Love Endures… Happy Easter

Good morning Bakersfield.  It is Saturday, April 15, 2017 the day before Easter and such a great day to be a Renegade.

Sean Murray April 2017 Picture TBC website

Sean Murray. Picture from TBC website

I want to start this weekend’s blog with Herb Benham’s piece titled In Times of Grief Love Endures in The Bakersfield Californian on Good Friday, April 14, 2017.  Our community lost a wonderful young man Sean Murray, a Renegade, son of Steve Murray of Murray Farms. Benham says:

 

Love is the good that comes from this and, if we are made from the same cloth as Sean, it courses through the next generation. Love is both message and mantra; as the Bible says, “It bears, believes, hopes, endures and does not end,” even as we falter.

Yes….Love bears, believes, hopes, endures and does not end…

for more see http://tinyurl.com/lllw7er

 

BC Main Campus Hosts KCCD Board of Trustees

Students

BC Students Welcoming KCCD Trustees!

On Thursday afternoon, the main BC Campus hosted the monthly Board of Trustees meeting. These meetings are normally conducted at the District location, so it was special to have the Trustees and dignitaries, as well as faculty and staff from Porterville College and Cerro Coso Community College.

The afternoon began with lunch at the Renegade Room where SGA President Matthew Frazier and SGA Officers, Dezi Von Manos, Alex Apatiga, Jose Cortez, Rayven Acosta Webb, Lawrence Salcido, and Emmanuel Limaco introduced the four pillars of the Guided Pathways project. One of my favorite quotes came from Rayven, who said “The ASL program has taught me that I have not suffered from hearing loss but blessed with Deaf Gain…Deaf can do anything; I can do engineering.” I invite you to read the script from the students which has been made available on our website here.

Pillars

 

April 13 BCSGA presenting the GPS at Board luncheonHere is a picture tweeted by Kimberly Bligh.  I love it.  The students are here with Nicky Damania, Lesley Bonds and me.  Nicky and Lesley worked with the students to get ready for the Board presentation.  Zav Dadabhoy and I were chuckling that both Nicky and Lesley were looking at the group as though they were very proud parents.  I love these students and the fabulous team of Damania and Bonds.

Sonya Christian Lesley Bonds Nicky Damania with students April 13 2017.png

Emeriti at Lunch April 13 2017

Following an informative lunch, the group moved to the Levan Center to recognize emeritus faculty and instructional administrators, and retirees. There are 27 emeriti from 2010-2016 among them with a total of 802 years of service. Of the 23 retirees of 2016-2017, they have a total of 570 years of service.  Photos are available on Smugmug.

I’d like to highlight a few of them now.

Chancellor Burke April 13 2017

Chancellor Tom Burke

Hillary Neumeister

Prof Emeritus Hillary Neumeister with KAy Meek April 13 2017

Kay Meek, Hillary Neumeister

23 years (Retired 2013)

Hillary Neumeister grew the Developmental Writing courses into thriving offerings in many locations to meet Kern County’s basic writing needs.  Under Hillary’s oversight, the BC Tutoring Center, now serving over 1000 individuals per semester on the Panorama Campus and additional individuals at the Delano Center, has had its tutor training program certified by the International College Reading and Learning Association.  Thank you Professor Emeritus Hillary Neumister for your 23 years of dedicated service to Bakersfield College. (Note: Hillay and I were in the same new faculty cohort)

Prof Emeritus Vera Diaz with Kay Meek April 13 2017

Kay Meek, Vera Diaz

Vera Diaz, Counselor       
27 years (Retired September 2014)

Vera Diaz served as an EOPS Counselor and has built very close bonds with her students and assisted in many ways to help with their education. She was truly dedicated, in particular to our first generation students.  Throughout her employment she served her BC family and community in various ways. She was a member of the Latina Leadership Network of the California Community Colleges also served on their Executive Board; she was a member of the Kern County Hispanic Educators also serving on their Executive Board. She was the Staff Diversity member on various Hiring Committees on campus. She has also received President’s Certificate of Merit under the presidency of Greg Chamberlain.

Prof Emeritus Phil Mesel with Kay Meek April 13 2017

Kay Meek, Phil Mesel

Thank you Professor Emeritus Vera Diaz for 27 years of dedicated service to Bakersfield College.

Phil Mesel, Professor, Computer Studies
30 years (Retired May 2014)

Phil Mesel has been a part of computing at Bakersfield College for a large part of our history.  His BC career started in our IT department, and even after he moved to a full time faculty position, Phil continued to assist in making sure that our labs were up to date and fully functional.  Phil served as department chair and was instrumental in the development of many of our programs, but he will be remembered by his students for his willingness to spend extra time helping them succeed.  Phil also is known for his deep work with Martial Arts.  Thank you Professor Emeritus Phil Mesel for 30 years of dedicated service to Bakersfield College.

Prof Emeritus Randy Messick April 13 2017

Kay Meek, Randy Mesek

Randy Messick, Professor, Performing Arts
30 years 10 months (Retired December 2015)

When you think of the Kern Shakespeare festival the name that comes to mind is Randy Messick.

Randy taught acting, technical theatre, Introduction to Shakespeare, Introduction to Theatre, and directed plays.  Randy’s passion was Shakespeare. For more than two decades he served as the founding director of the Kern Shakespeare Festival, bringing the Bard to thousands of Bakersfield residents every fall, directing and often performing in dozens of Shakespeare plays.  Randy has created beautiful memories for the Bakersfield Community, families who have watched Shakespeare under the stars on warm summer nights. Thank you Professor Emeritus Randy Messick for over 30 years of dedicated service to Bakersfield College.

Prof Emeritus Dale Gradek with Kay Meek April 13 2017

Kay Meek, Dale Gradek

Dale Gradek
33 years (Retired 2010)

Dale Gradek was an integral part of the welding program for three decades. He was focused on preparing students to move directly into a job or advance in a career.

He modeled the same high level of professionalism that employers look from the programs graduates. Dale also participated in the work of the college community, he served on accreditation standard teams and many other campus committees. You can still find Dale volunteering for campus events.   Thank you Professor Emeritus Dale Gradek for your 33 years of dedicated service to Bakersfield College

Arlen Mark Dommer, Engineering & Industrial Technology
(Retired May 2016)

Prof Emeritus Mark Dommer with Kay Meek April 13 2017

Kay Meek, Mark Dommer

Mark began his career at Bakersfield College teaching welding courses in the early 1980’s.

In 2003, he transitioned into a new role of leading the Construction Technology program.  For the past 22 years he has served as the only instructor providing for this program that transitioned students directly into a job or a career.  Mark also worked with students from community-based organizations to help people learn the building trade.

Thank you Professor Emeritus Mark Dommer for 35 years of dedicated service to Bakersfield College.

Pat Coyle, Professor, Family & Consumer Education
35 years (Retired June 2014)

Prof Emeritus Pat Coyle with Kay Meek April 13 2017

Kay Meek, Pat Coyle

If you have ever eaten in the BC cafeteria.
If you have ever eaten in The Renegade Room.
If you have ever attended a BC Event.
If you’ve ever eaten food at the BC Stadium or the Huddle.

If you have ever attended graduation, the Honor Brunch, Twilight in Tuscany, A Taste of the Town, Independent City, The Amgen Tour, The Ag Awards, the Forestry meetings, The Chemistry Department awards, Fireworks Show, the Sterling Silver Event, the Red & White Festival, the 100 year celebration, the Garden Festival, The BC BBQ,…

Then you know what Chef William Patrick Coyle has been doing for the last 3 decades. Keeping you from going hungry while on campus.  Chef Coyle, Professor Emeritus, thank you for 35 years of dedicated service to Bakersfield College.

Prof Emeritus Robert Reader with KAy Meek April 13 2017

Kay Meek, Robert Reader

Robert Reader, Counselor.
38 years (Retired 2010)

Robert Reader made a lasting impression on many students because he would go the extra mile. Recently, a community member shared that Robert and Larry Robinson approached him while he was in the Police Academy about continuing his education. The story goes that Robert and Larry later came to the police station to continue ‘encouraging’ him to further his education. Police Chief Lyle Martin says that if it was not for Reader and Robinson that he would not be where he is today.  What we need today are more people like Robert and Larry, counselors who made it their business to make a difference.  Thank you Professor Emeritus Robert Reader for your 38 years of dedicated service to Bakersfield College.

See a small snippet on Robert Reader in My December 24, 2016 blog at https://sonyachristianblog.com/2016/12/24/happy-holidays-from-bc/

Bill Thomas Sonya Christian Robert Reader April 13 2017

Bill Thomas, Sonya Christian, Robert Reader

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Land in Arvin

Harold Pierce reported earlier this week that the City of Arvin is donating more than 32 acres of land to KCCD for a satellite campus in the city. The piece quotes KCCD Trustee, Bill Thomas, saying “This is the most ideal situation you could ask for the higher educational needs of those communities now and for the foreseeable future.”

Check out the article at, http://tinyurl.com/luk2vfo

And on friday, April 14th, the editorial in the Bakersfield Californian was about the potential Bakersfield College Outreach Center in Arin,  Bringing Education to those who crave it.  Here is an excerpt:

It’s not just time for Arvin, though. Kern County’s binary economy, driven by oil and agriculture, needs an educational jolt, and not just so its two core industries can find reinforcements. The Kern County economy must diversify, and educating our homegrown talent is an important way to do it.

For more, read http://tinyurl.com/mq6de3r.

Joe Gurrola, a Renegade and now Mayor of Arvin, tweeted

Mayor Jose Gurrola tweets April 14 2017

Trustee and Retired Congressman Bill Thomas read out the resolution related to this item on the Board agenda.

Board of Trustees April 13 2017

CIO Conference in San Francisco

CraigHaywardDeborah Wuff

Craig Hayward, Dehorah Wuff, Sonya Christian

On Wednesday, April 12th, I presented  with Craig Hayward at the Chief Instructional Officers (CIO) conference in San Francisco on Guided Pathways.  Deborah Wuff is the CIO from Cuesta College who introduced us.  She told a story about Greg and Lara Baxley who were at BC as chemistry faculty when I was at BC as a dean.  The Baxley’s were great and it was so nice to listen to Deborah talk about them during her introduction.  The CIO is a great group of hardworking individuals.  As Chief Instructional officers at their respective colleges they have, in some ways, the toughest jobs on campus.

Ed Buckely, retired CIO, took this picture.  Ed does a newsletter, News and Views, for the CIO group.  Here is a link to the most recent edition of the nesletter.  Enjoy Ed Buckley and out fabulous CIOs http://www.ccccio.org/documents/NewsViews123s.pdf. You will notice that Dr. Michele Bresso is named the new CIO of Gavilan College.  Here is a tweet from Michele:

Michele Bresso CIO April 12 2017 about Sonya Christian

I took time to walk to walk to Embarcedero the evening I arrived in San Francisco.  What an incredible city.  Passed a little Urban Redwood Park that was wonderful.

Urban Redwood Park San Francisco April 11 2017

Urban Redwood Park in the heart of San Francisco

On a walk San Francisco April 11 2017.JPG

Embarcedero.  Just glorious

On the train back from Emeryville.  A long ride back home and the train got in late, after midnight.

Riding train from Emeryville April 12 2017.JPG

Just left Emeryville on Amtrak heading back home. Exhausted.

Love Endures

Love bears, believes, hopes, endures and does not end.

Nick Strobel in today’s Californian

nick-strobel-returning-from-precinct-oct-29-2016

Nick Strobel

Nick Strobel’s Stargazing feature was, as usual, very good.  He ends with a commentary on the Peer Review Process that we use in Higher Education in the United States for Quality Assurance.  Here is a copy and paste

 

The week before Spring Break I was at a conference about the accreditation commission that accredits the 113 community colleges in California, including Bakersfield College, plus the ones in Hawaii and the Pacific islands, such as Guam, American Samoa, Palau, and Micronesia. Accreditation is a voluntary, peer review process that is unique to American educational institutions. The peer review of accreditation reminded me of the importance of peer review in the process of scientific discovery.

Unlike the echo chambers of our social media and politics today, peer review in the science research arena is a rigorous, critical process where claims are tested and either validated or thrown out. Peer review works best if the ones who critically analyze an explanation have an alternate explanation and try to poke holes in the other person’s explanation. (Sometimes that “poking” is pretty brutal!)

In his book “The Demon-Haunted World”, Carl Sagan noted, “Perhaps the sharpest distinction between science and pseudoscience is that science has a far keener appreciation of human imperfections and fallibility than does pseudoscience.” It is possible to arrive at various interpretations of the same data or facts and to develop various explanations of the underlying causes at work. Our culture, egos, and personal beliefs provide a filter through which we interpret the data and develop explanations.

Decades of psychology and social science research have shown that our perceptions, intuitions, and even the reasoning about our intuition can lead even the best of us astray. That is why scientists lay their results open to the very critical scrutiny of others. And they agree to accept the criticism and re-submit their work when they have improved their argument through better data or give it up when the observations show that their idea does not have merit. They don’t blame the “establishment” or make personal attacks.

Finally, the peer review process gives the discovery or explanation credibility and fosters innovation as thoughts are shared and debated in an open competition of ideas. Innovation from a competition of ideas is the key to the past success of the United States.  Innovation can’t happen if government bureaucrats and politicians control the review process—that would only solidify the status quo.

Jazz Day

BC’s second annual Jazz Day was a great success. Over 10 local high schools and 3 junior highs were welcomed at the campus on the hill for the daylong event. The program included special guests, noted clinicians, a lunchtime jam session hosted by the Bakersfield Jazz Workshop, a showcase performance by the BC Jazz Ensemble directed by Kris Tiner, and a presentation of “Billie Holiday at 100” by jazz vocalist Susan Scaffidi and her Quartet.


Each student group that participated received a half-hour clinic with our panel of jazz educators before their public performance in the Indoor Theater. Altogether, nearly 400 local music students enjoyed a full day of immersion in great music – sharing, listening, and learning!

Renegade Athletics

Jeff Evans of The Bakersfield Californian published a great piece highlighting the incredible young women on the BC Tennis team. In the title he mentioned how they struggled in 2015 but now are competing as “a state power” Don’t miss his piece highlighting the fantastic turnaround of this team! http://tinyurl.com/mg8dsl3

And speaking of incredible Renegades, have you seen the piece on Jacob Bookout at Gogades.com? The article mentions, “Bookout, at the Glendale Vaquero Invitational last weekend, smashed his previous personal record jump of 6’8-set just over a month ago on March 4th at the Stanisalus Kim Duyst Invitational-by nailing a 6’11 leap that is not only a new PR for Bookout, but the best mark in California this season.” Way to go Jacob!

Culinary Arts Open House

The Food and Nutrition Program held an open house on March 29, 2017. We hosted 30 high school students from Monache High School’s Hospitality Academy. Students received information on the various Food and Nutrition programs at BC highlighting Culinary Arts and they even toured the Renegade Room and kitchen. During the tour, the kitchen was preparing Wednesdays lunch menu, so students were able to see the true culinary operations in action.

Culinary-Arts-Tour-Summary

The response from students was truly positive and they were able to see what a career in Culinary Arts would involve. One student spoke about how interesting it was to see the chefs preparing lamb.  Before coming to the Renegade Room, BC’s Outreach Department gave a tour of the entire main campus and afterwards, there was a scavenger hunt and time set aside for Q&A. Winners of the student scavenger hunt received CTE (Career and Technical Education) merchandise branded with the BC logo! How cool is that?

Culinary-Arts-Tour-Summary1

Thank you to all involved, especially the speakers: Chef Suzanne Durst, Pamela Gomez, and Lupe Aguirre.  Also to Chef Alex Gomez, Outreach tour guides Dhruvi and Veronica, and Outreach Advisor, Debbie Anderson.

Anthropology and Archaeology at BC

Anthropology and Archeology are global disciplines that we can find right here at Bakersfield College. We have Physical, Cultural, North American Indians, and Biological anthropology, and also Anthropology of Religion and Ritual. Through these courses, students can explore the world of archaeology, and it was in one of those classes that our Renegades studied the habits of their fellow cohorts. In their project, named, “Garbology”, groups had to examine two trash cans found on campus. One trashcan was found in the entryway of the administration building and the other was located by the large rock nestled in the heart of the BC campus.

garbage01

The project, supervised by Ramon Puga, was a great hands-on project as it allowed the students to categorize all of the content found to be later analyzed and used to create their reports. Throughout the experience however, it enabled the students to have a remarkable discussion on several different topics but some of those consisted of what is considered “trash” and what is considered “recycling” ? It’s not just the simple matter of what they found, but it also about looking deeper into the meaning of what they found. What does someone’s trash say about them? Can you really tell a lot about a person by what they discard? What does your trash say about you?

Last month, these same students recorded a mock archaeology site. Thank you to Behavioral Science Faculty, Krista Moreland, for sharing the awesome photos.

site1

 

The Kern County Business Academy

Jay Tamsi has been doing some amazing things over the last 3 years as the CEO of the Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.  One annual event that he and his team started is making positive changes in small businesses all around our county. This year, our own Richard McCrow, director of our Delano campus, has been working with Tamsi and the Delano Chamber of commerce to expand this wonderful business education opportunity into Delano.

The program’s 10-week course has graduated over 320 students from Bakersfield, Lamont, Arvin, Shafter and Taft.  Keep up the great work Jay!

 

Kern County Business Academy by the Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

Kern County Business Academy by the Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

 

Jay Tamsi is a great friend of Bakersfield College.

Bakersfield College was closed yesterday in observance of the Easter weekend.  Today I think is a movie day…Perhaps Beauty and the Beast.  Two weeks ago, it was Logan, a terrific x-men movie where Hugh Jackman plays Wolverine for the ninth time.  Check out the New York Times review of the movie

Talking about movies, the first trailer of the next Start Wars movie was released last friday.  Check out what the New York Times had to say

I would like to close my Easter blog with the spirit of Sean Murray, …..

Love Endures

Love bears, believes, hopes, endures and does not end.

Happy Easter Bakersfield

 

Sonya Christian April 12 2017

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Spring is in the Renegade Air

Good morning Bakersfield.  It is Saturday, April 8, 2017….a wonderful day to be a Renegade.

Rosed April 8 2017Spring is definitely in the Renegade Air in all its glory.  Let’s start with last Saturday when the community packed the BC Cafeteria for some spaghetti and Broadway.

Give My Regards to Broadway

Jen Garrett and the Chamber Singers had two back-to-back wins….The Freedom concert followed on March 24th followed by Broadway with dinner evening on April 1st.

Singers April 1 2017Incredible stamina, incredible talent, incredible dedication…… Do consider sponsoring one of them to perform at the Sydney Opera House in July 2018.  Also, do plan your vacation to Australia as well…Let’s help fill the seats of the Sydney Opera House with the Bakersfield Community watching their College Chamber Singers perform!

It was wonderful having two of our trustees at the event — Retired Congressman and Trustee Bill Thomas and his wife Sharon and Trustee Romeo Agbalog and his wife Lily.  Faculty and staff really enjoy seeing our trustees on our campuses.

Romeo Agbalog and Lily Agbalog April 1 2017

Trustee Romeo Agbalog and lily Agbalog

Sonya Christian with Lily Agbalog Sharon Thomas April 1 2017

Sonya Christian, Lily Agbalog, Sharon Thomas

Thank you Michael Turnipseed, CEO of Kerntax and his wife Nancy for joining us.  It is quite amazing how our community leaders come out to support Bakersfield College.  We also appreciated having Vice Chancellor of Ed Services John Means and his wife Julie join us.

Sonya Christian with Julie and John Means

Sonya Christian with Julie and John Means

Here are some more pictures:

The Garrett Family.JPG

The Garrett Family

The Braganza Family.JPG

The Braganza Family

 

 

You can spot Bill Thomas and Mike Turnipseed in this picture

Broadway and Spaghetti April 1 2017

You can spot Romero Agbalog in this picture

Broadway April 1 2017

Vice President Zav Dadabhoy and his wife Kushnur and Vice President Dom Chrusciel and his wife Marilyn were at the event.

Marilyn Chruciel Sonya Christian Don Chrusciel April 1 2017

Marilyn Chrusciel, Sonya Christian, Don Chrusciel

The music was phenomenal.  I wish I had captured snippets of more songs. But here are three for you to enjoy.  Sit back and listen to our BC Chamber Singers

The fabulous Ken Burdick with a beautifully romantic rendition of Dulcinea, Man from La Mancha

If you have not heard this song before, you must find the complete version on youtube and listen.  Here are the lyrics.  Just beautiful

I have dreamed thee too long,
Never seen thee or touched thee.
But known thee with all of my heart.
Half a prayer, half a song,
Thou hast always been with me,
Though we have been always apart.

Dulcinea… Dulcinea…
I see heaven when I see thee, Dulcinea,
And thy name is like a prayer
An angel whispers… Dulcinea… Dulcinea!

If I reach out to thee,
Do not tremble and shrink
From the touch of my hand on thy hair.
Let my fingers but see
Thou art warm and alive,
And no phantom to fade in the air.

Dulcinea… Dulcinea…
I have sought thee, sung thee,
Dreamed thee, Dulcinea!

Now I’ve found thee,
And the world shall know thy glory,
Dulcinea… Dulcinea!

source: http://www.lyricsondemand.com/soundtracks/m/manoflamanchalyrics/dulcinealyrics.html

One of my favorite musicals of all time is Phantom of the Opera. Not only are the stage settings incredibly beautiful, but I have vivid imagery in my mind whenever I hear the familiar sounds. The storyline is haunting and the music is connected, warm, soft, intense, strong, yet gentle…. It’s simply, magnificent. I was overjoyed when our BC Chamber Singers performed this piece at the Spaghetti Dinner last weekend.

They also performed their signature song Bridge Over Troubled Waters – a classic!

Last weekend’s event was an enjoyable evening for all who had the chance to attend. The Chamber Singers are raising funds to tour Australia in July of 2018 and to perform at the Sydney Opera House.  The delicious spaghetti dinner was provided by BC’s wonderful food services team, including Chef Eric Sabella and there were raffle giveaways.

BC Food Services

Thank you to all in attendance.

More photos are available at BC’s Smugmug. Thank you Lovie Johnson for the pictures

KCCD at the Accreditation Conference in Irvine

The Kern Community College District attended the ACCJC Conference in full force.  We are up for our accreditation site visit in October 2018 and so all three colleges along with Chancellor Tom Burke and Trustee Bill Thomas attended the conference.  Trustee Thomas is on the accreditation subcommittee of the Board.  ACCJC is a regional accrediting agency and covers California, Hawaii and the Federated States of Micronesia.  It was a full house and the conference was intense and fast paced.

Group April 5 2017.JPG

Bill Thomas, Anthony Culpepper, Nick Strobel, Jennifer Johnson, Jessica Wojtisiak, Tom Burke

One of the keynote speakers was Dr. Paul Gaston with whom I had the privileged to work with when I was in Oregon.  It was a treat reconnecting with him

Sonya Christian and Paul Gaston April 6 2017

Sonya Christian, Paul Gaston

John Means organized a dinner with the whole KCCD gang Thursday night.  Bill Moseley chose the place, Wahoo Fish Tacos.  The food was delicious.  You see in this picture Bill Henry (Porterville), Kalani Knutson (Porterville), Jessica Wojtisiak (Bakersfield), Nick Strobel (Bakersfield), John Means (District), Bill Moseley (Bakersfield), Jennfier Johnson (Bakersfield), Tom Burke (District).  Trustee Bill Thomas had to leave on Thursday so you don’t see him in the picture.  And Sam Aunai from Porterville College had to leave on Thursday as well.

KCCD at Dinner April 6 2017

KCCD at dinner 2 April 6 2017

Here is a tweet from Lesley Bonds on statewide Chancellor Eloy Oakley’s plenary at the ACCJC Conference

Eloy Oakley at ACCJC Conf April 6 2017

 

Annual Crime Victims Rights Walk

The Bakersfield College Chamber Singers had the opportunity to sing for the 5th Annual Crime Victims Rights Walk on April 4th. The event began at the County Court House and then those involved traveled on foot to Mill Creek Park. The BC Chamber Singers were waiting at the park to be a part of the closing program.  The crowd had many people holding signs depicting loved ones lost to violence.

Choirperformingatpark

Local pastors spoke and people shared stories of their lost loved ones and the Chamber Singers was visibly moved by the speeches. Their performance of “Seasons of Love”, “Come Travel With Me”, and “Bridge Over Troubled Water” were clearly from the heart and many people in the crowd sang along or shed tears during the music. Director of the Chamber Singers, Jennifer Garrett, tells me, “the BC Chamber Singers were honored to be involved in a memorable event” and I’m so glad our talented students give back to their community in ways of service like this. Thank you to all who were involved, including Heidi Scott, who reached out to connect BC’s Chamber Singers with the opportunity.

 

 

Spring was in the Renegade Air

IMG_9774 - Copy

Dezi Von Manos

Spring Fling Week was packed full of events for students to take part in. BCSGA and the Office of Student Life brought free ice cream on Monday serving 580 students with delicious ice cream sundaes while listening to the music of fellow student renegades in the Commercial Music Ensemble lead by Professor Joshua Ottum… More about that in a bit!

On Tuesday, Renegade students (and even a few staff members) tie-dyed t-shirts and hunted for one of 400 eggs all over the campus. Some students even won prizes donated by CTE to promote the upcoming Career Day on April 26th and others won gift cards to the bookstore, but all won candy!

Wednesday boasted one of the highlights of the week with the Epic Proportions Tour (nationally touring band ensembles) and the first Renegade Pizza Fest. At this event, students got to taste test pizza from five different pizza vendors and a winner was chosen. The winner will be announced at the upcoming Student Leadership and Involvement Awards ceremony on April 27th at 6pm! Don’t forget to RSVP for the event: https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/osl/awards

On Thursday, The final part of Spring Fling went out with a bang as Renegades played Laser Tag. The cool breeze of Thursday evening brought over 200 students and their families out for some real entertainment.

Photo by: Diana Martin Photography (www.DianaMartinphoto.com)

Photo by: Diana Martin Photography (www.DianaMartinphoto.com)

I need to highlight Professor Kathy Freeman who even took her entire English class to play laser tag and made an assignment out of it. She asked her students to write a 300-word descriptive essay outlining their experiences playing in or observing the event. Way to think outside the box to engage students in the Renegade community, Kathy! And thank you to the BCSGA Officers and Office of Student Life Staff for providing fun spring activities for our BC Renegades!

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BCSGA Election Results

Along with Spring Fling, BCSGA Elections came to a close, and new officers were elected for the upcoming year, but we will talk more about that next week! Congratulations to all of the candidates. 2017/18 is going to be a great year!

2017-18 SGA Leadership

BCSGA President-Elect: Dezi Von Manos

BCSGA Vice President-Elect: Lawrence Salcido Jr

BCSGA Director of Student Organizations: Dontae Smith

KCCD Student Trustee: Rayven Webb

BCSGA Senator-Elect: Erika Alvarez, Mustafa Barraj, Juan Francisco Cantu, Jose Manuel Cortez, Emmanuel Limaco, Jose E. Lopez, Brittney Lumsden-Ross, Ganae Romo, Nisha Sharma, and James Michael Tompkins.

More information about their platforms and involvement can be found on the BCSGA Elections website.

Talking about SGA, the students are presenting to the KCCD Board on April 13th when they visit the BC campus.  I got this picture from Nicky saying they were working hard preparing for the Board meeting. I love it!

SCA working hard April 6 2017

Here is a great video of Sarah Strobel advising freshman How to Succeed in College.  Students, pay attention to Sarah!  

Commercial Music Ensemble

CommercialMusic-42-XL.jpg

Monday, April 3rd, in the campus center, over 2 hours of live music was provided by the Panoramas! The Panoramas is made up of the musically talented students in the Commercial Music Ensemble course offered here at Bakersfield College.

CommercialMusic April 3 2017.jpg

Professor Josh Ottum

The Commercial Music Ensemble course lets you participate in small ensembles concentrating on popular styles, improvisation, and other aspects of commercial music performance. Students were able to enjoy cover songs from The Rolling Stones, Imagine Dragons, Gorillaz, and more. Fellow Renegades sang along and danced near the campus center stage. Everyone had a great time while listening to great music.  Now do you know why I am the luckiest and happiest college president ever……

 

What a great way to kick off spring break! Check out the great photos at https://bakersfieldcollege.smugmug.com/Commercial-Music-Ensemble

Photo by: Diana Martin Photography (www.DianaMartinphoto.com)

Jazz Day at BC

Kris Tiner hosted High School students at Jazz Day at BC.  Thank you!

John Biller Stockdale Jazz Day BC April 6 2017

Stockdale High School

Tina Raymond Rob Martens Ridgeview HS

Ridgeview High School

For mose check out Kris Tiner’s Facebook page.

Transfer Day

With graduation just around the corner and students planning to move on from BC, our counseling department is making sure students know their options! Transfer Day was held at the Center for Student Success Lawn and we had a variety of schools present as well as our very own Bakersfield College counselors. Students could talk with representatives from schools like UCLA, CSUB, and Fresno Pacific about the different programs they offered and admissions requirements. There was a lot of opportunity, information, and friendly faces to help Renegades decide on what to do next in their educational journey.  Thank you Marissa Marquez!

TransferDay-7

Culinary Arts in McFarland

CulinaryArtsStudentsI received an email worth sharing from Chef Pat Coyle about BC’s Culinary Arts class at the GEO Reentry Services, McFarland Female Community Facility, which is part of the College’s Inmate Programs. These young ladies are working towards their Certificate of Achievement in Culinary Arts from Bakersfield College. They have been in classes and production labs since July of 2016, with a completion date of December 2017. They are presently in Baking and Restaurant Production labs that feed 80-100 staff members every Wednesday. Pat tells me these young ladies have grown professionally and personally over the last 9 months and what they’ve learned has given them a light to guide their future. I am so proud of them and so glad to know these women are working towards a bright future. #WeAreBC!

Gadfly Cafe

Each month the Gadfly Café invites faculty, students, and interested others to join them in the Norman Levan Center for the Humanities in order to have in-depth conversations about various topics. This past Wednesday April 5, 2017, they discussed their last topic for the semester, “The Death Penalty: Deterrent, Racist, Barbaric?”

Everyone is welcome to join for the entire hour-long discussion or to pop in for a few moments anytime within the event. The crowded room of  students, faculty, and guests delved into the topic with many ideas and feelings on the topic. Attendees are able to discuss their thoughts and the feelings behind them, and the moderator validates all opinions and feelings for a healthy and interesting conversation. While there was no right or wrong answer or feeling towards the issue, it is thought-provoking to hear the arguments for both sides and enlightening to hear why people feel the way that they do.

gadfly03The Gadfly Café is intended to provoke deep thought and active conversation about issues that we all face today. Whether you are a Psychology or Philosophy major, or simply interested in having a healthy discussion about important matters that affect each of us in today’s society, the Gadfly Café is the ideal place to go, learn, explore, and share. Thank you Reggie Williams.

Pop Up Art Show

MichelangeloProject-3There is always something going on at the Bakersfield College campus. On Thursday, Professor Diego Gutiérrez Monterrubio and his Drawing II students hosted a pop up art show titled “The Michelangelo Project: Images of the Sistine Chapel.” Each artist chose different aspects from Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel ceiling and recreated those pieces into their own work of arts with their own stories. Like the artists, each piece was incredibly different and you can see the unique stories, dreams, and aspirations come through their pieces. Diego says that when students enroll into Drawing II they should expect to be pushed to better themselves and their techniques and skill. And as a professor, he believes it is his job to help his students get to the place they want to be in the future.

Check out the gallery at
https://bakersfieldcollege.smugmug.com/Drawing-II-Pop-Up-Art-Show/

Cheer Tryouts Underway

Students are showing their pride and talent in hopes to earn their spot as a Renegade Cheerleader. Each day this week, students learned routines and then practiced them feverishly hoping to earn their spot in the 2017-2018 squad. Candidates lined up in formation, they practiced relentlessly and perfected the moves. It’s a big commitment and requires hard work, determination, and above all, enthusiasm. Each year, we have a great turn-out of students who are interested in joining the squad.

The students will have opportunities to perform at various sporting events and competitions throughout the semester and also be a part of a close knit cheer family.  Students are required to maintain at least a 2.0 GPA and be attending as a fulltime student during the semesters that they are on the squad. Watching the squad members from the previous year breaking down each step of the routine to the new hopefuls and making sure that they knew the counts and how to place hands, feet and legs was a testament to their dedication to the sport and school. In the Fall when you attend a sporting event to cheer on the players and support your school with pride and spirit, make sure you also cheer on those who are there cheering on the players. Regardless of your role at Bakersfield College, everyone can show their pride and enthusiasm and cheer on the Renegades!

MESA STEM Pre-Health Conference

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BC in collaboration with UCLA’s Médicos, Enfermeros y Dentistas Para El Pueblo (MEDPEP) and UCLA Undergraduate Admissions, hosted the 1st Annual MESA Bakersfield College Science, Technology, Engineering, Math (STEM) and Pre-Health Conference on Saturday, April 1st. This one-day conference inspired students to learn and to network with different health/STEM professionals, health system agencies, college advisors, financial aid counselors, and student organizations who want to mentor students and help them pursue the health care profession or STEM career that best matches their interest and talents. Photos are available at https://bakersfieldcollege.smugmug.com/MESA-STEM-PreHealth-Conference/

MESA and Stephen Waller

Chevron Design Challenge

Bakersfield College had the opportunity to host the 2017 Chevron Design Challenge on Saturday, April 1st and it was quite the event!

From Mary Jo Pasek’s Facebook post

 

Teams were composed of three students who have completed, or are currently enrolled in, a Project Lead the Way Introduction to Engineering Design class. All students were either freshmen or sophomores from local high schools and had never competed before. Each team was given the design brief the morning of the competition and had the entire day to work together to create an original design that met the design specifications given for a unique set of headphones. Throughout the day, teams were required to submit sketches, assembly drawing, parts drawings, and an exploded view with Parts List for judging. Additionally, at the end of the day, they had to give a short presentation on their product to a panel which consisted of engineers, an architect, a geologist, and music industry representatives. Teams were judged on everything from originality, to marketability, to professionalism of presentation. Teachers, judges, and support staff crowded around all day watching young minds realize their thoughts and ideas into an actual creation that we could all see. We literally got to see dreams come to life! There were prizes for the top 5 winners and the top 3 winners will go on to State Finals but every participant got the opportunity to do something great that day. All in all, it was a wonderful STEM Saturday at Bakersfield College!

Thank you to: Adam Alvidrez (Chevron), Bruce Westermo (PLTW), Darren Willis (BC), Eddie Ledbetter (BC), and Yadira Guerrero (BC).

Judges were: John Karnes (Klassen), Keyron Mackey (Klassen), Jackie Weeks (Chevron), Noe Garcia (HOT 94.1), Emmanuel Vasquez (DJ and former Chevron Engineer)

And the participating schools: North High, Garces Memorial High, Greenfield High, Harmony Magnet Academy (1st place), Centennial High (3rd place), Lindsay High, Sanger High, Bakersfield High, Redwood High, Shafter High (5th place), Mission Oak High 4th place), and Frontier High (2nd place).

Thank you to the Bakersfield Californian for the great coverage!  Here is the article:

http://www.bakersfield.com/news/how-many-ways-can-you-design-headphones-young-minds-answer/article_a0129590-53ba-57ee-a496-011b45998c5e.html

Campout Against Cancer

Each year to raise money for the Kern County Cancer Fund, a weekend “Campout Against Cancer” is filled with fun family activities and entertainment. Last Saturday, BC’s Student Nursing Association camped out and volunteered a community service booth and gave health info and took blood pressures. Mayor Karen Goh shared a few photos on Facebook from the event!

BC Students in Seattle for MECHA Conference

This year’s 24th National M.E.CH.A Conference in Seattle, Washington, with over 600 students attending from high schools and colleges across the nation.

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It is a three-day event consisting of group discussions and introductions, workshops, seminars, and fun moments. Workshops range from cultural experiences and awareness to leadership skills and training, happening over the first two days. Of those in attendance, students Francis Benavente and Emmanuel Limaco enjoyed the experience of meeting several individuals whose goals in life include higher education and providing avenues for the younger generations to follow in their footsteps toward success and community involvement.

17635404_1259187830862325_2363984312208109468_oOne topic in discussion was the stand against the building of new youth detention centers in favor of funding more educational institutions and access to higher education as a method of inspiring the youth of our country.

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This is the mural that all of the attendees painted to represent the central theme of Freedom through Education.

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Renegade Athletics

 

The BC Women’s Tennis Team set a school record this season by winning 18 matches on their way to winning a share of the Western State Conference Championship! But they aren’t done earning accolades; this weekend they are out of town competing in the WSC Individuals Championship.

WomensTennisBefore match play began, All-Conference Awards were handed out and Sophomore Riley Tucker was named 1st Team All-Conference twice! Once for singles play, and once more with her doubles partner Brittany Aguilar. Tucker was undefeated in conference play as both a singles player and a doubles player! Awesome job, Riley!

Serena Contreras and Arianna Acevedo also earned First Team All Conference honors for their doubles play, while Contreras earned Second Team All Conference Honors for her singles play.

Coach Nick Loudermilk is only in his second season, but he’s accomplished exactly what AD Sandi Taylor tasked him with; bringing women’s tennis to a highly competitive level. Coach Loudy, you rock!

The BC Track and Field and Swimming Teams are both just two weeks away from their conference meets, so things are heating up around the Gil Bishop Sports Center!

Memorable moments:

I Love Reading your Comments in my blog!

Last weeks post had 7 comments.  Go check it out 🙂

One of the comments was from a Renegade graduate from class 1962, Celia Mickey. She said

Dear Dr. Sonya Christian, Just want to thank you for your weekly Blogs. They really help keep those of us in this All-America City very connected to what’s happening on the hill at 1801 Panorama Drive. Love seeing the involvement of the students and various community guests. I am sure the students at B.C. feel deeply appreciated as evidenced from these weekly blogs. It is so good for our community to be reminded of the rich curriculum and expanded activities offered at Bakersfield College.

Once again, thank you Dr. Christian for taking time out of your busy schedule each week to share all this with the Bakersfield Community.

I was so excited to read Celia’s post and I emailed her right away and requested two photos… one from 1962 and then a more recent one.  Here they are.  Just beautiful……

#WeAreBC!

 

Loved this text from Lisa Kent

Omgeeeeee. Her baby is only 4 days old and this student Tamara was here getting her paperwork in order for gradution!! Talk about dedication!

Loved seeing this post from Mayor Karen Goh announcing the Women with a Heart for Bakersfield.  Here is our very own Olivia Garcia as one of the women.  Karen Goh’s post

Congratulations to Garden Pathways 2017 “WOMEN WITH A HEART FOR BAKERSFIELD” honorees: EDNA CORNFORTH, KATE EUCCE, OLIVIA GARCIA, and KATIE WERDEL. Garden Pathways will recognize these outstanding women at our fifteenth annual HIGH TEA on Wednesday, May 10 at 11:30 a.m. (11:00 social) at Seven Oaks Country Club.

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Writing about our music programs resulted in me playing my favorite songs as I was blogging.  So let me sign off with one of my faves.

Sonya Christian cropped March 2017

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

An Absolutely Uplifting Week at BC

Good morning Bakersfield.  It is Saturday, April 1, 2017 and just a fabulous day to be a Renegade.

This past week the campus has been abuzz with activities…..an absolutely uplifting week.

Here is an email with a picture that I got from Francis Mayer.

This is an image I grabbed last week while running errands on campus.  For me, it captures the essence of BC. The father (or father type) is standing beneath the shade of a beautiful tree adjacent to the LA building, and he’s smiling and his posture is relaxed..on second viewing, we see that his two munchkins are scrambling up the arms of this generous tree…and all is well.

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Is Mom attending classes? Is he enjoying a break with his children before attending classes? While both are lovely notions, in the end it doesn’t matter. BC is a place that is perfect for everyone.

Indeed it is Francis…..BC is a place that is perfect for everyone. #WeAreBC

Here is another great picture I snapped as I rushed out of the Office of Student Success and Equity,  Shauna Turner and her two boys.

Shauner Turner and her two boys March 2017

Let me start with yesterday, when Bakersfield celebrated the inaugural Cesar Chavez Day with a breakfast organized by David Villarino.

1st Annual Cesar Chavez Legacy Breakfast

It was a beautiful morning celebrating the life of an absolutely inspirational and life changing man. We remember Cesar as a great labor organizer. He gave voice to the voiceless; he became a face for the invisible, and an advocate for social justice. He was a servant for his community and a champion of education as a means leading toward a better life.  Cesar once said, “The end of all education should surely be service to others.” It was fitting that the morning recognized Chancellor emeritus of the Kern Community College District and Bakersfield College’s 7th president, Sandra Serrano.

Sandra Serrano reciving the award from David Villarino March 31 2017

Sandra Serrano receiving the award

With a powerful combination of a strong legal mind, a compassionate heart, and passion for education, there was no one better suited to influence our higher educational community than Sandra Serrano. Her educational leadership is a gift; her work for the community at the local, regional, state and national levels is emblematic of education in service to others.

At the state and national level, she has lived a life of service:

  •    As a member of the Finance and Operations Committee for the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.
  •    On many boards and committees for the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities.
  •    As President of the oard for the Chief Executive Officers of California Community Colleges;
  •    As Chair of the Board for the Community College League of California;
  •    and as a member of the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office Consultation Council.

…  just to name a few.

At the regional level, she has served on:

  •    The Board of Directors for the Kern Economic Development Corporation and
  •    The Central Valley Higher Education Consortium and
  •    The California Council for the Humanities

… just to name a few.

Sandra has served this community over and over, in ways that are visible and in ways that have gone unrecognized. Her work has touched so many lives. Her life of service is part of the strength of our community. It would take more time than I have just speaking to all that she’s done for Bakersfield College – that she’s done for the Kern Community College District, and the thousands and thousands of lives that have been touched, whether they knew it or not, by her work.

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Sandra Serrano, Tom Burke, Sonya Christian

It was an honor to introduce this quiet, sincere, dedicated, fearless, and dynamic woman who has committed her life and her education in service to others.  Thank you David Villarino for putting together the first annual Cesar Chavez Legacy Breakfast, and thank you also for giving me the opportunity of introducing the first recipient of the Cesar Chavez Legacy award.

There were so many dignitaries in the room.  At the main table there was Supervisor Leticia Perez who is a great supporter of education in general and Bakersfield College in particular.  Then there was Assembly Member Rudy Salas who introduced the keynote speaker, Mayor Anthony Villaraigosa.  When it was my time to speak I shared the story of how Rudy Salas made BC feel so special when i went up to Sacramento to testify to the Senate Budget Committee.

 

It was a joy to see familiar faces at the event, including Chris Cruz, a BC student who works at St. Francis and dedicated his free time to supporting Measure J. It’s incredible to see our BC students contributing to their communities and giving back to the organizations important to them.

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Sonya Christian, Heidi Scott

I also had the opportunity to finally meet the “voice of an angel” Heidi Scott, the director of music and liturgy at the parish. I mentioned hearing Heidi sing in my blog a few weeks ago titled, “Every Day is Something to Celebrate” – Check it out here. She truly is gifted and talented and her voice can inspire and touch my soul.

We had a BC table… of course.

BC at Cesar Chavez Breakfast March 31 2017

Manuel Rosas, Chelsea Esquibias, Victor Diaz, Sonya Christian, Olivia Garcia, Lisa Kent,       Yvonne Almendaris, Maria Wright

Love this picture of Chelsea and Lisa….girls just wanna have fun…..

Chelsea Esquibias Lisa Kent March 31 2017

Chelsea Esquibias, Lisa Kent

The students from FIELD (Farm worker Institute for Education and Leadership Development) helped out with the event.  Lisa snapped this picture with Manuel and me with the Field Students in the background.

Field students March 31 2017

Inspiring post by Professor Bryan Hirayama

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Professor Hirayama with his Distinguished Teaching Award

Speaking of being inspired, Professor Bryan Hirayama wrote a powerful post in the blog detailing his experiences in Bakersfield College’s Inmate Education Program illustrating the depths of the prison industrial complex and how hard we’ll need to work to change the perceptions of incarcerated people in the United States. When people are released out of jail, they’re often told by correctional officers, “We’ll leave the light on for you.” It’s a cynical reference to an old marketing campaign that’s meant to imply that the person getting out of jail is almost certain to come back. Correctional officers know the realities of recidivism rates and the difficulties people on probation or parole face when they go back into society, and many have become numb to the fact that they’re part of an institution that houses more prisoners than any country in the world.

In Bryan’s blog, he describes how he was able to cut through this cynicism for a moment and create an opportunity for the staff to consider why saying “we’ll leave the light on for you” might be a cruel twist of the knife for those inmates who are genuinely striving to rehabilitate themselves.

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Talking about Inmate Education, Chelsea Esquibias partnered with the Opportunity Institute to host the first meeting to Serve Our Formerly Incarcerated Students.  The “Corrections to College California” forum was sponsored by Opportunity Institute/Renewing Communities and Stanford Law School/Stanford Criminal Justice Center. Community partners included Bakersfield College, CSU Bakersfield, Sheriff’s Office, Probation, Parole, Garden Pathways, MAOF.  Chelsea and BC students spoke on panels.

Mayor Karen Goh welcomed the numerous community partners and members of the justice system including CDCR, Lerdo Jail, and the Parole Dept.  Chelsea Esquibias of Bakersfield College, Dr. Jacqueline Mimms of CSUB, and Lisa Stephens of Cerro Coso presented on their school’s initiatives.  The meeting allowed the community to partner with the colleges to build student success for our formerly incarcerated students.  Thank you to the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office for attending and the continuous support.

Thank you Chancellor Tom Burke for attending the event.

Celebrating the life of Danell Ward

The BC community lost one of our own this month, Child Development Center Director, Danell Ward. Danell’s time with us was too short but her impact was meaningful and lasting. Those who knew her, understand how much she loved Tinkerbell, from Disney’s Peter Pan. There is a saying, “’All you need is faith, trust and a little pixel dust” which Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg mentioned during the memorial. She said it best through her heartfelt words, “Danell was generous with her faith in others and her trust that there was a better tomorrow was boundless. I am sure that whenever you need a little pixie dust, she has left some behind for you…….. So in her memory, have a little more faith in others than you think is necessary, always trust that tomorrow will be better, and remember that a little pixie dust is always available to you.”

My closest interaction with Danell was in Summer 2015, when the administrative team decided to add in a little fun into our summer planning retreats.  Check out my October 15, 2015 blog for more http://tinyurl.com/mv6ovgd

The entire admin council was divided into groups and Danell was in the group along with Ramon Puga, Liz Rozell, Odella Johnson and myself.  We were supposed to pick and song and lipsync in a competition.  Before any of us could volunteer a song, Danell enthusiastically presented that we should do I wanna be like you from Jungle Book.  And although none of us were thrilled with the selection, who could dare go up against the enthusiastic Danell.  So here you see us performing on the day of our competition.  Danell got sick the previous day and could not join us, so we asked Manny Mourtzanos to join us in her stead.  Enjoy seeing us making complete fools of ourselves in all earnestness and remember Danell and her pixie dust.

Annual International Faculty Appreciation Dinner

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The Annual International Faculty Appreciation Dinner took place on Wednesday and is about building bridges of friendship among international students and their invited faculty guests. The international students plan cultural shows and a formal dinner, as they acknowledge BC faculty who work so diligently every day to ensure that the engine of progress never stops moving.

This event is a joint effort by ISA
(International Student Affairs program ) and  the ISO( International Student Organization). Last night’s event brought together approximately 80 students and faculty for an evening of storytelling, cultural immersion, and  international food; prepared by our own Chef Eric Sabella. You’ll have to check out the photos with the delicious looking international cuisine. This year our international students come from 20 different countries. The largest number of students are from India, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, and Indonesia. More pictures are available here!

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Petro Stories at BC’s Levan Center

Thursday evening March 23rd in the Levan Center 20-25 students discussed the Oil Age, Symbolism of Oil. Guest speaker from UC Davis a young rising star in the growing field of ecocriticism, which examines the relationship between literature and the physical environment.

Petro StoriesKern County is one the most prolific oil-producing counties in the state of California. In fact, Kern County is the fourth largest oil-producing region in the entire country. Kern County produces 66% of the oil in California, about 10% of the U.S. oil supply, and approximately 1% of the world’s total oil production. That works out to about 560,000 barrels of oil per day, which at $12 to $15 per barrel is something similar to $2.4 billion to $3.0 billion worth of oil every year.

Petro culture studies Michael Ziser says Oil is everywhere. It’s in the clothes we wear, the cars we drive, the roads we drive on and the buildings we live in. Its production employs us and its sale sustains our booming economy. Our lives, our cities, our world are shaped by oil, from the arrangement of streets to the arrangement of geopolitics. According to Ziser, our culture’s investment in oil is not just material, but symbolic as well. If we can recognize the power of oil as a symbol, we just might be able to separate myth from reality, and make more sensible decisions about a sustainable future.

JoshOttum,VanessaEmmett

Commercial Music Professor Josh Ottum also spoke at the event. I recently ran into him with his wife Vanessa and son Emmet at the Haggin Oaks Farmers Market where one of my favorite things to pick up is the fresh, local produce. If you’ve never been, it’s a real treat and you never know who you’ll bump into! You might even catch me at my favorite stand with the sweetest, most delicious oranges.

Speaking of Josh, he recently shared with me a promotional video created by his students highlighting the Commercial Music Program at BC! Check it out at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZH1d7ODRQA

Renegade Athletics

Bakersfield College Athletics is a valuable extension of our college that takes folks who want to improve themselves and gives them the tools to do so!

Baseball: Last week, I told you that we’d talk about a baseball player who has made a name for himself this season, and he has done so by taking advantage of resources like BC’s Baseball Coach Tim Painton.

Luke Andrews pitched for Bakersfield College last season, but this season he has been a revelation! According to Coach Painton, he has bought into our program 100 percent, and the results have been phenomenal. He’s walked just eight batters in 64 innings pitched! I am not a baseball expert, but friends who follow baseball tell me this is excellent! Coach Painton says Andrews did this by working hard in the offseason and having faith in hard work! Now he is drawing attention from top scouts, so we know his experience at BC is going to take him places, whether that’s to a professional baseball career or a four year degree. Way to go, Luke!!

Cross Country: Speaking of going places, Cross Country runner Emily Freeman was recently entered into the California Community College Athletic Association’s prestigous Scholar Honor Roll at the CCCAA Spring Convention in Concord, CA.

Athletic Director Sandi Taylor and her indispensable partner, Associate Athletic Director Keith Ford, were both in attendance to honor Emily as she was recognized for her achievement in both athletics and academics.

Emily Freeman, you know what’s coming…You rock!!

Emily Freeman with Sandi Taylor and Keith Ford MArch 2017

BC Swimming hosted The Bakersfield College Relays last weekend, and while Clovis came out on top as a team, Coach Matt Moon was happy with the day for more reasons than wins and losses. Wasco High School’s team came and watched the Relays today, and they got to watch alumni like Steve Santana turn in great performances. Santana is the first college attendee in his family, and he will attend University of California, Santa Barbara in the fall to study Chemistry.

“My family immigrated to this country, so they don’t understand the gravity of me getting in a UC,” Santana told Sports Information Director Francis Mayer, “But swimming really showed me how hard I can work. I wasn’t the best student in high school, and I wasn’t the fastest swimmer. But coming to BC showed me just how hard I need to work, and how it’s possible for me to keep up if I try and apply myself. This was life-changing.”

Harlan Hunter

The BC Track and Field team also competed last weekend, and I know high jumper Jacob Bookout is having another great season. It’ll be exciting to see what he can do at the next level! It was great to see Harlan Hunter, faculty member in Criminal Justice, volunteering his time to help out with track and field.  I snapped this picture of Cesar Patino, sophomore from Wasco High School in the relay where BC placed third.

Cesar Patino March 2017

Cesar Patino

Making Transfer Opportunities a Reality

National University was on Campus Wednesday March 29th to connect with as many Bakersfield Students as possible. Rita Jones and Oscar Hernandez were just a couple of the NU staff available to meet and greet the BC students and help answer all of their questions. Some of the most popular programs asked about was the Bachelor of Science in Nursing-RN completion as well as the Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education. They are also the only local university to offer a Bachelor and Master’s degree in Communication. The members of NU were on location from 10 am to 2 pm where they also gave students a chance to spin and win fun NU gear and were also passing out hotdogs and drinks to all those who stopped by. In all, more than 250 BC students stopped to obtain information and speak to the helpful NU associates. As students make it to the end of their time at BC and are considering their options to move to the next step in their academic year, it is opportunities such as these that allow students to have a full array of information and options.

You might remember, BC recently hosted a HBCU Caravan Tour of Historically Black Colleges and Universities. I covered it in my recent blog entry here. This week, I was informed by Lisa Kent that 60!!!  total number of acceptances were provided at this years HBCU event and scholarships amounted to $657,480.00! These opportunities are fantastic for our students

High School Students going to College

I was so excited to see the news that KHSD and CSUB have created a University Promise that codifies and clarifies student pathways from high school to university.  Here is a photo of Superintended Bryon Schaefer, KHSD) and President Horace Mitchell, CSUB, with the beautiful Brenda Lewis.

KHSD CSUB University Promise March 2017

Taft College has Taft College Promise.  BC’s sister campus, Cerro Coso Community College will be announcing the Kern Promise in the Ridgecrest area on April 4th.  And to round off the College Promises being made in our County, BC working in partnership with BCSD, KHSD, and CSUB will be making an announcement on April 28th.  Exciting times!  and great collaboration among the different education sectors.

Check out Harold Pierce’s article in The Bakersfield Californian at http://tinyurl.com/l7lwl72

Project MALES

On Thursday evening, Dr. Emmet Campos and Dr. Victor Saenz, two researchers from the University of Texas at Austin discussed their Project MALES (Mentoring to Achieve Latino Educational Success, which is Texas’ boys & men of color) program at BC. Specifically, they highlighted how K-12, the community colleges, and Texas universities have been working together. They tailored their presentation around projects that our K-12 system, Bakersfield College, and the CSU system might work together on in the future.

Dr. Emmet Campos, Dean Rodriguez, Dr. Victor Saenz, Dr. Mark Martinez

Dr. Emmet Campos, Dean Rodriguez, Dr. Victor Saenz, Dr. Mark Martinez

The goal is to highlight how different education systems can create successful education pathways to graduation for boys and men of color. But it’s especially towards highlighting how Ed.D. / Ph.D. programs and institutes of higher education can do more than provide teachers, by also providing faculty mentors, assessment, and real time research of local education programs. You can check out UT Austin’s Mentoring to Achieve Latino Educational Success program online at http://diversity.utexas.edu/projectmales/

Project MALES March 30 2017.jpg

Dr. Victor Saenz, Dr. Mark Martinez, Dr. Sonya Christian, Mayor Jose Gurrola, Dr. Emmet Campos

It was great seeing so many friends of Bakersfield College.  Here is a picutre of attorney Win Eaton with Miguel Orozco a screenplay writer from Southern California

Win Eaton and Miguel Orozco

Win Eaton and Miguel Orozco

It was great seeing Jeff Flores and Camilla Chavez at the event.  And thank you Dr. Mark Martinez for your collaboration with BV.

Here is a photo of incredible program managers at BC who make things happen.

Lisa Kent, Shanell Tyus, Maria Wright

Lisa Kent, Shanell Tyus, Maria Wright

 

The Art of the Selfie

So many incredible speakers have made their way to BC this week, including Crystal Galindo who shared with a large group of students and faculty, “The Art of the Selfie”.  This exhibit highlighted the Chicana culture, in particular, selfies of the artist herself. In true form of celebrating Women’s Month, Crystal shared her ideas on the stereotypes that surround many women today and how her hope is that her art will show that beauty comes in all shapes, sizes, and colors. As a Latina woman, she felt that it was important to showcase artwork that would reach a wider audience. As an art student at Sonoma State University, her art professors often were critical of her work telling her that she should, “make it less Mexican” so that she would appeal to a wider audience. Crystal knew passion and what started off as a tribute to herself later turned into a form of self-expression and celebration.

Crystal

Crystal Galindo, Photo by Amber Smithson

 

She hoped that her art would speak to those who are not typically portrayed in art and therefore after her show “The Art of the Selfie” her drive to connect with others pushed her to start painting others, those that maybe she had never met in person but had seen the beauty in them. Before she knew it, her artwork was being requested from all of the United States due to her marketing on social media. She soon moved to the bay area where her art shows have been on display and she has been welcomed with warm accolades for her work and portrayal of Latina’s. Regardless of the size jeans you where, the style of your hair, or the color of your skin, as women we must learn to appreciate every inch of ourselves. Take a selfie, strike a pose, but above all find your self-beauty and love yourself!

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Photo by Amber Smithson

On Thursday, March 30th, I dropped by another presentation in our WHAM series– The Evolution of the Selfie: Deconstruction of the Female from 1400 to the Present”

Panel WHAM March 30 2017

Bakersfield College faculty Andrea Thorson & Erin Miller joined Taft College’s Jessica Grimes, faculty of English, & Faheemah Salahud-Din, Executive Director of First and Always Melanin (FAAM), to address the historical & social constructions of femininity, as well as the power these stereotypes continue to exert through language, self-presentation, & individual interpretation.  Tina Mendoza moderated the event.

It was a treat to see the roomful of students and community members to hear from these powerful women speakers.

Here are photos from Olivia Garcia’s Facebook post

Fireside room packed March 30 2017

Group at WHAM event March 30 2017

Juan Felipe Herrera at The Levan Center

Writing about poetry can be one of the most demanding tasks that many students face in a literature class. Poetry by its very nature requires dedication and makes demands on writers who attempt to analyze it, in ways that other forms of literature do not. So it was no surprise on Wednesday March 29th that over a hundred students and faculty attended an evening to remember inside of the Indoor Theater.

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Juan Felipe Herrera. Photo: Lovie Johnson

American poet, author, and activist, Juan Felipe Herrera became the poet laureate of the United States in 2015. He was the first Hispanic to serve in that position and is best known for his autobiographical poems on immigration, Chicano (Mexican American) identity, and life in California. Herrera is also a performance artist and activist on behalf of migrant and indigenous communities and at-risk youth. Herrera spent his early years living in tents and trailers in farm communities around Southern California. He shares his life’s information eagerly, and wants his audience to relate to his struggle in life. Encouraging young poets to write poems on anything, even PG&E bills. He shows the audience a son of a migrant farmworkers whose writing fuses wide-ranging experimentalism with reflections on Mexican-American identity through poetry. Herrera, who recently retired as a professor at the University of California, Riverside, mentioned he would use his new position to encourage young poets, and non-poets, to find their voices.

I loved this Facebook post from Olivia Garcia

Juan Felipe Herrera and Olivia Garcia March 29 2017

What a priceless moment it was for me to see my former Chicano literature/poetry professor Juan Felipe Herrera deliver a powerful presentation this evening at Bakersfield College. I even got a chance to introduce my students to him. Here was a Central Valley boy who became the U.S. poet laureate. Like his wife Margarita said, he’s still influencing and inspiring minds, young and old. Thank you, Juan Felipe.

Community Town Hall

BC students, their families, and members of the neighboring Bakersfield community were invited to the Levan Center on Thursday, March 30th to engage in a town hall on issues of immigration law. The event was hosted by the Immigration Justice Collaborative (IJC) in collaboration with CSUB and Bakersfield College. The IJC is a network of twelve lawyers who volunteer their time to host these town halls in various locations in Kern County, to educate our community on their constitutional rights in the United States. Panel discussions were presented in both English and Spanish, and were followed by the opportunity for attendees to engage in one-on-one discussions with local lawyers. The event was organized by Dr. Mark Martinez, Department Chair of Political Science at CSUB, Jay Tamsi President/CEO of the Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Lisa Kent, Program Manager for Equity and Shanell Tyus, Program Manager for Student Support and Success Program.

Many of the attorney’s you see on this program are on the advisory committee for BC’s Pre-Law program.  Thank you!

Immigration Forum (1)

The Renegade Room, Fine Dining at the Campus on the Hill.

I’m constantly impressed by the level of elegance at BC’s Renegade Room, our public restaurant operated by the students enrolled in the Culinary Arts program. This past Wednesday, an exquisite lamb burger was on the menu and I can tell you now… it was juicy and tender, absolutely incredible.

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The goal for the Renegade Room is to have students learn professionalism and service industry standards in a fast-paced, realistic environment. The program entails classes in Nutrition, Cost Control, Supervision, Management, Baking, Food Production, Dining Room Services and Sanitation. Master Chef Suzanne Durst, Chef Alex Gomez, and Chef Anna Melby have over  fifty-years’ experience and  everyone is still  anxious, even the staff when it’s time to open up for the day. The Renegade Room is not even simply room at all, but an affordable upscale restaurant. It’s a great way to enjoy a fine dining experience and one of the best reasons to visit the campus on the hill.

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Next time you want to have a night out on the town, start with dinner reservations at The Renegade Room on Tuesdays or Thursdays… or plan your next business lunch for Wednesday afternoon. You won’t be disappointed, and the students appreciate your support.

Let Freedom Sing

Let Freedom ring….Let Freedom Sing! Last Friday, the Bakersfield College Choir and Chamber singers did just that, conducted by Dr. Jennifer Garrett and accompanied by Patrick Bender, performing a remarkable tribute to the various aspects of freedom.

 

The first half of the concert was dedicated to all those who helped each and every one of attain and maintain the freedoms we hold true today. The Choir and Chamber Singers came together in perfect harmony to sing the National Anthem, after which Dr. Garrett took a moment with the audience to show appreciation for all the Veterans in attendance. As each of the Veterans stood, scattered throughout the seats of the indoor theater, the audience erupted in applause of great gratitude. It’s moments like these that give me chills. I’m proud that #weareBC!

Guest artists accompanied the BC Choir and Chamber singers throughout the night such as, Audrey Boyle on flute, Marla Hansen on violin, and Kris Tiner playing the trumpet.

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Here is a solo piece by Ken Burdick that I posted last week but felt I should repeat.

The second half of the performance was a beautifully commissioned piece written for the BC Choir by Dr. Ron Kean entitled “The Journey of Harriet Tubman”.  This multipart multimedia piece written by Dr. Kean in collaboration with his daughter Hannah was magnificent.  Dr. Garrett and her students also contributed to its creation.  Here is an excerpt with Caley Mayhall that I posted last week and here it is again.

The Bakersfield College Choir has an immense amount of talent and they are in the process of making arrangements to travel to Sydney Australia in June 2018 where they hope to have the great privilege of performing at the famous Sydney Opera House.  So I have two asks of you community members: (1) plz help fund this trip for our students and (2) mark your calendars to take you summer 2018 vacation in Australia and let’s pack the Sydney Opera House with the Bakersfield Community supporting its college.

 

Tonight, they will host a fundraising dinner with choral entertainment themed around Spaghetti Dinner and Broadway. If you have other plans for tonight, change them 🙂  Stop by the BC Cafeteria. The show begins at 5:30 and limited tickets are still available. $15 per person at the door.

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 Levan Faculty Colloquium:

I stopped by the indoor theater on Friday, March 31st,  packing in as many events as I could to support our faculty, staff and students at BC.  Dr. Ron Kean, this year’s recipient of the award, discussed his composition process in three recent commissions including a live performance of the Bakersfield College choirs singing, “Follow the River/The Journey of Harriet Tubman.” This is a five-movement work that incorporates eight African American spirituals in a West African musical framework. “The White Birds,” by W. B. Yeats, is composed in a traditional Irish musical style. “The Rose That Bare Jesu” is a setting of a 14th century English poem using antique style features. These techniques will be discussed and demonstrated in a presentation that is dedicated to the artist in all of us.

Ron opened with the songs Wade in the Water and Sometimes I feel like a Motherless Child.  Check out this excerpt.  Just beautiful.  So happy for so much talent at BC….so much dedication….. I am the luckiest and happiest college president event.

Math Articulation Day

Math articulation day March 31 2017

Math Articulation Day was celebrated yesterday as a way to build strong relationships across the independent institutions that serve our communities students. BC math faculty, as well as faculty from local high schools, CSUB, Taft College, Cerro Coso and Porterville Colleges, and math specialists from BCSD gathered to exchange ideas, update each other on curriculum changes and discuss strategies to increase student success. Workshops throughout the day included, dual enrollment, acceleration and compressed courses, “laugh with math” programs, planetarium shows, and using the robotics lab and 3-D printers. Free t-shirts were given to all attendees.

Thank you to Regina Hukill and the entire Math Department for all your work in hosting this great day.

Was so happy to see all of Mary Jo Pasek’s post on Facebook about our Math Articulation Day.  Thank you Mary Jo for all that you do.

Here is a copy of the email Regina sent out after the event:

Hello All—

Math Articulation Day was a lot of fun!  We had around 60 people attend including math instructors from BC, Porterville, Cerro Coso, Berkeley (yes, Eddie Ham was here in the flesh!), UC Davis, CSUB, and KHSD.  We had about a dozen BC students who participated as well.

We appreciate the College Futures Grant which funded the event and paid for the food and t-shirts.  Claudia Sandoval, the representative for the College Futures Grant was also briefly in attendance.  The BC staff for Dual Enrollment helped in getting all the purchases completed through the grant, so we want to thank Cindy Collier, Marissa Jeffers, and Anna Laven.

Many thanks to all of you who worked on this event:  Math Faculty–Tom Greenwood, Kurt Klopstein, Kris Toler, Mike Fredenberg, Alba Romero, Jon Brown, and Donna Starr.  Other BC Faculty—Erica Menchaca, and Nick Strobel.   CSUB Faculty—Charles Lam.  KHSD Math Specialist—Kyle Atkin.  BC Students—Freddy Padilla, Isabelle Recinos, Kevin Starr, Tyler Starr, Devin Serna, Patrick Chao, Allyson Milburn, and Emily Davis.

We also want to thank our dean, Steve, who supported us in putting on this event, and his staff Janet Thomas and Heather Barajas.

And, a special thank you to Josh Lewis who worked diligently to set up the speakers, write the agenda, help with the planning, and who was the MC for the day.

We do have some t-shirts left, so if anyone who couldn’t attend Math Articulation Day wants a t-shirt, please come see me, or send me your shirt size and I’ll put one in your mail box.

Great Day!  Great Fun!

Regina Hukill

Some posts from twitter:

Kimberly Bligh tweet math articulation day Nick Strobel March 31 2017

Kimberly Bligh tweet Erica Menchaca

Kimberly Bligh Kris Toler Math Articulation Day

BC’s incredible Automotive Program:

BC’s automotive program is very much integrated with our business and industry partners in the community.  Here is a Facebook post from faculty member Andrew Haney

Starting in August I ventured into the process of writing a grant. I had no idea what I was doing but had some great help from faculty member that did. They guided and directed me with great experience. Today I was able to finalize all the purchases that the grant awarded to us. I ordered four (4) new factory level software subscriptions to use on the factory scan tools and one new factory scan tool for Chrysler.

I went to Three Way Chevrolet and signed the purchase agreement for the Brand new 2017 Chevrolet Bolt and will have it on Monday on campus, it will be used in training new technologies to student and for program promotion and business when needing to get around town. I then confirmed the order is placed and will be shipping soon for a brand new Generation 3 smog machine which if we did not get Bakersfield College would have lost our Smog and Emissions training certification program from the state. All said and done it totaled just over 80,000.

Thank you Sarah Futrell Baron Liz Morris Rozell Sonya Christian Nan Gomez Heitzeberg and everyone else who was involved in this for helping and guiding me through the process. WE ARE BC, and the automotive program is going to be so much stronger going forward with all the work that has been done by all the faculty that works in this program area.

 

Friday, March 31st at BC:

I started the day with the inaugural Cesar Chavez Celebration and then popped in to see our faculty and staff working away on BC’s accreditation self evaluation work.  And then attended part of Ron Kean’s presentation and finally the Math Articulation Day.  Here are some photos and Facebook posts.

BC’s accreditation Laboratory, Friday, March 31st:

Group at Accreditation Lab March 31 2017

Michele Pena, Sue Vaughn, Debi Rosenthal, Jennifer Johnson, Maria Wright

Accreditation Lab March 31 2017

Todd Coston presenting at the Accreditation Lab

Qiu Jimenez and Talita Pruitt Accreditation Lab March 31 2017

Qiu Jimenez, Talita Pruitt

 

 

 

I’d like to end with one more quote from the Cesar Chavez.

Once social change begins, it cannot be reversed. You cannot uneducate the person who has learned to read. You cannot humiliate the person who feels pride. You cannot oppress the people who are not afraid anymore.” – Cesar Chavez,  Address to the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco, Nov. 9, 1984

Thank you BC for an absolutely uplifting week!

Sonya Christian cropped March 17 2017

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

The Renegade Experience is Incredible

Good morning Bakersfield…. let’s start this morning with two short videos of the phenomenal concert. Freedom, on friday night by Dr. Jen Garrett and the BC Choir.   The concert featured a multipart, multimedia commissioned piece by Dr. Ron Kean chronicling the inspirational story of courage of Harriet Tubman.  I will cover this evening in my April 1st blog.  But until then, enjoy the 1:34-minute excerpt of Ken Burdick and 2:14-minute excerpt of Caley Mayhall with the BC Choir.

Caley Mayhall a little taste of Ron Kean’s composition.

 

It was quite an incredible week for me… a week filled with music, travelling to present on Guided Pathways…a week of enjoying Renegade Passion and Renegade Talent…The Renegade Experience is incredible.

Let’s take for example just one day in the week, Friday, March 24th.  So many individuals engaged in important issues.  Here are three:

AAMP Open House:

Lesley Bonds March 24 2017 Umoja Recruitment Event

Faculty Chairs and Assessment Team attending a webinar

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Completion Coaching Communities Workshop

Lesley Bonds March 23 2017 Completion Coaching Communities

African American Mentor Program Open House

 

The Bakersfield College African American Mentor Program hosted its first ever AAMP open house event.  Keynote speaker Dr. Thomas Wallace inspired an audience of over 100 high school and college students in which he highlighted the importance of leadership in the community.  As a first-generation college graduate, Dr. Wallace experienced growing up in a poverty-stricken environment in which he could have very easily gone down the wrong path. Dr. Wallace explained that he could have been sucked into a perpetual life of crime and self-pity as so many of his peers did, but instead, he rose to the occasion, he made sure to not let anyone else define who he was or would become, and is now the Vice-President at CSUB.

Photo Collage AAMP Open House March 23 2017

After the keynote and lunch, we had a sample of the talent that Bakersfield College has among its student body.  Lee Collins, Dominique Miller, and Jordan Young invigorated the crowd with their musical collaborations.  To close the event we heard from community member Bryan Buyton.  What became a very sobering moment was when Bryan revealed to us that his 5-year-old son had been tragically murdered in a driveby shooting that occurred last month in Central Bakersfield.  He implored students to have an appreciation for what they have and to trust in a divine purpose, even in the face of adversity such as his.  Overall, we spoke, we learned, we sang, we laughed, and we cried, but most importantly, we came together as a community and embodied the true definition of a community college.  #WeAreBC

Here is one of our six core values:

Core Value of Community

Thank you Julian West for your leadership! Here is a tweet from Lesley bragging about Julian.  The picture is not very clear, but I am sure you will enjoy Julian and Lesley’s tweet as much as I did

Lesley Bonds March 23 2017 on Julian West

Public Health Hackathon

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Photo by Dylan Wang

Over a week ago, students from BC and CSUB lined up to register for BC’s first Public Health Hackathon. This competition was for teams of students to innovate and design public health solutions for the community of Kern County. Free food, prizes, and networking opportunities were available. This interdisciplinary competition engaged students and professionals from various backgrounds in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics and non-STEM fields, local centers of higher education, community, industry, and the public. It’s great to see students and events that rally around increasing awareness of public health and use technology based tools to address public health issues. 

Special thank you to ALL who were involved, especially professor Sarah Baron and our mayor, Karen Goh who was present for the awards ceremony.

Thank you Mayor Goh for all you do to support our community and especially education.

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Photo by Cara Jackson

First place was awarded to “Down with Depression” for developing an app that gives accurate information on how to fight depression. Second place to “Safe Searches” for a website that helps LGBTQ communities search for supportive doctors. And third place to “MentalMapper” for an app that stimulates brain activity to improve cognitive functions for patients with neurological disorders.

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More photos were taken by Cara Jackson and are available on Smugmug.

Also check out Mayor Karen Goh’s Facebook posts for more photos: http://tinyurl.com/mf5ajcs

Earlier this week, I tweeted an absolute must read by Harold Pierce at The Bakersfield Californian. He covered this incredible event in his article, “During Public Health Hackathon, students search for solutions to big problems”  His opening words are powerful. “When it comes to diabetes, obesity, heart disease and sexually transmitted diseases, Kern ranks among the worst statewide. Awareness, however, isn’t an issue. Solutions are.”  You have to check it out!

Thank you to the amazing team that worked with Sarah Baron to make all this happen. Specifically, Eddie Rangel and Richard Miles from Computer Science, Chris Cruz Boone and Angela Bono BC Communications, Diego Diaz Computer Science Club, KIT and Alyssa Haas and all the sponsors who are on the back of the T-shirt and Asha Chandy who support behind the scenes.

Talking about Asha Chandy, here is a cute picture Jennifer snapped of Asha taking our Measure J dog Bruce for a walk on campus.

Asha Chandy taking Bruce for a walk on campus March 24 2017

Thank you sponsors of the Public Health Hackathon #bcinnovates

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Here are the different articles about this amazing event:

The Bakersfield Californian – Harold Pierce – February 17th  http://tinyurl.com/lt968u8

The Bakersfield Californian Article – Harold Pierce – Sunday March 19th  http://tinyurl.com/m2yo5g9

Building Health Communities  http://tinyurl.com/l687kqn

Valley Public Radio – Kerry Klein
http://kvpr.org/post/bakersfield-college-hackathon-brings-health-advocates-together

BC Social Justice Institute hosts “Real Boy” film screening & discussion

Real Boy SponsorThe Bakersfield College Social Justice Institute hosted a wonderful screening and panel discussion of the new award-winning documentary “Real Boy” on March 16th.  The film, funded in part by a documentary grant from California Humanities, follows the story of a young transgender youth, Bennett Wallace, as he transitions gender to a “real boy.”  Over 100 people attended the screening and engaged in a community dialogue with California Humanities Program Officer John Lightfoot, “Real Boy” director Shaleece Haas, and Jack Bockover from the Sexuality and Gender Awareness (S.A.G.A.) Club of Bakersfield College.

Thank you to everyone who made this happen: Professor Helen Acosta, Oliver Rosales, the Levan Center for the Humanities, BC Office of Student Life, and the Renegade Rip and Bakersfield Californian for covering the event.

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Oliver Rosales

For more information about “Real Boy” and California Humanities, including a Community Voices piece written by California Humanities CEO Julie Fry about the event, you may go to the following links:

Here is my tweet on the Julie Fry community Voices piece

Julie Fry community voices

PuebloFest

Speaking with prospective students is one of the most incredible things… There’s no way to quite describe the excitement in the voice and in the eyes of young people who are about to begin their college experience. Any opportunity that we have to speak to them is a great one.

IMG_2211Student Success and Equity Manager, Lisa Kent joined Office of Student Life Director, Nicky Damania at PuebloFest 2017, a three-day arts and culture festival that took place March 17-19th in Tulare. BC had the opportunity to be involved with the first-ever regional Mexican music festival in the United States, via Arnaldo Avalos, a Board of Governors member for the California community college system and festival organizer who sought for PuebloFest to have a larger social purpose. Our goal was to educate festival attendees on the higher education opportunities available at BC and encourage anyone wanting a college education to consider BC a place for them.

IMG_2204It was great to see representatives from Reedley College also hosting a booth, alongside over 100 other nonprofit and community organizations offering information on topics like financial literacy, health services, and immigration. A diverse variety of artists were represented including Los Lobos, Baby Bash, Los Tigres Del Norte and Bakersfield’s own Velorio.

The inclusion of higher learning institutes at Latin music festivals like this can only help to empower 1st and 2nd generation Latinos with the information they need to have a successful education experience and become upwardly mobile. BC aims to meet the needs of Latino students with its Student Success and Equity program, specialized Summer Bridge institutes in rural communities, an increase in dual enrollment course offerings for Kern County high school students, and on-site matriculation services throughout Kern County, Student Success.

I checked out Pueblofest on Sunday, March 19th, after returning from the Accreditation commission meeting on Saturday.

Sonya Christian at Pueblo Fest March 19 2017

This is whatArnoldo Avalos, the man who had the dream and made it happen, had to say on Facebook

Adiós PuebloFest- you changed my life. Until next year, PuebloFest 2018.

Arnoldo Avalos at Pueblo Fest March 2017

Summer Bridge 2017

Faculty gearing up to meet our new cohort of students.  Thank you faculty! Thank you Kimberly Bligh!

BC STEM/MESA Students Dreaming Big!

Twelve BC STEM/MESA students, Dillon Giblin, BC Math Faculty and Yadira Guerrero, Engineering Program Manager attended a field trip to the California Science Center to watch “Dream Big: Engineering Our World” and explore the permanent and special exhibitions the museum had to offer. The bus was loaded up by 7am and the morning chatter on the road was of sharing individual stories. Chad Hidalgo, Emmanuel Limaco (MESA), and Andrea Hernandez (MESA) are a few BC students who shared their inspiring stories and offered guidance to high school attendees.

MESA STEM STUDENTS (1)Inspiration was just the theme of the day. I’m told the film even moved several students enough to make them misty-eyed. After lunch, the group was off to explore the Ecosystems Exhibit and the Air and Space Exhibit, which included the space shuttle, Endeavor! The bus, tickets, and even lunch were all provided courtesy of the Southern San Joaquin Chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers and was of no cost to any students or faculty. What a gift!! And what a way to enjoy a Saturday!

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BC at the USC Choral Invitational

The BC Chamber Singers had an incredible experience at the USC Choral Invitational last month.  Some of the best two-year colleges in the state perform at this annual event and it was an honor to be among them. Choral Director, Jennifer Garrett tells me it’s one of the most stressful events of each year, but it’s exactly what the group needs to help them rise to the greatest potential. The group performed two pieces and one was the premiere of a new work by Dr. Ron Kean, “Swing Low Sweet Chariot/Follow the River” which is part of a newly commissioned work entitled, “The Journey of Harriet Tubman” which was premiered at the concert last night.

La Valley College Rehearal 2017

Rehearsal right before USC at LA Valley College with Ron Kean and our marimba player

This is what Jen Garret had to say:

The Chamber Singers gave their all at the Invitational and many reported that they were the finest choir of the evening.  I appreciate their dedication to the music, attention to detail, and the emotional investment they put forth in each piece. The audience rose to their feet in applause almost before I could cut off the last note of “Swing Low”.  Ron Kean, who graduated with his Masters and Doctorate from USC was there on the stage with us playing the mbira (African thumb piano) and I know the performance meant a great deal to him as it did to me.

 

USC pic after performance 2017

This years traditional picture, always taken after a successful USC performance in the stairwell of Newman Recital Hall at USC

I am so proud of the BC Chamber Singers.  They always strive to be more and do more. Did you know they will be representing BC in Australia at the Sydney Opera House?

You can help this talented group get there by partaking in the next evening of Broadway music and spaghetti dinner on April 1st.  I have purchased a table and I hope to see you there. Jennifer Garrett says,

We are calling it ‘Give My Regards to Broadway.’ It will combine the talents of the BC culinary arts under chef Eric Sabella providing spaghetti, bread, salad, drinks, etc., and the BC chamber singers performing Broadway hits as a choir, soloists and small groups.

 

Susan Scaffidi did a fabulous article in The Bakersfield Californian
http://tinyurl.com/lrh24sc

You don’t want to miss this incredible event on April 1st. The cost is $15 per person and tickets are only on sale until Monday, March 27. Tickets can be purchased by calling 395-4547 or by emailing at jennifer.garrett@bakersfiieldcollege.edu.

USC choral directors

BC Choral Director, Jen Garrett, with some of the best choral directors in California!

 

Sounds for the Soul

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Photos by Belen Martinez

The talent at BC just keeps going… this time, the BC Concert Band, Orchestra, and Dr. Kathryn Kuby had something extra planned for the audience. During “Sounds For Our Soul”  last weekend, there was an abundance of music provided to satisfy the souls of all who were present.

Dr. Kuby invited the incredible Pipe Dream Flutes & Friends to perform in the beginning of the first half of the concert. Prior to this performance, I didn’t know that there were more than just the flute and the piccolo… but, having the pleasure of hearing a Double Contrabass Flute, C Flutes, Alto Flutes, and the more was incredible and filled the air with the most powerful yet delicate sounds.

Apparently there are only 4 Double Contrabass Flutes in the world and imagine one of them is in Bakersfield.  When I heard this, I leaned over and whispered to Jon Gerhold, “Really?”

Double contrabass March 18 2017

Here is a copy and paste from wikipedia:

The double contrabass flute (sometimes also called the octobass fluteor subcontrabass flute) with over 18 feet (5.5 m) of tubing is the largest and lowest pitched metal flute in the world (the hyperbass flute has an even lower range, though it is made out of PVC pipes and wood). It is pitched in the key of C, three octaves below the concert flute (two octaves below the bass flute and one octave below the contrabass flute). Its lowest note is C1, one octave below the cello‘s lowest C. This flute is relatively easy to play in comparison to most other large flutes. Despite the tendency of the larger sizes of flute to be softer than their higher pitched relatives, the double contrabass flute has a relatively powerful tone, although it usually benefits from amplification in ensembles.

 

When concert band took the stage and performed a beautiful piece by Rossano Galante, the instruments filled the theater with the most powerful sound. I mentioned before that Dr. Kuby had planned a special night, and  in addition to Pipe Dream Flutes & Friends, she also had a flute soloist perform with both the band and orchestra.

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Sara Andon. Photo by Belen Martinez

Sara Andon, an international soloist and recording artist, took the stage in beautiful white gown and performed with the band. The Lark Ascending, was such a beautiful piece.

I wish we were able to capture a video of this music, but instead here is a version on youtube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZR2JlDnT2l8

The BC campus is a place full of talent and it always shows on performance days. If you’ve missed out, the final concert for the spring semester is coming up on May 3rd. Check out all the photos, captured by the talented Belen Martinez at the BC Smugmug page.

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Photo by Belen Martinez

Thank you Dr. Kathryn Kuby

Kathryn Kuby March 18 2017

Dr. Kathryn Kuby

This week on the road:

This was an easier travel week for me.  I provided testimony at the Senate Budget Committee along with a team from the State Chancellor’s office.  It was a great experience.  Chancellor Eloy Oakley is doing a terrific job advancing the student success agenda in a fiscally sound manner.  I tweeted this picture right before we walked over to the capital.

Sonya Christian and Eloy Oakley March 23 2017

 

The most fun part for me was how Senator Jean Fuller and Assembly Members Rudy Salas supported my visit to the Senate Budget committee.  Senator Jean Fuller contacted Senator John Moorlach and Assesbly Member Rudy Salas contacted Senator Anthohny Portantino.  When the item of Guided Pathways came up both Senator Moorlach and Senator Portantino were warm and welcoming and openly supportive.

Senate Budget Committee Senator Portantino Senator Moorlach

Senator Anthony Portantino and Senator John Moorlach

Thank you so much Senator Jean Fuller and Assembly Member Rudy Sallas for your support.   #WeAreBakersfield!

And thank you Dana Culhane Brennan for so quickly responding to my text.  You are the best!!!!  I tried finding a photo of Dana and I found this picture on Facebook.

Photo from Facebook

Dana Culhane Brennan and family

After the presentation at the Capitol in Sacramento I headed out to the Chief Student Services Officers Conference on Integration Through Action in Los Angeles.  It was a great conference and they dedicated two hours to Guided Pathways – the first hour on CA Guided Pathways presented by Deputy Chancellor Erik Skinner, Senior Researcher Craig Hayward and myself.

Guided Pathways at CSSO Sonya Christian Erik Skinner Craig Hayward March 24 2017

Sonya Christian, Erik Skinner, Craig Hayward

This was followed by Tom Bailey, the first author of the book Redesigning America’s Community Colleges.  I want to do a shout out to the Exec Board of the CSSOs for putting on such a dynamic conference.  Sylvia Dorsey-Robinson is the president and our very own Zav Dadabhoy is on the Exec Board.  Unfortunately, we did not get a photo of the BC team that was there — Zav Dadabhoy, Steve Watkin and Grace Commiso.  Here are the ones I have.  In the first picture, I am with Valerie Shaw a member of the Board of Governors and Tom Bailey.  The second picture is of Mandy Davies, a member of the CA Guided Pathways Advisory Committee with Tom Bailey.

 

 

Delta Kappa Gamma events at BC

Delta Kappa Gamma Area VII and BC Future Teachers Club cosponsored a Voter Information Night at BC in October that had 37 participants.  On March 18, they cosponsored the Technology for Educators Conference at BC which had approximately 65 participants!

DKG Tech event at BC March 18 2017.JPG

Janet Tarjan and Gayle Richardson co-chaired the conference committee. Presenters included BC students, CSUB Faculty, K-12 teachers and administrators, authors, and the chair of the DKG International Communication Committee.  Participants learned about Google docs, social media, games, increasing student participation, Word templates, and were provided with updates on current legislation related to education.

DKG

Denise Hollister, Rachel Hibler

Denise Hollister (English Teacher, BHS) and president of DKG and her daughter Rachel Hibler.  Rachel presented two sessions:  “Social Media in Education” and “Ice Breakers and Drama Games.”

DKG March 18 2017 event

DKG BC Members include:  Jerry Ludeke, Pat Smith, Gayle Richardson, Janet Tarjan. Mary Jo Anhalt, Mita Dhariwal, and Sonya Christian.

And I got this email from Gayle Richardson about Chef Eric Sabella’s incredible food.

Yes, Eric!  In 35 years I have NEVER heard so many guests rave about the food at BC.  One spouse said that he has been to years of conferences, but never to one with such a delicious meal!  The compliments were made without being asked for!

Compliments to you, Chef Eric!

Renegade Athletics

Baseball

BC Baseball has endured some ups and downs this season, including a recent three-game losing streak. But they are on a tear now after winning two games in a row over LA Valley College. Catcher Brock Hallum will be attending Long Island University, Bronx on a baseball scholarship next fall, but he hasn’t lost sight of the work that is right in front of him. He hit a home run last Sunday to spur his team to a 8-4 win on the road against Valley before getting bit by the flu bug.  Coach Tim Painton ordered him to take a day off from practice Monday, but he still watched from the dugout.

Tuesday, Hallum played against LA Valley and had four hits in four at-bats while driving in four runs! Brock Hallum, you rock! Next week I’ll tell you about a special pitcher who has really turned his baseball career around this season for the Renegades.

McKenna Valencia and Alexis Solis

Speaking of turning it around, BC Softball had a shaky start to their season, but they’ve risen to second place in their conference  after winning three straight games this week, including sweeping a doubleheader from Santa Barbara at the Dean and Aaah Gay Sports Complex. They got good pitching from McKenna Valencia and Alexis Solis, and both also had good at-bats to help their teams win. Valencia pitched again Thursday, and the game went extra innings and she pitched the whole thing! That’s 12 innings; a usual game is seven, so she almost pitched the equivalent of two games! Thank you Coach Christie Hill.

Thank you Francis Mayer, the fabulous Sports Information Director for Renegade Athletics.

Always Something to Celebrate at BC

On Wednesday afternoon, Academic Senate and the executive office came together to celebrate with birthday cake! Tarina Perry planned a special surprise for Academic Senate President, Steve Holmes who celebrated his birthday on Monday. Little did Tarina know, Somaly Boles, who also works in the executive suite also planned a surprise for the party to surprise Tarina, whose birthday is later this month!  BC Food Services provided the most decadent chocolate cake…. Just look at those pictures! Wow! Happy Birthday Steve and Tarina!

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More Press coverage:

We got some great coverage from the Delano Recorder.

Delano Recorder March 2017

Check out my previous blog post about this event in Delano at https://sonyachristianblog.com/2017/03/04/inspiration-all-around-us/

Emails Worth Sharing

When a child smiles, there’s something special about the wonder in their eyes. I received an email from Lesley Bonds saying,

Shauna Turner, Department Assistant III in Equity, shared this photo in a group text to my entire staff who has gotten to know her 3 sons over the past 2 years. Here is Bry’Shaun with the BC baseball team at the 2017 League of Dreams Baseball Opening Day. I’ve never seen him smile so big! You can just tell he feels like he’s surrounded by celebrities.

Shauna Turners Son

Little future Renegade Bry’Shaun with the BC Baseball Team

 

So much to be proud of….Renegade Experiences are Incredible

 

Coffee at Waikkiki March 14 2017

Sonya Christian. Morning Coffee on the Beach

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Renegades are EVERYWHERE!

 

Good morning Bakersfield.  It is Saturday, March 18th and just a terrific day to be a Renegade.  I was travelling this morning back from my Accreditation Commission meeting and am moving quickly to get the blog published.  If I don’t get it out today, I am sure I will get a text from one of my dear friends who will ask the question “Are you ok? Should I be worried? 🙂

koeth1-900x600My week began with an email from David Koeth sharing that he and his wife spent Presidents Day in Los Angeles. He said:

As we checked in our hotel in Koreatown, the young man at the desk noticed my business affiliation. He said ‘I attended Bakersfield College. I was a business major, I got my gen ed’s done there.’ He’s working on a bachelor’s degree at Cal State Long Beach in hospitality management. Renegades are everywhere. — David

I love this! Renegades are everywhere in our community and beyond our community! 

Industrial Automation Program Hosting Info Session Today!

Come to the campus on the hill later this morning for an information session about the Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Automation at BC.  The program prepares students for careers in the design, operation, and management of industrial automation systems focusing on the local industries that utilize these technologies, such as petroleum production, food production, fabrication, and logistics. Significant emphasis is placed on project based learning facilitated by laboratory work.

The BS program is designed to prepare individuals for technical management careers in industries which utilize automation, including the petroleum, manufacturing, logistics and agriculture industry sectors, in order to improve the regional economy. Thank you as well to The Bakersfield Californian for highlighting this program in the latest Education Roundup! http://digital.olivesoftware.com/Olive/ODN/BakersfieldCalifornian/shared/ShowArticle.aspx?doc=TBC%2F2017%2F03%2F16&entity=Ar00501&sk=3D40C0C7

The information session is today, March 18th from 10AM to 11AM in the Science and Engineering Building, Room 53. All are welcome!

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Bakersfield College Receives a Planning Award for new Public Health Sciences Program

Exciting times at BC Bakersfield College where BC is creating new public health career pathways!  This past Tuesday, BC was recognized at the League for Innovation in the Community College Riegelman Awards for Excellence in Public Health & Health Navigation Education.  This national award was presented to four community colleges that demonstrated excellence in planning or enhancing associate degree or certificate programs in Public Health and Health Navigation education.

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Antonio Alfaro CTE Advisor, Rozanne Hernandez, CTE Program Manager, Sarah Baron, Professor Public Health Sciences, and Dominica Rivera-Dominguez, CTE Advisor

 

BC is rolling out a new Public Health Sciences Associate Degree for Transfer in the upcoming academic year, followed by job certificate in health navigation. To learn more about the national award and the plan, go to https://www.league.org/awards/riegelman-awards-excellence-public-health-health-navigation-education-community-colleges

Under the leadership of Cindy Collier, Dean of Allied Health, Career Technology Education (CTE), and Strong Workforce, this is a team effort and an interdisciplinary approach. Pictured below are members of the team Antonio Alfaro CTE Advisor, Rozanne Hernandez, CTE Program Manager, Sarah Baron, Professor Public Health Sciences,  and Dominica Rivera-Dominguez CTE Advisor. Sarah is our lead faculty for Public Health and is a rock star!

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Achieving the Dream

Bakersfield College earned Leader College distinction through Achieving the Dream in 2015 for our commitment to improving student success and closing achievement gaps.  With this distinction, BC has access to two nationally-recognized coaches who visit campus twice a year to meet with campus leaders, discuss our student success data, and explore strategies to improve our policies and practices.  During their visit this week, coaches Ronald Head and John Nixon met with nearly 50 campus leaders to explore the Institutional Capacity Assessment Tool (ICAT) in a series of round table activities where faculty, staff, and administrators worked together in cross-functional focus groups to discuss BC’s work across the seven Achieving the Dream capacities: 1) Leadership & Vision, 2) Data & Technology, 3) Equity, 4) Teaching & Learning, 5) Engagement & Communication, 6) Strategy & Planning, and 7) Policies & Practices.  Participants not only tackled the areas for improvement, but began collectively developing action plans to build BC’s capacity to serve students.  BC’s leadership and engagement across the board is simply unmatched!

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Thank you to all who attended!

Lesley Bonds, Stephen Waller, Matthew Garrett, Jessica Wojtysiak, Maria Wright, Mindy Wilmot, Grace Commiso, Jonathan Schultz, Bill Moseley, Marisa Marquez, Isabel Castaneda, Matt Jones, Talita Pruett, Kimberly Bligh, Kathy Rosellini, Lisa Kent, Steve Watkin, Bernadette Towns, Janet Fulks, Steven Holmes, Tim Burke, Odella Johnson, Shanell Tyus, Nick Strobel, Jennifer Johnson, Krista Moreland, Di Hoffman, Kristin Rabe, Ashlea Ward, Abraham Castillo, Richard Marquez, Elisabeth Sundby, Kim Nickell, Sue Vaughn, Julian West, Pedro Ramirez, Craig Hayward, Michelle Pena, John Giertz, Manny Mourtzanos, Anna Laven, Vickie Spanos, Reese Weltman Joe Saldivar, and a special thank you to Chef Eric Sabella and his team for the wonderful chicken fajita dinner!

Keep Bakersfield Beautiful

Keep Bakersfield Beautiful (KBB) is a local non-profit with a mission “to engage individuals to take greater responsibility for improving their community.” Bakersfield Mayor, Karen Goh, is in this picture with BC students from Steven Holmes’ and Charles Kim’s political science classes visiting a recent meeting led by Anna Smith, chair of KBB Board of Directors. It’s great to see Renegades out in the community, doing great things! Learn more about Keep Bakersfield Beautiful at http://www.bakersfieldcity.us/gov/depts/kbb/default.htm

Beautiful Bakersfield Karen Goh

C.H.A.P Hosts Guest Speaker, Salvador Garcia

On March 14, the Bakersfield College Delano Campus Cultural and Historical Awareness Program (C.H.A.P.) hosted its first speaker event for the spring semester.  Ridgeview High School counselor Salvador García captivated audience members consisting of students, staff, and community members with an engaging talk, entitled “Exploring the Nahuatl and Mesoamerican Cultural Legacy, Past & Present.”  As a child of migrant parents, Salvador has experienced two vastly different worlds: his life in México, and his life in the USA.  He became captivated with pre-Columbian art and the symbology used by his ancestors, and in particular, what people refer to as the “Aztec calendar.”  After studying the calendar system and the Nahuatl language (the indigenous language of the Aztec people) for over twenty years, Salvador has developed a deep knowledge and appreciation for Mesoamerican history and the indigenous heritage of the Mexican people.   After an hour-long presentation, audience members asked questions about the legacy of the Nahuatl people today, their influence on Mexican culture, as well as parallels and similarities between Mesoamerican calendars and the Gregorian and Julian calendars in western tradition.

CHAP

Two more C.H.A.P. events are scheduled for the spring semester.  The next event will occur Tuesday, March 28 from 6pm-8pm in RFK Lecture Hall.  This event will be a screening of the film “Miss Representation,” followed by a panel discussion with several female faculty and staff on the Delano Campus moderated by Professor Susanne Langham (Phil. & Religious Studies).   A third and final event will be moderated by Professor Charles Kim (Political Science) after the spring break and will feature local political staffers for a talk on civic engagement and local politics.  Stay tuned!

Houchin Blood Bank Stats

Houchin sent an email this week recapping the numbers from the previous week’s blood drive at Bakersfield College. Stephanie Gibbons from Houchin said, “Drum roll please…..Wow!! what an amazing two day blood drive. Bakersfield College you nailed it.  Day one, we registered 223 donors and collected a record number of 174 units, with 104 of them as first-time donors.  Day two, we registered 150 donors with a collection of 105 units, with 80 of them as first-time donors.   The grand total for this life saving event was  279 units collected. Surpassing last year donations by 80 units.  Yeah!!!!”

Thank you again to all involved! Renegades are definitely doing great things!!

Student Health Highlight

Do you know what your blood sugar level is? Are you familiar with what the numbers even mean or why it’s important to know them? This semester we were fortunate to have two days where the Student Health Center invited all students to come out and get their glucose levels checked.

On Thursday March 16th, Mrs. Debbie, one of the nurses was there to do the screenings for all those who came in and checked their levels. Earlier this month there was another glucose screening where the LN’s from Bakersfield College’s Nursing Program practiced honing their new skills. It was beneficial to so many, both the nursing students and those student’s checking their glucose levels. At this screening, the nursing students were able to test levels, give out important health information, and also pass out healthy snacks. The Bakersfield College Student Health Center has a wealth of knowledge and practical help for all BC students.

Along with all of the day-to-day help they provide the BC students such as: first aid, TB testing, mental health counseling, and much more, they will be hosting their 17th annual health fair, “The Renegade Pulse Health Fair”, on April 19th from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Last year they had several Zumba instructors attend and were able to get the student body moving in the interest of better health! They offer several monthly events geared to the betterment of each student’s health. They have a marvelous e-magazine with an abundance of helpful information that anyone can subscribe to simply by texting BAKERSFIELDCOLLEGE to 40691. They have also started a campaign of #BCsmokefree and have been conducting a “Clean your Campus” event once a month.

The Student Health service main goal is to ensure that all of BC students live a long and healthy life and they are available to make sure you have all the tools possible to ensure that happens. One of the many amazing facilitators found in the Student health services building is Stella Ponce who had this to say about the various events that have been going on around campus lately. Mataalofa Hubbard, Vicente Lopez, Alexa Rivera and Yolanda Puente were on the scene sharing information on Tobacco Cessation, how and where to obtain assistance in quitting as well. Passing out Healthy snacks & water to help our students maintain and acquire optimal health and wellness. Also, Professor Sarah Baron’s Public Health classes were onsite too, collecting valuable data on Tobacco Use and E Cig. While providing additional literature on the effects of smoking provided by the American Lung Association. The final collaboration of the two groups resulted in a mini #CleanyourCampus event, while obtaining 2 gallon bags full of cigarettes butts. Imagine #BCTobaccoFree #1DayStand”

As students, it’s important to remember that good grades start with good health! Make sure you take full advantage of what your campus can do for you. Swing by the Student Health Services building and get more information on how you can be a better and HEALTHIER you!!!

Go Gades!

I loved how Allyson Cummings began her piece on BC’s Women’s tennis. She said, “The Bakersfield College women’s tennis team is making quite a racket!” Check out the video and the article about the team and coach Nick Loudermilk at http://www.turnto23.com/sports/local-sports/bakersfield-college-womens-tennis-dominating-the-cccaa

 

Congratulations to Coach Carl Dean for being inducted into the West High School Hall of Fame.  “Carl (class of 1992) was an outstanding quarterback at West, Bakersfield College and San Jose State who won the Burger King Scholar Athlete $10,000 academic scholarship in 1996.”

CARLDEAN

Carl Dean

Way to go, Carl!

STEM Speakers: David Gallo Visits BC

On Tuesday, MArch 14th, afternoon, the Fireside Room was filled with all ages, ranging from jr. high school aged youth to BC students and their professors. They were excitedly awaiting guest speaker, David Gallo, to begin his presentation on ocean exploration. David is an American oceanographer and the Director of Special Projects at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. For more than 30 years, Dr. Gallo has been participating in and being a witness to the development of new technologies and scientific discoveries that have shaped our understanding and view of the planet earth. He was a fabulous speaker for the STEM Speaker Series because he was one of the first scientists to use a combination of robots and submarines to explore the deep sea floor. Most recently, he co-led an expedition to create the first detailed and comprehensive map of the RMS Titanic and co-led the successful international effort to locate the remains of Air France flight 447 which crashed after suffering a loss of lift with debris was scattered in an area greater than six football fields.

DavidGallo

During the presentation, students learned that instead of taking the oceans for granted, we all need to recognize the oceans critical role in providing the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we eat. Dr. Gallo shared that human activity has impacted the ocean on a global scale and with significant consequences. The oceans hold clues to our past and the key to our future yet they remain mostly unexplored and poorly understood. We live on a planet that’s covered by mostly water but, we don’t have nearly enough information about that part of the planet we call home.

BC student, Lovie Johnson, who attended the event said, “Gallo is a cool New Yorker and funny scientist. He knows how to lecture on the subject in a way you can understand. He is one of the most interesting … speakers I have come across.”

Gallo’s commitment conveying his passion and the importance of ocean exploration makes learning about this subject interesting and fun for everyone. Events like these, and speakers like this are important to our students, the BC community, and our world. Everyone walks away inspired and better informed regarding something that they’ve never seen before. Let’s learn more and do something that can positively affect humanity forever.

Thank you Dr. David Gallo and everyone involved with the STEM Speakers. #BCLearns

Changing inmates lives through education

The Inmate Education program manager Chelsea Esquibias continues to do and report amazing stories .  Here is a note she sent me this week about another life changed through education:

“At 17 he was put in prison for gang violence for 12 years at Kern Valley where he earned a 3.0 in our classes.

He was recently released and is back with his 13-year-old son. Since then he’s obtained his license, proposed to his girlfriend, got a car, opened a bank account, said NO to his old gang, and we’re enrolling him in his local college.

He said, “College changed everything for me. I’m not the same anymore” and he says thank you all the time.  Working in the prisons can be hard.  Thank you for your belief in the program. I love working for an administration that believes so strongly in the students and staff. Happy Friday!!”

Now do you see why I consider myself the luckiest and happiest college president ever…..

In the picture you see Chelsea Esquibias and Bryan Hirayama.  Thank you!

BC Innovations 2017 Conference

This past weekend Eileen Pierce, Supplemental Instruction Program Manager; Kim Arbolante, Writing Center Lead; and Eric Weis, AccuSQL Liaison, all attended the League for Innovation in the Community College Innovations 2017 conference at the Marriott Marquis San Francisco. This team of academic support services professionals delivered a presentation and workshop entitled “Be the BEACON of Student Success: Reimaging Academic Support Services with Close Collaboration in Mind.”

The presentation began with some brief introductory demographic and enrollment data about the college. Eileen Pierce explained the Guided Pathways context for this academic support service initiative and facilitated an interactive survey on silos and territorialism that allowed participants to anonymously express whether these issues are prevalent on their own campuses. Kim Arbolante described the work done thus far, the data collected for ENGL 53 and MATH 60 ETC, and all of the features of our new, integrated academic support services model. The presentation closed with Eric Weis calling on participants to redefine what they consider to be their service assets and deficits before leading the group in a game designed to get participants to try and think more collaboratively with other areas of their colleges. The presentation was well-attended, and the presenters received a great deal of praise from participants, a reporter covering the conference who attended this workshop, and an attendee who claimed she had been waiting all week to finally participate in an interactive workshop session.

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Fulfilling a need in an underserved population

Katie Price from TBC

Katie Price. Pic from TBC

There is a large underserved population in our community that usually goes unnoticed.  We may not realize that our high schools are filled with kids who are either homeless or live in foster or group homes.  Up until recently, teachers and counselors weren’t even able to know who these underserved kids were.  Recent legislation has changed some of that to allow those students to be given the tools they need to continue a successful education not just throughout high school (where the dropout rate is nearly 50%), but transition successfully into a form of higher education.

Katie Price is a counselor at Bakersfield High School who helped to create a meeting group on the BHS campus where foster youth could discuss issues like budgeting, and college and career planning.  This group has expanded to six different high schools and continuation schools.

Bakersfield College is proud to have been a sponsor and host of the “Breaking Barriers & Empowering Success” conference last month.

It’s wonderful to see the long tradition of Bakersfield High School and Bakersfield College continue (as many of you already know BC met on the BHS campus for several decades before moving to Panorama Drive!). Here is Katie Price’s for opinion piece in The Californian.

BC at the 17th Annual KEDC Economic Summit

The 17th Annual KEDC Economic Summit took place on Wednesday at the Doubletree.  An enthusiastic crowd heard both local and national speakers comment on the Kern County economy and what to expect in the months ahead. Faculty at CSUB gave economic presentations related to the oil industry and healthcare.  Representatives for China Lake, Edwards AFB and Rio Tinto gave an update on the economy in East Kern County. Oscar Wei of the California Association of Realtors spoke about the local housing market.  Joel Kotkin, author, speaker and editor of Newgeography.com gave the keynote address.  He’s an authority on global, economic, political and social trends.  Bakersfield College helped sponsor the event and we’re so glad to partner with a great organization, like Kern Economic Development Corporation.  

KKEDC

Photo by April & Co Photography

Here is a nice editorial from The Bakersfield Californian http://tinyurl.com/mwj46hb

Photos from the event are available on the event photographers facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pg/aprilcophoto/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1478301398846975

Bakersfield Transfer Day

The Bakersfield College Transfer Center, in collaboration with Fresno Pacific University, hosted a Fresno Pacific University Takeover Day on the BC main campus.  On Wednesday, March 15th, from 10AM-2PM, FPU Sunbirds representatives from Admissions were out in full force outside on the CSS lawn, meeting with prospective transfer students.  Student transcripts were reviewed for admission, application submission assistance was given, and food and music was provided.  The day was a great success, resulting in many Fall 2017 admits! FPU is committed to Renegade success and plans to host one  “takeover” event each semester!  Thank you Fresno Pacific University!

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Spotlight on Dr. Paula Parks

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Dr. Paula Parks

BC’s very own Dr. Paula Parks was recently spotlighted by speaker, author, and leadership coach, Arleana Waller. Every Monday, Arleana shares a e-newsletter designed to “Powerup your Monday Motivation.”

“This week, the #ShePowerAmbassador Feature is Dr. Paula Parks, The Innovative Educator who impact lives daily and who boldly owns her #ShePower” What a great spotlight on Dr. Paula and the ASTEP program! Check it out at http://us7.campaign-archive2.com/?u=301aa4a241bc2b8ff15a8fc92&id=31b3a52c42

The Lemucchi Family Story

100-stars-tim-lemucchiNot too far from campus is a little treasure in our community – you’ve been there. It’s Luigi’s and writing this I’m reminded of the times I’ve enjoyed great food and great company there. Last weekend, Timothy Lemucchi and the Lemucchi family held a book signing for their new book, “Luigi’s 100 Years Then and Now” which showcases the story of how the Lemucchi family came to Bakersfield and the early beginnings of the restaurant.

Did you know Tim is also an alumni of Bakersfield College? After BC, he went on to complete his BA and MA at Stanford, then to Georgetown University for his Juris Doctor. He’s also an active member of the Helmet Club and has continually given public support to Bakersfield College athletics. We proudly recognized Tim as one of BC’s 100 stars during our centennial celebration.

Alumni stories are an extension of Renegade history and I’m always fascinated to learn more. See the article at The Bakersfield Californian here: http://www.bakersfield.com/entertainment/an-immigrant-family-story-the-lemucchis-of-bakersfield/article_5845aa2a-f644-5e54-875d-9cdbb47a807a.html  

The Legacy Continues

I was fascinated to read a recent RIP article about two current BC staff and faculty who are carrying on the legacy their fathers began at BC. Definitely check out the article featuring Dr. Oliver Rosales and BC Counselor, Jonathan Schultz by RIP Reporter, Megan Fenwick.  http://www.therip.com/news/2017/03/16/the-sons-of-two-former-faculty-continue-their-legacy/

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David Rosales, Oliver Rosales, Jonathan Schultz, and Steve Schultz. Photo by Megan Fenwick and The Renegade RIP

BC’s Performing Arts Improv

On March 10th, the Black Box Theater in the Bakersfield College Performing Art’s Center was re-envisioned into of a New York City comedy club. The dim light with low jazz music for ambiance made the audience feel like they were in the audience of Saturday Night Live anxiously waiting for the performances to begin. The performers took the stage and the comedy show began with the introductions. After a topic was chosen, a performer would give a brief story from their life revolving around said topic. Then other members would take the stage and make short improv skits focused on key elements of the story just told. They would take turns and there were a wide variety of improv skits throughout the night. With no props to use, they made the audience laugh with their strong sense of comedic imagery as if they actually had props on the stage. The night was full of laughter and joy. Bakersfield College is full of talented Renegades that exemplify how exceptional the student body is.

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Women’s History Month is Underway at BC

So many events are taking place around the BC campuses – check out the great article featuring many of our upcoming events for Women’s History Month at  http://www.bakersfield.com/entertainment/selife-portrait-challenging-the-way-women-are-seen/article_c6905776-f4d9-5300-ab40-0229d8f302f6.html

It’s a great time to be at BC!

Since I was away at the Accreditation Commission meeting, I had to call in to the College Council meeting Friday morning, where our team of very passionate and dedicated individuals were engaged in sharing, discussing and debating the amazing and incredible institutional work.  Among the great work, we are focused on upcoming accreditation, institution-set standards, BC’s educational master plan, strategic directions, and our mission statement.  There so much was on the agenda and each topic was substantive.  There was much laughter in the midst of serious deliberations. Listening in I was just happy that we have such talent, such dedication, such compassion, such camaraderie….. We are BC! and  I’m the luckiest and happiest college president ever

 

I texted Jennifer and asked her to get me some pictures for my blog.  Please enjoy them.  Smart people, doing serious work in community.

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Sonya Christian Walking March 13 2017

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever