BC: A place where dreams are made and fulfilled

Good morning Bakersfield. 
It is Saturday, October 6th…..a great day to be a Renegade

Sonya Christian Oct 4 2018 croppedWhat a week…. The accreditation evaluation team’s visit has concluded.  We will not know the final result of their report until later in January 2019, where you will, of course, hear the results immediately on my weekly blog.  The evaluators were on our campus for four days and left on Thursday.

I decided to relax a little and headed to campus Friday evening to watch Renegade Volleyball and what a match it was.  BC (ranked 8) beat El Camino (ranked 3) in a fast paced tough 3-game win.  It was a fabulous evening and I loved seeing our faculty, staff and even a trustee come out to support our students.  Enjoy these pictures from the evening.

Coach Vayron Martinez had his soccer players out supporting the Volleyball team.

Soccer team supporting Volleyball Photo 1Soccer team supporting Volleyball Photo 2

Coach Casey Goodman had her softball team out to support the Volleyball team.  Here is Coach Goodman with us.

Janet Tarjan, Romeo Agbalog, Lily Agbalog, Sandi Taylor, Sonya Christian, Casey Goodman

Janet Tarjan, Romeo Agbalog, Lilly Agbalog, Sandi Taylor, Sonya Christian, Casey Goodman

It was an amazing game and we walked up to congratulate Coach Carl Ferreira.

Romeo Agbalog congratulation Coach carl Ferreira

Carl Ferreira, Sandi Taylor, Sonya Christian, Romeo Agbalog

Coach Carl Ferreira, Sandi Taylor, Sonya Christian, Romeo Agbalog

Loved seeing the Athletics department supporting our students.  Here is Stig… and then I snapped with selfie with Keith Ford and brandon Urry.

Lilly Agbalog captured with 5-second video of the soccer team cheering a point scored by BC.


Accreditation Visit

This week we welcomed a team of 10 ACCJC evaluators to campus for the reaffirmation of Bakersfield College’s accreditation status. This method of peer review assures that our institution offers a quality education that will lead Renegades to successful futures. ACCJC says that, “By establishing high standards and then being externally evaluated against those standards, colleges and universities can provide a degree or certificate that students and the community can trust.”

Kathleen Burke

Our visiting team included a diverse group of colleagues from around the state of California led by the Accreditation Team Chair, Dr. Kathleen Burke, Chancellor, South Orange County Community College District (SOCCCD). Dr. Kathleen F. Burke was named chancellor of SOCCCD on April 30, 2018, a District that serves over 42,000 students and currently offers 409 degrees and certificates. There are 390 full-time faculty, 1200 adjunct faculty, over 1760 classified staff, 101 classified managers, and 40 administrators. Prior to her current position, Dr. Burke served as the president of Los Angeles Pierce College for eight years.

Sheri BergerThe Team Assistant, Ms. Sheri Berger has served as the Vice President of Academic Affairs at Los Angeles Pierce College for four years and also serves as the College’s Accreditation Liaison Officer. Prior to becoming Vice President, she was a Dean of Academic Affairs at Los Angeles Valley College supervising the Natural and Social Sciences. Sheri has worked in higher education for 28 years with 22 at the Community College Level. She holds her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Mathematics from California State University, Northridge.

Cheryl BaileyThe team included three academic representatives including Ms. Cheryl Bailey who is an instruction librarian and chair of the library at Irvine Valley College (IVC) in Irvine, CA. As a faculty member at IVC, Cheryl has served as the Academic Senate Recorder, the Online Education Co-Chair, and as the Student Learning Outcomes coordinator. Cheryl has a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Art History from California State University, Long Beach and a master’s in Library and Information Science from San Jose State University.

Michael Fino Oct 1 2018Mr. Michael Fino is the Dean of Mathematics and Sciences at Mira Costa College in Oceanside, CA. Mike has leadership responsibilities for six academic departments, four academic support centers, and online learning. Mike serves as the Co-Principal Investigator on a National Science Foundation Advanced Technology Education grant to promote the development of biomanufacturing educational infrastructure. He has authored a first-of-its-kind Bachelor of Science in biomanufacturing and has had governance leadership roles in program review, student success, basic skills, accreditation, and as president of the Academic Senate. Mike holds degrees in bioengineering (BS, MEng) from the University of California, San Diego and is currently in a doctoral program in community college leadership at San Diego State University.

Liz RomeroMs. Elizabeth Romero is a Child Development faculty member and Academic Senate President at Clovis Community College (CCC). She is in her fifth year as the Senate president and has been teaching Child Development for the past 13 years. She has recent accreditation experience at CCC. The College received initial accreditation in 2015 and then immediately went into re-accreditation to align their cycle with other colleges in the district. Liz loves the accreditation process; it helps to identify areas for growth, which in turn creates better opportunities for students.

Duncan SuttonThe team also includes five administrative representatives including Dr. Duncan Sutton, the Director of Institutional Effectiveness and Strategic Planning at The Salvation Army College for Officer Training. He is responsible for all accreditation-related efforts and serves as the College’s Accreditation Liaison Officer and Student Learning Outcomes coordinator. In addition to his 7 years of Institutional Effectiveness/Research experience, Duncan has 14 years of faculty experience and almost 25 years broader experience as a music educator, performer, and conductor. With his undergraduate studies in music education occurring in England, Duncan continued his education after moving to the U.S., earning his MA and Ed.D from Long Beach State.

Ken StoppenbrinkMr. Ken Stoppenbrink is the Deputy Chancellor at West Hills Community College District (WHCCD). In his over 30 years of experience, Mr. Stoppenbrink has overseen all areas of human resources and the business office as well as participated in negotiations for collective bargaining agreements. He is responsible for reporting on the financial status of the District to the Board of Trustees. Additionally, he has been involved in bond projects as well as tax credit deals, which bring in revenue to the District. Ken holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Phoenix, a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Chico State University, and an Associate in Arts in Business from Shasta Junior College.

Dale van DamMr. Dale van Dam is currently the Vice President of Instruction and the Accreditation Liaison Officer (ALO) at Reedley College in Reedley, California. Prior to his current position, he served as Dean of Instruction at the El Dorado and Rancho Cordova Centers of Folsom Lake College for 11 years. In that position he had oversight for transfer programs, CTE programs, and student services offices. Van Dam holds a master’s degree in Geology from the University of Utah and taught Earth Science, Geography and Geology at American River College for 10 years, where he helped create a Geographic Information Systems degree and certificate program. He has also taught at Yuba College, Sierra College and California State University, Sacramento. In addition, he has served as a partner/owner of several environmental consulting firms in the Sacramento region since 1987.

Lisa WilkensDr. Lisa Cooper Wilkins is the Assistant Superintendent/Vice President for Student Services at San Joaquin Delta College (SJDC). She has administrative oversight for Enrollment Services and Student Development, Counseling and Special Services, Police Services, CalWORKs, and the Hazel Hill Child Development Center. She joined the District in 2014 as the Dean of Enrollment Services and Student Development. Lisa has spent her career in roles that foster access, equity, inclusion and opportunity for underrepresented and underserved students. Dr. Cooper Wilkins completed her doctoral studies at the George Washington University in Higher Education Administration Program. She possesses a Master of Arts in Psychological Services and a Post-Master’s Certificate in Counseling from Marymount University, a Master of Science in Counseling and Human Relations from Villanova University, and a Bachelor of Arts in History and International Relations from Goucher College.

Mandy LiangDr. Mandy Liang is a passionate educator and leader with 12 years of professional and leadership experience in both instruction and student services at multiple California Community Colleges. Dr. Liang’s dedication and commitment to promoting student success and equity in higher education is rooted in her personal experience as an immigrant and first-generation college student. Currently, she is the Associate Dean of Matriculation and Assessment at City College of San Francisco (CCSF). Previously, she served two consecutive terms as the Academic Senate President and Accreditation Faculty Co-Chair. Prior to her Senate Presidency, she worked as the Student Services Student Learning Outcomes (SLO) Coordinator. She serves on a number of statewide committees, and she is involved in a number of Institutional Effectiveness Partnership Initiatives (IEPI). She is the Vice President of the California Community College Assessment Association (CCCAA).

Accreditation - Delano Team3

Bakersfield College’s Rural Initiatives team was honored to kick off the week for some of the visiting team. The team learned a little bit about the history of Delano and Bakersfield College on the drive to Delano from their driver, history professor, Dr. Oliver Rosales. Upon arrival, they were greeted by the team with delicious pastries from the famous Fil-Bake Shop, as well as sweet grapes from local fields. After a tour and several interview sessions, the panel got to hear about Bakersfield College’s connections to rural communities from a large group of community partners representing K-12 schools, government, non-profit, and private agencies throughout North Kern. A big thank you to all involved and especially those that helped prepare for the event: Carolina Madrigal, Endee Grijalva, Raquel Lopez, Juan Torres, Jaime Lopez, Gustavo Enriquez, Lily Pimentel-Stratton, Monica Huyck, Matthew Rodriguez, Helen Calip, Oliver Rosales. Thank you to main campus team members who made the drive to Delano to help out: Tarina Perry, Steven Holmes, Victor Diaz, Liz Rozell, Bill Potter, and Chris McCraw.

They then arrived at the Panorama campus for a meet and greet with members of College Council, Academic Senate, FCDC, and Admin Council and for a tour of our campus which they would call “home away from home” for a few days. Over the course of the week, the team conducted over 175 interviews, examined over 750 pieces of evidence, and grew to know the Home of the Renegades like no other.

The BC Spirit was strong and bright, including at the Open Forums where students, staff, faculty, administrators, and community members should share with the evaluating team how BC has impacted their lives and what BC means to this community.

Accreditation Visit

The entire week, our community waited in anticipation for the Exit Interview scheduled on Thursday morning. During her remarks, Evaluator Kathleen Burke had effusive praise for every facet of our institution – from our inspirational instructors, counselors, advisors, and academic support staff, to our innovative leadership and shared governance structure. She recounted some of the dozens of stories that the accreditation team heard from current and former BC students, as well as industry leaders throughout the community, who thanked BC for enabling individuals throughout Kern County to reach their highest potential.

“Throughout this process, we have recognized the Renegade pride and sense of family at this institution,” Burke said. “This empowering environment drives your innovation.”

Burke thanked the logistics team who coordinated their visit for being endlessly accommodating to the evaluators, highlighting the Food Services Department, Renegade Room and Technology Support Services for being attentive to their needs. The team even led us in a “We Are BC” chant.

“Short of becoming employees, we would like to be adopted as honorary Renegades,” Burke said.

Upon the conclusion of their positive report, the audience in Fireside erupted in an explosive standing ovation. Stephanie Stuart and the Food Services team provided some appetizing refreshments, and we all took the opportunity to celebrate this momentous occasion, which wouldn’t have been possible without every single member of the campus community going above and beyond what is expected of them and working together for the common goal of providing the best education possible for our students.

Sonya Christian at the Post-Report Celebration

Sonya Christian at the Post-Report Celebration

Once everybody got settled, I took the opportunity to thank a few folks who made the accreditation visit a tremendous success, including ISER editors Nick Strobel, Sondra Keckley and Sarah Baron; Liz Rozell, Jason Stratton and Jessica Wojtysiak of the Accreditation Committee; accreditation team leads Todd Coston and Lesley Bonds; as well as Tarina Perry and Chris Glaser, who helped coordinate logistics for the site visit.


Nick Strobel, Sonya Christian, Sarah Baron

Sondra Keckley, Sonya Christian, Sarah Baron, Lesley Bonds, Nick Strobel.jpg


Tarina Perry, Sonya Christian, Chris Glaser

Trustee Bill Thomas was on hand to give a few remarks in support of BC’s committed faculty, staff, and students.

Trustee Bill Thomas

Trustee Bill Thomas

Nick Strobel

Nick Strobel

Nick Strobel spoke briefly about providing a unified voice for BC’s ISER and describing the myriad ways that this campus brings hope to our community by encouraging academic excellence and critical thinking.  Here is an excerpt:

Bakersfield College’s people bring together their minds of critical thinking and analysis and their hearts passionate about educating our students and ourselves, to dialogue and explore our humanity within a structure that has been intentionally-designed to enable that dialogue and exploration to flourish in a safe, inviting environment.

I knew that the ISER Editor job was going to take a lot more time than the release time I was offered but I decided to submit my application because 1) I thought I should try a writing project like this once in my career; and 2) I feel that Bakersfield College is a special place filled with special people doing work that is absolutely vital to the future of our society.

Both of our all-campus forums for the accreditation visiting team were packed with people passionate about BC. Over and over again we heard from students, staff, faculty, administration, and community members about how BC has transformed their lives and lives of people in their families, how BC gave them a second chance to start over or the first chance in their life to build or create something great, and how BC supported them to grow beyond what their previous life experience had taught them was possible.

Yesterday morning I read an essay by Anne Lamont in the latest issue of National Geographic. It is an essay about hope. One passage in particular struck me as describing why the people who come to BC for a job and stay for many years—people like me—why we do that. Lamont writes, “We take action—soup kitchens, creek restoration, mentoring—and then the insight follows: that by showing up with hope to help others, I’m guaranteed that hope is present. Then my own hope increases. By creating hope for others, I end up awash in the stuff.” We bring hope in a better tomorrow and boy, don’t we need hope in today’s world? We need hope, want hope, we get hope here. That’s why we stay.

Jason StrattonHere is an excerpt from Jason Stratton’s remarks

As I stand here today, there are a multitude of impressions, feelings and thoughts swirling through me….I am sure I am not alone.

Today we have the beginning of closure on Accreditation 2018, although the true finale won’t be until January.

As we all worked together to develop our ISER and do all we could to reveal the quality that BC exudes, I was very impressed by the individual and collective efforts involved.

We had an ISER with which Visiting Team member Dale van Dam indicated he was VERY impressed. He especially called out the ‘one voice’ evident throughout.

And then, there was the actual visit- and the work all people on campus have done in preparing for it, organizing it, coordinating it, supporting it, and participating in the interviews.

From my involvement in this process, I can say I was duly impressed, but not surprised.

This quality is who we are, and that shows throughout all of this process.

  • Lao Tzu once said that “Great Acts are made up of small deeds.”
  • What that means to me is that every small action from all of us contributed to make BC a great institution, which became apparent in our ISER and to the visiting team this week.

It has been my privilege to be engaged in this process as the Faculty Co-Lead on the ISER.

  • I am incredibly grateful for this opportunity, as it allowed me to truly see the myriad small deeds being performed that continually led to innovation and improvement- which was documented in our ISER.
  • It was a lot of work from everyone,
    • and it was worth

Paraphrasing Oliver Wendell Holmes, we have now crossed the finish line and it is time to do a cool down lap, as we begin to excitedly share our experiences and express our relief that the race is run.

Yet, as we take this time to, figuratively, let our hair down, something else strikes me:

  • That this is an end, but that it is also a beginning, and a becoming.

My students [and kids] probably think I am ‘hokey’- and now is your chance, as I leave you with a bit of my personal philosophy that seems appropriate:

  • No matter how great, or how poor, a result was- once it is over it doesn’t truly
  • What matters at that point is what you do with it.
  • It doesn’t matter what it ‘is’, but what it ‘becomes’- as life is about becoming.
    • Becoming better:
      • a constant work in progress [sorry strategic directions], without the Sisyphean overtones.

How do we take our experiences and observations, and use this knowledge to become better?

Liz Rozell said that the accreditation process has transformed Bakersfield College forever, and those who participated in it will remember it for years to come.

“Accreditation is part of who we are, and it’s going to always be a part of our blood,” Rozell said.

Crowd in the Fireside Room thanking the evaluators

Crowd in the Fireside Room thanking the evaluators

Fun Photos from Accreditation Week

Accreditation Team - Chris Glaser and Jennifer Serratt

Food Services working hard

Food Services working hard

Todd Coston

Todd Coston


Eric Carrillo, BC Graphics

Eric Carrillo, BC Graphics

See all the photos on BC’s Smugmug of the 2018 Accreditation Visit and the Post-Report Celebration.

MESA Paying it Forward

MESA students rocket activity

This past Saturday, MESA students volunteered to conduct an activity with South High MSQ3 program to promote Science and Engineering to high school students.  The activity involved a water rocket activity, and it was intended for the student to understand engineering, chemistry and physics concepts along with teamwork and presentation experience.

We had 11 MESA student volunteer their Saturday morning to 43 South High MSQ3 students. The MESA program and its MESA students are great, not only our MESA students are taking difficult STEM courses that required demanding time, but they also make time to volunteer and give back to the community.  MESA students Rock!

MESA - Gemma Trujillo, Issac Garcia, Anthony Colin, Katie Ramirez, Alejandra Zapata, Diana Valdez, Christian Acero, Brain Aguilar, Peter Rodriguez, Ian Juarez, and Sabrina Lugo.

Renegade Report

If you missed watching the Renegade Report live this last Thursday at 11am, check out the segments from this week’s show from the links below. This week we highlighted our Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and their efforts to reach out and give back to our local community. Be sure to head to Bakersfield.com at 11am each week to watch the show live.

Segment with SAAC Advisor Stig Jantz:

Segment with SAAC Members – Drew Hallum, Reagan King and Alex Venegas:

Segment with Jamie Durham from The Mission of Kern County:

Renegades of the Week

Congrats to this week’s (9/23-9/29) Wells Fargo Renegades of the Week!


Penelope Zepeda, Volleyball – Helped team to two wins for the week; Recorded 9 kills, .294 hitting % and 8 digs in win vs. Citrus on 9/26 and 19 kills, .393 hitting % and 23 digs in upset win over #5 Moorpark on 9/28.

Justin Harrington, Football – defensive back, had two interceptions (total of 125 return yards), one of which he returned 98 yards for a touchdown in the 4th quarter of Saturday’s 41-7 win over Orange Coast College. He also had six solo tackles and one pass break-up (PBU). The Southern California Football Association (SCFA) named Renegade  Justin Harrington as the National Division Defensive Player of the Week for his outstanding performance this last week.i-csxvktc-x3

New Tennis Coach

We are excited to announce the hiring of Noel Dalton as the head coach of both the men’s and women’s tennis programs and Austin Lee as his assistant coach. Both will begin in their duties pending KCCD board approval.


Both Noel and Austin are former BC tennis players. Noel competed at BC from 1982-1984 and then transferred to Pepperdine University in Malibu, CA where he played lacrosse. Austin played tennis at BC from 2014-2016 and then transferred on to continue playing at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, CA. To read more visit the release on GoGades.com: http://gogades.com/x/yn5w7

Roundup of Athletics Events this week

It was a full week of athletics events for our Renegades teams. Highlights from the week include (click for the story on GoGades.com):

Fun Photos from Renegade Football

At last weekends game, I spotted Nicky Damania preparing for the evaluation visit by studying the ISER from the stands of Memorial Stadium! How cool is that?

I also found Jennifer Serratt, her daughter Grace Marden, and Giorgiono, a student working with Chief Counts in Public Safety.

Football - Grace Marden, Jennifer Serrat. Giorgiono student working in Public Safety

Football -Vince Fong, Chad Manning, Sandi Taylor

I was mentioning to Nicky Damania the story behind the BC President’s Banner that is raised during home games so the community could find the BC President if they wanted to.  Kelly Chamberlain, wife of President Greg Chamberlain came up with this idea and sewed this magnificent banner.  Nicky loved the story and immediately got his student photograher Diana to take some photos.

Jennifer Serrat, Sonya Christian, Bob Allison, Zav Dadabhoy, Nicky Damania Sep 29 2018

Stay Connected to Renegade Athletics

Be sure to stay connected with Renegade Athletics by following us on social media. On Facebook find us under ‘Bakersfield College Athletics’, on Twitter – @GoGadesGo and on Instagram – @gogadesgo.

Renegade Athletics Social Media

Renegade Athletics Social Media

34th Annual Kern Shakespeare Festival

Students in BC's Performing ArtsThe Bakersfield College Performing Arts Department is presenting two plays for the 34th Annual Kern Shakespeare Festival: Julius Caesar and Measure for Measure. The festival runs through October 13th with various dates for the two different performances. All performances begin at 7:30pm and take place in BC’s Edward Simonsen Outdoor Theatre. Tickets are available at vallitix.com.

Julius Caesar, directed by Brian J. Sivesind

Julius Caesar has ascended to the highest echelon of the Roman Republic, but is getting a little too enamored of power? The lean and hungry Caius Cassius sure seems to think so, and with the help of one of Caesar’s closest allies, Marcus Brutus, he hatches a plot to end the reign of the would-be king. But once Caesar is gone, who will fill the power vacuum? Who will the people follow? Who will hold Rome together as mutiny and war engulf the republic?

Measure for Measure, directed by Cody Ganger

Pimps. Prostitutes. Drugs. Rock ‘n’ Roll. This is the city of Vienna, where the strict vice laws have been overlooked and ignored for the fourteen years since the child Duke Vincentio took power. Now the Duke is grown up and has no idea how to control his city… or himself. His solution? Leave the city in the hands of Angelo–a deputy renowned for his morality and self-discipline– and go undercover to see the results. It seems like a good plan, until Angelo falls to temptation himself and does the unthinkable…

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Student Employment Lab Opening Soon

BC’s Strong Workforce supported recent renovations in FACE 11 to provide a space where we can do our part to meet the demand for a million more people to be trained in high demand, high skilled jobs with livable wages throughout California.

Student employment lab renovations

Student employment lab renovations

The Student Employment Lab was established due to a need to provide our students additional career related support. Students and alumni have the ability to freely access employment resources, conduct web based job searches, and develop resumes. In addition, resources are available from donations that students can take freely from paper and pencils to hygiene products and other items.

The Bakersfield College Student Employment Team is leading the way in bridging the gap between education and employment by sharing our model, tools and resources with other Community Colleges throughout California. Check out the pictures and mark your calendar for October 9th,  when the new Student Employment Lab opens on the Panorama campus.  Thank you Stephanie Baltazar for your commitment to our students!


Gayle Richardson, Janet Tarjan, Susan McQuerryBC proudly hosted the Alpha Chapter of DKG in our Renegade Room for a local gathering. DKG – Leading Women Educators, Impacting Education Worldwide is an organization with a mission to promote professional and person growth of all women educators. The official website states the DKG woman educator is a potential leader, able to bring out the best in others, authentic, responsive to feedback, results oriented, adaptable, a conceptual thinker, and motivated to make a difference.

group photo in Renegade Room with 4 DKG members

Sitting: Catrina Aguilar, BC Grad, past Future Teachers Club President. Standing L to R: Gurpreet Cheema, (BC grad, past Future Teachers Club President), Alex Moreno (current BC Future Teachers Club President, Janet Tarjan (BC Math Prof 33rd year and Future Teachers Club Advisor, 15th year, DKG president, 1st year, but member 25 years) Tayci Stallings (BC grad, past Future Teachers Club Member, in 5th year of teaching), Megan Assaturian Rogers (BC Grad, past Future Teachers Club member, prospective DKG member, in 12th year of teaching)

Chef Suzanne introduced me to the culinary students who prepared the incredible meal for DKG. Here are some photos of our talented Renegades in action.

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Links Incorporated Event

Links Incorporated - LogoBakersfield College is proud to partner with The Bakersfield Chapter The Links, Incorporated to introduce middle school and high school students to programs in STEAM – Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math.   On Saturday morning, dozens of students and their parents gathered at Emerson Middle School for the 2018-19 launch of the Links STEAM Academy, “Left Brain & Right Brain” which is designed to increase interest in educational pathways and careers in STEAM fields. Retired BC Professor, Odella Johnson, is the Links Co-Chair of Service to Youth and has led the partnership between BC and Links.

Links Incorporated - Lesley Bonds and Denise Norris, adjunct communication faculty at BC.

Lesley Bonds, BC Director of Student Success & Equity, welcomed the students in their parents to introduce them to BC’s pathways in STEAM, our Bachelor of Science in Industrial Automation program, and our Completion Coaching Communities that have been intentionally designed to help students enter and stay on their pathways. Throughout the year, student participants in the academy will participate in field trips to the campus where they’ll have the opportunity to gain exposure to our faculty, state of the art Aera STEM Success Center, and even our Planetarium. Previous student participants have gone on to graduate with degrees in computer science, engineering, and biomedical engineering from universities like CSUB, UCLA, and even Johns Hopkins.

Check out this highlight on KGET and be sure to check out the news this weekend for updates on the program.

Emails Worth Sharing

Rich McCrow, Dean of Instruction sent an amazing email on Tuesday afternoon. He said,

This is fun. Don Turney found this full page spread from the Bakersfield Californian, Sunday, December 12, 1976. The Renegades victorious at the Rose Bowl. Don Turney is #89. He was grinning ear-to-ear about this experience and was so proud…it was heartwarming.

Bakersfield Californian Clip Don Turney

Ministers Conference of Kern County

Bakersfield College hosted a Special Day of United Church Service church on Sunday, September 30, 2018, in the Indoor Theatre.

Unity in Worship

The purpose of the gathering was to come together in prayer and worship God in community to reconnect and honor one another. The welcoming message was provided by Pastor Oscar Anthony, of the St. Peter Restoration Community Christian Ministries Church. It was a great treat to sit beside Steve Watkin for this uplifting event. Take a listen to this version of Amazing Grace…

Renegades at the St. Vincent de Paul Fundraiser

Renegades and the BC Cheer team were also out in the community on Thursday evening supporting the St. Vincent de Paul fundraiser BBQ.

Friends of BC in the Community

It’s amazing to attend community events where the support of BC is strong. On Thursday evening, many long time friends of BC were alongside new ones who have a strong commitment to education. Working together, our community leaders are supporting a college going culture in Kern County.  This particular event was held at the home of Ajay Anand to support Senator Andy VidakDr. Brij Bambi gave an eloquent speech in his usual profound and clever style that was inspiring.

Let’s see who is in the photo below:

Ajay Anand, Congressman Bill Thomas, Supervisor Mike Maggard, Congressman David Valadao, Senator Andy Vidak, Councilman Ken Weir, Dr. Brij Bhambi, Dr. Jeet Singh

Keith Woolridge, Madhu Anand, Sonya Christian, Shannon Grove, District Attorney Elect Cynthia Zimmer, Anju Bhambi, Dr. Jasleen Duggal, Trustee Romeo Agbalog

Group Photo

Michael Bowers, Jay Tamsi, Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Bill Thomas and Sonya Christian

Michael Bowers, Jay Tamsi, Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Brij Bhambi, Bill Thomas and Sonya Christian

We Are BC!

Sonya Christian with BC President's Banner Sep 29 2018

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Creativity, Talent, and Inspiration Runs Deep at Bakersfield College

Good morning Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, September 29, 2018….. A great day to be a Renegade.

The creativity, talent, and scholarship among BC faculty and staff is abundant and oh so inspiring.  Let me start with Wednesday, 9/26, in the evening.  I walked over from my office to watch Coach Carl Ferreira and his fabulous volleyball team win big time against Citrus. Then, walking back to my office, I stopped by the recently launched Renegade Roundtable hosted by the new director of the Levan Center, Reggie Williams.  The four faculty presenters Michael Harvath, Neal Stanifer, Steven Holmes and Erin Miller did a fabulous job approaching topics with different lenses.  I was overcome with pride at seeing faculty, staff and students sitting outside on the grass listening to these great faculty speakers.  The whole scene felt like a liberal arts college and I could imagine Norm Levan smiling and being content.  As was I.  You see this is why I am the luckiest and happiest college president.

Here are a few pictures that I discretely snapped.


Panorama Music Summit

The Panorama Creative Music Summit returned to Bakersfield College on September 21-22 at the Simonsen Performing Arts Center Indoor Theater on the Bakersfield College Panorama Campus. Presented by the Jazz Studies and Commercial Music Programs, the summit is an annual showcase for acclaimed visiting artists, local performers, and BC faculty, students, and alumni performing original music and exploring a broad range of styles and creative approaches across the jazz-pop continuum. Thank you Kris Tiner and BC Performing Arts!

This years event was a true hit. Susan Scaffidi wrote a piece for The Californian titled, “All jazzed up for bC music summit” and Ja’Nell Gore of the Renegade RIP covered the event in a piece titled “Panorama Creative Music Summit hosts composer along with student performers.”

Doug Wimbash visits BC


Doug Wimbash

Bassist Doug Wimbish of the alternative rock group Living Colour visited BC on Monday to discuss his career as a studio musician on some of the most influential recordings in the history of hip-hop before leading students and staff in an improvised jam session at the Indoor Theater.

Wimbish, who’s worked with the Rolling Stones, Depeche Mode, Joe Satriani and Mos Def, started his career as a session bassist at All-Platinum Records as a teenager in the early ’70s. Label founders Sylvia and Joe Robinson launched a subsidiary label called Sugar Hill Records in 1979 and pressed the single for the Sugarhill Gang’s hit “Rapper’s Delight”, bringing hip-hop from its humble beginnings in the South Bronx across the globe, where it has eclipsed rock and pop as the world’s most popular music genre almost 40 years later. Wimbish was hired as the house bassist for Sugar Hill Records, playing on the recordings for “The Message” by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, as well as other seminal recordings in the history of hip-hop.


Kyle Burnham, Reggie Williams, Doug Wimbash, Josh Ottum, and Kris Tiner

Wimbish attributes his success in the music industry to the individuals who recognized his potential and gave him opportunities throughout his career, from the local musicians who mentored him in his hometown of Hartford, Connecticut to the studio executives who gave him his first professional recording gigs. Wimbish even called a few of his mentors and colleagues on the stage, including Sugarhill Gang emcee Master Gee and legendary audio engineer Chris Lord-Alge.

“I’m not the architect. I’m the recipient,” Wimbish said. “Your attitude will take you to the right altitude.”

After playing a few of his solo songs with accompaniment by jazz studies professor Kris Tiner on trumpet, Wimbish was very friendly and accommodating to the audience and performers who participated in the jam session, running across the stage to adjust the microphones for the brass section and assisting musicians, playing his bass connected to an array of modulation pedals.


Doug Wimbash with attendees

Alongside students in the jazz studies and commercial music programs at BC, several faculty and staff participated in the jam, including English professor Andrew Bond and graphic designer Eric Carrillo. Eric recorded the following video to share. 

I’d like to thank Levan Center Director Reggie Williams, Kris Tiner and commercial music professor Josh Ottum for organizing the event, and I hope Doug can come back to campus next year and bring a few guests with him.
See all the photos by Earl Parsons at BC’s Smugmug.

Thank you California Community Colleges Board of Governors!

Bakersfield College has been selected by the California Community Colleges Board of Governors as one of 29 community colleges to be awarded a share of $4.9 million to further expand and bolster the College’s Veterans Resource Center. These grant funds go directly to assist the hundreds of veteran students as they work to achieve their academic goals and degree completion at Bakersfield College.

Over the past five years enrollment of student veterans at the College has grown tremendously. In 2013-14, the College served 565 student veterans while this year enrollment numbers have reached 717. The top three academic pathways for currently enrolled student veterans at BC are Business, STEM, and Nursing.

Kay Meek and Lee Caldwell unveiling the future VRCSonya and Group at VRC

Last November, the College revealed plans for the newly designed Veterans Resource Center, made possible by the passing of Measure J in 2016, and this year the College is set to break ground on construction. THANK YOU KERN COUNTY FOR SUPPORTING BC! On Monday, November 5, 2018, the Veterans Resource Center Groundbreaking Ceremony is scheduled to take place on the Panorama campus at 10:00am. More details to follow, but reserve Nov 5 at 10am on your calendars now!

KBAK was one of the first media outlets to pick up the story in their piece, “Bakersfield College, Porterville College getting money to bolster veterans services.” Thank you!

Renegades at the Fair 2018

renegades at the pavillionIn partnership with the Kern County Fair, the Office of Student Life hosted Renegades at the Fair for the fourth year in a row this last Thursday night.

Renegades engaged with the Bakersfield Community with games, photo opportunities and valuable information about our beloved Bakersfield College!

Thank you to all who participated. I especially loved the photos of Dr. Terri Goldstein with the incredible fair food!

Renegade Athletics Report

If you missed watching the Renegade Report live this last Thursday at 11a, segments are available on YouTube from this week’s show. With our football game theme this week honoring our Bakersfield community first responders, we highlighted a few of our BC athletics alum first responders. Be sure to head to Bakersfield.com at 11a each week to watch the show live.



Renegades of the Week

Congrats to this week’s Wells Fargo Renegades of the Week! Sydney Crawley, Women’s Golf – shot a personal best 75 (even par on the front 9) last week at Kern River GC to place 3rd overall and help the team to a 3rd place finish as well.

And Jeremy Mass, Wrestling – placed 1st in his weight class (185 lb.) at the West Hills Duals helping the team to a 5th place finish overall.

Renegades of the Week - Sydney Crawley and Jeremy Maas

SAAC at the Mission

Our athletics Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) organized a trash pick-up on Saturday 9/22 at the Mission at Kern County. We are proud of the student-athletes who devote their time, amidst a very busy schedule, to help better our community.

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Roundup of Athletics Events this week

It was a full week of athletics events for our Renegades teams. Highlights from the week include (click for the story on GoGades.com):


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Must Read on Coach Carl Ferreira

Spotted the incredible Coach Carl Ferreira in action. Jon Mettus of the Californian published a piece titled, “Carl Ferreira believes this year’s Bakersfield College volleyball team could be his best yet.”

The fabulous Coach Ferreira

Coach Carl Ferreira and the Renegade Volleyball Team

It’s always great to see faculty, staff, and administration at our BC Athletics events cheering on and supporting BC students. This week, Sandi Taylor, Director of Athletics, Michele Bresso, Dean of Instruction, and Klint Rigby, Engineering and Industrial Technology Department Chair were spotted taking a selfie while cheering on the Renegades.

Supporting our student athletes.

Sandi Taylor, Michele Bresso, and Klint Rigby take a selfie

Be sure to stay connected with Renegade Athletics by following us on social media. On Facebook find us under ‘Bakersfield College Athletics’, on Twitter – @GoGadesGo and on Instagram – @gogadesgo.

Renegade Athletics Social Media

Dual Enrollment Team attends statewide Early and Middle College Conference

Dr. Bryan Reece of Norco College

Dr. Bryan Reece of Norco College

Did you know that high school students who complete two dual enrollment courses are 12% more likely to earn a college degree?  Dr. Bryan Reece, president of Norco College, shared that tidbit and so much more in an empowering message about the transformative power of dual enrollment and early and middle college.

The Bakersfield College Dual Enrollment team including Dr. Anna Laven, Abel Guzman, Raquel Lopez, Steve Watkin and Fernando Lara, gained helpful information from Dr. Reece and others when they attended the California Coalition of Early and Middle Colleges (CCEMC) 5th annual conference in Sacramento on September 21, 2018.

Local high school partners, Cerro Coso administrators and the district office were also in attendance, including Dr. Ben Sherley of KHSD, Justin Derrick of McFarland HS, Nicole Griffin and Lisa Stephens from Cerro Coso, Cindy Collier, Dr. Bonita Steele, and Diane Baeza from our District Office.

Started as a grassroots organization of educators, CCEMC is a coalition dedicated to the belief that California students deserve the opportunity to experience college courses during their high school career.  When K-12 school districts and community college districts work in partnership, we have the ability to help students grow, experience early success, and become college and career ready as they become the new workforce for our state, explains CCEMC president Dr. April Moore.  Attendees enjoyed sessions ranging from the use of data for evaluation to the use of early college to improve persistence for historically underrepresented students.

BC Attends Kern EDC SLO Innovation Tour

Community Relations Manager Tamara Baker joined Kern EDC for its SLO Innovation Tour earlier this week, where they visited the SLO HotHouse Incubator, Cal Poly Technology Park and SLO MakerSpace.   This was a part of Kern EDC’s Kern Alliance for Talent and Innovation (KATI) initiative designed to support the creation of a regional center of innovation.  BC joined 30 other Kern County partners to see what SLO is doing, and to consider ideas and projects that can be implemented here in our backyard.

Kern County's partners at the Cal Poly Technology Park

Kern County’s partners at the Cal Poly Technology Park

Supporting our Vets

Armando Trujillo and Paul Beckworth met over lunch with Vet Center Manager Jenny Frank and Superior Court Judge Louie Vega discussing the Veteran Justice Program. This important program was founded by Judge Vega, Attorney Randy Dickow and the late Vernon Valenzuela, in whose honor the program is named.


Kern County Silkies Hike

BC faculty, staff, and Renegades participated in last Sunday’s Kern County Silkies Hike, walking more than 15 miles to bring awareness to the 22 veterans who die by suicide every day. The fourth-annual event, which made stops at Temblor Brewing, Casa Tequila and other locations for veterans and their supporters to hydrate and eat, is also designed to bring veterans in the community together and let them know that they don’t have to face their struggles alone. Members of the BC community who participated in the Silkies Hike include Rodolfo Rascon, Armando Trujillo, William “Billy” Nuckles, Raquel “Rocky” Barraza, Tommy (Col.) Tunson, and Tanyabet Mendez.

Kern County Veterans Silkies Hike

AB 540 Students at BC

Eloy Oakley keynoting at the Leadership SummitIn an effort to improve equity and access for all AB540 students across the state of California, the amazing Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley and the California Community College Chancellor’s Office sent out a survey to all 114 Colleges in the state regarding current services offered to undocumented students on each of their respective campuses. The Chancellor’s Office has tasked the Foundation for California Community Colleges to create a Statewide Advisory group to review the results of the survey data to make recommendations to the CCC Chancellor’s Office in order to increase access and support our Dreamers across the state.

Our very own Educational Advisor/AB540 Liaison Pedro L. Ramirez has been invited to participate in this Statewide Advisory Group, which will be tasked to make these recommendations to the Chancellor’s office to create systemic change across all 114 California community colleges. The Chancellor’s Advisory Group held its first meeting this past Monday, September 24th at the Foundation for CCC in Sacramento and will be holding successive Regional Meetings in Berkeley on October 9th, Mt. San Antonio October 26th, San Diego on November 6th, and Fresno on November 14th.

AB540 Advisory Group

Although only 60 community colleges have completed the survey regarding services offered to undocumented students, preliminary data shows that Bakersfield College is at the forefront when it comes to services offered to undocumented students. While most community colleges are being reactive to serving undocumented/dreamer students, Bakersfield College has been taking a proactive approach. Take for example the following data snippets that show the increase in enrollment of first-time/new students, as well as demographic information and pathway information.

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The significant growth of our AB540/Dreamer students could not have been possible without the work of the AMAZING Dreamer Completion team. Special thanks to: Lisa Robles, Jacky Lau, Gina Hunter, Manuel Rosas, Jeannie Parent and Elizabeth Rodacker from the EMLS department, and Manuel Muralles from Outreach. In addition, a special thanks to our Cal-Soap team and our community partners Youth 2 Leaders for their continued collaboration and support.

Pedro L Ramirez was also recently on the 103.9 The Beat’s radio show with Danny Morrison. If you missed it live, check it out on YouTube.


BCSW welcomes the Healthcare Community

On September 23, Bakersfield College Southwest hosted Mercy Hospital, Mercy Southwest Hospital, and Bakersfield Memorial Hospital for a public meeting. State of California Deputy Attorney General Wendi Horwitz listened to comments and statements from stakeholders and community members. Thank you to Fernando Lara, Mary Jo Pasek, and Leah Prendez who made sure all the details were handled the BC way!

Hispanic Chamber Golf Tournament

Corny Rodriguez, Tony Cordova, Adam Alvidrez, Heather Pennella, and Tom Gelder

Corny Rodriguez, Tony Cordova, Adam Alvidrez, Heather Pennella, and Tom Gelder

Not known for their golfing prowess, the BC participants in the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s golf tournament/fundraiser Monday at Bakersfield Country Club distinguished themselves by taking third place in the “Net Score” category.  Headed by Dean Corny Rodriguez, Team BC members Tony Cordova of CTE fame, and Heather Pennella and Tom Gelder from the BC Foundation pulled out their victory with a last-minute surge.

The Hispanic Chamber Golf Tournament raises money for scholarships and benefits approximately seventy high school students each year for each of the last several years. Bakersfield College has a close relationship with the Chamber and its leadership President Jay Tamsi and Board Chair Adam Alvidrez.

BC represented at the Hispanic Chamber Golf Tournament

BC represented at the Hispanic Chamber Golf Tournament

It’s time to Apply for Scholarships!

A4M Sept PP SlideThe BC Foundation and Financial Aid Department have been working together to inform students and faculty regarding the many scholarship opportunities available specifically for Bakersfield College students. The online scholarship application will open on Monday, October 1st and remain open through February 1st, 2019.

Please encourage all BC students, current or incoming to go to bakersfieldcollege.edu/Apply4Money and complete the FAFSA/Dream Act application AND the BC Scholarship application. There are over 270 scholarship funds at BC!

Emails Worth Sharing

Eileen Pierce, who is a dedicated program manager for BC’s Supplemental Instruction program sent an email earlier this week to share a graphic called “Semester Cycle for the Typical BC Student.”

Semester Cycle by Eileen Pierce

Via Arte Bakersfield

via arte from bmoa websiteVia Arte is coming back to the Market Place shopping center on October 20th. Bakersfield College and the Levan Center are proud sponsors. Learn more at http://www.viaartebakersfield.com/2018sponsors/

The Artwork of Diego Gutierrez Monterrubio

The Artwork of Diego Monterrubio

ISER Training

Isabel Castaneda shared photos from Sarah Baron and Alisha Loken‘s ISER training session on Friday morning for our Title V Extend the Classroom and Summer Bridge Peer mentors. Dr. Kimberly Bligh shared with me that “we wanted to make sure they had Accreditation training and requested help.” They even played a quiz game! I wonder who won?! 🙂

GRoup Photo learning about the ISER

Fun Photo from Leadership Academy

Dean Billie Jo Rice shared this pic of future Renegades from the Leadership Academy being held on our campus Friday. She said:

“I am the proud aunt of the young lady that is in the second position from the left. Her name is Jordyn”

Leadership Academy Students

Next Week’s Accreditation Visit

From October 1 to October 4, 2018, Bakersfield College will be visited by evaluators from the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC), conducting interviews with faculty, staff, students, and college groups. If you happen to be on campus, please extend a warm welcome to our visiting team. Feel free to engage with them to share our Renegade story. #WeAreBC!

Thank you to the planning and logistics team who has worked hard over the past few weeks to prepare the details for the visit.

Sonya Christian 3 at Finish in 4 May 7 2018That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

BC has a Presence in every Corner of Kern County!

Good morning Bakersfield. 
It is Saturday, September 22, 2018…..a great day to be a Renegade.

Loved waking up Friday morning and seeing this piece by faculty emeritus Dr. Jack Hernandez.  Very inspiring.

Jack Hernandez Sep 21 2018 To Love Thy Neighbor.png

I was notified earlier this week via email that the Delanonow.com shared photos from the first Renegade home football game, along with the story of McFarland students attending in an article titled “Bakersfield College President hosts McFarland High School at BC Football Home Opener.” It was a lovely surprise! Thank you Delanonow.com! And thank you Aaron Resendez!


33rd Annual Business & Industry Leaders Breakfast

On Thursday morning, the Golden Empire Gleaners hosted the annual breakfast with Master of Ceremonies, Kevin Charette of KGET and special guest speaker, Traco Matthews, Kern Co. Superintendent of Schools.

Treco Matthews at Gleaners Breakfast

The breakfast, with opening prayer, Pledge of Allegiance, and information from the Gleaners, was a moving event that highlighted the importance of pantry and food service organizations. Traco Matthews shared personal stories about how he grew up “food challenged,” where he and his family would sometimes go without a meal. He shared how when as a child, his mom told him that Thanksgiving might be cancelled because they could not afford the food, but that a woman came through with a donation that changed his life. He asked that, when it comes to people facing hunger, if we can give and if we can share, then we should, because no one should go hungry. His message — Open your hearts.  Open your minds.  Open your wallets (generosity).

TreccoMatthews at Gleaners Breakfast with head table

Traco Matthews speaking at the Gleaners Breakfast

Chancellor Tom Burke and his wife Tina Burke are very involved with the Gleaners, and had invited me to be a guest at his table. It was a powerful reminder that we are fortunate to have so many community leaders who give their support, share their own stories, and engage with life-changing issues.

I enjoyed running into Louis Amestoy.  He is with Aera now, though I got to know him when he was a reporter with The Bakersfield Californian.  He, along with Francis Mayer, was part of the original team that created the Renegade Report. Thank you Louis for your belief in community colleges and your belief in Bakersfield College.  We are BC!

Gleaners Breakfast with Louis Amestoy

Sonya Christian, Louis Amestoy

Our Bakersfield Mayor, Karen Goh was there beaming and as always supporting our community.  I grabbed some of the photos she posted in her album on Facebook.  🙂


Karen Goh, Tom Burke, Sonya Christian, Norma Rojas-Mora

I met Jose Gonzales, who was recently appointed to coordinate and resolve issues related to homelessness.  Here is an article on when the Kern County Supervisors appointed Jose to this position https://tinyurl.com/y9qpgzyc.  Here is another photo of me and Heidi Scott, the woman with a voice of an angel who gave me courage to sing in public.

Heidi Scott and Sonya Christian April 19 2018

Heidi Scott, Sonya Christian

Organizations such as the Golden Empire Gleaners do truly make a difference in the lives of people throughout Kern County and our communities. According to their website,

“Throughout its 33 year history the Golden Empire Gleaners has fed millions of Kern County residents.  Last year alone, over 200,000 people were served by distributing 2 million pounds of food.  Currently the Gleaners averages 18,000 people per month served.”

Grimmway Foundation

I had the pleasure of attending my first Grimmway Foundation meeting on Thursday, where the organization partners with students, teachers, and parents to support initiatives that improve education and community wellness throughout Kern County. The mission of Grimm Family Education Foundation according to their website is:

“Helping make vibrant communities in Kern County with our charter schools and Edible Schoolyard programs by closing the achievement gap, improving the health of students and families, and creating economic growth in the communities that we serve. By being fiscally responsible and innovative, we will broaden community impact through our programs, partnerships, research, fund development, and community outreach.”

casey Yeazel presenting at the Grimmway Foundation meeting

Casey Yeazel presenting at the Grimmway Foundation

Casey Yeazel, Chief Academic Officer for Grimmway Schools spoke about how Grimmway Schools is a growing network of high-performing, college-prep public charter schools in Kern County. It was also great to see David Franz of Shafter, Morgan Clayton, President of Tel-Tec Security Systems, Tricia Bland of LEAN Consulting, and Barbara Grimm, Founder and CEO of Grimmway Education.

The Edible Schoolyard initiative provides hands-on learning, and sensory experience to students through garden and kitchen classrooms. Visit esykerncounty.org to learn more and check out this incredible Edible Schoolyard menu of delicious items that I enjoyed for lunch.

Grimmway Edible Schoolyard Menu

The conversations were passionate, engaging and practical all at once.  I am so glad to be part of such a dynamic group.

Army STEM Trailer

On Thursday, the Army STEM Trailer was on campus to offer a firsthand look at how the Army integrates evolving technology to improve the safety and effectiveness of soldiers. The Army STEM Trailer is a multi-million-dollar technology demonstrator, which has hands-on simulators illustrating the science and technology that goes into equipping modern soldiers, including robotic systems and night vision.The trailer was stocked with armor that students could  hold and try on, incredible displays of soldiers in full kit, and demonstrations of software used for simulating what might actually happen on the field.

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The purpose of the event is to provide students with an understanding of the practical implications of STEM research and illustrate how the Army integrates evolving technology to improve the safety and effectiveness of soldiers. The trailer also provides an opportunity for students to learn about possible careers after college.

Thank you to the crew on campus for sharing with our students and community the incredible technology that goes into supporting and protecting our troops.

STEM Speaker: Erica Vela-Toussaint

STEM Speaker Erica Vela-Toussaint

STEM Speaker Erica Vela-Toussaint

Erica Vela-Toussaint visited Bakersfield College for some coffee, cookies, and conversation with students. She shared her journey from picking grapes and packing fruit in the central valley to her current position as Pipeline Management Regional Manager (Africa/Latin America) for Chevron Pipe Line Company. She shared her incredible journey as a small-town Latina in a male-dominated profession, inspiring students to not only strive for a flourishing career, but a life’s purpose.

Women’s Golf

The Women’s Golf team hosted the Bakersfield Tourney on Monday 9/17 at Kern River Golf Course. Participating in the tournament along with Bakersfield College were Antelope Valley, Citrus, Moorpark, Canyons and Santa Barbara. As a team the Renegades finished 3rd, behind Santa Barbara (2nd) and Canyons (1st).

Renegade Womens Golf 2018

Renegade Womens Golf 2018

Individually, Sydney Crawley placed 3rd on the day, shooting a 75. Full team results are:

  • Sydney Crawley – 75
  • Allie Crawley – 77
  • Elizabeth Nakagawa – 91
  • Breann Bonkosky – 100
  • Ramanda Lara – 119

The Renegades will next take to the course in Morro Bay on Sunday (9/23) and Monday (9/24) starting at 8:30am on both days.

4th Annual Community Swimming Lessons

Our men’s and women’s swim programs put on the annual community swimming lessons this past Saturday 9/15 from 8am-2p. Over 70 community children, the best attendance yet for this event, participated and received a 30-minute free swim lesson. In addition, members of the both swim teams took part in a 6-hour swim relay throughout the entire event. We look forward to hosting the event again next year and helping even more youth become more water friendly.

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Renegades of the Week

This weeks Wells Fargo Renegades of the Week are Gabby Lugo from Women’s Cross Country and Jose Lara from Men’s Soccer. Gabby Lugo ran a 19:35 at the SoCal Preview to place 19th individually (out of 191 runners). It was a personal and season best. Jose Lara, Men’s Soccer – scored the game winner in 2-1 victory over East LA and added another goal in 2-1 win over West Hills Lemoore on Friday. We are proud of these two and all of our Renegade Athletes that represent our college so well.


Football On a Two Game Winning Streak

BC Football Shane Jones

On Saturday, September 15th, our Renegade football team shut out the visiting Santa Monica Corsairs 56-0. It was a big win for our football team going into their 4th week of the season.

Elisha Ortiz led the Renegades with 12 rushes for 104 yards and two TD’s. Shane Jones carried the ball six times for 77 yards and three TD’s and Isaiah Martin ran eight times for 91 yards and a TD.

Our football team is currently ranked #15 in the state and looking forward to their next game at Golden West on Saturday 9/22 at 2pm.

Photos from Football game:

Last shot BC playing Santa Monica Sep 15 2018

Absolutely love seeing families and kids at the games.  It is truly a family event.

Kids at the football game Photo by Dominique Moseley Sep 15 2018.JPG

Yasmine and Kelly at the Football game.JPG

Yasmine (daughter of Lily and Romeo Agbalog) and her friend Kelley 

Bill Moseley and Family at the Football game.jpg

Bill Moseley and his family

Wrestling Takes 2nd Place

BC Wrestling Team PhotoOur wrestling team took home 2nd place as a team at the Sacramento City College wrestling tournament this weekend.

Both Marcus Hutcherson and Adrian Godinez placed 2nd in their weight divisions, and Jeremy Mass placed 3rd. Our wrestling team will next be in action traveling to West Hills on Saturday 9/22.

Volleyball sweeps Palomar

Women's VolleyballThe Women’s Volleyball team hosted Palomar Friday night at the Gil Bishop Sports Complex and swept the Comets, 3-0. Leading the way for BC was Penelope Zepeda with 12 kills, Lanie Camarillo with 9 kills and Bianca Logsdon with 7.

Our Renegade volleyball team is now 8-1 and ranked 12th in the state. They will next travel to Mt. SAC on Saturday 9/22 to play both Mt. SAC (10:30am) and Cypress (1:00pm).

BC Men’s and Women’s Soccer

Coach Vayron Martinez and his 2018 Men’s Soccer team are on a 4-game winning streak, most recently beating West Hills Lemoore (2-1) and College of the Sequoias (4-1). Coach Martinez recently commented on how much the team has developed a true team identity “They trust each other and they believe in each other and that’s the most important thing. You can feel the atmosphere on the bench”. Keep an eye on this team as they progress through the season.

Our women’s soccer team lost their first game of the season last week to Fresno City College, but remains highly ranked in the state at #12. Coach Scott Dameron is very confident in the team’s ability.

Upcoming Athletics Events

Athletics events coming up this coming week 9/22-9/28. Come out and support our Renegades as they represent our college! See all the details at Gogades.com!

Suicide Awareness Month – Lunch & Learn

Amber Smithson Presentation (1)

Stella Ponce in BC’s Student Health and Wellness Center emailed on Tuesday morning to remind our campus that September is Suicide Awareness Month. She shared that suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among those 10 to 34 years old according to the National Institute of Mental Health.

The Student Health Center hosted a Brown Bag Lunch Series that included guest speaker Amber Smithson, Director of Business Development for Bakersfield Behavioral Healthcare Hospital, to the Fireside Room to speak on this topic. She shared some troubling statistics about suicide and mental health in the United States, where 18.1% of adults have experienced an anxiety disorder such as post traumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and specific phobias.

Amber Smithson Presentation (2)

Amber shared the importance of educating ourselves about the signs of concern, and the tools of prevention. She emphasized the value of therapy and support and that it’s always okay to seek the help you deserve.

There are many resources to help, including:

Amber left her audience with a lasting message…

“Be there for someone else and be there for yourself. Everyone on this planet is worth another breath.”

Writing Center Grammar Jam

On Thursday, the Writing Center hosted a brand new workshop called “Grammar Jam.” In this workshop, Melissa Gonzales led students to learn the basics of parts of speech, sentence patterns, fragments, run-ons, and other common writing errors. Workshops like this are especially valuable because writing skills are helpful for any course.Thanks to the Writing Center team for all they do to support our Renegade students!

Delano Community Clean Up Day

FB_IMG_1537545253760The Rural Initiatives team along with BC Delano Campus students, represented BC proudly at the Delano Annual Community Clean-Up, Saturday, September 15th. Participants are recipients of the Rural Initiatives STEAM Scholarship awarded by the Delano Campus and sponsored by Southern California Edison. This opportunity made possible by the collaboration among several K-14 agencies and other community organizations. Its always great to have BC staff working together with the students we serve! Special thanks to Abel Guzman, Jaime Lopez, and the whole BC crew!

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Hispanic Heritage Month 2018

Nan and BC student and staff

On Saturday, September 15th the Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce kicked off celebrations for Mexican Independence Day in style, starting with El Grito de Dolores (The Cry of Dolores), also known as El Grito de la Independencia. This celebration memorializes when Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, a Roman Catholic priest in the small town of Dolores, rang the church bells on September 16, 1810, sparking Mexico’s War of Independence. The event included live entertainment, mariachi music, folkloric dancers, a vendor street fair, and was celebrated in real time with Mexico City with a live, projected broadcast. BC was well represented at the event, including Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Paul Beckworth, Lisa Kent, Khushnur Dadabhoy, and Armando Trujillo.


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El Bracero

Hat and BC logoOn Friday, September 14th, BC students, faculty and staff spent an evening at CSUB, both on-stage and in the audience, for “El Bracero – A Mariachi Musical.”

BC Student Clubs were represented by Emmanuel Limaco, Valente Trujillo Padilla, and Gemma Trujillo Padilla (MECHa) and Diego Reynoso (Free on the Outside).

Set in the 1950s at the height of what was known as the Bracero Program, El Bracero is a dynamic one-act Mariachi Opera which fuses mariachi music, ballet folklorico, and powerful opera style set pieces. El Bracero highlights the challenges and injustices workers faced in the U.S.

BC Students.jpg

Ballet Folklorico Dancers

El Bracero was written by Rosalinda Verde from Visalia, CA and the story is based on Braceros who came to California’s Central Valley during World War II as part of the Bracero Program as legal farm laborers. For 2018, the Revival of El Bracero will bring new songs and a special tribute to Braceros still living in the U.S. The music in El Bracero is performed by Mariachi Águilas de J. Carlos Ozuna  one of the premiere mariachi groups in California.

BC was well represented by Abel and Lorena Guzman, Jason Stratton and Lillian Pimentel Stratton, Lisa Robles, Zav and Khushnur Dadabhoy, and Corny Rodriguez.

Lamont Dia De La Independencia Parade

BC Adult Education TeamThe Bakersfield College Adult Education team participated in the Lamont Dia De La Independencia Parade and Festival on Sunday, September 16th.

Congratulations to Professor Monterrubio

Volunteer BC Art Faculty Diego Gutierrez Monterrubio

Diego Monterrubio

Professor Diego Monterrubio has been invited to exhibit his incredible artwork in a solo show at his alma mater, Porterville College. His pieces will be showcased as an alumni, as an artist of the Central Valley, and as a young boy from Lindsay, California with big dreams who worked hard to earn an MFA and become a Professor of Art. The exhibit will run for one month in the Porterville College Art Gallery and opening night reception will be October 5th from 5pm – 7pm.

Alegres Sueños – Jones Gallery

img_9894-x3The directors of the Wiley and May Louise Jones Gallery are proud to present to work of Los Angeles and San Diego based artist Mrbbaby. The exhibition opened on September 6th but will be up through October 11th, 2018. The work displayed shows the artists reflection on her experiences as a Latina growing up in Southern California.

The Wylie and May Louise Jones Gallery is located at the main campus on Panorama drive within the Grace Van Dyke Bird Library. The Fall 2018 hours of operation will be Monday-Thursday: 1:00-4 P.M.


Student Employment Spotlight on Public Safety

BC’s Public Safety Department at Bakersfield College employs approximately 50 students at any given time during the school year for various positions including cart drivers, front office assistants, ticket writers, and Public Safety Cadets. The Cadets are uniformed student employees who assist officers with foot patrol around all areas of campus. Students in these positions provide officers first-hand alerts, extra eyes and ears.

Public Safety Group Photo

Public Safety Group Photo

Did you know that BC’s Director of Public Safety, Chris Counts, first joined Bakersfield College in 1988 as a Cadet himself? He brought this program back because he is passionate about providing not only safety to our campus but also career opportunities to students exploring law enforcement. Public safety shows their appreciation by recognizing four student employees each month with a photograph display in their office.

Public Safety Student Employment Wall

If students are interested in exploring career opportunities in Public Safety, they can apply for On Campus positions via bakersfield.jobspeaker.com or attend the Public Safety Career Expo on October 10th, 10:00 am—2:00 pm.


Spotlight on BC IT

Alliance Fundraiser October 11 2017 Gary Moser, Sonya ChristianKCCD’s Chief Information Officer in the IT department, Gary Moser sent the newest ITBytes newsletter this week which featured a spotlight on Wifi service updates across the district. He said,

Having completed the requisite planning and scoping work for expanding and refreshing Wi-Fi network services district wide, implementation is now underway. Over the next 12-18 months, cabling work and new equipment installation will be taking place to expand Wi-Fi services (most indoor areas at BC and Delano) and refreshing existing Wi-Fi equipment district-wide for improved performance and reliability. So be on the lookout for IT and vendor personnel working on this project in the coming months. It is also worth noting that the BC and Delano portions of this project has been made possible (funded) by Measure J.

Vital improvements, such as this, will continue to support our students with their education. Thank you Bakersfield and Kern County for supporting BC Renegades by voting yes on Measure J!

Emails Worth Sharing: Getting our “Geek On”

Matt Jones emailed this week to share a photo that a student of his took. Matt said,

“I just wanted to take a minute (also having been encouraged by several peers) and share with you an image that a student of mine took during our first class this semester. As you may or may not know, Professor Savanna Andrasian and I are team teaching an English B2 course. However, our approach to the course is reasonably unique, as our pursuit, of advanced composition and critical thinking, with our students, is all done through Harry Potter. In the course we spend time analyzing the story within the books, but also take it outside of the printed material and explore the phenomenon across multiple forms of media and technology.

Attached to this email is a picture that student, Regina Carver, took of the two of us as we delivered our opening lecture in our Wizarding robes. Enjoy this image of two of your faculty getting their “GEEK ON” during class!”


Friends, have I told you yet that I’m the happiest and luckiest college president ever? 🙂

Emails Worth Sharing: Cadets!

I received an email which made me chuckle on Thursday evening from Professor Deborah Rosenthal. She said,

On my way to swimming this evening I stumbled upon our BC cadets protecting us.  Apparently they found a HUGE black widow in the bushes!

BC Cadets

Letters Worth Sharing

Rialto Middle SchoolThis week, BC received a heartwarming letter from a student at Rialto Middle School requesting a few college promotional items for a good cause. The letter was handwritten and said,

“My school is working very diligently on strengthening our college-going culture”

Our Community Relations team is sending the middle school a handful of BC popsockets, pendents, and mechanical pencils because, we too, are working diligently on strengthening our college-going culture! #WeAreBC!

College Council in Session

College Council was in session yesterday. BC’s College Council is a collegial, consultative, and oversight body designed to serve the good of the College. The group facilitates timely, factual, and clear communication between constituents and the President. It provides recommendations to the President on college-wide matters. The Council oversees implementation of the Strategic Directions Plan and ensures institutional quality using ongoing and systematic planning and evaluation to refine key policies and processes, and to improve student learning.


The presentations were rigorous and data rich.  So proud of the work of BC.

Amber Hroch and Michele Bresso presented on the Education metamajor pathway followed by Corny Rodriguez and Pam Rivers on the Ag Pathway

Amber Hroch and Michele Bresso at College Council.jpg

College Couoncil Group Sep 21 2018.jpg

Sarah Baron and Alicia Loken presented on Accreditation

Chris Glaser, Saran Baron, Alicia Loken at College Council

Chris Glaser, Sarah Baron, Alicia Loken

Web Content Training in Session

This week, Aricia Leighton and Chris Blakemore hosted web training for various faculty and staff

Aricia Leighton leading web training

Fun Photos

William Velazquez Sunset Photo Sept 17

Deborah Rosenthal with Renegade Knight

Deborah Rosenthal with Renegade Knight

Great photo of the BC Team at the Strategic Enrollment Management Conference

BC Team at SEM Sep 21 2018.jpg

Liz Rozell, Janet Fulks, Krista Moreland, Billie Jo Rice, Laura Larkin

Panorama Creative Music Summit

Manny Mourtzanos sent me this video of a piece written by our commercial music student Morgan.



Feb 10 2018 Sonya Christian Walking Neo 2


That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Welcoming New Faculty, Fans, Friends to Renegade Football Home Games & More!

Good morning Bakersfield. 
It is Saturday, September 15, 2018….a great day to be a Renegade

This week we remembered September 11th from 17 years ago. Families still grieve, lives were forever changed. This week we reflected on our friends, mothers, fathers, men, women, daughters, sons, brothers, sisters, heroes who lost their lives that day.

We will never forget.


Football Wins Season Opener & New Faculty Reception

Remegade Football Sep 8 2018

Last weekend, BC’s football team won their season opener against El Camino College, 20-15. The game was thrilling to watch and it was great to see all of our fans (approximately 5,000 attended the game) in and around the stadium throughout the evening.  Many watched on KGET.

Renegade Football 3 Sep 8 2018.jpg


The celebration started way before the game began. As per our annual tradition, we kicked off the evening with the New Faculty Dinner and Reception. As is the tradition,  we share BC’s New Faculty each year on our website along with their photo and discipline.

New Faculty 2018

Victor Diaz spoke behalf of Academic Senate and Mayor Karen Goh who is a fan of Renegade Football was also in attendance to welcome our newest educators.


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I also have to mention the amazing food prepared by BC Food Services. The meal prepared each year is impressive and this year did not disappoint! Thank you Chef Stephanie!

Mirian Fuentes and Sonya Christian Sep 8 2018

Miriam Fuentes, Sonya Christian



Grace and Joe Commiso and their family.jpg


Sonya Christian and Tonya Davis

Sonya Christian and Tonya Davis


Karen Goh, Brian Bell, Sonya Christian, Ambelina Garcia Duran, Aaron Resendez, Romeo Agbalog


Sonya Christian, Trustee Romeo Agbalog, Mayor Karen Goh



Students from McFarland High School attending Renegade Football

The Renegade Rooter Bus brought some special visitors from  McFarland High School who attended the first Renegade Football game of the season. For making this happen, I must thank Abel Guzman, Jesse Oropeza for coordinating the visit, Chef Stephanie Stuart for the concessions, and the leadership team from McFarland including Maria Herrera, CTE Specialist, Miquel Martinez, Welding Instructor, Brian Bell, Principal, Aaron Resendez, Interim Superintendent, Ambelina Garcia Duran, Deputy Superintendent, Jim Beltran, Board President, and Eleso Garza, Board Member.


Aaron Resendez, Sonya Christian, Mrs Resendez, Amberlina Garcia Duran

The game was covered in depth by Jon Mettus of the Bakersfield Californian in his article, “Renegades hang on for first win of 2018 season.” Nick Ellis also took some incredible photos during the game like the one below:

Shon Stephens works to defend a pass reception made by El Camino's Trevon Clark, Photo by Nick Ellis

Shon Stephens works to defend a pass reception made by El Camino’s Trevon Clark, Photo by Nick Ellis

Be sure to come out to the game this Saturday at 6pm at Memorial Stadium against Santa Monica.

2018 College Night

BC was at the 19th Annual Kern County College Night last monday.  Over 125 colleges were present, and of course BC was there to represent!  This event is great for giving prospective students not only the chance to get to see what the colleges have to offer, but also they’re able to learn how to pay for college.  Thank you to the Outreach team and all who attended to represent that #WeAreBC!!

College Night Group Photo


Special thank you to Tim Heasley and the BC Drum Corps who always puts on the best performance to get everyone in the house revved up.

All the photos can be found at BC’s Smugmug!

OneBook Event Kickoff & Distinguished Speaker Series: Jim St. Germain

Germain 6

Gorgeous weather, outdoor venue, and conversation made for a beautiful day at BC! In collaboration with the Kern County Library, One Book, One Bakersfield kicked off at the Campus Center Main Stage on Thursday. Addressing the crowd was Emerson Case from CSUB, Danyel Ritter from Student Life, and Dezi Von Manos on behalf of Free on the Outside Student Organization. The kickoff concluded with a presentation from the first Distinguished Speaker, Jim St. Germain. This author’s heart shone through in every word he spoke. He spent time getting to know our students, hearing their personal stories, and offering words of mentorship and encouragement to each person he came in contact with. Thank you, Jim, for sharing your life with our students!

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Thank You Sequoia Paints for Your Generosity!

This week, Sequoia Paints owner Jim Elder made a $100,000 donation to our Athletics department.   I cannot thank Jim enough for his generosity, and what it means to the BC family. You can read about it in the Bakersfield Californian’s article by Jon Mettus titled “BC Athletics gets $100,000 donation.”


BC Ag Teams Up and Cleans Up

Love seeing our Ag department get ready for the next year.  Last Friday our wonderful faculty members removed materials to build the showcase farm that BC deserves!  Thank you Chris McCraw, Jim Selgrath, and Matt Riley for your hard work!

Ag department cleanup Matthew Riley

Renegades of the Week

The athletics department is beginning a new weekly tradition – naming Renegades of the Week. Each week they will be honoring one male and one female student-athlete of the week based on how well they competed in their sport and led their team from the previous week. Please join me in congratulating our first two Renegades of the Week for this year: Jessica Merante from women’s volleyball and Elisha Ortiz from football. Jessica had 108 digs and a 2.51 passing % in helping her team to a 3-1 record at the SBCC Quad and Elisha Ortiz of football had 221 all-purpose yards and 2 TD’s to lift the Gades over El Camino.


Renegades Put the Student in Student-Athlete

A huge thank you to Maria Wright and the Academic Support Services team, Darrell Ballard and all the coaches in athletics for helping guide our student-athletes to be excellent students in and out of the classroom. We have recently seen growing numbers of our students athletes using academic support to study and excel as students in the classroom. Shown below are student athletes on the softball team and our football Quarterback, Josh Medina using academic support. Great examples of superstar students and athletes!

Soccer Gets Huge Win at Home

Our men’s soccer team hosted East LA college at Memorial Stadium on Tuesday and scored a huge victory, 2-1. Scoring goals for the Renegades were Edgar Gonzalez and Jose Lara. Come out to Memorial Stadium this Tuesday for the men’s and women’s soccer double-header. Women play at 5pm and the men at 7pm.


Wrestling Goes 2-2 Over the Weekend

On Friday our wrestling team hosted Victor Valley in their first home dual of the season and won 56-0. The following day they hosted the BC Duals in the Gil Bishop Sports Center. We had seven other teams from across the state in attendance which drew a large crowd to watch the action. Our Renegades went 1-2 on the day and head to Sacramento City College this weekend to take on the Panthers in a dual meet. Go Gades!


Free Swim Lessons

Reminder to attend the 4th annual free community swim lessons The Bakersfield College Men’s and Women’s swim team will be hosting the 4th annual Free Community Swim Lesson and Six-Hour Relay on Saturday, September 15th, 2018 at the BC Pool. The event will last from 8a-2p and feature a free 30-minute swim lesson for each child. In addition, parents will receive water safety tips. Attendees are encouraged to attend whenever they are able to throughout the day. The event is free and open to anyone who would like to participate.

Swim Lessons

Emails Worth Sharing

This week, Welding Professor Jeremy Staat received an email from a previous student. The email reads:

“I just wish to let you know that currently I have been in Texas near Houston for the past 2 weeks. At the moment I interned with a pipeline company called Strike and have been learning what the life on the pipeline is like with each passing day. Thanks to you sir, I have been able to show a sense of purpose and often times even assist some welders as a welders helper. Currently I am assigned as a ground holder for the welders creating the root pass, and at times dealing with the welders behind who deal with the hot pass. Even though the work is repetitive, it is often filled with slight differences due to the time of day and weather.

One of the many things that has helped me since starting is when you would tell us that those who have an education higher than higher than high school will be more sought after. Honestly simply because I still remember how to stick weld and have some college background, I am receiving $2 more than what the standard position pays. To which I have you, Mr. Grays, and Mr. Ralls to thank, for instituting not only the basics of knowledge but also the practical work ethics and safety requirements such as signing in and out when entering the lab each day.

Thank you for being such a huge influence sir, may you continue to share your knowledge with others and may more people stay the course even during the tough moments.”

Here is a photo of Professors Jeremy Staat and Tommy Tunson at the 2018 Commencement in front of the Collins Campus Center.

Jeremy Staat and Tommy Tunson

Professor Jeremy Staat and Tommy Tunson

“This is what education means to me” – Kim Arbolante

Kim ArbolanteKim Arbolante, BC’s lead in the Writing Center also sent an email worth sharing. She said,

“Today I was confronted with asking myself what education means to me and why I chose to work in education. I just tutored a student on his English speaking skills for an autobiography speech he was about to deliver in his COMM B1 course. He plans to tell the class that he majors in English because he is from Guatemala, and when he was a young boy a local gang would stand in front of the school so that children could not enter unless their parents had sent them to school with money to pay off the gang. His family had no money, but he desperately wanted to learn. So, he risked it all and snuck in the back door of the school to attend class. The gang found out and waited outside the doors for him after school. He was afraid to leave, so his teacher offered him a ride home. He graciously accepted. On their way in the car, she made him promise to keep up his schooling no matter what. The gang was following them, and shortly after he made her that promise, the gang boxed her car in, which forced them to stop. They pulled her out of the vehicle and murdered her in front of his eyes. He was just eight years old.

Now, at eighteen years old, he is a student at BC and there are no words for how much I want him to succeed! He has crossed miles and miles of dangerous roads, uncertain outcomes, and unnavigable immigration procedures to fulfill that promise he made ten years ago in his teacher’s car. This selfless woman sacrificed her life to see that his might be better.

This is what education means to me. Education is not merely meaning making and skill learning. Education is social mobility. Education is the means by which we can alleviate poverty, diminish violence, and create a more peaceful, equitable world. Education provides hope to those who may find themselves in hopeless situations. I am just a tutor. I help students with their academic needs. However, today, my student taught me a more valuable lesson than I could ever give: he taught me why I do it. Today, more than ever before, I am PROUD to be a Renegade.”

President’s Challenge

The President’s Challenge to carpool to campus is still going strong. Aricia Leighton, in BC’s Marketing and Public Relations team sent me her selfie on Thursday morning as she rode the shuttle from BC Southwest!

The 2018 President's PArk Smart Challenge

Panorama Creative Music Summit

Is this year’s Panorama Creative  Music Summit on your calendar? Taking place on September 21-22nd at BC’s Indoor Theater, the Panorama Creative Music Summit will showcase acclaimed visiting artists, local performers, and BC faculty, students, and alumni performing original music and exploring a broad range of styles and creative approaches across the jazz-pop continuum.

Thanks to support from the Lydia Jennings Finlinson and Burns L. Finlinson Endowment of the Bakersfield College Foundation, as well as an Arts in the Community Grant from the Arts Council of Kern, all events at the summit are FREE ADMISSION, open to the public and the campus community.

For a full listing of the events and more information, visit the Panorama Creative Music Summit webpage.


2018 Emsi Conference: Visualizing the Future Workforce

2018 Emsi conferenceThe BC team was at it again this week, attending the 2018 Emsi Conference in Coeur D’alene, Idaho.  Our very own Michele Bresso, Amber Hroch, Stephanie Baltazar, Tony Cordova, Alma Livingston, Klint Rigby and Cindy Collier were at the conference, learning about how to better use labor market data to target our programs in the region.  Go BC!

2018 Emsi conference michele bresso Klint Rigby stephanie baltazar tony cordova alma livingston amber hroch cindy collier

Student Employment Kudos Corner

Justina Alston and Cristina Marinez Gonzalez

Each month the Student Employment Office selects an On-Campus Supervisor for their outstanding service. The Supervisor then has the honor to highlight one of their top student employees. This month, Cristina Martinez Gonzalez, Executive Secretary for Public Safety has been recognized because her student employees say that she fosters a great work environment and is always willing to help. Chief Counts is so pleased Cristina joined 8 months ago and has become not only a supervisor to the 50+ students but also a mentor and leader. Cristina has selected to recognize student assistant Justina Alston for bringing their mission to life. She assist students with campus emergency calls as well as faculty, staff, and our BC community with parking and other issues.

Fun Photos

History Professor, Olivia Garcia and her family enjoying the BC campus over the weekend! She said, “Sometimes, you just can’t stay away from BC. Me, my husband Julio and my little guys, Joaquin and Cruz. Julio and I ran, did some repeats under the shady solar panel parking area while the boys cycled. Beautiful day!”


Dean of Instruction, Andrea Thorson shared some fun photos of running into CSUB President Lynette Zelezny and Assemblymember Rudy Salas at the Democratic Women event.


BC in full strength at the Central Valley Counselors Conference:


Jennifer Johnson and Grace Commisso presented at the Counselor Conference on Friday.

Grace Commiso speaking on Guided Pathways

Grace Commiso speaking on Guided Pathways

Jennifer Johnson, September 14 2018

Jennifer Johnson speaking on the Program Pathways Mapper

Sonya Christian, Cindy Collier, Jennifer Johnson, Grace Commiso

Jessica McGrath, Sonya Christian

BC gang at conference

Sonya Christian presenting Sep 14 2018

Post from Anna Laven’s Facebook post:

Great day at the annual Technology, Jobs and Future of Work Counselor Conference! First heard from Sonya Christian about our amazing work on Guided Pathways, both at Bakersfield College and across the state. Then some really interesting breakout sessions on curriculum and labor market data. And finally an inspiring and humbling closing speaker making a very clear argument for intentionality in counseling and student success.  It was also delightful to run into so many people doing amazing work to support students!

Pam Gomez and Lupita Aguirre


and here is a post from Pam Gomez:

It’s been a busy and productive week. College Night, Business expo, Ag Club Mtg, Ag Expo planning mtg, and today we went to Clovis (2 hrs north) for the 4th annual Counselor’s Conference. Involved late nights and an early morning. We shook hands, spread the word about our great college and networked. Just a few things I enjoy about my job.

We are BC.


Sonya Christian at New Faculty Reception Sep 8 2018 cropped

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Great partnerships…great collaborations…We are Bakersfield. And We are BC!

Good morning Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, September 8, 2018….a great day to be a Renegade

It was a four-day work week with Monday being Labor Day. But those four days were jammed packed with activities … the norm at BC!

And then when I get home……


CSU Bakersfield President Zelezny visits BC

CSU Bakersfield’s new President Lynnette Zelezny visited the BC campus earlier this week, where she spoke with students and staff about the importance of BC and CSUB’s collaboration.  She explained to us that her last name is Czechian and means Iron Man… or Iron Woman in her case. President Zelezny spoke about bringing a personal touch to the CSUB campus, and letting students know that they WANT students to succeed.  Her vision of letting students know that they are qualified to be here and are welcome aligns perfectly with BC’s. I enjoy working with President Zelezny and am looking forward to amazing opportunities in the future.


President Zelezny, BC SGA and students, and myself


President Zelezny, VP Zav Dadabhoy, BC SGA, and myself


President Zelezny and me showing what a partnership looks like!

You can view more photos here:

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I’d also like to say a special thanks to Jennifer Seratt for organizing this visit, and to Stephanie Stuart and her food services team for the beautiful fruits and snacks!

BC at Boy Scouts event

Bakersfield College was present in full force at the fundraiser for Boy Scouts where they were honoring Msgr. Craig Harrison.  You can spot Mary Jo Pasek, Billie Jo Rice, and Rene McMillion with Mayor Karen Goh, Chief Lyle Martin, and Msgr. Harrison.


BC table at Boy Scouts.jpg


Karen Goh, Craig Harrison, Billie Jo Rice Scouts annual event Sep 7 2018.jpg

Lyle Martin, Justin Leland, Mary Jo pasek Boy Scouts event.jpg

Temporary parking lot during last phase of parking lot renovations

We are in our final phase of parking lot renovations, but that means that our student parking lot P8 on University and our staff parking lot P11 next to the pool and LA building are closed for the next month.  We have created a temporary parking lot for staff and students between the soccer fields and baseball fields to help with parking during this time. Thank you to Bill Potter and Chris Counts for spearheading this project! You can find a larger view of the map HERE

Temporary parking map

Renegade Volleyball on a roll last weekend

The Renegade women’s volleyball team has started the 2018 season on a 4-0 winning streak without giving up even a set in each of their matches. On Friday the Renegades swept both College of the Sequoias (25-19, 25-10, 25-20) and Cuesta (25-7, 25-10, 26-24) at the COS Crossover. The next day they headed home to host the Bakersfield Quad at the Gil Bishop Sport Center and swept both Allan Hancock (25-8, 25-15, 25-16) and Santa Barbara (25-19, 25-21, 25-17).

“I am extremely happy to start the first weekend of competition going 4-0,” Coach Ferreira commented, “The players deserve all the credit, as they executed their preseason preparation with tremendous efficiency.  While I was pleased that we did a lot of things well, I’m looking forward to watching film, studying stats, and getting better. We still have a long ways to go in order to be a championship caliber team.”


BC volleyball players continuing their winning streak!

Up next, the Renegades will head to the Pirate Classic Quad at Ventura College to play Golden West and Fullerton on Friday, Sept. 7th and on Saturday, Sept. 8th will plan in the SBCC Quad against Pasadena and Long Beach.

Cross Country opens season at Ventura Invitational

The Renegade men’s and women’s cross country teams opened up the 2018 season at the Ventura Invitational on August 31st.  Both the men’s and women’s as a team finished 4th out of 14. The top individual finisher for the women was Lourdes Cruz, and for the men it was Alexander Struzyna. The Renegade cross country teams will next take the course on Saturday, September 8th in the Fresno Invitational at Woodward park at 9am.

cross country

The BC Cross Country Team

Football opens season at Mt. SAC

Football opened their season this last weekend on the road against Mt. SAC at Covina District Field in Covina, CA. Although the team put up a good fight in the first half and even held the lead at one point, the Mt. SAC offense proved to be more than the BC defense could handle and the Mounties sealed the victory on a late 4th quarter TD. Stay up-to-date with the Renegades on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and by visiting GoGades.com.  Thank you for coming out on the road to support Renegade Football.  It almost felt like we had a larger turnout that the other team.


BC footpall play kick offBC footpall playersBC footpall playersgades3BC footpall player

I’d like to say a special thanks to Brandon Urry for all of his great work as Sports Information Director.  Keep it up, Brandon!

brandon urry renegade report

Brandon and the Renegade Report!

BC reps at Achieving the Dream’s 2018 Data & Analytics Summit

Our very own Institutional Effectiveness team attended the 2018 Data & Analytics Summit in Maryland earlier this week.  There they learned how to build institutional capacity to collect, access, analyze and use the data. It’s essential that BC be at these events to continually grow and use the power of leading indicators to ensure our evolution.  Thanks to Amber Hroch, Manny Mourtzanos, Dan Hall, and Eleanora Hicks for attending and continually developing your talent for BC!

BC Team at ATD

Dan Hall, Eleanora Hicks, Amber Hroch & Manny Mourtzanos

Dan Hall Eleanora Hicks Amber Hroch Manny Mourtzanos

Dan Hall, Eleanora Hicks, Amber Hroch & Manny Mourtzanos

Manny Mourtzanos

Manny Mourtzanos at the 2018 Data & Analytics Summit.

Levan Center highlights leadership & talent

The Levan Center is holding three upcoming events, largely in thanks to the new Levan Center Director, Reggie Williams.

Cultural arts poster designed by David Koeth

Designed by faculty member David Koeth

Deep cuts poster designed by Eric Carillo

Designed by staff member Eric Carillo

Renegade Roundtable designed by Eric Carillo

Designed by staff member Eric Carillo

Each of the beautiful flyers above were designed by our own BC faculty and staff!  We are so lucky to have such leadership and talent at BC. Thank you to David Koeth and Eric Carillo for all of your hard work!

Thank you for parking smart!!

Students, faculty and staff, plz carpool to work or join me and ride the Express bus from the southwest to the main campus.  I’ve loved getting to meet our students, and thank you to Michele Bresso and Mindy Wilmot for helping to keep cars off of campus!

sonya mindy wilmot students sw to panorama

Mindy Wilmot and myself getting to know our students on the shuttle!

michelle bresso express bus to wiell institute

Michele Bresso taking the Renegade Express Shuttle.

michelle bresso carpooling with daughter

Michele Bresso and her daughter carpooling to work.

Bakersfield Californian shines light on inmate education

This must-read story focuses on how BC is reducing recidivism and developing skills for jobs through education.  We started our Inmate Scholars program in Spring 2015, and to say that it’s had an impact is putting it lightly. Thank you to Chelsea Esquibias and our faculty for helping to transform lives! You can read the link HERE.

inmate education

Photo of Inmate Scholars from The Bakersfield Californian story.

Community Voices: Wisdom calls us

Our own Jack Hernandez wrote a beautiful piece last Sunday on truth and wisdom. Moral wisdom teaches us that we should respect and have compassion for others.  Thank you to Jack for helping to spread this message. You can read Jack’s piece HERE.

Jack Hernandez

Jack Hernandez

BC Strength & Conditioning Coach Zack Peters on KGET

KGET featured our very own Strength and Conditioning Coach Zack Peters this week. Zack is in his third year of strength and conditioning here at BC. We are so grateful for his dedication to our students and the college.  Thank you for helping to shape our student athletes on AND OFF the field! You can view the full story HERE.

zach peters

BC Strength & Conditioning Coach Zach Peters working with one of his students.

Passing of Cecil Bailey

We are not always aware of the generous, faithful service given to the college and thus the community by those who serve on the Kern Community College District Board of Trustees.  It is so important to have good people in those positions and to recognize good service.

Cecil Bailey just passed away at the age of 100.  For twenty years of his life, from 1971 to 1991, he served on the KCCD Board of Trustees.  For a period of time he was the President of the group. That is a real commitment. One of the Trustees appears at every graduation to welcome the new graduates and to participate in the presentation of diplomas.  In the newspaper’s obituary, it was noted that Cecil “had the honor and privilege of presenting a nursing diploma to his future daughter-in-law, Kelsey Henderson.”

At 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 8, a celebration of Cecil’s life followed by a reception will be held at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 2216 17th Street.

1977 Raconteur Cecil Bailey

Clip from the 1977 Raconteur

1980 - Photo of Cecil Bailey, John Collins, and retiree William Walker

1980 – Photo of Cecil Bailey, John Collins, and retiree Alvin Kleinhample

1980 - Photo of Cecil Bailey, John Collins, and retiree Furn Ogden

1980 – Photo of Cecil Bailey, John Collins, and retiree Furn Ogden

1980 Photos of John J. Collins and Cecil J. Bailey with retiring employees Clayton Rippey, Alvin Kleinhample, Sybil Hilton, Rod Wessman

1980 Photos of John J. Collins and Cecil J. Bailey with retiring employees Clayton Rippey, Alvin Kleinhample, Sybil Hilton, Rod Wessman

1973 From Left Ed Simonsen Chancellor, Vernon Valenzuela Faculty, John Collins President, Phyllis Mallory Faculty, Loren Voth Trustee, Cecil Bailey Trustee

1973 – From Left: Ed Simonsen (Chancellor), Vernon Valenzuela (Faculty), John Collins (President), Phyllis Mallory (Faculty), Loren Voth (Trustee), Cecil Bailey


Motivational speaker Mark Potter sends message of positive thinking to Renegade student athletes

On Friday morning our student athletes were privileged to hear from visiting motivational speaker Mark Potter. Mark is a former college head basketball coach who went through bouts of depression in his professional career and found ways to become mentally resilient. He taught our student athletes to have a go-to positive thought to replace the negative thoughts that pop into their minds. He challenged them to track their negative thoughts for one week to be aware of just how many negative thoughts they had so they could be prepared for counteracting that influence. We are grateful for Mark and the time he spent here helping our student athletes become more mentally tough!

motiviational speaker

Mark Potter motivating our Renegades.

motivational speech

Thank you Mark!


Sonya Christian Sep 4 2018


That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever