BC Kicks Off the Semester!

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, September 7, 2019… A great day to be a Renegade.

Standing Upon The Seashore.

I heard this poem by Henry Van Dyke read at an interment a few weeks ago. I found it and have read it every day since then. Thought I would share it with you in the hope it gives some comfort.

Ship sailing into horizon

I am standing upon the seashore. A ship, at my side,
spreads her white sails to the moving breeze and starts
for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength.
I stand and watch her until, at length, she hangs like a speck
of white cloud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other.

Then, someone at my side says, “There, she is gone”

Gone where?

Gone from my sight. That is all. She is just as large in mast,
hull and spar as she was when she left my side.
And, she is just as able to bear her load of living freight to her destined port.

Her diminished size is in me — not in her.
And, just at the moment when someone says, “There, she is gone,”
there are other eyes watching her coming, and other voices
ready to take up the glad shout, “Here she comes!”

– Henry Van Dyke

Mento Buru and the BC Fight Song

BC’s Shane Jones

What better way to get ready for football season than by listening to Mento Buru’s rendition of the BC fight song! These tracks were recorded with our very own Commercial Music Department students. Take a listen!

Punk Version (with Lyrics)

Listen to the Punk version on SoundCloud.

Latin Ska Version (Instrumental)

Listen to the Latin Ska version on SoundCloud.

Community College Roundtable

Bakersfield College hosted a community college roundtable this past Tuesday, September 3 for Congressman Kevin McCarthy’s office. Representatives from the Kern Community College District, Bakersfield College, Porterville College, Cerro Coso College, Antelope Valley College, Taft College, and Senator Dr. Jean Fuller were all in attendance to participate in the discussion.

The goal of this roundtable was to bring together chancellors and presidents from Antelope Valley College, the Kern Community College District, and the West Kern Community College District for an open discussion on community college issues.  The conversation revolved around updates and recent happenings on the respective campuses, as well as student loan reform issues and the Higher Education Reauthorization Act.  This was a wonderful opportunity for community colleges in Congressman McCarthy’s district to share thoughts with him, and have a collegial discussion with each other.

The guest list included:

  • Thomas Burke, Chancellor, Kern Community College District
  • John Means, Vice Chancellor, Kern Community College District
  • Dr. Sonya Christian, President, Bakersfield College
  • Jill Board, President, Cerro Coso College
  • Dr. Corey Marvin, VP of Instruction, Cerro Coso College
  • Dr. Claudia Habib, President, Porterville College
  • Roger Perez, Marketing and Communications Manager, Porterville College
  • Dr. Deb Daniels, President, Taft College
  • Susan Groveman, Executive Director of Marketing and Community Relations, Taft College
  • Ed Knudson, President, Antelope Valley College
  • Dr. Jean Fuller, Senator Emeritus

It was also a joy to see Renegade alum and previous BCSGA President, Clayton Fowler, who is now Field Representative for Congressman McCarthy’s office, and was instrumental in organizing and planning this event.  Clayton is one of many Renegades who have gone on to do great things in life.

Holiday Hiring Series

BC’s Student Employment (BCSE) welcomed all students to our Holiday Hiring Series event, which was a perfect outreach opportunity for students to meet with representatives from major companies and apply for jobs for the upcoming winter holiday break. Recruiters from companies such as Nike, Levi Strauss & CO., Jobspeaker, and BCSE encouraged students to apply and helped them with their job applications. BCSE offers great employment resources for both on- and off-campus career opportunities that may interest students.

Thank you to BCSE for organizing this great event helping students to unlock new career opportunities.

Visit TurnTo23.com for more about the Holiday Hiring Series.

Burritos with Prez Pulido

BCSGA President Samantha Pulido wanted to get the student body more involved in meetings, so she held a “Burritos with Prez Pulido” event in Levinson Hall on Tuesday.

BCSGA President Samantha Pulido speaks to her Renegade constituents
BCSGA President Samantha Pulido speaks to her Renegade constituents.

The event featured free burritos and a chance to meet with student government leaders to discuss Bakersfield College’s future.

Students enjoying free burritos
BC students enjoy free burritos while learning more about SGA.

Pulido introduced herself to those attending the meeting, and Legislative Affairs Director Johnny Maddon held a Q&A session on Measure J construction and several initiatives from last year.

Johnny Maddon
BCSGA Legislative Affairs Director Johnny Maddon answers questions.

I’d like to thank Samantha Pulido, the BCSGA team, and the Office of Student Life for keeping student government at BC transparent.

Student Involvement Festival

Welcome Week at BC culminated with Wednesday’s Student Involvement Festival, which featured booths from departments and student organizations throughout the campus to teach students about all of the resources available to them at BC.

Some of the campus organizations represented on the CSS Lawn this year included Finish in 4, Adult Education, BCSGA, and Child Development, as well as representatives from the Dolores Huerta Foundation, Golden Empire Transit, and Cricket Wireless.

I’d like to thank everyone who supported this year’s Student Involvement Festival to help our students feel like they’re a part of the Renegade family.

Karaoke Knights

Karaoke Knights, hosted by BC’s Student Government Association (BCSGA), invited students to get together for a lot of fun, singing, and dancing. It was a great opportunity for students to let loose and belt out their favorite tunes.

Students showed off their singing skills and enjoyed some stand-up comedy in between songs. Many thanks to BCSGA for hosting the event.

Channel 17 Attends Class

Channel 17’s Olivia LaVoice visited Associate Professor of Criminal Justice Pat Smith’s Forensics Evidence class to discuss cold crime cases this week. The visit was covered on the news. Check out the YouTube video below for the story. Way to go, Pat!

Follow Rural HEAL on Twitter

Last week, the Rural HEAL Advisory Team launched our rural HEAL collaborative social media presence on Twitter. 

Twitter logo

I am excited about this eight-county collaboration addressing rural health in our community.

Follow the rural HEAL collaborative on Twitter at twitter.com/RuralHEAL and subscribe to receive rural HEAL collaborative updates.

I’d like to give a special thanks to Janalynn Castillo for all her hard work on this initiative.

Fun Photos: Renegade’s Men’s Chorus

The new Renegades Men’s Chorus will be singing the national anthem at the football game on Saturday night. I know they will do an amazing job!

Renegade Mens Chorus

Fun Photos:

Cookie Dough Monsters

Web Content Editor Aricia Leighton enjoys some delicious Bliss Cookie Dough at the Student Involvement Festival. Looks yummy!

Falafel Madness

Kylie Swanson shared this great photo of Ashlea Wagner’s birthday party in the Outreach Department on Friday. Ashlea is sure loving her surprise falafel lunch!

Ashlea Wagner birthday party

Athletics Updates

Football Ranked #16 in Preseason Poll

BC ranked 16th in preseason poll

It was announced this week that our Renegade Football team has been ranked #16 in the JC Athletic Bureau Poll. We are eager to see the team play on the new turf this season. Make plans to be at Memorial Stadium this Saturday at 6pm when the them faces off against Mt. SAC to open the season!

Free Community Swim Lessons

Free Swim Lessons at BC

For the 5th consecutive year the BC Swim Team is offering a free community swim clinic taught by members of the BC Swim Team. Lessons are available to children of all ages — young children must be potty-trained. The clinic is Saturday, Sept. 7th from 8am – 12pm at the BC Pool.

Volleyball Opens Season Going 3-0

Renegade Volleyball is on a run to open up their fall season. They swept Mt. SAC and Fullerton last Saturday and then swept Sequoias this last Wednesday night to start the season on a three-game win streak. The team started the season ranked #2 in the state and are looking dominant so far.

Make sure to come out to one of their game this season as they make their way back to the state playoffs. Check out the volleyball season schedule.

Kern Schools Federal Credit Union Renegades of the Week

Brian Gaxiola and Alyson Dees

Renegade Athletics is proud to announce this week’s (8/25-8/31) Kern School Federal Credit Union Renegades of the Week:

  • Alyson Dees, Volleyball
    • In her college debut, Alyson had 32 attack attempts, 17 kills and 0 attack errors helping the team go 2-0 in last Saturday’s Bakersfield Quad in the Gil Bishop Sports Center. The Renegades swept both Mt. SAC and Fullerton, 3-0.
  • Bryan Gaxiola, Men’s Cross Country
    • Took 3rd place in the men’s race on Friday at the Ventura Invitational with a time of 22:41 on the 4-mile course. He was the highest placing freshman out of all male runners.


That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

sonya-
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Welcome Back, Renegades!

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, October 18, 2019… A great day to be a Renegade.

This week I made it to the final Concerts by the Fountain performance at the Marketplace to hear Mento Buru. As I was walking up they were doing a rendition of Desaparecido by Manu Chao, that I have not been able to get out of my head.

First BC Inmate Scholars’ Graduation at Kern Valley State Prison

BC’s pioneering class of students in prison graduated on August 28, 2019 — a historic day for BC.  We had 17(!) inmate Renegades graduate and receive their associate’s degrees from Bakersfield College. This was the first commencement since the program began at Kern Valley State Prison in 2015, and there really are no words to capture the tenacity and perseverance of these students.  I’m extremely proud of them! Robert Price from the Bakersfield Californian was there to share in the experience (check out his article) and some of the great coverage from local news stations!

Make sure to check out the piece that BakersfieldNow did on the graduation!

The faculty speaker was Bryan Hirayama who focused his remarks on lifting the students with whom he started this journey in 2015. Here is an excerpt from his speech.

The hard work and dedication, discipline, and transformation of these men, there is nothing more profound than that. The impact of this education is irreversible, and the trajectory of people’s lives have forever been changed. That is truly profound! I want to thank you men for your Renegade spirit and meeting and exceeding expectations. Your success here not only gives life and hope to this program, but to your peers who may not have ever considered college prior to your success. Your work here has subtly, and arguably drastically, changed people’s perceptions of you. Most importantly, your accomplishments here have created a lane and challenge for family and friends to redefine what is possible and give higher education a chance. Men, you have affirmed through your pursuit of something more that “you are worthy” and that the deep reservoir of potential has been tapped and we can’t wait to see what’s next as you continue moving forward. We are all so proud of you men and again, congratulations. Go Gades!

Check out this short video that will give you an insight into the work.

Photo from TBC website. Photo by Robert Price

Thank you Dan Hall, Angelica Perez, Camilla Anderson and Manny Mourtzanos for all of their hard work on this program. I also want to recognize Rich McCrow who started this program at BC in 2015. Thank you Rich for working with me in launching this program that transforms lives.

First Day of Fall 2019

Classes for the 2019-2020 academic year officially started this past Saturday, but most students took their first classes of the year on August 26 and 27. BCSGA helped ease any first-day jitters by providing donuts and student planners at welcome tents next to Administration Building, Outdoor Theater and Gym Huddle on the Panorama Campus, as well as the entrances to BC SouthWest and the Delano Center. Students could also ask representatives at the welcome tents for help finding their classes.

BCSGA representatives helped incoming freshmen feel comfortable with their new college life, including providing student planners to help them be more organized and stay up-to-date with their class assignments.  I’d like to thank BCSGA for motivating our incoming students and for helping them feel more safe and welcome on the BC campus. Welcome to our new Renegades!!

BCSGA Power Lunch with Congressman TJ Cox

Congressman TJ Cox visited BC on Wednesday for the first Power Lunch of the Fall, organized by our Student Government Association.  BCSGA’s Legislative Affairs director Johnny Maddon served as the moderator for Congressman Cox, who won his seat in the House of Representatives by just 862 votes in one of the most contested races of last year’s midterm elections.

Congressman TJ Cox
Congressman TJ Cox

The room was packed, and it was exciting to see so many people connecting with local politics.  Congressman Cox spoke about how his Filipino upbringing instilled a strong sense of social justice in him that has influenced his career in politics. After leaving a successful career in engineering to start over in the Central Valley with his wife Kathleen Murphy, who was called to serve as a pediatrician at Valley Children’s Hospital in Madera, he was inspired by the Iraq War to run for office for the first time in 2006. Despite losing by more than 20 points in his first two campaigns, he persevered and continued his political ambitions, believing deeply that his message and commitment would resonate with Central Valley voters with the right mobilization and support.

Mike Giacomini, Chancellor Tom Burke, Congressman TJ Cox and Zav Dadabhoy

Congressman Cox was extremely engaged during his time on campus, speaking with as many students and faculty as he could, and even making a diagram of the Washington Mall out of note cards for one student who had questions about the layout of the Capitol building.  I appreciate him taking the time to answer questions from the audience on inmate education, Valley Fever, and college tuition.  

Dr. Nicky Damania, Congressman TJ Cox and Johnny Maddon

I’d like to thank Congressman Cox for being so open and available to the BC community. I’d also like to thank the Office of Student Life, BCSGA, and Johnny Maddon for organizing this event, as well as Food Services for providing a delicious lunch.

Our very own Renegade Rip wrote a great piece on the event which I encourage reading.  

Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

The Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce celebrated its 25th annual Hispanic Business Conference and Expo Thursday August 29 with much fanfare and success, and Bakersfield College was in high gear connecting with community members, business leaders and working professionals to promote the work we do. Many local businesses, professionals, entrepreneurs and students gathered at the conference and expo to participate in business workshops and networking opportunities.

History Professor Olivia Garcia co-chaired Hispanic Business Conference and Expo, along Eva Ramirez of Kaiser Permanente. In working with KCHCC CEO/President Jay Tamsi, Olivia and Eva sought to celebrate the 25th anniversary of this growing special event by offering an array of workshops, dealing from conflict resolution and media branding to understanding the millennial as the consumer and employee, to showcasing rising women in business.

Margita Thompson, Vice President, Public Affairs at California Resources Corporation, CRC, traveled from Los Angeles and spoke as one of the keynote speakers. Thompson, a Harvard grad and bicultural Latina, spoke of her varied experiences, including serving as press secretary of former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and working as the California press secretary for former President George W. Bush during his 2000 election campaign.

The second keynote speaker was Richard Montanez, who created the Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. He spoke of his humble beginnings as janitor who thought of an idea to spice up the Cheetos and found the courage and persuasion to present it to Frito-Lay executives who were wowed by it. Montanez is now an executive of a multinational company, PepsiCo whose subsidiary is Frito-Lay. Montanez spoke frankly of his limited education and encouraged the audience, particularly students, to never give up and look to education as part of the path to success. He told attendees to embrace their uniqueness and pursue their dreams relentlessly. Montanez’s own story of janitor-turned-inventor is being turned into a movie, called “Flamin’ Hot,” which, according to media reports, is set to be directed by Eva Longoria.

Olivia interviewed both keynote speakers, and a contingent of Bakersfield College faculty and staff attended to promote Bakersfield College programs and services and connect with local businesses and participants. BC was represented by CTE Director Tony Cordova; Paul Beckworth, Director of Veteran Services; Armando Trujillo, veterans advisor; Jeff LaForce, educational advisor; and CTE staff, Dominica Trinidad, Carlos Medina, Juan Manzano, and Jeff LaForce.

It’s always exciting to see our campus connecting with the business and community in innovative ways.

BC Listed as Top 10 School

This week, BC was listed as a Top 10 School for our Ag Business Programs by Hispanic Outlook on Education Magazine. Agriculture is a huge part rural Kern County’s economy.  BC’s Rural Initiatives mission is to provide ready access to the high quality education necessary for our socially and ethnically diverse students ‐‐ vocational, transfer‐oriented, developmental ‐‐ and to help them thrive in a rapidly changing world.

Careers in agriculture are diverse, and include: farm management, accounting, marketing, sales, and services requiring accounting, computers and salesmanship.

I’m so proud of our what our Ag faculty at BC do for our community. Check out the article at Hispanicoutlook.com and see why BC Renegades choose Ag Business in the video below!

Rural Express Enrollment Events: Creating Pathways for All!

Our Rural Initiatives team has been very busy! The team has been going from North to South offering Express Enrollment opportunities for Kern County rural communities. The cities of Arvin, Shafter, Delano, Wasco and Southeast Bakersfield enrolled new Renegades through these Express Enrollment opportunities.

BC Adult Ed Newsletter

Have I mentioned how proud I am to be the President of Bakersfield College?  This summer our Adult Ed Team was out and about in the community sharing the good news of education — catch the latest edition of their newsletter “In Touch, In Tune” for some highlights. Also, check out the article about the new Arvin Transit routes from locations in Arvin to the Job Spot in South Bakersfield.  A very special thank you to Endee Grijalva on our Adult Ed team for all of her hard work! 

Mike Giacomini Presents on Measure J

Our VP of Finance & Administrative Services Mike Giacomini presented at the Government Review Council (GRC) at the Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce to update community members on the status of various Measure J projects.  Thank you Nick Ortiz, Jean Scheiber, and Kaelyn Peterson for allowing us to come present!  

Mike Giacomini presenting at GRC

Community members are extremely supportive of Measure J, and it’s important that we keep the community updated as much as possible.  If you’re active in the community, expect to see us at one of your events!

Deployed Renegade Elaine Moreno Update!

Paul Beckworth faculty Director of Veterans Services forwarded me an email earlier this week with an update on our currently deployed BC Renegade Elaine Moreno.  I’ve shared a bit about Elaine in past blog posts, and was happy to hear an update on her.  She told Paul that she’s currently working on a video to thank everyone who contributed to the eight (yes, 8!!) care packages that she received and will give a more detailed update then.  In the meantime, she sent over these great photos which we’ve also added to our Student Deployment Spotlight webpage.  Thank you for your service Elaine, and stay safe!  

Equity Training at BC 

Last week, faculty and staff had an exciting learning opportunity with the equity presentation by Inger Stark from the Peralta Community College District. Inger is one of the creators of the Online Equity Rubric that helps faculty understand the impact of their teaching practices on all of their students. Feedback on this session was overwhelmingly positive and we hope to have the rubric creators back again.

Warm Welcome From Carlos 

On Monday morning, Carlos Barbaran left welcome notes on the desks in the Administration building. Each year, Carlos leaves a note inviting those working in his area to contact him should we ever need his assistance. In A-17, he even left a delicious coffee café for the entire team of Marketing and Institutional Effectiveness to share. What a great way to start the year, thanks to incredible and caring staff!

Library Infographic

Check out this infographic from the Library team.  The stats below reflect all the work the librarians and library staff put in over the past academic year, and were they ever busy! Thanks to Faith Bradham for sharing this! 

Eat With Fellow Renegades 

Earlier this week BC Food Services welcomed students to a new 2019-2020 academic school year with a variety of meals provided by The Huddle, Gades Grub, and Banderas Burger Grill. So many delicious food options on campus!

If you happen to be at the Home of the Renegades, the Huddle is open Monday through Thursday, from 7:00 am to 7:30 pm, as well as Friday, from 7am to noon.

We also have rotations of food trucks on campus, right now with the Banderas Burger Grill open Monday through Friday, from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. 

BC Rocks with Epic Proportions Tour!

BC’s Office of Student Life rocked the Huddle earlier this week with the Epic Proportions Tour, kicking off the new school year by hosting two touring bands: pop-rock artists Gabe Kubanda and People Who Could Fly!  Both are currently touring high schools, colleges, and military bases around the United States, performing for over 250,000 fans, and in the process encouraging kids to pursue a future in music.

The Epic Proportions Tour is a veteran-owned business that has since 2011 been offering free entertainment across the nation and teaching people about music. I would like to thank Gabe Kubanda, People Who Could Fly and everyone from Epic Proportions Tour for putting an amazing performance, and a very special thank you to our Office of Student Life for constantly making BC not only a place of learning, but a place of fun! 

Fun & Games with SGA

BC’s Student Government Association celebrated the new academic year with  an Indoor Gaming and Board Games event where students could get together, have some fun, relieve stress, listen to music and most importantly: enjoy some tasty snacks!  While it was mostly fun and games, BCSGA also introduced students to the Renegade Pantry assistance program, which helps students receive quality food, clothing, and hygiene supplies. 

Thank you to BCSGA for organizing this great event and for constantly bringing our students together.  Your work helps students become familiar and comfortable on the campus, and lets them know about available BC organizations and upcoming BC community events.  THANK YOU! 

BC Cheerleaders at Extreme MakeOver: Home Edition!

Heather Foss shared some photos with me of our Renegade Cheerleaders on the set of Extreme MakeOver: Home Edition earlier this week.  They taught everyone at the event a dance, and helped to “Move That Bus”!!!! Thank you for making BC proud! 

Fun Photos: 2019 Convocation

We had a wonderful time last week welcoming the newest Renegades and their families to the BC campus.  I’d like to extend a very special thank you to Dr. Nicky Damania for his consistently amazing work on this event.  

Fun Photos: Carpooling this Fall! 

I’ve continued my challenge from last fall to carpool to campus during the first couple of weeks of the Fall Semester.  Steve Holmes sent me a picture of his carpooling buddy…

Men’s Soccer Opens the Season With a Win

Our Renegade Men’s Soccer team opened up their season with a 2-0 shutout win at home on the BC Soccer Field over visiting West Hills Lemoore. The goals were scored by sophomore Christian Gonzalez and freshman Vitor Silva. The team will look to keep up the winning as the season continues!

Men’s Soccer Serves  the Community at the Kern County Mission 

This last weekend Men’s Soccer head coach Vayron Martinez and his team spent their Saturday morning at the Kern County Mission store helping to sorting donated clothing and hanging it on racks. Great work, and way to represent the college in serving the community Vayron and team!

Join us for the 5th Annual Free Community Swim Lessons 

The Renegade Swimming program is proud to announce the 5th Annual Free Community Swim Lesson Day. The event will be held at the Bakersfield College pool on Saturday, September 7th from 8am-12pm and is open to all, and any age children as long as they are potty-trained! The free lessons will be taught by members of the BC swim team. For more information or questions please call the Bakersfield College Pool at 661-395-4663.

Student Athlete Spotlight – Sarah Lopez, Volleyball

Please enjoy the first in an installment of student athlete profile videos this semester from our athletics department. This week’s video is on Sarah Lopez from Renegade Volleyball. Sarah came to BC from Taft, CA and explains in the video why she chose to come to the ‘Home of the Renegades’.  This year’s volleyball team looks to be dominant once again so make sure to come watch them in action this season. They are seeking to win their fourth conference title in a row! You can find their 2019 season schedule on GoGades.com.

First Football Home Game This Saturday

Make sure you’ve purchased your season tickets, marked your calendars, and join us for the first football game of the season this coming Saturday, September 7th at 6pm at Memorial Stadium against Mt. SAC. The new turf is looking great and we can’t wait to have the community join us for the first game! To purchase tickets visit Vallitix.com or call 661-322-5200. Go Gades!

That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

sonya-
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

BC building bridges

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, October 18, 2019… A great day to be a Renegade.

BC building bridges always…..

2019 Convocation BC Chamber Singers with Bridge Over Troubled Water

I have to start by welcoming BC’s 39 newest faculty to the Home of the Renegades! This year is going to be the best one yet because of the leadership and engagement of faculty and staff. At BC, we create engaged learning environments, strengthen support so students are successful, and we create bridges towards a better BC, a healthier community, and a stronger college going culture with a goal of increasing baccalaureate attainment in Kern County.

Welcome new faculty, I am so happy you are at the Home of the Renegades.

Browse our new faculty online at the New Academic Faculty webpage on the BC website.

Opening Day

Faculty and staff came together in the Indoor Theater on Thursday for the biggest Opening Day celebration that I recall. It is always a joy to arrive in the morning and feel the buzz as staff and faculty mingle and connect over a beautiful spread of breakfast goodies provided by Food Services.

I had so much exciting news to share with everyone in my annual State of the College report, which is why our team put together an Opening Day extravaganza. Samantha Pulido is the BCSGA President this year and her opening remarks were inspiring. She spoke of short term goals and long term goals, like graduating next year.

I opened State of the College with an overview of enrollment and student success data, which continues to rise. Since the 2013-14 semester, BC has seen 4.6 percent growth in annual headcount… we now serve 37,000 students. A 25.9 percent growth in Full Time Equivalent Student (FTES) over the last 5 years, and 10 percentage point growth in distance education.

In that same time period, the course success rate for traditional students is up 7 percent, and course success for distance education students is up 10 percent. It’s amazing that we’ve been able to improve our course success rates while our student population continues to grow significantly at the same time.

With this growth, our need for more faculty has also gone up, and we’ve increased our Full Time Equivalent Faculty by 46.9 percent since 2013-14 to carry out our high-tech, high-touch strategy via the Guided Pathways model.

We also reviewed a visual created by the Office of Institutional Effectiveness which shows the student body distribution by Meta-Major. As you can see, Health Sciences is in the lead at 18% with Arts, Humanities, & Communication close behind at 14%.

Our two Vice Presidents Zav Dadabhoy and Billie Jo Rice introduced the new faculty, classified staff, and managers,

Steve Holmes and Mike Giacomini
Steve Holmes and Mike Giacomini

Vice President of Finance, Mike Giacomini was joined by Academic Senate President, Steven Holmes for a report on budget. They shared the news that the College is financially healthy and being fiscally responsible. Bakersfield College and Kern Community College District have been well positioned to respond to the new Student Centered Funding Formula, and we’ve been fiscally prudent during the transition. 

Trustee Romeo Agbalog spoke about how he is proud to be a Kern Community District Trustee and he is proud of the work of BC’s faculty and staff. He spoke about Early College being the solution for rural communities to advance college attainment levels — a strong leading indicator of economic and social mobility. BC is truly blessed to have a trustee with so much commitment to our rural students and approached solutions that are results oriented and fiscally smart.

Senator Fuller moderated a panel of community leaders — Barbara Grimm, CEO and Founder, Grimm Family Education Foundation; Aaron Resendez, Superintendent of McFarland Unified School District ; David Franz, director of Shafter Education Partnership . I will cover this in my August 30th blog.

Aaron Resendez, Barbara Grimm, David Franz
Ken Keller, Sharlet Briggs, Jeet Singh, and Norma Rojas-Mora
Manny De Los Santos
Manny De Los Santos on Opening Day

BC’s videography specialist, Manny De Los Santos is editing some special videos for upcoming blogs so stay tuned!

After our panelists, the BC Drumline led faculty and staff out of the Indoor Theater to have lunch on the lawn next to the gym.

In the afternoon we spotlighted the need to increase baccalaureate attainment in the Central Valley and we know it will be increasingly important in an era where automation is on the rise. The slide below spotlights a data point from the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) that by 2030, California will need an additional 1.1 million in the workforce holding baccalaureate degrees.

Bakersfield College is rising to meet this demand, with various complementary strategies, each bolstered by a number of initiatives and support services. The first strategy is community colleges throughout the state offering more baccalaureate degrees. BC has been fortunate to be one of the original 15 community colleges to pilot a baccalaureate degree, and we’ve done this successfully with the Industrial Automation program.

Blair Pruett from Kern Steel Fabrication took time out of his day to talk about his role on the Industrial Automation advisory board and the importance of preparing Kern County’s workforce for our automated future. He said:

Blair Pruett at BC
Blair Pruett, August 23, 2019

I applaud you for being here today. Education is the ticket to financial independence, to personal growth and understanding, and it will open doors for students, they don’t even know exist.
The world is fast approaching another paradigm shift where Automation and Information Technologies will work together to facilitate useful Artificial Intelligence. A.I. will allow us to solve vexing problems in every industry. BC stands ready to support the Automation needs of Kern County businesses.

At every opportunity, Kern Steel has Automated our processes. We robotically cut steel plates, beams and tubes with lasers. We weld with robots. We design in 3D and we track all our materials electronically. If there is a process that we can automate, we do, or at least we try.
Automation is key to our success and the success of many industries in Kern County. Whatever career students choose, Ag, Oil, Manufacturing, Distribution or many others, they will find that Automation is a key process. Kern County is full of opportunities for advanced Automation and new technologies and Kern Steel is just one example.

Blair Pruett, President of the Industrial Automation Advisory Board at Bakersfield College

Additionally, the second strategy is to expand transfer. BC’s Finish in 4 collaboration with CSUB is closing the gap for Renegades who are transitioning into Roadrunners, and enrollment in our Bachelor of Science in Industrial Automation continues to grow.

Sonya Christian, Richard Winn, Stephanie Droker, Mary Okada, Ian Walton
BC President Sonya Christian at the NACIQI meeting where the recommendation was made

With NACIQI’s recommendation to expand the baccalaureate programs at community colleges across California, we hope to provide more opportunities to empower the next generation of students with the education they need to turn their dreams into reality.

The new BC SouthWest campus will be triple the size of our current facility, and after lunch, we heard from Jessica Wojtysiak, Jason Stratton and Fernando Lara about their plans for the future of BC SouthWest.

Jessica, Jason, and Fernando – BC’s SouthWest Team

We then heard from our constituent leaders such as CSEA, CCA, Academic Senate, and the Management Association. I was especially humbled by the kind and thoughtful remarks by Tina Johnson and the recognition from our classified staff. This will be one of the top honors I will receive during my tenure as president… one that I will cherish always and hold dear to my heart. BC’s classified staff are a core pillar of strength which allows the college to serve an every increasing number of students each and every day.

We heard from Ann Tatum, President of CCA as well as from Susan Pinza, Director of the Levan Institute and Reggie Williams, Director of the Levan Center.

For the awards portion of the program, Talita Pruett introduced Helen Acosta and Donna Starr introduced Regina Hukill for the Shirley Trembley Distinguished Teaching Award. Erin Miller announced Bernadette Towns as the winner of the Levan Faculty Colloquium Award, and Kimberly Bligh introduced Kimberly Nickell for the Margaret Levinson Distinguished Leadership Award.

I’m proud to report that the State of Bakersfield College is strong, and it will only continue to get stronger as our initiatives grow and expand. I’m looking forward for 2019-20 to be another great academic year for Bakersfield College. Thank you to everyone who attended, packed the Indoor Theater, the two overflow rooms, and watched online. I can’t wait for the new year to begin next week

New Student Convocation and Family Bridge to BC

On Tuesday evening, the BC community prepared new students and their families for life as Renegades during the BC Open House and New Student Convocation in the Outdoor Theater.

History faculty welcoming students and families

This year’s convocation featured a scavenger hunt where students had to familiarize themselves with the campus. Representatives from each building stamped completion of tasks for scavenger hunt participants as they made their way through the campus. The first students to finish the hunt received prizes courtesy of the Bridge to BC program.

Ag table at convocation
BC’s Ag crew had a booth too!

In addition to the scavenger hunt, there was a resource fair in front of the entrance to the Outdoor Theater featuring booths from the Student Health Center, Public Safety Training, BCSGA, and a number of our student organizations. There was also a pathways booth on the lawn in front of the Counseling area, which offered more information about all ten of our learning and career pathways. Walking throughout the campus, you could hear the sound of spinning prize wheels reverberating off the walls.

After a delicious Indian dinner catered by Food Services, the processional started promptly at 7:13 p.m., or 19:13 in military time, to commemorate 1913, the year that Bakersfield College was founded. After a beautiful Bhangra Dance performance in honor of Mahatma Gandhi and a performance of the national anthem by the BC Chamber Singers, emcee Nicky Damania gave a brief introduction on the meaning of the word “convocation”, which is a call to bring people together.

Renegades! Can I hear you?!

I spoke very briefly about our amazing faculty and academic support programs before turning it over to Steven Holmes, Kimberly Bligh, and BCSGA President Samantha Pulido, who lead the audience in oaths for faculty, parents and supporters, and students, respectively.

It takes a village to help just one student finish their education, and these oaths help all of the stakeholders in that journey stay accountable to themselves and each other.

Public Safety Officer Ricardo Orozco also reinforced the importance of BC’s motto – “If you see something, say something, and let’s do something about it.”

The entertainment for the evening was spectacular, from the Chamber Singers’ performance of “You Will Be Found” and “Bridge over Troubled Water” to the closing performance of the BC Call and Fight Song by the Renegade Cheerleaders.

Kimberly Bligh and Isabel Castaneda
Kimberly Bligh and Isabel Castaneda

This year’s convocation was a beautiful way to start off the new semester, and I’d like to thank Dr. Nicky Damania, Office of Student Life, Dr. Kimberly Bligh, Isabel Castaneda, the Bridge to BC Team, Outreach, and everyone who attended to make this year’s the best yet.

It was great to see the event covered in The Bakersfield Californian’s “Incoming BC students, families attend convocation to ease fears” written by Ema Sasic.

Director of Counseling and Student Success, Marisa Marquez even shared this fun photo from the event! She said:

The wonderful Advisors, Counselors, Student Assistants and Administrative Staff of Counseling and Student Success hosted a Pathways welcome fair for the class of 2021! GO RENEGADES!!!

Marisa Marquez, Director of Counseling and Student Success
Steve Watkin and Andrea thorson take a selfie
Outreach Director, Steve Watkin and Dean of Instruction, Andrea Thorson

Flex Week

Matt Jones leads a flexweek workshop
Matt Jones leads a session for Flex Week

This week we celebrated the start of a new academic year with a very successful Flex week. We welcomed New Faculty at our new faculty seminar and had record attendance for our workshops. We received trainings from the CCC Accessibility Center on accessible word and PDF documents and video captioning. We welcomed a faculty member from Peralta College to train on equity and the online equity rubric. Our adjunct faculty seminar was one of our largest in recent years and gave our adjuncts a chance to hear about equity, accessibility and enrollment management.

Given recent current events all of our staff had the opportunity to learn about Active Shooter Response in several sessions throughout the week. We also had other unique offerings this year that ranged from Foundation training, to several Canvas courses, including Canvas Mastery Paths. These workshops have provided valuable information for faculty and staff as they gear up for a new academic year.

Special thanks to Pam Rivers and Bill Moseley for their dedication and commitment to continued learning.

Industrial Automation is Brought to BC’s Delano Campus

With funding presented by Assembly Member Rudy Salas this past July to expand our baccalaureate program in Industrial Automation in Delano, Electronics faculty Tom Rush and Michael Larson were able to work diligently this past week and over the weekend to assemble and prepare three portable Electric Motors and Controls lab training systems.

Tom Rush, Mike Larson, Lora Larkin, and Abel Guzman
Tom Rush, Mike Larson, Lora Larkin, and Abel Guzman

Professors Rush and Larson transported the units to the Delano campus themselves to get the classroom ready for Industrial Automation students’ first day! They were joined by Lora Larkin and Abel Guzman. Thank you Tom and Michael for taking the Industrial Automation program out to our Delano community, and Abel for helping to make this happen!

Project Next Step

Bryon Schaefer, Karen Goh, Lyle Martin, Sonya Christian, Vernon Harper, Steve Watkin (photo: from Mayor Goh’s website)

On Saturday, August 17th Bakersfield College hosted approximately 500 guests for the 3rd Annual Project Next Step Conference. The Project Next Step Conference is an opportunity for new and continuing high school students, made possible by the collaboration of the Kern High School District, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, the Bakersfield Ivy Legacy Foundation, Bakersfield College, and the Bakersfield City School District. Several organizations from the community also participated as sponsors and hosted a table at a resource fair that was provided during lunch. 

Sonya Christian and Bryon Schaefer
Sonya Christian and Bryon Schaefer

The day began with welcoming remarks from myself and other community representatives, including Kern High School District Superintendent Dr. Bryon Schaefer, Dr. Vernon Harper from CSU Bakersfield, and Linda McKnight from Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. Then James Burton Jr. from Farmers Insurance gave a motivational speech on the important of having a goal in mind and taking strategic steps to get there.

Students and parents then left the indoor theater to attend a series of workshops prepared for them on topics like dressing for success, applying for financial aid, participating in dual enrollment, and different college options available to them. The day was a great opportunity to instill students and parents with the confidence that they need to find success in high school and college.

Project Next Step wrote about the event in their blog as well! Check it out!

BC’s Renegade Pantry

Last week, I shared in my blog that BC’s Renegade Pantry announced that they will be receiving a $20,000 grant to help students with hunger and food insecurity. The pantry is run by student employees and is continuously getting restocked thanks to donations and sponsorships from the community. In addition to food, the pantry offers many different types of hygiene items.

Group Photo with check for the Renegade Pantry
Thank you Kern Partnership for the support of the Renegade Pantry

A check presentation on Monday included Cindy Uetz, a Board member of the Kern Partnership for Children and Families and the Chief Deputy Director for the Kern County Department of Human Services and Social Service Supervisor Jana Slagle. Representing BC, we had Nicky Damania, Danyel Ritter, Tom Gelder, and BCSGA President Samantha Pulido.

Umoja Orientation Prepares Students for a Successful Semester

Incoming Umoja Community African-American Success Through Excellence and Persistence students engaged in activities designed to prepare them to make the most of their fall semester.  Umoja offered two orientations for students enrolled in the core courses of English 1a, Library 1, and Student Development 6. During the two days, students participated in team building activities, learned about how to apply for on-campus jobs, found out how to avoid academic probation, and learned about the ins and outs of financial aid.

Thanks go to Vikki Coffee, Dr. Michael McClenic, Angela Williams, respectively for presenting informative sessions. In addition, Umoja student leaders gave the new students tips for being successful at BC. Umoja Counselor Jonathan Ward talked with students about taking personal responsibility.  Umoja Coordinator Dr. Paula Parks led students in cultural activities that helped them learn more about the Umoja Community and about its educational philosophy.

For more information about the Umoja program, visit the Bakersfield College website and check them out on social media!

Early College Workshops Happening Now!

BC team with Justin Derrick at McFarland High School
Principal Justin Derrick with the BC Team

Our high school partners welcomed students back earlier this month and our Early College and Outreach teams were there to partner with them and help kick things off! This year, Early College has teamed up with Outreach to offer enrollment services to each of our 31 high school partners who offer dual enrollment courses on their campuses. Since the first day of school, the team has been busy going out to schools to assist students with applications and updates and to tell them more about the early college opportunities that they are embarking on. 

Thank you, Early College and Outreach teams for providing these services and this support to our young early college Renegades! 

Continuing to Level the Playing Field

The Rural Initiatives Early College team has also been active this past week assisting students with matriculation steps in order to enroll in their second course in their pathway. All incoming freshmen at Shafter High School will be taking a minimum of two college courses and over 50 students have taken advantage of the opportunity to join the General Education pathway to complete up to 38 college credits while in high school.

Thank you Rural Initiatives team for continuing to level the playing field for these underserved communities in Kern County, especially to the lead Counselor, Jesse Oropeza and lead Program Manager, Jaime Lopez.

Safety First

BC Sidewalks

With school starting next week, we ask that everyone on campus please make sure to pay attention to signage and follow the designated walking paths.  Please be aware of the temporary sidewalk closure on the east side of the Campus Center area and when in doubt, check out the current footpaths at A Better BC’s website under the Construction Maps link.

Campus Center Virtual Tour

We’ve been lucky to work with some great companies on the Measure J construction, and we’re just starting!  Ordiz-Melby Architects, Inc. created this great virtual tour where you can really feel what the campus atmosphere is going to be once the Campus Center is completed.  I loved unveiling it at this year’s Opening Day, and hope that others will share it as well!

Keeping it Local

Community Relations Manager Tamara Baker unveiled the newest Measure J project: the “Keeping It Local” video series.  These videos will highlight the work of local companies working on these construction projects. It’s important for Bakersfield College that we share these stories as these projects evolve.  BC is excited to collaborate with the local construction community as we all work together to build A Better BC! Thank you to Danny Ordiz and Jeannie Bertolaccini of Ordiz-Melby Architects, Inc. for participating in this video, and for all of your hard work! Also, thank you to videography student, Thanh from Jeff Hustons class for recording and editing the video.

Visiting the Getty

Raji Brar, Jean Fuller, Barbara Grimm, Lynette Zelezny, Sonya Christian
Raji Brar, Jean Fuller, Barbara Grimm, Lynette Zelezny, Sonya Christian

I visited the Getty Villa on the Malibu Coast with a group of friends, including Senator Jean Fuller to take in sculptures, art and other antiquities that are thousands of years old. We are fortunate to have such beautiful and magical places nearby.

Getty Villa
Getty Villa, photo from Wikipedia

The Getty Villa is an amazing place. In 1954, billionaire oil tycoon J. Paul Getty started building two museums at his property in the Pacific Palisades to share the beauty of ancient Greek, Roman and Etruscan antiquities with the people of Southern California. The Getty Villa was inspired by the Villa of the Papyri in Herculaneum, now known as Ercolano in Southern Italy, which was buried under the ashes of Mt. Vesuvius until its excavation in 1750. The Getty Villa opened in 1974, and Getty himself never got to visit the museum before he died in 1976.

Every year, Nicky Damania takes a group of BC students out to attend college night at the Getty, where they get to learn how ancient artifacts are restored by conservationists. I’m so grateful for the Getty foundation’s work of bringing the art of ancient cultures here from halfway across the world.

BC students at the Getty
BC students at the Getty

Emails Worth Sharing: From Mayor Goh

Mayor Goh is a cheerleader for BC students. She cares about our students and the positive impact they make on the community. Last weekend she shared with me:

This morning I attend the 6th annual CALIFORNIA KAREN YOUTH FORUM – celebrating the culture of the Karen people and commemorating the 69th Karen Martyrs Day that pays tribute to Karen fallen soldiers. Attached is a photo of Bakersfield College students Dah Dah Khu and Praise Oo . They were excited when I said I’d share their photo with you.

Mayor Karen Goh, August 2019
BC Students with mayor Karen Goh

Community Voices: Jack Hernandez

I enjoy seeing a glimpse of Jack Hernandez every time he has a Community Voices piece printed. You can read the digital version on Bakersfield.com.

Community Voices article by Jack Hernandez

Community Voices: Eileen Pierce

Eileen Pierce
Eileen Pierce

Speaking of Community Voices, it was great to see Eileen Pierce as well.

She wrote a piece on BC’s support services titled “BC academic support program promotes knowledge through interpersonal relationship building.”

Fun Photos: Dean Rodriguez Area Meeting

Dean Corny Rodriguez sent some fun photos from his area meeting.

Fun Photos: Dean Area Meetings

VP of Instruction, Billie Jo Rice, attend many Dean area meetings this week. Here are some of her fun photos.

Fun Photos: Making Wreaths

Program Managers, Kylie Swanson and Monika Scott took a small break from their focus on BC to create beautiful succulent wreaths at Flourishing Art this past week.

Monika Scott and Kylie Swanson hold wreaths
Monika and Kylie

Fun Photos: Happy Birthday Dylan

On Wednesday, the crew in A17 which makes up BC’s Marketing and Institutional Effectiveness offices celebrated Dylan Wang’s birthday with some delicious cake. 

Staff in A17 gather around for birthday cake

Renegades Continue to Lead the State in Football Attendance

 This fall we look forward to continuing the streak of leading the state in football home attendance. In 2018 we drew an average of 3,671 fans per game. The second place school, College of the Canyons drew an average of 2,671 fans per game. The complete list of total attendance and average attendance figures from the 2018 season can be viewed on the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) website.

Renegade Volleyball Set to Open the Season One Game at a Time 

Our back to back to back Western State Conference Champion volleyball team is set to begin another year dominating the court. Coach Ferreira, the 2018 California Community College Women’s Volleyball Coaches Association (CCCWVCA) Coach of the Year and 2018 Western State Conference (WSC) South Coach of the Year, and his team are looking for a fourth conference title in a row and also to make a run at the state title. Their season opener is on Saturday, August 31 when they host the  ‘Bakersfield Quad’ playing against Mt. SAC at 10am and Fullerton at 2pm in the Gil Bishop Sports Center. To read a preview of this years team visit GoGades.com

 Men’s Soccer

Men’s Soccer begins their fourth season as a program after rebooting the Men’s Soccer team here on campus four years ago, Coach Vayron Martinez is looking to build on the success’s of the past few years and go for the Western State Conference title this season. Come join them for their season opener against West Hills Lemoore on Tuesday, August 27th at 4pm on the BC Soccer Field. To read a preview of the team visit GoGades.com or click this link: http://gogades.com/sports/msoc/2019-20/releases/20190820mv54yl.

Mens Soccer Home Opener Graphic


That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

sonya-
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Renegades gearing up for the new academic year

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, August 17, 2019… A great day to be a Renegade.

2019 Football Media Day

From Mayor Karen Goh’s FB post

For the third consecutive year we celebrated the start of the upcoming football season with media day out at Memorial Stadium. This year the event focused on the new field turf and track that were installed over the course of the summer, thanks to Measure J funding. Our community support was in full force as we welcomed Mayor Goh, KCCD Trustee Romeo Agbalog, Chancellor Tom Burke, BPD Chief Martin, KHSD Administrator (and former Renegade QB) Stan Greene, President of the Condors Matt Riley and a host of others who were able to see the new field for the first time in-person. The new field looks spectacular and we can’t wait to welcome Mt. SAC into Memorial Stadium for the first home football game on Saturday, Sept. 7th at 6pm. It’s not too late to get your season tickets by visiting Vallittix.com or calling 661-322-5200. Go Gades!

Trustee Abalog and President Christian clapping.
Trustee Romeo Agbalog and me
Chad Manning, Tom Burke, Stan Greene
Ed Davis, Tom Burke, Jeff Chudy

Enjoyed looking at 2018 pictures and comparing it to 2019. My hair is a lot longer 🙂 I got most of the photos from Mayor Goh’s Facebook page. Thank you mayor!

Thank you Brandon Urry for pulling off another great Media Day. You are an amazing addition to the BC team.

Sonya Christian, Brandon Urry

“Real Star of BC football media day? The new turf.”

Loved waking up to this headline, by Robert Price, on the front page of The Bakersfield Californian, below the fold.

Read it online at The Bakersfield Californian.

inspecting the astroturf.
(front) Romeo Agbalog, Lilly Agbalog, Keith Ford,
(back) Liz Mojica, Robert Price.

Last week construction work at the Bakersfield College Memorial Stadium shifted to being done overnight in order for W2W Sport Flooring workers to avoid the daytime extreme heat conditions. Construction work is 8:00 p.m. through 8:00 a.m. during the regular work week throughout the month of August.  Bakersfield College greatly appreciates the neighborhood’s cooperation during this time, and its understanding of the necessary measures taken to avoid heat exhaustion. The health and safety of the construction employees is of the utmost importance to both Bakersfield College and W2W Sport Flooring. 

Renegade Football at Downtown Rotary

Reggie Bolton, Sandi Taylor, Norma Rojas-Mora, Jeff Chudy, Trustee Agbalog, Mayor Goh, Brandon Urry, Sonya Christian, Zach Hartsfield

BC was showing its pride at this week’s Downtown Rotary meeting!  Head football coach Jeff Chudy spoke about the upcoming season and the toughness of the Renegade team — both physically and mentally.  Zach Hartsfield #88 was in attendance; not only is Zach a stellar player, but he also maintains a 3.0G PA at BC!  

Sonya and a football player in jersey.
Me with Renegade Zach Hartsfield

Opening Day is Next Week!

It’s almost here, our annual campus Opening Day will take place on Thursday, August 22, 2019 in the Indoor Theater. Remember, this is the only day of the year that we close the campus to students and the public to ensure that all employees can come together in community to participate in this all-day event. For this year’s Opening Day, we have also invited community leaders to address our campus.  This is my seventh Opening Day as president and my seventh State of the College. I cannot be prouder of BC! 

Logistics team: Dylan, Earl, Eric, Aricia, Monika, Kevin, & Kristin

We have new managers, we have new classified, and we have new faculty. What better way to welcome them to the Home of the Renegades than a grand Opening Day.

Besides the annual State of the College address and hearing from constituent leaders Tina Johnson, CSEA; Ann Tatum, CCA; Steven Holmes, Academic Senate, and Manny Mourtzanos, Management Association, we should all look forward to hearing from our insightful community panelists. 

On BC’s Health Equity and Learning initiative, we will hear from Adventist Health’s CEO Sharlet Briggs, Dignity Health’s CEO Ken Keller, and Centric Health’s Physician Partner Dr. Jeet Singh. To share more about our partnership with high schools and its impact in the community, Senator Jean Fuller will be moderating a panel with Barbara Grimm, founder of Grimmway Academy, Aaron Resendez, Superintendent of McFarland Unified School District, and Myka Peck, Principal of Garces High School.

You will hear from our winners of the Margaret Levinson Leadership Award and the Shirley Trembley Teaching Award, Kimberly Nickell, Helen Acosta, and Regina Hukill.  We will also hear from Reggie Williams and Susan Pinza about the Levan Center and the Levan Institute.

 It is an exciting time to be a Renegade. Here’s to a great 2019-2020 year at Bakersfield College!

Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce 2019 Energy and Ag Academy

Last week 50 students graduated from the Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce 2019 Energy and Ag Academy. The event honored students who participated in the summer program to learn about Kern County’s largest industries, energy and agricultural, and how these industries both feed and power the world.

Standing around the Hispanic Chamber Energy and Agriculture Academy sign.
Mayor Goh, Jorhe Barrientos, Norma Rojas-Mora, Jamie Doniaz, Tony Cordova, Jay Tamsi

The graduating class includes students from local high schools, Bakersfield College, California State University of Bakersfield and Fresno State. The academy was sponsored by Aera Energy, Bakersfield College, Chevron, Kern Energy Foundation and California Resources Corporation.

Check out the group photo in b/w:

Black and White of large group.

The summer program included speakers in the energy and ag industries, field trips to local energy and ag facilities, leadership opportunities, meeting with elected officials, and financial scholarships.

BC’s Drum & Bugle Corps at DCI World Championships in Indianapolis

BC’s Golden Empire Drum and Bugle Corps is wrapping up its summer tour of the United States this week, advancing to the Open Class finals at Indiana Wesleyan University.

The Golden Empire Drum and Bugle Corps placed 9th in their division in the DCI World Championships competition.

“Students and staff pushed through the most challenging season to date both on and off the field,” Heasley said. “The corps faced adversity with a sense of determination. They return home with the true grit needed to face the next challenge, whatever it may be.”

Follow the Golden Empire Drum and Bugle Corps’ adventures throughout the year:

BC’s Guided Pathways Team on the Road

A Bakersfield College team traveled to Long Beach this week to present to Compton College faculty, staff, and administrators on our Guided Pathways implementation with a focus on our Completion Coaching Communities as a way to advance equitable student achievement and completion. Compton College invited BC to present as they develop their very own version of completion coaching which they are calling their “Tartar Success Teams.”

The team shared with me what an honor it was to participate in Compton’s early implementation and to learn about the remarkable work Compton College is doing to re-energize their college campus and serve the students in their community. 

Keith Curry, Compton College President, Lisa Robles, BC Program Manager – Student Success & Equity, Grace Commiso, Counselor, Jonathan Ward, Counselor, Armando Trujillo, Advisor – Veterans

HVAC Lab Delano

Check out the newest pics of Delano’s HVAC Lab, made possible by funding secured in 2018 by Assembly Member Rudy Salas

The lab is now finished, and will be ready for students to use this Fall.  This hands-on facility will serve Renegades interested in this high demand career field!

You can read when I announced the unveiling of our HVAC Tech Program in my October 21, 2018 blog. The Bakersfield College Delano Campus unveiled its new HVAC Tech program and broke ground for the new facility on October 15, 2018 with a projected completion by Summer 2019. This program is a part of Bakersfield College’s Rural Initiatives, which target BC’s surrounding communities to equip more residents with workforce skills through college education. The funding for this program comes from the monies secured by Assemblyman Rudy Salas in the 2018-2019 state budget. And thank you Trustee Romeo Agbalog for your passion and support of North Kern communities.

Groundbreaking October 15, 2018

Grant to Alleviate Food Insecurity Among BC Students

Bakersfield College’s Renegade Pantry has received a $20,000 grant from the Kern Partnership for Children and Families to further alleviate food insecurity among college students.

5 Staff members in front of well stocked shelves.
Staff stocking shelves and refrigerator with groceries.

The Renegade Pantry is fortunate to receive contributions from BC staff and the greater Bakersfield community. Donations enable pantry staff to provide groceries to students in need. Learn more about donating to the Bakersfield College Renegade Pantry on our website or contact The Office of Student Life at (661) 395-4355. 

Thank you Nicky Damania for all that you do for BC and our students.

Veterans Mentorship Program

On Friday, August 2, Bakersfield College Veteran Services and the Chevron SJV  Veterans Network kicked off the first ever Chevron SJV Veterans Network-Bakersfield College Student Veterans Mentorship Program at Rosa’s Italian Restaurant.  The program is designed to assist STEM-minded student-veterans with mentorship guidance from Chevron engineers and other Chevron employees who are also veterans. This is a timely program considering that the new Forever GI Bill now offers the Edith Nourse Rogers STEM Scholarship, providing up to nine months of additional Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits to qualifying veterans seeking an undergraduate STEM degree.

Mentors and students seated at a long table for dinner.

The SI Fab Four
Help me if you can; my grades are down!

Welcome SI Mentors with a hear sign.

I’ll bet you didn’t know that BC’s Supplemental Instruction, otherwise known as SI, has its very own team of Mentors each semester.  The newest group of SI Mentors for Fall 2019, Oscar Hernandez, Alejandra Hernandez, Debbie Stapp, Hunter Pentico, and their Program Manager Eileen Pierce planned out the 7 Mentor Meetings that they will facilitate as they train the incoming crop of 24 brand new SI Leaders, many of whom have very little experience with public speaking and certainly no real experience with teaching.

with arms in various poses.
The SI Fab Four: (L to R) Mentors Oscar Hernandez, Alejandra Hernandez, Debbie Stapp, and Hunter Pentico

If anyone wants more information about SI at Bakersfield College, please contact Eileen Pierce at 395-4202, epierce@bakersfieldcollege.edu, or visit our SI website.

Last Express Enrollment of the Summer

Prospective students in a classroom learning about programs in our catalog.

Students at the Panorama Campus had one last chance to register for their classes on Thursday during the last Express Enrollment event on the main campus before the start of the fall semester.

Representatives from Outreach and School Relations gave students a brief orientation of BC’s programs of study in the Forum before moving over to the Computer Commons area in the library for hands-on assistance with registration for the Fall semester.

Staff assisting a student enroll in the computer lab.

There will be two more Express Enrollment events targeting rural Kern County students at the Job Spot on 1501 Panama Lane on Monday at 3 p.m. and the Wasco Adult Education Center on Wednesday at 4 p.m. I would like to thank everyone on the Outreach Team for all that they do to help our students clarify and enter the pathway to their education.

Fun Photos

Enrollment Services Retreat

Last week, Enrollment Services, including the staff of Admissions and Records and Testing and Placement Center, participated in their annual retreat. Special Guest Stephanie Baltazar trained them on “Dealing with Difficult People Having Hard Conversations.” The retreat was a day of team bonding and customer service training.

Enrollment Services Team

The Last Summer Bridge 2019

Summer Bridge held their last class this week. They posted some great photos on the Summer Bridge Facebook page:

Large group of students and faculty on the grass.

Todd’s Vacation

This year the Coston family went camping in the Sequoia National Forest at the Lower Peppermint Creek campground.  The area is close by, and a nice respite from the hot weather during Bakersfield summers. Todd and Cari enjoying the view at Dome Rock. 

Standing together with a forest and mountain background.

One of the hikes was to a beautiful waterfall that is a part of Peppermint Creek.

waterfall.

Part of the adventure is to get the adrenaline going by jumping into natural pools.

Last Year’s Vacation Photo 

Bill Potter, Tamara Baker and Todd Coston were busy preparing this week for their Opening Day presentation on Measure J.  

Todd, Bill and Tamara with party hats and cupcakes.

As you might remember, they took a “vacation” last year, so who knows what they have planned this time!

Bill and Todd holding on to the Eiffel tower and Tamara falling.

Library’s Statue

Check out the statue on the second floor of the library! Someone is enjoying the last days of summer.

Statue of female student reading dressed with goggles, beach towel and flamingo float.

Stadium Photography

Dylan taking a photo with the stadium field in the background.
MPR’s Dylan taking pictures of the Stadium.

Athletics Update

Congrats to Anieus Medrano

Anieus Medrano University of Texas El Paso.

Renegade Men’s Basketball standout Anieus Medrano announced this week that he will be continuing his academic and athletic career at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). Anieus played here at BC for two years under head coach Rich Hughes and is now the 44th student athlete from this year to sign with a four-year school. We wish you all the best at UTEP Anieus and continued success in your future endeavors. 

2019 Spring Student Athlete Honor Roll

Spring 2019 Student Athlete Honor Roll BC.

The annual Renegade Athletics Spring Honor Roll has been released for 2019. A huge congratulations goes out to all the student athletes on the distinction of being named to the list. We had 56 student athletes named Distinguished Scholars (3.5-4.0 GPA) and 62 that were named Outstanding Scholars (3.0-3.49 GPA). View the full list of names in the release on GoGades

Sonya waves to the crowd with Romeo clapping for her.


That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

sonya-
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Unity During Turbulent Times…BC, a beacon in our community

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, October 18, 2019… A great day to be a Renegade.

Today, we live with the unfathomable reality and sadness that in the past week, 34 people have died in three separate and unrelated mass shootings in Gilroy, El Paso, and Dayton.  Many others were badly wounded, and families and communities are in shock. Again and again, we struggle to understand why, and in the 20 years since tragedy struck at Columbine High School we have adapted to the grim reality of mass shootings – at schools, shopping malls, clubs, concerts, festivals, churches, mosques, and synagogues

What we can also do – what we must do – is deepen our culture of inclusion and tolerance for our students and our community. Education opens us up to differing worldviews and provides the space needed for us to coexist and thrive. This is what we do at BC ….by living and teaching our core values.

  • We insist that diversity be valued and promoted, recognizing that multiple perspectives lead to a better education and knowledge of the world. 
  • We foster curiosity, inquiry, critical thinking, and creativity within a safe and rigorous academic environment.
  • We continue to develop and follow an ethical and moral consciousness which places the collective wellbeing and health above the self.
  • We believe health and wellness to be integral and foundational elements, and we understand that a holistic education improves all aspects of the individual and the society including the mind, body, and spirit.
  • We commit to the wellbeing of all members of our community; we maintain strong ties with the surrounding community, and we respond to their needs by serving as an open institution which engages all students, faculty, and staff

BC Holds Candlelight Vigil to Honor Victims of Mass Shootings

BC Student Government Association

The BC Student Government Association (BCSGA) held a candlelight vigil on Tuesday in front of the Grace Van Dyke Library to honor those who were killed and injured in these recent mass shooting tragedies. SGA President Samantha Pulido spoke about the importance of honoring the lives lost, the families affected during these tragic events, as well as ensuring that the BC campus continues to be safe, strong, and inclusive.  BC student Jesus Arias read the names of the latest victims of this senseless gun violence.

BCSGA President Samantha Pulido and President Sonya Christian

El Paso — 22

  • Jordan Anchondo, 25
  • Andre Anchondo, 24
  • Arturo Benavides, 60
  • Jorge Calvillo García, 61
  • Leo Campos, 41
  • Maribel Hernandez, 56
  • Adolfo Cerros Hernández, 68
  • Sara Esther Regalado, 66
  • Angelina Englisbee, 86
  • Raul Flores, 83
  • Maria Flores, 77
  • Alexander Gerhard Hoffman, 66
  • David Johnson, 63
  • Luis Juarez, 90
  • Maria Eugenia Legarreta, 58
  •  Ivan Filiberto Manzano, 45
  •  Gloria Irma Márquez, 61
  •  Elsa Mendoza, 57
  •  Margie Reckard, 63
  •  Javier Amir Rodriguez, 15
  •  Teresa Sanchez, 82
  •  Juan de Dios Velázquez, 77

Dayton — 9

  • Megan K. Betts, 22
  • Monica E. Brickhouse, 39
  • Nicholas P. Cumer, 25
  • Derrick R. Fudge, 57
  • Thomas J. McNichols, 25
  • Lois L. Oglesby, 27
  • Saeed Saleh, 38
  • Logan M. Turner, 30
  • Beatrice N. Warren-Curtis, 36

Gilroy — 3

  • Trevor Irby, 25
  • Stephen Romero, 6
  • Keyla Salazar, 13

The Washington Post profiled some of these victims and what their lives meant in the articles “The lives lost in El Paso” and “The lives lost in Dayton.”

Mike Giacomni, VP; Norma Rojas Mora, Director; Sonya Christian, President listening to BC SGA President Samantha Pulido

At the vigil, Director of Student Life Dr. Nicky Damnia spoke on these tragic events, reminding attendees of BC’s safety motto, “If you see something, say something, so we can do something about it”. Thank you to everyone for your continued support and unity. WE ARE BC!

Dr. Nicky Damania speaking about safety and inclusion on campus.

More photos from the vigil can be viewed on BC’s Facebook page

The Passing of Toni Morrison

Toni Morrison, one of the great American novelists of the 20th Century and the first African-American woman to win the Nobel Prize in literature, passed away at the age of 88 in the Bronx this past week.

Pulitzer Prize Winner Toni Morrison

Morrison’s luminous prose channeled the consciousness and identity of the African-American community in novels such as Beloved, The Bluest Eye and Song of Solomon.  She was one of the rare authors whose works were both critical and commercial successes. Morrison was a Professor Emeritus at Princeton University, and she received numerous honors for her work, including the Pulitizer Prize, the American Book Award, The National Endowment for the Humanities’ Jefferson Lecture, and a Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012.

Check out this brief video by the New York Times remembering Tony Morrison.

Her literary influence will continue for generations to come. 

BC in The Bakersfield Californian

Community Voices by Bill Moseley

Susan Scaffidi unveils the new Men’s Choir at BC

Trustee Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg tours the Vernon Valenzuela Veterans Resource Center

Earlier this week Paul Beckworth, Nicky Damania and Trustee Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg toured the Vernon Valenzuela Veterans Resource Center along with AECOM/Parson project Manager Jared Cascadden.  The building is scheduled for completion in December, with a ribbon cutting/unveiling ceremony to be held on December 10.  The project is moving along beautifully, as you can see from these photos. We cannot wait to share the newly finished building with everyone this winter! 

BC Attends Hobson’s Summer Institute 2019 

Nine BC staff members Jeff Laforce, Victor Diaz, Mark Osea, Michelle Pena, Grace Commiso, Dan Hall, Leo Ocampo, Tony Cordova, Amber Hroch , Jennifer Achan and Lida Castillo attended this year’s Hobson’s Summer Institute (aka the Starfish conference).  This year it was held in San Marcos Island, Florida, where attendees were provided training and updates on the system.  BC’s Dan Hall, Grace Commiso, Michelle Pena and Becky Weaver presented on “Plan, Nudge, and Schedule: Creating the Ultimate Integrated Approach to Student Success.”  Great work, team! I’m proud of how BC is represented at these events.

Sneak Peak! Highlighting Ordiz-Melby Architects, Inc. 

Earlier this week Tamara Baker worked alongside student intern Thanh Cao to create a video highlighting the work of local architect Ordiz-Melby Architects, Inc. (OMA).  I’d like to thank Jeannie Bertolaccini and Danny Ordiz for taking the time to speak with us about their work, and for continuing to support Bakersfield College.  I can’t wait to share the video once it’s completed!  

Danny Ordiz and Jeannie Bertolaccini filming the “Keeping It Local” video.

Delano Campus’s Finish-in-4 Sessions

The Kern Promise Finish-In-4 program hosted 3 informational sessions at the Delano Campus, with participating students pledging to participate in the program. Finish-In-4 Advisor Leo Ocampo hosted the final workshop Tuesday, August 6. Students in the program are guaranteed admission to CSUB in a similar major, and will complete an additional 60 semester units to earn a bachelor’s degree!

Seeing Bridge’s Impact on Incoming Students

The bar graph captures the positive impact that Bridge has on our incoming students, showing how many more Bridge students attempted and passed 12 units, 15 units, and transfer level math and English. These momentum points encourage educational success for our students and Bridge is helping them achieve this. Thank you Kimberley Bligh and all of the faculty and staff participants in Bridge for this amazing work and making such a difference in student success.

Chevron Visits BC

It was great having the Chevron Corporation Public Affairs Team from the San Joaquin Business Unit tour BC this week!  We enjoyed having the opportunity to update them on all of the programs that have taken place over the summer in partnership with Chevron, and to provide them with a tour of the Measure J construction on campus and our plans to expand BC’s STEM related programs.

BC’s Umoja Students Attend State-Wide Leadership Conference

Students in BC’s Umoja Community African-American Success Through Excellence and Persistence program attended a Student Leadership Summit. UC Merced hosted Umoja students from around the state, engaging in discussions and activities around discovering their  leadership styles, learning about African and African-American leaders, and overcoming obstacles to effective leadership. Thank you Dr. Paula Parks for sharing this great summit with us!

Ready-Set Back 2 School!

It is August again, signaling the beginning of a brand new school year! The Kern County Department of Child Support Services hosted the 10th Annual Ready-Set Back 2 School Health & Wellness Fair at the Kern County Fairgrounds and free for vendors and community members. Bakersfield College’s Rural Initiatives participated in full force

The Adult Education team was there to meet with parents that had an interest in learning about what Bakersfield College offers. Some of the parents were BC Alumni, some already enrolled in classes at BC, still others interested in restarting their college education after a long hiatus.

Fun Photos at the New Home of BCSW

Gregg Byrd of S.C. Anderson, Inc. sent over some photos of the work in progress at the new BCSW campus: site preparation for the modulars being used during construction, waterlines and power brought in. Thanks for keeping us looped in, Gregg!

Photo taken Aug 9 2019

IT Tours the VRC

Todd Coston and Kristin Rabe from our IT team toured the Vernon Valenzuela Veterans Center this week to make sure that all IT requirements are being met.  Thanks Tamara Baker for organizing this tour!

Assembly Resolution

This week, BC received a beautiful framed CA Legislature Assembly Resolution recognizing BC as the John W. Rice Diversity and Equity Award recipient for 2019. For more information on this award, see my blog on July 20th titled “Recognition and Gratitude – One Proud Renegade Prez.” Special thanks to Assembly Member Vince Fong and Senator Shannon Grove for this recognition.

Veterans Resource Center Construction

Aricia Leighton snapped these great photos on Wednesday of some cranes working at the VRC construction site.  It’s so cool seeing the progress of this building. Thanks for sharing Aricia! 

Measure J Contractor Lunch

Measure J Program Managers AECOM & Parsons treated Measure J construction workers to a lunch from Jake’s Tex Mex as a thank you for their hard work (and a break from the Bakersfield heat). Thank you to our workers from contractors S.C. Anderson, Inc., JTS Construction, and Ohno Construction Co. for all that you do!

Athletics Finish 5th in WSC Supremacy Award

The Western State Conference (WSC) announced annual rankings of the conference ‘Supremacy Award’ this last week with Renegade Athletics coming in at #5. With this year’s finish, the Renegades have now moved up the ranking each of the last three years. In 2017-18 they came in at #6, in 2016-17 at #10 and in 2015-16 at #11. Congrats Renegades and keep up the great work!

Congrats to Shahadah Camp from Men’s Basketball

Renegade men’s basketball standout, Shahadah Camp has signed to continue his academic and athletic career at Park University located in Parkville, MO. Shahadah was fun to watch on the court this season and even had a last second game-winning shot early in the season to get a victory for the Renegades. We are sure you will make us proud!

Four Wrestlers Named Academic All-American

We love seeing both the athletic and academic accomplishments of our student athletes. This last week it was announced that four of our Renegade wrestlers were named Academic All-Americans for their work in the classroom. The four include: Josiah Quiroz (East HS) – GPA 3.00, Kevin Mello (North HS) – GPA 3.22, Emmett Kuntz (Highland HS) – GPA 3.25 and Marcus Hutcherson (West HS) – GPA 3.33. Go Gades!

That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

sonya-
the luckiest and happiest college president ever