Tag Archives: Bill Thomas

Winter has arrived!

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, December 8, 2018… A great day to be a Renegade.

Winter has arrived.  Photo of the grapevine from my Land Rover on December 6th.

Last week of classes at BC.  Great holiday spirit.  Students excited….students stressed….  Nicky Damania and team staffed the library with extra hours for students to study in groups…. faculty dropped by to help students…..  What can I say.  We are BC!

BC Food Services Comes Through in a Pinch

Earlier this week BC administrators and managers came together to assist students with enrolling in classes for the Spring semester.  I want to give a huge shout out to our Food Services team who stepped up and served a delicious lunch to those helping in the outreach efforts.  If you know of anyone wanting to register for BC courses in the Spring 2019 semester, have them sign up today!  Steven Watkin and Ashlea Ward have organized three days of registration (Dec 10th, 11th and 12th) with the help of Counselors and Ed Advisors.    You can check out the Class Schedule and registration information at this link: www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/academic/schedule

Penny Loos, Diana Murrell and Pam Miller: These ladies are on it!

Food Services had their last day in Campus Center yesterday before relocating to make room for the cafeteria remodel!  They are moving to the Huddle and Mount Vernon Commissary over Winter Recess.  Here are some photos of their last day before the remodel:

Also, be sure to check out the new Food Services social media accounts!  You can follow their journey to the new location at the Huddle, see the new food trailer, and see what delicious menu items they’re preparing!  Check out @BCFoodScene on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!

BC Jazz presents: Duke Ellington’s Nutcracker Suite

The Bakersfield College Jazz Ensemble held a holiday concert earlier this week, featuring Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite re-imagined with a big band twist. The concert was amazing!!  The big band rendition of this classic music provided holiday cheer with a fun spin. There were saxophones, trumpets, trombones, guitars, a double bass and of course drums. I loved the beautiful clarinet during the “Chinoiserie” song, or rather, the Chinese Dance.  Also, Professor Robbie Martinez surprised guests and joined in on “Arabesque Cookie (Arabian Dance)” with his beautiful piccolo playing.

I was so proud of our students and the beautiful music that they performed.  My personal favorite was the “Sugar Rum Cherry” song, a take on the “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy.” Students learned how to integrate trumpet mutes and rubber plungers in order to hit the notes as Duke Ellington originally intended. A huge shout out to Kris Tiner for directing this amazing piece of music here at the BC campus.    

The Jazz Ensemble performing “Sugar Rum Cherry”
The Jazz Ensemble performing “Dance of the Floreadores”

Blue Ribbon Committee Reconvenes

The Blue Ribbon Committee reconvened earlier this week bringing together community leaders who were pivotal to the passage of Measure J in 2016.  Attendees were taken on a trip down memory lane with a great video created by our very own Chris Blakemore.  Thank you Chris!

Measure J: Memories

We also shared all of the recent developments here at the BC campus.  There are eleven projects in various phase stages over the next year!  Bill Potter and Tamara Baker definitely have their hands full, and can’t wait to share each of these projects as they progress along.

Emails Worth Sharing from Paul Beckworth

In light of the news of the passing of President George Bush, Paul Beckworth shared a memorable photo with me this week. He said, “with GW Bush in Somalia in December 92 or Jan 93. I asked him for a pic, he grabbed my camera out of my hand, and said , “Come here Beckworth,” (he read my name tag) and took a selfie of us. Pretty cool!”

Paul Beckworth and President Bush

2018 Bakersfield College Foundation Holiday Dinner

The Bakersfield College Foundation hosted a wonderful group of about 60 invited guests in the Renegade Room at the Holiday Dinner, following the Foundation Board’s annual strategic planning meeting. The dinner was expertly prepared and served by the students in the Culinary Arts program as their final exam for the semester. Many members of the BC Foundation Board were joined by their spouses to ring in the holidays, including founding Foundation Board member, Ken Byrum and his wife Pam; and Foundation Board Chair Jeff Bell and his wife Amy. Other special guests of the evening included KCCD Trustee-Elect, Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg and her husband Jim; Adam Alvidrez of Chevron and his wife Tiffani; and Gloria Williams of CRC and her sister Loretta. The guests were entertained by the talented BC Chamber Choir under the direction of Dr. Jennifer Garrett. The choir performed four Christmas songs and surprised the Foundation with a special video to express their gratitude to the Foundation members for the help in making their trip to Australia a reality this past summer. Major compliments to the Culinary Arts students, Chefs Alex Gomez, Suzanne Tangeman and Christian Flores-Castaneda for a beautiful and delicious evening! You all earned an A+ in our eyes!

Attendees at the Bakersfield College Foundation Holiday Dinner

SGA Discovers a Hidden Treasure

Our SGA president Ashley Harp came across a fun piece of BC nostalgia.  Check out the video below to see why BC has school spirit in spades!

Seen on Facebook: BC Chamber Singers Christmas Gathering

This week, I saw on Facebook that the BC Chamber Singers gathered at Choral Director Jennifer Garrett’s home for evening caroling in the neighborhood park, packing bags for the homeless, and spending time together for the holidays. She said in her post, “What a wonderful night with the BC Chamber Singers in my home! We ate lots of yummy food, put on a mini concert in the City in the Hills Park (thanks to so many for joining us), exchanged secret Santa gifts, made bags to hand out to the homeless, and many enjoyed the hot tub or talked to finish off the night. They are such an incredible group of people. We still have a lot of work to do in order to reach the excellence we are striving for and we will continue to work and love music to get there.”  Check out the fun photos.

KernTax 79th Annual Meeting

I was at Tom Burke’s table at the KernTax 79th Annual Meeting earlier this week at the Bakersfield Country Club, along with Cindy Collier, Bill Thomas, Tom Gelder, Romeo Agbalog, and Debbie Martin.  It is always great to get out and visit with our fellow community members! I feel so lucky to be a part of a city like Bakersfield!

Our dual enrollment program was highlighted at the event. Michael Turnipseed shared in his introductory remarks that over 3,000 dual enrolled students have benefited from the partnership between Bakersfield College and Kern High School District (KHSD), thanks to initial support from the Game Changer grant. Dr. Anna Laven, program manager for dual enrollment, and her husband, Commissioner Andrew Kendall, attended the event. The keynote speaker, James Gollub, highlighted the success of applying collaborative strategy to address our next generation economy.

Celebrating Dual Enrollment

On Thursday, December 6, the dual enrollment team held a convening of high school partners from McFarland, Wasco, Delano and KHSD and Bakersfield College student services areas to recognize the strong work that has taken place, expanding on success. Points of discussion included enrollment trends, guided pathways, pre- and post-enrollment activities, and the dual enrollment newsletter. Steve Watkin guided participants in discussion, with presentations provided by Dr. Anna Laven, Kylie Swanson, Sharon Bush, Liz Rozell, Jaqueline Lau, and Abel Guzman.

Fun Registration Time Photos from S&E

Veronica Hathaway shared with me the creativity of Dean Stephen Waller and everyone in the Science and Engineering area. We are BC!

Renegade Report

If you missed watching the Renegade Report live this past Thursday at 11a, check out the segments from this week’s show from the links below. This week’s highlights include segments with BC Baseball Head Coach, Tim Painton and four of his players: Kamron Willman, Ryan Dickerson, Nate Ortiz, and Frank Villasenor.

Renegade Women’s Volleyball Team Goes to State

Our amazing Renegade Women’s Volleyball team went to the state championships last weekend, hosted by Solano College in Fairfield. This was the first time since 2009 that the team qualified for the state tournament. They were ranked #2 in the state with a 25-1 overall record and were riding a 19-match winning streak. The streak ended last weekend, but we could not be more proud of our Renegades!!! Not only did they make it to the championships, Coach Ferreira was recently honored as the SoCal Coach of the Year and WSC South Coach of the Year. Setter Sarah Armendariz was named an AVCA All-American and WSC Player of the Year – huge recognitions for both! 

Proudly wearing the Renegade Volleyball Conf Championship t-shirt. We are BC!

Renegades of the Week

Renegade Athletics is proud to announce this week’s (11/25-12/1) Wells Fargo Renegades of the Week:

  • Brianna Mendez, Women’s Basketball – Scored 38 points and grabbed 20 rebounds in helping the team to a third place finish at the Santa Ana Tournament this last weekend.
  • Marcus Hutcherson, Wrestling – Qualified for the state tournament by placing 1st in his weight class (125 lb) at the Southern Regional Tournament and helping the team to a 4th place finish.

Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Post-Season Awards Announced

The Renegade Men’s and Women’s Cross Country teams recently finished their 2018 fall season at the CCCAA State Championships. The women’s team placed in a tie for 15th place, with Gabby Lugo placing 10th overall. For the men, Adrian Lopez was a state qualifier.

With the conclusion of the season, post season awards have been announced. Below is the list of awards by individual:

Gabby Lugo, So. (Bakersfield Christian HS) – 1st-Team All-American and Western State Conference (WSC) 1st-Team All-Conference

Jacquelyn Barrios, Fr. (Foothill HS) – WSC 2nd-Team All-Conference

Lourdes Cruz, So. (Wasco HS)- WSC 2nd-Team All-Conference

Angelo Benitez, Fr. (Independence HS) – WSC Honorable Mention

Justin Frando, Fr. (Highland HS) – WSC Honorable Mention

Cutberto Salgado, So. (Wasco HS) – WSC Honorable Mention

Roundup of Athletics Events This Week

As always, it was a full week of events for our Renegades teams. Highlights from the week include (click for the story on GoGades.com):

Stay Connected to Renegade Athletics

Be sure to stay connected with Renegade Athletics by following us on social media. On Facebook find us under ‘Bakersfield College Athletics’, on Twitter – @GoGadesGo and on Instagram – @gogadesgo.

California College Guidance Initiative in McFarland

As we continue to expand Early College opportunities for high school students throughout Kern County, we are looking for innovative ways to align with our K-12 partners and provide the resources they need. The California College Guidance Initiative (CCGI) is a new partnership opportunity with K-12 school districts to support students, counselors, parents, and community-based organizations with technological tools that help guide the college and career planning and preparation process. Bakersfield College is currently working with all of our partner districts to engage with CCGI. On December 5th, CCGI staff met with McFarland Unified School District (MUSD) administrators and counselors to begin implementation of the program. MUSD is leading the way for all districts in Kern County on this project. This tool will help K-12 educators, parents, students, and Bakersfield College collaborate to build clear pathways to higher education. I cannot wait to see what develops out of this work!

MUSD, BC & CCGI in McFarland.

Bakersfield New Car Dealers Annual Luncheon

Earlier this week, BC attended the Bakersfield New Car Dealers Annual Luncheon where Bill Wright was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award. BC’s Rony Recinos, Automotive Instructor Industrial Arts had the chance to meet with Sheriff Donny Youngblood and Senator Shannon Grove.

Sheriff Youngblood, BC’s Rony Recinos, and Senator Shannon Grove 

Winter at BC

Earl Parsons from the Marketing team sent over some beautiful photos that he took as winter weather blankets the BC campus.  Thanks Earl!

Jennifer Serratt took some photos of the gorgeous rain that we had earlier this week. The rainy weather made for a cozy atmosphere in the office! 

Jennifer also shared a photo with her and two of our favorite veterans, Paul Beckworth and Tommy Tunson.  They’re ready for the Army Navy game this weekend.  When Jennifer said she was rooting for the Air Force, they let her know that was the wrong choice! 🙂 

Tommy, Jennifer and Paul




That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

sonya-
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Proud to Announce “The Bakersfield College Vernon Valenzuela Veteran Resource Center”

Good morning Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, October 13, 2018…..a great day to be a Renegade.

Let me start my weekend blog with the the Board of Trustees meeting where the board voted unanimously to name the first project of Measure J the Vernon Valenzuela Veterans Resource Center.

Naming the Veterans Resource Center

Group Photo of BC Representatives at the KCCD Board Meeting

Group Photo of BC Representatives at the KCCD Board Meeting

Thursday, October 11th was a historic day for Bakersfield College! The Kern Community College District unanimously voted to approve the naming of the new VRC to The Bakersfield College Vernon Valenzuela Veteran Resource Center. We are proud the KCCD Board of Trustees voted to name the center after a local veteran advocate, inspirational leader, and Renegade.

1973 From Left Ed Simonsen Chancellor, Vernon Valenzuela Faculty, John Collins President, Phyllis Mallory Faculty, Loren Voth Trustee, Cecil Bailey Trustee

1973 – From Left: Ed Simonsen (Chancellor), Vernon Valenzuela (Faculty), John Collins (President), Phyllis Mallory (Faculty), Loren Voth (Trustee), Cecil Baileyaa

Vernon Valenzuela left a lasting legacy, for the Home of the Renegades, but also for his extended community, and in the hearts of all who knew him. His life’s work to benefit veterans lives on through the veterans he worked with, and the Renegades whose lives he helped transform.

Digital Rendering of the Veterans Resource Center

Special thank you to Paul Beckworth and Olivia Garcia who prepared the Board proposal, and to our guest speakers who shared with the Board their personal stories:

  • Jenny Frank, Manager of the Bakersfield Veterans Center
  • Tom Corson, Executive Director of the Kern County Network for Children
  • Randy Dickow, Attorney from the Veteran Justice Program

 

Paul Beckworth made the recommendation on my behalf, and Chancellor Burke supported the recommendation.

Paul Beckworth, Randy Dickow, Tom Corson, Jenny Frank, Olivia Garcia, Zav Dadabhoy VRC.jpg

Paul Beckworth, Randy Dickow, Tom Corson, Jenny Frank, Olivia Garcia, Zav Dadabhoy

 

Kay Meek, President of the KCCD Board of Trustees, made the motion, Bill Thomas seconded the motion.

The Board voted unanimously to name the new VRC the Vernon Valenzuela Veterans Resource Center.

Kay Meek then gave the rendering of the new Vernon Valenzuela Veterans Resource Center to Vernon’s widow Lise Valenzuela.  As you can see both the audience and the trustees were elated and gave a standing ovation.

Our community’s support for Bakersfield College has given us a unique opportunity to give back to our veterans by establishing a supportive and welcoming environment for all student veterans. We also must remember that this dedication would not even be possible without the sacrifices of those who have served our nation through military service.

Moments like these are a reminder of our responsibility to ensure steadfast commitment for our veterans. They are a reminder of our personal and collective responsibility to build a future that positively impacts veterans, and supports their education and their dreams.

Thank you to the Board of Trustees for the decision to name the new VRC after Vernon Valenzuela.

Standing ovation after the vote Oct 11 2018.jpg

 

Trustees doing a standing ovation.jpg

We will honor Vernon and all other veterans next month when we hold the official groundbreaking ceremony on November 5.  Mark your calendars!

Groundbreaking

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Grand Opening of Student Employment Lab

Student Employment Lab Grand OpeningMonday began with the grand opening and ribbon cutting of our new Student Employment Lab on the Panorama Campus. BC’s Strong Workforce is supporting our students to meet the demand to fill highly sought after skilled jobs with livable wages throughout California. The Student Employment Lab, located in the FACE building, provides career related support including access to resume development, employment resources like Jobspeaker, and preparation for successful interviews. In addition, resources are available from donations that students can utilize, such as paper, pencils, hygiene products, and more.

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Jobs prioritize being a student first, and provide important industry and career connections to help students explore what they really want for their futures. The Bakersfield College Student Employment Team is proud to help bridge the gap between education and employment by sharing our model, tools, and resources with other community colleges throughout California.

Thank you to the Student Employment team, led by Stephanie Baltazar and all who attended Monday’s grand opening including Cindy Collier for this new space.

Student Employment Lab Grand Opening

Student Employment in Action

Arisve_Pimental,_Selena_Gasca,_and_Danyel_RitterSpeaking of student employment, each month the Student Employment Office selects an on-campus supervisor to recognize their outstanding service. The Supervisor then has the honor to highlight one of their top student employees. This month, Arisve Pimentel and Danyel Ritter, Department Assistants for the Office of Student Life are being recognized because they oversee many services and programs, including the Renegade Pantry, Pantry Shelf Program, Daily Bread, Homecoming festivities, and the Renegades mobile app! They teach their student employees organizational and time management skills, make them feel valued, and always keep them on track. Both ladies selected student assistant Selena Gasca for always coming to work prepared, with a positive attitude, and a friendly demeanor.

Visit with Justices of the Fifth District Court of Appeal

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Justices of the Fifth District speak to students

This past Thursday, BC was visited by the Justices of the Fifth District Court of Appeal.  The Justices spoke very candidly to our pre-law students, staff and faculty about their professional career paths, and explained how they came to be justices at the Court of Appeal.  They talked about how life isn’t a sprint but a marathon, and how this is extremely applicable to a life in law.

Many explained how they never thought about being a judge, but wouldn’t change a thing.  Their perspective shed light on the ethics and importance of law in supporting democracy, and explained the how Justices are appointed to the Court. They talked about how the work is demanding, and a balance of work and life is essential.

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Thank you to Justices Brad R. Hill, Herbert I. Levy, Charles S. Poochigan, M. Bruce Smith, Kathleen A. Meehan, Mark W. Snauffer and Thomas DeSantos for visiting Bakersfield College and for showing our students the many different paths there are in the legal profession. And thank you to Corny Rodriguez and all the students who attended this incredible opportunity. See all the photos at BC’s Smugmug.

Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU)

Tom Burke and Corny Rodriguez

Chancellor Burke and Corny Rodriguez

The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) held its annual conference last weekend in the Marriot Marquis in Atlanta, Georgia to discuss the emerging trends in higher education affecting Hispanic-Serving Institutions. BC’s Corny Rodriguez attended alongside KCCD Chancellor, Tom Burke.

The HACU was established in 1986 to represent the needs of all higher education institutions with a 25 percent or higher Hispanic population, which are defined by federal law as Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs). HSIs, which include Bakersfield College, face unique challenges compared to other degree-granting institutions, including a disproportionately low-income student population. In 1992, the HACU petitioned Congress for recognition and federal appropriations to HSIs, which led to increased funding to HSIs through Title V of the Higher Education Act.

Student Profile (Ethnicity) from Scorecard

Student Demographic 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18
Hispanic Student Count (%) 61.5% 65.1% 66.3% 66.7% 65.7%
Student Count   14,997 16,486 18,312 20,863 21,847

Group Photo at HACU

Ana Ceballos, PC Counselor Teacher Education; Prima Arvizu, VP of Student Affairs; Kimanthi Warren, PC Director Equity and Educational Services, Chancellor Tom Burke; Laura Vasquez CCCC Faculty, Lucilia Gonzalez-Cirre CCCC Faculty; and Corney Rodriguez. BC Dean

Here are two fun photos of our Chancellor at HACU 2018. Chancellor Burke getting up to date information from Georgia Tech professor at the STEM/HACU student workshop and riding on a ” Bird”, electric scooter.

Renegades of the Week

BAKERSFIELD, CA – Renegade Athletics is proud to announce this week’s (9/30-10/6) Wells Fargo Renegades of the Week.

10.9 RENEGADES OF THE WEEK

Rhyan Acosta, Women’s Soccer – scored the winning goal in a road victory, 2-0, over #12 rankead LA Valley, and then scored the first two goals in a 4-0 home win over #11 ranked Cuesta.

Armando Alvarez, Men’s Soccer – had a shutout against Santa Barbara, the no. 6th ranked team in California (16th in the nation). He had 3 key saves in the last 2 minutes of the game to preserve a 0-0 tie and finished with a combined total of 7 saves for the game.

Roundup of Athletics Events this week

It was a full week of athletics events for our Renegades teams. Highlights from the week include:

Renegade Athletics Social Media

Public Safety Career Expo

On Wednesday, October 10, the Bakersfield College CTE Department brought together more than 60 local, state, and federal agencies together for the Public Safety Career Expo. Representatives were on hand to answer questions and provide information to those who were interested in pursuing a career in public safety.  Hundreds of students were seen having engaging conversations with members of the police, fire department, and military in the hopes of one day making public safety their profession.

Numerous vehicles were on display, such as an ambulance, fire engine, SWAT team vehicle, and even a Kern County Sheriff’s helicopter! Visitors were able to climb in and tour many of the vehicles, getting an up-close view of how these technologically-advanced machines operate.

Thank you to everyone who took part in making this amazing event happen, and a special thank you to all of the men and women who make such great sacrifices to keep our country safe.  BC extends our deepest gratitude to you and your families.

See all the photos at BC’s Smugmug!

Young Women Empowered for Leadership Conference

YWEL Event (2)

Dr. Paula Parks (front, left) with some of the attendees

Dr. Paula Parks, English Professor and Umoja Community Lead, was a panelist at the second annual Young Women Empowered for Leadership conference sponsored by the Kern High School District. The focus of the luncheon event organized by Assistant Superintendent Dr. Brenda Lewis was on women in education.

Other distinguished panelists included Highland High School math teacher and BC adjunct instructor Kalisha Hudgins, Foothill High School Counselor Denise James, CSUB Associate Vice President Dr. Jacqueline Mimms, CSUB Assistant Athletic Director Dena Freeman-Patton, and retired educator and Project BEST founder Fushia Ward.

Young Womens Event

Panelists spoke on what inspired them to pursue a career in education, their experiences being the only African American in their graduate classes and in their places of employment, and overcoming challenges. They all encouraged the girls to maintain a sisterhood and never give up on their dreams no matter what the struggles are.

YWEL Event (4)

The high schoolers were engaged and attentive. They asked questions such as the professionalism of wearing one’s hair in natural styles and about getting people to stop using the n-word. Most of the panelists had always worked in education, and the students found it interesting that Dr. Parks moved from a career in journalism to one she found more fulfilling in directly making a difference in the lives of students. They expressed interest in the Umoja Community program and asked Dr. Parks aoout the cultural program in the high schools. Parks encouraged the girls to attend BC and become part of the Umoja program and then transfer to a four-year university.

Sonia Nazario

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Sonia Nazario and Joaquin Alvarado

Bakersfield College was honored to host two respected journalists in the country on our campus to lead a conversation about immigration and reporting as part of a state-wide initiative to keep young people informed about democracy and the functions of government.

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Sonia Nazario and Joaquin Alvarado, founder of the new media organization StudioToBe and the former CEO of The Center for Investigative Reporting, spoke to students in the Forum about the ways that the media frames immigration issues in the wake of increased public scrutiny over ICE detention centers and the separation of families at the border.

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The event was presented as part of BC Office of Student Life’s Distinguished Speaker Series, BC Social Justice Institute, and the California Humanities’ new initiative titled “CA 2020: Democracy and the Informed Citizen”, a year-long partnership with California community colleges to get young people engaged in democracy and journalism by bringing Pulitizer-winning reporters to their campuses. At the beginning of the event, California Humanities CEO Julie Fry was proud to announce that the organization had secured approximately $1 million in funding for statewide programming through the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Federation of State Humanities Councils and other non-profit organizations.

South Kern Sol Executive Director Reyna Olaguez also announced the four local winners of media fellowships as part “Cal 2020” project. The four young reporters will be working with trained journalism professionals to develop stories on topics that are relevant to our community. Nazario is best known for her book “Enrique’s Journey,” in which she travelled over 12,000 miles atop freight trains from Honduras to the United States to follow the path of a 17-year-old boy who was searching for his mother. The journey was fraught with danger from police officers and immigration authorities, as well as opportunistic coyotes who take advantage of the thousands who come to America via El Tren de la Muerte—The Train of Death.

f18sonianazario15-x4Nazario’s approach to journalism is hands-on, seeking to capture an inspiring narrative thread that contextualizes some of the most polarizing and divisive issues in our society. As part of a 1997 series on the one in five children in the United States who are raised by drug-addicted parents, Nazario lived in crack houses to be able to write accurately and honestly about their experiences.

“My job is to afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted,” Nazario said.

After covering immigration issues for over 20 years, Nazario has seen the face of immigration shift from Mexicans seeking economic opportunities in the US to Central American families seeking asylum from the horrific violence brought about by criminal narcotics cartels. Her work reporting on asylum cases has led her to serve as a board member for Kids in Need of Defense, an organization that procures lawyers for young children seeking asylum, who often have to formulate their own cases without the education necessary to go toe-to-toe with US attorneys fighting against them in court.

While immigration has become a hot-button issue in the current presidential administration, Nazario and Alvarado, who served as the moderator for the evening’s discussion, stressed the importance of looking beyond the talking points being spouted by 24-hour cable news networks on both sides of the political divide and connecting people with stories that affect their day-to-day lives while empowering them to become more invested in their communities.

I’d like to thank all who attended including retired KCCD Chancellor, Sandra Serrano, BC faculty, Olivia Garcia, Erin Auerbach, and Heather Pennella, Jerry Ludeke, and more. Social Justice Institute, the Office of Student Life, and California Humanities for bringing this insightful and thought-provoking conversation to our campus. See all the photos at BC’s Smugmug.

Cristina Sommers

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Dr. Cristina Sommers

On Thursday, October 11, 2018, the Levan Center for Humanities welcomed Dr. Christina Sommers to discuss ideas presented in her book Who Stole Feminism? How Women have Betrayed Women. At least 100 students, faculty and staff attended the afternoon session where Dr. Sommers presented her ideas and engaged in an informal discussion.

Former professor of philosophy at Clark University, Dr. Sommers is now a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. She began writing articles in the mid-80’s when asked to teach a class on Feminist Theory. It was while preparing for teaching the class and researching the textbooks on the subject that she found feminist theory to be inconsistent with philosophical theory in not providing both theory and its rebuttal in the same manner, making many assumptions without argument or support. She began to question the assumptions and the research methodologies.

dsc04606-x2Sommers’ articles appeared in The Journal of Philosophy, The New England Journal of Medicine, The New York Times and The Atlantic. She went on to write several books including Who Stole Feminism, The War Against Boys, Freedom Feminism: Its Surprising History and Why It Matters Today (Values and Capitalism), The Science on Women and Science, and she coauthored One Nation Under Therapy: How the Helping Culture is Eroding Self-Reliance with Sally Satel M.D. and Vice and Virtue in Everyday Life with Fred Sommers. She also hosts many YouTube videos on the Factual Feminist channel.

In her talk she articulated the need to look at research with an open mind and not ignore variables that might not prove the feminist view, and suggested that radical feminist views may hurt the cause more than help it by turning away those with more moderate or conservative. She said that the future for feminism lies not only in increasing inclusion of all races, but in creating inclusivity that is intellectually diverse as well, incorporating perspectives of conservatives and liberals, and to include males in the movement. She views herself as a liberal feminist in the classical sense of liberalism of enlightening and empowering the female.

dsc04594-x2One student brought up the New York Times article that described the “Intellectual Dark Web,” and had included her in their description of those participating. He asked how one would be included in such a list. Sommers explained that someone, perhaps a journalist, published a list of people the internet that were challenging the status quo from within the status quo. The New York Times took that list, dubbed it the “Intellectual Dark Web,” wrote the article and sent a talented photographer to take beautiful, but “scary,” photos of the people on the list. She laughed it off, saying that the only people using the expression “Intellectual Dark Web” were the critics of the people on that list.

I am so lucky to have faculty and staff that bring a wide array of views and culture to our school, to the benefit of students, faculty and community members.  See all the photos at BC’s Smugmug.

Strengthening Student Success

Bakersfield College rural initiative team recently presented at the Strengthening Student Success Conference. The panel of presenters notably included Destiny Ramos, a 15 year-old Arvin High School sophomore and Bakersfield College Early college student.

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BC’s Rural Initiatives Team

Early College is a partnership with local community colleges and a local public secondary school that provides students the opportunity to simultaneously earn their high school diploma as well as up to two years of transferable college credit. The panelists discussed  developmentally appropriate instructional design, and how to create a student-centered learning environment when teaching high school students collegiate content. Presenters included Maria Ramos, Arvin High School parent; Destiny Ramos, Arvin High School; Dr. Chris Cruz-Boone (Communications Faculty), Abel Guzman (Interim Director, Rural Initiatives), and Jesse Oropeza (Counselor), Bakersfield College.

UCD Pre-Health Conference

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Natali and Rebecca with Dr. Joe Saldivar

Dr. Joe Saldivar, biology faculty and chair, took a van full of pre-med students to the 16th annual UC Davis Pre-health Conference this past October 6, 2018.  This was the biggest pre-health conference on the west coast with over 4,500 attendees. During the one-day conference our BC students received information about medical school, allied health career pathways,  pre-health admissions; they engaged with exhibitors and had the opportunity to speak with UC Davis campus professors. The MESA program sponsored the trip for the students, supporting our students on the STEM Guided Pathway. Rebecca Sinor, student President of the Pre-med club said, “It was a fantastic trip, thank you so much for everything.”

Texts Worth Sharing

Corny Rodriguez shared with me “I took a coffee break yesterday. Found these BC Nursing students studying at Starbucks.”  Here is Brooke Hurt, Jennifer Jhon, Deveney Miller, and Sarah Voss studying for their classes. BC Nursing Rocks!!

BC Nursing Students

Renegade Nursing Students at Starbucks

Gadfly Cafe

Reggie Williams

Reggie Williams moderating the discussion

On Wednesday, October 10, the Levan Center played host to another edition of the Gadfly Café.  This month’s topic was all about bias.  A crowded room saw students, faculty, and community members participating in a free-flowing discussion about their personal experiences with bias, with moderator Reggie Williams maintaining a fair and non-judgmental atmosphere.

Bias regarding gender, age, sexuality, disability, and socioeconomic status was the topic of the day.  Many engaging stories were shared during the one-hour session, and received in quiet thoughtfulness, though some were met with applause. Be sure to stop by the Levan Center for next month’s Gadfly Café on Wednesday, November 14 at 12:30 p.m., where the topic will be “Suicide: In Pain, Protest, and Honor.”

Project BEST at BC

On Friday, BC hosted project BEST students for a morning of learning. Bakersfield College is always happy to host Project BEST events. Project BEST provides one-time scholarships that focus on first-year college success. The program has awarded over 1,000 scholarships over the past 2 years.  Special thank you to Julian West who represents BC and education, inspiring young people to attend college.

MESA Student Leadership Conference

MESA Student Leadership Conference2

BC’s MESA Students

On Saturday, October 6, four Bakersfield College MESA students were invited to attend “The Student Leadership Conference (SLC).”  Math Faculty Dillon Giblin chaperoned the students at the event which brings together select engineering and computer science students and industry professionals in an effort to develop the next generation of diverse STEM leaders. The conference is an opportunity for STEM students to develop “soft skills” necessary to successfully transition from college to professional careers. During the conference students explored career opportunities, practiced collaboration and problem-solving skills, enhanced oral and written communication skills, and developed interviewing skills.

Industry partners provide workshops and presentations, conduct mock interviews and identify candidates for internship and full-time STEM positions. The well-attended event hosts more than 200 selected MESA undergraduate students, over 30 MESA center directors throughout the state, MESA alumni from around the country, industry and government agency representatives and various national, state, and local government representatives.

MESA Student Leadership Conference

Students are selected by their MESA directors based upon demonstrated potential to be future leaders for their college, the MESA program, and the community. Attending this year from BC were: Sabrina Lugo Computer Science, Issac Garcia Civil Engineering major, Peter Rodriguez Mechanical Engineering major, and Ian Jaurez Chemical Engineering major.

California Society of CPA’s

BC Accounting ProfessorsBC accounting professors Lynn Krausse, Rudy Menjivar, and Gayle Richardson attended the California Society of CPA’s Bakersfield Chapter ABC Mixer (Attorneys, Bankers and Certified Public Accountants) raising money for student scholarships.

It’s wonderful to see BC faculty involved in their communities for the benefit of students!

Friends, this is yet another reason that I’m the luckiest and happiest college president ever!

Seen on FB:  Kern Sol spotlight on Dr. Rosales

FB Kern SolSouth Kern Sol, a youth-led journalism organization funded by The California Endowment, profiled BC history professor Oliver Rosales and his work documenting the farm laborer rights movement in Kern County during the 1960s and ’70s.

Check it out here!

The profile describes Rosales’ passion for writing about the farm worker movement where it began in Delano, and mentions that his father taught at Bakersfield College alongside Jess Nieto, the founder of the Chicano Studies program at BC and a former dean at the Delano Campus.

Rosales engages students with their own history as reflected in the stories of the work of Cesar Chavez, the UFW and farmworker strikes, making them aware that these stories are studied by professors at Ivy League universities across the country. “I try to get [students] to understand that the outside world talks about their history,” Rosales is quoted as saying in the article. “I didn’t know what I wanted to do until I could see my own world in the curriculum.”

BC Southwest Tutoring Center

We often don’t get to see the work that makes transforming students’ lives possible. Ying Vang set up laptops for the SW Tutoring Center. The cart was delivered from Delano and BC’s Academic Support Services provided funding for the laptops. Over 314 students have been served by 14 Peer Tutors in the Southwest center and now the added technology will enhance the tutoring experience.

Ying at BCSW

Emails Worth Sharing – From the UK!

f18wimbish07-x3This week, I an awesome email from Joe Simpson at VisitBakersfield.com that made its way to my inbox. Joe explained that a few weeks ago, he received an inquiry from Mr. Harvey in the UK, who would be visiting Bakersfield and wanted to know where to find some good music during his trip. The email that Joe forwarded said,

“I have just arrived back in the UK. When we stayed in Bakersfield on Sunday and Monday, 23 and 24 September we went to Ethel’s Old Corral Cafe on the Sunday to see the Sante Fe Band and to the Bakersfield College to see Doug Wimbish. Both events were absolutely brilliant! So, I simply had to get back to you to thank you for bringing these to my attention. Thank you so much.” See my blog coverage from the Doug Wimbash event here!

Fun Photos

From the High School Counselor Conference

From Accreditation Week:

Accreditation Logistics Team

Love this picture.  Monika Scott and Nicky Damania working hard in the SGA Board Room with treats in the foreground!

Monika and Nicky computer training

#MarchForHumankindness

BC is proud to partner with Dignity Health and CSUB in the March for Humankindness.

March for Humankindness

Join the Renegades and our community as we March for Humankindness! This short walk will celebrate our diversity and highlight what unites us as members of such a kind and caring community. Come out this Thursday, October 18th at 5:00PM at CSUB’s Icardo Center. Wear your favorite BC shirt and let’s represent our Renegade pride! Gather your friends, family, coworkers, and classmates as we walk together to create a kinder community. While you’re out, snap a selfie and send it to me! I’d love to feature it in my blog next weekend!

HVAC Program Unveiling

On Monday, 10:00 am on Bakersfield College Delano Campus we’ll unveil its first HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) Technology Certificate of Achievement Program. I will be attending, along with Assemblymember Rudy Salas and Trustee Romeo Agbalog, among others. This program is the only one of its kind within the Kern Community College District and is a part of Bakersfield College’s Rural Initiatives, which provides BC’s surrounding communities with the means to better equip residents with workforce skills through college education. The funding for this program comes from the monies secured by Assemblyman Rudy Salas in the 2018-2019 state budget.  If you can, come join us for this wonderful event!

Delano

Manny Fernandez, Sonya Christian, Romeo Agbalog, Tom Burke, Freddie, Rudy Salas, Abel Guzman

 

We are BC!

Sonya Christian and Paul Beckworth

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

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

Student Success is Wonderful News!

Good morning Bakersfield. Here is a Calla Lily for you.

Calla Lily June 9 2018

It is Saturday, June 9, 2018 and a great day to be a Renegade.

It appears that I have been prolonging BC’s 104th commencement in every blog since the May 11th event.  Here I go again…..

Wonderful Graduates

Last week, I recognized all of BC’s 2018 Baccalaureate graduates and this weekend, I wanted to highlight our group of approximately 40 Wonderful Academy Dual Enrollment students who received their Associates degree from Bakersfield College on May 11th before graduating high school.

Orange County Event Photography

1st graduating class with Noemi Dinoso, Bill Thomas, Sonya Christian, Romeo Agbalog

Before the 104th Commencement, this group of young college graduates were met by Kern Community College District Trustee Romeo Agbalog for congratulatory remarks and to be recognized for their ambition and hard work.

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Trustee Agbalog addressing the graduates

May 11th was a huge day for these graduates and their families. It started with the Delano Pre-Commencement Celebration where most of them were greeted and congratulated by Chancellor Tom Burke and their day concluded with the 104th Commencement which took place in a packed Memorial Stadium.

Tom Burke at Delano Pre commencement Celebration May 11 2018

Chancellor Tom Burke (center) surrounded by select Dual Enrollment and Delano graduates

Orange County Event Photography

Congratulations to these brilliant young people. Each of them is a trailblazer and they have incredibly bright futures. They have been supported each step of the way by their families, their professors, their friends, each other, the Wonderful Education leadership, and our entire community. Let’s continue to root for these young men and women – they can and will do “Wonderful” things!

Orange County Event Photography

Dual Enrollment at BC

Speaking of the wonderful success of dual enrollment, Anna Laven wrote an opinion piece published in the Bakersfield Californian on Sunday about BC’s entire dual enrollment program, which offers college credit courses at more than 25 high schools throughout Kern County that are transferrable to BC, a CSU or UC.

Anna Laven June 1 2017“Dual enrollment gives our community and our young people the opportunity to experience college level courses and gain confidence in their academic success,” Laven said. The article also describes our partnership with the Wonderful Prep Charter Academy, which offers students the opportunity to receive an Associate Degree in agriculture in four years while working on their high school diploma.

“Bakersfield College is grateful for the hard work and commitment of our partners, whose efforts have resulted in developing a college going culture among rural Kern County communities,” Laven said.

Student Success Stories

I received an email last Monday from Don Turney about very exciting news concerning one of our recent graduates. His email is as follows:

Hi Sonya,

You probably already know this but just in case you don’t…this is pretty cool.  For the last year-and-a-half I’ve been driving up to the Wonderful College Prep Academy in Delano to teach high school juniors and seniors Psyc B1.  I also taught them a Psyc B20 class, “Social Psych.”

I got the greatest phone call last week.  Xochitl Morales, a junior student at the time I taught her those two courses, called to let me know she got into…Harvard!  Not only that, she got a “full-ride” scholarship.  Not only THAT, she was named a Bill and Melinda Gates scholar and all of her expenses will be covered.  Finally, she’s chosen to major in psychology and thanked me for helping her find her “path.”   How about that?

And they pay me to do this job.  Most days, I’d do it for free. Hope you are well and happy.  See you in the fall.

XochitlMorales

Xochitl Morales (center) with her parents

I knew I had to share this extraordinary student’s success with all of you. Xochitl Morales is a poet and musician raised in Delano. She has an exceptional gift for communicating her experiences and her plight as a Latina struggling with her identity in modern day America through music and the written word. She also shows an extraordinary drive to be active in her own education.

When Paramount Bard School, which later became Wonderful College Preparatory Academy, cut back on funding for Art education, Xochitl was instrumental in raising a campaign to bring back the arts through video communication and working with teacher and administration advocates. Her initiative and success became a featured article on California Alliance for Arts Education. I encourage you to read about her Student Advocacy Success Story. Her creativity and advocacy have not stopped at the school. She has recorded her poetry with music about the central valley and struggles of the Latin community.  NBC News wrote this article on the viral video and includes the Latin-Americans: The Children with a Dark Past video. You can watch this video Xochitl Morales Interview which captures wonderful shots of the Delano area.

 

Xochitl says that she’s very thankful for the opportunity that she had from Bakersfield College through the Wonderful Academy. She advises other high school students to take advantage of the dual enrollment classes to explore different academic topics to study in higher education. Taking 55 units of college credits helped her decide to major psychology and expanded her “academic circle.”

She also recommends the classes for the extra challenge and to explore different skills. Taking dual enrollment classes can help students make themselves unique, and extinguish themselves from other applicants at universities with challenging admission criteria. In fact, it was interest in philosophy that helped in writing her essay for her Harvard application. She was also thankful for the opportunities BC gave her as she met all of her academic mentors through BC and our faculty assisted her in getting acceptance to Harvard through their letters of recommendation.

When asked if she would be a first-generation college grad, she said she would have been until last year. Her father went back to school and graduated college last year so that Xochitl and her siblings would have no excuse for not attending college. What an excellent way to teach by example and how a college education is connecting families.

It is such a pleasure and a joy to hear success stories such as these and I am so proud that Bakersfield College was a part of this remarkable young woman’s journey to Harvard. I am a lucky president to have such wonderful faculty that inspire greatness in our students. I expect great things from Xochitl and all our BC Renegades.

Strong Workforce Stars

Bakersfield College recently received Strong Workforce Stars Gold recognition for the Radiologic Technology program. Students who participate in this program boost their earnings by 329%; 100% of them attain the regional living wage, and 100% of students get a job in their field of study.

Radiologic Technology Class of 2018

BC’s most recent graduates of Radiologic Technology: Class of 2018

Program Professor and Director Nancy Perkins attributes students’ strong workforce outcomes to multiple characteristics. For example, the RT Program regularly collects feedback from its students with satisfaction ratings on the program, courses, clinical training, and we ask students what are the program’s strengths and areas for improvement. From employers, the program collects employer satisfaction based on the technical and job skills that BC RT students have demonstrated. According to Ms. Perkins, the data collected have been valuable in developing a strong program for students.

Nancy Perkins

Nancy Perkins

The RT program utilizes a student cohort model, where students enter and progress through the RT curriculum together. Ms. Perkins identified the cohort model as a strength as students bond, assist on another, and study together. The cohort model also provides RT faculty the opportunity to know their students very well. The RT program has an Education Advisor for their students, who regularly meets with students to discuss their academic progress and monitors the students’ education plans. Additionally, workshops on Habits of Mind, note-taking, and time management are integrated with RT curriculum. In order to prepare students for a competitive job market, the RT program provides resume writing and job interview training.

EOP&S Region V Professional Development Conference

BC’s Extended Opportunities Program and Services (EOP&S) department hosted a professional development conference for all of the schools in Region V of the California community college system to share their strategies for providing assistance to first-generation and other educationally and financially disadvantaged students.

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Imelda Simos-Valdez

Imelda Simos-Valdez, director of BC EOP&S, Care, CalWORKs and Cal-SOAP programs, kicked off the conference in the Fireside Room by thanking all of the college representatives for traveling to Bakersfield for such an important professional development opportunity. Each member of the EOP&S staff also walked to the front of the Fireside Room and introduced themselves to the audience.

Vice President of Student Affairs, Zav Dadabhoy gave a brief introduction expressing his gratitude for community college EOP&S programs, adding that the EOP&S process should be the model for student success for all student populations. He also spoke of the transformation happening on campus with the construction and renovation funded by Measure J. “Everyone who works in education is changing people’s lives every day,” Dadabhoy said.

Dr. Zav Dadabhoy

Dr. Zav Dadabhoy

After Dadabhoy’s speech, the audience passed a microphone around the tables in the Fireside Room introducing themselves and told everyone the job title at their college. Simos-Valdez then gave some demographics information about BC’s student population and the locations of all our satellite campuses.

EOP&S Counselor Patricia Ramirez, went over the review packet and shared our process for registering students and determining eligibility for EOP&S programs. For the rest of the afternoon, the group spread out across the campus to attend several workshop sessions about topics such as CARE and CalWORKs collaborations, strategies to support foster youth, and guided pathways momentum points for EOP&S students. The group also went on a tour of BC’s EOP&S office and had an opportunity to network with each other after lunch.

 

 

Thank you to everyone who organized and attended the Region V Professional Development Conference and a big thanks to everyone who works hard to provide educational opportunities for these students across California.

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Fireside Room at Bakersfield College was packed on Thursday, June 7

 

Beautiful Bakersfield Awards

The 2018 Beautiful Bakersfield Awards Gala recognizes the individuals, organizations, and businesses for their efforts that improved the community’s quality of life last year.   This annual event recognized 128 nominees across 15 categories. The banquet and awards gala was broadcast live on KGET-TV 17’s Facebook page on June 3, 2018, at 7 p.m.

MESA Presentation

Connie Gonzalez and Jonathan Kim

Connie Gonzalez and Jonathan Kim

The Beautiful Bakersfield Awards Gala is sometimes known in our community as the “Oscars of Bakersfield” and it was amazing that BC’s Mathematics Engineering Science Achievement program was nominated. The kudos was for the First Annual MESA Science Technology Engineering Mathematics and Pre-Health Conference that happened in April 2017 which welcomed over 300 students onto campus to explore careers in the STEM and Pre-health guided pathways.  The conference was held in partnership with UCLA MEDPEP and undergraduate admissions, USDA Hispanic-Serving Institutions Education Grants Program, BC’s Chemistry, Engineering and Math Faculty, Grimmway Farms, Kern Medical, Aera Energy employees, Infrastructure Engineering Corporation and other industry partners that donated time and money.  The Awards were attended by Dr. Stephen Waller, Consuelo Gonzalez, MESA Director on the left and Jonathan Kim, MESA student.

Shout out to Hodels

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Photo from hodels.com

Over the Summer break, while BC’s Food Services department has been closed, the amazing Hodel’s has provided meals for our retreats and Summer Bridge students.

Sonya Christian and Bob Hodel Fall 2015

Sonya Christian, Bob Hodel

The Hodel family and their connection to Bakersfield College goes back to the 1920s. Hodel’s Country Dining started in 1967, but Lydia Hodel Wiebe used to work with the Weill family, a local retailer who helped found the Kern Community College District’s Weill Institute in downtown Bakersfield. If you visit Hodel’s today, you’ll see plaques for Renegades football adorned on the walls of the waiting area, and when we requested something a little bit different than their regular catering service, current owner Bob Hodel was more than happy to oblige because as Kasey told us, it’s “because you are BC!”

Hodels staff at BC

Hodels staff at BC

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Delicious Food from Hodels

Hodel’s classic country recipes, including its creamy mashed potatoes and gravy and juicy fried fish, were created by Lydia Bartel Hodel, known as “Mom” Hodel, who moved her family from the Dust Bowl in 1921 at the age of 16. “Mom” cooked for hay harvesting crews working with the Kern County Land Company before becoming the personal cook of Arthur S. Crites, a local property investor and chef who had political connections in the Calvin Coolidge administration. Crites recognized her natural predilection for culinary excellence, and he taught her several recipes that were being used by Coolidge’s personal chef in the White House.

Abel Guzman

Abel Guzman

“Mom” would become the manager of the Greeley School Cafeteria in the 1940s and started her second career as the head cook of Hodel’s after retiring in the spring of 1967. Hodel’s started in the Valley Plaza and opened several locations before renovating and centralizing to the Olive Drive location and adding two banquet rooms in the 90s and 2000s, according to the Hodel’s website.

I’d like to thank the Hodel family and Hodel’s Country Dining for their decades of supporting BC, and for their amazing hospitality to cater Summer Bridge and our retreats for President’s Cabinet and Finance and Administrative Services.

Spotlight on Student Employment and Internships

National Student Employee Appreciation week 2018

National Student Employee Appreciation week 2018

Did you know Bakersfield College employs close to 500 student employees each year? Each of them contributes significantly to the day-to-day operations of the on-campus departments while earning on the job experience that they will take with them once they graduate. In April, we recognized students for their outstanding performances during National Student Employee Appreciation Week and I covered this in my blog on April 14th. Special thank you to Stephanie Baltazar and all in CTE and Student Employment who facilitate some incredible employment opportunities for our students.

Remembering Renegades

Jerry Ludeke in the BC Archives has notified us that Bob Wickey passed away on June 5th. Jerry said,

Bob was well loved on campus for his happy smile and his easy way, almost a pixie sense of humor.  He and his wife Jean had friends who were a cross section of the faculty and staff.  He was originally listed in the college directories as teaching Engineering and Industrial Drawing and later Physical Science.  Bob came to BC in 1965 and stayed for around 27 years.  They retired in Bakersfield.

Bob was instrumental in building a strong chemistry program at our College, and our current chemistry faculty stand on the foundation of his efforts. In March, Dean of Instruction, Stephen Waller ran into a BC chemistry grad, and she was asking about Bob, who inspired her to become a chemist.

President’s Cabinet Retreat

President's Cabinet

On Monday, President’s Cabinet met to discuss goals and work plans for the 2018-2019 academic year. This group is comprised of direct reports to the president of Bakersfield College, as well as other members who serve at the discretion of the president. President’s Cabinet provides the president of Bakersfield College a forum for vetting decisions prior to implementation.​

President's Cabinet Summer Retreat June 3 2018

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Todd Coston, Lesley Bonds, Abel Guzman participating in a game a jeopardy organized by Manny at Cabinet June 4 2018

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Abel Guzman speaking at Cabinet June 4 2018

Todd Coston speaking Cabinet Retreat June 4 2018

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Corny snapped these two pictures of me enjoying time with the members of Cabinet.

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Accreditation Commission Meeting:

The following day I left for the accreditation commission meeting in San Francisco.  At these meetings I am always reminded of how committed the commissioners are in ensuring academic quality and integrity in Higher Education.   We also have a great staff at ACCJC led by CEO Richard Winn.  I forgot to snap photos.  But here are a few, starting with the view from my room and a second one with Ian Walton, the incoming chair of ACCJC who was toasting Richard Mahon who had completed a six-year term as commissioner.  The commission has a term limit of 6 years.

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Ian Walton toasting Richard Mahon June 6 2018

Fun Photos

Paul Beckworth, Angelica Perez, and Armando Trujillo at Porterville College

Paul Beckworth, Angelica Perez, and Armando Trujillo

Bakersfield College Veteran Services were on hand to support Porterville College as it unveiled its Veterans Monument this past Wednesday morning.

If this is not a face looking to create trouble then I am not sure what is….  and then there are the times that he is calm and relaxed.  My most relaxing evenings are when I am in the backyard reading or working and Neo is on the edge of the porch calm and surveying his kingdom–the backyard.

 

 

Finally got back to the gym after 8 weeks of hiatus.  Yes!

Sonya Christian on treadmill after 8 weeks of hiatus June 7 2018

It is a great time to be at BC!

Sonya Christian heading to commission meeting June 6 2018

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

 

Summer Bridge Begins at BC

 

Good morning Bakersfield.  It is Saturday, May 26, 2018 and a great day to be a Renegade.  And why wouldn’t it be…. I woke up to BC everywhere in The Bakersfield Life Magazine.

On page 12 a spotlight on our new Vice President of Instruction, Liz Rozell.  Just love her gorgeous smile.

Liz Rozell in Bakersfield Life Magazine May 18 2018

And then on page 41 a picture of Tina Mendoza. faculty at Taft College, and Nicky Damania, Director of Student Life.

Tina Mendoza and Nicky Damania in Bakersfield Life Magazine May 18 2018

On page 21 there was Tamara Baker, a dining diva, who is right now at KEDC and will be starting at Bakersfield College shortly.  Sorry, Richard Chapman and Cheryl Scott 🙂

Tamara Baker with Dining Divas on page 41 of the Bakersfield Life Magazine May 26 2018

And finally, on page 76, a two-page recognition of our Renegade Baseball team and our amazing student athlete Zach Williams.  Coach Tim Painton is so proud of his players.

Zach Williams Renegade Baseball Athlete in Bakersfield Life May 26 2018

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104th Commencement for the third week in a row.  

This time let’s listen to Dr. John Gerhold sing our national anthem.

 

Summer Bridge at BC

With the 2017-18 academic year wrapped up, BC is transitioning to getting our students ready for summer and fall.

We’ve kicked off the largest year ever for the Summer Bridge to BC program, an interactive day-long orientation that gives incoming freshmen the opportunity to engage with faculty one-on-one and in group settings while touring the BC campus with experienced and knowledgeable student mentors.

I love seeing the new groups of students throughout the summer touring the campus.

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As of last Thursday, there were only two open seats for students to enroll in Summer Bridge, which is offered as a course titled ACDV B55 – First Year Student Success. It’s an incredible time to be at BC!

More on Jim Ryun and the State Track Meet at BC

It was great to see friends and supporters out at the State Championships last weekend at Memorial Stadium. Dean Lofgren from El Camino College sent me the following photo with a lovely message.  He said:

We have always enjoyed coming to the well-hosted Bakersfield College meet(s). Over the many years, the Bakersfield College staff of Pam Kelley (and formerly Bob Covey) have a superb job in staging these major events. Having the infamous Jim Ryun attend this year was an added bonus. Thanks again and hope to be back again soon.

 

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See my friends, if you haven’t been to the campus on the hill in a while, it’s a great time to visit. BC is an incredible place of talent, dreams, and champions.

Here are some more photos from Nick Ellis of The Bakersfield Californian

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Bob Covey, Jim Ryun, Ann Ryun, Bill Thomas, Pam Kelley

Bill Thomas May 18 2018

Bill Thomas

Jim Ryun May 18 2018

Jim Ryun

Here are two photos I snapped: A selfie with two men from Bakersfield College who met up at Congress — Bill Thomas and Jim Ryun.

Bill Thomas and Jim Ryun May 18 2018

Was happy to see faculty member Jeremy Staat helping out Coach Pam Kelly for the statewide meet.  Here he is with Sandi Taylor

Sandi Taylor, Jeremy Staat at Jim Ryun event

Thank you Nick Ellis for this great picture

Sandi Taylor, Sonya Christian Photo by Nick Ellis

Sandi Taylor, Sonya Christian

 

MESA Awards Banquet

The students in the Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) program at BC got an opportunity to celebrate their accomplishments with their peers during an awards banquet on Wednesday in the Fireside Room.

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Dean Stephen Waller

Dean Stephen Waller gave a brief speech before attendees enjoyed an Italian dinner catered by Frugatti’s, reminding MESA participants that although the majority of them are first-generation college students, their hard work representing BC’s STEM program and helping organize events such as the MESA STEM and Pre-Health Conference have established a high reputation both for themselves and BC’s MESA program.

Mesa celebration May 2018

Graduating student Sharina Washington gave a testimonial about her time in the MESA program, expressing her heartfelt gratitude to MESA Director Connie Gonzales for pushing her to reach her highest potential and giving her the tools to earn the PG&E Black Engineering Scholarship and the Dwight David Eisenhower Transportation Fellowship.

Connie Gonzales Mesa May 2018

The evening’s keynote speaker was Jose Salinas, a former MESA participant who graduated from UC Davis with a degree in mechanical engineering and currently works for Northrup-Grumman, one of the largest aerospace and defense contractors in the world. After struggling at Cuesta College, Salinas’ participation in BC’s MESA program reinvigorated his love of mathematics and gave him the assistance he needed as a first-generation college student. Salinas would go on to become a tutor for the MESA program and participate in a workshop at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, an experience which helped him realize his passion for the aerospace industry. After graduating from UC Davis, Salinas got accepted to USC for the master’s program in astronautical engineering.

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Wayne Cooper

After the keynote speech, representatives from the US Department of Agriculture announced the MESA students who earned the summer and fall STEM internships with the National Resource Conservation Service and the Bureau of Land Management. The organization also won the award for MESA Sponsor of the Year. BC chemistry professor Wayne Cooper presented awards for the A+ Scholars program, which provides financial resources to help STEM students transfer to four-year universities. He also announced all of the MESA students who are graduating or transferring before being presented with MESA’s Professor of the Year award.

My heartfelt thanks for everything that our MESA program does to help first-generation STEM students at BC, and I wish all of the graduates the best of luck as they transition to the college or career of their dreams.

Inmate Scholars Program

On Tuesday, activist and media personality Danny Morrison wrote an article on his website praising BC’s Inmate Scholars program, writing that “inmate education could be the elixir to some of the most deeply-rooted, long-standing systemic barriers plaguing our most marginalized communities.”

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Danny Morrison and Sonya Christian, photo from dannymorrisonmedia.com

Morrison, who hosts a radio show on 103.9 FM The Beat, as well as “The Danny Morrison Media Show” on The Beat and Canoodle Studios, went into intense detail about the Inmate Scholars program, praising BC’s Program Manager Chelsea Esquibias and its success rates, as well as the program’s efforts toward reducing recidivism and encouraging adult participation in higher education courses.

In his article, he shared the success rates and made the comment that the “numbers don’t lie.”

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“This comprehensive program should serve as the template for correctional facilities all throughout the country,” Morrison said. “In my personal experiences with the program, I have seen growth within some of the most hardened inmates like you never thought possible.”

Brandon Johnson of ABC 23 also recently shared how “inmates up and down Kern County are getting a second chance courtesy of Bakersfield College.”  The news clip can be seen on Facebook here.

Celebrating Hall EMT Grads

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Photo from the Hall EMT Facebook

The Bakersfield Californian’s Steven Mayer covered the Hall EMT academy graduation in an article which he started by announcing, “Hundreds of family members and friends gathered to watch Tuesday as 30 recruits graduated from the Hall EMT Academy to become Kern County’s newest first responders.” On hand for the celebration was KCCD Chancellor Tom Burke.

Titled, “First time ‘without our boss,’ Hall EMT academy graduates 30,” Mayer’s article combined both a tribute to Harvey Hall  with a celebration of the hard work and accomplishments of these new EMT’s. He said, “During their 350 hours of training — done in partnership with Bakersfield College — the entire spectrum of emergency medical services is covered, including airway, respiration & ventilation; cardiology & resuscitation; trauma; and EMS operations. Upon completion of the coursework, they are prepared to take the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians exam.” See the full article here.

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BC Umoja Grads

PaulaParksPaula Parks has a piece in the local Bakersfield News Observer spotlighting the BC Umoja Grads by covering the end of the year Umoja celebration. You’ll want to read it for yourself by clicking here. I loved her statement, “In essence, culture and community are empowering. I am committed to the success of our students because I know their potential.”

This, my friends is one of the many reasons why I’m the luckiest and happiest college president ever.

umoja grads

 

Information Technology Rocks at BC

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Jennifer Serratt and Todd Coston

On Thursday morning, I heard of a student currently in the Air Force stationed overseas who was having some IT connection issues with their online classes and needed support to troubleshoot. Jennifer Serratt sprung into action calling on the IT Director Todd Coston who didn’t hesitate to look into the existing case details and work to find a solution. Jennifer assured the student we would work on having a solution for them the next day! (It was 11:30PM overseas!) By 8AM local time for the student, a solution had been created by our IT staff on campus and at the District Office. Here’s to two rock stars who work hard for our students!

And speaking of Todd Coston and the IT department, they celebrated their annual retreat day with team building and activities for the IT staff, graphic designers, and web content editors! The day included a photo scavenger hunt where the teams had to be creative and take specific photos on campus. The groups also built boats, raced toy cars, and competed in an exercise that involved stacking cups using a rubber band attached to strings.

This special day full of team building exercises is a great experience for our IT department. Special thanks to Todd Coston, Monika Scott and Hernando Mondragon for planning and hosting the various activities.

 

Fun Photos CSEA Appreciation Week

This week, BC celebrated Classified School Employee Week and had a luncheon on Tuesday afternoon. On Thursday appreciation grams were delivered around campus bringing smiles to many. California’s Legislature recognized the important contributions of classified school employees by naming the third full week of May “Classified School Employee Week” (CSEW) in honor of their contributions. Classified school employees play crucial roles in education.  Here are some photos from the luncheon:

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Joint Committee on the Arts Informational Hearing

On May 16th, Dr. Oliver Rosales spoke in Sacramento at the Joint Committee on Arts regarding California and the Humanities: Building Bridges and Amplifying Voices. You can view the clip online and Dr. Rosales begins speaking at 1:36:50.

Oliver

Recognizing that the Arts contribute significantly to the quality of life in California, and play an important role in the identity, innovation and economy of this state, and citing the dramatic decline in arts education programs in the state’s public schools, the Joint Committee on the Arts was formed in 1984. The Committee is authorized and directed to study, investigate and analyze:

  • Goals appropriate to the future of the arts and cultural life of California and the role the Legislature and state government should play in achievement of these goals;
  • Arts legislation in other states and at the federal level and recommendations for legislation in this state;
  • The status of arts education in California;
  • The economic impact of the Arts in California; and
  • The budget and programs of the California Arts Council.

President’s cabinet

On Monday of this week, President’s Cabinet started its first of a series of retreats to evaluate last year and start planning for next year.

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This is a great group of individuals who are on call 24-7 — dedicated to our students, to the college, and dedicated to the community.

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It is a great time to be at Bakersfield College.  

 

 

Sonya Christian, Jim Ryun Selfie May 18 2018

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever