Good morning Bakersfield. It is Saturday, May 26, 2018 and a great day to be a Renegade. And why wouldn’t it be…. I woke up to BC everywhere in The Bakersfield Life Magazine.
On page 12 a spotlight on our new Vice President of Instruction, Liz Rozell. Just love her gorgeous smile.
And then on page 41 a picture of Tina Mendoza. faculty at Taft College, and Nicky Damania, Director of Student Life.
On page 21 there was Tamara Baker, a dining diva, who is right now at KEDC and will be starting at Bakersfield College shortly. Sorry, Richard Chapman and Cheryl Scott 🙂
And finally, on page 76, a two-page recognition of our Renegade Baseball team and our amazing student athlete Zach Williams. Coach Tim Painton is so proud of his players.
104th Commencement for the third week in a row.
This time let’s listen to Dr. John Gerhold sing our national anthem.
Summer Bridge at BC
With the 2017-18 academic year wrapped up, BC is transitioning to getting our students ready for summer and fall.
We’ve kicked off the largest year ever for the Summer Bridge to BC program, an interactive day-long orientation that gives incoming freshmen the opportunity to engage with faculty one-on-one and in group settings while touring the BC campus with experienced and knowledgeable student mentors.
I love seeing the new groups of students throughout the summer touring the campus.
As of last Thursday, there were only two open seats for students to enroll in Summer Bridge, which is offered as a course titled ACDV B55 – First Year Student Success. It’s an incredible time to be at BC!
More on Jim Ryun and the State Track Meet at BC
It was great to see friends and supporters out at the State Championships last weekend at Memorial Stadium. Dean Lofgren from El Camino College sent me the following photo with a lovely message. He said:
We have always enjoyed coming to the well-hosted Bakersfield College meet(s). Over the many years, the Bakersfield College staff of Pam Kelley (and formerly Bob Covey) have a superb job in staging these major events. Having the infamous Jim Ryun attend this year was an added bonus. Thanks again and hope to be back again soon.
See my friends, if you haven’t been to the campus on the hill in a while, it’s a great time to visit. BC is an incredible place of talent, dreams, and champions.
Here are some more photos from Nick Ellis of The Bakersfield Californian
Here are two photos I snapped: A selfie with two men from Bakersfield College who met up at Congress — Bill Thomas and Jim Ryun.
Was happy to see faculty member Jeremy Staat helping out Coach Pam Kelly for the statewide meet. Here he is with Sandi Taylor
Thank you Nick Ellis for this great picture
MESA Awards Banquet
The students in the Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) program at BC got an opportunity to celebrate their accomplishments with their peers during an awards banquet on Wednesday in the Fireside Room.
Dean Stephen Waller gave a brief speech before attendees enjoyed an Italian dinner catered by Frugatti’s, reminding MESA participants that although the majority of them are first-generation college students, their hard work representing BC’s STEM program and helping organize events such as the MESA STEM and Pre-Health Conference have established a high reputation both for themselves and BC’s MESA program.
Graduating student Sharina Washington gave a testimonial about her time in the MESA program, expressing her heartfelt gratitude to MESA Director Connie Gonzales for pushing her to reach her highest potential and giving her the tools to earn the PG&E Black Engineering Scholarship and the Dwight David Eisenhower Transportation Fellowship.
The evening’s keynote speaker was Jose Salinas, a former MESA participant who graduated from UC Davis with a degree in mechanical engineering and currently works for Northrup-Grumman, one of the largest aerospace and defense contractors in the world. After struggling at Cuesta College, Salinas’ participation in BC’s MESA program reinvigorated his love of mathematics and gave him the assistance he needed as a first-generation college student. Salinas would go on to become a tutor for the MESA program and participate in a workshop at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, an experience which helped him realize his passion for the aerospace industry. After graduating from UC Davis, Salinas got accepted to USC for the master’s program in astronautical engineering.
After the keynote speech, representatives from the US Department of Agriculture announced the MESA students who earned the summer and fall STEM internships with the National Resource Conservation Service and the Bureau of Land Management. The organization also won the award for MESA Sponsor of the Year. BC chemistry professor Wayne Cooper presented awards for the A+ Scholars program, which provides financial resources to help STEM students transfer to four-year universities. He also announced all of the MESA students who are graduating or transferring before being presented with MESA’s Professor of the Year award.
My heartfelt thanks for everything that our MESA program does to help first-generation STEM students at BC, and I wish all of the graduates the best of luck as they transition to the college or career of their dreams.
Inmate Scholars Program
On Tuesday, activist and media personality Danny Morrison wrote an article on his website praising BC’s Inmate Scholars program, writing that “inmate education could be the elixir to some of the most deeply-rooted, long-standing systemic barriers plaguing our most marginalized communities.”
Morrison, who hosts a radio show on 103.9 FM The Beat, as well as “The Danny Morrison Media Show” on The Beat and Canoodle Studios, went into intense detail about the Inmate Scholars program, praising BC’s Program Manager Chelsea Esquibias and its success rates, as well as the program’s efforts toward reducing recidivism and encouraging adult participation in higher education courses.
In his article, he shared the success rates and made the comment that the “numbers don’t lie.”
“This comprehensive program should serve as the template for correctional facilities all throughout the country,” Morrison said. “In my personal experiences with the program, I have seen growth within some of the most hardened inmates like you never thought possible.”
Brandon Johnson of ABC 23 also recently shared how “inmates up and down Kern County are getting a second chance courtesy of Bakersfield College.” The news clip can be seen on Facebook here.
Celebrating Hall EMT Grads
The Bakersfield Californian’s Steven Mayer covered the Hall EMT academy graduation in an article which he started by announcing, “Hundreds of family members and friends gathered to watch Tuesday as 30 recruits graduated from the Hall EMT Academy to become Kern County’s newest first responders.” On hand for the celebration was KCCD Chancellor Tom Burke.
Titled, “First time ‘without our boss,’ Hall EMT academy graduates 30,” Mayer’s article combined both a tribute to Harvey Hall with a celebration of the hard work and accomplishments of these new EMT’s. He said, “During their 350 hours of training — done in partnership with Bakersfield College — the entire spectrum of emergency medical services is covered, including airway, respiration & ventilation; cardiology & resuscitation; trauma; and EMS operations. Upon completion of the coursework, they are prepared to take the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians exam.” See the full article here.
BC Umoja Grads
Paula Parks has a piece in the local Bakersfield News Observer spotlighting the BC Umoja Grads by covering the end of the year Umoja celebration. You’ll want to read it for yourself by clicking here. I loved her statement, “In essence, culture and community are empowering. I am committed to the success of our students because I know their potential.”
This, my friends is one of the many reasons why I’m the luckiest and happiest college president ever.
Information Technology Rocks at BC
On Thursday morning, I heard of a student currently in the Air Force stationed overseas who was having some IT connection issues with their online classes and needed support to troubleshoot. Jennifer Serratt sprung into action calling on the IT Director Todd Coston who didn’t hesitate to look into the existing case details and work to find a solution. Jennifer assured the student we would work on having a solution for them the next day! (It was 11:30PM overseas!) By 8AM local time for the student, a solution had been created by our IT staff on campus and at the District Office. Here’s to two rock stars who work hard for our students!
And speaking of Todd Coston and the IT department, they celebrated their annual retreat day with team building and activities for the IT staff, graphic designers, and web content editors! The day included a photo scavenger hunt where the teams had to be creative and take specific photos on campus. The groups also built boats, raced toy cars, and competed in an exercise that involved stacking cups using a rubber band attached to strings.
This special day full of team building exercises is a great experience for our IT department. Special thanks to Todd Coston, Monika Scott and Hernando Mondragon for planning and hosting the various activities.
Fun Photos CSEA Appreciation Week
This week, BC celebrated Classified School Employee Week and had a luncheon on Tuesday afternoon. On Thursday appreciation grams were delivered around campus bringing smiles to many. California’s Legislature recognized the important contributions of classified school employees by naming the third full week of May “Classified School Employee Week” (CSEW) in honor of their contributions. Classified school employees play crucial roles in education. Here are some photos from the luncheon:
Joint Committee on the Arts Informational Hearing
On May 16th, Dr. Oliver Rosales spoke in Sacramento at the Joint Committee on Arts regarding California and the Humanities: Building Bridges and Amplifying Voices. You can view the clip online and Dr. Rosales begins speaking at 1:36:50.
Recognizing that the Arts contribute significantly to the quality of life in California, and play an important role in the identity, innovation and economy of this state, and citing the dramatic decline in arts education programs in the state’s public schools, the Joint Committee on the Arts was formed in 1984. The Committee is authorized and directed to study, investigate and analyze:
- Goals appropriate to the future of the arts and cultural life of California and the role the Legislature and state government should play in achievement of these goals;
- Arts legislation in other states and at the federal level and recommendations for legislation in this state;
- The status of arts education in California;
- The economic impact of the Arts in California; and
- The budget and programs of the California Arts Council.
On Monday of this week, President’s Cabinet started its first of a series of retreats to evaluate last year and start planning for next year.
This is a great group of individuals who are on call 24-7 — dedicated to our students, to the college, and dedicated to the community.
It is a great time to be at Bakersfield College.
That’s all for now.
Until next time.
With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.
the luckiest and happiest college president ever