Good morning Bakersfield, it is Saturday, June 30, 2018.
We are reeling, yet again, from another senseless shooting incident. Another tragedy.
Let’s pause and get to know the five individuals, through the lens of the Capital Gazette, who lost their lives.
Rob Hiaasen: A joyful stylist, a generous mentor.
Let’s read what Jean Marbella has to say about Rob Hiaasen….. Hiaasen, 59, as a writer, was drawn to quirky stories, and had a unique way of telling them, with wry asides and internal and imagined dialogues. For more, read…
Wendi Winters: A prolific writer who chronicled her community
Gerald Fischman: Clever and quirky voice of a community newspaper
Let’s see what Erin Cox wrote about Gerald Fischman…..Fischman, 61, had worked at the paper since 1992. His quirky, low-key demeanor belied a biting sense of humor that charmed his colleagues. See more..
John McNamara (Mac): Sports reporting was his dream job
McNamara, 56, who went by “Mac,” was remembered by his colleagues for his flexibility, concise writing and extensive knowledge of regional sports. He had a razor wit … see more at
Rebecca Smith: Recent hire loved spending time with family
It is our duty as Americans to support and defend the press. It is essential to our freedom. To make the press the enemy is no different than to make the military or law enforcement our enemy, or to make education the enemy, or any of the values and institutions that make us free….. and makes us a great country.
So this morning, in the wake of this tragedy, I am particularly grateful for the press. Let us take a moment to recognize those in the press doing what is essential to preserve our freedom. Join me in thanking them and in support of our local press.
In our very own Bakersfield Californian
This morning the Bakersfield Californian featured many Bakersfield College faces in the Bakersfield Life Magazine, including Asha Chandy who was the Associate Campaign Manager to Nicole Parra for Measure J was featured as one of the top 20 people under 40 to watch. And she is only 26!
And here she is with Nicole Parra during the Measure J campaign.
Dining Divas with Tamara Baker and Olivia Garcia
Summer is getting hot and we are really blazing trails at BC! In my June 16th Blog I mentioned waking to BC’s record enrollment rates on the front page of the Bakersfield Californian. This week, Reyna Harvey of KBAK highlighted BC’s record-breaking summer enrollment.
The article reports that BC has enrolled 2,000 more students into summer school than they had last year, as well as serving over 33,000 students in the 2017-18 academic year. Manny Mourtzanos is quoted in the article talking about the baccalaureate program and the ways that we’ve expanded enrollment via online courses, dual and concurrent enrollment and offering classes at Delano, Arvin, Wasco and BC Southwest. Read Reyna’s article Enrollment Rates Soar at Bakersfield College.
Sounds of Summer
For the second year, BC was treated to a musical night with the US Air Force Band of the Golden West. They played for a packed Indoor Theater crowd on Tuesday night, performing a mix of traditional military music, American show-tunes and original compositions inspired by music from around the world.
The group, based out of Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield, California, is the only active duty Air Force band on the West Coast. They’ve performed at gubernatorial inaugurations, sporting events and led off the Tournament of Roses parade in Pasadena on New Year’s Day, according to their website.
Dick Taylor, director of the Kern County Veterans Service Department, introduced the Air Force Band of the Golden West and talked about the deep respect and admiration that the people of Kern County have for the armed services.
The Color Guard for Tehachapi Composite Squadron 46 brought out the flags for the band’s performance of the national anthem.
Here is a short splice of the national anthem
Once the performance began, Master Sergeant Jeremy Laukhuf served as the master of ceremonies between songs, emphasizing the importance of science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics in everything that the military does.
The US Air Force Band of the Golden West has performed previously at BC, and they never disappoint with their tight-knit arrangements led by conductor Rafael F. Toro-Quinones, whether they’re performing the sweeping Americana of John Williams’ “The Cowboys” or the somber folk song “Shenandoah”.
The group even performed a Latin-inspired original composition written by Technical Sergeant Marco Munoz which featured a prolific percussion solo by Staff Sergeant Freddie Cruz.
For this year’s program, the US Air Force Band of the Golden West is honoring the 100th birthday of legendary American composer Leonard Bernstein with several compositions from his legendary musicals “West Side Story” and “Wonderful Town”, which were beautifully sung by Staff Sergeant Michelle Doolittle.
The band’s performance of Bernstein’s “Slava! A Political Overture” was conducted by Airman First Class Cagdas Donmezer, a Turkish immigrant who had just earned his American citizenship about three weeks ago and primarily plays keyboard for the group.
At the end of the concert, Captain Quinones presented a special commemorative coin to Mary Jo Pasek for organizing the event and arranging for a special dinner to be prepared for the group by our Food Service Department.
Commemorative coins were also presented to Dick Taylor and Michael Stone, the Bakersfield City School District’s Coordinator of the Visual and Performing Arts who conducted a composition with the group.
Check out America the Beautiful
I was so pleased by the turnout for this year’s US Air Force Band of the Golden West performance, and I’d like to thank Mary Jo Pasek for organizing this event, and Chef Stefanie and the food services crew for preparing the dinner for our honored guests. We had many Renegades and friends of Bakersfield College join us for this musical treat!
My favorite piece from the evening was when they played the Armed Services Medley honoring each branch of the US Military and those in the audience who served stood up and were recognized during their part of the medley.
Here are some familiar faces:
From Mayor Goh’s Facebook pictures
CDC Early Registration
Speaking of encouraging student success, it is also important that we offer services that assist students with challenges to their studies. For some students, having children becomes a challenge when they need to find daycare while they study. The Child Development Center at Bakersfield College (CDC) offers a student service with the primary goal of providing a comprehensive child development program that serves student families and their children.
This amazing center provides the time and support to assist student families in achieving their chosen academic/career goals. The CDC demonstration laboratory classrooms offer a model of best practices in early childhood education while providing students with learning opportunities through observation and on-floor interactions with young children and their families.
All teachers are professionally trained in the field of Early Childhood Education, and are certified through the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. Placement in the program is made according to state priorities and date of application and is designed for income eligible families who are enrolled in college courses leading to a specific career/professional goal.
Make sure our students know about this fantastic resource. See the CDC Fall Registration Flier for more information on fall’s enrollment for the Child Development Center. Applications are being accepted now.
Bon Voyage Concert
Hope to see you at today’s Bon Voyage concert at 4:00 p.m.
Certifiable Partnerships in Safety
On Tuesday, BC’s Public Safety Senior Officer Matthew Rodriguez taught a First Aid/CPR/AED certification class at the BC Southwest Campus. Matthew taught and certified five BC and Fresno Pacific University (FPU) staff members. I am so pleased that both Bakersfield College and Fresno Pacific University staff and employees got together and asked for this class. Their request shows how lucky I am to be a President where our staff finds safety important and looks to collaborate with FPU for this educational partnership.
Afterwards, I heard that Matthew did a wonderful job!
Prior to the start of each semester, BC’s Public Safety trains all of our new Cadets in the First Aid/CPR/AED training certification course. This program is part of BC’s Public Safety Department’s commitment to enhancing safety through education and prevention.
You know the Public Safety Moto: If you See Something, Say Something, Do Something! Check out these new signs from Public Safety
BC Alumnus Newest Fire Chief
Public safety in our community is so important and BC strives to improve safety not only on campus, but in the community at large. As you know, we offer many programs in public safety at BC including the Fire Technology program. I was so excited to see an article in the Californian by Joseph Luiz reporting Anthony Galazaga, a Bakersfield College Fire Technology graduate and 26-year veteran of the Bakersfield Fire Department, will be taking over as the city’s newest fire chief.
Joseph’s article features quotes about Battalion Chief Galazaga from City Manager Alan Tandy and current chief Doug Greener, who retires at the end of June. “I’ve been able to work alongside the finest firefighting force these past 26 years and now I get to lead them,” Galazaga said.
Galazaga earned his associate’s degree in fire technology from BC before getting a bachelors in fire science from Columbia University. He’s been working in the Bakersfield Fire Department since 1992 and is currently working on his master’s degree in business administration at Columbia Southern while being involved with organizations such as the Kern American Red Cross, Youth Leadership Bakersfield, and the Bakersfield Firefighters Burn Foundation.
Upon taking office as the new chief, Galazaga aims to develop a five-year strategic plan that includes increasing funding for the department while implementing a progressive new recruitment strategy to get young people interested in firefighting.
I feel honored to know that such an exciting leader in our community started on his path at our campus, and it’s another important footnote in the storied history of BC’s fire technology program. The program, initially referred to as fire science, was established in 1956 by Bakersfield Fire Department Chief Phil Pifer and Norman Harris, BC’s coordinator of technical and vocational education, according to the Fire Technology History website. The curriculum was designed specifically for Bakersfield city firefighters in mind, featuring on-the-job training with all types of firefighting equipment the department used at that time. The program would eventually expand into a training service for all Kern County fire agencies.
I wish Chief Galazaga the best of luck in his new position as chief, and I thank him for choosing Bakersfield College to begin his life’s journey. Read Joseph Luiz’s Bakersfield Californian article City Announces New Fire Chief.
BC Students on Telamundo
Bakersfield College’s MEChA and LUPE students talk about the World Cup, their student organizations and community involvement in these segments with Telemundo’s Nancy Preciado.
See the videos:
- El Mundial desde el Colegio de Bakersfield
- Copa Mundial Rusia 2018 desde el Colegio de Bakersfield
- Sigue la fiebre del Mundial 2018
Encouraging Student Success – No More Excuses
While our enrollment rates are growing, it is so important that we concentrate on encouraging all of our students to be successful. At President’s Cabinet this week, Dr. Steven Waller presented how he worked with his Meta-major Completion Coaching Team to support and encourage student success. Thank you Corny for snapping this picture.
CTE Dean’s Meeting
Corny snapped this picture too…..Dr. Michele Bresso attending the district-wide CTE meeting led by Associate Vice Chancellor Cindy Collier.
Together we are building…A Better BC –
We are on the last leg of the parking lot renovations. Starting on Monday, July 2, parking lots 3 and 4 on Mount Vernon and Panorama will reopen. On that day, the following parking lots and roads will be closed until August 3:
- Red and White Way **M&O recommends that drop-offs occur at the round-about located off the driveway east of the PAC building, north of the FA building
- Parking Lot 2 (staff parking off the main entrance from Haley Street) **M&O recommends that staff park in Parking Lot 3 located on the corner of Panorama and Mount Vernon. I will be car pooling next week. I suggest you do as well.
- Parking Lot 1 (visitor parking near Administration building) **Visitor parking will be moved to Parking Lot 3 located on the corner of Panorama and Mount Vernon
- The main entrance off of Haley Street
- The road west of the Library and Public Safety
- The road north of M&O, south of Public Safety
- Parking Lot 12 (Public Safety & Levinson) ** M&O recommends that staff park in other parking lots in that area (P14, P13, P15, P11, P9)
- Parking lot 5 (by the Industrial Technology building and auto shops) and the driveway leading to INDT & auto shops **M&O recommends that staff park in Parking Lot 4 located off of Church Way & Mount Vernon
As always, visit A Better BC for updated campus maps and construction updates.
Doing the Right Thing
I am in the process of doing the final read through of BC’s Accreditation Self Study document and I am coming across great gems. For example, Board Policy 7E, states that “we endeavor always to do what is right and just, even when no one is watching.” Nick Strobel explains that policy is implemented by recognizing the dignity of all persons and fulfilling our obligations to others using fair and honest means.
It’s important for us to go above and beyond the legal requirement to ensure that we’re treating everyone in our community with the respect and autonomy they deserve. We expect our students to be honest and ethical in their academics, so it’s only right that we hold ourselves to the same rigorous standard. This philosophy has helped cement Bakersfield College’s reputation as one of the most respected institutions of higher learning in the Central Valley. We are BC!
Chelsea Esquibias, Program Director for the Inmate Scholars Program spoke on a panel with Laura Hope, Executive Vice Chancellor for Educational Services for the California Community Colleges and Rebecca Silbert, Director, Renewing Communities Initiative for the Opportunity Institute for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), at last week’s statewide principal’s meeting. They discussed the partnership between the California Community College System and CDCR. They discussed the thriving partnership, current student success outcomes, and building a successful program. The Inmate Scholars Program provides students the opportunity to earn an Associate Degree for Transfer while incarcerated. Studies show that recidivism (rate of return to prison) is dramatically reduced through education and positively impacts future generations of those incarcerated. Bakersfield College’s program serves ten local prisons and students have achieved exceptional grades and outcomes.
I want to share with you this wonderful essay that a faculty member shared with me.
My husband once announced that history can be defined as “missed opportunities”. I never replied to the comment because I tried to rationalize it as very pessimistic in nature. For years this idea weighed heavy as I looked back. What might have been if a different path in my half-century of opportunities had been chosen?
During the year I frequently fantasize about teaching art or coaching track. The precursor is that chemistry is not an easy subject for most students. It is also very different from other subjects, including math and the remaining sciences. Teaching chemistry can be challenging and often feels sadistic in nature. Students that register for the pre-professional track have prestigious goals and they are aware they must succeed in the course if they are to be successful by their standards.
Most community college students in the sciences will be transferring or entering the nursing program. Therefore, the second semester of the year can be inundated with requests for letters of recommendations. Former students may even contact professors if they are applying to graduate school. Individual students inevitably ask for multiple recommendations; each institution demanding different requirements. This is the behind-the-scenes work of a professor. The hours are never recorded and the quality of work is never evaluated. Feedback is not even offered when recommendations are submitted. At best, periodically a student will announce an acceptance. Nonetheless, there is always a holistic sense of scrupulous dedication.
Recently, a student approached me because she had been accepted to The University of Virginia for a summer research internship. An overwhelming flow of emotions permeated my body. It was not just the excitement for her or the relief that my letter had been productive. It was the realization that the sorrow of my “missed history” had been erased. Virginia is a beautiful state full of horses. I have always dreamed of living there. I even applied to work at Virginia Technical University but when offered an interview had to cancel because I was sick. My decision to cancel has always haunted me. What if I had gone to the interview?
Within the same week a second student informed me of his acceptance to Stanford University for the summer. Yes, another “missed opportunity”. The closest I got to attending Stanford was throwing a college party with Michigan and Stanford men swim teams. I always regret not running for Stanford. Instead, I stayed back in my home state for a boyfriend and ran for Michigan. The student’s acceptance this summer may be the closest I come to attending Stanford. Admittingly, at my age I am learning to allow their tribulations to erase my trials.
My current assignment is to complete a meticulous recommendation form for a student applying to Duke. This endeavor is inflicting emotional responses of memories. My belated grandfather used to brag that I was attending Duke for graduate school. I never even applied to Duke. At best I visited and experienced the pure beauty of the antiquated buildings. I corrected grandpa a couple of times but promptly decided to abandon the attempts and allow him to be proud. If my student is not accepted to Duke, the mere process of this task is fulfilling a purpose. The opportunities of choices are really left for the next generation. The ability to live vicariously through our students is important for professors to strive forward and find purpose in our history of “missed opportunity”. With an improved perspective of history, I thank each student for the letters and forms they have requested.
Fun Photos #Summer2018
And then there is Monika Scott driving the BC golf cart. I will let you figure out this picture.
Summer Bridge 2018
Had dinner with our fabulous SGA President James Tompkin prior to the Airforce Band concert.
With one of our great faculty counselors
Fun picture from this week at a retreat with the Foundation and Community Relations Team.
Last week I had fun seeing all the summertime dog pictures. I don’t think that pleased the Renegade cat lovers. My inbox got flooded with cat pictures. So here are some photos from our proud cat owners:
Monika Scott’s Feline Family
Tracy Lovelace’s four-legged fur-babies
Nicky Demania’s Kitty Kids with a story
Our Director of Student Life, Dr. Nicky Damania, has four cats. His love for cats grew when his parents would not allow them to have any pets, but one day he brought home a full white cat, with one green eye, and one blue eye, and his mom fell in love with that cat, named Aspen.
Now, he has two gray tuxedo boys, which he flew over from Colorado to Bakersfield this past spring. He also has two girls (one full black and the other one gray and white) that he inherited from Dean Grace Commiso who asked him to Cat-sit for a couple of months, which was over a year ago.
The skinny tuxedo male cat is the oldest of 11 years. His name is Skitz, which is short for schizophrenia. Skits came to Nicky, in 2008, back in Colorado when a fellow friend said she was going to get rid of Skitz because Skitz licks the hair on the top of her head for hours, while she sleeps at night.
The fluffier tuxedo male cat is nine years old and called Spaz, short for Spaztastic, literally fell into his hands back in October 2009. They found Spaz as a little kitten inside a golf cart. Public Safety Officers tried to get the kitten out, but had no luck. As soon as Nicky went in to grab the little kitten, the kitten fell right into his hands.
The two female cats came together and have found a place within Nicky’s heart. Cleo, the gray and white cat, is short for CleoCatra. The other black cat is named Kiki. Together they are probably the most laziest cats you have ever seen, but they are also the sweetest.
The four cats have definitely grown attached to each other and care for each other, except during mealtimes, then it’s kitty wars.
That’s all for now.
Until next time.
With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.
the luckiest and happiest college president ever
Tagged: Airforce Band of the Golden West, Asha Chandy, Associate Vice Chancellor Cindy Collier, Bakersfield College, Chief Galazaga, Craig Hayward, Dr. Michele Bresso, Dr. Steven Waller, James Tompkins, Jonathan Schultz, Mayor Karen Goh, Nicky Damania, Olivia Garcia, Sonya Christian, Tamara Baker