BC helping our community #getvaccinated

This week, Kern County Public Health announced that all Kern County residents 16 and older are eligible to receive the Covid-19 vaccine. Governor Gavin Newsom also announced that California has administered 20 million shots of vaccines. Even more excitingly, he announced that if California’s vaccine supply remains sufficient and hospital rates are stable and low, California will fully reopen on June 15 – while keeping mask requirements and common-sense risk reduction measures.

It has been one of the most hopeful weeks in this entire pandemic: Everyone’s hard work – from staying home and wearing masks to major efforts in bringing vaccines into our communities – is paying off in real and tangible ways.

Bakersfield College is continuing to host vaccination clinics. These clinics are open to the community. Appointments can be found through myturn.ca.gov. Please visit the Bakersfield College vaccination clinic webpage for up-to-date information about our clinics.

And check out the galleries from our drive-thru clinics on March 21 and March 26!

I also wanted to share some personal good news with you…. Bessie has turned the corner in her recovery from Valley Fever. She has been convalescing in Bakersfield since January and will probably be here until June. With, what appears to be a sudden improvement in her health, she is back to her mischievous self ….. flower beds are no longer safe. And her stealthy pseudo attacks on Neo are back in full force.

Good morning Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, April 10, 2021 … a great day to be a Renegade.


BC is promoting vaccinations as a public health necessity.

One-minute #getvaccinated promotional video.

Here is a 10-minute video of Cindy Collier dispelling some myths about the Covid-19 vaccine:

BC Selected for Citizen Leadership Center

Allen Bolar

This week, the Citizens Campaign announced Bakersfield College as one of 10 locations nationwide to establish a Citizen Leadership Center.  These centers, primarily at Community Colleges, aim to give citizens the tools and know-how to exercise their power beyond the ballot, equipping them with the pragmatic, problem solving skills needed to work together despite their political differences. 

The announcement was livestreamed on Facebook and included BC Political Science Professor Allen Bolar, who said, “Developing new leaders who know how to work with people with whom they disagree and are skilled at identifying practical solutions is essential if we are to successfully address our local and national challenges. Those are the skills that our Citizen Leadership Center will impart to our students and interested members of the communities we serve.”

You can watch a recording of the announcement media conference.

Virtual Seminar Series: Workgroups

This week, we continued the Virtual Seminar Series with forums featuring two of our campus reopening workgroups.

On Tuesday, we heard from members of the instructional workgroup. Dean Richard McCrow led a Q&A session with faculty members Jordan Rude, Christie Howell, Joe Saldivar and Rony Recinos, talking about what faculty, students, and staff can expect as we begin reopening our campus more broadly.

In this 3:31 video, the panelists reflect on what faculty and staff can do to take part in the planning process as we prepare for students’ return:

On Thursday, we heard from members of the Student Workgroup. We heard from Student Life Director Nicky Damania, Student Health and Wellness Center Director Cindy Collier, Student Success & Counseling Director Marisa Marquez, Nursing Professor Lisa Harding, and Nursing student Abigail Greenleaf-Porcho.

Please check the BC website in the coming days for the rest of the videos from Thursday’s panel. You can also see an archive of the Virtual Seminar Series videos on that page. As always, thank you to Earl Parsons, Todd Coston, and Nicky Damania for your continued work in facilitating these important information sessions.

The Southern San Joaquin Valley Cal-SOAP Spring Staff Development Training

The California Student Opportunity and Access Program (Cal-SOAP) held their Spring Staff Development Training on March 29th and 30th. This two-day training provided the Cal-SOAP Student Success Coaches with valuable information regarding the “Next Steps” for high school students entering into higher education. Cal-SOAP has 26 Student Success Coaches that support high school students at 21 school sites throughout Kern County. Professionals from Bakersfield College, California State University, Bakersfield, University of California Merced, and University of La Verne provided information on topics such as registration, auto enrollment, web portals, housing, and campus updates for incoming freshmen students. The Cal-SOAP staff provided training on financial aid next steps that included FAFSA/CADAA corrections, reviewing Student Aid Reports, Webgrants for Students, Chafee Grant, and verification forms. This training is one of serval Cal-SOAP trainings that are held throughout the year.

7th Annual Levan Lecture: Attorney and Professor of Law Barry Scheck

This Thursday, April 15, Bakersfield College will host its 7th Annual Levan Lecture, which is also one of this year’s Distinguished Speakers in the Distinguished Speakers Series. The speaker for this year’s lecture is esteemed Attorney and Professor of Law Barry Scheck

Scheck is an influential practicing attorney in the United States. He has tried numerous significant cases, but he is likely best known for two reasons: Scheck pioneered and helped to legitimize the use of DNA evidence in criminal trials in the early 1990s, and he co-founded the Innocence Project, which to-date has used DNA evidence to exonerate 375 wrongful convictions, many of them capital convictions. That is, in appeals courts, Scheck’s team has scientifically shown 375 inmates not to have committed the crimes for which they were convicted, obtaining full release of those persons from prison and clearing their records.

Scheck will speak twice next Thursday, 4/15, at 10:00 am and 6:00 pm. Both talks will be held virtually via zoom, and they require pre-registration.

Thank you to Philosophy Professor and Levan Center for the Humanities Director Reggie Williams for bringing this speaker to Bakersfield College.

STEM & Pre-Health Conference set for Friday

Also this week, on Friday, Bakersfield College MESA Program, partnering with UCLA MEDPEP, is hosting the STEM & Pre-Health Conference 2021.

The event will be held virtually via zoom on Friday, April 16, 2021, from 1:00 pm – 2:00 PM. The conference aims to increase undergraduate students’ participation in STEM and pre-health careers. The focus is to be inclusive of all, specially of the students that come from historically underrepresented STEM backgrounds.  

The agenda will be as follows:

Keynote: Dr. David Hayes-Bautista, Distinguished Professor of Medicine UCLA

Plenary speaker panels in STEM and Pre-health careers.

Breakout Session Panels: 

Pre-Med Panel: Learn how to navigate your way into health careers and make yourself stand out!

STEM Panel: Diverse leaders and problem solvers are critical to fostering and accelerating creativity and innovation in STEM; come and learn on STEM career pathways.

Research Panel: Graduate school and STEM studies are key to solving problems, exploring issues, and predicting trends. Discover your potential!

Please register to get the zoom link for the MESA Diversity & Inclusion in STEM Conference:


Poetry Corner: Walking

Please enjoy this poem from Jack Hernandez, entitled “Walking”:


On this sun bright afternoon
we walk along neighborhood paths,
she slowly behind her walker
stopping occasionally to pick up trash,
we talk about our youthful places
those times of flashing newness.

A father throws a baseball to a boy,
he misses and I pick it up
failing to throw it very far,
she tells me that it’s difficult
to read regular print anymore.

Her husband and son have recently died
but she continues on living alone
waking and walking each day
accepting what comes, what goes.

A lesson I have learned
this gleaming day.

In the News

Spotted on Social Media

Endee Grijalva, Adult Education Program Manager, shared these photos taken by a student in a hybrid welding course:

Kalina Hill from the BC Testing and Placement Center shared this beautiful image and message on her birthday this past week:

The Jones Art Gallery shared this amazing artwork by Janet Valenzuela from the Bakersfield College Student Art Show:

BC supporter Michael Bowers, of Centric Health, was sworn in to the Kern Health Systems Board of Directors. Congratulations!


Catch Baseball/Softball Live Streams

The abbreviated Spring II sports season is set to begin this week. Be sure to catch our Renegade baseball and softball teams in action on the livestream. As no fans are allowed to attend the games in-person at this point, this is the best way to keep up with the Renegades. Check the baseball/softball schedules to know game days/times and to get the livestream links. We’re glad our student athletes have the chance to compete this spring.


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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