Have you met Dr. Naina Patel? Well, she is a quiet force in our community promoting peace and wellbeing. I got to work alongside Naina last year as she she was coordinating the Gandhi celebrations here in Bakersfield. During these celebrations, we had the fortune of having Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson Arun Gandhi speak to the students in our Early College Program in Delano. What a treat! Check this out in my October 5, 2019 blog titled – Live simply so others can simply live https://sonyachristianblog.com/2019/10/05/live-simply-so-others-can-simply-live/
Here is a 9:31-minute video from Opening Week where we unveiled the Peace Garden project. If you don’t have time to watch the whole video, then start at the 6:56 timestamp and hear the message from Dr. Naina Patel and the Gandhi committee.
Good morning Bakersfield. It is Saturday, August 29, 2020…a great day to be a Renegade
Friends, let me introduce you to Abel Guzman, BC’s Exec Director of Rural Initiatives. You will see why he is a “20 under 40 to watch”.
Romeo Agbalog, Trustee for the Kern Community College District, wrote a great piece in the Bakersfield Californian highlighting the work the college has done to continue providing quality education to our students during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“In the midst of widespread unemployment and economic austerity, now has never been a better time to enroll at Bakersfield College. While most of us are sheltered in place, we can take advantage of this time to upskill or chart a new career path to compete in tomorrow’s job market, or post-COVID-19 economy, and be able to do this all from the comfort and safety of your own home.”
Here is another poem from the fabulous Jack Hernandez:
He did not notice his steps were less quick jaunty a past tense, then he heard he was slowing down to that pace reserved for snails and wobbling legs.
He rejected those words even as young walkers passed him as though a sign stuck in place, “slow” is a relative term he thought, philosophy giving him the nudge he needed.
Panorama Creative Music Summit Goes Virtual
Presented by the Jazz Studies and Commercial Music programs at Bakersfield College, the Panorama Creative Music Summit is an annual showcase for acclaimed musicians, local performers, and BC faculty, students, and alumni performing original music and exploring a range of styles and creative approaches across the jazz-pop continuum.
Ordinarily the summit takes over our beloved Simonsen Performing Arts Center for a weeklong series of workshops and live concerts. This year, thanks to support from the Lydia Jennings Finlinson and Burns L. Finlinson Endowment of the Bakersfield College Foundation, the music summit is transitioning to an online format that will feature weekly live sessions with guest artists.
Each artist will give a 20-30 minute solo performance followed by an artist talk and Q&A with students. These sessions will be held on Zoom and broadcast free to the public via Facebook Live on the Bakersfield College Jazz Studies page.
Check out Blue Bayou performed by Josh Ottum and Kris Tiner for Opening Week.
#LightACandle: A Juneteenth Conversation
I am continuing to share videos from Bakersfield College’s #LightACandle: A Juneteenth Conversation productions from June. Today, I am wrapping up with the videos from the June 17th program.
Daron Mackey, Educational Advisor with Outreach & School Relations:
Traco Matthews, Social Pastor and Adjunct Professor:
This first issue includes a welcome from the Foundation’s new executive director, Cheryl Scott. Previously Cheryl served on the foundation’s board of directors for 7 years, and was also active in the Measure J campaign.
I also loved seeing the “Your BC Story” section of the Panorama newsletter. This issue featured Bob Meadows, Class of 1975. Bob wrote about his time writing for the Renegade Rip and how he met his wife Vicki at BC:
“I grew up at BC, I discovered my abilities at BC, I overcame challenged at BC, and I found love at BC. My life’s foundation was built at BC and has supported me ever since. Thank you Bakersfield College.”
“Your BC Story” will be a regular feature in the Panorama newsletter, and I am excited to hear from more of our proud alums. Those interested in sharing their stories can fill out the form on the Foundation website.
This Thursday, we wrapped up our Opening Day celebration. This year’s celebration was virtual, and ended up spanning two weeks, with five days of productions.
I’d like to share my introductory remarks from Day 1 of the Opening Week festivities:
As you may know, this year the Bakersfield College Commencement celebration went virtual with a Special Televised Commencement Tribute broadcast on July 11, 2020 on KGET, Telemundo and steaming on Facebook.
Today, I’d like to share a few videos from that production.
There’s a Pathway for Everyone at Bakersfield College:
I wanted to share this heartwarming post from Jessie Ryan, executive vice president at The Campaign for College Opportunity:
Heart bursting: My daughter asked me to take her to Target tonight to use the allowance she had saved to buy some special school supplies – our first outing in weeks. Unfortunately, Target was closed due to a COVID case. Brooklyn was disappointed but as we drove home she saw an elderly homeless woman. Without thinking twice she produced her $20 bill and said, “Mother pull over and give it to her.” “Are you sure honey, that’s all your savings”. She didn’t hesitate, “Yes, she needs it more than me”
Endee Grijalva, Adult Education Program Manager for South Kern, modeled her new Bakersfield College mask (and fantastic Renegade Red hair!):
And in honor of National Dog Day this week, I’d like to share a few of the posts I caught from our Renegade family. Carlos Medina, Lesley Bonds, and Mindy Wilmot all shared pictures of their pets:
Throwing it back to the beginning of Renegade Athletics
We are just a few years short of the 100th anniversary of Renegade Athletics in the year 2022. Originally with just a football team founded in 1922, the department has grown to its current total of 20 men’s and women’s sports over the last century. In the process our Renegade athletic teams have captured a total of 184 team conference championships, 15 state championships and 10 national championships. In addition they have won countless individual conference and state championships in a variety of sports. Pictured above is the original 1922 Renegade football team (thanks to our fabulous BC Archives team). This makes our football program one of the oldest in the state!
Renegade football runs deep in the Baker family – Jon’s father, William Baker was hired as the team’s official doctor in 1979.
And Jon has continued to assist the BC football team. R. Todd Littlejohn, who was hired as BC head football coach in January, is represented by Jon and said that Jon’s connections have been helpful to him in his new role.
“He can point out people to me that I need to get involved with. When you’re gone and you’ve been away for so long, your pool of people might get smaller.
That’s all for now. Until next time. With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality. sonya – the luckiest and happiest college president ever
Sometimes in our lives we all have pain We all have sorrow But if we are wise We know that there’s always tomorrow. Lean on me, when you’re not strong And I’ll be your friend I’ll help you carry on For it won’t be long ‘Til I’m gonna need Somebody to lean on (Bill Withers)
Good morning, Bakersfield. Happy Easter It is Saturday, April 11, 2020… A great day to be a Renegade.
Jon Pareles wrote a moving piece in the New York Times about how Bill Withers used his music as a tool to express his compassion and selflessness. Withers was in his early 30s when his recording career started, and his real-life experiences serving in the Navy and working in factories brought an authenticity to his songs about people and their everyday lives. A 2009 documentary about Withers’ life titled “Still Bill” traces the influential singer’s life from his childhood in West Virginia to his retirement from the music industry in 1985.
Enjoying spring with national poetry month
Jack Hernandez emailed me about April being National Poetry Month. His email triggered me dusting off an old book of poems that was part of my high school curriculum. Here are a few verses from Percy Bysshe Shelley’s The Cloud
I bring fresh showers for the thirsting flowers, From the seas and the streams; I bear light shade for the leaves when laid In their noonday dreams.
From my wings are shaken the dews that waken The sweet buds every one, When rocked to rest on their mother’s breast, As she dances about the sun.
I wield the flail of the lashing hail, And whiten the green plains under, And then again I dissolve it in rain, And laugh as I pass in thunder.
Here is another lovely poem by Jack Hearnandez
Waiting By Jack Hernandez
When dawn brings the darkness, and light confounds the day, we are given the gift of waiting, which must be opened to show the way of breathing
without a calendar whose hours are trained to run, We must hold silence like a bowl receiving rain, a leaf shining in the sun, We must feel in stillness the caress of hope.
Thank you Jack!
Thank you Greg and Mary Bynum
Of Bakersfield College’s 40,000 students, 80% are First Generation, approximately 80% are low income, and many rely on campus WiFi and computer labs to access the internet in order to complete their assignments. Students’ responses to a March 20 survey revealed that about one in 10 students do not have adequate off-campus internet access while nearly a quarter of students use their cell phones as their primary device to access their courses. In response to student high student need for technology as Bakersfield College moved instruction online, BC developed a laptop loan program with a generous donation from Greg and Mary Bynum.
In my virtual forums, I have been sharing an article from Politico on April 2 highlighting the 10 million workers nationwide who filed jobless claims over the previous 2 weeks. Yet another surge has brought the total of new jobless claims during this pandemic to over 17 million. I have also been sharing this chart showing how the current unemployment claims compare with unemployment data from the Great Recession. One key difference is how quickly the jobless claims have spiked.
I have previously mentioned the Back to College program our team has created to help combat rising unemployment in Kern County. It is my hope that our community can continue to Lean on BC in this time of need and difficulty.
Our team held four sessions last week and two additional sessions this week to answer student questions and get students registered for these courses. Thank you to Victor Diaz, Erineo Garcia, Jo Ann Acosta, Heather Skibinski, Ashlea Ward and Armando Trujillo for leading these sessions and getting our students registered.
I also want to thank Joseph Tipay, David Moton, Oliver Rosales, Isaias Hernandez, Sylvia Reyes, Beenne Anglin and Jonathan Ward for agreeing to take on this important work and teach these courses to our students. This 5-week program will help jumpstart students’ educational journeys and put them on a path that can lead to new associates degrees or transfer options. Online classes begin on Monday.
What’s Streaming?: Find out everything you need to know about popular streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, and more.
Self Massage for Stress and Tension Relief – Learn massage techniques that you can apply to your whole body and understand the benefits and precautions of massage.
Massage for Headache Relief – In this course, you will learn about the causes of headaches and practice massage, acupressure and Reflexology techniques for headache relief.
Tai Chi – Tai Chi is a form of martial arts in which slow, gentle movements are made in the air to improve balance, coordination, joint mobility, and blood circulation.
Gentle Mat Pilates – In this class, you will learn about Pilates, a blend of exercises to increase core strength, flexibility, breath control, and alignment correction to improve balance and posture.
Creative Writing: Creating Characters and Their Stories – In this course, you can expect to learn the elements of fictional writing, such as creating memorable characters, descriptive scenes, and realistic dialogue.
Gentle Yoga – This class is designed to promote increased mobility, flexibility, and balance. Yoga is practiced by people of all ages. Each class is an hour of relaxation and gentle movement.
Thank you to Norma Rojas-Mora, Susan Pinza, Miriam Valenzuela, and the BC Levan Institute staff for leading this online classes initiative.
Jeff’s tips include donating food or money to food banks, donating blood, writing letters to people in isolation, supporting local businesses, and daily neighborhood cleanups. Thank you, Jeff!
All-Campus Forum with Community Leaders
Our All-Campus Virtual Forum last Monday focused on community and political leaders sharing their passion for higher education, as well as their plans to improve the job market during the COVID-19 crisis. I will have their videos for you next week.
On Monday, April 13th, we have another great line up of speakers — Rudy Salas, Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, and David Bynum. Tune in at 3:00 p.m.
Thank you to Nicky Damania and Todd Coston for moderating the virtual forum, Shannon Musser and Lesley Bonds for facilitating the forum behind the scenes, and all of our participants for keeping the valley strong during these uncertain times.
Here are a few short videos of some of our presenters
Abel Guzman on Rural BC.
Diane Allen — Faculty Counselor supporting DSPS
Jackie Lau — Assistant Director, Enrollment Services
Matt Jones — Faculty, Academic Technology
Fun Photos: IT Provides Laptops Before Physical Campus Closure
Before we shut down the physical campus, Manny De Los Santos got some great photos of the Technology Support Team getting laptops ready for Renegades to move online. Thank you to our whole Information Technology Department for helping us manage this transition.
Renegade Nurses Help Fight COVID-19
Bakersfield College nursing students have stepped up to meet the need for healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Only eight weeks from graduation, our Level 4 nursing students were thrown into uncertainty as we shifted to a virtual learning environment. But our Associate Dean of Nursing, Carla Gard, playing to “where the puck was going to be,” coordinated externship opportunities with our community health partners: Kern Medical, Dignity Health Systems and Bakersfield Heart Hospital.
Nursing student Shantelle Rubio and Cindy Collier were interviewed by Valley Public Radio last week, and Fresno Univision affiliate KFTV-21 featured our nursing students in a piece for Spanish-language media.
Here’s a salute and prayer for all healthcare workers who are on the front lines of this epidemic.
Renegades on the Front Lines
English faculty member Kaitlin Hulsy wrote a beautiful piece about the importance of nursing and her late mother’s 35-year career in nursing, which started right here at Bakersfield College. Thank you, Kaitlin!
Before I existed in this world, my mother was a student in the nursing program at Bakersfield College. At the time, she was a single mother who was working multiple jobs to raise two young boys and pay her way through college. My mother was always glamorous, but during her days hitting the books, she had a little more grit as opposed to glitter.
Bonny Lou Hulsy walked across the stage at graduation with a smile on her face. She had done it! She went on to have a 35-year career in nursing. This started with cleaning bedpans, and eventually morphed into assisting doctors in diagnosing kiddos with autism at Kern Regional Center. She eventually co-founded one of the top schools in the nation for children with autism and autistic spectrum disorders. Her sons are now grown, one of them the CAO of Kern County.
We know that nurses can do anything. More importantly, we know how needed they are at this uncertain time. It is in the spirit that I have an ask for the sixty-nine nursing students who are about to be on the front lines in the time of COVID-19: What do you need? How may we help each and every one of you as you begin your journey?
It is my desire to put together a wish list of items for our 69 Renegade nurses to bring them comfort as they confront a still very much unknown dragon. Please email Endee Grijalva to request any items you need. We will do our best to accommodate you.
In the meantime, please know that my mother is looking down from Heaven on BC nursing and bubbling with pride. As a faculty number, I join countless others who are so incredibly proud of you. We Are BC!
Until next time,
Emails Worth Sharing: Castle In the Storm
Kaitlinis also spearheading an important creative outlet for Renegades as they shelter in place. In Kaitlin’s most recent column on the website, she shares her thoughts about teaching being the best job in the world. Read her email below about Castle In the Storm.
Good Afternoon, Colleagues:
I wanted to humbly direct your attention to a project I’m working on, namelyCastle In the Storm.
Castle in the Storm is a place for Renegade students who need a creative outlet in the time of Covid-19. The website functions both as a place to showcase student work, in addition to being a repository for professional advice and published pieces from established authors. Our logo was created by BC alumnus and local comedienne Margaret Haggard, and original student work is appearing daily. Submissions of flash fiction/poetry/nonfiction from any Bakersfield College students are always welcome. Students may email me directly, or submit to the website via the Contact page.
At this time, our featured author is acclaimed nonfiction writer Deanne Stillman. Her works include Mustang: the Saga of Wild Horses in the American West, among many others. Deanne has written for Rolling Stone Magazine, and her work Twenty Nine Palms: A True Story of Murder was referred to by the great Hunter S. Thompson as “a strange and brilliant story by an important American writer.” She is part of the core faculty at UC Riverside Palm-desert-MFA. Thank you very much for your time, and please enjoy your weekend.
Regards, Kaitlin Hulsy
We got a ton of great content this week through the #BCGoesOnline hashtag on social media. Keep sharing your photos and posts with #BCGoesOnline on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and we’ll feature you in next week’s blog!
Carlos Medina tweeted about supporting CSUB with virtual career events, like the virtual career expo for Industrial Technology last week:
Archives Throwback: Thomas Takes Over New Position
Our look at Bakersfield College in the mid-60s continues with this article from the 1967 Raconteur yearbook about Bill Thomas accepting a position as the student government advisor. Bill Thomas would continue to be a champion for Bakersfield College over the next half-century as a BC professor, KCCD Trustee, and US Congressman representing the Southern San Joaquin Valley. Check the article out below, and stay tuned for more glimpses at Renegade life in the 1960s.
“During the last meeting of the Board of Representatives, Fall Semester, a motion was made without proper parliamentary procedures; this mistake was corrected by a member of the Board with the supervision of an interested teacher who had come into the meeting for a few minutes. Noticing this teacher’s interest in student government, Mr. Ronald McMasters, Advisor, appointed him as the Spring Semester Advisor to student government, knowing there was a vacancy for that position.
“Mr. William Thomas has taught at Bakersfield College for the last two years. Previous to this he attended Santa Ana Junior College, where he received his A.A. degree, after which he transferred to San Francisco State College. After four years with a year of student teaching, he obtained his B.A. and M.A. degrees.
“Besides being Advisor to Student Government, Mr. Thomas is a member of the Board of Publications. He teachers the Parliamentary Procedures Class, Political Science 1, and Social Science 53A and B. Previous to his new appointment, he was advisor to the Tutorial Project and the Young Republicans Club.
“Mr. Thomas enjoys many extra-curricular activities but is not interested in any special activity. He enjoys sports very much, such as handball and basketball, and he also rides a motorcycle occasionally. To pass the time, he reads and listens to music. Most of his weekends in the past two years have been spent chaperoning the college dances.
“Mr. Thomas is very active and is interested in helping the Bakersfield College students whenever he can through his active life in Student Government and campus life.”
More recent photos of Bill Thomas.
Watch this week’s edition of the Renegade Report on the Bakersfield College Athletics Facebook page featuring our Renegade Men’s Tennis Coach Noel Dalton and Head Football Coach R. Todd Littlejohn. Both Coaches talked to Kenny Calvin, the radio host of the Renegade Report, about leading young student-athletes through this unprecedented time. The three also talked about how student-athletes and coaches are facing the stoppage of sports. Click the link to listen to the conversation on Facebook:
National Student-Athlete Day
Monday, April 6th, was National Student-Athlete Day! With all of our sports teams at a standstill, it’s a unique time for athletic staff and coaches, and in particular, for student-athletes. On top of going to class and studying hard, they put in many hours in practice and competition every week. Even now, as we are all sheltering in place, our athletes are hard at work at home, pushing themselves to stay in shape so that they are ready to compete once again. Happy National Student-Athlete Day Renegades, you’re doing fantastic training at home!
Brett Clark Named BVarsity Coach of the Year
Brett Clark, BC’s head wrestling coach and the head girls wrestling coach at Frontier High School, was named the BVarsity All-Area Girls Wrestling Coach of the Year this week. Congrats go out to Coach Clark for this accomplishment! We are lucky to have a coach who is so devoted to developing young talent within our community.
Special Edition: “I Miss Sports Because…”
We asked our student-athletes on social media this week to finish this sentence, “I miss sports because…” Here are a few of their responses
Blake Keesey, from Men’s Golf: “I miss the pressure of needing to hit the shot at the right moment. I miss the early morning drives with the team. I miss the nerves of the opening shot. I miss fighting for each other.”
Brooklyn Walsh, from Women’s Golf: “My team is my family.”
Caleb Jameson, from Men’s Golf: “I miss sports because I miss my team, I miss my brothers, and I miss the pressure and expectations that come with sports.”
Carlos Estrada, from the Football team: “The family environment.”
That’s all for now.
Until next time.
With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.
sonya- the luckiest and happiest college president ever
What a great week…. the campus was alive with activity from the BCSGA screening of the Ironed Jawed Angels, to the production of the Pillowman, to Baseball and Softball, to our tiny Cougar Renegades Lighting up the Night with the grand opening of the McFarland High Stadium, to the monitoring and ongoing education about the coronavirus and promoting healthy habits. Another routine week at the Home of the Renegades! This is how we roll…..
Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, March 7, 2020… A great day to be a Renegade.
Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency in California this week to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus. At BC, we’ve been monitoring the evolving news and remain in close communication with Kern County Public Health.
There are currently no known cases of Coronavirus in our community.
When news first emerged of the coronavirus, I tasked a special advisory team on this matter to keep me informed with daily updates and status reports from Kern County Public Health. I activated the Incident Command Center on February 27th and started my direct communication to the campus.
In the best efforts to keep our community informed, BCSGA President Samantha Pulido and Academic Senate President, Steven Holmes joined Cindy Collier and me in a video message to the campus this past Monday to share procedures like frequent and correct hand washing techniques.
Various teams around campus have been working around the clock to keep hand sanitizers filled, put out communications and posters to bulletin boards and the website, and keep surfaces and door handles disinfected on a routine schedule. Thank you Bill Potter and our M&O staff. Thank you Dr. Nicky Damania, Cindy Collier and Shelly Casteneda
Bakersfield College will continue to closely monitor the global and and local development and BC’s COVID-19 Advisory Team will provide regular updates to the campus. I am proud of the efforts and leadership displayed by our community thus far. As educators, we continue to be role models for our students and for our community.
Earlier this week, BC’s Office of Student Life, the Norman Levan Center for the Humanities, and Women’s History and More Committee hosted a screening of the 2004 American historical film Iron Jawed Angels at the Levan Center, in honor of the National Women’s History month. The film portrayed the American women’s suffrage movement, during the 1910s, which defined a historical revolution of women’s right to vote.
American women’s suffrage leaders, Alice Paul and Lucy Burns, dedicated their lives to the women’s suffrage movement and formed the National Women’s Party which was committed to grant women the right to vote. Our BC History faculty, Jennifer Grohol, led the screening of the film and described how the women’s suffrage movement granted women the right to vote with the enactment of the U.S. 19th Amendment.
The Performing Arts Department staged a riveting rendition of the dramatic play “The Pillowman” this week, bringing this dark, dystopian tale to life on the Indoor Theater stage.
“Pillowman”, created by Irish playright Martin McDonagh, tells the story of a fiction writer being interrogated by police for the murder of three children. The details of the crimes are very similar to several short stories that he wrote, and the audience was at the edge of their seats as the narrative of the play unfolded to reveal the truth.
The cast and crew masterfully rotated the set designs for each scene, and all of the actors did an amazing job. There were two separate casts for “the Pillowman”, and both were fabulous.
Thank you to director Brian J. Sivesind, BC Performing Arts, and all of the cast and crew for bringing this psychological thriller to the stage. If you’re reading this on March 7, you still have a chance to catch three more performances of “The Pillowman” at at 2 p.m. on March 8.
The Inmate Scholars Program Shows Support for Females Achieving Change Together
Females Achieving Change Together (F.A.C.T.) is a gender responsive collaboration that focuses on the unique issues that previously incarcerated women face. On February 27th, The Division of Adult Parole Operations (DAPO) partnered with local community organizations and educational institutions for the first annual resource event. At the event, attendees learned about dressing for success, overcoming life obstacles, maintaining health and sobriety, and gathered information on next steps necessary for successful reintegration.
2020 Panorama Invitational
The Wylie and May Louise Jones Gallery inside the library is acknowledging the creativity of our local high school students as part of BC’s annual Panorama Invitational. You can visit the Jones Gallery Monday through Thursday between 3 and 6 p.m. to check out all of the beautiful artwork, which was curated from 13 high schools throughout Kern County.
The gallery runs until March 12, so be sure to check out all the great art on display. The gallery held an opening reception for the exhibition on January 30, giving the artists, their families, and members of the community the chance to celebrate their work. The pieces in this year’s Panorama Invitational show off the full range of creative expression that these young artists are capable of. For instance, “Chaos Through Angel Tears”, created by a senior from Golden Valley High School, depicts an angel in a state of ponderous melancholy, while “Stressed Patience”, created by a senior from Independence High School, is a visual representation of how time ebbs and flows.
Thank you to Ronnie Wrest, Jeffrey Huston and all of the staff at the Jones Gallery for giving young artists their first opportunity at having work displayed in an exhibition. On March 26, we will be honoring artists at the Home of the Renegades with the opening reception for the Bakersfield College Student Art Exhibition.
Fun photos from the CISOA conf
UC Merced Trip with STEM Students
A group of 25 STEM students and five STEM faculty took off from Bakersfield on Friday, February 21th on the Amtrak train to visit UC Merced. It was a new adventure for many BC students, and some of them had have never been a train before. The group took CatTracks, the campus shuttle, to and from the train station to UC’s newest campus nestled in the rolling hills outside of Merced, mingling with current UC Merced students and staff. Once on campus they met with Professor Chistopher Viney, one of the twelve founding faculty of the University and chair of the Material Science and Engineering Department. Professor Viney greeted us and gave the students an overview of material science and engineering at UC Merced. His department is a refreshing departure from the stereotypical view of the engineering profession, the faculty is 75% female from four different continents.
The students were impressed with the tour of the Chemistry Department which included their nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrometery lab and their super computer facility used for computational chemistry. UC Merced faculty member Prof. Hratchian was excited to tell us that ALL students, undergraduates included, had free access to the super-computer regardless of major. Many students commented on the train ride back that lunch in the The Pavilion (the newest dinning hall) was a great experience. UC Merced is guided by a long-range vision of sustainable design, and waste reduction. In the cafeteria recycling and composting is a part of the dining experience, and the UC Merced student helped make sure that the compostable food waste and recycling was separated correctly. BC faculty, Professors Rosenthal, McGarrah, Vaughan, Daniel and Saldivar accompanied the students on the trip.
Writing Center team at UCLA
The Writing Center team spent leap day attending the Southern California Writing Centers Association Tutor Conference on Saturday, February 29, 2020. Writing centers across So. Ca. gathered at the beautiful UCLA campus to hear presentations and a keynote on this year’s theme: “Equity in the Center.” Public and private two- and four-year colleges along with other types of institutions hosted workshops dedicated to addressing embedding an equity framework in writing centers.
The keynote speaker was Dr. Elizabeth Kleinfeld, Director of the Metropolitan University of Denver Writing Center, whom our own Writing Center Lead, Kim Arbolante, had the pleasure of meeting at the North American IWCA conference last October. Dr. Kleinfeld delivered an enlightening presentation on Universal Design for Learning (UDL), and participants were invited to “participate in a little anarchy” by pretending our centers burned to the ground and needed to be completely redesigned physically and conceptually with UDL in mind.
On the BC team’s scenic walk back to the van, there were plenty of photo opportunities. Kim was even able to make time for a quick Byrd scooter ride along the way. Look at her go!
Archives Throwback: Renegade Pantry
Looking back through our archive of Renegade Rip issues on the BC website, we discovered that this year marks the tenth anniversary of the Renegade Pantry, a resource center that provides our students with food, hygiene items and other essentials to support them through their educational journey.
In the February 3, 2010, issue of the Renegade Rip, reporter Brian N. Willhite and photographer David Karnowski covered the opening ceremony that took place on January 28 of that year. Former BC President Greg Chamberlain cut the ribbon for the new facility inside the John Collins Campus Center, and one of the speakers for the event was a BCSGA senator named Shawn Newsom, who is now one of our history professors. His wife Kristi Newsom served as BCSGA President at the time.
Today, you can find the Renegade Pantry inside Levinson Hall, and an expanded pantry is a big part of our plans for the new Campus Center that is slated to open before the end of this year.
Check out an excerpt from the article below:
“The Student Government Association at Bakersfield College has started a new program that hopes to eliminate hunger among the student body. The SGA will be offering a variety of canned goods and other food staples by providing a food bank to assist students in need. The Renegade Pantry officially opened its doors Jan. 28 with multiple news media organizations on hand to witness the ribbon-cutting ceremony and commencement speeches given by SGA senator and assistant to the dean Shawn Newsom and BC president Greg Chamberlain.
Together they expressed their desires and vision for the program and its success. “If we can provide the opportunity for one student to stay in school, then it is all worth it,” said Chamberlain as he spoke about the needs of the student body reaching their educational pursuits. With budgets being cut from community college special-needs programs such as CalWorks and EOPS, SGA board members sought opportunities to better serve BC students in need. The decision to start a student run food bank began over the winter break with hopes to provide relief to students who may be affected by budget cuts or other circumstances hindering their educational goals. “It is our goal that no student will have to choose between books or groceries,” said Newsom.
Renegades in the News: Shelly Castaneda
The magazine “Diversity: Issues in Higher Education” wrote a blurb highlighting Bakersfield College’s appointment of Shelly Castaneda as Executive Director of Public Safety. Shelly worked for the Kern County Sheriff’s office for 28 years and was the second woman in the history of the department to serve as Chief Deputy Sheriff. She is also an award-winning body builder and two-time survivor of breast cancer. I speak for everyone at BC when I say that we’re so proud to have Shelly on our team!
STEM & MESA Students Unite
On Monday, March 2nd, the STEM Pathway and MESA Program hosted Jaimi Paschal, Jenny Ezpeleta, and Melissa Mayfield, CSUB Advisors, to the AERA STEM Center. The advisors provided a brief presentation on STEM opportunities at CSUB.
Wendale Davis Foundation
On February 28, 2020, Bakersfield College hosted the Wendale Davis foundation’s 12th annual Youth Leadership Conference.
Since the murder of 16-year-old Wendale in 2006, his father Wesley Davis has worked to prevent Bakersfield’s youth from turning to violent lifestyles.
Over 300 students from the Bakersfield area were on campus Friday to learn about gang prevention and AIDS awareness and heard from Bakersfield Police Officers and current prison inmates. The keynote speaker Andrew “Dance Fever 3-D” Jones, shared his personal story on how he overcame early childhood adversity to become a professional dancer and motivational speaker.
The purpose of the conference is to give youth skills to get through challenging situations.
Community Voices: Endee Grijalva
Endee Grijalva, the Program Manager for Adult Education, wrote her piece about the Homeless HireUp Project, an exciting new project we’re launching to provide 24 individuals with career preparation and a job within six months. One quote at the end of Endee’s article crystallizes why this initiative, which is in its pilot phase, is so important.
“The ultimate goal of Project HireUp is to shift the conversation on the nationwide homelessness crisis by demonstrating that in order to work towards the eradication of homeless, we must come together as a community to invest in the resources that will ensure the safety, health and overall well-being of all.”
“BC SGA set me on a path of purpose to help students while working cohesively as a team from very different walks of life. I participated in making a survey for all students at BC to optimize our events on campus, see the issues being presented to us and to understand students on a deeper level. I sit on committees such as Student Health and Wellness and Accreditation and Institutional Quality to provide a student perspective. I have finally hit my stride and found my purpose to better BC.“
“To understand solitude is to understand its purpose, which is to be with, discover, and grow our inner self, our soul, as some would say. Solitude is more than being by ourselves, perhaps reading, listening to music, thinking and letting our minds wander. It is planned and structured attention, introspection and reflection at a regular time and place. As we set aside this regular time and place to be alone in solitude, our inner self begins to anticipate it.”
McFarland Athletic Field Ribbon Cutting
Trustee Romeo Agbalog and Abel Guzman attended the ribbon cutting ceremony for McFarland Unified School District’s Petersen Athletic Field Complex. Superintendent Aaron Resendez introduced and thanked Petersen family matriarch, Geneva Petersen, for her family’s generosity and support of the school district. One of the highlights of the event was the performance by Browning Road STEAM Academy’s cheer squad who were wearing Future Early College Cougar t-shirts.
This Week at BC
This week at BC, our marketing students Juan and Ramon focus on BC Athletics!
Men’s Basketball Spring 2020 Camp
Renegade Men’s Basketball is offering a spring basketball camp on April 6th-7th from 9am-2pm each day. The camps emphasize the fundamentals of basketball and are co-ed, open to children ages 5-17. The cost will be $60/person. Pre-registration is encouraged through the form linked here. For more information, call Rich Hughes at 395-4553 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Swimming Offers Private Swimming Lessons
Renegade Swimming is now offering private swimming lesson for anyone ages 3 to adult. The price for four, 30 minutes lessons is $80. Available lesson times are Monday-Friday 2:30pm & 7:00pm and on Saturdays between 9am-11am.
Adult lap swim is also available at the below times. It is free for BC faculty, staff and students and a $5 drop-in fee for community members.
This last Saturday our Men’s and Women’s Bakersfield College Golf Team’s headed over to provide service at the Kern County Mission. Our athletic department has consistently provided weekly service at the Mission for the past year. On top of school, practice, work and other obligations our student athletes are always finding ways to serve in our community. Way to represent BC!
Next Level Gades!
Renegade Football’s Angel Baez has committed to play with the Kansas Wesleyan University Coyotes this next fall. Angel, who attended East HS, played the last two seasons at BC as a defensive lineman. Congrats, Angel!
Also, Christian Gonzalez and Edgar Gonzalez are both headed taking their soccer talents to the next level. Christian (Ridgeview HS) is headed to Humboldt State and Edgar (Bakersfield HS) is staying in Bakersfield and will be at CSUB. Both were exceptional soccer players for Coach Vayron Martinez the past two years and played huge roles in the team winning the men’s soccer teams first conference championship this last fall. We wish them all the best in their future endeavors.
Valley Strong Credit Union Renegades of the Week
Renegade Athletics is proud to announce this week’s (2/23-2/29) Valley Strong Credit Union Renegades of the Week:
Amaya Williams, Women’s Track and Field – Amaya won the 100 hurdles (16.49) and 400 hurdles (1:09.25) at the Santa Monica College West Coast Classic. She is currently ranked first in SoCal in the 400 hurdles and ranked third in the 100 hurdles.
Cody Hartsfield, Men’s Track and Field – Cody won the discus (42.43m) and placed fourth in the hammer (41.03m) and seventh in the shot put (11.72m) at the Santa Monica College West Coast Classic.
We are the ones who make a brighter day, so let’s start giving
Definitely feeling the holiday weather settling in around us with the crispy cool mornings, the holiday lights starting to blanket the neighborhood, and the holiday spirit of generosity and goodwill warming our hearts. My brother sent me this beautiful music video of talented young artists performing We are the World from Manipur a state in the northeastern part of India.
Let’s check out the original version USA for Africa — We are the World.
Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, November 30, 2019… Do you feel the warmth and love in the air… A great day to be a Renegade.
November is a time of year when we gather around our loved ones and celebrate the things for which we are thankful. Since the first Thanksgiving in 1621, this tradition has carried on from generation to generation of American families.
In this time of giving thanks, I looked back over my blog posts from earlier this year and enjoyed seeing photos of students, graduates, alumni, supporters, faculty, and staff. I am truly blessed to be the president of the best college the nation. Thank you!
As you can see, there really is so much to be thankful for this year!
Last week, BC organized and hosted an important conversation on how we can transform health in California’s rural communities. Health care professionals got the chance to connect with medical researchers, educators and policy makers at the BC Delano Campus for the Rural Poverty and Health Equity Summit, coming together to share all of the hard work that they do every day to make the Central Valley a healthier place to live.
This event is one of many that our stakeholders in health care and education will be organizing as part of the Rural Health Equity and Learning (HEAL) Collaborative. The HEAL collaborative came together when Dr. Kathy Murphy, started connecting educational institutions in response to a grant proposal and four months later, is now a thriving six-county network of organizations committed to improving health, education and economic outcomes in rural communities throughout CA’s Central Valley.
If you are interested in joining the HEAL collaborative or if you know of an institution throughout our region that would be interested, please check out the HEAL website to get started.
Some of the most dire health outcomes in the Central Valley are related to poverty and the absence of accessible resources in our rural communities. Education is an important solution to these difficult societal issues… several sources, including the Partners for Rural Transformation and the Center for Disease Control, indicate that people with higher levels of education have lower rates of chronic disease and make healthier choices for themselves and their families.
Norma Rojas has been a passionate member of the the Rural HEAL Collaborative, and served as the emcee for our summit last week.
Congressman TJ Cox is active at the federal level to help the citizens of California’s 21st District live healthier lives. Cox serves on several congressional committees and caucuses related to community health, including the Asthma and Allergy Caucus, which is introducing funding to support remote respiratory care and access to asthma medications. He is also working on legislation to address opioid addiction, the vaping epidemic, diabetes, and hydrocephalus, a condition that causes an abnormal buildup of spinal fluid in the brain.
Dr. Kathleen Murphy, a pediatrician at Valley Children’s Hospital and an advisory board member for the Rural HEAL Initiative moderated our first panel about forming networks of collaboration to address health crises.
The first speaker on the rural collaborative panel was Kern Medical CEO Russell Judd, who talked about founding the Valley Fever Institute to advance conversations on treatments for this devastating disease. Most of the important findings on valley fever are published directly out of Kern Medical Center, and the institute takes a 3-pronged approach of research, treatment and outreach to lift the burden off San Joaquin families who fight against Valley Fever every day. Last month, the group organized a town hall forum on Valley Fever at the Indoor Theater featuring TJ Cox.
Dr. Tania Pacheco-Werner is the Assistant Director of the Central Valley Health Policy Institute, an organization established at Fresno State in 2002 to provide data and information on health policy issues in Central California. The group provides local experts and decision makers with data to help them take the appropriate action for Central Valley health outcomes while highlighting some overlooked systemic problems that are at the root causes of many health issues.
Dr. Nancy Burke has relied on the help of community partners to build UC Merced’s Public Health program from the ground up, building collaborations with national, local and regional organizations to engage youth in public health policy. UC Merced has established the Nicotine and Cannabis Policy Center to research the harmful effects of vaping, and they’ve launched a separate initiative to address racial and poverty gaps in oral health care for children.
I was the last presenter in the first panel, and briefly highlighted two collaborative projects to address poverty — Early College partnership with the rural high schools and our collaboration with Housing and Urban Development to address low income student housing needs.
Our second panel revolved around air quality, which is linked to many negative health outcomes for millions of people throughout the San Joaquin Valley. Emanuel Alcala with the Central Valley Health Policy Institute moderated the air quality panel and provided an overview of our air quality problem. The Central Valley has some of the worst air in the country, particularly in rural areas that are centered around large industrial pollution sources.
Kevin Hamilton from the Central California Asthma Collaborative described the challenges with diagnosing health problems related to air quality. Poor air quality can cause stress reactions in the body that manifest as any number of symptoms, and low-income communities of color don’t have the means to address the causal factors of their illnesses, so minor issues develop into major disorders that require emergency treatment.
UC Merced Public Health professor Sandie Ha talked about neonatal impacts in the Central Valley are affected by poor air quality and the importance of measuring indoor as well as outdoor air quality. She also emphasized the challenge in getting people to recognize the risks of poor air quality, including wide-ranging implications from blood pressure to diabetes.
UCSF Fresno professor John Moua’s presentation focused on the implicit biases that many physicians have when they diagnose respiratory issues. Asthma rates are significantly higher in the Central Valley than the rest of the state, yet many primary care physicians are not up-to-date on the latest advancements in respiratory treatment. Many poorer families are also challenged to manage costs when they can barely put food on the table, Moua explained.
TJ Cox moderated the panel on substance abuse issues, which is one of the issues that he’s most passionate about championing on Capitol Hill. While there are 70 million estimated drug users in the United States, Cox said that only 15 percent seek treatment for addiction, and substance use is on the rise with the teen vaping epidemic and the prevalence of prescription opioid abuse.
Anna Song is with the UC Merced Nicotine and Cannabis Policy Center. The group is working on creating smoke-free shared housing units for students, instituting smoking bans in parks, and providing parents with information about vaping lung disease and how to tell if their children are vaping.
Dr. Rais Vohra teaches family medicine at UCSF Fresno and serves as the Regional Director of the California Bridge program, which encourages evidence-based substance use disorder treatment, hospitality for addicts, and linkages to ongoing care and support groups. He shared some innovative new developments happening in the world of substance use treatment, including the advent of substance use navigators available in emergency rooms to advocate for patients with substance use problems, provide referrals to outside support services, and raise awareness about harm reduction medications like methadone and suboxone.
David Rohac is a psychology faculty here at BC, and I was excited to hear him share his research about prenatal alcohol exposure. This important research is published in a chapter of the book “Neuroscience of Alcohol: Mechanisms and Treatment”, which is used in the curriculum for many college courses concerning alcohol addiction and substance use. The research shows that early exposure to alcohol in the womb can negatively influence a fetus’ development, and exposure to alcohol within the first trimester is more dangerous to fetal development than exposure to heroin. Prenatal alcohol exposure can be especially dangerous, as alcohol is more socially acceptable than other drugs, people have misconceptions about how dangerous alcohol actually is, and families often don’t know that they’re pregnant until late in the first trimester.
Cindy Collier opened the last panel of the summit on developing compassionate, informed health care professionals. Approximately 7 million Californians live in areas with a shortage of health professionals, and many of them are in rural areas right here in the Central Valley. That number is projected to increase in the next decade if we aren’t proactive in training the next generation of health care professionals to close that gap.
Dr. Serena Yang, the Chief of Pediatrics at UCSF Fresno, expanded on that conversation, describing the ways that poverty and lack of transportation exacerbate provider shortages. The primary predictors for where a health professional will choose to work is based on where they train and where they can reap the most financial benefit, and Yang emphasized the importance of loan repayment programs to encourage our best and brightest to stay right here in the Central Valley.
Adventist Health has been one of our partners with the Rural HEAL Collaborative, and CEO Sharlet Briggs described the challenges that she faces in trying to maintain a diverse and properly-trained workforce to meet the Central Valley’s needs. She emphasized their need for more physicians assistants and LVNs to serve as a bridge between patients and doctors. She also expressed the importance of expanding the specialized care in rural areas. Finally, she outlined the ways that provider shortage is only a part of the problem, and we need to be looking at how we can address homelessness, mental health and poverty.
UC Merced’s Director of Medical Education Thelma Hurd emphasized the role of academic support as the key to reducing the health workforce shortage in the Central Valley. Only 20 percent of students who enter a medical program actually go on to work in the medical field. With the right support and mentorship through organizations like MESA, we can make sure that our students aren’t falling through the cracks even as we reduce the equity barriers that keep many low income students of color out of the medical field. She also talked about developing programs to get children interested in STEM and health careers as early as elementary school.
At the close of the summit, we were all excited to hear from Julianne McCall, a neuroscientist and representative from Governor Gavin Newsom’s Office of Planning and Research. She praised all of the attendees for participating in this broad-reaching discussion about making medical practices more equitable for all Californians, and shared information with the group about a new innovation known as precision medicine.
Precision medicine is an emerging approach toward disease treatment and prevention that accounts for a patient’s distinctive genetics, environment and lifestyle. As this field develops, the ultimate goal is for medical treatment to be accurately individualized at the chromosomal level instead of the traditional one-size-fits-all, general population approach characteristic of current defined medical science. To jumpstart our state into this exciting future, Governor Newsom’s office launched the California Initiative to Advance Precision Medicine, offering grants to institutions across the state that advance precision medicine research. A requirement of the grant is for institutions to advance partnerships between researchers and their community, which will give rural communities the opportunity to provide input into the research.
Thank you Delano Regional Medical Center and Kern Medical for being our sponsors. Thank you Abel Guzman and the Rural Initiatives team for getting the Delano Campus ready for the event. Thank you Lori Ortiz for leading the logistics. Thank you Tamara Baker and Jana Castillo for managing the event. Thank you to the planning team who put the programming together: Dr. Kathy Murphy, Dr. Nancy Burke, Norma Rojas, and Cindy Collier.
Child Development Film Festival
The Child Development departments at BC, CSUB, and Taft College came together to host a student film festival in the Indoor Theater last week.
Students from the three colleges created one-minute PSAs about working with children. The entries were then judged by a panel of notable community figures including Congressman Kevin McCarthy, KCCD Trustee Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, and Mayor Karen Goh. Students covered a diverse variety of topics in their videos, including childhood PTSD, encouraging healthy life choices, and teaching sign language at a young age. A BC student took home the first place prize with a video about special needs children.