Tag Archives: Chelsea Esquibias

An Absolutely Uplifting Week at BC

Good morning Bakersfield.  It is Saturday, April 1, 2017 and just a fabulous day to be a Renegade.

This past week the campus has been abuzz with activities…..an absolutely uplifting week.

Here is an email with a picture that I got from Francis Mayer.

This is an image I grabbed last week while running errands on campus.  For me, it captures the essence of BC. The father (or father type) is standing beneath the shade of a beautiful tree adjacent to the LA building, and he’s smiling and his posture is relaxed..on second viewing, we see that his two munchkins are scrambling up the arms of this generous tree…and all is well.

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Is Mom attending classes? Is he enjoying a break with his children before attending classes? While both are lovely notions, in the end it doesn’t matter. BC is a place that is perfect for everyone.

Indeed it is Francis…..BC is a place that is perfect for everyone. #WeAreBC

Here is another great picture I snapped as I rushed out of the Office of Student Success and Equity,  Shauna Turner and her two boys.

Shauner Turner and her two boys March 2017

Let me start with yesterday, when Bakersfield celebrated the inaugural Cesar Chavez Day with a breakfast organized by David Villarino.

1st Annual Cesar Chavez Legacy Breakfast

It was a beautiful morning celebrating the life of an absolutely inspirational and life changing man. We remember Cesar as a great labor organizer. He gave voice to the voiceless; he became a face for the invisible, and an advocate for social justice. He was a servant for his community and a champion of education as a means leading toward a better life.  Cesar once said, “The end of all education should surely be service to others.” It was fitting that the morning recognized Chancellor emeritus of the Kern Community College District and Bakersfield College’s 7th president, Sandra Serrano.

Sandra Serrano reciving the award from David Villarino March 31 2017

Sandra Serrano receiving the award

With a powerful combination of a strong legal mind, a compassionate heart, and passion for education, there was no one better suited to influence our higher educational community than Sandra Serrano. Her educational leadership is a gift; her work for the community at the local, regional, state and national levels is emblematic of education in service to others.

At the state and national level, she has lived a life of service:

  •    As a member of the Finance and Operations Committee for the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.
  •    On many boards and committees for the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities.
  •    As President of the oard for the Chief Executive Officers of California Community Colleges;
  •    As Chair of the Board for the Community College League of California;
  •    and as a member of the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office Consultation Council.

…  just to name a few.

At the regional level, she has served on:

  •    The Board of Directors for the Kern Economic Development Corporation and
  •    The Central Valley Higher Education Consortium and
  •    The California Council for the Humanities

… just to name a few.

Sandra has served this community over and over, in ways that are visible and in ways that have gone unrecognized. Her work has touched so many lives. Her life of service is part of the strength of our community. It would take more time than I have just speaking to all that she’s done for Bakersfield College – that she’s done for the Kern Community College District, and the thousands and thousands of lives that have been touched, whether they knew it or not, by her work.

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Sandra Serrano, Tom Burke, Sonya Christian

It was an honor to introduce this quiet, sincere, dedicated, fearless, and dynamic woman who has committed her life and her education in service to others.  Thank you David Villarino for putting together the first annual Cesar Chavez Legacy Breakfast, and thank you also for giving me the opportunity of introducing the first recipient of the Cesar Chavez Legacy award.

There were so many dignitaries in the room.  At the main table there was Supervisor Leticia Perez who is a great supporter of education in general and Bakersfield College in particular.  Then there was Assembly Member Rudy Salas who introduced the keynote speaker, Mayor Anthony Villaraigosa.  When it was my time to speak I shared the story of how Rudy Salas made BC feel so special when i went up to Sacramento to testify to the Senate Budget Committee.

 

It was a joy to see familiar faces at the event, including Chris Cruz, a BC student who works at St. Francis and dedicated his free time to supporting Measure J. It’s incredible to see our BC students contributing to their communities and giving back to the organizations important to them.

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Sonya Christian, Heidi Scott

I also had the opportunity to finally meet the “voice of an angel” Heidi Scott, the director of music and liturgy at the parish. I mentioned hearing Heidi sing in my blog a few weeks ago titled, “Every Day is Something to Celebrate” – Check it out here. She truly is gifted and talented and her voice can inspire and touch my soul.

We had a BC table… of course.

BC at Cesar Chavez Breakfast March 31 2017

Manuel Rosas, Chelsea Esquibias, Victor Diaz, Sonya Christian, Olivia Garcia, Lisa Kent,       Yvonne Almendaris, Maria Wright

Love this picture of Chelsea and Lisa….girls just wanna have fun…..

Chelsea Esquibias Lisa Kent March 31 2017

Chelsea Esquibias, Lisa Kent

The students from FIELD (Farm worker Institute for Education and Leadership Development) helped out with the event.  Lisa snapped this picture with Manuel and me with the Field Students in the background.

Field students March 31 2017

Inspiring post by Professor Bryan Hirayama

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Professor Hirayama with his Distinguished Teaching Award

Speaking of being inspired, Professor Bryan Hirayama wrote a powerful post in the blog detailing his experiences in Bakersfield College’s Inmate Education Program illustrating the depths of the prison industrial complex and how hard we’ll need to work to change the perceptions of incarcerated people in the United States. When people are released out of jail, they’re often told by correctional officers, “We’ll leave the light on for you.” It’s a cynical reference to an old marketing campaign that’s meant to imply that the person getting out of jail is almost certain to come back. Correctional officers know the realities of recidivism rates and the difficulties people on probation or parole face when they go back into society, and many have become numb to the fact that they’re part of an institution that houses more prisoners than any country in the world.

In Bryan’s blog, he describes how he was able to cut through this cynicism for a moment and create an opportunity for the staff to consider why saying “we’ll leave the light on for you” might be a cruel twist of the knife for those inmates who are genuinely striving to rehabilitate themselves.

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Talking about Inmate Education, Chelsea Esquibias partnered with the Opportunity Institute to host the first meeting to Serve Our Formerly Incarcerated Students.  The “Corrections to College California” forum was sponsored by Opportunity Institute/Renewing Communities and Stanford Law School/Stanford Criminal Justice Center. Community partners included Bakersfield College, CSU Bakersfield, Sheriff’s Office, Probation, Parole, Garden Pathways, MAOF.  Chelsea and BC students spoke on panels.

Mayor Karen Goh welcomed the numerous community partners and members of the justice system including CDCR, Lerdo Jail, and the Parole Dept.  Chelsea Esquibias of Bakersfield College, Dr. Jacqueline Mimms of CSUB, and Lisa Stephens of Cerro Coso presented on their school’s initiatives.  The meeting allowed the community to partner with the colleges to build student success for our formerly incarcerated students.  Thank you to the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office for attending and the continuous support.

Thank you Chancellor Tom Burke for attending the event.

Celebrating the life of Danell Ward

The BC community lost one of our own this month, Child Development Center Director, Danell Ward. Danell’s time with us was too short but her impact was meaningful and lasting. Those who knew her, understand how much she loved Tinkerbell, from Disney’s Peter Pan. There is a saying, “’All you need is faith, trust and a little pixel dust” which Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg mentioned during the memorial. She said it best through her heartfelt words, “Danell was generous with her faith in others and her trust that there was a better tomorrow was boundless. I am sure that whenever you need a little pixie dust, she has left some behind for you…….. So in her memory, have a little more faith in others than you think is necessary, always trust that tomorrow will be better, and remember that a little pixie dust is always available to you.”

My closest interaction with Danell was in Summer 2015, when the administrative team decided to add in a little fun into our summer planning retreats.  Check out my October 15, 2015 blog for more http://tinyurl.com/mv6ovgd

The entire admin council was divided into groups and Danell was in the group along with Ramon Puga, Liz Rozell, Odella Johnson and myself.  We were supposed to pick and song and lipsync in a competition.  Before any of us could volunteer a song, Danell enthusiastically presented that we should do I wanna be like you from Jungle Book.  And although none of us were thrilled with the selection, who could dare go up against the enthusiastic Danell.  So here you see us performing on the day of our competition.  Danell got sick the previous day and could not join us, so we asked Manny Mourtzanos to join us in her stead.  Enjoy seeing us making complete fools of ourselves in all earnestness and remember Danell and her pixie dust.

Annual International Faculty Appreciation Dinner

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The Annual International Faculty Appreciation Dinner took place on Wednesday and is about building bridges of friendship among international students and their invited faculty guests. The international students plan cultural shows and a formal dinner, as they acknowledge BC faculty who work so diligently every day to ensure that the engine of progress never stops moving.

This event is a joint effort by ISA
(International Student Affairs program ) and  the ISO( International Student Organization). Last night’s event brought together approximately 80 students and faculty for an evening of storytelling, cultural immersion, and  international food; prepared by our own Chef Eric Sabella. You’ll have to check out the photos with the delicious looking international cuisine. This year our international students come from 20 different countries. The largest number of students are from India, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, and Indonesia. More pictures are available here!

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Petro Stories at BC’s Levan Center

Thursday evening March 23rd in the Levan Center 20-25 students discussed the Oil Age, Symbolism of Oil. Guest speaker from UC Davis a young rising star in the growing field of ecocriticism, which examines the relationship between literature and the physical environment.

Petro StoriesKern County is one the most prolific oil-producing counties in the state of California. In fact, Kern County is the fourth largest oil-producing region in the entire country. Kern County produces 66% of the oil in California, about 10% of the U.S. oil supply, and approximately 1% of the world’s total oil production. That works out to about 560,000 barrels of oil per day, which at $12 to $15 per barrel is something similar to $2.4 billion to $3.0 billion worth of oil every year.

Petro culture studies Michael Ziser says Oil is everywhere. It’s in the clothes we wear, the cars we drive, the roads we drive on and the buildings we live in. Its production employs us and its sale sustains our booming economy. Our lives, our cities, our world are shaped by oil, from the arrangement of streets to the arrangement of geopolitics. According to Ziser, our culture’s investment in oil is not just material, but symbolic as well. If we can recognize the power of oil as a symbol, we just might be able to separate myth from reality, and make more sensible decisions about a sustainable future.

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Commercial Music Professor Josh Ottum also spoke at the event. I recently ran into him with his wife Vanessa and son Emmet at the Haggin Oaks Farmers Market where one of my favorite things to pick up is the fresh, local produce. If you’ve never been, it’s a real treat and you never know who you’ll bump into! You might even catch me at my favorite stand with the sweetest, most delicious oranges.

Speaking of Josh, he recently shared with me a promotional video created by his students highlighting the Commercial Music Program at BC! Check it out at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZH1d7ODRQA

Renegade Athletics

Bakersfield College Athletics is a valuable extension of our college that takes folks who want to improve themselves and gives them the tools to do so!

Baseball: Last week, I told you that we’d talk about a baseball player who has made a name for himself this season, and he has done so by taking advantage of resources like BC’s Baseball Coach Tim Painton.

Luke Andrews pitched for Bakersfield College last season, but this season he has been a revelation! According to Coach Painton, he has bought into our program 100 percent, and the results have been phenomenal. He’s walked just eight batters in 64 innings pitched! I am not a baseball expert, but friends who follow baseball tell me this is excellent! Coach Painton says Andrews did this by working hard in the offseason and having faith in hard work! Now he is drawing attention from top scouts, so we know his experience at BC is going to take him places, whether that’s to a professional baseball career or a four year degree. Way to go, Luke!!

Cross Country: Speaking of going places, Cross Country runner Emily Freeman was recently entered into the California Community College Athletic Association’s prestigous Scholar Honor Roll at the CCCAA Spring Convention in Concord, CA.

Athletic Director Sandi Taylor and her indispensable partner, Associate Athletic Director Keith Ford, were both in attendance to honor Emily as she was recognized for her achievement in both athletics and academics.

Emily Freeman, you know what’s coming…You rock!!

Emily Freeman with Sandi Taylor and Keith Ford MArch 2017

BC Swimming hosted The Bakersfield College Relays last weekend, and while Clovis came out on top as a team, Coach Matt Moon was happy with the day for more reasons than wins and losses. Wasco High School’s team came and watched the Relays today, and they got to watch alumni like Steve Santana turn in great performances. Santana is the first college attendee in his family, and he will attend University of California, Santa Barbara in the fall to study Chemistry.

“My family immigrated to this country, so they don’t understand the gravity of me getting in a UC,” Santana told Sports Information Director Francis Mayer, “But swimming really showed me how hard I can work. I wasn’t the best student in high school, and I wasn’t the fastest swimmer. But coming to BC showed me just how hard I need to work, and how it’s possible for me to keep up if I try and apply myself. This was life-changing.”

Harlan Hunter

The BC Track and Field team also competed last weekend, and I know high jumper Jacob Bookout is having another great season. It’ll be exciting to see what he can do at the next level! It was great to see Harlan Hunter, faculty member in Criminal Justice, volunteering his time to help out with track and field.  I snapped this picture of Cesar Patino, sophomore from Wasco High School in the relay where BC placed third.

Cesar Patino March 2017

Cesar Patino

Making Transfer Opportunities a Reality

National University was on Campus Wednesday March 29th to connect with as many Bakersfield Students as possible. Rita Jones and Oscar Hernandez were just a couple of the NU staff available to meet and greet the BC students and help answer all of their questions. Some of the most popular programs asked about was the Bachelor of Science in Nursing-RN completion as well as the Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education. They are also the only local university to offer a Bachelor and Master’s degree in Communication. The members of NU were on location from 10 am to 2 pm where they also gave students a chance to spin and win fun NU gear and were also passing out hotdogs and drinks to all those who stopped by. In all, more than 250 BC students stopped to obtain information and speak to the helpful NU associates. As students make it to the end of their time at BC and are considering their options to move to the next step in their academic year, it is opportunities such as these that allow students to have a full array of information and options.

You might remember, BC recently hosted a HBCU Caravan Tour of Historically Black Colleges and Universities. I covered it in my recent blog entry here. This week, I was informed by Lisa Kent that 60!!!  total number of acceptances were provided at this years HBCU event and scholarships amounted to $657,480.00! These opportunities are fantastic for our students

High School Students going to College

I was so excited to see the news that KHSD and CSUB have created a University Promise that codifies and clarifies student pathways from high school to university.  Here is a photo of Superintended Bryon Schaefer, KHSD) and President Horace Mitchell, CSUB, with the beautiful Brenda Lewis.

KHSD CSUB University Promise March 2017

Taft College has Taft College Promise.  BC’s sister campus, Cerro Coso Community College will be announcing the Kern Promise in the Ridgecrest area on April 4th.  And to round off the College Promises being made in our County, BC working in partnership with BCSD, KHSD, and CSUB will be making an announcement on April 28th.  Exciting times!  and great collaboration among the different education sectors.

Check out Harold Pierce’s article in The Bakersfield Californian at http://tinyurl.com/l7lwl72

Project MALES

On Thursday evening, Dr. Emmet Campos and Dr. Victor Saenz, two researchers from the University of Texas at Austin discussed their Project MALES (Mentoring to Achieve Latino Educational Success, which is Texas’ boys & men of color) program at BC. Specifically, they highlighted how K-12, the community colleges, and Texas universities have been working together. They tailored their presentation around projects that our K-12 system, Bakersfield College, and the CSU system might work together on in the future.

Dr. Emmet Campos, Dean Rodriguez, Dr. Victor Saenz, Dr. Mark Martinez

Dr. Emmet Campos, Dean Rodriguez, Dr. Victor Saenz, Dr. Mark Martinez

The goal is to highlight how different education systems can create successful education pathways to graduation for boys and men of color. But it’s especially towards highlighting how Ed.D. / Ph.D. programs and institutes of higher education can do more than provide teachers, by also providing faculty mentors, assessment, and real time research of local education programs. You can check out UT Austin’s Mentoring to Achieve Latino Educational Success program online at http://diversity.utexas.edu/projectmales/

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Dr. Victor Saenz, Dr. Mark Martinez, Dr. Sonya Christian, Mayor Jose Gurrola, Dr. Emmet Campos

It was great seeing so many friends of Bakersfield College.  Here is a picutre of attorney Win Eaton with Miguel Orozco a screenplay writer from Southern California

Win Eaton and Miguel Orozco

Win Eaton and Miguel Orozco

It was great seeing Jeff Flores and Camilla Chavez at the event.  And thank you Dr. Mark Martinez for your collaboration with BV.

Here is a photo of incredible program managers at BC who make things happen.

Lisa Kent, Shanell Tyus, Maria Wright

Lisa Kent, Shanell Tyus, Maria Wright

 

The Art of the Selfie

So many incredible speakers have made their way to BC this week, including Crystal Galindo who shared with a large group of students and faculty, “The Art of the Selfie”.  This exhibit highlighted the Chicana culture, in particular, selfies of the artist herself. In true form of celebrating Women’s Month, Crystal shared her ideas on the stereotypes that surround many women today and how her hope is that her art will show that beauty comes in all shapes, sizes, and colors. As a Latina woman, she felt that it was important to showcase artwork that would reach a wider audience. As an art student at Sonoma State University, her art professors often were critical of her work telling her that she should, “make it less Mexican” so that she would appeal to a wider audience. Crystal knew passion and what started off as a tribute to herself later turned into a form of self-expression and celebration.

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Crystal Galindo, Photo by Amber Smithson

 

She hoped that her art would speak to those who are not typically portrayed in art and therefore after her show “The Art of the Selfie” her drive to connect with others pushed her to start painting others, those that maybe she had never met in person but had seen the beauty in them. Before she knew it, her artwork was being requested from all of the United States due to her marketing on social media. She soon moved to the bay area where her art shows have been on display and she has been welcomed with warm accolades for her work and portrayal of Latina’s. Regardless of the size jeans you where, the style of your hair, or the color of your skin, as women we must learn to appreciate every inch of ourselves. Take a selfie, strike a pose, but above all find your self-beauty and love yourself!

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Photo by Amber Smithson

On Thursday, March 30th, I dropped by another presentation in our WHAM series– The Evolution of the Selfie: Deconstruction of the Female from 1400 to the Present”

Panel WHAM March 30 2017

Bakersfield College faculty Andrea Thorson & Erin Miller joined Taft College’s Jessica Grimes, faculty of English, & Faheemah Salahud-Din, Executive Director of First and Always Melanin (FAAM), to address the historical & social constructions of femininity, as well as the power these stereotypes continue to exert through language, self-presentation, & individual interpretation.  Tina Mendoza moderated the event.

It was a treat to see the roomful of students and community members to hear from these powerful women speakers.

Here are photos from Olivia Garcia’s Facebook post

Fireside room packed March 30 2017

Group at WHAM event March 30 2017

Juan Felipe Herrera at The Levan Center

Writing about poetry can be one of the most demanding tasks that many students face in a literature class. Poetry by its very nature requires dedication and makes demands on writers who attempt to analyze it, in ways that other forms of literature do not. So it was no surprise on Wednesday March 29th that over a hundred students and faculty attended an evening to remember inside of the Indoor Theater.

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Juan Felipe Herrera. Photo: Lovie Johnson

American poet, author, and activist, Juan Felipe Herrera became the poet laureate of the United States in 2015. He was the first Hispanic to serve in that position and is best known for his autobiographical poems on immigration, Chicano (Mexican American) identity, and life in California. Herrera is also a performance artist and activist on behalf of migrant and indigenous communities and at-risk youth. Herrera spent his early years living in tents and trailers in farm communities around Southern California. He shares his life’s information eagerly, and wants his audience to relate to his struggle in life. Encouraging young poets to write poems on anything, even PG&E bills. He shows the audience a son of a migrant farmworkers whose writing fuses wide-ranging experimentalism with reflections on Mexican-American identity through poetry. Herrera, who recently retired as a professor at the University of California, Riverside, mentioned he would use his new position to encourage young poets, and non-poets, to find their voices.

I loved this Facebook post from Olivia Garcia

Juan Felipe Herrera and Olivia Garcia March 29 2017

What a priceless moment it was for me to see my former Chicano literature/poetry professor Juan Felipe Herrera deliver a powerful presentation this evening at Bakersfield College. I even got a chance to introduce my students to him. Here was a Central Valley boy who became the U.S. poet laureate. Like his wife Margarita said, he’s still influencing and inspiring minds, young and old. Thank you, Juan Felipe.

Community Town Hall

BC students, their families, and members of the neighboring Bakersfield community were invited to the Levan Center on Thursday, March 30th to engage in a town hall on issues of immigration law. The event was hosted by the Immigration Justice Collaborative (IJC) in collaboration with CSUB and Bakersfield College. The IJC is a network of twelve lawyers who volunteer their time to host these town halls in various locations in Kern County, to educate our community on their constitutional rights in the United States. Panel discussions were presented in both English and Spanish, and were followed by the opportunity for attendees to engage in one-on-one discussions with local lawyers. The event was organized by Dr. Mark Martinez, Department Chair of Political Science at CSUB, Jay Tamsi President/CEO of the Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Lisa Kent, Program Manager for Equity and Shanell Tyus, Program Manager for Student Support and Success Program.

Many of the attorney’s you see on this program are on the advisory committee for BC’s Pre-Law program.  Thank you!

Immigration Forum (1)

The Renegade Room, Fine Dining at the Campus on the Hill.

I’m constantly impressed by the level of elegance at BC’s Renegade Room, our public restaurant operated by the students enrolled in the Culinary Arts program. This past Wednesday, an exquisite lamb burger was on the menu and I can tell you now… it was juicy and tender, absolutely incredible.

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The goal for the Renegade Room is to have students learn professionalism and service industry standards in a fast-paced, realistic environment. The program entails classes in Nutrition, Cost Control, Supervision, Management, Baking, Food Production, Dining Room Services and Sanitation. Master Chef Suzanne Durst, Chef Alex Gomez, and Chef Anna Melby have over  fifty-years’ experience and  everyone is still  anxious, even the staff when it’s time to open up for the day. The Renegade Room is not even simply room at all, but an affordable upscale restaurant. It’s a great way to enjoy a fine dining experience and one of the best reasons to visit the campus on the hill.

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Next time you want to have a night out on the town, start with dinner reservations at The Renegade Room on Tuesdays or Thursdays… or plan your next business lunch for Wednesday afternoon. You won’t be disappointed, and the students appreciate your support.

Let Freedom Sing

Let Freedom ring….Let Freedom Sing! Last Friday, the Bakersfield College Choir and Chamber singers did just that, conducted by Dr. Jennifer Garrett and accompanied by Patrick Bender, performing a remarkable tribute to the various aspects of freedom.

 

The first half of the concert was dedicated to all those who helped each and every one of attain and maintain the freedoms we hold true today. The Choir and Chamber Singers came together in perfect harmony to sing the National Anthem, after which Dr. Garrett took a moment with the audience to show appreciation for all the Veterans in attendance. As each of the Veterans stood, scattered throughout the seats of the indoor theater, the audience erupted in applause of great gratitude. It’s moments like these that give me chills. I’m proud that #weareBC!

Guest artists accompanied the BC Choir and Chamber singers throughout the night such as, Audrey Boyle on flute, Marla Hansen on violin, and Kris Tiner playing the trumpet.

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Here is a solo piece by Ken Burdick that I posted last week but felt I should repeat.

The second half of the performance was a beautifully commissioned piece written for the BC Choir by Dr. Ron Kean entitled “The Journey of Harriet Tubman”.  This multipart multimedia piece written by Dr. Kean in collaboration with his daughter Hannah was magnificent.  Dr. Garrett and her students also contributed to its creation.  Here is an excerpt with Caley Mayhall that I posted last week and here it is again.

The Bakersfield College Choir has an immense amount of talent and they are in the process of making arrangements to travel to Sydney Australia in June 2018 where they hope to have the great privilege of performing at the famous Sydney Opera House.  So I have two asks of you community members: (1) plz help fund this trip for our students and (2) mark your calendars to take you summer 2018 vacation in Australia and let’s pack the Sydney Opera House with the Bakersfield Community supporting its college.

 

Tonight, they will host a fundraising dinner with choral entertainment themed around Spaghetti Dinner and Broadway. If you have other plans for tonight, change them 🙂  Stop by the BC Cafeteria. The show begins at 5:30 and limited tickets are still available. $15 per person at the door.

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 Levan Faculty Colloquium:

I stopped by the indoor theater on Friday, March 31st,  packing in as many events as I could to support our faculty, staff and students at BC.  Dr. Ron Kean, this year’s recipient of the award, discussed his composition process in three recent commissions including a live performance of the Bakersfield College choirs singing, “Follow the River/The Journey of Harriet Tubman.” This is a five-movement work that incorporates eight African American spirituals in a West African musical framework. “The White Birds,” by W. B. Yeats, is composed in a traditional Irish musical style. “The Rose That Bare Jesu” is a setting of a 14th century English poem using antique style features. These techniques will be discussed and demonstrated in a presentation that is dedicated to the artist in all of us.

Ron opened with the songs Wade in the Water and Sometimes I feel like a Motherless Child.  Check out this excerpt.  Just beautiful.  So happy for so much talent at BC….so much dedication….. I am the luckiest and happiest college president event.

Math Articulation Day

Math articulation day March 31 2017

Math Articulation Day was celebrated yesterday as a way to build strong relationships across the independent institutions that serve our communities students. BC math faculty, as well as faculty from local high schools, CSUB, Taft College, Cerro Coso and Porterville Colleges, and math specialists from BCSD gathered to exchange ideas, update each other on curriculum changes and discuss strategies to increase student success. Workshops throughout the day included, dual enrollment, acceleration and compressed courses, “laugh with math” programs, planetarium shows, and using the robotics lab and 3-D printers. Free t-shirts were given to all attendees.

Thank you to Regina Hukill and the entire Math Department for all your work in hosting this great day.

Was so happy to see all of Mary Jo Pasek’s post on Facebook about our Math Articulation Day.  Thank you Mary Jo for all that you do.

Here is a copy of the email Regina sent out after the event:

Hello All—

Math Articulation Day was a lot of fun!  We had around 60 people attend including math instructors from BC, Porterville, Cerro Coso, Berkeley (yes, Eddie Ham was here in the flesh!), UC Davis, CSUB, and KHSD.  We had about a dozen BC students who participated as well.

We appreciate the College Futures Grant which funded the event and paid for the food and t-shirts.  Claudia Sandoval, the representative for the College Futures Grant was also briefly in attendance.  The BC staff for Dual Enrollment helped in getting all the purchases completed through the grant, so we want to thank Cindy Collier, Marissa Jeffers, and Anna Laven.

Many thanks to all of you who worked on this event:  Math Faculty–Tom Greenwood, Kurt Klopstein, Kris Toler, Mike Fredenberg, Alba Romero, Jon Brown, and Donna Starr.  Other BC Faculty—Erica Menchaca, and Nick Strobel.   CSUB Faculty—Charles Lam.  KHSD Math Specialist—Kyle Atkin.  BC Students—Freddy Padilla, Isabelle Recinos, Kevin Starr, Tyler Starr, Devin Serna, Patrick Chao, Allyson Milburn, and Emily Davis.

We also want to thank our dean, Steve, who supported us in putting on this event, and his staff Janet Thomas and Heather Barajas.

And, a special thank you to Josh Lewis who worked diligently to set up the speakers, write the agenda, help with the planning, and who was the MC for the day.

We do have some t-shirts left, so if anyone who couldn’t attend Math Articulation Day wants a t-shirt, please come see me, or send me your shirt size and I’ll put one in your mail box.

Great Day!  Great Fun!

Regina Hukill

Some posts from twitter:

Kimberly Bligh tweet math articulation day Nick Strobel March 31 2017

Kimberly Bligh tweet Erica Menchaca

Kimberly Bligh Kris Toler Math Articulation Day

BC’s incredible Automotive Program:

BC’s automotive program is very much integrated with our business and industry partners in the community.  Here is a Facebook post from faculty member Andrew Haney

Starting in August I ventured into the process of writing a grant. I had no idea what I was doing but had some great help from faculty member that did. They guided and directed me with great experience. Today I was able to finalize all the purchases that the grant awarded to us. I ordered four (4) new factory level software subscriptions to use on the factory scan tools and one new factory scan tool for Chrysler.

I went to Three Way Chevrolet and signed the purchase agreement for the Brand new 2017 Chevrolet Bolt and will have it on Monday on campus, it will be used in training new technologies to student and for program promotion and business when needing to get around town. I then confirmed the order is placed and will be shipping soon for a brand new Generation 3 smog machine which if we did not get Bakersfield College would have lost our Smog and Emissions training certification program from the state. All said and done it totaled just over 80,000.

Thank you Sarah Futrell Baron Liz Morris Rozell Sonya Christian Nan Gomez Heitzeberg and everyone else who was involved in this for helping and guiding me through the process. WE ARE BC, and the automotive program is going to be so much stronger going forward with all the work that has been done by all the faculty that works in this program area.

 

Friday, March 31st at BC:

I started the day with the inaugural Cesar Chavez Celebration and then popped in to see our faculty and staff working away on BC’s accreditation self evaluation work.  And then attended part of Ron Kean’s presentation and finally the Math Articulation Day.  Here are some photos and Facebook posts.

BC’s accreditation Laboratory, Friday, March 31st:

Group at Accreditation Lab March 31 2017

Michele Pena, Sue Vaughn, Debi Rosenthal, Jennifer Johnson, Maria Wright

Accreditation Lab March 31 2017

Todd Coston presenting at the Accreditation Lab

Qiu Jimenez and Talita Pruitt Accreditation Lab March 31 2017

Qiu Jimenez, Talita Pruitt

 

 

 

I’d like to end with one more quote from the Cesar Chavez.

Once social change begins, it cannot be reversed. You cannot uneducate the person who has learned to read. You cannot humiliate the person who feels pride. You cannot oppress the people who are not afraid anymore.” – Cesar Chavez,  Address to the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco, Nov. 9, 1984

Thank you BC for an absolutely uplifting week!

Sonya Christian cropped March 17 2017

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Renegades are EVERYWHERE!

 

Good morning Bakersfield.  It is Saturday, March 18th and just a terrific day to be a Renegade.  I was travelling this morning back from my Accreditation Commission meeting and am moving quickly to get the blog published.  If I don’t get it out today, I am sure I will get a text from one of my dear friends who will ask the question “Are you ok? Should I be worried? 🙂

koeth1-900x600My week began with an email from David Koeth sharing that he and his wife spent Presidents Day in Los Angeles. He said:

As we checked in our hotel in Koreatown, the young man at the desk noticed my business affiliation. He said ‘I attended Bakersfield College. I was a business major, I got my gen ed’s done there.’ He’s working on a bachelor’s degree at Cal State Long Beach in hospitality management. Renegades are everywhere. — David

I love this! Renegades are everywhere in our community and beyond our community! 

Industrial Automation Program Hosting Info Session Today!

Come to the campus on the hill later this morning for an information session about the Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Automation at BC.  The program prepares students for careers in the design, operation, and management of industrial automation systems focusing on the local industries that utilize these technologies, such as petroleum production, food production, fabrication, and logistics. Significant emphasis is placed on project based learning facilitated by laboratory work.

The BS program is designed to prepare individuals for technical management careers in industries which utilize automation, including the petroleum, manufacturing, logistics and agriculture industry sectors, in order to improve the regional economy. Thank you as well to The Bakersfield Californian for highlighting this program in the latest Education Roundup! http://digital.olivesoftware.com/Olive/ODN/BakersfieldCalifornian/shared/ShowArticle.aspx?doc=TBC%2F2017%2F03%2F16&entity=Ar00501&sk=3D40C0C7

The information session is today, March 18th from 10AM to 11AM in the Science and Engineering Building, Room 53. All are welcome!

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Bakersfield College Receives a Planning Award for new Public Health Sciences Program

Exciting times at BC Bakersfield College where BC is creating new public health career pathways!  This past Tuesday, BC was recognized at the League for Innovation in the Community College Riegelman Awards for Excellence in Public Health & Health Navigation Education.  This national award was presented to four community colleges that demonstrated excellence in planning or enhancing associate degree or certificate programs in Public Health and Health Navigation education.

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Antonio Alfaro CTE Advisor, Rozanne Hernandez, CTE Program Manager, Sarah Baron, Professor Public Health Sciences, and Dominica Rivera-Dominguez, CTE Advisor

 

BC is rolling out a new Public Health Sciences Associate Degree for Transfer in the upcoming academic year, followed by job certificate in health navigation. To learn more about the national award and the plan, go to https://www.league.org/awards/riegelman-awards-excellence-public-health-health-navigation-education-community-colleges

Under the leadership of Cindy Collier, Dean of Allied Health, Career Technology Education (CTE), and Strong Workforce, this is a team effort and an interdisciplinary approach. Pictured below are members of the team Antonio Alfaro CTE Advisor, Rozanne Hernandez, CTE Program Manager, Sarah Baron, Professor Public Health Sciences,  and Dominica Rivera-Dominguez CTE Advisor. Sarah is our lead faculty for Public Health and is a rock star!

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Achieving the Dream

Bakersfield College earned Leader College distinction through Achieving the Dream in 2015 for our commitment to improving student success and closing achievement gaps.  With this distinction, BC has access to two nationally-recognized coaches who visit campus twice a year to meet with campus leaders, discuss our student success data, and explore strategies to improve our policies and practices.  During their visit this week, coaches Ronald Head and John Nixon met with nearly 50 campus leaders to explore the Institutional Capacity Assessment Tool (ICAT) in a series of round table activities where faculty, staff, and administrators worked together in cross-functional focus groups to discuss BC’s work across the seven Achieving the Dream capacities: 1) Leadership & Vision, 2) Data & Technology, 3) Equity, 4) Teaching & Learning, 5) Engagement & Communication, 6) Strategy & Planning, and 7) Policies & Practices.  Participants not only tackled the areas for improvement, but began collectively developing action plans to build BC’s capacity to serve students.  BC’s leadership and engagement across the board is simply unmatched!

ATD

Thank you to all who attended!

Lesley Bonds, Stephen Waller, Matthew Garrett, Jessica Wojtysiak, Maria Wright, Mindy Wilmot, Grace Commiso, Jonathan Schultz, Bill Moseley, Marisa Marquez, Isabel Castaneda, Matt Jones, Talita Pruett, Kimberly Bligh, Kathy Rosellini, Lisa Kent, Steve Watkin, Bernadette Towns, Janet Fulks, Steven Holmes, Tim Burke, Odella Johnson, Shanell Tyus, Nick Strobel, Jennifer Johnson, Krista Moreland, Di Hoffman, Kristin Rabe, Ashlea Ward, Abraham Castillo, Richard Marquez, Elisabeth Sundby, Kim Nickell, Sue Vaughn, Julian West, Pedro Ramirez, Craig Hayward, Michelle Pena, John Giertz, Manny Mourtzanos, Anna Laven, Vickie Spanos, Reese Weltman Joe Saldivar, and a special thank you to Chef Eric Sabella and his team for the wonderful chicken fajita dinner!

Keep Bakersfield Beautiful

Keep Bakersfield Beautiful (KBB) is a local non-profit with a mission “to engage individuals to take greater responsibility for improving their community.” Bakersfield Mayor, Karen Goh, is in this picture with BC students from Steven Holmes’ and Charles Kim’s political science classes visiting a recent meeting led by Anna Smith, chair of KBB Board of Directors. It’s great to see Renegades out in the community, doing great things! Learn more about Keep Bakersfield Beautiful at http://www.bakersfieldcity.us/gov/depts/kbb/default.htm

Beautiful Bakersfield Karen Goh

C.H.A.P Hosts Guest Speaker, Salvador Garcia

On March 14, the Bakersfield College Delano Campus Cultural and Historical Awareness Program (C.H.A.P.) hosted its first speaker event for the spring semester.  Ridgeview High School counselor Salvador García captivated audience members consisting of students, staff, and community members with an engaging talk, entitled “Exploring the Nahuatl and Mesoamerican Cultural Legacy, Past & Present.”  As a child of migrant parents, Salvador has experienced two vastly different worlds: his life in México, and his life in the USA.  He became captivated with pre-Columbian art and the symbology used by his ancestors, and in particular, what people refer to as the “Aztec calendar.”  After studying the calendar system and the Nahuatl language (the indigenous language of the Aztec people) for over twenty years, Salvador has developed a deep knowledge and appreciation for Mesoamerican history and the indigenous heritage of the Mexican people.   After an hour-long presentation, audience members asked questions about the legacy of the Nahuatl people today, their influence on Mexican culture, as well as parallels and similarities between Mesoamerican calendars and the Gregorian and Julian calendars in western tradition.

CHAP

Two more C.H.A.P. events are scheduled for the spring semester.  The next event will occur Tuesday, March 28 from 6pm-8pm in RFK Lecture Hall.  This event will be a screening of the film “Miss Representation,” followed by a panel discussion with several female faculty and staff on the Delano Campus moderated by Professor Susanne Langham (Phil. & Religious Studies).   A third and final event will be moderated by Professor Charles Kim (Political Science) after the spring break and will feature local political staffers for a talk on civic engagement and local politics.  Stay tuned!

Houchin Blood Bank Stats

Houchin sent an email this week recapping the numbers from the previous week’s blood drive at Bakersfield College. Stephanie Gibbons from Houchin said, “Drum roll please…..Wow!! what an amazing two day blood drive. Bakersfield College you nailed it.  Day one, we registered 223 donors and collected a record number of 174 units, with 104 of them as first-time donors.  Day two, we registered 150 donors with a collection of 105 units, with 80 of them as first-time donors.   The grand total for this life saving event was  279 units collected. Surpassing last year donations by 80 units.  Yeah!!!!”

Thank you again to all involved! Renegades are definitely doing great things!!

Student Health Highlight

Do you know what your blood sugar level is? Are you familiar with what the numbers even mean or why it’s important to know them? This semester we were fortunate to have two days where the Student Health Center invited all students to come out and get their glucose levels checked.

On Thursday March 16th, Mrs. Debbie, one of the nurses was there to do the screenings for all those who came in and checked their levels. Earlier this month there was another glucose screening where the LN’s from Bakersfield College’s Nursing Program practiced honing their new skills. It was beneficial to so many, both the nursing students and those student’s checking their glucose levels. At this screening, the nursing students were able to test levels, give out important health information, and also pass out healthy snacks. The Bakersfield College Student Health Center has a wealth of knowledge and practical help for all BC students.

Along with all of the day-to-day help they provide the BC students such as: first aid, TB testing, mental health counseling, and much more, they will be hosting their 17th annual health fair, “The Renegade Pulse Health Fair”, on April 19th from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Last year they had several Zumba instructors attend and were able to get the student body moving in the interest of better health! They offer several monthly events geared to the betterment of each student’s health. They have a marvelous e-magazine with an abundance of helpful information that anyone can subscribe to simply by texting BAKERSFIELDCOLLEGE to 40691. They have also started a campaign of #BCsmokefree and have been conducting a “Clean your Campus” event once a month.

The Student Health service main goal is to ensure that all of BC students live a long and healthy life and they are available to make sure you have all the tools possible to ensure that happens. One of the many amazing facilitators found in the Student health services building is Stella Ponce who had this to say about the various events that have been going on around campus lately. Mataalofa Hubbard, Vicente Lopez, Alexa Rivera and Yolanda Puente were on the scene sharing information on Tobacco Cessation, how and where to obtain assistance in quitting as well. Passing out Healthy snacks & water to help our students maintain and acquire optimal health and wellness. Also, Professor Sarah Baron’s Public Health classes were onsite too, collecting valuable data on Tobacco Use and E Cig. While providing additional literature on the effects of smoking provided by the American Lung Association. The final collaboration of the two groups resulted in a mini #CleanyourCampus event, while obtaining 2 gallon bags full of cigarettes butts. Imagine #BCTobaccoFree #1DayStand”

As students, it’s important to remember that good grades start with good health! Make sure you take full advantage of what your campus can do for you. Swing by the Student Health Services building and get more information on how you can be a better and HEALTHIER you!!!

Go Gades!

I loved how Allyson Cummings began her piece on BC’s Women’s tennis. She said, “The Bakersfield College women’s tennis team is making quite a racket!” Check out the video and the article about the team and coach Nick Loudermilk at http://www.turnto23.com/sports/local-sports/bakersfield-college-womens-tennis-dominating-the-cccaa

 

Congratulations to Coach Carl Dean for being inducted into the West High School Hall of Fame.  “Carl (class of 1992) was an outstanding quarterback at West, Bakersfield College and San Jose State who won the Burger King Scholar Athlete $10,000 academic scholarship in 1996.”

CARLDEAN

Carl Dean

Way to go, Carl!

STEM Speakers: David Gallo Visits BC

On Tuesday, MArch 14th, afternoon, the Fireside Room was filled with all ages, ranging from jr. high school aged youth to BC students and their professors. They were excitedly awaiting guest speaker, David Gallo, to begin his presentation on ocean exploration. David is an American oceanographer and the Director of Special Projects at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. For more than 30 years, Dr. Gallo has been participating in and being a witness to the development of new technologies and scientific discoveries that have shaped our understanding and view of the planet earth. He was a fabulous speaker for the STEM Speaker Series because he was one of the first scientists to use a combination of robots and submarines to explore the deep sea floor. Most recently, he co-led an expedition to create the first detailed and comprehensive map of the RMS Titanic and co-led the successful international effort to locate the remains of Air France flight 447 which crashed after suffering a loss of lift with debris was scattered in an area greater than six football fields.

DavidGallo

During the presentation, students learned that instead of taking the oceans for granted, we all need to recognize the oceans critical role in providing the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we eat. Dr. Gallo shared that human activity has impacted the ocean on a global scale and with significant consequences. The oceans hold clues to our past and the key to our future yet they remain mostly unexplored and poorly understood. We live on a planet that’s covered by mostly water but, we don’t have nearly enough information about that part of the planet we call home.

BC student, Lovie Johnson, who attended the event said, “Gallo is a cool New Yorker and funny scientist. He knows how to lecture on the subject in a way you can understand. He is one of the most interesting … speakers I have come across.”

Gallo’s commitment conveying his passion and the importance of ocean exploration makes learning about this subject interesting and fun for everyone. Events like these, and speakers like this are important to our students, the BC community, and our world. Everyone walks away inspired and better informed regarding something that they’ve never seen before. Let’s learn more and do something that can positively affect humanity forever.

Thank you Dr. David Gallo and everyone involved with the STEM Speakers. #BCLearns

Changing inmates lives through education

The Inmate Education program manager Chelsea Esquibias continues to do and report amazing stories .  Here is a note she sent me this week about another life changed through education:

“At 17 he was put in prison for gang violence for 12 years at Kern Valley where he earned a 3.0 in our classes.

He was recently released and is back with his 13-year-old son. Since then he’s obtained his license, proposed to his girlfriend, got a car, opened a bank account, said NO to his old gang, and we’re enrolling him in his local college.

He said, “College changed everything for me. I’m not the same anymore” and he says thank you all the time.  Working in the prisons can be hard.  Thank you for your belief in the program. I love working for an administration that believes so strongly in the students and staff. Happy Friday!!”

Now do you see why I consider myself the luckiest and happiest college president ever…..

In the picture you see Chelsea Esquibias and Bryan Hirayama.  Thank you!

BC Innovations 2017 Conference

This past weekend Eileen Pierce, Supplemental Instruction Program Manager; Kim Arbolante, Writing Center Lead; and Eric Weis, AccuSQL Liaison, all attended the League for Innovation in the Community College Innovations 2017 conference at the Marriott Marquis San Francisco. This team of academic support services professionals delivered a presentation and workshop entitled “Be the BEACON of Student Success: Reimaging Academic Support Services with Close Collaboration in Mind.”

The presentation began with some brief introductory demographic and enrollment data about the college. Eileen Pierce explained the Guided Pathways context for this academic support service initiative and facilitated an interactive survey on silos and territorialism that allowed participants to anonymously express whether these issues are prevalent on their own campuses. Kim Arbolante described the work done thus far, the data collected for ENGL 53 and MATH 60 ETC, and all of the features of our new, integrated academic support services model. The presentation closed with Eric Weis calling on participants to redefine what they consider to be their service assets and deficits before leading the group in a game designed to get participants to try and think more collaboratively with other areas of their colleges. The presentation was well-attended, and the presenters received a great deal of praise from participants, a reporter covering the conference who attended this workshop, and an attendee who claimed she had been waiting all week to finally participate in an interactive workshop session.

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Fulfilling a need in an underserved population

Katie Price from TBC

Katie Price. Pic from TBC

There is a large underserved population in our community that usually goes unnoticed.  We may not realize that our high schools are filled with kids who are either homeless or live in foster or group homes.  Up until recently, teachers and counselors weren’t even able to know who these underserved kids were.  Recent legislation has changed some of that to allow those students to be given the tools they need to continue a successful education not just throughout high school (where the dropout rate is nearly 50%), but transition successfully into a form of higher education.

Katie Price is a counselor at Bakersfield High School who helped to create a meeting group on the BHS campus where foster youth could discuss issues like budgeting, and college and career planning.  This group has expanded to six different high schools and continuation schools.

Bakersfield College is proud to have been a sponsor and host of the “Breaking Barriers & Empowering Success” conference last month.

It’s wonderful to see the long tradition of Bakersfield High School and Bakersfield College continue (as many of you already know BC met on the BHS campus for several decades before moving to Panorama Drive!). Here is Katie Price’s for opinion piece in The Californian.

BC at the 17th Annual KEDC Economic Summit

The 17th Annual KEDC Economic Summit took place on Wednesday at the Doubletree.  An enthusiastic crowd heard both local and national speakers comment on the Kern County economy and what to expect in the months ahead. Faculty at CSUB gave economic presentations related to the oil industry and healthcare.  Representatives for China Lake, Edwards AFB and Rio Tinto gave an update on the economy in East Kern County. Oscar Wei of the California Association of Realtors spoke about the local housing market.  Joel Kotkin, author, speaker and editor of Newgeography.com gave the keynote address.  He’s an authority on global, economic, political and social trends.  Bakersfield College helped sponsor the event and we’re so glad to partner with a great organization, like Kern Economic Development Corporation.  

KKEDC

Photo by April & Co Photography

Here is a nice editorial from The Bakersfield Californian http://tinyurl.com/mwj46hb

Photos from the event are available on the event photographers facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pg/aprilcophoto/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1478301398846975

Bakersfield Transfer Day

The Bakersfield College Transfer Center, in collaboration with Fresno Pacific University, hosted a Fresno Pacific University Takeover Day on the BC main campus.  On Wednesday, March 15th, from 10AM-2PM, FPU Sunbirds representatives from Admissions were out in full force outside on the CSS lawn, meeting with prospective transfer students.  Student transcripts were reviewed for admission, application submission assistance was given, and food and music was provided.  The day was a great success, resulting in many Fall 2017 admits! FPU is committed to Renegade success and plans to host one  “takeover” event each semester!  Thank you Fresno Pacific University!

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Spotlight on Dr. Paula Parks

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Dr. Paula Parks

BC’s very own Dr. Paula Parks was recently spotlighted by speaker, author, and leadership coach, Arleana Waller. Every Monday, Arleana shares a e-newsletter designed to “Powerup your Monday Motivation.”

“This week, the #ShePowerAmbassador Feature is Dr. Paula Parks, The Innovative Educator who impact lives daily and who boldly owns her #ShePower” What a great spotlight on Dr. Paula and the ASTEP program! Check it out at http://us7.campaign-archive2.com/?u=301aa4a241bc2b8ff15a8fc92&id=31b3a52c42

The Lemucchi Family Story

100-stars-tim-lemucchiNot too far from campus is a little treasure in our community – you’ve been there. It’s Luigi’s and writing this I’m reminded of the times I’ve enjoyed great food and great company there. Last weekend, Timothy Lemucchi and the Lemucchi family held a book signing for their new book, “Luigi’s 100 Years Then and Now” which showcases the story of how the Lemucchi family came to Bakersfield and the early beginnings of the restaurant.

Did you know Tim is also an alumni of Bakersfield College? After BC, he went on to complete his BA and MA at Stanford, then to Georgetown University for his Juris Doctor. He’s also an active member of the Helmet Club and has continually given public support to Bakersfield College athletics. We proudly recognized Tim as one of BC’s 100 stars during our centennial celebration.

Alumni stories are an extension of Renegade history and I’m always fascinated to learn more. See the article at The Bakersfield Californian here: http://www.bakersfield.com/entertainment/an-immigrant-family-story-the-lemucchis-of-bakersfield/article_5845aa2a-f644-5e54-875d-9cdbb47a807a.html  

The Legacy Continues

I was fascinated to read a recent RIP article about two current BC staff and faculty who are carrying on the legacy their fathers began at BC. Definitely check out the article featuring Dr. Oliver Rosales and BC Counselor, Jonathan Schultz by RIP Reporter, Megan Fenwick.  http://www.therip.com/news/2017/03/16/the-sons-of-two-former-faculty-continue-their-legacy/

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David Rosales, Oliver Rosales, Jonathan Schultz, and Steve Schultz. Photo by Megan Fenwick and The Renegade RIP

BC’s Performing Arts Improv

On March 10th, the Black Box Theater in the Bakersfield College Performing Art’s Center was re-envisioned into of a New York City comedy club. The dim light with low jazz music for ambiance made the audience feel like they were in the audience of Saturday Night Live anxiously waiting for the performances to begin. The performers took the stage and the comedy show began with the introductions. After a topic was chosen, a performer would give a brief story from their life revolving around said topic. Then other members would take the stage and make short improv skits focused on key elements of the story just told. They would take turns and there were a wide variety of improv skits throughout the night. With no props to use, they made the audience laugh with their strong sense of comedic imagery as if they actually had props on the stage. The night was full of laughter and joy. Bakersfield College is full of talented Renegades that exemplify how exceptional the student body is.

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Women’s History Month is Underway at BC

So many events are taking place around the BC campuses – check out the great article featuring many of our upcoming events for Women’s History Month at  http://www.bakersfield.com/entertainment/selife-portrait-challenging-the-way-women-are-seen/article_c6905776-f4d9-5300-ab40-0229d8f302f6.html

It’s a great time to be at BC!

Since I was away at the Accreditation Commission meeting, I had to call in to the College Council meeting Friday morning, where our team of very passionate and dedicated individuals were engaged in sharing, discussing and debating the amazing and incredible institutional work.  Among the great work, we are focused on upcoming accreditation, institution-set standards, BC’s educational master plan, strategic directions, and our mission statement.  There so much was on the agenda and each topic was substantive.  There was much laughter in the midst of serious deliberations. Listening in I was just happy that we have such talent, such dedication, such compassion, such camaraderie….. We are BC! and  I’m the luckiest and happiest college president ever

 

I texted Jennifer and asked her to get me some pictures for my blog.  Please enjoy them.  Smart people, doing serious work in community.

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Sonya Christian Walking March 13 2017

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

 

 

Every Day is Something to Celebrate

Good morning Bakersfield.  It is Saturday, February 11, 2017 and a good day to be a Renegade.

heidi-scottIt seemed as it all of Bakersfield packed St. Francis on Thursday, 2/9, at 12:00 noon to honor Trice Harvey.

It was a very nice service with beautiful music.  And Heidi Scott…..Have you heard her sing?  What emotion…what a voice!  She moved me to tears.

I so wanted to capture her version of Here I am Lord and Precious Lord Take my Hand on my iphone, but felt it was not appropriate.

So you get youtube instead

Precious Lord Take My Hand

 

 

There were many wonderful Trice Harvey stories. The first speaker told one about beating Bakersfield College when he was the Quarterback at Taft College. (I thought “What! ….. I’m sorry that I never got the opportunity to speak with Trice about that to set the record straight.”)

KCCD was well represented.  I spotted Trustee Kay Meek, Trustee Romeo Agbalog, Trustee Bill Thomas, and Chancellor Tom Burke.

Check out the piece by James Burger in The Bakersfield Californian
http://tinyurl.com/hatv6h9

Here is a photo by Henry Barrios of The Bakersfield Californian.

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Summer Bridge

BC is already gearing up for our Summer Bridge 2017 which kicks off with Saturday sessions starting April 29th.  Here is the cover photo with faculty, staff, and peer mentors along with  BC SUMMER Bridge students 2016.  Information for 2017 is available now
https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/sse/bridge-to-BC.  Make sure you “like” the Summer Bridge page on Facebook.  https://www.facebook.com/summerbridgeBC/?hc_ref=SEARCH

Kimberly Bligh with students.jpg

BC Athletics

womenbeatlapierceBC Athletics home games will always energize you before a busy week.  Last weekend’s Basketball game did not disappoint! BC had come out to support our students, Coach Hughes and Coach Dahl. It’s a great time to be at BC and it’s a great time to support our Renegades! Miss coming to the game? Check out the recap written by Francis Mayer at
http://gogades.com/sports/wbkb/2016-17/releases/20170207l29t01.

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Napa Valley IEPI PRT Visit

By Monday, I was in Napa chairing a Tuesday event on strengthening program and institutional planning processes. It was raining hard, but boy… Napa is beautiful and the work we accomplished was great. IEPI (Institutional Effectiveness Partnership Initiative) is a statewide collaborative effort to help advance the practices of the California Community Colleges. This is a great team: Kristina Whalen (City College of San Francisco), Randy Beach (Southwestern College), Mandy Lang (City College of San Francisco), Stephen Eaton (Barstow College)

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Sonya Christian, Kristina Whalen, Randy Beach, Mandy Liang, Stephen Eaton

Campaign for College Opportunity Visits BC

sonya-pillars-2partsOn February 8th, Audrey Dow, Senior Vice President for the Campaign for College Opportunity, brought a group to campus to learn about Bakersfield College’s guided pathways efforts. The group met with faculty, administrators, staff, and students in the Fireside Room.  The Campaign for College Opportunity is an organization that works tirelessly on issues of equity.  They were a powerful voice behind SB 1440 the legislation that provided the 60-credit Associate Degree Transfer (ADT) pathways to the CSU system.  This single legislation has tremendously improved the transfer rates of students from BC to CSUB.  The Campaign for College Opportunity CEO, Michele Siqueiros, is wonderful and committed to making things happen.  For more http://collegecampaign.org/

 

We offered a short presentation: Janet Fulks, Dean of Institutional Effectiveness, provided background information, preliminary data describing the college’s initial results after the implementation of multiple measures, and a discussion of the learning and career pathways. Dr. Paula Parks discussed the success of the ASTEP-Umoja program, and Kimberly Bligh introduced the group to our Summer Bridge Program.  Kimberly invited one of our students Kenneth Mireles to talk about the student experience.  Maria Wright, our new Director of Academic Support Services, discussed peer support, and Jessica Wojtysiak, who organized the event, closed our presentation with a discussion of Extend the Classroom and Completion Coaching Communities.

The presentations provided a great opportunity to consider some of the excellent progress being made at BC, and we all enjoyed a wonderful lunch prepared by Chef Eric.  I Must say that BC has the very best Culinary Program and our Food Services rocks!

Thank you to all who participated and attended, including Congressman and Trustee Bill Thomas! Here are some photos!

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I was so proud to hear about the work the college has been doing to advance student success and student learning.  What a talented group of faculty and staff at BC….Now do you know why I am the luckiest and happiest college president ever?

Guided Pathways:

eloy-oakley-uciThe Guided Pathways conversation continues in high gear across the state.  Here is a recent email from our statewide Chancellor for the 114 community colleges, Eloy Oakley

CA Guided Pathways Project: I am pleased to report that on December 6, the College Futures Foundation approved funding for the CA Guided Pathways Project. The CA Guided Pathways Project will create a framework for colleges to integrate their planning and resources in order to focus on improving student outcomes and reimagining the student experience. This is an important initiative for the system, as it will create a foundation for comprehensive professional learning and tools for colleges to better use data to improve student outcomes. The model helps colleges clarify paths to student end goals, helps students select a program and stay on path, and ensure quality learning. By creating structured educational experiences that support each student from point of entry to attainment of high-quality postsecondary credentials and employment in a chosen field, the project is intended to increase the number of students earning community college credentials, while closing equity gaps. In early 2017, 15 to 20 community colleges will be selected to implement the California Guided Pathways Model from a competitive application and interview process. Colleges will participate in six two-day institutes, which will focus on key elements required to implement a fully-scaled pathway model which serves all students at a community college, plus receive support on the change process from expert coaches. Each college will commit to have implemented guided pathways for all incoming students by 2019. You can find the press release on the website of the Foundation for California Community Colleges.

Celebrating at the Kern Co. Bar Association Dinner

img_8760Bakersfield College has the incredible honor of being involved with partnerships and initiatives which bring our young people closer to their dreams and enhance opportunities for our community to grow. The Kern County Superintendent of Schools do amazing work with local high school students in conjunction with the Kern County Bar Association. Among this work, events such as the Mock Trial, We the People programs, and Constitution Day are making an impact on our young people.

Steve Sanders from KCSOS was at the February 9th event which was organized by Judge Robert Tafoya to

1) recognize and celebrate past collaborations between the legal community, the educational community and the community at large and

2) To present two new student oriented legal programs.  The Bakersfield College Pathway to Law Initiative  (Two years in a community college, two years in a four-year institution to earn a BA or BS and three years in law school).  The other program is the Young Writers of Kern Essay Contest, a collaborative effort  of the Writers of Kern, many school districts, the Kern County Bar Association and the Bakersfield College Pre-Law Program and BC’s ASTEP Program founded by Professor Paula Parks.  This year’s essay contest is on social media and whether it is a relevant news source. Our advisory council members are mentoring pre-law students and internships are in place with David Wolf and Steven Katz.

president-thuy-thi-nguyenMoving forward, I can’t wait for our next Law Day event on Friday, April 28th.

I was disappointed that Thuy Thi Nguyen, President of Foothill College was not there to receive her award.  Cynthia Loo described Thuy’s work in starting the pre-law program.  Let’s toast President Thuy Thi Nguyen for her leadership and dedication to student success!

Judge Robert Tafoya was incredibly inspirational and I asked him to send me his remarks for my weekly blog.  Here they are – please sit back and enjoy Judge Tafoya.

David Brooks in his book “The Social Animal” reminds us that

We humans are social animals. When trying to figure who we are or the essence of any person we start from the supposition that we are born in to relationships-with parents and ancestors-and that those relationships possess certain qualities, good and bad. We surmise that a person grows through interaction within his or her relationships. Our habits, beliefs, attitudes, values, goals, assumptions, personalities emerge from relationships. First with mothers, fathers, siblings, aunts, uncles and cousins and as one matures with folks outside the immediate family like neighbors, teachers, classmates, roommates, co-workers, employers and spouses and friends we make throughout a lifetime.  Through the interaction of these relationships we learn about our world and how to navigate its trials and tribulations.

I prop0se that these truisms about humans and relationships  also  apply to the development of  communities and nations in that a community is established, develops and evolves within the context of individual and institutional relationships.  A community through a networking process among individuals and groups creates systems of governance that allows for cohesion and stability. For example, one can assess the essence or the lifeblood of the health of a community by examining the quality of its educational systems, its healthcare systems, its police-citizen relationships, its legal and judicial systems, its economic systems and the the governing institutions that respond to the needs of  its poor, its children, it’s disabled.

robert-tafoya-feb-9-2017The purpose of today’s reception is to honor the  significance of relationships, or partnerships or collaborations that have been established and maintained over the years by and between Kern county students, parents, educators, lawyers, judges and business folk. Specifically the kcba and the kcsc want to acknowledge all of those persons and institutions responsible for the establishment and development of the mock trial program, the we the people program, the constitution day program and now the creation of three new education/legal collaborations: namely, the bakersfield college’s pathway to law initiative, the bc and csub’s prelaw programs and the young writers of kern essay competition.

Why is this important one may ask. Consider the common themes promoted through these student, teacher, lawyer, judicial and business collaborations. 1) pursuing a legal career is a worthwhile goal, 2) learning understanding the particulars of a liberal democracy like the bill of rights is essential to its survival  3) that the work of responsible citizenship requires commitment and the development of critical thinking  and learning skills and 4) that the overriding goal of our government is to promote the rights and welfare  of  the individual as defined in our constitution . A free and open democratic election does not guarantee the enjoyment of our basic liberties like freedom of the press, freedom of religion, freedom of association.  Our constitutional rights are secured  by creating a culture that includes norms, practices, and traditions that honor and promote the rule of law, respect for an independent judiciary, reverence  for the separation of church and state and deference to the dynamic relationship between the three branches of our government that forms the basis of our system of checks and balances that in turn prevents the abuse of our constitutional rights.

By continuing to support the collaboration of the programs i mention here today, for example by acting as a mentor, a mock trial judge, an advisor,  a student coach, a  role model or financial donor we recognize the elementary notion that our basic liberties as Americans are not birthrights are not entitlements but are  fragile  freedoms gifted to us by prior generations going back to september 17, 1787 with the expectation that we,  as stewards of these liberties, remain vigilant to their sustainability by defending them when challenged and by teaching them to younger generations. To remain true to the oaths we took as lawyers, judges and elected officials to  support and defend the constitution  we must assume responsibility for teaching, guiding, inspiring, and encouraging that irrepressible life force we call  our children to truly appreciate the necessity of being good citizens. Participating in mock trial or we the people or constitution day, or being mentors to college students or promoting the development of critical thinking, writing and research skills  we are engaged in the hard work of democracy.  We are collaborating in the difficult task of promoting responsible citizenship.   Today we are here to honor this collaborative  process and by acknowledging its importance and the relationships that buttress this process we keep our country strong.

It was great to also see H.A. Sala at the event – a great supporter of BC and our students! What an inspiration to our young people.  And thank you David Torres for your support with Measure J.

It was wonderful running into Mary Copeland who encouraged me to restart BC’s debate program.

Thank you to our Advisory Commmittee, Judge Tafoya, Bethany Peak, David Torres, Yinka Glover, Steven Katz, James Maddox, Alexia Torres Stallings, and Cynthia Loo.

And thank you Dr. Manny Mourtzanos and Pearl Urena for your commitment to the program.  BC has so many amazing faculty and staff so committed to our students.  Now do you know why I am the luckiest and happiest college president ever?

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Garden Pathways Garden Party

Thursday night was packed with events…after the KC bar Association event, I rushed over to the the 8th annual Garden Pathways Garden Party on Thursday evening. Garden Pathways motto is “Building community from the inside out” and what a wonderful message that is!  Karen Goh, our new mayor and CEO of Garden Pathways, has done a nice job in raising the profile of this important community organization.

Garden Pathways is a community based nonprofit mentoring children, youth, and adults to build productive lives. The official website says, “Diverse mentoring and education programs lead families to educational advancement, employment, family stability, self-sufficiency, healthy living, and improved quality of life. The programs of Garden Pathways provide a wide range of life-building services to the Kern County community.”

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Sonya Christian with Board Member Darlene Mohlke and Executive Director Louis Gill from the Bakersfield Homeless Center

I saw Louis Gill, the CEO of the homeless center and snapped a photo. Seeing him reminds me that we may not always know the struggles or life stumbles people may have been through [or are going through] to get to where they are, but there are such tremendous resources in our community for people to take advantage of.

The work in particular that the Kern Homeless Center is doing for individuals and families in crisis is truly inspiring.  We should all remember organizations like this when we think about how we may give of our time.  Thank you Louis Gill for the amazing job you’ve done for women and families in Kern County.

Check out the Homeless Center’s volunteer information and their current needs at http://bakhc.org/volunteer/

The evening was full of familiar faces, laughter, wonderful food, and support for our community. The evening’s co-hosts were Brad and Brooke Antonioni, Joan Dezember, Robert and Beckie Diltz, Rick and Shannon Grove, Darcy Marshall and Barbara Grimm-Marshall, Maureen Napier, Kevin and Tuesdy Small, and Ray and Marlene Watson.

If you missed attending this year’s event, don’t miss the chance to learn more about Garden Pathways. Check out their website at http://www.gardenpathways.org/

I really enjoyed hanging out with the BC folks who were there.  Nicky Damania and Jennifer Achan are two relatively new administrators at BC, extremely smart, dedicated, work long hours and real fun to be with.  And of course, Mary Jo Pasek who tirelessly works to get the information about BC out there in the community.  Now do you know why I am the luckiest and happiest college president ever?

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Jennifer Achan, Nicky Damania, Sonya Christian, Mary Jo Pasek

 

Throughout the Week in the World of Athletics

It was an eventful Thursday with women’s Tennis, softball and baseball playing at BC.

Coach Nick Loudermilk and the tennis team have really done a great job this season. On a recent road trip to San Diego, the team had some time on their hands to take advantage of the ‘Escape Room’ an attraction that forces groups to use teamwork to solve smaller challenges on the way to unfolding a larger mystery that will allow them to escape the locked room they are in. They were successful and their team’s creative drive and focus also showed on Thursday when the Renegades had a big win over Glendale College to move to 7-0 on the season.  Paige Darstein and Chloe Moreno clinched the victory with a win at #1 doubles.

Softball, 2-3 on the season had a successful home opener with a 7-0 win over Taft College.  Coach Hill “we hit the ball well, and we played solid in the field. It was nice to have it come together.”

Alexis Solis and Naizemare Ubay led the Renegades with two hits apiece. Starting pitcher McKenna Valencia picked up the win.

Coach Painton’s baseball team had a great outing by starting pitcher Taylor Burns against El Camino, unfortunately the offense got blocked by their opposing pitcher and the team moved to 4-4 on the season. The good news is this was the first of a three game series so they have two more chances at El Camino Friday at 6pm (weather permitting) or Saturday at  noon.

Coach Paula Dahl posted on Facebook, “Great time with the team after beating Santa Monica. Only two more chances to watch this amazing team play. Saturday at 5:00 and Wednesday the 15th at 7:00 pm. Come and join the fun!”

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Doug Grimsley and BC’s Inmate Education Program

SonyaChristian_DouglasGrimsleyOne of our adjunct professors, Doug Grimsley, is teaching Political Science in the North Kern State Prison as part of an ongoing Inmate Education program.  Doug has received high praise for his passion and “captivating” teaching style.

Here are a couple of hand-written responses from students in the program.

I am compelled to share with the administration that Mr. Grimsley is an asset to your staff.  He came to North Kern State Prison and completely captured our attention as he subjected us to a lecture only course.  Not only was it very informative and inspiring, but he engaged the class throughout the Fall 2016 semester.  I personally think he deserves recognition for his determined success in educating men unacquainted with the political arena.  We have definitely obtained higher educational status.

“Best part of the program: The acquisition of knowledge has always been a big draw for me.  It is the people, however, that I believe can be accurately be described as “The best part of the program.”  Hands down, Mr. Grimsley, Chelsea, Alma and the other BC volunteers will forever be seared in my memory bank as incredible human beings.  They are, once more, “The best part of the program.”

As Chelsea Esquibias has told me, every time she brings Doug’s courses into the prisons, the students “rave about his teaching style and commitment to their learning.”

I couldn’t be more proud to know such dedicated teachers who are truly passionate about learning and the importance of character-building through education.  Great work Doug Grimsley! And great work Chelsea Esquibias.  Now do you know why I am the luckiest and happiest college president ever?

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Celebrating Black History Month

In celebration of Black History Month, Patrick Jackson, Bakersfield NAACP President, presented at the February 10th African American Mentoring Program. He spoke on racism and encouraged AAMP students to understand how to overcome racism and be successful in their lives. Over twenty BC students were in attendance. Thank you to Julian West, Reggie Bolton, and Mandelyn Hobbs.patrick-jackson

The Simple Joys

starbucks

By Friday morning, I needed a tiny pick-me-up and stopped by Starbucks for my morning coffee. Kasey, my barista, knew my name and my order. A tall soy latte. How cool is that?

It felt like Cheers where everyone knows your name! Thank you Kasey!

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And I have a message worth sharing that came in via our Bakersfield College Facebook.

John Cohrs said, “My wife, son and I enjoy walking on campus on the BC weekends. Our son, Jack, who will soon be 12 and has autism, decided today that he wanted to help keep the campus clean. So he took a trash bag along and was happy to pick up as much as he could. We love BC; my wife is a student there and I have been an adjunct faculty in the past (along with being a student a LONG time ago).”

Thank you sharing, John. I absolutely love the photo of your wife, Kelley and son, Jack.

Happy Birthday June!

June Charles, Administrative Assistant for the Vice President of Student Services started as a temp and has been at BC now for 18 years! Happy Birthday June!  We love you!

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Sonya cropped June 24 2016

 

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever