Rural Initiatives in McFarland
Big things are happening in rural Kern County! This picture was taken after a two hour session of planning how McFarland Unified School District and Bakersfield College will level out the playing field for hundreds (and eventually thousands) of students through early college opportunities. I’m thankful to Aaron Resendez and Brian Bell for providing us this opportunity in McFarland.
“There are times in our lives where people cross each other’s path and assist in creating greatness,” wrote McFarland High Principal Brian Bell on Facebook. I couldn’t agree more, Brian!
KCCD Trustees Award Gym Design/Build to S.C. Anderson
One of the commitments that we made on the Measure J campaign trail was on keeping construction work local whenever possible, and this newest award shows that. You can check out this piece by BakersfieldNow about the contract. We are extremely excited to work with S.C. Anderson, and can’t wait to get the ball rolling on our new gym!
Campus Center Groundbreaking January 16
We will be holding the Campus Center groundbreaking at Bakersfield College on January 16! The Campus Center is the second building construction project breaking ground thanks to the funding of Measure J. Please join us for music, fun and a performance by the BC drumline! And thank you for voting Yes on J!
Coming Soon: Gades Grub!
Our BC food trailer “Gades Grub” is officially on campus! We are so excited to show this baby off in the spring semester, but I thought I’d give you all a sneak peak. Gades Grub will help feed our students while Campus Center is under construction. It will be near the Huddle (the gymnasium area) so make sure to visit it and try some delicious BC eats!
RAD Training at BC
BC’s Public Safety team held its two-day Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) training on campus earlier this week. RAD is a self-defense course designed just for women and was founded in 1989 by a former college police officer. This training was open to female students, staff and the public at no charge. Twenty-two attendees learned defensive techniques to empower them to deal with unexpected situations that can take place anywhere at any time.
Public Safety tries to hold these trainings a couple of times each semester, and will be holding one down the road at Porterville College. Thank you to Chief Counts and his team! Make sure to keep an eye out for future trainings!
Wreaths Across America
Bakersfield National Cemetery held its Wreaths Across America ceremony Saturday morning to honor and remember veterans. Our very own Mary Jo Pasek and her husband Tom organized this event. Make sure to check out the Bakersfield Californian story with more photos.
White Christmas in Massachusetts
Jack Hernandez shared this beautiful photo with me, where he skied in Lenox, Massachusetts with his family. Look at that gorgeous snow!
Happy Holidays From Tampico Hermoso
Diego Gutierrez Monterrubio shared these beautiful Christmas Parade photos from Tampico Hermoso. Diego and his family visited the Mexican Venice in Tampico, Tamaulipas, México, where he said that the canal was 30 feet from his front door! This is absolutely stunning and I think I might have to add it to my travel list.
Thank you KGET!
KGET’s Tabatha Mills swung by campus this week to take a look at the Campus Center construction, and specifically, the Fireside room. Thirty years ago, BC’s Phyllis Hullett and the women of Junior League planned the very first Women’s Business Conference right in that room, which Tabatha will feature a story on down the road. Thank you Mary Jo Pasek and Bill Potter for showing Tabatha the room, and taking a walk down memory lane!
Dual Enrollment Orientation
Michele Bresso shared a photo of BC’s Industrial Automation faculty member Manny Fernandez orienting the high school dual enrollment teachers about BC classes on the high school campuses. We are strengthening this pipeline to our baccalaureate degree program. Thanks for capturing the moment, Michele!
The Outreach and School Relations Department wrapped up a busy December with Express Enrollment events in Arvin and the Panorama Campus on Wednesday, the last of seven express enrollment days in just this month. Express Enrollments were held at the Panorama and Delano campuses, as well as BC Southwest, Shafter and Arvin in the month of December.
I’d like to thank the Outreach staff for everything they do to get our students started correctly on their educational journey. The first Express Enrollment of 2019 is on Wednesday, January 9 at 1 p.m. starting in the Welcome Center.
Honoring Devin Aldridge
Bakersfield College is a place where students come to achieve their dreams and complete their education under sometimes very extreme circumstances. Take the case of Renegade Devin Aldridge. Devin was diagnosed with an aggressive and eventually fatal brain cancer, but was committed to his education. One of his professors, Andrew Haney tells me Devin attended all his classes, took every final, and was a dedicated Renegade. Professor Haney requested that I confer his BC credentials at the service. At a service honoring Devin’s life, I presented Devin’s father with his certificates. It warmed my heart to see the closeness that faculty members in automotive program had created for their students. Clearly Prof. Haney and the students were BC family for Devin. I am so proud that BC has faculty of the caliber of Andrew Haney…..incredibly smart, work long hours, absolutely committed to our students, with a great heart that embraces our community.
BC Chamber Singers Visit Breakfast Rotary
BC Chamber Singers visited the Breakfast Rotary meeting this week, which just so happened to be Mindy Wilmot’s birthday! Happy belated birthday, Mindy! I love when we are able to show the community how wonderful our students are. Thank you to our Director of Choral and Vocal Studies, Jennifer Garrett for all of your hard work! Check out the picture of the choir with our Chancellor Tom Burke who was beaming like a proud father at the great performance of the students.
BC’s High Touch Strategy
BC is a Guided Pathways college that uses a high-touch, high-tech approach to student support. While we are integrating the newest technology to support students with the Pathways Program Mapper, Starfish, etc, we are also keeping the high-touch personalized face-to-face, staff to student, support as well. Our teams across campus have been using the High Touch strategy to support students in their spring enrollment. Thank you to everyone for your commitment to our students!
Umoja Milestone Celebration Receives Senate Resolution
Dr. Paula L. Parks, Umoja Community coordinator, received a Senate resolution at the Umoja Milestone Celebration. In addition to Dr. Parks’ recognition, three Umoja students were honored for graduating, program mentors were acknowledged, and Umoja faculty and community supporters were thanked.
Mr. Michael Bowers presented the resolution from Senator Andy Vidack’s office, and Dr. Parks was very appreciative and quite touched. Umoja student David Thomas had contacted Mr. Bowers asking that Dr. Parks, who started the program in 2015, be recognized for her dedication to and work with Umoja. This semester the program grew to include two sections of English/student development and a campus club.
The three December graduates are Tyler Johnican, Mikeisha Lowder, and Donna Polk – all from the first cohort. The program is designed to increase the graduation and transfer rate of African-American students, and Dr. Parks noted the pride in seeing students graduate, but the sadness in seeing them leave BC. All three of the graduates said that the program was instrumental in their success and growth.
The Milestone Celebration also included the welcome by RIchard McDowell; opening ritual by Dr. Parks and Mr. Jonathan Ward, the Umoja counselor and student development instructor, Kwanzaa candle lighting by students in the English 53 class; and words by the Umoja Club President Korrie Edwards and English 1a student Michaela Edwards.
Also noted as key to the success of the Umoja program is the support of BC and community mentors; the Umoja advisory board; dedicated faculty Mr. Michael Little (math), Ms. Kalisha Hudgins (math), Ms. Faith Bradham (library), Coach Reggie Bolton (health), and Mr. Gilbert Ayuk (astronomy); and BC’s awesome administrative team.
May 2019 Commencement at Rabobank
Guess what? The May 2019 Graduation is moving to Rabobank! Due to Measure J construction, the ceremony will not be at the Memorial Stadium, but not to worry, the planning power team has already started the planning!
Fun Group to Work With
Had a lovely time meeting with this group of innovative leaders as we discussed amazing things for local entrepreneurship.
A Gift to Remember
On Thursday, Bob Covey delivered a special gift to my office. The photo shows the back side of Saturn. The white dot in the distance is Earth. Can you believe it? The photo came from Ed Saltzman who worked for NASA for 51 years. Had to share this incredible gift from Bob and Matha Covey.
The Hills Are Alive!
Community member Tony Moreno posted this gorgeous video last week, showing Bakersfield from Alfred Harrell Highway. Thanks to the rain, our hills are a rich green!
Photos from this week
Some of our wonderful BC staff and faculty visiting the CALM lights last week. Looks like they had a blast!
The BC Exec team celebrated our December birthdays. I’m so lucky to have such a great team!
I loved running into Bob Hawks while out and about doing Christmas shopping. Bob worked for Educational Services at KCCD for many years. He is a great supporter and advocate for education and he always greets me with a smile and a warm hug. Bob began working for small business development in the mid-90s and retired a few years ago.
Our Strong Workforce team celebrated the holidays with an Ugly Christmas Sweater party!
Our Adult Ed team also sends warm holiday wishes. 🙂
David Spencer came to visit us. I was so happy to see him!
BC SouthWest showing off their holiday spirit!
Roundup of Athletics Events This Week
As always, it was a full week of athletics events for our Renegades teams.
Highlights from the week include (click for the story on GoGades.com):
- Men’s Basketball Beats West Hills Coalinga on Buzzer Beater
- Women’s Basketball Competes in the Monterey Tournament
Jordyn Jimenez from Renegade Softball signs with Peru State College
Congrats to Jordyn Jimenez from Renegade Softball who signed to continue her playing career with Peru State College, an NAIA school located in Peru, Nebraska.
Jordyn is from Delano and went to Cesar E. Chavez HS. She will begin her career as a Bobcat this spring as she enrolls in classes and will compete on the diamond immediately. This last season as a Renegade Jimenez batted .326 with 18 stolen bases, 32 runs scored, 12 RBI and 1 HR in helping the team set three school records: best overall record at 33-11, best conference record at 13-1, most wins in a season at 33 and won the 2018 WSN North Conference Championship.
Stay Connected to Renegade Athletics
Be sure to stay connected with Renegade Athletics by following us on social media. On Facebook find us under ‘Bakersfield College Athletics’, on Twitter – @GoGadesGo and on Instagram – @gogadesgo.
Helping Those in Need
The chamber singers donated new toys for their holiday dinner this year and gave them to Lydia Ranger, whose church feeds families and provides toys for those in need. Lydia was instrumental in helping our singers get to Australia, and I love how they are paying it forward.