We are Bakersfield!

Good Morning Bakersfield.  It is Saturday, April 21, 2018 and a great day to be a Renegade.

The Renegade Red and White Roses are bursting out creating a joyous walkway into my home.

Great week at BC and in our community.  Let me start with the Bakersfield Women’s Business Conference

Bakersfield Women’s Business Conference

Thursday was the 28th annual Bakersfield Women’s Business Conference and Bakersfield College staff and faculty were in full force attending the workshops and tuning into the messages from keynote speakers. The conference allows women in business to network, find mentors, and develop friendships with to advance their careers and or businesses. Many of the workshops focus on topics from a feminine perspective and included topics on health and wellness addressing healthy lifestyles, nutrition and breast cancer. Communication workshops addressed techniques for overcoming lessons learned as girls to be more effective in the business world. There were several on maintaining the balance of work and family.

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Josie Gullian and Endee Grijalva

The Conference also held many empowering workshops on leadership such as “Secure Your Place at the Table – Women Leading in Male Dominant Territory” by District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer, Assembly Member Shannon Grove, and Kern County Supervisor Leticia Perez.

While the name and focus of the conference is women, men are also welcome and there were many workshops that were gender neutral on many business topics including business strategies, leadership and finance. Richard Chapman, head of Kern EDC, presented on “Kern County’s Economic and Workforce Development Opportunities and Possibilities.” The keynote speakers and many of the workshop speakers were motivational for everyone.

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The Bakersfield Women’s Business Conference is a major supporter of the R.O.S.E. (Realizing Options for Student Excellence) mentor program. The program matches high school students with mentors and has several seminars, to aid student mentees in recognizing their value and self-worth. Topics for the seminars focus on careers, communication, balancing life, money, safety and building self-confidence. The mentees receive a scholarship to cover the cost of attending the BWBC. Conference attendees were impressed by one of the mentees that spoke about the benefits of being in the program and to encourage all the women present to become a mentor. This is a wonderful program and I encourage all of you to consider becoming a mentor.

Like the R.O.S.E. program, BC encourages and mentors students to better themselves through education and gave some BC students the opportunity to attend the BWBC. EOPS/CARE/CalWORKS purchased two tables, and sponsored fourteen women from all three programs to attend the 2018 Bakersfield Women’s Business Conference. These ladies are all single parents who are striving to achieve a better life for their families through education. The importance of exposing our students to different events such as the BWBC is vital to their growth, and development as students, professionals, and individuals. They were able to develop networking skills, meeting highly successful women, and gaining valuable business knowledge that will empower them to become strong leaders.

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Debi Anderson, Steve Watkin, and Sandi Taylor at BC’s Booth

The 2018 luncheon keynote speak was Laila Ali, undefeated boxing champion, television host and entrepreneur. She is also well known for her famous father Mohamed Ali and treated BWBC attendees to several picture of her young self with her famous and doting father. She told us of many of the trials in her life that she overcame to be a successful and very driven business woman. Her stories were relatable to what many women and girls face in this time and she is a great example of encouragement for all women.

Joseph Luiz has a Bakersfield Californian Article mentioning highlights from the day.

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Kimberly Bligh and Mary Jo Pasek

i-gmdtwhz-x3It was great to be invited to be the closing keynote at the Women’s Business Conference.  BC women leaders gave birth to this event. Phyllis Hullett – In 1989, BC professor started the Bakersfield Business Womens Conf. as an idea during the International Year of the Woman. She gathered friends and coworkers, and out of one meeting of 12 women and 1 lone man, Pat Shaffer, Dean of Development at Bakersfield College, agreed to serve on the executive board. The Bakersfield Women’s Business Conference was born.

I focused on the important guiding tools of Choice, Commitment, Compassion, and Community while interweaving music from the song “We are the World.”  The session concluded by having about 25 women leaders on the stage in red We are Bakersfield t-shirts singing We are the World with the BC Chamber Singers.

I am the luckiest and happiest college president ever and by the end of my talk, I was surrounded on stage by talented musicians, community leaders, fellow educators, friends, and family. We are Bakersfield! 

Loved Robin Mangarin Scott’s introduction of me in that beautiful voice.  Robin was representing the sponsors of the keynote — Dignity health and CBCC.

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I want to start by thanking Heidi Scott.  If it wasn’t for Heidi, I would not have had the courage to do the music.

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Heidi Scott, Sonya Christian

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We invited the whole audience to stand and join us in song.

 

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Kaya Leyendecker and Heidi Scott

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The Chamber Singers had their Spring Concert at the BC Indoor Theater the same evening.  Yet they decided to come our and support me and do We are the World..  Thank you Jen Garrett.  Your energy is astounding and you are out there constantly giving to others.

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BC Chamber Singers

Was so happy to have women leaders from Delano join us.  Thank you April Gregerson for organizing this.  and thank you Rosalina Rivera and Sandra Rivera.

Sandra Rivera, Rosalina Rivera, Sonya Christian, April Gregerson

Sandra Rivera, Rosalina Rivera, Sonya Christian, April Gregerson

Thank you to all these fabulous busy women who showed up support the event.

Community Leaders

Liz Rozell, April Gregerson, Sandra Rivera, Rosalina Rivera, Ingrid Lake, Cathy Abernathy, Raji Brar, Immani Brar

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Pam Rose, Mia Cifuentes, Victoria, Lilly Agbalog, Cheryl Scott, Lauren Skidmore

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Trustee Agbalog, Sonya Christian, Michael Bowers

 

Cathy Abernathy and Sonya Christian

Cathy Abernathy, Sonya Christian

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Cheryl Scott, Sonya Christian

Thank you Norma Rojas-Mora for helping me recruit the women leaders in our community.

Sonya Christian, Norma Rojas Mora, Lisa Kent

Sonya Christian, Norma Rojas-Mora, Lisa Kent

Was happy to meet Bethany Rice, Billie Jo Rice’s daughter.  Beautiful, smart young woman.  And then the lighting and sound guys, Manny Gomez and Ryan McCallah, who let me know they were also the ones who did the work in setting up the lighting and sound systems in BC’s newly remodeled Indoor Theater!

 

 

Thank you to the 2018 Executive Board, Diane Williams, Norma Rojas-Mora, Marisol ONeil, Susan Spears, Arleana Waller, Diane Williams, Christina Springstaad, Irma Cervantes, Tayna Nichols, Deanna Blaise, Marelle Williams, LaMeka Ross, Leigh Pozas, and Colleen Bauer. bwbc-group-768x513

Thank you for being great sports and wearing the We are Bakersfield t-shirt and joining us on stage

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Thank you to Manny De Los Santos, William Velasquez, Monika Scott, Jennifer Serratt, and Asha Chandy.  Here are some photos of the folks behind the scenes.

Loved this photo of William Velasquez relaxing after the session.

William Velasquez

 

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BC Crew in Attendance

Kern County Black Chamber Honors Bakersfield College

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Bakersfield College were honored by the Kern County Black Chamber of Commerce with the Outstanding Corporate Member Award. In accepting the award, I acknowledged the efforts of all those who have worked hard on the African American Initiative and Dr. Zav Dadabhoy for being an “equity” champion and finding the necessary resources to support the equity agenda.

I specifically recognized the efforts of Dr. Paula Parks, Umoja Community lead, in increasing the success of Black students on campus, and Mr. Steve Watkin, Director of Outreach, in increasing their access and contributing to BC’s equity agenda. I then handed the award to Steve who has been leading the AAI effort on campus.

Steve Watkin

 

BC had two tables that included administrators, faculty, staff, and Umoja students.

Sonya Christian, Steve Watkin and BC receiving award at KCBCC

Also honored at 15th Annual Gala was CSUB President Dr. Horace Mitchell with the Lifetime Achievement Award. I will miss you Horace when you retire.  Loved seeing Cindy Pollard being recognized as the Business Woman of the Year.  Enjoyed catching up with Jim Baldwin (who won the award for Outstanding Community Organization) and Rudy Salas. Spotted Danielle Hillard, Michelle Miller-Galaz and Nick Hill and snapped a picture.

Jim Baldwin, Sonya Christian, Rudy Salas April 20 2018

Enjoyed catching up with Mayor Karen Goh who is a big supporter of education.

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Sonya Christian April 20 2018 croppedThe keynote speaker for the event was Mathew Knowles, Beyonce’s father… what a treat!  Have a picture of him with Shannon Grove and Karen Goh.

Congratulations to all other award recipients:
Cindy Pollard, the Distinguished Businesswoman Award,
James Luckey, Jr. of the News Observer, Distinguished Businessman Award,
Judge Gloria Cannon with the Business Pioneer Award,
CSUB President Horace Mitchell, the Lifetime Achievement Award
Barrington Lewis, the Outstanding New Business Award,
Sharron Lehrer, the Outstanding Young Achievers Award, and Jim Baldwin of BARC, Outstanding Community Based Organization Award.

Thank you Kern County Black Chamber (KCBCC) for recognizing Bakersfield College. Thank you Richard Soberanis, CEO of the Chamber.  And congratulations Nathan Banks…looking forward to great things under your chairmanship of the Chamber Board.

KCBCC has been a great partner of Bakersfield College and supported us in 2016 with Measure J.  I am sure we will continue to work closely together for many years to come.

Social Justice and Health Hackathon at BC

30653393_10215531998558279_9031222892318162944_nThe preliminary panel kicked off this years Hackathon and really set the stage for a fantastic and meaningful event.  Each of the panel members discussed what were the pressing issues and the solutions they wanted to explore. This helped the teams form around the issues and begin developing ideas.  Over the next three days, teams worked hard to develop these concepts and then competed in a 3 minute pitch, one page community impact report, and technology competition.

Thank you to Mayor Karen Goh for attending the kick off and inspiring the student teams.

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Mayor Karen Goh inspires at the Hackathon Kick Off

Thank you to the Preliminary Session on Health Inequality Challenges and Solution panelists including, moderator Kiyoshi Tomono, Genevieve Gale, Sandy Woo, Brynn Carrigan, Michelle Corson, Christy Leyvas,and Jack Becker.

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Eddie Rangel, Sandy Woo, Karen Goh, Kiyoshi Tomono, Jennifer Self, Sarah Baron

By the end of the competition, 11 projects had been submitted and community partners have expressed interest in funding their ideas! All the student groups submitted great projects and please do stay in touch with us for years to come. Now for the finalists and winning team!

Project Kern Air- 1st Place

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Created an app concept to raise awareness on air quality in Kern

Congratulations to: Noe Ramirez, Victoria Corrales, Troy Scott, Justin Morales, and
Krystal Reynes

 

R.A.H.T ( Renegade Against Human Trafficking)- 2nd Place

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Created a tech tool to help connect those who are victims of human trafficking with help.

Congratulations to: Janneth Guarcas Garcia, Alexander Glascock,  Carlos Hernandez, Maria Cabrera, and Stefanie Medina

Sex shouldn’t make you next- 3rd Place

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Created a website for youth to raise awareness sexual transmitted diseases and also help connect resources to those who are risk of a STD.

Congratulations to: Yajaira Hernandez, Elizabeth Martinez, Jessica Macias, Jessica Jaime, and Crystal Quintevo.

Beyond the winners, it was about the team work, the sharing of ideas and networking with partners.  Special thanks to the sponsors and the great support from BCSGA clubs.

Can’t wait for next years event! This one keeps getting bigger and better! Check out my blog titled “The Renegade Experience is Incredible” from last years equally awesome event.

Jess Nieto Memorial Conference: Exploring Chicano Studies at BC

The conference really hit home…It felt like a family reunion.” Francisco Barroso, Bakersfield College student.

Jess Nieto Memorial Conference

On Tuesday, April 17 the Levan Center for the Humanities hosted the first annual Jess Nieto Memorial Conference: Exploring Chicano Studies at Bakersfield College.  Named after the late Dr. Jesus “Jess” Nieto, a former faculty member and Dean of the BC Delano Center in the 1970s, the conference honored Dr. Nieto’s legacy in creating the first Chicano Studies curriculum implemented at Bakersfield College.  A Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI), this conference celebrated the cultural contributions of Bakersfield’s Chicano/Latino community to the history of Bakersfield and beyond.

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Corny Rodriguez speaking in the Levan Center

The conference featured two panel presentations and a keynote address.  Prior to the panels, Corny Rodriguez welcomed guests, as well as presenting, along with moderator Octavio Barajas a certificate of recognition on my behalf to Professor Rosa Garza in acknowledgement for her more than twenty years of teaching at Bakersfield College, as well as serving as faculty advisor to MEChA.  The first panel consisted of former and current student members of the Bakersfield College student organization MEChA, or Movimieno Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán.

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The second panel consisted of an academic showcase by Bakersfield College faculty members Professors Olivia Garcia and Javier Llamas, who discussed the history of women in farm labor activism and the historic Benito Juarez Hall in East Bakersfield as a site of community activism among local Mexican Americans for the past century.  Professor Garcia’s talk on the late Esther Uranday, one of the longest serving staff members of the United Farm Workers, was particularly meaningful given that Esther’s daughter and family members were in attendance.

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Professor Gonzalo Santos of CSU Bakersfield rounded out the faculty panel by discussing the personal of history of Jess Nieto as an international activist, through his various educational and social justice ties with Cuba, Central America, and China, including a number of educational exchange programs Dr. Nieto organized with education groups since the 1970s.  The final presentation included a book talk by Professor Ralph Ambruster-Sandoval of UC Santa Barbara who spoke about his latest book Starving For Justice: Hunger Strikes, Spectacular Speech, and the Struggle for Dignity (University of Arizona Press 2016).  Guests were also treated to a special performance by Bakersfield College alumnus and world-renown percussionist Louie Cruz Beltran who regaled the audience with a lesson on the history of Afro-Latino rhythms and Chicano music.

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Olivia Garcia

Olivia Garcia speaking in the Levan Center

See all the photos at Smugmug.

A very special thank you to Adjunct Professor of History Octavio Barajas for helping organize and moderate this event, as well as Dr. Oliver Rosales, Professor of History and Faculty Coordinator for the Social Justice Institute of Bakersfield College for sponsoring this event through the National Endowment for the Humanities grant “Energizing Humanities in California’s San Joaquin Valley,” as well as the Bakersfield College Student Government Association’s CCA Grant.

I also enjoyed seeing Octavio on KGET early Tuesday morning.  You can see the clip here.

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And did you miss his community voices piece?  It is available here.

It’s a joy to work with faculty and staff who love what they do and are so passionate about our students and community. Can you see why I’m the luckiest and happiest college president ever?

Renegade Athletics

Softball: We won the Conference Championship

Softball conference champions April 19 2018

Nathan Ortiz4Baseball: The baseball team sits in first place in the Western State-South Conference with three games remaining in the regular season.

The Renegades record is 19-18 overall and 13-4 in conference.  BC has won 7 out of their last ten games and are one game ahead of LA Pierce in the standings.  The Renegades have to win two of their last three games to guarantee themselves at least a tie for the conference title.

Team Photo

With Sandi Taylor on Saturday, April 14th after another win.

Sandi Taylor, Sonya Christian April 14 2018

Men’s and Women’s Swimming: The men’s swimming team is in fourth place and the women’s swimming team is in second place after day one of the Western State Conference Championships.  The Championships, which are being held at the William A. Wheeler Aquatic Center, on BC’s Panorama campus will continue through Saturday afternoon.

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The Bakersfield College men’s swimming team is in fourth place after day one of the Western State Conference Championships.  Cael Osborn and Mark Glossbrenner were on two relay team that finished in the top four and also finished in the top three in an individual event.  The complete list of BC’s top finishers is below.

The BC women’s swim team sits in second place after day one of the Western State Conference Championship.  Niquelette Rimer had third place finish in 50 free and was part of two relay teams that finished in the top three and Jennifer Quan was part of two relay teams that finished in the top three.  The top BC finishers from day one are listed below.

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Jennifer Quan

Renegade Pulse Health Fair

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Bakersfield College is distinctive in so many ways, and one important way is in how we live our core value of health and wellness. The health of a community is directly related to literacy and education in general, and BC has many activities that promote healthy living, including the 18th Annual Renegade Pulse Health Fair.

The event is part resource fair and part celebration of the programs, agencies and services that support the health and success of students and  the community at large. With over 31,000 students, we are a community nested in a community. So, thank you to all who support healthy higher education, from green transportation to our campus facilities, Golden Empire Transit, to quality licensed Community Connection for Child Care.

Teena Bensusen (left) and Amber Smithson from the Behavioral Health Hospital host a booth at the Renegade Pulse Health Fair on April 18th.

Teena Bensusen (left) and Amber Smithson from the Behavioral Health Hospital host a booth at the Renegade Pulse Health Fair on April 18th.

The Renegade Pulse Health Fair brought together healthcare organizations, substance abuse support groups, law enforcement agencies and businesses from across the community to educate students on how to live a safer, healthier life.

BC’s Public Safety Department booth had equipment used during Public Safety’s Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) Trainings, which are offered for free to students and staff throughout the semester. Student Cadets also answered questions about Public Safety’s cadet program, in which BC students have the opportunity to work part-time helping ensure safety on campus. Public Safety is looking for cadets for the Fall 2018 semester, so if you’re a BC student who is interested in joining the program, contact the office at 395-4554 for more information.

Members of the Student Health and Wellness Advisory Commitee pose inside the Health Hut during the Renegade Pulse Health Fair on April 18th.

Members of the Student Health and Wellness Advisory Committee pose inside the Health Hut during the Renegade Pulse Health Fair on April 18th.

Thank you to the Student Health and Wellness Center including Dr. Ray Purcell and Stella Ponce for putting together the Renegade Pulse Health Fair, as well as all of the organizations who came out to support a healthier Kern County. See more photos at BC’s Smugmug.

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Revisiting Two Cultures

The disciplines of the humanities and the sciences can feel as if they’re worlds apart, but UC Santa Barbara professor Alendra Chang spoke at the Levan Center on Thursday to explain how she brings those two worlds together through the study of environmental humanities, which examines themes of ecology in art and mass media.

Alenda Chang

BC’s Energizing Humanities Grant funded the discussion from Dr. Chang, which was titled “Revisiting the Two Cultures.” Many artists, writers and others have begun to explore ways that art and popular culture can raise awareness of the importance of environmental causes, using data from scientific research to inform their work. Essays in scientific academic journals, and several new academic journals have signaled the emergence of Ecomedia as a field of study that examines cultural representations of the environment in media.

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Alendra Chang presents at the Levan Center

Environmental engagement in the humanities combines social and scientific engagement. Journalists, artists and others may feel uncomfortable with scientific approaches, just as many scientists may have trouble engaging in the humanities, but there is emerging awareness of the need to work together to find solutions to environmental problems.

Within the field of environmental humanities, Chang studies the ecology and ecomedia of video games. As editor of the Growing Games blog and a professor of media studies, Chang examines the carbon footprint created by e-waste and the excessive power used by gaming PCs, which can consume the equivalent power of three energy-efficient refrigerators, Chang said. Chang also attempts to dispel the notion that excessive video game use makes people feel detached from nature, citing multiple studies indicating that virtual reality can make people more conscious of their external environment and motivate them to take action on climate change.

During her time as a graduate student at UC Berkeley, Chang worked on an unpublished game about air quality based in the Central Valley that used actual wind speed and air quality data from the area. In the game, you play as a character from Fresno with asthma who must navigate how to keep their lungs clean in one of the worst places for respiratory health in America. In the game, the player’s asthma functions as a superpower that helps them perceive the environment in a different way.

Within the indie and academic games spaces, there have been a number of works that explore environmental humanist themes, Chang said. Some examples she listed included ThatGameCompany’s “Flower”, in which you play as the wind to bring life back to plants; Campo Santo’s “Firewatch”, which is about a man who takes a job as a fire lookout in the Wyoming wilderness; and “Walden, a game”, a project funded by the National Endowment of the Humanities that is essentially a digital recreation of Henry David Thoreau’s book “Walden”, one of the seminal works of the American transcendentalism movement in the 19th Century.

delano-grant-logo-neh_logo_horizontal_rgbWarm thank you to Alendra Chang for coming to BC, as well as Josh Ottum, Oliver Rosales and Andrew Bond from the Energizing Humanities cohort for providing a great learning opportunity for those who have never heard of environmental humanities or didn’t realize that computer games were capable of helping tackle important social issues.

Seen on Facebook

It was fabulous to see Jazz Day at BC gain some attention from the National Association for Music Education. Our local KCMEA, Kern County Music Educators Association, is a chapter of CMEA, which is an affiliate of NAfME. Congratulations to Kris Tiner and all our performing arts and music faculty, staff, and students.

Give them a Like and share by visiting this link on Facebook!

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College Council

Jason Stratton

Jason Stratton Presenting at College Council

It’s an exciting time to be at BC. As we gear up for Accreditation this year, our editing team revealed BC’s ISER (Institutional Self Evaluation Report) at College Council on Friday. College Council is a collegial, consultative, and oversight body designed to serve the good of the College.

Since the group met in Delano, we also broadcast the ISER reveal to the Panorama campus.

ISER reveal Broadcast

Sharon Bush, Kimberly Nickell, and Kristin Rabe tune in to the ISER Reveal from Panorama

Special thank you to the Editing Team including Nicole Griffin, Sarah Baron, Lesley Bonds, Sondra Keckley, the incredible Nick Strobel and EVERYONE who has contributed to BC’s Self Evaluation Report.  As Jason Stratton reminds us – It is OUR story!

ISER Team

Nicole Griffin, Sarah Baron, Lesley Bonds, Sondra Keckley, and Nick Strobel

Entree to Employment

On April 17, 2018, Bakersfield College and Kern High School District ROC teamed up to host the Biannual Entrée to Employment event. This career event brings together students and industry professionals over a fine dining experience to highlight social etiquette, conversations about personal and professional experiences, necessary soft skills, workforce expectations, education requirements, diversity of employment and career ladder opportunities.

The evening featured four different programs: Electronics/Robotics, Mechanized Ag, Child Development and Criminal Justice. While the industry professionals and students were busy networking, the Bakersfield College and ROC faculty dined separately to discuss articulation partnerships and dual enrollment opportunities. Thank you to the Career and Technical Education Department for making this night happen and a special thank you to the Renegade Room, Chef Suzanne and her Culinary Arts students for delivering a 5-star cuisine meal that delighted participants. Overall the event was a huge success and a true demonstration of our expanding partnerships with the community.

CTE: Business and Computer Science Employer Panel

Thursday April 19, 2018 the Career and Technical Education Department hosted a Business and Computer Science Employer Panel for students in the program. Professionals in attendance included: Leo Bautista, Senior Recruiter – Talent Acquisition, The Wonderful Company; Steven Alexander, Director of IT Security –  Kern Community College District; Keith Wolaridge, Owner – Professional Development Firm; Scott Burton, CEO – On-Stack; Clayton Montgomery, Certified Information Systems Security – Area Energy; Trulaine Woken, Owner – Cones Health Food; and Debbie Butler, Secretary Treasurer & Project Manager – On Stack. What started as an information only session blossomed into a networking event that allowed our students to exchange information with employers, submit their resumes for consideration, and engage in preliminary interviews. Thank you to all of the employers who stayed almost 2 hours longer to provide these exciting opportunities for our students. Special thank you to Beth Harrison, Job Development Specialist and Vikki Coffee, Job Development Specialist, for coordinating the event and Martin Perez, CCPT2 Manager, Master of Ceremonies for the event whose humor, grasp of the subject matter, and navigation of the dialog, cultivated an organic and insightful exchange between community professionals and students.

CTE Panel (2)

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Noche de Cultura

Thank you to the BC MEChA Club and the Office of Student Life for putting on a wonderful program with its annual Noche de Cultura, a colorful evening filled with an array of singers, musicians and other performers. Noche de Cultura was held April 13 at the Outdoor Theater.

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The night opened with Aztecan Blessing, followed by Jammin Island Hula, Group Folklorico Escuelas Unidas, Spoken Word by Tezozomoc, Carbajal’s Martial ArtsAcademy, and Banshee in the Kitchen. One big highlight was seeing the performance by SGA President and MECHA President Dezi Von Manos who gave a tribute to the late Tejana superstar Selena.

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Dezi Von Manos, BCSGA President

Ballet Folklorico Huaztecalli closed the evening with an awestruck series of performances. A special thanks to the program committee, Dezi Von Manos, president; Emmanuel Limaco, ICC Rep; Belinda Lopez Rickett, treasurer; Francis Benavente, member; and faculty adviser, Prof. Olivia Garcia.

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BC Drum Corps

BC’s Drum Corps is competing in Dayton, Ohio at the Winter Guard International Championships! Go Gades! The competition can be watched online at www.flomarching.com/ 

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Accessibility for All

This week, Bakersfield College had the pleasure of hosting an expert in accessibility, Gaeir Dietrich Director of the High Tech Center Training Unit (HTCTU) of the California Community Colleges, for two training sessions and a presentation over two days on Accessibility for All. You can read a short bio about Gaeir on the Accessibility for All Flyer.

On Tuesday, Gaier trained over 20 Bakersfield College faculty, staff and community guests from the Department of Rehabilitation and Kern Regional Center. She taught the difficult and intricate skills of making PDF forms accessible to everyone whether they use assistive technology or not.

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Twenty-four BC faculty, staff and community guests attended Wednesday’s Accessible Documents trainings. We were pleased to have employees of Kern Regional Center, Taft College, College of the Sequoias and Department of Rehabilitation join us to learn about making Word documents accessible. We all think we know how to use Word, though most of us are self-taught. Gaeir teaches how to make documents accessible, and in so doing, teaches how to use Word to our advantage.

Many of her lessons, just as with the forms, teach a better understanding of using the software that allows us to work smarter not harder. She teaches the helpful acronym: LIST for access! The lessons teach about Links, Images, Structure and Tables. Many of the attendees, just like the attendees for Forms, were heard to exclaim, “that’s how you do it” and “I always wanted to be able to do that, but I didn’t know how.”

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The Accessibility for All presentation followed where Gaeir explained the difference between access and accommodation when it comes to satisfying the legal requirements established by the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which requires public entities to make its resources accessible to people with disabilities. Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act concerns access for everyone, ensuring that all content posted electronically, as well as any software procured, can be used by anyone. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act concerns the provision of “auxiliary aids and services” to accommodate individuals with a particular impairment.

Everyone deserves the right to an education, and educational institutions have an obligation to ensure that we are not depriving anyone of the ability to achieve upward mobility and accomplish their dreams. Community colleges in particular must be sensitive to this issue due to the marginalized populations we serve.

“[Accessibility] is about allowing people the opportunity to step forward, which is what community colleges are all about,” Dietrich said. “By learning to make things accessible, you can make an important impact on someone’s life.”

Dietrich also offered advice for how to test accessibility in a new piece of software that schools are attempting to procure, as well as a few implementation models for how to enforce accessibility standards. Throughout the presentation, Dietrich emphasized the importance of finding the financial and personnel support to tackle accessibility issues from the top of the organizational structure on down. Remember if it is “DUMP’ed (Developed, Used, Maintained or Procured) on campus it must be accessible!”

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Terri Goldstein and Gaeir Dietrich

I would like to thank Gaeir Dietrich for coming to our campus to provide this important information and training for the BC faculty, staff and our community. We hope to have you return soon. A special thank you to Terri Goldstein, for arranging Gaier’s presence on campus, and inviting those interested both at BC and from others in the community. Thank you Kristin Rabe, Tracy Lovelace, Pam Rivers, Aricia Leighton and the BC Accessibility Task Force for supporting Terri. Thank you Tarina Perry for making arrangements and organizing all the events on campus. Thank you Eric Sabella and the Food Services staff for the delicious food and Jack Hernandez and the Levan Center for use of the Levan Center for the presentation. I would also like to thank all of the faculty and staff who took time at the end of the semester to learn more about accessibility.

According to the US Census Bureau approximately  19% of the US population has some form of disability, but whatever the number, BC strives to make sure there are no barriers to accessibility for anyone in the community.

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Student Success Stories

This is the time of year I am especially excited to hear student success stories and what our Renegades are planning to do after graduation. Ensuring that students can transfer to continue their studies and/or get jobs in their career of choice is our number one goal. Here are two wonderful examples I heard of this week. Congratulations!

Fredrico Navarro has been acccepted to UC Irvine Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Valeria Tapia has been accepted to UC Santa Barbara in Biology.

Special Delivery from Edwards Air Force Base

i-kwrmksh-x2The Edwards Air Force Base Civilian-Military Support Group is a non-profit organization that helps provide services to soldiers living at Edwards Air Force Base. The organization recently sent BC a book documenting its over 25-year history of making life a little better for those who dedicate their lives to serving our country.

The group hosts fundraising events that have helped provide an Internet Café for the officers’ dormitory complex, the Flags of Honor Memorial Park, and other resources for residents at the base. The book titled “25 Years Support Warriors” honors all of the organization’s contributions to the base over the years, and copies are being sent to US Air Force installations around the world as an example of how military bases can form important partnerships with their surrounding communities.  Thank you to Allen Hoffman for sending the book, which is now housed in our Veterans Resource Center.

Bakersfield Homeless Center Fundraiser

On Wednesday, the Bakersfield Homeless Center had a great turnout at their Annual Drive Thru Lunch Fundraiser. The lunch pickup took place at Compassion Corner at 22nd and L behind the KGET studios . All the proceeds went to helping families experiencing homelessness.

Fundraiser lunch

Here’s a picture of Edie Nelson’s husband John Nelson, who picked up the special lunch for staff in the President’s Office who wanted to support this great cause. Thank you John, and thanks to all who contributed to this annual fundraiser!

John Nelson

CCCCO in Bakersfield.

Loved having lunch with Van Ton-Quinlivan, Executive Vice Chancellor of Technology and Workforce Development, when she was in Bakersfield.

Von Ton Quinllivan visits Bakersfield April 16 2018

Ed Coghlan, John Means, Van Ton-Quinlivan, Sonya Christian, Cindy Collier, Craig Hayward

Fun photos from Garden Fest:

Love this picture of “Uncle Paul” as Abby, Lily and Lexy Garrett call Paul Beckworth in this picture with Sandra Beckworth.

Paul Beckworth, Sandra Beckworth, Abby Garrett, Lily Garrett, Lexy Garrett April 21 2018

The Vice Presidents enjoying their saturday with their families.  Including little Miss Mae.

 

Fun photo of Tom Gelder

Very happy to see Chancellor Tom Burke at Garden Fest

Tom Burke with Corny Rodriguez

 

 

We are the World!
We are Bakersfield!
We are BC!

 

 

Sonya Christian April 20 2018 cropped

 

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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