Category Archives: Uncategorized

We are Bakersfield!

Good Morning Bakersfield.  It is Saturday, April 21, 2018 and a great day to be a Renegade.

The Renegade Red and White Roses are bursting out creating a joyous walkway into my home.

Great week at BC and in our community.  Let me start with the Bakersfield Women’s Business Conference

Bakersfield Women’s Business Conference

Thursday was the 28th annual Bakersfield Women’s Business Conference and Bakersfield College staff and faculty were in full force attending the workshops and tuning into the messages from keynote speakers. The conference allows women in business to network, find mentors, and develop friendships with to advance their careers and or businesses. Many of the workshops focus on topics from a feminine perspective and included topics on health and wellness addressing healthy lifestyles, nutrition and breast cancer. Communication workshops addressed techniques for overcoming lessons learned as girls to be more effective in the business world. There were several on maintaining the balance of work and family.

i-zjnh9pf-x4

Josie Gullian and Endee Grijalva

The Conference also held many empowering workshops on leadership such as “Secure Your Place at the Table – Women Leading in Male Dominant Territory” by District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer, Assembly Member Shannon Grove, and Kern County Supervisor Leticia Perez.

While the name and focus of the conference is women, men are also welcome and there were many workshops that were gender neutral on many business topics including business strategies, leadership and finance. Richard Chapman, head of Kern EDC, presented on “Kern County’s Economic and Workforce Development Opportunities and Possibilities.” The keynote speakers and many of the workshop speakers were motivational for everyone.

dsc09477-x4.jpg

The Bakersfield Women’s Business Conference is a major supporter of the R.O.S.E. (Realizing Options for Student Excellence) mentor program. The program matches high school students with mentors and has several seminars, to aid student mentees in recognizing their value and self-worth. Topics for the seminars focus on careers, communication, balancing life, money, safety and building self-confidence. The mentees receive a scholarship to cover the cost of attending the BWBC. Conference attendees were impressed by one of the mentees that spoke about the benefits of being in the program and to encourage all the women present to become a mentor. This is a wonderful program and I encourage all of you to consider becoming a mentor.

Like the R.O.S.E. program, BC encourages and mentors students to better themselves through education and gave some BC students the opportunity to attend the BWBC. EOPS/CARE/CalWORKS purchased two tables, and sponsored fourteen women from all three programs to attend the 2018 Bakersfield Women’s Business Conference. These ladies are all single parents who are striving to achieve a better life for their families through education. The importance of exposing our students to different events such as the BWBC is vital to their growth, and development as students, professionals, and individuals. They were able to develop networking skills, meeting highly successful women, and gaining valuable business knowledge that will empower them to become strong leaders.

i-5tf5k5c-x3

Debi Anderson, Steve Watkin, and Sandi Taylor at BC’s Booth

The 2018 luncheon keynote speak was Laila Ali, undefeated boxing champion, television host and entrepreneur. She is also well known for her famous father Mohamed Ali and treated BWBC attendees to several picture of her young self with her famous and doting father. She told us of many of the trials in her life that she overcame to be a successful and very driven business woman. Her stories were relatable to what many women and girls face in this time and she is a great example of encouragement for all women.

Joseph Luiz has a Bakersfield Californian Article mentioning highlights from the day.

dsc09469-x4

Kimberly Bligh and Mary Jo Pasek

i-gmdtwhz-x3It was great to be invited to be the closing keynote at the Women’s Business Conference.  BC women leaders gave birth to this event. Phyllis Hullett – In 1989, BC professor started the Bakersfield Business Womens Conf. as an idea during the International Year of the Woman. She gathered friends and coworkers, and out of one meeting of 12 women and 1 lone man, Pat Shaffer, Dean of Development at Bakersfield College, agreed to serve on the executive board. The Bakersfield Women’s Business Conference was born.

I focused on the important guiding tools of Choice, Commitment, Compassion, and Community while interweaving music from the song “We are the World.”  The session concluded by having about 25 women leaders on the stage in red We are Bakersfield t-shirts singing We are the World with the BC Chamber Singers.

I am the luckiest and happiest college president ever and by the end of my talk, I was surrounded on stage by talented musicians, community leaders, fellow educators, friends, and family. We are Bakersfield! 

Loved Robin Mangarin Scott’s introduction of me in that beautiful voice.  Robin was representing the sponsors of the keynote — Dignity health and CBCC.

Robin Mangarin Scott.jpg

I want to start by thanking Heidi Scott.  If it wasn’t for Heidi, I would not have had the courage to do the music.

Heidi Scott and Sonya Christian April 19 2018.jpg

Heidi Scott, Sonya Christian

i-mvtswf8-x3.jpg

We invited the whole audience to stand and join us in song.

 

i-q5jr9k9-x3

Kaya Leyendecker and Heidi Scott

kaya Leyendecker Heidi Scott Sonya Christian 2.jpg

The Chamber Singers had their Spring Concert at the BC Indoor Theater the same evening.  Yet they decided to come our and support me and do We are the World..  Thank you Jen Garrett.  Your energy is astounding and you are out there constantly giving to others.

i-vnjbnsr-x3

BC Chamber Singers

Was so happy to have women leaders from Delano join us.  Thank you April Gregerson for organizing this.  and thank you Rosalina Rivera and Sandra Rivera.

Sandra Rivera, Rosalina Rivera, Sonya Christian, April Gregerson

Sandra Rivera, Rosalina Rivera, Sonya Christian, April Gregerson

Thank you to all these fabulous busy women who showed up support the event.

Community Leaders

Liz Rozell, April Gregerson, Sandra Rivera, Rosalina Rivera, Ingrid Lake, Cathy Abernathy, Raji Brar, Immani Brar

i-k37vjkf-x3

Pam Rose, Mia Cifuentes, Victoria, Lilly Agbalog, Cheryl Scott, Lauren Skidmore

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

i-j7f7bbw-x3

Trustee Agbalog, Sonya Christian, Michael Bowers

 

Cathy Abernathy and Sonya Christian

Cathy Abernathy, Sonya Christian

Cheryl Scott and Sonya Christian.jpg

Cheryl Scott, Sonya Christian

Thank you Norma Rojas-Mora for helping me recruit the women leaders in our community.

Sonya Christian, Norma Rojas Mora, Lisa Kent

Sonya Christian, Norma Rojas-Mora, Lisa Kent

Was happy to meet Bethany Rice, Billie Jo Rice’s daughter.  Beautiful, smart young woman.  And then the lighting and sound guys, Manny Gomez and Ryan McCallah, who let me know they were also the ones who did the work in setting up the lighting and sound systems in BC’s newly remodeled Indoor Theater!

 

 

Thank you to the 2018 Executive Board, Diane Williams, Norma Rojas-Mora, Marisol ONeil, Susan Spears, Arleana Waller, Diane Williams, Christina Springstaad, Irma Cervantes, Tayna Nichols, Deanna Blaise, Marelle Williams, LaMeka Ross, Leigh Pozas, and Colleen Bauer. bwbc-group-768x513

Thank you for being great sports and wearing the We are Bakersfield t-shirt and joining us on stage

BWBC Exec Committee.jpg

Thank you to Manny De Los Santos, William Velasquez, Monika Scott, Jennifer Serratt, and Asha Chandy.  Here are some photos of the folks behind the scenes.

Loved this photo of William Velasquez relaxing after the session.

William Velasquez

 

i-fjcb53n-x3

BC Crew in Attendance

Kern County Black Chamber Honors Bakersfield College

Bakersfield College at KCBCC April 20 2018.jpg

Bakersfield College were honored by the Kern County Black Chamber of Commerce with the Outstanding Corporate Member Award. In accepting the award, I acknowledged the efforts of all those who have worked hard on the African American Initiative and Dr. Zav Dadabhoy for being an “equity” champion and finding the necessary resources to support the equity agenda.

I specifically recognized the efforts of Dr. Paula Parks, Umoja Community lead, in increasing the success of Black students on campus, and Mr. Steve Watkin, Director of Outreach, in increasing their access and contributing to BC’s equity agenda. I then handed the award to Steve who has been leading the AAI effort on campus.

Steve Watkin

 

BC had two tables that included administrators, faculty, staff, and Umoja students.

Sonya Christian, Steve Watkin and BC receiving award at KCBCC

Also honored at 15th Annual Gala was CSUB President Dr. Horace Mitchell with the Lifetime Achievement Award. I will miss you Horace when you retire.  Loved seeing Cindy Pollard being recognized as the Business Woman of the Year.  Enjoyed catching up with Jim Baldwin (who won the award for Outstanding Community Organization) and Rudy Salas. Spotted Danielle Hillard, Michelle Miller-Galaz and Nick Hill and snapped a picture.

Jim Baldwin, Sonya Christian, Rudy Salas April 20 2018

Enjoyed catching up with Mayor Karen Goh who is a big supporter of education.

Mayor Karen Goh with Sonya Christian and BC at KCBCC April 20 2018.jpg

Sonya Christian April 20 2018 croppedThe keynote speaker for the event was Mathew Knowles, Beyonce’s father… what a treat!  Have a picture of him with Shannon Grove and Karen Goh.

Congratulations to all other award recipients:
Cindy Pollard, the Distinguished Businesswoman Award,
James Luckey, Jr. of the News Observer, Distinguished Businessman Award,
Judge Gloria Cannon with the Business Pioneer Award,
CSUB President Horace Mitchell, the Lifetime Achievement Award
Barrington Lewis, the Outstanding New Business Award,
Sharron Lehrer, the Outstanding Young Achievers Award, and Jim Baldwin of BARC, Outstanding Community Based Organization Award.

Thank you Kern County Black Chamber (KCBCC) for recognizing Bakersfield College. Thank you Richard Soberanis, CEO of the Chamber.  And congratulations Nathan Banks…looking forward to great things under your chairmanship of the Chamber Board.

KCBCC has been a great partner of Bakersfield College and supported us in 2016 with Measure J.  I am sure we will continue to work closely together for many years to come.

Social Justice and Health Hackathon at BC

30653393_10215531998558279_9031222892318162944_nThe preliminary panel kicked off this years Hackathon and really set the stage for a fantastic and meaningful event.  Each of the panel members discussed what were the pressing issues and the solutions they wanted to explore. This helped the teams form around the issues and begin developing ideas.  Over the next three days, teams worked hard to develop these concepts and then competed in a 3 minute pitch, one page community impact report, and technology competition.

Thank you to Mayor Karen Goh for attending the kick off and inspiring the student teams.

s18hackathon08-x3

Mayor Karen Goh inspires at the Hackathon Kick Off

Thank you to the Preliminary Session on Health Inequality Challenges and Solution panelists including, moderator Kiyoshi Tomono, Genevieve Gale, Sandy Woo, Brynn Carrigan, Michelle Corson, Christy Leyvas,and Jack Becker.

s18hackathon30-x4

s18hackathon14-x3

Eddie Rangel, Sandy Woo, Karen Goh, Kiyoshi Tomono, Jennifer Self, Sarah Baron

By the end of the competition, 11 projects had been submitted and community partners have expressed interest in funding their ideas! All the student groups submitted great projects and please do stay in touch with us for years to come. Now for the finalists and winning team!

Project Kern Air- 1st Place

first20place20team-l.jpg

Created an app concept to raise awareness on air quality in Kern

Congratulations to: Noe Ramirez, Victoria Corrales, Troy Scott, Justin Morales, and
Krystal Reynes

 

R.A.H.T ( Renegade Against Human Trafficking)- 2nd Place

second20place20winners-l.jpg

Created a tech tool to help connect those who are victims of human trafficking with help.

Congratulations to: Janneth Guarcas Garcia, Alexander Glascock,  Carlos Hernandez, Maria Cabrera, and Stefanie Medina

Sex shouldn’t make you next- 3rd Place

third20place20winnders-l.jpg

Created a website for youth to raise awareness sexual transmitted diseases and also help connect resources to those who are risk of a STD.

Congratulations to: Yajaira Hernandez, Elizabeth Martinez, Jessica Macias, Jessica Jaime, and Crystal Quintevo.

Beyond the winners, it was about the team work, the sharing of ideas and networking with partners.  Special thanks to the sponsors and the great support from BCSGA clubs.

Can’t wait for next years event! This one keeps getting bigger and better! Check out my blog titled “The Renegade Experience is Incredible” from last years equally awesome event.

Jess Nieto Memorial Conference: Exploring Chicano Studies at BC

The conference really hit home…It felt like a family reunion.” Francisco Barroso, Bakersfield College student.

Jess Nieto Memorial Conference

On Tuesday, April 17 the Levan Center for the Humanities hosted the first annual Jess Nieto Memorial Conference: Exploring Chicano Studies at Bakersfield College.  Named after the late Dr. Jesus “Jess” Nieto, a former faculty member and Dean of the BC Delano Center in the 1970s, the conference honored Dr. Nieto’s legacy in creating the first Chicano Studies curriculum implemented at Bakersfield College.  A Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI), this conference celebrated the cultural contributions of Bakersfield’s Chicano/Latino community to the history of Bakersfield and beyond.

s18jessnietoconference07-x5

Corny Rodriguez speaking in the Levan Center

The conference featured two panel presentations and a keynote address.  Prior to the panels, Corny Rodriguez welcomed guests, as well as presenting, along with moderator Octavio Barajas a certificate of recognition on my behalf to Professor Rosa Garza in acknowledgement for her more than twenty years of teaching at Bakersfield College, as well as serving as faculty advisor to MEChA.  The first panel consisted of former and current student members of the Bakersfield College student organization MEChA, or Movimieno Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán.

s18jessnietoconference12-x5

The second panel consisted of an academic showcase by Bakersfield College faculty members Professors Olivia Garcia and Javier Llamas, who discussed the history of women in farm labor activism and the historic Benito Juarez Hall in East Bakersfield as a site of community activism among local Mexican Americans for the past century.  Professor Garcia’s talk on the late Esther Uranday, one of the longest serving staff members of the United Farm Workers, was particularly meaningful given that Esther’s daughter and family members were in attendance.

dsc09290-x4

Professor Gonzalo Santos of CSU Bakersfield rounded out the faculty panel by discussing the personal of history of Jess Nieto as an international activist, through his various educational and social justice ties with Cuba, Central America, and China, including a number of educational exchange programs Dr. Nieto organized with education groups since the 1970s.  The final presentation included a book talk by Professor Ralph Ambruster-Sandoval of UC Santa Barbara who spoke about his latest book Starving For Justice: Hunger Strikes, Spectacular Speech, and the Struggle for Dignity (University of Arizona Press 2016).  Guests were also treated to a special performance by Bakersfield College alumnus and world-renown percussionist Louie Cruz Beltran who regaled the audience with a lesson on the history of Afro-Latino rhythms and Chicano music.

s18jessnietoconference01-x5

Olivia Garcia

Olivia Garcia speaking in the Levan Center

See all the photos at Smugmug.

A very special thank you to Adjunct Professor of History Octavio Barajas for helping organize and moderate this event, as well as Dr. Oliver Rosales, Professor of History and Faculty Coordinator for the Social Justice Institute of Bakersfield College for sponsoring this event through the National Endowment for the Humanities grant “Energizing Humanities in California’s San Joaquin Valley,” as well as the Bakersfield College Student Government Association’s CCA Grant.

I also enjoyed seeing Octavio on KGET early Tuesday morning.  You can see the clip here.

Octavio Brajas KGET.png

And did you miss his community voices piece?  It is available here.

It’s a joy to work with faculty and staff who love what they do and are so passionate about our students and community. Can you see why I’m the luckiest and happiest college president ever?

Renegade Athletics

Softball: We won the Conference Championship

Softball conference champions April 19 2018

Nathan Ortiz4Baseball: The baseball team sits in first place in the Western State-South Conference with three games remaining in the regular season.

The Renegades record is 19-18 overall and 13-4 in conference.  BC has won 7 out of their last ten games and are one game ahead of LA Pierce in the standings.  The Renegades have to win two of their last three games to guarantee themselves at least a tie for the conference title.

Team Photo

With Sandi Taylor on Saturday, April 14th after another win.

Sandi Taylor, Sonya Christian April 14 2018

Men’s and Women’s Swimming: The men’s swimming team is in fourth place and the women’s swimming team is in second place after day one of the Western State Conference Championships.  The Championships, which are being held at the William A. Wheeler Aquatic Center, on BC’s Panorama campus will continue through Saturday afternoon.

IMG_0721

The Bakersfield College men’s swimming team is in fourth place after day one of the Western State Conference Championships.  Cael Osborn and Mark Glossbrenner were on two relay team that finished in the top four and also finished in the top three in an individual event.  The complete list of BC’s top finishers is below.

The BC women’s swim team sits in second place after day one of the Western State Conference Championship.  Niquelette Rimer had third place finish in 50 free and was part of two relay teams that finished in the top three and Jennifer Quan was part of two relay teams that finished in the top three.  The top BC finishers from day one are listed below.

IMG_0968

Jennifer Quan

Renegade Pulse Health Fair

healthfairslider

Bakersfield College is distinctive in so many ways, and one important way is in how we live our core value of health and wellness. The health of a community is directly related to literacy and education in general, and BC has many activities that promote healthy living, including the 18th Annual Renegade Pulse Health Fair.

The event is part resource fair and part celebration of the programs, agencies and services that support the health and success of students and  the community at large. With over 31,000 students, we are a community nested in a community. So, thank you to all who support healthy higher education, from green transportation to our campus facilities, Golden Empire Transit, to quality licensed Community Connection for Child Care.

Teena Bensusen (left) and Amber Smithson from the Behavioral Health Hospital host a booth at the Renegade Pulse Health Fair on April 18th.

Teena Bensusen (left) and Amber Smithson from the Behavioral Health Hospital host a booth at the Renegade Pulse Health Fair on April 18th.

The Renegade Pulse Health Fair brought together healthcare organizations, substance abuse support groups, law enforcement agencies and businesses from across the community to educate students on how to live a safer, healthier life.

BC’s Public Safety Department booth had equipment used during Public Safety’s Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) Trainings, which are offered for free to students and staff throughout the semester. Student Cadets also answered questions about Public Safety’s cadet program, in which BC students have the opportunity to work part-time helping ensure safety on campus. Public Safety is looking for cadets for the Fall 2018 semester, so if you’re a BC student who is interested in joining the program, contact the office at 395-4554 for more information.

Members of the Student Health and Wellness Advisory Commitee pose inside the Health Hut during the Renegade Pulse Health Fair on April 18th.

Members of the Student Health and Wellness Advisory Committee pose inside the Health Hut during the Renegade Pulse Health Fair on April 18th.

Thank you to the Student Health and Wellness Center including Dr. Ray Purcell and Stella Ponce for putting together the Renegade Pulse Health Fair, as well as all of the organizations who came out to support a healthier Kern County. See more photos at BC’s Smugmug.

IMG_20180418_120806985_HDR

Revisiting Two Cultures

The disciplines of the humanities and the sciences can feel as if they’re worlds apart, but UC Santa Barbara professor Alendra Chang spoke at the Levan Center on Thursday to explain how she brings those two worlds together through the study of environmental humanities, which examines themes of ecology in art and mass media.

Alenda Chang

BC’s Energizing Humanities Grant funded the discussion from Dr. Chang, which was titled “Revisiting the Two Cultures.” Many artists, writers and others have begun to explore ways that art and popular culture can raise awareness of the importance of environmental causes, using data from scientific research to inform their work. Essays in scientific academic journals, and several new academic journals have signaled the emergence of Ecomedia as a field of study that examines cultural representations of the environment in media.

i-8mbfbhz-x2

Alendra Chang presents at the Levan Center

Environmental engagement in the humanities combines social and scientific engagement. Journalists, artists and others may feel uncomfortable with scientific approaches, just as many scientists may have trouble engaging in the humanities, but there is emerging awareness of the need to work together to find solutions to environmental problems.

Within the field of environmental humanities, Chang studies the ecology and ecomedia of video games. As editor of the Growing Games blog and a professor of media studies, Chang examines the carbon footprint created by e-waste and the excessive power used by gaming PCs, which can consume the equivalent power of three energy-efficient refrigerators, Chang said. Chang also attempts to dispel the notion that excessive video game use makes people feel detached from nature, citing multiple studies indicating that virtual reality can make people more conscious of their external environment and motivate them to take action on climate change.

During her time as a graduate student at UC Berkeley, Chang worked on an unpublished game about air quality based in the Central Valley that used actual wind speed and air quality data from the area. In the game, you play as a character from Fresno with asthma who must navigate how to keep their lungs clean in one of the worst places for respiratory health in America. In the game, the player’s asthma functions as a superpower that helps them perceive the environment in a different way.

Within the indie and academic games spaces, there have been a number of works that explore environmental humanist themes, Chang said. Some examples she listed included ThatGameCompany’s “Flower”, in which you play as the wind to bring life back to plants; Campo Santo’s “Firewatch”, which is about a man who takes a job as a fire lookout in the Wyoming wilderness; and “Walden, a game”, a project funded by the National Endowment of the Humanities that is essentially a digital recreation of Henry David Thoreau’s book “Walden”, one of the seminal works of the American transcendentalism movement in the 19th Century.

delano-grant-logo-neh_logo_horizontal_rgbWarm thank you to Alendra Chang for coming to BC, as well as Josh Ottum, Oliver Rosales and Andrew Bond from the Energizing Humanities cohort for providing a great learning opportunity for those who have never heard of environmental humanities or didn’t realize that computer games were capable of helping tackle important social issues.

Seen on Facebook

It was fabulous to see Jazz Day at BC gain some attention from the National Association for Music Education. Our local KCMEA, Kern County Music Educators Association, is a chapter of CMEA, which is an affiliate of NAfME. Congratulations to Kris Tiner and all our performing arts and music faculty, staff, and students.

Give them a Like and share by visiting this link on Facebook!

NAME Facebook Post

College Council

Jason Stratton

Jason Stratton Presenting at College Council

It’s an exciting time to be at BC. As we gear up for Accreditation this year, our editing team revealed BC’s ISER (Institutional Self Evaluation Report) at College Council on Friday. College Council is a collegial, consultative, and oversight body designed to serve the good of the College.

Since the group met in Delano, we also broadcast the ISER reveal to the Panorama campus.

ISER reveal Broadcast

Sharon Bush, Kimberly Nickell, and Kristin Rabe tune in to the ISER Reveal from Panorama

Special thank you to the Editing Team including Nicole Griffin, Sarah Baron, Lesley Bonds, Sondra Keckley, the incredible Nick Strobel and EVERYONE who has contributed to BC’s Self Evaluation Report.  As Jason Stratton reminds us – It is OUR story!

ISER Team

Nicole Griffin, Sarah Baron, Lesley Bonds, Sondra Keckley, and Nick Strobel

Entree to Employment

On April 17, 2018, Bakersfield College and Kern High School District ROC teamed up to host the Biannual Entrée to Employment event. This career event brings together students and industry professionals over a fine dining experience to highlight social etiquette, conversations about personal and professional experiences, necessary soft skills, workforce expectations, education requirements, diversity of employment and career ladder opportunities.

The evening featured four different programs: Electronics/Robotics, Mechanized Ag, Child Development and Criminal Justice. While the industry professionals and students were busy networking, the Bakersfield College and ROC faculty dined separately to discuss articulation partnerships and dual enrollment opportunities. Thank you to the Career and Technical Education Department for making this night happen and a special thank you to the Renegade Room, Chef Suzanne and her Culinary Arts students for delivering a 5-star cuisine meal that delighted participants. Overall the event was a huge success and a true demonstration of our expanding partnerships with the community.

CTE: Business and Computer Science Employer Panel

Thursday April 19, 2018 the Career and Technical Education Department hosted a Business and Computer Science Employer Panel for students in the program. Professionals in attendance included: Leo Bautista, Senior Recruiter – Talent Acquisition, The Wonderful Company; Steven Alexander, Director of IT Security –  Kern Community College District; Keith Wolaridge, Owner – Professional Development Firm; Scott Burton, CEO – On-Stack; Clayton Montgomery, Certified Information Systems Security – Area Energy; Trulaine Woken, Owner – Cones Health Food; and Debbie Butler, Secretary Treasurer & Project Manager – On Stack. What started as an information only session blossomed into a networking event that allowed our students to exchange information with employers, submit their resumes for consideration, and engage in preliminary interviews. Thank you to all of the employers who stayed almost 2 hours longer to provide these exciting opportunities for our students. Special thank you to Beth Harrison, Job Development Specialist and Vikki Coffee, Job Development Specialist, for coordinating the event and Martin Perez, CCPT2 Manager, Master of Ceremonies for the event whose humor, grasp of the subject matter, and navigation of the dialog, cultivated an organic and insightful exchange between community professionals and students.

CTE Panel (2)

cte-panel-1.jpeg

Noche de Cultura

Thank you to the BC MEChA Club and the Office of Student Life for putting on a wonderful program with its annual Noche de Cultura, a colorful evening filled with an array of singers, musicians and other performers. Noche de Cultura was held April 13 at the Outdoor Theater.

Noche-de-Cultura

The night opened with Aztecan Blessing, followed by Jammin Island Hula, Group Folklorico Escuelas Unidas, Spoken Word by Tezozomoc, Carbajal’s Martial ArtsAcademy, and Banshee in the Kitchen. One big highlight was seeing the performance by SGA President and MECHA President Dezi Von Manos who gave a tribute to the late Tejana superstar Selena.

dezi20von20manos-x2

Dezi Von Manos, BCSGA President

Ballet Folklorico Huaztecalli closed the evening with an awestruck series of performances. A special thanks to the program committee, Dezi Von Manos, president; Emmanuel Limaco, ICC Rep; Belinda Lopez Rickett, treasurer; Francis Benavente, member; and faculty adviser, Prof. Olivia Garcia.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

BC Drum Corps

BC’s Drum Corps is competing in Dayton, Ohio at the Winter Guard International Championships! Go Gades! The competition can be watched online at www.flomarching.com/ 

img_5373_1524200015662_40189171_ver1-0_640_360

Accessibility for All

This week, Bakersfield College had the pleasure of hosting an expert in accessibility, Gaeir Dietrich Director of the High Tech Center Training Unit (HTCTU) of the California Community Colleges, for two training sessions and a presentation over two days on Accessibility for All. You can read a short bio about Gaeir on the Accessibility for All Flyer.

On Tuesday, Gaier trained over 20 Bakersfield College faculty, staff and community guests from the Department of Rehabilitation and Kern Regional Center. She taught the difficult and intricate skills of making PDF forms accessible to everyone whether they use assistive technology or not.

i-fcxsnqz-x4.jpg

Twenty-four BC faculty, staff and community guests attended Wednesday’s Accessible Documents trainings. We were pleased to have employees of Kern Regional Center, Taft College, College of the Sequoias and Department of Rehabilitation join us to learn about making Word documents accessible. We all think we know how to use Word, though most of us are self-taught. Gaeir teaches how to make documents accessible, and in so doing, teaches how to use Word to our advantage.

Many of her lessons, just as with the forms, teach a better understanding of using the software that allows us to work smarter not harder. She teaches the helpful acronym: LIST for access! The lessons teach about Links, Images, Structure and Tables. Many of the attendees, just like the attendees for Forms, were heard to exclaim, “that’s how you do it” and “I always wanted to be able to do that, but I didn’t know how.”

i-pxnwq2x-x2

The Accessibility for All presentation followed where Gaeir explained the difference between access and accommodation when it comes to satisfying the legal requirements established by the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which requires public entities to make its resources accessible to people with disabilities. Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act concerns access for everyone, ensuring that all content posted electronically, as well as any software procured, can be used by anyone. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act concerns the provision of “auxiliary aids and services” to accommodate individuals with a particular impairment.

Everyone deserves the right to an education, and educational institutions have an obligation to ensure that we are not depriving anyone of the ability to achieve upward mobility and accomplish their dreams. Community colleges in particular must be sensitive to this issue due to the marginalized populations we serve.

“[Accessibility] is about allowing people the opportunity to step forward, which is what community colleges are all about,” Dietrich said. “By learning to make things accessible, you can make an important impact on someone’s life.”

Dietrich also offered advice for how to test accessibility in a new piece of software that schools are attempting to procure, as well as a few implementation models for how to enforce accessibility standards. Throughout the presentation, Dietrich emphasized the importance of finding the financial and personnel support to tackle accessibility issues from the top of the organizational structure on down. Remember if it is “DUMP’ed (Developed, Used, Maintained or Procured) on campus it must be accessible!”

i-m6wml65-x4

Terri Goldstein and Gaeir Dietrich

I would like to thank Gaeir Dietrich for coming to our campus to provide this important information and training for the BC faculty, staff and our community. We hope to have you return soon. A special thank you to Terri Goldstein, for arranging Gaier’s presence on campus, and inviting those interested both at BC and from others in the community. Thank you Kristin Rabe, Tracy Lovelace, Pam Rivers, Aricia Leighton and the BC Accessibility Task Force for supporting Terri. Thank you Tarina Perry for making arrangements and organizing all the events on campus. Thank you Eric Sabella and the Food Services staff for the delicious food and Jack Hernandez and the Levan Center for use of the Levan Center for the presentation. I would also like to thank all of the faculty and staff who took time at the end of the semester to learn more about accessibility.

According to the US Census Bureau approximately  19% of the US population has some form of disability, but whatever the number, BC strives to make sure there are no barriers to accessibility for anyone in the community.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Student Success Stories

This is the time of year I am especially excited to hear student success stories and what our Renegades are planning to do after graduation. Ensuring that students can transfer to continue their studies and/or get jobs in their career of choice is our number one goal. Here are two wonderful examples I heard of this week. Congratulations!

Fredrico Navarro has been acccepted to UC Irvine Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Valeria Tapia has been accepted to UC Santa Barbara in Biology.

Special Delivery from Edwards Air Force Base

i-kwrmksh-x2The Edwards Air Force Base Civilian-Military Support Group is a non-profit organization that helps provide services to soldiers living at Edwards Air Force Base. The organization recently sent BC a book documenting its over 25-year history of making life a little better for those who dedicate their lives to serving our country.

The group hosts fundraising events that have helped provide an Internet Café for the officers’ dormitory complex, the Flags of Honor Memorial Park, and other resources for residents at the base. The book titled “25 Years Support Warriors” honors all of the organization’s contributions to the base over the years, and copies are being sent to US Air Force installations around the world as an example of how military bases can form important partnerships with their surrounding communities.  Thank you to Allen Hoffman for sending the book, which is now housed in our Veterans Resource Center.

Bakersfield Homeless Center Fundraiser

On Wednesday, the Bakersfield Homeless Center had a great turnout at their Annual Drive Thru Lunch Fundraiser. The lunch pickup took place at Compassion Corner at 22nd and L behind the KGET studios . All the proceeds went to helping families experiencing homelessness.

Fundraiser lunch

Here’s a picture of Edie Nelson’s husband John Nelson, who picked up the special lunch for staff in the President’s Office who wanted to support this great cause. Thank you John, and thanks to all who contributed to this annual fundraiser!

John Nelson

CCCCO in Bakersfield.

Loved having lunch with Van Ton-Quinlivan, Executive Vice Chancellor of Technology and Workforce Development, when she was in Bakersfield.

Von Ton Quinllivan visits Bakersfield April 16 2018

Ed Coghlan, John Means, Van Ton-Quinlivan, Sonya Christian, Cindy Collier, Craig Hayward

Fun photos from Garden Fest:

Love this picture of “Uncle Paul” as Abby, Lily and Lexy Garrett call Paul Beckworth in this picture with Sandra Beckworth.

Paul Beckworth, Sandra Beckworth, Abby Garrett, Lily Garrett, Lexy Garrett April 21 2018

The Vice Presidents enjoying their saturday with their families.  Including little Miss Mae.

 

Fun photo of Tom Gelder

Very happy to see Chancellor Tom Burke at Garden Fest

Tom Burke with Corny Rodriguez

 

 

We are the World!
We are Bakersfield!
We are BC

Sonya Christian 3

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Celebrating people — talent and dedication

Good morning Bakersfield.  It is Saturday, April 14, 2018 …a quiet cool morning …a great week to be a Renegade!

Bougainvilleas April 8 2018 St Phillips.jpg

 

Renegade Talks

Renegade Talks Lineup

Renegade Talks 2018 Lineup

Based on the popular TED Talks of “Ideas Worth Sharing”, Renegade Talks bring together BC faculty and students to deliver short, innovative, subject-based presentations. This year, the lineup was fabulous including:

  • “Rolling the Dice” by Chris Cruz-Boone, Professor of Communication
  • “Black Masculine Identity” by Julian James West
  • “Smooth Endoplasmic Reticulum: A Fork in the Academic Road” by Joe Saldivar, Professor of Biology
  • “Twelve Seconds” by Amber Smithson, BC Student
  • “Manners and Today’s Society” by Teena Bensusen, BC Student
  • “The Burden of Freedom” by Daniel Mechem, Veteran and BC Student
Indoor Theater

Indoor Theater filling up before the show

If you were not able to attend, videos are being edited. Keep your eye out for them in my blog next week and on BC’s YouTube! For now, here are two teasers from Joe Saldivar and Julian West.

dsc07539-x41-e1523662243856.jpg

Todd Coston and Andrea Thorson

Special thank you to two leaders at BC who chair and coordinate this event, Andrea Thorson and Todd Coston. See the photos at BC’s Smugmug.

dsc07496-x4

Welcoming the KCCD Trustees to Campus

img_5189-x4

On Thursday, BC leadership welcomed the KCCD Board of Trustees to campus for their monthly Board Meeting and we started the afternoon with a luncheon provided by BC Food Services and Chef Eric Sabella.

s18boardoftrustees10-x4

Liz Rozell gave an informative presentation regarding the Industrial Automation Program and introduced one of our upcoming graduates of the first Baccalaureate Class in 2018 – Richard Van Horne. He spoke highly of the program and how he earned a Political Science degree from BC and was inspired to return upon the news of the Bachelor of Science in Industrial Automation. Richard shared that he receives offers for internships, being approached by local industries and said he’s getting his degree at a fraction of the cost of friends who attend other 4-year institutions.

img_5212-x4

Bachelor of Science in Industrial Automation Student, Richard Van Horne

The Board Meeting then took place in The Norman Levan Center with one highlight being our Emeritus and Retiree Recognition. I had the honor of introducing them, so I’d like to share each of them one more time, highlighting their service.

dsc08034-x4.jpg

Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg , Vice-President, Instruction – 35 years, 6 months
Nan is the best coach that I know, the best arbitrator of disputes, the best diplomat, the best cheerleader for students, the most articulate person for issues of equity…… and always kind and generous with her time. Today, we have the opportunity to give our voice of thanks to her years of humble service; we have the opportunity to make visible her focused work behind the scenes that has greatly shaped our community, and so many lives; and we have the opportunity to recognize this tireless and true champion of education.

dsc08060-x4

Katherine Pluta, Dean of Instruction – 32 years, 5 months
Kate provided 32 years of dedicated service to Bakersfield College.  She has served many leadership roles including, Division Chair, President of the Senate, President of CCA and recently, Dean of Instruction. And if you look at major initiatives over the years, Assessment and Student Learning Outcomes, Strategic Planning, the Integration of Accreditation into the work of the college, you will see that Kate has been in the forefront. She has been a loyal friend to BC and a friend to me. Kate, you will be missed.

img_5285-x4Gilbert Merjil, Groundsworker II – 31 years, 2 months
Gilbert Merjil was a groundskeeper and irrigation specialist for the campus.  Although a quiet worker, behind the scenes he took care to ensure we could be proud of our campus grounds.  In particular, Gilbert kept the campus green and looking good thorough one of our states worst droughts all while reducing campus water usage. Gilbert resolutely guarded BC’s lawns and sprinklers and was known to chase down vendors who may have driven over the lawn.

img_5291-x4Andrea Garrison Professor, Biology 28 years, 8 months May 11, 2018

Professor Garrison has been a cornerstone to motivating the faculty of the College to being excellent teachers. She is respected for her leading the faculty through challenging times. As a true Biologist, she created awareness of important issues in respecting our environment as we function as a College, and she created and organized the club for students to incorporate their faith into their education. When the College started Guided Pathways, she was one of the first faculty to embrace this effort and used that to encourage her students in class to know their pathways and be prepared in all ways for the expectations of learning after transfer. Andrea has been the President of CCA and a winner of the Levinson Leadership Award.

dsc08078-x4Odella Johnson Professor, Academic Development 24 years, 10 months
Odella Johnson will be remembered for her passion for students, her passion for equity and her leadership both on campus and in the community.  Odella participated as a member of the Black faculty, served as faculty advisor to the BSU, served as Director of the Educational Advancement Program (EAP), Director of the Assessment Center, served as ACDV Department Chair, Director Equity and Inclusion and on many college wide and district committees. Prof Odella Johnson thank you for 24 years of service to Bakersfield College.

dsc08084-x4Susan McQuerrey Professor, ELS 25 years, 10 months
Susan McQuerrey has been a valued member of the EMLS Department and the Bakersfield College community since 1988, when she started as an adjunct.  She was hire full-time in 1992.  She has served on many committees including as co-chair of the Curriculum Committee and president of the Academic Senate. She also served as the department chair for the English/ESL Department before the two departments split. Her students love and respect her with comments like, “Very respectful; highly recommended,” and “She is a good professor. Very strict, but for our own good. Love her.” Certainly, Susan’s professionalism, experience, and love for teaching will be sorely missed at Bakersfield College.

dsc08091-x4Jimmy (Smitty) Smith, Skilled Craftsworker, M&O Technician 17 years, 3 months
Smitty as we called him served BC for nearly 20 years as the skilled craftsman and locksmith.  He was always eager to assist and made sure it was done the “right way”.  His myriad skill sets and care will be hard to replace!. In his role as locksmith, Smitty had a big job to ensure faculty and staff had access to all of the buildings as needed.   Smitty was instrumental in helping transition our campus to the new key card system.

dsc08096-x4Dennis Spencer, Electronics Technician – 10 years, 2 months
Dennis was originally hired as the phone technician.  As technology changed and phone systems moved towards voice-over IP technology, Dennis was able to transition and oversee maintenance of campus elevators, fire alarms, and small electronic equipment.  He personally oversaw the audio equipment set-up for all administrative events.   Dennis always has a great story to share and was the eyes and ears of the campus.  Dennis provided personal attention to ensure we had what was needed and ensured every detail was covered when helping out regardless of the projects – from the phones, to computers to the fire alarm system, to large events.

dsc08127-x4.jpg

BC’s esteemed retirees

Student Employee Appreciation Week

National Student Employee Appreciation week 2018

Today’s Students, Tomorrow’s Workforce. This week is National Student Employee Appreciation week, and with close to 500 students employed each year at Bakersfield College there is much to celebrate. The Office of Student Employment in FACE 16 coordinated this fabulous event, that recognized our Student Employees hard work throughout the year. Students were provided a token of appreciation in addition to resources that will help tie their experience on campus to their future careers. For students seeking on-campus opportunities please send them to the Student Employment Lab (FACE 9) where they can schedule an appointment with a job development specialist, apply for on-campus employment through Jobspeaker, search off-campus jobs, create a resume or print career related materials for free. Special thanks to Stephanie Baltazar for spearheading this incredible program for our students.

Inaugural English Student Colloquium

Rae Ann KumelosThe English Department hosted its first English Department Student Colloquium in the Levan Center on Friday, April 13, 2018. The Colloquium held an essay contest from which three finalists were selected to present at the Colloquium and compete for awards generously donated by the Levan Center. The English Colloquium Committee was pleased with the many well-written submissions they received from Bakersfield College students.

The three finalists, Steven Ledesma, Sarai James, and Brian Melgar, presented their essays vying for the first prize of $1500, with second and third place receiving $500. All three finalists also received an invitation to the BC Donor Dinner.

The English Colloquium, an educational seminar where participants come together to discuss their work, was given an “American Idol” twist. The three finalists each had a chance to perform on stage by presenting their essay, and the judges (a.k.a. committee members) sat on the edges of their seats critiquing the would-be stars. After the presentations, the judges adjourned for discussion and subsequently announced first place winner of the $1500 prize – Brian Melgar. Second place – $500 – Steven Ledesma and third place – Sarai Jaime.

Brian Melgar, Sarai Jaime, Steven Ledesma.

Brian Melgar, Sarai Jaime, Steven Ledesma.

Special thank you Rae Ann Kumelos for leading this Inaugural English Colloquium and to the committee members: Keri Wolf, Richard Marquez, Cynthia Powell, Jennifer Jett, Denise Mitchell, Alicia Skipper, Jason Spitzer, Justin Bell, Jeremy Casabella, Tiffany Wong, and Kaitlin Hulsey. I would also like to thank Anna Poetker and Reggie Williams for lending their colloquium organization knowledge, experience and advice to the English Colloquium Committee. Thank you Eric Sabella for the delicious refreshments and Kristen Rabe for technical support. Thank you Eric Carillo for creating such a beautiful green event poster that Rae Ann believes brought the rain to turn the hills of Bakersfield green. A large thank you Jack Hernandez and the Levan Center for the support and making the English Colloquium possible.

english-colloquium-podium-m

Eric Carrillo’s Poster

A very special guest showed up to the Colloquium — Rae Ann’s father, Laddie Kumelos. She was very proud to tell us that he began teaching English 70 years ago. She certainly did not fall far from the tree as she continues to teach English at BC. She joked that when she wrote him letters while away at school, he would return them, marked up with red ink.

english-colloquium-raeanndad-m.jpg

Rae Ann’s dad (tan shirt on the right) in the audience awaiting the start of presentations. And looks like he is texting!

We joke about the red ink of an English teacher, but writing is extremely important for a better workforce and for a better community. Communicating through the written word, understanding it, interpreting what those before us have written enriches our lives, educates us on the past, helps us educate others, and allows us to share our ideas. Events like the English Student Colloquium encourage students to further engage in communicating ideas and strengthening their writing skills. It also gives us an opportunity to see what our students have learned and how they have grown from their education at BC. The three finalists certainly shine as examples of this. I look forward to next year’s English Colloquium. See all the photos at BC’s Smugmug.

The finalists drawing the presentation order from the “golden chalice”

The finalists drawing the presentation order from the “golden chalice”

 

Korean Culture Day

The students in BC’s Korean Culture Club organized an all-day event on Monday in the Fireside Room and cafeteria celebrating the richness of Korean culture. English professor Andrew Bond helped organize the 2nd Annual Korean Culture Festival, which featured Korean music, food, and a performance by the Long Beach-based K-pop dance troupe, The Last Bite.

 

Sonia Silva, a representative from CSUB’s International Students and Programs office, was on hand to provide future Cal State transfers with information about study abroad opportunities at the university. See more photos on BC’s Smugmug!

Korean Dancers at BC

Korean Dancers at BC

Faculty working on assessment of Student Learning

On Monday, I stopped by L160 to talk to Nick Strobel and found faculty hanging out and working on assessment of student learning long after the workshop had ended.  Just wonderful!  In the picture you see Di Hoffman, the outgoing faculty chair, and Brent Wilson, the incoming chair.  David Neville on the far right was Assessment Chair before Di, so in one photo we have three generations of Assessment Committee chairs.  Here the beautiful woman in the Renegade Red shirt if Sandy Davis, faculty in nursing.

Assessment Committee 2018

Di Hoffman, Sandy Davis, Brent Wilson, David Neville

BC team at Banner Ellucian Conference

The BC team was at the Ellucian annual conference in San Diego, examining configuration options and models for the upcoming Banner 9 upgrade. I am told that one of the more significant Banner upgrades will go into effect this summer.

Banner Conference

Dena Rhoades, Jennifer Achan, Morgan Bohnsack, Michelle Pena, Zav Dadabhoy, Mark Osea, DJ Vanderwerff, Somaly Boles, Ashlea Ward

Watch for workshops and information from the BC Banner team leads: Jennifer Achan and Michelle Pena.

Also caught this photo posted by Tonya Davis, Vice Chancellor of HR on twitter,

KCCD HR Team at Ellucian Conf in San Diego April 9 2018

AAMP Open House

On April 6, 2018, the Bakersfield College African American Mentor Program (A.A.M.P.) had a packed house for its second annual AAMP Open House.  With nearly 200 African American high school students, BC was able to make a significant contribution to preparing African-American students for college before they even arrive on a college campus.

AAMP Open House 2018 attendees

AAMP Open House 2018 attendees

We kicked off the event with an address from our most distinguished keynote, LaMeka Ross.  LaMeka faced trials and tribulations early on in her life, with the loss of her father at a young age. Despite the adversity she overcame her obstacles and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and a Master’s in Business Administration.  LaMeka is now working in Human Resources Business Partner Role for Aera Energy.  She serves as a living testament to the possibility of enduring and overcoming adversity and to reach success.

The overall theme of the event was to encourage students to exceed academic expectations.  Students were split into 2 groups; one group consisted of all seniors while the other was all non-seniors.  The senior high school students went to learn about the Umoja ASTEP Program here at Bakersfield College; they got to hear the experiences of prior Umoja students and meet the esteemed faculty that make it all possible.  Afterwards, students were able to apply to the program, be accepted, and actually register for the program at the event.

The non-seniors were learning from three amazing workshops that exposed them to their options of dual enrollment, the importance of math, and STEM careers.  At the end of the event, Kyle Tavon, former Staff Sergeant in the Marine Corps and Special Operations spoke to the group.  Kyle was awarded the Purple Heart and Presidential Award for his heroic efforts in pulling two of his fellow injured marines to safety while in combat.  When Kyle was 18 years old he made some mistakes that brought him in front of a judge who told him he could either go to prison, or join the military, Kyle Stated, “This was a pivotal moment in my life, joining the US Marines changed my life.”  The entire event was inspirational as students prepared for the transition to college, we planted seeds of encouragement and hope, and we educated students on the opportunities that college can offer.

Thank you to Julian West, Paula Parks, and the whole AAMP team.

Open House 2018 Julian West

Open House 2018 Julian West

AAMP Paula Parks Presenting

AAMP Paula Parks Presenting

 

Congratulations 2018 KCCD Leadership Academy

The Kern Community College District is committed to supporting professional development that informs employees’ leadership abilities. Each year, the Leadership Academy works to develop classified, faculty and management employees to prepare for leadership roles at every level of the organization.

Through experiential learning opportunities from September through April, the KCCD Leadership Academy offers employees the opportunity to interact with district executives, KCCD trustees, state-level education leaders and others. Participants generate a greater understanding of our geographically expansive district and build cross-district relationships with coworkers.

LA Group

On behalf of the entire BC community, congratulations to this year’s Leadership Academy participants!  And for those of you who have not participated, applications are out for the 2018-2019 cohort.  Apply now.

Heather Barajas

Heather Barajas is currently a Department Assistant III in Human Resources at the Bakersfield College Campus. She has worked at BC for four years and loves being able to see her work/committee participation in action by just simply taking a walk around the campus. As a participant of the KCCD Leadership Academy she enjoyed it because it pushed her out of her comfort zone and gave her more insight of how the district and colleges operate together, in addition to getting to know other people from her campus and the other colleges.

keith-ford.jpg

Keith Ford is the Associate Athletic Director at Bakersfield College who has been with BC for almost 3 years. He is involved with campus-wide initiatives and serves on committees including facilities and safety committees. His goal is to one day serve as the Bakersfield College Athletic Director to be able to provide the best opportunities to the student-athletes to achieve their goals, whether it is in athletics, academics or life in general.

michael-mcclenic.jpg

Michael McClenic is a program manager at Bakersfield College where he serves students on probation. He started his career at BC in 2015 as an adjunct instructor and seven months later took on the role of Program Manager, Probation and Early Alert. As a participant of the KCCD Leadership Academy he enjoyed the opportunity to meet, interact with and learn from people from other colleges in the district. His takeaway are the words of our esteemed Chancellor – -”What happened in Sacramento, stays in Sacramento”.

mindy-wilmot.jpg

Mindy Wilmot is faculty/reference librarian for Bakersfield College. She is finishing up her fourth year (and just received tenure). As a Leadership Academy participant she enjoyed her time learning more about her school and district, as well as getting to work with colleagues from the three campuses. She considered the Legislative Conference to Sacramento the highlight of the academy.

Mike Barrett

Mike Barrett is a System Support Specialist working at the Bishop and Mammoth Lakes campuses of Cerro Coso Community College. He lives in Bishop California and work at the Bishop and Mammoth Lakes campuses – that’s like a win-win-win-win! He really enjoyed the opportunity to take part in the KCCD Leadership Academy. Having had a chance to tour all of our campuses and see first-hand some of the different challenges each college has in providing educational opportunities for their service areas. He believes our colleges and the district office work well together and is really happy to be a part of such a great team.

Nikki Gardepe

Nikki Gardepe is an Assessment Assistant at Cerro Coso Community College. She has been at Cerre Coso for four years. She coordinates student assessment testing activities critical to student academic performance and placement. She knows what it’s like to be in someone else’s shoes trying to deal with the sometime complex education system and finds it rewarding when she can truly help others.

Stephanie Olmedo-Hinde

Stephanie Olmedo-Hinde is the current Counselor and Coordinator for Porterville College’s Disability Resource Center. She has worked for the KCCD for 16 years. She comes from a family of KCCD employees, her father Robert Olmedo worked for Porterville College for 12 years and her mother, Perla Olmedo, worked for Porterville College for 35 years. “What I loved most about the leadership academy was the lifelong connections I made with my colleagues from BC, CC, and District Office. My team was full of the best people I’ve ever met and we worked together so well, I love knowing they have my back and I absolutely have theirs”

Steven Alexander

Steven Alexander is the Director of IT Security and has been with KCCD for almost two years. He lives in Bakersfield with his wife and three children. His favorite experience in the leadership academy was traveling to Sacramento to meet with our state legislators and advocate for our district.

Cammie Ehret-Stevens

Cammie Ehret-Stevens is a native of Bakersfield and joined the Kern Community College District in July 2011 as the Purchasing Coordinator/Analyst. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting from California Coast University and a Public Procurement Certification from NLPA. In her free time she enjoys camping and traveling abroad. Cammie recently completed the KCCD Leadership Academy in April 2018, where she gained insight to the district and established multiple networking connections.

KCCD in Oregon

A team from Porterville College, Cerro Coso Communty College, Bakersfield College and the District Officer were in Oregon along with staff from Kern High School District and Delano.  We have been scaling up rapidly in KCCD with Dual Enrollment and this trip will help systematize some of our processes.  Don’t you see Cindy Collier leading this systems development?  This is what Cindy does!

i-r3nrftg-x4

 

Gearing up for Summer Bridge

I’ve been told that 30 out of the 34 scheduled summer bridge sessions are FULL! That is  over 1,350 enrollments! I was overjoyed to see the number of faculty and staff who signed up for some dates to mentor at this year’s Summer Bridge, but we have lots of room left!

Summer Bridge Main Image

Thank you to the advisors and counselors that will be helping us throughout the summer! And Allison Burch, Angela Bono, Bill Chapman, Bonnie Hammond, Brent Wilson, Brian Sivesind, Bryan Hirayama, Bryan Russell, Catherine Starling, Cherilyn Haworth, Chris Cruz-Boone, Christian Zoller, Christina Touchstone, Daniel Gomes, Debra B. Strong, Diana Cason, Dinorah Castro, Don Brady, Eddie Rangle, Eleonora Hicks, Elvira Martinez, Emily Poole, Erica Menchaca, Erineo Garcia, Faith Bradham, Gilbert Ayuk, Glenn Samples, Gurpreet Grewal, Heather Pennella, Helen Medrano, Isaac K. Vannasone, James McGarrah, Jeannie Parent, Jessica Wojtysiak, Kaureen Brady, Keri Wolf, Kim Arbolante, Lisa Harding, Lisa Rogers, Marcelyn Allen, Mathew Garrett, Michael Fragoso, Michelle Hart, Mindy Wilmot, Neeley Hatridge, Olivia Garcia, Sara Wallace, Silvet Holcomb, Stephanie Vega, Stephen Tavoni, Sue Vaughn, Talita Pruett, Teresa McAllister, Tina Posey, Tina Zito, Tracie Grimes, Travis Steele, Vayron Martinez, Veronica Lucas, Wade Ellis, and Yvonne Armendariz. #WeareBC!

Transfer Pathway Advising

Khushnur Dadabhoy, Director of Transfer Pathways, and Grace Commiso, Dean of Counseling, leading the ed advisors and other key team members in a strategy session on transfer pathway advising.

Khushbur Dadabhoy and Grace Commiso

Khushbur Dadabhoy and Grace Commiso lead the presentation

We are BC Treats

Dean Manny Mourtzanos sent 3 boxes of We Are BC donuts to counseling to lift spirits in our big sprint for registration.

 

i-hzxw92b-x4.jpg

Bernadette Martinez with a box of treats

i-3dpjb9z-x4.jpg

Sarah and John from Dunkin Donuts

John Lyon is the Manager/Owner of the Dunkin Donuts location who made these. Sarah is the young woman who created them.  Thank you John and Sarah!

Loved these photos of Manny De Los Santos indulging in the treat. We are BC!

Levan Humanities Review

i-br56v4x-x4The 2018 issue of the Levan Humanities Review is published! This years issue has thoughtful, engaging pieces, including the Sufi concept of divine love, the meaning of public, including Confederate, statues, Father Garces, and Gerald Haslam’s essay on the valley and his life as a writer. The editors invite you to enjoy this issue, which will contribute to our daily search for wisdom and our understanding of how the humanities help us in that search.

I loved browsing the copy which was delivered to me this week and seeing contributions from Faith Bradham, Olivia Garcia, Matthew Garrett, and Catherine Abbey Hodges, a professor from Porterville College.

Thank you to the Editorial Board including Dr. Portia Choi, Lily Hirsch, Dr. Rae Ann Kumelos, Erin Miller, Nick Strobel, and Reggie Williams.

If you’d like to purchase your own copy, it’s available on Amazon or online at the Levan Humanities Review website.

RP Conference

On April 11-12th, our Office of Institutional Effectiveness team including Craig Hayward, Karen Snow, David Buitron, Alma Livingston, and Nicole Griffin attended the 2018 RP Conference, the largest gathering of institutional researchers and planners in the California Community College System.

Office of Institutional Effectiveness

Office of Institutional Effectiveness

Craig Hayward at the RP Conference

Craig Hayward at the RP Conference

Craig Hayward, Dean of Institutional Effectiveness, presented during multiple sessions on a range of topics such as student outcomes and policy changes with AB 705, tips and tools for identifying disproportionate impact, and shared how BC’s new program mapper can help clarify the path. Alma Livingston, Research Analyst, also presented with Craig Hayward on how academic advising and CCSSE data benchmarks can guide student engagement and success outcomes, while Karen Snow, Research Analyst, gave a poster presentation on how CATEMA is an integrative tool that will advance student equity.  So proud of the OIE team.  #WeAreBC

Karen Snow at the RP Conference

Karen Snow at the RP Conference

It’s a great day any time we get to share and learn ideas for best practices among a group of amazing CA Community Colleges! The tools and information learned at the event will positively impact how institutional research, planning, and effectiveness can positively transform our institution for student success.

Alma, Nicole, and David from BC's OIE

Alma, Nicole, and David from BC’s OIE

UC and CCC sign agreement to boost transfers

Eloy Oakley keynoting at the Leadership Summit

Chancellor Eloy Oakley at BC, May 2017

Exciting news from the University of California and the California Community College Chancellor’s Office this week. The UC President Janet Napolitano and CA Community Colleges Chancellor Eloy Oakley signed a memorandum of understanding that outlines goals and details of how the community colleges and the UC’s will work together in “Enhancing Student Transfer.” The goals are to guarantee admission for all California Community College Transfer students to the University of California campuses. For details on how our ADT’s could work to our students’ advantage in guarantying acceptance at a UC and how TAGs will be effected, I encourage you to read the University of California’s Article.

KCMEA Jazz Day

Speaking of why I am the luckiest and happiest college president ever! BC had the privilege of hosting the third annual KCMEA Jazz Day on Thursday. Our very own Kris Tiner, Director of the Jazz Studies Program, and member of Kern County Music Educators’ Association has been working hard over the last four months to organize and produce this annual event in between his regular faculty duties.

i-pvhvkfw-x3

The Highland High Jazz Band performs in the Indoor Theater on April 12th.

With 10 high school ensembles, 3 junior high groups, and a showcase performance by the BC Jazz Ensemble, it was a festival of music and peer sharing in the Simonsen Performing Arts Center, but as Kris said “the focus of Jazz Day is education.”

Taft High School Jazz Ensemble performs in the Indoor Theater

Taft High School Jazz Ensemble performs in the Indoor Theater

Unlike many competitive festivals, students who participate in Jazz Day have the opportunity to interact directly with expert clinicians and Bakersfield College music faculty. Each group receives a private half-hour clinic in the band room where they polish and refine their performance, and then they play their set on the Indoor Theater stage. Their performances are professionally recorded and additional clinicians give written feedback. Students are immersed in great music throughout the day – sharing, listening, and learning together!

Head clinician Adam Benjamin works with students from Mira Monte High School

Head clinician Adam Benjamin works with students from Mira Monte High School

You can see why I am so lucky and happy to be the president of a college with such great faculty so involved in the community and furthering education throughout the county.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This year’s head clinician was Adam Benjamin, a Grammy-nominated pianist with the band Kneebody, and Director of Jazz Studies at the University of Nevada, Reno. Benjamin performed with the BC Faculty Jazz Ensemble and gave a masterclass where he treated the audience to an incredible solo piano performance.

BC Faculty Jazz Ensemble with pianist Adam Benjamin (photo by Pete LeGrant)

BC Faculty Jazz Ensemble with pianist Adam Benjamin (photo by Pete LeGrant)

Afterward, the BC Jazz Ensemble took the stage to perform a selection of tunes from their “BC Jazz plays The Beatles” concert coming up on April 23. Read this great article about the KMCEA Jazz Day, Kris’ observations on the state music education, and all of the support from Bakersfield College faculty and administration in Matt Munoz’ Bakersfield Californian Article MATT MUNOZ: KCMEA helps touts music education and all that jazz.

Basketball Academy at BC!

I was extremely excited to hear our first session of the BC Basketball Academy had 46 participants. We had past and present Renegades coaching, high school coaches who played or had children play for me and Several BC alumni who brought their children, which is what the RENEGADE SPIRIT is all about.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Coach Dahl’s opening message was that we celebrate mistakes because that means you are learning and you have to be uncomfortable to truly become great. The camp ended with a great message from Stig Jantz about the importance of hard work, doing your job and serving others.

Joint EOPS and MESA Student Educational Excursion

EOPS and MESA students kicked off their spring break by visiting UC Davis, UC Berkeley and San Jose State. EOPS and MESA collaborated to identify students interested in STEM majors who are participating in both programs to provide them with a 3-day Educational Excursion. The purpose of this collaboration is to encourage students from underrepresented backgrounds to pursue STEM majors. BC alumni currently attending each of the respective campuses greeted the EOPS and MESA students. They provided personal tours and highlighted STEM facilities, majors, support services such as EOP and MESA, and shared their respective experience as transfer students.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

At UC Davis, BC alumni, Emily Schoenborn shared her experience as a transfer student and provided helpful tips to help prepare students for the UC application process as well as the transition. During the visit to UC Berkeley, BC Alumni, Colton Nichelson and Janell Orazco welcomed our EOPS/MESA students and provided a personalized campus tour, shared the benefits of being a student at UC Berkeley, and challenged their peers to go beyond their comfort zone. The final excursion stop was at San Jose State University where BC Alumni, Jose Sanchez, dedicated his Sunday morning to highlight his campus and provided insight on the transfer process as well as the importance of internships. As the students made their way back to the parking lot, BC Alumni, Vu Nguyen and Andrea Hernandez, spotted our BC students. They also briefly, shared their experience in relocating and preparing for transfer. Students who attended the trip were appreciative of the experience and returned highly motivated and encouraged. Special thanks to EOPS and MESA staff for coordinating this successful educational trip.

EOPS Priority Registration Festival

 

The EOPS department conducted their Registration Festival during first day priority registration on April 4th from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Prior to this day, pre-registration workshops were conducted to provide additional assistance on course registration planning to students. The majority of the students served under the EOPS, CARE, and CalWORKs programs were prepared to register since they already had their courses mapped out on their Comprehensive Student Educational Plan, which is closely monitored and updated by the EOPS Faculty Counselors during each of their three counseling contacts requirement.

There was a constant flow of students from the beginning through the end of the Registration Festival. Although many of their students were prepared to register on their own, the Registration Festival was offered to EOPS students wanting help with registration from counselors and peer mentors.

Seen on Media both social and traditional

Our Chamber Singers received an extra special surprise when the 1965 BC Choir came out to surprise them with a donation to their Australia Tour.

Jen Garrett FB.png

Our faculty are the best — check out the video snippet of Olivia Garcia being interviewd

I saw Olivia Garcia, History Faculty quoted in a news coverage on KERO. Always great to see our faculty contributing to the community.

Gadfly Cafe

Professor of Philosophy, Reggie Williams hosted the Gadfly Café with the topic, “What is beauty?”

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The hour long, round table discussion was packed with students, faculty and staff from all ages and backgrounds with most not afraid to voice their opinions when called on.

Reggie opened of the conversation with a question: “What is beauty and what does it mean to you?”  Thank you Reggie for providing these enriching opportunities for discussion and exploration.

Spring Fling

The postponed Spring fling Carnival was well worth the wait. You may remember it was postponed because of the beautiful rain we had a few weeks ago. It was great to see Renegades and their families come out for the carnival fun.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Central California World Language Project

Last Saturday, April 11 was the last CCWLP workshop for this academic year.  Central California World Language Project offers this program to the foreign language teachers of Kern County to assist them in keeping current in their field.  This academic year, we had 58 participants. Bakersfield College is proud to be the host institution for this project.

CCWLP Group Photo

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Celebrating Pam Boyles

Professor Pam Boyles was inducted into the North High Athletics Hall of Fame on Saturday, April 7, 2018.  It was a great event and I wish I got the video of Pam’s speech from Andrea to publish it on my blog.  Pam’s remarks were from the heart and recognized various coaches who had shaped her life include Coach Pam Kelley.

There was a “Pam Fan Club” group from BC that sat together at the event to celebrate this amazing woman…a great athlete, a great teacher, a great leader,….and an amazing grandma 🙂

Let’s read about Pam (Ash) Boyles, North High class of 1983.  Love the pitcture!

Pam Ash Boyles Class of 1983

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Sandi, Andrea, Keith

Sandi Taylor, Andrea Thorson, Keith Ford

Ann Tatum, Sonya Christian, Pam Boyles, Kate Pluta April 7 2018

Ann Tatum, Sonya Christian, Pam Boyles, Kate Pluta

Coach Casey Goodman putting BC Softball on the map

BC Softball April 12 2018

It was a treat heading to our softball game against Alan Hancock. BC won 5-1 and it was a delight waking up in the morning and seeing Jon Mettus’ article header BC Softball cements dominance at top of Conference. Yes!  Check out the article here https://tinyurl.com/y7f572yu

The BC College community came out in full force to support the team including Trustee Romeo Agbalog whom you see in the picture below.  We had the KCCD Board of Trustees meeting on campus earlier in the day and President of the Board, Trustee Kay Meek, congratulated the Softball Team.

I stayed for two innings and then headed out and ran into Pam Boyles and Robert Boyles heading in to support our students.  And then ran into Coach Scott Damron (Womens Soccer) and Coach Vayron Martinez (Mens Soccer) heading in.  I am the luckiest and happiest college president ever!

Trustee Romeo Agbalog watching BC softball

Saidee Banuelos slides into home safety Photo by Rod Thornburg TBC

Coach Paula Dahl, Sandi Taylor, Keith Ford, Sonya Christian April 28 2018

Bakersfield Women’s Business Conference

The Bakersfield Women’s Business Conference is this Thursday, April 19th at the Rabobank Arena.  Buy your tickets today http://bakersfieldwomen.org/

The Bakersfield Women's Business Conference April 19 2018

Norma Rojas Mora and I were on Univision promoting the conference.  Here is a photo of us with Ofelia Aguirre.

Ofelia Aguirre, Sonya Christian, Norma Rojas Mora April 14 2018

The Powers of our Pets

Neo Jan 12 2018My life changed forever in an amazing way the day I adopted Neo. You can check out my first photo posted with him in my blog from November, 2016.

While I was browsing my news feed this week, an article caught my eye titled “Three stories that exemplify the healing power of a pet” on USA Today. I was surprised to see it features BC student, Alex Knaak and his adopted Chihuahua, Loki.

Please comment and share with me any stories you have of your loved pets. I/We would love to read them!

Btw, what did you get your pet on Pets Day, April 11 2018?

 

Sonya Christian April 12 2018

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

 

Watching Dreams Blossom at BC!

Good morning Bakersfield.  The Renegade Red and White Roses have starting blooming in my front yard.  A lot of white and one solitary red.  Saturday, April 7, 2018…a great day to be a Renegade!

Spring flowers April 8 2018

 

Loved seeing Nick Strobel’s discussion on TESS the exoplanet satellite scheduled to be launched and its mind boggling complexity.

Bakersfield College Southwest

bcsw

Nick Strobel presenting at College Council

Nick Strobel presenting at College Council

The community has been clamoring for a BC presence in the Southwest.

On Friday, April 6th, College Council met at BC-SouthWest to explore the facility and continue building on our ideas to ramp up class availability and courses for students at this alternative location.

We had a great morning hearing updates from Nick Strobel about BC’s ISER in preparation for our accreditation visit later this year, hearing from Janet Fulks and Khushnur Dadabhoy regarding transfer pathways, and Liz Rozell and Manny Mourtzanos about the upcoming courses being offered at BC SouthWest.

Janet Fulks and Khushnur Dadabhoy presenting transfer pathways.jpg

Liz Rozell and Manny Mourtzanos presenting at BC SW.jpg

College Couoncil at BC Southwest.jpg

i-sn8nrlb-x3

Dr. Martin Luther King

This Wednesday, America commemorated the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination at a motel room in Memphis, Tennessee. Even though his life was taken at the age of 39, Dr. King’s short life spent fighting for equality in the United States was like a small candle that lit the wicks of millions, inspiring generations that came after him to continue his important work.

Events commemorating Dr. King’s assassination took place across the country on Wednesday, but the march in Memphis attracted thousands of people who marched a mile and a half in his honor. Details about all of the marches can be found in Jenny Jarvie’s article published in the Los Angeles Times.

Registration Rocks (HUGE THANK YOUS)

Registration Rocked once again, but this time at 28 of our local high schools on April 5, 2018. Roughly 3,300 fully matriculated high school seniors were invited to register in just one day.

HS board

Can you imagine the team effort it took to pull this one off?! Let me introduce you to some key people who made it happen. 

Tuesday’s training to prepare the various teams that went out to the high schools was led by Steve Watkin and Ashlea Ward. 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

On Thursday, the teams deployed to the 28 high schools charged and ready to go! Command Central was staffed with three key people to monitor all the activity and incoming needs. Thank you  Michelle Pena, Jennifer Achan, and Steve Watkin.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Due to the high traffic, by 8:00AM the system glitched and crashed…. but our District Office IT heros, Stephen Kegley and Carl Bowman were on the ball and helped us out immediately.  Huge thank you to our partners in IT at KCCD. Zav even called this the Registration War Room. 

Stephen Kegley and Carl Bowman

Stephen Kegley and Carl Bowman show the server activity on Thursday morning.

At Stockdale High, we were led by our fearless leaders Jonathan Schultz and Josie Gullian. For me, it was a rewarding experience to sit with incoming students and help them firsthand, pick and register for their very first college classes. And while I was assisting students, almost every one of them registered for 15+ units in Fall!

RR at Stockdale HS

The two pictures above are with Scott Odlin principal of Stockdale High School.  He was so proud of his students.  Thank you Scott for letting us work with the Stockdale students.

All of this could not be possible without our superstars at BC, doing what they do each and every day to serve our students and help them on the path to success.

Thank you to our counseling department and the incredible counselors who worked very hard to pull this off.

Barbara Braid for leading group ASEP workshops and triage throughout the week

Jonathan Schultz for leading Stockdale high school outreach and then turning around the next day to meet with more high school students in group appointments

Marisa Marquez for mapping all of the transfer pathways at the institutional level while meeting with students individually

Keri Kennedy for accepting, reviewing, and supporting Kern Promise students in between individual student meetings.  Leading multiple measures 4.0 application

Laurel Mourtzanos for leading an analysis of high demand courses based on student ed plans to help us be strategic in course offerings

Jo Ann Acosta who returned from surgery to process paper problems for students

Julian West and Jonathan Ward for leading African American Mentor Program Open House and getting more high school seniors registered into Umoja and a full load of courses

Victor Diaz, our academic senate Vice President, who is full of life and always brings a positive energy to the center

Shohreh Rahman who leads the international student program, providing a safe home for our students who often travel to Bakersfield without a full support system

Fabiola Johnson who oversees our at-risk and probation work to ensure one bad semester doesn’t take a student off path entirely

Sarah Villasenor who works with our students of concern team and leads communication to keep students on their path

Mark Osea, the fearless department chair who has taken on tech projects, works on the curriculum committee, and collaborates with other departments across campus

New counselors experiencing their first big spring semester registration push and hanging with us like champs: Brynn Schock, Steve Agard, Aneesha Awrey, and Dinorah Castro.

Countless educational advisors for meeting with drop-in students back-to-back: Abe Castillo, Jeff LaForce, Pearl Urena, Josh Shackelford, and others

The outreach ed advisors for leading high school outreach: Manuel, Josie, Pedro, and Debi

EOPS, DSPS, CTE, Title V, Financial Aid, veterans, and athletics counselors and advisors embedded in the departments providing direction and guidance: Angelica, Cynthia, Manuel, Cathy, Jeff, Vanessa, Pam, Dominica, stig, Evette, Lucy, Venessa, Isabel, Diane, and Armando

Our CSUB Transfer counselors who have office hours on campus: Natasha and Alicia

Our Delano counselors and advisors who ensure rural students have the information they need: Jesus, Veronica, Jessica, Jesse, and Elvira

The front desk staff and students for quickly processing check-ins, answering calls: Bernadette Martinez, Luz Mendoza, and Jahnea Palfrey

Guided Pathways in action

Eryn Justice and Jackie Lau gave a well prepared and thoughtful presentation to the Delano Counselors on Concurrent and Dual enrollment as well.

IMG_9478

Jackie Lau and Eryn Justice

Jackie Lau, you are a rock star.  I remember being so inspired by your passion and tireless energy as you volunteered countless hours to Measure J.  Thank you!

THANK YOU TO ALL Bakersfield College experts, including staff, administrators, counselors, advisors, student workers, and everyone who was either assigned to be at a high school, or assisted students with registration this week.

High school staff and students showed a great amount of gratitude for our efforts in continuing to make their transition toward becoming a Renegade a smooth one.

What we do is support our students and what that means is life changing.  This is guided pathways in action.  Thank you!

We are BC!

BC Enrollment Banner (4)And the Registration Rocks started with a massive banner for enrollment hanging off the Center for Student Success! What an exciting time to be at BC!

Shout out to the Renegades who helped pull this massive endeavor off.

Thank you to Dylan Wang, our Graphic Designer and the M&O Team including Corey Garcia, Tim Hernandez, Mitchell Barter, Aaron Kidwell, and Landon Webb.

Open registration begins April 18th.

Photographed below is Dylan Wang and the M&O Staff with the banner!

BC Hackathon

Bakersfield College is gearing up for the second annual Hackathon.  The theme for this year’s Hackathon is Health and Social Justice. Kern County struggles with many public health challenges and health inequities. Community experts will present in various panel formats and workshops on the following topics: air quality, access to quality health care, food insecurity, human trafficking, and public health outreach. Eric Ruiz, a team member from Google who hails from Modesto, will participate and discuss technology and empowerment. Bakersfield Californian investigative reporter Harold Piece will be presenting on how to use research and infographics to educate the public.

Harold Pierce and Trustee Carter

Harold Pierce and Trustee Carter

Much thanks to Harold Pierce also for doing an overview of the event. Check it out here.  Also thanks to Channel 23 Alexa Reye who did a great preview piece click here to see overview.

The agenda and more information can be found at www.bcinnovates.com.  On this website, you can check out a short video, view the rules, FAQs and register.  The Hackathon is for everyone! All academic disciplines are welcome.  Make sure to register online! The first 50 registered participants will get a free T-shirt. Note that the event has a waiting list and plans to accommodate everyone by filling up the slots of those who do not show up. Needless to say, it is a popular event! Voted BCSGA Event of the Year in 2017.

Mataalofa Hubbard with Channel 23 News with Alexa Reye

Mataalofa Hubbard being interviewed by Alexa Reye

The event is being organized by a team of two BCSGA Student Clubs, Student Health Wellness Advisory Committee Club president Mataalofa Hubbard, and STEM Club, president Andrea Lopez with faculty members Sarah Baron, Public Health Science; Eddie Rangel, Computer Science and Oliver Rosales, History and Coordinator, Social Justice Institute Coordinator, as well as, support from Yadira Guerrero, Engineering Program Manager and Career Technology Education too. Thanks also to Elisabeth Sundby and Allison Burch, Librarians from Digital Delano, who created the digital resource, libguide, which is packed with resources by topic areas. A great tool for students, educators and community members. It takes a team effort with strong community support.  We truly appreciate our community partners, volunteers and sponsors who made this possible. See the full list of community sponsors and more at www.bcinnovates.com

Sponsors for Hackathon

Last years Hackathon tshirts

Delano Community Alliance Breakfast

On Tuesday, April 3rd, Bakersfield College-Delano Campus hosted the Delano Community Alliance monthly breakfast. Over 30 guests representing various school districts, non-profit organizations, government agencies, and private businesses were in attendance. Bakersfield College provided a delicious traditional Mexican breakfast for the guests. As the host organization, we had the opportunity to update the group on what is happening at the college.

2018 Delano Community Alliance Breakfast (4)

I began the presentation by thanking the various school partners in attendance for their support, including DJUHSD Superintendent Terri Nuckols and the entire room for supporting Measure J. In doing so, these people helped to ensure that the community of Delano would be better served by BC and I concluded by discussing new programs coming to Delano.

Romeo Agbalog

Romeo Agbalog

KCCD Trustee Romeo Agbalog also shared words of appreciation for the group. He noted that as a Delano native he is happy to see all of the great things happening in education for the community’s youth. He made sure to give longtime Delano Campus admissions and records technician, Helen Calip, a shout out. He stated that he was her biggest fan.

Abel Guzman proceeded to inform the group about the enrollment growth at BC Delano in recent years. Additionally, he provided data showing that BC Delano students are just as successful, if not more successful, than all students college wide.

Helen Calip and Trustee Agbalog

Helen Calip and Trustee Agbalog

Delano Enrollment Growth

Bill Potter concluded the presentation by unveiling the upcoming Measure J construction projects on the BC Delano Campus. The group was excited to learn about the upcoming Learning Resource Center.

The Delano Community Alliance group is a non-profit organization dedicated to serving needy families in Delano. Bakersfield College is always happy to host the breakfast.

2018 Delano Community Alliance Breakfast (7)

Thank you to the Delano Community Alliance, especially Steven Kinsey, Rosalina Rivera, Linda Hinojosa, Sheryl Alexander, Dorsey Driggs, Maribel Reyna, Matthew Cauthron, Abel Guzman, Dr. Terri Nuckols, and Dave Stebbins.

Terri Nuckol and Liz Rozell

Dr. Terri Nuckols and VP Liz Rozell

Liz Gustavo and Bill

Liz Rozell, Gustavo Enriquez, BIll Potter

endee-and-bill.jpg

Endee Grijalva and Bill Potter

img_1190.jpg

Abel Guzman and Scott Spielman, BC supporter

Was happy to see Scott Spielman at the meeting.  Scott is on BC’s Pre Law Advisory committee and has done numerous presentations at the college.

Special Recognition for BC Programs

Career Technical Education (CTE) Vision Board

Career Technical Education (CTE) Vision Board

BC received special recognition of career education programs with outstanding workforce outcomes. Thank you to Van Ton-Quinlivan, Executive Vice Chancellor, Workforce and Digital Futures.

Multiple programs at BC have been named as Strong Workforce Stars because they have outstanding post-college outcomes in employment, earnings gains, and regional living wages, based on Strong Workforce Program LaunchBoard data. Several programs have earned the Bronze, Silver, and Gold Stars recognition because graduates attained one or more of the following thresholds for economic mobility:

  • An increase in earnings by 50% or more
  • Attainment of the regional living wage by 70% or more
  • 90% or more are employed in a job similar to their field of study

Congratulations to all who contribute to student success in the following programs!

BRONZE STARS (attained threshold outcomes on one metric)

  • Automotive Technology: 113% increase in earnings
  • Animal Science: 111% increase in earnings
  • Plant Science: 90% increase in earnings
  • Agriculture Business, Sales and Service: 90% increase in earnings
  • Forestry: 101% increase in earnings
  • Architecture and Architectural Technology: 245% increase in earnings
  • Administration of Justice: 81% increase in earnings
  • Corrections: 73% of students attained the regional living wage
  • Fire Technology: 78% of students attained the regional living wage
  • Culinary Arts: 163% increase in earnings
  • Human Services: 404% increase in earnings

SILVER STARS (attained threshold outcomes on two metrics)

  • Vocational Nursing: 113% increase in earnings and 67% of students attained the regional living wage
  • Electrician Apprenticeship: 59% increase in earnings and 83% of students attained the regional living wage
  • Industrial Technology: Electronics: 76% of students attained the regional living wage and 100%of students are employed in a job similar to their field of study

GOLD STARS (attained threshold outcomes on all three metrics)

  • Radiologic Technology: 329% increase in earnings, 100% of students attained the regional livingwage and 100% of students are employed in a job similar to their field of study
  • Registered Nursing: 226% increase in earnings, 87% of students attained the regional living wage and 97% of students are employed in a job similar to their field of study

One of our data coaches Elisabeth Sundby created the following bar graph to compare the threshold to achieve this award and BC’s actual performance.

Goldstar Programs

Data Coaching

Data Coach's MeetingBC’s completion coaching teams serve students through “high touch” (emails, phone calls, texts, group meetings, faculty classroom announcements) within the Learning and Career Pathways, sometimes called meta-majors. This high touch, proactive coaching of students is dependent upon high tech information to determine WHICH students need WHAT information WHEN. Each completion coaching team has a specified data coach, that may be a faculty, classified or management volunteer, who is trained in getting the information to the completion coaching teams. Data coaches fulfill several functions within the completion coaching communities.  The Office of Institutional Effectiveness (OIE) provides live, regularly updated data based upon a wide array of variables and demographics, heretofore unavailable simply because their weren’t enough researchers for all the reporting necessary. BC currently has 31 data coaches that receive data training, including FERPA certification, and have a certain knack with data but also have day jobs that intersect closely with students every day.

The data coaches job is actually three-fold. First, the data coach serves as a “data clarifier.”  It is the data coach’s responsibility to help their fellow team members understand the right questions to ask, interpret questions they’re not sure how to ask, and make meaning of data.  Second, the data coach serves as a liaison with the Office of Institutional Effectiveness. The data coach communicates and submits data requests to the OIE about the completion coaching community’s information needs, which are developed and fine-tuned in meetings with the rest of the completion team.  Third, the data coach may serve as a “reconnaissance unit.”  In other words, the data coach retrieves information about student populations, which activates the other completion coaches with targeted and individualized communication to students in need of particular messaging. Much of this work is aligned to the communication plan that helps keep students on track and on target to complete their educational goals with regards to expectations, deadlines and other important information.

Data Coaches

The picture shows a data coach meeting where data is being filtered, retrieved and delivered to the completion coaching communities so that we can reach out to students registering beginning April 4. The message reminds them to register, focusing on core classes, in a timely manner while classes are available. The data and the communication helps the institution get the right students, in the right classes, at the right time. High tech guiding and facilitating, high touch!

Bakersfield Life Celebrating BC Faculty

Josh Ottum and Omar March 10 2016

Professor Josh Ottum with a BC Student

Professor Josh Ottum was profiled by Jennifer Olague in Bakersfield Life Magazine last Saturday, talking about his career as a songwriter and creating the Commercial Music program at BC.

After years spent touring across the US and Europe as a musician and having his music featured on television programs such as “Mad Men”, Josh decided to become a music professor and bring out his students’ full musical potential with classes on recording techniques, live performance and songwriting at BC.

I’d like to thank the Californian for profiling Josh and the Commercial Music program, and I’d like to thank Josh for teaching valuable skills to our local musicians.

BC SGA event

s18zimmer02-x2

Cynthia Zimmer

Kern County prosecutor Cynthia Zimmer had lunch with BC students on Wednesday and discussed why she wants be the next person in charge of the District Attorney’s office.
BCSGA’s Office of Legislative Affairs hosted Zimmer as part of its Power Lunch series, which has featured prominent local politicians such as Jean Fuller, Vince Fong and KCCD Trustee Romeo Agbalog.

Zimmer grew up in Coalinga and was the first person in her family of four to graduate college. She credits her time at West Hills Community College as foundational to the rest of her career, which involved graduating from Cal State Bakersfield and Loyola Marymount Law School.

Students at the Power Lunch

Celebrating Renegade Athletics

CCCAA Spring Convention Awards

Last week was an exciting time in Renegade sports as two of our student athletes received awards from the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA). March 27-30th, the CCCAA held their Spring Convention in Concord, CA. They awarded Jasmit Thind with a position on the 2017 Men’s Honor Roll and awarded Aisha Maston with induction into the CCCAA Hall of Fame for Track & Field.

The CCCAA is authorized by State Legislature to establish rules and regulations to administer the athletic activities of CA community college athletics for nearly 25,000 men and women student athletes. Bakersfield College athletics are governed by CCCAA and is one of 18 members of the Western State Conference. You can learn all about Renegade Athletics at gogades.com.

image1I’d like to introduce you to Jasmit Thind. He was placed on the 2017 Men’s Scholar Athlete Honor Roll. CCCAA selects the winners and honor roll members from nominations made by CA Community Colleges. Candidates must have a minimum 3.5 GPA, participate in two seasons of sport at the college, and show outstanding leadership as an athlete, student or in college and/or community activities.

Jasmit, is a two year member of the BC football team with a cumulative 3.95 GPA. He is the Bakersfield College Men’s Athletic Scholar Athlete in 2017, as well as being selected to the California Community College Football Coaches Association All State team. Stig Jantz, Athletic Educational Advisor, accepted the award on his behalf. Congratulations Jasmit! I’m proud to call you a Renegade. See the CCCAA Scholar Athletes.

IMG_0181Now I’d like to introduce you to Aisha Maston, Bakersfield College Track & Field Alumna from ’96-97. Aisha was inducted into the CCCAA Hall of Fame Class of 2018. Aisha led the Renegades to the 1997 women’s track and field championship, holds four BC stadium records and still holds the CCCAA state championship record for most individual points. After Bakersfield College, Aisha earned a scholarship and transferred to the University of Nebraska where she studied and received her baccalaureate degree in psychology.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Coach Pam Kelley was present for Aisha’s induction, along with her very proud family. Congratulations Aisha!You can read the announcement for the 2018 CCCAA Hall of Fame or see CCCAA Hall of Fame class of 2018.

Renegade Basketball Academy

Girls_BasketballBasketball coach, Paula Dahl enthusiastically shared that the Basketball Academy is starting this weekend for youth aged 10-18.

Various weekends have different areas of focus.

  • April 7- Footwork, agility, balance, creating a quick shot, increase your shooting percentage and post work
  • April 14 – Ball handling, passing, rebounding, seeing the floor and creating on offense
  • April 21 – Defense, defending one-on-one, taking charges, understanding help defense and dealing with screens
  • April 27  the complete game, mental, physical, goal setting, team defense and offense

To register, please email coach Paula at pdahl@bakersfieldcollege.edu.

Loved this video that Coach Dahl posted on Facebook

Parent Institute for Quality Education

The Parent Institute for Quality Education (PIQE) invited Bakersfield College to come speak to their participants at Arvin High School on April 5th. PIQE is a program dedicated to providing families the knowledge and skills to partner with schools and communities to ensure their children achieve their full potential. The parents take part in a nine-week long course that covers topics ranging from four systems of higher education, financial aid, and engaging with high school staff and administrators.

PIQE

Gustavo Enriquez, Jesse Oropeza, and Abel Guzman had the opportunity to speak with the parents for over an hour about all things Bakersfield College related and more. Parents learned about dual and concurrent enrollment opportunities. More importantly they learned that their students can get a head start towards attaining a college education. All three BC representatives shared their own personal journeys as first-generation college students, which resonated with the parents whose children are also all first-generation students.

We’re always happy to connect with students and parents in the community of Arvin!

Renegades Keeping Busy this Summer!

marthad.jpg

I love when I hear student success stories and when faculty share their excitement with me. Congratulations to Martha D. who was accepted to The University of Virginia to do freshwater research this summer. This program is through the National Science Foundation and will last 11 weeks.  We have a fabulous science faculty.  #WeAreBC

Jimmy Santiago Baca

s18jimmysantiagobaca06-x3

Vidal Herrera (left) and Jimmy Santiago Baca answer questions in the Levan Center.

The Levan Center kicked off April’s National Poetry Month with a presentation by Jimmy Santiago Baca, who told the story of how he overcame being abandoned by his parents at the age of two and teaching himself to read and write in prison on the path to becoming one of America’s most celebrated Chicano poets.

Baca, who grew up in Santa Fe, New Mexico, won the National Book Award for poetry in 1987 for his semi-autobiographical anthology “Martin & Meditations on the South Valley”. He also wrote the screenplay for the 1993 film “Blood In, Blood Out” starring Benjamin Bratt and featuring performances by Billy Bob Thornton and Danny Trejo.
Baca continues to be inspired by the struggles of other Chicanos and Mexican-Americans in his writing. Baca recited one of his poems about a hate crime he witnessed against a Mexican in his neighborhood, and he told the story of how he was able to keep a family from being deported on a train he was taking to Los Angeles for a film production by calling Michael Eisner, Disney’s CEO at the time, and putting him on the phone with immigration authorities.

s18jimmysantiagobaca09-x3

Baca also invited Vidal Herrera, the subject of an upcoming book he’s writing, to talk about being one of the first Chicano forensic crime scene investigators in America, getting famous from designing the iconic “Welcome to East Los Angeles” poster, and reconnecting with his father after 60 years to put together the missing puzzle pieces of his family’s history.

s18jimmysantiagobaca05-x2

Baca has 28 books in 31 languages, and he believes that all of them are still in print because he strives to portray the authentic experiences of real people through his writing. “My love for you is why I’m still here,” Baca said.

See all the photos at BC’s SmugMug.

“Lady Leaders” program by faculty of WHAM

Activist women from across the political spectrum came together at the Levan Center on Thursday night to talk about how they work every day to create the change they’d like to see in the world. This event was the last thing planned for BC’s Women’s History Month programming organized by Roza Garza, Olivia Garcia and the Women’s History and More (WHAM) committee. BC history professor Erin Miller moderated the event, which featured a short presentation by each of the three speakers and a question-and-answer portion from the audience.

i-c2k5xd6-xl

i-gszckhs-x2

Cathy Abernathy

Cathy Abernathy has worked on Republican election campaigns for over 30 years, starting with the congressional office of Gerald Ford, who was the Speaker of the House before becoming president after Richard Nixon’s resignation. She was the Chief of Staff for Bill Thomas during his time in Congress, and she’s worked on several Republican political campaigns in the California legislature. Aberathy, who is now a frequent political commentator for several local news stations, found working on election campaigns to be the most rewarding part of her career.
“In politics, you really know whether or not you accomplished something by the end of the campaign,” she said.

i-r27jc9h-x2Jessica Flores started volunteering for non-profit causes at a young age, and as she learned more about the struggles that women, people of color and other marginalized groups face in the United States and around the world, she felt a calling to dedicate her life to raising awareness of those struggles. As a progressive political activist, Flores often feels daunted by the magnitude of work that needs to be done in order to enact change, she continues to organize and participate in marches, write letters to politicians and do anything in her power to raise awareness of the issues important to her. “Whatever small way you can contribute, do so, because the revolution needs you,” Flores said.

i-jr9zvtn-x2Kimberly Kirchmer grew up in a religious household and attended a Mennonite college in the Midwest, where she was inspired by the compassion of pacifist Christians to pursue a life of advocating for women’s rights causes. A survivor of sexual assault, Kirchmer organized several local productions of the Vagina Monologues in Bakersfield shortly after moving her 13 years ago. She is also President of the Democratic Women of Kern and organized the 2018 Kern County Women’s March, which brought together over 5,000 people and 50 speakers to march for equality.  Kirchmer offered a similar message to Flores, pleading for those who want to make an impact on the world around them to go ahead and do it.

Special thank you to the WHAM committee for organizing this event and all of the Women’s History Month programming and thank you to our guests for taking the time to inspire our students.

Andrew Kamiti

Andrew Kamiti shares his artistic processThanks to the generous support of the Norman Levan Center for the Humanities, anthropology professor Krista Moreland was able to bring renown Kenyan artist Andrew Kamiti to Bakersfield College’s Indoor Theater on April 5th.

She’s hoping to bring more guest speakers to campus in the future, making BC a local and global nexus. Andrew paints and draws Kenya’s flora and fauna, using art to bring awareness to these beautiful and endangered plants and animals. BC students and members of the community  came out to see this self-taught artist, and it was a wonderful night! Before the presentation, the Spanish club and their advisor Prof. Martiza  Salgueiro-Carlisle hosted a pizza party for Andrew.

Andrew and BC student Myshjuan Williams

Andrew Kamiti and Renegade, Myshjuan Williams

This cultural exchange was a great experiences for BC students,  who shared American and Mexican culture with Andrew, and asked him questions about the tribes and cultures of Kenya. There was a lot of laughing, lot of eating, and a lot of about family, school, food, and travel.  The BC students who wish to visit Africa had lots of questions for Andrew.  BC faculty were also at this multicultural event, including Sarah Palasch, David Neville, and Gilbert Ayuk. It’s great to see students and faculty together outside of the classroom!

Andrew Kamiti Spanish club

In his presentation Andrew transported the audience to Kenya through images, videos, and personal stories. His passion for Kenya’s wildlife could be seen in his art and heard in his voice as he shared stories about his homeland. He knows his art subjects so well, like Judy the Chimp and Imani the cheetah. His favorites is Scarface the lion, who he feels  represents the spirit of Kenya as he experienced many hardships before finding peace within the pride he shares with his brother Earless. One of Andrew’s favorites things about Kenya today is that it’s such a peaceful place to live, the hardships endured before Kenya’s independence are now a faded memory. He couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. He shared the beauty of Kenya through discussing the National Parks he regularly visits, and his current goal of drawing all the big cats at Maasai Mara National Park.

The audience learned about the natural wonders of Kenya, and by the end everyone was discussing which was their favorite animal. Andrew also discussed his artistic process, highlighted with slides that showed photographs of animals along with the stages of the drawings of those animals.  The audience was able to see how fragile Kenya’s beauty is when Andrew shared photos of Sudan, the last male Northern white rhino, whose recent passing marks the end of his species. It was an entertaining and enlightening presentation that ended with many interesting questions from the audience on the technical aspects of his work, including what media and paper he uses, how he photographs dangerous animals, how he chooses his subjects, and which animals are the most difficult to draw.

The best question of the night came from Prof. David Neville’s young daughter (and aspiring artist), who asked ‘How do you feel when you’re drawing?’ Andrew gave a big smile as he answered, ‘Happy. I feel happy when I draw’.

Here is a photo of them. Can you see why I’m the luckiest and happiest college president ever?

Andrew Kamiti and David Neville's daughter

David Neville’s daughter and Andrew Kamiti

Renegade Art Show

Art Professor, Diego Gutierrez Monterrubio and his students hold an art show each spring. This beautiful display is put on by the drawing and advanced drawing classes in front of the Fine Arts building. Enjoy these beautiful pictures.  

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Can you see why I’m the luckiest and happiest college president ever?

 

Fun Photos

On Thursday, Sue Vaughn was spotted in the Welcome Center assisting students with registering for classes. #WeareBC!

Sue Vaughn in the Welcome Center

Sue Vaughn in the Welcome Center

I also snapped this photo of the Executive Office Staff. These women are smart, hard working, and so beautiful.

BC's Executive Office Staff Somaly, Tarina, Jennifer, June and Wendy

BC’s Executive Office Staff Somaly, Tarina, Jennifer, June and Wendy

Attended the KCCD Leadership Academy graduation on Friday before I rushed off the Delano.  Here is the group picture of the graduates thanks to John Hart and then I snapped this picture of Genevieve Graber who makes all this happen.

Leadershipgrad_full.jpg

Genevieve Graber April 6 2018

Liz Rozell and I had a great time making plans for an Early College Program with DJUHSD Superintendent Terri Nuckols.  The energy on the room was great even though it was Friday afternoon after a long week.  I snapped this picture.

Terri Nuckol, Liz Rozell, Matt Carter, Jason Garcia April 6 2018.jpg

Renegade Pantry

ABC23 spotlighted the Renegade Pantry this week, a student assistance program that exists to help maintain the health and welfare of students through organized college, community sponsorship, and donations of nonperishable food, clothing and hygiene items. Special thank you to Tori Cooper for visiting campus to see what we do firsthand.

View the clip here:  https://www.turnto23.com/news/local-news/kern-county-institutions-help-battle-food-insecurity 

Renegade Talks are back

See you at the Indoor Theater on March 10th.  Thank you Andrea Thorson and Todd Coston.

https://www.facebook.com/events/2142196916023725/

 

April 7 2018 Sonya Christian and Neo

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Relax, Refresh & Renew on Spring Break

Happy Easter!

Sonya Christian cropped Nov 8 2017

Good morning Bakersfield.  It is Saturday, March 31st and a great day to be a Renegade!

Woke up to Bakersfield College featured multiple times in the Bakersfield Life Magazine.

Let me start with page 71 and Kristen Mercer‘s awesome piece about Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg.  Sit back and enjoy a little bit of Nan.

Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg March 31 2018 Bakerfeild Life Magazine

And this is Nan enjoying Bruno Mars as she walked to her car late one evening and I discretely caught her on camera.

Then on page 21 we have Olivia Garcia featured as one of the dining divas.  How cool!

Olivia Garcia a dining diva Bakersfield Life Magazine March 31 2018

 

And then on page 90, there are photos snapped by Rod Thornburg during BC’s Future Teachers Event organized by Kimberly Bligh and other faculty and staff.

Bakersfield Life Magazine March 31 2018 Future Teachers Event Photos by Rod Thornburg

Do you see why I am the luckiest and happiest college president ever?

Spring Break on Campus

Parking Lot RepairsSpring Break gives us just enough time to prepare for the sprint towards commencement and the rush of end of the year celebrations. This year, campus was still bustling with activity as crews work to repair and renovate the largest student parking lot on campus, the one surrounding Memorial Stadium.

I love weeks like this because it gives me time to reflect on the various departments that truly make BC a special place to live, learn, and work.

Our Outreach team also prepared a big mailing reaching out to the next incoming class of Renegades. Zav Dadabhoy texted me some fantastic pictures and said, “Guiding students into the pathway begins with a huge mailing to ensure students register on their priority date, for 15 units and in their pathway.”

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

March for our Lives

Last weekend, students who survived the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida – some of them only 14 years old – organized a march that brought together more than a million people on the Washington Mall of our nation’s capital.

Cities around the country participated in Saturday’s March for Our Lives, including in Kern County. Golden Valley High School students organized Bakersfield’s March for Our Lives event, walking from Yokuts Park to Empire Drive, according to Joseph Luiz’s article in the Bakersfield Californian. There was also a March for Our Lives event in Tehachapi, according to KERO.

Kate Pluta, Isabel Stierle, Rob Parsons

KERO also reported on the two local teachers who flew out to the main March for Our Lives protest in Washington, DC. Mary Miller from Foothill High and Olivia Shears of McKee Middle School held a sign that said “I March For My Students’ Lives #standwiththekids”

Many of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas students spoke on the main stage of the Washington, DC, March for Our Lives, telling their stories of how they were able to survive the shooting. David Hogg, one of the most outspoken survivors of the Parkland shooting, gave a powerful speech saying “change is here. …..The sun shines on a new day, and the day is ours.”

In the New York Times article summarizing last Saturday’s march in Washington, DC, a 360-degree video at the top of the page offers a dizzying look at the packed crowd in front of the White House.

Chief Counts 2

At BC, our Public Safety Department led by Chief Chris Counts is active in teaching our students and community how to respond in cases of emergency.  Chief Counts is also educating our campus to be aware of our surroundings all the time and as he says – if you see something, say something, and let’s do something about it.

BC’s Umoja ASTEP Students Touring HBCUs

It’s an exciting time in the lives of BC’s Umoja ASTEP Students! On Monday, March 26th, I was fortunate to be able to help send off ten of BC’s Umoja African-American Success Through Excellence and Persistence (ASTEP) students for a tour of 5 Historically Black Colleges/Universities (HBCU) in the Washington DC, Maryland and Virginia areas.

Group picture HBCU send off March 23 2018

 

Dr. Paula Parks, Umoja ASTEP Community Coordinator and English Professor, began working with Cerro Coso’s Umoja Community coordinator on joining this tour in November 2017. Paula began fundraising in December for our students’ tour costs. Students had to apply for the tour by January and selection was based on GPA, being on a transfer pathway, and interest in attending one of the HBCUs.

HBCU Tour

HBCU Tour

The 10 students attending are part of BC’s Umoja Community African-American Success Through Excellence and Persistence program. The program includes coursework (English and student development); mentoring, supported study time, a counselor who keeps students on the path to graduate, and academic and cultural trips. This is the third year of the program. The success rate is 2-4 times the success rate of Black students not in the program.

hbcu-6

Representatives from Howard University, Norfolk State University, and Morgan State University were on BC’s campus on February 12th, 2018 for the 3rd Annual HBCU Caravan Tour put on by National College Resources. See my blog about the HBCU Visits BC from February 24th.

i-zwpFWG6-X4Dr. Parks and Jonathan Ward, Umoja ASTEP Community Counselor, are escorting the students to five HBCU’s from March 26th to March 30th. They will visit the campuses of Norfolk State University, Virginia State University, Howard University, Morgan State University, and Bowie State University. The students will be able to experience the excitement and atmosphere of being at these historical campuses. We look forward to their successful transfer to one of these colleges.

Did you know that in order to be an HBCU the historically black college must be established prior to 1964? The oldest of the colleges the BC Umoja ASTEP students will tour is Bowie State University, located in Maryland, founded in 1865. The next two, in order of age, were both founded in 1867: Howard University is a private research university in Washington DC, and Morgan State University is a Carnegie-classified doctoral research institution in Maryland. The next is Virginia State University, located 20 minutes south of Richmond and founded in 1882. The youngest the HBCU they will visit is Norfolk State University, located in Norfolk Virginia, founded in 1935.

i-qTNpjQ5-X4What a wonderful opportunity for our students. Thank you Dr. Paula Parks for spearheading this educational and motivational trip for the students. I also want to thank Jonathan Ward and the Office of Student Success & Equity for their work in bringing this trip to fruition.  Thank you Steve Watkin for leading the African American Initiative at Bakersfield College.

This trip has allowed me to dream much bigger than before. I have explored options that I did not know existed. I now have a great opportunity to go further in life because of this awesome HBCU tour experience — Kim Evans (Umoja student)

AlthoughBakersfield College has provided the foundation for my creator mindset, this experience just reinforced the need for my success.  — Korrie Edwards

 

HUGE Congratulations to BC Drumline!!!

Our Drumline won First Place at last weekend’s Winter Guard’s West Regional Championships for the third year in a row. There were 81 total scholastic and independent groups at the competition. There were 10 groups in our division, Percussion Independent Open, which is the second highest in the activity.

Want a glimpse of what you missed? You have to check out this video here!

The Drumline got a score of 90.85 out of 100 to win the Percussion Independent Open event for the third consecutive year. The group is currently getting ready to compete in the Percussion World Championships in Dayton, Ohio on April 19-21.

They’ll also be performing at Centennial High School on April 14 for the Pep and Pageantry Arts Association of Central California’s Percussion Finals competition. A ticket will support our local circuit and the young people it serves. This is an opportunity to see our team do what they do best in front of a packed gym of local students, parents, and other fans of the marching arts. Tickets are $10 for adults, $7 students/seniors, and kids under 5 are free. Congratulations to BC’s Drumline and Tim Heasley! Support BC’s Drumline by following every beat on Instagram @BCdrumline and Facebook.

Drumline_Instagram

BC everywhere in the state:

Honestly, I can’t keep track of our faculty and staff who are presenting all over the state.  This week Michelle Pena did two presentations at the CCCApply (a tool for students to apply for admissions to CA Community Colleges) Conference.

Michelle did a workshop on understanding residency algorithms with Michael Quiaoit, Dean of Student Services.  She did a second presentation with Craig Hayward and Patty Donahue the Product Manager for CCCApply on the new filtering tool for MetaMajors we got passed through the Steering Committee last year.

And then ……

Grace and MariaGrace Commiso and Maria Wright presented at the Get Focused Stay Focused conference in Santa Barbara. Get Focused…Stay Focused! is a program that focuses on helping students acquire the wisdom and skills to flip the college decision-making paradigm without waiting a quarter of a century of hard won experience to figure it out. It achieves this by helping students to understand who they are, what they want and how they’re going to get it.

Upon completion of the GFSF program, students identify and graduate with:

  • A carefully-considered career path
  • An informed major or program of study
  • A post-secondary institution or training program that not only matches their career and life goals but is affordable
  • A unique Skills-based Education Plan that facilitates successful entry into a highly competitive workforce upon completion of their education.

 

BC Softball on the map

Loved this piece by Jon Mettus of The Bakersfield Californian about our new softball coach Casey Goodman.

Casey Goodman Photo by Rod Thornburg March 2018

Photo by Rod Thornburg of Casey Goodman

Here are a few excerpts of what Mettus had to say:

Togetherness is seemingly one of the themes Goodman is building the program around. The team constantly goes out to eat together, and after Tuesday’s win at Santa Barbara City College, the Renegades went to the beach.

One of the concepts central to Goodman’s coaching style is honesty. She doesn’t yell a lot like she did earlier in her career and values conversations with her players. The staff has an open-door policy, pitching coach Megan Rowe said, so the players can address any issues.

For the whole article: https://tinyurl.com/y8coxway

Thank you Trustee Romeo Agbalog for attending the game on Thursday.  It is always a treat to have our trustees on campus.

Successful Training Day

CalSOAP Staff

Cal-SOAP Staff

Kudos to our Cal-SOAP staff for organizing a successful training day, “Next Steps for High School Seniors.” Cal-SOAP Spring Staff Development took place with high school Counselors and Career Technicians. Thank you, Steven Watkin, Mark Osea, Ashlea Ward, Manuel Muralles, and Pedro Ramirez for coming out to prepare our high school partners and staff for Registration Rocks Day on April 5th.

I also want to thank Dr. Terri Goldstein for introducing DSPS student eligibility and support services, Crystal Montoya for covering Next Steps for CSUs, and Maria Madrigal for the UCs.

EOPS

Imelda Valdez June 13 2017College Council is a college wide governance committee that is responsible for policy, planning and evaluation of the college as a whole.  I chair this committee that includes leaders from the various constituency groups as well as functional areas on campus.  At our last meeting on Friday March 16, 2018, we had the pleasure of a presentation on BC Guided Pathways: EOPS Momentum Points and Outcomes by Imelda Simos-Valdez.

Extended Opportunity Programs & Services (EOP&S) was established in 1969 by Senate Bill 164 to encourage and retain students affected by language, social and economic hardships. BC’s EOP&S department also includes Cooperative Agencies Resources for Education (CARE) program, established 1982 by AB 3103, to collaborate with Kern County Department of Human Services for EOP&S students who are single heads of households; and California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs), established 1997 in response to 1996 federal welfare reform legislation, which collaborates with Kern County Department of Human Services to provide supportive services and resources to students (parents) in transition to achieve long-term self-sufficiency and transform lives.

Statistics show EOP&S students attempting 15+ units by the end of the first semester increased by 4.08% in fall 2017 to 15.6% and increased by 2.97% in the spring 2018 to 17.01%. Enrollment in college-level English in the first year increased from approximately 8.0% in fall 2016 to 15.7% in fall 2017 and increased from 10.3% in spring 2017 to 27.5% in spring 2018. Enrollment in college-level math in the first year increased from 6.3% fall 2016 to 8.6% in fall 2017 and from 7.8% to 21% in spring 2018.

Thank you Imelda Simos-Valdez and all of the counselors, staff and faculty that have helped in supporting our students. Their success can be attributed to the completion coaching EOP&S has put into place resulting in a focused approach to students completing their degree or certificate.

eops

The presentation also included a little bit of Program Review for 2016-17. With the goal to increase number of students served (high school seniors/classroom presentations), EOP&S saw 2,900 applications for AY 2017-2018. 1,800 students were admitted in fall 2017, compared to 800-1,000 in previous years. In the summer, EOP&S will be adding a parent component to the second annual Freshman Day.

Did you know that EOP&S has resources for students such as book vouchers, grants and school supplies? These are just a few of the support and services that they provide in addition to reviewing/updating CSEPs, registration assistance for priority enrollment, intrusive follow-up counseling, academic progress reports, academic probation follow-up, educational/life skills workshop, career counseling, transfer assistance, university campus visits, and follow up communication: email and personal phone calls. EOP&S is an important resource for our qualifying students.

Can you see why I’m the luckiest and happiest college president ever?

Sharing on Social Media

This week, I found on twitter the push to encourage students enroll in 15 units per term. Make sure to follow BC on Twitter @Bakcollege! And of course follow me @sonyachristian.

twitter

Kern County STEMposium Coming Soon!

Christina Sistrunk Stemposium

Christina Sistrunk at the 2017 STEMposium held at BC

On Thursday, Harold Pierce of the Bakersfield Californian wrote an article previewing the Kern County STEMposium, an event which aims to inspire the STEM professionals of the future. This year’s STEMposium, which is being held at the Kern County Fairgrounds on April 13, and is a hybrid between a science fair and a job fair, businesses and the community together to raise awareness of all the awesome STEM careers available in Kern County. The Kern Economic Development Foundation hosted last year’s STEMposium here at BC and you can read about it in my blog last year.

Special thank you to Harold Pierce for drawing attention to this important event and for being one of the featured speakers for the Health and Social Justice Hackathon at BC, giving a presentation about using journalism to inspire community engagement.

CTE and Student Employment at BC!

CTE at BC helps create a pathway for our students while also helping them gain the hands on experience and technical training they need to be successful in the pathway they choose, while also encouraging them to be a part of the strong workforce of the future.

Career Technical Education (CTE) Vision Board

Career Technical Education (CTE) Vision Board

Our commitment is to help prepare our students for a wide range of high-wage, high skill, high-demand careers. CTE is at the forefront of preparing students to succeed in fast-growing, high-growth industries around the country. According to the California Community Colleges Task Force on Workforce Job Creation and a Strong Economy, the labor market is increasingly demanding a more skilled workforce and by 2020, 65% of all job openings in the U.S. will require some postsecondary education or training – though not necessarily a four-year degree.

It is CTE’s mission to provide educational leadership in developing a competitive workforce. For more information on the different Career and Technical Education programs that Bakersfield College has to offer visit the Career Pathways webpage.

Student Employment OfficeStudent Employment is a subdivision of CTE that supports career readiness and pathway work through on-campus employment, work experience, internships and other work based learning activities. Employing over 500 students each year, on-campus employment is a special component that moved to a 100% online application system through Jobspeaker to provide students a more realistic approach to applying for jobs. Students can access employment on and off campus through the online system in addition to the free mobile app available. Career related services such as resume review, job search strategies and mock interviews are available through appointments with Job Development Specialists, in addition to utilizing computers in the Student Employment Lab located in FACE 9.

Unsung Superstars of BC!

Have you ever wondered where all the BC forms, brochures, and posters come from?  Our Marketing Department Graphics Designers and Print Shop! These four people do great work keeping up with the design and printing needs a campus of our size. Get to know these unsung heroes below! #WeAreBC!

Josephine Garcia_Matt Foster_Eric Carrillo And Dylan Wang

Josephine Garcia, Matt Foster, Eric Carrillo, and Dylan Wang

Eric Carrillo, Graphic Designer
Eric is a proud alumni of Bakersfield College who began his employment while still enrolled in 2006. Shortly afterwards, he was promoted from a Publications Assistant to Graphics Designer. He credits two awesome mentors Debby Moberg, Publications Coordinator and Bill Parker, Lead Printer who passed on their knowledge and taught him much more than graphics and printing.

Dylan Wang, Graphic Designer
Dylan is a graduate from Houston Community College where he completed his associate’s degree in Digital Communications and has been working at Bakersfield College since July, 2015. Dylan is often my go-to guy when I need some beautiful artwork or design in a pinch!

Josephine Garcia, Lead Printer
Josephine considers herself a printing concierge with a vast knowledge of the industry. Her goal is to continuously provide superior results and expeditious service, all while pursuing new growth opportunities and maintaining lasting relationships with faculty and staff.

Matt Foster, Print Shop Clerk
Matt started working at the BC Print Shop as a Student Worker in 2014 and was hired full time in 2016. His job is crucial to the workings of the Print Shop and to ensure BC staff and faculty receive their ordered jobs quickly and accurately.

KCET’s Jason Galvin

djjvggx6_400x400

Jason Galvin, photo from Twitter

This week, it was announced that KGET Sports Reporter Jason Galvin is leaving the network to focus on sportscasting in the community. See the clip and his note on Facebook here.

Galvin started as the weekend sports anchor for KGET, eventually transitioning to become one of the faces of the morning team. Good news is, Galvin will stay in Bakersfield as one of the play-by-play announcers for CSUB Roadrunner Baseball on ESPN Radio.

This week,  a highlight reel about Jason’s career even had a few connections to BC and I smiled when I saw Memorial Stadium. The first was the Condors’ Winterfest game from last year, and the other was doing play-by-play commentary with Chad Manning for the Renegade football team’s game-winning run in the final five minutes against El Camino College. Jason referred to Chad as “a sports icon”.  Chad is a huge supporter of Bakersfield College and Renegade Football. #GoGades

Bakersfield is truly a great community. Thank you to KGET for all the partnerships you’ve inspired.

It’s what Spring Break is about!

I love staying connected with faculty and staff, and I always love a great photo! I received some wonderful messages throughout Spring Break from faculty and staff resting, working, and gearing up for the sprint to commencement!

Janet Fulks

Picture from Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg in Wisconsin

Wisconsin March 31 2018

Extra Fun Photos

Sandi Taylor emailed me this fun photo with Cynthia Williams.  Cynthia recently shared with me that the last of her nine grandchildren (twins) Mason and McKenzie will be graduating from Bakersfield College this year. McKenzie will be going into the nursing program specializing in the Neo-natal field, and Mason will be going into the Ag program at either Cal State Bakersfield, or Fresno State. All of her grandchildren are college graduates and she says “they make us very, very proud. Education is the most important legacy in anyone’s life.”  Thank you Cynthia!

Sandi and cynthia williams

Tracy Hall-Powell and Jennifer Marden-Serratt sent this fun photo of smiles. You may remember, Tracy embarked on a new adventure in Washington last September and we miss her smile!

Tracy and Jennifer

And here is a photos of Bryan Hirayama and his boys from Facebook

Bryan Hirayama Spring Break 2018.jpg

What a gorgeous Easter weekend. 

March 31 2018 Sonya Christian and Neo

Sonya Christian and Neo out for a walk on Easter Saturday.  62 degree temp. Yes!

Happy Easter all!

Sonya Christian Bitmoji Happy Easter

 

 

MArch 31 2018 Sonya Christian and Neo 2

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

A Beautiful Rainy Week at BC

Good morning Bakersfield…It is Saturday, March 24th and a great day to be a Renegade.

This past week Bakersfield was rejoicing in the rain that kept visiting us and revisiting almost every day of the week.  What a blessing!

So many highlights from this week…the brightest of them all was the recognition of Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg.

The “Nan” Touch

Nan Gomez-HeitzebergMany know the incredible value that Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Executive Vice President of Instruction Emeritus, has brought over the last 35 years to Bakersfield College and across the Kern Community College District. Yet her impact has been felt beyond our campus, so much that one of our partners, FIELD (Farmworker Institute for Education and Leadership Development), honored her Friday with its Cesar Chavez Legacy Award. (Check out the video for more.)

BC supporting Nan Gomez Heitzeberg as the receipient of the Cesar Chavez Legacy Award

Horace Mitchel and Nan Gomez-HeitzebergThe Cesar Chavez Legacy Breakfast is one place where community champions, who quietly work behind the scenes, are illuminated for their phenomenal dedication. Our own Nan is a part of this special group.

This years other honorees included Dr. Horace Mitchell, California State University Bakersfield President, who was recognized with the Cesar E. Chavez Lifetime Achievement Award, and Esther Tarango Uranday whose key role in the United Farm Workers earned her the Cesar E. Chavez Si Se Puede Award (posthumously). The Kern Service and Conservation Corps (KSACC) and a group of EPIC High School students and ESL students were also highlighted with Si Se Puede Awards.

It was wonderful to see many community leaders there supporting the event, such as Assemblyman Rudy Salas, Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce President/CEO Jay Tamsi, and the office of Kern County Supervisor Leticia Perez. There was also a table full of BC leadership.

Sonya Christian and Rudy Salas March 23 2018

Rudy Salas and Sonya Christian

BC table at Cesar Chavez Breakfast

BC table at Cesar Chavez Breakfast

Cindy Collier, Danielle Hillard, Khushnur Dadabhoy, Isebelle Cataneda

Many walked away with a sense of empowerment and renewed vision for their own causes after hearing from keynote speaker Paul F. Chavez, the son of the late UFW labor leader Cesar Chavez.

Paul Chavez

Paul Chavez

Paul Chavez shared personal father-son stories that tugged at the hearts of many in attendance. At one point, Paul reflected on advice his father shared with him, especially in moments of despair and struggle – in particular two that stay close to Paul’s heart: have faith in people; and persevere.

His father always saw what others could become; he saw potential, and his vision helped others find their own path of success.

I connected with Paul’s story. It made me think about the wonderful work we do at Bakersfield College; our goal is also to show hope and success to our students. We want them to see their potential, and we encourage them to never give up. In the words of Cesar Chavez, “Si se puede.”

I was moved to hear the story that Jose Gaspar (who was emceeing the event with Norma Gaspar) told about the passing of Cesar Chavez and how Corny Rodriguez addressed the KC Board of Supervisors to recognize the passing of a great leader.

Corny Rodriguez, Sonya Christian March 23 2018

Sonya Christian, Corny Rodriguez

 

 

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

We are BC

Last year was the inaugural year for this event and the first recipient of the Cesar Chavez Legacy Award was Sandra Serrano.  Check out my blog from one year ago: https://sonyachristianblog.com/2017/04/01/an-absolutely-uplifting-week-at-bc/

Thank you David Villarino!

Lydia Otero at BC

Tina Mendoza

Tina Mendoza welcomes Dr. Otero

For Women’s History Month and in light of BC’s efforts to preserve and share our local history, Dr. Lydia Otero from the Mexican-American Studies program at the University of Arizona came to the Fireside Room on Thursday to share about the historical preservation projects she’s spearheaded in downtown Tuscon.

BC’s Office of Student Life and the Women’s History and More committee invited Otero as part of the Distinguished Speaker Series. Otero, who grew up in downtown Tuscon, was inspired to capture the history of the Mexican-American communities in her hometown that were displaced by urban renewal projects. To Otero’s surprise, her 2010 book “La Calle: Spatial Conflicts and Urban Renewal in a Southwest City” sold out in the Tuscon area within five hours of the first book signing, Otero said.  “Even I didn’t appreciate the desire for local audiences to read about local history, you want to read about yourself.”

Dr. Lydia Otero

Dr. Lydia Otero

While local or regional history can often be seen as less important than larger-scale historical analysis, it’s important to fill in the smaller details about an area in order to understand the larger picture. “What do we know about world history if we haven’t studied local history?” Otero asked. “It’s a history of silences.”

i-rvmjmdk-x4
After the success of “La Calle”, Otero partnered with the Borderlands Theater Company on an ambitious project called “Barrio Stories”. A camera crew recorded oral histories from Mexican-Americans in Tuscon talking about their personal lives, then those stories were re-interpreted as theatrical plays. The Borderlands Theater performed those plays during a four-day festival that utilized promenade-style staging, meaning that audiences could walk around the old town plaza and experience these stories happening at different stages in real time. You’re able to see all of the oral histories and performances on the Barrio Stories Project website, and a documentary about the project is currently in the works.

i-nwmqx8t-x4

Olivia Garcia, Dr. Lydia Otero, Tina Mendoza

Olivia Garcia, Dr. Lydia Otero, Tina Mendoza

Otero is currently working on a book tentatively titled “Quien lo Dice?” about Maria Cordova, a Tuscon woman whose house was seized by eminent domain and all evidence that she had ever lived there was taken out in a failed attempt to make the property a tourist attraction. Throughout her presentation, Otero emphasized the importance of valuing local history and bringing research out of the classroom and into the community.
“Don’t forget the power of memory,” Otero said.

I’d like to thank Tina Mendoza, who worked with Dr. Otero, for her introduction, and I’d like to thank the Office of Student life and WHAM for putting the event together. It gave an interesting perspective on local historical preservation, which we’re working on at BC with the Digital Delano project spearheaded by our Energizing Humanities group. #WeAreBC

Ribbon Cutting in Wasco

Wasco

This week, Juan Torres, Abel Guzman, Gustavo Enriquez and principal of Wasco Union High School, Kevin Tallon celebrated the Ribbon Cutting and Inaugaration of their beautiful brand new student services building. Inside, the building it’s filled with beautiful pieces of art that celebrate the rich history of Wasco High School.

Kern Disability Collaborative

As your community college, BC is always seeking opportunities to improve communication and collaboration with our community partners. To this end, the Director of our Disabled Students Programs & Services (DSPS), Dr. Terri Goldstein, initiated the first meeting of what she is calling the “Kern Disability Collaborative.”  The purpose of the meeting was to pull together those who work with people with disabilities in our community to learn who we are and what we each do.  “Only good things can happen if we have a better understanding of all the resources available, as well as the unmet needs in our community,” said Dr. Goldstein. What started out with 20 invitations bloomed into approximately 50 attendees representing K-12 schools, higher education, non-profit organizations, and State agencies.  “As the meeting date drew closer, individuals were calling and asking to participate in the meeting,” Dr. Goldstein said. The response just shows the need for this kind of group in Kern County.

Kern Disability Collab

Terri Goldstein

Terri Goldstein

The idea for the Collaborative is modeled after the very successful “Kern Veterans Collaborative” which meets monthly at the National Guard Armory.  After voting, the attendees decided that the Kern Disability Collaborative will continue to meet on a bi-monthly basis at Bakersfield College.  The next meeting will be in May 2018, after college graduation, then the meetings will go dark for the summer, reconvene in August prior to the start of the fall 2018 semester, and meet every other month thereafter.

In addition to discussing future meetings, establishing a listserv and web presence, everyone presented their organizational affiliation, populations served, and services provided. BC faculty member, Jaclyn Krause, announced establishing our Interpreter Training Program; which made everyone happy since there are never enough sign language interpreters to go around.  Jimmie Soto, Executive Director of the Independent Living Center of Kern County, spoke about the need to support each other in our quests for additional funding— including partnerships, and letters of support. BC was well represented with DSPS, EOPS, Office of Student Life, Wellness Center, and Veterans Services. There were also representatives from Bakersfield City School District, Kern High School District, Kern County Superintendent of Schools, Taft College, Valley Achievement Center, Bakersfield GLAD office on Deafness, New Advances for People with Disabilities, Path Point, CA Department of Rehabilitation, Kern Vet Center, Kern Regional Center, and Autism Society Inc.

Kern Disability Collaboration

For more information about the Kern Disability Collaborative, please contact Dr. Terri Goldstein at terri.goldstein@bakersfieldcollege.edu, or call 661-395-4590. Everyone is welcome at these meetings!

Bidders Open House hosted at BC

On Thursday morning, BC hosted the local Bidders Open House to educate local contractors about the logistics of bidding on public construction projects. Harold Pierce wrote a great article explaining the event and its purpose in, “As more than $1 billion in school construction projects begin, districts attempt to lure local contractors to work.

Bidders Fair

Bakersfield College is so enthusiastic about the incredible things coming to our community. Thank you Bakersfield and Kern County for supporting education and investing in BC through a Yes on Measure J!

20180322_094542-x2

Eric Mittlestead, Rafaela Cisneros, Kim Crews represented KCCD on the show floor

For all the photos, visit BC’s Smugmug. And thank you to Harold Pierce at the Bakersfield Californian for attending to share the exciting news with the community of Bakersfield. It was nice to see KCCD Trustee Kyle Carter, Trustee Romeo Agbalog, Mike Turnipseed and others attend this event.

Harold Pierce and Trustee Carter

Trustee Carter and Harold Pierce speak to a guest at the Bidders Fair

We received this email from Mikin Plummer about the event.

The BC staff was fantastic!!! Thank you! Thank you! The gym was put together perfect and made set up very easy!
Mikin Plummer

Thank you Bill Potter, Eric Middlested, Ramon Puga, and Jim Coggins for pulling together this amazing event.  Thank you Mary Jo Pasek.  Thank You Marlene Heise who works behind the scenes.  #WeAreBC

National Cemetery

Armando Trujillo, Student Veteran Educational Advisor and Lisa Robles Kent Program Manager, Office of Student Success & Equity were honored to represent Bakersfield College at a ceremony that provided full military honors for unaccompanied veterans interred at the National Cemetery who do not have family to recognize and remember them.

National Cemetary (6)

Armando Trujillo, Bakersfield College; Randy Dickow, KC Veterans Collaborative; Maximo Perez, American Legion.

It’s a privilege for BC to honor the great men and women who paid the greatest sacrifice for our country. While there, Armando and Lisa stopped to visit the graveside of Vernon P. Velenzula. I recall that he was spoken of so fondly by KCCD Trustee, Bill Thomas at our Veterans Resource Center unveiling.

National Cemetary (4)

Vernon touched the lives of so many people here at BC and in our community. I only wish I had the privilege of meeting such an inspirational man. A Purple Heart recipient, Valenzuela’s desire to help veterans began early following his return from a tour in Vietnam in 1968. In the early 1970s Valenzuela served as president of the Associated Veterans Students club at Bakersfield College and later as a counselor supporting student veterans. Valenzuela worked for years as a professional therapist who focused primarily on aiding veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder and difficulties in making the transition between life in combat and life at home as a civilian.

Art with Impact

Movies for Mental HealthOn Wednesday, students gathered in the Fireside Room to  #SubvertStigma, the goal of  Movies For Mental Health. “Stigma” was the hook, the tag line used by Leslie Poston, our facilitator, to open our awareness and provide perspective on the very complex personal, cultural and societal issues surrounding mental health and mental illness. The audience of 50 students, staff, faculty and community has steadily grown over the past four semesters since Student Health and Wellness Services began hosting Movies For Mental Health. And, so has the diversity of responses and perspectives on the question of what is “stigma.” Audience contributions included: “Shaming”, “barrier”, “judgmental”, “labeling”, “prejudiced”, “isolation” to name a few but ultimately, “stigma” is an erroneous and negative stereotype.

Movies for Mental Health

This is where the movies come in. These are independent submissions, judged in competition; the films are poignant, evocative and selected by Art With Impact to stimulate discussion and reveal the unexpected, uncomfortable and inconvenient in the human condition.

Following the movie screenings and the facilitated discussion, as well as a light meal of fresh seasonal fruit and wraps provided by Chef Eric Sabella, we listened to a panel discussion. The first panelist was a student named Caitlin who shared her very personal experience with profound depression and suicidal tendencies. Following Caitlin was our own Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Rosealinda Carrillo, who shared her own path to strengthen her own personal mental health but also in becoming a professional counselor. Rosealinda exemplifies the adage “you can’t care for others if you can’t care for yourself.” Panelist and Professor of Psychology, Tim Burke lead us through the impact of suicide in his family, his reaction to a diagnosis and treatment for lymphoma and research-proven self-care modalities like meditation, yoga, mindfulness and of course exercise.

The BC Student Health and Wellness Team was joined by guests from the Health Services program of Antelope Valley College, which will be hosting Movies For Mental Health on their own campus for the first time this May. Among those from Antelope Valley College were Dr. Jill Zimmerman Dean of Student Life & Services, Health Clerk Jennifer Winn and Monteigne Long, Veterans Program Coordinator.

img_4900-x3

What is the value and importance of #SubvertStigma to students? As individuals and friends, cultures of origin and faiths, and society in general, we must free mental illness and mental health from stigma, shadow, and shame.

 

Spring Fling and 18-19 BCSGA Elections

James Tompkins and Ashley Harp.jpg

James Tompkins and Ashley Harp

This week was “Spring Fling” week at Bakersfield College with various events hosted by BCSGA as well as the Office of Student Life. Kicking off the fun was the “BCSGA Ice Cream and StudOrgs” event. BC’s clubs and organizations were joined by Ben & Jerry’s to promote various student organizations. On Monday afternoon, students were welcomed by BCSGA’s President Dezi Von Manos for her monthly “Cafecito Time” event where students can discuss issues or questions they may have in an open and inclusive way, and on Monday evening, BCSGA hosted an “Easel Event” where participants engaged in a fun evening of painting and light refreshments.

Tuesday was the “Community Movie Day” where the movie Justice League was played for students to enjoy during lunch. On Wednesday we hosted the “Epic Proportions Tour” featuring the musical talents of Gabe Kubanda and People Who Could Fly.

Wrapping up the wonderful events, students also had the opportunity to vote in elections for next years BCSGA leadership. Congratulations to next year’s BCSGA President, James Tompkins and Vice President, Ashley Harp.

Hate Speech and Free Speech Forum

The Levan Center hosted a panel discussion on Wednesday providing legal and historical context to the ongoing debate about hate speech and freedom of speech on college campuses. Students filled out anonymous surveys before the panel asking them some basic facts about First Amendment law and their thoughts about various free speech issues. Levan Center Director Jack Hernandez then gave a brief introduction about some of the recent protests over white nationalist speakers appearing on college campuses before introducing the panel of BC faculty and administration.

Communication professor John Giertz started with a brief overview of the Supreme Court decisions that have shaped free speech law in the United States. Colleges are bound by the First Amendment interpretation established in the 1969 case Brandenburg v. Ohio, which states that no inflammatory speech can be punished unless it incites “imminent lawless action.” In the 80s and 90s, many campuses attempted to enact speech codes and free speech zones, which have all been struck down as unconstitutional on the grounds that a listener’s right to be protected from hateful speech is not as important as someone else’s right to speak hatefully or however else they choose, Giertz said.

left to right: Communication professor John Giertz, Director of Student Life Nicky Damania, History professor Erin Miller, and Levan Center Director Jack Hernandez host a panel discussion about free speech on college campuses on March 21st.

left to right: Communication professor John Giertz, Director of Student Life Nicky Damania, History professor Erin Miller, and Levan Center Director Jack Hernandez host a panel discussion about free speech on college campuses on March 21st.

Dr. Nicky Damania, BC’s Director of Student Life, gave students a practical description of the ways that he deals with free speech issues on the BC campus every day. At BC, Damania is in charge of enforcing academic freedom, which is the legal right of both students and faculty to teach or communicate controversial ideas or facts without fear of bias or punishment.

BC history professor Erin Miller closed the panel with a discussion of the motivating history behind the United States’ free speech protections. Before the Revolutionary War, England used its common law to silence colonial dissent, which is why James Madison made free speech the first priority of the Bill of Rights to the US Constitution. Hateful speech is protected, Miller argues, because once a government agency begins to arbitrate which types of speech are considered acceptable, then speech that challenges authority can be silenced.

High Schools, BC, CSUB coming together

Group.jpg

CCGI

On Thursday morning, BC hosted an intersegmental initiative on data exchange of student academic information.  Right now we (high school districts, BC, CSUB) all have different data systems for maintaining student academic records and as these students in our community move from one segment to another, their academic records are transferred manually.  This is unacceptable in the highly evolved tech world that we live in.  The CSU systemwide Chancellor’s Office and the Community College statewide Chancellor’s Office have come together to solve this problem.  BC is part of this pilot program that is fully funded by the Community College Chancellor’s Office and other private philanthropic groups.

Here are some photos from the work session.

Virginia, Tess De Roy, Ben Duran, Sonya Christian, Grace Commiso, Anna March 22 2018

Virginia Madrid-Salazar, Tess Deroy, Ben Duran, Sonya Christian, Grace Commiso, Anna Garcia

 

 

Steve Watkin and Ben Perlado March 22 2018

Steve Watkin, Ben Perlado

McFarland Superintendent Victor Hopper and team.jpg

McFarland Superintendent Victor Hopper and team

Ryan Gievet and Ben Sherley.jpg

Ryan Gievet, Ben Sherley

Paul Chave and Delano Team with Abel Guzman and Zav Dadabhhoy

Zav Dadabhoy, Assistant Superintendent Jason Garcia, Paul Chavez, Abel Guzman

Steve Watkin, Ben Perlado, Michelle Pena, Ryan Gievet, Ben Sherley

Steve Watkin, Ben Perlado, Michelle Pena, RyanGievet, Ben Sherley

Dave Barnett, Craig Hayward

Dave Barnett, Craig Hayward

Grace Commiso, Anna Garcia, Sonya Christian, Ben Duran.jpg

Grace Commiso, Anna Garcia, Sonya Christian, Ben Duran

Ben Duran, Virginia Madrid Salazar, David Abernathy, Kalina Hill

David Abernathy from Wasco High speaking

David Abernathy, Kalina Hill, Elysa Vargas

David Abernathy (Wasco), Kalina Hill (BC), Elysa Vargas (Wonderful Academy)

See all the photos at BC’s SmugMug.

Future Teachers

The Education Futures Grant sponsored a Future Teachers Open House March 20th on the Panorama Campus. Close to 100 attendees braved the pouring rain to enjoy an informational and engaging evening with presentations, 10 breakout sessions, raffles, social media contest, and vendor booths.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Presentations and vendors included BC Education Pathways, CSU Bakersfield, University of Lavern, Bakersfield College Career and Technical Education (CTE) & Student Employment Department, Bakersfield College Future Teachers Club, Brandman University, Child, Adolescent, and Family Studies (CAFS) at CSUB, Community Action Partnership of Kern (CAPK) Head Start, Community Connection for Child Care (CCCC), National University, Point Loma Nazarene University, and Western Governors University (WGU). A similar event was held at the BC Delano campus on March 3rd.

A huge thank you to the Future Teachers Open House Planning Team, Education Futures Director, Kimberly Bligh, Anthony Cordova, Isabel Castaneda, and Erica Menchaca. 

Future Teachers Open House Planning Team

Future Teachers Open House Planning Team

Public Safety Metamajor Pathway Open House

CTE and Public Safety Pathway teamed up to host the first ever Public Safety Open House with 92 Kern High School District students in attendance. The event went full circle beginning with department faculty who provided an overview of the program outcomes and trainings available; student service representatives were available including staff from Financial Aid, CTE and Student Employment; finally, industry representatives from the City Fire Department, County Fire Department, EMS Department, Kern County Sheriff Department, Bakersfield Police Department and California Highway Patrol presented on a panel to share events and experiences in their professions.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Students were given the opportunity to ask questions, participate in simulations and were even provided a tour of the different department vehicles. It was a great event that provided insight to the pathways available in Public Safety at Bakersfield College. Thank you to Brent Burton, Dominica Dominguez, BC Public Safety Faculty, Department Staff and the industry partners who worked so hard to put this event together.

For all the photos, visit BC’s SmugMug.

KCCD and BC Leadership at CISOA/3CBG

Group Photo

Closest to the screen on the left-Todd Coston (BC), beyond him-Hernando Mondragon (DO), beyond him-David Barnett (DO), moving to the right-Micelle Pena (BC), then Grace Commiso (BC), Somaly Boles (BC), Zach Quiroz (BC) and closest to camera on the right Dena Rhoades (DO).

The Kern Community College District and Bakersfield College were out in full force both attending and presenting at the CISOA/3CBG conference earlier this week from March 18-20th in Ontario, CA.  The conference site says this about the conference, “The partnership of California Community College Chief Information Systems Officers Association (CISOA) and California Community College Banner Group (3CBG) allows us to leverage our resources to present an outstanding array of conference sessions of interest to those who are part of the information technology arena in California’s Community College system.”

BC’s Grace Comisso, Michelle Pena, and consultant, Becky Weaver, presented on Using Starfish for Guided Pathways.

BC’s Todd Coston and Dave Barnett from the District Office presented on Improving IT Communication Using Free and Low Cost Tools

And our Chief Technology Officer, Gary Moser, from the District Office presented on Are You Ready for a CCC Statewide ERP System.

gary-m.jpg

Finally, the participants had an option to rate each session via a conference app.  As proof that the KCCD/BC team rock the house, check out this rating for Dave and Todd’s session. Todd tells me he isn’t quite sure how you can get 6 out of 5 stars, but he’ll take it anyway!

Rating

An American Education Agenda with Lance Izumi

KCCD and BC were present at a luncheon put on by the Kern Citizens for Sustainable Government with guest speaker, Lance Izumi, author of The ‘American Education Agenda’  Top 15 Recommendations for Improving Education. Lance discussed his newly published report, which offers policymakers concrete reforms they can adopt today to ensure every student learns in a safe and nurturing environment, and is well-prepared to meet the changing demands of the 21st century workforce.

IMG_1717

Trustee Romeo Agbalog, Cindy Collier, Lance Izumi, Trustee Bill Thomas, John Means

League of Dreams

The League of Dreams, a nonprofit sports league for young athletes with physical and developmental disabilities, held its opening ceremonies for the 2018 season at CSUB’s Hardt Field on Sunday.  Snagged this picture of Mayor Karen Goh with BC Renegades representing the College in their jerseys during the event.

League of Dreams Opening Day

STEAM Academy

Odella Johnson and Sonya Christian May 19 2017Odella Johnson was featured on KGET’s News at Sunrise program on Wednesday morning to talk about the STEAM Academy, a series of courses to promote science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics.

Johnson spoke about the importance of the academy, which hosts a course every Saturday from September to April to help students build skills that they can use in their future careers. Open enrollment for next year’s academy, of which BC is a partner, is starting now.

Oliver Rosales

History professor Oliver Rosales wrote an article in the Community Voices section of the Bakersfield Californian on Sunday urging voters in the community to let their lawmakers know that funding for the humanities should be a top priority.

Rosales, who chairs the committee on Energizing Humanities in the Central Valley committee, wrote about how proper funding of the National Endowment of the Humanities and California Humanities will allow those organizations to meet the demand for community enrichment projects in writing, history, philosophy, social studies and other subjects.

“It’s important that we maintain a robust National Endowment for the Humanities, while at the same time mobilize voters to support state funding, as well as opportunities to increase public-private partnerships,” Rosales said.

Oliver Rosales Community Voices March 19 2018

Chris McCraw on Twitter

 mccraw2Official National Ag Day was marked on March 20th and I’ve enjoyed following BC’s wonderful Agricultural Business faculty, Chris McCraw on Twitter @CMcatBC as he shares our BC Ag Club at Kern County’s  #farmdayinthecity! It’s so exciting to see our BC Ag Club students have the opportunity to share their agricultural knowledge with over 2,000 elementary students during this multi-day event!

Kern County is the #1 Ag County in the U.S. and Ag Day is a special time to say THANK YOU to all our farmers and laborers, as well as our BC Agriculture students and faculty for educating and inspiring the next generation of agriculturists!

mccraw1

So fortunate to have a real vibrant Ag faculty and staff.

Lynette Zelezny

On Thursday, Cal State Bakersfield announced that Lynette Zelezny will be the new president to succeed Horace Mitchell at the end of the academic year.

The announcement was featured in a front-page Q and A article in the Bakersfield Californian written by Harold Pierce, as well as an article by Chloe Carlson for KGET. Zelezny is CSUB’s first female president, and she’ll be transitioning from her role as the provost and vice president of academic affairs at Fresno State to come to Bakersfield. Zelezny has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in psychology from Humboldt State University, a Ph.D. in applied social psychology from Claremont Graduate University, and an MBA with distinction from Fresno State.

City of Bakersfield visiting the Chamber

This week we had the Grater Bakersfield Chamber Board meeting.  I am honored to be on the Board of this wonderful organization — great board members, great CEO and great staff.

I was delighted to see leaders from the City of Bakersfield visit us to discuss some critical needs including the need for more police officers.  The team who presented included City Manger Alan Tandy, Councilman Andrae Gonzales, Concilman Bob Smith, BPD Chief Lyle Martin, Assistant City Manager Chris Huot.

Cindy and Liz

Liz Rozell and Cindy Collier are two amazing people who continue to inspire us all. I loved this photo because we all need to just lean on each other sometimes. Thank you Cindy and Liz for your dedication to BC and the Kern Community College District.

Cindy and Liz

 

We are BC

Sonya Christian at Cesar Chavez Breakfast March 23 2018

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever