Good morning Bakersfield. It is Saturday, March 12, 2016…..A good day to be a Renegade!
What a hectic week at BC. Just on one day, March 10th, we had the Board of Trustees for their monthly board meeting on campus, the Houchin Blood Bank drive hosted by SGA on campus, and had a group of 74 Highland High School seniors visiting who completed their Abbreviated Student Ed Plans (ASEPs) on campus. I was happy to hear Stewart Hathaway, Academic Senate President of Porterville College, do a shout-out to Steve Watkin and our Outreach department. The day actually started early morning with Corny Rodriguez and me presenting our Facilities Master Plan, in light of a potential bond for the November 2016 ballot, to the newly formed Government Relations Committee (GRC) of the Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (KCHC). Most of the members of this group are up and coming young professionals who have already established themselves as leaders in this community. They are very enthusiastic about Bakersfield College and as Corny and I were leaving we snagged this photo with Alex Dominguez, past SGA president and a member of the GRC. Jay Tamsi, President of the KCHC is a wonderful partner! Jennifer Marden commented to me at the end of the day as I was rushing off to Sacramento for the IEPI advisory committee meeting: “Just another normal day at BC”.
It was wonderful having our Board members on campus along with colleagues from Porterville and Cerro Coso. Danielle Hillard and Jennifer Marden did an exceptional job planning the day. We changed the venue from the Indoor Theater to the Gym–lunch was in the Huddle and the Board Meeting on the Mezzanine overlooking the floor of the gym. Josh Ottum, our new faculty member in music who is launching the Applied and Commercial Music Program and his student Omar performed for the Board. Manny Mourtzanos and John Gerhold were walking around being proud of Josh and the music program at BC.
It was wonderful seeing Ron Frolich who sits on the Ag advisory committee and is a strong supporter of BC and BC’s Ag program. I remember decades ago when I was a rookie Dean and Ag was assigned to me. It was Bill Kelly and folks like Ron Frolich who taught me about the Ag program and Ag in the Central Valley in California.
Chef Sabella and team did a phenomenal job and Kristin Rabe and I were commenting that we were so happy after devouring the Cous Cous and Quinoa salad. I think Kristin actually used the word “euphoric”. And of course, Todd Coston and Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg are always thrilled when we have great vegetarian options available. Ramon Puga and the facilities crew did an outstanding job. Thank you!
We had individual Board members briefly tour five of the capital projects that are listed on the proposed bond list–Math Science; Health, PE and Athletics; Student Services neighborhood; Agriculture; and the Veterans Center. During their Board reports each Board member was complimentary about their tour, and impressed with the faculty and staff. I enjoyed Trustee Storch‘s comments about his Math Science tour as well as his visit to the Veterans Center. He played with the STEM umbrella and rearranged the sequence to consider what it would be like with the following arrangement: Math Science Engineering and Technology, or “MSET”. And then Trustee Corkins jumped in by introducing an “A” for Agriculture — STEAM rather than STEM. Trustee Meek was very supportive of having a robust Veterans Program. She highlighted the statewide Guided Pathways summit hosted by BC and acknowledged the presentation by President Jill Board. Finally she remarked positively on the Arvin Forum that was held the same evening as the Summit. Trustee Agbalog was very complimentary about his tour, and commended both president Rosa Carlson and Jill Board and the achievements of their students. Trustee Wright reflected on how much of a positive impact the colleges have on their students as well as on the employees. He said a very heartfelt “thank you” to all of the faculty and staff at all three colleges. Trustee Beebe was very appreciative to everyone for their work. Trustee Carter was also appreciative and acknowledged individuals by name for their wonderful work. Thank you Trustees!
Now, let me take a moment to focus on BC. There are few blogs I enjoy writing more than those highlighting the amazing accomplishments of BC’s incredible team of educators. Every time I turn around, I’m finding out about another award, another fabulous achievement, or another incredible event or work produced by a member of our super-talented Renegade family.
BC’s very own director of Choral Activities, Dr. Jennifer Garrett has been honored as the recipient of the 2016 Outstanding Collegiate Educator Award, as bestowed by the Kern County Music Educators Association.
In less than three years as a full-time faculty in the Performing Arts Department, Dr. Garrett has built upon the tradition of excellence laid by Dr. Ron Kean, and under the leadership of Performing Arts Faculty Chair Dr. John Gerhold, is propelling the BC choral programs into a prominent spotlight at regional, national, and international venues.
Last summer, Jennifer completed a successful performance tour of Italy with BC’s Chamber Singers and she’s entertaining similar invitations to tour Australia in 2018. Jennifer very clearly told me where I would be spending June 2018–in Sydney Australia, enjoying our students performing at the Sydney Opera House. You should mark your calendars as well. As a member of the BC entourage during that summer tour of Italy, I got a first-hand, front-row view of Jennifer’s incredible dedication to her craft and love of music, as well as her commitment to her students’ success.
Of course, no volume of words can ever do the talent of Jennifer’s singers their true justice, so to experience the full scope of her ensemble, check out these samples of recordings by the BC Chamber Singers under Jennifer’s expert direction:
Dr. Garrett’s award is a testament to her amazing talents — and it was only a matter of time before the whole of Kern County knew about them. Congratulations, Jennifer! I am so glad you are at BC.
Art adjunct professor Gina Herrera was selected to be a featured artist at the Los Angeles Art Association’s The Foolish Game. She was honored by having 2 of her sculptures displayed in the show.
She has also been chosen for 2 fully-funded summer residencies this summer. One will be at Hambidge in Rabun Gap, Georgia, and one is Ox-Bow in Saugatuck, Michigan.
David Koeth was chosen as one of the “Driven by Art” artists for the Bakersfield Museum of Art. Chicago had the cows, New York had big apples, Lake Tahoe had bears, Sedona had javalinas; Bakersfield has old trucks. David will be painting a fiberglass truck that will be a public art piece. I can’t wait to see this piece of work.
Delta Kappa Gamma
The Delta Kappa Gamma Society International was organized in 1929. Its mission statement is that DKG Society International promotes professional and personal growth of women educators and excellence in education. The Alpha Alpha Chapter in Bakersfield was organized in 1939. Over the years many members and DKG leaders have been BC faculty and/or administrators.
They include Grace V. Bird, Margaret (Peg) Levinson, Ruth Maguire, Dorothy Albaugh, Jerry Ludeke, Janet W. Tarjan, Hillary Neumeister, Lynne Hall, Gayle Richardson, Mary Jo Anhalt, and many more.
Gayle Richardson and Janet Tarjan, guests BC faculty Valerie Robinson and Pat Smith, and BC Future Teachers Club alumni and CSUB alumni and current teachers Jennifer Garcia (2nd grade) and Tayci Stallings (6th grade), and current BC students and guests Samaria De alba and Maria Holland were among the attendees at an exciting Women’s Networking Open House at the Dezember Reading Room in the CSUB library in February. Dr. Horace Mitchell, President of CSUB, welcomed everyone and shared stories of commitment to the success of women professional educators at CSUB.
Debby Rosenthal, our new Chemist presented recently at the Instructional Design Institute held by the State-wide Academic Senate. Her talk titled Utilizing Technology to Enhance Time-on-task and Critical thinking Skills was well received. Here is a brief description of her presentation:
Electronic classroom management systems assist in developing “flipped” classrooms or variations of the concept. Pre-chapter quizzes can cover rote terminology and embed videos for concepts that demand mental visualization. When students attend class and encounter the information a second time, lectures and activities are more productive and their confidence is enhanced. Ultimately, the goal is for students to form a deliberate habit of covering material (in all their courses) before it is presented in the classroom.
When attempting to solve higher-level, multi-stop problems, any mental concept that must be addressed is considered a step and often overlooked when teaching. Pre-chapter quizzes can be used to break down problems into questions that instructors naturally ask themselves in order to solve advanced problems.
One objective of the presentations is to encourage instructors to use technology for lower-level instruction to increase time students are exposed to their subject. Instructors will also be asked to be cognitively aware of their own critical thinking skills and model a series of mental questioning that can introduced to students using technology.
Kimberly Bligh and a BC team attended the ATD Conference in Atlanta, Georgia. Kimberly took time out of her schedule to drive from Atlanta to Conyers to spend time with Terence Young, one of our student athletes who got seriously injured playing football for us last term. Jeff Chudy and Sandi Taylor have been supporting Terence all these months and he is now back in San Diego for his second surgery as a result of his football injury. I am so proud of all these individuals who go out of their way to support our students. You inspire me!
Oliver Rosales: Among a “murderer’s row” of incredible educators, no one at BC throws more of himself and his passions into his work than BC Associate Professor of History Oliver Rosales. And when that passion lands his work — and BC — front and center of a nationally-televised broadcast…well, that demands some recognition.
In celebration of last fall’s 40th anniversary of the seminal Delano Grape Strike, Oliver coordinated a series of on-campus events and observances of that 1965 occurrence that’s not only one of the Central Valley’s watershed moments of the past century, but one of the most important workers’ rights events in U.S. history.
The specter of what happened in Delano 40 years ago still looms large — so when Oliver brought a fleet of nationally-renowned scholars for a Delano Grape Strike symposium, C-SPAN decided to air that discussion live.
Held in conjunction with our friends at CSU Bakersfield, the symposium drew more than 350 attendees and was viewed nationwide on C-SPAN. Lorraine Agtang, who participated in the 1965 Delano Grape Strike as a member of the Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee, joined a panel discussion on the strike and its legacy. The discussion also branched deeper into the formative days of the Farm Workers Movement.
It was a fantastic event that you can still watch on the C-SPAN website. Fantastic work, Oliver!
Reggie Williams: As with Oliver’s symposium, it’s truly exceptional when work generated right here on our campus can stand on a national stage and be rightfully recognized for its brilliance.
I wrote here on the blog last October about BC Philosophy Professor Reggie Williams’ thought-provoking talk at the Levan Center about race, wealth and inheritance. Well, now the rest of America will get a chance to hear his enlightened presentation when Reggie delivers his work at next month’s National Council for Black Studies Conference in Charlotte, NC.
The conference is among the most high-profile of annual events furthering the development of Black/Africana Studies as a respected academic discipline.
Reggie presents his findings collected in pursuit of the central reasons behind America’s overwhelming Black/White wealth gap. As Reggie discovered, while income disparity does play a role in the gap in wealth disbursement along racial lines, it is much more closely tied to 200-plus years of laws and practices surrounding inheritance in America.
Staying with Reggie and his co-workers in BC’s standout Philosophy Department, I received a great email from Moya bragging about her colleagues. She says:
I am so proud of my department, and I have to share with you how great they are! Just because I am so vain and humility has its limits.
Here are some highlights of BC’s active Philosophy department:
Reggie Williams and Rene Trujillo are continuing the monthly Gadfly Café sponsored by the Levan Center where faculty, staff, students and the community gather to discuss how relevant issues affect our lives.
Anne Poetker is coordinating the Philosophy Department’s Student Colloquium, where, supported by the rest of the philosophy faculty, students submit papers and read them for the experience of being professional academics and to potentially win a $500 scholarship.
Moya Arthur is leading a book group for faculty and staff reading Jared Diamond’s latest book, Until Yesterday in anticipation of Jared Diamond’s lecture at BC (which is coming up on Apr. 6).
It’s always fantastic when faculty members like Moya reach out about the great work happening in their corner of our BC universe. First, it’s a perfect way to help keep me up to speed on everything going on on our bustling campus at any given time. There are just too many plates spinning every day to stay intimately involved with each one of them, so I’m a huge fan of the updates!
But more than that, emails like this come to me all the time — and they serve as an inspiring glimpse at the day-to-day quality work happening at BC. From Philosophy to Biology, from Nursing to Agriculture, from Art to Engineering, every single department at BC is home to its own collection of daily work engaging both students and the broader Kern County community in the pursuit of academic or social enlightenment.
Student colloquia and book groups may not “grab headlines” like a county award or a national television broadcast or presentation audience — but those types of activities are the lifeblood of what make BC so vital, day in and day out.
Across the board, the abundant heart exhibited everyday by the faculty and staff who serve this campus and our students is an inspiration to me. I couldn’t ask for a better band of colleagues. We are….BC!