Memorial Day 2020

What a week…. a week of highs and lows. SpaceX launches astronauts from American soil into space for the first time in a decade, we crossed the milestone worldwide of 6 million reported COVID-19 cases, we passed a milestone exceeding 100,00 COVID-19 deaths here in the US, we celebrated Memorial Day even though we were sheltering in place, and George Floyd stopped moving at 8:24 p.m. on Memorial Day on the streets of Minneapolis.

Good morning Bakersfield
It is Saturday, May 30, 2020…A great day to be a Renegade

Six days ago….

George Floyd, a 46-year-old African-American man died on Monday, Memorial Day, while he was pinned to the ground, face down, in an unlawful knee-to-throat chokehold by a police officer. (https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/26/us/minneapolis-police-man-died.html?referringSource=articleShare, NY Times published May 26, 2020)

          Lift ev’ry voice and sing
          ‘Til earth and heaven ring
          Ring with the harmonies of Liberty
          Let our rejoicing rise
          High as the list’ning skies
          Let it resound loud as the rolling sea
          Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us
          Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us
          Facing the rising sun of our new day begun
          Let us march on ’til victory is won

The SpaceX launch was certainly a historic moment…check out the video if you did not get a chance to watch the launch live on Saturday, May 30th.

Memorial Day Message from Jenny Frank

Zav Dadabhoy, Armando Trujillo, Paul Beckworth, Sonya Christian and Jenny Frank at the VRC dedication

Jenny Frank, manager of Veteran Services and Programs, sent out a Memorial Day message to our Renegade Community, and I wanted to share it with all of you:

Dear friends, colleagues and fellow Renegades,

Although technical difficulties prevented this message from reaching each of you yesterday, the sentiment remains.

As the sun sets on another beautiful day in America, we are all acutely aware that this Memorial Day is vastly different than most others. While navigating our lives during these uncertain times, it may be easy to focus on the freedoms that have been disrupted. We must not lose sight of all that we do have and of those who have sacrificed to ensure our way of life.

The brave Soldiers, Marines, Sailors, Airmen and women and Coast Guardsmen and women who made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our country and its values came from all different walks of life. Yet, they stood side-by-side, united in their cause. I can think of no better way to honor them than to live our lives in the same manner they stood; united.

So, my friends, colleagues, fellow Renegades, as you lay your heads down tonight, remember these brave men and women, today and always. Tomorrow, as we rise, let us all strive to live our lives in a way that would honor their them. It is together that we will overcome any difficulties that face us. Together we will soon enjoy all the freedoms that have been gifted to us.

Please also enjoy Taps played by the Minnesota Orchestra Trumpet Section:

Aging

Here is a great poem from Jack Hernandez:

The body ages
steps hesitant
hair ghostly white
the memory cabinet
filling up,
But love knows
nothing of slowing
only of growing
wider in delight.

Virtual Immigration Clinics

Bakersfield College is partnering with the California Colleges Chancellor’s Office, the Foundation for California Community Colleges, the California Department of Social Services and the UFW Foundation to provide Immigration Clinics for Bakersfield College students, staff and faculty. The services will include general immigration consultations as well as assistance on DACA renewals, citizenship, family petitions, FBI and background checks, adjustment of status, and visas.

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, all immigration clinics will be held virtually via Zoom or telephone until further notice. These virtual Immigration Clinics will be held every 2nd Tuesday and 4th Thursday of the month from 9 AM to 6 PM.

Read the full story at Bakersfield College launches free Immigration Clinic.

Letting the Times Guide our Creativity

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.”

This week, Jennifer Garrett, our director of choral and vocal studies and Performing Arts Department Chair, continued that sentiment. She wrote a piece in the Bakersfield Californian about how our performance groups have adapted to social distancing.

BC’s performing arts programs have shared these positive attributes with the Bakersfield community for generations and focusing on them can guide us all through these challenging times. The BC performing arts faculty will continue to let the times guide their creativity, offering BC students the best experiences possible.

BC Foundation announces new Executive Director

This past Thursday marked the last BC Foundation Board of Directors meeting of the 2019-20 academic year. In spite of the challenges presented by the impact of COVID-19, the BC Foundation finished strong.

Almost 550 scholarships worth over $500,000 were awarded to our students, an Emergency Student Fund was established to financially help students during unexpected hardships, and over $60,000 was used to support innovative programmatic activities proposed by faculty. In the midst of reflecting on all the good work done during unusual circumstances, we took opportunity to express appreciation for the contributions made by the staff, board leadership, and college administration.

However, the highlight of the meeting was welcoming the new Foundation Executive Director, Cheryl Scott, who will fully come on board July 6th. There was great excitement among the directors, for most have known Cheryl for many years and are acquainted with her community service and economic development work in Kern County. 

You can find out more about the BC Foundation on their website at https://www.supportbc.org/.

Kern Promise Celebrates Transfer Graduates

Kern Promise is celebrating BC class of 2020 transferring to 4-year colleges and universities. You can see a display of these high achievers on the Transfer Celebration page of the BC website.

If you know of a graduate that would like to celebrate transferring, have them submit a Transfer Celebration Form.

Here are just a few of our transfer graduates:

Rotary Club of Kern River Valley Scholarship

Kern Valley Sun announced the Rotary Club of the Kern River Valley’s scholarship recipients including incoming Renegade, Joey Moyer. The article states Joey will pursue a teaching credential and plans to transfer to a four-year university.  Welcome to BC Joey!

Videos from Closing Week

I’m continuing to highlight a few videos from our Closing Week celebration. All our videos are available on our Closing Week 2020 website.

Incoming BCSGA President Gian Gatayao:

Presidential Leadership Awards: Academic Technology:

Manny Mourtzanos, Management Association:

Uplifting student videos from Summer Bridge

BC’s Summer Bridge program is one of our secret student success strategies. Dr. Kimberly Bligh has moved this program to an online format for Summer 2020. Check out these two uplifting videos from our incoming Bridgers

Thank you Kimberly!

Construction on Campus

While we are not able to be on campus, construction is continuing. Check out this photo from Manny De Los Santos:

Athletics

Sandi Taylor Officially Announces Retirement After 30 Years As A Renegade

This week our fearless Athletic Director Sandi Taylor officially announced her retirement to the community bringing to a close a 30 years career as a Renegade – 23 years as head softball coach and seven as athletic director. As a leader Sandi has consistently kept the Renegade athletics ship on a steady course in the right direction. While she’s ever a kind and gentle soul, she’s also fiercely competitive and was just what Renegade Athletics needed in a leader for the past seven years.

As news of her retirement hit the community, she was immediately was recognized with multiple TV interviews and a front page above the fold article on the sports section of the Bakersfield Californian on Wednesday. The social media posts on her retirement have been swarmed with overwhelming congratulations and well-wishes from former student athletes, coaches, friends and community members. We are glad to have had Sandi for so long and will miss her!

Click below for the stories from our local media on Sandi’s retirement:

Also, as you drive around town, keep your eyes peeled for the billboards honoring Coach Taylor!

And here again is the video of Sandi’s Lifetime Achievement Award

That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

sonya –
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

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