Leadership Shines at BC

Good morning Bakersfield.  It is Saturday, April 28, 2018 and a great day to be a Renegade!

BC’s 104th commencement is on May 11th.  We will be graduating our first class of 7 students who have completed all the courses for a Bachelor of Science degree.  Even if your friend or family member isn’t walking at this commencement event, plz gather a group together and come hang out at the Memorial Stadium to see history being made.  The celebrations start at 7:00 pm sharp and we will have great music and other goodies for you to relax and have a good time.

Student Leadership and Involvement Awards

DSC_3457Last Thursday evening the Student Leadership and Involvement Awards Ceremony, coordinated by the Office of Student Life, recognized the accomplishments of student organizations and leaders at Bakersfield College. As they showcased their ingenuity and creative talent the wide variety of activities our students are involved in was impressive.

This year’s award recipients were:

  • Presidents Leader of the Year Award: Emmanuel Limaco
  • Service Award: Rayven Webb
  • Renegade Spirit Award: Dezi Von Manos
  • MVR – Most Valuable Renegade: Adrian Godinez – Wrestling and Kylee Fahy – Softball
  • Student Employee of the Year Award: Karla Garcia, Office of Student Life and Alexandra Scott, Supplemental Instruction
  • Outstanding Student Organization Advisor(s): Helen Acosta, Sexuality and Gender Acceptance Club and Jonathan Schultz, Free on the Outside
  • Grace Van Dyke Bird Award: Emerging Leader of the Year Award: Alexandra Scott
  • Alumni Association Honor Trophy: Emerging Leader of the Year Award: Ganae Romo
  • Jack Brigham Scholarship: Baldeep Sandhu
  • Samuel W. McCall Outstanding Professor of the Year Award: Jennifer Garrett, Performing Arts Faculty

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Outreach Open House

Open House (2)On Friday, April 20th, Bakersfield College Office of Outreach and School Relations hosted its 3rd annual BC Open House, opening the campus to over 700 high school seniors who will be attending in the upcoming Summer and Fall semesters. Attendees participated in various workshops/activities such as BC Jeopardy, while visiting over 25 tables that displayed various student support and academic programs. Students who had yet to register for courses were able to walk away from the event with a class schedule. This event gave students their first look of what it will be like to be a Renegade. Thanks for all the support provided from Counseling, CalSOAP, Admissions & Records, IT, and Food Services.

Honors Celebration Dinner

IMG_5879The Honors Celebration Dinner was held on Friday evening with a crowd of 200 gathering in the Fireside Room and Cafeteria. The dinner is an opportunity for the Foundation to honor the Scholarship Donors, their Scholarship Recipients and the Leadership and Departmental Award Winners. It gives Donors the chance to meet our wonderful students and hear firsthand how their support impacts the students’ success. There were Donors present from 30 unique scholarship funds at the dinner and all departments from BC were represented. The Foundation will award nearly half a million dollars in scholarships and awards for the 2018/2019 academic year and it would not be possible without continued generous support from our donors.  Thank you Corny Rodriguez for the photo.

BC Drumline Places 6th

The BC Drumline was awarded sixth place in the Winter Guard International Percussion World Championships in Dayton, Ohio, with a score of 93.388 out of 100, the highest score BC has ever recorded in the history of this competition.


Tim Heasley and the students in the BC Drumline started working toward performing in this competition since late September, rehearsing for hundreds of hours together while fundraising throughout the year to raise money for the annual trip to Ohio. They also competed in local events with the Pep and Pageantry Arts Association of Central California, as well as other competitions hosted by Winter Guard International.

After qualifying to participate in the World Championships, the BC Drumline spent the week leading up to the competition rehearsing at Edison State Community College in Piqua, Ohio. They then competed in three different venues around Ohio before qualifying for the finals completion at the University of Dayton Arena last Saturday.

KGET reported on the Drumline’s historic success in a news piece, and Heasley is infinitely proud of his group’s success and ability to rise to the occasion when called upon to do so.

Photo Apr 21, 11 59 27 AM_preview

“The students and staff are really driven by the pursuit of excellence,” Heasley said. “They return to BC having competed with the best, in front of the toughest judges, and with a confidence of knowing that they can take on the next challenge, whatever it may be.”

BC’s drumline is made up of a mix of BC students and individuals who travel from as far away as Merced every weekend to rehearse and participate. The experiences and what they’ve learned from being a part of BC’s drumline is something they take with them for the rest of their lives. “As much as the skills developed ‘on the floor’ are important, the skills developed ‘off the floor’ will forever help our students approach the challenges they face,” Heasley said.

Photo Apr 21, 11 56 21 AM_preview

Pre-Law Celebration


2018 Pre Law Celebration

On Monday, the students who are graduating under our Pre-Law pathway participated in a special celebration in the Levan Center commemorating all of all their hard work and wishing them the best of luck as they pursue a career in law.

Liz Rozell and Corny Rodriguez gave brief speeches thanking the graduates and all of their professors for staying on the path, and each of the students got an opportunity to speak about the dedication and persistence required to complete their pre-law classes.

Special thanks to Pearl Urena for organizing the Pre-Law Celebration and advising our Pre-Law students throughout the year. This is an important program that is helping to make courtrooms in Kern County more diverse and reflective of the community.



SGA Power Lunch with Scott Spielman

BCSGA’s Legislative Affairs Department hosted its last Power Lunch in the Fireside Room on Monday with District Attorney candidate Scott Spielman, who talked about his 20-year career fighting for justice as a Kern County prosecutor.


Spielman’s career in law enforcement started in 1984, when he enlisted in the Army as a military Police officer. After four years as an MP and reaching the rank of sergeant, he graduated from Moorpark College and Fresno State before attending the McGeorge School of Law and passing the state bar to become a lawyer in 1993.



Tommy Tunson and Scott Spielman

Spielman has worked as a prosecutor for the Kern County District Attorney’s office since 1994, participating in over 100 felony jury trials. Over 20 of those trials involved murder, and another 20 involved sexual assault, Spielman said. Over the last seven years, he’s been the Assistant DA under Lisa Green, helping her to manage all the hundreds of prosecutors and thousands of cases the office deals with every day.

Students in the audience got the opportunity to ask Spielman questions about sanctuary cities, rehabilitation for non-violent drug offenders, and youth community outreach programs.


This year’s Legislative Affairs Power Lunches have brought some of Kern County’s most important elected officials to the BC campus to answer questions from our students.

There’s a pathway for everyone at BC

This past week a former Public Health student reached out to BC Public Health professor, Sarah Baron. The student shared she plans to transfer to a CSU and become a Public Health Nurse.  She said, “I want to thank you for all of your involvement and for being a phenomenal professor. ” and added, “I want to thank you for helping me find my pathway.”

There’s a pathway for everyone and it starts at the home of the Renegades.

Sarah Baron

Public Health Professor, Sarah Baron

Delano Community Alliance Fundraiser

The Delano Community Alliance held its annual fundraiser on April 21. The group is a volunteer organization composed of different community stake holders including school districts, non-profit organizations, government agencies, and religious groups. Bakersfield College is represented on the board of directors.

Matthew Rodriguez, Helen Calip, Carolina Madrigal, Raquel Lopez, Araceli Renteria, Valerie Alcala, Alma Feathers, Sue Ann Villaros, Abel Guzman, Jesus Jimenez, Richard McCrow.

(front) Matthew Rodriguez, Helen Calip, Carolina Madrigal, Raquel Lopez, Araceli Renteria, Valerie Alcala, Alma Feathers, Sue Ann Villaros, (back) Abel Guzman, Jesus Jimenez, Richard McCrow.

The “Pre-Cinco de Mayo Fiesta” fundraiser featured tacos, mariachi, raffles, and a salsa contest among other fun activities. The mariachi “grito” (shout) competition title went BC Rural Initiatives Director, Abel Guzman. Bakersfield College was one of the gold sponsors, and was well represented with 11 staff members in attendance.


Fundraiser committee members, Mathew Cauthron, Rosalinda Rivera, Barbara Mejia, Abel Guzman

The goal of the event was to raise money to help families in need. The alliance provides financial support for families who are facing eviction, are unable to pay utility bills, or who are facing any other hardship.

Rosalinda Rivera (DUESD Superintendent), BC Staff Alma Feathers, Carolina Madrigal, Raquel Lopez, Valerie Alcala.

Rosalinda Rivera (DUESD Superintendent), BC Staff Alma Feathers, Carolina Madrigal, Raquel Lopez, Valerie Alcala.


Metal Fabrication Technology AS at BC

A new degree in metal fabrication at BC will equip students with the unique technical skills to gain employment in the fields of construction, transportation, manufacturing industry, sheet metal industry, custom job shops, aerospace, and so much more. This new program has been approved by the Central Mother Lode Region with 9 endorsement approval votes from Cerro Coso, Porterville, COS, Fresno, WHC, WHL, and Columbia.

Thank you to Liz Rozell, Jason Dixon and all the faculty who helped make this happen!


Jason Dixon, Manuel Fernandez, and Sean Caras

Architecture 33 Students at BC

Victoria Hogan

Oliver Rosales, Victoria Hogan, Sarah Baron

In early spring this year, Bakersfield College submitted a National Endowment of the Humanities Challenge Grant.  If awarded, BC would receive funding to create a Cultural and Humanities Center at the Delano Campus.  Central to the application was the partnership with the Architectural Computer Practice Class, ARCH B33, who submitted architectural design concepts for the grant application.  Each featured an actual three-dimensional design with layouts of the building both inside and outside.  Of those submitted, Victoria Hogan’s was selected to be included in the application.  The grant-writing team, Delano Foundation, the Levan Center for the Humanities, and the entire Renegade community all congratulate Victoria and the entire Architecture 33 class for their hard work!


NEH Grant Architecture Class

BC Jazz Plays the Beatles

i-w8h83s6-x3The Bakersfield College Jazz Ensemble dazzled audiences in the Indoor Theater on Monday night with its big-band arrangements of classic songs by The Beatles.

Kris Tiner opened the event by introducing the community to the upcoming Jazz Studies program that will be a part of our curriculum next semester. This concentration within our music program will offer more in-depth opportunities for students to prepare for a career in performing jazz music, and will also be adding smaller bands called “jazz combos” to complement the larger ensemble. Before the main ensemble’s performance, Tiner introduced a jazz combo group that performed standards by Charles Mingus and Sonny Rollins.


After the combo group’s performance, the entire jazz ensemble took the stage to perform jazz arrangements by the Fab Four, opening with “Day Tripper”, a song recorded during the sessions for the Beatles “Rubber Soul” album, and released as its own single in 1965 . The evening featured arrangements that spanned the Beatles’ varied discography, from the pop of the band’s early releases to the more experimental psychedelic music of its later catalog.

I’d like to thank Kris Tiner and everyone who came out to support our BC Jazz Ensemble, and I can’t wait to hear what the students in our Jazz Studies program are going to be putting together in the future.


Project BEST

On Wednesday in the Indoor Theater, BC was honored to host the Senior Scholarship Banquet for Project BEST, an organization that provides mentoring and scholarship opportunities for African-American males in the Kern County High School District.

Chef Eric Sabella and our Food Services Department provided a delicious dinner for the graduating high school students and their families in the courtyard in front of the Indoor Theater, and attendees spent the evening celebrating the achievements of Project BEST students as they prepare to leave high school and begin their college journeys.

Project BEST, which stands for Black Excellence in Scholarship and Teaching, was created over 25 years ago to increase the high school graduation and college attendance rates of African-American males in the Kern High School District. The organization helps students with their college applications and financial aid forms, as well as scholarships, counseling, tutoring and trips to universities around California. This year’s students got to visit the UC Berkeley campus and attend workshops about college entrance essays as part of the Experience Berkeley High School Program.


Zav Dadabhoy stepping out with the mike while addressing Project BEST

Dr. Zav Dadabhoy spoke a few words at the beginning of the ceremony thanking Project BEST for choosing BC to host its scholarship banquet, as well as sharing some of the details about how we make a college education attainable for everyone.


Dr. Bryon Schaefer

Kern High School District Superintendent Dr. Bryon Schaefer thanked all of the members of the advisory committee on Project BEST for their dedication to ensuring that none of Kern County’s African-American youth are left behind.

Keynote speaker Quinn Woodard told Project BEST students the inspirational story of growing up in St. Louis as an exceptional student athlete who had to change the course of his academic career once he sustained too many injuries to continue playing sports. Woodard went on to start a clothing company at 17 years old with his friends in St. Louis before attending the University of Tulsa. Woodard initially had an interest in pursuing a business degree as an undergraduate, but his experience in Chevron’s Project Lead the Way led him to develop an interest in STEM, which brought him all the way to Bakersfield to work as one of Chevron’s electrical engineers.


Quinn Woodard

Woodard, who recently finished a Masters in Business Administration from Indiana University while working as the Electrical Engineering Team Lead at Chevron, credits his success to the people who recognized his potential and gave him an opportunity to develop it. He advised the Project BEST students to step out of their comfort zone to find their true calling.

“In order to grow, you must embrace discomfort,” Woodard said. “When we invest in ourselves, it creates opportunities to thrive and give back to others.

After Woodard’s presentation, Chevron’s Community Engagement Advisor Adam Alvidrez presented the Project BEST program with $20,000 to use for scholarships and academic development.


Adam Alvidrez

Several students from the Project BEST program then gave brief testimonials about their time in the program. Stockdale High student Bryce Jackson praised one of the program’s exercises addressing budgeting and lifestyle, helping him set realistic goals and expectations for his success, and South High student Malcolm Francisco said that the opportunities for fellowship with other African-American students helped him learn how to respect his heritage in all of his daily choices.

Project BEST students receive special recognition on the Indoor Theater stage.

Project BEST students receive special recognition on the Indoor Theater stage.

Several Project BEST students were presented with special recognition awards for their outstanding accomplishments while in the program, and every student who completed the program received a certificate signed by California Assemblyman Vince Fong.

Leading the Nation: Building Excellence for California’s Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Students

Last week, Chelsea Esquibias, Bryan Hirayama, and Craig Hayward presented at the IEPI conference Leading the Nation: Building Excellence for California’s Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Students.


Chelsea Esquibias in a group photo with the panel

Chelsea Esquibias, BC’s Inmate Scholars Program Director, and Ruben Ortiz, College Coordinator for Kern Valley State Prison-B yard, discussed the value of their partnership and continued success of the program during a panel presentation. Most of the students on B yard started the Inmate Scholars Program with BC a year-and-a-half to two years ago and now need only about 5 more classes to reach completion! Faculty interest is high in working on that particular yard with these dedicated students and unique Inmate Scholars Program.

Craig Hayward, Dean of Institutional Effectiveness, addressed college metrics and how outcomes, research, and tracking are valuable tools in measuring success of students in all programs.

I encourage you to watch the YouTube videos by our faculty members that really portray the heart and soul of this incredible program.

The Sergeant and the Professor, with BC’s Bryan Hirayama:

A College Expands and Finds Success, with BC’s Chelsea Esquibias:

Innovation of the Year Award from CCLC!

IMG_4136Julian West and BC’s African American Mentoring Program have been awarded the Innovation of the Year by the League for Innovation! This incredible recognition is because of the commitment and passion of staff and faculty at Bakersfield College. African-American Mentor Program (AAMP) is a program that incorporates drop-in mentoring, resiliency guidance, problem resolution, general assistance, and “real talk”. AAMP has a network of passionate professionals on campus and out in the community that are dedicated to the success of African American students. The program does incredible things to change lives and help students stay on the path to a successful future.

Renegade Softball

The Renegades softball team finished its season with the best record in conference play after beating Moorpark College last week, entering the playoffs as the top seed in the conference.
The Bakersfield Californian reported on the results, noting that the Renegades finished the season 31-9 overall while only losing one game in their 14 conference matchups.

BC Softball April 12 2018

Veterans Summit

Bakersfield College was well represented at this year’s California Community College Veterans Summit.  MC’d by a towering figure in the CC veteran services community, Nancy Montgomery, RN, MSN, of Irvine Valley College. The summit opened with Hilda Solis, former U.S. Secretary of Labor, the first Latina to hold a cabinet post.  Now Supervisor, County of Los Angeles, First District, Solis spoke of the need for services for veterans such as housing, medical, and education.  It is interesting to note that Solis and our own advisor for veterans, Armando Trujillo, actually attended the same high school, La Puente High School.

Keynote speaker Oz Sanchez had everyone enthralled with his story our courage and resilience in the face of tragedy.  His early life was crippled with abuse and family dysfunction, and his late teens were directionless and riddled with drugs. In 1996, he opted for a different life and joined the Marine Corps. After six years of service with two deployments to the Middle East, he decided to transfer to the Navy and serve as a Navy Seal. In 2001, Oz was the victim of a hit-and-run accident while riding his motorcycle. He suffered a spinal cord injury that left him with near complete paralysis of the lower extremities. Oz fell into deep, five-year depression and had seemingly lost all hope for a fulfilling life. Oz made a choice to redefine himself and began to move forward. He enrolled in school, earning a bachelor’s degree in Business Management with a minor in Communications from San Diego State University. He pursued sports and is a three-time Paralympian and winner of six medals. He is a five-time, world champion hand cyclist, Kona Ironman finisher, and now motivational speaker. Oz takes great pride in his role as a mentor for the Wounded Warrior community and is a source of inspiration for anyone suffering from depression or struggling with life’s many challenges. He is of the belief that with passion and purpose, there is no obstacle that can stop us. His message, ‘Know No Limits.’  Very inspiring!

Lisa Kent, Paul Beckworth, Armando Trujillo with Oz Sanchez

Lisa Kent, Paul Beckworth, Armando Trujillo with Oz Sanchez

vet PathwaysBakersfield College Veteran Services, represented by Armando Trujillo, Lisa Kent, and Paul Beckworth, were honored to present at this year’s summit.  The presentation, entitled, “Implementation Starts with Identification; Guided Pathways and the Definition of ‘Veteran,’” was well received as the team spoke about the need to better define key terms at the local, state, and national level.  The meaning of terminology as fundamental as “veteran” and “active service” are now being challenged in making education benefits available, the speakers addressed the need for direction from Veteran Affairs.  The meaning of “veteran” at community college can often rest of who is asking the question.  Does it mean the student who actually wore the uniform, or all students who receive benefits for reporting purposes?  What does Equity require?


The team then shifted to the work of Bakersfield College’s Guided Pathways, in particular, our Affinity groups.  Student-veterans usually feel like they are behind their peers, having given up years in the service, so they often feel time is of the essence, and want a well-defined pathway.

The role of support services is equally vital to keeping veterans engaged; mental health, DSPS, tutoring, EOP&S, and the BC high touch; high tech approach with specialized veteran educational advising, and the timely data to track their progress.  The Guided Pathway meta-majors help ensure learning so our student-veterans can move on to the next stage of their education and success.


Artwork designed by Dylan Wang

Especially rewarding was to listen to The California Community College Veterans Caucus, a high level advocacy group in Sacramento fighting for student-veterans at the leadership level.  Larry Kennedy, Trustee, Ventura Community College District presented.  Dr. Janett Jackson, Chancellor, Chabot-Las Positas Community College District spoke, as well.  Dr. Jackson is an inspiration.  She is the oldest of 8 children, a product of the Central Valley, started off in education as a classified staff member.  She later became a tenured professor, then Academic Senate President, then later a vice-president, then president, then chancellor!  She did this while she served as an officer in the California National Guard, last serving as the Brigade Commander of the 40th Corps Support Group in the Sunni Triangle in Iraq, where she led her troops into combat.  Hers is very much a story of inspiration and fortitude.   She has received numerous military awards; included among them is the Bronze Star, the Combat Action Medal, and Operation Iraqi Freedom Campaign Medal.

Lesley Bonds – Community Voices

Lesley Bonds, BC’s director of Student Success and Equity, wrote an op-ed in the Bakersfield Californian reflecting on her experience at the Bakersfield Women’s Business Conference and how women are often the catalysts of important systemic change within communities.

Bonds’ piece is a retrospective on how her faith in the “transformative power of women” led her to BC, where she’s helped create new opportunities for women, people of color and other underrepresented groups in our community.

She describes the epiphany she had during the course of the day regarding how the work of all faculty and staff at BC is integral to shaping the future of Kern County. “An investment in the education of young girls is an investment in the education of a community,” Bonds wrote.

“We are our community’s college – uniquely position to support meaningful progress in Kern County.”

We are BC! We are Bakersfield!

William Velasquez

We have talented and gifted staff and faculty at Bakersfield College including William Velasquez who sent me an email yesterday with the following image. He said

Yesterday, I decided to stay after work and walk around BC campus with my camera and found this rose bud in front of the Fine arts building. Thinking of the students that were around the building when I took the picture, I was inspired to write an inspiring quote that harmonizes with the picture.

william velasquez rose

By William Velasquez

Meeting with Central Valley Regional Coordinator

On Friday, Lesley Bonds, Grace Comiso, Manny Mourtzanos, Julian West, Karen Snow, Yvonne Armendariz, Jennifer Johnson, and Marisa Marquez discussed  with Laura Lara-Brady, Ph.D., Guided Pathways Regional Coordinator what BC has learned over the past few years in the Guided Pathway implementation process.

They discussed completion coaching communities, communication plans, data coaching, Transfer Pathways and the successes and barriers that come along with them.  It was important to give feedback and look at the implementation from a practical perspective through the lens of administration, staff, faculty, and meeting state legislative requirements while providing services and improving student outcomes.


Celebrating Regina Hukill

Regina HukillThe Math Department and Dean, Stephen Waller’s office, held a special luncheon for Regina Hukill.  Regina served as Math Department Chair, and was highly praised by the Math Faculty for her direction and leadership to them during the 5 years as Chair.

She will be stepping out of the Department Chair position to resume her position as full-time math faculty.

Thank you Regina!

A Beautiful Garden Fest 2018

dsc09568-x3Last weekend, Garden Fest was a beautiful day.  We had thousands in attendance including many visitors, community organizations, garden clubs, and vendors expressed their love for the event and the feeling of community.

Thank you to everyone who worked hard to make Bakersfield College and Garden Fest bloom.

See all the photos at BC’s Smugmug.


 Renegade Athletics

Baseball team were declared Conference Champions and now head into payoffs.

Baseball Team April 27 2018.jpg

The Bakersfield College baseball team clinched a spot in the Southern California Regional Playoffs with a 7-1 victory over visiting LA Valley on Thursday.BC starting pitcher Lane Cowan turned in a brilliant 8 2/3 inning performance as the Renegades clinched at least a tie for the Western State Conference-South championship.BC holds the tie-breaker with LA Pierce, the other team vying for a share of the league title.The Renegades won the season-series against the Brahmas, three games to two. BC can clinch the WSC-South championship out-right by winning its regular season finale versus West LA on Friday. Cowan gave up one run on four hits and one walk before reliever Adam Brown came in with two outs in the ninth to secure victory, snapping a two-game losing streak by the Renegades. from gogades.com


Women’s Swimming takes second place in WSC

Women's Swimming April 22 2018.jpg

The Bakersfield College women’s swim team took second place at the Western State Conference Swimming Championships.  The three day meet ended on Saturday with the Renegades securing second place.  On Saturday, the last day of competition, BC had five individuals and one relay team finish in the top five and score valuable points.  The top finishers for the Renegades and the team scores are listed below.


Neo from Eisha's Facebook May 14 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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One thought on “Leadership Shines at BC

  1. Janet Tarjan April 28, 2018 at 8:21 pm Reply

    It is a great time to be at BC! We are so lucky to have you serving as our president!

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