Tag Archives: Cathy Abernathy

Watching Dreams Blossom at BC!

Good morning Bakersfield.  The Renegade Red and White Roses have starting blooming in my front yard.  A lot of white and one solitary red.  Saturday, April 7, 2018…a great day to be a Renegade!

Spring flowers April 8 2018

 

Loved seeing Nick Strobel’s discussion on TESS the exoplanet satellite scheduled to be launched and its mind boggling complexity.

Bakersfield College Southwest

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Nick Strobel presenting at College Council

Nick Strobel presenting at College Council

The community has been clamoring for a BC presence in the Southwest.

On Friday, April 6th, College Council met at BC-SouthWest to explore the facility and continue building on our ideas to ramp up class availability and courses for students at this alternative location.

We had a great morning hearing updates from Nick Strobel about BC’s ISER in preparation for our accreditation visit later this year, hearing from Janet Fulks and Khushnur Dadabhoy regarding transfer pathways, and Liz Rozell and Manny Mourtzanos about the upcoming courses being offered at BC SouthWest.

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Dr. Martin Luther King

This Wednesday, America commemorated the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination at a motel room in Memphis, Tennessee. Even though his life was taken at the age of 39, Dr. King’s short life spent fighting for equality in the United States was like a small candle that lit the wicks of millions, inspiring generations that came after him to continue his important work.

Events commemorating Dr. King’s assassination took place across the country on Wednesday, but the march in Memphis attracted thousands of people who marched a mile and a half in his honor. Details about all of the marches can be found in Jenny Jarvie’s article published in the Los Angeles Times.

Registration Rocks (HUGE THANK YOUS)

Registration Rocked once again, but this time at 28 of our local high schools on April 5, 2018. Roughly 3,300 fully matriculated high school seniors were invited to register in just one day.

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Can you imagine the team effort it took to pull this one off?! Let me introduce you to some key people who made it happen. 

Tuesday’s training to prepare the various teams that went out to the high schools was led by Steve Watkin and Ashlea Ward. 

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On Thursday, the teams deployed to the 28 high schools charged and ready to go! Command Central was staffed with three key people to monitor all the activity and incoming needs. Thank you  Michelle Pena, Jennifer Achan, and Steve Watkin.

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Due to the high traffic, by 8:00AM the system glitched and crashed…. but our District Office IT heros, Stephen Kegley and Carl Bowman were on the ball and helped us out immediately.  Huge thank you to our partners in IT at KCCD. Zav even called this the Registration War Room. 

Stephen Kegley and Carl Bowman

Stephen Kegley and Carl Bowman show the server activity on Thursday morning.

At Stockdale High, we were led by our fearless leaders Jonathan Schultz and Josie Gullian. For me, it was a rewarding experience to sit with incoming students and help them firsthand, pick and register for their very first college classes. And while I was assisting students, almost every one of them registered for 15+ units in Fall!

RR at Stockdale HS

The two pictures above are with Scott Odlin principal of Stockdale High School.  He was so proud of his students.  Thank you Scott for letting us work with the Stockdale students.

All of this could not be possible without our superstars at BC, doing what they do each and every day to serve our students and help them on the path to success.

Thank you to our counseling department and the incredible counselors who worked very hard to pull this off.

Barbara Braid for leading group ASEP workshops and triage throughout the week

Jonathan Schultz for leading Stockdale high school outreach and then turning around the next day to meet with more high school students in group appointments

Marisa Marquez for mapping all of the transfer pathways at the institutional level while meeting with students individually

Keri Kennedy for accepting, reviewing, and supporting Kern Promise students in between individual student meetings.  Leading multiple measures 4.0 application

Laurel Mourtzanos for leading an analysis of high demand courses based on student ed plans to help us be strategic in course offerings

Jo Ann Acosta who returned from surgery to process paper problems for students

Julian West and Jonathan Ward for leading African American Mentor Program Open House and getting more high school seniors registered into Umoja and a full load of courses

Victor Diaz, our academic senate Vice President, who is full of life and always brings a positive energy to the center

Shohreh Rahman who leads the international student program, providing a safe home for our students who often travel to Bakersfield without a full support system

Fabiola Johnson who oversees our at-risk and probation work to ensure one bad semester doesn’t take a student off path entirely

Sarah Villasenor who works with our students of concern team and leads communication to keep students on their path

Mark Osea, the fearless department chair who has taken on tech projects, works on the curriculum committee, and collaborates with other departments across campus

New counselors experiencing their first big spring semester registration push and hanging with us like champs: Brynn Schock, Steve Agard, Aneesha Awrey, and Dinorah Castro.

Countless educational advisors for meeting with drop-in students back-to-back: Abe Castillo, Jeff LaForce, Pearl Urena, Josh Shackelford, and others

The outreach ed advisors for leading high school outreach: Manuel, Josie, Pedro, and Debi

EOPS, DSPS, CTE, Title V, Financial Aid, veterans, and athletics counselors and advisors embedded in the departments providing direction and guidance: Angelica, Cynthia, Manuel, Cathy, Jeff, Vanessa, Pam, Dominica, stig, Evette, Lucy, Venessa, Isabel, Diane, and Armando

Our CSUB Transfer counselors who have office hours on campus: Natasha and Alicia

Our Delano counselors and advisors who ensure rural students have the information they need: Jesus, Veronica, Jessica, Jesse, and Elvira

The front desk staff and students for quickly processing check-ins, answering calls: Bernadette Martinez, Luz Mendoza, and Jahnea Palfrey

Guided Pathways in action

Eryn Justice and Jackie Lau gave a well prepared and thoughtful presentation to the Delano Counselors on Concurrent and Dual enrollment as well.

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Jackie Lau and Eryn Justice

Jackie Lau, you are a rock star.  I remember being so inspired by your passion and tireless energy as you volunteered countless hours to Measure J.  Thank you!

THANK YOU TO ALL Bakersfield College experts, including staff, administrators, counselors, advisors, student workers, and everyone who was either assigned to be at a high school, or assisted students with registration this week.

High school staff and students showed a great amount of gratitude for our efforts in continuing to make their transition toward becoming a Renegade a smooth one.

What we do is support our students and what that means is life changing.  This is guided pathways in action.  Thank you!

We are BC!

BC Enrollment Banner (4)And the Registration Rocks started with a massive banner for enrollment hanging off the Center for Student Success! What an exciting time to be at BC!

Shout out to the Renegades who helped pull this massive endeavor off.

Thank you to Dylan Wang, our Graphic Designer and the M&O Team including Corey Garcia, Tim Hernandez, Mitchell Barter, Aaron Kidwell, and Landon Webb.

Open registration begins April 18th.

Photographed below is Dylan Wang and the M&O Staff with the banner!

BC Hackathon

Bakersfield College is gearing up for the second annual Hackathon.  The theme for this year’s Hackathon is Health and Social Justice. Kern County struggles with many public health challenges and health inequities. Community experts will present in various panel formats and workshops on the following topics: air quality, access to quality health care, food insecurity, human trafficking, and public health outreach. Eric Ruiz, a team member from Google who hails from Modesto, will participate and discuss technology and empowerment. Bakersfield Californian investigative reporter Harold Piece will be presenting on how to use research and infographics to educate the public.

Harold Pierce and Trustee Carter

Harold Pierce and Trustee Carter

Much thanks to Harold Pierce also for doing an overview of the event. Check it out here.  Also thanks to Channel 23 Alexa Reye who did a great preview piece click here to see overview.

The agenda and more information can be found at www.bcinnovates.com.  On this website, you can check out a short video, view the rules, FAQs and register.  The Hackathon is for everyone! All academic disciplines are welcome.  Make sure to register online! The first 50 registered participants will get a free T-shirt. Note that the event has a waiting list and plans to accommodate everyone by filling up the slots of those who do not show up. Needless to say, it is a popular event! Voted BCSGA Event of the Year in 2017.

Mataalofa Hubbard with Channel 23 News with Alexa Reye

Mataalofa Hubbard being interviewed by Alexa Reye

The event is being organized by a team of two BCSGA Student Clubs, Student Health Wellness Advisory Committee Club president Mataalofa Hubbard, and STEM Club, president Andrea Lopez with faculty members Sarah Baron, Public Health Science; Eddie Rangel, Computer Science and Oliver Rosales, History and Coordinator, Social Justice Institute Coordinator, as well as, support from Yadira Guerrero, Engineering Program Manager and Career Technology Education too. Thanks also to Elisabeth Sundby and Allison Burch, Librarians from Digital Delano, who created the digital resource, libguide, which is packed with resources by topic areas. A great tool for students, educators and community members. It takes a team effort with strong community support.  We truly appreciate our community partners, volunteers and sponsors who made this possible. See the full list of community sponsors and more at www.bcinnovates.com

Sponsors for Hackathon

Last years Hackathon tshirts

Delano Community Alliance Breakfast

On Tuesday, April 3rd, Bakersfield College-Delano Campus hosted the Delano Community Alliance monthly breakfast. Over 30 guests representing various school districts, non-profit organizations, government agencies, and private businesses were in attendance. Bakersfield College provided a delicious traditional Mexican breakfast for the guests. As the host organization, we had the opportunity to update the group on what is happening at the college.

2018 Delano Community Alliance Breakfast (4)

I began the presentation by thanking the various school partners in attendance for their support, including DJUHSD Superintendent Terri Nuckols and the entire room for supporting Measure J. In doing so, these people helped to ensure that the community of Delano would be better served by BC and I concluded by discussing new programs coming to Delano.

Romeo Agbalog

Romeo Agbalog

KCCD Trustee Romeo Agbalog also shared words of appreciation for the group. He noted that as a Delano native he is happy to see all of the great things happening in education for the community’s youth. He made sure to give longtime Delano Campus admissions and records technician, Helen Calip, a shout out. He stated that he was her biggest fan.

Abel Guzman proceeded to inform the group about the enrollment growth at BC Delano in recent years. Additionally, he provided data showing that BC Delano students are just as successful, if not more successful, than all students college wide.

Helen Calip and Trustee Agbalog

Helen Calip and Trustee Agbalog

Delano Enrollment Growth

Bill Potter concluded the presentation by unveiling the upcoming Measure J construction projects on the BC Delano Campus. The group was excited to learn about the upcoming Learning Resource Center.

The Delano Community Alliance group is a non-profit organization dedicated to serving needy families in Delano. Bakersfield College is always happy to host the breakfast.

2018 Delano Community Alliance Breakfast (7)

Thank you to the Delano Community Alliance, especially Steven Kinsey, Rosalina Rivera, Linda Hinojosa, Sheryl Alexander, Dorsey Driggs, Maribel Reyna, Matthew Cauthron, Abel Guzman, Dr. Terri Nuckols, and Dave Stebbins.

Terri Nuckol and Liz Rozell

Dr. Terri Nuckols and VP Liz Rozell

Liz Gustavo and Bill

Liz Rozell, Gustavo Enriquez, BIll Potter

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Endee Grijalva and Bill Potter

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Abel Guzman and Scott Spielman, BC supporter

Was happy to see Scott Spielman at the meeting.  Scott is on BC’s Pre Law Advisory committee and has done numerous presentations at the college.

Special Recognition for BC Programs

Career Technical Education (CTE) Vision Board

Career Technical Education (CTE) Vision Board

BC received special recognition of career education programs with outstanding workforce outcomes. Thank you to Van Ton-Quinlivan, Executive Vice Chancellor, Workforce and Digital Futures.

Multiple programs at BC have been named as Strong Workforce Stars because they have outstanding post-college outcomes in employment, earnings gains, and regional living wages, based on Strong Workforce Program LaunchBoard data. Several programs have earned the Bronze, Silver, and Gold Stars recognition because graduates attained one or more of the following thresholds for economic mobility:

  • An increase in earnings by 50% or more
  • Attainment of the regional living wage by 70% or more
  • 90% or more are employed in a job similar to their field of study

Congratulations to all who contribute to student success in the following programs!

BRONZE STARS (attained threshold outcomes on one metric)

  • Automotive Technology: 113% increase in earnings
  • Animal Science: 111% increase in earnings
  • Plant Science: 90% increase in earnings
  • Agriculture Business, Sales and Service: 90% increase in earnings
  • Forestry: 101% increase in earnings
  • Architecture and Architectural Technology: 245% increase in earnings
  • Administration of Justice: 81% increase in earnings
  • Corrections: 73% of students attained the regional living wage
  • Fire Technology: 78% of students attained the regional living wage
  • Culinary Arts: 163% increase in earnings
  • Human Services: 404% increase in earnings

SILVER STARS (attained threshold outcomes on two metrics)

  • Vocational Nursing: 113% increase in earnings and 67% of students attained the regional living wage
  • Electrician Apprenticeship: 59% increase in earnings and 83% of students attained the regional living wage
  • Industrial Technology: Electronics: 76% of students attained the regional living wage and 100%of students are employed in a job similar to their field of study

GOLD STARS (attained threshold outcomes on all three metrics)

  • Radiologic Technology: 329% increase in earnings, 100% of students attained the regional livingwage and 100% of students are employed in a job similar to their field of study
  • Registered Nursing: 226% increase in earnings, 87% of students attained the regional living wage and 97% of students are employed in a job similar to their field of study

One of our data coaches Elisabeth Sundby created the following bar graph to compare the threshold to achieve this award and BC’s actual performance.

Goldstar Programs

Data Coaching

Data Coach's MeetingBC’s completion coaching teams serve students through “high touch” (emails, phone calls, texts, group meetings, faculty classroom announcements) within the Learning and Career Pathways, sometimes called meta-majors. This high touch, proactive coaching of students is dependent upon high tech information to determine WHICH students need WHAT information WHEN. Each completion coaching team has a specified data coach, that may be a faculty, classified or management volunteer, who is trained in getting the information to the completion coaching teams. Data coaches fulfill several functions within the completion coaching communities.  The Office of Institutional Effectiveness (OIE) provides live, regularly updated data based upon a wide array of variables and demographics, heretofore unavailable simply because their weren’t enough researchers for all the reporting necessary. BC currently has 31 data coaches that receive data training, including FERPA certification, and have a certain knack with data but also have day jobs that intersect closely with students every day.

The data coaches job is actually three-fold. First, the data coach serves as a “data clarifier.”  It is the data coach’s responsibility to help their fellow team members understand the right questions to ask, interpret questions they’re not sure how to ask, and make meaning of data.  Second, the data coach serves as a liaison with the Office of Institutional Effectiveness. The data coach communicates and submits data requests to the OIE about the completion coaching community’s information needs, which are developed and fine-tuned in meetings with the rest of the completion team.  Third, the data coach may serve as a “reconnaissance unit.”  In other words, the data coach retrieves information about student populations, which activates the other completion coaches with targeted and individualized communication to students in need of particular messaging. Much of this work is aligned to the communication plan that helps keep students on track and on target to complete their educational goals with regards to expectations, deadlines and other important information.

Data Coaches

The picture shows a data coach meeting where data is being filtered, retrieved and delivered to the completion coaching communities so that we can reach out to students registering beginning April 4. The message reminds them to register, focusing on core classes, in a timely manner while classes are available. The data and the communication helps the institution get the right students, in the right classes, at the right time. High tech guiding and facilitating, high touch!

Bakersfield Life Celebrating BC Faculty

Josh Ottum and Omar March 10 2016

Professor Josh Ottum with a BC Student

Professor Josh Ottum was profiled by Jennifer Olague in Bakersfield Life Magazine last Saturday, talking about his career as a songwriter and creating the Commercial Music program at BC.

After years spent touring across the US and Europe as a musician and having his music featured on television programs such as “Mad Men”, Josh decided to become a music professor and bring out his students’ full musical potential with classes on recording techniques, live performance and songwriting at BC.

I’d like to thank the Californian for profiling Josh and the Commercial Music program, and I’d like to thank Josh for teaching valuable skills to our local musicians.

BC SGA event

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Cynthia Zimmer

Kern County prosecutor Cynthia Zimmer had lunch with BC students on Wednesday and discussed why she wants be the next person in charge of the District Attorney’s office.
BCSGA’s Office of Legislative Affairs hosted Zimmer as part of its Power Lunch series, which has featured prominent local politicians such as Jean Fuller, Vince Fong and KCCD Trustee Romeo Agbalog.

Zimmer grew up in Coalinga and was the first person in her family of four to graduate college. She credits her time at West Hills Community College as foundational to the rest of her career, which involved graduating from Cal State Bakersfield and Loyola Marymount Law School.

Students at the Power Lunch

Celebrating Renegade Athletics

CCCAA Spring Convention Awards

Last week was an exciting time in Renegade sports as two of our student athletes received awards from the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA). March 27-30th, the CCCAA held their Spring Convention in Concord, CA. They awarded Jasmit Thind with a position on the 2017 Men’s Honor Roll and awarded Aisha Maston with induction into the CCCAA Hall of Fame for Track & Field.

The CCCAA is authorized by State Legislature to establish rules and regulations to administer the athletic activities of CA community college athletics for nearly 25,000 men and women student athletes. Bakersfield College athletics are governed by CCCAA and is one of 18 members of the Western State Conference. You can learn all about Renegade Athletics at gogades.com.

image1I’d like to introduce you to Jasmit Thind. He was placed on the 2017 Men’s Scholar Athlete Honor Roll. CCCAA selects the winners and honor roll members from nominations made by CA Community Colleges. Candidates must have a minimum 3.5 GPA, participate in two seasons of sport at the college, and show outstanding leadership as an athlete, student or in college and/or community activities.

Jasmit, is a two year member of the BC football team with a cumulative 3.95 GPA. He is the Bakersfield College Men’s Athletic Scholar Athlete in 2017, as well as being selected to the California Community College Football Coaches Association All State team. Stig Jantz, Athletic Educational Advisor, accepted the award on his behalf. Congratulations Jasmit! I’m proud to call you a Renegade. See the CCCAA Scholar Athletes.

IMG_0181Now I’d like to introduce you to Aisha Maston, Bakersfield College Track & Field Alumna from ’96-97. Aisha was inducted into the CCCAA Hall of Fame Class of 2018. Aisha led the Renegades to the 1997 women’s track and field championship, holds four BC stadium records and still holds the CCCAA state championship record for most individual points. After Bakersfield College, Aisha earned a scholarship and transferred to the University of Nebraska where she studied and received her baccalaureate degree in psychology.

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Coach Pam Kelley was present for Aisha’s induction, along with her very proud family. Congratulations Aisha!You can read the announcement for the 2018 CCCAA Hall of Fame or see CCCAA Hall of Fame class of 2018.

Renegade Basketball Academy

Girls_BasketballBasketball coach, Paula Dahl enthusiastically shared that the Basketball Academy is starting this weekend for youth aged 10-18.

Various weekends have different areas of focus.

  • April 7- Footwork, agility, balance, creating a quick shot, increase your shooting percentage and post work
  • April 14 – Ball handling, passing, rebounding, seeing the floor and creating on offense
  • April 21 – Defense, defending one-on-one, taking charges, understanding help defense and dealing with screens
  • April 27  the complete game, mental, physical, goal setting, team defense and offense

To register, please email coach Paula at pdahl@bakersfieldcollege.edu.

Loved this video that Coach Dahl posted on Facebook

Parent Institute for Quality Education

The Parent Institute for Quality Education (PIQE) invited Bakersfield College to come speak to their participants at Arvin High School on April 5th. PIQE is a program dedicated to providing families the knowledge and skills to partner with schools and communities to ensure their children achieve their full potential. The parents take part in a nine-week long course that covers topics ranging from four systems of higher education, financial aid, and engaging with high school staff and administrators.

PIQE

Gustavo Enriquez, Jesse Oropeza, and Abel Guzman had the opportunity to speak with the parents for over an hour about all things Bakersfield College related and more. Parents learned about dual and concurrent enrollment opportunities. More importantly they learned that their students can get a head start towards attaining a college education. All three BC representatives shared their own personal journeys as first-generation college students, which resonated with the parents whose children are also all first-generation students.

We’re always happy to connect with students and parents in the community of Arvin!

Renegades Keeping Busy this Summer!

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I love when I hear student success stories and when faculty share their excitement with me. Congratulations to Martha D. who was accepted to The University of Virginia to do freshwater research this summer. This program is through the National Science Foundation and will last 11 weeks.  We have a fabulous science faculty.  #WeAreBC

Jimmy Santiago Baca

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Vidal Herrera (left) and Jimmy Santiago Baca answer questions in the Levan Center.

The Levan Center kicked off April’s National Poetry Month with a presentation by Jimmy Santiago Baca, who told the story of how he overcame being abandoned by his parents at the age of two and teaching himself to read and write in prison on the path to becoming one of America’s most celebrated Chicano poets.

Baca, who grew up in Santa Fe, New Mexico, won the National Book Award for poetry in 1987 for his semi-autobiographical anthology “Martin & Meditations on the South Valley”. He also wrote the screenplay for the 1993 film “Blood In, Blood Out” starring Benjamin Bratt and featuring performances by Billy Bob Thornton and Danny Trejo.
Baca continues to be inspired by the struggles of other Chicanos and Mexican-Americans in his writing. Baca recited one of his poems about a hate crime he witnessed against a Mexican in his neighborhood, and he told the story of how he was able to keep a family from being deported on a train he was taking to Los Angeles for a film production by calling Michael Eisner, Disney’s CEO at the time, and putting him on the phone with immigration authorities.

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Baca also invited Vidal Herrera, the subject of an upcoming book he’s writing, to talk about being one of the first Chicano forensic crime scene investigators in America, getting famous from designing the iconic “Welcome to East Los Angeles” poster, and reconnecting with his father after 60 years to put together the missing puzzle pieces of his family’s history.

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Baca has 28 books in 31 languages, and he believes that all of them are still in print because he strives to portray the authentic experiences of real people through his writing. “My love for you is why I’m still here,” Baca said.

See all the photos at BC’s SmugMug.

“Lady Leaders” program by faculty of WHAM

Activist women from across the political spectrum came together at the Levan Center on Thursday night to talk about how they work every day to create the change they’d like to see in the world. This event was the last thing planned for BC’s Women’s History Month programming organized by Roza Garza, Olivia Garcia and the Women’s History and More (WHAM) committee. BC history professor Erin Miller moderated the event, which featured a short presentation by each of the three speakers and a question-and-answer portion from the audience.

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Cathy Abernathy

Cathy Abernathy has worked on Republican election campaigns for over 30 years, starting with the congressional office of Gerald Ford, who was the Speaker of the House before becoming president after Richard Nixon’s resignation. She was the Chief of Staff for Bill Thomas during his time in Congress, and she’s worked on several Republican political campaigns in the California legislature. Aberathy, who is now a frequent political commentator for several local news stations, found working on election campaigns to be the most rewarding part of her career.
“In politics, you really know whether or not you accomplished something by the end of the campaign,” she said.

i-r27jc9h-x2Jessica Flores started volunteering for non-profit causes at a young age, and as she learned more about the struggles that women, people of color and other marginalized groups face in the United States and around the world, she felt a calling to dedicate her life to raising awareness of those struggles. As a progressive political activist, Flores often feels daunted by the magnitude of work that needs to be done in order to enact change, she continues to organize and participate in marches, write letters to politicians and do anything in her power to raise awareness of the issues important to her. “Whatever small way you can contribute, do so, because the revolution needs you,” Flores said.

i-jr9zvtn-x2Kimberly Kirchmer grew up in a religious household and attended a Mennonite college in the Midwest, where she was inspired by the compassion of pacifist Christians to pursue a life of advocating for women’s rights causes. A survivor of sexual assault, Kirchmer organized several local productions of the Vagina Monologues in Bakersfield shortly after moving her 13 years ago. She is also President of the Democratic Women of Kern and organized the 2018 Kern County Women’s March, which brought together over 5,000 people and 50 speakers to march for equality.  Kirchmer offered a similar message to Flores, pleading for those who want to make an impact on the world around them to go ahead and do it.

Special thank you to the WHAM committee for organizing this event and all of the Women’s History Month programming and thank you to our guests for taking the time to inspire our students.

Andrew Kamiti

Andrew Kamiti shares his artistic processThanks to the generous support of the Norman Levan Center for the Humanities, anthropology professor Krista Moreland was able to bring renown Kenyan artist Andrew Kamiti to Bakersfield College’s Indoor Theater on April 5th.

She’s hoping to bring more guest speakers to campus in the future, making BC a local and global nexus. Andrew paints and draws Kenya’s flora and fauna, using art to bring awareness to these beautiful and endangered plants and animals. BC students and members of the community  came out to see this self-taught artist, and it was a wonderful night! Before the presentation, the Spanish club and their advisor Prof. Martiza  Salgueiro-Carlisle hosted a pizza party for Andrew.

Andrew and BC student Myshjuan Williams

Andrew Kamiti and Renegade, Myshjuan Williams

This cultural exchange was a great experiences for BC students,  who shared American and Mexican culture with Andrew, and asked him questions about the tribes and cultures of Kenya. There was a lot of laughing, lot of eating, and a lot of about family, school, food, and travel.  The BC students who wish to visit Africa had lots of questions for Andrew.  BC faculty were also at this multicultural event, including Sarah Palasch, David Neville, and Gilbert Ayuk. It’s great to see students and faculty together outside of the classroom!

Andrew Kamiti Spanish club

In his presentation Andrew transported the audience to Kenya through images, videos, and personal stories. His passion for Kenya’s wildlife could be seen in his art and heard in his voice as he shared stories about his homeland. He knows his art subjects so well, like Judy the Chimp and Imani the cheetah. His favorites is Scarface the lion, who he feels  represents the spirit of Kenya as he experienced many hardships before finding peace within the pride he shares with his brother Earless. One of Andrew’s favorites things about Kenya today is that it’s such a peaceful place to live, the hardships endured before Kenya’s independence are now a faded memory. He couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. He shared the beauty of Kenya through discussing the National Parks he regularly visits, and his current goal of drawing all the big cats at Maasai Mara National Park.

The audience learned about the natural wonders of Kenya, and by the end everyone was discussing which was their favorite animal. Andrew also discussed his artistic process, highlighted with slides that showed photographs of animals along with the stages of the drawings of those animals.  The audience was able to see how fragile Kenya’s beauty is when Andrew shared photos of Sudan, the last male Northern white rhino, whose recent passing marks the end of his species. It was an entertaining and enlightening presentation that ended with many interesting questions from the audience on the technical aspects of his work, including what media and paper he uses, how he photographs dangerous animals, how he chooses his subjects, and which animals are the most difficult to draw.

The best question of the night came from Prof. David Neville’s young daughter (and aspiring artist), who asked ‘How do you feel when you’re drawing?’ Andrew gave a big smile as he answered, ‘Happy. I feel happy when I draw’.

Here is a photo of them. Can you see why I’m the luckiest and happiest college president ever?

Andrew Kamiti and David Neville's daughter

David Neville’s daughter and Andrew Kamiti

Renegade Art Show

Art Professor, Diego Gutierrez Monterrubio and his students hold an art show each spring. This beautiful display is put on by the drawing and advanced drawing classes in front of the Fine Arts building. Enjoy these beautiful pictures.  

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Can you see why I’m the luckiest and happiest college president ever?

 

Fun Photos

On Thursday, Sue Vaughn was spotted in the Welcome Center assisting students with registering for classes. #WeareBC!

Sue Vaughn in the Welcome Center

Sue Vaughn in the Welcome Center

I also snapped this photo of the Executive Office Staff. These women are smart, hard working, and so beautiful.

BC's Executive Office Staff Somaly, Tarina, Jennifer, June and Wendy

BC’s Executive Office Staff Somaly, Tarina, Jennifer, June and Wendy

Attended the KCCD Leadership Academy graduation on Friday before I rushed off the Delano.  Here is the group picture of the graduates thanks to John Hart and then I snapped this picture of Genevieve Graber who makes all this happen.

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Genevieve Graber April 6 2018

Liz Rozell and I had a great time making plans for an Early College Program with DJUHSD Superintendent Terri Nuckols.  The energy on the room was great even though it was Friday afternoon after a long week.  I snapped this picture.

Terri Nuckol, Liz Rozell, Matt Carter, Jason Garcia April 6 2018.jpg

Renegade Pantry

ABC23 spotlighted the Renegade Pantry this week, a student assistance program that exists to help maintain the health and welfare of students through organized college, community sponsorship, and donations of nonperishable food, clothing and hygiene items. Special thank you to Tori Cooper for visiting campus to see what we do firsthand.

View the clip here:  https://www.turnto23.com/news/local-news/kern-county-institutions-help-battle-food-insecurity 

Renegade Talks are back

See you at the Indoor Theater on March 10th.  Thank you Andrea Thorson and Todd Coston.

https://www.facebook.com/events/2142196916023725/

 

April 7 2018 Sonya Christian and Neo

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

BC Celebrating Black History Month. We Are BC!

Good morning Bakersfield!

Could not wake up this morning when my alarm went off after a looong, hectic and fun filled week at Bakersfield College.  But then, as Jennifer Marden would say,  this is how we roll at BC.

Thank you Steve Watkin for putting together a robust series of events for Black History Month. #WeAreBC

Sonya Christian and Steve Watkin Feb 9 2018

Warning, this is going to be a long blog…but remember it is only the tip of the iceberg of what goes on at this college that serves over 31,000 students at campus on Panorama, and at locations in Delano, Wasco, McFarland, Shafter, Arvin, Lamont and now, in southwest Bakersfield at the corner of Stockdale and Buena Vista.

Yes, We Are BC!
And we are your college!

Before I get into the Bakersfield College activities, I want to recognize the passing of the husband of a dear friend Cathy Abernathy.  Mark Abernathy has been a public figure in this community for a long time and this piece by James Burger in the Jan 29th Californian gives us a glimpse of his life.  https://tinyurl.com/ycpxjy3r

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Dr. Michael Eric Dyson at Bakersfield College

A major highlight for the week was having author, Dr. Michael Eric Dyson on campus for a jam packed Thursday at BC.  hosting four events on the campus to talk about racial inequality and the ongoing journey for restorative justice in African-American communities.

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Dr. Dyson at BC’s Indoor Theater

Dyson, a sociology professor at Georgetown University, an author of 19 books, a radio show host, and a frequent guest on several nationally-broadcast political roundtable shows, addressed a packed Indoor Theater on Thursday night to talk about the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King and his influence on African-American leadership in the 21st Century.

i-jnmw4xp-x4Although Dr. King never ran for elected office, Dyson argues, his gift for motivating others through rhetoric and his great vision for what America could be, he enabled that vision to come slightly closer to reality.

“All [Dr. King] asked for was for America to be what is said it was on paper,” Dyson said. While talking about the riots and police brutality of the ’60s that created the civil rights movement, Dyson emphasized that King sought to take on the structural biases that held all marginalized people back, and that for Dr. King’s work to continue, we must also fight against sexism and homophobia in order to fight back against racism.

Dyson packed the Fireside Room to capacity for the two open-discussion forums on latest book “Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America”, as well as a question and answer session with Paula Parks and the students in BC’s Umoja community.

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Dr. Paula Parks and Dr. Dyson

During the book discussions, Dyson kept the conversation focused on the contemporary debate about police brutality, cultural appropriation of black artists, kneeling for the National Anthem and how to engage in dialogue about racial issues with people who aren’t able to relate to the struggles facing African-Americans and might be resistant to the message.

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Inspired by his 2016 New York Times op-ed titled “Death in Black and White,” “Tears We Cannot Stop” is about the need for an honest, unrestrained dialogue about race that doesn’t pull punches about the hardships marginalized groups have had to endure in order to carve out their place within the American Dream.

Between the open forum discussions on “Tears We Cannot Stop”, Dyson sat down for an interview with Paula Parks and the students in our Umoja Community to talk about how predominately-white educational institutions have evolved to incorporate and empathize with students from marginalized groups, as well as Dyson’s inspiration to continue writing and giving his perspective over the past 30 years.

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Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg and Zav Dadabhoy at Dr. Dyson. Love this picture.

“I write to save my life and the lives of others, and sometimes for the dynamic privilege of saying something well,” Dyson said. “I believe in explaining stuff to white people.” Dyson’s tone was very humorous despite talking about the serious issues plaguing the African-American community today. Dyson was one of the first academics to examine the literary themes of hip-hop music, and he often spoke of the intergenerational struggles expressed through African-American music.

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BC’s Choir performed before Dr. Dysons evening performance

Through the candid, authentic persona and fiery oration, Dyson has redefined what a public intellectual can be. Thank you to the partnership of the Office of Student Life’s Distinguished Speaker Series and the Cerro Author program for bringing Dr. Dyson to BC.

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Dr. Dyson with OSL and Student Life

Manny DeLosSantos found Ralph Bailey in attendance for the evening presentation.

Manny DeLosSantos and Ralph Bailey

Manny DeLosSantos and Ralph Bailey

And Earl Parsons spotted Dr. Jackie Fisher, alumnus, former faculty, former Dean and retired president of Antelope Valley College.

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Dr. Jackie Fisher visiting Bakersfield College

Danyel Owens snapped this photo of the the overflow in the Fireside Room. It’s great to see the community coming out to events such as this.

Fireside Room during presentation by Dr. Dyson

Fireside Room during presentation by Dr. Dyson

#WeAreBC

Revitalizing the Campus thought Measure J.  Thank you Kern County!

Since the passing of Measure J in November of 2016 by a 65% vote by the Bakersfield community, BC has partnered with  AECOM-Parsons to plan for the major renovation and expansion of Bakersfield College’s campuses, including the Delano-Timmons campus and the much anticipated Arvin campus. AECOM, a company that has worked with many educational institutions, together with Parsons, who has been working on the Thomas Roads Improvement Project for the last decade, are working together with BC faculty and leadership to update our Facilities Master Plan based on our needs.

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The presentation, led by Todd Coston pointed out that we are still in the planning stages and since “a plan is a plan,” we can expect changes to come as we get further into the details of architecture and construction. AECOM-Parsons has worked diligently to maximize the square footage of renovations and construction of buildings in the shortest amount of time to maximize our dollars. They are considering our needs, what exists, and where savings can be made. AECOM has also partnered with the Department of State Architecture (DSA) for a more efficient and faster way for construction approval and they are using BC Measure J Facilities Master Plan renovations and construction as part of a pilot program to implement construction in a fast pace.

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Nick Strobel in the audience alongside Aricia Leighton

Leveraging funds from Measure G and the state with Measure J funding, the plan is to renovate approximately 224,000 square feet and construct 266,000 square feet of new buildings over the next 6 years. The Veterans Resource Center is in the design phase and we look forward to breaking ground soon. AECOM-Parsons and BC are working on strategies for effectively accomplishing the master plan, such as planning the construction sequence being mindful of swing space, when construction goes to market locally, construction staging areas and rerouting of traffic while minimally impacting our students.

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Sonya Christian and Romeo Agbalog

Sonya Christian and Trustee Romeo Agbalog

Todd Coston was our entertaining and eloquent emcee and did a wonderful visualization of taking a “stroll into 2024” as a new student on the new Panorama campus without having the actual details of what the architecture will look like in the future. Thank you Trustee Bill Thomas for supporting Measure J, helping bring it to fruition, continuing your support, and attending our update. Thank you Trustee Romeo Agbalog for attending the update and supporting the needs of our rural campuses. I want to thank Trustee Kay Meek and Chancellor Tom Burke for being a part of this work, although they were unable to attend. I would also like to thank the AECOM-Parsons team, Scott Preston, Jill Kurth, and Yvonne Hidle.

During the afternoon, Trustee Thomas brought up an interesting fact regarding the proposed “New Entry for Campus off Panorama” was actually the original entry when the campus was first built in the 1950’s. Knowing our history is very important in planning our future. Looking ahead, as we improve the facilities, we are striving to not only accommodate our needs now, but anticipate our needs in the future.

Bringing BC to Arvin #BCArvin

Arvin and BC Leadership

We know how much education can affect a family,” said Abel Guzman, BC Director of Rural Initiatives. “Imagine how much a college can affect a city.”  After the presentation on the Panorama campus, a team from BC, together with Arvin Mayor Jose Gurrola shared details and plans for the BC center in Arvin at the Veteran’s Hall.

Bill Potter in Arvin

Bill Potter presenting in Arvin, CA

 

Jose Gurrola, Sonya Christian, Future Rengades

Jose Gurrola, Sonya Christian, and future Arvin Renegades

It was exciting to provide the community an opportunity to hear the plans for the new BC Arvin Facility and give them a platform to voice their expectations for the campus. Facilitated by Director of Rural Initiatives, Abel Guzman, community Leaders from every level including Mayor Jose Gurrola, City Manager Al Noyola, and Arvin Chief of Police Jerry Breckinridge, came out in support.

Abel Guzman, Director of Rural Initiaives talked about the programming BC has brought to Arvin the last four years.  Thank you Supervisor Leticia Perez for $400K to increase educational attainment rates in this community thought the Game Changer program.  Thank you Mike Turnipseed and Superintendent Bryon Schaefer.

Enrollments last year topped 1000.  Can’t wait to see the numbers for 2017-2018.

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Trustee Bill Thomas told the audience that BC in Arvin is a “promise kept,” while Bill Potter, was able to paint a visual of the campus for the audience. 40-50 attendees were present including former chancellor and Arvin resident Jim Young, BC Adjunct faculty Amalia Ojeda, Dean Richard McCrow and BC Rural Initiatives Program Management team Raquel Lopez, Gustavo Enriquez, Endee Grijalva, and Jaime Lopez. Director Abel Guzman ended the forum with a reminder that BC in Arvin is like adding to the Arvin sense of “familia” in the community and has been and will continue to be a constant presence.

harold-pierce Feb 5 2018 Measure J draft plan roll outThank you Harold Pierce

Thank you also to Harold Pierce from the Californian for your articles.

The Bakersfield Californian is a local treasure and has a remarkable history. This newspaper has withstood a revolutionized industry, new technologies, and serves an expanding community that continues to grow, yet at the same time, it has kept that traditional “hometown content” that we’ve come to love.  A salute to the Californian and all its reporters.

Talking about Harold Pierce, I have been impressed with his coverage of Valley Fever and the efforts by our political leaders in Sacramento — Rudy Salas, Jean Fuller, Vince Fong.  See his piece in today’s Californian https://tinyurl.com/ya5wal63

 

A Wonderful Visit to Lost Hills

The Wonderful Company recently extended an invitation to BC leadership to engage in discussion to investigate possibilities to make local higher education a reality for the residents of Lost Hills. As you may know, Bakersfield College continues our commitment to serve neighboring rural communities by providing access to higher education.

Wonderful Tour Group Photo

Our morning began by visiting the various school sites in Lost Hills and seeing the college students of tomorrow beginning their educational journey on the right step.

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The Learning Garden was one of our favorite stops and the children there are growing both delicate herbs and hearty veggies such as cauliflower and broccoli.

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After visiting the school sites of Wonderful College Prep Academy, Wonderful Preschool, and the future permanent site of Wonderful College Prep Academy, the group visited Wonderful Park and Community Center in Lost Hills for a brainstorming lunch and discussion.  The Wonderful Company takes wellness seriously, just like BC and the lunch they provided was fresh and delicious.

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Beautiful lunch of salads, cauliflower rice, and salmon

Thank you to Trustee Romeo Agbalog and Lynda Resnick for joining the leadership from BC, and leadership from Wonderful Education and The Wonderful Company.

 

 

 

I look forward to more discussion and planning to bring college closer to home for the residents of Lost Hills.

 

You should check out David Brook’s piece in the NYTimes in 2016 on lost Hills and Lynda Resnick

Julian West Community Voices

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

It brought a smile to my face on Friday morning when I saw Julians piece published in the paper. This inspiring and informative piece is an incredible piece of writing that shares a glimpse of the work taking place at BC. Julian writes, “To be effective in accomplishing equitable transformation, we address issues beyond what we see in the classroom. Scholastic results, or lack thereof, are rooted in issues students face outside the classroom. At BC, we address these issues in our African American Mentoring Program (AAMP) meetings during a component we call “Real Talk.” Real Talk is the facilitation of honest conversations, “Truth-telling conversations.” Sometimes that involves unpacking very complex issues such as masculinity. What does it really mean to be a man? What does it really mean to be a black man?”  See the whole article here.

And in case you missed Julians presentation on Opening Day:

Student Challenge

Speaking of student success… Jamie Garza, a sophomore in our Radiologic Technology program, won second place in the Student Challenge at a Radiologic Technology Educators’ Conference in Las Vegas. He was the only California community college student to place in the top three awards for the challenge, held at the 43rd annual Conference of the Association of Collegiate Educators in Radiologic Technology (ACERT). Over 500 students were in attendance for the conference, which holds a sample mock registry exam called the Student Challenge to prepare students for the licensure certification exam in radiologic technology.

Radiologic Technology Students that participated in the challenge

Jamie Garza (holding certificate), myself (directly behind her to the right and the other 8 Radiologic Technology Students that participated in the challenge

Garza was one of the nine BC students who attended the conference with four other faculty members from BC, and she was awarded a certificate of recognition and a monetary award for her efforts. Jamie is scheduled to graduate this May with her Associate of Science degree, and plans on taking the licensure exam and seeking employment in Radiologic Technology immediately after Commencement, according to our Radiologic Technology Director Nancy Perkins.

Lydia Ranger, Monty Byrom, BC Chamber Singers …Buy your ticket now

As I mentioned each week the last two weeks, I am personally involved in helping sell tickets to the benefit concert on March 10th at 7:30 p.m.  Tickets are $100 each to help our students go to Australia.  Email me now or call the BC Foundation for your tickets.  We have to sell 231 more tickets.

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Financial Aid Awareness Month Kicks Off

Did you know February is Financial Aid Awareness month? The Office of Financial Aid held a special kick-off event in the Renegade Crossroads on Monday with financial aid technicians teaching our students how to get a head start on their FAFSA paperwork for next semester. This year’s kick-off event had a NASCAR theme, with technicians passing out pizza and distributing information behind a checkerboard flag. There were also booths with specialized information for veterans and DREAMers to apply, and the BC drumline performed to kick off the morning’s festivities.

While the deadline for students to apply for a Federal Student Aid identification number (FSA ID) and complete the Free Application for Financial Student Aid (FAFSA) is June 30th for the 2018-19 academic year, according to Financial Aid Assistant Adriana Vega, it’s important for students to get their information processed as soon as possible so that our pit crew at the Financial Aid office can deal with any complications that may arise. We want all of our students to be able to sprint ahead with their application as soon as the green flag of the Fall 2018 semester is waved. We are encouraging students to apply for aid before March 2nd, the priority filing deadline and the deadline for Cal Grant consideration for the 2018-19 academic year.

The Office of Financial Aid is working on streamlining the processing of awards for next year and digitizing financial aid forms for easier access to students while reducing the carbon footprint and storage space necessary for paper applications, Vega said.

Thank you to Kevin Ott, Vanesa De La Madrid, Gina Hunter, Heather Skibinski, Mark Llanes, Adriana Vega, Lucy Perez-Dykes, Evette Lara, Victoria Koiyan, Walter Rivas, Rebecca Bumpous, Connie Garza-Singh, Valerie Mackey, Pedro Ramirez, and the various departments who contributed to the resource fair:
From EOP&S: Bobby Baylon, Bradley Parrot and Jessica Cortez.
From DSPS: Rudy Gutierrez, Denise Crawford, and Diane Allen.

Student Employment: Vicki Coffee and Beth Harrison.

African American Community Leadership Breakfast

The campus activities for Black History Month also continue and on Wednesday morning, African American leaders in our community gathered in the Fireside Room. The morning was an opportunity to connect, discuss student success and initiatives that are making a difference.

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It was great to hear from Tommy Tunson as he shared a story of visiting Palm Springs and meeting Rosa Parks. Chelsea Esquibias, Danny Morrison, Julian West, and Rayven Acosta-Webb also presented about the Inmate Scholars Program and all the incredible transformation brought about because of the opportunity to obtain an education.

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June Charles and Michael Bowers

 

And thank you Michael Bowers for your continued support of Bakersfield College.  You introduced me to some stellar members of our community during the campaign for Measure J.

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Michelle Hart at our Delano Campus shared with me this photo and said,

We had 26 students attend! They laughed, were engaged throughout, and were super appreciative of being given the opportunity to “attend” the event! In fact, afterward, Anhelica Perez, SGA Delano Campus Programmer, Elisabeth Sundby, Delano Campus Librarian, and I were able to have brief conversations with them about the issues discussed and about offering more events like these in the future.

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Welcoming Mr. Finzel in Delano

U.S. Congressman David Valadao’s field representative, Perry Finzel, reached out to Gustavo Enriquez hoping to learn more about the Delano campus. On Wednesday, February 7th, Delano staff had the pleasure of providing a tour and updating Perry Finzel on all of our rural initiatives. He was truly impressed with all of the work happening in the rural areas.

U.S. Congressman David Valadao is the Representative for California’s 21st District which includes Kings County, western Fresno County, southwestern Tulare county, and northwestern Kern county, including Delano. The Congressman is a proponent of education and supporter of Career Technical Education legislation. Thank you Gustavo for welcoming the Congressman’s field representative.

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Perry Finzel and Gustavo Enriquez

Agriculture Career Exploration Day

The BC cafeteria was brimming with Future Farmers of America Friday morning for the Agriculture Career Exploration Day. Around 200 excited students from local high schools with an interest in a future in agriculture attended this first Career Day focused on Agriculture at Bakersfield College.

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Jeff Rasmussen and Corny Rodriguez

Jeff Rasmussen and Corny Rodriguez

This event was made possible by the Kern County Farm Bureau, Kern High School District and the many industry partners including JG Boswell, Sunview Vineyards, Syngenta, Grimmway Farms, Cargill-Nutrena and Wonderful Farms. It was Jeff Rasmussen, past president of the Kern County Farm Bureau, BC alumnus and great friend and supporter of agriculture education, who first approached me about having this event. I’m happy to say that we were able to come together and have this first of many career days for Ag.

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Ag faculty Feb 9 2018 Photo by Mary Jo Pasek

Thank you Jeff for coming to me with this wonderful idea. I want to give a special thank you to BC faculty Heather Baltis for taking the lead in putting this event together.  Thank you to all of the Ag department that were involved with this event: Corny Rodriguez, Matt Riley, Lindsay Ono, Dr. Greg Cluff, Department Chair, Dr. Jim Selgrath, Catherine Jones, Leann Riley, Bill Kelly, Billy Barnes, Dr. James McEnroe, Chris McCraw, and Sally Sterns. Thank you Eric Sabella and food services staff for providing the delicious food and Mary Jo Pasek for arranging and coordinating the event locations. And last, but not least, thank you Ralph Mendes, Kern High School District Ag Coordinator, for all of your work in making the event happen from the high school side.

Rudy Salas

Assemblymember Rudy Salas speaking at BC

We were delighted to have special guest Assemblymember Rudy Salas, District 32, join us and encourage the students to let him know if BC didn’t show “how Ag is cool.” Assemblymember Salas led the charge in saving agriculture education and was instrumental in bringing back programs in schools when the government removed FFA. The state is now investing millions in Ag education.

Jeff Rasmussen told an engaging parable about a water bearer trying to cheer up his cracked pot by showing the pot the wonderful flowers that grew along the pathway he walked every day to bring water back to his masters house. He told the students that we all have cracks, that we may not see the benefits of our cracks, and we may need a water bearer to show us the benefits. For him, Bill Kelley was a water bearer. Bill encouraged him when he was having problems with math and English and convinced him that he could transfer to Cal-Poly, where he earned a degree in Ornamental Horticulture. Bill helped him see his pathway.

 

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Mike Riel, Grimmway Farms

Did you know that careers in Ag are growing? Because of feedback from the Ag industry and the high schools, we realized that the demand for education that leads to jobs in these industries is important. This resulted in BC’s Ag department doubling over the last few years.

This Agriculture Career Exploration Day is so impactful on our future students. It gives them the opportunity to meet the water bearers of Ag Mechanics, Plant Science, Agribusiness, Forestry and Animal Science to help them down the Ag pathway. After all, we are an agricultural community and education is the key to sustaining the future of agriculture and a strong economy in our community.

Manny at the Ag Expo

Manny DeLosSantos hanging out

Industrial Automation

Clovis Community College has launched a new short-term course in Mechatronics to prepare its students for a career in industrial automation, according to a report by YourCentralValley.com.

Clovis professor Matthew Graff has been working closely with the Central Valley’s Strong Workforce Consortium on Industrial Automation, of which BC is a part, to develop the course, which teaches students about manufacturing and agricultural automation technologies.

For the last few years, BC has been leading the way on industrial automation programs at community colleges, with our first baccalaureate class in Industrial Automation getting the chance to walk across the stage and graduate this May, and it’s exciting to see other community colleges in our area developing curricula that will meet the growing demand for industrial automation professionals in San Joaquin.

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KC Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Gala

KCHCC Group PhotoIt was a wonderful evening of familiar community faces and much deserved recognition as the Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, a longtime Bakersfield College supporter, recently honored 7 local leaders and businesses that are making a difference in our town. California State University Bakersfield President Dr. Horace Mitchell who retires in June was among the honorees. He received the businessman of the year award, and in giving his speech, he credited educational success to various institutions — corporations, schools, and business chambers — working together as partners in community excellence.  “It’s all about all of us working together in improving our community,” he shared with the audience. Thank you, Horace, for highlighting the power of education and its lasting, positive impact on our community.

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Other honorees from the evening were: Pam Alvarez of Beautiful You Medical Aesthetics as business woman of the year; Beverly Camp of Catholic Diocese of Fresno Charities as community service of the year; Trans-West Security, Inc., as corporation of the year; Luis Aguilar who recently retired from his longtime business, El Pueblo restaurant in Lamont, as large business of the year; Godinez Law as small business of the year; and Patriots of Kern, led by Dick Taylor, as nonprofit of the year. Even more special for Bakersfield College was that three of our very own were installed as officers to this year’s Hispanic chamber board and its foundation.

History Professor Olivia Garcia was appointed to the Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce executive board of directors. Dean of Instruction Cornelio “Corny” Rodriguez and Lisa Kent, Equity Program Manager, were both named to serve on the Hispanic Chamber’s Business Education Foundation. Kudos also goes to Chevron’s Adam Alvidrez who was honored as the returning chair of the Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce board. Thank you, Adam, Chevron, Jay Tamsi and the Hispanic chamber for your continued support of BC and the Energy Academy.

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Jesse Oropeza, Olivia Garcia, Endee Grijalva, Octavio Barajas, Heather Pennella, and Lisa Kent

The event was indeed a sellout, and familiar faces were many, including Mayor Karen Goh, Assembly members Vince Fong and Rudy Salas, Senator Andy Vidak, Chair of the Board Supervisor Mike Maggard, Bakersfield Council members Andrae Gonzales and Chris Parlier, and Delano City Councilwoman Liz Morris, along with newcomers, such as Clinica Sierra Vista’s Brian Harris and his wife, Gisela, among many others. Brian began as the new CEO of Clinica on Jan. 29, replacing its founder and longtime CEO, the much-respected Stephen Schilling.

Second Annual Pathway to Success Conference.

The second annual Pathway to Success Conference took place yesterday for students with less than a “Good” Academic Standing. The conference was full of facts on how your Academic Standing can affect your financial aid, steps to take to get back to Good Standing, and tools to help you be successful here at BC.

Grace Commiso and Tanner Dyrness

Grace Commiso and Tanner Dyrness

Grace Commiso kicked off the event with an enlightening  presentation that was well received. She said, “Get Connected! The more you communicate with your professor, classmates, and advisers, the more successful you will be in class.”

She also relayed to us, that we all need to find our Why?! Finding out the ‘why you are here’ will help inspire you to get good grades and stay involved. She shared with students that it took her a few years to find her why, but when she did, she was able to thrive in academia and was able to become who she is today.

Tanner Dyrness, Mary Jo Pasek, Michael McClenic

Tanner Dyrness, Mary Jo Pasek, Michael McClenic, and Fabiola Johnson

Presenting for Assemblyman Vince Fong was field Representative Tanner Dyrness. He also shared with us that he too, had trouble finding his “why,” but when he finally figured it out, he knew his destiny was being in politics. Mr. Dyrness also presented a Certificate of Recognition to Bakersfield Collage on behalf of the State of California.

AwardBC

I would to give a special thank you to Fabiola Johnson for her amazing presentation and all her hard work. Thank you to Dr. Michael McClenic and Grace Commiso for hosting the Second annual Pathway to Success Conference.

Clarifying Paths from BC to CSUB

This week, approximately 70 CSUB and BC faculty and leaders gathered in BC’s Huddle to create 4-year default pathways for each degree. During the morning, the group compared coursework and aligned the classes. Our goal is to have a validated 4-year pathway for each of our ADTs in the next college catalog and a big event to come at CSUB announcing the created pathways.

We know that by working together, we can increase completion rates for all of our students and get them guarantees for transferring their course work. Thank you to Shawn Whalen from College Futures Foundation for announcing a grant to continue our work on transfer alignment. And thank you to the admin team from CSUB including Jacqueline Mimms and Vernon Harper.

4 Renegade Football Players Sign to Play at the Next Level

Wednesday was National Signing Day and four Bakerfield College football players signed to play at the next level.  Tyrrel Eddington, Jeffrey Jones and Ernest Harris signed to play at the Division I level while Cristion Brown signed to play at the Division II level.  

Tyrrell Eddington will be playing at Eastern Michigan University (Mid-American Conference), Jeffrey Jones will be playing at The University New Mexico (Mountain West Conference), Ernest Harris will be playing at Sam Houton State (Southland Conference) and Cristion Brown will be playing at Fort Lewis College (Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference).
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Renegade Basketball

The BC women’s basketball team (10-13, 4-2) used a balanced attack to defeat Santa Monica last night.  Four Renegades scored in double-figures, led by Jasmyn Rodriguez with 20 points.  Brianna Mendez added 14 points and 8 rebounds, while Bianca Zamora chipped in 12 points.  Angie Kroeger recorded here 5th double-double of the season.

The Renegades will be on the road Saturday when they travel to West LA for a 1:00 PM tip-off.

The Bakersfield College men’s basketball team (13-11, 4-2) defeated Santa Monica 81-53 on Wednesday night.  Jaylunn English led the Renegades with 29 points.  Henry Galinato added 17 pooint and Johnathan Murray scored 15 points and had 10 assists.  

BC at Garden Pathways

Garden Pathways Billie Jo Rice, Karen Goh, Liz Rozell, Grace Commisso, Endee Grijalva

Billie Jo Rice, Mayor Karen Goh, Liz Rozell, Grace Commiso, Endee Grijalva

Heart of the Country_Social_TextThe Garden Pathways “Heart of the Country” event held Thursday and we saw people from every part of the community in support of the amazing organization and the people it serves.

Bakersfield College was proud “Arbuckle Sponsors” with Liz Rozell, Bill Jo Rice, Grace Commiso and Endee Grijalva in attendance representing BC.

Highlights included Invocation by the honorable Mayor and Garden Pathways President Karen Goh, Program Graduate Awards/ Recognition, live entertainment and of course, KGET-TV 17’s Maddie Janssen as the MC for the evening.

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On Thursday, Lesley Bonds and I headed out to LA for the Accreditation Evaluation Team Training.  There were six teams heading out in March to six different colleges that are up for their accreditation comprehensive site visit.  And guess what….. all six teams had a BC person on it.  How cool is that.  BC is everywhere in our community, in our state, in our region.  In the photo below – Bill Moseley, Jessica Wojtysiak, Janet Fulks, Lesley Bonds and me.  We did not see Don Chrusciel at that time and therefore we were not able to get him into the photo.

BC at ACCJC Team Training

And thank you Mary Jo Pasek for all that you do to support and bring these great events to Bakersfield College.

Mary Jo and Tom Pasek Aug 2 2016

 

#WeAreBC

 

Feb 10 2018 Neo Live Laugh Love

Sonya Christian Feb 7 2018

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Live, Love, Ohana, Aloha!

Good morning Bakersfield. It is Saturday, July 29th and this week was a great week to be  Renegade.  

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Waikiki

I traveled to Hawaii for a few days, experiencing the Aloha spirit and a sense of Ohana (family) that reminded me what a great place it is that we work and live. Bakersfield, a community that takes care of you.

 

 

 

 

Photos at the Oahu airport.  Arriving and then leaving.

Close your eyes and listen to Iz perform Somewhere Over the Rainbow and feel the cool ocean breeze on your face and in your hair.

 

As I walked the miles along the shores early each morning, I was thinking about all the people at Bakersfield College, the city of Bakersfield and the county of Kern and felt fortunate to be living my life among folks who have an adventurous spirit, boundless talent, a love for their place, and a caring heart for their neighbor.

Mick Gleason said it best in his State of the County address on January 27, 2016

Mick_GleasonWe are not defined by the price of a barrel of oil, or how much rain falls from the sky, but rather by the character of the people who live here. We have achieved great things in the past, and we are going to do amazing things in the future. As long as we continue to
embrace the pioneering spirit of those who made Kern County’s first 150 years so
successful, I am certain that our next 150 will shine even brighter…….
Kern County, be proud of who you are, but not boastful. Be bold in your dreams and your
decisions, but not rash. And whatever you do, be fearless in your resolve.

Kern County, this is for you.  Bakersfield, this is for you.  Bakersfield College, this is for you….today’s blog titled Live, Love, Ohana, Aloha.

Marina July 25 2017

The Marina at Waikiki July 25, 2017

Sunset July 25 2017

Sunset through the clouds, Waikiki Marina July 2017

Diamond Head

 

Diamond Head in Hawaii

Photo: Smartdestinations.com

Commonly known as Diamond Head, but officially named Mt. Leahi, this incredibly beautiful spot is one of Hawaii’s (and the world’s) most famous volcanic craters. Smartdestinations.com says, “At the top of the 760-foot summit, you’ll behold breath-taking panoramic views of Waikiki and the rest of the South Shore.” And travel guides always suggest that this early morning hike is always well worth it.  I started the hike at 6:45 a.m. and would recommend to you to start it at 6:00 a.m. right when they open.  And since Hawaii is three hours behind California, 6:00 a.m. is not all that early.

I have hiked Diamond Head several times, the first being with my dad Paul Christian who passed away in 2006.  An amazing human being with a big laugh.  Here is the picture from many moons ago on Diamond Head.

Sonya and Dad in Hawaii cropped rotated

Paul Christian, Sonya Christian

Life Is Not Measured By the Number of Breaths We Take,
But By the Moments That Take Our Breath Away

Hiking up Diamond Head July 27 2017

View hiking up Diamond Head.  July 27, 2017

 

View from Diamond Head July 27 2017

Top of Diamond Head.  July 27, 2017

Talking about volcanoes and Diamond Head made me think of the Geology and Earth Sciences faculty back home at Bakersfield College. Understanding the materials that make up the earth and the expansive world we live in, minerals, rock types, the earth’s surface and its unique regional qualities and features.

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Kern River Formation from Mike Oldershaws Faculty Page

I remember when I was a faculty member, and Robert Schiffman was the lead faculty in geology. And this upcoming year, one of the new 55 faculty joining BC is in Geology. Our region is the ideal learning environment for students in geology. There are unique local geological features such as the Kern River formation on the way to Hart Park, Red Rock Canyon, and Soda Lake in southeastern San Luis Obispo County.

 

Kern_River_on_Twitter

While mentioning the Kern River, have you seen the drone footage posted by The Bakersfield Californian? I mentioned it on Twitter and It’s an absolutely stunning video. Check it out here.

BC also has the Geology Club, a student organization aimed to create a community outside the classroom for STEM and non-STEM students who are passionate about Geological, Natural/Earth and Environmental Sciences, as well as Anthropology, Archeology, and Astronomy. Members participate in group discussions and hands-on experience through field trips and have great opportunities such as scholarships and internships. #WeAreBC

Manoa Falls

I had never hiked Manoa Falls in all my visits to Oahu.  What a gorgeous hike through rain forests.  Definitely a must when you visit Honolulu.

Manoa Falls 1

Manoa Falls 2

Manoa Falla 3

Here is a cute 14-second video of President Obama visiting Manoa Falls.

BC faculty are always proud of their students

Debbie Rosenthal

Deborah Rosenthal

Speaking of students gaining experience through opportunity… Chemistry Faculty, Deborah Rosenthal recently was bragging about one of her students “my joy is in my student’s success” and I loved the story about Baldeep Sandhu – a BC student who has had two internships this summer.  You see my dear students, BC faculty are so focused on your success.  They are always watching out for opportunities for you.  They watch with pride as you succeed.

The first, with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the other with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). In both internships, Baldeep worked with professional engineers on projects that affect the community such as water well system, irrigation systems, reservoir liners, and maintenance assessment projects. With BLM, he said, “we went out on the field a lot and got to see many cool locations. One picture is me taking a lunch break on the edge of a cliff and the other is in a little oasis deep in public land.”

Baldeep will be back at BC for one more year to finish his engineering courses. He has applied for internships to gain experience and says because of this summer, he now has a stronger resume going forward. It’s so great to see BC students thriving in a great learning environment that our faculty and staff provide for them.  #WeAreBC

 

 

 

 

Pearl Harbor

December 7, 1941 is burned into our history books in letters of fire. President Franklin D. Roosevelt addresses Congress on December 8, 1941

On Wednesday, July 26, 2017 I visited again the Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor, the site of one of the worst tragedies in American history.

Pearl Harbor was established as an American military port in 1899, shortly after its annexation as a US territory following the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii. Hawaii’s role as an important trade hub and military garrison would continue to grow, making Pearl Harbor a prime target for surprise attack by a Japanese air strike on December 7th, 1941, a date that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt proclaimed would “live in infamy.”

 

 

 

 

The attack on Pearl Harbor propelled the US into World War II, changing the fate of the entire planet. The events of that day forced American society to the brink of its capabilities, inspiring a myriad of important scientific and industrial breakthroughs culminating in the creation of the first nuclear weapon.  Over 75 years later, the world we live in today was shaped by the bombs that dropped over Pearl Harbor.

If you have not visited the Pearl Harbor Memorial I would suggest that you do.  The 25-minute video prior to heading out to the actual Memorial over the sunken battleship Arizona that has entombed over a 1000 of the 1,177 sailors and marines killed during the bombing, is very powerful and is bound to get you teary eyed.   The names listed on the wall of the Memorial are those who rest below the water within the Arizona.

 

 

 

 

The announcer at the Memorial said that there are five living soldiers from the Arizona who are still alive and they have the right to be buried with their shipmates in the Arizona.  She pointed out last year (2016) that J.D. Anderson joined his twin brother D.J. Anderson who was killed in the Pearl Harbor attack in 1941.  In the photos below you can pick out J.D.Anderson who is listed on the short wall of the Memorial and then D.J. Anderson who is one of the first listed on the large back wall.

 

 

 

 

 

The attack took place on December 7, 1941, a quiet sunny Sunday morning. Being the weekend, many of the offices were closed and there was a minimal contingent of soldiers on duty.  The photo below is displayed at the Museum at Pearl Harbor.  it compares the military strength in the Pacific of Japan to the US in 1941.  Take a moment to study the picture.

Rotated Japan and the US Military Power

 

 

 

 

Sunday morning at approximately 7:00 a.m. the new long-range radar detector installed at Opana Point on the north shore of Oahu, detected approaching aircrafts.  The soldiers on duty messaged Fort Shafter in Honolulu about the approaching aircrafts.  Lt Kermit Tyler who who received the message indicated that there was nothing to worry about and that the radar was picking up the B-17 flying bombers that were dispatched from California.  While on practice maneuvers outside the harbor that morning, an American destroyer spotted a Japanese submarine attempting to sneak into the harbor. The submarine was fired upon, immediately reported — and ignored.

From wikipedia: The attack commenced about 45 minutes later in two waves by a total of 353 Japanese aircrafts launched by six aircraft carriers.  All eight U.S. Navy battleships were damaged, with four sunk. All but the USS Arizona were later raised and six returned to service and went on to fight in the war.  188 U.S. aircraft were destroyed; 2,403 Americans were killed and 1,178 others were wounded.  Japanese losses were light: 29 aircraft and five submarines lost, and 64 servicemen killed. One Japanese sailor, Kazuo Sakamaki, was captured.

Memorial build above the Battleship Arizona:

Memorial Battleship Arizona source emaze

source: emaze.com

Visiting the Pearl Harbor Memorial reminded me of the importance of history. We need to understand where we came from in order to know where we’re going.  We have a talented group of faculty in our history department…great great scholars with a remarkable focus on our students.  Today let me spotlight three of the them.

 

 

 

 

Dr. Oliver Rosales who was recently awarded a National Endowment of the Arts grant for $100,000.  Then, Congressman Kevin McCarthy personally asked our own Prof. Paul Beckworth to review the House’s upcoming update on the GI Bill, while Prof. Matthew Garrett just published an award-winning book on Native American children who left their reservations to live with Mormon foster families during the latter half of the 20th Century.

Here is more on the #Forever GI Bill.  An excerpt from an email that Paul received.

After you and nearly 40 veteran, military, and higher education organizations signaled our strong support for #ForeverGIBill, Congress announced bipartisan legislation to improve the GI Bill. The Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2017 includes everything we’ve advocated for and more. It will:

  • Expand GI Bill eligibility to Guard and Reserve Members
  • Provide full benefits to Purple Heart recipients and Yellow Ribbon benefits to survivors
  • Grant additional benefits to students pursuing a STEM degree
  • End the 15-year delimiting date

The Colmery Act of 2017 already enjoys 57 co-sponsors (26 Republicans and 31 Democrats) from the House and is supported by one of the largest coalition of veteran, military, and higher education organizations to date.

GI Bill Roundtable at VFW Headquarters Washington DC July 13 2017

GI Bill Roundtable at VFW Headquarters – Washington D.C. July 13, 2017

 

Summer Bridge

Summer Bridge Team

Summer Bridge Team

IMG_6027Can you believe Summer is almost over? Time flies when you’re at BC and having fun and especially if you’re involved with BC Summer Bridge. This dedicated team of faculty and staff has committed to making sure new students are equipped with the resources and tools they need to be successful in their first year at BC! I love all the updates and photos on social media from this incredible program… can you see why I’m the luckiest and happiest college president ever?

On Instagram, the Summer Bridge team shared that they did Tower Building on Monday and by Wednesday, this fun video was posted on YouTube. Check out all the fun our new upcoming students are having at Summer Bridge!

BC’s Industrial Automation Advisory Committee

This fall, we are welcoming our first senior semester of the Industrial Automation Baccalaureate students and we are all excited to see them flourish. I can’t wait to see where they land after graduation.

BC’s Baccalaureate in Industrial Automation is proof of the forward thinking of leadership at BC and in the community. Over the past few years, the Industrial Automation Advisory Committee has been on a journey… one of friends and partners who have worked to develop a curriculum that meets current workforce need and these people have made a 4-year degree at Bakersfield College possible.

PruettThis degree path is truly for our students and it’s for our community because through high demand careers with local opportunities, Bakersfield will thrive.  Blair Pruett, who chairs the committee has rallied the troops to see this initiative grow. Blair has been supported by Liz Rozell and BC’s terrific faculty who work tirelessly to make things happen for our students and serve as a bridge between in the Industrial Automation program and the industry.

Committee membership includes alumni, associates and friends of the INDA disciplines and they are selected from among professional leaders of business, industry, government, and education. Thank you to the committee: Adam Alvidrez, Nathan Bender, Paul Blake, Melinda Brown, Edwin Camp, Morgan Clayton, Allen Cowart, Tim DeKorte, Tunde Deru, Patrick Free, Jonathan Geersen, Samuel Gomez, Shawn Hatton, Bill Little, Ron K’Miller, Dean McGee, Brian Miller, Ed Neilands, Paul Niemer, Fred Nilson, Brianne Pluta, Blair Pruett, Adam Stephens, Dick Taylor, Ancel Thompson, Beth Vaughn, Thomas Wilson, David Wolfer, Lisa Wong, and Walt Wiegel.

And thank you to our Industry Partners including, Aera, Stantec, Chevron, Target, Kern Steel, Dryers, Califa Farms, Bolthouse Farms, Frito-Lay, The Wonderful Company, JG Boswell, and more.

I know we’re all counting down the days to see our first graduates cross the stage on graduation night with their Baccalaureate Degrees in Industrial Automation from Bakersfield College!

Rainbow Field Day

On Wednesday July 12, all preschoolers attending the BC Child Development Center were invited to participate in a Rainbow Field Day.  Learning activities were planned by our CHDB B41 lab students and supervised by staff, student interns and parent volunteers from the center.  As you can see, a wonderful time was had by all. Thank you Sue Vaughn for the adorable photos!

 

 

 

 

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This Week on Facebook

So proud of Clayton Fowler, BC SGA President 2015-2016

UC Center Post of Clayton Fowler July 26 2017

Sally_Sterns_Gardenfest_Pots

Sally Sterns is already gearing up for the next Gardenfest so there’s guaranteed to be plenty of goodies and treats for all attendees.

Our previous Gardenfest was featured in my blog here last April and it was great that the event took place around Earth Day, as well.

As soon as the date for the next Gardenfest is announced, I will be one of the first to announce it right here on my blog so stay tuned.

 

Next, Welding professor, Jeremy Staat, posted what his Summer Camp students have been up too! How awesome is this?

2017-07-26_1127

And finally, I saw this post by Art faculty, Diego Gutierrez Monterrubio featuring Sandro Botticelli’s artwork. One of my favorite pieces from this great artist is Primavera, which means Spring. In the center, we see Venus in a sacred grove or garden where the treeline almost creates a halo around her. Wikipedia says that the painting was created in the late 1270s or early 1480s, but that datings vary. It also says this piece is “one of the most written about, and most controversial paintings in the world.”

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Botticelli-primavera

Primavera Photo: Wikipedia.org

My favorite Botticelli is the Primavera which I saw at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence.  Details of Botticelli’s life are sparse but he apprenticed at the young age of 14 and in 1481, Pope Sixtus IV had Botticelli and other prominent Florentine and Umbrian artists to fresco the walls of the Sistine Chapel. For more, check out
https://www.sandrobotticelli.net/biography.html

Distinguished Young Women of California

Distinguished Young Women is a national scholarship program and the official website states the goal is to inspire “high school girls to develop their full, individual potential through a fun, transformative experience that culminates in a celebratory showcase of their accomplishments. Distinguished young women strives to give every young woman the opportunity to further her education and prepare for a successful future.”

Congratulations to Kimberly Marquez of Bakersfield who was named “Distinguished Young Woman of California” for the Class of 2018. Kimberly will go on to represent California at Nationals! You can see the whole list of this year’s participants at http://ca.distinguishedyw.org/participants/.

20233104_10155487955809174_3688815557598721461_oCongratulations also to Cathy Abernathy who is California’s Distinguished Woman of the Year. Thank you to our Mayor, Karen Goh, another brilliant Bakersfield woman, for the photo which includes both Kimberly (back row, 4th from the left) and Cathy (front row, right side).

It’s great to see local women from Bakersfield being acknowledged for the incredible things they’re doing. At BC, I’m surrounded by smart, passionate, intelligent, creative, and inspiring women who do wonderful things each day. Women such as Liz Rozell and Connie Gonzales who are two women engineers, passionate about STEM and inspiring young women to get involved in STEM careers. There are women leaders all around us, both at BC and in Bakersfield.

Student Andrea Hernandez with Lauren Skidmore Connie and Lisa

Lauren Skidmore, Andrea Hernandez, Connie Gonzales, Lisa Kent

 

Liz Rozell 3

Liz Rozell

lisagreen-about

Lisa Green

Did you see the highlight piece on District Attorney, Lisa Green by ABC23? She is not only the first female D.A. in Kern County, but also a distinguished and inspirational female leader in our community. The article mentions of the 58 District Attorneys in California, only 18 are women. View the video clip here.

BC Renegade Clappers bringing smiles to India

A woman from Bakersfield named Sharon recently traveled to India to visit elementary school children and teach them about Bakersfield. When she contacted BC and requested anything we wanted to share with the kids, our team knew exactly what would make them smile. BCSGA Hand clappers, BC stickers, and a pendent for the classroom! These photos are sure to warm your heart. Thank you Sharon for sharing the spirit of BC.

 

 

 

 

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tybak2_origRenegade, Tyrone Crawford

Renegade Alumni and Dallas Cowboy, Tyrone Crawford was highlighted in an interview on KGET on Wednesday where he said, “i remember every single second in Bakersfield. It’s one of the best times in my life.” He went on to mention good years, great coaches, and great teammates. View the clip at KGET.com!

Article in the LA Times

July 25 2017On my flight to Honolulu, I grabbed the LA Times and saw this piece  about the struggles of California farmers to adjust to mechanization as its labor force continues to decline.  Some farmers are even converting their fields from labor-intensive crops such as grapes or vegetables to almonds, which can be easily shaken from the tree mechanically.

For some crops, even mechanization cannot replace the efficiency of human labor. Stockton’s asparagus industry, for instance, is harvesting only 21 percent of the asparagus spears it used to 15 years ago, as there have been no technological innovations to replace the efficiency of human judgment needed to sift through perennial asparagus beds to determine which are ripe.

As the world population continues to grow and create less arable space for growing crops, California will have to reform its agricultural processes to meet the demand and continue to feed the world. In the article, UC Davis economist Ed Taylor says that “California agriculture just isn’t going to look the same… you’re going to be hard-pressed to find crops grown as labor-intensively as they are now.”

What does this mean for our valley?  Read the whole article, “As California’s labor shortage grows, farmers race to replace workers with robots” at latimes.com.

What about Neo?

When I was in Hawaii I did several conference calls with folks back on campus.  One call was with Dylan Wang, Monika Scott, and Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg.  Dylan and I were on the phone prior to Monika and Nan getting on so I was telling him about Hawaii and asked him his thoughts on relocating the BC campus to Oahu.  To which Dylan responded “Yes” with enthusiasm….then paused “but what about Neo?” 🙂

Well, Neo is discovering high places much to my mom’s dismay and she laments “Sonya, when are you going to teach him some manners.”  To which I responded that her grand daughter was spoiling him.  Of course, in her eyes, my daughter can do no wrong.

And it was such a treat to have my daughter at home two weeks in a row.  She will be back again next week.  She was in Canada this past year and is now back in LA.  Just the wonderful aspects of life!

 

 

 

 

This is what Neo does when we put him outside to do his thing…..Instead he plops himself in front of the water cooler that is on the patio.

July 21 2017 Neo in front of water cooler

Neo in front of the water cooler.  One of his favorite spots.

In case you are wondering, he is 43 lbs now.

Live, Love, Ohana, Aloha

Cropped Sonya Christian walking on the beach July 25 2017

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Thank you Bakersfield, for a great 2016!

2016 — a year of great friendships, great love, great partnerships, great collaboration. 

Thank you Bakersfield, thank you Kern County for a great 2016! My blog post from January 2, 2016 (https://sonyachristianblog.com/2016/01/02/2016-the-force-awakens/) ends with

Warm wishes to each and every one of you in this amazing community from all faculty, staff and students of Bakersfield College.  Here’s to a glorious 2016!

And what a year it has been. A year when the force was definitely with BC.

A year when BC:

  • produced an increase in student numbers that far exceeds the statewide trends
  • improved student success outcomes
  • created efficiencies that save both time and money for students and taxpayers
  • broadened outreach to Kern county residents, particularly in rural Kern
  • engaged throughout the community, connecting with business and industry leaders, other educational sectors, and community organizations
  • positioned the college for even more opportunities in grant funding.

And thank you for passing Measure J!

50058052351__d475d29b-01c3-43e5-b511-163349ebdf77

bruce-the-election-dog-nov-9-2016

Bruce our campaign dog

The campus is closed during the week between Christmas and New Year BC.  So things have been relatively quiet on the work front with faculty, staff and students spending time with friends, family and loved ones.  A few of us have been periodically connecting on grant applications that are due in early February.  Most meetings have been via 7:30 a.m. conference calls or meetings at Panera Bread, since offices are not heated to conserve energy during this week.

I published my last blog as I was on a plane from LAX to Toronto.  The few days in Toronto with Eisha were perfect — walks, talks, netflix, friends, and good food.  The buildings are so well insulated and heated that you can practically walk around inside in a t-shirt, and Eisha taught me how to dress for the cold during our walks.  She let me use her ear muffs, which worked wonders in keeping me warm.  I did not take many photos this week (I am regretting it now), but here are a few.

What a difference in attire….July 2016 in Canada and Dec 2016 in Canada

Mom was with us last Christmas and joined us in Toronto when we visited in July, but she did not want to face Toronto in December. Here is a picture of three generations on Christmas 2015 which popped up on Facebook.

eisha-christian-pam-christian-sonya-christian-dec-25-2015

Kwanzaa Celebration Dec 28, 2016

It was a lot of fun attending the Kwanzaa celebration for the second year in a row.  I found myself being inspired by the music and the storytelling.  I walked away with much joy and a renewed commitment to spend time with loved ones.  Met up with my friends Karen Goh and NaTesha Kindred at the event.  Here are a few pictures from both of them.

It was fun talking to the group from the Cain Memorial African Methodist Episcopal Church Young People’s Department.  David Sandles  standing to my left in the photo, is a Freshman at Bakersfield College and a Biochemistry major.  So cool!

Photo on the left: NaTesha Kindred Johnson, Karen Goh, Sonya Christian

Photo on the right: The Kwanzaa 2016 organizer Bakari Sanyu.

 

Cathy Abernathy Nov 19 2015

Cathy Abernathy, Rotary, Nov 19 2015

On December 29th I had a series of meetings and joined Cathy Abernathy who was hosting the Ralph Bailey show, and had invited me to be a guest and talk about the happenings at BC.  Of course I said yes.  It is truly an honor to share the wonderful things happening at BC and also wonderful to hang out with Cathy.

We talked about the work BC is doing with KHSD, about the Career Technical Education programs, the new Bachelor of Science in Industrial Automation etc. We ended with the spectacular event of having an outdoor ice rink in the magnificent Memorial Stadium– 2016 Winterfest!  If you have not purchased your tickets yet, you should!  January 6th is the celebrity game with Wayne Gretzky(!), and January 7th the Condors play.

I wish I had taken a picture when I was in the studio with Cathy,  but I did not do much of that this week.  Maybe it is because I am so irritated with myself for having dropped my iphone yet again and widened the crack on the glass…

December 30th, a group of us watched the Bakersfield College Basketball team win yet another game under the leadership of the fabulous coach Paula Dahl. Our students are such a treat and Coach Dahl rocks.  It was great to meet Paula’s brother David and his wife who came in from Utah to spend New Years.  The young women you see behind David Dahl are students from Stockdale High School, who I am hoping will be future Renegades, and here’s a picture of Sandi Taylor, Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg and me having a great time at the game.

I also connected with Christy Haycock at an exercise class session and Wayne Cooper at CALM’s Holiday Lights.

Here is the LA Times article about the Holiday Lights at CALM.

http://www.latimes.com/travel/la-tr-christmas-lights-20161218-story.html

Bakersfield Life today:

Saw this great piece on our Dean of Allied Health, Cindy Collier

bakersfield-life-dec-31-2016

bakersfield-life-2-dec-31-2016

 

I spent much of this morning reading previous blog posts and enjoying thinking about all that happened at Bakersfield College and in our community.  Here are a few in case you have time to click through:

March 25, 2016 post: The State of Kern County is Strong

https://sonyachristianblog.com/2016/03/25/the-state-of-kern-county-is-strong/

 

April 2, 2016: Life at BC is about living life fully.

https://sonyachristianblog.com/2016/04/02/life-at-bc-is-all-about-living-life-fully/

 

April 9, 2016: BC and the community — relationships run deep

https://sonyachristianblog.com/2016/04/09/bc-and-the-community-relationship-runs-deep/

Calla Lily June 4 2016

 

June 4, 2016: A community together

https://sonyachristianblog.com/2016/06/04/a-community-together/

An excerpt from the post

So here is a calla lily for you, my community, for all that you do on a daily basis to support each other and support the students at BC.

Thank you Fred Misono for making my visit to Bakersfield West Rotary so memorable.

And let’s remember Tharrell Ming — a community leader.

 

June 9, 2016: We are Bakersfield….We are BC

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

This blog covers two presentations on the bond measure during the educational phase of the campaign to the Hispanic Chamber and Kerntax.  A quick note here on Donna Carpenter — we miss you!

 

July 16, 2016: Building a Better BC

https://sonyachristianblog.com/2016/07/16/building-a-better-bc/

This blog covers the July 14th board meeting when the trustees voted to put Measure J on the ballot.

Let’s remember Mayor Harvey Hall’s words on Measure J. Thank you Mayor Hall for all that you have done for BC and for Bakersfield.

TBC_HarveyHall_7.15.2016

 

August 26, 2016: Launching Fall 2016 to Build a Better BC

https://sonyachristianblog.com/2016/08/20/launching-fall-2016-to-build-a-better-bc/

This post is about BC’s Fall Opening Day.  I typically do my State of the College address once a year during Fall Opening.  Here is an excerpt:

We live in an era of viral soundbites and tweets rather than one of comprehensive and detailed discussion. But let us not be reluctant to tell our story, openly and honestly; boldly in all its detail; and in all its glory.

Let’s joyfully shout out the BC story from the roof tops for the next 82 days and beyond.

Let us use Twitter….Facebook… Instagram and Snapchat.

Can we get 82 pieces of writing in the community voices section of the Californian? Every day from now until November 8th. We are BC and we are a Jewel of Kern County.

 We will continue to balance bold new directions with elegance and poise. We will continue to encourage punctual completion with gentle compassion and strong support. We see the face, heart, and brilliant mind of each individual student in the crowd of thousands and our mission is as important as it’s ever been.

I’m proud to say the state of Bakersfield College has never been stronger

Just like in 1913 – Just like in the 50s –

Now, in 2016, we stand together to write the next chapter of BC’s story….

Together, let’s build…A Better BC

WE are BC!

 

September 24, 2016: Hope is the ability to hear the music of the future; Faith is the courage to dance to it today.

https://sonyachristianblog.com/2016/09/24/hope-is-the-ability-to-hear-the-music-of-the-future-faith-is-the-courage-to-dance-to-it-today/

 

October 8, 2016: So many reasons to celebrate. We are BC!

https://sonyachristianblog.com/2016/10/08/so-many-reasons-to-celebrate-we-are-bc/

This is a great one.  A must watch.  Many video of community leaders talking about BC.  This includes Mayor Harvey Hall, Congressman Bill Thomas, Mike Turnipseed, Wayne Kress, David Torres, Fred Prince …..

 

 

Wishing all of you a wonderful 2017.  Another year of great friendships, great love, great partnerships and great collaborations.

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

 

sonya-dec-25-2016

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next week.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya — the luckiest and happiest college president ever