Beautiful sunrise photo from the my morning walking partner in Bakersfield Northeast while I walk Bakersfield Southwest.
Good morning Bakersfield. It is Saturday, September 5, 2020…a great day to be a Renegade
Early College Recruits a New Class of Cougar Renegades
The Early College team has been hard at work hosting virtual application workshops for our new and existing Cougar Renegades.
In partnership with the McFarland High School counseling team, the BC Early College staff held 13 virtual workshops for the upper classmen and 9 workshops for incoming freshman students. After these workshops, BC welcomed over 200 new Cougar Renegade students who will be on the path to complete 60 college units by the time they graduate from high school.
McFarland High School Early College staff, Jill Jimenez and BC Early College staff, Nicole Alvarez and Kelly Moa worked together to assist the McFarland incoming Freshmen students in taking the first step toward college degree completion.
Good luck to our McFarland High School class of 2024 #cougarrenegades! Early College staff will be there every step of the way to help build your success stories.
Levan Institute for Lifelong Learning Classes–Fall 2020
The Levan Institute for Lifelong Learning makes interesting and useful learning experiences available primarily to those 55 and over (although any adult is eligible) who are interested in continuing to gain knowledge throughout their lives. Offerings include both practical and fun topics such as Art: Watercolor Painting, Cooking for the Holidays, and Introduction to Wine Tasting.
This semester’s classes are being offered remotely via Zoom, so students can learn in the comfort of their own homes. Courses vary in length and price. The full list of courses and registration information is available on the Bakersfield College webpage at www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/levaninstitute.
Interested individuals are encouraged to sign up today and never stop learning!
Portraits in Their Own Words
English Professor Andrew Bond is seeking students to participate in the Portraits in Their Own Words project, which will uplift the voices of previously incarcerated BC students.
Andrew, along with professors Shawn Newsom and Kristopher Stallworth, were awarded $15,000 from California Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts to fund the project.
Here is an excerpt from my campus-wide email
The goal of this program is to engage with formerly incarcerated students at BC, working with them to create autobiographical narratives that will be paired with their portraits (created by BC student artists) in an exhibit that will have an online presence via an archive connected to the BC Social Justice Institute’s webpage. We are also working on airing recordings of the narratives on local TV for presentation to the general public (this is in lieu of public speaking events by the students that would have been held on campus and in local and out of town venues prior to COVID-19).
Measure J Construction Photos
Check out these amazing drone photos of the slab pour for our new Science and Engineering building. Thank you to Bernards and AECOM/Parsons for sharing these so we can keep everyone updated on how we are building #ABetterBC!
Opening Day 2020
Bakersfield College’s traditional opening day celebration was transformed this year. Instead of a one-day gathering in our beautiful Indoor Theatre, we had 5 days of virtual productions.
Today, I’m sharing three videos from Day 1. These videos highlight Bakersfield College’s commitment to Racial Equity – a theme highlighted throughout all 5 days of presentations.
Abel Guzman, Bryan Hirayama and Vikki Coffee spoke about the work of EODAC – Equal Opportunity & Diversity Action Committee.
Abel Guzman, Executive Director of Rural Initiatives:
Bryan Hirayama, EODAC Faculty Chair:
Vikki Coffee, EODAC Classified Chair:
New BSAD Warehouse Management Course
For the first time ever, Renegades now have the chance to learn about operations, efficiency, and distribution center leadership in the Warehouse Management (BSAD B89a) Business Administration course. BC’s Gary Blackburn shared with The Bakersfield Californian his excitement in an article published Thursday.
She also shared that there will be a virtual concert on November 6 titled “Becoming Us,” which will be a collaboration between the BC Chamber Singers and BC photography and videography students.
“Music is what drives me and it’s been the source of comfort and motivation during quarantine. Together, it has to be our mission to keep moving forward and to work as hard as we can until one day we can meet with each other and sing side by side.”
Kalina Hill, Program Manager, Testing and Placement Center, shared this photo from a recent Zoom training session for the BC Student Information Desk which provides virtual support to our students via zoom:
And Reference Librarian Sondra Keckley showed this mouth-watering bounty from her garden:
Five Renegades Named to the 2019 All-State Academic Team
We are proud to announce that 2019 track and field student athletes Gabriella Lugo, Noemi Esparza, Adolfo Escudero, Jacoby Whitby and Fabian Valenzuela have been named to the 2019 Academic All-State Track and Field team by the CCCCCTCA (California Community College Cross Country & Track Coaches Association). To make the team, cross-country student athletes must complete a minimum of 24 academic units with a 3.5 GPA or higher. These student athletes have certainly taken advantage of their time as Renegades and we know they will represent BC well into the future!
That’s all for now. Until next time. With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality. sonya – the luckiest and happiest college president ever
Good morning from Sacramento, sipping coffee in my hotel room that has a window seat, overlooking Sacramento that is just waking up.
With the primary office of the State Chancellor’s Office in Sacramento, I find myself often on the train between Bakersfield and Sacramento. Yesterday I took the last train from Bakersfield which got into Sacramento Valley Station at 12:15 a.m. and got to my hotel close to 1:00 a.m.
In the afternoon I presented at the CCLC New Trustee Workshop along with two wonderful colleagues, Bill McGinnis (Trustee from Butte College) and Sandy Fried from the State Chancellor’s Office. The talk was well received.
I was not the only presenter from Bakersfield College. BC’s Dean of Institutional Effectiveness Dr. Craig Hayward also presented at the conference with Linda Wah, Trustee from Pasadena City College.
This past week has been active for Bakersfield College with teaching and learning and activities within the campus and within the community.
Let me start with our NEH grant invited speaker Gabriel Thompson…..
Book Talk: Gabriel Thompson
Author Gabriel Thompson
On Thursday evening, the cohort for our National Endowment of the Humanities grant invited author Gabriel Thompson to the Levan Center to talk about Fred Ross, a community organizer whose direct action techniques would inspire Cesar Chavez, Dolores Huerta and the presidential campaign of Barack Obama.
Thompson’s book “America’s Social Arsonist” tells the story of how Fred Ross’ experience working at the Arvin/Weedpatch farm south of Bakersfield that inspired John Steinbeck’s “The Grapes of Wrath” led to a career organizing voter registration drives in Latino-American neighborhoods to help those communities fight for equal representation in local and state government. Through Ross’ work as the founder of the Community Service Organization, he trained Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta in his techniques that emphasized face-to-face contact and empowering marginalized groups over fundraising and awareness.
Gabriel Thompson speaks to the packed room
Ross’ technique of house-meeting organizing would become the hallmark tactic of the United Farm Workers, who organized the Coachella grape strike in the 1970s. Many of Ross’ voter registration techniques, which included driving voters to the polls and educating them on how to read and vote on a ballot, would later be successfully utilized by Barack Obama’s presidential campaign in 2008, Thompson said.
While Ross was inspired by popular leftists of the 1930s such as Woody Guthrie, Thompson emphasized that Ross favored tangible results that could hold power accountable over any particular ideology. Ross, who also fought to get Japanese-Americans out of internment camps during World War II, was a diligent organizer and a perfectionist who left no stone unturned while amplifying the voices of his women organizers, whom he found to be “diligent, natural, fearless leaders,” Thompson said.
Thompson became inspired to write about Ross while researching his book “Working in the Shadows”. He spent a year working alongside Latino immigrants in low-wage industries across the United States, and in his research he found that little was written about Ross despite the huge legacy that he left in American political activism.
Jack Hernandez speaks in the packed Levan Center
It was an honor to have Thompson talk about his work documenting an important but largely unknown footnote in Kern County’s political history, and I’m excited to see all of the stories that Oliver Rosales, Andrew Bond and Joshua Ottum are going to be surfacing during their work on this grant. So proud of our faculty. #WeAreBC
Andrew Bond and Oliver Rosales at the event along with Jack Hernandez
Thank you Manny de Los Santos for live streaming this event.
Kern County Women’s March
Last weekend marked the first Women’s March of Kern County and the second Women’s March across the nation. It was great to see our community and country come together, standing united. Our diverse community of all genders, races, ethnicity, and faiths came together.
A special shout out to BC’s very own Dezi Von Manos, our Student Government President who was a speaker at the event.
I would like to give special thank you to the Bakersfield College Adult Education team who hosted a booth right in the middle of all the action to recruit and network with our community members.
There were many BC employees and students at the event…. Jennifer Achan, Lupe Aguirre, Debra Anderson, Christine Cruz-Boone, Danny Escobar, Terri Goldstein, Endee Grijalva, Lisa Robles-Kent, Anna Laven, Keston Lyman, Mia Ocean, Heather Pennella, Sally Sterns, Nick Strobel, and Andrea Thorson.
Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Heather Pennella, Sonya Christian
It was great to see Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg and Jenny Zorn, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs from CSUB, chatting during the chilly morning. Dr. Zorn was one of the speakers along with Evelyn Young from CSUB. BC’s dean of instruction Andrea Thorson was the closing speaker.
Jenny Zorn and Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg
Student Government Leadership Conference
On Monday, January 8, 2018, the three Student Governments from the colleges within the Kern Community College District participated in a Student Leadership Conference at the Porterville College campus. This leadership training and development workshop facilitated a collaborative and inclusive educational environment, which inspired the campus communities, provided valuable peer-to-peer learning experiences, and engaged students as they share and develop their leadership skills effectively within KCCD.
KCCD Student Leaders
Chief Finance Officer, Debbie Martin, and Chancellor Tom Burke both presented to the Student Governments regarding their financial planning and Chancellor’s vision for the District. Other workshops provided the student government officers the means to expand their individual and group leadership potential as well as avenues to apply those skills in a broader student advocacy within KCCD, local, and state-wide initiatives.
Spring Student Involvement Festival
At the beginning of each semester, the Office of Student Life hosts a Student Involvement Festival where BC departments and services are invited to host a booth and share their services with new students. The event helps students learn about our campus, community initiatives, and become engaged and active members of the student body.
Cynthia Garbett, DSPS Scribe Coordinator and Denise Crawford, WorkAbility III
It was great to have so many BC faculty and staff attend the Strategic Directions Initiative Session last Friday, January 19th. The Strategic Directions Core Team held the session to solicit initiatives for BC’s staff and faculty for the 2018-2021 Strategic Directions session.
The three-year cycle for developing, implementing and evaluating Bakersfield College’s goals and strategic plan began in 2012. With the sun setting on our Strategic Directions 2015-2018 this semester, the Strategic Direction Committee has evaluated the Directions and is looking to create new initiatives to continue for Bakersfield College’s future.
Our Strategic Directions dream team: Todd Coston (lead), Grace Commiso, Liz Rozell, Bill Moseley, Jessica Wojtysiak, Teresa Mcallister, Marcelyn Allen, Aricia Leighton, and Somaly Boles, prepared a presentation and led the participants through activities. Thank you for all of your hard work on analyzing the past initiatives and leading faculty and staff in creating new initiatives that will lead Bakersfield College in future directions.
Jessica and Teresa did an excellent job of gathering the participants into 4 groups, each group working on an initiative for one of the Strategic Directions: Student Learning, Student Progress and Completion, Facilities, and Leadership and Engagement. There were lively discussions and fabulous initiatives from the participants. There were also some camaraderie for a group of BC faculty and staff working to move Bakersfield College toward an effective direction.
The plans for our collective direction depend on the talent and expertise of our BC faculty, staff and administrators. Please take the time to suggest an initiative if you haven’t already.
While political correctness “has been criticized as forcing people to speak in ways acceptable to those on the political left,” writes Hernandez in his column, it actually helps to incorporate the feelings and experiences of marginalized groups that have historically been overlooked, who “are too often ignored, looked down upon, and described in hurtful, even hateful, terms,” said Hernandez, a professor emeritus of philosophy at BC.
“To be ‘politically correct’ is not meant to evade seeing reality as it is or not to accurately describes,” Hernandez writes. “It is not a political ideology or dictatorial censoring of language. Rather, it is an expression of our highest moral values, of our best selves.”
Ron Saylor’s Magic Show at BC
Ron Saylor, photo from ronsaylor.com
Local magician Ron Saylor has kindly donated his time to help raise money for the BC Chambers Singers’ tour to Australia this summer, with a night of magic, mentalism and illusion on Friday Feb 2nd at 7 p.m. in the Indoor Theater.
Helping our choir students sing at the Sydney Opera House
Dr. Jen Garrett approached me to help her close the final gap in the fundraising to help our BC students go to Australia to perform at the Sydney Opera House. BC’s Choral program does this once every three years. In 2015 it was at the Vatican in Rome. Then our students have spent three years fundraising for this trip in July 2018.
I approached trustee Kyle Carter to see if he could help us. He unhesitatingly said yes and opened up the Hall of Fame venue for this benefit concert. Hold on to you seats…. Lydia Ranger and Monty Byrom both generously volunteered to perform with the Chamber singers to help with this benefit concert. See flier.
I have taken responsibility for the success of the evening concert. Tickets $100 each. If you cannot make the concert, for our students’ sake, buy a few tickets anyway 🙂
What a wonderful evening it’s going to be with the combination of Lydia Ranger, Monty Byrom and our fabulous BC Choir.
Renegade Basketball and Coach Hughes
Gogades.com reports that the Bakersfield College Men’s Basketball team (9-8) finished the first half strong but El Camino College (5-11) made half time adjustments and pounded away with a relentless five man rotation to issue BC a 104-87 loss Friday night in the Gil Bishop Sports Center.
“They just continually come at us, and we couldn’t get over the hump. We had a good run in the first half, and then we’d make a mistake or turn it over and they’d capitalize,” Coach Rich Hughes said.
Henry Galinato chipped in his second straight double-double in as many games with a 14 point 14 rebound night, on seven of 10 shooting from the field.
Jamar Hammonds led all scorers with 34 points, but it wasn’t enough to overcome team-wide ball control issues as the ‘Gades coughed up 30 turnovers to El Camino’s 27 (23, plus four team TOs)
“We’re kind of stumbling in (to league play), we’ve struggled a little bit, especially with the turnovers. That’s been a real problem, but I know our guys, and I think we were ready to play tonight, but stylewise, I don’t think we play well against teams like that. Some people call that an excuse, but it is one of those things; we play better with teams that are more half-court oriented, and most of the teams in league play are like that,” Hughes said.
Bakersfield plays Cerritos College (14-4) at LA Southwest College Saturday night in the Renegades’ final non-conference tilt before league play begins at home, Wednesday, January 17th at 7 pm against LA Pierce College (5-13).
Coach Aaron Chavez and Coach Rich Hughes
Grand Opening of the Kern County Justice Center
On Tuesday, January 16, 2018, Dena Rhodes, BC Human Resource Manager and Deputy Title IX Coordinator, and Dr. Nicky Damania, Director of Student Life, went to the Grand Opening of the Kern County Justice Center. The opening was attended by many individuals across the Bakersfield Community and held a tour through the newly renovated building.
A small reception was held with delicious food samples which as you can see from the pictures. The concept for the center began in San Diego in 2002. It was envisioned that a family justice center would be a one-stop shop for victims of domestic violence. It seeks to be a place where representatives from various agencies are housed under one roof in order to provide services for victims of domestic violence and their children. There are more than 130 family justice centers across the nation. The KCFJC will house representatives from agencies including The Alliance Against Family Violence and Sexual Assault, Great-er Bakersfield Legal Assistance, Kern County D.A.’s Office, Behavioral Health, Department of Human Services, Bakersfield Police, Kern County Sheriff’s Office, Dress for Success and Aging and Adult Services.
District Attorney Lisa Green, Dena Rhoades, Nicky Damania
The BC family
One of our Chemistry faculty Dr. Deborah Rosenthal organized a Baby Shower for another faculty member Dr. Ximena Da Silva Tavares on Friday.
I am so happy that Debby pinged me so I could stop by for a few minutes. In addition to Ximena’s joy, I loved seeing all the faculty and staff hovering around her like proud family members showering her with love. Debby organized a fun game where she took time to college photos of faculty members as babies and then had us map which baby picture match which faculty member. Thank you Debby for the care in planning this event.
Liz Rozell made this quilt for Ximena
Ximena noted that being an immigrant is hard when all of your family and friend support network from home is so far away so her BC family has been so much appreciated. Having something like the baby shower shows we care about her as a person. Again it is much appreciated and then she said she couldn’t say anything more without crying.
You see why I am the luckiest and happiest college president ever…. #WeAreBC
Seen on Social Media
I loved this photo of Kirk Russell, BC’s Library Chair from their instagram bc_library.
Cindy Colliercamping and stated on Facebook “This the culprit that got me up this morning at 5:20 😩 — at Wine Country RV Resort.”
We are BC!
That’s all for now.
Until next time.
With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.
sonya — the luckiest and happiest college president ever
Good morning Bakersfield. It is Saturday, December 1, 2017 and a fabulous day to be a Renegade. Why would it not be, when I wake up and see Dr. Nick Strobel’s stargazing piece in the Californian. Here is the opener as a teaser for you to read more The Bakersfield Californian.
On Thursday night, the faculty cohort for our National Endowment of the Humanities grant including Andrew Bond, Oliver Rosales and Josh Ottum hosted local author Gerald Haslam to talk about how he is able to tap into the energy of the Central Valley in his work.
Andrew Bond was teaching in Arvin and he and his students were watching the live stream from their classroom. How cool is that!
Oliver Rosales read Andrew’s write up
When we first began writing this grant, we decided that we wanted to focus on programming that put the Central Valley, its cultures, and its people at the fore. Drawing on our respective backgrounds in literature, history, and music, Oliver Rosales, Josh Ottum, and I put together a roster of scholars and authors whose work represents and examines the diverse yet interconnected cultures of the southern San Joaquin Valley. We are honored to have Dr. Gerald Haslam as our first speaker because his life and his work best embody the diversity of the region and the interdisciplinary nature of our grant program. A native of Oildale, Gerald Haslam grew up in the Bakersfield area in a family that is “culturally braided,” rooted in a mix of Hispanic and European heritages that were taught to him through family stories. As an author, he has written biographies, autobiographies, short stories, novels, and essays that cover a wide range of topics, but the majority share the common thread of being based in, or somehow connected to, the home he knew in this region. His interdisciplinary curiosity has produced books like Workin’ Man’s Blues, a historical study of California country music that looks to the Bakersfield Sound for its inspiration while staying rooted in love of writing and storytelling. It is the connections that he makes between the importance of place, narrative, and history that, from our perspectives, made him an ideal candidate to inaugurate our grant programming. We are happy, then, to introduce to you Dr. Gerald Haslam.
During the evening, Haslam, who grew up in post-World War II Oildale, talked about his slow but steady evolution as a writer in the 50s and 60s. After briefly attending Bakersfield College, Haslam worked as a military journalist and roughneck before getting a teaching position at Sonoma State University, where he was able to hone his craft, using the Central Valley as the thread that would weave the tapestry of his award-winning novels, essays and biographies. While many of his contemporaries saw Central California as boring and uncultured, Haslam recognized the potential of the Valley as a literary setting.
“It seemed crazy to me that educated people in California or elsewhere should know so little about this remarkable place,” Haslam said. “This place had never been empty.”
In Haslam’s time, the literary, historical and cultural contributions of the Central Valley were not even being taught in Kern County schools, but through his work and the writing of Joan Didion, Maxine Hong Kingston and others, as well as the elusively complex songwriting of Merle Haggard and other members of the Bakersfield sound, that history started getting recognized.
Haslam had some very useful advice about the value of perseverance in order to become an established writer, using his own struggles as a reference. “I failed many, many, many times,” Haslam said. “I started communicating with other writers on the backs of rejection letters. Don’t quit, learn from the mistakes, and learn if the mistakes are really mistakes,” he added.
Haslam’s connection to Oildale and the Central Valley made him one of the first contributors that members of the “Energizing Humanities in California’s San Joaquin Valley” cohort looked to as an important voice for their project.
“It is the connections he makes between the importance of place, narrative and history, that from our perspective as faculty, make him an ideal candidate to inaugurate our programming,” Oliver Rosales said.
I’d like to thank Oliver Rosales, Andrew Bond, Josh Ottum, Jack Hernandez for organizing the event, and I’m looking forward to more developments on the Digital Delano project and all of the other work that the group has planned.
Thank you to Manny De Los Santos who also helped with the evening. Here is Manny in action.
Gerald Haslam, Manny de Los Santos
Chicano/Latino Community Leader Breakfast
Kern County leaders from government representatives, philanthropists, industry, and education came together at the Fireside Room on Thursday morning to hear about what BC and the community is doing to support our Latino community.
Corny Rodriguez opened by welcoming everyone to the event, recounting his work over the last 20 years to support and expand our Latino student body. I have to share a photo straight from the presentation that shows Corny then and now.
We discussed BC’s focus on meeting students where they are through high school outreach, rural initiatives, outreach efforts in Arvin, Delano, McFarland, Shafter, and more. Our goal is to keep students on the path once they arrive through co-curricular activities, programs, and unique completion communities. We want long term sucess through industry advisory boards and through strengthening community partnerships.
Student representatives Dezi Von Manos and Emmanuel Limaco from BC’s M.E.Ch.A and Tania Bernal from Latinos Unidos por Educacion (LUPE) spoke briefly about their organizations
Dezi Von Manos, Emmanuel Limaco
Victor Diaz moderated a panel about expanding education and job opportunities for Latinos in Kern County with Beatris Espericueta, Kern County Farm Bureau, Jorge Barrientos, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and the Russell Judd, Kern Medical Center.
We also had three elected official address the audience.
Mayor Jose Gurrola
Mayor Kathy Prout
Thank you Lauren Skidmore, field representative for Vince Fong and Ariana Joven, field representative for David Valadao.
It was a treat walking into the Fireside Room in the morning prior to the event and hear Zach Quiroz playing on the piano. Just beautiful.
The BC Library and Student Health Center partnered to present their third biannual De-Stress Fest this week before finals. The goal of this pre-finals event is to provide students with a space to take a break from their academic stress through calming activities, and to give them access to the mental health resources they have available to them at BC and in the Bakersfield community.
De-Stress events started on Monday with a visit from the Miracle Mutts therapy dogs to the library lobby, and continued throughout the week with puzzles and yoga in the library.
The final event was a large De-Stress Fest at the Renegade Crossroads, put together by the Student Health Center. Here, different health and mental health resources at BC and the Bakersfield community came together with information such as suicide prevention and HIV testing, as well as free massages from the Milan Institute and coloring with librarians.
Thank you to Faith Bradham , Raymond Purcell, and Debra Strong at the Student Health Center for brainstorming and planning these events and SGA for creating the flyer and promotions.
Future Renegades Visit BC for Field Trip
We welcomed some special guests to campus this week. Second Graders from Centennial Elementary in the Rosedale Union School District were at “Harvard on the Hill” visiting our Planetarium for their class field trip. The group was too large to all fit in the planetarium at once, so they split up in two groups. While one group was experiencing the planetarium show, the other group was given a tour of the campus.
I heard a few of the kids even said that it was “The best field trip ever!!” Coach Carl Dean led one of the tours and I ran into the group right outside the Administration Building. Coach Dean explained that I was “like their Principal” for us here at BC. After the exciting day, Coach Dean also let me know that everyone on campus throughout the different buildings and departments were amazing and very enthusiastic about the 2nd graders being on campus!!! Thank you to everyone who welcomed them to our place of hope, dreams, and education. Here’s to our future generation of Renegades!!!!
Bryon Schaefer at North High Basketball Game
KHSD Superintendent, Bryon Schaefer took this picture and texted it to me when he was at the North High Basketball game. While at the game, he took a selfie with BC Softball Coach and North High alumni, Casey Goodman. She returns to cheer on her alma mater and join the festivities of the opening of Lloyd Williams Court. Coach Goodman was a stellar athlete at North High playing basketball and ultimately received a scholarship to University of Louisiana-Monroe to play softball. Coach Goodman’s roots are in Bakersfield and she is proud to return home.
Rudy Salas on Campus
On Monday, BCSGA hosted the Power Lunch with Assemblymember Rudy Salas where he encouraged students to get involved with their community and work toward a better brighter future. SGA President, Dezi Von Manos and SGA Director of Legislative Affairs, Jose Cortez opened the morning and posted a great photo on Instagram.
It was great to see the post on twitter as well from @Rudysalasjr.
Our Professional Resource Team (PRT) arrived for their second visit on Wednesday, 11/29, full of enthusiasm, helpful advice, and praise for BC’s Institutional Effectiveness Improvement Plan. The plan focuses on integrating Canvas and eLumen in order to streamline faculty workload and increase the value of student learning outcomes assessment. After a two-hour meeting, the PRT approved BC’s plan and cleared the way for the release of $200,000 in funding from the Institutional Effective Partnership Initiative (IEPI).
From left to right in the photo above is:
Craig Hayward, Dean of Institutional Effectiveness
Di Hoffman, Co-Chair of the Assessment Committee/Allied Health
Bill Moseley, Dean of Academic Technology, Co-Chair of the Assessment Committee
Kevin Walthers PRT lead, President, Allan Hancock
President Sonya Christian
Rebecca Eikey, Academic Senate President/Chemistry, College of the Canyons
Rick Fillman, Director of Institutional Research (ret.), CCSF
Paul Hert, Program Review & Assessment Coordinator/Math, Mt. San Jacinto College
On December 1st, the Accreditation team held the fourth accreditation forum in the Fireside Room. The forum focused upon Standard IV, which focuses on leadership. The forum was sponsored by our own College Council, and the forum was also zoomed to our Delano campus.
Professor Jason Stratton, the faculty lead of the ISER team, welcomed the guests and discussed Standard IV.A. Professor Stratton emphasized the terminology of the “institution,” which includes the incorporation of voices from the college’s different constituent groups. Our history professor emphasized the democratic nature of our campus-wide dialogues, transparency, and openness, and our ongoing promotion of the inclusion of voices. Jason closed with a powerful idea: accreditation reflects the values of education.
Lesley Bonds and Krista Moreland presented their work on Standard VI B, which focuses on the Bakersfield College CEO! Standard IV.B. 3 requires the CEO to guide “institutional improvement of the teaching and learning environment’ and Professor Moreland emphasized the establishment of procedures to evaluate overall institutional planning and implementation efforts to achieve the mission of the institution.
Steven Holmes, our Academic Senate President, and Zav Dadabhoy, Vice President of Student Affairs, discussed their work on Standard IV.C, and Dr. Nick Strobel, professor of astronomy and editor of our ISER report, then joined Zav to discuss the draft of Standard IV.D, which deals with multi-college districts.
Jason Stratton closed with a paraphrase of Winston Churchill: “This isn’t the end, or the beginning, but this is the end of the beginning.” Accreditation is supposed to be a continuous process, and as we move into the Spring, we will shift our focus from the collection of evidence to the refinement of our story within the ISER.
Shafter Christmas Parade
Thank you Steve Watkin, Ashlea Ward, Debi Andreson and all the outreach staff for organizing the BC presence at the Shafter Christmas Parade. It was a lot of fun even though I did not have my walking shoes. The Shafter crowd was very responsive to BC as we walked along chanting “We are BC.”
It was a treat when we heard and then saw Danny Morrison of the NEW 103.9 The Beat – “The Beat of Bakersfield.” Danny is a big believer in education and a supporter of what we do at Bakersfield College. When we passed him he certainly was effusive in recognizing BC. Thank you Danny. And I love your email signature tagline “Don’t wait for opportunity… Create it.”
Thank you to all of the BC employees who showed up for this event on a Friday night.
Thank you Abel Guzman and the Delano and Rural Initiatives gang. Thank you Heather Pennela for bring there and representing the BC Foundation. Thank you to Financial Aid to coming out. Here I am with Kevin Ott and Victoria Koiyan.
Sonya Christian, Kevin Ott
Sonya Christian, Victoria
Thank you students Emmanuel Limaco and Christian Bravo who were there in the Renegade Knight outfit. And the fabulous June Charles whom I love very much.
Emmanuel Limaco, June Charles, Christian Bravo
Thank you to our cheerleaders who were there.
Thank you all who took the time to come out. We are BC!
CA Guided Pathways Institute 2 in Bakersfield
We hosted the statewide CA Guided Pathways Institute 2 at the Bakersfield Marriott. It was a treat seeing colleagues from all across the state converge in Bakersfield.
Kay McClenney, Sonya Christian, Laura Hope, Janet Fulks
And thank you Shawn Whalen of the College Futures Foundation for advancing higher education attainment levels in California.
Our students were the opening speakers as they presented Guided Pathways from a student’s perspective. The audience jumped to their feet in a standing ovation when they were done. I’m so proud of our students!
We also had Manny Mourtzanos, dean of instruction, and Eleanora Hicks, faculty member and data coach, present right before the students.
Dr. Manny Mourtzanos
In addition, Dr. Janet Fulks, Dr. Craig Hayward, and I did various presentations.
We Are BC!
From Social Media:
Loved this post from Nick Strobel.
That’s all for now.
Until next time.
With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.
sonya — the luckiest and happiest college president ever
Good morning Bakersfield from So. Cal. Came in late on Friday night and have a busy weekend ahead. Will try my best to chip away on my blog in between activities with the goal of publishing by the end of the day on Sunday. But I can’t promise anything.
Brought Neo along, which of course does not help with my resolution to publish this weekend……his first trip away from home. At 7 and 1/2 months, a friend said, “what a big boy”, which he certainly is.
It is cloudy in So. Cal. and everything appears to be beautiful…fresh air and bright colors. Life is good. Why would it not be when I am the president of the best higher education institution in the country. One with the majority population being first generation college students and the faculty and staff are top notch.
Talking about faculty, let me start with BC’s amazing choir Director. We have had a tradition of excellence with Joe Hustzi, Ron Kean and now the beautiful, brilliant and talented Jennifer Garrett.
Music of Living
Last Friday the Bakersfield College Choir and Chamber Singers conducted their first concert of the academic year. The program, which included a full range of music history, was named “The Music Of Living” by Dr. Jennifer Garrett because “music is part of how we live.”
In a Bakersfield Californian interview, she explained that, “[music] carries us through the challenging times in life and help us celebrate the good times,” and “music is how we truly express those emotions, opinions and memories that simply cannot be expressed through words alone.” I so agree with her….it is music, poetry and the sheer beauty of nature that have helped me in difficult times.
On Friday, the theater was full and the audience there to help celebrate the life of a young Renegade taken too soon in a tragic traffic accident this fall. The BC Choir and Chamber Singers dedicated the concert to one of their own, Jonathan Garcia. “Tank” to his friends, according to the program, “was a football player, a singer, a guitar player, a volunteer, a decorated member of the Junior ROTC, and most importantly, a son, a brother, and a friend to all who knew him.” While he was taken from this life before he could perform for the Choir, “Applied students remember him for the passion he expressed about music and the joy in his eyes as he talked with other students about playing guitar for Mariachi ensembles.”
Chamber Music Festival
On Monday last week the Panorama campus was filled with the Chamber Music Festival. Each year local high school chamber choirs (smaller and often elite choirs) and guest conductor participate by invitation. This year we brought in conductor and composer David Dickau (who went to Frontier High School & sang in the BC Choirs many years ago) from Minnesota. He was absolutely wonderful with the choirs and everyone learned a great deal. There are sessions where the choirs sit in the audience and go up in turn to perform 2 selections. Then the guest conductor works with each choir for approximately 12-15 minutes on stage as choir members in the audience watch and listen. Then Chamber Singers close each session by performing 2-3 pieces. This year the following schools participated: Bakersfield HS, Frontier, Foothill, East, West, North, Stockdale (bringing 2 choirs), and Centennial. Some of the schools decided to wait a year to come to the Festival as it is challenging to have repertoire ready so early in the year. We had a great turnout and the whole evening went smoothly. Thanks to the College Choir members who donated their time to make it all happen, and thank you Dr. Jennifer Garrett for organizing this each year for our community and future Renegades.
A Taste of BC
Last Saturday, our Performing Arts faculty and students partnered with our Culinary Arts faculty and students to create an unforgettable evening for 35 students from Standard Middle School. Starting with a tour of our Performing Arts Center, the middle school students got a ‘behind the scenes’ look at our Theatre and Music facilities.
They also enjoyed an incredible performance by BC students from our recent production of Hamlet, followed by a skit from Brian’s Beard (BC’s Improv Troupe). Our Theatre majors also taught the middle school students how to do improv. Very impressive! To top off the evening, the students enjoyed a fantastic meal in the Renegade Room by our Culinary Arts majors, and were entertained with dinner music by many of our Music majors.
Many thanks to Dr. Jen Garrett, Brian Sivesind, Chef Suzanne Tangeman, Kevin Ganger, Leslie Aldridge, and Kim Chin, along with our students from the Hamlet cast, 1984 cast, Brian’s Beard, Music majors, and Culinary Arts students for volunteering the time and talents to benefit our local middle school students (…and hopefully future Renegades!) And thank you Dr. Manny Mourtzanos for supporting and advancing this work.
Check out the amazing Mason!
Paul Meyer, District Superintendent of SMS sent this email.
To all involved-
On behalf of the students and staff at Standard Middle School, I wish to express my sincere thanks to the students and staff at Bakersfield College for volunteering their time to create a memorable night for my students. Manny, the experience was powerful for my students, and we appreciate the attention to the details that made everything come together so well Saturday night. Please share my gratitude with all who were involved at BC. Your staff was great to work with and the BC students seemed to enjoy it as much as my students did!
I also want to thank Morgan, Ira, and Jorge for your vision and leadership in helping to make this special night into a reality.
Last Saturday evening was a huge success, and I look forward to continuing this amazing partnership.
Standard School District
More Amazing Faculty
BC Faculty Awarded $100,000 Grant Visit Washington D.C.
Oliver Rosales, Andrew Bond, Josh Ottum
Three BC Faculty members visited Washington D.C. this past week. Andrew Bond (English), Josh Ottum (Music and Performing Arts), and Oliver Rosales (History) attended a Project Director’s meeting hosted by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) at the Constitution Center just off Capitol Hill. Representing their project Energizing the Humanities in California’s San Joaquin Valley, the faculty spent an entire day meeting with NEH program officers, including NEH Acting Chairman Jon Parrish Peede, as well as with other current project directors from community colleges across the United States. Professors Ottum, Rosales, and Bond joined NEH’s Director of Congressional Affairs Tim Robison on Capitol Hill for several meetings with staffers from California Senators Kamala Harris and Diane Feinstein’s offices.
Oliver Rosales. Josh Ottum, Andrew Bond, Trevor Smith
The trio also discussed Bakersfield College’s (KCCD) two current NEH grant projects (Energizing the Humanities and Digital Delano: Preserving an International Community’s History) in person with Congressman David Valadao from the 21st District before spending time in House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s office with staff member Trevor Smith.
Oliver Rosales, Andrew Bond, David Valadao, Josh Ottum, Tim Robinson (NEH)
Everyone the BC faculty members met with showed interest in and voiced their support for BC’s grant projects, and were impressed to learn that Bakersfield College is the only California community college to receive federal funds through the National Endowment for the Humanities this year.
Project Directors Bond, Ottum, and Rosales returned from D.C. ready to kick off the programming for Energizing the Humanities on November 30th at 7:00 PM with noted author and Bakersfield native Gerald Haslam (Professor Emeritus, Sonoma State) giving a public lecture at the Levan Center for the Humanities. Dr. Haslam will also lead a closed workshop with the Energizing the Humanities inaugural cohort of faculty fellows the following morning.
More information about the NEH Projects Energizing the Humanities and Digital Delano can be found here:
It was great to see BC Renegades come out in full force Saturday night, our last home game, against Santa Monica which was a blowout. It was exciting to watch six different BC students make it into the end zone while our defense blocked all attempts on ours. I’m so proud of our Renegades they are 3 and 0 in conference and 7 and 1 overall with two more games to go.
And I’m always happy to see Manny De Los Santos working on the sidelines.
Here I am with Carlos Barbara and a great photo of Kimberly Bligh and Jerry Ludeke, and photos below with Janet Tarjan and Zav Dadabhoy —
colleagues out to support Renegade Football
HACU’s 31st Annual Conference
We had a large team from BC attend HACU’s (Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities) 31st Annual Conference this week. Thank you Corny Rodriguez, Dean of Instruction and MESA Director, Consuela (Connie) Gonzalez for sending me photos.
The conference provided a unique forum for networking and learning best practices, understanding and meeting the education needs of Hispanics. The conference allowed for BC professionals to:
Hear about successful, effective programs and initiatives of HACU member institutions
Expand partnerships and collaboration between HACU member institutions, public-and private-sector organizations
Discuss policy issues affecting the education opportunities of Hispanics, including HACU’s legislative agenda
Learn about Hispanic participation in scholarships, fellowships, internships and other such programs funded by private and government organizations
This important conference allowed Connie and BC representatives to create important partnerships and strengthen collaboration with the USDA Hispanic-Serving Institutions National Program, UC Davis, USDA/NRCS, and USDA Forest Service. Connie was able to secure a whole day dedicated to BC transfer students with Dr. Blas Guerrero, Director of the Chicano/Latino Recruitment Center, in collaboration with UC Davis’s MESA program. BC MESA students will be able to look at engineering labs and tour the campus. Connie is working with Manuel Rosas to include EOP&S students as well. Thank you Connie for your work and forging relationships to further our MESA students’ educational opportunities.
David Villarino and FIELD was represented at this national conference in a big way. Villarino is doing very important work among adults in rural communities to get them the required language and work skills to make them employable. Just great work. Here are several photos of the FIELD students as well as the FIELD dinner meeting with many of the colleges including Cerro Coso and CSUB.
This is definitely a picture of celebrities
HACU Official, Esais Morales (actor), Cheech Marin (actor), Rick Najera (Director), David Villarino
Dinner with collaborating college officials
Endee Grijalva, Sonya Christian with students
Our first Adult Education Sample a Course event was a tremendous success. The event was held on October 30th and we saw 30 attendees from Adult Education in collaboration with the Bakersfield Adult School and Migrant Education. The event, which will also occur November 16th, is designed to highlight our EMLS courses and connect Adult Learners to our Main Campus, giving them a direct insight into the college experience. Attendee experience included transportation to the BC campus from the Bakersfield Adult School Job Spot, lunch provided by the delicious Panorama Grill, BC and Program overview and campus tour. The highlight of this event was the classroom observation. Aimed to alleviate the fears and misconceptions of Adult Learners, potential students can sample an EMLS course.
Many thanks to all who helped make this event successful including Endee Grijalva, support from the Outreach team, Food Service, CTE, Bakersfield Adult School and MigrantEducation. You all make BC great for our students and for our community. THANK YOU!
A beautiful magazine appeared on my desk on Tuesday afternoon sent to me by David Koeth. The November/December issue of Audiophile from KVPR/KPRX features artwork from our own BC student, Argenis Maciel. David said in an attached message that Development Director, Joe Garcia emailed him earlier this year and said that they wanted to feature artwork from a BC student so he had his Digital Illustration students work on ideas. The promotions director chose Argenis Maciel’s piece. Check out the photo of the beautiful cover.
On the morning of Halloween, Senator Jose Cortez hosted a Leadership Panel comprised of the SGA president and vice presidents and BC’s president and two vice presidents. It was a lot of fun and I am so proud of this series that Jose Cortez is leading. He had Senator Jean Fuller as the first speaker and Assemblyman Vince Fong as the second speaker.
Students learned about their student governments’ and administration’s roles in reducing hurdles in the path of student success, expanding our positive impact on the community, and the importance of the spirit of leadership, while enjoying some eggs and bacon prepared, as always, by our great Food Services crew.
It was a lot of fun being a panelist along with Zav Dadabhoy and Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, as well as SGA President Dezi Von Manos and SGA Vice President Lawrence Salcido. Both Dezi and Lawrence were articulate about the Guided Pathways work. Just incredible!
Lawrence Salcido, Sonya Christian
President Von Manos, President Christian
I was happy to see several faculty, staff and administrators also attend the event. Snapped this picture with Earl Parsons who is usually the man behind the camera and then here is Marcelyn Allen, one of our new faculty who teaches in the ESL department, also teaches Japanese and helps out with Summer Bridge.
Sonya Christian, Earl Parsons
Sonya Christian, Marcelyn Allen
And loved these two pictures of Nan and Zav
Liz Rozell and I had great fun having lunch with Richard Chapman and Wayne Kress to learn about the Advance Kern Initiative. Imagine innovation thriving in our county where cultivating an entrepreneurial and creative mindsets is one of the products of our education. That was the main topic of conversation in addition to Stig Larson’s Girl With the Dragon Tatoo series. I am so proud of the work of KEDC and its leadership. I missed the company of the fabulous Cheryl Scott who is now leading the charge on promoting STEM education in Kern County. Thank you Richard, Wayne, and Cheryl for advancing Kern County.
Liz Rozell, Sonya Christian, Wayne Kress, Richard Chapman
Public Health Sciences Program Partnership with UCLA
BC students got the chance to learn more about BC’s newly-formed Public Health Sciences program and our partnership with the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health in the SGA Executive Boardroom on Monday.
Sarah Baron, Public Health Sciences faculty, got the opportunity to explain more about BC’s Public Health program, and several representatives from UCLA spoke in detail about the UCLA Public Health Scholars Training Program [link to 2018 UCLA Public Health Scholars Training Program Handout.pdf]. The UCLA training program is recruiting 50 students for a paid stipend to participate in an 8-week training program with structured workshops, field trips and leadership development in the public health field. UCLA Public Health Scholars Training Program is held each summer. The application deadline for the summer 2018 program is January 31, 2018, and the application window opens in mid-November.
What a way to start November! On Wednesday, BC had the privilege of hosting Leslie Cunningham, Executive Director of California Law, Inc (Cal-Law), which is the sponsoring organization of the statewide Pathway to Law School program. Ms. Cunningham affirmed BC’s ongoing position as a statewide leader in implementing this innovative program to support students in attaining a law degree.
Manny Mourtzanos, Dean of Instruction, Pearl Urena, BC Educational Advisor for Pre-Law, Jeff Green, General Counsel for Grimmway Farms, David Torres, Attorney and member of BC’S Pre-Law Advisory Council, Leslie Cunningham, Executive Director of Cal-Law, Stephen Katz, Kern County Superior Court Judge and member of BC’S, Pre-Law Advisory Council Bonnie Thompson, Executive Director of the Kern County Bar Association, Zach Sullivan, President of the BC Pre-Law Scholars Student Club
Careers in Criminal Justice
On Wednesday, October 11, the BC Delano Campus hosted “Jobs in Justice: A Panel on Careers in Criminal Justice.” The guest employers were well-prepared and provided students with a wealth of information ranging from personal education, experiences, and their unique career paths to job specifics and seasoned career advice. The panel consisted of the following individuals:
Mark DeRosia, Chief of Police – Delano Police Department
Eddie Aguil– Community Service Officer- Delano Police Department
Edwin Barahona, Assistant Court Supervisor – Kern County Superior Court
Kathy Garcia, Deputy Probation Officer II – Kern County Probation Department, Investigations Unit
Raquel Segura, Agent – Alcoholic Beverage Control
Ana Ovando, Investigator – Kern County Public Defender
Brittaney Pena, Office Technician – Kern Valley State Prison
Salvador Hernandez, Assistant Government Program Analyst – Kern Valley State Prison
It is interesting to note that although only 36% of students indicated that the guest speaker’s topics related to their chosen career paths, 81% noted that they would attend future employer panels and 100% stated that the forum met or exceeded their expectations. This is a testimony to the breadth of the panelists’ knowledge and wisdom which they freely shared. Not only did they give the audience a thorough understanding of their particular role within their respective organizations, but they also provided an overview of various levels of employment in their respective fields and each organization’s goals. Furthermore, they imparted invaluable career advice: the value of and how to secure internships, the need to protect one’s image (employers check social media sites), the importance of being an upstanding citizen (after all, these are careers in criminal justice), and accepting the reality that a career is built (often one has to start at the bottom).
The panelists were exceptional but the event would never have gotten off the ground without the stellar work of Lupe Aguirre (CTE Job Development Specialist) and Kim Collins (BC Academic Liaison for Adult Education). Our special thanks to them, the panelists, and all who made this event possible. It’s exciting for us whose hearts are knit to BC Delano students that these types of events are becoming increasingly available on their campus. We are all about the students. We are BC!
In the News
Renegades were in the news again this week. Victoria Coffee was quoted by the Bakersfield Californian as an attendee at the Business Expo in Many at the Business Expo were looking for the reset button. She attended to get information to give to our BC students. She is quoted as saying “I wanted to get a better look into the business industry and see how we can strengthen our infrastructure for student success.” Thank you Victoria for going the extra mile for our students.
The Bakersfield Californian also did a nice piece about BC’s Men’s Basketball. In BC men’s basketball starts attempt at 3 conference titles in a row, Jon Mettus wrote about our 5 returners and their striving for the State Championship. Coach Hugh is optimistic for our chances of a “three-peat” for the WSC South Division title this season. Come out to the games this season and support our team all the way to the State Championship.
Emails Worth Sharing
Thank you Paul Beckworth for sharing this story with me! Paul’s email said, “PLEASE read this story that MattGarrett found in the archives awhile back. A BC student turned soldier captured 12 Nazis thanks to his BC German professor! Can’t make this stuff up! It is a little hard to read but worth the effort.” Matt Garrett’s email “Capturing Nazis Like a Boss” included the following:
“We were holding a town cut off from our troops. The Eleventh Panzer Division attacked us and one of the tanks got a tread blown off about 15 yards from one position where we could not hit a man behind it or on the ground near it. It was giving us trouble so we got a ‘satchel charge’ (30 pounds of TNT in convenient carrying form). Being the demolition expert of the platoon, I was elected.
“To allow free use of my hands I laid my rifle down and went out to blow up the tank. When I got there I discovered nine Jerry infantrymen around the tank, concealed from my pals and with their rifles in position. They were as frightened as I was. I managed to stutter, ‘Weg werfen deine Waffen Komm hier mit Hande hoch’ oder sic warden tot gewesen.’ [Throw down your weapons. Come here with your hands raised or you will die] How they would die I didn’t know but they believed me. One said, ‘Nicht schessen,’ and I said, ‘Wir warden nicht schiessen.’ [We’ll not shoot] (Notice the we.) So they gave up.
“They’d have shot me if I hadn’t been quick with the lip—so maybe I learned something in school after all. But we’ll credit (BC German Professor) Miss Schafer for the capture.”
Good morning Bakersfield. It is Saturday, May 21st…and another wonderful day to be a Renegade.
The weeks leading up to graduation I kept telling everyone, just wait till after May 13th and I am going to have plenty of time. Well “after May 13th” came, and went ….wow …it was one crazy week.
I, and others at BC, had a number of speaking engagements that gave me the opportunity to get connected or reconnected with some wonderful Bakersfield organizations: the Boys and Girls Club, Bakersfield City School District Foundation (thank you Dee Slade), The Boy Scouts annual dinner at Tejon, and the Dong Hae Lions Club.
This morning, BC hosted the first class for the Energy Academy, a project of the Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in partnership with Chevron.
This is the second year of the program and is being facilitated by Lauren Skidmore, Director of Kern Citizens for Sustainable Government whose mission is to promote economic, fiscal, and public policies that keep Kern County on a sustainable path to prosperity. For more see www.kerncitizens.org. The Academy has a great list of speakers that include Richard Chapman, CEO KEDC; Christina Sistrunk, CEO Aera; Robin Fleming, Chevron and many others. The Academy will end with a tour of the San Joaquin Refinery and the Mt. Poso Biomass Cogeneration Plant. The students are BC students many of whom are from our MESA program. Thank you Jay Tamsi and Adam Alvidrez and BC’s Lisa Kent for making this happen.
Sonya Christian. Photo by Tom Moran
Steven Holmes, Clayton Fowler. Photo by Cara Jackson
On May 6, 2016, in the BC gym, the Honor’s Celebration was held to recognize student’s scholarships and achievements. Each year, businesses, organizations, individuals in the community, and the Bakersfield College Foundation, sponsor students to go out and achieve their dreams.Recipients and their families lined up outside the doors, eagerly waiting for the program to start. Once inside the doors participants found their name tags and sampled the refreshments. It was so nice to hear a reflection speech from outgoing BCSGA President Clayton Fowler.
Sonya Christian, Roberta Ayala
Many students were singled out and introduced by BC professor’s to highlight their particular scholarships, GPA achievements, and future education goals.
A quick shout out to Roberta Ayala, Financial Aid Tech, with whom I had the pleasure of working the check-in table to expedite the long line of students. It was also a treat to sit by Michael O’Doherty, chair of the BC Foundation and a big supporter of the college.
Thank you Tom Gelder for making this happen.
Delano Campus Pre-Commencement Celebration
“Magtiis ka muna”
“All your sacrifice will be worth it”
Emmanuel Espanola recalled how his family encouraged him with these words when his studies interfered with his attendance at family functions during his brief acceptance speech at the BC Delano Campus Pre-Commencement Celebration hosted on Friday, May 13.
This theme—loving and supportive faculty, friends, and family as being vital to success—was echoed by fellow graduates who each took a couple of minutes to address attendees. I am continuously impressed by students’ deep appreciation.
This is Delano campus’s second pre-commencement ceremony, and it was a success. The complementary luncheon catered by Janitzio was plentiful and delicious; the Delano High School drum line rousingly entertained the crowd before the formal ceremony; keynote speaker Danny Ordiz shared experiences from his life and offered practical advice for the new graduates; student guest speaker Yanelie Ponce spoke convincingly of the transformative effect that her involvement with other students and with WECOMM, a communication and service organization, have had upon her life. Program Manager Raquel Lopez offered inspiring opening and closing remarks. Many proud students gathered after the ceremony for a group picture. The cameraman prodded, “Smile!” After the many years of hard work, that was the easy part.
Lost Hills Article
Sonya Christian, Lynda Resnick Jan 2015
On Tuesday morning, Trustee Agbalog sent me an article by David Brooks in the New York Times. Those of you who know me know that I am a fan of Brooks. This particular piece, One Neighborhood at a Time, calls for recognition to the wonderful things happening in the close by community of Lost Hills, CA. Brooks says that, “we’re beginning to see the rise of intentional community instigators” on the heels of a statement that generally says, social isolation is…. well, scary.
He states that social isolation is a catalyst for trends like rising suicide rates, drug addiction, inequality, and depression, among many other things. To put this simply, people need other people – which brings us to what’s going on in the small nearby community of Lost Hills.
“In Lost Hills there are new health centers, new pre-K facilities, new housing projects, new gardens, new sidewalks and lights, a new community center and a new soccer field. Through the day, people have more places to meet, play and cooperate with their neighbors.”
On May 10th, the Black Graduates Recognition Ceremony was held in the Indoor Theater. It was a fabulous event with students and families celebrating education.
Manny de Los Santos has put together this overview of the event in a very Manny style. I love the singing voice of our student Austyn Williams in the background. Check it out at https://youtu.be/uX4SVBOo9hI.
Gwendolyn Turner the student speaker was phenomenal. She started in 1980, graduating in 2016. A Theater Arts major and veteran, she overcame many obstacles. BC improved over the years she said. They knew they had to do better to be better. She gave a special thanks to Paul Beckworth, Joyce Kirst and Kimberly Chin. All went the extra mile to be supportive.
Dr. Oscar Anthony was the keynote and was inspiring in his remarks. Pastor Anthony is someone who says it as he sees it. He is a former former Renegade who graduated in 1974 after coming back from the service. He is a good friend of Bakersfield College. He said: We are turning a chapter in your book. Be the best you can be and better than everyone else. God has a plan for you. Follow your passion.
Paula Parks emceed the event with the consistent message ……you didn’t come this far, just to come this far.
Drum roll! Here comes the twenty-second Latino Celebration on Thursday, May 5, 2016! Guests not only enjoyed receiving their awards, but also seeing the festive and colorful entertainment. The car show, mariachi band and cultural dance performances kicked the event off to a great start. Despite a thunderstorm, which darkened the gym for a short few seconds, the ceremony began.
Dolores Huerta (photo by Cara Jackson)
Key Speaker Dolores Huerta, one of the leaders in founding the National Farm Worker’s Association, congratulated the students on their achievements so far and encouraged all “to pursue a passion each person loves.” She in turn said that she quit teaching grammar school after she “couldn’t stand seeing kids come to class hungry and needing shoes,” and thought she “could do more by organizing farm workers than by trying to teach their hungry children.” She said that she pursues her passion of changing laws and standing up for the rights of her people and that everyone should pursue their dream.
The crowd responded to her speech with applause and then the students were invited to step up on stage to receive their diploma. Everyone had the opportunity to voice their appreciation to family and teachers for helping make their goals a reality.
I want to thank Victor Diaz, Lisa Kent, Vanessa Bell, Jo Ann Acosta, Isabel Castaneda and Corny Rodriguez for all their efforts in organizing such a great event to celebrate our students.
On May 12, in BC’s Indoor Theatre, family and friends gathered to watch the
graduates of the Radiologic Technology program walk up on stage with their heads high and faces beaming as they accepted awards and certificates.
Kathy was honored for her 26 years of service. She was described by a former student as someone you want to keep in your life. She was an alumni of the program who always embodied engagement. She was described a collaborator, a mentor and a friend. I knew Kathy in my previous life at BC as a Math faculty. I have always loved her big beautiful smile.
These students put many hours of hard work and effort in earning their
certificate. In the beginning, they first attended an orientation, were placed on a 1-to-3
year waitlist, and now have finally completed 2 years of training!
In addition, on average for the first year, in addition to schoolwork, each person works 16 hours a week on-the-job, and the second year, about 24 hours a week!
Radiology technicians help peform general x-rays, CT and MRI scans, radiation
therapy and other diagnostic imaging. One graduate, Gregory Jason McGee stated,
“It is something I always wanted to do because I have a love of people and this will help
find out what is wrong with someone.”
A special feature this year was a song written and performed by LaTierra Rumph that described the graduates’ journey.
I am so thankful that Cindy Randal from Kern Radiology was able to attend and congratulate each of our deserving, hard-working graduates. Nancy Perkins, you do a phenomenal job directing this excellent program.
Also, thank you to Cara Jackson for taking great photos of the event!
Thursday night’s (May 19th) African-American Success Through Excellence and Persistence (ASTEP) end-of-the-year celebration was a festive evening acknowledging student achievement and recognizing those who lent support. Students Darlene Williams and Mariah Bagsby spoke about their growth as writers and researchers as well as how much they depended on the ASTEP community of faculty, students, and mentors to make it through their coursework. The evening was full of creativity, humor, and love – expressed through words, poetry, song, and ritual.
The first year of ASTEP includes two English courses (53 and 1a) and two student development courses (2 and 6) – all offered with an African-American focus. Students also studied together, enjoyed cultural and academic trips, met with their mentors, and attended community events.
ASTEP2 continues the support and includes a 1-unit class with readings and community involvement. Paula Parks is our lead faculty for this program and does a phenomenal job.
Also on May 12th, in the Fireside Room a dinner was provided by MESA and was held in honor of students who were recognized for their outstanding work and effort in Physical Science.
Many of our faulty had the chance to speak about how diligent students were and why they deserved to be honored at the dinner. Overall, students
enjoyed an elegant dinner, while celebrating their accomplishments for the year.
Photo by Cara Jackson
The 12th Annual Awards Banquet for MESA was held on May 5th in the Renegade Room. The MESA program is dedicated to providing academic support to educationally disadvantaged students so they can pursue higher education.
Students who are enrolled in the program have the goal to graduate with degrees in engineering, science and technology.
The night began with a delicious dinner, followed by humorous speeches given by keynote speakers Skylar Pane, Alex Marquez and Javier Flores.
Skylar Pane, a Software Engineer at Google, highlighted that one thing he wants future students to know is that, “failure is a pre-requisite for success.” He mentioned the reason he has come this far in life is simply because he kept trying and that everyone can achieve their goal if they work hard for it.
Bakersfield City School District Foundation meeting
Nelson Mandela said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world,” and the hard working people at the BCSD Education Foundation are doing the groundwork to see this positive change through.
Bakersfield City School District’s vision is to create a collaborative and supportive learning community that ensures all students are inspired to achieve academic excellence and become life-long learners and productive citizens. I had the delightful opportunity on Monday to present our BC Facility Needs to the BCSD Foundation and was overwhelmed by the positive response. Thank you Dee Slade for opening up the door for BC. You are such a powerhouse and you just make things happen.
Delano High School District–a great partner.
Have I mentioned recently that I love BC’s campus at Delano….I love the Delano community. This is a community of passinate people who are willing to do what it takes to make their community better. Dr. Terri Nuckols, Superintendent of the Delano High School District is one such individual. Terri visited our campus this week to discuss the planning for dual enrollment at Delano High Schools. Thank you Terri. You are a fabulous partner of Bakersfield College
I had the opportunity to spend Wednesday afternoon speaking with previous Bakersfield Police Chief, Bill Rector, who now serves as the executive director at WESTEC. This fantastic program works together, with BC and Taft College, to provide specialized training for those interested in certain careers.
These programs are giving our students the necessary skills to succeed in an ever changing and evolving workplace. Some of the training areas are as follows: oilfield/agricultural safety, general industrial safety, corrections/law enforcement training, court report writing classes and a program that prepares people for general industry jobs. For more about WESTEC and their program offerings, visit www.westec.org.
American Lung Association Luncheon
Recently BC was a sponsor of the American Lung Association Luncheon. BC Nursing students were present taking blood pressure and basic vital signs. We received a lot of positive feedback about their presence at the luncheon. Everyone loved them! Thank you Pearl Urena for making this happen. Pearl is the educational advisor for BC’s Pre-Law Program. You may enjoy my April 30th blog that included our Pre-Law program at http://tinyurl.com/gldggc5
Korean Cultural Club:
Thank you Andrew Bond, first year English faculty in starting a Korean Cultural Club. Here is a picture of them at the end of the semester celebration at Tofu House.
So much diversity….and We Are BC!
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