Tag Archives: Cheryl Scott

Bright Futures start with Good Teachers

Feb 10 2018 Neo Live Laugh LoveGood morning Bakersfield.  

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

 

From the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge Feb 21 2018.jpg

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.

Nan Gomez Heitzeberg

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.

Gustavo Enrique, Sonya Christian, Jaime Lopez Feb 21 2018

 

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 Feb 21 2018

Sonya Christian, Reagan Romali, Susan Bray, Joe Wyse, Willy Duncan

So now for few of the very many activities on campus…..

Judge Raymonda Marquez

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.

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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.

BC Team at YES Conference

Child Development CenterChildCare2The 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 ChildCare1children 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.

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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

Career Expo 2018

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?

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Engineering and INDA Booths at the Career Expo

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Rony Recinos and Automotive Tech Students

And a tweet from Pam Gomez

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CHAP at Allensworth

Laura Hooton and Oliver Rosales

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

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, Bakersf

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,

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

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.

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

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

Students and local media pack the Levan Center for the Transformation Policing Forum on February 20th.

I’d like to thank Dr. Tunson and Steve Watkin for helping to organize this important and educational event for our students as part of Black History Month. For more about the Transformational Policing forum, you can read Steven Mayer’s article published in the Bakersfield Californian on Wednesday.

HBCU Visits BC

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.

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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.

Renegade Athletics

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Tucker Eenigenburg

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. 

Military Ball

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.

Paul Beckworth, Steve Watkins, Lisa Kent, Sandra Beckworth, Olivia Garcia, Sgt. Julio Garcia

Mayor Karen Goh and Zav Dababhoy

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.

Honor TableThe 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.

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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

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.

AAI Outcomes

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.

Cheryl Scott

Kern Economic Development Foundation Executive Director Cheryl Scott wrote an op-ed in the Bakersfield Californian on February 12th urging business leaders in the community to build partnerships with teachers and students at all levels of school.

Darren Scott and Cheryl Scott

Darren Scott and Cheryl Scott

“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

i-k66vmpv-lAs 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.

Thank you to our Chancellor, Tom Burke for representing our district at this year’s National Legislative Summit. You can find a list of legislative priorities from the summit on the ACCT’s website, which include reauthorization of the Higher Education Act and Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, investment in education and workforce development, and a path to citizenship for DREAMers. During the summit, California Community College Chancellor Eloy Oakley was also quoted in an article from the Washington Post regarding the president’s comments about vocational schools.

Congratulations to Professor Chris Ennis

EnnisCongratulations 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.

Jeet Singh Feb 24 2018

 

And here is our very own Prof. Olivia Garcia

Olivia Garcia Bakersfield Life Magazine Feb 24 2018.jpg

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!

Chamber Singers-Poster-3_preview

Feb 10 2018 Sonya Christian Walking Neo 2

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Moments that make up Life

Neo from Eisha's Facebook May 14 2017Good 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.

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.

 

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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.

 

DelanoCommencement (2)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.

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BC Delano Pre-Commencement Reception

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BC Delano Pre-Commencement Reception

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BC Delano Pre-Commencement Reception

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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. 

Veterans Pre-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!

Veterans pre-commencement May 12 2017

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.

veterans

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


For more photos check out
https://bakersfieldcollege.smugmug.com/Veterans-Pre-Commencement-2017/

 

KEDC and the STEMposium

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)

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2017 STEMposium at Bakersfield College

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Vince Fong at the 2017 STEMposium

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2017 STEMposium at Bakersfield College

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2017 STEMposium at Bakersfield College

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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.

Check out my Sep 10, 2016 blog about the Aera Stem Success Center
https://sonyachristianblog.com/2016/09/10/transforming-environments-transforming-lives/

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.

Michael Kane from Cerro Coso May 19 2017

Michael Kane

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!

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.

 

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Lauren Skidmore and Chancellor Tom Burke

Here I am with Director of MESA (Math, Engineering, Science Achievement) Connie Gonzales:

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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!

Cheryl Scott with Sandi and Scruffy Facebook picture

Cheryl Scott

Sterling Silver

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.

JoshOttum,VanessaEmmett

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:

BC Sterling Silver _001.jpg

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”.

BCSterlingSilver_26

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:

BC Sterling Silver _004

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.

BCSterlingSilver_14

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.

Michael Turnipseed:

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.

Michael Turnipseed May 24 2017

JP Lake:

Here is JP picking up his award.

JP Lake May 25 2017.JPG

Karen Thompson

Did not get the photo of Karen receiving the award yet.  Will update the blog when I get it. So tune back in.

Karen Thompson and Pat Thompson May 17 2017

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:

Tom Gelder Norma Rojas Sonya Christian

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!

Michael O’Doherty:

I got this picture from Karen Goh’s Facebook.

Tom Gelder Michael ODoherty Sonya Christian 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!

Jay Rosenlieb

Nick Ellis.   www.aNickPhoto.com.   661.706.7999

 

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:

Sue Benham Sonya Christian.jpg

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 – sbenham4kids@aol.com

BCSterlingSilver_38.jpg

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!

Remaining Honorees:

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!

Group recognition

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)  🙂

Tom Gelder and Sonya Christian May 25 2017 cropped

Gelder and Christian

Thank you Trustees for attending:

A few more photos:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BCSterlingSilver_44

2017 Sterling Silver

See more of the images from “Sterling Silver” here! (https://bakersfieldcollege.smugmug.com/2017-Sterling-Silver/)

Here are some more images from Mayor Karen Gohhttps://tinyurl.com/yahu6j58

 

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.”

BCSterlingSilver_14

2017 Sterling Silver

The dinner also made me feel good about BC all over again. Talk a force for good.

Here is the link to the piece in the paper: https://tinyurl.com/kr4t7w8

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

KVPR-ValleyEditionOn 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.

Thank you Joe Moore and Ezra Romero

I really enjoyed my time talking with Joe.
http://kvpr.org/post/interview-bakersfield-college-president-sonya-christian-kern-promise#stream/0

Follow Valley Edition on Twitter @ValleyEdition.


Congratulations Lindsay Ono

Lindsay Ono PicI 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.


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 May 24 2017

Shawn Whalen, Sonya Christian, Eloy Oakley

 

 

Superheroes:

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

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

Kristine Diekman

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

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!

Jose Cortez May 27 2017 Chair of Regon 5

Our Chief of Public Safety at an event with Grace Commiso’s baby

Chris Counts May 21 2017

 

Risky moves right after…..here is Bill Moseley

Bill Moseley May 25 2017

Two of my favorites people.  I remember them when they were little girls.

Erin and Kristin Tarjan May 28 2017

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

Sonya Christian May 19 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 Doing Amazing Things!

Good morning Bakersfield.  It is Saturday, March 11, 2017 and such a fabulous day to be a Renegade.  

Let me start with the video of the week.  Real funny!

Finally a week where I only traveled once to Los Angeles, and a week where I was able to catch up on some Renegade Athletics.

Nancy Edwards

Friends and colleagues gathered on March 4, 2017 to celebrate the life of Nancy Edwards, long-time BC English faculty.  John Gerhold sang works Nancy had written with Harold Quilling’s (retired BC faculty) music.

Local poets along with BC retired and active faculty Jack Hernandez, Rosa Garza, and Sheena Bhogal, read Nancy’s poetry.  Tom Greenwood and Ruth Greenwood organized the event.  Fine Arts 30 was filled with community members, retired BC faculty, and current BC faculty.

Listen to John Gerhold here:

Tom Burke Open Forum March 6 2017Tom Burke at BC

It was a treat having Chancellor Tom Burke doing an open forum at BC.  In his new role as Chancellor, Tom has been visiting the three colleges to share his plans for the future and to listen to the employees across the district.  His presence was well received by the faculty, staff and students at BC.  I loved his response to a question from Lawrence Salcido, a student, who asked Tom what students could do to support him.  Tom’s immediate response was “get good grades.”  Lawrence is very active on campus and you can see him here in the picture with Tom.

Dylan Wang took a lot of pictures but I forgot to get them from him.  So for now, here is the one picture I took on my iphone.  Will update the blog with more photos when I get them.

Looking good with the beard Chancellor Burke!

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BC Blood Drive with Houchin Blood Bank

Stephenie March 8 2017

Stephanie Gibbons

On Wednesday and Thursday, the Houchin Blood Bank vans were parked outside our Campus Center where students could donate to give the gift of life to those who are in need each and every day. The passion that was in the eyes and smiles of those who work for Houchin was obvious, and their warm welcomes and genuine “thank yous” could be heard coming from the Fireside room in the center of campus, just outside the cafeteria.

 

As students signed in, they were offered water and snacks while filling out a general health questionnaire and have a quick physical performed by the many nurses on staff. One of the dedicated nurses who has been working for Houchin for over thirty years now expressed the joy she finds in her job by saying, “There is never a dull moment or day”. She explained how Houchin travels each and every day to areas throughout Kern County, and how these mobile clinics are able to reach a great number of Kern County residents with success.

When students were asked what makes them want to donate, I heard of one response that was, “I just want to be able to help people”. Many people who have the desire to help their community may say, “But I just don’t know how?’ Houchin Blood Bank is always in need of their community to help replenish their blood bank. If you are in the position to be able to help out your community, and you are curious to how you can do that, what better way than to give the gift of life!

Stephanie Gibbons is just fabulous to work with.  Thank you Stephanie and Greg Gallion for all that you do for our community.

Thank you to BC’s Office of Student Life, especially Danyel Owens, Arisve Pimentel, and SGA President, Matthew Frazier for all your work in coordinating these events.  And thank you Dr. Nicky Damania for all that you do for our students at BC.  and thank you for always helping out.  I am so very glad I get to work with you.

The Houchin Blood bank caravan of busses at the campus center.

Photos taken by Amber Smithson

Check out my post from last year about Houchin Blood Bank on March 19, 2016

https://sonyachristianblog.com/2016/03/19/a-whirlwind-week-at-bakersfield-college/

and my write up about Greg Gallion on Jne 19, 2016

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

Wednesday’s Soup Special

Coconut Quinoa Chicken Soup in a bell pepper "bowl"

Last week, BC Food Services sent out an email announcing the daily soup special – Coconut Quinoa Chicken Soup. Chef Eric Sabella tells me the idea came from our cook, Nicole Sizemore and the unique recipe was served inside of a bell pepper, which added a beautiful presentation. You know, they say you eat with your eyes first!

Staff, faculty, and students at BC are in for a treat when we find out what the daily specials are. A different soup is prepared every day, and many of their recipes, including their popular chicken curry soup, include the creamy flavor of coconut milk, which is a great source of calcium for vegans and people with lactose intolerance while being rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals.

My dear friend, do you see why BC is such a special place….right from our interesting and talented food services department to our commercial music program….I am the luckiest and happiest college president ever.

STEMposium from KEDC

Cheryl Scott with Sandi and Scruffy Facebook picture

Cheryl Scott with Sandie and Scruffy

Bakersfield College is excited to do its part in preparing the next generation of leaders in science, technology, engineering and math during the inaugural Kern County “STEMposium” on May 19th in the BC gym!  Cheryl Scott and the Kern Economic Development Corporation (KEDC) are leading this effort.  Cheryl is a friend of Bakersfield College and volunteers her time to support the college and support our students. I found this great picture of Cheryl on Facebook where she says: “Back in the day when Sandie was a scruffy little pup. They’re still my baby girls!”

 

The first annual “STEMposium” aims to connect middle and high school students with local business representatives to raise awareness of the STEM-related career opportunities in Kern County. The confluence of agriculture, energy and defense industries has lead Kern County to be ranked fourth-best in the nation for availability of STEM jobs, according to the Central Valley Business Times, and events like the “STEMposium” will only help those STEM opportunities continue to grow.

High school students will get the chance to show off their STEM class project, and local business will be hosting demonstrations booths with specialized engineering equipment. The first keynote speaker for the inaugural event will be Jose Hernandez, a son of migrant workers who grew up to travel to the International Space Station, becoming an engineer for NASA. Hernandez will be talking about his book, “Reaching for the Stars: The Inspiring Story of a Migrant Farm Worker Turned Astronaut.”

Gadfly Café

Founded by René Trujillo and continued now under the leadership of Reggie Williams, both of the Philosophy Department, the Gadfly Café is an extracurricular event that takes place six times per academic year in the Norman Levan Center for the Humanities. The Gadfly Café provides students, faculty, staff, and administrators the opportunity, and a forum, to discuss social and philosophical issues that we face as human beings in a diverse community. Topics have included terrorism, alienation, gender, race, abortion, and religion. The purpose of the Gadfly Café is to promote open, respectful discourse and communication on the difficult issues we face, better appreciating their complexity, and learning from each other’s experiences. The Gadfly Café is typically scheduled on Wednesdays at the lunch hour from 12:30 to 1:30 throughout the Fall and Spring Semesters at Bakersfield College. The next Gadfly is April 5th and will address the death penalty.  So proud that BC has these incredible opportunities through the Levan Center.  It feels more like something you’d find at a Liberal Arts college.  Thank you Jack Hernandez!

The Gadfly Cafe meeting

Gadfly Cafe is always an important, though-provoking discussion.

BC Alum Stories

Maria Madeline Herndon with a goat

Maddie and a baby goat

Last Friday, when I was in Delano with Tracy Lovelace, she shared with me some pictures and a video of a former BC student, Maria Madeline Herndon. Currently, Maddie is a junior at Davis majoring in Animal Science and Management but prior to that she went to BC. She completed her first two years here and was very involved in student government. I enjoyed hearing how Maddie loved her time at BC and enjoyed taking classes from Prof. Jerry Poncetta (Ag) and Prof. Dave Meyers (Math). She was the recipient of a highly competitive scholarship given by the KC CattleWomen.

For the past two summers, she has been involved at the UC Cooperative Extension where her day starts when the run rises, but Maddie has loved it because it truly gave hands-on experience to the Ag scene with-in KC. I love hearing stories and updates about past Renegades. Especially, students who could go away to school but whose family (and Maddie too) knew the positives of attending BC for the first two years. I know it was a great experience for Maddie to be here at BC.

Foster Youth Conference at BC

Breaking Barriers & Empowering Success, the 2nd annual conference took place on Friday, February 24, 2017 on the BC campus.  About 170 people attended including: Foster Youth adults and high school foster youth, Foster Parents, Relative Caregivers, Social Workers, CASA volunteers, school staff, and others working with children. The sponsors were Foster Youth Services, Kern County Superintendent of Schools, Quality Parenting Initiative, the Department of Human Services, and Bakersfield College. The keynote speaker was Terry Harrak, Youth Law Center staff member and former foster youth. It was great to have Judge Marquez on campus, who was also in attendance. After the welcoming and keynote speaker, breakout sessions were held with foster youth panels.

Extra information was available during the resource fair with 16 vendors and community agencies such as: America’s Jobs First, Alliance Human Services, Dolores Huerta Foundation, and more.

BC Ag department helping with Homeless Center Project

Thank you Ag community and our wonderful BC Ag students for your help at the Homeless Center in Bakersfield. What a beautiful way to brighten the day for the residents. So proud of our Ag community, partnering and planting fruits and vegetables at the Bakersfield Homeless Center with the Kern County Young Farmers and Ranchers and some fellow AG students from Bakersfield College. For more on the Bakersfield Homeless Center see http://bakhc.org/

 

Faculty Spotlight: Robby Martinez

“He leapt to the stage with contagious energy, and spoke with a charm that drew the crowd in.” What a perfectly descriptive statement for one of our talented faculty, Robby Martinez. I was thrilled to see this article from The Daily Independent in Ridgecrest. You have to check it out at http://www.ridgecrestca.com/article/20170308/NEWS/170309676.

And Robby, a Grammy award winner brought back this blanket for me from this year’s Grammy awards.  How cool is that!

 

Staff Spotlight: Isabel Castaneda

I’m so very happy to see Isable Casteneda back on campus.  Isabel is so devoted to BC and our students. She’s an Educational Advisor and very involved with our Summer Bridge program! She put in so many volunteer hours during the Measure J campaign.  I ran into her when I stopped by the cafeteria to get chicken strips. Don Chruciel, BCs new VP of FInance and Admin Services is pictured here with Isabel!  Isabel, welcome home!

Don Chruciel with Isabel Castaneda

Don Chruciel with Isabel Castaneda. It was so nice to see her again!

The BC Staff is a Family!

While browsing Facebook, I always love seeing posts by BC’s Mary Jo Pasek. Here she highlighted seeing Ramon Puga’s son and as she mentioned, Ramon is our BC Maintenance Supervisor! It’s great to see the close support among BC campus colleagues.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10208770865209102&set=a.1091935378728.2014321.1236827397

Our Town

Last weekend the talented Renegades of the Performing Arts Department presented “Our Town” by Thorton Wilder. Aside from a few tables and chairs, a stain glass window, and some stairs the set didn’t give much away, and it left the audience wondering. Brian J. Sivesind directed the rather interesting play by Wilder and greeted everyone on stage just before the performance began.

“Our Town” starts with the Stage Manager giving us details about the setting and would continue to inform us with character information. It began as a normal day in Grover’s Corners, New Hampshire in 1901. Two mothers prepared breakfast for their two children and sent them off to school, the milkman and paper boy made their deliveries, and their husbands came home from work. Later, the audience met two of the children, George Gibbs and Emily Webb, and their seems to be a romance starting to bud between them. A lot of character development was done in Act I, it gave the audience different ways to connect to each character. It was like revisiting history as told by the Stage manager; who then later informs us that the play discusses life, will discuss love, and something else the audience could probably guess in the upcoming Acts. While the play ended in tragedy, it had plenty of comedy amidst it as well. It gave the audience a different outlook and how we should appreciate the transience of human life and our companionships.

If you ever have the chance to see a production at BC by our talented Performing Arts Department, you don’t want to miss it. Thank you to Belen Martinez for the photos!

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BC Athletics

Pierce College Baseball playing at BC

BC beat Pierce College with a 9-7 win.

BC baseball team moves to 3-1 in WSC Conference play with a 9-7 win over visiting LA Pierce on Tuesday night at Gerry Collis field. The Renegades had 11 hits and drew 5 walks in overcoming a 6-3 deficit. “We did enough offensively to climb back in ” Coach Tim Painton said. “We were not very good defensively.  I don’t know how many unearned runs there were, but the majority of the runs that Pierce scored were unearned.” The Bakersfield Californian covered it here: http://www.bakersfield.com/sports/bc-downs-pierce-improves-to—in-wsc-south/article_675d87df-8e88-5dc3-958f-6abc21627225.html

Have you been to a BC softball game lately? I recently attended March 9ths game against Moorpark College. I enjoyed cheering on the Renegades with Don Chrusciel, Sandi Taylor, Zav Dadabhoy, and Janet Tarjan. I hope to see YOU at the next one!

Don Chrusciel, Sandi Taylor, Sonya Christian, Zav Dadabhoy, Janet Tarjan

Don Chrusciel, Sandi Taylor, Sonya Christian, Zav Dadabhoy, Janet Tarjan

To stay up-to-date with all Athletic activities at the Home of the Renegades, check out www.gogades.com!

Moorpark College Softball at Bakersfield College.

Moorpark College Softball at BC.

BC’s Swim Team Rocks!

Men’s and Women’s swimming competed in the first conference meet of the season Friday March 3rd at College of the Canyons.

MArch 6 2017

Men

1. LA Valley 367

2. BC 334

3. Canyons 311

4. Santa Monica  289

Women

1. Santa Barbara  381

2. BC 278

3. LA Valley 266

4.Santa Monica 226

5. Canyons 203

Top Performances for BC: Jennifer Quan: 1st 500 Free, 2nd 200 IM; Cynthia Maner: 2nd 1000 Free, 3rd 100 Breaststroke; 2nd 200 Medley Relay: (Victoria Hernandez, Cynthia Maner, Jennifer Quan, Niquelette Rimer)

Steve Santana: 1st 200 Free, 2nd 100 Butterfly; Andrew Martinez: 1st 100 Free, 2nd 500 Free; Brian Bender: 2nd 100 Breaststroke, 3rd 200 IM; 2nd 200 Free Relay: (Steve Santana, Cameron Reeves, Cesar Zepeda, Brian Bender)

 Congratulations to Sigma Chi Eta Inductees

lhp_bw.tif [Converted]Sigma Chi Eta is the official community college honor society of the National Communication Association (NCA). Since 2000, SCH has fostered growth in the Communication discipline among two-year colleges and universities. Once inducted, a student is a member for life and is expected to always strive for excellence. I’m happy to announce BC has nine students who have qualified to be inducted. Congratulations to: Evelyn A Andrad, Preston George III, Andrea Rivera Gomez, Hugo Daniel Mendez, Miguel Angel Munoz, Griselda Vanessa Navarro, Joey Ramirez, Taylor Ross, and Amber Rose Smithson.

Thank you Communication department and thank you Mark Staller!

The Empowerment Project

15894554_1249062191837632_7296633576726583240_nThe Empowerment Project is the incredible journey of a crew of female filmmakers driving across America to encourage, empower, and inspire the next generation of strong women to go after their career ambitions.Driving over 7,000 miles from Los Angeles to New York over the course of 30 days, the documentary spotlights 8 positive and powerful women leaders across a variety of lifestyles and industries. In celebration of the all-female focus in front of and behind the camera, the filmmakers turned the cameras on themselves, capturing their transformational journey. The film challenges the audience to ask themselves, “What would you do if you knew you would succeed?”  Nan Gomez-Heitzberg was a panelist at the March 8th Empowerment Project premiere at CSUB hosted by The Women’s and Girls’ Fund at Kern Community Foundation. Over 150 were in the audience including all generations, girls from 8 and 9 years old to grandmothers and said she was particularly struck by the passion, determination, and perseverance in the documentary. The women on the panel (Jenny Zorn provost CSUB, Mary Barlow supt schools, Lisa Green, district attorney, Racquel Santos Pina, MD, Kaiser Permanente. Kristen Barnes, moderator) spoke about finding their niche and being committed to their chosen profession with the underlying theme to not let others dissuade you, instead – be confident, find mentors, both men and women, and follow your heart.

The one thing all panelists had in common was education and education gives you options. What a wonderful and inspirational event.

Logan came to visit!

One of the highlights of my week was when Shannon Musser came to visit with her beautiful new baby boy Logan.  Just wonderful!

Shannon Musser with her baby son Logan.

Logan and his mom paid me a visit!

Little things that make me happy

I love it when I am travelling and I get text messages or photos about things happening at BC.  Here are two of my faves from this week.  Jennifer Marden (you can just see her left eye) taking a selfie of the office folks huddling to solve problems focusing on the document projected from Chris’ laptop on the TV screen and one with Lesley Bonds who was thrilled after spending hours and days and weeks working on the SSSP report.

We have a great team in the Office of the President and the three Vice Presidents–Jennifer Marden, Tracy Hall, Somaly Boles, June Charles, Tarina Perry, and Chris Glaser.   And as Jennifer refers to the group– Team Awesome! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! for all that you do.

 

Happy Sonya Christian after great picture from Jennifer March 8 2017

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

 

So many reasons to celebrate! We are BC!

Good morning Bakersfield. It is Saturday, October 8th ….another great day to be a Renegade.

This week was a week of travels for me.  Denver early in the week for the AACC Pathways institute and then Orange County to present on Guided Pathways on Friday.  Another big highlight of the week was the Measure J Open House on Tuesday evening.

But let me start my blog with Jim Norsworthy, class of 1965. I met Jim and his wife at a BC football game and captured a short video of him describing his time at BC:

Pathways Team at AACC Institute in Denver, CO

PathwaysTEam.jpgI traveled with the BC Pathways Team to Denver this week to attend the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) Pathways Institute. Bakersfield College is one of 30 community colleges selected to participate in this 3-year initiative funded by the Gates foundation.

Janet Fulks, Maria Wright, Kimberly Bligh, Kate Pluta, Lesley Bonds, and Stephen Waller joined me on this trip.

Check out my previous blog, February 5, 2016from San Antonio at the very first institute. In July, I recapped about a similar Pathways event held at LAX and here’s where I posted about Nick Strobel’s piece describing in only 500 words how the pathways initiative is like a GPS for students.

Traveling Adventures

Traveling home from Denver on Tuesday was quite the adventure as well. I arrived bright and early at the airport and went through security like normal. Denver is a beautiful city with a wonderful transportation system, even inside its airport. I took the “people mover” train to concourse B where I’d wait for my flight… and the system is so well designed. I learned from Wikipedia that its layout is based upon the train inside Atlanta’s airport and the systems are nearly identical. Anyway, upon settling in and getting my breakfast burrito, panic immediately set in. I realized I had left my ID back at security and had to go back to get it.

I had to wait, but the TSA agents were kind and helpful in the process. It’s often easy to dismiss the service these men and women provide as simply inconvenient during the rush of travel, but it’s truly helpful and an important public service. Safety is always a team effort and it was a common theme through multiple interactions during my trip home. Once I made it on the flight and before takeoff, the cabin crew on my United flight announced that all Samsung Galaxy phones needed to be switched off during flight unlike other phones which could be turned to airplane mode. If you’ve followed the news recently, there’s been a recall on these phones due to safety issues and you can check out the article about this notice on SmarterTravel.com.

I arrived in Bakersfield, safe and sound, inspired and ready for everything this week had in store and headed straight to the Measure J Open House.

Volunteers for Measure J!

Do you know how to “sign” Yes on J?  Let’s watch and learn from Tom Moran.

BC is woven deeply into the fabric of this community. We have incredible students and relentless support from the people all over Kern County. It is wonderful to see so many people willing to spend time working for a better future for our community colleges. I am grateful for their hard work and support.

You can find out more about Measure J, and fill out an online endorsement form, at www.yesonj2016.com.

Measure J Open House:

There was also a fabulous open house for the Yes On J campaign on Tuesday night. There was great turnout, and the support and kind words about Bakersfield College were overwhelming.  Thank you Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg and Andrea Thorson for leading a team to make this happen on short notice.

Photos from the open house are posted on the Yes On J 2016 Facebook page.

I’d like to share some videos from the event from a few of our supporters. More videos will be on the Yes On J Facebook page soon, so check back!

Harvey Hall

Harvey Hall Open House Oct 4 2016.jpg

 

Bill Thomas

Bill Thomas Open HOuse Oct 4 2016.jpg

 

Leticia Perez

leticia-perez-open-house-oct-4-2016

 

Mike Turnipseed
mike-turnipseed-measure-j-open-house-oct-4-2016

Wayne Kress

Wayne Kress Measure J Open House Oct 4 2016.jpg

 

 

Other Speakers and pictures:

 

Presentations and endorsements:

On October 5th, Bill Thomas, JP Lake, Nicole Parra and I attended the Kern County Farm Bureau Board of Directors meeting.  It was wonderful seeing all our Ag faculty out there in full force to support the needs of the college and the Ag department.

ag-faculty-at-kern-county-farm-bureau-oct-5-2016

JP Lake, Bill Kelley, Sonya Christian, Bill Thomas, Heather Baltis, Chris McCraw, Lindsey Ono, Greg Cluff, Bill Barnes

On October 6th, JP Lake presented to the Renegade Helmet Club.  I am happy to say that the club unanimously endorsed Measure J.

JP presenting to the Renegade Helmet Club Oct 6 2016.jpg

Also this week, Cheryl Scott informed me that the Greater Tehachapi Economic Development Council endorsed Measure J.

Over 100o individuals have endorsed Measure J.  To check out the list, visit

http://www.yesonj2016.com/endorsements.html

Last week at the Kern County Fair

Thank you to all the volunteers at the Measure J booth at the Kern County Fair.  Thank you Trustee Kay Meek who staffed the booth Sunday afternoon.  Unfortunately we did not get a picture of her hard at work.

Vounteers at work:

Thank you to all the volunteers who phone banked this last week.  Here are just some names of the many who turned out at the Campaign Head Quarters to help.

Michelle Pena, Linda Cordoba, Josh Shackelford, Jackie Lau, Peggy Gonzales, Sergio Maldando, Sal Gomez.

Kathy Rosellini, Chelsea Esquibias, Shannell Tyes, Abel Guzman, Nielly Damamia, Isabel Casteneda, Lucero Cisneros, Iris Gonsalez, Sam Moreno, Sandra Beckworth, Paul Beckworth, Natesha Johnson, Katie Johnson

And they come young 🙂  Isabel Castaneda’s 5 year old.  Just precious.

isabels-five-year-old

Delano promoting Measure J:

Delano was out during the Harvest Festival promoting Measure J

 

Kern Shakespeare Festival

This week the Shakespeare Festival at BC kicks off and will last for the upcoming two weeks.

Brian Sivesind, the new director for the Drama Department, is excited to be heading the 32nd annual festival.

In preparation for the play of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” 28 students and 2 faculty spent 7 weeks, 5 days a week making sure the performance would blow people away. Brian Sivesind commented that he “wants the audience to be amazed at the level of talent and commitment that BC students have put into Shakespeare.”

This modernized version of the comedy tells the story of two people who fall in love, elope into the desert and due to magical forces are caught in a love triangle that includes other people.

It also incorporates elements of Burning Man, a real event, in which thousands of people assemble in the desert each year to burn a huge wooden art structure. Then, return to civilization leaving no trace of being there.  Have you been to Burning Man?

Students participating in the play also had a chance to comment.

Ryan Lee, playing the character of Lysander, said,” I want to have fun and act and focus on the building of the character and that’s what drives me.”

Juliana Benavides commented, “I was not real familiar with Shakespeare, but decided to give it a try. I love the feeling of being on stage and bringing myself into the world of the play.”

Tickets are available through Vallitix, and the show is held at the Outdoor Theatre. The festival began this weekend, and continues next week, with shows at 7:30 pm on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings.

Industrial Automation Student Gathering

IndustrialAutomation.jpgThe BC Industrial Automation students gathered on Tuesday evening to mingle and prepare for potential internships that may come up with quick deadlines.

Stephanie Baltazar, our Job Development Specialist, was on hand for a special resume workshop and to help students improve their resumes.

It’s been an exciting journey so far for this incredible group of students.The Renegade family is so proud of these trailblazing students and I can’t wait to see what they can accomplish as they reach for the stars!

Congratulations to Helen Calip!

helen_calip

Helen Calip, Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Sonya Christian, Jay Tamsi

BC is a campus without boundaries and our staff in Delano accomplish incredible things each day. I have to extend a warm congratulations to Helen Calip, our lead coordinator of Admissions and Records for the Delano Campus. Last month, she was inducted into the Hall of Fame by the Delano Union School District by the Delano Union SD Hall of Fame Committee for Outstanding Service to the community.

This is not the first recognition for her service to the Delano community either. In 2012, she was voted Woman of the Year by the Filipino Community of Delano for excellent community service, and in 2010, she was awarded Woman of the Year by the Delano Chamber of Commerce.

Helen works diligently with heart, helping the Delano faculty and staff to meet academic and professional needs while actively engaging and serving the people of her community.

Thank you and congratulations Helen! Everyone at BC is so proud you are part of our family.

Emergency Responder Training

The week at BC was off to a safe start as the BC Public Safety Department held hour-long Emergency Responder Trainings on Monday and Tuesday. The training was open to all employees, especially our new faculty and staff, so that everyone knows what to do in case of an on campus emergency.

Chief Chris Counts, our Director of Public Safety recently said in the newest Annual Safety Report, “Do not hesitate to ask the Dept. of Public Safety staff any questions you may have about your personal safety. You will find that the staff members are interested and welcome the opportunity to assist with your concerns.”

Our campus community is very lucky to have such caring and dedicated public safety personnel. These are people who want nothing more than to serve and improve our campus! I cannot adequately express how grateful I am for our BC Public Safety team – Thank you for all that you do!

Homecoming & the Big Red Dinner!

1957-November-7-1.jpgThe excitement is ramping up on campus for the annual Homecoming celebrations that take place later this month. This year will mark the 59th Homecoming at 1801 Panorama Drive and the upcoming activities are themed around building the Renegade community for the future, focusing on the next 50 years to come. Over the past year as a BC Community, we have enjoyed reuniting with our past and looking back at our campus traditions while we plan for the future so this announcement is especially exciting.

The front page of the Renegade RIP in 1957, in large bold letters read “Campus Open House Features Spaghetti Feed” and there’s no better way to celebrate where we started and where we’ve come — so we’re doing it again!

Community members, leaders, alumni, families, friends of BC, and colleagues – this spaghetti dinner will be the tailgate of the year and with your attendance and support, we can make it the best one yet!

The celebration kicks off with a spaghetti feast with salad, roll with butter, and water or soda – plus the famous BC flying saucer cookie! With the purchase of dinner, you’ll get admission to the grand homecoming football game, entertainment by the BC Drumline and music department, cheerleaders, and more. Come back to the campus on the hill for Homecoming 2016.

Tickets are available on Vallitix.

For more information about Homecoming, check out https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/homecoming.

I can’t wait to see you there!!

Driven by Art: Public Art Project at BMOA

bmoaIt’s a beautiful thing when creativity and community collide and that’s why we’re so lucky to have the Bakersfield Museum of Art in our neighborhood. In celebration of the BMOA’s 60th anniversary, they invited the community to participate in “Driven by Art” where various groups and organizations painted and decorated 33 miniature fiberglass 1956 style pickup trucks.

Why 1956? An article about the event on BakersfieldMagazine.net tell me, “That was the year the Museum was founded, of course!” The article also states that 13 of trucks have been promised to the Bakersfield Foundation and will be permanently installed along the Westside Parkway.

Bakersfield College was well represented through art faculty, David Koeth and adjunct professors, Cameron Brian and Nano Rubio.

 

This is a uniquely Bakersfield take on successful community art projects like Chicago’s “Cows on Parade,” New York’s “Big Apples,” Vacaville’s We Know Jack, Riverside’s “Giant Oranges” and Cincinnati’s “Big Pig Gig.”  33 small-scale 1956 era fiberglass pickup trucks were painted, embellished, and festooned, and will be on display until January 2017 in downtown Bakersfield.   In addition, 12 of the trucks will be donated to the City of Bakersfield and permanently installed on the Westside Parkway in 2017.

A map with the location of each truck can be found at: http://www.bmoa.org/map

Photos below: “RockArt” is by David Koeth and Nano Rubio, “Citrus” is by Cameron Brian.

 

We also had BC alumni who worked on the trucks including, Liz Sherwyn, José Lemus, and Lorraina Paz. Check out the video by KGET at http://www.kerngoldenempire.com/news/driven-by-art-public-art-project-debuts-at-the-bakersfield-museum-of-art and follow the Bakersfield Museum of Art on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/BMOA1930.

bmoa_trucks

Thank You Mr. Jensen

honor-flight

It was a celebration on Wednesday evening at William M. Thomas Terminal at Meadows Field Airport when the Honor Flight Kern County came back into town. A band played live music, miniature American flags were in every person’s hands, and the red, white, and blue spirit was at an all-time high.

HFKC says on their website that there are approximately 46,000 veterans in Kern County with over 8,000 of them World War II and Korean Vets. Their mission is to honor and send Kern County’s vets to Washington to see the memorials built in their honor, for their service and dedication to our country. The top priority on these flights is given to the most senior veterans and those who are terminally ill. Every veteran accepted by HFKC travels at no cost to him/her and these trips are memorable and life changing.

I was made aware of a special man, Mr. Mervin Jensen – a loyal supporter of BC for over 50 years – who would be traveling on the honor flight and I was honored to write him a letter of appreciation and be on hand to welcome him home upon his flights arrival in Bakersfield. Mervin and his friends regularly attend BC football games and their common love for BC and friendship has helped them through their elder years, loss of spouses, and chronic illness.

We are BC, and our sense of community and comraderie is an integral part of our Bakersfield identity. Thank you Mr. Jensen – your love and enthusiasm for the Renegades is unrivaled and BC thanks you for your steadfast support. Furthermore, thank you for your service, your courage, and for serving the United States of America. We are so incredibly grateful for what you’ve done.

honorflight

Cristian Gutierres, Mervin Jensen, Sonya Christian, Karen Goh, Paul Beckworth

A special thank you to Karen Goh for inviting me to participate in this special opportunity. Karen is a big supporter of education and a consistent supporter of Bakersfield College. Thank you Paul Beckworth, BC’s Veterans Faculty Lead, and Cristian Gutierrez, 8 year Marine vet, STEM major, and BC’s Veterans Club Vice President who also joined me in the celebration for Mr. Jensen. To learn more about Honor Flight Kern County, visit http://www.honorflightkerncounty.org/

BC Faculty and Staff Featured:

Matthew Garrett

matthew_garrett

In late August, I announced on my blog that Dr. Matthew Garrett’s book, Making Lamanites: Mormons, Native Americans, and the Indian Student Placement Program, 1947-200 would be releasing the following month.

If you haven’t had a chance to pick one up, it is available on Amazon and it’s the winner of the Juanita Brooks Prize in Mormon Studies. From 1947 to 2000, some 50,000 Native American children left their homes on reservations to live with Mormon foster families. Making Lamanites traces this student experience within cultural and institutional landscapes to reveal how and why many of these Native youth adopted a new notion of Indianness.

Andrea Thorson:

andriathor-01-jmHere is a great piece by our student reporter for the Renegade Rip, Joshua Fisher, featuring Professor Andrea Thorson.  Here is an excerpt:

Thorson feels that she teaches as more than just a career, she says it is a lifestyle. Classes to her are like sub-family communities and everyone’s voice should matter. Embedded inside her is a morally high expectation of her students.

The picture was taken by James Macias for the Renegade Rip article.

Andrea represents the talent and commitment to students of BC faculty and staff.  We are BC! For more, check out:

http://www.therip.com/campus/2016/10/05/professor-finds-her-true-calling-at-bc/

A note from Jack Hernandez:

On March 29th, 2017, the second annual Levan Lecture will be given by Juan Felipe Herrera, the current Poet Laureate of the United States.  He has written award-winning poetry and fiction. He has also written nonfiction and children’s books.

Please save this date.

Faculty on a CSU panel

From Facebook.  Reggie Williams, Marcus Duarte-Smith and Dahna Rasmussen.

Reggie Williams on CSU Panel Oct 2016.jpg

BC Athletics:

Coach Chudy and his staff led the Renegades into Murdock Stadium on the El Camino Campus in Torrence, CA.  After giving up the lead with 39 seconds to play, the Renegades pulled out the victory with a 70-yard 5-play drive and scoring the go ahead touchdown with 3 seconds to spare! Check out http://www.gogades.com/landing/index  to watch the highlights.

With a bye this week, Renegade Football opens National Northern Conference play on Oct. 15th at Moorpark College, 6pm kickoff.

Volleyball opened Western State Conference play with two impressive 3-game sweeps over Glendale on the road Wednesday night  and Santa Monica at home on Friday night. Coach Carl Ferreira has prepared his team through a touch preseason schedule to make a run at the conference championship.

vballwinner_ad_hoc
Women’s Golf Team led by Coach Brittney Goehring placed third as a team at Western State Conference Match #5 on the San Dimas Golf Course.  The Renegades were led by Janette Chhuon Chan with a round of 77, while Brandi Borjon turned in an 86 to finish second on the team.

FEMALE ATHLETE OF THE WEEK

mackenzie-hernandez

Mackenzie Hernandez

Sophomore, volleyball, setter

Had a strong all-around match with 30 assists, 15 digs and four blocks last week to lead the Renegades to a 20-25, 25-14, 25-18, 23-25, 15-9 win over Moorpark, the same team that beat the Renegades 3-0 one week earlier. The Bakersfield High graduate leads BC in assists (332) and aces (24), and is second in digs

(125), third in blocks (18) and fourth in kills (83).

MALE ATHLETE OF THE WEEK

derrick-vickers

Sophomore, football, wide receiver Derrick Vickers

Caught eight passes for 205 yards and a touchdown while adding two rushing touchdowns. His 53-yard reception with six seconds to play set up his own game-winning 1-yard TD run to beat El Camino 42-38. Vickers, named the National Northern League’s Player of the Week for special teams and all-purpose, has a state-leading 11 touchdowns to help BC to a 4-1 start.

Mark your calendars:

October 21, 2016: BC Choir’s Fall concert.

October 22, 2016: Join us for Homecoming.  This year we are going big!

December 17, 2016: BC Choir along with the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra will perform a Holiday Concert at the Fox Theater.

March 29, 2017: Levan Lecture

sonya-at-the-market-place-march-17-2013-2

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next week.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya — the luckiest and happiest college president ever

A community together

 

Calla Lily June 4 2016

A calla lily for you

Good evening Bakersfield.  It is Saturday, June 4, 2016…the day the community came together at St. Francis to celebrate the life of Tharrell Ming, a diehard driller and a Renegade.  The church was packed by the time I got there at 10:53 a.m. for the 11:00 a.m. mass and they had already run out off the stack of booklets.  I spotted Coach Jeff Chudy, Trustee Kay Meek at the service and noticed that Carl Bowser‘s name led the list of honorary pall bearers followed by  Don James, TH Lockard, Bob Millinich, Bob Morton, Richard Russell, Sid Thompson, Gene Toschi, Rick Twisselman.

 

Bakersfield is a great community and as I am writing this blog, unusually at the end of the day instead of the beginning, I see the burst of flowers in the backyard and the burst of yellow from the calla lily. So here is a calla lily for you, my community, for all that you do on a daily basis to support each other and support the students at BC.

Tharrell Dean Ming June 4 2016 Booklet

Now, back to Tharrell Ming…..Monsignor Craig Harrison was his usual remarkable self, funny, warm, comforting and efficient with the mass.  We are blessed to have  Father Craig (as he is warmly referred to) in our community.  The music was minimal and powerful and here are two songs that I listened to throughout the rest of the day.  And whatever your religious leanings or non-religious leanings for that matter, I am sure these two songs will move your spirit and soul as it did mine sitting with hundreds of community members this morning at St. Francis.

Shephard me O God with acoustic guitar on youtube.com

I googled the musical composition of Psalm 23 and learned from the United Methodist Church website that Marty Haugen had composed the haunting melody for the lyrics.  For more on Marty Haugen, check out:

http://www.umcdiscipleship.org/resources/history-of-hymns-shepherd-me-o-god

How Great Thou Art.  Maybe this is a non-traditional approach to have the Elvis version here in my blog.  But here I go…..

Here’s to a great Renegade, Tharrell Ming.

I started my day early today preparing for a morning meeting with the two Vice Presidents, Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg and Zav Dadabhoy, of Bakersfield College at Starbucks.  There were a few things that came up that required this early morning meeting on a Saturday during summer.  I know…. crazy…. but that’s what faculty and staff do at BC!  The talent, commitment and dedication of faculty, staff and administrators at the college is just remarkable.  We are…BC! It is a good time to be at BC!

Nan Sonya Zav FM EDIT

Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Sonya Christian, Zav Dadabhoy

Here are a few highlights from the week:

 

Transfer Award from College Opp June 2 2016

Beebe, Koeth, Christian, Pluta, Siqueiros

BC wins an award for transfer degrees.
Earlier this month we received an email from the President of the Campaign for College Opportunity, Michele Siqueiros, that Bakersfield College was one of 13 community colleges in the state being recognized for the growth in the number of transfer degrees.  The event was held in Sacramento in June 2nd, Thursday, and the BC team that headed north to receive the award included: Trustee Dennis Beebe, Dean of Instruction Kate Pluta and Faculty member David Koeth.

 

 

The Bakersfield Group at College Opp awards June 2 2016

Beebe, Chavez, Koeth, Huerta, Christian, Pluta

The Campaign for College Opportunity is a group dedicated to advancing the educational attainment levels in California by impacting policy at the state level.  The staff are great.  A special thank you to Michele Siqueiros, President; Audrey Dow, Vice President, External Affairs and Operations; Linda Vasquez, Regional Affairs Director. For more check out their website at http://collegecampaign.org/.

 

Here is a picture with the group from Bakersfield that included Dolores Huerta who received a lifetime achievement award and her daughter Camilla Chavez. Congratulations Dolores!

We also connected with Connie Conway, a wonderful member of the Board of Governors for California Community Colleges and now a member of the Board of Directors of the Campaign for College Opportunity.  Also, the fabulous Dean Florez, who is an advocate for education and in particular Bakersfield College.

Dean Florez Connie Conway Dennis Beebe June 2 2016

Dean Florez, Connie Conway, Dennis Beebe

Thank you Trustee Beebe for making this long trip to support BC receiving the award.  It is always wonderful to have our Board members celebrating with us.

In the Bakersfield Californian:

The piece on Corny Rodriguez which was in the Bakersfield Magazine was published in the June 2nd issue of the Californian along with Odella Johnson’s piece on BC’s promising professionals.

I loved the opening by Laura Liera about Corny

On his 10th birthday, Cornelio Rodriguez was picking strawberries in Artesia during the early hours of the morning instead of making a birthday wish. He spent summers picking okra in Indio and Coachella and was even driving his dad’s gardening truck by the age of 12.

 

Here is another excerpt from the article:

But after a conversation with his dad, a visit to the career center led to the applications of Cerritos College, Cal State Fullerton, Cal State Long Beach, UCLA and USC.

It was a Tuesday when the first college acceptance letter came in. Rodriguez was accepted to USC.

“I got scared because we were so poor and I couldn’t afford to go,” Rodriguez remembered. “I was panicking because I thought I had gotten my family into trouble.”

The next day, the UCLA acceptance letter arrived.

“I said, ‘Dear Lord, now I have to go to TWO colleges?’” Rodriguez said.

 

Check out the Californian: http://tinyurl.com/ztwbxva

Promising Professionals:

This is a must-read piece written by Odella Johnson.  Johnson writes about the Promising Professionals and highlights the story of two students — Tamika Narvaez and Linda Esquivel. She writes about Tamika

Students like Tamika Narvaez, a mother of eight who survived abuse and arrived on campus to complete the requirements to transfer, demonstrates how BC delivers student initiatives that allow them to take critical next steps, which result in positive academic outcomes.

and Linda:

Linda Esquivel, a local graduate of South High School and a first- generation college student, left the community to attend San Francisco State University in fall 2013 and, after a semester, left to attend Bakersfield College for financial reasons. Believing that she would not fit in, she felt frustrated and uncertain about the next steps in her journey; however, when she became a student ambassador/ Promising Professional, she admitted that “BC made my future possible,” so with a renewed spirit, Esquivel’s next steps include attending a predoctoral program at the University of Michigan and Penn State this summer.

Johnson ends the article with:

Narvaez and Esquivel’s diversity as students is our strength and we recognize their potential. They embody the spirit of Promising Professionals – students who have passion and purpose.

Kristen Barnes Philanthropy-MattersFor more: http://tinyurl.com/h74g7np

On June 2nd, Kristen Barnes, CEO of Kern Community Foundation and a great partner of BC wrote a wonderful Community Voices piece–Philanthropy Matters: Growing Scholarships, Growing Futures.  Here is an excerpt:

Scholarships close the funding gap students experience. They are one way to provide critical financial support for students – to help make higher education a reality. In many cases, the financial assistance provided by scholarships is a key factor. Gifts for scholarships help students to invest their energies more fully in their course work and pursue internships and leadership opportunities that enrich their personal development and career preparation.

For more, check out http://tinyurl.com/jg47rwq

 

Misono Christian FM EDIT

Misono and Christian

At Rotary West
On Wednesday, I had the opportunity to visit the Bakersfield West Rotary Club. The club went all out with BC colors for the table decorations and traditional “flying saucer” cookies that have been a staple on BC’s campus for  decades.

 

Local CPA and BC alum Fred Misono hosted the meeting in West Rotary President Roger Griess’ absence, keeping the event light and funny.

I was able to give a brief history of the College and recount some of our recent accomplishments. Jay Rosenlieb shared the podium as a member of BC’s Blue Ribbon Committee that is working on a facilities initiative for the college — A Better BC 2016…2066.  This initiative, if approved by the KCCD Board of Trustees in July, could becomes a bond measure on the November 2016 election.  Thank you Jay for taking the time to co-present with me. Check out the the website at http://www.abetterbc.com/

I must say that this is a fun club.  There is a lot of teasing back and forth and great camaraderie and fellowship.  At the end of the presentation, all about Bakersfield College, President Misono presents me with a Taft College T-shirt 🙂 I attempt to get away but he was too quick for me.

 

Acting President Misono made the day very special for Bakersfield College.  He then followed up with the photos and wonderfully warm and fun emails after the meeting. Thank you Russell Johnson, John Pryor, John Fallgatter and others at Bakersfield West for your support.  Rick Kreiser, thank you for that great introduction and your service to the Bakersfield College Foundation for so many years.  You are the best! and thank you Tom Gelder, for getting BC on the agenda.

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Rick Kreiser, Sonya Christian, Tom Gelder

Honoring Our Veterans on Memorial Day:

1000Flags2Last weekend, I hope you had a chance to stop by and walk around Riverwalk Park or at least drive by to catch a glimpse of the incredible view. Memorial Day is regularly celebrated on the last Monday of May thanks to the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, but did you know its roots go back to 1868 when the day was originally known as Decoration Day?  “On the first Decoration Day, General James Garfield made a speech at Arlington National Cemetery, after which 5,000 participants helped to decorate the graves of the more than 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers buried in the cemetery” (History.com).

It’s always humbling to reflect on the sacrifice that so many men and women have made and continue to make for the United States and her people. The Bakersfield Breakfast Rotary Club (BBRC) is a group of local community members who through their leadership and friendship, get things done in our community and for the past few years, they have lead a project of planting one thousand flags at Riverwalk Park over Memorial Day weekend.

Volunteers, sponsors, and the BBRC make this annual event, including activities and formal ceremonies at the park possible. What a great way to be reminded of our freedom, liberty, and justice thanks to our courageous service men and women.  Liz Rozell, Mary Jo Pasek, Marlene, Heise, Cheryl Scott and others at BBRC, you did a fantastic job!

I would also like to share an email I received from Paul Beckworth, our veterans faculty lead at Bakersfield College. He sent this last Monday – Memorial Day:

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Paul Beckworth

Memorial Day Message 2016

The warrior-poet, King David, wrote, “Blessed be the LORD my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight.”  This quote may sound familiar to any fan of the Tom Hanks, World War II epic, Saving Private Ryan.  It is quoted in earnest by the in-residence sniper, Pvt. Jackson, during a pivotal scene in the film.  Inevitably, most of the cast is killed off, as was our popcorn.  However, we know life is not a movie and memories of comrades lost do not go away when the lights go on.

So, what of Memorial Day?  What of those men and women whose hands were taught to war and fingers to fight, who lie still in the ground on this warm May evening?  This is not about the history of Memorial Day.  You can go look that up on Wikipedia.  But, what of those who we remember and honor today?  Today, we see the aged World War II and Korean War veterans, canes in hand, gait a bit unsteady, but minds sharp when recalling battlefields of another time.  Today, they see the friends they lost on those battlefields.  Today, we see 28 year-old OIF/OEF veterans with physical and emotional scars of Iraq and Afghanistan.  Today, they see their lost friends buried at Arlington or the Bakersfield National Cemetery.  Today, we see tatted up, motorcycle riding, leather vest, patch wearing, Vietnam veterans who speak of Tet, and of Khe Sanh.  Today, they see lost buddies who did not get the due deserved them thanks to a divided nation and a callous youth population who called them baby killers.

Today is not about the bullet that barely missed its mark.  Today is about the person whose bullet that found its’ mark.  Today is about the forever young sailor who drowned on the USS Indianapolis, or was killed on the destroyer escort USS Samuel B. Roberts, while fighting toe to toe with Japanese battleships in what became known as the “Last stand of the tin can sailors.”  Today is about the Rangers killed taking Point du Hoc on D-Day, June 6, 1944, and the airborne paratrooper of the 101st or 82nd who never made it out of his chute alive.  Today is about the 1,170 corpsman killed during World War II, often cut down while responding to the blood curdling cry of “Corpsman up!”  Today is about the Marine who never left Guadalcanal, Saipan, Tinian, Iwo Jima, or Okinawa.  Today is about the pilots who never returned to the airfield, or the submariners who are now on “eternal patrol.”  Today is about the young Coastie who maneuvered his landing craft on to the battered shores of Sicily, Salerno, and Anzio only to stay ashore forever.

Today we remember.  We memorialize the “Frozen Chosin” dead who were carefully carried out by the living rather than being left behind in the rugged mountains of North Korea.  Today is about those killed on countless hills in Korea, so numerous to count they were simply numbered by height.  Today is about those who fell defending the Pusan Perimeter, and those who never left the beaches of Inchon.

Today is about those that this country dishonored in so many ways that it is a stain on the honor of this nation.  Today is about those nearly 60,000 Americans killed in Vietnam.  Today is about those who did not evade the draft, but answered to the nation’s call, despite often not understanding what that call was all about.  Today is about those were cut down in the hot, steamy, jungles and in the highlands, in Hueys and in huts.  Today is not about those who were cursed at when they returned home but about those who were cursed at, despite never making it home.

Today is about Cold War warriors who died doing special operations and of Gulf War warriors, whose deaths were few, yet nonetheless paid the ultimate sacrifice.

Today is about Fallujah Marines who are now at Arlington or other national cemeteries.  Today is about those who never left the Triangle of Death.  Today is about the Helmand Province men who are finally still.

The warrior-poet wrote King David wrote, “A thousand fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.”  Today is about the thousand who fell at the left side and the ten thousand who fell at the right hand.  So, today, let us, the living, be comforted and know that those whose hands were taught to fight are at rest.  Today, let us, the living, be comforted and know that today and for eternity, those who fingers were made to war are finally at peace.

Let us remember.