Saying Hello to Fall 2017

Good morning Bakersfield.  It is August 19, 2017, the birthday of my grandmother, Hilda Sparrow.  And a great day to be a Renegade

I woke up to a flurry of emails early Saturday morning from BC employees supporting students.  How cool is that!  Here are two examples:

Email from Dr. Manny Mourtzanos at 7:00 a.m. Saturday morning to the student

Manny Mourtzanos ConvocationGood morning, [name of student]. I was so inspired to read your message to President Christian, as well as her response this morning. I can’t think of a better way to start the day. We’re here to help. I’d love the chance to meet. Let’s make it happen early and often. I will be at the Welcome Tent by the Fine Arts building on Monday morning from 7:30 – 10:00 am. If you’re in the area during that time, please drop in. My office is located in FA-69 (Fine Arts Building). If I’m not there, someone will be able to help you schedule an appointment with me. I’d like for us to discuss your plans for law school, as well the many professional options our program can offer you. It is a unique program developed by the State Bar of California, and reserved for only a handful of colleges in California, including Bakersfield College. You’ve picked a great college to attend!
Be well,
manny

Then at 7:03 a.m. on saturday, this email from Maria Wright to the student popped into my inbox

guidedpath_mariawright

Maria Wright

Good morning [name of student],

Welcome to BC! As President Christian mentioned in her email, I am the Director of Academic  Support Services and I look forward to supporting you on your pathway to success! Please stop by to meet me next week, my office is in the Center for Student Success (CSS) building, second floor, room 184-A.

When we meet, I will give you a tour of our support services. In the meantime, I am attaching a document that will help you to identify some of the services available to you.
I look forward you to meeting you and please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns!
With Renegade pride,
Maria Wright

 I am the luckiest and happiest college president ever!

August 21st, first day of classes

On Monday, August 21st, the campus will be alive with students filling each hallway and classroom.  BC has been growing in enrollments over the last four years and this fall we are seeing another 6.5% growth.  So students, parking is going to be crazy the first two weeks.  I ask that you to have a friend or family member drop you off and pick you up, or car pool, or take public transportation, or bike to school.  Plan on being early.

Enrollments

Where did this summer go?  It flew by so quickly! But, here we are and fall is about to begin. It’s my favorite time of the year, gearing up to welcome students back on campus for a new academic year.

Fall 2017 Opening Day

Sonya Christian 2 Indoor Theater

Sonya Christian — 2017 State of the College

 

On Thursday, August 17th, we celebrated our Opening Day – a time where faculty and staff come together to review all we’ve accomplished and the things we look forward to accomplishing this year.  This year, the indoor theater was packed and Jennifer Marden needed to organize an overflow room.  And plz note that there are three reds in the planning team — Jennifer Marden, Monika Scott, and Kristin Rabe!

Dezi Von Manos

President Dezi Von Manos

Our morning began with a welcome by SGA President, Dezi Von Manos – a BC Communication major and a true student leader.  I will see if I can have her talk posted on my blog next week.  I promise you, you will be inspired by her and her story.

One of the highlights of the morning was Kay Meek, President of the KCCD Board of Trustees.  I heard so many positive comments from everyone on how much they appreciate Kay and how much they appreciated hearing from Kay.  Trustee Meek was very positive about the future of KCCD and talked about how much the college will benefit from Measure J. She pointedly looked at me and said she wants the Veterans Resource Center sooner than later to which the audience responded with an applause.  Thank you President Kay Meek for attending our Opening Day.  We are so fortunate to have you at the helm of KCCD.

Kay Meek on Opening Dayl

Kay Meek, President of the KCCD Board

Kay Meek with a BC hat

Kay Meek — A Renegade Fan

 

This was my fourth State of the College address as President of the college.  Here are snippets of the content of my remarks.

Let me start with our Core Valuers which permeate everything we do.  During the State of the College I had our new employees read the Core Values.  Here is Neeley Hatridge reading the core value of Diversity.

 

Neeley Hatridge reading the Diversity Core Value

Neeley Hatridge

 

Sonya Christian BC Core Values

Sonya Christian — BC Core Values

We have also been laser focused on the safety and security of our campus.  BC has a dedicated Public Safety department led by Chief Counts.  Since we are an open campus with no walls surrounding us, our Public Safety department makes sure that we go through professional development to be able to respond to all kinds of emergencies.  Our slogan is, if you see something, say something, do something.  Here is Chief Christopher Counts addressing the BC employees on Opening Day.

Chief Counts Opening Day Aug 17 2017

Chief Christopher Counts

I have been blogging about the Guided Pathways work at BC and the strategy of creating Completion Coaching Communities around the 10 metamajors.  Well, at Opening Day, we had a team from the Arts and Humanities metamajor model that their roles will be as completion coaches for the students in that group.  Each speaker was exceptionally good and I thank Grace Commiso, Manny Mourtzanos and especially Lesley Bonds in working with the group.

Grace Commiso Lesley Bonds June 23 2017

Grace Commiso, Lesley Bonds

Here are the completion coaches who spoke at Opening Day

Arts and Humanities Completion Coaching Team

Manny Mourtzanos (Dean and Administrative Lead):

Manny Mourtzanos

Dr. Manny Mourtzanos

1972….Not only the year I was born, but also the number of students in the Arts & Humanities pathway. 1,972. How can one person possibly know each of these students on a personal level enough to make a difference?

That’s why we have “Completion Coaching Communities.” By bringing together specialists and discipline experts, we can share the duty to ‘know’ our students. As the Pathway Lead, I can ‘know’ our 1,972 by reviewing data. I might not know their stories, but by working with our Data Coaches and colleagues in Institutional Effectiveness, we can identify which students could benefit from additional support, resources, information or intervention. As Pathway Lead, my ‘breadth’ of knowing students is wide, though shallow. However, discipline experts are uniquely positioned to have a shorter ‘breadth’ of students to know, but they can be known in a much ‘deeper’ and more meaningful way. For example, of our 1,972 students, 101 of them are Spanish majors. As the discipline expert for Spanish, Qiu Jimenez is poised to coordinate efforts with the other three full-time faculty in Spanish to know their students on personal level….that’s only 25 students each…a very doable mission. As the Pathway Lead, I’m committed to bringing our experts together, along with our Data Coaches, Faculty Chairs, Counselors and Ed Advisors, to identify students in need of additional support, and using our infrastructure to reach them.

You’ll hear today from my fellow Completion Coaches.  We each have different responsibilities to ensure that we know our students so that they:

  1. Complete college-level English and math in the first year,
  2. Complete 15 pathway-applicable units by the end of their first term,
  3. Complete 30 pathway-applicable units by the end of their first year, and
  4. Complete 60 pathway-applicable units in two years

With that, I invite my fellow Completion Coaches to share with you their experiences as Coaches responsible for these 1,972 students.

Eleonora Hicks (Data Coach):

Eleanora Hicks

Eleonora Hicks

My name is Eleonora Hicks.  I am a sociology professor in the Behavioral Sciences department and since I find quantitative analysis “super” exciting, I also function as a data coach and work closely with BC’s completion coaching communities within the framework of our guided pathways.

 

There are four main pillars in the guided pathways approach.  The first pillar involves not only achieving clarity but to quote President Christian, it involves achieving relentless clarity in the curricular pathways that students follow to complete their academic and career goals.

As a member of the Arts & Humanities Completion Coaching Community, I am the Data Clarifier. It’ is my responsibility to provide clarity, help my fellow coaches understand the right questions to ask, , interpret questions they’re not sure how to ask, and make meaning of the cohort reports I provide as a liaison with the Office of Institutional Effectiveness.

As a data coach and part of a completion community, I have specifically worked within the framework of Pillar #1 by collaborating with the Office of Institutional Effectiveness in several ways: I have helped my Completion Community see the classes in which our students are enrolled, provided feedback about the clarity with which we communicate program requirements, goals, and outcomes and am currently assessing the most common courses across programs within meta-majors, which could become an important tool in advising and course mapping.

Yvonne Armendariz (AccuSQL Lead)
Yvonne ArmendarizGood morning, my name is Yvonne Armendariz and I am the Basic Skills Program Manager. As a Completion Coach, I lead our campus efforts to utilize a tool called AccuSQL to track attendance for all student support services. So while Eleonora distributes to her Completion Coaching Community a report based on student cohort data in Banner, I can help provide you a report that shows our students’ behavior throughout the semester.

At the beginning of each semester, I will set up automated reports for each instructor to receive every Monday morning at 7 am. These reports will have detailed information regarding the students in your course that attended an academic support service the week prior. This report will include student name, ID, center where services attended, and time spent.  For weeks, 4, 8, and 12 each instructor will receive a cumulative report for all students that have attended a support service at that point. Any Completion Coach can use this information to track, in nearly live time, how engaged your students are in academic support services.

If you have any questions regarding your AccuSQL reports, please feel free to contact me or reach out anyone within the Academic Support Services Department and they will put you into contact with me. Thank you.

Jonathan Schultz (Counselor):

Jonathan Schultz

Jonathan Schultz

I am Jonathan Schultz, a Counselor and Completion Coach.  While there are many things I love about the pathway model, the group collaboration is my favorite. Having a group of people, working together is not only fun, but it really helps our students succeed and get on their path to completion. A perfect example of this is over the summer, I received an email from Helen Acosta, Department Chair of Communication, replying to a student who she met at Summer Bridge. This student had questions about what career path would be best for her. Helen, knowing the system we have in place on campus, referred her to me since I am the “Personal and Career Exploration” counselor, and we were able to help her set up an appointment to begin researching career options and begin her on a path.

 

As a Counselor focused on undecided students entering our campus, I review cohort progress data, take direct responsibility for reaching out to undecided students in groups, and work with them to move them toward a clear, attainable educational goal using various career exploration tools, working with job placement specialists, the transfer center, and my colleagues in academic support services.  I take responsibility for recognizing and intervening when I see our students are off-path to help them get back on-path by taking the right courses at the right time.  As a Completion Coach, I commit to ensuring each student I meet leaves our interaction with a clearer sense of purpose and the tools they need to navigate their pathway successfully.

Roberta Ayala (Financial Aid Tech):

Roberta Ayala

Roberta Ayala

My name is Roberta Ayala and I am a Financial Aid Technician. With nearly 80% of students being the first in their families to attend college and over 65% relying on financial aid to pursue their goals, we know that helping students start on the right path financially is critical in their success.

 

As a Completion Coach, I work to ensure our students’ success and remove any financial barriers along their path while shaping their behavior for their long-term success. I achieve this by assisting students throughout the financial aid process including completing their FAFSA, keeping open communication regarding status and requirements, and providing support throughout their journey.

More specifically, I track and provide financial aid information to my fellow coaches within the A&H pathway.  It is my personal goal to educate my fellow coaches and our students, and to provide them with the many financial resources available. With the list of the 1971 students Eleonora provides, I am able to quickly identify those students who have incomplete FAFSAs, are missing critical documents, or are in danger of losing their financial aid.  By identifying the students early, I can contact each student with a tailored message to ensure they set off on the right path financially toward their educational goals.

Paul Beckworth (Discipline Faculty, Starfish Implementation Lead):

Paul Beckworth

Paul Beckworth

My name is Paul Beckworth, and I was not born in 1972.  I’m a history faculty member and serve as BC’s lead for veterans.  While our Dean, Manny Mourtzanos, set the stage with a focus on the 1972 students in the Arts & Humanities Learning & Career Pathway, I am focused on specific, intrusive support to history majors. As a coach, I know I have a direct responsibility for knowing the 222 of History majors at BC.

Launching into a new year brings new possibilities, not just for us but for our students.   The possibility to finish strong can become a probability through vigorous course work and “intrusive caring.”  One of our primary roles as educators is to help students finish what they started.  But you might be wondering how do we, as teachers, get students to stay on the path that the awesome counselors and advisors put them on?  If a student isn’t in my class, how can I play a role in helping them finish what they started?

We know students see us more often than anyone else on campus.  They come to talk to us, sometimes about class, but often times about life.  Struggles often show up in classroom performance.  What an opportunity to keep them on their path to getting a whole team behind them, not letting them deviate from their goals!

So, beyond creating an environment in my classroom where students can learn and grow collectively as historians, I am committing to take responsibility for ensuring their success as BC Renegades.

As a member of a Completion Community, I work with my colleagues in the History department to ensure the data Eleonora provides remain a constant focus for each of us in our department meetings.  We will work together as a department to ensure our syllabi reflect our emphasis on academic support services and student engagement.

I get to say, I am a completion coaching community team member.  Listen, guided pathways is happening with us, not to us.  Our students are coming in with pre-entry attributes that we must work with.  We meet them where there are.  Where are they?  They are here!  And they are BC!

Regina Hukill (Department Chair, Math):

Regina Hukill

Regina Hukill

My name is Regina Hukill and I am the Math Department Chair and a member of the STEM Completion Coaching Community.  But today I am here as a department chair to ensure that math completion is a clear focus for everyone as we work to help students stay on path to complete college-level English and math.

 

In the past year, we have been engaged in an intensive strategy to engage every student in academic support.  Using Basic Skills funds, we developed an Extend the Classroom for Math as well as for English.  By using, Extend the Classroom to target those students taking basic skill math courses who need extra one-on-one tutoring in math and to help them complete the math they need to stay on their academic path.

We are happy to see that the Extend the Classroom for Math location has been moved from being tucked away in a corner of the Writing Center, to a more desirable location which will be in the Math Science Building.  A convenient location can really make a huge difference in the number of students we can get to participate in this program.

Our two professional math tutors, Christopher Anderson and Alana Austin will be there to help students from 7 am to 8:30 pm Monday through Thursday, and on Fridays from 8 am to noon.  Math faculty will continue to support the Extend the Classroom by providing help as well.  We have found that instructors like Josh Lewis and Donna Starr who are available in the Extend the Classroom get a good number of their students participating.  Some of my fellow math faculty coaches and I are committing to allocate points in the course that students can earn by getting tutoring outside of the classroom to emphasize our goal of math completion for all students.

 

Keri Wolf (Discipline faculty, Extend the Classroom):

Keri Wolf

Keri Wolf

My name is Keri Wolf, and I have been involved in Extend the Classroom as an English faculty member and Completion Coach to ensure college-level English completion is a clear focus for each of you.  BC has 253 English majors, but we know every single student who steps foot on campus with an AA in mind needs to complete English 1A. With our goal for students to complete college-level Math and English courses during their first year, this places English faculty in a unique position to foster a collaborative environment through classroom interactions and extending the classroom programs.

Extending the classroom provides a distraction free, collaborative learning environment. Supplemental Instruction study groups allow students to gain the support of not only an experienced peer who knows the instructor and that specific section’s material but also the support of classmates.

As a Completion Coach, I work with my colleagues in the English Department to expand our use of SI, specifically for English 53, an accelerated course to the transfer-level English 1A.  As a result, students who take English 53 their first semester and then follow it with English 1A their second semester are able to complete English in the first year.

Since English provides these foundational courses, extend the classroom exposes students early to the network of support services. And many students have credited SI as pivotal to their success.

Transfer and CTE are all pathways to a job:  The Community College Chancellor’s Office is focused on “jobs” at the email of a college degree whether it is an Associates degree or a Baccalaureate degree.  The whole Guided Pathways approach starts with the “end in mind”.  At BC, we have organized our 72 programs into 10 Metamajors and within each metamajor there are both CTE pathways and transfer pathways.  So, during the State of the College address, I invited both Janet Fulks and Cindy Collier to speak about Transfer and CTE respectively and our work for 2017-18.

After the State of the College, we heard from Chancellor Tom Burke who reviewed the Measure J plans, his goals for the next two years and his visit to the Kern Valley Prison to see students in the Japanese course do presentations.  He was clearly moved by the testimony of the students.  Thank you Chancellor for attending BC’s 2017 Opening Day!

Tom Burke 2017 Opening Day

I always look forward to hearing from the leadership of the employee groups. Bernadette Martinez with CCSEA, Isabel Stierle with CCA, Steve Holmes with Academic Senate, and Sue Vaughn on behalf of Management.

Bernadette Martinez

 

Isabel Stierle

 

Steven Holmes

 

Sue Vaughn

BC’s Academic Senate President Steven Holmes always has fun during campus wide gatherings.  He is known to be in flip flops for most of the year and at the last campus wide gathering, Debbie Rosenthal  challenged him to get a pedicure.  And here he is at the next campus wide gathering, confidently displaying his pedicured toes with dark red nail polish 🙂

Steven Holmes Nail Polish

And here he is in a video that Zav captured when Steven was removing the license plate from my Land Rover.

 

Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg

Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg

After we heard from the employee groups, Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg introduced us to the new employees including the 55 new faculty.  Nan concluded her remarks with the quote: Only the educated are free. Powerful!

You can find all our new faculty here
https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/employees/new-academic-faculty

Stretch Breaks:

Thank you to Coach Matt Moon and Coach Zach Peters for leading us through a stretch break.  Also thank you to BC SGA leaders Dezi Von Manos and Jose Cortez.

Matt Moon and Zach Peters

 

Dezi Von Manos and Jose Cortez Lead Stretch Break

Accreditation:

We are working on our Institutional Self Evaluation report (ISER) and will have the accreditation evaluation team on campus in October 2018.  Jason Stratton, History Faculty, and Liz Rozell, Dean of Instruction, are leading this work.  They did a real nice job jeopardy-style to engage the audience.

Jason Stratton

Wondering about the two of them leading the work on BC’s Institutional Self Evaluation after I saw this photo.

Liz Rozell and Jason Stratton Chairs ISER Fall 2017

Liz Rozell, Jason Stratton — Chairs of ISER

 

The morning concluded with the Margaret Levinson Faculty Leadership Award being presented to Dr. Kimberly Bligh for all of her dedication to BC and our students. As you know, she was instrumental in the advancing and growth of Summer Bridge.

Kimberly NickellThis is how Prof. Kimberly Nickell introduced Dr. Kimberly Bligh.

I am always amazed by the leaders I get to work with on our BC campus. And as I work with these leaders, I experience their drive, vision and pursuit of excellence.  Dr. Kimberly Bligh is the epitome of this leader.

From the implementation of the CAS workshops, Summer Bridge, creating her math textbook, and directing Title V, as well as many other projects she is involved in, I have witnessed Kimberly leading the charge, and with each endeavor her drive, vision, and pursuit of excellence is apparent. Kimberly strives to elevate the BC campus, promoting student success while mentoring and inspiring others to be leaders. That is true leadership.

So please, let’s put our hands together for our 2017 Margaret Levinson Leadership award recipient, Dr. Kimberly Bligh.

Kimberly Bligh

Kim Nickell, Kimberly Bligh, Pam Boyles

Kimberly put together a tribute to those who supported her as a thank you during her acceptance speech of the Levinson award.  Here it is

The final award presented was the Norm Levan Faculty Colloquium Announcement awarded to Rafael Espericueta.

Susan Pinza

Here is the description of Rafael’s talk.

Every day you make use of software based on deep learning. You use it every time you do a Google search, or look for a movie to watch on Netflix. It’s used to enable computers (and phones) to recognize objects, understand spoken language, diagnose illness, and countless other applications.

Recently, deep learning has made profound breakthroughs that are making possible tasks that hitherto have been impossible for computers to accomplish. And the breakthroughs keep coming! Soon autonomous vehicles will be driving our roads, and human driven vehicles may well become a thing of the past. Many jobs will disappear, as machines become more capable of tasks once reserved exclusively for humans.

Deep learning will increasingly effect all of our lives, and it behooves us all to gain at least a basic understanding of this exciting new and disruptive technology.  It now seems likely that machines may soon actually attain sentience, or at least act as though they were as sentient as you or I.

The ethical ramifications of this technology are vast and will be increasingly pertinent. Our very species’ survival may well hang in the balance. But whether you are terrified at imagined dystopias this technology may engender, or excited by utopic visions of the future this technology can make possible, artificial intelligence is evolving at an exponential rate.  The day of the sentient machine is coming, whether we like it or not.  The more one knows about what’s coming, the more power one yields to help steer it in a more desirable direction.

Whatever your own field of study, deep learning will become increasingly relevant to your future. Come to Rafael’s talk to learn more about deep learning – what recent breakthroughs have been made, and what we may expect in the near (and distant) future.  Though it may sound like science fiction, this is an engineering reality right now.  Come learn what it has accomplished, as well as what it portends for our species’ future!

Friday, Nov. 3rd
Levan Center
11:30 AM (an hour later than usual)
Mathematics Department…Rafael Espericueta

Rafael Espericueta Levan Faculty Colloquim May 12 2017

 

There were three major initiatives for the year that I highlighted: (1) Completion Coaching Communities intended to create a case management approach and in this case a cohort management approach to ensure that no student goes unnoticed. (2) Measure J as we move to implementation and (3) accreditation.  The videos were produced by the very talented Manny de Los Santos using the Superhero theme.  Enjoy them!

Let me introduce you to our superheroes Todd Coston and Liz Rozell:

Let me introduce you to our Superhero Bill Potter, Director of Facilities

Let me introduce you to numerous superheros that form a completion coaching community around each student.

I can’t thank everyone involved enough for the incredible way the day turned out. It’s a group effort from various multiple departments.

The talented Manny de los Santos!

Manny extreme selfie using drone Nov 26 2015

Manny de Los Santos

ASL Interpreters

I’d like to thank Tom Moran and Brittany King, for their work interpreting during Opening Day.

Tom does so much on campus and it’s always a joy to see him. He was also a giant supporter during the Measure J campaign, and even has taught me how to sign both “Yes on J” and “We are BC!”   Thank you Tom!

Food Services at BC

MJFoodServices081817During Opening Day, Mary Jo took the time to thank our Food Services crew for all the work they do to provide food for students and catering at important events like we have on Thursday.

 

Eric Sabella and the crew worked hard to provide breakfast burritos and lunch wraps for the faculty and staff on Opening Day, then got straight to work on a beautiful barbecue chicken dinner for everybody at the New Student Convocation that evening. I’d like to thank them for their tireless work and for keeping us fueled with delicious food.

Mary Jo Pasek posted this photo on her Facebook! I can always count on MJ to have some of the best photos.

Thank Yous

I have to give special thanks also to our team of ushers:  Lori Ortiz, Savannah Andres, Roseanne Lewis, Trudi Blanco, Cecilia Lopez, Yolanda Aguilera, and Bernadette Martinez.  Thank you Chris Glaser for leading this effort.

Ushers

Video, media services, and photographers: Kristin Rabe, Kevin Ganger, Manny De Los Santos, Earl Parsons, Eric Carrillo, and John Farrand.

Content Contributors, Lesley Bonds, Grace Commiso,  Manny Mourtzanos, Eleonora Hicks, Yvonne Armendariz, Jonathan Schultz, Roberta Ayala, Paul Beckworth, Regina Hukilll, Keri Wolf, Janet Fulks, Cindy Collier, Jason Stratton, Liz Rozell, and Chris Counts.

Our fabulous emcee, Francis Mayer, and the planning team, Jennifer Serratt, Monika Scott, and Aricia Leighton.

 

New Faculty Seminar

2017-2018 New Faculty

matt JonesOn Monday, our 55 new faculty members met in the first seminar in a year-long series that will help them connect with BC resources and make the most of their time at Bakersfield College.  We are excited to welcome this new and very dynamic group of faculty to the college – the largest incoming class of new faculty in our history!

Topics ranged from how to get involved in pathways and completion communities to learning the ropes of human resources. We look forward to offering New Faculty Seminars every month for the rest of the semester.

Flex Week

BC’s fall 2017 Flex Week was a busy one, packed with almost 60 workshops, including four Opening Day breakout sessions focused on important campus initiatives. Workshops ranged from practical skills related to accessibility using Google and Grackle, to workshops designed to help faculty integrate new creative media, like PowToons—and everything in between. In addition to Flex workshops and Opening Day breakout sessions, the Pathways Institute drew a sizable crowd of completion coaches and other dedicated faculty and staff from all over BC. As of Thursday afternoon, Flex Week drew over 385 logins/sign-ins, including over 208 individual attendees. Thanks, BC!

Dr. Chike Akua

Dr cAs part of Flex Week on Wednesday, acclaimed public intellectual Dr. Chike Akua hosted workshop about how to keep students of color engaged in their academic pursuits and education as a key to fighting structural inequality.

BC was honored to host this important professional development workshop with Akua, a member of the Teacher Transformation Institute and author of books such as “Honoring our Ancestral Obligations: 7 Steps to Black Student Success”. Akua’s presentation, titled “Education for Transformation: Keys to Releasing the Genius of Black Students”, focused on concrete ways that instructors can supplement their curricula with the contributions of African-Americans and other marginalized groups that have been omitted from textbooks or otherwise edited out of the canon of human intellectual achievement.

“Who are the models of intellectual authority you’re putting before your students?” Akua asked. “Even though the population of our students has changed, in many ways, our curriculum has not.”

 

By drawing attention to marginalized innovators in math, science, art, architecture and countless other fields, it allows students within those marginalized groups to see themselves reflected in a given field of study, and Akua showed data that reflects how students that are able to relate to their study material grow more confident in their academics and matriculate more successfully through their educational pathway.

“This has become one of the critical mediating factors in my students’ success,” Akua said.

Akua also used the events in Charlottesville last weekend as a lens to guide his discussion on the role educators have in shifting the toxic perceptions about race relations in America today. When educators begin engaging students to critically examine the world around them while spreading awareness of structural inequality and social issues like the school-to-prison pipeline, Akua posits that we’ll begin seeing the national conversation about race change, and in many ways the shift has already started to happen with the work of organizations such as Black Lives Matter and the ongoing debate about law enforcement accountability in communities of color.

“Their innate sense of justice will cause students to speak out on issues,” Akua said. “Allow your students to bring their whole personality to class.”

Akua also stressed the importance of a diverse faculty in bridging the “engagement gap” in education, while showing data indicating that higher learning institutions need to do a lot better at hiring people of color. The national leader for hiring African-American faculty among major four-year state institutions is The University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa, whose faculty is only 6.8 percent black despite having an 11.1 percent black undergraduate population, according to the website College Factual. The state leader among four-year colleges in California is UCLA, whose black faculty only comprises 3 percent of the faculty population despite making up 4.8 percent of the student population.

“It’s important to have faculty who look like your students,” Akua said. “How can we say we’re a nation who values diversity with these numbers?”

Akua’s conversation gave our faculty a lot to think about how they might be unintentionally alienating a lot of their marginalized students while giving some good advice about how to keep those students engaged.

Welcome International Students

In addition to welcoming new faculty and staff, we have 90 students from around the world in our ISA program for Fall 2017, majoring in everything from Business Administration to Theatre Arts. There are 18 students from India, which represents 20 percent of the group. There are 15 students from Saudia Arabia and 10 from Vietnam, as well as representatives from Nigeria, China, Bangladesh, France, Ivory Coast, Australia and more for a total of 29 countries to be welcomed into the BC family.

international students

New Student Convocation

Bakersfield College welcomed its 104th class of incoming freshman to the family Thursday night at the Outdoor Theater during the New Student Convocation.

F17Convocation14

The annual event is a gathering before the start of the fall semester for new students and their families to learn about different programs on campus and what will be expected of them for the upcoming year. Todd Coston was in the audience as a parent of a young woman starting her freshman year at BC.  I snapped this picture.  See if you can spot Todd off in the distance.

Todd Coston and his daughter at convocation

Steven Holmes led BC faculty through a pledge to provide students with the support they’ll need to make it through a short but eventful school year, while SGA President Dezi von Manos led students through their pledge to rise to the occasion and perform the hard work it requires to achieve their dreams. Dr. Janet Fulks led the families, friends and supporters of the students through a pledge as well.

I grabbed these photos from Lawrence Salcido’s Facebook page.  Thank you Lawrence!

Dezi Van Manos

Sonya Christian 2 at Convocation

 

Steven Homles at Convocation

 

 

 

 

 

 

There was amazing entertainment throughout the event, with a DJ booth in front of the Outdoor Theater providing music while students visited booths for the Agriculture and Automotive programs, the Student Health Center and countless other student organizations. When students walked into the theater, they were greeted with a performance from a few students in last semester’s Commercial Music class. Jennifer Garrett led the BC choir through the national anthem, “When You Wish Upon a Star” and Simon and Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water”,

The BC cheerleaders closed the convocation with an exciting performance.  Thank you Heather Foss for your dedication to the BC Cheer Team.  And thank you Becki Whitson for all of the years you spent with the team.  We miss you and hope to see you at the games.

 

Here is the BC Fight Song

 

Go out and Get Them

 

There’s an awesome video BC counselor Jonathan Schultz put together on YouTube speaking to student athletes about taking advantage of opportunities. Jonathan presents a very simple but true philosophy that successful people are able to do seemingly impossible things because they are willing to go lengths others aren’t to be the best.

“You have to do what others won’t if you want to have what others don’t,” Schultz said. “I never waited for an opportunity to come to me. I went out and found an opportunity.” When you’re willing to go the extra mile in your athletic, creative or cognitive development, people will recognize the work you’re putting in and opportunities to succeed will open up that you never thought possible. The greatest athletes were the ones who had the drive put in time and effort that their coworkers didn’t, transcending what people previously thought was humanly possible. “What are you doing that other people in your exact situation are not doing?” Schultz asks. “What pushes you outside of yourself? What’s your why?”

Football Practice Begins!

I loved seeing this post on Instagram. BC Football is gearing up!

Are you following BC on Instagram?! What about Facebook and Twitter?

IMG_6265

 

FCDC Summer Chair Academy

The Faculty Chairs/Directors Council met this week as well to wrap up the summer. This group of dedicated individuals discuss, review, and resolve operational issues and to provide collaborative interaction between student services and instruction in development of seamless process to meet student needs. Welcome to the new department chairs this year: Mark Osea, Counseling; Helen Acosta, Communication, and Kirk Russell, Library.

 

 

 

Eclipse Information

Nick Strobel

Nick Strobel

Nick Strobel also sent an email out to various campus groups sharing some awesome details about the upcoming eclipse. He said,

“You’ve probably heard something about the upcoming eclipse of the Sun on Monday, August 21. The eclipse for us in Bakersfield will be just a partial eclipse. See the Planetarium’s homepage at www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/planetarium for the stats for Bakersfield and how to view the Sun safely.

What’s the big deal about this total solar eclipse? Here are some reasons:

  • Total solar eclipses (New Moon totally covers the Sun’s photosphere surface) are RARE and awesome!
  • First one in the lower 48 states since 1979.
  • First one to sweep across the entire country since 1918.
  • First one to be solely visible in the United States since 1776 (yes, 1776)
  • Approximately 391 million people in the U.S. will be able to see the eclipse (total or partial).
  • Literally millions of international tourists will be coming to places in the path of totality. The totality strip is just 68 miles wide.
  • The few minutes of totality are the only times we can view the Sun’s corona (outer atmosphere). The corona is about as bright as a full moon.

See https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/planetarium/bakersfield-night-sky/bakersfield-night-sky-august-19-2017 for more about this eclipse and future eclipses in the U.S.

 

 

A great story. Thank you Joe Coughlin of Coconut Joes

Joe Coughlin and Glen Campbell in 1971 form TBCWhen Joe Coughlin of Coconut Joes heard about the passing of the celebrity Glen Campbell, he picked up his guitar and strummed the Rhinestone Cowboy.

Does that get your attention…..Well, click on the link and read his August 12th Opinion piece in The Bakersfield Californian — Gentle on My Mind: My long unique connection to Glen Campbell.  http://tinyurl.com/y8bssflx.   A pretty cool story.

I never heard Gentle on my mind by Glen Campbell.  Thank you Joe for introducing me to this piece by Glen Campbell.  I enjoyed it.

 

Rosebowl Watch

Thought you would enjoy the Facebook exchange with community members about the Rosebowl watch.  I actually wore it for Opening Day.  Here is a screen capture.

Facebook post about Rosebowl Watch

So what about Neo?

At 5 1/2 months, he is 52 lbs, and teething.  Can you guess where he is in the picture below?

August 13, 2017 Neo in Sonya's Office

Neo

Being obnoxious and then sweet like an angel when he is asleep.

 

Sonya Christian 2017 Opening DayThat’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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One thought on “Saying Hello to Fall 2017

  1. Peter Reyes August 20, 2017 at 4:50 pm Reply

    Dear Sonya, incredible to see the enormous Fall blog and all that is BAKERSFIELD COLLEGE , all the organizations, faculty, cheerleading Renegade Ladies…just everything that is the B C Renegade Pride. As you know I am licensed in real estate (44 years) and am nowhere ready to retire at age 74 so I am not able to go to my hometown areas (Weedpatch, Lamont, Arvin and finally Bakersfield for my initial college years before Viet Nam) as often as I used to. I did receive an invitation to those events but I work week-ends. Of course football season is days from starting and I won’t be able to come as often and ‘run’ with the glorious B C big Red flag as when my running legs were healthy, even though I never wanted to stop. This past year I suffered two strokes – one minor last August and a more serious one this past April so I am even more limited. On a good note I have a friend who is a USC alumnus and makes large donations to the college thus he has 30 yard line season tickets and I buy one of his 4 tix (not cheap!) for the Trojan games so football is still a passion that I enjoy, (after all those years of traveling to the B C games it became increasingly difficult – health wise. you don’t know but in order to go to all the Renegade games I sacrificed work on week-ends all football season when I could but mostly I would come on Saturdays but had to leave very early on Sunday mornings to get back to L A and set up host ‘open house’ of my listings….very stressful, not to mention not having breakfast with family. The USC campus is only 10-15 minutes from my home at Chavez Ravine so that eliminates a lot of stressful driving…stress has always been the major negative factor affecting my health It breaks my heart to miss the Renegades games but I will try to go to some of your away games if possible.

    When I am in Bakersfield visiting family I always go and park at the stadium lot, walk over to the fence where I can see the field and the seating areas and flash back about the past seasons…just like in a movie I can hear the roar of the faithful Renegade fans when we scored, I can hear the National Anthem, the canons, the fight song…cryng when we lost – and even when we won…I miss it with all my heart, And I miss all the friendships. I was even there for the Potato Bowl games playing in elementary school band when the local school bands played and spelled HELP THE KIDS that the Shriners sponsored… a decade before I came to B C already a Renegade fanatic. I was the kid who was terrible in sports but I had to get onto the football field with the Renegades thus the idea of running with the flag! Keep a secret? My family knows to spread part of my ashes out on the football field, and Hawaii, and….. Well, now I’ve said too much.

    I want the best for Bakersfield college, and as President you make me proud. Hope to see you sometime and if you’re in my neighborhood please call and stop by – my home borders Dodger Stadium and you are always welcome! Peter

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