Category Archives: Uncategorized

Registration is Rockin’ at Bakersfield College!

A beautiful morning here in Bakersfield….It is Saturday, July 15, 2017.  What a great day to be a Renegade.

And I thought July was going to be a slow month here, as Coach Paula Dahl would say, in the Renegade nation.  This week in July was full and rich ….like peanut butter and jelly.

#NeoThePup

July 14 2017 Neo

Neo

Let me start with, as Lesley branded the the growing up of Neo, #NeoThePup.  At 34 lbs he still thinks he is a puppy.  Well actually he is still a puppy — 4 months old.  But my mom does not think so.  Particularly when after his bath this last weekend he ran full speed and jumped on her lap, all 34 lbs of him, and started licking her face.  She later politely told me I had to teach him some manners.  When Tom Gelder heard this story, he said well, you must introduce your mom to Ogden Nash

 

The truth I do not stretch or shove
When I state that the dog is full of love.
I’ve also found, by actual test,
A wet dog is the lovingest.
-Ogden Nash

I then checked out Ogden Nash and enjoyed what I read about him. Wikipedia says that Nash loved to rhyme, and quotes him as saying in a 1958 news interview, “I think in terms of rhyme, and have since I was six years old.” What an incredible, natural, and wondrous talent.

The big adventure this week was to get smart with Neo and put in gates to secure areas that we did not want himfrolicking in.  Needless to say, he was not very happy as you can see in the photo.

July 9 2017 Neo behind gates

Neo in his new world

And he has progressed from an obedient 2-month old to a stubborn almost 4-month old. Here he is with mud all over his muzzle and paws looking at me after I repeatedly called out to him.  Do you think this look displays any indication that he is ready to get up and respond to me?

July 14 2017 Neo's response when I called him

Neo creating his muddy bed

 

Meet the new member of the KCCD Trustees Rayven Acosta-Webb

Raven Acosta, Romeo Agbalog, Bill Thomas July 13 2017

Rayven Acosta-Webb, Chancellor Tom Burke

Rayven Acosta-Webb is a sophomore student at Bakersfield College, double majoring in Engineering and American Sign Language. Her previous experiences include being a supplemental instructor and the Bakersfield College Student Government Association’s Public Relations Manager. She offers a new perspective, as well as an understanding of the diverse needs students have on campus. She wants to be more involved with campus organizations, staff, and fellow students at all three sister KCCD institutions. She will help to create a stronger voice for all who attend and reach out to all areas of the school. Most important of all, she will represent the students’ opinions and concerns at the KCCD Board of Trustee’s meetings. She will use her ability to listen and help get the ball rolling in areas in which individuals have found themselves stuck or felt neglected. She aims to help generate change that benefits all who attend a KCCD institution and is honored to help KCCD continue to thrive.

Rayven Acosta Webb KCCD Trustee July 13 2017

Rayven Acosta-Webb, Romeo Agbalog, Bill Thomas

Involvement:

  • American Sign Language Club (Member) at Bakersfield College
  • Cadet Training Officer for Bakersfield High School
  • Bakersfield Club of the Deaf (Member)
  • Bakersfield College Student Government Association Public Relations Manager
  • M.E.Ch.A Club (Member)

Registration Rocks at Bakersfield College

Registration Rocks

Steve Watkin, Sonya Christian, Michelle Pena

The sight was incredible, stepping out of my office on Tuesday morning — hundreds of students in the Welcome Center with our incredible staff there to assist and support each step of the enrollment process. I had to stop and take a photo with Steve Watkin and Michelle Pena. The event had an incredible turnout with 227 new first-time students and 323 students who we welcomed back making a grand total of 550 students helped out in just one day!  Thank you to the entire team who designed the event including Steve Watkin and the Outreach office, John Farrand and Francis Mayer for the promotional video, and all the amazing BC staff and faculty on hand to help out the students.

Its Possible3

Steve was also on the news bright and early Monday morning – check it out here.

Miss the video? See it on last week’s blog post here.

State of the City Luncheon

July 12, 2017 was the State of the City event hosted by the Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce.  This was Karen Goh’s first as mayor of Bakersfield.  We had a table of folks from KCCD, the Bakersfield College Foundation and Bakersfield College.  We had a great time.  Here are some photos of our team.

State of the City Luncheon

Romeo Agbalog, Bill Thomas, Sonya Christian, Tom Burke

Karen Thompson and Rick Kreiser July 12 2017

Karen Thompson, Rick Kreiser

 

 

Mayor Karen Goh made an opening statement for the State of the City, hosted by the Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce, urging attendees to “change the narrative of our community” and challenging Bakersfield’s leaders to do their part in distorting the negative perceptions outsiders have about this area as we continue to grow.  She called it “A New Vision, A New Narrative”

Slide from Karen Goh's presentation July 12 2017

Goh also outlined her plans for her first term as mayor and encouraged businesses to work with schools to prepare students for the workforce and hiring locally for technology needs.  In talking about diversification of the Bakersfield portfolio, the mayor highlighted Health Care, the Technology industry, and Education.  Working collaboratively was a central theme of her message.  So in that context, I would like to remind the reader about the Kern Promise, a large educational collaborative across all education sectors, business and industry, political leaders and other community organizations.

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KernPromiseEven-042817s-35-X3

For more on the Kern Promise check out my April 29, 2017 blog at
https://sonyachristianblog.com/2017/04/29/strengthening-kern-county-one-degree-at-a-time/

 

 

City Manager Alan Tandy gives the State of the City

The Kern River Alan Tandy's presentation

Alan Tandy State of the City July 12 2017

Alan Tandy

Alan Tandy started his talk with images of the Kern River gushing with water.  I felt uplifted at the image since it always tugged my heart when I walked or biked on the “River Walk” bike path and saw no river for my first few years back in Bakersfield from Oregon.

And of course he talked about transportation and TRIP.  He showed us a pretty cool video with drone footage of the project and offered details about the Centennial Corridor Project aiming to connect Highway 58 with the recently-completed Westside Parkway.  He did a special mention of Retired Congressman Bill Thomas and the room burst into a round of applause.

Tandy provided an explanation for the increase in water rates and reminded attendees that the resolution on housing and urban development and the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program is coming up at the next City Council meeting.

Thank you Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce for hosting the State of the City event and providing a platform for some very important conversations about the future of our city to take place. If we’re going to make Bakersfield a key destination for the entrepreneurs of the future, we’ll need to continue having these conversations.

Loved this picture from Karen Goh’s Facebook page with the fabulous Chamber staff

Mayor Karen Goh and Chamber Team

Want to catch up on some things covered during the afternoon? Check out The Bakersfield Californian’s article, “Gateway to Barstow? Mayor tells State of the City crowd rebranding is imperative” by Dorothy Mills-Gregg and the official State of the City website.

Bakersfield Burrito Project

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Here is Mayor Karen Goh with BCSGA Senator, Emmanuel Limaco helping out at the local event. It’s great to see the ways BC is out in the community and Bakersfield has so many great initiatives to get involved with. The Bakersfield Burrito Project says on it’s official website that it “has been serving the community of Bakersfield, California since 2009. Every Sunday, without fail, our volunteers create fresh burritos from raw ingredients and package them.” Learn more about this incredible project at www.bakersfieldburritoproject.org.

To see all the photos from Bakersfield’s Mayor, visit Karen Goh’s album on Facebook!

Into the Woods Closing Show Tonight

Tonight is the closing performance of “Into the Woods” — the first BC musical in about 20 years! It has been incredible to see the cast and faculty on this great endeavor. Jennifer Garrett tells me, that doing a Sondheim musical in a 4-week class has been absolute insanity but they have pulled things together and created a show that is truly remarkable. The director of the show, Brian Sivesind has he just completed his first year as full-time faculty at BC! Brian is an amazing addition to our faculty. He is so focused on student success and sets high expectations for students and all those involved in the musical He has devoted an amazing amount of time to this production and specifically to each individual student. I know that the cast of the production appreciates him very much and so do I. Thank you to all of those that have already attended the musical and I hope many more will be able to attend tonight.

Final performance begins tonight at 7:30PM.  I hope you’ll be there.

Patrick Bender thank you for you countless hours with all of our performances.  Every time I run into Dr. Garrett she raves about what a blessing you are to our students, to the department and to the college.  #WeAreBC

Patrick Bender

Patrick Bender

The fabulous Jen Garrett with the female cast of Into the Woods

Jen Garrett with the female cast Into the Woods July 2017.JPG

And the Director of BC’s first musical in 20 years, Brian Sivesand!

Brian Sivesind Photo from TBC Rod Thornburg.jpg

BC’s Drumline “Resounds”

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Golden Empire Drum and Bugle Corps

This is the second year in a row that I attended the Resound International Competition here in the Memorial Stadium.  Last year, the event was on July 16, 2016 and check out this fun blog post that has a lot of great memories in addition to the Drumline.  This post covers:

(1) the KCCD BOard of Trustees vote on Measure J
(2) Mayor Harvey Hall’s Community Voices in The Bakersfield Californian endorsing Measure J.
(3) Great speeches by SGA President Matthew Frazer and another SGA member Wesley Lyons
(4) Visit to Arvin High School
(5) Presenting to Chevron Retirees
(6) And finally Rocky, The Racoon

https://sonyachristianblog.com/2016/07/16/building-a-better-bc/

At this year’s event, what an incredible lineup from across California

7:00 p.m. Welcome & National Anthem
7:08 p.m. Blue Devils CConcord, CA
7:24 p.m. IncognitoBrea, CA
7:40 p.m. WatchmenRiverside, CA
7:56 p.m. ImpulseBuena Park, CA
8:12 p.m. Intermission
8:27 p.m. Blue Devils BConcord, CA
8:43 p.m. Vanguard CadetsSanta Clara, CA
8:59 p.m. Golden EmpireBakersfield, CA

 

In First Place – Blue Devils; Second Place – Vanguard Cadets; Third Place – Golden Empire (BC)

Here are some photos from John Farrand

 

And some extra photos:

Francis Mayer and John Farrand on the field capturing photos and videos.

 

 

We are so fortunate to have such a great M&O staff.  It seems like they are everywhere every time taking care of something for the college, for our faculty and staff and for our students.  And they do it with a smile.  Let me introduce you to Patrick Harrison, Martin Ramirez, and Aaron Kidwell.  Gentlemen, from the entire college and our community, I thank you for what you do and for who you are.

Patrick Harrison, Martin Ramirez, Aaron Kidwell July 14 2017.JPG

Patrick Harrison, Martin Ramirez, Aaron Kidwell

 

Check out the 1:27-minute video

I am so glad we have Prof. Tim Heasley at Bakersfield College.  Thank you Tim for the countless hours working and travelling with our students.  The sheer physical stamina and focus on details that you provide with such a limited staff is truly remarkable.  Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! #WeAreBC

Here is a photo of Tim Heasley from Mary Jo Pasek’s Facebook

Tim Heasley from MJ's Facebook July 14 2017

Tim Heasley

The BC Fight Song

A fun email chain passed by my inbox where Heather Pennella was investigating the legalities behind copyright and re-recording the BC fight song. I loved our chancellor Tom Burke’s addition to the email chain where he said, “I have a 1960’s recording of the fight song on 33 ⅓ vinyl record.”  When I stopped by the district office this last week to work with John Means and Gary Moser, I stopped by Tom’s office to say hello and he had the record with him for the BC Archives.  Of course I snapped a few pictures.

 

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As an extra bonus, he shared with me the ticket for the performance to meet with the pope!

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What’s Trending at the Chamber?

I received the latest newsletter that keeps me looped in with all the latest regarding our Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce and the newsletter shared that the GBCC received a recent CalChamber award. Congratulations on the CalChamber President’s Circle Award.

The award, first presented in 2009, recognizes chambers for excellence in business advocacy and helping their members comply with California employment laws. GBCC President and CEO Nick Ortiz accepted the award on May 31 during the CalChamber’s annual Capitol Summit in Sacramento. To learn more about this specific award, visit the CalChamber website.

Speaking of the GBCC, Hillary Haenes, Member Programs and Engagement Manager for the chamber was recently featured by Bakersfield Magazine in their section highlighting 20 under 40. I love how the piece says, “Since coming to Bakersfield in 2004, Hillary Haenes has made it her mission to get involved.”  That’s what Bakersfield is all about! See the whole piece on Bakersfield.com.  The photo of Hillary is from The Bakersfield Californian taken by Jonah and Lindsay.

Bakersfield College at the statewide Curriculum Institute

The last few years have seen unprecedented changes to curriculum and curricular processes, from the introduction of baccalaureate degrees to local certification for approval of credit courses to guided pathways. While all of these changes are exciting, they can also be daunting to navigate for curriculum chairs, faculty, administrators, and classified professionals. This year’s Curriculum Institute will provide interactive workshops, breakout sessions, and opportunities for discussion designed to provide the tools and knowledge needed to keep all hands on deck when it comes to curriculum and curricular processes!

The BC Team: Di Hoffman, Sharon Bush, Cindy Collier, Bill Moseley, Jennifer Johnson, Mark Osea, Marissa Marquez

BC Team at Curriculum Institute July 2017

Summer Bridge Continues..

So proud of our faculty and staff who are participating in BC’s Summer Bridge to “bridge” high school students from high school to college.

Here are some emails that Dr. Kimberly Bligh shared with me from students who participated in Summer Bridge

Dr. Kimberly Bligh,

My name is Samantha Coston, I am an incoming freshman and I am pursuing aerospace engineering. I wish to thank you for your valuable information regarding Bakersfield College. Your book had a lot of information that my high school couldn’t provide. It also was a big help with the transition to Bakersfield College. Often times small pieces of vital information gets left out of introductory speeches simply out of forgetfulness. However, your book has provided all the information I need to fully transition and continue to pursue my degree at Bakersfield College.

Thank you! – Samantha Coston

Wonder who Samantha Coston is Todd?

Todd Coston John Hart Krista Moreland May 2 2017

Todd Coston, John Hart, Krista Moreland

 

Hello Dr. Bligh,

I’d like to thank you for putting together such a great opportunity for incoming BC students to get a feel for the campus and figure out exactly what we will be expecting when we come back for the fall semester. It has helped tremendously and I can all ready tell I’ll have a good feel for the place on my first day.

Again, thank you very much.

Wesley Kelley

 

Hello Dr. Bligh,

My name is Alex Cerda, and I am an incoming freshman for the fall semester of 2017. Something that I have learned during this program today is that Bakersfield College is a fairly welcoming place filled with kind faculty members who are very willing to help students to the best of their ability.

Alex Cerda

 

 

Dr. Bligh,

My name is Bailey Gather. I just wanted to thank you for allowing us to have this day. If we wouldn’t have had this day I definitely would be lost on my first day. But another thing that I feel like BC will help me with is all of the resources that there is on campus. So again thank you for giving your time and helping us.

Sincerely,

Bailey Gather

Fun photos:

Jennifer Marden was at Catalina this weekend with Mark and she snapped this picture with a young man named Diego who is Cynthia Munoz’ nephew.

 

I texted back that he is almost as good looking as his aunt.  Jennifer was so delighted to see her friend’s nephew there.  And talking about Cynthia, I got to know her when she regularly came to the Measure J campaign headquarters to help out.  Thank you Cynthia.

Chudy goes to DC

Coach Jeff Chudy was telling me how Congressman Kevin McCarthy welcomed him and his family and showed them a great time in DC.  I enjoyed this photo and wanted to thank the Congressman for his unwavering support of Bakersfield College.

Jeff Chudy in Washington DC with Kevin McCarthy July 2017

 

 

Sonya at the Market Place March 17 2013 (1)

Sonya Christian at the Market Place. March 17, 2013.

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Another Great Week to be a Renegade

Good morning Bakersfield.  What a beautiful Saturday morning in July.  Sitting outside on the patio, it is 4:30 a.m., July 8, 2017…a great day to be a Renegade.

FlagDayIn fact, it was a great week to be a Renegade with a special day off on Tuesday to relax and celebrate a holiday with friends and family. On July 4th, the United States commemorates the start of a grand experiment in self-governance.

On that day 241 years ago, Thomas Jefferson gave words to the birthright of liberty and free expression that is not granted by kings or governments, and which we fight to preserve if our leaders attempt to deny. From that simple idea, forged by the philosophical works of John Locke, Voltaire, Rene Descartes and other contributors of the Enlightenment, a new society emerged, and blueprint for governance.

Over the last 241 years, the blueprint has proved to be difficult to realize, and society has had to change – and continues to change – to remain true to its ideals as inalienable rights once denied are progressively regained, by women, by immigrants, by people of color, and many more. The experiment continues, even today, as an intrinsic privilege of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness – and intrinsic denial of life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness – are gradually seen as such.

This dynamic defines our work as community college educators, as we struggle to educate everyone, anyone, faced with the systemic effects of poverty, lack of health care, lack of safety, physical disability, and mental disability, that we now recognize as a self-perpetuating status quo.

As educators, it is our responsibility to keep the public informed on what their rights are, the history of how those rights were earned, and what we’re able to do on both an individual and community-wide level to protect and recognize those rights. It is a profound responsibility, but it’s also an incredible opportunity to be the scientists on the front lines of the great American experiment. As an immigrant I have a unique understanding of what a great country this is!

How did you celebrate Independence Day? Leave a comment below. I’d love to know how you spent your holiday.

I had a relatively quiet fourth at home – the kind I like – and this year with a sense of anticipation to see how Neo would react to the fireworks.  He did surprisingly well especially considering how dramatically he reacted to the gardener’s demon leaf blower.

June 30 2017 Neo with a stick

Neo, chewing on a twig. His favorite pastime.

 

I’ve been congratulating myself on having the calmest, most enlightened puppy in town as I heard stories of puppy destruction from others… and then he turned three months old at 30 lbs and I began to understand…  I sent an SOS to several friends. Lesley shook her head wisely and said “You have got to tire him out.  I take Blue for runs, and then there is the formidable battle with the water sprinkler that is intentionally planned.”  Here is the evidence.

Blue chasing water

So, I took my instructions very seriously and this has now become part of Neo’s evening routine..

Neo has his last set of shots scheduled for July 19th.  After that the vet said we had permission to take him to the dog park.  Can’t wait to get him exercised and exhausted in the dog park.  I have been there several times when Ken visited me from Oregon with the one and only Woody, his chocolate-colored Lab.

I know you have seen this 27-sec video of Woody swimming many many times, but here it is again in my July 3, 2016 blog post.
https://sonyachristianblog.com/2016/07/03/daily-inspiration-from-all-things-bc/

Thomas Roads Improvement Project

In an op-ed from last week’s Bakersfield Californian, Bakersfield City Manager Alan Tandy laid out his case for Trustee Bill Thomas’ Thomas Road Improvement Program, or TRIP.

When Retired Congressman and Trustee Thomas brought in a $630 million federal earmark for road repair in Bakersfield shortly before retiring from the House of Representatives, he established a partnership between Cal Trans and local and county government to outline a plan to fix the city’s aging, insufficient road infrastructure. One of TRIP’s most successful and notable projects so far is the Westside Parkway, which linked the suburban communities of Northwest Bakersfield with our burgeoning and resurgent downtown area.

TRIP May 2017

Photo by Dorothy Mills-Greg from The Bakersfield Californian. Mayor Karen Goh and Retired Congressman Bill Thomas

TRIP has grown its initial $630 million federal budget into a $1.4 billion budget through grants and contributions, adding 24 bridges and nearly 100 lane miles of roadway to Bakersfield’s transportation network since 2007. Upcoming projects, including the Hageman flyover road, the 24th Street widening and the first phase of the Centennial Corridor project, will ease congestion further as Kern County continues to have some of the fastest population growth in the nation.

TRIP is essential to making our city functional, especially as our growth continues to outpace our infrastructure. Thank you Trustee Thomas! And thank you Alan Tandy for the great article.

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Grimmway

On Thursday, July 6th, Rich and I had the pleasure of meeting with the Dream Team from Grimmway Academy — Greg West, Director of School Support Services;  Paul Escala, Executive Director of the Grimmway Schools; and Casey Yeazel, Chief Academic Officer.  The Grimmway Academy just graduated their eigth grade class and most of them will be starting their ninth grade at Arvin High School.  There was great chemistry in the room and I can’t wait to see the results of our planning.

Group Photo

Sonya Christian, Greg West, Rich McCrow, Paul Escala, Casey Yeazel

The Grimmway Academy is a great example of #EducationDoneRight.  Barbara Grimm, a true visionary, made this happen.  I visited the Grimmway Academy in in 2014.  Check out my blog post on July 1, 2014
https://sonyachristianblog.com/2014/07/01/grimmway-academy-thrives-in-arvin/

Academic Support Services Retreat Day

Let me introduce you to BC’s Academic Support Team.

Left to right:  Kimberly Arbolante, Grace Commiso, Laraine Rosema, Susan Abbassi, Eric Weis, Maria Wright, Stephanie Vega, Barry Ramirez, Monica Huyck, Eileen Pierce, Christopher Anderson, Kim Collins, Sonia Avila, Yvonne Armendariz, Bradley Cramer, Alana Austin, Jessica Flores, and Miguel Cuate.

Academic Support Team July 6 2017.jpg

 

I am always happy to see Monica Huyck since she was one of the very first people I met when I arrived on campus in 2013.  Here is my blog post from March 6, 2013 that has a picture of me with Monica and the team from the tutoring center in Delano.  Gosh I look so young in that picture and Rich McCrow was still tall then 🙂  Check it out

https://sonyachristianblog.com/2013/03/16/our-delano-campus/

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Dr. Janet Fulks

The Retreat was very good and I felt hugely energized listening to the different presenters and the comments from the group.  Janet Fulks, of course, gave an inspiring talk when she shared data about our students.  And Rich and I were whispering to each other how fortunate we were to have the amazing Janet Fulks in our midst.

 

As BC continues to aggressively make changes to get more students to and through the college in an efficient and effective manner, we have realized the importance of being more intrusive with our students, over 80% of them are first generation college going, and get them to make use of our academic support services like tutoring, supplemental instruction, the writing center etc.  The team you see above have been redesigning their systems and practices to get more students to participate in these services as well as engage with faculty regularly to track student progress so that they minimize the risk of having these students fall between the cracks.

 

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Maria Wright addressing the group. Rich McCrow, Sonya Christian, Criag Hayward, Michael McClinnick

Here are some of the concluding thoughts shared by team members at the end of the retreat.

What was the most important piece of information gained from this retreat?

  • The accountability of faculty and staff to students via completion teams & “permission” to hammer team members to participate in success of our students.
  • The strengths quest workshop. It was a real joy and very informative.
  • A more clearly defined path for guided pathway.
  • Hearing about the programs and services being implemented as a result of the data
  • Clarification about the goals of the campus.
  • Points of connection and defining our identity through students.
  • I think the most important piece(s) of information I gained from this experience are the utilization of our talents as well as the massive amounts of support the Academic support team receives.
  • Clarification of our roles in Academic Support Services in the context of Pathways.
  • How collaboration will happen on each team.
  • Gaining insight on the “what” and “why”
  • Understanding the role of academic support services within the meta-majors and affinity groups
  • The enforcement of the effectiveness of support services

How will your role be affected as a result of the information shared today?

  • My role is more “global” now.
  • I understand the relationship between my role as a guided pathway leader and my everyday tasks
  • I will have to take a more holistic approach when working with students.
  • I like to think that my program will have so much support.
  • I will be able to contact the correct people with a support attitude.
  • I will reach out more to my colleagues in order to coordinate our efforts in serving students.
  • I have gained confidence that I can help students reach goals.

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Maria had invited several of the senior administrators and other key leaders of campus to the retreat for the first hour.  During this time, she asked me to address her team on Guided Pathways and the new direction for Academic Support.  She wanted to make sure that we had this larger group for this segment so that we could integrate the work and the key strategies as a whole rather than in isolation.  Maria Wright rocks!

Let me introduce you to those in the photo.

Back row: Pedro Ramirez, Julian West, Abel Guzman, Eric Weis, Richard McCrow, Christopher Anderson, Monica Huyck, Kim Collins, Sonia Avila, Bradley Cramer, Alana Austin, Michael Mcclenic, Miguel Cuate, Craig Hayward,  and Stig Jantz

Front row: Imelda Valdez, Lisa Kent, Alyse Braaten, Laraine Rosema, Susan Abbassi, Maria Wright, Stephanie Vega, Barry Ramirez, Eileen Pierce, Yvonne Armendariz, Shohreh Rahman, Jessica Flores, and Grace Commiso.

Academic Support Retreat Larger Group July 6 2017.jpg

I was sorry to miss being in the photos since I had a dignitary stop by my office at exactly the time the photo was being taken 😦

Here are a few more pictures.

 

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Agriculture Career Camps

TweetTwo weeks of Agriculture Career Camps were a success! Bakersfield College’s partnership with The Wonderful Company allowed 8th grade students to explore different career options in the agriculture industry.

Food production may start with a farmer, but the employment opportunities to get food to the end-consumer are endless. Each week 50 campers were exposed to different careers options.

Marko ZaninovichThe camp started with industry guest speakers and a tour of Sunview Vineyards. Thank you Marko Zaninovich for allowing us to visit Sunview Vineyards! They are leading the agriculture industry by using beneficial insects to control unwanted pests in lieu of spraying pesticides.

Scott, Sunview Vineyard’s Entomologist, was very passionate about his career and he had an amazing insect collection that the students got to view. Cristina monitors the beneficial and invasive insects and she was an inspiration for our young campers.

Bakersfield College’s new Agribusiness professors, Jim Selgrath and Leann Riley, along with Lindsay Ono, Katie Tune and Arian Hallum put together branding and marketing curriculum where students were able to create and brand a new flavor of pistachios, almonds and papayas.

Scott2Matt RileyScott1

Bakersfield College’s new Agriculture Mechanics professor Matt Riley, along with Ernesto Marcial and Scott Trimble had students building water pumps and filtration systems. Campers also got the chance to weld (a first for most!).

Rock wallIn the evenings, campers tackled rock walls, swam and went bowling! It was a dynamic week and with support from The Wonderful Company, students were exposed to various career option in agriculture. Thank you Rebecca Farley and Tony Alteparmakian for facilitating this amazing opportunity.

Campers were also introduced to the dual-enrollment programs in Agribusiness and Agriculture Mechanics between The Wonderful College Prep Academy and Bakersfield College.

Raquel Lopez did an amazing job at orchestrating the camp activities and Heather Baltis helped to run it. A big thank you to our camp mentors: Jessie McCraw, Vanessa Mendoza, Kaitlyn McCoy, Jisel Silva Cornejo, Cristal Diaz, Jessie Oropeza, Dylan Klawitter, Zac Ojeda, Mario Solorio. They spent 24 hours a day with our campers. Many were past Renegades and were an inspiration for our campers.  Thank you Youth 2 Leaders for your help in coordinating our mentors and keeping our campers hydrated. Thank you CSUB for housing our campers in your dorms and providing us with fun evening activities.  And thank you Heather Baltis, faculty member in the Ag department, for being the lead for this year’s Ag Academy.

Manny De Los Santos put together a great video, check it out here. Our next generation of agricultural leaders are bright, talented and full of new ideas!

Lynda Resnick Sonya Christian Jan 2015

I want to also take a moment to recognize Lynda Resnick the creator of the Wonderful Academy.  She has invested a lot in promoting education in rural communities.  The work in Los Hills had David Brooks of the NYTimes writing a piece on the incredible work that Resnick has been doing in Lost Hills.  Here is a quote:

“In Lost Hills there are new health centers, new pre-K facilities, new housing projects, new gardens, new sidewalks and lights, a new community center and a new soccer field. Through the day, people have more places to meet, play and cooperate with their neighbors.”

Lynda has also been a great friend of Bakersfield College.  Thank you Lynda Resnick for your commitment to the Central Valley

Check out my May 21, 2016 blog post that includes the Lost Hills article.
https://sonyachristianblog.com/2016/05/21/so-much-diversity-and-we-are-bc/

Culinary Arts Academy

With the support of BC Delano Auxiliary Foundation, Bakersfield College was able to partner with Delano Joint Union High School District and Delano Union Elementary School District to run a Culinary Arts Academy. Eleven incoming 8th-grade students from various Delano area middle schools took part in the pilot program. The program was designed to create a pathway in culinary arts starting in middle school. This is all part of KCCD’s K-14 Pathways initiative to develop and promote career pathways.

Cesar E. Chavez High School home economics instructor, Jill Pickett, developed a four-day curriculum to teach students the basics of safety, cooking, and etiquette. Mrs. Pickett had the support of three amazing student leaders, including two Bakersfield College-Delano students (Karla Gonzalez and Dalila Rodriguez).

Culinary ARts (1)

Each day the students learned how to prepare a hearty meal from scratch, which they would ultimately eat as their own lunch. One of the highlights of the program was when our very own Chef Eric Sabella and his wife, Chef Lupe Sabella (Executive Chef at Kern Medical), stopped by to speak to the students about their experiences in the culinary arts field. The students truly enjoyed learning about their journeys in the field. I’m so very thankful that Chefs Eric and Lupe took the time out of their busy day to meet with the students.

Culinary ARts (2)

The program concluded on Friday, June 30th. The students were treated to a nice lunch at Perko’s Café in Delano where they were given a tour of the kitchen facilities from the owner himself. He also shared his experience in the restaurant industry with the students. The academy was a great success, and showed a great pathway partnership between two secondary school districts and a community college. We hope to expand this enrichment opportunity in 2018.

 

BC Golden Empire Drum Corps

Congratulations to the Drum Corps!! This past weekend, the BC Golden Empire Drum Corps had back-to-back competitions at the Rose Bowl (Pasadena) and Riverside Community College. Under Tim Heasley’s leadership and instruction, I’m pleased to announce that our students won the Open Class division at the Rose Bowl on Saturday, and placed 2nd at their competition in Riverside (Sunday). The Drum Corps heads up the coast to Oregon and Washington this week for more competitions. Our music pageantry programs have flourished significantly in the last several years as a result of Tim’s investment of time and endless energy. The future for music pageantry at BC is bright and strong. You can view some recent pictures of our Corps on Instagram at: https://www.instagram.com/gedrumcorps/

Instagram

Then on Thursday, I received a photo from Maribeth Heasley with the following email:

“Thought you might like to see this beautiful shot of the Bakersfield College Golden Empire Drum&Bugle Corp as they caravan to the Northwest.  The corps (100 students plus instructors, and about 15 volunteers) spent the night, ate and practiced, all in the shadow of Mt Shasta at the College of the Siskiyous. Now they will continue North, performing in Portland, Seattle and Tri Cities WA, before heading home next week.  Having done volunteer work with these students, I know they are wonderful kids, and great ambassadors of BC!”

drumcorps

What an incredible and beautiful photo!!

And I snapped this picture July 4th morning when Tim Heasley appeared on KGET with Jason Galvin.

July 4 2017 Tim Heasley on KGET.JPG

Jason Galvin, Tim Heasley

 

Into The Woods Opening Weekend

“Into the Woods” had its premier show last night and will have 3 more performances tonight, and July 14th and 15th. The Bakersfield Californian showcased an article highlighting the passion and dedication that goes into making these performances great.  The article says,

The Bakersfield College production has involved a large number of faculty: In addition to Jennifer Garrett and Sivesind, instrumental music professor Kathryn Kuby will conduct an 18-piece pit orchestra of students, community members and also music professors Robert Martinez and Marcia Maynard and staff accompanists Patrick Bender and Marla Hansen. Voice instructors Ken Burdick and Cayley Mayhall and BC English professor Andrew Bond are featured members of the cast. Theater staff Kevin Ganger and Leslie Aldridge are directing students in creating sets, lighting and costumes.

Thank you Susan Scaffidi for the great article.

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Turnipseed shaking things up

It really is wonderful living in a community of leaders who are on the move  Loved the Community Voices piece done by Michael Turnipseed recently in The Bakersfield Californian.  He talks about the importance of government agencies disrupting the status quo.  Here is the link to the full article.  http://tinyurl.com/y8sclc4a

Community Voices July 6 2017 County Government must disrupt status quo

 

Registration Rocks at Bakersfield College

College is an exciting and sometimes challenging time for new students – that’s why BC staff and faculty are dedicated to hosting events that support our students. Coming up this Tuesday, we’re hosting Registration Rocks from 8:00AM to 3:00PM. There will be an introduction to BC, campus tour, financial aid, assessment, counseling, help for enrollment, and assistance finding classes. Did I mention free food and prizes? Even though registration has already begun for Fall 2017, it’s possible to become a Renegade and leave this one-day express registration event as a student of Bakersfield College! You can be enrolled in classes after just one day! Want to attend? Sign up now!

Tweet of the Week

I loved this tweet from Science Faculty, Joe Saldivar and the short video he posted too. Check it out on Youtube.

Joe_Salvidar_Twitter_Screenshot

Wonder Woman

If you have not seen Wonder Woman yet, cancel all plans for this weekend and make time for the movie.  It has been out since June 2nd…..come now.  It is a must see.

Check out the trailer

I am an avid reader of reviews from the NYTimes.  Here is what A.O.Scott has to say.

Excerpt 1:

Wonder Woman directed by Patty Jenkins from a script by Allan Heinberg, briskly shakes off blockbuster branding imperatives and allows itself to be something relatively rare in the modern superhero cosmos.  It feels like yet another installment in an endless sequence of apocalyptic merchandising opportunities than like ……what’s the word I’m looking for? A movie. A pretty good one, too.

Excerpt 2:

Wonder Woman, though, resists the reflexive power-worship that drags so many superhero movies – from the Marvel as well as the DC universe – into the mire of pseudo-Nietzschean adolescent posturing.  Unlike most of her male counterparts, its heroine is not trying to exorcise inner demons or work out messiah issues.  She wants to function freely in the world, to help out when needed and to be respected for her abilities.  No wonder she encounters so much resistance.

For the full review:

Music by the Fountain at the Market Place

I love summers and the month of July since the administrative team goes mostly dark in July.  That is, no regularly scheduled meetings.  Other than wishing temperatures would be lower than 102 degrees, life in Bakersfield in July is just perfect.  This includes relaxing at the fountain by the Market Place on Thursday evenings listening to music.

 

What I missed this week

I bought tickets to join my daughter to watch Blondie and Garbage perform in Santa Barbara.  But because of the new addition to the family, Neo, I did not go.

Here is one of my favorite Blondie songs — Call me.

And my favorite Garbage song Crush featured in the Caprio/Danes version of Romeo and Juliet.

 

From Facebook: 

Summer Bridge photo posts:

July 7 2017 photo 1 Summer Bridge.png

 

July 7 2017 photo 2 Summer Bridge.png

 

Thank you Kimberly Bligh.

Kate Pluta posted this poem on grief which I thought I would share with you

Grief

by Gwen Flowers

Calla Lily June 4 2016I had my own notion of grief.
I thought it was the sad time
That followed the death of someone you love.
And you had to push through it
To get to the other side.
But I’m learning there is no other side.
There is no pushing through.
But rather,
There is absorption.
Adjustment.
Acceptance.
And grief is not something you complete,
But rather, you endure.
Grief is not a task to finish
And move on,
But an element of yourself-
An alteration of your being.
A new way of seeing.
A new definition of self.

Sonya Christian July 6 2017 at the Market Place

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Time Flies When You’re at BC!

Can you believe it’s already July? Where does the time go?

Good morning, it is Saturday, July 1, 2017 and such a wonderful day to be a Renegade

Jury Duty

As we approach Independence Day, the right to a trial by jury is one of the primary factors contributing to America’s decision to fight for independence. Jury rights were written into Article III of the US Constitution and the Sixth Amendment, which guarantees all Americans “the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed”. In contrast to the magistrate process popular in 18th Century Europe, where the judges lead the prosecution, the US legal system forces each side to conduct its own investigation, present evidence and argue its side in open court.

As it happens, I spent much of my time last week on Jury Duty and was reminded daily of two things. First, how much I love the community of Delano and second, how thankful I am to live in a society that gives every citizen a voice and a way to serve and contribute.

McNamara and Horace MitchellThe Judge who did the orientation in Bakersfield was Judge McNamara, a previous faculty at CSUB. I found this CSUB blog post which shared photos and the story of when Judge McNamara was appointed. Both he and the Judge Tafoya in Delano had significant respect for veterans.

I enjoyed the short drive from Bakersfield to Delano daily. Dr. Oliver Rosales mentioned in an article last year that the 99 has been “dubbed the most dangerous road in America” but that he, too, enjoys his drives to Delano. In the article, he mentions the fields surrounding the city and cleverly says BC Delano is surrounded by “fields of dreams.”

After spending three days in Jury Duty, I wanted to learn more about the Delano Court. The California Courts website says,

The Superior Court of Kern County operates two facilities in northern Kern County: the Shafter/Wasco Branch in Shafter, and the Delano/McFarland Branch Courthouse, also known as the North Kern Regional Court, in Delano. The Delano facility serves the communities of Delano, Elmo, Famoso, McFarland, Pond, Richgrove, Vineland, and other outlying rural areas. This court also handles cases from two neighboring prisons: Kern Valley State Prison and North Kern State Prison.

It’s incredible to think of the large area that Delano services.

Robert Tafoya MArch 28 2015 from TBCMy week of service reframed my thinking on Jury Duty.   Jury duty is not only a good thing to do, but also one of the most important ways we can be responsible citizens. It is an opportunity to make use of our mind and voice… while making it count on matters that are life changing and profound. Jurors have a tremendous responsibility and what an honor it is to be trusted as a collective of regular citizens. A guilty or not guilty verdict will and can change a life forever.

Also, it was a real treat watching Judge Robert Tafoya in action.  He is one of the most authentic individuals I know.  Thank you Judge Tafoya for all that you do for our communities of Bakersfield and Delano. Check out this piece on Robert Tafoya, March 28, 2014, in the Bakersfield Life Magazine of The Bakersfield Californian titled What I am Reading.

Photo: Rod Thornburg of TBC

http://www.bakersfield.com/bakersfield_life/what-i-m-reading-judge-robert-tafoya/article_c218bd28-cdf2-5fe4-aa53-9ec272b3e8b6.html

Student Success Retreat

On Monday, we held a student success retreat which focused on understanding real student data, beginning the process of taking action through the Completion Coaching Communities Structure, identifying students who are off the path in some way, and helping them get back on path to completing their educational goals.

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Discipline faculty, counselors, educational advisors, and the entire management team gathered in groups organized by our ten Learning and Career Pathways.  Each team of Completion Coaches reviewed the schedules of the students in their Learning and Career Pathway.  Using the “Completion Coach Student Evaluation” (photo attached), Completion Coaches manually reviewed and discussed their individual students’ schedules to ensure they are on path toward their educational goals.  While this work is time intensive, it’s critical in ensuring each of our Renegades are equipped with the information and tools necessary for their success.

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Craig HaywardCraig Hayward, our Institutional Researcher, led the Completion Coaches in a discussion to identify the key themes present among the data.  The Coaches identified issues related to the first three pillars of the guided pathways model:

  1.      Goal Clarity: Lack of clarity in the pathways and educational maps
  2.      Enrollment Roadblocks: Onboarding to the wrong path through registration
  3.      Lane Assist: Need for tracking to ensure students stay on path toward their educational goals

Thank you Lesley Bonds for the photos.

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Summer Bridge Video and Registration Rocks

I received this video from Jordan Rude.  You can see why Summer Bridge is so important and successful.  Navigating the road of college isn’t easy, especially if you’re right out of high school. BC’s Summer Bridge is here to help!

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FsummerbridgeBC%2Fvideos%2F1919455238277482%2F&width=450&show_text=false&height=252&appId

Check out the work of John Farrand and Francis Mayer for July 11th — Registration Rocks

I will cover this event more in next week’s blog.

The Air Force Concert Band is off to the Hollywood Bowl

Beautiful garrison flag welcoming our guests Wed night

Photo by MJ Pasek

What a lovely evening it was last Wednesday for a live concert!  We were so lucky to have the U.S. Air Force Concert Band give a free concert at the outdoor theatre.  The USAF Band of the Golden West, on their way to play at the Hollywood Bowl, played so many of the great songs that are familiar in a creative, inventive way.  They played selections from Aaron Copland, Pat Methany, a Medley of Gershwin classic, the lively jazz piece from 1955 called “Malaguena” (by Ernesto Lecuona).  Giving us a little bit of history from each of their selections, they told us the story of “Yankee Doodle Dandy.” Check out this brief video of Yankee Doodle from the Air Force Band

Most people don’t know about the history of the song, but it’s really quite humorous.  British soldiers of the revolutionary war made up the words (the melody itself had been around for a long time already) to make fun of the rough-around-the-edges [in appearance and organization] American Colonials.  British soldiers liked to laugh at the unkempt Americans who would think they were high-class if they were to stick a feather in their dirty hat.

USAF Band-8

Veteran's Center mobile unit did a brisk business all evening

Photo by MJ Pasek

Not ones to sit around and be mocked, American soldiers started singing the song as a sign of defiance.  Even changing a few verses to mock the Britons and hail George Washington.  So what was originally meant to mock the Americans had the tables turned on it to become something proudly sung throughout the army.

Mary Jo Pasek always has fantastic pictures of every event at BC! More photos to come next week!

https://twitter.com/BandGoldenWest/status/880243635823951872

I also loved seeing this picture at the concert posted later on Facebook with Art Professor, Diego Monterrubio and History Professor, Paul Beckworth.

FB

The concert started with a rendition of Hoedown

Check out Fascinating Rhythm.

Here is a short video of their last song honoring each branch of the Military to Caissons Go Rolling Along

 

It was a treat to see the community out enjoying incredible music, supporting our veterans and being a part of the Bakersfield College community.

Thank you Dick Taylor for bringing the Air Force Band of the Golden West to Bakersfield and to Bakersfield College.

Here is an excerpt describing the band from their website

The United States Air Force Band of the Golden West is stationed in the San Francisco Bay area at Travis Air Force Base, California. The only active duty Air Force band west of the Rockies, the Band of the Golden West is comprised of about 60 talented and versatile Airmen-musicians under the command of Captain Rafael F. Toro-Quiñones. In addition to performing for civilian communities throughout the states of California, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, Arizona, and Utah, the band supports 13 Air Force Bases, 8 Air Force Reserve Wings, and 6 recruiting squadrons in over 250 annual performances for 1.5 million listeners.

And thank you Mary Jo Pasek, for all that you did to make this happen.  Here is a picture that SGA Vice President Lawrence Salcido snapped when the Band Conductor invited Mary Jo to come up and be recognized.  Mary Jo then invited me to come along.  She did all the work, and I get to share the credit with her.  You see why I am the luckiest and happiest college president ever.

Mary jo receiving a recognition June 29 2017

Here is a screen capture of Dick Taylor’s Facebook post recognizing the amazing work done by Mary Jo.

Dick Taylor recognizing Mary Jo Pasek on Facebook

Most of the photos are from our own William Velasquez, from the BC IT department. Thank you William for the photos!

 

Celebrating our Fire Grads!

In last weeks blog, I mentioned our Firefighter Graduation, but this week Tim Capehart, our Fire Technology Director, sent me some great photos and information so I thought I’d revisit that incredible celebration. Tim said, “The F/F 1 Academy is over 524 hrs. long. It meets three times a week in the evenings and all day Sat. and Sun. so students can maintain a day job and still complete the academy. The Academy that just finished meets the new curriculum requirements for F/F 1 IFSAC and Pro Board accreditation. This means our students can apply for jobs anywhere in the United States. We graduated thirty two students who all passed the State skills and written exams.”

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Furthermore, Tim added that all thirty two students held full time jobs along with studying, training, and continuous testing throughout the six month journey. In this year’s graduating class, we had dedicated husbands, parents, marines, an airborne ranger, Cal State Berkeley football player, ferrier, Alabama volleyball player, CSUB swimmer, and a division one baseball athlete. The young men and women represent the many different and diverse groups of future firefighters. We are BC!

 

Chris McCraw and E. Kika De La Garza  Fellows Program

BC Ag Professor, Chris McCraw participated in the E. Kika De La Garza Fellows Program.

The official brochure says,

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Office of Advocacy and Outreach (OAO), Hispanic-Serving Institutions National Program (HSINP) E. Kika De La Garza Fellowship Program offers faculty and staff from Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) the opportunity to work collaboratively with USDA to gain insight and understanding of the Federal Government. Through the fellowship, participants learn about opportunities that are available with USDA and other Federal Agencies for their respective institutions and their students. Fellows share their experience with students at their respective HSIs, motivating them to pursue careers in agriculture, science, research, technology, and other related fields of study. Furthermore, the fellowship strengthens and expands USDA’s partnerships with HSIs and the communities they serve.

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The Chris McCraw and E. Kika De La Garza  Fellows

 

Working together across KCCD to implement better systems

Students across KCCD June 2017

Lisa Couch, Jason Andrews, Terri Goldstein

On Monday and Tuesday, the student conduct officers from all three KCCD institutions came together at Bakersfield College to learn the our new student conduct case management system, Maxient. Lead by Dr. Nicky Damania, the group spent two intense days learning the system while implementing processes that would not only increase positive experiences within student conduct process, but also bring efficiency to their workflow when processing case paperwork. The new process will convert the student conduct process completely online thus being able to effectively communicate with students in a timely manner.

 

Student Leaders across KCCD June 2017

Val Garcia, Jason Andrews

National Camera Day

Kris Stallworth from The Rip.jpg

The Bakersfield Californian featured our Art Department Chair, Kristopher Stallworth’s photos and a brief blurb on Thursday for National Camera Day. Check it out on Bakersfield.com.

Stallworth has been taking photos for 25 years. His first camera was a 110 film point and shoot camera, and his first serious camera was a Canon AE-1 that was his father’s.

Community Events

BC at Bakersfield Wing Festival June 25 2017.jpg

John Kelly, Tina Mendoza, Sandra Beckworth, Paul Beckworth, Terri Goldstein, Nicky Damania

 

natesha-sonya-karen-nov-4-2016-kern-housisng-authority-galaBC employees always support our local community organizations and partners. Sunday June 25 at the Kern County Fair Grounds was the second annual Bakersfield Wing Fest where several Renegades supported our community partner, NaTesha Kindred Johnson’s group, Upside Productions.  NaTesha is a great friend of BC and did a lot of work on Measure J.  Thank you NaTesha!  Here is a picture of NaTesha that I found in my blog library.  We were at an event organized by Norma Rojas Mora.  Here is NaTesha with Karen Goh and me.

Bakersfield Wing Festival June 25 2017

Paul Beckworth, John Kelly, Tina Mendoza, Sandra Beckworth, Terri Goldstein, Nicky Damania

The event brought the community together to not only enjoy delicious wings from around Bakersfield, but also raise awareness and funds for the Alzheimer’s Disease Association for Kern County and Grandma Whoople Enterprise (a non-profit anti bullying campaign). This year Happy Hour won the wing competition but we all won a great taste of community pride!

Superheroes Behind the Scenes

Have I told you lately that I’m the happiest and luckiest college president in the world? One reason is because of the fantastic faculty and staff at Bakersfield College, and one example is Kristina Whitmore in the department of Student Success and Equity. Above and beyond her work at BC, volunteering is an important part of her life. She said,

Helping others is an essential part of who am I, If I am not helping others I am not helping myself. I do not feel whole as a person when I am not advocating and doing for others. I find joy and hope in helping our students at BC, here I know each student will go on to accomplish great things. I find light in a dark place when I am in Prison helping. These men have made bad choice that have found them behind bars, but they are not to be forgotten!

Marleys Mutts Program (1)

Kristina Whitmore

The specific program Kristina mentions is called Pawsitive Change Prison Program by Marley’s Mutts. The website says,

Pawsitive Change is a progressive and intensive rehabilitation program which matches Death Row dogs with inmates inside California State Prisons.  Our goal is to reduce inmate recidivism by providing them a viable skill, while at the same time saving dogs lives.  The program is guided by four of our experienced trainers over 14 weeks, during which the inmates work toward vocational accreditation and the dogs towards their Canine Good Citizen Certification.  Both man and mutt will use the skills gained in this program to better their lives and stay out of prisons and/or shelters, respectively.

Marleys Mutts Program (3)

On the homepage, there is a testimony that stood out to me and shows how lifechanging and “pawsitive” is.

“We live inside a place where we can’t show our emotion — it’s considered a weakness.  But with this program, we can feel, give, and receive affection.  We become cold in here, much more cold than when we entered.  But these dogs give us a chance to be human.” -Inmate Participant, Cyclell

Marleys Mutts Program (2).jpg

Thank you Kristina and thank you Marley’s Mutts for all that you do.  This is an inspirational program.

Marleys Mutts Program (4)

Neo

Speaking of puppies, on Wednesday Neo had his third visit to the vet (by the way, a great supporter of Marley’s Mutts…). Two vaccines — Bordetella Bronchiseptica and Canine Distemper.  The first picture was taken on June 2nd (his second visit to the Vet when he weighed 19 lbs) and the second picture on June 28th (this third visit to the Vet at 30 lbs)

I must say this time the drive to the vet was much more pleasant than three weeks ago, he was calm, self-assured, and not the distressed puppy in a car moving fast!

Here he is making a reckless uncontrolled dash for the ball.

Renegade Passings of Joyce Teague and Rich Wise

joyceteagueOn Tuesday morning, I received a notice from Jerry Ludeke that we’ve had another passing in the Renegade family. The email from BC Archives said, “We are very sad to report that Joyce Teague (Kite) passed away last evening. Joyce began working for Bakersfield College in 1983 and retired on August 17, 2013. She loved her job in the M&O Department, where she was the go-to woman! She was also known for her outgoing and fun personality. You could say that she was a “character!” Later in her career, she moved to the Fine Arts Department. She will be deeply missed.”  I remember Joyce very well from my time as faculty at BC.  She ran a tight operation and was fearless in telling folks, including new department chair, what to do 🙂

4419330Last week, news also spread that Richard Wise passed away. Dr. Wise was devoted to his students and Bakersfield College and always encouraged students reach their goals and gain knowledge to  be successful. His students and colleagues admired his diligence and tenacity while teaching and doing battle with his illness.  He will be missed dearly and Liz Rozell said in an email, “I can tell you that he always was friendly with his colleagues and pleasant to work alongside. When I was Rich’s supervisor, he participated in a committee and communicated good insight with critical issues. I always enjoyed passing him in the hall because I knew he would smile at me and give me a friendly greeting. That means a lot in a work environment.”  It’s special people like Rich Wise who make BC so special.

East Hills Mall

I shared with you back in January in my blog that big plans were announced for the East Hills Mall and this week, The Bakersfield Californian shared an update with all the various stores that have been requested for the space. Check it out at The Bakersfield Californian website. None are guaranteed yet, but they would make great additions to the neighborhood.

Fun Photos

Thank you Corny Rodriguez for sending me photos of our new M&O building going up.  Here is the latest from June 30, 2017

June 30 2017 M&O Building

Came across this photo of Nicole Parra in action with Norma Rojas Mora and Bill Thomas when we were in the middle of the Measure J campaign.  Thank you Nicole for saying yes to BC or was it yes to BT 🙂

Nicole Parra Norma Rojas Mora Bill Thomas

Nicole Parra, Norma Rojas Mora, Bill Thomas

A few summer bridge photos from Kimberly Bligh

And this one is from Francis Mayer.  He titled it “Mega phone Matt” 🙂

MegaPhoneMatt.jpg.jpeg

 

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Sonya Christian

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

The Summer Heat is Here! Stay Cool!

 

Good morning Bakersfield…. it is Sunday June 25, 2017 …I enjoyed waking up in my bed at home this morning, taking Neo out and feeling the 72 degree temperatures at 3:30 a.m., loving life.  This week has been exhausting with a lot of travel…time on the road and time in planes.  Bakersfield – LAX – Portland, OR – Eugene, OR – back to Portland – then a red-eye to Ft. Lauderdale, FL – back to LAX – finally home sweet home.   During all my travels, I wore my Renegade t-shirts and sweatshirts.  Proud to be a Renegade!

Weather_WidgetAre you keeping track of our weather this past week? It’s undeniably hot in Bakersfield and the LA Times posted an article on Wednesday, “California sees some of the highest temperatures ever recorded amid heat wave.”

Did you know you can beat the heat at the BC pool? It’s open for public swim, water aerobics, swimming lessons, and family swim. For hours, details, and lesson schedules, visit the BC website! What are your favorite ways to escape the heat or stay cool?

Firefighter Graduation

Speaking of the heat… it’s fire season, so I’m proud to celebrate the recent Firefighter graduates!!

On June 14th, we celebrated the Olive Drive Fire Training Facility Graduation inside our indoor theater. The Olive Drive Fire Training Facility and its staff are dedicated to train the men and women in the Bakersfield community who have chosen the fire service as a career or voluntary service. The people graduating this year have made a commitment to protect the citizens of Bakersfield and Kern County from the ravages of fire and other life or property threatening emergencies.

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Firefighting is both an art and a science; to be successful requires education, experience, and motivation. This graduation marks the end of a twenty-five week basic fire academy and the beginning of a challenging and rewarding career; one which will require many more days of training in the field and in the classroom. Congratulations to all the graduates.

I can always count on BC’s Mary Jo Pasek to have great photos on her Facebook. The theater was packed!

https://www.facebook.com/mary.pasek/posts/10209594653483294

 Chancellor’s Cabinet

On Monday and Tuesday the senior level administrators across the Kern Community College District met at the Padre in retreat, to come together as a team and plan for the next year.  There are many new faces in senior leadership including the Chancellor, Tom Burke.

Tom Burke, Arlitha , Rosa Carlson

Tom Burke, Arlitha Harmon, Rosa Carlson

Nan and Bill Henry

Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Bill Henry

It was a great opportunity to connect with our counterparts and colleagues from across this huge district. It was clear from the first day that we have a lot in common. Regardless of the role, from Vice President to Vice Chancellor, General Counsel, President and Chancellor, everyone is committed to serving students and to supporting them reaching their educational goals.

Chris Hine and Gary Moser

Chris Hine and Gary Moser

John Means, Jill Board, Eric Middkested

John Means, Jill Board, Eric Middlestead

Kern Community College District (KCCD) serves communities over a region of 24,800 square miles in parts of Kern, Tulare, Inyo, Mono, and San Bernardino counties through the programs of Bakersfield College, Cerro Coso College and Porterville College. Governed by a locally elected Board of Trustees, the district’s colleges offer programs and services that develop student potential and create opportunities for our citizens.

Cory Marvin and Don Chrusciel

Cory Marvin and Don Chrusciel

Lisa Couch Heather Ostrach

Lisa Couch, Heather Ostrach

KCCD is geographically one of the largest community college districts in the United States. Our students represent a diversity of religions, economic backgrounds, sexual orientations, abilities, and ethnicities.

While the Kern Community College District was established as a separate entity in 1968 to respond to the changing needs of our communities, educational services have been provided to residents for many years: at Bakersfield College since 1913; at Porterville College since 1927; and in the Ridgecrest area since 1951 by what is now Cerro Coso College. All three colleges are proud members of the California Community College System and are accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

Val Garcia and Debbie Martin

Val Garcia and Debbie Martin

 

Tonya and Zav

Tonya Davis, Zav Dadabhoy

Today, education centers and sites in Delano, downtown Bakersfield, the Mammoth/ Bishop area, Edwards Air Force, and the Kern River Valley offer additional convenient, localized instruction for thousands of residents. KCCD’s commitment to distance learning and other technological advances is creating increasing opportunities for education through the internet, satellite, and cable television to individuals across our broad service area and beyond.

Annual BCSGA President Brunch

I blogged about the SGA leadership in my last blog.  Here it is again.  I just love the photos.

Collage

And I saw on Instagram that the leaders of BCSGA are settling in to their offices. I love how Dezi says, “yes Renegades, BCSGA is in office, need something? Let us know!”

Instagram

It’s Possible!

The Office of Outreach & School Relations hosted its first summer It’s Possible registration event on Tuesday. This is a reoccurring event for students to come to our campus and complete all enrollment steps in just one day. From application to registration, BC’s incredible staff from various departments on campus collaborated in making this event happen for our community. The summer heat was no barrier for students pursuing their educational goals as 116 students participated in the event, with approximately 75% of those being new students.

Its Possible3A special thanks to the Events Scheduling team, Maintenance and Operations, Food Services, The Office Student Success & Equity, Counseling staff, Admissions & Records, EOPS/Cal SOAP, and Office of Student Life!

The week of travels

The most interesting part of my travels this week was the changing temperatures and the time of sunrise and sunset.  Check it out–

Portland at 45 degrees latitude North (sunrise 5:24 a.m.; sunset 9:04 p.m.; low temp 59 degrees; high temp 75 degrees)

Bakersfield at 35 degrees latitude North (sunrise 5:43 a.m.; sunset 8:43 p.m; low temp 72 degrees; high temp 105 degrees)

Fort Lauderdale at 26 degrees latitude North (sunrise 6:30 a.m.; sunset 8:16 p.m.; low temp 80 degrees; high temp 84 degrees)

Oregon

Given the temperatures in Oregon, you can see why I needed my sweatshirt for part of the day.

During my one day in Eugene, I connected with my buddy Ken Murdoff and his chocolate-colored Lab Woody.

Check out Woody swimming last year in my July 3, 2016 blog at
https://sonyachristianblog.com/2016/07/03/daily-inspiration-from-all-things-bc/

Woody is the best natured dog ever.  Talking about Woody — my inspiration for getting Neo — let me give you my weekly Neo update.

I felt like I left a puppy to start my travels and got back to find a dog.  At 10 weeks he was 19 lbs; now at about 13 weeks he weighs in at 30 lbs.

June 25 2017 Sonya and Neo

June 25 2017 Neo.JPG

Neo on June 25, 2017 at 30 lbs

Neo discovering stairs

 

Florida

The AACC Pathways Institute #5 was in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.  Hard to imagine we have just one more institute to go and then we are done with the program.  BC was one of the 30 colleges selected to be part of the 3-year Guided Pathways cohort.  Great work with great colleagues.  We had a 6-member BC team attend: Lesley Bonds, Director of Student Success and Equity; Cindy Collier, Dean of CTE and Allied Health; Grace Commiso, Dean of Counseling and Student Success; Craig Hayward, Institutional Researcher; Mark Osea, Faculty Chair of Counseling; and Steve Watkin, Director of Outreach.  Here are some photos from Florida.

BC Team at Ft. Lauderdale June 23 2017.JPG

Mark Osea, Grace Commiso, Cindy Collier, Sonya Christian, Lesley Bonds, Craig Hayward, Steve Watkin

 

Team at dinner on June 22, 2017

BC gang dinner june 22 2017.jpeg

Grace Commiso and Lesley Bonds are two of the leads for our Guided Pathways work at Bakersfield College.  Talented, smart, dedicated, and beautiful.  I am the luckiest and happiest college president ever.

Grace Commiso Lesley Bonds June 23 2017

Grace Commiso, Lesley Bonds

Sonya Christian, Grace Commiso, Craig Hayward, Lesley Bonds at dinner right by the Ocean.  Fun conversation that ranged from work and data (what do you get when you have Craig Hayward at dinner with you) to dogs and movies.

BC Team at dinner June 23 2017

Sonya Christian, Grace Commiso, Craig Hayward, Lesley Bonds

Here is Bilbo the 5-lb yorkie who apparently makes the move shown in the picture when he wants Craig to scratch his belly.

Bilbo the Yorkie 5 lbs

Here is Rocky at 3 months with Joey Commiso

Rocky at 3 months with Joey Commiso

And here is Blue, the only Australian Shepherd that I know with an instagram account

Blue

 

 

We also talked about movies and so here is Misty Mountain Cold from the Hobbit.

Wish I had snapped a picture of the group with the Atlantic behind us.  Oh well….  Instead, here is a picture from Cindy Collier’s room on Facebook.

Sunrise from Cindy Collier's Facebook

 

An interesting tidbit:

When landing in LAX from Portland the captain announced that the largest passenger aircraft ever made was on the runway about to take off.  So the passengers were all peering out of their windows in awe as they watched.

Here is a youtube clip of this double-decker taking off

and landing

From wikipedia:

The Airbus A380 is a double-deck, wide-body, four-engine jet airliner manufactured by European manufacturer AirbusIt is the world’s largest passenger airliner, and the airports at which it operates have upgraded facilities to accommodate it. It was initially named Airbus A3XX and designed to challenge Boeing‘s monopoly in the large-aircraft market. The A380 made its first flight on 27 April 2005 and entered commercial service on 25 October 2007 with Singapore Airlines. An improved version, the A380plus, is under development.

Ken Burdick

My friend Arlene Braganza texted me photos of Ken Burdick as Jesus Christ in Jesus Christ Superstar last night at Ovation Theatre. It looks like a brilliant show and I’m always proud to see the talent of BC’s chamber singers. For show photos and to see the cast, visit https://theovationtheatre.com/jesus-christ-superstar/

Griffith Field

Have you seen that Bakersfield High School’s historic Griffith Field is set to finish its renovations shortly? After seeing this news on Kern Radio, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on the BC’s tradition of excellence at Griffith, where it all started and where we hosted all of our home football games from the stadium’s opening in 1923 until moving to our campus on the hill in the 1950s.

The Renegade football team had been dominant even before the campus moved to Panorama, winning a national championship in 1953 and selling out Griffith Field. Because of this, the development of Memorial Stadium and the Panorama campus was needed to meet the needs of the community. This story can be seen in an article in the April 2006 Bakersfield College Archives Newsletter.

District Superintendent Ralph Prator even appointed BHS Athletic Director J.B. “Cap” Haralson to coordinate the construction of Memorial Stadium, which hosted 16,500 people for the Renegades’ first home game against Pasadena City College, the largest crowd to ever watch a junior college game at that time. Griffith Field was part of the legacies of legends like NFL Hall of Famer Frank Gifford, who played for BC and BHS in the 1940s, and “Jack” Frost, BC head football coach from 1934 to 1952 whose name lives on in the Jack Frost Football League for young athletes in Kern County.

As this stadium remodeling turns the page to a new chapter in Drillers’ history, Griffith Field will always remain at the heart of Renegade history.

 BCFootball1949

Student Services at BC!

In last weeks blog, I highlighted various academic support services available during the summer semester and it was great to hear from

lawrence-salcido_-pic5Lawrence Salcido, Jr in the comments. Lawrence is an active member of BC’s Student Government, peer tutor, and he mentioned that in addition to the services I mentioned, the library is a great source of help for students with knowledgeable staff and workshops too! It’s true. BC is an incredible place of learning, support, hope, and education.

Speaking of support and hope, have you heard of BC’s EOP&S Department? The Extended Opportunity Programs and Services is a state-funded support program designed to provide academic support, financial assistance and encouragement for eligible, financially disadvantaged, and academically underprepared students. The goal is to help eligible students meet their educational objectives, whether they seek occupational certificates, associate degrees, or transfer to four-year institutions.

Students that participate in EOP&S receive the personalized support from registration to tutoring, and counseling and services, such as book vouchers, grants, and university campus tours. The EOP&S Office is located in the Student Services Building, Second Floor (Adjacent to the Financial Aid Office). To contact them by phone, call (661) 395-4351 or visit the website at www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/student/eops/eops It’s important that students are aware and take full advantage of all the services that BC has to offer.

And students, it’s vital that you allow BC’s team to work for you and enable you to put your mind towards the things that matter most, your education!

BC at the Online Teaching Conference with Eloy Oakley

I loved this picture of Chancellor Eloy Oakley with BC’s Bill Moseley and Matt Jones at the 2017 Online Teaching Conference in Anaheim, CA. The official website explains, “The Online Teaching Conference, which began over 15 years ago, is an event for faculty, staff and administrators who are engaged or interested in online education, including delivery of online services, emerging technologies, student success, library and technical support. In addition to learning, this conference is a great opportunity for educators to spend two or three days with colleagues, share knowledge, impart and receive best practices, and learn from other’s experiences.”

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Matt JOnes, Eloy Oakley, Bill Moseley

Summer Bridge video by Theresa McAllister

Sonya Christian 2 cropped June 21 2017

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Week One of the Summer Semester!

Lily June 16 2017

Calla Lily. June 17 2017

Good morning Bakersfield.  It is Saturday, June 17, 2017 and a wonderful day to be a Renegade.

Here’s this year’s garden Calla Lily for you.

You can see last year’s on my June 4, 2016 blog post: https://sonyachristianblog.com/2016/06/04/a-community-together/ .

A typical summer week at Bakersfield College — several department retreats where employees get to evaluate last year and then plan for 2017-2018, BC’s incredible Summer Bridge program, and then an underground line from our chiller tanks broke causing the air conditioning to go out.

We had several events planned on campus including Summer Bridge for High School students entering as freshman in Fall 2017 and a high school basketball camp that is hosted by Coach Rich Hughes.  Imaging 200 high school students playing basketball in our gym with no air conditioning and the  temperature forecast to spike to 100 degrees.  Our BC facilities and maintenance group went into action immediately, with alternate plans getting large coolers in the gym so that the event could continue without disruption.

Here is a picture Kimberly Bligh snapped of the Summer Bridge event as they dealt with changes in their plans with the air conditioning down and the high expected to be 96 degrees.

June 16 2017 Summer Bridge

And then our Athletics Director Sandi Taylor, who was worried about the heat in the gym sent me this photo

2017 Summer High School Showcase June 16 2017

This is the email I received from Bill Potter.  BC’s M&O staff rock!  Do you see why I am the luckiest and happiest college president ever…

BillPotter_Sonya

Bill Potter

We have been able to isolate the broken water line to only 4 buildings on campus. We are still working to uncover the lines and see the extent of the damage before we can determine how long the repair will take.  Until the repairs can be made these buildings will not have Air Conditioning.

  1. Business Services/Bookstore
  2. LA Building
  3. Forums
  4. Gymnasium
  • Air Conditioning is being restored to the remainder of the campus and all scheduled activities will not be affected.
  • We rented 4 portable swamp coolers and paced them in the Gym for the Basketball Tournament. Coach Hughes has been informed throughout the entire process.
  • I will send another update when we have a timeline for repairs. Our plumbing contractor has assured us they can stay onsite until repairs can be made.  We will do our best to get it restored over the weekend so we can resume Monday morning as normal.

The following team members played an important role in keeping us going today:

Bill Garrett, Landon Webb, Tim Hernandez, Aaron Kidwell, Martin Ramirez, Dennis Spencer, Frank Tinoco, Gilbert Merjil, Jason Brown, David Branson, Dalia Garcia

The rest of the M&O team picked up the slack and kept the campus functioning and other project going.

It was a great team effort.

I love this picture with Charlie, Bill Potter’s son (see below).  This is how we roll at BC.  I remember for Measure J, employees brought out their families to 1675 Chester, our campaign headquarters, to help with phone banking, precinct walking and all other campaign chores. A whole family endeavor.  #WeAreBC!

Thank you to the plumbers from J Noble Binns to helping us fix this major issue that resulted in us shutting down the air conditioning system

So thank you for passing Measure J.  
BC absolutely needs to upgrade its 60-year-old facilities and infrastructure.

sonya-christian-measure-j-oct-1-2016

Neo

Neo June 15 2017 at 8 30 pm

Sonya Christian and Neo June 10 2017

 

I continue to be distracted by Neo’s new mannerisms and pranks. He is sweet, smart and learning fast, but he can be fierce with toys and petunias… In three weeks, he has gone from 10 lbs to 24 lbs.  You see him here being sweet while he plays with me and then his stubborn streak sets in when I am attempting to get his attention at 8:30 p.m. to come in and he just sits by the pool and calmly looks at me without budging an inch.  But I must confess that the Golden Retriever sweetness emerges again and he relents and comes in.

The only reason friends now ping me is to discuss the latest and greatest with Neo.  Here is a sample.

Set 1:

Friend: Were you up at 5:00 a.m. to let Neo out for a potty break.

Me: Lol. That was at 3:20 a.m.

Friend: You need a doggy door.

Set 2:

Friend: Is it true that you have to chase Neo around in the wee hours of the morning in damp grass to get back inside the house after he goes potty outside?

Me: emoji of laughter with tears

Friend: And isn’t it true that he will sit and wait for you to get near him, and after  you give chase, just to get up and run away again….and he will do this repeatedly?

 

Enough about Neo.

BC produces leaders

What a powerful picture of leadership!

BCSGA Presidents with Nicky Damania June 16 2017

President Matthew Frazer, President Dezi Von Manos, President Alex Dominguez, President Clayton Fowler, Dr. Nicky Damania

Loved receiving this photo from Dr. Nicky Damania who hosts an annual dinner which he cooks at his house with all the previous presidents of the Bakersfield College Student Government Association (BCSGA).

 

The group met and reminisced about their years while giving advice to the incoming president.

President Alex Dominguez, 2014-15, is going to the University of Mississippi for law school.

President Clayton Fowler, 2015-2016, will finish his Political Science and Public Service degrees is at UC Davis.

President Matthew Frazer, 2016-17 will be starting at CSUB in Political Science.

President Dezi Von Manos, 2017-18, is working on a double degree in Criminal Justice and Communication.

And Dr. Nicky Damania, Director of Student Life, is starting his fourth year at Bakersfield College and is excited for the next year of student leaders

Start of Summer School

On Monday morning, campus felt alive with energy. Students filled the halls in preparation for the first day of summer class and the Welcome Center was full of student activities. The first day of class is always exciting because it marks another new step in the educational journey towards completion. The week, however, was just as exciting for faculty who welcomed new students into their classes and for BC’s Administration, who came together to plan, strategize, and work on the future of BC and student success.

It’s always great to see students on campus and I loved this photo on Instagram!

Instagram

Admin Council Retreat

The Admin Council at BC is BC’s entire management team. Administrative Council is a forum for communication on issues and trends affecting Bakersfield College, and communicates directly with the president. Each summer, we gather for retreats which help us recap our accomplishments so far, but more importantly work on our plans for moving the college forward.

17admincouncil02_resized

Earl Parsons and Manny De Los Santos took the group photos and luckily the weather on Tuesday was not too hot to be outside. Group photography always presents a unique set of challenges, but I think the photo turned out great. Earl later said in an email, “it’s an honor that I am trusted to capture all kinds of important moments for such a historic and life-changing institution as Bakersfield College.”  What a great team of people we have at BC! Can you see why I’m the happiest and luckiest college president ever?

AdminRetreat-(9)

Sonya Christian addressing the management team

When I walked in the second day of the retreat, there was our new manager Zach Quiroz tapping the ivories on the piano.  Just beautiful!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There was great panel discussion that left the group with practical take-aways and tools they can use to manage their roles while also creating urgency to implement and improve strategies that work.

Lesley Bonds moderated a fantastic panel which included Tom Gelder on strategic thinking and clarity on priorities, Jennifer Aachan on action orientated communication, Shanell Tyus on clarity in decision making, and Alyse Braaten on starting on the right path and communication.

Team 2

Alyse Braaten, Shanell Tyus, Tom Gelder, Lesley Bonds

They shared “8 Things Really Efficient People Do” which is an article by @KevinJDaum. The author points out that focus is vital in his first point that suggests we should stop multitasking. The article goes on to discuss proper planning, appropriate communication, and delegating items that others can do better than we can, especially given our workload. It was a beneficial discussion as we all have the goal to be able to achieve our objectives in record time at BC.

Jennifer Marden, Liz Rozell, and Eric Sabella led a session on recognizing stressors in our lives in order to cope with them,  staying well.  Both Liz Rozell and Eric Sabella did a deep dive when they presented their personal stories, the stressors in their lives and how they cope.  They were open in their descriptions, smart in their thinking and sensitive in their delivery.  Have I told you recently that I am the luckiest and happiest college president…..I get to work with these amazing individuals every day.

Team 1.JPG

Here is an excerpt from Jennfier Marden’s opening comments:

As the spring semester came to a close, Sonya and I started talking about the various retreats.  Of course at that time there was a lot of energy at BC centered around the Leadership Matters Summit: Reimagining Leadership to Sustain Transformative Change to Advance Student Success & Equity.  The website describes the summit as “three sessions immersed in the theory and practice of change, how to navigate change, how to lead change, how to deal with the friction points, conflicts that arise due to change and above all how to sustain change.”

Sonya and I talked about the amount of change the college is undergoing—from Curriculum to Facilities.  In particular, those of us in this room, the 65 people that comprise the management team of BC, have experienced a substantial amount of change this past academic year.

This seems like a good time to pause and to celebrate the resiliency of the Bakersfield College management team in accomplishing so many things 2016-17!!

From this conversation, and true to form, Sonya asked me to get a team together to facilitate this discussion.  The Holmes-Rahe Stress Inventory that we all completed will frame this session, “Wellness Strategies by Being Aware of Stressors in Our Lives”

Change is inevitable and change isn’t always negative.  Often change is a positive experience… buying a new house, welcoming a new baby to the family, a promotion—all examples of positive change.  But regardless of this, change causes stress… increased responsibility, sleepless nights, and unfamiliar territory.

It is how we manage the stress of change in our lives that is important as this has a direct impact to our overall well-being. If our wellness is compromised, will are not able to give our best to our work or our loved ones.

So in the next 28 minutes, Liz, Eric and I will each share thoughts about our personal results from the stress inventory, and Liz will give us a 50,000ft level look at our group scores.  Be thinking about…  How you navigate change, lead others through change, deal with the friction points and conflicts that arise due to change, and above all… how do you sustain change?  Eric will be asking five of you to share your personal reflections. (373 words)

Bill Moseley, Ramon Puga and Imelda Valdez led a session focused on how to stay organized in moving large quantities of work with quality. Ramon shared with the management team that in his line was work, his goal every morning is to come to work and expect the unexpected.  He also talked about how he has been attempting to delegate more.  Imelda, one of our new managers talked about the power of planning.  She is the Director of our EOP&S program and is right now planning the retreat with her team.  I was really impressed with her clarity and focus.  Bill discussed the tech tools he uses to maximize productivity and keep the work moving.  He reviewed his own strategy, which involves dividing his time into three areas; triage, light work, and deep work.  In triage, the work is focused on guiding input, responding to emails, and completing tasks that can be done in under two minutes.  Triage can be done almost anywhere, and isn’t vulnerable to distraction.  Light work consists of planning, reviewing, researching, and organizing.  This can be done in a mildly distracting environment and is perfect for “open door” times in the office.  Deep work takes uninterrupted time and deep concentration.  Bill described creating his environment for deep work as, “door closed, email turned off, and music with no words playing in the background.  By using these three phases of work, anyone can take control of their inputs and outputs, and increase their productivity.

Janet Fulks and Craig Hayward did a great presentation about BC’s students.  Through data, video and story telling the two of them grounded the discussions on the “why” our work matters…..Our students.  and how education transforms lives.

Here are a few highlights from the powerpoint that Janet and Craig used for their presentation.

Pie Chart Student Demographics June 14 2017

When you think about the “needs” of the BC students think about their background

  • Proportion on Financial Aid 69.6%   (that’s 19,228 students)
  • Proportion First Gen 53.9% (that’s 14,891 students)

This picture captures the need being right now!

Need circle

Here is a powerful bar graph that shows increase in wages with specific skill building cluster classes.  Check out Automotive Technology.

Wage Growth related to Skills Builder

Grace Commiso did brief presentations on both days about how BC is developing 18 completion coaching communities among faculty and staff to coach students through their 15-credits in their first semester and successfully completing their English and math requirements in the first year.  The 18 completion coaching communities are comprised of 10 metamajors and 8 affinity groups.

On Wednesday morning, the team was back at it and Dena Rhoades snapped photos of the beautiful breakfast that fueled us through the morning. Thank you chef Eric Sabella and BC Food Services.

AdminCouncil_Breakfast

I loved this tweet from Nicky Damania:

Executive Office Photo

Executive Office - Getting Set-1

The Executive Office is comprised of the President, the three Vice Presidents and the staff.  Here is the team.  and thank you John Farrand for this fun photo.  We retreated for half a day on Thursday.  Thank you Chris Glaser, Somaly Boles, June Charles, Tracy Hall and Jennifer Marden for organizing the different sessions for the retreat.

 

Saluting Keith Wolaridge

Keith WoolaridgeOn Monday, Tom Gelder met with Keith Wolaridge to present him his plaque from Sterling Silver at Uricchio’s Trattoria. Passing a bond initiative is like raising a child…it takes a village. Keith is one of those people who did whatever was needed to get the word out, to ask for the right endorsements, to write the opinion pieces, to make the phone calls, to bolster people’s spirits. Thank you Keith!

To check out all the recipients of awards at Sterling Silver, check out my blog post: Moments that make up Life.

IT’S POSSIBLE

The Outreach team at BC is gearing up for one of the best express enrollment events yet. Coming up on June 20th, anyone and everyone is invited to attend IT’S POSSIBLE – a one-day express event starting at 8:00AM that will help future and current students, no matter where they are in the enrollment or registration process so they can leave with their class schedule in hand, knowing exactly what classes they’ll be attending in Fall. Thank you to everyone on campus who is preparing for this fantastic day!

Check out the event on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/events/1941376366135105  or RSVP on the website at: https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/itspossible

Its Possible

Come out for the Air Force Band

Exciting things are coming to the campus on the hill. On June 28th, at 7:00PM, the United States Air Force Band of the Golden West will perform a free concert at the Simonsen Outdoor Theater at our beautiful campus. This is FREE to the public so I hope you’ll gather your friends and family and visit the campus to enjoy the music.

The United States Air Force Band of the Golden West is stationed in the San Francisco Bay area at Travis Air Force Base and their goal is to foster positive, long lasting impressions of the Air Force and the United States of America using the power of music. They are headed to the Hollywood Bowl and will perform the entire set for everyone at BC. Let’s show them the warmest Bakersfield welcome by packing the theater. See you there!

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Recycling Event at BC

Bakersfield College is partnering with Happy Recyclers to help our community dispose of any unwanted electronics the right way.

Last year, over 500 people participated, giving away over one million pounds of electronics to be efficiently recycled instead of ending up in a landfill. This year, our event will even accept those heavy outdated televisions, which many recyclers aren’t able to process.

BC cares for our surrounding neighborhoods and the ecological well-being of our planet, so come out for an opportunity to clear out your electronic clutter and help the environment on June 24th and 25th from 8:00AM to 5:00PM.

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Student Success During the Summer

Along with eager-to-learn students on campus, our student services have also reopened their doors for the summer! Staff and faculty at BC encourage all students to take advantage of the everything BC has to offer to ensure that all students will succeed with the tools and help they need!

 

This Summer, there is an array of services provided that can help all students achieve their academic goals. Located in the Student Services Center Building, there is an abundance of free academic help. I’d like to spotlight a few:

  • ItsPOSSIBLE_3Dec16-12There is the Math lab where students are able to work on online math classes, get math help for on-campus classes, and even the Extend The Classroom for Math B72.
  • The Writing Center is a gem, where students can make an appointment and speak to an extremely knowledgeable and supportive coach who will guide students through the entire process of writing a solid paper. Amber Smithson, a BC student, offered a great tip. She said, “make sure to take in your assignment sheet, so you can go through each step for you to obtain the best grade!”
  • The Tutoring center is also located upstairs overlooking the math and writing labs. That’s where students can obtain free peer tutoring in 50-minute sessions for most courses and 15-minute drop-in sessions for English and Math only. These peer tutors are amazing because they’re students who have taken these classes and they’re knowledgeable on the material, but they can also relate to the student needing help.  The tutors not only have a passion for learning, but also for teaching and sharing that knowledge with their fellow students. All of these services are offered throughout the Summer and start right away. During the Fall session, they start a week into the semester.

The staff and faculty care so much about student success…

writingcentermain_0

Superheroes behind the Scenes

David WhalenLike I mentioned earlier, the faculty at BC ALWAYS have student success in their heart and on their mind. When a physics class was left without a professor due to an emergency, Dr. David Whalen stepped in to save the semester. It’s incredible that he has volunteered to change his summer and vacation plans to put BC students first.  Can you see why I’m the luckiest and happiest college president?

Jonathan Schultz introduces us to Prof. Joe Saldivar

Sonya Christian Manhatten Beach day before CA Guided Pathways Advisory Committee

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever