Tag Archives: Bakersfield College

At BC….The Sky Isn’t The Limit

“The Sky isn’t the Limit,” photo by Sebastian Juarez for the Spring 2020 Art B16 Digital Photography class taught by Kris Stallworth.

#BCTalent #BCArt #BCInspiration #BCSpirit
#WeAreBC

The skies this week were full of clouds, color and movement … here are a few photos that I snapped during my Neo walks. And before you sink into the photos, take a few minutes to listen to this great Joni Mitchell song – Both Sides Now. The 2000 version.

Good morning Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, November 21, 2020 …
a great day to be a Renegade.

BC Recognized for ADT Program

On Thursday, the Campaign for College Opportunity recognized Bakersfield College as a Champion of Higher Education. 

Thank you to California Secretary of State Alex Padilla and Michele Siqueiros of Campaign for College Opportunity, who were on the webinar to announce the recognition. Ten years ago, 2010, Alex Padilla introduced the transfer landmark legislation SB 1440.

Over the last five years Bakersfield College has seen an 800% increase in ADT awards, quadrupled Black student completion, and achieved enrollment-completion parity among Latino/a students.

We are BC! Thank you to the BC Transfer Team.

EOPS Annual Association Conference

EOPS, CARE and NextUp programs had their annual association conference early November.

Our Bakersfield EOPS college team had the opportunity to present on the topic of Engaging with Students in the Virtual Environment.

During the virtual conference, our very own Bakersfield College graduate, Kyle Campbell, was awarded the California Community College Extended Opportunity Programs and Services Association (CCCEOPSA) scholarship.

To wrap up the conference the BC EOPS team won a photo contest.

Also shout out to the BC EOPS team for volunteering to moderate the virtual breakout sessions and the conference help desk.

Kris Tiner published in The Aesthetics of Imperfection

Music faculty member Kris Tiner was recently published in The Aesthetics of Imperfection in Music and the Arts, a collection of essays from Bloomsbury Academic edited by Andy Hamilton and Lara Pearson. Tiner’s chapter “Expanding the Ideal: Systemic music as a dialogue of becoming” originated from a presentation he gave at Durham University in England in 2016. It explores the relationship between improvisation and composition in musical performance.

Here is the extract:

“The classical ideal of music composition involves the gradual perfection of an inspiration, the painstaking process of bringing a concept to completion. In contrast, a common theme in literature and research on improvisational music is the value of spontaneous creation emerging from higher, ideal states of mind. This essay examines the history and practice of systemic music as a method of applying conceptual parameters to improvisational performance in order to bring together the “interpenetrating opposites” of composition and improvisation in an expansive dialogue of becoming, where the continuously evolving creative process of a musician or ensemble is valued over the production of individual works.”

Umoja at Black Student Leadership Summit

Dr. Paula L. Parks served as a panelist at the Florida African American Student Association (FAASA) fall leadership conference. The organization is the statewide organization of Black student associations at 2- and 4-year colleges.

The panel was entitled “Building and Sustaining Black Student Organizations in Turbulent Times Like These.”

Umoja peer mentor Alexis Brown provided a student perspective. Dr. Parks, English professor, is the Umoja Community coordinator and Umoja Club advisor.

Panelists affirmed the need for Black Student Unions (or African American Student Unions) at the college level because students need the academic support, cultural grounding, leadership opportunities, and connections with each other and with Black faculty and staff. This need hasn’t changed in the 44 years since FAASA was founded.

Students also spoke to the “illusion of inclusion” that they saw at their institutions. Colleges may showcase pictures of students of color on the college website and in brochures, but many African-American students feel as if they are only tolerated – not welcomed, appreciated, valued, or at the decision-making table.

Very grateful for Dr. Paula Parks, Steve Watkin for their leadership. Also thank you to community leaders Michael Bowers, Keith Wolaridge, T Johnson, and others. We are BC! We are Bakersfield!

BC Marching Arts Receives KFHC Community Grant

Some members of the BC “Renegade” Drumline

As the BC Drumline plans to safely return to rehearsals, masks aren’t the only PPE they’ll be sporting. Thanks to Kern Family Health Care’s Community Grant program and Etymotic Education’s Hear for a Lifetime campaign, earplugs were able to be purchased for students and staff of our Marching Arts ensembles to continue to promote hearing health.

Eight of our current BC Drumline students were the first to receive their ETY Plugs when they came to campus for a socially distanced performance at a “get out the vote” caravan. The drumline took the opportunity to talk about hearing health and the importance of limiting exposure to the intense sounds that are a part of marching music.

Drumline student Salvador Fabian, sporting his new Etymotic earplugs

We can’t wait to distribute the remaining earplugs once our ensembles are able to safely return to campus. Thanks again to Kern Family Health Care for their support of our BC students and our community!

Adopt a Family this Holiday Season

From an email the CARE and CalWorks Programs:

“Dear Faculty, Staff, and Friends,

The Cooperative Agencies Resources for Education (CARE) and California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) programs will be hosting a Drive-thru Holiday Celebration this year. CARE and CalWORKs serves BC students who are also parents, with CARE parents being single head of household. Both programs are designed to promote student educational success by offering specialized services to parents receiving public assistance (CalWORKs/TANF/Tribal TANF) to increase wage earning power and lead to self-sufficiency.

In the spirit of the holiday season, we invite you to help us spread holiday cheer. Our goal is to ensure that the child(ren) of our CARE and CalWORKs students receive a gift from their wish list to open on the winter holiday. This year we will be providing families with a hot meal and the gifts collected from our “Adopt a Family” program. We want to thank everyone who has already registered to help. We still have 30 families who need to be adopted.”

To sign up to adopt a family, fill out the Adopt a Family Form online.

You can also contribute monetary donations through the Bakersfield College Foundation. Make your donation to “CARE/CalWORKs- Adopt a Family”.

Use Amazon Smile as you do your personal/holiday shopping this November/December. Visit smile.amazon.com, sign in to your Amazon account and select “Bakersfield College Foundation.” The Foundation will receive 0.5% of all eligible purchases made through smile.amazon.com!

Future of Fuels Webinar

Our interdisciplinary partnership in energy is building traction throughout the community, and we hosted our second webinar today on the Future of Fuels. We had a great panel of experts in research, policy and implementation of biofuels moderated by Stu Witt, the former CEO of Mojave Air and Space Port. Adam Bratis from NREL shared some information about research around bioenergy, using organic plant material to create everything from fuel to carbon fiber. Kelly Murillo from SoCalGas gave an overview of all the different technology used in processing clean biogas. Michael Carr is a manager of West Coast policy for Shell Oil company, and he shared some ongoing trends in carbon management. 

The next major event as part of the Energy Technology Transfer and Workforce Development partnership will be the Energy Summit on December 5 at 6 p.m., live on KGET.

Today, I’d like to share Adam’s presentation. It’s about 21 minutes long, and is filled with amazing information about the work being done at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory:

Virtual Seminar on Student Progression and Completion

Also on Tuesday, we held the second virtual seminar in our Strategic Directions series helping us gear up for the renewal of our three-year Strategic Plan. This session focused on Student Progression and Completion, and we had Kylie Campbell to talk about Early College, Krista Moreland to talk about Enrollment Management, Leo Ocampo on our 8+8 Week Classes, and Grace Commiso to talk about Starfish and the Student Information Desk. Thank you to all the participants in the webinar, and thank you to everyone for tuning in.

Check out Krisa Moreland’s presentation below:

Learning Together with the Library 

On Thursday, we had our third campus-wide “Learning Together” event. Presenters included Paula Parks and Nick Strobel.

This week, we discussed two academic journal articles:

  • “Postsecondary Equity Through the Lens of Policy Change”, published through the academic journal Change.
  • “When Pursuing Diversity, Victory is Hard to Define” published in Chronicle of Higher Education  

Please remember to view the libguide “Race and Cultural Competence” which is available at https://bakersfieldcollege.libguides.com/culturalcompetence.

Today, I’m sharing the Q&A session with Paula Parks and Mindy Wilmot from that discussion:

Levan Events

This week, there were also two virtual Levan Events.

“Deep Cuts and Conversations” featured Josh Ottum, Kris Tiner, and Reggie Williams listening to and breaking down some music.

“Civil Disobedience and Civil Unrest: Drawing Difficult Lines in Difficult Times” was presented by Pam Boyles, Gloria Dumler, Michael Harvath, and Erin Miller.

Love and Information

This weekend, the performing arts department presented a live Zoom play production of Caryl Churchill’s “Love and Information.”

BC Theatre students took on the challenge of performing live via Zoom Webinar, directly from their homes.

Thank you director Kimberly Chin, and the entire cast and crew, for innovating and finding ways to perform together!

Measure J Update

Gym and Field House Starting Construction Soon

Exciting news came in from the BC Facilities Team last week with the announcement that our new Gym and Field House had received final approval from the California Division of the State Architect, or DSA, the agency which provides oversight for construction of public school facilities. Construction on the project  is scheduled to begin on December 1. The timeline for the Gym and Field House has been pushed back due to DSA backcheck delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the new anticipated date of completion of this project is February of 2023.

Spotted on Social Media

And speaking of our A Better BC construction, Academic Technology Dean Bill Moseley shared this photo of construction on campus this week:

Jenny Frank, Veterans Services Manager, shared this photo of her getting ready to talk to KGET about the services BC offers our veterans:

(And you can check out the interview on the KGET website!)

Communication faculty Helen Acosta said she was “living her best life on Zoom”:

BCSGA shared another #ThrowbackThursday photo of campus:

I also enjoyed this throwback post from 2018 of Corny Rodriguez.
“We had our Planetarium field trip today and got to visit Tata at work!”

And we got another look back at Corny on the Padrinos de Bakersfield College instagram:

Community Voices

Kim Arbolante wrote about the Bakersfield College Writing Center and how they have adapted to helping students during the pandemic in a Community Voices piece this week.

“BC’s Writing Center has used this time during a pandemic to sharpen our lens on equity and put thought into action. We have recommitted ourselves, as professional tutors, to pivoting what we do and how we do it where it would cause further undue burden to ask our students to do so. This is why we remain open on Zoom with extended evening and weekend hours for busy parents and caregivers. This is why we insisted that all of our announcements to students about our new online Writing Center went out in both English and Spanish. This is why our new Umoja and Writing Center peer mentors even monitor social media to ensure no student goes with questions unanswered.”

Read more on The Bakersfield Californian website.

Athletics

2019 CCCCCTCA Scholar Athlete Team

Congrats to three of our cross country student athletes – Adolfo Escudero, Elias Artega and Elias Martinez – for being named to the 2019 California Community College Cross Country and Track Coaches Association (CCCCCTCA) Scholar Athlete Team.

To make the team, cross-country student athletes must complete a minimum of 24 academic units with a 3.5 GPA or higher. This is the second year in arrow that Adolfo has made the team. This is a well-deserved recognition for all three of these students. Go ‘Gades!

==========

That’s all for now.
Until next time.
With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.
sonya –
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

On Eagle’s Wings

Has this hymn been on your mind recently?

And then Earl found me this great piece from BC’s first president, a woman.

“One thinks of a college year book as a record of things past, things done together that are worth remembering. And this is surely its evident purpose. However, one might also think of it as a promise of things to come, a rehearsal for the larger drama of community life. As you turn over the pages of this 1948 Raconteur, let each one tell its story of personal and group achievement, of cooperation toward a common goal, of happiness shared with one another. And, in doing so, let each page also prophecy the kind of community you can help create by the same willing and selfless working together.”

Good morning Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, November 14, 2020 … a great day to be a Renegade.

Happy Veterans Day!

I hope everyone in the Renegade family, particularly those who have served in our nation’s armed services or have family members in the military, had a pleasant and reflective mid-week break for Veterans Day. I’m so thankful for all of your contributions to keeping our democracy safe.

I am saddened we were not able to hold our traditional annual Vet Fest this year, but I enjoyed reflecting on how Bakersfield College has honored our student veterans in years past. (And I am grateful that our fantastic Veterans Services team was able to put together ways to celebrate our veterans in different ways during this year’s Veterans Month.)

I also wanted to share this message from Jenny Frank, manager of Veterans programs & services:

“Dear Veterans, Friends, Colleagues, and Fellow Renegades,

Jenny Frank

Veterans Day is upon us, my first at Bakersfield College. Before coming to BC, I marveled to see how Bakersfield College celebrated veterans, not just in November, but all year round. Becoming a part of the BC family allows me the great pleasure of wishing all of our Renegade veterans a very happy Veterans Day.

Veterans, on this day, we pay tribute to you for your selfless service to our nation. While this is the day set aside in celebration of your service, know that each and every day we are eternally grateful for the sacrifices you have made. While some of you may have seen war in foreign lands, others might have stayed closer to home. Each of you raised your right hand and took the oath of enlistment. For that, there are no words that would be sufficient to express our profound gratitude.

Today we thank and celebrate our veterans, but I would be remiss if I did not take a moment to also thank the families of our servicemen and women for all that they do and have done to ensure their loved ones could fulfill their sacred duties. The sleepless nights, long deployments, and precious moments missed have not gone unnoticed, and you have our respect, admiration, and appreciation for all that you have endured.

To all Soldiers, Marines, Sailors, Airmen and women, and Coastguardsmen and women, wherever you are, we salute you!

WE ARE BC!

Jenny Frank” 

Friday the 13th

Yesterday was Friday the 13th…. I don’t know if you experience folks turning down important meetings when the 13th falls on a Friday. 

I thought I’d share a little bit about the history of Friday the 13th, and how it became such a force in our culture https://www.history.com/topics/folklore/friday-the-13th

Thank you to Macy’s Department Store!

This week, the Renegade Pantry received a generous gift from our local Macy’s Department store. Thanks to many store employees who are Renegade alumni and current Renegades, the store took donations from the community and generated over $12,000 for the Renegade Pantry to stock the shelves for the holiday season.

Increasing Opportunities Through Collaborations

BC is creating more Early College opportunities for high school students through a new online collaborative teaching model. Last year the English, Education and Public Health departments partnered with Early College to bring their courses and pathways into more high schools. In this model the courses were taught fully online by BC faculty and the high school students received support navigating the college course from a high school instructor whom they met with daily within their high school schedule. After the completion of a successful pilot year, and the unexpected shift of all college and high school courses to online modalities, this model has expanded to 25 sections that are scheduled for next Spring.

Last week, Kylie Campbell provided a training and networking opportunity for the BC and high school instructors who will be teaching these courses in the Spring. It is amazing to see our educators from throughout Kern County coming together to ensure access and success for our Early College students. I am excited to see even more departments embracing this model and expanding their course offerings into the high schools this year, and look forward to the positive impact it will have on students entering and staying on their college pathways here at BC.

For more information on how your department can explore offering entrances to your pathways for Early College students, please contact Kylie Campbell at kylie.campbell@bakersfieldcollege.edu.

A Better BC: S&E Topping Ceremony

On November 12, the construction crew on the new Science and Engineering building held their topping ceremony to symbolize that the steel beams that will form the skeleton of the building are near completion. The practice of “topping out” originated as a Scandinavian tradition of placing a tree to appease the spirits of the trees that had been displaced by construction. The practice spread across Europe and eventually the United States, where steel workers place a Christmas tree and an American flag on one of the last beams used in creating the structure of the building.

BC Director of Facilities Bill Potter and AECOM Project Manager John Smith were on hand to witness the Science and Engineering topping ceremony. This is our second topping ceremony of 2020 after the Campus Center in February, which is nearing completion of the main building by the end of this year.

Thank you to everyone who helped build A Better BC, and check out the photos from the Topping Ceremony taken by Earl Parsons.

Virtual Forum on Student Learning

We’re gearing up to renew our 3-year Strategic Plan, so on Thursday, we launched the first in a four-part series of virtual seminars around our Strategic Directions. For the Strategic Direction of Student Learning, Alex Rockey from Academic Technology talked about microbadging, Assessment Committee co-chair Brent Wilson shared their approach to measuring learning, Nick Strobel spoke on social construction of learning, and Erica Menchaca explained the nuances of competency-based education.

Alex Rockey:

Brent Wilson:

Nick Strobel:

Erica Menchaca:

Love and Information

BC’s Performing Arts will present Love and Information by Caryl Churchill through a Live Zoom Webinar next week November 19, 20, and 21, 2020. Our students will perform live from their homes!

The Virtual Lobby opens at 7:15 P.M. each of the nights and the show starts at 7:30 P.M. Admission is free, but advanced registration is required. For more information about the play and to register, visit Love and Information.

Women’s Caucus

Women leaders in the California community college system have launched a new caucus to celebrate their contributions and advocate for women in higher education. The California Community College Women’s Caucus is holding its inaugural meeting on Tuesday, November 17 with Deputy Chancellor Daisy Gonzales and Pasadena City College Trustee Linda Wah. Our very own Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg is one of the leads for this newly formed group

Trustee Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg

Visit the Women’s Caucus website for more information about how to join this collaborative.

Archives Throwback: Grace Van Dyke Bird’s Introduction to 1948 Raconteur

And speaking of women breaking barriers in higher education, check out this throwback to BC’s first president, Grace Van Dyke Bird.

Grace Van Dyke Bird is the reason why we call institutions of higher learning like BC “community colleges”. In the introduction to the 1948 Raconteur yearbook, she kept that same focus on community and forward-thinking when she asked Renegades to imagine the kind of world they could help build after their time at BC. Here are her eloquent words again — a double touch in today’s blog.

“One thinks of a college year book as a record of things past, things done together that are worth remembering. And this is surely its evident purpose. However, one might also think of it as a promise of things to come, a rehearsal for the larger drama of community life. As you turn over the pages of this 1948 Raconteur, let each one tell its story of personal and group achievement, of cooperation toward a common goal, of happiness shared with one another. And, in doing so, let each page also prophecy the kind of community you can help create by the same willing and selfless working together.”

In The News

BC In the Vineyards

Friday the 13th can bring bad luck – but this Friday the 13th I woke to find a wonderful article from Emma Gallegos on the front page above the fold of the Bakersfield Californian.

Emma Gallegos wrote about “BC In the Vineyards,” which brings counselors and advisers into the vineyards to help farmworkers navigate higher education.

Last year, I wrote about BC in the Vineyards in my November 3 blog post. I also wanted to share my posts from October 29, 2018, and November 4, 2018, which also featured this amazing program.

Thank you to Jaime Lopez and our entire Rural Initiatives team for their work on helping expand access to education throughout the county.

Kern Venture Group
JP Lake

I was also excited to see this story in the Californian. JP Lake’s Kern Venture Group has passed the $1 million mark in investing to promote and support local startup businesses.

KVG is Kern County’s first “angel investor group,” and has raised over $2.15 million to invest in local entrepreneurs through December 2021.

JP Lake is truly an asset to the Kern County community, and I am excited to see what further good he and the KVG will do in the coming year.

Community Voices

Benny Balderrama, a program manager in the Office of Student Life, wrote a Community Voices piece in this week’s Bakersfield Californian: “Renegades creating a digital community“.

Benny Balderrama

He wrote of the challenges and creativity in maintaining community in our online, socially-distanced reality.

“BC’s innovative spirit has opened a lot of creative windows over the past eight months as we’ve navigated this new virtual and sometimes “stifling” environment. I commend our students for their flexibility and I’ve never been more proud to meet students where they’re at, creating a space that allows them to succeed and thrive.”

Spotted on Social Media

Brian Sivesind from the Theatre Department shared an addition to his family. Congratulations!!

I loved this tweet from journalist Poornima Murali, showing the celebration in Kamala Harris’ ancestral village. I grew up in a similar area in south India.

BC Nursing shared a pic of Level 1 RN students:

Athletics

Memorial Stadium Always Looking Beautiful

Enjoy these wonderful shots of our gorgeous Memorial Stadium from this last week taken by the Instagram account @epicflightz. This account is a great follow for amazing shots of Bakersfield and Kern County. We anxiously await the opportunity to be back in our athletics facilities and cheer on our Renegades. Until then, we have shots like this to remind us of the beauty of Memorial Stadium and memories of great times. 

That’s all for now.
Until next time.
With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.
sonya –
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

A Beautiful Day

Let’s start with this photo a friend sent me of Monday morning’s sunrise at the Panorama Campus. A beautiful sky for a beautiful college.

Life Is Not Measured By the Number of Breaths We Take,
But By the Moments That Take Our Breath Away

Good morning Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, November 7, 2020, a beautiful day … and a great day to be a Renegade.

Enrollment Begins for Spring

Registration began this week for “Special Populations” and Continuing Students who have completed all enrollment steps. Students can see how to qualify for Early (Priority) Registration on the BC website.

Outreach & Early College

The Outreach & Early College Department had a Disney-themed team call this past week. The team call also turned into an impromptu Dodgers celebration following their World Series Win!

It’s always fun when I’m able to see how our BC teams stay connected and have fun virtually. Thank you for sharing!

Upcoming: David French Visits BC Virtually Next Week

Please join us for the next Distinguished Speaker Series event, sponsored by BCSGA and the Office of Student Life at Bakersfield College.

David French,
Senior Editor, Columnist, Bestselling Author

The events are free and open to the public. All events this year are scheduled to be via Zoom on a virtual platform. Closed captioning will be available at each event.

David French will be speaking on the Bakersfield Student Government Association Facebook page at two times:

 David French is a senior editor at The Dispatch and a columnist for Time.

A graduate of Harvard Law School and a constitutional lawyer, David most recently worked as a senior writer for National Review and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute. His most recent book — Divided we fall.

David is a former major in the United States Army Reserve. In 2007 he deployed to Iraq with the Third Armored Cavalry Regiment and was awarded the Bronze Star.

Thank you to History Professor Paul Beckworth for his work in putting this event together.

This event is part of Bakersfield College’s Veterans Month activities.

The Effects of Colorism on Latina and Black Youth Panel

This week, Bakersfied College’s Latinas Unidas Student Organization and Latina Leaders of Kern County held their third discussion on race & diversity relations in Kern County.

In the first panel, local leaders presented their experiences and perspectives on race and diversity relations in Kern County, as women in biracial marriages and women raising biracial children. The second panel featured Kern County women who are leading conversations around diversity to make our community and coalitions stronger.

Thank you to Brenda Valadez for her work in coordinating these discussions, and to Norma Rojas-Mora for facilitating the discussions.

Today, I’d like to share a short, 45-second clip from one of our students, Aris Trujillo, who spoke on her experience with light-skin privilege:

Get Out The Vote Caravan

Last weekend, the BC Cheer team and Drumline showed up to celebrate early voters on campus.

Thank you to Heather Foss and Tim Heasley for bringing the students out safely to engage them in one of the most critical exercises of citizenship in the United States.

Spotted on Social Media

Kalina Hill’s dog Thunder turned 11 this week!

Vice President of Instruction Billie Jo Rice shared this photo of her enjoying a beautiful day with her granddaughters:

I loved this note and these photos from the Rural Initiatives Facebook page:

Today our RI Team concluded day 3 of Bakersfield College in the Vineyards. In order to eliminate barriers for our rural students, innovative approaches are crucial to their success especially during a pandemic. We had the privilege of taking out BC face masks to those who feed the nation and through technology, info sent out in real time of their interest in pursuing their education…. bettering their lives and the lives of their families.

History professor Olivia Garcia shared her Halloween costume – she dressed as the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Olivia was instrumental in helping put together Bakersfield College’s tribute to Justice Ginsburg. Here is her introduction to that program:

In the News

Community Voices

Dean of Academic Technology Bill Moseley wrote a Community Voices piece about “preparing students for the workplace of tomorrow.”

“Last fall, the academic technology team at Bakersfield College, partnering with our Career and Technical Education leadership and several academic departments, launched an innovative effort to provide students and their future employers with a much sharper picture of student learning. Called badges or microcredentials, these digital representations of learning allow employers and students to see a much more detailed view of what happens inside a college course, down to the level of the critical skills and knowledge students will master. In addition to the more detailed view of learning, badges store information, such as when and how the skill was measured.”

Local Art

Retired Bakersfield College Professor Susan McQuerrey has a collection of watercolors, “Nature’s Colors”, on display at Dagny’s Coffee, and on the BAA Facebook page.

She shared a bit about her process in a recent Bakersfield Californian article.

Athletics

‘Gades Club’ Launched to Support Renegade Student Athlete Success

This last week our athletics department announced the launch of the ‘Gades Club’ to help support the success of Renegade student athletes both on the field and in the classroom.

Since 1922 Renegade Athletics has served as a launching pad for thousands upon thousands of student athletes who have gone on to professional careers both in their respective sports and off the playing field. The newly announced ‘Gades Club’ is a way for community donors to support Bakersfield College student athletes as they continue their academic and athletic careers at one of the most well-respected community colleges in the country.

Reggie Bolton

“Participation in college athletics had long been a training ground for life lessons that transcend sports,” said current Renegade Interim Dean/Athletic Director Reggie Bolton.

“What our student athlete learn in their time here will stick with them through their entire lives. We appreciate the long-standing relationships and support the Bakersfield community has provided throughout the years. With the introduction of the ‘Gades Club’ we are looking to maintain a strong connection with that community and our Renegade alumni well into the future”

The ‘Gades Club’ will provide financial support to all 20 Renegade athletic male/female teams and will assist with the annual Hall of Fame and Renegade student athlete awards ceremonies. Click here to visit the ‘Gades Club’ webpage and make a donation to support the future of Renegade Athletics. The donation is tax deductible, but it is advised to speak with a tax professional for details.


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That’s all for now.
Until next time.
With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.
sonya –
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Beautiful Bakersfield. Beautiful BC.

Halloween morning at 6:00 a.m. check out the Blue Moon

Happy Halloween, Renegades!

Good morning Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, October 31, 2020, a Blue Moon Halloween … and a great day to be a Renegade.

Chancellor Oakley & CCC Board of Governors Visit Bakersfield College

On Monday, Chancellor Eloy Oakley, senior administrators from the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office, and members of the Board of Governors made a virtual visit to BC to meet with students, faculty, staff, and members of the community.

Chancellor Oakley, Chancellor Burke, President Christian

The event started with an internal meeting highlighting BC students in Umoja, MESA, Early College, and more. Visit the CCCCO Virtual Listening Tour page for more details about the Chancellor’s Office meeting.

The Chancellor’s Office concluded their visit with a virtual town hall. Chancellor Oakley shared about his office’s Vision for Success, outlining goals to help us hold ourselves accountable for student performance. Chancellor Oakley answered questions about adult education, his personal history as an administrator at Long Beach City College, technology infrastructure at community colleges, and more.

He then presented BC with a Certificate of Recognition and a $5000 donation to the food pantry.

I enjoyed seeing Eloy’s tweet after this event:

Finish Line Scholars

Before Chancellor Oakley’s visit, the Chancellor’s Office and the Foundation for California Community Colleges announced that BC was one of the recipients of the Finish Line Scholars fund, a $100 million pledge distributed to 34 community colleges over 20 years. The Finish Line Scholars program provides scholarships to students who are halfway through their education plan of completing a degree or transferring to a 4-year university. Funding for the program was provided through a gift from the Jay Pritzker Foundation.

Beautiful Bakersfield Awards

Last Saturday night, the Greater Bakersfield Chamber announced the winners of the 3oth Annual Beautiful Bakersfield Awards.

Congressman William M. Thomas received the Harvey L. Hall Lifetime Achievement award.

William M. Thoams

While William M. Thomas is known nationally for having spent 14 terms in D.C. from 1979 to 2007, and as Chair of the House Ways and Means Committee in his final 6 years before retirement. Those of us in Bakersfield know Bill for the ways he has fundamentally changed the landscape of the city we call home.

His life’s work – tending to the daily details of navigating the intricacies of sometimes very obscure legislative matters – has been regularly punctuated by major wins in service to the community. Consistently ranked among the brainiest in Washington, Thomas strategically used his influence to improve the lives of the residents of Bakersfield.  As one drives the streets of Bakersfield, walks the Bakersfield College campus, or flies into Bakersfield Airport, it is impossible to miss his contributions.

Bill Thomas, Sharon Thomas

Through his coalition-building skills Congressman Thomas secured nearly a billion dollars in congressional funds for Bakersfield:

  • Successfully earmarking $722 million in federal transportation funding for Kern County roads, single-handedly connecting the I5 to the Sierras, and opening access to education and employment for some of the region’s most isolated communities
  • Garnering $40 million in congressional funding for the Valley Fever Vaccine Project
  • Obtaining $14.7 million for improvements to Bakersfield’s Meadows Field Airport

Yet, his service to the community didn’t end upon retirement.  In 2016, he joined the Kern Community College District Board of Trustees. During his tenure, the district secured half a billion-dollar bond measure to support facilities and infrastructure improvements for the next fifty years.  During his time as chair of the district’s Board Accreditation Committee, each of KCCD’s three colleges’ fully accredited status was reaffirmed.

Bill Thomas speaking

With these contributions, it is no surprise that as we fly into the William M. Thomas Terminal, we are greeted by a bust of a man who has done so much for this community. And while Bakersfield will forever associate “The Congressman” with Bill Thomas, we remember Bill first as a young Bakersfield College professor.  The first in his family to go to college, Bill paved the way for thousands of community college students, residents in our rural communities, and local leaders.

Congressman Thomas remains committed to Bakersfield’s residents, and only recently retired from public service as a KCCD Trustee. 

Other winners included:

CityServe, which won the Chairman’s Award. CityServe distributed goods through 109 chuches of all denominations to help 20,000 households, as well as distributing backpacks, sleeping bags and other goods to area homeless. CityServe is also partnering with Bakersfield College and County of Kern to provide job skills training to those who are living in our local shelters.

John P. Lake, who was named Business Person of the Year. JP created the Kern Venture Group, the first angel investor fund for local entrepreneurs. He is also one of the founders of the Kern Initiative for Talent and Entrepreneurship (KITE).

Give Big Kern – One Day to Celebrate the Giving Spirit of Kern County, which received the A Better Bakersfield award. In 2019, this event raised nearly $430,000 from 2,800 donors and secured more than 88,000 volunteer pledged hours for 114 participating charities.

You can view a list of all winners online.

Thank you Nick Ortiz and the Chamber for this fabulous event. A special shout out to Hillary Hanes – the lead staff for this event.

Padrinos de Bakersfield College

Abel Guzman shared an email this week announcing the relaunch of Padrinos de Bakersfield College:

“Padrinos was an initiative led by our now retired dean, Cornelio “Corny” Rodriguez for many years. Our hope is to honor his years of service by relaunching and continuing the group’s work.

This week, the group celebrated their relaunch by hosting a Dia de Los Muertos curbside pan dulce pick-up event on Friday.

Check out these photos from the event:

Corny Rodriguez
Olivia Garcia dressed up for the event

At the end of the last academic year, Corny won a lifetime achievement award. Check out these two videos.

Video Tribute to Ruth Bader Ginsburg

I asked the Women’s History Month Faculty Leads and the BC Pre-Law Club to put together a tribute to the life of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg that premiered on Thursday, October 29, live at 5:30 p.m on BC’s YouTube channel and Facebook live. The video features Kern County Superior Court Judges Robert Tafoya and Susan Gill, Commissioner Cynthia Loo,  and District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer.

Today, I am sharing my introduction from the tribute.

You can view the full 36 minute tribute video at https://youtu.be/yHWGakqaLZc. I will continue sharing pieces from this production in the coming weeks.

Thank you to Olivia Garcia, Maria Wright, Pearl Urena, Norma Rojas-Mora for their work in coordinating this tribute, and thank you to Valerie Urso and Manny de Los Santos for the video production and content editing.

The Effects of Colorism on Latina and Black Youth Panel

Bakersfield College’s Latinas Unidas and Latina Leaders of Kern County bring another discussion panel to discuss the sensitive topic of discrimination. According to the Pew Research Center, Latino and Black youth with darker skin tones are six times more likely to face discrimination due to the color of their skin. Panelists will speak about colorism in the Latinx and Black community. Register now for the panel taking place on Wednesday, 11/4/2020 – 5:30PM.

This is the third in the webinar series; webinars were also held on October 22 and October 29.

During the October 22 webinar, Sandy Woo-Cater, Co-director for the Kern Coalition Against Human Trafficking, shared some of her experiences with racism – particularly in a bi-racial relationship:

Registration for Spring 2021

Early Registration begins Wednesday November 4, 2020 for Spring 2021 classes! This semester has flown by, midterms are over, and it is time to start planning your Spring classes. Remember to complete your update form in order to get your Registration Date. If you have any questions or problems, visit the Student Information Desk Monday – Thursday 9AM – 6PM. Looking forward to the Spring!

November is Veterans Month

November 11 is the Veterans Day holiday to honor those who have served our country both in war and peace. At BC, we celebrate and honor our veteran students for the whole month. This year, celebrations include the Distinguished Speaker David French, the invitation-only 30 Unit Coining Ceremony & Touch Point and the Success Pack distribution. Get details on the BC website at Veterans Month.

Last year in November we celebrated the month with the opening of the VRC. See other highlights of our celebration in my November 10, 2019 blog. Here are a few pictures from previous events:

  • A garden of American flags in the grass.

Art on PBS

BC Art Adjunct Faculty Diego Gutierrez Monterubio was featured on Valley PBS this week with a 5-minute film “Pintor Diego.” The film, along with 9 other local films, was part of this year’s #TheBigTell.

Thank you Diego Gutiérrez Monterrubio for sharing your story with the Central Valley.

You can check out the film online.

#ABetterBC Update

Chemistry professor Deb Rosenthal sent me this photo of construction of sthe new Science building. Even while we are not able to be on campus, work continues to create #ABetterBC.

Archives Throwback

“Dasein”, a poem by Jim Lynn (1971)

The following poem by Jim Lynn was published in the May 26, 1971 edition of the Renegade Rip. Loosely translated from German, the word “dasein” equates to the English word “existence” and was a frequent expression used by the philosopher Martin Heidegger.

Dasein

Yonder, in the Panhandle,
My thoughts are hiding
Until after the sun
Has paled the horizon
Then shall we meet
In mortal union
Within corpse of lilac corpse
And pass the image of a friend.
The basking tombstone.
We shall nurse the choking
Of a Sophist pond
But we know she cannot smile,
For the clandestine curse
Of time, in stealthy stalking,
Muses our isolation.
And after the variegate cliffs
Are clothed in peignoir
Of twilight shadow
We shall wait for
Soliloquies of crickets
To die in solitude,
Leaving us alone
With the pond,
Wherein we weep
For the passing
Of Spring

– Jim Lynn

Spotted on Social Media

Anthropology Professor Krista Moreland shared these photos of her cat, Pepper:

Maria Wright, Director of Student Support Services, shared a picture of her son getting into the Halloween spirit:

Athletics

New Renegade Themed Zoom Backdrops Are Here

Step-up your Zoom game on your next video conference call with these official Renegade themed backgrounds! Right-click each image to save the background.

Click Here to learn how to use custom backgrounds on Zoom.

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That’s all for now.
Until next time.
With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.
sonya –
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

BC – We’ve got talent

Did you vote?

Chancellor Tom Burke

Follow our chancellor’s lead…. he dropped off his ballot today at the BC ballot box.

Good morning Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, October 24, 2020…a great day to be a Renegade.

Kern Shakespeare Festival: “The Comedy of Errors”

The 36th annual Shakespeare festival kicked off this week with the virtual premiere of “The Comedy of Errors”,  directed by Bob Kempf. The performers have adapted the slapstick of the Bard’s original “Comedy of Errors” into a Chaplinesque silent film with masks. Performances of the play aired online Thursday, October 22 through Saturday, October 24.

For the first time at this year’s Kern Shakespeare Festival, alongside the Shakespeare plays, the theater department will begin premiering a production created by playwrights of color. Premiering Thursday, October 29 is a performance of “Bootycandy”, a semi-autobiographical play written by Robert O’Hara that premiered in 2015. The festival close-out production is Shakespeare’s “The Tempest.” Check the Kern Shakespeare Festival Facebook page for ticket information for upcoming shows.

BC High School Chamber Singers Festival Moves Online

On Monday, the BC Chamber Singers hosted their annual BC High School Chamber Singers Festival. In past years, 14 high school chamber choirs would have come to the BC campus for the event.

This year, the format changed to a Zoom event with Grammy-winning composer and conductor Eric Whitacre.

Performing Arts Department Chair Jennifer Garrett shared that 15 high school choirs, plus CSUB choirs and more were scheduled to attend the virtual event – including a Q&A session with Eric.

Jennifer shared the piece that Eric discussed at the event:

Latina Leaders of Kern

Bakersfield College, BC’s Latinas Unidas student organization, and the Latina Leaders of Kern County came together to host their first webinar in a series on race and diversity relations. Norma Rojas-Mora, BC’s Director of Community Relations who serves on the Board of Directors for the Latina Leaders of Kern County, was the moderator for the panel on Wednesday, October 21: “A Dialogue on the Intricacies of Race and Relationships”. Maria Wright was a featured panelist, along with HelloBakersfield podcast host Carla Barrientos and Sandy Woo-Cater, the Co-Director of the Kern Coalition Against Human Trafficking.

I will be sharing videos from this webinar in my blog. Today, I’m sharing Carla Barrientos’ introduction. In this 2:12 video, she shares a little about her background and her experiences being in a biracial relationship.

Next week, I will continue to share short video clips from the webinar, as well as a link to the video of the full webinar.

Art, Architecture and Archetypes

The Levan Center focused its “Art, Architecture and Archetypes” discussion on Wednesday around art and lockdowns, examining the different ways that disease and isolation have impacted art over time.

Professor Rae Ann Kumelos opened her remarks with an mythological exploration of hubris, showing stories from the Greek canon where the gods have punished mankind for its failures to reckon with reason and science. Apollo, the god of reason and science, was also the god who could cast plagues with his arrows.

Art professor Ronnie Wrest showed several art pieces inspired by pandemics and disease, highlighting paintings from Edvard Munch alongside an 1890 print depicting Japanese folklore. He also showed some street art made during the 2020 pandemic to celebrate health workers.

Ronnie Wrest shows Edvard Munch’s “The Sick Child” during Art, Architecture, and Archetypes

Kimberly Chin shared about the impact of the pandemic on Broadway theater. The New York theater district, which is the biggest in the world, had only closed 14 times before the pandemic, mostly related to strikes or natural disasters. In fact, the theater stayed open during the Spanish flu. The current pandemic is the longest time that Broadway has been closed in its history, and it looks to continue closure well into next year.

Krista Moreland gave a presentation on the way art about pandemics reflected different cultural values and needs that evolved over time. Pandemics were initially perceived as “punishment” for sinners, and woodcut illustrations were used to communicate the dangers about plagues for a primarily illiterate population . Eventually, as culture evolved to perceive plague victims with more empathy, artists depicted their struggles with more humanity. Pandemics changed the urban landscape as we began to understand disease, and images from newspapers, drawings and video recordings could directly depict disease in HD.

Thank you to Levan Center director Reggie Williams and all of the panelists for their participation in this virtual forum about art and pandemics.

Latino Inspire Awards Recognize Norma Rojas-Mora

BC’s Norma Rojas-Mora was recognized by Rep. TJ Cox during this year’s Latino Inspire Award celebration. Rep. Cox first hosted the Latino Inspire Awards in 2019 in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, celebrated since 1988 from September 15th to October 15th.

Rep. Cox recognized Norma for all her years of service and her work to inspire positive change throughout the Bakersfield Community. Congratulations to Norma and the full list of deserving recipients.

  • Fresno County: Jacqueline Martinez, Juan Esparza Loera, Ofelia Ochoa, Roberto Vaca
  • Kings County: Ivette Stafforini, Martha Tamayo, Dr. Adalberto Renteria, Amory Marple
  • Kern County: Rosalinda Chairez, Magda Menendez, Ana Vigil, Matthew Cauthron, Norma Rojas-Mora
  • Organizations: Centro la Familia and the Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

Student Success Lab offers Standardized Test Prep Course

All of us at one time or another have had to take a make-or-break sort of test, such as TEAS (Nursing), CBEST, CSET, ASVVAB (Military), GED, SAT, ACT, and WorkKeys. But did you know that you can prepare for these by signing up for practice exercises that are free, ungraded, online (PLATO software), and at your own pace?!

Our very own Student Success Lab is now offering EDUC B80 Test Prep for Careers. Signing up couldn’t be easier: register any time this semester for CRN 75692, which is EDUC B80NC. Then send an email to our Director, Kim Nickell (knickell@bakersfieldcollege.edu) with your student ID# and birth date. Professor Nickell and her staff will then set up your account and test prep activities in PLATO and email the login information to you. You can also access the course through Canvas, which will contain further resources on test taking tips and strategies.

Early College at the #SSSC20 Virtual Conference

Early College was asked to present on the Online Collaborative Model of course delivery at the Strengthening Student Success 2020 Virtual Conference. Program Directors Kylie Campbell & Nicole Alvarez were joined by BC faculty member Teresa Mcallister and her online collaborative teaching partner, McFarland High School faculty, Angela Quinn. The four of them detailed the evolution of BC’s online collaborative module and the adapting they have had to do in light of the COVID pandemic.

Bakersfield Young Professionals Diversity Panel

Abel Guzman represented BC and the EODAC committee at the 2020 Bakersfield Young Professionals Summit, speaking as part of a panel on diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace. 

At the panel on October 14, Abel helped answer questions about recruiting and hiring diverse talent, diversification in the workplace, and more, along with Claudia Catota, Chief Diversity Officer at CSUB; Jane Myneni, Inclusion, Diversity and Engagement Lead at Aera; and moderator Carla Barrientos, host of the HelloBakersfield Podcast.

You can watch the full video of the panel on the Greater Bakersfield Chamber’s YouTube account.

Thank you, Abel, for representing BC on this esteemed panel, and thank you to the Chamber and the Bakersfield Young Professionals for inviting BC to participate.

#LightACandle: A Juneteenth Conversation

Today, I am sharing the final videos from this summer’s #LightACandle: A Juneteenth Conversation programming.

Commitment from Rural Communities & Rural Initiatives:

Commitment from HEAL:

I would once again like to thank everyone for the time, effort, thought and care that went into this programming. It truly was a community conversation.

You can find out more about the #LightACandle project and see all the videos at https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/aai/lightacandle-a-juneteenth-conversation.

Upcoming: Premiere of Ruth Bader Ginsburg Tribute

Please join me in celebrating the life and legacy of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader-Ginsburg on Thursday, October 29, live at 5:30 p.m on BC’s YouTube channel and Facebook live. This very special tribute, organized by the Pre-Law Club and the Women’s History and More committee, has been in the making for a few weeks, and I can’t wait for everyone to see it.

For more information, visit the BC website!

Spotted on Social Media

Talita Pruett shared this picture of her beautiful family, and found the positives in these unprecedented times:

“One of the upsides of distance learning and working remotely is that we can work from the beach. So, we’ve been working/ studying from Morro Bay as much as we can. It is a blessing to be able to go on walks early in the morning before we start work/school and late in the afternoon after we are all done with work…Being safely outdoors, when we’ve been isolated/ at home for seven months now, is divine. It is a balm for the body and the soul.”

Cindy Collier shared this photo from getting takeout at the Renegade Room:

BC Renegade Room and Culinary students continuing their education with take out food services. Chef Suzannne and Logan were so hospitable and the food is wonderful. BC faculty and students are innovative and flexible.

Athletics

Baseball’s Caggienelli Headed to CSUB

Renegade Baseball pitcher Benji Caggienelli announced this week his commitment to play at the next level across town at Cal State Bakersfield. The right-handed pitcher played just this shortened spring season at BC after a stellar high school career at Ridgeview High School. He is the third baseball player this year to move on to the four-year level. Congrats Benji! We’ll be rooting for you!

That’s all for now.
Until next time.
With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.
sonya –
the luckiest and happiest college president ever