This week, while she was getting her vaccine at BC’s very own vaccination clinic, Jennifer Serratt stopped by to visit our culinary program. She sent me this photo:
Did you know our Renegade Room is back open for take-out service? Thank you so much to Christian Flores-Castaneda and everyone in our culinary arts program for all the work you’ve put in to making it possible for our students to serve our community.
Good morning Bakersfield. It is Saturday, March 13, 2021 … a great day to be a Renegade.
Last Saturday’s Sterling Silver broadcast on KGET/Channel 17 was an amazing celebration of our outstanding philanthropists. I hope you were able to tune in and watch as the BC Foundation honored Margaret “Peggy” Haight, Patricia Mettler, Greg & Mary Bynum, and Becki Whitson.
If you missed the production, or if you’d like to check it out again, please enjoy the following videos.
Thank you to KGET-17’s Tami Mlcoch, who served as emcee for the evening:
BC Foundation Executive Director Cheryl Scott:
KCCD Board of Trustees President Romeo Agbalog‘s remarks:
Of course, our honorees.
Margaret “Peggy” Haight:
Greg & Mary Bynum:
And Becki Whitson:
And finally, the conclusion of our production:
Thank you so much to our honorees; to Cheryl Scott,Heather Pennella and the BC Foundation team; Norma Rojas-Mora and the BC Communications team (especially video editor Valerie Urso); tp Tami Mlcoch and everyone at KGET; and to everyone who put so much careful time and effort into creating a memorable evening.
We are BC!
Previous Sterling Silver Celebrations
Sterling Silver 2020
Sterling Silver 2019
BC Vaccination Clinic
BC’s Renegades have been dedicated to being a part of the solution to end this pandemic. Today, BC’s Student Health and Wellness Center hosted BC’s first vaccination clinic to distribute the Johnson and Johnson Janssen vaccine. THANK YOU to BC’s nursing students and faculty, the KC Latino COVID-19 Task Force, and all our partners who provided PPE, support, and guidance helping BC do our part to serve the community. #WeareBC!
Virtual Theatre Performance: The Book of Fairy Tales
Spring 2021 THEA B27: Acting Theatre Lab class produced a virtual performance of “The Book of Fairy Tales: Stories from Around the World.” The stories were adapted and directed by Cody Ganger and inspired by Angela Carter’s Book of Fairy Tales.
Each piece was first discussed and rehearsed over Zoom before meeting in small groups to film. The actors and crew followed masking and social distancing guidelines for all in-person meetings, including being masked any time they were in the same space as other actors.
The cast of the performance is Vanessa Beltran, Connor Deming, Ivy Hasselbar, Alexxandra Lamacchia, Jason Land, Michael Morales, Serena Ornelas, Abraham Ortega, Abigail Putman, April Toelle, and Shane Young.
The stories include Kate Crackernuts (England), The Rabbit (Swahili), The Princess in the Suit of Leather (Egypt), The Letter Trick (Suriname), East o’ the Sun and West o’ the Moon (Norway), The Three Lovers (Mexico), The Wicked Stepmother (West Africa), The Werefox (China), The Armless Maiden (Russia), Nature’s Way (Armenia).
The performance will be available online until Sunday, March 21.
A Shot of Reality – Alcohol Awareness
The Office of Student Life held a zoom viewing of “A Shot of Reality,” an interactive alcohol awareness program presented by two professional comedians. A Shot of Reality has performed for the US Navy/Army and hundreds of colleges. The presenters have a realistic interactive discussion about the destructive and deadly consequences of alcohol abuse, assault, DUIs, health issues and more. This program was created with health professionals, local police, and members of various alcohol rehab programs. The two presenters not only use comedy to engage the audience, but they also attack the serious impact of this national campus epidemic.
Great news! The Bakersfield College Tutoring Center is open, available online and ready to support our students. The BC Tutoring Center offers free, one-on-one online peer tutoring with CRLA trained tutors.
The BC Tutoring Center is a proven student success service that provides FREE online tutoring to all currently enrolled Bakersfield College Students. Our one-on-one Peer Tutors, who are trained and certified, can assist you with many Bakersfield College courses. Whether for course content, assignments, required papers (at any stage of the writing process) and/or academic skills, assistance is available through drop-in and scheduled appointments for most BC courses. Please feel free to share this information with your students. Thank you so much.
Thank you to the BC Tutoring Center Team – Bradley Cramer, Monica Huyck, and Sonia Avila – for proving this important service to our students!
Political Science professor Allen Bolar wrote a piece in the Bakersfield Californian about using Discord – an app originally used by gamers – in the classroom to encourage connection and engagement.
“Text chatting on Discord allows students to show their personality as discussions segue from the pros and cons of upcoming ballot propositions to a movie recommendation to advice about scholarships to a question about the next quiz deadline. We even had a heated debate about what makes the perfect pizza. It’s much easier to respond quickly (and painlessly) to requests, and students benefit from seeing questions others ask rather than being isolated in an individual email silo.”
Spotted on Social Media:
Isabel Castaneda gave a shoutout to Carlos Medina:
EODAC shared a Zoom photo of a recent meeting:
Abel Guzman gave a radio interview to encourage the Latinx community to enroll at BC:
Nick Strobel shared some beautiful springtime poppies:
Renegade Athletics Are Back!!
After much work and tireless coordination – Renegade Athletics became one of the first colleges in the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) to return to sports competition this last week. BC is one of a handful of schools from the over 100 CCCAA schools that compete in athletics to 1) Opt-in for the Spring I season and 2) Have enough regional opponents to create a schedule of games.
Volleyball and Men’s Soccer started the Spring I season off with a bang by winning their opening games of the Spring I abbreviated season. Both teams played College of the Sequoias in their respective sports with Volleyball winning 3-1 and Men’s Soccer 4-2.
At the current time only Men’s Soccer, Volleyball and Men’s and Women’s Basketball are playing. All teams however are practicing and conditioning on-campus. While strict COVID protocols do not allow for fans in the stands at this time, it doesn’t mean you have miss out on the action – make sure to visit GoGades.com to know days/times for each sports and catch the live-stream’s through this link: https://video.ibm.com/channel/bc-renegades-athletics.
Seems like a dream that some of our student athletes are back in action, soon we’ll have more teams competing as well! Here are Volleyball and Women’s Basketball in action this week. Thank you Brandon Urry for getting these photos to me.
That’s all for now. Until next time.
With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality. sonya – the luckiest and happiest college president ever
This morning, I thought I would start with a poem from Jack Hernandez:
Going through the motions in and out the same doors working the usual chores, life has closed his veins stopped the blood that pours like surf on unfamiliar shores. movement now is confined to thoughts circling his head like flies above the dead. But amid the chattering rhymes his pulse begins to drum a jazzy jazzy jazzy beat, bold rhythms now freely speak, hot sax cool piano chords swing him into the jostling street, so many riffs so much jive take five take five take five.
It was perfect timing, because just a few days before he sent this, I saw on Facebook that BC Jazz Studies shared their Jazz Combos have been able to start outdoor, in-person rehearsals.
These steps show that we are slowly returning to normal. Every new update, each part of our lives that we’re able to regain – even if it looks considerably different than last year – brings me such joy. Beautiful music, gorgeous weather, and finally being able to come together: it’s truly wonderful to take five and appreciate how far we have come.
Good morning Bakersfield. It is Saturday, March 6, 2021 … a great day to be a Renegade.
Sterling Silver on KGET
A little over a year ago – last February – we held our annual Sterling Silver dinner to honor and recognize our generous donors and community supporters. I didn’t imagine that night just how different this year’s event would look. But despite a pandemic and social distancing, our BC Foundation is still able to celebrate those that lift our students by supporting the college’s mission. This year’s event will be broadcast on KGET/Channel 17. Make sure to tune in tonight at 7PM!
This year, honorees include:
Patricia Mettler and Margaret “Peggy” Haight – Individual Philanthropists (posthumously)
Greg & Mary Bynum, Bynum, Inc. – Corporate Philanthropists
Becky Whitson – BC Foundation Service Medal (posthumously)
This annual event is usually an elegant dinner with proceeds helping to fund scholarships for students, providing vital opportunities to make higher education a reality for thousands of Renegades. In this unusual time, I hope that you will join me this year in watching the show while eating dinner.
BC Foundation Executive Director Cheryl Scott was on the KGET Sunrise program this week to talk about the event.
And BC Foundation Board Chair Marko Zaninovich penned this Community Voices piece about recognizing Bakersfield College’s supporters – the the important work those donations allow.
“These gifts are reason to celebrate and remind our community of the work required to educate students. Our donors have thoughtfully placed their resources, all to benefit students and our community. They share a pride in the community. The message is consistent: Invest in education today to develop thinkers and problem solvers for tomorrow.”
Thank you Connie Perez-Andreesen, Foundation Board Member, for your generous donation to #SterlingSilver2021.
Thank you Heather Penella for leading the planning effort.
Tuesday, March 9, 2021 between 10am and Noon. Click Here to register for an appointment.
Thanks to our partners at VIPMD, we have a Moderna vaccine clinic on-campus in Levinson Hall next Tuesday, March 9, 2021 between 10am and Noon. Please note you will need to bring your photo ID, VIPMD registration packet, and your insurance card with you.
Thursday, March 11, 2021 from 2 to 4pm – BCSHWC’s First Clinic. Click Here to register for an appointment.
I am proud to announce that our known BC Student Health and Wellness Center has now been allocated the one-shot Johnson and Johnson’s Janssen vaccines to be distributed on Thursday, March 11, 2021 from 2 to 4pm in Levinson Hall.Please note you will need to bring your photo ID.
Saturday, March 13, 2021 between 10am and 2pm. Click Here to register yourself for an appointment.
Thanks to our partners at Dignity Health, we have a drive-thru Moderna vaccination clinic on-campus at the Stadium Parking lot next Saturday, March 13, 2021 between 10am and 2 pm.Please note you will need to bring your photo ID and be able to drive through the clinic space. TheBC Drive-Thru Flow Site Map will provide some guidance as to how the flow will work.
Monday, March 15, 2021 between 3pm and 6pm – Delano. Click Here to register yourself for an appointment.
Thanks to our partners at Dignity Health, we have a Moderna vaccination clinic at the Delano Campus on Monday, March 15, 2021 between 3pm and 6pm. Please note you will need to bring your photo ID.
2nd Annual Jean Fuller Women in Leadership Panel
Bakersfield College kicked off Women’s History Month with a discussion and panel, moderated by Early College champion and Republican Senator Emeritus, Jean Fuller. The event premiered on BC’s YouTube channel on Thursday, March 4, at 6:00pm.
The Jean Fuller Women in Leadership Panel featured:
Dr. Mary Barlow, Kern County Superintendent of Schools
Ms. Katie Russell, Superintendent, Panama Buena Vista Union School District
Assemblywoman Emeritus Nicole Parra, Manager, California Government Relations, Marathon Petroleum Corp.
If you missed the panel, you can still check it out on YouTube:
“However, women’s leadership and empowerment is not a recent endeavor for BC, but deeply rooted in its history, as the college came to be what it is today under the leadership of a woman named Grace Van Dyke Bird. She first came to teach in 1917 and was appointed as college chief executive, the position now known as president, in 1921. She was among the first to suggest using the term “community college” instead of junior college, arguing that community was more descriptive of the institution’s role.”
The event is part of BC’s month-long celebration of Women’s History Month. Bakersfield College’s Office of Student Life, in collaboration with the Student Government Association, also hosted journalist and activist Elaine Weiss as part of the college’s Distinguished Speaker series on Tuesday, March 2nd. You can watch the video on the BCSGA Facebook page.
Tuesday’s discussion featured updates from the Student Information Desk and BCSGA. Thank you to Gian Gayatao, Dan Hall, Zav Dadabhoy, Jenny Frank, and Tina Johnson for participating.
Then on Thursday we discussed the BC Vaccination clinic, results of a college-wide survey, and vaccinations and higher education. We heard a vaccine clinic update from Nicky Damania, as well as information from Craig Hayward, Jennifer Johnson, and Kimberly Nickell.
As always, thank you to Todd Coston, Nicky Damania, and Earl Parsons for all the work you put into producing these seminars.
Bakersfield College will hold two special virtual Express Enrollment Events for new and returning students on March 10, 2020 from 3 p.m. – 7 p.m. and March 13, 2020 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Educational advisors who assist students in the affinity groups for African American students, Latinx students, and Veteran students will also be available for these events. Counselors and support staff will be available to assist students with their registration process, placement, enrollment, and financial aid.
Mark your calendars for Sunday, May 16, 2021, when we will celebrate the Bakersfield College Class of 2021 with a special televised virtual commencement event! It will air on KGET as well as streaming online — bringing the celebration to your home while maintaining safety precautions. I hope you will watch with the rest of Bakersfield as our graduates’ images brighten your television screen as their names are read aloud.
BC Graduates must petition for graduation and opt-in to participate in the celebration. For more information and to sign up, visit Bakersfield College Commencement.
Health Science Virtual Outreach Event
On Thursday, February 25th, we hosted our first Health Science Pathway Virtual Outreach Event. This event was to provide the opportunity for current BC, high school, and perspective students to learn more about each of our health science programs and have the chance to explore them with us.
There were over 170 attendees and a faculty representative from 11 programs and Early College! Breakout rooms were very interactive and we received many great questions and comments from students. As one student stated “I loved everything about the presentation and how everyone had a chance to direct their questions to people directly instead of waiting for a pending email.” In the survey provided after the event, 95% of students indicated that they are more likely to register for late start and/or summer classes due to the information learned at the event.
Thank you to our phenomenal Health Science team for all of their work and time to make this event successful! Keep your eye out for more Health Science events in the future! #WeAreBC
Outreach & Early College Host Bring Your Stuffed Animal to Work Day
The Outreach & Early College Team had some special guests in their morning meeting this week. The team had a Bring Your Stuffed Animal to Work Day. Team members brought 1 (or more) of their trusted, tried, and true stuffed animals to the morning zoom meeting and shared the stories behind them. In the picture you can see that some team members really got into the spirit with an assortment from dogs, to narwhals, to Disney characters, and even a mood reflecting octopus!
Spotted on Social Media
Abel Guzman shared this throwback to a workshop with BC Dreamers about writing personal statements:
The Renegade Room shared these amazing photos of the delicious food they’ve been creating for takeout service:
Mary Jo Pasek shared some photos from her garden:
And Mindy Wilmot shared a new Renegade in her family:
Renegade Spring Sports Update
Starting Friday Renegade Athletics are back in the following sports for the Spring I season (March-April): Men’s Soccer, Volleyball and M/W Basketball. Be sure to head to GoGades.com to check schedules. While fans are not allowed in-person at games right now, you can still keep up with the teams on social media and watch live-streams when available through this link. Click the link below to follow the official Renegade Athletics social media accounts.
Congrats this week to women’s tennis student athlete Grecia De La Cruz as she signed to continue her athletic and academic career at William Jessup University. In the 2019 season she was the women’s tennis #1 player when she went 5-3 as the Renegades #1 singles player. We are excited for Grecia and wish her the best!
That’s all for now. Until next time.
With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality. sonya – the luckiest and happiest college president ever
This long weekend, I am grateful to be able to take a short break and enjoy the quiet beauty of the world around us. In our hectic lives, it’s these peaceful moments that can help renew and restore us to continue the things we must do.
And as we head into Valentine’s Day tomorrow, I wanted to share this email W. Christian Flores-Castaneda in our Culinary Science department, full of Renegade love. It is notes like this from our campus community that also help renew and restore my spirit:
Thank you for supporting the Food and Nutrition Program here at Bakersfield College.
I had started this email a number of times, months ago, only to delete it over and over again, because it felt like I just couldn’t get the right words to flow together… I was trying to be funny, or quirky, or all wordsmith-y to keep you upbeat and interested.
And then I got to thinking, y’all just need some Love. Like, “Hey, we didn’t forget about you all, and how supportive and invested you are, and how much we rely on your gratitude and guinea pig-ness, and gosh darnnit, WE MISS YOU!” kinda love. The kind of love I tell our new students about. The RenRoom Fam. The “every Tuesday at 6 pm at THAT table” kinda love. We’ve been missin’ all the good times, and the not-so-perfect-but-let’s-chock-it-up-to-learning-experience times…
Well, the show must go on. People gotta eat. And we gotta make sure our students know what to do when they get out there. So, we are working on training them appropriately to today’s measures, ensuring theirs and others’ safety as they navigate the industry. COVID gave us an opportunity to build humane relationships with each other as we learn new techniques and skillsets under new guidelines and prevention measures. We’ve needed to adhere to the most practical methods of teaching our culinarians without compromising anyone’s health and safety. We’re connecting with each other in ways we had not completely relied upon in prior lesson exchanges. These moments are being seized.
“Are we open for business?” We are working on that, actually. We will provide our students opportunities to engage in real-time application as far as production expectation and sanitary distribution. That’s fancy talk for “how to cook and package things nicely.” Our advanced students are poised to begin processing orders this week. Because we are working with reduced class sizes, our production team can only offer a limited number of portions, so it’s gonna be a little “First Come, First Served”-fashioned at first.
Renegade Room Take-Out events are being coordinated for both Tuesday Night Fine Dining and Wednesday Lunch services, with tailored menus and pricing. As we begin to offer more service, I’ll be updating our webpage and send out communication regarding menus and payment methods.
Good morning Bakersfield. It is Saturday, February 13, 2021 … a great day to be a Renegade.
BC Vaccine Clinic Updates
While preparations continue for our vaccination clinic on the Panorama Campus, more Renegades are getting access to the vaccine.
Yovani Jimenez, one of the newest Trustees to the Kern Community College District, is also a case worker for Clinica Sierra Vista, got his vaccine. Mary Jo Pasek also took her first treatment of the vaccine.
Jennifer Garrett also recently received her first dose of the vaccine:
In this 6:20-min video, he gives a brief description of the body’s immunization process and how the COVID-19 vaccine works. Thank you to BC Pre-Med student Ian Spark for taking part in the Q&A session:
Jack Hernandez shared a poignant poem with me this week:
Abusive voices lash the air and souls of those they despise. Amid the endless rancor words like peace hide behind doors of despair. Yet ready to pounce with love forgiveness begins her silencing song.
She does not avert her eyes, her lyrics tell those whose tongues are whips she will not strike back, will stand strong without hate, waiting and singing waiting and giving.
Putnam Exam Open to BC Students
From email from Jonathan P. Brown:
The William Lowell Putnam Competition is “the leading university-level mathematics examination in the world.” The exam is fun, challenging, and if you score anything greater than a 0 on it, then that is something remarkable to put on your resume/CV or applications. I am happy to announce that it will be available for the first time to any BC students who do not already hold a bachelor’s degree. The exam will be Saturday, February 20th, and we will have two study sessions before then.
The William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition is “the leading university-level mathematics examination in the world.” The competition consists of two 3-hour sessions. During each session, participants work individually on six challenging mathematical problems.
The 81st Putnam Competition will take place virtually on Feb 20, 2021
KHSD Opens Early College Pathway Applications for 2021-2022 School Year
KHSD announced this week that applications for their Early College pathways are now open for the 2021-2022 school year. In addition to the 4 pathways launched last Fall (Industrial Automation, Public Health, Psychology, and Administration of Justice), the district is also planning a new “Introduction to Health Careers” pathway with their CTEC facility that will align with our Title V objectives and expose high school students to the many Health Science pathways available here at BC. A cohort of 35 incoming 9th grade students will be selected for each of the 5 pathways, and students from other grades will be selected for courses that will get them a head start on pathways of their choice.
The link to our website is also accessible by clicking the “BC Peer Tutoring” link in Canvas. Our online hours are:
Monday: 9 am – 7 pm
Tuesday: 9 am – 7 pm
Wednesday: 9 am – 8 pm
Thursday: 9 am – 7 pm
The BC Tutoring Center is a proven student success service that provides FREE online tutoring to all currently enrolled Bakersfield College Students. Our one-on-one Peer Tutors, who are trained and certified, can assist you with many Bakersfield College courses. Assistance with course content, assignments, required papers (at any stage of the writing process) and/or academic skills are available through drop-in and scheduled appointments for most BC courses. Please feel free to share this information with your students. Thank you so much.
Opening Day Spring 2021
On the first day of our Opening Day Spring 2021 production, CSEA President Tina Johnson shared an update:
We also featured a performance from the Renegade Chorus. Please enjoy “Resilience”:
Philanthropy just may be the best tool we have for increasing social, economic mobility
Sheri Horn-Bunk, executive director of the Taft College Foundation, and Cheryl Scott, executive director of the Bakersfield College Foundation, co-wrote this piece in the Bakersfield Californian about the $100 million donation from the Jay Pritzker Foundation to fund the Finish Line Scholarships for 34 California community colleges.
“By providing students Finish Line scholarships, we’re able to remove barriers while supporting the overall community. When a student is able to feed their family, pay rent and complete their college degrees, they are putting the money back into the community. In fact, students earning a degree or certificate from a California community college nearly double their earnings within just three years!”
“Even though we are all virtually apart and not able to come physically together to workout, this avenue provides a small community for us to engage with each other. Also, as the workouts are shown on social media platforms, many community members have also started engaging with the workouts. We even have a couple of regulars who join in from the states of Indiana and Colorado.”
she sits in the shadow of the window noiselessly she sits the shadow of the window
in a shadow-window she sits noiselessly she sits a wooden shadow in the window an etching sunlight-shadow carved
sunlight breaks on bended knees and sags upon her feets and slides away across the wooden floor a river of bright and dancing dust splashing noiselessly as she sits the shadow of the window
Throwback to 1979 Women’s Volleyball
It’s always fun to throwback to pictures of the past. Here’s some action pics from the 1979 women’s volleyball season – almost 40 years ago! That year the team placed fourth in the conference and had four players selected to the All-Conference team – Sharlene Carroll, Jill Turner, Terri McNamara and Rhonda Harrington. Do you know any of these ladies? What a blast from the past!
That’s all for now. Until next time.
With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality. sonya – the luckiest and happiest college president ever
It is Saturday, February 24, 2018 and a great day to be a Renegade.
This was a short but action packed week. I traveled to Santa Rosa to present at the Association of California Community College Administrators (ACCCA). The drive was long to Santa Rosa and back. There were several high points in this trip, including (1) hearing from the President of Santa Rosa College of how they supported the community during and after the fires and (2) crossing the bay on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge.
We have all been impacted by the California fires…. here is a poignant piece by Thomas Fuller in the California Today section of the NYTimes about Santa Rosa. https://tinyurl.com/y8bv77jk
Photo snapped from the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge Feb 21 2018
The Richmond-San Rafael Bridge is the northernmost bridge crossing over the San Francisco Bay. I, like everyone else likes to ride the train and enjoy bridges. Apparently, this 5.5-mile engineering feat was rejected by Frank Llyod Wright for its aesthetics. Wright must have taken after Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, who tolerates everything and anything with a gentle soul but is unforgiving when it comes to poor design and bad colors. I don’t remember where this photo was snapped, but all I can say is that this I stay quiet when Nan is in a serious art conversation with David Koeth.
The Conference held at Santa Rosa is the annual ACCCA conference and I was invited to present at the opening plenary. As I walked in I spotted Gustavo Enrique and Jaime Lopez from Bakersfield College.
BC is such a large campus, and I am always surprised and delighted to see us all over the state. I spot BC administrators, faculty and staff presenting at different statewide conferences via tweets and posts on facebook and other social media. #WeAreBC
Here are my fellow presenters at the ACCCA — Reagan Romali, President of Long Beach City College; Joe Wyse, President of Shasta College; and Willy Duncan, President of Sierra College. We are in the photo with Susan Bray, Executive Director of ACCCA who is in the middle.
Sonya Christian, Reagan Romali, Susan Bray, Joe Wyse, Willy Duncan
So now for few of the very many activities on campus…..
Judge Raymonda Marquez
Yesterday, we held the 3rd annual YES! Youth Empowering Success Conference. The all-day event began with a welcome and introduction from Judge Raymonda Marquez of the Kern County Superior Court. She spoke of how there are people in our lives who believe in us, even when we sometimes doubt ourselves.
An article from last November titled “Families changed for the better on National Adoption Day in Bakersfield” mentions Judge Marquez. She introduced the keynote speaker by saying, “With all of the adversity he faced in life, his experiences inspired him to dedicate his life to helping troubled youth and adults overcome the negative challenges within their own lives and discover that they have greatness within them.”
The keynote speaker of the morning, Mark Anthony Garrett, opened with a video recounting how his third grade teacher is “his hero.” The video can be seen on his website, www.teachersareheros.com. Mark shared his life story in a compelling, motivational, and inspiring talk that pumped up the audience before the smaller breakout sessions.
Mark Anthony Garrett
It brings great joy to our campus to provide a place for events like this that not only inspire, but empower our young students to achieve greatness. As Mark said,
Everyone is brought to this world with a special gift. When one discovers what that gift is, they must let it shine so that others lives will become brighter. Teachers shine that light every time they impart knowledge to a student.
Special thank you to Kern County Superintendent of Schools Foster Youth Services Coordinating Program, Human Services, Kern High School District, and QPI. Special thank you also to Aracelli Navarro, and the team from BC who worked so hard to make the event a success.
Child Development CenterThe Child Development Center provides a hands-on laboratory experience for our students as they pursue their certificate or degree in child development.
Beyond the educational opportunities the Child Development Center provides, it also offers a child care for students with small children so they can go to their classes — knowing that their child is well taken care of. The proximity of their children helps our students access campus services and study opportunities while their children are safe and sound right here on campus.
As a traditional Child Development Center, our center provides important direct laboratory experiences and opportunities for students in child development programs and allied health programs. Students have access to supplies and materials, trained teachers who mentor them through the experience, a quality physical environment with vibrant classrooms, and low student-to-child ratios. Together, these benefits make for a quality facility for children and an outstanding educational environment for our students.
Calling Future Teachers
Are you inspired to teach? Learn about the programs at BC that lead to careers in education of all ages. Two upcoming events will answer all your questions so you can know what’s needed to qualify to become a teacher at a variety of levels. Events take place March 3rd at the Delano Campus and March 20th on the Panorama Campus. Learn more here.
Kern County Career Expo
The Kern County Career Expo took place on Thursday night and BC was represented in a HUGE way! #WeAreBC
This career awareness event geared towards the students and employers of Kern builds career awareness for tomorrow’s workforce. Employers from Kern County had the opportunity to promote the different career opportunities that are available within their companies through interactive booths. I loved seeing BC students in this clip on ABC 23.
It is exciting to see all the various departments at BC sharing their programs with the future generations of Renegades. I especially love seeing how the Engineering programs and Industrial Automation brought out the robotics and 3D printing machinery to inspire visitors. Nursing and RAD tech were out in full force and so was the team from Adult Education and our Rural Initiatives team. Special thanks to the CTE team for their work on organizing BC’s involvement with this fantastic event. #WeareBC!
Can you see why I’m the luckiest and happiest college president ever?
Engineering and INDA Booths at the Career Expo
Rony Recinos and Automotive Tech Students
And a tweet from Pam Gomez
CHAP at Allensworth
Laura Hooton and Oliver Rosales
On Saturday, Feb 10, the Bakersfield College Delano Campus Cultural and Historical Awareness Program (CHAP) participated in a Black History month event at Allensworth State Historical Park located just northwest of the Delano Campus in Tulare County. Allensworth is the only state historic park in California dealing exclusively with the history of African Americans. The CHAP program hosted a booth at the event in partnership with the National Endowment for the Humanities Common Heritage grant “Digital Delano: Preserving an International Community’s History.”
Professors Oliver Rosales, Paula Parks, Michelle Hart, and Librarian Elisabeth Sundby were joined by BC students Danielle Wiley, SGA Photographer and Christian Bravo, SGA Mascot, as well as PhD Candidate Laura Hooton from UC Santa Barbara, an expert on rural African American History in the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands, to visit the historic Allensworth site in the goal of spreading information about the digital history effort at the Delano Campus to “harvest local and family histories” related to the San Joaquin Valley. A number of contacts were made among attendees, particularly community members with familial ties to Allensworth and historic black families from Tulare County.
Elisabeth Sundby , Laura Hooton and Oliver Rosales
What makes Allensworth unique as a space of historical significance is it draws African Americans from across the state for its annual celebrations. Folks from San Diego, Oakland, Richmond, Los Angeles, and elsewhere visit Allensworth because it represents a place of great importance to the history of African Americans in the United States. If you haven’t made the trek to Allensworth, the entire CHAP team strongly recommends attending one of Allensworth’s annual events. More information can be found at the Allensworth SHP Website.
Bridging the Racial Divide
Students had a great opportunity to talk to leaders from local law enforcement agencies across Kern County, who were all in the same room for a special forum in the Levan Center on Tuesday. BC criminal justice professor and former Arvin police chief Tommy Tunson moderated the forum, titled “Transformational Policing: Bridging the Racial Divide”, which addressed how the community policing model is evolving nationwide in response to several high profile officer-involved shootings in Baltimore, Ferguson, Missouri and other cities over the last few years.
left to right: FBI Special Agent Bennett O. Scott, Kern County Assistant District Attorney Scott Spielman, McFarland Police Department Chief Scot Kimble, CHP Commander Ron Seldon, Bakersfield Police Department Chief Lyle Martin and BC criminal justice professor Tommy Tunson talk about restoring the public’s faith in law enforcement on February 20th in the Levan Center.
Tommy Tunson, a criminal justice professor at BC and the former Chief of the Arvin Police Department, moderates a discussion on transformational policing in the Levan Center on February 20th.
Before giving the floor over to the panel—which included police chiefs from McFarland and Bakersfield, a California Highway Patrol Commander, a Kern County Assistant District Attorney and a field agent from the local FBI office—Tunson showed video from a police brutality protest, pointing out that every officer on the field is one cell phone video away from being on the national news, no matter how small the city that they’re tasked with keeping safe. He then outlined the Transformational Policing Model (TPM), a two-pronged approach to law enforcement that emphasizes using data analysis to target areas where agencies can serve the public better, as well as community and media outreach to restore the public’s faith in the people who protect and serve them every day.
Bakersfield Police Department Chief Lyle Martin talked about the work he’s done during his time as chief to keep the lines of communication open with the public and the media. When something controversial happens around one of the officers in his department, he is proactive in reaching out to local media before they reach out to him, and he’s leveraging the power of social media to reach out to the increasing number of people who don’t read the newspaper or tune into local news.
Bakersfield Police Department Chief Lyle Martin outlines the importance of proper law enforcement training at the Transformational Policing Forum on February 20th in the Levan Center.
“When you mess up, you’ve got to dress up and fess up,” Martin said, adding that the BPD’s motto for this year is “Change the Experience”.
California Highway Patrol Commander Ron Seldon described his department’s Public Trust Initiative, a series of assessments in which the CHP is graded on its public relations and community outreach by a third-party organization and given advice on how to improve. “Are we treating the public as we’d like to be treated?” Seldon asked.
FBI Special Agent Bennett O. Scott describes how the Kern County office collaborates with local law enforcement on February 20th at the Levan Center.
McFarland Police Department Chief describes how his department was able to transform McFarland from a community afflicted by fatal gang violence to the 60th safest city in America during the Transformational Policing event on February 20th in the Levan Center.
McFarland Police Chief Scott Kimble said that outreach efforts such as his “Ice Cream with the Chief” event have been crucial in changing the culture in McFarland, which sits at the border between California’s Norteno and Sureno street gangs, making it a potential hotbed for violent crime. Kimble credits the restoration of trust between law enforcement and the community for McFarland’s inclusion on the National Council for Homeland Security’s list of the 100 safest cities in California. McFarland, ranked at number 60, is the only city in Kern County on the list, with only 33 violent crimes committed in the area in 2016.
Kern County Assistant District Attorney Scott Spielman speaks on the importance of separating one’s emotional response to a traumatic case from the duties required to mete out justice during the Transformational Policing event at the Levan Center on February 20th.
Assistant District Attorney Scott Spielman reiterated the importance of maintaining the bond between law enforcement and the community. If people don’t feel comfortable with reporting a crime or serving as a witness for the prosecution, then it makes it more difficult on the District Attorney’s office to deliver justice. Regardless of whether law enforcement officials feel that the public’s mistrust is justified, agencies must strive to create a perception of fairness, and it’s important to understand the history of the relationship between the police and the community that lead up to where we’re at today in order to change that relationship.
FBI Special Agent Bennett O. Scott shared information about an anonymous tipline that people in the community can use to report crimes without fear of reprisal and described how the local FBI office collaborates with local authorities on counter-terrorism and gang violence prevention. With only 11 FBI agents for all of Kern County, it’s important for the federal office to be in constant communication with local police and county sheriffs.
Students and local media pack the Levan Center for the Transformation Policing Forum on February 20th.
Last week, representatives from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) set up tables in the Renegade Crossroads to offer scholarships and registration at schools across the country. HBCUs provide an opportunity for students to learn within their peer group, and we were honored to have the HBCU Caravan back for another year.
We also had representatives from historically black fraternities and sororities to provide information about how students can find support from their peers at the four-year institution of their choice, not just at HBCUs. I’d like to thank Lisa Kent from Student Success and Equity, as well as Steve Watkin from Outreach, for helping to put the HBCU event together. It’s an extremely valuable resource for our students, and I can’t wait to see how the opportunities provided by these HBCUs will help our students grow after they graduate BC.
For the month of January, BC’s Tucker Eenigenburg averaged 23.2 points, 5.6 rebounds and two assists per game over the course of nine games. He shot 52.4 percent from the floor, 53.4 percent from three-point range and 91 percent from the free-throw line. Eenigenburg had a career high 51 points, in an 87-81 win, against College of the Canyons on Jan. 27. In that game, he was 13 of 21 (61.9 percent) from the floor, 8 of 12 (66.7 percent) from three-point range and 17 of 17 (100 percent) from the free-throw line. See the CCCAA website for more.
Bakersfield College was out in full force at the 8th Annual Military Order of the Purple Heart Military Ball, held at the Doubletree Hotel last Saturday night.
Paul Beckworth, Steve Watkins, Lisa Kent, Sandra Beckworth, Olivia Garcia, Sgt. Julio Garcia
Mayor Karen Goh and Zav Dababhoy
One of the organizers of this event had a busy week, Professor Tommy Tunson, retired Army. As last year’s recipient of the Ball’s Veteran Support Organization of the Year, BC was well represented by Dr. Zav Dadabhoy, who handed off this year’s award to Chevron, in honor of the company’s support of veterans in Kern County. And thank you Mayor Karen Goh for the great photos!
According the their website, “Chartered by Congress in 1958, The Military Order of the Purple Heart is composed of military men and women who received the Purple Heart Medal for wounds suffered in combat. Although our membership is restricted to the combat wounded, we support all veterans and their families with a myriad of nation-wide programs by Chapters and National Service Officers.” The Order’s mission is to foster an environment of goodwill and camaraderie among combat wounded veterans, promote patriotism, support necessary legislative initiatives, and most importantly, provide service to all veterans and their families.
While a good time was had by all, the night’s theme was a somber one; remembering America’s POWs and MIAs from the Vietnam War. The United States still has over 1,600 unaccounted-for personnel from the conflict that divided this nation. As a part of the ceremony to honor America’s missing, a POW/MIA table was set.
According to tradition, the POW/MIA table is smaller than the others, symbolizing the frailty of one prisoner alone against his or her oppressors. This table is separate from the others and can be set for one to four place settings to represent each service participating in the event.
The white tablecloth draped over the table represents the purity of their response to our country’s call to arms. The empty chair depicts an unknown face, representing no specific Soldier, Sailor, Airman, or Marine, but all who are not here with us.The table itself is round to show that our concern for them is never ending. The Bible represents faith in a higher power and the pledge to our country, founded as one nation under God. The black napkin stands for the emptiness these warriors have left in the hearts of their families and friends. A Purple Heart medal can be pinned to the napkin. The single red rose reminds us of their families and loved ones. The red ribbon represents the love of our country, which inspired them to answer the nation’s call. The yellow candle and its yellow ribbon symbolize the everlasting hope for a joyous reunion with those yet accounted for. The slices of lemon on the bread plate remind us of their bitter fate. The salt upon the bread plate represent the tears of their families. The wine glass, turned upside down, reminds us that our distinguished comrades cannot be with us to drink a toast or join in the festivities of the evening.
The significance of the POW/MIA table is called to attention during the toast of the evening. This is an important part of many military banquets to remind us that the strength of those who fight for our country often times rests in the traditions that are upheld today. These men, these women are not forgotten.
Creating Lasting Guided Pathways
The CCCCO is conducting a series of 7 workshops on Creating Lasting Guided Pathways. Bakersfield College is being highlighted at each of the 7 events around the state as one of the first colleges that has data in California showing benefits to students.
Julian West was part of a plenary panel on that data and followed up with a breakout on student voices and equity. He shared statistics from Spring 2018 such as:
783 African-American Students Total Enrolled
414 Students Have Completed Less Than 30 units
136 Students started Fall or Summer 2017
89 Students started Spring 2018
He shared how BC’s high tech, high touch level of support is truly making a difference for our students.
Grace Commiso and Maria Wright will be presenting at plenary panels and reporting on BC’s completion coaching teams and student voices. Janet Fulks is presenting Bakersfield’s Outcomes over the next two weeks and presenting Guided Pathways 101 breakouts. These early outcomes and distinctive work at Bakersfield will help other colleges plan strategies to successfully help their students complete programs of study.
So proud of the incredible work being done by the BC staff, faculty, and completion coaching teams.
“Kern County’s future workforce is entrusted largely to our local educators,” Scott writes, outlining how important it is for business leaders to reach out to the schools and let educators know the exact skills they’re looking for. Many Kern County businesses have to look outside of the Valley for job applicants with the advanced skills that they need, and developing these partnerships at the primary, secondary, and post-secondary educational levels will create more home-grown applicants for those positions, which leads to upward mobility for individuals and their families in the process.
“Bringing business into the classroom can give students a leg up in their future careers and sets them up for success by equipping them with the skills and information employers need, “ Scott writes, highlighting the work done by the CSUB School of Business and Public Administration Student Professional Development Initiative, as well as Independence High School’s Energy and Utilities Academy as examples of programs that are creating effective mentorship opportunities for students looking to join the skilled labor force after graduation.
Chancellor Tom Burke Seen on Twitter
As one of the nation’s largest networks of higher education, California community colleges were well represented in Washington, DC at the 2018 National Legislative Summit hosted by the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) last week.
KCCD Chancellor Tom Burke represented the Kern Community College District at the annual summit, which raises awareness of the issues impacting community colleges across the country while allowing opportunities for community college leaders to meet with congressional representatives to advocate for policies that would benefit them, according to the FAQ page on the National Legislative Summit’s website. Burke, who can be seen in the tweet towards the back on the right, met with Congressman Kevin McCarthy at his office in Capitol Hill during the summit.
Jake Tapper, CNN’s Chief Washington Correspondent and the host of The Lead with Jake Tapper, was the keynote speaker for the opening event on February 12th. US Department of Labor Secretary R. Alexander Acosta also spoke about the importance of workforce education to close the skills gap in the nation’s labor market, and Carroll Doherty of the Pew Research Center gave statistics that provided context for the political divide in higher education and reasons behind misperceptions many members of the public have about the value of community colleges.
Congratulations to Adjunct Architecture Professor Christopher Ennis, recipient of the American Institute of Architects California Council’s Emerging Educator of the Year.
The official article states, “The Educator Award recipient is also a member of the Golden Empire Chapter. Chris Ennis, AIA, is faculty at a community college and experiences difficulties and roadblocks different than his peers in the four-year university system. The jury applauded his efforts to ignite passion and interest in students who may not otherwise be exposed to possibilities in the field of architecture before they transfer.” Check it out here.
Spotted on Media
Say these two articles in the Bakersfield Life Magazine this morning.
Dr. Jeet Singh is on the Bakersfield College Foundation Board of Directors and is doing incredible work in service to this community.
And here is our very own Prof. Olivia Garcia
And finally let’s support our choir students
Get your tickets now for an incredible night of collaborative music between some of Bakersfield’s finest musicians. Local celebrities Monty Byrom and Lydia Ranger are coming together with the BC Chamber Singers to perform in a benefit concert at the Music Hall of Fame. Email me!
That’s all for now.
Until next time.
With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.
sonya — the luckiest and happiest college president ever
Good morning Bakersfield. It is Saturday, May 27th….always a good day to be a Renegade.
A lot happened this week…A lot has happened to people around me. Gains and losses. All interwoven in the fabric of life. It gives us pause and the realization that it is the little moments that make up life.
Let me start by revisiting the 103rd commencement.
I’m happy to still be covering parts of our incredible Commencement Day on May 12th.
Thank you Manny De Los Santos for this great video!
Last week I did not have the potos for the Delano pre-commencement celebration and the Veterans pre-commencement celebration. So I decided to hold off and post it this week. I did receive an email expressing disappointment that I did not have them last week. My apologies. Sit back and enjoy our students in Delano and our student Veterans.
Delano Pre-Commencement Celebration:
Students at the Bakersfield College-Delano Campus are part of a close-knit community — one really gets to know the faces around the center. This couldn’t have been made much clearer than by the remarks that followed.
Trustee Romeo Agbalog
Trustee Romeo Agbalog gave words of encouragement to the graduates in attendance. He talked about his experience as a student at Bakersfield College. Mr. Agbalog specifically talked about the role that our longtime Admissions and Records Technician, Helen Calip, played in enrolling him in his first class at Bakersfield College-Delano. In recounting the experience, Mr. Agbalog, full of heart, looked at Helen sitting in the audience and thanked her for what she did for him. We feel very fortunate to have such a passionate representative on our Board of Trustees. Thank you Trustee Agbalog for taking the time to be present at important events. Our students really appreciate it.
Our keynote speaker for the event was adjunct faculty member, Victor Krumdick. Mr. Krumdick is retiring after 26 years of service to the college. Raquel Lopez and Carolina Madrigal introduced him and shared stories about the amazing work he has done in Delano, in and out of the classroom. Mr. Krumdick is one of the friendliest people around campus. He brings a positive energy to the Delano Campus that not many can match. He shared some wise and poetic words with the students, in hopes that they live life to their fullest potential.
Then came the moment everybody was waiting for. Each student had the opportunity to stand in front of the group and share words of appreciation for their guests, as well as for the staff and faculty. The majority of the students made it a point to thank the faculty members who believed in them and supported them along the way. Each student received a medal to recognize their accomplishment.
BC Delano Pre-Commencement Reception
BC Delano Pre-Commencement Reception
BC Delano Pre-Commencement Reception
BC Delano Pre-Commencement Reception
The ceremony was followed by a reception at which students, staff, faculty, and guests enjoyed light refreshments. The joy and pride that the families had that day was very contagious. After some socializing, many of the students headed to main campus to participate in the 103rd commencement.
“Aim High …. Fly, Fight, Win!” , “Non sibi sed patriae, (Not for self but for country)”, “Semper Fidelis (Always Faithful)”and “This we’ll defend” all typically followed by a Hooray!
These are the official mottoes for the four branches of military, Air Force, Navy, Marines, and the Army. A week ago Friday, six Bakersfield College students gathered for their pre-commencement ceremony and all of these branches were represented with pride and honor. These six students worked hard, diligently at their studies, juggled families, work, and outside responsibilities while still making time to study, write those papers and pass those exams. When Paul Beckworth addressed these BC Veterans, he recognized their service to this country and the service to this school, “Stay up late and write a paper, I’ve served 2 tours in Iraq, piece of cake.”
After Paul and Armando Trujillo spoke to the Veteran students and their honored guests, they then invited the students to come up one at a time and be stolled by a member of their family and then speak of their appreciation for those who helped them on this journey.
The resonating theme throughout everyone’s comments was that of the genuine camaraderie that can be found within the walls of the Veteran’s lounge. When soldiers get together, there is an instant bond that is irrefutable and instantaneous, they all share a trait that will connect them forever, a love and duty to this country… and now, alumni of BC. #WeAreBC
The graduates all thanked their loved ones present for their patience, love and support, first while they were enlisted, then now with them completing their education at Bakersfield College. It is absolutely amazing to know that by 2018 there will be a new Veterans lounge thanks to the passing of Measure J. The new veterans facility will provide these soldiers with a place to meet together, work on their studies, get tutoring help, speak with counselors, and just find solace within the confines of a place where like-minded individuals can meet and empower one another to keep working hard to achieve their academic dreams. I hope all of our alumni Vets will come back to see, share, and visit this upcoming wonderful advancement for the Veteran’s at BC.
From Left: Jeff Patterson, Fernando Bocanegra (standing), David Dullum Jr. (squatting), Robert Lira, Professor Paul Beckworth, Stephanie Short, Armando Trujillo, Bernadette Martinez and Reigine Tovar
On May 19, 2017 was the ‘STEMposium’ event organized by the Kern Economic Development Corporation (KEDC), and held on the Bakersfield College campus. This event raises awareness of the amazing technology-related fields in and around Kern County. The KEDC works with high schools to foster awareness and excitement for the Stem disciplines so that young students can move on to become leaders in tech-driven fields.
Here is a list of some of the organizations represented:
Chevron, PG&E, Wells Fargo, S Power, California Resources Corporation, Bakersfield College, Taft College, BHE Renewables, Kern Schools Federal Credit Union, Ikea, GTEDC, Ordiz Melby, and Texas Instruments. (Click here for the full gallery of images)
2017 STEMposium at Bakersfield College
Vince Fong at the 2017 STEMposium
2017 STEMposium at Bakersfield College
2017 STEMposium at Bakersfield College
2017 STEMposium at Bakersfield College
I enjoyed Christina Sistrunk’s talk at the Stemposium about women in the Stem area. We are fortunate to have such a great CEO for Aera. I have blogged about Aera being a great patron of education in general and Bakersfield College in particular. Aera gave a large donation to BC to the development of a Stem Success Center.
Also enjoyed seeing Michael Kane from Cerro Coso giving a ted-like talk. He was fabulous. Michael is an Aquatic Ecologist who has spent time teaching around the world including Brazil and Costa Rica.
Amber Smithson, the student blogger was out and about covering the Stemposium. Here is a shot of her in action and one with me. Amber, you are amazing!
Sonya Christian, Amber Smithson
Bob Meadows emceed the ted talks event. I wish I had snapped a picture with him. Bob Meadows, you are the best!
On Thursday evening, KEDC hosted a Pre-STEMposium event at Luigi’s. It was a fun event and I enjoyed visiting with Mindy Wilmot and her husband who teaches Project Lead the Way at Bakersfield High School. I ran into Lauren Skidmore and Chancellor Tom Burke attending and snapped this photo.
Lauren Skidmore and Chancellor Tom Burke
Here I am with Director of MESA (Math, Engineering, Science Achievement) Connie Gonzales:
Sonya Christian with Connie Gonzales
The visionary and the one who did the detailed work to pull all this together is Cheryl Scott. Just an amazing person!
I want so start my writing on this year’s Sterling Silver with Josh Ottum. Josh was there with his students and they played Linda Ronstadt’s Blue Bayou.
Josh Ottum and his family
I wish I had jumped up and rushed over and gotten a video for you to enjoy. It was sooooo good. But I was dressed in fancy clothes and high heels and thought I would embarrass BC in front of dignitaries if I made a mad dash to get a video clip. Instead I waited patiently and completely immersed in the music. Later when they were done, I calmly walked over and expressed how I loved the song and how Ronstadt’s Blue Bayou was my favorite. To which Josh responded “yes of course” that they knew it was my favorite because they had read my blog and that is precisely why they played it. Now do you know why I am the luckiest and happiest college president ever.
Sterling Silver is the annual fundraising event for the Bakersfield College Foundation. This year, Tom Gelder and I decided to convert the event from a fundraiser to a thank you to the community for passing Measure J on the November 8th ballot and to recognize individuals who put in a lot of effort to make all of this happen.
The main honorees of the evening were Mayor Harvey Hall who was the chair of the Blue Ribbon Committee and Congressman Bill Thomas who was the senior advisor to the campaign.
Mayor Harvey Hall:
Tom Gelder, Harvey Hall, Sonya Christian
You don’t get to be Bakersfield’s longest serving mayor without doing things well, and Harvey Hall does a lot of things well. Political campaign committees need strong leadership and Harvey provided that throughout the process. From space at Hall Ambulance for committee meetings, running the meetings on a tight schedule, making financial contributions to the campaign, to inspirational speeches when we needed them, Harvey was always there for us. I remember when I went to meet with Mayor Hall to ask him if he would chair the Bond effort. I had documents and a file to talk him through the details and make a compelling case for why he should say yes to chairing the committee. Harvey looked at me and only 10 seconds into my pitch, which I had rehearsed at length, he just said “yes”.
President Sonya Christian, Mayor Harvey Hall
When it comes to Bakersfield and Bakersfield College I know Harvey is there for us. And apparently Harvey had a clone which made it possible to be there for so many of us, often it felt like, at the same time. On behalf of all at Bakersfield College I can say that we could not have asked for a better person to chair this effort and be the face for the Bond Measure. A true friend of Bakersfield College, Mayor Harvey Hall.
Congressman Bill Thomas:
As I’ve gotten to know Bill Thomas, I now realize that his middle initial “M” stands for “Make it Happen”…. Make it happen now…. Actually why did you not make it happen….
You don’t get to be chair of the House Ways and Means Committee without getting to the crux of every problem and forging brilliant solutions on a daily basis. We’d like to think that he gained these skills as a professor at BC but I imagine he was a force of nature from an early age.
Bill Thomas, Sharon Thomas, Peggy Goodwin, Greg Goodwin
In the realm of major capital campaigns, you won’t find many, if any, that raise $503 million in such a short time. Bill Thomas played a major role in making it so. Strategist, advocate, negotiator, mentor, inspiring leader all come to mind. On a personal level, I could not have had a better mentor as I navigated this unknown territory of a bond campaign. I remember the day when the congressman let the finance committee know in no uncertain terms when we failed to file a document in a timely way. But it is that level of focus on detail and moving easily between vision, strategy and operational particulars that makes Bill Thomas the leader that he is. And although he tries to hide it, he has a big teddy bear heart for this community and for Bakersfield College. The combination of brilliant intellect and huge love for his community is what made the entire Measure J team fall in love with the congressman. He was at 1675 Chester Avenue every day, multiple times a day.
BC and the BC Foundation tonight salute Bill Thomas.
Mike was not able to attend Sterling Siver, so here is the picture Tom Gelder snapped when he came to his office to pick up with award.
Here is JP picking up his award.
Did not get the photo of Karen receiving the award yet. Will update the blog when I get it. So tune back in.
When it became clear that we were going to go for the passage of Measure J, we felt the Foundation was in good hands with Karen Thompson as the Chair of the Board of Directors. We were so right. The Foundation stepped up to provide the majority of the monies needed to finance the campaign and Karen stepped up to steer the work of the Measure J Committee. That’s leadership! Her efforts are truly remarkable by the fact that Karen was changing jobs at the time. I don’t think any of us realized how much work would be involved in getting Measure J passed, but Karen did whatever it took to get us through successfully. Thank you, Karen!
Norma Rojas Mora:
Having someone on your committee who has their hand on the pulse of the community is vital to communicating the needs of the college in a way that resonates with voters. Norma Rojas-Mora served that role and many other roles on the Committee as she has on behalf of the BC Foundation’s board. Smart, strategic, trusted and hard-working are just a few of Norma’s attributes which she displayed early and often throughout the planning and implementation process of the Measure J campaign. Friend and advocate for Bakersfield College is another title that fits. Thank you, Norma!
I got this picture from Karen Goh’s Facebook.
Marines are famous for doing whatever it takes to make their mission a success. Michael O’Doherty, past chair of the BC Foundation, demonstrated his Marine Corps roots as the Measure J Campaign Treasurer. There were maybe three people in the room (e.g. Bill Thomas, Harvey Hall, and Karen Goh) who knew how complicated campaign committee reporting is. After the Measure J Campaign, now there is a fourth — Michael! And who volunteers for such a thankless task? When the going gets tough, the tough get going! Thanks, Michael, for another job well done!
What can I say. Jay was there from the very beginning. Since Jan 2016. You co-chaired the community connections group with Norma Rojas during the educational campaign phase. You co-presented to so many organizations. You were our spokesperson to the Board of Trustees as you updated them on the work of the Blue Ribbon Committee. You phone banked, you put up signs, you opened Klein Denatale for us to work. Plz tell Kimmie that she was absolutely instrumental in the work. When we ran out of food, you hopped in the car with Corny and came back laden with goodies. You spent your evenings at 1675 Chester and helped carry trash out and shut down the campaign headquarters for the night. We spent countless hours in Starbucks strategizing. You partnered with Michael O’Doherty to submit the public disclosure forms. On behalf of the present and future students of Bakersfield College; on behalf of the present and future faculty and staff of Bakersfield College, I thank you.
Sue Benham, Sonya Christian. From Karen Goh’s Facebook
Most of us don’t face the risk of waking up in the morning and having the details of your wedding appear in the local paper, but I suspect Sue is used to that. Besides, it was a great picture. She also is used to advocating for things that matter..things that benefit the community. Like the old E.F. Hutton commercial, when Sue Benham talks, people listen. She is eloquent. She is honest. She is direct. And she is beautiful. Sue speaking out on behalf of Measure J made a difference. When Bill Thomas asked you to play a leadership role you unhesitatingly said yes. You opened the doors for us at the Bakersfield Californian and you were consistently there willing to help out. Your email address always warmed my heart when I started typing your name and it popped up – firstname.lastname@example.org
Sue Benham (second from left), played a key leadership role in Measure J.
Mostly it was through Measure J that I got to know you and realize how fortunate our community is to have Sue Benham. There is a recurring theme this evening that cannot be overemphasized. Measure J passed because many people care about Bakersfield College and what its future means to Bakersfield and Kern County. Sue Benham is one of those people. And when Sue Benham spoke about Measure J, people listened.
Thank you, Sue!
Passing a bond initiative is like raising a child…it takes a village. Bakersfield College has benefited from those many members of the “village” that we recognized. The previous honorees are those who played an especially pivotal roles in the workings of the actual Measure J Committee. It’s equally important to recognize those who did whatever was needed to get the word out, to secure the right endorsements, to write the opinion pieces, to make the phone calls, to bolster people’s spirits. Probably my favorite vision is Rick Kreiser coming down to Campaign headquarters on a Sunday afternoon to fix a copy machine because we needed lists run off for phone banking that evening and didn’t have a back-up copier. When there was the need Rick answered the phone … as did so many others that we recognized. Thank You!
Michael Bowers – Senior District Representative for Senator Andy Vidak
Ken Byrum – BC Foundation Board member
Fran Florez – BC Foundation Board member
Rick Kreiser – BC Foundation Board member –
Fred Prince – Bakersfield Black Chamber of Commerce President
Cheryl Scott – BC Foundation Board member and KEDC VP
Jay Tamsi – Hispanic Chamber of Commerce President
Keith Wolaridge – Panama Lane/Buena Vista School Board President
Here I am recognizing Tom Gelder at the Foundation Board of Directors meeting. We make a powerful team. Gelder (Exec Director of BC Foundation) and Christian (President of BC) 🙂
On May 22nd, after the May 17th event, this is what Herb Benham had to say about Congressman Bill Thomas and secondarily about BC.
`We should do half as much in our lifetimes: Saw Bill Thomas at a dinner at Bakersfield College last week honoring people who helped raise half a billion through the Measure J campaign.”
“Every time I see the man, he’s thinner, Sharon, his wife was there and she is a sweetheart, and I am reminded how much good Bill has done he’s done for Kern County. Almost a billion for the Thomas Road Improvement Program and then helping with the bond measure that will help modernize BC over the next 30 years.”
2017 Sterling Silver
The dinner also made me feel good about BC all over again. Talk a force for good.
Manny de Los Santos put together this video with some of the Measure J faces. We had the video playing during dinner at Sterling Silver.
Valley Public Radio
On May 16th, I had the wonderful opportunity to speak with Joe Moore on Valley Public Radio. Together, we packed a lot of conversation into such a short time. We kicked off with The Kern Promise, covered Guided Pathways, and even Measure J. Valley Edition is dedicated to covering issues important to Central Valley residents, so I was very excited to cover things we’re working on in education and at BC!
Joe Moore is the Director of the Program Content for Valley Public Radio and he’s the host of Valley Edition. Joe’s bio on the website says in 2008 that he was named one of Fresno’s “40 under 40” by the publication Business Street.
I am so glad to announce that Environmental Horticulture Professor, Lindsay Ono has been awarded a grant through the ECMC Foundation and the Center for Occupational Research and Development (CORD). He has been working with other community colleges and CORD with the Mapping Upward Initiative on the state stackable Horticulture Certificates. This 3-year grant will allow Professor Ono and other college professors to continue their work and complete the curriculum updates for the Horticulture program. Shasta College and Reedley College are also receiving this grant. Congratulations Lindsay!!
Remembering Earl Wallace Cory, Jr.
Earl Wallace Cory, Jr was known on campus as Wally Cory. Jerry Ludeke reminded me that in print, his name was shown as E. Wallace and in person it was Wally. He was a retired History Professor with 34 years of service and who passed away on May 18th. Wally had been in Payson, Utah Veteran’s Home for the past three and a half years and in the hospice program there since last fall.
Earl Wallace Cory, Jr.
Earl Wallace Cory, Jr
Leadership Matters Summit at BC
It’s a great week to be a Renegade and a great time to be at BC. This past week Bakersfield College had the privilege of hosting the Leadership Matters: Re-Imagining Leadership to Sustain Transformative Change to Advance Student Success & Equity conference for various community college’s throughout California. We were so pleased to hear from the California Community College Chancellor, Eloy Oakley who discussed, “Advancing Educational Attainment & Equity in California. Leadership Matters.” It was a day of great knowledge and it set the stage for us to build urgency in the way we look and approach at the “Guided Pathways” initiative. I look forward to sharing with you all more about this day of encouragement, change, unity, and leadership within California’s 113 community colleges in next week’s blog. But for now enjoy this picture that I snapped the night before the big event.
Shawn Whalen, Sonya Christian, Eloy Oakley
CA Community Colleges Chancellor Eloy Oakley speaking to a full house at the indoor theatre
Jonathan Schultz, faculty at BC, has been doing brief videos of BC staff for his students and all students at the college. Check out his interview with Dr. Oliver Rosales, History faculty.
Archiving the Past & Future of California’s Central Valley: Humanities Collaboration in the San Joaquin Valley
Oliver Rosales speaking
On May 23 the Levan Center for the Humanities hosted a one-day symposium event for about 30 area educators, writers, and artists. Faculty from both Bakersfield College, CSU Bakersfield, and the Kern High School District were also in attendance. Entitled “Archiving the Past and Future of California’s Central Valley: Humanities Collaboration in the Southern San Joaquin Valley,” the event was a culminating part of a California Humanities “Community Stories” grant in hold with Bakersfield College. The program included two panels and a keynote address. The morning panel focused on local archives and cultural preservation efforts at CSU Bakersfield, Bakersfield High School, and the Kern County Museum. The afternoon panel featured recent state and federal recipients of grants focused on the cultural diversity of the San Joaquin Valley.
Kristine Diekman, Professor of Media at CSU San Marcos, delivered a keynote address. Her talk, based on her project “Run Dry,” focused on Tulare’s recent water crisis and how ordinary residents in rural Tulare County experienced lack of access to clean water. Here’s a quote about her project from the Los Angeles Times: “The project is designed to record the stories of people living in California’s Central Valley without water or clean water, and contextualize these stories within the themes of human migration, equity and poverty, and California water policy.”
Lori Wear Presenting at the event
The event was recorded by Bakersfield College’s media services and will be transcribed and made available through Bakersfield College’s Social Justice Institute website. College faculty and area educators, as well as potential grant writers, will be interested in reviewing the panel discussions and keynote addresses to discover more about funded projects focusing on the San Joaquin Valley.
A few fun photos from this week:
From twitter Jose Cortez leading Region 5 in California for Student Government Associations. Congratulations Jose! #WeAreBC!
Our Chief of Public Safety at an event with Grace Commiso’s baby
Risky moves right after…..here is Bill Moseley
Two of my favorites people. I remember them when they were little girls.
Erin Tarjan and Kristin Tarjan
Check out our faculty Prof. Jason Stratton, Prof. Bernadette Towns, and Prof. Lily Pimental-Stratton on the Great Wall of China. #WeAreBC
That’s all for now.
Until next time.
With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.
sonya — the luckiest and happiest college president ever
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