it Forward

MESA students rocket activity

This past Saturday, MESA students volunteered to conduct an activity with South High MSQ3 program to promote Science and Engineering to high school students.  The activity involved a water rocket activity, and it was intended for the student to understand engineering, chemistry and physics concepts along with teamwork and presentation experience.

We had 11 MESA student volunteer their Saturday morning to 43 South High MSQ3 students. The MESA program and its MESA students are great, not only our MESA students are taking difficult STEM courses that required demanding time, but they also make time to volunteer and give back to the community.  MESA students Rock!

MESA - Gemma Trujillo, Issac Garcia, Anthony Colin, Katie Ramirez, Alejandra Zapata, Diana Valdez, Christian Acero, Brain Aguilar, Peter Rodriguez, Ian Juarez, and Sabrina Lugo.

Renegade Report

If you missed watching the Renegade Report live this last Thursday at 11am, check out the segments from this week’s show from the links below. This week we highlighted our Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and their efforts to reach out and give back to our local community. Be sure to head to Bakersfield.com at 11am each week to watch the show live.

Segment with SAAC Advisor Stig Jantz:

Segment with SAAC Members – Drew Hallum, Reagan King and Alex Venegas:

Segment with Jamie Durham from The Mission of Kern County:

Renegades of the Week

Congrats to this week’s (9/23-9/29) Wells Fargo Renegades of the Week!


Penelope Zepeda, Volleyball – Helped team to two wins for the week; Recorded 9 kills, .294 hitting % and 8 digs in win vs. Citrus on 9/26 and 19 kills, .393 hitting % and 23 digs in upset win over #5 Moorpark on 9/28.

Justin Harrington, Football – defensive back, had two interceptions (total of 125 return yards), one of which he returned 98 yards for a touchdown in the 4th quarter of Saturday’s 41-7 win over Orange Coast College. He also had six solo tackles and one pass break-up (PBU). The Southern California Football Association (SCFA) named Renegade  Justin Harrington as the National Division Defensive Player of the Week for his outstanding performance this last week.i-csxvktc-x3

New Tennis Coach

We are excited to announce the hiring of Noel Dalton as the head coach of both the men’s and women’s tennis programs and Austin Lee as his assistant coach. Both will begin in their duties pending KCCD board approval.


Both Noel and Austin are former BC tennis players. Noel competed at BC from 1982-1984 and then transferred to Pepperdine University in Malibu, CA where he played lacrosse. Austin played tennis at BC from 2014-2016 and then transferred on to continue playing at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, CA. To read more visit the release on GoGades.com: http://gogades.com/x/yn5w7

Roundup of Athletics Events this week

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

Fun Photos from Renegade Football

At last weekends game, I spotted Nicky Damania preparing for the evaluation visit by studying the ISER from the stands of Memorial Stadium! How cool is that?

I also found Jennifer Serratt, her daughter Grace Marden, and Giorgiono, a student working with Chief Counts in Public Safety.

Football - Grace Marden, Jennifer Serrat. Giorgiono student working in Public Safety

Football -Vince Fong, Chad Manning, Sandi Taylor

I was mentioning to Nicky Damania the story behind the BC President’s Banner that is raised during home games so the community could find the BC President if they wanted to.  Kelly Chamberlain, wife of President Greg Chamberlain came up with this idea and sewed this magnificent banner.  Nicky loved the story and immediately got his student photograher Diana to take some photos.

Jennifer Serrat, Sonya Christian, Bob Allison, Zav Dadabhoy, Nicky Damania Sep 29 2018

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.

Renegade Athletics Social Media

Renegade Athletics Social Media

34th Annual Kern Shakespeare Festival

Students in BC's Performing ArtsThe Bakersfield College Performing Arts Department is presenting two plays for the 34th Annual Kern Shakespeare Festival: Julius Caesar and Measure for Measure. The festival runs through October 13th with various dates for the two different performances. All performances begin at 7:30pm and take place in BC’s Edward Simonsen Outdoor Theatre. Tickets are available at vallitix.com.

Julius Caesar, directed by Brian J. Sivesind

Julius Caesar has ascended to the highest echelon of the Roman Republic, but is getting a little too enamored of power? The lean and hungry Caius Cassius sure seems to think so, and with the help of one of Caesar’s closest allies, Marcus Brutus, he hatches a plot to end the reign of the would-be king. But once Caesar is gone, who will fill the power vacuum? Who will the people follow? Who will hold Rome together as mutiny and war engulf the republic?

Measure for Measure, directed by Cody Ganger

Pimps. Prostitutes. Drugs. Rock ‘n’ Roll. This is the city of Vienna, where the strict vice laws have been overlooked and ignored for the fourteen years since the child Duke Vincentio took power. Now the Duke is grown up and has no idea how to control his city… or himself. His solution? Leave the city in the hands of Angelo–a deputy renowned for his morality and self-discipline– and go undercover to see the results. It seems like a good plan, until Angelo falls to temptation himself and does the unthinkable…

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Student Employment Lab Opening Soon

BC’s Strong Workforce supported recent renovations in FACE 11 to provide a space where we can do our part to meet the demand for a million more people to be trained in high demand, high skilled jobs with livable wages throughout California.

Student employment lab renovations

Student employment lab renovations

The Student Employment Lab was established due to a need to provide our students additional career related support. Students and alumni have the ability to freely access employment resources, conduct web based job searches, and develop resumes. In addition, resources are available from donations that students can take freely from paper and pencils to hygiene products and other items.

The Bakersfield College Student Employment Team is leading the way in bridging the gap between education and employment by sharing our model, tools and resources with other Community Colleges throughout California. Check out the pictures and mark your calendar for October 9th,  when the new Student Employment Lab opens on the Panorama campus.  Thank you Stephanie Baltazar for your commitment to our students!


Gayle Richardson, Janet Tarjan, Susan McQuerryBC proudly hosted the Alpha Chapter of DKG in our Renegade Room for a local gathering. DKG – Leading Women Educators, Impacting Education Worldwide is an organization with a mission to promote professional and person growth of all women educators. The official website states the DKG woman educator is a potential leader, able to bring out the best in others, authentic, responsive to feedback, results oriented, adaptable, a conceptual thinker, and motivated to make a difference.

group photo in Renegade Room with 4 DKG members

Sitting: Catrina Aguilar, BC Grad, past Future Teachers Club President. Standing L to R: Gurpreet Cheema, (BC grad, past Future Teachers Club President), Alex Moreno (current BC Future Teachers Club President, Janet Tarjan (BC Math Prof 33rd year and Future Teachers Club Advisor, 15th year, DKG president, 1st year, but member 25 years) Tayci Stallings (BC grad, past Future Teachers Club Member, in 5th year of teaching), Megan Assaturian Rogers (BC Grad, past Future Teachers Club member, prospective DKG member, in 12th year of teaching)

Chef Suzanne introduced me to the culinary students who prepared the incredible meal for DKG. Here are some photos of our talented Renegades in action.

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Links Incorporated Event

Links Incorporated - LogoBakersfield College is proud to partner with The Bakersfield Chapter The Links, Incorporated to introduce middle school and high school students to programs in STEAM – Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math.   On Saturday morning, dozens of students and their parents gathered at Emerson Middle School for the 2018-19 launch of the Links STEAM Academy, “Left Brain & Right Brain” which is designed to increase interest in educational pathways and careers in STEAM fields. Retired BC Professor, Odella Johnson, is the Links Co-Chair of Service to Youth and has led the partnership between BC and Links.

Links Incorporated - Lesley Bonds and Denise Norris, adjunct communication faculty at BC.

Lesley Bonds, BC Director of Student Success & Equity, welcomed the students in their parents to introduce them to BC’s pathways in STEAM, our Bachelor of Science in Industrial Automation program, and our Completion Coaching Communities that have been intentionally designed to help students enter and stay on their pathways. Throughout the year, student participants in the academy will participate in field trips to the campus where they’ll have the opportunity to gain exposure to our faculty, state of the art Aera STEM Success Center, and even our Planetarium. Previous student participants have gone on to graduate with degrees in computer science, engineering, and biomedical engineering from universities like CSUB, UCLA, and even Johns Hopkins.

Check out this highlight on KGET and be sure to check out the news this weekend for updates on the program.

Emails Worth Sharing

Rich McCrow, Dean of Instruction sent an amazing email on Tuesday afternoon. He said,

This is fun. Don Turney found this full page spread from the Bakersfield Californian, Sunday, December 12, 1976. The Renegades victorious at the Rose Bowl. Don Turney is #89. He was grinning ear-to-ear about this experience and was so proud…it was heartwarming.

Bakersfield Californian Clip Don Turney

Ministers Conference of Kern County

Bakersfield College hosted a Special Day of United Church Service church on Sunday, September 30, 2018, in the Indoor Theatre.

Unity in Worship

The purpose of the gathering was to come together in prayer and worship God in community to reconnect and honor one another. The welcoming message was provided by Pastor Oscar Anthony, of the St. Peter Restoration Community Christian Ministries Church. It was a great treat to sit beside Steve Watkin for this uplifting event. Take a listen to this version of Amazing Grace…

Renegades at the St. Vincent de Paul Fundraiser

Renegades and the BC Cheer team were also out in the community on Thursday evening supporting the St. Vincent de Paul fundraiser BBQ.

Friends of BC in the Community

It’s amazing to attend community events where the support of BC is strong. On Thursday evening, many long time friends of BC were alongside new ones who have a strong commitment to education. Working together, our community leaders are supporting a college going culture in Kern County.  This particular event was held at the home of Ajay Anand to support Senator Andy VidakDr. Brij Bambi gave an eloquent speech in his usual profound and clever style that was inspiring.

Let’s see who is in the photo below:

Ajay Anand, Congressman Bill Thomas, Supervisor Mike Maggard, Congressman David Valadao, Senator Andy Vidak, Councilman Ken Weir, Dr. Brij Bhambi, Dr. Jeet Singh

Keith Woolridge, Madhu Anand, Sonya Christian, Shannon Grove, District Attorney Elect Cynthia Zimmer, Anju Bhambi, Dr. Jasleen Duggal, Trustee Romeo Agbalog

Group Photo

Michael Bowers, Jay Tamsi, Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Bill Thomas and Sonya Christian

Michael Bowers, Jay Tamsi, Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Brij Bhambi, Bill Thomas and Sonya Christian

We Are BC!

Sonya Christian with BC President's Banner Sep 29 2018

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Creativity, Talent, and Inspiration Runs Deep at Bakersfield College

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

The creativity, talent, and scholarship among BC faculty and staff is abundant and oh so inspiring.  Let me start with Wednesday, 9/26, in the evening.  I walked over from my office to watch Coach Carl Ferreira and his fabulous volleyball team win big time against Citrus. Then, walking back to my office, I stopped by the recently launched Renegade Roundtable hosted by the new director of the Levan Center, Reggie Williams.  The four faculty presenters Michael Harvath, Neal Stanifer, Steven Holmes and Erin Miller did a fabulous job approaching topics with different lenses.  I was overcome with pride at seeing faculty, staff and students sitting outside on the grass listening to these great faculty speakers.  The whole scene felt like a liberal arts college and I could imagine Norm Levan smiling and being content.  As was I.  You see this is why I am the luckiest and happiest college president.

Here are a few pictures that I discretely snapped.


Panorama Music Summit

The Panorama Creative Music Summit returned to Bakersfield College on September 21-22 at the Simonsen Performing Arts Center Indoor Theater on the Bakersfield College Panorama Campus. Presented by the Jazz Studies and Commercial Music Programs, the summit is an annual showcase for acclaimed visiting artists, local performers, and BC faculty, students, and alumni performing original music and exploring a broad range of styles and creative approaches across the jazz-pop continuum. Thank you Kris Tiner and BC Performing Arts!

This years event was a true hit. Susan Scaffidi wrote a piece for The Californian titled, “All jazzed up for bC music summit” and Ja’Nell Gore of the Renegade RIP covered the event in a piece titled “Panorama Creative Music Summit hosts composer along with student performers.”

Doug Wimbash visits BC


Doug Wimbash

Bassist Doug Wimbish of the alternative rock group Living Colour visited BC on Monday to discuss his career as a studio musician on some of the most influential recordings in the history of hip-hop before leading students and staff in an improvised jam session at the Indoor Theater.

Wimbish, who’s worked with the Rolling Stones, Depeche Mode, Joe Satriani and Mos Def, started his career as a session bassist at All-Platinum Records as a teenager in the early ’70s. Label founders Sylvia and Joe Robinson launched a subsidiary label called Sugar Hill Records in 1979 and pressed the single for the Sugarhill Gang’s hit “Rapper’s Delight”, bringing hip-hop from its humble beginnings in the South Bronx across the globe, where it has eclipsed rock and pop as the world’s most popular music genre almost 40 years later. Wimbish was hired as the house bassist for Sugar Hill Records, playing on the recordings for “The Message” by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, as well as other seminal recordings in the history of hip-hop.


Kyle Burnham, Reggie Williams, Doug Wimbash, Josh Ottum, and Kris Tiner

Wimbish attributes his success in the music industry to the individuals who recognized his potential and gave him opportunities throughout his career, from the local musicians who mentored him in his hometown of Hartford, Connecticut to the studio executives who gave him his first professional recording gigs. Wimbish even called a few of his mentors and colleagues on the stage, including Sugarhill Gang emcee Master Gee and legendary audio engineer Chris Lord-Alge.

“I’m not the architect. I’m the recipient,” Wimbish said. “Your attitude will take you to the right altitude.”

After playing a few of his solo songs with accompaniment by jazz studies professor Kris Tiner on trumpet, Wimbish was very friendly and accommodating to the audience and performers who participated in the jam session, running across the stage to adjust the microphones for the brass section and assisting musicians, playing his bass connected to an array of modulation pedals.


Doug Wimbash with attendees

Alongside students in the jazz studies and commercial music programs at BC, several faculty and staff participated in the jam, including English professor Andrew Bond and graphic designer Eric Carrillo. Eric recorded the following video to share. 

I’d like to thank Levan Center Director Reggie Williams, Kris Tiner and commercial music professor Josh Ottum for organizing the event, and I hope Doug can come back to campus next year and bring a few guests with him.
See all the photos by Earl Parsons at BC’s Smugmug.

Thank you California Community Colleges Board of Governors!

Bakersfield College has been selected by the California Community Colleges Board of Governors as one of 29 community colleges to be awarded a share of $4.9 million to further expand and bolster the College’s Veterans Resource Center. These grant funds go directly to assist the hundreds of veteran students as they work to achieve their academic goals and degree completion at Bakersfield College.

Over the past five years enrollment of student veterans at the College has grown tremendously. In 2013-14, the College served 565 student veterans while this year enrollment numbers have reached 717. The top three academic pathways for currently enrolled student veterans at BC are Business, STEM, and Nursing.

Kay Meek and Lee Caldwell unveiling the future VRCSonya and Group at VRC

Last November, the College revealed plans for the newly designed Veterans Resource Center, made possible by the passing of Measure J in 2016, and this year the College is set to break ground on construction. THANK YOU KERN COUNTY FOR SUPPORTING BC! On Monday, November 5, 2018, the Veterans Resource Center Groundbreaking Ceremony is scheduled to take place on the Panorama campus at 10:00am. More details to follow, but reserve Nov 5 at 10am on your calendars now!

KBAK was one of the first media outlets to pick up the story in their piece, “Bakersfield College, Porterville College getting money to bolster veterans services.” Thank you!

Renegades at the Fair 2018

renegades at the pavillionIn partnership with the Kern County Fair, the Office of Student Life hosted Renegades at the Fair for the fourth year in a row this last Thursday night.

Renegades engaged with the Bakersfield Community with games, photo opportunities and valuable information about our beloved Bakersfield College!

Thank you to all who participated. I especially loved the photos of Dr. Terri Goldstein with the incredible fair food!

Renegade Athletics Report

If you missed watching the Renegade Report live this last Thursday at 11a, segments are available on YouTube from this week’s show. With our football game theme this week honoring our Bakersfield community first responders, we highlighted a few of our BC athletics alum first responders. Be sure to head to Bakersfield.com at 11a each week to watch the show live.



Renegades of the Week

Congrats to this week’s Wells Fargo Renegades of the Week! Sydney Crawley, Women’s Golf – shot a personal best 75 (even par on the front 9) last week at Kern River GC to place 3rd overall and help the team to a 3rd place finish as well.

And Jeremy Mass, Wrestling – placed 1st in his weight class (185 lb.) at the West Hills Duals helping the team to a 5th place finish overall.

Renegades of the Week - Sydney Crawley and Jeremy Maas

SAAC at the Mission

Our athletics Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) organized a trash pick-up on Saturday 9/22 at the Mission at Kern County. We are proud of the student-athletes who devote their time, amidst a very busy schedule, to help better our community.

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Roundup of Athletics Events this week

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


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Must Read on Coach Carl Ferreira

Spotted the incredible Coach Carl Ferreira in action. Jon Mettus of the Californian published a piece titled, “Carl Ferreira believes this year’s Bakersfield College volleyball team could be his best yet.”

The fabulous Coach Ferreira

Coach Carl Ferreira and the Renegade Volleyball Team

It’s always great to see faculty, staff, and administration at our BC Athletics events cheering on and supporting BC students. This week, Sandi Taylor, Director of Athletics, Michele Bresso, Dean of Instruction, and Klint Rigby, Engineering and Industrial Technology Department Chair were spotted taking a selfie while cheering on the Renegades.

Supporting our student athletes.

Sandi Taylor, Michele Bresso, and Klint Rigby take a selfie

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.

Renegade Athletics Social Media

Dual Enrollment Team attends statewide Early and Middle College Conference

Dr. Bryan Reece of Norco College

Dr. Bryan Reece of Norco College

Did you know that high school students who complete two dual enrollment courses are 12% more likely to earn a college degree?  Dr. Bryan Reece, president of Norco College, shared that tidbit and so much more in an empowering message about the transformative power of dual enrollment and early and middle college.

The Bakersfield College Dual Enrollment team including Dr. Anna Laven, Abel Guzman, Raquel Lopez, Steve Watkin and Fernando Lara, gained helpful information from Dr. Reece and others when they attended the California Coalition of Early and Middle Colleges (CCEMC) 5th annual conference in Sacramento on September 21, 2018.

Local high school partners, Cerro Coso administrators and the district office were also in attendance, including Dr. Ben Sherley of KHSD, Justin Derrick of McFarland HS, Nicole Griffin and Lisa Stephens from Cerro Coso, Cindy Collier, Dr. Bonita Steele, and Diane Baeza from our District Office.

Started as a grassroots organization of educators, CCEMC is a coalition dedicated to the belief that California students deserve the opportunity to experience college courses during their high school career.  When K-12 school districts and community college districts work in partnership, we have the ability to help students grow, experience early success, and become college and career ready as they become the new workforce for our state, explains CCEMC president Dr. April Moore.  Attendees enjoyed sessions ranging from the use of data for evaluation to the use of early college to improve persistence for historically underrepresented students.

BC Attends Kern EDC SLO Innovation Tour

Community Relations Manager Tamara Baker joined Kern EDC for its SLO Innovation Tour earlier this week, where they visited the SLO HotHouse Incubator, Cal Poly Technology Park and SLO MakerSpace.   This was a part of Kern EDC’s Kern Alliance for Talent and Innovation (KATI) initiative designed to support the creation of a regional center of innovation.  BC joined 30 other Kern County partners to see what SLO is doing, and to consider ideas and projects that can be implemented here in our backyard.

Kern County's partners at the Cal Poly Technology Park

Kern County’s partners at the Cal Poly Technology Park

Supporting our Vets

Armando Trujillo and Paul Beckworth met over lunch with Vet Center Manager Jenny Frank and Superior Court Judge Louie Vega discussing the Veteran Justice Program. This important program was founded by Judge Vega, Attorney Randy Dickow and the late Vernon Valenzuela, in whose honor the program is named.


Kern County Silkies Hike

BC faculty, staff, and Renegades participated in last Sunday’s Kern County Silkies Hike, walking more than 15 miles to bring awareness to the 22 veterans who die by suicide every day. The fourth-annual event, which made stops at Temblor Brewing, Casa Tequila and other locations for veterans and their supporters to hydrate and eat, is also designed to bring veterans in the community together and let them know that they don’t have to face their struggles alone. Members of the BC community who participated in the Silkies Hike include Rodolfo Rascon, Armando Trujillo, William “Billy” Nuckles, Raquel “Rocky” Barraza, Tommy (Col.) Tunson, and Tanyabet Mendez.

Kern County Veterans Silkies Hike

AB 540 Students at BC

Eloy Oakley keynoting at the Leadership SummitIn an effort to improve equity and access for all AB540 students across the state of California, the amazing Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley and the California Community College Chancellor’s Office sent out a survey to all 114 Colleges in the state regarding current services offered to undocumented students on each of their respective campuses. The Chancellor’s Office has tasked the Foundation for California Community Colleges to create a Statewide Advisory group to review the results of the survey data to make recommendations to the CCC Chancellor’s Office in order to increase access and support our Dreamers across the state.

Our very own Educational Advisor/AB540 Liaison Pedro L. Ramirez has been invited to participate in this Statewide Advisory Group, which will be tasked to make these recommendations to the Chancellor’s office to create systemic change across all 114 California community colleges. The Chancellor’s Advisory Group held its first meeting this past Monday, September 24th at the Foundation for CCC in Sacramento and will be holding successive Regional Meetings in Berkeley on October 9th, Mt. San Antonio October 26th, San Diego on November 6th, and Fresno on November 14th.

AB540 Advisory Group

Although only 60 community colleges have completed the survey regarding services offered to undocumented students, preliminary data shows that Bakersfield College is at the forefront when it comes to services offered to undocumented students. While most community colleges are being reactive to serving undocumented/dreamer students, Bakersfield College has been taking a proactive approach. Take for example the following data snippets that show the increase in enrollment of first-time/new students, as well as demographic information and pathway information.

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The significant growth of our AB540/Dreamer students could not have been possible without the work of the AMAZING Dreamer Completion team. Special thanks to: Lisa Robles, Jacky Lau, Gina Hunter, Manuel Rosas, Jeannie Parent and Elizabeth Rodacker from the EMLS department, and Manuel Muralles from Outreach. In addition, a special thanks to our Cal-Soap team and our community partners Youth 2 Leaders for their continued collaboration and support.

Pedro L Ramirez was also recently on the 103.9 The Beat’s radio show with Danny Morrison. If you missed it live, check it out on YouTube.


BCSW welcomes the Healthcare Community

On September 23, Bakersfield College Southwest hosted Mercy Hospital, Mercy Southwest Hospital, and Bakersfield Memorial Hospital for a public meeting. State of California Deputy Attorney General Wendi Horwitz listened to comments and statements from stakeholders and community members. Thank you to Fernando Lara, Mary Jo Pasek, and Leah Prendez who made sure all the details were handled the BC way!

Hispanic Chamber Golf Tournament

Corny Rodriguez, Tony Cordova, Adam Alvidrez, Heather Pennella, and Tom Gelder

Corny Rodriguez, Tony Cordova, Adam Alvidrez, Heather Pennella, and Tom Gelder

Not known for their golfing prowess, the BC participants in the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s golf tournament/fundraiser Monday at Bakersfield Country Club distinguished themselves by taking third place in the “Net Score” category.  Headed by Dean Corny Rodriguez, Team BC members Tony Cordova of CTE fame, and Heather Pennella and Tom Gelder from the BC Foundation pulled out their victory with a last-minute surge.

The Hispanic Chamber Golf Tournament raises money for scholarships and benefits approximately seventy high school students each year for each of the last several years. Bakersfield College has a close relationship with the Chamber and its leadership President Jay Tamsi and Board Chair Adam Alvidrez.

BC represented at the Hispanic Chamber Golf Tournament

BC represented at the Hispanic Chamber Golf Tournament

It’s time to Apply for Scholarships!

A4M Sept PP SlideThe BC Foundation and Financial Aid Department have been working together to inform students and faculty regarding the many scholarship opportunities available specifically for Bakersfield College students. The online scholarship application will open on Monday, October 1st and remain open through February 1st, 2019.

Please encourage all BC students, current or incoming to go to bakersfieldcollege.edu/Apply4Money and complete the FAFSA/Dream Act application AND the BC Scholarship application. There are over 270 scholarship funds at BC!

Emails Worth Sharing

Eileen Pierce, who is a dedicated program manager for BC’s Supplemental Instruction program sent an email earlier this week to share a graphic called “Semester Cycle for the Typical BC Student.”

Semester Cycle by Eileen Pierce

Via Arte Bakersfield

via arte from bmoa websiteVia Arte is coming back to the Market Place shopping center on October 20th. Bakersfield College and the Levan Center are proud sponsors. Learn more at http://www.viaartebakersfield.com/2018sponsors/

The Artwork of Diego Gutierrez Monterrubio

The Artwork of Diego Monterrubio

ISER Training

Isabel Castaneda shared photos from Sarah Baron and Alisha Loken‘s ISER training session on Friday morning for our Title V Extend the Classroom and Summer Bridge Peer mentors. Dr. Kimberly Bligh shared with me that “we wanted to make sure they had Accreditation training and requested help.” They even played a quiz game! I wonder who won?! 🙂

GRoup Photo learning about the ISER

Fun Photo from Leadership Academy

Dean Billie Jo Rice shared this pic of future Renegades from the Leadership Academy being held on our campus Friday. She said:

“I am the proud aunt of the young lady that is in the second position from the left. Her name is Jordyn”

Leadership Academy Students

Next Week’s Accreditation Visit

From October 1 to October 4, 2018, Bakersfield College will be visited by evaluators from the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC), conducting interviews with faculty, staff, students, and college groups. If you happen to be on campus, please extend a warm welcome to our visiting team. Feel free to engage with them to share our Renegade story. #WeAreBC!

Thank you to the planning and logistics team who has worked hard over the past few weeks to prepare the details for the visit.

Sonya Christian 3 at Finish in 4 May 7 2018That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

BC has a Presence in every Corner of Kern County!

Good morning Bakersfield. 
It is Saturday, September 22, 2018…..a great day to be a Renegade.

Loved waking up Friday morning and seeing this piece by faculty emeritus Dr. Jack Hernandez.  Very inspiring.

Jack Hernandez Sep 21 2018 To Love Thy Neighbor.png

I was notified earlier this week via email that the Delanonow.com shared photos from the first Renegade home football game, along with the story of McFarland students attending in an article titled “Bakersfield College President hosts McFarland High School at BC Football Home Opener.” It was a lovely surprise! Thank you Delanonow.com! And thank you Aaron Resendez!


33rd Annual Business & Industry Leaders Breakfast

On Thursday morning, the Golden Empire Gleaners hosted the annual breakfast with Master of Ceremonies, Kevin Charette of KGET and special guest speaker, Traco Matthews, Kern Co. Superintendent of Schools.

Treco Matthews at Gleaners Breakfast

The breakfast, with opening prayer, Pledge of Allegiance, and information from the Gleaners, was a moving event that highlighted the importance of pantry and food service organizations. Traco Matthews shared personal stories about how he grew up “food challenged,” where he and his family would sometimes go without a meal. He shared how when as a child, his mom told him that Thanksgiving might be cancelled because they could not afford the food, but that a woman came through with a donation that changed his life. He asked that, when it comes to people facing hunger, if we can give and if we can share, then we should, because no one should go hungry. His message — Open your hearts.  Open your minds.  Open your wallets (generosity).

TreccoMatthews at Gleaners Breakfast with head table

Traco Matthews speaking at the Gleaners Breakfast

Chancellor Tom Burke and his wife Tina Burke are very involved with the Gleaners, and had invited me to be a guest at his table. It was a powerful reminder that we are fortunate to have so many community leaders who give their support, share their own stories, and engage with life-changing issues.

I enjoyed running into Louis Amestoy.  He is with Aera now, though I got to know him when he was a reporter with The Bakersfield Californian.  He, along with Francis Mayer, was part of the original team that created the Renegade Report. Thank you Louis for your belief in community colleges and your belief in Bakersfield College.  We are BC!

Gleaners Breakfast with Louis Amestoy

Sonya Christian, Louis Amestoy

Our Bakersfield Mayor, Karen Goh was there beaming and as always supporting our community.  I grabbed some of the photos she posted in her album on Facebook.  🙂


Karen Goh, Tom Burke, Sonya Christian, Norma Rojas-Mora

I met Jose Gonzales, who was recently appointed to coordinate and resolve issues related to homelessness.  Here is an article on when the Kern County Supervisors appointed Jose to this position https://tinyurl.com/y9qpgzyc.  Here is another photo of me and Heidi Scott, the woman with a voice of an angel who gave me courage to sing in public.

Heidi Scott and Sonya Christian April 19 2018

Heidi Scott, Sonya Christian

Organizations such as the Golden Empire Gleaners do truly make a difference in the lives of people throughout Kern County and our communities. According to their website,

“Throughout its 33 year history the Golden Empire Gleaners has fed millions of Kern County residents.  Last year alone, over 200,000 people were served by distributing 2 million pounds of food.  Currently the Gleaners averages 18,000 people per month served.”

Grimmway Foundation

I had the pleasure of attending my first Grimmway Foundation meeting on Thursday, where the organization partners with students, teachers, and parents to support initiatives that improve education and community wellness throughout Kern County. The mission of Grimm Family Education Foundation according to their website is:

“Helping make vibrant communities in Kern County with our charter schools and Edible Schoolyard programs by closing the achievement gap, improving the health of students and families, and creating economic growth in the communities that we serve. By being fiscally responsible and innovative, we will broaden community impact through our programs, partnerships, research, fund development, and community outreach.”

casey Yeazel presenting at the Grimmway Foundation meeting

Casey Yeazel presenting at the Grimmway Foundation

Casey Yeazel, Chief Academic Officer for Grimmway Schools spoke about how Grimmway Schools is a growing network of high-performing, college-prep public charter schools in Kern County. It was also great to see David Franz of Shafter, Morgan Clayton, President of Tel-Tec Security Systems, Tricia Bland of LEAN Consulting, and Barbara Grimm, Founder and CEO of Grimmway Education.

The Edible Schoolyard initiative provides hands-on learning, and sensory experience to students through garden and kitchen classrooms. Visit esykerncounty.org to learn more and check out this incredible Edible Schoolyard menu of delicious items that I enjoyed for lunch.

Grimmway Edible Schoolyard Menu

The conversations were passionate, engaging and practical all at once.  I am so glad to be part of such a dynamic group.

Army STEM Trailer

On Thursday, the Army STEM Trailer was on campus to offer a firsthand look at how the Army integrates evolving technology to improve the safety and effectiveness of soldiers. The Army STEM Trailer is a multi-million-dollar technology demonstrator, which has hands-on simulators illustrating the science and technology that goes into equipping modern soldiers, including robotic systems and night vision.The trailer was stocked with armor that students could  hold and try on, incredible displays of soldiers in full kit, and demonstrations of software used for simulating what might actually happen on the field.

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The purpose of the event is to provide students with an understanding of the practical implications of STEM research and illustrate how the Army integrates evolving technology to improve the safety and effectiveness of soldiers. The trailer also provides an opportunity for students to learn about possible careers after college.

Thank you to the crew on campus for sharing with our students and community the incredible technology that goes into supporting and protecting our troops.

STEM Speaker: Erica Vela-Toussaint

STEM Speaker Erica Vela-Toussaint

STEM Speaker Erica Vela-Toussaint

Erica Vela-Toussaint visited Bakersfield College for some coffee, cookies, and conversation with students. She shared her journey from picking grapes and packing fruit in the central valley to her current position as Pipeline Management Regional Manager (Africa/Latin America) for Chevron Pipe Line Company. She shared her incredible journey as a small-town Latina in a male-dominated profession, inspiring students to not only strive for a flourishing career, but a life’s purpose.

Women’s Golf

The Women’s Golf team hosted the Bakersfield Tourney on Monday 9/17 at Kern River Golf Course. Participating in the tournament along with Bakersfield College were Antelope Valley, Citrus, Moorpark, Canyons and Santa Barbara. As a team the Renegades finished 3rd, behind Santa Barbara (2nd) and Canyons (1st).

Renegade Womens Golf 2018

Renegade Womens Golf 2018

Individually, Sydney Crawley placed 3rd on the day, shooting a 75. Full team results are:

  • Sydney Crawley – 75
  • Allie Crawley – 77
  • Elizabeth Nakagawa – 91
  • Breann Bonkosky – 100
  • Ramanda Lara – 119

The Renegades will next take to the course in Morro Bay on Sunday (9/23) and Monday (9/24) starting at 8:30am on both days.

4th Annual Community Swimming Lessons

Our men’s and women’s swim programs put on the annual community swimming lessons this past Saturday 9/15 from 8am-2p. Over 70 community children, the best attendance yet for this event, participated and received a 30-minute free swim lesson. In addition, members of the both swim teams took part in a 6-hour swim relay throughout the entire event. We look forward to hosting the event again next year and helping even more youth become more water friendly.

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Renegades of the Week

This weeks Wells Fargo Renegades of the Week are Gabby Lugo from Women’s Cross Country and Jose Lara from Men’s Soccer. Gabby Lugo ran a 19:35 at the SoCal Preview to place 19th individually (out of 191 runners). It was a personal and season best. Jose Lara, Men’s Soccer – scored the game winner in 2-1 victory over East LA and added another goal in 2-1 win over West Hills Lemoore on Friday. We are proud of these two and all of our Renegade Athletes that represent our college so well.


Football On a Two Game Winning Streak

BC Football Shane Jones

On Saturday, September 15th, our Renegade football team shut out the visiting Santa Monica Corsairs 56-0. It was a big win for our football team going into their 4th week of the season.

Elisha Ortiz led the Renegades with 12 rushes for 104 yards and two TD’s. Shane Jones carried the ball six times for 77 yards and three TD’s and Isaiah Martin ran eight times for 91 yards and a TD.

Our football team is currently ranked #15 in the state and looking forward to their next game at Golden West on Saturday 9/22 at 2pm.

Photos from Football game:

Last shot BC playing Santa Monica Sep 15 2018

Absolutely love seeing families and kids at the games.  It is truly a family event.

Kids at the football game Photo by Dominique Moseley Sep 15 2018.JPG

Yasmine and Kelly at the Football game.JPG

Yasmine (daughter of Lily and Romeo Agbalog) and her friend Kelley 

Bill Moseley and Family at the Football game.jpg

Bill Moseley and his family

Wrestling Takes 2nd Place

BC Wrestling Team PhotoOur wrestling team took home 2nd place as a team at the Sacramento City College wrestling tournament this weekend.

Both Marcus Hutcherson and Adrian Godinez placed 2nd in their weight divisions, and Jeremy Mass placed 3rd. Our wrestling team will next be in action traveling to West Hills on Saturday 9/22.

Volleyball sweeps Palomar

Women's VolleyballThe Women’s Volleyball team hosted Palomar Friday night at the Gil Bishop Sports Complex and swept the Comets, 3-0. Leading the way for BC was Penelope Zepeda with 12 kills, Lanie Camarillo with 9 kills and Bianca Logsdon with 7.

Our Renegade volleyball team is now 8-1 and ranked 12th in the state. They will next travel to Mt. SAC on Saturday 9/22 to play both Mt. SAC (10:30am) and Cypress (1:00pm).

BC Men’s and Women’s Soccer

Coach Vayron Martinez and his 2018 Men’s Soccer team are on a 4-game winning streak, most recently beating West Hills Lemoore (2-1) and College of the Sequoias (4-1). Coach Martinez recently commented on how much the team has developed a true team identity “They trust each other and they believe in each other and that’s the most important thing. You can feel the atmosphere on the bench”. Keep an eye on this team as they progress through the season.

Our women’s soccer team lost their first game of the season last week to Fresno City College, but remains highly ranked in the state at #12. Coach Scott Dameron is very confident in the team’s ability.

Upcoming Athletics Events

Athletics events coming up this coming week 9/22-9/28. Come out and support our Renegades as they represent our college! See all the details at Gogades.com!

Suicide Awareness Month – Lunch & Learn

Amber Smithson Presentation (1)

Stella Ponce in BC’s Student Health and Wellness Center emailed on Tuesday morning to remind our campus that September is Suicide Awareness Month. She shared that suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among those 10 to 34 years old according to the National Institute of Mental Health.

The Student Health Center hosted a Brown Bag Lunch Series that included guest speaker Amber Smithson, Director of Business Development for Bakersfield Behavioral Healthcare Hospital, to the Fireside Room to speak on this topic. She shared some troubling statistics about suicide and mental health in the United States, where 18.1% of adults have experienced an anxiety disorder such as post traumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and specific phobias.

Amber Smithson Presentation (2)

Amber shared the importance of educating ourselves about the signs of concern, and the tools of prevention. She emphasized the value of therapy and support and that it’s always okay to seek the help you deserve.

There are many resources to help, including:

Amber left her audience with a lasting message…

“Be there for someone else and be there for yourself. Everyone on this planet is worth another breath.”

Writing Center Grammar Jam

On Thursday, the Writing Center hosted a brand new workshop called “Grammar Jam.” In this workshop, Melissa Gonzales led students to learn the basics of parts of speech, sentence patterns, fragments, run-ons, and other common writing errors. Workshops like this are especially valuable because writing skills are helpful for any course.Thanks to the Writing Center team for all they do to support our Renegade students!

Delano Community Clean Up Day

FB_IMG_1537545253760The Rural Initiatives team along with BC Delano Campus students, represented BC proudly at the Delano Annual Community Clean-Up, Saturday, September 15th. Participants are recipients of the Rural Initiatives STEAM Scholarship awarded by the Delano Campus and sponsored by Southern California Edison. This opportunity made possible by the collaboration among several K-14 agencies and other community organizations. Its always great to have BC staff working together with the students we serve! Special thanks to Abel Guzman, Jaime Lopez, and the whole BC crew!

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Hispanic Heritage Month 2018

Nan and BC student and staff

On Saturday, September 15th the Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce kicked off celebrations for Mexican Independence Day in style, starting with El Grito de Dolores (The Cry of Dolores), also known as El Grito de la Independencia. This celebration memorializes when Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, a Roman Catholic priest in the small town of Dolores, rang the church bells on September 16, 1810, sparking Mexico’s War of Independence. The event included live entertainment, mariachi music, folkloric dancers, a vendor street fair, and was celebrated in real time with Mexico City with a live, projected broadcast. BC was well represented at the event, including Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Paul Beckworth, Lisa Kent, Khushnur Dadabhoy, and Armando Trujillo.


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El Bracero

Hat and BC logoOn Friday, September 14th, BC students, faculty and staff spent an evening at CSUB, both on-stage and in the audience, for “El Bracero – A Mariachi Musical.”

BC Student Clubs were represented by Emmanuel Limaco, Valente Trujillo Padilla, and Gemma Trujillo Padilla (MECHa) and Diego Reynoso (Free on the Outside).

Set in the 1950s at the height of what was known as the Bracero Program, El Bracero is a dynamic one-act Mariachi Opera which fuses mariachi music, ballet folklorico, and powerful opera style set pieces. El Bracero highlights the challenges and injustices workers faced in the U.S.

BC Students.jpg

Ballet Folklorico Dancers

El Bracero was written by Rosalinda Verde from Visalia, CA and the story is based on Braceros who came to California’s Central Valley during World War II as part of the Bracero Program as legal farm laborers. For 2018, the Revival of El Bracero will bring new songs and a special tribute to Braceros still living in the U.S. The music in El Bracero is performed by Mariachi Águilas de J. Carlos Ozuna  one of the premiere mariachi groups in California.

BC was well represented by Abel and Lorena Guzman, Jason Stratton and Lillian Pimentel Stratton, Lisa Robles, Zav and Khushnur Dadabhoy, and Corny Rodriguez.

Lamont Dia De La Independencia Parade

BC Adult Education TeamThe Bakersfield College Adult Education team participated in the Lamont Dia De La Independencia Parade and Festival on Sunday, September 16th.

Congratulations to Professor Monterrubio

Volunteer BC Art Faculty Diego Gutierrez Monterrubio

Diego Monterrubio

Professor Diego Monterrubio has been invited to exhibit his incredible artwork in a solo show at his alma mater, Porterville College. His pieces will be showcased as an alumni, as an artist of the Central Valley, and as a young boy from Lindsay, California with big dreams who worked hard to earn an MFA and become a Professor of Art. The exhibit will run for one month in the Porterville College Art Gallery and opening night reception will be October 5th from 5pm – 7pm.

Alegres Sueños – Jones Gallery

img_9894-x3The directors of the Wiley and May Louise Jones Gallery are proud to present to work of Los Angeles and San Diego based artist Mrbbaby. The exhibition opened on September 6th but will be up through October 11th, 2018. The work displayed shows the artists reflection on her experiences as a Latina growing up in Southern California.

The Wylie and May Louise Jones Gallery is located at the main campus on Panorama drive within the Grace Van Dyke Bird Library. The Fall 2018 hours of operation will be Monday-Thursday: 1:00-4 P.M.


Student Employment Spotlight on Public Safety

BC’s Public Safety Department at Bakersfield College employs approximately 50 students at any given time during the school year for various positions including cart drivers, front office assistants, ticket writers, and Public Safety Cadets. The Cadets are uniformed student employees who assist officers with foot patrol around all areas of campus. Students in these positions provide officers first-hand alerts, extra eyes and ears.

Public Safety Group Photo

Public Safety Group Photo

Did you know that BC’s Director of Public Safety, Chris Counts, first joined Bakersfield College in 1988 as a Cadet himself? He brought this program back because he is passionate about providing not only safety to our campus but also career opportunities to students exploring law enforcement. Public safety shows their appreciation by recognizing four student employees each month with a photograph display in their office.

Public Safety Student Employment Wall

If students are interested in exploring career opportunities in Public Safety, they can apply for On Campus positions via bakersfield.jobspeaker.com or attend the Public Safety Career Expo on October 10th, 10:00 am—2:00 pm.


Spotlight on BC IT

Alliance Fundraiser October 11 2017 Gary Moser, Sonya ChristianKCCD’s Chief Information Officer in the IT department, Gary Moser sent the newest ITBytes newsletter this week which featured a spotlight on Wifi service updates across the district. He said,

Having completed the requisite planning and scoping work for expanding and refreshing Wi-Fi network services district wide, implementation is now underway. Over the next 12-18 months, cabling work and new equipment installation will be taking place to expand Wi-Fi services (most indoor areas at BC and Delano) and refreshing existing Wi-Fi equipment district-wide for improved performance and reliability. So be on the lookout for IT and vendor personnel working on this project in the coming months. It is also worth noting that the BC and Delano portions of this project has been made possible (funded) by Measure J.

Vital improvements, such as this, will continue to support our students with their education. Thank you Bakersfield and Kern County for supporting BC Renegades by voting yes on Measure J!

Emails Worth Sharing: Getting our “Geek On”

Matt Jones emailed this week to share a photo that a student of his took. Matt said,

“I just wanted to take a minute (also having been encouraged by several peers) and share with you an image that a student of mine took during our first class this semester. As you may or may not know, Professor Savanna Andrasian and I are team teaching an English B2 course. However, our approach to the course is reasonably unique, as our pursuit, of advanced composition and critical thinking, with our students, is all done through Harry Potter. In the course we spend time analyzing the story within the books, but also take it outside of the printed material and explore the phenomenon across multiple forms of media and technology.

Attached to this email is a picture that student, Regina Carver, took of the two of us as we delivered our opening lecture in our Wizarding robes. Enjoy this image of two of your faculty getting their “GEEK ON” during class!”


Friends, have I told you yet that I’m the happiest and luckiest college president ever? 🙂

Emails Worth Sharing: Cadets!

I received an email which made me chuckle on Thursday evening from Professor Deborah Rosenthal. She said,

On my way to swimming this evening I stumbled upon our BC cadets protecting us.  Apparently they found a HUGE black widow in the bushes!

BC Cadets

Letters Worth Sharing

Rialto Middle SchoolThis week, BC received a heartwarming letter from a student at Rialto Middle School requesting a few college promotional items for a good cause. The letter was handwritten and said,

“My school is working very diligently on strengthening our college-going culture”

Our Community Relations team is sending the middle school a handful of BC popsockets, pendents, and mechanical pencils because, we too, are working diligently on strengthening our college-going culture! #WeAreBC!

College Council in Session

College Council was in session yesterday. BC’s College Council is a collegial, consultative, and oversight body designed to serve the good of the College. The group facilitates timely, factual, and clear communication between constituents and the President. It provides recommendations to the President on college-wide matters. The Council oversees implementation of the Strategic Directions Plan and ensures institutional quality using ongoing and systematic planning and evaluation to refine key policies and processes, and to improve student learning.


The presentations were rigorous and data rich.  So proud of the work of BC.

Amber Hroch and Michele Bresso presented on the Education metamajor pathway followed by Corny Rodriguez and Pam Rivers on the Ag Pathway

Amber Hroch and Michele Bresso at College Council.jpg

College Couoncil Group Sep 21 2018.jpg

Sarah Baron and Alicia Loken presented on Accreditation

Chris Glaser, Saran Baron, Alicia Loken at College Council

Chris Glaser, Sarah Baron, Alicia Loken

Web Content Training in Session

This week, Aricia Leighton and Chris Blakemore hosted web training for various faculty and staff

Aricia Leighton leading web training

Fun Photos

William Velazquez Sunset Photo Sept 17

Deborah Rosenthal with Renegade Knight

Deborah Rosenthal with Renegade Knight

Great photo of the BC Team at the Strategic Enrollment Management Conference

BC Team at SEM Sep 21 2018.jpg

Liz Rozell, Janet Fulks, Krista Moreland, Billie Jo Rice, Laura Larkin

Panorama Creative Music Summit

Manny Mourtzanos sent me this video of a piece written by our commercial music student Morgan.



Feb 10 2018 Sonya Christian Walking Neo 2


That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever