Tag Archives: Alex Dominguez

Bakersfield College – a Place of Dreams

Good morning Bakersfield…It is Saturday, September 9th.  A great day to be a Renegade

The man who believed in love, music and magic passed away yesterday.  As a little girl, I remember my grandfather Arthur playing Don Williams on his little cassette player.  It is amazing how the young mind learns and is able to remember the lyrics and the music so clearly after all these decades.

From the New York Times:

“I Believe in You,” a gently cantering ballad in a similarly intimate vein written by Roger Cook and Sam Hogin, spent two weeks at the top of the country chart and crossed over to the pop Top 40 in 1980.

Here is I Believe in You…a song that I must have heard a million time growing up with the verse that is burned in my mind and heart.

But I believe in love
I believe in music
I believe in magic
And I believe in you.

How many of you line danced to Tulsa Time? Well, this is a Don Williams tune that hit top of the charts in 1978 and Eric Clapton got it on the top 40s in the 1980s.

Tulsa Time

 

Thank you Don Williams for your music and thank you grandpa Arthur for always having music float through the entire house from your room at the front of the house.

Milt Younger

 

Talking about music, many of us were at Greenlawn cemetery Thursday morning at 10:00 a.m. to honor Milt Younger, the man who had a large positive impact on so many individuals and so many causes in our community.  Mayor Karen Goh’s remarks about Milt were organized on the theme of the “music of his life.” This was apropos given Milt’s love and knowledge of music.

Karen Goh:  “I heard the music of caring, the music of generosity, and the music of a mentor.” Karen gave examples of Milt’s caring, Milt’s generosity, and Milt being a mentor.  She concluded her comments with:

Milt, thank you for the music that you so beautifully played for us.
We, as your orchestra, will be honored to play the encore.

John Heffner Betty Younger Milt Younger from FB

John Heffner was the second of the three speakers to honor this great man.  John, a dear friend of Milt’s. was a great story teller, painting the picture of the brilliant lawyer, the talented lover of the arts and music, the great civic leader, mentor of bright young minds, and a fabulous friend.

Milt Younger and Horace Mitchell from FB

Milt Younger, Horace Mitchell

Speaking last, President Horace Mitchell powerfully described Milt’s long-term patronage of CSUB.  President Mitchell presented Betty Younger with a framed photo of the CSUB flag flying half mast in honor of Milt.

We had a large group from Bakersfield College attending the service.  To mention a few — Chancellor Tom Burke;  Dr. Manny Mourtzanos, Dean of Instruction;  Corny Rodriguez, Dean of Instruction; Tom Gelder, Executive Director of the Bakersfield College Foundation.

My introduction to  Milt Younger’s deep relationship with Bakersfield College was when I was in Oregon preparing to interview at Bakersfield College for the position of President.  I came across a 24-page newsletter, Kern IQ, published by the Kern Center for Political Action (KCPA) in Winter 2011.  The quality and deep treatment of issues was immediately visible.  And the KCPA was housed at Bakersfield College under the umbrella of the Bakersfield College Foundation.  How very cool!

Here are a few screen captures of the 24-page publication.  You can see why I fell in love with the team that pulled this together.

Kern IQ Winter 2011 Issue, Page 1:

Kern IQ Winter 2011 Page 1

Kern IQ Winter 2011 Issue, Page 2:

Kern IQ Winter 2011 Page 2

Kern IQ Winter 2011 Issue, Page 3:

Kern IQ Winter 2011 Page 3

Kern IQ Winter 2011 Issue, Page 6:

Kern IQ Winter 2011 Page 6

Kern IQ Winter 2011 Issue, Page 9:

Here is an article by Milt Younger, Answering the call for tomorrow’s leaders.  Love the picture with Milt Younger, Jack Brigham, Norm Levan, and John Collins

Kern IQ Winter 2011 Page 9

Kern IQ Winter 2011 Issue, Page 13:

My first introduction to Michael Turnipseed.

Kern IQ Winter 2011 Page 13.jpg

Kern IQ Winter 2011 Issue, Page 20:

My first introduction to the amazing We The People program at Arvin High School, Jose Gurrola who went on to become a BC Renegade, and Jim Young’s passion for Arvin and its youngsters.

Kern IQ Winter 2011 Page 20.jpg

Since then, most of my encounters with Milt have been early mornings on the weekends, when I would be in my office at BC and Milt would be walking his scotties.

Milt Younger was the co-chair with Mayor Harvey Hall of the inaugural Leadership and Equity faculty group at Bakersfield College.

Milt Younger planned the August 3, 2016 A Tribute to Jack, at Bakersfield College, on the passing of his dear friend Jack Brigham.

Jack2

 

Both Milt Younger and Betty Younger were recognized as among the 100 Stars during the centennial year celebrations of Bakersfield College.

 

Betty Younger completed a art piece, Circle of Friends, in honor of Jim Young, chancellor emeritus of the Kern Community College District.

Circle of Friends April 28 2014

Circle of Friends Spring 2014

Sandra Serrano, Jim Young, Milt Younger, Betty Younger, Sonya Christian

To read more, check out my September 12, 2014 blog at:

https://sonyachristianblog.com/2014/09/12/a-circle-of-friends-milt-and-betty-younger-and-jim-young/

Milt Younger, we will miss you.

The Bakersfield Californian had a nice piece by Susan Scaffidi: “Local arts community will miss champion Milt Younger” – check it out here.

Dreamers 

Of course, talking about Milt Younger immediately brings to mind the activities this week that surrounded the announcement from Washington DC on September 5th related to DACA.

Alexx Dominguez and Sonya Christian March 10 2016

Christian, Dominguez

BC’s former SGA President Alex Dominguez highlighted the successes of the DACA program in a Community Voices piece for the Bakersfield Californian.

Alex said,

“As student government president of Bakersfield College (2014-15), student trustee of the Kern Community College District (2014-15), and president of the Associated Students Inc. of CSU Bakersfield (2016-17), I have had the opportunity to learn about DACA in depth. I had the immense honor of representing these students on a local, state and federal level. Both Bakersfield College and CSUB have a significant number of DACA recipients. These students are actively working towards improving not their own lives, but also the lives of the communities they live and work in.”

Here is a message for our current SGA president Dezi Von Manos

 

 

immigrationpoliciespanelWe will be holding a campus forum about DACA and AB 540 in the Levan Center on September 21st from 5:30 -7 p.m. Panelists will include:

  • Win Eaton, Esq. – Immigration Attorney
  • H.A. Sala, Esq – Criminal Defense Attorney
  • Sarah Rich, Esq – Immigration & Criminal Defense Attorney
  • Vanessa Sanchez, Esq – Immigration Attorney

 

Welcoming New Faculty to BC!

F17newfacultyreception13

Last Saturday, I had the annual President’s New Faculty Reception prior to our first football home game.  And I was delighted with the dignitaries who were also able to join the event — Mayor Karen Goh, Trustee Bill Thomas, and Trustee Romeo Agbalog.  BC hired 55 new faculty which is one of the largest cohorts of new faculty.

The Food Services department put together another lovely dinner of garbanzo bean salad, a choice of tri-tip or chicken, wine, and a smorgasbord of desserts. Chef Sabella and his team always serve and prepare a lovely spread at our events, and I’d like to personally thank all of our Food Service workers for leaving a memorable first impression on all our new faculty.

 

F17newfacultyreception04Mayor Goh was exuberant in her welcome of new faculty, leading everyone in a chant of “We Are BC”. She encouraged our new BC family members, many coming from outside of Kern County, to become engaged with their new community and familiarize themselves with our culture, leadership and community outreach programs.

F17newfacultyreception12Academic Senate President Steven Holmes told the infamous story of how he applied to work at BC in March, not realizing the intensity of the Central Valley heat until when he moved to Bakersfield from the coast to take his first teaching position here. Over time, however, he’s grown to love Bakersfield and this campus like we all have, and he’s been privileged to see people he’s taught over the last 20 years go on to take important leadership position in the community. Holmes then got to introduce one of his former students, KCCD Trustee Romeo Agbalog.

F17newfacultyreception14

Agbalog shared the story of how BC and teachers like Holmes helped shape the person he is today, while urging the new faculty members in the audience to take pride in the hundreds of people they’ll get to directly influence during their time here.

Before the deans and department chairs got the opportunity to formally introduce the new members of their various departments, Bill Thomas, our former congressman, told stories about teaching political science at BC in the early 60s when Kern County was a much smaller place.

Bill Thomas New Faculty Sep 2 2017Through his experience as both a student and teacher at BC, Thomas got to meet his future wife, Sharon (who also joined us), influenced scores of students to take interest in civic discourse, which gave him the power to change the lives of millions nationwide while securing important funding for infrastructure here at home during his time on Capitol Hill.

Some of the new hires welcomed were adjunct faculty for a number of years who finally got their shot as full-time tenure track faculty, while several others come here from all over the country, with extensive knowledge and experience to help our students learn what they need to maximize their potential. We wrapped up the event that started at 6:45 p.m. at 7:45 and then headed over to the Memorial Stadium for the late-start football game with an 8:00 pm kickoff.

 

 

 

Loved this picture that Chris Glaser snapped of Jennifer trying to make sure that Earl Parsons would not fall back as he was trying to get a good group photo.

Jennifer Marden making sure Earl Parsons is safe.jpg

New faculty reception Sep 2 2017.jpg

I’d like to thank Jennifer Marden, Mary Jo Pasek, Tarina Perry and Christopher Glaser for helping organize and plan this year’s new faculty reception, and I’d like to thank our Web Content Editor Earl Parsons for taking pictures.  Our entire web content team, including Monika Scott, Aricia Leighton, and Earl Parsons, works throughout the year to keep our New Faculty website updated. Please visit the link for photos and departments of all the new faces of BC!

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Renegade Football

Nick Ellis. www.aNickPhoto.com.   661.706.7999

At the advice of Dr. Bill Baker, we had moved the game against Alan Hancock from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.  And what a game — BC won 21-6, with KGET televising the game.  Thank you KGET. Thank you TBC.  Our cheer team was fabulous.  Heather Foss was great.  And here is a shout-out to Becki Whitson — missed you Becki!  The drumline as usual…superb!

Thank you to the Bakersfield College Foundation for hosting a VIP tent for the home games.  Dana Gelder snapped these pictures for me.

Love these two pictures!  Chris Glaser with Jennifer Marden and Francis Mayer

Judy Caras posted this comment on my blog last week about the Renegade Fight Song and BC’s Alma Mater

Sandi Taylor, Judy Caras and her husband Fall 2017

Sandi Taylor, Jevin and Judy Caras

Let’s pass those words out so we can learn them again. Also reinstate the singing of the Alma Mater with the football team present.

I went to the game, 9/2, for the first time in many, many years. All that day I kept humming the Alma Mater and was so disappointed it was not done! I plan to attend all home games this year and hope at least homecoming will have the Alma Mater sung!!!! Our family bleeds Renegade Red.
Judy, here is a 14-sec version of the Fight Song from convocation
Here is the Alma Mater
Bakersfield College Alma Mater

And here are comments from the fabulous Jerry Ludeke

Jerry Ludeke April 2017

Judy Caras is right.  The Fight Song was played and enthusiastically sung at the beginning of every game and after every touchdown.  At the end of every game, win or lose, the spectators and players all stood quietly and sang the Alma Mater.  Singing of a shared song is a powerful spirit builder.

Cross Country at BC!

The Running Renegades Men return to action this week after a bye week. On the schedule is the Fresno Invitational with the men’s race starting at 9:00 AM at Woodward Park. After a great start to the season with a second place finish at Oxnard, the team is hoping to improve on their 1-5 differential.  The Gades were led over the four mile course by freshmen Marcos Mulato, sixth overall (21:18), and Angelo Benetiz, 24th overall (22:32). Rounding out the top 5 with their experience were sophomore Ben Carlson, 30th overall (22:41); Nestor Vasquez, 32nd overall (22:45); and Joe Lopez, 36th overall (23:14).  Also, impacting the scoring was Sophomore Abran Ayon, 39th (23:18); and Jose Chavez 41st, (23:27).

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The Running Renegade Women opened the season at Oxnard with a fourth place finish.  The team over the 5K course was freshman Gabriella Lugo who finished first for the team and 12th overall (20:19).  She was followed by freshman Lourdes Cruz 17th overall (20:31); Natalie Estrada 28th overall (22:55); Tori Wiley 30th overall (23:18); and Esmeralda Nuno-Ascensio 38th overall (25:03). The team will be back in action on Saturday, September 9, at Woodward Park. Race time is scheduled for 8:00 AM

Women’s Soccer

Loved watching BC Women’s Soccer win 4-0 against COS yesterday, September 8th.  Our student athletes looked strong and quick and I was so proud to see them playing in the Memorial Stadium.

Coach Damron with students.JPG

 

Soccer.JPG

 

I was hanging out with Nicole and looking at photos and snagged this adorable photo of the twins Adah Gay and Taylor Gay.

Adah Gay and Taylor Gay.JPG

 

Arts, Humanities, & Communication Pathway Fair

A beautiful flier passed through my inbox this week for the upcoming Arts, Humanities, and Communication Pathway Fair. It was created and designed by the talented David Koeth for the upcoming event on September 26th. Just wonderful to see our faculty and staff always watching out for what next to do to help support students.  This is an incredible opportunity for our students and I’m looking forward to it!  Students!! – see you there!

AHC-Pathway-Poster-2.jpg

Skills: The Gateway to Employment

Yesterday, BC was at the Bakersfield Marriott for the 2017 Counselor Conference titled Skills: The Gateway to Employment. The purpose for the event is to provide a focus for high school and community college counselors, but also it’s an opportunity to learn about high demand, high paying industry endorsed jobs in the Central Valley/Mother Lode Region.

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Thank you to the Central Valley/Mother Lode Region Deputy Sector Navigators in partnership with the Doing What MATTERS for Jobs and the Economy framework through the Division of Workforce and Economic Development at the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office for hosting this event.  And thank you Dave Teasdale for inviting me to welcome the group to Bakersfield.

Here are some screen captures of tweets from Van Ton-Quinlivan, Gurminder Sangha, and Pam Gomez.

Sep 8 2017 Van Ton Quilivan

 

 

First Friday: Latination 9

DSC01920Bakersfield celebrated the work of our Latin artists on First Friday at the Metro Galleries as part of Latination 9.

Metro Galleries offers up its walls to Bakersfield’s Latin artists every year. Jesus Fidel won best in show for his piece “Gift of Roses,” while artist and local activist Jorge Guillen received the honorary Betty Leonor Award recognizing his career of achievements. Local ska/cumbia band Mento Buru provided the music, while the food at the event was catered by El Pueblo.

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nail art showing BC pride

Mayor Goh was on hand taking pictures and snapped a couple of shots with our BC delegation at Latination 9, lead by cheer coach Heather. Check out Heather’s BC nails – talk about Renegade pride!

For these pictures and more, visit Mayor Karen Goh’s Facebook page.

So what about Neo?

He is 58 lbs and growing.  Probably another 7 lbs or so according to websites that discuss Golden Retrievers.

Sonya Christian Fall 2012

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Hello Summer and Summer Bridge Students!

Neo June 3 2017Good morning Bakersfield…. It is Saturday, June 10th and a great day to be a Renegade.

I spent a significant part of this week at the accreditation commission meeting in San Jose.  The accreditation peer review process for quality assurance is truly remarkable and I am so glad the United States still upholds this process.

I missed Neo who seemed much bigger when I got back home.  In the three weeks I’ve had him he went from being 10 lbs to 19 lbs.  Growing up fast and you can see it in his paws.

The drive back from San Jose was a bear with accidents on both 101 south as well as on the Pacheco pass….. It was quite the drive and my phone died and I did not have a charger handy, and I was tired….. It was a good thing that I got a book on tape, something I don’t usually do.  I got it from amazon.com, and no it was not a drone delivery three hours after I placed the order.

The book titled “The Life We Bury” was listed as a bestseller in the New York Times list.  I started listening to the book on my drive to and from Mammoth last week.  But the numerous conf calls resulted in me not making much progress.  But coming back from San Jose, without my phone, I got through much more, though not quite all yet.

Kimberly Bligh has been busy this summer, scaling up summer bridge for our incoming students and engaging faculty across campus to come spend a day with the incoming freshman during their orientation.

Dr. Matt Garrett’s post on Facebook and his response to Olivia Garcia says it all

Matt Garrett Summer Bridge June 2017.png

Summer Bridge is a one-day seminar for new students. It increases success and retention for all new freshmen by giving them the tools and resources they need to succeed. Each morning begins with faculty on hand to greet the eager students and share with them their wealth of knowledge to help acclimate them on their new academic path.

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The students break out into smaller groups joining faculty members sprinkled throughout the room for networking and chatting. It’s here where their first friendships on campus are formed… together, they are on this journey, and it’s a time to ask questions and get  information for their classes, their major’s and also their first day concerns.

Students share their dreams, goals, and aspirations for their future, encouraged and cheered on by those faculty members brought together by Dr. Kimberly Bligh.

The students are also given a guided tour by faculty and student leaders who show them first-hand all of the various buildings located throughout campus. This is an amazing way for students to feel even more comfortable when they arrive on the first day of class, it enables them to focus more on their academics rather than worrying and searching aimlessly for their needed classes. Students are able to obtain their schedules and throughout the tour faculty and staff able answer any questions they may have. Students also learn a little background on BC, when it was founded and when the campus was moved up on the hill.But one of the greatest benefits for students who participate is what they learn about all of the wonderful services that BC has to offer.

The students were shown where the Veteran’s Lounge, Renegade Pantry, Renegade RIP, Student Health Services, Counseling Center, Writing Center, Math Center, Tutoring Center, Financial Aid, and Supplementary instruction centers were all located on campus.

IMG_5832All of these services and much more are there to help the students be as successful as they can be – providing them the tools they need to achieve their goals.

 

Eileen Pierce, Manager of Academic Support — Supplemental Instruction, shared how SI works and how it  benefits all the students who attend at least five to six sessions per semester.

We are a family. We thrive and flourish together with the help of each other, because… We are BC!

Summer Bridge June 7 2017

 

 

See more photos and stay up to date with Summer Bridge on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/summerbridgeBC/

BC’s Inmate Scholars Program

The Inmate Scholars Program was nominated for the 2017 Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce, Beautiful Bakersfield Awards.  Each year, the Chamber holds an annual gala to honor those connected to the community and to recognize the efforts to improve the quality of life in Bakersfield.

Aera won an award

Aera winning an award at Beautiful BAkersfield June 3 2017.png

Thank you Nick Ortiz and all at the Greater Bakersfield Chamber for bringing to us Beautiful Bakersfield

Nick Ortiz, Hillary Haenes Beautiful Bakersfield

Bakersfield College is honored to be recognized as a community leader.

Inmate Scholars, Bryan Hirayama, Chelsea Esquibias, Rich McCrow, Letty Garza, Doug Grimsley, Gerald Cantu, Kaitlin Hulsy, Isaias Hernandez

(from front, clockwise) Bryan Hirayama, Chelsea Esquibias, Rich McCrow, Letty Garza, Doug Grimsley, Gerald Cantu (behind placard), his wife,  Kaitlin Hulsy, Isaias Hernandez

The Central Valley has more than ten prisons and correctional facilities. Recidivism is high — of the incarcerated who are released, over 76% return to prison.  The Inmate Scholars Program provides college courses inside of the local prisons to educate those before release.  Associate Degrees earned in prison have been shown to reduce recidivism to below 5% thus saving taxpayers over $70,000 per year per inmate as well as creating a safer and more thriving community.

Inmate Scholars, Rich McCrow, Doug Grimsley, Gerald Cantu

Rich McCrow, Doug Grimsley, Gerald Cantu

Education is the key for our incarcerated population.  Thank you to all of those Bakersfield College employees that serve students in the program, and thank you to those who attended the dinner; Rich McCrow, Chelsea Esquibias, Bryan Hirayama, Doug Grimsley, Isaias Hernandez, Gerald Cantu, Kaitlin Hulsy, Isaias Hernandez and many more great Renegades!  We are BC!

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And then I saw this great post by Supervisor Leticia Perez on Facebook:

Leticia Perez June 7 2017.png

Retreats and reflections during the summer

President’s Cabinet had two retreats this summer, the first one at the Delano Campus on June 1st and the 2nd on the Panorama Campus here in Bakersfield on June 5th.

2017 President's Cabinet June 5 2017

 

President's Cabinet Retreat June 5 2017

 

 

At Delano the focus was on BC’s Rural Initiatives, Dual Enrollment, and Inmate Education.  After presentations and discussions, we headed for a tour of the Randolf Campus in Delano.

Cabinet Retreat in Delano June 1 2017.JPG

 

Bakersfield College originally offered courses in Delano at the Randolf campus.  This is where I was first involved as a faculty member — I taught math via interactive TV but would often drive up to the Randolf campus to meet with students.  During that time, a group of us in the math department wrote an Eisenhower grant to improve STEM education in Delano with a focus on parent education.  I then went away to work in Oregon for 10 years and when I returned as President, the Delano campus had moved to Timmons Ave, and the Randolf campus was leased to the Wonderful Academy.  Wonderful was and is a great partner of Bakersfield College.  Wonderful now has built their own campus for their Charter School and the Randolf campus has reverted back to BC.  I do want to thank Wonderful for donating all the classroom spaces they had built and improvements they made during their stay at the campus.  Lynda Resnick thank you.  Noemi, thank you.

Here are pictures of the Cabinet tour of Randolf campus.

Randolf Campus June 1 2017.JPG

Cabinet at Randolf Campus June 1 2017.JPG

Nicky Damania and Grace Commiso planning for Student Services

Nicky Damania and Grace Commiso Randolf Campus June 1 2017

Alex Dominguez

Alex Dominguez was the President of BC’s Student Government in 2014-2015, going on to be the Student Body President at CSUB.  Alex had a wonderful graduation and it seemed that everyone from Bakersfield was there to celebrate this young man’s future and presence in our lives!

Alex Dominguez

Alex Dominguez, Sonya Christian

Terri Goldstein Alex Dominguez Nicky Damania June 3 2017

Terri Goldstein, Alex Dominguez, Nicky Damania

 

Here are some links to blog posts that spotlighted Alex:

This one is a long blog but scroll until you see the picture with Alex Dominquez (2014-2015), Calyton Fowler (2015-2016), Matthew Frazer (2016-2017)

https://sonyachristianblog.com/2016/09/18/on-remembrance-and-making-memories/

Some fun photos:

Ramon Puga and his son

Ramon Puga at his son's graduation.png

So I was at the ACCJC commission meeting and this is what happens to my office when I was not there — Mission Occupy!

Lunchtime

Jennifer Marden, Tracy Hall, Tarina Perry, Somaly Boles

 

Sonya Christian at Randolph Campus June 1 2017That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

(at the Randolf campus in Delano)

On remembrance, and making memories

away-game-at-rcc-se-17-2016

Sharon Baker, Sandi Taylor, Vickie Edden, Leonard Cravens, Sonya Christian, Peter Reyes

Good morning Bakersfield.  It is Sunday, September 18th…I started this blog yesterday, but since the day was packed with events that ended with driving to Riverside to watch Renegade football on the road I could not finish my blog.  It was great to see the Bakersfield Community come out to support an away game.

Here is a gang of regulars at the games.  Sharon Baker and Bill Baker (The Renegade Football doc) come to all the games.  It always warms my heart to see both Dr. Baker and Dr. Tivnon out there with our student athletes.  Here is a picture of Dr. Baker with Terence Young, one of our star football players last year who got seriously injured.

bill-baker-and-terence-young-sep-17-2016

Terence is now a student at BC although he does not play football.  I want to recognize the kindness and generosity of the Bakers.  Both Sharon and Bill have given their time, money, and unwavering commitment to BC. This is what makes the community of Bakersfield unique.  And this is what makes Bakersfield College so successful.
We are BC!

the-moon-sep-18-2016The entire week was just like Saturday, a lot of travel — Wisconsin (Tuesday-Wednesday), Sacramento (Friday), and then Riverside (Saturday).  Quite tired this Sunday morning and enjoying the calm and quiet with a cup of coffee and the beautiful early morning moon through the window in my bedroom.  Life is good!

The many highlights from the week started with our first football home game on September 10th at BC against Chaffey! Even ESPN was buzzing with excitement! Really, check out the video on the GoGades Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/p/BKMmC1hAgP6/

Saturday, Sep 10th: New Faculty Reception

newfaculty

Photo by Cara Jackson

Before the first home game of the season, we celebrated with the new members of the BC family in the Fireside Room at the New Faulty Reception on September 10, 2016. BC hired a total of 39 new faculty for the 2016-2017 academic year.  The college has been growing in the number of students we serve over the last three years.

Thank you Trustee Romeo Agbalog and Trustee Dennis Beebe for attending.  We really appreciate our trustees coming out the college campuses.  If you check out the picture carefully you will be able to spot both trustees.

newfaculty_2

Photo by Cara Jackson

A special thank you and shout out to our new cook Nicole Sizemore who prepared an elegant dinner and dessert menu for faulty and guests! My favorite was the watermelon salad with flavorful ingredients including feta cheese. Come to think of it, I loved the tri-tip, the couscous salad and everything on the menu.

After dinner, we headed to the first football game of the year!  And what a game it was.

Join me in welcoming… Teresa McAllister, ACDV; Heather Baltis, Agriculture; Jaclyn Krause, ASL; Ronnie Wrest and Jeff Huston, Art; Katie Ganster, Biology; Ximena Da Silva, Chemistry; Melissa Ysais, Child Development; Talita Pruett and Neeley Hatridge, Communication; Maximo Pena, Construction Management; Catherine Ryan and Elvira Martinez, DSPS; Cynthia Quintanilla, Counseling; Vanessa Bell, EOP&S; Keri Kennedy and Mark Osea, SSSP; Thomas Rush and Kelvin Albaa, Engineering; Isaac Sanchez and Savanna Andrasian, English; Don Brady, Fire Tech; Ayan Hill, Allied Health; Catherine Jones, Industrial Safety; Eddie Rangel, Information Technology; Timothy Heasley, Performing Arts; Dillon Giblin and Jonathan Brown, Math; Nichole Hernandez and Shae Johnson, Medical Surgical; Noelia Citialin, Mental Health; Kathryn Kuby, Music; Christine Harker, Allied Health; Jacelyn Hill, Rad Tech; David Riess and Eleanora Hicks, Sociology; Sara Palasch, Spanish; Brian Sivesind, Theatre; Ronnie Knabe, Sim Lab; Milena Lilles, Biology; John Kelleher, History; Alba Romero, Math; Cari Meyer, Geology; Mark Kay and Yuki Takeuchi, Foreign Language; Jeanne Young, Nursing; Heidi Forsythe, Communication; Kristin Mercer, Denise Canning, Tanna Rozar, Sara Wallace, and Justin Bell, English.

If you get the chance, visit https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/employees/new-faculty-staff to see the new faculty photos!

Running of the Renegades & BC Football

RunningRenegades.jpg

Photo by Cara Jackson

The evening started off with the annual Running of the Renegades event that welcomes the Football team back to the Stadium for their first home game. This event offers the BC Community the chance to run across Memorial Stadium behind the Renegade Mascots and alongside the BC Cheerleaders before the BC Renegade Football players take the field. This year, 30 students, staff, and faculty members dashed onto the field at 5:55pm sporting their Red and White Spirit. Starting with Renegade pride is always a fantastic way to kick-off a great game and a great week!

BC beat Chaffey College by 45-35 in their home opener at Memorial Stadium on the strength of an offensive explosion led by Derrick Vickers’ three touchdowns and 289 multi-purpose yards. Check out the game summary by Francis Mayor at GoGades.com.

It was wonderful having so many from the community come out to support Renegade Football.

football-game

Sonya Christian, Karen Goh, Romeo Agbalog, JP Lake

A huge thank you to JP Lake for not only attending but also being involved as the halftime guest on Vince Palms show. Francis has made the video available on YouTube – definitely check it out to see JP Lake and your BC Renegades!

JP is the co-chair of the Measure J campaign committee along with Sue Benham, Michael Bowers, Norma Rojas Mora, Jay Rosenlieb, and Karen Thompson. Mayor Harvey Hall is the chair.  Here are a some of the many community leaders on the committee: Michael O’Doherty, Mayor Milt Stowe from Porterville, Justin O’Neill (from Cerro Coso), Jay Tamsi, David Torres, Ed Davis, Fran Flores, Ken Byrum, Rick Kreiser, Cheryl Scott, Chad Hathaway, Janet Rabanal, Reyna Olaguez.

And huge thanks also to Karen Goh for regularly attending our football games and showing your Renegade spirit in the stands! Karen has posted the most fantastic photos on her Facebook – check them out here!  Also much appreciate the connection with other parts of the campus like our Student Government Association.

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And special thank you to Cara Jackson for these great photos from the game:

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Cara also sent an email to share a story of how she was able to capture these great images:

“A moment before I walked onto the football field to capture the Running of the Renegades, I saw another photographer heading that way for the game. I casually asked, “Sir you wouldn’t happen to have an extra lens I could borrow?”

Nick contemplated respectively for a short moment and replied, ” Yes, I might just have one for you.”  I was surprised and excited, and when he pulled out his extra Canon 70-200 mm f2.8L telephoto lens, I was jumping for joy!

It turned out my wish came true and he loaned it to me for the entire game! Not only did he do this, but helped me improve my settings on my camera so I could get these great shots!

It’s wonderful that there are still positive and amazing people out there wishing the best for you and helping you succeed in life, even if you meet them for the first time!

A huge shout out to Nick Ellis from the Bakersfield Californian. Thanks Nick!”

We truly are the community’s college.

Sunday, Sep 11th: World Trade Center Memorial on 9/11

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I had the honor of attending the World Trade Center Memorial in Southwest Bakersfield. The sun was shining bright when the breathtaking memorial featuring a structural girder from the North Tower of the World Trade Center was unveiled. This national artifact is one of many sent throughout the nation for 9/11 memorials. Thank you to Fire Chief, Doug Greener, who petitioned for Bakersfield to get one of the last remaining pieces. Our community was approved to receive the piece because of where the memorial is situated – on Buena Vista in the southwest directly between a fire station and police station. I encourage you to stop by and pay respects and remember the brave men and women in New York that day.

I was so proud to see one of our BC music students Linda Snoddy lead the color guard with her bagpipe. BC has the best music program!  And then hear from Mayor Harvey Hall who was the first speaker of the morning.

 

I asked Jennifer to email Heather Pruitt and get the mayor’s written remarks.  Here they are.  I love the way he wrapped up his speech by saying “thank you for your hearts.”

As we gather today let us not forget the 4,377 souls who perished as a result of the deadliest terrorist attack in our history. Let us not forget the husbands, wives, sons and daughters who lost their lives. Let us not forget the devastation felt by many Americans on this dreadful day.

For fifteen years now we have given our heartfelt condolences, sympathy and caring contributions to the survivor’s families, first responders, police officers and rescue workers. Today is a day of honor and recognition for the Bakersfield City Fire Department and the many volunteers and sponsors who have made this 911 World Trade Center Memorial possible.

What an everlasting tribute our city will have for reflections on each September 11th in our future.

Let us not forget to give prayer and thanks to our wonderful country, fireman, police officers and first responder ambulance paramedics for the daily contributions they make to keep us safe and healthy.

Your presence here today is another example of how Bakersfield cares, a thought I have carried with me for the past sixteen years as our city’s Mayor.

Let us remember and never forget September 11, 2001. Thank you for your hearts today.

I also texted Tim Capehart, Director of BC’s Fire Tech program and asked him if Tyler Hartley, Deputy Fire Chief, could be willing to share his brief comments.  Here are the powerful words by our Deputy Fire Chief:

The attacks on September 11th have been documented as the most destructive acts of terrorism on American soil.  On that unforgettable morning, 19 terrorist associated with the extremist group al-Qaeda hijacked four commercial passenger jet airliners enroute to San Francisco and Los Angeles from Boston, Newark, and Washington D.C. Two of the planes were flown into the towers of the World Trade Center, a third plane hit the Pentagon, and the fourth plane crashed in a field in Pennsylvania – this series of events changed our lives forever.

Although fifteen years have passed since that fateful day, it is important that we do not allow time and distance to cloud our memory of that tragic event. The Bakersfield Fire Department World Trade Center Memorial shall serve a reminder to future generations of what September 11th means to our Nation.

We Shall Never Forget

 

 

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Following the event, I was inspired to take some quiet time for reflection and to read poetry written after 9/11. I truly believe that words hold immense power to comfort, express, console, and heal. A collection of poems can be found here and one really caught my attention titled, Firefighter’s Prayer. It reminded me of how courageous and brave each of our men and women in all first responder roles prove themselves to be each and every day. The immense physical and mental training requires strength and dedication, but the role these individuals fulfill requires a bravery that can’t be taught.  And I am proud of the BC fire tech program.

This year’s fire season, including the recent Erskine fire, serves as a true testament of the challenges faced by our Kern County and Bakersfield fire departments. A post on BFD’s Facebook page this past Tuesday, announced that over the past 48-hour period, BFD responded to 13 fire related incidents; 145 medical/rescue emergencies, and 79 public service related calls. We are lucky to have both Fire Chief, Brian Marshall of Kern County FD and Fire Chief Doug Greener of Bakersfield FD leading our local firefighters. A shout out to both of these incredible departments for all you do!

Follow them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/BakersfieldFire/ and https://www.facebook.com/kerncountyfire/

September 12th: College Night

Any opportunity to expose young people to the endless opportunities of higher education is one to celebrate. On Monday evening over 80 BC staff, faculty, administrators, and students represented the college at the 17th Annual Kern County College Night at the Rabobank Convention Center.  Representatives from more than 100 colleges and universities were in attendance answering questions about their campuses and providing information about admissions requirements and financial aid to high school students and parents. Approximately 1,200 students submitted an interest card requesting further information about Bakersfield College.

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Fellow KCCD Campus, Cerro Coso was also in attendance and it was fanatic to see Pam Campbell, CC’s Director, Outreach and Student Life and Lisa Stephens, CC’s Director of East Kern and Kern River Valley.

pamcampbell_lisastephensBC even had multiple groups and tables at the event. Tom Gelder and Kathy Rosellini hosted the BC Alumni table and Sue Vaughn, Gustavo Enriquez, and Mary Jo Pasek hosted the BC facilities needs booth.

Events like this reinforce what we do at Bakersfield College! Our student body continues to grow and grow each year and the need for higher education in Kern County is expanding.

Thank you Steven Watkin, Director of Outreach, and the Outreach Team (Josie, Debi, Ashlea, Chris, Manuel, Claudio) for making it happen. And a special thank you to Matt Boone of Bakersfieldnow.com for the great media coverage and video. Check out the article here! And various pictures are on our photo gallery located here! We Are BC!

Remembering Dr. Thomas Larwood

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Sonya Christian, Pauline Larwood, Tom Larwood

On Sunday, Sep 11th, afternoon, I had the opportunity to attend Dr. Thomas Larwood’s memorial. Dr. Larwood was dedicated man who led groundbreaking research to find a cure for Valley Fever and together with his wife Pauline –one of Bakersfield’s power couples – always willing to get involved, put in the work, and find solutions.

In his obituary, he was described as a devoted physician, caring deeply for a wide range of patients. It goes on to describe how as a missionary, Tom contracted polio and was inspired by his friend and partner, Dr. Hans Einstein to study Valley Fever. He was an active member in the community alongside his wife, and an active member of the East Bakersfield Rotary.

“Affectionately known as “Doctor Tom” or just plain Tom, he was a man of the people. He chose a life of service very early, active in church leadership in his teens. At 18, talking with his father, Tom worked out that he liked “science and people.” He explored pre-med. After two years, he was drafted in 1944 and became a Navy Pharmacist’s Mate. Shortly before Navy discharge, he was deeply inspired by a talk by Dr. Day at a Methodist Youth Conference meeting. Dr. Day asked “Are you going to invest your life or just spend it?” That very night he felt he had been called to develop and share this gift, and he indeed gave and gave his entire life.” Check out the full obituary by clicking here.

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It was great to see fellow BC friends and family at the memorial, including Nick Strobel and Jerry Ludeke singing in the choir. I particularly liked the rendition of Amazing Grace and the Nick and Jerry section of the piece. It also spotted Trustee Kay Meek, Karen Goh and Bob Allison, and briefly connected with Steve Schilling, and John Fallgatter.  We do have a great community in Bakersfield.

The picture with Tom and Pauline was from March 31, 2016 at the Sterling Silver Dinner.

john-boydstun-sep-15-2016Remembering John Boydstun:

 

Just like on September 11th the community came out to support Tom Larwood, on September 15th, they came out to support John Boydstun.  At the football game against Riverside at Riverside, Leonard Cravens, an avid BC football fan, mentioned that he had traveled from his home in Indigo to Bakersfield just to attend Boydstun’s funeral. Becki Whitson and the BC Cheer Team were to show their respect to a longtime Renegade fan.

 

I searched my blog site for previous blogs where I mention John Boydstun and found the following:

April 23, 2016 blog: http://tinyurl.com/hfcpe8g

December 19th blog:  http://tinyurl.com/hozrypd

 

John Boydstun and BC Cheer team Aug 2016

September 15th: Renegade Football at Rotary

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Jeff Chudy, Sonya Christian, Garro Ellis at Rotary. Sep 15, 2016

It was wonderful having Coach Jeff Chudy at Rotary this Thursday, Sep 15th.  This is an annual event where coach shares the “state of Renegade Football” with the club.  He talked about a new approach he took with his student athletes by having them read together “The Training Camp” by Jon Gordon and do a book report.

 

The book is about an un-drafted rookie trying to make it in the NFL, trying to prove that a small guy with a big heart can make it.  “The life lessons in this book are invaluable in teaching our students how to become better students, better teammates and better men.”

Stig Jantz, BC’s advisor to our student athletes led a team discussion with  coaches and players and asked the hard questions of each. Relationship are being built to make us better.

Just wonderful!

The meeting as a whole was great.  Jay Rosenlieb led the song and at the cost of being fined $30 promoted Measure J among club members.

We are BC!

Follow BC Wrestling

BC Wrestling is off to a strong start. The newest blog post by Brett Clark says,

Well it was a good weekend for the guys on the mat. Bakersfield College went 3-1 this weekend with strong performances against East Los Angeles College, Victor Valley College, and Santa Ana College, the lone loss came against a very good Cerritos College Team. Top performers this weekend were Pedro Sarabia going 3-1, and Julio Fuentes who went 2-1 along with Andrew Binger going 2-1. Overall this young group has a lot of work but the future is bright for them as a team. Next home match is October 26, 2016 Wednesday night at 7pm we will be wrestling Cuesta College in a conference dual come out and support.

To stay up-to-date on BC Wrestling, follow the BC Wrestling Blog at https://bakersfieldcollegewrestling.wordpress.com/.  Well done Brett!

Generations of Leaders at BC!

Don’t you love this picture?  I do!

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SGA Prez Clayton Fowler, Dr. Nicky Damania, SGA Prez Matthew Frazer, SGA Prez Alex Dominguez

Last week, the current Bakersfield College Students Government Association (BCGSA) president, Matthew Frazer, rallied together with two former BCSGA presidents to chat over some delicious breakfast at Pappy’s Cafe down on Rosedale along with the BCSGA Advisor, Dr. Nicky Damania.

During the meal, they wished Clayton Fowler, president FY16, happy journeys as he begins a new journey at UC Davis to start this Bachelor’s degree in Political Science next week. Clayton started as an EMT student at BC, but found his passion for civic leadership through this career with BCSGA. You can follow Clayton’s blog at https://claytonjfowler.wordpress.com/

Alex Dominguez, BCSGA President FY15, is now the President of the Associated Students, Inc. (ASI) at CSUB and this guy is one to watch out for as he’s already a great community leader within the city of Bakersfield.

Matthew Frazer, our current SGA prez, is putting BC on the map with all of his efforts.  I suspect 2016-2017 will be a historic year for SGA under his leadership.

Of course, these four men couldn’t help but talk about their love for Bakersfield College. Dr. Damania shared with me they were discussing and developing strategies on how to engage their peers on the need of better facilities and technologies at Bakersfield College for the years to come. Alex invited current officers to CSUB this week to chat with their ASI Officers on how the two groups would be able to educate their peers at CSUB regarding Measure J.

If you haven’t already seen, Matthew Frazer, current BCSGA Present, stars in this week’s Renegade Reveal. The Renegade Reveal is a weekly webisode published by the Office of Student Life every Monday at Noon in efforts to increase and encapsulate student life at Bakersfield College. Check it out at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PZXJUQqb9hk

September 14th: AACU Event

 

I was invited to speak at the AAC&U Leap State Summit this week at Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I enjoy opportunities to engage in conversations about learning, quality, and equity.  And this was definitely one of those.

The AACU is the leading national association concerned with the quality, vitality, and public standing of undergraduate liberal education. Founded in 1915, AAC&U now comprises more than 1,350 member institutions—including accredited public and private colleges, community colleges, research universities, and comprehensive universities of every type and size.

It was a lot of fun presenting with Michael Crafton from the University System of Georgia and Joe DeFilippo from Higher Education for Virginia.  Debra Humphrey moderated the panel.  Here is an excerpt from my remarks from the section on “Learning.”  I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it the night before the presentation.

Biologically speaking, learning is making new neural pathways, physically creating new networks that make meaning, and pruning the pathways and networks that are not meaningful. As they say, neurons that “fire together wire together”. Thinking reinforces thinking. I was thinking how the academy can become distracted by the profusion of information, but not enough thinking. This is a fundamental shift in education. Our brains evolved to nurture, gather, mine, imagine, and make meaning, based on environmental clues and scant information – now we must learn to cope with and prune a flood of “information”.

That shift is visible in the transition of learning from oral tradition, to literacy, to digital literacy, to the re-merging oral digital literacy of Siri and Watson, to the promise of Kurzweil’s artificial intelligence singularity. The wonder of it all is that our brains are able to adapt to this changing landscape, that our ancient evolutionary skills to learn are up to the task.

In fact, Randy Bass and Bret Eynon in “Open and Integrative, discuss how can and must use this new digital ecosystem as a tremendous opportunity to recast, they call it “design” Liberal Education.  I was inspired by Carol Geary Snider’s comment in her Foreword to Open and Integrative: Designing Liberal Education for the new Digital Ecosystem.

“Within the digital learning ecosystem, higher education is ideally a site focused around engagement, community and mentorship, and integration, in which the disparate and “unbundled” learning opportunities endemic to our constantly networked modern life can be “rebundled” to support an integrative vision of learning.”

Thank you to Ken O’Donnell and Debra Humphrey for inviting and welcoming me.

Check out my selfie with Lynn Pascarella, President of AAC&U.

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Sonya Christian, Lynn Pascarella

Movie Night in the AM!

img_7036-x2If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know I’m a great fan of movies – so when I heard the film “McFarland, USA” would be shown on campus, I was immediately excited. What made this event even better was that we’d have the chance to welcome young people from rural migrant program high schools on the BC campus and into our beautiful Indoor Theater.

On Friday, September 16, approximately 300 students from the Kern High School District’s Migrant Education program gathered at Bakersfield College’s Indoor Performing Arts Theater to watch a screening of the movie McFarland, USA. Participating high schools included Arvin, Golden Valley, McFarland, Taft, Wasco, South, East, Shafter, Foothill, Mira Monte, Ridgeview, and Highland.

img_7028The film chronicles the achievements of the McFarland cross-country team in the 1980s. Led by coach Jim White, McFarland’s runners overcame tremendous obstacles in order to succeed in athletics, education, and ultimately life. The story is significant because it symbolizes the challenges faced by our rural migrant student population in Kern County and how hard work and discipline, both within and beyond the classroom, so clearly evident in the lives of the runners, can uplift entire communities.

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Kate Pluta

Bakersfield College alumni Vanessa Renteria, currently Assistant Vice Principal at McFarland High School and former employee of the BC Delano Campus, moderated the event. Following the film, a panel discussion with some of the main characters portrayed in the film, including Coach Jim White, as well as former runners Danny Diaz, David Diaz, Johnny Samaniego, Thomas Valles, and Victor Puentes addressed a variety of important issues raised in the film including the importance of perseverance and education.

Dean of Instruction Kate Pluta also honored Danny Diaz as a BC alumni and for his longtime service at the McFarland campus. Here’s an excerpt of Kate’s comments:

“Danny Diaz has been a pillar of the McFarland community for two decades. Following his achievements as a McFarland runner Danny went on to graduate Bakersfield College and work as a counselor at McFarland high school, guiding and impacting the lives of countless students.

He is incredibly humble, modest, and is committed to advancing opportunities for our rural youth, particularly those most at risk and vulnerable. Bakersfield College is proud to recognize him for his accomplishments, not only for his life story being highlighted in the movie McFarland, USA, but for his continued work for our students. Bakersfield College is proud to donate $1,000.00 to McFarland high school’s cross-country team in honor of Danny Diaz. Thank you Danny for your service in making Kern County a better place for us all.”

Following the panel discussion, the students took a brief campus tour with SGA officers, student volunteers from the Office of Student Life and the Delano Campus WECOMM club. From there, a special lunch was served by the wonderful Eric Sabella and BC Campus Food Services.

img_7057Thank you so much to Oliver Rosales, Steve Watkin, Nicky Damania, Kristen Rabe, Mary Jo Pasek, Ramon Puga, Shannon Musser, Jennifer Marden, Arisve Pimentel, Anhelica Perez, Alexa Rivera, and the many volunteers from BCSGA, Office of Student Life, and the WECOMM club who volunteered their Friday morning to spend time with these wonderful students and make them feel welcomed. A huge thank you also to the good folks over at PacWest for running our lighting and soundboard. Finally, a very special thanks to Sal Avalos and Jose Morales from the Kern High School District Migrant Education Office for co-sponsoring this event.

Thank you Oliver Rosales for leading this effort.  Thank you Kate Pluta for recognizing Danny Diaz.  And thank you Arnoldo Avalos, member of the Board of Governors, for giving me the idea.  Sorry you were not able to make it.

THANK YOU!!

You can catch more photos from this event at https://bakersfieldcollege.smugmug.com/McFarland-Movie-Panel.

Fall’s First Gadfly Cafe

gadfly01.jpgBakersfield College students debated the importance and root causes of terrorism at the first Gadfly Café of the fall semester.

A discussion forum hosted three times per semester at the Levan Center for the Humanities, the Gadfly Café encourages anyone in the community to come in and offer their opinions on a different controversial social issue every month. With the presidential election around the corner in November, moderator Reggie Williams tailored this semester’s topics toward hot-button issues on the campaign trail.

gadfly03Wednesday’s topic was titled “Terrorism, Cars and Other Threats to Americans”, and Williams opened the discussion with a few statistics for context. While there are approximately 30,000 car-related deaths every year and 20 veteran suicides every day, only 58 people have been killed by terrorism in the United States since 2002, said Williams, a philosophy professor at Bakersfield College. In light of those numbers, Williams asked the group why they believe terrorism is such a crucial issue in our political discourse.

After some spirited discussion, Gadfly participants concluded that the threat of terrorism is omnipresent enough to justify spending significant time legislating to prevent it, regardless of the amount of people it actually affects. The debate then turned to distinguishing what separates terrorist attacks like September 11th and the Oklahoma City bombing from hate crimes or other acts of violence. Some argued that it was religious zealotry, but a consensus formed that the defining element of terrorism is any attempt at using violence as a tool of political coercion.

While the debate might get confrontational, Gadfly Café participants are expected to be respectful, kind and avoid personal attacks. Next month’s forum on Oct. 12 is titled “Undocumented Immigrants: Boon, Bane or Political Ruse?” and the last Gadfly Café of the semester on Nov. 9 will be about “Healthcare: A Right, Privilege or Practical Necessity?”

Celebrating Dia de la Indepencia

14322243_10153973754444352_4757304245717391097_n.jpgThe Bakersfield College chapter of M.E.Ch.A celebrated Mexican Independence Day Thursday with a fleet of classic hydraulic cars parked in front of the gym.

M.E.Ch.A, a Chicano student organization founded in the 1960s, honored the Dia de Independencia by inviting the owners of a few “lowriders”, antique muscle cars modified with hydraulics that can lower the chassis all the way down to the floor or make the front end of the car bounce. BC’s M.E.Ch.A chapter also sold horchata and pan dulce at a table in front of the gym.

On September 16th, 1810, Catholic priest and revolutionary Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla uttered the famous Cry of Dolores, symbolizing the start of the Mexican War of Independence. Many Americans falsely believe that Mexican Independence Day takes place on Cinco de Mayo, which commemorates the Mexican Army’s unlikely victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla in 1862.

University Transfer Day

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Photo by Cara Jackson

On September  12, over 32 colleges were in attendance to meet with prospective BC transfer students.

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Photo by Cara Jackson

This gave all in attendance a chance to inform and be informed on transcripts, advice on what each college offers and other information. The event was carefully organized by the Transfer Days College Night Intersegment Coordinating Committee. The committee has created a Northern and Southern Region California Community College circuit for Universities and Colleges throughout the country, led by Mr. Michael Burton.

 

Mr. Burton then connects with all California Community College Transfer Directors in this assigned region such as Marisa Marquez, Transfer Counselor and the Center for Student Success Office Supervisor, Bernadette Martinez to further organize the event. Mary Jo Pasek, Office of Student Life Director Dr. Nicky Damania and his energetic and always professional Student Life staff are also part of this event.

The promotions are made by team effort such as creating posters, made by Dylan Wang and Mr. Steve Watkin and his hard-working office of Outreach and School Relations also contribute. Food is catered by the sensational Chef Eric Sabella and his team , and at the end of the day students have knowledge to make a great decision about transferring.

For more information see: http://www.certicc.org/transferDayscollegeNights.aspx

BC featured on CSPAN’s “Lectures in History” Program

Bakersfield College got some national attention when Dr. Oliver Rosales, Professor of History at our Delano Campus, was featured on CSPAN’s Lectures in History series on September 3.  The program visits college and university classrooms to highlight professors lecturing on topics related to their research expertise.  Oliver’s lecture focused on “Latinos and the Civil Rights Movement.”  Here’s a synopsis of his lecture from the CSPAN website:

Latinos and the Civil Rights Movement: Professor Oliver Rosales talked about Latinos, the Delano grape strike of the mid-1960s, and their place in the larger Civil Rights movement of the period. Professor Rosales shared his personal family history and other oral histories about the National Farm Workers Association, the labor union led by Ceasar Chavez and Delores Huerta which eventually became the United Farm Workers. He also described the connection between the local history of Bakersfield, California, and the national Civil Rights movement.

You can watch the program on CSPAN’s website here: https://www.c-span.org/video/?407964-1/latinos-civil-rights-movement

Congratulations to Jack Hernandez

zolbrod_4.jpgI often sign off by saying I’m the luckiest college president in the world, and a huge part of that is all due to the fantastic faculty and staff who work with me at BC. I’m proud every time I’m able to announce something and congratulate someone, but I’m even proud silently walking the halls of our facilities because our classrooms and offices are filled with faculty and staff who take their work to heart. Jack Hernandez is one of our star faculty, now retired and still contributing, who I’m proud to spotlight today.

On Friday, I was filled in via email that Jack’s paper, “Suicide: A Personal and Philosophical Reflection” has been selected for presentation at the Central Valley Philosophy Associations annual conference. I look forward to sharing the pictures and recap from the event to come in November!

sonya-christian-spring-2016

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next week.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya 

(in my airplane travel attire heading to the AACU conference)

It is the best of times

Good morning Bakersfield.  It is Saturday, May 28th, the start of the long Memorial Day weekend.  On May 30th, the last Monday of May in 2016, our nation will pause, as is our tradition, to remember those who have fallen.

Talking about wars and those who lost their lives, here is one of my favorite poems, In Flanders Fields, by John McCrae, that transports us out of the day-to-day vibrations of routine life to a place where we can experience the preciousness of life with all it has to offer.

In_Flanders_fields_and_other_poems,_handwritten

Source of the image:
Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=9677477

Browsing the website I came across Moina Michael’s 1918 response to McCrae’s Flanders Fields with her own We Shall Keep the Faith.

Red Poppy Field cropped

Oh! you who sleep in Flanders Fields,
Sleep sweet – to rise anew!
We caught the torch you threw
And holding high, we keep the Faith
With All who died.

We cherish, too, the poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led;
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies,
But lends a lustre to the red
Of the flower that blooms above the dead
In Flanders Fields.

And now the Torch and Poppy Red
We wear in honor of our dead.
Fear not that ye have died for naught;
We’ll teach the lesson that ye wrought
In Flanders Fields.

Source:
http://www.greatwar.co.uk/poems/moina-michael-we-shall-keep-faith.htm

Moina Michael 3 cent stampMoina Michael “kept the faith” symbolically by wearing a red poppy.  In 1948 the last of the 3c stamps had Moina Michael with the image of a poppy with the whole stamp branded red.

Source: http://www.usmemorialday.org/?page_id=2

When you donate to the Veteran’s of Foreign Wars outside of Vons you receive a small red poppy to wear.

This week President Obama visited Hiroshima, the first sitting US President to do so.  I tweeted the text of his speech which you can find at http://tinyurl.com/zssxm3x.  

Here is an excerpt:

 My own nation’s story began with simple words: All men are created equal, and endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights including life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Realizing that ideal has never been easy, even within our own borders, even among our own citizens. But staying true to that story is worth the effort. It is an ideal to be strived for, an ideal that extends across continents and across oceans. The irreducible worth of every person, the insistence that every life is precious, the radical and necessary notion that we are part of a single family – that is the story that we all must tell.

I would like to take this Memorial Day opportunity to also recognize our veterans.  Here are some links to previous posts:

  • Nov 11, 2015 post titled Veterans Day, Vet Fest and Remembering America’s Best at http://tinyurl.com/gpsrsx7. Thank you Trustee Kay Meek for your support. And thank you Paul Beckworth for your beautiful words.
  • Nov 11, 2014 titled Student Veterans and BC’s 2nd annual Vet Fest at  http://tinyurl.com/ztfsz5z
  • August 24, 2014 welcome email from Paul Beckworth to our Student Vets. http://tinyurl.com/hpkzapg
  • June 5, 2013. My first blog as president on our Student Vets from the Singapore Airport. http://tinyurl.com/zz2w5uq

 

Today’s Bakersfield Life Magazine:

Woke up today to the Bakersfield Life insert in The Bakersfield Californian which featured BC not once but twice.  How cool is that! The June issue is not yet available in the archives ( http://www.bakersfield.com/Bakersfield-Life-Archive ) but you can access it online as a subscriber to the Californian.

Dean Corny Rodriguez was featured by Laura Liera on page 76 under the People and Community Section.

BC’s Promising Professionals Program by Odella Johnson was featured on page 103 in the Last Word section. Thank you Tamika Payne for getting this picture which I treasure very much.

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Sonya Christian with the Promising Professionals at Bakersfield College

 

ACBO Conference

ACBO-Anthony Sonya Steven May 24 2016

Holmes, Christian, Culpepper

Have you seen our Renegade Scorecard? It’s a collection of information about our students and our work at Bakersfield College. It includes not only data about our student demographics and student success, but an entire section on institutional effectiveness – including operational data.

This week, I had the opportunity to travel to Monterey to present at the ACBO spring conference along with Steven Holmes, Academic Senate President, and Dr. Anthony Culpepper, VP of Finance and Administrative Services. ACBO is the Association of Chief Business Officers.

Here is the title and description of our presentation:

Revisiting Fiscal Leadership through the Lens of Transparency and Participatory Governance.

The advantages of using a distributed leadership model is the focus of this panel as they discuss the process of changing a campus culture by removing silos through the leveraging of key participatory governance committees. The panel will explain how the positioning of fiscal leadership as a catalyst to galvanize the academic, administrative, and classified leadership can result in a shared vision of student success. Find out how transparency and full disclosure of budget resources can lead to stronger commitment to a college’s mission and vision.

Shannon has uploaded the presentation on the website https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/president/communications under “Presentations”.

Here is the direct link http://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/download/16301.

It was great seeing friends from my days in Oregon at the presentation–Jeff DeFranco and David Keebler.  Also our colleagues from across the district came to support our us — Tom Burke, CFO of KCCD; Arlitha Williams-Harmon from Porterville College and Gayle Lebsock from Cerro Coso.  Thank you!

I am so proud of all the work from our budget committee to make sure that we are spending our money thoughtfully and strategically, to really support our students and the work of the college.

I want to especially thank Steven Holmes and Anthony Culpepper, who are co-chairs on that committee. They have done astounding work!

Past BC SGA Presidents Shine:

Clayton Fowler (Prez: 2015-2016) blogs https://claytonjfowler.wordpress.com/

Alex Domiguez (Prez: 2014-2015) named CSUB Student Association president for 2016-2017.

 

BC Presenting at the Kern County Black Chamber of Commerce

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Keith Wolaridge, Sarah Baron, Michael Bowers

BC Public Health faculty, Sarah Baron, together with community members Michael Bowers and Keith Wolaridge presented to the Kern County Black Chamber of Commerce this week. The KCBCC and their President/CEO, Tomeka Powell are fantastic partners of BC through their support for education, personal development, and prosperity for the local African American community.

According to The State of Higher Education in California, “California is home to the nation’s fifth largest Black population, and though Black students today are more likely to graduate from high school and college than they were a decade ago, persistent opportunity gaps exist in college access and success and completion outcomes are still too low.”

For future generations and for A Better BC, it’s imperative that we work together, to engage, inspire, and reach out to our African American community – Together, we can identify existing barriers and strengthen our campus and support along the pathway to success.

Recognizing a Community Partner — Chevron!

ChevronAdamAlvidrez

Adam and Tiffani Alvidrez

We recognized Chevron earlier this spring as our Corporate Philanthropist of the Year.  Chevron was our first recipient and epitomizes what every charity wants in a donor.

Chevron has been strategic in where it directs its support.  It’s been focused by giving sufficient amounts towards its goals so that they can be achieved.

It has been consistent in its support so that plans can be made and implemented without fear of losing funding before they come to fruition. And Chevron has listened to what BC has needed and has worked to meld their goals with ours.

A key to that collaboration has been Adam Alvidrez, Chevron’s Policy, Government & Public Affairs Representative and Community Engagement Specialist. All of us at BC who work with Adam appreciate his ability to listen, to suggest and to figure out a way to make every situation a win-win for all involved.

Chevron is more than a community partner.  It is made up of people like Adam who want to do what’s right for our community and to help us make a better BC.

BC Students Compete in Solar Regatta

The Bakersfield College Engineers’ Club and Women in Science and Engineering Club participated in the 5th annual Northern California Solar Regatta held at the Rancho Seco Recreational Area in Herald, California, on May 14th.

BC students at the event included Eddie Berdon, Amanda Jones, Zeke Kennedy, Rey Fernandez, Frederick Mayer, Luiz Hernandez,  Summer Estes, and Danae Berhow.

In addition to taking part in three races (slalom, endurance, and sprint), the team gave a presentation on the design and structure of the Renegade Solar-Powered Boat. The judges said the BC team had a very impressive first-time entry.

I’m so proud of our students’ ingenuity and coordination in planning, constructing, testing, launching, and racing a solar boat! Our STEM programs are just the best!

Classified School Employee Week

The California School Employees Association (CSEA) treated our BC staff members to a luncheon of tacos and agua fresca on May 19 in celebration of Classified School Employee Week.

BC’s CSEA chapter E-Board did an awesome job organizing the event.

CSEA also coordinated the appreciation grams, which were sent out to staff thanking them for their dedication and service to BC.

And congratulations to this year’s BC CSEA Member of the Year Award, Anna Meyer, a payroll technician at the district office.

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Ramon Puga:

Ramon Puga Sonya Christian May 27 2016

Sonya Christian, Ramon Puga

In my previous blogs I recognized individuals like Bill Parker and Dennis Spencer who are dedicated to BC and work behind the scenes.  Today let me spotlight Ramon Puga our manager for Custodial Services.  Ramon puts in long hours and you’ll see him around campus quietly working away.  Friday morning I walked up to the bookstore to get some BC T-shirts for a group that I was presenting to at 10:00 a.m.  And there I saw Ramon in the distance, working away.  I paused watching him and thinking how lucky we are at BC to have so much dedication of service.  Let’s toast Ramon today!

 

Kern continues great work through collaboration:

Rob Arias invited me to present to a group of educators from across Kern County on Friday, May 27th.  I so enjoyed seeing approximately 30 individuals gathered around a table focusing on getting our organizations aligned to help students move efficiently and effectively through their educational pathways from high school to college.  My presentation was titled Kern on the Move to recognize the significant work that was accomplished in 2015-2016.  Here is a link to the powerpoint  www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/download/16302

When there is great movement, innovation, and scaling of design usually there is a great deal of exhaustion and frustration when a piece needs to be fine tuned.  So what better way to capture this “good yet difficult” phenomenon than to bring in Dickens with

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,

it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness,

it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity,

it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness,

it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair,

we had everything before us, we had nothing before us,

Well…I attempted to get us to focus on the left hand side of the descriptors than the right. That is…

It was the best of times

it was the age of wisdom

it was the epoch of belief

it was the season of Light

it was the spring of hope

we had everything before us

🙂

We had leadership from Delano, Wasco, Taft, Kern High, ROC, KCSOS, KCCDC etc… all engaged in this work.

A big thank you to all these individuals for taking the time to be there.  Please note this is not a comprehensive list.

Rich McCrow – Bakersfield College

Laura Hickel – grant writer

Kim Behrens – Porterville College

Sam Aunai – Porterville College

Martin Lonza – Wasco

Robb Cobb – Wasco

Rob Arias – KCSOS

Terri Nuckols – DJUHSD

Blanca Cavazos – Taft HS

Bonita Steele – KCCD

Garrett Thomas – Porterville College

John Means – KCCD

Diane Baeza – KCCD

Letti Garza – KCCD

Brian Miller – KHSD

Valerie Garcia – McFarland

Whitney Soldati – McFarland

Justin Derrick – McFarland

Cindy Collier – BC

Liz Rozell – BC

Lisa Stephens – Cerro Coso

Bob Hawkes – KCCD

Mark Williams – Taft College

Susan Clipperton – Mohave HS

Sarah Baron – BC

Pam Dobrenen – KCSOS

any many more…..

 

Just wonderful!

It is indeed the best of time!

It is indeed a good time to be in Kern County! 

Is is indeed a good time to be at BC!

We are….BC!

The community supporting our students. Thanksgiving 2014.

2015 Turkey Voucher Distribution

Student Government Association President Alex Dominguez and Student Pantry Coordinator Gabby Caraballo receive turkey vouchers from California Water Service.

Here is a draft blog post from last year that was not published.  Enjoy!

Just in time for Thanksgiving last year, our Student Government Association worked with Senator Jean Fuller and the California Water Service to distribute vouchers for free Thanksgiving turkeys to students through the Renegade Pantry.

Senator Fuller said of the program “To say ‘thanks’ for all of this year’s blessings, I partnered with California Water Service again to distribute 100 Thanksgiving turkey vouchers throughout each county within the 18th Senate District to benefit needy families, veterans, homeless persons, and the elderly. Special thanks to California Water Service for its generosity and all of the other partners who assisted me in the distribution.”

Bakersfield College was pleased to participate in the annual program, and support our needy students and their families with the main part of their holiday meal!