Feb 29, 2020 Celebrating Leap Year & showcasing Sterling Silver 2020

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, February 29, 2020…A Leap Year… A great day to be a Renegade.

Sterling Silver

Liz Rozell, John Petre, Sonya Christian, Kay Meek
Liz Rozell, Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Sonya Christian
left to right: Zav Dadabhoy, Sandi Taylor, Liz Rozell, Dr. William F. Baker, Jr., Sonya Christian, and Romeo Agbalog.
Liz Rozell, Rick Kreiser, Sonya Christian, Tom Gelder

We had a beautiful reception at the Seven Oaks Country Club last weekend as part of our 12th-annual Sterling Silver Dinner, which the BC Foundation puts together to honor and recognize the exceptional support that members of our community provide to BC every day. Proceeds from the Sterling Silver Dinner help fund scholarships for students, providing vital opportunities to make higher education a reality for thousands of Renegades.

Kris Tiner

The evening brought together Renegade alumni and supporters, generous donors, and friends of the college to celebrate this year’s honorees. Under the direction of Kris Tiner, the BC Jazz Ensemble masterfully entertained the crowd as they entered the event. Seven Oaks chef Paul Burzlaff prepared a wonderful variety of culinary delights with help from BC Culinary Arts students.

Several notable Renegade supporters were on hand to celebrate our honorees, including Mayor Karen Goh, Assemblymember Vince Fong, State Senator Shannon Grove, County Supervisor Zack Scrivner, and City Councilmember Andrae Gonzales. Other notable community partners included S.C. Anderson, Diane Lake, and AECOM/Parsons.

Corporate Philanthropist of the Year – Greater Bakersfield New Car Dealers Association

We started off the reception by recognizing the Greater Bakersfield New Car Dealers Association for their long-standing support of BC. The Greater Bakersfield New Car Dealers Association was founded in 1945 and has held several golf tournaments to promote education in Kern County.

Individual Philanthropist of the Year – Mr. Bill Kelly

Bill Kelly receives the Individual Philanthropist of the Year Award
Bill Kelly receives the Individual Philanthropist of the Year Award

Bill Kelly taught agriculture at BC for 37 years. In addition to being selected Professor of the Year in 2014, he has won accolades across the state for his influence on agriculture education. Mr. Kelly retired in 2019, but he loves what he does so much he is back on campus as an adjunct instructor. However, we honored Bill because he and his family have provided substantial financial assistance to generations of BC students through the Verna L. Kelly Memorial and Kelly Family scholarships, set up to honor his family and strengthen ag education.

Bakersfield College Foundation Service Medal – Dr. William F. “Bill” Baker, Jr.

Dr. William Baker receives the Foundation Service Medal.
Dr. William Baker receives the Foundation Service Medal.

Dr. William Baker has served as the Team Physician for Bakersfield College athletics since 1978 and has provided expert medical care to generations of athletes, witnessing milestones such as the 1988 State Championship and the 1990 Potato Bowl. Dr. Baker’s contributions continue in the scholarship that he and Dr. Michael Tivnon established and award annually through the Bakersfield College Foundation. Dr. Baker has a successful practice in town and is a fellow of the American College of Physicians and of the International Academy of Thrombosis, Hemostasis and Vascular Medicine. The Bakersfield College Foundation Service Medal recognizes extraordinary service to the Bakersfield College community for fifty-two years of commitment to Bakersfield College and Bakersfield College Athletics, and a lifetime of service to the good health of Bakersfield and Kern County.

Bakersfield College Foundation Service Medal – Rick Kreiser

Rick Kreiser receives the Foundation Service Medal.
Rick Kreiser receives the Foundation Service Medal.

Rick Kreiser is a Bakersfield College alum who has served on the Bakersfield College Foundation since 2001, even serving a stint as chair of the Foundation from 2005 to 2007. Over the years, Rick and his company, Carney’s, have helped numerous local charities raise money, especially to fight cancer. There is a scholarship benefiting Bakersfield College students in the name of his late wife, Kris Kreiser.

Thank Yous

Heather Pennella and Norma Rojas-Mora
Heather Pennella and Norma Rojas-Mora

Thank you KGET for covering the event and for producing the honoree videos. I’d also like to thank Norma Rojas-Mora, Monika Scott, Dylan Wang, Manny De Los Santos and Brandon Urry from BC’s Marketing and Public Relations team for the promotion and social media coverage of this year’s Sterling Silver Dinner.

Sterling Silver is the signature event for the Bakersfield College Foundation, and it wouldn’t be possible without the tireless planning and work of Heather Pennella, our Alumni and Donor Relations Manager. Thank you Heather, as well as the rest of the Foundation team, for coordinating another successful night. A special thanks also goes out to Liz Rozell for stepping in as Executive Director of the Foundation after Tom Gelder’s retirement.

Check out more photos from the Sterling Silver Dinner below, captured with the brilliant photography of April Massirio.

Karen Gohn, Sonya Christian, Christina Scrivner, Shannon Grove
Sonya Christian sits with Sterling Silver dinner attendees.
Seated: Dr. Michael Tivnon, Gerry Collis
Standing: Lorenzo Alvarez, Duane Damron, Carl Bowser, Dr. Bill Baker, Dallas Grider, Carl Dean, R. Todd Littlejohn, Bob Covey, Harvel Pollard.
front row: John Turner, Joi Turner, Patrick Beck; back row: Vince Fong, Julia Turner, Kay Meek, Sonya Christian, Lauraine Cook, Jerry Cook.
Front row: John Turner, Joi Turner, Patrick Beck;
Back row: Vince Fong, Julia Turner, Kay Meek, Sonya Christian, Lauraine Cook, Jerry Cook.

African-American Community Leadership Breakfast

Mayor Karen Goh with the Buffalo Soldiers.
Mayor Karen Goh with the Buffalo Soldiers.

BC is recognized nationwide for the work of our African-American Initiatives team with the John W. Rice Award and other accolades, and their success has been aided by the support of leaders in the African-American community who believe in our vision for closing equity gaps in Kern County. We held a special breakfast for African-American leaders in the Levan Center on Wednesday to thank them and show how that support is transforming thousands of lives every day.

Steve Watkin receives a standing ovation.
Steve Watkin receives a standing ovation.

I always look forward to the African-American Community Leadership Breakfast every year, and I’m glad that we could bring it back for 2020. Our Food Services Department provided another lovely meal for all our attendees, and Steve Watkin organized and emceed the event.

Mayor Karen Goh was in attendance at the event, and she gave a beautiful speech about the power of unity to create systemic change.

Umoja Coordinator Paula Parks.
Paula Parks

The keynote speaker for the African-American Community Leadership Breakfast was BC’s own Paula Parks to talk about the success of our Umoja Community chapter. The audience erupted in applause when Paula announced an increase of 133 percent for African-American student completion of English at BC, which is a direct result of the leadership and community promoted through Umoja. Listening to Paula’s presentation, even I was surprised at how much the program had grown in the last few years, expanding to cohort courses in English, math, astronomy, biology and more. We now have a sister student organization called the Umoja Club, and the program will begin to offer students internships through Dignity Health.

After Paula’s presentation, representatives from several important community organizations spoke to promote their education initiatives, as well as partnerships with BC and other schools. I loved hearing from Dee Slade of the African-American Network of Kern County, Charles Everly from the Buffalo Soldiers, Dr. Bradford Anderson of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, Essie Davis from The Links, Incorporated, Linda McKnight from Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, and LaMeka Ross from the Delta Sigma Theta sorority.

BC culinary arts student Edwin Peterson.
Edwin Peterson

We closed out the morning with a powerful student testimonial from Edwin Peterson, a young man who has turned his back on the mire of the streets to pursue a Culinary Arts degree right here at BC. He credits Steve Watkin and the African-American Initiatives team for motivating him to continue his education.

Thank you to the African-American Initiatives team, Food Services, the Levan Center, and everyone who attended this event to show their love and support for our African-American students.

Steve Watkin, Mayor Karen Goh, Sonya Christian and Charles Everly.
Steve Watkin, Mayor Karen Goh, Sonya Christian and Charles Everly.
Steve Watkin, Sonya Christian, Rev. Ralph Anthony, Doc Ervin, Dr. Oscar Anthony
Steve Watkin, Sonya Christian, Rev. Ralph Anthony, Doc Ervin, Dr. Oscar Anthony

Levan Center and Levan Institute on KGET

Reggie Williams and Susan Pinza visited the KGET studios early Thursday morning to talk about the Levan Center and the Levan Institute, two important institutions that provide community enrichment and lifelong learning to everyone in Kern County. Thanks, Reggie and Susan! Check out the video above or visit the KGET website.

Art, Architecture and Archetypes: Art as Ritual

Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Ronnie Wrest, Rae Ann Kumelos, and Krista Moreland.
Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Ronnie Wrest, Rae Ann Kumelos, and Krista Moreland.

A panel of current and former BC professors engaged in an informative discussion about how art is used in sacred rituals and ceremonies around the world. The Levan Center’s first Art, Architecture, and Archetypes panel of the Spring semester brought together Ronnie Wrest, Rae Ann Kumelos, Krista Moreland and KCCD Trustee Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg around the theme of ritual as art.

Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg
Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg

Wrest talked about Navajo sand painting and German performance artist Joseph Beuys, whose interpretive piece “I Like America and America Likes Me” portrayed the story of being healed by an indigenous tribe in the Crimea after a plane crash. Kumelos shared Stephen King’s ritual of “intentional dreaming” before sitting down to write his novels, which helps his mind enter a higher level of imagination. Krista Moreland offered a deeper understanding behind the symbolism of the sand mandala, which uses symbolic colors, shapes, figures and object to represent the interconnectedness of life. Finally, Trustee Heitzeberg explained the influences of devotional art in the Catholic faith.

Thank you to the Levan Center, all of our panelists, and everyone who attended this interesting discussion.

Renegade Roundtable on Homelessness

A group of five brilliant BC faculty members shared their views on the homeless crisis at the Levan Center as part of the first Renegade Roundtable of the Spring 2020 semester last week.

Erin Miller.
Erin Miller

This edition of the Renegade Roundtable featured Michael Harvath, Jack Hernandez, Steve Holmes, Erin Miller and Neal Stanifer. Each of these educators brought their years of scholarship to the table to approach this important issue from different perspectives. Hernandez, the former director of the Levan Center, encouraged audience members to think of the homeless as individuals instead of statistics. Stanifer and Horvath proposed solutions to getting people off the streets and into homes, and Erin Miller took a closer look at how mental health affects the ways that homeless people tend to self-medicate with alcohol or drugs.

While the panelists had different ideas about how to deal with homelessness, all agreed that we can’t keep ignoring the problem any longer. Thank you to all of the panelists, as well as Reggie Williams and the Levan Center, for offering a space to encourage insight into this ongoing problem. Events like these are important for fulfilling BC’s core value of community, honoring our obligation to “build an environment in which all members participate as a community through democratic engagement”.

BC's Core Value of Community
BC’s Core Value of Community

Community Voices: Michele Bresso

Michele Bresso

In a Community Voices column earlier this week, Michele Bresso shared a story from one of her communication classes that brings home the impact of homelessness on the lives of our students and the power of education to change it.

When she assigned her small groups communication class to volunteer at the Bakersfield Homeless Shelter as part of a class project, she found out that one of her students used to be a resident of the shelter before she became a Renegade. The student vowed never to return to the shelter once she got back on her feet, but her experience as a volunteer for Michele’s class convinced her to have a change of heart:

She met a young woman living at the center who was much like herself years before. My student committed to a weekly volunteer schedule at the center so that she could mentor this young woman and model a way to achieve independence.”

Grounds for Dreaming

Lori Flores speaks in the Levan Center.
Lori Flores speaks in the Levan Center

Stony Brook University professor Lori Flores visited the Home of the Renegades to host an enlightening discussion on the agriculture labor rights movement in California during the early 20th Century.

Lori Flores
Lori Flores

As an historian of agricultural labor in the United States, Flores was excited to come to the Central Valley for the first time. After all, this is the place where so much of that history was and continues to be made. The Social Justice Institute invited Flores to the Levan Center last week to share from her book “Grounds for Dreaming: Mexican-Americans, Mexican Immigrants, and the California Farmworker Movement”. “Grounds for Dreaming” is a deeply researched account of how immigrant laborers from the Bracero program and Mexican-Americans came together to organize for better working conditions in the 40s and 50s, decades before Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta founded the UFW.

Thank you to Lori Flores for sharing her years of scholarship with our students, and thank you to Oliver Rosales, Andrew Bond for organizing the event.

This Week at BC: Financial Aid

For the newest edition of This Week at BC, marketing student workers Ramon Carreido and Juan Reyes take a closer look at the Financial Aid office ahead of the March 2 deadline for filling out the FAFSA.

I love seeing our student workers get more comfortable with their video skills while spreading the word about all of the awesome programs and initiatives here at BC. Great job, Juan and Ramon!

Renegade Athletics

Watch this week’s edition of the Renegade Report on the Bakersfield College Athletics Facebook page featuring our Renegade Men’s Golf Team out at Stockdale Country Club. Head Coach Wes Coble and student athletes Blake Keesey, Caleb Jameson and Quinn Walker sat down with host Kenny Calvin to discuss their season so far. On Monday the team will host a conference match out at Stockdale Country Club and we know they will represent us well!

Coach Goodman Reaches 100 Career Victories

100 Career Victories! Casey Goodman, BC Head Softball Coach
Congrats, Coach Goodman!

A special congratulations go out to Renegade Softball Head Coach Casey Goodman, who just collected her 100th victory as a head coach. In her third season at BC she has collected 66 victories and the other 34 came from her time as the head softball coach at Louisiana State University, Alexandria. As a Renegade Casey has captured back-to-back Western State Conference Championships and the team looks to make that three in a row this spring. Congrats Casey – we are lucky to have you!

BC Football at the Mission

Coach Littlejohn at the Mission of Kern County

This last Saturday our new football coach R. Todd Littlejohn and a number of our Renegade football student athletes spent the morning serving our community at the Mission of Kern County. We are glad to have the relationship with the Mission that allows our students to give back!

Men’s and Women’s Basketball All-Conference Renegades

With basketball season coming to a close we had multiple men’s and women’s basketball student athletes who were awarded post-season conference awards. From Men’s Basketball Tyrell Coleman (1st-Team), Michael Guillory (Co-Defensive MVP and Honorable Mention) and Isayas Aris (Honorable Mention) all received recognition. From the Women’s team Dasia Wandick was named All-Conference for the second year in a row, along with teammate Alyssa Gonzalez.

Next Level Gades – Eamon Sullivan

Next Level Gades - Eamon Sullivan, Football
Eamon Sullivan signs to the University of Virginia’s College at Wise.

Eamon Sullivan from Renegade Football has signed to continue his academic and athletic career at University of Virginia’s College at Wise located in Wise, VA. Eeamon played the last two season at BC and is excited to continue his career at UVA Wise. We wish him the best and know he will always represent BC!

Valley Strong Credit Union Renegades of the Week: Feb. 16 – Feb. 22

BC Renegades of the Week

Renegade Athletics is proud to announce this week’s (2/16-2/22) Valley Strong Credit Union Renegades of the Week:

Dasia Wandick, Women’s Basketball – Dasia matched a career high and had a season-high total of 30 points in the women’s basketball season finale against Canyons. She also received WSC South All-Conference honors for the second straight year.

Esteban Robles, Men’s Swimming – Esteban was the only individual with an event win for BC (100 Free and 50 Fly) at the 2020 Ram Crush this last weekend at Clovis College. He was part of the 200 Free Relay team who took 1st  where he put up big anchor leg for the win. He was also part of 3 other relays all placing in the top 4 at the meet. For his efforts he was named the Sprint Master and Butterfly Master of the meet. To win the award one must have competed in the 50/100/200 of the strokes and score the highest cumulative points in the events. He swam in all 6 races and took the title in both strokes.

Athletics Photos From The Week

Renegade Athletics Updates From This Past Week

Renegade Track

Athletic events ‘On the Hill’ this coming week

Be sure to put on your Renegade Red and cheer on our student athletes as they compete this coming week. If you can’t make it in person, check GoGades.com to catch the livestream. Events include:

  • Mon. 3/2 – Men’s Golf hosts WSC #4 at 9am, Stockdale CC
  • Tues. 3/3 – Women’s Tennis vs Bakersfield at 2pm
  • Tues. 3/3 – Baseball vs LA Mission at 2:30pm
  • Sat. 3/7 – Softball vs. Fullerton at 12pm
  • Sat. 3/7 – Softball vs. Pasadena City at 4pm
  • Sat. 3/7 – Baseball vs LA Mission at 1pm

That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Compassion through Education

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, February 22, 2020… A great day to be a Renegade.

Today there are numerous BC activity happenings … Baseball, our Chamber Singers are performing at CASMEC (California All State Music Educators Conference) where they were selected through a blind audition process, and the BC Foundation hosts our annual Sterling Silver. Just another normal day at the Home of the Renegades.

I am so proud of our Chamber Singers and their tireless leader Dr. Jen Garrett, the way they move audiences with the power of music. Over the years, the BC chamber singers have accomplished so many incredible things, becoming not just part of what BC does, but a defining part of what Bakersfield College is.

I don’t have a video of their performance… but here is BC’s Men’s Choir performing the national anthem for Coach Paula Dahl and the basketball team.

Men's Chorus with Coach Dahl.

Compassion’s Grace

Sonya and Jack Hernandez.

by Jack Hernandez

Under warm blankets
this night I think
of those sleeping
in streets knifed
by cold winds
chilled by fog
thick as frozen smiles.
They lie outside
on hard cement,
inside my womb
like room I ask
how we can come together
through compassion’s grace.

Project HireUp Event

Bakersfield College hosted a meet-and-greet luncheon event at the Launchpad for students of BC’s Project HireUp and their potential future employers. Project HireUp is a collaboration between Bakersfield College, the Mission at Kern County, Bakersfield Homeless Center, the faith-based local non-profit City Serve, and industry partner Adventist Health. The program supports homeless students so they can continue their education, and provides opportunities for internships and employment after successful completion of the program. 

This spring, the first cohort of students has been taking non-credit courses at Bakersfield College’s Job Spot location and will soon graduate with a certificate in Basic Office Skills that has prepared them for employment with one of the project’s industry partners. At the meet-and-greet luncheon, on Wednesday, February 12, students arrived dressed to impress, and the room buzzed with nervous excitement as they prepared for the opportunity to network with employers. All were impressed by the students’ confidence, charm, will, and drive. 

Sonya and Maria.
I was able to get a picture with Maria Herrera.

Thank you so much to all of our supporters in the community and for those that attended the event: Maria Herrera, Central Valley Deputy Regional Director, External Affairs, Office of Governor Gavin Newsom, Laura Joseph, Administrative Director, Human Resources, Adventist Health, and Andu Yohannes, Human Resources Manager, Stria. I would also like to thank the many BC Staff and Faculty that made this event a success including Endee Grijalva, Tony Cordova, and Stephanie Baltazar.

L-R: Tony Cordova, Stephanie Baltazar, Freddie Rodriguez, me, Maria Herrera, Dave Teasdale, Norma Rojas-Mora, Robin Robinson, Endee Grijalva

Umoja Conference

Umoja Community Club’s Second Annual Black History Month Program was an uplifting celebration of culture. Themed “Hustle and Motivate: It’s for the Culture,” the event was an appreciation of Nipsey Hussle’s music, community activism, and work ethic.


More than 180 students, faculty, staff, and community members participated. Highlights included energetic African drumming and dancing by Dramane Kone, and a keynote by Terrance Minnoy. Umoja Community Club is a student organization affiliated with the Umoja Community Program, coordinated by Dr. Paula L. Parks.

Dancer with arms out and foot up.

Chancellor Tom Burke gave the welcome, encouraging the high school students in attendance to attend BC, “an educational oasis,” where they can get a quality, affordable education before transferring.

Speaking at podium with UmojaASTEP sign behind him.
Tom Burke

Nzingha Dugas, Executive Director of the Umoja Community state-wide organization, performed the opening ritual and explaining to students that “Black is what is inside us;” it’s our spirit, not our braided or natural hair or our African inspired clothing. 

Dancer jumps about 3 feet above stage.

MC’s Dujour Sams, Umoja Club president, and Sha’ron Bradley, Umoja Club vice president exhibited grace, humor, and leadership in setting the ground rules and introducing all the speakers.

Man in jacket speaking on stage.

Wearing a colorful headdress, West African drummer and dancer Dramane Kone kept the audience clapping their hands and tapping their feet to the beat of the drums. At one point he invited students on the stage to learn African dance moves. 

Dancer flipping long braided hair while drummer plays.

Entering to the chorus of Hussle’s “Grinding all my Life,” keynote Terrance Minnoy, author of Indifferent Strokes, engaged the students with stories of his 2015 stroke and complete recovery tied into life lessons, Umoja values, and pride in African American culture. “It’s part of our culture to embrace challenges and adversity,” he explained.

Dancer with drummer.

A native of Bakersfield, Minnoy encouraged students to see what they can learn from any negative experience. In order to be a person of value, they should give to others. He challenged them to create goals, execute them, and face challenges head on. “I wouldn’t change what I went through.” He said the struggle just “strengthened his why”. 

Dancer circling with foot up.

Workshops led by distinguished community members rounded out the afternoon. Toure’ Tyler addressed the male students on conducting themselves with dignity and making good decisions, Vicki Kemp shared with the women about confidence and persisting, Darius Riggins helped students on choosing a major, Nzingha Dugas involved students in a discussion on leadership, and Dr. Parks moderated a panel of Umoja students on making the transition to college.

Speaker on stage.

The closing ritual was beautifully conducted by Myia Williams, a regional coordinator for the Umoja Community region 7 that includes BC.

The support of the Umoja state-wide organization as well as the energy and participation of the students, the African drumming, and the wisdom shared by all the presenters completely embodied the creativity and persistence of African American culture.

CSUB On-site Admissions

in CSUB and Finish in 4 t-shirts.
BC’s Counseling Team

The CSUB Admissions Team provided on-the-spot admission decisions for BC students that had a Fall 2020 application for admission on file. A total of 101 prospective transfer students were served, and in the end, 89 were admitted to CSU Bakersfield, Fall 2020! 

Congratulations to all of these outstanding students! “Thank you” to our incredible BC Faculty and Staff for teaching, motivating, and mentoring our students to strive for success through graduation and transfer! 

Early College at the Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce

Last Friday, the BC Early College team attended the GRC Meeting at the Greater Bakersfield Area Chamber to share the innovative and exciting Early College collaboration taking place between BC and high schools across the county. Jean Fuller and our new Early College Program Manager, Nicole Alvarez, shared our growing participation numbers as well as the program’s continued success. After the presentation, Senator Fuller, Trustee Romeo Agbalog and I answered Chamber members’ questions in a productive Q&A session.

Jacob Panero, CEO of Varner Brothers, with Senator Fuller
Jean Fuller presenting.

Thank you to the Chamber for inviting us and for supporting our efforts with this program. It is with community support that we will be able to spread the word about this solution to low degree attainment in Kern County and throughout the state of California. 

Panel in front of Early College slide.
Jean Fuller presents graph to audience.

Renegade Student Spotlight: Miguel “Caveman” Contres

Few things are more frightening than going toe-to-toe with an opponent who is trying to beat the life out of you over the course of 8 rounds. But these are the moments that BC student and 21-year-old professional boxer Miguel “Caveman” Contres lives for.

Contres in corner with mouthpiece.

When he’s not at the gym or the boxing ring, Contres is fighting to earn his associate’s degree in business right here at BC. He’s in his third year as a BC student and is currently enrolled part time. Contres believes that knowledge is power and is choosing to pursue business because he feels that his boxing career is going to create plenty of business opportunities.

Contres started boxing at the age of 8 through the Bakersfield Police Activities League. He won 60 amateur fights and 3 national titles before turning pro at the age of 18. He’s currently undefeated in his boxing career, with a 10-0 record and 6 knockouts as a lightweight.

Contres facing opponent in ring.

Contres follows a strict training regimen in the classroom and in the gym to maximize his academic and athletic success. Every day, he starts his strength and conditioning at 6 a.m. before hitting the books between 9:30 and 11 a.m. After lunch, he has boxing practice between 2 and 4:30 p.m., which gives him a couple hours to finish up his homework in the evening before he goes to sleep.

This Week at BC: Veterans Services

In the latest edition of our weekly video featuring different departments around the Home of the Renegades, Marketing and Public Relations student interns Ramon Carreido and Juan Reyes went to the Vernon Valenzuela Veterans Resource Center to learn more about all of the services available to veteran students. Thank you Jenny Frank for taking the time to speak with Ramon and Juan for this week’s video, as well as the whole Veterans Services staff for all they do to help Renegades transition into civilian life.

Mental Health Screening

The deadlines and stress of college coursework can take a significant toll on our students’ mental health, and many of our students are at a crucial point in their lives as young adults where they are still trying to figure out who they are. To remind our Renegades they are not alone, the Office of Student Life hosted a free mental health screening in Levinson Hall on Wednesday to get students the help they need.

Students at the Office of Student Life table.
2 students at the table offering pens and candy.

Suicide is the second leading cause of death for college students nationwide, a reality that is avoidable if we make sure that every single person feels safe and supported on our campus. In addition to the mental health screenings, Student Life also gave out tips to help students reduce their stress levels as they approach their midterm exams.

Thank you to all the folks at Student Life and the Health and Wellness Center for making sure that our students do not feel lost in their educational journey.

Emails Worth Sharing: Introducing the Grapevine

I was so excited to hear some good news from Keri Wolf, who announced that the Grapevine Literary Journal is returning and will be ready to accept submissions. Read the full email below:

Screenshot of the website with purple grapes in the background.

Dear Colleagues,

BC’s online literary journal is back online! Since the last publication in Spring 2018, we have built a new website, digitized past Roughneck Review issues into easy-to-read PDFs, changed our name from Roughneck Review back to The Grapevine Literary Journal, a historic BC favorite, and we are ready to accept new submissions!

This is not just a journal for the Humanities. We accept exceptional student work in ALL disciplines: essays and poetry, art and photography projects, musical performances, inspiring presentations, great STEM papers, and all other work created by students in BC courses. Give an outstanding student the gift of being published and let them know about this exciting opportunity to be published in The Grapevine.

 It’s very easy for students to submit: Just visit our new website, www.thegrapevinebc.com, and fill out the submission form under the “Submissions Process” tab. The deadline to submit work for consideration is March 21st, 2020 at midnight.

We are delighted to announce that the Levan Center will award an annual $1500 prize for the best submission and a ceremony will be held this Spring to acknowledge all published submissions during our annual Celebration of Work ceremony.

Thank you for supporting our students by sharing the opportunity to be published in The Grapevine. Special thanks to Naomi Rutuku for her tireless work in the enormous task of creating our new website! We are also grateful to The Levan Foundation for their ongoing support and assistance.

Epic Proportions Tour

The Epic Proportions Tour returned to the Panorama Campus, bringing world class musical talent along with them to get the CSS Lawn rocking on Wednesday afternoon.

The tour offers up-and-coming musicians and songwriters the opportunity to promote their art and perform at college campuses, high schools and military bases around the country. The tour also makes stops at major music festivals such as SXSW and the Vans Warped Tour. Founders Gabe Kubanda and Peter Sotos teach the touring artists how to survive in the music business and build upon their success.

Rapper Benji Patterson was excited for the chance to entertain our Renegades while on the tour of his dreams, captivating the crowd with amazing stage presence and conscious rhymes. Tour founder Gabe Kubanda followed up with a set of acoustic pop music accompanied by a backing band.

Thank you to the Epic Proportions Tour for bringing talented musical artists to our campus for our students to enjoy.

Community Voices: What It Means to Be a Teacher

Photo courtesy of Bakersfield Californian

Bill Chapman, a professor in BC’s Education Department, wrote a moving piece for the Bakersfield Californian looking back on his accomplishments in 31 years of education. The piece also raises awareness of BC’s Education Pathway, which includes degrees for Renegades who are interested in early childhood education or teaching in elementary schools. One paragraph in particular stood out to me as a beautiful summary of why it’s so important for us to nurture and develop the next generation of teachers:

As I teach these future educators, I see the enthusiasm of these students, eager to teach, eager to be in the classroom and ready to tell their own stories. Being a faculty member at Bakersfield College gives me comfort in knowing there is a coaching community invested in the completion and success of future educators.”

I’d like to thank Bill Chapman for sharing his passion for teaching with Bakersfield Californian readers. For more information about the Education Pathway, visit the Bakersfield College website.

Seen on Facebook: BPD on Campus

It’s great to see community partners like the Bakersfield Police Department join faculty in the classroom for enriching presentations. 

My forensic evidence class were listening to 2 forensic lab techs from the BPD today.

Renegade Athletics

Next Level Gades 

Amy Packard from Renegade Women’s Soccer has signed to continue her academic and athletic career at Point Park University located in Pittsburgh, PA. Amy has played the last two years for Coach Scott Dameron here at BC and we wish her all the best at her new school. She is now the fifth Renegade Women’s Soccer student athlete to commit to the next level!

Next Level Gades Amy Packard.

Seven Renegade Football Student Athletes Make SCFA Scholar Athlete Team

We are proud to announce that seven of our Renegade Football student athletes have been named to the 2019 Southern California Football Association (SCFA) Scholar Athlete team. 

2019 SCFA Scholar-Athlete Team.

The seven include: Zach Hartsfield, Braden Wingle, Adarian Rowel, Daniel Kraskey, Connor Whitbey, Zach Hernandez and Paxton Winders. To make the team, student athletes have to complete the following requirements:

  1. Participate as an active member of a SCFA football team, with two seasons of participation at the collegiate level, or until forced out of competition by season-ending injury.
  2. Successful completion of a minimum 36 units-27 of which must be in academic (non-PE or sport activity) courses.
  3. Achievement of a minimum 3.0 (B) overall grade point average

Congrats to these football student athletes. We wish you all the best!

Kern Schools FCU Renegades of the Week – Feb. 9-15

Renegade Athletics is proud to announce this week’s (2/9-2/15) Valley Strong Credit Union Renegades of the Week:

Renegades of the week.

Daizhiana Ebert, Women’s Track and Field – Daizhiana was first in the long jump (5.36m) and was a member of the 4 x 100 (51.08) and 4 x 400 (4:10.20) both of which placed 1st. The 4 x 400 time is currently ranked 1st in So Cal, 4 x 100 is currently ranked 3rd in southern California and her long jump distance is ranked 2nd in So Cal.

Justin Frando, Men’s Track and Field – Justin ran a sub 50 split on the 4 x 400 (3:24.51) relay which placed first by a distance of 15 yards. That time was good enough for a 3rd place ranking in Southern California, only 1.5 seconds off the leaders. He is currently ranked 4th in Southern California in the 800m.

Athletics Photos

Renegade Athletics updates from this past week:

Athletic Events ‘On the Hill’ this Coming Week

Be sure to put on your Renegade Red and cheer on our student athletes as they compete this coming week. If you can’t make it in person, check GoGades.com to catch the livestream. Events include:

  • Tue. 2/25 – Men’s Tennis vs Santa Barbara at 1pm
  • Sat. 2/29 Women’s Tennis vs Porterville at 10am

That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

the luckiest and happiest college president ever

BC — the heart of the community

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, February 15, 2020… A great day to be a Renegade.

Financial Aid Fest

Danny Morrison and DJ Ace hold play music for Financial Aid Fest.
Danny Morrison and DJ Ace perform at Financial Aid Fest.

The Financial Aid Department encouraged our students to “Beat the Clock” and “Get the Money” before the March 2 FAFSA and Dream Act deadline as part of the weeklong Financial Aid Fest held at our three core campuses.

The BC Foundation tables at Financial Aid Fest.

For Wednesday’s Financial Aid Fest on the CSS Lawn of the Panorama Campus, Renegades got the chance to play games, enjoy some tacos catered by BC Food Services, and listen to some great music from Danny Morrison and DJ Ace on the turntables. There were also Financial Aid Fests held at BC SouthWest on Tuesday and the Delano Campus on Thursday. This was the first year that the Financial Aid Department planned a circus theme for Financial Aid fest, and it was a beautiful setup that caught the eyes of everyone who passed through on their way to their classes.

Events like Financial Aid Fest and the FAFSA workshops equip our Renegades with the resources they need to be successful. This year’s Financial Aid Fest also featured booths from several other BC programs such as EOP&S, who came out to inform students about book vouchers, counseling and other resources that may be available to them.

Thank you to the talented folks at Financial Aid for working so hard to put together this event. There are Financial Aid Application Assistance workshops planned throughout the weeks leading up to the March 2 deadline, so check the Bakersfield College calendar for dates and remember to get your applications in for next year!

Rudy Salas Roundtable on Homelessness

Anna Laven with Rudy Salas, Leticia Perez and other participants in the homelessness roundtable.
Left to right: Anna Laven; Alex Garcia, Wasco City Councilmember; Alicia Sutton, Deputy Secretary of Homelessness at California Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council; Rudy Salas, California Assemblymember; Leticia Perez, Kern County Supervisor; and Grace Vallejo, Delano City Councilmember.

Fun Photos: Mayor’s Ball

BC faculty, staff and dignitaries at the first annual Mayor's Ball.
left to right: Anthony Cordova, Anna Laven, Norma Rojas-Mora, Shannon Grove, Liz Rozell, Jay Rosenlieb, Sonya Christian, Romeo Agbalog, Michael O’Doherty, Heather Pennella, and Endee Grijalva.

BC was present in full force at Karen Goh’s inaugural Mayor’s Ball at the City Center in downtown Bakersfield which raised money for Pastor Robin Robinson and CityServe, a local non-profit organization that provides churches with food, hygiene items and more to help the homeless and other members of our community in need.

Gadfly Cafe

Students and faculty engaged in spirited and insightful debates at the Levan Center as part of the first Gadfly Café of the Spring 2020 semester on Wednesday.

Students debate about aging and death at the Gadfly Cafe.
Students debate the topic “Aging, Disease, and a Timely Death” during the Gadfly Café.

Philosophy professor and Levan Center Director Reggie Williams served as moderator for this month’s topic “Aging, Disease, and A Timely Death”. Students were really engaged, sharing their thoughts on the health complications that come with aging, as well as the feelings of grief that suicide and death can elicit in our loved ones. The group started recognizing that matters of aging and death are very personal and each person has a different answer to finding their purpose in life, and it is our experiences that determine whether or not we’ve lived up to that purpose.  I lost my dad in 2006 and my mom just last year…  I am really grateful for Norm Levan who through his generous gift has allowed BC the ability to host the Levan Center and its remarkable programming.  Also thankful for the Levan Director Reggie Williams.

College is supposed to be a place where people can have deep, important conversations with their peers to determine their beliefs and priorities. Events like the Gadfly Café are important for developing BC’s core values of Community, Diversity and Wellness, so I would like to thank Professor Williams for providing our students with a space for Socratic discourse.

Rad Tech Students Compete at National Conference

I was delighted to hear that the second-year students in BC’s Radiologic Technology Program got to attend a nationwide conference in Las Vegas last week. The Association of Collegiate Radiologic Technology (ACERT) Conference held on February 5-7 featured Rad Tech students and educators from across the country.

BC Radiologic Technology students attend a nationwide conference in Los Angeles.
BC Radiologic Technology students at the 2020 ACERT Conference.

BC Rad Tech Director Jacelyn Hill and the BC students participated in the annual Rad Tech Student Bowl, a 2-hour academic competition against 600 other students. BC stood proudly against other community colleges and universities, with the majority of our 21 students finishing in the top 60, and Renegade student Yolanda Puente finishing in 29th place!

Thank you to all of our Rad Tech students for representing BC at this nationwide conference, and thank you to Jacelyn Hill and our Rad Tech and Allied Health staff for training the radiology professionals of tomorrow.

BC Rad Tech Students at the ACERT Conference.
BC Rad Tech Students Kristi Gifford, Yolanda Puente, Emily Byers and Deanna Munoz pose with Stewart Bushong, the author of their textbook.

SLO Symposium

Bill Moseley speaks at a panel during the SLO Symposium 2020.
Bill Moseley presents during a panel at the SLO Symposium.

Last week, BC’s assessment team participated in the Student Learning Outcomes (SLO) Symposium at Monterey Peninsula College. The 7th-annual event is organized by Jarek Janio and the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment, a research and resource-development organization that advocates for the systematic use of student learning outcomes in colleges and universities.

I keynoted the event, and called on the group to #OccupyLearning using the framework established in the books “Redesigning America’s Community Colleges” and “Degrees that Matter”. For more information, you can check out the slides from my keynote presentation on the Bakersfield College website.

There was quite the back channel chatter on twitter. Here are some screen captures.

Dean of Academic Technology Bill Moseley also presented during a panel discussion with representatives from the California Community College Chancellor’s Office, the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges, and the American Institute for Research. Two videos from his presentation can be viewed below. Thank you Teresa McAllister for capturing the video.

Jarek Janio from Santa Ana College, organized this event. He is a missionary to improve student learning. Jarek, let’s plan a statewide gathering sometime in the fall to advance this conversation!

Reconnecting with Teens Conference

Did you know that Bakersfield College provides support and training to over 1,800 foster families in Kern County each year?  As part of the efforts to improve the outcomes of foster children, the BC Foster & Kinship Care Education (FKCE) program hosted the Reconnecting with Teens Conference on Friday, January 31 at the Marriott in downtown Bakersfield with State Ombudsperson, Rochelle Trochtenberg.  

Imelda Simos-Valdez speaks at the FKCE Conference
FKCE Director Imelda Simos-Valdez speaks at the Connecting with Teens Conference.

Among the 250+ events and 1,140+ training hours offered throughout the year by FKCE, “Reconnecting with Teens” was a special event. Caregivers who care for foster youth attended the event to learn strategies on how to better support teenagers as they launch into adulthood. FKCE Director Imelda Simos-Valdez provided a gracious welcome presentation guests were treated to a very special guest speaker and breakout sessions.

Rochelle Trochtenberg, our guest speaker at the FKCE Conference, is currently the California Foster Care Ombudsperson and a former foster youth. Originally labeled “severely emotionally disturbed”, Rochelle gained her own voice when she shared criticism of Humboldt County Dept. of Health and Human Services approach to group homes at a 2008 conference.  She was eventually hired by the department, earned both her Bachelor’s and Master’s in Social Work, and has become nationally recognized for her work as a lead organizer for the Humboldt County Transition Age Youth Collaborative. She is the first former foster youth appointed to the Office of Foster Care Ombudsman.  

Keynote speaker Rochelle Trochtenburg
Keynote speaker Rochelle Trochtenburg

More information can be found at the FKCE website.

Thank you to Araceli Navarro, the FKCE Program Manager at Bakersfield College, as well as Imelda Simos-Valdez and the rest of the FKCE staff for putting together this important conference for foster families, and for everything you do to provide for foster families throughout the year.

The BC FKCE Team at the Connecting with Teens Conference.
BC’s FKCE Team signs people in at the Connecting with Teens Conference.

This Week at BC: Agriculture

A BC student picks oranges in the Ag Laboratory.
A BC student picks oranges in the Agriculture Laboratory.

People came to the Panorama Campus from across Kern County last week to pick fresh oranges and grapefruits at the BC Ag Farm. Members of the community were able to pick their own fresh fruit straight from the citrus trees in our ag laboratory off Haley Street, beautifully maintained by our Renegade students and faculty.

The Agriculture Laboratory and the BC Ag Ambassadors are the focus for the newest edition of This Week at BC, a video series put together by Marketing and Public Relations student interns Ramon Carreido and Juan Reyes.

Fun Photos: Journalism Day

BC Photojournalism teacher John Harte speaks to students.
BC photojournalism professor John Harte speaks to students at Journalism Day.

We talked about Journalism Day in last week’s blog, but I wanted to share some more great photos from the on-site competition featuring the Bakersfield Police Department’s “A Life Interrupted” trailer about the dangers of drunk driving. Students also got to ask questions of current and former local journalists during a Q&A session that featured the talents of BC professors Erin Auerbach, John Harte, and Olivia Garcia, CSUB communications professor Jennifer Burger, Chain-Cohn-Stiles Marketing Director Jorge Barrientos, KBAK anchor Sara Shouhayib, and Bakersfield Californian editor Mark Nessia.

left to right: Erin Auerbach, John Harte, Jennifer Burger, Sara Shouhayib, Jorge Barrientos, Mark Nessia, and Olivia Garcia.
Left to right: Erin Auerbach, John Harte, Jennifer Burger, Sara Shouhayib, Jorge Barrientos, Mark Nessia, and Olivia Garcia.

State of the Downtown Breakfast

BCSGA President Samantha Pulido with Tony Cordova, Jaime Lopez, and Benny Balderama attended the State of the Downtown Breakfast on Thursday morning.

left to right: Jaime Lopez, Anthony Cordova, Samantha Pulido, and Benjamin Balderrama
Jaime Lopez, Anthony Cordova, Samantha Pulido, and Benjamin Balderrama.

The Downtown Business Association (DBA) celebrated 65 years of service to the community, and the program focused heavily on their Block-to-Block program, which gives 300 square blocks in the heart of the city a platform to voice their concerns with DBA.

Fun Photos:

BC hard at work!

Zav Dadabhoy, Mike Giacomini, Sonya Christian, Billie Jo Rice, and Lesley Bonds.
Lesley Bonds takes a selfie with Zav Dadbhoy, Mike Giacomini, Sonya Christian, and Billie Jo Rice.

Enjoying Renegade Softball!

Brandon Urry takes a selfie of Sandi Taylor and Sonya Christian

Emails worth Sharing: David Koeth

Screenshot from David Koeth's HelveticaBakersfield blog.
A screenshot from HelveticaBakersfield-a blog curated by BC typography students.

Check out HelveticaBakersfield, a blog created by BC students enrolled in his Art B25 Typography class for the last 11 years.

Since February 2009, my Typography students and I have been collecting samples of the typeface Helvetica, and posting them to a blog. 

It’s an assignment I use to encourage them to look closely and critically at type. 

In the early years, when blogs were a new trend, the blog was featured in the Bakersfield Californian. 


Seen on Twitter: Renegades at Bakersfield Heart Hospital

The Bakersfield Heart Hospital highlighted our amazing Renegades in a tweet from their “meet-and-greet” event at the BLVD on Wednesday. Check out the screenshot below:

Renegade Athletics Report

Watch this week’s edition of the Renegade Report on the Bakersfield College Athletics Facebook page featuring our Renegade Softball team at the Dean & Adah Gay Sports Complex. Head Coach Casey Goodman and student athletes Alantis Rede and Alex Venegas sat down with host Kenny Calvin to discuss the 2020 season.

Renegade Recruiting Round-Up

Darrel Ballard
Darrel Ballard

Big thanks to Darrel Ballard, the Athletics Program Manager for Student Success who successfully planned and coordinated the Renegade Recruiting Round-Up this last Monday.

This event was for prospective Renegade student athletes to learn more about attending BC. Darrell pulled the offices of financial aid, student outreach, student life, career education, athletic counseling and the housing service Sharing Spaces together to provide information and educate these future Renegades! Great event Darrell!

Kern Schools FCU Renegades of the Week: Feb. 2-8

BC Renegades of the Week Alejandro Murillo, baseball, and Alantis Rede, softball.

Renegade Athletics is proud to announce this week’s (2/2-2/8) Kern Schools Federal Credit Union Renegades of the Week.

Alantis Rede, Softball – Alantis hit two grand slams – one against Porterville and one to tie the game in the bottom of the 12th against Riverside last week. She was 7 for 14 at the plate (.500 avg.), with 6 walks and 17 RBI’s in four games.

Alejandro Murillo, Baseball – Against El Camino on 2/6 he pitched nine innings, giving up one unearned run, three hits and 15 strikeouts. He earned a no-decision as the game was tied 1-1 after nine innings. The Gades eventually lost 3-1 in 15 innings.

Renegade Athletics Updates from This Past Week:

A Renegade track and field athletes competes in a relay race.

Athletics ‘Action’ Photos from This Week

Renegade Events ‘On The Hill’ Next Week

Be sure to put on your Renegade Red and cheer on our student athletes as they compete this coming week. If you can’t make it in person, check GoGades.com to catch the livestream. Events include:

  • Tue. 2/18 – Women’s Tennis vs. Santa Monica at 2 p.m.
  • Wed. 2/19 – Women’s Basketball vs. LA Valley at 5 p.m.
  • Wed., 2/19 – Men’s Basketball vs. LA Valley at 7 p.m.
  • Fri., 2/21 – Track and Field hosts WSC North Meet at 12 p.m.
  • Fri., 2/21 – Women’s Basketball vs. Canyons at 5 p.m. (Sophomore Night)
  • Fri., 2/21 – Men’s Basketball vs. Canyons at 7 p.m. (Sophomore Night)
  • Sat., 2/22 – Baseball vs. LA Pierce at 1 p.m.
BC President Sonya Christian.

Student Success Blossoms at BC

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, February 8, 2020… A great day to be a Renegade.

Bakersfield College student, Audrey Spears, shares her Renegade Student Success Story. Check it out:

HBCU Visits BC

This week, we kicked off Black History Month with representatives from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) converging on the Renegade Crossroads to provide an awesome transfer opportunity for our students.

There were about 20 HBCUs working with our students and providing them with information about scholarships to fund a baccalaureate degree. During this event, 57 students were admitted and a total of $1,607,452 in scholarships were awarded.

BC MESA Volunteers for STEAM

The Bakersfield Chapter of The Links, hosted the 2nd annual “Career Expo” at the Links Leadership STEM/STEAM Academy (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics). This event was held at Emerson Middle School with the goal to increase STEAM literacy for all students, especially groups of students who are underrepresented in the sciences.

BC had a few booths representing the college efforts of STEM outreach to our community.