A beautiful morning here in Bakersfield….It is Saturday, July 15, 2017. What a great day to be a Renegade.
And I thought July was going to be a slow month here, as Coach Paula Dahl would say, in the Renegade nation. This week in July was full and rich ….like peanut butter and jelly.
Let me start with, as Lesley branded the the growing up of Neo, #NeoThePup. At 34 lbs he still thinks he is a puppy. Well actually he is still a puppy — 4 months old. But my mom does not think so. Particularly when after his bath this last weekend he ran full speed and jumped on her lap, all 34 lbs of him, and started licking her face. She later politely told me I had to teach him some manners. When Tom Gelder heard this story, he said well, you must introduce your mom to Ogden Nash
The truth I do not stretch or shove
When I state that the dog is full of love.
I’ve also found, by actual test,
A wet dog is the lovingest.
I then checked out Ogden Nash and enjoyed what I read about him. Wikipedia says that Nash loved to rhyme, and quotes him as saying in a 1958 news interview, “I think in terms of rhyme, and have since I was six years old.” What an incredible, natural, and wondrous talent.
The big adventure this week was to get smart with Neo and put in gates to secure areas that we did not want himfrolicking in. Needless to say, he was not very happy as you can see in the photo.
And he has progressed from an obedient 2-month old to a stubborn almost 4-month old. Here he is with mud all over his muzzle and paws looking at me after I repeatedly called out to him. Do you think this look displays any indication that he is ready to get up and respond to me?
Meet the new member of the KCCD Trustees Rayven Acosta-Webb
Rayven Acosta-Webb is a sophomore student at Bakersfield College, double majoring in Engineering and American Sign Language. Her previous experiences include being a supplemental instructor and the Bakersfield College Student Government Association’s Public Relations Manager. She offers a new perspective, as well as an understanding of the diverse needs students have on campus. She wants to be more involved with campus organizations, staff, and fellow students at all three sister KCCD institutions. She will help to create a stronger voice for all who attend and reach out to all areas of the school. Most important of all, she will represent the students’ opinions and concerns at the KCCD Board of Trustee’s meetings. She will use her ability to listen and help get the ball rolling in areas in which individuals have found themselves stuck or felt neglected. She aims to help generate change that benefits all who attend a KCCD institution and is honored to help KCCD continue to thrive.
- American Sign Language Club (Member) at Bakersfield College
- Cadet Training Officer for Bakersfield High School
- Bakersfield Club of the Deaf (Member)
- Bakersfield College Student Government Association Public Relations Manager
- M.E.Ch.A Club (Member)
Registration Rocks at Bakersfield College
The sight was incredible, stepping out of my office on Tuesday morning — hundreds of students in the Welcome Center with our incredible staff there to assist and support each step of the enrollment process. I had to stop and take a photo with Steve Watkin and Michelle Pena. The event had an incredible turnout with 227 new first-time students and 323 students who we welcomed back making a grand total of 550 students helped out in just one day! Thank you to the entire team who designed the event including Steve Watkin and the Outreach office, John Farrand and Francis Mayer for the promotional video, and all the amazing BC staff and faculty on hand to help out the students.
Steve was also on the news bright and early Monday morning – check it out here.
Miss the video? See it on last week’s blog post here.
State of the City Luncheon
July 12, 2017 was the State of the City event hosted by the Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce. This was Karen Goh’s first as mayor of Bakersfield. We had a table of folks from KCCD, the Bakersfield College Foundation and Bakersfield College. We had a great time. Here are some photos of our team.
Mayor Karen Goh made an opening statement for the State of the City, hosted by the Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce, urging attendees to “change the narrative of our community” and challenging Bakersfield’s leaders to do their part in distorting the negative perceptions outsiders have about this area as we continue to grow. She called it “A New Vision, A New Narrative”
Goh also outlined her plans for her first term as mayor and encouraged businesses to work with schools to prepare students for the workforce and hiring locally for technology needs. In talking about diversification of the Bakersfield portfolio, the mayor highlighted Health Care, the Technology industry, and Education. Working collaboratively was a central theme of her message. So in that context, I would like to remind the reader about the Kern Promise, a large educational collaborative across all education sectors, business and industry, political leaders and other community organizations.
For more on the Kern Promise check out my April 29, 2017 blog at
City Manager Alan Tandy gives the State of the City
Alan Tandy started his talk with images of the Kern River gushing with water. I felt uplifted at the image since it always tugged my heart when I walked or biked on the “River Walk” bike path and saw no river for my first few years back in Bakersfield from Oregon.
And of course he talked about transportation and TRIP. He showed us a pretty cool video with drone footage of the project and offered details about the Centennial Corridor Project aiming to connect Highway 58 with the recently-completed Westside Parkway. He did a special mention of Retired Congressman Bill Thomas and the room burst into a round of applause.
Tandy provided an explanation for the increase in water rates and reminded attendees that the resolution on housing and urban development and the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program is coming up at the next City Council meeting.
Thank you Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce for hosting the State of the City event and providing a platform for some very important conversations about the future of our city to take place. If we’re going to make Bakersfield a key destination for the entrepreneurs of the future, we’ll need to continue having these conversations.
Loved this picture from Karen Goh’s Facebook page with the fabulous Chamber staff
Want to catch up on some things covered during the afternoon? Check out The Bakersfield Californian’s article, “Gateway to Barstow? Mayor tells State of the City crowd rebranding is imperative” by Dorothy Mills-Gregg and the official State of the City website.
Bakersfield Burrito Project
Here is Mayor Karen Goh with BCSGA Senator, Emmanuel Limaco helping out at the local event. It’s great to see the ways BC is out in the community and Bakersfield has so many great initiatives to get involved with. The Bakersfield Burrito Project says on it’s official website that it “has been serving the community of Bakersfield, California since 2009. Every Sunday, without fail, our volunteers create fresh burritos from raw ingredients and package them.” Learn more about this incredible project at www.bakersfieldburritoproject.org.
To see all the photos from Bakersfield’s Mayor, visit Karen Goh’s album on Facebook!
Into the Woods Closing Show Tonight
Tonight is the closing performance of “Into the Woods” — the first BC musical in about 20 years! It has been incredible to see the cast and faculty on this great endeavor. Jennifer Garrett tells me, that doing a Sondheim musical in a 4-week class has been absolute insanity but they have pulled things together and created a show that is truly remarkable. The director of the show, Brian Sivesind has he just completed his first year as full-time faculty at BC! Brian is an amazing addition to our faculty. He is so focused on student success and sets high expectations for students and all those involved in the musical He has devoted an amazing amount of time to this production and specifically to each individual student. I know that the cast of the production appreciates him very much and so do I. Thank you to all of those that have already attended the musical and I hope many more will be able to attend tonight.
Final performance begins tonight at 7:30PM. I hope you’ll be there.
Patrick Bender thank you for you countless hours with all of our performances. Every time I run into Dr. Garrett she raves about what a blessing you are to our students, to the department and to the college. #WeAreBC
The fabulous Jen Garrett with the female cast of Into the Woods
And the Director of BC’s first musical in 20 years, Brian Sivesand!
BC’s Drumline “Resounds”
This is the second year in a row that I attended the Resound International Competition here in the Memorial Stadium. Last year, the event was on July 16, 2016 and check out this fun blog post that has a lot of great memories in addition to the Drumline. This post covers:
(1) the KCCD BOard of Trustees vote on Measure J
(2) Mayor Harvey Hall’s Community Voices in The Bakersfield Californian endorsing Measure J.
(3) Great speeches by SGA President Matthew Frazer and another SGA member Wesley Lyons
(4) Visit to Arvin High School
(5) Presenting to Chevron Retirees
(6) And finally Rocky, The Racoon
At this year’s event, what an incredible lineup from across California
|7:00 p.m.||Welcome & National Anthem|
|7:08 p.m.||Blue Devils C – Concord, CA|
|7:24 p.m.||Incognito – Brea, CA|
|7:40 p.m.||Watchmen – Riverside, CA|
|7:56 p.m.||Impulse – Buena Park, CA|
|8:27 p.m.||Blue Devils B – Concord, CA|
|8:43 p.m.||Vanguard Cadets – Santa Clara, CA|
|8:59 p.m.||Golden Empire – Bakersfield, CA|
In First Place – Blue Devils; Second Place – Vanguard Cadets; Third Place – Golden Empire (BC)
Here are some photos from John Farrand
And some extra photos:
Francis Mayer and John Farrand on the field capturing photos and videos.
We are so fortunate to have such a great M&O staff. It seems like they are everywhere every time taking care of something for the college, for our faculty and staff and for our students. And they do it with a smile. Let me introduce you to Patrick Harrison, Martin Ramirez, and Aaron Kidwell. Gentlemen, from the entire college and our community, I thank you for what you do and for who you are.
Check out the 1:27-minute video
I am so glad we have Prof. Tim Heasley at Bakersfield College. Thank you Tim for the countless hours working and travelling with our students. The sheer physical stamina and focus on details that you provide with such a limited staff is truly remarkable. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! #WeAreBC
Here is a photo of Tim Heasley from Mary Jo Pasek’s Facebook
The BC Fight Song
A fun email chain passed by my inbox where Heather Pennella was investigating the legalities behind copyright and re-recording the BC fight song. I loved our chancellor Tom Burke’s addition to the email chain where he said, “I have a 1960’s recording of the fight song on 33 ⅓ vinyl record.” When I stopped by the district office this last week to work with John Means and Gary Moser, I stopped by Tom’s office to say hello and he had the record with him for the BC Archives. Of course I snapped a few pictures.
As an extra bonus, he shared with me the ticket for the performance to meet with the pope!
What’s Trending at the Chamber?
I received the latest newsletter that keeps me looped in with all the latest regarding our Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce and the newsletter shared that the GBCC received a recent CalChamber award. Congratulations on the CalChamber President’s Circle Award.
The award, first presented in 2009, recognizes chambers for excellence in business advocacy and helping their members comply with California employment laws. GBCC President and CEO Nick Ortiz accepted the award on May 31 during the CalChamber’s annual Capitol Summit in Sacramento. To learn more about this specific award, visit the CalChamber website.
Speaking of the GBCC, Hillary Haenes, Member Programs and Engagement Manager for the chamber was recently featured by Bakersfield Magazine in their section highlighting 20 under 40. I love how the piece says, “Since coming to Bakersfield in 2004, Hillary Haenes has made it her mission to get involved.” That’s what Bakersfield is all about! See the whole piece on Bakersfield.com. The photo of Hillary is from The Bakersfield Californian taken by Jonah and Lindsay.
Bakersfield College at the statewide Curriculum Institute
The last few years have seen unprecedented changes to curriculum and curricular processes, from the introduction of baccalaureate degrees to local certification for approval of credit courses to guided pathways. While all of these changes are exciting, they can also be daunting to navigate for curriculum chairs, faculty, administrators, and classified professionals. This year’s Curriculum Institute will provide interactive workshops, breakout sessions, and opportunities for discussion designed to provide the tools and knowledge needed to keep all hands on deck when it comes to curriculum and curricular processes!
The BC Team: Di Hoffman, Sharon Bush, Cindy Collier, Bill Moseley, Jennifer Johnson, Mark Osea, Marissa Marquez
Summer Bridge Continues..
So proud of our faculty and staff who are participating in BC’s Summer Bridge to “bridge” high school students from high school to college.
Here are some emails that Dr. Kimberly Bligh shared with me from students who participated in Summer Bridge
Dr. Kimberly Bligh,
My name is Samantha Coston, I am an incoming freshman and I am pursuing aerospace engineering. I wish to thank you for your valuable information regarding Bakersfield College. Your book had a lot of information that my high school couldn’t provide. It also was a big help with the transition to Bakersfield College. Often times small pieces of vital information gets left out of introductory speeches simply out of forgetfulness. However, your book has provided all the information I need to fully transition and continue to pursue my degree at Bakersfield College.
Thank you! – Samantha Coston
Wonder who Samantha Coston is Todd?
Hello Dr. Bligh,
I’d like to thank you for putting together such a great opportunity for incoming BC students to get a feel for the campus and figure out exactly what we will be expecting when we come back for the fall semester. It has helped tremendously and I can all ready tell I’ll have a good feel for the place on my first day.
Again, thank you very much.
Hello Dr. Bligh,
My name is Alex Cerda, and I am an incoming freshman for the fall semester of 2017. Something that I have learned during this program today is that Bakersfield College is a fairly welcoming place filled with kind faculty members who are very willing to help students to the best of their ability.
My name is Bailey Gather. I just wanted to thank you for allowing us to have this day. If we wouldn’t have had this day I definitely would be lost on my first day. But another thing that I feel like BC will help me with is all of the resources that there is on campus. So again thank you for giving your time and helping us.
Jennifer Marden was at Catalina this weekend with Mark and she snapped this picture with a young man named Diego who is Cynthia Munoz’ nephew.
I texted back that he is almost as good looking as his aunt. Jennifer was so delighted to see her friend’s nephew there. And talking about Cynthia, I got to know her when she regularly came to the Measure J campaign headquarters to help out. Thank you Cynthia.
Chudy goes to DC
Coach Jeff Chudy was telling me how Congressman Kevin McCarthy welcomed him and his family and showed them a great time in DC. I enjoyed this photo and wanted to thank the Congressman for his unwavering support of Bakersfield College.
That’s all for now.
Until next time.
With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.
the luckiest and happiest college president ever
Tagged: Bakersfield College, City Manager Alan Tandy, Heather Pennella, Kern Promise, Mayor Karen Goh, Measure J, Neo, NeoThePup, Ogden Nash, Pam Christian, Prof. Tim Heasley, Rayven Acosta-Webb, Samantha Coston, Sonya Christian, Tom Gelder