The season of roses – celebrating a week of vaccination clinics

This week, as I’ve been taking my morning walks, I’ve really enjoyed how beautiful springtime in Bakersfield is.

Roses everywhere

And just look at these skies:

Good morning Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, April 17, 2021 … a great day to be a Renegade.

Vaccination Clinics

Last weekend, I read a wonderful article by Christine L. Peterson in The Californian about the vaccine clinic at The People’s Missionary Baptist Church on Sunday.

“Today we removed every single barrier,” said Arleana Waller, founder of the MLKcommUNITY Initiative, one of the organizers of this first pop-up clinic in this area of town.

Removing barriers began long before Sunday’s Operation Vaccination distribution, which included drive-up and walk-up slots. For one, no appointments were necessary, knocking out the barrier of computer, internet or phone access to set up a time. But perhaps more importantly, a coalition of trusted messengers fanned out to surrounding neighborhoods in the days before the event to share a message: You are welcome. The vaccine is for you. And we want to answer any questions you have so you are confident and comfortable.”

Our Executive Director of Outreach & Early College, Steven Watkin, and Program Director of Outreach & Early College, Kylie Campbell, were joined by our amazing BC Cheerleaders and BC Jazz Band to congratulate and celebrate all of those who got their vaccine. Mayor Karen Goh even came by to help out and share in the celebrations!

Mayor Karen Goh, Kylie Campbell, and the BC Cheerleaders

In addition to supporting the community clinic last Sunday, Bakersfield College has continued with our “pop up” clinics.

Last Sunday, we provided vaccines in Arvin:

And on Monday, vaccines were offered in Delano:

For information about upcoming vaccination clinics at Bakersfield College, visit the Student Health Vaccine Clinic webpage.

Please register at or call (833) 422-4255 and schedule your appointment. Please enter the zip code of 93305 to view the Bakersfield College Student Health and Wellness Center availability.

Virtual Seminar Series: Student Work Group Reopening Update

On Tuesday, we continued the President’s All-Campus Virtual Seminar Series with an update on reopening from our Student Work Group.

Vice President of Student Affairs Zav Dadabhoy, Tina Johnson, Chris Glaser and Bernadette Martinez shared updates on what our physical campus reopening will look like for students and staff.

You can see all the videos from Tuesday’s session, as well as videos from previous sessions, on the Bakersfield College website.

Learning Together

On Thursday, we wrapped up the Learning Together Seminar Series with the Library with a discussion about the New York Times article “Jazz Has Always Been Protest Music. Can It Meet This Moment?” The article, by Giovanni Russonello, is a great blend of discussion of jazz as an art form and of and realities of suppression/racism.  

Music faculty Kris Tiner and Josh Ottum were panelists sharing their thoughts on the article.

Here is the first part of their discussion – other videos are available on the BC website:

Thanks to Kirk Russell and Mindy Wilmot for their work in creating the Learning Together series. Also thanks to all the panelists we have had over the 6-seminar series, which kicked off last September.

Videos from the Learning Together series are available on the President’s Virtual Seminar Series webpage.

Early College Concurrent Enrollment Application Support Workshops

The Early College team kicked off a series of concurrent enrollment application support workshops this week. These workshops are targeted to reach any high school student who needs assistance completing the application process for Summer/Fall concurrent enrollment.

At the workshops students can receive assistance applying to BC or updating their BC application, creating a account, and requesting their classes within the website. The workshops will be held every Wednesday from April 14th- June 9th at 3:30pm via Zoom. Interested students should register for a workshop using the link below and email with any questions.

Distinguished Speaker Series – Barry Scheck

On Thursday, BCSGA welcomed Barry Scheck as part of the Distinguished Speaker Series. Barry Scheck is an attorney, DNA expert, and co-founder of The Innocence Project, which is a litigation and public policy organization dedicated to reforming the criminal justice system to prevent injustice. Scheck and the organization, which was started in 1992, have used DNA evidence to exonerate almost 300 wrongfully imprisoned people.

The Bakersfield College Distinguished Speaker Series brings community leaders from around the world to Bakersfield. These leaders’ achievements have had national and/or international significance. Each speaker was proposed to BCSGA by either a department or a faculty member.

You can see a video of the discussion here.

Remembering Gerald Haslam

Gerald Haslam during a Fall 2017 event at Bakersfield College’s Levan Center.

This week, novelist and historian Gerald Haslam passed away. He was a frequent guest at Bakersfield College, reading from his books, essays, and short stories, or sharing stories from his time growing up in Oildale. He often credited his time as a student at Bakersfield College for helping him develop his skills as a writer.

He was also named one of 100 Stars of Bakersfield College during the celebration. His lecture, “The Grapes of Wrath” A Literary Journey” is published on the Levan Center website.

Gerald Haslam was a great friend to Bakersfield College, and a great asset to our Kern County community.

Poetry Corner

Please enjoy this poem from Jack Hernandez:

Love’s Poem

It’s not easy to create
love that outlasts silence
dramatic like that after
a storm’s loud anger,
love that outlasts distance
empty like a child
grown up and far
from home,
It’s not easy to create
love that heals
like arms broken
that now embrace,
It’s not easy to create
love’s living poem
as one
not alone.

In the News

COMMUNITY VOICES: Providing a support system for students

Anna Collins

Philosophy Professor Anna Collins wrote a piece in the Bakersfield Californian about the Arts, Communication and Humanities Pathways at BC. She talked about how the ACH Pathway team made sure to reach out to students during the pandemic to ensure they had the support they needed to complete their goals.

“More than connecting students to the right person, talking with students on the phone or through email or text was a huge privilege. It let me know that our students are determined and full of perseverance to continue their education even during a global crisis. They had not lost hope; they just needed help navigating this unprecedented time. The Pathways campaign let me know our students are worth fighting for, and it let them know that we at Bakersfield College, are always there to help.”

Bakersfield College criminal justice professor talks about Derek Chauvin case

Tommy Tunson spoke with 23ABC News this week about the trial of Derek Chauvin, who is facing murder charges in the Memorial Day 2020 death of George Floyd.

“I think with the proper training, education, agencies will begin to see that training on racial equity, racial inequality is just as important as crime scene investigation, as a narcotics class, as a driving, as a weapons class.”

You can see the full interview on the 23ABC News website.

Spotted on Social Media

Olivia Garcia shared this post from me from one of our 2021 graduates, Edward Heredia:

The caption said:

“Why you even going to college? You don’t seem like the type of person to be getting a major in Fire Technology?

Yes I went to college. Do I regret it? No I do not regret it one bit. I remember having to be nervous and have no help in how college was going to be. I was a Dream. I managed to help myself and my family with paying little to no money out of our pockets for my schooling. It was hard looking for a school who offered my major into helping me pursue my end goal to grow in the chain of command of the Medical and Fire service. So I stuck with going to a community school and don’t regret it since it was a such a resourceful and had to much great personnel. From meeting and get trained and taught from the retired Fire Chief of Kern County, Fire Chief of City of Bakersfield, the first lady firefighter captain in the fire service, paramedic supervisors, paramedic air units, list goes on and on. All in all, I’m PROUD of myself getting out of my comfort zone and have an open mind and accepting the open doors that were offered to me. Embrace your growth. My education journey at Bakersfield College will be a memorable one. From challenged alone within classes and managing time and a pandemic moving everything online format… it was all possible. Now it’s just time to keep growing and finish what I’ve started. I am 10-7.”

Haley Duval, editor-in-chief of the Renegade Rip, also shared a graduation post:

Mindy Wilmot shared a shoutout to our librarians for National Librarian Day:

Kalina Hill shared a picture of her dog for National Pet Day:

And check out this art from the Jones Art Gallery, by Susana Hernandez for Ceramic III from the Bakersfield College Student Art Show:


Renegade Athletics Releases Plan For Allowing Spectators

Check out the latest release on, which highlights the new three-phase plan from athletics that will eventually lead to the best fans in community college athletics being able to watch their Renegades in-person once again. The plan is currently in Phase 1, which does not allow for spectators, but that can change as we go forward. To read more about the plan and when you will be able to watch the Renegades in-person again click this link:

In the meantime, be sure to catch live-streams of Renegade baseball and softball during the Spring II season happening right now. Head to the “Schedule” of the team on and look for the “Video” button to know dates/times and tune in!

That’s all for now.
Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.
sonya –
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Tagged: ,

One thought on “The season of roses – celebrating a week of vaccination clinics

  1. Michael Carley April 17, 2021 at 9:23 am Reply

    That’s the first I’ve heard that Gerry Haslam passed. I’m not seeing any information online.

    I met him years ago at the dust bowl festival. He signed one of his books for me. Wish I still had that one. It was incredibly funny.

    Later on, he gave me some advice on my own writing.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: