BC Renegades March for Humankindness

Good morning Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, October 20, 2018…..A great day to be a Renegade.

Last weekend I had family visiting and we all went to A Star is Born……a terrific movie.  It is indeed “old-fashioned, big-feeling drama” as Manohla Dargis of the New York Times wrote.  The original movie was released in 1937, remade in 1954 with Judy Garland, and again in 1976 with Barbara Streisand – each great in their own way. In this most recent release Lady Gaga gives an incredible performance both musically and in her intimate and powerful acting. It was a treat to see her “unmasked” without all her layers of stage production attire.  Bradley Cooper does a great job directing, and in his portrayal of the superstar in decline that for me had a Willie Nelson-esque quality with the hat but not the braids.  Perhaps what I enjoyed the most in the movie are the songs.  Here’s a taste of one of them:

Come out to see BC at Via Arte at the Marketplace!

via arte from bmoa websiteBakersfield College and the Levan Center have partnered up to sponsor a 12’ x 12’ square at the Marketplace’s Via Arte, which is happening this weekend. BC Art Professor Diego Gutierrez Monterrubio and some of his talented students will be doing a chalk rendering of Caravaggio’s painting of Medusa. Please come out and support them—they will be working for essentially two solid days on this piece!! If you do stop by, take a selfie with the piece and share it with me! I can’t wait to see.

HVAC Tech Program Unveiled in Delano

Group photo with Rudy Salas, Romeo Agbalog, Abel Guzman, Sonya Christian

HVAC Groundbreaking (11)Earlier this week we unveiled the first HVAC certificate program at the Bakersfield College Delano campus.  This program is the only one of its kind within the Kern Community College District! As a part of our Rural Initiatives, it is offered solely at the Delano campus. We also broke ground on a new HVAC lab space which will be completed in late 2019, and we are in the process of developing an Associates of Science in HVAC Technology!

HVAC Groundbreaking (13)The funding came from the monies secured by Assemblyman Rudy Salas in the 2018-2019 state budget summer sessions.  I cannot begin to thank Assemblyman Salas enough for his support and commitment to Kern’s rural areas. Over the past four years, our enrollment in the rural communities has grown 87% and we wouldn’t be able to offer students the best education possible without the support of our elected officials and community members.

HVAC Groundbreaking (5)

Trustee Romeo Agbalog

I’d also like to thank Trustee Agbalog, a voice on the Kern Community College District board for the North Kern area.  Trustee Agbalog’s dedication to the region’s education and economy is unparalleled. He has helped to spread the word of the importance of higher education in our community.  Thank you Trustee Agbalog!



HVAC Groundbreaking (4)


Celebrating Diversity and Humankindness

March for Humankindness Photo by Alex Horvath TBC

Photo by The Bakersfield Californian, Alex Horvath

Renegades are on the front lines of marching for humankindness as seen in the cover photo on this Bakersfield Californian Article, “March aims to celebrate diversity, spread kindness” by Joseph Luiz. Photographer Alex Horvath captured Mayor Karen Goh with Assembly Member Vince Fong and Robin Mangarin Scott leading the way followed by the charge of BC Renegades. The walk, held on Thursday afternoon at CSUB, celebrated diversity and what unites our community as kind and caring. Robin Mangarin emceed the short program which included speakers Raji Brar, Dr. Matab Singh, and two young girls who started a local organization called Kind Girls Make Strong Women.

Raji Brar, in her remarks, spoke about moving to Bakersfield as a young girl and living in a diverse neighborhood where her neighbors, although different, were family just the same. She spoke about turning to our neighbors and the people standing beside us, realizing that we’re all different but we’re all special and together we can create a kinder world.


It is great to see how well represented our community was at the first annual walk. Organizations in attendance included the Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Jay Tamsi, the African American Network of Kern County and Dee Slade, Bakersfield City Fire Department, Bakersfield East Rotary Club, Bakersfield High Interact, Bakersfield High School, Bakersfield Marathon, Bakersfield Memorial Hospital Foundation and Community Boards, Bakersfield Californian, Bakersfield Sikh Women, Boys and Girls Club, California Resources Corporation, Costco, Centennial High School, Chevron, CSUB, Ford Dreambuilders, Gamers at CSUB, Garden Pathways, Good Samaritan, Junior League, KERO, KGET, KBAK, KUZZ, Kind Girls, Leaders in Life, Mercy Hospital Foundation and Governing Boards, Mira Monte High School, NAPD, Panda Express, Real Property Management,Ronald McDonald House, and West High Ridgeview, Valley Children, and of course Bakersfield College!

Dignity Health’s Human Kindness Award

Nusring Faculty, Leah Elliott was nationally recognized as the recipient of the Steward Award at the HumanKindness Gala, hosted by Dignity Health Foundation in San Francisco. This award showcases and celebrates the power of humanity, hope, and healing – a perfect fit for a Nursing Professor!  Congratulations from all of us at BC!

Great Shakeout

f18shakeout03-x5Bakersfield College participated in The Great ShakeOut 2018 on October 18 at 10:18AM. The Incident Command Center immediately formed and began duties to clear campus. With the leadership and diligence of our campus community, all buildings were cleared and reported safe by 10:39AM. This year, our Incident Commander gave the all-clear signal 6 minutes faster than the year prior. Bakersfield College takes the ShakeOut and all emergency drills seriously to train our response skills and ensure students, staff, and faculty are as safe as possible.


BC’s Child Development Center also ensured the little ones were safe out on the grass area in clusters.

Here are photos from the Incident Command Center:

49th Annual High School Shakespeare Festival at BC

BC Volunteers

BC in support!

The Bakersfield College Theatre Program hosted the 49th annual Peg Pauly High School Shakespeare Festival last weekend, welcoming over three hundred students from thirteen local high schools.

On Friday, each high school presented a ten-minute scene which was adjudicated by Bakersfield College theatre professors. On Saturday, students presented monologues and short scenes, competing for top prizes and receiving feedback from a cadre of experienced judges, including professors from BC and CSUB and a number of local theatre veterans.

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Nearly twenty Bakersfield College Theatre majors worked as volunteers for the event, which operated in conjunction with the 34th annual Kern Shakespeare Festival’s closing weekend, where the winning high school groups performed prior to the two Festival productions.

Renegade Report

If you missed watching the Renegade Report live this last Thursday at 11am, check out the segments from this week’s show from the links below. We highlighted our Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and their efforts to reach out and give back to our local community. Be sure to head to Bakersfield.com at 11am each week to watch the show live.

Segment 1 with Brooks Douglas of NOR Sports

Segment 2 with Renegades Marcus Jones and Shahadah Camp

Segment 3 with Renegades Anieus Medrano and Kobe Garner

Renegades of the Week

Renegade Athletics is proud to announce this week’s Wells Fargo Renegades of the Week!

Renegades of the Week

Brooke McDonald and Adrian Godinez

Brooke McDonald, W. Soccer – recorded two shutouts in goal to help women’s soccer to a 1-0-1 record on the week, in a 4-0 win at home against Victory Valley and a tie on the road against #4 Citrus.

Adrian Godinez, Wrestling –  Went 3-0 at the CCCAA State Dual Southern Regional on Saturday 10/13 helping the Renegades to a 5th place overall finish.

Article on Renegade Kicker

The Bakersfield Californian featured an article by Jose Gaspar titled “Lamont teen has the leg, and the will to succeed” on Renegade kicker Tony Garcia who hails from Lamont. His story embodies the Renegade way and we are proud to have him represent BC on the field.

Men’s/Women’s Basketball Schedule

Our Men’s and Women’s Basketball Schedules are now available on GoGades.com. Make plans to come support Renegade Basketball teams this season as they each compete to bring home conference championships this year.

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Homecoming Football Game

We hope you are making plans to join us for the Homecoming football game on Saturday, Oct. 27th at 6pm in Memorial Stadium. Fans are more than welcome to arrive early and tailgate, enjoy the game and then stay for a special fireworks show post-game sponsored by Kern Schools Federal Credit Union. Don’t miss out on the action!


Roundup of Athletics Events this week

It was a full week of athletics events for our Renegades teams. Highlights from the week include:

Stay connected with athletics on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube

Ag Career Expo

Ag Career Expo

Ag Career Expo

The Gym Huddle played host to the Agriculture Career Expo on Friday, October 19, where dozens of students gathered to explore career opportunities with various industry employers and higher education representatives.  Enthusiasm was in the air as students engaged in thought-provoking dialogue with agricultural experts, trying to learn as much as possible.

Expo visitors were in awe of the farm equipment on display.  Some climbed inside to view the inner workings of these enormous machines.  Vendors included major companies as Caterpillar, New Holland, and Berchtold, as well as universities such as Cal State-Bakersfield, Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo, and Fresno State. A heartfelt thanks goes out to BC Career and Technical Education and all the vendors who came out for this event.  Thank you for showing our Renegade students what a modern agricultural career can look like.  The Central Valley is a worldwide leader for the farming industry, and there’s no better place to start a career in agriculture than BC!

Ag Career Expo

MESA University Trip: Staying on the Path

MESA University trip (3)The MESA program took a university trip with students interested in attending Cal Poly SLO. The students were able to tour the campus as well as the special tour for the college engineering.  It was an especially great experience for our students because they got to meet with BC alumni Ryan Luke who showed them his current electrical engineering project at PolySat.

PolySat is a student-run, multidisciplinary, independent research lab that does CubeSat development. A CubeSat is a minimum a 10cm x 10cm x 10cm (also called a 1U) satellite which can be manufactured and deployed in space for a relatively low cost. This allows students and other research institutions to perform experiments and participate in space exploration. Most of the launches are through the NASA ELaNa program, and PolySat has worked with various teams such as NASA Goddard, NASA JPL, SRI, and Scientific Solutions.

MESA University trip (1)

MESA University trip (2)

Alejandra Zapata  (Engineering), Gemma Trujillo (Mathematics) Issac Garcia (Engineering), Ryan Luke (BC Alumni Electrical Engineering), Katie Ramirez and Alejandra Tristan (Biology)

Ryan Luke (BC Alumni) mentioned how grateful he was for professor Darke’s assistance.  Richard Darke helped him develop an independent research project during his time at BC.  This project contributed to Ryan success making him now one of the lead Electrical engineering students at the lab.

Also, the BC MESA students met with a community college transfer-student panel hosted by the Multicultural Engineering Program (MEP).  At the panel there were BC MESA student alumni Rey Fernandez and Zeph Nord who answered questions about transfer process in the STEM fields to Cal Poly and shared their personal journeys and experiences coming from BC to Cal Poly SLO. They talked about how BC was a great place to seek opportunities and experiences for STEM students through the MESA program and the STEM program.

Thank you Connie Gonzales for your passion and commitment to MESA and STEM.


Collector ArtThe directors of the Wiley and May Louise Jones Gallery are proud to present COLLECTOR. A body of work from Los Angeles based artist Matthew Craven. His work utilizes found imagery collage, sourced from texts rich with historic iconography, which he arranges into compelling contemporary images. Craven’s process driven work employs a unique balance of combined patterns, textures, and figures. The fusion of new and old allows the viewer to interpret the struggles of past cultures and can serve as a reminder of contemporary aberrations. While other pictures offer quiet, meditative retreat through repetition and precise use of color. This combination of inquiry, creates a challenging, yet rewarding experience.

The Wylie and May Louise Jones Gallery is located in the Grace Van Dyke Bird Library on the Panorama campus. The exhibition will be on view until November 29th, 2018 with an opening reception on Thursday, October 25th, from 4 – 7 P.M. Fall 2018 hours of operation are: Monday-Thursday: 1:00-4 P.M.

Spotlight on Kris Tiner

Kris Tiner performs with Wadada Leo Smith (photo by Aaron Griffith)

Kris Tiner performs with Wadada Leo Smith. Photo by Aaron Griffith

BC’s Jazz Studies professor Kris Tiner recently performed in Los Angeles with renowned composer Wadada Leo Smith in the world premiere of his Rosa Parks Oratorio. The music is an extended, multicultural meditation on Parks’ legacy performed by three vocalists, trumpet quartet, string quartet, pipa, percussion, electronics, and a Japanese Butoh dancer. This event took place on the closing night of the Angel City Jazz Festival in the REDCAT Theater at Walt Disney Concert Hall. It was reviewed in the Los Angeles Times and the San Francisco Classical Voice.

Race, Citizenship, and the American Farm Worker

On Thursday, BC’s Social Justice Institute hosted University of Oregon professor Sarah Wald in the Levan Center for a discussion of the ways that literature written by and about farm workers seeks to reclaim the humanity of agricultural laborers while challenging traditional American virtues of property ownership.

Attendee at Dr. Wald's Presentation

Attendees at Dr. Wald’s Presentation

Valley Public Radio covered this event and the website includes an audio clip with Dr. Wald. English professor Andrew Bond had been organizing this event, titled “Race, Citizenship and the American Farmworker” in one form or another for the past two years during the writing of the Energizing Humanities in California’s San Joaquin Valley grant. Dr. Wald was one of the first people to write a letter of interest to the National Endowment of the Humanities as part of the grant, which provided funding for research and programming that celebrates the historical and cultural contributions of the Central Valley.

Dr. Sarah Wald

Dr. Sarah Wald

Dr. Wald, an Associate Director of Environmental Studies and Director of English Graduate Admissions at the University of Oregon, began her discussion with an examination of the ways farming is depicted in popular culture, contrasted with depictions of actual farm labor. In advertisements by Dodge and Chipotle that Wald showed during her discussion, the family farmer is portrayed as a paragon of individualist American values and a model citizen. Actual farm labor, however, is commonly depicted as being beneath the average American citizen, and throughout our nation’s history, people in the fields are denied citizenship, from African-American slaves forced to toil on Southern plantations, to the undocumented migrant laborers working on farms throughout California today.

Even in ecological social movements, Wald argues, the struggles of farm laborers, who face poor housing conditions and lack of medical care, are subsumed in their utopian pursuit of hyperlocal, community-based farming. “For many people in the alternative food movement, it’s easier to imagine a world where farm workers don’t exist than one in which they are treated fairly,” Wald said.

f18racecitizenship09-x3To counter these entrenched stereotypes about farm work, Wald talked about the novel “Under the Feet of Jesus” by Helena Maria Viramontes, which is about a young girl named Estrella and her Latino family who works in the dangerous conditions of California fields. Throughout the book, Estrella develops a feeling of interconnectedness with the soil she works in every day, which gives her a sense of belonging that transcends national identity. Wald refers to this interconnectedness with the land as “denizenship”, which challenges traditional notions of citizenship that are rooted in cultural stereotypes about who gets to be considered American.

I’d like to thank Dr. Wald for coming to Bakersfield College for this fascinating discussion, and I’d like to thank the Social Justice Institute for continuing to bring engaging speakers to campus. See all the photos at BC’s Smugmug.

Mayor’s HIRE Luncheon

HIRE Luncheon BC AttendeesBC was well represented at the 13th annual Mayor’s HIRE Committee Luncheon, a celebration of outstanding Bakersfield Employer and Employee Champions and National Disability Employment Awareness Month on October 16, 2018 at Hodel’s Restaurant.

Ramon Puga, BC’s Manager of Maintenance and Operations, was honored as Employer of the Year for large businesses.  Daniel Gutierrez, BC custodian, was also honored as an Employee of the Year Nominee.

HIRE Employer of the Year award, Ramon Puga

BC’s Ramon Puga accepting the award

HIRE Committee members, Denise Crawford, Program Manager and Rudy Gutierrez, Job Development Specialist of the BC Workability, helped organize the largest turnout in the event’s history.   Also in attendance from BC: Dr. Terri Goldstein, BC’s DSPS Director, Paul Beckworth, BC’s Director, Veterans Services; Jessica McGrath and Carlos Medina, CTE Job Development Specialists.

BC’s DSPS Hosts Dept. of Rehab (DOR)

DSPS hosts DOR (1)Disabled Students Programs & Services (DSPS) hosted staff from the Bakersfield Office of the CA Department of Rehabilitation (DOR). The half-day event featured presentations by Dr. Terri Goldstein about services available through the DSPS program & What’s New at Bakersfield College. Christine Morales and Rachel Allen spoke about KCCD/BC Business Services processes that help ensure that things go smoothly when DOR is paying for students’ classes at BC. Similarly, Angela Medina, Manager of the Barnes & Noble College Bookstore at BC, discussed improvements to bookstore services for DOR clients. The program wrapped up with presentations by two Students of our Concern Master Student Interns, Natalia Hatley and Anabe Jimenez, covering the many programs and services available through the Office of Student Life to support the varied needs of our eclectic student population.

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After a brief tour of the new DSPS program space, guests were treated to a campus tour in one of our new electric limo carts. Rudy Gutierrez from DSPS’ WorkAbility III drove the cart, while a Student Tour Guide provided by Outreach & School Relations narrated the trip. Including breakfast burritos provided by BC Food Services, and sponsored by Student Equity and Success, the day was a fantastic representation of support and collaboration among departments at BC for the benefit of our community partners, and ultimately the success of our students/clients!

College Leadership

A group of college leaders including Dean of Instruction Andrea Thorson, Michelle Pena, Grace Commiso, Victor Diaz and Kalina Hill discussed the Spring 2019 implementation for AB 705.

College leadership also gathered on Monday to look at data and explore the ways to improve students success!

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Fun Photos this week!

Was happy to attend an event at the Gill family residence in Delano.  David Valadao and trustee Romeo Agbalog were there.  Here is a photo compilation.

David Valadao event at the Gill Family residence in Delano Oct 2018

Volkswagen provided free training for BC’s Auto Tech students and faculty this week!

BC's Auto Tech and Volkswagen

Happy Birthday to Steve Watkin, BC’s Director of Outreach Relations!

Steve Watkins Birthday

Veronica Hathaway and Janet Thomas shared a photo of Dean Waller with his gifts on Bosses Day.

Dean Waller - Bosses Day 2018

Chris Blakemore helping Tamara Baker cart shovels to her car for the HVAC Program Unveiling on Monday in the Delano campus.

Chris Blakemore with shovels

Fun Photos from College Council

Superheroes on Campus: Dean Billie Jo Rice

The Communication and FACE Departments celebrated Dean Billie Jo Rice this week. Professor Neeley Hatridge wrote,

In the Communication Department we have had several exceptional deans over the years, but what we didn’t know was that someone else would come along that would set the bar far higher for anyone who follows her.  Dean Rice stepped in and stepped up when assigned as Dean over FACE & Communication. Billie has approached her position with focus and humility—a desire to get things done well, and a willing spirit to explore creative thinking and new approaches.

4-2018When people describe Billie Jo and the work she does here, words like composed, efficient, approachable and resourceful are used.  Much like a superhero, she is cool-headed under pressure, so when Boss’s Day neared and it coincided with “Super Hero Day” on campus, Renee McMillon, Billie’s Executive Secretary, conspired to put together a celebration that demonstrated our gratitude for Billie and her leadership.  Faculty and staff paraded around the room wearing superhero capes and masks with Billie’s face to get into the spirit. Chef Alex, Chef Suzanne, and several others helped to prepare a baked potato bar and contributed dinner for a date night for Billie and her husband, Bud, which was presented at the celebration. Christian Flores-Castaneda created a beautiful invitation that was also presented which Dean Rice LOVED! In the end, we all took a moment to show our “superhero” our appreciation and we delighted in seeing her joyful reaction.

Bosses Day for Billie Jo

Community Voices from BC’s Professor Bell

5bbc1be450d34-imageBC’s English faculty, Justin Bell wrote a published Community Voices piece titled “Treat women the way you want to be treated” in which he says,

“The propensity of people in our society who would dismiss the way that some men treat and talk about women as “locker room talk” or “just boys being boys” is, frankly, sickening. We can argue about how our culture contributes to this subjugation of women from the moment they are born, but that is only part of the issue, and a paradigm shift may take generations.”

SoCal ICWA Fall Directors Meeting

f18iwca01-x4On Friday, BC was honored to host the Southern California chapter of the International Writing Center Association (SoCal IWCA) in the Fireside Room for its fall directors meeting.

BC’s Writing Center organized the conference, which was designed for SoCal IWCA directors to plan their Spring 2019 conference, titled “Vis/Ability”, which will focus on discussions about improving writing center services for marginalized and disabled students. There were also roundtable discussions about how writing center tutors can implement AB 705 and EO 1110.


f18iwca03-x3Writing Center Lead Kim Arbolante gave a brief introduction to Bakersfield College at the beginning of the event, including how BC’s writing center operates and how Measure J is transforming our campus community. Vice President of Student Affairs Zav Dadabhoy also spoke to the SoCal ICWA directors, praising Arbolante’s service to our Writing Center students. I’d like to thank the BC Writing Center for graciously hosting the SoCal ICWA directors on our campus.

We are BC!

Sonya Christian Oct 15 2018


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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2 thoughts on “BC Renegades March for Humankindness

  1. […] about the 2018 press event in last year’s post and read about the HVAC Tech Program unveiling in Delano […]

  2. […] can read when I announced the unveiling of our HVAC Tech Program in my October 21, 2018 blog. The Bakersfield College Delano Campus unveiled its new HVAC Tech program and broke ground for the […]

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