Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, June 15, 2019… A great day to be a Renegade.
Happy Retirement Liz!
At the end of our second day of the annual Admin Council Retreat, we surprised our fabulous Vice President of Instruction Liz Rozell with a gathering to recognize and celebrate her time at BC as she enters into retirement. Liz has bold vision, contagious energy, unrivaled work ethic, and …that gorgeous smile! Liz stepped up to be VP at a very crucial point at BC when we were in the middle of implementing Guided Pathways, AB 705, curriculum review, accreditation, development of new instructional programs, BC-Southwest, the growth of dual enrollment, inmate scholars and more.
On Friday evening, I enjoyed cheering for Senator Jean Fuller and Grimm Family Educational Foundation CEO Barbara Grimm Marshall as they were inducted into the Bakersfield City School District Hall of Fame. At the BC table we had Kern Community College District Trustees Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg and Romeo Agbalog, his wife, Lilly Perez Agbalog, and Bakersfield College employees Steve Watkin, Kylie Swanson, Norma Rojas-Mora and Michele Bresso — celebrating the service of Jean and Barbara, partners in BC’s Early College Program that enables high school students to earn simultaneous college degrees. Jean Fuller, a BC alumna, challenged Hall of Fame audience members on the spot to contact local high schools and ensure they are participating in Early College. We are BC!
On Tuesday the college administrative council gathered for the second part of our summer retreat.
Todd Coston organized different sessions on: Dealing with Difficult People and Having Hard Conversations by Stephanie Baltazar and Brett Redd, How to Facilitate Team Building and Effective Meeting Facilitation by Manny Mourtzanos and Steve Watkins, and Best Practices for Running a Screening Committee & Conducting Classified Staff Evaluations by Todd Coston and Monika Scott. Thanks to all who participated in these retreats.
Umoja Community students went on a tour of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) in Georgia and Alabama. Umoja Coordinator Dr. Paula Parks selected four outstanding students who are interested in transferring to an HBCU. The grant-funded tour included visiting cultural and historic sites, with Heritage Empowered as the tour operator.
Earl Parsons poem published to local literary journal
Earl Parsons from MPR recently had a poem published that he wrote about local candy company, Dewar’s, mascot. Congrats Earl! Here’s the poem:
Currently we have 15 (!) Measure J projects underway here at BC. Check out the photos below to see the construction happening at the Campus Center, Veterans Resource Center, and Memorial Stadium. I’m so proud of the work that we are doing here to upgrade our campus for our students and community.
New Scoreboard at the Pool
We have a new scoreboard at the BC pool! Thank you to M&O for coordinating this and helping to continually beautify and update our campus!
Kern EDC 31st Annual Dinner
BC’s Tom Gelder, Heather Pennella, Norma Rojas-Mora and Tamara Baker attended this year’s Kern EDC Annual Dinner held at JEH Ranch. It was a great chance to catch up with fellow community leaders and show support for economic development in our region. Not to mention, the river looked exceptionally beautiful this year with all of the rainfall that we’ve had!
Student Deployment Spotlight
In a past blog post, I talked about BC student Elaine Moreno’s deployment to Baghdad. We have created a page on the BC website dedicated to Elaine’s story while she is overseas, where we will post updates as we receive them from Elaine. Make sure to keep up on the web link below to see Elaine in action!
Flex week is coming up and the only thing missing is you!
Fall Flex week is just around the corner and we want to make sure that you are prepared. We are gearing up for Flex week workshops August 19th-21st and we have a wide variety of sessions to meet your professional development needs. Sessions run from 8:00 am to 4:30 all three days and range from Active Listening to creating your own escape room in Canvas. Whether you are a faculty member looking to improve your technology skills or a staff member who wants to understand data, we have something for everyone.
Below are just some of the workshops being offered, along with a brief description. For a full list of workshops, check out Upcoming Workshops.
How often do we stop to actively listen within our daily communication exchanges? In today’s society, it is easy to be inundated with words, noise, and impersonal communication distracting us from the real meaning of messages and stories. It is always the right time to actively participate in listening. This workshop will focus on best practices to actively listen to your students, your colleagues and yourself throughout the semester.
Are you wanting to create Badges to incentivize your students in your class? Are you wanting to track your students’ progress through your course modules…or maybe just create friendly competition? If yes, come to this session where Matt Jones will show you how to set up a badging account, link it to your Canvas Course, and Create Badges.
The goal of this workshop is to introduce grants to the novice and to (hopefully) inspire the veteran grant writer. Grants can be a mystery, where do you find these elusive things called grants? How do you know if you should even apply? What do all these terms mean? What is my timeline? In this interactive workshop Michelle hopes to dispel a few of the mysteries and ease your mind on applying. Michelle Miller-Galaz, is the Director for Grants and Resources at KCCD.
Join us for a presentation on Jobspeaker the online and mobile platform to connect BC students to employment on and off campus. Learn about the benefits to students and how you can help promote in your area.
Fun Photo: Professor Scratchy
Our own Krista Moreland and her cat, Professor Scratchy both could not wait for the summer term to begin at BC. Krista said, “Professor Scratchy is ready to help out!”
Renegade Athletics Up Eleven Spots in Latest CCCAA/NATYCAA Standings
Renegade Athletics has finished the 2018-2019 academic year with a #19 finish in the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) and National Association of Two Year College Athletic Administrators (NATYCAA) Cup Standings. Out of all SoCal schools, the Renegades finished 12th. The ranking moves them up 11 spots from the 2017-18 spot of being tied for #30, and the year before that (2016-17) of being tied for #50. Congrats to our athletics department coaches and staff!!
Renegade Volleyball to Host Five Camps This Summer
Renegade Volleyball is excited to announce the dates for their 2019 summer volleyball camps.
There will be a total of four camps intended for 8th-12th graders with a minimum level of experience. There will also be a coaches clinic.
Camp #1 will focus on setting and run July 22-23 from 2pm-4pm each day.
Camps #2 will focus on attacking and run July 2223 from 5pm-7pm each day.
Camp #3 will focus on serving, SR passing and defense and run July 25-26 from 2pm-4pm each day.
Camps #4 will focus on attacking and run from July 24-25 from 5pm-7pm each day.
The Coaches Clinic will take place on Saturday, July 27th from 9am-2pm and focus on building a championship caliber team through vision, goals, athlete behaviors, team chemistry, technical skills and on-court demonstrations.
Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, June 8, 2019… A great day to be a Renegade.
BC’s Dual Enrollment Wins Big at Beautiful Bakersfield Awards
On Saturday, June 1, Jamie Swetalla from Aera announced that the Bakersfield College Dual Enrollment team were winners of the Beautiful Bakersfield award in the Education category that recognizes efforts that promote or benefit education at all levels. Hosted by the Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce, the annual awards gala was attended by more than 700 people at the Rabobank Theater and Convention Center. The Dual Enrollment program was selected from among nine finalists. The Bakersfield College Performing Arts Department was also one of ten finalists in the Arts and Culture category.
Before the awards were announced, the Bakersfield College team enjoyed an opportunity for group photos at a reception with other community partners. Nick Ortiz of the Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce gave introductions, with welcoming comments provided by Karen Goh, Bakersfield City Mayor and Michael George of Kern Schools Federal Credit Union. After dinner, the awards were announced by sponsors in a wide range of categories recognizing the efforts of nonprofits, corporations, small business and individuals in improving the quality of life in Bakersfield.
Steve Watkin accepted the Education award on behalf of Bakersfield College, and also provided an interview to KGET following acceptance of the award.
Thank you Anna Laven for pulling together the BC proposal, and thank you to Steve Watkin and his team!
BC at the Board of Governors Meeting
On May 20th, Bakersfield College was well represented at the Board of Governors monthly meeting. Pedro L. Ramirez, EOP&S Adjunct Counselor spoke on behalf of Bakersfield College about all the work that has been done to help support our more than 1,000 AB540 students on campus. His presentation included impressive data on increases in AB540 enrollment over the last four years, an increase in CCPG (bogw) Awards, and an increase in Overall Units passed.
In his comments to the Board and Chancellor Oakley Ramirez highlighted how the recommendations from the statewide Dreamers report actually connects directly to the Guided Pathways work, and Supplemental Funding via the SCFF, and he thanked the Board of Governors and Chancellor Oakley for their continued support for AB540 students. The Statewide Dreamers Report provide information on equity and access for students across the state and provides guidelines for statewide institutional practices that will help support students. The complete report and executive summary can be found at https://foundationccc.org/What-We-Do/Equity/Dreamers-Project This project was made possible with the support from the James Irvine Foundation and a Collaborative effort between CCCCO, Immigrants Rising, and the Foundation for California Community Colleges.
Summer Bridge is Off and Running!
With the 2018-19 academic year wrapped up, the focus is on getting students ready for summer and fall.
Summer Bridge to BC program held an interactive day-long orientation that gives incoming freshmen the opportunity to engage with faculty one-on-one and in group settings while touring the BC campus with experienced student mentors. Thank you to Kimberly Bligh and her team for always doing such a great job with this program. We are BC!
BC Students Win Jazz Scholarships
On May 28 the Bakersfield Jazz Workshop held its annual scholarship awards presentation at Temblor Brewing Company. For over 13 years the nonprofit Bakersfield Jazz Workshop has supported the education of jazz students, advancement of jazz musicians, enrichment of jazz enjoyment for the general public, and promoted jazz in our community. This year, music majors in the new Jazz Studies program at Bakersfield College swept the top three awards, and a total of four BC students were awarded scholarships: Izzy Foster (Larry Totten Memorial Award), Marina Martinez (BJW Discretionary Award), Abigail Wilson (Kerry B. Pierce Memorial Award), and Tony Stone (BJW Scholarship). Congratulations to our students for their outstanding talent and dedication to furthering their musical studies!
BC at California Community College (CCC) Health & Wellness/Each Mind Matters
We are so proud of BC students Mataalofa (Lofa) Hubbard and Annette Brasher who were chosen to represent Bakersfield College as Student Wellness Ambassadors for California Community College (CCC) Health & Wellness/Each Mind Matters. Hubbard is President, and Brasher Treasurer of the BC Student Health and Wellness Advisory Club on campus (S.H.W.A.C.). Other S.H.W.A.C. officers include Josephs Morris (Vice-President), and Pamela Harris (Inter Club Counsel Rep.).
S.H.W.A.C. helps with the Health & Wellness promotion events for the BC Student Health & Wellness Services and they’ve done an outstanding job this year with Raymond Purcell, MSN, NP, SHWS Director as their advisor.
Creating a Sustainable Campus Through Landscaping
Our amazing M&O department has a lot of projects going on this summer, including installing artificial turf at the Panorama and Haley corner of campus with the BC monument. This area looks so beautiful, and I love that we will be conserving water by using this turf. One of our core values at BC is sustainability, as is evident in how the college is run, as well as the physical upgrades we make to campus facilities Director of Facilities Bill Potter has done a great job of helping to create a sustainable landscape on the BC campus, as evident in the xeriscape (drought tolerant) flower beds.
BC In the News: “BC to bring several Career and Technical Education programs fully online next year”
BC was featured in The Bakersfield Californian this week in a great article by Ema Sasic about our CTE programs being offered online next year. Making college more accessible to students is one of our main goals here at Bakersfield College. In partnership with the California State Online Education Initiative and the California Virtual Campus, we have received a $500,000 grant to bring between five and 10 programs online within the next year.
BC’s President’s Cabinet is made up of key staff members who work hard, but who also like to have some fun! I feel so lucky to work with such a great team!
Todd the Rule Breaker
Tamara Baker snapped this shot of Todd Coston at the Classified Appreciation event where he was channeling his inner bad boy. Love it!
Congrats to Ashlea Ward!
Anna Laven posted on her facebook page that our very own Ashlea Ward in the Outreach Department earned her Master’s Degree. Congrats Ashlea!
Academic Technology Retreat
Bill Moseley posted this great pic of his team in Academic Technology at their retreat earlier this year with the comment “All set for another year of innovation!”
Congrats to Renegade Golfer Matt Sakowski!
Sophomore Renegade Golfer, Matthew Sakowski (Garces HS) has signed to continue his academic and golf career at Benedictine University Mesa this coming fall. Matt was a key piece to this springs men’s golf team advancing to the CCCAA SoCal Regionals for the first time since the early 2000’s. Wishing you much success at the next level!
Wes Coble Named Coach of the Women’s Golf Program
Our current Renegade Men’s Golf Coach Wes Coble has also been named the Women’s Golf Coach. Coble will take over for former women’s golf coach Jacque Servadio who served for two years in the role. Servadio steps away from the position to have more time to focus on running Kern River Golf Course, where she has served as director since 2018. BC athletics wishes Jacque all the best in directing the Kern River Golf Course and will always welcome her as a member of the Renegade Athletics family.
2019 BC Basketball Academy Dates Announced
Coach Paula Dahl and the Bakersfield College Women’s Basketball program are excited to announce the summer 2019 BC Basketball Academies. The first, the BC Basketball Academy, will run from Monday, July 22nd through Thursday July 25th from 10:30am-1:00pm each day. It will be co-ed for kids ages 9-18 and cost $60/ camper or $100 for two siblings. To register for this academy click this link: https://bit.ly/2WsvnIL. The second, the Elite BC Basketball Academy will run from Monday, July 29th through Thursday August 1st from 10:30am-1:00pm each day. This session is for female players from 7th to 12th grade and will cost $65/camper and $55/extra sibling. Team discounts are available. To register for this academy click this link: https://bit.ly/2YQ3Sqa. For further questions, contact Coach Dahl at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tennis Announces Creation of Junior Tennis Circuit
Men’s and Women’s Head Tennis Coach Noel Dalton announced this week the creation of the Bakersfield Junior Tennis Circuit. The circuit is intended to empower junior tennis players and parents in order to increase player’s skill level and help them learn and enjoy the game. The first 40 participants to register will receive a complimentary membership to the Junior Tennis Circuit. The new circuit will kick-off with an Opening Day on June 15th at the Bakersfield College Tennis Courts. Participants may play in other affiliated tournaments in Fresno and other cities. Players will have the ability to earn Universal Tennis Rating points since the tournaments is UTR certified. To register for the circuit, visit: https://urlzs.com/PquGS or contact Bakersfield Junior Tennis Circuit Director and BC Head Tennis Coach, Noel Dalton at 661-332-9579 or by email at email@example.com.
That’s all for now.
Until next time.
With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.
sonya- the luckiest and happiest college president ever
Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, June 15, 2019… A great day to be a Renegade.
Memorial Day started in 1868 as Decoration Day, a remembrance of those who died during the Civil War. Over the years, cities and states designated it as a legal holiday, and in 1971, Congress established Memorial Day as a national holiday to take place on the last Monday of May every year.
Every Memorial Day, a special ceremony is held at Arlington National Cemetery, where the President or Vice President lays a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
At BC, we are proud of our veteran students and have a particular duty to support them through their education. We’re reaffirming that commitment to our local veterans with the construction of the new Vernon Valenzuela Veterans Resource Center, the first Measure J project, slated for completion this fall.
We remember the sacrifices made and lives lost defending the freedom and sovereignty of the United States. Your sacrifice will never be forgotten.
I’d like to share this quote from James A. Garfield at that first Memorial Day commemoration at Arlington National Cemetery in 1868.
“We do not know one promise these men made, one pledge they gave, one word they spoke; but we do know they summed up and perfected, by one supreme act, the highest virtues of men and citizens. For love of country they accepted death, and thus resolved all doubts, and made immortal their patriotism and virtue.”
Emails Worth Sharing
I’d also like to share this email that our Director of Veterans Services Paul Beckworth sent on Monday. Our duty to support veterans goes much deeper than academic support, as Paul’s words of encouragement for our veterans make clear. Thank you for all that you do Paul, and thank you to those who have served our country.
“Hello Region V Veteran Services colleagues,
Today, May 27, 2019, is Memorial Day.
The vast majority celebrate it as the unofficial start of summer. Many Americans honor the day and the dead, in a variety of heartfelt ways. However, there is a much smaller group whose acknowledgement of the day goes deeper than most. It is personal, it is emotional, and it is visceral. While today we remember the fallen, we must keep in the mind the ones who were left behind; their families and fellow warriors. There are people I know who wish to be left alone today and others who do not want to left alone for fear of what their emotions might lead them to. Sometimes, people remember with laughter and tears, while others do so with the bottle and with tears.
For those who lost comrades, or family or best friends, please do not go to those dark places inside you. If you do go there do not stay there. We need you, here, with us. We know the 22 a day suicide rate among veterans. It is terrible. Do not be a part of the 22. Do not be afraid to ask for help. Depression is serious. It is a weight the likes of which cannot be described, only experienced. If your arm is hurt, you go the doctor. If your head/heart hurts, go to a doctor. There is no shame in it. It is often said that the soldier is not the only one who goes to war. The family does, too, in its’ own way.
Those of you who work closely with veterans may not have lost a loved one, but assisting veterans for years can take a toll, especially for counselors and advisors. Who counsels the counselors? Seriously. There are several of you who have worked with veterans for many years now. Make sure to take care of yourselves. Go to veteran-specific conferences, sit in the hotel lobbies and have venting sessions with your colleagues from across the state. Let iron sharpen iron. Get help just like we tells our veterans to do. I am pretty sure most of you have walked a veteran to your on-campus mental health professional at least once. If you need to take a walk to one yourself, please take it. We need you, here. Your military-affiliated students need you, here.
While today can be very emotional, one of the best ways we can honor the fallen is to take care of our minds, bodies, and spirits. In this way we can continue the work ahead of us, making them proud.”
Paul Beckworth, May 27, 2019 Memorial Day
BC Friends in Sacramento
Hispanas Organized for Political Equality (HOPE) hosted its 2019 Latina Action Day in Sacramento on Wednesday, May 22. Our own Nicole Parra facilitated a panel discussion, and I was thrilled to see BC students impromptu participation. Evelyn Torres, a Studio Arts, Graphic Design & Communications major volunteered to be the voice of millennials on the panel.
The panel on California’s Present and Future Workforce examined the challenges and opportunities the state is facing as we look to filling workforce needs. The conversation regarding career education included an informative discussion of the value of apprenticeship programs, and the role community colleges in meeting workforce needs. Evelyn shared a student perspective on the importance of providing opportunities for all students, including those who need short term training leading to employment.
Thank you Norma Rojas Mora for your work in Sacramento.
Rural Initiatives Classified and Support Staff Appreciation Celebration
Last week, the Rural Initiatives classified and support staff were recognized by the management team in a surprise celebration of Classified Appreciation week. This celebration brought together members of the RI team that serve a region that extends from Arvin to Delano. I’m grateful for the focused dedication and passion for serving our rural students. Thank you Rural Initiatives Classified and Support Staff for everything you do for our Bakersfield College Rural Renegades. Also thanks to our RI Management team, especially Jaime Lopez for coordinating such a special celebration.
Administrative Council Retreat: Day 1
This last Thursday we had the first day of our annual summer retreat with our college-wide administrative council. BC Food Services provided a fantastic breakfast spread and a delicious salad bar later in the day for the lunch. I opened the session with an overview of our college strategic plan and highlighting the fact that we now have 37,000 students! Our administrative council fanned out across campus in teams as they completed in a scavenger hunt.
Members of our college Program Review Committee briefed the council on best practices for conducting their program reviews for this coming year and Manny Mourtzanos provided a training on aligning work plans to direct us as embark on a new year. It was a great retreat and great work that we will regroup on to finish up on a second day in early June.
Umoja’s End of the Year Celebration
This week, Umoja held its end of the year celebration to acknowledge its graduates and mentors. Students joined together to celebrate their academic success and celebrate their mentors who dedicated time and energy to support their scholarly journey at BC. Thank you to Dr. Paula Parks for sending over these photos, and for your dedication to our students. If you’d like to learn more about Umoja, make sure to check out their website!
Conexiones Rurales Dreamers Conference
The Conexiones Rurales Dreamers Conference on Friday, May 17th at the Delano Campus allowed our Rural Renegades to learn about several topics including programs and services offered by our college and other local institutions. This opportunity was funded by the Catalyst grant received by Bakersfield College. Thank you to our Conexiones Estudiantiles/LUPE student organization, their advisors and the Rural Initiatives team, especially Jesus Oropeza, Jessica Garcia, and Jaime Lopez for bringing these fantastic opportunities to our rural communities.
BC Cheerleaders at the New Kids On the Block Remix Tape Concert
Wow! Does BC know how to pump up the crowd, or what?! Also, what an amazing throwback to have the New Kids On the Block perform here in Bakersfield! They definitely have “the right stuff.”
I want to thank Cheer Coach Heather Foss for making possible this phenomenal experience for our students. It’s hard to describe the energy of the packed Rabobank and and the pride I felt in seeing our students on stage.
Thank you Manny de Los Santos for capturing this video. You are the very best!!!!!!
Cooking a Healthy Meal with Chef Alex Gomez
This week our Executive office team demonstrated their culinary skills at our Wellness & Professional Development Session: Cooking a Healthy Meal with Chef Alex Gomez. The team learned cooking and cutting techniques, and were given recipes to prepare — then eat! We enjoyed Cauliflower Tacos, Cilantro Rice, and Grilled Zucchini.
The Executive Office has a standing Wellness Initiative that began a couple years ago, as well as a new Training/Professional Development Initiative that began last year. Chris Glaser and Tarina Perry worked with Chef Alex for help in meeting goals for both initiatives and did he ever deliver! The training was clear and engaging, the menu healthy, and the food delicious. We worked in teams to prepare the meal, and then enjoyed our meal together as we discussed our takeaways from the day. Thank you to Chef Alex and Chef Suzanne Tangeman for working with our team on this, and thank you to Chris and Tarina for organizing the activities!
Progress on Memorial Stadium
The renovation of the Memorial Stadium track and football field is moving along nicely. The work will be completed in time for this fall’s football season. We are all excited to see the finished product! Also, thank you to Brandon Urry for capturing these photos.
Photos that make me happy
Family weekend at Lake Arrowhead
Memorial Day weekend with family at a cabin in Lake Arrowhead.
That’s all for now.
Until next time.
With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.
sonya- the luckiest and happiest college president ever
Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, May 25, 2019… A great day to be a Renegade.
Classified employees at Bakersfield College are the backbone of moving the work that we do. These individuals work directly with BC’s students, faculty, volunteers, business partners and community members. I’m continually struck by the dedication, positive energy, student-centered focus, and the hearts of service brought to campus every day by our classified staff.
These committed BC Renegades embody a collaborative culture of service, one that creates new processes to efficiently serve a growing number of students; one that goes the extra mile to ensure the safety of our campus, that builds bridges for students near and far, and continues a legacy of service that spans over 106 years.
Bakersfield College is such a vital part of our community, expanding into our rural areas to serve all students with a desire to learn and develop their skills. Our classified staff are key to supporting the work of making student life goals a reality.
The official CSEA website states, “California’s Legislature recognizes the important contributions of classified school employees and has named the third full week of May “Classified School Employee Week” (CSEW) to honor these contributions.” So this week, our management team took the time to recognize and thank these special colleagues with a special luncheon.
The afternoon included a delicious lunch from Coconut Joes and a ice cream sundae bar with all the extra special fixings.
Last month, at the April KCCD Board of Trustees meeting, some classified staff spoke during the luncheon to highlight the extraordinary work they and their colleagues do. For example, Financial Aid Technician Rebecca Bumpous took to the podium to described how she has helped her department with funding our students’ dreams, awarding $44 million in Title IV funding and $3 million in state funding for the 2018-19 academic year. Carlos Barbaran proudly spoke of his 24 years of service as a custodian in Maintenance and Operations, keeping 72,000 square feet of instructional facilities clean for our students every day. See the full piece in my blog from April 13th titled “Spring Into Action!”
And the recognition of their hard work isn’t just on the BC campus. KCCD recently highlighted Debra Anderson of BC’s Outreach and School Relations with the KCCD Leadership Award. Congratulations to Debbie! If you missed it, you can check it out on my blog from May 12th titled “Celebrating 2018-2019.”
Thank you to Bill Potter, Jim Coggins, Ramon Puga, Caroline Walth, Rachell Morehouse, Brett Redd, Stephen Waller, Tamara Baker, Lisa Kent, Dena Rhoades, Liz Rozell, Billie Jo Rice, Heather Pennella, Monika Scott, Susan Hubbell, Yvonne Armendariz, Tom Gelder, Manny Mourtzanos, Grace Commiso, Imelda Valdez, Kalina Hill, and especially Todd Coston for coordinating the celebration.
On Tuesday, BC held its Arvin Information Meeting, where community members were invited to learn about BC’s commitment to the city, and the future of education in their region. Norma Rojas-Mora touched on Early College coming to Arvin High, and the educational opportunities offered for adults.
Chancellor Tom Burke spoke to attendees about the importance of the partnership between the City of Arvin and Bakersfield College, and thanked the community for supporting the 2016 bond Measure J. Bill Potter and Tamara Baker presented information on the planned Measure J funded campus across the street from the high school. They reported that they are currently in the programming phase, and have initiated the CEQA study. Construction is currently scheduled to begin in August 2021.
Thank you to Arvin’s Mayor Jose Gurrola, AHS Principal Ed Watts, and City Manager Jerry Breckinridge for speaking in support of the partnership with BC. We are very excited to bring higher education and increased access to the city of Arvin and its residents!
The California Latino Leadership Institute (CLLI) hosted their Fourth Annual Women’s Empowerment Summit in the Levan Center last Saturday, inspiring young women to pursue careers in STEM. The conference featured appearances from Kern County Supervisor Leticia Perez, California Assembly Member Rudy Salas, and several women from the local petroleum industry. Aera Energy President and CEO Christina Sistrunk was also recognized by CLLI as the 2019 Distinguished Woman and Petroleum Advocate of the Year.
Cathy Reheis-Boyd, President of the Western States Petroleum Association and recipient of last year’s CLLI Distinguished Woman Award, introduced Supervisor Perez, who expressed her appreciation for all that the local oil and gas industry does to keep the economy of Kern County stable.
BC’s own Kylie Swanson shared how BC’s Early College program is providing opportunities for young girls to develop a passion for STEM as early as eighth grade. Our Community Relations Director Norma Rojas-Mora also introduced Brittney Plascecia, the Associate Director of Women’s Leadership and Student Involvement at Mount Saint Mary’s University. Plascensia shared the university’s 2019 Report on the Status of Women and Girls in California, noting that while several improvements have been made in hiring women in the fields of media and politics, there’s still a lot more work to be done to close the gender wage gap and put more women in positions of leadership for large corporations.
Rojas-Mora also introduced Assemblymember Salas, who attended the event with several students from the Young Assembly Members program, which provides internship opportunities to young people interested in politics and civic engagement. Salas advised attendees of the Women’s Empowerment Conference to seek mentors and not be afraid to ask for the help and support they need to be successful.
One particularly informative portion of the conference was the roundtable discussion on women in STEM careers, which featured a panel of women who have found success in the traditionally male-dominated petroleum industry. The panel reiterated the importance of mentors and developing professional relationships that can create new opportunities.
I’d like to thank CLLI, Aera Energy, Chevron, and the California Resources Corporation for helping to organize the Women’s Empowerment Summit at BC. Thanks, also, to Charter-Spectrum Communications for providing breakfast to attendees.
Elementary Teacher Education & Liberal Studies Pre-Commencement Celebration
Bakersfield College’s Elementary Teacher Education & Liberal Studies Spring 2019 graduates were honored May 2nd during a student celebration of their successful completion of their degrees. The event was held in the beautiful Renegade Park in an elegant setting with fabulous food by BC Food Services. The future teachers recited an educator pledge to their friends and families and thanked them publicly for their ongoing support. They each received a light blue stole that they will wear with their graduation robes. Kudos to Dr. Kimberly Bligh, department chair for the Education Department, who directed the event, and to her outstanding Education faculty colleagues who attended: Dr. Erica Menchaca, Bill Chapman and Teresa McAllister.Christina Maldonado and the Education Department student peer mentors worked together to make this special event happen. DeanBillie Jo Rice, dean of Education Pathway and Dean Michele Bresso, dean over Education Department, were also present and took part in the ceremony! The most moving moments came as students thanked their parents, children, siblings, significant others plus their Bakersfield College faculty for helping them achieve their degrees. The joy of success of our students is why we are here! We Are BC!
MESA Awards and ACS Scholar
On Friday May 17, the 15th Annual MESA Student Awards Banquet commemorated and recognized MESA program students who have accomplished the goal of transferring to a 4-year institution and, for those graduating from Bakersfield College. Students were also recognized for obtaining an internship, research position, and/or a merit scholarship. This year, the MESA Program had more than 26 students transferring to a 4-year institution (more than 20% of MESA students), 14 that received a scholarship and 12 that received an internship and/or research position. Clayton Fowler, BC alumni and previous SGA president, from the office of Congressman Kevin McCarthy awarded transfer students with a certificate from the congressman.
In addition to celebrating the students, industry members, mentors, sponsors/donors, BC-MESA board members, and faculty are recognized during this event. MESA recognized:
Travis Burns — “Alumni of the Year”
This BC-MESA Alumni works at General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. with the USA Air Force Contractor Logistic Support efforts, primarily related to datalink system on the MQ-9, which means he works at a global scale. He received the first “Alumni of the Year” award for his dedication to the students, giving back to this community, and his donations to the MESA Program.
Scott Trahan — “Individual of the Year”
Scott, an engineer at Chevron, is a member of the BC-MESA Board, participates in the Mentorship Program, and is constantly involved and volunteering at student/community MESA Program events.
Samuel Grijalva — “Sponsor of the Year”
Sam, as he likes to be called, received this award for his continued contributions/donations to the MESA Program over the past few years and the more significant contributions this year. In addition, he supports MESA as a BC-MESA Board member and participating in student/community events as a volunteer.
Professor Richard Darke — “Professor of the Year”
Professor Darke earned this award due to his dedication to students, and was nominated and voted for by MESA students to receive this award. Students believe Prof. Darke deserves this award due to his outstanding teaching methods, his disposition to help students succeed academically, and his eagerness to help students succeed both academically and professionally.
BC-MESA Board members
All of the Board Members were recognized for their support of the MESA program: Dolores Salgado, Infrastructure Engineering Corporation, Patrick Aderhold, Bakersfield College Engineering Professor, Salvador Ledesma, PG&E, Samuel Grijalva, Grimmway Farms, Linda Mohammad, AERA Energy, Kimberly Newton, Bakersfield College Biology Professor, Stephen Waller, Bakersfield College Dean of Instruction, Juan M. Alvarez,USDA NHSIP, Caleb Griffin, NRCS, Marcos Perez, NRCS, Wayne Cooper, Bakersfield College Chemistry Professor, Dillon Giblin, Bakersfield College Math Professor, Bakersfield College, Seira Greenwood, UCLA/MEDPEP, Andrea Gonzalez, Bakersfield College MESA Student, Scott Trahan, Chevron, and Consuelo Gonzalez, Bakersfield College MESA Director.
MESA student Brianna Aguilar was not only recognized for her accomplishment of achieving the goal for transferring to a 4-year university and for obtaining an internship/research position, she was also recognized for being chosen as an ACS scholar. This scholarship is up to $5,000 a year. Recipients of this award in the past have gone on to be leaders in the chemical professions. This opens up so many doors for Brianna.
I am so proud of Brianna and all of our MESA Renegades and look forward to hearing of their successes in the future. I would like to thank Steve Waller, Connie Gonzales, Vanessa Moreno and all of the faculty, mentors and sponsors that are involved in the MESA program.
Emails Worth Sharing
Janet Thomas also sent a warm email sharing her delight in the MESA Event. She said:
“It was a beautiful event. I was thrilled to hear from Travis Burns and his accomplishments that all began with his education at Bakersfield College and Ian Spark who is beginning her career as a new graduate from Bakersfield College going on to her next steps. I sat next to a young man named Rodrigo who is transferring to San Diego State on scholarships as a Chemical Engineer. It is very awesome to see the students when their names are called to come up to get their awards for their achievements in scholastics, community services and opportunities for internships. It was a great honor to be invited to this great event. Kevin McCarthy recognized each student with awards, because he knows the value of the education that begins at Bakersfield College. Anyway, The MESA team did a wonderful job, in conjunction with The MARK with hosting this event.”
Aera Tech and Regional Skills Conference
Last Saturday, the AERA Engine Builders Association and Engine Professional Magazine hosted an all-day conference to inform BC Automotive Technology students about all of the latest developments and trends in engine manufacturing. The 2019 AERA Tech and Regional Skills Conference took place in BC’s Automotive Technology building on the Panorama campus, featuring technical demonstrations from some of the biggest names in the automotive industry, including Edelbrock, Rottler, and Sunnen.
I’d like to thank AERA and Engine Professional Magazine, as well as Vic Posey and the BC Automotive Technology staff for organizing this professional development opportunity for our students.
LUPE/Conexiones Students Attend a 3-Day Leadership Retreat
Bakersfield College student leaders from LUPE/Conexiones participated in an unforgettable experience of leadership development. Students were able to experience outdoor adventures in a unique way that allowed them to develop self-confidence, improve effective program planning, and establish long-lasting and meaningful relationships with each other.
Because of their interactions during the 3-day retreat, these student leaders developed trust with each other and were able to cultivate a stronger support network.
Students were fully engaged in an in-depth discussion of John Maxwell’s 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership. The student leaders facilitated an interactive discussion based on their personal life experiences and circumstances.
Students discussed what separated great leaders from good leaders and how they can become instruments of change in their immediate families and their communities.
In addition to the leadership workshop, students engaged in outdoor activities to enhance their confidence and learned how to overcome any difficult challenge they come across. Students conquered a physically challenging ropes course with persistence and determination.
Professor Octavio Barajas conquering the ropes course. Sí Se Puede!
They also tested their accuracy in the archery field.
In the evening hours, students had a blast on the karaoke machine and spent the late evening hours learning some dance moves.
The retreat provided a welcoming, refreshing, and inspiring environment in which to innovate, plan and collaborate. Through reflection and assessment of the academic year, the students identified areas of improvement within the LUPE/Conexiones organization and initiated a plan to produce a student-led leadership conference for the upcoming school year.
Funding for the Pali Retreat was provided by the Catalyst Fund. Special thanks to the coordinating efforts of the EOPS and CalSOAP staff who graciously took care of all the logistical planning.
Big SHOUT OUT to the BC staff/faculty who served as mentors and chaperones during the retreat: Professor Octavio Barajs (History), Lisa Robles Kent (SSP/Equity), and Rafael Centeno (EOPS).
ASSP Frank R. Rosenlieb Lifetime Achievement Award
On March 20th 2019, American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP) held their 20th Annual Bakersfield ASSP Symposium. Founded in 1911, ASSP is the longest running safety organization and the most respected advocate for workplace safety and health professionals. With over 450 guests in attendance, our very own, Catherine Jones, was recognized with the Frank R. Rosenlieb Lifetime Achievement Award, which is recognized as one of the highest achievements in her industry. Congratulations Catherine.
OSRM Summer Internship Success
Summer internships are under way especially for a few students from the Occupational Safety & Risk Management program. An internship is a hands-on experience that provides meaningful, career-related work that extends a student’s learning beyond the classroom. One of the students, Stephany Cabrera, was offered an internship with Amazon as an Environmental Health and Safety Specialist in Delaware. Wilson Jones accepted an internship with Granite Construction as a Safety Intern and Martin Amezcua accepted an internship with Trinity Safety as a safety coordinator. These students are excited and grateful for these opportunities that will help launch their careers.
On the Monday just after commencement, May 13, 2019, Bakersfield College was honored to host an amazing performance about world peace from Jai Jagat and the children of the Manav Sadhna orphanage in India. The children are touring the world with Jai Jagat, an inspirational dance and drama troupe composed of 17 underprivileged children from six different communities in Ahmedabad, a city located in India’s Gujarat province.
“Jai Jagat” means “Victory of the World”, and this year’s show depicts the life of Mahatma Gandhi through interpretive choreography in honor of his 150th birthday this October. Jai Jagat’s program in the Indoor Theater envisioned what the planet might look like in 50 years, 2069, if people take Gandhi’s philosophy to heart and come together to settle their conflicts without violence and anger.
The Manav Sadhna orphanage is based out of Gandhi’s ashram in Ahmedabad, and they provide education, medical care and resources for proper hygiene to more than 10,000 underprivileged children, Jai Jagat Project Director Nimesh Patel said. They also offer sports leagues and arts and crafts programs for children, as well as compassionate care for the elderly.
New Taj Palace Indian Restaurant provided food for the cast and workers and for sale to the public at the event. It was great to see trustees Romeo Agbalog and Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg in the audience for Jai Jagat, as well as former trustee Bill Thomas.
This performance would not have been possible without help from the Office of Student Life,Congressman Kevin McCarthy, and the Ravi and Naina Patel Foundation. Thank you to everyone who helped organize this event, as well as everyone who came out to hear the group’s motivational message.
On Wednesday evening, a group of BC faculty, staff, and students attended Les Miserables at the Pantages Theater in Hollywood. The iconic theater, located on the corner of Hollywood and Vine is a monument of art, theater, movies, music, and performances. It has been home to popular productions such as the stage production of Disney’s Lion King, Wicked, The Phantom of the Opera, Jersey Boys, and more. The interior of the theater is stunning and although originally constructed in 1930, it most recently underwent a $10-million restoration and upgrade in the year 2000.
Dr. Jen Garrett makes it a priority to give her students the opportunity to have eye opening and life changing experiences.. everything.from performing at local charity events to performing in Rome and at the Sydney Opera House, to experiencing talent as members of the audience. After giving students first priority, leftover reserved seats were made available to staff and faculty. In total, BC had over 150 individuals at Wednesday night’s performance. Unfortunately, I was unable to make it but I received tons of texts and messages from the BC crew who were there. I’m told that the performers were absolutely incredible.
Monika texted me that she could hear Manny De Los Santos, who was sitting with his wife one row above whispering comments like “Oh, this is my favorite part” and the following day, Manny let me know that “As a Les Mis fanboy,” he was not disappointed. He added that he wasn’t the only one as he claims he could see Nick Strobel “bouncing along to the music.”
Take a listen to Nick Cartell who was cast as Jean Valjean in the show on Wednesday evening.
I loved the photos from Jen Garrett’s Facebook showing their family of five at the theater. It’s truly wonderful to know the Garrett’s future Renegades are getting an early start on appreciation for music and live performances. Experiences like this are truly what make BC a campus, a community, and a family without boundaries. I’m looking forward to the next performance where BC takes Pantages!
Proud Day for the Writing Center & Academic Support Programs
Wednesday May 22nd was a joyous day for Bakersfield College Academic Support Programs. Four Writing Center team members were conferred with masters and doctoral degrees from California State University, Bakersfield! Laraine Rosema, Adjunct Writing Center Faculty, earned her Ed.D. In Educational Leadership: Jeff Newby, Writing Center Consultant, earned his Master of Arts in History; Marlin Morales, Writing Center Consultant, and Kim Arbolante, Writing Center Lead, both earned their Master of Arts in English with Writing Certificate.
The ceremony was held on the verdant soccer field at CSUB, and participants were relieved as rain clouds gave way to clearer skies and a beautiful sunset just as the graduate procession began. The proud graduates were blessed to have many BC colleagues in the crowd cheering them on. And while the fearless Director of Academic Support Programs, Maria Wright, is at home on maternity leave, the ASP team has done its best to make her proud by demonstrating its commitment to continuing education, excellence in the humanities, and to Renegades supporting colleagues and friends as part of our collective BC family.
Innocent Victims of Gang Violence
Last week I was able to attend an awareness event and memorial for innocent victims of gang violence at Lowell Park. Local radio host and media personality Danny Morrison volunteered to emcee the event as he grew up in the neighborhood around the park and has lost close friends to gang violence. It was highlighted by passionate remarks on the topic from Bakersfield Mayor Karen Goh and a special musical number sung by a children’s choir from McKinley Elementary School. At the end of the program a permanent bench was unveiled to memorialize and remember all innocent victims of gang violence in our community. The event was part of a group project planned by the 2019 Leadership Bakersfield cohort that included our own Brandon Urry, Manager of Athletics Communications and Community Relations. Leadership Bakersfield is an annual program put on by the Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce to better connect leaders in our community. Learn more about the Leadership Bakersfield program.
M&O Summer Projects
Maintenance & Operations has been hard at work since the Summer Semester began. So many projects in the past two weeks!
Replaced carpet in A17 and HR
Installed swamp coolers in the Huddle for Food Services and students
Installed new artificial turf by pool
Began renovations to the small pool
Prepared for installation of artificial turf by solar parking lots
Replaced landscaping alongside the FACE building and the Indoor Theater
Removed a tree and planted fruit trees near FACE for the Renegade Pantry
Trimmed 80 trees in one week
Began renovations on restroom by tennis courts
Stripped and waxed gym flooring, along with rooms in FACE building
Replaced the air filters in the wood shop and welding labs
Thank you to our amazing M&O team for keeping our campus beautiful!
Emails Worth Sharing: from Baghdad
Paul Beckworth shared this email with me. I am so proud of our students serving abroad and continuing their education.
I payed for my classes today. It all worked out. I got into 3 classes I needed and waitlisted for 1. Thought I’d share some photos.
Emails Worth Sharing: Invited to Barcelona to Exhibit!
Diego Gutiérrez Monterrubio, adjunct faculty in the Art Department shared this email with me:
Waking up to this message with an invitation to exhibit my work in Barcelona makes my heart beat with happiness. I am humbled to be appreciated internationally
…y sigue la novela.
Buenos días, soy Aaron Henriques
Director de la Galería Carey
Tras ver su obra quiero proponerle exponer individualmente en Barcelona, España.
Esperando que la propuesta sea de su agrado quedó a la espera de sus noticias
Track & Field Finishes Season at CCCAA Championships
The Renegade Track & Field team traveled to the College of San Mateo, host site for the 2019 California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) Championships. The team had qualified five student athletes in six events and all placed well in their respective competitions. Renegade finishes included:
With the CCCAA Track & Field Championships now concluded, the season now finishes for both the Men’s and Women’s Track and Field teams.
Track & Field Pulls In Long List Of Post-Season All-Conference Awards
The Renegade Track & Field team wrapped up the 2019 regular season this last week at the CCCAA State Championships with five top-10 finishes. As the regular season concludes, the team has racked up a number of post-season conference awards, listed below:
All-WSC First Team
Zaila Clark – Triple Jump
Joycelind Currie – 4 x 100m, 4 x 400m
Daizhiana Ebert – 4 x 100m, Long Jump, 4 x 400m
Noemi Esparza – 4 x 100m, 4 x 400m
Victoria Lennon – 4 x 400m
Gabby Lugo – 1500m, 4 x 400m
Bree McCabe – 4 x 100m
Daniel Nichols – High Jump
Justin Frando – 800m
Elvis Sanchez – Hammer
Jacob Whitby – Shot, Discus, Hammer
All-WSC Second Team
Rayvan Childs – 400m Hurdles
Joycelind Currie – 400m
Noemi Esparza – 400m Hurdles
Derek Crawford – 4 x 400m
Justin Frando – 4 x 400m
Cody Hartsfield – Hammer, Discus
Adrian Lopez – 800m
Lorenzo Maldonado – 4 x 400m
Cutberto Salgado – 4 x 400m
Marcos Varela – Hammer
All-WSC Honorable Mention
Yarabi Campos – Hammer
Zaila Clark – Long Jump
Noemi Esparza – 200m
Victoria Lennon – 400m
Gabby Lugo – 5000m, 800m
Derek Crawford – 200m
Cutberto Salgado – Steeplechase
Elvis Sanchez – Discus
Harrison Wykoff – Steeplechase
That’s all for now.
Until next time.
With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.
sonya- the luckiest and happiest college president ever
Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, May 18, 2019… A great day to be a Renegade.
A Record Breaking Celebration
Congratulations to the Bakersfield College Class of 2019! On May 10th, we had a record breaking historical evening. Our college has grown so much over the century. In 1913 we began with thirteen students and this year we have almost thirty-three thousand students.
This year we celebrated the highest number of eligible graduates to obtain a degree in our college’s history, with more than 2,746 students eligible.
We gathered to honor the second graduating class of BC’s Industrial Automation Baccalaureate degree, over 90 high school students from the Wonderful Agriculture Career Prep Early College partnership, the first graduate of Delano’s HVAC program, and most importantly, the diligence and commitment of every graduating Renegade.
Here is a little more about the class of 2019:
2,161 graduates are transferring to a four-year college or university to continue their education
614 earned an Associate of Arts degree
697 earned an Associate of Science Degree
Over 2,011 guaranteed their ability to transfer to a four-year university by obtaining an Associate of Art or Science for Transfer
Over 878 have a grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or above and 10 have a grade point average (GPA) of 4.0 or above.
Prior to our class entering the Arena, the processional is led by the Mace Carriers who serve as marshals for our processional. This year, Mr. William “Bill” Kelly and Mr. Fred Smith led the charge.
Following the Faculty, this year’s Platform Party was compiled of leadership at the college, district, and within the BC community. Among the members this year were Trustees Romeo Agbalog, Kyle Carter and Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, KCCD’s Gary Moser and Tonya Davis, Vice Presidents Liz Rozell, Mike Giacomini, and Zav Dadabhoy, Senator Emeritus Jean Fuller, SGA President Ashley Harp, Early College representative, Emily Perez and Senior Vice President of Wonderful Education, Noemi Donoso. Additionally from Bakersfield College, Academic Senate President, Steven Holmes, Alumni Association President, Becki Whitson, Deans Emmanuel Mourtzanos, Grace Commisso, and Cornelio Rodriguez, and Steve Watkin, Cynthia Quintanilla, Norma Rojas-Mora, and Paul Beckworth. It also included the 2019 Samuel McCall award winner, Professor Jordan Rude who, during his honorary remarks congratulated students by saying,
Acknowledge and appreciate the level of sacrifices you have made, and celebrate with the same level of enthusiasm! Find those people who shared sacrifices with you, and celebrate with them! You owe it to your former and future selves, and to those that sacrificed for you to celebrate tonight.
Jordan Rude, May 10, 2019
Special thank you to Boy Scout Troop 712 for presenting the colors and to John Gerhold for leading us in the national anthem.
This year, the Early College partnership with Wonderful Agriculture Career Prep more than doubled in size since last year. We had 47 graduates from Wasco High School and 43 from Wonderful College Prep Academy who received their associates degree. What an incredible accomplishment and thank you to Dr. Noemi Donoso of Wonderful and Senator Jean Fuller for being on stage to congratulate these and all of our graduates.
I’d like to share some additional photos from Commencement:
The full ceremony is available on YouTube:
Commencement is a big deal at BC and it could not happen without the work of the Commencement Committee. Thank you to Karimeh Amin, Tamara Baker, Christopher Blakemore, Paul Beckworth, Lesley Bonds, Ed Borgens, Eric Carrillo, Nicky Damania, Victor Diaz, Christopher Glaser, Christy Haycock, Beth Hilbe, Jackie Lau, Aricia Leighton, Jaime Lopez, Gabriele Martin, Robby Martinez, John Menzies, Norma Rojas-Mora, Rachell Morehouse, Julian Navarette, Michelle Pena, Jack Pierce, Cynthia Quintanilla, Bernadette Quintero, Kristin Rabe, Corny Rodriguez, Monika Scott, Jennifer Serratt, Pearl Urena, Imelda Vasquez, Dylan Wang and Steve Watkin for your hard work to make it happen. Also, thank you to the Rabobank staff for your contributions and assistance to make everything happen.
Delano Campus students got the opportunity to celebrate their accomplishments at their own pre-commencement ceremony early on Friday morning. The Delano celebration began in 2015 to give our rural students an opportunity to be recognized in the same intimate setting where they completed most of their coursework. About 30 students participated in this year’s festivities.
Keynote speaker Bryan Osorio is the youngest member of the Delano City Council at just 23 years old. A graduate of Cesar E. Chavez High School in Delano before earning a Bachelor’s Degree at UC Berkeley, Osorio spoke about the importance of education in his life and how providing opportunities for people in rural areas to pursue an education can transform communities.
Many of our students in rural communities face transportation barriers to completing their educational objectives in a timely manner, which is why BC is continuing to expand course offerings and student services at the Delano Campus, while also expanding to Arvin, Shafter, Wasco, and other outlying areas of Kern County. Combined with our expansion of Early College, Dual Enrollment, and Concurrent Enrollment opportunities, BC is doubling down on our commitment to increase educational attainment for all of Kern County.
Rural Initiatives Executive Director Abel Guzman urged students to continue their education as far as they go, while not leaving behind the communities from which they came.
Thank you to the Rural Initiatives team and staff at the Delano campus for organizing the 4th Annual Delano Pre-Commencement Ceremony. I’d also like to thank our amazing faculty who go above and beyond to support our students at the Delano Campus and other rural communities.
BC also honored its second graduating baccalaureate class during the Industrial Automation Pre-Commencement Ceremony in the Potato Room of the Rabobank Arena Convention Center.
This year’s graduating baccalaureate class included 13 students, and each of them is poised to begin an amazing career in one of the most highly-demanded job fields around the world today. This year’s keynote speaker was retiring Vice President of Instruction Liz Rozell and it was great to see Renegade alum, Richard Van Horne.
I was honored to lead the ceremonial hooding ceremony for these incredible 13 graduates. Congratulations to:
Eric De La Rosa
and Daniel Vargas
I would like to thank Aubrey Priest, Michelle Bresso, Manny Fernandez, Jason Dixon, Roy Allard, Tom Rush, Liz Rozell and everyone who participated in our second Industrial Automation Pre-Commencement.
Our graduating veterans also celebrated their achievements with their own pre-commencement ceremony in the Breckenridge Room of Rabobank Arena and Convention Center.
Twenty students participated in this year’s Veterans Pre-Commencement Celebration. Our veteran students put their lives on the line to serve this country, and they were honored to have all of their accomplishments recognized now that they’ve managed to find success in civilian life.
BC’s own Armando Trujillo was the keynote speaker, and he inspired students to continue making and achieving milestones in their lives. Our veteran student population tends to be older than the majority of our students and feel the need to play catch-up with their peers, but it’s important for them to look back on all they’ve already accomplished in order to find the motivation to push themselves forward.
BC is dedicated to supporting our veteran students, and we demonstrate our commitment with Vetfest and a multitude of other events we host on campus throughout the year. And, of course, we cannot forget the Vernon Valenzuela Veteran Resource Center being built as we speak.I’d like to thank Paul Beckworth, Bernadette Martinez, Adeana Williams and everyone who helped organize this year’s Veterans Pre-Commencement Ceremony, and congratulations to all our graduating vets for the 2018-19 academic year.
The African-American Initiatives team continued their tradition of celebrating the graduates in their cohort at the 5th annual African-American Pre-Commencement in the Truxtun Room of Rabobank Arena and Convention Center.
This year’s ceremony featured approximately 30 graduates celebrating their accomplishments with their families, as well as the faculty and staff who supported them during their time at BC. Keynote speaker Valerie Robinson spoke about the importance of learning and family throughout their life’s journey.
Mikeisha Lowder was the student speaker, and she shared her BC journey with those gathered. She said she struggled academically and was referred to a DSPS counselor, who connected her to services and referred her to English professor Dr. Paula Parks. Lowder joined the Umoja Community African-American Success Through Excellence and Persistence program its first year.
LoShe thanked Dr. Parks and her Umoja family as well as her fiance for supporting her.
The Umoja Community program provides coursework with a cultural focus, mentoring, counseling support, academic and cultural trips, and academic advising. Umoja also has a Club component.
Executive Director Steven Watkin advised graduates to never stop learning and to lean on the support of family and friends when they need it.
I’d like to thank African-American Initiatives, Admissions and Records, Financial Aid, Student Affairs, the Office of Student Life, and the Umoja Community for their support in organizing this year’s African-American Pre-Commencement.
BC honored its graduating LGBTQ+ students during our 2nd annual Lavender Pre-Commencement Celebration, held in the Caliente Room at the Rabobank Arena and Convention Center.
Approximately 30 students participated in the ceremony, which was organized by the Office of Student Life, Helen Acosta, and BC’s SAGA club. The Lavender Pre-Commencement tradition started at BC in 2018, but it was founded at the University of Michigan in 1995 by Dr. Ronni Sanlo to acknowledge the accomplishments of 3 LGBTQ graduates. Lavender ceremonies have since expanded to hundreds of colleges and universities across the country.
The keynote speaker for the evening was Jim Merrick, a local high school teacher who faced discrimination from 15 of his students’ parents for speaking out against homophobic remarks made by a member of the Kern County Human Relations Commission in 1998.
Lavender graduates got the opportunity to thank those who have helped them succeed at BC. Students from this year’s graduating Lavender class have changed our campus forever, whether it was Chad Hidalgo starting the Extra Life at BC event which has raised $3,700 for the Lauren Small Children’s Center, or 2018 BC President’s Leader of the Year winner Emmanuel Limaco, who obtained a Fellowship with the Immigrant Youth Justice Alliance.
Acosta advised graduating students to savor their remaining years in college or first few years in the job market.
“The first years while you struggle to find your footing are frustrating, but later, you will be glad you stuck with it and you’ll find a beautiful life with people who care about you,” Acosta said.
Thank you to everyone who organized the Lavender Pre-Commencement, and congratulations to all of the Lavender graduates.
BC’s brand-new HVAC program, located on our Delano campus celebrated a milestone on Friday with our first graduate, Felix Dominguez. Special thank you to Assemblymember Rudy Salas for securing funds to make this program possible.
Thank You to our Community Partners
Each year, our graduation ceremony is traditionally held on campus at the beautiful Memorial Stadium. This year, because our community voted YES on Measure J in 2016, campus construction is taking place and renovations on the stadium have begun. Our celebration at Rabobank would not have been possible without generous contributions and support from our community partners.
Platinum Sponsor: Dignity Health Gold Sponsors: Aera Energy, California Resources Corporation, Kern Schools Federal Credit Union, and S.C. Anderson. Bronze Sponsors: Adventist Health and Rodriguez and Associates
Fun Photos: Behind the Scenes
On Thursday evening, the M&O Crew got together to stuff the programs with an insert that featured our evenings sponsors.
Industrial Automation Corporate Tours
Industrial Automation students, faculty and BC staff had the pleasure of touring four distribution centers and processing facilities recently. We toured the Target Distribution Center, Ross Distribution Center, Bolthouse Farms, and the Wonderful Company. The scale and innovation these companies incorporated into each facility to serve their global customer base was amazing! BC is so fortunate that these companies took the time to make our experience quite memorable.
Fun Photos: No Heel Monday
Jennifer Serratt caught me red handed working in the office on Monday with the comfiest of shoes. Of course, they are my Renegade Red Moccasins.
Renegade Swimming Pulls In All-American Awards and National Rankings
After wrapping up the 2019 season, the Renegade Men’s and Women’s Swimming programs have hauled in a number of All-American awards and national rankings; listed below:
Men’s All Americans and National Rankings:
100 Breaststroke (Ranked 6th in CCCAA) – Tanner Lopes
200 Free Relay – Andre Gallegos, Bronson Pearce, Esteban Robles, Kenneth Hardin (Ranked #9 in the CCCAA and #14 Nationally)
400 Free Relay – Andre Gallegos, Bronson Pearce, Esteban Robles, Kenneth Hardin (Ranked #13 in the CCCAA
Daran Towns – 100 Free (Ranked #3 in the CCCAA and #7 Nationally), 200 Free: (Ranked #5 in the CCCAA and #11 Nationally), 500 Free (Ranked #6 in the CCCAA and #10 Nationally)
Bailey Pike – 1650 Free (Ranked 13th in the CCCAA)
200 Free Relay – Daran Towns, Alexis Gallardo, Blaire Williams, Bailey Pike (Ranked #15 in the CCCAA)
400 Free Relay – Bailey Pike, Alexis Gallardo, Blaire Williams, Daran Towns (Ranked #14 in the CCCAA)
800 Free Relay – Alexis Gallardo, Bailey Pike, Daran Towns, Blaire Williams ((Ranked #11 in the CCCAA and #15 Nationally)
200 Medley Relay – Alexis Gallardo, Blaire Williams, Ingrid Villanueva, Daran Towns (Ranked #9 in the CCCAA)
Track and Field Qualifies Five To CCCAA State Championships
The Renegade Men’s and Women’s Track and Field teams competed at the SoCal finals this last weekend at Riverside City College with five (three women and two men) qualifying for the CCCAA Championships this coming weekend.
Top individual finishers for the Renegades included:
Women’s Triple Jump Finals: 4. Zaila Clark (qualified for CCCAA Championships)
Women’s Long Jump Finals: 2. Daizhiana Ebert (qualified for CCCAA Championships)
Women’s 1500m: 2. Gabby Lugo (qualified for CCCAA Championships)
Men’s Discus Finals: 3. Jacob Whitby (qualified for CCCAA Championships)
Men’s Hammer: 4. Jacob Whitby (qualified for CCCAA Championships)
Men’s 800m: 3. Justin Frando (qualified for CCCAA Championships)
Baseball’s Voda Commits to Missouri Baptist
Renegade Baseball sophomore outfielder, Sage Voda has signed to continue his academic and baseball career at Missouri Baptist University. He joins fellow outfielder Ashanti Ross as the second Renegade to commit to the Spartans from the current team. Voda, from Tehachipi CA, appeared in 35 games for the Renegades this season. In 2019, he collected 20 RBI’s, scored 20 runs, stole 6 bases and had one home run. Missouri Baptist University is an NAIA level school that competes in the American Midwest Conference. Congrats Sage and good luck!
That’s all for now.
Until next time.
With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.
sonya- the luckiest and happiest college president ever
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