Tag Archives: Cindy Collier

Sprinting to the finish line –Commencement 2019

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, August 10, 2019… A great day to be a Renegade.

I wake up every morning to NPR’s Morning Edition….for many years now. A change is coming — after 40 years, the tune BJ Leiderman composed in 1979 is being replaced by a new jingle on Monday, May 6, 2019. Click on the youtube link below and cherish the soon-to-be-replaced 60-second theme song for NPR’s morning edition. It’s been with us for so long; this is all I knew since I started listening to morning edition in 1988 as a foreign student at USC.

Last day for this version of the morning edition theme song. Cinco de Mayo 2019

It is good to be back home after two weeks of travel which started with the Non-Credit Conference in San Diego. We had a BC team present and engaged by doing our planning to create more opportunities for adults with low academic skills to onboard and complete a certificate which will give them the necessary skills for an entry-level job.

I had a lot of fun keynoting at the CACCRAO conference in San Diego. This is the statewide organization for Admissions and Records professionals, and our Director, Michelle Pena is the current Vice President. She is super smart and has a keen mind for system fixes. Michelle was there with Jackie Lau and Erineo Garcia.

2019 ACCJC Partners in Excellence Conference: What the Future Holds

ACCJC’s bi-annual conference was held in San Francisco this year. I was there primarily in my role as a commissioner and the current Vice Chair of the commission. However, we had a large team from BC doing two presentations at this conference and it gives me great joy and pride when I watch “my peeps” presenting.

Kim Nickell, Kristin Rabe, Jessica Wojtysiak, Janet Fulks, Sonya Christian, Lesley Bonds, Amber Hrioch, Steve Waller

At the opening session of the ACCJC conference, I had the pleasure of introducing the former Under Secretary of Education, Dr. Martha Kanter. Dr. Kanter now leads the College Promise Campaign nationally which focuses on higher education affordability and accessibility.

Dr. Kanter speaking at the ACJCC Conference

Dr. Kanter has made many contributions to higher education, most notably her work on equity, innovation, and accountability. Her work is grounded in the conviction that education is not only an economic imperative but more fundamentally a civic imperative; and that education is necessary to individual freedom and essential to a healthy society and a vibrant democracy.

Kristin Rabe, Kim Nickell, Amber Hroch, and Steve Waller presented on how BC is engaged with Program Review and Program Planning that drives institutional resource allocation. A data informed process, the Program Review process has not only brought transparency to our work, but has helped us determine priorities more effectively.

Amber Hroch, Kim Nickell
Kristin Rabe, Steve Waller

Jessica Wojtysiak and Lesley Bonds presented on BC’s work on Guided Pathways with a focus on “It takes Leadership” from all constituent groups to make this happen.

Here are some other pictures that I snapped. Enjoy!

Jessica Wojtysiak, Amber Hroch, Sonya Christian, Kristin Rabe, Kim Nickell
Sonya Christian, Daisy Gonzales, Sabrina Sencil, Terrence Willett

BC partners with CSUB

On Tuesday, April 30, 2019, over 40 administrators, faculty, and staff from both CSUB and Bakersfield College met to discuss and plan for programmatic collaborations at the new BCSW Center co-located on the CSUB campus. The synergistic teamwork evident at this meeting is indicative of this exciting partnership between BC and CSUB, and of our shared commitment to our students and community. It’s a great time to be in Bakersfield!

BC represented at African-American Town Hall with State Chancellor Oakley

Last week BC’s Steve Watkin, Outreach Director; Dr. Paula Parks, Umoja faculty lead; Jonathan Ward, Umoja Counselor; and Daron Mackey, AAI Ed Advisor attended the Fresno Town Hall & College Fair.  There, state Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley urged community members to support Central Valley leaders who are advocating for changes that result in higher success rates for African-American students. “We need you to push,” Oakley said “because what we’ve been doing hasn’t been working.”

Fresno Town Hall & College Fair Agenda

“Friction has to happen around college completion,”Oakley advocated, adding that “we have to get to the point where we put the needs of the students above the needs of employees and staff.”

Chancellor Oakley
Tweet from California Community Colleges on the Fresno Town Hall

He cited the passage of AB 705 as a positive step in increasing equity for students of color. The law, which goes into effect this fall, will allow most community college students to start at college-level English and math.

Steve Watkin, Dr. Paula Parks, Chancellor Oakley, Jonathan Ward, & Daron Mackey

The Fresno event was sponsored by the California Community College Black and African-American Advisory Panel and featured information on financial aid (Icanaffordcollege.com), attending a Central Valley community college, and transferring to a CSU or Historically Black College or University (adegreewithaguarantee.com).  The Advisory Panel was created in 2017 to increase the graduation and transfer rates of African-American students in support of Oakley’s Vision for Success. They are planning other events around the state to share information and gather feedback. Oakley joked at the end that the Community Colleges will not have an admissions scandal because “we take the top 100% of all applicants.”

Daron Mackey, Jonathan Ward, Dr. Paula Parks, & Steve Watkin
Steve Watkin

Celebrating Judge Tafoya at Kern Literacy

Judge Robert S. Tafoya was honored as a Read for Life Award Recipient at the 2019 Kern Literacy Council Celebration. Former KCCD Chancellor Sandra Serrano, Judge Tafoya’s spouse, was in attendance to celebrate her husband’s passion for reading and his service as a Kern Literacy Council tutor for the past four years. In addition, a group from Bakersfield College joined the festivities. Pictured in the photo below are Traco Mathews and Krista Herrera (KCSOS), Abel Guzman and Pearl Urena (BC), Sheri Horn-Bunk (Taft), Elaine McNearney (Dress for Success), Romeo Agbalog (KCCD Trustee) and Liz Rozell (BC). Liz Rozell was also able to connect with longtime friends, Fred and Cynthia Brakeman (KHSD Trustee).

BC and Community Leaders at Kern Literacy Event

Presidential Investiture at CSUB

CSUB President Lynnette Zelezny

A festive CSUB Presidential Investiture took place Friday morning, May 3rd, in recognition of Dr. Lynnette Zelezny, fifth President of California State University, Bakersfield and the first female president. She was recognized and honored by many, including Mayor Karen Goh, Congressman Kevin McCarthy, and CSU Chancellor Timothy White. The processional included student leadership, delegates from educational partners, and CSUB faculty and staff.

Mary Barlow (Kern County Superintendent of Schools), Doc Ervin (Superintendent of Bakersfield City School District), Kevin Silberberg (Superintendent of Panama-Buena Vista Union School District), Liz Rozell (VP of Instruction, BC), and John Means (Vice Chancellor, Educational Services, KCCD)
Mariachi band from the BCSD Migrant Program

63rd Annual Honors Celebration Rocks this Year’s Scholars!

On April 26th, the Outdoor Theater pulsed with the energetic beats of our BC Drumline as they drummed for our 2019 class of scholarship and award recipients at the 63rd Annual Honors Celebration.

BC Drumline performing

This year, nearly 400 outstanding Renegades were named for over $494,000 in scholarships and awards, capping off a demanding academic year with some exciting financial awards.

Attendees at the Honors Celebration

Tom Gelder, the Executive Director of the BC Foundation and SGA President Ashley Harp, welcomed students and their guests to the festivities, expressing his gratitude for the many donors, faculty, and staff that made the evening possible.

Prior to the reading of names, BC Alumna and Foundation Board Member, Connie Perez-Andresen inspired students with an emotional keynote that demonstrated the power of self-belief and finding a career path that speaks to your heart.

The BC Foundation team

The memorable evening ended with a sweet goodbye as hundreds of freshly baked cookies arrived, provided by our very own BC Food Services.  Be sure to check out all of the photos of the event!

All current and future Bakersfield College students are encouraged to apply for scholarships again, later this year, on October 1st, coinciding with the opening of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Visit the website for details.

2019 Student Employees of the Year

On Thursday, April 25th, the Office of Student Life held its annual Student Leadership and Involvement Awards Ceremony.  The awards included “Student Employee of the Year” that recognizes exceptional contributions to their office or department during the academic year. The award was jointly given to Jasmen Taylor and Rico Carrillo from the BC Tutoring Center.  Congrats to Jasmen and Rico!

Jasmen with the medallion to be worn at commencement in 2020!  

Thank you to Student Life for recognizing the importance and dedication of our student employees!  Additionally, thank you Student Employment for facilitating the hiring of student employees!

McFarland Early College 8th Grade Application Workshop

This past week, our Early College team went out to McFarland Junior High School to prepare students for the Early College journey that they will embark on at McFarland high School next Fall. All 8th graders completed a BC application and now have their BC ID numbers, which will streamline the process for getting them enrolled in their first dual enrollment course STDV B3 Career and Life Planning. It’s official, we have 280 new Cougar-Renegades!

Students at the Early College workshop
Students at the Early College workshop

To learn more about the Early College program at McFarland High School, please visit The Early College website.  

Students at the Early College workshop
Students at the Early College workshop
Students at the Early College workshop

BC Jazz Spring Concert

The BC jazz program held its spring concert in the Indoor Theater on Monday, focusing on standards from the 1930s while giving the audience a masterful performance of more modern music.

Students performing at the Jazz Spring concert

Jazz professor Kris Tiner said that this year’s program was the culmination of extensive study on the history of jazz. The Jazz Studies program is growing fast since its expansion in 2016, and the amazing performances made for an exciting night.

I’d like to thank Professor Tiner and the Jazz Studies program for putting together a beautiful evening of music.

Students performing at the Jazz Spring concert

2019 Kern High School District Physics Olympics at Bakersfield College Campus

The annual Kern High School District Physics Olympics was held last Friday at BC main campus. Sponsored by the Kern High School District and hosted by Bakersfield College the competition features the work of student teams from over a dozen high schools in Kern County in activities requiring skills and knowledge in theoretical and experimental physics and engineering. Eighteen different activities were held from 9:00 am to 2:30 pm at various venues around the Bakersfield College campus, with over 1,000 high school students participating!

The efficiency bridge, where students design carts to successfully carry heavy loads across a bridge.
The magnetic field competition, where students make measurements and do calculations to determine the earth’s magnetic field at their location.
The spring constant competition, where students use measurements of the elongation of springs due to suspended masses to determine the spring stiffness coefficients.

Dual Enrollment Symposium Connects High School Partners and Bakersfield College

On Friday, April 26, the Dual Enrollment team hosted a symposium for over 85 local high school teachers, counselors and administrators.  The half-day event focused on helping high school partners understand responsibilities within a dual enrollment program, learn about resources available to support students, as well as opportunities to develop college and career pathways.

Breakout session participants

The Dual Enrollment Symposium opened with a welcome from Steve Watkin, Abel Guzman and Liz Rozell who emphasized the importance of partnerships in offering a successful dual enrollment program.  Breakout sessions provided for discussions, including one for STDV B3 Instructors and Counselors provided by Mark Osea, Victor Diaz, Hilda Rodriguez and Alma Feathers, that addressed the unique opportunity this course affords students to clarify their path.  High school administrators asked questions about infrastructure during a session hosted by Steve Watkin. Dr. Anna Laven, Raquel Lopez, Savannah Andrews and Kylie Swanson led subject-area instructor sessions with discussions facilitated by Chris McCraw, David Neville, Jennifer Johnson, Kris Stallworth, Jennifer Jett, Stephen Waller, Christian Zoller, Darren Willis, Robert Stewart, Creighton Magers, Michael Ivey, Jason Dixon, Jeremy Staat and Jason Stratton.  

Steve Watkin and Dr. Anna Laven present during a breakout session for Administrators

After working in small groups, attendees came together for presentations about student resources, academic resources, guided pathways, and a dual enrollment overview. Many thanks to Terri Goldstein, Bill Moseley, Kirk Russell, Lesley Bonds, Yvonne Armendariz, and Anna Laven for providing helpful information and resources.  Attendees were impressed to learn that they are part of the largest dual enrollment program in the state! Following lunch, Kylie Swanson provided student highlights and several teachers shared stories about their hardworking students.

Dr. Terri Goldstein and Dr. Anna Laven present on resources for Students with Disabilities
Dr. Anna Laven

Attendees from across the Bakersfield College service area indicated they found the symposium to be helpful and beneficial.  They came away with a better understanding of the value of dual enrollment and were excited to be a part of the program.

Kirk Russell
Kylie Swanson
Lesley Bonds
Vice President Liz Rozell
Steve Watkin
Yvonne Armendariz

Food Historian Ken Albala Visits BC

Food historian Ken Albala visited BC on Monday to provide context to the rising popularity of the artisanal food movement over the last few years. Albala is a professor of history at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, and he’s authored 25 books about the culinary arts, including “Cooking in Europe: 1250-1650”, “Food and Faith”, and “Three World Cuisines”, winner of a 2012 Gourmand World Cookbook Award.

Food historian Ken Albala

BC English professor Neal Stanifer first learned about Albala from “Food: A Cultural Culinary History Podcast,” which is a 36-episode series examining how food evolved throughout human history, from the Stone Age to the Digital Age. Stanifer listened to the whole series over the course of a weekend and was inspired to work with Levan Center Director Reggie Williams to bring Albala to campus. Several students from BC’s culinary arts and nutritional science programs showed up to hear Albala speak.

Food historian Ken Albala speaking

Albala opened his talk by asking the audience what they imagine what they see when they think of “bad” pizza, then to imagine what they see when they think of “artisanal” pizza. He then gave a history of the terms “artisanal” and “craft”, which used to mean different things but are now utilized the same way in contemporary marketing jargon – to convey food or beverages that are prepared by hand with fresh ingredients and a bare minimum of industrial processing.

Food historian Ken Albala speaking

After the Great Depression and World War II, the rise of canned goods, processed food and fast food was perceived positively as making life easier and preserving meat and produce longer. Increasingly, Americans have felt disconnected with their relationship to food, contributing to the increased popularity of farmers’ markets, organic produce, farm-to-table restaurants and independent breweries in the 21st Century. Major corporations have begun catching on to this trend, leading to the rise of “fast casual” restaurants such as Chipotle and Blaze Pizza which purport to be fresh or “artisanal” while maintaining the large-scale, industrialized philosophy of fast food. Beer companies such as Coors and Anheuser-Busch have also started buying out small breweries to distribute their products nationwide while marketing mass-produced brands such as Blue Moon and Shock Top as “craft” beer.

Audience members at the presentation

I’d like to thank Neal Stanifer and the Levan Center for organizing this informative event examining the culinary arts through the lens of the humanities. I’d also like to thank Ken Albala for driving down from Stockton to speak on our campus.

Food historian Ken Albala speaking

Transfer Celebration

On Thursday, BC celebrated students that continue to pursue further education and transfer to a four-year university during the Transfer Celebration in the courtyard between Financial Aid and the Indoor Theater.

CSUB staff member speaking to a student about transfer.

CSUB staff were also on hand to assist students transferring to CSUB, and BC Food Services provided catering and light refreshments for all who attended.

Food for attendees at the Transfer Celebration

BC offers a great program to help student receive two degrees in four years called Finish In 4, which encourages completion of both an Associate’s and Bachelor’s Degree. Students in this program are guaranteed admission to CSUB after they finish 2 years at BC. Representatives from Finish In 4 were on hand to interact with students and provide more information about the program.

I would like to thank everyone who helped put on this event and congratulate all of the students who are continuing their academic career.

The Office of Student Life assisting at the celebration.

ENGL B24 Field Trip

This year’s ENGL B24 class had the opportunity to speak with Carol Jacques, a commissioner for the City of Los Angeles. She shared her story as a child of one of the many families displaced from her neighborhood by the city of LA for the construction of Dodger’s Stadium and her subsequent activism and organizing pre- and post-Civil Rights.

The ENGL B25 field trip attendees

The field trip was supported by funding from a Campus Collaborative Action Grant which allowed students to visit the El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument in the Olvera Street district of L.A., a point of cultural and historical significance in the development of Latino literary identity. That same day they went to the Ramona Pageant, California’s oldest running outdoor play, in Hemet, CA. Staging every spring since 1923, the play is based on the novel Ramona by Helen Hunt Jackson and offers a theatrical interpretation of the novel’s literary glimpse into the Spanish days of California, its changing demography amidst westward expansion, and the mixing of indigenous and old-world cultures.

Emails Worth Sharing

Earlier this week Abel Guzman received an email from a student sharing her experience with one of Delano’s tutors in the reading and writing skills lab tutor Kim Collins.

When I began college it was suggested I attend school in Delano because I did not know how to write paragraphs and follow grammatical rules. I was at a 4th grade level.

However, I went on to become a journalist for our college newspaper. I also would become an editor for the paper. I would end up completing my AA in journalism last semester. This semester I completed my AA in communication. I was also awarded the Sigma Chi Eta distinction for being a honor roll student in communication.

The reason I shared this is to simply say how [Kim’s] faith in me when I was a returning student made a huge difference, along with a few other people who believed in me.

My tutor had said during a tutoring session that my desire to write a New York Best Seller was a ‘lofty goal.’  Well, my book is halfway finished. Although it may not reach that status, I won’t stop climbing. It’s desire, dreams and good tutors/educators that sure do keep them afloat!

Sincerely,

Melissa Puryear

Kim Collins

I received an email from Manny Mourtzanos that at first had me panicking… and then laughing!

“Subject: Center for Disease Control Advisory! Measles hit Bakersfield

Good morning, Deans. Please be advised: The CDC stated that the measles outbreak in California has recently impacted Bakersfield and is so severe that it is even affecting vehicles! Just ask Liz!

Be ye all forewarned!!”

VP Rozell's truck covered in stickers

Fun Photos:

Shauna Turner graduates! Shauna is graduating with her bachelors degree this weekend. Her cap reads: Mom of 3 with a degree.

Shauna Turner in her cap and gown.

She has been diligently working on her BA since she started at BC 4 years ago. She uses her lunch breaks and late evenings after she puts her boys to bed to prepare for class, write her papers, and study for tests. Congratulations Shauna; you deserve it!!

Nestle Field Trip: Last week, students from the Delano HVAC program took a field trip to Nestle’s plant here in Bakersfield.  There the students were able to observe the operation and system components of “The Largest, Most Complex Ammonia Refrigeration System In the World”!!

BC Students at the Nestle plant
BC Students at the Nestle plant
BC Students at the Nestle plant
BC student at the Nestle plant
BC students at the Nestle plant

Chamber’s Leadership Bakersfield Program: BC’s Endee Grijalva is a member of this year’s Leadership Bakersfield class and unveiled her team project yesterday.  Her team renovated the Dream Center Bakersfield Infant and Toddler room to a safer and warmer space for these children.  Very cool!

Endee Grijalva & Tamara Baker
Endee Grijalva and teammate Sarah Hickock Levan
GBCC President Nick Ortiz introducing Team 2 and their project.
Norma Rojas-Mora, Endee Grijalva, Tamara Baker, Lupe Aguirre, Samantha Guillory, Evelyn Hernandez, and Abel Guzman at the project ribbon cutting.

CSEA Gold Tournament: Last Saturday a KCCD team supported CSEA at their annual golf tournament.  It looks like a rough day at work, but someone’s gotta do it!

Vice Chancellor Tonya Davis and her husband along with Fernando Lara and Tony Cordova

Ceramics Sale: Here are some fun photos of the amazing ceramics created by our very own BC students this year. They held a sale earlier this week where people could purchase the items created in the Spring 2019 semester.

Ceramics Sale board
Student ceramics for sale
Student ceramics for sale

It was great to see Bakersfield College featured in the Engine Professional magazine. Make sure to check out the Aera Tech Skills Conference hosted by BC on May 19th.

BC's ad in Engine Professional magazine

Memorial Stadium: I love this shot that Brandon Urry took this week of the Memorial Stadium construction!! WE ARE BC!

Memorial Stadium construction

Renegade Report

If you missed watching the Renegade Report live this last Thursday at 11:00 am, check out the segments from this week’s show from the links below. This week’s highlights include segments from BC Men’s Golf program and Athletic Trainer Mike Medeiros.

Renegades of the Week

Renegade Athletics is proud to announce this week’s (4/21-4/27) Wells Fargo Renegades of the Week:

Renegades of the Week photo

Penelope Zepeda/Morgan Townson, Beach Volleyball – The pairs team finished 4th in the WSC “Pairs” conference championships and qualified for the CCCAA SoCal Regional “Pairs” Championships this Friday May 3rd at Irvine Valley. They will be attempting to qualify for the CCCAA State “Pairs” Championships May 10th and 11th in Chula Vista at the Olympic Training Center.

Justin Frando, Men’s Track and Field – Justin ran a personal record time of 1:55.59 in the 800m at the WSC Finals at Santa Barbara City College which placed him in 2nd place and qualified him for the SoCal Finals. He currently ranks 5th in the state in the 800m.

Renegade Athletics End of the Year Awards

Each year we are very proud of how hard our Renegade student athletes work — both in the classroom and within their respective sports. At the end of each academic season, we like to award those student athletes who have been key parts to their teams and lifted those around them. Below are the winners of each category of award for the 2018-2019 season:

Athletes of the Year

Female – Gabby Lugo, Cross Country/Track & Field

Male – Carson Olivas, Football

Career Achievement

Female – Kylee Fahy, Softball

Male – Jacob Whitby, Track & Field

Newcomer of the Year

Female – Daran Towns, Swimming

Male – Justin Harrington, Football

Individual Performance

Female – Kayleen Sanchez, Women’s Tennis

Male – Zach Williams, Baseball

Grit Award

Female – Brooke McDonald, Women’s Soccer

Male – Justin Solario, Men’s Swimming

Weight Room Warrior

Female – Jessica Merante, Women’s Volleyball

Male – Zach Hartsfield, Football

Roundup of Athletics Events This Week

As always, it was a full week of athletics events for our Renegades teams. Highlights from the week include (click for the story on GoGades.com):

Stay Connected to Renegade Athletics

Be sure to stay connected with Renegade Athletics by following us on social media. On Facebook find us under ‘Bakersfield College Athletics’, on Twitter – @GoGadesGo and on Instagram – @gogadesgo.


That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

sonya-
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

BC in community, having fun, and caring for each other

Good morning Bakersfield. 
It is Saturday, November 3, 2018…..a great day to be a Renegade.

Sunrise Nov 4 2018.jpg

Gorgeous eastern sky.  Photo snapped during the early morning dog walk.

Very active week at BC…but then that’s how we roll at BC.

On Friday, College Council met at our Delano Campus.  It was a treat to be in Delano for our meeting.

College Council in Delano Nov 2 2018

Abel Guzman, Raquel Lopez and Jaime Lopez did a great presentation on the expansion of Rural Initiatives.

College Council in Delano 2

Homecoming Game

It was an exciting Saturday evening, October 27th, at Memorial Stadium with the Homecoming Game. The Renegade Football Team hosted East LA College in a wild 2018 homecoming game that ended with a big 58-17 Renegade win.

view of game from the stands

At halftime of the game the 1988 JC National Championship Renegade football team was honored on the field and presented with a special hat remembering their exceptional achievement.

Homecoming-1988-JC-National-Championship-Team2

About 40-50 players and coaches, including Murray Adams, Chris Figueroa, William Young, Bobby Blackman, and Raymond Braxton, came from all across the country to reunite and remember their perfect 11-0 season from that year.

Homecoming-1988-JC-National-Championship-Team

At the conclusion of the game all in attendance were treated to an incredible fireworks show with a finale that left multiple car alarms blaring throughout the tailgating parking lot!

 

I love when families come to Renegade athletic events. And I was happy to see retired Dean Frank Gornick out at the game – once a Renegade always a Renegade! More about Frank-Gornick, Board of Directors for Foundation for California Community Colleges

Look at who else was at the homecoming game:

 

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As always, the fireworks display was spectacular.

 

Did you see the feature on KGET highlighting the incredible work of BC’s Industrial Automation seniors? See how students Chad and Aaron prepared their robots for Renegade football on KGET.

Homecoming Week

Homecoming Week closed out with a bang last week as Student Life and BC Student Government Association (BCSGA) welcomed the community to the BC Campus for the Friday Night Halloween Bash on October 26th. Over 800 guests attended our trunk-or-treat, Student Organization led game tables, face painting, inflatables, dancing, and a viewing of Hotel Transylvania 3. It was a great night!

 

Saturday’s Homecoming Parade visited the packed Tailgating Area with the Drumline leading the way. Fans were so excited to see and take photos with the mascot, Emmanuel Limaco, who was crowned later at the halftime show as Homecoming Royalty. Thank you to Homecoming Royalty Candidates (pictured from left to right) Paul Coffman, Francis Benavente, Aliyah Khan, Andrea Lopez, and winner, Emmanuel Limaco – Congratulations, Emmanuel!

 

 

BC in the Vineyards Project — Very proud of this work by the Rural Initiatives Team

As I wrote in last week’s blog, BC was out in the vineyards of Kern County this week. In partnership with the Central Valley Farm workers Foundation, Bakersfield College Rural Initiatives team and outreach advisors visited 20 farmworker crews at local vineyards throughout North and South Kern to promote higher education. The team was able to reach over 1200 farmworkers, planting a seed of hope for higher education. Over 150 workers have requested follow-up services to begin their matriculation.

I would like to thank all those who assisted in this project and Adult Education Managers, Jaime Lopez and Endee Grijalva for coordinating the efforts to make this possible. Although, this outreach effort is the first of its kind, it will not be the last as the Rural Initiatives Team continues to change lives across Kern County!

BC team of 9 in front of the grape vines

 

Art for Planet, Art for People

Levan Center speaker Esther Iverem spoke to the Umoja Community ASTEP students before her evening presentation on Tuesday, October 30, 2018. Iverem is an independent journalist who has written on social justice, arts, and culture for the New York Times and Washington Post. She also has published books on poetry and film reviews.

Olukun of the Galaxy book cover and Esher Iverem Author-artist activist, quilts, Olokun of the Galxy, Pantsdolls, Fiber Arts, Words

Iverem, also host of the On the Ground radio show, talked to the students in Dr. Paula Parks’ Umoja English class on the importance of creating their own media and locating non-biased sources of information. Most students admitted that they get their news from social media. “Something I took away from her discussion was that everything we enjoy in the media was written by someone and that writing is a career option,” explained Michaela Edwards. Iverem, a native of Philadelphia who lives in Washington, D.C., also spoke on the importance of writing to express oneself. “She reminded me that not only do I have the ability to create as an individual, but the power as an African American to make great narratives. It was very motivating,” stated Dujour Sams.

The author smiling with a pants doll

The evening presentation consisted of Iverem reading and showing art from her latest book Olokum of the Galaxy, which is the story of Olokum, a West African spirit who lives in the oceans. From below, he witnesses the creation of the seas, bodies of slaves who jumped or were thrown off the slave ships, smoke and coal debris from the industrial revolution, today’s oil and chemical spills, and eventually the destruction of the planet due to man’s abuse.

Iverem said that “the way that we are treating the planet is an emergency. We were not great stewards before, but we seem to be going backwards.” She cited recent pipeline construction and increased offshore drilling.

Most of the audience questions centered on her art.

Umoja students and faculty with the author and 5 dolls made from repurposed clothing

The book was an offshoot of the Olokum figures that Iverem was making from reclaimed fabric and discarded buttons, chains, and belts.  She said that it takes her a few days to hand make each doll. Some also have necklaces with small photos of African Americans (such as Tamir Rice) who were gunned down by police.  Iverem’s Olokum projects have combined her passions for social justice, the environment, African-American culture, poetry, writing, and visual and textile art.

We are so fortunate to welcome journalists, artists, authors and speakers to Bakersfield College to enrich the lives of our students and community with culturally diverse experiences. We are able to educate our students and community beyond the regular classroom curriculum. See why I feel like the luckiest and happiest president? I would like to thank Dr. Paula Parks and Reggie Williams for organizing this event.

Animal Advice: Are You Listening?

Speaking of our fortune in being able to bring great scholars to enrich our lives, yesterday, Friday November 2nd, Dr. Rae Ann Kumelos, Bakersfield College English Professor, was honored as this year’s Faculty Colloquium in the Levan Center. About 50 faculty, staff, students and community members were present for her presentation “Animal Advice: Are You Listening?”

Rae Ann in front of the screen that says Dream a little dream

The colloquium examined the relationships between humans and animals through stories from myth, fairy tale, literature, science, pop culture and life. She pointed out that animals are often depicted as a wise helper in fairy tales, shamans use them as totems and spirit guides. We see them in our dreams and the etymology of the word “animal” can mean soul, breath, life and impulse.

 

In the physical world, animals are a major part of human life. 63% of homes have animals, while only 35% have children. 89% of pet owners call their animals their children and 94% talk to their pets like people. Presence of animals can lower blood pressure, cholesterol and anxiety and dogs are being used to assist people with medical issues like sensing epileptic seizures and low blood sugar, while others can be used for leading the blind. As our culture shifts from the rural life to a more suburban existence, we are bringing the animals into our homes and backyards and seeing their individual personalities. Yet, 50% of animals have gone extinct in the last 40 years. We recognize our individual pets as having a personality, yet hunters view wild animals as trophies. Rae Ann’s point is that animals are showing us our future and speaking to us about the state of our world and what we humans have done to it. We need to listen to the animals and pay attention to politics about our environment and treatment of animals.

Wild Wisdom book cover

Rae Ann writes academically and as a columnist for a variety of national publications about the relationships between humans and animals in myth, literature, astronomy and popular culture. She lectures at various conferences, most recently at Oxford University and has her own radio program broadcast on XM Satellite Radio called Voice of the Animal. Her book Wild Wisdom: Animal Stories of the Southwest received a national award as gift book of the year. We are lucky to have such quality faculty as Rae Ann, congratulations on your award.

 

The Faculty Colloquium is made possible by the generous donation from Dr. Norman Levan. Rae Ann was presented a plaque and a $1500 stipend which she plans to use for a safari to see the animals of Africa. Thank you to the Faculty Colloquium committee Susan Pinza, Bob Allison, Adel Shafik, Donna Starr, Nick Strobel, Erin Miller and Richard Marquez (Rae Ann outed that Richard doesn’t like cats, he says he does like dogs), Reggie Williams, Director of the Levan Center, and Alex Gomez for the fabulous food. And now, I am off to ask Neo and Bessie for some wisdom.

Oct 21 2018 Bessie and Neo at Riverwalk Park

Community Healthcare Needs Discussion

Senator Andy Vidak opening the Healthcare Initiatives Partnership Meeting

Bakersfield College, CSU Bakersfield, and Senator Andy Vidak partnered together earlier this week to create a forum of discussion between some of the top healthcare professionals in our region and higher education faculty.  Bruce Peters, President  & CEO of Mercy Hospitals, Sharlet Briggs, President & CEO of Adventist Health, and cardiology specialist Dr. Jeet Singh were just a few of the power houses in attendance.  Attendees chatted about how we can all work together to ensure that our area is being provided the programs that it and the industry needs, and to try to help prevent any shortfalls in occupation employment.  The interactions and topics were great, and exactly what we wanted to address!

BC’s Associate Dean of Instruction Carla Gard shared her insight on BC’s nursing program. KCCD Associate Vice Chancellor Cindy Collier shared her insight on assisting in the healthcare workforce development in Kern. CSUB’s Chair of the Nursing Program, Debbie Boschini shared insights on challenges and opportunities for developing and strengthening our nursing pathways.

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Top Healthcare Leaders in Kern County

 

 

 

6 people posing in front of Levan Center

 

The conversations and interaction between education and healthcare industry partners led to a commitment to continue working together to develop opportunities for allied health education in our area. THANK YOU to everyone who attended. I cannot wait to see what the future holds for this new partnership!

Dream Big Conference

Two-hundred and forty two participants attended the Dream Big Conference at the Bakersfield College main campus on Friday, October 26th.  A grand total of 18 local high schools participated in the youth conference. It was a great day of inspiration for English second language learners, migrant students, undocumented youth, and first generation high school students of Kern County. The conference’s mission was to educate, motivate, and inspire disproportionately impacted youth groups with the intention of promoting education as a viable mechanism for future prosperity and social class mobility.

Students perusing booths on campus

Participants learned about the various resources on campus, such as FAFSA/CA Dream Act, Dual/Concurrent Enrollment, Matriculation Steps, Transfer Services, EOP&S, and attended a resource fair from a variety of departments and community agencies. In addition to the wealth of knowledge students received, this extraordinary youth conference imparted resiliency, hope, sense of community, and stressed the importance of creating generational change within their immediate family by pursuing post-secondary education. Participants gained insight from a college panel which was made up of student leaders from the LUPE Student Organization. Students received BC swag, danced a little, left the campus well informed, and had a great time.

Students listening to staff in the forum

I want to thank the following departments that supported, organized, and made the conference possible: Office of Student Success & Equity, EOP&S/CARE/CalWORKs Programs, Cal-SOAP, Office of Student Life, Office of VP Student Affairs, Office of Outreach & School Relations, Office of Financial Aid, Adult Education & Rural Initiatives, Counseling & Advising Department, LUPE Student Organization, Kern High School District (KHSD), Academic Support Services, Maintenance & Operations, BC Food Services, and the many wonderful student volunteers!

Students getting excited

We are BC!  (Somos BC!)

Students and staff in front of a large butterfly poster

Fall Pathways Fest

This week we had another inspiring event for current students about the Learning & Career Pathways and support services. The sky was blue and the weather was perfect for the BC Counseling Faculty and Educational Advising team to host the inaugural Fall Pathways Fest outside on the Student Crossroads lawn. On Wednesday, October 31st, 2018, campus students were provided with full access to informational tables hosted for each Learning and Career Pathway, such as Agriculture/Nutrition/Culinary Arts, Arts/Humanities/Communication, Business, Education, Health Sciences, Industrial and Transportation Technology, Public Safety Training, Social and Behavioral Sciences, STEM, and Personal and Career Exploration.

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In addition, CSU Bakersfield, the FINISH IN 4 Program, BC Transfer Center, LET’S TEACH, Summer Bridge, and EOP&S/CARE/calWORKS hosted tables promoting various support program services critical to student success and completion.

 

At the event, students met one-on-one with their Pathways Counselors and Advisors, signed up for educational workshops, received information regarding their majors, and obtained additional services such as change of major, educational planning, and major exploration. Food was provided by the Office of Student Success and Equity.

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I would like to thank Mark Oseo and the Counseling and Advising Department for organizing and hosting this event and thank all of the departments, staff and faculty that participated. This successful event exemplifies a structured educational experience to support our students. As a partner with California Guided Pathways project, BC is changing the way education is provided to our students. We are integrating our initiatives and providing students with maps to achieving their goals. This event exemplifies our dedication to the Guided Pathways Project and our students.

Employer of the Year for Large Business

BC is honored to be recognized as Employer of the Year for Large Business at the 2018 Mayor’s Helping Incorporate Reliable Employees (HIRE) Luncheon. Manager of Operations, Ramon Puga accepted the award on October 16, 2018 during the HIRE luncheon which celebrates local employees with disabilities, employers, and National Disability Employment Awareness month. Originally founded by former Mayor Harvey Hall, current Mayor Karen Goh is continuing to champion and celebrate diversity within our workforce. The recipient of the Employer of the Year Award is a recognized employer who has shown active recruitment and hiring practices promoting the concept of employment of people with disabilities.

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(Left to Right) Carlos Medina, Denise Crawford, Jessica McGrath, (back) Rudy Gutierrez, Mayor Karen Goh, Terri Goldstein, (back) Paul Beckworth, (front) Daniel Gutierrez, and (back) Ramon Puga.

Bakersfield College is proud to offer on-campus student employment opportunities which can sometimes evolve into full time or permanent positions alongside programs like Disabled Students Programs and Services (DSPS), which ensures equal access to educational opportunities for all students with disabilities. Services are available to support students through certificate or degree completion in order to gain skillful employment within the local workforce.

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(Left to Right) Priscilla Varela, Mrs. Kern County Mayor Karen Goh, City of Bakersfield Ramon Puga, Manager of Operations, Bakersfield College

Bakersfield College staff, Daniel Gutierrez, was also nominated for Employee of the Year, while Howard Silver, long-time volunteer on the Bakersfield College Workability Advisory Board, was nominated for the Harvey L. Hall Humanitarian of the Year Award.

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Tony Cordova, Director of Career Education, Bakersfield College Sonya Christian, President, Bakersfield College Mayor Karen Goh, City of Bakersfield Denise Crawford, HIRE Committee and Program Manager, WorkAbility, Bakersfield College Liz Rozell, Vice President of Instruction, Bakersfield College

Various BC staff participate in the HIRE Committee including Rudy Gutierrez, Workability Job Development Specialist, Jessica McGrath, Career Education Job Development, Carlos Medina, Career Education Job Development Specialist and Denise Crawford, Program Manager for Workability.  I am truly the luckiest and happiest president to have such caring staff.

Kern High School Transition Fair for Students with Disabilities

Disabled Students Programs & Services at Bakersfield College was well represented at Kern High School Districts’ Annual Transition Fair for Students with Disabilities on November 1, 2018. DSPS’ Job Development Specialist Rudy Gutierrez, Alternative Media Specialist Katrina Marquez, and Director Dr. Terri Goldstein met with students and their parents as they considered options for what to do after high school.

DSPS staff pose at table with brochures

Also at the event were Janis Mendenhall and Amar Abbott from Taft College and representatives from CSU Bakersfield and Fresno State, as well as a number of state and community-based programs.

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Lucky attendees won gift baskets from various groups, including a large basket of BC items that every respectable Renegade needs. The event was so well attended, they will need to find a larger location for 2019!

parents and students getting advice from the DSPS staff

Thank you Terri, Rudy and Katrina for representing the college. It is so important that we prepare all of our students for the transition from high school and to enable them to be successful.

KCCD Leadership Academy

On Friday, November 2, Bakersfield College hosted the KCCD Leadership Academy, which works to prepare classified, faculty, and management employees for leadership roles at every level of the organization through experiential learning opportunities in day-long workshops.  This year’s Leadership Academy cohort was presented with topics that included Guided Pathways, Baccalaureate degrees, Dual Enrollment, Facilities, and Strong Workforce.

18 attendees at tables with laptop computers, note pads, pens, and name tents.

John Means, Vice Chancellor, began the day by welcoming everyone with an overview of the day’s activities.  He was followed by Cornelio Rodriguez, Dean of Instruction at BC, who talked about the BC campus, including its centers, programs, and bright future.  The audience was moved by his story of a young Latina student who, after graduating, received a bouquet of roses from her father.

Corny animated and smiling during his presentation

After the morning session, the group was treated to a cart tour of the BC campus, which highlighted Memorial Stadium, the Veterans Center, and Horticulture Lab. The day was a good opportunity for the district staff in attendance to learn about all the great things going on at BC. Everyone learned information to help enhance their leadership skills.

Thank you to all of the presenters for your time and effort, including:

  • John Means, Vice Chancellor, KCCD
  • Michele Bresso, Dean of Instruction, Bakersfield College
  • Cornelio Rodriguez, Dean of Instruction, Bakersfield College
  • Jennifer Johnson, Dept. Chair, Nursing Program, Bakersfield College
  • Grace Commiso, Dean of Counseling & Student Success
  • Michele Bresso, Dean of Instruction, Bakersfield College
  • Keith Ford, Associate Athletic Director, Bakersfield College
  • Paul Beckworth, Faculty Lead, Veterans Services, Bakersfield College
  • Nicky Damania, Director of Student Life, Bakersfield College
  • Chris McCraw, Agriculture Department Chair
  • Steve Watkin, Director of Outreach & School Relations, Bakersfield College
  • Anna Laven, Program Manager, Dual Enrollment, Bakersfield College
  • Bill Potter, Director of Maintenance & Operations, Bakersfield College
  • Tony Cordova, Program Director, CTE, Bakersfield College
  • Cindy Collier, Associate Vice Chancellor, Economic & Workforce Development, KCCD

 

Your hard work and dedication to making our district a great place to work is much appreciated!  We are BC!

Renegade Report

If you missed watching the Renegade Report live this last Thursday at 11 a.m., check out the segments from this week’s show. This week’s highlights include segments with Head Women’s Basketball Coach Paula Dahl and one of her Assistant Coaches Clarence Stephens and Women’s Basketball student athletes Victoria Trevino, Jasmyn Rodriguez, Kaylana Demmin and Aubrey Stone.

Renegades of the Week

Renegade Athletics is proud to announce this week’s (10/21-20/27) Wells Fargo Renegades of the Week!

Lanie Camarillo and Jesus Barjas Renegades of the week

Lanie Camarillo, Volleyball – Total of 26 kills, 3 errors, 43 attempts, .605 kill% and .500 hitting% in leading team to wins over Cuesta and LA Mission.

Jesus Barajas, Men’s Soccer – 1 goal and 2 assists in helping team to victories over Canyons and Victor Valley.

Congrats to Angelo Benitez and Ben Carlson

5CTCA Academic All-state Angelo Benitez and Ben Carlson #wearebc | #gogades

Renegade Athletics is proud to announce that men’s cross country student athletes Angelo Benitez and Ben Carlson have been named to the 2018 Academic All-State Cross Country team by the CCCCCTCA (California Community College Cross Country & Track Coaches Association). To make the team cross-country student athletes must complete a minimum of 24 academic units with a 3.5 GPA or higher. This is now the third time that Ben has been awarded Academic All-State. He was previously named Academic All-State in both Cross Country and Track & Field last year.

Roundup of Athletics Events this week

It was a full week of athletics events for our Renegades teams. Highlights from the week include (click for the story on GoGades.com):

Stay Connected to Renegade Athletics

Be sure to stay connected with Renegade Athletics by following us on social media. On Facebook find us under ‘Bakersfield College Athletics’, on Twitter – @GoGadesGo and on Instagram – @gogadesgo.

Halloween Spirits at BC

Wednesday was a boo-tiful day as many of our faculty and staff got into the Halloween spirit. Here are a few fun photos:

 

 

 

I heard a rumor that Matt Garrett made his costume from scratch.

Jennifer Garrett and Matt GArrett Halloween 2018

 

Steve Watkin as Grut and 8 Outreach Staff members as minions

We are BC!

Sonya Christian cropped image Oct 31 2018

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

 

We are BC!

Good morning Bakersfield.  It is Cinco de Mayo, 2018 and a great day to be a Renegade!

Loved the Women’s Empowerment Summit coordinated by Lisa Baca at BC this afternoon.  Both Liz and I were invited to speak and Carla Musser was recognized as the 2018 Distinguished Woman of the Year! Here is a panel of young women engineers who inspired the audience.

Panel at Women's Empowerment

Carla Musser and Liz Rozell May 5 2018

 

Lisa Baca and Sonya Christian Women's Empowerment May 4 2018

And loved seeing our hardworking Budget Analysts on a Saturday hard at work preparing BC’s budget that will go to the board this June.  Thank you Zach Quiroz and Somaly Boles!

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Zach Quiroz, Somaly Boles working on saturday, cinco de mayo!

Less than a week to Commencement

Less than a week to making history at the Home of the Renegades! On May 11, join us at Memorial Stadium as we celebrate the largest graduating class in BC history, the first graduating class of the Industrial Automation Baccalaureate Program, and the first graduating class of Wonderful dual enrollment students in Agriculture Business!

Wow! What a year! I hope you will join us to celebrate this momentous occasion.

BC Commencement 2016

Celebrating Nan – Artist, Teacher, Dean, Vice President, Friend, and more–

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Nan Gomez Heitzeberg

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Friends and family came together at the Indoor Theater on Friday night to honor Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, who retired earlier this semester after working for 35 years in the Kern Community College District.  Of course the evening started with Jazz and Kris Tiner.

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Past President Greg Chamberlain and his wife Kelly drove all the way from Idaho to be present for Nan’s event.

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Thank you Trustee Romeo Agbalog for attending the event.  Trustee Agbalog is in the photo with Prof. Kim Flachman from CSUB and Khushnur Dadabhoy.

 

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Nan warmly greeted everyone entering the theater from an ornate Renegade Red throne. Our Renegade drummers led us in procession to the Indoor Theater to begin the evening.

 

Ostry, Quinn Heitzeberg, Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Jim Heitzeberg

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Quinn Heitzeberg, Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Jim Heitzeberg

Current and retired faculty from throughout the decades gave tribute to Nan with video testimonials that added a fun yet bittersweet tone to the retirement celebration. She was also presented with a joint resolution of recognition from the California state legislature by Andy Vidak representative Michael Bowers, a certificate of recognition from the Kern County Board of Supervisors, and a beautiful pink hat by former BC chef Pat Coyle.

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Nan Gomez Heitzeberg with Resolution from Board of Supervisors

Nicole Villaruz and Nan Gomez-Heitzberg

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We love you Nan!!!!

I want to thank the planning committee led by David Koeth who put this evening together so meticulously.  David Koeth (chair), Lynn Hall, Corny Rodriguez, Cindy Collier, Tom Moran, Pam Boyles, Jennifer Serratt, Wendy Lawson, Chris Glaser, Manny De Los Santos, Kristin Rabe, and Monika Scott.

 

 

AB 705 Workshop

On Friday, we hosted a workshop at Bakersfield College focused on learning more about the requirements of AB 705. We heard from members of the AB 705 Implementation Committee regarding how to use data to come into compliance with AB 705.

The morning’s first speaker was Michelle Siqueiros, President of The Campaign For College Opportunity. She spoke about her own journey and how having support systems and good public policy was crucial to her success.

Michele Siqueros

Other speakers included Nicole Bryant, Nika Hogan, and Janet Fulks who titled their talk “Keeping Students at the Center” and Craig Hayward who presented on the research behind default placement rules. Summer Serpas and Myra Snell presented on “The Promise of Concurrent Support Models in English and Math” and Alice Perez spoke about “The Social Justice Fight of Our Time.”

Nicole Bryant, Nika Hogan, Janet Fulks

Nicole Bryant, Nika Hogan, Janet Fulks

 

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Janet Fulks

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Craig Hayward

Summer Serpas

Summer Serpas

Alice Perez

Alice Perez

The afternoon focused on teams, as together we worked through exercises and data that are a challenge for implementation. We wrapped up with a discussion of common concerns and shared solutions so that we left with a plan to come into AB 705 compliance.

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Michele Siqueiros and Sonya Christian

Michele Siqueiros and Sonya Christian

Sonya Christian and Nick Strobel

Sonya Christian and Nick Strobel

Special thank you to BC Food Services and Chef Eric Sabella who made everything beautiful and delicious.

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And thank you to the amazing staff who pulled all this together — Chris Glaser, Monika Scott, Manny de Los Santos, Kristin Rabe.  and thank you Tarina Perry for leading this effort.

3rd Annual BC Law Day Conference

This year’s theme is “The Separation of Powers: Framework for Freedom” and the 3rd Annual BC Law Day Conference focused on how checks and balances preserve political liberty. Students got the opportunity to learn more about the process of how laws are created and enforced at the state and federal level at Friday morning’s Law Day event in the Indoor Theater.

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left to right: Aaron Falk, representative for Congressman Kevin McCarthy; Janea Benton, representative for California Assemblyman Rudy Salas; Tanner Dyrness, representative for Assemblyman Vince Fong; Charles Kim, BC political science professor and moderator.

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Gabriela Gonzalez (left) and Pearl Urena, BC academic advisor for the Pre-Law pathway.

Pre-Law academic advisor Pearl Urena organized this year’s Law Day conference, which featured representatives from across all of Kern County’s branches of government. BC political science professor Charles Kim gave a brief lecture explaining how the US Constitution’s separation of powers divides governance between executive, legislative and judicial branches at both the federal and state levels, with a system of check and balances to ensure that one branch isn’t more powerful than the other. He also gave an explanation about presidential executive orders and the ways that the federal court system is able to judge the constitutionality of a specific executive order.

After the lecture, Kim moderated a panel on the functions of the legislative branch featuring representatives from the offices of California Senator Andy Vidak, Congressman Kevin McCarthy, and California Assemblymen Rudy Salas and Vince Fong. The panelists shared their experience working as staff members for Kern County’s elected officials and how they fight for the needs of their constituents by supporting legislation that addresses their concerns. There was also a second panel about the judicial branch featuring court officials from the Kern County legal system. See all the photos at BC’s Smugmug.

Dual Enrollment Celebration

On the morning of Tuesday, May 1, BC hosted the first Dual Enrollment Celebration event in the Fireside room. Approximately 60 attendees from Kern County high schools, school districts, and Bakersfield College came to celebrate the successful growth and achievements of the dual enrollment program. Serving 29 sites spread across five school districts, the admissions, enrollment, scheduling and instruction for dual enrollment would not be possible without the tireless effort of high school site staff, instructors, administrators and support services.

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Cornelio Rodriguez

The program began with an overview of dual enrollment provided by Dean of Instruction Cornelio Rodriguez. Dean Rodriguez noted that although we have visited other colleges to explore best practice, the Bakersfield College dual enrollment program already far exceeds most other programs in breadth of offerings, number of students served, and number of partnerships achieved. Dr. Anna Laven, Dual Enrollment Program Manager, later revealed that the census enrollment for Summer 2017 through Spring 2018 has reached 7,100.

Seeing dual enrollment as an opportunity for students to improve their educational attainment and connect to a career pathway, many attendees noted the significant impact of dual enrollment in reducing the barriers of educational access. One attendee explained, “I support dual enrollment because my students don’t always believe that college credit is within reach, they attend a school where the perception is that everyone has money and support, but that simply isn’t true. Dual Enrollment allows them to take the first step and build confidence.”

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Group Photo of School District Representatives– from left – Ben Sherley, KHSD; Robert Cobb and Kevin Tallon, WUHSD (Wasco); Paul Chavez, DJUHSD (Delano); Abel Guzman, BC; Maria Herrera, MUSD (McFarland); Anna Laven, BC; Angelica Rios, WCPA (Wonderful College Prep Academy); Raquel Lopez, BC

Dual Enrollment is part of the Bakersfield College effort to support access for all students. Another attendee shared that dual enrollment helps “students understand they can break the poverty cycle and know that anyone can go to college.” Abel Guzman, Interim Director of the Delano Campus, explained that two-thirds of dual enrollment courses are offered in rural communities whose access to college is often limited. A true success story, Raquel Lopez presented that the Wonderful Prep Academy, also a rural site, will celebrate the graduation of their first 30 students with an AST in Business Ag at next week’s commencement exercises.

Offering a good reminder that the hard work of supporting dual enrollment is worth the effort, an instructor from Delano sent Dr. Laven this note, “Just wanted to say great job today at the dual enrollment celebration. You presented quality info and I am glad that we are pioneers as a program in this area. Keep up the good work!”

The Celebration event could not have taken place without the help of the campus, including food service, CTE staff, Delano campus, Outreach, Event Services and Media Services. More photos available on BC’s Smugmug.

 

Rural Archives Show Case “Digital Delano: Preserving an International Community’s History.”

delano-grant-logo-neh_logo_horizontal_rgbOn Tuesday, May 1 the Bakersfield College Delano Campus hosted a rural archives showcase event.  Sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities Common Heritage initiative, the “Digital Delano: Preserving an International Community’s History” project has spent the 2017-2018 academic year hosting a variety public outreach events throughout the greater Delano area to preserve family and local histories through digital preservation and oral history.  Project Directors Elisabeth Sundby (Delano Campus Librarian) and Dr. Oliver Rosales (Professor of History & Faculty Coordinator, Social Justice Institute) organized the showcase event on May 1 to highlight the work being done within the archival project, as well as featuring a public panel with three archival donors and a keynote speaker.

DD Showcase presenters

Allison Burch – Delano Campus Adjunct Librarian,  Monte Marshall – Community Archive contributor, Elisabeth Sundby – Delano Campus Adjunct Librarian, Kimberly Arbolante – Contributor and Writing Center Lead, Christine CruzBoone – Bakersfield College Professor of Communication, Anhelica Perez – Graduating BC student, Oliver Rosales – Bakersfield College Professor of History, Dawn Mabalon, Keynote speaker and Professor of History, San Francisco State University

Over one hundred students and community members attended the event, which included a wonderful lunch provided by Bakersfield College food services.  High school students from the Delano Joint Union High School’s migrant program and RFK high school attended the event and were able to pick up information about attending Bakersfield College and becoming future renegades, in addition to learning more about the importance of family history.

DD Showcase SGA bags

The archive donor panel consisted of Monte Marshall, a native of Delano with deep family ties dating back to the founding of the city; Kim Arbolante, Bakersfield College Writing Center Coordinator who spoke of her grandmother Luz Arbolante, a pioneering leader within Delano’s Filipino American community; and finally Anhelica Perez, a graduating student at Bakersfield College and Office of Student life employee who spoke of her grandmother Josephine Fraire, an active member in various civic organizations in the McFarland area since the 1960s.  Each donor shared with the audience the process of archival donation, highlights from their family histories, and why the project was important to them.

Keynote speaker Dawn Mabalon addresses a packed room of attentive attendeesThe keynote speaker for the event was San Francisco State University historian Dawn Mabalon.  An expert on Filipino American history, Professor Mabalon addressed the audience about the importance of preserving family history, as well as her process from moving from getting a “D” in high school history, toward completing her undergraduate degree at UCLA, PhD at Stanford, and ultimately writing her first book Little Manila Is In the Heart: The Making of the Filipina/o American community in Stockton, California (Duke University Press 2013).  Professor Mabalon stressed to the audience how important it is for young people, particularly children of color, to see themselves in the curriculum.

The project directors wish to thank Carolina Madrigal and the entire BC Delano Campus staff for helping host the event, Bakersfield College Library Chair Kirk Russell, Librarian Allison Burch, Professor Chris Cruz-Boone, the Delano Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Bakersfield College Student Government Association CCA Grant.  Special thanks as well to Arnold Bon for taking wonderful photographs of the event, as well as numerous student volunteers who helped coordinate the event.  We are BC Delano!

 

Adventures with BC Geology Club

In late April the Bakersfield College Geology Club explored the desert and plains surrounding our community.

Professor Benker led the students on a field trip east to visit the Rio Tinto Borax pit mine and Mojave National Preserve.  Students were able to visit the Borax museum and learn about the process of mining the valuable economic mineral out of the ground.  They were also able to see boulder sized chunks of the mineral Kernite named after our county.

 

At the Mojave National Preserve students explored the ring trail and observed the Swiss cheese like weathering in rhyolitic tuff making up Hole in the Wall Canyon, wondered into the depths of a lava tube in the Cima Volcanic Field where they even sent me a fun video!

 

The group trudged up the Kelso Dunes.

 

The following week Professor Pierce led students into the Carrizo Plains to view the salt flats and explore Wallace Creek to view offsets and scarps produced by San Andreas Fault movement over the last 3,800 years.  Professors Benker and Pierce tell me, friends of BC and our community is invited to become part of the Bakersfield College Geology Club. You, too, can join in on these adventures!

Black and Gold Scholarship Banquet

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Mayor Karen Goh

Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. held its 10th annual Black and Gold Scholarship Banquet to honor four high school seniors and two community members. At the festive event, the Fraternity presented scholarships to Bryce Jackson, Colby Maiden, Leslie Ceciliano, and Heavenly Ford. Ruscel Reader, a retired principal who has held many leadership positions in Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., received the Community Service Award along with Dr. Ronnie Claiborne, a physician who is active in health and education organizations.

The keynote speaker was Dee Slade, director of the African American Network of Kern County. She shared with the audience the stories of several African-American scholars and inventors and told the students that anytime anyone tells them that they can’t do something, not to believe them because African American history suggests otherwise.

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The Fraternity also honored Dr. Brad Anderson and Mr. Jamal Powell as Man of the Year. Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., established in 1906 at Cornell University, is the oldest African American Greek lettered organization. They focus on community service and involvement while promoting academic excellence, brotherhood, and leadership.

Honors Fiesta

The BC Foundation and the Financial Aid Department treated its Honors and scholarship recipients to a Fiesta celebrating their accomplishments on Wednesday.

The Foundation team transformed the courtyard of the Administration building into a plaza with festive decorations, a taco bar provided by Food Services, and a Mexican helado cart filled with La Rosa Fruit and Ice Cream Bars. There was also a photo booth area where participants could dress up and have their picture taken. Special thanks to the BC Foundation and Financial Aid for organizing this fun event honoring the contributions of our amazing students.

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BCSGA Transition Ceremony

i-fpjh3pn-x4There was plenty of laughter amongst some of the tears shed at the closing of the 93rd Session of the Bakersfield College Student Government Association. As the newly elected officers for 2018-19 were sworn in, Former BCSGA President, Dezi Von Manos, encouraged the new officers to “work together as a team” and reminded them “the position you now hold is not about you, but the students you represent.” She encouraged them not to give up when it seemed hard or stressful, but to push harder. Former BCSGA Vice-President, Lawrence Salcido, encouraged this year’s officers to not only dream big, but to execute a plan for that dream.

Newly elected BCSGA President, James Tompkins, stated that the goal for this year was “giving students a larger and louder voice,” while newly elected Vice-President, Ashley Harp, recognized the past officers and looked to the future for increasing communication and connections with the students and especially the sometimes forgotten Delano students while working together to bring a larger presence from BCSGA to the campus. A heartfelt THANK YOU goes out to all of  the BC Student Government officers who have served during 2017-18 and a warm welcome and congratulations to the new officers of 2018-19. WE ARE BC!

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Student Art on Display

The hallway in the Fine Arts Building morphed into the Renaissance this week as Professor Diego Monterrubio’s Advanced Drawing class created incredible masterpieces over the semester.

 

Renegades Voices in the Community

Kori Masilon

It was wonderful to see the piece titled “Community Voices: BC’s Industrial Automation program equips students with right tools” by Renegade, Kori Masilon published by the Californian on April 24th.

Kori shared her journey beginning in 2015, the year BC announced we were selected as one of 15 community colleges in the state of California to pilot a 4-year degree.

This year, Kori will be one of the 7 first graduates from Bakersfield College to receive a baccalaureate degree. Join me in congratulating her and her cohort and make sure to read to piece to see what she is up to and how her degree is changing her life.

Steve WatkinOutreach and School Relations Director, Steve Watkin also had his Community Voices piece published which focuses on the student success guidance and how these efforts are changing the statistics for our incoming generation of students.

In his piece, “Support efforts are crucial to student success” he mentions the incredible work of the college and the high recognition from organizations such as League for Innovation and the Kern County Black Chamber of Commerce. Thank you to these organizations and thank you Steve for highlighting them and the work that BC accomplishes.

Olivia Garcia

Olivia Garcia

Olivia Garcia authored a great article titled “Filipina American historian to visit Delano, discuss importance of preserving family histories” and highlighted the work in Delano by Dr. Oliver Rosales and Elisabeth Sundby.

She quotes Dr. Rosales in the piece:

“The most meaningful thing to me has been the many tears from students, and by extension their grandparents and elder relatives that did not think their histories matter,” Rosales said. “Family history does matter.  This project has allowed young people, students in and around the greater Delano community, to see how their family stories connect with larger historical forces that have shaped their past.”

Renegade Athletics

Renegade Softball won yesterday in the CCCAA Southern California Regional best of 3 payoff series.  Was happy to see Trustee Romeo Agbalog and his family cheering our term.

Romeo Agbalog, Lily Agbalog, Victoria Perez

 

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#21 Kara Morgan (Frankhouser) left a beautiful post on the BC Softball Facebook page.

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#21 Kara Morgan

“6 years ago, I played ball at the Dean & Adah Gay complex for the last time. It was regionals and my team, OUR team, made BC history time and time again, just as your team has, and we were able to host regionals for the first time, on this beautiful field we all get to call home. I didn’t want it to be my last time. I wanted to play in State, on OUR field, and win. I wanted Coach Sandi to finally get the pay off she deserved from giving all of our teams year after year all that she had. I wanted to go to Disneyland with my team, celebrating that huge victory. We could taste it, dream it, feel it, and we were freaking good.

But we all have dreams that we don’t quite reach.

Yeah, I knew I was probably going to continue playing after BC. I had dreams of D1 ball, playing on the field against top national teams, and continuing to get the fire in my gut that we all get as we play this game. But let me tell you, playing on the UCLA field and shaking hands with Lisa Fernandez, seeing my name on ESPN, flying in airplanes and walking as a proud unit that still donned the Bakersfield name on my chest, playing the game for money, NOTHING compares to the love and fire I get when I walk into that BC stadium.

You see, at BC you are a part of something bigger, something greater. You have decades of alumni who still show up to cheer you on. You have a school athletic coaching staff that cares about you and knows your name. You have a secret weapon of an athletic trainer who makes your mind, body, and spirit align. You have a coach who bleeds Bakersfield and wants to give back to the city who raised her. You girls are given everything you need to win. So just play ball.

I hope you girls spend this week mentally preparing. Thinking about the reasons WHY you play this game. Not how you play it. Not about the future, or the past. Think about the present. Stay close to the why. Because the why gets you through the darkest of times in the softball world, trust me. When you’re mad and hate the game, remember why. When you’re on fire, on top of the world, remember why. We all have different why’s. Learn about your teammate. Figure out why they play the game. Get closer to them. You guys are about to go to war together. As Sandi always told us, you just gotta win your last game.

You will hang it up before you know it. Your old glove will get stiff. You’ll start losing your equipment piece by piece as you move into adulthood. But what an amazing feeling it is when you run into your old team mate that had your back more than anyone when that fight broke out at home plate (Kelsey and Jessica “HEY THATS MY CATCHER”) or you come across old pictures of you and your pitchers locked in together. Sometimes you’re unpacking boxes when you move and you find your old game visor, or warm up jacket, and you just can’t help but remember why that game meant so much.

Take it in, ‘gades, we’re all rooting for you!!!!!!”

Celebrating Retirees

At Thursdays, KCCD Board of Trustees, we presented Felix Ramirez with his plaque of recognition. During his years of service at Bakersfield College, Felix had countless friends across campus. Many employees have fond memories of Felix patrolling the hallways and especially, his kind knock on the door to remind them it was time to go home at 5:30PM.

With years of service in the Marines and in the Army National Guard, Felix always had a calm, authentic security and warmth with him where ever he was. His retirement is truly deserved with a job well done.  Felix, thank you for your service to our country, our community, our Renegade family, and BC.

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Kay Meek and Felix Ramirez

Math and Science celebrated a little Retirement Luau for Andrea Garrison and Rafael Espericueta

 

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Celebrating Faculty and Staff

Congratulations to Manny Fernandez who was awarded Outstanding Industry Partner for the Kern High School District!

 

IMG_0996On Wednesday morning, I received an email from Jackie Lau in BC’s Admissions and Records sharing that she feels so fortunate to be at BC and a part of Michelle Pena’s team.

Jackie said, “She was a great speaker! Several institutions staff were coming up to our team telling us how lucky we were to have her as a Director because she’s is so knowledgeable and shares information in each session.”

 

I loved seeing Jackie’s post also on Facebook!  #WeareBC!

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ASCCC Career and NonCredit Education Institute 2018

A group of amazing individuals from BC are also attending the ASCCC Career and NonCredit Education Institute in Costa Mesa. The website states,  “The ASCCC Career and Noncredit Education Institute is the first ASCCC event to bring faculty together from these areas to collaborate on a statewide level on how best to integrate the services, practices and instruction of these areas. Presentations cover topics in areas such as career education, noncredit education, counseling and student services, Adult Education Block Grant (AEBG), and apprenticeship.”

ASCCC Career and NonCredit Education Institute 2018

Endee Grijalva, Jaime Lopez,  Jennifer Johnson, Stephanie Baltazar and Tony Cordova

Physics Olympics

IMG_2889Friday, April 28th, was the 30th annual Physics Olympics take-over of BC. Over a thousand high school science students (many of them future Renegades) came to BC to put into action the physics and engineering concepts they’ve learned on paper in the classroom. Mark Trunnell from Centennial and Dan Halbur from Foothill work with BC professor Rick Darke to put on the event at BC. The map below shows where the events took place.

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Foothill physics teacher Dan Halbur encourages these South High students in the “Efficiency Bridge” contest. Using ordinary wood pieces like popsicle sticks, coffee stir sticks and toothpicks glued together, students construct a bridge that can carry a 5.0 kg load across a 60-cm span. Designs are judged on how much the bridge flexes, and the total mass of the bridge.

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Physics Olympics students. The ever-popular egg drop was on the north side of the stadium. In that event students design a container holding a raw egg and drop the container from a three-story height. Successful containers will keep the egg intact.

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Paper airplane contest has students design paper airplane that fly the longest and straightest. These students found out that throwing the paper airplanes with a lot of force causes the typical paper airplane to swirl around off course, often coming right back to the thrower, especially if the plane is the typical design with big wings. I advised one team to make the plane more like a missile and practice throwing it before doing the contest (advice based on experience gained in competing with my brothers growing up).

Paper tower event has students building the tallest tower out of just paper and tape.

Super Quiz that pits high school teams against each other in rapid-fire physics questions. The teams are cheered on by their friends in the bleachers. Nick Strobel shared his excitement by telling me, “Yes! An astronomy question was included!”

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Guided Pathways Peer-to-Peer Work Plan

BC sent a team to the first California Guide Pathways Peer-to-Peer Work Plan Reading Circle, an event sponsored by IEPI and the Chancellor’s Office, on April 27th. Dean Steve Waller of our STEM pathway, education pathway counselor Brynn Schock, and Guided Pathway Implementation team faculty members Janet Fulks and Jessica Wojtysiak worked within regional teams to identify themes and share concerns about future policy and support efforts.

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Sonya Christian 3 May 4 2018

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Busy Between Semesters at BC!

Good morning Bakersfield.  It is Saturday, December 16th, 2017 and a great day to be a Renegade.

The fall academic semester was over the previous week, students have started their holiday break, but the activities on campus continue.  The only indication that we are during break are the parking lots.  There are a lot of spaces …..

Congratulations to our 26th graduating class of Paramedics!

Bakersfield College first began to explore the need for a paramedic program in the spring of 2003.  This discussion was based on a looming change in California law and the inability of the local paramedic school at that time to meet those requirements.

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After discussions with stakeholders in the summer of 2003 (County ambulance providers, Kern County EMS Agency, local hospitals, Emergency Room Medical Directors and college administrators), it was decided the college would explore the feasibility of offering a Paramedic Program.  In the summer of 2003, the Bakersfield College Director of Nursing/EMT programs conducted discussions with ambulance employees and administered a community of interest survey.  The results of the survey indicated approximately 90% of the respondents indicated they would be interested in enrolling in a Paramedic Program.  They also indicated they would be available to attend class full time if there was employer support.

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Dean Rich McCrow, Director Tim Capehart with the graduating class

With the assistance and continued assistance of Hall Ambulance Service (thank you Mayor Harvey Hall!), Bakersfield College developed the curriculum, program policies and procedures, recruited personnel and gathered the necessary resources and equipment to implement the Bakersfield College Paramedic Program in January of 2004, and completed the CoAEMSP/CAAHEP requirements in 2006.  In 2014 the paramedic program began an effort to move from a non-credit program to a credit/degree granting program.  That goal was accomplished and in the fall of 2017 the college enrolled their first credit/degree granting program cohort.

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This group of 13 graduates is the 26th class to graduate from the Bakersfield College Paramedic Program, and the first to complete the credit granting 3-semester program.  With the addition of these graduates the Bakersfield College Paramedic Program will have trained just over 300 paramedics.

 

CTE Partnership with FIELD

Nora Dominguez, Sonya Christian, Stephen Schoonmaker, Jenny Zorn Dec 14 2017

Nora Dominguez, Sonya Christian, Stephen Schoonmaker, Jenny Zorn

On Thursday morning I was honored to be a part of an event for the new CTE initiative announced by the FIELD Institute. California Community Colleges play a critical role in lifting the state’s economy, creating the workforce of the future, closing achievement gaps, and providing educational access to all. Jobs requiring only a high school education are becoming more rare, which drives an increasing need for postsecondary education and a degree as the passport to family sustaining wages, and steady employment.

For the past 104 years, Bakersfield College has provided a direct pipeline for the Bakersfield community to reach their goals through quality education and career-based training programs that provide the skills needed to be successful.

Speaking at FIELD

Programs such as FIELD Institute’s EPIC (Escuela Popular Instituto Campesino) promote college-bound thinking and behavior which ripple through the  community for generations – making a positive impact for years to come.

The FIELD grant work will empower our students, provide important opportunities, and increase educational access for many who are socioeconomically disadvantaged and underserved. Students will be placed into CTE pathways with the structure and support to be successful.

Thank you David Villarino for your leadership in pulling together this consortium of colleges and universities. You have been always been committed to providing opportunity and family-wage jobs for the most underserved populations.

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It was great reconnecting with Dr. Stephen Schoomaker, a colleague from Oregon who has now moved to California as President of College of Siskiyous.  And it is always fun seeing Nora Dominguez.  Thank you Nora for helping BC with Measure J.

Thank you to the BC team who came out to support the event.  Dean Corny Rodriguez, Dean Cindy Collier, Director of CTE Tony Cordova.  I wish we had snapped a picture.

Clergy Breakfast

Steve Watkin and members of our African-American faculty affinity group hosted a congregation of black church leaders to have breakfast and talk about Bakersfield College’s outreach and student success initiatives for African American students on Wednesday morning in the Fireside Room. Steve shared his progress with increasing African-American enrollment on campus, highlighting the work that the Outreach department and our counselors and educational advisors do to create a welcoming atmosphere for our African-American student body while keeping the standards and expectations for those students high.

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Steve Watkin and Julian West

Steve then introduced Julian West, who outlined the work he’s doing to keep students informed of financial aid and on-campus resources students have access to. Steve also introduced the audience to our African American Mentorship Program (AAMP), which hosts inspirational speakers to provide students with examples of black leadership and “real-talk” discussions that provide students with information to succeed, and to dispel toxic ideas about black identity and masculinity.

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Bre Parks

Student speaker Bre Parks concluded the presentation with her story about her experience in our ASTEP Umoja Community, and her pursuit of a degree in Communication on the way to becoming a Supplemental Instruction leader and one of our best and brightest student workers on campus. She credits Steve Watkin and the African-American leadership here at BC with helping her deal with her social anxiety, and become a more confident, empowered person ready to graduate next spring and accomplish her dreams after graduation.

 

Wednesday’s breakfast was an awesome opportunity to share BC’s educational programs with a group of important leaders in our community. I’d like to thank Steve and everyone who helped put the event together and our Food Services department for cooking another great breakfast, and I’m looking forward to establishing greater partnerships with our faith leaders in the future.

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Monthly Administrative Council

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December 2017 Admin CouncilThe Bakersfield College Administrative Council is a consultative group of administrators and managers. This week Admin Council met for its last time in 2017 to hear presentations from various campus groups and project leads. We heard from Manny Mourtzanos, Kim Nickell, and Kristin Rabe on the Program Review Committee about how the program review process has improved and grown over the past couple of years; Vice President of Finance and Administrative Services, Don Chrusciel shared the Closing the Loop, Mid-year report document; and there were smiles, laughter, and even tears in the room as Chelsea Esquibias, Director of the Bakersfield College Inmate Scholars Program, shared the transformational power of what this program does for inmates.

 

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Chelsea sharing the Inmate Scholars Program update

 

 

Stanford University Visit

Chelsea Esquibias was also invited by the The Opportunity Institute and Renewing Communities to present on Inmate Scholars Program, share student’s stories, and speak about the program’s future plans at the Stanford University School of Law.  Attendees were funders contributing to the initiative including the Ford Foundation and the Educational Credit Management Corporation.  They recognized that the program has grown in its first two years to be the largest face-to-face college program with over 2,400 enrollments.  The program operates in eight prisons (soon to be 10) and the local County Jail.  Students in the program have achieved some of the highest success rates at Bakersfield College as the students have achieved above-average grades and pass rates, with over 95% of the students taking transfer-level courses.

The initiative to provide for college in prison is supported by numerous funders. Achievement of an Associate Degree for Transfer while in prison allows students to exit the justice system ready for employment and creates opportunities for them achieve success in our community.  Recidivism (returning to prison) is dramatically reduced with an education and creates a college-going culture in the home.  Students in the program are highlighted throughout the prison system, and problematic issues in the prisons have also reduced since the implementation of college on-site.

Thank you to all of the funding partners and Stanford University, School of Law for providing us the opportunity to educate inmates returning to our community.

Stanford School of Law

Photographed from left to right: Debbie Mukamal, Executive Director of Stanford Criminal Justice Center; Danny Murillo, Co-founder of the Underground Scholars at UC Berkeley; Chelsea Esquibias, Program Director of the Inmate Scholars Program at BC; Rebecca Silbert, Director of Renewing Communities Initiative; Douglas Wood, Program Officer at Ford Foundation.

IMG_1333 (003)Industrial Automation Advisory Committee

On Friday, December 8th, BC’s Baccalaureate Degree, Industrial Automation Advisory Committee met to discuss the curriculum in detail and to get feedback on a proposed additional robotics course. Marketing and high school pathways were also highlighted.

Thank you to all who attended including, Nathan Bender, Jonahan Geersen, Samuel Gomez, Ron K’Miller, Steven Mears, Brian Miller, Blair Pruett, Dick Taylor, and Beth Vaughn. 

BC Faculty included, Roy Allard, Sean Caras, Guanghsu Chang, Tony Cordova, Jason Dixon, Manny Fernandez, Cathie Jones, Klint Rigby, Liz Rozell, Tom Rush, Mary Webb and Martin Perez.

Industrial Automation Dec 8 2017 Advisory Committee Meeting

 

Industrial Automation Advisory Committee Meeting

Advisory Committee meeting Industrial Automation Dec 8 2017

Office of Institutional Effectiveness

BC’s OIE (Office of Institutional Effectiveness) hosted a half-day retreat on Wednesday with goal setting, reviewing the core values of the college, and bringing the department closer together. We’ve recently added to the team and I was happy to join them for a session of the importance of institutional research.

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David Buitron, Lori Ortiz, Karen Snow, Alma Livingston, Nicole Griffin, Sonya Christian, and Craig Hayward

The group learned about some new data software, reviewed updates to existing programs, and closed out the afternoon with teambuilding at a local escape room. Karen Snow told me, “ It really did force us to work as a team and we learned everyone’s particular skills… Like Lori was our MVP because she found so many clues, Alma is quickest at deciphering patterns. I’m good at spinning combination locks and guessing them if it’s only three numbers, and Craig is really good at making us pick up all the pieces and rethink everything. David and Nicole were both awesome at inspiring us to keep inquisitive and motivated to continue.”

After the Escape Room

Em’s Sweet Treats

Em and Chef Suzanne

Em and Chef Suzanne

In 2011, Emily Aldritt began Em’s Treat’em Sweet. The goal was simple – to prepare, package and sell her family’s favorite holiday sweet treats (Muddy Buddies), and donate 100% of the proceeds to two local charities: The Bakersfield Homeless Center and the Alliance Against Family Violence and Sexual Assault. Last weekend, Emily and The Bakersfield College Culinary Arts Department worked in The Renegade Room to prepare this year’s sweet treats. You can learn more about Em and her project at http://emstreatemsweet.com/

I’ve also covered this sweet partnership in my blog previously at “Welcoming our students and the community to BC.”

 

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Maintenance and Operations

While most of our faculty and students are away for the winter break, the Maintenance and Operations department is busy making important renovations to the campus. This break is a particularly busy one for M&O, as they’ve got a myriad of projects on their hands. The Gym and Memorial Stadium is currently closed until January 5th for installation of brand-new goalposts on the football field and removing the turf that covers the runways. All of the carpet in the library is also being replaced from December 18th until the 29th, which has resulted in closures and relocation for the IT offices and Archives. Other projects M&O is working on include replacement of all doors around campus to make them more accessible to people with disabilities, campus-wide storage room clean-up, installing new fencing at the Child Development Center, repairing emergency generators, replacing trees on campus, and landscaping renovations on Haley Street.

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Aside from all of the above for this year’s break, every January M&O also performs its usual detailed cleaning of all carpet and hard flooring around campus, replaces light bulbs in classrooms, deep cleans all buildings and certifies all fire extinguishers before the start of the Spring semester. The M&O department has their work cut out for them for 2018, and we’re so fortunate to have an incredible team that works year-round to keep BC beautiful.

Emails Worth Sharing

Olivia and Sonya

Olivia Garcia and Sonya Christian

I often say I’m the luckiest and happiest college president ever, and you know that it’s because I’m fortunate to have the best colleagues, the best students, and the best community at BC. I received this note from one of our newest full-time faculty, Olivia Garcia, during Thanksgiving and I’m just now getting around to sharing it. She said,

I wanted to take a moment and personally thank you for giving me the opportunity to be a part of the faculty at Bakersfield College. I have been given a meaningful purpose in life, and that is educating and positively shaping the minds of our students. This purpose has rewarded me many times this semester in the form of my interactions with students or simply seeing them take small steps toward their academic achievements and goals.

I was meeting with a student the other day in my office as she was trying to figure out her major and career options. We went over different ideas before I told her, “Find something you love, and it will never feel like work.” It helped clear a lot of things for her, and I was speaking from the heart, for what I do, I know it is truly a labor of love.

I had another student who told me that, after taking my class, he decided to major in history. He had been out of school for awhile; he spent it in the workforce before deciding it was time to return to school and earn his degree. He emailed me recently to tell me how he had conquered his fear of heavy reading in the research phase, and that it paid off for developing a stronger assignment for our class.

He wrote, “I can’t explain what a major weekend this was for me in that area as I spent the majority of my time reading for this class and loved it! Thank you for the assignments. They are really enriching my start in College.”

Then I had another student post on social media the happiness she felt being a part of the Levan Seminar Book discussion that I co-led with Professor Rosales recently. The goal was to meet and discuss the work of author Gabriel Thompson who wrote “Chasing the Harvest,” which is an oral history collection of those who have been a part of the migrant farm worker experience in central California. We put a call out to students via the BC website and announcements in our classes to be a part of this wonderful project, which was set for 10 students. Surprisingly, we got more than 60 students expressing interest! It was tough to select the final 10, but they turned out to be amazing. The selected students met with me and Prof. Oliver over a span of three sessions, including a day when they had the opportunity to visit and speak with the author.

Her social media post, which I am attaching here, is a selfie of her with the author. It touched my heart, and it reinforced my mission in doing the best I can to serve our students. I could go on and on, but I just wanted to show you how students have enriched my life this past semester, and I wanted to express my gratitude for this opportunity. I have spent two decades as a journalist telling other people’s stories and making a impact there. Now, as a faculty member in history, I get to be a small part of student’s lives — their stories by helping educate and guide them to their full potential. Now that’s a treasured gift to be thankful for this holiday season. 🙂

At the Basketball Game on Dec 9, 2017

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Denise Canning and Todd Hansen at the game

It was wonderful getting to meet our new custodian Felipe Carrillo

Felipe Carrillo Custodian Dec 9 2017

Our fabulous Cheer Team coach Heather Foss

Heather Foss Dec 9 2017

Stig Jantz is everywhere.  I know he has been secretly cloned.

Stig Jantz with students Dec 9 2017

With our no nonsense, no drama, tireless and hard working Athletic Director, Sandi Taylor

Sandi Taylor and Sonya Christian Dec 9 2017 Basketball

And Coach Paula Dahl is the best.  Did not get a picture of her this time.

Suzanne Galindo

Suzanne GalindoWhile at the District office this week, it was great to see Suzanne Galindo, KCCD’s Executive Assistant to General Counsel, Chris Hine. She shared with me the painting she did of the Renegade Knight and Shield at the Homecoming Paint Night hosted by SGA. I covered this and have a group photo in my blog titled, “Our 60th Homecoming at 1801 Panorama.”

From Social Media

Memories on Facebook

The 1948 Renegade Football Team Poster made an appearance on Facebook in a post on the Kern County of Old Facebook page. This post says this team poster was found by “Pepper” at an Estate Sale and donated to Noriega’s Restaurant in memory of Louie ElizaldeCheck it out here on Facebook!

Thank you Jackie Lau for flagging this for me!

Holiday Potlucks on Campus

Holiday potlucks have been taking place on campus all week long. Here are some fun photos!

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Chamber Singers strike again

Received this video from my friend Arlene Braganza with a note

Select threesome of the BC chamber singers performed at Msgr Craig’s Christmas party this evening

Caley Mayhall, April Gregerson, and Markelle Taylor.

And then there is Neo, Dec 2017

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Neo Dec 14 2017

Sonya Christian Dec 11 2017

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

 

Finals Week for Fall 2017 is a Wrap!

Good morning Bakersfield.  It is Saturday, December 9, 2017 and fall semester is a wrap.  A great day to be a Renegade and a great semester to be a Renegade.  BC students have been completing their finals all week long and the cool, chilly weather has us all in the holiday spirit.

And then Felix Adamo from The Bakersfield Californian dropped by during a lunch meeting at Don Perico.  I was so delighted to listen in on the banter between Felix and Nan.  Did you know that this fabulous photographer with the twitter handle @TBCpix is a veteran, was a student at BC, was the photographer for the Renegade Rip and the Raconteur….  Just wonderful.  Also, try a google image search with “Felix Adamo”…. you will find thousands of photos, but not one photo of him.  So I felt quite sneaky stealing this picture of Felix with Nan and then blasting it on social media — twitter and now my blog 🙂

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Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Felix Adamo

He was the student photographer for the 1975 Raconteur when BC won the Rosebowl championship.  James E. Meadows was the sports editor and started the article with

On December 11, 1975 a crowd of only 21,200 gathered in the sun-warmed Rosebowl in Pasadena for the Los Angeles Times sponsored Junior Rose Bowl — the 22nd of its kind …

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And as I scrolled through the Dec 1975 Raconteur I found this picture of Bill Thomas and Sharon Thomas by Lewis Wakeland.

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Thank you Felix Adamo.
I’m so proud that such a talented photographer is a Renegade!

100th Graduating Class of the BC Associate Degree Nursing Program

On Thursday evening, we celebrated the momentous occasion of the 100th Graduating Class of the BC Associate Degree Nursing Program.

Did you know the Nursing program at Bakersfield College is the 6th oldest RN program in the state? An article in one of the BC Archives newsletters says, “It all started in 1951 when a vocational nursing program was initiated in cooperation with Kern General Hospital (now Kern Medical Center). Its first group of nurses graduated in 1952.”

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GlennBultman, Ed Simonsen, and Pearl Wassen at Registered Nursing Graduation in 1960

It continued, “The original intention of the vocational nursing program was to train nurses to address the shortage brought on by World War II. It is thought that the program might end when the registered nursing program was initiated, but this did not occur.”  The registered nursing program began at BC in 1957 under the direction of Kathryn Cafferty. Accreditation was granted in June 1958 and the first graduating class was the following year.

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Thursdays Ceremony had 59 graduates and all grads have received and accepted job offers. The evening began with a performance by the BC Drumline and attendees were welcomed by the Master of Ceremonies, Jaime Mendiola and the Pledge of Allegiance by Gagan Jattana. Speakers for the evening included Carla Gard, Director of the Nursing Program, Lisa Harding, Faculty, Jeanette Harvey and Haley Wayts, Students, Ronnie KnabeDebbie Kennedy, and Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg.  

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Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg

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Lisa Harding

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In recognition of the 100th Graduating class of the Bakersfield College Associate Degree Nursing Program, the department shared a few mementos that commemorate the amazing milestone. This is such an exciting time for the department and our college.

Special thanks to Cindy Collier, Carla Gard, Michelle Burton, Bryan Lainez, Treana Adams, and Vanessa Reyes.

See all the photos at the Bakersfield College Smugmug.

Culinary Caroling

I walked into the third annual Culinary and Caroling dinner event to find this distinguished gentleman playing the piano to greet the guests.

Mark Wilcox Dec 2 2017

Mark Wilcox, the proud father of the talented, passionate and beautiful Jen Garrett.

On December 2nd, the BC Chamber Singers and BC Culinary Arts partnered to create their third annual Culinary and Caroling dinner.  Last year’s event was on Dec 3, 2016.  Here is my blog post from last year https://sonyachristianblog.com/2016/12/10/17775/

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Sonya Christian, Jen Garrett with Chamber Singers Dec 2 2017

Chefs Alex Gomez, Suzanne Durst and the Renegade Room staff hosted a delicious holiday dinner, and host Christian Flores made sure all guests were taken care of. Decorations were by Christine Foth.  My guests this year included Mayor Karen Goh, Chancellor Tom Burke and his wife Tina, KCCD Trustee Romeo Agbalog and his wife Lily, and Ed Davis and his wife Shelley Davis.

Each table had a chamber singer assigned to take care of the guests.  Our chamber singer was the fabulous Mark who you see in the picture below.

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Special Guests at the Culinary Caroling Dinner

The beautiful voices of the BC Chamber Singers under the direction of Dr. Jennifer Garrett, always make this special annual event magical. One piece had a student signing to it and I love that they added this. Here is a short video:

 

CulinaryCaroling_PattDavisSingingSantaBabyPatt Davis sang Santa Baby and here is a picture when she visited the table with our Chancellor, Tom Burke. So fun!

It’s heartwarming to see multiple departments at BC come together, along with the support from local businesses that donated items and services. It’s a joy to see the amazingly generous attendees enjoy their visit to our campus and experience the true talent of our students and staff.

Here is Trustee Romeo Agbalog visiting with faculty and staff — in the pictures below you see him with Cindy Collier, Dean of Allied Health and Career and Technical Education and Talita Pruett, faculty member in Communication.

Chef Suzanne and Jen Garrett thank you for another great event.

 

Loved this picture that Lily Agbalog texted me with the photos of Santa captioned.

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Santa!

Markelle (Mark) Taylor, one of our students and a music major was in charge of our table. Mark performs in a lot of musical theater in the community.

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Here is Matt Garrett with his mom Barbara Garrett who did the m&m counting for the jar of 1000 m&ms and his grandpa Roger Garrett.

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Roger Garrett, Matt Garrett, Barbara Garrett

Here is Chancellor Tom Burke with his lovely wife Tina, and the lovely Suzanne Durst.

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Tom Burke, Suzanne Durst, Tina Burke

Karen Goh, Lily Agbalog, Romeo Agbalog, Jen Garrett, Sonya Christian, Shelley Davis, Ed Davis

Front Row: Mayor Karen Goh, Lily Agbalog, Sonya Christian.  Back Row: Trustee Romeo Agbalog, Jen Garrett, Shelley Davis, Ed Davis

Special thanks to Dr. Jen Garrett and the BC Choirs, Chefs Suzanne Durst, Alez Gomez, Christian Flores, and our BC Culinary Arts students. And thank you to everyone who purchased tickets and visited “Harvard on the Hill” for this special annual holiday evening. I know we’re already looking forward to next year.

Mayor Karen Goh has some lovely photos on her Facebook

BSO & BC Choir

On Saturday, December 16th, the Bakersfield College Choir is partnering with the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra for the winter concert, Home for the Holidays. The show begins at 7PM at Fox Theater and tickets are available now at www.thebakersfieldfox.com.

Choir_andBSO

LVN graduation

In addition to the RN nursing students graduating, this Friday, December 8, 2017, we had our LVN cohort graduating as well with the ceremony being held at the Indoor Theater.

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After three semesters of hard work and perseverance, the students from our Vocational Nursing program got to walk across the stage and earn their pins at a special ceremony Friday night in the Indoor Theater.

Along with their certification as Licensed Vocational Nurses, the graduates were awarded a special pin commemorating all of their hard work and success. The pin is a traditional badge of achievement, and each nursing school’s pin is different.

Dec 8 2017 LVN cohort graduating.jpg

After a brief welcome from Jennifer Johnson and MC Kren Campbell, student speakers Krystal Shendo-Quidachay and Juana Aguilar spoke about all of the hard work that the group of 21 graduates had to endure in order to earn the licensure; the support they received from family, friends, BC faculty and their peers; and the relief that the effort resulted in a certification that enables them to achieve their career goals, or to continue their nursing education.

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The holiday spirit was in the air as Aguilar lead the audience in singing “Feliz Navidad” while poinsettias decorated the theater.

The graduates and their family members in the audience were often moved to tears as the nursing staff recited the Nightingale Pledge and pinned the graduates. Faculty speaker Sandra Davis spoke highly of all her graduating students, and was ecstatic for all of the lives that she knew her students would go on to help save.

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I’d like to congratulate all of our newly licensed vocational nurses and our nursing staff for all the work they do to transform the lives of our students and community through the education that they provide.

Community Christmas Parades

We are so fortunate to have a variety of local community based Christmas Parades. BC was so happy to walk in the Shafter Parade a few weeks ago. I shared photos in my blog last weekend here, and I loved the photos from Mayor Jose Gurrola from the Arvin Christmas Parade. It’s great to see our community leaders working together and supporting our various communities.

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Rudy Salas, Leticia Perez, and Jose Gurrola

Leaders Leticia Perez and Former Mayor Harvey Hall both came together with a financial donation to support the Arvin Christmas Parade. The Bakersfield Californian covered this here.

ArvinChristmasParade_CommunityLeaders

A few nights ago, the community came out to see the Bakersfield Christmas Parade and The Bakersfield Californian has some incredible photos available here. I also loved the opening of this article, “Christmas Parade kicks the holiday season into high gear.” Author, Steven Mayer wrote,

There were toddlers wearing footed PJs dancing in the street. There was a man sporting a black sombrero riding a Brahma bull. There was a dude herding cats — although he claimed he was director of the Washington Middle School Marching Band. There were thousands of smiles, hundreds of princess parade waves, and enough good will toward men to make you feel like everything is going to be all right after all.

Don’t miss the article. It’s fantastic.

ArvinChristmasParade

BC Holiday Party

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BC Rural Initiatives Team

On November 30th, right before the busy week of finals, our campus faculty, staff, and administrators came together for a little holiday party in the Fireside Room. An assortment of treats and hors d’oeuvres were available including the famous bread pudding with caramel sauce from BC Food Services. There was a raffle for dinner for four at the Renegade Room, various BC shirts and sweatshirts, and mini desktop christmas trees. Kris Tiner and our BC musicians provided festive music.

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Kris Tiner and BC Musicians

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Renegade Wrestling

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Adrian Godinez

Jon Mettus of The Bakersfield Californian reported on BC Wrestling this week in his article, “BC wrestlers on potential state championship collision course.” BC’s Adrian Godinez is the number one ranked 184-pound wrestler in the state and BC’s Jeremy Maas is the second ranked. The article describes the two, “Godinez is dynamic upright while Maas works well down on the mat. Godinez excels with his footwork and Maas has heavy hands.”

Renegade Basketball

The BC women’s basketball team got a huge effort from Octavia Croney this week, in a 83-67 victory over Taft College. Croney poured in 27 points, had 6 rebounds, 4 assists and 5 steals to lead the Renegades.  Brianna Mendez and Jasmyn Rodriguez also scored in double figures with 19 and 15 points respectively.  Aubrey Stone led BC in rebounds with 13.

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And the Men’s Basketball Tournament scheduled for this weekend has been canceled due to the ongoing fires in California. The Bakersfield College Men’s Basketball team has added two games to their schedule to make up for the games lost this weekend. The added games are January 3rd at LA Valley and January 9th at Oxnard.

Athletics_MensBasketball

To stay up-to-date on all things Renegade Athletics, visit www.gogades.com. Go ‘Gades!

Kerntax

This week was the annual Kern Tax Annual Installation Luncheon.  Tom Burke is a member of the board and invites me and several others to sit at his table.  Mike Turnipseed, CEO of Kerntax has done a remarkable job connecting various entities and aggressively educating our community on due diligence with tax dollars.  It seemed as it the all of the community leaders were there at the end.  I quickly snapped this picture of Chancellor Tom Burke with the President of the KCCD Board, Kay Meek.  Trustee Romeo Agbalog was present as well.  He was sitting at Mike Turnipseed’s table.   I was sitting right next to Vice Chancellor John Means and had a great time listening to the speakers and catching up with John.  Life is good.

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Tom Burke, Kay Meek

BC OChem Letters

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A copy of the newest BC OChem Letters, Volume 5, Number 1, crossed my desk this week. It’s incredible to see the work of Professor Kenward Vaughan and our students. In the editor’s notes, Professor Vaughn mentions the challenges of the separation and identification of components of binary liquid mixtures using various research techniques spanning distillations, physical and chemical characterizations, and spectroscopic work.

The intro states “People in general tend to categorize things that they encounter as a way to organize information. Observations of similarities and/or differences are used to make correlations between things, which in turn, people can make predictions of other characteristics an unknown may show. This is especially important in the field of chemistry, where matter is studied all the way down to its microscopic level. Observations of various atomic structures have been made throughout the years, which paved ways to methods of separations of mixtures using the differences of physical and chemical properties between substances.”

Fun photos

On Friday, I received this fun text from Zav Dadabhoy. It said

“Engaging in a deep discussion about copyright law, and debating which “G” is better (they are identical, except for the colors.) Georgia State or the Green Bay Packers!”

Zav Chris Hine

Zav Dadabhoy and Chris Hine

 

Loved seeing Dennis Spencer and his grandson Andrew visiting BC and our office — Andrew, a future Renegade

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Snapped these pictures of Liz Rozell with granddaughter May at Don Perico on Oswell where we were having a meeting while enjoying the fabulous lunch buffet. Liz and May joined Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Jennifer Johnson, and myself.

And then I ran into Joshua Gonzales having lunch with his family.  Josh is a Rad tech student who is graduating in May 2018.  He was very complimentary about the program Nancy 🙂

Joshua Gonzales Rad Tech Student Dec 8 2017

 

 

BC Foundation Holiday Dinner

I was at an accreditation meeting in LA and could not attend the Foundation Holiday Party.  I want to thank the Bakersfield College foundation for all their support in passing Measure J.  And thank you Karen Thompson for your leadership through the entire process.

We had our choir perform at this event as well.  Here are a few photos.

Foundation Holiday Dinner Dec 7 2017

Jen Garrett at the Foundation Holiday Dinner Dec 7 2017

We are BC!

December 5 2017

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever