BC faculty & staff — always ahead of the curve

These past two weeks, I have been awestruck at the caliber of our faculty and staff. I have always been impressed by the talent, dedication, tireless work ethic, and commitment to students that BC employees exhibit every day. Even so, I have been overwhelmed with the swiftness with which our faculty, classified staff, and administrators, have responded to the coronavirus epidemic doing deep work to redesign instructional practices, counseling practices, writing center practices, ….. so that students feel nurtured, respected and loved with this dramatic shift in their learning environment. The camaraderie, the kindness, the humor, and the grace in the face of what are very anxious times for our community, our nation and the world. Thank you faculty, staff, and students for having me as your president. Here is taste of the BC community on a saturday.

A whole campus effort. We are BC!

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, March 14, 2020… A great day to be a Renegade.

Emeriti and Retirees at Board of Trustees Meeting

Trustee hands the box to Bill.
Bill Thomas with Trustee Agbalog

At this week’s Board of Trustees meeting on the Panorama Campus, Trustee Romeo Agbalog, Chancellor Tom Burke and BC Vice President of Instruction Billie Jo Rice took a moment to honor our retiring and Emeritus faculty and staff. In total, these retirees represent several centuries of experience in making an important impact for the lives of our students.

Tom Burke began with a brief history of the word “emeritus”, a Latin term that referred to veteran soldiers who had finished their tour of duty. By the end of the 18th Century, American academics were using “emeritus” to commemorate professors who served their institutions with distinction. BC faculty and administration who came forward to accept their emeritus recognition included Corny Rodriguez, Gayle Richardson, Jeannie Parent, Phil Feldman, Bill Kelly, and Bill Thomas.

Angela Craft

Angela Craft with Trustee Agbalog

Angela Craft started as a Department Assistant for Athletics in 1998 and retired as the Executive Secretary over Humanities. She served 13 Deans during her tenure at the Home of the Renegades and will be remembered for her remarkable problem-solving skills and calming demeanor.

Cornelio Rodriguez

Corny smiles with box
Corny Rodriguez with Trustee Agbalog

Corny Rodriguez is an icon at BC, serving as the first director of the BC Chicano Cultural Center and starting the first Chicano/Latino Pre-Commencement Ceremony more than 20 years ago. He was a champion for equity who masterfully kept our community invested in the college throughout his tenure, culminating in his work as Dean of Instruction.

Gayle Richardson

Standing by a lecturne.
Gayle Richardson with Trustee Agbalog

Gayle taught business management for decades and graciously served on a number of committees, including the Academic Senate and the Archives Committee. She was also renowned for being the “dining diva” for the BC bowling league, planning dinners and events for the group every semester.

Jeannie Parent

Jeannie holds a box.
Jeannie Parent with Trustee Agbalog

The EMLS Department would not exist in the form it does today without the work of Jeannie Parent, who spearheaded the move to create a separate academic department. She was a dedicated servant and passionate supporter of our students, and in 2010, she organized a Study Abroad program in Vietnam.

Mitchell Barter

Mitchel holds box.
Mitchel Barter with Trustee Agbalog

For almost 30 years, Mitchell beautifully painted our athletics fields, making sure our student athletes had a clean, welcoming space to express themselves. He is remembered for his meticulous precision and thoroughness, as well as a wealth of amazing stories about the history of BC. 

Phil Feldman

Phil holds box.
Phil Feldman with Trustee Agbalog

Phil served a number of roles during his BC career, starting as a resident advisor before becoming the first department chair of Academic Development and a former Director of the Delano Campus. He ended his time at BC as a professor in the Education Department, and he will be sorely missed by many.

Valerie Robinson

Valerie holding a box.
Valerie Robinson with Trustee Agbalog

Valerie taught human resources management courses in the Business Department and was a valuable mentor to many of our students through African-American Initiatives, Umoja, Bridge to BC, and the Academic Senate. She also worked closely with the Entrepreneurship Black Chamber of Commerce. She’ll be remembered for her humility, integrity, work ethic, and altruism.

Congratulations to all of the retirees and thank you for your service to our community and students at Bakersfield College.

Daily Zoom Updates on the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

3 people sit behind a table with computer monitor and speakers.

This week, Nicky Damania, Director of Office of Student Life, Cindy Collier, Acting Health Center Director, and Shelly Castaneda, Executive Director of Campus Safety,  hosted Zoom sessions to update students and our community on the latest developments of the COVID-19.

The three smiling toward the camera to the side.

Our BC community is actively engaged in responding to the COVID-19 outbreak, advising students, faculty, and the community members to remain safe and informed; arranging and using the hand sanitizer stations around our campus; and, cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces. Students and staff are urged to follow these COVID-19 updates as we continue to monitor the situation and take precautions.

Thank you, Nicky Damania, Cindy Collier, and Shelly Castaneda for your commitment to keep our students and community members informed on the latest COVID-19 updates.

BC Blood Drive

One of the buses where they take the blood.

While we postponed college events out of an abundance of caution, we decided to continue with the BCSGA blood drive for Houchin Blood Bank. In a conversation with Houchin’s CEO, Brad Bryan, and realizing that while the Coronavirus (COVID-19) does affect our community, cancer patients, mothers with delivery complications, surgery patients, and trauma victims still need blood. Houchin provides approximately 1500-2000 blood products to hospitals in Kern County monthly. Bakersfield College blood drives provide a much needed resource, especially with concerns of some donors at this time. Brad shared that:

Inside of bus with chairs for donors.

Houchin Community Blood Bank is in continuous communication with the FDA and the AABB Inter-organizational Task Force on Domestic Disasters and Acts of Terrorism.  Together we are monitoring this evolving public health situation and have enacted recommended measures to ensure the continued safety and availability of the blood supply as well as the safety of our donors.

These precautions defined by the AABB Task Force and implemented at Houchin include:

Enhanced blood donor screening measures which include travel deferrals for countries listed by the World Health Organization as sources of Corona Virus.  The deferral is a 28 day deferral which allows for the 2 week incubation period for Corona Virus.

Enhanced measures to prevent individuals with clinical respiratory infections from donating blood.  Immediate deferral of any donor who exhibits signs of sickness will occur.

We additionally are measuring vital signs to ensure that any patient exhibiting signs of sickness is deferred.

We have had these precautions implemented since the first news of Corona Virus entering the US in order to protect both the donors and the blood supply.  I ask that you please continue to allow us to hold this drive so that we can maintain the current blood supply for our county and the patients that so desperately need this blood to survive.

Rusty's pizza coupon and t-shirts.

With these assurances and with a desire to help our community, we continued with the blood drive. Did you know when an individual donates one pint of blood, they are able to save up to three lives with that one pint?

Student smiling after giving blood.

Aricia, one of our Web Content Editors in Marketing, told me that as she was donating blood she asked the nurse how the donations were going. The nurse responded that it has been a very successful event and they are very thankful for the high turnout. I am proud of our students, staff and faculty that came out to donate to help our community when we may most need this important resource. Thank you Nicky Damania and the BCSGA for organizing this blood drive for our community.

Women and the Vote 2020 Library Display

This month the Grace Van Dyke Bird Library is celebrating Women’s History Month and honoring women’s often-overlooked contributions to history, culture, and society with a book display by Librarian Faith Bradham. In 1980, President Jimmy Carter declared the week of March 8th as National Women’s history week, and in 1986, the National Women’s History Project successfully petitioned Congress to expand this recognition to be the entire month of March. This year’s Women’s History Month is special because 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which granted women in the United States the right to vote — women’s suffrage. Books featured in the library’s display include:

March 2020 Women's History Month sign.
  1. The Women’s Rights Movement in the U.S. by Eleanor Flexner and Ellen Fitzpatrick; 
  2. Women and the Vote: A World History by Jad Adams; 
  3. Fighting Chance: the struggle over woman suffrage and Black suffrage in Reconstruction America by Faye E. Dudden
  4. Women’s Suffrage by Jeff Hill
  5. The Suffragents: How women used men to get the vote by Brooke Kroeger
  6. Splintered Sisterhood: Gender and class in the campaign against woman suffrage by Susan E. Marshall
  7. One Woman, One Vote by Marjorie Spruill Wheeler (Editor)
  8. A History of the American Suffragist Movement by Doris L. Weatherford
  9. Women and the U. S. Constitution by Sibyl A. Schwarzenbach (Editor) and Patricia Smith (Editor)
  10. The Susan B. Anthony Women’s Voting Rights Trial by Judy Monroe
  11. Women Will Vote by Susan Goodier and Karen Pastorello
  12. The Weight of Their Votes: Southern women and political leverage in the 1920s by Lorraine Gates Schuyler
  13. The Women’s Rights Movement by Shane Mountjoy and Tim McNeese
  14. African American Women and the Vote, 1837-1965 by Ann D. Gordon and Bettye Collier-Thomas; 
  15. A Reform Against Nature by Carolyn S. Vacca.

For more information on the display and books for Women’s History Month visit: Resources for WHAM 2020. Thank you Faith and the Library staff for offering supplemental educational materials that broaden our students’ education.

Sara Wallace’s New Blog: “Reflections from Inside: Teaching in the Inmate Scholars Program”

Sara Wallace, English Professor at Bakersfield College, has published her first entry on her blog titled: “Reflections from Inside: Teaching in the Inmate Scholars Program” on Medium. She has been working as a full-time instructor at a total of five different prisons since the Fall. This blog is her reflection about doing this important work. This program is only a few years old, but it has expanded to include ten prisons and a thousand students. It is expected to grow more in the future. Check out her blog:

Central Valley Higher Ed Consortium: Dual Enrollment in the Central Valley Conference

Nacian Munoz, Nicole Alvarez, Nerin Delgado, Raul Espinoza, and Brian Bell 

Our Cougar Renegades were out showing their BC pride and sharing their experiences being part of the Early College program at the Dual Enrollment in the Central Valley conference! McFarland High School seniors and dual enrollment students Nerin Delgado and Raul Espinoza were part of a student panel. On the panel of 6, Nerin and Raul were the only first generation college students.

Sitting at a table, Nicole gives a thumbs up.
Nein Delgado, Raul Espinoza, and Nicole Alvarez

Both Raul and Nerin said that the best parts of their dual enrollment experience were being introduced to a syllabus and all the support they received from BC staff and their high school counselors. Nicole Alvarez, Program Manager for Early College; Nancian Munoz, Assistant Principal McFarland High School; and Brian Bell Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services McFarland Unified School District were all on hand to cheer on our Cougar Renegades. We made such an impact that we were asked to present at the next conference!

Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce: The Success of Latino Completion and Early College at Bakersfield College

Jean speaking to the audience.
Senator Fuller discussing Early College Opportunities with the Chamber members
Nicole introducing Jean.
Nicole Alvarez answering questions from the Chamber Members

Senator Emeritus Jean Fuller presented to the chamber on the Early College success stories and strides we have made in assisting, among others, our Latinx population in obtaining a college education. Senator Fuller and Nicole Alvarez, Program Manager Early College, also discussed our revamped Early College website and encouraged all chamber members to check it out for offerings at the high schools within their districts. One member even looked at his child’s high school right there on the spot and made plans to get them enrolled for fall 2020 dual enrollment classes!

Jean Fuller next to a Hispanic sign and powerpoint.
Senator Fuller presenting

The presentation ended with a very productive Q&A session and many of the members vowing to help spread the word around Kern County about the early college program.

Archives Throwback: The Atomic Age

In 1946, an air of optimism swept the nation as Americans celebrated the end of World War II. Students at what was then called Bakersfield Junior College were coming back home, starting the next chapter of their lives as Renegades. In this spirit of optimism and excitement about the future, the editors of BC’s yearbook The Raconteur made an entire issue themed around “The Atomic Age.” There were beautiful poems, quotes and illustrations about the infinite potential of science and atomic energy to transform humanity. The dedication at the beginning, in particular, struck me as profound:

 “To the scientist, who holds within his powers the future of the world, the 1946 issue of the Bakersfield Junior College Raconteur is dedicated. It is left to science to determine the right road. Such challenges have been met before. Today we turn again to the scientist; in his unimpassioned search for truth he is the potential source of wisdom to build the age of the atom.”

There was also this lovely quote from Grace Bird:

“What is life made of? Earth, air, water? ‘Hammers and nails and puppy dog tails’? Electrons, neutrons, protons? Hearts, brains, digestion?

“One of our men, writing from Okinawa during the bitterest days there, gave HIS answer: ‘Memories. Experiences. Dreams.’ It is this kind of answer which the Raconteur accepts and honors so admirably as it tells the story of your college life together during the year which is closing. And it is this kind of answer by which we ask you to appraise the days you spent here. Save the memories, use the experiences, aspire to the dreams.”

Finally, I had to include this poem from students Tam and Ivah Deering, which resonates especially now as the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve every day:

“Confused, perplexed, and baffled,
Men face ‘peace’ with fear;
Yet man, if he equip himself
With this day’s information,
Fails only because he fears;
His bad becomes impossible
When he accepts discouragement.

“What man has dreamed, that he can do;
What man has mined, discovered, or produced,
That he can use to make man adequate,
Displace his outworn concepts,
Enlarge his vision
In this small world
For this atomic age.
Will he, then, meet the challenge?”

A wealth of amazing content from Renegades in the past can be found on the Bakersfield College website at the Raconteur archive.

Welcome two new Institutional Research Analysts to BC

Patsy head shot.

Patsy Garcia holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Statistics from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and comes to us from KBA Engineering where she worked as a Project Controller, using her SQL skills to pull data and optimize maintenance schedules for oil rigs. She started at BC on February 3rd.

Maricela headshot.

Maricela Orozco holds an Education Doctorate Degree in Educational Leadership and comes to us from CSUB where she worked as a Research Technician in the Office of Institutional Research, Planning and Assessment. Maricela started at BC on March 2nd. 

Patsy and Maricela fill in positions that opened when Alma Livingston left to go work for YouTube last May and when David Buitron went to work for Riverside Community College District in November so he could spend more time with his wife and new baby boy. 


Renegade Report

Watch this week’s edition of the Renegade Report on the Bakersfield College Athletics Facebook page featuring our Renegade Swimming Team out at the BC Pool Deck. Head Coach Matt Moon and student athletes Daran Towns, Reily Pike, Esteban Robles and Harrison Sherill sat down with host Kenny Calvin to discuss how the season is going. This weekend the team head to compete at the Cuesta Sprint and the Cuesta Invite. We wish them all the best!

Next Level Gades

Gilberto Guevara and Israel Jimenez from Renegade Men’s Soccer have committed to continue their academic and soccer careers at Mount Marty College. Guevara, from Golden Valley High School, played the last two seasons as a forward for the Renegades. In the 2018, season he collected one goal with one assist. In 2019, he had three goals with three assists, and he was named to the WSC South 1st-Team All-Conference. Jimenez, from Arvin High School, also played the last two seasons, but as a defender for the Renegades. In the 2018 season, he collected one goal with one assist. In 2019, he had two assists.

Damaris Herron from Renegade Football has committed to continue his academic and football career at Southwestern Assemblies of God University. Herron, a defensive back from Independence High School, played the last two seasons at BC. He finished the 2019 season with 34 total solo tackles, including 3 tackles for a loss. Southwestern Assemblies of God University is an NAIA level school that competes in the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA). 

Brianna Mendez and Victoria Trevino Named to Academic All-State Team

Renegade Athletics is proud to announce that Brianna Mendez and Victoria Trevino, from Renegade Women’s Basketball, were named to the 2019-20 California Community College Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (CCCWBCA) Academic All-State Team. To qualify for Academic All-State recognition, student-athletes had to complete a year of play on their teams, earn at least 24 units of credit, and maintain a minimum GPA of 3.5. This last spring, Mendez graduated with a GPA of 3.91, and Trevino graduated with a GPA of 3.76. Congrats, Ladies!

Renegade Athletics updates 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:

  • Tue. 3/17 Softball vs. Antelope Valley, 2:30 p.m.
  • Thu. 3/19 Baseball vs LA Valley, 2:30 p.m.
  • Thu. 3/19 Softball vs. LA Valley, 2:30 p.m.
  • Fri. 3/20 Beach Volleyball vs. Ventura & Santa Monica, 9 a.m.
  • Fri. 3/20 Men’s Tennis vs Fresno, 1 p.m.

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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2 thoughts on “BC faculty & staff — always ahead of the curve

  1. David Rhea March 15, 2020 at 10:49 am Reply

    A hearty Hoorah for the BC community, and Sonya, thanks for the Shoutout you give them!
    David Rhea (ret)

  2. […] March 14, 2020: BC faculty & staff — always ahead of the curve […]

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