BC Hits the Ground Running in 2020

The first week of 2020 at BC was an active one, and for me the highlights included watching our Basketball teams play at the Gil Bishop gymnasium and seeing the Measure J campus center construction moving so rapidly. Btw, the team won the first conference game against Citrus College 65-40!

The two weeks that BC was closed for Christmas were just great. I had the perfect vacation at home …the first week with my daughter who visited for four days for Christmas, what a treat to have her for that long a time. The second week quiet with lots of walks, curling up in front of the fireplace with a book, cooking, and catching up on home projects. Talking about reading here are a few of my favorite reads from 2019.

  • The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery
  • The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt by Edmund Morris
  • Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
  • The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris
  • The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne
  • Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, January 25, 2020… A great day to be a Renegade.

Back to basketball and athletics. Not sure if you were aware that student athletes outperform the college average in metrics for academic performance. These kids play hard in their sport and work hard in their coursework. Here is a quote from the my recent State of the College report: student-athletes outperform the general student population on all of the Guided Pathways Momentum Points. In fact, in Fall 2018, 62% of first-time student-athletes attempted 30+ units in their first year, compared to their peers at 12%. Our coaches are the very best. It was wonderful watching Coach Paul Dahl, Coach Rich Hughes, and Coach Aaron Chavez in action yesterday.

McFarland Cougars and BC Renegades are so connected… The fabulous Superintended of McFarland, Aaron Resendez tweets:

Here is a 17-sec fun video of our Men’s team.

Renegade Mens Basketball

2020 Women’s Empowerment Summit at BC

Mark your calendars for the Fifth Annual Women’s Empowerment Summit to be hosted at Bakersfield College on Saturday, April 25, 2020.  This annual Summit is organized by the California Latino Leadership Institute (CLLI) and launched in 2016 to address Central Valley women’s issues with gender gaps, career barriers and prospects for the future.  You can learn more about it at their website

Last year’s conference featured appearances from Kern County Supervisor Leticia Perez, California Assembly Member Rudy Salas, and several women from the local petroleum industry. Aera Energy President and CEO Christina Sistrunk was also recognized by CLLI as the 2019 Distinguished Woman and Petroleum Advocate of the Year.  Check out this great video from last year’s Summit and please join us for this year’s wonderful event!

BC Welding Students Tour PCL Industrial Services

BC Job Developer Carlos Medina organized an industry tour of PCL Industrial Services for our Bakersfield College welding students on December 20th. Thank you to Carlos for organization this, and thank you to PCL Industrial Services for opening doors for our students!

Welcoming BC Students With One Day Express Enrollment

The new year is upon us, and the Spring 2020 semester is about to begin in just a few weeks here at BC. To get our students ready, the Outreach Department held a One-Day Express Enrollment event in the Welcome Center to integrate members of the community into the Renegade family.

Counselors and student interns made sure that the incoming students got into the right classes that fit into their busy schedules. I would like to congratulate all of our future Renegades for letting us help you reach your educational goals.

BC Welcomes 26 New BPD Officers

Friends, family, and members of law enforcement packed nearly every seat in the Indoor Theater on Thursday to celebrate 26 new officers who had just finished the Bakersfield Law Enforcement Training Academy. Bakersfield Police Department Class 19-01 is the first to graduate from the new training facility on California Avenue and the first wave of new officers that will hit the streets since the passage of Measure N, which provides $58 million in funding to enhance public safety around the city.

Photo courtesy of The Bakersfield Californian

I would like to thank the Bakersfield Police Department for choosing the home of the Renegades to host their graduation ceremony. Check out the article by Quinn Wilson of the Bakersfield Californian to learn more about Class 19-01.

State of the BC Agriculture, Nutrition and Culinary Arts Pathway

At the last College Council meeting the Agriculture, Nutrition and Culinary Arts (ANC) Completion Team consisting of Juan Manzano, Dominca Trindad, Corny Rodriguez and LeAnn Riley presented the status of their pathway.  They found that since Fall 2014, the number of first-time students in the pathway has increased by almost 2.5 times to a total of 304 students.  If you include dual enrollment numbers, it has increased nearly six times!! Great job, team!!    

The ANC Pathway provides a large variety of exciting degree options that will lead to many in-demand careers. The focus of this pathway is to learn while doing by offering courses designed for students to have hands-on experience, develop problem-solving skills, and provide industry standard experience. Students can earn a variety of industry accepted certificates of achievement and associates degrees for those who want to enter the workforce directly from Bakersfield College. Some of those areas of concentration include occupational safety and risk management, forestry, animal science, and heavy equipment technician to name a few! You can check out all of the degrees and certificates offered at the ANC website

Student Employment Scoop: Careers in Overdrive

This week’s Student Employment Scoop newsletter (see excerpt below) highlighted the ongoing work in BC’s Authomative Technology department.  Take a look and learn about the opportunities BC has to offer!

Automotive Technology Associate Professor Vic Posey, in just a few short years, has grown the Automotive Internships into a model program. Assessing student’s strengths, he invites students to participate each summer to be placed at different companies throughout Kern County. Over the summer two particular students shifted their careers into overdrive. Diana Barrios began as an Engineering major, but also wanted to learn some basic maintenance so she registered for the Introduction to Automotive Technology course and was hooked. Over the summer she was placed at GMC Motor City and after only one month was offered a full time position. But because she was still working towards her degree she agreed to a part time position with GMC who was willing to work around her school schedule. Diana is the second in her family to attend college, she is the only female Gas Drivability Technician at GMC, and has moved into a full time position. Diana only has one class left to complete her Automotive Technology Associate Degree.

Shifting gears to Edgar Villasenor, who much like Diana, was the second in his family to go to college. He was placed at Jim Burke Ford Quick Lane for his internship, and within 2 weeks completed his required 60 hours. His work ethic and diligence caught the attention of his internship supervisor and one month after completing his required hours they called to offer him a full time position. Ford was able to provide flexibility with his school schedule. Edgar is a Lube Technician for Jim Burke Ford Quick Lane but wants to work bumper to bumper in the main shop one day and has 4 classes left to graduate in May 2020.

Both students agreed that when the opportunity to connect with the industry presents itself to TAKE IT! But you have to put in the work and want to be there. They also say, “It’s not enough to just do your school work, you must learn how to effectively communicate with coworkers and customers.”

Pictured Left to Right Diana Barrios, Vic Posey, Edgar Villasenor

Martin Luther King, Jr. Committee Community Awards Breakfast

Two members of the Renegade family will be recognized at this year’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Committee Community Awards Breakfast on January 20. Josephine Triplett was a long-time child development professor here at BC, and Polly Warren is a community service organizer whose husband Harvey Warren was a BC counselor.

BC’s Steven Watkin at last year’s annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Awards Breakfast Celebration at the MLK Community Center. Rev. Watkin was the master of ceremonies for the event. Photo courtesy of The Bakersfield Californian.

The breakfast is held at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center every year to honor individuals for their acts of generosity and kindness in the community. Honorees include civil rights attorney Kathleen Faulkner, Dolores Huerta, and Memorial Hospital CEO Ken Keller.

Thank you to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Committee for recognizing our Renegades. For more information about the breakfast, read Ema Sasic’s article in the Bakersfield Californian.

Fun Photos: Bill Potter Working Hard

Upon returning from Winter Recess, life at BC can get hectic, but leave it to Bill Potter to find some time to turn work into play!

Bill putting his Measure J construction knowledge to work.

Fun Photos: BC Supporting Astromech Droids

I returned to campus this week and found a Christmas present waiting for me in my office…. Astromech Droid sweatshirt (often most recognizable as R2D2 in the Star Wars saga).  Thanks to a dear colleague who knew that I was a Star Wars fan and this sweatshirt has Industrial Automation emblazoned in bold with Astromech Droid in smaller lettering underneath it. A marriage of BC and Star Wars.

Governor Newsom’s Focus on Education

Reporter Michael Burke recapped Governor Gavin Newsom’s first year of higher education initiatives in an article published in EdSource on Monday.

In his first year of office and with the help of the state legislature, Governor Newsom has increased the number of available competitive Cal Grants, increased funding for the California College Promise, and launched the Council for Post-Secondary Education, an advisory board of education, business and labor leaders to help Newsom shape policy on college access and student success initiatives. The article quotes several experts and analysts from the California higher education community, including Campaign for College Opportunity President Michele Siqueiros, one of our partners in the Educational Systems and Intersegmental Pathways Task Force.

Gov. Gavin Newsom (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

In 2020, Newsom and the legislature will be working on reforming financial aid to cover non-tuition costs. Check out Michael Burke’s informative, detailed article for more information about the present and future of community college statewide.

Jeff Chudy Steps Down as Renegade Football Coach

After 16 seasons of leading the Renegade Football program, head coach Jeff Chudy decided to retire from coaching, and back to full time teaching, this last week. Including his time as an assistant coach, Jeff has spent almost 30 years roaming the sidelines at Memorial Stadium coaching football. We are grateful for his many years of service to the college and the countless hours he spent teaching and leading our Renegade student athletes. The 2012 football season he coached was particularly extraordinary when he led the Renegades to a record of 11-2 and the State Championship, routing City College of San Francisco 35-14 in the title game at Memorial Stadium in front of over 18,000 fans.

Coach Jeff Chudy

Renegades of the Week

Renegade Athletics is proud to announce this week’s (12/29-1/4) Kern Schools Federal Credit Union Renegades of the Week:

Julie Hernandez, Women’s Basketball – Julie was a driving force in helping the Renegades to a huge come-from-behind victory at home last Saturday against Reedley College, 68-63. She was 40% from the field, led the team in rebounds with 11 boards, scored 13 points and had 3 assists.

Javier Gallardo, Men’s Basketball – Javier led the Renegades in two big wins hosting the Western State Classic this last weekend. In their 106-52 win over Santa Barbara he had 22 points, 9 rebounds and 4 assists. In their 101-54 win over Oxnard he had 13 points and 7 rebounds.

Renegade Athletics Updates From This Past Week

Men’s Basketball Hosted 2020 Western State Classic

Game 1 win over Santa Barbara, 106-52

Game 2 win over Oxnard, 101-54

Women’s Basketball with come-from-behind victory over Reedley

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:

Wed. 1/15 Women’s Basketball vs Glendale, 5pm

Wed. 1/15 Men’s Basketball vs. Glendale, 7pm

That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

the luckiest and happiest college president ever

A look back as we look forward

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, January 4, 2020… A great day to be a Renegade.

As we look forward to the new decade, let’s take a look back at where we’ve been. I thought I’d start with some fun photos from our archives of a rare but beautiful sight… BC in the snow!

Archive Throwback: Winter Wonderland at Bakersfield College

Here are some photos from 1987:

And two featuring Memorial Stadium and the baseball field from 2001:

Archive Throwback: How it all started on the hill

It was April 30th, 1953, that Bakersfield College broke ground and began construction on this empty, barren, dirty, and dusty 153-acre lot on the Panorama Bluffs. The thriving, alive, and robust BC campus we have today is because forward thinkers had a vision of providing for future generations. Breaking ground on our beloved campus, overlooking the prolific Kern River oil field was just the beginning of a rich history at 1801 Panorama Drive.

The needs of Kern County and the future success of our students has been the highest priority for the past 106 years. On opening day in 1913, Bakersfield College began with 13 students. Thirteen students who went on to gain skills and education necessary to make a better life for themselves, and to give back to their community.

Ariel photo of the BC campus during construction in 1955

Today, our enrollment numbers are upwards of 35,000 students – and we continue to grow. Bakersfield College is a place where learning happens. Increasingly, our community is coming to BC to learn. And increasingly, BC is learning how to better serve our community.

BC has seen tremendous growth in the last five years. In 2018-19, BC enrolled 35,992 students, a 42% increase since 2014-15. Some highlights of BC’s major accomplishments in 2019 include:

  • 94 Early College Students earned an Associate degree the same year as their high school graduation; a 147% increase from the previous year
  • 17 Inmate Scholars graduates with an Associate Degree for Transfer in Communications; this was the first graduating class from BC’s Inmate Scholars
  • 7,994 awards in 2018-19, a 57.7% increase from the previous year
  • 12 Baccalaureate of Science degrees were awarded, a 71% increase from the previous year

BC is serving students across Bakersfield in various locations including Panorama, downtown at the Weill Institute, BC Southwest on Camino Media, throughout various high school locations, and online. BC is our community’s college and we are here to serve our students regardless of location. Over the past few years, we’ve addressed several transportation and access barriers by expanding course locations to our rural communities AND with various student services on wheels traveling to Shafter, Wasco, McFarland, and more!

As we begin a new year with new challenges, new objectives, and new achievements ahead, our priority will always remain the same – the support, safety, and success of BC’s students.

Archive Throwback: The Big Move

The BC Archives Newsletter dated April 2006 featured the “Move to the Hill” on BC’s 50th anniversary. In light of our progress last year with transforming the campus through the work of Measure J, let’s take a look at where it all began with “The Big Move.”

The Big Move by Edward Simonsen

“Bakersfield Junior College has, since its establishment in 1913, shared a campus with Bakersfield High school or, as it was known in the early years, KCUHS, commonly called KC. Actually, the junior college was more like a stepchild on the high school campus, having grown from efforts to extend the high school offerings and meet some of the needs of of the community for college-level courses.

Former BC President, Ed Simonsen

For years the College had dreamed of having its own campus, but depression and war had intervened, and it wasn’t until 1955 that the cornerstone would be laid for its new home up on the Panorama bluffs. Although the earthquakes of 1952 were destructive in the extreme, they were fortuitous for what was to be called Bakersfield College. A bond issue following the earthquakes easily passed for a handsome sum in those days of $17 million, and the building of a new college was included in this bond. It was finally going to be time for ‘the big move.’

Grace Bird, who was the dean of the junior college from 1921 until 1950, had visions of a college on a hill. In April 1956, with Ralph Prator at the helm, Bakersfield College, as it was now called, was built on a hill, a wonderful 150 acres up on the Panorama bluffs where it has seen a very productive fifty years, serving tens of thousands of students, and touching the lives of families all over Kern County.

Former President, Ralph Prator

In President Prator’s greetings to the students in the 1956 yearbook, The Raconteur,  he stated ‘The trip to the promised land took place this year. The waters of the big sea of speculation parted to let the red and white clad B.C.-ites into the shore of a new era.’

After many years of dreaming, and after four years of intensive planning and building, the big move took place over Easter vacation, 1956. There were those who thought it would be easier to wait until summer vacation to make the move, and asked rather pointedly, ‘What’s the big rush?’ But the students of the class of 1956 had a compelling argument that favored moving during the spring term. They had been looking forward to being the first class to receive their degrees from the campus on the hill, and they did not want to be denied this distinction. Their views carried the day and the move was made during spring break.

The junior college of 1955-56 was intertwined with the high school. The faculty were shared, and the big question as the move became imminent was who on the teaching faculty would go with the college, and who would stay on at Bakersfield High School. There was a lot at stake in these decisions both at the individual and institutional levels. There was triumph and disappointment at the decisions were made and announced. Bakersfield Junior College had developed a very strong cadre of faculty, some of whom also taught high school classes. And there were also very effective faculty teaching at the high school level who aspired to go with the college. So, these matters had to be settled, and ruffled feathers smoothed.  As the 1955 academic year moved along, decisions were made and the college moved on with its plans for complete separation from the high school. These were not easy decisions, and there were many agonizing moments, and some tears shed.

The faculty, and the entire staff, to some degree, were involved in the planning of the new campus; Ralph Prator saw to that. But Ralph delegated responsibility for actually moving everything and everybody to me, so I had the experience of coordinating the big move. The job was made easier by the fact that much of the new furniture, and all of the new equipment had always been ordered and delivered to the new campus. The move was accomplished with rented panel trucks, with everyone helping, including faculty, administrators, staff, and students. While there were a few hitches, the move went fairly smoothly, and to everyone’s surprise classes were held starting Monday morning, April 2, 1956 in Bakersfield College’s new home on the hill.

1956 BC Raconteur excerpt about the big move

In the 1956 Raconteur, the students wrote what we all felt at the time when they said, ‘Bakersfield College was entering a new and exciting period in its history, a period filled with opportunities to become the finest community college in the nation.’ 

In the intervening 50 years this statement has turned out to be prophetic, as the College has established itself state-wide and nationally as ‘one of the best.’

Those were exciting times in the history of Bakersfield College, and all of us who had a part in the big move have fond recollections of the events and the people connected to the College realizing Grace Bird’s vision of a college on a hill.”

1956 BC Raconteur

Archive Throwback: Memories of the Move

The archives newsletter is full of gems like these memories captured in the words of those who were here…

And what about that first-class flag pole? It is only fitting that our Administration building is now called McCuen Hall…. Here is the view of BC’s administration building from the original parking lot.

And here is what McCuen Hall (BC’s Admin building) looks like today.

A Wonderful Year for the Renegade Pantry

The Renegade Pantry has grown tremendously since its opening and its numbers more than doubled from serving 3,200 individual students during Spring 2019, to over 7,500 for Fall 2019! The ongoing support from our community is very much a part of this daily endeavor!

BC Student holding one of the first aid kits in the Renegade Pantry

Through a community grant obtained from Kern Family Health Care, the pantry will be offering personal first aid kits (while supplies last) to BC students who visit the Renegade Pantry during the first week of the Spring Semester!

Thank you again to Kern Health Systems!

BCSGA Gears up for Gaming

BC’s Renegamer Club

In more recent news, BCSGA will begin to host video gaming centered events in an effort to meet students, encourage friendly competition, and have fun. Esports (electronic sports) is quickly emerging as a big industry and by hosting more video game based events, BCSGA hopes to use this as a way to connect with more of the student body. The first planned event will be held in welcome week with a Super Smash Bros. Ultimate tournament on Monday January 27th.

UMOJA Community Celebrates Mentors and Student Success

At the Umoja Celebration of Mentors and Student Success, Umoja Community students acknowledged the support they received from their mentors. Included in the December celebration were students expressing appreciation for the faculty who contributed to a successful semester and a commemoration of Kwanzaa.

Some of this semester’s Umoja students with
Dr. Parks, Umoja Coordinator (right).

Kwanzaa, created by Dr. Karenga in 1965, is an African-American holiday celebrating cultural values. It is observed December 26 through January 1. Students lit a candle for each of the seven principles, starting with unity (Umoja) and ending in faith (Imani). Dr. Karenga, as the students explained, noted that unity is what is needed to begin the work and faith is needed to sustain it.

Umoja mentors are faculty, staff, and community members matched with students based on personality and career interest. Many of the tributes were touching, especially Arkeliah’s thanking BC staff member June Charles.

Some of the much-appreciated Umoja mentors, including Professor Robinson, Professor Hunter, Ms. Charles, Counselor Mr. Agard, and Director of Outreach, Early College, and AAI Mr. Watkin.

Zariyah spoke for the students in expressing how much she appreciated the caring staff. For example, she said she went to her appointment with Dr. Parks without her draft assignment because of computer difficulties. She said Dr. Parks was so understanding about the situation and that helped her not to feel discouraged. Zariyah also thanked Ms. Burch, the Umoja librarian, for being sympathetic and accommodating about letting her make up the final exam since she was out of town spending time with an aunt who is battling cancer.

Four students spoke on persistence and what sustained them throughout the semester as they got discouraged. Tahnjanique said, “There were many obstacles put in front of me, such as financial struggles. There was a point when we couldn’t pay the light bill, and I stayed up all night all at a friend’s house just to get my work done….”

Christopher credited competition with his younger brother Aaron for helping him return to college and be successful. He referenced the African proverb: If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. Christopher ended with, “As a unit, we can go far. There is no limit.

Spotlight on Academic Technology and Flex Week

Every spring semester starts with Flex Week, when faculty and staff come back to campus a week before instruction begins to get ready for the return of students. BC’s Academic Technology and Professional Development team organizes a full week of informative and entertaining workshops, so I thought it would be a great opportunity to highlight their important work not just in Flex Week, but throughout the semester.

As program manager Pamela Rivers explains, Academic Technology breaks down knowledge barriers for faculty, staff and students using all of our innovative instructional software. By facilitating more course materials to be available online, the Academic Technology Department also breaks down equity and access barriers to ensure that students are more likely to persist and complete their degrees.

(Back)Matt Jones, David Greenfield, Bill Moseley
(Front) Pam Rivers, Anita Karr, and Tracy Lovelace

Dean Bill Moseley leads the Academic Technology team, and Pamela Rivers manages the day-to-day operations for both Academic Technology and Professional Development. Matt Jones is a faculty member who teaches many of the Academic Technology workshops, including the online teaching certificate program, and Tracy Lovelace works with instructors one-on-one to assist with Canvas. David Greenfield is the eLumen expert on the team, and Anita Karr is the executive secretary.

In addition to providing Canvas workshops throughout the year, Academic Technology handles several major initiatives for the college. With the help of the CTE team and several faculty members, for instance, Academic Technology was able to write a successful grant application to bring our CTE programs online. The team is also working to develop a cutting-edge badging system that tracks a student’s learning progression throughout a course, creating a Peer Online Course Review system, and maintaining the new online college catalog. Stay tuned for more information about the adoption of a new scheduling platform, as well.

Professional Development and Flex Week

Matt Jones leading a workshop

Professional Development falls under the umbrella of Academic Technology, and the two departments work hand-in-hand to foster BC’s core values of learning, wellness, and diversity. The team has a number of great workshops planned for the Spring 2020 Flex Week, which include a digital badging workshop by Matt Jones, a workshop on creating Wix websites by David Greenfield, and a workshop on tips and tricks in Outlook by Todd Coston. As part of the wellness core value, Chef Alex Gomez will teach faculty and staff about healthy living in sessions in the kitchen inside the Renegade Room.

Distinguished Speaker Series Continues

Temple Grandin crowd
BC hosted Temple Grandin in 2019

The start of the Spring 2020 semester is right around the corner, and with it comes the return of the Distinguished Speaker Series organized by the Office of Student Life. The community is invited to attend these events.

  • February 6, 2020 – Patrisse Khan-Cullors
  • Marck 19, 2020 – Elaine Weiss
  • April 2, 2020 – Dr. Tony B. Iton

These events are helpful opportunities to get our community engaged in important issues that affect society, and I hope to see a packed house for all of our Distinguished Speakers.

SGA wants student feedback regarding transportation

Some students ride bikes to campus. Last year, bike racks were installed at BCSW.

The Bakersfield College Student Government Association will send out a survey to better understand the wants and needs of the student population as a whole. The survey collect demographics of students, ideal events and times, specific issues around campus, and revisiting the transportation bill based on the student body’s feedback. BCSGA’s main goals with this survey is:

  1. To host events that the students want and when is the most ideal for them.
  2. To tackle and solve the most pressing issues that student body sees.
  3. To build and shape the transportation bill to ensure that it meets the student’s needs before BCSGA elections in April.

BCSGA wants to focus on gathering data and evaluating themselves to prove to not only themselves but also to BC that their work is for the students by the students.

Fun Holiday Photos

Vice President Billie Jo Rice enjoyed time with her grandkids over the break.

And Faculty David Rohac and Ginger Leblanc dressed in matching Christmas sweater designs

Community Voices: Jack Hernandez

Jack Hernandez regularly contributes to the Bakersfield Californian and this holiday season Check it out at Bakersfield.com.

Fun Photos: Campus at Sunrise

Early one morning before we left for break, Marketing staff, Earl Parsons took some photos of the sunrise from the balcony between the Performing Arts Center and the second floor of CSS.

Renegade Athletics – Top Moments of 2019

Over the course of the past calendar year Renegade Athletics has witnessed another record round of accomplishments for the department. As we close out 2019 here’s a look back at the ‘Top 12’ moments:

  • 12. Installation of the new field turf/track in Memorial Stadium over the summer. 
  • 11. The Dean & Adah Gay Sports Complex being named the 2019 National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Field of the Year for the California Junior College Level.
  • 10. Daizhiana Ebert breaking the 22 year old Women’s Long Jump record in May. Her jump of 19’ 6 1/4” broke the previous record of 19’ 5 1/4” made in 1997 by Aisha Harrison.
  • 9. Wrestling winning the SCWA Conference title for the third time in the last four years. They would go on to place 3rd in the state to end the season. 
  • 8. Baseball claiming their second straight outright Western State Conference (WSC) Championship, going 15-5 in conference.
  • 7. Softball winning their second straight outright Western State Conference (WSC) title this last spring, going 16-0 in conference play.
  • 6. Kayleen Sanchez from Women’s Tennis winning the Western State Conference (WSC) Women’s Tennis Singles Championship and then with partner Paige Darstein they won the WSC Women’s Tennis Doubles Championship.
  • 5. Jacob Whitby from Renegade Track and Field winning a second straight Western State Conference (WSC) title in discus. He was later named the 2019 WSC Co-Field Athlete of the Year.
  • 4. Renegade Volleyball winning their FOURTH consecutive Western State Conference (WSC) Championship this fall.
  • 3. Renegade Swimming’s Daran Towns being named the 2019 Western State Conference (WSC) Co-Female Swimmer of the Year and setting THREE new school records this season in the 100m Free, 200m Free and the 500m Free!
  • 2. Renegade Wrestling’s Jonathan Hunter being named the 174 lb. State Champion and receiving All-American honors at the CCCAA State Wresting Championships this fall; leading the team to an overall 3rd place state finish.
  • 1. Renegade Men’s Soccer winning the Western State Conference Championship for the first time in program history this last fall!

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:
• Sat. 1/11 – Women’s Basketball vs. Citrus, 3pm
• Sat. 1/11 – Men’s Basketball vs. Citrus 5pm

Happy New Year!! May 2020 be filled with happiness, laughter, peace, and success!

That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Closing the chapter of 2019

January 2016 2:35-minute video by Manny de Los Santos

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, December 28, 2019…My last blog entry for 2019. A great day to be a Renegade.

Take a look at the highlights from 2019. Each header is a link to a featured blog post from that month. So don’t forget to click on the header.

Sonya Christian
The Luckiest and Happiest College President

Happy New Year

Happy New Decade

January: Welcome to Spring ‘19

BC hit the ground running in the first month of 2019 with the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Campus Center and the first announcement about Early College. Food Services moved their operation over to the Gym Huddle area, and BC students opened a time capsule from 1955. We also launched an ITV pilot program for our Music B2 class at North High school, and our three Vice Presidents spoke with students at the first BCSGA Power Lunch of the year.

Some photos from January.

February: The Dawn of a New Era in Education

In February BC showed our love for students in rural Kern County with the historic launch of the Early College program in McFarland.

Congressman TJ Cox visited BC as part of his first trip home from Capitol Hill, and Paula Parks participated in a Black History Month panel hosted by the Chevron Black Employees Association. Legendary agricultural scientist and autism advocate Temple Grandin was our Distinguished Speaker for the month, and the Adult Education team brought a new learning center to Wasco.

Photos from February

March: Women Who Create Ripples In Our Community

We celebrated International Women’s Day with Senator Jean Fuller moderating a panel of women leaders throughout Kern County, which included Shannon Grove, Blanca Carvazos, Rosalina Rivera, and Cynthia Giumarra.

Women in Leadership with Trustees
Women in Leadership with Trustees

The Wonderful Ag Prep Renegades were the first Early College graduates in BC history, and KCCD Trustee Jack Connell toured our robotics and nursing facilities. The students in our LUPE and Project Conexiones groups reached out to students at BHS, and the CTE Team represented our campus at the Kern County Career Expo.

Tom Gelder, Christina Sistrunk of Aera Energy, and Sonya Christian
Tom Gelder, Christina Sistrunk of Aera Energy, and Sonya Christian

April: Spring is Heating Up at BC

BC’s award winning Drumline Crew

In April, I introduced Shannon Doherty at the Bakersfield Women’s Business Conference, which was chaired by BC’s Director of Community Relations, Norma Rojas-Mora. For the first time, dual enrollment students were included in our annual SGA Student Leadership Dinner, and the MEChA club hosted the second annual Jess Nieto Memorial Conference in honor of the late Chicano Studies pioneer. We also hosted the Business Pathway Career Expo in front of the library and celebrated our drumline winning a gold medal in the WGI World Championships.

Some photos from April

May: BC’s 105th Commencement

Everything we do at the home of the Renegades is for our students, and we celebrated a record-breaking graduation at Rabobank Arena. Before the main ceremony, we also had pre-Commencement celebrations for Delano Campus graduates, veterans, Early College, African-American students, LGBTQ, and the second graduating class of the Baccalaureate in Industrial Automation program.

More photos from my May blog posts

June: Summer Has Arrived!

Summer is supposed to be a time when the campus slows down, but that wasn’t the case for 2019, as our Dual Enrollment team led by Steve Watkin celebrated its Beautiful Bakersfield Award in Education. Pedro Ramirez presented on AB 40 at the Board of Governors meeting, Steve Flores recruited me for the Media Music Jam, and two of our students were selected as Student Wellness Ambassadors for the California Community College system’s Health and Wellness/Each Mind Matters program.

July: Recognition and Gratitude

Assemblyman Rudy Salas presented BC with a $1 million check for the second year in a row, making for $2 million brought in for BC students. BC was honored to receive the Student Success Award for our Guided Pathways at the John W. Rice Diversity and Equity Award ceremony hosted by the Board of Governors. Our team joined community leaders at the State of the City Luncheon, and the Golden Empire Drum and Bugle Corps rehearsed all over campus.

Photos from July

August: BC Building Bridges

BC’s first group of Inmate Scholars graduates

We kicked off the 2019-20 academic year with an inspiring set of Opening Day and New Student Convocation events that featured a performance of “Bridge Over Troubled Water” by the BC Chamber Singers.

Tom Rush and Michael Larson worked diligently to bring Industrial Automation classes to the Delano Campus, and BC hosted the Project Next Step Conference for new and continuing high school students. Later in the month, BC hosted a graduation ceremony for the first group of Inmate Scholars graduates.

More photos from my August blog posts

September: BC: Creating Partnerships to Better Kern

In September, we unveiled the BC Launch Pad located at the Weill Institute to support local entrepreneurs, small business owners, and inspired students. The center is a free hub of resources and support for all kinds of practical small businesses needed in Kern County.

Also in September, BC’s AB 540 Team attended the Catalyst Fund Convening in Long Beach, and the Rural Initiatives team updated the Board of Supervisors on the Game Changer grant which establish Early College pathways for Arvin High students.

Some photos from my September posts.

October: Live simply…so others can simply live

BC was honored to bring Arun Gandhi to Delano to speak to Early College students and the community. A video below was created by one of BC’s video students, Mario Esquer. Our second Distinguished Speaker for October was Erin Gruwell, an inspirational educator who founded the Freedom Writers’ Diary to help inner-city students see themselves reflected in the classroom. BC also hosted an important conversation about Valley Fever during a symposium by TJ Cox in the Indoor Theater, and the Early College program got special recognition at the Renegade football game against Golden West College.

Some photos from October.

November: BC: Advancing Education in our Community and State

Educational leaders from across the state convened at the downtown Bakersfield Marriott for the Intersegmental Pathways Symposium, engaging in important conversations about closing the gaps between K-12 education, community colleges and universities to bring 1.1 million new bachelor’s degree graduates to California. The sold out event featured 18 panelists, additional speakers, and our keynote guests Assemblymember Rudy Salas, California Community Colleges Chancellor Eloy Oakley, Senior Policy Advisor to Governor Newsome, Lande Ajose, and Chief Deputy to State Superintendent Tony Thurmond, Lupita Alcala.

Group of Intersegmental Pathways Symposium attendees
Sonya Christian, Lande Ajose, Eloy Oakley, Lupita Alcala, Rudy Salas, Mary Barlow

This blog entry also covers BC’s Veteran Services held a care package drop zone for the troops, and BC men’s soccer won its first ever conference championship.

December: Thank You For Voting Yes on J!

This month we cut the ribbon for the Vernon Valenzuela Veterans Resource Center, the first project funded by Measure J. I recapped this in full in the blog post so please check it out if you missed it earlier this month!

And BC’s Chamber Singers performed with the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra as part of the Home for the Holidays Concert… one of my favorite parts of the season.

Blog Bonus: Some All-Time Favs

When looking back at only one post a month from 2019, it sparked my interest to see what other gems I could discover as I flipped through the older pages of my blog. Let’s take a look at some of these all time favorites…

Working on my blog at the Marketplace in 2013

January 3, 2013: First Blog Post

When my blog first started, I didn’t have the slightest clue how it would turn out. Now, here we are about to be in January 2020 with a blog that features the activity and energy on the BC campus weekly. Thank you for following along on the Renegade journey.

January 9, 2013: Second Blog Post

Media Frenzy
Dr. Sonya Christian at her announcement press conference

My second ever blog post was titled “So… What’s it like being BC’s President?” Well, back then I said…

Being president of Bakersfield College is like being strapped to a rocket at the speed of light.

Sonya Christian, Jan. 9, 2013

I don’t think I can say that part has changed, but being the president of Bakersfield College is a joy and a gift as well. The commitment of BC’s faculty, the passion of our staff, and the overwhelming dedication by BC’s students make me the happiest and luckiest college president ever.

January 1, 2014: BC’s Centennial Gala

Celebrating BC’s 100th anniversary will live among my highlights at Bakersfield College. So many details went into making the evening one to remember. I fondly remember the many friends of BC who came out to support that evening, even Jean Fuller.

February 11, 2013: My first Sterling Silver

My first Sterling Silver was a fabulous evening showcasing the talent of BC’s culinary arts and agriculture students. Tom Moran took some great photos that night and I still love this one of Jerry Ludeke, Jack Hernandez, and me.

Sterling Silver
Jack Hernandez, Me, and Jerry Ludeke at Sterling Silver

November 12, 2016: Thank you Kern County

2016 was a yeah full of anticipation, “dreaming big” as mayor Harvey Hall asked us to do, and celebration. Kern County with a vote of 96,589 to 58,155, supported Measure J with 62.42%! Thank you for supporting KCCD and Bakersfield College with the necessary funding to renovate and update our facilities to serve students for the next 50 years.

It would not have been possible without countless volunteers who worked tirelessly on the campaign. Too many names to list individually but each and everyone of you knows who you are. Thank you thank you thank you.

A look back at Measure J

May 13, 2017 – Neo’s First Blog Appearance

Neo was a handful as a puppy… and who am I kidding? He still is! On May 13, 2017, Neo made his first appearance in my blog and I asked readers to guess his name. To my surprise, Theresa McAllister guessed it the very next day on May 14th in the comments.

Christmas Tree Recyling

With the holidays now in our rear view mirror, I wanted to remind everyone that they can come to BC to get their Christmas trees recycled.

Image courtesy of KBAK 29/58

Your Christmas pines are made of organic material that can be easily recycled …. so do your part for the planet and drop your Christmas tree off at the corner of University and Haley before January 17. For a list of all Christmas Tree recycling locations in Kern County, read Stacey Shepard’s article in the Bakersfield Californian.

Fun Photos from Social Media: BC’s TPAC Team

Kalina Hill posted this fun photo of the testing and placement team at BC wishing you a Merry Christmas!

Holiday Family Photos

Brandon Urry and his family

Engineer Systems & Industrial Technology Holiday Luncheon

Mary Webb made sure to share a photo from the department holiday luncheon.

Back row: Aubrey Priest, Klimt Rigby, Martin Perez
Front: Kathy Melson, Mary Webb, Jason Dixon, Lora Larkin.

Renegade Road

BC’s William Velasquez is a talented photographer who shared additional photos of the “Renegade Road” here at BC. He wrote:

Perhaps [these photos] will give you the sense of pride I experienced when I was there and to be part of the Renegade Family. GO Gades!!!