November is Here!

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, November 2, 2019… A great day to be a Renegade.

First Responders Day

America honored the brave men and women on the frontlines of catastrophe on Monday during the first annual National First Responders Day. This summer, the US Senate approved a bipartisan resolution establishing October 28 as a day to honor the 4.6 million first responders who keep us safe every day.

BC’s programs range from our EMT and paramedic programs to our fire science and police academies.

Our EMT students spend 350 hours training in the Hall EMT Academy, developed in partnership with Hall Ambulance. The program is now in its 18th year. Hall Ambulance founder and former Bakersfield mayor Harvey Hall was the program’s fiercest champion.

Our registered nursing program is the 6th oldest in the state of California, launching in 1951 through a partnership with Kern General Hospital (now Kern Medical Center). BC’s first cohort of graduating nurses received certification in 1952, and the program has continued changing people’s lives ever since.

Industry partnerships have been crucial to the development of first responder training programs at BC. Our BC Fire Science program launched in 1956 through the joint efforts of the Bakersfield Fire Department and our vocational career leadership. Students learn a special curriculum designed for Bakersfield city firefighters that mixes academic courses with on-the-job training, incorporating all motorized fire equipment used in emergency situations.

Fire tech student learning to carry a person down a fire ladder
A Fire Tech student learning to carry a person down a fire ladder in 1975.

In another example of joint partnerships benefiting our students and community, our police academy consists of both Bakersfield Police Department staff working together with BC Public Safety Training staff.

Let’s take a moment to recognize those who have chosen the difficult but meaningful career path to be a first responder. Every day, we have first responders to be thankful for, as we are reminded now in the midst of the wildfires blanketing the state.  Whether first responders are assisting a neighbor or rallying together to address larger statewide needs, the quality of our lives is only possible thanks to their care and sacrifice.

ACBO 2019 Conference: Supporting Equity and Inclusion with Early College

This past week, Vice President Mike Giacomini, Senator Emeritus Jean Fuller and Early College Manager Kylie Swanson attended the Association of Chief Business Officials (ACBO) Fall 2019 conference in San Diego. Our team presented on our Early College initiative, and attended sessions related to business operations and incorporating equity into every aspect of our institutions.

The team’s presentation framed Early College as a “sound strategy” for both student success and fiscal sustainability.

My thanks to our team for representing BC at the Fall 2019 ACBO Conference.

BC’s Disability Awareness Day

The last day of October was also BC’s Disability Awareness Day, a day to shine a light on disability awareness by celebrating special programs and services, such as tutoring, accommodation, and job placement, that help students with disabilities.

Dr. Terri Goldstein, Director of Disabled Student Programs & Services (DSPS) presented awards to some of our outstanding departments, faculty, staff, and students who work with students with disabilities.

Participants had the opportunity to learn about the game of Goalball. This paralympic sport for athletes with vision impairment is designed around senses of hearing and touch. William Slason explained the rules of the game to those in attendance. Basically, Goalball is a 3-on-3 sport played with a ball that has bells inside. Similar to soccer, the object of the game is to roll the ball over the opponent’s goal line.

Thanks to our exhibitors for sharing valuable information with BC students, and to William Slason for teaching everyone how to play Goalball!

BC Choir and Chamber Singers

Last Friday, October 25, the BC Choir and Chamber Singers gave an amazing performance in creative collaboration with the Synergy String Quartet, a professional Bakersfield ensemble. Jennifer Garrett this was yet another amazing concert!  Check out the videos below to catch a glimpse of the talent that was on display that night. 

BC Jazz Combos Concert

On Thursday, October 30, the BC Jazz Studies program hosted the 2nd annual BC Jazz Combos concert in the Indoor Theatre.  The BC Monday, Wednesday, and Applied Jazz Combos were featured, along with a special guest performance by the jazz band Ralph Alessi and This Against That.

The Monday and Wednesday Jazz Combos performed an arrangement of songs from Miles Davis’ “Milestones”, Lee Morgan’s “The Sidewinder”, Charles Mingus’ “Nostalgia in Times Square”, and Nina Simone’s “Feeling Good”. The Applied Jazz Combo performed original songs by students from Izzy Foster’s “Hmm, What’d You Say” and Abigail Wilson’s “Jet Lag,” which showcased students’ creative musical talents.

I love Nina Simone…. Here is the piece Feeling Good performed at the concert.

and here is my favorite Nina Simone song….. Sinnerman

The night featured the world-class jazz band Ralph Alessi and This Against That, who performed their original songs “Iram Issela” and “Fun Room” from their recently released 2019 hit record “Imaginary Friend.”  Ralph Alessi noted that the title of their song “Iram Issela” is actually his daughter’s name spelled backwards. Thank you Kris Tiner for bringing to us this amazing concert.

Thank you to the BC Jazz Studies program, Wednesday, Monday, and Applied Jazz Combos, and Ralph Alessi and This Against That for their incredible and inspiring musical performances.

BC Hosts Undocumented Student Week of Action Activities

During the week of October 14-18, 2019, a collaborative week of events was organized across the AB 540 Program, EOPS, Rural Initiatives team, Student Life, BC Foundation, SGA, LUPE Student Club, and Project Conexiones. Community organizations provided support and services, including UFW Foundation and Youth 2 Leaders. The planning committee included Dr. Anna Laven (AB 540 Program Manager), Jaime Lopez (Rural Initiatives Program Manager), Benjamin Balderrama (Student Life Program Manager), Manuel Rosas (EOPS Counselor and LUPE Advisor), Marivel Servin (Catalyst Fellow and BC Graduate), and Christopher Hernandez (SGA Director of Student Activities).

Anna Laven, Imelda Valdez
Rafael Centeno, Educational Advisor, explains about the AB 540 Program to Open House attendees.
Left to right: Manuel Rosas, Elizabeth Rodacker, Dr. Anna Laven, Rafael Centeno, and Isabel Castaneda

Attendees were asked to use a pin to show where their journey began.  Pins were placed across the world, ranging from Southern California, Central America to as far as Pakistan and the Philippines.

Serving the largest population of undocumented students in the state, California Community Colleges are committed to serving ALL students, regardless of immigration status. Undocumented Student Week is a systemwide campaign to advocate and provide support resources for our undocumented student population.

Launching the week-long series of events was the AB 540 Program Open House, housed within the EOPs umbrella. Students and faculty stopped by…thank you Elizabeth Rodacker for bringing your class.

The Bakersfield College AB540 Program provides a comprehensive program of services for students who are eligible under the AB540 out-of-state tuition exemption. The goal of the program is to help eligible students meet their educational objectives, whether they seek occupational certificates, associate degrees, or transfer to four-year institutions.

Signed into law in October 2001, California Assembly Bill 540 (AB 540) is a bill that provides an exemption to the requirement to pay nonresident tuition.  California Community College students who are granted an AB 540 exemption will be charged in-state tuition and fees, and not the supplemental tuition charged to nonresidents.

The AB 540 team (Dr. Anna Laven, Rafael Centeno, student Catalyst Fellows, Marivel Servin, Maria Jaimes, and Imelda Simos-Valdez) provided an informational table and materials at the GBLA-sponsored Immigrant Civil Rights Conference, hosted at Hodel’s, Those in attendance gained helpful information about the asylum process and importance of the census, and heard as well from BC student, Jose Bello, and other notable speakers including Supervisor David Couch and Bakersfield Police Chief Lyle Martin.

The Delano Campus also hosted a number of events including an activity called “Painting the Symbolic Butterfly: What does it mean to you?,” which included a fun and symbolic opportunity to paint butterflies.  The monarch butterfly is commonly used as a symbol to recognize the globalization and movement of people.

The movie by CSUB graduate Maria Rodriguez Ornelas, entitled “5 Decades Later: The Aftermath of the Grape Strike,” was viewed by aproximately 20 students, followed by a panel discussion led by student Catalyst Fellows, Marivel Servin, panelists, Oscar Camacho, Yesenia Garcia (BC students), and Professor Bianca Moreno (Communications).

Dr. Anna Laven introduces the filmmaker and discusses the importance of recognizing the Undocumented Student Week of Action.

More than 60 students, faculty, staff, and community members attended the sugar skulls activity hosted by the LUPE student organization and headed by their Faculty Advisor, Manuel Rosas.  The two dozen butterfly images produced during the “My Immigrant Story” held earlier in the week were showcased at the sugar skulls workshop.

Dr. Anna Laven poses with LUPE student club leadership.

Learn more about the AB 540 Program at Bakersfield College.

Larry Itliong Day

Local middle school students in Delano got the opportunity to learn about the rich history of labor and civil rights activism in their community during the celebrations for Larry Itliong Day on BC’s Delano Campus last week.

In 2015, Assemblyman Rob Bonta introduced a bill officially declaring October 25 as “Larry Itliong Day” to honor the contributions of Filipino-Americans in the farm labor movement of the 1960s. While thousands of pages have been written about the work of Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta, it was Larry Itliong and the Filipino laborers who initiated the famous Delano grape strike and boycott in 1965. When Chavez and the Mexican laborers agreed to join the Filipinos in their strike, the United Farm Workers organization was born, and it would take five years and a nationwide movement for workers to achieve a Collective Bargaining Agreement, the first for farm workers in American history.

BC’s programming for Larry Itliong Day was organized by Andrew Bond, Oliver Rosales, and the team for the “Energizing the Humanities in California’s San Joaquin Valley” grant provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities . The festivities started with an historic tour of Filipino History in Delano. Alex Edillor, President of the Filipino American National Historical Society, Delano Chapter, led BC faculty and staff through a number of historic landmarks from the Delano grape strike and boycott era.

The tour concluded at Agbayani Village, which was built by Itliong, Filipino activist Philip Vera Cruz, and the UFW in 1974 to house retiring Filipino laborers known as Manongs. The Manongs were able-bodied Filipino men who migrated to the US in the early 20th Century to work in the fields from Alaska to the Coachella Valley. Manongs were unable to marry or have children outside of their race due to anti-miscegenation laws, and an entire generation of these laborers grew old without families to support them, so Agbayani Village was created as a safe haven and retirement community for them. Once the last Manong passed away in 1997, Agbayani Village was converted into a national historic landmark. It’s also where Cesar Chavez participated in his last fast in 1988, a 36-day water-only hunger strike to draw attention to the dangers of pesticide use on farm workers and their families.

The BC team later reconvened at the Delano Campus to greet middle school students from the Delano Union School District. The NEH team screened the documentary “Delano Manongs” for students and answered any questions that students had about their community’s history. Delano resident Javier Cardena also shared his personal collection of photos, newspaper clippings, and memorabilia from the grape boycott with middle school students. His collection will be archived by the BC team as part of the Digital Delano project.

After lunch, the keynote speaker for the event, author Patty Enrado, talked about her book “A Village In The Fields”, which tells a fictionalized account of a Manong in Agbayani Village. The book was the culmination of 20 years of research on Agbayani Village and the Manongs, and it was shortlisted for the 2016 Saroyan Prize for Fiction.

I thank the National Endowment for the Humanities team for organizing this event, Abel Guzman for supporting the event at the Delano Campus, and the Delano Union School District for busing students out of class to participate in Larry Itliong Day, as well as the BC Education Department for providing additional funding.

High School Chamber Festival

Fall is musical season for local high schools. Before they start performing at other schools around the county, BC holds its annual High School Chamber Festival on Monday in the Indoor Theater.

Our award-winning BC Chamber Singers host this event every year so high school choirs can perform and get advice from professionals, such as this year’s guest Dr. Christopher Peterson, a professor and concert choir director at the University of Fullerton. Dr. Peterson gave constructive feedback on each high school’s performance, and also demonstrated different techniques and drills that local choirs could use for maximum performance.

The event also featured the first-ever performance of BC’s Men’s Chorus that had the audience on the edge of their seats.

Thanks to the BC Chamber Singers for organizing, as well as Dr. Peterson for helping so many students.

Cafe Murder

On Thursday, October 17, the Office of Student Life collaborated with the Theater Arts department to host a murder mystery dinner called Café Murder. Guests arrived to the Renegade Room at 5:30 p.m. to enjoy a Basque-themed dinner, but found themselves sharing the space with a birthday party. After some awkward encounters with the birthday guests, and the fact that everyone seemed to hate the birthday girl, they all left to use the restroom, and that is when the night turned upside-down. The birthday girl never returned and fingers were pointing at everyone in the room, especially since everyone mentioned how much they disliked the birthday girl. After some questioning from the audience, they were left to determine who was the murderer, and let’s just say, it’s in your best interest to tip and treat your waiter generously in the future.

This event was highly popular (it sold out within a day) and both offices look to collaborate in the future. This performance was made possible with the guidance of Professor Kimberly Chin.

Standout Interview and Resume Seminar

To help our students develop strong resumes and stand out in job interviews, BC held a workshop on Monday in the Levan Center.

The guest speaker for the workshop was Susanne Rego, Senior Manager of Human Resources for Target. Rego spoke about what she looks for personally from a resume and job interview. Business pathways counselor Jonathan Ward informed students about all the things they should watch out for during the semester, including the start of priority registration.

I thank all employees who helped with this event, from our business department to our job development specialists embedded within BC’s Learning and Career Pathways.

Pre-Rad Tech Orientation

BC’s Radiologic Technology Department held an orientation on Wednesday to inform students about how to apply and what to expect out of the Rad Tech curriculum at BC.

BC faculty and staff, including Jacelyn Hill, Venessa Reyes, Victoria Coffee, and Dinorah Castro, presented information regarding pre-requisites, scholarship and employment opportunities. Current students in the Rad Tech program held a panel discussion to answer students’ questions about learning habits, time management, and personal growth during the program.

The Radiologic Technology Program is a 2-year commitment that prepares students to pass licensure and eligibility for California’s Fluoroscopy Permit exam. Thank you to BC Rad Tech and Allied Health for preparing the Rad Techs of the future!

Chevron Employee Appreciation Day

Bakersfield College was invited by Chevron North America to participate in their Employee Appreciation Day at the Chevron Kern River Oilfield site on Thursday, October 31. This was an opportunity for approximately 1,000 Chevron employees to come together and enjoy a lovely lunch, play yard games, and have the chance to connect with local organizations.

Heather Pennella and Aubrey Priest

Heather Pennella, Alumni & Donor Relations Manager and Aubrey Priest, Program Manager-Industrial Automation, attended the event. Thank you to Gina Pettit of Chevron for including Bakersfield College in the celebration!

BC at the Vineyards

Our Bakersfield College Rural Initiatives Team took their outreach efforts on the road! Last week, the team visited vineyards throughout rural Kern County during the 2nd Annual BC at the Vineyards to promote the programs and services Bakersfield College has to offer throughout its various locations to more than 1,000 farmworkers. These visits to the vineyards were followed up with matriculation events at the Delano Campus and Arvin High School, where prospective renegades had the opportunity to complete their applications and meet with a counselor to determine their pathway options. 

These outreach efforts would not have been possible without the collaboration of the California Farmworkers Foundation and support from the Outreach and CTE Departments at Bakersfield College.

Huge shout out to our Rural Initiatives team, especially our Program Managers Jaime Lopez and Endee Grijalva for coordinating these efforts!

Foundation of California Community Colleges Provides Mobile Hotspots to 11 BC MESA Students

Through collaboration with the Chancellor’s Office and MESA (Math, Engineering, Science Achievement) program, and in partnership with ThinkEDU, the Foundation for California Community Colleges and California Connects Equity Program has provided 11 BC MESA students with free WiFi hotspots with 12 months of prepaid service. The California Connects Equity Program helps reduce barriers to learning by assisting MESA students who are currently enrolled in a California community college. Although many students are connected through a smartphone, they are considered “under connected” in that the consistency of their access is lower than they would like it to be.

Left to right: Annabelle Recino, Ramssess Patterson, and Peter Rodriguez

The requirements for participation are: (1) student is enrolled in the MESA program; (2) student is enrolled in a California community college; and (3) student is willing to receive and respond to periodic surveys measuring the efficacy of this program and online education for the community colleges.

Danielle Zepeda and Ian Spark

MESA students receiving the hotspot devices include Jesus Barrita, Mark Gutierrez, Jason Moore, Katie Ramirez, Annabelle Recinos, Peter Rodriguez, Rebecca Sinor, Ian Spark, Maria Valencia, Alejandra Zapata, and Danielle Zepeda.  At the conclusion of the 12 months of prepaid service, students will have the option to return the device or pay $19.99 per month for continued service.

As the Acting Program Director for MESA, Martin Perez has purchased a device (valued at $125.00) for his own use.  He is paying the $19.99 monthly service charge and will be disconnecting his internet from home.  Learn more about these hotspot devices.

Fun Photos

Fun Photos: Times Past

I received a wonderful email from Trustee Nan Gomez-Heizeberg about a trip we once took together.  We had traveled to Tehachapi to observe an adjunct faculty member teach a math class; I was the department chair at that time and Nan a dean.  Such great memories! Check out this magazine article from years ago regarding Nan’s many trips up and down Highway 99.

Students’ Halloween at BC

Web Content Editor Earl Parsons snapped these great photos of some Renegade students wearing their Halloween costumes.

Financial Aid Halloween

Heather Skibinski, Financial Aid Technician, sent over these great photos of Financial Aid staff in their Halloween costumes. Bob Ross, Slash, and a T-Rex? What’s not to love?

Physical Science Halloween

Chris Benker‘s authentic Indian garb!

Taken From Facebook: BC Staff Celebrate Halloween

Some of our BC staff posted photos on Facebook of how they celebrated Halloween. Check out these great photos!

Endee Grijalva and her daughter looked very spooky!
Monika Scott spent Halloween in Toronto with Buzz Lightyear.
At Basketball
Fun Video: Creative Design Center

Renegade video intern, Thanh Cao, from the Marketing and Public Relations Department, created a short video highlight reel using footage provided by Derrin Willis, Professor of Industrial Drawing. The short video will be featured on the BC website.  Great work, Thanh!

Fun Video: Health Fair

Renegade video intern, Thanh Cao, also created another short video highlight reel about the Health Careers Fair.  Great work (again), Thanh!

Kern Schools FCU Renegades of the Week (10/20-10/26)

Emily Lostetter, Women’s Soccer

Emily scored three goals in a 7-0 win over West LA, and two more goals in a 4-1 win over Glendale for a total of five on the week.

Jonathan Hunter, Wrestling

Jonathan placed 1st in the 165 lb. class at the Meat Head Movers Tournament on Saturday (10/26) beating both the #1 and #2 ranked wrestlers in the state to help the team to a 2nd place finish.

Student Athlete Spotlight

Anthony Ponce, Men’s Soccer

Enjoy this week’s Renegade Student Athlete Spotlight video on Anthony Ponce from our Renegade Men’s Soccer team. The video was shot and edited by BC digital media student Jacob Amado. Great work, Jacob!

Renegade Athletics Scoreboard

Athletics Events ‘On the Hill’

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

  • Tue. 11/5 – Women’s Soccer vs West LA @ 3pm
  • Wed. 11/6 – Volleyball vs. West LA @ 6pm
  • Fri. 11/8 – Women’s Soccer vs. LA Valley @ 3pm
  • Sat. 11/9 – Wrestling hosts SEWA Tournament

That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

sonya-
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

The Energy that’s BC!

Berkeley Waterfront

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, December 14, 2019… A great day to be a Renegade.

The tune that has been in my head this week… Imagine Dragons Believer

2019 Homecoming!

Last week was BC’s Homecoming week, and our Renegades played a hard-fought game!  Thank you for coming out and showing your Renegade pride. Here are some photos and videos from last week’s game.

The Energy that’s BC!

The 16-sec ending to the Chamber singers doing the National Anthem at the game.

Jennifer Garrett and the BC Choir singing the National Anthem
Sonya Christian, Steve Watkin, Catherine Rangal, Tonya Cordova
Mayor Goh, President Christian, Catherine Rangel and Mary Jo Pasek
Bill Potter with 17 rowdy kids!
BC Fireworks!

BC SouthWest Has Officially Moved! 

The move has happened!  We officially moved our classes to the new BC SouthWest campus, which will be held in modulars while construction for the new building is underway.  It was a busy and exciting week, but we are ecstatic to begin our journey at our new home in Southwest Bakersfield! Make sure to check out this great video on the new BC SouthWest center!

Leo Campo and Brynn Shock

BCSGA Power Lunch with Rudy Salas

We had the pleasure of hosting Assemblymember Rudy Salas this past week, who spoke with BC students in the Levan Center for another great BCSGA Power Lunch. BCSGA believes that it is important for students and the community to hear from the people that are representing them, so they invite an important government leader in Kern County to participate in the Power Lunch every month.

Assemblymember Rudy Salas at the BCSGA Power Luncheon

Assemblymember Salas talked about his childhood in southeast Bakersfield, as well as his career in politics, which started with being a financial analyst for the White House in Washington, DC. Assemblymember Salas would eventually move back to Bakersfield to become the first Latino to sit on our City Council before becoming Kern County’s representative on the California Assembly for the last seven years.

OSL serving lunch to attendees

Salas has also been instrumental in funding for career and technical education programs at BC, awarding $1 million to our campus for two consecutive years. Check out my July 20, 2019 blog of the recognition event https://sonyachristianblog.com/2019/07/20/recognition-gratitude-one-proud-renegade-prez/

Salas inspired our students with…. “If you have it in your heart to make a difference, you can do it.”

Assemblymember Salas, Mike Giacomini and Zav Dadabhoy

I would like to give a huge thank you to Assemblymember Rudy Salas. I would also like to thank BCSGA for putting on yet another great event.

Assemblymember Salas and BCSGA’s Legislative Affairs director Johnny Maddon

Dr. Paula Green: Peacebuilding in Divided Communities

Nicky Damania, Reggie Williams, Paula Green, Nick Strobel

Our BC Student Government Association and the Office of Student Life had the pleasure of hosting the Distinguished Speaker Dr. Paula Green and her presentation Peacebuilding in Divided Communities earlier this week. Dr. Green, founder of The Karuna Center for Peacebuilding, presented her work on the significance of peacebuilding efforts in communities worldwide with the purpose of resolving conflicts and the valuable impact of understanding one another’s different views. Dr. Green discussed the importance of reconciliation through our mutual understanding to communicate on the issues that divide communities and give rise to conflicting views making it necessary to discuss and understand our differing perspectives. 

Dr. Paula Green presenting in the Distinguished Speaker Series

The humanitarian efforts of the Karuna Center for Peacebuilding advocate for the importance of bridging divides in order to develop a sustainable peace in communities worldwide affected by political, civil, religious, and war conflicts. Dr. Green has recognized that we must learn to be deep listeners and to understand the circumstances of others around us in order to accept the differences of others and to reach a point of unity and peace. Thank you to the BC Student Government Association and the Office of Student Life for hosting this presentation, and a very special thank you to Dr. Green for taking the time to visit our campus and share her insight.  And thank you Nick Strobel!

Dr. Paula Green, Dr. Ximena Da Silva

BC Hosts Distinguished Speaker Samuel Sternberg

Our second Distinguished Speaker for this week was biochemist Samuel H. Sternberg, who shared in-depth details about the revolutionary gene-editing tool CRISPR in a series of lectures at the Panorama Campus on Thursday.

Dr. Sternberg

Dr. Sternberg is an assistant professor in biochemistry at Columbia University and co-author of the book “A Crack in Creation: The New Power to Control Evolution”. His research in this field has been instrumental in the development of new technologies to edit the DNA of practically any living organism, raising thousands of bioethical questions in the process.

CRISPR, which stands for Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats, is a phenomenon that was first observed in the bacteria E. coli as a way to fight off destructive bacterial viruses known as phages. A strand of RNA in the bacteria identifies where the phages are actively attempting to destroy its cellular structure and deploys an enzyme to “cut” the virus out of its DNA.

Benny Balderrama, Dr. Sternberg and Dr. Joe Saldivar

Thank you Dr. Sternberg for coming to BC, and thanks to everyone on the Office of Student Life team for making this happen. Our next Distinguished Speaker will be veteran Jason Beardsley, who will be giving three presentations in the Levan Center on November 7.

Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) Visits BC 

Earlier this week, BC hosted members of the Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) to evaluate our Baccalaureate program.  The visit was to assess the progress of the Industrial Automation Baccalaureate Degree Program as one of the 15 pilot programs chosen by the State Chancellor’s Office in collaboration with the Academic Senate against the purposes articulated in the SB 850 legislation.

Legislative Analyst Edgar Cabral, from the State Chancellor’s Office, met with our team (Jason Dixon, Lora Larkin, Thomas Rush, Roy Allard, Aubrey Priest, Amber Hroch, Michelle Pena, Liz Rozell, Jennifer Achan, Cynthia Quintanilla, & Manny Fernandez), our students (Richard Van Horn, Edwin Marroquin, Aaron Thomas, & Armando Gutierrez), and industry partners Blair Pruett (Kern Steel), Jonathan Greersen (California Resources Co.), Carlos Media (BC Job Development Specialist), Sam Gomez (Tasteful Selections), Tim McCord (Carboline), Paisley Stidham and Anthony Gutierrez (GAF) yesterday to discuss our Baccalaureate in Science degree for Industrial Automation.  Thank you to our dedicated team of faculty, staff, students, and employers who helped showcase our program and our community it serves. 

State and National Visibility for Early College

Our Early College team has been busy spreading the word about the amazing work being done in association with our high school partners. Steve Watkin, Kylie Swanson, and Ashlea Ward have been sharing the scaling up of Early College across the county and the innovative ways that we have been increasing college accessibility in our rural areas. 

Ashlea Ward and Kylie Swanson

In September, the team, along with several of our high school partners, went to Riverside, CA to present at the 6th Annual California Dual Enrollment Summit, put on by the California Coalition of Early and Middle Colleges (CCEMC). Then, in October, the team went to Salt Lake City, Utah to share our work at the national level with the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NACEP).

CCEMC Panel

As we build our relationships with other colleges across the state and across the nation, we are coming together to present Early College as a solution to the degree attainment crisis that is plaguing our nation. Early College is our chance to get students on path as early as the 9th grade, and to equip them with the skills and mindset necessary to follow that path all the way through baccalaureate completion, and beyond. 

Kylie Swanson, Steve Watkin and Ashlea Ward

Thank you for doing this crucial work, Early College team!

BC at the Kern County Education to Workforce Summit

Employers’ Training Resource, Kern Community College District and Kern High School District partnered with America’s Job Center to sponsor “Kern County Education to Workforce Summit”. The summit was held on October 24th, 2019 at the DoubleTree Hotel by Hilton.

Teresa Hitchcock and Norma Rojas-Mora

BC was in full force at this Summit, with businesses, education staff, community leaders, human resource professionals, students, and the general public, providing information on hot topics in business and their impact on today’s economy. 

Norma Rojas, Mayor Goh, Nateasha Johnson and Steve Watkin

BC Ag Departments Hosts 3rd Annual Agriculture Career Expo

The Ag Expo was huge!

This past week, the Agriculture Department and the Kern County Farm Bureau hosted its 3nd Annual Agriculture Career Expo.  Over 300 FFA high school students visited campus to learn about different career opportunities in the agriculture industry. Ariana Joven, Executive Director of the Kern County Farm Bureau spoke to students about the importance of agriculture in Kern County and BC’s drumline arrived to get the students excited about the day – thank you Tim Heasley.

Students from Heather Baltis’ Agriculture Leadership Class along with the Agriculture Ambassadors helped plan and guide students around campus. High school students went to four rotations learning about different careers in the agriculture industry. A special thanks to all the industry professionals that took time to invest in these students.

Along with the different rotations, students went to the Agriculture Career Expo. Domenica Trinidad and the CTE team did an amazing job connecting students with agricultural companies around Kern County.

Domenica Trinidad and the CTE team

We would also like to thank our sponsors for making this day possible. This is a valuable experience for the next generation of agriculture employees. It was a great day to be a Renegade. WE ARE BC!

BC Presents before Sons in Retirement Group

The Sons In Retirement (SIR) Branch 163-Golden Empire, reached out and invited Heather Pennella and Tamara Baker to attend their October monthly meeting held at Hodel’s. SIRs began in 1958, and has thousands of members and branches in most areas of Central and Northern California. Tamara provided a Measure J construction update and offered information on the future projects slated to take place. Heather discussed an increased need for Alumni Engagement, and various opportunities available to support the mission of Bakersfield College. There were several Renegade alums in the crowd and all were impressed to hear that BC attendance has grown to 37,000 students. Thanks to SIR for their hospitality, and to David Fabrizius and Ron Harrington (and little Ron, see picture) for the invitation to share information about Bakersfield College with the group.

Tamara Baker, Heather Pennella, Ron Harrington and Little Ron

BC Holds New Student Orientation

Last week the BC Outreach & School Relations department held a Fall 2019 New Student Orientation session welcoming new incoming students to the BC campus. Our Outreach Advisors Angela Williams, Savannah Andrews, and Jo Ann Acosta led the New Student Orientation session guiding students on available academic resources that help students on their educational journey at BC.

2019 Mental Health Symposium

Earlier this week BC partnered with the Kern County Public Health Services Department and Kern County Behavioral Health & Services to host the first annual 2019 Mental Health Symposium.  The Symposium was held at our Indoor Theater, recognizing and raising awareness on the concerning mental health issues affecting first responders and others with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), a growing mental health issue.

BC Public Safety EMT Instructor Jana Richardson, and Kern County Public Health EMS Program Manager Jeff Fariss highlighted the importance of gathering together as a Bakersfield community in order to support our first responders and everyday people affected with mental health issues and raising awareness on the symptoms of PTSD. Mental health symptoms of PTSD include stress, fear, anger, negative thoughts, recurring memories, and hyper-arousal which causes strong reactions to sounds and sights around an affected person. It is important that we work together as a community to understand the issues concerning mental health awareness and recognizing PTSD symptoms in order to help identify affected people in need of support. Thank you to the BC Public Safety, Kern Public Health, Kern Behavioral Health, and the Bakersfield community for their dedication and commitment to recognizing and raising mental health awareness in support of our first responders and community.

Bakersfield College Attends Prospanica Leadership Conference

BC Latinx students attended the Prospanica Leadership Conference this week.

Local high school students, including college students from CSUB and Bakersfield College, participated in a series of workshops which included: Dress For Success 101 (Jerry Gamez: Finos Menswear & Tux); Financial Literacy (Lorenzo Tafolla, Jesse Quintanilla, Manuel Muralles); Finding Your Purpose (Jason Hanash– Senior Pastor Discovery Church); and were inspired by the words of affirmation and wisdom imparted by the Conference Emcee (Robert Gonzales – Realtor)

Thank you Manuel Muralles (Program Manager- Rural Initiatives) who diligently served in the planning committee to develop an excellent conference and for extending the invitation to Latinx males from Bakersfield College. Also, thank you to Rene Deniz (EOPS Adjunct Counselor) for incorporating Lamont youth into the conference and for serving as a positive role model in the community.

STEM and Chemistry Day at BC

BC celebrated National Chemistry Week with a STEM fair in the courtyard of the Science and Engineering Building on Wednesday. All departments and student organizations that fall under the STEM pathway participated in this event

Some of the groups that participated in the event include MESA, the Physics Club and BC’s Artificial Intelligence club. Thank you to STEM Counselor Laurel Mourtzanos for working to help promote all of the STEM programs that we offer to inspire the science and engineering leaders of tomorrow.

National Chemistry Week is an annual event organized by the American Chemical Society (ACS), an organization founded in 1876 to improve people’s lives through the power of chemistry. The theme of this year’s National Chemistry Week is “Marvelous Metals”, and the ACS website has all kinds of resources for educators to share interesting experiments with metals.

Thank you to the STEM program for honoring National Chemistry Week on our campus, and thank you to all of the clubs who helped organize another great event for our students.

Emails Worth Sharing: Student Success Story

Tom Moran recently shared a link to a video he made that highlights a Renegade student success story. In his email, he describes Jasmine Rubio as a graduate from ITP who has also secured two jobs including one at BC! Check out this incredible Renegade spotlight:  

French Sister City Residents Attend BC Football Game 

Earlier this week, 17 students from Bakersfield’s French sister city, Saint-Jean-de-Luz, came to visit as part of the city’s exchange program.  One of their stops was none other than a BC Renegade Football game, where they were able to take in this great American pastime. We hope that had a great trip to this amazing place we call home! Check out this great piece by KGET on their visit.

Rick Kreiser Distinguished Honoree at American Cancer Society Gala

I received this photo from Michael O’Doherty showing local community leader Rick Kreiser being honored at last week’s American Cancer Society Gala. Rick is a strong supporter of Bakersfield College, and truly deserves this recognition.  Congratulations Rick! 

Rick Kreiser at American Cancer Society Gala
BC’s Cheer Team

NAPD, New Advancement for People with Disabilities, had some of their special needs clients at the home game a couple weeks ago.  BC Cheer is volunteering at their Halloween dance doing Halloween make up, serving food, and are actors in their haunted house.  Here is their thank you video to the cheer team and the college.

Kern Schools FCU Renegades of the Week 

Renegade Athletics is proud to announce this week’s (10/13-10/19) Kern Schools Federal Credit Union Renegades of the Week:

Penelope Zepeda, Volleyball – Penelope played a key roll in the three sweeps the volleyball team collected last week. She was  9-1-18 with a .444 hitting%, collecting 6 digs and 10.5 pts against West LA; she was 9-2-24 with a .292 hitting%, collecting 14 digs and 11.5 pts against Antelope Valley and was 15-2-33 with a .394 hitting% collecting 9 digs and 15.5 pts against Canyons. For her efforts she was also recognized as the CCCWVCA SoCal State Player of the Week. 

Brock Mather, Football – Brock anchored the Renegade defense against Ventura, the fourth ranked team in the state, during the homecoming game on 10/19. He totaled 11 tackles (2 for a loss) and one pass break-up in the game. He also leads the team in tackles so far this season with 41. 

Wrestling Coach Joe Espejo Honored at Alma Mater 

Joe Espejo, one of our assistant wrestling coaches was honored by his alma mater, Dickinson State University where he was inducted as a member in their athletics hall of fame as a member of the 2007-08 Blue Hawk wrestling team. Joe first wrestled for BC before transferring to Dickinson State and is now back at BC coaching the next generation of Renegade wrestlers. Well deserved, Joe!

Volleyball’s Penelope Zepeda Named CCCWVCA State Player of the Week 

The California Community College Women’s Volleyball Association (CCCWVCA) has named Penelope Zepeda as the SoCal State Player of the Week for week #8 of the season. 

Zepeda led the Renegade volleyball team to three straight sweeps last week over West LA, Antelope Valley and Canyons. Congrats, Penelope! Check out this release on the California Community College Athletics Association (CCCAA) website.

Former Renegade Wrestler To Be Inducted Into National Wrestling Hall of Fame 

The National Wrestling Hall of Fame announced this week that former Renegade State Champion wrestler Bruce Burnett will be inducted as a Distinguished Member at the 44th Annual Honors Weekend on June 5-6, 2020 in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Burnett wrestled at Bakersfield College from 1969 to 1970 and was a two-time state champion at the 137/142 lb. weight class. In 1969 he played a key role in the Renegade wrestling team winning the state junior college championship under head coach Bruce Pfutzenreuter. He finished his Renegade career with a 55-3 career record and was named the state’s outstanding wrestler in 1970. Congrats Bruce!

Renegade Athletics Scores From This Past Week

Athletic Events ‘On the Hill’ This Coming Week

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

  • Tues. 10/29 – 4pm Men’s Soccer vs. Canyons
  • Wed. 10/30 – 6pm Volleyball vs. Santa Monica
  • Fri. 11/1 – 7pm Women’s Basketball vs. Riverside
  • Sat. 11/2 – 5pm Women’s Basketball vs. Pasadena City

That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

sonya-
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Rally of the Renegades

Winning Volleyball Team

What a win for our Renegade Volleyball team at College of Canyons last night. With 15 wins and only 2 losses, these young women have taken control with an 8-0 conference record! 👏👏👏 Great job Coach Carl Ferreira, Corissa, Lisa, and team!

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, December 14, 2019… A great day to be a Renegade.

It has been a reflective week for me in the midst of a very hectic work schedule of travel and statewide meetings. I found myself reading and re-reading a piece on grief in John Pavlovitz’ blog. Here is an excerpt:

“As much as I miss my dad (and I do miss him terribly) I miss the me that he knew, too. I grieve the loss of our shared story. I mourn losing the childhood me who napped with him on his bed, the teenage me who spent those priceless Saturday mornings with him, the college aged me who fell asleep while he drove the four-hour trip back to college, the middle-aged me who made him laugh with silly stories of his grandkids.” For the rest click on https://tinyurl.com/y25a49rc

Miles, this is for you
Found myself missing the voice of Sandy Wood on StarDate

For a long time, I’ve been a big fan of StarDate Radio, an astronomy show which airs at 6:20 a.m. every morning on our local NPR station. StarDate began as a daily telephone message service by the McDonald Observatory in Fort Davis, Texas, informing Texans about what they could expect to see in the night sky. More than 40 years later, StarDate is now the longest-running syndicated radio science show in the country.

Sandy Wood, the host of StarDate since 1991 and one of the first female DJs in the Southwestern United States, recently retired from the show for health reasons. New host Billy Henry, a lecturer in media arts for Texas State University in San Marcos, took over as the third announcer in the show’s history this July. Check out this piece on the transition from Wood to Henry https://www.kgou.org/post/sandy-wood-retires-billy-henry-becomes-voice-stardate

Bakersfield College has its own McDonald Observatory in the William M. Thomas Planetarium, and astronomy professor Nick Strobel uses the space as an important resource to inspire passion for science in our community. He also writes a column for the Bakersfield Californian every two weeks to talk about recent advancements in astronomy and promote some of the breathtaking shows that the planetarium puts on throughout the year. In his most recent column on October 3, Nick talks about the recently discovered exoplanet GJ 3512 and speculation that a proposed “Planet Nine” far beyond Pluto in our solar system could actually be a small black hole.

On the Road for a national conference on entrepreneurship

Last weekend, I hit the road for Newport Beach to attend the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship conference. Newport is a beautiful coastal city known for surfing, sandy beaches, and a boat-filled harbor. I enjoyed the sunsets every evening….

Newport Beach Sunset
Newport Beach Sunset

Bakersfield College was well represented in various panels at the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship and it was both enriching and rewarding to learn and hear about the innovative things taking place that blend education and entrepreneurship together.

Richard Chapman, Nora Dominguez, Sonya Christian, and JP Lake

On Sunday evening, I caught up with JP Lake, Richard Chapman, and Nora Dominguez who presented on the conference’s first day in a panel titled “Creating a Vibrant, Innovative Culture, Internally and Externally” regarding the experiences around developing BC’s Launchpad and the Bakersfield entrepreneurial community.

Kern County is home to over 904,000 people. Jobs increased 4.9% from 2014 to 2019, but this change fell short of the national growth of 6.9%. Bakersfield College serves a diverse student body of over 37,000, most of whom are first generation. Through partnering with the Kern Initiative for Talent and Entrepreneurship (KITE), a county-wide partnership under the leadership of the Kern Economic Development Corp. and the Seedcore Foundation, we are focused on boosting job creation and formulating new businesses in Kern County.

Together, we are expanding resource availability from large tech start up firms to include practical needs of local and small business owners. We’re removing the silo walls to break down isolated innovation, creating an ecosystem for small business and entrepreneurial needs.

“Every person has unique talents and when a community unites to harness the power of these gifts, transformation happens at both an individual level and a greater one.”

John Paul Lake, Founder, KITE Initiative

Bakersfield College, along with other educators, provided local workforce development across a variety of sectors and in all local industries.The entrepreneurship curriculum, created by Bakersfield College,expanded from the College’s Business Department into all Career Technical Education programs with StartitUp included within the courses.

Manny M and Rudy M at NACCE

Rudy Menjivar (Professor in Entrepreneurship, Accounting and Business Law), Manny Mourtzanos (Dean of Instruction) and Brad King (StartItUp) presented at the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE) on how Bakersfield College has embedded the StartItUp app in our Entrepreneurship courses to ensure students successfully complete a viable business plan prior to launching their entrepreneurial ideas or small businesses. Start-it-Up is the only end-to-end scalable mobile technology platform designed to guide students in launching small businesses, and has been able to increase the rate of successful business launch, retention, and growth.

On Tuesday, Gayle Richardson (Professor in Accounting) presented on BC’s Hackathon Competition, a three day competition in which teams of students develop proposals to complex environmental and social issues through ‘digital storytelling.’ Teams are given a maximum hypothetical budget of $25,000.00 to initiate their project idea. 

Strides for CJD

The Renegade family gathered at Lake Ming last Sunday in honor of Harvey Hall, a BC alum who was an enthusiastic supporter of higher education and was the chair of the Measure J campaign.

Lavonne Hall

The second-annual Strides 4 CJD event raised money for those affected with Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, a degenerative brain disorder that took the life of Harvey Hall, Bakersfield’s 25th mayor, a pioneer of emergency medical services in Kern County, and a kind-hearted man whose blood was Renegade Red through and through. The event provides families with a safe space to pay tribute to the loved ones they’ve lost to CJD while raising awareness of this condition, which affects more than 1 million people worldwide every year. CJD is caused by proteins that affect the central nervous system of the brain, and about 70 percent of people with CJD die within a year of being diagnosed.

The Volleyball team and Student Government along with President Samantha Pulido were there to support the event. We look forward to supporting those affected by CJD at next year’s event.

Homecoming Week

BC’s Homecoming Week was a huge success, with a plethora of events on all of our campuses leading up to tonight’s parade and Homecoming football game against Ventura College. Starting on Monday, the BC Homecoming team called for all staff and students to get into the Homecoming spirit with a poster and office decorations competition to see which students and departments could demonstrate the most school pride. Student posters were judged on creativity, spirit, and Renegade pride, while departments got to show their creative side by decorating their offices using this year’s Homecoming theme of “Renegades Around the World”.

BC’s F.O.T.O. club won first place in the poster competition, while the Science and Engineering departments took the crown for the office decoration, earning themselves a fully catered lunch in the process.

The Renegades prepared for the big Homecoming game against Ventura College during Thursday’s “Rally of the Renegades” on the Renegades Crossroads. Students turned out to show their school spirit before the game, and the BC Drumline and cheerleaders got the crowd ready for celebrations. The Agriculture Ambassadors and Free on the Outside clubs also had games for students to play, with a chance to win great prizes like 20 gift cards and free lunch coupons.

Homecoming Week: Chalk Walk

Students were encouraged to show their BC spirit and pride while illustrating this year’s Homecoming theme of “Renegades Around the World”. Students demonstrated their creativity and design skills, and student organizations with the best chalk designs got points for the Homecoming competition.

Homecoming Week: Gandhi Easel Event

Mahatma Gandhi is quoted as saying “in a gentle way, you can shake the world.” The tremors of that shaking could be felt in Levinson Hall on Monday night, as BC students gathered to honor Gandhi with an easel painting event.

In celebration of this year’s Homecoming theme of “Renegades Around the World”, students illustrated two hands joining in the shape of a heart, a visual representation of Gandhi’s core message, which is about bringing people together and promoting diversity. Rachel Cortes, a painting instructor for over 13 years, was crying tears of laughter as she joyfully assisted students with their paintings.

Homecoming Week: Karaoke & Pop Trivia

BC students sang some of their favorite songs of differing musical tastes along with friends and had many fun and entertaining duet performances. BCSGA Director of Legislative Affairs and Finance, Johnny Maddon, led the Pop Trivia panel with various pop culture references to music, movies, video-games, history, and entertaining stand-up comedy. 

Homecoming Week: BC’s Got Talent

Renegades showed off their creative talents in the Gym Huddle on Wednesday during the BC Got Talent event as part of Homecoming Week. The Office of Student Life and BCSGA welcomed all students to participate in the entertainment competition and perform their choice of singing, dancing or comedy.

Many of our students took the spotlight and sang their favorite songs from a variety of genres, from pop and rap to country and rock. During the performances, a panel of BCSGA representatives judged the auditions and joined in cheering for all of the amazing performances of our BC students.

Agra International Visits BC

This past week, BC’s Agriculture department with the help of our Agriculture Ambassadors hosted French students from Agra International tours. The tour group does educational agriculture tours to help students learn more about agriculture in other countries. This particular group of students were attending MFR La Pignerie, a professional college in France.