A Wonderful Week at BC and Beyond!

Good evening from Tempe Arizona as I start this blog to make sure I get it done and out on Saturday (2/4/2017) rather than Sunday.  I don’t want to get a text from my friend like I did last Saturday night when I was on the train heading back to Bakersfield from Sacramento: “Are you okay? I am worried about you.  Have not see your blog yet.”  When I responded saying that I was busy preparing for my presentations in Sacramento and that I will probably get it out on Sunday he responded with something like: “well…ok then. You are excused. I’ll read National Tweets instead.  Altho I must say it will not be the same.”  lol….so funny! National tweets, now our national news in 140 characters or less. 🙂

Tempe Bridge Feb 2 2017.jpg

james-elmore-founding-dean-of-school-of-architecture-asuThe Tempe Town Lake Pedestrian Bridge is a beautiful piece of architecture.  I walked the bridge several times during our stay at the Tempe Mission Palms for the AACC Pathways Institute #4. On March 18th, Tempe City Council will dedicate the bridge to the man whose passion led to the creation of Tempe Town Lake, James Elmore, ASU’s founding Dean of Architecture.

 

Here is an excerpt from the Tempe City Hall website

“James Elmore was a champion of Tempe Town Lake for more than 40 years, from encouraging the School of Architecture to take on the Salt River as a project to bringing the student ideas to those who could make them reality,” said David Scheatzle, a Professor Emeritus for the ASU College of Architecture. “Associating his name with the beautiful pedestrian bridge at the west end of the Tempe Town Lake seems most appropriate for someone so dedicated to this vision.”

Here is a nice piece about the bridge.  Check it out: http://tinyurl.com/jnpvsk5

AACC Pathways Institute

Here is the BC team at the  AACC Pathways Institute.

bc-gang-in-tempe-feb-3-2017

Sonya Christian, Jennifer Johnson, Janet Fulks, Maria Wright, Lesley Bonds

BC was one of 30 colleges selected nationwide through a competitive process to participate in a 3-year Guided Pathways initiative.  The Tempe, AZ institute was the fourth of 6 institutes designed to help us focus our work on four key pillars: 1) clarifying students’ paths, 2) getting them on a path, 3) keeping them on the path, and 4) ensuring they’re learning.  This institute focused on ensuring meaningful learning.  The BC team dug into our student learning outcomes, discussed ways to engage faculty in cross-disciplinary pedagogical professional development, and identified areas of focus for our academic support services agenda moving forward.  And we had fun doing all of this.  Here are some photos to prove it.

 

Last semester, Janet Fulks and Maria Wright led student and faculty focus groups that gave us a lot of insight into the BC experience from each perspective.  We were able to use the focus group themes to drive discussion throughout the institute, and our very own Dr. Janet Fulks was invited to present in Tempe on faculty-led models for assessing student learning outcomes.  BC has the best faculty and staff!  Thanks so much to our Institute #4 team: Lesley Bonds, Janet Fulks, Jennifer Johnson, and Maria Wright.

IEPI Workshop on Guided Pathways: Here are more pictures from the workshop in Costa Mesa last week.

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Nick Strobel

Nick Strobel

Enjoyed reading Nick Strobel‘s piece in the Californian today.  I love Nick’s writing.  Here is one of my favorite paragraphs from his article

A couple of cool space exploration stories came into my inbox recently. The first was the stunning view of the waves in Saturn’s rings made by the tiny moon Daphnis. Daphnis is just 5 miles along its longest dimension and it clears out a gap 26 miles wide in Saturn’s outer A ring. When the Cassini spacecraft came to within 17,000 miles of Daphnis during a recent ring-grazing pass on its highly tilted orbit, Cassini took a beautiful image that shows the ripples or waves made in the A-ring by the weak gravity of Daphnis. The image is so sharp that you can see a faint thin tendril of ring material pulled up from the ring by Daphnis. Absolutely gorgeous and to know that it’s all just gravity at work!

The Bakersfield Californian does not have it posted yet on their website.  But Nick has it on his planetarium website: http://tinyurl.com/zybbxmo

 

Trice Harvey a legend

trice-harvey-picture-by-julie-rogers-1994

The picture is by Julie Rogers in 1994.  You see Trice Harvey with Carl Sparks and Ed Jagels.

James Burger did a nice story on Trice Harvey in The Bakersfield Californian.  Here is how Burger starts the story:

Trice Harvey was the kind of guy who spawned stories, yarns and the occasional tall tale.
There was the time Harvey barbecued ostrich meat and served it to his fellow legislators to try to convince them to make ostrich a farm product, not an exotic item, to exempt it from a tax.
Or the time he wore a football jersey that was half-Bakersfield College and half-Taft College to a game between the two rival schools.
Or the time the notoriously camera-friendly former politician turned suddenly shy as a Fish and Game warden began eyeing the catch he’d had made that day — without his fishing license.
There are probably hundreds of those stories. Maybe thousands.
But on Tuesday, the former Kern County supervisor and California assemblyman’s story came to a close at age 80.

For more click on http://tinyurl.com/za8g7o4.

I briefly refer to Trice Harvey in the March 19, 2016 post on Kay Meek.  Here is the link
https://sonyachristianblog.com/2016/03/19/a-whirlwind-week-at-bakersfield-college/

 

BC Commercial Music Ensemble Open Rehearsal

On Wednesday afternoon, the BC Commercial Music Ensemble rehearsal offered a chance for students to perform original compositions and arrangements of popular songs. The ensemble has nearly doubled in size since first being offered last semester as a part of unveiling the new commercial music program. At the beginning of the semester, Professor, Dr. Josh Ottum notified students that their first performance would be happening in a few weeks. Their expressions were equal parts fear and excitement. This expectation set the bar high and I’m overjoyed to say that the students exceeded his expectations, putting together six songs in just three rehearsals. We are so proud of of our students and look forward to seeing this ensemble grow and become an essential part of BC and the greater Bakersfield community.

What would people say about you if you died tomorrow?

The most recent speaker to present at the Levan Center opened the discussion with a topic many of us do not often think about: What do we want others to say about us after our death? BC alumni and former BC professor, Dr. Crystal Dea Moore, used her lively and contagious personality to interact with the students, faculty, and staff in attendance on the importance of making an after death plan, before our passing.

Dr. Moore has published a number of readings regarding end-of-life decisions, as well as worked as a licensed social worker with Veteran’s Affairs (VA). Moore is currently a Professor and Associate Dean of the faculty at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York.

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Walking into the room, there were very few places to sit as the room was full of students of all ages and staff members of all types. The room was alive with discussions and questions of what the presentation might include. As the introductions began, the audience fell silent. Becki Whitson of the Behavior Science Department described Moore as that student that “everyone knew or wanted to be.” Moore’s personality shined throughout her presentation as the crowd erupted in laughter at her jokes.

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Moore explained the importance of asking questions when speaking to a doctor. For example: when they used words that you may need a dictionary to decode. She expressed how many of her Veteran clients would tell the doctor that they understand what was told to them but in reality would have the definitions misunderstood. She asked the crowd to write down a two sentence response to a simple question: What would people say about you if you died tomorrow?

Such a simple question… but, how often do we actually think about it? After a brief moment to write down our answers, Moore asked for a “few brave souls” to share their answers. Throughout her presentation, Moore stopped to take any questions and continuously explained and defined words that might cause any confusion. The presentation was unlike any other because when it comes to talking about death and the taking the steps to handling things that relate to death and dying, many of us do not know where to start.

Thank you, Dr. Crystal Dea Moore for giving us all the tools to tackle these difficult situations in life.

Outreach at BC

Our dedicated outreach team went out to Stockdale High School this week to conduct Matriculation Services for the upcoming Summer and Fall semesters at BC. We had an all-time record high for one day with 140 students assessed on Thursday and 80 scheduled to take the assessment the following day, on Friday the 3rd. WOW! 220 students!! Thank you to Kalina Hill, Josie Guillen, and the whole outreach team for making it happen!

stockdale

1.6 Million Awarded for the Enhancement of Alternative Fuel and Vehicle Tech Training Programs

 This past summer, the Advanced Transportation and Renewable Energy Sector released a competitive solicitation awarding a total of $1.6 million to address the regional workforce technical training needs for workers who will be employed by fleets, dealerships, independent shops and similar organizations.

This funding from the California Energy Commission was awarded to:energy-commission

  • American River College
  • Bakersfield College
  • Cerritos College
  • Chabot College
  • City College of San Francisco
  • College of the Desert
  • Cypress College
  • Rio Hondo College
  • San Diego Miramar College

Each of these colleges has a demonstrated need for program and course enhancements in their regions. Over the next year, they will execute carefully designed plans to train students, create curriculum, purchase equipment, and educate faculty on the latest industry technologies.

The grant was written by Andrew Haney, with contributions from Vic Posey, Justin Flint, Dan Johnson. Sarah Baron & Bonita Steele helped with the writing. BC got ~$80K from the Grant with specific equipment they can purchase.  We Are BC!

See more by visiting http://www.4nrg.org/cec-awards/

What a Night for Musical Talent in Bakersfield

It was great to see from Jennifer Garrett’s Facebook that BC was recognized during such a great event. She said,

Enjoying a beautiful night of music at Grand Night with 700 band, orchestra, and choir students in Kern County. Our new BC Band and Orchestra Director, Dr Kathryn Kuby led the band and did a fantastic job! Also saw our BC Jazz Band Director, Kris Tiner receive the Jazz Educator Award from Kern County Music Educators Association and my friend and colleague, Dr Angel M. Vázquez-Ramos received the Collegiate Music Educator Award. What a night of music!

grandnight

More on Jen Garrett:

I continually hear about the wonderful things happening on high school campuses across this great community. Jennifer Garrett recently visited Frontier High School to check out their musical talents and incredible students.

jengarrethsvisit

A final word on Jen Garrett:

Our Choir Director Jen Garrett and the BC Choir are everywhere.  It is amazing that the petite Jen Garrett has all the energy in the universe!  Here are members of the BC Choir that were in Stars production on “The Drowsy Chaperone” yesterday!

choir-performing-at-the-stars-feb-3-2017

Caley Mayhall, Nichole Heasley, Ken Burdick, Jake Wattenbarger, Madeline Engel, and Caitlin Wolfenstein all in this picture with Jen.  Julie Verell did lights for the show but did not make it into the picture. They were all fantastic.

Seniors and BC Dancers

The BC Cheer team is hosting a halftime performance this weekend with the Brookdale Senior Community cheer team. They’ve been choreographing and practicing for over 4 weeks and their performance is at the men’s Basketball game this weekend. These pictures are absolute joy so I had to share. Great job BC Cheer team!

I hope you’ll cheer on our BC Renegades with them at the next home game you can attend! Go Gades!

Thank you Heather Foss and Becki Whitson!

BC Athletics

BC Track 5 individual winners: Congratulations to BC’s track teams! With five individual wins and two relay wins last weekend. Check it out at http://tinyurl.com/jewdlaa

BC Basketball: Great article by Jeff Evans in The Bakersfield Californian.  Here is an excerpt:

But when the team got on the bus to return to Bakersfield, Dahl gave each player a name of a Holocaust victim and an assignment: Research that person and give a report to the team the following Monday. Dahl said she got the idea after reading about Holocaust Remembrance Day, which is held each Jan. 27 so the world will never forget the 6 million people, mostly Jews, who were killed by the Nazis in World War II. This year the remembrance was the day before the Canyons game.
Dahl said it was a special practice when the players shared their research.
“I hated the loss, but I loved the moment on Monday,” Dahl said. “One of the great coaching moments in my life.”

Check out the story: http://tinyurl.com/j324ofk

BC Football: Relationships are critical to spreading the word about our incredible athletic programs, and that’s how BC Football’s illustrious legacy came to be a part of KGET’s Super Bowl Sunday coverage!

Assistant Football Coach Tyler Thompson talked with a friend about one of his favorite things; being a Renegade and having his name associated with a football tradition that stretches back to when leather helmets were worn.

“I know Tab well,” he told Sports Information Director Francis Mayer recently in regard to KGET’s Tabitha Mills, “We went to school together, and I just told her, ‘you’ve got to hear some of these stories from our legends. They are incredible.'”

That simple exchange spurred more conversations, including with KGET’s General Manager Derrick Jeffries-who’s brother played BC football-and they decided to pursue the stories. Mills tracked down Coaches Carl Bowser and Gerry Collis among others-legends indeed-at one of their favorite Basque haunts for lunch recently…and rumor has it that the footage captured is priceless!

We’ll be able to judge for ourselves-and with pride-this Sunday at 5pm. An encore will run Monday at 5pm as well.

Way to go, Coach Thompson! You rock!

Diego Monterrubio, BC Adjunct Art faculty being highlighted at Metro Galleries First Friday

Here you see Diego Monterrubio at the Metro gallery with Prof. Richard Marquez and Corny Rodriguez, Dean of Instruction.

 

Congratulations Faith Bradham

faithbradhamHave you been to the BC library recently? The staff are incredible. Second year librarian, Faith Bradham, was awarded a scholarship to attend the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) annual meeting in March in Baltimore. As you can see from the link, she will be in good company from around the country, the Virgin Islands, Canada, and NYU Shanghai.  One of the keynote speakers is Carla Hayden, the current and 14th Librarian of Congress. She is the first woman and first African-American to fill the post.

Check Faith Bradham out in the Early Career Section: http://conference.acrl.org/scholarships/

Letter Worth Sharing

andrea-thorson-phone-banking-oct-2016

Andrea Thorson

I often say I’m the luckiest and happiest college president ever and it’s because I have the honor and joy to work with the best colleagues — the best students, the best staff, and the best faculty. I’d like to share a letter that hit my inbox this week. Thank you, Amber Smithson, for allowing me to share.

 

To whom it may concern,

All too often in our society today we focus on the negative and are quick to express our dislike or distaste in people and or events. In a world of negativity and altercations however I have learned to focus on that which empowers and strengthens me. I try to see the world with what it can offer me and I take those tools that I am given and try my hardest to pay it forward whenever possible. As a single mother of four when I decided to go back to school and get my degree at a later age in life, to say that I was apprehensive is to speak lightly of how I felt. With my nerves high and my self-doubt even higher, knowing I would ultimately be one of the oldest students in all my classes I returned to Bakersfield College 3 semesters ago. When I returned I was confident that I wanted to get my degree in business administration. Just by accident I decided to take a Public Speaking class as one of my very first classes. By accident even more, I walked into the wrong class because all I noticed was the last name and paid no attention to the CRN number attached to the class. It was by those “accidents” that I came upon a professor who has ultimately changed my life.

Professor Andrea Thorson has been instrumental in some amazing changes in my life. I went from an insecure, unaware, naive, and ignorant student to a confident, aware, and purposeful individual. I changed my major from Business to Communications and now have a purpose in life that I never thought I would have. I watched every day in class this remarkable professor teach and inspire her students with poise and knowledge that I hope to one day be able to share with my students when I too become a professor. She has brought me to tears, laughter, and deep soul searching. I learned more in one semester then I had all my life. I have been able to take what I have learned in her classes and incorporate them into my personal life. She renewed my faith in people by showing such compassion and desire to help each and every one of her students. I truly admire what she brings to the classroom each time she steps foot in there. She pushes you to do your best and discover who you are inside and what you are capable of achieving.

              

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Amber Smithson

I am sure that in the positions you hold, you must hear too often about the “bad” professors or you hear from the students who are angry because of their grades and therefore blame it on the so-called deficiencies of their professors. I am not writing this accolade because I am a straight A student or because school comes easy to me. On the contrary I typically have to study twice as hard as someone half my age. I work hard for my grades and when I do receive A’s it’s because I have gone above and beyond to earn them. I am writing this letter because there are some amazing professors at Bakersfield College and Professor Andrea Thorson is one of them. I owe so much to this professor and I only hope that when I have achieved my goals and am able to return to Bakersfield College as a professor myself, I will be half the instructor that she proves to be each and every day.  Sincerely, Amber Smithson

 

Check out this video that Prof Manny Fernandez did on our Baccalaureate Program in Industrial Automation

And here is a picture I forgot to post last week when I ran into the Leadership Academy in Sacramento.  I was there to present to the California Community College Trustee Association.  Both Chancellor Tom Burke and Trustee and retired Congressman Bill Thomas were also in Sacramento.

Leadership Academy in Sacramento Jan 29 2017.jpg

sonya-christian-feb-2-2017-tempe-arizona

Sonya Christian, loving Renegade life in Tempe, Arizona, Feb 2 2017

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya — the luckiest and happiest college president ever

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5 thoughts on “A Wonderful Week at BC and Beyond!

  1. Michael O'Doherty February 4, 2017 at 7:59 pm Reply

    Love reading all your activities. Still amazed you can get to all those places and still get anything done. We had a good meeting on Thursday and everyone was signing your praises. Great work on the new line item in the CA budget.

    • SonyaChristian February 4, 2017 at 8:33 pm Reply

      Thank you Michael O’Doherty for taking time to write a comment. And thank you for all that you do for Bakersfield College. #WeAreBC!

  2. becki whitson February 5, 2017 at 9:39 am Reply

    Sonya,
    I always look forward to reading your blog. Thank you so much for your coverage first of all of the Levan presentation by Dr. Crystal Moore. She was indeed a tremendous presenter and we were so lucky to have her here. The throng of students who were there truly benefited but I was very disappointed in the turnout of faculty and administration, especially for one of our own.
    I also want to thank you for the coverage of the senior ladies who came to cheer with us on Saturday afternoon. They were so excited and had a wonderful time being with the BC Cheer Team. Our team works so hard and gets so little recognition. I really appreciate you taking the time to highlight them. I am sorry I missed you at the lady Renegades’ game but my father-in-law is close to leaving this world and I left early to be with family. I am sure my team was happy to visit with you.
    Thanks again for your wonderful words on both occasions, becki

    • SonyaChristian February 6, 2017 at 6:29 am Reply

      Thank you Becki for taking the time to write. There are so much amazing things that we do at BC and what I cover is not even the tip of the iceberg. #WeAreBC.

  3. […] July 27-29th, Carly Mattern is listed as a BC student studying nursing, and Madeline Engel has been featured in this blog previously for her performances in the BC Choir. It’s awesome to see BC students out in the community being their best selves. Will you see the […]

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