BC – a campus and community of incredible support

Good morning Bakersfield.  It is Saturday, September 16, 2017 and a great day to be a Renegade.

Jonathan GarciaOur campus and community was hit with devastating news regarding the tragic passing of 17 year old, Renegade athlete and student, Jonathan Garcia.

Dr. Jen Garrett commented:

As a music major, Jonathan’s bright smile, warm heart, and big voice was a wonderful addition to the BC Choir. His countenance and spirit lifted those around him and made them want to be better people. The students and faculty of the Performing Arts Department are grieved by the loss of such a wonderful young man. But Jonathan would want to be remembered for his life and not his passing. The Bakersfield College Choir and Chamber Singers celebrate his spirit, and will carry his memory in the music we make this semester and beyond.

Sandi Taylor, BC’s Athletics Director said,

The best part of athletics is that we win and lose together…as a team and a community. That is the small comfort we take as we remember the loss of our Renegade Jonathan Sebastian Garcia.  Before Jonathan was ever a Renegade, Rebel, or “Tank”, he held the greater titles of first-born son to his mother and two younger brothers. We ask that you remember and support his mother and family in their hour of incredible grief and loss.

An incredibly moving article and report was created by Tabatha Mills at KGET titled “A Labor of Love.

The BC Choir is dedicating the October 27th concert to him, titled “The Music of Living.”

Remembering 9-11

Last Monday was the 16th anniversary of the day that changed all of our lives. The attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11th altered the course of this nation’s history, and everyone remembers where they were when they first saw or heard about it.


Here in Bakersfield, 3,000 miles away, a 22-foot girder from the North Tower of the World Trade Center stands in front of the fire station on Buena Vista Road in honor of all those who lost their lives that day, as well as the emergency service personnel who helped save lives. I had the honor of attending the memorial and unveiling last year and shared it on my blog. If you have not seen this local memorial in person, I encourage you to stop by and remember the brave men and women in New York that day.

Renegade Football

Renegade football is off to a fabulous 2-0 start to the season after beating Chaffey College 46-13 last weekend in Rancho Cucamonga. The Renegades dominated the game from the first whistle, according to Trevor Horn’s report in the Californian, holding the Chaffey Panthers to just one touchdown in the first 55 minutes while scoring boatloads of points off of a balanced offense on the air and ground.

Coach Chudy still feels like the ‘Gades could do a lot to improve, but is satisfied with the depth and versatility he has on this year’s squad.

Hancock at BC_18

“We have a lot of speed and trying to utilize that speed and take advantage of matchups,” Chudy said. “Mismatches is really what we are trying to do. We are afforded that luxury to do that because we have good competition at a lot of spots.”

Last week, Horn wrote another article highlighting ‘Gades linebacker Desmond Ramseur, a six-year veteran of the US Marine Corps Forces Reserve. After serving with the Combat Logistics Batallion 451 in South Carolina, Ramseur moved to Bakersfield in 2015.

Ramseur, who Coach Chudy nicknamed “Marine”, recorded a team-high 14 tackles in BC’s 21-6 Week 1 victory at home against Allan Hancock.

Many of us headed over to Chaffey battling crazy I-5 and 210 traffic.  In fact we joked that we had almost as many in the stands as the home team.  Below are some photos.

Renegade Football is a great opportunity to support the Renegades and reconnect with incredible friends. I saw Ray Maranda and Chris Hitchcock supporting the team. He is a former Renegade athletic trainer and she is a former office manager in A&R and has served on the Foundation Board. And Rob Parsons was there supporting the ‘Gades!

Renegades at Chaffey

Ray Maranda and Chris Hitchcock



Rob Parsons and Sonya Christian

I also love seeing our incredible cheer team, led by coach Heather Foss. They always bring the Renegade spirit!



BC Cheer Team


Dr. Bill Baker our team doctor is at all Renegade Football games as well. I mentioned last year in my blog post: “Here is a gang of regulars at the games. Sharon Baker and Bill Baker (The Renegade Football doc) come to all the games. It always warms my heart to see both Dr. Baker and Dr. Tivnon out there with our student athletes.” Thank you Bill and Sharon Baker for all that you to for Bakersfield College and our student athletes.


Here is Dr. Bill Baker and Stig Jantz, Academic Advisor on the field.

I was so delighted to see Raquel Lopez with her daughter, Thalia Solorio, at the game.  I remembered Rich McCrow proudly sharing stories about Thalia’s achievements and it was a delight seeing her with her mom Raquel who is so dedicated to BC and our students.  Raquel was at Chaffey to support her son Mario Solorio #50 on the Renegade Football team.

Thalia Solorio, Sonya Christian, Raquel Lopez Sep 9 2017

Thalia Solorio, Sonya Christian, Raquel Lopez

For all things Renegade Athletics, visit http://gogades.com.

Community Partners Supporting Students

Kern Federal Credit Union LogoThe incredible people at Kern Federal Credit Union (KFCU) have partnered with the BC DACA Response Team to communicate the details of their emergency loan program to the community.  KFCU will automatically approve all current DACA beneficiaries for $500 emergency loans toward DACA renewal fees, with no credit underwriting required.  Additionally, the San Francisco-based non-profit Mission Asset Fund (MAF) is offering $495 scholarships to cover renewal fees. Thank you Kern Federal Credit Union for the support of BC students.

To learn more about this and other resources and info, please consider attending the DACA Community Forum on September 21st in BC’s Fireside Room. Guest panelists include local attorneys Win Eaton, H.A. Sala, Sarah Rich, and Vanessa Sanchez.  For all the details on this, please visit the BC website

Talking about DACA, our student trustee, Rayven Acosta-Webb on the KCCD board addressed the DACA issue will the board on Thursday, Sep 14th. She talked about the 1000 students across KCCD (about 40 at Cerro Coso, 100 at Porterville, and 800 at BC). Here is a photo I snapped of Rayven while she was making her remarks sitting next to Trustee Romeo Agbalog.  Also, Lawrence Salcido, who is there as an interpreter for Rayven.



The fire alarm went off right before the board meeting and while everyone was outside I snapped this great picture of these three student leaders — Rayven Acosta, Lawrence Salcido, and Dezi Von Manos.

Rayven Acosta Webb, Lawrence Salcido, Dezi Von Manos Sep 14 2017


Gadfly Cafe

In conjunction with this year’s “One Book” event, the first Gadfly Café of the semester engaged students in a debate about poverty.

Gadfly Reggie and Jack

Jack Hernandez and Reggie Williams

The Levan Center was filled for this month’s Gadfly Café, a round-table student discussion about complex issues held three times a semester and organized by BC philosophy professor Reggie Williams, with many voices contributing to the conversation. Williams opened with a few statistics about poverty and the wealth gap in the United States, and stepped away to let students express their own opinions about the issue, chiming in occasionally to clarify some information or make connections with other students’ comments.

While there were many voices in the discussion and several differing points of view, students tended to agree that some combination of education, advocacy and personal responsibility were key to fighting against poverty, and that while there are many structural issues that help to create and sustain poverty, there is no simple, one-size-fits-all solution to the problem. Thank you Reggie for taking the time to keep the Gadfly Café going, as well as Jack Hernandez and all at the Levan Center for providing a space where students can exercise their critical thinking skills.

Transfer Day

At BC, we continually work to open doors of opportunities for our students! This Fall’s Transfer Day was a great example of this with over 40 UC’s, CSU’s, private, and out of state colleges and universities on campus inspiring students to go forth with their dreams after Renegade Commencement. Marisa Marquez, Director of Transfer Center, said on the flier “Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop. Come talk to college and university reps today!”

Transfer Day 2017 (1)

Thank you to all the visiting campuses:

Academy of Art University

Alliant International University

Arizona State University

Brandman University

CA Baptist University

California Health Sciences University

Colorado State University

CSU Bakersfield

CSU East Bay

CSU Fresno

CSU Northridge

CSU Sacramento

CSU Stanislaus

DeVry University

Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising

Fresno Pacific University

Grand Canyon University

Pepperdine University

San Francisco State University

Sonoma State University

Gurnick Academy of Medical Arts-Fresno

Holy Names University

Hope International University

Humboldt State University

Laguna College of Art and Design

Los Angeles College Music

Montana Tech

National University

New School of Architecture

Northern Arizona University

Notre Dame de Namur University

U.S. Air Force

U.S. Army

U.S. Marines

U.S. Navy


UC Berkeley

UC Davis

UC Irvine

UC Los Angeles

UC Merced

UC Riverside

UC San Diego

UC Santa Barbara

UC Santa Cruz

Union Institute and University

University of Alaska, Fairbanks

University of La Verne

University of Nevada, Las Vegas

University of Nevada, Reno

University of San Francisco

University of the Pacific

Westmont College

William Jessup University



Saw Bernadette Martinez looking happy and fully engaged.  This is why I am the luckiest and happiest college president ever.  I snapped this picture of her and you can see the pure joy on her face having fun and taking care of our students. #WeAreBC.

Berna MArtinez at Transfer Day

Grimmway Academy in Shafter

Grimmway Academy Ribbon Cutting in Shafter Sep 16 2017.jpg

Mayor Karen Goh at ribbon cutting

Mayor Karen Goh at Ribbon Cutting

Grimmway Academy held a ribbon cutting ceremony for its school in Shafter. Although the school officially opened its doors to students last month, they invited the community to celebrate the opening of the charter school’s new location on Saturday, September 16. Dignitaries, parents, students, and community members attended the event on a beautiful Saturday morning.

After opening remarks from Executive Director, Paul Escala, several others spoke about the vision of the school. Among those who spoke was Barbara Grimm-Marshall, Founder and CEO of Grimm Family Education Foundation.

Barbara Grimm Marshall Sep 16 2017

After the ribbon cutting ceremony, Grimmway Academy staff led tours of the facilities. Community members learned about the edible school yard program, as well as the other innovative projects happening at the school.

Casey Yeazel, Abel Guzman, Paul Escala

Casey Yeazel, Abel Guzman, Paul Escala

Bakersfield College is proud to partner with Grimmway Academy at both their flagship site in Arvin, and now in Shafter.

“One Book” Kickoff

On Wednesday, we were honored to host the kick-off event for this year’s “One Book, One Bakersfield, One Kern” project, which will hopefully kick off a number of enlightening and productive conversations about how to fight poverty in our community.

This year’s book, which is being read in classes at BC, Taft College, Cal State Bakersfield and the Kern High School District, will be “$2.00 A Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America”, a series of case studies about the survival strategies of various people living under extreme poverty.

One Book (1)To help bring issues about poverty into proper perspective, BC student Emmanuel Limaco told a powerful story about being homeless, incarcerated and living in transitional housing facilities before coming to BC, and how his education here and the assistance he received from the Renegade Pantry empowered him to be ready for new opportunities. Now he’s working on an engineering degree and is employed at the Renegade Pantry, helping other students that were in the same situation as he was.

“For a book like this to come out, it helps bring in the reality of the situation,” Limaco said. “These themes apply to us locally.”

The “One Book, One Bakersfield, One Kern” project is one of the most successful shared reading programs in the country, according to Emerson Case, an English professor and First Year Experience Coordinator at CSUB who helped organize this year’s program and attends national conferences about community shared reading projects. No other “common reads” are coordinating between all 24 county library branches, high schools, and multiple 2-year and 4-year institutions across different districts, Case said. The choice of reading material, as well as the comprehensive nature of our “One Book” program, will help set the table for debates about how to combat poverty for decades to come.

“[Reading ‘$2.00 A Day’] gives us a chance to raise awareness of positive, productive ways to deal with this issue,” Case said. “A hungry student is a student who’s not concentrating on their learning.”

One Book (2)

Case also took a moment to praise the Renegade Pantry program at BC, adding that it’s inspired CSUB to look into pantries, edible food gardens and other options to provide nutrition to its most desperate students. KHSD Director of Instructional Services Vickie Spanos was excited to share “$2.00 A Day” with 12th grade English students in the hopes of preparing them for college-level reading material, while Taft College’s English and Arts Division Chair Kamala Carlson announced a number of exciting events they’ll be hosting around the book.

Kern County Library Interim Director, Andie Apple also announced several other events surrounding the month and a half of “One Book” project, culminating in a book signing and visit from “$2.00 A Day” authors Kathryn J. Edin and H. Luke Shaefer at CSUB’s Icardo Center on November 1st.

2017-2018 Art Faculty Exhibition

The creative and talented art faculty have their work on display at the Jones Gallery as part of this year’s BC Art Faculty Exhibition.

The gallery held a reception with the artists on Thursday to kick off the gallery, displaying a myriad of different kinds of art in all mediums, from traditional drawing, painting and sculpture to photography, video and digital media.

Jones Art Gallery (5)

Diego Gutierrez had one of his Frida Kahlo paintings shipped to Bakersfield especially for this event, and it’s a gorgeous celebration of a very special and influential woman. Here is a teaser from Facebook when Diego shared that he’d be bringing the piece to campus.


If you are on campus, please consider visiting the 2017-2018 Art Faculty Exhibition inside the library from now until October 13th. It’s a great opportunity to see the variety of different art forms that our faculty can teach you. Hours are Monday/Wednesday from 2:30 to 4:00PM and Tuesday/Thursday from 1:00-4:00PM.


And a special thank you to all involved: Andrew Borrego, Cameron Brian, Jamee Eaton, Darrin Ekern, Glen Gustafson, Diego Gutierrez, Gina Herrera, Jeffrey Huston, David Koeth, Christopher Lessley, Armando Rubio, Adel Shafik, Kristopher Stallworth, Dacey Villarreal, and Ronald Wrest.

I am indeed the luckiest and happiest college president ever.

So proud of our Ag department

Thank you Sally Sterns for sending me this link.  I am sure you will enjoy Billy Barnes as much as I do.  Great Ag faculty and a trustee on the KCSOS Board.

And here is a tweet from one of our brand new faculty in Agriculture, Jim Selgrath

Jim Selgrath Tweet Sep 14 2017


This Week on Facebook

sarah-baron-feb-18-2017-californianI’m always inspired by the faculty and staff at BC and the incredible things accomplished and achieved. Sarah Baron, Public Health Sciences faculty posted this on her Facebook.

This crazy thing happen to me yesterday. I got this email out of the blue..an article I published last year was selected for an award. How cool is that?

‘I am pleased to notify you that your article, “License to Let Go in Transitional Kindergarten Programs: Supports and Barriers of Play-Based Strategies” has been selected to receive the 2017 American Association for Teaching and Curriculum Francis P. Hunkins Distinguished Article award in our category of curriculum. All nominated articles were evaluated on the following criteria: how the article contributes to the field; the means and extent to which it provokes dialogue; its implications for improving educational practice; its cogency.’”

A preview of the article is available here. Congratulations from everyone at BC – it’s a great thing to see amazing faculty recognized for their hard work.

Spotted in The Californian

Richard Beene mentioned the recent Pickleball tournament in his Bakersfield Observed column. He said, “Congratulations to Nick Jacobs, who staged a successful inaugural Renegade Cup Pickleball tournament up at Bakersfield College this weekend. Jacobs, head tennis coach at BC, said he had more than 100 players from Fresno, Visalia, Lancaster, Hanford and Phoenix attend the tournament.” Check it out at Bakersfield.com.

Central California World Language Project (CCWLP) hosts their conference at Bakersfield College.

Thank you Maritza Carlisle for organizing the event.  Thank you Susan Guenette for sending me these photos.


September 15 2017 Neo

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Tagged: , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply