Tag Archives: Benny Balderrama

BC — Commitment to Quality Education

US Capitol Photo snapped Jan 28, 2020

When our founding fathers settled on this stretch of land along the Potomac River, it was the result of a compromise in 1790 between Hamilton and the duo of Madison and Jefferson. My trip to DC this time was especially stirring because I am on chapter 18 of Ron Chernow’s book Alexander Hamilton. This book is so engaging that I find myself ignoring work and other pressing matters to steal away a few hours to read…. reminding me of my growing up years when I curled up with a mystery novel, sacrificing the completion of my homework for school the next day.

Alexander Hamilton was appointed as the nation’s first Secretary of the Treasury in 1789, and he sought to create a stable foundation for the newly-established federal government. He pushed for passage of the Residence Act in 1790 and negotiated the selection of the capital of the United States in a spot we now know as Washington, DC, near the colonial port cities of Georgetown and Alexandria, and the navigation head of the Potomac River.

Since I have been reflecting on the history of this great country, let me also reflect on the history of this great college founded in 1913. Here is a piece from the 1964 Raconteur that I am sure you will enjoy as much as I did.

Print from 1964.

This is your book, your story-
It covers a span of time in your life
Which is small but a scope which is large.
It is the story of Bakersfield College

A Raconteur is a French storyteller,
And indeed your Raconteur is telling a very important story.
A story about an important part of your life.
Within its covers lie your hopes and dreams,
Your successes and failures.

Your life is but in the molding here,
You are being prepared for the complicated world
Which you will enter when you leave Bakersfield College.
A life which will be complex,
A world of science and technology which will make your hectic
Days here seem like a moment of brief rest.
You will look back upon your years here and see
The preparation that took place,
How your classes and teachers used science for your enrichment

Whether you majored in Humanities or Physics
Art or mechanics, your preparation has been scientific,
As our world is scientific.
This then is a capsule summary of that preparation.

A montague look at your life here.
Your preparation has been fast and efficient
Brief and complete.
Whether you transfer to another institution of preparation
Or go into the world directly,
You will fall back on your education here.

The life of science,
And the science of life –
This is the story of Bakersfield College,
And this is what story. 

-Published by Associated Students, Bakersfield College, 1964 Raconteur

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, February 1, 2020… A great day to be a Renegade.

I spent the week in Washington, DC attending the CHEA (Council on Higher Education Accreditation conference during which I accepted the CHEA-CIQG Award on behalf of BC.

CIQG Quality Award

with framed award from CHEA.
Sonya Christian & Jean Fuller

The Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) International Quality Group (CIQG) awarded Bakersfield College the CIQG Quality Award at the annual plenary CIQG meeting in Washington, DC.

The Council annually awards colleges and universities for outstanding performance based on the rigorous standards set forth by CHEA/CIQG.  The criteria calls for high-quality performance across seven categories ranging from the institution’s impact on student outcomes to its impact on community and society.

Posing on stage with the award.
Stephanie Droker (President Elect ACCJC), Jean Fuller (Senator Emeritus), Sonya Christian, Judith Eaton (President CHEA)

It is beyond awesome that Bakersfield College is being recognized in an international arena for the transformational work that we embarked upon seven years ago. BC’s faculty and staff have courageously redesigned what we do and how we do it, to ensure at every step that the sole focus of our work is the success of our students.  To be evaluated against CIQG’s rigorous, high-performance standards and win this award is a validation of the quality and efficiency of our whole-college redesign effort. This recognition especially calls out the high quality, impactful work of our faculty and staff in specific programs such as Early College, Kern Promise, and the Program Mapper, as well as in the daily functions of the college.

Sonya speaking at the CHEA.
Sonya Christian addressing the conference after receiving BC’s award

Both presidents of CHEA, Judith Eaton, and CIQG, Chita Pijano, expressed appreciation for the significant work accomplished by Bakersfield College.

To read more about the CIQG Quality Award, visit BC’s website.  

Special thanks to The Bakersfield Californian for mentioning this prestigious recognition as well. 

The Welcome Continues

BCSGA’s welcoming festivities continued into the second week of the Spring 2020 semester with a full slate of events to keep students in the Renegade spirit. We wrote about the first Welcome Week in last week’s blog, along with a preview of what to expect from BCSGA and the Office of Student Life in 2020, so please do check it out if you haven’t already. Next week, BCSGA’s Department of Legislative Affairs has invited South Kern Sol Executive Director Reyna Olaguez to speak in the Levan Center at 1 p.m. on February 4 during the first BCSGA Power Lunch of the semester.

Super Smash Bros. Tournament

Many of our student Renegades love to play video games, so BCSGA set up a Super Smash Bros. tournament to kick off the second week of Welcome Week festivities on Monday. Students converged on Levinson Hall, where BCSGA holds their meetings, to sit down and compete against each other in “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate” for the Nintendo Switch. 

BCSGA Super Smash Bro's Tournament plaque in front of computer.

After signing up, each student was placed in an elimination bracket and played against each other until one champion was left standing. The event got pretty intense, with students bringing their own controllers and consoles to practice before the start of the tournament. Jesus C. Rodriguez was the winner of this year’s competition, beating everyone in the tournament with the characters Ganon and Kirby. As a reward for winning the tournament, his name is displayed on a trophy that hangs proudly in Levinson Hall.

Thank you to Benny Balderrama and BCSGA for getting our students who love to game invested in the campus.

Churros with Prez Pulido

Samantha with thumbs up behind a tray of churros.

BCSGA President Samantha Pulido shared churros with students and listened to their concerns in the Gym Huddle as part of a Welcome Week outreach event on Monday afternoon. Pulido wants the BC student body to get to know her a little better, so she made herself available to answer any questions that students wanted to ask.

Renegades lined up to get their free churros and share a moment with their student body president. Thank you to Prez Pulido for making all of our students feel welcome and accepted.

Renegade Rage

Students geared up in jumbo-sized boxing gloves and faced off for a friendly showdown in the Gym Huddle on Tuesday. A team of organizers got together to host the “Renegade Rage: Jumbo Boxing” event, including Student Life Assistant Sarah Aguirre, BCSGA Vice President Daniel Escobar, Director of Student Activities Christopher Hernandez, Senator Gian Gayatao, and student volunteer Alex Bridges.

Students were encouraged to put their dukes up and get in the ring, and all participants received free Renegade Student Planners. Thank you to all of the organizers and participants in this year’s “Renegade Rage”.

#SelfiesAtBC: Renegade Scavenger Hunt

Ready! Set! Go! BC students had 24 hours to share their #SelfiesAtBC and win prizes from BCSGA as part of this year’s Renegade Scavenger Hunt during Welcome Week.

BC Got Talent

Welcome Week concluded with the “BC’s Got Talent: Entertainment Gauntlet” showcase in the Gym Huddle on Thursday. BCSGA students set the stage for our talented Renegades to show off their creative abilities.

The panel of judges for the performance showcase included BCSGA members Jackie Gutierrez, Samantha Pulido, Daniel Escobar, Perla Villegas, Christopher Hernandez and Gian Gayatao. A group of singers and performers took the spotlight, including Forestry student Andrew Ramos, who sang Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” for an excited audience. Andrew said that music and singing are some of his favorite hobbies, and he enjoys all genres of music.

The panel graciously congratulated all of the participants for having the courage to share their talents with the world. Thank you to BCSGA and all of the performers for coming together at “BC’s Got Talent”.

Last Sunday’s Tragedy

Like so many basketball fans around the world, I was saddened at the passing of five-time NBA champion and Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna. The terrible helicopter crash on the hills of Calabasas last weekend was a shock to us all.

If you go to the intersection of Rosedale Highway and Mohawk Street in Bakersfield, you can see a billboard paying tribute to Bryant with the words “Legend: 1978-2020”. On Friday, the Dignity Health Memorial Sports Complex held a candlelight vigil for Bryant, who was nicknamed “The Black Mamba” for his lethal shooting ability. Local Lakers fans wore their jerseys and other memorabilia to pay respects to one of the best players in the history of the NBA.

The world of community college athletics is also in mourning after the death of John Altobelli, the baseball coach of Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa, California, who was among the nine people involved in the crash. Altobelli coached the Orange Coast Pirates for 27 seasons, winning four CCCAA titles during his tenure. In 2019, the American Baseball Coaches Association named him the National Coach of the Year. Renegade baseball coach Tim Painton knew Altobelli for 30 years and reflected on his legacy in a video posted by KERO on Tuesday.

The Pirates held an emotional tribute to Altobelli at their home game on Tuesday, with several hundred of his former players coming out to reminisce about their coach, including New York Yankees pitcher Gerrit Cole. You can read more about the John Altobelli tribute  in the LA Times.

Heartfelt condolences from the BC Athletics Department and the whole college to all the students, faculty and administration at Orange Coast College, and all of the friends and family that lost loved ones in the tragic accident. 

Anna Laven Picked to Lead Homeless Collaborative 

Anna Lavan.

Anna Laven, manager for BC’s Dual Enrollment and AB 540 programs, has been appointed as the first executive director of the Bakersfield-Kern Regional Homeless Collaborative (BKRHC). The newly-reorganized collaborative will guide the city and county’s efforts to curtail homelessness and provide resources for people in our community dealing with housing insecurity.

Laven has extensive experience in public affairs in addition to her experience as a college administrator, serving as a Field Representative for the Kern County Board of Supervisors and a member of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Kern County Behavioral Health boards. Over the last three years at BC, she has managed grant funding and developed programs focused on the recruitment and success of disadvantaged students.

The Bakersfield Californian and KGET covered the announcement on Wednesday. The BKRHC is currently working on developing a point-in-time homeless count, which would help the collaborative determine the type of services needed for homeless programs while securing additional funding and support.

BC is proud to be one of the community partners in this collaborative, which includes membership from the Alliance Against Family Violence and Sexual Assault, Garden Pathways, the Kern Housing Authority, CityServ and The Mission at Kern County. For more information,  visit the BKRHC website.

Agriculture Ambassadors

Bakersfield College’s Agriculture Ambassadors are a group of students that were hand-selected by faculty members in the Agriculture Department. These students have become knowledgeable in what it takes to get one of our agriculture degrees at Bakersfield College. With this knowledge, they participate in all of our outreach events, whether it is a career expo, a booth at the World Ag Expo or visiting high schools.

Group of agriculture ambassadors.

This past weekend, they had the unique opportunity to go to the Agriculture Ambassador conference at Cal Poly, SLO.

Ag ambassadors speaking to students.

So proud of our students! WE ARE BC!

Community Voices: Principal Justin Derrick 

Justin Derrick speaks at the press event
Justin Derrick speaks at the press event

It was great to see McFarland principal, Justin Derrick, in the Community Voices section of The Bakersfield Californian.  He shared his personal story of being a small town boy; one who experienced real struggles of exploring colleges and feeling supported to attend and be successful. He spoke of relating to the students he knew in McFarland and how proud he is of them today as Cougar-Renegades. He said, “Now I find myself here in McFarland, a small town like the one where I grew up, and I’ve been given the opportunity to be the principal that shepherds the Early College program, guiding our very first cohort to graduation with a Bakersfield College degree. I have a front row seat to the transformations underway in our district and across our entire community. From kindergarten through eighth grade, we’re instilling in our students that going to high school in McFarland also means starting a college pathway with Bakersfield College as a Cougar-Renegade.”

See the full Justin Derrick piece at The Bakersfield Californian Community Voices webpage.

Community Voices: Coach Paula Dahl

Coach Paula Dahl and winning team

Women’s basketball coach Paula Dahl also published a Community Voices piece looking back on her 26 years of coaching at BC. The piece is titled “the best job in the world”.

I am blessed to work with some of the greatest women I know. They battle daily to become the best version of themselves on and off the court. I’ve watched them develop lifelong friendships and learn to sacrifice and compete for each other. I’ve watched them completely leave everything they have on the floor and fall short and pick themselves up and be ready to compete again the next day for a win.

Read the full Paula Dahl piece at The Bakersfield California Community Voices webpage.

Eisenhower Fellows

Received some more fun photos from the group I wrote about  in last week’s blog

Fun Video

Let’s enjoy Tarina Perry’s sister’s well trained Chocolate Lab.

Renegade Athletics

Kern Schools FCU Renegades of the Week – January 19 – 25

Renegade Athletics is proud to announce this week’s (1/19-1/25) Kern Schools Federal Credit Union Renegades of the Week:

Renegades of the week Devon Lee and Neshara Smith.

Neshara Smith, Women’s Track & Field– Neshara qualified in the long jump for the SoCal Regionals in the first meet of the year with a jump of 18’5 at the AVC All-Comers meet.

Devon Lee, Men’s Track & Field – Devon also qualified for the SoCal Regionals in the first meet of the year with a jump of 47’8 in the triple jump at the AVC All-Comers Meet. 

Renegade Report

Watch this week’s edition of the Renegade Report on the Bakersfield College Athletics Facebook page featuring our Renegade Baseball team from Gerry Collis Field. Head Coach Tim Painton and student athlete Alejandro Murillo, Matt Patton and Ryan Darbee sat down with host Kenny Calvin to discuss the 2020 season.

Renegade Athletics updates from this past week:

Athletics ‘Action’ Photos From This Week.

Athletic events ‘On the Hill’ this coming week

Be sure to put on your Renegade Red and cheer on our student athletes as they compete this coming week. If you can’t make it in person, check GoGades.com to catch the livestream. Events include:

  • Tue. 2/4 – Men’s Tennis vs Glendale at 1pm
  • Tues 2/4 – Softball Doubleheader vs. Porterville at 1p and 3p
  • Thurs. 2/6 – Baseball vs. El Camino at 6pm
  • Fri. 2/7 – Track and Field hosts Battle of the Regions
  • Fri. 2/7 – Baseball vs. El Camino, 2pm
  • Sat. 2/8 – Baseball vs. El Camino, 12pm
  • Sat. 2/8 Softball Doubleheader vs. Riverside at 2:30p and 5pm
Sonya speaking at the CHEA conference.


That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

sonya-
the luckiest and happiest college president ever