Happy Halloween, Renegades!
Good morning Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, October 31, 2020, a Blue Moon Halloween … and a great day to be a Renegade.
Chancellor Oakley & CCC Board of Governors Visit Bakersfield College
On Monday, Chancellor Eloy Oakley, senior administrators from the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office, and members of the Board of Governors made a virtual visit to BC to meet with students, faculty, staff, and members of the community.
The event started with an internal meeting highlighting BC students in Umoja, MESA, Early College, and more. Visit the CCCCO Virtual Listening Tour page for more details about the Chancellor’s Office meeting.
The Chancellor’s Office concluded their visit with a virtual town hall. Chancellor Oakley shared about his office’s Vision for Success, outlining goals to help us hold ourselves accountable for student performance. Chancellor Oakley answered questions about adult education, his personal history as an administrator at Long Beach City College, technology infrastructure at community colleges, and more.
He then presented BC with a Certificate of Recognition and a $5000 donation to the food pantry.
I enjoyed seeing Eloy’s tweet after this event:
Finish Line Scholars
Before Chancellor Oakley’s visit, the Chancellor’s Office and the Foundation for California Community Colleges announced that BC was one of the recipients of the Finish Line Scholars fund, a $100 million pledge distributed to 34 community colleges over 20 years. The Finish Line Scholars program provides scholarships to students who are halfway through their education plan of completing a degree or transferring to a 4-year university. Funding for the program was provided through a gift from the Jay Pritzker Foundation.
Beautiful Bakersfield Awards
Last Saturday night, the Greater Bakersfield Chamber announced the winners of the 3oth Annual Beautiful Bakersfield Awards.
Congressman William M. Thomas received the Harvey L. Hall Lifetime Achievement award.
While William M. Thomas is known nationally for having spent 14 terms in D.C. from 1979 to 2007, and as Chair of the House Ways and Means Committee in his final 6 years before retirement. Those of us in Bakersfield know Bill for the ways he has fundamentally changed the landscape of the city we call home.
His life’s work – tending to the daily details of navigating the intricacies of sometimes very obscure legislative matters – has been regularly punctuated by major wins in service to the community. Consistently ranked among the brainiest in Washington, Thomas strategically used his influence to improve the lives of the residents of Bakersfield. As one drives the streets of Bakersfield, walks the Bakersfield College campus, or flies into Bakersfield Airport, it is impossible to miss his contributions.
Through his coalition-building skills Congressman Thomas secured nearly a billion dollars in congressional funds for Bakersfield:
- Successfully earmarking $722 million in federal transportation funding for Kern County roads, single-handedly connecting the I5 to the Sierras, and opening access to education and employment for some of the region’s most isolated communities
- Garnering $40 million in congressional funding for the Valley Fever Vaccine Project
- Obtaining $14.7 million for improvements to Bakersfield’s Meadows Field Airport
Yet, his service to the community didn’t end upon retirement. In 2016, he joined the Kern Community College District Board of Trustees. During his tenure, the district secured half a billion-dollar bond measure to support facilities and infrastructure improvements for the next fifty years. During his time as chair of the district’s Board Accreditation Committee, each of KCCD’s three colleges’ fully accredited status was reaffirmed.
With these contributions, it is no surprise that as we fly into the William M. Thomas Terminal, we are greeted by a bust of a man who has done so much for this community. And while Bakersfield will forever associate “The Congressman” with Bill Thomas, we remember Bill first as a young Bakersfield College professor. The first in his family to go to college, Bill paved the way for thousands of community college students, residents in our rural communities, and local leaders.
Congressman Thomas remains committed to Bakersfield’s residents, and only recently retired from public service as a KCCD Trustee.
Other winners included:
CityServe, which won the Chairman’s Award. CityServe distributed goods through 109 chuches of all denominations to help 20,000 households, as well as distributing backpacks, sleeping bags and other goods to area homeless. CityServe is also partnering with Bakersfield College and County of Kern to provide job skills training to those who are living in our local shelters.
John P. Lake, who was named Business Person of the Year. JP created the Kern Venture Group, the first angel investor fund for local entrepreneurs. He is also one of the founders of the Kern Initiative for Talent and Entrepreneurship (KITE).
Give Big Kern – One Day to Celebrate the Giving Spirit of Kern County, which received the A Better Bakersfield award. In 2019, this event raised nearly $430,000 from 2,800 donors and secured more than 88,000 volunteer pledged hours for 114 participating charities.
You can view a list of all winners online.
Thank you Nick Ortiz and the Chamber for this fabulous event. A special shout out to Hillary Hanes – the lead staff for this event.
Padrinos de Bakersfield College
Abel Guzman shared an email this week announcing the relaunch of Padrinos de Bakersfield College:
“Padrinos was an initiative led by our now retired dean, Cornelio “Corny” Rodriguez for many years. Our hope is to honor his years of service by relaunching and continuing the group’s work.“
This week, the group celebrated their relaunch by hosting a Dia de Los Muertos curbside pan dulce pick-up event on Friday.
Check out these photos from the event:
At the end of the last academic year, Corny won a lifetime achievement award. Check out these two videos.
Video Tribute to Ruth Bader Ginsburg
I asked the Women’s History Month Faculty Leads and the BC Pre-Law Club to put together a tribute to the life of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg that premiered on Thursday, October 29, live at 5:30 p.m on BC’s YouTube channel and Facebook live. The video features Kern County Superior Court Judges Robert Tafoya and Susan Gill, Commissioner Cynthia Loo, and District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer.
Today, I am sharing my introduction from the tribute.
You can view the full 36 minute tribute video at https://youtu.be/yHWGakqaLZc. I will continue sharing pieces from this production in the coming weeks.
Thank you to Olivia Garcia, Maria Wright, Pearl Urena, Norma Rojas-Mora for their work in coordinating this tribute, and thank you to Valerie Urso and Manny de Los Santos for the video production and content editing.
The Effects of Colorism on Latina and Black Youth Panel
Bakersfield College’s Latinas Unidas and Latina Leaders of Kern County bring another discussion panel to discuss the sensitive topic of discrimination. According to the Pew Research Center, Latino and Black youth with darker skin tones are six times more likely to face discrimination due to the color of their skin. Panelists will speak about colorism in the Latinx and Black community. Register now for the panel taking place on Wednesday, 11/4/2020 – 5:30PM.
This is the third in the webinar series; webinars were also held on October 22 and October 29.
During the October 22 webinar, Sandy Woo-Cater, Co-director for the Kern Coalition Against Human Trafficking, shared some of her experiences with racism – particularly in a bi-racial relationship:
Registration for Spring 2021
Early Registration begins Wednesday November 4, 2020 for Spring 2021 classes! This semester has flown by, midterms are over, and it is time to start planning your Spring classes. Remember to complete your update form in order to get your Registration Date. If you have any questions or problems, visit the Student Information Desk Monday – Thursday 9AM – 6PM. Looking forward to the Spring!
November is Veterans Month
November 11 is the Veterans Day holiday to honor those who have served our country both in war and peace. At BC, we celebrate and honor our veteran students for the whole month. This year, celebrations include the Distinguished Speaker David French, the invitation-only 30 Unit Coining Ceremony & Touch Point and the Success Pack distribution. Get details on the BC website at Veterans Month.
Last year in November we celebrated the month with the opening of the VRC. See other highlights of our celebration in my November 10, 2019 blog. Here are a few pictures from previous events:
Art on PBS
BC Art Adjunct Faculty Diego Gutierrez Monterubio was featured on Valley PBS this week with a 5-minute film “Pintor Diego.” The film, along with 9 other local films, was part of this year’s #TheBigTell.
Thank you Diego Gutiérrez Monterrubio for sharing your story with the Central Valley.
You can check out the film online.
Chemistry professor Deb Rosenthal sent me this photo of construction of sthe new Science building. Even while we are not able to be on campus, work continues to create #ABetterBC.
“Dasein”, a poem by Jim Lynn (1971)
The following poem by Jim Lynn was published in the May 26, 1971 edition of the Renegade Rip. Loosely translated from German, the word “dasein” equates to the English word “existence” and was a frequent expression used by the philosopher Martin Heidegger.
Yonder, in the Panhandle,
My thoughts are hiding
Until after the sun
Has paled the horizon
Then shall we meet
In mortal union
Within corpse of lilac corpse
And pass the image of a friend.
The basking tombstone.
We shall nurse the choking
Of a Sophist pond
But we know she cannot smile,
For the clandestine curse
Of time, in stealthy stalking,
Muses our isolation.
And after the variegate cliffs
Are clothed in peignoir
Of twilight shadow
We shall wait for
Soliloquies of crickets
To die in solitude,
Leaving us alone
With the pond,
Wherein we weep
For the passing
– Jim Lynn
Spotted on Social Media
Anthropology Professor Krista Moreland shared these photos of her cat, Pepper:
Maria Wright, Director of Student Support Services, shared a picture of her son getting into the Halloween spirit:
New Renegade Themed Zoom Backdrops Are Here
Step-up your Zoom game on your next video conference call with these official Renegade themed backgrounds! Right-click each image to save the background.
Click Here to learn how to use custom backgrounds on Zoom.
That’s all for now.
Until next time.
With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.
the luckiest and happiest college president ever
Tagged: Bakersfield College, Bill Thomas, CityServe, Cynthia Loo, Cynthia Zimmer, Give Big Kern, Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce, Hillary Hanes, JP Lake, Manny de Los Santos, Maria Wright, Olivia Garcia, RBG, Robert Tafoya, Sonya Christian, Susan Gill, Valerie Urso
Great story on Bill Thomad