Thankful for Friends, Family, and the Home of the Renegades

Happy Thanksgiving Bakersfield

I’m thankful that Bakersfield College is a place of transformation, excellence, achievement, hope, dreams, diversity, acceptance, and student support. I’m thankful that our campus is one without boundaries, where we reach out to serve students in our surrounding communities, bringing college closer to home so they, too, can obtain a college education.

 I’m thankful for the countless stories of how our work is changing lives. Each and every day, I am amazed by the leadership and engagement of BC’s faculty and staff, especially in the way they serve our students providing seamless transitions and guided paths with pillars of light, support and hope.

In this season of thanksgiving, I spent a few moments reviewing weekly posts on my blog and through seeing the photos of students, graduates, alumni, supporters, faculty, and staff, I am blessed to share that I truly am the happiest and luckiest college president ever.  There really is so much to be thankful for.

Remember the Renegade Pantry for the Holidays

The holidays are a time to set aside differences and focus on love of family and community, coming together in fellowship to celebrate each other’s accomplishments and mourn our losses over the year. As the temperatures drop with the change of seasons, we become more sympathetic to those less fortunate than us who are suffering in the cold without food,housing or proper clothing.

Student hands out Pantry bags
Student hands out Pantry bags

At BC, we believe that none of our students should come to class or go home hungry, which is why we established the Renegade Pantry to alleviate food insecurity, hunger and poverty among our students, which in turn makes them more prepared to commit to their education.

This holiday season, we ask that you consider supporting the Renegade Pantry by donating nonperishable food, clothing and hygiene items. For more information about how to make a donation or financial contribution, visit the Donate page on the Office of Student Life website. Also the Culinary Arts Renegade Room is hosting a promotion in support of the Renegade Pantry – bring in two canned or dry goods items to the Renegade Room, and you’ll receive a soft drink of your choice free of charge. They also accept new or gently used coats, scarves, hats and blankets.

Students outside the Renegade Pantry
Students outside the Renegade Pantry

I’d like to thank the Office of Student Life for operating the Renegade Pantry and all those who have donated to keep it going.

Phillips 66 Tours Industrial Automation Lab

Phillips 66 Logo

On Tuesday, a team of 5 representatives from Phillips 66 were on campus to tour BC’s CIM and robotics labs. Dean of Instruction Michele Bresso shared that they asked incredible questions and one of them even made a comment that the equipment in our labs “is exact what is used in industry right now.”

BC’s Industrial Automation lab

Dean Bresso went on to share that at least two dozen students in Engineering and IT met with them for lunch and learned more about career opportunities within the field. Industry and community partnerships like this are one of the many enriching experiences for students at the home of the Renegades. Friends, it’s stories like these that prompt me to ask…

Have I told you lately that I’m the luckiest and happiest college president ever?  🙂

Helping Youth Develop A College Going Attitude

Marisa Marquez presented valuable college application information to the Latina Leaders of Kern County Youth Leadership Program on Saturday, November 17.  She spent three hours sharing tips on the college application process, financial aid, goal setting, and why developing a college going attitude is so important. Bakersfield College has been a longtime supporter of Latina Leaders of Kern County and their efforts in youth leadership development. LLKC launched its twenty-first annual Youth Leadership Program with this session. Kudos to Marisa and all of our BC faculty and staff who go above and beyond and volunteer for the many great organizations in our community.

BC’s Counseling Department

With Thanksgiving now in our rear view mirror, the end of Fall and start of the Spring 2018 semester is right around the corner. I can bet that students are registering for their classes at this very moment. In light of this, I thought it was important to highlight the superheroes in our Counseling and Advising Department who assist students every day. The counseling office inside the Center for Student Success is always bustling with activities, workshops, appointments and walk-ins, and our Counseling and Advising staff handles it all with grace, conducting back-to-back appointments practically every day to serve our students and get them into the classes that they need.

Counselors and Advisors strategize to help students

Counselors and educational advisors are integral to our vision for implementing guided pathways at BC, and many of them serve as completion coaches for our ten Learning and Career Pathways, as well as our affinity groups for African-Americans, Latinos, and veterans. These coaches work with diligence and care to ensure that each student in their completion coaching communities is on track to graduate with a degree that will transform their lives and the lives of their families.

The Counseling and Advising Department is also working to bring its services out into the rural communities in Kern County, offering appointments at the Delano Campus, as well as select appointment dates throughout the year in Shafter and Wasco to bring BC closer to home.

Nothing we do here at BC would be possible without our counselors and advisors working with students to get them registered in classes that properly align with their educational and career goals, so I’d like to just say thank you for all you do and keep up the good work!

Transgender Day of Remembrance

A candle and small flier outside the doors to Levinson Hall

On Tuesday, the Bakersfield College community gathered in Levinson Hall to honor the lives of 23 transgender people who were murdered in 2018 as part of the 19th annual Transgender Day of Remembrance.

BC’s Sexuality and Gender Awareness club (SAGA) organized the campus’ commemoration of the Transgender Day of Remembrance, which began in 1999 by transgender woman Gwendolyn Ann Smith to memorialize the murder of her friend Rita Hester in Allston, Massachusetts. Since its inception, Transgender Day of Remembrance has grown into an international day of action, with candlelight vigils, marches and art shows organized around the world on November 20 every year.

The gathering of students, faculty, staff, and allies
Professor Helen Acosta speaks during the event.
Professor Helen Acosta speaks during the event.

Club adviser and communication professor Helen Acosta spoke about the ways that people can be proper allies and advocates for the trans community.

“You don’t have to understand what it’s like to be transgender,” Acosta said. “Accept them for who they are and love them for who they are.” “My life has been deeply enriched by the trans friends and students,” she added.

Congratulations to Jen Garrett

Dr. Jennifer Garret, BC’s Choral Director

BC’s Choral Director, Jennifer Garrett has been invited to be one of the guest conductors for the 2019 Central Region Honor Choir. Each year the high school directors from the central region vote on next year’s honor choir conductors and so it’s quite an honor that our very own Jen Garrett will conduct.

The scheduled event is quite a ways away, not taking place until November of next year but stay tuned to my blog for more information when it becomes available.

TBC Highlights Jeannie Parent

BC’s Jeannie Parent was recently spotlighted in an article by The Bakersfield Californian’s Sam Morgen. The article titled “Local advocacy group extends welcoming hand into Mesa Verde detention facility” shares more about the group Kern Welcoming and Extending Solidarity to Immigrants, which was formed in 2015. 

Fun Photos: College Council

College Council met on Friday, November 16th to address college-wide issues through a collaborative approach. Of the topics presented, I was really impressed with the Industrial and Transportation  Meta-major Pathways Report given by Katie Makaiwi and the State of the College by Dan Hall.

Fun Photos: Child Development Center

Sue Vaughn shared some fun photos from BC’s Child Development Center. She said, “the staff in the Child Development Center decided that they wanted to have special shirts to identify themselves so they designed these.”

Staff at BC’s Child Development Center wear their shirts on November 19, 2018

Fun Photos: Renegades are Everywhere

BC’s Dean of Instruction, Corny Rodriguez texted me that he spotted the Renegade Athletics mascot on the back of this local Pepsi truck while leaving the BC SW campus.

Renegades on the back of a Pepsi truck

Where have you spotted the Renegades around town?

Renegades of the Week

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

  • Gabby Lugo, Women’s Cross Country – Placed 10th at the CCCAA State Cross Country Championships and was named All-American in her final race as a Renegade.
  • Josh Medina, Football – Honored as the 2018 Patriotic Bowl Player of the Game. Threw for 258 yards and with 3 total touchdowns (2 passing, 1 rushing).
Gabby Lugo and Josh Medina

Women’s Volleyball Brings Home Post-Season Awards

The Renegade Women’s Volleyball team finished the 2018 regular season with a 23-1 record and a state ranking of #2. With the first round of the playoffs starting this coming week, post-season awards were announced. The team and Coach Ferreira were highly decorated. List of awards by individual:

  • Sarah Armendariz (So., Clovis West HS) – AVCA 1st Team All-American, CCCAA 1st Team All-State, WSC South Conference – Player of the Year
  • Lanie Camarillo (Fr., Liberty HS) – WSC South 1st Team
  • Penelope Zepeda (Fr., Frontier HS) – WSC South 1st Team
  • Jessica Merante (Fr., BCHS) – WSC South 2nd Team, WSC South Libero of the Year
  • Bianca Logsdon (So., Stockdale HS) – WSC South 2nd Team
  • Ryan Bayne (Fr., Stockdale HS) – WSC South Honorable Mention
  • Shyanne Baez (So., Golden Valley HS) – WSC South Honorable Mention
  • Coach Carl Ferreira – 2018 CCCWVCA Coach of the Year, 2018 WSC South Coach of the Year

Football Post-Season Awards Announced

The Bakersfield College football team finished the 2018 season with a hard fought 34-31 loss to Saddleback in the Patriotic Bowl. Overall they compiled a 6-5 record and went 3-2 in conference. With the close of the season the SCFA has announces postseason awards and several Renegades received recognition. The list of awards are below:

  • 1st Team All-Conference
    • Ricky Leung-Wai- DL (So., Ridgeview HS)
    • Justin Harrington- FS (Fr., Southeast Raleigh HS, NC)
    • Carson Olivas- Punter (So., Bakersfield HS)
    • Nathan De Jager- Place Kicker (So., Bakersfield Christian HS)
    • Cam Roberson- Punt Return Specialist (So., Garces HS)
    • Elisha Ortiz- RB (So., Stockdale HS)
  • 2nd Team All-Conference
    • James Thomas- DE (So., Independence)
    • Jalen Simpkins-ILB (So., West HS)
    • Lini Richards- CB (So., Wildwood HS)
    • Holden Williams- DL (Fr., Taft HS)
    • Jaron Marshall- OL (So., Fredrick Douglas HS, MD)
    • Zack Hartsfield- TE (Fr., Centennial HS)
    • Elisha Ortiz- All Purpose (So., Stockdale HS)
    • Shane Jones- WR – (Fr., Bakersfield HS)
  • Honorable Mention
    • Alex Bolden-OLB (So., Washington Union)
    • Mario Solario- ILB (So., Cesar Chavez HS)
    • LJ Early- Utility (So., Tulare Western HS)
    • Josh Yubeta- OL (Fr., Highland HS)

Roundup of Athletics Events

BC Supports Student Athletes

It’s always a treat to spend time at Renegade athletics games surrounded by
Renegade faculty, staff, fans, and friends. I loved cheering on the Renegade Volleyball Players beside Trustee Romeo Agbalog, Sandi Taylor, Michele Bresso, and Darrell Ballard. It’s extra special when families bring young ones to the games. Will I see you at a Renegade game?

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —

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One thought on “Thankful for Friends, Family, and the Home of the Renegades

  1. robinsk93311 November 24, 2018 at 6:26 pm Reply



    On Sat, Nov 24, 2018, 6:09 PM Sonya Christian’s Blog SonyaChristian posted: ” Happy Thanksgiving Bakersfield I’m thankful that > Bakersfield College is a place of transformation, excellence, achievement, > hope, dreams, diversity, acceptance, and student support. I’m thankful that > our campus is one without boundaries, whe” >

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