It is the best of times

Good morning Bakersfield.  It is Saturday, May 28th, the start of the long Memorial Day weekend.  On May 30th, the last Monday of May in 2016, our nation will pause, as is our tradition, to remember those who have fallen.

Talking about wars and those who lost their lives, here is one of my favorite poems, In Flanders Fields, by John McCrae, that transports us out of the day-to-day vibrations of routine life to a place where we can experience the preciousness of life with all it has to offer.

In_Flanders_fields_and_other_poems,_handwritten

Source of the image:
Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=9677477

Browsing the website I came across Moina Michael’s 1918 response to McCrae’s Flanders Fields with her own We Shall Keep the Faith.

Red Poppy Field cropped

Oh! you who sleep in Flanders Fields,
Sleep sweet – to rise anew!
We caught the torch you threw
And holding high, we keep the Faith
With All who died.

We cherish, too, the poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led;
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies,
But lends a lustre to the red
Of the flower that blooms above the dead
In Flanders Fields.

And now the Torch and Poppy Red
We wear in honor of our dead.
Fear not that ye have died for naught;
We’ll teach the lesson that ye wrought
In Flanders Fields.

Source:
http://www.greatwar.co.uk/poems/moina-michael-we-shall-keep-faith.htm

Moina Michael 3 cent stampMoina Michael “kept the faith” symbolically by wearing a red poppy.  In 1948 the last of the 3c stamps had Moina Michael with the image of a poppy with the whole stamp branded red.

Source: http://www.usmemorialday.org/?page_id=2

When you donate to the Veteran’s of Foreign Wars outside of Vons you receive a small red poppy to wear.

This week President Obama visited Hiroshima, the first sitting US President to do so.  I tweeted the text of his speech which you can find at http://tinyurl.com/zssxm3x.  

Here is an excerpt:

 My own nation’s story began with simple words: All men are created equal, and endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights including life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Realizing that ideal has never been easy, even within our own borders, even among our own citizens. But staying true to that story is worth the effort. It is an ideal to be strived for, an ideal that extends across continents and across oceans. The irreducible worth of every person, the insistence that every life is precious, the radical and necessary notion that we are part of a single family – that is the story that we all must tell.

I would like to take this Memorial Day opportunity to also recognize our veterans.  Here are some links to previous posts:

  • Nov 11, 2015 post titled Veterans Day, Vet Fest and Remembering America’s Best at http://tinyurl.com/gpsrsx7. Thank you Trustee Kay Meek for your support. And thank you Paul Beckworth for your beautiful words.
  • Nov 11, 2014 titled Student Veterans and BC’s 2nd annual Vet Fest at  http://tinyurl.com/ztfsz5z
  • August 24, 2014 welcome email from Paul Beckworth to our Student Vets. http://tinyurl.com/hpkzapg
  • June 5, 2013. My first blog as president on our Student Vets from the Singapore Airport. http://tinyurl.com/zz2w5uq

 

Today’s Bakersfield Life Magazine:

Woke up today to the Bakersfield Life insert in The Bakersfield Californian which featured BC not once but twice.  How cool is that! The June issue is not yet available in the archives ( http://www.bakersfield.com/Bakersfield-Life-Archive ) but you can access it online as a subscriber to the Californian.

Dean Corny Rodriguez was featured by Laura Liera on page 76 under the People and Community Section.

BC’s Promising Professionals Program by Odella Johnson was featured on page 103 in the Last Word section. Thank you Tamika Payne for getting this picture which I treasure very much.

Promising Professionals 1 fall 2015 cropped.jpg

Sonya Christian with the Promising Professionals at Bakersfield College

 

ACBO Conference

ACBO-Anthony Sonya Steven May 24 2016

Holmes, Christian, Culpepper

Have you seen our Renegade Scorecard? It’s a collection of information about our students and our work at Bakersfield College. It includes not only data about our student demographics and student success, but an entire section on institutional effectiveness – including operational data.

This week, I had the opportunity to travel to Monterey to present at the ACBO spring conference along with Steven Holmes, Academic Senate President, and Dr. Anthony Culpepper, VP of Finance and Administrative Services. ACBO is the Association of Chief Business Officers.

Here is the title and description of our presentation:

Revisiting Fiscal Leadership through the Lens of Transparency and Participatory Governance.

The advantages of using a distributed leadership model is the focus of this panel as they discuss the process of changing a campus culture by removing silos through the leveraging of key participatory governance committees. The panel will explain how the positioning of fiscal leadership as a catalyst to galvanize the academic, administrative, and classified leadership can result in a shared vision of student success. Find out how transparency and full disclosure of budget resources can lead to stronger commitment to a college’s mission and vision.

Shannon has uploaded the presentation on the website https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/president/communications under “Presentations”.

Here is the direct link http://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/download/16301.

It was great seeing friends from my days in Oregon at the presentation–Jeff DeFranco and David Keebler.  Also our colleagues from across the district came to support our us — Tom Burke, CFO of KCCD; Arlitha Williams-Harmon from Porterville College and Gayle Lebsock from Cerro Coso.  Thank you!

I am so proud of all the work from our budget committee to make sure that we are spending our money thoughtfully and strategically, to really support our students and the work of the college.

I want to especially thank Steven Holmes and Anthony Culpepper, who are co-chairs on that committee. They have done astounding work!

Past BC SGA Presidents Shine:

Clayton Fowler (Prez: 2015-2016) blogs https://claytonjfowler.wordpress.com/

Alex Domiguez (Prez: 2014-2015) named CSUB Student Association president for 2016-2017.

 

BC Presenting at the Kern County Black Chamber of Commerce

BlackChamber

Keith Wolaridge, Sarah Baron, Michael Bowers

BC Public Health faculty, Sarah Baron, together with community members Michael Bowers and Keith Wolaridge presented to the Kern County Black Chamber of Commerce this week. The KCBCC and their President/CEO, Tomeka Powell are fantastic partners of BC through their support for education, personal development, and prosperity for the local African American community.

According to The State of Higher Education in California, “California is home to the nation’s fifth largest Black population, and though Black students today are more likely to graduate from high school and college than they were a decade ago, persistent opportunity gaps exist in college access and success and completion outcomes are still too low.”

For future generations and for A Better BC, it’s imperative that we work together, to engage, inspire, and reach out to our African American community – Together, we can identify existing barriers and strengthen our campus and support along the pathway to success.

Recognizing a Community Partner — Chevron!

ChevronAdamAlvidrez

Adam and Tiffani Alvidrez

We recognized Chevron earlier this spring as our Corporate Philanthropist of the Year.  Chevron was our first recipient and epitomizes what every charity wants in a donor.

Chevron has been strategic in where it directs its support.  It’s been focused by giving sufficient amounts towards its goals so that they can be achieved.

It has been consistent in its support so that plans can be made and implemented without fear of losing funding before they come to fruition. And Chevron has listened to what BC has needed and has worked to meld their goals with ours.

A key to that collaboration has been Adam Alvidrez, Chevron’s Policy, Government & Public Affairs Representative and Community Engagement Specialist. All of us at BC who work with Adam appreciate his ability to listen, to suggest and to figure out a way to make every situation a win-win for all involved.

Chevron is more than a community partner.  It is made up of people like Adam who want to do what’s right for our community and to help us make a better BC.

BC Students Compete in Solar Regatta

The Bakersfield College Engineers’ Club and Women in Science and Engineering Club participated in the 5th annual Northern California Solar Regatta held at the Rancho Seco Recreational Area in Herald, California, on May 14th.

BC students at the event included Eddie Berdon, Amanda Jones, Zeke Kennedy, Rey Fernandez, Frederick Mayer, Luiz Hernandez,  Summer Estes, and Danae Berhow.

In addition to taking part in three races (slalom, endurance, and sprint), the team gave a presentation on the design and structure of the Renegade Solar-Powered Boat. The judges said the BC team had a very impressive first-time entry.

I’m so proud of our students’ ingenuity and coordination in planning, constructing, testing, launching, and racing a solar boat! Our STEM programs are just the best!

Classified School Employee Week

The California School Employees Association (CSEA) treated our BC staff members to a luncheon of tacos and agua fresca on May 19 in celebration of Classified School Employee Week.

BC’s CSEA chapter E-Board did an awesome job organizing the event.

CSEA also coordinated the appreciation grams, which were sent out to staff thanking them for their dedication and service to BC.

And congratulations to this year’s BC CSEA Member of the Year Award, Anna Meyer, a payroll technician at the district office.

2016-CSEALuncheon (2).JPG

 

Ramon Puga:

Ramon Puga Sonya Christian May 27 2016

Sonya Christian, Ramon Puga

In my previous blogs I recognized individuals like Bill Parker and Dennis Spencer who are dedicated to BC and work behind the scenes.  Today let me spotlight Ramon Puga our manager for Custodial Services.  Ramon puts in long hours and you’ll see him around campus quietly working away.  Friday morning I walked up to the bookstore to get some BC T-shirts for a group that I was presenting to at 10:00 a.m.  And there I saw Ramon in the distance, working away.  I paused watching him and thinking how lucky we are at BC to have so much dedication of service.  Let’s toast Ramon today!

 

Kern continues great work through collaboration:

Rob Arias invited me to present to a group of educators from across Kern County on Friday, May 27th.  I so enjoyed seeing approximately 30 individuals gathered around a table focusing on getting our organizations aligned to help students move efficiently and effectively through their educational pathways from high school to college.  My presentation was titled Kern on the Move to recognize the significant work that was accomplished in 2015-2016.  Here is a link to the powerpoint  www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/download/16302

When there is great movement, innovation, and scaling of design usually there is a great deal of exhaustion and frustration when a piece needs to be fine tuned.  So what better way to capture this “good yet difficult” phenomenon than to bring in Dickens with

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,

it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness,

it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity,

it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness,

it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair,

we had everything before us, we had nothing before us,

Well…I attempted to get us to focus on the left hand side of the descriptors than the right. That is…

It was the best of times

it was the age of wisdom

it was the epoch of belief

it was the season of Light

it was the spring of hope

we had everything before us

🙂

We had leadership from Delano, Wasco, Taft, Kern High, ROC, KCSOS, KCCDC etc… all engaged in this work.

A big thank you to all these individuals for taking the time to be there.  Please note this is not a comprehensive list.

Rich McCrow – Bakersfield College

Laura Hickel – grant writer

Kim Behrens – Porterville College

Sam Aunai – Porterville College

Martin Lonza – Wasco

Robb Cobb – Wasco

Rob Arias – KCSOS

Terri Nuckols – DJUHSD

Blanca Cavazos – Taft HS

Bonita Steele – KCCD

Garrett Thomas – Porterville College

John Means – KCCD

Diane Baeza – KCCD

Letti Garza – KCCD

Brian Miller – KHSD

Valerie Garcia – McFarland

Whitney Soldati – McFarland

Justin Derrick – McFarland

Cindy Collier – BC

Liz Rozell – BC

Lisa Stephens – Cerro Coso

Bob Hawkes – KCCD

Mark Williams – Taft College

Susan Clipperton – Mohave HS

Sarah Baron – BC

Pam Dobrenen – KCSOS

any many more…..

 

Just wonderful!

It is indeed the best of time!

It is indeed a good time to be in Kern County! 

Is is indeed a good time to be at BC!

We are….BC!

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2 thoughts on “It is the best of times

  1. […] College President Dr. Sonya Christian for giving my blog and me a shout out in her latest President’s Blog. Check out her newest blog and give her a follow on twitter […]

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