BC Students, lean on BC.
Sometimes in our lives we all have pain
We all have sorrow
But if we are wise
We know that there’s always tomorrow.
Lean on me, when you’re not strong
And I’ll be your friend
I’ll help you carry on
For it won’t be long
‘Til I’m gonna need
Somebody to lean on (Bill Withers)
Good morning, Bakersfield. Happy Easter
It is Saturday, April 11, 2020… A great day to be a Renegade.
I was saddened to hear that the legendary soul singer Bill Withers, passed away at the age of 81 last week. Withers is a three-time Grammy Award winner best known for the songs “Lean On Me” and “Ain’t No Sunshine”, which are both on Rolling Stone’s List of the 500 greatest songs of all time.
Jon Pareles wrote a moving piece in the New York Times about how Bill Withers used his music as a tool to express his compassion and selflessness. Withers was in his early 30s when his recording career started, and his real-life experiences serving in the Navy and working in factories brought an authenticity to his songs about people and their everyday lives. A 2009 documentary about Withers’ life titled “Still Bill” traces the influential singer’s life from his childhood in West Virginia to his retirement from the music industry in 1985.
Enjoying spring with national poetry month
Jack Hernandez emailed me about April being National Poetry Month. His email triggered me dusting off an old book of poems that was part of my high school curriculum. Here are a few verses from Percy Bysshe Shelley’s The Cloud
I bring fresh showers for the thirsting flowers,
From the seas and the streams;
I bear light shade for the leaves when laid
In their noonday dreams.
From my wings are shaken the dews that waken
The sweet buds every one,
When rocked to rest on their mother’s breast,
As she dances about the sun.
I wield the flail of the lashing hail,
And whiten the green plains under,
And then again I dissolve it in rain,
And laugh as I pass in thunder.
Here is another lovely poem by Jack Hearnandez
By Jack Hernandez
When dawn brings
and light confounds
we are given
the gift of waiting,
which must be opened
to show the way
without a calendar
are trained to run,
We must hold silence
like a bowl
a leaf shining
in the sun,
We must feel
the caress of hope.
Thank you Jack!
Thank you Greg and Mary Bynum
Of Bakersfield College’s 40,000 students, 80% are First Generation, approximately 80% are low income, and many rely on campus WiFi and computer labs to access the internet in order to complete their assignments. Students’ responses to a March 20 survey revealed that about one in 10 students do not have adequate off-campus internet access while nearly a quarter of students use their cell phones as their primary device to access their courses. In response to student high student need for technology as Bakersfield College moved instruction online, BC developed a laptop loan program with a generous donation from Greg and Mary Bynum.
Ema Sasic covered this story in the April 10th issue of The Bakersfield Californian. https://tinyurl.com/r4jskk8
Joseph Luiz covered it on KGET https://tinyurl.com/sqpcsx7
Back to College
In my virtual forums, I have been sharing an article from Politico on April 2 highlighting the 10 million workers nationwide who filed jobless claims over the previous 2 weeks. Yet another surge has brought the total of new jobless claims during this pandemic to over 17 million. I have also been sharing this chart showing how the current unemployment claims compare with unemployment data from the Great Recession. One key difference is how quickly the jobless claims have spiked.
I have previously mentioned the Back to College program our team has created to help combat rising unemployment in Kern County. It is my hope that our community can continue to Lean on BC in this time of need and difficulty.
Our team held four sessions last week and two additional sessions this week to answer student questions and get students registered for these courses. Thank you to Victor Diaz, Erineo Garcia, Jo Ann Acosta, Heather Skibinski, Ashlea Ward and Armando Trujillo for leading these sessions and getting our students registered.
I also want to thank Joseph Tipay, David Moton, Oliver Rosales, Isaias Hernandez, Sylvia Reyes, Beenne Anglin and Jonathan Ward for agreeing to take on this important work and teach these courses to our students. This 5-week program will help jumpstart students’ educational journeys and put them on a path that can lead to new associates degrees or transfer options. Online classes begin on Monday.
Levan Institute Moves Online
On Monday, the Levan Institute for Lifelong Learning announced seven online classes starting the week of April 20. Enroll in these fun classes as you shelter in place.
Visit the Levan Institute Registration page to apply now! If you have any questions about the online classes hosted by the BC Levan Institute, please email Miriam Valenzuela at firstname.lastname@example.org.To follow the Levan Institute’s posts regarding online classes, please follow them on Facebook. A full list of classes includes:
- What’s Streaming?: Find out everything you need to know about popular streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, and more.
- Self Massage for Stress and Tension Relief – Learn massage techniques that you can apply to your whole body and understand the benefits and precautions of massage.
- Massage for Headache Relief – In this course, you will learn about the causes of headaches and practice massage, acupressure and Reflexology techniques for headache relief.
- Tai Chi – Tai Chi is a form of martial arts in which slow, gentle movements are made in the air to improve balance, coordination, joint mobility, and blood circulation.
- Gentle Mat Pilates – In this class, you will learn about Pilates, a blend of exercises to increase core strength, flexibility, breath control, and alignment correction to improve balance and posture.
- Creative Writing: Creating Characters and Their Stories – In this course, you can expect to learn the elements of fictional writing, such as creating memorable characters, descriptive scenes, and realistic dialogue.
- Gentle Yoga – This class is designed to promote increased mobility, flexibility, and balance. Yoga is practiced by people of all ages. Each class is an hour of relaxation and gentle movement.
Thank you to Norma Rojas-Mora, Susan Pinza, Miriam Valenzuela, and the BC Levan Institute staff for leading this online classes initiative.
Community Voices: Jeff Newby
History Professor Jeff Newby wrote a great Community Voices piece for the Californian on Tuesday with tips to help our neighbors and ourselves in small ways.
Jeff’s tips include donating food or money to food banks, donating blood, writing letters to people in isolation, supporting local businesses, and daily neighborhood cleanups. Thank you, Jeff!
All-Campus Forum with Community Leaders
Our All-Campus Virtual Forum last Monday focused on community and political leaders sharing their passion for higher education, as well as their plans to improve the job market during the COVID-19 crisis. I will have their videos for you next week.
On Monday, April 13th, we have another great line up of speakers — Rudy Salas, Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, and David Bynum. Tune in at 3:00 p.m.
Thank you to Nicky Damania and Todd Coston for moderating the virtual forum, Shannon Musser and Lesley Bonds for facilitating the forum behind the scenes, and all of our participants for keeping the valley strong during these uncertain times.
Virtual Forums from the previous week
You can find the videos on the COVID-19 website at https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/covid19
Here are a few short videos of some of our presenters
Abel Guzman on Rural BC.
Diane Allen — Faculty Counselor supporting DSPS
Jackie Lau — Assistant Director, Enrollment Services
Matt Jones — Faculty, Academic Technology
Fun Photos: IT Provides Laptops Before Physical Campus Closure
Before we shut down the physical campus, Manny De Los Santos got some great photos of the Technology Support Team getting laptops ready for Renegades to move online. Thank you to our whole Information Technology Department for helping us manage this transition.
Renegade Nurses Help Fight COVID-19
Bakersfield College nursing students have stepped up to meet the need for healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Only eight weeks from graduation, our Level 4 nursing students were thrown into uncertainty as we shifted to a virtual learning environment. But our Associate Dean of Nursing, Carla Gard, playing to “where the puck was going to be,” coordinated externship opportunities with our community health partners: Kern Medical, Dignity Health Systems and Bakersfield Heart Hospital.
Working in paid positions at these facilities, these 69 senior students will be paired with nurses so they can complete their education by providing hands-on patient care.
Nursing student Shantelle Rubio and Cindy Collier were interviewed by Valley Public Radio last week, and Fresno Univision affiliate KFTV-21 featured our nursing students in a piece for Spanish-language media.
Here’s a salute and prayer for all healthcare workers who are on the front lines of this epidemic.
Renegades on the Front Lines
English faculty member Kaitlin Hulsy wrote a beautiful piece about the importance of nursing and her late mother’s 35-year career in nursing, which started right here at Bakersfield College. Thank you, Kaitlin!
Before I existed in this world, my mother was a student in the nursing program at Bakersfield College. At the time, she was a single mother who was working multiple jobs to raise two young boys and pay her way through college. My mother was always glamorous, but during her days hitting the books, she had a little more grit as opposed to glitter.
Bonny Lou Hulsy walked across the stage at graduation with a smile on her face. She had done it! She went on to have a 35-year career in nursing. This started with cleaning bedpans, and eventually morphed into assisting doctors in diagnosing kiddos with autism at Kern Regional Center. She eventually co-founded one of the top schools in the nation for children with autism and autistic spectrum disorders. Her sons are now grown, one of them the CAO of Kern County.
We know that nurses can do anything. More importantly, we know how needed they are at this uncertain time. It is in the spirit that I have an ask for the sixty-nine nursing students who are about to be on the front lines in the time of COVID-19: What do you need? How may we help each and every one of you as you begin your journey?
It is my desire to put together a wish list of items for our 69 Renegade nurses to bring them comfort as they confront a still very much unknown dragon. Please email Endee Grijalva to request any items you need. We will do our best to accommodate you.
In the meantime, please know that my mother is looking down from Heaven on BC nursing and bubbling with pride. As a faculty number, I join countless others who are so incredibly proud of you. We Are BC!
Until next time,
Emails Worth Sharing: Castle In the Storm
Kaitlin is also spearheading an important creative outlet for Renegades as they shelter in place. In Kaitlin’s most recent column on the website, she shares her thoughts about teaching being the best job in the world. Read her email below about Castle In the Storm.
Good Afternoon, Colleagues:
I wanted to humbly direct your attention to a project I’m working on, namely Castle In the Storm.
Castle in the Storm is a place for Renegade students who need a creative outlet in the time of Covid-19. The website functions both as a place to showcase student work, in addition to being a repository for professional advice and published pieces from established authors. Our logo was created by BC alumnus and local comedienne Margaret Haggard, and original student work is appearing daily. Submissions of flash fiction/poetry/nonfiction from any Bakersfield College students are always welcome. Students may email me directly, or submit to the website via the Contact page.
At this time, our featured author is acclaimed nonfiction writer Deanne Stillman. Her works include Mustang: the Saga of Wild Horses in the American West, among many others. Deanne has written for Rolling Stone Magazine, and her work Twenty Nine Palms: A True Story of Murder was referred to by the great Hunter S. Thompson as “a strange and brilliant story by an important American writer.” She is part of the core faculty at UC Riverside Palm-desert-MFA. Thank you very much for your time, and please enjoy your weekend.
We got a ton of great content this week through the #BCGoesOnline hashtag on social media. Keep sharing your photos and posts with #BCGoesOnline on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and we’ll feature you in next week’s blog!
Carlos Medina tweeted about supporting CSUB with virtual career events, like the virtual career expo for Industrial Technology last week:
Kalina Hill shared about how inspired she felt after hearing our students speak at the All-Campus Virtual Forum on Tuesday:
Jaime Lopez shared a screenshot from Abel Guzman’s presentation at last week’s Virtual Forum:
Finally, Chris Glaser is staying engaged with all of our virtual forums on Twitter:
Virtual Vacations for Spring Break
Although Spring Break is happening at home this year, here are some tips from our marketing department….
Museums and Attractions
- Visit the Louvre Museum in Paris, France.
- Admire the Sistine Chapel and its’ famous ceiling, painted by Michelangelo, in Vatican City.
- Virtually walk through the world’s oldest national public museum, the British Museum, in London, United Kingdom.
- Visit the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum’s art collection in New York City.
- Experience the art of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMa) in New York City.
- Visit the largest Van Goh collection in the world at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
- Admire the paintings and sculptures at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, California.
- Virtually walk on the Great Wall of China in the Huairou District of China.
- Explore the Taj Mahal in Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India.
- Enter the historical Roman Colosseum in Rome, Italy.
- Visit the exhibits of the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City.
- Virtually hike Yosemite National Park in Northern California
- Admire nature virtually at the Yellowstone National Park in Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming.
- Gaze at one of the seven wonders of the world, the Great Pyramids of Giza, in Egypt.
- Journey active volcanoes at the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, on the Hawaii Island (the Big Island).
- Interact with the animals at the San Diego Zoo in San Diego, California.
- Visit exhibits at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.
Archives Throwback: Thomas Takes Over New Position
Our look at Bakersfield College in the mid-60s continues with this article from the 1967 Raconteur yearbook about Bill Thomas accepting a position as the student government advisor. Bill Thomas would continue to be a champion for Bakersfield College over the next half-century as a BC professor, KCCD Trustee, and US Congressman representing the Southern San Joaquin Valley. Check the article out below, and stay tuned for more glimpses at Renegade life in the 1960s.
“During the last meeting of the Board of Representatives, Fall Semester, a motion was made without proper parliamentary procedures; this mistake was corrected by a member of the Board with the supervision of an interested teacher who had come into the meeting for a few minutes. Noticing this teacher’s interest in student government, Mr. Ronald McMasters, Advisor, appointed him as the Spring Semester Advisor to student government, knowing there was a vacancy for that position.
“Mr. William Thomas has taught at Bakersfield College for the last two years. Previous to this he attended Santa Ana Junior College, where he received his A.A. degree, after which he transferred to San Francisco State College. After four years with a year of student teaching, he obtained his B.A. and M.A. degrees.
“Besides being Advisor to Student Government, Mr. Thomas is a member of the Board of Publications. He teachers the Parliamentary Procedures Class, Political Science 1, and Social Science 53A and B. Previous to his new appointment, he was advisor to the Tutorial Project and the Young Republicans Club.
“Mr. Thomas enjoys many extra-curricular activities but is not interested in any special activity. He enjoys sports very much, such as handball and basketball, and he also rides a motorcycle occasionally. To pass the time, he reads and listens to music. Most of his weekends in the past two years have been spent chaperoning the college dances.
“Mr. Thomas is very active and is interested in helping the Bakersfield College students whenever he can through his active life in Student Government and campus life.”
More recent photos of Bill Thomas.
Watch this week’s edition of the Renegade Report on the Bakersfield College Athletics Facebook page featuring our Renegade Men’s Tennis Coach Noel Dalton and Head Football Coach R. Todd Littlejohn. Both Coaches talked to Kenny Calvin, the radio host of the Renegade Report, about leading young student-athletes through this unprecedented time. The three also talked about how student-athletes and coaches are facing the stoppage of sports. Click the link to listen to the conversation on Facebook:
National Student-Athlete Day
Monday, April 6th, was National Student-Athlete Day! With all of our sports teams at a standstill, it’s a unique time for athletic staff and coaches, and in particular, for student-athletes. On top of going to class and studying hard, they put in many hours in practice and competition every week. Even now, as we are all sheltering in place, our athletes are hard at work at home, pushing themselves to stay in shape so that they are ready to compete once again. Happy National Student-Athlete Day Renegades, you’re doing fantastic training at home!
Brett Clark Named BVarsity Coach of the Year
Brett Clark, BC’s head wrestling coach and the head girls wrestling coach at Frontier High School, was named the BVarsity All-Area Girls Wrestling Coach of the Year this week. Congrats go out to Coach Clark for this accomplishment! We are lucky to have a coach who is so devoted to developing young talent within our community.
Special Edition: “I Miss Sports Because…”
We asked our student-athletes on social media this week to finish this sentence, “I miss sports because…” Here are a few of their responses
Blake Keesey, from Men’s Golf: “I miss the pressure of needing to hit the shot at the right moment. I miss the early morning drives with the team. I miss the nerves of the opening shot. I miss fighting for each other.”
Brooklyn Walsh, from Women’s Golf: “My team is my family.”
Caleb Jameson, from Men’s Golf: “I miss sports because I miss my team, I miss my brothers, and I miss the pressure and expectations that come with sports.”
Carlos Estrada, from the Football team: “The family environment.”
That’s all for now.
Until next time.
With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.
the luckiest and happiest college president ever