Unity in Our Community

Good morning Bakersfield.  It is Saturday, May 18th and woke up this morning to the very sad news of the passing of a legend in our community, Mayor Harvey Hall.

Unity in Our Community

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Harvey Hall speaking on behalf of Measure J

When we hear the phrase Unity in Our Community the face that comes to mind is that of Mayor Harvey Hall.

Joseph Luiz says in his article in The Bakersfield Californian:

One of the main phrases he used during that time was “Unity in Our Community,” reflecting his desire to recognize accomplishments, the city’s diverse population, celebrations and more.

Harvey Hall was a die hard Renegade. Most recently, Mayor Hall was the chair of the Measure J bond for Bakersfield College, KCCD.  He did a great Community Voices piece for The Bakersfield Californian.

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The picture below was taken at the opening event of BC’s Social Justice Institute which Harvey Hall was the founding co-chair, along with Milt Younger.

Harvey Hall and Milt Younger LEA

Mayor Hall, RIP, I thank you for your steadfast and unwavering support of Bakersfield College.

Now, onto other topics….

Woke up this morning to two pieces in the Californian authored by BC faculty.  BC’s Japanese faculty member Yuki Takeuchi wrote a community voices piece on teaching in the prison.  (https://tinyurl.com/ycfwozjb)

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The second piece was Nick Strobel’s Stargazing article.  Nick Strobel took a moment to recognize the historic significance of last week’s Commencement before promoting the Kern Astronomical Society’s free public star party tonight at Barnes and Noble on California Avenue.

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Tonight, star gazers will be able to view Venus and Jupiter, the two brightest planets in the solar system, at about the same altitude above the horizon but at opposite sides of the sky. Nick’s column also talks about the Mars InSight lander currently flying toward the Red Planet with the hope of being able to relay information back to Earth by utilizing the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter already on the planet.

In June, the Kern Astronomical Society will be meeting for another stargazing at Panorama Park, then the group will be at the Park at River Walk for July’s event.

Find the article at: https://tinyurl.com/y94st4xp

Em and Chef Suzanne

Chef Suzanne and Emily Dec 2017

And then I received this email from Darlene Mohlke of Castle and Cook who also serves with me on the Homeless Shelter Board and the Chamber of Commerce Board.  Her granddaughter Emily Aldritt was recognized as the California Student Volunteer of the Year.

Here is the interview we discussed today. https://tinyurl.com/y82v4xz4.   If it were not for the two wonderful mentors Emily has in Leah Carter and Suzanne Tangeman there would not be a story or a Governor’s Award.  The BC Kitchen, and her BC chef’s uniform are proudly on display!

Emily Aldritt, you inspire us!

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More on the 104th Commencement

I am still reminiscing about BC’s 104th Commencement last weekend. The evening was surely one to remember. We celebrated student accomplishments, transformation, and life changing moments with graduates and their families. It is ceremonies like May 11th that make visible the way that lives are changing in this community one degree at at time.

Check out this video created by Manny De Los Santos covering five of the 104th commencement speakers.  You can definitely see Manny’s creative touch.  Love the music in the background.

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CommencementDr. Robert Allison served as President of Bakersfield College from 1997-1998, but he has a long history of heart and contribution to the college in a multitude of roles. In an email earlier this week, he was also reminiscing about the incredible evening of May 11, 2018.

He said,

I want to thank you for including me in the magnificent graduation ceremonies last Friday evening. You should know that the experience was very special to me. As I sat on the podium and gazed at the massive crowd, which must have been at least 10,000, I reflected on the 55 years that I have been a part of Bakersfield College. I thought about the record number of graduates as compared with the number in 1964 and other graduations and, of course, the significance of our first bachelor’s degrees awarded – and that I was there to be a part of that.

I thought about the many changes we have seen but that essentially BC is, as it always was, about bringing educational excellence to our communities. Margaret Levinson, whose job I later filled, was the dean of instruction in 1963. She made it clear to us neophyte instructors that BC’s academic standards were as high as any university and we should not forget it. Our curriculum was not based on Berkeley’s for nothing!

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Chancellor, Trustees, Past Presidents, Vice Presidents, and graduates of the 2018 Baccalaureate Class in Industrial Automation.

Congratulations to BC Firefighters!

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On May 15, we celebrated the graduating class of 2018 Firefighter I graduates. The Bakersfield College Fire Science program was first set up by joint efforts of Chief Phil Pifer of the Bakersfield Fire Department and Norman Harris, coordinator of technical vocational education at Bakersfield college in 1956.

A special curriculum was designed for Bakersfield city firefighters which included academic courses required for an associates of arts degree, the on-the-job training included the use of all types of fire fighting equipment, and the use of motorized fire equipment under emergency conditions.

This fire science program developed into an in-service program for all fire agencies in Kern county. The main agencies involved were Bakersfield fire department and Kern County Fire Department.

 

Welcoming Jim Ryun to Memorial Stadium

Jim RyunBakersfield College is honored to host the 2018 CCCAA Track and Field Championships this weekend and we are privileged to welcome Jim Ryun back to Memorial Stadium where he shattered the world record for fastest mile with a blazing fast 3:51.1 mark on June 23, 1967. A crowd of 10,000 cheered him on that evening.

 The Bakersfield Californian highlighted this week’s festivities with track-and-field legend Jim Ryun. Ryun who also served as a member of the House of Representatives from 1996 to 2007, hosted a meet-and-greet at the Sheraton Hotel on Thursday and signed autographs.

See the video of Jim Ryun at Memorial Stadium on youtube!

 

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Bob Covey and Ron Jones, photo from http://theleanberets.com

Bob Covey brought some historical details about the event in 1967 to campus and shared them with Athletic Director, Sandi Taylor and Sandi, in turn shared them with me! Bob Covey coached over 40 years for Bakersfield College, Oregon State, and USA olympic development. It’s amazing to learn about the rich history that has taken place at the Home of the Renegades. Bob has shared more about the history of Track at Bakersfield College in a Podcast at theleanberets.com! Listen here.

79th Track and Field Championships by Bob Covey

Mary Jo Pasek organized a meet and greet on Thursday evening and it was a great evening of story telling.  Thank you Joseph Bergman for the photos.

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Stig Jantz, Sandi Taylor, Sonya Christian, Ann Ryunm Jim Ryin, Mary Jo pasek

BC Selected as Recipient of Innovation Award

Jessica Wojtysiak and Lesley Bonds riding the train May 14 2018

Jessica Wojtysiak, Lesley Bonds

It’s an exciting time to be at BC and it’s an exciting time for California Community Colleges. BC was selected by the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office as one of 11 community colleges to be awarded a share of $20 million to further development and implementation of programs that strengthen student success.

For the innovative design and mapping of transfer pathways through technology and systems integration, Bakersfield College was named the recipient of $2,300,000. The funding aims to advance implementation of high-tech, high-touch guided pathways strategies that ensure all students have access to fully mapped and well-designed transfer pathways no matter at what point from which they are accessing the institution.  Nick Strobel, Jessica Wojtysiak, Lesley Bonds and I rode the train to Sacramento to accept the award.

Nick Strobel and Sonya Christian on train

Nick Strobel and Sonya Christian on train

BC continues a strong commitment to not only opening our doors to students from all backgrounds, but also to intentionally and systematically support them through a Guided Pathway to degree and certificate completion once they’re here. This award will provide a continuation of efficiently and effectively clarifying the path towards degree and certificate completion which in turn, leads to sustainable jobs regardless of background.  The health of our community depends on an educated and well-prepared workforce.

It’s an exciting time at the home of the Renegades!!

 

Cecilia V. Estolano

As the four of us were waiting for the announcement at the Board of Governors (BOG) meeting in Sacramento, we followed the deliberations and discussions on the various items.  I was struck by the level of engagement and rigor in the discussions among the members of the BOG. Topics ranged from equity, to student completion, accountability of budgets, technology innovation and integration, transfers – both to CSUs and UCs, and preparing a strong workforce for our state. At this meeting Executive Vice Chancellor Van Ton-Quinlivan and Visiting Vice Chancellor Omid Pourzanjani presented the heavy lift from CCCCO to integrate technologies at the systems level but with the necessary flexibility at the local college level to customize functionality. During the presentation, Dr. Pourzanjani specifically called out the Pathways Program Mapper to make his point.  Cecilia V. Estolano is the President of the California Community Colleges Board of Governors and I was really impressed with how she ran a tight and engaging meeting. The full list of the Board of Governors is available on the website along with short biographies if you’re looking to read more.

So proud of our faculty and staff:

Armando Trujillo: On Friday, May 11th, our very own  Veterans Educational Advisor Armando Trujillo, graduated from the University of Southern California, earning a Masters of Social Work Degree with a Military Social Work and Veterans Services sub-concentration.

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Armando Trujillo with daughter Alina (who will attend CSU Monterey Bay) and son Adam

Armando is an inspiration to the student-veterans and military-connected students he serves.  He is a prime of example of what a student-veteran can accomplish.  Armando enlisted in the Marine Corps while still in high school.  In 2003 he fought in Iraq with 3rd ANGLICO (Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company) as a forward observer.  After his service he became a correctional officer.  Several years later he began attend college, culminating in his masters degree.

Armando Trujillo USC MSW

Armando’s work with veterans at Bakersfield College has paid dividends for his students, with well over 40% of BC veterans completing/transferring within three years.  His holistic, intrusive, guided pathways model approach has made Armando an invaluable member of BC, getting student-veterans on the right path and keeping them on it.  Those students he works with know they have a compassionate, and professional advisor who understands their struggles as both veterans and students.

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The picture above was snapped when Armando was presented with a USC cake in the Veterans Lounge upon completion of his MSW work a few weeks before graduation

Bakersfield College says to Armando Trujillo, MSW, “Well done Devil Dog!  Semper Fi.”

And thank you Paul Beckworth and Armando Trujillo for all that you do for our student veterans.

Oliver Rosales was at the capitol to advocate for the importance of humanities education and collaborative partnerships in California and especially in the Central Valley.

 

Oliver Rosales presenting at the capitol May 16 2018

Summer Bridge

We are off and running again with our Summer Bridge.  Kimberly Bligh who leads this effort is scaling up this program every summer.  Here is a great picture of three faculty at the Wasco Summer Bridge.

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Erica Menchaca, Teresa McAllister, Jessica Wojtysiak

Express Enrollment at BC SouthWest

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With our 2018 Commencement in the rearview mirror, it’s incredible to think that Summer courses at BC SouthWest begin next week! Hosted by Outreach with support from Financial Aid, Counseling, and more, the May 15th Express Enrollment at BC SouthWest helped new students enroll and get classes they need. The crew helped 80 new, continuing and returning students register for classes at our BC Southwest campus, and there are three more express enrollment events planned for this summer at the BC main campus on June 19th, July 10th and August 7th from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Students will also be assisted with enrollment during our on-campus Summer Orientation events at the main campus from 1-5 p.m. on June 5th, July 24th, and August 14th.

Outreach spreads the good word about BC’s  academic programs and student support services as they reach out at local high schools and various community events, supporting future students, assisting them through the application and matriculation process through orientations and enrollment events.

During the orientation and enrollment events, prospective students learn about our supportive faculty and caring staff, our Student Life and athletic programs, about the affordability of BC compared to 4-year and private institutions, and all of the campuses we have available throughout Kern County, including at BC Southwest, the Weill Institute downtown, Delano, Shafter, Wasco and online.

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The Outreach Team at Bakersfield College

Starfish Training

Dean of Instruction, Andrea Thorson worked with Pam Rivers to get the presentation ready for Monday morning. Over 45 faculty attended the afternoon training and I heard they left wanting more!  There are more trainings to be added for staff and faculty throughout the summer as we unveil this powerful high-tech, high-touch tool.

 

BC Students on a Sacramento Legislative Trip

Last Thursday, May 17, 58 students (including students from Delano campus) left at 4 a.m. to head up to the state capitol for the Annual Sacramento Legislative Trip, returning to campus the same day only after 11:30 p.m. They were accompanied by Biology Department Chair, Dr. Joe Saldivar, classified staff members Theresa Rodriguez, Rosa Castro, and Public Safety Officer Jason Mattheus, ASL interpreter Natasha Bailey, and administrators Dean Grace Commiso and Dr. Nicky Damania.

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BC Group in front of capitol

This one-day event takes students and staff to our state capitol to tour the Capitol Building, meet our local legislators in their work environment, and also to explore downtown Sacramento and Old Sacramento. This year, the attendees started their exploration of legislative processes by viewing the State Senate in session. They were greeted by Senator Andy Vidak who graciously introduced them to the State Senate, and by Senator Jean Fuller recognizing the leads Ms. Ashley Harp, Bakersfield College Student Government Association Vice President, Ms. Grace Commiso, Dean of Student Success and Counseling, and Dr. Nicky Damania, Director of Student Life and Advisor to the Bakersfield College Student Government Association.

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Ryan and Annette

They then met with Assemblywoman Jacqui Irwin and her Chief of Staff, Ryan VanZuylen, regarding Assembly Bill 705. They discussed many aspects of the bill from conception, to planning, implementation, and the hopes of the bill serving to support community college students. As they shared the value of the bill, many students expressed their struggles as an entering community college student and how if this bill had been implemented before, they would have been able to progress further/sooner in their educational goals. As shared by Annette Brasher a communication and human services major “If you wanna start at the beginning basics, for instance math, then you can, but in my instance I was placed there but I should have been placed in College Level Statistics which I feel I was ready for, but was not given the chance.” Annette has been attending BC part-time for the past eight years, during which time it has taken her four semesters to get to transfer level math. Before closing, Ryan shared his personal career path to working for Assemblywomen Irwin’s office and giving advice to our students who are interested in the field of legislative policy.

Leaving Irwin’s Office, the attendees went to the Assembly Floor to meet with Assembly Members Mr. Rudy Salas and Mr. Vince Fong. The Assemblymen shared what their passions are and what big policy reforms they are leading. Assemblyman Salas discussed his passion for the awareness of valley fever and Assemblyman Fong responded to a student question regarding community healthcare. Once again, Assemblyman Salas took an extra moment and pointed out to the students some unique characteristics of the Capitol building that only the insiders know about. He does this annually for our students. After that everyone went to lunch and upon return participated in a private extensive tour of the Capitol building which also included historical facts not only about the building but the legacy of the Office of the Governor. The day concluded with everyone traveling from the capitol building to Old Sacramento while enjoying the downtown area and grabbing a bite to eat before heading back home.

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Group with Assemblymen

Historically, this annual trip has been funded and hosted by the Center for Kern Political Education under the purview of the late Jack Brigham, who was a faculty member in Political Science. In 2016, the Office of Student Life started hosting the annual event. Since then the Bakersfield College Student Government Association has funded this trip on behalf of the Center for Kern Political Education knowing its value and keeping the legacy of Professor Brigham alive.

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THANK YOU BAKERSFIELD

IMG_1097It’s a great honor to be selected by our community as the Favorite of 2018 in the “Best College/Higher Learning Source” category of the Bakersfield Californian’s annual Readers’ Choice Poll. While BC did not win the Best of 2018 title, which went to Cal State Bakersfield, it’s still amazing to have the hard work being done by our educational system recognized for the impact to our community.

Congratulations CSUB! I’m so thankful for our collaboration with The Kern Promise Finish in 4 and all the student success and completion initiatives we accomplish together.

Talking about CSUB,  Steve Mayer of The Bakersfield Californian did a great piece on Horace Mitchell  who is retiring this year.  Check it out: https://tinyurl.com/ydxhr2cs.  

The article ends with comments from me.  Here is an excerpt:

Sonya Christian, Horace MitchellSonya Christian, president of Bakersfield College, said Mitchell’s impact has indeed been felt in the larger educational community.

“Generations of Kern County and Bakersfield students will benefit from the seeds of vision, hard work, and dedication planted by … Mitchell,” she said.

 

“The Kern County educational system has never been more connected, more efficient, or more collaborative than now. College transfer rates from Bakersfield College to CSU Bakersfield have bloomed significantly and collaboration between our institutions has strengthened and grown.”

During the 2016-2017 academic year, transfers from BC to CSUB increased nearly 22 percent from the year prior, Christian said, and efforts made in collaboration with Bryon Schaefer and the Kern High School District to increase college attendance directly from high school have been highly effective.

 

Finish in 4“The Kern Promise and the newly adopted Finish in 4 program is substantial evidence of Dr. Mitchell’s footprint which will benefit this community and its students for generations to come,” she said.

Mitchell is proud that the university’s relationship with local industry has grown under his leadership, and not just in financial support. The university’s very curriculum and structure has changed to support new majors, new degrees and even new directions in the areas of agribusiness, petroleum and associated engineering.

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The university even has an office at BC to help make the path between the two institutions easier and more successful for students.

“It has truly been a privilege to partner with Horace during his presidency at CSUB,” Christian said. “He has been a true champion for excellence and student success outcomes. His commitment and dedication to diversity and equity has made an indelible impact on our Kern County educational system and is the legacy of his presidency. His transition into a well-deserved and hard earned retirement is one to be celebrated.”

 

Another Great Partnership Between BC & CSUB

On Tuesday, a group of community leaders from Bakersfield College and CSU Bakersfield got together to have a collegial conversation at a community favorite coffee shop, Dagny’s Coffee Company. The group included Octavio Barajas, a BC History Adjunct Faculty, Dr. Michael Burroughs, the Executive Director of the CSUB Kegley Institute of Ethics and Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Ian Anderson, Education/Development Consultant and a BC adjunct faculty in Political Science, Dr. Nate Olson, Associate Director for Campus Programs, Kegley Institute of Ethics, Heidi Forsythe, a BC and CSUB Adjunct Faculty in Communication, and Dr. Nicky Damania, BC Director of Student Life.

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The group discussed various topics and initiatives that revolved around methods of creating community awareness and education regarding previously incarcerated students. All members of the group are hosting various events next year to shine a light on the needs of previously incarcerated students. The Kegley Institute of Ethics will be hosting Father Gregory Boyle for their 2018 Fall Lecture on November 13 at the CSUB Dore Theater. The Office of Student Life hopes to host a speaker on September 13th in conjunction with their Distinguished Speaker Series which is also in collaboration with the Kern County Library One Book Project.  Also included in the events as a keynote speaker is author Baz Dreisinger who wrote this year’s One Book Project book, Incarceration Nations: A Journey to Justice in Prisons Around the World.

What great partnerships BC and CSUB build upon.

 

Kern Citizens for Sustainable Government

On Thursday, May 17th, I was delighted to spend the afternoon with Chancellor Tom Burke, President of the KCCD Board of Trustees, Kay Meek, and Trustee Bill Thomas at the Kern Citizens for Sustainable Government (KCFSG) luncheon speaker series.

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Executive Director of KCFSG Romeo Agbalog introduced the two speakers.

 

Matt Patterson talked about the Janus v. AFSCME case currently before the U.S. Supreme Court.  Patterson is a graduate of Columbia University and coaches California’s local elected officials on financial sustainability, government transparency and economic prosperity. He is an award-winning journalist whose work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, The Washington Times and FoxNews.com among many others. He has served as researcher for Charles Krauthammer, was senior fellow in labor policy for the Competitive Enterprise Institute, and was executive director of the Center for Worker Freedom at Americans for Tax Reform.

Mayor Chuck Reed talked about the pension reform efforts in San Jose that he led.  Mayor Reed has been recognized for this effort nationally and by the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, other national media, the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the National League of Cities. The story of his work in San Jose has been noted in Michael Lewis’s Boomerang and Fate of the States by Meredith Whitney.

sonya and Mayor Hall

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

 

A Commencement of Firsts

This blog is dedicated to all Mothers

Happy Mother’s Day

Eisha Christian, Pam Christian, Sonya Christian Dec 24 2017

 

Good morning Bakersfield!

I woke up today to the front page article by Joseph Luiz in the The Bakersfield Californian, above the fold, titled Record Breaking: BC graduates biggest class in school history.  Read all of it at https://tinyurl.com/ybnmz7a8.

Commencement Photo by Henry Barrios TBC May 12 2018

May 12, 2018 front page. Photo by Henry Barrios

TBC article May 12 2018 Front Page Joseph Luiz Photo by Henry Barrios

104th Commencement Historical Celebration

dsc06615-x3Congratulations to the Bakersfield College Class of 2018! Last night we had a record breaking historical evening. Our college has grown so much over the century.

In 1913 we began with thirteen students and this year we have almost thirty-two thousand students. And last night we celebrated the highest number of eligible graduates to obtain an associates degree in our history. With more than 2,000 students eligible for graduation this year and nearly half of them walking the stage, Memorial Stadium was packed with family and friends of class of 2018 graduates for the 104th Commencement.

Last night there were many firsts: we celebrated the first Dual Enrollment class from the Wonderful Academy, graduating with their Associates Degrees before they even complete high school; and we celebrated the first graduating cohort of the Kern Promise, a select group of students who piloted a Guided Pathways model of shared responsibility and support to complete their degree within 2 years.

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And, this year Bakersfield College became the first community college in the State of California to award a four-year baccalaureate degree (!) to seven graduates of the Industrial Automation program.

Here is a little more about the class of 2018:

  • 1,522 graduates are transferring to a four-year college or university to continue their education
  • 1,226 earned an Associate of Arts degree
  • 979 earned an Associate of Science Degree
  • Over 1,095 guaranteed their ability to transfer to a four-year university by obtaining an Associate of Art or Science for Transfer
  • Over 1,027 have a grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or above

It was a beautiful event for such a monumental occasion in our students’ lives. Also in attendance were Presidents Greg Chamberlain and Sandra Serrano, and two who served as presidents in an interim capacity, Bob Allison and Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg. Three trustees attended – Trustee Agbalog, Trustee Carter, and Trustee Thomas.  Chancellor Tom Burke also attended. We were fortunate to have lovely weather, and what a fantastic fireworks display.

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Dr. Jennifer Garrett, the Sam McCall award winner could not be there, so she recorded this powerful message for the class of 2018.

Commencement is such a large event and takes a lot of teamwork to pull it all together. Chances are if you saw someone with a Renegade Red shirt and black pants or skirt, they were working the event.

I would like to thank the College Commencement Committee: Karimeh Amin, Gayla Anderson, Paul Beckworth, Ralph Burnette, Cheryl Caswell, Christopher Counts, Victor Diaz, John Gerhold, Christy Haycock, Eryn Justice, Jennifer Marden Serratt, Gabriele Martin, John Menzies, Rachell Morehouse, Michelle Peña, Jack Pierce, Ramon Puga, Kristin Rabe, Corny Rodriguez, Monika Scott, Marco Sifuentes, Pearl Urena, Sue Vaughn, Angelica Vasquez, and Steve Watkin for all their hard work and planning. I also want to thank the many staff and faculty needed for details, preparation, and who participated in Commencement.

See the gallery and article at Bakersfield.com!IMG_1036

Congratulations Industrial Automation Baccalaureate Students!

Before we celebrated the historic accomplishment of BC’s first graduating class of baccalaureate students during our main commencement, the recipients of our Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Automation had their own special Pre-Commencement Celebration in Renegade Park. During the Industrial Automation Pre-Commencement, many of the faculty who worked closely with our seven baccalaureate graduates got an opportunity to speak about how proud they were of their students’ accomplishments and what they had to overcome to complete this new degree program.

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Through our Industrial Automation program, which focuses on the engineering and development of assembly line and manufacturing technology, BC is giving members of our community an opportunity to train in one of the most important skill sets of the future workforce. Employers say that our Industrial Automation program is on par with similar programs offered at other major universities in California and across the country. Industrial automation is an important part of almost every industry in Kern County, including agriculture, oil production, and alternative energy, as well as the major corporate retail distribution centers in our area that rely on machine automation technology to get their products ready for shipping across the United States. Our graduating students are already being flooded with job offers.

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I’d like to thank the Engineering and Industrial Technology Department for organizing this pre-commencement ceremony, and I can’t wait to see how our baccalaureate program is going to support and help transform the economy of the Central Valley.

Congratulations Delano Students!

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Chancellor Tom Burke visits Delano

While many of our faculty and staff were engaged with our Closing Day ceremony on Friday morning, students who attended classes at the Delano Campus had their own pre-commencement ceremony in the Robert F. Kennedy Auditorium. Graduating students walked across the stage of the RFK Auditorium for all of their friends and family to celebrate the monumental task of earning a college degree and discovering the tools to increase their earning potential and provide a better life for their children and the Delano community.

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Trustee Romeo Agbalog address the students at the Delano Pre-commencement Ceremony

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Chancellor Tom Burke, Trustee Romeo Agbalog, and Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg were on hand to congratulate all of the Delano graduates. I’d like to thank Gustavo Enriquez and all of the faculty and staff at the Delano Center for organizing this Pre-Commencement ceremony and all they do for students in rural Kern. Eventually, we’ll be hosting Pre-Commencement at BC Southwest, Arvin and all of our current and future satellite campuses.

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Congratulations Veteran Students!

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Eleven of our graduating veteran students got one last opportunity to have sacrifices that they made to our country be recognized and honored by BC faculty and staff in the Levan Center, capping off an academic year that included BC committing to building a new Veterans Resource Center and expanding educational services to the military men and women in our community. Graduating veterans were treated to a celebration ceremony where they each got to shake hands with Veteran Center director Paul Beckworth before heading to the Gymnasium for dinner.

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A big thanks to Paul Beckworth and the Veterans Resource Center for organizing the Veterans Pre-Commencement Celebration, and check back at this blog for more information about the Veterans Resource Center construction as it develops.

Congratulations Chicano/Latino Students!

Chicano and Latino families from across Kern County filled the Outdoor Theater before the main Commencement ceremony to rejoice in the accomplishments of their students who graduated from BC, and many of those who participated are first generation – first in their families to graduate from college.

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SGA President, Dezi Von Manos

The Chicano/Latino Pre-Commencement Celebration is BC’s oldest pre-commencement event, started by Dean Cornelio Rodriguez over 20 years ago to recognize BC’s Chicano and Latino graduates. Since that time, it’s grown rapidly as Chicano and Latino students are a majority of BC’s student population.

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Dean Corny Rodriguez

I’d like to thank everyone who helped organize the Chicano/Latino Pre-Commencement Celebration, as well as the faculty and staff members who donated money at the last minute to help students that needed assistance in order to participate. It’s amazing to see all of the ways the community continues to support its students.

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Congratulations African American Students!

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Graduating African-American students got the opportunity to fellowship with each other and celebrate their accomplishments with their friends and family in the Indoor Theater on Friday afternoon before the main commencement ceremony. This year’s African-American Pre-Commencement Ceremony began with the audience singing James Weldon Johnson’s “Lift Every Voice and Sing”, with lyrics voicing the liberation and affirmation of African-American people. The words to “Lift Every Voice and Sing” were first written as an introduction for Booker T. Washington ata celebration of Abraham Lincoln’s birthday in 1900. Its message continues to reverberate to this day, and was recently performed by Beyonce at this year’s Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.

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I’d like to thank the African-American Initiatives team for organizing this pre-commencement event and all they do to support our African-American students. Thanks in part to their efforts, the educational attainment rates of our African-American students are higher than they’ve ever been.

Congratulations Lavender (LGBTIQA+) Students!

dsc04638-x4Commencement Celebrations, the Lavender Pre-Commencement Celebration is a ceremony conducted on numerous campuses and this year Bakersfield College joined this tradition. Lavender Graduation is a cultural celebration that recognizes sexual and gender minorities and their allies of all races and ethnicities, and acknowledges their achievements and contributions to the college.

Professor of Communication Helen Acosta and Director of Student Life Dr. Nicky P. Damania facilitated the ceremony which consisted of a keynote presentation by Ms. Whitney Weddell, high school history teacher and vocal stylings of Ms. Danyel Owens, Department Assistant in the Office of Student Life, and heartfelt stories shared by three Lavender graduate students. This year yielded 13 graduates who were bestowed a lavender stole with a rainbow embroidered on them. The ceremony was attended by about 20 BC faculty and staff, over 30 friends and family, and a special guest Chancellor Tom Burke.

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The tradition of Lavender graduations celebrating LGBTQIA+ students started in 1995 at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, spreading to hundreds of campuses across the country over the last 23 years. This ceremony is also the start of BC’s efforts to expand our equity plan support to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and other gender non-conforming students under California Assembly Bill No. 1018. You can read more about inception of the Lavender Graduation in this May 2nd Renegade Rip Article.

 

Congratulations Radiologic Technology Students!

The Radiologic Technology celebrated it’s 49th year at BC during the Pinning and Certification Ceremony held on Thursday evening, May 10, 2018. The evening celebrated the hard work and dedication of 18 medical imaging students and their completion of the Associate in Science Degree. Students spend twenty-four months and 1800+ hours training at local hospitals and imaging centers. These clinical affiliates give their time and talents to these students to ensure they meet the competency standards necessary to ensure that patients receive excellent patient care – in addition to students completing lecture and lab courses at the main campus. These graduates will be entering careers throughout Kern County including Bakersfield and Delano, and in Tulare County in Visalia in summer 2018 following the completion of their State and national licensing examinations.

Also recognized during the ceremony was Program Director Nancy Perkins who has served BC since 1979 and will enter into retirement in 2018. Past and current faculty together with the community has started a scholarship fund for radiography students in her name through the BC Foundation. In addition, a “bench” project has begun to raise funds for seating around the Allied Health building for students to enjoy. A plaque was also awarded to Mrs. Perkins, and which will be permanently displayed in the campus x-ray lab. “I am so honored to have lived my passion my serving at BC teaching the next generation of medical imaging professionals. Both BC and the radiology community have supported me in my journey and assisting me in developing a modern laboratory for student exploration and instruction” Nancy said.

You can view all of the photos taken by Manny De Los Santos at 2018 Rad-Tech Pinning Ceremony.

I’d like to thank Nancy Perkins and the Radiologic Technology staff and faculty for organizing this pinning ceremony.

Closing Day

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Sonya Christian, Lawrence Salcido, James Tompkin, Nicky Damania

On the morning of Commencement, BC faculty and staff commemorated the end of the 2017-2018 academic year with the annual Closing Day Celebration, recognizing each others’ accomplishments with our traditional end-of-the-year awards. After some brief fellowship during a delightful breakfast buffet provided by Food Services, faculty and staff piled into the Indoor Theater to hear opening remarks from outgoing BCSGA Vice President Lawrence Salcido.

 

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Lawrence Salcido relished the opportunity to talk about the over 200 events that SGA hosted this year, including the Distinguished Speaker Series and Legislative Affairs Power Lunch, as well as being able to provide scholarships for the first time in BCSGA’s history. BCSGA’s two scholarships will be awarded to single parents and formerly-incarcerated students, respectively. Salcido thanked the faculty and staff of BC for their “time and dedication to help provide culture within our campus walls.”

 

Interspersed throughout the various faculty and staff award presentations, I announced the ten winners of my President’s Leadership Awards. The list of groups and individuals below have displayed exceptional leadership throughout this year, and nothing that we do here at BC would be possible without their hard work:

Higher education is a pursuit following hopes and visions. The 2018 Guided Pathways leads, Jennifer Johnson, Jessica Wojtysiak, Nick Strobel, Grace Commiso, and Lesley Bonds have made great strides toward creating systems and programs that fast track dreams into realities. They have been traveling up and down the state to communicate BC’s implementation of this important educational philosophy while putting together our Program Mapper and reconfiguring our curriculum via meta-majors. The Guided Pathways leads continue to do incredible work surrounding the Momentum Points, Coaching Communities, and engagement campus-wide.

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Under the guidance of the African-American Initiatives team, Steve Watkin, Jennifer Achan, Paula Parks, Jonathan Ward, Julian West, Debra Strong, Tommy Tunson, June Charles, Valerie Robinson, and Ishmael Kimbrough, the African-American cohort of approximately 800 students in 2017-18 have increased completion in both college-level English and/or math by nearly 10%, increased transfer degree course completion by 14%, and the team has increased the success rate for students who participate in our Umoja ASTEP program by up to four times the rate for non-Umoja African-American students. The work of this group has also been recognized by the community, with Bakersfield College winning Corporate Partner of the Year by the Kern County Black Chamber of Commerce, as well as individual recognition for Julian West, Steve Watkin and Paula Parks by the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center, the League for Innovation, and NAACP.

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When it comes to going the extra mile for BC, Tina Chamberlain in the Office of Instruction has walked a thousand miles. She truly embodies the Renegade spirit with her undeniable commitment to our students and diplomatic yet polite problem solving skills. Tina ensures courses are scheduled and students are served.

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The Workgroup to Advance Regional Baccalaureate Attainment (WARBA), chaired by Matthew Garrett and Janet Fulks and including leaders Elenora Hicks, Marisa Marquez, Grace Commiso, Khushnur Dadabhoy and Stephen Waller, have been diligently collaborating with Cal State Bakersfield to establish the Finish in 4 campaign, as well as aligning our curriculum and pathways with the California Academic Partnership Program. This work is revolutionizing higher education for current and future generations of Renegades.

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Everyone on the campus is closely involved with creating our Institutional Self-Evaluation Report (ISER), but the campus leaders of our ISER Finish Line Team have dedicated hundreds upon hundreds of hours to put all of the information together into a cohesive document that seamlessly tells BC’s story. I recognized Nick Strobel, Sondra Keckley, Liz Rozell, Jessica Wojtsiak, Jason Stratton, and Lesley “the Universal Chopper” Bonds for all of their hard work in collecting, editing, indexing and “chopping” the final document.

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Michelle Pena of the Admissions and Records team works tirelessly to ensure that our students are supported at each pivotal point in their journey toward graduation. Michelle also represents BC state-wide through the development of CCCApply, and she was recently elected Vice President of the California Association of Community College Registrars and Admissions Officers.

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In her first year as head softball coach, Casey Goodman lead the Renegades to winning the WSC conference with a 31-9 record en route to winning WSC Conference and Southern California Coach of the Year. Wrestling coaches Brett Clark and Marcos Austin led the Renegades to winning the conference for the second year in a row, along with five individual conference titles and a state championship victory by student Adrian Gonzales. Did you know that student athletes at BC attempt an average of 15.2 units per semester and finish at an average of 12.5 units? This is nearly twice the average of the school overall.

The Maintenance & Operations team is responsible for the monumental undertaking of caring for the landscaping, plumbing, custodial work and infrastructure of over 150 acres and 20 buildings, keeping us comfortable in every classroom and office on campus. This year, they’ve facilitated office moves for 52 faculty and staff and completed 5,320 work orders.

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When it comes to sharing BC’s story through beautiful photos, videos and words, Manny De Los Santos and Monika Scott, M&M, make it happen. Manny brings an excellent attention to detail and a creative spark to all of his video and photography work and his talent, enthusiasm and gregarious personality make him a pleasure to work with. Monika came to BC thinking her job duties would involve web content editing, but when her interim supervisor went on maternity leave, Monika stepped up to the plate. She found herself reporting directly to me and dealing with everything from fielding news media calls, sensitive Clery Report notifications working with Chris Counts, and preparing last-minute remarks for public events. She has become my go-to for speech preparation. In fact, she has had a major role in speeches at BC for many formal events.

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As Academic Senate President, Steve Holmes is engaged and vigilant in his responsibility of upholding the integrity of our academic enterprise.

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Steve was also awarded this year’s Margaret Levinson Faculty Leadership Award (announcement made by Pam Boyles), and along with Zav Dadabhoy, he gave a fun farewell to retiring Vice President Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg. He never fails to liven up our opening and closing day ceremonies.

Liz Rozell also made a presentation to Nan of this beautiful tree Educational Administrators Council:

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Donna Starr announced retiring biology faculty Andrea Garrison and physics faculty Richard Darke as the recipients of the Shirley Trembley Distinguished Teaching Award. Starr also announced the Norman Levan Faculty Colloquium winner Rae Ann Kumelos, a member of the English faculty who will be hosting a discussion titled “Animal Advice” in the Levan Center next fall.

In addition to the Faculty Colloquium Award, incoming Levan Center director Reggie Williams announced the winners of the Levan Faculty Scholarship Summer Grants, which funds research projects for BC faculty. Some notable projects funded through this year’s grants include Biology Department Chair Joe Saldivar’s research project on the ethical impact of donating a kidney to a complete stranger, and the recording of music professor Josh Ottum’s studio album, which will be mixed by students in BC’s commercial music program and performed by Josh’s band during next fall’s Panorama Creative Music Summit.

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Matthew Garrett recognized all of the retiring faculty members during the Closing Day Celebration, and Liz Rozell recognized the BC faculty which have achieved tenure this year. CSEA President Tina Johnson urged us all, BC faculty and staff, to “take a breath” with the close of this academic year, and CCA Campus Chair Isabel Stierle encouraged faculty to submit their application to participate in the CCA Special Election by May 21st.

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Management Association President Sue Vaughn announced the Management Association’s presence in Board Policy meetings, and she was excited to announce that the construction of the Child Development Center’s playground is nearing completion.

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It feels like this year came and went so quickly, and I’m just grateful for the opportunity to wrap it up with the best community college staff on the planet during every Closing Day. Can you see why I always sign off as the luckiest and happiest president? Thanks to everyone who attended this year and all of those who make this event possible every year.

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Closing Day 2018 Student Emcees

Custodial Communication

Custodian Carlos Barbaran left a nice note to BC faculty thanking them for all of the great conversations and congenial work environment they provided for him throughout the semester. Carlos is always a pleasant and fun person to talk to, and everyone at BC is grateful to have him on our custodial staff.

Carlos Barbaran and Sonya Christian

We spend a lot of time talking about the hard work of many of our faculty, counselors and other classified staff, but I’d also like to thank the Bakersfield College custodial staff for tirelessly keeping our campus spotless throughout the year. It’s not easy to clean up after 30,000 students and 1,000 employees, and our custodial staff takes care of us with smiles on their faces.

Retiree Reception

As we say goodbye and good luck to our graduating students, the end of the school year also brings about the farewell to some of our colleagues as they  retire. On Wednesday morning, Bakersfield College held a Retirement Reception in the Fireside Room to honor this year’s retirees: Barbara Braid, Deborah Carmona, Marsha EggmanRafael Espericueta, Kathryn Freeman, Andrea Garrison, Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Odella Johnson, Janet LewisSusan McQerry, Gilbert Merjil, Nancy Perkins, Kate PlutaBob Shimmin, Walton Simmons, Jimmy (Smitty) Smith, Dennis Spencer, Rachel Vickery, and Ann Wiederrecht.

While eating a delicious food provided by Food Services, this year’s retiring faculty and staff signed the “Perpetual Retiree Scroll” featuring signatures of all our retirees and the years in which they served the campus. The scroll was started by the Archives Department in 2009 and the scroll itself will be retired after this year due to running out of space. The Archive Department plans to replace the retiree scroll with a more manageable book for next year’s retirement reception, according to Rosalee Pogue, Archives technician.

Thank you Archives for coordinating this opportunity to celebrate the contributions of everyone in the Bakersfield College family who has served our students and this community for decades. I would also like to thank the Bakersfield College Foundation and the Bakersfield College Archives for co-sponsoring this event with me.

You can see the entire photo gallery: Retiree Reception 2018.

Finish in 4

Bakersfield College (BC) and California State University, Bakersfield (CSUB) have spent the last 4 years collaborating to increase baccalaureate completion in 4 years. On Tuesday, both institutions held a joint unveiling ceremony on the BC campus to introduce The Kern Promise’s Finish in 4. The new program supports the increase in student completion with an Associate Degree for Transfer in 60 semester units at BC. Students are then guaranteed admission to CSUB, in a similar major, and will complete an additional 60 semester units to earn a bachelor’s degree!

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This partnership is the first of its kind to exist within the state of California’s public institutions of higher education. The historic event was held in the Fireside Room, where Dr. Horace Mitchell, President of California State University, Bakersfield and I unveiled the Finish in 4 initiative, which will encourage students in Kern County to complete their transfer and baccalaureate degrees in 4 years from start to finish!

Sonya Christian Finish in 4 May 7 2018

 

 

Horace Mitchell Finish in 4

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Janet Fulks

The project is an expansion of The Kern Promise and is an unprecedented partnership between two local higher education institutions and focuses on benefits to the students and ultimately the community. The Finish in 4 efforts aim to guarantee students complete their transfer degree in 2 years at Bakersfield College and a baccalaureate degree in the following 2 years at CSUB. Together, the goal is to move students through to the next stage of their educational and career goals in a more efficient and impactful way.

Sonya signing the agreement

There is pivotal work ahead of us, with just 22% of Kern County residents 25 and older holding an Associate’s Degree or higher, compared with the California average of 39%. BC has adopted a guided pathways framework and by partnering with high schools to increase the number of dual enrolled students. We are intervening to clarify pathways before a student gets lost, decreasing time to completion, and closing attainment gaps. Finish in 4 is the next best thing aiding in student success.

BC and CSUB Presidents standing next to the Finish in 4 Pathway agreement.

For the Kern County community, the Finish in 4 program creates a win-win situation for our students, our local and state economies, and taxpayer time while providing a rigorous quality education to give our students a clearly defined direction and ensure their success at an efficient pace.

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One happy president!

Garden Pathways

Bakersfield College was on hand for the Garden Pathways Sixteenth Annual High Tea 2018 in honor of Women with a Heart for Bakersfield last Wednesday.  BC’s contingent, included myself, Vice President of Instruction Liz Rozell, Dean of Instruction Billi Jo Rice, Program Director of CTE Tony Cordova, and Director of Veteran Services Paul Beckworth. The sold-out event supports this important organization.

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Tony Cordova, Liz Rozell, Billie Jo Rice, Paul Beckworth, Sonya Christian, Norma Rojas-Mora

 

Bakersfield College with Adventist Health

Bakersfield College, Adventist Health

Karen Goh, Sonya Christian, Paul Beckworth, Billie Jo Rice, Liz Rozell MAy 9 2018

Mayor Karen Goh, Sonya Christian, Paul Beckworth, Billie Joe Rice, Liz Rozell

 

Chad Tongco Unitek College, Tony Cordova, Sonya Christian

Loved the singing by Amy Adams students in Garden Pathways.  Captured about 40 seconds of Million Dreams

Garden Pathways High Tea in honor of Women with a Heart for Bakersfield

Garden Pathways, founded by David and Karen Goh, is a community-based nonprofit that provides mentoring and education programs to children, youth and adults to improve family lives in Kern County. The High Tea event recognizes women within the community that have shown exceptional community service and leadership. One of last year’s honoree’s was our very own History Professor Olivia Garcia.  This year’s recipients included Beverly Camp, Robin Fleming, Janice Varner, and Lili Marsh who founded the Bakersfield hub of Honor Flight.  Bravo to these strong, women who indeed have a heart for Bakersfield.

2017 recipient History Professor Olivia Garcia

Michelle Chantry, Olivia Garcia

National Nurses Week

In the midst of everything that is happening around the campus at the end of the year, we’d be remiss not to mention that May 6th through 12th is National Nurses Week, which recognizes the commitment of nurses around the country for protecting, promoting and improving health care for everyone. The American Nurses Association began celebrating National Nurses Week in 1954 in honor of Florence Nightingale, one of the founders of the modern nursing profession who was best known for treating soldiers wounded during the Crimean War in the 19th Century. This year’s theme for National Nurses Week was “Nurses: Inspire, Innovate, Influence”, according to the American Nurses Association website.

Bakersfield College is proud of its nursing department and the work we’ve done to train healthcare professional across Kern County that save thousands of lives every day. Last fall, BC celebrated its 100th graduating class in nursing, and it’s amazing to think about all of the people whose lives have been saved over the last century by BC nursing graduates.

Kern Valley State Prison Debate

We had the unique opportunity to step inside Kern Valley State Prison’s B-Yard Monday, May 7th to participate in a Debate and Student Panel with BC’s Inmate Scholars Program.

The topic of the value proposition was to debate whether the American economy was better off by allowing illegal immigrants to remain in the country. The two debate teams consisted of five inmate scholars, who each presented their case either for the affirmative or opposition. In a well-articulated researched, and engaging manner these scholars courageously took to the podium and challenged themselves and the audience through thought-provoking reasoning.

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Chelsea Esquibias presenting about Inmate Education

This event gave the scholars an opportunity to showcase their communication skills and share with us their aspirations and future goals through education. There were a lot of heartfelt emotions bravely shared that day. Not to mention, a much deserved standing ovation for Chelsea Esquibias (Program Director) and Ms. Smith (faculty member) who have undeniably changed lives in their work with the Inmate Education Program.

Since 2015, incidents of violence on B-yard has decreased 39% due to education and the formation of the debate team, according to a member of the Inmate Education Advisory Committee. Another scholar noted that before BC’s Inmate Education Program began, his ”lens on life was blurred, broken, and limited.” And now through education he has “a lens of love, kindness, and opportunity regardless of race, color, or creed.”

As part of our mission statement, Bakersfield College “provides opportunities for students from diverse economic, cultural, and educational backgrounds…to think critically, communicate effectively, and demonstrate competencies and skills in order to engage productively in their communities and the world.” No matter your circumstance or where you find yourself in life, I believe BC can provide a pathway towards opportunity.

The Links, Incorporated closing celebration this morning at Emerson Middle School

The Links, Incorporated has partnered with BC in the last year to focus on providing middle school and high school students and parents the opportunity to learn more about educational pathways in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math).  Professors Kimberly Chin and Nick Strobel, and staff members from Job Placement with Stephanie Baltazar, have helped lead sessions for these students and parents in the past year, among others from BC.

Today, Professor Chin’s students performed monologues they prepared for the participants and parents. Odella Johnson, retired Professor, and Debra Strong, who currently works in the health center, made the connection with BC.

 

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We are BC Dang It!

At this busy time of year I love to hear stories of triumphant student success as they are the ultimate joys of higher education. Paul Beckworth shared with me his experience of a student no longer in distress:

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I love my job!

I ran across a student I worked with before who had been distraught and discouraged to the point to where she wanted to drop her classes. I encouraged her not to do so and walked her to the Writing Center, where Kim Arbolante started working with her.

I had not seen the student since that day. Well, I saw Wednesday afternoon and she told me that she not only stayed enrolled, she passed her class!  She only has two more classes to go for her degree, and she’s already signed up for summer school.  She did not have graduation in her head. I basically ran her over to A&R at 5:25 where Linda Allday told her what to do TO GRADUATE AND WALK THIS FRIDAY NIGHT!  This time tears of frustration were replaced with tears of joy.

I know we are all tired but this is why we do what we do!

We are BC dang it!

Fun Photos

Talking about Paul Beckworth, I loved this selfie that he took at graduation

Paul Beckworth, Sonya Christian selfie May 11 2018 Commencement

 

I grabbed these three photos from Robert Boyles’ Facebook posts

Photo by Robert Boyles - Lighting up the stadium

Photo by Robert Boyles

Photo by Robert Boyles - Tom Moran signing

Photo by Robert Boyles — Greg Chamberlain, Tom Moran signing

 

Photo by Robert Boyles - Sonya Christian

Photo by Robert Boyles — Sonya Christian

 

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BC Librarians

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Photo of Sonya Christian by Manny Moutzanos

 

Sonya Christian 2 Commencement May 11 2018

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

We are BC!

Good morning Bakersfield.  It is Cinco de Mayo, 2018 and a great day to be a Renegade!

Loved the Women’s Empowerment Summit coordinated by Lisa Baca at BC this afternoon.  Both Liz and I were invited to speak and Carla Musser was recognized as the 2018 Distinguished Woman of the Year! Here is a panel of young women engineers who inspired the audience.

Panel at Women's Empowerment

Carla Musser and Liz Rozell May 5 2018

 

Lisa Baca and Sonya Christian Women's Empowerment May 4 2018

And loved seeing our hardworking Budget Analysts on a Saturday hard at work preparing BC’s budget that will go to the board this June.  Thank you Zach Quiroz and Somaly Boles!

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Zach Quiroz, Somaly Boles working on saturday, cinco de mayo!

Less than a week to Commencement

Less than a week to making history at the Home of the Renegades! On May 11, join us at Memorial Stadium as we celebrate the largest graduating class in BC history, the first graduating class of the Industrial Automation Baccalaureate Program, and the first graduating class of Wonderful dual enrollment students in Agriculture Business!

Wow! What a year! I hope you will join us to celebrate this momentous occasion.

BC Commencement 2016

Celebrating Nan – Artist, Teacher, Dean, Vice President, Friend, and more–

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Nan Gomez Heitzeberg

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Friends and family came together at the Indoor Theater on Friday night to honor Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, who retired earlier this semester after working for 35 years in the Kern Community College District.  Of course the evening started with Jazz and Kris Tiner.

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Past President Greg Chamberlain and his wife Kelly drove all the way from Idaho to be present for Nan’s event.

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Thank you Trustee Romeo Agbalog for attending the event.  Trustee Agbalog is in the photo with Prof. Kim Flachman from CSUB and Khushnur Dadabhoy.

 

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Nan warmly greeted everyone entering the theater from an ornate Renegade Red throne. Our Renegade drummers led us in procession to the Indoor Theater to begin the evening.

 

Ostry, Quinn Heitzeberg, Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Jim Heitzeberg

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Quinn Heitzeberg, Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Jim Heitzeberg

Current and retired faculty from throughout the decades gave tribute to Nan with video testimonials that added a fun yet bittersweet tone to the retirement celebration. She was also presented with a joint resolution of recognition from the California state legislature by Andy Vidak representative Michael Bowers, a certificate of recognition from the Kern County Board of Supervisors, and a beautiful pink hat by former BC chef Pat Coyle.

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Nan Gomez Heitzeberg with Resolution from Board of Supervisors

Nicole Villaruz and Nan Gomez-Heitzberg

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We love you Nan!!!!

I want to thank the planning committee led by David Koeth who put this evening together so meticulously.  David Koeth (chair), Lynn Hall, Corny Rodriguez, Cindy Collier, Tom Moran, Pam Boyles, Jennifer Serratt, Wendy Lawson, Chris Glaser, Manny De Los Santos, Kristin Rabe, and Monika Scott.

 

 

AB 705 Workshop

On Friday, we hosted a workshop at Bakersfield College focused on learning more about the requirements of AB 705. We heard from members of the AB 705 Implementation Committee regarding how to use data to come into compliance with AB 705.

The morning’s first speaker was Michelle Siqueiros, President of The Campaign For College Opportunity. She spoke about her own journey and how having support systems and good public policy was crucial to her success.

Michele Siqueros

Other speakers included Nicole Bryant, Nika Hogan, and Janet Fulks who titled their talk “Keeping Students at the Center” and Craig Hayward who presented on the research behind default placement rules. Summer Serpas and Myra Snell presented on “The Promise of Concurrent Support Models in English and Math” and Alice Perez spoke about “The Social Justice Fight of Our Time.”

Nicole Bryant, Nika Hogan, Janet Fulks

Nicole Bryant, Nika Hogan, Janet Fulks

 

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Janet Fulks

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Craig Hayward

Summer Serpas

Summer Serpas

Alice Perez

Alice Perez

The afternoon focused on teams, as together we worked through exercises and data that are a challenge for implementation. We wrapped up with a discussion of common concerns and shared solutions so that we left with a plan to come into AB 705 compliance.

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Michele Siqueiros and Sonya Christian

Michele Siqueiros and Sonya Christian

Sonya Christian and Nick Strobel

Sonya Christian and Nick Strobel

Special thank you to BC Food Services and Chef Eric Sabella who made everything beautiful and delicious.

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And thank you to the amazing staff who pulled all this together — Chris Glaser, Monika Scott, Manny de Los Santos, Kristin Rabe.  and thank you Tarina Perry for leading this effort.

3rd Annual BC Law Day Conference

This year’s theme is “The Separation of Powers: Framework for Freedom” and the 3rd Annual BC Law Day Conference focused on how checks and balances preserve political liberty. Students got the opportunity to learn more about the process of how laws are created and enforced at the state and federal level at Friday morning’s Law Day event in the Indoor Theater.

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left to right: Aaron Falk, representative for Congressman Kevin McCarthy; Janea Benton, representative for California Assemblyman Rudy Salas; Tanner Dyrness, representative for Assemblyman Vince Fong; Charles Kim, BC political science professor and moderator.

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Gabriela Gonzalez (left) and Pearl Urena, BC academic advisor for the Pre-Law pathway.

Pre-Law academic advisor Pearl Urena organized this year’s Law Day conference, which featured representatives from across all of Kern County’s branches of government. BC political science professor Charles Kim gave a brief lecture explaining how the US Constitution’s separation of powers divides governance between executive, legislative and judicial branches at both the federal and state levels, with a system of check and balances to ensure that one branch isn’t more powerful than the other. He also gave an explanation about presidential executive orders and the ways that the federal court system is able to judge the constitutionality of a specific executive order.

After the lecture, Kim moderated a panel on the functions of the legislative branch featuring representatives from the offices of California Senator Andy Vidak, Congressman Kevin McCarthy, and California Assemblymen Rudy Salas and Vince Fong. The panelists shared their experience working as staff members for Kern County’s elected officials and how they fight for the needs of their constituents by supporting legislation that addresses their concerns. There was also a second panel about the judicial branch featuring court officials from the Kern County legal system. See all the photos at BC’s Smugmug.

Dual Enrollment Celebration

On the morning of Tuesday, May 1, BC hosted the first Dual Enrollment Celebration event in the Fireside room. Approximately 60 attendees from Kern County high schools, school districts, and Bakersfield College came to celebrate the successful growth and achievements of the dual enrollment program. Serving 29 sites spread across five school districts, the admissions, enrollment, scheduling and instruction for dual enrollment would not be possible without the tireless effort of high school site staff, instructors, administrators and support services.

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Cornelio Rodriguez

The program began with an overview of dual enrollment provided by Dean of Instruction Cornelio Rodriguez. Dean Rodriguez noted that although we have visited other colleges to explore best practice, the Bakersfield College dual enrollment program already far exceeds most other programs in breadth of offerings, number of students served, and number of partnerships achieved. Dr. Anna Laven, Dual Enrollment Program Manager, later revealed that the census enrollment for Summer 2017 through Spring 2018 has reached 7,100.

Seeing dual enrollment as an opportunity for students to improve their educational attainment and connect to a career pathway, many attendees noted the significant impact of dual enrollment in reducing the barriers of educational access. One attendee explained, “I support dual enrollment because my students don’t always believe that college credit is within reach, they attend a school where the perception is that everyone has money and support, but that simply isn’t true. Dual Enrollment allows them to take the first step and build confidence.”

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Group Photo of School District Representatives– from left – Ben Sherley, KHSD; Robert Cobb and Kevin Tallon, WUHSD (Wasco); Paul Chavez, DJUHSD (Delano); Abel Guzman, BC; Maria Herrera, MUSD (McFarland); Anna Laven, BC; Angelica Rios, WCPA (Wonderful College Prep Academy); Raquel Lopez, BC

Dual Enrollment is part of the Bakersfield College effort to support access for all students. Another attendee shared that dual enrollment helps “students understand they can break the poverty cycle and know that anyone can go to college.” Abel Guzman, Interim Director of the Delano Campus, explained that two-thirds of dual enrollment courses are offered in rural communities whose access to college is often limited. A true success story, Raquel Lopez presented that the Wonderful Prep Academy, also a rural site, will celebrate the graduation of their first 30 students with an AST in Business Ag at next week’s commencement exercises.

Offering a good reminder that the hard work of supporting dual enrollment is worth the effort, an instructor from Delano sent Dr. Laven this note, “Just wanted to say great job today at the dual enrollment celebration. You presented quality info and I am glad that we are pioneers as a program in this area. Keep up the good work!”

The Celebration event could not have taken place without the help of the campus, including food service, CTE staff, Delano campus, Outreach, Event Services and Media Services. More photos available on BC’s Smugmug.

 

Rural Archives Show Case “Digital Delano: Preserving an International Community’s History.”

delano-grant-logo-neh_logo_horizontal_rgbOn Tuesday, May 1 the Bakersfield College Delano Campus hosted a rural archives showcase event.  Sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities Common Heritage initiative, the “Digital Delano: Preserving an International Community’s History” project has spent the 2017-2018 academic year hosting a variety public outreach events throughout the greater Delano area to preserve family and local histories through digital preservation and oral history.  Project Directors Elisabeth Sundby (Delano Campus Librarian) and Dr. Oliver Rosales (Professor of History & Faculty Coordinator, Social Justice Institute) organized the showcase event on May 1 to highlight the work being done within the archival project, as well as featuring a public panel with three archival donors and a keynote speaker.

DD Showcase presenters

Allison Burch – Delano Campus Adjunct Librarian,  Monte Marshall – Community Archive contributor, Elisabeth Sundby – Delano Campus Adjunct Librarian, Kimberly Arbolante – Contributor and Writing Center Lead, Christine CruzBoone – Bakersfield College Professor of Communication, Anhelica Perez – Graduating BC student, Oliver Rosales – Bakersfield College Professor of History, Dawn Mabalon, Keynote speaker and Professor of History, San Francisco State University

Over one hundred students and community members attended the event, which included a wonderful lunch provided by Bakersfield College food services.  High school students from the Delano Joint Union High School’s migrant program and RFK high school attended the event and were able to pick up information about attending Bakersfield College and becoming future renegades, in addition to learning more about the importance of family history.

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The archive donor panel consisted of Monte Marshall, a native of Delano with deep family ties dating back to the founding of the city; Kim Arbolante, Bakersfield College Writing Center Coordinator who spoke of her grandmother Luz Arbolante, a pioneering leader within Delano’s Filipino American community; and finally Anhelica Perez, a graduating student at Bakersfield College and Office of Student life employee who spoke of her grandmother Josephine Fraire, an active member in various civic organizations in the McFarland area since the 1960s.  Each donor shared with the audience the process of archival donation, highlights from their family histories, and why the project was important to them.

Keynote speaker Dawn Mabalon addresses a packed room of attentive attendeesThe keynote speaker for the event was San Francisco State University historian Dawn Mabalon.  An expert on Filipino American history, Professor Mabalon addressed the audience about the importance of preserving family history, as well as her process from moving from getting a “D” in high school history, toward completing her undergraduate degree at UCLA, PhD at Stanford, and ultimately writing her first book Little Manila Is In the Heart: The Making of the Filipina/o American community in Stockton, California (Duke University Press 2013).  Professor Mabalon stressed to the audience how important it is for young people, particularly children of color, to see themselves in the curriculum.

The project directors wish to thank Carolina Madrigal and the entire BC Delano Campus staff for helping host the event, Bakersfield College Library Chair Kirk Russell, Librarian Allison Burch, Professor Chris Cruz-Boone, the Delano Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Bakersfield College Student Government Association CCA Grant.  Special thanks as well to Arnold Bon for taking wonderful photographs of the event, as well as numerous student volunteers who helped coordinate the event.  We are BC Delano!

 

Adventures with BC Geology Club

In late April the Bakersfield College Geology Club explored the desert and plains surrounding our community.

Professor Benker led the students on a field trip east to visit the Rio Tinto Borax pit mine and Mojave National Preserve.  Students were able to visit the Borax museum and learn about the process of mining the valuable economic mineral out of the ground.  They were also able to see boulder sized chunks of the mineral Kernite named after our county.

 

At the Mojave National Preserve students explored the ring trail and observed the Swiss cheese like weathering in rhyolitic tuff making up Hole in the Wall Canyon, wondered into the depths of a lava tube in the Cima Volcanic Field where they even sent me a fun video!

 

The group trudged up the Kelso Dunes.

 

The following week Professor Pierce led students into the Carrizo Plains to view the salt flats and explore Wallace Creek to view offsets and scarps produced by San Andreas Fault movement over the last 3,800 years.  Professors Benker and Pierce tell me, friends of BC and our community is invited to become part of the Bakersfield College Geology Club. You, too, can join in on these adventures!

Black and Gold Scholarship Banquet

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Mayor Karen Goh

Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. held its 10th annual Black and Gold Scholarship Banquet to honor four high school seniors and two community members. At the festive event, the Fraternity presented scholarships to Bryce Jackson, Colby Maiden, Leslie Ceciliano, and Heavenly Ford. Ruscel Reader, a retired principal who has held many leadership positions in Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., received the Community Service Award along with Dr. Ronnie Claiborne, a physician who is active in health and education organizations.

The keynote speaker was Dee Slade, director of the African American Network of Kern County. She shared with the audience the stories of several African-American scholars and inventors and told the students that anytime anyone tells them that they can’t do something, not to believe them because African American history suggests otherwise.

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The Fraternity also honored Dr. Brad Anderson and Mr. Jamal Powell as Man of the Year. Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., established in 1906 at Cornell University, is the oldest African American Greek lettered organization. They focus on community service and involvement while promoting academic excellence, brotherhood, and leadership.

Honors Fiesta

The BC Foundation and the Financial Aid Department treated its Honors and scholarship recipients to a Fiesta celebrating their accomplishments on Wednesday.

The Foundation team transformed the courtyard of the Administration building into a plaza with festive decorations, a taco bar provided by Food Services, and a Mexican helado cart filled with La Rosa Fruit and Ice Cream Bars. There was also a photo booth area where participants could dress up and have their picture taken. Special thanks to the BC Foundation and Financial Aid for organizing this fun event honoring the contributions of our amazing students.

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BCSGA Transition Ceremony

i-fpjh3pn-x4There was plenty of laughter amongst some of the tears shed at the closing of the 93rd Session of the Bakersfield College Student Government Association. As the newly elected officers for 2018-19 were sworn in, Former BCSGA President, Dezi Von Manos, encouraged the new officers to “work together as a team” and reminded them “the position you now hold is not about you, but the students you represent.” She encouraged them not to give up when it seemed hard or stressful, but to push harder. Former BCSGA Vice-President, Lawrence Salcido, encouraged this year’s officers to not only dream big, but to execute a plan for that dream.

Newly elected BCSGA President, James Tompkins, stated that the goal for this year was “giving students a larger and louder voice,” while newly elected Vice-President, Ashley Harp, recognized the past officers and looked to the future for increasing communication and connections with the students and especially the sometimes forgotten Delano students while working together to bring a larger presence from BCSGA to the campus. A heartfelt THANK YOU goes out to all of  the BC Student Government officers who have served during 2017-18 and a warm welcome and congratulations to the new officers of 2018-19. WE ARE BC!

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Student Art on Display

The hallway in the Fine Arts Building morphed into the Renaissance this week as Professor Diego Monterrubio’s Advanced Drawing class created incredible masterpieces over the semester.

 

Renegades Voices in the Community

Kori Masilon

It was wonderful to see the piece titled “Community Voices: BC’s Industrial Automation program equips students with right tools” by Renegade, Kori Masilon published by the Californian on April 24th.

Kori shared her journey beginning in 2015, the year BC announced we were selected as one of 15 community colleges in the state of California to pilot a 4-year degree.

This year, Kori will be one of the 7 first graduates from Bakersfield College to receive a baccalaureate degree. Join me in congratulating her and her cohort and make sure to read to piece to see what she is up to and how her degree is changing her life.

Steve WatkinOutreach and School Relations Director, Steve Watkin also had his Community Voices piece published which focuses on the student success guidance and how these efforts are changing the statistics for our incoming generation of students.

In his piece, “Support efforts are crucial to student success” he mentions the incredible work of the college and the high recognition from organizations such as League for Innovation and the Kern County Black Chamber of Commerce. Thank you to these organizations and thank you Steve for highlighting them and the work that BC accomplishes.

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Olivia Garcia

Olivia Garcia authored a great article titled “Filipina American historian to visit Delano, discuss importance of preserving family histories” and highlighted the work in Delano by Dr. Oliver Rosales and Elisabeth Sundby.

She quotes Dr. Rosales in the piece:

“The most meaningful thing to me has been the many tears from students, and by extension their grandparents and elder relatives that did not think their histories matter,” Rosales said. “Family history does matter.  This project has allowed young people, students in and around the greater Delano community, to see how their family stories connect with larger historical forces that have shaped their past.”

Renegade Athletics

Renegade Softball won yesterday in the CCCAA Southern California Regional best of 3 payoff series.  Was happy to see Trustee Romeo Agbalog and his family cheering our term.

Romeo Agbalog, Lily Agbalog, Victoria Perez

 

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#21 Kara Morgan (Frankhouser) left a beautiful post on the BC Softball Facebook page.

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#21 Kara Morgan

“6 years ago, I played ball at the Dean & Adah Gay complex for the last time. It was regionals and my team, OUR team, made BC history time and time again, just as your team has, and we were able to host regionals for the first time, on this beautiful field we all get to call home. I didn’t want it to be my last time. I wanted to play in State, on OUR field, and win. I wanted Coach Sandi to finally get the pay off she deserved from giving all of our teams year after year all that she had. I wanted to go to Disneyland with my team, celebrating that huge victory. We could taste it, dream it, feel it, and we were freaking good.

But we all have dreams that we don’t quite reach.

Yeah, I knew I was probably going to continue playing after BC. I had dreams of D1 ball, playing on the field against top national teams, and continuing to get the fire in my gut that we all get as we play this game. But let me tell you, playing on the UCLA field and shaking hands with Lisa Fernandez, seeing my name on ESPN, flying in airplanes and walking as a proud unit that still donned the Bakersfield name on my chest, playing the game for money, NOTHING compares to the love and fire I get when I walk into that BC stadium.

You see, at BC you are a part of something bigger, something greater. You have decades of alumni who still show up to cheer you on. You have a school athletic coaching staff that cares about you and knows your name. You have a secret weapon of an athletic trainer who makes your mind, body, and spirit align. You have a coach who bleeds Bakersfield and wants to give back to the city who raised her. You girls are given everything you need to win. So just play ball.

I hope you girls spend this week mentally preparing. Thinking about the reasons WHY you play this game. Not how you play it. Not about the future, or the past. Think about the present. Stay close to the why. Because the why gets you through the darkest of times in the softball world, trust me. When you’re mad and hate the game, remember why. When you’re on fire, on top of the world, remember why. We all have different why’s. Learn about your teammate. Figure out why they play the game. Get closer to them. You guys are about to go to war together. As Sandi always told us, you just gotta win your last game.

You will hang it up before you know it. Your old glove will get stiff. You’ll start losing your equipment piece by piece as you move into adulthood. But what an amazing feeling it is when you run into your old team mate that had your back more than anyone when that fight broke out at home plate (Kelsey and Jessica “HEY THATS MY CATCHER”) or you come across old pictures of you and your pitchers locked in together. Sometimes you’re unpacking boxes when you move and you find your old game visor, or warm up jacket, and you just can’t help but remember why that game meant so much.

Take it in, ‘gades, we’re all rooting for you!!!!!!”

Celebrating Retirees

At Thursdays, KCCD Board of Trustees, we presented Felix Ramirez with his plaque of recognition. During his years of service at Bakersfield College, Felix had countless friends across campus. Many employees have fond memories of Felix patrolling the hallways and especially, his kind knock on the door to remind them it was time to go home at 5:30PM.

With years of service in the Marines and in the Army National Guard, Felix always had a calm, authentic security and warmth with him where ever he was. His retirement is truly deserved with a job well done.  Felix, thank you for your service to our country, our community, our Renegade family, and BC.

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Kay Meek and Felix Ramirez

Math and Science celebrated a little Retirement Luau for Andrea Garrison and Rafael Espericueta

 

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Celebrating Faculty and Staff

Congratulations to Manny Fernandez who was awarded Outstanding Industry Partner for the Kern High School District!

 

IMG_0996On Wednesday morning, I received an email from Jackie Lau in BC’s Admissions and Records sharing that she feels so fortunate to be at BC and a part of Michelle Pena’s team.

Jackie said, “She was a great speaker! Several institutions staff were coming up to our team telling us how lucky we were to have her as a Director because she’s is so knowledgeable and shares information in each session.”

 

I loved seeing Jackie’s post also on Facebook!  #WeareBC!

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ASCCC Career and NonCredit Education Institute 2018

A group of amazing individuals from BC are also attending the ASCCC Career and NonCredit Education Institute in Costa Mesa. The website states,  “The ASCCC Career and Noncredit Education Institute is the first ASCCC event to bring faculty together from these areas to collaborate on a statewide level on how best to integrate the services, practices and instruction of these areas. Presentations cover topics in areas such as career education, noncredit education, counseling and student services, Adult Education Block Grant (AEBG), and apprenticeship.”

ASCCC Career and NonCredit Education Institute 2018

Endee Grijalva, Jaime Lopez,  Jennifer Johnson, Stephanie Baltazar and Tony Cordova

Physics Olympics

IMG_2889Friday, April 28th, was the 30th annual Physics Olympics take-over of BC. Over a thousand high school science students (many of them future Renegades) came to BC to put into action the physics and engineering concepts they’ve learned on paper in the classroom. Mark Trunnell from Centennial and Dan Halbur from Foothill work with BC professor Rick Darke to put on the event at BC. The map below shows where the events took place.

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Foothill physics teacher Dan Halbur encourages these South High students in the “Efficiency Bridge” contest. Using ordinary wood pieces like popsicle sticks, coffee stir sticks and toothpicks glued together, students construct a bridge that can carry a 5.0 kg load across a 60-cm span. Designs are judged on how much the bridge flexes, and the total mass of the bridge.

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Physics Olympics students. The ever-popular egg drop was on the north side of the stadium. In that event students design a container holding a raw egg and drop the container from a three-story height. Successful containers will keep the egg intact.

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Paper airplane contest has students design paper airplane that fly the longest and straightest. These students found out that throwing the paper airplanes with a lot of force causes the typical paper airplane to swirl around off course, often coming right back to the thrower, especially if the plane is the typical design with big wings. I advised one team to make the plane more like a missile and practice throwing it before doing the contest (advice based on experience gained in competing with my brothers growing up).

Paper tower event has students building the tallest tower out of just paper and tape.

Super Quiz that pits high school teams against each other in rapid-fire physics questions. The teams are cheered on by their friends in the bleachers. Nick Strobel shared his excitement by telling me, “Yes! An astronomy question was included!”

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Guided Pathways Peer-to-Peer Work Plan

BC sent a team to the first California Guide Pathways Peer-to-Peer Work Plan Reading Circle, an event sponsored by IEPI and the Chancellor’s Office, on April 27th. Dean Steve Waller of our STEM pathway, education pathway counselor Brynn Schock, and Guided Pathway Implementation team faculty members Janet Fulks and Jessica Wojtysiak worked within regional teams to identify themes and share concerns about future policy and support efforts.

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Sonya Christian 3 May 4 2018

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Leadership Shines at BC

Good morning Bakersfield.  It is Saturday, April 28, 2018 and a great day to be a Renegade!

BC’s 104th commencement is on May 11th.  We will be graduating our first class of 7 students who have completed all the courses for a Bachelor of Science degree.  Even if your friend or family member isn’t walking at this commencement event, plz gather a group together and come hang out at the Memorial Stadium to see history being made.  The celebrations start at 7:00 pm sharp and we will have great music and other goodies for you to relax and have a good time.

Student Leadership and Involvement Awards

DSC_3457Last Thursday evening the Student Leadership and Involvement Awards Ceremony, coordinated by the Office of Student Life, recognized the accomplishments of student organizations and leaders at Bakersfield College. As they showcased their ingenuity and creative talent the wide variety of activities our students are involved in was impressive.

This year’s award recipients were:

  • Presidents Leader of the Year Award: Emmanuel Limaco
  • Service Award: Rayven Webb
  • Renegade Spirit Award: Dezi Von Manos
  • MVR – Most Valuable Renegade: Adrian Godinez – Wrestling and Kylee Fahy – Softball
  • Student Employee of the Year Award: Karla Garcia, Office of Student Life and Alexandra Scott, Supplemental Instruction
  • Outstanding Student Organization Advisor(s): Helen Acosta, Sexuality and Gender Acceptance Club and Jonathan Schultz, Free on the Outside
  • Grace Van Dyke Bird Award: Emerging Leader of the Year Award: Alexandra Scott
  • Alumni Association Honor Trophy: Emerging Leader of the Year Award: Ganae Romo
  • Jack Brigham Scholarship: Baldeep Sandhu
  • Samuel W. McCall Outstanding Professor of the Year Award: Jennifer Garrett, Performing Arts Faculty

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Outreach Open House

Open House (2)On Friday, April 20th, Bakersfield College Office of Outreach and School Relations hosted its 3rd annual BC Open House, opening the campus to over 700 high school seniors who will be attending in the upcoming Summer and Fall semesters. Attendees participated in various workshops/activities such as BC Jeopardy, while visiting over 25 tables that displayed various student support and academic programs. Students who had yet to register for courses were able to walk away from the event with a class schedule. This event gave students their first look of what it will be like to be a Renegade. Thanks for all the support provided from Counseling, CalSOAP, Admissions & Records, IT, and Food Services.

Honors Celebration Dinner

IMG_5879The Honors Celebration Dinner was held on Friday evening with a crowd of 200 gathering in the Fireside Room and Cafeteria. The dinner is an opportunity for the Foundation to honor the Scholarship Donors, their Scholarship Recipients and the Leadership and Departmental Award Winners. It gives Donors the chance to meet our wonderful students and hear firsthand how their support impacts the students’ success. There were Donors present from 30 unique scholarship funds at the dinner and all departments from BC were represented. The Foundation will award nearly half a million dollars in scholarships and awards for the 2018/2019 academic year and it would not be possible without continued generous support from our donors.  Thank you Corny Rodriguez for the photo.

BC Drumline Places 6th

The BC Drumline was awarded sixth place in the Winter Guard International Percussion World Championships in Dayton, Ohio, with a score of 93.388 out of 100, the highest score BC has ever recorded in the history of this competition.

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Tim Heasley and the students in the BC Drumline started working toward performing in this competition since late September, rehearsing for hundreds of hours together while fundraising throughout the year to raise money for the annual trip to Ohio. They also competed in local events with the Pep and Pageantry Arts Association of Central California, as well as other competitions hosted by Winter Guard International.

After qualifying to participate in the World Championships, the BC Drumline spent the week leading up to the competition rehearsing at Edison State Community College in Piqua, Ohio. They then competed in three different venues around Ohio before qualifying for the finals completion at the University of Dayton Arena last Saturday.

KGET reported on the Drumline’s historic success in a news piece, and Heasley is infinitely proud of his group’s success and ability to rise to the occasion when called upon to do so.

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“The students and staff are really driven by the pursuit of excellence,” Heasley said. “They return to BC having competed with the best, in front of the toughest judges, and with a confidence of knowing that they can take on the next challenge, whatever it may be.”

BC’s drumline is made up of a mix of BC students and individuals who travel from as far away as Merced every weekend to rehearse and participate. The experiences and what they’ve learned from being a part of BC’s drumline is something they take with them for the rest of their lives. “As much as the skills developed ‘on the floor’ are important, the skills developed ‘off the floor’ will forever help our students approach the challenges they face,” Heasley said.

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Pre-Law Celebration

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2018 Pre Law Celebration

On Monday, the students who are graduating under our Pre-Law pathway participated in a special celebration in the Levan Center commemorating all of all their hard work and wishing them the best of luck as they pursue a career in law.

Liz Rozell and Corny Rodriguez gave brief speeches thanking the graduates and all of their professors for staying on the path, and each of the students got an opportunity to speak about the dedication and persistence required to complete their pre-law classes.

Special thanks to Pearl Urena for organizing the Pre-Law Celebration and advising our Pre-Law students throughout the year. This is an important program that is helping to make courtrooms in Kern County more diverse and reflective of the community.

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SGA Power Lunch with Scott Spielman

BCSGA’s Legislative Affairs Department hosted its last Power Lunch in the Fireside Room on Monday with District Attorney candidate Scott Spielman, who talked about his 20-year career fighting for justice as a Kern County prosecutor.

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Spielman’s career in law enforcement started in 1984, when he enlisted in the Army as a military Police officer. After four years as an MP and reaching the rank of sergeant, he graduated from Moorpark College and Fresno State before attending the McGeorge School of Law and passing the state bar to become a lawyer in 1993.

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Tommy Tunson and Scott Spielman

Spielman has worked as a prosecutor for the Kern County District Attorney’s office since 1994, participating in over 100 felony jury trials. Over 20 of those trials involved murder, and another 20 involved sexual assault, Spielman said. Over the last seven years, he’s been the Assistant DA under Lisa Green, helping her to manage all the hundreds of prosecutors and thousands of cases the office deals with every day.

Students in the audience got the opportunity to ask Spielman questions about sanctuary cities, rehabilitation for non-violent drug offenders, and youth community outreach programs.

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This year’s Legislative Affairs Power Lunches have brought some of Kern County’s most important elected officials to the BC campus to answer questions from our students.

There’s a pathway for everyone at BC

This past week a former Public Health student reached out to BC Public Health professor, Sarah Baron. The student shared she plans to transfer to a CSU and become a Public Health Nurse.  She said, “I want to thank you for all of your involvement and for being a phenomenal professor. ” and added, “I want to thank you for helping me find my pathway.”

There’s a pathway for everyone and it starts at the home of the Renegades.

Sarah Baron

Public Health Professor, Sarah Baron

Delano Community Alliance Fundraiser

The Delano Community Alliance held its annual fundraiser on April 21. The group is a volunteer organization composed of different community stake holders including school districts, non-profit organizations, government agencies, and religious groups. Bakersfield College is represented on the board of directors.

Matthew Rodriguez, Helen Calip, Carolina Madrigal, Raquel Lopez, Araceli Renteria, Valerie Alcala, Alma Feathers, Sue Ann Villaros, Abel Guzman, Jesus Jimenez, Richard McCrow.

(front) Matthew Rodriguez, Helen Calip, Carolina Madrigal, Raquel Lopez, Araceli Renteria, Valerie Alcala, Alma Feathers, Sue Ann Villaros, (back) Abel Guzman, Jesus Jimenez, Richard McCrow.

The “Pre-Cinco de Mayo Fiesta” fundraiser featured tacos, mariachi, raffles, and a salsa contest among other fun activities. The mariachi “grito” (shout) competition title went BC Rural Initiatives Director, Abel Guzman. Bakersfield College was one of the gold sponsors, and was well represented with 11 staff members in attendance.

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Fundraiser committee members, Mathew Cauthron, Rosalinda Rivera, Barbara Mejia, Abel Guzman

The goal of the event was to raise money to help families in need. The alliance provides financial support for families who are facing eviction, are unable to pay utility bills, or who are facing any other hardship.

Rosalinda Rivera (DUESD Superintendent), BC Staff Alma Feathers, Carolina Madrigal, Raquel Lopez, Valerie Alcala.

Rosalinda Rivera (DUESD Superintendent), BC Staff Alma Feathers, Carolina Madrigal, Raquel Lopez, Valerie Alcala.

 

Metal Fabrication Technology AS at BC

A new degree in metal fabrication at BC will equip students with the unique technical skills to gain employment in the fields of construction, transportation, manufacturing industry, sheet metal industry, custom job shops, aerospace, and so much more. This new program has been approved by the Central Mother Lode Region with 9 endorsement approval votes from Cerro Coso, Porterville, COS, Fresno, WHC, WHL, and Columbia.

Thank you to Liz Rozell, Jason Dixon and all the faculty who helped make this happen!

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Jason Dixon, Manuel Fernandez, and Sean Caras

Architecture 33 Students at BC

Victoria Hogan

Oliver Rosales, Victoria Hogan, Sarah Baron

In early spring this year, Bakersfield College submitted a National Endowment of the Humanities Challenge Grant.  If awarded, BC would receive funding to create a Cultural and Humanities Center at the Delano Campus.  Central to the application was the partnership with the Architectural Computer Practice Class, ARCH B33, who submitted architectural design concepts for the grant application.  Each featured an actual three-dimensional design with layouts of the building both inside and outside.  Of those submitted, Victoria Hogan’s was selected to be included in the application.  The grant-writing team, Delano Foundation, the Levan Center for the Humanities, and the entire Renegade community all congratulate Victoria and the entire Architecture 33 class for their hard work!

 

NEH Grant Architecture Class

BC Jazz Plays the Beatles

i-w8h83s6-x3The Bakersfield College Jazz Ensemble dazzled audiences in the Indoor Theater on Monday night with its big-band arrangements of classic songs by The Beatles.

Kris Tiner opened the event by introducing the community to the upcoming Jazz Studies program that will be a part of our curriculum next semester. This concentration within our music program will offer more in-depth opportunities for students to prepare for a career in performing jazz music, and will also be adding smaller bands called “jazz combos” to complement the larger ensemble. Before the main ensemble’s performance, Tiner introduced a jazz combo group that performed standards by Charles Mingus and Sonny Rollins.

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After the combo group’s performance, the entire jazz ensemble took the stage to perform jazz arrangements by the Fab Four, opening with “Day Tripper”, a song recorded during the sessions for the Beatles “Rubber Soul” album, and released as its own single in 1965 . The evening featured arrangements that spanned the Beatles’ varied discography, from the pop of the band’s early releases to the more experimental psychedelic music of its later catalog.

I’d like to thank Kris Tiner and everyone who came out to support our BC Jazz Ensemble, and I can’t wait to hear what the students in our Jazz Studies program are going to be putting together in the future.

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Project BEST

On Wednesday in the Indoor Theater, BC was honored to host the Senior Scholarship Banquet for Project BEST, an organization that provides mentoring and scholarship opportunities for African-American males in the Kern County High School District.

Chef Eric Sabella and our Food Services Department provided a delicious dinner for the graduating high school students and their families in the courtyard in front of the Indoor Theater, and attendees spent the evening celebrating the achievements of Project BEST students as they prepare to leave high school and begin their college journeys.

Project BEST, which stands for Black Excellence in Scholarship and Teaching, was created over 25 years ago to increase the high school graduation and college attendance rates of African-American males in the Kern High School District. The organization helps students with their college applications and financial aid forms, as well as scholarships, counseling, tutoring and trips to universities around California. This year’s students got to visit the UC Berkeley campus and attend workshops about college entrance essays as part of the Experience Berkeley High School Program.

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Zav Dadabhoy stepping out with the mike while addressing Project BEST

Dr. Zav Dadabhoy spoke a few words at the beginning of the ceremony thanking Project BEST for choosing BC to host its scholarship banquet, as well as sharing some of the details about how we make a college education attainable for everyone.

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Dr. Bryon Schaefer

Kern High School District Superintendent Dr. Bryon Schaefer thanked all of the members of the advisory committee on Project BEST for their dedication to ensuring that none of Kern County’s African-American youth are left behind.

Keynote speaker Quinn Woodard told Project BEST students the inspirational story of growing up in St. Louis as an exceptional student athlete who had to change the course of his academic career once he sustained too many injuries to continue playing sports. Woodard went on to start a clothing company at 17 years old with his friends in St. Louis before attending the University of Tulsa. Woodard initially had an interest in pursuing a business degree as an undergraduate, but his experience in Chevron’s Project Lead the Way led him to develop an interest in STEM, which brought him all the way to Bakersfield to work as one of Chevron’s electrical engineers.

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Quinn Woodard

Woodard, who recently finished a Masters in Business Administration from Indiana University while working as the Electrical Engineering Team Lead at Chevron, credits his success to the people who recognized his potential and gave him an opportunity to develop it. He advised the Project BEST students to step out of their comfort zone to find their true calling.

“In order to grow, you must embrace discomfort,” Woodard said. “When we invest in ourselves, it creates opportunities to thrive and give back to others.

After Woodard’s presentation, Chevron’s Community Engagement Advisor Adam Alvidrez presented the Project BEST program with $20,000 to use for scholarships and academic development.

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Adam Alvidrez

Several students from the Project BEST program then gave brief testimonials about their time in the program. Stockdale High student Bryce Jackson praised one of the program’s exercises addressing budgeting and lifestyle, helping him set realistic goals and expectations for his success, and South High student Malcolm Francisco said that the opportunities for fellowship with other African-American students helped him learn how to respect his heritage in all of his daily choices.

Project BEST students receive special recognition on the Indoor Theater stage.

Project BEST students receive special recognition on the Indoor Theater stage.

Several Project BEST students were presented with special recognition awards for their outstanding accomplishments while in the program, and every student who completed the program received a certificate signed by California Assemblyman Vince Fong.

Leading the Nation: Building Excellence for California’s Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Students

Last week, Chelsea Esquibias, Bryan Hirayama, and Craig Hayward presented at the IEPI conference Leading the Nation: Building Excellence for California’s Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Students.

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Chelsea Esquibias in a group photo with the panel

Chelsea Esquibias, BC’s Inmate Scholars Program Director, and Ruben Ortiz, College Coordinator for Kern Valley State Prison-B yard, discussed the value of their partnership and continued success of the program during a panel presentation. Most of the students on B yard started the Inmate Scholars Program with BC a year-and-a-half to two years ago and now need only about 5 more classes to reach completion! Faculty interest is high in working on that particular yard with these dedicated students and unique Inmate Scholars Program.

Craig Hayward, Dean of Institutional Effectiveness, addressed college metrics and how outcomes, research, and tracking are valuable tools in measuring success of students in all programs.

I encourage you to watch the YouTube videos by our faculty members that really portray the heart and soul of this incredible program.

The Sergeant and the Professor, with BC’s Bryan Hirayama:

A College Expands and Finds Success, with BC’s Chelsea Esquibias:

Innovation of the Year Award from CCLC!

IMG_4136Julian West and BC’s African American Mentoring Program have been awarded the Innovation of the Year by the League for Innovation! This incredible recognition is because of the commitment and passion of staff and faculty at Bakersfield College. African-American Mentor Program (AAMP) is a program that incorporates drop-in mentoring, resiliency guidance, problem resolution, general assistance, and “real talk”. AAMP has a network of passionate professionals on campus and out in the community that are dedicated to the success of African American students. The program does incredible things to change lives and help students stay on the path to a successful future.

Renegade Softball

The Renegades softball team finished its season with the best record in conference play after beating Moorpark College last week, entering the playoffs as the top seed in the conference.
The Bakersfield Californian reported on the results, noting that the Renegades finished the season 31-9 overall while only losing one game in their 14 conference matchups.

BC Softball April 12 2018

Veterans Summit

Bakersfield College was well represented at this year’s California Community College Veterans Summit.  MC’d by a towering figure in the CC veteran services community, Nancy Montgomery, RN, MSN, of Irvine Valley College. The summit opened with Hilda Solis, former U.S. Secretary of Labor, the first Latina to hold a cabinet post.  Now Supervisor, County of Los Angeles, First District, Solis spoke of the need for services for veterans such as housing, medical, and education.  It is interesting to note that Solis and our own advisor for veterans, Armando Trujillo, actually attended the same high school, La Puente High School.

Keynote speaker Oz Sanchez had everyone enthralled with his story our courage and resilience in the face of tragedy.  His early life was crippled with abuse and family dysfunction, and his late teens were directionless and riddled with drugs. In 1996, he opted for a different life and joined the Marine Corps. After six years of service with two deployments to the Middle East, he decided to transfer to the Navy and serve as a Navy Seal. In 2001, Oz was the victim of a hit-and-run accident while riding his motorcycle. He suffered a spinal cord injury that left him with near complete paralysis of the lower extremities. Oz fell into deep, five-year depression and had seemingly lost all hope for a fulfilling life. Oz made a choice to redefine himself and began to move forward. He enrolled in school, earning a bachelor’s degree in Business Management with a minor in Communications from San Diego State University. He pursued sports and is a three-time Paralympian and winner of six medals. He is a five-time, world champion hand cyclist, Kona Ironman finisher, and now motivational speaker. Oz takes great pride in his role as a mentor for the Wounded Warrior community and is a source of inspiration for anyone suffering from depression or struggling with life’s many challenges. He is of the belief that with passion and purpose, there is no obstacle that can stop us. His message, ‘Know No Limits.’  Very inspiring!

Lisa Kent, Paul Beckworth, Armando Trujillo with Oz Sanchez

Lisa Kent, Paul Beckworth, Armando Trujillo with Oz Sanchez

vet PathwaysBakersfield College Veteran Services, represented by Armando Trujillo, Lisa Kent, and Paul Beckworth, were honored to present at this year’s summit.  The presentation, entitled, “Implementation Starts with Identification; Guided Pathways and the Definition of ‘Veteran,’” was well received as the team spoke about the need to better define key terms at the local, state, and national level.  The meaning of terminology as fundamental as “veteran” and “active service” are now being challenged in making education benefits available, the speakers addressed the need for direction from Veteran Affairs.  The meaning of “veteran” at community college can often rest of who is asking the question.  Does it mean the student who actually wore the uniform, or all students who receive benefits for reporting purposes?  What does Equity require?

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The team then shifted to the work of Bakersfield College’s Guided Pathways, in particular, our Affinity groups.  Student-veterans usually feel like they are behind their peers, having given up years in the service, so they often feel time is of the essence, and want a well-defined pathway.

The role of support services is equally vital to keeping veterans engaged; mental health, DSPS, tutoring, EOP&S, and the BC high touch; high tech approach with specialized veteran educational advising, and the timely data to track their progress.  The Guided Pathway meta-majors help ensure learning so our student-veterans can move on to the next stage of their education and success.

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Artwork designed by Dylan Wang

Especially rewarding was to listen to The California Community College Veterans Caucus, a high level advocacy group in Sacramento fighting for student-veterans at the leadership level.  Larry Kennedy, Trustee, Ventura Community College District presented.  Dr. Janett Jackson, Chancellor, Chabot-Las Positas Community College District spoke, as well.  Dr. Jackson is an inspiration.  She is the oldest of 8 children, a product of the Central Valley, started off in education as a classified staff member.  She later became a tenured professor, then Academic Senate President, then later a vice-president, then president, then chancellor!  She did this while she served as an officer in the California National Guard, last serving as the Brigade Commander of the 40th Corps Support Group in the Sunni Triangle in Iraq, where she led her troops into combat.  Hers is very much a story of inspiration and fortitude.   She has received numerous military awards; included among them is the Bronze Star, the Combat Action Medal, and Operation Iraqi Freedom Campaign Medal.

Lesley Bonds – Community Voices

Lesley Bonds, BC’s director of Student Success and Equity, wrote an op-ed in the Bakersfield Californian reflecting on her experience at the Bakersfield Women’s Business Conference and how women are often the catalysts of important systemic change within communities.

Bonds’ piece is a retrospective on how her faith in the “transformative power of women” led her to BC, where she’s helped create new opportunities for women, people of color and other underrepresented groups in our community.

She describes the epiphany she had during the course of the day regarding how the work of all faculty and staff at BC is integral to shaping the future of Kern County. “An investment in the education of young girls is an investment in the education of a community,” Bonds wrote.

“We are our community’s college – uniquely position to support meaningful progress in Kern County.”

We are BC! We are Bakersfield!

William Velasquez

We have talented and gifted staff and faculty at Bakersfield College including William Velasquez who sent me an email yesterday with the following image. He said

Yesterday, I decided to stay after work and walk around BC campus with my camera and found this rose bud in front of the Fine arts building. Thinking of the students that were around the building when I took the picture, I was inspired to write an inspiring quote that harmonizes with the picture.

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By William Velasquez

Meeting with Central Valley Regional Coordinator

On Friday, Lesley Bonds, Grace Comiso, Manny Mourtzanos, Julian West, Karen Snow, Yvonne Armendariz, Jennifer Johnson, and Marisa Marquez discussed  with Laura Lara-Brady, Ph.D., Guided Pathways Regional Coordinator what BC has learned over the past few years in the Guided Pathway implementation process.

They discussed completion coaching communities, communication plans, data coaching, Transfer Pathways and the successes and barriers that come along with them.  It was important to give feedback and look at the implementation from a practical perspective through the lens of administration, staff, faculty, and meeting state legislative requirements while providing services and improving student outcomes.

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Celebrating Regina Hukill

Regina HukillThe Math Department and Dean, Stephen Waller’s office, held a special luncheon for Regina Hukill.  Regina served as Math Department Chair, and was highly praised by the Math Faculty for her direction and leadership to them during the 5 years as Chair.

She will be stepping out of the Department Chair position to resume her position as full-time math faculty.

Thank you Regina!

A Beautiful Garden Fest 2018

dsc09568-x3Last weekend, Garden Fest was a beautiful day.  We had thousands in attendance including many visitors, community organizations, garden clubs, and vendors expressed their love for the event and the feeling of community.

Thank you to everyone who worked hard to make Bakersfield College and Garden Fest bloom.

See all the photos at BC’s Smugmug.

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 Renegade Athletics

Baseball team were declared Conference Champions and now head into payoffs.

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The Bakersfield College baseball team clinched a spot in the Southern California Regional Playoffs with a 7-1 victory over visiting LA Valley on Thursday.BC starting pitcher Lane Cowan turned in a brilliant 8 2/3 inning performance as the Renegades clinched at least a tie for the Western State Conference-South championship.BC holds the tie-breaker with LA Pierce, the other team vying for a share of the league title.The Renegades won the season-series against the Brahmas, three games to two. BC can clinch the WSC-South championship out-right by winning its regular season finale versus West LA on Friday. Cowan gave up one run on four hits and one walk before reliever Adam Brown came in with two outs in the ninth to secure victory, snapping a two-game losing streak by the Renegades. from gogades.com

 

Women’s Swimming takes second place in WSC

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The Bakersfield College women’s swim team took second place at the Western State Conference Swimming Championships.  The three day meet ended on Saturday with the Renegades securing second place.  On Saturday, the last day of competition, BC had five individuals and one relay team finish in the top five and score valuable points.  The top finishers for the Renegades and the team scores are listed below.

 

Neo from Eisha's Facebook May 14 2017

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

We are Bakersfield!

Good Morning Bakersfield.  It is Saturday, April 21, 2018 and a great day to be a Renegade.

The Renegade Red and White Roses are bursting out creating a joyous walkway into my home.

Great week at BC and in our community.  Let me start with the Bakersfield Women’s Business Conference

Bakersfield Women’s Business Conference

Thursday was the 28th annual Bakersfield Women’s Business Conference and Bakersfield College staff and faculty were in full force attending the workshops and tuning into the messages from keynote speakers. The conference allows women in business to network, find mentors, and develop friendships with to advance their careers and or businesses. Many of the workshops focus on topics from a feminine perspective and included topics on health and wellness addressing healthy lifestyles, nutrition and breast cancer. Communication workshops addressed techniques for overcoming lessons learned as girls to be more effective in the business world. There were several on maintaining the balance of work and family.

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Josie Gullian and Endee Grijalva

The Conference also held many empowering workshops on leadership such as “Secure Your Place at the Table – Women Leading in Male Dominant Territory” by District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer, Assembly Member Shannon Grove, and Kern County Supervisor Leticia Perez.

While the name and focus of the conference is women, men are also welcome and there were many workshops that were gender neutral on many business topics including business strategies, leadership and finance. Richard Chapman, head of Kern EDC, presented on “Kern County’s Economic and Workforce Development Opportunities and Possibilities.” The keynote speakers and many of the workshop speakers were motivational for everyone.

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The Bakersfield Women’s Business Conference is a major supporter of the R.O.S.E. (Realizing Options for Student Excellence) mentor program. The program matches high school students with mentors and has several seminars, to aid student mentees in recognizing their value and self-worth. Topics for the seminars focus on careers, communication, balancing life, money, safety and building self-confidence. The mentees receive a scholarship to cover the cost of attending the BWBC. Conference attendees were impressed by one of the mentees that spoke about the benefits of being in the program and to encourage all the women present to become a mentor. This is a wonderful program and I encourage all of you to consider becoming a mentor.

Like the R.O.S.E. program, BC encourages and mentors students to better themselves through education and gave some BC students the opportunity to attend the BWBC. EOPS/CARE/CalWORKS purchased two tables, and sponsored fourteen women from all three programs to attend the 2018 Bakersfield Women’s Business Conference. These ladies are all single parents who are striving to achieve a better life for their families through education. The importance of exposing our students to different events such as the BWBC is vital to their growth, and development as students, professionals, and individuals. They were able to develop networking skills, meeting highly successful women, and gaining valuable business knowledge that will empower them to become strong leaders.

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Debi Anderson, Steve Watkin, and Sandi Taylor at BC’s Booth

The 2018 luncheon keynote speak was Laila Ali, undefeated boxing champion, television host and entrepreneur. She is also well known for her famous father Mohamed Ali and treated BWBC attendees to several picture of her young self with her famous and doting father. She told us of many of the trials in her life that she overcame to be a successful and very driven business woman. Her stories were relatable to what many women and girls face in this time and she is a great example of encouragement for all women.

Joseph Luiz has a Bakersfield Californian Article mentioning highlights from the day.

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Kimberly Bligh and Mary Jo Pasek

i-gmdtwhz-x3It was great to be invited to be the closing keynote at the Women’s Business Conference.  BC women leaders gave birth to this event. Phyllis Hullett – In 1989, BC professor started the Bakersfield Business Womens Conf. as an idea during the International Year of the Woman. She gathered friends and coworkers, and out of one meeting of 12 women and 1 lone man, Pat Shaffer, Dean of Development at Bakersfield College, agreed to serve on the executive board. The Bakersfield Women’s Business Conference was born.

I focused on the important guiding tools of Choice, Commitment, Compassion, and Community while interweaving music from the song “We are the World.”  The session concluded by having about 25 women leaders on the stage in red We are Bakersfield t-shirts singing We are the World with the BC Chamber Singers.

I am the luckiest and happiest college president ever and by the end of my talk, I was surrounded on stage by talented musicians, community leaders, fellow educators, friends, and family. We are Bakersfield! 

Loved Robin Mangarin Scott’s introduction of me in that beautiful voice.  Robin was representing the sponsors of the keynote — Dignity health and CBCC.

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I want to start by thanking Heidi Scott.  If it wasn’t for Heidi, I would not have had the courage to do the music.

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Heidi Scott, Sonya Christian

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We invited the whole audience to stand and join us in song.

 

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Kaya Leyendecker and Heidi Scott

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The Chamber Singers had their Spring Concert at the BC Indoor Theater the same evening.  Yet they decided to come our and support me and do We are the World..  Thank you Jen Garrett.  Your energy is astounding and you are out there constantly giving to others.

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BC Chamber Singers

Was so happy to have women leaders from Delano join us.  Thank you April Gregerson for organizing this.  and thank you Rosalina Rivera and Sandra Rivera.

Sandra Rivera, Rosalina Rivera, Sonya Christian, April Gregerson

Sandra Rivera, Rosalina Rivera, Sonya Christian, April Gregerson

Thank you to all these fabulous busy women who showed up support the event.

Community Leaders

Liz Rozell, April Gregerson, Sandra Rivera, Rosalina Rivera, Ingrid Lake, Cathy Abernathy, Raji Brar, Immani Brar

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Pam Rose, Mia Cifuentes, Victoria, Lilly Agbalog, Cheryl Scott, Lauren Skidmore

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Trustee Agbalog, Sonya Christian, Michael Bowers

 

Cathy Abernathy and Sonya Christian

Cathy Abernathy, Sonya Christian

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Cheryl Scott, Sonya Christian

Thank you Norma Rojas-Mora for helping me recruit the women leaders in our community.

Sonya Christian, Norma Rojas Mora, Lisa Kent

Sonya Christian, Norma Rojas-Mora, Lisa Kent

Was happy to meet Bethany Rice, Billie Jo Rice’s daughter.  Beautiful, smart young woman.  And then the lighting and sound guys, Manny Gomez and Ryan McCallah, who let me know they were also the ones who did the work in setting up the lighting and sound systems in BC’s newly remodeled Indoor Theater!

 

 

Thank you to the 2018 Executive Board, Diane Williams, Norma Rojas-Mora, Marisol ONeil, Susan Spears, Arleana Waller, Diane Williams, Christina Springstaad, Irma Cervantes, Tayna Nichols, Deanna Blaise, Marelle Williams, LaMeka Ross, Leigh Pozas, and Colleen Bauer. bwbc-group-768x513

Thank you for being great sports and wearing the We are Bakersfield t-shirt and joining us on stage

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Thank you to Manny De Los Santos, William Velasquez, Monika Scott, Jennifer Serratt, and Asha Chandy.  Here are some photos of the folks behind the scenes.

Loved this photo of William Velasquez relaxing after the session.

William Velasquez

 

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BC Crew in Attendance

Kern County Black Chamber Honors Bakersfield College

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Bakersfield College were honored by the Kern County Black Chamber of Commerce with the Outstanding Corporate Member Award. In accepting the award, I acknowledged the efforts of all those who have worked hard on the African American Initiative and Dr. Zav Dadabhoy for being an “equity” champion and finding the necessary resources to support the equity agenda.

I specifically recognized the efforts of Dr. Paula Parks, Umoja Community lead, in increasing the success of Black students on campus, and Mr. Steve Watkin, Director of Outreach, in increasing their access and contributing to BC’s equity agenda. I then handed the award to Steve who has been leading the AAI effort on campus.

Steve Watkin

 

BC had two tables that included administrators, faculty, staff, and Umoja students.

Sonya Christian, Steve Watkin and BC receiving award at KCBCC

Also honored at 15th Annual Gala was CSUB President Dr. Horace Mitchell with the Lifetime Achievement Award. I will miss you Horace when you retire.  Loved seeing Cindy Pollard being recognized as the Business Woman of the Year.  Enjoyed catching up with Jim Baldwin (who won the award for Outstanding Community Organization) and Rudy Salas. Spotted Danielle Hillard, Michelle Miller-Galaz and Nick Hill and snapped a picture.

Jim Baldwin, Sonya Christian, Rudy Salas April 20 2018

Enjoyed catching up with Mayor Karen Goh who is a big supporter of education.

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Sonya Christian April 20 2018 croppedThe keynote speaker for the event was Mathew Knowles, Beyonce’s father… what a treat!  Have a picture of him with Shannon Grove and Karen Goh.

Congratulations to all other award recipients:
Cindy Pollard, the Distinguished Businesswoman Award,
James Luckey, Jr. of the News Observer, Distinguished Businessman Award,
Judge Gloria Cannon with the Business Pioneer Award,
CSUB President Horace Mitchell, the Lifetime Achievement Award
Barrington Lewis, the Outstanding New Business Award,
Sharron Lehrer, the Outstanding Young Achievers Award, and Jim Baldwin of BARC, Outstanding Community Based Organization Award.

Thank you Kern County Black Chamber (KCBCC) for recognizing Bakersfield College. Thank you Richard Soberanis, CEO of the Chamber.  And congratulations Nathan Banks…looking forward to great things under your chairmanship of the Chamber Board.

KCBCC has been a great partner of Bakersfield College and supported us in 2016 with Measure J.  I am sure we will continue to work closely together for many years to come.

Social Justice and Health Hackathon at BC

30653393_10215531998558279_9031222892318162944_nThe preliminary panel kicked off this years Hackathon and really set the stage for a fantastic and meaningful event.  Each of the panel members discussed what were the pressing issues and the solutions they wanted to explore. This helped the teams form around the issues and begin developing ideas.  Over the next three days, teams worked hard to develop these concepts and then competed in a 3 minute pitch, one page community impact report, and technology competition.

Thank you to Mayor Karen Goh for attending the kick off and inspiring the student teams.

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Mayor Karen Goh inspires at the Hackathon Kick Off

Thank you to the Preliminary Session on Health Inequality Challenges and Solution panelists including, moderator Kiyoshi Tomono, Genevieve Gale, Sandy Woo, Brynn Carrigan, Michelle Corson, Christy Leyvas,and Jack Becker.

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Eddie Rangel, Sandy Woo, Karen Goh, Kiyoshi Tomono, Jennifer Self, Sarah Baron

By the end of the competition, 11 projects had been submitted and community partners have expressed interest in funding their ideas! All the student groups submitted great projects and please do stay in touch with us for years to come. Now for the finalists and winning team!

Project Kern Air- 1st Place

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Created an app concept to raise awareness on air quality in Kern

Congratulations to: Noe Ramirez, Victoria Corrales, Troy Scott, Justin Morales, and
Krystal Reynes

 

R.A.H.T ( Renegade Against Human Trafficking)- 2nd Place

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Created a tech tool to help connect those who are victims of human trafficking with help.

Congratulations to: Janneth Guarcas Garcia, Alexander Glascock,  Carlos Hernandez, Maria Cabrera, and Stefanie Medina

Sex shouldn’t make you next- 3rd Place

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Created a website for youth to raise awareness sexual transmitted diseases and also help connect resources to those who are risk of a STD.

Congratulations to: Yajaira Hernandez, Elizabeth Martinez, Jessica Macias, Jessica Jaime, and Crystal Quintevo.

Beyond the winners, it was about the team work, the sharing of ideas and networking with partners.  Special thanks to the sponsors and the great support from BCSGA clubs.

Can’t wait for next years event! This one keeps getting bigger and better! Check out my blog titled “The Renegade Experience is Incredible” from last years equally awesome event.

Jess Nieto Memorial Conference: Exploring Chicano Studies at BC

The conference really hit home…It felt like a family reunion.” Francisco Barroso, Bakersfield College student.

Jess Nieto Memorial Conference

On Tuesday, April 17 the Levan Center for the Humanities hosted the first annual Jess Nieto Memorial Conference: Exploring Chicano Studies at Bakersfield College.  Named after the late Dr. Jesus “Jess” Nieto, a former faculty member and Dean of the BC Delano Center in the 1970s, the conference honored Dr. Nieto’s legacy in creating the first Chicano Studies curriculum implemented at Bakersfield College.  A Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI), this conference celebrated the cultural contributions of Bakersfield’s Chicano/Latino community to the history of Bakersfield and beyond.

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Corny Rodriguez speaking in the Levan Center

The conference featured two panel presentations and a keynote address.  Prior to the panels, Corny Rodriguez welcomed guests, as well as presenting, along with moderator Octavio Barajas a certificate of recognition on my behalf to Professor Rosa Garza in acknowledgement for her more than twenty years of teaching at Bakersfield College, as well as serving as faculty advisor to MEChA.  The first panel consisted of former and current student members of the Bakersfield College student organization MEChA, or Movimieno Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán.

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The second panel consisted of an academic showcase by Bakersfield College faculty members Professors Olivia Garcia and Javier Llamas, who discussed the history of women in farm labor activism and the historic Benito Juarez Hall in East Bakersfield as a site of community activism among local Mexican Americans for the past century.  Professor Garcia’s talk on the late Esther Uranday, one of the longest serving staff members of the United Farm Workers, was particularly meaningful given that Esther’s daughter and family members were in attendance.

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Professor Gonzalo Santos of CSU Bakersfield rounded out the faculty panel by discussing the personal of history of Jess Nieto as an international activist, through his various educational and social justice ties with Cuba, Central America, and China, including a number of educational exchange programs Dr. Nieto organized with education groups since the 1970s.  The final presentation included a book talk by Professor Ralph Ambruster-Sandoval of UC Santa Barbara who spoke about his latest book Starving For Justice: Hunger Strikes, Spectacular Speech, and the Struggle for Dignity (University of Arizona Press 2016).  Guests were also treated to a special performance by Bakersfield College alumnus and world-renown percussionist Louie Cruz Beltran who regaled the audience with a lesson on the history of Afro-Latino rhythms and Chicano music.

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Olivia Garcia

Olivia Garcia speaking in the Levan Center

See all the photos at Smugmug.

A very special thank you to Adjunct Professor of History Octavio Barajas for helping organize and moderate this event, as well as Dr. Oliver Rosales, Professor of History and Faculty Coordinator for the Social Justice Institute of Bakersfield College for sponsoring this event through the National Endowment for the Humanities grant “Energizing Humanities in California’s San Joaquin Valley,” as well as the Bakersfield College Student Government Association’s CCA Grant.

I also enjoyed seeing Octavio on KGET early Tuesday morning.  You can see the clip here.

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And did you miss his community voices piece?  It is available here.

It’s a joy to work with faculty and staff who love what they do and are so passionate about our students and community. Can you see why I’m the luckiest and happiest college president ever?

Renegade Athletics

Softball: We won the Conference Championship

Softball conference champions April 19 2018

Nathan Ortiz4Baseball: The baseball team sits in first place in the Western State-South Conference with three games remaining in the regular season.

The Renegades record is 19-18 overall and 13-4 in conference.  BC has won 7 out of their last ten games and are one game ahead of LA Pierce in the standings.  The Renegades have to win two of their last three games to guarantee themselves at least a tie for the conference title.

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With Sandi Taylor on Saturday, April 14th after another win.

Sandi Taylor, Sonya Christian April 14 2018

Men’s and Women’s Swimming: The men’s swimming team is in fourth place and the women’s swimming team is in second place after day one of the Western State Conference Championships.  The Championships, which are being held at the William A. Wheeler Aquatic Center, on BC’s Panorama campus will continue through Saturday afternoon.

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The Bakersfield College men’s swimming team is in fourth place after day one of the Western State Conference Championships.  Cael Osborn and Mark Glossbrenner were on two relay team that finished in the top four and also finished in the top three in an individual event.  The complete list of BC’s top finishers is below.

The BC women’s swim team sits in second place after day one of the Western State Conference Championship.  Niquelette Rimer had third place finish in 50 free and was part of two relay teams that finished in the top three and Jennifer Quan was part of two relay teams that finished in the top three.  The top BC finishers from day one are listed below.

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Jennifer Quan

Renegade Pulse Health Fair

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Bakersfield College is distinctive in so many ways, and one important way is in how we live our core value of health and wellness. The health of a community is directly related to literacy and education in general, and BC has many activities that promote healthy living, including the 18th Annual Renegade Pulse Health Fair.

The event is part resource fair and part celebration of the programs, agencies and services that support the health and success of students and  the community at large. With over 31,000 students, we are a community nested in a community. So, thank you to all who support healthy higher education, from green transportation to our campus facilities, Golden Empire Transit, to quality licensed Community Connection for Child Care.

Teena Bensusen (left) and Amber Smithson from the Behavioral Health Hospital host a booth at the Renegade Pulse Health Fair on April 18th.

Teena Bensusen (left) and Amber Smithson from the Behavioral Health Hospital host a booth at the Renegade Pulse Health Fair on April 18th.

The Renegade Pulse Health Fair brought together healthcare organizations, substance abuse support groups, law enforcement agencies and businesses from across the community to educate students on how to live a safer, healthier life.

BC’s Public Safety Department booth had equipment used during Public Safety’s Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) Trainings, which are offered for free to students and staff throughout the semester. Student Cadets also answered questions about Public Safety’s cadet program, in which BC students have the opportunity to work part-time helping ensure safety on campus. Public Safety is looking for cadets for the Fall 2018 semester, so if you’re a BC student who is interested in joining the program, contact the office at 395-4554 for more information.

Members of the Student Health and Wellness Advisory Commitee pose inside the Health Hut during the Renegade Pulse Health Fair on April 18th.

Members of the Student Health and Wellness Advisory Committee pose inside the Health Hut during the Renegade Pulse Health Fair on April 18th.

Thank you to the Student Health and Wellness Center including Dr. Ray Purcell and Stella Ponce for putting together the Renegade Pulse Health Fair, as well as all of the organizations who came out to support a healthier Kern County. See more photos at BC’s Smugmug.

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Revisiting Two Cultures

The disciplines of the humanities and the sciences can feel as if they’re worlds apart, but UC Santa Barbara professor Alendra Chang spoke at the Levan Center on Thursday to explain how she brings those two worlds together through the study of environmental humanities, which examines themes of ecology in art and mass media.

Alenda Chang

BC’s Energizing Humanities Grant funded the discussion from Dr. Chang, which was titled “Revisiting the Two Cultures.” Many artists, writers and others have begun to explore ways that art and popular culture can raise awareness of the importance of environmental causes, using data from scientific research to inform their work. Essays in scientific academic journals, and several new academic journals have signaled the emergence of Ecomedia as a field of study that examines cultural representations of the environment in media.

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Alendra Chang presents at the Levan Center

Environmental engagement in the humanities combines social and scientific engagement. Journalists, artists and others may feel uncomfortable with scientific approaches, just as many scientists may have trouble engaging in the humanities, but there is emerging awareness of the need to work together to find solutions to environmental problems.

Within the field of environmental humanities, Chang studies the ecology and ecomedia of video games. As editor of the Growing Games blog and a professor of media studies, Chang examines the carbon footprint created by e-waste and the excessive power used by gaming PCs, which can consume the equivalent power of three energy-efficient refrigerators, Chang said. Chang also attempts to dispel the notion that excessive video game use makes people feel detached from nature, citing multiple studies indicating that virtual reality can make people more conscious of their external environment and motivate them to take action on climate change.

During her time as a graduate student at UC Berkeley, Chang worked on an unpublished game about air quality based in the Central Valley that used actual wind speed and air quality data from the area. In the game, you play as a character from Fresno with asthma who must navigate how to keep their lungs clean in one of the worst places for respiratory health in America. In the game, the player’s asthma functions as a superpower that helps them perceive the environment in a different way.

Within the indie and academic games spaces, there have been a number of works that explore environmental humanist themes, Chang said. Some examples she listed included ThatGameCompany’s “Flower”, in which you play as the wind to bring life back to plants; Campo Santo’s “Firewatch”, which is about a man who takes a job as a fire lookout in the Wyoming wilderness; and “Walden, a game”, a project funded by the National Endowment of the Humanities that is essentially a digital recreation of Henry David Thoreau’s book “Walden”, one of the seminal works of the American transcendentalism movement in the 19th Century.

delano-grant-logo-neh_logo_horizontal_rgbWarm thank you to Alendra Chang for coming to BC, as well as Josh Ottum, Oliver Rosales and Andrew Bond from the Energizing Humanities cohort for providing a great learning opportunity for those who have never heard of environmental humanities or didn’t realize that computer games were capable of helping tackle important social issues.

Seen on Facebook

It was fabulous to see Jazz Day at BC gain some attention from the National Association for Music Education. Our local KCMEA, Kern County Music Educators Association, is a chapter of CMEA, which is an affiliate of NAfME. Congratulations to Kris Tiner and all our performing arts and music faculty, staff, and students.

Give them a Like and share by visiting this link on Facebook!

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College Council

Jason Stratton

Jason Stratton Presenting at College Council

It’s an exciting time to be at BC. As we gear up for Accreditation this year, our editing team revealed BC’s ISER (Institutional Self Evaluation Report) at College Council on Friday. College Council is a collegial, consultative, and oversight body designed to serve the good of the College.

Since the group met in Delano, we also broadcast the ISER reveal to the Panorama campus.

ISER reveal Broadcast

Sharon Bush, Kimberly Nickell, and Kristin Rabe tune in to the ISER Reveal from Panorama

Special thank you to the Editing Team including Nicole Griffin, Sarah Baron, Lesley Bonds, Sondra Keckley, the incredible Nick Strobel and EVERYONE who has contributed to BC’s Self Evaluation Report.  As Jason Stratton reminds us – It is OUR story!

ISER Team

Nicole Griffin, Sarah Baron, Lesley Bonds, Sondra Keckley, and Nick Strobel

Entree to Employment

On April 17, 2018, Bakersfield College and Kern High School District ROC teamed up to host the Biannual Entrée to Employment event. This career event brings together students and industry professionals over a fine dining experience to highlight social etiquette, conversations about personal and professional experiences, necessary soft skills, workforce expectations, education requirements, diversity of employment and career ladder opportunities.

The evening featured four different programs: Electronics/Robotics, Mechanized Ag, Child Development and Criminal Justice. While the industry professionals and students were busy networking, the Bakersfield College and ROC faculty dined separately to discuss articulation partnerships and dual enrollment opportunities. Thank you to the Career and Technical Education Department for making this night happen and a special thank you to the Renegade Room, Chef Suzanne and her Culinary Arts students for delivering a 5-star cuisine meal that delighted participants. Overall the event was a huge success and a true demonstration of our expanding partnerships with the community.

CTE: Business and Computer Science Employer Panel

Thursday April 19, 2018 the Career and Technical Education Department hosted a Business and Computer Science Employer Panel for students in the program. Professionals in attendance included: Leo Bautista, Senior Recruiter – Talent Acquisition, The Wonderful Company; Steven Alexander, Director of IT Security –  Kern Community College District; Keith Wolaridge, Owner – Professional Development Firm; Scott Burton, CEO – On-Stack; Clayton Montgomery, Certified Information Systems Security – Area Energy; Trulaine Woken, Owner – Cones Health Food; and Debbie Butler, Secretary Treasurer & Project Manager – On Stack. What started as an information only session blossomed into a networking event that allowed our students to exchange information with employers, submit their resumes for consideration, and engage in preliminary interviews. Thank you to all of the employers who stayed almost 2 hours longer to provide these exciting opportunities for our students. Special thank you to Beth Harrison, Job Development Specialist and Vikki Coffee, Job Development Specialist, for coordinating the event and Martin Perez, CCPT2 Manager, Master of Ceremonies for the event whose humor, grasp of the subject matter, and navigation of the dialog, cultivated an organic and insightful exchange between community professionals and students.

CTE Panel (2)

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Noche de Cultura

Thank you to the BC MEChA Club and the Office of Student Life for putting on a wonderful program with its annual Noche de Cultura, a colorful evening filled with an array of singers, musicians and other performers. Noche de Cultura was held April 13 at the Outdoor Theater.

Noche-de-Cultura

The night opened with Aztecan Blessing, followed by Jammin Island Hula, Group Folklorico Escuelas Unidas, Spoken Word by Tezozomoc, Carbajal’s Martial ArtsAcademy, and Banshee in the Kitchen. One big highlight was seeing the performance by SGA President and MECHA President Dezi Von Manos who gave a tribute to the late Tejana superstar Selena.

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Dezi Von Manos, BCSGA President

Ballet Folklorico Huaztecalli closed the evening with an awestruck series of performances. A special thanks to the program committee, Dezi Von Manos, president; Emmanuel Limaco, ICC Rep; Belinda Lopez Rickett, treasurer; Francis Benavente, member; and faculty adviser, Prof. Olivia Garcia.

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BC Drum Corps

BC’s Drum Corps is competing in Dayton, Ohio at the Winter Guard International Championships! Go Gades! The competition can be watched online at www.flomarching.com/ 

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Accessibility for All

This week, Bakersfield College had the pleasure of hosting an expert in accessibility, Gaeir Dietrich Director of the High Tech Center Training Unit (HTCTU) of the California Community Colleges, for two training sessions and a presentation over two days on Accessibility for All. You can read a short bio about Gaeir on the Accessibility for All Flyer.

On Tuesday, Gaier trained over 20 Bakersfield College faculty, staff and community guests from the Department of Rehabilitation and Kern Regional Center. She taught the difficult and intricate skills of making PDF forms accessible to everyone whether they use assistive technology or not.

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Twenty-four BC faculty, staff and community guests attended Wednesday’s Accessible Documents trainings. We were pleased to have employees of Kern Regional Center, Taft College, College of the Sequoias and Department of Rehabilitation join us to learn about making Word documents accessible. We all think we know how to use Word, though most of us are self-taught. Gaeir teaches how to make documents accessible, and in so doing, teaches how to use Word to our advantage.

Many of her lessons, just as with the forms, teach a better understanding of using the software that allows us to work smarter not harder. She teaches the helpful acronym: LIST for access! The lessons teach about Links, Images, Structure and Tables. Many of the attendees, just like the attendees for Forms, were heard to exclaim, “that’s how you do it” and “I always wanted to be able to do that, but I didn’t know how.”

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The Accessibility for All presentation followed where Gaeir explained the difference between access and accommodation when it comes to satisfying the legal requirements established by the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which requires public entities to make its resources accessible to people with disabilities. Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act concerns access for everyone, ensuring that all content posted electronically, as well as any software procured, can be used by anyone. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act concerns the provision of “auxiliary aids and services” to accommodate individuals with a particular impairment.

Everyone deserves the right to an education, and educational institutions have an obligation to ensure that we are not depriving anyone of the ability to achieve upward mobility and accomplish their dreams. Community colleges in particular must be sensitive to this issue due to the marginalized populations we serve.

“[Accessibility] is about allowing people the opportunity to step forward, which is what community colleges are all about,” Dietrich said. “By learning to make things accessible, you can make an important impact on someone’s life.”

Dietrich also offered advice for how to test accessibility in a new piece of software that schools are attempting to procure, as well as a few implementation models for how to enforce accessibility standards. Throughout the presentation, Dietrich emphasized the importance of finding the financial and personnel support to tackle accessibility issues from the top of the organizational structure on down. Remember if it is “DUMP’ed (Developed, Used, Maintained or Procured) on campus it must be accessible!”

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Terri Goldstein and Gaeir Dietrich

I would like to thank Gaeir Dietrich for coming to our campus to provide this important information and training for the BC faculty, staff and our community. We hope to have you return soon. A special thank you to Terri Goldstein, for arranging Gaier’s presence on campus, and inviting those interested both at BC and from others in the community. Thank you Kristin Rabe, Tracy Lovelace, Pam Rivers, Aricia Leighton and the BC Accessibility Task Force for supporting Terri. Thank you Tarina Perry for making arrangements and organizing all the events on campus. Thank you Eric Sabella and the Food Services staff for the delicious food and Jack Hernandez and the Levan Center for use of the Levan Center for the presentation. I would also like to thank all of the faculty and staff who took time at the end of the semester to learn more about accessibility.

According to the US Census Bureau approximately  19% of the US population has some form of disability, but whatever the number, BC strives to make sure there are no barriers to accessibility for anyone in the community.

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Student Success Stories

This is the time of year I am especially excited to hear student success stories and what our Renegades are planning to do after graduation. Ensuring that students can transfer to continue their studies and/or get jobs in their career of choice is our number one goal. Here are two wonderful examples I heard of this week. Congratulations!

Fredrico Navarro has been acccepted to UC Irvine Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Valeria Tapia has been accepted to UC Santa Barbara in Biology.

Special Delivery from Edwards Air Force Base

i-kwrmksh-x2The Edwards Air Force Base Civilian-Military Support Group is a non-profit organization that helps provide services to soldiers living at Edwards Air Force Base. The organization recently sent BC a book documenting its over 25-year history of making life a little better for those who dedicate their lives to serving our country.

The group hosts fundraising events that have helped provide an Internet Café for the officers’ dormitory complex, the Flags of Honor Memorial Park, and other resources for residents at the base. The book titled “25 Years Support Warriors” honors all of the organization’s contributions to the base over the years, and copies are being sent to US Air Force installations around the world as an example of how military bases can form important partnerships with their surrounding communities.  Thank you to Allen Hoffman for sending the book, which is now housed in our Veterans Resource Center.

Bakersfield Homeless Center Fundraiser

On Wednesday, the Bakersfield Homeless Center had a great turnout at their Annual Drive Thru Lunch Fundraiser. The lunch pickup took place at Compassion Corner at 22nd and L behind the KGET studios . All the proceeds went to helping families experiencing homelessness.

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Here’s a picture of Edie Nelson’s husband John Nelson, who picked up the special lunch for staff in the President’s Office who wanted to support this great cause. Thank you John, and thanks to all who contributed to this annual fundraiser!

John Nelson

CCCCO in Bakersfield.

Loved having lunch with Van Ton-Quinlivan, Executive Vice Chancellor of Technology and Workforce Development, when she was in Bakersfield.

Von Ton Quinllivan visits Bakersfield April 16 2018

Ed Coghlan, John Means, Van Ton-Quinlivan, Sonya Christian, Cindy Collier, Craig Hayward

Fun photos from Garden Fest:

Love this picture of “Uncle Paul” as Abby, Lily and Lexy Garrett call Paul Beckworth in this picture with Sandra Beckworth.

Paul Beckworth, Sandra Beckworth, Abby Garrett, Lily Garrett, Lexy Garrett April 21 2018

The Vice Presidents enjoying their saturday with their families.  Including little Miss Mae.

 

Fun photo of Tom Gelder

Very happy to see Chancellor Tom Burke at Garden Fest

Tom Burke with Corny Rodriguez

 

 

We are the World!
We are Bakersfield!
We are BC!

 

 

Sonya Christian April 20 2018 cropped

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever