Building A Better BC

At approximately 1:45 p.m. on July 14, 2016 the KCCD Board of Trustees unanimously voted to have a $503 M bond measure on the November ballot. A historic moment!

Board Meeting July 14 2016

The next day, Friday, July 15th, Bakersfield woke up to an amazing coverage of this decision on TV and in The Bakersfield Californian.

Enjoy the two pieces in the Californian — An article by Harold Pierce on page 2 and an endorsement opinion piece by Mayor Harvey Hall.

You can read Harold Pierce‘s article  here: http://tinyurl.com/zu6r7l6

 

I also want to  thank Mayor Harvey Hall, for his endorsement of the bond measure published here http://tinyurl.com/hdvx7b4

TBC_HarveyHall_7.15.2016

Mayor Hall also spoke in support of the bond at Thursday’s meeting. In his speech, he strongly encouraged the KCCD Board of Trustees to “Dream big for future students” and “be bold in our decisions.”  

One moment in his speech that stood out to me was when he requested that Board members pause to think about the number of lives that have been changed because of attending Bakersfield College… And again to think about the number of families who have been impacted because someone in that family earned a degree or certificate at BC. He said, “Bakersfield College IS a return on investment!”

Following Mayor Harvey Hall, BC Student Government Association President Matthew Frazer took the stand.

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Matthew Frazer addresses the Board of Trustees – and a packed crowd of BC supporters!

He opened by sharing memories and experiences he’s had “…growing up in a city where everyone can call Bakersfield College home.”

He made almost everyone in the room smile or chuckle when he spoke of our campus by saying…  “The 1950s look is simply not cutting it for me anymore.”

Wesley Lyons, one of our student veterans, also shared his thoughts.

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Wesley Lyons returns to his seat after his speech.

A statistic some of you may have heard, is that 22 veterans commit suicide per day. Their suicides are damaging to our community and opened my eyes that we need more direct services dedicated to these brothers and sisters. And while the campus community can help to Band-Aid it together, there are still lingering effects. The new Veteran Recourse Center will have a larger dedicated space for Veterans to come together to share, support, and most importantly to decompress. The space will also have dedicated tutors for soldiers who have not been dedicated learners in four plus years, and increased administrative support such as additional advisors to cope with an increasing demand for veteran specific knowledge. As a veteran I can tell you, that sometimes I need to know there is a space I can rely on that will help me calm my nerves and where like-minded support will be there for me to relate to.”

The room was packed and the message was clear: Dream Big – our future and the future of the students who attend BC depend on it. The support thus far has been overwhelming and the excitement bursts around us.

BC’s Bond Blue Ribbon Committee came out in full force to support the Board in taking this action.  I was sitting up front, so could not see everyone who was in the packed room.  So let me mention a few: Mayor Harvey Hall, Congressman Bill Thomas, Norma Rojas-Mora, Jay Rosenlieb, Karen Thompson, Michael Bowers, Jay Tamsi, Keith Wolaridge, Michael O’Doherty, Michael Turnipseed and others.

Arvin was present and attendees distributed shirts that said #BCinArvin and many supporters put them on instantly. City Manager Al Noyola addressed the Board along with Jennifer Wood the Director of Building Healthy Communities.  City Council Member Jose Gurrola, an alum of BC, was also present.

You can see more photos online at http://tinyurl.com/z2n6cj3

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Arvin

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Last weekend, I shared a bit about a recent visit to Shafter, but today I’d like to explore our neighbor to the southeast, Arvin – and the good things happening there with BC.

Arvin is a beautiful city with a long history of crops, cattle, and oil. Located about 15 miles to the southeast, this Garden in the Sun was named after a land owner’s son from Ohio named Arvin Richardson. The city is frammed by mountains along three sides and surrounded by fertile farmlands so it’s not surprising this small town boomed throughout the decades into a major center of agriculture.

Many families relocated to Arvin during the dust bowl period or “the dirty thirties,” including Dr. Jim Young’s family. Arvin has been his home ever since, even commuting daily to Bakersfield during his time at the KHSD AND KCCD. It was mentioned in an article on Bakersfield.com that he “loved making the drive each morning and afternoon” until his retirement in 1999.  (http://tinyurl.com/zb3coc3)

bc_pres_arvinLike cities across Kern County, Arvin is growing and so are the educational needs of the city. BC first offered 6-8 courses at Arvin High School in 2010-11 increasing the number of courses to 23 by 2014-15. We began implementing 1+1+2 Game Changer this year resulting in an even further increasing number of courses for fall 2016. (Take a moment to check out my August 5, 2015 blog about the Game Changer program http://tinyurl.com/hkm2p6y. A big thank you to Michael Turnipseed and Supervisor Leticia Perez for making this happen.)  With limited space at the current Arvin High School location, BC is investigating alternative facilities to offer classes and services for the rising Arvin student body.

This plan has great urgency as we discovered Arvin High School is preparing for a 16% increase in freshman this fall. This makes AHS the second largest school in the KCCD service area. Arvin and Lamont are among the most densely populated townships in Kern County ranging from 3,500 to 4000 citizens per square mile and have a thirty-percent poverty rate that challenges any in our nation. The education needs of this underprivileged community are an equity issue that has our immediate focus.

BC’s Drumline and Bugle Corps

Saturday, July 16th, night at the Memorial Stadium was magical.  The crescent moon was brilliant on this clear night as the seven Drum Corps teams from across California competed at Bakersfield College with over 2000 spectators in the stands.

Impulse – Buena Park, CA; Incognito – Garden Grove, CA; Watchmen – Riverside, CA; Blue Devils C – Concord, CA; Blue Devils B – Concord, CA; Vanguard Cadets – Santa Clara, CA; Golden Empire – Bakersfield, CA

Check out 16 seconds of the BC Drumline sound:

A group of us attended the event and it was so much fun.  With the hectic pace of work for everyone, I cannot remember the last time I did something social with a group.  Was wonderful seeing my good friend Karen Goh and catching up with her after such a long time.  It was an evening of great music, lots of laughter and tons of selfies. Thank you for coming out and celebrating BC — Kimberly Bligh, Bobby Bligh, Janet Tarjan, Nick Strobel, Lisa Strobel, Jay Rosenlieb, and Karen Goh.

 

For more pictures check out Karen Goh’s Facebook photos at http://tinyurl.com/zt33hqj

Tim Heasley has done an amazing job starting up Bakersfield College’s Gold Empire Drum and Bugle Corps. His passion and expertise has taken grown the group to 323 member, brass, percussion  and visual performers. Last night BC’s Corps competed in the DCI ‘Resound” and placed third. That is quite an accomplishment for a group in their third year.  Check out a video tribute to Tim Heasley from a high school classmate from West High who was sitting right behind us.

Mary Jo July 16 2016And what can I say about Mary Jo Pasek.  She works hard, she is everywhere, she is dedicated to BC and she is dedicated to this community.  Mary Jo tirelessly promotes the community and BC on social media.  She tirelessly works events even if it means giving our community members rides from their cars to the event in 102 degree temperatures.  She tirelessly volunteers her services for numerous good causes across the community.  Mary Jo, thank you for all that you do.  I am so glad you are at BC. #WeAreBC.

Also a special thanks to our stellar maintenance and public safety staff for making this event happen last night in our Memorial Stadium.  Chief Counts and Bill Potter please say a big thank you from me to your staff.

Chevron Retirees

On Friday, I really enjoyed presenting to the Chevron Retirees Association along with Karen Thompson.  It was a great great group with a lot of stories about Bakersfield College. I enjoyed visiting with both Betty Bean and Janice Meek.  Janice grew up in Lamont, attended Arvin High School and then came to BC where she was a Chamber singer. Janice retired this December as an Area Manager at Chevron and worked at Chevron for a total of 25 years.  

[Talking about Chamber Singers, did you see the July 6, 2016  article by Stefani Dias in the Californian about the play Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the Stars Theater? http://www.bakersfield.com/entertainment/2016/07/06/technicolor-dreams-at-stars.html.  There was a shout out the BC’s Chamber Singers.  Here is the line:  “The show is a mix of seasoned performers and new faces, Forzetting said, including members of Bakersfield College’s chamber choir.”]

Chevron was the recipient of the Bakersfield College Foundation award for philanthropy.

Here are some previous blog posts about Chevron:

Feb 4, 2013: Thank you Chevron:
https://bcpresidentblog.com/2013/02/04/thank-you-chevron/

April 9, 2016: BC and the Community –Relationship Runs Deep:
https://bcpresidentblog.com/2016/04/09/bc-and-the-community-relationship-runs-deep/

May 28, 2016: It Is The Best of Times
https://bcpresidentblog.com/2016/05/28/it-is-the-best-of-times/

June 25, 2016: Celebrating Our People:
https://bcpresidentblog.com/2016/06/25/celebrating-our-people/

Rocky, the Raccoon

An unexpected guest made his way to the north side of the Admin building on Thursday morning. Officer Marco Sifuentes and Ramon Puga worked simultaneously to get our little Raccoon the help he needed and by that afternoon, a team from the Animal Capture Wildlife Control came to help our little friend.

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And good morning Bakersfield.  It is Saturday July 16, 2016 and a good day to be a Renegade.

sonya at Rotary April 30 2015

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next Saturday.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya ….. the luckiest and happiest college president in the whole world

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2 thoughts on “Building A Better BC

  1. Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg July 16, 2016 at 9:16 am Reply

    This is a historic time for BC. We, our community, our employees and our students will all be part laying the foundation for the future. Thanks President Sonya Cristian for keeping the vision clear and inspiring us to build A Better BC.

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