Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, January 25, 2020… A great day to be a Renegade.
The tune that has been in my head this week… Imagine Dragons Believer
Last week was BC’s Homecoming week, and our Renegades played a hard-fought game! Thank you for coming out and showing your Renegade pride. Here are some photos and videos from last week’s game.
The Energy that’s BC!
The 16-sec ending to the Chamber singers doing the National Anthem at the game.
BC SouthWest Has Officially Moved!
The move has happened! We officially moved our classes to the new BC SouthWest campus, which will be held in modulars while construction for the new building is underway. It was a busy and exciting week, but we are ecstatic to begin our journey at our new home in Southwest Bakersfield! Make sure to check out this great video on the new BC SouthWest center!
BCSGA Power Lunch with Rudy Salas
We had the pleasure of hosting Assemblymember Rudy Salas this past week, who spoke with BC students in the Levan Center for another great BCSGA Power Lunch. BCSGA believes that it is important for students and the community to hear from the people that are representing them, so they invite an important government leader in Kern County to participate in the Power Lunch every month.
Assemblymember Salas talked about his childhood in southeast Bakersfield, as well as his career in politics, which started with being a financial analyst for the White House in Washington, DC. Assemblymember Salas would eventually move back to Bakersfield to become the first Latino to sit on our City Council before becoming Kern County’s representative on the California Assembly for the last seven years.
Salas has also been instrumental in funding for career and technical education programs at BC, awarding $1 million to our campus for two consecutive years. Check out my July 20, 2019 blog of the recognition event https://sonyachristianblog.com/2019/07/20/recognition-gratitude-one-proud-renegade-prez/
Salas inspired our students with…. “If you have it in your heart to make a difference, you can do it.”
I would like to give a huge thank you to Assemblymember Rudy Salas. I would also like to thank BCSGA for putting on yet another great event.
Dr. Paula Green: Peacebuilding in Divided Communities
Our BC Student Government Association and the Office of Student Life had the pleasure of hosting the Distinguished Speaker Dr. Paula Green and her presentation Peacebuilding in Divided Communities earlier this week. Dr. Green, founder of The Karuna Center for Peacebuilding, presented her work on the significance of peacebuilding efforts in communities worldwide with the purpose of resolving conflicts and the valuable impact of understanding one another’s different views. Dr. Green discussed the importance of reconciliation through our mutual understanding to communicate on the issues that divide communities and give rise to conflicting views making it necessary to discuss and understand our differing perspectives.
The humanitarian efforts of the Karuna Center for Peacebuilding advocate for the importance of bridging divides in order to develop a sustainable peace in communities worldwide affected by political, civil, religious, and war conflicts. Dr. Green has recognized that we must learn to be deep listeners and to understand the circumstances of others around us in order to accept the differences of others and to reach a point of unity and peace. Thank you to the BC Student Government Association and the Office of Student Life for hosting this presentation, and a very special thank you to Dr. Green for taking the time to visit our campus and share her insight. And thank you Nick Strobel!
BC Hosts Distinguished Speaker Samuel Sternberg
Our second Distinguished Speaker for this week was biochemist Samuel H. Sternberg, who shared in-depth details about the revolutionary gene-editing tool CRISPR in a series of lectures at the Panorama Campus on Thursday.
Dr. Sternberg is an assistant professor in biochemistry at Columbia University and co-author of the book “A Crack in Creation: The New Power to Control Evolution”. His research in this field has been instrumental in the development of new technologies to edit the DNA of practically any living organism, raising thousands of bioethical questions in the process.
CRISPR, which stands for Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats, is a phenomenon that was first observed in the bacteria E. coli as a way to fight off destructive bacterial viruses known as phages. A strand of RNA in the bacteria identifies where the phages are actively attempting to destroy its cellular structure and deploys an enzyme to “cut” the virus out of its DNA.
Thank you Dr. Sternberg for coming to BC, and thanks to everyone on the Office of Student Life team for making this happen. Our next Distinguished Speaker will be veteran Jason Beardsley, who will be giving three presentations in the Levan Center on November 7.
Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) Visits BC
Earlier this week, BC hosted members of the Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) to evaluate our Baccalaureate program. The visit was to assess the progress of the Industrial Automation Baccalaureate Degree Program as one of the 15 pilot programs chosen by the State Chancellor’s Office in collaboration with the Academic Senate against the purposes articulated in the SB 850 legislation.
Legislative Analyst Edgar Cabral, from the State Chancellor’s Office, met with our team (Jason Dixon, Lora Larkin, Thomas Rush, Roy Allard, Aubrey Priest, Amber Hroch, Michelle Pena, Liz Rozell, Jennifer Achan, Cynthia Quintanilla, & Manny Fernandez), our students (Richard Van Horn, Edwin Marroquin, Aaron Thomas, & Armando Gutierrez), and industry partners Blair Pruett (Kern Steel), Jonathan Greersen (California Resources Co.), Carlos Media (BC Job Development Specialist), Sam Gomez (Tasteful Selections), Tim McCord (Carboline), Paisley Stidham and Anthony Gutierrez (GAF) yesterday to discuss our Baccalaureate in Science degree for Industrial Automation. Thank you to our dedicated team of faculty, staff, students, and employers who helped showcase our program and our community it serves.
State and National Visibility for Early College
Our Early College team has been busy spreading the word about the amazing work being done in association with our high school partners. Steve Watkin, Kylie Swanson, and Ashlea Ward have been sharing the scaling up of Early College across the county and the innovative ways that we have been increasing college accessibility in our rural areas.
In September, the team, along with several of our high school partners, went to Riverside, CA to present at the 6th Annual California Dual Enrollment Summit, put on by the California Coalition of Early and Middle Colleges (CCEMC). Then, in October, the team went to Salt Lake City, Utah to share our work at the national level with the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NACEP).
As we build our relationships with other colleges across the state and across the nation, we are coming together to present Early College as a solution to the degree attainment crisis that is plaguing our nation. Early College is our chance to get students on path as early as the 9th grade, and to equip them with the skills and mindset necessary to follow that path all the way through baccalaureate completion, and beyond.
Thank you for doing this crucial work, Early College team!
BC at the Kern County Education to Workforce Summit
Employers’ Training Resource, Kern Community College District and Kern High School District partnered with America’s Job Center to sponsor “Kern County Education to Workforce Summit”. The summit was held on October 24th, 2019 at the DoubleTree Hotel by Hilton.
BC was in full force at this Summit, with businesses, education staff, community leaders, human resource professionals, students, and the general public, providing information on hot topics in business and their impact on today’s economy.
BC Ag Departments Hosts 3rd Annual Agriculture Career Expo
The Ag Expo was huge!
This past week, the Agriculture Department and the Kern County Farm Bureau hosted its 3nd Annual Agriculture Career Expo. Over 300 FFA high school students visited campus to learn about different career opportunities in the agriculture industry. Ariana Joven, Executive Director of the Kern County Farm Bureau spoke to students about the importance of agriculture in Kern County and BC’s drumline arrived to get the students excited about the day – thank you Tim Heasley.
Students from Heather Baltis’ Agriculture Leadership Class along with the Agriculture Ambassadors helped plan and guide students around campus. High school students went to four rotations learning about different careers in the agriculture industry. A special thanks to all the industry professionals that took time to invest in these students.
Along with the different rotations, students went to the Agriculture Career Expo. Domenica Trinidad and the CTE team did an amazing job connecting students with agricultural companies around Kern County.
We would also like to thank our sponsors for making this day possible. This is a valuable experience for the next generation of agriculture employees. It was a great day to be a Renegade. WE ARE BC!
BC Presents before Sons in Retirement Group
The Sons In Retirement (SIR) Branch 163-Golden Empire, reached out and invited Heather Pennella and Tamara Baker to attend their October monthly meeting held at Hodel’s. SIRs began in 1958, and has thousands of members and branches in most areas of Central and Northern California. Tamara provided a Measure J construction update and offered information on the future projects slated to take place. Heather discussed an increased need for Alumni Engagement, and various opportunities available to support the mission of Bakersfield College. There were several Renegade alums in the crowd and all were impressed to hear that BC attendance has grown to 37,000 students. Thanks to SIR for their hospitality, and to David Fabrizius and Ron Harrington (and little Ron, see picture) for the invitation to share information about Bakersfield College with the group.
BC Holds New Student Orientation
Last week the BC Outreach & School Relations department held a Fall 2019 New Student Orientation session welcoming new incoming students to the BC campus. Our Outreach Advisors Angela Williams, Savannah Andrews, and Jo Ann Acosta led the New Student Orientation session guiding students on available academic resources that help students on their educational journey at BC.
2019 Mental Health Symposium
Earlier this week BC partnered with the Kern County Public Health Services Department and Kern County Behavioral Health & Services to host the first annual 2019 Mental Health Symposium. The Symposium was held at our Indoor Theater, recognizing and raising awareness on the concerning mental health issues affecting first responders and others with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), a growing mental health issue.
BC Public Safety EMT Instructor Jana Richardson, and Kern County Public Health EMS Program Manager Jeff Fariss highlighted the importance of gathering together as a Bakersfield community in order to support our first responders and everyday people affected with mental health issues and raising awareness on the symptoms of PTSD. Mental health symptoms of PTSD include stress, fear, anger, negative thoughts, recurring memories, and hyper-arousal which causes strong reactions to sounds and sights around an affected person. It is important that we work together as a community to understand the issues concerning mental health awareness and recognizing PTSD symptoms in order to help identify affected people in need of support. Thank you to the BC Public Safety, Kern Public Health, Kern Behavioral Health, and the Bakersfield community for their dedication and commitment to recognizing and raising mental health awareness in support of our first responders and community.
Bakersfield College Attends Prospanica Leadership Conference
BC Latinx students attended the Prospanica Leadership Conference this week.
Local high school students, including college students from CSUB and Bakersfield College, participated in a series of workshops which included: Dress For Success 101 (Jerry Gamez: Finos Menswear & Tux); Financial Literacy (Lorenzo Tafolla, Jesse Quintanilla, Manuel Muralles); Finding Your Purpose (Jason Hanash– Senior Pastor Discovery Church); and were inspired by the words of affirmation and wisdom imparted by the Conference Emcee (Robert Gonzales – Realtor)
Thank you Manuel Muralles (Program Manager- Rural Initiatives) who diligently served in the planning committee to develop an excellent conference and for extending the invitation to Latinx males from Bakersfield College. Also, thank you to Rene Deniz (EOPS Adjunct Counselor) for incorporating Lamont youth into the conference and for serving as a positive role model in the community.
STEM and Chemistry Day at BC
BC celebrated National Chemistry Week with a STEM fair in the courtyard of the Science and Engineering Building on Wednesday. All departments and student organizations that fall under the STEM pathway participated in this event
Some of the groups that participated in the event include MESA, the Physics Club and BC’s Artificial Intelligence club. Thank you to STEM Counselor Laurel Mourtzanos for working to help promote all of the STEM programs that we offer to inspire the science and engineering leaders of tomorrow.
National Chemistry Week is an annual event organized by the American Chemical Society (ACS), an organization founded in 1876 to improve people’s lives through the power of chemistry. The theme of this year’s National Chemistry Week is “Marvelous Metals”, and the ACS website has all kinds of resources for educators to share interesting experiments with metals.
Thank you to the STEM program for honoring National Chemistry Week on our campus, and thank you to all of the clubs who helped organize another great event for our students.
Emails Worth Sharing: Student Success Story
Tom Moran recently shared a link to a video he made that highlights a Renegade student success story. In his email, he describes Jasmine Rubio as a graduate from ITP who has also secured two jobs including one at BC! Check out this incredible Renegade spotlight:
French Sister City Residents Attend BC Football Game
Earlier this week, 17 students from Bakersfield’s French sister city, Saint-Jean-de-Luz, came to visit as part of the city’s exchange program. One of their stops was none other than a BC Renegade Football game, where they were able to take in this great American pastime. We hope that had a great trip to this amazing place we call home! Check out this great piece by KGET on their visit.
Rick Kreiser Distinguished Honoree at American Cancer Society Gala
I received this photo from Michael O’Doherty showing local community leader Rick Kreiser being honored at last week’s American Cancer Society Gala. Rick is a strong supporter of Bakersfield College, and truly deserves this recognition. Congratulations Rick!
BC’s Cheer Team
NAPD, New Advancement for People with Disabilities, had some of their special needs clients at the home game a couple weeks ago. BC Cheer is volunteering at their Halloween dance doing Halloween make up, serving food, and are actors in their haunted house. Here is their thank you video to the cheer team and the college.
Kern Schools FCU Renegades of the Week
Renegade Athletics is proud to announce this week’s (10/13-10/19) Kern Schools Federal Credit Union Renegades of the Week:
Penelope Zepeda, Volleyball – Penelope played a key roll in the three sweeps the volleyball team collected last week. She was 9-1-18 with a .444 hitting%, collecting 6 digs and 10.5 pts against West LA; she was 9-2-24 with a .292 hitting%, collecting 14 digs and 11.5 pts against Antelope Valley and was 15-2-33 with a .394 hitting% collecting 9 digs and 15.5 pts against Canyons. For her efforts she was also recognized as the CCCWVCA SoCal State Player of the Week.
Brock Mather, Football – Brock anchored the Renegade defense against Ventura, the fourth ranked team in the state, during the homecoming game on 10/19. He totaled 11 tackles (2 for a loss) and one pass break-up in the game. He also leads the team in tackles so far this season with 41.
Wrestling Coach Joe Espejo Honored at Alma Mater
Joe Espejo, one of our assistant wrestling coaches was honored by his alma mater, Dickinson State University where he was inducted as a member in their athletics hall of fame as a member of the 2007-08 Blue Hawk wrestling team. Joe first wrestled for BC before transferring to Dickinson State and is now back at BC coaching the next generation of Renegade wrestlers. Well deserved, Joe!
Volleyball’s Penelope Zepeda Named CCCWVCA State Player of the Week
The California Community College Women’s Volleyball Association (CCCWVCA) has named Penelope Zepeda as the SoCal State Player of the Week for week #8 of the season.
Zepeda led the Renegade volleyball team to three straight sweeps last week over West LA, Antelope Valley and Canyons. Congrats, Penelope! Check out this release on the California Community College Athletics Association (CCCAA) website.
Former Renegade Wrestler To Be Inducted Into National Wrestling Hall of Fame
The National Wrestling Hall of Fame announced this week that former Renegade State Champion wrestler Bruce Burnett will be inducted as a Distinguished Member at the 44th Annual Honors Weekend on June 5-6, 2020 in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Burnett wrestled at Bakersfield College from 1969 to 1970 and was a two-time state champion at the 137/142 lb. weight class. In 1969 he played a key role in the Renegade wrestling team winning the state junior college championship under head coach Bruce Pfutzenreuter. He finished his Renegade career with a 55-3 career record and was named the state’s outstanding wrestler in 1970. Congrats Bruce!
Renegade Athletics Scores From This Past Week
- Men’s Soccer Opens Conference Play with a Win
- Women’s Soccer Drops 1-0 Home Match
- Volleyball Notches 3-0 Sweep Over Glendale
- Wrestling Places Second at Southern Duals
- Football Falls to Ventura on Homecoming
- Women’s Golf Places Fifth at WSC #8
- Women’s Soccer Grabs first conference win over West LA
- Men’s Soccer Ties Visiting Glendale
- Women’s Soccer Drop Heartbreaker to AVC
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. 10/29 – 4pm Men’s Soccer vs. Canyons
- Wed. 10/30 – 6pm Volleyball vs. Santa Monica
- Fri. 11/1 – 7pm Women’s Basketball vs. Riverside
- Sat. 11/2 – 5pm Women’s Basketball vs. Pasadena City
That’s all for now.
Until next time.
With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.
the luckiest and happiest college president ever