March in Like a Renegade!

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, March 16, 2019… A great day to be a Renegade.

Kern Economic Summit

Bakersfield College attended the Economic Summit earlier this week, put on by Kern Economic Development Corporation, CSU Bakersfield, and the Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce.  As always, the summit was wonderful, and the information extremely impactful.

Manny Mourtzanos and Nan Gomez Heitzeberg
Manny Mourtzanos and Nan Gomez Heitzeberg
Corny Rodriguez, Michael ODoherty, Tom Gelder
Sonya Christian and Trustee Romeo Agbalog
Sonya Christian and Trustee Romeo Agbalog

During the panel titled “Fostering a Strong Entrepreneurial Culture in Kern County,” Goli Ameri, CEO of StartItUp, stated that Bakersfield College and CSU Bakersfield’s Small Business Development Corporation (SBDC)’s support of entrepreneurs has been vital to the development of young entrepreneurs.  She also stated that out of all the cities and counties that she’s worked with in Southern California, Bakersfield and Kern County are by far the most enthusiastic and supportive of creating an entrepreneurial-friendly community.

JP Lake, Goli Ameri, Neeraj Rama, Irma Olguin

Bakersfield College is always ready to support and guide our young entrepreneurs! We are so proud of the work that has been done here.

Sally Meek, Amanda Frank, Tamara Baker
Tamara Baker, Jennifer Pitcher

Fun Photos: Economic Summit VIP Dinner

On the night before the Kern Economic Summit, the Economic Summit VIP Dinner was held in downtown Bakersfield. Thank you to April & Co. for the great photos!

Melissa Hurtado Swears In

Newly-elected Senator Melissa Hurtado of the 14th District held her swearing-in ceremony in Bakersfield at South High School on March 9.  Senator Hurtado spoke about her experiences as a first-generation American citizen, being the first person in her family to graduate high school, and being a first-generation college student.

Woman speaking at podium
Senator Melissa Hurtado speaks about her experiences as a first-generation American citizen.
Tamara Baker and Nan Gomez Heitzberg
Tamara Baker and Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg
Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg and Denise Norris

Community Relations Manager Tamara Baker and Trustee Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg attended the event, where Assemblyman Rudy Salas introduced the new Senator and gave a bit of background on their work together.  We are extremely excited to get to know Senator Hurtado and show her what it means to be a Bakersfield College Renegade!

Celebrating Pi Day

March 14 is celebrated around the world as Pi Day, and BC honored the discovery of one of the most important mathematical concepts in human history with free pizza and pie in the Levan Center.

Women behind booth
Free pizza and pie makes everyone happy!

Several academic departments hosted booths in the courtyard of the Science and Engineering building in celebration of Pi Day, and a student dressed in a raptor costume handed out flyers with facts about pi.

Inflatable dinosaur eating woman's head
Dinosaurs get pretty hungry on Pi Day!

Pi, a mathematical constant of approximately 3.14 used to calculate the perimeter and radius of a circle, was discovered by several mathematicians in ancient China, Egypt and India, but around 250 BC, the Greek mathematician Archimedes developed a polygonal algorithm that could calculate an extremely accurate approximation of pi, which is why the number is often referred to as “Archimedes’ constant.”

Geometric methods for calculating pi remained the dominant technique used by mathematicians until the revolutionary invention of infinite series in the late 1500s and early 1600s, and Sir Isaac Newton was able to calculate pi up to 15 digits using infinite series techniques. Today, computers are able to calculate pi to the two-quadrillionth digit, which happens to be 0.

BC Screens ‘Served Like a Girl’

Last Monday, BC Women’s History and More (WHAM) Committee and the Levan Center presented a screening of Director Lysa Heslov’s powerful documentary ‘Served Like a Girl,’ which explores the lives of several American women who were wounded in action and are now transitioning from soldier to civilian after serving their country in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The film exposes heartbreak, triumph, and inspiration as the veterans struggle with PTSD, homelessness, broken families, and other tragedies.  It is an engaging and honest look at an often unseen veteran reality. Check out the trailer.

At the BC Main campus, Professor of English for Multilingual Students Elizabeth Rodacker, who served as moderator, introduced the documentary and facilitated discussion about the film.

In Delano, Professor Patricia Smith introduced the film and moderated a discussion with Lt. Col. Cheri Provancha, who served in the U.S. military for 31 years, deploying to both Iraq and Afghanistan.

I’d like to give a special thanks to WHAM for putting on this event, and also to the Levan Center for the Humanities for providing funding and accommodations.

For more information, visit Women’s History Month.

BC Puts on ‘A Piece of my Heart’

Last week in the Black Box Theater, Professor of Theatre Kimberly Chin directed a student production of Shirley Lauro’s dramatic play ‘A Piece of My Heart,’ which is the true story of six women (five nurses and a country western singer) who went to Vietnam to entertain the troops.

This event was provided as a collaboration between the BC Performing Arts Department and the BC Women’s History and More Committee (WHAM), with funding provided by the BC Alumni Foundation.

I’d like to thank everyone involved for putting on this fantastic production. To learn more, visit Women’s History Month.

Fun Photos: Memorial Stadium

Brandon Urry, Sports Information Director snapped this great photo of Memorial Stadium against the backdrop of the mountains. Nice job, Brandon!

Memorial Stadium

Industrial Automation Video

I loved seeing this news story on Channel 23ABC about our Industrial Automation program offering a Bachelor’s degree.  It’s so exciting to see our campus moving forward into another aspect of higher education.

Read the story and watch the video on turnto23.com.  We are BC!

Dr. Anna Laven to Serve on Regional K-12 Strong Workforce Program Selection Committee

Dr. Anna Laven, Program Manager for Dual Enrollment, was selected to serve on the inaugural Central/Mother Lode Regional Consortium (CRC) K-12 Strong Workforce Programs Selection Committee.  Honored to represent Bakersfield College, Dr. Laven is one of 18 members serving a two-year term.

Dr. Anna Laven (right) will serve on the inaugural Central/Mother Lode Regional Consortium (CRC) K-12 Strong Workforce Programs Selection Committee.

With $150,000,000 in total grant funding available from the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office – Division of Workforce and Economic Development, in partnership with the California Department of Education, the Strong Workforce Program (SWP) aims to provide more and better Career Technical Education to increase social mobility and fuel regional economies with skilled workers.  Focusing on innovation and risk-taking, SWP is meant to increase the number of students enrolled in programs leading to high-demand, high-wage jobs.

Culturally Responsive Teaching

Group of people

On Friday, March 1, the Bakersfield College Dual Enrollment Program, in partnership with CSU Bakersfield and funded by the College Futures grant, hosted a professional development opportunity for more than 40 local educators from Arvin to Wasco at the Bakersfield College Delano Campus. The half-day event focused on implementing place-based and culturally responsive pedagogies in the San Joaquin Valley classroom throughout the PK-16 pipeline.

Woman explaining something with her hands

After welcomes by Dr. Anna Laven and Abel Guzman, Dr. Adam Sawyer of CSU Bakersfield lead the participants in an interactive activity and provided opening remarks focused on understanding the importance of place-based education.  Sharing her research on “citizen science work across the curriculum,” Dr. Brittney Beck of CSU Bakersfield explained how culturally relevant curriculum can be included in diverse areas, including STEM fields, as action research projects that promote positive community change.  

Dr. Oliver Rosales facilitated a conversation with Roger Gadiano, Delano resident and activist, on the importance of oral history in creating archives within a community and the use of the Larry Itliong Curriculum Resource Guide. Robust conversations followed in concurrent sessions with the three presenters, with attendees yearning for more!

Three people smiling

In the wrap-up, participants agreed that they would enthusiastically attend a follow-up two-day seminar that offered an even deeper dive into culturally responsive teaching and curriculum. Always a good problem when participants want even more! The Dual Enrollment program thanks the Delano campus staff for the warm welcome and hosting the seminar.

Two men speaking

Dr. Sawyer and Dr. Rosales offered these comments on the seminar:

“Teachers across the region are yearning for ways to better connect with and improve the learning outcomes of our culturally and linguistically diverse student population. The Delano workshop provided useful theory, examples from practice, and standards-aligned curricula for these educators (and future educators) to use the local socio-historical context and the cultural and linguistic assets of local students as resources for rich and meaningful content area learning across subject areas and grade levels. This work is truly transformational and Friday in Delano was just the first step.”

— Dr. Adam Sawyer

“This was a wonderful opportunity to create a humanities learning and professional development experience for faculty and teachers across multiple grade levels and educational institutions.  The fact that we did it too in the rural communities is so significant. Recognizing the historical and cultural capital of our rural communities is a high priority for our rural teachers and college/university faculty.  Finding the intersections between humanities and STEM learning also guides our work. This conversation among educators who care about our rural communities was an important one to initiate and we have definitely built a framework for future collaboration, innovation, and interest across institutions, including the elementary, secondary community college, and university levels.”

Dr. Oliver Rosales

Active Shooter Response and Tourniquet Training

Public Safety held a series of training seminars in the Levan Center to teach BC students and staff the proper way to respond to an active shooter situation on campus.

School shootings are increasingly common in the United States, and there is no consistent profile of an active shooter, Chris Counts said. In the wake of dozens of mass shootings that have occurred since the Columbine massacre in 1999, campus security services at schools around the country have changed their emergency protocols to be more proactive during these incidents.

Two males practicing tourniquet application
Knowing how to apply a tourniquet can save someone’s life.

The most important thing to prevent active shooter incidents is to report any suspicious activity to campus security or BC’s Students of Concern team. In almost every mass shooter incident, someone else knew that it was being planned, and reporting suspicious notes or social media posts can save lives.

Man holding red shirt
EMT and Public Safety Training instructor Brent Burton taught everyone how to properly use a tourniquet.

In the event that you hear shots being fired from a distance on campus, the first thing you should do is be aware of building exits and leave campus as soon as possible. If that isn’t possible, lock and barricade the doors, turn off all lights, cell phones and any source of noise, and hide somewhere out of sight from windows. It is extremely rare that active shooters will try to breach any barricaded rooms.

If you’re unable to run or hide in time, then it’s time to fight for your life. Use anything available to you as a weapon, and overwhelm the shooter with numbers while giving emergency responders time to react. You won’t be punished for acting in self-defense, and your bravery could save your life and the lives of countless others.

After the presentation, EMT and Public Safety Training instructor Brent Burton demonstrated how to properly use a tourniquet to prevent serious loss of blood in the event someone is shot. If someone is arterially bleeding, it’s very likely that they’ll lose all their blood and die before emergency responders can arrive on the scene, so knowing how to apply a tourniquet can save someone’s life, Burton said.

Military-grade tourniquets will be added to all of the red bag first aid kits available to every department on campus soon, but if you don’t have access to a tourniquet, you can use a belt or a shirt instead. First, apply pressure to the wound until bleeding has ceased. Then, apply the tourniquet two inches above the wound, avoiding any joints, then mark the time that the tourniquet was applied somewhere on the person’s body and leave it on until emergency responders arrive.

Thank you to Chris, Brent and our Public Safety team for organizing these important training sessions.

Art, Architecture, and Archetypes

On Wednesday, current and former BC professors talked about the ways that art is inspired by storytelling during the second Art, Architecture and Archetypes event for the Spring 2019 semester.

Five people sitting at table and looking to their left
The Art, Architecture, and Archetypes panel discussed how art is inspired by storytelling.

Rae Anne Kumelos discussed the ways that advertising re-contextualizes utopian imagery from mythology to sell products. David Koeth and Miriam Valenzuela focused their discussion on operas and paintings that depict the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice.  Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg talked about the revolutionary work of Mexican artist Enrique Chagoya and his use of Aztec codices as a storytelling tool, and Duane Anderson talked about how architecture techniques have evolved throughout history to match the stories that cultures tell about themselves.

Thank you to the Levan Center and the Art, Architecture and Archetypes panel for this enlightening discussion about the relationship between art and storytelling.

YES Conference Empowers and Supports Foster Youth Across Kern County

Woman with video camera and two male students
Reyna Harvey filming Matthew Stubblefield and Carlos Lopez for the news clip.

The Youth Empowering Success (YES) program was highlighted by Reyna Harvey on KBAK this week. She featured BC Professor Ian Anderson and Renegade Matthew Stubblefield as they shared how impactful this program has been. Check it out at bakersfieldnow.com.

The annual YES Conference returned to BC last Friday for their annual event to support local foster youth, encouraging them to finish school and follow their dreams. Photos can be found on BC’s Smugmug.

The YES program is also holding a Trivia Night fundraiser from 6-8 p.m. on April 1 at the Stockdale Affairs Event Center, located at 201 New Stine Road, Suite 350. To support this program, tickets may be purchased online.

Fun Photos: OB Nursing Teaching Fair

For their final projects, teams of students in BC’s Nursing department hosted informational booths and tables with games, activities, and prizes to teach fellow Renegades about safe sex, maternal health, and pregnancy.

Group of nursing students
Two female nursing students
Two female nursing students

Fun Photos: St. Patty’s Day

Two men loving each other
Mike Ivey and Pam Kelley showing some serious ST. PATRICK’S DAY spirit!

Bill Kelly: Agriculture Icon

Bill Kelly is one of BC’s most legendary instructors, and his history with the campus dates all the way back to 1966, when he earned his associate’s degree in agriculture as a student. He has taught agriculture at BC since 1982, after 20 years of teaching at Fresno State University and South High School. He was the 2015 recipient of the Teacher of Excellence Award from the California Agriculture Teachers’ Association.

Bill Kelly smelling flowers
Bill Kelly takes a moment to stop and smell the flowers.

Last week, Tabatha Mills of KGET highlighted Bill Kelly’s contribution to Kern County agriculture in a piece that aired on the local news, highlighting how Kelly has launched agriculture careers for thousands of BC students. Kelly’s students have worked for the US Forest Service, California Department of State Parks, and the Bureau of Land Management, and include several people in management positions at Paramount Farms and a VP at Bolthouse Farms.

Bill Kelly
Bill Kelly as a young(er) man.

Kelly serves on the Board of Directors for the Tree Foundation, a non-profit organization that plants trees throughout Kern County. He also supervises interns for BC and the Panorama Vista Preserve, and is a member of the Society of American Foresters. In the Wasco FFA’s recommendation for the Teacher of Excellence Award, Advisor Denise Morales wrote that Kelly “is a living, breathing example of someone that wants the best for all his students.”

I feel honored to work with such a caring and distinguished person as Bill Kelly, and I know that his kindness has helped Kern County continue its proud tradition of feeding the world.

‘Those Outspoken’ Speaks Out to Students

On Thursday, March 7 several inmates from Taft Correctional Institution spoke to students in the Levan Center about daily life in a federal prison and how to avoid making bad choices that could take away their freedom.

The inmates were part of a group called “Those Outspoken,” formerly known as “Those Outspoken Against Drugs,” which reaches out to young people in Kern County to help them avoid making the kinds of decisions that could lead them to a jail sentence. Those Outspoken, which was founded by inmates at Taft Correctional Institution, is not a “Scared Straight” style outreach program; rather, the inmates speak honestly at the audience’s level about their lives and the lessons they’ve learned during their time in jail.

They answered questions from the audience about what they’d learned from reading “Incarceration Nations”, Baz Dresinger’s book about mass incarceration around the world and the community read for last year’s One Book, One Bakersfield program. The book focuses on the success of rehabilitation programs at prison systems in other countries and how similar programs in the United States could reduce recidivism rates.

While many of the inmates in Those Outspoken suffered from the kind of structural inequality that lead people into a life of gangs, drugs and crime due to a lack of other opportunities, several inmates ended up in federal prison as a result of financial and business choices that ended up hurting themselves and their families. The inmate who called himself “Darrell,” for instance, grew up in a life of privilege, started a multimillion-dollar stationery company before turning 18, and was president of his local chamber of commerce. He’s now serving an 8-year sentence for mail fraud and money laundering as a result of making shady business decisions in the wake of the 2008 economic crash.

“Taking shortcuts led me to prison,” “Darrell” said. “[My family are] the true victims, and they’re paying the most for my actions.”

“Hector” is serving a second 10-year sentence for distributing drugs, and he only was out of jail for a little more than a year after his first sentence before he started associating with gang members again and was caught attempting to distribute fentanyl. He described the shame he felt in missing his daughter grow up during the first sentence, and how he’ll miss the opportunity to see his daughter get married and have grandchildren during the second sentence.

“No matter how tough someone thinks they are, it hurts,” “Hector” said.

Thank you to Mark Olsen and the Levan Center for bringing Those Outspoken to BC.

Kern County Science Fair

Joe Saldivar
Joe Saldivar speaks at the Kern County Science Fair.

Joe Saldivar, Biology Department Chair, was the guest speaker for the Kern County Science Fair on Tuesday, March 12. Hundreds of 4th–12th grade students assembled to display the results of their science projects and compete for awards. Dr. Saldivar presented on Curi-“loss”-ity: the challenge of keeping critical thinking alive as we grow older. Here is the abstract of his talk:

We are living in the most incredible time in human history. Advancements in technology, engineering and scientific research occur on a daily basis. With these advancements, comes the bombardment of information: Feng Shui will balance your life, alien abductions occur all the time, Earth is flat, the Holocaust never happened, cancer is prevented with an alkaline diet, pills are better than exercise, evolution is incorrect, magnets in your shoes will heal pain, a bronze bracelet will equalize your energy levels and you can speak to the deceased through a medium. Unfortunately, many people believe these claims are based on science. Joe Saldivar’s presentation describes how humans are all born as scientists and why humans eventually lose our ability to think critically.

Joe Saldivar speaking to large audience
Joe Saldivar explains to a captive audience why humans eventually lose our ability to think critically.

The presentation received numerous accolades from parents, students, and professional colleagues.

Check out one of Joe Saldivar’s Renegade Talks:

Family Math & Science Night

Some of BC’s EDUC B24 students were stars at a nearby elementary school’s Family Math & Science Night. Eighteen teams of 2-3 BC student volunteers from Dr. Bernadette Towns and Teresa McAllister’s “Introduction to Classroom Teaching” classes came up with creative, engaging, and interactive learning activities for the elementary students and their families.

Three BC students and two children making art projects
Group of students
Students and child making art projects

As it turns out, Nick Strobel also participated in this event.

Nick Strobel holding box
Nick Strobel

By all appearances both the BC and elementary students had a wonderful time!

Local Renegade Puts the ‘Baker’ in Bakersfield College

KGET highlighted BC culinary arts student Maria Lopez and her business Baking Encanto, which is helping support her family and pay her way through college.

Lopez runs Baking Encanto out of her kitchen while attending school full time and taking care of her newborn baby who inspired her to pursue her dream of becoming a baker. It’s often very stressful, but Lopez knows that all of her effort will lead to success.

“With hard work, dedication and determination, anything is possible,” Lopez said. “There are days and night that I don’t sleep because I have to bake, but truly it’s worth it.”

Lopez is set to graduate from BC at the end of this semester and hopes to move her bakery into a new location. You can follow her bakery on her Instagram account, @baking_encanto.

See the whole story on KGET.com.

ProSoft Technology Presents on Industrial Automation

On March 13, 2019, the Bakersfield College Career Education Department welcomed engineers from ProSoft Technology. They provided a presentation that enlightened students from the industrial automation and engineering programs about the current and future trends of industrial automation.

Presenters delivered personal advice about their educational backgrounds and careers. ProSoft Technology is dedicated to supporting our students as some of the staff that presented were alumni from BC and could not be more thrilled that we have made history with our Industrial Automation Bachelor of Science program.

Thank you to Carlos Medina, Job Development Specialist and the INDA and Engineering department for coordinating a great event for our students.

BC’s College Council

We had a another great College Council meeting. Laser focused on student learning and student achievement. Here are Manny Mourtzanos, Jonathan Ward, and Crieghton Magers presenting the Business Pathways Outcomes.

Manny Mourtzanos, Jonathan Ward, Creighton Magers

Here are Craig Hayward and Jessica Wojtysiak presenting the Vision for Student Success goals to College Council.

Two people presenting data in classroom

Gadfly Cafe Talks Love

On Wednesday, students participated in a friendly debate about love as part of the Gadfly Cafe series.  The official topic name was ‘Love: It’s Meaning, Purpose and Value.’

It’s always good to see our Renegade youth being able to discuss love in such an open and inviting manner.  Thanks to Levan Center Director Reggie Williams for putting on these monthly events!

Fun Photos: Trees at BC

Andrew Willcut was very helpful with our KHSD students earlier this week. He gave them a safety lesson using hedge trimmers and explained how the BC maintenance crew keeps all the hedges the same general length.

Students trimming hedges

Then, he demonstrated how they plant trees along the parking lot and let some of the students plant a few trees.

Three males planting a tree

Thank you to Andy and the BC team for coordinating this program and working with the KHSD students. Always great to branch out into the community!

Former Renegade Football Coach Inducted into CCCFCA Hall of Fame

Sonya Christian, Duane Damron, unidentified male
I was honored to be there to support Coach Damron on his special day!

Former long-time Renegade Football Assistant Coach Duane Damron was inducted into the California Community College Football Coaches Association (CCCFCA) Hall of Fame this last Saturday. Sandi Taylor, Frank Gornick (former BC administrator), Carl Bowser (former BC Football Coach), Dr. William Baker (BC Athletic Team Doctor), and I along with many others, including Duane’s family, were there to honor his career and his commitment to BC.

Duane Damron speaking
Duane Damron gave a rousing speech.

Duane was born and raised in McFarland and had several opportunities to move up and out in the coaching world, but always chose to stay in beautiful Bakersfield.

Congratulations Duane and thanks for your dedication to BC!

Renegades of the Week

Renegade Athletics is proud to announce this week’s (3/10-3/16) Wells Fargo Renegades of the Week.

Renegades of the Week

Gabby Lugo, Women’s Track and Field

Lugo achieved the A standard for both the 800m (2:18.86) and the 1500m (4:51.02) at the Oxy Distance Carnival on Saturday (3/9).

Ryan Dickerson, Baseball

In his first game back from having his hamate (wrist) bone removed three weeks ago, Dickerson had a walk-off RBI double to claim the 7-6 victory over LA Valley on Saturday (3/9).

Mayor Goh at BC Baseball & Softball

Mayor Goh and BC Softball team
Mayor Goh with softball

Bakersfield Mayor Karen Goh came out to support BC Baseball and Softball this past Saturday. She was able to spend time with each team before the start of their games and encourage them to keep representing the college with pride. We are fortunate to live in an area with such strong support for our college.

Mayor Goh and BC Baseball team
Bakersfield Mayor Karen Goh sits in the dugout with a few members of the BC Baseball team.

Ten Renegades Named to 2019 CCCBCA Academic All-State Team

2019 CCCBCA Academic All State team

A big congratulations goes out to our ten Renegade baseball players who made this year’s California Community College Baseball Coaches Association (CCCBCA) Academic All-State Team. To be considered for the award student athlete needed to have participated as a member of a community college baseball program, completed a sophomore level of academic credits with a minimum of a 3.5 overall GPA. The ten include:

  • Desi Garcia (Shafter HS, Shafter, CA)
  • Hudson Hartley (Garces HS, Bakersfield, CA)
  • Kyle Willman (Ridgeview HS. Bakersfield, CA)
  • Kamrom Willman (Ridgeview HS. Bakersfield, CA)
  • Colby Freeman (Centennial HS, Bakersfield, CA)
  • Luke Lewis (Centennial HS, Bakersfield, CA)
  • Luis Omphoy (Kaiser HS, Honolulu HI)
  • Sage Voda (Desert Christian HS, Bakersfield, CA)
  • Konner Dodge (Frontier HS. Bakersfield, CA)
  • Trey Harmon (Foothill HS, Bakersfield CA)

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/tap for the story on GoGades.com):


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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One thought on “March in Like a Renegade!

  1. Paul Gomez March 16, 2019 at 8:45 am Reply

    I enjoy the blog. It refreshes my life story that includes 2-years at BC, 1968-70, after my stint in Vietnam. The time at BC were life-changers for me.

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