Tag Archives: Andrea Thorson

BC — an uplifting space for all

This last week I took Neo see his vet and as it turned out there was a substitute vet in for the day. The substitute spent over 15 minutes, talking and interacting with Neo and me.

While he was alternately examining and spoiling Neo we had a relaxed conversation, covering a range of topics from the Corona virus outbreak in China that has reportedly spread to cases now in the US, to how dogs who have an upset tummy eat grass which can get stuck on their tonsils that can end up with respiratory type symptoms….. I found my energy uplifted as I talked to Neo on the short drive home, and I realized the substitute vet reminded me of James Harriot the vet I loved reading about growing up in Kerala and devouring his four books — All creatures great and small, All things Bright and Beautiful, All things Wise and Wonderful, The Lord God made them all. Even today these books are a true feel good read for youngsters and adults alike…. I promise you!

James Herriot. Photo from express.co.uk

Also this week, I was saddened to hear that PBS NewsHour co-founder Jim Lehrer had passed away on Thursday. This article from PBS describes how Jim and his partner Robert MacNeil covered the events of the day with a steadfast integrity that laid the foundation for broadcast journalism. Years before CNN and the Internet created the 24-hour news cycle, Lehrer and MacNeil provided gavel-to-gavel coverage of the Watergate hearings for public TV stations across the country. MacNeil retired from PBS in 1983, and Lehrer would continue to host the show for another 25 years, helping TV viewers across the country make sense of the ending of the Cold War, the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and countless presidential election cycles.

Robert MacNeil’s described Lehrer as a man of considerable cognitive and moral intelligence.

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

There’s a Pathway for Everyone at Bakersfield College

Monika Scott, Tamara Baker and Joseph Hernandez put together an awesome new video –There’s a Pathway For Everyone. The video premiered at last week’s Opening Day and features Athletics, Industrial Technology, Culinary Arts and more. Check it out.

Welcome Week at BC

Student wait for the classes in front of the Indoor Theater.
Students return to campus for the first week of school.

The Office of Student Life (OSL) and the Bakersfield College Student Government Association (BCSGA) are kicking off the Spring 2020 semester in spectacular fashion as part of Welcome Week, which actually stretches across two weeks, January 22-31.

To make sure that our Renegades’ first day of classes runs smoothly, they’ve been hosting Welcome Tents at the Administration Building, Outdoor Theater and the Gym Huddle to pass out maps, help students find their classes, and provide information about what is going on during the first two weeks of school.

Two students hanging out in front of CSS.

On the first week of classes, BCSGA officers gave out hot cocoa and cookies, invited mentalist Richard Aimes to campus, and screened the movie “Zombieland: Double Tap” at the Panorama and Delano campuses. Next week, Welcome Week continues with a Super Smash Bros. tournament and Churros with President Samantha Pulido event hosted by BCSGA on Monday, a jumbo boxing ring in the Gym Huddle on Tuesday, a scavenger hunt across the Panorama Campus on Wednesday, and the BC Got Talent: Entertainment Gauntlet competition on Thursday. For more information, visit the Welcome Week page.

Danyel Harris from the Office of Student Life encourages students to stop by Levinson Hall to connect with their student government representatives and find out more about what they do to provide a hospitable environment on campus. Levinson Hall is also home to the Renegade Pantry, which provides snacks and fresh bread to our students every day during the semester.

Mentalist Richard Aimes.
Mentalist Richard Aimes conducts a thought experiment on the audience

As part of the Welcome Week festivities, mentalist Richard Aimes returned to the Gym Huddle on Wednesday to blow people’s minds.

Richard Ames and his assistant Marielle perform at college campuses across the country as “the MindSurfers”, using their skills of perception to entertain audiences and demonstrate the power of suggestion.

Students interested in getting involved with BCSGA for the 2020-2021 academic year can visit the BCSGA File for Elections page to learn more about the requirements. The application window for filing opens on Monday, February 3. Faculty are also encouraged to nominate students who they feel are especially qualified for office.

Thank you Nicky Damania, Benny Balderrama and all of the Office of Student Life staff for providing leadership to our ambitious student government representatives. The first week of classes went by very smoothly, and that wouldn’t be possible without everyone on the campus coming together to work for our students, including Food Services, Public Safety, the staff in the Welcome Center, and of course the faculty who are getting their students ready for the start of the semester.

Fun Photos: Renegades Come Back to School

Student intern Juan Reyes from the Marketing and Public Relations Department snapped these photos. Thanks Juan!

Women’s March

The BC team from the Women's March poses in front of the Mill Creek Park Bridge.
The BC team came out in full force to support the 2020 Women’s March.

The Women’s March Kern County 2020 inspired thousands last Saturday at Mill Creek park. This highly anticipated event saw fabulous vendors, music and incredible speakers such as Dolores Huerta and our very own Andrea Thorson. Andrea gave a powerful speech about the struggles that women face, as well as people with disabilities.

BC hosted a booth at the Women's March.
BC’s booth at the Women’s March.

Thank you to all of the Renegades who came out to support BC at the Women’s March. Check out more photos from the event below.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast

BC faculty and staff also showed up to support the 20th-annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Committee Community Awards Breakfast last Monday, honoring Dr. King’s legacy and influence on our community.

Sonya Christian with attendees of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast.

This year’s keynote speaker was Brenda Lewis, was absolutely fabulous. BC’s own Steve Watkin and his wife Kim emceed the event.

Two important members of the Renegade family were recognized at this year’s banquet, including child development professor Josephine Triplett and community service organizer Polly Warren, whose

Department Spotlight: Supplemental Instruction

Welcome to Supplemental Instruction at Bakersfield College.

Supplemental Instruction (SI), is one of the variety of academic support services available to our students. In contrast to tutoring or other types of academic support, SI is structured as a series of interactive group study sessions led by one of the students’ peers.

SI Coordinator Eileen Pierce.
SI Coordinator Eileen Pierce.

Students who excel in a particular class are recommended by their professor to serve as an SI Leader for that class the following semester. The SI Leader attends class with the students and gets to know the professor’s teaching style and curricular structure directly, and taps into the power of the peer group to challenge, inform, motivate, and inspire a student’s perspective on the lecture materials.

Thank you to Eileen Pierce and all of our SI Leaders for helping out our students. For more information about Supplemental Instruction, visit the SI website.

BC Librarians Present at Regional Conference

Renegade librarians Faith Bradham and Laura Luiz gave a presentation at CSU Long Beach last week as part of the annual Southern California Instruction Librarians (SCIL) conference.

Their presentation, titled “Please, I can assure you that The Onion is not a trustworthy source: What to do when active learning backfires”, focused on 4 solutions to problems that BC librarians have discovered while trying to help students with their research. A full description of Faith and Laura’s presentation is available on the SCIL website, along with a copy of all their slides.

Over the break, Faith also found out that her proposed chapter for a book about community college libraries was accepted by the publisher. The Academic and Research Libraries Association is developing a book on reference and instruction libraries at community colleges that will be published within the next year or two.S Faith’s chapter focuses on how information literacy courses can expose the power structures influencing how information is distributed. A significant amount of Faith’s research for this chapter will be included in her Levan Faculty Colloquium later this semester.

Thank you to Faith and Laura for all they do to point our students’ research in the right direction. It’s exciting to hear all of the great news coming out of the Grace Van Dyke Bird Library.

BC Jazz Students Perform in New Orleans

BC jazz students perform in New Orleans.
BC Jazz Students improvise at the JENerations Jazz Festival.

Ten students from the Jazz Studies program led by Professor Kris Tiner travelled to New Orleans last week to participate in the annual Jazz Education Network conference and perform their original music at the JENerations Jazz Festival. The JEN conference is a massive gathering of world-class jazz musicians, educators, and students from top jazz programs around the world.

Our students experienced four days of clinics and amazing performances while soaking up the culture of the French Quarter! On Friday they gave an incredible performance to a packed room, and received a standing ovation. Following their set, headlining clinicians Victor Wooten, Roy Wooten (aka Futureman), and Latin jazz star Jose Valentino gave them high praise and helpful advice on how to take their music to the next level.

Thank you to everyone who made this possible. Professor Tiner, Professor Kyle Burnham, Dean Manny Mourtzanos and the BC Foundation.

The BC Jazz Ensemble waits for luggage in the New Orleans airport.
The BC Jazz Ensemble waits for luggage at the New Orleans airport.

Emails Worth Sharing: Renegade Goes to Washington

Anthony Colin in Washington, DC.
BC Student Anthony Colin.

Tracy Lovelace from Academic Technology shared a great email with me from Anthony Colin, one of the students in the Renegade Hub who went to Washington, DC over break after being selected to participate in the Dwight Eisenhower Transportation Fellowship Program.

As part of the 99th Transportation Research Board Conference on January 11-16, Anthony researched the implementation of HOV lanes in Los Angeles to see if they could help Bakersfield with its worsening traffic congestion. With help from MESA Directors Martin Perez and Connie Gonzalez, as well as faculty advisor Patrick Aderhold, Anthony submitted an abstract of his research in August of 2019 and presented a poster of his research at the conference.

Thank you to Anthony for beautifully representing BC at our nation’s capital. Thank you also to Marin Perez, Connie Gonzalez, Dr. Aderhold, Michelle Galaz-Miller, Dr. Stephen Waller, and BC for supporting the implentation of the grant. Finally, thank you to the MESA Alliance for inviting us to apply along with four other colleges for this student opportunity.

Renegade Athletics

Renegade football introduces new head coach

Our new football coach R. Todd Littlejohn met the local media during his second day on the job this Thursday. Attending the press conference with him was his wife Toiyan and parents Ron and Charlie May.

R. Todd’s mother was among the first BC class to graduate on the Panorama campus. She then worked on campus as the English Department secretary and was the first employee to serve BC for 43 years (from 1956-1999 – thank you Jerry Ludeke for the info!). We look forward to seeing coach Littlejohn out on the sidelines this season leading the Renegades!

Renegade Athletics updates from this past week

Fun Photos: Baseball Scrimmage Vs. Merced College

Spring Sports Schedules

We have a huge spring semester packed full of Renegade Athletics. Make sure to catch any or all of our 10 spring sports in action in the coming weeks and months. Links to the schedules are below, so check your calendar and make plans to be in the stands wearing red cheering on our Renegades!

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:

  • Tue. 1/28 Women’s Tennis vs. Fresno, 2pm
  • Tue. 1/28 Baseball vs LA Pierce, 4pm
  • Thu. 1/30 M/W Tennis vs. Reedley, 1pm
  • Sat. 2/1 Swimming hosts Alumni Meet, 9a
  • Sat. 2/1 Women’s Basketball vs Santa Monica, 3pm
  • Sat. 2/1 Men’s Basketball vs Santa Monica, 5pm
  • Sat. 2/1 Baseball vs. Cerro Coso, 6pm


That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

sonya-
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

BC… Raising the Bar

Jingle Bells. BC at BSO Dec 6 2019
Sleigh Ride BSO Dec 6 2019

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

Both photos snapped while walking Neo on Dec 21, 2019

Merry Christmas

Started this week’s blog with Christmas music from the BSO-BC Home for the Holidays concert. Featured below is the fun version of Twelve Days of Christmas performed by our new Mens Choir. See if you can spot some of our faculty and staff and in the video. Going left to right: Nicky Damania, Chris Glaser, Nick Strobel.

Celebrating our BC Foster Youth through the NextUp Program!

NextUp, a Foster Youth Support Program housed within EOPS, had an end-of-the-year celebration this past Tuesday.

Fun Photos: UMOJA Recognizes June Charles

June Charles being recognized by the Umoja Program. Thank you Andrea Thorson for the photos.

Fun Photos from the December KCCD Board meeting

Snapped some fun pictures at the Dec KCCD Board meeting. Was great seeing Bill Henry who was recognized by the Board for his tenure at KCCD. Also,Gary Moser and KCCD received an award from Ellucian for the innovative work we are doing statewide. Finally both Romeo Agbalog and Kyle Carter were recognized by KCSOS.

Sandi Taylor was recognized as Manager of the Month by Manny Mourtzanos this past week. Congrats Sandi! You deserve it!

Manny Mourtzanos and Sandi Taylor

Annual Culinary and Caroling Dinner

Topping Out Party

Steve Anderson, Bill Potter, Sonya Christian

On Friday, S.C. Anderson held it’s “topping out” party for the new Campus Center building.  I joined our very own Bill Potter, Tamara Baker, Zav Dadabhoy, Billie Jo Rice, Nicky Damania, and Pam Kelley, along with KCCD Project Manager Nick Hernandez to celebrate this occasion. 

Kurt Hettinger of S.L. Shaw Company, Inc. sent this great explanation of the tradition:

Atop the rust-and-grey steel, a white beam sprouts a green tree from another era.

The “topping out” of a steel framed building with an evergreen tree is an ironworker tradition that originated centuries ago by Scandinavians who believed that gods lived in trees. The evergreen branch is a remnant of a time when builders thought they had to appease the gods whose trees they felled for construction.

Early Scandinavians would place the top-most  branches of trees that were cut for lumber atop their completed buildings. They believed this prevented incurring the wrath of both the tree gods and the souls of men, since man’s soul was believed to originate in trees and return to them.

To live amiably among the tree gods, these early builders accompanied the topping out with festivity and ceremony, culminating with the pouring of wine at the foot of the building. With this, they thought the building and its occupants would gain good luck since no tree god would wreck vengeance on so devout a believer.

Except for the presence of alcohol on a worksite, the topping out practice remains common in the United States, where the last beam of a significant building is painted and signed by all the workers involved. Then a living tree, or at least leafy branch, is placed on the beam, often with flags and banners tied to it. S.L. Shaw, like any red-blooded company, proudly flies the stars-and-stripes on the final beam every time too.

S.L. Shaw Company is proud to continue this tradition, and is proud to have partnered with SC Anderson and Mechanical Industries for the erection of this noteworthy project.

Congratulations on a job well done!

Kurt Hettinger

S.L. Shaw Company, Inc.

I would like to thank S.L. Shaw Company, Inc. SC Anderson and Mechanical Industries for including us in this unique tradition. Specifically, thank you to project manager Bill Campe of SC Anderson, Lee Shaw and Kurt Hettinger of S.L. Shaw, Bob Varner of Ordiz Melby Architects, as well as crane operator Trent Gardener, Nestor and Jose Ramirez for all of their hard work. I cannot wait to see the finished product next December!

You can see more photos from the event on Bakersfield College’s Smug Mug or the A Better BC Facebook page.

Army vs. Navy Football Game

Paul Beckworth hosted the annual Army vs. Navy football game between the Army Black Knights of the United States Military Academy (USMA) at West Point, New York, and the Navy Midshipmen of the United States Naval Academy (USNA) at Annapolis, Maryland. Check out the pictures!

This game brings out the best rivalries at our campus, and it was a joy to be a part of it! Congrats to the Navy on their well-earned win (sorry Tommy Tunson!)!

Steve Holmes playing middle man between Paul Beckworth (Nacy) and Tommy Tunson (Army)
Tony Cordova (Navy), Tommy Tunson (Army) and Paul Beckworth (Navy)

The Southern San Joaquin Valley Cal-SOAP Consortium held a Winter Training Series!

BC’s California Student Opportunity and Access Program (Cal-SOAP) staff attended a two-day winter staff development series, which was geared towards preparation for the Cal-SOAP work with high school seniors for the spring semester. Tpoics included the Common Application by Nora Dominguez of University of LaVerne, Naviance Career Inventory by Christy Fraley of Kern High School District.

Cal-SOAP is a statewide program designed to increase the number of students attending college. The program serves students who are from low-income families, will be the first in their family to attend college, or are from areas or schools with low-eligibility or college-going rates. Cal-SOAP was established by the state legislature in 1978 and today operates in 14 locations throughout the state. Cal-SOAP is funded and administered by the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC).

Tour of the New Veterans Resource Center

If you weren’t able to join us for the Vernon Valenzuela Veterans Resource Center ribbon cutting on December 10, have no fear! Take a tour of the new facility through the camera lens! 

You can also see the astounding photos that Max Becherer donated to the new VRC. They’re incredibly powerful.

To San Antonio, Christmas 1977

A beautiful Jack Hernandez poem.

PB&J During Finals Week

Thank you BCSGA for providing peanut butter and jelly sandwiches during finals week.

Thank you to the Office of Student Life, BCSGA, and the Renegade Pantry.

Christmas Tree Recycling

This year, we’re celebrating the 30th anniversary of our Christmas tree recycling partnership with the City of Bakersfield. Stop by the southwest parking lot on the  corner of University and Haley to drop your Christmas tree off between December 25 and January 17.

 Image courtesy of KBAK 29/58

If the Panorama Campus is too far to bring your tree, you can drop it off at the Kern County Fairgrounds, the Shafter/Wasco landfill, or any number of locations throughout Kern County. Stacey Shepard of the Bakersfield Californian put together a convenient list of all the Christmas tree recycling locations in our area. 

If you live in the Metro Bakersfield area, you can also place Christmas trees into your green waste container as long as the tree is cut into small pieces and the container lid is able to close completely.

M&O Never Sleeps!

The Maintenance & Operations department has been busy over the winter recess making sure that our campus is beautiful for our return in January! They’ve been replacing the flooring in the FACE building west wing and CDC classrooms.  Instructors in the Humanities building will have new stations when they return, and the Delano campus will have new lighting! Thank you to our entire M&O team for continually working hard to make our campuses beautiful and kept to the highest standards for our students.  We appreciate you! 

Measure J: Preparing for New Science & Engineering Building

Over winter break contractors are putting up the construction fence for the upcoming Measure J funded Science & Engineering building.  This new three-story facility will house offices, labs and classrooms for BC’s Science & Engineering department. The 68,300 square foot building has a program value of $65 million and is scheduled to be completed in September 2021.  Mark your calendars for the groundbreaking ceremony to be held on February 4th!   

Fun Photos from the BC Behavioral Science Elves

BC’s Behavioral Science faculty including David Riess, David Rohac, and Jordan Rude wish all their colleagues, friends, students, and president happy holidays!

‘Tis the Season for Giving—

The CARE and CalWORKs parent programs hosted their annual holiday celebration at Rollerama last Friday, a true family friendly affair! Student accomplishments were celebrated along with their children as they skated, enjoyed a meal together, and took family pictures with Santa Claus upon receiving the children’s Christmas gifts from the “Adopt a Family” project.

All the families with a total of 130 children were adopted by our generous BC faculty, staff, and community partners. A big “THANK YOU” for purchasing dinner at our Chipotle fundraiser, providing donations and/or going out of your way to purchase presents for the children! A special acknowledgement goes to Juan Estrada who adopted 12 families!!  I am beyond proud to be the President of such a giving and generous college! 

Fun Photos: Holiday Gifts

Check out the decorations on the cookies from the Grimm Family Ed Foundation.

Pressed flower cookies from Grimm Family Education Foundation

Student Employee Testimonial

Ramon Carriedo says..

Ramon Carriedo

Going to college and having a job can be hard. Balancing work and study is not easy, especially for a full-time student like myself. Fortunately, I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to be a student employee here at BC, which helps me stay focused on school while earning a paycheck at the same time.

Being a student employee has taught me a lot of skills that can only benefit me in the future. Plus, I get to see all the hard work done behind the scenes to keep the school successful.

In the Marketing Department, I work alongside writers, photographers, graphic designers, web content editors, and leaders. Working around all of these specialists is an amazing opportunity to gather knowledge, which is my favorite part. When I first started working here, I had no clue on how to make documents accessible or work with graphic design. With no experience covering an event, Earl Parsons walked me through the basics of how to take notes and catch a reader’s eye with my writing. He also taught me how to use a digital camera and find the best angles.

My favorite memory of working here had to be the day that I walked in and Monika Scott asked me if I would be willing to help the team present in front of all the new staff. When I asked Monika when this meeting was going to happen, she replied that it was in the next 15 minutes. I instantly started studying the slides, and I walked into the meeting room feeling extremely confident. But when it was my turn to present, everything I thought I was going to say flew right out the window. I started stuttering and I felt frozen.

After the presentation, Monika let me know that this was a great learning experience, and in the future, jobs will ask me to present on short notice. The more practice you get at it, the better you become – just one of the many lessons I’ve learned as a BC student employee.

New Employee Orientation

Holidays are Going to the Dogs

So….. what should I get Neo and Bessie for Christmas? This led me to wonder how many others think about buying Christmas presents for their pets. According to the APPA (American Pet Products Association), American’s are estimated to spend $75.38 billion dollars on pets in 2019! Isn’t that incredible? They estimate that $16.44 billion of that will be spent on “Supplies/OTC Medicine.” DogTime.com had some fun holiday statistics:

· Dog owners are more likely to give their pet a gift than cat owners (but that gap is closing)
· 4 out of 10 pet owners confess to giving presents to others as if it was from their pet
· 54% of pets will have Christmas stockings this year
· 34% have a special pet-safe advent calendar
· 29% of pets will get a Christmas card from their owner (Maybe the pets enjoy having it read to them)
· 16% of owners feature their pets on their Christmas cards (TheNosePrint.com claims this is 43%)
· 3% say their pets are writing a letter to Santa Paws (he exists, you just have to believe)

TheNosePrint.com surveyed people and ranked states according to their expenditure on their pets. While the average was $23.10, California ranked 6th with spending an average of $26.07 per dog for state residents. I’m not going to confess where I ranked for Neo this year.

Here are some fun photos of BC Employee’s dogs. If you would like your pet featured in my blog, do send a photo to Aricia Leighton or me.

Lesley Bond’s Blue
Lisa Robles’ Samson and Oliver
Kylie Swanson’s Oscar Meyer (in a sweater Ashlea Ward bought for him)
Manny Mourtzanos’ Brooklyn and Dodger