Recognition & Gratitude — One Proud Renegade Prez

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

Celebrating BC Two Days in a Row

Bakersfield College had a phenomenal week of celebrating the diligent, committed, and focused work of BC faculty, staff, and students. The talent at BC is truly exceptional and the work ethic one of a kind. We are BC!

On Monday morning we started with a crowd of approximately 200 packing the Wylie and May Louise Jones Gallery on the Panorama Campus for a press event where Assembly Member Rudy Salas presented Bakersfield College with a check for $1 million from the state legislature for the second consecutive year. The 2018 funding kicked off the HVAC program at the Delano Campus, in addition to supporting rural educational efforts. This year’s funding will allow us to expand our baccalaureate program in Industrial Automation in Delano and our Early College programs in Wasco and McFarland. It will also allow for the creation and expansion of health career pathways in North Kern.

A group surrounds Assembly Member Rudy Salas presenting a $1 million check
A group surrounds Assembly Member Rudy Salas presenting a $1 million check. Sitting from L to R: Tom Burke, Romeo Agbalog, Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Rudy Salas, Sonya Christian, Justin Derrick, Rob Cobb, Abel Guzman

Community Support means so much to the students, staff, and faculty of Bakersfield College. It is the support of our community which fuels our work and enables BC to do what it does. Thank you to our local educational, political, and community dignitaries who came in strength to support this work including Mayor Karen Goh, Senator Jean Fuller, Sam Moretti, Ricardo Delgetta, Laura Melendez, Pawan Gill, Michael Turnipseed, Joseph Lopez, Lily Agbalog, Alissa Reed, Melinda Hicks, Kevin Tallon, Robert Price, and from KCCD, Chancellor Tom Burke, Bonita Steele, and Trustees Romeo Agbalog and Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg.

Here is a short video that the Salas team put together. Enjoy!

2019 Dr. John W. Rice Awards Student Success award Completion Coaching Communities BC.

Then on Tuesday, a team from Bakersfield College was invited to Sacramento to attend the Dr. John W. Rice Diversity and Equity Award Ceremony held at the Crocker Art Museum. The college is unbelievably honored to accept the award this year for our collective work supporting student success through Coaching Communities following the Guided Pathways model. The Dr. John W. Rice Diversity and Equity Award was established in 2001 to honor a community college staff member, district, college, or program that has made the greatest contribution towards faculty and staff diversity or student equity.

Since beginning the implementation of Guided Pathways in 2014, BC has seen growth and improvement across virtually every metric at the college.  To get more students to complete and/or transfer – on time and without excess units – BC has intentionally designed an innovative, formal structure through which cross-functional teams of faculty and staff are responsible for advancing student success along defined momentum points. These teams, called Completion Coaching Communities, include BC faculty, staff and administrators responsible for ensuring each student is actively helped to pursue the most direct path to his or her educational goal while facilitating a swift and at-scale response to remove barriers.

Group of BC and KCCD representative around the award.
BC’s Outreach Director Steve Watkin, Director of Student Life Nicky Damania, BC’s Student Government President Samantha Pulido, BC President Sonya Christian, California Community Colleges Chancellor Eloy Oakley, Kern Community College District Trustee Romeo Agbalog, California Community Colleges Board President Tom Epstein, English Professor and Umoja Lead Paula Parks 

I am so proud of BC’s faculty and staff for their commitment to Renegades, especially progress in advancing student outcomes such as:

  • Closing the transfer-level English completion gap for African American Students: from 14% to 44%.  African American now students exceed overall rate of 39% for this metric.
  • Closing the Hispanic/Latinx gap in Associate Degree for Transfer attainment: from 61.6% to 67.4% of all ADT earners in two years
  • Improving completion rates for Hispanic/Latinx students from 26.8% to 38.6%
  • Improving completion rates for African American students from 32% to 39.8%

Special thank you to the team who nominated Bakersfield College for this very prestigious award and to the team who selected BC as this year’s recipient. BC’s attendees included: Steve Watkin, Nicky Damania, Grace Commiso, Kylie Swanson, Ashlea Ward, Paula Parks, Dezi Von Manos, Samatha Pulido, April Whitfield, Jordan Thomas, Trustee Romeo Agbalog and Chancellor Tom Burke.

Photos are available on BC’s Smugmug: Rice Award – Student Success Gallery  

Special thanks to the following media outlets for covering these events:

Bakersfield College Earns Student Success Award article clipping.
Bakersfield Californian article "Salas awards college with a $1 million check."
Rudy Salas Event covered by Ema Sasic July 16 2019
Page 2 of the Rudy Salas article.

THANK YOU RUDY SALAS!!  AGAIN!!!

Rudy Salas, Sonya Christian

Assemblyman Salas is a champion for Bakersfield College’s vision of educational equity in California, and we can’t thank him enough for having faith in our ability to make an immediate positive impact in the lives of Kern County residents with the support of “shovel-ready” projects.

Dignitaries on the dais during Monday’s press conference included KCCD Chancellor Tom Burke, Trustees Romeo Agbalog and Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, BC Rural Initiatives Director Abel Guzman, Delano HVAC graduate Felix Dominguez, Assemblyman Salas, Senator Emeritus Jean Fuller, McFarland High Principal Justin Derrick, and Rob Cobb, Director of Categorical Programs and Special Projects at the Wasco Union High School District.

Agbalog spoke of the importance of vocational education in rural Kern as many traditional labor careers will be gradually replaced by automation. He then introduced a video about rural BC student Moises Marin de Luna, who was unable to attend the event because he couldn’t miss his shift in the grape fields. Moises was inspired by his brother’s educational journey to go back to school as an adult, and after taking one electronics class at BC with professor Michael Larson, he’s decided to pursue the Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Automation.

The stories of students like Moises are why we are working so hard to level the playing field for our students in rural Kern, and the support of leaders like Assemblyman Salas will allow us to transform the kinds of opportunities available in our county.

“This money will be used to help students like Moises reach the first or second rung up the ladder toward prosperity,” Agbalog said.

Salas praised the way that BC’s leadership team was able to break down its institutional needs to a granular level in order to allocate funding in a way that could make the greatest impact. He also spoke of the ways that education opens doors for new opportunities in people’s lives and the lives of future generations.

“It’s about you kicking open that door, but you can hold the door open for everyone behind you,” Salas said.

Guzman thanked Assemblyman Salas and the state legislature, as well as our industry partners, for supporting BC’s workforce development programs. He also detailed how our career and technical education programs create marketable career pathways that lead to jobs.

Cobb shared his excitement in partnering with BC to expand Early College offerings in Wasco and Delano, and Derrick talked about McFarland High’s preparations for the first Level 3 Early College program in the nation.

“At McFarland High, we know a champion when we see one,” Derrick said. “Thank you, Assemblyman Salas, for being our champion.”

Rudy Salas, Sonya Christian and BC Students
Rudy Salas, Sonya Christian and BC Students

See the photos from the event:

Individual Videos from Monday’s Event on BC’s Youtube:

More on the John W. Rice Award event in Sacramento

BC Students Jordan Thomas and April Whitfield

Jordan Thomas wrote this brief essay inserted below:

“On July 16th of 2019, myself along with other Bakersfield College staff and students attended the 19th annual Dr. John W. Rice award ceremony where Bakersfield College was awarded the Dr. John W. Rice award on behalf of student success. Dr. John W. Rice was a longtime educator, minister, coach and mentor in Tuscaloosa, Alabama Birmingham and Denver. Rice also served on a number of educational advisory boards, and was well known for his belief that education was powerful; as well as every individual deserves equal opportunity to an education regardless of race or background. Present at the award ceremony was special guest Condoleezza Rice, Dr. Rice’s well known daughter. Ms. Rice is an American political scientist, and is well known for serving as the 66th United States Secretary of State, under the George W. Bush administration. She was the second African-American Secretary of State, as well as the first female African-American in history to hold the position. As the award ceremony began a presentation of the 2019 Dr. John W. Rice award was presented breaking down the life, legacy, and obstacles that Dr. Rice encountered throughout his journey. After the presentation, special guest Condoleezza Rice would go on to give a heartwarming speech about diversity in correspondence to the power of education and how regardless of where a person has come from, their race, their religion, or their beliefs; education is a powerful tool that can bring individuals from all races and ethnicities to a common understanding. While listening to Condoleezza Rice’s speech, I couldn’t agree more. Rice stated that anyone can come from humble circumstances and still do great things. This statement resonated with me and I came to the realization that education is the most powerful tool in which it breaks a tremendous amount of barriers, as well as a magnificent tool that can be used to change the world. This speech gave me the motivation to continue my education because now I see how important of a tool it is to thrive in today’s society, regardless of my background.”             

BC Team with Condoleezza Rice

Thank you Nicky Damania for clicking so many photos.

Three Presidents: Dezi Von Manos, Sonya Christian, Samantha Pulido
Romeo Agbalog, Steve Watkin, Paula Parks, Ashlea Ward, April Whitfield, Grace Commiso, Dezi Von Manos, Tommy Tunson, JJOrdan Thomas, Samantha Pulido, Nicky Damania, Kylie Swanson, Sonya Christian
Teresa Aldridge (Umoja Board of Directors), Pamela Haynes (Board of Governors), Sonya Christian, Paula Parks

Bakersfield State of the City Luncheon

On Thursday afternoon, BC representatives joined community leaders at the Marriott for the 2019 Bakersfield State of the City luncheon. Joining me from BC was Dean of Instruction, Jessica Wojtysiak and Director of Community Relations, Norma Rojas-Mora, Trustee Romeo Agbalog, Chancellor Tom Burke, Senator Jean Fuller, Congressman Bill ThomasBob Price, Jay Rosenlieb, and Lily Agbalog.

Sonya Christian with Mayor Karen Goh
Trustee Romeo Agbalog, Bill Thomas, Jay Rosenlieve, Sonya Christian
Bill Thomas, Jessica Wojtysiak

It was an enjoyable event to see the news and what’s in store for Bakersfield, hosted by Mayor Karen Goh. I was especially thrilled to see Bakersfield College included in the program, highlighting our growing enrollment, growing student success, and statewide leadership recognitions.

Norma Rojas-Mora, Karen Goh & Lily Agbalog

Thank you also to Dignity Health who included Bakersfield College in their most recent promotional video. What an exciting time to be in Bakersfield and what an exciting time to be a Renegade.  As Mayor Goh says, “We are Bakersfield!”

Robert Price, Jay Rosenlieb, & Tom Burke
Chancellor Tom Burke & Senator Jean Fuller

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

Brian Sivesind and the BC Performing Arts Department are bringing the musical “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” to life in the Indoor Theater this summer.

Actors sing with a colorful background.

If you’re reading this on Saturday, July 20, you still have a chance to catch two performances of this incredible story adapted by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber in 1968. The matinee performance is at 2 p.m. on Saturday, and the final evening performance is at 7:30 p.m.

Actors perform song with hands in air.
Actors hold hands together over their heads as they dance.

“Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” recounts the Biblical story of Joseph and his 11 brothers using music and lyrics. Joseph, played by BC student Jake Wattenbarger, is his father Jacob’s favorite son, and his brothers are jealous of him and his coat of many colors, as well as his prophetic dreams. The brothers attempt to murder Joseph but sell him into slavery instead, telling their father that Joseph was killed.

The Elvis Pharaoh on steps with singers.
Actors sing and dance around a quilt.

Joseph takes advantage of his gift for prophecy to break the chains of slavery and become a trusted advisor to the Pharaoh. By the end of the story, Joseph’s brothers are unknowingly begging him for food in the middle of a drought, and Joseph is reunited with his family (and his coat) once again.

Pharaoh sings on steps with other actors.

Thank you to all of the students for putting together such a beautiful performance, as well as Brian Sivesind for bringing this amazing production to our community. Thank you Jen Garrett and choir and Robby Martinez and the orchestra. What talent! What excellence! What hard work! After all, We are BC!

Very happy to have several community members come out to the musical. here are some photos I snapped.

Mikie Hay, Jean Fuller, Mary Madland
Dan Hay, Mikie Hay, Russell Fuller, Mary Madland, Romeo Agbalog, Sonya Christian
Romeo Agbalog, David Bynum, Meagan Bynum, Sonya Christian, Robert Price
2 adults and 2 children sitting in audience.
David Bynum, Meagan Bynum and family
Romeo Agbalog, Lilly Agbalog

Visit the Performing Arts Department for more photos.

Dress Rehearsal Photos by Michelle Guerrero.

Sounds of Summer: Drum and Bugle Corps

The sounds of marching band music reverberated throughout the Panorama Campus on Tuesday, with students from BC’s Golden Empire Drum and Bugle Corps practicing wherever they could fit in. There were drumlines and a horn section practicing on the lawn between the Administration building and the bus station, and students were setting up and performing with marimbas, gongs and a drum set in the square that sits between the CSS, Fine Arts and Engineering buildings. 

Snare drummers drumming.

Musicians come from all over California and even out-of-state to join the Golden Empire Drum and Bugle Corps, which BC offers as a Performing Arts class called MUSC B28. The group is made up of concurrently enrolled high school students, BC students, and students who attend other universities, BC Marching Arts instructor Tim Heasley said.

Students setting up drum sets in the shade of a tree.

During the summer, the group traditionally practices on BC’s soccer practice field across from the agricultural laboratory during the summer, but due to Measure J Construction projects, it has had to conduct the majority of its practices at North High School. When the offsite location at North High was unavailable on Tuesday, the group decided to make the Panorama Campus its temporary practice space.

Bugle player plays while another student claps and others look on.

The Golden Empire Drum and Bugle Corps is currently in the final stages of fundraising for money to return to the Drum Corps International World Championships in Indianapolis. While the BC “Indoor” drumline took the world championship last year, the full drum and bugle ensemble made the finals in its first year competing in the competition.

Tuba players practicing in the shade.

“We have an amazing team of instructional staff and very dedicated volunteers that help set the students up for success, and we’re thankful to have a campus community that supports the hard work that everyone puts in to this competitive sport of the arts,” Heasley said.

Chris Glaser caught the drummers on video.

Published in Royal Society of Chemistry

Deborah Rosenthal with Renegade Knight
Deborah Rosenthal with Renegade Knight

Bakersfield College Chemistry Professor, Deborah Rosenthal, was published in the Royal Society of Chemistry earlier this year. She collaborated with Martin Cole and Michael Sanger, from Holyoke Community College and Middle Tennessee State University respectively to write the paper. You can read her paper at Two studies comparing students’ explanations of an oxidation-reduction reaction after viewing a single computer animation: the effect of varying the complexity of visual images and depicting water molecules.

Curriculum Institute

The BC team attended and participated at the Curriculum Institute in Burlingame, Ca. Jennifer Johnson, as a member of the California Community College Curriculum Committee (5C), contributed to 4 breakout sessions on topics including Training your Curriculum Committee, the Brown Act, and  AB705 implementation. Mark Osea, as a statewide general education reviewer, also presented on the topic of articulation and transfer. Billie Jo Rice and Jennifer Johnson presented the Program Pathways Mapper which is embedded in our new online Guided Pathways 2019-2020 Bakersfield College Catalog.

Jennifer Johnson, Billie Jo Rice, Linda Allday, Edie Nelson, and Erica Menchaca.
Mark Osea, Karen Daar Los Angeles Valley College, ASCCC Curriculum Committee, Aimee Tran, Saddleback College, ASCCC Curriculum Committee

Thank you Jennifer Johnson, Billie Jo Rice, Linda Allday, Edie Nelson, Erica Menchaca, Craig Hayward, Mark Osea and Brent Wilson for participating in the Curriculum Institute and working so hard on the curriculum at BC.

Veterans’ Summer Bridge

On Wednesday, faculty and staff led a group of military veterans who are incoming BC students through a tour of the main campus as part of the Bridge to BC. This intensive, one-day course is designed to familiarize students with the BC campus and prepare them for the college experience. Military veterans have a different transition experience than that of a recent high school graduate. As such, we give them a separate Bridge to BC tailored to their needs. It was a pleasure to see Trustee Kay Meek join the staff and faculty in welcoming our veterans.

In front of students and staff at workshop classroom.
Trustee Kay Meek at the Veteran’s Summer Bridge
Fun Videos: Summer Bridge

John Harte sent this video he recorded at Summer Bridge. We Are BC!

Saw these photos on Facebook. Summer Bridge goes to Delano.

Fun Photos

Executive Offices with M&O

Wednesday morning the Executive Office inhabitants were welcomed with sticky note from a member of one of our best teams on campus –  Maintenance and Operations. Caroline (Caro) Walth, our Custodial Services Supervisor left a welcome note on each desk for Jo Ellen Barnes, June Charles, Tarina Perry, Catherine Rangel & Jennifer Serratt. What a great way to start the day!

Iphone message "and when I got to work this morning, I was greeted with this note from one of our lead custodians- Caroline Walth. It already made my day!
Catherine Rangel, Caroline Walth and Jo Ellen Barnes

New Careers Education Site

Dean of Instruction, Cornelio Rodriguez shared some fun photos of the BC Career Education teams recent visit to the new KHSD Career Education site. The visit was hosted by KHSD Trustee Jeff Flores who represents Area 2 on the Kern High School District Board. Also in attendance was Scott Cole, Assistant Superintendent of KHSD and BC’s Director of Career Education Tony Cordova. It’s an exciting time to be a part of education in Kern County as these incredible resources come to life, inspiring our young people to explore and follow their dreams.

Summer STEM Architecture camp

Monday was a day of learning for mini ‘Gades who attended the Summer STEM Camp focused on Architecture. Presented by Chevron, this class taught students how to design and build their very own tiny home and inspired Kern County’s future architects to pursue a college degree to make their dreams a reality. Check out the fun photos captured by Earl Parsons from BC’s Marketing and Public Relations team.

Students at desks looking at computer screens with architecture plans.

Dean Mourtzanos

Manny presented our Early College model as an example of aBest Practice at the Enrollment Management Academy in Claremont

Dean Mourtzanos speaks in front of audience.

Registration Workshop

BC held two registration workshops on Tuesday and Wednesday to get students ready for taking classes in the fall.

Staff member listening to student.

Counselors and academic advisors worked one-on-one with students to sort out all of their registration questions and issues and get them enrolled in classes before the Fall 2019 semester kicks off on August 24. There will be one more registration workshop this month on Monday, July 29 at 8 a.m. in CSS 151. To participate, call the Counseling Center at (661) 395-4421 and ask to sign up for a registration workshop.

Staff member explaining things to students.

Student Employment Lab

The Office of Student Employment is hiring and is busy in the Student Employment Lab. Know of a student interested in gaining valuable work experience and building their resume? Send them over to the FACE 11 building or call (661) 395-4982.

Students must be enrolled in at least 6 units for Fall/Spring semester and 2 units during Summer. (Some positions may require Federal Work-Study)

On-campus and off-campus job opportunities are posted at: bakersfield.jobspeaker.com. To learn more about on-campus employment, check out:Bakersfield College Student Employment.

Athletics Updates

Congrats to Kobe Garner from Men’s Basketball

Renegade Athletics now has a total of 39 student athletes who have signed to continue their academic and athletic trajectory at the next level with this weeks announcement that Kobe Garner from Men’s Basketball has signed to play at Eastern University in St. David’s, PA. Kobe had a two-year run as a Renegade and we are pleased that he represented BC so well in his time here. Congrats and good luck, Kobe!

Kobe Garner Eastern University.
Sonya holding the Student Success award.


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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2 thoughts on “Recognition & Gratitude — One Proud Renegade Prez

  1. […] In my blog from last week, I shared the annual State of the City luncheon highlights. Here is Norma Rojas-Mora representing BC in a video put together by Dignity Health. […]

  2. Claire Bernadette July 28, 2019 at 2:11 am Reply

    Great work you’ve always been a go getter it doesn’t surprise me. Wishing still greater accolades your way. May Bakersfield scale higher peaks with u at the helm. Kudos team Bakersfield. Claire

    On Sat 20 Jul, 2019, 23:07 Sonya Christian’s Blog, wrote:

    > SonyaChristian posted: ” Good morning, Bakersfield. It is Saturday, July > 20, 2019… A great day to be a Renegade. Celebrating BC Two Days in a Row > Bakersfield College had a phenomenal week of celebrating the diligent, > committed, and focused work of BC faculty, staff, and ” >

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