BC – A beacon of light during difficult times

Good morning Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, December 5, 2020 … a great day to be a Renegade.

BC Receives Bank of America Jobs Grant

BC received a $56,000 grant from Bank of America to support a new pilot project for students in our Early College Public Health Program. The project has been developed in partnership with The Centric Foundation and is  focused on addressing health related issues and career pathways in communities of need. 

Starting in ninth grade, students enter this four-year program with curriculum addressing issues such as obesity, heart disease and heart health, leading them on a path towards earning an Associate’s Degree Transfer in Public Health by the time they graduate high school.

You can read the full story at the Bakersfield College news site.

Giving Tuesday

Aricia Leighton

Thank you to Aricia Leighton for providing this write-up:

As you may have seen in the blog last week, the programs for Cooperative Agencies Resources for Education (CARE) and California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) invited BC employees to support our CARE and CalWORKs students this  holiday season by adopting a family or donating through the BC Foundation.

In years past, the programs have a large party for the families with Santa and opening gifts. You can see pictures from last year in the my Raising the Bar post under “Tis the Season for Giving.”  Due to the pandemic and our concern for keeping everyone safe, the CARE and CalWORKs Holiday Celebration will be a Drive-thru affair this year. Families will be provided with a hot meal and the gifts collected through the adopt-a-family program.

Seventy-five students are participating in the CARE/CalWORKS Drive Thru Holiday Celebration with a total of 166 children receiving gifts this holiday season thanks to the generosity of faculty, staff, and community members. Fifty-six BC employees participated in the “Adopt a Family” program. That does not include the amazing staff that donated to our Foundation’s account. CARE/CalWORKS also raised $1600 to support this program from generous direct donations to the BC Foundation and purchases made through Amazon Smile.  
Despite the social distancing and safety measures the pandemic requires, families will go home with presents and a certificate for a holiday meal. The CARE and CalWORKs programs would like to acknowledge all the donors who made this event possible. Your amazing generosity will make a lasting impression on our students’ children. I’m so proud to be a part of such a giving community! We Are BC! 

The Future of Learning: ACCJC Conversations

Row 1, left to right: Stephanie Droker, Sonya Christian, Eloy Oakley, and David French
Row 2, left to right: Tia Brown McNair, Kathleen Burke, Ned Doffoney, and Michael Zimmerman

The first half of our seminar series hosted by ACCJC was a huge success, and we hope you’ll join me and ACCJC President Stephanie Droker for the final two days on Monday, Dec. 7 and Tuesday, Dec. 8.

Day 1 began on Wednesday with a moving introduction by Chancellor Eloy Oakley inviting us to dive deep into our series of substantive discussions about the future of education. ACCJC Commissioner Kathleen Burke moderated the first session with Tia Brown McNair, author of “From Equity Talk to Equity Walk”, to engage in a dialogue about how to weave equity ideals into the fabric of higher education’s curriculum and administration while BC’s Jessica Wojtysiak fielded questions from the Zoom chat window. For the second session of the day, Commissioner Ned Doffoney spoke with David French, author of the book “Divided We Fall”, to get a deeper understanding of America’s polarization problem and its implications on higher education. Manny Mourtzanos fielded the questions from the chat for the David French session.

Here’s a short video (3:01) to give you a taste of our conversation with David French:

On Day 2, we had “Degrees That Matter” author Natasha Jankowski on the seminar series for a wide-reaching discussion about assessment with Dolores Davison of the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges and Cheryl Aschenbach of Lassen Community College. Jessica Wojtysiak fielded the audience questions for a second day in a row for Natasha Jankowski’s section. Day 2 ended with Cecilia Rios-Aguilar, Associate Dean of Equity and Inclusion at UCLA, who spoke with University of Hawaii professor Sally Pestana about gaining a deeper understanding of community college students and their life experiences. Craig Hayward helped us close out the Ceciia Rios-Aguilar session with questions from Zoom.

I hope you’ll join us next week for the second half of our Future of Learning Seminar Series. Day 3 begins at 2 p.m. on December 7 with Deb Bushway, President and CEO of Northwestern Health Sciences University, who will be talking about competency-based education with Vice Chancellor Aisha Lowe and our BC facilitator Erica Menchaca. Our second session on December 7 is with Concentric Sky CEO Wayne Skipper, who will engage in a discussion with BC’s Dean of Academic Technology Bill Moseley about Badgr, the future of microcredentialing, and its implementation within guided pathways.

We’ll close out the seminar series with our last two sessions on Dec. 8. In the first session, Arizona State University President Michael Crow and Southwestern College professor Randy Beach will break down Crow’s ambitious plan for research universities described in “The Fifth Wave: The Evolution of American Higher Education.” For the final session of the series, we’ll hear an important student perspective from Sam Clarke and Connie Jiang of Deep Springs College, a school based on a remote cattle ranch and farm where students take a direct, year-long responsibility for a self-sustaining community while earning an Associate of Arts degree. Deep Springs College’s mission is to “prepare young people for a life of service to humanity”.

If you haven’t registered for “The Future of Learning: Conversations Among ACCJC Thought Leaders”, visit the registration page today and join the conversation. You can find out more information about the event on the ACCJC website or BC’s conference page.

President’s Forum: Contact Tracing

This week, we continued the President’s Virtual Forum series with a discussion on the free, non-credit Public Health course on Contact Tracing. BC has opened additional sections of this two-week online course, PBHS B99: Infectious Disease Contact Tracing.

Courses will begin December 7, January 4, and January 25. The course is open to any participants who wish to enroll and there are no prerequisites. For guidance and support with enrolling, please visit BC’s online Student Information Desk on Zoom from 9 am – 6 pm, Monday-Thursday.

Here is a short video (2:35) of Public Health Science Program Director Charles Daramola describing the course:

Richard McCrow

And be sure to check out the Community Voices piece that Dean Richard McCrow wrote this week:


“Last week, BC gained approval for a new Infectious Disease Contact Tracing course which is available at no cost for students and the community. This training in COVID-19 and infectious diseases will provide the skills needed for organizations to gain a deeper understanding of this pandemic and implement practical applications to prevent the further spread of this virus. Attendees will also gain awareness of state protocols and necessary actions after testing positive. It will provide all students and lifelong learners with much needed expertise and understanding to protect us during this critical gap to our receiving immunizations.”

Virtual Concert: Becoming Us

On Monday, BC’s Choirs premiered “Becoming Us”, an original production celebrating BC students, faculty and staff and the challenges we’ve all had to face during the COVID-19 pandemic. The full performance is available online via YouTube and features Jennifer Garrett, Patrick Bender, BC voice professors Ken Burdick, Caley Mayhall, and Christina Parnell, as well as flute instructor Tracy Harris.

BC Foundation Releases December 2020 Newsletter

From email from Heather Pennella:

Welcome to December! The crew of the BC Foundation is excited to share the second volume of our newsletter, PANORAMA, with you all! In this edition, you can read up on the efforts of the BC Alumni Association, learn more about Chevron’s ongoing support of Bakersfield College, and discover a local family that celebrates a legacy of “unity through giving.”  Thank you for your attention and enjoy!!!

Thank you to BC Foundation Director Cheryl Scott, Alumni and Donor Relations Manager Heather Pennella, and the entire BC Foundation team, for all you do for our students and alumni!

Cheryl Scott & Heather Pennella

A Better BC Update: Memorial Stadium Scoreboard and Lights

Every day, we get one step closer to building A Better BC for our students. KCCD Project Manager Nicholas Hernandez provided us photos of Columbo Construction testing the new lights at Memorial Stadium on Tuesday night. The second phase of our Memorial Stadium project, which includes updates to the seating, concessions and PA box, is almost complete. 

The construction team also tested our beautiful new LCD screen displaying an animated graphic of the BC logo.

Keep an eye on this space in the next coming weeks for more photos from Memorial Stadium and the new Campus Center.

Spotted on Social Media

Olivia Garcia from our History department shared a public service video she made for the Latino Covid-19 Task Force. Olivia is a member of the task force, as well as the Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

I have so loved checking the BCSGA Instagram feed for their quotes. This week’s quote from Voltaire is particularly uplifting:

BC Librarian Sondra Keckley is also spreading an uplifting message as she gets into the holiday spirit:

And check out our BC Nursing students! Level 1 RN students celebrating their last day of clinical. Congratulations, Renegades, and thank you for all you do!


Former Renegade Banks Names to CFL All-Decade Team

Former Renegade Football standout Brandon Banks was just named to the Canadian Football League’s (CFL) All-Decade team (2010-2019.) He was named to the First-Team All-Decade as a special team’s returner and to the Second-Team All-Decade as a receiver. In 2019 Banks was also named the CFL’s Most Outstanding Player at the league annual Shaw Awards. 

Banks, originally from Raleigh, North Carolina, played at Bakersfield College from 2006-2007. In 2007 he helped lead Bakersfield to a No. 1 national ranking, a 12-1 record on the season and a berth in the Southern California championship game.

Banks still holds the BC football receiving record from the 2007 season in which he had 93 receptions for 1396 yards and 15 touchdowns. This is a phenomenal award for Brandon and we are proud to call him a Renegade! Click below to see the video the CFL produced on him called ‘My Story’


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 “BC – A beacon of light during difficult times

  1. Michael O'Doherty December 6, 2020 at 8:29 am Reply

    I think the progress being made in so many areas is fantastic. The By-Laws update went really well too.

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