Tag Archives: Abel Guzman

BC — always supporting our students & our community

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.  

Iron Jawed Angels

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.

Renegades Star in The Pillowman

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

Pictured left to right: Educational Advisor Diana Alcala, Admissions and Records Assistant La-Reina Villanueva, and Department Assistant III Camilla Andersen assist prospective Bakersfield College students in selecting a learning and career pathway.

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.

Pictured left to right: Program Manager Sabrina Aguilar, Admissions and Records Assistant La-Reina Villanueva, Educational Advisor Diana Alcala, Department Assistant III Camilla Anderson, and Counselor Sue Ann Villaros.

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.

Dr. Joe Saldivar deep in thought 🙂

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

5 Staff members in front of well stocked shelves.

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.”

Community Voices: Gian Gayatao

Gian Gayatao is a student senator on the Bakersfield College Student Government Association. He wrote about how BC helped him find and realize his passion for public service.

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.

Community Voices: Jack Hernandez

Former Levan Center Director Jack Hernandez had this piece share some beautiful ruminations about the nature of solitude in the Californian: 

“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. 

Love this picture of Romeo Agbalog and Abel Guzman with these tiny Cougar Renegades

This Week at BC

This week at BC, our marketing students Juan and Ramon focus on BC Athletics!

Renegade 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 rihughes@bakersfieldcollege.edu.

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.

  • Monday – Thursday evenings 6:00-7:30pm
  • Monday/Wednesday Mornings – 9:30-11:00am
  • Tuesday/Thursday Mornings – 7:00-8:30am
  • Saturdays – 9:00-11:00am

For more information call the BC pool at 661-395-4663 or email Head Swim Coach Matt Moon at matthew.moon@bakersfieldcollege.edu.

BC Golf at the Mission

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.

Athletics Photos from this week

Renegade Athletics updates from this past week:

Athletic events ‘On the Hill’ this coming week

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

  • Tues. 3/10 – Women’s Tennis vs Antelop Valley at 2pm
  • Tues. 3/10 – Baseball vs Glendale, 2:30pm
  • Tues. 3/10 Softball vs. LA Mission, 2:30pm
  • Thu. 3/12 – Women’s Tennis vs Ventura, 2pm
  • Sat. 3/14 – Track and Field host the BC Relays at 11am
  • Sat. 3/14 – M/W Tennis host Folsom Lake at 9:30am
  • Sat. 3/14 Softball vs Reedley, 12pm
  • Sat. 3/14 Softball vs. Long Beach, 4pm
  • Sat. 3/14 Baseball vs. Glendale, 1pm
sonya christian

That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

sonya-
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Thankful to be a Renegade

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.

Giving Thanks

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!

HEAL Summit

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.

Norma Rojas-Mora
Congressman TJ Cox

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.

Panel 1

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.

Dr. Kathleen Murphy
The Summit crowd was at max capacity!
Russell Judd, Nancy Burke, Sonya Christian, Tania Pacheco

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.

Russell Judd
Sonya Christian and Russell Judd

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. Tania Pacheco-Werner

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.

Nancy Burke and Sonya Christian

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.

Panel 2

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.

Emanuel Alcala
Emanuel Alcala, Kevin Hamilton, Dr. Sandie Ha, and John Moua

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.

Kevin Hamilton

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.

Sandie Ha
Left to right: Kevin Hamilton, Sandie Ha, and John Moua

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.

John Moua

Panel 3

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.

Congressman TJ Cox

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.

Anna Song
Left to right: Anna Song, David Rohac, and Dr. Rais Vohra

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.

Dr. Rais Vohra

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.

David Rohac
Nora Dominguez, Julianne McCall. David Rohac, Sonya Christian

Panel 4

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.

Cindy Collier

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.

Dr. Serena Yang

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.

Left to right: Sharlet Briggs, Dr. Serena Yang, and Thelma Hurd
Sharlet Briggs
Thelma Hurd

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.

Sonya Christian and Thelma Hurd

Closing

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.

Julianne McCall

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.

One lucky raffle winner and Tamara Baker
BC staff and attendees who helped make this event possible
Abel Guzman and me

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.

Thank you to BC’s Bernadette Towns, Taft College’s Becky Roth, and the Child Development Team at CSUB for working together to put together a fun event for all our students.

Surveying the Homeless

Perla Villegas Samantha Pulido Sarah Aguirre Jordan Thomas Gian Gayatao
From left to right: Perla Villegas, Samantha Pulido, Sarah Aguirre, Jordan Thomas, and Gian Gayatao
Jordan Rude and Perla Villegas
Perla Villegas and Jordan Rude

On Sunday, November 24, Professor Jordan Rude organized a team from BC to help him with a data project…. surveying the homeless at Central Park. We had student volunteers from Student Life, BCSGA, and Outreach to collect data for Professor Rude by passing out surveys and collecting the responses. Thanks to the volunteers who came out to help!

Dream Big Conference Hosts Record Attendees!

On Friday, November 15, Bakersfield College hosted close to 350 high school students and chaperones during the Dream Big Conference. Focused on promoting college going among first-generation, English Learners, and migrant students, the Dream Big Conference provided an engaging experience in a variety of formats to help students understand opportunities and ways of paying for college

Staff and student volunteers ready to greet students and chaperones!

The day began with breakfast and a welcome provided by Dr. Anna Laven, AB 540 Program Manager. Attendees then heard from a moderated student panel facilitated by Manuel Rosas, EOPS Counselor and LUPE Faculty Advisor.

Volunteers for the event including staff members, student assistants and student leaders.

Following the student panel, attendees were introduced to the campus through an engaging scavenger hunt led by Marcela Gamino, EOPS and CARE Educational Advisor. Students then heard presentations on three topics, including career education, the EOPS, AB 540 and NextUp Programs, and opportunities provided by our rural initiatives. The day ended with an informative session on paying for college facilitated by the Southern San Joaquin Valley Cal-SOAP Consortium.

College Experience Panel (left to right): Jovana (Panel Moderator) Mayra, Marlene, Erick, Pedro, Mayra, Elizabeth, Manuel Rosas (Panel Moderator & LUPE Faculty Advisor)

Co-leads organizing the event included Angela Blanco, KHSD Education Liaison, Dr. Anna Laven, Maria Baltazar, NextUp and CalWORKs Program Manager, and Jaime Lopez, Rural Initiatives Program Manager.

Renegades We’re Thankful For: Matthew Moon

My name is Ramon Carreido, and I am a sophomore here at BC. During my time as a Renegade, I’ve encountered many friends, co-workers and people who have helped shape my academic career, but no one has played a bigger role than my swim coach Matt Moon.

Matt Moon and Ramon Carriedo

I am a BC athlete who has been a member of the swim team for over a year, and I’ve enjoyed the intense training and preparation that Coach Moon has put us through, whether it’s holding our breaths while swimming two lengths of the pool or throwing us into events that we’ve never swam before.

I swam for all 4 years at Wasco High, including qualifying for Valley in my junior and senior year. After high school, I knew that I wanted to keep swimming competitively, so I talked to Coach Moon the summer after graduation and decided to swim for BC. After the first week of winter training, I quickly learned that I was not in high school anymore. We start the day off at 6 a.m. with one hour of weight training and another in the pool before going to class, only to come back at 2:30 p.m. for another 2-hour practice, which was a big change from our regular routine at Wasco High.

Many athletes don’t get to work with coaches that practice what they preach, but Coach Moon is in the weight room getting reps in before we even arrive at 6 a.m., and he is always there for helpful tips on diet choices and keeping our bodies in competitive shape.

Coach Moon has not only shaped my academic career but my life. After going through all of this intense training, I’ve learned that all of my hard work will eventually pay off. I have implemented this mentality into every element of my daily life while juggling school, my job as a student working in the Marketing office, and swim. I know that all of my efforts will only make me a stronger person. This Thanksgiving, I’m super blessed to swim for Coach Moon here at BC.

Renegades We’re Thankful For: Eric Carrillo and Dylan Wang

My name is Juan Reyes, and I am a sophomore student and student employee at BC. I’m thankful for Eric Carrillo and Dylan Wang, the graphic designers for BC’s Marketing and Public Relations. I’m glad to have their friendship and guidance throughout my time as a student worker, and I’m grateful for the time we’ve spent in the office together.

Eric Carrillo and Dylan Wang and sonya christian
Graphic Designers Eric Carrillo (left) and Dylan Wang (right) received a President’s Leadership Award earlier this year.

Eric and Dylan always make Ramon and I feel welcomed and encourage us to talk about our experiences to learn from one another. Thank you Eric and Dylan for being amazing coworkers and friends.

Fun Photos

Budget Open Forum

The semi-annual Budget Open Forum occurred last Monday in the Levan Center.  This informative event featured presentations by Mike Giacomini and Teresa McAllister.

Juan Torres Delivers Grapes

Tarina Perry sent over this photo of Juan Torres, Delano Site Operations Coordinator, who often brings our office fresh-picked grapes from local vendors.

Carlos Barbaran Stays Dry

On Wednesday, Carlos Barbara had a unique way to stay dry in the rain.

Carlos Barbara

Seen on Social Media: Thankful Faculty

Erin Auerbach, BC Journalism faculty, posted recently that she’s thankful for opportunities like these for our students. Way to go, KGET!

Love this picture that Alberto Vargas clicked of Nicky and me.

Football Lands Nine on the SCFA North All-Conference List

Our football team just wrapped up their 2019 season and we have nine student athletes from the team that were honored this week with post-season honors. Congrats to the following players and thanks for representing BC with pride!

SCFA North First Team All-Conference

SCFA Noth 2nd-Team All-Conference

Skydiving into Memorial Stadium

Enjoy this video from our final home football game of the year when skydivers from Skydive San Joaquin Valley parachuted down to the field of Memorial Stadium with the game ball and the American flag. What a view!

Renegade Athletes of the Week

Renegade Athletics is proud to announce this week’s (11/10-11/16) Kern Schools Federal Credit Union Renegades of the Week:

Emma Gross, Women’s Soccer – Emma anchored the Renegade defense in games last week against Santa Monica and Antelope Valley as the team closed out the 2019 regular season. Emma was also honored this week as a member of the 2019 CCCAA All-State Team, an honor given to only four defenders in the state. 

Edgar Gonzalez, Men’s Soccer – Edgar assisted on three of the four goals scored by the Renegades last week as the team clinched its first conference championship in school history. This week Edgar was also named to the CCCAA All-Region team, the WSC South 1st Team and as WSC South Offensive Player of the Year. 

Loved the way our Renegade Basketball players do a dance move when one of them scores a 3-pointer. Check it out.

We are the world
We are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day, so let’s start giving
There’s a choice we’re making
We’re saving our own lives
It’s true we’ll make a better day, just you and me

Sonya Christian

BC building bridges

BC building bridges always…..

2019 Convocation BC Chamber Singers with Bridge Over Troubled Water

I have to start by welcoming BC’s 39 newest faculty to the Home of the Renegades! This year is going to be the best one yet because of the leadership and engagement of faculty and staff. At BC, we create engaged learning environments, strengthen support so students are successful, and we create bridges towards a better BC, a healthier community, and a stronger college going culture with a goal of increasing baccalaureate attainment in Kern County.

Welcome new faculty, I am so happy you are at the Home of the Renegades.

Browse our new faculty online at the New Academic Faculty webpage on the BC website.

Opening Day

Faculty and staff came together in the Indoor Theater on Thursday for the biggest Opening Day celebration that I recall. It is always a joy to arrive in the morning and feel the buzz as staff and faculty mingle and connect over a beautiful spread of breakfast goodies provided by Food Services.

I had so much exciting news to share with everyone in my annual State of the College report, which is why our team put together an Opening Day extravaganza. Samantha Pulido is the BCSGA President this year and her opening remarks were inspiring. She spoke of short term goals and long term goals, like graduating next year.

I opened State of the College with an overview of enrollment and student success data, which continues to rise. Since the 2013-14 semester, BC has seen 4.6 percent growth in annual headcount… we now serve 37,000 students. A 25.9 percent growth in Full Time Equivalent Student (FTES) over the last 5 years, and 10 percentage point growth in distance education.

In that same time period, the course success rate for traditional students is up 7 percent, and course success for distance education students is up 10 percent. It’s amazing that we’ve been able to improve our course success rates while our student population continues to grow significantly at the same time.

With this growth, our need for more faculty has also gone up, and we’ve increased our Full Time Equivalent Faculty by 46.9 percent since 2013-14 to carry out our high-tech, high-touch strategy via the Guided Pathways model.

We also reviewed a visual created by the Office of Institutional Effectiveness which shows the student body distribution by Meta-Major. As you can see, Health Sciences is in the lead at 18% with Arts, Humanities, & Communication close behind at 14%.

Our two Vice Presidents Zav Dadabhoy and Billie Jo Rice introduced the new faculty, classified staff, and managers,

Steve Holmes and Mike Giacomini
Steve Holmes and Mike Giacomini

Vice President of Finance, Mike Giacomini was joined by Academic Senate President, Steven Holmes for a report on budget. They shared the news that the College is financially healthy and being fiscally responsible. Bakersfield College and Kern Community College District have been well positioned to respond to the new Student Centered Funding Formula, and we’ve been fiscally prudent during the transition. 

Trustee Romeo Agbalog spoke about how he is proud to be a Kern Community District Trustee and he is proud of the work of BC’s faculty and staff. He spoke about Early College being the solution for rural communities to advance college attainment levels — a strong leading indicator of economic and social mobility. BC is truly blessed to have a trustee with so much commitment to our rural students and approached solutions that are results oriented and fiscally smart.

Senator Fuller moderated a panel of community leaders — Barbara Grimm, CEO and Founder, Grimm Family Education Foundation; Aaron Resendez, Superintendent of McFarland Unified School District ; David Franz, director of Shafter Education Partnership . I will cover this in my August 30th blog.

Aaron Resendez, Barbara Grimm, David Franz
Ken Keller, Sharlet Briggs, Jeet Singh, and Norma Rojas-Mora
Manny De Los Santos
Manny De Los Santos on Opening Day

BC’s videography specialist, Manny De Los Santos is editing some special videos for upcoming blogs so stay tuned!

After our panelists, the BC Drumline led faculty and staff out of the Indoor Theater to have lunch on the lawn next to the gym.

In the afternoon we spotlighted the need to increase baccalaureate attainment in the Central Valley and we know it will be increasingly important in an era where automation is on the rise. The slide below spotlights a data point from the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) that by 2030, California will need an additional 1.1 million in the workforce holding baccalaureate degrees.

Bakersfield College is rising to meet this demand, with various complementary strategies, each bolstered by a number of initiatives and support services. The first strategy is community colleges throughout the state offering more baccalaureate degrees. BC has been fortunate to be one of the original 15 community colleges to pilot a baccalaureate degree, and we’ve done this successfully with the Industrial Automation program.

Blair Pruett from Kern Steel Fabrication took time out of his day to talk about his role on the Industrial Automation advisory board and the importance of preparing Kern County’s workforce for our automated future. He said:

Blair Pruett at BC
Blair Pruett, August 23, 2019

I applaud you for being here today. Education is the ticket to financial independence, to personal growth and understanding, and it will open doors for students, they don’t even know exist.
The world is fast approaching another paradigm shift where Automation and Information Technologies will work together to facilitate useful Artificial Intelligence. A.I. will allow us to solve vexing problems in every industry. BC stands ready to support the Automation needs of Kern County businesses.

At every opportunity, Kern Steel has Automated our processes. We robotically cut steel plates, beams and tubes with lasers. We weld with robots. We design in 3D and we track all our materials electronically. If there is a process that we can automate, we do, or at least we try.
Automation is key to our success and the success of many industries in Kern County. Whatever career students choose, Ag, Oil, Manufacturing, Distribution or many others, they will find that Automation is a key process. Kern County is full of opportunities for advanced Automation and new technologies and Kern Steel is just one example.

Blair Pruett, President of the Industrial Automation Advisory Board at Bakersfield College

Additionally, the second strategy is to expand transfer. BC’s Finish in 4 collaboration with CSUB is closing the gap for Renegades who are transitioning into Roadrunners, and enrollment in our Bachelor of Science in Industrial Automation continues to grow.

Sonya Christian, Richard Winn, Stephanie Droker, Mary Okada, Ian Walton
BC President Sonya Christian at the NACIQI meeting where the recommendation was made

With NACIQI’s recommendation to expand the baccalaureate programs at community colleges across California, we hope to provide more opportunities to empower the next generation of students with the education they need to turn their dreams into reality.

The new BC SouthWest campus will be triple the size of our current facility, and after lunch, we heard from Jessica Wojtysiak, Jason Stratton and Fernando Lara about their plans for the future of BC SouthWest.

Jessica, Jason, and Fernando – BC’s SouthWest Team

We then heard from our constituent leaders such as CSEA, CCA, Academic Senate, and the Management Association. I was especially humbled by the kind and thoughtful remarks by Tina Johnson and the recognition from our classified staff. This will be one of the top honors I will receive during my tenure as president… one that I will cherish always and hold dear to my heart. BC’s classified staff are a core pillar of strength which allows the college to serve an every increasing number of students each and every day.

We heard from Ann Tatum, President of CCA as well as from Susan Pinza, Director of the Levan Institute and Reggie Williams, Director of the Levan Center.

For the awards portion of the program, Talita Pruett introduced Helen Acosta and Donna Starr introduced Regina Hukill for the Shirley Trembley Distinguished Teaching Award. Erin Miller announced Bernadette Towns as the winner of the Levan Faculty Colloquium Award, and Kimberly Bligh introduced Kimberly Nickell for the Margaret Levinson Distinguished Leadership Award.

I’m proud to report that the State of Bakersfield College is strong, and it will only continue to get stronger as our initiatives grow and expand. I’m looking forward for 2019-20 to be another great academic year for Bakersfield College. Thank you to everyone who attended, packed the Indoor Theater, the two overflow rooms, and watched online. I can’t wait for the new year to begin next week

New Student Convocation and Family Bridge to BC

On Tuesday evening, the BC community prepared new students and their families for life as Renegades during the BC Open House and New Student Convocation in the Outdoor Theater.

History faculty welcoming students and families

This year’s convocation featured a scavenger hunt where students had to familiarize themselves with the campus. Representatives from each building stamped completion of tasks for scavenger hunt participants as they made their way through the campus. The first students to finish the hunt received prizes courtesy of the Bridge to BC program.

Ag table at convocation
BC’s Ag crew had a booth too!

In addition to the scavenger hunt, there was a resource fair in front of the entrance to the Outdoor Theater featuring booths from the Student Health Center, Public Safety Training, BCSGA, and a number of our student organizations. There was also a pathways booth on the lawn in front of the Counseling area, which offered more information about all ten of our learning and career pathways. Walking throughout the campus, you could hear the sound of spinning prize wheels reverberating off the walls.

After a delicious Indian dinner catered by Food Services, the processional started promptly at 7:13 p.m., or 19:13 in military time, to commemorate 1913, the year that Bakersfield College was founded. After a beautiful Bhangra Dance performance in honor of Mahatma Gandhi and a performance of the national anthem by the BC Chamber Singers, emcee Nicky Damania gave a brief introduction on the meaning of the word “convocation”, which is a call to bring people together.

Renegades! Can I hear you?!

I spoke very briefly about our amazing faculty and academic support programs before turning it over to Steven Holmes, Kimberly Bligh, and BCSGA President Samantha Pulido, who lead the audience in oaths for faculty, parents and supporters, and students, respectively.

It takes a village to help just one student finish their education, and these oaths help all of the stakeholders in that journey stay accountable to themselves and each other.

Public Safety Officer Ricardo Orozco also reinforced the importance of BC’s motto – “If you see something, say something, and let’s do something about it.”

The entertainment for the evening was spectacular, from the Chamber Singers’ performance of “You Will Be Found” and “Bridge over Troubled Water” to the closing performance of the BC Call and Fight Song by the Renegade Cheerleaders.

Kimberly Bligh and Isabel Castaneda
Kimberly Bligh and Isabel Castaneda

This year’s convocation was a beautiful way to start off the new semester, and I’d like to thank Dr. Nicky Damania, Office of Student Life, Dr. Kimberly Bligh, Isabel Castaneda, the Bridge to BC Team, Outreach, and everyone who attended to make this year’s the best yet.

It was great to see the event covered in The Bakersfield Californian’s “Incoming BC students, families attend convocation to ease fears” written by Ema Sasic.

Director of Counseling and Student Success, Marisa Marquez even shared this fun photo from the event! She said:

The wonderful Advisors, Counselors, Student Assistants and Administrative Staff of Counseling and Student Success hosted a Pathways welcome fair for the class of 2021! GO RENEGADES!!!

Marisa Marquez, Director of Counseling and Student Success
Steve Watkin and Andrea thorson take a selfie
Outreach Director, Steve Watkin and Dean of Instruction, Andrea Thorson

Flex Week

Matt Jones leads a flexweek workshop
Matt Jones leads a session for Flex Week

This week we celebrated the start of a new academic year with a very successful Flex week. We welcomed New Faculty at our new faculty seminar and had record attendance for our workshops. We received trainings from the CCC Accessibility Center on accessible word and PDF documents and video captioning. We welcomed a faculty member from Peralta College to train on equity and the online equity rubric. Our adjunct faculty seminar was one of our largest in recent years and gave our adjuncts a chance to hear about equity, accessibility and enrollment management.

Given recent current events all of our staff had the opportunity to learn about Active Shooter Response in several sessions throughout the week. We also had other unique offerings this year that ranged from Foundation training, to several Canvas courses, including Canvas Mastery Paths. These workshops have provided valuable information for faculty and staff as they gear up for a new academic year.

Special thanks to Pam Rivers and Bill Moseley for their dedication and commitment to continued learning.

Industrial Automation is Brought to BC’s Delano Campus

With funding presented by Assembly Member Rudy Salas this past July to expand our baccalaureate program in Industrial Automation in Delano, Electronics faculty Tom Rush and Michael Larson were able to work diligently this past week and over the weekend to assemble and prepare three portable Electric Motors and Controls lab training systems.

Tom Rush, Mike Larson, Lora Larkin, and Abel Guzman
Tom Rush, Mike Larson, Lora Larkin, and Abel Guzman

Professors Rush and Larson transported the units to the Delano campus themselves to get the classroom ready for Industrial Automation students’ first day! They were joined by Lora Larkin and Abel Guzman. Thank you Tom and Michael for taking the Industrial Automation program out to our Delano community, and Abel for helping to make this happen!

Project Next Step

Bryon Schaefer, Karen Goh, Lyle Martin, Sonya Christian, Vernon Harper, Steve Watkin (photo: from Mayor Goh’s website)

On Saturday, August 17th Bakersfield College hosted approximately 500 guests for the 3rd Annual Project Next Step Conference. The Project Next Step Conference is an opportunity for new and continuing high school students, made possible by the collaboration of the Kern High School District, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, the Bakersfield Ivy Legacy Foundation, Bakersfield College, and the Bakersfield City School District. Several organizations from the community also participated as sponsors and hosted a table at a resource fair that was provided during lunch. 

Sonya Christian and Bryon Schaefer
Sonya Christian and Bryon Schaefer

The day began with welcoming remarks from myself and other community representatives, including Kern High School District Superintendent Dr. Bryon Schaefer, Dr. Vernon Harper from CSU Bakersfield, and Linda McKnight from Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. Then James Burton Jr. from Farmers Insurance gave a motivational speech on the important of having a goal in mind and taking strategic steps to get there.

Students and parents then left the indoor theater to attend a series of workshops prepared for them on topics like dressing for success, applying for financial aid, participating in dual enrollment, and different college options available to them. The day was a great opportunity to instill students and parents with the confidence that they need to find success in high school and college.

Project Next Step wrote about the event in their blog as well! Check it out!

BC’s Renegade Pantry

Last week, I shared in my blog that BC’s Renegade Pantry announced that they will be receiving a $20,000 grant to help students with hunger and food insecurity. The pantry is run by student employees and is continuously getting restocked thanks to donations and sponsorships from the community. In addition to food, the pantry offers many different types of hygiene items.

Group Photo with check for the Renegade Pantry
Thank you Kern Partnership for the support of the Renegade Pantry

A check presentation on Monday included Cindy Uetz, a Board member of the Kern Partnership for Children and Families and the Chief Deputy Director for the Kern County Department of Human Services and Social Service Supervisor Jana Slagle. Representing BC, we had Nicky Damania, Danyel Ritter, Tom Gelder, and BCSGA President Samantha Pulido.

Umoja Orientation Prepares Students for a Successful Semester

Incoming Umoja Community African-American Success Through Excellence and Persistence students engaged in activities designed to prepare them to make the most of their fall semester.  Umoja offered two orientations for students enrolled in the core courses of English 1a, Library 1, and Student Development 6. During the two days, students participated in team building activities, learned about how to apply for on-campus jobs, found out how to avoid academic probation, and learned about the ins and outs of financial aid.