Tag Archives: Chancellor Tom Burke

Renegades gearing up for the new academic year

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, August 17, 2019… A great day to be a Renegade.

2019 Football Media Day

From Mayor Karen Goh’s FB post

For the third consecutive year we celebrated the start of the upcoming football season with media day out at Memorial Stadium. This year the event focused on the new field turf and track that were installed over the course of the summer, thanks to Measure J funding. Our community support was in full force as we welcomed Mayor Goh, KCCD Trustee Romeo Agbalog, Chancellor Tom Burke, BPD Chief Martin, KHSD Administrator (and former Renegade QB) Stan Greene, President of the Condors Matt Riley and a host of others who were able to see the new field for the first time in-person. The new field looks spectacular and we can’t wait to welcome Mt. SAC into Memorial Stadium for the first home football game on Saturday, Sept. 7th at 6pm. It’s not too late to get your season tickets by visiting Vallittix.com or calling 661-322-5200. Go Gades!

Trustee Abalog and President Christian clapping.
Trustee Romeo Agbalog and me
Chad Manning, Tom Burke, Stan Greene
Ed Davis, Tom Burke, Jeff Chudy

Enjoyed looking at 2018 pictures and comparing it to 2019. My hair is a lot longer 🙂 I got most of the photos from Mayor Goh’s Facebook page. Thank you mayor!

Thank you Brandon Urry for pulling off another great Media Day. You are an amazing addition to the BC team.

Sonya Christian, Brandon Urry

“Real Star of BC football media day? The new turf.”

Loved waking up to this headline, by Robert Price, on the front page of The Bakersfield Californian, below the fold.

Read it online at The Bakersfield Californian.

inspecting the astroturf.
(front) Romeo Agbalog, Lilly Agbalog, Keith Ford,
(back) Liz Mojica, Robert Price.

Last week construction work at the Bakersfield College Memorial Stadium shifted to being done overnight in order for W2W Sport Flooring workers to avoid the daytime extreme heat conditions. Construction work is 8:00 p.m. through 8:00 a.m. during the regular work week throughout the month of August.  Bakersfield College greatly appreciates the neighborhood’s cooperation during this time, and its understanding of the necessary measures taken to avoid heat exhaustion. The health and safety of the construction employees is of the utmost importance to both Bakersfield College and W2W Sport Flooring. 

Renegade Football at Downtown Rotary

Reggie Bolton, Sandi Taylor, Norma Rojas-Mora, Jeff Chudy, Trustee Agbalog, Mayor Goh, Brandon Urry, Sonya Christian, Zach Hartsfield

BC was showing its pride at this week’s Downtown Rotary meeting!  Head football coach Jeff Chudy spoke about the upcoming season and the toughness of the Renegade team — both physically and mentally.  Zach Hartsfield #88 was in attendance; not only is Zach a stellar player, but he also maintains a 3.0G PA at BC!  

Sonya and a football player in jersey.
Me with Renegade Zach Hartsfield

Opening Day is Next Week!

It’s almost here, our annual campus Opening Day will take place on Thursday, August 22, 2019 in the Indoor Theater. Remember, this is the only day of the year that we close the campus to students and the public to ensure that all employees can come together in community to participate in this all-day event. For this year’s Opening Day, we have also invited community leaders to address our campus.  This is my seventh Opening Day as president and my seventh State of the College. I cannot be prouder of BC! 

Logistics team: Dylan, Earl, Eric, Aricia, Monika, Kevin, & Kristin

We have new managers, we have new classified, and we have new faculty. What better way to welcome them to the Home of the Renegades than a grand Opening Day.

Besides the annual State of the College address and hearing from constituent leaders Tina Johnson, CSEA; Ann Tatum, CCA; Steven Holmes, Academic Senate, and Manny Mourtzanos, Management Association, we should all look forward to hearing from our insightful community panelists. 

On BC’s Health Equity and Learning initiative, we will hear from Adventist Health’s CEO Sharlet Briggs, Dignity Health’s CEO Ken Keller, and Centric Health’s Physician Partner Dr. Jeet Singh. To share more about our partnership with high schools and its impact in the community, Senator Jean Fuller will be moderating a panel with Barbara Grimm, founder of Grimmway Academy, Aaron Resendez, Superintendent of McFarland Unified School District, and Myka Peck, Principal of Garces High School.

You will hear from our winners of the Margaret Levinson Leadership Award and the Shirley Trembley Teaching Award, Kimberly Nickell, Helen Acosta, and Regina Hukill.  We will also hear from Reggie Williams and Susan Pinza about the Levan Center and the Levan Institute.

 It is an exciting time to be a Renegade. Here’s to a great 2019-2020 year at Bakersfield College!

Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce 2019 Energy and Ag Academy

Last week 50 students graduated from the Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce 2019 Energy and Ag Academy. The event honored students who participated in the summer program to learn about Kern County’s largest industries, energy and agricultural, and how these industries both feed and power the world.

Standing around the Hispanic Chamber Energy and Agriculture Academy sign.
Mayor Goh, Jorhe Barrientos, Norma Rojas-Mora, Jamie Doniaz, Tony Cordova, Jay Tamsi

The graduating class includes students from local high schools, Bakersfield College, California State University of Bakersfield and Fresno State. The academy was sponsored by Aera Energy, Bakersfield College, Chevron, Kern Energy Foundation and California Resources Corporation.

Check out the group photo in b/w:

Black and White of large group.

The summer program included speakers in the energy and ag industries, field trips to local energy and ag facilities, leadership opportunities, meeting with elected officials, and financial scholarships.

BC’s Drum & Bugle Corps at DCI World Championships in Indianapolis

BC’s Golden Empire Drum and Bugle Corps is wrapping up its summer tour of the United States this week, advancing to the Open Class finals at Indiana Wesleyan University.

The Golden Empire Drum and Bugle Corps placed 9th in their division in the DCI World Championships competition.

“Students and staff pushed through the most challenging season to date both on and off the field,” Heasley said. “The corps faced adversity with a sense of determination. They return home with the true grit needed to face the next challenge, whatever it may be.”

Follow the Golden Empire Drum and Bugle Corps’ adventures throughout the year:

BC’s Guided Pathways Team on the Road

A Bakersfield College team traveled to Long Beach this week to present to Compton College faculty, staff, and administrators on our Guided Pathways implementation with a focus on our Completion Coaching Communities as a way to advance equitable student achievement and completion. Compton College invited BC to present as they develop their very own version of completion coaching which they are calling their “Tartar Success Teams.”

The team shared with me what an honor it was to participate in Compton’s early implementation and to learn about the remarkable work Compton College is doing to re-energize their college campus and serve the students in their community. 

Keith Curry, Compton College President, Lisa Robles, BC Program Manager – Student Success & Equity, Grace Commiso, Counselor, Jonathan Ward, Counselor, Armando Trujillo, Advisor – Veterans

HVAC Lab Delano

Check out the newest pics of Delano’s HVAC Lab, made possible by funding secured in 2018 by Assembly Member Rudy Salas

The lab is now finished, and will be ready for students to use this Fall.  This hands-on facility will serve Renegades interested in this high demand career field!

You can read when I announced the unveiling of our HVAC Tech Program in my October 21, 2018 blog. The Bakersfield College Delano Campus unveiled its new HVAC Tech program and broke ground for the new facility on October 15, 2018 with a projected completion by Summer 2019. This program is a part of Bakersfield College’s Rural Initiatives, which target BC’s surrounding communities to equip more residents with workforce skills through college education. The funding for this program comes from the monies secured by Assemblyman Rudy Salas in the 2018-2019 state budget. And thank you Trustee Romeo Agbalog for your passion and support of North Kern communities.

Groundbreaking October 15, 2018

Grant to Alleviate Food Insecurity Among BC Students

Bakersfield College’s Renegade Pantry has received a $20,000 grant from the Kern Partnership for Children and Families to further alleviate food insecurity among college students.

5 Staff members in front of well stocked shelves.
Staff stocking shelves and refrigerator with groceries.

The Renegade Pantry is fortunate to receive contributions from BC staff and the greater Bakersfield community. Donations enable pantry staff to provide groceries to students in need. Learn more about donating to the Bakersfield College Renegade Pantry on our website or contact The Office of Student Life at (661) 395-4355. 

Thank you Nicky Damania for all that you do for BC and our students.

Veterans Mentorship Program

On Friday, August 2, Bakersfield College Veteran Services and the Chevron SJV  Veterans Network kicked off the first ever Chevron SJV Veterans Network-Bakersfield College Student Veterans Mentorship Program at Rosa’s Italian Restaurant.  The program is designed to assist STEM-minded student-veterans with mentorship guidance from Chevron engineers and other Chevron employees who are also veterans. This is a timely program considering that the new Forever GI Bill now offers the Edith Nourse Rogers STEM Scholarship, providing up to nine months of additional Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits to qualifying veterans seeking an undergraduate STEM degree.

Mentors and students seated at a long table for dinner.

The SI Fab Four
Help me if you can; my grades are down!

Welcome SI Mentors with a hear sign.

I’ll bet you didn’t know that BC’s Supplemental Instruction, otherwise known as SI, has its very own team of Mentors each semester.  The newest group of SI Mentors for Fall 2019, Oscar Hernandez, Alejandra Hernandez, Debbie Stapp, Hunter Pentico, and their Program Manager Eileen Pierce planned out the 7 Mentor Meetings that they will facilitate as they train the incoming crop of 24 brand new SI Leaders, many of whom have very little experience with public speaking and certainly no real experience with teaching.

with arms in various poses.
The SI Fab Four: (L to R) Mentors Oscar Hernandez, Alejandra Hernandez, Debbie Stapp, and Hunter Pentico

If anyone wants more information about SI at Bakersfield College, please contact Eileen Pierce at 395-4202, epierce@bakersfieldcollege.edu, or visit our SI website.

Last Express Enrollment of the Summer

Prospective students in a classroom learning about programs in our catalog.

Students at the Panorama Campus had one last chance to register for their classes on Thursday during the last Express Enrollment event on the main campus before the start of the fall semester.

Representatives from Outreach and School Relations gave students a brief orientation of BC’s programs of study in the Forum before moving over to the Computer Commons area in the library for hands-on assistance with registration for the Fall semester.

Staff assisting a student enroll in the computer lab.

There will be two more Express Enrollment events targeting rural Kern County students at the Job Spot on 1501 Panama Lane on Monday at 3 p.m. and the Wasco Adult Education Center on Wednesday at 4 p.m. I would like to thank everyone on the Outreach Team for all that they do to help our students clarify and enter the pathway to their education.

Fun Photos

Enrollment Services Retreat

Last week, Enrollment Services, including the staff of Admissions and Records and Testing and Placement Center, participated in their annual retreat. Special Guest Stephanie Baltazar trained them on “Dealing with Difficult People Having Hard Conversations.” The retreat was a day of team bonding and customer service training.

Enrollment Services Team

The Last Summer Bridge 2019

Summer Bridge held their last class this week. They posted some great photos on the Summer Bridge Facebook page:

Large group of students and faculty on the grass.

Todd’s Vacation

This year the Coston family went camping in the Sequoia National Forest at the Lower Peppermint Creek campground.  The area is close by, and a nice respite from the hot weather during Bakersfield summers. Todd and Cari enjoying the view at Dome Rock. 

Standing together with a forest and mountain background.

One of the hikes was to a beautiful waterfall that is a part of Peppermint Creek.

waterfall.

Part of the adventure is to get the adrenaline going by jumping into natural pools.

Last Year’s Vacation Photo 

Bill Potter, Tamara Baker and Todd Coston were busy preparing this week for their Opening Day presentation on Measure J.  

Todd, Bill and Tamara with party hats and cupcakes.

As you might remember, they took a “vacation” last year, so who knows what they have planned this time!

Bill and Todd holding on to the Eiffel tower and Tamara falling.

Library’s Statue

Check out the statue on the second floor of the library! Someone is enjoying the last days of summer.

Statue of female student reading dressed with goggles, beach towel and flamingo float.

Stadium Photography

Dylan taking a photo with the stadium field in the background.
MPR’s Dylan taking pictures of the Stadium.

Athletics Update

Congrats to Anieus Medrano

Anieus Medrano University of Texas El Paso.

Renegade Men’s Basketball standout Anieus Medrano announced this week that he will be continuing his academic and athletic career at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). Anieus played here at BC for two years under head coach Rich Hughes and is now the 44th student athlete from this year to sign with a four-year school. We wish you all the best at UTEP Anieus and continued success in your future endeavors. 

2019 Spring Student Athlete Honor Roll

Spring 2019 Student Athlete Honor Roll BC.

The annual Renegade Athletics Spring Honor Roll has been released for 2019. A huge congratulations goes out to all the student athletes on the distinction of being named to the list. We had 56 student athletes named Distinguished Scholars (3.5-4.0 GPA) and 62 that were named Outstanding Scholars (3.0-3.49 GPA). View the full list of names in the release on GoGades

Sonya waves to the crowd with Romeo clapping for her.


That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

sonya-
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Welcome Week Fall 2018

Good morning Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, August 25, 2018….
the day a great American Hero, John McCain, passed away.

Here is one of the many McCain character moments that I love.

Senator John McCain, an American Hero!

Now to get back to Bakersfield College…. woke up to BC featured in The Bakersfield Californian and the Bakersfield Life magazine.

For starters Erin Auerbach‘s piece was published in the Bakersfield Life Magazine.

Erin Auerbach Bakersfield Life August 25 2018 cropped

Renegade Athlete Cameron Robeson

August 25 2018 Bakersfield Life Football

Great piece on the Homeless Shelter

Bakersfield Life Homeless Shelter

 

Welcome Week Fall 2018

Enrollments are up for the fifth year in a row! BC’s current FTES has increased by 3.8%!  The campus has been hustling and bustling, which is a nice change from the quiet that typically falls over the campus during the summer. Welcome to Fall 2018 – it’s a great day to be a Renegade!

The Office of Student Life and the Outreach & School Relations Department had welcome tents around Panorama campus for staff and faculty Renegades to greet arriving students and be available to help them with campus information and student planners. The tables were at the Administration Building, Red and White Way near the Huddle, and at the Roundabout in P3, the solar parking lot. Student Life also had golf carts roaming the campus offering rides and guidance to students as they walked around campus.

Kristina Whitmore from the Student Success and Equity Office was also driving a cart. They are calling it the “GUBER” ride.  I think this meant a Golf Cart UBER – but who knows?!

Fun Photos - Guber Ride

Kristina Whitmore drives students in a BC cart on Opening Day

Multiple activities were hosted around campus to ensure that students had something to do between classes. Faculty and staff were out and about and the campus was bustling with activities. It was great to see Dean Billie Jo Rice having her morning coffee and sharing about BC’s ISER with Ginger Leblanc out in front of the Grace Van Dyke Bird Library.  Just love this photos….great smiles…and so relaxed.  We are BC!

Fun Photos - Billie Jo Rice talking about the ISER

Billie Jo Rice talking about the ISER.

Office of Student Life and the Outreach and School Relations department hosted a table near the Administration Building where they were able to help students, answer questions, and talk about BC. The people in the Office of Student Life and your Bakersfield College Student Government Association (BCSGA) understand how overwhelming that first day of the semester can be.

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Public Safety had officers conducting high visibility patrols in the parking lots. They, too, assisted students with questions regarding parking permits and where their classes were located on campus. We set up a right-turn-only traffic direction when leaving by the main driveway to assist students and staff to exit the campus easily onto Haley Street. This right-turn-only exit has helped in reducing congestion there.

The Welcome Center was an incredible hub of energy serving students with all sorts of questions and concerns throughout the first week. The camera was flashing non-stop as the Welcome Center crew prepared student ID’s for all our new Renegades. The amazing Steve Watkin, Director of Outreach and Dual Enrollment was also spending time at the front counter to assist students one-on-one.

First Day of School - Savannah and Ashlea Ward in Welcome Center

Savannah Andrews and Ashlea Ward in the Welcome Center

First Day of School - Steve Watkin in the WElcome Center

Steve Watkin assisting students at the Welcome Center

I’m the luckiest and happiest college president ever because of the way that BC truly supports our students. On Opening Day, it was incredible to see the helping hands of management, faculty, and staff everywhere! Like Corny Rodriguez, Manny Mourtzanos, Michele Bresso, Bill Moseley and others who I spotted in BC Food Services taking ticket orders or crafting sandwiches.

First Day of School - Corny Rodriguez

Corny Rodriguez in Food Service

First Day of School - Management helping in Food Services

Management Team including Manny Mourtzanos, Michele Bresso, Khushnur Dadabhoy, and Lisa Kent in Food Services

The Bakersfield Californian highlighted the smooth opening week due to the hard work of our Measure J construction planning team. In the article, “BC delays parking lot work to September, college opens smoothly” Steven Mayer said, “The college’s efforts to convince students, staff and faculty to ride the bus, carpool, ride a bike, or be dropped off may have helped ease the pressure. And administrators postponed plans to close a parking lot for improvements, a decision that likely was met with a sigh of relief from some students.”  Students who are mentioned in the article took various modes of transportation to class and that’s wonderful to hear since our team has created partnerships and programs to help ease the commuter transportation burden.

Partnership with Kern Transit

Check out Tamara Baker’s post on Facebook with Tabatha Mills of KGET who helped share the news about this incredible partnership. You can view the story HERE!

BC, KGET and Kern Transit promoting the new partnership offering free rides to BC students.Bakersfield College students can ride Kern Transit for FREE as long as they present a valid student ID. Free rides begin in the Fall 2018 semester and will continue through the Spring 2019 semester. Students may ride free on all 100-numbered routes, not just on routes to and from the school, so they can save money commuting all around Kern County! For more information about routes and schedules, visit the Kern Transit website.

Rise and Shine Renegades

Dr. Nicky Damania was out early Tuesday morning sharing valuable information with Claudette Stefanian and the Eyewitness News team to get our Renegades off to a good start!  During the four live broadcasts, Dr. Nicky Damania highlighted the Renegade Shuttle Express and the expansion of the service to help students access all our campuses and provided tips for student success as well as sharing the many ways students can get involved.

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Bakersfield College’s SGA’s Student Activities Manager, Beth Hilne shared information regarding the 2018-2019 activities planned for students and the community and provided a warm Renegade welcome.  The team was out early and clearly committed to sharing information that will set our students up for success! And what a beautiful sunrise over Bakersfield College!!

Two additional bus services provided to students and employees

This year we decided to offer two additional bus services to our students and employees.

#1. A FREE parking shuttle service to bring students into the core of the campus from the parking lots on the south side of the campus.   This service will be provided during the crucial first four weeks of the term will help new students navigate the Panorama campus and get to class on time.  Thank you to Joseph Luiz of the Bakersfield Californian for helping share the news. You can read his story HERE!

#2. An express bus service between  our two campuses — one in the Southwest (Buena Vista and Stockdale) and the main campus on Panorama.  The Express runs from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Thursday.  

This week, I’ve been enjoying my rides to campus using the Express Bus service. Here I am leaving my home walking to Bakersfield College Southwest campus to catch the express bus. When I forwarded the photo to Monika so could upload it for me, she smiled and said, “Did you really walk from home?!”

IMG_1994

On my way to catch the shuttle at BC SouthWest.

If you look closely, I’ve still got my comfy walking moccasins on in the photo. The answer is yes! Although, I did change into my more formal shoes as soon as I boarded the shuttle. This week, I’ve enjoyed my morning walks to BC Southwest and I’ve enjoyed riding the Express bus too. It’s wonderful to have a little bit of extra time to brainstorm my day while on the way to BC Panorama while saving parking spots on the main campus for our students.  Students come first!  #WeAreBC

shuttle-map-new

Renegade Express Shuttle Routes on Panorama Campus

Norma Rojas Mora on Telemundo — Todos Somos BC

Norma Rojas Mora Jose and Norma Gaspar August 24 2018.png

Telemundo hosts Norma Gaspar and Jose Gaspar spoke with Norma Rojas-Mora who shared information regarding the new shuttle services available to Bakersfield College students as well as the partnership with Kern Transit to provide free transportation to those students with a valid Bakersfield College I.D.  The availability of the shuttles for students who may have obstacles getting to school and Bakersfield College’s efforts to set up students for success through these services were highlighted.  The hosts recognized Bakersfield College’s efforts to help alleviate parking concerns for students and the surrounding community.   Closing out the segment with our traditional call of “Todos Somos, Bakersfield College.

BC Southwest Tutoring Team

The BC Southwest Tutoring Center Team was also all hands on deck this week. Maria Wright visited them Wednesday morning and  found they had a group of students already identified as “regulars.”

BC Southwest Tutoring Team

BC Southwest Tutoring Team during Welcome Week.

The enthusiasm of this team is incredible! The Center opened on Monday of this week and they have already done classroom presentations and have students coming in regularly to receive tutoring support in various subjects. #WeareBC and we support our students.

CCCO IEPI Summer Budget Workshop

The Institutional Effectiveness  Partnership Initiative (IEPI) Summer Budget Workshop presented by the College Finance & Facilities Division of the Chancellor’s Office was on Wednesday, August 15, 2018 in Newport Beach. Zach Quiroz, Budget Analyst, and Somaly Boles, Manager of Financial Information, joined other community college financial leaders across the state to learn of the new educational and fiscal policies California is using to shape the future of California institutions of higher learning.  Here is a selfie they snapped with Chancellor Burke.

CCCCO IEPI Summer Budget Workshop

KCCD Chancellor Tom Burke with Somaly Boles and Zach Quiroz of BC

Clayton & Libby Rippey

Jerry Ludeke and the BC Archives team does an incredible job of keeping up to date with the most recent news of alumni, former employees and former faculty. It was shared this week that Clayton Rippey’s wife, Libby Hedden, has passed away. Clayton retired in 1980 with 31 years of service within the Kern Community College District. More recently, Clayton and Libby had been living (and both of them painting) in Las Vegas. The Bakersfield Californian spotlighted Clayton and his love of art in a 2016 article titled “Rippeys for sale: Art lovers get rare crack at trove of paintings.

While Clayton is a nationally recognized artist, we remember him on the BC faculty for 31 years teaching art and both designing and building the iconic Renegade knight mosaic that stands at the Haley-Panorama corner of campus. But, did you know he also created the color Porterville Pirate mosaic in 1960 in a nautical compass and pirate theme? Our well-loved and cherished Renegade mosaic is one of the most well known and iconic parts of Bakersfield.

Have I told you recently that I’m the luckiest and happiest college president ever? It’s because each and every member of the BC community leaves a significant impression and a positive legacy on our campus, just like Clayton Rippey.

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Renegade Report

The Renegade Report is an online program from BC Athletics hosted by Ken Calvin, a former BC student athlete and football coach.  Check out the great segments below, and follow them on YouTube!

Don Kessler, BC supporter and current Centennial HS trainer and equipment manager and father of NFL QB Cody Kessler

Vayron Martinez, BC Head Men’s Soccer Coach

Jose Lara, Tyler Mendez – BC Men’s Soccer player

Scott Dameron, BC Head Women’s Soccer Coach

Delaney Boyer, Drew Hallum, Brooke McDonald – BC Women’s Soccer Player

Thank you to Athletics Manager of Communications and Community Relations Brandon Urry for keeping the YouTube channel updated!

Football Season Has Begun!

The football team started their season out with a scrimmage this last Wednesday against Antelope Valley College. Our Renegades are ready to start the season and get going on their season started strong. Be sure to keep up with our athletics teams on social media and http://www.gogades.com The first home game is on September 8th at 6:00pm in Memorial Stadium against the El Camino College Warriors.

Bakersfield College vs Antelope Valley Scrimmage

BC vs AV FB Scrimmage10

Bakersfield College vs Antelope Valley Scrimmage

Football Tailgating Themes Announced

If you love to tailgate, please come out and join us for our home football tailgating contests. Each week has a theme and contestants are judged for the chance to win a $500 cash prize! This year’s tailgating themes are:

  • September 8th – “BC School Pride”
  • September 15th – “Favorite Football Team”
  • September 29th – “Americana”
  • October 27th – *Homecoming* “Old School BC” – Honoring 30th Anniversary of 1988 BC JC National Championship Team with post-game fireworks
  • November 3rd – “Salute to Veterans”

BC Football Tailgating

Judging for each day will begin at 4:30pm and end by 5:30pm, and each winner will be required to complete necessary paperwork in order to claim their prize.

In order to make sure that we have a fun and safe tailgating experience, please see the following BC Football rules and regulations:

  1. Tailgating area is closed at 11:00pm
  2. Do not block red curb with vehicles or move any barricades
  3. Please throw away trash in bins provided in the tailgating area
  4. Do not throw hot coals onto the parking lot (please deposit into the new hot coal containers)
  5. Follow Public Safety Officer’s directions as to how to park in the tailgating area
  6. Tailgating is allowed in the tailgating area only
  7. Guests who do not follow the tailgating rules and regulations are subject to being banned from the tailgating area for the remainder of the football season

Swim Team Announces 4th Annual Free Community Swim Lessons

The Bakersfield College Men’s and Women’s swim team will be hosting the 4th Annual Free Community Swim Lesson and Six-Hour Relay on Saturday, September 15th, 2018 at the BC Pool.  The event will last from 8:00am-2:00pm and will feature a free 30-minute swim lesson for each child. Parents will also receive water safety tips! Attendees are encouraged to attend whenever they are able to throughout the day. The event is free and open to anyone who would like to participate.

4th Annual Community Swim Lessons September 14 at BC Pool

Math Hub is Open

I was delighted this week to read an email that the Math Hub is open for the fall semester! You may not know this but the Math Hub is run on a drop in basis for all students! This means no appointments are necessary. The environment is conducive for independent studying and students are more than welcome to use the space to work on homework and ask questions. The Math Hub is located in MS 113 (next door to the Planetarium) and is a space where students can come and receive help in any BC math course, Pre-Algebra through Calculus, Statistics/Probability, and Psych B5. Every day the space is staffed with a professional math tutor and peer tutors.

Emails Worth Sharing

Carla Gard and I both received an email worth sharing this week from Abel Guzman who shared an experience that took place at the BC Delano campus. He said:

“Yesterday morning we had a student on the Delano Campus who had a seizure in class. As I came into the class, the student was laying on his side with another student on her knees by his side. As we waited for paramedics to arrive the student helping kept checking on the other student. Once paramedics arrived, the helpful student took a sigh of relief and told me ‘Thank God for the BC CNA class that taught me how to handle this situation.’”

Kren Campbell, Bakersfield College’s CNA Director and Instructor, and her Clinical Teaching Assistants, Robert Vann, and Ashlyne Amanonce, are exemplary educators that collaborate efficiently to build incoming students into outstanding Nurse Assistants at the BC Main Campus and McFarland site. The instructors teach students a foundation that builds them into critical-thinking and caring CNAs. Upon completion of the course, and receiving their CNA certificate, most students are instilled with a desire for knowledge that they satiate by working towards and enrolling in the Vocational Nursing and Registered Nursing Programs at Bakersfield College. The community benefits from an increase in licensed healthcare workers, and this student’s action proves that further expanding the CNA Program in rural settings has a positive and amazing impact!

Delano Chamber of Commerce

The Delano Chamber of Commerce recognized BC’s commitment to post secondary education alongside Assembly Member Rudy Salas on Thursday evening at the “Taste of Delano” Awards, Installation, and Membership Appreciation Mixer.  I will cover this event next week when the photos come in.

BC was in full force at the event, including Rich McCrow, Norma Rojas-Mora, Abel Guzman, Michele Bresso, Jaime Lopez, Rachel Lopez, and Juan Torres.

BC Team with JAnet Rabanol August 23 2018

It’s a great time to be at BC!

Lisa Robles

Drop Zone Lisa KentLisa Robles on BC’s Success and Equity team sent an email Friday morning sharing that she’d recently listed to a podcast featuring the California Community Colleges Chancellor, Eloy Oakley and Executive Director of California Completes, Lande Ajose. Lisa’s email says:

“I was listening to this Podcast last night by Eloy Ortiz-Oakley, Chancellor of the California Community Colleges and Lande Ajose, Executive Director of California Competes http://californiacompetes.org/ and I was struck at how much of this work BC is already doing. http://californiacommunitycolleges.cccco.edu/Portals/0/AudioGallery/ccc18115.mp3

Dr. Ajose spoke about three areas of focus:

1)     Coordinating policy to ensure seamless transfer to 4-year schools

2)     Expanding our college entry points for returning students who got off path

3)     Comprehensive data system so we know how students are performing and identify gaps so we can get the students to completion

Julian West, Lisa Kent, Steven Watkin Feb 2018In listening to these points, I felt proud of the work we all do for our students.  Some examples that jumped were BC’s Finish in 4 project with CSUB to support transfer, our massive expansion of the rural initiatives work, inmate education, and online education to open access points to campus, and how we’ve established the Office of Institutional Effectiveness and trained dozens of data coaches so we’re all better equipped to access and use data.

Although we are making progress, there is still work to do to advance equity:

The Office of Student Success & Equity is wholly focused on reducing inequities and supporting the Chancellor’s Vision for Success through our focus on the momentum points, the oversight of our affinity group Completion Coaching Communities, and by supporting the amazing work of the talented faculty and staff we have right here at BC.

Before I sign off, I want to say that BC is so fortunate to have folks like Abel Guzman and his team in Rural Initiatives reaching students who may never have made it to BC. And Dr. Parks, Julian West, and their team working towards the success of our African American students. Pedro Ramirez and Manuel Rosas working diligently with our undocumented Latino students. And so, so many more.

Though the work in front of us is daunting, I feel more confident than ever that BC is not only up for the challenge, but that we are the best community college in the state with the best, most committed faculty and staff.

Happy 2018-19 to all.  I am looking forward to partnering with you to improve student completion and to build a more educated and sustainable community.

We Are BC!

Lisa

It’s Liz Rozell’s Birthday!

Our Vice President of Instruction, Liz Rozell, celebrated her birthday a little early today with the President’s Office!  Take a look at the festivities!

BC SouthWest Buzzing!

After years of service with Bakersfield College, most recently at the SW location, Officer Carlos Rios is moving on to another school district. Fernando Lara, BC’s administrator in charge of our Southwest Campus, describes Officer Rios as a dedicated, insightful, and intelligent officer. His presence will be missed at the SW location. Wish you the best, Officer Rios!

officer rios

Goodbye Officer Rios!

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Parking Smart

The Testing and Placement Center accepted my challenge to Park Smart during the beginning of the semester!  Thank you!

Sonya Christian Delano Chamber

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Thank you Firefighters & First Responders!

Good morning Bakersfield….It is Saturday, August 11, 2018. 
A great day to be a Renegade.

Hello Bessie.

Do you have children…nieces….. Well, Bessie’s story started with my daughter letting me know that she wanted a dog.  You see she has a very busy life and lives in LA.  I kept talking her out of it….and then when it appeared that she she was getting serious, I shifted to counseling her to get an older dog from the shelter making arguments like “you wont be able to take care of her as a puppy…the attention …the chewing … etc etc…” So then she tells me that she has a brilliant solution.  Have the puppy be raised for three months here in Bakersfield and then she will take her! So now there is Bessie and Neo at home, and life as I know it has changed.

 

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

 

This last week was another fabulous week at Bakersfield College.  Great people doing great things.

Thankful for our Firefighters and First Responders

38810755_10155777592758494_1806266492245770240_oOn Thursday afternoon, a grass fire started on our beloved Panorama Bluffs. This iconic and scenic area overlooks the Kern River oil fields and is historic to our community. While the flames remained  in the vegetation across the street, smoke and ash was billowing over onto campus. The administration team sprang into action, checking buildings and evacuating the north side of campus for safety. Within minutes, we needed to shut down the HVAC system campus-wide because the smoke was beginning to infiltrate the air duct systems of the buildings and we made the decision to evacuate the campus. The Child Development Center quickly reached out to parents and had children picked up. The college identified a pick-up location for all other youth and students on campus, and employees cleared the buildings and evacuated the area, avoiding the north side of campus.

Bakersfield Fire Department has shared that they “established a control line on the west flank while additional light engines and brush patrols were deployed to contain the fire’s eastward movement. The fire, which was wind-driven in light, flashy fuels, burned approximately 100 acres before being fully contained by BFD and KCFD Firefighters.”

Tyler Hartley and Ross KellyI am so thankful for the quick work of our city and county firefighters, the administration and leadership at the college, and our firefighters across the state of California and our country who brave flames locally and across the nation year round to keep us safe.

Firefighters, thank you for your hard work and for being an important part of our community. Your bravery is heroic and your service is commendable. Thank you for being selfless when you do not think twice about heading towards those flames to save lives. Thank you for being an inspiration to that young child who is fascinated and in awe of the fire trucks passing by. Thank you for staying strong, acting quickly, and protecting the city, county, and country we love.  #WeareBakersfield #WeareKernCounty and together, we support our firefighters.

Watching this video clip, I can’t help but think about our most recent class of firefighter graduates from Bakersfield College. On May 15, we celebrated the most recent class of Bakersfield College Firefighter I graduates and each year, students  learn from the special curriculum designed for Bakersfield city firefighters, curriculum that includes academic courses required for an associates of arts degree, plus on-the-job training, including the use of motorized fire equipment under emergency conditions.

Four men in an office in black and white newsprint

Beaty, football coach; Chief Phil Pifer (seated); Robert Padock assistant chief, and Norman Harris, coordinator of technical vocational education at Bakersfield College (right), meet to plan college and on-the-job training for city fire department trainees.

The Bakersfield College Fire Science program was first set up in 1956 through the joint efforts of Chief Phil Pifer of the Bakersfield Fire Department and Norman Harris, coordinator of technical vocational education at Bakersfield college. Earlier this year, Anthony Galazaga, a BC Fire Technology graduate and 26-year veteran of BFD became the newest Fire Chief at the Bakersfield Fire Department. BC continues to strive in every way to make a difference in this community through preparation and quality education for our graduates.

Exploring Early College and Touring Rural Initiatives Partnerships

Early College DataJust as the California State Legislature was inspired to adopt the California Master Plan for Higher Education in 1960, Bakersfield College is prepared to lead the way and advocate for our rural education and early college program as a model to revolutionize access to higher education. We know that the future success of our state and country demands an agile educational system with the flexibility to serve the needs of our evolving 21st Century economy and diverse student populations, and to reduce the strain on time and financial resources.

We know that at the top of our priority must be creating a system that increases access and equity, affordability, preparedness, and accountability for academic quality. The groundbreaking work being done thus far at Bakersfield College, along with the recent data documenting its success, has inspired a partnership to bring Early College to be within the grasp of every child, every student, and every family throughout our community, region, and state. Across seven high school districts in Kern County, BC expects to have a 40% increase in sections offered and will serve approximately 4,000 students during the Fall of 2018. BC has exponentially expanded the Early College Program as the groundwork for systemic change.

Educational Path

On Friday, August 3rd, I had the pleasure of touring various community sites to share  how BC is partnering with education and city leaders to expand opportunities for students. I was joined on this tour by KCCD Trustee Romeo Agbalog, Senator Jean Fuller, and Abel Guzman, BC’s Director of Rural Initiatives. Senator Jean Fuller truly values access to higher education for our youth, so I was glad she was able to see all of the amazing work happening in our rural communities.

Rural Tour - Shafter

The tour kicked off in Senator Fuller’s hometown of Shafter. David Franz, Director of the Shafter Education Partnership, met with us at the Shafter Learning Center where he shared all of the early education initiatives he oversees at the center, as well as the recent collaboration with BC. Through this partnership, BC has expanded course offerings to include morning sections, as well as consistent student services for Renegades in Shafter. The City of Shafter leadership is dedicated to providing higher education opportunities to their youth. We are very thankful to David and his team, who have made it possible for BC to establish a presence for Shafter Renegades.

Rural Tour - Group Photo 2

Sonya Christian, Shondra Walker, Raquel Lopez, Senator Jean Fuller, Trustee Romeo Agbalog, Abel Guzman, with the Wonderful Academy students

The second stop of the tour was Wonderful College Prep Academy in Delano. With nearly 40 Ag-Pathway graduates a couple of months ago, WCPA is now a proven Early College model. Shondra Walker, WCPA Principal, was gracious enough to set up a tour led by three of those graduates.

Rural Tour - Students speaking to Senator Jean FullerAt this stop, we were joined by Raquel Lopez, the program manager in charge of the Ag Pathway work for BC. At this special stop, we were able to hear about the program’s impact directly from the students. I had a great time engaging with the students, as well as seeing Senator Fuller do the same. It was evident that the Early College experience for these three young people has helped them feel more confident heading to their respective universities this fall.

Our tour ended with a very exciting meeting at McFarland High School. The principal, Brian Bell, spoke passionately about his vision to provide early college opportunities to their students.

Rural Tour - Senator Jean Fuller speaking to studentsHis administration team has been actively engaging with our BC Rural Initiatives team, and are ready to make big moves in the fall. The plan for this coming term is to double the amount of dual enrollment sections they offered last semester. Recognized as a top athletic school (particularly for Cross Country), Brian and his team are looking to add another focus for McFarland High School, and that is to become a College Pathways school. We are ready to take on that challenge and support Brian and his team!

Rural Tour - Group Photo

At McFarland

Special thanks to everyone who joined us that day, especially Senator Jean Fuller, Trustee Romeo Agbalog and our rural partners for joining us on this tour.

Final Summer Bridge of 2018

2018 Final Summer Bridge (3)

Chancellor Burke at BC

This was our last week of BC Summer Bridge 2018 freshmen academy! We served over 1300 students! There were so many highlights, too many to count. KCCD Chancellor Tom Burke spent a full ten-hour day with us this week mentoring his table of new freshmen. He said that programs like BC Summer Bridge are going to become even more important and critical to student success especially with the new community college funding model, which is based heavily on completion versus enrollment. Students who complete the BC Summer Bridge intensive Freshmen academy are twice as likely to complete more units and persist to their second year than those who do not attend the program.

Summer Bridge Outside Activity

The lead faculty who participated this year were so wonderful to work with all summer. We started the 2018 Bridge season in February with training new leads, rewriting curriculum, designing technology support, and so much more. The Curriculum and Technology leads who worked closley with me were Teresa McAllsister and Erica Menchaca. Other leads included Matt Garrett, Stephen Tavoni, Kaureen Brady, Don Brady, Marcelyn Allen, Olivia Garcia, Eddie Rangle, Jessica Wojtysiak, Mindy Wilmot, Faith Bradham, and Lisa Harding!!!

2018 Final Summer Bridge (1)

Rozell, Burke, Russell

These are some of the most amazing faculty you can ever imaging working with, and they come from across so many disciplines. The support staff, counselors, advisors, and other discipline faculty really stepped up this year. If you did not sign up as a table mentor or advisor this year, you really missed out, and the staff and faculty participants will attest to that statement. Many of these people answered text messages from us begging for coverage at 7 am. They will never fully understand our appreciation for this real time support. You know who you are, and yes, this is a thank you to YOU! Kimberly Bligh tells me, “I made many new friends, and I witnessed many blooming friendships between students, staff, and faculty who would never have crossed paths if not for the intense, powerful Summer Bridge days.”

 

2018 Final Summer Bridge (2)

Our last Bridge session was especially memorable. Kimberly Bligh said in a recent email, “I spent lunch with my support staff and the amazing Summer Bridge student peer mentors discussing our experiences and numerous special memories we have from the past 6 months. Tears of appreciation were abundant from all of us, and the testimonies shared by the student workers reinforced why I spend April through August in the scorching summer heat working 12-hour days at BC; I am fueled by passion for our students’ successes.”

Our BC Summer Bridge student workers are beyond amazing, and their growth as students, as parents, as professionals, as mentors, and as future leaders urges me to share the importance of not just hiring student workers, but more importantly mentoring them intrusively. For many, this is their first paying job, and what we impress upon them, what we teach them, and how we support them, all of these actions are critical to their life-long successes. Christina Maldonado and Isabel Castaneda, thank you for the stellar job you did this past year supporting these amazing student workers.

2018 Final Summer Bridge (1)

We have one more event on August 14th 5-8 pm that extends the Summer Bridge to families- The Family Bridge to BC Open House and New Student Convocation. There are still reservations available! Students can sign up here to bring their families! Free parking and dinner, information booths about programs and services, free t-shirt for freshmen enrolled at BC, scavenger hunt and raffle, entertainment, and welcoming ceremonies are included in the event!

Dr. Nicky Damania and Dr. Kimberly Bligh showcased the event on KGET on Friday morning. #WeareBC!

KGET Nicky Damania and Kimberly Bligh

Sign up here! and Follow Summer Bridge on Facebook!

Sending the 2018 ISER to the Accreditation Visiting Team

Over the past many, many months, the college has been preparing for the 2018 Accreditation visit where BC will be re-accredited for the next 6 years. As part of this process, we had a team of writers and editors develop the 2018 Institutional Self Evaluation Report (ISER), and this past week, we prepared the digital version and sent it to the visiting team.

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After officially emailing the document with Vice Presidents Liz Rozell and Zav Dadabhoy, we also prepared official flash drives in a special gift box that I previewed last week.

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Industrial Drawing professor, Darren Willis, took inspiration from a jewelry box designed by a BC student and made some modifications to the design. Dean of Instruction, Michele Bresso said, “Our Industrial Technology faculty and students are the best!” And friends, its true. Have I shared recently that I’m the luckiest and happiest college president ever? It’s because of faculty, staff, and students who make ideas come true and represent BC!

The packages were prepped and shipped with the help of Hannah, our student employee in the Mail Room. Thank you Hannah and Leo in BC’s Mail Room!

ISER - Mail Room Hannah

2018 Football Media Day

Our Renegade football season is right around the corner. We had the opportunity to hear from Mayor Goh and Sandi Taylor about their excitement for this coming season and also from Coach Chudy on what the team expects to do this season.

Ken Calvin and Coach Chudy

We also were treated to an “unveiling” of the new football uniforms for this coming season. The Bakersfield Fire Department drove football players Cam Roberson (#22), Carson Olivas (#10), Elisha Ortiz (#5) and James Thomas (#35) to the event on a fire engine to introduce the jerseys.

New UnisCam Roberson

Carl Bryan, the voice of BC football and Sonya Christian

Carl Bryan, the voice of BC football and Sonya Christian

Brandon Urry and Sandi Taylor

Brandon Urry and Sandi Taylor

It was a joy to see Carl Bryan at the event, who is going into his 33rd year as PA announcer for Renegade Football. I plan on being there for every game. How about you? Let’s cheer on the ‘Gades together!

And Brandon Urry, photographed above with Sandi Taylor  is BC’s star addition to the Renegade Athletics team. In his role as Community Relations Manager for Renegade Athletics, Brandon’s commitment to our student athletes, their education, the college, and our community is clear.

Media Day

Jon Mettus of the Californian highlighted the event in an amazing piece titled, “Bakersfield College football kicks off 2018 season with first full gear practice.” Media day was a great way to kick of the 2018 season. And by the way, are you following BC Athletics on social media? Be sure to stay connected with Renegade Athletics throughout the year to know the latest on our sports teams:

Stay Connected1

Wrestlers Signing to go to University of Jamestown

Every week it seems like we have more and more Renegade student athletes who are moving on to the next level.

Wrestling Signing

This week wrestler Romiro Macias and Zavion Roberson announced their commitment to attend school and wrestle at the University of Jamestown in Jamestown, ND. Congratulations to these two and all 38 of our Renegade student athletes from this last season who are moving on. Go Gades!

Wrestling Signing1

Law Enforcement Training Academy

On Thursday morning, we were honored to host the Bakersfield Law Enforcement Training Academy for the 23rd Peace Officer’s Basic Academy for the Class of 17-01. Eighteen individuals went through 24 weeks of intense training and education. The celebration opened with a class video of the class members and then four awards were presented with the highest academic award, marksmanship award, physical fitness award, and top overall achievement award. The class was introduced to the indoor theater full of family, friends, and BC Supporters as the class with the motto “Every Day Counts”.

Law Enforcement Academy Grad 2018 (2)

The class speaker, Officer Jason Perez, shed light on their experiences as a cadet in the program and the challenges they all went through. He shared that there’s a “culture of accountability” in the Bakersfield Police Department. On his birthday, Chief Lyle D. Martin told the incoming class that when he met them at the beginning, he told them they would be few at the end. He’s very proud and engaged with the students that he is crossing over today.

This is an incredible collaboration and partnership of Bakersfield Police Department and Bakersfield College. It was great to have Mayor Karen Goh and Police Chief, Lyle Martin celebrate along side Vice President Zav Dadabhoy, Rich McCrow, and Tommy Tunson. Congratulations, graduates and a special happy birthday to Lyle Martin.

Law Enforcement Academy Grad 2018 (1)

BC at the Capitol

Jennifer Johnson at the CapitolCollaboration is critical to implementing guided pathways. Faculty and student support services need to work in unison to map out program pathways across departments to define sequences of courses that students can take to fulfill program requirements. Once the maps are implemented, they must work together to guide, monitor, and support students as they enter and make progress along program pathways. Jennifer Johnson represented Bakersfield College at the Capitol on Wednesday to share stories about guided pathways implementation at BC.

It’s an exciting time to be a part of the California Community College system and as more colleges engage faculty and staff in the redesign process, we will be able to build on the lessons learned from early adopters about how to implement such reforms in ways that are cost-effective and that lead to improved learning and success for students.

Guided Pathways at the Capitol

STEM Guided Pathways Premier

This week, BC’s MESA presented: STEM Guided Pathways Premiere, a three-day event where we invited STEM majors to get insider perspective on the STEM learning culture. As well we provided an application for the MESA program, internship opportunities at NASA-AMES in Silicon Valley and fellowships with the David Dwight Eisenhower grant that will allow 8 students to do research and attend an international conference this academic year.

STEM Guided Pathways Premier

STEM professors Nick Strobel, James Mcgarrah, and Timothy Plett volunteered their time to give insight to STEM students about STEM careers and how to stay on the STEM pathway, and to be successful in STEM courses. The MESA program provided the foundation of learning for STEM major and a 10-point student plan to be successful in the STEM majors for all the students that attended.

BC Open House for Homeschoolers

We had a BC SouthWest open house for homeschoolers on Thursday evening and were excited to host eager students and their families to share the opportunities for education through BC.  If you or someone you know may be interested in options for homescholers through Bakersfield College, please reach out to homeschool@bakersfieldcollege.edu.

Open House Homeschool at BCSW

Fernando Lara addressing the families at BC-SW

Special thanks to Manny Mourtzanos, Bill Moseley, Fernando Lara, and Jo Acosta.

Ralph Bailey Show

Sonya Christian and Ralph Bailey Cropped May 18 2017

Sonya and Ralph Bailey

On Tuesday, August 7, 2018, guest host Michael Turnipseed facilitated a conversation on education, jobs and workforce development on the Ralph Bailey Show (Kern Radio 1180) with guests Supervisor Leticia Perez, Dr. Anna Laven, and Consuelo (Connie) Gonzalez. Ralph Bailey is a great supporter of Bakersfield College and our students!

Supervisor Perez discussed the beginnings of a partnership between Turnipseed, Perez, and Bakersfield College. Supervisor Perez has sought creative and effective options for spending grant funding in her district and from that initial conversation, dual enrollment began at Arvin High School to support the education needs of young people and to support local industry seeking a trained workforce.

 

Anna Laven with Michael Turnipseed Aug 7 2018

Dr. Laven explained the tremendous growth in dual enrollment resulting from the support of BC and KHSD Superintendent Bryon Schaefer.  Dr. Laven also highlighted the vision for the future, as evidenced by successes like the Wonderful Academy graduates this last May, and the potential to transform communities by bringing college to high school students.  Connie Gonzalez then came on to explain the strong support within STEM in the MESA program at BC.  Among the many program offerings, MESA provides students with both academic support and career development opportunities.

Summer at BC’s CDC

Summer at CDCBC’s Child Development Center is a special place on campus and in our community.

During the summer session, our staff at center hold a special, preschool-wide event for two weeks when all of the classrooms come together for some outside fun.

The center is an exciting and magical place of learning and it’s amazing to see the students all interact with each other, play, and enjoy the outdoor classroom.

Each class prepares a special activity or two such as chipping ice blocks to free frozen toys, running through sprinklers, or making leis to celebrate luau day.

Child Development Summer 2018

The center still has a few opening for three and four years for fall.  Information and application forms are available on the BC  website.

Celebrating Wendy

Wendy LawsonWendy Lawson has been an incredible part of the Executive Office team and this past week, we celebrated her going-away party as she moves on to the next stage in her career.

Wendy has been the Administrative Assistant for both recent Vice Presidents of Instruction, Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg and currently Liz Rozell, She’s been a fantastic member of our executive team, always willing to give a helping hand or do what she can to assist.

We will miss her bright smile and southern charm in the executive office. I’m glad we were able to celebrate Wendy’s time at the Home of the Renegades this past week. Plus, guess who made this delicious cake for the celebration?

Wendys Cake, Chris Glaser and Jennifer Marden

Happy Birthday to Jim Young

Jim Young, Chancellor Emeritus of Kern Community College District celebrated his 80th birthday recently. It reminded me of an article that Jose Gaspar wrote on Bakersfield.com titled “Forever (Jim) Young and his passion for educating Arvin’s disadvantaged.” Jim’s mission to increase access to education is one that inspires me daily. Happy Birthday Jim!

Remembering Molly

I’ve mentioned before in my blog the special bond we have with our pets and I was struck by a post on Facebook by Ag professor, Jim Selgrath who shared a bit about his dog Molly. He said, “She was an incredible friend to me when I needed a friend. Always happy to run right by my horse when I was working cattle. Loyal. Loving. An incredible dog. I miss her…”

Let’s take a moment for Molly….

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More Photos to Share

Cabinet Retreat from Monday afternoon.

Faculty chairs gathered from all disciplines in preparation for the upcoming fall semester and year ahead!

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BC’s Corny Rodriguez almost had an encounter with a bear on vacation in Mammoth Lakes!

Corny Rodriguez encounter with a bear in Mammoth Lakes

William Velasquez is at it again with his amazing photography. He took this photo on Tuesday evening as he left the BC campus.

William Velasquez Sunset photo

Liz Rozell and Monika Scott

LAUNCH LA

Art professor, David Koeth will be showing  three paintings with LAUNCH LA at the Korean Cultural Center in an exhibit called “Intersection.”

David Koeth Selfie Sep 2016

Exhibit dates are August 17 – 30, and the opening reception is August 17, 6 to 9 pm. Learn more at  http://www.launchla.org/

BC at Drum Corps International (DCI) World Championships

Drum Corps International 2I am so proud of the BC Golden Empire Drum Corps competing at the World Championships in Indianapolis! Tim Heasley, Director of Marching Arts shared with me via email that our students had a great final run and they have represented the college well.

Drum Corps International

 

 

Sonya Christian Football Media Day August 9 2018

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Summer Bridge Begins at BC

 

Good morning Bakersfield.  It is Saturday, May 26, 2018 and a great day to be a Renegade.  And why wouldn’t it be…. I woke up to BC everywhere in The Bakersfield Life Magazine.

On page 12 a spotlight on our new Vice President of Instruction, Liz Rozell.  Just love her gorgeous smile.

Liz Rozell in Bakersfield Life Magazine May 18 2018

And then on page 41 a picture of Tina Mendoza. faculty at Taft College, and Nicky Damania, Director of Student Life.

Tina Mendoza and Nicky Damania in Bakersfield Life Magazine May 18 2018

On page 21 there was Tamara Baker, a dining diva, who is right now at KEDC and will be starting at Bakersfield College shortly.  Sorry, Richard Chapman and Cheryl Scott 🙂

Tamara Baker with Dining Divas on page 41 of the Bakersfield Life Magazine May 26 2018

And finally, on page 76, a two-page recognition of our Renegade Baseball team and our amazing student athlete Zach Williams.  Coach Tim Painton is so proud of his players.

Zach Williams Renegade Baseball Athlete in Bakersfield Life May 26 2018

Zach Williams 2

 

104th Commencement for the third week in a row.  

This time let’s listen to Dr. John Gerhold sing our national anthem.

 

Summer Bridge at BC

With the 2017-18 academic year wrapped up, BC is transitioning to getting our students ready for summer and fall.

We’ve kicked off the largest year ever for the Summer Bridge to BC program, an interactive day-long orientation that gives incoming freshmen the opportunity to engage with faculty one-on-one and in group settings while touring the BC campus with experienced and knowledgeable student mentors.

I love seeing the new groups of students throughout the summer touring the campus.

Summer Bridge May 24 2018.jpg

 

As of last Thursday, there were only two open seats for students to enroll in Summer Bridge, which is offered as a course titled ACDV B55 – First Year Student Success. It’s an incredible time to be at BC!

More on Jim Ryun and the State Track Meet at BC

It was great to see friends and supporters out at the State Championships last weekend at Memorial Stadium. Dean Lofgren from El Camino College sent me the following photo with a lovely message.  He said:

We have always enjoyed coming to the well-hosted Bakersfield College meet(s). Over the many years, the Bakersfield College staff of Pam Kelley (and formerly Bob Covey) have a superb job in staging these major events. Having the infamous Jim Ryun attend this year was an added bonus. Thanks again and hope to be back again soon.

 

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See my friends, if you haven’t been to the campus on the hill in a while, it’s a great time to visit. BC is an incredible place of talent, dreams, and champions.

Here are some more photos from Nick Ellis of The Bakersfield Californian

Bob Covey, Jim Ryun, Ann Ryun, Bill Thomas, Pam Kelley.JPG

Bob Covey, Jim Ryun, Ann Ryun, Bill Thomas, Pam Kelley

Bill Thomas May 18 2018

Bill Thomas

Jim Ryun May 18 2018

Jim Ryun

Here are two photos I snapped: A selfie with two men from Bakersfield College who met up at Congress — Bill Thomas and Jim Ryun.

Bill Thomas and Jim Ryun May 18 2018

Was happy to see faculty member Jeremy Staat helping out Coach Pam Kelly for the statewide meet.  Here he is with Sandi Taylor

Sandi Taylor, Jeremy Staat at Jim Ryun event

Thank you Nick Ellis for this great picture

Sandi Taylor, Sonya Christian Photo by Nick Ellis

Sandi Taylor, Sonya Christian

 

MESA Awards Banquet

The students in the Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) program at BC got an opportunity to celebrate their accomplishments with their peers during an awards banquet on Wednesday in the Fireside Room.

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Dean Stephen Waller

Dean Stephen Waller gave a brief speech before attendees enjoyed an Italian dinner catered by Frugatti’s, reminding MESA participants that although the majority of them are first-generation college students, their hard work representing BC’s STEM program and helping organize events such as the MESA STEM and Pre-Health Conference have established a high reputation both for themselves and BC’s MESA program.

Mesa celebration May 2018

Graduating student Sharina Washington gave a testimonial about her time in the MESA program, expressing her heartfelt gratitude to MESA Director Connie Gonzales for pushing her to reach her highest potential and giving her the tools to earn the PG&E Black Engineering Scholarship and the Dwight David Eisenhower Transportation Fellowship.

Connie Gonzales Mesa May 2018

The evening’s keynote speaker was Jose Salinas, a former MESA participant who graduated from UC Davis with a degree in mechanical engineering and currently works for Northrup-Grumman, one of the largest aerospace and defense contractors in the world. After struggling at Cuesta College, Salinas’ participation in BC’s MESA program reinvigorated his love of mathematics and gave him the assistance he needed as a first-generation college student. Salinas would go on to become a tutor for the MESA program and participate in a workshop at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, an experience which helped him realize his passion for the aerospace industry. After graduating from UC Davis, Salinas got accepted to USC for the master’s program in astronautical engineering.

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Wayne Cooper

After the keynote speech, representatives from the US Department of Agriculture announced the MESA students who earned the summer and fall STEM internships with the National Resource Conservation Service and the Bureau of Land Management. The organization also won the award for MESA Sponsor of the Year. BC chemistry professor Wayne Cooper presented awards for the A+ Scholars program, which provides financial resources to help STEM students transfer to four-year universities. He also announced all of the MESA students who are graduating or transferring before being presented with MESA’s Professor of the Year award.

My heartfelt thanks for everything that our MESA program does to help first-generation STEM students at BC, and I wish all of the graduates the best of luck as they transition to the college or career of their dreams.

Inmate Scholars Program

On Tuesday, activist and media personality Danny Morrison wrote an article on his website praising BC’s Inmate Scholars program, writing that “inmate education could be the elixir to some of the most deeply-rooted, long-standing systemic barriers plaguing our most marginalized communities.”

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Danny Morrison and Sonya Christian, photo from dannymorrisonmedia.com

Morrison, who hosts a radio show on 103.9 FM The Beat, as well as “The Danny Morrison Media Show” on The Beat and Canoodle Studios, went into intense detail about the Inmate Scholars program, praising BC’s Program Manager Chelsea Esquibias and its success rates, as well as the program’s efforts toward reducing recidivism and encouraging adult participation in higher education courses.

In his article, he shared the success rates and made the comment that the “numbers don’t lie.”

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“This comprehensive program should serve as the template for correctional facilities all throughout the country,” Morrison said. “In my personal experiences with the program, I have seen growth within some of the most hardened inmates like you never thought possible.”

Brandon Johnson of ABC 23 also recently shared how “inmates up and down Kern County are getting a second chance courtesy of Bakersfield College.”  The news clip can be seen on Facebook here.

Celebrating Hall EMT Grads

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Photo from the Hall EMT Facebook

The Bakersfield Californian’s Steven Mayer covered the Hall EMT academy graduation in an article which he started by announcing, “Hundreds of family members and friends gathered to watch Tuesday as 30 recruits graduated from the Hall EMT Academy to become Kern County’s newest first responders.” On hand for the celebration was KCCD Chancellor Tom Burke.

Titled, “First time ‘without our boss,’ Hall EMT academy graduates 30,” Mayer’s article combined both a tribute to Harvey Hall  with a celebration of the hard work and accomplishments of these new EMT’s. He said, “During their 350 hours of training — done in partnership with Bakersfield College — the entire spectrum of emergency medical services is covered, including airway, respiration & ventilation; cardiology & resuscitation; trauma; and EMS operations. Upon completion of the coursework, they are prepared to take the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians exam.” See the full article here.

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BC Umoja Grads

PaulaParksPaula Parks has a piece in the local Bakersfield News Observer spotlighting the BC Umoja Grads by covering the end of the year Umoja celebration. You’ll want to read it for yourself by clicking here. I loved her statement, “In essence, culture and community are empowering. I am committed to the success of our students because I know their potential.”

This, my friends is one of the many reasons why I’m the luckiest and happiest college president ever.

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Information Technology Rocks at BC

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Jennifer Serratt and Todd Coston

On Thursday morning, I heard of a student currently in the Air Force stationed overseas who was having some IT connection issues with their online classes and needed support to troubleshoot. Jennifer Serratt sprung into action calling on the IT Director Todd Coston who didn’t hesitate to look into the existing case details and work to find a solution. Jennifer assured the student we would work on having a solution for them the next day! (It was 11:30PM overseas!) By 8AM local time for the student, a solution had been created by our IT staff on campus and at the District Office. Here’s to two rock stars who work hard for our students!

And speaking of Todd Coston and the IT department, they celebrated their annual retreat day with team building and activities for the IT staff, graphic designers, and web content editors! The day included a photo scavenger hunt where the teams had to be creative and take specific photos on campus. The groups also built boats, raced toy cars, and competed in an exercise that involved stacking cups using a rubber band attached to strings.

This special day full of team building exercises is a great experience for our IT department. Special thanks to Todd Coston, Monika Scott and Hernando Mondragon for planning and hosting the various activities.

 

Fun Photos CSEA Appreciation Week

This week, BC celebrated Classified School Employee Week and had a luncheon on Tuesday afternoon. On Thursday appreciation grams were delivered around campus bringing smiles to many. California’s Legislature recognized the important contributions of classified school employees by naming the third full week of May “Classified School Employee Week” (CSEW) in honor of their contributions. Classified school employees play crucial roles in education.  Here are some photos from the luncheon:

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Joint Committee on the Arts Informational Hearing

On May 16th, Dr. Oliver Rosales spoke in Sacramento at the Joint Committee on Arts regarding California and the Humanities: Building Bridges and Amplifying Voices. You can view the clip online and Dr. Rosales begins speaking at 1:36:50.

Oliver

Recognizing that the Arts contribute significantly to the quality of life in California, and play an important role in the identity, innovation and economy of this state, and citing the dramatic decline in arts education programs in the state’s public schools, the Joint Committee on the Arts was formed in 1984. The Committee is authorized and directed to study, investigate and analyze:

  • Goals appropriate to the future of the arts and cultural life of California and the role the Legislature and state government should play in achievement of these goals;
  • Arts legislation in other states and at the federal level and recommendations for legislation in this state;
  • The status of arts education in California;
  • The economic impact of the Arts in California; and
  • The budget and programs of the California Arts Council.

President’s cabinet

On Monday of this week, President’s Cabinet started its first of a series of retreats to evaluate last year and start planning for next year.

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This is a great group of individuals who are on call 24-7 — dedicated to our students, to the college, and dedicated to the community.

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It is a great time to be at Bakersfield College.  

 

 

Sonya Christian, Jim Ryun Selfie May 18 2018

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Inspirational Speakers, Visitors, and Guests on Campus

Good morning Bakersfield…..

41 Plumeria_previewIt is Saturday, March 10th and a great day to be a Renegade.  I started last week’s blog travelling to an accreditation visit and today, I am travelling again, with my blog to keep me company.  What a good way to pass the time.

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take,

but by the moments that take our breath away.

 

BC was active this week and let me start with Anita Hill’s visit to the campus.

Anita Hill at BC

On International Women’s day this Thursday, we were lucky to have Anita Hill in the Indoor Theater to talk about reimagining equality for the 21st Century and how the national conversation about sexual harassment has evolved both before and after her remarks during Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’ confirmation hearings in 1991.

Anita Hill at BC

Anita Hill at BC

Hill, who is currently a professor of law and women’s studies at Brandeis University said she was inspired by the countless women before her who had worked to find justice for workplace sexual harassment in the 70s and 80s, culminating with the Supreme Court’s decision in the 1986 case Meritor Savings Bank v. Vinson, ruling for the first time that sexual harassment was a violation of Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

Hill’s testimony inspired women around the country to bravely speak up about sexual harassment and abuse in their homes and workplaces. Over 25 years later, the #MeToo movement is rapidly spreading across the nation.

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The audience in the Indoor Theater gives a standing ovation for Anita Hill before she took the stage.

Hill also stressed the importance of tackling issues of racial injustice along with injustices facing women, as progress on both issues tends to happen hand-in-hand with each other. In the 21st Century, we need to envision equality not as an abstract philosophical concept, but as a practical part of our personal development that grows and evolves with us every day.  “Dare to be a catalyst for change,” Hill said. “We are living in a moment in time where we are being pushed to live out our ideals of equality.”

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left to right: Levan Center Director Jack Hernandez, social studies professor Olivia Garcia and Anita Hill talk before Hill’s speech in the Indoor Theater on March 8th.

I’d like to recognize Jack Hernandez and the Levan Center for bringing Anita Hill to BC, Olivia Garcia for her beautiful introduction speech, and all of the people in the community for coming out to engage in a conversation about equality on International Women’s Day. See at the photos at Smugmug. 

 

 

MESA STEM and Pre-Health Conference

Last weekend, our Mathematics, Engineering and Science Achievement (MESA) Department held a conference on the BC campus to show high school and college students that anyone can develop the skills needed to earn a career in STEM or healthcare fields.

Steve Waller

Dean Steve Waller

The MESA STEM and Pre-Health conference last Saturday brought together industry leaders and educators in the community and throughout California to showcase all of the career options available to someone with an education in math, science or pre-health. The conference started with students packing the Indoor Theater for the opening festivities, and Dean Steven Waller emphasized the importance of developing one’s competence in math, as it establishes the foundation for thousands of potential job opportunities.

“As you plan your career, be sure to keep math in focus,” Waller said. “It’s possible to be successful without math, but with it you can be even more successful.”

Waller then introduced keynote speaker Dr. Jose Antonio Diaz, an Arvin High graduate who went on to study microbiology and genetics at UC Berkeley, Stanford and UC Davis, where he’s currently a post-doctorate research fellow studying the prevention of cognitive disorders such as Alzheimer’s.

Diaz’s mother contracted Valley Fever when he was a child, which inspired him to pursue a career in biology in order to help others suffering from serious debilitating illnesses. Diaz pushed himself outside of his comfort zone throughout his career, both as a first-generation college student moving from Arvin to Berkeley for undergraduate studies, and by transitioning fields from biology to medicine once he realized that it would help expand his research.

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Diaz, who gave his keynote speech in Spanish and English, sought to motivate the audience to push themselves outside of their comfort zone like he did. “Be ambitious with setting your goals, and take chances,” Diaz said. “Embrace change, and don’t be afraid of failure.” Diaz was part of the team that discovered Nest RNA, which determines resistance to microbial infections in mice. He is now working with a CRISPR gene editing machine to test whether he can safely modify human cells with Nest RNA in order to prevent diseases such as Valley Fever and salmonella.

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After Diaz’s presentation, students broke up into groups to attend a series of workshops in the Science and Engineering and Math and Science Buildings. Representatives from UCLA, CSUB and Fresno Pacific University hosted seminars on how to apply in the STEM and nursing programs at their respective universities, and many other workshops were hosted by members of the BC family, such as counselor Mark Osea’s presentation about STEM Guided Pathways, educational advisor Pedro Ramirez’s workshop on BC’s LUPE program and resources for DREAMers, professor Dillon Giblin’s seminar about career opportunities in STEM, and BC nursing graduate Stephanie Perez talking about how her time in our program helped prepare her for a career in health care.

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CSUB’s Chevron FAB LAB also hosted a maker space in the AERA STEM Success Center where students could watch a toy prototype being made on a 3D printer, as well as a virtual reality sandbox projected using the motion sensor on an Xbox One Kinect.

While MESA volunteers handed out lunch to students in the patio area of the Science and Engineering building, several organizations hosted a resource fair with booths for students to visit and learn more information. Participating organizations included BC’s Pre-Med and Engineering clubs, Univision, Kern Medical Center, the US Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resource Conservation Center, and the American Society of Civil Engineering.

Thank you to all our MESA staff, especially Connie Gonzales as well as all of our industry and education partners for inspiring young people our community to achieve careers in healthcare and STEM. I look forward seeing some of the students from this year’s conference taking STEM and pre-health classes at BC.

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BC and BCSD Youth Summit

At the March 3 event, the Bakersfield College African American Mentor Program (A.A.M.P.) partnered with the Bakersfield City School District to put on its first-ever Youth Summit.  The Youth Summit hosted over 150 African American middle school students at Bakersfield College to emphasize the importance of education, highlighting education as a tool for developing knowledge and character.  The summit invited keynote speaker Ken Morris who delivered a memorable speech about his family history: Ken is a direct descendant of Booker T. Washington and Frederick Douglass. He moved the audience with his description of what his great grandfathers had to overcome in order to receive an education, and closed his presentation with a message of perseverance and hope.

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Kimbrough

Professor Kimbrough

After the keynote the middle school students joined small group workshops on education, black culture, and community service. One of the most notable workshops was led by Bakersfield College’s own professor of African American history, Ishmael Kimbrough. Professor Kimbrough talked about the most important elements of the Black community and the importance of good role models of Black culture.  The group of students hung onto Kimbrough’s every word, were enjoying themselves, and the positive energy in the room allowed for a lots of engagement. Kimbrough highlighted some of the negative portrayals of Black culture that are in the media and explained how they perpetuate negative stereotypes. Kimbrough goes on to state, “Success is not flashing cash and gold teeth, that’s a false idea of success”, “the basis of black culture is family, culture, and common goals.”  

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Kimbrough concluded his workshop with a message that we have it within our power as a community to topple steep obstacles and inaccurate depictions in the media by learning about what our culture truly is. He emphasizes that despite the negative stereotypes of black culture, African-American boys and girls are not problems that need to be solved—they’re assets.

Tejon Tribe Visits BC

It was a packed house, with students, faculty, and the community coming out to hear tribal member Sandra Hernandez talk about the Tejon Tribe’s culture and history. The Tejon tribe is the only recognized tribe in the Bakersfield area, and its members are made up of Kitanemuk, Chumash, and Yokuts people, the first people in southern San Joaquin valley.

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Sandra opened up the presentation with a warm welcome in the Kitanemuk language, (the language of the indigenous Indians of Kern County) and then began to share her story and their plans for their future. Sandra spoke powerfully of her ancestors struggle and how their land and their status of a tribe were taken from them by the settlers who came here after them. She explained that in the early 1900’s their Chief Juan Lozada began the fight to get back their status as a tribe and hopefully be able to rebuild what was lost.

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Sandra Hernandez and Matthew Solis

When Chief Juan Lozada was asked by the US government how long his tribe has been here, he replied, “We been here since the first time the sun’s come up.” This set off a spark with the Tejon Tribe and ever since then, as a group and as a family, they have been fighting the government to be reaffirmed. Most recently, at the forefront of this fight, was Tejon Tribal chairwoman Kathryn Montes Morgan (Granddaughter of Chief Juan Lozado) who helped end this case as a victory for the Tejon Tribe. Sandra was proud to tell us that as of January 2012 the United States of America reaffirms the Tejon Tribe.
Although this was an exciting moment for the Tejon Tribe Sandra says the rebuilding has just begun. Being federally recognized is a huge step in the right direction, they now have to rebuild their Tejon Tribe community. She also adds, The Tejon Tribe will do this by reaching out to our neighborhoods, to educate them on our culture, heritage and history of our family, while also encouraging our youth to experience our way of life as a Tejon Tribe.

Thank you to Krista Moreland, Sandra Hernandez, and everyone who made this event a reality. 

 

 

Mini Science Olympiad

I loved seeing these photos from BC’s involvement at the Greenfield School District. Daniel Ahn, Chris Benker and a dozen BC STEM and Education majors helped 46 fifth-graders with various learning, but fun activities! It is a four week program. Meg Stidham helped along with the fantastic Deborah Rosenthal

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Activities included a Tallest Bridge Competition and I heard Chris Benker will do a skateboard demo at the end. During Week 4, the students will come to BC for astronomy fun.  Thank you to all our BC volunteers for bringing the Renegade spirit to our local Greenfield School District.

Mini Science Olympiad Student Volunteers

Ximena’s baby Leo

Thank you Debby Rosenthal for sending me this picture.

Ximena and baby Leo.

BCSGA Power Lunch

Romeo Agbalog

Romeo Agbalog

Romeo Agbalog, the Kern Community College District Trustee representing Delano and surrounding rural areas, sat down with BC students in the Fireside Room on Tuesday to share the story of how he overcame being a first-generation college student and young father on his path to advocating for students in public office. BCSGA hosted Agbalog as part of its Legislative Affairs Power Lunch series, in which public officials from the community tell their stories and answer questions from students. The Legislative Affairs Department of SGA, which is responsible for informing BC students on any new or developing laws pertaining to their education, has previously hosted state senator Jean Fuller, as well as Vince Fong and Rudy Salas from the California Assembly.

 

Agbalog credits political science professor Stephen Holmes with recognizing his potential and inspiring him to develop an interest in public service and administration. With Holmes’ inspiration, he went on to work behind the scenes for several Kern County campaigns, but he never thought he could hold public office. Eventually, after some strong persuasion by local political leadership, he realized that he had an opportunity to be actively engaged with improving his son’s education by serving on his local school board. At the age of 24, he campaigned door to door in his community and spoke directly with voters to beat out two incumbents for a spot on the Delano Union School District board.

Rayven Acosta Webb and Romeo Agbalog

Rayven Acosta Webb and Romeo Agbalog

After serving the Foundation for BC’s Delano Campus, Agbalog now advocates for rural students on the KCCD board, helping to expand services at the Delano Campus while bringing post-secondary education to Arvin and Shafter.  Throughout his discussion, he imparted the value of taking advantages of every opportunity presented to you, in life and in education. “When times get tough and you’re ready to quit, I want you to think about the people who have seen things in you that you didn’t see in yourself and use that for motivation,” Agbalog said. “Prove to those people you were worth the investment.”

SGA Power Lunch

Blood Drive on Campus

BC students gave back to their community at Campus Center on Wednesday and Thursday, donating to the Houchin Community Blood Bank during our annual blood drive. Students signed up to donate blood in front of the Fireside Room before walking over to one of Houchin’s three buses parked in front of the Campus Center.

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Active Shooter Response Trainings at BC

Last month, another school shooting tragedy took place at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida which claimed the lives of 17 people. This week, the Department of Public Safety and Chief Chris Counts hosted several Active Shooter Response Training workshops to teach our students and staff what to do in the event that an active shooter situation happened on our campus.

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Public Safety Chief Chris Counts broke down the proper response into three parts: “Run, Hide, Fight”. The first thing you should do if you hear gunfire is to evacuate the area as far as you can and try to take as many people with you. If that’s not possible, choose a location to hide out of the shooter’s view where you’re protected and you’re movement isn’t limited, then use furniture or heavy equipment to barricade entrance into that area. If you can’t run or hide, then your last resort is to remain calm while acting as aggressively as possible to fight for your own life and the lives of others.

In the overwhelming majority of active shooter cases, there was some indication that the attack was going to occur before it happened. In order to prevent these attacks, Counts stressed the importance of reaching out to authorities if there’s an indication that other people’s lives may be in jeopardy. Our Public Safety Department’s motto is “If You See Something, Say Something and Do Something About It”, and recognizing the signs of a potential attack is key to preventing it.

There will be three more Active Shooter Response Trainings on March 21 st at 9 a.m., 1 p.m., and 6 p.m. in the Indoor Theater. If you haven’t attended one of these training before, I recommend going as soon as possible in order to stay educated on how to respond to one of these emergencies. It may save your or someone else’s life.

Manny DeLosSantos even spotted friend and supporter of BC, Adam Alvidrez at the training this week.

Adam Alvidrez

Adam Alvidrez at BC

Leading from the Middle

Craig Hayward, Mark Osea, Billie Jo Rice, and Jennifer Johnson are currently attending the Leading from the Middle Academy being held at the Kellogg West Conference and Hotel in Pomona.  The project that they are tackling is how to represent our pathways programs using 21st century visual tools.  Can’t wait to see the end result of their yearlong work together as a team.

Craig Hayward Mark Osea Billie Jo Rice Jennifer Johnson

Craig Hayward Mark Osea Billie Jo Rice Jennifer Johnson

Jen Garrett on Scott Cox Show

Jen Garrett was on the Scott Cox Show Wednesday morning advertising for our big Sydney Bound Benefit Concert this Saturday! Only a few more days to buy tickets. You don’t want to miss this!

Jen Garrett and Scott Cox

Jen Garrett and Scott Cox

Seen on Instagram

Thank you to Lydia Ranger and Monty Byrum for their continued support of the BC Chamber Singers

Lydia Ranger on Instagram

Lydia Ranger on Instagram

Capitol Weekly Spotlights Bill Thomas

An article in Capitol Weekly published on March 1st examined how Trustee Bill Thomas’ influence in the House of Representatives continues to be felt more than a decade after retiring as the Congressman for California’s 22nd District.

bill-thomas-croppedDorothy Mills-Gregg wrote about how Thomas mentored two of the most powerful people in Congress right now—House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Thomas’ direct successor, and Oversight Committee Chair Devin Nunes, who Thomas inspired to run for Congress while helping him with campaign strategy along the way. The article also looks back on Thomas’ career and accomplishments while in Congress. I especially love the photo they used with the big YES ON J poster behind him.

“The only tools I ever had was listen to what people want, build a coalition and pass legislation,” Thomas was quoted as saying in the article. Florida Congressman Mark Foley was also quoted about Thomas’ tenacity and passion for serving voters. “Thomas is also known for losing his temper when people are unprepared, earning a reputation for sharp interrogations,” Foley said.

Thank you Trustee Thomas for all you’ve done to support BC, Bakersfield, and Kern County.

International Women’s Day

Sonya Christian and Tom Burke

Sonya Christian and Tom Burke

On Thursday, KCCD Chancellor Tom Burke emailed all KCCD Employees sharing some inspirational quotes. He said, “Today is International Women’s Day, so in acknowledgment of this day I thought I would share with you some inspiring quotes from several women who have had an impact on society.”  These are the quotes he shared:

  • Golda Meir said you should, “Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement.” I agree that everyone in our District has the ability to succeed.
  • If Rosa Parks believes, “Knowing what must be done does away with fear”, then we ALL can succeed by pushing ourselves during those difficult moments”
  • “Step out of the history that is holding you back. Step into the new story you are willing to create.” Oprah Winfrey  Imagine what we could become.
  • “Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.” Following the words of Mother Teresa, the experiences during our day-to-day interactions can create a much healthier environment for students, staff, and faculty.
  • Sonia Sotomayor said, “A surplus of effort could overcome a deficit of confidence.” I need everyone to be a part of our District’s success.
  • Joan Rivers once said, “I was smart enough to go through any door that opened.” Take every opportunity that is offered to you!
  • I will end with this quote: “We need to start work with the idea that we’re going to learn every day. I learn, even at my position, every single day.” – Chanda Kochhar

Chancellor Burke ended his message by saying, “There are great things happening every day at the colleges and the district office. On this International Women’s Day, I celebrate all of your accomplishments, dedication to the Kern Community College District, and look forward to the things to come!”  Thank you Tom Burke!

24th Norman Levan Faculty Colloquium

dsc02596-x4On Friday, the Levan Center for the Humanities held the 24th annual Norm Levan Faculty Colloquium in honor of the current Norman Levan Faculty Colloquium Award recipient, Oliver Rosales, and all past award recipients.  Oliver presented his lecture on Bakersfield into U.S. Civil Rights History: Exploring Multiracial Social Activism in the American Far West. The presentation was followed by a question and answer session, presentation of his award, and refreshments in the Norman Levan Center for Humanities.

Thank you to the Norm Levan Faculty Colloquium Committee, Susan Pinza, Chair, Bob Allison, John Gerhold, Alex Gonzalez, Donna Starr, Jack Hernandez, Richard Marquez, and Erin Miller. Also, thank you to the many others who help put on this event, including the Students of the Renegade Room for the refreshments, Manny De Los Santos and Kristin Rabe for the media arrangements,  FCDC and Archives Association.

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Susan joked that for those that were able to attend the Reimagining Equality: Inclusive Communities in Post-Obama America lecture the night before, Anita Hill was the opening act for Oliver’s lecture. We are so fortunate to have these opportunities to bring such important people to BC.

dsc02636-x4Did you know that Oliver is a Renegade? He received his AA here at BC and went on to get his BA at UC Berkeley, his Master at CSUB and his PhD at UC Santa Barbara. He then returned to be a Renegade and brought with him his education, his excellence and his drive to find and publish the contentious historiography of activism that touches many of our students and our community. He is also a supporter of the National Endowment for the Humanities and recently returned from DC where he met with congress concerning the NEH budget. Oliver’s award is well deserved. Can you see why I’m the luckiest and happiest college president ever?

Celebrating Jeannie Parent

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Jeannie Parent

Jeannie Parent, a BC faculty member who teaches English for Multilingual Students, will be mentioned at the Wendy Wayne Ethics Awards on March 21st. Cal State Bakersfield’s Kegley Institute of Ethics hosts an awards ceremony every year recognizing people who make positive contributions to the community. Jeannie is being honored for her work as the founder of the non-profit organization Kern Welcoming and Extending Solidarity to Immigrants (KWESI), a group of volunteers who visit immigrants in detention at Mesa Verde Detention facility in Bakersfield, and advocate for justice on their behalf.

She tells me that the organization is connected to a larger, national network called CIVIC, which is committed to ending the isolation of immigrants in detention. and she says “Many of the people we visit are asylum seekers, and we not only visit them in order to end the isolation they feel when they are imprisoned for months on end (sometimes indefinitely), but we support them if and when they are released on bond or when they win their cases; this may include helping with temporary housing, transportation, food, clothing, and phones, as well as communicating with families and finding legal assistance for them. I started visiting people weekly three years ago when Mesa Verde opened.”

You can read a full list of the Wendy Wayne Ethics Awards recipients in an op-ed written by Michael Burroughs in the Community Voices section of the Bakersfield Californian.

Student Resources in The RIP

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Paige Atkinson

Student Reporter, Paige Atkison wrote a beautiful article for The Renegade RIP highlighting the various student services offered at BC.

She said, “Whether or not you believe you need to find extra academic or health resources, it can be useful to familiarize yourself with the programs made available to you by Bakersfield College.” Check it out at www.therip.com

Photo from http://www.therip.com

Let me conclude my blog with my trip to Guam.

Long flight — about 6 hours to Honolulu and then another 8 hours to Guam.  We were a team of 10.  Standing: Susan Kazama, Sylvia Dorsey-Robinson, Bill Hirt, Vernoica Ogata, Susan Murray, Laurie Huffman, Gene Huff, Charles Sasaki. Sitting: Sonya Christian, Lesley Bonds

 

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Sonya Christian MArch 6 2018 GuamMost of my time was spent on accreditation work but I did get out for regular early morning walks. After a regular 3:00 a.m. zoom video call with Jennifer and the Vice Presidents, I headed out for my walk north on San Victores all the way to the point and then back to the hotel on the beach.

At 4:00 am it is very quiet – ocean breezes and unpredictable rain showers. At 5:00 am the runners start, looking serious, maybe training for the Guam Marathon coming up on April 8th.

After the official visit I did get in a driving tour around the southern half of the island. The island coastline is very beautiful, white beaches, great diving and full of history from war in the Pacific Theater. Guam is 6000 miles from the US west coast, 3 hours from Japan, on the edge of the Philippine Sea and 210 miles from the Marianas Trench – the deepest part of the oceans of the world.36 Talofofo Bay_preview.jpeg

The island reminded me in some ways of Kerala, India, with its contrasts in wealth and three-story cinderblock shopping complexes, except Guam as part of the US has building codes that don’t allow the maze of electrical wires that you see in southern Indian villages. The island is seeing a resurgence of the indigenous Chamorro culture, and is over 80% catholic so my driving tour included many beautiful churches that in some ways reminded me of the tropical churches of Kerala as well.

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Spent my last evening on The Beach (on Gun Beach Road).  Guam’s largest Bar and Grill is located on this beach front property.  However, there are secluded nooks that make this part of the island the best place to witness the sunset….. a spectacular, romantic, spiritual and most perfect sunset. A piece of heaven certainly descended on this part of the world that memorable evening.  Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

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Sunset March 9 2018 Gun Beach.jpg

Loved the Plumeria and the Flame of the Forest Trees.

Thank you Susan Murray for some of the great pictures.

Exhausted and at the Guam airport heading back home.

Leaving Guam Airport March 10 2018

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take,
but by the moments that take our breath away.

Sonya Christian early morning walk on the beach March 8 2018

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever