Summer has arrived!

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, June 8, 2019… A great day to be a Renegade.

BC’s Dual Enrollment Wins Big at Beautiful Bakersfield Awards

On Saturday, June 1, Jamie Swetalla from Aera announced that the Bakersfield College Dual Enrollment team were winners of the Beautiful Bakersfield award in the Education category that recognizes efforts that promote or benefit education at all levels.  Hosted by the Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce, the annual awards gala was attended by more than 700 people at the Rabobank Theater and Convention Center.  The Dual Enrollment program was selected from among nine finalists. The Bakersfield College Performing Arts Department was also one of ten finalists in the Arts and Culture category.

Before the awards were announced, the Bakersfield College team enjoyed an opportunity for group photos at a reception with other community partners.  Nick Ortiz of the Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce gave introductions, with welcoming comments provided by Karen Goh, Bakersfield City Mayor and Michael George of Kern Schools Federal Credit Union.  After dinner, the awards were announced by sponsors in a wide range of categories recognizing the efforts of nonprofits, corporations, small business and individuals in improving the quality of life in Bakersfield.   

Steve Watkin accepted the Education award on behalf of Bakersfield College, and also provided an interview to KGET following acceptance of the award.

Bakersfield College at the 2019 Beautiful Bakersfield Awards Gala
L to R: Kris Tiner, Heather Pennella, Nicky Damania, and Steve Watkin
Bakersfield College accepting the Education award for the Dual Enrollment program
The Beautiful Bakersfield Award for Education

Thank you Anna Laven for pulling together the BC proposal, and thank you to Steve Watkin and his team!

BC at the Board of Governors Meeting

On May 20th, Bakersfield College was well represented at the Board of Governors monthly meeting. Pedro L. Ramirez, EOP&S Adjunct Counselor spoke on behalf of Bakersfield College about all the work that has been done to help support our more than 1,000 AB540 students on campus. His presentation included impressive data on increases in AB540 enrollment over the last four years, an increase in CCPG (bogw) Awards, and an increase in Overall Units passed.

In his comments to the Board and Chancellor Oakley Ramirez highlighted how the recommendations from the statewide Dreamers report actually connects directly to the Guided Pathways work, and Supplemental Funding via the SCFF, and he thanked the Board of Governors and Chancellor Oakley for their continued support for AB540 students. The Statewide Dreamers Report provide information on equity and access for students across the state and provides guidelines for statewide institutional practices that will help support students. The complete report and executive summary can be found at https://foundationccc.org/What-We-Do/Equity/Dreamers-Project This project was made possible with the support from the James Irvine Foundation and a Collaborative effort between CCCCO, Immigrants Rising, and the Foundation for California Community Colleges.

Summer Bridge is Off and Running!

With the 2018-19 academic year wrapped up, the focus is on getting students ready for summer and fall.

Our amazing staff for the Summer Bridge program

Summer Bridge to BC program held an interactive day-long orientation that gives incoming freshmen the opportunity to engage with faculty one-on-one and in group settings while touring the BC campus with experienced student mentors.  Thank you to Kimberly Bligh and her team for always doing such a great job with this program.  We are BC!

BC Students Win Jazz Scholarships

On May 28 the Bakersfield Jazz Workshop held its annual scholarship awards presentation at Temblor Brewing Company. For over 13 years the nonprofit Bakersfield Jazz Workshop has supported the education of jazz students, advancement of jazz musicians, enrichment of jazz enjoyment for the general public, and promoted jazz in our community. This year, music majors in the new Jazz Studies program at Bakersfield College swept the top three awards, and a total of four BC students were awarded scholarships: Izzy Foster (Larry Totten Memorial Award), Marina Martinez (BJW Discretionary Award), Abigail Wilson (Kerry B. Pierce Memorial Award), and Tony Stone (BJW Scholarship). Congratulations to our students for their outstanding talent and dedication to furthering their musical studies!

BC jazz students and alumni L-R: Marina Martinez, Izzy Foster, Juan Buenrostro, Josh Faria, Abigail Wilson, Tony Stone

BC at California Community College (CCC) Health & Wellness/Each Mind Matters

We are so proud of BC students Mataalofa (Lofa) Hubbard and Annette Brasher who were chosen to represent Bakersfield College as Student Wellness Ambassadors for California Community College (CCC) Health & Wellness/Each Mind Matters.  Hubbard is President, and Brasher Treasurer of the BC Student Health and Wellness Advisory Club on campus (S.H.W.A.C.).   Other S.H.W.A.C. officers include Josephs Morris (Vice-President), and Pamela Harris (Inter Club Counsel Rep.).

Josephs Morris, Paulina Bascos and Paulina Lee
Mataalofa Hubbard

S.H.W.A.C. helps with the Health & Wellness promotion events for the BC Student Health & Wellness Services and they’ve done an outstanding job this year with Raymond Purcell, MSN, NP, SHWS Director as their advisor.

Josephs Morris and Mataalofa Hubbard
Mataalofa Hubbard and Vicente Lopez

Creating a Sustainable Campus Through Landscaping

Our amazing M&O department has a lot of projects going on this summer, including installing artificial turf at the Panorama and Haley corner of campus with the BC monument.  This area looks so beautiful, and I love that we will be conserving water by using this turf. One of our core values at BC is sustainability, as is evident in how the college is run, as well as the physical upgrades we make to campus facilities  Director of Facilities Bill Potter has done a great job of helping to create a sustainable landscape on the BC campus, as evident in the xeriscape (drought tolerant) flower beds.   

Removal of the grass at the corner of Panorama and Haley
The new artificial turf at the corner of Panorama and Haley
Xeriscape landscaping at the entrance at Christmas Tree Lane
Xeriscape landscaping near the Library

BC In the News: “BC to bring several Career and Technical Education programs fully online next year”

BC was featured in The Bakersfield Californian this week in a great article by Ema Sasic about our CTE programs being offered online next year. Making college more accessible to students is one of our main goals here at Bakersfield College. In partnership with the California State Online Education Initiative and the California Virtual Campus, we have received a $500,000 grant to bring between five and 10 programs online within the next year.

Fun Photos

President’s Cabinet

BC’s President’s Cabinet is made up of key staff members who work hard, but who also like to have some fun!  I feel so lucky to work with such a great team!

L to R: Zav Dadabhoy, Dan Hall, Steve Watkin, Jessica Wojtysiak, Manny Mourtzanos, Norma Rojas-Mora, Sandi Taylor, Abel Guzman, Bill Moseley, Mike Giacomini, BIllie Jo Rice, Sonya Christian, Corny Rodriguez, Tony Cordova, Liz Rozell, Todd Coston, Bill Potter, Jennifer Serratt, Tom Gelder, Michelle Pena, Lora Larkin, Craig Hayward, and Steve Waller
Todd the Rule Breaker

Tamara Baker snapped this shot of Todd Coston at the Classified Appreciation event where he was channeling his inner bad boy.  Love it!

Congrats to Ashlea Ward!

Anna Laven posted on her facebook page that our very own Ashlea Ward in the Outreach Department earned her Master’s Degree.  Congrats Ashlea!

Academic Technology Retreat

Bill Moseley posted this great pic of his team in Academic Technology at their retreat earlier this year with the comment “All set for another year of innovation!”

L to R: Matt Jones, David Greenfield, Bill Moseley, Pamela Rivers, Anita Karr, Tracy Lovelace

Congrats to Renegade Golfer Matt Sakowski!

Sophomore Renegade Golfer, Matthew Sakowski (Garces HS) has signed to continue his academic and golf career at Benedictine University Mesa this coming fall. Matt was a key piece to this springs men’s golf team advancing to the CCCAA SoCal Regionals for the first time since the early 2000’s. Wishing you much success at the next level!

Wes Coble Named Coach of the Women’s Golf Program

Our current Renegade Men’s Golf Coach Wes Coble has also been named the Women’s Golf Coach. Coble will take over for former women’s golf coach Jacque Servadio who served for two years in the role. Servadio steps away from the position to have more time to focus on running Kern River Golf Course, where she has served as director since 2018. BC athletics wishes Jacque all the best in directing the Kern River Golf Course and will always welcome her as a member of the Renegade Athletics family.

2019 BC Basketball Academy Dates Announced

Coach Paula Dahl and the Bakersfield College Women’s Basketball program are excited to announce the summer 2019 BC Basketball Academies. The first, the BC Basketball Academy, will run from Monday, July 22nd through Thursday July 25th from 10:30am-1:00pm each day. It will be co-ed for kids ages 9-18 and cost $60/ camper or $100 for two siblings. To register for this academy click this link:  https://bit.ly/2WsvnIL. The second, the Elite BC Basketball Academy will run from Monday, July 29th through Thursday August 1st from 10:30am-1:00pm each day. This session is for female players from 7th to 12th grade and will cost $65/camper and $55/extra sibling. Team discounts are available. To register for this academy click this link: https://bit.ly/2YQ3Sqa. For further questions, contact Coach Dahl at pdahl@bakersfieldcollege.edu.

Tennis Announces Creation of Junior Tennis Circuit

Men’s and Women’s Head Tennis Coach Noel Dalton announced this week the creation of the Bakersfield Junior Tennis Circuit. The circuit is intended to empower junior tennis players and parents in order to increase player’s skill level and help them learn and enjoy the game. The first 40 participants to register will receive a complimentary membership to the Junior Tennis Circuit. The new circuit will kick-off with an Opening Day on June 15th at the Bakersfield College Tennis Courts. Participants may play in other affiliated tournaments in Fresno and other cities. Players will have the ability to earn Universal Tennis Rating points since the tournaments is UTR certified. To register for the circuit, visit: https://urlzs.com/PquGS or contact Bakersfield Junior Tennis Circuit Director and BC Head Tennis Coach, Noel Dalton at 661-332-9579 or by email at noel.dalton@bakersfieldcollege.edu.


That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

sonya-
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Remembering Those We Lost This Memorial Day

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, June 29, 2019… A great day to be a Renegade.

Memorial Day started in 1868 as Decoration Day, a remembrance of those who died during the Civil War. Over the years, cities and states designated it as a legal holiday, and in 1971, Congress established Memorial Day as a national holiday to take place on the last Monday of May every year.

Every Memorial Day, a special ceremony is held at Arlington National Cemetery, where the President or Vice President lays a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Locally, Bakersfield’s oldest traditional Memorial Day celebration takes place at Union Cemetery, this year featuring speeches by Kevin McCarthy and local veteran Bill Glaspie, who fought the Nazis on the beaches of Normandy 75 years ago on D-Day. The Bakersfield Breakfast Rotary held their sixth-annual Thousand Flags event, and Tehachapi celebrated with a parade and ceremony through downtown. KERO provided a list of local Memorial Day events on their website.

Congressman Kevin McCarthy with Paul Beckworth and guests at the Union Cemetery on Memorial Day.

At BC, we are proud of our veteran students and have a particular duty to support them through their education. We’re reaffirming that commitment to our local veterans with the construction of the new Vernon Valenzuela Veterans Resource Center, the first Measure J project, slated for completion this fall.

Rendering of the soon to be finished Vernon Valenzuela Veterans Resource Center.

We remember the sacrifices made and lives lost defending the freedom and sovereignty of the United States. Your sacrifice will never be forgotten.

I’d like to share this quote from James A. Garfield at that first Memorial Day commemoration at Arlington National Cemetery in 1868.

“We do not know one promise these men made, one pledge they gave, one word they spoke; but we do know they summed up and perfected, by one supreme act, the highest virtues of men and citizens. For love of country they accepted death, and thus resolved all doubts, and made immortal their patriotism and virtue.”

Emails Worth Sharing

I’d also like to share this email that our Director of Veterans Services Paul Beckworth sent on Monday.  Our duty to support veterans goes much deeper than academic support, as Paul’s words of encouragement for our veterans make clear.  Thank you for all that you do Paul, and thank you to those who have served our country.

“Hello Region V Veteran Services colleagues,


Today, May 27, 2019, is Memorial Day.


The vast majority celebrate it as the unofficial start of summer.  Many Americans honor the day and the dead, in a variety of heartfelt ways.  However, there is a much smaller group whose acknowledgement of the day goes deeper than most.  It is personal, it is emotional, and it is visceral. While today we remember the fallen, we must keep in the mind the ones who were left behind; their families and fellow warriors.  There are people I know who wish to be left alone today and others who do not want to left alone for fear of what their emotions might lead them to. Sometimes, people remember with laughter and tears, while others do so with the bottle and with tears.  


For those who lost comrades, or family or best friends, please do not go to those dark places inside you.  If you do go there do not stay there. We need you, here, with us. We know the 22 a day suicide rate among veterans.  It is terrible. Do not be a part of the 22. Do not be afraid to ask for help. Depression is serious. It is a weight the likes of which cannot be described, only experienced.  If your arm is hurt, you go the doctor. If your head/heart hurts, go to a doctor. There is no shame in it. It is often said that the soldier is not the only one who goes to war.  The family does, too, in its’ own way.


Those of you who work closely with veterans may not have lost a loved one, but assisting veterans for years can take a toll, especially for counselors and advisors.  Who counsels the counselors? Seriously. There are several of you who have worked with veterans for many years now. Make sure to take care of yourselves. Go to veteran-specific conferences, sit in the hotel lobbies and have venting sessions with your colleagues from across the state.  Let iron sharpen iron. Get help just like we tells our veterans to do. I am pretty sure most of you have walked a veteran to your on-campus mental health professional at least once. If you need to take a walk to one yourself, please take it. We need you, here. Your military-affiliated students need you, here.  


While today can be very emotional, one of the best ways we can honor the fallen is to take care of our minds, bodies, and spirits.  In this way we can continue the work ahead of us, making them proud.”

Paul Beckworth, May 27, 2019 Memorial Day

BC Friends in Sacramento

Hispanas Organized for Political Equality (HOPE)  hosted its 2019 Latina Action Day in Sacramento on Wednesday, May 22. Our own Nicole Parra facilitated a panel discussion, and I was thrilled to see BC students impromptu participation.  Evelyn Torres, a Studio Arts, Graphic Design & Communications major volunteered to be the voice of millennials on the panel.  

Nicole Parra and panelists at the 25th Annual Latina Action Day.

The panel on California’s Present and Future Workforce examined the challenges and opportunities the state is facing as we look to filling workforce needs.  The conversation regarding career education included an informative discussion of the value of apprenticeship programs, and the role community colleges in meeting workforce needs. Evelyn shared a student perspective on the importance of providing opportunities for all students, including those who need short term training leading to employment.

Evelyn Torres alongside panelists discussing education and workforce needs.

Thank you Norma Rojas Mora for your work in Sacramento.

Rural Initiatives Classified and Support Staff Appreciation Celebration

Last week, the Rural Initiatives classified and support staff were recognized by the management team in a surprise celebration of Classified Appreciation week. This celebration brought together members of the RI team that serve a region that extends from Arvin to Delano. I’m grateful for the focused dedication and passion for serving our rural students. Thank you Rural Initiatives Classified and Support Staff for everything you do for our Bakersfield College Rural Renegades. Also thanks to our RI Management team, especially Jaime Lopez for coordinating such a special celebration.

Rural Initiatives Classified and Support Staff at the celebration
Carolina Madrigal and Rural Initiatives Classified and Support Staff at the celebration.
Public Safety Officers Matthew Rodriguez and Linda Morgan
Kim Collins, Academic Liaison (left) and Monica Huyck, Tutoring Services Team Leader
Group photo of the Rural Initiatives Classified and Support Staff
North Kern Adult Education team (From left to right) Jaime Lopez, Jesus Jimenez, Kim Collins, and Thalia Solorio
Manuel Muralles and Carolina Madrigal

Administrative Council Retreat: Day 1

This last Thursday we had the first day of our annual summer retreat with our college-wide administrative council. BC Food Services provided a fantastic breakfast spread and a delicious salad bar later in the day for the lunch. I opened the session with an overview of our college strategic plan and highlighting the fact that we now have 37,000 students! Our administrative council fanned out across campus in teams as they completed in a scavenger hunt.

Attendees preparing for Day 1 of the Administrative Council Retreat.

Members of our college Program Review Committee briefed the council on best practices for conducting their program reviews for this coming year and Manny Mourtzanos provided a training on aligning work plans to direct us as embark on a new year. It was a great retreat and great work that we will regroup on to finish up on a second day in early June.  

Attendees preparing for Day 1 of the Administrative Council Retreat.
Attendees preparing for Day 1 of the Administrative Council Retreat.

Umoja’s End of the Year Celebration

This week, Umoja held its end of the year celebration to acknowledge its graduates and mentors. Students joined together to celebrate their academic success and celebrate their mentors who dedicated time and energy to support their scholarly journey at BC. Thank you to Dr. Paula Parks for sending over these photos, and for your dedication to our students.  If you’d like to learn more about Umoja, make sure to check out their website!

BC Umoja students and graduates
Austyn William, graduate and Umoja’s first SI leader
Graduate Jade Slack with Dr. Parks, Mr. Ward, and Mr. Rosas, Umoja’s first counselor.
Graduate Kim Evans with Dr. Park and Jonathan Ward.
TiYante Patterson, who is transferring to Morgan State in the fall.
Emcee Korrie Edwards, who is also the outgoing Umoja Club president.
Dr. Park and Mr. Ward preparing a ritual for the Umoja community.
Some of the 2018-2019 graduates with Joe Coughlin, who acknowledged the graduates with Coconut Joe’s gift card and cash. Thanks for your continued support, Joe!
Some of the Umoja students who graduated from BC. The tee-shirts show that as they become BC alum, they are always part of Umoja.
Some of the awesome, dedicated Umoja mentors
The audience sang the Black National Anthem “Lift Every Voice and Sing”

Conexiones Rurales Dreamers Conference

The Conexiones Rurales Dreamers Conference on Friday, May 17th at the Delano Campus allowed our Rural Renegades to learn about several topics including programs and services offered by our college and other local institutions. This opportunity was funded by the Catalyst grant received by Bakersfield College. Thank you to our Conexiones Estudiantiles/LUPE student organization, their advisors and the Rural Initiatives team, especially Jesus Oropeza, Jessica Garcia, and Jaime Lopez for bringing these fantastic opportunities to our rural communities.

Conexiones Estudiantiles LUPE student panel sharing their stories with Conexiones Rurales students.
Rural Initiatives Executive Director Abel Guzman speaking to students.
From left, Octavio Barajas, Marivel Servin, Manuel Rosas
Conexiones Estudiantiles LUPE students and their advisors.
Conexiones Rurales and Conexiones Estudiantiles students with BC Faculty and Staff

BC Cheerleaders at the New Kids On the Block Remix Tape Concert

Wow!  Does BC know how to pump up the crowd, or what?!  Also, what an amazing throwback to have the New Kids On the Block perform here in Bakersfield!  They definitely have “the right stuff.”

The Bakersfield College Cheerleaders on stage with New Kids on the Block!

I want to thank Cheer Coach Heather Foss for making possible this phenomenal experience for our students. It’s hard to describe the energy of the packed Rabobank and and the pride I felt in seeing our students on stage.

Thank you Manny de Los Santos for capturing this video. You are the very best!!!!!!

Cooking a Healthy Meal with Chef Alex Gomez

This week our Executive office team demonstrated their culinary skills at our Wellness & Professional Development Session:  Cooking a Healthy Meal with Chef Alex Gomez.  The team learned cooking and cutting techniques, and were given recipes to prepare — then eat! We enjoyed Cauliflower Tacos, Cilantro Rice, and Grilled Zucchini.

The Exec team preparing delicious and healthy meals.
Sharon Bush, President Christian, Billie Jo Rice and Mike Giacomini
Chef Alex Gomez and Jennifer Serratt
Sharon Bush, President Christian, Billie Jo Rice diligently following the recipe.
Sonya Christian, Billie Jo Rice and Mike Giacomini preparing their healthy dishes.

The Executive Office has a standing Wellness Initiative that began a couple years ago, as well as a new Training/Professional Development Initiative that began last year. Chris Glaser and Tarina Perry worked with Chef Alex for help in meeting goals for both initiatives and did he ever deliver! The training was clear and engaging, the menu healthy, and the food delicious. We worked in teams to prepare the meal, and then enjoyed our meal together as we discussed our takeaways from the day.  Thank you to Chef Alex and Chef Suzanne Tangeman for working with our team on this, and thank you to Chris and Tarina for organizing the activities!

Chefs Suzanne Tangeman and Alex Gomez
With Billie Jo Rice and Liz Rozell
Chef Gomez teaching Liz and me secrets of the trade.
Chef Suzanne Tangeman, Chef Alex Gomez, Billie Jo Rice & Christian Flores-Castaneda

Progress on Memorial Stadium

The renovation of the Memorial Stadium track and football field is moving along nicely. The work will be completed in time for this fall’s football season. We are all excited to see the finished product! Also, thank you to Brandon Urry for capturing these photos.

Drone footage of Memorial Stadium construction
Drone footage of Memorial Stadium construction
Drone footage of Memorial Stadium construction
Drone footage of Memorial Stadium construction

Photos that make me happy

Monika Scott and Nicky Damania at Aladdin

Family weekend at Lake Arrowhead

Memorial Day weekend with family at a cabin in Lake Arrowhead.

Lake Arrowhead, May 26, 2019
President Christian and her dog Neo


That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

sonya-
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Celebrating our classified staff. We are BC!

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, May 25, 2019… A great day to be a Renegade.

Classified Appreciation

Group of smiling employees.

Classified employees at Bakersfield College are the backbone of moving the work that we do. These individuals work directly with BC’s students, faculty, volunteers, business partners and community members. I’m continually struck by the dedication, positive energy, student-centered focus, and the hearts of service brought to campus every day by our classified staff.

Managers serving the classified employees.
Line of classified employees entering the gym.

These committed BC Renegades embody a collaborative culture of service, one that creates new processes to efficiently serve a growing number of students; one that goes the extra mile to ensure the safety of our campus, that builds bridges for students near and far, and continues a legacy of service that spans over 106 years.

Eric enjoyed the food.

Bakersfield College is such a vital part of our community, expanding into our rural areas to serve all students with a desire to learn and develop their skills. Our classified staff are key to supporting the work of making student life goals a reality.

Patty and Dena

The official CSEA website states, “California’s Legislature recognizes the important contributions of classified school employees and has named the third full week of May “Classified School Employee Week” (CSEW) to honor these contributions.” So this week, our management team took the time to recognize and thank these special colleagues with a special luncheon.

The afternoon included a delicious lunch from Coconut Joes and a ice cream sundae bar with all the extra special fixings.

2 plates of food.
Prize Table

Last month, at the April KCCD Board of Trustees meeting, some classified staff spoke during the luncheon to highlight the extraordinary work they and their colleagues do.  For example, Financial Aid Technician Rebecca Bumpous took to the podium to described how she has helped her department with funding our students’ dreams, awarding $44 million in Title IV funding and $3 million in state funding for the 2018-19 academic year. Carlos Barbaran proudly spoke of his 24 years of service as a custodian in Maintenance and Operations, keeping 72,000 square feet of instructional facilities clean for our students every day. See the full piece in my blog from April 13th titled “Spring Into Action!”

Todd smirks as dining employees laugh.
Todd Coston always provides entertainment.

And the recognition of their hard work isn’t just on the BC campus. KCCD recently highlighted Debra Anderson of BC’s Outreach and School Relations with the KCCD Leadership Award. Congratulations to Debbie! If you missed it, you can check it out on my blog from May 12th titled “Celebrating 2018-2019.”

Nicky and Heather gettin’ jiggy with it!

Thank you to Bill Potter, Jim Coggins, Ramon Puga, Caroline Walth, Rachell Morehouse, Brett Redd, Stephen Waller, Tamara Baker, Lisa Kent, Dena Rhoades, Liz Rozell, Billie Jo Rice, Heather Pennella, Monika Scott, Susan Hubbell, Yvonne Armendariz, Tom Gelder, Manny Mourtzanos, Grace Commiso, Imelda Valdez, Kalina Hill, and especially Todd Coston for coordinating the celebration.

Early College Launch in Arvin

Welcome! Bakersfield College Arvin Information Meeting Expanding Access in Arvin.
Steve Watkin, Mayor Gurrola, Norma Rojas, Chancellor Burke, Tommy Tunson, Jerry Breckinridge

On Tuesday, BC held its Arvin Information Meeting, where community members were invited to learn about BC’s commitment to the city, and the future of education in their region.  Norma Rojas-Mora touched on Early College coming to Arvin High, and the educational opportunities offered for adults.  

BC staff preparing for the event.
Ed Watts, Chancellor Burke and Mayor Gurrola

Chancellor Tom Burke spoke to attendees about the importance of the partnership between the City of Arvin and Bakersfield College, and thanked the community for supporting the 2016 bond Measure J.  Bill Potter and Tamara Baker presented information on the planned Measure J funded campus across the street from the high school.  They reported that they are currently in the programming phase, and have initiated the CEQA study. Construction is currently scheduled to begin in August 2021.  

On stage at the podium.
Norma Rojas and Abel Guzman
Bill Potter & Tamara Baker
Kylie Swanson, Norma Rojas, Monika Scott, & Steve Watkins
Tom Burke speaking on stage at the podium.
Chancellor Burke
Norma Rojas and Chancellor Burke
Arvin Mayor Jose Gurrola

Thank you to Arvin’s Mayor Jose Gurrola, AHS Principal Ed Watts, and City Manager Jerry Breckinridge for speaking in support of the partnership with BC.  We are very excited to bring higher education and increased access to the city of Arvin and its residents!

Abel Guzman and Jesus Oropeza from BC’s Rural Initiatives team with their Early College students.
BC cups with candy give away.
Audience members clapping.
Group of students approach Abel on stage.

Women’s Empowerment Summit

The California Latino Leadership Institute (CLLI) hosted their Fourth Annual Women’s Empowerment Summit in the Levan Center last Saturday, inspiring young women to pursue careers in STEM. The conference featured appearances from Kern County Supervisor Leticia Perez, California Assembly Member Rudy Salas, and several women from the local petroleum industry. Aera Energy President and CEO Christina Sistrunk was also recognized by CLLI as the 2019 Distinguished Woman and Petroleum Advocate of the Year.

California Assemblyman Rudy Salas

Cathy Reheis-Boyd, President of the Western States Petroleum Association and recipient of last year’s CLLI Distinguished Woman Award, introduced Supervisor Perez, who expressed her appreciation for all that the local oil and gas industry does to keep the economy of Kern County stable.

Leticia Perez, Kern County 5th District Supervisor

BC’s own Kylie Swanson shared how BC’s Early College program is providing opportunities for young girls to develop a passion for STEM as early as eighth grade. Our Community Relations Director Norma Rojas-Mora also introduced Brittney Plascecia, the Associate Director of Women’s Leadership and Student Involvement at Mount Saint Mary’s University. Plascensia shared the university’s 2019 Report on the Status of Women and Girls in California, noting that while several improvements have been made in hiring women in the fields of media and politics, there’s still a lot more work to be done to close the gender wage gap and put more women in positions of leadership for large corporations.

Cathy Reheis-Boyd, President of the Western States Petroleum Association

Rojas-Mora also introduced Assemblymember Salas, who attended the event with several students from the Young Assembly Members program, which provides internship opportunities to young people interested in politics and civic engagement. Salas advised attendees of the Women’s Empowerment Conference to seek mentors and not be afraid to ask for the help and support they need to be successful.

Kimberly Kirchner of Women’s March Kern County
Lisa Baca, Executive Director of the California Latino Leadership Institute

One particularly informative portion of the conference was the roundtable discussion on women in STEM careers, which featured a panel of women who have found success in the traditionally male-dominated petroleum industry. The panel reiterated the importance of mentors and developing professional relationships that can create new opportunities.

left to right: California Latino Leadership Institute President Maria Hernandez poses with Assemblyman Rudy Salas and students from the Young Assembly Members program.

I’d like to thank CLLI, Aera Energy, Chevron, and the California Resources Corporation for helping to organize the Women’s Empowerment Summit at BC. Thanks, also, to Charter-Spectrum Communications for providing breakfast to attendees.

Elementary Teacher Education & Liberal Studies Pre-Commencement Celebration

Program: Elementary Teacher Education & Liberal Studies Reception & Celebration.

Bakersfield College’s Elementary Teacher Education & Liberal Studies Spring 2019 graduates were honored May 2nd during a student celebration of their successful completion of their degrees. The event was held in the beautiful Renegade Park in an elegant setting with fabulous food by BC Food Services. The future teachers recited an educator pledge to their friends and families and thanked them publicly for their ongoing  support. They each received a light blue stole that they will wear with their graduation robes. Kudos to Dr. Kimberly Bligh, department chair for the Education Department, who directed the event, and to her outstanding Education faculty colleagues who attended: Dr. Erica Menchaca, Bill Chapman and Teresa McAllister. Christina Maldonado and the Education Department student peer mentors worked together to  make this special event happen. Dean Billie Jo Rice, dean of Education Pathway and Dean Michele Bresso, dean over Education Department, were also present and took part in the ceremony! The most moving moments came as students thanked their parents, children, siblings, significant others plus their Bakersfield College faculty for helping them achieve their degrees. The joy of success of our students is why we are here! We Are BC!

Graduates serving themselves hamburgers and sides at the buffet.
Graduates reading the pledge.
Posed in front of a Bakersfield College Renegades logo backdrop.
Emmanuel Limaco and Kim Bligh
Woman speaking in microphone on stage-like patio.
Dean Michele Bresso
2 women at a round table.
L to R: Christina Maldonado and Kim Bligh
Staff putting blue sash around a graduate's shoulders.
15 graduates in blue sashes, with deans and department chair.

MESA Awards and ACS Scholar

On Friday May 17, the 15th Annual MESA Student Awards Banquet commemorated and recognized MESA program students who have accomplished the goal of transferring to a 4-year institution and, for those graduating from Bakersfield College. Students were also recognized for obtaining an internship, research position, and/or a merit scholarship. This year, the MESA Program had more than 26 students transferring to a 4-year institution (more than 20% of MESA students), 14 that received a scholarship and 12 that received an internship and/or research position. Clayton Fowler, BC alumni and previous SGA president, from the office of Congressman Kevin McCarthy awarded transfer students with a certificate from the congressman.

Clay, a male and Connie sit at a table.
Table filled with smiling people.

In addition to celebrating the students, industry members, mentors, sponsors/donors, BC-MESA board members, and faculty are recognized during this event. MESA recognized:

Connie, a female and a male stand next to a table with MESA Bakersfield College logo.
Connie poses with a male award recipient.

Travis Burns — “Alumni of the Year”

This BC-MESA Alumni works at General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. with the USA Air Force Contractor Logistic Support efforts, primarily related to datalink system on the MQ-9, which means he works at a global scale. He received the first “Alumni of the Year” award for his dedication to the students, giving back to this community, and his donations to the MESA Program.

Connie poses with a male holding an award, a certificate for Scott Trahan in background.
Connie smiles with a male in front of an award table.

Scott Trahan — “Individual of the Year”

Scott, an engineer at Chevron, is a member of the BC-MESA Board, participates in the Mentorship Program, and is constantly involved and volunteering at student/community MESA Program events.

Connie and a female smile in front of the awards table.
Connie and a female in black smile in front of the awards table.

Samuel Grijalva — “Sponsor of the Year”

Sam, as he likes to be called, received this award for his continued contributions/donations to the MESA Program over the past few years and the more significant contributions this year. In addition, he supports MESA as a BC-MESA Board member and participating in student/community events as a volunteer.

2 male faculty pose with a female student in front of shimmery curtain.
3 males pose in front of shimmery curtain.

Professor Richard Darke — “Professor of the Year”

Professor Darke earned this award due to his dedication to students, and was nominated and voted for by MESA students to receive this award. Students believe Prof. Darke deserves this award due to his outstanding teaching methods, his disposition to help students succeed academically, and his eagerness to help students succeed both academically and professionally.

7 males and females smile in front of a shimmery curtain.
An older couple in front of the Renegade logo backdrop.

BC-MESA Board members

All of the Board Members were recognized for their support of the MESA program: Dolores Salgado, Infrastructure Engineering Corporation, Patrick Aderhold, Bakersfield College Engineering Professor, Salvador Ledesma, PG&E, Samuel Grijalva, Grimmway Farms, Linda Mohammad, AERA Energy, Kimberly Newton, Bakersfield College Biology Professor, Stephen Waller, Bakersfield College Dean of Instruction, Juan M. Alvarez,USDA NHSIP, Caleb Griffin, NRCS, Marcos Perez, NRCS, Wayne Cooper, Bakersfield College Chemistry Professor, Dillon Giblin, Bakersfield College Math Professor, Bakersfield College, Seira Greenwood, UCLA/MEDPEP, Andrea Gonzalez, Bakersfield College MESA Student, Scott Trahan, Chevron, and Consuelo Gonzalez, Bakersfield College MESA Director.

2 females in front of the Renegade logo backdrop.
Male in front of the Renegades backdrop.

MESA student Brianna Aguilar was not only recognized for her accomplishment of achieving the goal for transferring to a 4-year university and for obtaining an internship/research position, she was also recognized for being chosen as an ACS scholar. This scholarship is up to $5,000 a year. Recipients of this award in the past have gone on to be leaders in the chemical professions.  This opens up so many doors for Brianna.

Male faculty with female student in front of shimmery curtain.
Male faculty and female student in front of Renegade logo backdrop.

I am so proud of Brianna and all of our MESA Renegades and look forward to hearing of their successes in the future. I would like to thank Steve Waller, Connie Gonzales, Vanessa Moreno and all of the faculty, mentors and sponsors that are involved in the MESA program.

Emails Worth Sharing

Janet Thomas also sent a warm email sharing her delight in the MESA Event. She said:

“It was a beautiful event.  I was thrilled to hear from Travis Burns and his accomplishments that all began with his education at Bakersfield College and Ian Spark who is beginning her career as a new graduate from Bakersfield College going on to her next steps.  I sat next to a young man named Rodrigo who is transferring to San Diego State on scholarships as a Chemical Engineer. It is very awesome to see the students when their names are called to come up to get their awards for their achievements in scholastics, community services and opportunities for internships.  It was a great honor to be invited to this great event. Kevin McCarthy recognized each student with awards, because he knows the value of the education that begins at Bakersfield College. Anyway, The MESA team did a wonderful job, in conjunction with The MARK with hosting this event.”

Aera Tech and Regional Skills Conference

Last Saturday, the AERA Engine Builders Association and Engine Professional Magazine hosted an all-day conference to inform BC Automotive Technology students about all of the latest developments and trends in engine manufacturing. The 2019 AERA Tech and Regional Skills Conference took place in BC’s Automotive Technology building on the Panorama campus, featuring technical demonstrations from some of the biggest names in the automotive industry, including Edelbrock, Rottler, and Sunnen.

Representatives from L.A. Sleeve talk about piston rings.

I’d like to thank AERA and Engine Professional Magazine, as well as Vic Posey and the BC Automotive Technology staff for organizing this professional development opportunity for our students.

BC Automotive Technology students talk with vendors at the Aera Tech and Regional Skills Conference.

LUPE/Conexiones Students Attend a 3-Day Leadership Retreat

Bakersfield College student leaders from LUPE/Conexiones participated in an unforgettable experience of leadership development. Students were able to experience outdoor adventures in a unique way that allowed them to develop self-confidence, improve effective program planning, and establish long-lasting and meaningful relationships with each other.

Group of students with forest trees and mountains in background.

Because of their interactions during the 3-day retreat, these student leaders developed trust with each other and were able to cultivate a stronger support network.

Group standing in front of a lodge.
Group of students sit on low wall with forest trees behind them.
8 students laughing and active.
8 students pose and smile among the trees.

Students were fully engaged in an in-depth discussion of John Maxwell’s 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership. The student leaders facilitated an interactive discussion based on their personal life experiences and circumstances.

Four posters of illegible writing.
Students at tables working on posters.

Students discussed what separated great leaders from good leaders and how they can become instruments of change in their immediate families and their communities.

In addition to the leadership workshop, students engaged in outdoor activities to enhance their confidence and learned how to overcome any difficult challenge they come across. Students conquered a physically challenging ropes course with persistence and determination.

Students watch as a student climbs ropes into the trees.
Student zip lines from one tree to another.

Student prepares to zip line from a tree.
Woman free being hoisted to zip line platform in tree.

Student high in tree.
One student with helmet watches as another is in zip line harness.

Professor Octavio Barajas conquering the ropes course. Sí Se Puede!

Climbing rope ladder into tree.
Standing in rope ladder between poles.

They also tested their accuracy in the archery field.

Around 20 people readying bows with arrows.
Archer with bow and arrow in flight.
Student with thumb up pulls arrow from center of target.
Bullseye on the 1st shot!

In the evening hours, students had a blast on the karaoke machine and spent the late evening hours learning some dance moves.

2 students sing into microphone.
Students line dancing.

See more fun photos of the LUPE/Conexiones Students Attend a 3-Day Leadership Retreat on smugmug.

The retreat provided a welcoming, refreshing, and inspiring environment in which to innovate, plan and collaborate. Through reflection and assessment of the academic year, the students identified areas of improvement within the LUPE/Conexiones organization and initiated a plan to produce a student-led leadership conference for the upcoming school year.

Funding for the Pali Retreat was provided by the Catalyst Fund. Special thanks to the coordinating efforts of the EOPS and CalSOAP staff who graciously took care of all the logistical planning.

Big SHOUT OUT to the BC staff/faculty who served as mentors and chaperones during the retreat: Professor Octavio Barajs (History), Lisa Robles Kent (SSP/Equity), and Rafael Centeno (EOPS).

ASSP Frank R. Rosenlieb Lifetime Achievement Award

On March 20th 2019, American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP) held their 20th Annual Bakersfield ASSP Symposium. Founded in 1911, ASSP is the longest running safety organization and the most respected advocate for workplace safety and health professionals. With over 450 guests in attendance, our very own, Catherine Jones, was recognized with the Frank R. Rosenlieb Lifetime Achievement Award, which is recognized as one of the highest achievements in her industry. Congratulations Catherine.

Catherine holding award next to a gentleman.
Woman speaking to slide.
Audience at several round tables.

OSRM Summer Internship Success

Summer internships are under way especially for a few students from the Occupational Safety & Risk Management program. An internship is a hands-on experience that provides meaningful, career-related work that extends a student’s learning beyond the classroom. One of the students, Stephany Cabrera, was offered an internship with Amazon as an Environmental Health and Safety Specialist in Delaware. Wilson Jones accepted an internship with Granite Construction as a Safety Intern and Martin Amezcua accepted an internship with Trinity Safety as a safety coordinator. These students are excited and grateful for these opportunities that will help launch their careers.

Professor Catherine Jones with Stephany and Wilson
Wilson Jones
Stephany Cabrera

Jai Jagat

On the Monday just after commencement, May 13, 2019,  Bakersfield College was honored to host an amazing performance about world peace from Jai Jagat and the children of the Manav Sadhna orphanage in India. The children are touring the world with Jai Jagat, an inspirational dance and drama troupe composed of 17 underprivileged children from six different communities in Ahmedabad, a city located in India’s Gujarat province.

Man speaks in front of Jai Jagat One Earth Family background.

“Jai Jagat” means “Victory of the World”, and this year’s show depicts the life of Mahatma Gandhi through interpretive choreography in honor of his 150th birthday this October. Jai Jagat’s program in the Indoor Theater envisioned what the planet might look like in 50 years, 2069, if people take Gandhi’s philosophy to heart and come together to settle their conflicts without violence and anger.

Dancers in colorful costumes.

The Manav Sadhna orphanage is based out of Gandhi’s ashram in Ahmedabad, and they provide education, medical care and resources for proper hygiene to more than 10,000 underprivileged children, Jai Jagat Project Director Nimesh Patel said. They also offer sports leagues and arts and crafts programs for children, as well as compassionate care for the elderly.

Children dancing.

New Taj Palace Indian Restaurant provided food for the cast and workers and for sale to the public at the event. It was great to see trustees Romeo Agbalog and Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg in the audience for Jai Jagat, as well as former trustee Bill Thomas.

Dancers in front of We Let Out Our Hearts To Shine background.

This performance would not have been possible without help from the Office of Student Life, Congressman Kevin McCarthy, and the Ravi and Naina Patel Foundation. Thank you to everyone who helped organize this event, as well as everyone who came out to hear the group’s motivational message.

Speaking with hand out.
Dr. Nicky Damania
Mayor karen Goh, Sonya Christian, Lilly Agbalog
Bill Thomas, Romeo Agbalog and Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg in the audience.

BC takes Pantages Theater

The screen before showtime shows "Les Miserables"
Pantages Le Miserables screen before showtime

On Wednesday evening, a group of BC faculty, staff, and students attended Les Miserables at the Pantages Theater in Hollywood. The iconic theater, located on the corner of Hollywood and Vine is a monument of art, theater, movies, music, and performances. It has been home to popular productions such as the stage production of Disney’s Lion King, Wicked, The Phantom of the Opera, Jersey Boys, and more. The interior of the theater is stunning and although originally constructed in 1930, it most recently underwent a $10-million restoration and upgrade in the year 2000.

A couple and 3 daughters.
The Garrett family
The Garrett family poses in front of the Les Mis poster
The Garrett family poses in front of the Les Miserables poster

Dr. Jen Garrett makes it a priority to give her students the opportunity to have eye opening and life changing experiences.. everything.from performing at local charity events to performing in Rome and at the Sydney Opera House, to experiencing talent as members of the audience. After giving students first priority, leftover reserved seats were made available to staff and faculty. In total, BC had over 150 individuals at Wednesday night’s performance. Unfortunately, I was unable to make it but I received tons of texts and messages from the BC crew who were there. I’m told that the performers were absolutely incredible.

Pantages street view
Outside the Pantages theater
Pantages lobby full of guests
Pantages ceiling art

Monika texted me that she could hear Manny De Los Santos, who was sitting with his wife one row above whispering comments like “Oh, this is my favorite part” and the following day, Manny let me know that “As a Les Mis fanboy,” he was not disappointed. He added that he wasn’t the only one as he claims he could see Nick Strobel “bouncing along to the music.”

Manny De Los Santos, his wife, daughter, and her boyfriend in their seats
Manny De Los Santos with his wife, daughter, and daughters boyfriend
Nick Strobel with one of the Garrett's girls
Nick Strobel with one of the Garrett children
Monika Scott in front, Manny De Los Santos and wife wife in the back
Monika Scott, Manny De Los Santos and his wife

Take a listen to Nick Cartell who was cast as Jean Valjean in the show on Wednesday evening.

I loved the photos from Jen Garrett’s Facebook showing their family of five at the theater. It’s truly wonderful to know the Garrett’s future Renegades are getting an early start on appreciation for music and live performances. Experiences like this are truly what make BC a campus, a community, and a family without boundaries. I’m looking forward to the next performance where BC takes Pantages!

Proud Day for the Writing Center & Academic Support Programs

Wednesday May 22nd was a joyous day for Bakersfield College Academic Support Programs. Four Writing Center team members were conferred with masters and doctoral degrees from California State University, Bakersfield! Laraine Rosema, Adjunct Writing Center Faculty, earned her Ed.D. In Educational Leadership: Jeff Newby, Writing Center Consultant, earned his Master of Arts in History; Marlin Morales, Writing Center Consultant, and Kim Arbolante, Writing Center Lead, both earned their Master of Arts in English with Writing Certificate.

Marlin Morales, M.A., Kim Arbolante, M.A., Laraine Rosema, Ed.D, & Jeff Newby, M.A.

The ceremony was held on the verdant soccer field at CSUB, and participants were relieved as rain clouds gave way to clearer skies and a beautiful sunset just as the graduate procession began. The proud graduates were blessed to have many BC colleagues in the crowd cheering them on. And while the fearless Director of Academic Support Programs, Maria Wright, is at home on maternity leave, the ASP team has done its best to make her proud by demonstrating its commitment to continuing education, excellence in the humanities, and to Renegades supporting colleagues and friends as part of our collective BC family.

Eileen with the 4 graduates.
Eileen Pierce, SI Program Manager supporting ASP grads
Group poses in a balloon frame with Congrats CSUB 2019 yay!
Earl Parson, Part-time Web Content Editor & Partner, Rachel Pori, Noelia Citialin, Nursing Faculty, John Davies, former English Adjunct

Innocent Victims of Gang Violence

Last week I was able to attend an awareness event and memorial for innocent victims of gang violence at Lowell Park. Local radio host and media personality Danny Morrison volunteered to emcee the event as he grew up in the neighborhood around the park and has lost close friends to gang violence. It was highlighted by passionate remarks on the topic from Bakersfield Mayor Karen Goh and a special musical number sung by a children’s choir from McKinley Elementary School. At the end of the program a permanent bench was unveiled to memorialize and remember all innocent victims of gang violence in our community. The event was part of a group project planned by the 2019 Leadership Bakersfield cohort that included our own Brandon Urry, Manager of Athletics Communications and Community Relations. Leadership Bakersfield is an annual program put on by the Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce to better connect leaders in our community. Learn more about the Leadership Bakersfield program.

Student choir on stage.
DJ and students clap and cheer on stage.
Audience mingling in park.
Stage.
Bench with plaque.
In Remembrance of All Innocent Victims of Gang Violence in Our Community, plaque.

M&O Summer Projects

Maintenance & Operations has been hard at work since the Summer Semester began. So many projects in  the past two weeks!

  • Replaced carpet in A17 and HR
  • Installed swamp coolers in the Huddle for Food Services and students
  • Installed new artificial turf by pool
  • Began renovations to the small pool
  • Prepared for installation of artificial turf by solar parking lots
  • Replaced landscaping alongside the FACE building and the Indoor Theater
  • Removed a tree and planted fruit trees near FACE for the Renegade Pantry
  • Trimmed 80 trees in one week
  • Began renovations on restroom by tennis courts
  • Stripped and waxed gym flooring, along with rooms in FACE building
  • Replaced the air filters in the wood shop and welding labs

Thank you to our amazing M&O team for keeping our campus beautiful!

Small pool renovations.
Preparing for installation of artificial turf at the solar parking lot.
New artificial turf by the small pool.
Painting the Tennis Court Restrooms.
New carpet installation in A-17.
Ramon Puga and Jim Coggins work on replacing carpet in A17 and HR.
Corey Garcia, Aaron Kidwell, and Tim Martinez installing a swamp cooler at the Gym Huddle.
Mitchell Barter supervising installation of the swamp cooler.
2 women in the hallway.
Rachell Morehouse and Damaris Duque preparing for stripping floors.
Shiny floor.
Stripped and waxed gym floor.

Emails Worth Sharing: from Baghdad

Paul Beckworth shared this email with me. I am so proud of our students serving abroad and continuing their education.

Hey, Paul!

I payed for my classes today. It all worked out. I got into 3 classes I needed and waitlisted for 1. Thought I’d share some photos.

[3 photos]

Sitting in fatigues on box.
In operating room.
Elaine with thumbs up skyping with daughter.

Emails Worth Sharing: Invited to Barcelona to Exhibit!

Diego Gutiérrez Monterrubio, adjunct faculty in the Art Department shared this email with me:

Waking up to this message with an invitation to exhibit my work in Barcelona makes my heart beat with happiness.  I am humbled to be appreciated internationally

…y sigue la novela.

-Diego

Buenos días, soy Aaron Henriques

Director de la Galería Carey

Tras ver su obra quiero proponerle exponer individualmente en Barcelona, España.

Esperando que la propuesta sea de su agrado quedó a la espera de sus noticias

Un Saludo

Galeriacarey.com

Aespaña #art #arte #artlovers #novela #pintormexicano #contemporaryart

* translation:

Good morning, I’m Aaron Henriques

Director of the Carey Gallery

After seeing his work I want to propose to you to exhibit individually your artwork in Barcelona, ​​Spain.

Waiting for the proposal to be of your liking was waiting for your news.

Greetings.

Standing at a table in front of graphic drawing of man and graphic drawing of woman crying.
Diego Gutiérrez Monterrubio

Fun Photos: Temblor for Frank Caliendo

Look who I ran into on comedy night at Temblor.

Michelle Pena, Nicky Damania, Kylie Swanson
Having fun at Temblor!

Fun Photos: Living Victory Church

8 students with pastors and Sonya behind them hold up certificates.
Another angle of Sonya speaking with microphone in front of screen where she is projected.
Sonya with the pastor.

Fun Photos: El Camino at GPIT

El Camino College visited BC’s Campus for tips on implementing Guided Pathways.

Athletics Updates

Track & Field Finishes Season at CCCAA Championships

The Renegade Track & Field team traveled to the College of San Mateo, host site for the 2019 California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) Championships. The team had qualified five student athletes in six events and all placed well in their respective competitions. Renegade finishes included:

2019 CCCAA Track & Field Championships Gabby Lugo 2nd place 1500m
2019 CCCAA Track & Field Championships Zaila Clark 5th Place Triple Jump
2019 CCCAA Track & Field Championships Daizhiana Ebert 2nd place long jump.
2019 CCCAA Track & Field Championships Jacob Whitby 2nd place hammer.
2019 CCCAA Track & Field Championships Jacob Whitby 12th place discus.
2019 CCCAA Track & Field Championships Justin Frando 7th place 800m

With the CCCAA Track & Field Championships now concluded, the season now finishes for both the Men’s and Women’s Track and Field teams.

Track & Field Pulls In Long List Of Post-Season All-Conference Awards

The Renegade Track & Field team wrapped up the 2019 regular season this last week at the CCCAA State Championships with five top-10 finishes. As the regular season concludes, the team has racked up a number of post-season conference awards, listed below:

Jacob Whitby 2019 Western State Conference co-male filed athlete of the year.

All-WSC First Team

Women:

  • Zaila Clark – Triple Jump
  • Joycelind Currie – 4 x 100m, 4 x 400m
  • Daizhiana Ebert – 4 x 100m, Long Jump, 4 x 400m
  • Noemi Esparza – 4 x 100m, 4 x 400m
  • Victoria Lennon – 4 x 400m
  • Gabby Lugo – 1500m, 4 x 400m
  • Bree McCabe – 4 x 100m
BC Renegade Track and Field Female All - WSC 1st team portraits.

Men:

  • Daniel Nichols – High Jump
  • Justin Frando – 800m
  • Elvis Sanchez – Hammer
  • Jacob Whitby – Shot, Discus, Hammer
BC Renegade Track and Field Male All - WSC 1st team portraits.

All-WSC Second Team

Female:

  • Rayvan Childs – 400m Hurdles
  • Joycelind Currie – 400m
  • Noemi Esparza – 400m Hurdles
BC Renegade Track and Field Female All - WSC 2nd team portraits.

Male:

  • Derek Crawford – 4 x 400m
  • Justin Frando – 4 x 400m
  • Cody Hartsfield – Hammer, Discus
  • Adrian Lopez – 800m
  • Lorenzo Maldonado – 4 x 400m
  • Cutberto Salgado – 4 x 400m
  • Marcos Varela – Hammer
BC Renegade Track and Field Male All - WSC 1st team portraits.

All-WSC Honorable Mention

Female:

  • Yarabi Campos – Hammer
  • Zaila Clark – Long Jump
  • Noemi Esparza – 200m
  • Victoria Lennon – 400m
  • Gabby Lugo – 5000m, 800m
BC Renegade Track and Field Female All - WSC Honorable Mention portraits.

Male:

  • Derek Crawford – 200m
  • Cutberto Salgado – Steeplechase
  • Elvis Sanchez – Discus
  • Harrison Wykoff – Steeplechase
BC Renegade Track and Field Male All - WSC Honorable Mention portraits.
Sonya speaking with microphone.


That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

sonya-
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

BC’s 105th Commencement

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

A Record Breaking Celebration

Congratulations to the Bakersfield College Class of 2019! On May 10th, we had a record breaking historical evening. Our college has grown so much over the century. In 1913 we began with thirteen students and this year we have almost thirty-three thousand students.

This year we celebrated the highest number of eligible graduates to obtain a degree in our college’s history, with more than 2,746 students eligible.

President Sonya Christian with a 2019 BC graduate for the honorary handshake and photo.

We gathered to honor the second graduating class of BC’s Industrial Automation Baccalaureate degree, over 90 high school students from the Wonderful Agriculture Career Prep Early College partnership, the first graduate of Delano’s HVAC program, and most importantly, the diligence and commitment of every graduating Renegade.

Here is a little more about the class of 2019:

  • 2,161 graduates are transferring to a four-year college or university to continue their education
  • 614 earned an Associate of Arts degree
  • 697 earned an Associate of Science Degree
  • Over 2,011 guaranteed their ability to transfer to a four-year university by obtaining an Associate of Art or Science for Transfer
  • Over 878 have a grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or above and 10 have a grade point average (GPA) of 4.0 or above.
Graduate smiles from the floor level of Rabobank Arena

Prior to our class entering the Arena, the processional is led by the Mace Carriers who serve as marshals for our processional. This year, Mr. William “Bill” Kelly and Mr. Fred Smith led the charge.

Fred Smith and Bill Kelly

Following the Faculty, this year’s Platform Party was compiled of leadership at the college, district, and within the BC community. Among the members this year were Trustees Romeo Agbalog, Kyle Carter and Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, KCCD’s Gary Moser and Tonya Davis, Vice Presidents Liz Rozell, Mike Giacomini, and Zav Dadabhoy, Senator Emeritus Jean Fuller, SGA President Ashley Harp, Early College representative, Emily Perez and Senior Vice President of Wonderful Education, Noemi Donoso. Additionally from Bakersfield College, Academic Senate President, Steven Holmes, Alumni Association President, Becki Whitson, Deans Emmanuel Mourtzanos, Grace Commisso, and Cornelio Rodriguez, and Steve Watkin, Cynthia Quintanilla, Norma Rojas-Mora, and Paul Beckworth. It also included the 2019 Samuel McCall award winner, Professor Jordan Rude who, during his honorary remarks congratulated students by saying,

Acknowledge and appreciate the level of sacrifices you have made, and celebrate with the same level of enthusiasm! Find those people who shared sacrifices with you, and celebrate with them! You owe it to your former and future selves, and to those that sacrificed for you to celebrate tonight.

Jordan Rude, May 10, 2019
Professor Rude sitting on stage during the processional
Graduates filled the arena

Special thank you to Boy Scout Troop 712 for presenting the colors and to John Gerhold for leading us in the national anthem.

John Gerhold leads us in singing the National Anthem

This year, the Early College partnership with Wonderful Agriculture Career Prep more than doubled in size since last year. We had 47 graduates from Wasco High School and 43 from Wonderful College Prep Academy who received their associates degree. What an incredible accomplishment and thank you to Dr. Noemi Donoso of Wonderful and Senator Jean Fuller for being on stage to congratulate these and all of our graduates.

The Early College graduates from both Wasco High School and Wonderful College Prep Academy with leadership including Trustee Romeo Agbalog, President Sonya Christian, and Wonderful’s Noemi Donoso.

I’d like to share some additional photos from Commencement:

The full ceremony is available on YouTube:

The full ceremony is available on BC’s YouTube
2018-19 SGA President, Ashley Harp

Commencement is a big deal at BC and it could not happen without the work of the Commencement Committee. Thank you to Karimeh Amin, Tamara Baker, Christopher Blakemore, Paul Beckworth, Lesley Bonds, Ed Borgens, Eric Carrillo, Nicky Damania, Victor Diaz, Christopher Glaser, Christy Haycock, Beth Hilbe, Jackie Lau, Aricia Leighton, Jaime Lopez, Gabriele Martin, Robby Martinez, John Menzies, Norma Rojas-Mora, Rachell Morehouse, Julian Navarette, Michelle Pena, Jack Pierce, Cynthia Quintanilla, Bernadette Quintero, Kristin Rabe, Corny Rodriguez, Monika Scott, Jennifer Serratt, Pearl Urena, Imelda Vasquez, Dylan Wang and Steve Watkin for your hard work to make it happen. Also, thank you to the Rabobank staff for your contributions and assistance to make everything happen.

BC Crew helping out on Friday night at Rabobank

Delano’s Pre-Commencement

Delano Campus students got the opportunity to celebrate their accomplishments at their own pre-commencement ceremony early on Friday morning. The Delano celebration began in 2015 to give our rural students an opportunity to be recognized in the same intimate setting where they completed most of their coursework. About 30 students participated in this year’s festivities.

Keynote speaker Bryan Osorio is the youngest member of the Delano City Council at just 23 years old. A graduate of Cesar E. Chavez High School in Delano before earning a Bachelor’s Degree at UC Berkeley, Osorio spoke about the importance of education in his life and how providing opportunities for people in rural areas to pursue an education can transform communities.

Trustee Agbalog addressed the graduates in Delano

Many of our students in rural communities face transportation barriers to completing their educational objectives in a timely manner, which is why BC is continuing to expand course offerings and student services at the Delano Campus, while also expanding to Arvin, Shafter, Wasco, and other outlying areas of Kern County. Combined with our expansion of Early College, Dual Enrollment, and Concurrent Enrollment opportunities, BC is doubling down on our commitment to increase educational attainment for all of Kern County.

Rural Initiatives Executive Director Abel Guzman urged students to continue their education as far as they go, while not leaving behind the communities from which they came.

Dedicated faculty and staff at the Delano Campus

Thank you to the Rural Initiatives team and staff at the Delano campus for organizing the 4th Annual Delano Pre-Commencement Ceremony. I’d also like to thank our amazing faculty who go above and beyond to support our students at the Delano Campus and other rural communities.

Trustee Agbalog with Martha Avina (center), a mother, grandmother, and new BC Delano campus grad with degrees in communications, human services, administration of justice, and sociology, with her daughter and fellow graduate Rocio Avina (right) who is CSUB bound this Fall.
Trustee Agbalog with Raquel Lopez and Rich McCrow

Industrial Automation Baccalaureate Class

BC also honored its second graduating baccalaureate class during the Industrial Automation Pre-Commencement Ceremony in the Potato Room of the Rabobank Arena Convention Center.

The graduating class of 13 Renegades, faculty, Trustees Romeo Agbalog and Nan Gomez Heitzeberg, Vice President Liz Rozell and Sonya Christian

This year’s graduating baccalaureate class included 13 students, and each of them is poised to begin an amazing career in one of the most highly-demanded job fields around the world today. This year’s keynote speaker was retiring Vice President of Instruction Liz Rozell and it was great to see Renegade alum, Richard Van Horne.

Michele Bresso, Richard Van Horne, Kimberly Bligh, Cynthia Quintanilla

I was honored to lead the ceremonial hooding ceremony for these incredible 13 graduates. Congratulations to:

Trustees Nan Gomez Heitzeberg and Romeo Agbalog congratulate the graduates alongside President Christian
  • Sabrina Cardenas
  • Adrian Chavez
  • Lawrence Coulthurst
  • Eric De La Rosa
  • David Guito
  • Seth Hancock
  • Chad Hildalgo
  • Wendyam Kere
  • Isaiah Lopez
  • Edwin Marroquin
  • Shaun Powelson
  • Aaron Thomas
  • and Daniel Vargas
Graduate, Shaun Powelson
Graduate, Seth Hancock
Graduate, Sabrina Cardeenas
Graduate, Lawrence Coulthurst
Graduate, Adrian Chavez
Graduate, Kere Wendyam
Graduate, Isiah Lopez
Graduate, Eric De La Rosa
Graduate, Edwin Marroquin
Graduate, David Guinto
Graduate, Daniel Vargas
Graduate, Chad Hildalgo
Graduate, Aaron Thomas

I would like to thank Aubrey Priest, Michelle Bresso, Manny Fernandez, Jason Dixon, Roy Allard, Tom Rush, Liz Rozell and everyone who participated in our second Industrial Automation Pre-Commencement.


Veteran’s Pre-Commencement

Graduate with Paul Beckworth

Our graduating veterans also celebrated their achievements with their own pre-commencement ceremony in the Breckenridge Room of Rabobank Arena and Convention Center.

Twenty students participated in this year’s Veterans Pre-Commencement Celebration. Our veteran students put their lives on the line to serve this country, and they were honored to have all of their accomplishments recognized now that they’ve managed to find success in civilian life.

Armando Trujillo congratulates the graduates

BC’s own Armando Trujillo was the keynote speaker, and he inspired students to continue making and achieving milestones in their lives. Our veteran student population tends to be older than the majority of our students and feel the need to play catch-up with their peers, but it’s important for them to look back on all they’ve already accomplished in order to find the motivation to push themselves forward.

BC is dedicated to supporting our veteran students, and we demonstrate our commitment with Vetfest and a multitude of other events we host on campus throughout the year.  And, of course, we cannot forget the Vernon Valenzuela Veteran Resource Center being built as we speak.I’d like to thank Paul Beckworth, Bernadette Martinez, Adeana Williams and everyone who helped organize this year’s Veterans Pre-Commencement Ceremony, and congratulations to all our graduating vets for the 2018-19 academic year.


African American Pre-Commencement

The African-American Initiatives team continued their tradition of celebrating the graduates in their cohort at the 5th annual African-American Pre-Commencement in the Truxtun Room of Rabobank Arena and Convention Center.

Group Photo from the African American Pre-Commencement

This year’s ceremony featured approximately 30 graduates celebrating their accomplishments with their families, as well as the faculty and staff who supported them during their time at BC. Keynote speaker Valerie Robinson spoke about the importance of learning and family throughout their life’s journey.

Pastor Dwayne Cantrell gave the invocation

Mikeisha Lowder was the student speaker, and she shared her BC journey with those gathered. She said she struggled academically and was referred to a DSPS counselor, who connected her to services and referred her to English professor Dr. Paula Parks. Lowder joined the Umoja Community African-American Success Through Excellence and Persistence program its first year.

LoShe thanked Dr. Parks and her Umoja family as well as her fiance for supporting her.

The Umoja Community program provides coursework with a cultural focus, mentoring, counseling support, academic and cultural trips, and academic advising. Umoja also has a Club component.

Executive Director Steven Watkin advised graduates to never stop learning and to lean on the support of family and friends when they need it.

I’d like to thank African-American Initiatives, Admissions and Records, Financial Aid, Student Affairs, the Office of Student Life, and the Umoja Community for their support in organizing this year’s African-American Pre-Commencement.


Lavender Pre-Commencement

BC honored its graduating LGBTQ+ students during our 2nd annual Lavender Pre-Commencement Celebration, held in the Caliente Room at the Rabobank Arena and Convention Center.

The Lavender Celebration Group Photo

Approximately 30 students participated in the ceremony, which was organized by the Office of Student Life, Helen Acosta, and BC’s SAGA club. The Lavender Pre-Commencement tradition started at BC in 2018, but it was founded at the University of Michigan in 1995 by Dr. Ronni Sanlo to acknowledge the accomplishments of 3 LGBTQ graduates. Lavender ceremonies have since expanded to hundreds of colleges and universities across the country.

The keynote speaker for the evening was Jim Merrick, a local high school teacher who faced discrimination from 15 of his students’ parents for speaking out against homophobic remarks made by a member of the Kern County Human Relations Commission in 1998.  

Lavender graduates got the opportunity to thank those who have helped them succeed at BC. Students from this year’s graduating Lavender class have changed our campus forever, whether it was Chad Hidalgo starting the Extra Life at BC event which has raised $3,700 for the Lauren Small Children’s Center, or 2018 BC President’s Leader of the Year winner Emmanuel Limaco, who obtained a Fellowship with the Immigrant Youth Justice Alliance.

Helen Acosta and Nicky Damania pose with a graduate

Acosta advised graduating students to savor their remaining years in college or first few years in the job market.

“The first years while you struggle to find your footing are frustrating, but later, you will be glad you stuck with it and you’ll find a beautiful life with people who care about you,” Acosta said.

Thank you to everyone who organized the Lavender Pre-Commencement, and congratulations to all of the Lavender graduates.


BC’s First HVAC Graduate

BC’s brand-new HVAC program, located on our Delano campus celebrated a milestone on Friday with our first graduate, Felix Dominguez. Special thank you to Assemblymember Rudy Salas for securing funds to make this program possible.

Felix Dominguez, BC’s first HVAC graduate!

Thank You to our Community Partners

Commencement Sponsors on billboard
2019 Commencement Sponsors on Rabobank Billboard

Each year, our graduation ceremony is traditionally held on campus at the beautiful Memorial Stadium. This year, because our community voted YES on Measure J in 2016, campus construction is taking place and renovations on the stadium have begun. Our celebration at Rabobank would not have been possible without generous contributions and support from our community partners.

Platinum Sponsor: Dignity Health
Gold Sponsors: Aera Energy, California Resources Corporation, Kern Schools Federal Credit Union, and S.C. Anderson.
Bronze Sponsors: Adventist Health and Rodriguez and Associates


Fun Photos: Behind the Scenes

On Thursday evening, the M&O Crew got together to stuff the programs with an insert that featured our evenings sponsors.

M&O Crew prepares programs for the 2019 Commencement Ceremony
M&O Crew prepares programs for the 2019 Commencement Ceremony

Industrial Automation Corporate Tours

Industrial Automation students, faculty and BC staff had the pleasure of touring four distribution centers and processing facilities recently. We toured the Target Distribution Center, Ross Distribution Center, Bolthouse Farms, and the Wonderful Company. The scale and innovation these companies incorporated into each facility to serve their global customer base was amazing! BC is so fortunate that these companies took the time to make our experience quite memorable. 

Industrial Automation at Wonderful
Industrial Automation at Ross
Industrial Automation at Target

Fun Photos: No Heel Monday

Jennifer Serratt caught me red handed working in the office on Monday with the comfiest of shoes. Of course, they are my Renegade Red Moccasins.


Renegade Swimming Pulls In All-American Awards and National Rankings

Renegade Athlete Swimmer

After wrapping up the 2019 season, the Renegade Men’s and Women’s Swimming programs have hauled in a number of All-American awards and national rankings; listed below:

Men’s All Americans and National Rankings:

  • 100 Breaststroke (Ranked 6th in CCCAA) – Tanner Lopes
  • 200 Free Relay – Andre Gallegos, Bronson Pearce, Esteban Robles, Kenneth Hardin (Ranked #9 in the CCCAA and #14 Nationally)
  • 400 Free Relay – Andre Gallegos, Bronson Pearce, Esteban Robles, Kenneth Hardin (Ranked #13 in the CCCAA
  • 200 Medley Relay – Kenneth Rodriguez, Tanner Lopes, Jason Frando, Esteban Robles (Ranked #15 Nationally)
  • 400 Medley Relay – Kenneth Rodriguez, Tanner Lopes, Esteban Robles, Bronson Pearce (Ranked #15 Nationally)

Women’s All Americans and National Rankings:

  • Daran Towns – 100 Free (Ranked #3 in the CCCAA and #7 Nationally), 200 Free: (Ranked #5 in the CCCAA and #11 Nationally), 500 Free (Ranked #6 in the CCCAA and #10 Nationally)
  • Bailey Pike – 1650 Free (Ranked 13th in the CCCAA)
  • 200 Free Relay – Daran Towns, Alexis Gallardo, Blaire Williams, Bailey Pike (Ranked #15 in the CCCAA)
  • 400 Free Relay – Bailey Pike, Alexis Gallardo, Blaire Williams, Daran Towns (Ranked #14 in the CCCAA)
  • 800 Free Relay – Alexis Gallardo, Bailey Pike, Daran Towns, Blaire Williams ((Ranked #11 in the CCCAA and #15 Nationally)
  • 200 Medley Relay – Alexis Gallardo, Blaire Williams, Ingrid Villanueva, Daran Towns (Ranked #9 in the CCCAA)

Track and Field Qualifies Five To CCCAA State Championships

The Renegade Men’s and Women’s Track and Field teams competed at the SoCal finals this last weekend at Riverside City College with five (three women and two men) qualifying for the CCCAA Championships this coming weekend.

Renegade Track Runner

Top individual finishers for the Renegades included:

Women’s Triple Jump Finals:
4. Zaila Clark (qualified for CCCAA Championships)

Women’s Long Jump Finals:
2. Daizhiana Ebert (qualified for CCCAA Championships)

Women’s 1500m:
2. Gabby Lugo (qualified for CCCAA Championships)

Men’s Discus Finals:
3. Jacob Whitby (qualified for CCCAA Championships)

Men’s Hammer:
4. Jacob Whitby (qualified for CCCAA Championships)

Men’s 800m:
3. Justin Frando (qualified for CCCAA Championships)

Baseball’s Voda Commits to Missouri Baptist

Renegade Baseball sophomore outfielder, Sage Voda has signed to continue his academic and baseball career at Missouri Baptist University. He joins fellow outfielder Ashanti Ross as the second Renegade to commit to the Spartans from the current team. Voda, from Tehachipi CA, appeared in 35 games for the Renegades this season. In 2019, he collected 20 RBI’s, scored 20 runs, stole 6 bases and had one home run. Missouri Baptist University is an NAIA level school that competes in the American Midwest Conference. Congrats Sage and good luck!



That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

sonya-
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Celebrating 2018-2019

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, May 11, 2019… A great day to be a Renegade.

Closing Day 2019

The last day of the 2018-19 academic year began with Closing Day, where all of BC’s faculty and staff take the opportunity to recognize each other’s accomplishments.

BCSGA President Ashley Harp
BCSGA President Ashley Harp delivers the opening address for Closing Day.
Sonya Christian
Announcing the President’s Leadership Awards.

BCSGA President Ashley Harp started with an overview of everything that student government has done to support our students this semester, including bringing four Distinguished Speakers to campus and putting the transportation fee proposition on this year’s BCSGA ballot. She also encouraged faculty to continue nominating students for BCSGA.

bc Assessment Team
The Assessment Team wins a 2019 President’s Leadership Award.

After Ashley’s speech, I was honored to present this year’s President’s Leadership Awards, honoring 9 groups of people on campus for their outstanding accomplishments.

bc Completion Coaching Team for the Business Pathway
The Completion Coaching Team for the Business Pathway receives a 2019 President’s Leadership Award.
Eric Carrillo and Dylan Wang and sonya christian
Graphic designers Eric Carrillo and Dylan Wang receive a 2019 President’s Leadership Award.

I started with recognizing the BC Assessment Team for all of their work with reconfiguring what placement at BC looks like in the wake of AB 705. Our Completion Coaching Team for the Business Pathway won a leadership award for all they do to support business students, which includes organizing the Business Pathway and Career Expo this spring. I also recognized graphic designers Eric Carrillo and Dylan Wang from our Marketing and Public Relations Department for maintaining the integrity of the Renegade brand while making beautiful graphs and charts for all of our public presentations.

bc Accessibility Team
The Accessibility Team is presented with a 2019 President’s Leadership Award.
bc Dual Enrollment Team
The Dual Enrollment Team receives a 2019 President’s Leadership Award.

Our accessibility team deserved a special shout out this year for all they’ve done to ensure that our disabled students are able to receive the highest possible quality of education, and the Dual Enrollment Team underwent a tremendous amount of work to launch Early College programs in Wasco, McFarland and Arvin. The exponential growth of enrollment over the last six years has put a tremendous strain on our Admissions and Records Team, and I also recognized them for everything they do to onboard our students.

bc Admissions and Records team
The Admissions and Records team receives a 2019 President’s Leadership Award.
Paul Beckworth and Armando Trujillo and sonya christian
Paul Beckworth and Armando Trujillo receive a 2019 President’s Leadership Award.

Paul Beckworth and Armando Trujillo were recognized for making the transition to civilian life easier for our veteran students, and retiring Vice President of Instruction Liz Rozell earned a President’s Leadership Award for her decades of service to BC.

Liz Rozell is presented an award from the Management Association
Liz Rozell is presented an award from the Management Association
liz rozell and management association
Liz Rozell with the Management Association.
sonya and liz
sonya and liz

Finally, Helen Acosta won a Leadership Award for her work as the Department Chair of Communications, as well as her support of our LGBTQ+ students.

Along with the Leadership Awards, representatives from across the campus spoke to put a ribbon on the 2018-19 academic year. Vice President of CSEA Bernadette Martinez took the stage to give an overview of classified staff negotiations for this year and to encourage participation in CSEA negotiations starting next fall. Departing CCA President Tom Greenwood reminded faculty that increased participations in union negotiations with the district gives strength in numbers toward advocacy for faculty issues.

Bernadette Martinez
Bernadette Martinez gives an updates an CSEA negotiations.
Tom Greenwood
Tom Greenwood encourages faculty members to participate in CCA.
Stephen Holmes
Stephen Holmes gives an update on Academic Senate and announces the retiring faculty for 2019.
Manny Mourtzanos
Manny Mourtzanos gives an update on the Management Association, with Stephen Holmes.
wrought iron bench
Stephen Holmes presents Bill Kelly with a wrought-iron bench as a retirement present.
Stephen Holmes presents Liz Rozell with a stop sign.

Stephen Holmes provided a brief update about the Academic Senate and announced the faculty members who are retiring this summer. Holmes gave retiring Agriculture professor Bill Kelly a wrought-iron bench as a parting gift, and Liz Rozell received a red stop sign to help her park. Liz also announced the BC faculty who received tenure in 2018-19.

Reggie Williams
Reggie Williams announces the Levan Summer Grant recipients.
bill kelly
Retiring Agriculture professor Bill Kelly.

Levan Center Director Reggie Williams announced the recipients of the Levan Summer Grants, which include Chris Doyen from the English Department, Sarah Baron from Public Health Sciences, mythology professor Rae Ann Kumelos, and adjunct instructor of Communication Brenda Valadez. He also thanked myself, Norman Levan, Jack Hernandez, Miriam Valenzuela and Teresa Tovar for making the Levan Center a welcoming place to host 35 to 50 events attended by thousands of people throughout the 2018-19 academic year.

Regina Hukill and Helen Acosta receive the Shirley Trembley Teaching Award.
Regina Hukill and Helen Acosta receive the Shirley Trembley Teaching Award.
John Gerhold
John Gerhold announces the Margaret Levinson Faculty Leadership Award.

Becky Head announced that Helen Acosta and Regina Hukill were the winners of this year’s Shirley Trembley Teaching Award, and John Gerhold announced Kimberly Nickell as the winner of the Margaret Levinson Faculty Leadership Award.

I found this picture from last year. Kim Nickell, Kimberley Bligh, Pam Boyles
Susan Pinza
Susan Pinza announces the winner of the Levan Faculty Colloquium.

Susan Pinza closed out the event by recognizing Bernadette Towns as the recipient of the Levan Faculty Colloquium. Faculty and staff are invited to watch Towns give a presentation about child development in the Levan Center on October 19. Pinza is stepping down as the chair of the Levan Faculty Colloquium group, and Erin Miller will be taking over for next year.

I’d like to thank everyone for attending and participating in this year’s Closing Day, as well as our Closing Day team for organizing the event.

Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the Chicano/Latino Pre-Commencement Celebration

This past Friday on May 3, Bakersfield College celebrated the 25th Anniversary of the Chicano/Latino Pre-Commencement Celebration on campus. Since the inception of the event in 1994, this pre-commencement event has celebrated the academic accomplishments of hundreds of students for the past two decades and has welcomed their families, friends, and their community to the campus.

Chicano Latino pre commencement celebration
man speaking to large audience
three people getting food from trays
male and female at the buffet line holding spoons

Jael Rivera, as seen in the picture below, is leader of the danza, drummer, flute player, and current BC student.

Chicano Latino dancers
Chicano Latino dancers

Graduates and faculty shared a meal together and lined up to make a grand entrance into the Outdoor Theatre.

one long line of people
two lines of people

Vibrant colors and decorative props surrounding the Outdoor Theatre provided a Latino friendly atmosphere, while DJ Escandalosa played upbeat music to get the audience engaged.

Chicano Latino audience
Chicano Latino audience
Chicano Latino dancers on stage
Chicano Latino dancers on stage

Each graduate received a colorful serape stole, commemorative medallion, and a Chicano/Latino Pre-Commencement Celebration one-of-a-kind shirt.

colorful stole
si se puede

Student leaders from LUPE/Conexiones graciously provided a warm welcome to the audience and assisted in reading the graduates names as they were called up to center stage to receive their serape and deliver their acknowledgements.

Chicano Latino anniversary group

At the end of the 25th Anniversary, the planning committee honored the man that started it all in 1994, Dean Cornelio “Corny” Rodriguez. Dean Rodriguez was recognized as an individual who has always advocated for equal access and equality for ALL BC students and was presented with a plaque of appreciation for his contributions to the BC campus and the Chicano/Latino community at large.

Chicano Latino brothers

Check out some more CLCC fun photos on SmugMug!

Thank you to all the BC departments who contributed to this amazing event. Special thanks to: Bakersfield College Foundation, Office of VP Student Affairs, Student Life/SGA, Maintenance & Operations, Communications and Community Relations, Department of Public Safety, Food Services, Graphics Center, Scheduling & Events, Loma Linda Restaurant, Rubio’s Coastal Grill, Jasmin’s Bakery, Banderas Burgers, and Kern Schools.

Thank you to BC staff from the various departments: EOPS/CARE, CalSOAP, Adult Ed/Job Spot, Delano Campus/Rural Initiatives, Counseling Department, Academic Support Services, Foster Youth Kindship, Foreign Languages, and CTE.

Last but not least, MUCHAS GRACIAS to the student leaders of LUPE/Conexiones who spent countless hours decorating the Outdoor Theatre and volunteered throughout the entire event.

Retiree Reception

On Tuesday, the BC Archives and Foundation got together to honor the retiring members of the Renegade family at its annual reception in the Levan Center.

Two men talking and smiling
group of people chatting and smiling

We have 19 members of our faculty and staff retiring at the end of the 2018-19 academic year, and they’ve served our students for a combined 474 years. Their tireless efforts are what makes this institution a beautiful place for people in our community to begin their journey in higher education, and we will miss them dearly.

man and woman smiling
elderly man signing paper on table

Among our administration, Liz Rozell over 29 years has been a professor, dean, and interim Vice President of Instruction, and was an instrumental part of establishing our Bachelor of Science Degree in Industrial Automation. Sue Vaughn has been at BC for 22 years, and her work with the Child Development Center makes education a possibility for thousands of Central Valley parents. Shoreh Rahman served our International Students as a counselor for 33 years, and Fred Smith has been working with our Renegade student athletes for 34 years.

eldery man using walker entering room
two men in black shirts talking

Our Agriculture Department is losing two of its most distinguished staff members this year in William Kelly and Sally Sterns. Kelly’s abundant patience and kindness has developed the next generation of agriculture professionals in Kern County for more than 37 years, and Sterns started the first Gardenfest at BC, which has become the premier spring gardening event. She retires as a horticulture lab technician after 13 years of service.

two people in pink shirts talking
three women smiling

Other notable retires include biology professor Janet Fulks, whose research has been crucial for the success of Guided Pathways at BC, and Richard Darke, a physics professor of 29 years who won this year’s Trembley Teaching Award.

group of retirees eating at table
female student smiling

A full list of retirees is below:

  • Steven Barrett – Grounds Equipment Mechanic, Maintenance and Operations – 8 years, 9 months, 22 days
  • Richard Darke – Professor, Physics/Engineering – 29 years, 8 months
  • Michael Einhaus – Professor, Philosophy – 20 years, 10 months
  • Janet Fulks – Professor, Biology – 24 years, 8 months
  • Patrick Fulks – Professor, Biology – 27 years, 7 months
  • George Gentry – Associate Teacher, CDC – 7 years, 6 months and 10 days
  • Patrick Harrison – Athletic Complex Manager, Maintenance and Operations – 20 years, 10 months, 29 days
  • Regina Hukill – Professor, Mathematics – 17 years, 11 months
  • William Kelly – Professor, Agriculture – 37 years, 3 months
  • Penny Loos – Food Service Assistant III – 26 years, 9 months, 14 days
  • Rebecca Mooney – Professor, English – 29 years, 8 months
  • Sung Soo Park – Professor, Engineering – 28 years, 4 months
  • Shoreh Rahman – Counselor, International Student Affairs – 33 years, 6 months
  • Theresa Rodriguez – Department Assistant III, Food Service – 26 years, 3 months, 20 days
  • Liz Rozell – Interim Vice President, Instruction – 29 years, 4 months
  • Bernard Scanlon – Professor, Mathematics – 24 years, 8 months
  • Dean Serabian – System Support Specialist II, Information Technology – 21 years, 21 days
  • Fred Smith – Athletic Trainer/Program Director – 34 years, 5 months, 12 days
  • Sally Sterns – Horticulture Lab Tech, Agriculture – 13 years, 8 months and 12 days
  • Sue Vaughn – Interim Program Director, CDC and FKCE – 22 years, 4 months

Dream Revolution Concert

On Thursday, May 2, hundreds of students and community members gathered at the Bakersfield College outdoor theater to celebrate the “Dream Revolution” at Bakersfield College.  Sponsored by the Catalyst Fund Immigrant Rising grant at Bakersfield College and South Kern Sol, this event brought Las Cafeteras to campus. Described by National Public Radio as “blending Mexican and American” cultural elements in their music, Las Cafeteras joined local band Velorio in providing a wonderful end-of-semester cultural and musical celebration on our campus.

three women in floral prints smiling
women standing and smiling at cesar chavez booth

The event featured art booths before the concert, showcasing the work of our very own faculty Diego Gutierrez Monterrubio and his students. Registered guests were able to enjoy a wonderful meal plate from our campus food services, including Mexican street tacos, rice, and beans.  Among attendees were a number of students from Arvin High School’s dual enrollment program. Thank you Abel Guzman and Endee Grijalva for coordinating this opportunity for our South Kern students.

two females at womens march 2019 booth
three people posing and smiling

Special thanks to South Kern Sol executive director Reyna Olaguez for helping coordinate this event, as well as the student speakers.

man blowing on trumpet with authority
four latina women singing on stage

Norma Gaspar from our local Telemundo station also served as emcee for the evening, introducing the speakers, bands, and reminding the community of the importance of the event in both English and Spanish.  Gaspar was also one of the first to hit the dance floor as the music of Velorio and Las Cafeteras gave everyone a chance to dance and celebrate together as a community. Everyone was especially pleased that Dolores Huerta made an impromptu appearance on the dance floor.  At 89 years old, she is a community blessing and so impressive in her strength and determination to keep fighting for social justice.

KCCD 2019 Leadership Academy

Last month on April 5, I attended the graduation ceremony for the 2019 KCCD Leadership Academy, where I had the pleasure of hearing the four group presentations for projects that had been worked on all year.  The KCCD Leadership Academy is a year-long program that began in September and concluded in early April. This year, there were 21 participants from each college and the district office, which included faculty, classified professionals, managers, and administrators.  Presentations were made by four groups to a panel consisting of Chancellor Tom Burke, Cerro Coso Community College President Jill Board, Porterville College President Bill Henry, Chief Financial Officer Debbie Martin, and Vice Chancellor of Human Resources Tonya Davis.

The graduation awards at the graduation ceremony were presented by Chancellor Tom Burke, President Jill Board, President Bill Henry, Vice Chancellor John Means, and myself.

kccd leadership academy group shot

If interested, applications for the 2019-20 KCCD Leadership Academy are now being accepted.  Applicants can contact John Means at jmeans@kccd.edu.

kccd leadership academy group shot

Here is the full list of the 2018-19 KCCD Leadership Academy Participants:

Bakersfield College (4)

Debra M. Anderson – Outreach & School Relations, Main Campus

Jacqueline Lau – Admissions and Records Technician 2

Araceli Navarro-Gomez – Foster and Kinship Care Education Program-Program Manager

Paula L. Parks, Ph.D. – English professor/Umoja Community lead

Cerro Coso Community College (7)

Kathryn A. Bachman – Director, Outreach Services

Chad Houck – Dean of Instruction – Cerro Coso Community College

Jessica R. Kawelmacher – Admissions & Records Technician II

Jessica Krall – Program Manager, Child Development centers

John McHenry – Athletic Director

Caroline Sanderson – Campus Manager, Eastern Sierra College Center

Julianne (Juli) Maikai – Alternative Media Specialist-High Tech Center

Porterville College (3)

Dustin Acres – Mathematics Professor

Levern Butler – System Support Specialist I

Anne VanDerHorst – College HR Manager, Porterville College Human Resources

District Office (6)

Mary Barnes – Administrative Assistant, Human Resources

Rafaela Cisneros – Accounting Coordinator, Facilities

Jennifer R. Dunn – Enterprise Resource Planning Analyst I, Information Technology

Genevieve Horton – Administrative Assistant, Economic and Workforce Development

Enrique Heredia – Accounting Coordinator, Business Services

Nicholas Hernandez – Construction Project Manager, Facilities

Jazz Combos and Commercial Music Concert

The Jazz Combos and Commercial Music Ensemble presented a combined concert on Monday night in the Indoor Theater, closing out a busy inaugural year for the new Jazz Studies program led by Professor Kris Tiner. Jazz Combo B opened the show with music by students Abigail Wilson and Kal Nolan, as well as a funky take on Freddie Hubbard’s “Mr. Clean” (check out the Facebook video below).

ensemble performance
Commercial Music Ensemble
jazz combo A
Jazz Combo A

The Commercial Music Ensemble directed by Professor Kyle Burnham performed next, with original songs by students Muhammad Ashter, Quentin Singleton, Gabriel Delgado, and Marcos Hernandez Delgado, alongside covers by Bill Withers, Stone Temple Pilots, and Arctic Monkeys. Jazz Combo A closed the show with an all-original set featuring music by students Izzy Foster and Zach Taylor. Proceeds from the concert will benefit the third annual Panorama Creative Music Summit coming up on September 16-19.

jazz combo B
Jazz Combo B

Check out Jazz Combo B’s performance on Facebook!

Concurrent Enrollment Registration Event

Last Thursday, our Welcome Center hosted a Concurrent Enrollment Registration event for our local high school and home school students. Students from grades 9 through 11 came in to get assistance with their registration steps. Each student was able to register for Summer 2019 and/or Fall 2019 courses, which they will take at one of our BC campuses or online.

kylie swanson helping family with registration
concurrent enrollment registration event

A large portion of the attendees were from Inspire Charter Schools, an organization that serves many home school students in Kern County. To aid with course selection and form approval, counselors from Inspire Charter Schools attended the event and met with their students prior to them registering for classes. As our high school and home school students continue to seek opportunities to get an early start on their college education, we are excited to plan more events such as this one to serve the needs of this growing population.

ROC Partner Appreciation

In recognition of the commitment Bakersfield College has made to Kern High School District’s Regional Occupational Center (ROC), faculty members Justin Flint, Manny Fernandez, LeAnn Riley, Matt Riley, Suzanne Tangeman and Career Education Director Tony Cordova attended the ROC Partner Appreciation Dinner.  We learned about the new programs that are getting built at the ROC and Career Technical Educational Center (CTEC), as well as some great student success stories about students completing their programs at ROC and continuing their education at BC.

roc partners appreciation group shot

I’d like to give a big thank you to ROC Principal Brian Miller for his hard work and collaboration with Bakersfield College.

BC SouthWest Video

BC SouthWest had an amazing year!  More than 150 sections were offered and hundreds of students were served.  Here are some images captured throughout the year by Program Manager Fernando Lara.  They highlight BC getting “keys” to the River Run building and the work done by faculty and staff from both BC and the District Office.

After three years of co-locating with Fresno Pacific University, BC SouthWest took over the lease on April 1, 2019.  The key in the video marked “BCM 1” is the first official key made for the site.

Additional images show Chelsi Womack, Department Assistant III.  Chelsi was hired in late April.  Her hiring signifies the growth we are experiencing at BC SouthWest.  Also captured are Officer Mark Sifuentes, Professor Janet Tarjan, Professor Silvet Holcomb, and student-employee Jasmen Taylor.

Another highlight of this past year is when BC SouthWest students Elizabeth Jacobs, Aliyah Gonzalez, and Noah Hinson addressed the KCCD Board of Trustees at the December 2018 meeting.  They each spoke about the benefit of having a BC center near them. There is an image in the video of the future site of the BC SouthWest Center (located at 9400 Camino Media).  The future is looking bright for all BC students!

Industrial Automation Corporate Tours

Industrial Automation students, faculty and BC staff had the pleasure of touring four distribution centers and processing facilities recently. We toured the Target Distribution Center, Ross Distribution Center, Bolthouse Farms, and the Wonderful Company. The scale and innovation these companies incorporated into each facility to serve their global customer base was amazing! We were very pleased that these companies took the time to make our experience quite memorable.

group of industrial automation students
group of industrial automation students
group of industrial automation students
tour group sitting at conference table

ASL-English Interpreter Training Program

The first cohort of students in the Bakersfield College ASL-English Interpreter Training Program have completed their course of study. Each student took a turn to share his or her experiences and received a certificate. As each student spoke, one of the classmates interpreted. Several of the students interpreted remarks by Tom Moran, Jaclyn Krause, and our VP of instruction, Liz Rozell. Our wonderful Stephanie and Jessica in Career and Technical Education put together a wonderful celebration, complete with hors d’oeuvres, a beautiful banner, table runners, and cool pens.

A full house for the ITP Celebration
A full house for the ITP Celebration
Tom Moran and Jaclyn Krause stand behind the ITP info table
Tom Moran and Jaclyn Krause at the ITP info table
Liz Rozell signs to the audience
Liz Rozell signs to the audience
Tom Moran signs to the audience
Tom Moran signs to the audience

Early College Rural Initiatives

Forty bright-eyed and eager Early College Arvin students attended the Dream for Social Justice event Thursday, May 2 and had the opportunity to see the Panorama Campus, many for the first time. The desire of the Rural Initiatives/Early College Team is to add cultural enrichment opportunities to the Early College program, which is taking the work to the next level.

early college students on bc hedges
Arvin Early College Students

Honors Donor Appreciation Dinner

The Bakersfield College Foundation hosted the Honors Donor Appreciation Dinner on Friday, May 3 at Hodel’s with a crowd of nearly 200 in attendance. The annual dinner provides a chance for the Foundation to honor Scholarship Donors, while providing an opportunity for donors to have the chance to meet our wonderful students and hear firsthand how their support impacts the students’ success. There were more than 40 unique scholarship funds represented at the dinner by either donors or recipients. The group was treated to entertainment provided by the Bakersfield College Jazz Ensemble, led by Professor Kris Tiner.

group of bc foundation donors
group of bc foundation donors
group of bc foundation donors

The Foundation, in collaboration with Financial Aid, will award nearly half a million dollars in scholarships and awards for the 2019-20 academic year and it would not be possible without the continued support from our generous donors. If you are interested in establishing a scholarship fund, please contact Heather Pennella, Alumni and Donor Relations Manager, at heather.pennella@bakersfieldcollege.edu.

Fun Photos

My weekend routine…….In the backyard with my laptop working.  And look who is by my side…

sonya on computer with dog lying next to her

BC received the Impact Award: In the midst of all the commencement chaos, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that BC was selected as a finalist for the 2019 Ellucian Impact Award, which recognizes the many ways educational institutions use technology to enhance the student experience.

impact award

Ellucian works with 2,500 colleges and universities on developing Banner and other software to meet their students’ needs.

“This year’s Ellucian Impact Award recipients are transforming both the student experience and institution-wide operations by leveraging modern cloud solutions,” Ellucian President and CEO Laura Ipsen said. “We are honored and humbled to partner with such powerful innovators who are using technology to transform the higher education experience around the world.”

It is these kinds of accolades that make me proud to be a Renegade.  We are BC!

Emails Worth Sharing: Chelsea Esquibias

I received this wonderful email from Chelsea about her being awarded the “Faith, Inspiration, and Resilience: A Pathway to Higher Education” award. Congratulations, Chelsea! So proud of your work! And thank you for all your contributions to BC’s Inmate Ed Program

chelsea esquibias

 I’m forwarding the attachments to you as Bakersfield College was at the center of my speech.     

I received the “Faith, Inspiration, and Resilience: A Pathway to Higher Education” award.  I was awarded with Ms. Pamela Hayes, VP of Board of Governors and Dr. Yvette Gullatt, Vice Provost of University of California, Berkeley.  I spent much of my presentation time discussing the Inmate Scholars Program and the innovative work being done at Bakersfield College.   

It was the Silver Anniversary Gospel Celebration and the students of Los Medanos College shared their beautiful musical talent.  Dr. Henderson nominated me and he has held state academic positions.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve students on campus and working with the Guided Pathways team has been fantastic.

Baseball Post-Season Awards Announced

The Renegade Baseball team wrapped up the 2019 regular season with a 26-14 overall record and 15-5 in conference and as back-to-back Western State Conference North Champions. As the regular season has concluded, the team has racked up a number of post-season conference awards:

  • 2019 Western State Conference South Coach of the Year – Tim Painton
    • Coach Painton finishes his 24th regular season with back-to-back conference titles and a 26-14 overall record.
  • 2019 Western State Conference South Pitcher of the Year – Alejandro Murillo (Fr, Stockdale HS)
    • Murillo pitched a total of 80 innings in 14 games for the Renegades this season with a record on the mound of 10-1. He finished the regular season with 68 strikeout and an ERA of 2.46.
  • 2019 1st Team All-Western State Conference South
    • Hector Ruvalcaba, Inf. (So., Western HS), Ashanti Ross, OF (So., Western HS), Kamron Willman, Inf. (So., Ridgeview HS), Nate Ortiz, Starting Pitcher (So., Centennial HS) and Alejandro Murillo, Starting Pitcher (Fr., Stockdale HS)
  • 2019 2nd Team All-Western State Conference South
    • Gabe Ulloa, Reilelf Pitcher (Fr., Delano HS), Hunter Adams, Inf. (Fr., Independence HS), Lane Cowan, Starting Pitcher (So., Centennial HS), Sage Voda, OF (So., Tehachipi Christian Academy) and Trey Harmon, DH (So., Foothill HS)
  • 2019 Western State Conference South Honorable Mention
    • Matt Patton, Utility (Fr., Liberty HS), Ryan Dickerson, C (So., Bakersfield Christian HS) and Zach Williams, 1B (So., Liberty HS)

Softball Post-Season Awards Announced

The Renegade Softball Team wrapped up the 2019 regular season with a 24-16 overall record and 16-0 in conference and as back-to-back Western State Conference North Champions.

As the regular season has concluded, the team has racked up a number of post-season conference and state awards:

  • 2019 Western State Conference North Coach of the Year – Casey Goodman
    • Coach Goodman completes her second season leading the Renegade softball program as a two-time conference coach of the year award winner. In her two years the team has won back-to-back conference championships and made post-season appearances in the CCCAA playoffs.
  • 2019 Western State Conference North Pitcher of the Year and CCCAA All-State Selection – Kylee Fahy (Liberty HS)
    • This is the second year in a row Fahy has received the conference pitcher of the year award. At the conclusion of the 2019 season, Kylee pitched 225 innings resulting in a state leading (for the second year in a row) 275 strikeouts and an ERA of 1.49. She also collected two no-hitters this season  (2/21 vs. SBCC & 3/26 vs. SBCC).
  • 2019 Western State Conference North Player of the Year and CCCAA All-State Selection – Natilee Parrish (Arroyo Grande HS)
    • Natilee appeared in all 40 games for Coach Goodman this season collecting 12 home runs (5th in the state), 35 RBI’s and 36 runs scored.
  • 2019 1st Team Western State Conference North
    • Alex Venegas (Liberty HS), Alexis Lopez (East Bakersfield HS), Alantis Rede (Centennial HS) and Savannah Gonzalez (Delano HS)
  • 2019 Western State Conference North Honorable Mention
    • Ashley Hernandez (Centennial HS), Aviana Campos (Highland HS) and Lysette Castro (Mira Monte HS)

Men’s and Women’s Swimming Post-Season Awards

The Renegade Men’s and Women’s Swimming team wrapped up the 2019 regular season with both teams placing 3rd at the WSC Conference Championships.  At the CCCAA State Championship, the women placed 13th and the men 17th. As the regular season has concluded, both teams have racked up a number of post-season conference awards, listed below.

Men’s Swimming

  • 2019 Western State Conference 1st-Team:
    • Tanner Lopes – 100 Breaststroke
  • 2019 Western State Conference 2nd-Team:
    • Benjamin Hunter: 100 Backstroke/200 Backstroke
    • Tanner Lopes: 200 Breaststroke
    • Andrew Martinez: 400 IM/200 Fly
    • Bronson Pearce: 100 Free/200 Free
    • Esteban Robles: 50 Free/100 Free/100 Fly
    • Kenneth Rodriguez: 100 Backstroke/200 Backstroke
    • JR Santamaria: 100 Breaststroke

Women’s Swimming

  • 2019 Western State Conference 1st-Team:
    • Daran Towns: 100m/200m/500m Free
    • Bailey Pike: 500m/1650m Free
    • 800 Free Relay: Bailey Pike/Daran Towns/Blaire Williams/ Alexis Gallardo
  • 2019 Western State Conference 2nd-Team:
    • 200 Medley Relay: Alexis Gallardo/Blaire Williams/Ingrid Villanueva/Daran Towns
    • Alexis Gallardo: 100 Backstroke/200 Backstroke
    • Bailey Pike: 200 Breaststroke
    • Ingrid Villanueva: 100 Fly/200 Fly
    • Blaire Williams: 100 Breaststroke/200 Breaststroke
    • Nina Wilson: 1650 Free

Roundup of Athletics Events this week

We had many Renegade athletic teams wrap up their seasons this last week. Highlights from the week include (click for the story on GoGades.com):

Stay Connected to Renegade Athletics

Be sure to stay connected with Renegade Athletics by following us on social media.

  • Facebook, find us under ‘Bakersfield College Athletics’
  • Twitter – @GoGadesGo
  • Instagram – @gogadesgo
sonya christian


That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

sonya-
the luckiest and happiest college president ever