Tag Archives: Brian Bell

Continuing Partnerships in the Community

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, February 9, 2019… A great day to be a Renegade.

Early College Launch in McFarland

Next week is it!  BC will be holding the Early College Launch event at McFarland High on Wednesday, Feb 13th.  Retired Senator (and Renegade) Jean Fuller will be there to talk about the program, and the impact that it will have on our region. Check out Superintendent Resendez’s piece in The Delano Record about the launch as well!    

Dr. Jean Fuller showing off her new Academic Senate shirt.

Join us as we launch this program at McFarland High School on February 13th at 5:00 pm! It promises to be a remarkable event. For information you can visit www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/earlycollege.

Early College Community Launch Event Invite

2019 Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Gala

Last Saturday night Bakersfield College attended the annual KCHCC Gala at the Marriott hotel.  BC is a proud supporter of the Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (KCHCC), with five Renegades as boardmembers: Olivia Garcia, Lisa Kent, Tony Cordova, Norma Rojas-Mora, and Corny Rodriguez.  I’d like to thank Ricky Marsel for sharing some of his photos. Great work, KCHCC!

We were pleased to have at our table Congressman TJ Cox and his delightful wife Kathy Murphy. Also, Senator Melissa Hurtado was at our table and I was pleased to get to know her. Senator Shannon Grove and Assembly Member Rudy Salas were also at the event.

Chancellor Tom Burke, Dr. Kathy Murphy, Sonya Christian, Business Man of the Year Corny Rodriguez, Trustee Romeo Agbalog, Trustee Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg
Assembly Member Rudy Salas, Senator Shannon Grove, Corny Rodriguez, Senator Melissa Hurtado

Spotlight: Corny Rodriguez

Sonya Christian and Corny Rodriguez

The Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce honored Cornelio (Corny) Rodriguez for this year’s Businessman of the Year at Saturday’s event.  Corny received this recognition for his work within the community and in support of a college going culture among the youth of Kern County.  Corny came to BC in 1991 as the Director of the Chicano Cultural Center at Bakersfield College.

Throughout the years, he has held a number of different positions on campus including President of Academic Senate, Director of the Delano Center, Director of Outreach, Director of ACCESS (Association of Cultural Centers for Student Success), and Professor of Political Science.  Corny has been a consistent champion for increasing graduation rates at BC, and has worked tirelessly to advance student success and develop leaders within the community. Congrats Corny!!! Your BC family is so proud!

Black History Month Conference at BC

Lives were changed at Bakersfield College on Friday, February 8, 2019, with the Black History Month Conference themed “Black Excellence.” Students from Bakersfield College and high schools all over Kern County engaged in a truly excellent and engaging conference with African Soul International and keynote speaker Reverend Dr. Charles L. Dorsey.

BC Umoja Vice President and President

After a light breakfast in front of the PAC Indoor Theatre, students from approximately 15 high schools from Kern County filed into the theatre singing to some of their favorite pop songs playing on the speakers. Bakersfield College Umoja Community Club President and Vice President professionally emceed the indoor theatre portion of the conference, engaging the students from the very beginning. They taught the students about Umoja ASTEP, which is a program that integrates academics, support services and African-American culture through educating the whole student, body, mind and spirit, through an ethic of love. There are over 60 Umoja programs state-wide. They also taught the students some African words, including the “umoja” which is Kiswahili for “unity.”

Chancellor Burke speaking

Chancellor Tom Burke welcomed the students and encouraged them to pursue college. He shared with them his own son’s struggles to find his place in the world and how BC helped him find his path to Engineering and ultimately graduating from UC Santa Cruz with a degree in Engineering Robotics. He called BC an “educational oasis” to prepare for transferring to a larger university and pointed out that transfer students outperform those entering universities directly as freshmen.

African Soul International captured the audience with a powerful introduction to African drums. Then, the founder and artistic director of the organization, Dr. Jewel “Adama” Jackson, came out on stage singing. She immediately enthralled the audience, and had them singing together “When the Saints Go Marching In.” She led the audience through an African ritual, signaling to heaven that the drums were a conduit of positive energy, and giving libations of water to plants. A very spiritual, moving and uplifting ritual.

Jewel further taught the students about Africa, that it is the largest free-standing continent with 54 countries and 2,500 nationalities with their own languages and cultures. Most Africans can speak 4-7 languages. She pointed out that Africa is a major exporter of diamonds and gold, and we all carry a little bit of Africa in our pockets as cobalt is used in our cell phones. There are rich parts, just as there are poor parts. She brought several students onto stage and taught them dances, one about celebrating moving to the next level in life and the other celebrating the harvest, because they are the harvest. The African Soul International was fun, engaging and educational. I recommend bringing them to all of the high schools in Kern County.

With such an excellent and energizing opening performance, it was hard to believe that the keynote speaker could keep that sense of energy and engagement going, but Reverend Dr. Charles Dorsey did just that. After driving 3 hours and conducting interviews with the media, he had the energy to run onto to the stage and immediately engage the audience. He began by handing out a copy of his book Fathers and Sons Speak: Telling My Father’s Story to an audience member who had the closest birthday to his own, giving the book to the young man, telling him it would change his life, and giving him his personal phone number and telling him to call him once he had read the book.

Dr. Dorsey’s presentation was nothing short of inspiring as he engaged the students in a “Signing Day.” He gave them four decisions that he wanted them to make:

  1. Decide not to miss another opportunity.
  2. No more excuses.
  3. Succeed… no matter what.
  4. Be a difference maker.

I would like to thank Dr. Paula Parks and the members of Umoja that put on this excellent event for Black History Month. Thank you, Chancellor Burke, for taking time out of your busy day to speak to the students. Thank you Mary Jo Pasek and all of the staff that assisted in putting on this event. Check my blog next week for details on the rest of this event as the students continued with several workshops. We are BC!

BC Ag Ambassadors Visit Cal Poly SLO

Bakersfield College’s Agriculture Ambassadors went to California Polytechnic State University, SLO for the Agriculture Ambassador Conference last weekend. At the conference BC’s Ag Ambassadors got the chance to highlight the activities they are doing to promote BC’s Agriculture Department. Of the 14 colleges in attendance, BC was the only community college to present. They held their own with the 4-year universities and we are BC PROUD of them!

Our Ag Ambassadors also had the chance to hear from many guest speakers about the different job opportunities in the agriculture industry. With the central valley being the breadbasket of the world and Kern County the #1 county for agriculture production in the nation our students have a lot of job opportunities in this industry.  

Spring semester is a busy time for our Ag Ambassadors. They will be doing outreach activities at the World Ag Expo and upcoming Career Fairs. They will also be visiting local high schools and promoting Bakersfield College’s Agriculture Department. Their goal is to help and encourage the next generation of agriculture students. Bakersfield College opens many pathways for students to succeed and the Ag Ambassadors are doing an excellent job at sharing these opportunities with future BC students. WE ARE BC!

Joe Saldivar Speaks at Kern County Science Fair

Our own Dr. Joe Saldivar, Biology department chair, has been asked to be the guest speaker at the Kern County Science Fair-2019 on March 12 at the Convention Center. The annual science fair hosts hundreds of 4th through 6th graders competing for a chance to move on to the California Science Fair. Dr. Joe as he likes to call himself, has participated in Renegade Talks and has been a valuable faculty member at BC. To check out one of Joe’s Renegade Talks click here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9WfznL9M16U

Faculty member Joe Saldivar

Bakersfield College collaborates with Ridgeview High for first Journalism Day

Educators and journalists gathered on Feb. 1 at Ridgeview High to discuss their careers in journalism and provide career development advice to Kern County high school students.  BC student Paige Atkison, who recently concluded a successful semester as editor-in-chief of the Renegade Rip, BC’s award-winning student newspaper, spoke about the importance of the profession.  “Journalists write the first draft of history,” she said.
   
Speakers also included BC journalism professors Erin Auerbach and Christina Lopez, as well as BC history professor Olivia Garcia (a longtime journalist) and CSUB journalism professor Jennifer Burger.  Local journalists Nick James (Sports Director, KGET), Kelly Broderick (Producer, KERO), Erin Briscoe (PIO Kern High School District and former KBAK anchor), Mark Nessia (Bakersfield Life and the Kern Business Journal) and freelance photojournalist Nick Ellis participated as well. They spoke about their careers, the direction the profession is moving in and the importance of education. Speakers gave students advice and emphasized the skills, both interpersonal and technical, that students will need to develop to succeed in the profession.   They also talked about the ways journalists can make a difference in their communities through accurate, ethical and thorough reporting.

From left: Ridgeview High Journalism Advisor Kristen Hunter-Flores, CSUB professor Jennifer Burger, BC professors Erin Auerbach, Olivia Garcia and Christina Lopez at Journalism Day

Students studying print, digital or broadcast from East, South, Ridgeview, Centennial and Bakersfield High School attended. The first event also included a contest in which Renegade Rip editors selected first place, second place and honorable mentions in four categories from participating high schools: front page/cover design, photo, news story and feature.
   
Ridgeview journalism advisor Kristen Hunter-Flores and BC Professor Auerbach coordinated event, which will be held at Bakersfield College in 2020.

Greenfield Union School District Mini Science Olympiad

BC Professor Deborah Rosenthal shared photos from the mini science olympiad event which offers the opportunity for middle school students in the GATE program at Greenfield Unified School District. They met for a half day for two Saturdays.  The STEM department does about 10-12 mini chemistry and physics competitions. There were over 30 BC volunteers, all of whom were either STEM or Education majors. Thank you to the volunteers for assisting in this great event!  WE ARE BC!

BSO Next Program

The Performing Arts Department took part in the BSO Next program, which hosts local high school students for a ‘taste of BC’ (dinner and a chance to see various elements of the College). Last Saturday, Professor Tiner and some of his BC Jazz students performed for a group of Music students from Cesar Chavez High School. After a wonderful evening of entertainment and dining, the students proceeded to the Rabobank Theatre for a Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra concert. Kudos to Professor Tiner and his students for organizing such a wonderful event! And thank you Manny Mourtzanos for always sending me photos and videos of our performing Arts faculty and students. You are the eternal champion for the department.

BC at the Getty Villa’s College Night

Last Monday, Dr. Nicky Damania took students to the Getty Villa. A total of 20 individuals made it to the college night at the Getty. This annual event comes with a free dinner and many craft stalls for students to engage with. The group toured behind the scene at the Getty, learning how the conservationists take ancient artifacts, restore them and display them around the world. Many college students from Southern California were in attendance and enjoy the Festival of Lights, music, and the experience of a lifetime. Some of the craft stalls were color magnets, spray painting murals, creating a Turkish eye, tattoos, making olive branch halos, and learning how to make clay pottery. It looks like everyone had a great time!  I’ll have to attend one down the road.

Financial Aid Fest

In honor of Financial Aid Awareness Month, BC’s Financial Aid Department hosted a resource fair in front of the CSS Building on Tuesday and Wednesday with games, food, raffle prizes, and representatives from other BC student services, including EOP&S, DSPS, and CTE.

The event was designed to encourage students to complete their financial aid applications before this year’s Cal Grant deadline, which is March 2. The Financial Aid Department is also hosting a series of application assistance workshops to help students throughout the month of February. To find a full list of Financial Aid Workshop dates, visit the Upcoming Finaid Workshops page.

Thank you Financial Aid for making education a reality for our more than 30,000 students. If students have any questions, they can email the Financial Aid office at bc_faid@bakersfieldcollege.edu.

Distinguished Speaker: Carol Swain Ph.D.

Dr. Carol Swain

On Thursday, Distinguished Speaker Dr. Carol Swain visited BC for a series of speeches in the Levan Center, telling the inspirational story of how she rose from extreme poverty to become one of America’s leading black conservative intellectuals.

Dr. Swain, a retired professor of political science who has taught at Princeton and Vanderbilt, grew up in rural Virginia with 11 brothers and sisters in a house with no electricity or running water. She had to sleep on the kitchen floor, and all of the children had to share the same bath water that was heated over a stove. She dropped out of high school and by the age of 20 was married with 3 children. After attempting suicide by overdosing on pills, a medical professional inspired her to pursue an education.

Dr. Swain earned her GED and enrolled at Virginia Western Community College. A librarian at the college helped her with a full-time job working nights and weekends at the school library, which helped pay her way through an associate’s degree in business from Virginia Western and a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice at Roanoke College.

“I grew up believing in the American dream,” Dr. Swain said. “I believed that if I worked hard, I could overcome the circumstances of my birth.”

She went on to earn a Ph.D. in political science at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, where her dissertation became the controversial book “Black Faces, Black Interests: The Representation of African-Americans in Congress”. To gather research for the book, Dr. Swain travelled with white and black members of Congress for a qualitative study. The book’s conclusions about descriptive vs. substantive representation and political party as a more important signifier for black representation than race earned her nationwide recognition, and it was a recipient of the D.B. Hardeman Prize and the Woodrow Wilson Foundation Award upon its publication in 1993.

“Within academia, I did well because I had mentors,” Dr. Swain said. “I was a single-minded seeker of my degrees.”

Dr. Swain went on to become an advisor to the U.S. Civil Rights Commission and serve on the National Council on the Humanities under President George W. Bush. After retiring from Vanderbilt in 2017, Dr. Swain is now a contributor to The Epoch Times and hosts her own podcast titled Be the People.

Dr. Swain’s journey is a symbol of the transformative power of education, and what people can accomplish with the right guidance and drive. I’d like to thank BC’s Office of Student Life and the Liberty Institute for inviting Dr. Swain to campus.

Finish in 4 Welcome Event

On Friday, BC held the Welcome to Finish in 4 event an opportunity for our students to meet the Finish in 4 counselors and staff, completion coaching team (including our CSU partners) and other students in the program. BC provided guidance with program eligibility, information on how to obtain book vouchers, as well as assistance with signing and completing the Finish in 4 agreement and educational planning.

In case you didn’t know, the Kern Promise’s Finish in 4 is our joint collaboration with CSUB that supports the increase in student completion with an Associate Degree for Transfer within 60 semester units at BC. Students are then guaranteed admission to CSUB in a related major, and will complete an additional 60 semester units to earn a bachelor’s degree! The Finish in 4 efforts aim to guarantee that students can complete their transfer degree in 2 years at Bakersfield College and baccalaureate degree in the following 2 years at CSUB. Together, the goal is to move students through to the next stage of their educational and career goals in a more efficient and impactful way.

LINKS Academy Career Day

On Saturday, January 26th Connie Gonzalez (MESA Director), Cynthia Quintanilla (Counselor), Laurel Mourtzanos (Counselor), and Dr. Steve Waller (Dean of Instruction) participated in the LINKS Academy Career Day at Emerson Middle School. Connie represented BC by providing the opening remarks for the event, and several of our BC MESA students assisted the attendees with science experiments and demonstrations.

I’d like to recognize the following BC MESA students for all of their help: Sean Mccullum

Brian Aguilar, Anthony Collin, Alejandra Zapata, Kayla Scott, Ian Spark, Peter Rodriguez, Eddie Meza, Andres Orea, GemmaTrujillo, Issac Garcia, Sabrina Lugo, Jonathan Martinez

Students even had the opportunity to make slime! This event was a wonderful opportunity to engage with middle school students and showcase BC’s STEM pathway!

Porterville College Foundation Hall of Fame Dinner

Last Friday Porterville College honored softball coach Vickie Dugan, Distinguished Alumni Steve Schultz (father of BC counselor Jonathan Schultz), and others at their Foundation Hall of Fame celebration. BC’s Culinary Arts Department provided the meals for the evening. You can read a preview for the Foundation Hall of Fame celebration in last week’s blog.  Take a look at the photo below as the BC team prepares for the dinner.  I’m extremely proud of our Culinary Arts program as they continue to shine bright in the Kern Community. Thank you Chef Pat Coyle for sending me this photos and bragging about the students.

BC Culinary Arts Program (Chef Pat is in the back!) and Porterville College Food Services (PC Chef is a Former BC Culinary Student) prepared the dinner for the PC Hall of Fame Dinner.

Dr. Nicky Damania Leads Workshop at KCCD

Dr. Nicky Damania, director of Student Life, hosted a joint districtwide workshop for all three campuses at the district office last week. The workshop was “Helping Key Faculty and Staff Understand Bystander Intervention Theories to Assist Students in Various Predicaments.”

Over the last several years, bystander intervention training has become one of the most recommended and effective strategies to address campus issues.  The Step Up! Bystander Intervention Program was developed leading practitioners, using evidence-based research and theories around bystander behavior. Hundreds of campuses are using it to address a wide variety of campus issues, concerns, populations and applications.  Whether its AOD use, violence, mental health or any other concern, proactive bystander intervention is something we all can use to help someone in need. This was a needed training that all three institutions felt they needed to have in order to better serve our students.

Attendees at the KCCD workshop

The Step Up! bystander intervention program is a comprehensive training program that was developed using leading experts, theories and concepts in bystander behavior.  The foundation of the program is a 5-Step decision-making process that helps students (or any participant) walk through a logical process, starting with noticing an event and eventually taking action to help.  Each step is backed by research, information and/or skill-building to help the step and the progression make sense. Thank you Nicky for making sure that everyone at KCCD stays informed!

Fun photos

Our very own graphic designer Eric Carillo managed to snap this GORGEOUS photo of a rainbow off the bluffs during the rain break on Tuesday.  He attributed it to perfect timing, but I’m thinking he might have a knack for it.

The Rural Initiatives team met with Delano Union Elementary School leadership on Tuesday. It is crucial that BC builds equitable and early access to higher education for children in our rural community. Through a partnership with our friends at DUESD, we are going to move closer to doing just that!

Left to right: Jesus Cardenas (BC), Jaime Lopez (BC), Anna Perigo (DUESD), Abel Guzman (BC), Carolina Madrigal (BC), Ken Dyar (DUESD), Raquel Lopez (BC), Rosalina Rivera (DUESD), Jason Kashwer (DUESD), April Gregerson (BC)

BC Athletics’ Manager of Communications and Community Relations Brandon Urry tweeted a photo of his son as the new BC Batboy!  We love seeing our Renegade families join in!

BC’s Maria Wright and Miguel Cuate from Academic Support Services were on “The Pulse” to explain why BC is a place for everyone and once you’re a student here, we have the support services to make sure you can be successful. Thank you Danny Morrison! If you missed the segment live, you can hear the recording online at www.thebeat1039.com!  

Maria Write and Miguel Cuate speak with Danny Morrison on air

BC’s new food trailer Gades Grub is officially here!  Students and visitors can enjoy warm food from our amazing Food Services team at the beautiful Gades Grub trailer!  Thank you to Stephanie Stuart and Jennifer Sanderson for all of your hard work on getting this trailer on campus, and thank you to Eric Carillo for doing such a great job on the design!   

Delicious BC Food Services treat

Renegades of the Weeks

Renegade Athletics is proud to announce this week’s (1/27-2/2) Wells Fargo Renegades of the Week.

Paige Darstein, Women’s Tennis – Coming off a torn ACL last season, Paige had a dominating 6-0, 6-0 win in her #2 singles matchup against Reedley. Trey Harmon, Baseball – Went 7 for 16 (.438) last week in four games in which the Renegades went 4-0. Trey also had 7 RBI with two doubles and a triple for the week.

Congrats to Jasmyn Rodriguez for Winning The Bakersfield Jockey Club Award.

Jasmyn Rodriguez of BC Women’s Basketball was awarded the Bakersfield Jockey Club Award this week at the Club’s monthly luncheon at Hodel’s. The Club is a local non-profit whose goal is to honor local high school and college athletes for the accomplishments. Congrats Jasmyn! Thank you for representing BC with class!

1
Jasmyn Rodriguez with her Bakersfield Jockey Club Award

Renegade Report

If you missed watching the Renegade Report live this last Thursday at 11a, check out the segments from this week’s show from the links below. This week’s highlights include segments BC Athletics Associate AD Keith Ford and BC Women’s Beach Volleyball student athlete Penelope Zepeda.

Segment with Keith Ford

Segment with Penelope Zepeda

Roundup of Athletics Events this week

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




That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

sonya-
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Celebrating Diversity & Community; 2 Core Values at BC

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, February 2, 2019… A great day to be a Renegade.

I missed my blog post last Saturday, January 26th — the first missed post in six years as my attention was required elsewhere. Spent sometime last week looking at family pictures and it seems fitting to share a few of them with you before I jump into the amazing happenings at Bakersfield College.

As you’ll see, the work at the college has been moving ahead, blog or no blog … so heads up…..this is a longer blog than usual!

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

We began the second week of the Spring 2019 semester with a day to honor Dr. Martin Luther King and his work advocating for the civil rights of all under-represented groups through community organizing, acts of civil disobedience, and the compelling poetry of his writings and speeches.

Debra Strong, Whitney Strong, Nan Gomez Heitzeberg, Tom Burke, Sonya Christian, Vernon D. Strong III, Nancy Strong, Norma Rojas-Mora

On that Monday, the Martin Luther King Jr. Annual Breakfast honored members of the community for contributing to the advancement of civil rights in the Central Valley, and many community members participated in the annual march downtown. The local celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was covered in an article at BakersfieldNow.com, which also featured a quote from BC’s own Steve Watkin.

It is always great to see Mayor Goh at special community events
Vernon Strong and Sonya Christian

This year, the planning committee launched the Vernon Strong Visionaries Award; it was a true honor to be named as the recipient of this inaugural award.

This award in fact recognizes the work of the faculty and staff of Bakersfield College – the work of over 1000 employees at the college; and the work of over 33,000 students. It is through collective effort and dedication that BC serves our community — on the 153-acres up on the hills on Panorama, at Arvin, Lamont, Delano, Wasco, McFarland Shafter…. and hopefully soon on the CSUB campus, online, and expanding greatly in the prisons. 

This past year has seen real growth in student success at the Home of the Renegades. Bakersfield College has a greater number of African American students with a 37.5% increase in the number that transfer to four-year universities. These same students show a 340% increase in those completing transfer-level English in their first year. Thank you Paula Parks!

Keynote speaker Fred Prince at the 2019 MLK Breakfast

Nationally, there were major marches in San Diego, Phoenix, Miami, Houston and Washington, DC, according to an article by Newsweek. And soon after Martin Luther King Day comes February’s African-American History Month. To learn more about all of the events we have planned at BC in celebration, visit our page dedicated to it on the Bakersfield College website.

Carrington Prichett taking photos at the event

A special thank you to the events photographer, Carrington Prichett who has shared his photos with us. You can check them out at BC’s Smugmug!

Sonya Christian and Steve Watkin

I was so delighted to see the Community Voices piece by Steve Watkin in the Bakersfield Californian about “Recognizing the leaders in our community” where he writes about “the conditions that have facilitated our success and more importantly, the people who have helped to create them.”

Check it out at Bakersfield.com.

Blood Wolf Super Moon

The previous Sunday there was also an incredible sight in the sky, the “Blood Wolf Super Moon” lunar eclipse. As the moon approached the constellation Leo, the Earth, moon, and sun aligned, and a crimson-tinged shadow covered the moon. Nick Strobel wrote about the eclipse in the Bakersfield Californian last week, giving a detailed explanation of this astronomical phenomenon. And as always, he took some amazing pictures.

Nick’s description on Facebook was that his pictures turned out “still okay,” but I find them to be incredibly beautiful.

If you missed Sunday’s total lunar eclipse, you’ll have another chance in Kern County on May 21, 2021.

Bakersfield Women’s March

The second annual Women’s March for Kern County doesn’t look like it’s slowing down!  This year there were over 4,000 attendees, with over 70 organizations, food booths and artisans.

The 2019 Bakersfield Women’s March

I love seeing the positive energy in our community, and seeing people support and empower one another. There were so many BC folks in attendance, including Nick Strobel, David Koeth, and more.

The Bakersfield Californian’s Joseph Luiz covered the event in his article, “Women’s March Kern County returns to support women’s rights.

Two Schools, One Location

Presidents Sonya Christian and Lynnette Zelezny

Speaking of The Bakersfield Californian, Lynnette Zelezny, President of CSUB, and I collaborated on a Community Voices piece that shares the exciting prospect of a BC co-location at the campus of Cal State Bakersfield. This ideal location for a BC Southwest campus will benefit students and Kern County for generations.

Jean Fuller Talks about Early College

Jean Fuller was interviewed on Kern Radio and on The Bakersfield Californian One on One with Robert Price. Dr. Fuller shared how the Early College program provides students with quality college education at the same time as they are completing high school. Dr. Fuller touched on so many aspects of Early College including:

  • The cost savings for students, families, and taxpayers
  • Partnerships between high schools and BC
  • Course scheduling to fit the needs of the high schools and students
  • Certifications and degree offerings
  • Workforce skills and industry benefits
  • Benefits and gains for rural students and their families

On Kern Radio Louis Amestoy said Early College sounds “almost too good to be true.” By innovating we can start students on an early path to a college degree and a successful career.

Jean Fuller speaking to Robert Price at the tv studio
Jean Fuller and Robert Price on TBC’s One on One with Robert Price

Join us as we launch this program at McFarland High School on February 13th at 5:00 pm! It promises to be a remarkable event. For information you can visit www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/earlycollege .

Early College Planning in McFarland

Leadership at McFarland HS and Bakersfield College

So much dedicated work has gone into the launch of the McFarland Early College program. It has been inspiring for the BC Early College program team members to work with the McFarland team — Aaron Resendez, Brian Bell, and many others — McFarland High’s administrators, counselors, and CTE coordinator, as they plan the pathway options that will be available to all 280 expected freshman. All students who enter the high school in the Fall will complete at least 12 college units before their high school graduation in Spring 2023. The team has mapped out 10 pathways: an Associate Degree for Transfer 60-unit pathway, a 30-unit General Education pathway, and 8 CTE certificate pathways that correspond with the existing CTE pathways at McFarland. 

The Feb 13 launch of the program will be held in the McFarland gym — you may recognize it from the movie? This work is creating such optimism that every McFarland student will get on the #pathway2college. We hope to see you all at the launch on February 13th! Stay tuned for more updates!

McFarland and BC Early College Launch Planning Team

Early College in Shafter

Bakersfield College Rural Initiatives and Early College team is also meeting with the Shafter High School team to plan their own implementation of Early College program. We are so excited to partner with the folks at Shafter to make a college education more attainable for their students.

Kylie Swanson-BC, Jaime Lopez-BC, Juan Leyva-Shafter HS, Beatriz Ricketts-Shafter HS, Abel Guzman-BC, Jesse Oropeza-BC, Marybeth Beadling-Shafter HS, Patricia Martinez-Shafter HS
Kylie Swanson-BC, Jaime Lopez-BC, Juan Leyva-Shafter HS, Beatriz Ricketts-Shafter HS, Abel Guzman-BC, Jesse Oropeza-BC, Marybeth Beadling-Shafter HS, Patricia Martinez-Shafter HS

BC at Wonderful College Prep Academy

Carolina Madrigal of BC’s Rural Initiatives team and Engineering professor Travis Steele participated as judges in Wonderful College Prep Academy’s middle school science fair. How cool is that?

Professor Steele seen in the middle with black shirt and Carolina Madrigal pictured in BC red sweater

Building Leaders at BC

California Campus Catalyst Fund #stillwerise undocu-ally immigrantsrising.org handouts

As part of the recently awarded California Catalyst Grant a team from Bakersfield College attended a convening last week. Joining them were two students who were chosen as part of the Catalyst Fund Student Leadership Fellowship. The Student Leadership Fellowship supports Catalyst Fund grantees in promoting the voice, visibility, and knowledge of undocumented student leadership at the BC campus.

BC Catalyst team selfie
Pedro speaking at the catalyst event
BC and IR catalyst team
Students wearing LUPE shirts

Students engaged in in-person training by Immigrants Rising staff and partners of the Catalyst Fund. They will continue to get ongoing professional development and attend leadership workshops throughout the remainder of the academic year.

Ag Department Orange Sale

Student in the Ag wagon with pre-picked bags of BC oranges

BC’s Agriculture Department hosted another successful orange sale in the Agricultural Laboratory located at the Haley Street entrance to campus. Students and members of the community came to pick their own deliciously ripe oranges fresh off the trees of the BC orchards, while others purchased pre-picked bags from a wagon at the entrance to the Agricultural Laboratory. Participation in the orange sale has increased in recent years due to media coverage in the Bakersfield Californian and KBAK/KBFX Eyewitness News.

A special thank you to Sally Sterns and the whole BC Agriculture Department for providing real-world experience in agricultural work for our students, and I’d like to thanks people out in the community for supporting BC Agriculture via the orange sale.

Students motivated by HBCU presentation hosted by Umoja

Umoja Community BC partnered with Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., and the HBCU partnership office to inform students about their transfer opportunities. Students with a minimum 2.5 GPA and 30 transferrable units will be accepted at any of the 37 Historically Black College and University (HBCU) partner schools and receive priority housing and scholarship opportunities. Students heard from a panel of community members who attended an HBCU about why they chose an HBCU and what they gained from the experience.

Umoja Community is a program designed for African-American students to increase success, retention, graduation, and transfer rates. The core program includes English and student development coursework, tutoring, mentoring, and counseling support. The program also offers gen ed courses and a Club. Dr. Paula Parks is the coordinator/English professor/Club advisor; Jonathan Ward is the counselor/student development professor. 

Group photo from the event

Panelist Addonica Stanley, a middle school principal who attended Grambling State University, said that a Black person at a college with a small Black population can feel “less than. I wanted an opportunity to embrace my culture. I was able to learn who I am.” Stanley, who is also an Umoja Advisory Board member, added that the expectations were high and meeting those challenging expectations gave her confidence.

Kotanya Kimbrough Hubbard, who works for the Bakersfield City School District in instructional technology, said that the faculty and staff at HBCUs “care about you. . . They want to see you succeed.” Hubbard, who attended Bennett College, advised students to consider size, part of the country, and their major in selecting an HBCU that fits their personality.

Students were attentive and asked great questions. Terreah Whitmire called the information and discussion “eye opening.” Whitmire, who is in the Umoja program and officer in the Umoja Club, said she definitely wants to attend an HBCU due to the supportive environment they provide. She had been concerned about being able to afford going away to college, but she learned that partner schools offer in-state tuition and the costs are comparable to attending a UC. “Umoja has helped me branch out and meet more (African-American) people,” adding she can build on those “tools and networking skills” at an HBCU.

Students can follow the CSU or UC path and apply using the Common Black College App. Historically Black Colleges and Universities were founded around the time of the Civil War when African-Americans were denied admission to colleges and universities. There are 105 HBCUs, and the Chancellor’s Office is working to expand the number of partner schools from 37.

Herbert Nealy, who transferred from BC to Prairie View in Texas, said going away helped him learn how to handle things on his own in a supportive environment.” Umoja student Kierra Littles said before the presentation she had felt hesitant about going so far away from home, but now feels that the experience will be worth it. Check out all the photos at BC’s Smugmug.

Project Conexiones Estudiantiles de BC

South Kern Sol highlighted a new program at BC designed to provide support for undocumented students at BC in an article by reporter Paige Atkison, who is also a BC student and editor-in-chief of the Renegade Rip.

The article features quotes from BC professors Octavio Barajas and Oliver Rosales talking about Project Conexiones, a program funded by an $115,000 grant BC received last year from the California Campus Catalyst Fund to raise the profile and expand resources available to undocumented students and their families. The article also quotes excitement from BC students Jose Bello and Emmanuel Limaco for the project and ways that the grant money can benefit students.

Two students have already received money from the grant, according to Professor Rosales. Faculty involved in Project Conexiones are working with members of student organization Latinos Unidos Por Educación (LUPE), as well as other undocumented students to decide the best way to utilize the grant money to promote community awareness of the issues that undocumented immigrants face.

Oliver Rosales, photo by Paige Atkison, South Kern Sol

The Project Conexiones has several events planned for Spring 2019, including a screening of the documentary “Adios Amor” in the Indoor Theater on March 28, and a Catalyst Culminating event in the Outdoor Theater on May 2 featuring musical performances from Velorio and Las Cafeteras. I look forward to these events and the promotion of Project Conexiones.

Start it up, Renegades!

Goli speaking

Last week, a group of BC leaders met with the CEO of StartItUp, Goli Ameri, to view and discuss a software application that can help students interested in entrepreneurship to start their own business. Also in attendance was Kelly Beardon, SBDC Director and Alese Campbell, Small Business & Entrepreneurship Deputy Sector Navigator for our Central Region Consortium.

BC leaders pose with Startitup
Leaders discussing Startit up


Porterville College Foundation Hall of Fame Dinner

BC’s Culinary Arts

BC’s Culinary Arts program has been selected to prepare the meal for Porterville College’s Foundation Hall of Fame celebration on Friday, February 1, according to an article in the Porterville Recorder.

The PC Foundation is honoring softball coach Vickie Dugan as its Hall of Fame inductee for Athletics after 22 years of service and winning more than 250 games as the Pirates softball coach. The Foundation is also bestowing Distinguished Alumni honors to Steve Schultz, the director of the Porterville College Veterans Resource Center and the father of BC’s Jonathan Schultz. You can read more about Steve and Jonathan Schultz in an article from this blog on November 11, 2017.

I know that our Culinary Arts students are going to knock the PC Hall of Fame dinner out of the park, and I can’t wait to hear all about it!

Continuing Legacy

Jonathan and Steve Schultz

The Renegade RIP published a nice piece titled “The sons of two former faculty continue their legacy” which follows current BC faculty, Dr. Oliver Rosales and Jonathan Schultz and shared how serving BC students is now a family tradition that began with their fathers. See the article at therip.com.

Panorama Invitational

“Two Faces” by Foothill High School senior Emily Alcala.

The Wylie and May Louise Jones Gallery is currently home to about 50 pieces of art created by Kern County high school students as part of the 15th annual Panorama Invitational Showcase.

An opening reception was held on Thursday afternoon with hors d’oeurves catered by BC Food Services. Students, staff and members of the public are encouraged to view the exhibit in the Jones Gallery from between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. on Monday through Thursday until February 28.

“Mandala” by South High School junior Joanna Alarcon
“Untitled” by Highland High School senior Danae Manzo

This year, 12 Kern County high schools were featured in the exhibition, and art teachers from each high school selected three outstanding students to have their work displayed in the Jones Gallery. This year’s Panorama Invitational Showcase featured paintings, illustrations, a sculpture and even typography with West High senior Daniel Lara’s piece “The Heart of Marvel”, crafted in commemoration of comic book creator Stan Lee, who passed away in November at the age of 95.

“The Heart of Marvel” by West High School senior Daniel Lara

I’d like to thank Jones Gallery curators Ronnie Wrest and Jeffrey Huston for continuing the tradition of celebrating young artists with the Panorama Invitational, and I look forward to seeing the BC Art Student Exhibition starting on March 14.

“Untitled” by Highland High School senior Angel Lopez.
Students examine the art at the opening reception for the Panorama Invitational.

Sex Museums – The Politics and Performance of Display

On Thursday night, the Levan Center hosted a discussion with UC Santa Barbara feminist studies professor Jennifer Tyburczy about her book “Sex Museums: The Politics and Performance of Display”, which examines the ways that art with sexual content is displayed in museum galleries and how that influences public perceptions about the types of sexuality that are considered controversial.

Professor Jennifer Tyburczy

I’d like to thank Jennifer Tyburczy for driving up to Bakersfield for this fascinating discussion, and I’d also like to thank the Reggie Williams and the Levan Center for organizing this event.

BC in the News

Joseph Luiz wrote a nice piece in the Bakersfield Californian on the growth of BC’s online classes — thank you Joseph. You can read the full Californian article here:  “BC sees record growth in students taking online classes.”

Students at the Online Hub help desk used in the article
Graph showing the number of online classes offered since 2015

More News: BC Offering Classes in Wasco

The Bakersfield Californian also announced that we will soon be offering classes in Wasco and are holding a ribbon-cutting ceremony on February 8 at 10 a.m. at the Wasco Adult Education Center. Read the article “Bakersfield College to offer classes in Wasco.”

Emails Worth Sharing: Harry Potter Style

BC’s Matt Jones emailed to share a story about Harry Potter themed English B2 at BC! I had to share! How fun!

So, during the Fall 2018 semester Professor Savanna Andrasian and I conducted our first Harry Potter themed English B2 course. The course explored literary composition and critical thinking at an advanced level. First, as the English faculty for the course, Savanna Andrasian had the students analyzing Harry Potter deeply within each of the books. While examining the books students explored topics such as Heroes and Anti-Heroes, Feminism, History, “The other”, and much more. For my side of the course, as the Academic Technology Faculty, I took the students outside of the books and we explored Harry Potter across all forms of media…audiobooks, blogs, podcasts, websites, and video games. As we did so, we analyzed it with concepts such as Social Determinism and Technological Determinism, Communities of Practice, Convergence Culture, New Media Literacy, and Transmedia Storytelling, and much more. Needless to say the course was challenging, fun, and generated a great deal of excellent work and discussion.

After the course final, we dismissed our students (keep in mind this class goes from 6:00pm to 8:05, two nights a week). However, at that time none of the students wanted to leave. As a result we all hung out in the class room with our students for an additional hour, immersed in deep Harry Potter discussion about character and plot analysis, assignments they loved, and other Potter theory topics that had come to light as a result of the course and the recent Fantastic Beasts movies. Savanna and I were astounded because the students had become so attached to the material and the thrill of discussion that they didn’t want to leave. During that time, they gave us a lot of great positive feedback. However, the reason I am writing you is to tell you this…the feedback was so positive at the end of last semester that over the Winter break…it lead me to create a private Facebook group which I have called Potter Scholars. On this private group, the students from our course who want to join can opt in to be part of the group. As part of BC Potter Scholars, we have continued to discuss academic work that relates to Harry Potter in Education, Memes, Theories, Plot Holes, and the like. This BC Potter Scholar group has become a thriving Community of Practice. One where former students of ours, are immersed in academic discussion that lay outside the confines of a classroom and is set in their own personal lives.

Email from Matt Jones, Jan. 22, 2019

Emails Worth Sharing: “I’ve Been to Prison”

This week, an email from Ron Kean made its way to my inbox. I loved what he had to share about his experience with BC’s Inmate Scholars program.

Dear family,

Yesterday was my first day teaching WORLD MUSIC to 30 students from the INMATE SCHOLARS PROGRAM through Bakersfield College.  I teach at a local state prison that is a Level 4, Maximum Security Prison in Delano, CA. Yesterday, I introduced my subject matter, its importance to our society and its relevance to each inmate scholar.  Thirty felons sang, danced, and improvised to the music of “Amen,” using west-African style as its basis. We then defined the many musical terms that we experienced and I had their utmost attention for 3 hours.  All thirty of these inmate scholars gave me a standing ovation at the end of the class. Next to being a husband and parent, this was the most meaningful experience of my life. This is the only course left for these students to graduate with the nation’s first ever face-to-face transfer A.A. degree.

 And this program will help these inmates to transition back to life outside of prison. There was no correctional officer in the room with me for almost three hours. It was only after we started singing the ostinatos from the introduction to Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” did two correctional officers come into the room.  I think they were pleased with what they heard and with music that they all knew. And it was good to see everyone involved relaxed and smiling. And that’s day one! Stay tuned…

Ron

Silly Signage seen on Campus

BC’s Dean of Instruction, Manny Mourtzanos emailed me this hilarious photo from the hallway near his office. He said, “Am I the only one concerned about our campus signage? Exhibit A is attached  :)”

Encouraging Future STEM Students

Kern County Museum sign

Stephen Waller, Dean of Instruction, shared a wonderful example of BC’s outreach in the community and making strides towards encouraging our youth on to the STEM pathway. Isabel Stierle, Professor of Biology has been working with Cheryl Scott of the Kern Economic Development Foundation and Stuart Packard, Superintendent of Buttonwillow School, and female volunteers from the sciences to mentor and encourage various grade level girls’ interest in STEM programs.

Outdoor displays show some of the oil rig equipment to pump oil from deep in the ground.

On Wednesday, January 23rd, Isabel and other mentors met with the Buttonwillow School 4th and 5th grade female students at Kern County Museum to view the Black Gold Exhibit so they could learn about geology, oil production, and uses of petroleum products. Thank you Isabel and Steve for sharing these photos of their field trip and for encouraging STEM students.

students viewing the display
Dave was our tour guide at the Kern County Museum
man pointing things out to the children
The girls viewing some of the indoor exhibits at the Kern County Museum.
Dave showing another display to the girls
wall with interactive rock and soil
Some of the girls got “hands-on” experience to demonstrate the dynamics of rock and soil while oil is being pumped out of the ground.
One of the girls close up to the hands-on rock display
girls faces lit with backlight from looking at a display
Dave pointing out more displays to the girls.

Tree Cutting in Renegade Park

At Bakersfield College, our Environmental Horticulture program is concerned for the health of our trees and the safety of our students.  Unfortunately, California’s drought has taken a toll on some of our trees on the main campus. Our Pin Oak tree, located at Renegade Park, had to be removed due to borer infestation and the potential danger to visitors in the park.  The drought conditions weakened the tree and the borer damage killed around 60% of the tree canopy. It was sad to remove this majestic tree, but the damage was irreversible.

We were able to create a learning experience from this.  The video will be used to demonstrate limb and tree removal that will be used for the Tree Care and Urban Forestry class.  This video will also be distributed to other community colleges in California who also teach this C-ID recognized course, thanks to a grant for developing stackable Horticulture certificates. Some of the wood is being milled to create benches for the park that will be built by Bakersfield College students.

Passing of Margaret “Peggy” Buckley

Photo of Margaret Buckley, nursing faculty, demonstrating CPR. Photo by Al Noriega. Circa 1975.

Jerry Ludeke and the BC Archives team shared the news this week of Peggy Buckley’s passing, a true Renegade.  Dr. Buckley was the first Academic Senate president to serve more than one term, serving for three years from 1976 to 1979. Bill Thomas entered a Tribute to Dr. Peggy Buckley in the May 2, 1985 Congressional Record on the occasion of her being honored as 1985 Kern RN of the Year.  Through her entire 34 year career at BC she worked one weekend each month as a staff nurse at an acute care hospital to keep in touch with nursing reality. Her obituary as it appeared in the Bakersfield Californian on January 23, 2019 is printed in italics below.

Peggy Buckley died peacefully at home in Napa, California, after a short illness. Born Margaret Rourke in Moynalty, County Meath, Ireland, she immigrated to the United States in 1951 and attended St. Mary’s College of Nursing and the University of San Francisco. Peggy became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1956 and moved to Bakersfield to begin her nursing career at Mercy Hospital. In 1958, she married Robert Buckley of Bakersfield. Their son John was born in 1959. Peggy worked at the Houchin Community Blood Bank in Bakersfield prior to accepting a position as the School Nurse at Bakersfield College. While there, she continued her education, earning a Master’s degree and PhD in Education. From that point on, her entire career was spent at Bakersfield College, where she served as the Chairperson of the Allied Health Division and Director, Associate Degree Nursing program. Upon her retirement in 1994, Peggy and Bob moved to Penn Valley, California where they enjoyed golf and travel until Bob’s death in 2003. She moved to Napa, California in 2011 and resided there for the remainder of her life.

Peggy is survived by sister Rhodi Rhodes of Eastbourne England, brother Tony Rourke and sister-in-law Audrey Rourke of Birmingham, England, brother-in-law Larry Buckley of Visalia, CA, son John Buckley, daughter-in-law Julie Buckley and granddaughters Amelia and Sophie Buckley of Fairfax, CA.

To quote Jerry, “We at Bakersfield College have been fortunate to work with so many talented, special people.”

Postcards from DC

I received a lovely postcard from the Eisenhower Fellowship Students.

Washington, DC postcard with pictures of the White House
Postcard signed by 7 students thanking Sonya

Fun Photos at BC’s Huddle

Isabel Castaneda enjoying a Funnel Cake from one of our food trucks on campus

Fun Photos 20 Years Ago

Cynthia Munoz captured this picture of the downtown when it snowed in Bakersfield 20 years ago

Baby Renegade

Professor Ximena Da Silva Tavares shared with me the cutest photo of baby Leo. She said “Janet Thomas gifted us this little Renegade Hoodie.” So sweet!

Baby Leo, Future BC Renegade

CCLC Effective Trustee Workshop

Trustees Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg and Jack Connell attended the CCLC Effective Trustee Workshop in Sacramento along with Chancellor Tom Burke.

Trustees Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Chancellor Tom Burke, and Trustee Jack Connell at CCLC
Trustees Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Chancellor Tom Burke, and Trustee Jack Connell at CCLC

Renegades of the Weeks

Renegade Athletics is proud to announce this 1/13-1/19 and 1/20-1/26 Wells Fargo Renegades of the Week.

1/13-1/19

Dasia Wandick, Women’s Basketball – Scored 19 points and had 7 rebounds in game against El Camino. Blake Van Uden, Men’s Basketball – Went 3-3 in FG’s for a total of 6 points and 9 rebounds in road game against Glendale.

1/20-1/26

Natilee Parrish, Softball – Had game winning three-run walk-off home run to claim the opening day victory over Santiago Canyon, 6-4. She ended the opening three games with 3 total hits (2 HR) and 4 RBI’s. Will Reynolds, Baseball – Hit .714 on opening weekend over two games against Moorpark. He was 5 for 7 with a double, 2 RBI’s and a run scored. Defensively, he threw out a crucial game tying run at home plate in the 7th inning of Friday night’s 1-0 win.

Renegade Report

If you missed watching the Renegade Report live this last Thursday at 11a, check out the segments from this week’s show from the links below. This week’s highlights include segments with BC Head Golf Coach Wes Coble and BC Sophomore Golfers Matt Sakowski and Matt Sanders.

Segment with BC Golf Coach Wes Coble

Segment with Matt Sakowski and Matt Sanders

Segment with Brandon Urry

Segment with Colby Lewis

Roundup of Athletics Events this week

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




That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

sonya-
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

A Bakersfield College Wonderland

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, March 9, 2019… A great day to be a Renegade.

Merry Christmas

Dr. John Gerhold 2016 Culinary and Christmas Caroling
2017 BSO and BC. Home for the Holidays. It is beginning to look a lot like Christmas
Neo, December 21 2018…..3 months away from being 2

Rural Initiatives in McFarland

Big things are happening in rural Kern County! This picture was taken after a two hour session of planning how McFarland Unified School District and Bakersfield College will level out the playing field for hundreds (and eventually thousands) of students through early college opportunities. I’m thankful to Aaron Resendez and Brian Bell for providing us this opportunity in McFarland.

Rural-Kern-McFarland-Unified-School-District

“There are times in our lives where people cross each other’s path and assist in creating greatness,” wrote McFarland High Principal Brian Bell on Facebook.  I couldn’t agree more, Brian!

Planning for the launch of the 2019 9th grade Early College
Bakersfield College and McFarland High School Early College Planning Team

KCCD Trustees Award Gym Design/Build to S.C. Anderson

One of the commitments that we made on the Measure J campaign trail was on keeping construction work local whenever possible, and this newest award shows that.  You can check out this piece by BakersfieldNow about the contract.  We are extremely excited to work with S.C. Anderson, and can’t wait to get the ball rolling on our new gym!

Current picture of the BC Gym

Campus Center Groundbreaking January 16

We will be holding the Campus Center groundbreaking at Bakersfield College on January 16! The Campus Center is the second building construction project breaking ground thanks to the funding of Measure J.  Please join us for music, fun and a performance by the BC drumline! And thank you for voting Yes on J!

Campus Center Groundbreaking Invite

Coming Soon: Gades Grub!

Our BC food trailer “Gades Grub” is officially on campus!  We are so excited to show this baby off in the spring semester, but I thought I’d give you all a sneak peak.  Gades Grub will help feed our students while Campus Center is under construction. It will be near the Huddle (the gymnasium area) so make sure to visit it and try some delicious BC eats!

RAD Training at BC

BC’s Public Safety team held its two-day Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) training on campus earlier this week. RAD is a self-defense course designed just for women and was founded in 1989 by a former college police officer.  This training was open to female students, staff and the public at no charge. Twenty-two attendees learned defensive techniques to empower them to deal with unexpected situations that can take place anywhere at any time.

Public Safety tries to hold these trainings a couple of times each semester, and will be holding one down the road at Porterville College. Thank you to Chief Counts and his team! Make sure to keep an eye out for future trainings!  

Wreaths Across America

Bakersfield National Cemetery held its Wreaths Across America ceremony Saturday morning to honor and remember veterans. Our very own Mary Jo Pasek and her husband Tom organized this event.  Make sure to check out the Bakersfield Californian story with more photos.

Mary Jo & Tom Pasek at the Wreaths Across America ceremony.

White Christmas in Massachusetts

Jack Hernandez shared this beautiful photo with me, where he skied in Lenox, Massachusetts with his family.  Look at that gorgeous snow!

Jack Hernandez in skis

Happy Holidays From Tampico Hermoso

Diego Gutierrez Monterrubio shared these beautiful Christmas Parade photos from Tampico Hermoso. Diego and his family visited the Mexican Venice in Tampico, Tamaulipas, México, where he said that the canal was 30 feet from his front door!  This is absolutely stunning and I think I might have to add it to my travel list.

Thank you KGET!

KGET’s Tabatha Mills swung by campus this week to take a look at the Campus Center construction, and specifically, the Fireside room.  Thirty years ago, BC’s Phyllis Hullett and the women of Junior League planned the very first Women’s Business Conference right in that room, which Tabatha will feature a story on down the road. Thank you Mary Jo Pasek and Bill Potter for showing Tabatha the room, and taking a walk down memory lane!  

Mary Jo Pasek, Tabatha Mils and Bill Potter

Dual Enrollment Orientation

Michele Bresso shared a photo of BC’s Industrial Automation faculty member Manny Fernandez orienting the high school dual enrollment teachers about BC classes on the high school campuses. We are strengthening this pipeline to our baccalaureate degree program.  Thanks for capturing the moment, Michele!

Dual enrollment orientation

Express Enrollment

The Outreach and School Relations Department wrapped up a busy December with Express Enrollment events in Arvin and the Panorama Campus on Wednesday, the last of seven express enrollment days in just this month.  Express Enrollments were held at the Panorama and Delano campuses, as well as BC Southwest, Shafter and Arvin in the month of December.


The Outreach and Dual Enrollment staffs celebrated the holidays together with a Christmas party at La Costa Mexican Grill on Tuesday.

I’d like to thank the Outreach staff for everything they do to get our students started correctly on their educational journey. The first Express Enrollment of 2019 is on Wednesday, January 9 at 1 p.m. starting in the Welcome Center.

Honoring Devin Aldridge

Bakersfield College is a place where students come to achieve their dreams and complete their education under sometimes very extreme circumstances. Take the case of Renegade Devin Aldridge. Devin was diagnosed with an aggressive and eventually fatal brain cancer, but was committed to his education. One of his professors, Andrew Haney tells me Devin attended all his classes, took every final, and was a dedicated Renegade. Professor Haney requested that I confer his BC credentials at the service. At a service honoring Devin’s life, I presented Devin’s father with his certificates. It warmed my heart to see the closeness that faculty members in automotive program had created for their students. Clearly Prof. Haney and the students were BC family for Devin. I am so proud that BC has faculty of the caliber of Andrew Haney…..incredibly smart, work long hours, absolutely committed to our students, with a great heart that embraces our community.

BC Chamber Singers Visit Breakfast Rotary

BC Chamber Singers visited the Breakfast Rotary meeting this week, which just so happened to be Mindy Wilmot’s birthday!  Happy belated birthday, Mindy!  I love when we are able to show the community how wonderful our students are.  Thank you to our Director of Choral and Vocal Studies, Jennifer Garrett for all of your hard work! Check out the picture of the choir with our Chancellor Tom Burke who was beaming like a proud father at the great performance of the students.

BC’s High Touch Strategy

BC is a Guided Pathways college that uses a high-touch, high-tech approach to student support.  While we are integrating the newest technology to support students with the Pathways Program Mapper, Starfish, etc, we are also keeping the high-touch personalized face-to-face, staff to student, support as well. Our teams across campus have been using the High Touch strategy to support students in their spring enrollment.  Thank you to everyone for your commitment to our students!

Umoja Milestone Celebration Receives Senate Resolution

Dr. Paula L. Parks, Umoja Community coordinator, received a Senate resolution at the Umoja Milestone Celebration. In addition to Dr. Parks’ recognition, three Umoja students were honored for graduating, program mentors were acknowledged, and Umoja faculty and community supporters were thanked.

Mr. Michael Bowers presented the resolution from Senator Andy Vidack’s office, and Dr. Parks was very appreciative and quite touched. Umoja student David Thomas had contacted Mr. Bowers asking that Dr. Parks, who started the program in 2015, be recognized for her dedication to and work with Umoja. This semester the program grew to include two sections of English/student development and a campus club.

Michael Bowers presenting Dr. Paula L. Parks with a Senate resolution.

The three December graduates are Tyler Johnican, Mikeisha Lowder, and Donna Polk – all from the first cohort. The program is designed to increase the graduation and transfer rate of African-American students, and Dr. Parks noted the pride in seeing students graduate, but the sadness in seeing them leave BC. All three of the graduates said that the program was instrumental in their success and growth.

The Milestone Celebration also included the welcome by RIchard McDowell; opening ritual by Dr. Parks and Mr. Jonathan Ward, the Umoja counselor and student development instructor, Kwanzaa candle lighting by students in the English 53 class; and words by the Umoja Club President Korrie Edwards and English 1a student Michaela Edwards.

Also noted as key to the success of the Umoja program is the support of BC and community mentors; the Umoja advisory board; dedicated faculty Mr. Michael Little (math), Ms. Kalisha Hudgins (math), Ms. Faith Bradham (library), Coach Reggie Bolton (health), and Mr. Gilbert Ayuk (astronomy); and BC’s awesome administrative team.

May 2019 Commencement at Rabobank

Guess what?  The May 2019 Graduation is moving to Rabobank!  Due to Measure J construction, the ceremony will not be at the Memorial Stadium, but not to worry, the planning power team has already started the planning!  

Monika Scott, Kristin Rabe & Jennifer Serratt on their way to Rabobank.

Fun Group to Work With

Had a lovely time meeting with this group of innovative leaders as we discussed amazing things for local entrepreneurship.

Back Row: David Teasedale, John Means, Manny Mourtzanos, Goli Ameri
Front: Cindy Collier, Sonya Christian, JP Lake

A Gift to Remember

On Thursday, Bob Covey delivered a special gift to my office. The photo shows the back side of Saturn. The white dot in the distance is Earth. Can you believe it?  The photo came from Ed Saltzman who worked for NASA for 51 years. Had to share this incredible gift from Bob and Matha Covey.

The Hills Are Alive!

Community member Tony Moreno posted this gorgeous video last week, showing Bakersfield from Alfred Harrell Highway.  Thanks to the rain, our hills are a rich green!

Photos from this week

Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Sonya Christian, Janet Tarjan

Some of our wonderful BC staff and faculty visiting the CALM lights last week.  Looks like they had a blast!

The BC Exec team celebrated our December birthdays.  I’m so lucky to have such a great team!

I loved running into Bob Hawks while out and about doing Christmas shopping. Bob worked for Educational Services at KCCD for many years. He is a great supporter and advocate for education and he always greets me with a smile and a warm hug. Bob began working for small business development in the mid-90s and retired a few years ago.

Bob Hawks & Sonya Christian

Our Strong Workforce team celebrated the holidays with an Ugly Christmas Sweater party!

Strong Workforce Ugly Sweater Party

Our Adult Ed team also sends warm holiday wishes. 🙂

Adult Ed team

David Spencer came to visit us. I was so happy to see him!

Tarina Perry, David Spencer & Sonya Christian

BC SouthWest showing off their holiday spirit!

Officer Marcos Cifuentas, Joanne Acosta, Fernando Lara

Roundup of Athletics Events This Week

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

Jordyn Jimenez from Renegade Softball signs with Peru State College

Congrats to Jordyn Jimenez from Renegade Softball who signed to continue her playing career with Peru State College, an NAIA school located in Peru, Nebraska.

Jordyn is from Delano and went to Cesar E. Chavez HS. She will begin her career as a Bobcat this spring as she enrolls in classes and will compete on the diamond immediately. This last season as a Renegade Jimenez batted .326 with 18 stolen bases, 32 runs scored, 12 RBI and 1 HR in helping the team set three school records: best overall record at 33-11, best conference record at 13-1, most wins in a season at 33 and won the 2018 WSN North Conference Championship.

Jordyn Jimenez

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.

Helping Those in Need

The chamber singers donated new toys for their holiday dinner this year and gave them to Lydia Ranger, whose church feeds families and provides toys for those in need. Lydia was instrumental in helping our singers get to Australia, and I love how they are paying it forward.




That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

sonya-
the luckiest and happiest college president ever