Good morning Bakersfield….. It is March 17th, St Patrick’s Day and Neo’s first birthday.
Another week of booming activity at Bakersfield College and each activity so rich and profound in its impact on our students and our community. Let me start this week’s blog with the Sydney Bound Concert to send our choir to Australia and as Bill Thomas said, get them back.
Sydney Bound Concert
I want to recognize Trustee Kyle Carter first and foremost for his support of BC’s choir. When I approached him a few weeks ago and asked for his help to strategize how we could bridge the gap in funding to get our students to Australia to perform at the Sydney Opera House, he immediately went into action and the result was the March 10th concerts (one at 5:00 p.m. and the other at 7:30) with two amazing musicians Monty Byrom and Lydia Ranger, who performed pro bono alongside the BC Chamber Singers to raise the funds. Kyle opened up the Bakersfield Music Hall of Fame venue for this event and along with his wife Kim McAbee-Carter pulled off an incredible concert.
Next I want to thank Monty Byrom who brought out his band to support our students. He also traveled from Fresno to attend the Sterling Silver dinner to promote the March 10th event and then turned around the next day and traveled back. Just extraordinary. And then there is the woman with the best voice ever…Lydia Ranger. When Kyle Carter reached out to her, she unhesitatingly said yes. And you have got to check out the video at the end of this section of Lydia belting out Bridge Over troubled Water….. just amazing.
I also want to thank our major sponsors for the evening.
- Kern Schools Federal Credit Union
- Deborah & Philip Rosenthal, MD
- Klein, DeNatale, Goldner Attorneys At Law
- Rick & Lorie Kreiser & Guitar Masters
- Ken & Pam Byrum
- An anonymous donor
These two pictures were taken at the Sterling Silver. Steve Renock of Kern Schools and Ken and Pam Byrum.
Here are photos of Debby Rosenthal, Jay Rosenlieb of Klein Denatale Goldner, and Rick Kreiser.
And to the anonymous donor…..
Bakersfield College itself was in full force at the concert. This incredible evening was full of great music, friends, BC family, and fun. Thank you to all who came out to support our talented BC Chamber Singers in their dream to perform at the Sydney Opera House. Bakersfield is a community that makes dreams a reality! What an incredible and fun way to make this happen for our students.
Debby Rosenthal, Steven Holmes and Meg Stidham; Grace Comisso, Maria Wright and Jamal Wright.
Thank you to the BC team who worked to make this happen: Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Manny Mourtzanos, Jennifer Garrett, Jerry Ludeke, Michelle Pena, and Tom Gelder.
Thank you Tonya Davis and her husband, Chris and Nancy Hine, John and Julie Means from the District Office for coming out to this BC event.
Thank you to the deans who should up in full force.
Steve Waller and Andrea Thorson; Sonya Christian and Steve Waller
Was happy to see my friends Arlene and Lauro Braganza who love music and support our BC Chamber Singers; Karen Thompson and Pat Thompson who are strong supporters of BC.
Steven and Lori Holmes, Khushnur and Zav Dadabhoy, Bob Allison and Manny Mourtzanos
Michelle Pena helped with selling the tickets and here she is with her whole family
Some more pictures….
Love this picture of Lydia Ranger, Monty Byrom and Jennifer Garrett rehearsing.
Endee Grijalva snapped this great pic of our Early College Program Students from Arvin High School. Equity paid for their attendance and transportation to the event. We also had a group of Adult Ed Students able to attend via equity as well. Abel Guzman, Director, Delano Campus and Rural Initiatives said “This was a huge team effort, including Arvin HS. Ed Watts, the Principal, has been extremely supportive of the early college program.”
Jill Burdick performing Ron Kean’s Carry me Home
Monty Byrom, Lydia Ranger and the BC Chamber Singers did a phenomenal job with Bridge Over Troubled Waters
Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah is one of my favorite songs. Composed in the late 1980s when I first got to the United States as a foreign student the song was not an immediate hit but then gained popularity later. Beautiful blend of rock, pop and gospel music….. I love it. Let’s listen to Monty Byrom and Ken Burdick perform it.
Dolores: Rebel. Activist. Feminist. Mother.
To celebrate the upcoming television premiere of the documentary “Dolores: Rebel. Activist. Feminist. Mother”, Dolores Huerta and her family came to the Levan Center on Monday night to answer questions about the work she’s done as a community organizer for over 50 years. BC’s Olivia Garcia and Tina Mendoza gave a brief introduction about the Huerta family before hosting a screening of “Dolores”, which premieres on PBS’ Independent Lens March 27th. (Btw, doesn’t Olivia look absolutely gorgeous and happy in this picture?)
The Levan Center was so full that many audience members had to sit on the floor to enjoy the documentary, which is executive produced by Carlos Santana.
“Dolores” tells the story of how Huerta co-founded the United Farm Workers with Cesar Chavez to advocate for the rights of immigrant laborers, rekindling a nationwide sense of pride and identity in the American Latino community in the process. The film goes on to discuss Huerta’s history with the feminist movement, being beaten and hospitalized by a police officer in 1988, repairing the fractured relationship with her 11 children, and eventually leaving the UFW to help found a non-profit foundation in her name.
After the film, Dolores and four of her children walked into the Levan Center to a standing ovation, answering audience questions about the film and the Foundation’s current work advocating for Latinos in rural Kern County. Some of the Foundation’s recent successes include winning a lawsuit to redraw Kern County’s voting districts to secure a second Latino-majority district on the Board of Supervisors, as well as using the Foundation’s youth programs to develop political leaders from the local Latino community, including Jose Gurrola, the 23-year-old mayor of Arvin.
Other participants on the panel included Emilio Huerta, a lawyer who ran for Congress against David Valadao in 2016; Camila Chavez, Executive Director of the Dolores Huerta Foundation; Lori De Leon, Business Manager for the Dolores Huerta Foundation; and Juanita Chavez, Communications and Media Coordinator for the Dolores Huerta Foundation.
Dolores’ children didn’t get to spend much time with their mother growing up since she was so busy traveling around the country as a political activist, but they all said that they now understand the value of the sacrifices they had to endure in order to provide opportunities on behalf of all Latinos, and they’re inspired by their mother’s determination every single day.
Several BC faculty and staff were in attendance at the documentary screening, including Dean Cornelio Rodriguez, who shook Dolores’ hand at the end of the event, as well as nursing professor Noelia Citialin, who is Dolores’ granddaughter. I loved seeing Jay Tamsi in the room as well.
I’d like to thank PBS, the Levan Center, Olivia Garcia, Tina Mendoza and everyone who helped organize this event. Happy to see Jay Tamsi in this picture. Dolores Huerta needs to be well known even outside of the San Joaquin Valley, and hopefully this documentary spreads the word about one of the greatest labor organizers of the 20th and 21st centuries.
Spring Serenade Concert Band/Orchestra
Dr. Kathryn Kuby and the BC Concert Band/Orchestra held their Spring Serenade concert last night. This amazing concert featured ensembles performing music of varying styles and five very talented student soloists performing solo works with orchestral accompaniment. The following student soloists performed:
Sebastian Lee & Cheyenne Toussaint, Double Cello Concerto in G minor, RV 531, I (Vivaldi) Jaison Miles, Clarinet Concerto No. 3 in B-flat, I (Stamitz) Aflredo Ramirez, Clarinet Concerto No. 2 in E♭ Major, Op. 74, J. 118, I (Weber) Matthew Rose, Concerto in One Movement for Tuba and Orchestra (Alexey Konstantinovich Lebedev, Arranged by Allen Ostrander)
The work of the college is continuous and inspirational. On Monday, Admin Council gathered to recap and update each other on important campus happenings such as Testing and Placement Program Review, led by Kalina Hill and upcoming Registration Days, led by Steve Watkin. A wonderful presentation was given by Dr. Maria Wright on BC’s Academic Support Services highlighting all that we’ve done in previous years and where these services are headed.
National Walkout Day
While high school students around the country took a stand on Wednesday to raise awareness of gun violence, several BC students also held a short march on campus in solidarity with them. The march was held for 17 minutes, each minute representing a life that was lost during the Parkland, Florida school shooting in February.
Emmanuel Limaco of BC’s M.E.Ch.A. organization gave some brief remarks before leading the group through a triangular march between the Campus Center, Center for Student Success and Science and Engineering building. Each point represented Bakersfield, Sacramento, and Washington, DC, respectively.
“Our parents did not raise us to be afraid of going to school,” Limaco said. “We should never have to live in a world where school shooting is a reality.”
The Bakersfield College STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) Completion Coaching Team and the BC Math Club partnered in the first STEM Celebrates Pi Day event on March 14, 2018 (National Pi Day). The event celebrated the number Pi, 3.14159…. with free pizza Pi and fruit Pi for more than 200 students who attended. Students visited tables with various STEM-related activities to earn tickets towards prize drawings for BC swag, graphing calculators, and (of course) pies!
At exactly Pi 3/14 1:59 pm, faculty devoted to Pi got a pie in the face: (from left to right) Dr. Scott Peat (Biology), Dr. Joe Saldivar (Biology), Mr. Arnie Andrasian (Math). Dr. Kenward Vaughan (Physical Sciences), and Dr. Jon Brown (Math Club Advisor). It was a fun event with lots of useful information for students about tutoring services, supplemental instruction, counseling, and financial aid. The team is now back to planning more STEM events for this year and next year!
Dr. Joe Saldivar even has a fantasatic video on his twitter @DrJoeBio! Check it out here.
The International Student Organization (ISO) hosted several booths at the lawn in front of Counseling on Tuesday, educating students about all of the different cultures represented at BC.
Booths at the ISO’s Global Connection event were hosted by students and featured information about each of their home countries. Students played acoustic guitar and electric drums in the lawn, and several women wore traditional Mexican dresses while handing out chips and salsa.
The ISO also held a special dinner on Tuesday evening in the Fireside Room honoring the faculty and staff who work every day to make BC an inclusive space for international students. And the fabulous Manuel DeLosSantos took a beautiful photo of the food provided by BC Food Services.
Shafter Learning Center
David Franz, Shafter Education Partnership Director, gave a presentation to the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday morning talking about the Shafter Learning Center’s classes at BC.
During a discussion about the success of the Shafter Learning Center as part of the Supervisors’ series of informational sessions about education and workforce development, Franz mentioned the addition of psychology and sociology courses at the Shafter Learning Center, which is located inside the Shafter library. KCCD Trustee Romeo Agbalog, representing the organization Kern Citizens for Sustainable Government, also gave a public comment at the meeting praising the intergovernmental approach Franz has adopted with the Shafter Learning Center, bridging partnerships between local government, school boards and BC to provide tutoring and education to Shafter residents. Agbalog was also excited about the reduced commute that classes in Shafter offer for people in Wasco, who otherwise might have to drive to the Delano Center for classes, as well as Northwest Bakersfield residents who live closer to Shafter than the Panorama campus or BC Southwest.
Dr. Fontes Presents
On Wednesday, March 14 the Bakersfield College Delano Campus hosted Dr. Patrick Fontes of CSU Fresno. Dr. Fontes earned his PhD in History from Stanford University and visited the Delano Campus to offer a presentation on his oral history project, “Chicano Legacy of Fresno County,” funded by California Humanities. A fourth-generation Fresnan, Patrick’s presentation offered students and faculty an overview of Mexican American history in Fresno county, as well as highlighted oral history interviews with local Mexican Americans involved in the Chicano civil rights movement in Fresno since the 1960s—including Dr. Lea Ybarra of John Hopkins University and the Smithsonian Center for Latino Studies. Other highlights from the presentation included the history of the Ku Klux Klan in Fresno County, as well as the process of doing archival research and oral history. Delano Faculty member Dr. Chris Cruz-Boone attended with her Communication students and will be designing place-based pedagogy and assignments dealing with local history in Delano and the surrounding rural communities. “The overall goal of Digital Delano,” remarked History Professor and NEH Project Director Oliver Rosales, “is for students and faculty to examine more closely the rich histories of the San Joaquin Valley.
More information about Dr. Fontes’s project can be found at www.chicanolegacy.com.
This event was sponsored by Digital Delano: Preserving an International Community’s History, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), Cultural and Historical Awareness Program (C.H.A.P.), and Social Justice Institute of Bakersfield College.
Pictured above is Dr. Oliver Rosales, Professor of History, Coordinator, Social Justice Institute at Bakersfield College, and Project Director, Digital Delano, Dr. Patrick Fontes, Lecturer of History at Fresno City College and Fresno State, Elisabeth Sundby, MLIS, MBA Adjunct Librarian at BC Delano and Project Co-Director, Digital Delano, and Dr. Christine Cruz-Boone, Professor of Communications at Bakersfield College.
KCHCC Spotlighted in Renegade RIP
The Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (KCHCC) is looking for high school and BC students to apply for their annual Energy and Agriculture Academy. Student reporter Miranda Defoor of the Renegade Rip wrote about the Energy and Agriculture Academy in an article published last Sunday. BC is hosting all five sessions for the academy, which is a partnership between KCHCC, Aera and Chevron to prepare students for careers in STEM and Agriculture. Such great news about incredible partnerships in the community!
The Renegade softball team is one of the ten best in the state, according to an article published Thursday by Jon Mettus in the Bakersfield Californian.
The team is 17-4 going into today’s double-header against LA Valley College, on the heels of a six-game winning streak. Three of their losses are against the top-ranked College of San Mateo and Cypress College, as well as seventh-ranked Santiago Canyon College.
The Renegades’ success is propelled by the arm of freshman pitcher Kylee Fahey, who leads all California community colleges in strikeouts, and McKenna Valencia, who leads the team with a .448 batting average and 21 RBI.
Save the Date – Air Force Band
We’re excited to announce that the United States Air Force Band of the Golden West will be performing at BC once again on June 26th. Stationed in Travis Air Force Base in the Bay Area, the USAF Band of the Golden West has performed for an estimated 1.5 million people, according to their website, playing an exciting brand of marching band music for air force bases, recruiting squadrons, Bay Area sporting events and NASCAR races.
We’ll be serving dinner in the Fireside Room that evening before the USAF Band of the Golden West performs in the Indoor Theater. Seeing this extremely talented band is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and we’d love everyone in the community to be a part of it. Stay tuned for more information about this event as we get it finalized.
Last years event was a true hit!
Achieving the Dream Team
This week, we hosted Achieving the Dream in the BCSGA Boardroom on Wednesday to have a conversation with BC leadership about how we can improve educational access for our students and close the achievement gap. Achieving the Dream is dedicated to finding data-driven solutions to serving low-income students, students of color and other historically underrepresented student populations. BC has been a member of the program since 2013, and we’ve used their guidance and framework to initiate programs such as Summer Bridge, Multiple Measures and the Student Financial Empowerment Project.
Truth: Objective, Invented, Esteemed? – Gadfly Cafe
It was nice to see around 100 students, staff and faculty attend this month’s Gadfly Cafe. Everyone was invited to bring their lunch to Levan Center on Wednesday, March 14, for a lively round table discussion on timely issues.
Thank you Reggie Williams, Philosophy Faculty, for leading this lively discussion and raising the question of what is truth, and how we verify it. Seeing the students engage about their “true” beliefs and discovering that they may not be true, struggling to define the tangibility and verifiability of truth, and critically thinking about the impacts on religion, society and their own beliefs and morality is a testament to Reggie being the well deserved recipient of the 2017 Shirley Trembley Distinguished Teaching Award.
It was also nice to see Jerry Ludeke, Archives, Andrew Bond, English Faculty, Pete LeGrant and Anna Poetker, Philosophy Faculty, in attendance. We are truly fortunate to have such valuable learning experiences on our campus. The next Gadfly Cafe, Beauty: The Pursuit, Privileges, and Pressures will be held on Wednesday, April 11 at 12:30 in the Levan Center.
Greenfield School District
I shared photos in last weeks blog about the work some BC faculty and students have been involved in with Greenfield School District. You can read more about it in my post “Inspirational Speakers, Visitors, and Guests on Campus.” Chris Benker gave a skateboard demo this week and next week, they’ll visit the Planetarium. Thank you to Chris Benker, Daniel Ahn, Steven Tavoni, Deborah Rosenthal, and Kenward Vaughan.
The Kern County Economic Summit is an annual program featuring economists and business leaders who provide valuable information designed to educate and broaden perspectives on international, national, and regional economies. This week, BC was well represented. Photographed below is Mayor Karen Goh with BC’s Billie Jo Rice, Anthony Cordova, and Jason Dixon.
One of our BC graduates with an AA in Human Services sent a small write up detailing her experience interning with Human Services. Patricia Flores received the National award of “2017 Dementia Care Professional of the Year” with ADAKC . Her recognition is quite impressive and such an honor for our past student-intern and graduate. In her note, she said
“My name is Patricia Flores. I have been working in the human services field for 13 years. I currently work for Alzheimer’s Disease Association of Kern County (ADAKC). I was honored to receive a national recognition of 2017 Dementia Care Professional of the year from Alzheimer’s Foundation of America.
My journey started at Bakersfield College Human Services Internship Program. It was during the internship experience that I realized my strengths, weaknesses, and desire to find a passion in my career.
The Human Services internship helped me to narrow my career selection in Human Services field. At first I thought that I wanted to work with children. During one of the human services classes, a professor showed the class pictures of neglected children that gave me sad feelings and realized my weakness of being incapable to with neglected and abused children. I returned to class feeling that I needed to research other careers in the human services field. My first internship was in 2004 at ADAKC assisting with the daycare program with clients affected with Alzheimer’s Disease and related Dementias. First time working with Seniors and enjoyed it very much. My second internship was assisting in the payee program from Around The Clock. Being close to graduating and finishing up the internship, I was offered a job at the Payee program. After 4 years, applied in a case manager position at Around The Clock to get experience in Social Work while attending CSUB.
It was during my job as a Social Worker that I realized I had a passion to work with seniors. While working as a full time Social Worker, I completed my Bachelor’s in Science at University of Phoenix with a more flexible schedule. In 2011, I was hired at ADAKC as Director of Family Services Program assisting seniors, early on set clients, caregivers and family members in the journey of Alzheimer’s Disease and related Dementias. It was then that I also realized that I returned to my first internship and it has been 7 years working a ADAKC. ADAKC continues to be a site for students from Bakersfield Human Services Internship Program to complete internship opportunities. Having the experience in completing the Human Services Program, I am able to give back to the program in assisting and training students in the skills they need for their Human Services Career.
I am very grateful to my professors from the Human Services Internship Department. I hope that my journey and experience may assist and encourage students in the field of human services career to find their passion in their jobs. Because working in the career of your desire with passion you will all find success and happiness.”
Loved reading her story and I’m so proud to share it with you. Thank you Patricia for your service to others. #WeareBC!
It’s always a joy to see Jack Hernandez in the Community Voices section. You can also read it online here.
ACCJC Commission Development Workshop (CDW)
I spent much of the week in San Diego at an ACCJC meeting. The commission meets once a year in development and we bring in individuals from the field to work with us during some of the sessions. This year we had President Kindred Murillo and Chancellor Constance Carroll join us for the opening session of the CDW. You see them here is the picture along with Raul Rodriguez, Chair of ACCJC, Richard Winn, President of ACCJC, and Gohar Momjian, Vice President.
Then we had a “student achievement” data presentation and discussion with Darla Cooper and Craig Hayward. It was very informative.
Loved this picture of Jared Spring, Jessica Dreier, and Cheri Sixbey.
And this picture of Gohar Momjian and Stephanie Droker.
I am so glad that I managed to squeeze in time to walk the waterfront that is oh so beautiful.
That’s all for now.
Until next time.
With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.
the luckiest and happiest college president ever