California comes to Bakersfield

Good morning Bakersfield….it is Saturday, June 3, 2017. A great day to be a Renegade.

With Monday, May 29th, being Memorial Day, the college was closed. Facebook was active with messages honoring those who gave up their lives for the country.  And later in the evening, BC’s faculty lead for student veterans sent a Memorial Day message that reverberated across the CA Community Colleges.

AdminPaulBeckworthChancellor Dr. Eloy Oakley, California Community College Veteran Counselors and Veteran Services Personnel,

Today is Memorial Day.

Today is the day we honor our fallen brothers and sisters.

What we do everyday is not a sacrifice.  What we do is a honor.  We are honored to help those who survived the fight. We get to go help those who are here with us, now.  As we go back to work tomorrow, let us remember TODAY, those who gave all.  Those who gave all will never be California Community College students.  They will never study MLA format or do a CSEP.  They will never fill out Post 9/11 GI Bill paperwork.  They will not stroll into your veteran center and ask about voc rehab.  They will not ask for hot coffee, or why they cant take more than 7 credits in summer school.  Although we cannot help them, we can help their brothers and sisters who survived the fight.

PaulBeckworthOur bbqs are done for the day.  It is late Monday night.  Tomorrow is a new day.  As we go back to work, let us strive to honor those who will never enter our hallowed halls by honoring the student-veterans who do.  Honor them and their dependents.  Our task is not easy.  Some of us suffer from “Compassion fatigue.”  What is demanded of us is not expected of anyone else on our campuses.  Veterans suffer 22 suicides a day and we feel each one.  I am proud of all of you and the work you do for our student-veterans.  Let’s face it, we love all our students, but, there is something about those veterans with big bushy beards, tattoos and bad language.  They tug at our hearts and they make us want to try a little bit harder.  Considering what they did for us, what we do is a small price to pay.

To those of you on this list serv who lost friends or family, please know our hearts and prayers are with you tonight.  From Bunker Hill to Fallujah, from Iwo Jima to the Triangle of Death, let us remember Abraham Lincoln’s words at Gettysburg, “We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting place to those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. IT IS ALTOGETHER FITTING AND PROPER THAT WE SHOULD DO THIS.”

Paul Beckworth Cynthia QuintanillaTonight we remember.  Tomorrow we do the work: It is all together fitting and proper that we should do this.

Let us remember.

Respectfully,

Paul Beckworth
History Professor
Veterans Faculty Lead
Bakersfield College


Leadership Matters Summit

Eloy Oakley keynoting at the Leadership SummitIt’s another great week to be a Renegade, especially in light of our recent “Leadership Matters: Re-Imagining Leadership to Sustain Transformative Change to Advance Student Success & Equity” summit that took place on campus last week on Wednesday May 24th. It was an absolute pleasure and privilege to be able to host this remarkable and motivating day focused on leadership. Colleges from all over California met to discuss the Guided Pathways Initiative and how we can better accommodate and serve our community and our 2.1 million students across California.

With one year of work completed in developing the project, $150 million of one-time funding in the Governor’s budget for implementing Guided Pathways at all of the California community colleges, and an excellent slate of speakers and panelists, we knew the summit was going to be well-attended!

shawn-whalen-oct-11-2016Before I go any further, I must recognize Shawn Whalen of College Futures who has been committed to the equity and transfer agenda to community college students.

I’m so thankful that Chancellor Eloy Oakley agreed to come to Bakersfield and launch the summit. With great passion he made it very clear why Guided Pathways is critical to the future of California Community College System in the eyes of the state legislature and how there is no other institution better positioned to help California move forward than our 113 colleges.

Sonya Christian Leadership Matters SummitHere is my introduction of Chancellor Eloy Oakley

I have good news. At the head of the California Community College system, the largest higher educational system in the nation, that serves populations that are most in-need, we have a leader.

We have someone who is moving the dial on student success; someone who builds coalitions to make the impossible possible; someone who sets agendas that have national and statewide impact.

Back when it was first announced that Eloy Ortiz Oakley was our new Chancellor, I heard excitement and anticipation; that community colleges are in good hands, and to expect a lot to happen, – a lot to happen quickly, well, and sustainably, as it did at Long Beach City College under President Eloy Oakley.

We have a leader – I remember being in the audience at the senate budget committee, with the senators asking tough questions, of the $850M that has been invested in community colleges, and why we were back asking for an additional $150M for Guided Pathways. And he explained calmly, clearly and confidently that that the prior investments had laid the foundation, and that the $150M was what was needed to bring it together, to bring it to its tipping point and that the results would be exponentially better.

When he was done speaking, those legislators who were only able to see a block of marble, were able to see that angel in the marble that Eloy Oakley was attempting to free.

We have a leader – Chancellor Oakley brings incredible clarity on how to make local empowerment and systems development work together to maximize talent…to maximize resources.  His college promise initiative is all about empowering colleges to create local coalitions with their high school, industry and university partners to clear pathways for students. And then with the Guided Pathways investment to develop technical assistance and systems to meet each community college where they are and to move them to greater levels of performance.  Because remember, over 2 million students are counting on us.

This clarity in bringing together many worlds is exciting and promising. I will tell you dear friends that there has never, ever been a better time to be in the community college system, in California. There has never been a better time for vision, and hope, while keeping a steady eye on the realities and challenges we face.

We have a leader who with us will say with confidence, “Si se puede”.

Friends, I give you that leader, our Chancellor, Eloy Oakley.

Watch Chancellor Oakley’s Keynote Address here:

LeadershipMatters-JoshWyner-1

Josh Wyner of The Aspen Institute

The first session of the summit explained how leaders build urgency and college-wide ownership for change. Moderated by Josh Wyner, Executive Director of the College Excellence Program at the Aspen Institute, three leaders from three different constituencies described their communication strategies to establish urgency and share a vision for long-term and scalable change: from the trustee perspective, Bill McGinnis (trustee, Butte-Glenn Community College District); from the faculty perspective, Julie Bruno (Professor of Communication Studies at Sierra College and President of the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges); and from the administration perspective, Wolde-Ab Isaac (President of Riverside City College).

Panel 1 Leadership Matters

Session1-Panel

Bill McGinnis, Julie Bruno, and Wolde-Ab Isaac

LeadershipMatters-Angelica Garcia-1

Angelica Garcia

The second session “Psychology of Change” moderated by Angelica Garcia, Vice President of Student Services at Skyline College, focused on the deeper level at which change leadership must be cultivated and exercised. Cleavon Smith (Professor of English at Berkeley City College), Irene Malmgren (Vice President of Instruction at Mt. SAC), and Andrea Neptune (Professor of English and Academic Senate President at Sierra College) shared how they were able to get authentic engagement and establish trust among faculty and trust that led to co-ownership for the systems change occurring at their colleges. While Guided Pathways is the integrating framework, the panelists showed how the details of creating the change depend on the particular history and culture of the college.

Panel 2 Leadership Matters

Panel 2 at Leadership Matters

Session2-Panel

Irene Malmgren, Cleavon Smith, and Andrea Neptune

I was thrilled that Chancellor Tom Burke stopped by to welcome the participants to the Kern Community College District and to Bakersfield College.  Gregory Stoup who currently chairs the RP Group gave a fabulous, quick paced, MTV style presentation on Guided Pathways.

The third session was titled “Aligning Resource to Support and Sustain Change”. Three leaders focused on how their institutions are realigning and repurposing existing resources to ensure organizational capacity for transformational student success work: Glenn Roquemore (President of Irvine Valley College), Ann Ransford (Trustee from Glendale Community College District and President of the California Community College Trustees), and our own Jennifer Johnson.

Panel 3 Leadership Matters

Panel 3 — Leadership Matters

Session3-Panel

Glenn Roquemore, Ann Ransford, and Jennifer Johnson

LeadershipMatters-Hope-1

Laura Hope

Laura Hope, co-director of the RP Group’s “Leading from the Middle”, gave us the wrap-up by having us share with the person next to us and then the whole gathering, the why—why guided pathways right now, why are we going on this difficult journey to move this framework forward?

Three hundred twenty attendees registered in person from over 60 different colleges and organizations, as well as a livestream audience of almost 500. BC staff and students helped ensure the summit ran smoothly.

Check out some of the photos and videos taken at the event on the Bakersfield College Instagram page and at the full BC Gallery here:
https://bakersfieldcollege.smugmug.com/2017-Leadership-Matters-Summit/
.  

Don’t forget the BC Twitter feed, where you can find more photos, questions, and comments with the #CAGuidedPathways.

There were many hands that worked together to make this happen.  Here are a few who look care of the logistics: Tarina Perry,  Christopher Glaser, John Farrand, Monika Scott, Dylan Wang,  Kristin Rabe,  Reese Weltman, Earl Parsons,  Kristina Whitmore, Somaly Boles, Kevin Ganger,  June Charles, Jennifer Marden, Tracy Hall, Mary Jo Pasek, Maria Diaz, Anita Karr, Bernadette Martinez, Arisve Pimentel, Danyel Owens,  Yolanda Aguilera, Eric Sabella, Ramon Puga, Marissa Jeffers.  

A special thank you to Tarina Perry for being the lead on the summit.

Thank you Laura Hope and Keren Stashower for emceeing the event.

Also a special thank you to Janet Fulks and Lesley Bonds who worked closely with me on the programming of the summit and the work with shaping the content with the speakers.

Additional photos related to the Leadership Summit

Southwestern College

Marie Vicario-Fisher, Sonya Christian, Angelica Suarez

Keren Stashower Leadership Matters May 24 2017

Keren Stashower at Leadership Matters

The night before:

Shawn Whalen Sonya Christian Eloy Oakley May 24 2017

Shawn Whalen, Sonya Christian, Eloy Oakley

Craig Hayward and John Wyner May 23 2017

Criag Hayward, Josh Wyner

Cabrillo May 23 2017

Gang from Cabrillo

Tarina Perry did a “thank you” pizza party at her house to all those who helped with the logistics.  I popped in for a few minutes at the front end of the party.

Tarina Perry's Thank You Party June 2 2017

Tarina sent me this cool picture of Marissa Jeffries at the Leadership Summit.  Marissa was in charge of food.

Marissa Jeffries


All things Cerro Coso

Deanna Ing CampbellThis last week the Student Success and Equity Office organized their retreat at the Mammoth Center of Cerro Coso Community College.  The idea to hold one of our critical summer retreats at one of KCCD’s sister campuses came up when we heard the Director of Mammoth and Bishop campuses, Deanna Campbell, of Cerro Coso present at the KCCD Leadership Academy.  I covered this in my March 4, 2017 blog.

Check it out
https://sonyachristianblog.com/2017/03/04/inspiration-all-around-us/

Mammoth View.JPG

When I asked Lesley Bonds if she would like to take her team to Mammoth she promptly said yes.  This office of eight touches the entire campus — both the instructional side of the house as well as the Student Affairs side.

SS and Equity Retreat at Mammoth May 31 2017.JPG

Kristina Whitmore, Sonya Christian, Julian West, Lisa Kent, Shauna Turner, Pedro Ramirez, Keri Kennedy, Lesley Bonds, Shanell Tyus

BC’s Student Success and Equity team is remarkable.  This small office is tasked with “moving the dial” on student completion.  At BC we measure student completion through 4 momentum points — (1) completing college level English and Math in the first year (2) completing 12-15 credits in their program pathways in the first semester (3) completing 30 credits in their program pathway in the first year (summer-fall-spring) (4) completing an associates degree or transfer in two-years.  With over 30,000 students and few staff, the challenge is always about the ratio of students to staff. The task at hand requires each individual to move large quantities in a quality way.  But given that the majority of our students fall in the “at risk” category the only way to get them to be successful is through case management.  Normally when we think case-management we think managing individual student cases.  However, with BC does not have that luxury.  So we need to “case manage” through “groups”.  This require both a high touch and high tech approach.

Group at Cerro Coso Mammoth May 31 2017

Shauna Turner, Kristina Whitmore, Lesley Bonds, Sonya Christian, Pedro Ramirez (hidden), Julian West, Lisa Kent, Keri Kennedy, Shanell Tyus

I was so proud of this team when I hung out with them during their discussions.  Talented, smart and so committed to student success.  Do you understand now why I am the luckiest and happiest college president ever

SS and Equity Team Painting May 30 2017.JPG

I learned that BC has a dual enrollment program in Culinary at Mammoth High School.  Thanks to Deanna and Trish for connecting with Chef Pat Coyle and making this happen.  The students at the high school prepared lunch for the BC team.

Mammoth Lakes students in BC's Culinary Class

Deanna asked Trish what she would like her to tell the BC team and this is what Trish wrote back:

My culinary students are taking their state test this week and I expect a high passing rate.  There are many restaurants in Mammoth that appreciate my students having their Food Handlers certificate.  They hire my graduates before others, partly because of the hands-on training they receive and also the certificate in itself.  Many of the students plan to continue in the trade by furthering their education in addition to the units they receive at MHS.

I attached a note from one of my recent graduates that I felt expressed the importance of the certificate and how it helped him.

Faculty member Trish Qualls with her culinary students

Trish Quall with her students

Here is the email from Connor Craig to Trish:

In taking the Food Handler Training Program, not only was I able to learn proper food handling and safety regulations for food, I was able to use this certificate for my new job.  Since becoming certified, I was able to skip food training programs at The Looney Bean because of the knowledge acquired through the Safety Program that I learned in Foods Class.  It would also be more than likely that I will work in food services in the future, so this program will also most definitely help for jobs and careers later in life.  This is a must program for all of those who wish to skip a tedious step in any kind of food handling business as well as those who wish to look professional when applying for a job in this field.

We got to meet the Cerro Coso team that is responsible for the Mammoth and Bishop campuses and were really impressed by all that they do for these remote communities that are at great distances from each other.

Cerro Coso Team at Mammoth May 31 2017

Kim Blackwell, James Markam, Yvonne Martin, Caroline Sanderson, Deanna Campbell

I learned from Deanna that:

  • Cerro Coso partners with University of Nevada in Reno since that is the closest university to the Mammoth and Bishop.
  • Demographics shift: Whites decreased from 80% to 45% from 2002-2003 to 2016-2017; Latino increase from 17% to 38%
  • 14 high schools in Inyo and Mono County
  • Bishop campus opened in 2003 and Mammoth in 2008

Thank you Lesley for making this happen.  And thank you for all that you do for BC.  We are fortunate to have you.

Lesley Bonds May 31 2017


Board meeting at Cerro Coso

Since I am on a roll bragging about our sister campus, let me briefly spotlight them through pictures the KCCD Board meeting at Cerro Coso  which was on May 4, 2017.

President Jill Board receives the Shirley B. Gordon Award.  This is a prestigious national award and to have one of KCCD presidents receive it is pretty cool.  Congratulations Jill!

Jill Board winning the award

Retiree Carol Hewer and Congressman Bill Thomas were talking about the good old days when I snapped this picture.

Carol Hewer and Bill Thomas May 4 2017

Cerro Coso traditionally has their Scholarship Awards ceremony during lunch prior to the Board meeting.  It is always a treat hearing about the lives of these amazing students.

Students at Cerro Coso being honored


Oliver Rosales speaking at University of Washington

dgd6leyfjrsqyajlbuinjsnnIt was exciting to hear that our own Oliver Rosales from the History Department was going to be speaking at the University of Washington, Walter Chapin Simpson Center for the Humanities.  Rosales addressed connections between two-year colleges and PHD programs.

I always feel proud to hear of our own being recognized for their leadership in their fields.
https://tinyurl.com/y76yzwcj


BC Foundation Honors Celebration

Every year before spring graduation, The Bakersfield College Foundation and the Bakersfield College Financial Aid Office host the Honors Celebration. It is the time when scholarships for the upcoming academic year are announced and academic and athletic awards are handed out for accomplishments for the year just ending.

This year’s event had approximately 900 participants, including BC administration, faculty and staff, and donors whose generosity has funded the scholarship program at BC,  as well as over 200 scholarship and award recipients and their guests.  Over 500 scholarships are dispensed each year, totaling approximately $500,000 in scholarships and awards.

See nearly over 300 images from this year’s event: (https://bakersfieldcollege.smugmug.com/2017-Honors-Celebration/)


A Poem

Jack Hernandez will be published in the Anglican Theological Review.

zolbrod_4

Jack Hernandez

A Rule
My monkish soul
seeks a rule
in this familiar
place where windows
dazzle no longer,
the call of a full
order or stomach
receding like mother’s
admonition to clean
my dinner plate.

The days unfold
with limited promise,
my genes fulfilled
mind stuffed
with books
instructions not
to blink
before strong
ideas no matter
how strange their eyes.

A young woman
walks by
a baby in each arm
her days
ruled like mine
when flushed with time,
The rule of life
I seek now
is a grace to light
this cloistered dusk.


David Koeth’s “Thoughts on avoiding burnout in teaching”

koeth1-900x600

David Koeth

Our graphic design teacher and self-proclaimed “recovering department chair,” shared some insightful thoughts on the AIGA Design Educators website.  Among some of my favorite ideas: “Take care of your health,” “know the signs of burnout,” and my personal favorite, “find a ritual that relaxes you.”

David’s amusing personality is on display and he has some great ideas for all of us! You can read the article here: https://educators.aiga.org/thoughts-on-avoiding-burnout-in-teaching/.


Lisa Strobel and Nick StrobelNick Strobel — excited about an eclipse

Wouldn’t you get excited too if you read this opening paragraph of Nick Strobel’s column in today’s Californian?

Recently, at many gatherings where people know what I do or find out that I teach astronomy at Bakersfield College, the subject of the conversation quickly gets around to the August 2017 total solar eclipse. That was the case as well at the Bakersfield College Sterling Silver Dinner a couple of weeks back. It’s a sign that the education and public outreach campaign for this astronomical event has done a very good job. I have been looking forward to it for about 40 years since I first read about it in the World Book Encyclopedia in my boyhood home.

If you have ever been to a total solar eclipse or one where enough of the sun was covered to clearly notice a drop in the light level (say over 95% covered), you know it is a truly awesome thing to experience. That’s “awesome” in the true sense of the word—awe-inspiring, soul-stirring. If you have never been to a total solar eclipse, then a word of warning: be very careful because you can get addicted to eclipses and become one of those people who chase eclipses all over the globe. It is an excellent excuse to travel all over but it can get a bit expensive going to some remote places to witness at most a few minutes of totality.

I’ve exhibited great resistance to the lure of eclipse chasing, keeping myself to just two total solar eclipses in the past ten or so years: one in China in 2009 and another in Australia in 2012. Fortunately for us this eclipse won’t be expensive to travel to. Finding cheap lodging will be difficult, though, as hotels exercise their right under capitalism’s supply-and-demand.

The August 2017 eclipse is the first total solar eclipse visible only in the United States since 1776, yes 1776. It will also be the first since 1918 that crosses the United States from Pacific to Atlantic and the first since 1979 that is visible anywhere in the lower 48 states. Approximately 391 million people in the U.S. will be able to see the August 2017 eclipse (partial or total).

For the whole article:
https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/planetarium/bakersfield-night-sky/bakersfield-night-sky-june-3-2017


From Facebook

Jen Garrett

Last night part of the BC Chamber Singers had an opportunity to sing in St Francis Church in Bakersfield for their women’s bible study group called WOW (Women in Wisdom). We were honored to be asked and appreciate the generous support the Church showed towards our Australia tour next summer. I hope this is the beginning of many opportunities to perform and collaborate with them.

I am so grateful to have a choir that can meet and perform as they did last night after not seeing each other for weeks. I know I can rely on them for more than just their talents and I do grateful for that. Hearing them last night felt like healing for the soul. The pastor told us we gave a great gift to give. I believe that music itself is a very special gift and when given by this group of musicians it almost feels like magic.

And I get this text from my friend Arlene Braganza

The BC Chamber Singers did a phenomenal job at the WOW at St. Francis on Wednesday evening.

Here is a picture of Arlene Braganza and her family when they came out to BC for the Caroling and Culinary evening in December.

The Braganza Family

Lauro Braganza, Arlene Braganza, and Gemma Lauro’s sister

Here are photo’s from Jen’s post

BC Chambers at St. Francis.jpg

Chamber Singers May 31 2017.jpg


Who gets 448 “likes” on a Facebook post….. I know

Kris Tiner June 2017


Neo

Neo had his second set of shots today.  When I carried him in at 10 weeks the young woman at the front desk spontaneously blurted “what a ginormous cutie”

sonya christian at Rotary April 30 2015

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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