Happy Thanksgiving Bakersfield!
With the holidays here, we often tend to find our thoughts drifting towards some common themes. Food, family, faith, friends, celebrations, and did I mention good food? It is a special time to be with our families and remind ourselves of the things for which we are thankful. Not tangible possessions; but the things that truly count, and that enrich our lives beyond measure.
It would be nearly impossible to complete a list of things for which my heart is thankful… because the list grows every week. But, I’d like to share just a few in no particular order:
We are BC! and in addition, we are a family. The bonds we have formed with our colleagues have become friendships and we work together achieving our mission, upholding our core values, and relentlessly supporting our students to reach their maximum potential and educational goals. Our campus is a place of true hope, transformation, and dreams. The opportunities we have to change lives is an incredible blessing and I’m left without words considering both the purpose and the privilege we have to be the pillar of hope in the lives of our students.
I’m thankful for quality affordable education we provide. We foster our core value of learning by empowering all students and ultimately transforming our community into one that gives a healthy voice and strength to all people.
I’m thankful for each and every one of the staff, faculty, and administrators … for their unique talents and multitude of gifts; for what they bring to the campus each day; for what they offer to our community; for their heart and passion to educate and to make a difference in the lives of our students.
To my BC family, thank you for making BC a successful and beautiful place to call our second home. May the gifts of love, peace, and happiness be with you and your families this holiday season.
I’m thankful for our community and the neighborhoods of Bakersfield, Delano, Shafter, Arvin, Lamont, Wasco, McFarland, and more. Your support has been unwavering and strong. Thank you for accepting Bakersfield College into the heart of your community. For over 100 years, BC has been bringing academic excellence and social consciousness into the lives of our students, regardless of their academic program, education path, or demographic differences. At the same time, the college has evolved into a multifaceted institution that serves more students than ever imagined at the time it was founded.
A few days ago, I saw a piece in The Bakersfield Californian titled “Valley Voices: Americans should share more than a meal on Thanksgiving” by David Mas Masumoto. In the piece, David says, “Across the nation, we need conversations more than ever. People are not talking with each other. We yell or are silent. Many of us seem to be harboring an anger, fueled by news of scandal, disaster, shootings, politics. We live in a polarized world.” He continued, ” Let’s use this opportunity to engage.”
Visit from McCarthy’s office.
We were happy to host visitors from Congressman Kevin McCarthy’s Office this week — Emma Rindels, stationed in DC, and Adam Falk here in Bakersfield. Paul Beckworth and Armando Trujillo briefed them on our Veterans Services and showed them the rendering of the future Veterans Resource Center.
Renegades at the Patriotic Bowl
Last weekend, I enjoyed visiting Long Beach to cheer on the Renegade football team at the Patriotic Bowl. Jon Mettus at The Bakersfield Californian covered the game in his article, “Renegades’ football season ends with bowl loss.” Although it’s not how we would have wanted to end the season, our athletes have so much to be proud of this year.
During the game, I went to sit with Elijah Ortiz‘s mom. Elijah is a Renegade freshman from Stockdale High School and a key member of our football team leading the way with over a 1000 yards on offense with 13 touchdowns including a 4 touchdown performance against Moorpark on Oct. 15th. He is a solid student with a criminal justice major.
Panthers and Renegades
On Tuesday, November 15th, Panthers and Renegades partnered up to celebrate Parents as Partners Event. Corny Rodriguez represented Bakersfield College in a packed auditorium and shared his inspirational story. With an auditorium at full capacity Corny moved several parents to tears, and many of them claimed it was the most memorable and educational event they had ever experienced. A total of 580 parents and students took part in this evening. The Edison School District thanks you! Panthers and Renegades ROCK!
BC’s ASL Program
ASL Program faculty members, Tom Moran and Jaclyn Krause, hosted the Southern California Registry Interpreters of the Deaf on Saturday, Nov. 18th at BC’s Levan Center.
Moran and Krause are developing an English/ASL Interpreter Training Program at BC, the first in the ASL Program’s 46 year history. Their first cadre of students started the program this semester. There is a chronic shortage of trained American Sign Language interpreters at Bakersfield College, in Kern County, and throughout the United States.
The morning began with SCRID’s monthly business meeting, which was conducted entirely in American Sign Language. BC ITP students were invited to attend to practice their voice interpreting skills. Because one board member had to participate remotely, a practicum opportunity presented itself. With support from Jaclyn Krause, BC ITP student Cheri Allard provided voice interpreting over the phone for the absent board member for two hours.
Following a one hour lunch break, there was a workshop facilitated by Tom Moran on the topics of fingerspelling and ASL classifiers. In addition to SCRID board members, others who attended the workshop were Bakersfield community and educational interpreters, BC ASL students, and ITP students from as far away as Pomona and Mt. San Antonio College. Like the board meeting, the workshop was conducted entirely in ASL.
Krause and Moran were especially pleased to see Kim Tripney. Kim was in Moran’s very first ASL B1 class fifteen years ago. She graduated from BC with an AA degree in American Sign Language and went on to CSUN where she earned a BA degree in Deaf Studies. Since then, she has become a busy interpreter in LA and Orange County, working at Long Beach City College, Purple Communications, and Disneyland, where she is part of a team of interpreters who provide access to Deaf park visitors.
Moran and the SCRID board. Cynthia Herbst, back row, far right, is a faculty emeritus from LA Valley Pierce College who taught interpreting for many years. She has been instrumental in assisting Moran and Krause to get the interpreting program up and running. She is also of Basque ancestry, so she asked the group to join her at the Pyrenees Café for a traditional Basque feast.
As the interpreting program gains steam, they anticipate training many more sign language interpreters to address the dire need in Kern County and throughout California and the United States. The certificate program will provide students with the skills to obtain state credentialing, pursue gainful employment, and to serve the Deaf Community in Bakersfield, Kern County, and beyond.
For all the photos, visit Tom Moran’s SmugMug page.
Adjunct Faculty Hiring Fair
Bakersfield College has been growing at a steady and impressive pace as it serves our students and community. With such growth comes a need for more professors so we’ve recently held two Adjunct Faculty Hiring Fairs to provide potential applicants with information on the hiring process, and opportunities to complete applications on the spot. The first date took place on November 4th and we had over 60 interested guests in attendance. On the second date, November 7th, we had over 110 in attendance.
Thank you to Dena Rhoades, Cornelio Rodriguez, Bill Moseley, and Andrea Thorson.
KCCD’s Vice Chancellor of Human Resources, Tonya Davis, even posted about the events.
1984 at BC
Director Kimberly Chin and the students and staff of the BC Performing Arts Department performed another successful production in the Indoor Theater last weekend, bringing the theatrical adaptation of George Orwell’s “1984” to life.
Orwell’s message about the dangers of totalitarianism continues to resonate today, and it took a lot of work to bring that message to life. Without the hard work of Kimberly Chin, Tech Director Kevin Ganger, and all of the actors, stage, set, costume and sound design crew, none of it would be possible. I’d also like to thank our graphic designer Eric Carillo for creating the poster, program and promotional materials.
BC Wrestling brought home three 2nd place medals and a consolation championship from The Brawl Tournament at East Los Angeles College Saturday.
Pedro Ramirez, Marco Velasque, and Zavion Roberson were BC’s top finishers, while Braden Riley nabbed the consolation championship with his third place finish.
The Renegades will host the Southern California Regional Championships on Saturday, December 2nd, in the Gil Bishop Sports Center with action beginning at 10am.
Transgender Day of Remembrance
Members of BC’s allies came together to honor the lives of transgender people who were murdered over the past year during the campus’ recognition of Transgender Day of Remembrance on Monday.
Since the founding of Transgender Day of Remembrance in 1999 by Gwendolyn Ann Smith to memorialize the murder of her friend Rita Hester, members of the transgender community and its supporters worldwide have come together every year on November 20th to list the names of transgender individuals who were killed. Attendees to BC’s event in Fireside read the name and a short biography for each of the 27 transgender people killed in the United States. The number is likely higher, since family members often misreport a murdered individual’s gender.
Approximately 29 percent of transgender adults have attempted suicide in their lifetimes, and 55 percent have thought about committing suicide. This is at a rate of 14 to 22 times higher than the general population, according to a cross-university study published in the journal Transgender Health. Progress is being made toward increasing transgender acceptance in American society, including the election of several transgender politicians across the US this November, but a lot of work still needs to be done.
Prof. Helen Acosta spoke about how to foster an environment of safety and acceptance that discourages violence, discrimination and misunderstanding about the transgender community. UCLA’s Williams Institute published a survey in January 2014 examining the root causes of the increase in suicidal tendencies among transgender and other gender non-conforming adults. It found that suicide attempt rates decrease with support from family and friends and the absence of harassment or bullying at any level of school.
Here is BC’s core value of Diversity.
A movie holiday weekend.
So this weekend it was Marvel’s Justice League and then Blade Runner 2049. Although both movies did not get the best reviews (in fact, Justice League got a star and a half), I enjoyed both. Probably because I am a die-hard Marvel movie fan as well as Blade Runner fan. If you have not seen Blade Runner 2049, I’ll warn you that it is close to 3 hours long. Here is the review by A.O.Scott of the NY Times:
November 21, 2017
November 23, 2017
November 25, 2017
That’s all for now.
Until next time.
With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.
the luckiest and happiest college president ever