Category Archives: Uncategorized

Enriching Lives through Campus & Community


This was one of the sights to be seen at last night’s Grand Opening Ceremony for the 1st Annual Arvin Hispanic Month Celebration. It was met with energy and excitement for the unveiling of the new Garden in The Sun Park for families of the Arvin community.

Good morning Bakersfield.  It is Saturday, September 23…a fabulous day to be a Renegade….a fabulous week to be a Renegade….a fabulous year to be a Renegade.  Thank you Bakersfield. Thank you Kern County for always being there for your college.

Assemblyman Rudy Salas, Alfonso Noyola, City Manager, Jose Gurrola Jr., Mayor City of Arvin , Jazmin Robles, Mayor Pro Tem City of Arvin, Erika Madrigal, Council Member City of Arvin, Gabriella Martinez, Council Member City of Arvin Jess Ortiz, Council Member City of Arvin, all touched base on the outlook of the City of Arvin and the added value to the community.

Nate Meeks, Quad Knopf Engineering spoke to the effort and design of the Park itself.
Assembly member Rudy Salas also spoke and shared his perspective of the surrounding Kern Communities, and the value of bringing in a positive influence.  It was great having BC and KCCD represented in great strength.  Chancellor Tom Burke and Trustee Bill Thomas came out to support the event.

Kern Community College District Board Trustee,  Bill Thomas, spoke last, announcing KCCD plans for the new Bakersfield College Satellite campus and painting a picture of the beautiful Kern mountains creating a perfect setting for incoming students. The ROTC color-guard led a presentation of the flag, and there was a ribbon-cutting for the park, followed by a community parade with the Arvin Police Department, folkloric dancing, and the chanting of “We are BC” heard in the background.


Bakersfield College presence continued through the evening with multi-department collaborations from Delano Campus, Outreach, Student Life, EOPS, Counseling and Adult Education. Thank you to all our volunteers and BC staff who showed up to support BC, including Abel Guzman, Endee Grijalva, Nicky Damania, Steve Watkin, Beth Harrison, Alyse Braaten, Dinorah Castro, Amalia Ojeda, Stephanie Baltazar, Jesse Oropeza and more! Thank you Abel Guzman, Jennifer Marden, and Bill Potter for the planning that went into this effort.


DACA: Now What? A Community Forum

A DACA Community Forum reached approximately 300 students and community members on Thursday evening. A team of six immigration and defense attorneys volunteered their time to address questions regarding the recent announcement of a decision to rescind the Deferred Action for  Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative.

Panelists at the DACA Community Forum

Panelists at the DACA Community Forum

My heartfelt thanks to our panelists:

  •        H.A. Sala
  •        Win Eaton
  •        Vanessa Sanchez
  •        Edyta Grant
  •        Andrew Fishkin, and
  •        Sarah Rice

Assemblyman Rudy Salas was also in attendance. A very special ‘thank you’ to Mr. Salas for his participation and contribution.


After the panel, our incredible panelists made themselves available for individual questions and answers. Here is Andrew Fishkin taking time with one of the attendees.

I can’t thank everyone enough for providing this opportunity for our students and our community.

A recording of the panel discussion is available here.

Distinguished Speaker Series

After the community forum, we invited student leaders to stay and listen to Yemeni grad student and public speaker, Orubba Almansouri to tell the story of how she was able to accomplish her educational goals while honoring her Muslim community’s faith and traditions.

Joe Salvadar and Orubba Almansouri

Joe Salvadar and Orubba Almansouri

Joe Saldivar was introduced Orubba, whose impassioned speech as the Salutatorian at the City College of New York’s commencement ceremonies led to an invitation to speak at last year’s United States of Women conference by none other than former First Lady Michelle Obama. From a young age, Orubba had a passion for learning, even though the tribe where her family comes from in Yemen traditionally forbids teaching girls. But after years of demonstrating to her family that her pursuit of education won’t lead her to reject her traditions or identity, she said, her family became her biggest supporters, even escorting her to speaking engagements in accordance with Muslim law. “My journey was never an individual one,” Orubba said. “I am taking my family and my community on this journey with me, whether they like it or not.”

While she had to learn the art of compromise to accomplish her goals, Orubba has provided a blueprint for other Muslim women to follow in her footsteps if they choose. “The best change, for me, is change that comes gradually,” she said. “Small changes, when sustained, can uplift generations. It infiltrates the system until it becomes the system itself. “Changing our attitudes toward education will only benefit us and our communities,” she said. Now a graduate student at NYU, Orubba has started working on a project about the influence of the Muslim mother/daughter relationship in boosting Arabic literacy rates among adult Muslim women.

Thank you to our fantastic Office of Student Life for organizing this event with such an important national figure.

230th Birthday of the U.S. Constitution

Did you know that U.S. Constitution was created on September 17, 1787, now celebrating its 230th birthday? Each year on Constitution Day, the Kern County Superintendent of Schools, Mary Barlow and the Kern County Bar Association including Bonnie Thompson, Executive Director, organize an opportunity for local legal professionals and educators to speak to elementary students about the Constitution, its history, and application for kids.

This year, Manny Mourtzanos was invited to speak to over 100 students in the 4th and 5th grade at Beardsley Elementary School. Many thanks to Teresa Twisselman, KCSOS Coordinator of English and Language Arts and Tammy Barrera,Principal at Beardsley Elementary for making this incredible event possible.

Bakersfield College is very grateful for strong professional relationships with community partners such as KCSOS and KCBA.

Manny Mourtzanos Presenting

College Night

On September 11, BC was at the 18th Annual Kern County College Night at the Rabobank Convention Center. Over 100 BC staff, faculty, administrators, and students were there to represent the college, surpassing our representation from last year!

Over the course of the evening, students and parents had the opportunity to inquire about the academic and student support programs offered at BC. From the large crowd at the convention center, over 1,300 submitted an interest card requesting additional information from the college. BC is a vital option for our Kern County residents, and it definitely showed on this day! A special thanks to Bakersfield College’s Outreach team (Ashlea, Debi, Josie, Manuel, Pedro, Roseanne, and Savannah), led by Director Steven Watkin, for putting this event together. We Are BC!

College Night 2017

Child Development Center

The start of the fall semester has been busy for our childcare children and their parents. There are currently 133 students enrolled in our seven classrooms.  I’m told there are still a few openings for three and four year old’s if you know any student parents who need child care. We were very happy to see our Public Safety Department ensuring the safety of our arriving children on Monday, August 21.  Our Department of Public Safety is incredible.

CDC Crossing Guard Public Safety

All of our teachers are required to have updated CPR Training so in early August many of staff members came on a Saturday to participate in pediatric First Aid and CPR training provided by our partners at CAPK Head Start. And on September 14, KAPK also provided a petting zoo for our children to enjoy after their parents met with their teachers to get to know each other.

Last Week at The Renegade Football Game

At last Saturday’s game against Riverside, the BC Renegades honored Jonathan Garcia by displaying his Jersey on the sidelines.

Jonathan Garcia's JerseyAnd the BC Choir sang the Star Spangled Banner. You have to take a listen.

Thank you Dr. Kimberly Bligh for the video.

Trustee Romeo Agbalog and family were at the game and, and graciously agreed when Francis Mayer and Vance Palm invited him to be the half-time guest.

Romeo Agbalog and Vance Palm half time Sep 16 2017

Vance Palm, Trustee Romeo Agbalog

Romeo Agbalog and family Sep 16 2017

Dr. Zav Dadabhoy, Trustee Romeo Agbalog, daughter Victora, Lily Agbalog, Jennifer Achan, Kushnur Dadabhoy


What I love most about Renegade Athletics is that it is about family and friends. In the photo above is Trustee Agbalog, his wife Lily, daughter Victoria.

Here are the great nephews of our Athletics Director Sandi Taylor Brody Breitweiser (6) and Aidan Breitweiser (4) during and after Renegade Football.

This Week on Facebook

I’m the luckiest and happiest college president ever, and BC students always inspire me.  This week on Facebook, I saw our BC Pre-Med Club inviting fellow Renegades to their club meeting on Thursday. The Pre-Med Club at BC takes the hopes and dreams of students interested in all aspects of medicine and turn them into realities. PMC addresses the crisis our country faces of a shortage of doctors by giving our members opportunities to excel. Their mission is to solidify the decision and assist students’ journeys towards a future in medicine. PMC’s goal is to help our community in whatever way they can, which not only includes the healing professions they choose, but also volunteering and offering time for great causes. Can you see why I say I’m the luckiest and happiest college president ever?


This Week on Twitter

Grimmway Farms hosted an internship event for students on Tuesday in the Fireside Room as part of the Bakersfield Career Series. I saw a flurry of social media about this great event. Students interested in agriculture, business, food science and industrial technology got to learn about Grimmways’ hiring, application and recruiting processes while networking with important business leaders in the community. Thank you Heather Baltis, Chris McCraw, and Pam Gomez for the great posts!

The Maker Space

The Maker Space in the Faculty Technology lab is up and running.  The Academic Technology team, including Bill Moseley, Matt Jones, and Pam Rivers is kicking off this space with 3D printing workshops open to all faculty. This is a very cool new addition!

TailGade Coming Soon!

TailGade logo

Homecoming is right around the corner on October 14th. It will be a day filled with all things Renegade. I am looking forward to TailGade! What is TailGade you ask? It is the new name for the BC Alumni BBQ. TailGade will take place from 3:00pm-6:00pm, before the Homecoming game against Moorpark and will be a great way to start the celebration. Local favorite, Mento Buru will be playing their mix of Ska, Reggae, Mambo, Jazz and World Beat Dance Sounds. A delicious NY Steak lunch expertly prepared by Fred’s BBQ Factory is included and there will be beer and wine available for purchase. Your ticket to TailGade will also get you into the game. This is a community event and you don’t need to be alumni to attend. Come join old friends, make new friends and enjoy a wonderful time. Tickets are available through Vallitix.

Jess Nieto

I received news from Corny Rodriguez on Friday morning about the passing of local legend, Jess Nieto. Gonzalo Santos at CSUB, sent the following email:

Bakersfield just lost its most persistent and dedicated veteran activist, our preeminent Chicano educator, founder of Chicano Studies at BC in the 1970s, a tireless community organizer, an advocate and champion of international and local just causes since the 1960s, including the Chicano movement and the historic farm worker strikes and boycotts. He was someone that built bridges of understanding and solidarity with the peoples of China, Cuba, Chile, El Salvador, Venezuela, and Mexico. He was also a devoted husband and loving family man who generously mentored generations of our local Latino youth, a comrade in the trenches of the immigration movement, and a co-founder of the formidable coalition that organized the historic immigrant marches of 2006 in Bakersfield (the largest ever).

His family roots – the Nietos – go back to the Californio settlers of what is today Long Beach, California. Their rancho home, which prior to the U.S. annexation managed that entire area, still stands and is a museum. He drew great strength from knowing his family history before and after the Anglos dispossessed them and usurped their land.

He had a Ph.D. in Anthopology, was a learned scholar with a sharp, cosmopolitan mind, but never flouted it. He was the most formidable but humble of public intellectuals in our area.
He was also my “travieso” friend, who I greatly enjoyed visiting at his home with his life-long compañera and wife Peggy, and spend evenings plotting how best to counter the entrenched legacy of apartheid in Bakersfield still visible today, and the flawed imperial foreign policy of this country, still wrecking so much havoc in the world.

For above all, Jess was an internationalist, a citizen of the world, loyal only to social justice and human understanding.  I will greatly miss him. I am honored and grateful to have known him.

Here is a Facebook post from Prof. Oliver Rosales

Jesse Nieto Sep 2017


This week I presented, along with Dr. Darla Cooper, in San Diego at the NALEO policy conference.  This was my first time at NALEO and I got to appreciate the quality of the work that they do.  Their website describes the organization:

NALEO Educational Fund is the nation’s leading non-profit, non-partisan organization that facilitates full Latino participation in the American political process, from citizenship to public service.

Trustee Romeo Agbalog attended the conference.  Here he is with Chancellor Eloy Oakley, who was the opening speaker at the conference.

Eloy Oakley Romeo Agbalog Sep 22 2017

Chancellor Eloy Oakley, Trustee Romeo Agbalog

It was great to hear from Michele Siqueiros, CEO of the Campaign for College Opportunities (CCO).  Talking about CCO, thank you Linda Vasquez for the photos you snapped of me presenting.

I enjoyed presenting with the fabulous Darla Cooper.  We had fun and I think the audience did too.

Darla Cooper and Sonya Christian NALEO

Our dedicated faculty

Dr. Deborah Rosenthal, one of our new Chemistry faculty is just tireless in her outreach to students in middle school and high school.  Getting students to think about Science in their future.  Dr. Rosenthal was excited when she shared with me that one of the BC students whispered to her as they walked into the middle school classroom–“They remember our names!”  The Standard Middle School kids were yelling out hellos as the BC team walked in.  I wondered how Debbie finds time to do all this…she said “no matter how tired I am on Friday afternoon, this is supercool for everyone.”  You see why I am the luckiest and happiest college president ever?


Dr. Jennifer Garret‘s post on Facebook

.Choir Sep 19 2017 Ready to sing in honor of Jonathan Garcia

Tonight in Chamber and last week in College Choir we were visited by members of the 1965 Bakersfield College Choir that won first place at the Eisteddfod Choral festival in Wales. They also sang for the Pope and the president of the United States. It was inspiring to hear their words. It caused me to reflect on the choirs I am fortunate to work with. Last week College Choir lost one of our members to a car accident. They immediately responded by wanting to honor him. And so since he also played football we learned the National Anthem in one day and most of the choir rearranged their schedule so they could be at the football game to honor our member who is now blessing lives in another place.

Chamber Singers gives and gives and I only ask for more. From 4 hour rehearsals, to sectionals, to ridiculous memorization, and trying to raise $140,000! Why do we do this thing called music? Because it’s who we are and how we express ourselves. It allows us to say things that cannot be said, feel things that cannot otherwise be felt, and share our deepest desires, greatest joys, and most bitter disappointments. Music is one of the greatest gifts of life. The best part is sharing it with these amazing people and then getting to share it with the world. Music is truly living.

Choir with Ramona Gia and Mrilyn Wilson Sep 19 2017.jpg


Kern Literacy Event:

Was wonderful seeing all these fabulous folks supporting Kern Literacy.

Kimberly Bligh, BC faculty director, Senator Jean Fuller, and Isabel Castenada, BC Education Advisor enjoyed catching up on BC Pathways initiative

Dr. Kimberly Bligh, Senator Jean Fuller, Isabel Caseaneda

KCCD Chancellor, Tom Burke, Mayor Karen Goh, Kimberly Bligh, and KCCD Vice Chancellor John Means

Chancellor Tom Burke, Mayor Karen Goh, Dr. Kimberly Bligh, Vice Chancellor John Means

Barbara Grim-Marshall and MAry Barlow discuss importance of literacy in their lives and in our community

Barbara Grimm Marshall, Mary Barlow

Gilberto George

Gilbert George

Spotted in The Californian

Steffani Dias of The Bakersfield Californian highlighted our fantastic culinary arts program and students in the article, “Renegade Room raring to go this fall.”  She mentions that from now until November 30th, “the student-run facility will serve dinners on Tuesday and Thursdays and lunch on Wednesdays.” For the complete menu and details, visit The Bakersfield College Website.


Thank you Steffani for the highlight – check it out here!


Renegade Athletics

Volleyball: The 4th ranked Renegades defeated 9th ranked El Camino (25-21, 25-27, 17-25, 25-17, 15-13) Wednesday night to improve their record to 8-1 on the season.

volleyball sep 2017

This was truly a team effort for the Renegades.  Alex Paris led the team with 16 kills and 16 digs, Sarah Armendariz had 14 kills and 8 digs,  Brooke Horack had 13 kills and 4 digs, Jourdon Muro, who led the team with 17 digs, also recorded 8 kills, Reece Stevenson had 7 kills and 16 digs and Haley Sanchez recorded 12 digs.

Great video shot by Francis Mayer of Coach Carl Ferreira right after the game


Renegade Wrestling:

The Bakersfield College Wrestling team placed third at the Sac City Tournament as a team, and sent three wrestlers to the top of the podium over the weekend.

Wrestling Sep 16 2017.jpg

From —  Pedro Corona, reigning All-American, took the top spot at 133.

184 pounder Jeremy Maas and Heavyweight Romero Macias both also brought home gold.

But the champions weren’t the only ones to climb the podium; BC placed at almost every weight class.

Zavion Roberson (197) placed third, Bradley Harper (165) placed fourth, while Nick Correa (125), Pedro Ramirez (149), and Esteban Corona all placed in the top six.

Neo on September 21, 2017 — he turned 6 months on Sep 17th.

September 21 2017 Neo

Sonya Christian Sep 22 2017


That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

BC – a campus and community of incredible support

Good morning Bakersfield.  It is Saturday, September 16, 2017 and a great day to be a Renegade.

Jonathan GarciaOur campus and community was hit with devastating news regarding the tragic passing of 17 year old, Renegade athlete and student, Jonathan Garcia.

Dr. Jen Garrett commented:

As a music major, Jonathan’s bright smile, warm heart, and big voice was a wonderful addition to the BC Choir. His countenance and spirit lifted those around him and made them want to be better people. The students and faculty of the Performing Arts Department are grieved by the loss of such a wonderful young man. But Jonathan would want to be remembered for his life and not his passing. The Bakersfield College Choir and Chamber Singers celebrate his spirit, and will carry his memory in the music we make this semester and beyond.

Sandi Taylor, BC’s Athletics Director said,

The best part of athletics is that we win and lose together…as a team and a community. That is the small comfort we take as we remember the loss of our Renegade Jonathan Sebastian Garcia.  Before Jonathan was ever a Renegade, Rebel, or “Tank”, he held the greater titles of first-born son to his mother and two younger brothers. We ask that you remember and support his mother and family in their hour of incredible grief and loss.

An incredibly moving article and report was created by Tabatha Mills at KGET titled “A Labor of Love.

The BC Choir is dedicating the October 27th concert to him, titled “The Music of Living.”

Remembering 9-11

Last Monday was the 16th anniversary of the day that changed all of our lives. The attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11th altered the course of this nation’s history, and everyone remembers where they were when they first saw or heard about it.


Here in Bakersfield, 3,000 miles away, a 22-foot girder from the North Tower of the World Trade Center stands in front of the fire station on Buena Vista Road in honor of all those who lost their lives that day, as well as the emergency service personnel who helped save lives. I had the honor of attending the memorial and unveiling last year and shared it on my blog. If you have not seen this local memorial in person, I encourage you to stop by and remember the brave men and women in New York that day.

Renegade Football

Renegade football is off to a fabulous 2-0 start to the season after beating Chaffey College 46-13 last weekend in Rancho Cucamonga. The Renegades dominated the game from the first whistle, according to Trevor Horn’s report in the Californian, holding the Chaffey Panthers to just one touchdown in the first 55 minutes while scoring boatloads of points off of a balanced offense on the air and ground.

Coach Chudy still feels like the ‘Gades could do a lot to improve, but is satisfied with the depth and versatility he has on this year’s squad.

Hancock at BC_18

“We have a lot of speed and trying to utilize that speed and take advantage of matchups,” Chudy said. “Mismatches is really what we are trying to do. We are afforded that luxury to do that because we have good competition at a lot of spots.”

Last week, Horn wrote another article highlighting ‘Gades linebacker Desmond Ramseur, a six-year veteran of the US Marine Corps Forces Reserve. After serving with the Combat Logistics Batallion 451 in South Carolina, Ramseur moved to Bakersfield in 2015.

Ramseur, who Coach Chudy nicknamed “Marine”, recorded a team-high 14 tackles in BC’s 21-6 Week 1 victory at home against Allan Hancock.

Many of us headed over to Chaffey battling crazy I-5 and 210 traffic.  In fact we joked that we had almost as many in the stands as the home team.  Below are some photos.

Renegade Football is a great opportunity to support the Renegades and reconnect with incredible friends. I saw Ray Maranda and Chris Hitchcock supporting the team. He is a former Renegade athletic trainer and she is a former office manager in A&R and has served on the Foundation Board. And Rob Parsons was there supporting the ‘Gades!

Renegades at Chaffey

Ray Maranda and Chris Hitchcock



Rob Parsons and Sonya Christian

I also love seeing our incredible cheer team, led by coach Heather Foss. They always bring the Renegade spirit!



BC Cheer Team


Dr. Bill Baker our team doctor is at all Renegade Football games as well. I mentioned last year in my blog post: “Here is a gang of regulars at the games. Sharon Baker and Bill Baker (The Renegade Football doc) come to all the games. It always warms my heart to see both Dr. Baker and Dr. Tivnon out there with our student athletes.” Thank you Bill and Sharon Baker for all that you to for Bakersfield College and our student athletes.


Here is Dr. Bill Baker and Stig Jantz, Academic Advisor on the field.

I was so delighted to see Raquel Lopez with her daughter, Thalia Solorio, at the game.  I remembered Rich McCrow proudly sharing stories about Thalia’s achievements and it was a delight seeing her with her mom Raquel who is so dedicated to BC and our students.  Raquel was at Chaffey to support her son Mario Solorio #50 on the Renegade Football team.

Thalia Solorio, Sonya Christian, Raquel Lopez Sep 9 2017

Thalia Solorio, Sonya Christian, Raquel Lopez

For all things Renegade Athletics, visit

Community Partners Supporting Students

Kern Federal Credit Union LogoThe incredible people at Kern Federal Credit Union (KFCU) have partnered with the BC DACA Response Team to communicate the details of their emergency loan program to the community.  KFCU will automatically approve all current DACA beneficiaries for $500 emergency loans toward DACA renewal fees, with no credit underwriting required.  Additionally, the San Francisco-based non-profit Mission Asset Fund (MAF) is offering $495 scholarships to cover renewal fees. Thank you Kern Federal Credit Union for the support of BC students.

To learn more about this and other resources and info, please consider attending the DACA Community Forum on September 21st in BC’s Fireside Room. Guest panelists include local attorneys Win Eaton, H.A. Sala, Sarah Rich, and Vanessa Sanchez.  For all the details on this, please visit the BC website

Talking about DACA, our student trustee, Rayven Acosta-Webb on the KCCD board addressed the DACA issue will the board on Thursday, Sep 14th. She talked about the 1000 students across KCCD (about 40 at Cerro Coso, 100 at Porterville, and 800 at BC). Here is a photo I snapped of Rayven while she was making her remarks sitting next to Trustee Romeo Agbalog.  Also, Lawrence Salcido, who is there as an interpreter for Rayven.



The fire alarm went off right before the board meeting and while everyone was outside I snapped this great picture of these three student leaders — Rayven Acosta, Lawrence Salcido, and Dezi Von Manos.

Rayven Acosta Webb, Lawrence Salcido, Dezi Von Manos Sep 14 2017


Gadfly Cafe

In conjunction with this year’s “One Book” event, the first Gadfly Café of the semester engaged students in a debate about poverty.

Gadfly Reggie and Jack

Jack Hernandez and Reggie Williams

The Levan Center was filled for this month’s Gadfly Café, a round-table student discussion about complex issues held three times a semester and organized by BC philosophy professor Reggie Williams, with many voices contributing to the conversation. Williams opened with a few statistics about poverty and the wealth gap in the United States, and stepped away to let students express their own opinions about the issue, chiming in occasionally to clarify some information or make connections with other students’ comments.

While there were many voices in the discussion and several differing points of view, students tended to agree that some combination of education, advocacy and personal responsibility were key to fighting against poverty, and that while there are many structural issues that help to create and sustain poverty, there is no simple, one-size-fits-all solution to the problem. Thank you Reggie for taking the time to keep the Gadfly Café going, as well as Jack Hernandez and all at the Levan Center for providing a space where students can exercise their critical thinking skills.

Transfer Day

At BC, we continually work to open doors of opportunities for our students! This Fall’s Transfer Day was a great example of this with over 40 UC’s, CSU’s, private, and out of state colleges and universities on campus inspiring students to go forth with their dreams after Renegade Commencement. Marisa Marquez, Director of Transfer Center, said on the flier “Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop. Come talk to college and university reps today!”

Transfer Day 2017 (1)

Thank you to all the visiting campuses:

Academy of Art University

Alliant International University

Arizona State University

Brandman University

CA Baptist University

California Health Sciences University

Colorado State University

CSU Bakersfield

CSU East Bay

CSU Fresno

CSU Northridge

CSU Sacramento

CSU Stanislaus

DeVry University

Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising

Fresno Pacific University

Grand Canyon University

Pepperdine University

San Francisco State University

Sonoma State University

Gurnick Academy of Medical Arts-Fresno

Holy Names University

Hope International University

Humboldt State University

Laguna College of Art and Design

Los Angeles College Music

Montana Tech

National University

New School of Architecture

Northern Arizona University

Notre Dame de Namur University

U.S. Air Force

U.S. Army

U.S. Marines

U.S. Navy


UC Berkeley

UC Davis

UC Irvine

UC Los Angeles

UC Merced

UC Riverside

UC San Diego

UC Santa Barbara

UC Santa Cruz

Union Institute and University

University of Alaska, Fairbanks

University of La Verne

University of Nevada, Las Vegas

University of Nevada, Reno

University of San Francisco

University of the Pacific

Westmont College

William Jessup University



Saw Bernadette Martinez looking happy and fully engaged.  This is why I am the luckiest and happiest college president ever.  I snapped this picture of her and you can see the pure joy on her face having fun and taking care of our students. #WeAreBC.

Berna MArtinez at Transfer Day

Grimmway Academy in Shafter

Grimmway Academy Ribbon Cutting in Shafter Sep 16 2017.jpg

Mayor Karen Goh at ribbon cutting

Mayor Karen Goh at Ribbon Cutting

Grimmway Academy held a ribbon cutting ceremony for its school in Shafter. Although the school officially opened its doors to students last month, they invited the community to celebrate the opening of the charter school’s new location on Saturday, September 16. Dignitaries, parents, students, and community members attended the event on a beautiful Saturday morning.

After opening remarks from Executive Director, Paul Escala, several others spoke about the vision of the school. Among those who spoke was Barbara Grimm-Marshall, Founder and CEO of Grimm Family Education Foundation.

Barbara Grimm Marshall Sep 16 2017

After the ribbon cutting ceremony, Grimmway Academy staff led tours of the facilities. Community members learned about the edible school yard program, as well as the other innovative projects happening at the school.

Casey Yeazel, Abel Guzman, Paul Escala

Casey Yeazel, Abel Guzman, Paul Escala

Bakersfield College is proud to partner with Grimmway Academy at both their flagship site in Arvin, and now in Shafter.

“One Book” Kickoff

On Wednesday, we were honored to host the kick-off event for this year’s “One Book, One Bakersfield, One Kern” project, which will hopefully kick off a number of enlightening and productive conversations about how to fight poverty in our community.

This year’s book, which is being read in classes at BC, Taft College, Cal State Bakersfield and the Kern High School District, will be “$2.00 A Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America”, a series of case studies about the survival strategies of various people living under extreme poverty.

One Book (1)To help bring issues about poverty into proper perspective, BC student Emmanuel Limaco told a powerful story about being homeless, incarcerated and living in transitional housing facilities before coming to BC, and how his education here and the assistance he received from the Renegade Pantry empowered him to be ready for new opportunities. Now he’s working on an engineering degree and is employed at the Renegade Pantry, helping other students that were in the same situation as he was.

“For a book like this to come out, it helps bring in the reality of the situation,” Limaco said. “These themes apply to us locally.”

The “One Book, One Bakersfield, One Kern” project is one of the most successful shared reading programs in the country, according to Emerson Case, an English professor and First Year Experience Coordinator at CSUB who helped organize this year’s program and attends national conferences about community shared reading projects. No other “common reads” are coordinating between all 24 county library branches, high schools, and multiple 2-year and 4-year institutions across different districts, Case said. The choice of reading material, as well as the comprehensive nature of our “One Book” program, will help set the table for debates about how to combat poverty for decades to come.

“[Reading ‘$2.00 A Day’] gives us a chance to raise awareness of positive, productive ways to deal with this issue,” Case said. “A hungry student is a student who’s not concentrating on their learning.”

One Book (2)

Case also took a moment to praise the Renegade Pantry program at BC, adding that it’s inspired CSUB to look into pantries, edible food gardens and other options to provide nutrition to its most desperate students. KHSD Director of Instructional Services Vickie Spanos was excited to share “$2.00 A Day” with 12th grade English students in the hopes of preparing them for college-level reading material, while Taft College’s English and Arts Division Chair Kamala Carlson announced a number of exciting events they’ll be hosting around the book.

Kern County Library Interim Director, Andie Apple also announced several other events surrounding the month and a half of “One Book” project, culminating in a book signing and visit from “$2.00 A Day” authors Kathryn J. Edin and H. Luke Shaefer at CSUB’s Icardo Center on November 1st.

2017-2018 Art Faculty Exhibition

The creative and talented art faculty have their work on display at the Jones Gallery as part of this year’s BC Art Faculty Exhibition.

The gallery held a reception with the artists on Thursday to kick off the gallery, displaying a myriad of different kinds of art in all mediums, from traditional drawing, painting and sculpture to photography, video and digital media.

Jones Art Gallery (5)

Diego Gutierrez had one of his Frida Kahlo paintings shipped to Bakersfield especially for this event, and it’s a gorgeous celebration of a very special and influential woman. Here is a teaser from Facebook when Diego shared that he’d be bringing the piece to campus.


If you are on campus, please consider visiting the 2017-2018 Art Faculty Exhibition inside the library from now until October 13th. It’s a great opportunity to see the variety of different art forms that our faculty can teach you. Hours are Monday/Wednesday from 2:30 to 4:00PM and Tuesday/Thursday from 1:00-4:00PM.


And a special thank you to all involved: Andrew Borrego, Cameron Brian, Jamee Eaton, Darrin Ekern, Glen Gustafson, Diego Gutierrez, Gina Herrera, Jeffrey Huston, David Koeth, Christopher Lessley, Armando Rubio, Adel Shafik, Kristopher Stallworth, Dacey Villarreal, and Ronald Wrest.

I am indeed the luckiest and happiest college president ever.

So proud of our Ag department

Thank you Sally Sterns for sending me this link.  I am sure you will enjoy Billy Barnes as much as I do.  Great Ag faculty and a trustee on the KCSOS Board.

And here is a tweet from one of our brand new faculty in Agriculture, Jim Selgrath

Jim Selgrath Tweet Sep 14 2017


This Week on Facebook

sarah-baron-feb-18-2017-californianI’m always inspired by the faculty and staff at BC and the incredible things accomplished and achieved. Sarah Baron, Public Health Sciences faculty posted this on her Facebook.

This crazy thing happen to me yesterday. I got this email out of the article I published last year was selected for an award. How cool is that?

‘I am pleased to notify you that your article, “License to Let Go in Transitional Kindergarten Programs: Supports and Barriers of Play-Based Strategies” has been selected to receive the 2017 American Association for Teaching and Curriculum Francis P. Hunkins Distinguished Article award in our category of curriculum. All nominated articles were evaluated on the following criteria: how the article contributes to the field; the means and extent to which it provokes dialogue; its implications for improving educational practice; its cogency.’”

A preview of the article is available here. Congratulations from everyone at BC – it’s a great thing to see amazing faculty recognized for their hard work.

Spotted in The Californian

Richard Beene mentioned the recent Pickleball tournament in his Bakersfield Observed column. He said, “Congratulations to Nick Jacobs, who staged a successful inaugural Renegade Cup Pickleball tournament up at Bakersfield College this weekend. Jacobs, head tennis coach at BC, said he had more than 100 players from Fresno, Visalia, Lancaster, Hanford and Phoenix attend the tournament.” Check it out at

Central California World Language Project (CCWLP) hosts their conference at Bakersfield College.

Thank you Maritza Carlisle for organizing the event.  Thank you Susan Guenette for sending me these photos.


September 15 2017 Neo

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Bakersfield College – a Place of Dreams

Good morning Bakersfield…It is Saturday, September 9th.  A great day to be a Renegade

The man who believed in love, music and magic passed away yesterday.  As a little girl, I remember my grandfather Arthur playing Don Williams on his little cassette player.  It is amazing how the young mind learns and is able to remember the lyrics and the music so clearly after all these decades.

From the New York Times:

“I Believe in You,” a gently cantering ballad in a similarly intimate vein written by Roger Cook and Sam Hogin, spent two weeks at the top of the country chart and crossed over to the pop Top 40 in 1980.

Here is I Believe in You…a song that I must have heard a million time growing up with the verse that is burned in my mind and heart.

But I believe in love
I believe in music
I believe in magic
And I believe in you.

How many of you line danced to Tulsa Time? Well, this is a Don Williams tune that hit top of the charts in 1978 and Eric Clapton got it on the top 40s in the 1980s.

Tulsa Time


Thank you Don Williams for your music and thank you grandpa Arthur for always having music float through the entire house from your room at the front of the house.

Milt Younger


Talking about music, many of us were at Greenlawn cemetery Thursday morning at 10:00 a.m. to honor Milt Younger, the man who had a large positive impact on so many individuals and so many causes in our community.  Mayor Karen Goh’s remarks about Milt were organized on the theme of the “music of his life.” This was apropos given Milt’s love and knowledge of music.

Karen Goh:  “I heard the music of caring, the music of generosity, and the music of a mentor.” Karen gave examples of Milt’s caring, Milt’s generosity, and Milt being a mentor.  She concluded her comments with:

Milt, thank you for the music that you so beautifully played for us.
We, as your orchestra, will be honored to play the encore.

John Heffner Betty Younger Milt Younger from FB

John Heffner was the second of the three speakers to honor this great man.  John, a dear friend of Milt’s. was a great story teller, painting the picture of the brilliant lawyer, the talented lover of the arts and music, the great civic leader, mentor of bright young minds, and a fabulous friend.

Milt Younger and Horace Mitchell from FB

Milt Younger, Horace Mitchell

Speaking last, President Horace Mitchell powerfully described Milt’s long-term patronage of CSUB.  President Mitchell presented Betty Younger with a framed photo of the CSUB flag flying half mast in honor of Milt.

We had a large group from Bakersfield College attending the service.  To mention a few — Chancellor Tom Burke;  Dr. Manny Mourtzanos, Dean of Instruction;  Corny Rodriguez, Dean of Instruction; Tom Gelder, Executive Director of the Bakersfield College Foundation.

My introduction to  Milt Younger’s deep relationship with Bakersfield College was when I was in Oregon preparing to interview at Bakersfield College for the position of President.  I came across a 24-page newsletter, Kern IQ, published by the Kern Center for Political Action (KCPA) in Winter 2011.  The quality and deep treatment of issues was immediately visible.  And the KCPA was housed at Bakersfield College under the umbrella of the Bakersfield College Foundation.  How very cool!

Here are a few screen captures of the 24-page publication.  You can see why I fell in love with the team that pulled this together.

Kern IQ Winter 2011 Issue, Page 1:

Kern IQ Winter 2011 Page 1

Kern IQ Winter 2011 Issue, Page 2:

Kern IQ Winter 2011 Page 2

Kern IQ Winter 2011 Issue, Page 3:

Kern IQ Winter 2011 Page 3

Kern IQ Winter 2011 Issue, Page 6:

Kern IQ Winter 2011 Page 6

Kern IQ Winter 2011 Issue, Page 9:

Here is an article by Milt Younger, Answering the call for tomorrow’s leaders.  Love the picture with Milt Younger, Jack Brigham, Norm Levan, and John Collins

Kern IQ Winter 2011 Page 9

Kern IQ Winter 2011 Issue, Page 13:

My first introduction to Michael Turnipseed.

Kern IQ Winter 2011 Page 13.jpg

Kern IQ Winter 2011 Issue, Page 20:

My first introduction to the amazing We The People program at Arvin High School, Jose Gurrola who went on to become a BC Renegade, and Jim Young’s passion for Arvin and its youngsters.

Kern IQ Winter 2011 Page 20.jpg

Since then, most of my encounters with Milt have been early mornings on the weekends, when I would be in my office at BC and Milt would be walking his scotties.

Milt Younger was the co-chair with Mayor Harvey Hall of the inaugural Leadership and Equity faculty group at Bakersfield College.

Milt Younger planned the August 3, 2016 A Tribute to Jack, at Bakersfield College, on the passing of his dear friend Jack Brigham.



Both Milt Younger and Betty Younger were recognized as among the 100 Stars during the centennial year celebrations of Bakersfield College.


Betty Younger completed a art piece, Circle of Friends, in honor of Jim Young, chancellor emeritus of the Kern Community College District.

Circle of Friends April 28 2014

Circle of Friends Spring 2014

Sandra Serrano, Jim Young, Milt Younger, Betty Younger, Sonya Christian

To read more, check out my September 12, 2014 blog at:

Milt Younger, we will miss you.

The Bakersfield Californian had a nice piece by Susan Scaffidi: “Local arts community will miss champion Milt Younger” – check it out here.


Of course, talking about Milt Younger immediately brings to mind the activities this week that surrounded the announcement from Washington DC on September 5th related to DACA.

Alexx Dominguez and Sonya Christian March 10 2016

Christian, Dominguez

BC’s former SGA President Alex Dominguez highlighted the successes of the DACA program in a Community Voices piece for the Bakersfield Californian.

Alex said,

“As student government president of Bakersfield College (2014-15), student trustee of the Kern Community College District (2014-15), and president of the Associated Students Inc. of CSU Bakersfield (2016-17), I have had the opportunity to learn about DACA in depth. I had the immense honor of representing these students on a local, state and federal level. Both Bakersfield College and CSUB have a significant number of DACA recipients. These students are actively working towards improving not their own lives, but also the lives of the communities they live and work in.”

Here is a message for our current SGA president Dezi Von Manos



immigrationpoliciespanelWe will be holding a campus forum about DACA and AB 540 in the Levan Center on September 21st from 5:30 -7 p.m. Panelists will include:

  • Win Eaton, Esq. – Immigration Attorney
  • H.A. Sala, Esq – Criminal Defense Attorney
  • Sarah Rich, Esq – Immigration & Criminal Defense Attorney
  • Vanessa Sanchez, Esq – Immigration Attorney


Welcoming New Faculty to BC!


Last Saturday, I had the annual President’s New Faculty Reception prior to our first football home game.  And I was delighted with the dignitaries who were also able to join the event — Mayor Karen Goh, Trustee Bill Thomas, and Trustee Romeo Agbalog.  BC hired 55 new faculty which is one of the largest cohorts of new faculty.

The Food Services department put together another lovely dinner of garbanzo bean salad, a choice of tri-tip or chicken, wine, and a smorgasbord of desserts. Chef Sabella and his team always serve and prepare a lovely spread at our events, and I’d like to personally thank all of our Food Service workers for leaving a memorable first impression on all our new faculty.


F17newfacultyreception04Mayor Goh was exuberant in her welcome of new faculty, leading everyone in a chant of “We Are BC”. She encouraged our new BC family members, many coming from outside of Kern County, to become engaged with their new community and familiarize themselves with our culture, leadership and community outreach programs.

F17newfacultyreception12Academic Senate President Steven Holmes told the infamous story of how he applied to work at BC in March, not realizing the intensity of the Central Valley heat until when he moved to Bakersfield from the coast to take his first teaching position here. Over time, however, he’s grown to love Bakersfield and this campus like we all have, and he’s been privileged to see people he’s taught over the last 20 years go on to take important leadership position in the community. Holmes then got to introduce one of his former students, KCCD Trustee Romeo Agbalog.


Agbalog shared the story of how BC and teachers like Holmes helped shape the person he is today, while urging the new faculty members in the audience to take pride in the hundreds of people they’ll get to directly influence during their time here.

Before the deans and department chairs got the opportunity to formally introduce the new members of their various departments, Bill Thomas, our former congressman, told stories about teaching political science at BC in the early 60s when Kern County was a much smaller place.

Bill Thomas New Faculty Sep 2 2017Through his experience as both a student and teacher at BC, Thomas got to meet his future wife, Sharon (who also joined us), influenced scores of students to take interest in civic discourse, which gave him the power to change the lives of millions nationwide while securing important funding for infrastructure here at home during his time on Capitol Hill.

Some of the new hires welcomed were adjunct faculty for a number of years who finally got their shot as full-time tenure track faculty, while several others come here from all over the country, with extensive knowledge and experience to help our students learn what they need to maximize their potential. We wrapped up the event that started at 6:45 p.m. at 7:45 and then headed over to the Memorial Stadium for the late-start football game with an 8:00 pm kickoff.




Loved this picture that Chris Glaser snapped of Jennifer trying to make sure that Earl Parsons would not fall back as he was trying to get a good group photo.

Jennifer Marden making sure Earl Parsons is safe.jpg

New faculty reception Sep 2 2017.jpg

I’d like to thank Jennifer Marden, Mary Jo Pasek, Tarina Perry and Christopher Glaser for helping organize and plan this year’s new faculty reception, and I’d like to thank our Web Content Editor Earl Parsons for taking pictures.  Our entire web content team, including Monika Scott, Aricia Leighton, and Earl Parsons, works throughout the year to keep our New Faculty website updated. Please visit the link for photos and departments of all the new faces of BC!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Renegade Football

Nick Ellis.   661.706.7999

At the advice of Dr. Bill Baker, we had moved the game against Alan Hancock from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.  And what a game — BC won 21-6, with KGET televising the game.  Thank you KGET. Thank you TBC.  Our cheer team was fabulous.  Heather Foss was great.  And here is a shout-out to Becki Whitson — missed you Becki!  The drumline as usual…superb!

Thank you to the Bakersfield College Foundation for hosting a VIP tent for the home games.  Dana Gelder snapped these pictures for me.

Love these two pictures!  Chris Glaser with Jennifer Marden and Francis Mayer

Judy Caras posted this comment on my blog last week about the Renegade Fight Song and BC’s Alma Mater

Sandi Taylor, Judy Caras and her husband Fall 2017

Sandi Taylor, Jevin and Judy Caras

Let’s pass those words out so we can learn them again. Also reinstate the singing of the Alma Mater with the football team present.

I went to the game, 9/2, for the first time in many, many years. All that day I kept humming the Alma Mater and was so disappointed it was not done! I plan to attend all home games this year and hope at least homecoming will have the Alma Mater sung!!!! Our family bleeds Renegade Red.
Judy, here is a 14-sec version of the Fight Song from convocation
Here is the Alma Mater
Bakersfield College Alma Mater

And here are comments from the fabulous Jerry Ludeke

Jerry Ludeke April 2017

Judy Caras is right.  The Fight Song was played and enthusiastically sung at the beginning of every game and after every touchdown.  At the end of every game, win or lose, the spectators and players all stood quietly and sang the Alma Mater.  Singing of a shared song is a powerful spirit builder.

Cross Country at BC!

The Running Renegades Men return to action this week after a bye week. On the schedule is the Fresno Invitational with the men’s race starting at 9:00 AM at Woodward Park. After a great start to the season with a second place finish at Oxnard, the team is hoping to improve on their 1-5 differential.  The Gades were led over the four mile course by freshmen Marcos Mulato, sixth overall (21:18), and Angelo Benetiz, 24th overall (22:32). Rounding out the top 5 with their experience were sophomore Ben Carlson, 30th overall (22:41); Nestor Vasquez, 32nd overall (22:45); and Joe Lopez, 36th overall (23:14).  Also, impacting the scoring was Sophomore Abran Ayon, 39th (23:18); and Jose Chavez 41st, (23:27).


The Running Renegade Women opened the season at Oxnard with a fourth place finish.  The team over the 5K course was freshman Gabriella Lugo who finished first for the team and 12th overall (20:19).  She was followed by freshman Lourdes Cruz 17th overall (20:31); Natalie Estrada 28th overall (22:55); Tori Wiley 30th overall (23:18); and Esmeralda Nuno-Ascensio 38th overall (25:03). The team will be back in action on Saturday, September 9, at Woodward Park. Race time is scheduled for 8:00 AM

Women’s Soccer

Loved watching BC Women’s Soccer win 4-0 against COS yesterday, September 8th.  Our student athletes looked strong and quick and I was so proud to see them playing in the Memorial Stadium.

Coach Damron with students.JPG




I was hanging out with Nicole and looking at photos and snagged this adorable photo of the twins Adah Gay and Taylor Gay.

Adah Gay and Taylor Gay.JPG


Arts, Humanities, & Communication Pathway Fair

A beautiful flier passed through my inbox this week for the upcoming Arts, Humanities, and Communication Pathway Fair. It was created and designed by the talented David Koeth for the upcoming event on September 26th. Just wonderful to see our faculty and staff always watching out for what next to do to help support students.  This is an incredible opportunity for our students and I’m looking forward to it!  Students!! – see you there!


Skills: The Gateway to Employment

Yesterday, BC was at the Bakersfield Marriott for the 2017 Counselor Conference titled Skills: The Gateway to Employment. The purpose for the event is to provide a focus for high school and community college counselors, but also it’s an opportunity to learn about high demand, high paying industry endorsed jobs in the Central Valley/Mother Lode Region.


Thank you to the Central Valley/Mother Lode Region Deputy Sector Navigators in partnership with the Doing What MATTERS for Jobs and the Economy framework through the Division of Workforce and Economic Development at the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office for hosting this event.  And thank you Dave Teasdale for inviting me to welcome the group to Bakersfield.

Here are some screen captures of tweets from Van Ton-Quinlivan, Gurminder Sangha, and Pam Gomez.

Sep 8 2017 Van Ton Quilivan



First Friday: Latination 9

DSC01920Bakersfield celebrated the work of our Latin artists on First Friday at the Metro Galleries as part of Latination 9.

Metro Galleries offers up its walls to Bakersfield’s Latin artists every year. Jesus Fidel won best in show for his piece “Gift of Roses,” while artist and local activist Jorge Guillen received the honorary Betty Leonor Award recognizing his career of achievements. Local ska/cumbia band Mento Buru provided the music, while the food at the event was catered by El Pueblo.


nail art showing BC pride

Mayor Goh was on hand taking pictures and snapped a couple of shots with our BC delegation at Latination 9, lead by cheer coach Heather. Check out Heather’s BC nails – talk about Renegade pride!

For these pictures and more, visit Mayor Karen Goh’s Facebook page.

So what about Neo?

He is 58 lbs and growing.  Probably another 7 lbs or so according to websites that discuss Golden Retrievers.

Sonya Christian Fall 2012


That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Renegade Football TONIGHT (9/2) at Memorial Stadium

Milt Younger, Bakersfield College salutes you

Milt younger at 18 TBC Courtesy Maureen Buscher-Dang

Milt Younger at age 18. Picture from TBC website

Group Leadership and Equity Academy

Milt Younger with community leaders and BC faculty and staff

Check out the piece by Jason Kotowski and James Burger in The Bakersfield Californian

Good morning Bakersfield.  It is September 2, 2017, my brother Kevin’s birthday and a great day to be a Renegade.  And why not, we launch our Renegade Football season today with an 8:00 p.m. kickoff time.  Take a nap this afternoon and then bring your family and friends and head on out to Memorial Stadium at sundown, and spend the next three hours of your Saturday evening with your favorite people and your favorite team.  I hope to see you there.

Tonight’s Renegade Football Game Delayed to 8:00 p.m.


In light of this week’s record-breaking temperatures and the National Weather Service’s four-day “Extreme Heat Watch” warning beginning this Friday and running through the weekend, we conferred with team physicians, athletic trainers, and our coaching and administrative staff and decided to delay the start of Saturday’s home opener in Memorial Stadium to 8pm.

The evening start time will allow the bulk of game day activities to occur after projected peak temperatures have passed, thus reducing the risk of heat-related illness to our student athletes. In addition to altering the schedule, we have rented eight specialized misting fans in an effort to reduce the sideline temperature. We’ve also organized cooling areas on the each concourse on both sides of Memorial Stadium. This decision was made for the safety of all student athletes, and we regret any inconvenience this may cause in the short term, but we are confident that it is the best decision for the long term health of all involved.


Again, I invite you, your family, and friends to join me at Memorial Stadium this evening. Memorial Stadium is an incredible place. The double-decked concrete and steel stadium has been home to many great accomplishments and celebrations such as the first ever junior college bowl and the Kern County Shrine Club Potato Bowl. And here, on the corner of University and Mount Vernon, Jim Ryun, at age 20 broke the world record for running a mile in 1967. For generations, incredible athletic talent like that has come to this stadium to hone their skills, compete, and perform. But one of my favorite things about Memorial Stadium is that games played here are a showcase of work ethic.


Football has always been about more than wins and losses. The game teaches lessons that last a lifetime; lessons such as commitment, belief, doing what it takes in the moment, and brotherhood on and off the field. Football programs and college athletics around the country have consistently developed citizens of high character by instilling the true values of the game into the core of the student athlete. And Bakersfield College is no different. The determination and perseverance that our athletes will experience this season will stay with them their whole lives.

This season, I’m proud of our student athletes both on and off the field. And I’m proud to invite you to Memorial Stadium for a great game and great season of football! See you this evening for the kick off at 8PM.


Renegade Volleyball

But why wait until 8:00 p.m…. come spend your afternoon with us at the Gil Bishop Center and watch Renegade Volleyball

Sep 2 2017 Volleyball

This is a “copy and paste” from

The Bakersfield College women’s volleyball team started their 2017 season 2-0 in the Pierce College Tournament.

The Renegades def Mira Costa College 25-15, 25-17, 26-24, and then def Rio Hondo College 25-17, 25-9, 25-12.

Bakersfield displayed excellent offensive balance with five players notching at least 14 kills; Alex Paris led with 20 kills, Jourdan Muro had 19 kills, Brooke Horack had 17 kills, and both Rachel Hoover and Sarah Armendariz finished with 14 kills apiece.

Reece Stevenson and Sarah ran a 6-2 offense and registered 27 and 24 set assist each.

Haley Sanchez anchored the defense with 36 digs.

The Renegades play in the semi-finals Saturday at 1:30pm vs Santa Barbara City College.

 So proud of our coaches and student athletes


Tim Painton

Here is a copy and paste from

Aug 25, 2017

Not everyone can say they are a Renegade; it’s a special title that is earned by doing things our way; The Renegade Way. Coach Painton showed a part of that code today when he led BC Baseball over to the adjacent soccer complex to root on Men’s Soccer for their home opener. Coach P isn’t one to shorten practice or pass on an opportunity to work at getting better for darn near anything; and that made his decision to bring his men over all the more special. It wasn’t lost on Coach Vayron.

I am the luckiest and happiest college president ever!

Job Spot Ribbon Cutting

John Means

John Means, KCCD Vice Chancellor, Educational Services

Last Tuesday morning, staff from BC were on hand at the grand opening for Bakersfield Adult School’s JOB SPOT.

Community leaders such as Dr. Bryon Schaefer, KHSD Superintendent and Dr. Dean McGee, KHSD Associate Superintendent of Educational Services and Innovative Programs greeted the community with a welcome and touched on the added value of the addition of the Job Spot.

Mark Wyatt, Bakersfield Adult School Principal shared the vision for the Job Spot and story behind what it took to make a dream a reality. Followed by John Means, KCCD Associate Vice Chancellor, Economic and Workforce Development, who touched on the Collaboration between the Bakersfield Adult School and Bakersfield College under the AEBG consortium.

Student Elizabeth Sanchez shared her story as a young mom who successfully navigated her way through the education system obtain her GED and just began her first semester at Bakersfield College. The Official Job Spot ribbon cutting was followed by Bakersfield Mayor Karen Goh who spoke on the many aspects of this new site, providing employment and educational resource to the community. Attendees enjoyed refreshments and tours of the new facility. As always, our Mayor has some great photos on her Facebook and here is a photo of the BC crew!

Adult School Job StopJohn Means (KCCD) Elizabeth Sanchez (BC student who came over from Bakersfield Adult School) Abel Guzman (BC Delano) Debbi Anderson (BC Outreach) Jessica Flores (BC AEBG) Karen Goh (Mayor-Bakersfield) Richard McCrow (BC Dean) Endee Grijalva (BC AEBG) Raquel Lopez (BC Delano) Mary Jo Pasek (BC Community Relations) John Hart (BC Department Chair-EMLS) Kim Collins (BC AEBG).

KHSD is a great partner of the college.  Thank you Superintendent Bryon Schaefer for this great collaboration.

Bryon Schaefer Sonya Christian Horace Mitchell April 28 2017

Bryon Schaefer, Sonya Christian, Horace Mitchell

Student Involvement Festival

On Wednesday, almost 100 campus organizations and vendors showed up to the Renegade Crossroads in front of the Campus Center to get students engaged in BC and the community. Students were lined up in front of the SGA tent at the 2017 Student Involvement Festival, waiting for their opportunity to spin the wheel for some free BC merchandise.


Representatives from Counseling, Financial Aid, Academic Support, Veterans’ Services, Career and Technical Development and countless other campus groups were on hand to show students all of the services we offer to make their educational experience as enlightening and successful as possible, as well as student organizations like Theater Club, BC Renegamers and the American Sign Language Club that help keep students engaged with their campus experience.

There were also representatives from local health care and law enforcement organizations, as well as non-profit groups and businesses to showcase all of the opportunities available to members of the BC family. Thank you to the following organizations and groups:

AA Central Office of Kern Co.

Advanced Center For Eyecare

American Heart and Stroke Association


Bakersfield Condors

Bakersfield Police Department

Bakersfield Pregnancy Center-Mobile Unit

Bakersfield Vet Center

Bank of America

Bike Bakersfield

Biomat USA

Body Xchange Fitness

California Department of Rehabilitation

California Satsang Society-Eckankar

California Veterans Assistance Foundation


CASA of Kern County

Center for the Blind&Visually Impaired

Clinica Sierra Vista

Clinica Sierra Vista-WIC program

Community Connection for Child Care

Community Health Initiative of Kern County


Damsel in Defense

David Hall- State Farm Ins

Dignity Health

Dress for Success

Entrusted Legacy

Faith in Kern

GBLA Fair Housing Law Project

Golden Empire Transit

Independent Living Center of Kern County

Jamba Juice

Jim’s Supply Company Inc.

Kern Behavioral Health & Recovery Services

Kern County Homeless Collaborative

Kern County Library (Beale)

Kern County Narcotics Anonymous

Kern County Superintendent of Schools

Kern Federal Credit Union

Kern Health Systems

Liberty Tax Service

Lolis Gonzalez

Lupita’s Creations

New Life Residential and Training Center

Omni Family Health

Planned Parenthood Mar Monte

Roger Morrison/Morrison Creation

Rosi Rosas Mary Kay Inc.


Wells Fargo

Kern County Dental Society

ADAKC, Alzheimer’s Disease Association of Kern County, Inc.


Kern Behavioral Health Recovery Services – Mental

Bakersfield College Choirs

BC Cheer

BC Communication Department

BC Library

BC Transfer Center


BC Counseling Center

CSUB Transfer Center

CTE Office

Disabled Students Programs & Services


Financial Aid


Office of Student Success & Equity – AAMP and LUPE

Student Health Center

Veterans Services

American Sign Language Club

Bakersfield college math club

Bakersfield College Theater Club

BC Ag Club

BC Renegamers

Computer Science Club

Electrical Engineer Club

Engineers Club


Free on the Outside

InterVarsity Christian Fellowship club

Japanese Culture Club

Korean Culture Club

Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan

Pre-Law Program


Office of Student Life



M&O Tour

Over the years, the M&O (Maintenance and Operations) team has served the BC campus by improving and maintaining our facilities and I’m proud to share that they’re now getting a brand new and improved facility. The new M&O facility houses our campus tradesmen, custodial staff, and grounds keepers. This new location is also home to our mail room, shipping and receiving, and print shop.


The two-story structure is equipped with many features to accommodate a multitude of skilled employees on our campus. I was lucky enough to be one of the first to tour the building on Thursday morning. A grand opening and ribbon cutting is in the works and I’m excited to share those details with you as soon as the info is available. For now, here is a sneak peak and some photos from my tour with Bill Potter and our incredible M&O team!  I loved seeing Bill Potter’s excitement….he was like a kid in a candy store.


Ian Mason, Support Systems Specialist I, Technology Support Services & Sonya Christian


Sylvia Hinojosa, Department Assistant II, Bill Potter & Sonya Christian

Here is the fabulous Dennis Spencer and Dalia Garcia


Dalia Garcia, Department Assistant III & Dennis Spencer, Electronic Technician & Sonya

Thanks Earl Parsons and Tarina Perry for snapping photos.

August 30 2017 Bill Potter Tarina Perry Sonya Christian new M&O Bldg

During the tour, I had to stop by the rose bushes outside.


Nick Hernandez, Tarina Perry, Sonya Christian, Bill Potter

Andy Wilcut in our M&O department cared for these rose bushes for over a year while the water was cut off during the construction of this new facility. Andy mentioned the he wasn’t sure exactly who Hank Pfister was, but “he must have been well liked to have such a memorial dedication” so he wanted to make sure the area was well cared for. This is why I’m the luckiest and happiest college president ever.


Bill Potter, Andy Wilcut, and Sonya Christian


Side note, Hank Pfister, was one of our 100 stars for our centennial year celebration. Here are the details all about Hank:

Hank Pfister, Jr.

100-stars-hankpfisterHank Pfister (born October 9, 1953 in Bakersfield, California) is a former tennis player from the United States, who won two singles titles (1981, Maui and 1982, Newport) during his professional career. The right-hander reached his highest individual ranking on the ATP Tour on May 2, 1983, when he became World No. 19.

How he got started: Born into a family of tennis players, Pfister picked up his racket early and never looked back. “I really had no aspirations to be a professional tennis player,” Pfister said, laughing. “When you find you’re good at something, you tend to enjoy it—it was just something I had fun doing.” After undefeated seasons at BHS and BC, Pfister was given a scholarship to San Jose State and didn’t lose a match his entire first year. “I honestly still thought I was going to be a P.E. teacher.” That didn’t stop him from training with (and beating) John McEnroe during McEnroe’s early years.

Career highlights: Hank competed with tennis greats Jimmy Connors, Andre Agassi, and Arthur Ashe (and beating them), being a US Open Doubles finalist, reaching the semi-finals at Wimbledon and the Australian Open three times, and was a two-time French Open Doubles Champion.

His heroes: Tennis pro Brian Gottfried, a friend, who happens to have been ranked #3 in the world in ‘77, makes the cut. But, for Pfister, tennis legend Stan Smith takes the cake. “I grew up watching Smith when I was in high school and college, when Smith was winning Wimbledon. To find myself playing him in front of 10,000 people later in life was surreal,” Pfister explained. Pfister would go on to beat Smith.

CCCApply Steering Committee Meeting

On Wednesday, BC’s Michelle Pena and Craig Hayward presented at the CCCApply Steering Committee. Since 2000, the CCCApply Steering Committee has governed the design and evolution of the online application for admission to the California Community Colleges. In collaboration with the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office (CCCCO), the Committee and related workgroups represent stakeholders from large and small districts, rural and urban areas, Northern and Southern California, and different student information systems.

Craig Hayward and Michelle Pena CCCApply Steering Committee

Craig Hayward  (middle) and Michelle Pena (right)

Veterans Roll Call


Bernadette Martinez (in red) at our Veterans Commencement Celebration 2017

Bernadette Martinez sent an email that she creatively called “Veterans Roll Call.”  With all the new faces at BC for the upcoming year, she shared that each year we celebrate VetFest. This year, it will be a  week long celebration filled with activities and Bernadette said, “With that we also like to honor our own Renegades that are Veterans, by setting up a flag garden set up and would like to know who you are so you can be recognized. We will also allow family and friends of Veterans to purchase a flag for our loved ones closer to the week of.”

It’s going to be a fantastic week at BC. Have I told you recently that I’m the luckiest and happiest college president ever?

BC Veterans

Did you know?

On Thursday, The Bakersfield Californian ran a correction from Jerry Ludeke about the original 13 students who attended Bakersfield College in 1913. She is quoted in the piece, saying

“Several years ago the BC Archives was given the original ‘Record of Junior College Students of Kern County High School, Bakersfield, Cal. Transcript from office record cards. May 1915 by PV.’ PV is Paul VanderEike, vice-principal of the high school who was in charge of the junior college classes. In his own handwriting, he lists the 13 original students along with the classes they took: Norman Buhn, Nora Burke, Alma Carter, Josephine Chase, Myrtle Dennen, Leland Ellis, George Gowan, Clyde Gregory, Lois Price, Ida Sybrandt, Viola White, Jessie Wiley, and Helen Warthorst. Ten of them had indeed graduated from KCHS.”

See the whole item in Things You Need to Know here!

BC Archives Picture

Photo from The Bakersfield Californian, provided by Jerry Ludeke

The Eclipse by Nick Strobel

Nick Strobel’s article about the solar eclipse was published in the Bakersfield Californian today. Nick went to Montana on August 21st to see the eclipse from inside of the path of totality that spanned from Oregon to South Carolina where the moon completely blanketed the sun. Here is how Nick described the spectacle of getting to see such a rare astronomical event:

“Experiencing the dark shadow of the moon approach you at supersonic speeds, seeing the sky grow dark enough for the stars to come out within just a few seconds, looking at the sun with a huge black hole punched in the middle of it, and seeing the mysterious wispy glowing light of the corona around that black hole is an experience that strikes you at an instinctual, emotional and intellectual level all at once.”

For those who were unable to experience the eclipse from the area of totality, Nick recommends checking out the Eclipse Megamovie Project, which is collecting images all along the totality path in the hopes of demonstrating how the corona changed during the approximately 90 minutes of totality in the United States. The project also aims to take advantage of the “diamond ring effect” at different locations along the path of totality to more precisely measure the size of the sun. If the eclipse has sparked your interest in astronomy, you can buy tickets to the Dawn of the Space Age show on Thursday, September 21st at the William M. Thomas Planetarium or go to the Planetarium home page to see all of our upcoming shows.

First College Council Meeting:

We had our first College Council meeting on Friday and I was impressed with the quality and quantity of work this group accomplishes.

I snapped a few pictures when the chairs (Jason Stratton and Liz Rozell) of our Accreditation Self Evaluation report were presenting.  Informative and engaging presentation.

We have a fabulous group of SGA officers leading the Renegades.  Here is Lawrence Salcido, one of the SGA officers for 2017-2018 with Dr. Nicky Damania

Lawrence Salcido and Nicky Damania at College Council Sep 1 2017

Let me introduce you to the 2017-2018 College Council.

2017 College Council Group Photo cropped


This was the 2016-2017 College Council


Walking the neighborhood

On friday a group of us walked the neighborhood close to BC and distributed a letter to our neighbbors from Tom Gelder, Executive Director of the Foundation with some BC goodies.  Although it was 110 degrees, it was a lot of fun.  Here are a few photos

sonya christian and team walking the neighborhood Seo 1 2017.JPG

Karen Snow (Research), Lori Ortiz (Research),  Jose Manuel Cortez (student), Zadden Mascorro (student), Dhruvi Patel (student), Janette Ramirez (student), Sonya Christian, Tarina Perry (Academic Senate, Delilah Castaneda (student), and Bre Parks (student), Chris Glaser (Office of the President).

Thank you Ashlea Ward (for gathering the students in a matter of moments) and Nicky Damania (for preparing neighborhood packets so quickly).


Loved this Facebook post from our librarians 

Sep 1 2017 BC Library on FAcebok

Wishing you all a happy and safe Labor Day

UberLaborDayAdTwo of our core values at Bakersfield College focus on wellness and community so this holiday weekend, BC has partnered with KGET to help stop drunk and drugged driving. Did you catch the piece on the news last night and did you snag your UBER credit? Please encourage your friends and family to always practice safe driving practices including designated drivers and utilizing safe driving options like UBER.

Sonya Oct 27 2007 pic 2


That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Welcoming Students – It’s Fall 2017

Good morning Bakersfield.  It is August 26, 2017… a fabulous first week of classes.  And a great day to be a Renegade!


Welcoming Students Back on Campus

With an over 6.5% increase in students, we knew the level of activity on campus this week would be intense… and it was intense, but it was wonderful! It’s always incredible to see the hallways filled and the campus full and alive with students excited to learn.

See our enrollment growth over the last four years


Steve Watkin Welcome Center Fall 2017The Office of Student Life had four welcome tents around Panorama campus for staff and faculty Renegades to greet arriving students and be available to help them with campus information and student planners. The tables were at the Administration Building, AREA building, swimming pool, and outdoor theater.  Student Life also had two golf carts roaming the campus offering rides and guidance to students as they walked around campus. Delano Campus also greeted students at a welcome tent at the DST Building.

Within the Student Life office, staff doubled up with student employees to help ensure that lines were minimal. Multiple activities were hosted around campus to ensure that students had something to do between classes. Student Life also created posters and banners to help provide directions. BCSGA hosted a table on the Renegade Crossroads where they were able to help students and talk about BC.

Food services increased their grab-and-go items, and I even saw Chef Sabella running the register to help move students through quickly. There was a constant flow through the Panorama Grill and Food Court.

The Counseling and Advising Center has provided a dedicated line for quick questions staffed by Counselors to ensure that students with holds or pre-requisite issues are seen in a timely manner. Dedicated workshops were being held throughout the day and assigned advisors were providing extended support to serve students till 6:30pm through the Welcome Center.  Outreach and School Relations extended their open hours to assist students with their schedule needs, answer any questions, and equip all new students with student ID cards.

Public Safety had patrol officers conducting high visibility patrols in the parking lots. They, too, assisted students with questions regarding parking permits and where their classes were located on campus. We set up a right-turn-only traffic direction out the main driveway to assist students and staff to exit the campus easily onto Haley Street. This right-turn-only exit has helped in deterring congestion.


On Monday, BCSGA hosted a tie-dye event where students could design their own shirts. Then on Tuesday, they hosted an ice cream social while giving the scoop on student organizations, encouraging everyone to get involved! Wednesday’s activities featured a live band at lunch and BC bowling in the Fireside Room, and on Thursday, it was movie day featuring Guardian of the Galaxy Vol. 2, with popcorn!

Who is ready for week 2?!

Viewing the eclipse on campus

One of BC’s three new Physics faculty, Dr. Timothy Plett, took his Physical Sciences B12 class outside to see the solar eclipse. Students got to use filtering glasses that allowed them to see the moon in front of the sun in high detail without harming their eyes. In the spirit of college faculty from 100 years ago, Dr. Plett instructed his class today in full regalia. Here is Professor LeBlanc providing views of the eclipse to students.

Check out Nick Strobel’s Facebook site to view great images.  Here is one post from August 21st.

Eclipse Nick Strobel August 21 2017

More screen captures from Facebook

Aug 23 2017 Army Recruiters w Roger Fessler.png

Bookstore Lines Aug 22 2017 Mary Jo Pasek Facebook

Matt Garrett the 2017 Francis Armstrong Madsen Best Book Award

Jen Garrett about Matt Garrett's award Aug 22 2017

New Hydration Stations


Itzel Buenrostro

The Office of Student Life is excited to announce the addition of two new filtered Hydration Stations at the Panorama Campus. The Hydration Stations promote water conservation and healthy hydration. You can now fill up your large cups or water bottles at these two stations with the push of a button! The new stations are located in the Campus Center in the quad, and in the Gym next to vending machines near the Athletics Offices.

These additions were funded through the collaborative efforts of Kern Health Systems, Kern Schools Federal Credit Union, and the Office of Student Life. In celebration of these new additions, Student Life and BCSGA is announcing September 5th-7th as Healthy Hydration Week. We challenge each of you to utilize the Hydration Stations to fill your water bottles and stay hydrated. As a special incentive to students, Renegade Pantry Recipients who sign up for the August 31st monthly distribution will receive a free water bottle with their distribution bag. Please encourage your students to sign up for food by visiting

Thank you to Kern Health Systems and Kern Schools Federal Credit Union for their assistance in accomplishing this task! Be on the lookout for more healthy habits coming soon from the Office of Student Life.

Sustainability is one of BC’s six Core Values.  Here it is:

Sustainability Core Value

Renegade Athletics

WrestlingState_ad_hocIt’s a great time to be at BC and it’s a great time for BC Athletics. Renegade Football begins in a few days and Renegade Wrestling is preparing for its first meet during the Bakersfield Duals September 9th starting at 9AM. You can check out the Wrestling Schedule for the rest of the semester on the athletics website, but two upcoming dates to mark on your calendar are Saturday, 9/9: Bakersfield Duals, 9AM and Thursday, 10/26: Victor Valley, 7PM.

Yesterday, BC Men’s Soccer hosted their home opener against Santa Monica College and The Bakersfield Californian highlighted the team in an article titled, “Renegades men’s soccer wants to take a second-year leap.” The article says, “BC also has several quality newcomers to its roster. Martinez believes one of the team’s biggest strengths is the play of midfielders Hernandez, Melendez, Luke Tovar (Stockdale High) and Danny Guerrero (East High, Taft College). ‘Everybody is very important, but our midfield group has been pushing the pace throughout our training, just making everybody better with their touch, their passing,’ Martinez said. ‘We’re very excited about the way they are playing.’”  VayronCoverArt_copy.jpgCross Country is also preparing for a brand new year. The Californian also highlighted both the women’s and men’s teams in an article titled, “Lots of changes for BC cross country teams.” The article spotlights some upcoming hopefuls and names to keep on your radar while also mentioning there are big shoes to fill. Specifically, it was shared that the women’s team qualified for CCCAA State Championship last year, but this year “… the BC men’s team has more runners and more experience at the junior college level than its female counterpart.”

Thank you Stephen Lynch at the Bakersfield Californian for the spotlights on BC athletics.

To stay up-to-date on all things Renegade Athletics, visit!

SGA Retreat at Cerro Coso

SGA Retreat (7)

On Monday, August 14th, the student governments from Cerro Coso Community College and Bakersfield College met for their annual KCCD SGA Retreat in Ridgecrest. The day encompassed of various workshops and exercises to engage the officers in developing their leadership skills while bonding as a collective student voice for KCCD. Vice President of Student Services at Cerro Coso, Heather Ostash, presented to them on the importance of engaging in the participatory governance at the college, district, and state levels.

SGA Retreat (3)

Dr. Nicky Damania engaged the officers in a team building exercise of a simulation of being trapped in an earthquake, while Pam Campbell, SGA at Cerro Coso, explored the officers’ personality types through MBTI. The morning also included a working lunch with the KCCD student Trustee Rayven Acosta-Webb as they all engaged in ways of communication across the district.

SGA Retreat (5)

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AmeriCorps Member Placement Site


Bakersfield College received an announcement last week with notification that we have been selected to serve as an AmeriCorps member placement site from the Foundation for California Community Colleges for the 2017-2018 academic year.

Maria and Yvonne

Maria Wright and Yvonne Armendariz

AmeriCorps members will serve as student ambassadors in work-based learning and career exploration for students at Bakersfield College. They will help students access services, improve employability, and prepare for success in college and career.


Thank you to the Foundation for California Community Colleges for your support of BC! Here are the two BC administrators who will be the Principal Investigators for the grant: Maria Wright and Yvonne Armendariz.

Jones Gallery

This year’s BC Art Faculty Exhibition at the Wylie and May Louise Jones Gallery inside the library promises to be exciting.

Every year, our art faculty puts together an exhibition of work showcasing all of the artistic techniques and media that they can provide to our students. There will of course be traditional painting, drawing and sculpture, but there will also be photography, video and digital media projects on hand for students to see the work that their talented art professors are capable of both working in and teaching.

The Art Faculty Exhibition runs September 14th through October 13th with a special artists’ reception from 4-7 p.m. on the opening day. The Jones Gallery’s hours of operation to check out the exhibit will be Mondays and Wednesdays from 2:30 to 4 p.m. and Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1-4 p.m.

Industrial & Transportation Technology (ITT) Completion Coaching Community

The Industrial & Transportation Technology (ITT) Pathway Completion Team started the fall semester off with a great orientation for students in this meta-major. It was the team’s first step in “clarifying the path,” the first pillar of our Guided Pathways Initiative. Approximately 50 students attended the event held on the Monday evening prior to the first week of classes.

Martin Perez, California Careers Pathway Trust Grant Program Manager, welcomed the participating students and introduced Antonio Alfaro, Career & Technical Education Advisor, who also spearheaded the Orientation planning. Antonio emphasized the need and importance of developing an educational plan. He provided a list of all the programs in the ITT Pathway and encouraged them to set up appointments with him for educational planning. Lupe Aguirre provided an overview of labor market trends within the Industrial Technology and Transportation Pathway, including career opportunities currently available. She directed them to career education services, such as job search preparation, internships, resume and cover letter critique, interview preparation and upon graduation, and referrals to employment in their field. Kim Arbolante, Writing Center Lead, introduced the students to the types of Academic Support services available and Pita Montes gave an overview of financial aid programs.

Five faculty from programs in the ITT Pathway talked about the courses in their disciplines, types of certificates and degrees available, and types of jobs students would qualify for upon completion of a program. Justin Flint represented the Auto Technology program; Manny Fernandez represented Electronics Technology; Catherine Jones described the new Occupational Safety and Risk Management program; Robert Stewart represented Manufacturing Technology; and Jason Dixon, Engineering and Industrial Technology Department Chair filled in the gaps by describing the remaining programs in the ITT Pathway. It was a great opportunity to showcase programs to students in the ITT Pathway and provide clarity about the path to success in these fields.

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A great partner — President Horace Mitchell

KernPromiseEven-042817s Karen Goh Sonya Christian Horace Mitchell

Mayor Karen Goh. President Sonya Christian, President Horace Mitchell

President Horace Mitchell recently announced his retirement.  He has been a great partner of Bakersfield College and a valuable colleague during the last four years of my presidency.  He has been a great President of our CSUB and a great collaborator.

The official announcement can be found on CSUB’s website available here.


Valley Fever Walk at Kern County Museum

Emmanual at Fever WalkEmmanuel Limaco was featured in Mayor Karen Goh’s photographs from last Saturday’s Valley Fever Walk at the Kern County Museum. The walk is the culmination of all the charity efforts taking place during Valley Fever Awareness Month, which seeks to spread the word about treatment and prevention of one of the Central Valley’s most debilitating illnesses.

All the proceeds from the Valley Fever walk go to finding a cure and raising awareness of Valley Fever, a dangerous fungal disease endemic to parts of Southwestern North America in general but the San Joaquin Valley in particular. Kern County residents have a 1-3 percent chance of contracting the disease, according to a report by KBAK/KBFX Eyewitness News. Dr. Hans Einstein, a relative of famed physicist Albert Einstein, was the foremost authority on Valley Fever and conducted most of his research at Kern Medical Center in Bakersfield for almost 50 years. The Valley Fever walk, now in its sixth year, is held in his honor.

Harold Pierce of The Bakersfield Californian has been doing great coverage of Valley Fever.  Congressman Kevin McCarthy has set this issue on the national agenda.  Check it out

A nice note.

Last week, BC Professor, Gayle Richardson was kind enough to send me a message along with a LinkedIn article about the passion of great bosses. I often say that I’m the luckiest and happiest college president ever and it’s because of our incredible faculty, staff, and students. It’s always a treat to see what they’re up to.

Gayle was in Encinitas last week putting together a princess birthday for her granddaughter. Rapunzel came to life and told all of the girls at the party stories and sang songs with them. She ended the email by saying, “I am looking forward to working with the students in one more week and seeing everyone on campus this week.”

Agriculture professor Chris McCraw posted this fun video on Facebook.


Check our STEM team on Opening Day sporting some latest tie-dye fashions. Opening Day was filled with smiles and energy ready for the new academic year.

STEM 201770

It’s fall 2017 and it’s a great time to be a Renegade!

Community Members connected to BC:

This week I met Dr. Jim Grimes and while we were talking he told me about his daughter Sarah Grimes who graduated from BC this past May and is now is a transfer student at UC Santa Barbara.  I am always excited to hear stories about BC grads.  And as it turns out Sarah’s mom Tracie is an English faculty member at BC.  Renegades everywhere!

Sara Grimes

Sarah Grimes

So what about Neo?

Poor baby…… Of course, I could hardly work with him recuperating from a recent procedure. Though I have to say he’s been remarkably tolerant and gracious through it all.

He is 54 lbs now.

August 24 2017 Neo right after surgery

Sonya-and-Neo-May-13-2017-at-Comanche-Gas-Station v2


That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever