Tag Archives: Chevron

Summer Leadership

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, June 22, 2019… A great day to be a Renegade.

STEM Camp

Throughout the months of June and July, Bakersfield College faculty are getting high school and middle school students interested in STEM with the Summer STEM Camps sponsored by Chevron and Project Lead the Way. There are 7 camps over the summer centered around interesting STEM projects. Each participating student applied to the free camps with an application and essay back in May.

Manny Fernandez with Drone Programming STEM Camp students.
STEM Camp students working on mobile app development.
Student assembling mobile app component.
Student working on mobile app component.

Students in the first three camps learn about digital fabrication (3D Printing), mobile app development, and programming drones. Last week, the students created guitars from cigar boxes in camp. Upcoming projects in the STEM camps include learning to design and build a tiny house, and exploring and designing alternative sources of energy. This is a fun and engaging method to entice students to consider STEM fields of study.

Klint Rigby taking a break.
Darren Willis instructing campers.
Student works with a computer application to design a heart to print in 3D.
Digital fabrication STEM Camp
Martin Perez holds a guitar made from a cigar box in front of students at the computer lab.
Klint Rigby showing his cigar box guitar

All of the camps are held on our Panorama Campus, except the last, Alternative Energy/Solar, which will be held at the Weill Institute location. I’d like to thank Martin Perez, Program Manager, Klint Rigby, Department Chair, and everyone with the Industrial Technology Department, as well as Chevron and Project Lead the Way for providing this amazing opportunity for potential future students.

Student filing her cigar box.
Student constructing his guitar.
Martin Perez showing a student how to construct the guitar.
Student wearing safety goggles working on constructing guitar.
Assistant observes student sawing his cigar box.
Professors shake hands with a student.
Roy Allard and Manny Fernandez congratulate campers.

2019 Energy and Ag Academy

The 2019 Energy and Ag Academy kicked off their first session at Bakersfield College on Saturday, June 15th.  This five-session academy is hosted at Bakersfield College and introduces students to local professionals, careers, and other features from these industries in the Energy and Ag fields. This year over 60 students have been accepted into the program.

Full audience in the Forum.
Students in the Energy and Ag Academy
BC Dean of Instruction, Corny Rodriguez, welcoming the students to BC

The academy brings awareness to Kern County’s largest industries and teaches how they provide resources for both the community and the world. The academy includes speakers in the Energy and Ag industries, financial scholarships, field trips to local energy and ag facilities, leadership opportunities, student ambassadors for Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, volunteer opportunities in the community and meeting with elected officials. The academy – presented by the Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and the KCHCC Business Education Foundation – is sponsored by Area Energy, Bakersfield College, California Resources Corporation, Chevron, and Kern Energy Foundation.

John Ocana from California Resources Corp., discussing produced water for beneficial reuse.
Dave Susko discussing the myths and truths of fracking

Wonderful Academy Ag Camp 2019

You may have seen a large group of very young students around campus over the last two weeks and wondered who they were. These incoming 8th grade students have been participating in one of two weeklong summer camps at Bakersfield College in partnership with the Wonderful Company. These students came from middle schools in our rural communities, including Wasco, Shafter, Delano and other surrounding areas. They were exposed to all the exciting things Bakersfield College’s Agriculture department has to offer.

Ag camp students in matching t-shirts around the BC shaped hedge.

With days full of activities, students created stationary holders in our welding facilities and a water filtration system in our Horticulture Lab, learning about the different materials that can be used to filter water. Students also created a product marketing plan for a unique product.The students were given the option to use a variety of ingredients such as tajin, cocoa powder, cinnamon powder, lime juice, and cayenne pepper to create their unique product – then they had to create a branding strategy. Students created t-shirts, hats, and other marketing materials using their own logo designs and a printing press. In addition to creating different products, students connected with industry professionals discovering the many related opportunities that exist in our community.

Students in a computer lab creating t-shirts.

I would like to thank our dedicated staff involved in making this happen: Raquel Lopez, Program Manager overseeing the program with the support of Manuel Muralles; Heather Baltis and Jim Selgrath, lead Agriculture faculty: Jesse Oropeza, lead mentor who was with the group 24/7 and his leadership team of peer mentors. I would also like to thank Abel Guzman, Delano Campus Executive Director,  Carolina Madrigal, Delano Site Office Coordinator, and all the support staff without whom none of this would have been possible.

Mentor and leadership team.

New Renegades get Oriented

The Outreach and School Relations Department welcomed a group of 64 new students into the Renegade family at an orientation event in the Levan Center on Tuesday.

Full audience in the Levan Center.

The incoming students learned all about BC’s curriculum, counseling opportunities, and academic support services to help them properly navigate their college journey. Representatives from Greater Bakersfield Legal Assistance were also on hand to talk about resources they have to support homeless and low-income students.

Speaking to the orientation audience.
Josie Guillen

I’d like to thank the Outreach team, Steve Watkin, Nicolette Castruita, Cecilia Gabaldon, Asshlea Ward, Angela Williams, Jo Ann Acosta, Debi Anderson, Savannah Andrews, Josie Guillen, and Manuel Muralles for putting together this informative orientation event to welcome new Renegades and for their efforts in reaching out to schools and the larger community.

HBCU Tour Continued

Last week I shared pictures from the first two days of Umoja’s HBCU Tour by Umoja Coordinator Dr. Paula Parks and four outstanding students interested in transferring to a Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) in Georgia and Alabama. The grant-funded tour included visiting cultural and historic sites, with Heritage Empowered as the tour operator. Dr. Parks has sent more pictures and descriptions of the exciting and rewarding tour that I would like to share with you:

“Day three, we went to Talladega College, which is an hour outside of Birmingham, Alabama”.

Tuskegee University Founded 1881 sign.

“A very special part of our visit was reconnecting with BC transfer student and Umoja participant, Tonysha Miles, who will graduate in December. Of Talladega, she said, ‘I love it here. All the resources I need are here.’”

5 students with Dr. Parks.
Dr. Parks standing next to Tonysha on the far right.

Mr. Lon Weind, who conducted the tour, touted the family feel and caring professors.  He also shared some history with the students in showing them a door on campus that led to a stop of the Underground Railroad, a network of tunnels and pathways that the enslaved used to escape North to freedom.

Tour guide pointing out attractions to students.

On the campus of Tuskegee University is the Tuskegee Airmen Museum, which highlights the accomplishments of the segregated fighter pilot unit during World War II. They became the most victorious and decorated squad.

Tour group at the museum.

Tuskegee is 45 minutes outside of Birmingham.

Tuskegee University Knowledge, leadership, service 1881 banner.

Tuskegee University was founded by Booker T. Washington – former slave, educator, and civil rights leader. This statue honors his accomplishments.

Statue of Washington assisting a slave.

Kerry Jones, who conducted the tour of the beautiful campus discussed the eight undergraduate colleges and graduate programs they offer, the availability of scholarships, and the caring professors.

Tour guide speaking to students.

Kierra Littles was impressed: “My favorite school was Tuskegee because of the community feel and their English program. I also liked it because they always have different activities on campus.”

4 students with Dr. Parks with the campus as a backdrop.

Alabama State University, which is in Montgomery, Alabama, was front and center during the Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1955-56. The sculpture means no matter what African Americans went through, they made it, and today’s students are encouraged to persevere and make it as well.

Tour group in front of a large metal statue.

The tour guide touted their campus life, including the football team as well as internship and research opportunities.

Students in a room with large windows.

View of the campus including the sculpture.

Grass area with walkways, trees and large buildings.

In Montgomery, students saw the site of a slave market, a sad reminder of a time in our American history.

Alabama Montgomery's Slave Markets historical marker.

The last stop before flying out was the  National Center for Civil and Human Rights. It put America’s civil rights movement in the context of people around the world struggling for human rights.

Tour group with a mural of a hand with snippets: stop apartheid, I am a man, justice, one vote.

Dujour Sams summed up the experience: “I recognize how great of an opportunity it is to be part of a trip like this. . I felt empowered by visiting the schools as well as the historical sites we visited.”

3 students in front of Human RIghts Learn More sign.

What a wonderful experience! Thank you Dr. Parks for taking Umoja students on this HBCU tour and for sharing photos with me. A tour like this makes such an impression on our students, giving them cultural experiences and inspiring them to achieve their dreams. Faculty like you that dedicate so much time and effort toward enriching students’ education experience at BC  is why I am the luckiest and happiest college president ever!

Leadership Bakersfield Graduation Gala

“What you do has far greater impact than what you say.” Steven Covey

Heidi Forsythe, Tamara Baker, Brandon Urry, & Endee Grijalva

For the past 10 months 32 strangers came together and made our community a little bit better.  Among those 32 strangers were Brandon Ury, Endee Grijalva and Heidi Forsythe.  They have now joined the ranks of Bakersfield’s Top Community Leaders as the class of 2019’s Leadership Bakersfield.  Leadership Bakersfield (LB) has been running for the past 32 years bringing individuals from across the city and challenging them to step out of their comfort zone to be a part of a greater good in the community. Potential participants are interviewed and selected to be a part of a ten-month commitment to a team of strangers who will work together to strengthen and improve the community while developing their leadership qualities.  Each month LB participants dedicated one entire day where they learned about their own individual leadership style, studied local issues, personally interacted with top leaders who make things happen in our community and discovered new reasons why Bakersfield is a great place to live.

Heidi Forsythe and Helen Acosta

Brandon Ury served on Team 1 where they empowered Project 180 to realign their mission and scope as a grassroot organization.  They also focused on bringing awareness and solidarity to victims of senseless acts of violence by unveiling a park bench at Laurel Park.  Their park bench dedication also led them to raise funds for a local children’s school choir. Their project was an act of kindness and unity in a predominantly high-crime rate community.

Endee’s Team 2 focused on a newer nonprofit organization located on Union, south of California Ave known as Dream Center Bakersfield – not to be confused with The Dream Center of Kern County that serves foster youth. Dream Center Bakersfield serves all individuals who may be dealing with homelessness, drug abuse, violence, sex trafficking – the list is endless.  Team two however, focused on the services provided to the children. The team met regularly for several months to revitalize the children’s center by painting a beautiful mural with the hope of brightening the lives of children dealing with issues out of their control. They did an amazing job of turning the children’s center into a brighter beacon of hope for the little lives that often go unnoticed.

Endee Grijalva and Heidi Forsythe

Heidi’s Team 3 took on a similar goal but focused on revitalizing the Alliance Against Family Violence and Sexual Assault’s Resource Center located in downtown Bakersfield. Team 3’s goal was to beautify the center as a means of brightening up the lives of not only the participants but the staff as well. The team put two coats of paint on over 5400 sq. feet of wall space, improved their curb appeal as well as the conference room and children’s library by changing décor and adding donated furniture and children’s books.

Every act of kindness has an impact we may never fully know.  A conversation on a bench park can lead to a peace treaty among rivals, a painted mural in a children’s center can ease the stress and pain of a child and even brighter walls can improve the quality of work for those who ease other’s pain.  Leadership Bakersfield is a great opportunity to grow leadership skills but more importantly to become a greater community. Applications for the class of 2020 are currently being accepted. Will you step up to the challenge? #BuildingCathedrals

Jaime Lopez, Mayor Karen Goh, Endee Grijalva, Tamara Baker, Heidi Forsythe, & Helen Acosta

2019 BYP Summit

BC was out in full force at the 2019 BYP (Bakersfield Young Professionals) Summit on Thursday.  We were happy to sponsor such a great event, one that encourages and fosters young professionals in our community.  Our very own Heather Pennella spoke about engaging BC Alumni and getting to know their connection with the college.  If you have a BC story that you’d like to share, please visit BC Foundation’s Your Story and help us with our Alumni Outreach program! 

BC is proud to sponsor the 2019 BYP Summit!
Robin Paggi of WorkLogic speaking on Emotional Intelligence
Panel of local executives Amy Travis of CASA, Brad Bryan of Houchin Community Blood Bank, Ariana Joven of Kern County Farm Bureau, Nick Ortiz of the Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce, and David Milazzo speaking about the importance of leadership
Heather Pennella presenting on BC’s Alumni Outreach Program
Heather with microphone speaking on stage.
Heather with colorful background.
Nancy Solis-Vargas of CSUB, Nick Ortiz of the GBCC, and our own Heather Pennella
Margarita Rodriguez, Thalia Solorio, Endee Grijalva, Kim Collins, Samantha Guillory, Lupe Aguirre
L to R: Lupe Aguirre, Earl Parsons, Ashlea Ward, Endee Grijalva, Tamara Baker, Heather Pennella, Benny Balderrama, Leah Prendez, Yoli Aguilera, Courtney Carter, & Tiffany Simpson
Large group of men and women in front of byp sign.
BC staff at the 2019 BYP Summit

Bitwise Industries Coming to Bakersfield

There was great energy and excitement in the room at The Padre Hotel on Wednesday, June 19 as co-founders of Bitwise Industries, Irma Olguin and Jake Soberal, hosted a joint virtual announcement in Fresno and Bakersfield.  Community leaders including Mayor Karen Goh, JP and Ingrid Lake, Morgan Clayton, Teresa Hitchcock, KEDC representatives Cheryl Scott and Richard Chapman, and the Greater Bakersfield Chamber’s President/CEO Nick Ortiz were among those present for the event.  Bitwise Industries announced its expansion to Bakersfield as a result of a $27 million investment from Kapor Capitol and the New Voices Fund.  This aligns with Bitwise Industry’s vision of taking opportunities to places who may not have it.

Welcome Bitwise Industries Banner on wooden wall.

Bitwise Industries was founded in 2013 by Irma L. Olguin, Jr., and Jake A. Soberal with the goal of activating human potential for the technology industry in Fresno, CA.  It operates three lines of business that sustain and support this objective. Geekwise Academy trains people to code, with a focus on marginalized groups, to give them the skills for today’s job market. Bitwise’s commercial real estate provides a physical home for aspiring technologists, fast growing technology companies, and many mission-aligned companies that hire out of Geekwise Academy; all of which contribute to the ongoing downtown revitalization efforts of the cities where Bitwise is based.Their Shift3 Technologies is a custom software development shop that pairs senior talent with entry-level programmers from Geekwise Academy to build and deliver top quality software solutions to clients around the world.

Woman broadcasting on monitor next to man speaking at podium in the hotel.
Virtual Announcement led by BitWise CoFounders Irma Holguin and Jake Soberal

Bitwise has produced more than 1,000 new software developers, attracted over 200 technology companies to its facilities, contributed to the creation of thousands of jobs in the region, and turned 250,000 sq. ft. of previously blighted downtown buildings in Fresno into desirable commercial real estate.

Several people mingling at the Padre Hotel.
BitWise Post Announcement Reception

Bitwise will be acquiring a facility in downtown Bakersfield for the expansion and has expressed a commitment to ensuring our local community thrives.  Bakersfield College is proud to be a partner in education and looks forward to expanding tech opportunities to our students and the community as a whole.

Emails to Share: BC Faculty Prepare Research Student

I received this wonderful email in regards to one of our students, Sarai Jaime. This reflects the quality education our faculty provide and I am proud to showcase the success of Sarai Jaime . We are BC!

One of our students is doing REU research at Ole Miss and will be going to Davis in the fall. I did not have her in my class but I became a mentor to her when she did volunteer work at the middle school with me. Now that she is with peers from other colleges I asked her if she feels we prepared her.

This was her response:

Yes, most definitely! Recently, we had a lecture where a professor presented his research (synthesizing dyes for solar cells) and he asked who had taken organic chemistry. About 10 of my peers raised their hands, including myself, and then he asked how many would synthesize the molecule he was showing (DPP17). It was an enormous organic molecule and I was the only one who’s hand was raised. I was able to raise my hand because Dr. Vaughan challenged his organic class in the second semester in a similar way. Dr. Vaughan would give us a staring material and a couple of steps and we would have to fill in the rest. This prepared me to not be afraid of synthesizing giant molecules and instead ask “what’s the starting material?” Of course, I wouldn’t have made to organic without my gen. Chem. professor, Dr. Da Silva and Dr. Copper, who taught me how to think like a scientist and approach problems differently than most people. The same can be said about all of my math professors; particularly my calculus professors Professor Starr and Professor Head. They, similar to my Chem. professors, taught me to apply what I know because the easiest path to a problem is often the correct one. I’ve had various professors in both the sciences and mathematics and they have all contributed to me being able to not be afraid of tackling problems that seem difficult and sometimes even impossible to solve at first glance. The lessons I have learn from my BC professors will transcend my summer internship and be present in my upper division courses at UC Davis and eventually at grad school when I pursue my PhD.†

Community Voices: Let’s not judge…

I just shared with you an email from Deborah Rosenthal about a student she mentored. When I asked for permission to publish her email and for pictures, she humbly refused any praise for herself as she was “just a mentor” not one of the professors that Sarai was praising. Now I can commend Professor Rosenthal for an excellent article published in the Bakersfield Californian Community Voices. She makes an excellent point about bias and judgements that continue in our community. Her article reminds us all not to judge people by their looks and the role of teachers as mentors. Professor Rosenthal’s influence and dedication as a mentor is evident in her continued contact with a student during the summer break. Be inspired and mentored by Deborah by reading her article “Let’s not judge a person by their looks.”

Emails to Share:

I was so pleased to receive this email from Heidi Forsythe:

Subject: Good News! 

I teach off campus (Inmate Scholar’s Program) and only find myself on the main campus when I need to pick up copies.  Today, I was on campus for a lengthy period of time which happen to be my lunch. As I decided how to efficiently use my time (while I waited for my copies) and plug in some exercise I chose to walk (climb my way) to the huddle where I met Christina Rodriguez.  This is where the good news comes in. Christina Rodriguez was the very cheerful food server who gladly took my order. As I thanked her for her excellent customer service she replied with great pleasure that she loves her job and the institution. She also mentioned that she is a graduate of BC.  While she is currently looking for full-time work within her field as an Administrative Assistant she expressed how happy she was working for the institution. She was very genuine in her remarks and expressed much gratitude for the opportunity to work for Bakersfield College. I was truly impressed with Ms. Rodriguez that I told her I would share the news with you and she was ecstatic.

It was so exciting to hear her brag about our amazing school.  She is a true example of the phrase, We are BC.

Kind Regards,

Heidi Forsythe

And when I shared this with Christina, she replied with a delightful email:

Dear BC President Sonya Christian,

I’m honored to receive an email from you.  I am very proud to be working at Bakersfield College Food Services Department as a permanent employee.  I enjoy coming to work and making a difference there when servicing our customers with a smile no matter how their day is going.  Bakersfield College is my second home just as it was for my mom, Theresa Rodriguez who worked there 26 years in the Food Service Department.

I graduated with an AA degree in Administrative Office Assistant and planned to make a career here.  Bakersfield College is an amazing place to work at and I enjoy every second of it. I want to express to you how much I appreciate my job, the people I work with and serving our BC students, faculty and the community.  I hope as they leave I made their day. Thank you for taking the time to read this and hope to see you soon.

Sincerely,

Christina Rodriguez

In BC Food Services cap and t-shirt.
Christina Rodriguez

Thank you Heidi for recognizing a valuable member of our team and thank you Christina for you dedication and bringing a smile to everyone on campus. We are BC!

Fun Photos: Inmate Education Team

9 people in front of a white board with lots of writing.
Inmate Education Team


That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

sonya-
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Strengthening Kern County One Degree at a Time

Good morning Bakersfield, it is Saturday, April 29, 2017 and such a fabulous day to be a Renegade.

Yesterday was the culmination of an incredible day after an incredible week.  So much activity at BC that I will need to punt some of the events to next week’s blog.  Let me start my blog with The Kern Promise.

Bryon Schaefer Sonya Christian Horace Mitchell April 28 2017

Bryon Schaefer, Sonya Christian, Horace Mitchell

Imagine: Over the next 10 years, Kern County will advance our education attainment rates, increase the health of our community, engage our youth, and decrease poverty.

Kern Promise Logo

In Kern County, one in four residents live in poverty, with just 22% of Kern County residents 25 years of age and older holding an Associate’s Degree or higher, compared with California’s average of 39%. In the next ten years, more than six out of ten jobs will require employees to have more than a high school diploma. Today, only 40% of U.S. adults ages 25–64 are adequately prepared for the workforce.

Education is the key to equity, social mobility, and economic prosperity. This drives the work of educators throughout Kern County, and been the foundation for envisioned and implemented institutional, instructional, and student service policy changes locally and statewide in recent years.

KernPromiseEvent Horace Mitchell Sonya Christian Bryon Schafer.jpg

Horace Mitchell, Sonya Christian, Bryon Schaefer

 

With a critical lens on issues of equitable educational attainment, Kern County educators and industry leaders have been working to provide opportunities for applied learning through internships with business and industry partners, to embed academic support services for first generation and low- income students throughout the students’ pathways, and create pathways for success. Albeit a grand vision, the community is committed and inspired to usher in this vision, the promise of a college opportunity: The Kern Promise.

KernPromiseEven-042817s Group.jpg

Yesterday was an incredible day. It was one of hope, laughter, excitement, enthusiasm, but most of all – a promise. In front of almost 1,000 Kern County High School students, I was joined on stage by community leaders, political representatives, and industry partners to pledge our commitment to The Kern Promise.

KernPromiseEven-042817s-2-2-X3

By working together with Kern High School District and CSUB, the Kern Promise is a commitment in action at Bakersfield College to help students complete their Associate Degree for Transfer within two instructional years through structured support, priority access to courses, and financial assistance to those who qualify. The Kern Promise focuses on a shared responsibility model where students will work with Completion Coaches and follow a clear path to success. In return, each promise student is required to maintain good academic standing and commit to their studies.

KernPromiseEven-042817s-3-X3

Bree Parks

It was bright and sunny morning yesterday and as each school filled the stands at the Outdoor Theater, our student emcee, Bree Parks, shouted their school names and a roar spread across the auditorium. While they waited for the event to begin, students were engaged in games, videos, group selfies, and activities chanting, “We are BC!”

When our program began, Chancellor Tom Burke, gave his remarks exclaiming that the Kern Promise would be one of the best ways our future Renegades can contribute to the future of our city, state, community, and their own personal lives as well.

KernPromiseEven-042817s-37-X3

Chancellor Tom Burke with dignitaries

I was joined by the initiative’s founding partnering institutions – Kern High School District Superintendent, Bryon Schaefer, and CSUB President, Horace Mitchell who also shared their excitement of the program. I remember specifically seeing the faces of the many students in the audience when Dr. Mitchell said that promise students who make it through that program, would be guaranteed acceptance into CSUB. Dr. Schaefer said that KHSD would work toward getting more high school students enrolled in college preparatory classes and promoting dual enrollment programs that allow students to complete college courses through BC while still being enrolled in high school.

KernPromiseEven-042817s-42-X3

Horace Mitchell, Sonya Christian, Bryon Schaefer

The mornings dignitaries and guests even took a moment to share some words with the students before signing a commitment document. Mayor Goh touched on the ways education “transforms and advances communities.” Check out this video!


KCCD Trustee, Bill Thomas urged the crowd to look into the program and said,  “Dr. Mitchell would like many of you here today to graduate as Roadrunners, but before you run, you have to walk. If you follow the Promise, everyone here will deliver.”

KernPromiseEven-042817s-44-X3

Retired Congressman and Trustee Bill Thomas

Supervisor Leticia Perez a strong supporter of Bakersfield College and a believer in the tranformative power of education said that she was proudly representing the Fifth District of Kern County.

Leticia Perez The Kern Promise

Supervisor Leticia Perez

Kern Taxpayers’ Association CEO, Michael Turnipseed described The Kern Promise as “instrumental in closing the education gap in Kern County”, while Michael Bowers, speaking for state Senator Andy Vidak, said that the program is “certain to create a pathway to success.”

Michael Turnipseed at The Kern Promise April 28 2017

Michael Turnipseed, CEO Kern Taxpayer’s Association

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Michael Bowers representing Senator Andy Vidak

This kind of monumental promise is the kind of promise that only a community, working together can make. Thank you to BC’s educational partners and the KCCD Board of Trustees for providing such a powerful initiative for the students. Thank you to all of these community and industry leaders for supporting education in Kern County. Thank you to the elementary, middle, and high school educators in Bakersfield and in Kern County for preparing students before they begin college.

Mary Barlow Superintendent of Schools April 28 2017

Mary Barlow, Superintendent of Schools, Kern County

Mayor Jose Gurrola a Renegade and a Runner spoke in support of The Kern Promise and shared the vision of having a Bakersfield College satellite campus co-located with Arvin High School.

Mayor Jose Gurrola at The Kern Promise April 28 2017

Mayor Jose Gurrola

Mayor Jose Gurrola signing The Kern Promise

Mayor Jose Gurrola signing The Kern Promise

Keenan Hochschild stopped by with a message from Congressman Kevin McCarthy

Sonya Christian with Keenan Hochschild

Keenan Hochschild representing Congressman Kevin McCarthy

 

Michael Herrera representing Senator Jean Fuller.

Michael Herrera at The Kern Promise April 28 2017

Michael Herrera representing Senator Jean Fuller at The Kern Promise

 

Lauren Skidmore represented Assembly Member Vince Fong at the event.

Lauren Skidmore for Vince Fong The Kern Promise

 

Amanda Sampson represented Assembly Member Rudy Salas

Andrea Sampson representing Rudy Salas at The Kern Promise

Amanda Sampson representing Assembly Member Rudy Salas

The Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is a great partner of BC.  Here is Jay Tamsi, CEO of the KCHCC

Jay Tamsi at The Kern Promise April 28 2017

Jay Tamsi, CEO KCHCC

Nick Ortiz, CEO of the Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce pledged his support for The Kern Promise

Nick Ortiz at The kern Promise

Nick Ortiz, CEO Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce

Kristen Barnes, CEO of the Kern Community Foundation pledged scholarship dollars to support The Kern Promise students.

Kristen Barnes at The Kern Promise April 28 2017

Kristen Barnes, CEO, Kern Community Foundation

Here is Adam Alvidrez pledging Chevron’s support to advancing educational attainment.  Chevron has supported CSUB, BC, Taft College consistently over the years.  Adam, in his truly Adam way, then slaps on a BC baseball cap before he signs The Kern Promise.

Adam Alvidrez of Chevron at The Kern Promise

Adam Alvidrez, Chevron

Adam Alvidrez signing the Kern Promise with the BC hat

Adam Alvidrez

 

It was great to have Wonderful Company represented by Rebecca Farley.  BC has partnered with Wonderful to provide Pathways that start in the 9th grade.

Rebecca Farley for Wonderful Academy at The Kern Promise

Rebecca Farley representing Wonderful

Richard Chapman, CEO of the Kern Economic Development Corporation (KEDC) wholeheartedly supporting The Kern Promise.

Richard Chapman at The Kern Promise April 28 2017

Richard Chapman, CEO, KEDC

But perhaps most importantly – thank you to our future students for believing that you can, knowing that you can, and pushing yourself to excel. You are the future of Kern County and you are the reason for the promise and the inspiration for all that we do. And thank you for using ASL to sign PROMISE every time the word Promise was mentioned by a speaker.  Thank you Rayven Webb for stopping by my office in the morning and teaching me how to sign PROMISE.  Here I am demonstrating the second half of the word.

 

KernPromiseEven-042817 Sonya Christian ASL Promise

Sonya Christian

This is a promise where our young people can define their own future and I’m so pleased to invite them to take the first step at Bakersfield College with The Kern Promise.

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I can’t thank enough my fellow speakers, leaders, and friends who joined me yesterday to sign The Kern Promise –

Tom Burke – KCCD Chancellor
KernPromiseEven-042817s-64-X3Superintendent Bryon Schaefer – KHSD
President Horace Mitchell – CSUB
Trustee Bill Thomas – KCCD Board of Trustees
Karen Goh – Mayor of Bakersfield
Leticia Perez – Supervisor, County of Kern
Michael Turnipseed – CEO, Kern Taxpayers Association
Michael Herrera – Senator Jean Fuller’s Office
Amanda Sampson – Assembly Member Rudy Salas’ Office
Michael Bowers – Senator Andy Vidak’s Office
Lauren Skidmore – Assembly Member Vince Fong
Nick Ortiz – Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce
Jay Tamsi – KC Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Arleana Waller – KC Black Chamber of Commerce
Jose Gurrola – Mayor of Arvin
Rebecca Farley – Wonderful Academy
Adam Alvidrez – Chevron
Kristen Barnes – Kern Community Foundation
Richard Chapman — Kern Economic Development Corporation

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Here are some fun pictures before and after the event

BC Cheer Team at The Kern Promise

BC Cheer Team

Band

BC Drumline Students

Before the Kern Promise April 28 2017

Sonya Christian with BC Students

Dignitaries having fun

Mayor Karen Goh, Jay Tamsi, and Michael Bowers having fun

KernPromiseEven-042817s Karen Goh Sonya Christian Horace Mitchell

Mayor Karen Goh, President Sonya Christian, President Horace Mitchell

After the program, our high school visitors were treated to a resource fair, workshops, and activities on campus. Thank you to Steve Watkin and the Outreach Team! 

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Here is a We Are BC pump up video from Chris Glaser prior to The Kern Promise event.

Thank you to those who worked behind the scenes to make The Kern Promise a reality.

Jennifer Marden, Lesley Bonds, Shannel Tyus, Tom Gelder, Janet Fulks, Chris Glaser, Mary Jo Pasek, Dylan Wang, Monika Scott, Keri Kennedy and many others. 

I don’t have pictures of many of these individuals, but here are pictures of few of them.

 

 

GardenFest on Earth Day

GF1Last Saturday was Earth Day and the BC campus was buzzing for GardenFest 2017. The open house featured the Environmental Horticulture and Agriculture programs for a day of family fun. With over 150 vendor booths featuring gardening, pets, farmer’s market, cooking, arts and crafts, and more… there is something for everyone. The Bakersfield Californian had a nice piece this week highlighting this year’s Gardenfest – check it out here!

The official website for Earth Day says in its history, “On April 22, 1970, 20 million Americans took to the streets, parks, and auditoriums to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment in massive coast-to-coast rallies. Thousands of colleges and universities organized protests against the deterioration of the environment.”

Today on the site, it says “Education is the foundation for progress” and they offer suggestions for how you can take action in becoming more green. Check out http://www.earthday.org/take-action/ to learn more.

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Renegade Health Fair

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On Wednesday April 19, 2017, BC hosted the Renegade Pulse Health Fair on the lawn between the Student Services building and the Library. The local organizations who attended this Health Fair gave students an opportunity to peruse, discuss, and obtain pertinent information that could aid them and their loved ones in a variety of ways. Some of the local businesses that attended this year’s Health Fair were; Kern Public Health, US Army, Bakersfield Police Department, Blue Shield of California, Child Support Services, WIC, Behavioral Health and Recovery, Covered California, Community Connections for Childcare, Overeaters Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, The Dolores Huerta Foundation, Bakersfield College’s own DSPS and student nursing program who were doing free health screenings, and many more.

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The Bakersfield Pregnancy Center or BPS who was on site with their mobile health van, which allows individuals to obtain free screenings along with free ultrasounds. The Milan Institute booth was one of the biggest attractions, giving much needed neck and back massages to those students who visited and the constant line that was present seemed to speak to the need for some stress relief in this upcoming finals preparation. Another booth that seemed to have captured the attention of many in attendance was the booth on Community Needs Survey.. The individual at the booth was asking everyone to have a voice in Kern County concerning areas they feel are of greatest concern and could use attention. Each person was given five stickers and asked to place them on a chart of local needs.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness, which was located directly behind the Community Needs Survey brought attention to the growing need for adequate Mental Illness facilities and care in Kern County as well as passing out green ribbons to commemorate that May is Mental Health Illness month. Throughout the morning and afternoon, a multitude of students frequented the Health Fair, listening to music, walking from booth to booth, obtaining healthy and helpful information and hopefully took away knowledge, and resources that will better their lives. I loved our photo on BC’s instagram of Terri Goldstein out at the Health Fair.  If you’re not following BC on Instagram, check us out at https://www.instagram.com/bakersfieldcollege/ for most up to date snaps and photos.

Instagram

Retail Management Showcase

The Retail Management and Hospitality Showcase sponsored by Deputy Sector Navigator, Shelley Attix (Retail, Hospitality & Tourism Programs) and CTE Transitions took place on Monday. ROC students learned about the sector and received valuable insight about industry trends, employment opportunities, and HS to College pathways and certifications. Thank you BC Faculty and staff including, Mike Ivey, Alex Gomez, Beth Harrison, Lupe Aguilera, Antonio Alfaro and Pam Gomez.

 

Guided Pathways in April 2017 Rostrum

The Academic Senate for California Community Colleges has a quarterly newsletter titled Senate Rostrum and it was great to see two special BC Faculty had an article published in April’s edition. The article, Guided Pathways: Two Professors’ Perspective on Why We Need the College GPS  by Nick Strobel and Jessica Wojtysiak is a piece worth reading if you’re not familiar with the Guided Pathways project.

 

Talking about Guided Pathways, we had our statewide CA Guided Pathways Advisory Committee meeting in LA on Thursday, April 27, 2017.  The one-day meeting funded by College Futures and hosted by Bakersfield College was successful.  We made progress on a few difficult issues which makes the hardship of travel and and other work associated with the meeting, well worth it.  Lesley Bonds and Jessica Wojtsiak are amazing!

Here are some photos:

Lesley Bonds and Jessica Wojtsiak CA Guided Pathways Advisory Committee April 27 2017

Lesley Bonds, Jessica Wojtsiak

Sonya Christian Janet Fulks and Craig Hayward at CA Guided Pathways Advisory Committee

Sonya Christian, Janet Fulks, Craig Hayward

Sonya Christian and Craig Hayward April 27 2017 at Manhatten Beach

Sonya Christian, Craig Hayward

The Joy and Enchantment of Life

CCCApply Annual Meeting

Michelle Presenting w screen (2)

Every year, the CCCApply and eTranscript California steering committees meet to connect with colleagues at other institutions and discuss the issues unique to the online application to the California Community Colleges (CCCApply) and electronic transcript exchange across California, including CSU, UC, and private universities. This year, it was held on April 12th and 13th at Sacramento City College.  As the Vice Chair, Michelle Pena, BC’s Assistant Director of A&R, helped coordinated the conference, sessions and meals. She provided the introductions for each speaker including Dr. Walker and gave an overall orientation of what the day, the closing, and the raffles. She ran a session on Residency Algorithm 101 with Michael Quiaoit and Natalie Wagner with the CCCCO, in conjunction with Los Medanos.

Dr Walker and Michelle _n

Veterans Club Giving Back

On Friday April 21st the Bakersfield College Veterans Club went to the Bakersfield homeless shelter to serve dinner to the community as well as the people living at the center. They took a tour of all the facilities to better understand where their help may be needed.

Veterans Club

BC’s Korean Culture Festival

The first annual Korean Culture Festival took place at BC this week on April 25th. Students of the Korean Club put together a great event including Korean karaoke, information on the culture and history, a language table to have your name written in Korean script, known as Hangeul, food and snacks, and a table on tourism and UC/CSU study abroad opportunities. Check out the fun photos taken by Belen Martinez at https://bakersfieldcollege.smugmug.com/Korean-Culture-Festival

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Civic Engagement covered by CHAP in Delano

CHAP2017The Bakersfield College Delano Campus Cultural Historical Awareness Program (CHAP) hosted its final event for the spring semester. Political Science Professor Charles Kim did a wonderful job moderating an informative panel about civic engagement and the political process with staff members from Congressman David Valadao’s office and State Senator Andy Vidak.  Following a 45-minute discussion about their entrance into local politics, political staffers Ariana Joven (Valadao) and Rogelio Caudillo (Vidak) fielded questions from the audience ranging from immigration reform, human trafficking, water policy, and what prompted their interest in pursuing a career in politics. This was a fun and lively session and connected local issues to the lives of our rural students. We hope this is the first of many future policy-oriented community dialogues our campus can host in the spirit of promoting civic education and participation in the political process.

Penelope Project

I’m always impressed when hear incredible stories about what our BC students are doing with their lives. A recent article on BakersfieldNow.com featured one of our BCSGA students and her incredible story. The article titled, “Local dog owner turns fundraiser into business venture” begins by highlighting Diana Martinez as a BC student studying architecture and photography. She is the founder of the Penelope Project which she started as a way to afford her dog’s medical care after her pet was hit by a car. In the article, Diana says, “I wanted to create a win-win situation, where the people would receive something in return and I did not want it to be an unequal service, I wanted to give the community a service.”

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Congratulations to Sue Vaughn

Sue vaughSue Vaughn was recently honored with the Robert Brown Award for distinguished leadership at CAACRAO. The website describes the award by saying,  “The Robert Brown Award is given to a CACCRAO member who has distinguished him or herself within the Admissions and Records profession.  CACCRAO presents this award to recognize the outstanding contributions of individual CACCRAO members and to further the profession of Admissions and Records Officers within the California Community College system.  It is a symbol of commitment to leadership, innovation and professional standards.” From everyone at BC, Congratulations Sue!!!

Jerry Ludeke, a BC Treasure

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A beautiful piece about Jerry Ludeke by KGET,  Tabatha Mills did a great job capturing the spirit and person of Jerry Ludeke.

http://www.kerngoldenempire.com/news/local-news/jerry-ludeke-a-true-bakersfield-college-treasure/700757000

I went back to my photo archives and found these two pictures of me with Jerry.  One from 2014 when Jerry received one of the 100 stars and the second from the 2016 Sterling Silver event.

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Sonya Christian, Jerry Ludeke receiving one of the 100 BC stars

 

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Jerry Ludeke, Sonya Christian. 2016 Sterling Silver

 

Bakersfield College transforming our community one degree at a time.

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That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

 

 

 

Celebrating our people

Pam and Sonya June 24 2016Good morning Bakersfield.  It is Saturday, June 25th and just a wonderful day to be a Renegade.

The last two weeks have been all about family.  Daughter’s graduation and then helping her pack to head off to her one-year fellowship.  And with my mom visiting, there were daily walks and talks.  Looking at albums when Eisha was a baby, at Highland High at UC San Diego and at medical school.  And then there was the cooking…..wonderful meals every evening followed by freezing the leftovers for more wonderful meals in her absence.  What a treat!  Three generations of Christian women.  Life…..

Let me start my blog with the event of the week — A very special retirement.

Bill Parker and Erin MillerCan one person have an impact on a campus community?  The answer is yes. Just say the name, Bill Parker and people will gladly share their stories about how they came to know him and why they will remember him long after he retires. Bill has run our print shop for three decades and delivers paper to offices. He has been a permanent fixture at graduation, guiding and greeting the graduates and the employees as they take their seats. But what people remember about Bill is more that his job or how he volunteered, or how much he loved to play basketball. We will remember his perpetual smile, happy greeting and big heart. Bill, we will miss you but you will always have a place in our hearts.

And how do you celebrate a true Renegade like Bill Parker?  You have a retirement party and invite the campus community. Who comes? The friends he has made over the decades he has run the print shop at BC. Thursday night’s retirement party reflected how he has impacted the lives of so many people. Current and retired employees from across the BC community attended. It was a night for reminiscing, laughter and celebration.

The party started started in the Huddle, with food and memories of our friend and colleague. It became immediately evident that Bill had fostered a special relationship with each one. Joined by his daughter, Marta, and his son,  Malachi, we presented him with an engraved sculpture, recognizing his excellence and inspiration. More than 130 Renegades gathered to play a last game with Bill!

Bill Parker…always with a big smile, big hugs and a big heart!  And always a Renegade! We love you Bill!

Thank you Erin Miller and Marta Parker for planning this amazing event.  Also thank you Jennifer Marden and Eric Sabella for your support. Thank you Valerie Robinson for sending me the pictures and the video.

You may also enjoy my April 30th blog post that has a picture of Bill Parker with Trustee Romeo Agbalog.  Here is the link
https://bcpresidentblog.com/2016/04/30/sprinting-toward-semesters-end/

Tina Johnson

 

It brought me great satisfaction to see Tina Johnson’s email a few weeks ago  at 8:51 am, telling me that reading my blog was her Saturday ritual.  Tina, thank you!

“I wanted to let you know that I absolutely love your blog. It’s the first thing I do on Saturday mornings when I hear the little ding of my email go off alerting me that I have an email. It’s refreshing to see all the wonderful things that are going on at Bc. I’m so often stuck in my office working that I’m not able to get out and see all the great things that are happening around  our campus, you allow me to take those travels every Saturday morning. I just wanted to send a little thank you! You go girl!!!!!”

 

Bakersfield College Student Health and Wellness is embracing its mandate under BC’s Strategic Directions to “Ensure the health and wellness college value is integrated into campus activities and meetings.” That value is explained in Bakersfield College’s Core Values, specifically Wellness is envisioned as follows:

We believe health and wellness to be integral and foundational elements, and we understand that holistic education improves all aspects of the individual and the society including the mind, body, and spirit: through education, we will positively impact the health of the natural environment and the global community.

HealthFair_4College health can no longer be confined to Student Health Centers, as services are required across the full breadth of the Delano and Panorama Campuses. In 2013 Forbes Magazine explored this paradigm shift. The article, How College Health Centers Help Students Succeed, opens as follows:

“Of all the dramatic changes in higher education in recent years, one that goes largely unnoticed is the tremendous growth in the mission, services, and facilities of health centers. Decades ago most colleges and universities believed their only responsibility for student health was to set up a clinic to treat the sick and injured. Today, driven by a broader and, in our judgment, better understanding of health and its impact on learning, many institutions of higher education provide much more.”

Information Sharing.4To effectively address our mandate, Student Health and Wellness Services tells me that they are beginning a strategic planning process. One of the most important of the needs assessment tools we will be utilizing is the National College Health Assessment (NCHA).

Early adopters at BC are realizing not just the benefit to student health but new opportunities to integrate health into their curricula. These departments and faculty include Sarah Futrell-Baron, Public Health Sciences; Reggie Bolton, with Health and Athletics; Assistant Dean Carla Gard, Allied Health and Nursing; and Brent Burton, Emergency Medical Technician program.

Talking about Health and Wellness, I had drafted a write-up on BC’s Health and Wellness Fair in April that somehow didn’t make it in, so here it is for your easy read this Saturday morning.

Renegade Pulse Health & Wellness Fair

HealthFair_3The 16th annual Health & Wellness Fair, held on April 13, was another great success.

The fair was opened by keynote speakers Vice President Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Director Matthew Constantine of Kern County Public Health and Ellen Eggert, Project Supervisor of Kern County Mental Health. Also present was the Medical Director of Student Health and Wellness, Dr. Ron Ostrum. [check out my March 25th blog that mentions Ellen Eggert https://bcpresidentblog.com/2016/03/25/the-state-of-kern-county-is-strong/]

With approximately 40 community organizations represented, Bakersfield College’s Health and Wellness Fair was held from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm on the Student Services Lawn.

This outreach opportunity was provided to both campus and community members and offered free blood pressure checks, health screenings, and other related services and topics designed to increase awareness of health issues impacting Kern County. In addition to the keynote presenters, the featured speakers included Ray Purcell (Director of BC Student Health & Wellness Center), Robert Rodriguez (Officer, California Highway Patrol), Matt Constantine (Director, Kern County Public Health).

The fair was well represented by both campus and community. The BC Student Nursing Association had the popular blood glucose, blood pressure and Body Mass Index screenings. Fred Smith from Athletics and Kinesiology demonstrated conditioning. There was also a confidential HIV testing by Clinica Sierra Vista.  Thank you Steve Schilling.

Community representation was extensive, generous and far too many to list here. Officer Robert Rodriguez of the CHP helped call the fair to order. Kern County Fire and Hall Ambulance also turned out. A number of Health Care agencies enrolled for Cover California. Marley’s Mutts brought Therapy Dogs in training for lovable, tail wagging petting.

And did you catch Student Health and Wellness’ own Yolanda “Yolli” Puente, BCSGA Senator and Student Health Campus Correspondent Fitzgerald “Fitz” Graves, BC Director of Student Health & Wellness Center Raymond Purcell and BC nurse Debra Strong on morning television?

Firefighter Graduation

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Photo by Cara Jackson

On June 7, 2016, all 5 Squads of Bakersfield College Firefighter 1 Academy celebrated their achievements and were presented with their certificates. The audience watched as 31 cadets marched single file on the stage with serious faces and straight backs in respect to their profession.

As the night progressed, it  brought laughter when guest speakers voiced memories of funny moments each of the cadets had during their training. Deputy Chief Tyler Hartley spoke about how he hoped the cadets would apply the “training, lectures and lessons learned” and that they would “effectively convert those into everyday actions in order to give back to their community.”

Deputy Chief Benny Wofford also gave soulful advice when he said, “You don’t settle for less on the job, because that’s the difference between life and death. These guys show commitment.” This morning’s sad reminder with the Californian’s front-page story, by Harold Pierce, John Cox, and Steven Mayer, of the Erskine fire near Lake Isabella, the homes lost and death of two residents really drove that point home for me.

At the end of the night academy instructors, staff, guest speakers, and Fire Captains greatly contributed to the evening in a very positive and encouraging way. The group of cadet graduates included thirty men and one woman.

Thank you Tim Capehart for all that you do!

And thank you Chief Doug Greener and Chief Brian Marshall.  Here are two pictures I found on the web.  Chief Greener in the Bakersfield Life Magazine and Chief Marshall on Scott Cox

Doug Greener Page 154

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Chief Brian Marshall, Officer Tyler Townsend on Scott Cox. Photo from the Californian 

 

Science Camp at BC and Chevron:

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This summer BC is hosting on campus the Project Lead the Way Academy thanks in large part to the work and support of Chevron’s Adam Alvidrez. The PLTW Academy is a series of workshops offered to Junior High, Middle School, and High School Students interested in experiencing science, math, technology and engineering fields through STEM. These workshops will be ongoing through July and will be teaching kids everything from robotics to building an electric guitar.

This week 44 Jr High School kids had the opportunity to build and design a tiny house and work with 3D models. They commented that they were preparing themselves for future opportunities and this sounded like fun during the summer.

 

Chevron has greatly contributed to STEM by funding scholarships that provide teachers the opportunity to learn more about the STEM projects themselves and to then teach students at school. The main idea is to integrate disciplines together in class rather than isolated areas of study.

Check out the story by KGET http://tinyurl.com/jmp9mzx

And look what I found when I scanned the Bakersfield Life Magazine, on page 74:

Adam Alvidrez in Bakersfield Life June 25 2016

A note on our veterans

Sonya Christian - BCF-SterlingSilverDinner_09 cropped

Jerry Ludeke, Sonya Christian

Here is an email I received from Jerry Ludeke about the history of Student Veterans at BC.  As usual Jerry’s writing is just beautiful. Enjoy a little bit of Ludeke.

Sonya,

…..BC has a long history of hiring veterans to counsel veterans.  In 1942 Paul Freed, of our faculty, was put in charge of Minter Field. As that closed down near the end of the war, he returned to BC and was assigned to be Coordinator of Veteran Affairs, a post he held until 1953.  Grace Bird hired ex-marine Ed Simonsen as Dean of Men with specific oversight of the veterans programs.  Veteran John Collins’ initial assignment at BC included counseling the veterans.  The 1947 catalog list of administrators has listed right near the top:  Coordinator of Veterans’ Affairs (J. Paul Freed), Assistant Coordinator of Veterans’ Affairs (Fred Robinson), and Co-ordinator  of Veterans’ Advisement Center (Burns Finlinson).  Right below that are listed nine members of the Veterans’ Advisement and Co-ordination, including one woman and one member of the Veterans’ Administration.  After 1959, the veterans’ services seem to fall under the Director of Student Activities, a position held by veterans John Collins and Ron McMasters.

Meanwhile, the Veterans’ Club has kept going through the years.  (I am not aware of any breaks in it, only a name change…..but I haven’t researched that.)

I just wanted you to know that Paul’s marvelous efforts to expand these important services hold true to BC’s tradition of honoring our veterans.

Jerry Ludeke

Sonya cropped June 24 2016

Sonya Christian

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next Saturday.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya ….. the luckiest and happiest college president in the whole world

 

BC and the community – relationship runs deep

On March 31, 2016, Thursday night, we celebrated our eighth Sterling Silver event.

Sterling Silver is a fundraiser for the Bakersfield College Foundation, which manages funds for campus organizations, individuals and endowments. The Foundation provides over $500,000 in scholarships and student aid to over 500 students annually.

This year, we wanted to evolve our signature event to highlight for the community what it means to be a philanthropist by honoring two of Bakersfield College’s biggest supporters: Mary Trichell and Chevron.

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Mary Trichell, Sonya Christian, Carla Musser

These supporters epitomize the spirit of giving through their level of generosity, their consistency in giving, and the breadth of what they do.

Mary’s relationship with Bakersfield College goes back not just 10 years, or 20 years, or 30 years. Mary’s mother, Alice Heber Gordon, was born in Bakersfield in 1911.  And Bakersfield College was born in 1913.

 

In the 1920s, Alice took classes at Bakersfield College when it still shared a campus with Bakersfield High School (then Kern County Union High School).

Fast forward to 1963, when Mary Gordon took classes on the hill – after Bakersfield College made the move to the current Panorama campus — the Home of the Renegades. Mary especially enjoyed her math classes with Shirley Trembley and economics classes with Wylie Jones.

It is so wonderful to see a relationship with the college that goes back decades, and that goes back generations.

Bakersfield College Athletic Director Sandi Taylor and Head Football Coach Jeff Chudy had the honor of speaking about the importance of Mary’s contributions to Bakersfield College athletics.

“With the addition of Beach Volleyball, and then Men’s Soccer in the fall, we’ll have 20 teams and approximately 500 student athletes competing for Bakersfield College across the state. We are exceptional. We aren’t your average community college athletic program. Why? Because we have incredible support from folks like Mary. That’s what allows us to be exceptional. We couldn’t do it without our friends,” Taylor said.

 

Adam Alvidrez March 31 2016

Adam Alvidrez, Chevron

Liz Rozell, Dean of Instruction for Engineering and Industrial Technology (as well as our new Bachelor’s of Science in Industrial Automation) spoke about Chevron’s generous and long-standing relationship with Bakersfield College.

 

Chevron is a company that invests in the communities it serves. Everything they do is focused on preparing our students to succeed in school and in life. Chevron’s generosity with our STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) has helped increase the number of our engineering majors from 163 in 2008 to 718 engineering majors today.

Carla Musser March 31 2016

Carla Musser (right), Chevron

Two of our great programs that have been recipients of Chevron’s generosity include our MESA Week Zero for incoming STEM majors, and our new Project Lead the Way Camp for middle school students. I previously blogged about MESA Week Zero here, and Project Lead the Way here.

 

Receiving the award on Chevron’s behalf was Carla Musser, Chevron manager of policy, government and public affairs.

Thank you Chevron!

The support BC has from this community is astounding.  Here are the list of sponsors for this event:

Sterling Sponsor:

Mary Trichell — Of course!

Silver Sponsor:

  • Chevron (thank you for supporting our STEM program)
  • Klein Denatale Goldner Cooper Rosenlieb and Kimball LLC (thank you for all you do for Bakersfield College and our students.  thank you for bringing Amgen to our campus)
  • Motor City Lexus (thank you for your consistent support of BC and our Auto Program.  Your generosity in providing equipment, funds, and time is invaluable)
  • KGET (thank you for Allisa Carlson, our emcee)
  • Kern Schools Federal Credit Union (thank you for supporting several of our programs including inservice and Athletics)

Bronze sponsor:

Phil and Debby Rosenthal

During my remarks, I pointed out that the KCCD Board of Trustees was considering a bond for the November 8, 2016 ballot by reminding our friends in the community that it was up to us to take care of this gem, Bakersfield College, for the next 50 years — 2016 to 2066.

In 1913, Bakersfield leadership & the community were visionaries. They knew that higher education was absolutely critical for Kern County, and so they created a community college to Bakersfield.

In the 1950s, leadership & the community again showed their commitment to the college when they supported Bakersfield College’s expansion and move to the hill.

60 years later, many things have changed – but one constant piece that remains is that the community realizes that the return on investment of Bakersfield College is huge. The community remains committed to supporting the work of the college, and lifting up the students that the college serves. The community recognizes and appreciates the special relationship between Bakersfield and Bakersfield College.

Here is the 2:38-minute video that Manny De Los Santos put together giving us Bakersfield College from the Millennium Falcon.

Talking about the Millennium Falcon and De Los Santos, you have got to check out the videos that he did for our Opening Day.  Here is my Jan 23, 2016 blog post.

http://tinyurl.com/hl8n9pm

There were many other wonderful donors and friends of Bakersfield College in attendance.

Sonya Lorraine Cook and Jerry Cook March 31 2016

Sonya Christian with Lauraine & Jerry Cook

Jerry and Lauraine Cook met at Bakersfield College in a music appreciation class. They are longtime supporters of Bakersfield College. Lauraine is a retired Vice Chancellor of Educational Services for the Kern Community College District.

 

 

It goes without saying that an important part of Bakersfield College’s ties to the community is our Athletics department, and there was no shortage of BC Athletics legends on hand at the event.

It was great to see Walt Johnson, former Men’s Athletic Director and Renegade baseball and football coach. Johnson was part of the legendary “Fab Five” quintet — Duane Damron, Harvell Pollard, Carl Bowser, and Gerry Collis — who made the Renegades a national force in athletics.

A big part of Mary’s giving to Bakersfield College positively impacts the Athletic Department, and fellow athletics benefactors were on hand to honor Mary. That included longtime football supporter Wes Bradford, President and Owner of Clifford-Bradford Insurance Agency.

Ed Davis, President of the Renegade Helmet Club, shared a table with Coach Chudy. Recently, Davis donated materials and labor for a more efficient irrigation system for the practice field and playing surface in Memorial Stadium.

Julie Bowser-Sanders, daughter of Coach Bowser and employee of Clifford-Bradford Insurance, was on hand as well.

“My father won two National Championships in his time with the Renegades, and I can say this with certainty: it wouldn’t have happened without community support from folks like Mary Trichell, her husband Ray Trichell, or Wes Bradford, or generous companies like Chevron,” she said.

PrezVinceFong March 31 2016

Sonya and Vince Fong

It was wonderful to have representation from our political leaders as well. Vince Fong, District Director for House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy came out to show his support.

McCarthy is an alum of Bakersfield College, another great example of the important relationship between Bakersfield College and the community. He has returned to his alma mater to show his support on many occasions, including when he served as honorary Chair and keynote speaker for the Kern Ag Summit hosted on the BC campus in fall 2014 – check out my blog post about that great event. And during our Centennial Celebration, Bakersfield College honored Congressman McCarthy for his service to the community with a 100 Stars award.

Michael Bowers Sonya Christian March 31 2016

Michael Bowers, Sonya Christian

We were also so happy to have the support of Michael Bowers, a senior field representative for State Senator Andy Vidak.  The two of them are such great supporters of education in general and of BC in particular.

 

Thank you also to our KCCD Board Members in attendance, Romeo Agbalog and Kyle Carter.  We so enjoy seeing our Board members at college events.

 

Kyle Carter Kim Mcabee March 31 2016.jpg

Kyle Carter, Kim Mcabee

The Californian did a wonderful piece on the Bakersfield Hall of Fame, the “brain child” of Carter and Mcabee.  Check it out http://tinyurl.com/hq6ndw8.

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Romeo Agbalog, Lily Perez

Trustee Romeo Agbalog is a fierce advocate for education in Delano and rural Kern, for improving the lives of those living in rural communities, and for the less fortunate economically. He is tireless and selfless in his work for those he serves, and he and his wife Lily are regular supporters at college events.

It was a treat seeing Randy Beeman at the event.  Randy and I were faculty together at BC before I went off to Oregon — Randy in History and me in Math.  Randy and his wife came with their friends Martin and Lori Caratan of Columbine Vineyards.

Randy Beeman Sonya Christian Martin Caratan March 31 2016.jpg

Randy and Martin kept bragging about each other and it was clear that they had a deep longstanding friendship that is tried and true.  Check out Caratan’s website at http://www.columbinevineyards.com/.  Here is a neat excerpt, from the website, about generational farming in this valley

The Caratan heritage continues to thrive as the next generation provides leadership to Columbine Vineyards. Martin Caratan maintains his grandfather’s vision, Luis and Milan’s momentum and their own dedication to the propagation of new varietals, consistent quality and the superior products and customer service the industry has come to know and expect from Columbine Vineyards.

Lakes

Ingrid and JP Lake

I shared a table that evening with a fun group of people:  Mike and Nancy Turnipseed, JP and Ingrid Lake, Romeo Agbalog and Lily Perez, and Karen Goh.  The conversations that I was able to join in on ranged from how Rain for Rent could help us secure the waters from the Willamette to address the drought in the central valley in California, to the necessity of having coffee with desert, which had a nice splash of sea salt with caramel!

 

Karen Goh has been a consistent and longstanding friend of Bakersfield.  She has always taken the time to help out whenever help was needed.  Thank you Karen!  Here she is with Mary Trichell and Billie Jo Medders.  I have never met Billie Jo Medders but she helped me out about 2 decades ago when I was a faculty at BC and she was working in Congressman Bill Thomas’ Office.  Congressman Thomas, you have single-handedly done so much for our community.

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Mary Trichell, Karen Goh, Billie Jo Medders

Mike and Nancy Turnipseed March 31 2016.jpg

Mike and Nancy Turnipseed

Mike Turnipseed is a great community leader who recognizes the importance of the relationship between the Bakersfield community and Bakersfield College.  “It’s wonderful to see the exceptional community support that Bakersfield College has, and how much the community supports and appreciates that value BC adds to the community,” said Mike Turnipseed, executive director of the Kern County Taxpayers Association.

Check out my August 4, 2015 blog post on the collaborative work that BC did with Turnipseed and others in the community. http://tinyurl.com/hkm2p6y.

As you can see, the relationship between Bakersfield College and Bakersfield runs deep – Bakersfield College truly is a community college!

The Force is with….BC!  We are….BC!

Thank you Marlene Heise, Tom Gelder, and Mary Jo Pasek for this great event.

 

Mary Jo and Tom Pasek March 31 2016

Mary Jo Pasek, Tom Pasek

 

 

 

Heise Gelder Christian March 31 2016

Marlene Heise, Tom Gelder, Sonya Christian

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Shannon Musser, Francis Mayer, Sonya Christian, Kristin Rabe

 

Life at BC is all about living life fully

Good morning Bakersfield.  It is Saturday, April 2, 2016.  Just a wonderful day to be a Renegade!

I have been awake the last two hours just reading and thinking about the week, and as I started working on this blog I realized that maybe I needed to break it into two posts.  Certainly a good problem to have….

Let me start with a memorial service I attended during the week where the remarks of several speakers have stayed with me, and I suspect will continue to stay with me for a long time.  The service was held in a beautiful hilly area and there was a strong breeze that rustled thought the tent-like pavilion as the story was told of the one who had passed.  A story of courage, love, beauty, resilience, commitment and action. Not one of indifference. During the service,  one of the speakers introduced the Old Testament story of Ester, considering the question of who is the real villain of the story.  The speaker explained that the traditional response to this question is Haman, guilty of genocide. However, one could argue that the “indifferent” Ahasuerus was probably more of a villain than Haman. The collective damage of indifference is greater.( This reminded me of Martin Luther King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” where he says of racism that “Lukewarm acceptance is more bewildering than outright rejection” of racism.) The speaker concluded that the person who passed was the antithesis of Ahasuerus, for she had lived her life fully in action, overcoming her difficulties to fight for the right thing.

I experienced that one hour as if I were cocooned in another world, and the story of her life has inspired me to shift and live life just a little bit more.  Here is a poem that I received from a friend on Monday, 3/28, that epitomizes her life.

Life is an opportunity, benefit from it.

Life is beauty, admire it.

Life is a dream, realize it.

Life is a challenge, meet it.

Life is a duty, complete it.

Life is a game, play it.

Life is a promise, fulfill it.

Life is sorrow, overcome it.

Life is a song, sing it.

Life is a struggle, accept it.

Life is a tragedy, confront it.

Life is an adventure, dare it.

Life is luck, make it.

Life is too precious, do not destroy it.

Life is life, fight for it.

Speaking of living life fully, BC has a magnificent choir and choir director, Jen Garrett.

Jen Garrett April 1 2016.JPG

Friday night I attended the our choir’s spring concert A Celebration of Folk Songs.  The evening was magnificent. The concert was sold out and ended with a standing ovation from the audience.  Jen had included guest performers, the West High School Chamber Singers and the group Wrenwood Sessions.  Now Wrenwood Sessions has been a great partner and has performed with the BC choir on more than one occasion.  Thank you Wrenwood Sessions.  Check them out at http://www.wrenwoodsessions.com/.  Here is a blurb from their website:

Wrenwood Sessions was formed in 2010 when five musicians playing in church discovered their mutual love for Irish and Scottish folk music – the traditional “Celtic” music of the Isles. Today, the group consists of six members: David Barringer (keys, accordion, vocals), Jeff Cram (whistles, bodhran), Anne Grogan (vocals, fiddle), Valerie Lewis (harp), Steve Lewis (guitars, octave mandolin), and Jeremy Swanson (fiddle, mandola). Based in Bakersfield, California, the ensemble performs at festivals, gatherings, private functions, weddings, churches, and restaurants.

Jen Garret and choir April 1 2016.JPG

The concert featured folk songs from around the world and each piece was introduced with a little bit of history and culture.  I loved all the pieces and here is one:

Tshotsholoza a traditional South African song that featured soloists Christian Caraveo, Mason Edwards, George Gutierres; and percussionists Maria Albares, Michael Juarez, and Ron Kean.  Sample the song from this video excerpt from my iphone.

And this morning I read a Facebook post from Jen Garret.

I am constantly amazed by the power of prayer and priesthood blessings. Yesterday I had a terrible flare up and by last night I was a mess. It was the worst flare I’ve had in over a year. I came home and got a blessing from Matt and my Dad asked Chamber Singers to pray and/or send happy thoughts. I do not ever bounce back this fast so I know it was a miracle. I am so grateful to everyone that was so supportive. What a concert!

Miracles happen every day!  Jen, BC is fortunate to have you.

Two events bookended March 31st — breakfast with pastors from our community, and the Sterling Silver appreciation dinner.

Pastors Breakfast March 31 2016

Hayward Cox, Oscar Anthony, David McGee, Marisa Banks, Martha Johnson, Steve Watkin, Sonya Christian, June Charles, Toure Tyler, Anthony Culpepper, Zav Dadabhoy

We had a great breakfast discussion with the pastors on how BC could partner with them and their churches to promote the value of higher education to our community.  The ideas circled around, starting early with getting students to think about college, creating a path for students that has guides along the way to make sure that they are moving along and not getting stuck or dropping off, and reaching out to families to include them in this network of support.  Pastor Hayward Cox, Pastor Oscar Anthony, Pastor David McGee, Pastor Toure Tyler, Pastor Martha Johnson, and Marisa Banks, thank you for taking the time to connect with us at BC.

Here is a sneak peak at BC’s eight annual Sterling Silver.  I am waiting to get the photos and will publish a dedicated Sterling Silver blog in the next few days.  So stay tuned.  Two posts in one week!

MaryPrezMrsMusser March 31 2016

Mary Trichell, Sonya Christian, Carla Musser

Some additional highlights from the week.

This week Nicky Damania was awarded the  Outstanding Professional Award from ACPA.  Way to go Nicky!  I am so glad you are at BC.  Working hard and doing wonderful things for our students, our campus, our community.

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BC’s Drumline Shines:

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Bakersfield College Drumline at WGI

Our Drumline students took First Place this past Sunday, March 27th, at the WGI competition. The Western Guard International (WGI) Sport of the Arts is the world’s premier organization producing indoor color guard, percussion, and wind ensemble competitions. It is called the Sport of the Arts because it brings music to life through performance in a competitive format. Last year, there were more than 36,000 participants at the regional level, and more than 12,000 participants at the Sport of the Arts World Championships.  The numbers for this year are not yet posted on the website.

BC took 1st place in prelims, advancing us to finals on Sunday where we were again awarded 1st place by an entirely new (double) panel of judges with a score of 88.425. Winning this show is a milestone for our program, and with nearly a 10-point jump from last year.

https://www.wgi.org/events/static_scores/2016/scores_Western_Perc_Finals.php

First-Look-Tim-Heasley-and-Francis-Mayer

Tim Heasley and Francis Mayer with Scott Cox

The weekend overall was a success, from our outreach performance and clinic with students from the California City HS band followed by a productive rehearsal, to our prelims and finals performances at CSU San Bernardino. But it’s icing on the cake that we can also say that we’re the number one open class drumline in the western states!

 

Informally ranked number one overall in our division right now, the focus is on WGI World Championships coming up this April 14-16. Time Heasley and the coaching staff are maximizing the show and their remaining practice time, as well as  working on the logistics of getting the drumline and the equipment to Dayton, OH and back.   The entire group is working hard both on and off the court to prepare for this huge opportunity.

https://goo.gl/photos/1g5CeTPn4jxQVaMK7

 

Thank you Tim Heasley for setting the bar high for our students and for dedicating countless hours to BC’s drumline students.

BC’s Prelaw Program

Commissioner Cynthia Loo

BC’s Pre-Law students with Commissioner Cynthia Loo

Lisa Green, District Attorney

BC Pre-LAw students with Lisa Green, District Attorney

The Multi-Cultural Bar Alliance of Kern County invited our Pre-Law students to their Women’s History Month event on March 21st. Four students attended the event; Princess Herrera, ShaQuia Jones, Brian Prieto, and Amritpal Kaur. The students were  treated as special guests of Cynthia Loo, Commissioner for the Superior Court of California County of Kern.  They had the opportunity to meet and network with local attorneys, judges and other individuals in the legal system. They were all inspired by the panelist and their stories.

Thank you Manny Mourtzanos for leading this program pathway and Pearl Urena our Pre-Law Educational Advisor.  BC is celebrating a milestone this year…our first graduates from the BC Pre-Law pathway! We are hosting our first annual reception in honor of our students’ accomplishments on April 25th at 5:30 p.m.

Life at BC is living life fully.  It is a good time to be at BC!