BC discusses the Future of Learning and more

Last night, the FDA approved the first Covid-19 vaccine for the United States. The US is now the 6th country to approve this vaccine, and millions of our most vulnerable Americans could start receiving it within days. It is a bright spot in this holiday season that has been completely changed by the pandemic.

And so, I wanted to share another bright spot with all of you:

Astronomy professor and planetarium director Nick Strobel recorded this masterpiece, with words by R.G. Huff, updating a timeless Christmas carol for the time of Covid:

But even as this vaccine promises to begin putting us on a path back to another new normal, we must remain vigilant. There is still a long, hard road before the vaccine is widely available, and we must continue to maintain our social distancing and wear masks to do our part during this pandemic.

Dr. Brijesh Bhambi

Dr. Brij Bhambi wrote this piece for the Bakersfield Californian focusing on the Covid-19 vaccine and what we all must do to stay safe until enough of us are vaccinated.

“As we close 2020, the holiday season and family festivities invite. Pandemic fatigue peaks. Virus spreads relentlessly. The vaccine promises to bridge the troubled waters, but restlessness refuses to walk the bridge to safety on the other side. Science can’t triumph with failed adoption.

“Sacred lives can be saved by compliance to common sense. We won’t discuss masks on the other side of COVID-19. What’s a few more weeks among friends we know and undiscovered friendships that await the random walk of life. Health care workers, law enforcement, firefighters, grocery workers, elderly and sick are begging for your cooperation during this homestretch.”

I invite you all to visit the blog that Dr. Bhambi and I are collaborating on: https://bhambiandchristian.com/ where we are discussing issues of importance to our community.

Good morning Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, December 12, 2020 … a great day to be a Renegade.

As we move deeper into this holiday season, I thought I would share videos from BC’s performing arts program over the last several years. Here is a piece from the July 2019 production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. This song has been in my head for over a week now.

Fall 2020 Finals Week

It took a lot of hard work and innovative thinking, but we’ve all managed to work together and finish a full semester online. Our faculty and staff, and especially our students who persevered to have a successful Fall 2020, should all be applauded for what they’ve managed to accomplish. I hope you have a well-rested and well-deserved winter break and return reinvigorated and full of fresh new ideas about how to serve our students online during Spring 2021.

The Future of Learning: ACCJC Conversations Among Thought Leaders

Panelists from Day 3 of the ACCJC Future of Learning Seminar Series on Dec. 7.
Row 1: Stephanie Droker and Sonya Christian; row 2: Marty Alvarado and Aisha Lowe; row 3: Deb Bushway.

The second week of our ACCJC conference featuring leaders in education, civics and policy wrapped up on Dec. 7 and 8, with hundreds of participants from across the state tuning in to #OccupyLearning. The conference was spread out over four days, with two one-hour sessions each day.

For the first session on Day 3, December 7, we had Deb Bushway, President and CEO of Northwestern Health Sciences University, to talk about competency-based education with Vice Chancellor Aisha Lowe and our BC facilitator Erica Menchaca. For the second session of Day 3, Concentric Sky CEO Wayne Skipper engaged in a discussion with Bill Moseley about Badgr, micro-credentialing, and its implementation within guided pathways.

We closed out the seminar series on Day 4, starting with Arizona State University president Michael Crow, who answered questions from Southwestern College professor Randy Beach about the ambitious plan for research universities that Crow describes in The Fifth Wave: The Evolution of American Higher Education. After Michael Crow, we heard 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 on a direct, multi-year responsibility for a self-sustaining community, including roles in the administration and shared governance of the college, all while earning an Associate of Arts degree. One of the most unique colleges in the ACCJC system, Deep Springs College’s mission is to “prepare young people for a life of service to humanity”. Nick Strobel was the facilitator for both sessions.

Here’s a taste of the conversations we had over the past few weeks, from Deb Bushway on Day 3:

And a clip from the conversation with students Sam Clarke and Connie Jiang on Day 4:

You can find information – including videos – from all 4 days of programming at https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/conference/2020-the-future-of-learning.

CCC Women’s Caucus

Lande Ajose

The California Community College Women’s Caucus started as the system’s youngest caucus this summer before becoming the caucus with the most members in the Community College League of California. The Women’s Caucus hosted its second webinar on Monday, December 7, encouraging women in higher education to harness their agency and leadership in supporting students, many of whom are mothers, with housing and food insecurities during the pandemic.  All of this thanks to the leadership of KCCD Trustee Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, who is already making her mark statewide.

The first keynote speaker of the event was Dee Dee Myers, a political analyst who was the first woman in history to serve as the White House Press Secretary under Bill Clinton’s first term in 1992. From a young age, Myers developed an appreciation for community colleges through her family’s connection with College of the Canyons, and she encouraged women to recognize their value and accomplishments within their organizations.

The second keynote speaker was Lande Ajose, a senior policy advisor of higher education for the office of Governor Newsom. Ajose spoke about how important it is for people in under-represented spaces to use their voice and make sure their diverse perspective is heard and valued.

For more information about the Women’s Caucus, including how to join the caucus before our members-only meeting in January where we’ll be approving our bylaws, visit the CCC Womens’ Caucus website.

You can also find more videos from all the webinars we’ve held so far.

BC Now Offering Physical Therapy Assistant Course in Spring 2021 

Registration is now open for a brand-new course, PHTA B50: Introduction to PTA (Physical Therapy Assistant), designed to teach students about the role of a physical therapist in a healthcare team or a variety of clinical settings. The course will also include history, ethics, and values of the American Physical Therapy Association.

Students who take this course will learn basic concepts of physical therapy interventions and the evidence-based practice model along with the role and duties required to become a physical therapist assistant to determine if they are good match to apply for the program. The course will include examining areas of diversity, patient privacy and HIPAA, cultural competency as it pertains to physical therapy. 

Suzanne Oesch

“There is an immediate demand for Physical Therapist Assistants currently in Kern County,” says Suzanne Oesch, PT, DPT Professor of Health and Physical Education and Director of BC’s Physical Therapist Assistant Program.

“I’m so excited that BC has started the process to offer a program for students who want to stay local and get an affordable degree that allows them the opportunity to become a licensed physical therapist assistant and provide physical therapy services under the supervision of a physical therapist. I’m so eager to share not only my knowledge from 21 years of experience in the field at various clinics throughout Kern County, but also my experience as a BC alumnus who went on to fulfill her dreams and have a successful local career.”

According to the Employment Development Department State of California, (EDD), the demand for Physical Therapist Assistants is expected to grow much faster than the average growth across all occupations.  Jobs for Physical Therapist Assistants are expected to increase by 30.8% or 1600 jobs projected between 2016 and 2026, for the state of California. Specifically in Kern County demand for Physical Therapist Assistants is expected to increase 37.5 percent between 2016 and 2026 in Kern County.

BC Presents for CLP’s “Problem Solving: Moving Dual Enrollment Online” Webinar Series

This last Thursday, Bakersfield College was invited to close out Career Ladders Project’s (CLP) “Problem Solving: Moving Dual Enrollment Online” Webinar Series with a presentation on the work BC has done to connect dual enrollment to Guided Pathways through our Early College initiative.

Our Program Director for Early College, Kylie Campbell, and our Executive Director of Outreach and Early College, Steven Watkin, presented together to over 115 attendees on BC’s strategic scale-up from “random acts of dual enrollment” to intentional pathways offered to high school students starting as early as the 9th grade, and how we included our partners in this work. Kylie and Steve were able to answer questions from dual enrollment personnel from throughout California on how Early College has been implemented into both our academic departments and our student services on campus.

It is amazing to share how Early College helps us achieve the Chancellor’s Vision for Success, and how continued support and growth of this program will help us reach more students in our community–bringing them to BC and to setting them up for sfuture degree completion and success.

Thank you, CLP for including us in this amazing opportunity to share and collaborate with our community college and high school colleagues from throughout the state!

You can visit CLP’s website to view Kylie and Steve’s presentation and other great resources for student support and success.

Motivational Speaker Advises Umoja Students on how to PIVOT

Terrance Minnoy spoke to Umoja students on ways to adjust to and make the most of this COVID-induced virtual environment. Drawing on a basketball analogy, he themed the three-part series P.I.V.O.T. He explained that athletes do that “to improve their position, clarity, and vision to avoid roadblocks and barriers.”

During fall semester, the Umoja program offered weekly meetings for students. Called Indabas (a Swahili word for important meeting with important people), they ranged from workshops on adjusting to college, learning online, overcoming writer’s block, combating stress, to motivational interactive talks.

Over three sessions, Minnoy covered P – purpose, I – Intentionally invest in yourselves, V – vision clarification, O – opportunistic mindset, and T -take action.

Timothy, an Umoja student, appreciated how Minnoy shared his story of having suffered a stroke and having to learn to walk again, some of which he chronicled in Indifferent Strokes: Embracing Life’s Adversities.

With P – purpose, Minnoy encouraged students to think on what their assignment is. Students said that I – investing in oneself can vary from taking care of one’s mental health to physical health to getting an education to being involved in one’s community. In V- vison, Minnoy discussed the importance of visualizing one’s goals and strategizing to develop an O – opportunistic mindset.

Alexis commented: “I’m letting go of that victim mindset and being more opportunistic and open to new opportunities.”

Minnoy finished with discussing ways to T – take action, such as start small, take responsibility, and don’t focus on the “what if’s.”

When asked what she got out of the series, Hortense said, “I’m going to be more responsible for myself and hold myself accountable.”

Umoja Community is a program started by Dr. Paula L. Parks and connected to a state-wide organization umojacommunity.org. Umoja includes courses with an African-American focus, mentoring, counseling to keep students on track to graduate and transfer, college visits, and academic and cultural activities. The following courses are offered this spring: Psychology b5, Astronomy b2, English b1b, Communications b1/Lib b1, and Math b22. Contact Dr. Parks at pparks@bakersfieldcollege.edu about registration information.

Catching up with BC Alumni: T. Johnson

This week local Alumni and Renegade champion, T. Johnson shared what Bakersfield College means to her: LEGACY! Love you T.Johnson!

What does Bakersfield College mean to you? Share your BC story at https://www.supportbc.org/tell-us-your-bc-story/!

In The News

John Means to be inducted into CSUB Hall of Fame

John Means

John Means, vice chancellor of educational services for the Kern Community College District, will be inducted into the CSUB Hall of Fame this February.

He is a son of Taft who went on to become an environmental justice advocate, leader in elected and party politics, and innovator of programs that expand educational opportunities for disadvantaged students.

Means is vice chancellor of educational services for the Kern Community College District, overseeing a wide range of programs to help its more than 30,000 pupils succeed.

Means got his start in community service alongside Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta and when he was on the Bakersfield City Council he secured funds for the bike path, and made politics more inclusive.

Means spent his early educational career helping Kern High School District students grapple with emotional and behavioral problems and teaching part time at Bakersfield College and CSUB. In 1978 he began teaching full time at BC, where he also developed the Central Valley’s first center to mainstream infants and kids with disabilities.

Means pivoted to economic and workforce development programs. As dean of El Camino College in L.A.’s South Bay, he helped high schoolers transition to college, started a Project Lead the Way program and extended vocational programs to more female students.

He returned to Kern’s college district to become associate chancellor of economic and workforce development, where he pushed high school-to-college dual enrollment programs. Today, Means pays particular attention to helping Latinos, single mothers and students with disabilities succeed in higher ed.

Science Sundays features BC faculty

Did you catch Timothy Plett from the BC Physical Science department on 12ABC’s Science Sundays?

He explained how ovens work. Check it out at https://www.turnto23.com/news/science-sundays/science-sundays-how-does-your-oven-work.

Community Voices: Cheryl Scott

BC Foundation Director Cheryl Scott wrote this piece in the Bakersfield Californian asking our community to consider giving the gift of education this holiday season.

“A quick visit to the Foundation’s website shows some of the many avenues for supporting students’ dreams of achieving a college degree. One fund is the Renegade Pantry, which helps ensure students have access to food, even when their funds run short. Similarly, the BC Student Emergency fund was created to provide funding (through a referral process) to students finding themselves in a financial bind that may cause them to choose between education and another, competing, priority. Funds like these grow and make an impact even when the smallest of contributions are made. Every dollar makes a difference!”

Spotted on Social Media

Jennifer Garrett shared this video from the BC Choirs:

Communications faculty Helen Acosta shared this photo on Facebook, making the best of life with Zoom:

The BC Library team – Kirk Russell, Faith Bradham, Elisabeth Sundby, Mindy Wilmot, Sondra Keckley, and Laura Luiz, signed off for the semester by joining together virtually:

The Jones Art Gallery shared another beautiful piece of artwork from a BC Student. This one is from Taylor Rodman, from the Art B46 Advanced Photo class with Kris Stallworth:

And Olivia Garcia shared this fun meme about the end of finals week:


This Week in Renegade Athletics History

Eight years ago this week – December 8th, 2012 – Bakersfield College hosted City College of San Francisco in the CCCAA State Football Championship in Memorial Stadium. That is a day not soon forgotten in the minds of faithful Renegade fans. 17,000+ red and white clad fans waving towels and cheering ‘Go Gades!’ at the top of their lungs – it was a sight and experience not soon to be forgotten. I’m sure most of you were at that game and part of the crowd cheering on our ‘Gades as they routed CCSF 35-14. That crowd was by far the largest for any junior college football game in the last decade, maybe even the last two decades!

Our current Athletics Communications Director Brandon Urry, who was not a Renegade at the time, attended that game and took these pictures long before he became one of us. We can’t wait for our Renegades to be back out on the field and for the opportunity to make memories like these.

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 discusses the Future of Learning and more

  1. Michael O'Doherty December 12, 2020 at 9:39 am Reply

    Great work and creativity by all. Congratulations

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