Tag Archives: Connie Gonzales

Celebrating our classified staff. We are BC!

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, May 25, 2019… A great day to be a Renegade.

Classified Appreciation

Group of smiling employees.

Classified employees at Bakersfield College are the backbone of moving the work that we do. These individuals work directly with BC’s students, faculty, volunteers, business partners and community members. I’m continually struck by the dedication, positive energy, student-centered focus, and the hearts of service brought to campus every day by our classified staff.

Managers serving the classified employees.
Line of classified employees entering the gym.

These committed BC Renegades embody a collaborative culture of service, one that creates new processes to efficiently serve a growing number of students; one that goes the extra mile to ensure the safety of our campus, that builds bridges for students near and far, and continues a legacy of service that spans over 106 years.

Eric enjoyed the food.

Bakersfield College is such a vital part of our community, expanding into our rural areas to serve all students with a desire to learn and develop their skills. Our classified staff are key to supporting the work of making student life goals a reality.

Patty and Dena

The official CSEA website states, “California’s Legislature recognizes the important contributions of classified school employees and has named the third full week of May “Classified School Employee Week” (CSEW) to honor these contributions.” So this week, our management team took the time to recognize and thank these special colleagues with a special luncheon.

The afternoon included a delicious lunch from Coconut Joes and a ice cream sundae bar with all the extra special fixings.

2 plates of food.
Prize Table

Last month, at the April KCCD Board of Trustees meeting, some classified staff spoke during the luncheon to highlight the extraordinary work they and their colleagues do.  For example, Financial Aid Technician Rebecca Bumpous took to the podium to described how she has helped her department with funding our students’ dreams, awarding $44 million in Title IV funding and $3 million in state funding for the 2018-19 academic year. Carlos Barbaran proudly spoke of his 24 years of service as a custodian in Maintenance and Operations, keeping 72,000 square feet of instructional facilities clean for our students every day. See the full piece in my blog from April 13th titled “Spring Into Action!”

Todd smirks as dining employees laugh.
Todd Coston always provides entertainment.

And the recognition of their hard work isn’t just on the BC campus. KCCD recently highlighted Debra Anderson of BC’s Outreach and School Relations with the KCCD Leadership Award. Congratulations to Debbie! If you missed it, you can check it out on my blog from May 12th titled “Celebrating 2018-2019.”

Nicky and Heather gettin’ jiggy with it!

Thank you to Bill Potter, Jim Coggins, Ramon Puga, Caroline Walth, Rachell Morehouse, Brett Redd, Stephen Waller, Tamara Baker, Lisa Kent, Dena Rhoades, Liz Rozell, Billie Jo Rice, Heather Pennella, Monika Scott, Susan Hubbell, Yvonne Armendariz, Tom Gelder, Manny Mourtzanos, Grace Commiso, Imelda Valdez, Kalina Hill, and especially Todd Coston for coordinating the celebration.

Early College Launch in Arvin

Welcome! Bakersfield College Arvin Information Meeting Expanding Access in Arvin.
Steve Watkin, Mayor Gurrola, Norma Rojas, Chancellor Burke, Tommy Tunson, Jerry Breckinridge

On Tuesday, BC held its Arvin Information Meeting, where community members were invited to learn about BC’s commitment to the city, and the future of education in their region.  Norma Rojas-Mora touched on Early College coming to Arvin High, and the educational opportunities offered for adults.  

BC staff preparing for the event.
Ed Watts, Chancellor Burke and Mayor Gurrola

Chancellor Tom Burke spoke to attendees about the importance of the partnership between the City of Arvin and Bakersfield College, and thanked the community for supporting the 2016 bond Measure J.  Bill Potter and Tamara Baker presented information on the planned Measure J funded campus across the street from the high school.  They reported that they are currently in the programming phase, and have initiated the CEQA study. Construction is currently scheduled to begin in August 2021.  

On stage at the podium.
Norma Rojas and Abel Guzman
Bill Potter & Tamara Baker
Kylie Swanson, Norma Rojas, Monika Scott, & Steve Watkins
Tom Burke speaking on stage at the podium.
Chancellor Burke
Norma Rojas and Chancellor Burke
Arvin Mayor Jose Gurrola

Thank you to Arvin’s Mayor Jose Gurrola, AHS Principal Ed Watts, and City Manager Jerry Breckinridge for speaking in support of the partnership with BC.  We are very excited to bring higher education and increased access to the city of Arvin and its residents!

Abel Guzman and Jesus Oropeza from BC’s Rural Initiatives team with their Early College students.
BC cups with candy give away.
Audience members clapping.
Group of students approach Abel on stage.

Women’s Empowerment Summit

The California Latino Leadership Institute (CLLI) hosted their Fourth Annual Women’s Empowerment Summit in the Levan Center last Saturday, inspiring young women to pursue careers in STEM. The conference featured appearances from Kern County Supervisor Leticia Perez, California Assembly Member Rudy Salas, and several women from the local petroleum industry. Aera Energy President and CEO Christina Sistrunk was also recognized by CLLI as the 2019 Distinguished Woman and Petroleum Advocate of the Year.

California Assemblyman Rudy Salas

Cathy Reheis-Boyd, President of the Western States Petroleum Association and recipient of last year’s CLLI Distinguished Woman Award, introduced Supervisor Perez, who expressed her appreciation for all that the local oil and gas industry does to keep the economy of Kern County stable.

Leticia Perez, Kern County 5th District Supervisor

BC’s own Kylie Swanson shared how BC’s Early College program is providing opportunities for young girls to develop a passion for STEM as early as eighth grade. Our Community Relations Director Norma Rojas-Mora also introduced Brittney Plascecia, the Associate Director of Women’s Leadership and Student Involvement at Mount Saint Mary’s University. Plascensia shared the university’s 2019 Report on the Status of Women and Girls in California, noting that while several improvements have been made in hiring women in the fields of media and politics, there’s still a lot more work to be done to close the gender wage gap and put more women in positions of leadership for large corporations.

Cathy Reheis-Boyd, President of the Western States Petroleum Association

Rojas-Mora also introduced Assemblymember Salas, who attended the event with several students from the Young Assembly Members program, which provides internship opportunities to young people interested in politics and civic engagement. Salas advised attendees of the Women’s Empowerment Conference to seek mentors and not be afraid to ask for the help and support they need to be successful.

Kimberly Kirchner of Women’s March Kern County
Lisa Baca, Executive Director of the California Latino Leadership Institute

One particularly informative portion of the conference was the roundtable discussion on women in STEM careers, which featured a panel of women who have found success in the traditionally male-dominated petroleum industry. The panel reiterated the importance of mentors and developing professional relationships that can create new opportunities.

left to right: California Latino Leadership Institute President Maria Hernandez poses with Assemblyman Rudy Salas and students from the Young Assembly Members program.

I’d like to thank CLLI, Aera Energy, Chevron, and the California Resources Corporation for helping to organize the Women’s Empowerment Summit at BC. Thanks, also, to Charter-Spectrum Communications for providing breakfast to attendees.

Elementary Teacher Education & Liberal Studies Pre-Commencement Celebration

Program: Elementary Teacher Education & Liberal Studies Reception & Celebration.

Bakersfield College’s Elementary Teacher Education & Liberal Studies Spring 2019 graduates were honored May 2nd during a student celebration of their successful completion of their degrees. The event was held in the beautiful Renegade Park in an elegant setting with fabulous food by BC Food Services. The future teachers recited an educator pledge to their friends and families and thanked them publicly for their ongoing  support. They each received a light blue stole that they will wear with their graduation robes. Kudos to Dr. Kimberly Bligh, department chair for the Education Department, who directed the event, and to her outstanding Education faculty colleagues who attended: Dr. Erica Menchaca, Bill Chapman and Teresa McAllister. Christina Maldonado and the Education Department student peer mentors worked together to  make this special event happen. Dean Billie Jo Rice, dean of Education Pathway and Dean Michele Bresso, dean over Education Department, were also present and took part in the ceremony! The most moving moments came as students thanked their parents, children, siblings, significant others plus their Bakersfield College faculty for helping them achieve their degrees. The joy of success of our students is why we are here! We Are BC!

Graduates serving themselves hamburgers and sides at the buffet.
Graduates reading the pledge.
Posed in front of a Bakersfield College Renegades logo backdrop.
Emmanuel Limaco and Kim Bligh
Woman speaking in microphone on stage-like patio.
Dean Michele Bresso
2 women at a round table.
L to R: Christina Maldonado and Kim Bligh
Staff putting blue sash around a graduate's shoulders.
15 graduates in blue sashes, with deans and department chair.

MESA Awards and ACS Scholar

On Friday May 17, the 15th Annual MESA Student Awards Banquet commemorated and recognized MESA program students who have accomplished the goal of transferring to a 4-year institution and, for those graduating from Bakersfield College. Students were also recognized for obtaining an internship, research position, and/or a merit scholarship. This year, the MESA Program had more than 26 students transferring to a 4-year institution (more than 20% of MESA students), 14 that received a scholarship and 12 that received an internship and/or research position. Clayton Fowler, BC alumni and previous SGA president, from the office of Congressman Kevin McCarthy awarded transfer students with a certificate from the congressman.

Clay, a male and Connie sit at a table.
Table filled with smiling people.

In addition to celebrating the students, industry members, mentors, sponsors/donors, BC-MESA board members, and faculty are recognized during this event. MESA recognized:

Connie, a female and a male stand next to a table with MESA Bakersfield College logo.
Connie poses with a male award recipient.

Travis Burns — “Alumni of the Year”

This BC-MESA Alumni works at General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. with the USA Air Force Contractor Logistic Support efforts, primarily related to datalink system on the MQ-9, which means he works at a global scale. He received the first “Alumni of the Year” award for his dedication to the students, giving back to this community, and his donations to the MESA Program.

Connie poses with a male holding an award, a certificate for Scott Trahan in background.
Connie smiles with a male in front of an award table.

Scott Trahan — “Individual of the Year”

Scott, an engineer at Chevron, is a member of the BC-MESA Board, participates in the Mentorship Program, and is constantly involved and volunteering at student/community MESA Program events.

Connie and a female smile in front of the awards table.
Connie and a female in black smile in front of the awards table.

Samuel Grijalva — “Sponsor of the Year”

Sam, as he likes to be called, received this award for his continued contributions/donations to the MESA Program over the past few years and the more significant contributions this year. In addition, he supports MESA as a BC-MESA Board member and participating in student/community events as a volunteer.

2 male faculty pose with a female student in front of shimmery curtain.
3 males pose in front of shimmery curtain.

Professor Richard Darke — “Professor of the Year”

Professor Darke earned this award due to his dedication to students, and was nominated and voted for by MESA students to receive this award. Students believe Prof. Darke deserves this award due to his outstanding teaching methods, his disposition to help students succeed academically, and his eagerness to help students succeed both academically and professionally.

7 males and females smile in front of a shimmery curtain.
An older couple in front of the Renegade logo backdrop.

BC-MESA Board members

All of the Board Members were recognized for their support of the MESA program: Dolores Salgado, Infrastructure Engineering Corporation, Patrick Aderhold, Bakersfield College Engineering Professor, Salvador Ledesma, PG&E, Samuel Grijalva, Grimmway Farms, Linda Mohammad, AERA Energy, Kimberly Newton, Bakersfield College Biology Professor, Stephen Waller, Bakersfield College Dean of Instruction, Juan M. Alvarez,USDA NHSIP, Caleb Griffin, NRCS, Marcos Perez, NRCS, Wayne Cooper, Bakersfield College Chemistry Professor, Dillon Giblin, Bakersfield College Math Professor, Bakersfield College, Seira Greenwood, UCLA/MEDPEP, Andrea Gonzalez, Bakersfield College MESA Student, Scott Trahan, Chevron, and Consuelo Gonzalez, Bakersfield College MESA Director.

2 females in front of the Renegade logo backdrop.
Male in front of the Renegades backdrop.

MESA student Brianna Aguilar was not only recognized for her accomplishment of achieving the goal for transferring to a 4-year university and for obtaining an internship/research position, she was also recognized for being chosen as an ACS scholar. This scholarship is up to $5,000 a year. Recipients of this award in the past have gone on to be leaders in the chemical professions.  This opens up so many doors for Brianna.

Male faculty with female student in front of shimmery curtain.
Male faculty and female student in front of Renegade logo backdrop.

I am so proud of Brianna and all of our MESA Renegades and look forward to hearing of their successes in the future. I would like to thank Steve Waller, Connie Gonzales, Vanessa Moreno and all of the faculty, mentors and sponsors that are involved in the MESA program.

Emails Worth Sharing

Janet Thomas also sent a warm email sharing her delight in the MESA Event. She said:

“It was a beautiful event.  I was thrilled to hear from Travis Burns and his accomplishments that all began with his education at Bakersfield College and Ian Spark who is beginning her career as a new graduate from Bakersfield College going on to her next steps.  I sat next to a young man named Rodrigo who is transferring to San Diego State on scholarships as a Chemical Engineer. It is very awesome to see the students when their names are called to come up to get their awards for their achievements in scholastics, community services and opportunities for internships.  It was a great honor to be invited to this great event. Kevin McCarthy recognized each student with awards, because he knows the value of the education that begins at Bakersfield College. Anyway, The MESA team did a wonderful job, in conjunction with The MARK with hosting this event.”

Aera Tech and Regional Skills Conference

Last Saturday, the AERA Engine Builders Association and Engine Professional Magazine hosted an all-day conference to inform BC Automotive Technology students about all of the latest developments and trends in engine manufacturing. The 2019 AERA Tech and Regional Skills Conference took place in BC’s Automotive Technology building on the Panorama campus, featuring technical demonstrations from some of the biggest names in the automotive industry, including Edelbrock, Rottler, and Sunnen.

Representatives from L.A. Sleeve talk about piston rings.

I’d like to thank AERA and Engine Professional Magazine, as well as Vic Posey and the BC Automotive Technology staff for organizing this professional development opportunity for our students.

BC Automotive Technology students talk with vendors at the Aera Tech and Regional Skills Conference.

LUPE/Conexiones Students Attend a 3-Day Leadership Retreat

Bakersfield College student leaders from LUPE/Conexiones participated in an unforgettable experience of leadership development. Students were able to experience outdoor adventures in a unique way that allowed them to develop self-confidence, improve effective program planning, and establish long-lasting and meaningful relationships with each other.

Group of students with forest trees and mountains in background.

Because of their interactions during the 3-day retreat, these student leaders developed trust with each other and were able to cultivate a stronger support network.

Group standing in front of a lodge.
Group of students sit on low wall with forest trees behind them.
8 students laughing and active.
8 students pose and smile among the trees.

Students were fully engaged in an in-depth discussion of John Maxwell’s 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership. The student leaders facilitated an interactive discussion based on their personal life experiences and circumstances.

Four posters of illegible writing.
Students at tables working on posters.

Students discussed what separated great leaders from good leaders and how they can become instruments of change in their immediate families and their communities.

In addition to the leadership workshop, students engaged in outdoor activities to enhance their confidence and learned how to overcome any difficult challenge they come across. Students conquered a physically challenging ropes course with persistence and determination.

Students watch as a student climbs ropes into the trees.
Student zip lines from one tree to another.

Student prepares to zip line from a tree.
Woman free being hoisted to zip line platform in tree.

Student high in tree.
One student with helmet watches as another is in zip line harness.

Professor Octavio Barajas conquering the ropes course. Sí Se Puede!

Climbing rope ladder into tree.
Standing in rope ladder between poles.

They also tested their accuracy in the archery field.

Around 20 people readying bows with arrows.
Archer with bow and arrow in flight.
Student with thumb up pulls arrow from center of target.
Bullseye on the 1st shot!

In the evening hours, students had a blast on the karaoke machine and spent the late evening hours learning some dance moves.

2 students sing into microphone.
Students line dancing.

See more fun photos of the LUPE/Conexiones Students Attend a 3-Day Leadership Retreat on smugmug.

The retreat provided a welcoming, refreshing, and inspiring environment in which to innovate, plan and collaborate. Through reflection and assessment of the academic year, the students identified areas of improvement within the LUPE/Conexiones organization and initiated a plan to produce a student-led leadership conference for the upcoming school year.

Funding for the Pali Retreat was provided by the Catalyst Fund. Special thanks to the coordinating efforts of the EOPS and CalSOAP staff who graciously took care of all the logistical planning.

Big SHOUT OUT to the BC staff/faculty who served as mentors and chaperones during the retreat: Professor Octavio Barajs (History), Lisa Robles Kent (SSP/Equity), and Rafael Centeno (EOPS).

ASSP Frank R. Rosenlieb Lifetime Achievement Award

On March 20th 2019, American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP) held their 20th Annual Bakersfield ASSP Symposium. Founded in 1911, ASSP is the longest running safety organization and the most respected advocate for workplace safety and health professionals. With over 450 guests in attendance, our very own, Catherine Jones, was recognized with the Frank R. Rosenlieb Lifetime Achievement Award, which is recognized as one of the highest achievements in her industry. Congratulations Catherine.

Catherine holding award next to a gentleman.
Woman speaking to slide.
Audience at several round tables.

OSRM Summer Internship Success

Summer internships are under way especially for a few students from the Occupational Safety & Risk Management program. An internship is a hands-on experience that provides meaningful, career-related work that extends a student’s learning beyond the classroom. One of the students, Stephany Cabrera, was offered an internship with Amazon as an Environmental Health and Safety Specialist in Delaware. Wilson Jones accepted an internship with Granite Construction as a Safety Intern and Martin Amezcua accepted an internship with Trinity Safety as a safety coordinator. These students are excited and grateful for these opportunities that will help launch their careers.

Professor Catherine Jones with Stephany and Wilson
Wilson Jones
Stephany Cabrera

Jai Jagat

On the Monday just after commencement, May 13, 2019,  Bakersfield College was honored to host an amazing performance about world peace from Jai Jagat and the children of the Manav Sadhna orphanage in India. The children are touring the world with Jai Jagat, an inspirational dance and drama troupe composed of 17 underprivileged children from six different communities in Ahmedabad, a city located in India’s Gujarat province.

Man speaks in front of Jai Jagat One Earth Family background.

“Jai Jagat” means “Victory of the World”, and this year’s show depicts the life of Mahatma Gandhi through interpretive choreography in honor of his 150th birthday this October. Jai Jagat’s program in the Indoor Theater envisioned what the planet might look like in 50 years, 2069, if people take Gandhi’s philosophy to heart and come together to settle their conflicts without violence and anger.

Dancers in colorful costumes.

The Manav Sadhna orphanage is based out of Gandhi’s ashram in Ahmedabad, and they provide education, medical care and resources for proper hygiene to more than 10,000 underprivileged children, Jai Jagat Project Director Nimesh Patel said. They also offer sports leagues and arts and crafts programs for children, as well as compassionate care for the elderly.

Children dancing.

New Taj Palace Indian Restaurant provided food for the cast and workers and for sale to the public at the event. It was great to see trustees Romeo Agbalog and Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg in the audience for Jai Jagat, as well as former trustee Bill Thomas.

Dancers in front of We Let Out Our Hearts To Shine background.

This performance would not have been possible without help from the Office of Student Life, Congressman Kevin McCarthy, and the Ravi and Naina Patel Foundation. Thank you to everyone who helped organize this event, as well as everyone who came out to hear the group’s motivational message.

Speaking with hand out.
Dr. Nicky Damania
Mayor karen Goh, Sonya Christian, Lilly Agbalog
Bill Thomas, Romeo Agbalog and Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg in the audience.

BC takes Pantages Theater

The screen before showtime shows "Les Miserables"
Pantages Le Miserables screen before showtime

On Wednesday evening, a group of BC faculty, staff, and students attended Les Miserables at the Pantages Theater in Hollywood. The iconic theater, located on the corner of Hollywood and Vine is a monument of art, theater, movies, music, and performances. It has been home to popular productions such as the stage production of Disney’s Lion King, Wicked, The Phantom of the Opera, Jersey Boys, and more. The interior of the theater is stunning and although originally constructed in 1930, it most recently underwent a $10-million restoration and upgrade in the year 2000.

A couple and 3 daughters.
The Garrett family
The Garrett family poses in front of the Les Mis poster
The Garrett family poses in front of the Les Miserables poster

Dr. Jen Garrett makes it a priority to give her students the opportunity to have eye opening and life changing experiences.. everything.from performing at local charity events to performing in Rome and at the Sydney Opera House, to experiencing talent as members of the audience. After giving students first priority, leftover reserved seats were made available to staff and faculty. In total, BC had over 150 individuals at Wednesday night’s performance. Unfortunately, I was unable to make it but I received tons of texts and messages from the BC crew who were there. I’m told that the performers were absolutely incredible.

Pantages street view
Outside the Pantages theater
Pantages lobby full of guests
Pantages ceiling art

Monika texted me that she could hear Manny De Los Santos, who was sitting with his wife one row above whispering comments like “Oh, this is my favorite part” and the following day, Manny let me know that “As a Les Mis fanboy,” he was not disappointed. He added that he wasn’t the only one as he claims he could see Nick Strobel “bouncing along to the music.”

Manny De Los Santos, his wife, daughter, and her boyfriend in their seats
Manny De Los Santos with his wife, daughter, and daughters boyfriend
Nick Strobel with one of the Garrett's girls
Nick Strobel with one of the Garrett children
Monika Scott in front, Manny De Los Santos and wife wife in the back
Monika Scott, Manny De Los Santos and his wife

Take a listen to Nick Cartell who was cast as Jean Valjean in the show on Wednesday evening.

I loved the photos from Jen Garrett’s Facebook showing their family of five at the theater. It’s truly wonderful to know the Garrett’s future Renegades are getting an early start on appreciation for music and live performances. Experiences like this are truly what make BC a campus, a community, and a family without boundaries. I’m looking forward to the next performance where BC takes Pantages!

Proud Day for the Writing Center & Academic Support Programs

Wednesday May 22nd was a joyous day for Bakersfield College Academic Support Programs. Four Writing Center team members were conferred with masters and doctoral degrees from California State University, Bakersfield! Laraine Rosema, Adjunct Writing Center Faculty, earned her Ed.D. In Educational Leadership: Jeff Newby, Writing Center Consultant, earned his Master of Arts in History; Marlin Morales, Writing Center Consultant, and Kim Arbolante, Writing Center Lead, both earned their Master of Arts in English with Writing Certificate.

Marlin Morales, M.A., Kim Arbolante, M.A., Laraine Rosema, Ed.D, & Jeff Newby, M.A.

The ceremony was held on the verdant soccer field at CSUB, and participants were relieved as rain clouds gave way to clearer skies and a beautiful sunset just as the graduate procession began. The proud graduates were blessed to have many BC colleagues in the crowd cheering them on. And while the fearless Director of Academic Support Programs, Maria Wright, is at home on maternity leave, the ASP team has done its best to make her proud by demonstrating its commitment to continuing education, excellence in the humanities, and to Renegades supporting colleagues and friends as part of our collective BC family.

Eileen with the 4 graduates.
Eileen Pierce, SI Program Manager supporting ASP grads
Group poses in a balloon frame with Congrats CSUB 2019 yay!
Earl Parson, Part-time Web Content Editor & Partner, Rachel Pori, Noelia Citialin, Nursing Faculty, John Davies, former English Adjunct

Innocent Victims of Gang Violence

Last week I was able to attend an awareness event and memorial for innocent victims of gang violence at Lowell Park. Local radio host and media personality Danny Morrison volunteered to emcee the event as he grew up in the neighborhood around the park and has lost close friends to gang violence. It was highlighted by passionate remarks on the topic from Bakersfield Mayor Karen Goh and a special musical number sung by a children’s choir from McKinley Elementary School. At the end of the program a permanent bench was unveiled to memorialize and remember all innocent victims of gang violence in our community. The event was part of a group project planned by the 2019 Leadership Bakersfield cohort that included our own Brandon Urry, Manager of Athletics Communications and Community Relations. Leadership Bakersfield is an annual program put on by the Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce to better connect leaders in our community. Learn more about the Leadership Bakersfield program.

Student choir on stage.
DJ and students clap and cheer on stage.
Audience mingling in park.
Stage.
Bench with plaque.
In Remembrance of All Innocent Victims of Gang Violence in Our Community, plaque.

M&O Summer Projects

Maintenance & Operations has been hard at work since the Summer Semester began. So many projects in  the past two weeks!

  • Replaced carpet in A17 and HR
  • Installed swamp coolers in the Huddle for Food Services and students
  • Installed new artificial turf by pool
  • Began renovations to the small pool
  • Prepared for installation of artificial turf by solar parking lots
  • Replaced landscaping alongside the FACE building and the Indoor Theater
  • Removed a tree and planted fruit trees near FACE for the Renegade Pantry
  • Trimmed 80 trees in one week
  • Began renovations on restroom by tennis courts
  • Stripped and waxed gym flooring, along with rooms in FACE building
  • Replaced the air filters in the wood shop and welding labs

Thank you to our amazing M&O team for keeping our campus beautiful!

Small pool renovations.
Preparing for installation of artificial turf at the solar parking lot.
New artificial turf by the small pool.
Painting the Tennis Court Restrooms.
New carpet installation in A-17.
Ramon Puga and Jim Coggins work on replacing carpet in A17 and HR.
Corey Garcia, Aaron Kidwell, and Tim Martinez installing a swamp cooler at the Gym Huddle.
Mitchell Barter supervising installation of the swamp cooler.
2 women in the hallway.
Rachell Morehouse and Damaris Duque preparing for stripping floors.
Shiny floor.
Stripped and waxed gym floor.

Emails Worth Sharing: from Baghdad

Paul Beckworth shared this email with me. I am so proud of our students serving abroad and continuing their education.

Hey, Paul!

I payed for my classes today. It all worked out. I got into 3 classes I needed and waitlisted for 1. Thought I’d share some photos.

[3 photos]

Sitting in fatigues on box.
In operating room.
Elaine with thumbs up skyping with daughter.

Emails Worth Sharing: Invited to Barcelona to Exhibit!

Diego Gutiérrez Monterrubio, adjunct faculty in the Art Department shared this email with me:

Waking up to this message with an invitation to exhibit my work in Barcelona makes my heart beat with happiness.  I am humbled to be appreciated internationally

…y sigue la novela.

-Diego

Buenos días, soy Aaron Henriques

Director de la Galería Carey

Tras ver su obra quiero proponerle exponer individualmente en Barcelona, España.

Esperando que la propuesta sea de su agrado quedó a la espera de sus noticias

Un Saludo

Galeriacarey.com

Aespaña #art #arte #artlovers #novela #pintormexicano #contemporaryart

* translation:

Good morning, I’m Aaron Henriques

Director of the Carey Gallery

After seeing his work I want to propose to you to exhibit individually your artwork in Barcelona, ​​Spain.

Waiting for the proposal to be of your liking was waiting for your news.

Greetings.

Standing at a table in front of graphic drawing of man and graphic drawing of woman crying.
Diego Gutiérrez Monterrubio

Fun Photos: Temblor for Frank Caliendo

Look who I ran into on comedy night at Temblor.

Michelle Pena, Nicky Damania, Kylie Swanson
Having fun at Temblor!

Fun Photos: Living Victory Church

8 students with pastors and Sonya behind them hold up certificates.
Another angle of Sonya speaking with microphone in front of screen where she is projected.
Sonya with the pastor.

Fun Photos: El Camino at GPIT

El Camino College visited BC’s Campus for tips on implementing Guided Pathways.

Athletics Updates

Track & Field Finishes Season at CCCAA Championships

The Renegade Track & Field team traveled to the College of San Mateo, host site for the 2019 California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) Championships. The team had qualified five student athletes in six events and all placed well in their respective competitions. Renegade finishes included:

2019 CCCAA Track & Field Championships Gabby Lugo 2nd place 1500m
2019 CCCAA Track & Field Championships Zaila Clark 5th Place Triple Jump
2019 CCCAA Track & Field Championships Daizhiana Ebert 2nd place long jump.
2019 CCCAA Track & Field Championships Jacob Whitby 2nd place hammer.
2019 CCCAA Track & Field Championships Jacob Whitby 12th place discus.
2019 CCCAA Track & Field Championships Justin Frando 7th place 800m

With the CCCAA Track & Field Championships now concluded, the season now finishes for both the Men’s and Women’s Track and Field teams.

Track & Field Pulls In Long List Of Post-Season All-Conference Awards

The Renegade Track & Field team wrapped up the 2019 regular season this last week at the CCCAA State Championships with five top-10 finishes. As the regular season concludes, the team has racked up a number of post-season conference awards, listed below:

Jacob Whitby 2019 Western State Conference co-male filed athlete of the year.

All-WSC First Team

Women:

  • Zaila Clark – Triple Jump
  • Joycelind Currie – 4 x 100m, 4 x 400m
  • Daizhiana Ebert – 4 x 100m, Long Jump, 4 x 400m
  • Noemi Esparza – 4 x 100m, 4 x 400m
  • Victoria Lennon – 4 x 400m
  • Gabby Lugo – 1500m, 4 x 400m
  • Bree McCabe – 4 x 100m
BC Renegade Track and Field Female All - WSC 1st team portraits.

Men:

  • Daniel Nichols – High Jump
  • Justin Frando – 800m
  • Elvis Sanchez – Hammer
  • Jacob Whitby – Shot, Discus, Hammer
BC Renegade Track and Field Male All - WSC 1st team portraits.

All-WSC Second Team

Female:

  • Rayvan Childs – 400m Hurdles
  • Joycelind Currie – 400m
  • Noemi Esparza – 400m Hurdles
BC Renegade Track and Field Female All - WSC 2nd team portraits.

Male:

  • Derek Crawford – 4 x 400m
  • Justin Frando – 4 x 400m
  • Cody Hartsfield – Hammer, Discus
  • Adrian Lopez – 800m
  • Lorenzo Maldonado – 4 x 400m
  • Cutberto Salgado – 4 x 400m
  • Marcos Varela – Hammer
BC Renegade Track and Field Male All - WSC 1st team portraits.

All-WSC Honorable Mention

Female:

  • Yarabi Campos – Hammer
  • Zaila Clark – Long Jump
  • Noemi Esparza – 200m
  • Victoria Lennon – 400m
  • Gabby Lugo – 5000m, 800m
BC Renegade Track and Field Female All - WSC Honorable Mention portraits.

Male:

  • Derek Crawford – 200m
  • Cutberto Salgado – Steeplechase
  • Elvis Sanchez – Discus
  • Harrison Wykoff – Steeplechase
BC Renegade Track and Field Male All - WSC Honorable Mention portraits.
Sonya speaking with microphone.


That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

sonya-
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Thank you Firefighters & First Responders!

Good morning Bakersfield….It is Saturday, August 11, 2018. 
A great day to be a Renegade.

Hello Bessie.

Do you have children…nieces….. Well, Bessie’s story started with my daughter letting me know that she wanted a dog.  You see she has a very busy life and lives in LA.  I kept talking her out of it….and then when it appeared that she she was getting serious, I shifted to counseling her to get an older dog from the shelter making arguments like “you wont be able to take care of her as a puppy…the attention …the chewing … etc etc…” So then she tells me that she has a brilliant solution.  Have the puppy be raised for three months here in Bakersfield and then she will take her! So now there is Bessie and Neo at home, and life as I know it has changed.

 

Life Is Not Measured By the Number of Breaths We Take,
But By the Moments That Take Our Breath Away

 

This last week was another fabulous week at Bakersfield College.  Great people doing great things.

Thankful for our Firefighters and First Responders

38810755_10155777592758494_1806266492245770240_oOn Thursday afternoon, a grass fire started on our beloved Panorama Bluffs. This iconic and scenic area overlooks the Kern River oil fields and is historic to our community. While the flames remained  in the vegetation across the street, smoke and ash was billowing over onto campus. The administration team sprang into action, checking buildings and evacuating the north side of campus for safety. Within minutes, we needed to shut down the HVAC system campus-wide because the smoke was beginning to infiltrate the air duct systems of the buildings and we made the decision to evacuate the campus. The Child Development Center quickly reached out to parents and had children picked up. The college identified a pick-up location for all other youth and students on campus, and employees cleared the buildings and evacuated the area, avoiding the north side of campus.

Bakersfield Fire Department has shared that they “established a control line on the west flank while additional light engines and brush patrols were deployed to contain the fire’s eastward movement. The fire, which was wind-driven in light, flashy fuels, burned approximately 100 acres before being fully contained by BFD and KCFD Firefighters.”

Tyler Hartley and Ross KellyI am so thankful for the quick work of our city and county firefighters, the administration and leadership at the college, and our firefighters across the state of California and our country who brave flames locally and across the nation year round to keep us safe.

Firefighters, thank you for your hard work and for being an important part of our community. Your bravery is heroic and your service is commendable. Thank you for being selfless when you do not think twice about heading towards those flames to save lives. Thank you for being an inspiration to that young child who is fascinated and in awe of the fire trucks passing by. Thank you for staying strong, acting quickly, and protecting the city, county, and country we love.  #WeareBakersfield #WeareKernCounty and together, we support our firefighters.

Watching this video clip, I can’t help but think about our most recent class of firefighter graduates from Bakersfield College. On May 15, we celebrated the most recent class of Bakersfield College Firefighter I graduates and each year, students  learn from the special curriculum designed for Bakersfield city firefighters, curriculum that includes academic courses required for an associates of arts degree, plus on-the-job training, including the use of motorized fire equipment under emergency conditions.

Four men in an office in black and white newsprint

Beaty, football coach; Chief Phil Pifer (seated); Robert Padock assistant chief, and Norman Harris, coordinator of technical vocational education at Bakersfield College (right), meet to plan college and on-the-job training for city fire department trainees.

The Bakersfield College Fire Science program was first set up in 1956 through the joint efforts of Chief Phil Pifer of the Bakersfield Fire Department and Norman Harris, coordinator of technical vocational education at Bakersfield college. Earlier this year, Anthony Galazaga, a BC Fire Technology graduate and 26-year veteran of BFD became the newest Fire Chief at the Bakersfield Fire Department. BC continues to strive in every way to make a difference in this community through preparation and quality education for our graduates.

Exploring Early College and Touring Rural Initiatives Partnerships

Early College DataJust as the California State Legislature was inspired to adopt the California Master Plan for Higher Education in 1960, Bakersfield College is prepared to lead the way and advocate for our rural education and early college program as a model to revolutionize access to higher education. We know that the future success of our state and country demands an agile educational system with the flexibility to serve the needs of our evolving 21st Century economy and diverse student populations, and to reduce the strain on time and financial resources.

We know that at the top of our priority must be creating a system that increases access and equity, affordability, preparedness, and accountability for academic quality. The groundbreaking work being done thus far at Bakersfield College, along with the recent data documenting its success, has inspired a partnership to bring Early College to be within the grasp of every child, every student, and every family throughout our community, region, and state. Across seven high school districts in Kern County, BC expects to have a 40% increase in sections offered and will serve approximately 4,000 students during the Fall of 2018. BC has exponentially expanded the Early College Program as the groundwork for systemic change.

Educational Path

On Friday, August 3rd, I had the pleasure of touring various community sites to share  how BC is partnering with education and city leaders to expand opportunities for students. I was joined on this tour by KCCD Trustee Romeo Agbalog, Senator Jean Fuller, and Abel Guzman, BC’s Director of Rural Initiatives. Senator Jean Fuller truly values access to higher education for our youth, so I was glad she was able to see all of the amazing work happening in our rural communities.

Rural Tour - Shafter

The tour kicked off in Senator Fuller’s hometown of Shafter. David Franz, Director of the Shafter Education Partnership, met with us at the Shafter Learning Center where he shared all of the early education initiatives he oversees at the center, as well as the recent collaboration with BC. Through this partnership, BC has expanded course offerings to include morning sections, as well as consistent student services for Renegades in Shafter. The City of Shafter leadership is dedicated to providing higher education opportunities to their youth. We are very thankful to David and his team, who have made it possible for BC to establish a presence for Shafter Renegades.

Rural Tour - Group Photo 2

Sonya Christian, Shondra Walker, Raquel Lopez, Senator Jean Fuller, Trustee Romeo Agbalog, Abel Guzman, with the Wonderful Academy students

The second stop of the tour was Wonderful College Prep Academy in Delano. With nearly 40 Ag-Pathway graduates a couple of months ago, WCPA is now a proven Early College model. Shondra Walker, WCPA Principal, was gracious enough to set up a tour led by three of those graduates.

Rural Tour - Students speaking to Senator Jean FullerAt this stop, we were joined by Raquel Lopez, the program manager in charge of the Ag Pathway work for BC. At this special stop, we were able to hear about the program’s impact directly from the students. I had a great time engaging with the students, as well as seeing Senator Fuller do the same. It was evident that the Early College experience for these three young people has helped them feel more confident heading to their respective universities this fall.

Our tour ended with a very exciting meeting at McFarland High School. The principal, Brian Bell, spoke passionately about his vision to provide early college opportunities to their students.

Rural Tour - Senator Jean Fuller speaking to studentsHis administration team has been actively engaging with our BC Rural Initiatives team, and are ready to make big moves in the fall. The plan for this coming term is to double the amount of dual enrollment sections they offered last semester. Recognized as a top athletic school (particularly for Cross Country), Brian and his team are looking to add another focus for McFarland High School, and that is to become a College Pathways school. We are ready to take on that challenge and support Brian and his team!

Rural Tour - Group Photo

At McFarland

Special thanks to everyone who joined us that day, especially Senator Jean Fuller, Trustee Romeo Agbalog and our rural partners for joining us on this tour.

Final Summer Bridge of 2018

2018 Final Summer Bridge (3)

Chancellor Burke at BC

This was our last week of BC Summer Bridge 2018 freshmen academy! We served over 1300 students! There were so many highlights, too many to count. KCCD Chancellor Tom Burke spent a full ten-hour day with us this week mentoring his table of new freshmen. He said that programs like BC Summer Bridge are going to become even more important and critical to student success especially with the new community college funding model, which is based heavily on completion versus enrollment. Students who complete the BC Summer Bridge intensive Freshmen academy are twice as likely to complete more units and persist to their second year than those who do not attend the program.

Summer Bridge Outside Activity

The lead faculty who participated this year were so wonderful to work with all summer. We started the 2018 Bridge season in February with training new leads, rewriting curriculum, designing technology support, and so much more. The Curriculum and Technology leads who worked closley with me were Teresa McAllsister and Erica Menchaca. Other leads included Matt Garrett, Stephen Tavoni, Kaureen Brady, Don Brady, Marcelyn Allen, Olivia Garcia, Eddie Rangle, Jessica Wojtysiak, Mindy Wilmot, Faith Bradham, and Lisa Harding!!!

2018 Final Summer Bridge (1)

Rozell, Burke, Russell

These are some of the most amazing faculty you can ever imaging working with, and they come from across so many disciplines. The support staff, counselors, advisors, and other discipline faculty really stepped up this year. If you did not sign up as a table mentor or advisor this year, you really missed out, and the staff and faculty participants will attest to that statement. Many of these people answered text messages from us begging for coverage at 7 am. They will never fully understand our appreciation for this real time support. You know who you are, and yes, this is a thank you to YOU! Kimberly Bligh tells me, “I made many new friends, and I witnessed many blooming friendships between students, staff, and faculty who would never have crossed paths if not for the intense, powerful Summer Bridge days.”

 

2018 Final Summer Bridge (2)

Our last Bridge session was especially memorable. Kimberly Bligh said in a recent email, “I spent lunch with my support staff and the amazing Summer Bridge student peer mentors discussing our experiences and numerous special memories we have from the past 6 months. Tears of appreciation were abundant from all of us, and the testimonies shared by the student workers reinforced why I spend April through August in the scorching summer heat working 12-hour days at BC; I am fueled by passion for our students’ successes.”

Our BC Summer Bridge student workers are beyond amazing, and their growth as students, as parents, as professionals, as mentors, and as future leaders urges me to share the importance of not just hiring student workers, but more importantly mentoring them intrusively. For many, this is their first paying job, and what we impress upon them, what we teach them, and how we support them, all of these actions are critical to their life-long successes. Christina Maldonado and Isabel Castaneda, thank you for the stellar job you did this past year supporting these amazing student workers.

2018 Final Summer Bridge (1)

We have one more event on August 14th 5-8 pm that extends the Summer Bridge to families- The Family Bridge to BC Open House and New Student Convocation. There are still reservations available! Students can sign up here to bring their families! Free parking and dinner, information booths about programs and services, free t-shirt for freshmen enrolled at BC, scavenger hunt and raffle, entertainment, and welcoming ceremonies are included in the event!

Dr. Nicky Damania and Dr. Kimberly Bligh showcased the event on KGET on Friday morning. #WeareBC!

KGET Nicky Damania and Kimberly Bligh

Sign up here! and Follow Summer Bridge on Facebook!

Sending the 2018 ISER to the Accreditation Visiting Team

Over the past many, many months, the college has been preparing for the 2018 Accreditation visit where BC will be re-accredited for the next 6 years. As part of this process, we had a team of writers and editors develop the 2018 Institutional Self Evaluation Report (ISER), and this past week, we prepared the digital version and sent it to the visiting team.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

After officially emailing the document with Vice Presidents Liz Rozell and Zav Dadabhoy, we also prepared official flash drives in a special gift box that I previewed last week.

IMG_2518

IMG_2517

Industrial Drawing professor, Darren Willis, took inspiration from a jewelry box designed by a BC student and made some modifications to the design. Dean of Instruction, Michele Bresso said, “Our Industrial Technology faculty and students are the best!” And friends, its true. Have I shared recently that I’m the luckiest and happiest college president ever? It’s because of faculty, staff, and students who make ideas come true and represent BC!

The packages were prepped and shipped with the help of Hannah, our student employee in the Mail Room. Thank you Hannah and Leo in BC’s Mail Room!

ISER - Mail Room Hannah

2018 Football Media Day

Our Renegade football season is right around the corner. We had the opportunity to hear from Mayor Goh and Sandi Taylor about their excitement for this coming season and also from Coach Chudy on what the team expects to do this season.

Ken Calvin and Coach Chudy

We also were treated to an “unveiling” of the new football uniforms for this coming season. The Bakersfield Fire Department drove football players Cam Roberson (#22), Carson Olivas (#10), Elisha Ortiz (#5) and James Thomas (#35) to the event on a fire engine to introduce the jerseys.

New UnisCam Roberson

Carl Bryan, the voice of BC football and Sonya Christian

Carl Bryan, the voice of BC football and Sonya Christian

Brandon Urry and Sandi Taylor

Brandon Urry and Sandi Taylor

It was a joy to see Carl Bryan at the event, who is going into his 33rd year as PA announcer for Renegade Football. I plan on being there for every game. How about you? Let’s cheer on the ‘Gades together!

And Brandon Urry, photographed above with Sandi Taylor  is BC’s star addition to the Renegade Athletics team. In his role as Community Relations Manager for Renegade Athletics, Brandon’s commitment to our student athletes, their education, the college, and our community is clear.

Media Day

Jon Mettus of the Californian highlighted the event in an amazing piece titled, “Bakersfield College football kicks off 2018 season with first full gear practice.” Media day was a great way to kick of the 2018 season. And by the way, are you following BC Athletics on social media? Be sure to stay connected with Renegade Athletics throughout the year to know the latest on our sports teams:

Stay Connected1

Wrestlers Signing to go to University of Jamestown

Every week it seems like we have more and more Renegade student athletes who are moving on to the next level.

Wrestling Signing

This week wrestler Romiro Macias and Zavion Roberson announced their commitment to attend school and wrestle at the University of Jamestown in Jamestown, ND. Congratulations to these two and all 38 of our Renegade student athletes from this last season who are moving on. Go Gades!

Wrestling Signing1

Law Enforcement Training Academy

On Thursday morning, we were honored to host the Bakersfield Law Enforcement Training Academy for the 23rd Peace Officer’s Basic Academy for the Class of 17-01. Eighteen individuals went through 24 weeks of intense training and education. The celebration opened with a class video of the class members and then four awards were presented with the highest academic award, marksmanship award, physical fitness award, and top overall achievement award. The class was introduced to the indoor theater full of family, friends, and BC Supporters as the class with the motto “Every Day Counts”.

Law Enforcement Academy Grad 2018 (2)

The class speaker, Officer Jason Perez, shed light on their experiences as a cadet in the program and the challenges they all went through. He shared that there’s a “culture of accountability” in the Bakersfield Police Department. On his birthday, Chief Lyle D. Martin told the incoming class that when he met them at the beginning, he told them they would be few at the end. He’s very proud and engaged with the students that he is crossing over today.

This is an incredible collaboration and partnership of Bakersfield Police Department and Bakersfield College. It was great to have Mayor Karen Goh and Police Chief, Lyle Martin celebrate along side Vice President Zav Dadabhoy, Rich McCrow, and Tommy Tunson. Congratulations, graduates and a special happy birthday to Lyle Martin.

Law Enforcement Academy Grad 2018 (1)

BC at the Capitol

Jennifer Johnson at the CapitolCollaboration is critical to implementing guided pathways. Faculty and student support services need to work in unison to map out program pathways across departments to define sequences of courses that students can take to fulfill program requirements. Once the maps are implemented, they must work together to guide, monitor, and support students as they enter and make progress along program pathways. Jennifer Johnson represented Bakersfield College at the Capitol on Wednesday to share stories about guided pathways implementation at BC.

It’s an exciting time to be a part of the California Community College system and as more colleges engage faculty and staff in the redesign process, we will be able to build on the lessons learned from early adopters about how to implement such reforms in ways that are cost-effective and that lead to improved learning and success for students.

Guided Pathways at the Capitol

STEM Guided Pathways Premier

This week, BC’s MESA presented: STEM Guided Pathways Premiere, a three-day event where we invited STEM majors to get insider perspective on the STEM learning culture. As well we provided an application for the MESA program, internship opportunities at NASA-AMES in Silicon Valley and fellowships with the David Dwight Eisenhower grant that will allow 8 students to do research and attend an international conference this academic year.

STEM Guided Pathways Premier

STEM professors Nick Strobel, James Mcgarrah, and Timothy Plett volunteered their time to give insight to STEM students about STEM careers and how to stay on the STEM pathway, and to be successful in STEM courses. The MESA program provided the foundation of learning for STEM major and a 10-point student plan to be successful in the STEM majors for all the students that attended.

BC Open House for Homeschoolers

We had a BC SouthWest open house for homeschoolers on Thursday evening and were excited to host eager students and their families to share the opportunities for education through BC.  If you or someone you know may be interested in options for homescholers through Bakersfield College, please reach out to homeschool@bakersfieldcollege.edu.

Open House Homeschool at BCSW

Fernando Lara addressing the families at BC-SW

Special thanks to Manny Mourtzanos, Bill Moseley, Fernando Lara, and Jo Acosta.

Ralph Bailey Show

Sonya Christian and Ralph Bailey Cropped May 18 2017

Sonya and Ralph Bailey

On Tuesday, August 7, 2018, guest host Michael Turnipseed facilitated a conversation on education, jobs and workforce development on the Ralph Bailey Show (Kern Radio 1180) with guests Supervisor Leticia Perez, Dr. Anna Laven, and Consuelo (Connie) Gonzalez. Ralph Bailey is a great supporter of Bakersfield College and our students!

Supervisor Perez discussed the beginnings of a partnership between Turnipseed, Perez, and Bakersfield College. Supervisor Perez has sought creative and effective options for spending grant funding in her district and from that initial conversation, dual enrollment began at Arvin High School to support the education needs of young people and to support local industry seeking a trained workforce.

 

Anna Laven with Michael Turnipseed Aug 7 2018

Dr. Laven explained the tremendous growth in dual enrollment resulting from the support of BC and KHSD Superintendent Bryon Schaefer.  Dr. Laven also highlighted the vision for the future, as evidenced by successes like the Wonderful Academy graduates this last May, and the potential to transform communities by bringing college to high school students.  Connie Gonzalez then came on to explain the strong support within STEM in the MESA program at BC.  Among the many program offerings, MESA provides students with both academic support and career development opportunities.

Summer at BC’s CDC

Summer at CDCBC’s Child Development Center is a special place on campus and in our community.

During the summer session, our staff at center hold a special, preschool-wide event for two weeks when all of the classrooms come together for some outside fun.

The center is an exciting and magical place of learning and it’s amazing to see the students all interact with each other, play, and enjoy the outdoor classroom.

Each class prepares a special activity or two such as chipping ice blocks to free frozen toys, running through sprinklers, or making leis to celebrate luau day.

Child Development Summer 2018

The center still has a few opening for three and four years for fall.  Information and application forms are available on the BC  website.

Celebrating Wendy

Wendy LawsonWendy Lawson has been an incredible part of the Executive Office team and this past week, we celebrated her going-away party as she moves on to the next stage in her career.

Wendy has been the Administrative Assistant for both recent Vice Presidents of Instruction, Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg and currently Liz Rozell, She’s been a fantastic member of our executive team, always willing to give a helping hand or do what she can to assist.

We will miss her bright smile and southern charm in the executive office. I’m glad we were able to celebrate Wendy’s time at the Home of the Renegades this past week. Plus, guess who made this delicious cake for the celebration?

Wendys Cake, Chris Glaser and Jennifer Marden

Happy Birthday to Jim Young

Jim Young, Chancellor Emeritus of Kern Community College District celebrated his 80th birthday recently. It reminded me of an article that Jose Gaspar wrote on Bakersfield.com titled “Forever (Jim) Young and his passion for educating Arvin’s disadvantaged.” Jim’s mission to increase access to education is one that inspires me daily. Happy Birthday Jim!

Remembering Molly

I’ve mentioned before in my blog the special bond we have with our pets and I was struck by a post on Facebook by Ag professor, Jim Selgrath who shared a bit about his dog Molly. He said, “She was an incredible friend to me when I needed a friend. Always happy to run right by my horse when I was working cattle. Loyal. Loving. An incredible dog. I miss her…”

Let’s take a moment for Molly….

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

More Photos to Share

Cabinet Retreat from Monday afternoon.

Faculty chairs gathered from all disciplines in preparation for the upcoming fall semester and year ahead!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

BC’s Corny Rodriguez almost had an encounter with a bear on vacation in Mammoth Lakes!

Corny Rodriguez encounter with a bear in Mammoth Lakes

William Velasquez is at it again with his amazing photography. He took this photo on Tuesday evening as he left the BC campus.

William Velasquez Sunset photo

Liz Rozell and Monika Scott

LAUNCH LA

Art professor, David Koeth will be showing  three paintings with LAUNCH LA at the Korean Cultural Center in an exhibit called “Intersection.”

David Koeth Selfie Sep 2016

Exhibit dates are August 17 – 30, and the opening reception is August 17, 6 to 9 pm. Learn more at  http://www.launchla.org/

BC at Drum Corps International (DCI) World Championships

Drum Corps International 2I am so proud of the BC Golden Empire Drum Corps competing at the World Championships in Indianapolis! Tim Heasley, Director of Marching Arts shared with me via email that our students had a great final run and they have represented the college well.

Drum Corps International

 

 

Sonya Christian Football Media Day August 9 2018

 

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

July 28, 2018 — a special day

Neo at Marina Del Rey July 26 2018Good morning Bakersfield. 

It is Saturday, July 28, 2018, a special day for me…….usually a day of reflection and today I reflect on the amazing summer we have had so far, and looking forward to the upcoming fall semester.  Definitely a good day to be a Renegade

I’m also thinking again this morning about Summer Bridge…., the amazing faculty and staff who participate and the amazing Kimberly Bligh who leads and organizes the entire effort.

 

Summer Bridge Taking Media by Storm

Tori Cooper interviewing student

Tori Cooper interviewing student

The Summer Bridge program was on fire this week in local media coverage.   The Bakersfield Californian featured an article talking about how the program helps to minimize the intimidation that many high school students feel when moving to higher education.  ABC23 also highlighted the program, talking to students and their drive to continue their education. On Wednesday, Karen Hua at KGET also created a video package showcasing the good work of this program. #WeareBC!

You MUST SEE the video of incoming freshman, Daryl Maiden speaking to Tori Cooper of 23 ABC.

Thank you to Joseph Luiz at the Bakersfield Californian and Tori Cooper at ABC23 for helping to keep our community informed on BC’s commitment to student success.

Summer Bridge Paper

This amazing program is changing lives and helping students succeed from day one! Special thanks to two incredible women who care about students and their success – Dr. Kimberly Bligh and Isabel Castaneda!

Kimberly Bligh and Isabel Castaneda

Kimberly Bligh and Isabel Castaneda

Process Technology Degree Coming to BC

It was highlighted in the Worth Noting” section of the Bakersfield Californian that BC has a Process Technology degree and certificate coming soon! This new degree will provide the skills and knowledge needed for jobs such as chemical system operators, water and gas system operators, and petroleum pump operators.

Career Technical Education (CTE) Vision Board

Career Technical Education (CTE) Vision Board

According to recent 2018 Labor Market Analysis, there were 1,359 job postings for the four industrial-systems-technology-and-maintenance occupations in the seven counties within the South Central Valley region over the past year. “Bakersfield College is committed to providing our students with an educational foundation for a successful career, one which will provide employment that directly aligns with their course of study” said Director of Career and Technical Education, Tony Cordova.

L.U.P.E. Hosts 2nd Annual Dreamer Open House

Dreamer Open House (8)On Friday July 20th, L.U.P.E. (Latinos Unidos Por Educación) hosted the 2nd Annual Dreamer Open House on campus. This impactful event was geared towards incoming freshmen who met the classification of AB540, DACA, DREAMer, and undocumented.  This event was a great way to provide students with a supportive environment and reassurance that our campus community is a “safe space.” Students were shown our various campus resources as well as community resources, such as the United Farmworkers Foundation (UFW)  and Youth 2 Leaders (Y2L).

Dreamer Open House (7)

Dreamer Open House (6)Our fearless Student Government Officers, including BCSGA President James Tompkins, provided a warm welcome and words of encouragement to our Dreamer attendees, which was clearly taken to heart as newfound friendships were formed as the day progressed.  Thank you to the 16 L.U.P.E. students who volunteered to set up, served as group facilitators and presenters, and participated in the college panel discussion. Also, a very special thanks to the Office of Student Success and Equity, EOP&S, CalSOAP, Outreach Department, and Hodels Restaurant for their support and involvement. I love showing others what a dedicated staff we have here at BC, and how it is our campus culture to invest in our students.

Legislative Field Representatives Visit BC

Field representatives Perry Finzel (Congressman David Valadao’s office), Aaron Falk and Cole Karr (Congressman Kevin McCarthy’s office), and Clayton Fowler (Assemblyman Vince Fong’s office) visited the BC campus on Wednesday where they were shown what it truly means to be a Renegade!  Dr. Michele Bresso welcomed the representatives, and helped them to get to know BC and the innovative and impactful programs that we offer.

dsc06047-x3

dsc05957-x3On the tour they were introduced to our Bachelor of Science in Industrial Technology program, met with student veterans who shared information about the services that BC offers and the new veterans center that will be starting construction soon, and they got to engage first-hand with the amazing robotics technology that our students learn with.

dsc06120-x3

This tour was an opportunity for our representatives to see the BC staff dedication to student success that we consistently strive for, as well as our commitment to workforce development in our community. #WeareBC!

Renegade Athletics Student Success Seminar

 

darrel-ballard

Over 82 incoming freshman student athletes attended the 1st annual Student Success Seminar on Monday, July 23rd to help orient them to resources on campus. Athletics program manager Darrell Ballard coordinated speakers from all across campus including:

The Renegade Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) student leaders

David Seymore from Student Health  who spoke on the mental challenges of being an athlete today

Danyel Owens from Student Life who discussed never being hungry at BC and the importance of nutrition

Stephanie Baltazar from Career and Technical Education who discussed finding a career, working on campus, and building a resume

Eileen Pierce and her Academic Support Staff who discussed the locations and importance of tutoring, work study, math hub, writing center and supplemental instruction

Vanesa De La Madrid Hernandez and Amanda Stone from Financial Aid who discussed financial aid in detail, important dates, how to check your program status, and much more

Stig Jantz, Athletics Academic Advisor, who  talked about what it takes to be a successful student at BC, the importance of GPA, graduation plans, matriculation, and BC Math and English Initiatives.

Stay Connected1

Be sure to stay connected with Renegade Athletics throughout the year via social media to know the latest on our sports teams:

Jon Mettus highlights BC Volleyball Coach Ferreira

CarlFerreira

Carl Ferreira

The Bakersfield Californian’s Jon Mettus spotlighted the talented and dedicated coach Ferreira this week in a Q&A piece. 

The interview covers topics such as how Coach Carl Ferreira found himself in Bakersfield, how he found himself coaching Volleyball, and what he calls the ‘secret sauce’ in coaching.

Within the piece, coach says “My  primary job is just to impact people. Not to coach volleyball. To coach volleyball is easy. Impacting people is really hard.”

Read the whole article at Bakersfield.com.

And love this photo by Felix Adamo in The Bakersfield Californian

Coach Carl Ferreira Photo by Feliz Adamo TBC

Coach Ferreira and Renegade Volleyball.  Photo by Felix Adamo

Chamber Singers in Australia

For the past three years, the Chamber Singers worked hard to make the Australia Tour a reality. They fundraised, rehearsed, fundraised some more, gave performances, and devoted so much heart to this adventure. They are now safely home and this talented group is already dreaming up where they’ll bring the Renegade spirit to next!

Here are a few highlights from the 2018 Chamber Singers trip to Australia:

Chambersingers_Aus_GroupatRainforest

Chambersingers_Aus_ABC

36942333_10214753303159163_6309096749239631872_n

Chambersingers_Aus

Chamber Singers at the Australian Museum

Chamber Singers at the Australian Museum

chamber singers

Chamber Singers Sydney University Madrigal Society

Chamber Singers Sydney University Madrigal Society

OPera House

37243142_10156142051477702_1823806722070806528_n

This group of talented men and women are forever changed and so grateful for everyone who supported them on this journey. Thank you to all who helped make this possible and to all of the Chamber Singers and guests who made this the most incredible tour!

Special Commissions by Ron Kean

Ron Kean and Sonya Christian

Ron Kean and Sonya Christian

BC is lucky to have such talented and dedicated faculty and staff. I’m thinking this morning about the “Journey of Harriet Tubman,” a specially commissioned work by Ron Kean that premiered on March 24, 2017, performed by the Bakersfield College Choirs with Dr. Jennifer Garrett as Conductor. Written in the style of African/American spirituals that she would have sung, the work chronicles Harriet Tubman’s early life,  escape from slavery, and bravery and leadership in helping others escape. These spirituals are set in a pre-Civil-War, west African style that helps evoke the life and mind of the enslaved Africans. Harriet Tubman escaped from enslavement and returned to Maryland 13 times, helping rescue over 300 fellow enslaved Africans.

Since its premiere, this work has been performed by a professional women’s choir, VOX Femina Los Angeles, at CSU Long Beach, San Jose State University, and by the San Luis Obispo Master Chorale. Performances this year include the Idyllwild School of the Arts at Walt Disney Hall on Aug. 5, College of the Canyons, Santa Barbara Choral Society, the Sacramento Master Chorale and CSU Fresno.

The BC Chamber Singers will premiere its latest commission by Ron Kean, “The Star Spangled Banner” on October 26, 2018. I’m told this new arrangement focuses musically on the “spangles” of our flag and the wonder at the survival of the United States from the Battle of Fort McHenry in 1812.

Ron says, “The purpose of composing both compositions is to honor and celebrate all Americans who have contributed to our great nation. An African Proverb says: ‘If you wish to travel fast, go alone: But if you wish to travel far, go together.’ I HOPE that we can all learn to walk together by honoring the unique cultures that formed America.”

Testing and Placement Center Move

Testing and Placement WorkstationsAs we prepare for the construction of the new Veteran’s Center, a crucial next step was to create the new Testing and Placement Center on the 1st floor of the CSS building (where the Graphics and Print Shop used to be, on the north side of the building, room 14). This critical move allows work to proceed on the old Finlinson building which will become the new Veterans Center. Regular testing and placement student support services have resumed.

Testing and Placement Computers

Thanks to Kalina Hill who worked to verify that we have everything in the correct place. Thanks to M&O for helping us get a few pieces of temporary furniture to make things work while we wait for new furniture to arrive (primarily in the office space). And thank you IT Crew!

Testing and Placement Move

BC’s IT team giving up their Saturday morning to get things in place so that the testing center can be up and running for Monday morning.

Drum Corps International Competition Resounds Through BC

final-2018-large_origDrumroll, please! The fourth annual “Resound: Drum and Bugle Corps Competition” was held at BC last Friday. To say that it was a success is to put it lightly.  This event brought together some of the best drum and bugle corps to our campus, from as far as Salt Lake City. The competition , which had over 1,100 people in attendance, is supported by an Arts in the Community Grant from the Arts Council of Kern.  We are very proud to have hosted this great event!

BC’s Performing Arts presents “Parade”

Parade Flier

Bakersfield College Performing Arts Department proudly presents the 2nd Annual Summer Musical, the Tony Award-winning Parade. Performances are scheduled for August 3, 4, 10, and 11 at 7:30PM at BC’s beautiful Indoor Theater. Tickets available at Vallitix.com and at the door!

Parade is a moving and hopeful examination of a challenging part of the American experience that includes religious intolerance, political injustice and racial tension. This stirring musical explores the endurance of love and hope against all odds, with a book by acclaimed playwright Alfred Uhry, and a rousing, colorful and haunting score by Jason Robert Brown,

In 1913, Leo Frank, a Brooklyn-raised Jew living in Georgia, is put on trial for the murder of thirteen-year-old Mary Phagan, a factory worker under his employ. Already guilty in the eyes of everyone around him, the actions of a sensationalist publisher and a janitor’s false testimony seal Leo’s fate. His only defenders are a Governor with a conscience, and, eventually, his assimilated Southern wife who finds the necessary strength and love to become his greatest champion.

Daring, innovative and bold, Parade is filled with soaring music and a heart-wrenching story, offering a moral lesson about the dangers of prejudice and ignorance — one that still rings true in our modern political landscape.

State Water Resource Control Board placement while at BC

ZM

Zechariah Maynard is a former MESA student.  He transferred to Cal Poly Pomona as a mechanical engineering major starting only this Fall, but, as we know, MESA students are eager to “pay it forward” and help their fellow students. Zechariah came back and helped set up a  presentation to summer students in the AERA STEM Center on July 26. Zechariah spoke about how jobs like his placement with the State Water Resource Control Board are great opportunities for engineering students. He described how gained a wealth of knowledge, and encouraged more BC students to pursue experiences like this one that the MESA program made possible for him.  Thank you Connie Gonzales and the MESA faculty for your focus on dedication to our students.

Walkin’ After Sunrise

Sonya Christian and Rhondi Bradford July 24 2018

Sonya Christian, Rhondi Bradford

Rhondi Bradford is a proud alumna and former BC employee who loves BC! Even though she retired in 2007, she and her husband Bob, visit campus each morning for their morning walks.

While at BC as an employee, Rhondi was active and social with many groups and she worked with recently retired Vice President Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg for a number of years back when Nan was Dean. Rhondi is a proud graduate of the class of 1964 with a degree in Business and in her spare time, she has volunteered to chronicle the unfolding of the construction work related to Measure J during her morning walks on campus. #WeAreBC!

Local Contractor Outreach Seminar

Trustee Thomas speaking at the Local Contractor Outreach Seminar

Trustee Thomas speaking at the Local Contractor Outreach Seminar

On Tuesday night, BC hosted a local contractor outreach seminar along with AECOM/Parsons and Casamar Group in an effort to inform the community about  upcoming Measure J projects, and make visible that KCCD and BC are dedicated to hiring a local workforce, and want to maximize opportunity for small and local contractors interested in participating in these projects. At the seminar, attendees were given details about Measure J projects and how to become a part of the program to build A Better BC

A special thank you to Trustee Bill Thomas for his attendance and introduction about the importance of Measure J and what it means for the community.  We are working to keep local dollars local, and want our community to be given every opportunity to be a part of this adventure.

Bidders Workshop July 24 2018.jpg

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Also thank you Trustee Romeo Agbalog and Trustee Kyle Carter for attending this event.

 

Latina Leaders of Kern County: Latinas Leading the Way Annual Fundraiser

The 19th Annual Latinas Leading the Way dinner was held last weekend, where BC was represented in full force!  The annual fundraiser highlights women making an impact in the community through education. Norma Rojas-Mora, Corny Rodriguez, andAbel Guzman were just a few BC employees in attendance, as was Mayor Goh, who is always enthusiastic in sharing the Renegade spirit at community events. Congratulations to honorees Beatris Espericueta Sanders, Sonia Rodriguez, and Lillian Tafoya on their well-deserved recognition and for encouraging Latina leadership and education in our community!

The Bakersfield College crew supporting Latina Leaders

The Bakersfield College crew supporting Latina Leaders

Family Time

I spent several days this past week at my daughter’s house by the beach.  My favorite vacations are full of long walks and this one was no different — walks on the beach, walks at the marina…….

Life Is Not Measured By the Number of Breaths We Take,
But By the Moments That Take Our Breath Away

Marina Del Rey July 26 2018.jpg

And then there was my daughter spoiling Neo and teaching him bad habits.  You just need to check out the photo below to know what I mean.

Neo on Eisha Christian's bed Marina Del Rey July 27 2018

 

Sonya Christian and Neo Marina Del Rey July 27 2018

That’s all for now.  

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.  

sonya —
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

Moments that make up Life

Neo from Eisha's Facebook May 14 2017Good morning Bakersfield.  It is Saturday, May 27th….always a good day to be a Renegade.

A lot happened this week…A lot has happened to people around me.  Gains and losses. All interwoven in the fabric of life.  It gives us pause and the realization that it is the little moments that make up life.

Let me start by revisiting the 103rd commencement.

Commencement

I’m happy to still be covering parts of our incredible Commencement Day on May 12th.

Thank you Manny De Los Santos for this great video!

Last week I did not have the potos for the Delano pre-commencement celebration and the Veterans pre-commencement celebration.  So I decided to hold off and post it this week.  I did receive an email expressing disappointment that I did not have them last week.  My apologies.  Sit back and enjoy our students in Delano and our student Veterans.

Delano Pre-Commencement Celebration:

Students at the Bakersfield College-Delano Campus are part of a close-knit community — one really gets to know the faces around the center. This couldn’t have been made much clearer than by the remarks that followed.

 

DelanoCommencement (6)

Trustee Romeo Agbalog

Trustee Romeo Agbalog gave words of encouragement to the graduates in attendance. He talked about his experience as a student at Bakersfield College. Mr. Agbalog specifically talked about the role that our longtime Admissions and Records Technician, Helen Calip, played in enrolling him in his first class at Bakersfield College-Delano. In recounting the experience, Mr. Agbalog, full of heart, looked at Helen sitting in the audience and thanked her for what she did for him. We feel very fortunate to have such a passionate representative on our Board of Trustees.  Thank you Trustee Agbalog for taking the time to be present at important events.  Our students really appreciate it.

 

DelanoCommencement (2)Our keynote speaker for the event was adjunct faculty member, Victor Krumdick. Mr. Krumdick is retiring after 26 years of service to the college. Raquel Lopez and Carolina Madrigal introduced him and shared stories about the amazing work he has done in Delano, in and out of the classroom. Mr. Krumdick is one of the friendliest people around campus. He brings a positive energy to the Delano Campus that not many can match. He shared some wise and poetic words with the students, in hopes that they live life to their fullest potential.

Then came the moment everybody was waiting for. Each student had the opportunity to stand in front of the group and share words of appreciation for their guests, as well as for the staff and faculty. The majority of the students made it a point to thank the faculty members who believed in them and supported them along the way. Each student received a medal to recognize their accomplishment.

DelanoCommencement (3)

BC Delano Pre-Commencement Reception

DelanoCommencement (4)

BC Delano Pre-Commencement Reception

DelanoCommencement (1)

BC Delano Pre-Commencement Reception

DelanoCommencement (5)

BC Delano Pre-Commencement Reception

The ceremony was followed by a reception at which students, staff, faculty, and guests enjoyed light refreshments. The joy and pride that the families had that day was very contagious. After some socializing, many of the students headed to main campus to participate in the 103rd commencement. 

Veterans Pre-Commencement

“Aim High …. Fly, Fight, Win!” , “Non sibi sed patriae, (Not for self but for country)”, “Semper Fidelis (Always Faithful)”and “This we’ll defend” all typically followed by a Hooray!

Veterans pre-commencement May 12 2017

These are the official mottoes for the four branches of military, Air Force, Navy, Marines, and the Army. A week ago Friday, six Bakersfield College students gathered for their pre-commencement ceremony and all of these branches were represented with pride and honor. These six students worked hard, diligently at their studies, juggled families, work, and outside responsibilities while still making time to study, write those papers and pass those exams. When Paul Beckworth addressed these BC Veterans, he recognized their service to this country and the service to this school, “Stay up late and write a paper, I’ve served 2 tours in Iraq, piece of cake.”

After Paul and Armando Trujillo  spoke to the Veteran students and their honored guests, they then invited the students to come up one at a time and be stolled by a member of their family and then speak of their appreciation for those who helped them on this journey.

The resonating theme throughout everyone’s comments was that of the genuine camaraderie that can be found within the walls of the Veteran’s lounge. When soldiers get together, there is an instant bond that is irrefutable and instantaneous, they all share a trait that will connect them forever, a love and duty to this country… and now, alumni of BC.  #WeAreBC

The graduates all thanked their loved ones present for their patience, love and support, first while they were enlisted, then now with them completing their education at Bakersfield College. It is absolutely amazing to know that by 2018 there will be a new Veterans lounge thanks to the passing of Measure J. The new veterans facility will provide these soldiers with a place to meet together, work on their studies, get tutoring help, speak with counselors, and just find solace within the confines of a place where like-minded individuals can meet and empower one another to keep working hard to achieve their academic dreams. I hope all of our alumni Vets will come back to see, share, and visit this upcoming wonderful advancement for the Veteran’s at BC.

veterans

From Left: Jeff Patterson, Fernando Bocanegra (standing), David Dullum Jr. (squatting), Robert Lira, Professor Paul Beckworth, Stephanie Short, Armando Trujillo, Bernadette Martinez and Reigine Tovar


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

 

KEDC and the STEMposium

On May 19, 2017 was the ‘STEMposium’ event organized by the Kern Economic Development Corporation (KEDC), and held on the Bakersfield College campus. This event raises awareness of the amazing technology-related fields in and around Kern County. The KEDC works with high schools to foster awareness and excitement for the Stem disciplines so that young students can move on to become leaders in tech-driven fields.

Here is a list of some of the organizations represented:
Chevron, PG&E, Wells Fargo, S Power, California Resources Corporation, Bakersfield College, Taft College, BHE Renewables, Kern Schools Federal Credit Union, Ikea, GTEDC, Ordiz Melby, and Texas Instruments. (Click here for the full gallery of images)

2017-STEMposium at BC-175

2017 STEMposium at Bakersfield College

2017-STEMposium at BC-033

Vince Fong at the 2017 STEMposium

2017-STEMposium at BC-070

2017 STEMposium at Bakersfield College

2017-STEMposium at BC-135

2017 STEMposium at Bakersfield College

2017-STEMposium at BC-051

2017 STEMposium at Bakersfield College

I enjoyed Christina Sistrunk’s talk at the Stemposium about women in the Stem area.  We are fortunate to have such a great CEO for Aera.  I have blogged about Aera being a great patron of education in general and Bakersfield College in particular.  Aera gave a large donation to BC to the development of a Stem Success Center.

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

Also enjoyed seeing Michael Kane from Cerro Coso giving a ted-like talk.  He was fabulous.  Michael is an Aquatic Ecologist who has spent time teaching around the world including Brazil and Costa Rica.

Michael Kane from Cerro Coso May 19 2017

Michael Kane

Amber Smithson, the student blogger was out and about covering the Stemposium.  Here is a shot of her in action and one with me.  Amber, you are amazing!

Bob Meadows emceed the ted talks event.  I wish I had snapped a picture with him.  Bob Meadows, you are the best!

On Thursday evening, KEDC hosted a Pre-STEMposium event at Luigi’s.  It was a fun event and I enjoyed visiting with Mindy Wilmot and her husband who teaches Project Lead the Way at Bakersfield High School.  I ran into Lauren Skidmore and Chancellor Tom Burke attending and snapped this photo.

 

STEMposiumLUIGIS-LaurenSkidmore-TomBurke

Lauren Skidmore and Chancellor Tom Burke

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

Stemposium-ConnieGonzales

Sonya Christian with Connie Gonzales


The visionary and the one who did the detailed work to pull all this together is Cheryl Scott.  Just an amazing person!

Cheryl Scott with Sandi and Scruffy Facebook picture

Cheryl Scott

Sterling Silver

I want so start my writing on this year’s Sterling Silver with Josh Ottum.  Josh was there with his students and they played Linda Ronstadt’s Blue Bayou.

JoshOttum,VanessaEmmett

Josh Ottum and his family

I wish I had jumped up and rushed over and gotten a video for you to enjoy.  It was sooooo good.  But I was dressed in fancy clothes and high heels and thought I would embarrass BC in front of dignitaries if I made a mad dash to get a video clip.  Instead I waited patiently and completely immersed in the music.  Later when they were done, I calmly walked over and expressed how I loved the song and how Ronstadt’s Blue Bayou was my favorite.  To which Josh responded “yes of course” that they knew it was my favorite  because they had read my blog and that is precisely why they played it.   Now do you know why I am the luckiest and happiest college president ever.

 

Sterling Silver is the annual fundraising event for the Bakersfield College Foundation.  This year, Tom Gelder and I decided to convert the event from a fundraiser to a thank you to the community for passing Measure J on the November 8th ballot and to recognize individuals who put in a lot of effort to make all of this happen.

The main honorees of the evening were Mayor Harvey Hall who was the chair of the Blue Ribbon Committee and Congressman Bill Thomas who was the senior advisor to the campaign.

Mayor Harvey Hall:

BC Sterling Silver _001.jpg

Tom Gelder, Harvey Hall, Sonya Christian

You don’t get to be Bakersfield’s longest serving mayor without doing things well, and Harvey Hall does a lot of things well.   Political campaign committees need strong leadership and Harvey provided that throughout the process.  From space at Hall Ambulance for committee meetings, running the meetings on a tight schedule, making financial contributions to the campaign, to inspirational speeches when we needed them, Harvey was always there for us.  I remember when I went to meet with Mayor Hall to ask him if he would chair the Bond effort.  I had documents and a file to talk him through the details and make a compelling case for why he should say yes to chairing the committee.  Harvey looked at me and only 10 seconds into my pitch, which I had rehearsed at length, he just said “yes”.

BCSterlingSilver_26

President Sonya Christian, Mayor Harvey Hall

When it comes to Bakersfield and Bakersfield College I know Harvey is there for us.  And apparently Harvey had a clone which made it possible to be there for so many of us, often it felt like, at the same time.  On behalf of all at Bakersfield College I can say that we could not have asked for a better person to chair this effort and be the face for the Bond Measure. A true friend of Bakersfield College, Mayor Harvey Hall.

Congressman Bill Thomas:

BC Sterling Silver _004