Welcoming Students – It’s Fall 2017

Good morning Bakersfield.  It is August 26, 2017… a fabulous first week of classes.  And a great day to be a Renegade!

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Welcoming Students Back on Campus

With an over 6.5% increase in students, we knew the level of activity on campus this week would be intense… and it was intense, but it was wonderful! It’s always incredible to see the hallways filled and the campus full and alive with students excited to learn.

See our enrollment growth over the last four years

Enrollments

Steve Watkin Welcome Center Fall 2017The Office of Student Life had four welcome tents around Panorama campus for staff and faculty Renegades to greet arriving students and be available to help them with campus information and student planners. The tables were at the Administration Building, AREA building, swimming pool, and outdoor theater.  Student Life also had two golf carts roaming the campus offering rides and guidance to students as they walked around campus. Delano Campus also greeted students at a welcome tent at the DST Building.

Within the Student Life office, staff doubled up with student employees to help ensure that lines were minimal. Multiple activities were hosted around campus to ensure that students had something to do between classes. Student Life also created posters and banners to help provide directions. BCSGA hosted a table on the Renegade Crossroads where they were able to help students and talk about BC.

Food services increased their grab-and-go items, and I even saw Chef Sabella running the register to help move students through quickly. There was a constant flow through the Panorama Grill and Food Court.

The Counseling and Advising Center has provided a dedicated line for quick questions staffed by Counselors to ensure that students with holds or pre-requisite issues are seen in a timely manner. Dedicated workshops were being held throughout the day and assigned advisors were providing extended support to serve students till 6:30pm through the Welcome Center.  Outreach and School Relations extended their open hours to assist students with their schedule needs, answer any questions, and equip all new students with student ID cards.

Public Safety had patrol officers conducting high visibility patrols in the parking lots. They, too, assisted students with questions regarding parking permits and where their classes were located on campus. We set up a right-turn-only traffic direction out the main driveway to assist students and staff to exit the campus easily onto Haley Street. This right-turn-only exit has helped in deterring congestion.

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On Monday, BCSGA hosted a tie-dye event where students could design their own shirts. Then on Tuesday, they hosted an ice cream social while giving the scoop on student organizations, encouraging everyone to get involved! Wednesday’s activities featured a live band at lunch and BC bowling in the Fireside Room, and on Thursday, it was movie day featuring Guardian of the Galaxy Vol. 2, with popcorn!

Who is ready for week 2?!

Viewing the eclipse on campus

One of BC’s three new Physics faculty, Dr. Timothy Plett, took his Physical Sciences B12 class outside to see the solar eclipse. Students got to use filtering glasses that allowed them to see the moon in front of the sun in high detail without harming their eyes. In the spirit of college faculty from 100 years ago, Dr. Plett instructed his class today in full regalia. Here is Professor LeBlanc providing views of the eclipse to students.

Check out Nick Strobel’s Facebook site to view great images.  Here is one post from August 21st.

Eclipse Nick Strobel August 21 2017

More screen captures from Facebook

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Bookstore Lines Aug 22 2017 Mary Jo Pasek Facebook

Matt Garrett the 2017 Francis Armstrong Madsen Best Book Award

Jen Garrett about Matt Garrett's award Aug 22 2017

New Hydration Stations

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Itzel Buenrostro

The Office of Student Life is excited to announce the addition of two new filtered Hydration Stations at the Panorama Campus. The Hydration Stations promote water conservation and healthy hydration. You can now fill up your large cups or water bottles at these two stations with the push of a button! The new stations are located in the Campus Center in the quad, and in the Gym next to vending machines near the Athletics Offices.

These additions were funded through the collaborative efforts of Kern Health Systems, Kern Schools Federal Credit Union, and the Office of Student Life. In celebration of these new additions, Student Life and BCSGA is announcing September 5th-7th as Healthy Hydration Week. We challenge each of you to utilize the Hydration Stations to fill your water bottles and stay hydrated. As a special incentive to students, Renegade Pantry Recipients who sign up for the August 31st monthly distribution will receive a free water bottle with their distribution bag. Please encourage your students to sign up for food by visiting www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/studentassistance/food.

Thank you to Kern Health Systems and Kern Schools Federal Credit Union for their assistance in accomplishing this task! Be on the lookout for more healthy habits coming soon from the Office of Student Life.

Sustainability is one of BC’s six Core Values.  Here it is:

Sustainability Core Value

Renegade Athletics

WrestlingState_ad_hocIt’s a great time to be at BC and it’s a great time for BC Athletics. Renegade Football begins in a few days and Renegade Wrestling is preparing for its first meet during the Bakersfield Duals September 9th starting at 9AM. You can check out the Wrestling Schedule for the rest of the semester on the athletics website, but two upcoming dates to mark on your calendar are Saturday, 9/9: Bakersfield Duals, 9AM and Thursday, 10/26: Victor Valley, 7PM.

Yesterday, BC Men’s Soccer hosted their home opener against Santa Monica College and The Bakersfield Californian highlighted the team in an article titled, “Renegades men’s soccer wants to take a second-year leap.” The article says, “BC also has several quality newcomers to its roster. Martinez believes one of the team’s biggest strengths is the play of midfielders Hernandez, Melendez, Luke Tovar (Stockdale High) and Danny Guerrero (East High, Taft College). ‘Everybody is very important, but our midfield group has been pushing the pace throughout our training, just making everybody better with their touch, their passing,’ Martinez said. ‘We’re very excited about the way they are playing.’”  VayronCoverArt_copy.jpgCross Country is also preparing for a brand new year. The Californian also highlighted both the women’s and men’s teams in an article titled, “Lots of changes for BC cross country teams.” The article spotlights some upcoming hopefuls and names to keep on your radar while also mentioning there are big shoes to fill. Specifically, it was shared that the women’s team qualified for CCCAA State Championship last year, but this year “… the BC men’s team has more runners and more experience at the junior college level than its female counterpart.”

Thank you Stephen Lynch at the Bakersfield Californian for the spotlights on BC athletics.

To stay up-to-date on all things Renegade Athletics, visit gogades.com!

SGA Retreat at Cerro Coso

SGA Retreat (7)

On Monday, August 14th, the student governments from Cerro Coso Community College and Bakersfield College met for their annual KCCD SGA Retreat in Ridgecrest. The day encompassed of various workshops and exercises to engage the officers in developing their leadership skills while bonding as a collective student voice for KCCD. Vice President of Student Services at Cerro Coso, Heather Ostash, presented to them on the importance of engaging in the participatory governance at the college, district, and state levels.

SGA Retreat (3)

Dr. Nicky Damania engaged the officers in a team building exercise of a simulation of being trapped in an earthquake, while Pam Campbell, SGA at Cerro Coso, explored the officers’ personality types through MBTI. The morning also included a working lunch with the KCCD student Trustee Rayven Acosta-Webb as they all engaged in ways of communication across the district.

SGA Retreat (5)

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AmeriCorps Member Placement Site

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Bakersfield College received an announcement last week with notification that we have been selected to serve as an AmeriCorps member placement site from the Foundation for California Community Colleges for the 2017-2018 academic year.

Maria and Yvonne

Maria Wright and Yvonne Armendariz

AmeriCorps members will serve as student ambassadors in work-based learning and career exploration for students at Bakersfield College. They will help students access services, improve employability, and prepare for success in college and career.

 

Thank you to the Foundation for California Community Colleges for your support of BC! Here are the two BC administrators who will be the Principal Investigators for the grant: Maria Wright and Yvonne Armendariz.

Jones Gallery

This year’s BC Art Faculty Exhibition at the Wylie and May Louise Jones Gallery inside the library promises to be exciting.

Every year, our art faculty puts together an exhibition of work showcasing all of the artistic techniques and media that they can provide to our students. There will of course be traditional painting, drawing and sculpture, but there will also be photography, video and digital media projects on hand for students to see the work that their talented art professors are capable of both working in and teaching.

The Art Faculty Exhibition runs September 14th through October 13th with a special artists’ reception from 4-7 p.m. on the opening day. The Jones Gallery’s hours of operation to check out the exhibit will be Mondays and Wednesdays from 2:30 to 4 p.m. and Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1-4 p.m.

Industrial & Transportation Technology (ITT) Completion Coaching Community

The Industrial & Transportation Technology (ITT) Pathway Completion Team started the fall semester off with a great orientation for students in this meta-major. It was the team’s first step in “clarifying the path,” the first pillar of our Guided Pathways Initiative. Approximately 50 students attended the event held on the Monday evening prior to the first week of classes.

Martin Perez, California Careers Pathway Trust Grant Program Manager, welcomed the participating students and introduced Antonio Alfaro, Career & Technical Education Advisor, who also spearheaded the Orientation planning. Antonio emphasized the need and importance of developing an educational plan. He provided a list of all the programs in the ITT Pathway and encouraged them to set up appointments with him for educational planning. Lupe Aguirre provided an overview of labor market trends within the Industrial Technology and Transportation Pathway, including career opportunities currently available. She directed them to career education services, such as job search preparation, internships, resume and cover letter critique, interview preparation and upon graduation, and referrals to employment in their field. Kim Arbolante, Writing Center Lead, introduced the students to the types of Academic Support services available and Pita Montes gave an overview of financial aid programs.

Five faculty from programs in the ITT Pathway talked about the courses in their disciplines, types of certificates and degrees available, and types of jobs students would qualify for upon completion of a program. Justin Flint represented the Auto Technology program; Manny Fernandez represented Electronics Technology; Catherine Jones described the new Occupational Safety and Risk Management program; Robert Stewart represented Manufacturing Technology; and Jason Dixon, Engineering and Industrial Technology Department Chair filled in the gaps by describing the remaining programs in the ITT Pathway. It was a great opportunity to showcase programs to students in the ITT Pathway and provide clarity about the path to success in these fields.

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A great partner — President Horace Mitchell

KernPromiseEven-042817s Karen Goh Sonya Christian Horace Mitchell

Mayor Karen Goh. President Sonya Christian, President Horace Mitchell

President Horace Mitchell recently announced his retirement.  He has been a great partner of Bakersfield College and a valuable colleague during the last four years of my presidency.  He has been a great President of our CSUB and a great collaborator.

The official announcement can be found on CSUB’s website available here.

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Valley Fever Walk at Kern County Museum

Emmanual at Fever WalkEmmanuel Limaco was featured in Mayor Karen Goh’s photographs from last Saturday’s Valley Fever Walk at the Kern County Museum. The walk is the culmination of all the charity efforts taking place during Valley Fever Awareness Month, which seeks to spread the word about treatment and prevention of one of the Central Valley’s most debilitating illnesses.

All the proceeds from the Valley Fever walk go to finding a cure and raising awareness of Valley Fever, a dangerous fungal disease endemic to parts of Southwestern North America in general but the San Joaquin Valley in particular. Kern County residents have a 1-3 percent chance of contracting the disease, according to a report by KBAK/KBFX Eyewitness News. Dr. Hans Einstein, a relative of famed physicist Albert Einstein, was the foremost authority on Valley Fever and conducted most of his research at Kern Medical Center in Bakersfield for almost 50 years. The Valley Fever walk, now in its sixth year, is held in his honor.

Harold Pierce of The Bakersfield Californian has been doing great coverage of Valley Fever.  Congressman Kevin McCarthy has set this issue on the national agenda.  Check it out http://tinyurl.com/yadesyxd

A nice note.

Last week, BC Professor, Gayle Richardson was kind enough to send me a message along with a LinkedIn article about the passion of great bosses. I often say that I’m the luckiest and happiest college president ever and it’s because of our incredible faculty, staff, and students. It’s always a treat to see what they’re up to.

Gayle was in Encinitas last week putting together a princess birthday for her granddaughter. Rapunzel came to life and told all of the girls at the party stories and sang songs with them. She ended the email by saying, “I am looking forward to working with the students in one more week and seeing everyone on campus this week.”

Agriculture professor Chris McCraw posted this fun video on Facebook.

 

Check our STEM team on Opening Day sporting some latest tie-dye fashions. Opening Day was filled with smiles and energy ready for the new academic year.

STEM 201770

It’s fall 2017 and it’s a great time to be a Renegade!

Community Members connected to BC:

This week I met Dr. Jim Grimes and while we were talking he told me about his daughter Sarah Grimes who graduated from BC this past May and is now is a transfer student at UC Santa Barbara.  I am always excited to hear stories about BC grads.  And as it turns out Sarah’s mom Tracie is an English faculty member at BC.  Renegades everywhere!

Sara Grimes

Sarah Grimes

So what about Neo?

Poor baby…… Of course, I could hardly work with him recuperating from a recent procedure. Though I have to say he’s been remarkably tolerant and gracious through it all.

He is 54 lbs now.

August 24 2017 Neo right after surgery

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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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2 thoughts on “Welcoming Students – It’s Fall 2017

  1. Nick Strobel August 26, 2017 at 2:36 pm Reply

    * I’m glad that Timothy Plett got his students out to see the partial eclipse. All the K8 schools kept their kids inside which was a big disappointment. Lisa was able to get her high school students out to see the partial, using a SolarScope and passing around her solar eclipse glasses. I showed my students a movie of my eclipse observations on Wednesday and I augmented the eclipse section of the online astronomy textbook with pics and info from this eclipse.

    *The water bottle filling stations also fulfill BC’s Wellness core value.
    *The ITT orientation is a great model to emulate!

  2. Mary Jo Anhalt August 26, 2017 at 5:22 pm Reply

    What’s the title of Matt Garrett’s new book? Lots of really intelligent folks here in Utah!!

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