Student Success Blossoms at BC

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, February 8, 2020… A great day to be a Renegade.

Bakersfield College student, Audrey Spears, shares her Renegade Student Success Story. Check it out:

HBCU Visits BC

This week, we kicked off Black History Month with representatives from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) converging on the Renegade Crossroads to provide an awesome transfer opportunity for our students.

There were about 20 HBCUs working with our students and providing them with information about scholarships to fund a baccalaureate degree. During this event, 57 students were admitted and a total of $1,607,452 in scholarships were awarded.

BC MESA Volunteers for STEAM

The Bakersfield Chapter of The Links, hosted the 2nd annual “Career Expo” at the Links Leadership STEM/STEAM Academy (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics). This event was held at Emerson Middle School with the goal to increase STEAM literacy for all students, especially groups of students who are underrepresented in the sciences.

BC had a few booths representing the college efforts of STEM outreach to our community.

Deep Cuts and Conversations

Led by Reggie Williams, Kris Tiner, and Josh Ottum, the song “Home” by Molly Herndon centered around music and technology. The lyrics played on the idea of how one’s life can be affected by technology, leaving the artist with a feeling that their life is under surveillance by an unseen digital entity.

Levan Center Presentation

The second selection was from 1971 by Gil Scott-Heron titled “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.” The song is packed with cultural references from Timothy Leary to Spiro Agnew to Coca Cola.

Patrisse Khan-Cullors Speaks to BC Students

Distinguished Speaker

Patrisse Khan-Cullors on Thursday spent the day at BC speaking with students about her life experience as a civil rights leader. Students filled the Levan Center to hear this well known advocate talk about the importance of recognizing and overcoming systematic community obstacles, to feel empowered to stand up for what is right.

Khan-Cullors is from the San Fernando Valley and has been on the front lines of criminal justice reform for the last 20 years, most notably leading the globally known initiative called Black Lives Matter. During her presentation, she shared the importance of unity as a community in order to challenge and change the systematic issues of social injustice and discrimination that arise within our society.

Reggie Williams leading Q&A

Thank you to BC’s Office of Student Life for coordinating the Distinguished Speaker Series and African-American Initiative Committee for hosting Patrisse Khan-Cullors. It is always great to see so many BC students engaging with thought-provoking presentations.

 BCSGA Power Lunch with Reyna Olaguez

BC’s Student Government Association hosted Executive Director of Kern Sol, Reyna Olaguez on Tuesday for their monthly Power Lunch. The room was filled with students eager to learn more about journalism, media, and the power of students who use their voice for good within the community.

Kern Sol is a non-profit news organization that works with youth leaders united together to give voice to issues and local stories within our Kern communities. Olaguez shared important community issues within Kern County involving affordable and accessible healthcare for all, presenting initiatives to improve infrastructure, and empowering the voices of our community members and youth working together for a better future.

BCSGA Director of Legislative Affairs, Johnny Maddon, and Legislative Affairs Manager, Jesus Arias, led the Q & A.

Thank you to BC’s Student Government Association for providing these enriching opportunities and Reyna Olaguez for inspiring students to use their voices to better their community. 

Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Gala

What a wonderful evening at the Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Installation and Business Awards Gala, honoring local leaders and businesses for the work they do in our community. The evening also saw the installation of the new Board of Directors for the chamber and foundation.

It was a joy to see Taft Union High School District Superintendent Blanca Cavazos honored as Business Woman of the Year and Dr. Jeet Singh awarded Business Man of the Year. Jeet is a renowned interventional cardiologist and Blanca is recognized for her dedicated history in local education, leaving a positive impact on countless students. Both shared heartfelt stories of their love and commitment to helping others. Blanca participated in our first annual Women in Leadership panel, moderated by Jean Filler, last year as part of Women’s History Month. Stay tuned for details on our second annual event.

Cynthia Giumarra, Rosalina Rivera, Blanca Cavazos, Sonya Christian, Shannon Grove, Jean Fuller

Bakersfield College showed up in full force in support of the gala, and some of our own were recognized. Dean Corny Rodriguez, Norma Rojas-Mora, Director of Marketing & Public Relations, and Tony Cordova, Director of Career and Technical Education, were recognized as board members for the KCHCC Business Education Foundation, while History Professor Olivia Garcia was named chair-elect of the KCHCC executive board.

In previous years, BC has been well represented as well. In 2019, KCHCC named Corny Rodriguez as Businessman of the year. Check out my blog titled “Continuing Partnerships in the Community” published on February 9, 2019. Also, you must check out the highlight recorded by InMotionPro:

In 2017, I was honored to be named as Business woman of the year which I shared in my blog titled “We are BC & We are Bakersfield” on February 18, 2017.

Group photo from 2017 KCHCC Gala

I am always impressed by the work of Jay Tamsi, CEO/President of the KCHCC, and all he accomplishes through what he does for the chamber and our community. Thank you, Jay, for being an advocate for our local business community and consumers, and thank you for partnering with BC on the annual Energy and Agriculture Academy, which introduces our students to opportunities in Kern County’s energy and agriculture industries.

National Institute for the Study of Transfer Students

Mark Osea, Articulation Officer and Transfer Center Director, Marisa Marquez, Director, Counseling and Atudent Success, Natasha Harris, CSUB Transfer Student Success Coordinator, and Melissa Mayfield, CSUB Transfer Specialist attended the National Institute for the Study of Transfer Students (NISTS) in Atlanta Georgia, where Marisa and Natasha presented the success of the Finish In 4 Program, alongside transfer champion programs from Sinclair Community College, University of Dayton, and Western Oregon University.

Second Annual Journalism Day Moves to Bakersfield College

BC hosted the Second Annual Journalism Day on Feb. 7. At this year’s event, high school journalism students from Kern County gathered at BC’s Panorama Campus to participate in workshops that covered everything from newswriting to press photography to media ethics.

Multiple local TV, print and online journalists and journalism educators conducted the sessions. Ten different high schools took part in the event.

Erin Auerbach, Associate Professor of Journalism at BC,  and Kristen Hunter-Flores, the Journalism adviser at Ridgeview High, spent months planning the day.

“Last year, we kept the first event at Ridgeview simple,” Auerbach said. “This year, we wanted to engage with the students on a deeper level, so we worked with my fantastic CTE advisory committee members and community partners to brainstorm the workshops and competitions. In addition to Kristen, I could not have put this event together without all of the help from BC’s amazing and generous CTE team (especially Freddie Rodriguez), events planning and the moral support of my terrific student editors and the Communication department.”

Local law firm Chain Cohn Stiles generously provided plaques for the winning entries. Jorge Barrientos, director marketing and public relations at the firm and a former journalist, coordinated the Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD)/“A Life Interrupted” trailer that was the centerpiece of the on-site competition. He also presented awards to the winning students for the mail-in competition.

Heart of the Country Garden Pathways

Tony Cardova, Stephanie Baltazar, Endee Grijalva, and Maria Wright attended the Garden Pathways Heart of the Country event hosted at the Buck Owens Crystal Palace. The program included music from Amy Adams and the Rising Stars, The Brothers Barton, Stan Ellis and the Stampede Band, and the Smokin’ Armadillos. The BC team was able to get a picture with Mayor Karen Goh who is also the CEO and President of Garden Pathways.

Top: Stephanie Baltazar, Tony Cordova.
Bottom: Mayor Karen Goh, Maria Wright,
and Endee Grijalva

The night also included testimonials from mentees in the program that attribute their success to the mentorship and skills gained from programs made possible through Garden Pathways. According to the Garden Pathways website, the Comprehensive Mentoring Services includes focused efforts aimed at helping individuals overcome challenging situations through positive encouragement and mentorship.

At Bakersfield College, we share a similar goal. In fact the community core value for Bakersfield College states:

We commit to the wellbeing of all members of our community; we maintain strong ties with the surrounding community, and we respond to their needs by serving as an open institution which engages all students, faculty, and staff; in our college, we have built and continue to build and environment in which all members participate as a community through democratic engagement.

KCCD Leadership Academy

Members of the KCCD Leadership Academy joined KCCD Administrators for the annual legislative day in Sacramento. The teams composed of staff, faculty and administrators from BC and our sister colleges, PC and CC, had the opportunity to meet with our local elected officials to discuss issues faced by our students and to explore possible student-centered solutions.

A Better BC: Field House

You may have noticed some construction by the Field House.  We have started demolition work, so please be aware of your surroundings if you are near that area. 

We are constructing a temporary facility at the very south end of the football practice field which will remain there until the completion of the new gymnasium. 

Community Voices by Jean Fuller

Earlier this week, retired Senator Jean Fuller shared how Bakersfield College is creating new pathways of hope in her latest Community Voices piece. She says, “Currently, Bakersfield College and Adventist Health are collaborating on a pilot project to “skill up” 20 homeless individuals that lead to jobs. I am a firm believer that having a job is the best way to build self-efficacy and self-confidence that leads to individuals becoming healthy and productive members of our community.”

Community Voices by Jeff LaForce

BC’s Jeff LaForce added his voice to recognizing the tragic passing of Kobe Bryant and sharing how Kobe’s influence shaped him and many other lives. He said, “In my current role as an educational adviser at Bakersfield College, my drive is for each and every student to leave my office with a mindset of completion. As a higher education mentor, I have the opportunity to change lives on a daily basis, and I do not take that responsibility lightly. My single focus is assisting students to successfully transfer from BC to a four-year institution — to influence them to be persistent toward their educational goals. I aim to model for them the work ethic they need to complete their assignments, their classes and their degrees.”

Fun Photos: College Council

At Friday’s College Council gathering, the group heard from two presentation teams on Housing and Homelessness and the second on Public Safety Programs Pathway. Enjoy the fun photos!

Fun Photos: Lost Hills Meeting

Fun Photos: Spotted Supporting Renegades

Chancellor Tom Burke was spotted with Jill Board at a baseball game with Sandi Taylor and Keith Ford.

Coach Littlejohn Winds the Siren at the Condors Game

To help welcome Coach Littlejohn back to Bakersfield, the Bakersfield Condors had him ‘Wind the Siren’ at their game against the Ontario Reign this last Friday at Mechanics Bank Arena. The traditional siren wind taking place just before the puck drop gets the crowd rallied and ready to go. Coach Littlejohn didn’t disappoint and within 27 seconds of the puck drop, the Condors had scored the first goal of the game. The crowd gave coach an enthusiastic welcome and was the largest Friday night crowd in the history of the Condors organization with 8, 524 fans in attendance!

Men’s Golfer Blake Keesey Featured in 23ABC Segment

Sophopmore Men’s Golfer, Blake Keesey from Tehachapi, was featured in a segment with local 23ABC sports reporter Matt Lively on the putting green out at Stockdale Country Club. We are proud of the work of Blake and all of our student athletes. Check out the video to watch him sink a 60 foot put – wow!

Kern Schools FCU Renegades of the Week

Renegade Athletics is proud to announce this week’s (1/26-2/1) Kern Schools Federal Credit Union Renegades of the Week:

Brianna Green, Women’s Basketball – Brianna was instrumental in defeating Canyons, changing the momentum of the game with a pair of back to back three’s. She finished the game with 13 points and seven rebounds. She then followed that up with a season high of 28 points against Santa Monica, grabbing seven rebounds, one assist and one steal. 

Wes Bradford, Baseball – Wes played a key role in baseball’s 9-0 win over Cerro Coso on Saturday night. He went 3/3 from the plate with a single, double, triple, 2 RBI’s and stolen base.

Renegade Athletics updates from this past week:

Fun Photos from Athletics From This 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 to catch the livestream. Events include:

  • Tues. 2/11 – Baseball vs. Sequoias at 3pm
  • Wed. 2/12 Women’s Basketball vs Antelope Valley at 5pm
  • Wed. 2/12 – Men’s Basketball vs Antelope Valley at 7pm
  • Thu. 2/13 – Men’s Tennis vs Ventura
  • Sat. 2/15 – Softball vs. Sierra at 12pm
  • Sat. 2/15 – Softball vs Monterey Peninsula at 4pm

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2 thoughts on “Student Success Blossoms at BC

  1. Venessa Reyes February 11, 2020 at 10:21 am Reply

    The Student Success video is amazing. More please. 🙂

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