Good morning Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, October 13, 2018…..a great day to be a Renegade.
Let me start my weekend blog with the the Board of Trustees meeting where the board voted unanimously to name the first project of Measure J the Vernon Valenzuela Veterans Resource Center.
Naming the Veterans Resource Center
Thursday, October 11th was a historic day for Bakersfield College! The Kern Community College District unanimously voted to approve the naming of the new VRC to The Bakersfield College Vernon Valenzuela Veteran Resource Center. We are proud the KCCD Board of Trustees voted to name the center after a local veteran advocate, inspirational leader, and Renegade.
Vernon Valenzuela left a lasting legacy, for the Home of the Renegades, but also for his extended community, and in the hearts of all who knew him. His life’s work to benefit veterans lives on through the veterans he worked with, and the Renegades whose lives he helped transform.
Special thank you to Paul Beckworth and Olivia Garcia who prepared the Board proposal, and to our guest speakers who shared with the Board their personal stories:
- Jenny Frank, Manager of the Bakersfield Veterans Center
- Tom Corson, Executive Director of the Kern County Network for Children
- Randy Dickow, Attorney from the Veteran Justice Program
Paul Beckworth made the recommendation on my behalf, and Chancellor Burke supported the recommendation.
Kay Meek, President of the KCCD Board of Trustees, made the motion, Bill Thomas seconded the motion.
The Board voted unanimously to name the new VRC the Vernon Valenzuela Veterans Resource Center.
Kay Meek then gave the rendering of the new Vernon Valenzuela Veterans Resource Center to Vernon’s widow Lise Valenzuela. As you can see both the audience and the trustees were elated and gave a standing ovation.
Our community’s support for Bakersfield College has given us a unique opportunity to give back to our veterans by establishing a supportive and welcoming environment for all student veterans. We also must remember that this dedication would not even be possible without the sacrifices of those who have served our nation through military service.
Moments like these are a reminder of our responsibility to ensure steadfast commitment for our veterans. They are a reminder of our personal and collective responsibility to build a future that positively impacts veterans, and supports their education and their dreams.
Thank you to the Board of Trustees for the decision to name the new VRC after Vernon Valenzuela.
We will honor Vernon and all other veterans next month when we hold the official groundbreaking ceremony on November 5. Mark your calendars!
Grand Opening of Student Employment Lab
Monday began with the grand opening and ribbon cutting of our new Student Employment Lab on the Panorama Campus. BC’s Strong Workforce is supporting our students to meet the demand to fill highly sought after skilled jobs with livable wages throughout California. The Student Employment Lab, located in the FACE building, provides career related support including access to resume development, employment resources like Jobspeaker, and preparation for successful interviews. In addition, resources are available from donations that students can utilize, such as paper, pencils, hygiene products, and more.
Jobs prioritize being a student first, and provide important industry and career connections to help students explore what they really want for their futures. The Bakersfield College Student Employment Team is proud to help bridge the gap between education and employment by sharing our model, tools, and resources with other community colleges throughout California.
Thank you to the Student Employment team, led by Stephanie Baltazar and all who attended Monday’s grand opening including Cindy Collier for this new space.
Student Employment in Action
Speaking of student employment, each month the Student Employment Office selects an on-campus supervisor to recognize their outstanding service. The Supervisor then has the honor to highlight one of their top student employees. This month, Arisve Pimentel and Danyel Ritter, Department Assistants for the Office of Student Life are being recognized because they oversee many services and programs, including the Renegade Pantry, Pantry Shelf Program, Daily Bread, Homecoming festivities, and the Renegades mobile app! They teach their student employees organizational and time management skills, make them feel valued, and always keep them on track. Both ladies selected student assistant Selena Gasca for always coming to work prepared, with a positive attitude, and a friendly demeanor.
Visit with Justices of the Fifth District Court of Appeal
This past Thursday, BC was visited by the Justices of the Fifth District Court of Appeal. The Justices spoke very candidly to our pre-law students, staff and faculty about their professional career paths, and explained how they came to be justices at the Court of Appeal. They talked about how life isn’t a sprint but a marathon, and how this is extremely applicable to a life in law.
Many explained how they never thought about being a judge, but wouldn’t change a thing. Their perspective shed light on the ethics and importance of law in supporting democracy, and explained the how Justices are appointed to the Court. They talked about how the work is demanding, and a balance of work and life is essential.
Thank you to Justices Brad R. Hill, Herbert I. Levy, Charles S. Poochigan, M. Bruce Smith, Kathleen A. Meehan, Mark W. Snauffer and Thomas DeSantos for visiting Bakersfield College and for showing our students the many different paths there are in the legal profession. And thank you to Corny Rodriguez and all the students who attended this incredible opportunity. See all the photos at BC’s Smugmug.
Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU)
The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) held its annual conference last weekend in the Marriot Marquis in Atlanta, Georgia to discuss the emerging trends in higher education affecting Hispanic-Serving Institutions. BC’s Corny Rodriguez attended alongside KCCD Chancellor, Tom Burke.
The HACU was established in 1986 to represent the needs of all higher education institutions with a 25 percent or higher Hispanic population, which are defined by federal law as Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs). HSIs, which include Bakersfield College, face unique challenges compared to other degree-granting institutions, including a disproportionately low-income student population. In 1992, the HACU petitioned Congress for recognition and federal appropriations to HSIs, which led to increased funding to HSIs through Title V of the Higher Education Act.
|Hispanic||Student Count (%)||61.5%||65.1%||66.3%||66.7%||65.7%|
Here are two fun photos of our Chancellor at HACU 2018. Chancellor Burke getting up to date information from Georgia Tech professor at the STEM/HACU student workshop and riding on a ” Bird”, electric scooter.
Renegades of the Week
BAKERSFIELD, CA – Renegade Athletics is proud to announce this week’s (9/30-10/6) Wells Fargo Renegades of the Week.
Rhyan Acosta, Women’s Soccer – scored the winning goal in a road victory, 2-0, over #12 rankead LA Valley, and then scored the first two goals in a 4-0 home win over #11 ranked Cuesta.
Armando Alvarez, Men’s Soccer – had a shutout against Santa Barbara, the no. 6th ranked team in California (16th in the nation). He had 3 key saves in the last 2 minutes of the game to preserve a 0-0 tie and finished with a combined total of 7 saves for the game.
Roundup of Athletics Events this week
It was a full week of athletics events for our Renegades teams. Highlights from the week include:
- Volleyball Sweeps #3 El Camino
- Volleyball Sweeps West LA
- Wrestling move to 3-0 in Conference Duals
- Women’s Soccer with Dominating Victory over Cuesta
- Women’s Golf Takes 3rd at COC tourney
- Men’s Soccer Ties with Victor Valley
Public Safety Career Expo
On Wednesday, October 10, the Bakersfield College CTE Department brought together more than 60 local, state, and federal agencies together for the Public Safety Career Expo. Representatives were on hand to answer questions and provide information to those who were interested in pursuing a career in public safety. Hundreds of students were seen having engaging conversations with members of the police, fire department, and military in the hopes of one day making public safety their profession.
Numerous vehicles were on display, such as an ambulance, fire engine, SWAT team vehicle, and even a Kern County Sheriff’s helicopter! Visitors were able to climb in and tour many of the vehicles, getting an up-close view of how these technologically-advanced machines operate.
Thank you to everyone who took part in making this amazing event happen, and a special thank you to all of the men and women who make such great sacrifices to keep our country safe. BC extends our deepest gratitude to you and your families.
See all the photos at BC’s Smugmug!
Young Women Empowered for Leadership Conference
Dr. Paula Parks, English Professor and Umoja Community Lead, was a panelist at the second annual Young Women Empowered for Leadership conference sponsored by the Kern High School District. The focus of the luncheon event organized by Assistant Superintendent Dr. Brenda Lewis was on women in education.
Other distinguished panelists included Highland High School math teacher and BC adjunct instructor Kalisha Hudgins, Foothill High School Counselor Denise James, CSUB Associate Vice President Dr. Jacqueline Mimms, CSUB Assistant Athletic Director Dena Freeman-Patton, and retired educator and Project BEST founder Fushia Ward.
Panelists spoke on what inspired them to pursue a career in education, their experiences being the only African American in their graduate classes and in their places of employment, and overcoming challenges. They all encouraged the girls to maintain a sisterhood and never give up on their dreams no matter what the struggles are.
The high schoolers were engaged and attentive. They asked questions such as the professionalism of wearing one’s hair in natural styles and about getting people to stop using the n-word. Most of the panelists had always worked in education, and the students found it interesting that Dr. Parks moved from a career in journalism to one she found more fulfilling in directly making a difference in the lives of students. They expressed interest in the Umoja Community program and asked Dr. Parks aoout the cultural program in the high schools. Parks encouraged the girls to attend BC and become part of the Umoja program and then transfer to a four-year university.
Bakersfield College was honored to host two respected journalists in the country on our campus to lead a conversation about immigration and reporting as part of a state-wide initiative to keep young people informed about democracy and the functions of government.
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Sonia Nazario and Joaquin Alvarado, founder of the new media organization StudioToBe and the former CEO of The Center for Investigative Reporting, spoke to students in the Forum about the ways that the media frames immigration issues in the wake of increased public scrutiny over ICE detention centers and the separation of families at the border.
The event was presented as part of BC Office of Student Life’s Distinguished Speaker Series, BC Social Justice Institute, and the California Humanities’ new initiative titled “CA 2020: Democracy and the Informed Citizen”, a year-long partnership with California community colleges to get young people engaged in democracy and journalism by bringing Pulitizer-winning reporters to their campuses. At the beginning of the event, California Humanities CEO Julie Fry was proud to announce that the organization had secured approximately $1 million in funding for statewide programming through the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Federation of State Humanities Councils and other non-profit organizations.
South Kern Sol Executive Director Reyna Olaguez also announced the four local winners of media fellowships as part “Cal 2020” project. The four young reporters will be working with trained journalism professionals to develop stories on topics that are relevant to our community. Nazario is best known for her book “Enrique’s Journey,” in which she travelled over 12,000 miles atop freight trains from Honduras to the United States to follow the path of a 17-year-old boy who was searching for his mother. The journey was fraught with danger from police officers and immigration authorities, as well as opportunistic coyotes who take advantage of the thousands who come to America via El Tren de la Muerte—The Train of Death.
Nazario’s approach to journalism is hands-on, seeking to capture an inspiring narrative thread that contextualizes some of the most polarizing and divisive issues in our society. As part of a 1997 series on the one in five children in the United States who are raised by drug-addicted parents, Nazario lived in crack houses to be able to write accurately and honestly about their experiences.
“My job is to afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted,” Nazario said.
After covering immigration issues for over 20 years, Nazario has seen the face of immigration shift from Mexicans seeking economic opportunities in the US to Central American families seeking asylum from the horrific violence brought about by criminal narcotics cartels. Her work reporting on asylum cases has led her to serve as a board member for Kids in Need of Defense, an organization that procures lawyers for young children seeking asylum, who often have to formulate their own cases without the education necessary to go toe-to-toe with US attorneys fighting against them in court.
While immigration has become a hot-button issue in the current presidential administration, Nazario and Alvarado, who served as the moderator for the evening’s discussion, stressed the importance of looking beyond the talking points being spouted by 24-hour cable news networks on both sides of the political divide and connecting people with stories that affect their day-to-day lives while empowering them to become more invested in their communities.
I’d like to thank all who attended including retired KCCD Chancellor, Sandra Serrano, BC faculty, Olivia Garcia, Erin Auerbach, and Heather Pennella, Jerry Ludeke, and more. Social Justice Institute, the Office of Student Life, and California Humanities for bringing this insightful and thought-provoking conversation to our campus. See all the photos at BC’s Smugmug.
On Thursday, October 11, 2018, the Levan Center for Humanities welcomed Dr. Christina Sommers to discuss ideas presented in her book Who Stole Feminism? How Women have Betrayed Women. At least 100 students, faculty and staff attended the afternoon session where Dr. Sommers presented her ideas and engaged in an informal discussion.
Former professor of philosophy at Clark University, Dr. Sommers is now a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. She began writing articles in the mid-80’s when asked to teach a class on Feminist Theory. It was while preparing for teaching the class and researching the textbooks on the subject that she found feminist theory to be inconsistent with philosophical theory in not providing both theory and its rebuttal in the same manner, making many assumptions without argument or support. She began to question the assumptions and the research methodologies.
Sommers’ articles appeared in The Journal of Philosophy, The New England Journal of Medicine, The New York Times and The Atlantic. She went on to write several books including Who Stole Feminism, The War Against Boys, Freedom Feminism: Its Surprising History and Why It Matters Today (Values and Capitalism), The Science on Women and Science, and she coauthored One Nation Under Therapy: How the Helping Culture is Eroding Self-Reliance with Sally Satel M.D. and Vice and Virtue in Everyday Life with Fred Sommers. She also hosts many YouTube videos on the Factual Feminist channel.
In her talk she articulated the need to look at research with an open mind and not ignore variables that might not prove the feminist view, and suggested that radical feminist views may hurt the cause more than help it by turning away those with more moderate or conservative. She said that the future for feminism lies not only in increasing inclusion of all races, but in creating inclusivity that is intellectually diverse as well, incorporating perspectives of conservatives and liberals, and to include males in the movement. She views herself as a liberal feminist in the classical sense of liberalism of enlightening and empowering the female.
One student brought up the New York Times article that described the “Intellectual Dark Web,” and had included her in their description of those participating. He asked how one would be included in such a list. Sommers explained that someone, perhaps a journalist, published a list of people the internet that were challenging the status quo from within the status quo. The New York Times took that list, dubbed it the “Intellectual Dark Web,” wrote the article and sent a talented photographer to take beautiful, but “scary,” photos of the people on the list. She laughed it off, saying that the only people using the expression “Intellectual Dark Web” were the critics of the people on that list.
I am so lucky to have faculty and staff that bring a wide array of views and culture to our school, to the benefit of students, faculty and community members. See all the photos at BC’s Smugmug.
Strengthening Student Success
Bakersfield College rural initiative team recently presented at the Strengthening Student Success Conference. The panel of presenters notably included Destiny Ramos, a 15 year-old Arvin High School sophomore and Bakersfield College Early college student.
Early College is a partnership with local community colleges and a local public secondary school that provides students the opportunity to simultaneously earn their high school diploma as well as up to two years of transferable college credit. The panelists discussed developmentally appropriate instructional design, and how to create a student-centered learning environment when teaching high school students collegiate content. Presenters included Maria Ramos, Arvin High School parent; Destiny Ramos, Arvin High School; Dr. Chris Cruz-Boone (Communications Faculty), Abel Guzman (Interim Director, Rural Initiatives), and Jesse Oropeza (Counselor), Bakersfield College.
UCD Pre-Health Conference
Dr. Joe Saldivar, biology faculty and chair, took a van full of pre-med students to the 16th annual UC Davis Pre-health Conference this past October 6, 2018. This was the biggest pre-health conference on the west coast with over 4,500 attendees. During the one-day conference our BC students received information about medical school, allied health career pathways, pre-health admissions; they engaged with exhibitors and had the opportunity to speak with UC Davis campus professors. The MESA program sponsored the trip for the students, supporting our students on the STEM Guided Pathway. Rebecca Sinor, student President of the Pre-med club said, “It was a fantastic trip, thank you so much for everything.”
Texts Worth Sharing
Corny Rodriguez shared with me “I took a coffee break yesterday. Found these BC Nursing students studying at Starbucks.” Here is Brooke Hurt, Jennifer Jhon, Deveney Miller, and Sarah Voss studying for their classes. BC Nursing Rocks!!
On Wednesday, October 10, the Levan Center played host to another edition of the Gadfly Café. This month’s topic was all about bias. A crowded room saw students, faculty, and community members participating in a free-flowing discussion about their personal experiences with bias, with moderator Reggie Williams maintaining a fair and non-judgmental atmosphere.
Bias regarding gender, age, sexuality, disability, and socioeconomic status was the topic of the day. Many engaging stories were shared during the one-hour session, and received in quiet thoughtfulness, though some were met with applause. Be sure to stop by the Levan Center for next month’s Gadfly Café on Wednesday, November 14 at 12:30 p.m., where the topic will be “Suicide: In Pain, Protest, and Honor.”
Project BEST at BC
On Friday, BC hosted project BEST students for a morning of learning. Bakersfield College is always happy to host Project BEST events. Project BEST provides one-time scholarships that focus on first-year college success. The program has awarded over 1,000 scholarships over the past 2 years. Special thank you to Julian West who represents BC and education, inspiring young people to attend college.
MESA Student Leadership Conference
On Saturday, October 6, four Bakersfield College MESA students were invited to attend “The Student Leadership Conference (SLC).” Math Faculty Dillon Giblin chaperoned the students at the event which brings together select engineering and computer science students and industry professionals in an effort to develop the next generation of diverse STEM leaders. The conference is an opportunity for STEM students to develop “soft skills” necessary to successfully transition from college to professional careers. During the conference students explored career opportunities, practiced collaboration and problem-solving skills, enhanced oral and written communication skills, and developed interviewing skills.
Industry partners provide workshops and presentations, conduct mock interviews and identify candidates for internship and full-time STEM positions. The well-attended event hosts more than 200 selected MESA undergraduate students, over 30 MESA center directors throughout the state, MESA alumni from around the country, industry and government agency representatives and various national, state, and local government representatives.
Students are selected by their MESA directors based upon demonstrated potential to be future leaders for their college, the MESA program, and the community. Attending this year from BC were: Sabrina Lugo Computer Science, Issac Garcia Civil Engineering major, Peter Rodriguez Mechanical Engineering major, and Ian Jaurez Chemical Engineering major.
California Society of CPA’s
BC accounting professors Lynn Krausse, Rudy Menjivar, and Gayle Richardson attended the California Society of CPA’s Bakersfield Chapter ABC Mixer (Attorneys, Bankers and Certified Public Accountants) raising money for student scholarships.
It’s wonderful to see BC faculty involved in their communities for the benefit of students!
Friends, this is yet another reason that I’m the luckiest and happiest college president ever!
Seen on FB: Kern Sol spotlight on Dr. Rosales
South Kern Sol, a youth-led journalism organization funded by The California Endowment, profiled BC history professor Oliver Rosales and his work documenting the farm laborer rights movement in Kern County during the 1960s and ’70s.
The profile describes Rosales’ passion for writing about the farm worker movement where it began in Delano, and mentions that his father taught at Bakersfield College alongside Jess Nieto, the founder of the Chicano Studies program at BC and a former dean at the Delano Campus.
Rosales engages students with their own history as reflected in the stories of the work of Cesar Chavez, the UFW and farmworker strikes, making them aware that these stories are studied by professors at Ivy League universities across the country. “I try to get [students] to understand that the outside world talks about their history,” Rosales is quoted as saying in the article. “I didn’t know what I wanted to do until I could see my own world in the curriculum.”
BC Southwest Tutoring Center
We often don’t get to see the work that makes transforming students’ lives possible. Ying Vang set up laptops for the SW Tutoring Center. The cart was delivered from Delano and BC’s Academic Support Services provided funding for the laptops. Over 314 students have been served by 14 Peer Tutors in the Southwest center and now the added technology will enhance the tutoring experience.
Emails Worth Sharing – From the UK!
This week, I an awesome email from Joe Simpson at VisitBakersfield.com that made its way to my inbox. Joe explained that a few weeks ago, he received an inquiry from Mr. Harvey in the UK, who would be visiting Bakersfield and wanted to know where to find some good music during his trip. The email that Joe forwarded said,
“I have just arrived back in the UK. When we stayed in Bakersfield on Sunday and Monday, 23 and 24 September we went to Ethel’s Old Corral Cafe on the Sunday to see the Sante Fe Band and to the Bakersfield College to see Doug Wimbish. Both events were absolutely brilliant! So, I simply had to get back to you to thank you for bringing these to my attention. Thank you so much.” See my blog coverage from the Doug Wimbash event here!
From the High School Counselor Conference
From Accreditation Week:
Love this picture. Monika Scott and Nicky Damania working hard in the SGA Board Room with treats in the foreground!
BC is proud to partner with Dignity Health and CSUB in the March for Humankindness.
Join the Renegades and our community as we March for Humankindness! This short walk will celebrate our diversity and highlight what unites us as members of such a kind and caring community. Come out this Thursday, October 18th at 5:00PM at CSUB’s Icardo Center. Wear your favorite BC shirt and let’s represent our Renegade pride! Gather your friends, family, coworkers, and classmates as we walk together to create a kinder community. While you’re out, snap a selfie and send it to me! I’d love to feature it in my blog next weekend!
HVAC Program Unveiling
On Monday, 10:00 am on Bakersfield College Delano Campus we’ll unveil its first HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) Technology Certificate of Achievement Program. I will be attending, along with Assemblymember Rudy Salas and Trustee Romeo Agbalog, among others. This program is the only one of its kind within the Kern Community College District and is a part of Bakersfield College’s Rural Initiatives, which provides BC’s surrounding communities with the means to better equip residents with workforce skills through college education. The funding for this program comes from the monies secured by Assemblyman Rudy Salas in the 2018-2019 state budget. If you can, come join us for this wonderful event!
We are BC!
That’s all for now.
Until next time.
With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.
the luckiest and happiest college president ever
Tagged: Bakersfield College, Bill Thomas, Sonya Christian, Trustee Kay Meek, Trustee Romeo Agbalog, Vernon Valenzuela Veterans Resource Center
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