Monthly Archives: November 2020

Thankful for BC. Thanksgiving 2020

It’s the Saturday after Thanksgiving and we fully in the holiday season.

I know that many of you, like me, are finding that holidays in 2020 are a little bit different and maybe a little difficult. But I hope that you, like me, are finding extra reasons to be thankful this year. Our community has shown great resilience and compassion, innovation and sacrifice, all in the name of the greater good and overcoming adversity.

I took time to look over my blog posts from throughout this year, as well as those from the past few Thanksgivings (2019, 2018, 2017, and 2016), and as I did I grabbed a few photos that make me thankful for everyone at Bakersfield College and beyond this year:

I am deeply grateful for how our Renegade community has responded to the challenges we have faced this year.

And speaking of gratitude –

Jack Hernandez’s Community Voices piece, To be or not to be healed, had a great message about thankfulness and gratitude:

“Gratitude is part of humility. Gratitude expands our awareness of how much we owe to others for our flourishing and well being. Not only to our families and friends, but to those who grow our food, serve us coffee, deliver our mail, repair our cars, drive our busses. Gratitude expands to the smiles of neighbors that contribute to our happiness. Even more, we have gratitude for living in a country that gives us freedom of conscience, freedom to express our beliefs and freedom to select our leaders, local, state and national. Our gratitude must, then, include all who live in this nation, all who contribute to its greatness.”

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


Virtual Choir Concert on Monday

From an email from Jennifer Garrett:

“On November 30th at 7:00 p.m. the Bakersfield College Choirs will present a Virtual Concert entitled, ‘Becoming Us.’ It will air over YouTube Premiere. ….. The choirs have rehearsed almost entirely over Zoom with a few brief socially distant outdoor rehearsals by some of the choirs so you can imagine it has been an almost insurmountable challenge. …..” 

“We hope that you will take 40 minutes of your time on Monday to sit with your family and watch this concert……”

For more information check out the Facebook event or the Bakersfield College event page – we will update that page with the link to view the concert.

Check out the piece in the Bakersfield Californian

Panorama Creative Music Summit

Tune in December 2 at 2:30 pm for the final installment of the Panorama Creative Music Summit.

Virtuoso jazz and funk bassist Jamaaladeen Tacuma from Ornette Coleman’s Prime Time will be featured. He has also collaborated with Jeff Beck, Carlos Santana, Pharoah Sanders, Grover Washington Jr. and more. Here’s a sample:

Catch the live stream at

You can also see all the past sessions archived at

Levan Center — Art, Architecture and Archetypes

Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Reggie Williams, Ronnie Wrest, Krista Moreland, Rae Anne Kumelos

The Future of Learning: ACCJC Conversations Among Thought Leaders

Please join us starting next week for a series of important conversations about the future of learning. Visit the registration page to submit your information and hear from some of our amazing speakers, who are all thought leaders in the world of higher education and policy. 

With eight sessions over the course of four days, there will be something for everyone to learn from these conversations:

Day 1: Tuesday, December 2. 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. PST

Tia Brown McNair: VP for Diversity, Equity, & Student Success & Executive Director for the TRHT Campus Centers, AAC&U; Author of From Equity Talk to Equity Walk

David French, Senior editor at The Dispatch and a columnist for Time; Author of Divided We Fall: America’s Secession Threat and How to Restore Our Nation

Day 2: Wednesday, December 3rd. 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. PST

Natasha Jankowski, Executive Director of the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment; Author of Degrees That Matter

Dr. Cecilia Rios-Aguilar, Associate Dean of Equity & Inclusion at UCLA; Author of Funds of Knowledge in Higher Education

Day 3: Monday, December 7th. 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. PST

Deb Bushway, President and CEO of Northwestern Health Sciences University; Author of A Leader’s Guide to Competency-Based Education

Wayne Skipper, CEO of Concentric Sky, who worked with us to build the Program Mapper and creator of the Badgr micro-credentialing tool

Day 4: Tuesday, December 8th. 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. PST

Michael Crow, President of Arizona State University; Author of The Fifth Wave: The Evolution of American Higher Education

Sam Clark & Connie Jiang, Students at Deep Springs College

Future of Fuels

Last week, I wrote about the most recent webinar in our interdisciplinary partnership in energy

Today, I’m sharing another video from that webinar.

Kelly Murrillo, Project Manager of Marketing Development, SoCalGas, spoke about advances in biogas technology:

The next major event as part of the Energy Technology Transfer and Workforce Development partnership will be the Energy Summit on December 5 at 6 p.m., live on KGET.

Learning Together

Last week, I wrote about our third campus-wide “Learning Together” event.

The event discussed two academic journal articles:

  • “Postsecondary Equity Through the Lens of Policy Change”, published through the academic journal Change.
  • “When Pursuing Diversity, Victory is Hard to Define” published in Chronicle of Higher Education

Today, I’m sharing Nick Strobel’s presentation:

Virtual Seminar on Student Progression and Completion

Last week, we also held the second virtual seminar in our Strategic Directions series helping us gear up for the renewal of our three-year Strategic Plan. This session focused on Student Progression and Completion.

Please check out this presentation from Kylie Campbell, Early College Program Director:

Archives Throwback: Table Set for Renaissance Feast

Around this time of year 39 years ago, the BC Drama and Food Services departments were preparing for a different kind of feast for the week after Thanksgiving. Renegade Rip staff writer Greg Goodsell covered the 1981 Renaissance Extravaganza, where students and staff dressed in their best Elizabethan regalia to host a traditional banquet alongside performances of Shakespeare’s “Macbeth” and “Merchant of Venice”. The event was also covered on December 1, 1981 in the Bakersfield Californian.

Hank Webb, the BC drama instructor and coordinator of the event states, “The project will be to successfully recreate the feeling of the British Renaissance. Over 100 costumes are to be utilized. The feast will include roast suckling pig (complete with an apple in its mouth), chicken, fish, beef, fresh bread one can tear apart with one’s hands…”, he laughs. “As you can probably imagine, silverware will be optional, although forks and bibs will be provided for the more fastidious.”

Read more on the Bakersfield College website.

Spotted on social media

Kalina Hill shared a thoughtful moment from one of her runs this week:

Norma Rojas-Mora shared this photo of a recent campus visit checking out the new construction:

Krista Moreland‘s cat Immogen is getting so big!

Olivia Garcia shared this picture of her dogs:

Lesley Bonds shared this view of her work-from-home space:

Check out this beautiful photo from The Jones Gallery. It’s from student Daniel Rodriguez in Kris Stallworth‘s Spring 2020 Art B17 class. It’s called “Feel the Wind”:

And I loved this photo from the Radiologic Technology department. Happy Thanksgiving!

Renegade Athletics Corner

2019 CCCCCTCA Scholar Athlete Team

Congrats to three of our cross country student athletes Adolfo Escudero, Elias Artega and Elias Martinez for being named to the 2019 California Community College Cross Country and Track Coaches Association (CCCCCTCA) Scholar Athlete Team. To make the team To make the team cross-country student athletes must complete a minimum of 24 academic units with a 3.5 GPA or higher. This is the second year in arrow that Adolfo has made the team. This is a well-deserved recognition for all three of these students. Go ‘Gades!


That’s all for now.
Until next time.
With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.
sonya –
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

At BC….The Sky Isn’t The Limit

“The Sky isn’t the Limit,” photo by Sebastian Juarez for the Spring 2020 Art B16 Digital Photography class taught by Kris Stallworth.

#BCTalent #BCArt #BCInspiration #BCSpirit

The skies this week were full of clouds, color and movement … here are a few photos that I snapped during my Neo walks. And before you sink into the photos, take a few minutes to listen to this great Joni Mitchell song – Both Sides Now. The 2000 version.

Good morning Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, November 21, 2020 …
a great day to be a Renegade.

BC Recognized for ADT Program

On Thursday, the Campaign for College Opportunity recognized Bakersfield College as a Champion of Higher Education. 

Thank you to California Secretary of State Alex Padilla and Michele Siqueiros of Campaign for College Opportunity, who were on the webinar to announce the recognition. Ten years ago, 2010, Alex Padilla introduced the transfer landmark legislation SB 1440.

Over the last five years Bakersfield College has seen an 800% increase in ADT awards, quadrupled Black student completion, and achieved enrollment-completion parity among Latino/a students.

We are BC! Thank you to the BC Transfer Team.

EOPS Annual Association Conference

EOPS, CARE and NextUp programs had their annual association conference early November.

Our Bakersfield EOPS college team had the opportunity to present on the topic of Engaging with Students in the Virtual Environment.

During the virtual conference, our very own Bakersfield College graduate, Kyle Campbell, was awarded the California Community College Extended Opportunity Programs and Services Association (CCCEOPSA) scholarship.

To wrap up the conference the BC EOPS team won a photo contest.

Also shout out to the BC EOPS team for volunteering to moderate the virtual breakout sessions and the conference help desk.

Kris Tiner published in The Aesthetics of Imperfection

Music faculty member Kris Tiner was recently published in The Aesthetics of Imperfection in Music and the Arts, a collection of essays from Bloomsbury Academic edited by Andy Hamilton and Lara Pearson. Tiner’s chapter “Expanding the Ideal: Systemic music as a dialogue of becoming” originated from a presentation he gave at Durham University in England in 2016. It explores the relationship between improvisation and composition in musical performance.

Here is the extract:

“The classical ideal of music composition involves the gradual perfection of an inspiration, the painstaking process of bringing a concept to completion. In contrast, a common theme in literature and research on improvisational music is the value of spontaneous creation emerging from higher, ideal states of mind. This essay examines the history and practice of systemic music as a method of applying conceptual parameters to improvisational performance in order to bring together the “interpenetrating opposites” of composition and improvisation in an expansive dialogue of becoming, where the continuously evolving creative process of a musician or ensemble is valued over the production of individual works.”

Umoja at Black Student Leadership Summit

Dr. Paula L. Parks served as a panelist at the Florida African American Student Association (FAASA) fall leadership conference. The organization is the statewide organization of Black student associations at 2- and 4-year colleges.

The panel was entitled “Building and Sustaining Black Student Organizations in Turbulent Times Like These.”

Umoja peer mentor Alexis Brown provided a student perspective. Dr. Parks, English professor, is the Umoja Community coordinator and Umoja Club advisor.

Panelists affirmed the need for Black Student Unions (or African American Student Unions) at the college level because students need the academic support, cultural grounding, leadership opportunities, and connections with each other and with Black faculty and staff. This need hasn’t changed in the 44 years since FAASA was founded.

Students also spoke to the “illusion of inclusion” that they saw at their institutions. Colleges may showcase pictures of students of color on the college website and in brochures, but many African-American students feel as if they are only tolerated – not welcomed, appreciated, valued, or at the decision-making table.

Very grateful for Dr. Paula Parks, Steve Watkin for their leadership. Also thank you to community leaders Michael Bowers, Keith Wolaridge, T Johnson, and others. We are BC! We are Bakersfield!

BC Marching Arts Receives KFHC Community Grant

Some members of the BC “Renegade” Drumline

As the BC Drumline plans to safely return to rehearsals, masks aren’t the only PPE they’ll be sporting. Thanks to Kern Family Health Care’s Community Grant program and Etymotic Education’s Hear for a Lifetime campaign, earplugs were able to be purchased for students and staff of our Marching Arts ensembles to continue to promote hearing health.

Eight of our current BC Drumline students were the first to receive their ETY Plugs when they came to campus for a socially distanced performance at a “get out the vote” caravan. The drumline took the opportunity to talk about hearing health and the importance of limiting exposure to the intense sounds that are a part of marching music.

Drumline student Salvador Fabian, sporting his new Etymotic earplugs

We can’t wait to distribute the remaining earplugs once our ensembles are able to safely return to campus. Thanks again to Kern Family Health Care for their support of our BC students and our community!

Adopt a Family this Holiday Season

From an email the CARE and CalWorks Programs:

“Dear Faculty, Staff, and Friends,

The Cooperative Agencies Resources for Education (CARE) and California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) programs will be hosting a Drive-thru Holiday Celebration this year. CARE and CalWORKs serves BC students who are also parents, with CARE parents being single head of household. Both programs are designed to promote student educational success by offering specialized services to parents receiving public assistance (CalWORKs/TANF/Tribal TANF) to increase wage earning power and lead to self-sufficiency.

In the spirit of the holiday season, we invite you to help us spread holiday cheer. Our goal is to ensure that the child(ren) of our CARE and CalWORKs students receive a gift from their wish list to open on the winter holiday. This year we will be providing families with a hot meal and the gifts collected from our “Adopt a Family” program. We want to thank everyone who has already registered to help. We still have 30 families who need to be adopted.”

To sign up to adopt a family, fill out the Adopt a Family Form online.

You can also contribute monetary donations through the Bakersfield College Foundation. Make your donation to “CARE/CalWORKs- Adopt a Family”.

Use Amazon Smile as you do your personal/holiday shopping this November/December. Visit, sign in to your Amazon account and select “Bakersfield College Foundation.” The Foundation will receive 0.5% of all eligible purchases made through!

Future of Fuels Webinar

Our interdisciplinary partnership in energy is building traction throughout the community, and we hosted our second webinar today on the Future of Fuels. We had a great panel of experts in research, policy and implementation of biofuels moderated by Stu Witt, the former CEO of Mojave Air and Space Port. Adam Bratis from NREL shared some information about research around bioenergy, using organic plant material to create everything from fuel to carbon fiber. Kelly Murillo from SoCalGas gave an overview of all the different technology used in processing clean biogas. Michael Carr is a manager of West Coast policy for Shell Oil company, and he shared some ongoing trends in carbon management. 

The next major event as part of the Energy Technology Transfer and Workforce Development partnership will be the Energy Summit on December 5 at 6 p.m., live on KGET.

Today, I’d like to share Adam’s presentation. It’s about 21 minutes long, and is filled with amazing information about the work being done at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory:

Virtual Seminar on Student Progression and Completion

Also on Tuesday, we held the second virtual seminar in our Strategic Directions series helping us gear up for the renewal of our three-year Strategic Plan. This session focused on Student Progression and Completion, and we had Kylie Campbell to talk about Early College, Krista Moreland to talk about Enrollment Management, Leo Ocampo on our 8+8 Week Classes, and Grace Commiso to talk about Starfish and the Student Information Desk. Thank you to all the participants in the webinar, and thank you to everyone for tuning in.

Check out Krisa Moreland’s presentation below:

Learning Together with the Library 

On Thursday, we had our third campus-wide “Learning Together” event. Presenters included Paula Parks and Nick Strobel.

This week, we discussed two academic journal articles:

  • “Postsecondary Equity Through the Lens of Policy Change”, published through the academic journal Change.
  • “When Pursuing Diversity, Victory is Hard to Define” published in Chronicle of Higher Education  

Please remember to view the libguide “Race and Cultural Competence” which is available at

Today, I’m sharing the Q&A session with Paula Parks and Mindy Wilmot from that discussion:

Levan Events

This week, there were also two virtual Levan Events.

“Deep Cuts and Conversations” featured Josh Ottum, Kris Tiner, and Reggie Williams listening to and breaking down some music.

“Civil Disobedience and Civil Unrest: Drawing Difficult Lines in Difficult Times” was presented by Pam Boyles, Gloria Dumler, Michael Harvath, and Erin Miller.

Love and Information

This weekend, the performing arts department presented a live Zoom play production of Caryl Churchill’s “Love and Information.”

BC Theatre students took on the challenge of performing live via Zoom Webinar, directly from their homes.

Thank you director Kimberly Chin, and the entire cast and crew, for innovating and finding ways to perform together!

Measure J Update

Gym and Field House Starting Construction Soon

Exciting news came in from the BC Facilities Team last week with the announcement that our new Gym and Field House had received final approval from the California Division of the State Architect, or DSA, the agency which provides oversight for construction of public school facilities. Construction on the project  is scheduled to begin on December 1. The timeline for the Gym and Field House has been pushed back due to DSA backcheck delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the new anticipated date of completion of this project is February of 2023.

Spotted on Social Media

And speaking of our A Better BC construction, Academic Technology Dean Bill Moseley shared this photo of construction on campus this week:

Jenny Frank, Veterans Services Manager, shared this photo of her getting ready to talk to KGET about the services BC offers our veterans:

(And you can check out the interview on the KGET website!)

Communication faculty Helen Acosta said she was “living her best life on Zoom”:

BCSGA shared another #ThrowbackThursday photo of campus:

I also enjoyed this throwback post from 2018 of Corny Rodriguez.
“We had our Planetarium field trip today and got to visit Tata at work!”

And we got another look back at Corny on the Padrinos de Bakersfield College instagram:

Community Voices

Kim Arbolante wrote about the Bakersfield College Writing Center and how they have adapted to helping students during the pandemic in a Community Voices piece this week.

“BC’s Writing Center has used this time during a pandemic to sharpen our lens on equity and put thought into action. We have recommitted ourselves, as professional tutors, to pivoting what we do and how we do it where it would cause further undue burden to ask our students to do so. This is why we remain open on Zoom with extended evening and weekend hours for busy parents and caregivers. This is why we insisted that all of our announcements to students about our new online Writing Center went out in both English and Spanish. This is why our new Umoja and Writing Center peer mentors even monitor social media to ensure no student goes with questions unanswered.”

Read more on The Bakersfield Californian website.


2019 CCCCCTCA Scholar Athlete Team

Congrats to three of our cross country student athletes – Adolfo Escudero, Elias Artega and Elias Martinez – for being named to the 2019 California Community College Cross Country and Track Coaches Association (CCCCCTCA) Scholar Athlete Team.

To make the team, cross-country student athletes must complete a minimum of 24 academic units with a 3.5 GPA or higher. This is the second year in arrow that Adolfo has made the team. This is a well-deserved recognition for all three of these students. Go ‘Gades!


That’s all for now.
Until next time.
With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.
sonya –
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

On Eagle’s Wings

Has this hymn been on your mind recently?

And then Earl found me this great piece from BC’s first president, a woman.

“One thinks of a college year book as a record of things past, things done together that are worth remembering. And this is surely its evident purpose. However, one might also think of it as a promise of things to come, a rehearsal for the larger drama of community life. As you turn over the pages of this 1948 Raconteur, let each one tell its story of personal and group achievement, of cooperation toward a common goal, of happiness shared with one another. And, in doing so, let each page also prophecy the kind of community you can help create by the same willing and selfless working together.”

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

Happy Veterans Day!

I hope everyone in the Renegade family, particularly those who have served in our nation’s armed services or have family members in the military, had a pleasant and reflective mid-week break for Veterans Day. I’m so thankful for all of your contributions to keeping our democracy safe.

I am saddened we were not able to hold our traditional annual Vet Fest this year, but I enjoyed reflecting on how Bakersfield College has honored our student veterans in years past. (And I am grateful that our fantastic Veterans Services team was able to put together ways to celebrate our veterans in different ways during this year’s Veterans Month.)

I also wanted to share this message from Jenny Frank, manager of Veterans programs & services:

“Dear Veterans, Friends, Colleagues, and Fellow Renegades,

Jenny Frank

Veterans Day is upon us, my first at Bakersfield College. Before coming to BC, I marveled to see how Bakersfield College celebrated veterans, not just in November, but all year round. Becoming a part of the BC family allows me the great pleasure of wishing all of our Renegade veterans a very happy Veterans Day.

Veterans, on this day, we pay tribute to you for your selfless service to our nation. While this is the day set aside in celebration of your service, know that each and every day we are eternally grateful for the sacrifices you have made. While some of you may have seen war in foreign lands, others might have stayed closer to home. Each of you raised your right hand and took the oath of enlistment. For that, there are no words that would be sufficient to express our profound gratitude.

Today we thank and celebrate our veterans, but I would be remiss if I did not take a moment to also thank the families of our servicemen and women for all that they do and have done to ensure their loved ones could fulfill their sacred duties. The sleepless nights, long deployments, and precious moments missed have not gone unnoticed, and you have our respect, admiration, and appreciation for all that you have endured.

To all Soldiers, Marines, Sailors, Airmen and women, and Coastguardsmen and women, wherever you are, we salute you!


Jenny Frank” 

Friday the 13th

Yesterday was Friday the 13th…. I don’t know if you experience folks turning down important meetings when the 13th falls on a Friday. 

I thought I’d share a little bit about the history of Friday the 13th, and how it became such a force in our culture

Thank you to Macy’s Department Store!

This week, the Renegade Pantry received a generous gift from our local Macy’s Department store. Thanks to many store employees who are Renegade alumni and current Renegades, the store took donations from the community and generated over $12,000 for the Renegade Pantry to stock the shelves for the holiday season.

Increasing Opportunities Through Collaborations

BC is creating more Early College opportunities for high school students through a new online collaborative teaching model. Last year the English, Education and Public Health departments partnered with Early College to bring their courses and pathways into more high schools. In this model the courses were taught fully online by BC faculty and the high school students received support navigating the college course from a high school instructor whom they met with daily within their high school schedule. After the completion of a successful pilot year, and the unexpected shift of all college and high school courses to online modalities, this model has expanded to 25 sections that are scheduled for next Spring.

Last week, Kylie Campbell provided a training and networking opportunity for the BC and high school instructors who will be teaching these courses in the Spring. It is amazing to see our educators from throughout Kern County coming together to ensure access and success for our Early College students. I am excited to see even more departments embracing this model and expanding their course offerings into the high schools this year, and look forward to the positive impact it will have on students entering and staying on their college pathways here at BC.

For more information on how your department can explore offering entrances to your pathways for Early College students, please contact Kylie Campbell at

A Better BC: S&E Topping Ceremony

On November 12, the construction crew on the new Science and Engineering building held their topping ceremony to symbolize that the steel beams that will form the skeleton of the building are near completion. The practice of “topping out” originated as a Scandinavian tradition of placing a tree to appease the spirits of the trees that had been displaced by construction. The practice spread across Europe and eventually the United States, where steel workers place a Christmas tree and an American flag on one of the last beams used in creating the structure of the building.

BC Director of Facilities Bill Potter and AECOM Project Manager John Smith were on hand to witness the Science and Engineering topping ceremony. This is our second topping ceremony of 2020 after the Campus Center in February, which is nearing completion of the main building by the end of this year.

Thank you to everyone who helped build A Better BC, and check out the photos from the Topping Ceremony taken by Earl Parsons.

Virtual Forum on Student Learning

We’re gearing up to renew our 3-year Strategic Plan, so on Thursday, we launched the first in a four-part series of virtual seminars around our Strategic Directions. For the Strategic Direction of Student Learning, Alex Rockey from Academic Technology talked about microbadging, Assessment Committee co-chair Brent Wilson shared their approach to measuring learning, Nick Strobel spoke on social construction of learning, and Erica Menchaca explained the nuances of competency-based education.

Alex Rockey:

Brent Wilson:

Nick Strobel:

Erica Menchaca:

Love and Information

BC’s Performing Arts will present Love and Information by Caryl Churchill through a Live Zoom Webinar next week November 19, 20, and 21, 2020. Our students will perform live from their homes!

The Virtual Lobby opens at 7:15 P.M. each of the nights and the show starts at 7:30 P.M. Admission is free, but advanced registration is required. For more information about the play and to register, visit Love and Information.

Women’s Caucus

Women leaders in the California community college system have launched a new caucus to celebrate their contributions and advocate for women in higher education. The California Community College Women’s Caucus is holding its inaugural meeting on Tuesday, November 17 with Deputy Chancellor Daisy Gonzales and Pasadena City College Trustee Linda Wah. Our very own Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg is one of the leads for this newly formed group

Trustee Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg

Visit the Women’s Caucus website for more information about how to join this collaborative.

Archives Throwback: Grace Van Dyke Bird’s Introduction to 1948 Raconteur

And speaking of women breaking barriers in higher education, check out this throwback to BC’s first president, Grace Van Dyke Bird.

Grace Van Dyke Bird is the reason why we call institutions of higher learning like BC “community colleges”. In the introduction to the 1948 Raconteur yearbook, she kept that same focus on community and forward-thinking when she asked Renegades to imagine the kind of world they could help build after their time at BC. Here are her eloquent words again — a double touch in today’s blog.

“One thinks of a college year book as a record of things past, things done together that are worth remembering. And this is surely its evident purpose. However, one might also think of it as a promise of things to come, a rehearsal for the larger drama of community life. As you turn over the pages of this 1948 Raconteur, let each one tell its story of personal and group achievement, of cooperation toward a common goal, of happiness shared with one another. And, in doing so, let each page also prophecy the kind of community you can help create by the same willing and selfless working together.”

In The News

BC In the Vineyards

Friday the 13th can bring bad luck – but this Friday the 13th I woke to find a wonderful article from Emma Gallegos on the front page above the fold of the Bakersfield Californian.

Emma Gallegos wrote about “BC In the Vineyards,” which brings counselors and advisers into the vineyards to help farmworkers navigate higher education.

Last year, I wrote about BC in the Vineyards in my November 3 blog post. I also wanted to share my posts from October 29, 2018, and November 4, 2018, which also featured this amazing program.

Thank you to Jaime Lopez and our entire Rural Initiatives team for their work on helping expand access to education throughout the county.

Kern Venture Group
JP Lake

I was also excited to see this story in the Californian. JP Lake’s Kern Venture Group has passed the $1 million mark in investing to promote and support local startup businesses.

KVG is Kern County’s first “angel investor group,” and has raised over $2.15 million to invest in local entrepreneurs through December 2021.

JP Lake is truly an asset to the Kern County community, and I am excited to see what further good he and the KVG will do in the coming year.

Community Voices

Benny Balderrama, a program manager in the Office of Student Life, wrote a Community Voices piece in this week’s Bakersfield Californian: “Renegades creating a digital community“.

Benny Balderrama

He wrote of the challenges and creativity in maintaining community in our online, socially-distanced reality.

“BC’s innovative spirit has opened a lot of creative windows over the past eight months as we’ve navigated this new virtual and sometimes “stifling” environment. I commend our students for their flexibility and I’ve never been more proud to meet students where they’re at, creating a space that allows them to succeed and thrive.”

Spotted on Social Media

Brian Sivesind from the Theatre Department shared an addition to his family. Congratulations!!

I loved this tweet from journalist Poornima Murali, showing the celebration in Kamala Harris’ ancestral village. I grew up in a similar area in south India.

BC Nursing shared a pic of Level 1 RN students:


Memorial Stadium Always Looking Beautiful

Enjoy these wonderful shots of our gorgeous Memorial Stadium from this last week taken by the Instagram account @epicflightz. This account is a great follow for amazing shots of Bakersfield and Kern County. We anxiously await the opportunity to be back in our athletics facilities and cheer on our Renegades. Until then, we have shots like this to remind us of the beauty of Memorial Stadium and memories of great times. 

That’s all for now.
Until next time.
With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.
sonya –
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

A Beautiful Day

Let’s start with this photo a friend sent me of Monday morning’s sunrise at the Panorama Campus. A beautiful sky for a beautiful college.

Life Is Not Measured By the Number of Breaths We Take,
But By the Moments That Take Our Breath Away

Good morning Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, November 7, 2020, a beautiful day … and a great day to be a Renegade.

Enrollment Begins for Spring

Registration began this week for “Special Populations” and Continuing Students who have completed all enrollment steps. Students can see how to qualify for Early (Priority) Registration on the BC website.

Outreach & Early College

The Outreach & Early College Department had a Disney-themed team call this past week. The team call also turned into an impromptu Dodgers celebration following their World Series Win!

It’s always fun when I’m able to see how our BC teams stay connected and have fun virtually. Thank you for sharing!

Upcoming: David French Visits BC Virtually Next Week

Please join us for the next Distinguished Speaker Series event, sponsored by BCSGA and the Office of Student Life at Bakersfield College.

David French,
Senior Editor, Columnist, Bestselling Author

The events are free and open to the public. All events this year are scheduled to be via Zoom on a virtual platform. Closed captioning will be available at each event.

David French will be speaking on the Bakersfield Student Government Association Facebook page at two times:

 David French is a senior editor at The Dispatch and a columnist for Time.

A graduate of Harvard Law School and a constitutional lawyer, David most recently worked as a senior writer for National Review and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute. His most recent book — Divided we fall.

David is a former major in the United States Army Reserve. In 2007 he deployed to Iraq with the Third Armored Cavalry Regiment and was awarded the Bronze Star.

Thank you to History Professor Paul Beckworth for his work in putting this event together.

This event is part of Bakersfield College’s Veterans Month activities.

The Effects of Colorism on Latina and Black Youth Panel

This week, Bakersfied College’s Latinas Unidas Student Organization and Latina Leaders of Kern County held their third discussion on race & diversity relations in Kern County.

In the first panel, local leaders presented their experiences and perspectives on race and diversity relations in Kern County, as women in biracial marriages and women raising biracial children. The second panel featured Kern County women who are leading conversations around diversity to make our community and coalitions stronger.

Thank you to Brenda Valadez for her work in coordinating these discussions, and to Norma Rojas-Mora for facilitating the discussions.

Today, I’d like to share a short, 45-second clip from one of our students, Aris Trujillo, who spoke on her experience with light-skin privilege:

Get Out The Vote Caravan

Last weekend, the BC Cheer team and Drumline showed up to celebrate early voters on campus.

Thank you to Heather Foss and Tim Heasley for bringing the students out safely to engage them in one of the most critical exercises of citizenship in the United States.

Spotted on Social Media

Kalina Hill’s dog Thunder turned 11 this week!

Vice President of Instruction Billie Jo Rice shared this photo of her enjoying a beautiful day with her granddaughters:

I loved this note and these photos from the Rural Initiatives Facebook page:

Today our RI Team concluded day 3 of Bakersfield College in the Vineyards. In order to eliminate barriers for our rural students, innovative approaches are crucial to their success especially during a pandemic. We had the privilege of taking out BC face masks to those who feed the nation and through technology, info sent out in real time of their interest in pursuing their education…. bettering their lives and the lives of their families.

History professor Olivia Garcia shared her Halloween costume – she dressed as the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Olivia was instrumental in helping put together Bakersfield College’s tribute to Justice Ginsburg. Here is her introduction to that program:

In the News

Community Voices

Dean of Academic Technology Bill Moseley wrote a Community Voices piece about “preparing students for the workplace of tomorrow.”

“Last fall, the academic technology team at Bakersfield College, partnering with our Career and Technical Education leadership and several academic departments, launched an innovative effort to provide students and their future employers with a much sharper picture of student learning. Called badges or microcredentials, these digital representations of learning allow employers and students to see a much more detailed view of what happens inside a college course, down to the level of the critical skills and knowledge students will master. In addition to the more detailed view of learning, badges store information, such as when and how the skill was measured.”

Local Art

Retired Bakersfield College Professor Susan McQuerrey has a collection of watercolors, “Nature’s Colors”, on display at Dagny’s Coffee, and on the BAA Facebook page.

She shared a bit about her process in a recent Bakersfield Californian article.


‘Gades Club’ Launched to Support Renegade Student Athlete Success

This last week our athletics department announced the launch of the ‘Gades Club’ to help support the success of Renegade student athletes both on the field and in the classroom.

Since 1922 Renegade Athletics has served as a launching pad for thousands upon thousands of student athletes who have gone on to professional careers both in their respective sports and off the playing field. The newly announced ‘Gades Club’ is a way for community donors to support Bakersfield College student athletes as they continue their academic and athletic careers at one of the most well-respected community colleges in the country.

Reggie Bolton

“Participation in college athletics had long been a training ground for life lessons that transcend sports,” said current Renegade Interim Dean/Athletic Director Reggie Bolton.

“What our student athlete learn in their time here will stick with them through their entire lives. We appreciate the long-standing relationships and support the Bakersfield community has provided throughout the years. With the introduction of the ‘Gades Club’ we are looking to maintain a strong connection with that community and our Renegade alumni well into the future”

The ‘Gades Club’ will provide financial support to all 20 Renegade athletic male/female teams and will assist with the annual Hall of Fame and Renegade student athlete awards ceremonies. Click here to visit the ‘Gades Club’ webpage and make a donation to support the future of Renegade Athletics. The donation is tax deductible, but it is advised to speak with a tax professional for details.


That’s all for now.
Until next time.
With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.
sonya –
the luckiest and happiest college president ever