Taking sunrise and sunset photos while I walk Neo is one of mine…..As we move into the fall season with the sunrise getting later and later (today’s sunrise was at 6:49 a.m.) my photos are a lot darker. This morning’s walk was breathtaking with the ocean-like breeze softly washing over my face and hair. I am so grateful for all the blessings in my life. I am so grateful for all my friends and colleagues at Bakersfield College. I am so grateful for all of Bakersfield, a community that cares abundantly and gives abundantly.
Life Is Not Measured By the Number of Breaths We Take, But By the Moments That Take Our Breath Away
Here are a few more sunrises and sunsets for you Bakersfield …. all of them taken last week while walking Neo.
Unveiling the New Launchpad Program
The Launchpad is Bakersfield College’s new entrepreneurship center developed to provide a system of connected resources and support for local entrepreneurs to help increase the number of new businesses in our community and to assist small businesses to grow.
Speakers at the ribbon cutting included Morgan Clayton, JP Lake, David Teasdale, and our student innovator Timothy Salvador. It was great to see support from Trustee Romeo Agbalog and local leaders like Jay Tamsi, Mike Lukens, Nora Dominguez, Kelly Bearden, and Keith Brice. After the ribbon cutting, professor Rudy Menjivar gave a special demonstration of the StartItUP program.
The Launchpad is centrally located in downtown Bakersfield, close to many small businesses downtown.
The idea for the Launchpad sprung from working with the passionate people partnering to create the Kern Initiative for Talent and Entrepreneurship (KITE). We are thankful to be supported by:
- Bank of America
- Kern Economic Development Corporation
- Kern Initiative for Talent and Entrepreneurship
- Kern Economic Development Corporation
- CSUB Small Business Development Center
- CSUB Small Business and Entrepreneurship Program
- MCSC Kern Women’s Business Center
- Kern County Black Chamber of Commerce
- Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
- Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce
- North of the River Chamber of Commerce
- 59 Days of Code
On Monday, John Cox wrote an article in The Bakersfield Californian explaining the BC LaunchPad project on how the center will provide an important component for Bakersfield’s small businesses and startups. Thank you to NV Catering for the amazing table of goodies and the custom carved BC Watermelon too!
Coverage by other local media outlets includes:
- The Bakersfield Californian: BC’s new Launchpad to give entrepreneurs a place to start, grow their businesses
- 23ABC Bakersfield College celebrates grand opening of the LaunchPad program
- BakersfieldNow Eyewitness News BC opens Launch Pad in downtown Bakersfield
You can also visit the LaunchPad’s online through Bakersfield College’s website!
Over the weekend, the Science faculty had a party at Nick Strobel’s house to celebrate the Autumnal Equinox. Thanks for opening your home to us, Nick!
The autumnal equinox occurs between September 21 and 24 every year, representing the moment when the sun appears to cross the celestial equator southwards toward the constellation Libra, causing the Northern and Southern hemispheres to receive the same amount of light.
Communities celebrate the equinox with harvest festivals, including the Mid-Autumn Festival recognized as an official holiday in China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, as well as the Japanese Buddhist holiday Higan.
Bakersfield College AB 540 Program Team Attends Convening
The newly established AB 540 Program team and 2019-2020 student fellows attended the California Campus Catalyst Fund Grantee Convening from September 13-14 in Long Beach, CA.
Focused on deepening the knowledge, skills and resources needed to expand support and institutionalize services for undocumented students and their families, teams of administrators and students from 32 campuses convened for two days of reflection and planning.
The Bakersfield College team included Imelda Simos-Valdez (Director), Dr. Anna Laven (Program Manager), Rafael Centeno (Educational Advisor), and student fellows, Maria Jaimes and Marivel Servin.
Attendees connected with other CSU and CCC partners and learned promising practices that support academic programming, entrepreneurship, mental health, and legal services.
Thought to be the first of its kind, the work undertaken under the California Catalyst Community emphasizes both the power of data and storytelling. The first day of the convening closed with a particularly powerful student panel of AB 540 youth leaders who shared their strategies for living and thriving. One panelist described the power of living life in the moment even while weighing the risks in leaving the house each day.
The AB 540 Program has grown 25% in just two months, including 1,204 students, over 70% of whom are identified as undocumented. AB 540 is state legislation that allows students who attended and graduated from a California high school to receive non-resident tuition exemption.
It is estimated that nearly 100,000 undocumented students graduate from high school every year, and almost a third of undocumented high school graduates live in California. Check out this article from the Migration Policy Institute for more detailed information this statistic.
Thank you to our AB 540 Program team for representing Bakersfield College at this important event!
BC’s Rural Initiatives team updates Kern County Board of Supervisors on Game Changer grant
In 2015, Bakersfield College received a grant from the County of Kern’s Employers Training Resource Center to facilitate Early College work at Arvin High School. Thanks to the support of Supervisor Leticia Perez and Kern County Taxpayers Association Executive Director Michael Turnipseed, Bakersfield College secured $400,000 to establish Early College pathways for Arvin High School students known as “Game Changer.”
I just went back to my blog post of August 4, 2015…. was so happy to see it. check it out https://tinyurl.com/y2ndr8ry
On Sep 24th, our Rural Initiatives team provide the Board of Supervisors with an update on the Game Changer program. The Game Changer program was a catalyst for the Early College model of packaging Dual Enrollment and Concurrent Enrollment courses to put students on track to complete at least a year of college before high school graduation. With two cohorts in the pipeline at Arvin High, we now have over 100 students on track to complete at least 30 college units by high school graduation, and many more students earning a wide range of college credits.
I would like to thank the Rural Initiatives team, particularly Endee Grijalva, Jesse Oropeza, Maggie Rodriguez, and Tania Burgos who are moving the work of Game Changer along and in doing so moving the needle on degree attainment in South Kern. Thank you Ed Watts, Principal of Arvin High for your support.
California Community College Chancellor’s Office (CCCCO) Visits BC
Bakersfield College hosted a campus visit for representatives from the California Community College Chancellor’s Office (CCCCO), including Board of Governor’s member Hildegarde (Hilde) Aguinaldo, the California Department of Finance, and the Legislative Analyst’s Office to learn about BC’s work. We started the day with a campus tour to see the extensive construction underway, followed by a presentation on BC’s student completion and equity agenda.
Seen in the News: BC’s Trainings
On Friday morning, The Bakersfield Californian’s Ema Sasic reported on BC’s recent Active Shooter Response Training in her piece “BC’s active shooter training teaches community how to be prepared for potential risk.”. BC’s Public Safety offers these informational sessions so that both our campus and community can be familiar with the best practices, drills, exercises, and preparation.
These efforts have the ability to save lives. Special thanks to Ema Sasic for the article.
BC Recognized in PayScale’s College Salary Report
I was so pleased to see the new PayScale College Salary Report come across my inbox! BC is in the top 20% of schools with the highest-paid graduates surveyed. PayScale reported that early career pay for BC graduates averages $46,300 per year, while mid-career pay averages $70,900 per year. Make sure to read the full 2019 College Salary Report at this link!
BC’s Rural Initiatives on Telemundo
Telemundo recently invited Manual Muralles and Jaime López to speak on BC’s Rural Initiatives. The goal of BC’s Rural Initiatives is to bring college closer to home so students that live in rural communities have equal access to BC’s services. Muralles and Lopez also spoke about BC’s Early college program that offers students in high school the opportunity to start taking college courses and potentially complete an associates degree at the same time as they earn their high school diploma.
Special thanks to Manual Muralles, Jaime Lopez, and Telemundo for this special piece. Check it out at Telemundo.
Solving the Equation to a Successful STEM Transfer
The STEM Team (Laurel Mourtzanos and Josh Shackelford) partnered with Transfer Center Director, Mark Osea and took students on a journey into their transfer futures with topics such as academic preparation, determining the best university fit and financing their education. Score another Pathway victory!
Pathway to Success Conference
Dr. McClenic and Counseling Center Support Team (Bernadette Martinez, Peer Mentor Stephen and Peer Mentor Gino) hosted the first of three conferences in Fall 2019 for students on probation and/or dismissal. Topics such as Road to Redemption, Financial Aid & Budgeting, Starfish, and Academic Support Services equipped students with the necessary knowledge and tools to make a successful comeback to Bakersfield College!
Heather Pennella Keeps Bakersfield Beautiful
I love following our very own Heather Pennella (Alumni & Donor Relations Manager) on social media to see all of her community participation! Heather is currently Mayor Karen Goh’s alternate appointee and is serving as the 2019 Chair of Keep Bakersfield Beautiful, a volunteer committee associated with the City of Bakersfield. The mission of Keep Bakersfield Beautiful (KBB) is “to engage individuals to take greater responsibility for improving their community.” The City of Bakersfield Mayor and City Council Members each appoint one board member and one alternate board member to the KBB Committee. Committee members work to organize community cleanup and tree planting events, educate the public on proper solid waste disposal practices, and beautification projects throughout the city.
Heather was the lead on the Truxtun Lake cleanup last Saturday in celebration of California Coastal Cleanup Day. Thank you Mayor Goh for capturing these great photos!
Transfer Day Highlight Reel
Earlier this month, Bakersfield College celebrated Transfer Day with representatives from over 60 colleges and universities. Various CSU, UC, out of state, and private colleges were in attendance to give students the information they need to transfer to the 4-year school of their dreams. Check out the highlight reel created by our Marketing video intern, Thanh.
Fun Photos: Kern East – West Collaborative Leadership Convening
Earlier this week BC hosted the Kern East – West Collaborative Leadership Convening with local community leaders. Attendees discussed what the collaborative’s priorities are, why they’re doing the work that they are, and what are some resources to support naval air weapons china lake. Important work with smart, passionate and dedicated people.
Fun to see our Renegades hanging out outside of work. Nicky Damania, Michelle Pena, Kat Whitehead, Tonya Davis and Debbie Martin joined forces for painting at Blush and Brush last week, and I can say, I didn’t know we had so many artists on staff!
Exec Office Birthday Celebration
Our Executive Office team, budget team, and Academic Services team celebrated birthdays for Billie Jo Rice and Jordaun Bennett. Thank you to Edie Nelson from our Academic Services area for graciously organizing this quarterly gathering!
Found on Social Media
Loved this photo posted by Andrea Thorson on Facebook. Had to grab it for my blog.
Women’s Basketball Serves at the Mission of Kern County
This last week our women’s basketball team had the incredible opportunity to give back to the community by serving in the Mission of Kern County. As a team they walked the local streets and handed out water bottles to those homeless people in need. Thanks for getting our Renegades out in the community Coach Paula Dahl!
Make sure to come to the Early College night at the 9/28 football game
Join us at the Inaugural Early College High School Football Night where you can learn more about the Early College resources and programs available at BC. Enjoy free food, games, and giveaways, and root for your Renegades as they take on Golden West College.
Check in on the lawn across from the North entrance of Memorial Stadium for free game tickets and free food. The first 200 high school students will receive free food, and all high school students will receive a free game ticket.
Students must bring their current High School ID card to get a game ticket and food. Be sure to show your school pride by wearing your High School colors!
Renegade Athletics scores from this past week
Athletic events ‘On the Hill’ this coming week
Be sure to put on your Renegade Red and cheer on our student athletes as they compete this coming week. If you can’t make it in person, check GoGades.com to catch the livestream. Events include:
- Tues. 11/1 at 4pm Men’s Soccer vs. El Camino
- Wed. 11/2 at 6pm Volleyball vs. Citrus
- Fri. 10/4 at 2pm Men’s Soccer vs. Santa Monica
- Fri. 10/4 at 4pm Women’s Soccer vs. Canyons
That’s all for now.
Until next time.
With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.
the luckiest and happiest college president ever