Let’s keep our community healthy! Wear masks. Do physical distancing. Regularly wash our hands.

BC Family – Let’s be role models for our students and community.
Wear masks. Do physical distancing. Regularly wash our hands.
These are tough times that call for tough measures.

Path to Zero Dashboard: In early July, I started using the Path to Zero dashboard from the Harvard Global Health Institute that tracks the county-by-county risk level by number of daily new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 in the last seven days. When I checked the numbers today, I was disheartened to see that Kern County is the highest in this index at 83.3 cases per 100,000.  This is more than three times higher than the state’s average of 23.8 cases per 100,000.

The Harvard Global Health Institute uses a color-coded system to indicate risk level. Green is 0.0 cases per 100,000; yellow is between 0.1 and 10 per 100,000; orange is 10.1 to 25 per 100,000; and red is anything higher than 25 cases per 100,000.

Kern County is over three times the limit for a RED designation!

The graphic below gives a color-coded picture of California’s COVID-19 threat level on a county-by-county basis.

The following table demonstrates the rates of daily new cases per 100,000 for each county in the “red” category. Kern County tops the list and has 15 more daily new cases per 100,000 than the next highest county on the list.

CountyDaily New Cases Per 100K
Kern83.3
Colusa68.3
Kings48.9
Imperial48.0
Madera43.1
Tulare42.8
Stanislaus42.1
Merced41.7
San Joaquin40.2
Mono38.6
Fresno37.6
San Bernardino30.9
Glenn29.7
Los Angeles27.6
Riverside26.8
Santa Barbara25.9

The Exec Team at BC is asking that we all take this seriously….spread the word on safe and healthy practices during this pandemic. Plz share this video with colleagues, friends, and family members.

Good morning Bakersfield
It is Saturday, June 25, 2020…A great day to be a Renegade

Yesterday, I received these photos of the progress on the construction at our BC Southwest site. As you can see, the campus is coming along nicely!

BC expands Early College program with KHSD

Kern High School District and Bakersfield College have partnered to expand BC’s Early College program by offering four new pathways for KHSD students.

KHSD students can now work toward earning a college degree in Industrial Automation, Public Health, Administration of Justice, or Psychology, as they simultaneously complete their high school coursework.

You can read Ema Sasic’s article about this partnership here.

Since we are talking Early College let me drop a few of the video that from the Early College celebration in June.

Remarks from KCCD Trustee Romeo Agbalog:

Remarks from Abel Guzman, Executive Director of our Delano Campus and Rural Initiatives:

And the second of four videos recognizing our graduates. This one is from Wonderful Company Prep Academy:

Bakersfield College Launches Contact Tracing Course to Train “Coronavirus Detectives”

Bakersfield College announced the launch of a week-long infectious disease Contact Tracing Course running from July 27, 2020 to July 31, 2020.  As the need for more contact tracers ramps up, This one-week course will allow individuals to gain the skills needed to provide contract tracing for employers and the community.  

You can find out more on the Bakersfield College website.

Fire Department conducts training at BC

This week, Bakersfield Fire Captain Chris Campbell  and several fire fighters from Station #8, conducted Rescue Systems training at the Bakersfield College P7 parking lot.

According to Captain Campbell, the training is designed to teach firefighters the proper techniques for rescuing victims from areas of steep terrain, such as the Panorama bluffs. Participants in the training included a number of probationary “rookie” fighters.

Executive Director of College Safety Shelly Castaneda and Chris Glaser were on hand to greet Captain Campbell and his crew, and observe some of the training. This is just one of the examples of the cooperative working relationships that Bakersfield College maintains with our community partners.

Shelly Castaneda takes photos of the training session

Commencement 2020

Here are a few more videos from our 2020 Commencement broadcast event from July 11.

Remarks from KCCD Chancellor Tom Burke:

Remarks from BCSGA President Samantha Pulido:

Graduate Recognition, Part II:

You can find more videos and photos on our 2020 Commencement website.

3 Community Voices pieces in The Bakersfield Californian

I wanted to share a piece from Jack Hernandez published this week in the Bakersfield Californian.

“Most of all, let us treasure our families and friends. Talk more with them, and as the pandemic eases, spend more time laughing and listening to their deepest voices. Sharing our stories, fears and hopes, weeping and laughing. Sharing our souls.”

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And then today, here is a piece by Nick Strobel about how we consume information via social media which could be one of the causes for the polarization that is deepening in our society. Strobel brings in Harari’s framewok of large scale cooperation among Homo sapiens as a standout feature that contributes to the power of the species.

Instead of creating a more connected world, social media has enabled us to gerrymander our social interactions so effectively that unfamiliar experiences and ideas that would challenge our beliefs or intuitions are excluded from our lives. The different sides of an issue rightly claim that people on the other side are living in an echo chamber, acting like “sheep,” but they don’t acknowledge that they themselves behave in the same way. With all the choices we have now, we can construct whatever reality that suits our tastes and technology has enabled us to build electronic communities of individuals from anywhere on the planet and exclude all others.

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Also this week, Vladimir Romilus, one of our international students, wrote a piece for the Bakersfield Californian about the importance of international students to our campus community.

Vladimir, who is from Haiti, is studying architecture and architectural drafting.

“International students are important because the knowledge and perspective we bring will shape the future of America. This country is a place where people from around the world come together to build new things, and international students bring a motivated, entrepreneurial spirit that strengthens the American economy.”

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CSSO statement on international students

Less than 24 hours before ICE rescinded the F1 Visa decision, the Chief Student Services Officers Association of the California Community Colleges (CSSO) released a statement in support of international students and the F1 visa program.

Dr. Zav Dadabhoy

“[International students] contribute to America’s scientific and technical research and bring international perspectives into US classrooms. We must be more resolved than ever to open our doors wider and embrace the global knowledge our international student community has to offer.”

CSSO represents all student services professionals in California’s 113 community colleges, and their current President is BC’s own Dr. Zav Dadabhoy.

Comet Neowise makes closest pass to Earth

You may have been lucky enough to spot the Comet Neowise in the Bakersfield sky recently. It made its closest pass to earth on July 23.

“Comet NEOWISE is now moving to high above the orbit planes of the planets, getting closest to Earth on July 23 at a distance of about 64 million miles. When the comet was coming into the inner solar system, the elliptical orbit was shaped to have a period of about 4,500 years (so this is a once-in-a-civilization visit).”

You can read more on the Bakersfield Californian’s website, and you can read an archive of all Nick’s Bakersfield Night Sky articles on the Bakersfield College website.

Corny & Sandi Retirement Celebration

Last week, I shared two videos of testimonials from colleagues of Corny Rodriguez and Sandi Taylor, as part of heir retirement celebration.

This week, I am sharing Part 2 of their testimonials.

Corny Rodriguez:

Sandi Taylor:

Portraits in Their Own Words: National Endowment for the Arts Grants BC $10,000

The National Endowment for the Arts has granted Bakersfield College an award of $10,000 for its project entitled Portraits in Their Own Words. This is in addition to the $5,000 grant previously awarded for the project from California Humanities. 

The grant is part of the Arts Engagement in American Communities program which supports arts projects in all artistic disciplines, extending the National Endowment for the Arts’ reach to communities across the United States. These grants engage the public in diverse and excellent art, in geographic areas underrepresented in national arts funding.

Portraits in Their Own Words will entail the creation of an art exhibit and digital archive featuring autobiographical narratives and portraits of Bakersfield College students who have been previously incarcerated. The goal is to lift their voices and experiences through the written word and visual art in order to encourage conversations about imprisonment and the stigmas associated with it. 

Professors Andrew Bond (English), Kristopher Stallworth (Art), and Shawn Taro Newsom (History) are directing Portraits in Their Own Words and  plan to use the additional funding from the National Endowment for the Arts to expand the project’s reach and offer more opportunities for students and faculty to participate. More information is available on the Bakersfield College Social Justice Institute website.

To find out more about how National Endowment for the Arts grants impact individuals and communities, visit: www.arts.gov

#LightACandle: A Juneteenth conversation

Today, I am wrapping up our videos from our June 15 program. I will continue to share videos from programming on other days, so please check back next week.

Remarks from BC Student April Whitfield:

Remarks from community member Bernita Jenkins:

A message from Pastor Robin:

A message from Traco Matthews, Adjunct Professor and social pastor

Please visit the Bakersfield College Juneteenth website for more videos, testimonials, and other resources. And please, continue the conversation and remember to #LightACandle.

Crazy Hair Day with the Child Development Center

Dean of Instruction Jessica Wojtysiak shared this photo from the Child Development Center‘s Sand Dollars virtual classroom.

The Sand Dollars classroom occurs entirely through zoom. Here, some of the students are engaging with their teachers for “Crazy Hair Day.”

It’s great to see our CDC teachers continuing to find ways to connect with their students, even at a distance.

Spotted on Social Media:
Wear A Mask Edition

I was thrilled to see our BC sharing their safe mask wearing practices on social media this week.

Kalina Hill, program manager for our testing and placement center, stays safe with her family:

Endee Grijalva, Adult Education Program Manager, wore her mask while checking out a new homeless shelter as part of her work with Project HireUp.

Matt Jones from our Academic Technology

Bill Moseley — Dean Academic technology

I also enjoyed this post from Prof. Gloria Dumler in our English Department reminding us all what not to do:

Love this Facebook video on our BC Choirr.

BC Choir

Closing Week

On Monday, we took a stretch break and enjoyed photos from the year:

On Tuesday, we enjoyed a tribute to our Nursing Students:

On Wednesday, Todd Coston treated us to another humorous welcome:

On Thursday, I shared a message for our faculty to thank them for their hard work during an unprecedented semester:

You can view all of our videos from Closing Week on the Closing Week website.

Athletics

Jim Ryun Awarded Medal Of Freedom

Jim Ryun, who set a world record in the mile (as a high schooler) at 3:51.1 in our very own Memorial Stadium on June on 23, 1967 (53 years ago!), was awarded the nation’s highest civilian honor on Friday when he was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom at the White House by President Trump.

Originally from Kansas, Ryun made world news with his record in the mile that day in 1967 and then went on to represent the U.S.A. in three Olympic Games. He would then go on to a career in the U.S. House of Representative in Washington, D.C.

In 2017 we had a special ceremony at Memorial Stadium to honor the 50th anniversary of Jim’s phenomenal world record. We are thrilled to see Jim awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and remain proud of what he accomplished on that summer evening in 1967 on our beautiful campus.

To read the official White House release, click here: https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/president-donald-j-trump-award-medal-freedom-072120/

You can also read the Bakersfield.com story here, or the story from The Hill here.

You can also watch the story from our 50th anniversary celebration of Jim’s world record: 

I was honored to meet Jim when he visited Bakersfield College back in 2018 for the State Track meet. I wrote about that visit in two blog posts: here and here.

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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One thought on “Let’s keep our community healthy! Wear masks. Do physical distancing. Regularly wash our hands.

  1. Alexis Rodriguez July 25, 2020 at 11:17 pm Reply

    President Christian,
    I am so happy to see that Vladimir made your blog. He is an amazing student, and such a great person.
    Thank you for sharing his story

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