Carnaval del Barrio as BC opens

This week, Bakersfield College officially welcomed students back to campus with an Ice Cream Social and vaccination clinic on Tuesday and Wednesday.

And look who visited us ……

Governor Gavin Newsom visited BC in a private event the day after he officially declared California as open. The Governor had heard about BC’s vaccination clinics staffed by ONLY volunteers — student nurses who gave shots, nursing faculty on site to supervise, along with other faculty, staff and students volunteering to do set up and take down of pop up clinics at our various communities as well as the mass drive-thru clinics on the Panorama campus.

What a thrill to share the amazing work being done at Bakersfield College with our governor.

And if you still need to get a vaccine, please come by BC. The BC Student Health and Wellness Center is open to all students and community to be vaccinated. In addition to the various community pop-up clinics, we are administering the Moderna vaccine on campus every Tuesday and Wednesday, and the Johnson & Johnson Janssen vaccine every Thursday between 9 am and 3 pm. Walk-ins are accepted at all clinics. You can also register at or call (833) 422-4255 to schedule your appointment. Enter the zip code of 93305 to view the BC Student Health Center availability.

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

Juneteenth — Celebrating Independence and Freedom

Just watched this 4-min video that was done last year leading upto the Juneteenth events. Really love the music backdrop from our choir. Check it out.

This week, Bakersfield College held a series of Zoom events commemorating Juneteenth, leading up to our local community event this evening.

History: January 1, 1863 – June 19, 1865

On June 15, Rich McCrow facilitated a discussion between BC history professor Jamal Wright and CSUB history professor Kiran Garcha about the history of the African-American struggle from the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation to June 19, 1865 (Juneteenth).

What Juneteenth Means to Me?

On June 16, Dean of Counseling and Student Success Marisa Marquez hosted a forum titled “What Juneteenth Means to Me”. The panel featured Daron Mackey, BC Educational Advisor and Lead for the African-American Mentoring Program; Natasha Harris, Senior Admissions Officer at CSUB; and Julian West, Director of the Career Ladders Project.

Celebrating Juneteenth: Customs and Traditions

For the last seminar on June 17, we closed out the series with a look at Juneteenth customs and traditions facilitated by Keith Wolaridge, a BC professor of Business Management and Information Technology. The panel featured Dee Slade, Executive Director of the African-American Network of Kern County, in conversation with Vikki Coffee, Co-Chair of BC’s Equal Opportunity and Diversity Advisory Committee.

Finally, BC will be in attendance at the NAACP Bakersfield Branch’s Juneteenth Celebration at Yokuts Park between 3:30 and 8 p.m. today, June 19, where we’ll be handing out The Taste of Juneteenth food to the community.

Industrial Automation Summer Academy

Room full of excited students and their parents.

Last Thursday, June 10th, 2021, we kicked off our very first Industrial Automation Summer Academy for our early college students. We welcomed 31 students and their parents on campus during our orientation.

We were joined on stage by Roy Allard, instructor of the ELET B70 course the students will be taking during the academy, to review COVID guidelines and introduce the students to their course on CANVAS. We were also joined by one of BC’s advising experts, Dylan Jensen, and job development specialist, Carlos Medina, who presented information about our baccalaureate program and the awesome benefits of completing their industrial automation degree at Bakersfield College.

Our early college students were given backpacks full of Bakersfield College swag, textbooks for their summer course, and a guided tour of the industrial automation classrooms.

Industrial Automation Summer Academy students pose with
their backpacks and textbooks for ELET B70.

Participants left excited about the INDA Summer Academy and looking forward to starting class and the field trips we will be taking every Friday for the duration of the academy, starting this Friday, June 18th with a tour of the Witron facilities!!

Special thanks to Tony Cordova, the entire Industrial Automation team and the BC Foundation for finding our sponsor, Phillips 66, and making this all possible!

Kylie Campbell and Berenice Arellano
at the orientation check-in.

Free Immigration Legal Services at Bakersfield College

Bakersfield College and the United Farm Workers Foundation have partnered to provide free Immigration Legal Services to all Bakersfield College students, faculty, and staff. Services are provided by authorized immigration attorneys via Zoom/Phone appointments. As a reminder, USCIS, the agency that administers DACA, is NOW accepting initial applications. Bakersfield College AB540/Undocumented Students Program and the UFW Foundation strongly urges all BC students, staff and faculty who believe they may be eligible to schedule an appointment for free Immigration Legal Services. DACA fee assistance is currently available while funds last. 

Appointments can be scheduled using the following link:

Poetry Corner

Please enjoy this poem from Jack Hernandez:


His namesake was learning
to walk    getting a first tooth,
they would have looked
at each other recognizing
their yearning to be free
to follow roads
narrow    wide
up exultant hills
through reflective valleys,
but he had taken himself
off the road years before,
his namesake so sweetly fresh
would never know
his searching face.

Spring Internships: Windmill Cattle Ranch Video

In last week’s blog, I wrote about Spring Internship Success internships of several of our students.

Today, I’d like to share the video that student James Bruce created to capture his experience. James was one of three welding students who interned at Windmill Cattle Ranch on a project of tearing down old horse corrals and installing new ones.

Commencement 2021

On May 16, our special Commencement Tribute for the class of 2021 aired on KGET. Today, I am sharing 4 videos from that production.

KCCD Trustee Romeo Agbalog‘s remarks:

Congressman David Valadao‘s remarks:

The third section of our graduates:

And the fourth section of graduates:

You can see all the videos from our 2021 Commencement Tribute production at

Early College Newsletter

The Bakersfield College Early College team has created a newsletter to keep everyone informed about the great work that they are doing with our Early College students across Kern County.

The first edition includes recognition for the Early College Class of 2021, as well as highlights of student Jayleen Vargas and community supporters Clifford and Patricia Mettler, and more!

To subscribe to the newsletter, please visit

Closing Day 2021

Our Closing Day 2021 production spanned 3 days and featured speakers and performances from across our Renegade community.

Today, I am sharing three videos – three of the President’s Leadership Award recipients.

The COVID-19 Vaccination Team:

The Academic Services Team:

And Pam Rivers:

Check out all the videos on the Closing Day 2021 website.

In the News

Bakersfield’s “kindness ambassador,” Chuck Wall, dies at age 80

Chuck Wall, a longtime Bakersfield College professor, was known as Bakersfield’s kindness ambassador to the world. He popularized performing “random acts of kindness”. He passed away at age 80 on June 8.

I hope you will all join me in honoring Chuck Wall with some extra kindness this week.

Disability Awareness Assessment Center Recepient Speaker Chuck Wall

Community Voices: BC and Community Voices: BC and Rotary: Building peace in Kern County

Mindy Wilmot and Cheryl Scott wrote this piece in the Bakersfield Californian promoting the next seminar in our ongoing peace seminar series.

“Indeed peacebuilding is at the heart of everything Rotary stands for. Through its service, Rotary is dedicated to causes that improve lives and communities around the world, including those in our own backyard.”

Please consider tuning in to the June 22nd event, which will be held via Zoom from 4-5 pm. Registration is required. Please visit the BC website to register.

You can find out more about the BC Peace Initiative, including the seminar series, on the Bakersfield College website.

Community Voices: Ignorance of Things Past

Jack Hernandez wrote this piece in the Bakersfield Californian about the importance of looking back on history, and trying to view it with a fair lens that acknowledges there was good as well as bad:

“What is the point of these revelations? How do we respond when we learn about the dark side of the past, our past? Forget? Forgive? Learn? Change? Some would have us demonize the past: all was evil and terrible. Others would have us mythologize the past: all was good and wonderful. Usually, though, the past is a mixture of happiness and suffering. In Detroit, growing up, I had a very happy childhood, while others had terrible, segregated, poor childhoods. Mine was full of opportunities, theirs was not.”

Community Voices: An American Tapestry

Check out Dr. Brij Bhambi’s piece here

This world is not a monochromatic experiment. It’s a chaos of colors. Colors that lend diversity and festivity. Colors that divide and bridge. Prejudice is an ultimate versatile emotion, a true chameleon. It piggybacks on color, culture, nationalism, reason, region, religion and God forbid, politics.

What distinguishes the United States of America is its virtues, which far outweigh its flaws. The pursuit continues but progress is everywhere to see. It’s the most benevolent empire the world has witnessed in human history.

Community Voices: Everyone Deserves to Find Their Path

Sandy Woo-Cater wrote this piece in the Bakersfield Californian about the importance of supporting our students so they can achieve their goals:

“Imprinted on my heart is the encouragement I received from the late Jack Brigham, who instilled in me the values of social justice. Initially my history professor, he mentored me throughout my academic career until his passing. I will also never forget my second time on a plane. Don Turney, our former dean of students, took a group of us to D.C. for a student leadership conference. I remember buying my first blazer for that trip. With people like Jack and Don by my side, I understood for the first time that I had a purpose and contributions to make toward creating a just world.”

Fun Photos & Spotted on Social Media

Librarian Sondra Keckley shared some photos of new construction on campus:

“Today at work I finally took a look around the campus during my lunch break to see all the new changes. (For those who don’t know, we had a huge Measure J bond pass in 2016 for major building construction and improvements.) Thanks to the pandemic, the construction could go on without interrupting classes or a hassle for students, and we get to come back to a big surprise.”

Pamela Rivers shared an update from the Renegade Hub:

“The Renegade Hub is here to help our BC students with all their technology needs. See us in person in the library or online!”

Rural Initiatives Team in Wasco

The Library shared that they’ll be open this summer:

And I just loved this picture that Regina Rivera shared when she sent out the daily Gades Grub Food Menu on Tuesday:

The Gades Grub is parked right in front of the new Dining Commons. Currently, they are only accepting cash, with breakfast service from 7-10:30 am and lunch service from 10:30 am – 3 pm. If you’re on campus, be sure to stop by to try out the amazing breakfast burritos and other offerings from food service!

Lin-Manuel Miranda does it again

In the Heights is a must see. check out this 1-min teaser of my favorite song in the movie.


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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