Let the times guide our creativity

Kris Tiner, in his presentation during the President’s Virtual Seminar Series talked about how he had to rethink the teaching of his face-to-face jazz music classes when we moved all our courses to be online and his key message to his students is to let the times guide our creativity.

He ended his remarks with a quote from Nina Simone in 1968 — how can you be an artist and not reflect the times?

My dear friends, we at BC have certainly let the times guide our creativity as we continue to serve our students from a distance.

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, March 28, 2020… A great day to be a Renegade.

As we complete our first full week away from on-campus activities, I am struck by the enormity of the situation we are facing. I am taking some time to reflect on the enormous amount of work that the faculty and staff at Bakersfield College have done to shift the entirety of our operations online. It has been a huge undertaking, and required much flexibility and speed. Our entire campus community’s ability to react to the rapidly changing situations has been nothing short of remarkable.

In my opening remarks at the daily 60-minute seminar series this past week, I have been using this quote from hockey legend Wayne Gretzy. (Btw, I came to know ice hockey and the great players when the Condors did the winterfest in December 2016 in the Memorial Stadium. History making….)

“A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays to where the puck is going to be.”

In looking at how our response has been shaped over the past few months, I realize that the reason we have been able to adapt as quickly as we have is because our entire team has been playing to where the puck is going to be.

Back to College

One way that we have anticipated where the puck is going to be is with rising unemployment, another devastating effect of the Coronavirus pandemic. The Economic Policy Institute predicts the loss of over 600,000 jobs in California by Summer 2020, and unemployment claims in the state have already increased by 42% over last year as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Check out KGET’s coverage of this at: https://tinyurl.com/vbehtl3

At Bakersfield College, we know that we are an important resource in our community to combat unemployment and ensure that our workers have the skills needed to be competitive and successful. We knew we needed to act, and act quickly as many in our community faced the possibility of job loss.

The 5-week program will be entirely online, with options of 6, 7, or 13 units. The courses involved will start students on a pathway that will allow them to complete a degree at BC, or transfer to a 4-year institution. Our Financial Aid department will work on financial aid packets for these students.

I’m thankful for the work that Jessica Wojtysiak, Jennifer Achan and Marisa Marquez have done as they mobilized their teams to quickly find solutions and get this program off and running.

Recruitment for this program has begun, and registration begins on March 30th. The entire program – registration, coursework, student services, will take place online, allowing students to earn college credits while practicing social distancing.

For more information, please visit our website at https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/backtocollege.

Video: We’re In This Together

Our faculty and staff put together a great message for our students reminding them they aren’t alone in their struggles during this time. We encourage students to lean on their Renegade faculty and staff with any support need or questions to be answered. Please take a moment to watch the uplifting video below:

Health and Wellness at BC

At BC, we understand that this transition to shelter in place is a challenge for everyone. Faculty, staff and students are worried about their loved ones who are on the front lines providing essential services at our grocery stores, hospitals, and utilities companies, and many of our students have lost their jobs or face reduced hours while struggling to adjust to fully-online instruction.

I encourage all of our Renegades to practice self-care, maintain a healthy work/life balance, and stay connected to your friends, family, coworkers and fellow students to stay positive and persevere.

Health and Wellness Panel

On Tuesday’s All-Campus Forum, we focused on health and wellness. The panel featured Cindy Collier, Sandi Taylor, Fabiola Johnson and David Riess sharing their advice on how to remain calm and healthy through these stressful times. 

Cindy emphasized how important it is to exercise, eat a balanced diet, and get sunshine and air. She also suggested establishing a routine and sticking to it.

Sandi talked about how she stays connected to family, friends, and colleagues virtually, using the Marco Polo app to keep in touch with long-distance family throughout the day. She also pointed out that the BC Athletic Department has a “Resilience” in-home training program to help student athletes stay in shape. 

Fabiola highlighted all of our resources to stay connected and maintain structure, including Starfish, Canvas, Conferzoom, emails, and phone calls. She also talked about the confidential and cost-free Employee Assistance Program (EAP) available for staff who need emotional support through this transition.

David closed the panel with a focus on staying grounded, committed to purpose and contextualizing what matters as we adjust to a new way of life. He ended his presentation with a reminder to turn off the news every once in a while and just breathe.

Thank you so much to Cindy Collier, Sandi Taylor, Fabioloa Johnson, and David Riess for helping BC students, staff, and faculty through this transition.

Health and Wellness Resources

For students, the BC Student Health and Wellness Center has mental health providers available by appointment. Thank you to Ronald J. Ostrom, Stella Poncé, Debra Strong, Rick Hobbs, Noe Lemus Ibarra, and Dave Seymour, and everyone on the BC Student Health and Wellness Center team for supporting students through this transition. 

The Kern County Library is hosting online meditation and yoga sessions through Facebook Live and Zoom sessions. Meditation classes take place Tuesdays at 1 p.m., and yoga for kids and families is available on Fridays at 10 a.m. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) has posted a PDF guide with helpful information to ease COVID-19 anxiety, support mental health and well-being, and financial resources if COVID-19 has impacted your economic situation. 

Diana Winston of UCLA’s Mindfulness Awareness Research Center, led a powerful webinar on how mindfulness –  being in the present moment, not being anxious of the future or dwelling on the past) – can help us during challenging times.

And, remember to not worry about what cannot control, but instead focus on what you can control. This helpful guide was shared with me from Valerie Urso, from the BC Marketing and Public Relations team. 

Thank you to Valerie Urso for providing such a supportive graphic.

Thank you to all BC students, staff, and faculty for assisting one another through this digital transition. We are BC!

Industrial Technology and Transportation Virtual Career Expo 2020

Career Education is hosting the Industrial Technology & Transportation Virtual Career Expo on Wednesday April 1st, 2020 at 10:00am-12:00pm.

Students will have the opportunity to network with employers and receive industry insight regarding internships or employment opportunities. Faculty from different programs in the Industrial Technology & Transportation pathway will also be available to answer questions about program specifics. Financial aid will be participating to help current and future students with any financial aid questions. This annual event has been modified a bit from a physical presence to a virtual format utilizing Jobspeaker and Zoom, a first for Bakersfield College.

“Our mission to get our students employed is still a top priority and it’s still in progress while we shift to this online platform” says Job Development Specialist Carlos Medina.

Our employer partners are still in need to fill their workforce needs, and our students are seeking employment now more than ever.

BC Job Developers Reach Out Through YouTube

When Bakersfield College proactively decided to move to a virtual platform in response to COVID-19, Student Employment Job Developer, Freddie Rodriguez began to brainstorm on how to stay connected with his pathway students and let them know about career readiness services.  He wanted a way to reach out to all his current and future pathway students to let them know how to connect with them during this time.  So, Freddie picked up my phone, took a deep breath, and started recording himself on a video to tell students the different ways they can connect with job developers to assist them with career readiness services.

Next, though nervous, Freddie sent his video to his superviser, Stephanie Baltazar, to pitch the idea. Stephanie texted back “LOVE it.”  With that inspirational message, Freddie proceeded to plan the process, research video software and taught himself a new skill in video editing. With the inspiration of our “Bakersfield College leaders’ dedication and boldness to come up with creative ways to continue to move this institution forward;” and the support and help of of Hilda Rodriguez, Stephanie Baltazar and Tony Cordova, Freddie produced this excellent video to reach students and let them know Job Developers are here to assist them with achieving their career goals.

Thank you Freddie for thinking out of the box and finding a creative way with a to reach our student through virtual modalities. Check out the Student Employment page for more information.

Bakersfield Nursing Student Invented Hand Sanitizer

Gel hand sanitizer is saving lives on the front lines of the COVID-19 fight, but did you know that it was invented in 1966 by a Bakersfield nursing student named Lupe Hernandez? UK newspaper The Guardian first wrote about Lupe in 2012, and the story has recently gone viral after being reposted by the culture blog Remezcla. Lupe discovered that alcohol, delivered in gel form, could clean and disinfect hands when soap and water were not available. She called an invention hotline she heard about on television with her idea for a patent, as the story goes, and created a billion dollar industry that is saving lives every day during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Not much is written about Lupe Hernandez, though she does receive a brief mention in the textbook “The Growth and Development of Nurse Leaders”. If you have any information about Lupe Hernandez, especially her time as a nursing student, please email web@bakersfieldcollege.edu.

This Week at BC: Construction

Several weeks before BC transitioned to a virtual learning environment, our Marketing student workers Ramon Carreido and Juan Reyes put together a video from the Campus Center construction project. Check out their footage and information about the project below.

Teaching in the Inmate Scholars Program

Sara Wallace, English Professor at Bakersfield College, has published her second 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.

Wallace’s mobile office. She has office supplies for the students (left) and a clear backpack (right) to bring in supplies (office supplies, graded work, handouts, dry erase markers, etc). A clear backpack makes it easier for security check-in, and one of the facilities we work in requires it.

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.

This was written before the recent CoronaVirus Outbreak, and some of the lessons and experiences with teaching inside have already changed dramatically. Those changes will be addressed and reflected on in the next installment.

For the entire blog entry, go to the following link: https://medium.com/@sarawallace_75158/reflections-from-the-inside-9f454187ae86

2020 Census

Although we are living in a challenging time, I want to briefly remind everyone how important it is to respond to the 2020 Census. This year, the census consists of nine questions, and it will allocate $1.5 trillion federal dollars to states and communities in need.

Responding to the 2020 Census is important for all Americans, but for those of us who live and work in, and especially care about the betterment of rural communities, participation in the census is critical. It can be completed by phone (in 13 languages), through the mail, and for the first time ever, you can fill out the census online!

Fun Photos: #BCGoesOnline

The Marketing and Public Relations team wished their director Norma Rojas-Mora a happy birthday with style during their Zoom meeting on Thursday.

Here is Lesley Bond’s remote work station.

We encourage all of our Renegades to share photos from their online transition using the hashtag #BCGoesOnline. Feel free to also email any fun photos you have to web@bakersfieldcollege.edu.

Archives Throwback – BC Celebrates the First Earth Day

The City of Los Angeles celebrated the first Earth Day on April 22, 1970, almost 50 years ago. To raise awareness for the occasion, a group of 50 people from the Ecology Action group organized a “survival walk” over six weeks leading up to the festival, travelling on foot from Sacramento to the Santa Clarita Valley.

On its path through the heart of the Central Valley agriculture belt, the “survival walkers” stopped at the Panorama Campus on April 15. BC faculty and students organized a series of events and conversations about ecology in the weeks before and after the “survival walk”, including a National Ecology Teach-In on Earth Day itself.

The April 17, 1970 edition of the Renegade Rip gave prominent coverage to the Survival Walkers and the Teach-in. Check out the story and some photos below, and take a deep dive through our Renegade Rip archives to find more interesting stories from the history of BC. For more information about the “survival walk” and its path through the San Joaquin Valley, check out this passage from Adam Rome’s book “The Genius of Earth Day”.

National Ecology Teach-In set for April 22 by Barry McDonald

“With the survival walkers’ departure to Los Angeles yesterday, the BC students for a Better Environment began last minute preparations for the National Ecology Teach -In. April 22, Wednesday, has been designated National Ecology Teach-In. April 22, Wednesday, has been designated National Ecology Teach-In Day. Nearly all major cities and colleges will host guest speakers on that day. BC’s Teach-In will begin at 9:30 a.m. in the outdoor theater. 

Bob Jennings, a graduate of East Bakersfield High, Bakersfield College, and Humboldt State will be the first speaker at 10:00 a.m. Mr. Jennings is the newly appointed administrative assistant to Bob Mathias. He has served with the Bureau of Land Management as a wildlife expert and will be speaking on the role of government agencies in environmental areas. 

World renowned Dr. Leroy Smale will speak at 10:30 a.m. Dr. Smale, a practicing gynecologist at Kern General Hospital, in addition to speaking through-out the United States, has lectured in Europe. Considered an expert on population, Dr. Smale is expected to highlight the Teach-in. His speech will be Population: Problems and Solutions. 

At ll:30 Leroy Jackson, Kern County Supervisor and Chairman of the Air Pollution Control District will follow Dr. Smale. Supervisor Jackson’s speech will tell what has been and will be done to solve the ecology crisis in Kern County. The effects of air pollution on living organisms will be discussed by Dr. George Lawrence at 12:00. Dr. Lawrence is head of the life science department at BC, a graduate of Berkeley, and is a Technical Advisory Committee member of Kern County Air Pollution Control District (TACKCAPCD). 

A U.S. Forest Service District Ranger, John Marker from the Greenhom District will follow Dr. Lawrence at 12:30 p.m. His talk is entitled People, Pollution, and Public Lands. 

Joe Fontaine, Physical Science teacher at Foothill High, Chairman of the Kern Kaweah Chapter of the Sierra Club, and active member of the Tejon Sub Chapter of the Nature Conservancy will speak at 1:00 p.m. on the state of the Natural Environment in Kern County. 

Then, from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. local candidates for state and national offices will be given five minutes each to tell “What I will do…”

Air Pollution in Kern County is the topic of Mr. Citron Tory, Air Controller Officer of the Kern County Air Control Board. Mr. Toy will speak at 2:30 p.m.

Following Mr. Toy at 3:00 will be William J. Mead. He will speak about water problems and lookout in Kern County. Mr. Mead is the Executive Secretary of the Water Association of Kern County. 

The last speaker in the lecture segment of the Teach-In will be Dr. Frederic Lane. Dr. Lane is practicing anesthesiologist at Kern General Hospital, a member of the TRACKAPCD, and has been involved with environmental problems for many years. Dr. Lane will speak on the role of the individual. 

At 4:00 p.m. the Teach-In wil continue with the Pollution Film Festival. The Festival will be shown in the Forum East Theatre on the BC campus. The first film will be “Wind On A Summer Day,” from the Kern County Health Department. Next will be “The River Must Live,” from the Shell Oil Company. Then, “The Last Frontier,” an international Film Festival prize winner from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. And ending the day “Too Little Time,” from the Fish and Wildlife Service.

Since the state of our environment is the concern of every human being, the faculty at BC has been asked to urge attendance at the Teach-In activities. The public is invited.”

Adam Rome’s book “The Genius of Earth Day”


Renegade Report

In spite of the social distancing measures, the athletics department Renegade Report still moves forward. This week Kenny Calvin was joined by Athletic Director Sandi Taylor and Head Volleyball/Beach Volleyball Coach Carl Ferreira as they discussed the stoppage of sports competitions and how they keep moving forward. Click below to give it a watch.

Link to the video: https://www.facebook.com/BakersfieldCollegeAthletics/videos/678051462962587/

Former Renegade Basketball Coach Jeff Hughes Passes Away

We were very saddened to hear of the passing of former Renegade Men’s Basketball Coach Jeff Hughes this last week. Jeff is the older brother of current Men’s Basketball Coach Rich Hughes. Jeff started at BC as an assistant coach to Marc Arce before being the head coach from 1998-2002. Voice of the Renegades, Vance Palm, who was a teammate of Jeff’s at CSUB and also his assistant coach in 1998 at BC had this to say about his friend – “Jeff was an outstanding athlete, a basketball purist, who wasn’t keen on excuses but at the same time was compassionate to his players, very respectful of his colleagues and above all, loved his family deeply. His generosity and commitment to his friends was obvious in his actions and deeds. Jeff will be missed by the Palms and we send out our prayers to Patti, Lauren, Allison, Rich and their entire family at this time.”

We offer our condolences to the Hughes family at this time of loss. To read the story on Jeff on GoGades.com click here: http://gogades.com/general/2019-20/releases/20200323i7dv95.

To read the story written on Jeff by Clay Cunningham in the Californian, click here: https://www.bakersfield.com/sports/college/friends-family-mourn-the-death-of-former-bc-basketball-coach/article_dc6eb958-6d44-11ea-b61b-ab57e696d20a.html

Win By Staying In

As encouraged by our government officials and Surgeon General – we encourage everyone to ‘Win By Staying In’. This is a billboard we are running to help encourage everyone to stay at home at this time so we can continue to keep the curve from spiking.

RESILIENCE – Athletics releases new at-home workout program

During this period of social distancing, Renegade Athletics is proud to release ‘Resilience’, a new at-home training program to encourage student athletes and staff to workout at home. The program was developed by Strength and Conditioning coaches Zack Peters and Konrad Dahl in conjunction with Men’s and Women’s Swim Coach Matt Moon. The program is a three week at-home training program and can help you stay in-shape while staying in-doors. We are grateful to see our kinesiology faculty working hard to help keep us in-shape during this time.

Click this link to get started on the program: http://gogades.com/general/2019-20/releases/20200323j6mziq

Football’s Maui Headed to Lake Erie College

Congrats go out to Fano Maui from Renegade Football who has committed to continue his academic and football career at Lake Erie College. Maui, a defensive back from Taft High School, played just his freshman season at BC. He finished the 2019 season with 30 total solo tackles, three tackles for loss and two interceptions. Lake Erie College is located in Painesville, OH and is an NCAA Division II level school that competes in the Great Midwest Athletic Conference. 

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 “Let the times guide our creativity

  1. […] Last March, Kris Tiner from our Jazz department presented during my Virtual Seminar Series about how he changed his teaching methods when classes moved online. He said we must “let the times guide our creativity.” […]

  2. […] reflected the ups and downs of these strange days we were going through together. Our goal was to let the times guide our creativity, and the result is this album. Please enjoy, and purchase a copy if you have the means. All […]

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