Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, February 2, 2019… A great day to be a Renegade.
I missed my blog post last Saturday, January 26th — the first missed post in six years as my attention was required elsewhere. Spent sometime last week looking at family pictures and it seems fitting to share a few of them with you before I jump into the amazing happenings at Bakersfield College.
As you’ll see, the work at the college has been moving ahead, blog or no blog … so heads up…..this is a longer blog than usual!
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
We began the second week of the Spring 2019 semester with a day to honor Dr. Martin Luther King and his work advocating for the civil rights of all under-represented groups through community organizing, acts of civil disobedience, and the compelling poetry of his writings and speeches.
On that Monday, the Martin Luther King Jr. Annual Breakfast honored members of the community for contributing to the advancement of civil rights in the Central Valley, and many community members participated in the annual march downtown. The local celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was covered in an article at BakersfieldNow.com, which also featured a quote from BC’s own Steve Watkin.
This year, the planning committee launched the Vernon Strong Visionaries Award; it was a true honor to be named as the recipient of this inaugural award.
This award in fact recognizes the work of the faculty and staff of Bakersfield College – the work of over 1000 employees at the college; and the work of over 33,000 students. It is through collective effort and dedication that BC serves our community — on the 153-acres up on the hills on Panorama, at Arvin, Lamont, Delano, Wasco, McFarland Shafter…. and hopefully soon on the CSUB campus, online, and expanding greatly in the prisons.
This past year has seen real growth in student success at the Home of the Renegades. Bakersfield College has a greater number of African American students with a 37.5% increase in the number that transfer to four-year universities. These same students show a 340% increase in those completing transfer-level English in their first year. Thank you Paula Parks!
Nationally, there were major marches in San Diego, Phoenix, Miami, Houston and Washington, DC, according to an article by Newsweek. And soon after Martin Luther King Day comes February’s African-American History Month. To learn more about all of the events we have planned at BC in celebration, visit our page dedicated to it on the Bakersfield College website.
A special thank you to the events photographer, Carrington Prichett who has shared his photos with us. You can check them out at BC’s Smugmug!
I was so delighted to see the Community Voices piece by Steve Watkin in the Bakersfield Californian about “Recognizing the leaders in our community” where he writes about “the conditions that have facilitated our success and more importantly, the people who have helped to create them.”
Blood Wolf Super Moon
The previous Sunday there was also an incredible sight in the sky, the “Blood Wolf Super Moon” lunar eclipse. As the moon approached the constellation Leo, the Earth, moon, and sun aligned, and a crimson-tinged shadow covered the moon. Nick Strobel wrote about the eclipse in the Bakersfield Californian last week, giving a detailed explanation of this astronomical phenomenon. And as always, he took some amazing pictures.
Nick’s description on Facebook was that his pictures turned out “still okay,” but I find them to be incredibly beautiful.
If you missed Sunday’s total lunar eclipse, you’ll have another chance in Kern County on May 21, 2021.
Bakersfield Women’s March
The second annual Women’s March for Kern County doesn’t look like it’s slowing down! This year there were over 4,000 attendees, with over 70 organizations, food booths and artisans.
I love seeing the positive energy in our community, and seeing people support and empower one another. There were so many BC folks in attendance, including Nick Strobel, David Koeth, and more.
The Bakersfield Californian’s Joseph Luiz covered the event in his article, “Women’s March Kern County returns to support women’s rights.“
Two Schools, One Location
Speaking of The Bakersfield Californian, Lynnette Zelezny, President of CSUB, and I collaborated on a Community Voices piece that shares the exciting prospect of a BC co-location at the campus of Cal State Bakersfield. This ideal location for a BC Southwest campus will benefit students and Kern County for generations.
Jean Fuller Talks about Early College
Jean Fuller was interviewed on Kern Radio and on The Bakersfield Californian One on One with Robert Price. Dr. Fuller shared how the Early College program provides students with quality college education at the same time as they are completing high school. Dr. Fuller touched on so many aspects of Early College including:
- The cost savings for students, families, and taxpayers
- Partnerships between high schools and BC
- Course scheduling to fit the needs of the high schools and students
- Certifications and degree offerings
- Workforce skills and industry benefits
- Benefits and gains for rural students and their families
On Kern Radio Louis Amestoy said Early College sounds “almost too good to be true.” By innovating we can start students on an early path to a college degree and a successful career.
Join us as we launch this program at McFarland High School on February 13th at 5:00 pm! It promises to be a remarkable event. For information you can visit www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/earlycollege .
Early College Planning in McFarland
So much dedicated work has gone into the launch of the McFarland Early College program. It has been inspiring for the BC Early College program team members to work with the McFarland team — Aaron Resendez, Brian Bell, and many others — McFarland High’s administrators, counselors, and CTE coordinator, as they plan the pathway options that will be available to all 280 expected freshman. All students who enter the high school in the Fall will complete at least 12 college units before their high school graduation in Spring 2023. The team has mapped out 10 pathways: an Associate Degree for Transfer 60-unit pathway, a 30-unit General Education pathway, and 8 CTE certificate pathways that correspond with the existing CTE pathways at McFarland.
The Feb 13 launch of the program will be held in the McFarland gym — you may recognize it from the movie? This work is creating such optimism that every McFarland student will get on the #pathway2college. We hope to see you all at the launch on February 13th! Stay tuned for more updates!
Early College in Shafter
Bakersfield College Rural Initiatives and Early College team is also meeting with the Shafter High School team to plan their own implementation of Early College program. We are so excited to partner with the folks at Shafter to make a college education more attainable for their students.
BC at Wonderful College Prep Academy
Carolina Madrigal of BC’s Rural Initiatives team and Engineering professor Travis Steele participated as judges in Wonderful College Prep Academy’s middle school science fair. How cool is that?
Building Leaders at BC
As part of the recently awarded California Catalyst Grant a team from Bakersfield College attended a convening last week. Joining them were two students who were chosen as part of the Catalyst Fund Student Leadership Fellowship. The Student Leadership Fellowship supports Catalyst Fund grantees in promoting the voice, visibility, and knowledge of undocumented student leadership at the BC campus.
Students engaged in in-person training by Immigrants Rising staff and partners of the Catalyst Fund. They will continue to get ongoing professional development and attend leadership workshops throughout the remainder of the academic year.
Ag Department Orange Sale
BC’s Agriculture Department hosted another successful orange sale in the Agricultural Laboratory located at the Haley Street entrance to campus. Students and members of the community came to pick their own deliciously ripe oranges fresh off the trees of the BC orchards, while others purchased pre-picked bags from a wagon at the entrance to the Agricultural Laboratory. Participation in the orange sale has increased in recent years due to media coverage in the Bakersfield Californian and KBAK/KBFX Eyewitness News.
A special thank you to Sally Sterns and the whole BC Agriculture Department for providing real-world experience in agricultural work for our students, and I’d like to thanks people out in the community for supporting BC Agriculture via the orange sale.
Students motivated by HBCU presentation hosted by Umoja
Umoja Community BC partnered with Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., and the HBCU partnership office to inform students about their transfer opportunities. Students with a minimum 2.5 GPA and 30 transferrable units will be accepted at any of the 37 Historically Black College and University (HBCU) partner schools and receive priority housing and scholarship opportunities. Students heard from a panel of community members who attended an HBCU about why they chose an HBCU and what they gained from the experience.
Umoja Community is a program designed for African-American students to increase success, retention, graduation, and transfer rates. The core program includes English and student development coursework, tutoring, mentoring, and counseling support. The program also offers gen ed courses and a Club. Dr. Paula Parks is the coordinator/English professor/Club advisor; Jonathan Ward is the counselor/student development professor.
Panelist Addonica Stanley, a middle school principal who attended Grambling State University, said that a Black person at a college with a small Black population can feel “less than. I wanted an opportunity to embrace my culture. I was able to learn who I am.” Stanley, who is also an Umoja Advisory Board member, added that the expectations were high and meeting those challenging expectations gave her confidence.
Kotanya Kimbrough Hubbard, who works for the Bakersfield City School District in instructional technology, said that the faculty and staff at HBCUs “care about you. . . They want to see you succeed.” Hubbard, who attended Bennett College, advised students to consider size, part of the country, and their major in selecting an HBCU that fits their personality.
Students were attentive and asked great questions. Terreah Whitmire called the information and discussion “eye opening.” Whitmire, who is in the Umoja program and officer in the Umoja Club, said she definitely wants to attend an HBCU due to the supportive environment they provide. She had been concerned about being able to afford going away to college, but she learned that partner schools offer in-state tuition and the costs are comparable to attending a UC. “Umoja has helped me branch out and meet more (African-American) people,” adding she can build on those “tools and networking skills” at an HBCU.
Students can follow the CSU or UC path and apply using the Common Black College App. Historically Black Colleges and Universities were founded around the time of the Civil War when African-Americans were denied admission to colleges and universities. There are 105 HBCUs, and the Chancellor’s Office is working to expand the number of partner schools from 37.
Herbert Nealy, who transferred from BC to Prairie View in Texas, said going away helped him learn how to handle things on his own in a supportive environment.” Umoja student Kierra Littles said before the presentation she had felt hesitant about going so far away from home, but now feels that the experience will be worth it. Check out all the photos at BC’s Smugmug.
Project Conexiones Estudiantiles de BC
South Kern Sol highlighted a new program at BC designed to provide support for undocumented students at BC in an article by reporter Paige Atkison, who is also a BC student and editor-in-chief of the Renegade Rip.
The article features quotes from BC professors Octavio Barajas and Oliver Rosales talking about Project Conexiones, a program funded by an $115,000 grant BC received last year from the California Campus Catalyst Fund to raise the profile and expand resources available to undocumented students and their families. The article also quotes excitement from BC students Jose Bello and Emmanuel Limaco for the project and ways that the grant money can benefit students.
Two students have already received money from the grant, according to Professor Rosales. Faculty involved in Project Conexiones are working with members of student organization Latinos Unidos Por Educación (LUPE), as well as other undocumented students to decide the best way to utilize the grant money to promote community awareness of the issues that undocumented immigrants face.
The Project Conexiones has several events planned for Spring 2019, including a screening of the documentary “Adios Amor” in the Indoor Theater on March 28, and a Catalyst Culminating event in the Outdoor Theater on May 2 featuring musical performances from Velorio and Las Cafeteras. I look forward to these events and the promotion of Project Conexiones.
Start it up, Renegades!
Last week, a group of BC leaders met with the CEO of StartItUp, Goli Ameri, to view and discuss a software application that can help students interested in entrepreneurship to start their own business. Also in attendance was Kelly Beardon, SBDC Director and Alese Campbell, Small Business & Entrepreneurship Deputy Sector Navigator for our Central Region Consortium.
Porterville College Foundation Hall of Fame Dinner
BC’s Culinary Arts program has been selected to prepare the meal for Porterville College’s Foundation Hall of Fame celebration on Friday, February 1, according to an article in the Porterville Recorder.
The PC Foundation is honoring softball coach Vickie Dugan as its Hall of Fame inductee for Athletics after 22 years of service and winning more than 250 games as the Pirates softball coach. The Foundation is also bestowing Distinguished Alumni honors to Steve Schultz, the director of the Porterville College Veterans Resource Center and the father of BC’s Jonathan Schultz. You can read more about Steve and Jonathan Schultz in an article from this blog on November 11, 2017.
I know that our Culinary Arts students are going to knock the PC Hall of Fame dinner out of the park, and I can’t wait to hear all about it!
The Renegade RIP published a nice piece titled “The sons of two former faculty continue their legacy” which follows current BC faculty, Dr. Oliver Rosales and Jonathan Schultz and shared how serving BC students is now a family tradition that began with their fathers. See the article at therip.com.
The Wylie and May Louise Jones Gallery is currently home to about 50 pieces of art created by Kern County high school students as part of the 15th annual Panorama Invitational Showcase.
An opening reception was held on Thursday afternoon with hors d’oeurves catered by BC Food Services. Students, staff and members of the public are encouraged to view the exhibit in the Jones Gallery from between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. on Monday through Thursday until February 28.
This year, 12 Kern County high schools were featured in the exhibition, and art teachers from each high school selected three outstanding students to have their work displayed in the Jones Gallery. This year’s Panorama Invitational Showcase featured paintings, illustrations, a sculpture and even typography with West High senior Daniel Lara’s piece “The Heart of Marvel”, crafted in commemoration of comic book creator Stan Lee, who passed away in November at the age of 95.
I’d like to thank Jones Gallery curators Ronnie Wrest and Jeffrey Huston for continuing the tradition of celebrating young artists with the Panorama Invitational, and I look forward to seeing the BC Art Student Exhibition starting on March 14.
Sex Museums – The Politics and Performance of Display
On Thursday night, the Levan Center hosted a discussion with UC Santa Barbara feminist studies professor Jennifer Tyburczy about her book “Sex Museums: The Politics and Performance of Display”, which examines the ways that art with sexual content is displayed in museum galleries and how that influences public perceptions about the types of sexuality that are considered controversial.
I’d like to thank Jennifer Tyburczy for driving up to Bakersfield for this fascinating discussion, and I’d also like to thank the Reggie Williams and the Levan Center for organizing this event.
BC in the News
Joseph Luiz wrote a nice piece in the Bakersfield Californian on the growth of BC’s online classes — thank you Joseph. You can read the full Californian article here: “BC sees record growth in students taking online classes.”
More News: BC Offering Classes in Wasco
The Bakersfield Californian also announced that we will soon be offering classes in Wasco and are holding a ribbon-cutting ceremony on February 8 at 10 a.m. at the Wasco Adult Education Center. Read the article “Bakersfield College to offer classes in Wasco.”
Emails Worth Sharing: Harry Potter Style
BC’s Matt Jones emailed to share a story about Harry Potter themed English B2 at BC! I had to share! How fun!
So, during the Fall 2018 semester Professor Savanna Andrasian and I conducted our first Harry Potter themed English B2 course. The course explored literary composition and critical thinking at an advanced level. First, as the English faculty for the course, Savanna Andrasian had the students analyzing Harry Potter deeply within each of the books. While examining the books students explored topics such as Heroes and Anti-Heroes, Feminism, History, “The other”, and much more. For my side of the course, as the Academic Technology Faculty, I took the students outside of the books and we explored Harry Potter across all forms of media…audiobooks, blogs, podcasts, websites, and video games. As we did so, we analyzed it with concepts such as Social Determinism and Technological Determinism, Communities of Practice, Convergence Culture, New Media Literacy, and Transmedia Storytelling, and much more. Needless to say the course was challenging, fun, and generated a great deal of excellent work and discussion.
After the course final, we dismissed our students (keep in mind this class goes from 6:00pm to 8:05, two nights a week). However, at that time none of the students wanted to leave. As a result we all hung out in the class room with our students for an additional hour, immersed in deep Harry Potter discussion about character and plot analysis, assignments they loved, and other Potter theory topics that had come to light as a result of the course and the recent Fantastic Beasts movies. Savanna and I were astounded because the students had become so attached to the material and the thrill of discussion that they didn’t want to leave. During that time, they gave us a lot of great positive feedback. However, the reason I am writing you is to tell you this…the feedback was so positive at the end of last semester that over the Winter break…it lead me to create a private Facebook group which I have called Potter Scholars. On this private group, the students from our course who want to join can opt in to be part of the group. As part of BC Potter Scholars, we have continued to discuss academic work that relates to Harry Potter in Education, Memes, Theories, Plot Holes, and the like. This BC Potter Scholar group has become a thriving Community of Practice. One where former students of ours, are immersed in academic discussion that lay outside the confines of a classroom and is set in their own personal lives.Email from Matt Jones, Jan. 22, 2019
Emails Worth Sharing: “I’ve Been to Prison”
This week, an email from Ron Kean made its way to my inbox. I loved what he had to share about his experience with BC’s Inmate Scholars program.
Yesterday was my first day teaching WORLD MUSIC to 30 students from the INMATE SCHOLARS PROGRAM through Bakersfield College. I teach at a local state prison that is a Level 4, Maximum Security Prison in Delano, CA. Yesterday, I introduced my subject matter, its importance to our society and its relevance to each inmate scholar. Thirty felons sang, danced, and improvised to the music of “Amen,” using west-African style as its basis. We then defined the many musical terms that we experienced and I had their utmost attention for 3 hours. All thirty of these inmate scholars gave me a standing ovation at the end of the class. Next to being a husband and parent, this was the most meaningful experience of my life. This is the only course left for these students to graduate with the nation’s first ever face-to-face transfer A.A. degree.
And this program will help these inmates to transition back to life outside of prison. There was no correctional officer in the room with me for almost three hours. It was only after we started singing the ostinatos from the introduction to Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” did two correctional officers come into the room. I think they were pleased with what they heard and with music that they all knew. And it was good to see everyone involved relaxed and smiling. And that’s day one! Stay tuned…
Silly Signage seen on Campus
BC’s Dean of Instruction, Manny Mourtzanos emailed me this hilarious photo from the hallway near his office. He said, “Am I the only one concerned about our campus signage? Exhibit A is attached :)”
Encouraging Future STEM Students
Stephen Waller, Dean of Instruction, shared a wonderful example of BC’s outreach in the community and making strides towards encouraging our youth on to the STEM pathway. Isabel Stierle, Professor of Biology has been working with Cheryl Scott of the Kern Economic Development Foundation and Stuart Packard, Superintendent of Buttonwillow School, and female volunteers from the sciences to mentor and encourage various grade level girls’ interest in STEM programs.
On Wednesday, January 23rd, Isabel and other mentors met with the Buttonwillow School 4th and 5th grade female students at Kern County Museum to view the Black Gold Exhibit so they could learn about geology, oil production, and uses of petroleum products. Thank you Isabel and Steve for sharing these photos of their field trip and for encouraging STEM students.
Tree Cutting in Renegade Park
At Bakersfield College, our Environmental Horticulture program is concerned for the health of our trees and the safety of our students. Unfortunately, California’s drought has taken a toll on some of our trees on the main campus. Our Pin Oak tree, located at Renegade Park, had to be removed due to borer infestation and the potential danger to visitors in the park. The drought conditions weakened the tree and the borer damage killed around 60% of the tree canopy. It was sad to remove this majestic tree, but the damage was irreversible.
We were able to create a learning experience from this. The video will be used to demonstrate limb and tree removal that will be used for the Tree Care and Urban Forestry class. This video will also be distributed to other community colleges in California who also teach this C-ID recognized course, thanks to a grant for developing stackable Horticulture certificates. Some of the wood is being milled to create benches for the park that will be built by Bakersfield College students.
Passing of Margaret “Peggy” Buckley
Jerry Ludeke and the BC Archives team shared the news this week of Peggy Buckley’s passing, a true Renegade. Dr. Buckley was the first Academic Senate president to serve more than one term, serving for three years from 1976 to 1979. Bill Thomas entered a Tribute to Dr. Peggy Buckley in the May 2, 1985 Congressional Record on the occasion of her being honored as 1985 Kern RN of the Year. Through her entire 34 year career at BC she worked one weekend each month as a staff nurse at an acute care hospital to keep in touch with nursing reality. Her obituary as it appeared in the Bakersfield Californian on January 23, 2019 is printed in italics below.
Peggy Buckley died peacefully at home in Napa, California, after a short illness. Born Margaret Rourke in Moynalty, County Meath, Ireland, she immigrated to the United States in 1951 and attended St. Mary’s College of Nursing and the University of San Francisco. Peggy became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1956 and moved to Bakersfield to begin her nursing career at Mercy Hospital. In 1958, she married Robert Buckley of Bakersfield. Their son John was born in 1959. Peggy worked at the Houchin Community Blood Bank in Bakersfield prior to accepting a position as the School Nurse at Bakersfield College. While there, she continued her education, earning a Master’s degree and PhD in Education. From that point on, her entire career was spent at Bakersfield College, where she served as the Chairperson of the Allied Health Division and Director, Associate Degree Nursing program. Upon her retirement in 1994, Peggy and Bob moved to Penn Valley, California where they enjoyed golf and travel until Bob’s death in 2003. She moved to Napa, California in 2011 and resided there for the remainder of her life.
Peggy is survived by sister Rhodi Rhodes of Eastbourne England, brother Tony Rourke and sister-in-law Audrey Rourke of Birmingham, England, brother-in-law Larry Buckley of Visalia, CA, son John Buckley, daughter-in-law Julie Buckley and granddaughters Amelia and Sophie Buckley of Fairfax, CA.
To quote Jerry, “We at Bakersfield College have been fortunate to work with so many talented, special people.”
Postcards from DC
I received a lovely postcard from the Eisenhower Fellowship Students.
Fun Photos at BC’s Huddle
Fun Photos 20 Years Ago
Professor Ximena Da Silva Tavares shared with me the cutest photo of baby Leo. She said “Janet Thomas gifted us this little Renegade Hoodie.” So sweet!
CCLC Effective Trustee Workshop
Trustees Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg and Jack Connell attended the CCLC Effective Trustee Workshop in Sacramento along with Chancellor Tom Burke.
Renegades of the Weeks
Renegade Athletics is proud to announce this 1/13-1/19 and 1/20-1/26 Wells Fargo Renegades of the Week.
Dasia Wandick, Women’s Basketball – Scored 19 points and had 7 rebounds in game against El Camino. Blake Van Uden, Men’s Basketball – Went 3-3 in FG’s for a total of 6 points and 9 rebounds in road game against Glendale.
Natilee Parrish, Softball – Had game winning three-run walk-off home run to claim the opening day victory over Santiago Canyon, 6-4. She ended the opening three games with 3 total hits (2 HR) and 4 RBI’s. Will Reynolds, Baseball – Hit .714 on opening weekend over two games against Moorpark. He was 5 for 7 with a double, 2 RBI’s and a run scored. Defensively, he threw out a crucial game tying run at home plate in the 7th inning of Friday night’s 1-0 win.
If you missed watching the Renegade Report live this last Thursday at 11a, check out the segments from this week’s show from the links below. This week’s highlights include segments with BC Head Golf Coach Wes Coble and BC Sophomore Golfers Matt Sakowski and Matt Sanders.
Segment with BC Golf Coach Wes Coble
Segment with Matt Sakowski and Matt Sanders
Segment with Brandon Urry
Segment with Colby Lewis
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):
- Women’s Basketball drop game to El Camino
- Men’s Basketball falls on the road to Glendale
- Men’s Golf opens up the season at Pneumonia Open
- Men’s Basketball Opens Conference Play With a Victory
- Women’s Basketball Suffers Conference Opening Loss
- Baseball: Opening day W over Moorpark
- Baseball: Game 2 over Moorpark
- Softball: Opening Day W over Santiago Canyon
- Softball: Game 2 against San Mateo
- Softball: Game 3 against Mt SAC
- Men’s Golf Places 10th at Point Conception
- Track and Field Opens the Season at Wesmont All-Comers Meet
- Women’s Tennis opens the season with team victory over COS
- Women’s Basketball Falls to Canyons
- Men’s Basketball Falls to Canyons
- Baseball over Moorpark, 7-3
- Men’s Tennis Opens Season with Victory
- Women’s Tennis wins big over Reedley
That’s all for now.
Until next time.
With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.
the luckiest and happiest college president ever