Preparing for Spring 2019

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, January 12, 2019… A great day to be a Renegade.

Spring Opening Day

Bakersfield College kicked off Spring 2019 in style, with Opening Day activities filled with laughter, fellowship, and tales of student success.

On Thursday at the Indoor Theater, faculty and staff were treated to a delicious continental breakfast catered by Hodel’s Country Dining.  I’d like thank both Hodel’s and our Food Services Department for amazing food that got everyone in the Renegade spirit before Opening Day began.

Food from Hodels & BC Food Services

Acting BCSGA President Ashley Nicole Harp began the morning’s activities with an opening address reminding faculty and staff about the Distinguished Speakers planned for this semester, including
Temple Grandin, autism spokesperson and advocate for the ethical treatment of livestock. Ashley also encouraged faculty to nominate students for BCSGA elections during the nomination period in February.

BCSGA Acting President Ashley Harp

Although I was unable to be at Opening Day in person this time, due to the ACCJC Accreditation Commission meeting, Monika Scott and Manny De Los Santos helped me prepare videos on some of the major projects we have planned for 2019, and to share some of the work that we managed to accomplish in 2018, and that we’ll continue to build on in 2019.

Our work with the Early College initiative is kicking into high gear this spring, and members of the Early College team took the stage to talk about the ways that dual and concurrent enrollment is clarifying the path for students in rural Kern County. Rural Initiatives director Abel Guzman described how Early College has already proven to effective in leveling the playing field for young people in Kern County, and outlined plans for the program to expand from Wasco and Arvin, to McFarland, Shafter and beyond. Director of Student Success & Equity Lesley Bonds provided data on the 90 percent completion rate for the program, which is predominately composed of first-generation students of color.

L to R: Sarah Baron, Christine Cruz-Boone, Abel Guzman and Lesley Bonds

For a faculty perspective, Sarah Baron and Christine Cruz-Boone shared how Early College is touching the lives of students on an individual level while maintaining the rigor expected of college-credit courses. Baron shared the touching story of one high school student in her Introduction to Public Health class who broke down crying upon realizing that she was capable of earning a college degree, and the ways that achieving a college degree could transform her life and the lives of her family members. Cruz-Boone shared a similar story from her Public Speaking and Intercultural Communication courses, and encouraged faculty to invite Early College students to participate in events to make them feel closer to the BC community.

Billie Jo Rice gave a presentation about how software such as Starfish is an integral part of BC’s patented “high-tech, high-touch” approach to student success while informing enrollment management decisions, and announced that the Academic Development is changing to the Education Department, which better reflects serving students in our Education Pathway. Kimberly Bligh described analyzing Education Pathway data and working with the Mathematics Department to triple the seats available in transfer-level math, helping meet the momentum point goal of students completing transfer-level math in their first year. She also shared how the Bridge to BC: First Year Student Success program is beginning to incorporate our award-winning Program Pathways Mapper system.

L to R: Grace Torres, Kimberly Bligh, Billie Jo Rice and Isabel Castaneda

Education Pathway data coach Isabel Castaneda went into more detail on individualized case management using Starfish, and introduced Early Childhood Education major Grace Torres, who was inspired to become a first-grade teacher by the guided pathways framework and observing the dedication that BC students and staff exhibit toward their own students. Torres is currently one of our peer mentor tutors at BC.

Nick Strobel shared some information on how the Board of Governors developed the new statewide funding formula for community colleges, and Craig Hayward showed an Excel spreadsheet he created to calculate state funding allocations on a per-student basis.

L to R: Dan Hall, Angelica Perez, Grace Torres, Kimberly Bligh, Billie Jo Rice, Isabel Castaneda, Craig Hayward & Nick Strobel

Dan Hall introduced himself in his new role as Director of our Inmate Education program over the winter break, and and shared how he’s observed the positive influence that education can have on incarcerated students during his time working in inmate education at Taft College. BC’s Inmate Scholars program manager Angelica Perez recited the mission statement pledge that incarcerated students say while in the program, and described how providing opportunities for education for those in prison reduces recidivism and makes re-entry into society easier.

Dan Hall and Angelica Perez

At the conclusion of the Inmate Education portion of the ceremony, faculty and staff watched a video about Free on the Outside, a student organization that provides support and a sense of community for previously-incarcerated students at BC.

Free on the Outside is a student organization at Bakersfield College

Todd Coston, who also served as master of ceremonies for Spring 2019 Opening Day, provided an update for the various construction projects around campus. The Campus Center is currently in the process of being demolished, and there will be a groundbreaking ceremony for the new Campus Center next Wednesday, January 16. In the meantime, Food Services has moved to the Gym Huddle, and a food truck dubbed Gades Grub will complement the other food truck vendors on campus. The Vernon Valenzuela Veterans Resource Center is slated to be completed by November 2019; renovations to Memorial Stadium will be completed in two phases; and a new gym facility and new science and engineering building are currently in planning stages.

Todd Coston

Director of Student Life Nicky Damania announced that all Campus Center services have been moved to Levinson Hall, and that the Levinson courtyard will serve as an outdoor space for students to eat and study.

Nicky Damania & Ashley Harp

Bernadette Martinez announced CSEA President Tina Johnson as the classified union’s Member of the Year, and CCA President Tom Greenwood talked about the opening of faculty negotiations.

Bernadette Martinez and Tina Johnson
Tom Greenwood

Academic Senate President Steven Holmes announced the upcoming hiring of 35 new faculty, and then took the stage again to accept the Margaret Levinson Award for Faculty Leadership. Nick Strobel and Matt Garrett presented Holmes with the award, as well as a makeover kit that included dress shoes and a tie, lightly poking fun at his often very informal appearance while praising all that he’s done to advocate for BC faculty at the district level.  Steve is quite the jokester, so his colleagues wanted to return the favor. Here are some remarks from Matt:

Some of you may only know him as the boisterous jokester, but he truly has a huge heart for BC, and this year he is completing his fifth year as senate president – a tenure that exceeds that of any other senate president in the history of Bakersfield College. In that capacity he has partnered with faculty leaders to facilitate the roll out of a variety of initiatives and software, and software, and software; but more than that Steve ferociously defended this college against district growth in policy and practice, and established an important new precedent in securing proportional representation in district wide governance.

There is not time sufficient to review all Steve has done over just the past few years.

Matthew Garrett, January 10, 2019
Matt Garrett, Steve Holmes & Nick Strobel

Donna Starr also announced physics professor Richard Darke as the recipient of the Shirley Trembley Distinguished Teaching Award, and Darke talked about taking Shirley Trembley’s math classes as a student in the ’60s, and how that inspired him to pursue a career in STEM. Starr also shared that nominations have begun for the Norman Levan Faculty Colloquium Award.

Richard Drake & Donna Starr

This year’s Opening Day was packed with information and activity! I’d like to thank our ushers, Media Services, Marketing and Public Relations, Maintenance and Operations, and everyone who came together to assemble another great Opening Day.  Also, a very special thank you to Jennifer Serratt for making sure that opening day goes off without a hitch.

Jerry Ludeke and Jennifer Serratt

Bi-Annual KCCD SGA Retreat

Chancellor Tom Burke addressing the student leaders from all three colleges

On Monday January 7th, the Bakersfield College Student Government Association travelled to our sister institution Cerro Coso Community College for the bi-annual KCCD SGA retreat, along with members of the student governments at Cerro Coso and Porterville. The 20 student officers had a full day of leadership development, presentations, and planning for the spring semester. CCCC Vice President of Instruction Dr. Chad Houck gave a presentation about the evolution of leadership ending with servant leadership as it relates to the student officers roles at each college. KCCD Chancelor Tom Burke and KCCD Chief Financial Officer Debbie Martin also made the retreat to talk about developing projects at the district office and student leaders’ fiduciary role with student funds. The SGA advisors guided the students through conversations about their reasons for joining SGA and how to recruit more officers for future SGAs. Thanks to CCCC for hosting the retreat!

Student Employment for Spring 2019

While our students are learning new job skills in their classes, the Student Employment Department at BC offers them the opportunity to bring those skills into the workplace while they’re still in school.

Since 2017, Student Employment has used the Jobspeaker platform to provide students with work experience, and job development specialists work step-by-step with students to build an online job profile and resumes that are accessible right from their phones by both students looking for work, and potential employers looking to find the perfect applicants .

Student Employment program manager Stephanie Baltazar shared that in Spring 2019 there are 574 students participating in the Jobspeaker platform. As of opening day, there were 17 open positions for on-campus employment and 60 more on-campus positions that were in the interviewing process. There are also multiple off-campus positions available for JobSpeaker students to apply for. Any student interested in creating a Jobspeaker account should visit the Student Employment Lab in FACE 11 to speak with a job development specialist — no appointment necessary.

Stephanie Baltazar

BC’s Student Employment Department is under Career and Technical Education (CTE), which is currently in the process of launching a rebranding campaign as recommended by the Strong Work Force Task Force of the California Community College’s Chancellor’s Office. Research conducted by this task force has concluded that lack of knowledge about CTE programs and opportunities is the biggest barrier to enrollment in these programs. This statewide rebranding initiative aims to increase awareness and engagement by students, businesses, union leaders and community stakeholders about career technical education programs at community colleges.

Express Enrollment Throughout Kern County

The Outreach Department hosted a series of Express Enrollment workshops this week throughout Kern County, where students could become ready to start their college journey in just one day!

Students at Express Enrollment

Throughout the week, Express Enrollment events were held at the Delano and Panorama campuses, the Job Spot, Wasco High, and Arvin High. These events have facilitated students’ ability to get processed and registered for their classes, and it’s a major factor driving growth of our student population at BC.

Stay tuned for more information about Express Enrollment events happening throughout the semester.

Students in the BC Welcome Center

Web Team Behind the Scenes

I want to also take a moment here to highlight our web team in the Marketing and Public Relations Department and everything they do to ensure that all the information on the Bakersfield College website is accurate, accessible and up-to-date for our students.

The web team works closely with every part of the campus community to update and maintain BC’s website. This includes everything from routine date and deadline changes on web pages, to adding events and workshops to the BC Calendar, to ensuring that the website is in full compliance with state and federal accessibility and FERPA regulations.

Chris Blakemore, Aricia Leighton and Earl Parsons

The web team diligently handles dozens of requests in the weeks leading up to the start of each semester, and I would strongly encourage all faculty and staff at BC to take a look at the pages related to their respective departments to provide the web team with any needed updates. Faculty and staff can submit web requests by visiting the KCCD Service Center and creating a case under “Web Services” in the “Request Type” drop-down menu.

The Marketing and Public Relations department is also responsible for coordinating all of our Opening and Closing Day activities, and they do a great job of making these events engaging experiences that keep our BC family informed about both the new projects planned for the upcoming semester, as well as what’s been accomplished by ongoing projects.

I’m proud of the work our Marketing and Public Relations team does to connect the lines of communication between our students, staff and community, and I’m grateful to have such a dynamic group in charge of our website.

Educating One Another on Campus During FLEX Week

The week before every semester our campus holds “FLEX week,” with a series of professional development workshops for new and returning faculty and staff.

Brandon Urry on Social Media 101

Measure J Updates

It’s a busy time to be a Renegade!  Not only do we have active construction for both the Campus Center and Veterans Resource Center, but we have NINE other projects underway in various stages.  You can check out a full list of the projects and their statues on the A Better BC website.  Make sure to follow our Twitter and Facebook accounts to stay up to date with all that’s going on!

Looping in the Community

The Bakersfield Californian published a great article last week about the new Bakersfield College Campus Center and the impact that it will have on student life on the campus.  Student life is at the forefront of everything we do here at Bakersfield College, and the new Campus Center will enable us to keep growing while offering the best services possible in order for them to achieve their educational goals.  Make sure to read the full article “Bakersfield College starts cashing in to $502 million bond with $38 million campus center.”  Thank you to TBC Media reporter Joseph Luiz for helping spread the word!

TBC Media Photo

Next week we are holding the Campus Center Groundbreaking ceremony to celebrate this new facility.  Please join us next Wednesday, January 16 at 10:30am on the CSS Lawn (near the Admin building). This is going to be a great event and will be a celebration our students and their future on our campus.

Veterans Bridge to BC

On Tuesday, faculty and staff led a group of incoming veteran BC students through a tour of the campus as part of the Bridge to BC, an intensive, one-day course designed for students to familiarize themselves with the BC campus and prepare for the college experience. Initially piloted as a course offered to veterans in the summer, Bridge to BC has expanded to offerings throughout the year, and there are openings now for non-veteran students throughout the Spring 2019 semester.

Veterans heading in for Bridge to BC

For more information and to register for a Bridge to BC course, visit the Bridge to BC page.

Head Athletic Trainer Fred Smith Calls it a Career

Our very own Fred Smith wrapped up his career as an athletic trainer after 35 years working in the Bakersfield College athletic department. Fred has left a lasting impact on thousands of Renegade student athletes over the years and will be missed. Make sure to check out 23ABC’s story on Fred’s retirement.  

Fred Smith

Learning From Our Students

Earlier this week BC sent a survey to our enrolled students in order to learn more about food insecurity, and the need for housing and safety of our students.  This survey is a part of Kaiser Permanente’s Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA), which helps us identify primary concerns in the areas of access to medical care, availability of services, and service gaps.

Kaiser Permanente in Bakersfield

I would like to thank Kaiser Permanente for their commitment to our students and community, and for partnering with Bakersfield College to help gather this information.

Fun Photos: Happy Birthday Dean Waller

Steve Waller celebrates his birthday with STEM folks this week. Janet Thomas made the bunt cake filled with Fruit Loops and Lucky Charms.

Dean Waller slicing up some birthday cake.

Fun Photos: Opening Day

Janet Tarjan, Jerry Ludeke, and Gayle Richardson
Manny Mourtzanos as Steve Holmes

Renegade Athletics Roundup

Baseball/Softball Season is just around the corner

Our Renegade baseball and softball teams open the season in just a few weeks. Check their schedule on and make plans to enjoy some games in-person this spring. Home games will be live-streamed on the athletic Facebook page – search Bakersfield College Athletics to follow.

Baseball 2019 Promo Photo
Softball 2019 Promo Photo

Renegade Online Student Hub in Shafter

On Friday, David Franz, the Education Partnership Director for the City of Shafter, and employees from the Shafter Learning Center visited the Renegade Online Student Hub to receive training on supporting BC students in Shafter that are either taking online classes, or using technology in their face-to-face classes. Starting this Spring, the Shafter Learning Center will provide a dedicated space for BC students who live in the Shafter community to get online support, help with classes, and access online tutoring.

Renegade Online Student Hub training

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