Tag Archives: Becki Whitson

We are BC! Love, Peace, and Blessings

Love, Peace, and Blessings Bakersfield….I borrow this greeting from Prof. Bryan Hirayama’s student on the “inside.”

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

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

In the infamous introductory words of one of my students inside, “Love, Peace, and Blessings”. Everyday regardless of what is going on and before he addressed the class for anything, this student said very sincerely, “Love, Peace and Blessings”. It is clear to me that he shares more than just an obligatory salutation. There is a sense of affection, care, and encouragement embedded into the word “Love” when he says it. The idea of togetherness, shared responsibility to each other, and above all brotherhood is coded into the word “Peace”. Lastly, a touch of hope that all people’s wishes and dreams, goals and aspirations, and will to be free will be met one day is also baked into this seemingly mundane yet deep and meaningful message. I would like to thank this student for sharing this greeting with me and other students on a daily basis. It has kept me grounded. As I am wrapping up grades and looking back on the semester it is moments like this, shared with love, that will keep me motivated to make a difference and keep spreading the “Love, Peace, and Blessings”.

This is a “copy and paste from the May 15th blog of Professor Bryan Hirayama

 Love, Peace and Blessings Bakersfield.  
It is Saturday, October 21st and a fabulous day to be a Renegade

Homecoming 2017

Oct 14 2017BC Football fought off a second half push by Moorpark and continued with their season-long trend of finishing strong by beating the Raiders 34-10 in front of over 5,000 fans at Memorial Stadium to complete a festive homecoming celebration Saturday and open conference play with a win.

Thank you Trustee Bill Thomas, who came to the game with his grandson William and thank you Trustee Romeo Agbalog.

Bill Thomas, grandson William, Romeo Agbalog

Trustee Bill Thomas, grandson William, Trustee Romeo Agbalog

Our fabulous cheer team with cheer coach Heather Foss.

Sonya and Cheer Squad

Photo by April Massirio of the BC Cheer team 

 

So happy to see Fran Florez and her husband Ray Florez.  Fran is on our Foundation Board of Directors and put in a lot of time helping us with Measure J.

Ray and Fran Florez.jpg

Here is another foundation board member Ken Byrum and his wife.  Ken is a big supporter of BC.

Ken Byrum and his wife at the homecoming game Oct 14 2017

Pam Byrum and Ken Byrum

And here is the fabulous Ed Davis with his family. Always supporting Bakersfield College!

Ed Davis and family Oct 14 2017

Glad to see Jim Darling at the Memorial Stadium supporting Renegade Football

Karen Goh and jim Darling

Karen Goh, Jim Darling

Marlene Heise, Karen Goh, Todd Hansen, Bill Thomas, grandson William, Jim Darling, Sonya Christian

Marlene Heise, Karen Goh, Todd Hansen, Bill Thomas, grandson William, Jim Darling, Sonya Christian

BC employees were out in full force with their families.  I snapped this picture of Wendy Lawson and her husband Ken and here is Dena Rhoades with her husband, daughter, and grandchildren.

Wendy Lawson and Dena Rhoades with their families October 14 2017.jpg

So enjoyed seeing Steve’s daughter out with her mom and dad at the game.

Steve and Kim Watkin and their daughter

Kendra Watkin, Steve Watkin, Kim Watkin

Love, Peace, and Blessings all

TailGade

Staff and Faculty at HomecomingBefore the homecoming game, I attended the BC Alumni Association’s first TailGade. It was a wonderful event and a lovely afternoon to welcome home our Alumni to their campus on the hill. The large tent provided plenty of shade for eating and fellowship. The food from Fred’s BBQ was a big hit. We had delicious large, juicy grilled steaks, beans, salad and rolls. The steaks were so gigantic, I couldn’t even finish mine and the dinner was well worth the price of admission. They even offered refreshing la Rosa Frozen Fruit Bars for dessert. Perfect for the weather!

Homecoming Bar

Friends and familiar faces were all around at TailGade and throughout the day it was incredible to catch up with Renegades and Renegade fans.

Renegade TailgadeR

Bakersfield’s famous ska, reggae, mambo band, Mento Buru, played great music from the stage. Some members of the band are BC Alumni and they performed a modern version of the BC Fight Song. You can see a video of Mento Buru practicing for homecoming: https://www.facebook.com/MentoBuru/videos/10159515917410296/. With such jazzy, upbeat music, alumni couldn’t resist getting up and dancing to the wonderful music.

Karen Goh at Homecoming

Karen Goh, photo by April Massirio.

To the side of the stage, a monitor played footage of games played in 1945. Kids were playing everywhere and there were games of corn hole going the entire time. The cheerleaders gave a great performance of their cheers for the crowd. The Homecoming parade with the BC Renegade Band and Homecoming float came right around the party so we got to see everyone up close. Honored guest Mayor Karen Goh joined us and led us in a “We are BC!” cheer. Thank you to Heather Pennella and the BC Alumni Association for putting on such a fabulous event. What a way to welcome our alumni home!

And not just alumni, I spotted BC faculty and staff celebrating too!  Here is Tom Gelder, Exec Director of the BC Foundation having fun.

Tom Gelfer in action at Tailgade Oct 14 2017

Tom Gelder

Rob Parsons Isabel Stierle Michael ODoherty Tom Gelder Oct 14 2017

Thank you Michael O’Doherty, past president of the Bakersfield College Foundation Board of Directors for coming out to support BC.

Great to see Peter Reyes and the fabulous Becki Whitson

Sonya Christian, Peter Reyes, Becki Whitson Oct 14 2017

Sonya Christian, Peter Reyes, Becki Whitson

Bob Martin, a Renegade, with his daugther Theresa McAllister and grand daughter.

Sonya Christian, Bob Martin, Theresa McAllister Oct 14 2017

Sonya Christian, Bob Martin, Theresa McAllister and her daughter

Heather Pennella, you did a great job organizing the 2017 Alumni BBQ

Sonya Christian, Eric Pennella and Heather Pennella Oct 14 2017

Sonya Christian, Eric Pennella, Heather Pennella

Check out “Bakersfield College celebrates homecoming with parade, tailgating” by Joseph Luiz at The Bakersfield Californian. It has some incredible photos of Renegade fans celebrating before the big game.

John Harte took some great shots – they are available here. 

Photo by John Harte

Photo by John Harte, original from http://www.bakersfield.com

April Massirio also provided some lovely photos from TailGade and the parade. Check them out at https://bakersfieldcollege.smugmug.com/2017/TailGade

Homecoming Parade

Homecoming Parade, photo by April Massirio.

Homecoming Royalty Court

Homecoming Royalty is an honored and longstanding tradition of Bakersfield College that recognizes outstanding students at Bakersfield College. The Homecoming Royalty Court this year will be comprised of two students who shall represent the College and student body at various campus and community events throughout the year. The selection process for the Homecoming Royalty Court is based upon the candidate’s leadership activities, academic achievement, and campus involvement. Royalty are screened and ultimately selected based on the applicant’s’ ability to articulate and demonstrate academic performance, curricular and co-curricular involvement, contributions to the College as well as the Bakersfield Community, and BC Renegade Spirit. This year there were nine candidates selected.

Homecoming Court (1)

Elka Desjardins is a Journalism/Agriculture Business Management/Forestry major. She is also the Historian for the BC Agriculture Student Organization and she works as a hairstylist, photographer, and wedding officiant when not in a classroom or on campus.

Evelyn Hernandez is a sophomore here studying Admissions of Justice. She is also the amazing secretary for your student government. Her long-term goal is to work in probation while helping the youth community in Bakersfield.

Ganae Romo-Watson is a fun loving, outgoing person. She enjoys the company of her peers as well as her faculty. She strives for greatness and rises up the people around her as well. She believes that leadership is the key to opening doors of strong bonds and future prospects.

Running to renew his title, Lawrence Salcido is a long time Renegade pushing through his final year. His passion for this school is shown through his involvement on campus. He is involved in multiple student organizations such as the BC Renegamers, the American Sign Language Club, and the Student Learning Alliance. Besides his student organization involvement, he is also a student leader and advocate, involved in student government and activities that involve BC students.

Gisela Campos, a kinesiology major, is from Delano California and in her fourth and final year at BC. She is pursuing her dream of becoming a Physical Therapist when she finishes up at CSU Long Beach. She is currently the president of Korean Culture Club.

While all five candidates are extremely qualified and exhibit the BC Spirit and the Renegade Pride, this year’s recipient of the 2017 Homecoming Royalty Court are: Elka Desjardins and Ganae Romo-Watson.

BCSGA and the Office of Student Life would like to thank Enchanted Bridal Boutique for their donation of the homecoming gowns and Mr. Tuxedo for their donation of today homecoming tuxedos.

The evening ended with BC’s Drumline performing outside the stadium.  So fortunate to have Tim Heasley at BC.

Drumline.jpg

Thank you Mary Jo Pasek for being you!

Mary Jo Pasek and Sonya Christian Oct 14 2017

Gov. Jerry Brown signs AB 19 and AB 705

It’s been an active week for community colleges across California with Governor Jerry Brown’s signing of new legislation to make education more affordable and efficient for students across California’s Community Colleges.

Harold Pierce describes the new bills in an article on the cover of Wednesday’s Bakersfield Californian.

The California College Promise, also known as AB 19 essentially attempts to maximize student success by encouraging full-time enrollment, and we’ve already started on a similar path at our campus with the Kern Promise.  Please note that the Kern Promise is not about “free tuition.” It is a shared responsibility of the college with the student to complete their degree in a timely manner.  For example, with the Associates Degree for Transfer to complete their 60 credits at BC and then transfer to CSUB or another 4 year university.  For more on the Kern Promise see https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/sse/kernpromise

AB 705 legislates the use of multiple measures to determine students’ entry-level math and English placement at College.  BC piloted Multiple Measures three years ago and this year it is fully instituted thanks for the intense efforts on the part of Janet Fulks, Sue Vaughn and faculty in Academic Development, English and Math.  Also, thanks to the great collaboration with KHSD.  The standards for the courses at BC are still the same, the only change is that we are more connected with the high schools in order to provide a seamless transition from high school to college.  This saves the taxpayer money when public sector institutions are working to promote efficiency and effectiveness.

We’re equipping students with the tools they need to be successful, making sure that they’re enrolled full time and completing transfer-level math and English in their first year, which our guided pathways research has demonstrated is crucial for students to successfully make their way through college.

Korean Delegation Visits Bakersfield College

Bakersfield College was honored to host delegates from our sister city, Bucheon, South Korea.  A dozen delegates, including their Vice Mayor, Oh Byoung Kwon, retired KCCD Chancellor Sandra SerranoKCCD Chancellor Tom Burke, and John Heffner met with faculty and staff to tour our campus and learn about our incredible programs.

Btw, talking about our campus, let me take this opportunity to once again thank Kern County for passing Measure J.

Korean Delegates Visit BC

Korean Delegates Visits BC. With Sandra Serrano, Tom Burke, John Heffner, Kimberly Bligh, Lesley Bonds

During their first stop, the delegates spoke with our international student services Counselor, Shohreh Rahman to learn about the support we offer to nearly 100 students from all over the world.

Shohreh Rahman and Korean Delegate Oct 15 2017

Prof. Shohreh Rahman

After hearing about our, world-traveling choir and theatre arts programs, our guests insisted on seeing the theatre.  They quietly slipped into their seats to listen in to Dr. Jen Garrett’s students for a few moments.  They were thoroughly impressed by the theatre but, more importantly, loved seeing our faculty and students in action.

Jen Garret and Choir Koren delegation

The next stop was at the best restaurant in town: the Renegade Room. Chef Suzanne Tangeman invited our BC guests to the kitchen where her students were beginning a lesson, chopping vegetables to create a salad.  Chef Suzanne welcomed our guests and describe the program benefits.

Chez Suzanne and students Korean Delegation

Chef Suzanne Tangeman and Culinary Students

Culinary students Korean Delegation Oct 15 2017

Before heading to the Planetarium for a quick show led by Dr. Nick Stobel, the group swung by the Industrial Automation Robotics Lab to learn about our work to meet the demands the technology-driven business model of the 21st century.

Planetarium with Korean Delegation

Thank you to Manny Fernandez for leading the lab tour and talking with such enthusiasm about the way this program will help our students while meeting an industry demand.

John Heffner with Manny Fernandez and Korean Delegation

It is customary in Korean culture to exchange gifts upon when visiting someone’s home.

 

Tarina Perry getting gift from Korean Delegation

To thank our guests, our BCSGA students and Student Life staff created bags filled with BC goodies.

BC SGA

In exchange, Vice Mayor Oh Byoung Kwon presented gifts to BC faculty, staff, and students. The South Korean delegation from Bucheon’s visit to BC was part of a larger trip to Bakersfield.  Read more about an event earlier this week  to honor the sacrifices of Korean War veterans.

A special thank you to Paul Beckworth, Liz Rozell, Stephen Waller, Nicky Damania, Kimberly Bligh, Tarina Perry, for coordinating this visit and sharing BC’s story with our guests.  And thank you Lesley Bonds for being the lead on this. #WeAreBC

Kimberly Bligh and Lesley Bonds leading the tour

Love, Peace, and Blessings 

Washington, D.C.

On Monday, I was in Washington DC to present at the national Grantmakers for Education conference.  This was my first time at a conference of “grant makers.”  In this picture, you see me with the College Futures Foundation, Irvine Foundation, Gates Foundation and the Teagle Foundation.  These individuals are smart and at their core believe in the transformative power of education.  This combination of  passion and intellect along with a keen sense of scalability and return on investment allows them to use the private philanthropic dollars in a very smart way.  Needless to say it was a fabulous experience for an educator like me to hang out with large private philanthropic foundations at this conference.  #WeAreBC

 

Grantmakers for Ed Conf Oct 16 2017

Sonya Christian, Shawn Whalen, April Yee, Christie Hill, Loni Bordoloi Pazich

Last time I was in D.C., it was Spring 2016 and I can still remember the cherry blossoms. You can visit my blog about that trip here. During that trip, I had attended the AACC Pathways Institute, but also had time to visit some of my favorite places.

During this trip, I rushed over  to the national mall and walked the historical pathways between the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument.

One of my friends asked me if I ever visited the Jefferson Memorial and the answer is sadly “no.”  So for my next trip I look forward to visiting the Jefferson Memorial.

Jefferson Memorial from britannica

Prayer Luncheon

I attended the annual luncheon event, hosted by the Thursday Prayer group, for leadership in government. The keynote speaker was Rev. Oscar Anthony who gave a powerful talk on unity and prayer.  Pastor Anthony graduated from BC and still engaged with the work of the college.  Thank you for Jan Lockhard and the Thursday prayer group for all you support for our community.

Oscar Anthony

Love, Peace, and Blessings all

The 2017 Great ShakeOut

2017Shakeout-header

At 10:19 on Thursday, the 2017 Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drill was held on all BC campuses. The day is a reminder that earthquakes are a part of life in our state and a major earthquake could be on the horizon at any time. When the alarms rang, our whole campus followed the procedure to (1) Drop, (2) Cover, and (3) Hold on! After the two-minute drill, our buildings evacuated and each building was thoroughly checked.

ShakeOut organizers note that many Californians have not experienced a damaging earthquake, such as young people or people who have recently moved to the state. They also warned that while the San Andreas fault could generate a large-scale earthquakes, up to magnitude-8, “there are over a hundred other active faults in the region that can produce smaller earthquakes.”

Our campus responded wonderfully and I reported to the Incident Command Center at exactly 10:23. The ICC immediately sprang into action receiving information from Building Marshalls, Runners, and Public Safety Personnel. Todd Coston, our Planning Chief reported all building clearings on a white board on one side of the room and Chief Counts, our Safety Officer cross checked these reports with our campus map. Each individual in the ICC has a specific role to support the Incident Commander with various responsibilities and key activities. By 10:43, we had all the information we needed to cut the alarms and give the “All Clear” signals.

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We take the annual ShakeOut and all emergency drills very seriously to ensure our students, staff, and faculty are as safe as possible and also to practice responding so that we are well trained and ready in case of an emergency situation. I invite you to share Earthquake Safety for College Students, which is available at https://www.shakeout.org/downloads/2014_College_Student_Preparedness.pdf

Olivia Garcia

Olivia Garcia and Karen Goh

Olivia Garcia and Mayor Karen Goh

While the rest of the media was busy covering the new Assembly bills, Olivia Garcia took the time to write an article about our Digital Delano project in Tuesday’s Bakersfield Californian.

Olivia’s story highlighted this new project, headed by Dr. Oliver Rosales, to document the oral histories of farm workers in Delano and other rural areas in Kern County, preserving all of their amazing stories for generations to come, while providing an archival resource for rural students in Kern County to research their own community’s history.

BC was blessed to be chosen for this funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities to even begin work on this project, and it’s great to see it finally starting to take shape.

This Week on Social Media

On Instagram this week, Sequoia Sandwich Company featured Jack Hernandez as a regular and one of their favorite customers! His usual is posted as an oatmeal cookie and a cup of coffee.  That sounds like a winning combo to me!

Instagram_Jack
And then I saw these gorgeous cookies from Arisve & Bianca Pimentel and I couldn’t help but grab a screen capture to share with you all. Check them out at Pimentel Delights. We Are BC and I’m the luckiest and happiest college president, ever!

Instagram_Cookies

Corny Rodriguez on Facebook

Corny his daughter and grand daughter Alzeimer's walk Oct 2017

Pam Boyles with grandson on Facebook

Robert Boyles Facebook of Pam Boyles with grandson Oct 20 2017

Links Celebration Photos

I shared last week that BC was in full force at The Links, Incorporated’s 40 year celebration of providing important educational resources to the community. I wanted to share a few photos from the event. If you missed my piece last week, check it out here!

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Faculty busy supporting our students and community

Thank you Dr. Oliver Rosales for moderating this panel discussing issues of poverty.

Oliver Rosales OBOBOK Oct 19 2017

Prof. Olivia Garcia with her students

Olivia Garcia October 19 2017 about History Seminar

Pam Gomez tweeted from the CCPT Conf with the BC Team

CCPT Conf Oct 19 2017 Pam Gomez

Pam Gomez at CCPT Conf

Renegade Athletics

Women’s Basketball

This week, Coach Paula Dahl sent an email to our campus community and she said,

I am so incredibly excited about this year’s team. I have 19 completely dedicated student/athletes. They are completing a mandatory 5 hours in the tutoring center per week, taking a minimum of 15 units, many also have jobs, and one is even a parent of 2. We have future doctors, nurses, lawyers, police offers, ultra sound technicians, physical therapists and teachers in our midst. This will be a fun team to follow because they embrace hard work and a commitment to being great. Some of these incredible student-athletes do not have great support at home and are struggling to raise the $400.00 we require. This money goes towards travel gear, an exposure showcase where they are seen by 4 year coaches, Synergy a game editing software that helps them improve their game and also allows them to be seen by virtually every college coach across the country. Our program is committed to transferring our athletes.

If you would like to contact me separately I would be happy to tell you about those athletes that are struggling to meet our fundraising goal and you can adopt them for $60 dollars. This will get you a t-shirt and a team photo. Thank you for all you do to make this an incredible place to work. We hope to see you at our games. The Disneyland Drawing will be Friday November 3 not the 10th.

womenbeatlapierce

Paula is right and all our students are absolutely inspiring and incredible. To keep up with our Womens Basketball team, visit Gogades.com

And if you’re interested in any of the fundraisers the team currently has going on, feel free to reach out to coach Paula at pdahl@bakersfieldcollege.edu.

BC Volleyball

Jon Mettus at the Bakersfield Californian published an article featuring BC Volleyball and included this quote from Coach Carl Ferreira.

“Sometimes we get caught up placing so much emphasis on performance and results and all this kind of stuff,” Ferreira said. “It really kind of puts you back a little bit to understand that the most important success we should have is just as grateful people and seeing the human spirit at work. That volleyball match was a therapeutic match for those ladies and for our team.”  Don’t miss this great read located here.

Women’s golf

Women's gold Oct 19 2017 from gogades website

The Renegades finished third in the WSC match No. 7 at the Brookside Golf Course in Pasadena, on Monday.

Women’s Soccer

Women's Soccer Oct 17 2017 Photo by William Velasquez

The Renegades beat Citrus, 1-0, on October 17th to improve to (5-5-2, 1-1-1).  Odalys Espinoza scored the only goal of the game, her 8th of the season.

Jennifer Garrett and BC Chamber Singers

Bakersfield City School District held the 10th Annual Junior High/Middle School Choir Festival and BC’s Dr. Jen Garrett was the guest clinician and conductor. See the article and all the photos at bcsd.com.

Jen also sent out an email worth sharing this week. She said:

Ken Burdick and Jenn Garrett April 1 2017

Ken Burdick, Jen Garrett

Conductor and composer Leonard Bernstein is often quoted as saying, “This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before.” Never before has this quote struck me more than it did Monday night as I rehearsed with the Chamber Singers. We discussed the happenings of Las Vegas with great sadness, especially as two of our students grieved for lost friends. Then we made some of the most beautiful music of the semester and I watched as the grieving students devoted themselves to the music and in some way began to heal from their loss. One of them approached me after rehearsal and said that singing did not change what happened, but it gave them the ability to think more clearly and deal with it on a personal level. Music truly can be a powerful tool for good in this world.

With that in mind I want to invite every one of our BC family to join the choirs to celebrate the power of music at our fall concert on October 27 in the Indoor Theater. It is called, “The Music of Living” and it encourages people to share in the beauty, peace, and joy that music brings to this world. I know that many today are weighed down with the happenings of all the recent tragedies, but I believe those who attend will leave inspired, and motivated to be part of the change for good. The concert also features 7 incredible local instrumentalists and one of the pieces that Dr. Ron Kean composed for the choir this past spring. I hope that you will join us for a night of celebrating how music helps us live to the fullest. The concert begins at 7:30 and tickets can be purchased from Vallitix or at the door. Faculty, staff, students, administration, seniors, and veterans are $7 and $10 general. We do tend to sell out so you might want to purchase tickets in advance or arrive early.

And, are you saving the date for the annual Culinary Caroling Dinner? I look forward to this festive event each holiday season. The date this year is December 2nd at 5:30PM. Tickets will be available from Jen, any of the Chamber Singers, or at the Fall Concert.

Community Voices by Catherine Jones

Catherine Jones from TBCBC Professor Catherine Jones had a Community Voices piece published this week where she shared the associate degree program in Occupational Safety and Risk Management. She says, “Kern County is blessed with many types of industry and now there will be an educational pathway for safety and risk management professionals which matches the diversity in industry.”  Read more here at bakersfield.com.

So what about Neo?

October 18, 2017 — 7 months old

 

 

Love, Peace, Blessings to my friends and colleagues

Sonya Christian at airport heading back home July 27 2017

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

 

A Wonderful Week at BC and Beyond!

Good evening from Tempe Arizona as I start this blog to make sure I get it done and out on Saturday (2/4/2017) rather than Sunday.  I don’t want to get a text from my friend like I did last Saturday night when I was on the train heading back to Bakersfield from Sacramento: “Are you okay? I am worried about you.  Have not see your blog yet.”  When I responded saying that I was busy preparing for my presentations in Sacramento and that I will probably get it out on Sunday he responded with something like: “well…ok then. You are excused. I’ll read National Tweets instead.  Altho I must say it will not be the same.”  lol….so funny! National tweets, now our national news in 140 characters or less. 🙂

Tempe Bridge Feb 2 2017.jpg

james-elmore-founding-dean-of-school-of-architecture-asuThe Tempe Town Lake Pedestrian Bridge is a beautiful piece of architecture.  I walked the bridge several times during our stay at the Tempe Mission Palms for the AACC Pathways Institute #4. On March 18th, Tempe City Council will dedicate the bridge to the man whose passion led to the creation of Tempe Town Lake, James Elmore, ASU’s founding Dean of Architecture.

 

Here is an excerpt from the Tempe City Hall website

“James Elmore was a champion of Tempe Town Lake for more than 40 years, from encouraging the School of Architecture to take on the Salt River as a project to bringing the student ideas to those who could make them reality,” said David Scheatzle, a Professor Emeritus for the ASU College of Architecture. “Associating his name with the beautiful pedestrian bridge at the west end of the Tempe Town Lake seems most appropriate for someone so dedicated to this vision.”

Here is a nice piece about the bridge.  Check it out: http://tinyurl.com/jnpvsk5

AACC Pathways Institute

Here is the BC team at the  AACC Pathways Institute.

bc-gang-in-tempe-feb-3-2017

Sonya Christian, Jennifer Johnson, Janet Fulks, Maria Wright, Lesley Bonds

BC was one of 30 colleges selected nationwide through a competitive process to participate in a 3-year Guided Pathways initiative.  The Tempe, AZ institute was the fourth of 6 institutes designed to help us focus our work on four key pillars: 1) clarifying students’ paths, 2) getting them on a path, 3) keeping them on the path, and 4) ensuring they’re learning.  This institute focused on ensuring meaningful learning.  The BC team dug into our student learning outcomes, discussed ways to engage faculty in cross-disciplinary pedagogical professional development, and identified areas of focus for our academic support services agenda moving forward.  And we had fun doing all of this.  Here are some photos to prove it.

 

Last semester, Janet Fulks and Maria Wright led student and faculty focus groups that gave us a lot of insight into the BC experience from each perspective.  We were able to use the focus group themes to drive discussion throughout the institute, and our very own Dr. Janet Fulks was invited to present in Tempe on faculty-led models for assessing student learning outcomes.  BC has the best faculty and staff!  Thanks so much to our Institute #4 team: Lesley Bonds, Janet Fulks, Jennifer Johnson, and Maria Wright.

IEPI Workshop on Guided Pathways: Here are more pictures from the workshop in Costa Mesa last week.

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Nick Strobel

Nick Strobel

Enjoyed reading Nick Strobel‘s piece in the Californian today.  I love Nick’s writing.  Here is one of my favorite paragraphs from his article

A couple of cool space exploration stories came into my inbox recently. The first was the stunning view of the waves in Saturn’s rings made by the tiny moon Daphnis. Daphnis is just 5 miles along its longest dimension and it clears out a gap 26 miles wide in Saturn’s outer A ring. When the Cassini spacecraft came to within 17,000 miles of Daphnis during a recent ring-grazing pass on its highly tilted orbit, Cassini took a beautiful image that shows the ripples or waves made in the A-ring by the weak gravity of Daphnis. The image is so sharp that you can see a faint thin tendril of ring material pulled up from the ring by Daphnis. Absolutely gorgeous and to know that it’s all just gravity at work!

The Bakersfield Californian does not have it posted yet on their website.  But Nick has it on his planetarium website: http://tinyurl.com/zybbxmo

 

Trice Harvey a legend

trice-harvey-picture-by-julie-rogers-1994

The picture is by Julie Rogers in 1994.  You see Trice Harvey with Carl Sparks and Ed Jagels.

James Burger did a nice story on Trice Harvey in The Bakersfield Californian.  Here is how Burger starts the story:

Trice Harvey was the kind of guy who spawned stories, yarns and the occasional tall tale.
There was the time Harvey barbecued ostrich meat and served it to his fellow legislators to try to convince them to make ostrich a farm product, not an exotic item, to exempt it from a tax.
Or the time he wore a football jersey that was half-Bakersfield College and half-Taft College to a game between the two rival schools.
Or the time the notoriously camera-friendly former politician turned suddenly shy as a Fish and Game warden began eyeing the catch he’d had made that day — without his fishing license.
There are probably hundreds of those stories. Maybe thousands.
But on Tuesday, the former Kern County supervisor and California assemblyman’s story came to a close at age 80.

For more click on http://tinyurl.com/za8g7o4.

I briefly refer to Trice Harvey in the March 19, 2016 post on Kay Meek.  Here is the link
https://sonyachristianblog.com/2016/03/19/a-whirlwind-week-at-bakersfield-college/

 

BC Commercial Music Ensemble Open Rehearsal

On Wednesday afternoon, the BC Commercial Music Ensemble rehearsal offered a chance for students to perform original compositions and arrangements of popular songs. The ensemble has nearly doubled in size since first being offered last semester as a part of unveiling the new commercial music program. At the beginning of the semester, Professor, Dr. Josh Ottum notified students that their first performance would be happening in a few weeks. Their expressions were equal parts fear and excitement. This expectation set the bar high and I’m overjoyed to say that the students exceeded his expectations, putting together six songs in just three rehearsals. We are so proud of of our students and look forward to seeing this ensemble grow and become an essential part of BC and the greater Bakersfield community.

What would people say about you if you died tomorrow?

The most recent speaker to present at the Levan Center opened the discussion with a topic many of us do not often think about: What do we want others to say about us after our death? BC alumni and former BC professor, Dr. Crystal Dea Moore, used her lively and contagious personality to interact with the students, faculty, and staff in attendance on the importance of making an after death plan, before our passing.

Dr. Moore has published a number of readings regarding end-of-life decisions, as well as worked as a licensed social worker with Veteran’s Affairs (VA). Moore is currently a Professor and Associate Dean of the faculty at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York.

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Walking into the room, there were very few places to sit as the room was full of students of all ages and staff members of all types. The room was alive with discussions and questions of what the presentation might include. As the introductions began, the audience fell silent. Becki Whitson of the Behavior Science Department described Moore as that student that “everyone knew or wanted to be.” Moore’s personality shined throughout her presentation as the crowd erupted in laughter at her jokes.

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Moore explained the importance of asking questions when speaking to a doctor. For example: when they used words that you may need a dictionary to decode. She expressed how many of her Veteran clients would tell the doctor that they understand what was told to them but in reality would have the definitions misunderstood. She asked the crowd to write down a two sentence response to a simple question: What would people say about you if you died tomorrow?

Such a simple question… but, how often do we actually think about it? After a brief moment to write down our answers, Moore asked for a “few brave souls” to share their answers. Throughout her presentation, Moore stopped to take any questions and continuously explained and defined words that might cause any confusion. The presentation was unlike any other because when it comes to talking about death and the taking the steps to handling things that relate to death and dying, many of us do not know where to start.

Thank you, Dr. Crystal Dea Moore for giving us all the tools to tackle these difficult situations in life.

Outreach at BC

Our dedicated outreach team went out to Stockdale High School this week to conduct Matriculation Services for the upcoming Summer and Fall semesters at BC. We had an all-time record high for one day with 140 students assessed on Thursday and 80 scheduled to take the assessment the following day, on Friday the 3rd. WOW! 220 students!! Thank you to Kalina Hill, Josie Guillen, and the whole outreach team for making it happen!

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1.6 Million Awarded for the Enhancement of Alternative Fuel and Vehicle Tech Training Programs

 This past summer, the Advanced Transportation and Renewable Energy Sector released a competitive solicitation awarding a total of $1.6 million to address the regional workforce technical training needs for workers who will be employed by fleets, dealerships, independent shops and similar organizations.

This funding from the California Energy Commission was awarded to:energy-commission

  • American River College
  • Bakersfield College
  • Cerritos College
  • Chabot College
  • City College of San Francisco
  • College of the Desert
  • Cypress College
  • Rio Hondo College
  • San Diego Miramar College

Each of these colleges has a demonstrated need for program and course enhancements in their regions. Over the next year, they will execute carefully designed plans to train students, create curriculum, purchase equipment, and educate faculty on the latest industry technologies.

The grant was written by Andrew Haney, with contributions from Vic Posey, Justin Flint, Dan Johnson. Sarah Baron & Bonita Steele helped with the writing. BC got ~$80K from the Grant with specific equipment they can purchase.  We Are BC!

See more by visiting http://www.4nrg.org/cec-awards/

What a Night for Musical Talent in Bakersfield

It was great to see from Jennifer Garrett’s Facebook that BC was recognized during such a great event. She said,

Enjoying a beautiful night of music at Grand Night with 700 band, orchestra, and choir students in Kern County. Our new BC Band and Orchestra Director, Dr Kathryn Kuby led the band and did a fantastic job! Also saw our BC Jazz Band Director, Kris Tiner receive the Jazz Educator Award from Kern County Music Educators Association and my friend and colleague, Dr Angel M. Vázquez-Ramos received the Collegiate Music Educator Award. What a night of music!

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More on Jen Garrett:

I continually hear about the wonderful things happening on high school campuses across this great community. Jennifer Garrett recently visited Frontier High School to check out their musical talents and incredible students.

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A final word on Jen Garrett:

Our Choir Director Jen Garrett and the BC Choir are everywhere.  It is amazing that the petite Jen Garrett has all the energy in the universe!  Here are members of the BC Choir that were in Stars production on “The Drowsy Chaperone” yesterday!

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Caley Mayhall, Nichole Heasley, Ken Burdick, Jake Wattenbarger, Madeline Engel, and Caitlin Wolfenstein all in this picture with Jen.  Julie Verell did lights for the show but did not make it into the picture. They were all fantastic.

Seniors and BC Dancers

The BC Cheer team is hosting a halftime performance this weekend with the Brookdale Senior Community cheer team. They’ve been choreographing and practicing for over 4 weeks and their performance is at the men’s Basketball game this weekend. These pictures are absolute joy so I had to share. Great job BC Cheer team!

I hope you’ll cheer on our BC Renegades with them at the next home game you can attend! Go Gades!

Thank you Heather Foss and Becki Whitson!

BC Athletics

BC Track 5 individual winners: Congratulations to BC’s track teams! With five individual wins and two relay wins last weekend. Check it out at http://tinyurl.com/jewdlaa

BC Basketball: Great article by Jeff Evans in The Bakersfield Californian.  Here is an excerpt:

But when the team got on the bus to return to Bakersfield, Dahl gave each player a name of a Holocaust victim and an assignment: Research that person and give a report to the team the following Monday. Dahl said she got the idea after reading about Holocaust Remembrance Day, which is held each Jan. 27 so the world will never forget the 6 million people, mostly Jews, who were killed by the Nazis in World War II. This year the remembrance was the day before the Canyons game.
Dahl said it was a special practice when the players shared their research.
“I hated the loss, but I loved the moment on Monday,” Dahl said. “One of the great coaching moments in my life.”

Check out the story: http://tinyurl.com/j324ofk

BC Football: Relationships are critical to spreading the word about our incredible athletic programs, and that’s how BC Football’s illustrious legacy came to be a part of KGET’s Super Bowl Sunday coverage!

Assistant Football Coach Tyler Thompson talked with a friend about one of his favorite things; being a Renegade and having his name associated with a football tradition that stretches back to when leather helmets were worn.

“I know Tab well,” he told Sports Information Director Francis Mayer recently in regard to KGET’s Tabitha Mills, “We went to school together, and I just told her, ‘you’ve got to hear some of these stories from our legends. They are incredible.'”

That simple exchange spurred more conversations, including with KGET’s General Manager Derrick Jeffries-who’s brother played BC football-and they decided to pursue the stories. Mills tracked down Coaches Carl Bowser and Gerry Collis among others-legends indeed-at one of their favorite Basque haunts for lunch recently…and rumor has it that the footage captured is priceless!

We’ll be able to judge for ourselves-and with pride-this Sunday at 5pm. An encore will run Monday at 5pm as well.

Way to go, Coach Thompson! You rock!

Diego Monterrubio, BC Adjunct Art faculty being highlighted at Metro Galleries First Friday

Here you see Diego Monterrubio at the Metro gallery with Prof. Richard Marquez and Corny Rodriguez, Dean of Instruction.

 

Congratulations Faith Bradham

faithbradhamHave you been to the BC library recently? The staff are incredible. Second year librarian, Faith Bradham, was awarded a scholarship to attend the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) annual meeting in March in Baltimore. As you can see from the link, she will be in good company from around the country, the Virgin Islands, Canada, and NYU Shanghai.  One of the keynote speakers is Carla Hayden, the current and 14th Librarian of Congress. She is the first woman and first African-American to fill the post.

Check Faith Bradham out in the Early Career Section: http://conference.acrl.org/scholarships/

Letter Worth Sharing

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Andrea Thorson

I often say I’m the luckiest and happiest college president ever and it’s because I have the honor and joy to work with the best colleagues — the best students, the best staff, and the best faculty. I’d like to share a letter that hit my inbox this week. Thank you, Amber Smithson, for allowing me to share.

 

To whom it may concern,

All too often in our society today we focus on the negative and are quick to express our dislike or distaste in people and or events. In a world of negativity and altercations however I have learned to focus on that which empowers and strengthens me. I try to see the world with what it can offer me and I take those tools that I am given and try my hardest to pay it forward whenever possible. As a single mother of four when I decided to go back to school and get my degree at a later age in life, to say that I was apprehensive is to speak lightly of how I felt. With my nerves high and my self-doubt even higher, knowing I would ultimately be one of the oldest students in all my classes I returned to Bakersfield College 3 semesters ago. When I returned I was confident that I wanted to get my degree in business administration. Just by accident I decided to take a Public Speaking class as one of my very first classes. By accident even more, I walked into the wrong class because all I noticed was the last name and paid no attention to the CRN number attached to the class. It was by those “accidents” that I came upon a professor who has ultimately changed my life.

Professor Andrea Thorson has been instrumental in some amazing changes in my life. I went from an insecure, unaware, naive, and ignorant student to a confident, aware, and purposeful individual. I changed my major from Business to Communications and now have a purpose in life that I never thought I would have. I watched every day in class this remarkable professor teach and inspire her students with poise and knowledge that I hope to one day be able to share with my students when I too become a professor. She has brought me to tears, laughter, and deep soul searching. I learned more in one semester then I had all my life. I have been able to take what I have learned in her classes and incorporate them into my personal life. She renewed my faith in people by showing such compassion and desire to help each and every one of her students. I truly admire what she brings to the classroom each time she steps foot in there. She pushes you to do your best and discover who you are inside and what you are capable of achieving.

              

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Amber Smithson

I am sure that in the positions you hold, you must hear too often about the “bad” professors or you hear from the students who are angry because of their grades and therefore blame it on the so-called deficiencies of their professors. I am not writing this accolade because I am a straight A student or because school comes easy to me. On the contrary I typically have to study twice as hard as someone half my age. I work hard for my grades and when I do receive A’s it’s because I have gone above and beyond to earn them. I am writing this letter because there are some amazing professors at Bakersfield College and Professor Andrea Thorson is one of them. I owe so much to this professor and I only hope that when I have achieved my goals and am able to return to Bakersfield College as a professor myself, I will be half the instructor that she proves to be each and every day.  Sincerely, Amber Smithson

 

Check out this video that Prof Manny Fernandez did on our Baccalaureate Program in Industrial Automation

And here is a picture I forgot to post last week when I ran into the Leadership Academy in Sacramento.  I was there to present to the California Community College Trustee Association.  Both Chancellor Tom Burke and Trustee and retired Congressman Bill Thomas were also in Sacramento.

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Sonya Christian, loving Renegade life in Tempe, Arizona, Feb 2 2017

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya — the luckiest and happiest college president ever

On remembrance, and making memories

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, Sep 10th: New Faculty Reception

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Photo by Cara Jackson

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

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

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Photo by Cara Jackson

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

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

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

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

Running of the Renegades & BC Football

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Photo by Cara Jackson

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

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

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

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Sonya Christian, Karen Goh, Romeo Agbalog, JP Lake

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We truly are the community’s college.

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We Shall Never Forget

 

 

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

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

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

September 12th: College Night

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

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

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

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

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

Remembering Dr. Thomas Larwood

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Sonya Christian, Pauline Larwood, Tom Larwood

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

John Boydstun and BC Cheer team Aug 2016

September 15th: Renegade Football at Rotary

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

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

 

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

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

Just wonderful!

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

We are BC!

Follow BC Wrestling

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

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

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

Generations of Leaders at BC!

Don’t you love this picture?  I do!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

September 14th: AACU Event

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Sonya Christian, Lynn Pascarella

Movie Night in the AM!

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

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

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

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Kate Pluta

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

THANK YOU!!

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

Fall’s First Gadfly Cafe

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

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

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

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

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

Celebrating Dia de la Indepencia

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

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

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

University Transfer Day

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Photo by Cara Jackson

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

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Photo by Cara Jackson

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Congratulations to Jack Hernandez

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

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

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That’s all for now.  

Until next week.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya 

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

Alumni BBQ Sep 18, 2014

Alumni BBQ 2014 #4

Alumni BBQ 2014. Sonya Christian with Bob Allison, Heidi Allison, Zav Dadabhoy, Kushnur Dadabhoy

(Note: this blog post is about the annual Alumni BBQ, but really the evening was a doubleheader for me — after going to the BBQ, I rushed downtown to make the Kern County Black Chamber Annual Gala and Dinner, which needs a blog post all its own.)

Btw, if you are a Renegade alum plz make contact with Angie Paquette our new Director for Alum Relations in the BC Foundation.  You can reach her at angela.paquette@bakersfieldcollege.edu.  BC is counting on you to help our future Renegades.  The tradition of excellence, learning and caring must continue!

Alumni BBQ

Alumni BBQ 2014 with Jennifer Marden

Sonya Christian with the fabulous Jennifer Marden

 

The Bakersfield College Alumni Association celebrated its 60th Annual BC Alumni BBQ on September 18, 2014. It was hosted at Stramler Park and featured delicious steaks and barbecued chicken by student chefs from the Culinary Arts program. Salvadore Cruz, who was taking photos for me, said that it was honestly the best steak he had ever had in his life 🙂

The air was filled with fun and merriment as Faculty, alumni, and athletes enjoyed the beautiful weather and great food. After finishing their meals, many of the athletes enjoyed casual games of volleyball and soccer (a few students even took to playing “Keep Away” with a basketball).

 

 

 

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Here is Becki Whitson with Bob Hodel. Both ardent supporters of BC and Renegade Athletics

 

 

 

Thank you Becky Whitson for organizing this annual alumni event.  Of course, those of you who know Becky also know that she is unstoppable.  She was there yesterday at the BC vs Pasadena City game in Pasadena supporting her cheer team as well as Renegade Football. BC won 28-3.

I am sure you will enjoy this short video of Bob Hodel at
https://bcpresident.wordpress.com/2014/09/05/gearing-up-for-renegade-athletics-2014-15/

 

 

 

 

At the end of the BBQ, the crowd was treated to exciting performances by the BC Cheer Squad and the BC Drumline. Afterwards, the Bakersfield College Jazz Ensemble played out the cool summer night.

Enjoy the photo gallery from Salvadore at: http://imgur.com/a/L3wsc#0

Also his short video at: www.youtube.com/embed/Kd89SSiYljw

And here are a few photos that I discovered from the 2013 Alumni BBQ that I thought you might enjoy:

Alumni BBQ 2013 #2

Alumni BBQ 2013 #3 Alumni BBQ 2013 #1