Summer in Quilon

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, July 13, 2019… A great day to be a Renegade.

US takes World Cup

So excited that the US Soccer team won the FIFA Women’s World Cup. They are such athletes and the games are so fun to watch. Rapinoe was the star power of course (on and off the field), but there was so much more. I particularly enjoyed the score in the final by Lavelle.

Sights and sounds of Quilon

I spent a few days last week in Quilon, Kerala due to family circumstances. I was back in my childhood surroundings …. So, I thought I would bring you a glimpse of the place where I grew up.

Ashtamudi Kayal

Monsoons in Kerala

Places in Quilon (Kollam)


I was out of town during the Independence Day weekend earthquakes, but the minute the first major one happened, the BC emergency response team was connected virtually and started managing the situation.

For those of you outside of California who follow my blog here is a snippet….. On Independence Day, a 6.4 earthquake hit the high desert east of Kern County, causing the most damage in Ridgecrest and the nearby town of Trona. The next day, a 7.1 earthquake in the same area was felt from Bakersfield all the way to Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, causing the foul poles to sway in the bottom of the fourth inning. Friday’s quake was five points larger than the 6.7 earthquake in Northridge in 1994, and two points larger than the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake in San Francisco. It’s also the largest quake to hit the Central Valley since 1952, when a 7.3 quake along the White Wolf Fault destroyed buildings in downtown Bakersfield and parts of Kern County. Thursday’s quake was the largest in California since the Hector Mine quake in the Mojave Desert in 1999. For more information, Wikipedia provides a list of California earthquakes dating back to 1812.

Cerro Coso College, our sister school in the Kern Community College District, had to close on Monday due to damage caused by the earthquakes. Check out the article by Natalie Dorrell in the Ridgecrest Daily Independent. Computers, books, and file cabinets were knocked over throughout the campus, and several buildings experienced ceiling and drywall damage. Luckily, the campus was closed on Thursday and Friday for the Fourth of July weekend, and no injuries have been reported. The campus will remain closed until structural safety of the buildings has been confirmed, according to the article. Cerro Coso’s emergency team led by President Jill Board and Vice President of Administrative Services, Lisa Couch, did a remarkable job handling this situation.

A trip down memory lane — Guided Pathways at BC

BC is everywhere!  A few weeks ago, Lesley Bonds visited with third year students in CSUB’s educational leadership doctoral program to discuss guided pathways.  Dr. Manny Mourzanos teaches the class on Saturdays and two BC faculty are students – Jamal Wright (History) and Savanna Andrasian (English).  In preparing for the discussion, Lesley went back in time to revisit our early steps in implementing the guided pathways framework and traced the work to present day.  Here is a fun photo history of some of the work since fall 2015:

Lesley Bonds witht CSUB doctoral students July 2019
AACC Institute #1 Feb 2015. Kimberly Bligh, Sonya Christian, Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Lesley Bonds, Zav Dadabhoy
Student Panel Fall 2015 on Redesigning America’s Community Colleges
Sonya Christian, Connie Conway
Guided Pathways Opening Day. Jennifer JOhnson, Michelle Pena, Reggie Bolton
Guided Pathways Opening Day. David Moton, Mark Staller, Nicky Damania, Paula Parks
Student Leaders
Sonya Christian, Kay McClenney, Davis Jenkins

New Student Orientation

The BC Outreach department welcomed incoming Renegades at the New Student Orientation last Tuesday.

Presenters Jo Ann Acosta (left), Daron Mackey (middle), and Josie Guillen (right), Outreach Educational Advisors from the Outreach and School Relations department

This important orientation provides prospective incoming students with important information about student resources and services such as financial aid, educational advising, student employment and career services, and Disabled Student Programs & Services to assist them in their journey at Bakersfield College. Presenters also provide information about our educational opportunities, Career & Learning Pathways, certificates and degrees.

Guest speaker, Alysha Douglas, Outreach Advocate and Homeless Court Coordinator from the Greater Bakersfield Legal Assistance, Inc, GBLA

Our guest speaker, Alysha Douglas, Outreach Advocate and Homeless Court Coordinator from the Greater Bakersfield Legal Assistance, Inc, GBLA, provided information regarding community resources available to the homeless. 

Daron Mackey, Outreach Educational Advisors from the Outreach and School Relations department

Thank you Ashlea Ward, Josie Guillen, Daron Mackey, Jo Ann Acosta, Alysha Douglas and to all the faculty and staff for their dedication and commitment in providing future students with the information and resources at Bakersfield College and in the Bakersfield community.

Jo Ann Acosta, Outreach Educational Advisor from the Outreach and School Relations department

Rudy Salas Press Event Next Week

In a report released by 24/7 Wall St., LLC, a financial news and opinion company that writes about economic trends, the Bakersfield metro area was named #5—the fifth worst region hit by extreme poverty among the nation’s 100 largest metro areas by population. Researchers reviewed neighborhoods with poverty rates of at least 40%. In 2011 to 2017, the Bakersfield metro area’s concentrated poverty rate worsened, climbing from 26.4% to 27.1%. Those percentages reflect that more than 191,000 Bakersfield metro residents with income below the poverty line. Educational access plays a key role in changing the future of these residents, according to researchers.

“In most of these cities, residents of concentrated poverty neighborhoods are less than half as likely to be homeowners or have a college education and more than twice as likely to be unemployed as residents of neighborhoods with poverty rates below 40%.”

27/7 Wall St., LLC Report

Last week, I wrote about the $1 million in funds made available last year to Bakersfield College by Assemblymember Rudy Salas, funding that enabled BC to launch a variety of programs that directly improved the lives of rural residents in North Kern, providing them with education and support they need to improve their earning power. I also shared with you an article in the Bakersfield Californian regarding a new $1 million allocation that Assemblymember Rudy Salas secured from the 2019-2020 state budget for BC Workforce Development programs. 

This coming Monday, July 15 at 10:00 a.m., we will be thanking Assembly member Salas publicly for his support. I hope that you will be able to join me for this press event at Library on the Panorama Campus.

Horses At BC

Student hold horse that faces camera.

Every day I drive to work, I enter our beautiful Panorama Campus entrance that leads past the Agriculture Lab. Do you ever wonder what goes on there? You may know about the big sale at the beginning of the year of oranges grown at the Ag Lab, but there is much more. The Ag Lab also houses animals for our animal science courses. This summer I was pleased to see two honorary Renegades of the equine persuasion out in the pasture. 

Sass, a 15 year-old Quarter Horse, and Gus, a 5 year-old Paint, belong to Andrea Prise, BC adjunct faculty and alumna, and are staying at the Ag Lab for the summer as part of her Horse Production course. Horse Production (ANSC B10), a 3-unit course, requires 54 hours of lab work in addition to the 108 hours of lecture. Students learn about the equine industry, breed selection and development, nutrition, disease, preventative health, reproductive management, stabling alternatives and horsemanship. In the Ag Lab, they learn to handle, groom and care for the horses.

Horse looks at camera.

Most of the approximately 25 students enrolled in this class are working to accomplish their AS-T in Animal Science. They are on the pathway to work in the livestock care and maintenance industries. Industries such as the beef industry which generates $1.35 billion in revenue to California and the dairy industry which generates $21 billion in revenue. Horses are a valuable resource for many of these industries, as well as for racing and recreational uses. There are approximately 700,000 horses in California, generating tens of billions of dollars. BC provides a qualified, trained workforce for this essential part of the Ag industry. Locally, our Animal Science students have been hired by Mebane Ranches, Famoso Livestock, and Rancho Rio Stables, just to name a few.

Students walk 2 horses.

Did you know that Kern County is the NUMBER ONE agriculture county in the United States? Our students are the future of California agriculture. The hands-on instructional experience we provide helps students understand the complexity and requirements of livestock production. Almost all of the animals in the Ag Lab for the animal science courses are personal property of our devoted faculty, like Dr. Jim Selgrath who has provided horses and cattle from his working cattle ranch, and Professor Billy Barnes who provides the swine. We have also borrowed livestock from local ranches, such as Mebane Ranch. Some instruction is off-campus, such as Dr. James Mcenroe teaching Dairy Production and Sheep Production classes, where animals used for instruction are provided in collaboration with various community members.

Student pets horse.

While here, the horses are cared for by Andrea. During the fall and spring semesters when the pigs and cattle are here for the Swine Production and Beef Production courses, the animals are primarily cared for by the students. Tracy Lovelace is also a great help to the Ag department in feeding the animals. When the summer is over, Sass will return to his work as a roping horse at the feedlot and Gus will return to training.

Students put halters on horses.

I look forward to seeing the baby pigs in the fall that will be brought in for Swine Production. I would like to thank Andrea Prise, Dr. Jim Selgrath, Professor Bill Barnes, Dr. James Mcenroe, and all of the faculty that dedicate their time, knowledge and animals for BC students in their journey to successful careers that are such a large part of the Kern County economy.

6 students and Andrea stand with the two horses.

Ag Dual Enrollment Forum

Corny Rodriguez also sent these fun photos from the Ag Dual Enrollment Forum. The faculty who filled the room are passionate, talented, and  highly invested in helping Kern County’s students reach their goals. It was great to see Ag Chair Chris McCraw and Dual Enrollment Program Manager, Kylie Swanson in action presenting to these great faculty.

Parents looking at the Starting Dual Enrollment slide.
Chris and Kylie.
Parents in the audience.
More parents in the audience.

Star Party with Nick Strobel

Join Nick Strobel at The Park at River Walk tonight at sunset for the Kern Astronomical Society’s free public star party. Get directions and maps on the KAS website. In Nick’s invition in the Bakersfield Californian he explained they will be viewing the moon, Jupiter and Saturn “with globular clusters, planetary nebulae and other bright deep-sky objects included to round out the night”. Nick also wrote about the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. Read the entire article here: 

Nick Strobel: Join us for a free star party before the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.

Nick Strobel and Sonya Christian on train
Nick Strobel and Sonya Christian on Amtrak

BC SouthWest Construction Update

Gregg Byrd, Project Superintendent of SC Anderson Inc. sends us updates on construction for the new location for our BC Southwest center. This week they installed a water line to tie into an existing water line bringing both domestic and fire water to the site.

Large machine in the side of a hole next to the road.
Boring under Camino Media
Large crane lowering pipe into a very large hole.
Hoisting the Waterline
Waterline going into the casing
Pouring the curb and gutter

Gregg said, “The last picture is what happens when PG&E mismarks where their main power line is and we hit it. It took out power from Ming Av. To Stockdale Highway. Good thing is no one got hurt.”

Square hole with broken electric line.

Fun Photos: Mech Ag Renegade

Dean of Instruction, Corny Rodriguez shared this photo and some amazing news with me. Ignacio P was immediately hired when his internship finished. Renegades are making Kern County stronger with each degree, each certificate, each internship, and each skilled job.

Student and faculty working on machine part.

Athletics Update

Congrats to Tyson Hays and Gabby Lugo

A huge congrats to Renegade student athletes, Tyson Hays from men’s golf and Gabby Lugo from cross country/track & field for signing to continue their academic and athletic careers at the four-year level. Tyson will be headed to Hope International University and Gabby to Fresno State. Good luck to both of these Renegades and continued success!

Gabby Lugo Fresno State.
Tyson Hays Hope International University.

Memorial Stadium Turf Goes In

This week at Memorial Stadium the brand new field turf began to be laid. Our posts on social media about the event went viral with everyone excited to see the finished product! Make plans to join us this fall for football games. The first home game is Saturday, September 7th at 6pm vs. Mt. SAC. Season ticket information will be released soon so stay tuned. 

Stadium with clear stripes.

That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

the luckiest and happiest college president ever

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