Saying Hello to Fall 2017

Good morning Bakersfield.  It is August 19, 2017, the birthday of my grandmother, Hilda Sparrow.  And a great day to be a Renegade

I woke up to a flurry of emails early Saturday morning from BC employees supporting students.  How cool is that!  Here are two examples:

Email from Dr. Manny Mourtzanos at 7:00 a.m. Saturday morning to the student

Manny Mourtzanos ConvocationGood morning, [name of student]. I was so inspired to read your message to President Christian, as well as her response this morning. I can’t think of a better way to start the day. We’re here to help. I’d love the chance to meet. Let’s make it happen early and often. I will be at the Welcome Tent by the Fine Arts building on Monday morning from 7:30 – 10:00 am. If you’re in the area during that time, please drop in. My office is located in FA-69 (Fine Arts Building). If I’m not there, someone will be able to help you schedule an appointment with me. I’d like for us to discuss your plans for law school, as well the many professional options our program can offer you. It is a unique program developed by the State Bar of California, and reserved for only a handful of colleges in California, including Bakersfield College. You’ve picked a great college to attend!
Be well,
manny

Then at 7:03 a.m. on saturday, this email from Maria Wright to the student popped into my inbox

guidedpath_mariawright

Maria Wright

Good morning [name of student],

Welcome to BC! As President Christian mentioned in her email, I am the Director of Academic  Support Services and I look forward to supporting you on your pathway to success! Please stop by to meet me next week, my office is in the Center for Student Success (CSS) building, second floor, room 184-A.

When we meet, I will give you a tour of our support services. In the meantime, I am attaching a document that will help you to identify some of the services available to you.
I look forward you to meeting you and please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns!
With Renegade pride,
Maria Wright

 I am the luckiest and happiest college president ever!

August 21st, first day of classes

On Monday, August 21st, the campus will be alive with students filling each hallway and classroom.  BC has been growing in enrollments over the last four years and this fall we are seeing another 6.5% growth.  So students, parking is going to be crazy the first two weeks.  I ask that you to have a friend or family member drop you off and pick you up, or car pool, or take public transportation, or bike to school.  Plan on being early.

Enrollments

Where did this summer go?  It flew by so quickly! But, here we are and fall is about to begin. It’s my favorite time of the year, gearing up to welcome students back on campus for a new academic year.

Fall 2017 Opening Day

Sonya Christian 2 Indoor Theater

Sonya Christian — 2017 State of the College

 

On Thursday, August 17th, we celebrated our Opening Day – a time where faculty and staff come together to review all we’ve accomplished and the things we look forward to accomplishing this year.  This year, the indoor theater was packed and Jennifer Marden needed to organize an overflow room.  And plz note that there are three reds in the planning team — Jennifer Marden, Monika Scott, and Kristin Rabe!

Dezi Von Manos

President Dezi Von Manos

Our morning began with a welcome by SGA President, Dezi Von Manos – a BC Communication major and a true student leader.  I will see if I can have her talk posted on my blog next week.  I promise you, you will be inspired by her and her story.

One of the highlights of the morning was Kay Meek, President of the KCCD Board of Trustees.  I heard so many positive comments from everyone on how much they appreciate Kay and how much they appreciated hearing from Kay.  Trustee Meek was very positive about the future of KCCD and talked about how much the college will benefit from Measure J. She pointedly looked at me and said she wants the Veterans Resource Center sooner than later to which the audience responded with an applause.  Thank you President Kay Meek for attending our Opening Day.  We are so fortunate to have you at the helm of KCCD.

Kay Meek on Opening Dayl

Kay Meek, President of the KCCD Board

Kay Meek with a BC hat

Kay Meek — A Renegade Fan

 

This was my fourth State of the College address as President of the college.  Here are snippets of the content of my remarks.

Let me start with our Core Valuers which permeate everything we do.  During the State of the College I had our new employees read the Core Values.  Here is Neeley Hatridge reading the core value of Diversity.

 

Neeley Hatridge reading the Diversity Core Value

Neeley Hatridge

 

Sonya Christian BC Core Values

Sonya Christian — BC Core Values

We have also been laser focused on the safety and security of our campus.  BC has a dedicated Public Safety department led by Chief Counts.  Since we are an open campus with no walls surrounding us, our Public Safety department makes sure that we go through professional development to be able to respond to all kinds of emergencies.  Our slogan is, if you see something, say something, do something.  Here is Chief Christopher Counts addressing the BC employees on Opening Day.

Chief Counts Opening Day Aug 17 2017

Chief Christopher Counts

I have been blogging about the Guided Pathways work at BC and the strategy of creating Completion Coaching Communities around the 10 metamajors.  Well, at Opening Day, we had a team from the Arts and Humanities metamajor model that their roles will be as completion coaches for the students in that group.  Each speaker was exceptionally good and I thank Grace Commiso, Manny Mourtzanos and especially Lesley Bonds in working with the group.

Grace Commiso Lesley Bonds June 23 2017

Grace Commiso, Lesley Bonds

Here are the completion coaches who spoke at Opening Day

Arts and Humanities Completion Coaching Team

Manny Mourtzanos (Dean and Administrative Lead):

Manny Mourtzanos

Dr. Manny Mourtzanos

1972….Not only the year I was born, but also the number of students in the Arts & Humanities pathway. 1,972. How can one person possibly know each of these students on a personal level enough to make a difference?

That’s why we have “Completion Coaching Communities.” By bringing together specialists and discipline experts, we can share the duty to ‘know’ our students. As the Pathway Lead, I can ‘know’ our 1,972 by reviewing data. I might not know their stories, but by working with our Data Coaches and colleagues in Institutional Effectiveness, we can identify which students could benefit from additional support, resources, information or intervention. As Pathway Lead, my ‘breadth’ of knowing students is wide, though shallow. However, discipline experts are uniquely positioned to have a shorter ‘breadth’ of students to know, but they can be known in a much ‘deeper’ and more meaningful way. For example, of our 1,972 students, 101 of them are Spanish majors. As the discipline expert for Spanish, Qiu Jimenez is poised to coordinate efforts with the other three full-time faculty in Spanish to know their students on personal level….that’s only 25 students each…a very doable mission. As the Pathway Lead, I’m committed to bringing our experts together, along with our Data Coaches, Faculty Chairs, Counselors and Ed Advisors, to identify students in need of additional support, and using our infrastructure to reach them.

You’ll hear today from my fellow Completion Coaches.  We each have different responsibilities to ensure that we know our students so that they:

  1. Complete college-level English and math in the first year,
  2. Complete 15 pathway-applicable units by the end of their first term,
  3. Complete 30 pathway-applicable units by the end of their first year, and
  4. Complete 60 pathway-applicable units in two years

With that, I invite my fellow Completion Coaches to share with you their experiences as Coaches responsible for these 1,972 students.

Eleonora Hicks (Data Coach):

Eleanora Hicks

Eleonora Hicks

My name is Eleonora Hicks.  I am a sociology professor in the Behavioral Sciences department and since I find quantitative analysis “super” exciting, I also function as a data coach and work closely with BC’s completion coaching communities within the framework of our guided pathways.

 

There are four main pillars in the guided pathways approach.  The first pillar involves not only achieving clarity but to quote President Christian, it involves achieving relentless clarity in the curricular pathways that students follow to complete their academic and career goals.

As a member of the Arts & Humanities Completion Coaching Community, I am the Data Clarifier. It’ is my responsibility to provide clarity, help my fellow coaches understand the right questions to ask, , interpret questions they’re not sure how to ask, and make meaning of the cohort reports I provide as a liaison with the Office of Institutional Effectiveness.

As a data coach and part of a completion community, I have specifically worked within the framework of Pillar #1 by collaborating with the Office of Institutional Effectiveness in several ways: I have helped my Completion Community see the classes in which our students are enrolled, provided feedback about the clarity with which we communicate program requirements, goals, and outcomes and am currently assessing the most common courses across programs within meta-majors, which could become an important tool in advising and course mapping.

Yvonne Armendariz (AccuSQL Lead)
Yvonne ArmendarizGood morning, my name is Yvonne Armendariz and I am the Basic Skills Program Manager. As a Completion Coach, I lead our campus efforts to utilize a tool called AccuSQL to track attendance for all student support services. So while Eleonora distributes to her Completion Coaching Community a report based on student cohort data in Banner, I can help provide you a report that shows our students’ behavior throughout the semester.

At the beginning of each semester, I will set up automated reports for each instructor to receive every Monday morning at 7 am. These reports will have detailed information regarding the students in your course that attended an academic support service the week prior. This report will include student name, ID, center where services attended, and time spent.  For weeks, 4, 8, and 12 each instructor will receive a cumulative report for all students that have attended a support service at that point. Any Completion Coach can use this information to track, in nearly live time, how engaged your students are in academic support services.

If you have any questions regarding your AccuSQL reports, please feel free to contact me or reach out anyone within the Academic Support Services Department and they will put you into contact with me. Thank you.

Jonathan Schultz (Counselor):

Jonathan Schultz

Jonathan Schultz

I am Jonathan Schultz, a Counselor and Completion Coach.  While there are many things I love about the pathway model, the group collaboration is my favorite. Having a group of people, working together is not only fun, but it really helps our students succeed and get on their path to completion. A perfect example of this is over the summer, I received an email from Helen Acosta, Department Chair of Communication, replying to a student who she met at Summer Bridge. This student had questions about what career path would be best for her. Helen, knowing the system we have in place on campus, referred her to me since I am the “Personal and Career Exploration” counselor, and we were able to help her set up an appointment to begin researching career options and begin her on a path.

 

As a Counselor focused on undecided students entering our campus, I review cohort progress data, take direct responsibility for reaching out to undecided students in groups, and work with them to move them toward a clear, attainable educational goal using various career exploration tools, working with job placement specialists, the transfer center, and my colleagues in academic support services.  I take responsibility for recognizing and intervening when I see our students are off-path to help them get back on-path by taking the right courses at the right time.  As a Completion Coach, I commit to ensuring each student I meet leaves our interaction with a clearer sense of purpose and the tools they need to navigate their pathway successfully.

Roberta Ayala (Financial Aid Tech):

Roberta Ayala

Roberta Ayala

My name is Roberta Ayala and I am a Financial Aid Technician. With nearly 80% of students being the first in their families to attend college and over 65% relying on financial aid to pursue their goals, we know that helping students start on the right path financially is critical in their success.

 

As a Completion Coach, I work to ensure our students’ success and remove any financial barriers along their path while shaping their behavior for their long-term success. I achieve this by assisting students throughout the financial aid process including completing their FAFSA, keeping open communication regarding status and requirements, and providing support throughout their journey.

More specifically, I track and provide financial aid information to my fellow coaches within the A&H pathway.  It is my personal goal to educate my fellow coaches and our students, and to provide them with the many financial resources available. With the list of the 1971 students Eleonora provides, I am able to quickly identify those students who have incomplete FAFSAs, are missing critical documents, or are in danger of losing their financial aid.  By identifying the students early, I can contact each student with a tailored message to ensure they set off on the right path financially toward their educational goals.

Paul Beckworth (Discipline Faculty, Starfish Implementation Lead):

Paul Beckworth

Paul Beckworth

My name is Paul Beckworth, and I was not born in 1972.  I’m a history faculty member and serve as BC’s lead for veterans.  While our Dean, Manny Mourtzanos, set the stage with a focus on the 1972 students in the Arts & Humanities Learning & Career Pathway, I am focused on specific, intrusive support to history majors. As a coach, I know I have a direct responsibility for knowing the 222 of History majors at BC.

Launching into a new year brings new possibilities, not just for us but for our students.   The possibility to finish strong can become a probability through vigorous course work and “intrusive caring.”  One of our primary roles as educators is to help students finish what they started.  But you might be wondering how do we, as teachers, get students to stay on the path that the awesome counselors and advisors put them on?  If a student isn’t in my class, how can I play a role in helping them finish what they started?

We know students see us more often than anyone else on campus.  They come to talk to us, sometimes about class, but often times about life.  Struggles often show up in classroom performance.  What an opportunity to keep them on their path to getting a whole team behind them, not letting them deviate from their goals!

So, beyond creating an environment in my classroom where students can learn and grow collectively as historians, I am committing to take responsibility for ensuring their success as BC Renegades.

As a member of a Completion Community, I work with my colleagues in the History department to ensure the data Eleonora provides remain a constant focus for each of us in our department meetings.  We will work together as a department to ensure our syllabi reflect our emphasis on academic support services and student engagement.

I get to say, I am a completion coaching community team member.  Listen, guided pathways is happening with us, not to us.  Our students are coming in with pre-entry attributes that we must work with.  We meet them where there are.  Where are they?  They are here!  And they are BC!

Regina Hukill (Department Chair, Math):

Regina Hukill

Regina Hukill

My name is Regina Hukill and I am the Math Department Chair and a member of the STEM Completion Coaching Community.  But today I am here as a department chair to ensure that math completion is a clear focus for everyone as we work to help students stay on path to complete college-level English and math.

 

In the past year, we have been engaged in an intensive strategy to engage every student in academic support.  Using Basic Skills funds, we developed an Extend the Classroom for Math as well as for English.  By using, Extend the Classroom to target those students taking basic skill math courses who need extra one-on-one tutoring in math and to help them complete the math they need to stay on their academic path.

We are happy to see that the Extend the Classroom for Math location has been moved from being tucked away in a corner of the Writing Center, to a more desirable location which will be in the Math Science Building.  A convenient location can really make a huge difference in the number of students we can get to participate in this program.

Our two professional math tutors, Christopher Anderson and Alana Austin will be there to help students from 7 am to 8:30 pm Monday through Thursday, and on Fridays from 8 am to noon.  Math faculty will continue to support the Extend the Classroom by providing help as well.  We have found that instructors like Josh Lewis and Donna Starr who are available in the Extend the Classroom get a good number of their students participating.  Some of my fellow math faculty coaches and I are committing to allocate points in the course that students can earn by getting tutoring outside of the classroom to emphasize our goal of math completion for all students.

 

Keri Wolf (Discipline faculty, Extend the Classroom):

Keri Wolf

Keri Wolf

My name is Keri Wolf, and I have been involved in Extend the Classroom as an English faculty member and Completion Coach to ensure college-level English completion is a clear focus for each of you.  BC has 253 English majors, but we know every single student who steps foot on campus with an AA in mind needs to complete English 1A. With our goal for students to complete college-level Math and English courses during their first year, this places English faculty in a unique position to foster a collaborative environment through classroom interactions and extending the classroom programs.

Extending the classroom provides a distraction free, collaborative learning environment. Supplemental Instruction study groups allow students to gain the support of not only an experienced peer who knows the instructor and that specific section’s material but also the support of classmates.

As a Completion Coach, I work with my colleagues in the English Department to expand our use of SI, specifically for English 53, an accelerated course to the transfer-level English 1A.  As a result, students who take English 53 their first semester and then follow it with English 1A their second semester are able to complete English in the first year.

Since English provides these foundational courses, extend the classroom exposes students early to the network of support services. And many students have credited SI as pivotal to their success.

Transfer and CTE are all pathways to a job:  The Community College Chancellor’s Office is focused on “jobs” at the email of a college degree whether it is an Associates degree or a Baccalaureate degree.  The whole Guided Pathways approach starts with the “end in mind”.  At BC, we have organized our 72 programs into 10 Metamajors and within each metamajor there are both CTE pathways and transfer pathways.  So, during the State of the College address, I invited both Janet Fulks and Cindy Collier to speak about Transfer and CTE respectively and our work for 2017-18.

After the State of the College, we heard from Chancellor Tom Burke who reviewed the Measure J plans, his goals for the next two years and his visit to the Kern Valley Prison to see students in the Japanese course do presentations.  He was clearly moved by the testimony of the students.  Thank you Chancellor for attending BC’s 2017 Opening Day!

Tom Burke 2017 Opening Day

I always look forward to hearing from the leadership of the employee groups. Bernadette Martinez with CCSEA, Isabel Stierle with CCA, Steve Holmes with Academic Senate, and Sue Vaughn on behalf of Management.

Bernadette Martinez

 

Isabel Stierle

 

Steven Holmes

 

Sue Vaughn

BC’s Academic Senate President Steven Holmes always has fun during campus wide gatherings.  He is known to be in flip flops for most of the year and at the last campus wide gathering, Debbie Rosenthal  challenged him to get a pedicure.  And here he is at the next campus wide gathering, confidently displaying his pedicured toes with dark red nail polish 🙂

Steven Holmes Nail Polish

And here he is in a video that Zav captured when Steven was removing the license plate from my Land Rover.

 

Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg

Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg

After we heard from the employee groups, Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg introduced us to the new employees including the 55 new faculty.  Nan concluded her remarks with the quote: Only the educated are free. Powerful!

You can find all our new faculty here
https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/employees/new-academic-faculty

Stretch Breaks:

Thank you to Coach Matt Moon and Coach Zach Peters for leading us through a stretch break.  Also thank you to BC SGA leaders Dezi Von Manos and Jose Cortez.

Matt Moon and Zach Peters

 

Dezi Von Manos and Jose Cortez Lead Stretch Break

Accreditation:

We are working on our Institutional Self Evaluation report (ISER) and will have the accreditation evaluation team on campus in October 2018.  Jason Stratton, History Faculty, and Liz Rozell, Dean of Instruction, are leading this work.  They did a real nice job jeopardy-style to engage the audience.

Jason Stratton

Wondering about the two of them leading the work on BC’s Institutional Self Evaluation after I saw this photo.

Liz Rozell and Jason Stratton Chairs ISER Fall 2017

Liz Rozell, Jason Stratton — Chairs of ISER

 

The morning concluded with the Margaret Levinson Faculty Leadership Award being presented to Dr. Kimberly Bligh for all of her dedication to BC and our students. As you know, she was instrumental in the advancing and growth of Summer Bridge.

Kimberly NickellThis is how Prof. Kimberly Nickell introduced Dr. Kimberly Bligh.

I am always amazed by the leaders I get to work with on our BC campus. And as I work with these leaders, I experience their drive, vision and pursuit of excellence.  Dr. Kimberly Bligh is the epitome of this leader.

From the implementation of the CAS workshops, Summer Bridge, creating her math textbook, and directing Title V, as well as many other projects she is involved in, I have witnessed Kimberly leading the charge, and with each endeavor her drive, vision, and pursuit of excellence is apparent. Kimberly strives to elevate the BC campus, promoting student success while mentoring and inspiring others to be leaders. That is true leadership.

So please, let’s put our hands together for our 2017 Margaret Levinson Leadership award recipient, Dr. Kimberly Bligh.

Kimberly Bligh

Kim Nickell, Kimberly Bligh, Pam Boyles

Kimberly put together a tribute to those who supported her as a thank you during her acceptance speech of the Levinson award.  Here it is

The final award presented was the Norm Levan Faculty Colloquium Announcement awarded to Rafael Espericueta.

Susan Pinza

Here is the description of Rafael’s talk.

Every day you make use of software based on deep learning. You use it every time you do a Google search, or look for a movie to watch on Netflix. It’s used to enable computers (and phones) to recognize objects, understand spoken language, diagnose illness, and countless other applications.

Recently, deep learning has made profound breakthroughs that are making possible tasks that hitherto have been impossible for computers to accomplish. And the breakthroughs keep coming! Soon autonomous vehicles will be driving our roads, and human driven vehicles may well become a thing of the past. Many jobs will disappear, as machines become more capable of tasks once reserved exclusively for humans.

Deep learning will increasingly effect all of our lives, and it behooves us all to gain at least a basic understanding of this exciting new and disruptive technology.  It now seems likely that machines may soon actually attain sentience, or at least act as though they were as sentient as you or I.

The ethical ramifications of this technology are vast and will be increasingly pertinent. Our very species’ survival may well hang in the balance. But whether you are terrified at imagined dystopias this technology may engender, or excited by utopic visions of the future this technology can make possible, artificial intelligence is evolving at an exponential rate.  The day of the sentient machine is coming, whether we like it or not.  The more one knows about what’s coming, the more power one yields to help steer it in a more desirable direction.

Whatever your own field of study, deep learning will become increasingly relevant to your future. Come to Rafael’s talk to learn more about deep learning – what recent breakthroughs have been made, and what we may expect in the near (and distant) future.  Though it may sound like science fiction, this is an engineering reality right now.  Come learn what it has accomplished, as well as what it portends for our species’ future!

Friday, Nov. 3rd
Levan Center
11:30 AM (an hour later than usual)
Mathematics Department…Rafael Espericueta

Rafael Espericueta Levan Faculty Colloquim May 12 2017

 

There were three major initiatives for the year that I highlighted: (1) Completion Coaching Communities intended to create a case management approach and in this case a cohort management approach to ensure that no student goes unnoticed. (2) Measure J as we move to implementation and (3) accreditation.  The videos were produced by the very talented Manny de Los Santos using the Superhero theme.  Enjoy them!

Let me introduce you to our superheroes Todd Coston and Liz Rozell:

Let me introduce you to our Superhero Bill Potter, Director of Facilities

Let me introduce you to numerous superheros that form a completion coaching community around each student.

I can’t thank everyone involved enough for the incredible way the day turned out. It’s a group effort from various multiple departments.

The talented Manny de los Santos!

Manny extreme selfie using drone Nov 26 2015

Manny de Los Santos

ASL Interpreters

I’d like to thank Tom Moran and Brittany King, for their work interpreting during Opening Day.

Tom does so much on campus and it’s always a joy to see him. He was also a giant supporter during the Measure J campaign, and even has taught me how to sign both “Yes on J” and “We are BC!”   Thank you Tom!

Food Services at BC

MJFoodServices081817During Opening Day, Mary Jo took the time to thank our Food Services crew for all the work they do to provide food for students and catering at important events like we have on Thursday.

 

Eric Sabella and the crew worked hard to provide breakfast burritos and lunch wraps for the faculty and staff on Opening Day, then got straight to work on a beautiful barbecue chicken dinner for everybody at the New Student Convocation that evening. I’d like to thank them for their tireless work and for keeping us fueled with delicious food.

Mary Jo Pasek posted this photo on her Facebook! I can always count on MJ to have some of the best photos.

Thank Yous

I have to give special thanks also to our team of ushers:  Lori Ortiz, Savannah Andres, Roseanne Lewis, Trudi Blanco, Cecilia Lopez, Yolanda Aguilera, and Bernadette Martinez.  Thank you Chris Glaser for leading this effort.

Ushers

Video, media services, and photographers: Kristin Rabe, Kevin Ganger, Manny De Los Santos, Earl Parsons, Eric Carrillo, and John Farrand.

Content Contributors, Lesley Bonds, Grace Commiso,  Manny Mourtzanos, Eleonora Hicks, Yvonne Armendariz, Jonathan Schultz, Roberta Ayala, Paul Beckworth, Regina Hukilll, Keri Wolf, Janet Fulks, Cindy Collier, Jason Stratton, Liz Rozell, and Chris Counts.

Our fabulous emcee, Francis Mayer, and the planning team, Jennifer Serratt, Monika Scott, and Aricia Leighton.

 

New Faculty Seminar

2017-2018 New Faculty

matt JonesOn Monday, our 55 new faculty members met in the first seminar in a year-long series that will help them connect with BC resources and make the most of their time at Bakersfield College.  We are excited to welcome this new and very dynamic group of faculty to the college – the largest incoming class of new faculty in our history!

Topics ranged from how to get involved in pathways and completion communities to learning the ropes of human resources. We look forward to offering New Faculty Seminars every month for the rest of the semester.

Flex Week

BC’s fall 2017 Flex Week was a busy one, packed with almost 60 workshops, including four Opening Day breakout sessions focused on important campus initiatives. Workshops ranged from practical skills related to accessibility using Google and Grackle, to workshops designed to help faculty integrate new creative media, like PowToons—and everything in between. In addition to Flex workshops and Opening Day breakout sessions, the Pathways Institute drew a sizable crowd of completion coaches and other dedicated faculty and staff from all over BC. As of Thursday afternoon, Flex Week drew over 385 logins/sign-ins, including over 208 individual attendees. Thanks, BC!

Dr. Chike Akua

Dr cAs part of Flex Week on Wednesday, acclaimed public intellectual Dr. Chike Akua hosted workshop about how to keep students of color engaged in their academic pursuits and education as a key to fighting structural inequality.

BC was honored to host this important professional development workshop with Akua, a member of the Teacher Transformation Institute and author of books such as “Honoring our Ancestral Obligations: 7 Steps to Black Student Success”. Akua’s presentation, titled “Education for Transformation: Keys to Releasing the Genius of Black Students”, focused on concrete ways that instructors can supplement their curricula with the contributions of African-Americans and other marginalized groups that have been omitted from textbooks or otherwise edited out of the canon of human intellectual achievement.

“Who are the models of intellectual authority you’re putting before your students?” Akua asked. “Even though the population of our students has changed, in many ways, our curriculum has not.”

 

By drawing attention to marginalized innovators in math, science, art, architecture and countless other fields, it allows students within those marginalized groups to see themselves reflected in a given field of study, and Akua showed data that reflects how students that are able to relate to their study material grow more confident in their academics and matriculate more successfully through their educational pathway.

“This has become one of the critical mediating factors in my students’ success,” Akua said.

Akua also used the events in Charlottesville last weekend as a lens to guide his discussion on the role educators have in shifting the toxic perceptions about race relations in America today. When educators begin engaging students to critically examine the world around them while spreading awareness of structural inequality and social issues like the school-to-prison pipeline, Akua posits that we’ll begin seeing the national conversation about race change, and in many ways the shift has already started to happen with the work of organizations such as Black Lives Matter and the ongoing debate about law enforcement accountability in communities of color.

“Their innate sense of justice will cause students to speak out on issues,” Akua said. “Allow your students to bring their whole personality to class.”

Akua also stressed the importance of a diverse faculty in bridging the “engagement gap” in education, while showing data indicating that higher learning institutions need to do a lot better at hiring people of color. The national leader for hiring African-American faculty among major four-year state institutions is The University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa, whose faculty is only 6.8 percent black despite having an 11.1 percent black undergraduate population, according to the website College Factual. The state leader among four-year colleges in California is UCLA, whose black faculty only comprises 3 percent of the faculty population despite making up 4.8 percent of the student population.

“It’s important to have faculty who look like your students,” Akua said. “How can we say we’re a nation who values diversity with these numbers?”

Akua’s conversation gave our faculty a lot to think about how they might be unintentionally alienating a lot of their marginalized students while giving some good advice about how to keep those students engaged.

Welcome International Students

In addition to welcoming new faculty and staff, we have 90 students from around the world in our ISA program for Fall 2017, majoring in everything from Business Administration to Theatre Arts. There are 18 students from India, which represents 20 percent of the group. There are 15 students from Saudia Arabia and 10 from Vietnam, as well as representatives from Nigeria, China, Bangladesh, France, Ivory Coast, Australia and more for a total of 29 countries to be welcomed into the BC family.

international students

New Student Convocation

Bakersfield College welcomed its 104th class of incoming freshman to the family Thursday night at the Outdoor Theater during the New Student Convocation.

F17Convocation14

The annual event is a gathering before the start of the fall semester for new students and their families to learn about different programs on campus and what will be expected of them for the upcoming year. Todd Coston was in the audience as a parent of a young woman starting her freshman year at BC.  I snapped this picture.  See if you can spot Todd off in the distance.

Todd Coston and his daughter at convocation

Steven Holmes led BC faculty through a pledge to provide students with the support they’ll need to make it through a short but eventful school year, while SGA President Dezi von Manos led students through their pledge to rise to the occasion and perform the hard work it requires to achieve their dreams. Dr. Janet Fulks led the families, friends and supporters of the students through a pledge as well.

I grabbed these photos from Lawrence Salcido’s Facebook page.  Thank you Lawrence!

Dezi Van Manos

Sonya Christian 2 at Convocation

 

Steven Homles at Convocation

 

 

 

 

 

 

There was amazing entertainment throughout the event, with a DJ booth in front of the Outdoor Theater providing music while students visited booths for the Agriculture and Automotive programs, the Student Health Center and countless other student organizations. When students walked into the theater, they were greeted with a performance from a few students in last semester’s Commercial Music class. Jennifer Garrett led the BC choir through the national anthem, “When You Wish Upon a Star” and Simon and Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water”,

The BC cheerleaders closed the convocation with an exciting performance.  Thank you Heather Foss for your dedication to the BC Cheer Team.  And thank you Becki Whitson for all of the years you spent with the team.  We miss you and hope to see you at the games.

 

Here is the BC Fight Song

 

Go out and Get Them

 

There’s an awesome video BC counselor Jonathan Schultz put together on YouTube speaking to student athletes about taking advantage of opportunities. Jonathan presents a very simple but true philosophy that successful people are able to do seemingly impossible things because they are willing to go lengths others aren’t to be the best.

“You have to do what others won’t if you want to have what others don’t,” Schultz said. “I never waited for an opportunity to come to me. I went out and found an opportunity.” When you’re willing to go the extra mile in your athletic, creative or cognitive development, people will recognize the work you’re putting in and opportunities to succeed will open up that you never thought possible. The greatest athletes were the ones who had the drive put in time and effort that their coworkers didn’t, transcending what people previously thought was humanly possible. “What are you doing that other people in your exact situation are not doing?” Schultz asks. “What pushes you outside of yourself? What’s your why?”

Football Practice Begins!

I loved seeing this post on Instagram. BC Football is gearing up!

Are you following BC on Instagram?! What about Facebook and Twitter?

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FCDC Summer Chair Academy

The Faculty Chairs/Directors Council met this week as well to wrap up the summer. This group of dedicated individuals discuss, review, and resolve operational issues and to provide collaborative interaction between student services and instruction in development of seamless process to meet student needs. Welcome to the new department chairs this year: Mark Osea, Counseling; Helen Acosta, Communication, and Kirk Russell, Library.

 

 

 

Eclipse Information

Nick Strobel

Nick Strobel

Nick Strobel also sent an email out to various campus groups sharing some awesome details about the upcoming eclipse. He said,

“You’ve probably heard something about the upcoming eclipse of the Sun on Monday, August 21. The eclipse for us in Bakersfield will be just a partial eclipse. See the Planetarium’s homepage at www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/planetarium for the stats for Bakersfield and how to view the Sun safely.

What’s the big deal about this total solar eclipse? Here are some reasons:

  • Total solar eclipses (New Moon totally covers the Sun’s photosphere surface) are RARE and awesome!
  • First one in the lower 48 states since 1979.
  • First one to sweep across the entire country since 1918.
  • First one to be solely visible in the United States since 1776 (yes, 1776)
  • Approximately 391 million people in the U.S. will be able to see the eclipse (total or partial).
  • Literally millions of international tourists will be coming to places in the path of totality. The totality strip is just 68 miles wide.
  • The few minutes of totality are the only times we can view the Sun’s corona (outer atmosphere). The corona is about as bright as a full moon.

See https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/planetarium/bakersfield-night-sky/bakersfield-night-sky-august-19-2017 for more about this eclipse and future eclipses in the U.S.

 

 

A great story. Thank you Joe Coughlin of Coconut Joes

Joe Coughlin and Glen Campbell in 1971 form TBCWhen Joe Coughlin of Coconut Joes heard about the passing of the celebrity Glen Campbell, he picked up his guitar and strummed the Rhinestone Cowboy.

Does that get your attention…..Well, click on the link and read his August 12th Opinion piece in The Bakersfield Californian — Gentle on My Mind: My long unique connection to Glen Campbell.  http://tinyurl.com/y8bssflx.   A pretty cool story.

I never heard Gentle on my mind by Glen Campbell.  Thank you Joe for introducing me to this piece by Glen Campbell.  I enjoyed it.

 

Rosebowl Watch

Thought you would enjoy the Facebook exchange with community members about the Rosebowl watch.  I actually wore it for Opening Day.  Here is a screen capture.

Facebook post about Rosebowl Watch

So what about Neo?

At 5 1/2 months, he is 52 lbs, and teething.  Can you guess where he is in the picture below?

August 13, 2017 Neo in Sonya's Office

Neo

Being obnoxious and then sweet like an angel when he is asleep.

 

Sonya Christian 2017 Opening DayThat’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Tradition of Renegade Red

Good morning Bakersfield, it is Saturday August 12, 2017……A great day to be a Renegade! A week of Renegade Red everywhere.

Welcoming Kern Promise Students to BC on August 9, 2017

Let me start with the 160 Kern Promise students we welcomed on campus and completed a one-day orientation.  If you remember, Bakersfield College and Cerro Coso Community College were recipients of a $1.5M grant from the Community College Chancellor’s Office for the Kern Promise.  Cerro Coso had a kick-off to the event at Ridgecrest and BC had our kick-off in a large event in the Outdoor Theater.  If was a fun event and I invite you to click on the link that will take you to the April 29th blog titled Strengthening Kern County, One Degree at a Time.
https://sonyachristianblog.com/2017/04/29/strengthening-kern-county-one-degree-at-a-time/

Here is one of the great pictures from the event.  So many community leaders out to support education in Kern County.  See of you can name them all 🙂

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Community Leaders at the Kern Promise

So, what is the Kern Promise? The Kern Promise is a commitment in action at Bakersfield College to help students complete their Associate Degree for Transfer within two instructional years through a Guided Pathways approach, providing support, priority access to courses, and financial assistance to those who qualify. The Kern Promise focuses on a shared responsibility model where students will work with Completion Coaches and follow a clear path to success. In return, each promise student is required to maintain good academic standing and commit to their studies.

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Wednesday was a beautiful day at BC,  as we welcomed the newly admitted Kern Promise students for Promise Day, their specialized extended orientation consisting of workshops and the signing of their Promise Agreement outlining their shared responsibilities and expectations!

The program began with photos and fun with some of our awesome orientation leaders – continuing students employed in various departments on campus including Student Success & Equity, Office of Student Life, and the Welcome Center! They guided students in icebreakers, discussions on majors and career goals, and stopped at the photo wall for fun group photos to get them warmed up and excited for the day.

Shannel Tyus and Keri Kennedy

Shannel Tyus, Keri Kennedy

Promise Counselor Keri Kennedy and Program Manager Shanell Tyus welcomed students and provided an overview of the day, followed by an inspiring welcome by BC SGA President Dezi Von Manos, and additional welcoming remarks from myself.

SGA Leadership

SGA Leadership

Students then rotated between workshops designed to help them focus on transitioning to college, developing academic behaviors necessary for success, and utilizing campus resources such as Academic Support Services, Student Government Association, and the Office of Student Life. Workshops were presented by Teresa McAllister and 2nd-year Promise students Avery Gibson, Magdalena Panteleon, and Tyler Ellis, Academic Development faculty, Counselors Keri Kennedy and Jonathan Shultz, Donor Relations Coordinator Alyse Braaten, BC SGA officers Mustafa Barraj, Dezi Von Manos, James Tompkins, Monica Alvarez, Diana Martinez, Daniel Ruezga and Evelyn Hernandez, and concluded with Dr. Christine Whelan, author and professor at University of Wisconsin – Madison, who addressed students to help them “Pack their Renegade Rucksack” and plan for their academic journey ahead.

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The crux of the day, was the signing of the Promise Agreement. This carefully crafted document was developed to explicitly outline the terms and conditions of this shared responsibility model that we’ve created the Kern Promise to be. Students are expected to commit to maintaining good academic standing, completing 15 units per semester, correspond with their completion coaches regularly, and seek academic support through BC resources and those in their cohort. In exchange, BC commits to providing students with priority access to courses required for their pathway, financial assistance, and the strong support of their completion team and coaches, all in efforts to ensure their timely completion (degree for transfer) within two instructional years.

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We expect big things from our Promise students and are proud of their persistence to this point! Coming to BC college ready for English and Math is proof that our students can complete their time at BC in just two years and continue their journey to family sustaining wages and degrees from our neighboring universities!

Check out the whole photo album of Promise Day at BC here.

Renegade Football — A community tradition

2017-footballmediaday-16-x3 Tuesday was another exciting time at BC when Athletics hosted the 2017 Football Media Day in front of Historic Memorial Stadium! I’m counting down the days till football season begins. The date is September 2nd – is it on your calendar?

Francis Mayer emceed the event with three speakers — Mayor Karen Goh, Athletic Director Sandi Taylor and Coach Jeff Chudy.

 

This season marks the 67th time our Renegades have taken the field in our signature red uniforms. And Athletic Director, Sandi Taylor promised big surprises at the event. It was fun watching the giant banner being unfurled from the very top of the stadium, with a larger than life Renegade player and text celebrating the start to the season and season ticket info!

John Farrand took this great picture of the crowd cheering as the banner unfurled.  Can you spot Kimberly Bligh, Sonya Christian, Jim Lawitz, Michelle Chantry, Jennifer Marden?

Group of spectators cropped

 

Do you have your tickets yet? You don’t want to miss the home opener.

Also, kicking off this year is “The Knight Club”, the second surprise announcement of the day. It’s a VIP-type fan experience with membership tiers that include access to private hospitality services during games, among other benefits. It’s a fantastic way to support your BC Renegade athletes. It’s also tax-deductible and 100 percent of the proceeds go to support all 20 BC Athletics teams and their 500+ student athletes.

Thank you to all the media who showed for this fantastic unveiling. 

Media at 2017 Renegade Football Season Unveiling

Media at the Renegade Football Season Unveiling

Group picture

Karen Goh, Mia Cifuentes, Sonya Christian, Sandi Taylor, Ed Davis

 

And Thank you to our dignitaries, Mayor Karen Goh, American General Media President Rogers Brandon, KGET Vice President Derek Jeffries and a delegation of Helmet Club members like Ed Davis and Chad Hathaway, who were there in full force to support Bakersfield College and Renegade Football. Was happy to see our friends from the Bakersfield Fire Department — Deputy Fire Chief Tyler Hartley, Deputy Fire Chief Ross Kelly.  Thank you Mia Cifuentes, representative of Assembly Member Vince Fong for coming out.  It’s a great day to be a Renegade!

 

Bakersfield Fire department Tyler Hartley and Ross Kelly

Deputy Fire Chief Tyler Hartley, Deputy Fire Chief Ross Kelly

 

Dignitaries with cheer team Aug 8 2017

Ed Davis, Chad Hathaway, Karen Goh, Jeff Chudy, Heather Foss, Sandi Taylor with BC Cheer Team

For all the details about The Knight Club, visit gogades.com.

Two great articles followed the event by Mike Griffith of The Bakersfield Californian. They are:

Bakersfield College goes big in quest to pump up Renegade football” and

BC coach Chudy says depth a plus as Renegades open football practice.”

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And speaking of our local media, it was great to see Michelle Chantry, CEO and Jim Lawitz, the VP and executive editor of TBC on our campus.

The Bakersfield Californian is a true community treasure and has remarkable history; one withstanding a revolutionized industry, new technologies, and an expanding community that continues to grow, yet at the same time, it has for me kept that traditional “hometown content” that we’ve come to love.

Was happy that Chancellor Burke joined us to celebrate Renegade Football.

Tom Burke, Sandi Taylor, Sonya Christian, Jeff Chudy Aug 8 2017

Tom Burke, Sandi Taylor, Sonya Christian, Jeff Chudy

For the full album of photos, visit our Smugmug page.

Registration Rocks

Over the summer, BC’s outreach team held three one-day express enrollment events. This week, we held the final last chance event which welcomed 609 returning students and 635 new students back on campus. Thank you to all involved with these events including Outreach, Admissions and Records, Counseling, Assessment, and Marketing. It was great to see photos from the jam packed event  in the paper on Thursday. Check it out!

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Kern County Farm Bureau

This week, I enjoyed reconnecting with community leaders from the Kern Farm Bureau.  I got to know them better during the Measure J time and am so appreciative that they supported Bakersfield College through Measure J.  Here are some photos from the October 5, 2016 presentation to the Kern Farm Bureau about Measure J.

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Jeff Rasmussen could not make the meeting so Mary Jo and I met with Ralph Mendes and Beatris Espericueta.  The Kern County Farm Bureau is a non-profit organization that advocates for our local farmers as part of the statewide California Farm Bureau Federation lobbying in Sacramento on behalf of all our state’s growers.

Kern Farm Bureau

Beatris Espericueta, Sonya Christian, Ralph Mendes, and Mary Jo Pasek

The Kern County Farm Bureau provides outreach, networking and scholarships to the community through their Young Farmers and Ranchers program, which provides men and women between the ages of 18 to 35 with the information, resources and business connections needed to start a fruitful career in agriculture.

Exciting things are in the works in order to find out how these partnerships can continue to prepare the future leaders of our community’s most important industry. As Van Ton Quinlivan spoke about in the video I highlighted in last week’s blog, it’s important for educators to establish close partnerships with employers to ensure that we’re providing our students with all the tools those employers need when they’re looking for applicants in the job market. With the constant advances in agricultural technology, that may even require retraining people who are already in the industry on the newest equipment and techniques.

Spotlight on Summer Bridge

This was the last week of summer bridge.  I was able to attend a small part of it.  This is just a phenomenal activity for incoming students and I got to experience how exhausting it is the the faculty and staff who work summer bridge.  It is fast paced and engaging.

Anna Laven and Mindy Wilmot

I have been covering images from Summer Bridge routinely over the last several weeks, but if you are still wondering what Summer Bridge is all about…..

Throughout the summer, students are mentored by multi- discipline faculty, peer mentors, and support services staff how to best access and utilize campus resources during engaging sessions and demystify questions that ALL new students have BEFORE their first semester begins. On a more practical level, the day focuses on introducing skills necessary for college success, including effective communication, time-management, library research and other critical skills! The topics covered at Summer Bridge to BC are designed, and proven, to ensure students are successful during their FIRST semester in college.

Summer Bridge

BC Summer Bridge Team

BC Summer Bridge Peer Mentors Ruben Chavez and Kenneth Mireles and Bridge Director Dr. Kimberly Bligh.

Summer Bridge Peer Mentors, Ruben Chavez and Kenneth Mireles with Bridge Director, Dr. Kimberly Bligh

Throughout the day, collaborative activities take place where students come up with a creative presentations to provide information to the rest of the participants about important “tools” to have in their life toolbox in order to achieve academic and lifelong success demonstrating the importance of GRIT, believing in a  growth mindset, understanding the importance of role models, and knowing how to manage their time, balance their life, stay organized, and utilize campus resources.

BC served over 400 students last year and more than doubled enrollments this year to serve 1000+ student during 25 sessions from April through August! The final four sessions take place August 7th through August 10th. Over 100 staff, faculty, and peer mentors participated in Bridge to BC in 2017. That’s how we roll at Bakersfield College.

Here is a photo of Summer Bridge in Delano

Delano Summer Bridge

Here is a 7-minute video put together by Teresa Mcallister

Cabinet Retreat

We closed out our admin summer retreats last monday, 8/7/2017. with President’s Cabinet meeting to finalize workplans for the the 2017-2018 academic year.

Let me introduce you to members of the President’s Cabinet

2017 President's Cabinet June 5 2017

Here are a few photos from the August 7th meeting

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Maria Wright, Steve Watkin, Lesley Bonds, Michele Pena, Nicky Damania

 

 

Delano Team Retreat

I enjoyed visiting the Delano campus team during their retreat Tuesday, August 8th.  The passion and dedication of the faculty and staff is so visible.  Love #BCatDelano.

Delano Team

Loved this Facebook post by Endee Grijalva

Endee Grijalva Aug 8 2017

Shout out to BC Food Services

And throughout the busy week, as always our Food Services staff have been even busier taking care of us…taking care of our students.  And what delicious food.  I snapped a picture of the smiling Chef Eric Sabella and Penny Loos as they were hard at work.  Long tiring and back breaking days.  Thank you Food Services!

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Here is Penny Loos and Eric Sabella from BC Food Services.

 

Chef Coyle came to visit!

IMG_2265And speaking of treats, I ran into Chef Coyle, former director of the culinary arts program, who deeply loves BC! Chef Coyle was on campus preparing for the class he is teaching this fall.

I’m definitely the luckiest and happiest college president ever!

Project Next Step

IMG_2260It’s always great to see familiar faces on the news sharing great info. This week, I caught Odella Johnson on KGET, along with Brenda Lewis, sharing information about Project Next Step. BC is honored to be one of the many local organizations participating in Project Next Step this weekend on Saturday, August 12th from 9:00AM to 2:30PM at CSUB’s Dore Theater.

ProjectnextstepProject Next Step is a conference and resource fair that aims to provide local junior high students and their parents with the tools they need to succeed in high school, college and beyond. Students will obtain resources on completion, college options, homework support, classroom etiquette, test-taking strategies, FAFSA and scholarships, peer pressure and leadership, and the importance of mentoring.

Presenters include Bakersfield Chief of Police Lyle Martin, Mayor Karen Goh, and Gloria Cannon, the first African-American female judge in Kern County. The keynote speaker for the conference is Arleana Waller, an ambassador for She Power.

Project Next Step is a collaboration between educational leaders and community organizations to prepare students for high school, college or a vocational career.

Bill Henry

vv-98-front-fixed-237x300There was a great article by Nancy Vigren about the new President of Porterville College, Bill Henry, formerly Porterville College’s Vice President of Academic Affairs. Bill, who has worked at Porterville College since 1998, takes over for outgoing president Dr. Rosa Carlson, finishing a term of service in education that has lasted over 40 years.

The photo of Bill on the right is from the website of the article by Vigran.

Check out the article published by Our Valley Voice.

porterville college

BC Superstar Mindy Wilmot

Mindy Wilmot Adventures in InformationBC reference librarian Mindy Wilmot presented a speech on information literacy at the 2017 International Association of School Librarianship (IASL) Conference in Long Beach last week. Along with Katie McNamara, the faculty librarian at North High School, Wilmot’s presentation focused on how to help find the research that students need through pre-search, print and online references and using booleans to narrow down the information more specifically. The IASL was founded in 1971 to provide a forum for school library professionals to network and discuss their practices together. While this year’s conference was held just a few hours away from Bakersfield at Cal State Long Beach, conferences are held around the world, and last year’s conference was hosted in Tokyo.

BC Students raise $5000 for Charities

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BC Faculty, Heidi Forsythe

This summer, BC students raised about $5000 for Ronald McDonald House Charities while learning small group communication and problem solving skills.

Two of Heidi Forsythe’s Small Group Communication classes brainstormed, planned and executed a two-day donation drive in the span of a week, developing a mission statement and guidelines for their groups while developing conflict management strategies to work together for their common goal. Ronald McDonald house director Scarlet Sabin, who reached out to the media for the event to get coverage on Channel 17, Channel 23, 94.1 FM and KNZR, said that the donation drive will help the organization get through the rest of the year. Check out the video on KGET!

Fun Photos

BC faculty, Joe Saldivar and two future renegades (his sons) visited Stonehenge on their way to Normandy. I’m always amazed and filled with wonder when I think or see photos of Stonehenge. The English Heritage website, says “Stonehenge is perhaps the world’s most famous prehistoric monument. It was built in several stages: the first monument was an early henge monument, built about 5,000 years ago, and the unique stone circle was erected in the late Neolithic period about 2500 BC.”

Sebastian Saldivar, Christian Saldivar and Joe Saldivar Summer 2017

Sebastian, Christian, and Joe Saldivar at Stonehenge

Did you know it was also largely believed that the building process was so extensive that it could have lasted on and off for anywhere from 1500 to 7000 years? Check out this site for incredible facts about some of the world’s most famous places!

And Todd Coston on a cruise

Todd Coston family celebrating parent's 50th anniversary July 2017.jpg

Todd Coston and family took a 4-day cruise to Catalina and Mexico to celebrate his parents 50th wedding anniversary.  The picture is of the family in Catalina getting ready to board the ferry back to the cruise ship.

Great American Eclipse of 2017

NickStrobel

Nick Strobel

Have you run into Strobel recently…. well if you did what is the first thing he tells you….. it is all about the eclipse….that’s all I have heard for the last 6 months 🙂

Nick Strobel recently posted that the great American Eclipse of 2017 is coming up shortly. He says, “On August 21, the new moon will come exactly between Earth and the sun and its shadow will sweep across the United States from the Oregon coast to the South Carolina coast. The narrow strip of total solar eclipse will be just 68 miles wide. Those outside of that narrow strip will see the sun partially covered by the moon.”  Learn more at https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/planetarium/bakersfield-night-sky/bakersfield-night-sky-august-5-2017

And Tarina Perry has been puppy sitting and hanging out with Japanese international students

Riley bad puppyMason Blair, an Officer in Public Safety has a new 4-month old black lab puppy named Riley. When Riley got out of the laundry room, which is his holding place when no one is home, he was trying to let everyone know how unhappy he was being cooped up.  He chewed up a “memory foam” pillow and then threw up all the stuffing onto the floor!

And here is an email she sent me about Coach Paula Dahl and Coach Nick Jacobs about the experience of the Japanese students.  It is an uplifting email and so beautifully written.  Now do you see why I am the luckiest and happiest college president ever…

Somaly Boles and Tarina Perry May 12 2017

Tarina Perry with Somaly Boles

Hi Sonya,

My visit with our BC Athletics Department:

I recently had two students from Wakayama, Japan for a weeklong homestay through the Bakersfield Sister City Program.  Back in Japan, Nanaka plays basketball and Konomi plays tennis, so I set up a meet & greet with our BC coaches.  I envisioned a team working out and practicing basketball moves on the gym floor and maybe receiving directions from a really tough coach.  Instead, the entire team was sitting on the floor in a semi-circle facing three coaches.  Each teammate took turns offering up words of encouragement, acknowledgements of one another’s attributes, and sharing information on ways to better balance basketball with classes for a successful semester.  The more experienced teammates advised the newer ones to take advantage of study hall, office hours, tutoring… and simply to speak up and ask for help, because most teachers are understanding.  I didn’t expect to witness such an amazing and intimate experience! 

 This was not just a group of students or a basketball team, but this is a family!  I felt so much BC Pride!  Coach Dahl ended the experience with a team photo that our Japanese friends can take home and share with everyone.  Coach Dahl also taught them the fist-bump!

A similar experience took place when meeting our very enthusiastic Tennis Coach Jacobs.  He engaged with Nanaka and Konomi, we toured the facilities and he recommended best practices for them to focus on in order to better their playing skills.

I learned there is much more behind the title Athletic Coach.  I have just a little more understanding and a lot greater respect of our Athletics Department.

 

So what about Neo?

He is 48 lbs

 

 

August 10 2017 Neo

Neo

 

Sonya Christian cropped Aug 8 2017

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Bakersfield, a Community that Supports BC and our Students

Good morning Bakersfield. It is Saturday, August 5th,  and at 5:15 a.m. it is 74 degrees … a beautiful morning, a great week full of community leaders, BC leaders, veterans and congressmen.  A great week to be a Renegade.

I had a series of productive meetings this week.  The Kern Promise completion coaching community met for the first time and I forgot to take a photo.  Darn it.  But I might have pictures of some of the individuals in my photo library on word press.

 

 

 

Shanell Tyus with Lisa Kent and Maria Wright.  Lesley Bonds

Just a great group of BC folks discussing the students in the cohort to make sure that they are positioned to successfully complete their first milestone at the end of the fall semester — 15 credits of course work.  In addition, we are focusing on students completing their college-level English and college-level math in their first year.  Jennifer Achan, Director of Financial Aid, did a detailed presentation of the Financial Aid status of each student.  Keri Kennedy, the counselor responsible for this cohort, reviewed the courses that these students are enrolled in.  We also have a student in the group.  Here are some of the faces of the completion coaches for the affinity group The Kern Promise.

 

 

 

Jennifer Achan with Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg. Keri Kennedy.

We also submitted the 2017-2020 Educational Master Plan (EMP) for Board approval.  Thank you Dr. Janet Fulks for leading the effort on the EMP work.  I love this picture of Janet with her granddaughter.

Janet Fulks 2

Janet Fulks

Sonya Christian black and whiteI thought you might enjoy some excerpts from the President’s letter in the EMP

Bakersfield College (BC) started in 1913 as a vision and a plan for educational opportunity and community service with 13 students in a borrowed classroom on the Kern High School campus. From that hopeful start, BC now provides approximately 30,000 students a year with educational opportunity, serves as a cultural center for its community, and trains the workforce for a vibrant community of industry partners.

BC’s Vision today remains true to that founding vision:

“Building upon more than 100 years of excellence, Bakersfield College continues to contribute to the intellectual, cultural, and economic vitality of the communities it serves.”

The visionaries of 1913 could not have imagined the growth or rapidly changing society, however, they would instantly recognize the individuals today who tirelessly help our students (many still first in their families to go to college) attain their dreams. It is the shared work of college faculty, staff, and administrators, and our community.

 

BC’s 2017-2020 Educational Master Plan embarks on a systematic Guided Pathways redesign of how we guide students to complete their educational goals. Guided Pathways is built on four pillars:

Pillars of Guided Pathways

  1. Clarifying educational pathways for both Career Technical Pathways and Transfer Pathways.
  2. Getting students on the path starts by getting 9th grade students to see college in their futures.
  3. Keeping students on the path calls us to ensure that every precaution is taken to keep students on their educational pathway to degree completion.
  4. Ensuring learning invites as to develop a learning environment both in and out of the classroom to create adaptive learners who can communicate effectively, think critically, demonstrate competencies, and engage with their communities.

The 2017-2020 Educational Master Plan calls for an approach that better serves BC’s 30,000 students by grouping them into 18 completion communities – 10 meta-majors and 8 affinity groups, which include the identified underrepresented groups in BC’s Equity Plan. Each meta-major and affinity group will be surrounded by completion coaches ranging from 10 to 20 faculty and staff that will form a safety net around their cohort of students. The high-touch, personalized approach of these completion coaching communities combined a with the high-tech data analytics will help coaches to monitor progress and target student communications.

 

BC History on Facebook

Keith Woolaridge

Keith Wolaridge, Tom Gelder

This week, Keith Wolaridge shared a Facebook post with me featuring historical photos of the Bakersfield College campus. The post on Kern County Historical Society’s page was posted by Fatima Al-Bugharin. It’s incredible to see how supportive, interested, and dedicated the residents of Kern County are to BC.

Thank you Keith for your support of Bakersfield College.  Here you see Keith with Tom Gelder, being recognized for his leadership role on the Measure J committee.  Keith is also a community mentor in BC’s Astep program with Dr. Paula Parks.

In 1913, Bakersfield leadership and the community were visionaries. They knew that higher education was absolutely critical for Kern County and so they created a community college in Bakersfield. In the 50’s, leadership and the community again showed their commitment when they supported BC’s move to have its own campus.

The land was chosen – it was empty, barren, and probably very dusty and it was right there – 1801 Panorama Drive… this 153-acre lot on the China Grade Bluffs. The ground was not yet broken, but the seeds for the future were planted and the location was chosen; this was the place. This was the place where hundreds of thousands of students would make their way “up the hill” to attend college for the very first time.

FacebookSixty years later, many things have changed, but one constant piece remains – Bakersfield is a community that realizes the importance of a college education and undeniably supports Bakersfield College.

Fatima, in her post linked two articles for those interested in learning more about the history of BC and I’d like to share them as well. From The Bakersfield Californian, “History: Growing up and headed for college”  and “Bakersfield College Centennial: 100 years of higher education.”  Both fantastic articles. Thank you.

Supporting our Veterans

Paul Beckworth Being InterviewedOn Wednesday, August 2nd, morning, Paul Beckworth and BC student and US Navy Veteran, Robert Enger were featured in a story on ABC 23 about the Forever GI Bill. Straight from the story, Paul Beckworth said,

It will extend the benefits for stem majors up to one academic year which is indicative of the federal government recognizing we need stem majors and this is a way we can help veterans get those degrees so they can enter the workforce.

Thanks to your loyal support through Measure J, our student veterans will be getting a brand new, state of the art, stand-alone Veterans Resource Center. Thank you Bakersfield, Thank you Kern County! Thank you Congressman McCarthy for your work on the Forever GI Bill and for your continued support of our veterans. Also, a big thank you to all of our political leaders such as County Supervisor Leticia Perez and Assemblyman Rudy Salas. And finally, thank you to all our BC student veterans for trusting us with your education — you can go far and BC is here to support you.

I invite you to watch the video clip or read the article at www.turnto23.com.

BC Veterans

Library of Congress Veterans  History Project

On Thursday, Congressman McCarthy was at BC participating in the Veterans History Project.

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Zav Dadabhoy, Kevin McCarthy, Armando Trujillo, Mary Jo Pasek

The United States Congress created the Veterans History Project in 2000 to collect, preserve, and make accessible the personal stories and accounts of American war veterans so that future generations can hear directly from the veterans, in their voices, and better understand the realities of war.

Love this photo — a Manny selfie 🙂

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Manny de Los Santos, Kevin McCarthy, Marvin Belcher

 

 

 

 

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Mary Jo Pasek, Miriam Kann

One of the veterans interviewed was Miriam Kann.  You see her here with Mary Jo Pasek. Steven Mayer of The Bakersfield Californian did a great story on Kann in the July 27th paper titled Bakersfield woman, on eve of 100th birthday, says she joined up because she was ‘mad at Hitler’.  Loved the header…. Here are some excerpts from the article

Then in her mid-20s, Kann joined millions of other American women who participated in the war effort in those dark days when Hitler’s armies had occupied much of Europe and the Japanese Imperial Navy had control of much of the Pacific.

She served in San Francisco and at other locations training new pilots using the Link Trainer, an early flight simulator. Many, she said, credited the training with saving their lives.

Steven Mayer concludes with:

“On the flight, several of the guys were just ga-ga over her,” recalled Kim Whitaker, an Honor Flight volunteer.

But one man, Jack Henslee, asked for her number.

“I met her on Honor Flight in 2013, and we have been seeing one another ever since,” Henslee said. “She’s a lady.”

The joke going around is that Kann is robbing the cradle, as Henslee is a mere lad of 91. But she seems sweetly embarrassed by the suggestion.

And just in case anyone might suggest something untoward is going on, Henslee repeated his admonition.

“She’s a lady,” he said.

She certainly is.

 

Miriam Kann turns 100 today.  Happy 100th birthday Ms. Miriam Kann.  We thank you for your service to our country.

The veterans were interviewed at Bakersfield College on Thursday, August 3rd.  Dick Taylor, Armando Tuijillo, and Kevin McCarthy did the interviews.  Thank you Dick Taylor for your continued support of Bakersfield College.  And thank you for bringing the Airforce Band to BC’s outdoor theater.  Here is a link to my July 1, 2017 blog featuring the Airforce Band. https://sonyachristianblog.com/2017/07/01/time-flies-when-youre-at-bc/

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Here is the list of veterans who participated.

Andrew Perales, Marvin Belcher (WWII), Greg Underwood (Vietnam), Tom Svare (Vietnam), Augustine Flores (WWII), Jessica Brown (Navy 2011-2015), Aaron Coates (Iraq War), Henry Ochsner (WWII), Victor Killingsworth (WWII), Miriam Kann (WWII)

 

 

 

 

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Thank you to all involved with this project, including Mary Jo Pasek, Manny De Los Santos, and John Farrand.

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Here is John and Manny in action, a post from Mary Jo Pasek’s Facebook.

Bakersfield College Students Intern with Congressman Kevin McCarthy

Mary Jo Pasek got this great photo from Robin Lake-Foster.

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Congressman Kevin McCarthy’s 2017 Summer Internship Program

Included in this group photo, albeit gloomy weather, are college students from the 23rd Congressional District who participated in Congressman Kevin McCarthy’s 2017 Summer Internship Program, where they spent two weeks in McCarthy’s Bakersfield District Office and six weeks in the DC offices, where their time was shared serving three weeks in the Congressman’s congressional office and three weeks in the Office of the Majority Leader.

The students from Bakersfield College are:

Halle Cornejo (left back row, auburn hair and cream blouse)
Austin Machado (kneeling down in front row, white shirt with striped tie
Nicolas Montero-Garcia (to the right of the Congressman, pink shirt, no jacket)
James Priest (next to Nicolas, gray shirt with striped tie)

#WeAreBC

BC’s Ag Department

BC is located in California’s agriculturally rich San Joaquin Valley and has the history and resources to move Ag students in the right direction. Our Ag program has rich history too, dating back to it’s beginnings in 1915 — making it one of the first community college agriculture programs in the nation. Since then, BC continues to educate students for a career in all ag fields.

 

This week, a fun email was forwarded to me. Charles Parker, Agriculture Education Consultant shared Ag Teacher Trivia – how many of these did you know?

Charles wrote, “To start of the year, I thought I would provide you with some teacher trivia. Enjoy and let me know if I am missing anyone.”

COUPLES

LeAnn_Riley

LeAnn English, BC Ag Dept.

LeAnn English, Bakersfield College and Matthew Riley, Bakersfield College
Allison Ferry, COS and Charles Abee, COS
Koren Martins, Mt. Whitney and Zach Brown, El Diamante
Courtney Serafin, Golden West and Jared Castle, Hanford
Elizabeth ??, Strathmore and Donald Thornburg, Woodlake
Jenna Villacana, Kern ROC and Jacob Eyraud, Bakersfield

RELATIVES
Audrey Bonomi, Sanger and Amy Vivenzi, Washington (Sisters)
Don Clark, Wasco and Vernon Clark, Foothill (Dad and Son)
Alex Gutierrez, Caruthers and Nancy Gutierrez, Reedley College (Brother and Sister)
Erin Hanger, Summit Charter and Robert Hanger, Kern Valley (Brother and sister)
Roz Lopez, Central and Robert Calvert, Selma (Mother and Son)
Charles Parker, Regional Supervisor and Steve Parker, Taft (Brothers)
Matthew Riley, Bakersfield College and Carolee Trimble, Kern ROC (Brother and Sister)

FORMER STATE FFA OFFICERS
Joe Buffington, Bishop (Nevada)
Vernon Clark, Foothill
Amber Cleaver, Delano
Kristi Mattes, Minarets
Natalie Ryan, North

CHILDREN OF AG TEACHERS
Annie Andersen, Hanford and Eric Andersen, Retired
Adam Bullard, Independence and Edwin Bullard, Retired
Robert Calvert, Selma and Roz Calvert, Central
Vernon Clark, Foothill and Don Clark, Wasco
John Coon, Redwood and Bob Cummings, Retired
James Corbett, Monache and Max Corbett, Deceased
Erin Hanger, Summit Charter and Greg Hanger, Retired
Robert Hanger, Kern Valley and Greg Hanger, Retired
Nicole Potstada, Sanger and Leanne Potstada, Retired
Matt Riley, Bakersfield College and Roger Riley, Retired
Glen Sailors, Coalinga and Tim Sailors, Retired
Carolee Trimble, Kern ROC and Roger Riley, Retired
Matt Wenstrand, Caruthers and Gerald Wenstrand, Retired
Brad Wyman, Sierra and Edward Wyman, Retired

Bill Kelly

Bill Kelly

LONGEST TENURED TEACHERS
Bill Kelly, Bakersfield College – 51 years
Frank Tebeau, COS – 41 years
Kristi Mattes, Minarets – 40 years
David Caetano, Tulare – 38 years
Charles Parker, Region Supervisor – 37 years
Ralph Mendes, Kern ROC – 36 years
Ken Dias, Clovis – 35 years
Darlene Gilles, Madera – 33 years

Student Affairs Retreat

Student Affairs Retreat August 2 2017

Lesley and Grace

Grace Commiso, lead for meta-majors  and Lesley Bonds, lead for affinity groups.

Bakersfield College’s approximately 30,000 students represent a multitude of individual goals and needs. With a student to counselor ratio of approximately 1000:1, the Guided Pathways structure prompts the development of Completion Coaching Communities, which are the mechanism for ensuring that the individual student needs are more effectively met within the context of meta majors. By assigning a fully-equipped support team to each of 10 meta majors, Bakersfield College is able to address the specific needs of each meta major in a more personalized, more relevant way.

Going a step further, BC has identified eight affinity groups where additional personalized support exist, and has developed completion coaching communities around those groups as well, providing another layer of support and personal resources for students.

Through the development of these structures, Bakersfield College has developed a strategy for applying a very personal, case management approach to helping our 30,000 students stay on the path to success. Thank you to

Completion Coaching Communities will focus their work on supporting students in their progress toward critical milestones in the journey to successful, timely completion:

  • Completion of 12 to 15 credits in their first semester of college.
  • Completing both college-level Math and English in the first year.
  • Completion of 30 credits in the appropriate pathway in the first year.
  • Completion of 60 credits in the span of two years.

The photo you see below is of four superheroes in our Academic Support area.  They are geared up this year to provide intensive tutoring services for English and math in particular to support students in their courses.

Atudent Affairs Retreat Aug 2 2017.JPG

Eileen Pierce, Maria Baltazar, Yvonne Armendariz, Maria Wright

I popped in and out of the retreat in between my meeting schedule.  So I caught a few of the discussions that inspired me.  Here you see BC’s Financial Aid Director who is a bundle of energy and works with an incredible team in our Financial Aid Office.

 

 

 

Did you know that BC currently has over 45,000 active Financial Aid accounts?  I did not. Did you know that students have a window between October 1, 2017 and March 2018 to file for financial aid for the following year.  The sooner applications come in the better their chances of getting things squared away.  So why wait.  Plz complete your applications before the end of October this year!

Go team Financial Aid!

National Endowment for the Humanities Grant

delano-grant-logo-neh_logo_horizontal_rgb

We received an announcement this week that BC has been awarded $100,000 from the National Endowment for the Humanities to complete a three year project titled, “Energizing Humanities in California’s San Joaquin Valley.” Complementing the local legacy of energy production, Energizing Humanities in California’s San Joaquin Valley examines the concept of energy broadly from historical and literary perspectives, as well as the intersection of humanities with music/performing arts. Each year, faculty cohorts will engage critical scholarship within the fields of history, literature, and cultural performing arts. A regional conference highlighting faculty pedagogical innovation, student panels, as well as keynote speakers, will conclude the grant project.

Several other projects receiving grants from NEH will help preserve fragile historical and cultural collections and make them more accessible to the broader public, such as grants to safeguard a collection of Native American and Medieval and Renaissance art at the Philbrook Museum of Art in Tulsa, Oklahoma; for the preservation of Civil War artifacts recovered from the USS Monitor warship in Newport News, Virginia; and new initiatives in Arkansas and Georgia to digitize historic local newspapers for inclusion in the Chronicling America database at the Library of Congress.

Thank you to the National Endowment for the Humanities for your support of BC!

To see the official press release, visit www.neh.gov/news/press-release/2017-08-02

Here are the three faculty who will be the Principal Investigators for the grant.  Oliver Rosales, History (lead); Andrew Bond, English; Josh Ottum, Music.

Oliver Rosales, Andrew Bond, Josh Ottum

Special Thank you to Oliver Rosales, Andrew Bond, and Josh Ottum

BC Team at CTEOS

BC Team at CTEOS

Craig Hayward, Karen Snow, Stephanie Baltazar, and Corny Rodriguez

The California Community College CTE Employment Outcomes Survey (CTEOS) began as a pilot project with fifteen colleges in 2012. CTE Dean’s, frustrated at the lack of relevant outcomes measures for CTE students, determined to pool resources and to scale up employment outcomes surveys that had been conducted by some individual colleges. The CTE Outcomes Survey has grown to include all 113 California Community Colleges, and several non-credit CTE programs.  In the photo, BC’s Team at CTEOS on Aug. 3rd and 4th.

Craig Hayward was a presenter at the event and his talk was titled Accreditation and Calculating Employment in the Field of Study with the CTEOS (CTE Outcomes Survey)

Bloom in Bakersfield — Asha Chandy 

Asha Chandy in The Bakersfield Californian July 2017

Asha Chandy. Picture from TBC

The Bakersfield Life Magazine featured Asha Chandy in their July issue “Millennial Voices: Bloom where you are planted.”

It’s an insightful and thoughtful piece commending Bakersfield for the little things that make this town special to those who live here and the experiences that brought Asha to appreciate Bakersfield too. She said after coming back to Bakersfield, that she “constantly recognized faces in passing cars, when shopping or walking downtown.” and “Servers in coffees shops recognize your face and remember your usual order.”

Besides the friendly and familiar faces, Asha explained that quickly after coming back, she “soon met mentors who actually invested time and effort in young people…. millennials who lacked direction but had the potential to thrive.” and she said Bakersfield is the perfect incubator for young professionals.

Asha Chandy worked tirelessly, side-by-side with the fabulous Nicole Parra, to help  Bakersfield College pass Measure J…

 

 

 

 

Of course, how can I forget the campaign dog Bruce.

bruce-the-election-dog-nov-9-2016

Thank you Bakersfield for passing Measure J and for being a rock of support for our young people, higher education, and all BC students! Thank you Kern County!! Have I mentioned recently that I am the luckiest and happiest college president ever?

sonya-christian-measure-j-oct-1-2016

Former Taft College President, David Cothrun

David Cothrun from TBCFormer Taft College President Dr. David Cothrun wrote a piece in the July edition of the Bakersfield Life Magazine praising the quality of life in Taft, where he’s lived for the last 21 years.  I so enjoyed this piece and wanted to share it with the larger community.

Despite being retired from Taft College since 2001, Cothrun has chosen to stay in the area because of the “community that cares and gives back” and non-profit organizations that provide transportation for health care and events while funding scholarships and creating a welcoming atmosphere for students with disabilities.

Cothrun took a moment to highlight Taft College’s important Transition to Independent Living (TIL), a two-year residential program that teaches students with disabilities the skills they need to become independent and able to live alone. The TIL program is one of the only ones of its kind in the United States, and it’s providing amazing opportunities for success that disabled students never had before.

Cothrun has been in the Taft Rotary club for 37 years and the Taft Chamber of Commerce Board for 14 years. He also serves on the Kern County Board of Trade. Read the whole article at Bakersfield.com.

Van Ton-Quinlivan

Van Ton Quinlivan from Doing what matters website

Van Ton-Quinlivan

The Chronicle of Higher Education published an interview about the future of career training and vocational education with Van Ton-Quinlivan, the Vice Chancellor of Workforce and Economic Development for California community colleges.

The video, which corresponded with a Chronicle of Higher Education report titled “The Future of Work: How Colleges Can Prepare Students for the Jobs Ahead”, focuses on the plight of stranded workers, an unemployment statistic that’s become a catch-all term for those who don’t see themselves in our future automated economy. After the recession of 2008, work productivity increased even though unemployment increased due to a confluence of technological advances and developments in artificial intelligence and machine learning. Many people looking to return to the economy found themselves without the skills needed to compete for positions in a post-industrial world.

Ton-Quinlivan discussed the numerous paradigm shifts that will have to happen in education to get distressed workers the skills to return to the economy. Where educational institutions once had the luxury of extensively training students before they enter the work force, they now have to scale their educational services to prepare for workers who need to come back to school to keep up with evolving technologies and business practices.

Ton-Quinlivan wants to “modularize delivery of education” with low-impact, 3-6 month Certificates of Specialization that would allow adults to continue education while contributing to the workforce. She also would also like to see the California community college system forge more direct partnerships with employers through apprenticeships and structuring curricula to meet the demands of the labor market.

“The economy is becoming more and more unforgiving to those without skills,” Ton-Quinlivan said. “With apprenticeships, you’re not divorcing the education from the employer needs.”

One way companies are bridging the skills gap is through on-site “maker-spaces”—augmented learning environments where laborers can work directly with expensive new equipment to develop competency.

In addition to maker-spaces, Van Ton-Quinlivan emphasized the role of community colleges in identifying a student’s skill sets and shepherding them into the best education program to utilize and develop those skills. She highlighted a capstone program a few California community colleges conducted for veterans to transition from security work into positions as systems operators or utility workers based on a pre-employment screening. These kind of creative collaboration between counselors, educators and industry leaders can close the education gap in California and transform people’s lives.

It is wonderful seeing California Community College leadership setting the national trends in education.  So proud!

Super hero Anna Meyer

Aaron Kidwell Aug 2 2017

Aaron Kidwell

As I was heading out from a meeting on wednesday to the Student Affairs retreat, I saw Aaron Kidwell and stopped to talk with him.  He raved about how Anna Meyer, who is in payroll in the Human Resources department.  Thank you Anna for doing what you did to support Aaron and thank you Aaron for sharing.  Here is a photo of Aaron that I snapped when he shared his good news.

Talking about Anna Meyer, there is another Anna who is a superhero in HR, Anna Gonzalez, who was at BC and is now at the District Office. I had the opportunity to work with Anna on faculty recruitment and Jennfer Marden and I had an Anna Gonzalez fan club going.

Lori Carlson, Anna Meyer, Anna Gomzalez

Lori Carlson, Anna Meyer, Anna Gonzalez

Tonya Davis at BC

Talking about Human Resources, KCCD has a new Vice Chancellor of Human Resources, Tonya Davis who comes to us from southern California.  Here are two photos of Tonya that I snapped on July 18th when she was at BC for a meeting.  She specifically wanted to check out the Veterans hub a small space that supports our student veterans.  Through Measure J, our first project will be a wonderful Veterans Resource Center.  We ran into fabulous Dennis Spencer on our way back to the office.  Here you have Tonya with Armando Trujillo, Advisor to the BC student veterans and Dennis Spenser.

 

 

 

Summer Bridge Continues

Some photos from this week’s summer bridge

Summer Bridge 1

 

Summer Bridge 2

Summer Bridge 3 with Talita Pritt

Summer Bridge 5 with Bill Kelly.jpg

Summer Bridge with Nick Strobel

So what about Neo?

Well….he continues to love to spend time in his mud/sand bed.  Here he is Sunday, July 30th sometime mid morning not happy when I directed him to move away from his frolicking activities in the mud.

 

 

 

Then there is the happy puppy mud face on August 2, 2017

August 2 2017 Neo

Neo

And then there is his chew toy.

 

 

 

He is 45 lbs.

sonya-at-eddie-palmerie-slasa-may-3-2015-at-yerba-buena-gardens-festival

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Live, Love, Ohana, Aloha!

Good morning Bakersfield. It is Saturday, July 29th and this week was a great week to be  Renegade.  

Hawaii July 25 2017.JPG

Waikiki

I traveled to Hawaii for a few days, experiencing the Aloha spirit and a sense of Ohana (family) that reminded me what a great place it is that we work and live. Bakersfield, a community that takes care of you.

 

 

 

 

Photos at the Oahu airport.  Arriving and then leaving.

Close your eyes and listen to Iz perform Somewhere Over the Rainbow and feel the cool ocean breeze on your face and in your hair.

 

As I walked the miles along the shores early each morning, I was thinking about all the people at Bakersfield College, the city of Bakersfield and the county of Kern and felt fortunate to be living my life among folks who have an adventurous spirit, boundless talent, a love for their place, and a caring heart for their neighbor.

Mick Gleason said it best in his State of the County address on January 27, 2016

Mick_GleasonWe are not defined by the price of a barrel of oil, or how much rain falls from the sky, but rather by the character of the people who live here. We have achieved great things in the past, and we are going to do amazing things in the future. As long as we continue to
embrace the pioneering spirit of those who made Kern County’s first 150 years so
successful, I am certain that our next 150 will shine even brighter…….
Kern County, be proud of who you are, but not boastful. Be bold in your dreams and your
decisions, but not rash. And whatever you do, be fearless in your resolve.

Kern County, this is for you.  Bakersfield, this is for you.  Bakersfield College, this is for you….today’s blog titled Live, Love, Ohana, Aloha.

Marina July 25 2017

The Marina at Waikiki July 25, 2017

Sunset July 25 2017

Sunset through the clouds, Waikiki Marina July 2017

Diamond Head

 

Diamond Head in Hawaii

Photo: Smartdestinations.com

Commonly known as Diamond Head, but officially named Mt. Leahi, this incredibly beautiful spot is one of Hawaii’s (and the world’s) most famous volcanic craters. Smartdestinations.com says, “At the top of the 760-foot summit, you’ll behold breath-taking panoramic views of Waikiki and the rest of the South Shore.” And travel guides always suggest that this early morning hike is always well worth it.  I started the hike at 6:45 a.m. and would recommend to you to start it at 6:00 a.m. right when they open.  And since Hawaii is three hours behind California, 6:00 a.m. is not all that early.

I have hiked Diamond Head several times, the first being with my dad Paul Christian who passed away in 2006.  An amazing human being with a big laugh.  Here is the picture from many moons ago on Diamond Head.

Sonya and Dad in Hawaii cropped rotated

Paul Christian, Sonya Christian

Life Is Not Measured By the Number of Breaths We Take,
But By the Moments That Take Our Breath Away

Hiking up Diamond Head July 27 2017

View hiking up Diamond Head.  July 27, 2017

 

View from Diamond Head July 27 2017

Top of Diamond Head.  July 27, 2017

Talking about volcanoes and Diamond Head made me think of the Geology and Earth Sciences faculty back home at Bakersfield College. Understanding the materials that make up the earth and the expansive world we live in, minerals, rock types, the earth’s surface and its unique regional qualities and features.

IMG_0209

Kern River Formation from Mike Oldershaws Faculty Page

I remember when I was a faculty member, and Robert Schiffman was the lead faculty in geology. And this upcoming year, one of the new 55 faculty joining BC is in Geology. Our region is the ideal learning environment for students in geology. There are unique local geological features such as the Kern River formation on the way to Hart Park, Red Rock Canyon, and Soda Lake in southeastern San Luis Obispo County.

 

Kern_River_on_Twitter

While mentioning the Kern River, have you seen the drone footage posted by The Bakersfield Californian? I mentioned it on Twitter and It’s an absolutely stunning video. Check it out here.

BC also has the Geology Club, a student organization aimed to create a community outside the classroom for STEM and non-STEM students who are passionate about Geological, Natural/Earth and Environmental Sciences, as well as Anthropology, Archeology, and Astronomy. Members participate in group discussions and hands-on experience through field trips and have great opportunities such as scholarships and internships. #WeAreBC

Manoa Falls

I had never hiked Manoa Falls in all my visits to Oahu.  What a gorgeous hike through rain forests.  Definitely a must when you visit Honolulu.

Manoa Falls 1

Manoa Falls 2

Manoa Falla 3

Here is a cute 14-second video of President Obama visiting Manoa Falls.

BC faculty are always proud of their students

Debbie Rosenthal

Deborah Rosenthal

Speaking of students gaining experience through opportunity… Chemistry Faculty, Deborah Rosenthal recently was bragging about one of her students “my joy is in my student’s success” and I loved the story about Baldeep Sandhu – a BC student who has had two internships this summer.  You see my dear students, BC faculty are so focused on your success.  They are always watching out for opportunities for you.  They watch with pride as you succeed.

The first, with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the other with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). In both internships, Baldeep worked with professional engineers on projects that affect the community such as water well system, irrigation systems, reservoir liners, and maintenance assessment projects. With BLM, he said, “we went out on the field a lot and got to see many cool locations. One picture is me taking a lunch break on the edge of a cliff and the other is in a little oasis deep in public land.”

Baldeep will be back at BC for one more year to finish his engineering courses. He has applied for internships to gain experience and says because of this summer, he now has a stronger resume going forward. It’s so great to see BC students thriving in a great learning environment that our faculty and staff provide for them.  #WeAreBC

 

 

 

 

Pearl Harbor

December 7, 1941 is burned into our history books in letters of fire. President Franklin D. Roosevelt addresses Congress on December 8, 1941

On Wednesday, July 26, 2017 I visited again the Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor, the site of one of the worst tragedies in American history.

Pearl Harbor was established as an American military port in 1899, shortly after its annexation as a US territory following the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii. Hawaii’s role as an important trade hub and military garrison would continue to grow, making Pearl Harbor a prime target for surprise attack by a Japanese air strike on December 7th, 1941, a date that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt proclaimed would “live in infamy.”

 

 

 

 

The attack on Pearl Harbor propelled the US into World War II, changing the fate of the entire planet. The events of that day forced American society to the brink of its capabilities, inspiring a myriad of important scientific and industrial breakthroughs culminating in the creation of the first nuclear weapon.  Over 75 years later, the world we live in today was shaped by the bombs that dropped over Pearl Harbor.

If you have not visited the Pearl Harbor Memorial I would suggest that you do.  The 25-minute video prior to heading out to the actual Memorial over the sunken battleship Arizona that has entombed over a 1000 of the 1,177 sailors and marines killed during the bombing, is very powerful and is bound to get you teary eyed.   The names listed on the wall of the Memorial are those who rest below the water within the Arizona.

 

 

 

 

The announcer at the Memorial said that there are five living soldiers from the Arizona who are still alive and they have the right to be buried with their shipmates in the Arizona.  She pointed out last year (2016) that J.D. Anderson joined his twin brother D.J. Anderson who was killed in the Pearl Harbor attack in 1941.  In the photos below you can pick out J.D.Anderson who is listed on the short wall of the Memorial and then D.J. Anderson who is one of the first listed on the large back wall.

 

 

 

 

 

The attack took place on December 7, 1941, a quiet sunny Sunday morning. Being the weekend, many of the offices were closed and there was a minimal contingent of soldiers on duty.  The photo below is displayed at the Museum at Pearl Harbor.  it compares the military strength in the Pacific of Japan to the US in 1941.  Take a moment to study the picture.

Rotated Japan and the US Military Power

 

 

 

 

Sunday morning at approximately 7:00 a.m. the new long-range radar detector installed at Opana Point on the north shore of Oahu, detected approaching aircrafts.  The soldiers on duty messaged Fort Shafter in Honolulu about the approaching aircrafts.  Lt Kermit Tyler who who received the message indicated that there was nothing to worry about and that the radar was picking up the B-17 flying bombers that were dispatched from California.  While on practice maneuvers outside the harbor that morning, an American destroyer spotted a Japanese submarine attempting to sneak into the harbor. The submarine was fired upon, immediately reported — and ignored.

From wikipedia: The attack commenced about 45 minutes later in two waves by a total of 353 Japanese aircrafts launched by six aircraft carriers.  All eight U.S. Navy battleships were damaged, with four sunk. All but the USS Arizona were later raised and six returned to service and went on to fight in the war.  188 U.S. aircraft were destroyed; 2,403 Americans were killed and 1,178 others were wounded.  Japanese losses were light: 29 aircraft and five submarines lost, and 64 servicemen killed. One Japanese sailor, Kazuo Sakamaki, was captured.

Memorial build above the Battleship Arizona:

Memorial Battleship Arizona source emaze

source: emaze.com

Visiting the Pearl Harbor Memorial reminded me of the importance of history. We need to understand where we came from in order to know where we’re going.  We have a talented group of faculty in our history department…great great scholars with a remarkable focus on our students.  Today let me spotlight three of the them.

 

 

 

 

Dr. Oliver Rosales who was recently awarded a National Endowment of the Arts grant for $100,000.  Then, Congressman Kevin McCarthy personally asked our own Prof. Paul Beckworth to review the House’s upcoming update on the GI Bill, while Prof. Matthew Garrett just published an award-winning book on Native American children who left their reservations to live with Mormon foster families during the latter half of the 20th Century.

Here is more on the #Forever GI Bill.  An excerpt from an email that Paul received.

After you and nearly 40 veteran, military, and higher education organizations signaled our strong support for #ForeverGIBill, Congress announced bipartisan legislation to improve the GI Bill. The Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2017 includes everything we’ve advocated for and more. It will:

  • Expand GI Bill eligibility to Guard and Reserve Members
  • Provide full benefits to Purple Heart recipients and Yellow Ribbon benefits to survivors
  • Grant additional benefits to students pursuing a STEM degree
  • End the 15-year delimiting date

The Colmery Act of 2017 already enjoys 57 co-sponsors (26 Republicans and 31 Democrats) from the House and is supported by one of the largest coalition of veteran, military, and higher education organizations to date.

GI Bill Roundtable at VFW Headquarters Washington DC July 13 2017

GI Bill Roundtable at VFW Headquarters – Washington D.C. July 13, 2017

 

Summer Bridge

Summer Bridge Team

Summer Bridge Team

IMG_6027Can you believe Summer is almost over? Time flies when you’re at BC and having fun and especially if you’re involved with BC Summer Bridge. This dedicated team of faculty and staff has committed to making sure new students are equipped with the resources and tools they need to be successful in their first year at BC! I love all the updates and photos on social media from this incredible program… can you see why I’m the luckiest and happiest college president ever?

On Instagram, the Summer Bridge team shared that they did Tower Building on Monday and by Wednesday, this fun video was posted on YouTube. Check out all the fun our new upcoming students are having at Summer Bridge!

BC’s Industrial Automation Advisory Committee

This fall, we are welcoming our first senior semester of the Industrial Automation Baccalaureate students and we are all excited to see them flourish. I can’t wait to see where they land after graduation.

BC’s Baccalaureate in Industrial Automation is proof of the forward thinking of leadership at BC and in the community. Over the past few years, the Industrial Automation Advisory Committee has been on a journey… one of friends and partners who have worked to develop a curriculum that meets current workforce need and these people have made a 4-year degree at Bakersfield College possible.

PruettThis degree path is truly for our students and it’s for our community because through high demand careers with local opportunities, Bakersfield will thrive.  Blair Pruett, who chairs the committee has rallied the troops to see this initiative grow. Blair has been supported by Liz Rozell and BC’s terrific faculty who work tirelessly to make things happen for our students and serve as a bridge between in the Industrial Automation program and the industry.

Committee membership includes alumni, associates and friends of the INDA disciplines and they are selected from among professional leaders of business, industry, government, and education. Thank you to the committee: Adam Alvidrez, Nathan Bender, Paul Blake, Melinda Brown, Edwin Camp, Morgan Clayton, Allen Cowart, Tim DeKorte, Tunde Deru, Patrick Free, Jonathan Geersen, Samuel Gomez, Shawn Hatton, Bill Little, Ron K’Miller, Dean McGee, Brian Miller, Ed Neilands, Paul Niemer, Fred Nilson, Brianne Pluta, Blair Pruett, Adam Stephens, Dick Taylor, Ancel Thompson, Beth Vaughn, Thomas Wilson, David Wolfer, Lisa Wong, and Walt Wiegel.

And thank you to our Industry Partners including, Aera, Stantec, Chevron, Target, Kern Steel, Dryers, Califa Farms, Bolthouse Farms, Frito-Lay, The Wonderful Company, JG Boswell, and more.

I know we’re all counting down the days to see our first graduates cross the stage on graduation night with their Baccalaureate Degrees in Industrial Automation from Bakersfield College!

Rainbow Field Day

On Wednesday July 12, all preschoolers attending the BC Child Development Center were invited to participate in a Rainbow Field Day.  Learning activities were planned by our CHDB B41 lab students and supervised by staff, student interns and parent volunteers from the center.  As you can see, a wonderful time was had by all. Thank you Sue Vaughn for the adorable photos!

 

 

 

 

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This Week on Facebook

So proud of Clayton Fowler, BC SGA President 2015-2016

UC Center Post of Clayton Fowler July 26 2017

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Sally Sterns is already gearing up for the next Gardenfest so there’s guaranteed to be plenty of goodies and treats for all attendees.

Our previous Gardenfest was featured in my blog here last April and it was great that the event took place around Earth Day, as well.

As soon as the date for the next Gardenfest is announced, I will be one of the first to announce it right here on my blog so stay tuned.

 

Next, Welding professor, Jeremy Staat, posted what his Summer Camp students have been up too! How awesome is this?

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And finally, I saw this post by Art faculty, Diego Gutierrez Monterrubio featuring Sandro Botticelli’s artwork. One of my favorite pieces from this great artist is Primavera, which means Spring. In the center, we see Venus in a sacred grove or garden where the treeline almost creates a halo around her. Wikipedia says that the painting was created in the late 1270s or early 1480s, but that datings vary. It also says this piece is “one of the most written about, and most controversial paintings in the world.”

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Primavera Photo: Wikipedia.org

My favorite Botticelli is the Primavera which I saw at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence.  Details of Botticelli’s life are sparse but he apprenticed at the young age of 14 and in 1481, Pope Sixtus IV had Botticelli and other prominent Florentine and Umbrian artists to fresco the walls of the Sistine Chapel. For more, check out
https://www.sandrobotticelli.net/biography.html

Distinguished Young Women of California

Distinguished Young Women is a national scholarship program and the official website states the goal is to inspire “high school girls to develop their full, individual potential through a fun, transformative experience that culminates in a celebratory showcase of their accomplishments. Distinguished young women strives to give every young woman the opportunity to further her education and prepare for a successful future.”

Congratulations to Kimberly Marquez of Bakersfield who was named “Distinguished Young Woman of California” for the Class of 2018. Kimberly will go on to represent California at Nationals! You can see the whole list of this year’s participants at http://ca.distinguishedyw.org/participants/.

20233104_10155487955809174_3688815557598721461_oCongratulations also to Cathy Abernathy who is California’s Distinguished Woman of the Year. Thank you to our Mayor, Karen Goh, another brilliant Bakersfield woman, for the photo which includes both Kimberly (back row, 4th from the left) and Cathy (front row, right side).

It’s great to see local women from Bakersfield being acknowledged for the incredible things they’re doing. At BC, I’m surrounded by smart, passionate, intelligent, creative, and inspiring women who do wonderful things each day. Women such as Liz Rozell and Connie Gonzales who are two women engineers, passionate about STEM and inspiring young women to get involved in STEM careers. There are women leaders all around us, both at BC and in Bakersfield.

Student Andrea Hernandez with Lauren Skidmore Connie and Lisa

Lauren Skidmore, Andrea Hernandez, Connie Gonzales, Lisa Kent

 

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Liz Rozell

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Lisa Green

Did you see the highlight piece on District Attorney, Lisa Green by ABC23? She is not only the first female D.A. in Kern County, but also a distinguished and inspirational female leader in our community. The article mentions of the 58 District Attorneys in California, only 18 are women. View the video clip here.

BC Renegade Clappers bringing smiles to India

A woman from Bakersfield named Sharon recently traveled to India to visit elementary school children and teach them about Bakersfield. When she contacted BC and requested anything we wanted to share with the kids, our team knew exactly what would make them smile. BCSGA Hand clappers, BC stickers, and a pendent for the classroom! These photos are sure to warm your heart. Thank you Sharon for sharing the spirit of BC.

 

 

 

 

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tybak2_origRenegade, Tyrone Crawford

Renegade Alumni and Dallas Cowboy, Tyrone Crawford was highlighted in an interview on KGET on Wednesday where he said, “i remember every single second in Bakersfield. It’s one of the best times in my life.” He went on to mention good years, great coaches, and great teammates. View the clip at KGET.com!

Article in the LA Times

July 25 2017On my flight to Honolulu, I grabbed the LA Times and saw this piece  about the struggles of California farmers to adjust to mechanization as its labor force continues to decline.  Some farmers are even converting their fields from labor-intensive crops such as grapes or vegetables to almonds, which can be easily shaken from the tree mechanically.

For some crops, even mechanization cannot replace the efficiency of human labor. Stockton’s asparagus industry, for instance, is harvesting only 21 percent of the asparagus spears it used to 15 years ago, as there have been no technological innovations to replace the efficiency of human judgment needed to sift through perennial asparagus beds to determine which are ripe.

As the world population continues to grow and create less arable space for growing crops, California will have to reform its agricultural processes to meet the demand and continue to feed the world. In the article, UC Davis economist Ed Taylor says that “California agriculture just isn’t going to look the same… you’re going to be hard-pressed to find crops grown as labor-intensively as they are now.”

What does this mean for our valley?  Read the whole article, “As California’s labor shortage grows, farmers race to replace workers with robots” at latimes.com.

What about Neo?

When I was in Hawaii I did several conference calls with folks back on campus.  One call was with Dylan Wang, Monika Scott, and Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg.  Dylan and I were on the phone prior to Monika and Nan getting on so I was telling him about Hawaii and asked him his thoughts on relocating the BC campus to Oahu.  To which Dylan responded “Yes” with enthusiasm….then paused “but what about Neo?” 🙂

Well, Neo is discovering high places much to my mom’s dismay and she laments “Sonya, when are you going to teach him some manners.”  To which I responded that her grand daughter was spoiling him.  Of course, in her eyes, my daughter can do no wrong.

And it was such a treat to have my daughter at home two weeks in a row.  She will be back again next week.  She was in Canada this past year and is now back in LA.  Just the wonderful aspects of life!

 

 

 

 

This is what Neo does when we put him outside to do his thing…..Instead he plops himself in front of the water cooler that is on the patio.

July 21 2017 Neo in front of water cooler

Neo in front of the water cooler.  One of his favorite spots.

In case you are wondering, he is 43 lbs now.

Live, Love, Ohana, Aloha

Cropped Sonya Christian walking on the beach July 25 2017

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Scholars, Artists, Sports and Summer Camps

Good morning Bakersfield.  It is Saturday, July 21st and a great day to be a Renegade.

Magnolia

Source: Pixabay.com

Have you had your trees trimmed? This was my first…a beautiful Magnolia in the front yard right next to a Brazilian Pepper tree.  I have always loved the Magnolia tree as well as the flower.  Actually, who does not….. It is like riding a train.  Everyone likes a train ride.  The tree is magnificent and regal in shades of dark green that rises tall, dense, and vibrant.  The flower, which blooms once a year usually between February and June is just breathtakingly beautiful – the fragrance rich and intoxicating.

Here is what Kitty Bishop had to say about the Magnolia:

In art, specifically Chinese art, the magnolia is used as a symbol of feminine sweetness and beauty. In China, magnolia flowers are symbols of purity and nobility. In Japan, the magnolia is used as a medicinal and ornamental plant. The flower is called Hanakotoba in the Japanese system of flower symbolism. This means that the flower is sublime, natural and shows love for nature. Magnolias are associated with the life force and are often presented at births.

Both trees were encroaching on the neighbor’s yard.  Michael and his assistants worked diligently over the course of a day to shape these trees that had originally been planted too close to each other, too close to the property boundary, and had never been trimmed. Meticulous work, and good pruning makes good neighbors…

Before:

End of day 1 pictures

The final product.  Trees trimmed.  Michael, you did an outstanding job!

The Brazilian Pepper tree had developed a strange shape under the constraints of its competition with the magnolia and quest to seek the sun.  I am still making up my mind if I like this naturally formed “bonsai” of the pepper tree.

Coach Hughes stops by!

Rich Hughes, Sonya Christian, Aaron Chavez July 12 2017On Wednesday, July 12th, Coach Rich Hughes and Aaron Chavez stopped by to see me late in the afternoon after their class. The reason they stopped by was to present me with a Championship t-shirt and pendent. Wow! The pendent is such a valuable item and there were few made so I was surprised that Coach Hughes decided to present one to me. Wow!  So honored!  Check out the shirt that Aaron and I are holding and check out the pendant in the palm of my right hand.

I was impressed in my conversation with both Hughes and Chavez, the academic performance focus they had in developing of the whole person of each student athlete. They talked about supporting the students so that they can transfer and thrive beyond Bakersfield College.  And in addition, they had a competitive and winning team.  I am indeed the luckiest and happiest college president ever. #WeAreBC

Renegade Basketball was incredible last season. The coaches worked hard and the students worked hard. You could see it at every game. The passion, the focus, the talent, and everyone working as a team.

The 2016-2017 Basketball Roster

2016-2017 Basketball Roster

Here is the link to gogadesgo:

http://gogades.com/sports/mbkb/2016-17/releases/20170211wkct9m

Here is the link to the video by Francis Mayer

Last year our team won the conference championship as well.  See my blog at https://sonyachristianblog.com/2016/02/20/bcs-talented-students-and-amazing-faculty/

2016 conf champion feb 17 2016

Aaron Chavez, Rich Hughes, Sandi Taylor, Sonya Christian, and the winning team

 

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Coach Hughes after winning the Conf Championship Feb 17, 2016

 

Breakfast at Wimbledon

Last weekend I watched the Men’s Singles Finals of The Championships, Wimbledon, the world’s oldest tennis tournament and the only of the four Grand Slam major tournaments to still be played on grass. More than any other Grand Slam, Wimbledon strives to retain a lot of the pomp and circumstance that defined the tournament’s founding in 1877 at the height of the Victorian era, lending it an air of grandiosity similar to the Kentucky Derby in the United States.

The best part of watching the match was having a new addition to the family.  Since he fetches tennis balls in the backyard, the back and forth of the Wimbledon tennis ball on the TV screen held his attention.

At age 36, tennis legend Roger Federer won a record-breaking eighth consecutive Wimbledon singles title against Croatian Marin Cilic. Federer, a Swiss-born player considered one of the greatest in history, is now the oldest person to ever win the tournament in the Open Era and the first since Bjorn Borg in 1976 to survive all seven rounds against world-class competition without dropping a single set.

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Photo Credit: @rogerfederer on Twitter

Federer credits his success in older age to paying attention to his fitness from the beginning of his career and avoiding playing too many tournaments outside of Grand Slams. While many world-class players of Federer’s generation struggle to compete against the younger competition, including longtime rival Rafael Nadal, who was knocked out in the Round of 16 of this year’s Wimbledon tournament, Federer adds a world-record 19th Grand Slam trophy to his mantle. Check out the NY Times article, “Roger Federer Wins Record-Breaking Eighth Wimbledon Title.

BC Student STEM A-PLUS Scholars

In August 2012, Bakersfield College was awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to provide scholarships of $3,000 per year to Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) students. This grant was called the STEM A-PLUS (Action + Persistence + Leadership + Understanding =  Success) Scholars grant. The scholarships were dedicated towards helping academically talented students who demonstrated a financial need complete their STEM degrees and transfer to Baccalaureate programs by July 2017.

The College has met and exceeded the goal with students completing and transferring with an average GPA of 3.45. Students from this program have transferred to CSUB and many University of California schools, to Cal Poly campuses, and to other prestigious universities such as Harvard University. Kudos to our STEM faculty and staff!

Over this next year, BC will be applying for another 5-year NSF grant to continue this good work, giving students the financial means to attend college while also contributing to the improvement of all students learning in STEM courses.

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Wayne Cooper, Sonya Christian at CALM. Dec 2016

I want to thank Dr. Wayne Cooper, Chemistry faculty, for leading this effort.  Here is an email from his department chair Dr. Kenward Vaughn.  Note that he signs off with the observation that “Wayne is a rare gem.”  I concur.  #WeAreBC

I want to be very, very clear that this is entirely Wayne’s fault (and those he gathered around him on this project).  I make no claims for the results generated, other than having encouraged further coffee consumption and providing an occasional ear for his version of ranting (which was like listening to large flakes of snow falling onto an already thick layer on the ground at 4 in the morning). Wayne is a rare gem.

STEM A plus scholars 2013

Initial group of A+ PLUS Scholars from 2012-2013

Latina Leaders of Kern County

Last weekend, the Latina Leaders of Kern County celebrated the 18th Annual Latinas Leading the Way Awards and Board Installation where three women in our community were honored as award recipients for making their mark in our community. The mission of the Latina Leaders of Kern County is “to foster leadership, to identify and develop opportunities for Latinas, and to influence key issues affecting our community.” The goal is beautifully stated – building a stronger community, one leader at a time.

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Congratulations to three incredible women who are making a better Bakersfield – Raquel Pina, Chief of Family Medicine at Kaiser Permanente Hospital; Gabriela Murgia, local business owner; and Xochitl Garcia, local attorney. To see the biographies for each of these women, please visit the Latinas Leading the Way webpage.

23ABC News featured a great article, “Three local Latinas will be honored this Saturday at Latinas Leading the Way Awards.” On the video clip, I loved Xochitl’s quote “Never let someone’s no, be your no… and surround yourself with people who encourage you and believe in your dreams even when you may not.

Outgoing Latina Leaders President, Norma Rojas-Mora continues to be an inspiration to all. She is a woman with a heart for her community and tirelessly supports young women, families, Bakersfield and BC. Norma is on the BC Foundation Board of Directors and spent countless hours volunteering for Measure J, even co-chairing the Steering Committee.

Mayor Karen Goh stopped by to take a picture with the BC Team.  Thank you Mayor Goh for your support of Bakersfield College.

BC Team

Dezi Von Manos, Heather Pennella, Chelsea Esquibias, Mayor Karen Goh, Olivia Garcia, Lisa Kent

Thank you Lisa Kent for these pictures:

Latina Leaders July 15 2017

Alexis Gonzales, Nereyda Lopez, Olivia Garcia, Victoria Hernandez, Dezi Von Manos

A special thank you to our Mayor, Karen Goh for the fabulous pictures.

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The Forgotten Power of Handwritten Notes

Personalized handwritten notes are growing rarer by the day because of instant communication, text messages, emails, etc… so it’s always an extra special treat to see one on my desk.

I loved seeing this one from Diana Marroquin who shared how much she enjoys “listening and seeing the wonderful young adults who perform in the BC Band, as well as the Golden Empire Drum and Bugle Corp.” The small note reminded me that I really am the luckiest and happiest college president ever. It is a gift to be surrounded by so many talented and truly gifted students, faculty, staff, colleagues, friends, and the most incredible community – Bakersfield.

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If you haven’t heard the BC Band, the Golden Empire Drum & Bugle Corp, or seen a BC Performing Arts program, make plans this Fall to visit campus… you won’t regret it!

 

Basketball Fundamentals Skills Camp for Girls, aged 12-18

Girls_BasketballComing soon during July 31st to August 3rd, BC is hosting the Fundamentals Skills Camp for girls aged 12-18.  Last year’s camp was a great success and the BC team is looking forward to another great event! Coach Paula Dahl is in her 24th year at BC. She played basketball at Northern Arizona University, received her BC from BYU and her MA from SDSU in Sports Psychology. She is passionate about coaching and helping athletes see the “possibilities” both on and off the floor.

The skills camp brochure/registration form is available on GoGades.com.

Culinary Arts Academy in DelanoCulinary ARts (2)

Delanonow.com featured the Culinary Arts Academy that I mentioned in my blog two weeks ago on July 8th.

Bakersfield College has a wonderful partnership with Delano Joint Union High School District (DJUHSD).  Thank you Superintendent Terri Nuckols for all that you do and it is such a pleasure working with you to offer joint programming for our students in the Delano community.

Loved this quote in the article by April Gregerson.

“We are elated to partner with Bakersfield College and the DJUHSD to offer this unique summer academy to our middle school students,” said April Gregerson, Assistant Superintendent DUESD.

“They not only received an introduction to the world of culinary arts, but they learned valuable lifelong skills that will enable them to prepare healthy and delicious meals,” Gregerson said. “Partnerships like this make learning more meaningful by allowing students to develop a mindset that their efforts in the classroom will lead to fulfilling careers in the future.”

Extra photos are displayed alongside the wonderful ones submitted by Leticia Garza. Check it out now at Delanonow.com!

Photo Gallery for “Into the Woods”

Thank you to John Farrand for the incredible photos featuring BC performing arts in the first BC musical in about 20 years! And thank you to all who came out to support the talented BC Performing Arts department! I loved seeing this photo on Instagram. Are you following BC on Social Media?

Into The Woods on Instagram

Check out all the photos from “Into the Woods” by John at BC’s Smugmug page!

SHOUT at STARS!

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Image Credit: bmtstars.com

Did you know two of the five actresses in the STARS Theater’s local production of “SHOUT! The Mod Musical” are Bakersfield College students? Can you tell why I’m the happiest and luckiest college president in the world? I am continually overjoyed, amazed, and inspired by our Renegades.

In the program for the ’60s jukebox musical, which runs its last weekend of shows July 27-29th, Carly Mattern is listed as a BC student studying nursing, and Madeline Engel has been featured in this blog previously for her performances in the BC Choir. It’s awesome to see BC students out in the community being their best selves. Will you see the show? Or maybe you’ve already seen it? Check out the fun video clip here where both ladies can be seen. They are identifiable by their orange (Madeline) or red dress (Carly).

And thank you Jerry Ludeke for your email bragging about our students.

Fashion Art by Diego Gutierrez Monterrubio

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Diego Monterrubio, Corny Rodriguez

Diego Gutierrez Monterrubio, BC Adjunct was highlighted by The Bakersfield Californian this week  for his new apparel line with VIDA design collaborative out of San Francisco.

The article talks about how inspiration began with his mother, Rita Monterrubio, “who has been a dress designer for more than 50 years” and the article describes his line as “sporty and fun and appropriate for all ages.”  It’s a great read by author, Stefani Dias.

Thank you to The Bakersfield Californian for highlighting one of our talented BC faculty! And for more on Diego’s artwork, visit diegomonterrubio.weebly.com.

Fun Pictures:

From Andrea Thorson on Facebook.  A screencapture of a video of three super talented, smart and beautiful women from BC. #WeAreBC

Andrea Thorson Facebook post with Michelle Pena and Maria Wright July 2017 Star Fish Conf.jpg

Rick Kreiser visits Downtown Rotary, July 20, 2017.

Rick Kreiser visits Downtown Rotary July 20 2017.jpg

Meetings at Trader Joes:

Jennifer Marden snapped these two pictures at Trader Joes with Janet Tarjan and Vandana Kohli.  I was happy to see the picture of Vandana Kohli who is a Dean at CSUB.  Great collaborations and friendships between the two schools.

Jack Hernandez in Alaska

Alaska July 2017 from Jack Hernandez

CVHEC tweets about having a good friday

CVHEC Feel good Friday July 2017

The Bakersfield Californian has been doing great drone video footage.  check out this 5-minute video on the Kern River  http://tinyurl.com/y8v9uxa7

 

And I’ll close with my Neo Update …

Neo celebrated his 4-month birthday on July 17th getting ready for his last set of shots on July 19th — Distemper and Rabies.  He is now 40 lbs, and plenty of energy.  You can see him develop in these photos taken at the vet’s office – a picture at 19 lbs (2nd set of shots); at 30 lbs (3rd set of shots); and now at 40 lbs (4th set of shots). Any guesses on his weight when fully grown?

He also loves sitting half-inside-half-outside without concern for the air conditioning bill.

 

Life Is Not Measured By the Number of Breaths We Take,
But By the Moments That Take Our Breath Away

 

 

sonya virginia 2015 cropped

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever