Spring is here bringing new life and beauty

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, April 20, 2019… A great day to be a Renegade.

The gift of music which can move us

The sound of music has profound power to inspire, stir the soul, and move us in ways that simple words could not. I was blessed to hear the BC choir at St. Francis this week as they sang Nearer my God to Thee and Wind Beneath My Wings, led by the talented Jen Garrett. In fact Msgr. Craig Harrison was wanting to keep the BC Choir at St. Francis forever 🙂

The BC Choir getting ready to sing at St. Francis
BC Choir performing Nearer my God to Thee at St. Francis on March 20, 2019
BC Choir directed by Dr. Jen Garrett performing Wind Beneath my Wings on March 20, 2019 at St. Francis

Early College Team Presents in Madera

We are taking our Early College story on the road! KCCD Trustee Romeo Agbalog, Liz Rozell, Abel Guzman, Aaron Resendez (McFarland Unified Superintendent), and Brian Bell (McFarland HS Principal) traveled to Madera to present at the “California Partnership for the San Joaquin Valley” quarterly meeting. The partnership brings together experts and leaders committed to the same purpose- sustainable economic development, environmental stewardship, and human advocacy.

Group Photo in Madera
Abel Guzman, Liz Rozell, Romeo Agbalog, Aaron Resendez, and Brian Bell

Those in attendance heard from Dr. Jean Fuller via a pre-recorded video, and learned from the BC and McFarland Early College team members in attendance about how the project came to be, and where we are headed.

The reaction and feedback was extremely positive. One particular member in attendance asked that the partnership have more presentations that provide information on innovative solutions to problems in the Central Valley, and stated that our team’s presentation was a great example. Stay tuned for more stories about where we take our Early College story.

Equity Conference

Early this week, our BC Equity team traveled to the University of Southern California (USC) Center for Urban Education (CUE) to participate in the Student Equity Planning Institute.  Led by Dr. Estela Bensimon, the USC CUE team prepared a working institute so college teams could spend time reviewing our student data, analyzing our strategic planning documents and processes, and consider the alignment with the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office Vision for Success goals.

BC Team at USC Equity Conference
BC Team at the Southern California (USC) Center for Urban Education

I was the keynote speaker on Day 2, sharing with attendees how student-centered legislation has paved the way for major gains in student outcomes.  I highlighted some of our key work at BC, including our Completion Coaching Communities, the Umoja Program, our Kern Promise Finish-in-4 transfer pathways, our placement practices, and our Early College program.  A special thank you to Shawn Whalen with the College Futures Foundation for his investment in the institute. And thank you to our equity team attendees for your engagement: David Buitron, Terri Goldstein, Abraham Castillo, Lisa Robles, Steven Watkin, Imelda Valdez, and Lesley Bonds.

Check out updates like this one from Shawn Whalen and other attendees across California at #SEPI19 on Twitter.

Educational Systems and Intersegmental (ESIP) Task Force

The Educational Systems and Intersegmental Pathways (ESIP) Task Force’s second face-to-face meeting was at the CSU Chancellor’s Office in Long Beach, CA on March 21st. The group continued work on its two main goals: 1) advancing the intersegmental curricular data organized in the Pathways Program Mapper tool for clarifying student journeys and 2) aligning usability and feasibility for California’s future Statewide Longitudinal Data System (SLDS).

Vikash Lakhani, Assistant Vice President for Student Success, CSUB Ben Perlado, Director of Admissions & Records, CSUB
Vikash Lakhani, Assistant Vice President for Student Success, CSUB Ben Perlado, Director of Admissions & Records, CSUB

Patrick Perry, Chief Information Officer at the CSU Office of the Chancellor, welcomed representatives from over 14 groups across the state to engage in the conversations. Vikash Lakhani, Assistant Vice President for Student Success at CSUB, Ben Perlado, Director of Admissions & Records at CSUB, and Faust Gorham, Associate Vice President for Information Technology Services & Chief Information Officer at CSUB presented plans for utilizing Pathways Program Mapper at CSUB while integrating program maps with current BC programs.

Steven Glyer, Workforce Development Consultant
Steven Glyer, Workforce Development Consultant

Workforce Development guru, Steve Glyer, provided updates on the CTE code alignment between K12 career pathways and Community College TOP Codes as well as future plans on expanding the Program Pathways Mapper. Craig Hayward, Dean of Institutional Effectiveness at Bakersfield College reported that 11 community colleges in California are currently working with the Program Mapper. As many as 20 Colleges and district will join the second wave of within in the coming weeks.

Craig Hayward, Dean of Institutional Effectiveness

Justin Curtin, CSU IT Support

Erica Menchaca, BC Faculty
Craig Hayward, Dean of Institutional Effectiveness
Justin Curtin, CSU IT Support
Erica Menchaca, BC Faculty
Darla Cooper, Executive Director, RP Group
Darla Cooper, Executive Director, RP Group

There were two presentations to update the group on progress being made statewide. Concentric Sky CEO Wayne Skipper presented on work being done regarding Open Standards and the Quantification of Learning. (BC and CCCCO worked with Concentric Sky to build Program Mapper.)
Research fellow Jacob Jackson of the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) presented on their work in convening a Data Collaborative that discusses future data needs and possible outcomes.

Ben Perlado, Director of Admissions & Records, CSUB

BCSGA Renegades in Washington, DC

BC’s Student Government (BCSGA) representatives visited Washington, DC recently with Director of Student Life, Nicky Damania. I enjoyed reading what Mustafa Barraj, BCSGA’s Director of Legislative Affairs, wrote about their travels and experiences:

BCSGA Team in Washington
BCSGA Team in Washington

My time at Washington DC was an enjoyable, educational, and enlightening experience. I was given the great opportunity to attend the American Student Association of Community Colleges (ASACC) National Student Advocacy Conference and listen to the wonderful Ralph Nader speak on how to better our nation and our community. As a child of Lebanese immigrants, his words were able to inspire and evoke a sense of servitude in me to better my community.

The ASSAC conference also provided me the opportunity to speak and learn from an array of diverse students and gather useful information and resources to take and better my student government. I was able to learn things such as advocacy, lobbying and how to properly speak on issues to my representatives. With these skills, I and other fellow students were able to speak to representatives from Congresswoman Barbara Lee’s Office, Congressman Garamendi, and was even given the opportunity to speak on issues regarding California Community Colleges with Kevin McCarthy himself.

I also had the extraordinary opportunity to visit some of America’s great landmarks such as the Washington Monument, the Jefferson Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial, and a collection of different museums from the Smithsonian. As an English and Political Science Major, I was able to find the most pleasure in two museums. The first was the Folgers Shakespeare Museum where I was able to look at literature that dates back to the Elizabethan era and that has the only confirmed drawing of William Shakespeare. The Second was the Library of Congress where my group and I and the life-changing experience to see the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution with our very own eyes.

This trip was a life-changing experience forever be grateful to Bakersfield College and Nicky Damania for giving me the opportunity to visit the City of Magnificent Distances. This was not only a learning experience for myself but also a transformative one that I will forever remember.

BCSGA Team meets with Kevin McCarthy

Exhume and Release

As part of the “Women in War” theme of BC Women’s History Month programming for 2019, local poet Portia Choi hosted an open mic about war in the Levan Center on Wednesday night and recited some of her poetry about surviving the Korean War as a young girl in the 1950s.

Jessica Martinez introduces Portia Choi

English professor Jessica Martinez organized the event, titled “Exhume and Release”, in conjunction with the Women’s History and More Committee. It was a unique opportunity for local artists to have their work celebrated on the BC campus. During the open mic portion of the event, authors Anke Hodenpijl, Anna Marco and Julie Jordan Scott shared some of the writing about the effects of war on their lives, and musician Fabian Tolan performed a cover of “Peace Song” by Never Shout Never on ukulele. There was also a drawing on display from BC student Crystal Appleton, as well as Gita Lloyd’s cover illustration for Choi’s poetry book “Sungsook”.

Gita Lloyd's cover for Portia Choi's poetry book "Sungsook" is displayed in the Levan Center next to a drawing by BC student Crystal Appleton.
Gita Lloyd’s cover for Portia Choi’s poetry book “Sungsook” is displayed in the Levan Center next to a drawing by BC student Crystal Appleton.

After a brief overview of the history of the Korean War, Choi talked about her personal experience of fleeing her home after being displaced by the conflict. Choi’s family was one of millions who fled North Korea and crossed the 38th parallel to South Korea on foot – a distance equivalent to the stretch of land between Los Angeles and San Francisco – with nothing more than the clothes on their back and a few family heirlooms. Many members of Choi’s family were unable to leave North Korea during the war, and they’ve been unable to contact their North Korean part of the family for over 60 years. Her family moved to the United States when she was 8 years old, Choi said.

Portia Choi talks about fleeing North Korea as a child in the 1950s before coming to the US with her parents at the age of 8.
Portia Choi talks about fleeing North Korea as a child in the 1950s before coming to the US with her parents at the age of 8.

Choi’s poetry juxtaposes the desolation and horror of the war with idyllic, childlike images of the Korean countryside and long springs spent playing with dolls and enjoying her grandmother’s cooking. She shared a poem she wrote based on the story of Neil Vance, a local veteran who fought in the Korean War and saw four of his friends from Bakersfield get killed in the conflict.

Choi has been writing poetry for 35 years, and is an active member of the poetry community in Kern County. Since 2010, she helps organized the events for National Poetry Month in Kern County every April, and she hosts the First Friday Poetry Open Mic at Dagny’s Coffee every month.

Thank you to Jessica Martinez, Portia Choi, and the Women’s History and More Committee for organizing this event, as well as all of the artists and open mic performers for sharing their work with the campus community.

Poet Anke Hodenpijl recites a poem she wrote about Indonesia and growing up as an Indo-Dutch woman in America.
Poet Anke Hodenpijl recites a poem she wrote about Indonesia and growing up as an Indo-Dutch woman in America.

BC’s Welding visits the future site of the McFarland Early College Welding Program! 

the BC team visits Mcfarland welding shop
BC team visits the future home of BC Welding in McFarland!

Last wednesday, Klint Rigby (Industrial Technoligies Department Chair) and Jeremy Staat (Welding Department Dual Enrollment Laison) met with McFarland dual enrollment instructor, and BC graduate, Miguel Martinez to tour the welding facilities at McFarland High School and discuss the future of the program. Early College students in McFarland will have the opportunity to complete 14 units towards a variety of Welding certificates and degrees. Collaborations like this are building the bridge for our students from high school to college, beginning in the 9th grade. The Welding pathway is one of six CTE pathways being offered through the Early College program starting at McFarland High School this Fall. You can learn more about these pathways at the BC website. #pathway2college

McFarland Welding Shop M
McFarland Welding Shop

Spotlight on Industrial Automation

Robot in BC's Robotics Lab
Robot in BC’s Robotics Lab

Reporter Noelle Lilley from ABC 23 spotlighted the Industrial Automation program at Bakersfield College earlier this month, featuring Renegade and Industrial Automation senior, Chad Hildalgo. The article and video clip features how this BC program is preparing students for job opportunities, which Chad described as, “the present meeting the future.”  Love that! Check out the video clip and article at turnto23.com.

Staying Safe through Education and Awareness

Erin Aucherbach Portrait
Erin Auerbach, Faculty lead for the Renegade RIP

BC’s student newspaper, the Renegade RIP, has a history of quality writing and journalism on campus and in the community for over 85 years. Led by journalism faculty Erin Auerbach, the Renegade RIP recently published an article titled “Public Safety at Bakersfield College Conducts an active shooter training.” The article, by Haley Duval, offers insight into the seminars and workshops regularly held by Chief Chris Counts and BC’s Public Safety officers.

Public Safety Group Photo
Public Safety Group Photo

Keeping students, faculty, staff, and the community safe is an ongoing effort. These informational sessions are key to familiarizing ourselves with the best practices, drills, exercises, and preparation. If you have not yet had the opportunity to attend, I hope you will find time to mark one on your calendar. Check out the article at therip.com.

Women’s Month Feature: Who Is The Mystery Woman?

Grace Van Dyke Bird Silouette

Many of you follow Bakersfield College on Instagram and you may have caught the #TBT post this past Thursday. So, who is she?

“I think of the 20s as a period of great energy, exciting drive, and bursting imaginations. The faculty and the students had the buoyancy of youth.” —???

Our mystery woman embodied that same “buoyancy” she spoke of all those years ago. Let’s take a moment to honor a Renegade that is very special to BC. You’ll know why she’s so extraordinary in these excerpts from The Bakersfield College Century (a book published for our centennial celebrations).

It was with reservations that Grace Van Dyke Bird came to Bakersfield in 1917 after graduating from the University of California at Berkeley (a Phi Beta Kappa with a degree in architecture and French)…Bakersfield’s reputation as a ‘gun-slinging,’ western town had preceded it…

In 1920, Kern County Junior College introduced the state’s first woman dean of a junior college. Grace Van Dyke Bird was the ‘right person for the job,’ agreed Mr. Vander-Eike and Principal Ludden when Mr. Vander-Eike decided to take a leave of absence to concentrate on the nursery he owned just south of Bakersfield. So at the age of 25 and in an era when most women did not explore careers outside the home. Miss Bird became acting dean of the junior college and part-time vice principal of the high school.

“I thought very little about being made an administrator of a small college where I already knew personally each student who was in the college and all the faculty,” Miss Bird reflected years later.

A few months later Miss Bird was appointed permanent dean…Grace Bird was an extraordinary woman who would lead the budding junior college through its infancy and growth to develop Kern County Junior College into a fine academic institution.

“I was transformed overnight from a cardboard dean into the real thing. There was no actual metamorphosis since I kept on doing what I had already been doing: trying to keep the college on an even keel…I had become a dean by accretion and not by a ‘big bang,’ as an astronomer might say.’”

Miss Bird went on to be appointed Principal of the Kern County Union High School after a car accident killed Principal Ludden in 1922. Grace Van Dyke Bird would spend the next 30 years keeping education standards high at BC. She’d oversee the college through the 20’s, the Depression, and war. In 1949 she again changed the course of BC’s history.

In a rare breach of protocol, Miss Bird began a quiet campaign for a home [for BC] on higher ground. She called her good friend Carl Melcher, president of the Kern County Land Company, for an “off the record chat” to discuss the possibility of a parcel of land on the China Grade bluffs. When Miss Bird received a phone call in the Spring of 1950 from Mr. McCuen telling her that the Board had purchased the land on the bluffs and that plans for the new free-standing $11 million junior college were moving forward in earnest, she recalled that “my neighbor heard my ‘whoop’ and came to ask about the excitement. I answered, ‘A whole new world of promise has just come to the lower San Joaquin Valley.’”

It’s incredible to think of the gravity of her legacy. Women’s History IS Bakersfield College’s history.

Fun Photo: Kimberly Bligh

Midweek, Kimberly Bligh sent this photo and titled the email “Love Runs Deep.” It is a photo of her and a future little Renegade.

Little future Renegade looks up at Dr. Kimberly Bligh

Fun Photos from Hope Through Mentoring

Hope Through Mentoring Conference in BC Forum
Hope Through Mentoring Conference

Last week on Friday, BC hosted the Hope Through Mentoring event featuring keynote speaker, CNN Hero Award recipient Teresa Goines. Multiple workshops were held with a focus on supporting youth. Special thank you to Kern Behavioral Health and Recovery services for all their work to put on the event and to Mayor Karen Goh for attending.

Mayor Karen Goh
Mayor Karen Goh
Teresa Goines and Lisa Kent
Teresa Goines and Lisa Kent

Fun Photo of Steve Holmes and Trustee Meek

Dean of Instruction, Corny Rodriguez surprised me with a rare and great photo of Steve Holmes standing beside KCCD Trustee, Kay Meek.

Lookin’ sharp Steve. 🙂

Steve Holmes and Trustee Kay Meek

Renegade Report

If you missed watching the Renegade Report live this last Thursday at 11a, check out the segments from this week’s show which went live from the 50-yard line at Memorial Stadium. Guests included former BC football student athletes Stane Greene and Jeremy Staat along with football coach Jeff Chudy and Athletics Communications Manager Brandon Urry.

Segment with Stan Greene

Segment with Jeff Chudy

Segment with Jeremy Staat

Segment with Brandon Urry

Renegades of the Week

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

Kayleen Sanchez and Daniel Nichols
Kayleen Sanchez and Daniel Nichols

Kayleen Sanchez, Women’s Tennis – Won four matches to continue her unbeaten streak this season and on Friday against Canyons, crushed the only other unbeaten conference opponent, 6-1, 6-0.

Daniel Nichols, Men’s Track & Field –  Made a season best and took first in the high jump at the BC Relays with a jump of 1.85m (6’ 0.75”)

Women’s Soccer Players Moving On

Renegade Women’s Soccer student athletes Drew Hallum and Jacki Zavala are moving on to compete at the four-year level after completing successful BC careers. Hallum has signed and already started school at Emerson College this spring and Zavala has signed and will begin school this fall at West Virginia Wesleyan. Congrats and make us proud!

Jackie Zavala and Drew Hallum

Renegades Named to 2019 CCCWBCA All-Academic Team

A total of four Renegades have been named to the 2019 California Community College Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (CCCWBCA) All-Academic Team. The four include: Victoria Trevino – Forward, Ridgview HS, Aubrey Stone – Forward, Ridgeview HS, Bianca Zamora – Guard, Shafter HS, Brianna Mendez – Forward, Arvin HS. We love to see our student athletes receive recognition for their hard work in the classroom as well!

2019 CCWBCA Team Graphic
2019 CCWBCA Team

Athletics Roundup

All these and more at GoGades.com!

Clint Walker, Janet Tarjan, Sonya Christian, Pam Christian


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 “Spring is here bringing new life and beauty

  1. Craig March 24, 2019 at 9:07 am Reply

    Thank you for your dedication to the college and to these weekly blog posts. The section on Grace Bird actually gave me goose bumps!

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