Tag Archives: Chancellor Eloy Oakley

#BCGoesOnline

#BCGoesOnline. The last of our 3 physical campuses shuts down. March 20, 2020

Novel coronavirus, COVID-19, social distancing, shelter in place, stay at home, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Dr. Sanjay Gupta,….. all names, words and phrases that have become part of our day-to-day conversations.

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, March 21, 2020… A great day to be a Renegade.

“Business Un-usual” as #BCGoesOnline

The Academic Technology team helps BC faculty move their courses online.
Pamela Rivers and the Academic Technology Team help BC faculty move their courses online. Photo courtesy of John Harte.

In this time of uncertainty and crisis, I am amazed at how swiftly and robustly BC moved to continue supporting our students. We have been ahead of the curve with our response to the COVID-19 pandemic, sending out emails to our faculty and staff as early as January 30 with resources to keep themselves safe.

From the moment the incident command team was activated in late February , we cancelled events as we systematically ramped up our actions to ensure the health and safety of our campus community. Over the next three weeks we systematically moved all of our instruction, student services, and academic support online while preparing 40,000 students and 1,000 employees with resources for using Canvas, ConferZoom, Starfish and accessing their desktops remotely.

None of this would have been possible without the support of our staff in the Academic Technology and Technology Support Services departments, who made themselves available at every possible moment to ensure the continuation of our operations in a virtual environment. They worked three weeks and three weekends in a row to get the campus transitioned to an online environment.

This 2:15-min video message is from March 16th when BC was 100% online …. #BCGoesOnline.

On Thursday, March 19 at 3 p.m., we decided to announce physical closures at the Panorama Campus. The Delano Campus and BC SouthWest closed early this week, and we had already begun physically closing buildings on Panorama as their services were shifted to a virtual environment.

Johns Hopkins Dashboard snap shot as of March 21, 2020 7:00 p.m.

All access points to the Panorama campus are now barricaded with the exception of the Haley Street entrance, which is only accessible to essential personnel. All faculty and staff must call the Office of Campus Safety before and after leaving campus to be escorted by one of our officers. Bill Potter and the Maintenance and Operations team have deep cleaned and sanitized every building as it was locked so that they will be ready for students, faculty and staff when we are able to reopen the campus.

The three smiling toward the camera to the side.
Shelly Castaneda, Nicky Damania, and Cindy Collier.

Our announcement of physical closure of the main campus came just hours before California Governor Gavin Newsom declared a mandatory stay at home order for the entire state….. BC again staying ahead of the curve as the situation evolves. We wouldn’t have been able to manage this transition as smoothly as we have without the hard work of everyone coming together to address this unprecedented crisis. A big thank you to my COVID advisory team led by Nicky Damania, Cindy Collier, and Shelly Castaneda.

VP of Student Affairs Leadership Team meetings go Online March 20 2020

The Renegade family is staying connected with all-campus virtual forums on Zoom every afternoon during the week. We’ve hosted ten of these virtual seminars so far, with faculty and staff sharing their approach to the monumental work of moving our college completely online. They are also great opportunities to have some fun and share laughs with each other. I encourage everyone to join in as we continue our all-campus virtual forums on Monday, March 23 at 3 p.m. We have a lineup of students who will be on the panel.

Academic Tech Goes Online March 20, 2020

Now is still, and always, a great time to be a Renegade. It is our Renegade spirit and pride that have allowed us to face this adversity with efficiency and positivity. I know that our campus community will continue to band together to get through this latest obstacle, because We Are BC!

For now, keep checking our COVID-19 response website for updates, resources, and frequently asked questions.

Carlos Barbaran shows us how to make a paper mask

Academic Technology Weekend Open House

You could feel the energy and excitement in the library at the Academic Technology team’s open house event last weekend. Faculty and staff came together to provide each other with the resources and knowledge they needed to navigate our new normal online, and I was more grateful than ever for the opportunity to work with such talented, dedicated people every day.

Faculty work together to move classes online.

Thank you to Bill Moseley, Pamela Rivers, Matt Jones, Tracy Lovelace, David Greenfield and Anita Karr for all of their hard work throughout this transition.
Check out some photos from the Open House, which were graciously provided to us by photography professor John Harte.

#BCGoesOnline – Marketing and Public Relations

Despite our difficult circumstances, Renegades have attempted to build camaraderie and keep a sense of humor. We have been sharing our workstations and study areas with each other and on social media. I would like to start collecting fun photos of people’s workstations as part of new regular feature on the blog every week, so please share your workstation photos using the hashtag #BCGoesOnline when you post to Facebook, Instagram or Twitter or simply email them to earl.parsons@bakersfieldcollege.edu.

For the first edition, we’ll share photos from the Marketing and Public Relations team, who moved fully online by Tuesday afternoon.

Community Colleges Across California Respond to COVID-19

As the COVID-19 crisis continues, institutions of higher education play a vital role in preventing the spread of the disease. Colleges and universities like BC are working with local health departments to share important information with their communities about the symptoms of COVID-19 and how to prevent its exponential spread.

Chancellor Eloy Oakley at the Intersegmental Pathways Symposium.
Chancellor Eloy Oakley

Chancellor Eloy Oakley took an important first step to support social distancing when he eliminated the standard approval process for transitioning community colleges online on March 11.

I’m so proud of how our leadership in the community college system is supporting us as we move more than 2 million enrolled students across the state to online instruction. Thank you to Chancellor Oakley and the leadership at all of the colleges.

Creative Approaches to Social Distancing Around the World

While people throughout the world practice social distancing and shelter-in-place, they’re finding creative ways to express themselves, share hobbies and entertain each other at the same time. For instance, musicians in Italy are playing their instruments from on top of balconies.

To help people stay fit while social distancing, a fitness instructor in Seville, Spain lead a workout from a rooftop. Some people have even figured out how to play tic-tac-toe with their pets.

People play Tic Tac Toe with pets.
Did you know turtles and cats could play tic-tac-toe?

Livestreaming is being used in more creative ways than it ever has right now, with people hosting their birthday parties, DJ sets, game nights and happy hour hangouts through Zoom, Twitch and other virtual platforms. Check out this great article from the New York Times about coronavirus socializing for more ideas to lighten up your social life.

Some of the world’s biggest pop stars are livestreaming their concerts for fans, including Miley Cyrus and Cheryl Crow. Visit the Billboard website and NPR Music for an updated list of live-streamed concerts and performances. 

If you’re looking for some great entertainment to stream during all this downtime, Netflix has added some classic films to their service this month, including “GoodFellas”, “The Shawshank Redemption”, “There Will Be Blood”, and “Space Jam”. The first season of the critically-acclaimed FX show “Devs” is streaming on Hulu, HBO started the third season of its mind-bending series “Westworld”, and the long-awaited final season of “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” is available on Disney+.

Grandpa Arthur, this one is for you.

Archives Throwback: Renegades React to 9/11                 

Letters to the Editor - We will stand united
Illustration from the Renegade Rip.

In my search for inspiration to lead the campus during this important moment in world history, I looked to the past to see how Renegades throughout the decades have weathered the storm during moments of crisis. 

As you would expect, the Renegade Rip newspaper from September 14, 2001 focused on the World Trade Center attacks that had just happened 3 days before publication. Rip staff writer Ryan Knaggs and photographers Neil Kitchen and Alyssa D. Stumbo covered the emotional front page story about how the campus community mourned the tragedy while coming together to make sure everyone was safe. The entire staff of the paper sourced quotes for the piece, coming together on the day of the tragedy to file a story before the deadline to print. 

Opinions editor Daniel F. Hunt wrote about city officials’ reactions to the attacks, two op-ed contributors debated how the United States should respond to the attacks, and there were a collection of motivational quotes from students who had family members in New York on 9/11, as well faculty members such as Jack Brigham, David Rosales, and David Besst

Check out the main article from this edition below, and view an archive of all previous Renegade Rips on the Bakersfield College website.

Front page of the Renegade Rip from September 14, 2001
The front page of the Renegade Rip on September 14, 2001.

‘This is too big to be real’

Campus responds with sadness, anger following national tragedy

By Ryan Knaggs

Rip Staff Writer

Reactions on campus from the tragic terrorist attack Tuesday on the United Slates ranged horn disbelief and sorrow to feelings of anger and retaliation. The tragedy felt close to home even though it happened across the country.

Ken Smith, a 24-year-old student majoring in computer science, has four family members who worked in the World Trade Center.

“I feel nothing but pain right now, along with utter disbelief. This is too big to be real.” Smith said Tuesday. “Goddamn. I wish I could wake up. My emotions are beyond chaotic. No word has been given to me about the status of my family.” 

Smith said it may be several days before he hears anything about his relatives. While obviously upset, he does not want an unilateral response from the United States. 

“These people, if caught, they should be given due process and trial. Only then we should take action. We should not let this event rob us of our ideas” he said.

Judy Romanini, who works as a counseling technician at BC, has a daughter who was on vacation in New York. 

“I was panicked. My first thought was, ‘Oh, my God, are the kids OK?’ I saw it on the news this morning, it was about 6:15. So I was able to get through to her then – and it was what, 9:30 their time, I guess – and she was OK. And then for several hours, and then of course that was after just the first plane. after that we couldn’t get through for several hours, and she finally just called me about 10 minutes ago and said that they were fine,” she said. 

“She said they were 10 blocks from the tower, but they saw the second tower go down. She said it was an awful sight.” 

“People were in 1he streets just hysterical, people were crying. She said the worst part was when they actually saw the tower go down. She said people were jumping out of windows from the towers.” 

Students around campus reacted with disbelief. 

“This is a wake-up call, not only for the federal government, but also for society. It’s beyond belief,” said journalism major Katie Swank.

Nichole Ferullo, 18, said, “All you can do right now is pray for everyone that was in that building, and the families. I don’t think an attack like this should be taken lightly. and I think it will be met with extreme measures.” 

Some students said that terrorists will continue to plague America. Forty-six year-old Diane Baker who served in the U.S. Air Force said, “I’m scared. I know this is not over.”

The total collapse of the World Trade Center seemed surreal to Sarah Espinoza. 

“‘It was horrible,” she said. “lt’s scary to imagine something like that happening. It’s something you would see in the movies.”

The idea or a possible war was on the minds of many students. 

Tyrone Pickens, 19, said. “I feel nervous that a state on the West Coast could be hit next. I just hope we don’t have to go to war.”
Joseph McDonald, 18, said, “‘Man, that scares the hell out of me. I don’t want to fight.”

On the other hand. Victor Martinez, 19, said, “I’ll be ready if I have to be called.”

 Faculty and staff also voiced opinion on Tuesday’s tragedy. 

Dr. David Rosales, history professor, discussed how the U.S. may react.

“It certainly is a tragedy,” he said, “However, l think, quite frankly, terrorism is maybe the curse of the 21st Century. Certainly, it is going to be incumbent upon President Bush to have a response to this, unfortunate as it may be. It will be and would have to be a retaliatory response.”

English professor David Besst wasn’t focusing on teaching Tuesday, but on the victims and families of the attack.

“I just let class out early because the mood wasn’t right to teach,” he said.

Denise Pandol, a political science teacher who studied international relations, said, “I thikn we need not be fearful. We need to wake up. There’s tremendous support of groups against the US. It was unprovoked and deliberate. I hope the [Bush] administration will have the courage to tell us who’s responsible.”

Jack Brigham, a political science and history professor, said, “My greatest sadness is to my Islamic students on campus today, because so many people do not understand their religion and they actually associate this violence with that religion.

Dr. Randall Beeman, a history professor, urged caution.

“This is a really important event in our history,” he said. “We need not react with hatred even though we feel anger. We shouldn’t act irrationally. We need to pray for people and hold our anger in until we know who we are to be angry with.”

-Journalism students Daniel F. Hunt, Jarrod M. Graham, Elizabeth Gregory, Tami Olivares, Cody Slaton, William Henry, Alicia Zuniga, Megan Bell, Zachary Smith, Linda Sanchez, Audrey Ednaliao, Daniel Ruiz, Anna Bliss, Anthony Lewis, Yvonne Pereida, Claudia Cazares and Selena Cooper contributed to this story.

Renegade Athletics

CCCAA Decides to suspend all Athletics Competitions

Announcement about Renegade Athletics suspension.
Sandi Taylor’s statement about the suspension of athletics competitions.

In what was a domino effect starting on Wednesday (3/11) with the suspension of the NBA season, the entire sports world from the professional level to the high school level decided to stop all spring competitions effective Thursday. Word came from the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) that all spring sports would be suspended effective immediately on Thursday (3/12) evening. That meant a premature end to the season for all 10 of our spring sports. Athletic Director Sandi Taylor put it best “The health and welfare of our student athletes and campus community are at the forefront of this decision. We are saddened for what this means for our sophomore student athletes and the heartbreak they are experiencing of not being able to play. We know the CCCAA will be working in conjunction with the NCAA and NAIA to navigate eligibility issues going forward.” We are all working through this challenging time and pray and hope for the best for our student athletes as they are all in their prime and working towards record-breaking seasons.

Towns and Robles Earn Honors at Cuesta Sprint

In what ended up being the final competition for Renegade Swimming this spring, sophomores Daran Towns and Esteban Robles took home honors at last Friday’s Cuesta Sprint. Towns was named Queen of the Pool for taking first in all of her races and Robles was named Male Runner-Up. Congrats to these two, even as it was a bittersweet moment to end their season.

The final round of Renegade Athletics updates for this spring semester:

Sonya Christian speaks at the Intersegmental Pathways symposium.


That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

sonya-
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

California comes to Bakersfield

Good morning Bakersfield….it is Saturday, June 3, 2017. A great day to be a Renegade.

With Monday, May 29th, being Memorial Day, the college was closed. Facebook was active with messages honoring those who gave up their lives for the country.  And later in the evening, BC’s faculty lead for student veterans sent a Memorial Day message that reverberated across the CA Community Colleges.

AdminPaulBeckworthChancellor Dr. Eloy Oakley, California Community College Veteran Counselors and Veteran Services Personnel,

Today is Memorial Day.

Today is the day we honor our fallen brothers and sisters.

What we do everyday is not a sacrifice.  What we do is a honor.  We are honored to help those who survived the fight. We get to go help those who are here with us, now.  As we go back to work tomorrow, let us remember TODAY, those who gave all.  Those who gave all will never be California Community College students.  They will never study MLA format or do a CSEP.  They will never fill out Post 9/11 GI Bill paperwork.  They will not stroll into your veteran center and ask about voc rehab.  They will not ask for hot coffee, or why they cant take more than 7 credits in summer school.  Although we cannot help them, we can help their brothers and sisters who survived the fight.

PaulBeckworthOur bbqs are done for the day.  It is late Monday night.  Tomorrow is a new day.  As we go back to work, let us strive to honor those who will never enter our hallowed halls by honoring the student-veterans who do.  Honor them and their dependents.  Our task is not easy.  Some of us suffer from “Compassion fatigue.”  What is demanded of us is not expected of anyone else on our campuses.  Veterans suffer 22 suicides a day and we feel each one.  I am proud of all of you and the work you do for our student-veterans.  Let’s face it, we love all our students, but, there is something about those veterans with big bushy beards, tattoos and bad language.  They tug at our hearts and they make us want to try a little bit harder.  Considering what they did for us, what we do is a small price to pay.

To those of you on this list serv who lost friends or family, please know our hearts and prayers are with you tonight.  From Bunker Hill to Fallujah, from Iwo Jima to the Triangle of Death, let us remember Abraham Lincoln’s words at Gettysburg, “We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting place to those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. IT IS ALTOGETHER FITTING AND PROPER THAT WE SHOULD DO THIS.”

Paul Beckworth Cynthia QuintanillaTonight we remember.  Tomorrow we do the work: It is all together fitting and proper that we should do this.

Let us remember.

Respectfully,

Paul Beckworth
History Professor
Veterans Faculty Lead
Bakersfield College


Leadership Matters Summit

Eloy Oakley keynoting at the Leadership SummitIt’s another great week to be a Renegade, especially in light of our recent “Leadership Matters: Re-Imagining Leadership to Sustain Transformative Change to Advance Student Success & Equity” summit that took place on campus last week on Wednesday May 24th. It was an absolute pleasure and privilege to be able to host this remarkable and motivating day focused on leadership. Colleges from all over California met to discuss the Guided Pathways Initiative and how we can better accommodate and serve our community and our 2.1 million students across California.

With one year of work completed in developing the project, $150 million of one-time funding in the Governor’s budget for implementing Guided Pathways at all of the California community colleges, and an excellent slate of speakers and panelists, we knew the summit was going to be well-attended!

shawn-whalen-oct-11-2016Before I go any further, I must recognize Shawn Whalen of College Futures who has been committed to the equity and transfer agenda to community college students.

I’m so thankful that Chancellor Eloy Oakley agreed to come to Bakersfield and launch the summit. With great passion he made it very clear why Guided Pathways is critical to the future of California Community College System in the eyes of the state legislature and how there is no other institution better positioned to help California move forward than our 113 colleges.

Sonya Christian Leadership Matters SummitHere is my introduction of Chancellor Eloy Oakley

I have good news. At the head of the California Community College system, the largest higher educational system in the nation, that serves populations that are most in-need, we have a leader.

We have someone who is moving the dial on student success; someone who builds coalitions to make the impossible possible; someone who sets agendas that have national and statewide impact.

Back when it was first announced that Eloy Ortiz Oakley was our new Chancellor, I heard excitement and anticipation; that community colleges are in good hands, and to expect a lot to happen, – a lot to happen quickly, well, and sustainably, as it did at Long Beach City College under President Eloy Oakley.

We have a leader – I remember being in the audience at the senate budget committee, with the senators asking tough questions, of the $850M that has been invested in community colleges, and why we were back asking for an additional $150M for Guided Pathways. And he explained calmly, clearly and confidently that that the prior investments had laid the foundation, and that the $150M was what was needed to bring it together, to bring it to its tipping point and that the results would be exponentially better.

When he was done speaking, those legislators who were only able to see a block of marble, were able to see that angel in the marble that Eloy Oakley was attempting to free.

We have a leader – Chancellor Oakley brings incredible clarity on how to make local empowerment and systems development work together to maximize talent…to maximize resources.  His college promise initiative is all about empowering colleges to create local coalitions with their high school, industry and university partners to clear pathways for students. And then with the Guided Pathways investment to develop technical assistance and systems to meet each community college where they are and to move them to greater levels of performance.  Because remember, over 2 million students are counting on us.

This clarity in bringing together many worlds is exciting and promising. I will tell you dear friends that there has never, ever been a better time to be in the community college system, in California. There has never been a better time for vision, and hope, while keeping a steady eye on the realities and challenges we face.

We have a leader who with us will say with confidence, “Si se puede”.

Friends, I give you that leader, our Chancellor, Eloy Oakley.

Watch Chancellor Oakley’s Keynote Address here:

LeadershipMatters-JoshWyner-1

Josh Wyner of The Aspen Institute

The first session of the summit explained how leaders build urgency and college-wide ownership for change. Moderated by Josh Wyner, Executive Director of the College Excellence Program at the Aspen Institute, three leaders from three different constituencies described their communication strategies to establish urgency and share a vision for long-term and scalable change: from the trustee perspective, Bill McGinnis (trustee, Butte-Glenn Community College District); from the faculty perspective, Julie Bruno (Professor of Communication Studies at Sierra College and President of the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges); and from the administration perspective, Wolde-Ab Isaac (President of Riverside City College).

Panel 1 Leadership Matters

Session1-Panel

Bill McGinnis, Julie Bruno, and Wolde-Ab Isaac

LeadershipMatters-Angelica Garcia-1

Angelica Garcia

The second session “Psychology of Change” moderated by Angelica Garcia, Vice President of Student Services at Skyline College, focused on the deeper level at which change leadership must be cultivated and exercised. Cleavon Smith (Professor of English at Berkeley City College), Irene Malmgren (Vice President of Instruction at Mt. SAC), and Andrea Neptune (Professor of English and Academic Senate President at Sierra College) shared how they were able to get authentic engagement and establish trust among faculty and trust that led to co-ownership for the systems change occurring at their colleges. While Guided Pathways is the integrating framework, the panelists showed how the details of creating the change depend on the particular history and culture of the college.

Panel 2 Leadership Matters

Panel 2 at Leadership Matters

Session2-Panel

Irene Malmgren, Cleavon Smith, and Andrea Neptune

I was thrilled that Chancellor Tom Burke stopped by to welcome the participants to the Kern Community College District and to Bakersfield College.  Gregory Stoup who currently chairs the RP Group gave a fabulous, quick paced, MTV style presentation on Guided Pathways.

The third session was titled “Aligning Resource to Support and Sustain Change”. Three leaders focused on how their institutions are realigning and repurposing existing resources to ensure organizational capacity for transformational student success work: Glenn Roquemore (President of Irvine Valley College), Ann Ransford (Trustee from Glendale Community College District and President of the California Community College Trustees), and our own Jennifer Johnson.

Panel 3 Leadership Matters

Panel 3 — Leadership Matters

Session3-Panel

Glenn Roquemore, Ann Ransford, and Jennifer Johnson

LeadershipMatters-Hope-1

Laura Hope

Laura Hope, co-director of the RP Group’s “Leading from the Middle”, gave us the wrap-up by having us share with the person next to us and then the whole gathering, the why—why guided pathways right now, why are we going on this difficult journey to move this framework forward?

Three hundred twenty attendees registered in person from over 60 different colleges and organizations, as well as a livestream audience of almost 500. BC staff and students helped ensure the summit ran smoothly.

Check out some of the photos and videos taken at the event on the Bakersfield College Instagram page and at the full BC Gallery here:
https://bakersfieldcollege.smugmug.com/2017-Leadership-Matters-Summit/
.  

Don’t forget the BC Twitter feed, where you can find more photos, questions, and comments with the #CAGuidedPathways.

There were many hands that worked together to make this happen.  Here are a few who look care of the logistics: Tarina Perry,  Christopher Glaser, John Farrand, Monika Scott, Dylan Wang,  Kristin Rabe,  Reese Weltman, Earl Parsons,  Kristina Whitmore, Somaly Boles, Kevin Ganger,  June Charles, Jennifer Marden, Tracy Hall, Mary Jo Pasek, Maria Diaz, Anita Karr, Bernadette Martinez, Arisve Pimentel, Danyel Owens,  Yolanda Aguilera, Eric Sabella, Ramon Puga, Marissa Jeffers.  

A special thank you to Tarina Perry for being the lead on the summit.

Thank you Laura Hope and Keren Stashower for emceeing the event.

Also a special thank you to Janet Fulks and Lesley Bonds who worked closely with me on the programming of the summit and the work with shaping the content with the speakers.

Additional photos related to the Leadership Summit

Southwestern College

Marie Vicario-Fisher, Sonya Christian, Angelica Suarez

Keren Stashower Leadership Matters May 24 2017

Keren Stashower at Leadership Matters

The night before:

Shawn Whalen Sonya Christian Eloy Oakley May 24 2017

Shawn Whalen, Sonya Christian, Eloy Oakley

Craig Hayward and John Wyner May 23 2017

Criag Hayward, Josh Wyner

Cabrillo May 23 2017

Gang from Cabrillo

Tarina Perry did a “thank you” pizza party at her house to all those who helped with the logistics.  I popped in for a few minutes at the front end of the party.

Tarina Perry's Thank You Party June 2 2017

Tarina sent me this cool picture of Marissa Jeffries at the Leadership Summit.  Marissa was in charge of food.

Marissa Jeffries


All things Cerro Coso

Deanna Ing CampbellThis last week the Student Success and Equity Office organized their retreat at the Mammoth Center of Cerro Coso Community College.  The idea to hold one of our critical summer retreats at one of KCCD’s sister campuses came up when we heard the Director of Mammoth and Bishop campuses, Deanna Campbell, of Cerro Coso present at the KCCD Leadership Academy.  I covered this in my March 4, 2017 blog.

Check it out
https://sonyachristianblog.com/2017/03/04/inspiration-all-around-us/

Mammoth View.JPG

When I asked Lesley Bonds if she would like to take her team to Mammoth she promptly said yes.  This office of eight touches the entire campus — both the instructional side of the house as well as the Student Affairs side.

SS and Equity Retreat at Mammoth May 31 2017.JPG

Kristina Whitmore, Sonya Christian, Julian West, Lisa Kent, Shauna Turner, Pedro Ramirez, Keri Kennedy, Lesley Bonds, Shanell Tyus

BC’s Student Success and Equity team is remarkable.  This small office is tasked with “moving the dial” on student completion.  At BC we measure student completion through 4 momentum points — (1) completing college level English and Math in the first year (2) completing 12-15 credits in their program pathways in the first semester (3) completing 30 credits in their program pathway in the first year (summer-fall-spring) (4) completing an associates degree or transfer in two-years.  With over 30,000 students and few staff, the challenge is always about the ratio of students to staff. The task at hand requires each individual to move large quantities in a quality way.  But given that the majority of our students fall in the “at risk” category the only way to get them to be successful is through case management.  Normally when we think case-management we think managing individual student cases.  However, with BC does not have that luxury.  So we need to “case manage” through “groups”.  This require both a high touch and high tech approach.

Group at Cerro Coso Mammoth May 31 2017

Shauna Turner, Kristina Whitmore, Lesley Bonds, Sonya Christian, Pedro Ramirez (hidden), Julian West, Lisa Kent, Keri Kennedy, Shanell Tyus

I was so proud of this team when I hung out with them during their discussions.  Talented, smart and so committed to student success.  Do you understand now why I am the luckiest and happiest college president ever

SS and Equity Team Painting May 30 2017.JPG

I learned that BC has a dual enrollment program in Culinary at Mammoth High School.  Thanks to Deanna and Trish for connecting with Chef Pat Coyle and making this happen.  The students at the high school prepared lunch for the BC team.

Mammoth Lakes students in BC's Culinary Class

Deanna asked Trish what she would like her to tell the BC team and this is what Trish wrote back:

My culinary students are taking their state test this week and I expect a high passing rate.  There are many restaurants in Mammoth that appreciate my students having their Food Handlers certificate.  They hire my graduates before others, partly because of the hands-on training they receive and also the certificate in itself.  Many of the students plan to continue in the trade by furthering their education in addition to the units they receive at MHS.

I attached a note from one of my recent graduates that I felt expressed the importance of the certificate and how it helped him.

Faculty member Trish Qualls with her culinary students

Trish Quall with her students

Here is the email from Connor Craig to Trish:

In taking the Food Handler Training Program, not only was I able to learn proper food handling and safety regulations for food, I was able to use this certificate for my new job.  Since becoming certified, I was able to skip food training programs at The Looney Bean because of the knowledge acquired through the Safety Program that I learned in Foods Class.  It would also be more than likely that I will work in food services in the future, so this program will also most definitely help for jobs and careers later in life.  This is a must program for all of those who wish to skip a tedious step in any kind of food handling business as well as those who wish to look professional when applying for a job in this field.

We got to meet the Cerro Coso team that is responsible for the Mammoth and Bishop campuses and were really impressed by all that they do for these remote communities that are at great distances from each other.

Cerro Coso Team at Mammoth May 31 2017

Kim Blackwell, James Markam, Yvonne Martin, Caroline Sanderson, Deanna Campbell

I learned from Deanna that:

  • Cerro Coso partners with University of Nevada in Reno since that is the closest university to the Mammoth and Bishop.
  • Demographics shift: Whites decreased from 80% to 45% from 2002-2003 to 2016-2017; Latino increase from 17% to 38%
  • 14 high schools in Inyo and Mono County
  • Bishop campus opened in 2003 and Mammoth in 2008

Thank you Lesley for making this happen.  And thank you for all that you do for BC.  We are fortunate to have you.

Lesley Bonds May 31 2017


Board meeting at Cerro Coso

Since I am on a roll bragging about our sister campus, let me briefly spotlight them through pictures the KCCD Board meeting at Cerro Coso  which was on May 4, 2017.

President Jill Board receives the Shirley B. Gordon Award.  This is a prestigious national award and to have one of KCCD presidents receive it is pretty cool.  Congratulations Jill!

Jill Board winning the award

Retiree Carol Hewer and Congressman Bill Thomas were talking about the good old days when I snapped this picture.

Carol Hewer and Bill Thomas May 4 2017

Cerro Coso traditionally has their Scholarship Awards ceremony during lunch prior to the Board meeting.  It is always a treat hearing about the lives of these amazing students.

Students at Cerro Coso being honored


Oliver Rosales speaking at University of Washington

dgd6leyfjrsqyajlbuinjsnnIt was exciting to hear that our own Oliver Rosales from the History Department was going to be speaking at the University of Washington, Walter Chapin Simpson Center for the Humanities.  Rosales addressed connections between two-year colleges and PHD programs.

I always feel proud to hear of our own being recognized for their leadership in their fields.
https://tinyurl.com/y76yzwcj


BC Foundation Honors Celebration

Every year before spring graduation, The Bakersfield College Foundation and the Bakersfield College Financial Aid Office host the Honors Celebration. It is the time when scholarships for the upcoming academic year are announced and academic and athletic awards are handed out for accomplishments for the year just ending.

This year’s event had approximately 900 participants, including BC administration, faculty and staff, and donors whose generosity has funded the scholarship program at BC,  as well as over 200 scholarship and award recipients and their guests.  Over 500 scholarships are dispensed each year, totaling approximately $500,000 in scholarships and awards.

See nearly over 300 images from this year’s event: (https://bakersfieldcollege.smugmug.com/2017-Honors-Celebration/)


A Poem

Jack Hernandez will be published in the Anglican Theological Review.

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Jack Hernandez

A Rule
My monkish soul
seeks a rule
in this familiar
place where windows
dazzle no longer,
the call of a full
order or stomach
receding like mother’s
admonition to clean
my dinner plate.

The days unfold
with limited promise,
my genes fulfilled
mind stuffed
with books
instructions not
to blink
before strong
ideas no matter
how strange their eyes.

A young woman
walks by
a baby in each arm
her days
ruled like mine
when flushed with time,
The rule of life
I seek now
is a grace to light
this cloistered dusk.


David Koeth’s “Thoughts on avoiding burnout in teaching”

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David Koeth

Our graphic design teacher and self-proclaimed “recovering department chair,” shared some insightful thoughts on the AIGA Design Educators website.  Among some of my favorite ideas: “Take care of your health,” “know the signs of burnout,” and my personal favorite, “find a ritual that relaxes you.”

David’s amusing personality is on display and he has some great ideas for all of us! You can read the article here: https://educators.aiga.org/thoughts-on-avoiding-burnout-in-teaching/.


Lisa Strobel and Nick StrobelNick Strobel — excited about an eclipse

Wouldn’t you get excited too if you read this opening paragraph of Nick Strobel’s column in today’s Californian?

Recently, at many gatherings where people know what I do or find out that I teach astronomy at Bakersfield College, the subject of the conversation quickly gets around to the August 2017 total solar eclipse. That was the case as well at the Bakersfield College Sterling Silver Dinner a couple of weeks back. It’s a sign that the education and public outreach campaign for this astronomical event has done a very good job. I have been looking forward to it for about 40 years since I first read about it in the World Book Encyclopedia in my boyhood home.

If you have ever been to a total solar eclipse or one where enough of the sun was covered to clearly notice a drop in the light level (say over 95% covered), you know it is a truly awesome thing to experience. That’s “awesome” in the true sense of the word—awe-inspiring, soul-stirring. If you have never been to a total solar eclipse, then a word of warning: be very careful because you can get addicted to eclipses and become one of those people who chase eclipses all over the globe. It is an excellent excuse to travel all over but it can get a bit expensive going to some remote places to witness at most a few minutes of totality.

I’ve exhibited great resistance to the lure of eclipse chasing, keeping myself to just two total solar eclipses in the past ten or so years: one in China in 2009 and another in Australia in 2012. Fortunately for us this eclipse won’t be expensive to travel to. Finding cheap lodging will be difficult, though, as hotels exercise their right under capitalism’s supply-and-demand.

The August 2017 eclipse is the first total solar eclipse visible only in the United States since 1776, yes 1776. It will also be the first since 1918 that crosses the United States from Pacific to Atlantic and the first since 1979 that is visible anywhere in the lower 48 states. Approximately 391 million people in the U.S. will be able to see the August 2017 eclipse (partial or total).

For the whole article:
https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/planetarium/bakersfield-night-sky/bakersfield-night-sky-june-3-2017


From Facebook

Jen Garrett

Last night part of the BC Chamber Singers had an opportunity to sing in St Francis Church in Bakersfield for their women’s bible study group called WOW (Women in Wisdom). We were honored to be asked and appreciate the generous support the Church showed towards our Australia tour next summer. I hope this is the beginning of many opportunities to perform and collaborate with them.

I am so grateful to have a choir that can meet and perform as they did last night after not seeing each other for weeks. I know I can rely on them for more than just their talents and I do grateful for that. Hearing them last night felt like healing for the soul. The pastor told us we gave a great gift to give. I believe that music itself is a very special gift and when given by this group of musicians it almost feels like magic.

And I get this text from my friend Arlene Braganza

The BC Chamber Singers did a phenomenal job at the WOW at St. Francis on Wednesday evening.

Here is a picture of Arlene Braganza and her family when they came out to BC for the Caroling and Culinary evening in December.

The Braganza Family

Lauro Braganza, Arlene Braganza, and Gemma Lauro’s sister

Here are photo’s from Jen’s post

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Chamber Singers May 31 2017.jpg


Who gets 448 “likes” on a Facebook post….. I know

Kris Tiner June 2017


Neo

Neo had his second set of shots today.  When I carried him in at 10 weeks the young woman at the front desk spontaneously blurted “what a ginormous cutie”

sonya christian at Rotary April 30 2015

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

The little things we do!

Good morning Bakersfield.  It is Saturday, December 10th….a good day to be a Renegade!  a good week to be a Renegade.

Campus was buzzing this week as students crammed in last-minute studying, raced to complete finals and closed out fall 2016 as another successful semester – but life has a humorous way of always making the busiest of times also some of the most memorable.

On Wednesday night, multiple gas leaks were reported on campus and immediately the BC team jumped into action. The President’s Cabinet received news at approximately 9:30PM that PG&E disconnected gas to the main campus and that’s when the work began. Without heat and throughout the night, Bill Potter, Chris Counts, Ramon Puga, Michelle Pena, Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, and Zav Dadabhoy worked to make sure Thursday’s finals and events could resume as normal. In addition, all of the deans were on standby to respond to whatever was the outcome of work of the technical team.  Also a shout out to Liz Rozell, who answered my call from Sacramento and went immediately to work.  Stephen Waller who headed out to campus.  Manny Mourtzanos, Cindy Collier, Corny Rodriguez, Shannon Musser, …..

Approximately 365 finals were scheduled for Thursday, so a list of alternate spaces and a plan B was drafted. However, by 1:00AM, repairs were estimated to be complete within 3-5 hours, and by 7:30AM, campus was up-and-running like nothing had happened!

Thank you Zav Dadabhoy for taking this picture on Wednesday, Dec 6th night, and sending it to me while I was in Sacramento.

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Chief Chris Counts, Bill Potter, Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg on campus with Zav Dadabhoy

BC is a gem because of its people – the dedication of our staff, faculty, administration, and students make this campus a great place to be. Thank you again to everyone who pulled together to make sure classrooms had heat and finals could resume as scheduled on Thursday morning. #WeAreBC #TodosSomosBC

Caroling and Culinary extravaganza:

Saturday, December 3rd: Our BC Chamber singers, faculty and staff sang Christmas carols to us, and our Culinary students and faculty chefs cooked an incredible meal.  Two of our trustees, Kyle Carter and Romeo Agbalog, attended the event. Thank you trustees.  It is always a treat to have you on our campus.

I also enjoyed seeing many community members out to support BC as well as our faculty and staff.  Pauline Larwood, so wonderful to see you!

 

I enjoyed catching up with Brian Burrows, past CEO of the Bakersfield Symphony orchestra, as well as Phil McDermott, son of Greg McDermott whom I have known for many years.

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And the icing on the cake was a surprise guest, Senator Jean Fuller and her husband Russell Fuller.  Senator Fuller is a Renegade and I enyoyed hearing her talk about her time at BC, how she was in the Fireside Room listening to President Simonsen and about how BC made a tremendous difference in her life.  Senator Fuller is just amazing….smart, beautiful, and so caring.  She is a warrior for issues important to the Central Valley and her negotiating skills have served us very well.  Let’s take a moment to toast this incredible human being.  To Senator Jean Fuller!

And I love this picture of my mom, Pam Christian, who, after dinner wanted a more comfortable chair and found herself this cozy corner.  She loves Christmas music, and I was so happy watching her relaxing and listening to her favorite songs. You can even spot her in the background of the group picture above, staying warm and having a good time.  So glad you came to the event mom!

Glad to see faculty, staff and their families out to support this event.  Loved having the young Strobel, Kelly, with us who had just completed a physics project with cranes, pulleys and weights.  How fast our children grown up.

And thank you Camilla for triggering a bidding war on a live auction item!

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Rob Parsons, Isabel Stierle, Becki Whitson

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Nick, Kelly and Lisa Strobel

 

I captured a few videos on my iphone.  Yes, I have a new phone, the iphone 7.  So you should be seeing more videos in my blog posts.  Except, only a week after I got the phone, I dropped it and there is a crack across the front face 🙁 … I’m told it can be repaired at the mall, or maybe I’ll leave it as a reminder to get the iphone 8 as soon as it comes out.

Pat Davis is the best.  Here are 26 second of Pat doing Santa Baby.  Jen Garret we need Pat to do this again in December 2017!

 

I so loved this Christmas rendition of Santa and his Sleigh performed extravagantly by Dr. John Gerhold to the tune of Bennie and the Jets.  I found myself responding to the music the moment the first chords exploded from the keyboard, matched by the power of John’s voice, and sent the music reverberating across the room.  Turn on your sound and turn up the volume, because Heeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrrreeeeeeeee’s John Gerhold!!

 

If anyone could have followed John Gerhold with a stellar performance, it was Ken Burdick doing The Impossible Dream from The Man from La Mancha with his fabulous voice and great presence.  This is what we do at BC…  The Impossible Dream, transforming lives.  Let’s look at these magical lyrics and then turn up the volume and listen to Burdick.

To dream … the impossible dream …
To fight … the unbeatable foe …
To bear … with unbearable sorrow …
To run … where the brave dare not go …
To right … the unrightable wrong …
To love … pure and chaste from afar …
To try … when your arms are too weary …
To reach … the unreachable star …
This is my quest, to follow that star …
No matter how hopeless, no matter how far …
To fight for the right, without question or pause …
To be willing to march into Hell, for a Heavenly cause …
And I know if I’ll only be true, to this glorious quest,
That my heart will lie will lie peaceful and calm,
when I’m laid to my rest …
And the world will be better for this:
That one man, scorned and covered with scars,
Still strove, with his last ounce of courage,
To reach … the unreachable star …

 

Finally, I am glad Jen Garrett caught a video of Mason Edwards and Kelsey Celeste singing this duet. https://www.facebook.com/jennifergarrettdma/videos/10209738052381028/

The evening before the event, Jen Garrett and her students were in the cafeteria late into the night getting the place ready for us.  Jen sent this txt: “You should see the cafeteria! And we aren’t finished yet. It will be even better. The snowflakes aren’t showing on the ceiling yet!”  Talk about a faculty member going the extra 100 miles to engage our students, the single most important ingredient in student learning. #WeAreBC

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Here are more pictures:

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Guided Pathways:

We were excited to hear on December 6th that the College Futures Foundation funded the California Guided Pathways Proposal a major initiative that BC is promoting as a framework statewide to build on and integrate the work of student learning and achievement in California’s Community Colleges.  Harold Pierce of  The Bakersfield Californian covered the story on Thursday, December 8th.  Check out Pierce’s coverage at http://tinyurl.com/hz7tqfn.

Here is an excerpt

The model provides structure to students selecting classes. Counselors would plan course schedules based on whether students want to receive two-year degrees, or transfer to a four-year university, check in on them regularly and create pathways for success.

Students would be assisted from point of entry through employment in a chosen field, according to the Foundation for California Community Colleges, which spearheaded the effort.

 

Guided Pathways would limit the number of students taking courses not necessary for their goals and move them through the community college system faster, clearing enrollment backlogs that districts have for years faced.

“The Guided Pathway model provides a structured framework for colleges to lead institutional change and improve student success,” said incoming California Community Colleges Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley. “I applaud the colleges and partners who’ve taken an innovative leadership role tailoring a national model to benefit students in California.”

Btw, Eloy Oakley is the incoming Chancellor of the California Community Colleges.  He starts on Janaury 1, 2017.  We also have a new Chancellor for the Kern Community College District, Tom Burke.  Let’s welcome Chancellor Eloy Oakley and Chancellor Tom Burke to their new roles.

So proud of the work done by the BC team who has been helping with the statewide work — Lesley Bonds, Nick Strobel, Jessica Wojtysiak, and Janet Fulks.  It has been great partnering with Kay McClenney, Rob Johnstone, and Kathy Booth.

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Shawn Whalen

But the man who connected the dots and worked hard behind the scene to make it happen is Shawn Whalen.  I am sure he is going to hate it that I am calling him out.  But truly he is the person who has worked diligently bringing us together, asking the tough questions, keeping the equity conversation front and center, and stretching for high levels of performance from the colleges.  Here’s to Shawn Whalen! I am so glad to be working with you!

 

Talking about Guided Pathways, there was a statewide Guided Pathways workshop in Sacramento on Wednesday (Dec 6th) and Thursday (Dec 7th). This workshop was funded by the Institutional Effectiveness Partnership Initiative led by the statewide Vice Chancellor Theresa Tena and BC took a leadership role in pulling together the programming for the event.  It was also a treat to have a fabulous BC team attend.  I rode back on the train with the team and so enjoyed hearing the group work, talk and laugh together.  The best part of working at BC is the camaraderie, the love, respect and admiration we have for each other.

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Andrew Haney, Matthew Garrett, Janet Fulks, Eleonora Hicks, Maria Wright, Steve Watkin, and Grace Commiso took time out of their busy schedules to attend the IEPI Guided Pathways Workshop in Sacramento this week. #WeAreBC

 

NEH Grant for Delano

delano-grant-logo-neh_logo_horizontal_rgbThere is always something to celebrate at Bakersfield College and I’m so excited to share that the Delano Campus Library has been awarded a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities for a digital project to record Delano’s past. Our rural campus and neighboring communities deserve this kind of recognition and attention. Their stories are one-of-a-kind and the difference education can make in their neighborhoods will forever change the people, families, and generations that reside there. I could not mention such a great achievement for the Delano campus and community without thanking Dr. Oliver Rosales for his continued passion and dedication to improving the lives of our students in rural Kern. I so look forward to seeing the project, “Digital Delano: Preserving an International Community’s History” come to life through the fantastic resources provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities!!

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Oliver Rosales

It’s POSSIBLE

Higher education makes a world of opportunities possible, but what do young people do when they don’t know where to start or where to find the answers?

That’s where the BC Outreach team steps in with events that make enrolling in college an easy and successful experience. The goal is that students walk away from this one day event with a class schedule in hand, ready to take on the college adventure – and that’s just what the BC Outreach team does. Last Saturday, December 3rd,  at It’s POSSIBLE, new students were helped individually, regardless of status within the enrollment process to enroll, find courses, and set up their educational plan for the next couple years depending on what they were trying to achieve. Different goals include certificates and different types of degrees. There’s a lot you can accomplish at BC and there’s so many resources offered to help you achieve your goals. And the whole family comes out to help.  Here is Debi Anderson with her husband Jerry and their cute grandson.

jerry-and-debi-anderson-and-their-grandson-dec-3-2016

Kaleidoscope

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The next day, BC’s Renegade Band, Concert Band, and Orchestra had their concert in the Edward J. Simonsen Performing Arts Center. Tim Heasley opened the evening with the extraordinary talents of the Bakersfield College Renegade Marching band, where they did something a little different than expected in an indoor concert. With stage choreography, they performed Bolero, composed by Maurice Ravel and arranged by Jay Bocook.

kaleidoscope_band-orch_4dec16-1Kathryn Kuby then took the stage as she conducted the Bakersfield College Concert band and Orchestra. This was her first performance at BC and she surely did not disappoint. Kuby selected a wide variety of pieces for the audience ranging from Holiday classics, a John Lennon medley, a piece by John Williams, and a personal favorite Symphony no. 25 in G Minor, Allego con brio. All in all the performance from these exceptionally talented renegades was definitely a treat for all who were in attendance.

Vision for the Valley

On Wednesday, The Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce, along with event partners including The Bakersfield Californian, Wells Fargo, Chevron, Aera, and San Joaquin Community Hospital hosted a crowd of over 300 people in BC’s indoor theater for the Vision for the Valley conference.

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Over 300 local professionals were greeted by Nancy Ortiz, President  & CEO of the Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce, followed by Michelle Chantry, CEO of The Bakersfield Californian, and myself  to kick off the multipart event.

 

The first panel focused on election impact on California businesses and the San Joaquin Valley.  I got this nice picture of Richard Beene, Dan Walters and Michelle Chantry in the green room.

richard-beene-dan-walters-michelle-chantry-dec-6-2016

 

STEM Education was in the spotlight for the second panel and I had the joy of joining my fellow panelist, Adam Alvidrez of Chevron and our moderator, Nick Ortiz of GBCC on the stage. Local STEM education programs for workforce development are of vital importance to Kern County and the future success of our region.

visionofthevalley3

 

The final panel on healthcare innovations wrapped up the event by exploring the future of key programs and exploring how to provide effective and innovative healthcare.

Thank you to all the fantastic partners, presenters, and attendees who contributed to making this event one-of-a-kind. It was great to see Bakersfield Mayor Elect, Karen Goh upcoming KCCD Chancellor, Tom Burke in the audience, JP Lake, Cathy Butler, Jim Scott, Bob Meadows, and so many friends of BC.

When Students say Thank You

Mariah Earl just successfully completed her first semester of the Registered Nursing program and sent a thank you email to her professors. After making its way to my inbox, I just knew I had to share —

mariah-earl-photo-2Dearest Professors, As my first semester of the Registered Nurse program draws to a close, I wanted to take a moment and thank you for your instruction that has played a vital role in my success as a nursing student thus far. We have to take a lot of pre-requisite classes before beginning the program, but none are nearly as valuable as Anatomy and Physiology and Microbiology. The time I spent mastering the topics of the courses you teach was time well spent as an investment in my future success, not just as a student, but as a nurse giving care to patients.

I recognize that it takes an extra effort on the part of the professors to offer instruction that is relevant and emphasizes real-life public health issues. Thank you for taking those extra steps on behalf of your students.

I’ve had study groups with many different classmates this semester and I’ve noticed that the students who are struggling the most are the ones that are weakest in their A&P and Micro knowledge. Their struggles are partly related to not mastering the material at the time they took the classes and partly due to how long it took them to get accepted into the program after taking the courses. I’m incredibly thankful for the opportunity I had to do Supplemental Instruction for Profs. Fullks and Tavoni. Those two semesters kept the material fresh in my mind, and teaching others helped cement the knowledge in my brain.

If I were to be so bold as to offer any advice to your future students, it would be to treat your classes as seriously as they would treat the classes in the actual nursing program. Microbiology and Anatomy and Physiology are not classes that should be taken just to check off of the pre-req list. They should be taken with intention of mastery. All of the organ systems and disease conditions (plus more!) will be revisited in the nursing program. If they take the time to learn it now, then they will get to sleep a little more at night during the program and worry less about exams. Speaking of exams, thank you for the exam questions that require a lot more critical thinking. I didn’t necessarily enjoy them at the time, but they helped train my brain to think in a new and improved way.

I don’t want to bore you with all the topics that have helped me so far, but here’s a quick bullet list:

  • Nervous system and neurotransmitters
  • Hormones (origin, target, and action)
  • BP regulation (short term and long term, especially the R-A-A system)
  • Immunity (humoral, cell mediated, active/passive, natural/acquired, and antimicrobial therapy)
  • Principles of gas exchange, and respiratory diseases
  • Carbonic acid formula
  • Fluid, Electrolyte, and Acid Base Balance (especially this!)
  • Diabetes

Truly, I can’t thank all of you enough. I appreciate your knowledge and the ways you’ve challenged me to grow as a student. Warmest Regards, Mariah Earl”

When a student says thank you, there’s an instant feeling of purpose, of making a difference, and of knowing that what you do each day as an educator is and will change lives.  It’s something I can’t accurately describe in words, but I hope Mariah and all of our students know… we at BC… staff, faculty and administrators – we can’t thank you enough as well. You are the heart and soul of what drives us each day. You are the future so be brave and follow your dreams boldly. Thank you for your dedication to your studies – it’s the most important thing you could do. You’re an inspiration for us, your fellow students, and your community.

BC’s Nursing Students Graduate!

Here are some pictures of our RN and VN students graduating.  Thank you Nan and Cindy.  And Nan wanted me to include the Nightingale Pledge a modified “Hippocratic Oath” composed in 1893 by Lystra E. Gretter and a Committee for the Farrand Training School for Nurses, Detroit, Michigan. It was called the Florence Nightingale Pledge as a token of esteem for the founder of modern nursing.

I solemnly pledge myself before God and in the presence of this assembly, to pass my life in purity and to practice my profession faithfully. I will abstain from whatever is deleterious and mischievous, and will not take or knowingly administer any harmful drug. I will do all in my power to maintain and elevate the standard of my profession, and will hold in confidence all personal matters committed to my keeping and all family affairs coming to my knowledge in the practice of my calling. With loyalty will I endeavor to aid the physician in his work, and devote myself to the welfare of those committed to my care.

Community Voices: Jack Hernandez

 I loved seeing Jack Hernandez’s piece in the Californian. He begins by saying,
“When I came to BC many years ago, I saw by the front door of the administration building a plaque dated 1955 with the words, “Only the Educated are Free.”

Did you know that plaque still resides on the right-hand side of the admin buildings entry doors?  Jack’s article made me take a moment and pause Monday morning when I arrived on campus. Thank you for the reminder Jack, of what it means to be free.

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If you haven’t read the piece, make sure to take a moment. It’s worth your time and available at http://www.bakersfield.com/opinion/community-voices-only-the-educated-are-free/article_0e788a32-0784-58a7-b775-5eedf25ceff8.html

BC Adjunct Faculty Olivia Garcia on BC Public Safety

oliviagarcia_fromopeningdayAny time a tragedy strikes at a school or college, it affects all educational campuses across the globe and we feel it, right at home on the campus of BC. Last weekend Olivia Garcia, a local journalist and adjunct faculty member, featured BC public safety Director, Chris Counts, in a published piece. Olivia said, “The recent attack at Ohio State University has left a somber mood at colleges and campuses throughout the nation.” Check out the piece at http://www.bakersfield.com/columnists/olivia-garcia-bc-public-safety-official-reflects-on-ohio-state/article_3858defc-bd72-5a7c-9574-ac4da11df084.html

Equity TV and David Moton

Kate Pluta sent me the link to Equity TV episode featuring David Moton, Department Chair of English.  I loved watching and hearing from both Francis Mayer and David Moton.  Check it out.

Pueblo Fest — Mark your Calendars, March 17th, 18th, 19th, 2017

Recently I had dinner with Arnoldo Avalos, member of the Board of Governors for California’s Community Colleges and he talked about this music festival he is bringing to the Central Valley.  Very exciting.  Guess where I am going to be on March 17th, 18th and 19th…

Here is a picture with Arnoldo Avalos when he visited Bakersfield College in his official capacity as a member of the BOG. From left to right: Arnoldo Avalos, Connie Conway, Sonya Christian, Romeo Agbalog, Vince Stewart

Avalos Conway Christian Agbalog Stewart April 29 2016

Arnoldo Avalos, Connie Conway, Sonya Christian, Romeo Agbalog, Vince Stewart

Here is an excerpt from an email he sent me.

I want to introduce you to Pueblofest – the first ever regional Mexican music festival in the history of the United States being held at the international ag-center in Tulare CA. Pueblofest is a family friend event with a social purpose. The venue holds up to 100k people. The music will attract our community now we need to inspire them! We plan to have over 100 nonprofits at the music festivals to help educate and provide services to concert goers.

Pueblofest has an amazing line up of artists like Tigre del Norte, Tucanes de Tijuana, Intocables, Voz del Mando, Original Banda el Limón, Cheque Peña, and others coming to the Central Valley. In addition, we will have many motivational speakers like Jose Hernandez (US astronaut), Dr Raul Ruiz MD (3 degrees from Harvard – US congressman), Amanda Renteria (1st Latina Chief of Staff for US Senator) and many others.

Check it out http://pueblofest.com/

 

 

The Bakersfield Californian, a community gem!

Did you notice that I referred a lot to The Bakersfield Californian in my blog.  TBC is a local treasure.  Been with us for over 100 years.  As an aside, in response to a question posed by Richard Beene, Lois Henry at the Vision for the Valley sent a call out to the community to support the work journalists do!  I agree!

Cindy Collier — BC’s gem

On Friday, I was interviewing a candidate for a position here at BC and she talked about why she wanted to come to BC.  She said it was because of the people who work here.  They seem to watch out for each other and care for each other.  And the example that she gave me was our Dean for Allied Health and CTE Cindy Collier.

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So I went back and read an email Cindy recently sent me.  So, you see Bakersfield, this is why BC is so special

Good morning Sonya,

Just wanted to share a few photos with you from our VN and RN pinning ceremonies that were held this week.  I was particularly moved by the story of Brandy Billingsly one of our VN graduates who shared her journey through nursing school.

brandy-billingsy-dec-9-2016A single mom with 3 children, spoke of the challenges of nursing school, the long hours in class and studying that kept her away from her children, she cried as she apologized for the countless football games missed, the early mornings that she had to wake her children up to take them to their “Nana’s” house so that she could be in the clinical setting at 6:00 a.m., the weekends that she had to give up because she had to work,  but at the same time she graciously thanked her employer for allowing the opportunity to work every weekend for the past 18 months so that she could complete nursing school.  She thanked her classmates for being her family and allowing her to cry on their shoulders when she failed a test or just couldn’t understand her material, and she thanked her professors for showing up each and everyday teaching and re-teaching her the material so that she could be the best nurse possible. As she wiped the tears from her eyes she looked out into the audience and told them that she wasn’t very strong, but she had to be strong so that she could do this (complete nursing school) for her family so that they could have a better life. And she then looked back at her classmates and told them “WE ARE SIMPLY AMAZING”!  And I looked around the audience of family members, friends and faculty totally moved by her story, I thought yes she’s right – our students are simply amazing.

 After coming home, I had the opportunity to reflect upon my own week and I was reminded why I chose to work at a Community College, it’s because of our students and the way that we (BC) change their lives.  Leaving our doors this week we have over 75 nursing graduates (RN and VN) who will very soon enter the workforce and will have the opportunity to earn beginning wages of greater than $50,000/year which is a family sustaining livable wage. This is huge, not only for our students but our community as well.

As I continue to reflect on why I am so blessed to work at BC, I also am amazed and awed by the support that we have from our community. Yesterday’s advisory board meeting for our Industrial Automation Baccalaureate degree was just awesome.  I listened to these high-powered business men and women who were so thankful for BC to take on the challenge to be one of the 15 pilot college’s, but at the same time had no problem being very frank with us on how we market our program, use data and systems to track our students and program’s success and quite frankly meet their needs for the 21st century employee.

Listening to our partner’s from KHSD who talked about the shared vision for students, through Dual Enrollment and Pathways that align curriculum and programs from 9th grade on, made me proud of the work that we’ve done with Dual Enrollment (despite its challenges). But most importantly what awed me the most was our students; they spoke of how this new degree has opened the door of possibilities for them.  One student who is currently working full-time in the field, while attending our program shared how he knows completing this degree will provide him with so many other career opportunities, he will no longer be stuck in an entry level job.  Another student shared how she really wanted to be an engineer, but last year while in the Calculus, Chemistry, Physics series she discovered she was pregnant with her 3rd child and she just couldn’t ask her family to take on the responsibility of raising her children for the next 4+ years while she completed the necessary courses to earn this degree, but the Industrial Automation degree now provided her with an achievable degree and on-top of it all she really loved what she was learning – she was enjoying putting things together and this program really made sense to her.

So, my dear president even though I am really exhausted and I believe your speech at the President’s Cabinet retreat in August about our 20-mile march this semester was a bunch of baloney, because this semester really has been a 20-mile sprint, I am grateful for you and the fact that you allow each and every one of us to be a part of this privilege to change student’s lives.  So, thank you for inspiring us to think beyond the status quo and for empowering us to move exciting ideas forward.

Cindy, thank you for your email!

It is the holiday season friends.  We have so much to be thankful for.  Reach out to the person close to you and give them a hug.  I am right now in my office and I walked over to say hello to Jackie Lau working away in Admission and Records to give her a hug.

 

jackie-lau-and-sonya-christian-dec-10-2016

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next week.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya — with Jackie Lau on campus on Saturday, Dec 10th.