Tag Archives: Bob Allison

2018: A Year of Accomplishment, Generosity, & Anticipation

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, December 29, 2018… A great day to be a Renegade.

Happy New Year

As 2018 winds down, our thoughts are with family and friends. I am so grateful and honored to work with our extended BC family — the faculty, staff and students of Bakersfield College — the generous and hard-working people of Bakersfield, Delano, and nearby communities. Our work is more important than ever, and what we do is only possible working together.

Looking Back

As we look back on 2018 my thoughts are also with those BC family members we lost. All these and many more in our personal lives were important to us, and we should take a moment to remember them and be grateful for what they did for us and our community.

Harvey Hall

We did so much in 2018, and it is impossible to list more than a sampling of accomplishments to celebrate what we did this year, who we were and who we’ve become.

We have grown the student population that we serve. The annual 2017-18 student headcount was 33,257, producing 17,034 Full-time Equivalent Students (FTES), a 3.7% increase relative compared to 2016-17. These are not just numbers. This growth means that we are making education possible for individuals and families, improving lives for more of our communities.

Our student Renegades are diverse, working to overcome challenges and barriers to complete their education and improve their lives and the lives of their families.

Over the last year, BC has grown the work of Guided Pathways. Among the graduates were the first graduates of the Early College program through The Wonderful Academy and the first graduates of BC’s Industrial Automation Baccalaureate degree.

The Completion Coaching Communities serve our diverse community of students. These “coaching” teams of faculty and staff are evolving to provide more focused and holistic support for our students.
The lives they touch are reflected in the increasing completion and success rates, and these numbers and many others are tracked by Data coaches who are trained and supplied with data on the students in their particular meta-major. This focused and deliberate use of data supports the communication, the interventions, and the support for students attempting at least 15 units in their first term and completing transfer-level English and math in their first year.

In 2018 we continued to find new ways to support students and change lives.

Bakersfield College and CSUB partnered to develop the Kern Promise: Finish in 4 transfer initiative to address baccalaureate attainment in Kern County. The transfer task force, Workgroup to Advance Regional Baccalaureate Attainment (WARBA) works with faculty and staff at BC and CSUB to identify issues of misalignment across the transfer pathways program-by-program, and for each ADT offered. Through our collaboration, faculty identified course articulation and/or ADT modifications to develop 27 fully transferable, sequenced semester roadmaps with aligned coursework from the BC ADT through to the CSU Bakersfield baccalaureate. Our growth in ADT engagement and completion has been substantial.

The BC family is serving the diversity of Kern County through intentional outreach, expansions, and Early College programming. BC’s Rural Initiatives efforts include traditional services offered in surrounding communities, while also leading efforts in Early College and Adult Education. In partnership with K-12 schools, adult schools, city governments, private industry partners, and non-profit organizations, BC’s Rural Initiatives team is changing lives in communities with historically low degree attainment rates, and high unemployment numbers.

The BC family includes partnerships too many to list, with partners like the
Wonderful Company — a strong advocate for education, that also encourages their employees to take advantage of new, local educational services. In 2018, the North Kern Adult Education Team, in collaboration with the Wonderful Company, developed services in Lost Hills to prepare future Renegades for the EMLS program, future CTE certificates, and degree pathways.

The community strongly supported the facilities vision of bond Measure J in 2016. As we look back on 2018 we can see the beginning of making this vision a reality. Fittingly we started construction by celebrating the groundbreaking for the Vernon Valenzuela Veterans Resource Center this past November. We started meeting community needs for safer and better parking options with refurbishments early in 2018 and throughout the summer. The 2018 year only saw the very beginning of Measure J work, but what a great year it’s been.

Digital Rendering of the Veterans Resource Center
Digital Rendering of the Veterans Resource Center

In 2018, more than ever, BC and the Bakersfield community are blessed with leaders who share a passion for education and how it changes lives for students and their families. The instances of service and generosity of community leaders are ongoing, and too numerous to recognize them all. Assembly Member Rudy Salas secured $1 Million to fund various programs at for BC; Senator Andy Vidak hosted a healthcare partners round table discussion. Countless political leaders like Jean Fuller, Vince Fong, Leticia Perez, and many others around our region have come to speak at the BCSGA Power Lunches, and Mayor Goh is in all ways one of the biggest supporters of BC that could ever be hoped for.



There’s so much 2018 to celebrate!

Students Engaging in the Future of California

I saw on Facebook an article posted by Oliver Rosales titled “Engaging students in the future of California: A CA 2020 Media Summit Recap” that aims to answer what would happen if you bring together students from different counties to talk about the future of media and the state of California. The article says, “Students from Foothill and De Anza Colleges in Silicon Valley, San Diego City College, Shasta College in Redding, and Bakersfield College and South Kern Sol came together for two days. The students from the four campuses had the incredible opportunity to make connections, reflect on questions of media literacy and their role as emerging journalists and storytellers and to learn practical skills from professional journalists and from one another.

The project brought Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Sonia Nazario to campuses throughout California and brought the four schools together at a Media Summit, where the students learned from leading media makers and shared skills and insights from their projects.

Students from Bakersfield College/Kern Sol News visit the KQED Public Radio newsroom in San Francisco. Photo: Kern Sol News.
Students from Bakersfield College/Kern Sol News visit the KQED Public Radio newsroom in San Francisco. Photo: Kern Sol News.

Christmas Story of Hope

Olivia Garcia texted me, “Please watch this news clip if you haven’t already. Larry and Sabrina were my students in my California history class this fall. Watching this video made me cry. They had told me before that they had their share of struggles but I didn’t realize how much until I saw the KGET news coverage. These two were such an amazing pair of students in my class. Always contributing to discussions, always reaching out to me for advice or guidance. So kind-hearted and friendly. I can proudly say both did so well in my history class. Yes, there were times that they felt the stress of school and questioned their ability to succeed, but I always encouraged them they could do it – and they did. They worked so hard, they used campus resources like SI and the writing resource center. They didn’t give up and I’m so proud of them. Just like the work of Covenant that KGET highlighted, BC is also about giving chances and transforming lives. I just feel so rewarded to have been in a small part of their journey. This is why I love what I do.”

Check out the story at KGET titled, “A Covenant Christmas: Once homeless, but never hopeless.”

In addition to the text from Olivia Garcia, I also received a text from Kimberly Bligh about these students who were in her class as well.

Fun Christmas & Holiday Photos

Friends and Supporters at the Abernathy Christmas Party
Friends and Supporters at the Abernathy Christmas Party
The Strobel Family attends Christmas services
The Strobel Family attends Christmas services
The 2018 Collier Family Christmas Photo
The 2018 Collier Family Christmas Photo
The Garrett and Urry Children are ready for Santa to visit
The Garrett and Urry Children are ready for Santa to visit
Fred Misono, a Rotarian and a supporter of BC
Fred Misono, a Rotarian and a supporter of BC
Monika Scott visits Toronto for Christmas
Monika Scott visits Toronto for Christmas

Fun Photos from Bob Allison’s 80th

Happy Birthday to a dear friend and colleague, Bob Allison.

Fun Photos

Margot the corgi with big ears
Margot the corgi with big ears

David Franz had a Community Voices piece published recently where he shared his thoughts on higher education and bringing college to the City of Shafter. Here is an excerpt:

” As a region, higher education is important to us in less obvious ways. As Kern County grows, we will need people in board rooms around the state to share our perspective and represent our interests. We often complain about how we are treated by far off elites. We need our own people in those rooms. A degree is part of the cost of entry.”

Check out his entire article at The Bakersfield Californian titled “Bringing Higher Education to our Youth.”

This personal piece I wrote about celebrating Christmas 2011 in Ceylon with my mom was published on Christmas day in The Bakersfield Californian

Pam Christian

I could easily continue to celebrate much, much more of BC 2018, but I think I’ll say:

That’s all for 2018…

Until 2019…


That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

sonya-
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Make Learning a Lifelong Activity

Good morning Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, August 4th and a great day to be a Renegade. 

I had a wonderful week which concluded with a tour of BC in North Kern with Senator Jean Fuller and Trustee Romeo Agbalog.  More on that next week.  But here is a photo, with the McFarland High School leadership team, just to peak your interest.

Romeo Agbalog, Sonya Christian, Jean Fuller, Abel Guzman, Raquel Lopez at McFarland High Aug 4 2018

Trustee Romeo Agbalog, Sonya Christian, Abel Guzman, Senator Jean Fuller, Raquel Lopez, with the McFarland High Principal Brian Bell and his team

 

Bob Allison

Bob Allison

I was inspired yesterday by Bob Allison‘s Community Voices “Make Learning a Lifelong Activity.” He shared how BC’s Levan Institute is beginning its 11th year in operation and thanks to an incredibly generous gift by the late Dr. Norman Levan, BC is able to provide learning and enrichment opportunities to the local 55 and over community.

The piece mentions, “…we have had classes as varied as wine tasting, the afterlife, Photoshop Elements, ukulele, weight training, golf and creative writing. We even had a class on the history, tasting and brewing of beer (with lab!). Field trips are popular, particularly our annual wine trip. The fall 2018 term includes new classes in ceramics, watercolor painting, religion, history, fitness, website construction, making your own videos, kitchen remodeling, a trip to the Peterson Automotive Museum, and others.”

So if you’re interested in returning back to BC or even coming to BC for the first time as an adult learner, there’s never a better time to make learning a lifelong activity.

Bob Allison Community Voices Aug 3 2018.png

Remembering Gloria McLean

The Californian’s Robert Price wrote a piece celebrating the life of Gloria McLean. “Ceiling-shattering legislative aide was ground floor for CSUB’s creation” describes how McLean, who worked with Dorothy Donahoe “became the first woman to serve as an administrative assistant to a state senator and, later, the first woman to serve as a state senate district coordinator.”

Bob Price on Gloria McLean August 2 2018.png

The article goes on to share that Gloria McLean was a Renegade. “McLean was born in Bakersfield to a Scottish-born oilman and his New Zealander wife. She attended Standard School, KCUHS and Bakersfield Junior College, which was then part of the high school campus.”

Gloria McLean cover Californian

Here is Gloria McLean on the cover of The Bakersfield Californian on Saturday, January 22, 1955. She is pictured at the California State Employees Association pre-convention rally. The paper identifies left to right as Earl Chesmore, regional director; Mrs. Patricia Smith, regional secretary; Howard Lake of the Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce Bureau, Gloria McLean, president of the Bakersfield Chapter, and Dale Halverson. “Miss McLean is showing Lake the ‘rebel hat’ that is the official mascot for the Bakersfield chapter.”

You know, the “rebel hat” reminds me that Bakersfield truly is a Renegade community. #WeareBC!

Enjoyed Nick Strobel’s Stargazing piece in today’s paper.

He just wanted to be a Renegade

Romeo the Pup

Romeo the Pup

On Thursday in the late afternoon, this beautiful and happy dog was found on campus sporting his Renegade Red bandana.

With no family in sight, BC sprang into action by sharing on social media, giving him water and some food to keep him hydrated, healthy, and happy.

First thing Friday morning, we took this happy dog to the vet to have him scanned for a microchip and his family was found!

We’ve concluded that Romeo just wanted to be a Renegade for a day. Maybe he was late to Summer Bridge? Whatever the case, we’re happy to report that he’s back with his family because of his micro-chip!

Situations like this remind me just how important it is to be a responsible pet owner and microchip our animals. The American Humane Association estimates over 10 million dogs and cats are lost or stolen in the U.S. every year and one in every 3 pets will get lost at some point during their life.  When you have your animal micro-chipped, it is also important to regularly keep your contact information updated.

BC’s Voices

In addition to Bob Allison’s inspiring piece, BC’s Jack Hernandez and Nicky Damania also shared their voices this week.

Jack Hernandez penned a piece titled “Nest of truth” which can be read online here.

Jack Hernandez Community Voices Aug 1 2018.png

 

Nicky Damania in Sydney

Nicky Damania in Sydney

And Nicky Damania shared his experiences in Australia with the BC Chamber Singers with “Sounds of Sydney.” 

He said, I love to sing and hear people sing. It is one of my passions, and it’s got mood and soul, power and magic. Music is both transformative and unifying.”

Make sure to check it out to read how this trip to Australia changed his life and the lives of these talented Renegades. See the piece at Bakersfield.com.

Nicky Damania Community Voices July 31 2018

Biennial Conference on Chemical Education

BCCE Trio

A team from BC attended this years Biennial Conference on Chemical Education (BCCE) hosted by University of Notre Dame on July 29th through August 2nd. The conference is designed to provide attendees with opportunities to interact with chemistry instructors of all levels in formal and informal settings. There is a mixture of plenary lectures, symposia, workshops, chemical demonstrations, poster sessions, exhibits and tours of chemistry research areas.

BCCE Group Photo

BC Students Internships in Action

Lora PorterAs a culinary student, Lora Porter participated in an summer job fair that resulted in an internship with Disneyland. She had been selected for placement at the Blue Bayou inside the theme park, working alongside some of the premier chefs at the private Club 33 restaurant.
Flash forward and Lora is now at Wasco High School as a culinary instructor doing what she loves with her skills and education, including her Disneyland internship opportunity, and right away met with our CTE office to start an articulation agreement that will help her students find their path.

Darren Willis Creates Special BC Gift Boxes

A few special gifts have been created this week by Industrial Drawing faculty, Darren Willis. “The project concept and layout was actually designed by a student as a small jewelry box,” he said.

These special boxes will be given to the Accreditation Team evaluating Bakersfield College later this year. Thank you Darren, Michele Bresso, and the ISER team.

 

Renegade Athletics Volleyball Camps

Our incredible women’s volleyball Head Coach Carl Ferreira hosted another great round of summer volleyball camps this year. Over 150 participants from the three camps received instruction from Coach Ferreira and his current BC volleyball players in teaching them  volleyball fundamental of serving, passing, defense and attacking. To read more about the volleyball camps and see more photos click here.

2018 Summer Volleyball Camp

2018 Summer Volleyball Camp

BC Summer Basketball Academies

Once again our amazing women’s head basketball coach put on a fantastic few weeks of her annual summer basketball academies. One session was focused on youth and teaching them fundamentals and the other focused on 7-12th grade students in emphasizing those fundamentals and giving them the opportunity to compete and challenge themselves to make themselves better. The event brought almost 100 youth and their families on-campus.

2018 Basketball Academy

2018 Basketball Academy

Read more about it and see the full photos here.

Another Athlete Signing

Octavia Croney and Paula Dahl

Octavia Croney and Paula Dahl

Renegade women’s basketball player Octavia Croney has signed to continue her academic and playing career for the Cal State LA Golden Eagles.

Croney, a sophomore guard this last season and local Highland HS product, appeared in 24 games for head coach Paula Dahl. She ended the season averaging 16.4 points/game and 6.0 rebounds/game. She notched more than 20 points in ten different contests with her highest scoring effort coming against Taft College when she scored 27.

“Octavia was a major impact player for us over the past two years”, said Coach Dahl. “Her fearless nature on the court her sophomore year was so fun to watch. At the sophomore showcase I remember Cheryl Miller looking at me and saying very excitedly – ‘You think I can get her?’ Cheryl is a basketball icon and an incredible person and Octavia is a BC icon and one of the finest human beings I’ve ever coached. I am so excited for them to work together and for Octavia to continue her education with one of, if not the most respected woman in the game.”

Cal State LA is an NCAA D-II program that competes in the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA). There have now been a total of 36 Renegade student-athletes from the 2017-18 year that will be playing at various four-year schools throughout the country this coming season.

Media Day is Next Week!

Please come out to join us this coming Thursday (8/9) at 11am on the south concourse level of Memorial Stadium for Renegade Football Media Day. Mayor Goh, Sandi Taylor and Coach Chudy will be speaking to the media about our upcoming 2018 football season. Go ‘Gades!

2018 Football Media Day

Here are some photos from last year’s Media Day.

 

Athletic Director Sandi Taylor 2017 Renegade Football

Jeff Chudy 2017 Renegade Football.jpg

Karen Goh Media Day August 8 2017.jpg

Football Practice

On Thursday morning before the heat of the day, I visited the practice field to watch the 2018 Renegade Football team prepare for the best season yet with Athletic Director, Sandi Taylor and Athletics Community Relations Manager, Brandon Urry.

It brings great joy to see a preview of the strength, talent, and teamwork of our Renegade Football team. I can’t wait to get the season started. Go ‘Gades Go!

IMG_2399

IMG_2402

IMG_2403

Visiting the BC Archives

BC’s web guru, Aricia Leighton and her student workers did a deep dive this week to dig for gems related to our mascot for use on the web. While there, they discovered that you can research the archives from the comfort of your computer. No gear required.

Jersey, Brian, and Aricia

Jersey, Brian, and Aricia

Fun Photos from EOP&S Freshman Day

EOP&S, BC’s Extended Opportunity Programs and Services, is a state funded program that serves educationally and financially disadvantaged students. EOP&S provides services that assist students who have the potential to succeed in college.

This week, special days were held for incoming Freshman to share all about the services and support they could find at Bakersfield College!

Fun Photos & Video from Summer Bridge

Students and faculty are enjoying the final days of Summer Bridge.  I dropped in and out of the August 2nd Summer Bridge and was blown away by the students and the faculty engagement with the students.  Here is the list who were working the August 2nd bridge.

Erica Menchaca, Stephen Tavoni, Teresa McAllister, Brent Wilson, John Harte,  Sara  Wallace, Jamal Wright, Marcelyn Allen, Denise Richards, Amanda Gonzales, Bonnie Hammond, Manuel Muralles, Jeff La Force, Josh Shackelford, Julian West, Dominica Rivera  … and the HQ team Kimberly Bligh, Isabel Castaneda and Christina Maldonado! Thank you!

Steve Tavoni and Erica Menchaca were the two lead faculty.  I dropped in for the segment that Steve was presenting on setting goals and he was so effective openly sharing his own story.  I am truly the luckiest and happiest college president to work with such great faculty and staff — smart, talented and with big hearts for students and their learning.

Sonya Christian at Summer Bridge August 2 2018

Summer Bridge Team

BC SGA President’s Breakfast

2018 SGA Presidents Breakfast

Matthew Frazer, Clayton Fowler, Nicky Damania, Dezi Van Manos

On Monday, July 30, 2018, Dr. Nicky Damania, Director of Student Life, hosted the annual BCSGA Presidents’ Breakfast at his house. The breakfast included homemade French-Mexican inspired Green Chili roasted pork, mango infused vinaigrette seasonal vegetables, and a cook to order waffle bar. Here is a bit of an update on our beloved student leaders.

Alex Dominguez (2014-2015) returned to Bakersfield over the summer as the Policy Intern for The Wonderful Company and will be returning back to Ole Miss for law school. Two more years left for him.

Clayton Fowler (2015-2016) graduated UC Davis this past June in political science and is putting his degrees to work as a Field Representative for Assemblyman Vince Fong right here in Bakersfield. And his BCSGA sweetheart Raquel Vega is now an associate producer for KGET’s Sunrise newscast.

MFrazier with TwinsMatthew Frazer (2016-2017) is finishing up his last year at California State University, Bakersfield with his bachelors in Political science. Congrats to him and his wife Stefanie Frazer on two adorable twin boys named Oliver and Jameson who will soon be attending Bakersfield College.

Joined by her two kids, Dezi Von Manos ((2017-2018) is finishing up her requirements at Bakersfield College while working in the Office of Student Life before heading on to theology school. What an amazing motherly role model as her kids will no doubt also be following in her footsteps to college just around the corner.

Dezi Von Manos and children

James Tompkins (2018-2019) is the current BCSGA President majoring in psychology. He plans on using his time left at BC strengthening the Prison-to-School pipeline and plans to graduate in May 2019. We’re looking forward to his commencement speech.

Student Employment Scoop

Trish and Savannah

BC’s Student Employment team has recognized Savannah Andrews for her outstanding services at an On-Campus Supervisor. Her student employees feel that they are able to talk to her about anything and that she is very understanding. Savannah has selected to recognize Student Ambassador Trishainah Vernado for her initiative and positive attitude. Savannah says that Trish is the ideal student employee because she is passionate about her education as well as helping others.

Thank you to FPU

Departing Fresno Pacific employees Samuel Frankhouser and Amanda Rodriguez were both recognized for the support they provided to Bakersfield College Faculty and Students during their time at BC SouthWest. Thank you to Fernando Lara, BC’s Southwest Manager for making sure they are recognized and to BC Foundation’s Heather Pennella for the beautiful house plants.

Thank you to FPU Employees

Norma Rojas Mora does another fabulous segment with Telemundo

This week’s Telemundo segment highlighted the Job Spot and the RIDE program expansion.  Lupe Aguirre, Educational Advisor at the Job Spot shared how the one-stop center is a partnership between the Bakersfield Adult School, America’s Job Center, and Bakersfield College.  The RIDE program expansion will benefit many of our rural communities opening the doors to dual enrollment for many of our high school students.  Not wanting to let an opportunity to provide information go by, Norma Rojas-Mora also helped promote the HVAC program in Delano encouraging interested students to enroll now and invited the community to the Express Enrollment scheduled for August 7 at Bakersfield College.

I love the way the segment ends with Todos Somos BC!

Telemundo Norma Rojas Mora, Lupe Aguirre August 3 2018.png

Todos Somos BC!

 

Sonya Christian cropped Aug 8 2017

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Hope is the ability to hear the music of the future; Faith is the courage to dance to it today.

Good morning Bakersfield.  It is Saturday, Sep 24, 2016, my mom’s birthday and a fabulous day to be a Renegade.  

September is also the month of the Kern County Fair.  For more information check out http://www.kerncountyfair.com/.  Thank you David Torris for helping us secure a table for Measure J at the fair.

Here are some photos from Day 1, Day 2, and Day 3 at the fair.

Day 1: Thank you Paul Beckworth for taking the lead to staff Day 1, September 21, 2016 with volunteers. I was so excited to see Mallory Moran at the fair with her dad Tom Moran and her brother Donovan Moran.  This family is beloved to Bakersfield College.  Friends, many of you along with me have been following Mallory’s precious life story.  Tom and Israel have set up with a Mallory Miracles page.  Check it out http://tinyurl.com/hb6dsgg

 

Thank you Paul Beckworth, Sandi Beckworth, Matt Garrett, and Zav Dadabhoy for being the first team to get this started.

Day 2, Sep 22, 2016: Zav Dadabhoy was the lead.

kc-fair-day-2-sep-22-2016-group

Here are the volunteers who staffed measure J on Day 2 — Steve Watkin and Kim Watkin, Michele Pena and her son, Jackie Lau and her son, Peggy Gonzales, Grace Commiso, Terri Goldstein, and of course Zav Dadabhoy.  Thank you all!

Day 3, Friday, Sep 23, 2016

Jerry Ludeke took the lead on the morning shift from 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and Jennifer Marden took the lead for the afternoon shift from 3:00 to 11:00.  Thank you Bob Allison, Liz Keranen, Heidi Allison.  Thank you Faith Counts (Chief Count’s daughter), Becky Dargatz, Cynthia Munoz, Steve Waller, and Jennifer Marden.

group-that-closed-at-11-pm-kc-fair-sep-23-2016

Steve Waller, Sonya Christian, Vickie Edden, Sandi Taylor, Tom Gelder

Here are the volunteers who staffed Measure J on Day 3 — Zav Dadabhoy, Jerry Ludeke, June Charles, Prince Charles, Steve Watkin, Kim Watkin, Tracy Hall, Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Jim Heitzeberg, Jennifer Marden, Cynthis Munoz, Becky Dargatz, Chris Counts, Faith Counts, Reese Weltman and his wife, Steve Waller, Manny Mourtzanos, Sandi Taylor, Vickie Edden, and Tom Gelder.  Thank you all!  Thank you Jay Rosenlieb, who was staffing the Boy Scouts booth for coming over and helping the Measure J table.

One Book, One Bakersfield, One Kern

onebook-6

onebook-1This week, Bakersfield College and the Norman Levan Center for the Humanities presented an academic discussion panel entitled “Water Use, Challenges, and Solutions in Kern County” as part of the “One Book, One Bakersfield, One Kern” program. The panel was composed of Dr. Joe Saldivar, Professor and Chair of the Biology Department at Bakersfield College, Laraine Rosema, BC’s Writing Center Department Liaison, and Jeffrey Eagan, a former BC student who is the current Writing Center & Tutor Coordinator at CSU-Bakersfield. The night was organized and moderated by Jessica Wojtysiak, Associate Professor of Academic Development at BC.

The seats inside the Levan Center were packed as Dr. Joe Saldivar presented first. He invited six year old daughter of BC Student Alma Cortez to join him in a colorful experiment. By blowing through a straw, they were able to send carbon dioxide into the beaker, changing the liquid from pink to clear. Dr. Saldivar then discussed the importance of innovation in solving our water crisis.

onebook-5

Laraine Rosema, the next speaker, discussed water regulation and use restrictions. She concluded her presentation by telling the audience members how they could learn about restrictions and how to apply them to their own homes. Next up, Jeffrey Eagan explored how literature serves to illuminate the challenging relationship between humanity and water. Following these fabulous speakers, guests participated in a lively Q&A session with the panel. And finally, three BC students won a free copy of The Big Thirst: Enrique, and Alma Cortez.

The One Book, One Bakersfield, One Kern project encourages the entire community to share experiences related to a single book through discussions, educational programming, and entertainment. The read is meant to pull a community together, cross cultural divides, and enhance understanding of our diversity, all while supporting literacy. First organized as a grass roots effort by Jillian Stump-Fritch, an elementary school teacher, she was inspired to support a community reading program after reading about similar projects with large cities like Chicago and Seattle.

onebook-2This year’s One Book selection is The Big Thirst by Charles Fishman. Published in 2011, the book seeks to challenge our too often casual relationship with water.  For the past 100 years, the developed world has enjoyed a cheap, safe, and abundant water supply, but The Big Thirst warns that everything about water is going to change – how we use it, how we share it, and how we value it.

This is certainly a timely selection for Bakersfield – In 2014, the U.S. Drought Monitor reported “An average of nearly 90% of Bakersfield, California, has been in a state of exceptional drought over the first seven months of 2014, more than any other large city.” In 2016, Governor Brown relaxed water use restrictions, but water availability continues to be a significant concern, particularly for those working in agriculture. For those interested, the One Book, One Bakersfield, One Kern program will end this year with a visit by Charles Fishman to CSU-Bakersfield on October 27th, 2016 for a visit and book signing.

Kern Ag Foundation

kern-ag-foundation-sep-21-2016

Chris McCraw, Sonya Christian, JP Lake, Greg Cluff, Bill Barnes

I cherish any opportunity to be involved with organizations that prioritize education and advancement within our region. This week, I presented about Measure J with JP Lake at the Kern Agriculture Foundation. The Kern Ag Foundation was founded in 1986 as a non-profit organization by leaders in agriculture centered business and education to serve as an industry advisory committee. The Foundation assists with agriculture curriculum development, as well as soliciting and distributing funds and specialized assets to promote agricultural education, training, student activities, and scholarships. For a list of scholarships, visit kernagfoundation.com/scholarships.htm.

Special thank you to the Board of Directors: Doug Starr, President; Peter Belluomini, VP; Jared Britschgi, Secretary; Joel Bock, Treasurer; Bianca Ramirez; Roger Riley; Dr. Aaron Hegde; Ralph Mendes; and Lindsey Ono.  We received the unanimous endorsement of the Kern Ag Foundation for Measure J.  THANK YOU!

BC’s Ag faculty are the best! Bill Kelly, Lindsey Ono, Billy Barnes, Greg Cluff, Chris McCraw.  Thank you.

And a very special thank you to my co-presenter, JP Lake. It is always a joy working with him – his undeniable enthusiasm for education, the community of Bakersfield, and BC continues to inspire and amaze me. JP is also one of the many who have given their support and endorsement of Measure J. To learn more about what JP is doing in the community or about his business, Rain for Rent, check out http://jplake.com/ and http://www.rainforrent.com/.

Chamber Singers and their fabulous Director

The BC Chamber Singers men performed for 800 high school and junior high boys at Real Men Sing this morning at Harvey Auditorium.

I found this on Jen Garrett’s Facebook page.  Just loved it.  Enjoy:

The district brings together the men and they work with a guest conductor each year. This year their guest conductor is Travis Rogers. We had the opportunity to start off their day. Some of our men also spoke about what singing in choir means to them and about people that have mentored them. I appreciated that our men donated their time to such a good cause.

chamber-singers-with-jen-garrett-sep-2016

chamber-singers-sep-2016

Gloria Urner

sonya-christian-gloria-urner-sep-22-2016I was at the Double Tree hotel heading in to do a presentation to the Hispanic Chamber and a woman stopped by to share with me that we, at BC are solving the world’s problems. We stuck up a lovely, but short conversation and it turns out that she is Gloria Urner, a retired PIO of KCCD who worked alongside Ed Simonsen when he was the Chancellor.

Thank you Gloria for the kind words, and THANK YOU Jay Tamsi and the Hispanic Chamber for your endorsement of Measure J! And thank you Jay Rosenlieb for co-presenting with me.  What an incredible afternoon!

Earlier in June, I made my first presentation to the Hispanic Chamber and this is included in my June 19th blog.  Check it out

https://sonyachristianblog.com/2016/06/19/we-are-bakersfield-and-we-are-bc/

Bakersfield Malayalee Association Onam Celebration

 

The Bakersfield Malayalee Association (BAMA) is a local Kerala based cultural association and a wonderful warm and friendly group that provides opportunities for our local Malayalees within the Bakersfield area to gather, communicate, interact, and celebrate with one another. It has grown incredibly over the past 20 years, as our city has flourished.

Onam was celebrated on September 13th and this special Harvest Festival is celebrated by the people of Kerala. The day, based on the Solar Calendar, is an ancient festival that still survives in modern times. It is one of the rarest festivals that is celebrated by a complete state, irrespective of religion, class, or creed. Wikipedia notes that

Kerala’s rice harvest festival and the Festival of Rain Flowers, which fall in the month of Chingam, celebrates the Asura King Mahabali’s annual visit from Patala (the underworld). Onam is unique since Mahabali (locally known as Maveli) has been revered by the people of Kerala. The King is so much attached to his kingdom that it is believed that he comes annually from the nether world to see his people living happily. It is in honour of King Mahabali that Onam is celebrated.

At our local celebration hosted by Bakersfield’s Malayalee Association, we shared traditional foods, dancing, and entertainment.  Bill Thomas was there to promote Measure J with this community.   Thank you to Congressman Bill Thomas, Zav Dadabhoy, and Kushnur Dadabhoy for attending this unique, special, and festive evening.  And thank you Shirley, President of BAMA for the invitation.

Prison University Project received the National Humanities Medal

On Thursday morning, President Obama awarded the 2015 National Medal of Arts and the National Humanities Medal to distinguished recipients in the East Room of the White House. Jody Lewen, who is a strong advocate for the BC inmate education program, was on hand in person to accept the award presented to the Prison University Project by President Barack Obama. Jody previously sent an email recognizing this award includes everyone involved with this and similar efforts.

She said, “This award honors the extraordinary work of PUP faculty, students, friends, donors, staff, and everyone else who has worked tirelessly to make our work possible.  It also recognizes the entire community of people working throughout the country, to advance the cause of higher education in prison.  We are grateful for all of you.”

Check out these pictures, and for a video of President Obama’s comments, check out https://www.whitehouse.gov/live/president-obama-awards-2015-national-medals-arts-and-humanities

Congratulations to The Prison University Project! BC is proud to have such wonderful partners in education. We are grateful for you.

And thank you Rich McCrow, Brian Hirayama and others for your work on this!

Local Treasure: Coconut Joes

jemail-and-sonya-at-coconut-joes-sep-23-2016

Sonya Christian, Jermale Turner at Coconut Joes

So, on friday, I had lunch at Coconut Joes for the very first time.  Just a wonderful place.  Beach setting and great music.  I found myself humming to the various tunes.  I also enjoyed talked to the owner Joseph (Joe) Coughlin the owner of the restaurant who was having a great time doing what it takes to make his customers happy.  Greeting them on one hand and then wiping down tables on the other.  He is a community volunteer who works with Dr. Paula Parks on the ASTEP program at BC.  He spoke passionately about how they were trying to get bus passes for students who could not afford them.

I was so delighted when he took me to the office at the back and introduced me to a BC student Jermale Turner who works at Coconut Joes.  Here is a selfie with Jermale.

I love seeing the entrepreneurial spirit alive and well in Bakersfield.  And I love seeing how much our community cares about Bakersfield College.  Of course, Joe Coughlin promptly endorsed Measure J and the list of endorsees is above 400 and growing everyday.  #WeAreBC and #WeAreBakersfield.

For more on Coconut Joes check out: http://www.coconutjoes.com/home

BC Athletics this week:

Women’s soccer led by Coach Scott Dameron moves to 4-2-2 with a 3-1 road win over Glendale College.  Odalys Espinoza scored her 5th goal over the last three matches. Next match at home Tuesday Sept. 27th v. West LA.

Led by Alyssa Morales, BC women finished first at the BC invitational held at Kern County Soccer Park. You can catch more action on Friday September 30th when Coach Kelley and her teams compete in the Western State Conference prelims also held at the soccer park.

sep-2016Wrestling led by Coach Clark & Coach Austin had a good showing at the Mt. SAC Duals beating Santa Ana and Sierra College before dropping their last of match of the day to Palomar College.  Sophomore wrestler Andrew Binger from North High was the male athlete of the week on the Renegade Report this week for his strong performances this past week.

Coach Carl Ferreira with the road warrior Women’s Volleyball 7-7 are steadily making progress while competing with the best teams in Southern California. Let’s welcome them home on Friday September 30th when they take on Moorpark College.

September 30th will be a busy day in BC Athletics hosting Cross Country Prelims, Women’s Volleyball and Womens’ Soccer.  Come join us in supporting these tremendous student athletes.  Be sure to check out www.gogades.com for updates.

Hope is the ability to hear the music of the future; Faith is the courage to dance to it today.

I came across a posting on Facebook by  BC Astronomy professor Nick Strobel, who said, “Sign in men’s restroom at a Thai food restaurant in Grants Pass, Oregon: ‘Hope is the ability to hear the music of the future; Faith is the courage to dance to it today.’ The food was good too.”

The quote stood out to me and I was intrigued to check it out more and to find out its author. A few websites credited it to Peter Kuzmic, a Croatian pastor who tweeted the statement on his Twitter accountothers cited no author. Whoever the author may be has inspired me to be brave and seize the day. Today, let’s dance!

sonya-christian-ona-sep-17-2016

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next week.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya — the luckiest and happiest College President ever.

(dressed for the Onam celebration with the Bakersfield Malayalee Association)

On remembrance, and making memories

away-game-at-rcc-se-17-2016

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

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

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

bill-baker-and-terence-young-sep-17-2016

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

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

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

Saturday, Sep 10th: New Faculty Reception

newfaculty

Photo by Cara Jackson

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

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

newfaculty_2

Photo by Cara Jackson

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

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

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

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

Running of the Renegades & BC Football

RunningRenegades.jpg

Photo by Cara Jackson

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

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

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

football-game

Sonya Christian, Karen Goh, Romeo Agbalog, JP Lake

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

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

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

Karen with SGA Fall 2016.jpg

 

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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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

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

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

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

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

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

We truly are the community’s college.

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

911Memorial.jpg

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We Shall Never Forget

 

 

911memorial_2

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

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

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

September 12th: College Night

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

College Night.JPG

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

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

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

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

Remembering Dr. Thomas Larwood

sonya-christian-pauline-larwood-tom-larwood-march-31-2016

Sonya Christian, Pauline Larwood, Tom Larwood

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

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

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

Choir at Tom Larwood Funeral Sep 11 2016.jpg

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

John Boydstun and BC Cheer team Aug 2016

September 15th: Renegade Football at Rotary

Jeff Chudy Sonya Christian Garro Sep 15 2016.jpg

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

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

 

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

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

Just wonderful!

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

We are BC!

Follow BC Wrestling

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

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

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

Generations of Leaders at BC!

Don’t you love this picture?  I do!

BCSGA.JPG

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

September 14th: AACU Event

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

aacu_lynnpascarella

Sonya Christian, Lynn Pascarella

Movie Night in the AM!

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

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

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

kate-pluta-mcfarland-usa-sep-16-2016

Kate Pluta

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

THANK YOU!!

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

Fall’s First Gadfly Cafe

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

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

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

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

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

Celebrating Dia de la Indepencia

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

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

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

University Transfer Day

img_9348

Photo by Cara Jackson

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

transfer-day-1

Photo by Cara Jackson

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Congratulations to Jack Hernandez

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

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

sonya-christian-spring-2016

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next week.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya 

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