Tag Archives: Bill Potter

We are BC! and We are Valley Strong!

Woke up this morning to Bakersfield College making the front page of The Bakersfield Californian, above the fold.  A good day to be a Renegade!

Joseph Luiz of The Bakersfield Californian covered the launch of the implementation of Measure J with some level of detail.

Reconstruction of BC July 14 2018 TBC Front Page above the fold

Loved this statement from Trustee Bill Thomas

“This is the official getting-underway,” trustee Bill Thomas said of the two approved motions. “We’re beginning the reconstruction of Bakersfield College. If (the college) was a ship, I would have broken a bottle of champagne on it.”

Here is the map of the new BC after Measure J.

Map of new BC July 14 2018 TBC.png

You can find the entire article here: https://tinyurl.com/ycnnevcx

 

State of the City Luncheon

The Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce did a phenomenal job with the State of the City event.  Thank you Chamber staff.  You rock!

Nick Ortiz and Karen Goh with Chamber Staff

 

Bakersfield College attended in full force  — Trustee Bill Thomas, Trustee Romeo Agbalog, Chancellor Tom Burke, Vice Chancellor John Means, Karen Thompson — Chair of the BC Foundation, Tom Gelder — Exec Director of the Foundation, Heather Penella — Foundation Manager, Norma Rojas-Mora — Director of Community Relations, Tamara Baker — Manager Community Relations, Endee Grijalva — Manager, Jaime Lopez — Manager.

Romeo Agbalog, Jaime lopez, Endee Grijalva

Trustee Romeo Agbalog, Jaime Lopez, Endee Grijalva

Karen Goh, Tamara Baker, Norma Rojas Mora

Karen GohThe luncheon was extremely informative, as Mayor Goh discussed branding efforts taking place in Bakersfield to promote our city to outsiders as a great place to live, work and play.  I was struck, yet again, by the homelessness issues in our community and am proud of the work being done by Louis Gill and the Homeless Shelter.  Karen Goh also highlighted education, workforce development and economic development in the State of the City.

Thank you Mayor Karen Goh for also highlighting our recent history making graduation of firsts of 2018 in BC’s Baccalaureate Class of  Industrial Automation, Wonderful Early College, and the first graduate to receive a degree in Public Health.

Alan TandyCity Manager Alan Tandy updated us on the Thomas Road Improvement Project and recognized Congressman Bill Thomas for bringing in the resources to us from Washington DC.  Tandy then  spoke about a proposed Public Safety & Vital Services Measure that will appear on the November 6 ballot.

The measure would increase sales tax by one percent, which would LOCALLY fund community priorities, such as increasing a public safety presence in our community. 

Todos Somos BC!

So happy to have Norma Rojas Mora as part of the BC Team.  Check out this 5-minute video.  Todos Somos BC!

Norma Rojas Mora on Telemundo June 2018.png

https://tinyurl.com/yaz5576x

RESOUND!

Next Friday, the BC Golden Empire Drum Corps will perform at RESOUND! This competition brings international talent to our Memorial Stadium and you don’t want to miss it. Tickets are available now at Vallitix.

And if you weren’t convinced already that you have to see these talented men and women on the field, take a moment to watch the video below about BC’s team attending the DCI World Championships this year.  Read the full article at www.DCI.org.

$1 Million investment by Assembly Member Rudy Salas

The excitement continues from last week’s announcement by Assembly Member Rudy Salas.   Watch this short video that I did not post last week.

 

It was incredible to see this on the front page of The Delano Record with photography from the fabulous Felix Adamo. Did you know Felix is a Renegade? Last December I had an opportunity to share lunch with Felix and Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg and I shared it in my blog back then. While at BC, Felix had an early love for photography and was involved with both the Renegade RIP and the BC Raconteur.

 

 

Special thanks to Tamara Baker for the article. If you haven’t picked up a copy of The Record, you can see the article online.

You also don’t want to miss Tamara’s Community Voices Piece titled “We are valley strong.”

Community Voices Tamara Baker July 12 2018

 

BC-MESA Interns

On Monday, BC Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) students and staff were treated to presentations from 3 BC-NRCS intern presentations. Juan Alvarez, Regional Director for the Office of Advocacy and Outreach for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and Javier Flores, from the National Resources Conservation Services (NRCS) and BC alumnus, introduced the interns. Javier and Juan are also on the BC-MESA Board and serve as mentors for the BC-MESA Students.

i-qwspv6w-x2The BC-NRCS internship is a 6 week program generously sponsored by BC-MESA supporters such as AERA Energy and Chevron. There is a rigorous competitive process for selecting Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) students through essays, and interviews that intern Jose Mercado-Solis said “was totally worth it.” Four students were selected this year and three attended the first session which ended July 6th. Those three students, Julius Ntui, Dung Vo and Jose Mercado-Solis presented to the group their experiences and projects during the 6 weeks.

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While the students had different favorite projects and different least favorite aspects of the experience, like poor Dung was “attacked by foxtails” and had to throw away her socks, they were all thankful for the experience as a recurring theme in each of the presentations. They were able to apply knowledge from classes at BC to real situations with local farmers, helping them use resources for the betterment of the farmer and the environment. They got to experience what their chosen career will really be like. They were thrilled to be treated like employees and enjoyed the camaraderie they experienced with the knowledgeable employees at NRCS and the physical exertion of being in the field. They all had a lot of fun and were very thankful to the MESA staff and their mentors.

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MESA provides academic support to educationally disadvantaged students so they can excel in math and sciences and graduate with degrees in engineering, science and technology. The MESA program goal is to increase the number of educationally disadvantaged community college students who transfer to four-year institutions and earn degree in math science, engineering or computer science fields.

These experiences are so important for our students and I enjoy hearing the wonderful things our students are doing. Each of the interns plans to go on to a 4-year college. Julius, a recent graduate in Civil Engineering, will be attending Howard University in the fall; Dung, plans to extend her studies to other areas of Engineering and hopes to transfer to University of California, Berkeley in the future; and Jose is transferring to CSU Long Beach for Chemical Engineering. I am so thankful to our STEM sponsors like AERA and Chevron for giving these opportunities to our students.

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2018 CCCSAA Professional Development Conference

Our Director of Student Life, Dr. Nicky Damania, hosted the 2018 CCCSAA Professional Development Conference from Wednesday, June 20th to Friday, June 22nd at Riverside City College. This is the third year that he was the professional development conference chair for the California Community College Student Affairs Association (CCCSAA), which has been a California professional association that focuses on networking, student and professional development, and advocating for the field of Student Affairs and Student Leadership within the California Community College system. CCCSAA also promotes and advances public two-year post-secondary education and stimulates effective working relationships in the field.

Prof Dev Conference (1)

This year’s conference was in partnership with American Student Association of Community Colleges (ASACC), a national association for student government advisors. Attendees at the conference underwent a rigorous Advisor Training Certification Program that built on their current set of skills and developed other skills as well. At this conference, there were advisors and administrators from 52 California Community Colleges and six colleagues from other states. With the funding assistance of BCSGA, Dr. Damania was able to bring along five student organization’s advisors to participate in the program: Jordan Rude, Assistant Professor of Psychology, David Riess, Professor of Psychology, Andrew Bond, Associate Professor of English, Heidi Forsythe, Adjunct Faculty in Communication, and Pearl Urena, Educational Advisor in Counseling for Pre-Law. Each of the advisors will be presenting throughout the year to educate other student organization advisors. At the end of the program, each of them received an advisor completion certificate from ASACC.

Jobspeaker Workshop at BCSW

On Wednesday, a Jobspeaker workshop was held at BC SouthWest. Rosa Perez and Jessica McGrath are shown in the photo below with checkout prizes for the students and attendees.

Jobspeaker_table

Studies show that students who work on campus are more likely to persist with their studies and through their hands-on work experience, students become better acquainted with faculty, staff, and their ultimate career goals.

Bon Voyage Concert

Before the BC Chamber Singers took their seats on the plane to jet off to their once-in-a-lifetime experience, we gathered for some music and celebration of talent at the Bon Voyage concert last weekend. Friends and families packed the indoor theater alongside supporters like Cindy Collier, Kate Pluta, Trustee Kyle Carter, Kim McAbee, Deborah Rosenthal and more.

 

Love Monty Byrom supporting our music program at BC.  Really very special!

Check out Imagine

Love Monty Byrom doing Hallelujah

The last song for the evening, BC Chamber singers’ signature piece, Bridge Over Troubled Waters.  Featured guests, Monty  Byrom and Lydia Ranger.

Chamber Singers take Australia

After multiple buses and planes, the BC Chamber Singers have landed in Australia. #BCtakesAustralia is the hashtag on social media

Chambersingers_Aus

In the words of the talented Dr. Jennifer Garrett,

“Today has been unbelievably amazing. I don’t think I can explain it! We began with singing on the radio and then traveled to Rainforest Station. We first went on an army duck through the rainforest which I could have done 4 more times! Our guide pointed out plants, water dragons, a tree called a stinging tree that literally stings you, and the best part was actually going into the water and the vehicle turning into a boat! Unbelievable! I have more video to show them my WiFi can post!

Chambersingers_Aus_GroupatRainforest

Chambersingers_Aus_JGarrettThen we had an aboriginal experience where a man demonstrated how to throw Spears. Next everyone learned actually tried to throw a boomerang! Some were incredible at it. Then we learned how to play the didgeridoo which was amazing! And we saw some aboriginal dancing and again heard the didgeridoo. If all that wasn’t amazing enough we also experienced kangaroos right next to us and were able to pet them!!! We also saw other Australian animals including wallaby, Tasmanian devil, cassowary, and more. But the best part was holding and taking a picture with a koala!!!! It was on my list. “Must do’s” in Australia. I only wish I could have held it a little longer.

Then we went to Kuranda for lunch and were able to go into shops. It truly has been an unforgettable day and it’s only 3 pm. Now we have the opportunity to do an exchange concert with a local choir, “Soul Song” and as we boarded the bus the Chamber Singers were saying. “I’m ready to sing now!” What a day!!!” #bctakesaustralia

The next stop on their tour was to perform with the Sydney University Madrigal Society at a local church. #WeareBC

Jen Garrett FB Sydney Univeristy Madrigal Society

Express Enrollment at BC!

Maddie Janssen at KGET interviewed BC’s Manuel Muralles, Educational Advisor early in the morning on Tuesday to share details about BC’s Express Enrollment event. Watch the clip on the KGET website. I’ve heard the event was another success and Ashlea Ward from BC’s Outreach team shared with me that it was great to see students leave fully enrolled with a personalized set of classes for fall. If you or someone you know is interested in enrolling at BC, there is no better time than now.  The next Express Enrollment event is scheduled to take place on August 7th at the Panorama campus. Learn more here!

KGETExpressEnrollment

Bachelors Degree Conference

Craig Hayward, Michele Bresso, Michelle Pena, and Manny Fernandez attended the Bachelor’s Degree Conference at Cypress College this past week. While there, they discussed the Interim Evaluation of Baccalaureate Degree Pilot programs and the Legislative Analyst Report.

Bachelors Degree Conference

2018 Curriculum Institute

Bakersfield College was at the annual Curriculum Institute at Riverside this week.  Here is the team at dinner.

BC Team at Curriculum Institute July 2018.jpg

BC at the Curriculum Institute July 2018.jpg

BC’s Curriculum Chair, Jennifer Johnson presented at this year’s Curriculum Institute. Michelle Pena shared with me that Jennifer covered important issues such as creating Guided Pathways, e-catalogs, Ed planning, and assessment. Thank you Michelle Pena for the picture!

Richard Goode, Porterville; Carrie Edwards, Cerritos College; Jennifer Johnson, Bakersfield College; and Patrick Backes, College of the Canyons.

Richard Goode, Porterville; Carrie Edwards, Cerritos College; Jennifer Johnson, Bakersfield College; and Patrick Backes, College of the Canyons.

Janet Fulks presenting at the Curriculum Institute with Ginni May

Janet Fulks and Virginia May July 2018

And then there is the group that really does the curriculum work at the colleges — the Curriculum Specialists.   They are so into protecting every detail of the curriculum that they christened Friday of the Institute “Curriculum is my happy place” and wore t-shirts to prove it.  At BC we have the amazing Sharon Bush.

Curriculum Institute Sharon Bush and gang

(Left to right) Amy Nelson (college of the desert), Nancy Dayton (Berkley), Herbert Cortex (Hartnell), Dixie Krimm (imperial), Jojie  Magbuhat (college of desert), Kristina Heilgeist (San Bernardino), Liz Locke (Barstow), Sharon Bush (Bakersfield College), Kaylene Thomas (Santa Barbara), Marwin Luminaries (Fullerton).

Today I salute all curriculum specialists in the 114 California Community College.  We could not do it without you.

Public Health Rocks at BC and in Kern County!

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Public Health professor, Sarah Baron recently visited the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and said on her blog, “I kept envisioning public health in Kern County and the powerful ideas we have discussed at our Hackathons and in our Bakersfield College Public Health Science classes in the Southern Central Valley.”

I covered the latest Hackathon during the Spring semester in my blog. This fascinating event takes place each year at Bakersfield College with the concept that powerful ideas can come to life when a group of students come together with passion, support, and initiative.

The weekend long event focuses on students identifying public health challenges and creating solutions for a healthier community. This past year, by the end of the competition, the teams had 11 projects submitted and community partners expressed interest in funding the student’s ideas!

Mayor Karen Goh at Public Health Hackathon March 2017

Sarah Baron and Public Health Graduate

The Public Health program at BC is thriving because of events like the Hackathon, creative and invested students, and inspirational faculty. This past graduation, we celebrated history-in-the-making with many programs including the Baccalaureate degree, Wonderful Ag graduates, and Public Health too!

Public Health professionals are the leaders and ambassadors to healthy futures. It’s a science and an art, but most of all – it’s a necessity to the future of Kern County.

Just this week, the Kern County Health Department released an app called Safe Diner which helps the public locate and navigate to healthy restaurants. The Bakersfield.com article mentions Kern County Public Health Director, Matt Constantine who taught last semester at BC and works alongside Professor Baron to support the future Public Health professionals. Matt also had a Community Voices piece on Thursday where he highlights the Certified Healthy program and said, “Unfortunately, in Kern County we suffer from some of the highest rates of chronic disease in the state. Kern County residents have the highest rates of death due to diabetes than any other of the 57 counties in California. One-third of Kern County children and more than 67 percent of Kern County adults are overweight or obese and obesity is one of the greatest risk factors for developing chronic diseases. With wide open spaces that provide plenty of opportunity for outdoor recreation and the rich variety of locally grown produce, we can change those numbers.”

BC professors, like Sarah Baron know our current Renegades pursuing a Public Health degree will play a key part in changing those statistics.

She closes her most recent blog post by encouraging her students to “…dream big and know that everything is in your reach.  Where you have a passion and commitment the world will open it’s doors. Here are a couple of photos for you to begin planting that seed. My path never has been a straight arrow, look….you never know the places you will go!”

 

Congratulations from BC, ASACC, and CCCSAA

The American Student Association of Community Colleges (ASACC) in collaboration with the California Community College Student Affairs Association (CCCSAA) recently offered its Certified Advisors Training program at Riverside Community College.

ASACC_Logo

BC Professors David Riess and Jordan Rude participated in the three day training program and achieved the Advisor I Certification. The training provides in depth coverage of topics critical to those advising student leadership groups including conflict resolution, managing liability, and building strong teams.

The American Student Association of Community Colleges is a national organization founded in 1984 that promotes development of student leaders in three areas: leadership, citizenship and advocacy. The summer conference focuses on the professionals that serve students this year, there were over 80 participants. To learn more about ASACC, visit www.asacc.org.

Renegade Athletics

During the 2017-18 academic year Renegade athletics had 34 student-athletes sign letters of intent to continue their academic and athletic careers at various schools across the country. BC faculty, staff, and administration are extremely proud of these student-athletes as they have put in a tremendous amount of work, both in the classroom and in their sport, to better themselves. They have been  representatives of Bakersfield College and good ambassadors in our community, throughout the state and now to the country. Below is a list by sport of the student-athletes and the school they signed with.

Baseball Team April 27 2018

Baseball: Taylor Burns, University of Hawaii; Chris Diaz, Hawaii Pacific; Brycin Hernandez, Cal State Bakersfield; Josh Hernandez, Briar Cliff University; Kyle Willem, Campbell University; Hudson Hartley, San Francisco State; Konner Dodge, Hope International; and Walker Frayne, Simpson College

REnegade Softball

SoftballAlexis Solis, University of St. Mary

football

FootballTyrell Eddington, Eastern Michigan University; Jeffrey Jones, University of New Mexico; Brandon Jones, University of Texas El Paso; Ernest Harris, Sam Houston State; Justin Holmes, Dakota State; Matt Hubble, Kansas Weslyan;  Stevan Thornton, New Mexico Highlands; Cesar DeLeon- Northwest Oklahoma; Malik Barkley, University of Cumberland; Mason Grantz, Humbodt State; and Brock Holloway, Dordt College

Soccer

Women’s SoccerSabrina Murillo, Texas A&M Texarcana; Jackie Padilla, Texas A&M Texarcana; and Odalys Espinoza,West Virginia Tech

BasketballTucker Eeinegenburg, Western Washington; and Henry Galinato, Benedictine College

Men’s GolfTitus Goodman, Vanguard University

Women’s GolfBrandi Borjon, Cal State Bakersfield

Volleyball Athletes

VolleyballHaley Sanchez, University of Oklahoma; Alex Paris, Niagara University; and Brooke Horack, Maramount University.

Mens Wrestling

Wrestling: Esteban Corona, Jamestown College; Pedro Corona, Jamestown College; Zavion Roberson, Jamestown College; and Ramiro Macias, Jamestown College.

Also, save the date for Renegade Football Media day on Thursday, August 9th at 11am outside Memorial Stadium. The event will provide a preview of the upcoming football season and is free to the public.

Football season tickets are on sale.  Prices range from $25 to $60 and can be purchased on-line at Vallitix.com, by calling 1 (888) 825-5484 or in-person at the Bakersfield College business office.  The Renegades will scrimmage Antelope Valley on Wednesday, August 22nd at 6 PM in Memorial Stadium. The scrimmage is free and open to the public.  This will be your first chance to get a look at your 2018 BC football team!

Together we are building …A Better BC!

37019810_10155674049839352_2725489282859925504_nThings are heating up at the BC Panorama Campus with Measure J construction projects!

We will be hosting a Local Contractor Outreach Seminar here at the Bakersfield College campus on July 24.   This will be an informative outreach seminar for local contractors on the Panorama campus, and is directed towards local contractors who are interested in potentially working on upcoming Measure J projects at Bakersfield College, Cerro Coso Community College, and Porterville College. More information and details can be found on the BC website.

Please help us spread the word that P16 parking lot on the corner of Haley and University will provide FREE parking to students for the entire 2018-2019 Academic Year in an effort to accommodate more students during the Measure J construction period.

Updated Mission Statement Poster on Campus

Aaron Kidwell from BC’s M&O team and Dylan Wang, from the Graphic Design crew visited most of the campus this week posting fresh new copies of the BC Mission Statement, Vision, and Core Values in each building and facility.

Aaron Kidwell

Aaron Kidwell

Get to know Gina Herrera, Art Faculty

Photo from VoyageLA

Photo from VoyageLA

Adjunct Art Faculty, Gina Herrera was highlighted in a recent article by VoyageLA. The piece gives some incredible insight into Professor Herrera, her background, and that her military service made higher education possible for her. She talked about her recent projects, interests, and pursuits.

“I am interested in developing proposals to engage the local community to use the things that we all throw away to raise our collective conscience, to bring awareness and healing to the way we choose to engage with the Earth,” she said.

And added, “I also think there are interesting ways to look at the way culture can inform the creative process. My Tesuque and Latina heritage and my experiences as a Veteran echo through my work … and offer a contemporary, rather than historical opportunity to consider the perspective of First Peoples.” Read the full piece today at VoyageLA.com.

BC SouthWest Bike Racks

Fernando Lara has shared that the new bike racks have gone up at Bakersfield College SouthWest! He said, “Now our faculty and students have a spot to secure their rigs!”

And while I wasn’t quite sure if anyone was biking to college during the summer weather, Fernando was quick to share that Adjunct Faculty Esmeralda Chapa cycled 9.7 miles one-way daily to teach her COMM B1 course at BC SouthWest location. Talk about dedication!

Esmeralda Chapa

Esmeralda Chapa

FIELD Graduation at EPIC de Cesar Chavez High School

The Farmworker Institute of Education and Leadership Development (FIELD) was founded in 1978 by Farmworker Leader Cesar E. Chavez and is dedicated to strengthening America’s agricultural and rural communities through the Core Values of Opportunity, Excellence, Integrity, Innovation and Si Se Puede.

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Corny Rodriguez shared some front row photos from the event with me and it was great to see some familiar faces on stage including David Villarino, Nora Dominguez, Mark Martinez, and Delano Mayor Grace Vallejo.

 

We are BC!

 

Sonya Christian July 3 2018

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

A Beautiful Rainy Week at BC

Good morning Bakersfield…It is Saturday, March 24th and a great day to be a Renegade.

This past week Bakersfield was rejoicing in the rain that kept visiting us and revisiting almost every day of the week.  What a blessing!

So many highlights from this week…the brightest of them all was the recognition of Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg.

The “Nan” Touch

Nan Gomez-HeitzebergMany know the incredible value that Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Executive Vice President of Instruction Emeritus, has brought over the last 35 years to Bakersfield College and across the Kern Community College District. Yet her impact has been felt beyond our campus, so much that one of our partners, FIELD (Farmworker Institute for Education and Leadership Development), honored her Friday with its Cesar Chavez Legacy Award. (Check out the video for more.)

BC supporting Nan Gomez Heitzeberg as the receipient of the Cesar Chavez Legacy Award

Horace Mitchel and Nan Gomez-HeitzebergThe Cesar Chavez Legacy Breakfast is one place where community champions, who quietly work behind the scenes, are illuminated for their phenomenal dedication. Our own Nan is a part of this special group.

This years other honorees included Dr. Horace Mitchell, California State University Bakersfield President, who was recognized with the Cesar E. Chavez Lifetime Achievement Award, and Esther Tarango Uranday whose key role in the United Farm Workers earned her the Cesar E. Chavez Si Se Puede Award (posthumously). The Kern Service and Conservation Corps (KSACC) and a group of EPIC High School students and ESL students were also highlighted with Si Se Puede Awards.

It was wonderful to see many community leaders there supporting the event, such as Assemblyman Rudy Salas, Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce President/CEO Jay Tamsi, and the office of Kern County Supervisor Leticia Perez. There was also a table full of BC leadership.

Sonya Christian and Rudy Salas March 23 2018

Rudy Salas and Sonya Christian

BC table at Cesar Chavez Breakfast

BC table at Cesar Chavez Breakfast

Cindy Collier, Danielle Hillard, Khushnur Dadabhoy, Isebelle Cataneda

Many walked away with a sense of empowerment and renewed vision for their own causes after hearing from keynote speaker Paul F. Chavez, the son of the late UFW labor leader Cesar Chavez.

Paul Chavez

Paul Chavez

Paul Chavez shared personal father-son stories that tugged at the hearts of many in attendance. At one point, Paul reflected on advice his father shared with him, especially in moments of despair and struggle – in particular two that stay close to Paul’s heart: have faith in people; and persevere.

His father always saw what others could become; he saw potential, and his vision helped others find their own path of success.

I connected with Paul’s story. It made me think about the wonderful work we do at Bakersfield College; our goal is also to show hope and success to our students. We want them to see their potential, and we encourage them to never give up. In the words of Cesar Chavez, “Si se puede.”

I was moved to hear the story that Jose Gaspar (who was emceeing the event with Norma Gaspar) told about the passing of Cesar Chavez and how Corny Rodriguez addressed the KC Board of Supervisors to recognize the passing of a great leader.

Corny Rodriguez, Sonya Christian March 23 2018

Sonya Christian, Corny Rodriguez

 

 

 

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We are BC

Last year was the inaugural year for this event and the first recipient of the Cesar Chavez Legacy Award was Sandra Serrano.  Check out my blog from one year ago: https://sonyachristianblog.com/2017/04/01/an-absolutely-uplifting-week-at-bc/

Thank you David Villarino!

Lydia Otero at BC

Tina Mendoza

Tina Mendoza welcomes Dr. Otero

For Women’s History Month and in light of BC’s efforts to preserve and share our local history, Dr. Lydia Otero from the Mexican-American Studies program at the University of Arizona came to the Fireside Room on Thursday to share about the historical preservation projects she’s spearheaded in downtown Tuscon.

BC’s Office of Student Life and the Women’s History and More committee invited Otero as part of the Distinguished Speaker Series. Otero, who grew up in downtown Tuscon, was inspired to capture the history of the Mexican-American communities in her hometown that were displaced by urban renewal projects. To Otero’s surprise, her 2010 book “La Calle: Spatial Conflicts and Urban Renewal in a Southwest City” sold out in the Tuscon area within five hours of the first book signing, Otero said.  “Even I didn’t appreciate the desire for local audiences to read about local history, you want to read about yourself.”

Dr. Lydia Otero

Dr. Lydia Otero

While local or regional history can often be seen as less important than larger-scale historical analysis, it’s important to fill in the smaller details about an area in order to understand the larger picture. “What do we know about world history if we haven’t studied local history?” Otero asked. “It’s a history of silences.”

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After the success of “La Calle”, Otero partnered with the Borderlands Theater Company on an ambitious project called “Barrio Stories”. A camera crew recorded oral histories from Mexican-Americans in Tuscon talking about their personal lives, then those stories were re-interpreted as theatrical plays. The Borderlands Theater performed those plays during a four-day festival that utilized promenade-style staging, meaning that audiences could walk around the old town plaza and experience these stories happening at different stages in real time. You’re able to see all of the oral histories and performances on the Barrio Stories Project website, and a documentary about the project is currently in the works.

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Olivia Garcia, Dr. Lydia Otero, Tina Mendoza

Olivia Garcia, Dr. Lydia Otero, Tina Mendoza

Otero is currently working on a book tentatively titled “Quien lo Dice?” about Maria Cordova, a Tuscon woman whose house was seized by eminent domain and all evidence that she had ever lived there was taken out in a failed attempt to make the property a tourist attraction. Throughout her presentation, Otero emphasized the importance of valuing local history and bringing research out of the classroom and into the community.
“Don’t forget the power of memory,” Otero said.

I’d like to thank Tina Mendoza, who worked with Dr. Otero, for her introduction, and I’d like to thank the Office of Student life and WHAM for putting the event together. It gave an interesting perspective on local historical preservation, which we’re working on at BC with the Digital Delano project spearheaded by our Energizing Humanities group. #WeAreBC

Ribbon Cutting in Wasco

Wasco

This week, Juan Torres, Abel Guzman, Gustavo Enriquez and principal of Wasco Union High School, Kevin Tallon celebrated the Ribbon Cutting and Inaugaration of their beautiful brand new student services building. Inside, the building it’s filled with beautiful pieces of art that celebrate the rich history of Wasco High School.

Kern Disability Collaborative

As your community college, BC is always seeking opportunities to improve communication and collaboration with our community partners. To this end, the Director of our Disabled Students Programs & Services (DSPS), Dr. Terri Goldstein, initiated the first meeting of what she is calling the “Kern Disability Collaborative.”  The purpose of the meeting was to pull together those who work with people with disabilities in our community to learn who we are and what we each do.  “Only good things can happen if we have a better understanding of all the resources available, as well as the unmet needs in our community,” said Dr. Goldstein. What started out with 20 invitations bloomed into approximately 50 attendees representing K-12 schools, higher education, non-profit organizations, and State agencies.  “As the meeting date drew closer, individuals were calling and asking to participate in the meeting,” Dr. Goldstein said. The response just shows the need for this kind of group in Kern County.

Kern Disability Collab

Terri Goldstein

Terri Goldstein

The idea for the Collaborative is modeled after the very successful “Kern Veterans Collaborative” which meets monthly at the National Guard Armory.  After voting, the attendees decided that the Kern Disability Collaborative will continue to meet on a bi-monthly basis at Bakersfield College.  The next meeting will be in May 2018, after college graduation, then the meetings will go dark for the summer, reconvene in August prior to the start of the fall 2018 semester, and meet every other month thereafter.

In addition to discussing future meetings, establishing a listserv and web presence, everyone presented their organizational affiliation, populations served, and services provided. BC faculty member, Jaclyn Krause, announced establishing our Interpreter Training Program; which made everyone happy since there are never enough sign language interpreters to go around.  Jimmie Soto, Executive Director of the Independent Living Center of Kern County, spoke about the need to support each other in our quests for additional funding— including partnerships, and letters of support. BC was well represented with DSPS, EOPS, Office of Student Life, Wellness Center, and Veterans Services. There were also representatives from Bakersfield City School District, Kern High School District, Kern County Superintendent of Schools, Taft College, Valley Achievement Center, Bakersfield GLAD office on Deafness, New Advances for People with Disabilities, Path Point, CA Department of Rehabilitation, Kern Vet Center, Kern Regional Center, and Autism Society Inc.

Kern Disability Collaboration

For more information about the Kern Disability Collaborative, please contact Dr. Terri Goldstein at terri.goldstein@bakersfieldcollege.edu, or call 661-395-4590. Everyone is welcome at these meetings!

Bidders Open House hosted at BC

On Thursday morning, BC hosted the local Bidders Open House to educate local contractors about the logistics of bidding on public construction projects. Harold Pierce wrote a great article explaining the event and its purpose in, “As more than $1 billion in school construction projects begin, districts attempt to lure local contractors to work.

Bidders Fair

Bakersfield College is so enthusiastic about the incredible things coming to our community. Thank you Bakersfield and Kern County for supporting education and investing in BC through a Yes on Measure J!

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Eric Mittlestead, Rafaela Cisneros, Kim Crews represented KCCD on the show floor

For all the photos, visit BC’s Smugmug. And thank you to Harold Pierce at the Bakersfield Californian for attending to share the exciting news with the community of Bakersfield. It was nice to see KCCD Trustee Kyle Carter, Trustee Romeo Agbalog, Mike Turnipseed and others attend this event.

Harold Pierce and Trustee Carter

Trustee Carter and Harold Pierce speak to a guest at the Bidders Fair

We received this email from Mikin Plummer about the event.

The BC staff was fantastic!!! Thank you! Thank you! The gym was put together perfect and made set up very easy!
Mikin Plummer

Thank you Bill Potter, Eric Middlested, Ramon Puga, and Jim Coggins for pulling together this amazing event.  Thank you Mary Jo Pasek.  Thank You Marlene Heise who works behind the scenes.  #WeAreBC

National Cemetery

Armando Trujillo, Student Veteran Educational Advisor and Lisa Robles Kent Program Manager, Office of Student Success & Equity were honored to represent Bakersfield College at a ceremony that provided full military honors for unaccompanied veterans interred at the National Cemetery who do not have family to recognize and remember them.

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Armando Trujillo, Bakersfield College; Randy Dickow, KC Veterans Collaborative; Maximo Perez, American Legion.

It’s a privilege for BC to honor the great men and women who paid the greatest sacrifice for our country. While there, Armando and Lisa stopped to visit the graveside of Vernon P. Velenzula. I recall that he was spoken of so fondly by KCCD Trustee, Bill Thomas at our Veterans Resource Center unveiling.

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Vernon touched the lives of so many people here at BC and in our community. I only wish I had the privilege of meeting such an inspirational man. A Purple Heart recipient, Valenzuela’s desire to help veterans began early following his return from a tour in Vietnam in 1968. In the early 1970s Valenzuela served as president of the Associated Veterans Students club at Bakersfield College and later as a counselor supporting student veterans. Valenzuela worked for years as a professional therapist who focused primarily on aiding veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder and difficulties in making the transition between life in combat and life at home as a civilian.

Art with Impact

Movies for Mental HealthOn Wednesday, students gathered in the Fireside Room to  #SubvertStigma, the goal of  Movies For Mental Health. “Stigma” was the hook, the tag line used by Leslie Poston, our facilitator, to open our awareness and provide perspective on the very complex personal, cultural and societal issues surrounding mental health and mental illness. The audience of 50 students, staff, faculty and community has steadily grown over the past four semesters since Student Health and Wellness Services began hosting Movies For Mental Health. And, so has the diversity of responses and perspectives on the question of what is “stigma.” Audience contributions included: “Shaming”, “barrier”, “judgmental”, “labeling”, “prejudiced”, “isolation” to name a few but ultimately, “stigma” is an erroneous and negative stereotype.

Movies for Mental Health

This is where the movies come in. These are independent submissions, judged in competition; the films are poignant, evocative and selected by Art With Impact to stimulate discussion and reveal the unexpected, uncomfortable and inconvenient in the human condition.

Following the movie screenings and the facilitated discussion, as well as a light meal of fresh seasonal fruit and wraps provided by Chef Eric Sabella, we listened to a panel discussion. The first panelist was a student named Caitlin who shared her very personal experience with profound depression and suicidal tendencies. Following Caitlin was our own Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Rosealinda Carrillo, who shared her own path to strengthen her own personal mental health but also in becoming a professional counselor. Rosealinda exemplifies the adage “you can’t care for others if you can’t care for yourself.” Panelist and Professor of Psychology, Tim Burke lead us through the impact of suicide in his family, his reaction to a diagnosis and treatment for lymphoma and research-proven self-care modalities like meditation, yoga, mindfulness and of course exercise.

The BC Student Health and Wellness Team was joined by guests from the Health Services program of Antelope Valley College, which will be hosting Movies For Mental Health on their own campus for the first time this May. Among those from Antelope Valley College were Dr. Jill Zimmerman Dean of Student Life & Services, Health Clerk Jennifer Winn and Monteigne Long, Veterans Program Coordinator.

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What is the value and importance of #SubvertStigma to students? As individuals and friends, cultures of origin and faiths, and society in general, we must free mental illness and mental health from stigma, shadow, and shame.

 

Spring Fling and 18-19 BCSGA Elections

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James Tompkins and Ashley Harp

This week was “Spring Fling” week at Bakersfield College with various events hosted by BCSGA as well as the Office of Student Life. Kicking off the fun was the “BCSGA Ice Cream and StudOrgs” event. BC’s clubs and organizations were joined by Ben & Jerry’s to promote various student organizations. On Monday afternoon, students were welcomed by BCSGA’s President Dezi Von Manos for her monthly “Cafecito Time” event where students can discuss issues or questions they may have in an open and inclusive way, and on Monday evening, BCSGA hosted an “Easel Event” where participants engaged in a fun evening of painting and light refreshments.

Tuesday was the “Community Movie Day” where the movie Justice League was played for students to enjoy during lunch. On Wednesday we hosted the “Epic Proportions Tour” featuring the musical talents of Gabe Kubanda and People Who Could Fly.

Wrapping up the wonderful events, students also had the opportunity to vote in elections for next years BCSGA leadership. Congratulations to next year’s BCSGA President, James Tompkins and Vice President, Ashley Harp.

Hate Speech and Free Speech Forum

The Levan Center hosted a panel discussion on Wednesday providing legal and historical context to the ongoing debate about hate speech and freedom of speech on college campuses. Students filled out anonymous surveys before the panel asking them some basic facts about First Amendment law and their thoughts about various free speech issues. Levan Center Director Jack Hernandez then gave a brief introduction about some of the recent protests over white nationalist speakers appearing on college campuses before introducing the panel of BC faculty and administration.

Communication professor John Giertz started with a brief overview of the Supreme Court decisions that have shaped free speech law in the United States. Colleges are bound by the First Amendment interpretation established in the 1969 case Brandenburg v. Ohio, which states that no inflammatory speech can be punished unless it incites “imminent lawless action.” In the 80s and 90s, many campuses attempted to enact speech codes and free speech zones, which have all been struck down as unconstitutional on the grounds that a listener’s right to be protected from hateful speech is not as important as someone else’s right to speak hatefully or however else they choose, Giertz said.

left to right: Communication professor John Giertz, Director of Student Life Nicky Damania, History professor Erin Miller, and Levan Center Director Jack Hernandez host a panel discussion about free speech on college campuses on March 21st.

left to right: Communication professor John Giertz, Director of Student Life Nicky Damania, History professor Erin Miller, and Levan Center Director Jack Hernandez host a panel discussion about free speech on college campuses on March 21st.

Dr. Nicky Damania, BC’s Director of Student Life, gave students a practical description of the ways that he deals with free speech issues on the BC campus every day. At BC, Damania is in charge of enforcing academic freedom, which is the legal right of both students and faculty to teach or communicate controversial ideas or facts without fear of bias or punishment.

BC history professor Erin Miller closed the panel with a discussion of the motivating history behind the United States’ free speech protections. Before the Revolutionary War, England used its common law to silence colonial dissent, which is why James Madison made free speech the first priority of the Bill of Rights to the US Constitution. Hateful speech is protected, Miller argues, because once a government agency begins to arbitrate which types of speech are considered acceptable, then speech that challenges authority can be silenced.

High Schools, BC, CSUB coming together

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CCGI

On Thursday morning, BC hosted an intersegmental initiative on data exchange of student academic information.  Right now we (high school districts, BC, CSUB) all have different data systems for maintaining student academic records and as these students in our community move from one segment to another, their academic records are transferred manually.  This is unacceptable in the highly evolved tech world that we live in.  The CSU systemwide Chancellor’s Office and the Community College statewide Chancellor’s Office have come together to solve this problem.  BC is part of this pilot program that is fully funded by the Community College Chancellor’s Office and other private philanthropic groups.

Here are some photos from the work session.

Virginia, Tess De Roy, Ben Duran, Sonya Christian, Grace Commiso, Anna March 22 2018

Virginia Madrid-Salazar, Tess Deroy, Ben Duran, Sonya Christian, Grace Commiso, Anna Garcia

 

 

Steve Watkin and Ben Perlado March 22 2018

Steve Watkin, Ben Perlado

McFarland Superintendent Victor Hopper and team.jpg

McFarland Superintendent Victor Hopper and team

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Ryan Gievet, Ben Sherley

Paul Chave and Delano Team with Abel Guzman and Zav Dadabhhoy

Zav Dadabhoy, Assistant Superintendent Jason Garcia, Paul Chavez, Abel Guzman

Steve Watkin, Ben Perlado, Michelle Pena, Ryan Gievet, Ben Sherley

Steve Watkin, Ben Perlado, Michelle Pena, RyanGievet, Ben Sherley

Dave Barnett, Craig Hayward

Dave Barnett, Craig Hayward

Grace Commiso, Anna Garcia, Sonya Christian, Ben Duran.jpg

Grace Commiso, Anna Garcia, Sonya Christian, Ben Duran

Ben Duran, Virginia Madrid Salazar, David Abernathy, Kalina Hill

David Abernathy from Wasco High speaking

David Abernathy, Kalina Hill, Elysa Vargas

David Abernathy (Wasco), Kalina Hill (BC), Elysa Vargas (Wonderful Academy)

See all the photos at BC’s SmugMug.

Future Teachers

The Education Futures Grant sponsored a Future Teachers Open House March 20th on the Panorama Campus. Close to 100 attendees braved the pouring rain to enjoy an informational and engaging evening with presentations, 10 breakout sessions, raffles, social media contest, and vendor booths.

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Presentations and vendors included BC Education Pathways, CSU Bakersfield, University of Lavern, Bakersfield College Career and Technical Education (CTE) & Student Employment Department, Bakersfield College Future Teachers Club, Brandman University, Child, Adolescent, and Family Studies (CAFS) at CSUB, Community Action Partnership of Kern (CAPK) Head Start, Community Connection for Child Care (CCCC), National University, Point Loma Nazarene University, and Western Governors University (WGU). A similar event was held at the BC Delano campus on March 3rd.

A huge thank you to the Future Teachers Open House Planning Team, Education Futures Director, Kimberly Bligh, Anthony Cordova, Isabel Castaneda, and Erica Menchaca. 

Future Teachers Open House Planning Team

Future Teachers Open House Planning Team

Public Safety Metamajor Pathway Open House

CTE and Public Safety Pathway teamed up to host the first ever Public Safety Open House with 92 Kern High School District students in attendance. The event went full circle beginning with department faculty who provided an overview of the program outcomes and trainings available; student service representatives were available including staff from Financial Aid, CTE and Student Employment; finally, industry representatives from the City Fire Department, County Fire Department, EMS Department, Kern County Sheriff Department, Bakersfield Police Department and California Highway Patrol presented on a panel to share events and experiences in their professions.

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Students were given the opportunity to ask questions, participate in simulations and were even provided a tour of the different department vehicles. It was a great event that provided insight to the pathways available in Public Safety at Bakersfield College. Thank you to Brent Burton, Dominica Dominguez, BC Public Safety Faculty, Department Staff and the industry partners who worked so hard to put this event together.

For all the photos, visit BC’s SmugMug.

KCCD and BC Leadership at CISOA/3CBG

Group Photo

Closest to the screen on the left-Todd Coston (BC), beyond him-Hernando Mondragon (DO), beyond him-David Barnett (DO), moving to the right-Micelle Pena (BC), then Grace Commiso (BC), Somaly Boles (BC), Zach Quiroz (BC) and closest to camera on the right Dena Rhoades (DO).

The Kern Community College District and Bakersfield College were out in full force both attending and presenting at the CISOA/3CBG conference earlier this week from March 18-20th in Ontario, CA.  The conference site says this about the conference, “The partnership of California Community College Chief Information Systems Officers Association (CISOA) and California Community College Banner Group (3CBG) allows us to leverage our resources to present an outstanding array of conference sessions of interest to those who are part of the information technology arena in California’s Community College system.”

BC’s Grace Comisso, Michelle Pena, and consultant, Becky Weaver, presented on Using Starfish for Guided Pathways.

BC’s Todd Coston and Dave Barnett from the District Office presented on Improving IT Communication Using Free and Low Cost Tools

And our Chief Technology Officer, Gary Moser, from the District Office presented on Are You Ready for a CCC Statewide ERP System.

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Finally, the participants had an option to rate each session via a conference app.  As proof that the KCCD/BC team rock the house, check out this rating for Dave and Todd’s session. Todd tells me he isn’t quite sure how you can get 6 out of 5 stars, but he’ll take it anyway!

Rating

An American Education Agenda with Lance Izumi

KCCD and BC were present at a luncheon put on by the Kern Citizens for Sustainable Government with guest speaker, Lance Izumi, author of The ‘American Education Agenda’  Top 15 Recommendations for Improving Education. Lance discussed his newly published report, which offers policymakers concrete reforms they can adopt today to ensure every student learns in a safe and nurturing environment, and is well-prepared to meet the changing demands of the 21st century workforce.

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Trustee Romeo Agbalog, Cindy Collier, Lance Izumi, Trustee Bill Thomas, John Means

League of Dreams

The League of Dreams, a nonprofit sports league for young athletes with physical and developmental disabilities, held its opening ceremonies for the 2018 season at CSUB’s Hardt Field on Sunday.  Snagged this picture of Mayor Karen Goh with BC Renegades representing the College in their jerseys during the event.

League of Dreams Opening Day

STEAM Academy

Odella Johnson and Sonya Christian May 19 2017Odella Johnson was featured on KGET’s News at Sunrise program on Wednesday morning to talk about the STEAM Academy, a series of courses to promote science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics.

Johnson spoke about the importance of the academy, which hosts a course every Saturday from September to April to help students build skills that they can use in their future careers. Open enrollment for next year’s academy, of which BC is a partner, is starting now.

Oliver Rosales

History professor Oliver Rosales wrote an article in the Community Voices section of the Bakersfield Californian on Sunday urging voters in the community to let their lawmakers know that funding for the humanities should be a top priority.

Rosales, who chairs the committee on Energizing Humanities in the Central Valley committee, wrote about how proper funding of the National Endowment of the Humanities and California Humanities will allow those organizations to meet the demand for community enrichment projects in writing, history, philosophy, social studies and other subjects.

“It’s important that we maintain a robust National Endowment for the Humanities, while at the same time mobilize voters to support state funding, as well as opportunities to increase public-private partnerships,” Rosales said.

Oliver Rosales Community Voices March 19 2018

Chris McCraw on Twitter

 mccraw2Official National Ag Day was marked on March 20th and I’ve enjoyed following BC’s wonderful Agricultural Business faculty, Chris McCraw on Twitter @CMcatBC as he shares our BC Ag Club at Kern County’s  #farmdayinthecity! It’s so exciting to see our BC Ag Club students have the opportunity to share their agricultural knowledge with over 2,000 elementary students during this multi-day event!

Kern County is the #1 Ag County in the U.S. and Ag Day is a special time to say THANK YOU to all our farmers and laborers, as well as our BC Agriculture students and faculty for educating and inspiring the next generation of agriculturists!

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So fortunate to have a real vibrant Ag faculty and staff.

Lynette Zelezny

On Thursday, Cal State Bakersfield announced that Lynette Zelezny will be the new president to succeed Horace Mitchell at the end of the academic year.

The announcement was featured in a front-page Q and A article in the Bakersfield Californian written by Harold Pierce, as well as an article by Chloe Carlson for KGET. Zelezny is CSUB’s first female president, and she’ll be transitioning from her role as the provost and vice president of academic affairs at Fresno State to come to Bakersfield. Zelezny has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in psychology from Humboldt State University, a Ph.D. in applied social psychology from Claremont Graduate University, and an MBA with distinction from Fresno State.

City of Bakersfield visiting the Chamber

This week we had the Grater Bakersfield Chamber Board meeting.  I am honored to be on the Board of this wonderful organization — great board members, great CEO and great staff.

I was delighted to see leaders from the City of Bakersfield visit us to discuss some critical needs including the need for more police officers.  The team who presented included City Manger Alan Tandy, Councilman Andrae Gonzales, Concilman Bob Smith, BPD Chief Lyle Martin, Assistant City Manager Chris Huot.

Cindy and Liz

Liz Rozell and Cindy Collier are two amazing people who continue to inspire us all. I loved this photo because we all need to just lean on each other sometimes. Thank you Cindy and Liz for your dedication to BC and the Kern Community College District.

Cindy and Liz

 

We are BC

Sonya Christian at Cesar Chavez Breakfast March 23 2018

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

A thing of beauty is a joy for ever

A thing of beauty is a joy forever

Clouds on flight from PDX to BUR Jan 6 2018

Cloud formation from the turbulent flight from PDX to BUR Jan 7 2018

Good morning Bakersfield…It is Saturday, January 13, 2018 and a great day to be a Renegade!

This week, it seemed that I was able to see beauty all around me.  I have noticed that there are times that my sensitivity to all things beautiful seem more heightened.  It is during these time that I pick up my poetry book from high school at Mount Carmel Convent ….. this week I found myself reading Keats.  So my friends, here are images of beauty for you as you soak in Keats

A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:

Its loveliness increases; it will never

Pass into nothingness; but still will keep

A bower quiet for us, and a sleep

Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.

Pacheco Pass Jan 12 2018

San Luis Reservoir, Pacheco Pass, Jan 12 2018

 

Before Magnolia and Brazilian Pepper

An extremely active week at BC with faculty arriving back on campus for inservice activities, workshops as we gear up to welcome over 31,000 students back to our campuses in Bakersfield, in Delano, in Arvin, in Shafter, online, …… I did a bit of travelling to San Jose to attend the accreditation commission (ACCJC) meeting.

With half of the school year in our rear view mirror, all of Bakersfield College’s faculty and staff came together once again in anticipation for the next semester during our Spring 2018 Opening Day celebration Thursday at the Indoor Theater.

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One of my favorite parts of the day kicks off with seeing familiar faces during the gathering in the plaza. I was so glad to have beautiful photos this year of the activity before the program.

Great group from our Child Care Center.

Child Care gang Opening Day Jan 11 2018

Dezi Von Manos opened the program with the traditional remarks from the BCSGA President.

Dezi Von Manos Opening day

Dezi Von Manos Opening day

Opening day spotlighted our accreditation work under the leadership of Liz Rozell, dean of Instrcution, and Jason Stratton, history faculty.

Liz Rozell and Jason Stratton

Liz Rozell and Jason Stratton

After showing a brief video interviewing students and staff about accreditation and Student Learning Outcomes, Liz and Jason thanked the faculty team leads who will be putting together the materials for our four accreditation standards and the writers, editors and communication team for the Quality Focus Essay that will wrap our self-evaluation report in a neat little bow and tell the world BC’s story.

Our primary editor for this project is Dr. Nick Strobel, and he’ll be responsible for putting all of the information together into a coherent narrative. Manny produced a silly comic relief video of Nick dressed up as a monk, walking around the library while carrying large scrolls as Gregorian chants echoed through the halls.

Following Accreditation, Andrea Thorson took the stage to emphasize the importance of maintaining a singular, coherent voice about BC’s institutional philosophy when we talk to students or people in the community.

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Andrea Thorson

 

Di Hoffman and new Dean Billie Jo Rice talked about assessment and Student Learning Outcomes, using the acronym PARR (Plan, Assess, Reflect, and Refine) as a pneumonic device to outline our assessment process.

Billi Jo Rice and Di Hoffman

Billi Jo Rice and Di Hoffman

Julian West addressed the audience about how he’s able to keep 600 students in our African-American affinity group engaged and striving for their highest level of excellence, using a combination of data analysis and “real talk” face-to-face mentorship to ensure that none of our African American students are falling through the cracks. See Julians full remarks here.

Janet Fulks and our new Web Content Editor, Nicole Griffin discussed our state-of-the-Renegade Scorecard 3.0, that continues to bring our institutional data to life on the web with an unprecedented level of interactivity displaying statistics about our student population and programs of study.

Nicole Griffin and Janet Fulks

Nicole Griffin and Janet Fulks

 

I was excited to announce the planned campus renovations that are going to be made possible via Measure J, which was initially going to take place over 25 years, has now been compacted planned for a shorter time line. This means that many of you will get to see our campus transform before your eyes during your tenure at BC, and the money will be used more efficiently to avoid cost increases due to inflation.

Todd Coston

Todd Coston 

Bill Potter presented the new Facilities Master Plan to the audience at our Opening Day presentation, with a special guest for the presentation, Todd Coston dressed as a janitor showing how accreditation is a whole campus endeavor. I heard Todd even threw a mop bucket full of silver confetti into the theater.

Toward the end of the Opening Day presentation, Tina Johnson introduced the new members of the CSEA board, Isabel Stierle encouraged faculty members to welcome our new faculty members into the CCA, and Steven Holmes urged faculty and staff to be active participants in all of our various committees including Guided Pathways.

 

Sue Vaughn gave an update sharing the constant and rapid movement in the Management Association.  At one point the audience gave a standing ovation for Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg. Love this photo taken by Earl Parsons.

Audience applauding Nan Spring 2018 Opening Day

Our SGA Senators, Ashley Harp and Mustapha Burraj led the entire audience in a stretch break.

Stretch Break for Opening Day

Stretch Break for Opening Day

Reggie Williams, the recipient of the 2017 Shirley Trembley Distinguished Teaching Award, gave his thank-you speech during this semester’s Opening Day since he was out of the country during the Fall 2017 festivities. He gave special recognition to Jack Hernandez for inspiring him to learn more about philosophy during his time in one of Jack’s classes as an 18-year-old freshman at BC.

Susan Pinza announced Oliver Rosales as the winner of the Norman Levan Faculty Colloquium Award. Oliver will be delivering a presentation about multicultural civil rights activism in post-World War II Bakersfield.

Oliver Rosales standing to be recognized

Dr. Oliver Rosales standing to be recognized

Opening and Closing Days are a huge undertaking, and I’d like to take a moment to thank everyone who made it possible. I’d like to thank Manny de Los Santos for his work compiling all of the videos for this event, as well as running the livestream. And special thanks to Nate from Freestyle who was our sound technician and is a BC student studying Computer Science!

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Manny De Los Santos and Nate

Thank you also to our photographers from the Marketing and Public Relations team—Earl Parsons, Eric Carillo and Dylan Wang

Dylan Wang

Dylan Wang capturing the day through the lens.

 

Thank you Eric Carillo for texting me some of the selfies and bringing me vicariously to Opening Day.  I so loved them.  Here are a few.

 

 

All of their photos for the day can be found on the BC Smugmug.

Thank you to Monika Scott, Jennifer Serratt and Lesley Bonds for coordinating and planning, and Kristin Rabe for coordinating the theater.

Jennifer Serratt, Aricia Leighton, Kristin Rabe, Monika Scott

Jennifer Serratt, Aricia Leighton, Kristin Rabe, Monika Scott

Jennifer Serratt, Lesley Bonds Jan 11 2018

Jennifer Serratt, Lesley Bonds

And Opening Day wouldn’t be the same without Francis Mayer as our emcee.

Francis Mayer

Francis Mayer, the man behind the microphone

Thank you to our Food Services crew led by Chef Eric Sabella, who put together another great breakfast and lunch.

Food Services on Opening Day

Food Services Crew with BC’s awesome Breakfast Burritos

And our interpreters Jarris Wright and Carolyn Borso and our incredible ushers were Arisve Pimentel, Bernadette Martinez, Chris Glaser, Danyel Owens, Jordaun Bennett, Lori Ortiz, Tarina Perry, and Wendy Lawson.

Ushers

Flex Week

The week before the semester begins is always exciting because Faculty come back and re-engage with the campus through flex workshops which cover an array of topics. This year workshops covered everything from eLumen Curriculum led by Jennifer Johnson, Best Practices for Online Learning by Matt Jones, and Summer Bridge by Kimberly Bligh, Erica Menchaca, Isabel Castaneda, and Teresa Mcallister among many many others. Here are some photos from Flexweek!

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See all the photos at Bakersfield College’s Smugmug.

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Erica Menchaca, Isabel Castaneda, Kimberly Bligh

Corrections to College California

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Bryan Hirayama on the left with his Distinguished Teaching Award

Corrections to College California just released a new short documentary, The Sergeant and the Professor, featuring a CDCR-College partnership. The video tells the story of Sergeant Jeff Ervin and Professor Bryan Hirayama. Sergeant Ervin has worked for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation for 12 years. Two years ago, Bakersfield College began offering classes in his housing unit. Sergeant Ervin was reluctant and skeptical. Professor Hirayama was the first Bakersfield College professor to teach inside Sergeant Ervin’s facility. The two didn’t always see eye to eye, but these unlikely colleagues learned to work together to support the college students. You can find out how this program transformed Sergeant Ervin and the prison by watching the video.

See the video on Facebook by clicking here.

Visitors from Korea

BC and KCCD representatives met January 8 with a representative from a Bakersfield’s Sister City, Bucheon City to talk about a possible exchange program for students and faculty. This is the second time that BC has hosted Bucheon City visitors. They were here this summer.

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John Means, Vice Chancellor, Shohreh Rahman, Counselor International Students So-Hyun Kim, Representative Bucheon City, Republic of Korea Eun-Ja Kim Park, retired professor CSUB Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Vice President Instruction

BC Point Guard, Johnathan Murray

cropped conf champions feb 17 2016 rich hughes

Coach Hughes after winning the Conf Championship Feb 17, 2016

There was a great piece by Jon Mettus of the Californian about our record setting player Johnathan Murray as the teams ‘unsung hero.’

Mettus wrote that “Murray is the facilitator for BC’s offense and the glue that holds the team together. On a squad that features players like Jamar Hammonds, Tucker Eenigenburg and Jaylunn English, who can all go off for more than 20 points on any given night…” He goes on to credit coach, Rich Hughes with naming Murray the “unsung hero.”

Bakersfield is so proud to have Coach Rich Hughes leading the Renegade Basketball team. Have you been a game recently?  There’s a few great games left this season. Check out http://www.gogades.com/sports/mbkb/2017-18/schedule  for the schedule and follow Coach Hughes on Twitter  @coachrichhughes

To see the article by Jon Mettus visit, http://www.bakersfield.com/sports/bc-point-guard-johnathan-murray-is-the-team-s-unsung/article_9195640c-f6fb-11e7-8c83-db2b4fe11733.html

EOP&S

Starting this semester, representatives from the Department of Human Services (DHS) are holding office hours in the second floor of the CSS building to help students to assist students with children who receive financial assistance through their department.

EOPS

DHS Social Service Workers from the Employment Services division are partnering with our Extended Opportunities Programs and Services Department (EOP&S) to help BC student parents attending school while receiving cash aid benefits via CalWORKS (California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids). Their offices will be located in the EOP&S area of the CSS building, and they’ll be helping provide our students educational support services, employment training and work study opportunities.

This partnership will help our BC CalWORKS program that was already being run under EOP&S integrate more efficiently with the Department of Human Services, and I’m excited for all of the potential that this partnership holds.

Accreditation and ACCJC

I always feel a little reluctant to snap pictures at the Accreditation Commission Meeting.  But here are a few after we were done with the meeting.  In the first picture you see the Chair of the Commission Raul Rodriguez who is the Chancellor of the Rancho Santiago Community College District with Mary Okada who is the president of Guam Community College and is on the ACCJC Exec Committee.  Inn the second picture, I am with Richard Mahon, who is currently a dean at Alan Hancock College.  In the last picture I am with Jared Spring, a manager at ACCJC and one of my favorite people.

Sonya Christian and Jared Spring ACCJC Jan 12 2018

Let me end with John Keats again

A thing of beauty is a joy for ever

Neo Jan 12 2018

Sonya Christian Pacheco Pass heading back home from ACCJC Meeting Jan 12 2018

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Many Things to Celebrate at BC!

Good morning Bakersfield. It is Saturday, October 28, 2017 and a great day to be a Renegade.

fats-domino-9276748-1-402.jpg biography websiteDid you grow up with Blueberry Hill, Your Cheating Heart, ……. I did.  As a little girl listening to my Uncle Raphe, who has since passed, reminiscing over and over again about how he wooed Aunt Shirley when he was in a band and sang Blueberry Hill.  You know families, stories are repeated over and over again.  I loved them all and loved this one about the love story of my uncle and aunt.  And Fats Domino was front and center in this story.  I definitely grieved his passing on October 24, 2017 and read the news items posted on him and listened to his music over and over again on youtube.  Here is a great 5:09-minute video of Fats Domino, Elvis Presley, Johnny Hallyday, Celine Dion & Louis Armstrong in Blueberry Hill

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qc9pRbbd3rw

And I love Louis Armstrong as well. Here is my favorite — Louis Armstrong and Barbara Streisand in Holly Dolly.

This is how John Pareles begins his article on October 25, 2017 in the New York Times

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For more
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BCSGA Power Lunch

Introducing Vince Fong to a room packed with students was one of the best ways I could imagine beginning a new week at BC.

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On Monday, we had the 2nd of 3 Power Lunches hosted by BCSGA Legislative Affairs Department. The Power Lunches consist of local legislators from Kern County sharing with the student body how they can be involved and stay up-to-date on what is currently happening within the state. Students also get the great opportunity to learn from the personal stories of our guest speakers.

 

Michelle Pena, Sonya Christian, Chris, Vince Fong, Heather Pennella, Steve Watkin Oct 23 2017

After the luncheon, it was fantastic to see Renegade football player and student intern in the Marketing Department, Carson Olivas on campus!

Sonya Christian and Carson Olivas October 23 2017

Sonya Christian, Carson Olivas

Disability Awareness Day

October is national Disability Awareness Month including Disability Employment Awareness? On Thursday, we celebrated Disability Awareness Day with various activities and presentations. To kick off the morning, we had an info fair with booths all across the Renegade Crossroads. On-campus and off-campus exhibitors included BC DSPS, BC Student Health Center, BGLAD, Bakersfield City Recreation and Parks: Adaptive Sports, Canine Companions for Independence, CA Department of Rehabilitation, Exceptional Family Center, Epilepsy Society of Kern County, Inclusion Films Workshop, Independent Living Center of Kern County, The Wounded Heroes Fund, Veterans Vocational Rehabilitation, America’s Job Center: Employment Resources for Individuals with Disabilities, Kern Autism Network, Kern Regional Center, LifeSigns, and Sorenson. These organizations are so important to our community and to those with unique needs. They provide such a wide range of accommodations and support services, such as canine companions, community, and other means of assistance.

The activity moved into our Fireside Room for a student panel and awards ceremony. Students spoke about their challenges as a way of sharing that we all endure personal unique struggles, but with success comes inspiration. They made a point to share that access to resources is vital. A special thank you to our students for voicing your stories. You continue to inspire me, your classmates, your professors, your community. Next, we celebrated the DSPS Allies Awards to those who actively support the success of students with disabilities at BC. This special award is for those who truly go above and beyond. Thank you to all the recipients this year:

Outstanding Department: Assessment Department, Department of Public Safety

Outstanding Faculty: Kurt Klopstein, Richard Miles

Outstanding Staff: Dr. Nicky Damania, Elieen Pierce

Outstanding Students: Alysun Seablom, Danita Belmore

Disability Awareness Assessment Center Recepient Speaker Chuck Wall

Dr. Chuck Wall

To close out the afternoon, we welcomed guest speaker, Dr. Chuck wall, a retired Business Admin faculty from BC who overcame the obstacles that go with being blind. He’s received international acclaim for his creation of the “Random Act of Kindness” and he’s appeared on radio shows including the Oprah Show, CNN, The Hour of Power, and he’s been honored by the U.S. House of Representatives for his humanitarian work. Thank you to Terri Goldstein and BC’s DSPS team for all they do to organize, plan, and prepare for this incredible day each year.

All of the photos from this years event are available at The Bakersfield College Smumug.

See my blog about last year’s Disability Awareness Day here.

HIRE

To honor the month, every year BC’s own WorkAbility III Employment Program for People with Disabilities takes the lead in planning and implementing the Bakersfield Mayor’s HIRE Committee Luncheon celebrating employers who hire and support people with disabilities, as well as their employees with disabilities who are successfully working.

Denise Crawford from BC was interviewed on KGET Tuesday morning to talk about her involvement with organizing a luncheon for Mayor Karen Goh’s HIRE Committee dedicated to helping people with disabilities find employment.

HIRE Luncheon Group Photo

This year’s event was held on Wednesday, October 25th at Hodel’s event center and had its largest annual attendance to date!  Over 120 employers, most from Kern County, employees with disabilities, and the local agencies and colleges who support them attended this exciting afternoon. Highlights of the event include large and small employer business of the year and employee with a disability of the year. Nominated this year was BC’s own Matthew Foster from campus reprographics. The event included inspirational speakers, entertainment by the “World Famous Sit-Down Comic,” Miguel Lugo, and our mayor, Karen Goh.

BC was well represented: Dr. Terri Goldstein, Director of Disabled Students Programs and Services, attended with Rudy Gutierrez, WorkAbility Job Development Specialist and Denise Crawford, WorkAbility Program Manager.  Rudy and Denise, with the BC Workability Program, are both long-time members of the HIRE Committee, a combined effort of colleges, community and state agencies to increase awareness and employment opportunities for people with disabilities.

HIRE Mayor Goh, Rudy, Terri and Denise

Mayor Karen Goh, Terri, Rudy, and Denise

The HIRE Committee was originally founded by recently retired Mayor Harvey Hall and community members in 2004, and has a long and successful history. And Mayor Karen Goh continues to support this much needed effort since she was elected Mayor of Bakersfield last year.

Campus Facilities Presentation

IMG_7458We had an excellent forum in Levan Center about Measure J & Facility Master Plan. November 8th will be the one-year anniversary of Measure J, so we want everyone to know what is happening with the half a billion dollars that the wonderful citizens of Bakersfield voted to give Bakersfield College for much needed structural improvements. As honored guest, Trustee Bill Thomas said, “Bakersfield College is going to be renewed.”

We were able to hear from AECOM-Parsons team and the Project Executive, Domingo Camarano, a proud Renegade Alum raised in Bakersfield. He understands our community and is concerned with the future of our students. AECOM-Parsons is working hard to transform our college to better turn our community support into brick-and-mortar structures that align with the education master plan.  During this transformation, I ask all of you for Engagement, Efficiency and Effectiveness.

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AECOM was recently in the LA Times for their project on the LA River.

Thank you to all the staff and faculty who attended the forum and especially to Chancellor Tom Burke for taking the time to call in, even as he was travelling to Sacramento; to subcommittee chair Trustee Bill Thomas for being so involved in our transformation, to Bill Potter, Administrative Chair, Pam Kelley, Faculty chair, and Kristin Rabe, Classified Chair and the rest of the members of the Facilities & Sustainability Committee for working diligently on the Facility Master Plan. If you missed the presentation, you can see important dates, campus team leaders and other information in the Measure J & Facility Master Plan Presentation 10/25/2017. This is truly a wonderful time at BC.

National Chemistry Week

Did you know it was National Chemistry Week? We celebrated at BC with an info fair in the courtyard within the SE building! Info was available for students who wants to pursue a degree in Science, Technology, Engineering or Math. National chemistry week gives students the opportunity to see that chemistry can influence things in your life not only in class…. Check out the video created by Manny De Los Santos!

All the photos are available at the Bakersfield College Smugmug.

Pre-Radiologic Technology Orientations

BC PreRad students

93 Students in attendance!

Our Pre-Radiologic Technology Orientation last week was a huge success, with over 93 college and high school students in attendance to learn all about our radiology programs.The event was organized in conjunction with the Health Careers Pathways Initiative and a team lead by counselor Dinorah Castro. Several of our radiologic technology students participated in the orientation, and it was a great opportunity for our staff to answer student questions, dispel any confusion about the program and career pathway, and converse with some of our current and prospective students. Students learned about program prerequisites, application procedures, financial aid opportunities, program curriculum, as well as tips for licensure exam performance and future employment in a radiologic technology career.

Thank you to the Health Careers Pathway Team: Dinorah Castro, Nancy Perkins, Jacy Hill, Venessa Reyes!

Delano CHAP

ChrisDison and Joe Aguierre presenting at CHAPThe BC Delano Campus’ Cultural & Historical Awareness Program (C.H.A.P.) has been busy organizing events for students, staff, and the Delano community this semester. The first event was held on Wednesday, October 18 at the Kern County Library – Delano Branch. This event was hosted by the Kern County Library in conjunction with the One Book, One Bakersfield, One Kern project and the book: “$2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America” by Kathryn J. Edin and H. Luke Shaefer.  Professor of English Chris Dison moderated a panel discussion entitled Poverty and Policy in Delano with guest Joe Aguirre, Director of Facilities and Emergency Management for Delano Regional Medical Center (DRMC). Mr. Aguirre is a current Delano city council member and past mayor of Delano. The evening began with a history of DRMC’s Community Garden as a response to the many citizens in need of fresh food for dietary and medical reasons and how the garden operates today in Delano. The DRMC has over 20 acres of land that they now provide to the community, free of charge, in order to provide a venue for horticultural and dietary education, while enabling residents to grow and harvest their own food. The session ended with a call to students and all Delano residents to actively engage in their community and participate in the political process in order to facilitate change.

Robert F Kenndy Delano Campus LobbyA second C.H.A.P. event happened on Wednesday, Oct. 25 (Larry Itliong Day) at the Robert Kennedy High School Lecture Hall.  Entitled Digital Delano: Preserving an International Community’s History, with sponsorship from the National Endowment for the Humanities, this event featured an author presentation and panel discussion of Gabriel Thompson’s new book “Chasing the Harvest: Migrant Workers in California Agriculture” (Voice of Witness 2016).  The award-winning author offered a reading of his book and participated in a panel discussion with some of the subjects interviewed in the book.  The evening was special for the over 200 people in attendance, including local educators, their students and families.

Visiting scholars from CSU Bakersfield, UCLA, CSU Fresno, Chabot College, and other statewide advocacy organizations for farm workers attended.  The entire event was conducted in both English and Spanish, with translation services offered by the moderator, Adjunct History Professor Octavio Barajas (Ph.D. Candidate, Tulane University) and Valerie Gorospe of the Center for Race, Poverty, and the Environment.

Abel Guzman Presenting at CHAPDelano Campus Interim-Director Abel Guzman also spoke, sharing his own family’s intimate connections to farm labor in Delano.  Food was provided by the amazing Fil-Bak Shop in Delano.  Delano Campus librarian Elisabeth Sundby and volunteer librarians harvested local histories throughout the evening, as attendees were encouraged to bring in family history artifacts (photos, letters, memorabilia) to digitize and contribute to the building of a community-based archive available for future use by students and researchers.

Panorama Music Summit –Take 2

The first annual Panorama Creative Music Summit was a big hit! Organized by professors Kris Tiner and Josh Ottum, this collaboration between the Jazz Studies and Commercial Music programs featured performances by BC students, alumni, and faculty along with some talented guest performers.

Panorama band6

Friday’s events began with a workshop in the music lab led by Long Beach composer and producer Chris Schlarb, leader of the band Psychic Temple. Schlarb instructed music technology students in recording techniques honed from decades of experience running his own studio and record label. Friday evening’s performances in the Indoor Theater kicked off with four student songwriters from the Commercial Music program who were chosen by audition to perform at the summit. Luke Duffell, Mason Edwards, Ian Merete, and Trevor Turner wowed the audience with their creations that were inspired by pop, folk, rap and ambient music. Next up was Professor Josh Ottum’s trio featuring BC music faculty member Kyle Burnham on drums and BC alumnus Jared Gardner on bass. Ottum performed a selection of original songs from his solo albums, plus a very well-received tribute to Tom Petty. Chris Schlarb and Psychic Temple closed out the evening with a wonderfully diverse set of original tunes from the album Psychic Temple IV, which continues to appear on the Billboard Americana/Folk charts. The band included multi-instrumentalist Phillip Glenn on violin, accordion, mandolin and keyboard, former Nashville drummer Garrit Tillman on drums, and Leeann Skoda on guitar and backup vocals.

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Saturday’s events began with a 2.5 hour workshop led by Japanese percussion wizard Tatsuya Nakatani. Nakatani, who currently lives in New Mexico, travels throughout North America performing with local musicians trained to play his set of giant gongs, using his handmade bows and following his unique conducting system. For this event 14 BC music students were selected to perform with the Nakatani Gong Orchestra. This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for both the performers and the audience alike. Saturday evening’s concert began with the Andrew Morgan Quartet. Morgan, who plays drums, is a former BC student and recent graduate of the Jazz Studies program at CSU Northridge. His band was stellar, and consisted of fellow CSUN students along with celebrated LA bassist Jeff Schwartz. Following Morgan’s set, BC Jazz Studies professor and trumpet player Kris Tiner performed in a duo with LA pianist Cathlene Pineda. Tiner and Pineda have collaborated and recorded together frequently since they were students at CalArts, and for this set they performed original material plus music by Leonard Cohen and their shared mentor, the late jazz bassist Charlie Haden. Tatsuya Nakatani brought the evening to an ecstatic finish with a riveting solo performance on the drums, followed by the much-awaited Nakatani Gong Orchestra.

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The next Panorama Creative Music Summit is planned for September, 2018 and I can’t tell you how much Im looking forward to this new campus tradition celebrating creative music at Bakersfield College!

Coach Ferreira

The Renegades volleyball team defeated West LA 3-0 , (25-16, 25-9, 25-10) to improve to 15-5 overall and 3-1 in conference. BC was led by Brooke Horack with 10 kills, while Mandy Sangha added 9 kills. Haley Sanchez led the team in digs, with 7.

With the win Carl Ferreira earned his 400th career victory! Congratulations to Coach Carl.

Coach Carl

 

Greater Bakersfield Legal Assistance

On Tuesday, the Greater Bakersfield Legal Assistance hosted a luncheon to recognize the work of volunteers in our local legal community. Among the honorees was Princess Herrera, a BC graduate of our Pre-Law pathway. As a student, Princess was the President of the Pre-Law Society while also completing an internship at GBLA, which included English-Spanish translation of several legal documents and publications. Princess is continuing her Pre-Law studies as a junior at CSUB with plans to enter law school in fall 2019. In the meantime, Princess continues her volunteer work at GBLA.

Graduates

Pictured are several members of BC’s Pre-Law Advisory Council who continue to support and mentor Princess along her journey toward a legal education: Manny Mourtzanos, Mark Pafford (Chief Deputy District Attorney), David Torres (Criminal Defense Attorney), Princess Herrera, Jay Rosenlieb (Attorney),  Adeyinka Glover (GBLA Executive Director), Bethany Peak (Attorney), Alekxia Torres-Stallings (Attorney), and H.A. Sala (Criminal Defense Attorney). My deepest gratitude goes to the members of our Pre-Law Advisory Council for their faithful dedication, volunteer service, and countless hours of investment in our students’ success. At BC, we are so proud of our graduates.

Grimmway Academy and Bakersfield College

Kimberly Bligh, Cole Sampson, Bernadette Towns, Lindsay Ono

Kimberly Bligh, Cole Sampson, Bernadette Towns, Lindsay Ono

A team from Bakersfield College were invited for a tour and lunch at the new Grimmway School in Shafter. BC was joined by representatives from CSUB, Point Loma, Fresno Pacific, and National Universities.

Shafter Principal, Joanna Kendrick, and Arvin Principal, Cole Sampson, took us on walking tours through the farm centered in the middle of campus, the Learning Lab, several classrooms, and then we dined on fresh produce and yummy tacos in the Edible Classroom.  You see in the photo below Shafter Grimmway School Principal, Joanna Kendrick, explaining a typical, cross-discipline food education lesson in the school’s Edible School Classroom.

Chef Anna Melby, also an adjunct professor for BC, runs the Schools Café.  Casey Yeazel, the Chief Academic Officer for the school, shared the school’s teacher and staff hiring process and intensive professional development practices at the Grimmway Schools. He shared the school’s vision and encouraged teacher training collaboration with Grimmway, local colleges, and the community.

Reps from multiple secondary schools

Casey Yeazel

Casey Yeazel, Chief Academic Officer

Thank you BC team — Kimberly Bligh, Bernadette Towns, Lindsay Ono, for attending.  And thank you Trustee Romeo Agbalog for keeping the focus on education for rural Kern front and center.

 

Latina Empowerment Day

BC was honored to be able to host Latina Empowerment Day in the Fireside Room on Friday, which provided attendees with important resources for Latinas to engage important leadership roles in the community.

Gabby, Norma, Lisa

Gabby Castaneda, Norma Rojas Mora, and Lisa Kent

Latina Empowerment Day was hosted by the group Hispanas Organized for Political Equality (HOPE), an amazing nonprofit organization “committed to ensuring political and economic parity for Latinas”, according to their website.

They’ve helped thousands of Latinas with education and development of leadership skills to be successful at the highest level in their communities, while providing important demographic data about Latinas to develop and advocate for government and institutional policies that would increase Latina employment.

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Representatives from HOPE conducted three workshops during Latina Empowerment Day, focused on financial planning, business negotiations and conflict resolution, and energy policy, respectively.

Several representatives from Wells Fargo, one of the sponsors of the event, provided some important guidelines for financial health, maintaining good credit and planning for retirement. Wells Fargo’s Vice President of Community Relations Gabriela Mello praised the HOPE organization and expressed her excitement about Wells Fargo’s partnership with the group. “HOPE has done an amazing job supporting, advocating and helping Latinas throughout the country with their leadership institutes and workshops,” Mello said.

Opening speaker Nayi Arismendi, a Subsurface Lead of Major Capital Projects for Chevron, providing some motivational words for the audience while telling her story of coming to America from Venezuela. “We as Latinas have the power to make our way up,” she said. “Don’t be afraid. If you once failed, it doesn’t mean that you won’t get there. We get to wherever we dream of.”

Norma and GabbyTwo lucky attendees to Latina Empowerment Day got some great prizes. HOPE gave away a beautiful Michael Kors handbag and two round-trip tickets with Southwest Airlines to anywhere the airline serves to attendees who stayed for the duration of the event.

I’d like to give a giant shoutout to Norma Rojas Mora for hosting Latina Empowerment Day. She’s a huge supporter of our campus and an integral part of helping us build and develop Measure J. A few months ago, I posted a picture of Norma with Trustee Thomas and Nicole Parra helping us out with Measure J and put it in the July 1st edition of the blog.

Octavio Martinez and Tim Painton

In last Sunday’s edition of the Californian, reporter Teddy Feinberg highlighted the successes of former Renegade baseball star Octavio Martinez