Closing The Chapter on 2017

Happy New Year!

Foxtail Agave in bloom Dec 24 2017

Foxtail Agave in Santa Monica

Good morning Bakersfield.  It is Saturday, December 30, 2017.  A great day and a great year to be a Renegade.

It seems like it was only yesterday that we were wrapping up 2016, but here we are about to ring in the new year. So much has happened this year, there is so much to celebrate, and still so much to look forward to.

It is a pleasure to look back on my blog over the past year and celebrate the good work happening at our college each and every day to improve student success. I am truly the luckiest and happiest college president ever, and I am so thankful for my colleagues who make it their life’s work to ensure students reach their college dreams.

Bakersfield College is a place of hope, transformation, and dreams. I can’t wait to see all that 2018 has in store.

2017 was a great year for Bakersfield College.  I am happy to report that the State of the College is strong.

Bakersfield College (BC) continues its strong growth and leadership among community colleges in the state, particularly in its implementation of guided pathways. The annual 2016-17 headcount was 31,292  producing 15,879 Full-time Equivalent Students (FTES), a 7% increase relative compared to 2015-16. Early indications from fall 2017 enrollments indicate that more growth is projected for 2017-18.

Enrollment growth chart.png

BC’s work over the past three years has:

Resulted in FTES growth in an environment where the overall state FTES was actually 1.2% lower in 2016-2017 than it was in 2015-2016
Improved early student momentum metrics, with over 50% more students completing transfer-level English and math within their first year
Broadened outreach, particularly in rural Kern County, including new demographics of students
Connected us with business and industry leaders, other educational sectors, and community organizations
Positioned the college as a statewide leader in the guided pathways movement, increasing opportunities with funders for further increases in categorical funding

The Dual enrollment program began in fall of 2013 in order to provide Wonderful Academy students the opportunity to complete an Associate of Science in Ag Business by the time the student completed their high school education. Since that time the College has developed partnerships with 24 high schools.  Thank you Noemi Donoso and Wonderful for the partnership.  Thank you Michael Turnipseed and Supervisor Leticia Perez for the funding with the Game Changer program in Arvin.

Dual Enrollment.png

Delano and Rural Kern County:  Delano FTES increased from 1,092 in 2015-2016 to 1,310 2016-2017; a 20% increase in just one year.  Growth was also noticeable in Arvin, McFarland, Shafter, and Wasco, as well as in inmate education.

Rural enrollments.png

BC also recently launched the Rural Initiative Distance Education (R.I.D.E) Project, which will establish distance education classrooms at Arvin High School, Delano High School, and Cesar E. Chavez High School. These interactive technology classrooms will be used to stream college courses from Bakersfield College to the high school sites, and high school site to high school site. Also of note in Delano in 2017-2018 is the implementation the National Endowment for the Humanities grant program Digital Delano: Preserving an International Community’s History. To find our more about this project, click here  https://bakersfieldcollege.libguides.com/DigitalDelano

Superheroes at the BC Foundation

All of the transformation that takes place at BC through classes, community outreach and student success initiatives have one thing in common—they require hundreds of hours of time, lots of dedication, and a lot of heart.

Tom Gelder and Sonya Christian May 25 2017 croppedTom Gelder and our BC Foundation work year-round raising funds to close the financial gaps that might prevent us from helping students who would be able to excel on our campus, and to create a better world for their families and our community.

Taking a look back, the Foundation hosted two fundraisers in 2017—this year’s Sterling Silver event honored the community members who helped secure the passing of Measure J, while last fall’s Tailgade reached out to our Renegade football supporters with a steak dinner and performance from Mento Buru (who debuted a new version of the BC Fight Song that’s currently being recorded with Josh Ottum from the Commercial Music program).

We have a wonderful Donor Relations Manager Heather Pennella!  Here is a picture of Heather with Lauren Skidmore at this year’s Sterling Silver.

Heather Pennella and Lauren SkidmoreThe Board of Directors to the BC Foundation just welcomed five new members—Connie Perez-Andreesen, Ryan Hansen, Jay Rosenlieb, Sarabjeet Singh, and Derek Yurosek. Each new member will bring their own strengths to the already strong Board of Directors and were sought to represent the needs of BC students, staff and the changing Kern County business community.

Next year, the 10th annual Sterling Silver dinner will take place on February 24th – Are you saving the date? And the Foundation is working on introducing an Employee Giving Program during Spring 2018, while also strengthening alumni outreach for the new year.

Umoja Spotlight

The Umoja Community ASTEP program had a great semester and was recently spotlighted in a News Observer article! The success rate in English 53 was three times the success rate of African-American students not in Umoja ASTEP. The students in the Umoja math class we added had a 100% success rate!

Umoja News Observer

 

Notes about our Faculty

Deborah Rosenthal

Deborah Rosenthal

Deborah Rosenthal, BC Chemistry professor emailed me a sweet note during winter break which said:

“Yesterday I had the pleasure of meeting a family in the park by the Kern River below the Bluffs. The father is a structural engineer and owns a business in town.   He says he speaks to BC classes/students. The son told me he began at BC and transferred to Davis.  He shared complimentary comments concerning his chemistry courses at BC.  This is quite impressive considering he is now in a Master’s Engineering program at Davis!

I just wanted to share because I understand at my age I must live vicariously through the success of my students.”

Diego Gutierrez Monterrubio:  The article begins with… “Talking about art with Diego Monterrubio is like listening to a love story” – can it get any better than that? Bakersfield College is a place filled with incredible faculty and staff who love what they do. Professor Monterrubio is one of those who is not only active in his craft as an accomplished artist regionally and internationally, but he also truly is interested and cares about his students. Thank you to Bakersfield Magazine for highlighting Diego and his work!

Expressions

Christmas in Santa Monica 

It was a wonderful quiet Christmas.  My daughter was on call on Christmas day and needed to be close to the hospital.  So we decided to spend Christmas in Santa Monica with her.

Eisha Christian, Pam Christian, Sonya Christian Dec 24 2017

The three days were filled with long walks on the beach, family talks, and good food.  In fact my daughter cooked dinner at her apartment on December 24th which was my first. It was fabulous.  Neo was on overload the first day with all the new sights and sounds as we took him for walks on Ocean Avenue and Third Street Promenade.

Restaurants that I loved — (1)  Scopa in Marina Del Rey: An Italian place that serves Italian food tapas style.  The cauliflower, eggplan parmesan, and barrota with beets were all delicious.  https://www.scopaitalianroots.com/    (2) The Ivy in Santa Monica. I loved the chilaquiles.  http://theivyrestaurants.com/ivy-at-the-shore/

Neo enjoying life

 

December 23 2017 Neo

 

 

Holidays and the movies:

I loved the latest Star Wars movie: The Last Jedi.  Manohla Dargis of the New York Times
(https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/12/movies/star-wars-the-last-jedi-review.html?_r=0) titles her review Star Wars: The Last Jedi Embraces the Magic and the Mystery.   And the movie sure does.  Loved many scenes like the one where Luke Skywalker projects himself across galaxies for a face-off with Kylo Ren or Princess Laela propelling herself through space towards the spaceship.  The new characters of Rey, Finn and Poe are a lot of fun.  I must say that the evil Supreme Leader Snoke kept reminding me of Hugh Heffner with his gold lame cloak. lol… not sure that is what Rian Johnson was hoping will be the takeaway from the evil Snoke character.

From Social Media

From Facebook – great picture of Michael Turnipseed with his wife Nancy and little grand-daughter Hattie.  Thank you Mike for your support of Bakersfield College in 2017.  Looking forward to getting nudges from you in 2018 to do bigger and better things for our community.

Michael Turnipseed, Nancy Turnipseed and Hattie their randdaughter on Christmas 2018

Also from Facebook – Nick Strobel posted the following after the family saw The Last Jedi on December 26, 2017.

Strobels after The Lst Jedi Dec 26 2017

Small contingent of Strobels saw “The Last Jedi” today (lit Star Wars sign in the background was washed out). One battle scene after the other with several places where it could have ended the movie, that after a while I felt like I did with the last of the Hobbit movies: when does this thing end? Some new things not seen in previous movies were a mind-link of two characters with the Force, another person surviving the vacuum of space with the Force, and a Jedi master using the Force to project himself across light years of space in a state of pseudo-corporeal existence.

Tom Pasek on Facebook:

Tom Pasek Post about his sister Dec 2017.png

Coach Rich Hughes on twitter:

Rich Hughes Dec 29 2017.png

BC’s Pre-med Club on Facebook — Rebecca Cabeza, Rebecca Sinor, Catherine Pereira

Rebecca Cabeza, Rebecca Sinor, Catherine Pereira

 

Cindy Collier

Cindy Collier Dec 29 2017

Dena and her new pup Bob.  10 weeks and 15 pounds.

Dena Rhoades and Bob at 10 weeks Dec 2017

Sonya Christian in 22 Reef Street Dec 23 2017

 

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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7 thoughts on “Closing The Chapter on 2017

  1. Michael O’Doherty December 30, 2017 at 6:12 am Reply

    Those are impressive numbers in Arvin. It so funny you say that about the evil master because I thought he had the HH resemblance too. Love the long hair and bangs look : – )

    • SonyaChristian December 31, 2017 at 6:25 am Reply

      Thank you for the comment Michael. I was delighted to read that you thought the evil master had the HH look. Funny.

  2. Nick Strobel December 30, 2017 at 10:16 am Reply

    Good stuff happening at BC but I’m glad that you were able to take a break to connect with family. That picture of the three generations is a very good picture!

    • SonyaChristian December 31, 2017 at 6:24 am Reply

      Thank you for your comment Nick. Two more days then we are back at it. This holiday break was a good one.

  3. Emmanuel (Manny) Mourtzanos December 30, 2017 at 9:06 pm Reply

    I love how the amazing work of Bakersfield College never ceases, even during campus closures. Congrats to Diego on his recognition!

    • Diego Gutierrez Monterrubio M.F.A. December 31, 2017 at 4:59 am Reply

      Thanks Manny! I’m blessed to be part of this BC Family!

    • SonyaChristian December 31, 2017 at 6:23 am Reply

      Manny, thank you for sending me the information on Diego. You are always so proud of his accomplishments.

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